"Yeah, I'd like a burger and...," Dean started, but then he glanced at Cas. "The meatloaf dinner. I'll have that," he said, flashing a smile at the waitress.
Sam frowned. What the fuck was that? He couldn't remember the last time Dean ordered anything but a burger, fries, and a slice of pie at a diner. He decided not to say anything. It was odd, but Cas had mentioned just a few days ago that Dean was eating too many greasy burgers.
"Meatloaf sounds like a good choice," Cas said. "I'll have that too."
Sam could maybe have dismissed Dean's food order as just a small effort to keep Cas off his back about his health, but the way Dean's face flushed, the way he ducked his head when Cas said the meatloaf was a good choice? That he couldn't ignore.
It was fucking adorable. Sam knew Cas had Dean wrapped around his little finger, but it was great to see Dean getting approval in a relationship. His brother deserved some praise.
"It's fuckin' hot," Sam said, holding a bottle of water out to Dean as they trudged through swamp lands in the middle of summer.
"No, I don't need...," Dean started, but when Cas cleared his throat, he took the bottle of water from Sam. "Thanks," he said.
Sam usually had to fight back and forth with Dean for a few minutes before Dean would stop halfway through a hunt to get a drink of water.
Dean still threw the empty water bottle at Sam's head, so all was apparently good.
Sam scrunched his nose up. "So tell me again why you're not going to take your knife with you on this hunt?"
Dean shifted from one foot to the other while he shoved his gun into the back of his jeans. "Because I don't want to."
"But why? You always take it," Sam said.
Dean sighed, turning to scowl at Sam. "Because I left it on the floor in the back seat instead of putting it away, and so I probably shouldn't use it for a while until I appreciate it enough to take care of it."
Sam stood there for a moment, staring at Dean while his brother closed the trunk and took off toward the abandoned building, Cas close behind.
"What the fuck?" Sam said under his breath, then shook his head and followed them.
"What are you wearing?" Sam asked, trying to keep a straight face.
Dean stood up so fast he almost fell over. His face was flushed, but then he just smirked. "Cas wanted me to wear 'em under my jeans," he said, pulling his T-shirt down so the pink lace didn't show over the top of his belt.
Sam chuckled. "You better hope you don't get arrested with those on."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Do I look like the type of guy who would lose if I went up against a bigoted police officer?"
Sam shook his head. "Nope. But I'm never gonna let you live it down if you're sitting in a jail cell wearing pink panties under your jeans."
"Oh, ha-ha," Dean sneered, then shoved by Sam as he walked out of the motel room.
Dean was squirming in the driver's seat, but they had passed by three rest stops, and Dean still wasn't pulling off the highway.
Sam rolled his eyes. His brother could be so stubborn. "I gotta pee. Can you stop at the next exit?"
Dean nodded, but instead of looking relieved, he met Cas' eyes in the rear view mirror, wincing and squirming again. Sam had no idea what was going on, but for all he knew there was a plug up Dean's ass. He didn't want to know.
Sam got out, but when Dean didn't follow, he leaned back down into the car, holding the door open. "You comin?" he asked Dean.
Dean shook his head. "I'm fine," he said, obviously lying.
"Don't hurt yourself," Cas said from the back seat, voice low.
"Just go take a piss," Dean said, waving Sam off.
"Dude, you look like you're gonna piss yourself," Sam said. "Come with me."
"No, I'm fine," Dean said, but the nonchalance was gone. He was clearly upset.
Sam looked to Cas, a horrible thought making his protective instincts suddenly flare. "Did you tell him he couldn't go?" he asked Cas.
Cas shook his head. "No."
Sam turned to Dean again. "You're gonna hurt yourself. Just come with me." He wouldn't have normally been pushing it, but Dean was beginning to sweat, eyes wide and desperate.
Cas leaned forward and whispered in Dean's left ear. Sam couldn't hear what he was saying, but Dean's shoulders slumped before Cas leaned back.
"I don't want to," Dean said, teeth clenched.
"Dude, what the fuck is going on?" Sam asked, the whole thing so bizarre that he was getting the creeps.
Cas opened his door, and in a move faster than Sam thought possible, Dean was out of the car and walking to the restrooms before Cas had even stood up.
"I'm going, I'm going," Dean said.
Sam watched as Cas casually followed Dean, but instead of letting them have their privacy, Sam went in after them.
"...don't want to sit," Dean hissed, then turned to Sam, eyes widening and his jaw dropping when he realized his brother had heard that last bit.
"You're going to hurt yourself," Cas said.
Dean scowled at Cas. "Then don't insist I...," he started, then his face flushed.
"Okay," Sam said, holding his hands out, "if you guys are doing some sort of sex thing, then just let me say that you really shouldn't fuck around with your bladder. It can explode."
"Shut up, Sam," Dean said, not even able to look at him.
"That's all I'm gonna say," Sam said, then headed for a urinal.
"All you have to do is say the word," Cas said, voice soft, but not too soft for Sam to hear.
And Sam knew it had been for his benefit, because soon Dean was sputtering and pacing.
"No! I don't want to do that!" Dean said. "I just don't want to do this either."
Sam felt like smacking his forehead against the tiles in front of him. His brother could be so fucking stubborn.
"It's one or the other," Cas said, keeping his calm.
"Fine!" Dean yelled, startling Sam. "You want me to sit on the fucking toilet and piss like a fucking girl! I'll do it. You get your way. Hope you're happy."
Sam really wished he hadn't had a full bladder. It seemed as if he was never going to be finished pissing. He heard Dean slam the stall door closed and throw the lock as if it was the reason he was being made to do something that was so humiliating for him.
Finally Sam finished, washed his hands, and headed out to the car. Cas was already sitting in the back seat, and Sam sighed, really not looking forward to the awkward silence.
And it was taking forever for Dean to come out of the restroom. Sam wondered just how long Dean had held it if it was taking so long.
"Your brother is stubborn," Cas aid.
Sam cringed. "Yeah, he is."
"I don't mean him harm," Cas said.
Sam nodded. "I know."
"He could've gone at any time," Cas said.
Sam wished for the zombie apocalypse to start. Anything to stop this conversation. "I know."
"He needs it," Cas said.
"Needs what?" Sam asked, his mouth making the decision long before his brain caught up, and when it did, Sam wanted to kick himself.
"To have boundaries," Cas said. "He needs to know someone is watching out for him. That someone cares about him. He doesn't like everything I order him to do, but overall he likes being praised when he obeys, even in small things."
The zombie apocalypse wasn't coming, and no planes had crashed, no creatures had stumbled out from behind the bushes to assault him. He was stuck with Cas, and the awkward was so thick he felt like he could cut it with a knife.
"It's between the two of you," Sam said.
"But you love him," Cas said. "You're his brother and you care about him. He didn't want you to know what was happening, but the two of you are too close. You're bound to see some of it, and I don't want you to worry about me hurting him. Besides, he doesn't get to decide whether I tell you or not."
Sam closed his eyes and ran his hands over his face, his stomach clenching. But then he thought about it. He removed himself from the unease and really thought about what Cas had said.
"He's been smiling," Sam said, as if it was a revelation. Because it was. "I've noticed it for a while now. I thought he was just really happy to be in a relationship with you, but yeah, I've seen a change in him."
"I love him," Cas said. "And I'll do everything in my power to make sure he's as happy and content as he can be. That includes keeping you happy and content."
Sam chuckled, shaking his head.
"That's why I decided to tell you," Cas continued. "It may embarrass Dean, but your worry and concern is upsetting him."
Sam winced. Yeah, that sounded like Dean. Just as he was about to say one more thing, Dean got back into the car. By the look on his face, Sam knew Dean had been psyching himself up to come back out. He was looking straight forward and his jaw was set, both hands on the steering wheel after starting the car.
"As long as you're happy," Sam said, "I don't have a problem with any of it."
Dean didn't say anything, but after a few miles of driving, his body slowly started to relax. A few hours later they pulled into the parking lot of a motel that looked decent but not too high-priced. Dean turned the car off, then turned to Sam.
"Get us separate rooms," he said, handing Sam his wallet.
"Dean, I-," he started.
"You might wanna ask for rooms at opposite ends of the motel," Dean said, smirking, "unless you wanna be up all night listening to your big brother getting laid."
Sam let out a bark of laughter before he eased himself out of the car and headed for the office.