Dean stares at the building for three long seconds, then turns to Charlie and says, 'I don't get it.'
'Don't get what?' she says, distracted by the curve of Meg's hand around her waist.
'The name,' says Dean, gesturing to the club's flickering neon sign. 'Funny Peculiar. I don't get it.'
Meg snorts. 'Seriously, Seacrest?'
'God, would you stop calling me that?'
'The second it stops pissing you off,' says Meg, in a tone of voice that means never. At Dean's annoyed pout, she rolls her eyes and says, 'It's a phrase, dumbass. One person says something's funny, and someone else asks, Funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?'
'You've really never heard it before?' asks Charlie.
Dean huffs, crossing his arms. 'Does it matter? Let's just get this over with.'
'He's a bundle of laughs,' Meg murmurs, kissing her girlfriend's neck. 'Remind me why you're friends with him?'
'Hush,' says Charlie, smiling as her ears turn pink. 'We're being supportive.'
'Would you two quit it already?' Dean grumbles, striding ahead of them. 'Being single doesn't make me a charity case.'
'Ordinarily, no,' says Meg, as they push through the door and into the club, 'but you, my dear, are terminally single. You're a quantum singularity of such singular singleness, you're a single lonely Friday night away from collapsing into a black hole of sexual entropy.'
Dean looks pointedly at Charlie. 'Shit like this is why we instituted the No Dating Physicists rule in college.'
'And shit like this,' says Meg, sticking out her metal-studded tongue and waggling it obscenely, 'is why she broke it.'
'Also, she's an astrophysicist,' says Charlie, who in this as in all things Meg is a goddamn traitor, 'so, technically –'
'Yeah, yeah,' says Dean, and runs a hand down his face. 'You wanna talk, or you wanna grab a table?'
They grab a table, and also beer, which is a small mercy, because there's absolutely no way in hell Dean is getting through an amateur queer comedy night sober, and how is this his life? How did he wind up twenty-nine and so pathetically single that Charlie Bradbury and Meg Masters, happily monogamous lesbians, have appointed themselves his wingwomen?
'Please, god,' he murmurs, 'let someone tonight be funny.'
'Funny ha-ha, or funny peculiar?' Charlie teases.
Dean scowls and stares at the stage.
The first comedian up is a skinny, gawky guy called Garth whose shtick involves talking to a handmade sockpuppet called Mr Fizzles, which would maybe merit a laugh if Dean were a) sixteen and b) stoned as all fuck, but as neither he nor anyone else in the audience appears to fit that criteria, the act goes over like a lead balloon, and after just five minutes, the emcee is waving Garth gently off the stage. Dean feels briefly sorry for the guy, but is soon distracted from sympathy by a critical lack of beer, which Meg – who isn't completely evil – remedies with a smirk.
The second act is slightly better, but given the astonishingly low bar set by Garth and Mr Fizzles, that isn't saying much. The third act, though – a redhead called Anna with big, bright eyes and a killer smile – is actually pretty good. She's got a sweet, dry voice that slides straight into a flat deadpan when the moment calls for it, and her personal mix of anecdotes and observational humour has the whole room chuckling appreciatively. Dean starts to relax a little, smiling and clapping at the end of her set, and as the emcee takes her place at the mic, he's feeling pleasantly mellow.
'All right, thank you Anna! Next up, we've got another Funny Peculiar newbie for you, and I think you're gonna love him. Give a warm welcome to Castiel!'
The room claps, and onto the stage walks a guy who looks like something straight out of Dean's fantasies. He's got dark, square glasses that do nothing to hide his astonishingly blue eyes, messy black hair, a stubbled jaw, and he's wearing a goddamn sweater vest over a collared shirt rolled to the elbows and unbuttoned at the throat, making him look like a debauched chess nerd. He grins at the crowd, his long, clever fingers plucking the mic from the stand, and Dean is suddenly hoping like hell he turns out to be funny, because Castiel is the hottest fucking thing he's seen in forever, and he doesn't want bad jokes to ruin it for him.
Castiel holds the mic to his mouth and says, in a rough, sly voice that hits all of Dean's buttons and then some, 'I look like a fucking nerd, don't I.'
It's such a bald statement of fact, it gets a laugh. Castiel's lips curve upwards, and without quite meaning to, Dean leans forward to listen.
'I mean that literally, by way: I look like a fucking nerd, like a nerd who fucks. What! Don't laugh at that, you judgemental prick,' he says, grinning so there's no sting in it as he points the mic at a chuckling guy in the front row, 'you think a guy in sweater vest can't get some cock if he wants it? I'll have you know, I had one whole boyfriend in high school. Yeah. I was hot property. You wanna talk about band geeks getting it on in high school, forget that American Pie flute insertion bullshit; ask a fucking gay hornist where he gets his embouchure.' He pauses, grinning as the crowd laughs, and Dean is utterly fucked, because holy mother of god, that voice. It should be illegal for someone to use a voice like that in public, let alone be funny with it, and Castiel just keeps right on talking, oblivious to the fact that Dean is having a minor sexual crisis.
'Hornist, by the way, is a completely legitimate word. From the Latin: to horn. I just want to be clear, I absolutely did not pick the most suggestive instrument I could think of, because I'm a class act, I draw from my own experiences, which is why I can say, straight-faced, that my first boyfriend was a hornist, he played the French horn terribly and I think, on reflection, that probably had something to do with the fact that he spent all his time practising on something that was both significantly thicker than a horn and substantially less likely to earn him a music scholarship. Yes. Yes. You know what I'm talking about.' He winks at the crowd, pauses a beat, and says, 'A bong.'
Dean actually chokes on his beer, he laughs so hard, but even when Charlie thumps him on the back, he keeps his eyes on the stage, unable to look away from Castiel.
'Yeah, he was a stoner. I dated a hornist stoner, I admit it. The guy was an ass, he had this shitty bong he'd made from a rubber tube and a cookie jar, and he ruined his lungs for playing, absolutely ruined them, but he could inhale a dick like nobody's business. I mean, granted, I didn't have much of a basis for comparison at the time, but subsequent investigations, conducted purely for science, have proven that he was not completely terrible. Putting things into his mouth was not the problem; the problem, in the end, was what came out of his mouth, and that, ladies, gentlemen and others, that is a far more embarrassing story that I'm not going to tell this evening, but let's just say, for about a week afterwards, I briefly thought I was straight.'
The entire audience laughs, but Dean hardest of all, because there's something about Castiel's humour that really gets to him. It's not just his looks and his voice, although the two in combination are unfair enough; it's his whole smiling, self-deprecating, angry-energetic delivery, the way he tucks his elbows in as he grips the mic with both hands, then lowers it to stroll across the stage, head tilting when he stops. He's never quite deadpan in the way that Anna was, but his voice flattens and rises by turns, and even though, like all good stand-up comedy, it's ultimately a much more controlled performance than you're ever quite meant to realise, there's still this light in his eyes that says he loves it, fucking loves it, and could maybe be persuaded to go off-script if the mood was right.
'Ding ding ding,' Meg chuckles, kicking him under the table, 'looks like we have a winner.'
And for once in his life, Dean doesn't take the bait, not wanting to miss a single word of what Castiel says next.
Cas is in his element. The room was warm when he walked in, he's in the right venue for his material, and he can feel his own energy crackling through him, lighting him up as he talks.
'What!' he says, mock-offended as the audience laughs. 'Like any of you had standards at seventeen? Nobody at seventeen has sexual standards, because the idea of sexual standards is something we invent in our twenties to justify being single. Don't believe me? OK, hands up everyone here who's single. Hands up, don't be shy!' A smattering of hands goes up, and Cas smirks, striding along the stage as he peers out at the audience. The footlights are just bright enough that he has to squint through his glasses to try and make people out. 'Don't be ashamed,' he says, staring seriously at a man whose hand is only half-raised, 'I mean, let's put this in perspective, here: you're at a fucking amateur comedy night at 8pm on a Friday, that's objectively way more shameful than the idea that you're sad and lonely and no one will ever love you.'
Another laugh, and he pauses, because all the hands are up that are going to be up – which is still about half the room, so not bad – and at this point, the show could go either of two different directions. He can stay on stage, do the solidarity monologue about meddling friends and segue into his anecdote about the time Gabriel hired him a prostitute for his birthday without a) telling Cas that's what he'd done or b) knowing Cas was gay, or he can take a risk, hop the stage, and engage in some audience participation.
Almost, he goes the former route: it's safer, he's got a good flow going, and he knows the material works. But then he glances over at the lefthand side of the room and catches sight of a ridiculously attractive man whose hand, somewhat unbelievably, is among those raised. There's been some strong male laughter coming from that direction, too, and the way the guy's grinning, Cas feels absurdly certain that he's been responsible for most of it.
So he takes a chance, says, 'Right!' and jumps down from the stage, advancing purposefully on his chosen table. As he gets closer, the two women also seated there both start to grin in anticipation, which is a good sign; his target, however, looks outright panicked, and Cas's pulse ticks up a beat, because holy shit, the guy isn't just attractive – he's gorgeous. Not that Cas likes to think of himself as having a type – it's reductive bullshit, bodies are nothing without brains, he isn't that shallow, yada yada yada – but if he did, this guy would pretty much personify it: green eyes; golden-brown hair just long enough to pull; plush lips, slightly parted; cheekbones to make a photographer weep, and a body which, from what little Cas can see of it, is both compact and muscular, broad shoulders shifting beneath a faded green Henley.
Please, god, Cas prays silently, let him not be a douchebag.
He stops in front of the guy, waits for the spotlight to catch them both, then says, 'Hi there!'
He holds out the mic, and his target, gulping visibly, says, 'Uh, hi.'
'So, you're single? You can all put your hands down now, by the way,' he adds, flashing a grin at the room at large, getting a brief chuckle as he refocusses. 'Seriously?'
'I, uh. Yeah,' says the guy, blushing enough to bring out the freckles smattered across his nose, and Cas is in the middle of an act, he's a goddamn professional , he absolutely will not think about what other things he might do to produce such a blush. 'Yeah, I'm single.'
'Now, see,' says Cas, deriving just a little bit of a thrill from the guy's discomfort, 'that, I find hard to believe. What's your name?'
'Dean,' he says, lips nearly brushing the mic, and there's no mistaking the hitch in his voice as he answers.
'Hello, Dean,' says Cas. He waits a beat, grins, and says, 'Now, I'm going to ask a somewhat personal question. Is that OK? Is that OK with you?'
Dean hesitates, then sits up a little straighter. His eyes brighten, lips quirking into a cocky smile as he visibly recovers from his shyness. 'I think I'll cope,' he drawls, getting a laugh of his own, and oh, it is on.
'Challenge accepted,' Cas says, warming into the banter. 'Why are you single, Dean? I mean, I don't know if the rest of the audience can see you as well as I can, but visually, there are no complaints to be levied. Do you snore? Are you a serial killer?' He pitches his voice as a dramatic stage whisper. 'Do you think that Attack of the Clones is better than Empire Strikes Back?'
'Dude, no!' Dean makes a face. 'I just, uh, you know – I just haven't met the right person, that's all.'
'Because you have standards?' Cas asks, hoping he'll run with it.
'Sure, I guess,' says Dean, then seems to remember too late what Cas's entry point for this section was, and his eyes go wide as he backtracks. 'I mean, uh –'
'You hear that?' says Cas, turning to address the room again. 'He's single because he has standards. A guy this hot is single because he has standards, and frankly – ' he breaks off, turning back to Dean again. 'What is it you do, anyway?'
The sudden question catches him off-guard, which was the point. 'I'm a writer,' he blurts.
Castiel feels his own eyebrows shoot up. 'You're a writer ?' he exclaims, delightedly addressing the room again. 'As a general point of advice, ladies, gentlemen and others, there are some things you should never confess to a comedian, and that is definitely one of them – the most obvious being, of course, that you too are into comedy, because then, we sense competition, and we will destroy you. What is it you write, Dean?' And he tilts the mic expectantly back in his face.
The blush deepens, spreading to his ears as the audience chuckles. 'I have a webcomic,' he admits, looking at Cas like he's begging him not to laugh at it – which, under the circumstances, is goddamn adorable. 'And I, uh. I review stuff. Books.'
'You have a webcomic?' Cas asks, and just for a moment, he forgets he's interviewing Dean as part of an act and lets his own interest come through, because a good forty percent of his RSS feed is webcomics, and he's always looking for new ones. 'What's it called? Come on, give yourself a plug!'
Dean looks straight at him, cheeks burning. 'It's called the Wallflower Boys,' he says, and Castiel breaks his stage persona and outright gapes.
'You write the Wallflower Boys? You actually write the Wallflower Boys, and you're right here, and you're single. Holy shit.' He runs a hand through his hair and tries desperately to regain some semblance of control over the situation, because the Wallflower Boys – a strip about queer geeks navigating high school after the apocalypse – is basically his favourite fucking thing ever , and if the murmur of recognition that runs through the audience is anything to go by, he's not alone in the sentiment. The words ABORT MISSION, ABORT MISSION are flashing through his head in huge red neon letters, because he's meant to be talking, he's the goddamn act that people are here to see and he really needs to say something, but he's staring at Dean and Dean's staring at him, and into the silence, the smirking brunette with her arm around the redhead on the other side of Dean's table says, loud enough for most of the room to hear it, 'I think you've got a fan.'
That gets enough of a laugh that Cas is somehow able to yank himself back to the task at hand; he gesticulates from Dean to the crowd and talks as he makes his way back to the stage, voice raised despite the mic to cover how flustered he is.
'You see? And this is why it's ridiculous to have standards – you can be gorgeous and funny and talented – and please note, ladies, gentlemen and others, that I'm referring as much to myself as to the handsome writer in our midst – and still be fucking single, which is completely unfair. But teenagers? Teenagers have no standards, and they are happier for it, because having no standards is basically the only good thing about being a teenager. It's the one thing you have in your sexual favour – unless you're a hornist, of course, and then you have two things –' the crowd laughs, and Cas is back on stage, back into the rhythm of his act, '– but generally speaking, all you have is a willingness to show up and give it a go.
'And that can go wrong! You can have such bad sex as a teenager and you don't even care, because it's sex, and you're having it! It's like someone giving out free pie – who fucking cares if it tastes like ass, it's free pie , you don't turn that shit down, and just to be clear, there were two implied puns about rimming in that sentence, make of that what you will –' he's got everyone laughing again, but it's Dean he not-so-surreptitiously watches; the guy laughs with his entire body, head thrown back to expose his throat, the effect of which is about 9000% hotter than it has any right to be, '– but as adults, you know, it's like we're on some dumbass, self-denying, anti-pie diet, like the streets are full of people giving out homemade pie, and we're these pieless douchebags walking around in our hipster glasses –' he pointedly taps the edge of his own frames, '– saying stuff like, I'm uncertain about my commitment to blueberry, you know, I just don't think I have space in my life for key-lime right now . Standards! Standards are fucking miserable.'
From there, he builds a link back to the story about Gabriel and the hooker, which is always a strong piece to finish with; he works the whole room, keeping an eye out for any cold spots, but somehow, his gaze always flicks back to Dean, at the way his shoulders shake when he laughs, hands gripping his knees for purchase. It's distracting as hell, but somehow, Cas makes it through the whole routine without faltering, and when he delivers the final line, flushed and grinning, he knows his parting round of applause is the loudest one so far.
The second Castiel's act is finished – there's an interval now, and music starts flowing from from the speakers – Dean is out of his chair.
'Going to pay your respects?' Meg drawls.
'So what if I am?' says Dean, too buzzed from the whole encounter to bother denying it.
'He did seem into you,' says Charlie. 'I mean, he called you hot like, twice. And he reads your comic!'
'Maybe,' says Dean, stomach twisting in anticipation, and oh, god, this is a terrible idea, it was probably all just part of the act, but somehow he makes himself walk away from the table, over past the bar to where Castiel is shaking hands with the emcee. Dean stands there feeling utterly awkward and stupid until Castiel looks up, sees him, and smiles so broadly, it's impossible to think he's being ambivalent. The emcee grins and ducks out of the conversation, leaving Dean weak-kneed as Castiel approaches.
'Hello, Dean,' he says, and that goddamn voice just kills him.
'Hey, Cas,' says Dean, and he doesn't even realise he's shortened the other man's name until two seconds after he's said it. Happily, though, he doesn't seem offended.
'That is what people call me,' Cas says, slyly. 'Castiel's a bit of a mouthful.'
'Even for a hornist?' Dean teases, before he can stop himself.
Cas lights up, and Dean almost groans when the other man leans in, puts his mouth to his ear, and murmurs, 'Especially for a hornist.'
'Jesus Christ,' Dean murmurs. He hasn't stepped away, and Cas is still so close, he can almost feel the brush of his stubble against his cheek. It's a gamechanging moment, and the electricity between them is so palpable that Dean, unable to think up a witty reply, says 'Screw it,' puts his hands on Cas's hips, and kisses him. Castiel freezes, and for half a heartbeat, Dean thinks he's messed it all up – and then Cas opens his mouth and kisses back deeply, hands coming up to card through Dean's hair, and everything else completely falls away. Their bodies press together, and as his hands slide up Cas's sides, Dean realises that underneath the sweater vest, the guy is all lean muscle over smooth bones, and he's never had a stronger urge to rip someone's clothes off in public.
They break apart, panting. 'Wanna get out of here?' Dean says, breathlessly – and then, as Cas's eyes go wide, 'Shit. Shit , sorry, I just, uh –' reel it in, Winchester, '– I just, I am really fucking over being single, you have no idea, and I'm terrible at small talk, and I have no idea what I'm doing right now, but you're insanely hot and funny and I'm into you, so –'
Cas kisses him again, slow and filthy, sucking hard on Dean's bottom lip. 'I live a few blocks away,' he murmurs when they break apart, 'and for the record, I've been a fan the Wallflower Boys since you posted the first chapter.'
'See, now you're just flattering me,' Dean says, thumbs stroking along Castiel's hips.
'You want to bet?' Cas says, kissing his jaw. 'I ship Dimitri and Jack so hard, you have no idea.'
'Stop stroking my ego, Cas.'
'You want me to stroke something else instead?'
Dean almost moans at that, grazing his teeth up the side of Cas's neck. 'Why the fuck are we still here?'
'I have no idea,' says Cas, and just like that, Dean's being lead away by the hand, flashing a dazed grin at Meg and Charlie as he passes their table and not even caring how scandalised Charlie looks, because he's going home with the hot comedian, and hell yes to Funny Peculiar.
Outside the club, the air is sharp and crisp, and before Dean can ask how many blocks they have to walk, Cas lets out an earsplitting whistle and hails a cab. One pulls up almost instantly, and as they clamber into the back, Cas gives the address and Dean murmurs, 'Damn. I've never been able to do that.'
'What? Hail a cab?'
'Whistle like that, with the fingers.' Dean mimes the gesture. 'It always looks so badass, and I can never figure out how to make it work.'
Cas leans closer, smiling against Dean's neck. 'I can probably teach you, if you want.'
'I'd like that,' says Dean, his voice unusually husky, and suddenly Cas is on him again, and they're making out in the back like goddamn teenagers, hands roaming hungrily under shirts and so completely oblivious that when they finally pull up, the driver has to cough three times before they pull apart.
'Sorry,' Cas says, grinning as he pays, and then he's leading the way into a skinny highrise and up two flights of stairs to a door Dean cleverly identifies as belonging to the right apartment when Cas crowds him up against it, fumbling the key in the lock as he sucks a bruising kiss onto Dean's throat. Dean groans and stumbles backwards as the door opens, blindly tugging Cas after him; they're all over each other, hot and urgent, Dean pulling Cas's sweater vest off so violently, he sends his glasses clattering to the floor.
'Shit,' he says, but before he can bend to retrieve the frames, Cas growls, 'Leave them,' and manhandles him back towards the bedroom, fingers working at Dean's belt as they kick off their shoes and socks. Almost shaking with need, Dean practically rips the buttons off Cas's shirt, laddering kisses down the hard muscles of his chest and stomach as he sinks to his knees. Cas groans, fingers digging through Dean's hair as he unzips his fly and pulls down his boxers.
'Dean,' Cas breathes. He sounds half reverent, half ragged, and as Dean swallows him down, Cas gasps, nails scraping pleasantly against Dean's scalp.
Dean rests his hands on Cas's legs, looking up from under his lashes as he sucks. He's almost painfully hard in his jeans – he loves giving head, loves the way it makes people fall apart, loves the taste and the feel of it – and Cas looks wrecked above him, lips parted, blue eyes dark with lust. He tugs Dean's hair, just once, as though quietly asking permission, and Dean moans loud encouragement, urging him on until Cas gets the hint and starts to fuck his mouth. Dean just grips Cas's thighs and takes it, tongue working the underside of his shaft, and when Cas pulls away, he almost groans at the loss, the taste of precome sharp on his tongue.
'Get up,' Cas says, his voice hoarse, and Dean complies, aching as Cas steps out of his pants and kisses him, unzipping his jeans in turn and finally pushing him, naked, onto the bed. They rut up against each other, gasping and eager, and Dean tips his head back and whimpers as Cas slides down his body, tweaking his nipples as he sucks dark hickies onto his ribs. Dean bucks under him, hands twisted in the sheets, and at that, Castiel lifts his head and says, voice shaking, 'Is this all right?'
'You really have to ask?' Dean pants.
'I really do,' says Cas, and moves back up his body, dropping an almost chaste kiss at the corner of his mouth. 'Informed, enthusiastic, continuous consent is kind of my thing, and, uh – I can get a bit... rough, when I'm enjoying myself.'
Dean shudders all over, arms coming up to wrap around Cas's back. 'I like it a bit rough,' he murmurs, sucking Cas's earlobe into his mouth. 'And if it makes you feel better, my safeword is purgatory.'
'Mine's leviathan,' Cas says, mouthing hot kisses along Dean's collarbone.
'Glad we've got that settled,' Dean says, raking his nails along Cas's sides. 'You wanna fuck me now, or do I have to beg for it? Because,' he adds, leaning up to suck a hickie of his own into the soft skin beneath Cas's jaw, 'I'm not averse to begging.'
'Fuck,' Cas groans. He kisses Dean hard, then grabs his wrists to pin them over his head. Dean makes a noise that's somewhere between a gasp and a whimper, and Cas shifts his weight, holding both of Dean's wrists with one hand as he reaches out to rummage in the nightstand with the other. They kiss again, almost frenzied, and then Cas rocks back onto his heels, shoving Dean's thighs apart and reaching down to prep him with lube-slicked fingers. Dean arches into it, writhing at Cas's touch; he moves to stroke his own cock, but Castiel slaps his hand away.
'You're coming untouched or not at all,' he growls, crooking a second finger against Dean's prostate, and Dean pulls his knees up, shameless in his want. Cas smiles slyly, slowing his motions, then adds a third finger just as Dean opens his mouth to beg for it.
'Fuck me,' he gasps instead, and there's nothing but naked hunger on Cas's face as he complies. Ripping open the packet, he rolls on a condom, slicks himself up and slowly pushes into Dean, groaning as he bottoms out.
And then he starts to fuck him: hard, rolling strokes that have Dean gripping the sheets for purchase, legs wrapped tight around Cas's waist, and god, he hopes the walls are thick, because he hasn't been this loud in years . He's moaning, gasping for air between breaths peppered with single-word prayers – god, fuck, please, yes, Cas Cas Cas – and Castiel grabs his hands again and laces their fingers together, pinning Dean in place as he mouths at his throat, hips snapping as he fucks him into the mattress. He's hitting his prostate on every other stroke, and Dean locks his ankles, shuddering and sweating as he gets closer and closer to the edge. He's leaking precome, cock hot and sloppy against his stomach, and he hasn't come untouched in forever, isn't even sure he still can, but then Cas puts his mouth to his ear and says, voice utterly wrecked, 'Come for me, Dean, come with me, come –' and just like that, he does, back arching up as the orgasm hits him like a mac truck made of lightning. He comes so hard, he gets spunk on Cas's chest as well as his own chin, and Cas doesn't falter; just licks it straight off him, sucking on Dean's bottom lip, and then he cries out and shudders, coming in turn, and drops his head to rest onto Dean's collarbone, panting and shaking.
'Holy fuck,' Dean gasps, every muscle quivering with the force of his aftershocks.
'Jesus,' Cas rasps. His arms are visibly shaking as he pulls out and falls back alongside Dean, his chest sheened with sweat. Wordlessly, he grabs a packet of wipes from the nightstand, and they clean each other up in silence. Even so, it takes Cas three tries to knot the condom, his fingers are shaking so much, and when he finally throws it into a corner bin, he lets out a breath, sits up, heaves the blanket out from under their bodies, then pulls it over both of them, pulling Dean against him.
Still shivering, Dean burrows back into Cas's arms, tangling their legs together.
'Not to stroke your ego or anything,' Cas says, mouthing softly at the nape of Dean's neck, 'but that might be the best sex I've ever had. By an order of fucking magnitude.'
'God, me too.' He puts his palms over Cas's hands, stroking the long planes of his fingers, and for a moment that stretches on for minutes, they just lie like that, breathing together, rapid heartbeats quieting as they come down from the endorphin high.
'So,' Dean says, almost casually, 'we're doing that again, right? This isn't a love 'em and leave 'em deal?'
Cas snorts softly, and even before he turns in his arms, Dean can sense his answering smile like sunlight on his skin. 'Hmm, let me think. Insanely hot man who writes my favourite webcomic, laughs at my standup and gives mindblowing sex? Yeah, you're totally getting thrown back in the dating pool. Not.'
Dean chuckles, pressing a gentle kiss to Cas's lips. 'Just checking,' he says, and nestles his head against Cas's shoulder, eyes slipping shut of their own accord.
He's almost asleep when Cas lets out a quiet groan. 'God, you know what this means?'
'I have to change my fucking act. I can't be dissing on standards when having them is how I got you.'
Dean grins, stroking lazily along Cas's ribs. 'Oh, I don't know. I didn't exactly play hard to get. You could turn it into a riff on the benefits of being easy.'
Cas snorts with laughter, but his smile is all sweetness. 'God, you're incredible, you know that?'
'Yeah, yeah,' says Dean, blushing furiously, but as Cas kisses his nose and pulls him close, for the first time in a long time, he lets himself believe it.