Word Count: 15,808
Characters/Pairings: Gen, past Arthur/Gwen
Warnings: Violence towards children, character death
Spoilers: Spoilers through series five of Merlin, AU season four of Supernatural
Summary: Centuries after his death, destiny calls Arthur Pendragon forth to fulfill his duty as the Once and Future King. But Arthur is also a Winchester now. Destiny won’t know what hit it.
Author’s Notes: I want to thank chosenfire28 for running this challenge. And to finnickodair, your artwork is awesome, and gorgeous. Thank you so much for picking my story. :)
The first time Dean tried to cook for him and Arthur, he ended up going overboard. There was chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Dean even cooked vegetables. Just before dinner was served, two pies and a cobbler joined the feast.
Arthur ate everything Dean put on his plate, luckily for him. But clean up was a pain in the ass. First he had to bathe Arthur, then tackle the mountain of dishes. It took him about two hours to get the kitchen back into some semblance of order. Arthur kept babbling at him and if Dean didn’t respond in time he’d start whining.
Sam laughed at him for five minutes when he found Dean’s battered collection of recipes and DVR’d cooking shows. That afternoon, Dean showed Sam that despite their difference in height, Dean was still the older brother, and therefore could still kick Sam’s ass. They ended up trashing the living room, much to Arthur’s delight. He kept throwing his toys at them from his playpen in front of the television.
In the end, Sam helped with clean up, and Dean made burgers for dinner. The next day Dean found a Cooking for Dummies book, and a frilly apron on his front porch. The next time Sam came over for dinner, Dean wore the apron, Arthur’s multicolored hand prints decorating the front.
This Sunday, Dean had one book open. The recipe looked simple enough, though he had never made lasagna before.
Dean squared his shoulders. He’d fought the hordes of hell and the armies of heaven. He’d helped banish Lilith to hell for good before the last seal could be broken. He could make freaking lasagna. Looking over his shoulder, he spotted Arthur at the table. He had Play-Doh smeared over the surface and some stuck in his hair.
He seemed happy enough, so Dean turned back to his task. He eyed the set up the same way he would if he were gearing up for a hunt. First task, heat the pot. He turned the burner on; making sure it wasn’t too high. Second he added some oil.
He added the meat to the pan. It didn’t sizzle at first, but Dean wasn’t worried. No sizzle meant he wasn’t burning anything yet. A loud banging had him glancing back at Arthur. He’d thrown the Play-Doh container to the floor and was watching Dean with bright blue eyes.
“Hey,” Dean said, pointing the spoon at Arthur. “Enough from the peanut gallery. Daddy’s trying to make dinner.”
Arthur laughed. “Daddy need Uncle Sammy?”
Dean mock scowled. “Hush, you.” He waved the spoon around. “I can make dinner without your uncle’s help.”
“Daddy, food smell.”
Dean cursed and turned towards the stove. He removed the pot from the burner just in time, stirring the contents before any scorching could occur. He turned down the heat and added the onions, garlic, herbs, and the canned tomatoes before putting it back on the burner. He turned back to Arthur who was still watching him with a big grin on his face.
“Not a word.”
Grabbing another pot, Dean filled it with water and put it on the stove. Turning the burner on high, he added salt, then sat down at the table to wait.
“All done?” Arthur asked, looking from Dean to the stove.
“Not yet,” Dean said. “We have to assemble everything first, then bake it.”
The pasta had just finished when Dean heard the front door open and close. A second later, Sam appeared, a brown bag in hand.
“What’s that smell?” Sam asked as he sat the bag down and picked up Arthur.
“Daddy make food,” Arthur said with a smile.
Dean glared at his brother. “Shut up. Kid has to eat something that doesn’t come out of a box.”
Sam stared. “Who are you, and what have you done with my brother?”
Dean threw a kitchen towel at Sam. Arthur just laughed when it landed a few feet from its target.
“Great, you’ve turned my kid against me,” Dean grumbled as he picked up the towel.
“Nah,” Sam said. “He just likes me more than you.”
He rolled his eyes and began assembling the lasagna, adding layers of meat sauce, cheese, and pasta. Soon he had it baking in the oven and a mountain of dishes to wash. Making lasagna required several pans, and if he didn’t clean up now, it’d be a pain to do so later. Next time he was just buying a frozen one.
“What are you doing here anyway?” Dean asked as he began the task of cleaning tomato sauce out of the pot.
“Maybe I just wanted to visit my favorite nephew,” Sam said, giving Arthur a wide smile.
Dean huffed out a breath. “He’s your only nephew.”
“Okay fine,” Sam said as he sat down, Arthur settled on his knee. He fiddled with the bag for a few seconds before opening it and placing the contents on the table.
Dean frowned, drying his hands as he came over. “A book? You’re nervous over some old book?”
Sam sighed. “It’s journal, like the one dad used.”
Dean’s head snapped up and his eyes narrowed. “I thought you gave that stuff up.”
Sam shrugged and he seemed to curl into himself. “I did,” he said. “I have, but there were some strange occurrences near my place, and I couldn’t not look into them and…”
“You remembered what it was like to do good,” Dean said choosing his words carefully, mindful of little ears.
“I just,” Sam said. “People still need help.”
Dean sat down, dishes forgotten. Arthur looked from his dad to his uncle, a frown marring his small face. Dean reached out and plucked him from Sam’s lap, settling him on his own. He hugged him against his chest, smelling the baby soap and Play-Doh in his hair.
“I get it,” Dean said. “I really do. If things were different…”
“You’d have never stopped.”
“Stop what, Daddy?”
Arthur was looking at him with such an open and worried expression that Dean held him just a little tighter.
“My old job,” Dean said voice low and carrying a lifetime of memories both good and bad. “It was dangerous, and I was already thinking of changing it when I got you. You just gave me the push to quit sooner.”
“That bad thing?” Arthur asked.
“No,” Dean said. “No, it was a very good thing.”
“Is Uncle Sammy bad?”
Dean shot his brother a look, not missing the hurt and deep seeded guilt that crossed his face.
“No, Arthur,” Dean said unable to keep his words steady. “You’re Uncle Sammy is being good.”
“Oh,” he said, looking down at the table. He ran one chubby finger along the edge before glancing back at Dean. “He stay safe, right?”
“That’s right,” Sam said, his voice cracking. “I’ll stay very safe.”