Dean grinned, standing back to admire his handiwork. "Really, have you ever seen a better looking Christmas tree?"
Lisa stared at the tree for a moment. Then she stared at Dean. Then, her mouth twitching slightly, she turned back toward the tree and stared at it again.
Ben coughed. "I think it looks--"
Lisa cleared her throat, cutting Ben off before he could say anything. She shot him a warning look. Ben rolled his eyes but still planted a grin on his face before turning toward Dean and giving him a thumbs up. "It looks awesome."
"Uh-huh," Dean said skeptically. He looked at Lisa and raised an eyebrow. "Why am I getting the feeling that I'm missing something?"
"The tree is crooked."
Lisa jumped slightly, despite recognizing the voice coming from behind them almost instantly. She felt a little better when she noticed that Dean had jerked some too, though not much.
She shook her head. "Hello, Castiel," she said, turning around.
The angel was staring at the Christmas tree with a confused frown. "Unless I am mistaken, should the artificial lights not be spread evenly among the branches rather than thrown on the tree in a haphazard manner?"
Dean crossed his arms defensively. "Okay, so I haven't had that much experience putting up Christmas trees before. So sue me." He glared at Castiel, even though his eyes were amused. "And Cas, what have I told you about beaming in out of nowhere? Give us a little warning, huh?"
Castiel nodded his head. Then, without warning, he disappeared.
Ben looked unimpressed. "Cool. I've never seen that happen before," he said dryly. He glanced at Lisa. "Can I go play video games now?"
She nodded, swatting him lightly on the back as he ran by her on his way out of the room. "Dinner's in an hour!" she yelled after him. She lowered her voice. "Or it will be as long as the other guests get here soon."
Dean was staring at the spot where Castiel had been standing, a frown on his face. "I didn't mean he had to leave," he complained.
Lisa didn't try to hide her smile. "I'm sure he'll be back," she said, pressing a quick kiss to his cheek. "I mean, we have pie."
Dean opened his mouth to reply. Before he could say anything, though, the lights suddenly went out.
There was a muffled cry from Ben's room. It sounded as if he had been in the middle of loading something important to his video games when the power went off.
The lights came back on just as suddenly as they had gone out. Then they went off again. And then they turned back on.
Castiel appeared behind Dean. "Is that better, Dean?"
Dean jumped, his hand clenching into a fist and his arm coming halfway up in a swing before he realized who was there. "No!" he said, glaring.
It was hard to tell, but Lisa thought Castiel looked slightly satisfied.
She laughed, shaking her head. "Ignore him," Lisa said, walking over. She wrapped an arm around Dean's waist, hugging him loosely. "He's just in a bad mood because the Christmas tree isn't perfect."
Dean grumbled something under her breath that she couldn't quite make out.
Castiel frowned. "I don't believe that is anatomically possible. At least, not unless--"
Lisa managed not to laugh with some effort. She knew that she wasn't imagining the spark of amusement in Castiel's eyes this time.
"Bobby and Sam are supposed to be here soon," she said, breaking in before it went any farther. She glanced at the clock, scowling a bit when she saw the time. "Actually, they should have been here by now."
"Sammy's driving, remember?" Dean said, shrugging. "He drives like a little old lady, so we'll be lucky if they get here before New Year's."
Lisa elbowed him in the side. "Behave."
Dean shot her an innocent look. "I am behaving."
"Dean is telling the truth," Castiel said, nodding. "For him, this is good behavior."
"You're not helping," Dean said with a scowl.
Laughing, Lisa glanced at Castiel. "Since the others aren't here yet, maybe you could go ahead and do that thing we talked about?"
Castiel looked puzzled for a moment. Then his eyes widened in comprehension and he nodded. He snapped his fingers.
Dean looked suspiciously at the two of them. "What was that all about?"
Lisa tried to look innocent. "Castiel was just helping me put together a few more last minute Christmas decorations."
Castiel tilted his head upward, glancing at the ceiling above Dean's head. "Lisa tells me that it is something of a tradition."
"Do I even want to know?" Dean asked, reluctantly looking up. Then he smirked. "Mistletoe?"
Lisa walked over and kissed him, her left hand slipping under his T-shirt so she could run a finger lightly down his spine. He shivered, moaning slightly as she pulled away.
"Uh-uh," Lisa said, waving a finger disapprovingly at him. "The rest of it will have to wait until in the morning. I can't be giving you your Christmas present early."
Dean growled slightly. Then his eyes lit up and he glanced at Castiel, waggling his eyebrows.
Lisa sighed, more out of exasperation than anything else. She had given up on being jealous of the two of them a long time ago.
Castiel stared back at him, his face expressionless save for a little twitch at the corner of his mouth. It matched the one that Lisa had, and she suspected she wasn't the only one having trouble keeping a straight face.
"What?" Dean protested. "Like you said, it's tradition. And don't think I can't see that smile you're trying to hide." He glanced at Lisa. "That goes for you too."
She shrugged, though she did stop trying to hide the smile.
Castiel shook his head. "If you insist," he said, bowing slightly.
The next thing Lisa knew, she was getting a show that knew she was going to be drawing on as a pleasant memory for some time to come. Dean's face was flushed as he pulled away.
Shaking her head, Lisa glanced at the clock again. "I should probably go call Sam and see where they are."
Dean laughed, despite his face still being red. "You're not getting out of it that easy," he said, his eyes twinkling. He stepped away from Castiel. "You can't leave poor Cas standing here without a kiss, are you?"
Lisa blinked in surprise. Then she glanced up at the mistletoe.
Castiel looked up as well. Now that Dean had moved, it was directly above him. He looked slightly embarrassed as he looked back down again, not glancing in Lisa's direction.
Dean was shooting her a hopeful look that Lisa knew she couldn't resist. "Well, it is tradition," she said slowly.
"Perhaps I should go search for Sam and Bobby," Castiel said, starting to move.
Dean reached out and grabbed his arm. "Cas," he said, shooting Castiel the same look he'd just used on Lisa.
Apparently angels of the Lord couldn't resist it any more than she could.
Lisa looked at Castiel, raising an eyebrow. Despite what Dean seemed to think, she wasn't going to kiss him if he didn't want it.
It took a few seconds, but Castiel finally nodded. Even if it was reluctant.
Shaking her head, Lisa walked over and pressed a gentle kiss at the corner of his mouth. She pulled away quickly when he tensed, stopping only when he shook his head.
Then he winked at her. Lisa blinked in surprise. In all the time she had known Castiel, she had never seen him do anything so, well, human.
The next thing Lisa knew, she was being thoroughly kissed, Castiel's hands resting loosely on her arms in a way that let her know she could easily pull away whenever she wanted. Behind them, Dean made a choked sound.
Lisa couldn't help but grin as they finally broke the kiss. She and Castiel were still staring at each other, their faces no more than a few inches apart.
"Well, now I know what I want for Christmas," Dean said, somehow managing to slip in between the two of them. His voice was light, but there was an undercurrent in it that Lisa couldn't quite read.
In the doorway, someone cleared his throat.
"In that case, I'm keeping the bourbon I bought for you," Bobby said, holding up a badly wrapped package with a red bow on it. It was shaped suspiciously like a bottle.
Sam just stared at the three of them, his mouth opening and closing without any words coming out.