This time, it’s a faint cut on his hip. He doesn’t remember where he got it, most probably because it was during that period between Cas dying and Bobby dying, and back then he started the day with a shot of rum. But it only matters that it wasn’t there when Cas walked into the lake.
“You’re real,” Cas says, his voice almost awed as he traces the cut with his fingertip once, twice; Dean doesn’t want to know what it says about this. After all, showing someone a different scar they don’t know about every time you see them so that they know you’re real isn’t what you’d call normal. Then again, it’s almost a miracle that it works. Dean doesn’t comment and tries to remember how many others he has that Cas never knew about.
“’Course I am.” He pauses a moment, knowing better than asking Cas how he’s doing.
“How did you get this?” Cas asks then, his voice rougher than usual.
“If I told you I can’t remember?”
He wishes he could take off his shirt, but it’s not a good idea – he can think of at least a couple of scars he has on his back that weren’t there one month ago, and he can’t let Cas see them.
“You should take better care of yourself,” Cas almost sighs, and for a moment Dean thinks that this could pass for any exchange they had a couple of years ago. But those exchanges never were in mental hospitals, were they?
He shrugs, and he’s about to push down the shirt when Cas moves forward and kisses the cut, once; his lips are dry against Dean’s skin, and the touch is so delicate that it can barely be felt, but it makes Dean shiver and his heart swell. For a moment he thinks about leaning down, pushing Cas back against the bed, return the favor and making him forget for a minute or ten or twenty of where they are, but he should at least take off his shoes and jeans and he can’t. (There’s a bruise on his left calf that won’t fade for a while and a burn on his right leg that won’t go away soon either.) It’s just the story of both their lives that they can never get it quite right.
So he just waits until Cas leans back himself and then he sits down next to him on the bed and kisses him. He goes slow, just lips against lips, waiting to see how Cas wants it to go – he never pushes whenever it happens (most times, at least, and he’s thankful for that). Cas sighs against him, his lips parting, his fingers going to the back of Dean’s head, nails scraping delicately against his nape. Dean runs his tongue over Cas’s lips, over his teeth, then on his lips again before plunging in slowly. He finds Cas’s tongue, swirls his own against it without any hurry. He doesn’t even register the taste of what’s some kind of disgusting hospital food; Cas sighs into his mouth when Dean’s hands reach up to tangle in his still unkempt hair. At least that never changes.
Cas leans back, bringing him down so that they’re lying side by side on the narrow hospital bed, and they have to press close so that neither of them falls out. When they move apart, Cas’s lips are wet and deep pink, and Dean can’t help leaning in again, nibbling on the bottom one, kissing the corner of Cas’s mouth.
He puts an arm around Cas’s waist then, his hand moving under the thin white shirt. Cas is very, very warm and Dean feels like crying when he moves up against him, the both of them flushed against each other. He shivers when Cas kisses the skin beneath his ear once. Dean looks back up at him, and there’s something soft in the way Cas is looking at him. He also looks dead tired though.
“The nurse outside said you won’t sleep.”
“I don’t need it. What’s even the point? I only see things that aren’t real, anyway.”
“You should give it a try. I can stay until tomorrow morning.”
Cas blinks up at him, recognizing the offer for what it is. “You would?”
“Yeah.” He doesn’t add that he would have stayed even if Cas hadn’t asked, but then Cas curls up against him again, closing his eyes, his mouth on Dean’s collarbone. Dean knows he won’t sleep tonight, and he hopes that he can come back soon after he leaves in the morning.
He has stopped hoping that next time might be the last and that they can at least bring Cas along (finding a way to kill the Leviathans for good hasn’t given many results until now and they’re nowhere near close), but no one is ever going to stop him from thinking that there will be a next time at all.
Meanwhile, he sighs, brings Cas closer and starts thinking about which scar he’s going to show him next time.