“I thought you said none of that crap in the Bible mattered,” Dean said. He opened the bedside table and pulled out the ubiquitous Gideon Bible. “You wanna tell me chapter and verse so I can look up what your problem is?”
“That’s not …” Castiel took a moment to re-center himself. “This is not about the way some humans thousands of years ago misconstrued my Father’s concerns. I do not know how to make you understand.”
“What then? Because you’re right, I don’t understand. I thought what we had going was good.” Dean tossed the book back into the drawer and slammed it shut.
“It is.” Castiel chose his words carefully. “What we have together is good. That is what I am trying to tell you.”
“Well, you’ve got a funny way of doing it.” Dean stomped over to the little refrigerator in the motel’s kitchen area and pulled out a beer. After a second, he removed another and offered it to Castiel. That seemed to be an important gesture of some kind, and so even though Castiel did not particularly care for the fermented beverage, he accepted and swallowed some.
Castiel looked at the room’s single bed and sighed.
“Not for nothin’, Cas, but it’s not like I’m trying to get in your pants in the middle of Times Square or something. I’m not big on the PDA thing anyway. I don’t get why it matters that I got us a single. It’s not like you ever sleep in your bed at the bunker. Do you care that much what some random desk clerk thinks?”
“No,” Cas retorted, then added, “not exactly.”
“Well, what exactly is the problem then?”
Castiel closed his eyes for a moment and reflected on the various facets of the problem at hand.
“You going to sleep on me now?”
Castiel opened his eyes. “You know I do not sleep, Dean.”
“So, when angels mate, Dean, it is a highly private matter. It is so private that it is not spoken of, not out of shame, but to protect the sanctity of the bond.” He paused to let that sink in. “I understand it is not the same with humans, and I am not bothered by your brother or the prophet knowing that we are ‘together.’” He quirked his fingers in the air for emphasis. “But I have also learned from the television that having relations in a motel is considered profane.”
“That’s … seriously?” Dean ran his fingers through his hair. “Cas, you get that there’s a difference between some business exec getting it on with his secretary at a motel and then going home to his wife and two people who are together all the time still being … together even when they’re on the road, right?”
Castiel considered that for a moment. “The issue then is not the location but the circumstances?”
“Something like that, yeah.” Dean took another swig of his beer.
“I see.” Castiel thought about it some more.
“So are we good? Can we can this chick-flick moment?” Dean asked.
“We were always good, Dean,” Castiel said. “I find that I am still uncomfortable with a stranger such as the desk clerk being aware of our relationship. It feels … unworthy. However, I believe I understand what you are saying.”
“Wonderful. So can we please get back to figuring this other crap out so we can close this case and get back to fixing Sam?”
Castiel sighed and nodded as he pulled a book from the table and began to flip through it. He remained standing, as he did not see any advantage to doing otherwise. Sitting was no easier for reading, and he did not have to worry about growing tired.
“Cas,” Dean said softly after a few minutes.
“I am researching the case, Dean,” he snapped back.
“Just …” Dean’s hands covered his and closed the book.
Castiel looked up at him as Dean set the book aside.
“Look, I get it. I do,” Dean said. “You feel like some random dude hasn’t earned the right to know stuff about us. And you’re right. He hasn’t. He or anybody else comes poking around to see what we’re up to, and I’ll break their nose just on principle.”
“Then why did you insist I join you as you paid for the room?”
“Because what I said before, about people sneaking around in motels?”
“That’s when people pretend like there’s only one person staying there. That’s when it’s cheap and dirty and … and profane.” Dean took a breath. “What matters to me isn’t whether or not the desk clerk knows we’re sharing a bed. What matters is that I don’t treat you like some dirty secret, okay?”
Understanding dawned. It didn’t make Castiel feel any less exposed, but somehow that now felt more like basking in the light of the sun rather than having Naomi extract his most private thoughts under the glare of her office lights.
“I think I see a lightbulb going off.”
“Where?” Castiel looked around nervously. He did not believe he had expended any “angel mojo,” but it could also be a sign of something else approaching.
“It’s an expression. Means I think you’re getting it.”
“Oh.” Castiel relaxed again. “Yes. I believe we both are.”
Dean took hold of the belt on Castiel’s trench coat and pulled him closer, then brought their lips together. Leaning into the warmth of him, Castiel buried his fingers in Dean’s hair and savored the taste of Dean with a hint of beer, a much more enjoyable flavor than the beverage alone.