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The angel is in the back seat again. At first Sam worried that his appearing and disappearing mojo had broken, but it turns out he just finds riding with them interesting. Also, Sam's laptop is back there and Castiel is currently learning about GPS. Dean insisted that Castiel know more about the marvels of the internet in a non-porn-related capacity. Or at least that's what he protested. Sam thinks Dean just secretly doesn't want Cas reading about himself having interesting and flexible sex with other people any more. And, man, he doesn’t even know why thinking that sentence is no longer weird to him, because it should be. Still, Castiel seems happy enough, apparently learning to do in twenty minutes what his phenomenal angel powers can do in half a second is fascinating.

Sam bought him a cookie the last time they stopped, and he absolutely couldn’t help being amused at the vague air of suspicion Dean had turned in his direction, before covering it up with his usual bullshit. Castiel is currently eating his cookie with a truly staggering amount of care and attention. Though he's still managing to get crumbs in the leather. Sam's honestly curious if Dean's going to pretend not to notice or whether he's going to moan all afternoon about chocolate chips becoming part of the upholstery. Sam's never managed to eat anything in the car without Dean cutting him that 'drop stuff on pain of death, Sam, On pain of death,' look

So, yeah, Sam's fairly sure his brother's going to ask the angel to the prom any day now.

Talking of the angel, Castiel is looking at him again.

He hasn't quite learned the art of meaningful and suggestive looks being subtle yet, so it's mostly just staring. Really intense staring.

Because, yeah, Sam knows, he remembers. He's supposed to be admitting the whole 'Lucifer's stalking me in my sleep' thing to Dean. He figures two days stalling is probably enough. But he's been trying to find the right time.

He frowns at the angel, who's still staring.

Sooner or later Dean is going to notice and it'll be the cookie all over again.

"Dean," he starts awkwardly. "So there's something I want to tell you and I don't want you to get mad."

"Oh, that's always a good start," Dean says quietly, and Sam can almost see his shoulders tensing up in preparation to get really, really mad.

"I didn't do anything, at least I haven't done anything- it's more sort of being around while the bad thing is going on and not really knowing whether I'm supposed to be doing anything, or not-"

Sam frowns.

Dean looks across at him like he's insane.

"Sam is trying to tell you that Lucifer has been appearing to him in his sleep," Castiel says helpfully.

Dean hits the brakes, hard.

It's a pretty unpleasant stop from forty miles an hour.

The sound of a scatter of cookie pieces hitting the floor of the car fills the silence.

But Dean only has eyes for Sam.

"What the fuck, Sam?"

"Thanks Cas, really, that was blunt and to the point," Sam says, flatly and accusingly.

"You've been protesting that you will find an appropriate moment to tell him for more than two days now, Sam," Castiel points out firmly, and it's clear Sam's being chewed out in that disappointed angelic sort of way.

Castiel is a filthy traitor.

"What exactly are you doing in these dreams of yours that apparently involve Lucifer," Dean demands in that dangerous, low voice.

Sam spreads his hands.

"That's the thing, nothing. He doesn't try and convince me to be his vessel or talk about how awesome the end of the world will be. Sure, he's creepy and threatening but he doesn't actually demand anything."

"Forgive me if I find that hard to believe," Dean says angrily.

Sam spreads his hands, a helpless innocent sort of gesture that his size shouldn't let him get away with.

"Mostly he just reads stuff on my laptop, or wants to talk about our adventures on the internet," he says quietly and not a little accusingly. And it's even worse saying it out loud. But he figures that pretending he's been hallucinating the whole thing was probably a lost cause after the second time. Definitely the third. "Which I refuse to get into because a) it's mostly porn and b) he's Lucifer."

"That can't be all it is." Dean waits, like there's more, like he doesn't believe there can't be more.

"One time he read me some porn," Sam admits, reluctantly. More worried about Dean being genuinely mad at him now than at the possibility of over-sharing. This probably couldn't get worse after all. "I think he's kind of maybe, weirdly, interested, in the concept...of us. Me, and him."

Dean's expression slips from angry into something more complicated.

"Jesus, Sam." Dean's clearly trying to keep his face as un-freaked-out as possible when he asks his next question. "Does he...do anything you don't want him to do?"

And, yeah, it could absolutely get worse.

"There's no inappropriate touching," Sam says awkwardly, and Dean looks horribly dubious. "None, seriously, we don't have to have any awkward conversations with dolls, ok."

Dean breathes a reckless sigh of relief. But his anger slides into its place just as quickly.

"And you thought I didn't need to know this why exactly?"

Sam struggles for some sort of explanation beyond 'I was pretending it wasn't happening.'

Dean swivels round to look at Castiel.

"And you, don't think you're getting out of this. Damn it, Cas, why didn't you tell me?"

Castiel pulls a confused, and ever so slightly hurt, face in the backseat, as if he never expected to be a target for Dean's fiery righteous anger.

"Sam insisted he would tell you, and I believed his judgement to be sound," he protests carefully.

"His judgement is not sound, his judgment is wonky and unreliable," Dean says angrily.

Which Sam thought was kind of unfair.

Understandable, given the circumstances, but unfair.

"Lucifer is exerting no influence over him," Castiel adds and Sam's kind of touched that Castiel's defending him, so maybe he's not a filthy traitor after all.

Dean huffs disbelief.

"He's an angel right, he doesn't have to exert influence he just has to roll out the usual line of bullshit, smoke and mirrors."

Castiel seems to object to being lumped in with a category involving 'bullshit, smoke and mirrors' and Sam really, really doesn't want the two of them fighting, so he speaks before Cas can.

"I'm sorry, Dean," he says quietly. "I just thought he'd get bored and go away eventually."

"And how's that working out for you?"

Sam makes his miserable point with silence.

"Demonic omens have been less noticeable and less aggressive since Sam insisted the dreams started," Castiel says quietly. "I believe Lucifer is distracted."

"By my brother," Dean manages. "Who doesn't exactly have a history of making good decisions."

Sam holds on very tightly to the words 'neither do you.'

Dean's visibly leaking angry hurt all over the place.

"Neither of you talk to me right now, we're doing the uncomfortable, accusing silence until we manage to kill the monsters."


~~~~


The monster isn't exactly keen on being offed. It's been living inside a small town well and dragging in people to eat for the last two hundred years.

Sam nearly gets dragged down there after it, but it turns out angels have a better grip than slimy well monsters.

Slimy well monster ends up back in the well.

Thirty seconds later so does its head.


~~~~


Sam smells like a pond, there's a streak of something green and unpleasant on his cheek that Dean's not even going near.

He wasn't even all that happy about letting him back in the car. But Sam's got that tragic dejected look down so freakin' well now that it's like shutting a puppy out in the rain.

Dean throws his other coat down on the passenger seat.

"Do not think this means I forgive you for being an idiot," he says bitterly and Sam nods carefully and slides into the seat.

Something dribbles out of his hair.

It looks like frog spawn.

Dean starts the car, drives three miles before he prods at the uncomfortable silence.

"So, we gonna talk about this or not."

"About what?" Sam asks.

"You, making time with Lucifer."

"I am not 'making time' with Lucifer," he protests, mouth turning down at the edges like he's honestly horrified by the idea.

"What else would you call it?" Dean says roughly.

"Something that doesn't suggest we've been making out behind your back," Sam says slowly and forcefully.

Dean grumbles something about not having any proof that he hasn't under his breath that Sam pretends he doesn't hear.

Then he shakes his head.

"Do you think Lucifer's motives are innocent?" he asks Castiel in the mirror.

"No, it seems wise to assume not." Castiel doesn't even have to think about it. Because he already knows who the neighbourhood troublemaker's are.

"See, even the angel agrees," Dean points out.

Sam pulls a face and sighs.

"Yeah, I kind of figured out that he has some sort of evil plan for myself, I'm not completely stupid Dean."

Dean throws him a look.

Sam's hair is sticking up now, thick with some sort of hideous pond gunk, and at some point he must have touched his face because there's a smear of weed and green water across the bridge of his nose.

"Really, Sam, really?"

Sam sighs, shifts his bag off of the floor and passes it into the back.

Castiel ends up with green fingerprints all over one sleeve. Though he has, at some point, discovered how a zip works, because he unzips it and peers inside.

Anything made of wood or metal will dry. Sam can replace anything that's not going to live through a soaking. Under their own, 'whoever gets bodily fluid on the equipment cleans it up,' rule.

Castiel pulls Sam's laptop out of the bag.

He turns it sideways, and green water dribbles out of it.

Sam pulls a face. "God, damn it, I forgot that was in there!"

Castiel frowns and presses the power button hopefully.

Dean isn't exactly amazed when nothing happens.

"Your computer's fucked," he says flatly.

Castiel, it seems, has done enough research into the word 'fucked' to know exactly what that means. Dean should probably feel guilty about that. Or maybe Sam should. Hell he can't even remember who did the encouraging any more.

The angel stares down at the slippery computer like it has disappointed him in the most tragic way possible.

"Brilliant," Sam says flatly. "That had all the research on it, and that graph I was making about the demonic omens."

"Where's the back-up?"

"It broke when that ghost threw you through that door," Sam reminds him.

"Why didn't we buy a new one then?" Dean asks.

"Because someone said, 'no rush, it's just the spare.'"

Crap, that was true, he had said that.

"I hadn't finished chapter seven of the story where we fell into an alternate universe," Castiel says dejectedly from the back seat. "You had just been captured by demons and I wished to know how it ended."

Dean thinks about pointing out that they mostly all end the same way, they have sex, the world doesn't explode, and if he's really lucky the author doesn't make him cry at the end.

"Well now you'll have to wait 'til Sam picks up another computer," Dean points out.

Castiel makes a quiet noise. Despondent.

"I've also just discovered that you are carrying my child and I'm curious as to how they intend you to give birth-"

Dean stamps on the brakes for the second time that day.

Sam leaves a splatter of pond water and a big wet handprint on the windshield and Castiel drops the soggy computer on the floor.

"What the hell? Seriously, what the hell?!"

Sam.

That fucker is laughing.

He's laughing his damn ass off. Hunched up like he's got the worst stomach disease ever and making unattractive horse noises and leaving pond slime everywhere.

"Am I the only one of us that's still sane?" Dean demands.