Dean Winchester and (Y/N) had been dating for over three years now. They didn’t really keep track of it anymore. It wasn’t anything new, or exciting. But it was safe, and it was comfortable. (Y/N) stayed in the bunker with him and Sam, and she went with them on hunts. When they’d first started dating Dean had tried to get her to stay back, but she had refused – and now they couldn’t imagine going on hunts without her. They were just a trio now, instead of a duo. Sam and (Y/N) were best friends, and everything about their lives was just comfortable.
When they’d first started dating, Dean had still been in denial about having feelings. He hated showing any weakness or vulnerabilities, which included having feelings for someone. Dean had struggled for quite a while with dating (Y/N), but they’d gotten through it, and now Dean was better about his feelings. He wasn’t the most emotional person on the planet, but he was much softer now than he’d been three years ago. He would willingly take care of (Y/N) whenever she needed it, and she never felt bad about waking him up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare, or just because she was sad.
One thing (Y/N) didn’t do well with, though, was being sick. She refused to tell Dean whenever she was sick, because she felt like it made her a burden. (Y/N) would rather just push through it, which sometimes could be dangerous, but nothing bad had ever happened with it before. So sue her for thinking it would be the same now.
(Y/N) woke up one morning in the bunker, but she had no idea where she was. She sits up quickly, looking over and realizing Dean is laying next to her. It takes her a few more minutes to realize she’s at home, in the bunker. Her head is throbbing, her vision is blurry, her nose is stuffy, there’s a terrible taste in her mouth, her throat feels like it’s on fire, and she’s sweating. Not to mention her stomach was churning… (Y/N) barely got out of bed in time to make it to the bathroom, clutching onto the toilet while everything in her stomach heaves out of her.
Great. Weren’t they supposed to have a case today, too? Sam had mentioned something about finding a case… but (Y/N) didn’t know how she was going to push through it if she could hardly stand. After she’s done puking, (Y/N) stands up, but quickly sits back down. Everything was spinning.
While (Y/N) was sitting there, her stomach was continuing to churn, and her body was shaking violently. There was a part of her that was cold, and wanted to curl up with blankets, but another part of her that wanted to puke just at the thought of anything warm. Most of her thoughts weren’t making sense, broken up into little pieces, thoughts about random things floating into her mind when they shouldn’t be.
She manages to crawl over to the sink, using the edge of the sink to hoist herself up just enough so she can open the medicine cabinet, grabbing the thermometer. Something was wrong. This wasn’t just a normal sickness. This wasn’t just her usual cold.
(Y/N) slides down again so she’s sitting, turning so her back is now pressed against the sink. Her head tilts back, her eyes falling shut. She has to breathe out of her mouth from her nose being shut, but even just breathing is making her want to puke. Taking a deep breath, (Y/N) finally puts the thermometer under her tongue, trying her beast to breathe through her nose while it reads.
When it beeps, (Y/N) pulls the thermometer from under her tongue. It takes her a minute to read it from her vision being blurry, then another minute to process what she was seeing. 105? That couldn’t be right. She didn’t bother even looking at the last number, only focused on the 105. Wasn’t that the temperature where brains potentially started melting? Oh god, her brain was melting. She was going to die from a fever. Where the hell was Dean?
Cold. She needs cold. She needs to lower her body temperature. Her mind is screaming at her that she doesn’t want to do that, because then she’ll freeze, but she knows she needs to if she doesn’t want to die. (Y/N) sits up, suddenly gagging as she does. The gagging happened so fast she didn’t have time to get to the toilet, and she ends up puking all down her front. A small whimper is emitted from her, which just goes to show how sick she was – she would never make vulnerable noises like that if she knew what she was doing.
Crawling over to the bath tub, she starts to run the water. Her fingers go under it, already shivering even more at the feeling of the cold water on her hand. She was supposed to get her entire body into this? What the hell was she thinking?
Dean woke with a start when water in the bathroom started running. He furrows his eyebrows, looking over to the other side of the bed, seeing (Y/N) was missing. He knew she hadn’t been feeling very good the past few days, even though she’d tried to hide it from him. Dean knew her far too well for her to hide something like that, but he’d been keeping an eye on her. Or, at least he thought he had.
He quickly goes into the bathroom to see what’s going on, met with a terrible scene. (Y/N) is laying on the floor next to the bath tub, the little clothing she’s wearing absolutely drenched with sweat. There’s puke all down her front, along with some other surfaces in the bathroom that he figured she didn’t even realize she’d puked on. A thermometer was laying there with the latest reading – 105?!
“Fuck, (Y/N/N), we gotta get your temperature down.” He breathes out quietly. Dean really wanted to just pull her into his arms and comfort her, but that time would come later. Come when she wasn’t potentially dying. “Sammy!” He practically roars, knowing his brother would wake up easily and come to their aid.
Dean feels the water (Y/N) had just been putting her hand under and turns it just a little warmer. He didn’t want her to get hypothermia, after all. He then turns the shower on, easily lifting her into his arms. “I’m so sorry, sweetheart.” He mumbles to her before placing her down in the bottom of the shower.
Sam almost skids into the bathroom, eyes widening when he sees what’s happening. Dean and him had just had a conversation the day before about how (Y/N) was sick, but she didn’t seem to be that bad. Now, overnight, she had gotten so much worse. Sam watches as Dean gets her down into the bottom of the shower, wincing when he hears the wails coming from her. She’s struggling and thrashing against Dean, wanting to get out of the cold, and it’s one of the most terrible things he’s ever seen.
But not two minutes after (Y/N) is placed under the cold water, her entire body tenses up. She lets out a sound – one so bone chilling neither Sam nor Dean know of any way to describe it. Dean’s green eyes were terrified when he turns around to look at Sam, Sam’s hazel expression mirroring his own. When he turns back around, (Y/N) is seizing.
“She’s having a seizure!” Dean yells to Sam, pointing out the obvious, but Sam would have said the same thing. His mind is spinning, trying to think of everything he knew about people having seizures, and what to do for them.
“Okay, okay, we have to get her out of there.” Sam says after only a moment’s hesitation, reaching over to Dean to turn off the water. He helps him get her body out of there and laying on the floor. “She needs to be on her side. And… here, here’s a towel, just place it under her head so she doesn’t keep hitting her head on the floor. And we have to time it! Anything more than five minutes can be super bad.”
Sam is no seizure expert. He’s no medical expert in general. But that was the basics of what he knew, or at least what he had heard. If it was wrong, he just hoped he wasn’t hurting her even more than what she already was. Sam grabs his phone and looks at the clock, seeing what time it is, so they can time it.
Luckily, the seizure lasts only two minutes. But two minutes was still a long time for something like that. Who knew how it had affected her? Sam knew there could be neural deficits temporarily, but who knew how temporarily it would be? Who knew what kind of deficits there would even be when she woke up?
“(Y/N/N)?” Dean says quietly when she finally stops seizing, turning her on her back. He smooths his hand over her wet hair, his voice shaking. “(Y/N), sweetheart, can you hear me? If you can, I just need you to squeeze my fingers, okay?” He’s trying so hard to sound strong for her, but Sam can see right through it. He’s terrified, for good reason. Sam was terrified too.
(Y/N)’s eyes are slowly opening, and she squeezes Dean’s hand when he asks her too. It’s not a hard squeeze, but it’s something. At least she can move her fingers, and she can understand what he’s saying. There’s a faraway look in her eyes, one that has Dean nervous, but he tries not to act like it. Her eyes are looking around the room, but it’s obvious she’s not really seeing anything.
Sam mutters something about getting their temporal thermometer, knowing putting something in her mouth right then wouldn’t be a good idea. He disappears from the bathroom, leaving Dean to hold her hand and whisper things to her, reassuring her that it was okay, that everything was going to be okay.
When Sam comes back, he powers up the thermometer and runs it along her forehead, ending at her temple. A few seconds later it comes back with a reading of 103.4. It was still a high temperature, too high for either of their liking, but at least it had gone down a little bit. “You should get her into some dry clothes. Just a t shirt and either a pair of her underwear or your boxers. I’m going to go get some ice packs and cool wash cloths. See if we can get her to cool down a little more.”
Dean nods. He manages to pick (Y/N) up bridal style, with a little difficulty due to the dead weight, and carries her into their shared room. He lays her on the bed, not minding how she’s wet, and finds her one of his t shirts and one of his pairs of boxers. He quickly changes her into them, while she’s still staring at him with that same worrying look. Dean’s starting to wonder if they should call an ambulance… but Sam seems to think it’s going to be okay. Sam had more knowledge out of the two of them, and he knew (Y/N) would never forgive him for calling an ambulance if she didn’t truly need it. She hated hospitals and everything to do with them.
“It’s okay, sweetheart.” Dean says softly, giving her a small smile. He needs to be strong for her right now; take care of her, and not let his worries get in the way. “I’ve got you. I’m going to take care of you, okay? You just rest and worry about finding your way back to me.”
Ten minutes later, Dean and (Y/N) are laying in their bed again. Dean had gotten her settled in, her head resting on her pillow, and Sam had brought them ice packs and cold wash cloths. They placed them strategically around her body, then Sam left them alone, promising he would be right next to his phone if either of them needed anything.
Dean turns the television on, knowing there was no way he’d be able to sleep now. He’s glancing over at her every few seconds, his eyes sad because of her shivering. She was just laying there, taking it, and that was even sadder; there were no whines of protest, like he knew she would want to be doing.
(Y/N) eventually starts to move and she shuffles across the bed until she’s away from all of those cold things and tucked into Dean’s side. He sighs quietly but places the back of his hand on her forehead. He can feel she at least wasn’t as warm as she was before, so he’s fine with it. “I’m right here, sweetheart.” Dean promises, kissing her forehead.
His eyebrows raised when a few minutes later, (Y/N) was reaching down to grab his hand, and she stuck one of his fingers in her mouth. He’s about to say something, but decides against it, wanting to see where this goes. (Y/N) starts to slowly suck on the finger she has in her mouth, and Dean grabs his phone, quickly texting Sam.
D: Dude, something’s wrong.
S: What? Ambulance?
D: She’s like a baby?
S: What do you mean?
D: Sucking on my finger
S: On it
Dean places his phone down when Sam says he’ll research it, deciding to just let her have his finger. Whatever made her happy. After being sick, and that seizure, she deserved whatever happiness she could have. It was ten minutes later that his phone buzzed again.
S: Google involuntary regression
S: Gonna go get stuff, brb
Dean frowns in confusion when Sam mentions going to get ‘stuff.’ He has no idea what he’s talking about. On his phone, since he doesn’t want to grab his laptop and startle her, he googles involuntary regression. To his surprise, there were a bunch of forums and other things where people had been posting about this. It seemed to be something fairly common, so he wondered why he’d never heard of it before.
He learned it was the brain’s way of coping with something, usually a traumatic event. The brain would regress to get away from whatever was troubling it. To get away from responsibilities and other things that went along with the traumatic event. He learned that the people who were regressed usually acted like children, all the way down to infant stages. He learned there were “adult baby” things they could buy, like pacifiers, adult diapers, onesies, and other things to help them feel more comfortable. He learned regressions could vary in time. They could be up to months at a time if a person really needed to regress.
There were different types. Some would regress to children and not need diapers. Some would regress to infants and need diapers. Some would be toddlers and would refuse diapers even if they needed them. It was just like being an actual baby, or whatever age they regressed to. Dean glanced down to (Y/N), figuring if this was that, then she was probably in an infant mind state.
Dean closes his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath, before kissing (Y/N) gently on the forehead. “I’ve got you.” He whispers softly. “I’m right here. I’m gonna take care of you. Whatever you need.”
It was just as Sam was coming back with whatever supplies he could find when (Y/N) wet herself, and therefore wet the bed. He winces as he feels it getting on him, but just smiles lightly and kisses her forehead again. “Did someone just go potty?” He asks, soothingly cooing to the girl.
To his delight, that was the first time she actually looked up at him and recognized he was there. Before, she hadn’t been paying attention to whatever he was saying, because it sounded like he was talking to an adult. But this… this tone of voice, that must be for her. A small smile spreads across her face when she sees Dean smiling at her, and he chuckles. “Yeah, someone just went potty, didn’t they? Sounds like Sammy just got back with some stuff for you, so we’ll get you cleaned up in just a second, how’s that sound, princess?”
Sam raises an eyebrow as he comes into the room, hearing the tone of voice Dean was taking with her. “Everything good in here?” He questions, but his own smile forms on his face when he sees the innocent expression and smile on (Y/N)’s face.
“She wet the bed.” Dean says to Sam, grimacing a little bit, but then just shrugging. “So in that kinda voice I asked if she’d gone potty, and that was the first time she’d acknowledged I was talking to her. So, I guess if you want her to acknowledge you, you have to talk in that kinda voice.”
Sam nods his head in understanding. He could see Dean was going to go all in with this, so he was going to as well. He was proud of his brother and how far he had come. He couldn’t imagine what would have happened if something like this had happened before (Y/N) got through to him regarding feelings and emotions. Dean probably wouldn’t have been so willing to take care of her.
“Hi, sweetheart!” Sam coos, smiling when (Y/N) turns her head to look at him, smiling back at him. “Look, I got some stuff for you!” He hadn’t been sure what to get, so he just tried to think of most things a baby would need and got those. He’d gotten a pacifier, some onesies for pajamas, some adult diapers, baby wipes and other things for changing her, and some stuffed animals. He was hoping this wasn’t going to be long, so he hadn’t gotten a whole lot of things, but enough for at least a few days. Then, if need be, he or Dean could buy more.
That night had been a lot of trial and error. Figuring out how the hell a diaper worked, how to get it on an adult instead of a baby, how to feed her, and more. She had been patient, though, and was as smiley as ever, as long as they were cooing to her and being happy themselves. As soon as one of them got frustrated, she would get upset as well. It was like any emotion they had rubbed off on her – so they learned quickly to be happy and upbeat around her.
That had been over a week ago. (Y/N) still wasn’t showing any signs of coming out of the regression, and both Sam and Dean had gotten into a routine with her. Dean was the primary caretaker, of course, but if Dean needed a break or needed to do something, then Sam would take care of her. At night, when she was asleep, they’d have hushed conversations about what they were going to do. What if this was a forever thing? What if she never got out of her regression?
“Well, Sammy, then I guess she doesn’t come out of the regression.” Dean had said quietly, although it was obvious he was disappointed. Although he loved (Y/N) dearly when she was regressed, she had been his girlfriend, and now she wasn’t. Dean was still hoping she’d come out of it soon enough. “But we don’t know that. So, we just gotta take care of her until she does.”
(Y/N) was currently laying on the living room floor, toys strewn around her. Coloring books that she hadn’t paid attention to, stuffed animals that had been paid a little too much attention, and noisy toys were all creating quite the hazardous area in the living room of the bunker. Cartoons were playing in the background, but none of them currently had (Y/N)’s attention.
Dean was laying on the floor next to (Y/N), cooing to her. “My sweet little girl. That’s right. You’re just my precious little girl, aren’t you? Yeah, you are! I love you so much.” She was laying on her back, looking over at him. Dean pokes her stomach, earning him a squeal as she grabs his hand. He takes his hand, with hers still attached, up to his mouth to pretend to nibble on her fingers; once again earning him a squeal of happiness.
(Y/N) was still uncoordinated as ever, but she was spirited to make up for it. With hardly any warning she suddenly flopped over onto her stomach, Dean just barely able to put his hand out in time for her head to land on his hand instead of the ground. His eyes were wide with worry, but she just giggled, making Dean relax and chuckle quietly. “You’re gonna kill yourself one of these times, you know that?”
She hummed out her agreement, not knowing what he was saying, wiggling her butt to get his attention. Dean smiles, placing his hand on her back and starting to rub her back gently. He reaches his other hand out to tap her pacifier, which she’d hardly let go of since regressing almost a week and a half ago. “My precious sweetheart. You’re everything to me, you know that?”
Sam had been watching for a few minutes, a smile on his face. There had been a time, years ago, where he never thought he’d seen Dean truly happy again. He never thought he’d see Dean actually letting feelings out or having feelings for someone. And now here he was, cooing to his girlfriend, who was an adult in an infant’s body. Life was weird, but it worked out in great ways sometimes.
“I hate to interrupt this sickeningly adorable moment, but I have a bottle for someone that’s going to get cold if it’s not eaten soon.” Sam quips, and he can’t help the grin that forms when (Y/N) squeals just at the mention of the bottle.
Dean chuckles as well, sitting up and bringing (Y/N) to a sitting position as well. “Well hand it over, Sammy! Don’t wanna keep a hungry girl waiting.” He teases back, and Sam smiles as he hands him the bottle.
(Y/N) obediently opens her mouth so Dean can take the pacifier out, then places the bottle in her mouth. She starts to drink it eagerly, leaning against Dean and curling up into his side. She was perfectly content to stay right here forever, with Sam and Dean taking care of her. There was a part of her subconscious that didn’t want to leave this mind state. She didn’t want to go back to responsibilities and hunting. She liked this.
Another month had gone by. Sam and Dean finally broke down and made her a nursery in one of the guest rooms of the bunker. God knew they had enough rooms for it, and it didn’t seem like she was going to be snapping out of this. They’d got her a crib, a changing table, a couple of rocking chairs, and other things that a basic nursery would have. That was where she spent most of her nap times, in her crib, but at nights she was still more likely to curl up with Dean in their bed. Some things never changed.
On the changing table, in the middle of Dean changing one of her messiest diapers, was when (Y/N) snapped out of it and came back to reality. Her eyes widened when she felt something down there, immediately looking down to see Dean, using… baby wipes, to clean her…? There was something in her mouth. (Y/N) quickly raised her hand to grab it out of her mouth to look at it, eyes widening when she sees it’s a pacifier. She makes a quiet sound, which makes Dean look up at her.
“Yeah, baby, that’s your pacifier, isn’t it?” He coos, and (Y/N) can feel her cheeks burning. What was this? Why was Dean seemingly so okay with the fact that he was cleaning her up and she had a pacifier in her mouth? Was he… was he putting her into a diaper right now? “There. We got ya all cleaned up and into a new diaper. Are you hungry? I think Sammy’s making you a bottle right now. We can go have breakfast, then maybe bath time, how’s that sound?”
“Dean?” (Y/N) whispered, feeling her cheeks burning and her eyes filling up with tears. The last thing she remembered was being sick and Dean forcing her into the bath tub… she wondered how long ago that had been. Had she been acting like a baby all this time? God, Dean probably hated her. Probably didn’t want to be her boyfriend anymore.
Dean had just been finishing getting (Y/N) into her onesie when she spoke. She. Spoke. His. Name. His eyes widened and immediately snapped up to meet her gaze, his own voice hardly a whisper. “(Y/N)?” He asks, bringing a hand up to cup her cheek. “Is it… are you back, baby girl?”
(Y/N)’s eyes squeezed shut against the tears that were forming, leaning into Dean’s hand. She figured she had to get the touch while she still could, because she could feel the breakup coming. “Where did I go?” She asks pitifully.
He can’t help the smile that forms on his face, even though there’s worry clear in her eyes. “Nowhere, baby.” Dean says softly, helping her to sit up. She might still need help with things these next few days since she was used to being picked up and carried everywhere. He leans forward to rest his forehead against hers. “When you were sick, your temperature got too high, and you had a seizure. That was… about a month ago. But Sam and I have been taking care of you. You’re okay, I promise.”
Taking care of her. She had definitely been acting like a baby. (Y/N) closed her eyes while his forehead rested against hers, and she got little flashbacks. Dean cooing to her. Sam putting her to bed. Dean holding her. Dean feeding her. Dean getting her dressed every morning. Then she remembered how it made her feel. It made her feel safe. So safe. Loved, wanted, cherished… but mostly safe. She remembered not wanting to wake up out of it, because that meant going back to responsibilities and other things.
“I didn’t want to come out of it.” (Y/N) admits tearfully, squeezing her eyes tighter shut. “I wanted to stay like that, so I didn’t have responsibilities… I – I felt so safe, Dean, and not that I don’t feel safe with you normally, but I just wanted to stay like that… but I knew you were sad, and I needed to come back to you…”
Dean can feel his heart clenching sadly. She was so upset that she had forced herself out of it. But she had done it for him. He really didn’t want to lose (Y/N) as his girlfriend, but at the same time, he didn’t want her to be unhappy. That was the last thing he wanted. “Shh, sweetheart… it’s okay.” Dean tries to say reassuringly. “You don’t need to explain yourself to me. You felt safe, and that was all that mattered.”
They’re both silent for a few moments, Dean trying to think of what they can do. He doesn’t want to lose her forever. He doesn’t want her unhappy. But maybe… “What if we make a compromise?” Dean asks softly, giving her a little smile when she opens her eyes to look at him. “You come back to me. You be my girlfriend. But you can regress whenever you want, and I’ll take care of you.”
(Y/N)’s eyes are wide, and she sniffles quietly. “You’d do that for me?” She asks, but then she’s immediately shaking her head. “No. No, it’s stupid. I shouldn’t need this. I’m a hunter. You’re my boyfriend. You don’t need to be taking care of me like I’m some stupid baby. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”
She quickly tries to get up off the changing table, Dean’s hand gently wrapping around her wrist to keep her right there with him. “Be my baby.” Dean whispers, stroking his thumb along the back of her hand. “Let me take care of you. You are my sweet, precious, darling little girl. I love you as my girlfriend, and I love you as my little girl. Please… don’t take my sweet girl away from me.”
(Y/N) sniffled quietly, turning back so she can look at him after he’s done with his speech. She’s searching him for any sort of insincerity, but she can find none. It genuinely seems like he wants to take care of her when she needs it. “Really?” She whispers.
Dean nods his head, tugging her wrist so she’ll come to him, one arm wrapping around her waist tightly. “I’ll keep you safe, I promise. This past month… it’s been amazing. I’ve missed you, because I’ve missed having my girlfriend. But I got to meet this whole other side to you. This sweet girl, who depends on me for everything, and is always happy unless she’s not feeling good, and who has this amazing hunger to learn things about the world even though she can’t move on her own. I don’t want to completely lose my sweet girl. I just… would like to have my girlfriend back sometimes too, you know?”
(Y/N) gives a small smile, and she can feel tears still in her eyes that are threatening to spill over. She’s trying not to let them, though, instead just moving toward Dean and pressing her face into his shoulder. “Kiss me, Dean Winchester.” Her voice is muffled against his shirt.
Dean quickly tilts her chin up to kiss her, smiling. He leans forward, saying softly, “As you wish, sweet girl.”