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100 Ways To Say "I Love You"

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“Pull over. Let me drive for a while.” Cas says in the early evening. Dean glances at him with tired eyes. They’ve been on the road for four and a half hours heading towards California to see Sam and his family.

“You sure?” He asks, keeping his eyed fixed on the curving road.

“Yes, Dean, you look shattered. You sleep, I’ll drive.” Dean yawns suddenly and nods, pulling the Impala over at the next parking place. Dean steps out into the chilly evening air and swaps places with Cas.

They set off and it’s not long before Dean has his head leant against the window with his jacket stuffed under his head to ease the vibrations from his beloved car. His mouth is slightly ajar and his face has fallen into a relaxed expression. Cas smiles and drives on into the night.

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Cas had been away for the past week on business so Dean was happy when he came back and embraced him in a close hug when he saw him at the airport.

“Hello, Dean.” He greeted, pressing his nose against Dean’s ear.

“Hey,” Dean replied, holding Cas closer.

“Oh, I got you something, I saw it in the market.” Cas opened up his satchel and took out an object that’s wrapped in white tissue paper. Dean unwrapped it carefully and held out the small leather bound notebook.

“Wow, Cas…”

“It reminded me of you.”

“Thanks, Cas, I love it” Dean smiled and wrapped his arms around him again.

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“Cas!” Dean shouted across the school hallway. Cas turned around to see Dean waving his hands towards him. Cas walked over to him to see what he wanted.

“Yeah,”

“Want to head over to Benny’s after school?”

“Sure, Dean, sounds great.” Cas says smiling, there’s just one period left of the day. Dean squeezes Cas’ hand before they part.

Xx

They sit down in the booth in the far corner opposite each other. Their knees touch but neither of them mention it, there’s no need.

A stack of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup comes out along with two chocolate milkshakes.

Once they’d finished Dean fished out some money from his wallet and Cas followed suit.

“No, no, it’s my treat.” Dean says.

“You sure?”

“Course.” Dean smiles and watches Cas put his wallet back in his pocket.

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It's a hectic Thursday morning in the Winchester-Novak household. Dean is trying to make sandwiches for himself, Cas and their three adopted children. Cas is frustrated that Lily won't get her shoes on for school and that Elliott is still half in his pyjamas.

There's ten minutes until the bus gets to the end of their road and if they miss it, Dean will drive them on his way to work. Finally all three of the kids are by the door on time and ready to go. Elliott, being the oldest, makes sure that his two younger siblings get to their school.

"Dean... I'm leaving in a moment." Dean turns round from where he's finishing off putting his and Cas' lunches together to see him fiddling with his blue tie, scowling at the mirror. He hands Cas a lunch box and he puts it in his bag for work before returning to the mirror.

"Come here. Let me fix it." Cas just huffs and turns to Dean, how he's remained so calm is beyond him but he just smiles as he sorts out his tie, completing it with a goodbye kiss, hands lingering at the knot. "There you go. I'll see you later." One last kiss and Cas has left the house leaving Dean to pack up his last few things and leave for the garage.

 

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Cas' twenty second birthday had him down at the roadhouse for drinks with Dean and some of his other friends. They'd been drinking since five that evening and it was nearing last orders at the bar so Dean had bought the final round.

"Soooo, shall we head-ed home?" Cas slurred, standing up from his chair and wobbling slightly. He squinted around the table. Dean picked up Cas’ glasses and placed them back on his face.

“Here you go dude.” Dean was decidedly more sober than Cas, and did a much better job at handling his drink.

“Les go ome. Yeah?” Cas patted Dean on the shoulder, albeit harshly. Dean just shook his head.

“I’ll walk you home.”

“’Mmm a big guy now, Dean.” He told him, pouting but grabbing onto Dean’s arm all the same.

“Yeah, I get that, but I’m still walking you home, it’s midnight and dark and you’re fucking drunk dude.”

“Fiiiiine.” He whined and Dean led him from the bar saying goodbye to their friends with Cas awkwardly waving to no one in particular.

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It was simple really, how Dean and Castiel had settled into an apple pie life after college. Castiel had gone on to university, studying English Language while Dean had got a job at one of the car garages close to their flat but they settled. Cas had even bought them their own crockery and cutlery set which all matched after two weeks of using their combined stuff.

Dean was often up and off for work before Cas even thought to get out of bed and to his lectures but this morning he was up with a pot of coffee in hand when Dean stumbled, bleary eyed into their kitchenette.

"Morning." Cas said.

"What're you doing up?"

"I don't know. Seeing you off for work."

"Uh huh, first time for everything I suppose." Dean smiled at him and leaned in for a kiss which Cas greatly accepted.

"Ah, the coffee pot is hot." Cas told him, breaking the kiss and setting the pot on the side before pouring two mugs full of coffee and sat at their small wooden table.

Dean was already dressed so just needed to finish his coffee before heading to the garage. "Thanks for the coffee, Cas." Dean said with another kiss and went to leave their third floor flat.

"Have a good day at work." Cas told him and watched as he shut the door behind him.

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It's early in the morning when Dean rolls over towards Cas. He's still sleeping but Dean snuggles up closer to him anyway, he'd never be caught doing that when Cas was awake.

He places his arm over Cas' muscular torso and soaks up his warmth and smiles when he remembers the dream he had last night. Cas sat by the lake that was behind his father's old house. Dean must've been stood at the other end of the jetty watching himself get closer and closer until he woke up.

"What's that smile for?" Cas says sleepily as he touches Dean's lips with his fingertips. Dean places soft kisses on them.

"I dreamt about you last night." He tells him and Cas returns the smile.

"What was I doing?" He wonders and Dean recounted his dream for Cas. "We didn't get to kiss?" He asks, disappointed. Dean just shakes his head against the pillow, so Cas shuffles his head closer to kiss him. They kiss closed mouthed for a short while before Dean parts his lips and lets Cas in.

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Why there seems to be so many people in the room all of a sudden Dean doesn’t know, but after a long day at work, mostly stood around and digging through people’s engines, all Dean wants to do is sit down. There’s no space left in their small living room, Sam and Jess are taking up the small loveseat and Cas is sprawled out in the armchair.

Cas looks up at Dean when he enters the room and sees his drawn face and the hand clutching his favourite coffee mug like it’s about to drop.

“Take my seat.” Cas says, standing up, he doen’t wait for Dean to protest like he knows he will just guides him down into the chair and then takes his own place leaning against the back of it. He carries on the conversation with Sam and Jess and how they’re getting on in California and begins to stroke through Dean’s hair.

Dean finishes off his coffee and sets it on the coffee table to the right hand side of the arm chair and leans back into Cas’ gentle touch.

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When Cas comes in the house with a huff and shutting the front door with more force than is necessary, Dean looks up from where he’s stood at the kitchen counter to see Cas heading for their bedroom.

Dean looks down at the cherry and coconut pie he’s cutting up, just two pieces left, which he was going to eat by himself but after seeing Cas, he knows better. So he boils some water and makes Cas his favourite green tea with camomile and heads to their bedroom.

“Hey,” He greets. Cas is lying on his side facing the window. “Bad day?” He encourages. He watches as Castiel just nods into the pillow but doesn’t move. “I made you some of your tea, it might help. And pie. I saved you a piece.”

Cas turns on his back and leans up on his elbows looking at Dean who’s got a steaming mug in one hand and a plate in the other. Dean steps over to the bed, placing the tea on the bedside table and the plate in Cas’ lap as he sits up.

“I hate my job sometimes, Dean.” He tells him solemnly. “She was nine years old, she wanted to be an archaeologist.”

“Hey… Cas, you love your job, sure it’s got its bad days, but you love it.” Dean looped a hand round his shoulders and pulled him in close, careful not to jostle the plate on his lap. “I’m sorry, Cas.” Cas pulled away and took a sip of his tea.

“I know.” They sat quietly for a while. “Thanks for the tea, Dean, and the pie. I know how hard it must’ve been to give it up.” At that, Dean cracked a smile which infected Castiel who was also grinning and tucking into the pie. Nearing the end of the portion, Cas picked up a small chunk and offered it to Dean.

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Cas had tears streaming down his face when he walked back into the lounge, mobile phone in hand.

"Hey..." Dean said as he noticed Cas, he stood up making it to Cas in a few strides and taking him in his arms. Cas nestled his face into Dean's shoulder, wetting his t shirt a little. "What's the matter, Cas?" Dean asked gently. He felt Cas just shake his head into his shoulder. He stroked through his hair, trying to soothe the sobs wracking through Cas' body. He took them, albeit awkwardly, over to the sofa and forced him to sit down with him. Once sat, Dean pushed Cas away from himself a little.

"What happened, Cas? What's got you so upset?" Cas' bright eyes flickered up to him before returning to a loose thread on the sofa.

"I just got a call from my father." He started, more tears leaking over the edge of his blue eyes. "It's my brother. He's gone, Dean..."

"Oh Cas..." Dean said pulling him in tight, kissing the top of his hair several times. Cas' voice came through muffled against Deans t shirt.

"Gabriel was killed in a car crash, they were taking him to the hospital... When... When..."

"Hey, shhh. It's okay." Dean hugged him even tighter.

"I'm sorry, Cas. I'm sorry for your loss." Dean said after a while. Just a sniffle reply from Cas but Dean wasn't expecting any more.

For ages they just sat, Dean holding Cas tight in his embrace and planting soothing kisses to the top of his head.

"I was going to ask you about inviting Gabriel and his girlfriend over for dinner next weekend. I'd not seen him in a while." Another burst of sobs erupt from Cas.

"Here, let's lie down. We've nothing to do." Dean takes Cas gently in his arms and gets him to lie down. "Would you like some of your tea, the one you got for Christmas from Anna?" Cas nods so Dean gets up making him the flowery tea in his favourite teacup, the cheesy one with bees on saying 'bee mine' that Dean bought him for his birthday. After drinking the tea, they lie down together squished up on the small sofa until Cas falls asleep.

 

Chapter Text

Mary had let the boys, and Cas, set themselves up in front of a movie for the evening while her and John got on with some chores. It was fairly late in the winter and after shivering a couple of times Dean dashed upstairs to grab his blanket. He snuggled himself up in it, drawing it up to his chin. Cas on the other hand was just wearing a thin jumper. Dean noticed he was all curled up trying to keep in all his body heat, he looked back at the blanket and before he thought any more he shuffled closer to Cas.

"You can have half." He said draping half the blanket over Cas who uncurled and moved in closer.

"Thank you." Cas said and smiled. He was quick to snuggle down under his half of the blanket.

When Mary came through to check on them just an hour later they were all asleep. Sammy was curled up in the armchair, looking more like a cat than a fourteen year old boy. Dean and Cas were practically wrapped around each other, Dean's head on Cas' shoulder, all bundled up in Dean's green blanket.

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Relying on an alcohol blanket to keep you warm doesn’t always solve the problem; so when Cas steps out of The Roadhouse on a chilly November evening with Dean in tow, it’s no surprise that Dean is quick to offer his jacket.

“Geeze Cas!” Dean says and Cas settles himself close to Dean’s side.

“What?” Cas looks up to Dean, his eyes are barely blue, irises hidden behind alcohol blown pupils.

“Take my jacket, it’s cold outside.”

“But won’t you be cold?” Cas asks. Dean just shakes his head, shucking off his red leather jacket and getting Cas to put it on. It seems to swamp him, it’s too big for Dean as well. Cas pulls the sleeves over his thin jumper and pulls his shoulders up to his ears trying to keep in Dean’s warmth from the jacket. “It’s still warm.” Cas giggles.

Dean just huffs a laugh and throws an arm around Cas’ shoulders and pulls him back in close, planting a quick kiss into his hair.

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Dean drummed his fingers against the steering wheel as he watched the car in front move forward just another three foot. He was going to be late and Cas was gonna kill him. He took the time to turn round to the backseat.

“How you doing buddy?” He asked their four year old son, Elijah.

“Okay… Daddy, are we gonna miss Grace’s play?” He wondered.

“No, of course not. We just hit some traffic that’s all.” Dean looked at his watch for what must’ve been the millionth time that trip from their house to Grace’s school. Cas was already there, so he could help her get in her costume.

“Okay. We going to be there soon?”

“Hopefully.” Dean sighed quietly as he let the impala roll forward a bit more with the traffic. They were supposed to have left earlier but between Dean trying to get all of Eli’s stuff together and sorting himself out and trying to find the his camera they’d left later and hit the rush hour traffic.

After what seemed to be forever the traffic seemed to break and was beginning to flow freely again. Dean pulled the car round into the road where the school was and found a space in the mostly full car park. Unbuckling himself he then went round to the back seat to get Eli out of his car seat.

“Let’s go, buddy.” Eli reached up and grabbed for Dean’s hand who took it and they strode into the school hall as quick as they could.

The school hall was dark, in readiness for the start of the play, Eli hugged himself close to Dean’s leg as they waded through the people to find Cas. Dean spotted his light trenchcoat hanging on the back of one of the schools generic blue chairs and made a beeline for him.

“Sorry I’m late.” He told Cas as he shuffled Elijah into the chair, taking off his poofy coat.

“It’s okay, it’s just about to start.” Cas smiled and kissed Dean quickly as he sat down.

Clapping started as the curtain rose and the first set of little actors and actresses dressed in various animal costumes filled the stage including their little Grace in a lion costume.

“Oh, she looks gorgeous, doesn’t she Dean?” Cas took hold of Dean’s hand as they watched them file about and re-enact the biblical story of Noah and his Ark.

“Yeah,” Dean replied, he pulled Eli onto his lap after watching him trying to see over the top of the tall people in front of him. “There you go buddy. Can you see Grace now?” When Eli nodded they finally settled into watching their daughter’s first school play.

 

Chapter Text

Sam and Jess’ wedding had been beautiful and perfect. Sam had been a shy and nervous mess throughout the ceremony and Dean found it such a relief when it was over and Sam looked a thousand times happier.

Sam had expressed his nervousness to Dean prior to the wedding, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to marry Jess, not at all, he was afraid of messing up and doing it wrong. Dean gave him a bro to bro pep talk to settle his nerves.

Now, Sam and Jess were holding each other dancing to one of their favourite songs, Dean watched as Sam couldn’t keep his eyes off Jess, just gazing, it was a wonderful sight to see.

“Perfect aren’t they?” A voice to the side of Dean said. Dean just nodded and looked over to Cas who’d crept up beside him. Dean smiles and intertwined his fingers with Cas’, who accepted his hand and kissed him as they watched.

The song came to an end and a more energetic song came on, the younger kids seemed to be magnetised to the dance floor and were running round chasing after the lighting effects that skipped around on the floor. More people joined Sam and Jess on the dancefloor.

Dean let go of Cas’ hand and turned to face him, holding out his hand politely. “Can I have this dance?” Dean winked and did a half bow.

“Of course, kind Sir.” Cas took his hand, smirking, and they joined the dancing, jigging and swaying in time with the music.

 

 

Chapter Text

Dean spent the night round Castiel’s house. They’d settled for watching their favourite movies, a bowl of popcorn on the coffee table, huddled close together, but it was getting on for midnight and Dean had to be at the garage early the next morning, and Cas eventually admitted that he had a paper due the next morning that still needed an evaluation.

Dean shucked on his inherited leather jacket, which was still too big for his nineteen year old self, and pulled on his shoes. He took himself to the door with Cas following him closely.

“Hey,” Cas said, turning Dean round and cupping his face with his hands. Dean smiled at the gesture and quickly glanced behind Cas to make sure none of his housemates were around. Cas brought his attention back to him with a kiss to Dean’s jaw.

“Hey,” Dean replied and kissed him back.

“Call me when you get home.” Cas told him and carried on kissing him.

“Don’t stay up too late.” Dean countered and planted a kiss on Cas’ nose before breaking himself free from his grasp. “I’ll see you soon, Cas, and talk to you in a bit.”

“Bye, Dean.” Cas shout-whispered as Dean got into his car. He saw Dean wave out the open window before he headed down the road.

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They’d been married for three years now, and with two adopted children it was nothing short of hectic and lively in their household. Except tonight that was, Sam and his wife, Jessica, had agreed to take their two tiny terrors off their hands for the night so that they could go out.

And that they did, Dean drove them both to their favourite restaurant, a small Italian place where Dean could get a pizza that could potentially serve eight but Dean ate by himself and Cas would have the large plate of meatball and pancetta pasta bolognaise. The waiter had a tea light lit between them and served them the house wine, even though Dean would much prefer a beer, Cas enjoyed the wine they had.

After dinner, they drove back to their shared flat, just on the outskirts of Kansas City. Dean had kindly asked Cas if they could watch the new Star Trek movie together, of course, being date night, they would do anything for each other so Cas sat down next to Dean, leaning against his shoulder.

Near the end of the film, Cas was curled up against Dean more that usual, Dean kissed the top of his head and smiled. “You’re a cuddly bunny tonight aren’t you?” He said, wrapping his arms around his waist.

“You’re warm.” Cas replied, shuffling further into Dean. “It’s nice. Gonna stay like this forever.” He commented, yawning.

“I can accept that.” Dean told him, planting more kisses into the mess of his dark hair and on his temple.

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Dean's phone rang, letting out the beat of Led Zeppelin's ramble on into the garage. He put down his spanner and ratchet and removed himself from the underside of the car he was working on. Without getting up from the backboard he wiped his greasy hands on his jeans and pulled out the phone from his pocket. He smiled when he saw the picture of his dark haired boyfriend who had a goofy grin plastered on his face.

"Hey, Cas," Dean answered.

"Hello, Dean!" Cas sounded excited.

"What's going on?" He wondered, sitting himself up.

"So I've been with my parents over the last week but they're going to visit my aunt and uncle next week, soooo..." Cas drew out. "I don't have uni for another week and no one to bother me. Which means I can see you!"

"That's great, Cas. Though I don't have that much holiday left... I won’t be able to drive out to you." Dean told him, disappointment lacing his voice. It wasn't often he got to see his boyfriend since he left for university in Idaho but when they got the chance during holidays they made it count. It was also much easier for them to see each other when Cas stayed at his parents' house as they lived much closer in Illinois.

"I'm flying out to you, Dean. If that's okay with you anyway,"

"Of course it's okay, I'll let my dad know you'll be staying the week."

"Great, my flight should land in Kansas about seven this evening. Then I can grab a taxi to yours."

"No, no, Cas it's okay. I'll pick you up at the airport." Dean told him, Bobby gave him a disgruntled look as he was on the phone when he should be working.

"You don't have to." Cas said.

"I want to see you, let me do this for you.” Dean didn’t give him time to reject. “Right, I've gotta go, Bobby's glaring at me to get off the phone." He said, smiling at his boss. It didn't matter that Bobby was his uncle he still expected work to be done from him.

"Okay, see you tonight Dean!"

"See you later." Dean breathed and ended the call.

Chapter Text

Why Charlie, Lawrence High School’s deputy head teacher, asked me, a design and technology teacher, to show round the new English teacher, I’ll never know.

But here I am, with the black haired, blue eyed and admittedly gorgeous English teacher on my tail as I show him where his new classroom is.

“Here’s your classroom, most of the other teachers have decorated it to their own, so feel free to take down the old stuff if you want.” I told him, his new English classroom was one of the biggest.

“Wow, this is much bigger than the classroom I had in Pontiac.” He states, I watch as his ocean coloured eyes roam the room.

Oh… oh god… this must be why Charlie got me to do it… There’s a quiet hum and a smile when I refocus, oh god, I was staring.

“Um… yeah, so that’s about it. Did you want to head back to the staff room for a coffee, I don’t have any students until three.” I suggest, I dig my hands into my pockets so stop me from fidgeting.

“Sounds good,” We make our way back to the staff room and I tell him a little bit more about the school and the teachers and which students to look out for.

“Okay, so Ash Roadie, he’s cool, a bit off his rocker but he’s great with the kids and he teaches IT and computing. Then you’ve got Naomi Martin, not going to lie, she scares the crap out of me, she teaches English, like you. Maybe she won’t scare you aa much.” A weird half laugh half sigh escapes my mouth as I pour the coffee from the pot. “It’s two sugars, right?” I think that’s what he requested this morning.

“Yeah, please.” He says and I stir them in and hand over the coffee in an owl mug.

“Nice mug,”

“Oh, that’s Linda’s, you’ll want to bring in your own mug, the teachers get a bit territorial.” He chuckled, and I laughed too. “You’re welcome to use my mug though,” I held up my batman mug to show him.

Chapter Text

Cas had known about Dean’s trip for a while, nevertheless he still didn’t look forward to him going, but he was going to be spending the week travelling with his brother and Dean deserved that. Cas sat on the bed quietly as he watched Dean pack his bag ready for the trip.

“So do you know where you’re heading?” Cas asked eventually.

“Sam’s bringing the car here so we’ll head south and I think Sam said he wanted to go back to California to see some old friends.” Dean explained their rough outline.

“You stopping tonight?”

“Yeah, we’ll see how far we get and stop at a motel or something.”

“Will you call when you stop?” Cas asked and Dean stopped packing, moving over to where Cas was sat on the bed and took his face into his hands.

“Of course I’ll call, Cas. And then I will call you every night and I’ll text you every morning. It’s a shame you can’t come with us. It’d make a great trip.”

“Yeah, I know. Work sucks.”

“It does, but you got that promotion you’ve been after. The meetings won’t be that bad will they?”

“Yes. Everyone complains that we’re not doing enough and I have to try and mediate a plan to tackle it. Sounds like fun, huh?”

“Yes, so much fun.” Dean chuckles. He kissed Cas full on the lips but Cas was still smiling. “What?” Dean mumbled against Cas’ mouth.

“You make me happy. That’s all…” Dean flushed at the compliment and pulled away.

“Yeah? You make me real happy to, ya know.”

“You should be packing, Sam’ll be here soon.” Cas told him and Dean checked his watch.

“Damnit!” He cursed and started to grab all his clothing, haphazardly stuffing it into the bag.

There’s a honk from outside and Dean knew it belonged to the Impala. “That’s my ride. I’ll see you soon, Cas. Talk to you this evening too.”

“Bye, Dean!” Cas pulled him into a tight hug. “Drive safely.”

“Always do, Cas.”

Cas smiled and waved as Dean threw his bag into the boot of the car and got into the drivers seat.

Chapter Text

The boarder cross finals had arrived and Dean was nervous. So much so that he stood in front of his boyfriend, hands shaking trying to do up his green jacket with no luck.

“Dean, you’re going to do fine. Here, let me help,” Cas removed Dean’s fingers from the zip and did it up for him, making sure it was done all the way to the top and followed with a kiss to his nose. Cas pulled Dean’s beanie hat further over his ears and smiled. “Your hat makes your eyes looks really green.”

“Thanks.” Dean said, grabbing his gloves from the boot of the Impala; he was about to put them on but Cas took them off him and started to put them on for him. “I can manage.” He protested, scowling.

“I know. Just want to help.” Cas finished putting them on for him and held on to his gloved hands.

“You’re being wonderful.” Dean picked up his snowboard and headed to the sign up tent with Cas following closely behind him in his own blue and yellow jacket, the one that Dean had bought him so he would be warm watching him race.

Dean looked down at the list to see who he’d be racing against and his heart sank when he saw a familiar name. He wrote his details down and returned to Cas.

“Benny’s racing…” Dean said dejectedly, he’d raced against Benny in previous years and he was one of the best snowboarders.

“You can do this.” Cas smiled and placed gloved hands on Dean’s cold flushed cheeks. There was a blare of a horn signalling the racers to the start line. “Good luck, Dean!” He called after him. “I believe in you.”

Chapter Text

It had been close several times. On the way to school one morning and they'd been walking close together, bumping shoulders. Dean looked across at Cas and smiled, most their morning walks to school were in a comfortable silence and this was no different. When Dean had moved closer to Cas to avoid a lamp post their hands had brushed together, sending shocks through their bodies and a blush on both their cheeks. But of course they ignored it. Then finally, on a late December afternoon, they both walked out into the chilly air.

"God it's cold out here." Dean commented and wrapped his arms around himself.

“I told you this morning when I got to your house that you’d need a better coat than that flimsy leather jacket-“

“Hey! It’s not flimsy!” Dean protests, pouting.

“And that you’d probably want some gloves and a hat.” Cas just shakes his head, laughing a little at his best friend.

“Whatever, let’s go home. The quicker we get there the quicker I get to sit in front of the radiator and cook myself in front of tonight’s Dr. Sexy episode.”

They start walking down the path, their houses aren’t far and Cas lives exactly fourteen doors away from Dean, something they joked about as an inside joke from their childhood of telling their parents that they were old enough to go fourteen doors to each other’s houses.

Dean’s wringing his hands to keep them warm and Cas can see that they white from the cold.

“Can I hold you hand?” Cas asks, it didn’t come out quite the way he wanted to, or maybe it did. “Totally platonically, of course.” He adds quickly.

“Plat-what?”

“Damn it, Dean. Give me your hand. I want to hold it!” He tells him, reaching for his cold hand. Dean just smiles and lets Cas take it. “Platonically, you know, nothing more than friends, that kinda thing.”

“Oh.” Dean replied quietly. Though he kinda hopes that Cas didn’t hear. Platonic, that’s all they were.

“Oh?” Cas questions.

“Can’t we hold hands non-platonically?” Dean wonders, there’s a blush to his cheeks that’s more than the cold.

“You want to?”

“If you do.”

“Then, yes. I’ll hold your hand, non-platonically.” They both smile and walk in silence, Dean’s other hand thrust into his deep jeans pocket.

They’re nearly at Dean’s house when Dean stops, pulling Cas to a stop with him. He’s got a furrowed brow and a confused expression.

“What is it, Dean? You look very confused.”

“Did I…. Did I just ask you out? Did I just ask you out by asking you to hold my hand non-platonically?” Dean’s got a look of pure bewilderment on his face.

“Yeah… think so, Dean… I think so.” 

Chapter Text

Dean could tell Castiel was upset about something. He was more talkative than normal, ranting and raving about everything and nothing and he barely even looked at Dean, let alone let him speak.

“Cas?” Dean interjected quietly. “Cas, stop.” He told him and Cas ceased talking and looked at Dean for the first time that morning. “What’s the matter?”

“Nothing.” He said glancing at Dean before returning his gaze to the floor. “Honest.” He replied but Dean knows that’s a straight out lie.

“Cas? Come on. I know something is bothering you.”

“There’s nothing wrong, Dean.” Cas told him shortly. “Come on. Let’s go out.”

“Where?”

“I don’t know, the park? The woods?” Cas forced a smile on to his face and got up from the sofa. “Come on!” He said.

“Okay.” Dean smiled and made a mental note to keep an eye out for Cas.

When Dean stops driving they’ve arrived at a small car park in the middle of a wooded area. They both like it here and have done this particular walk often. Dean locked his car and took Cas’ hand as they began their slow trek into the woods.

There was a bench about half way round the designated path and they both sit, there’s a small trickle of a stream nearby and they could hear the water running. Dean looped a hand round Castiel’s shoulder and pulled him in close to him.

“You know you can talk to me about anything, right?” Cas nodded into his shoulder. “Will you tell me what’s been bothering you these last few days?”

“I got accepted into college to study medicine.” Cas mumbled into Dean’s jacket.

“That’s great Cas!” Dean congratulated.

“Yeah, it’s great but it’s on the other side if the country.”

“Oh….”

“And I don’t want to go because that means leaving you and I… I just need you so much Dean.”

“Hey, hey!” Dean pulled Cas in tighter as he started to cry. “You have me, you can always have me okay. Go to college, go and study medicine like you’ve always wanted. I want you to be happy.”

“But I am happy, Dean. I happy when I’m with you.”

“I know. And I’ll come and visit as often as I can, and you’ll be home for the holidays, we can make this work, Cas.” He pulled Cas away from him and took his face in his hands, using his thumbs to wipe away the tears. “I just want you to be happy, okay. And you’re not sacrificing your dream job just because of me, you got that?” Cas nodded and sniffed, wiping away the excess tears.

“Oh…” Cas started and looked over at Dean’s jacket.

“What?”

“I got your jacket wet.” He told him, chuckling a little.

“Well, that’s just not on is it?” He teased, kissing Cas.

Chapter Text

Dean had come home early from work and picked up their two children from school as a treat instead of them going to the child minder. They’d been so excited to see their dad turn up at the school. They run up to him from their teacher who’s smiling at him.

When they get home Dean picks them both up and hauls them on his shoulders. “Who’s ready for a snack then?” He roars loudly making the kids squeal.

“Me!” They both shout and he steers them into the kitchen.

“What shall we have?” He sits the kids on the counter. “Shall we eat some Elijah today?” He rumbles poking Elijah’s tummy.

“Nooo!” He squeals.

“No?” He says in mock shock. “Well, what about some Grace then?” He says tickling his daughter. She giggles and squirms.

“I don’t want to be eated!”

“You don’t want to be eaten?” He says, subtly correcting her. “Well then, shall we have a banana? Or a biscuit?”

“Biscuit!” Elijah shouts.

“Biscuits it is then.” Dean says cheerily. He pulls out the biscuit tin and hands them each a biscuit before pulling them down from the counter to eat them and going to the fruit bowl to grab a banana for them to share. He breaks it in half and hands half to Grace and half to Elijah.

“If you have a biscuit, you have to have some banana too.” Dean informs them and they gladly accept in, stuffing in in their mouths. Dean just chuckles and makes sure to clean their faces before they leave the kitchen.

“Can we play daddy?” Elijah says, holding out his mini football.

“Sure, buddy.” He moves forward to tackle the younger child for the football. “I got it! I got it!” he calls, making Elijah run after him and jump on the sofa to gain more height.

“I gets it! I gets it! Mine!” He yells, jumping up and down tugging at the ball in Dean’s arms. Dean throws the ball from his grip.

Grace is stood by the doorway jumping up to catch it. She fails to catch it just as the dront door opens and Castiel walks in.

“Ah!” He yells as he gets a face full of football.

“Cas!” Dean yells.

“Papa!” The kids shout.

“Dean… that hurt.” Castiel rubs his nose as he puts his satchel under the table by the front door.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.” He apologises, hugging his husband. “The game got out of hand.”

“Sorry papa.” Elijah says, even though it wasn’t his fault.

“That’s okay, honey.” He tells him, bending down and picking him up. “Have you had your afternoon snack?” He asks.

“We have a biscuit!” Grace chips in.

“And a bananana…” Elijah adds.

“That’s great.” Castiel smiles. “Now why don’t you go and play in your room before we have dinner.”

“’Kay, papa.” Castiel hands the offending football back to his son.

They both run off to their rooms to play leaving Dean and Castiel alone.

“I’m really sorry, Cas.” He apologises again.

“I’m sure I’ll live, it’s just a bump on the nose.” Dean leans in to kiss him, pecking him on the nose.

“There, I kissed it all better now.” He says in his best dad voice.

“Thank you.” Castiel smiles.

Chapter Text

“I’m coming over Cas!” Dean tells him over the phone. It’s just gone midnight.

“No, Dean. It’s late, I can’t ask this of you.” He retaliates, regretting having phoned Dean at all. He just wanted someone to talk to quickly to motivate him to finish off his essay.

“I’m coming over. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

“Dean. Really, I just wanted to chat. You’ve got an early lecture in the morning.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll just stock up on coffee in the morning. You need to get that paper done.” Cas can practically hear Dean smiling.

“Fine.” Cas said, defeated. “See you soon.” The phone goes dead and Cas returns to typing away at his keyboard trying to finish off his essay.

Not ten minutes later there was a knock on his dorm room door.

“Hey.” Dean huffs.

“Did you run here?”

“Maybe.”

“You ran across campus at half past midnight? Dean, you’re an idiot.” Cas tells him, huffing.

“Hey, I’m here for motivation. Now let’s go, hop to it. Sit, I’ll make coffee.” Dean informs him, pushing him back towards the desk so he could go back downstairs to gather coffee.

“Okay, okay, I’m going.”

Dean came back soon and handed Cas a mug of coffee in Cas’ biggest mug. “One strong coffee,” Dean rifles through his hoodie pocket and pulls out a packet of triple chocolate cookies. “aaand… Triple. Chocolate. Cookies. Just for you.”

“Oh my god. Dean. You’re the best.”

“What can I say. I’m amazing.”

“Now you’re just being cocky. Sit on the bed.” Dean does so and sits and watches Cas type away.

Dean’s dozing half an hour later, back resting against the wall and head in an entirely uncomfortable position.

“Ahhh!” Cas throws his hands up and curses, jolting Dean awake.

“What? What’s up Cas?”

“Sorry… This essay…” He growls.

“Need help?” Dean shuffles himself off the bed and stands behind Cas leaning over his shoulder.

“I’ve got to analyse the transition from Old English to Middle English.” Cas drawls tiredly. Dean scans what he has so far and looks down at his texts.

“Have you said anything about the length of words?” Dean wonders, seeing the shorter words of the older texts and the longer words of the newer texts.

“Oh! Thank you, Dean! That can be my last point then I just need a conclusion and then it’s done. Finally.”

“That’s great Cas.” Dean smiles and returns to the bed.

“You’re welcome to go to sleep you know. I can see you’re tired, Dean. I’m sorry for keeping you up.”

“Hey, I said don’t worry about me. I’m fine.” Dean yawns.

“Uh-huh. Sleep Dean.” Cas orders.

Dean pulls off his hoodie and lies down against the wall.

Fifteen minutes later Cas has finished, printed and filed away the essay for tomorrow (or today) and pulls off his own hoodie and his jeans before slipping under the covers, trying not to disturb Dean.

“You all done?” Dean asks sleepily.

“Yes, all sorted. Get under the covers you lunatic, you can’t sleep like that.”

“You’re worrying again.”

“Shut up, and get under the covers.”

“Yes, sir.” Dean cheeks, pressing a kiss to his boyfriend’s temple.

“and out of those jeans.”

“Now you’re just being bossy.” He teases but pulls them off anyway and throws them on the floor. They snuggle close as it’s only a single bed, Dean’s arm looped over Cas’ waist and fall asleep.

Chapter Text

Dean wasn’t entirely sure how they’d progressed from best friends to potential boyfriends. Sure, they’d had mandatory accidental hands brushing each other, the we’re-probably-sat-too-close conversation and there was the time it became official even though nothing changed when Dean sat next to Castiel on the swings in the local park that was empty at half past eight in the evening with a brilliantly coloured sunset leaving the sky painted with purples and oranges. Dean had been quiet that day avoiding his best friend because it had dawned on him that he loved Castiel, really loved him, not the love that he’d known for the past sixteen years of his best friend, the only other person he’d die for apart from his brother.

He was in love with Castiel.

And being around him made him feel strange like he should tell him about it, but the other half of him told him to back away and that it’d pass.

Dean had ignored that part of him and asked Cas to meet him at the park. He was still quiet though as Cas came and sat on the swing next to him.

“I’ve not seen you all day.” Cas had said nonchalantly, kicking his feet at the squidgy tarmac.

“I’ve been busy.” Dean told him. Yeah, busy thinking about this very moment and this very revelation that he was about to reveal.

“Oh, well I’m glad you asked me out tonight.” Dean blushed at the wording and almost backtracks on his plan. No he must do this.

“Hey, Cas?” He questions.

“Yeah.” Cas looked over at Dean who’s staring into the oblivion.

“Will you… ugh…” He stopped.

“Will I what?” Cas’ brows knitted together in confusion. Dean still wasn’t looking.

“Willyoubemyboyfriend?” he said much too quickly that it was probably indecipherable and that he’d probably have to say it again and Dean was suddenly unsure if he wanted to.

“Yes.” Came the reply, entirely unexpected.

“You heard me?” Dean finally looked around at his best friend – no, boyfriend – and Castiel just laughed.

“Of course I did. And my answer is yes. I will be your boyfriend.” Dean sighed in relief, shoulders slumping and all the pent up anxiety he’d had shifted and disappeared into the wind. Dean stands from the swing and moved so he was stood in front of Cas.

He smiled. A genuine Winchester smile. “Can I kiss you?” He wondered.

“Of course.” Cas stood up as Dean took Castiel’s face into his hands and planted his lips against Castiel’s warm ones.

It’s not perfect, far from it. It’s awkward and it takes a moment for them both to form a synchronicity. But they fit and it becomes perfect, their kind of perfect.

Chapter Text

Dean is used to the staring. It had been happening since the moment they’d met as freshmen in high school. Castiel had been the new kid in school and the only empty space had been next to Dean. He’d never questioned it, just found himself looking away or ignoring it.

Until today that is. A lazy Sunday morning ten years later.

Dean woke gently with the sun streaming though the curtains in the middle of summer, he turns his head towards where he is sure to see his fiancé lying there asleep. What he isn’t expecting, though it’s no surprise, is to see Castiel’s bright blue eyes looking at him.

“Morning, Cas.” Dean says, voice still rough from sleep. Castiel blinks slowly before craning his neck forward and planting a kiss on Dean’s nose.

“Morning, Dean.”

“What was that for?” He whispers.

“I don’t know, felt like it. You deserve it.” Even after seven years of dating and being boyfriends and a year of having the pleasure of being Castiel’s fiancé, Castiel never failed to make Dean blush with compliments.

Castiel was still looking at him though, eyes tracing over every feature of Dean’s face. The light freckles dusting his cheeks and bridge of his nose. His brilliant green eyes that shine in the early morning, the gently tan of his skin and angled jaw. The small quirk of his lips as he realises just how intently Castiel is looking at him.

“Why do you look at me like that, Cas?” Dean wonders, sleepily.

“Like what?” He asks, innocently, stroking a stray strand of hair back into place.

“Like, I dunno, you just look at me a lot, Cas. I don’t mind, of course I don’t.”

“I think you’re beautiful, Dean.” He tells him, shuffling forward and placing another kiss to his nose and then his forehead. As Dean closes his eyes to the attention, Cas kisses his eye lids. “You really are.”

“And you’re absolutely adorable, Cas. I ever tell you that?”

“All the time. Thank you.”

“We should get up.” Dean says looking at the clock behind Cas. He takes a deep breath, ready to flip the covers off himself.

There’s a look in Castiel’s eye, something that tells him that Cas disagrees with the decision. “Or we can stay here.”

“Do you want to-” Dean cuts him off with an affirmative and takes hold of Castiel’s face in a soft grip and kissing him deep and open mouthed. Castiel’s hands are already fumbling at the waistband of Dean’s boxers.

Chapter Text

Castiel had been up for way too many hours when he got a text. It buzzed on his desk as he was writing up a report for college.

I’m outside, it read. It was from Dean, Castiel smiled and rolled his eyes. Why Dean was here, he didn’t know.

I’m coming down. Hold on a moment. Castiel texted back and hurried from his dorm room to the front door.

When he opened the door he was greeted with a grinning Dean holding up two cartons of food.

“What are you doing here? I didn’t think we were meeting up ‘til Friday.” Castiel wondered, he stepped aside and let Dean into the hallway.

“I know. I wanted to see you before Friday.” Dean gave Castiel a quick kiss on the cheek. “And I know how hard you study and I was in the neighbourhood,”

“Dean you work on the other side of town,”

“Yeah, and I was over here… buying…” Dean looked up trying to work it out.

“And the food is from across town too.” Castiel noticed. “Which means we should probably plate it up and eat it before it gets cold.”

“Yeah, good idea.” Dean smiles and takes himself to the kitchen and grabs Castiel’s plates from the top cupboard and dishes out the food.

They took the food upstairs and Dean sat himself of Castiel’s bed, legs crossed, as he stuffed the Chinese food into his mouth.

“So, how long you been up today?” Dean asked trying to sound nonchalant, he’d noticed his yawning and drooping eyes.

“I don’t know. Sometime since six probably.” Castiel said wearily, he took a couple of bites of his food before typing up more of his report.

“Cas…” Dean began but Castiel waved him off.

“I know what you’re going to say, Dean. I just have a lot of work to do.” Castiel said exasperatedly without really meaning to.

“I know that, Cas… I just want to look out for you, is all. Make sure you’re eating and sleeping, which you’re clearly not. Would you have had dinner if I hadn’t brought it round?” He asked, Dean shuffled to the edge of the bed, putting the plate on the bedside table.

“Probably not.”

“Will you take a break with me?” Dean asked. He stood up and looped his arms round Castiel’s shoulders. Castiel nodded.

“I just want to lie down with you, okay.” Castiel smiled and got up, turning around into Dean’s arms properly and giving him a tight hug and guiding them to the bed. They landed with a soft thud on the duvet. Dean moved himself so he was propped up with a pillow and let Castiel lean into him all he needed. “Thank you, Dean.” Castiel murmured into Dean’s chest.

“It’s okay. Glad I was in the neighbourhood now?” Dean said cheekily, placing a kiss into Castiel’s hair. Castiel just nodded and closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

Dean had never thought that his flatmate’s job would ever be dangerous. Not when he was an accountant for a bank. Castiel had been doing the job for seven years without a hitch; at least until a Thursday morning in November.

Dean’s mobile rang and buzzed in his pocket, he ignored it for the moment as his hands were preoccupied with a spanner and a ratchet trying to bolt a car door back on. It wasn’t like he could just let go or he’d probably have his arm crushed.

Dean inserted and tightened enough of the bolts so the car door would be safe to let go of and pulled his phone from his pocket.

1 missed call. 10:37am

He clicked the redial button and it began to ring through, it had barely rung twice before it was picked up and Dean could hear harsh breathing at the other end.

“Dean?” Castiel asked. His voice seemed different, more tense and strained.

“Cas? That you?”

“Yes, it’s me. I... something happened at work. Someone broke into the bank I was at today. Held us hostage for twenty minutes until the police showed up.”

“Are you okay?” Dean rushed. He stood up from where he’d been crouched on the floor and absentmindedly wiped off the grease from his free hand on his overalls.

“I’m fine. No one got hurt bad. They ran off when they showed up. One got away in my car.”

“They took your car?”

“Yes.” Dean heard Castiel sigh. “I... I didn’t even know you could break into my car.”

“Cas, every car can be broken into if you know how.”

“Okay. Well, I’m getting the bus home now. So I was pretty much just calling to say that I’ll be home early.”

“What? No, Cas. Stay there. I’m coming to get you. Which bank are you at?”

“Dean, you don’t have to. There’s a bus stop here.”

“Ah-ah. I’m coming to get you. End of story, Cas.” Dean scolded. He was already heading to the office where his uncle and boss would be.

Dean held his hand over the talk piece and got Bobby’s attention. When he looked up he asked. “I’ve got a flatmate emergency, I need to go and pick him up.”

Bobby simply waved him off, mumbling something about him just making up the time tomorrow. Dean grinned and returned to Castiel on the phone.

“Where were you at again?” he asked. Castiel rattled off the bank name and where it was. “Okay I’m on my way. Give me ten minutes.”

“Okay. Thank you, Dean.”

“Don’t mention it, buddy. See you soon.” Dean pulled off his overalls as soon as he got to his locker and dumped them inside before rushing off to his car.

He drove as fast as he could to where Castiel had said he was and saw him, donned in his distinctive tan trench coat stood near the bank. The place was crawling with police cars and officers talking to eye witnesses.

Dean parked close by and made a beeline for Castiel who was looking less than fine like he’d told him on the phone.

“Cas!” Dean called as he got closer. Castiel looked up from staring at the floor and smiled at him, though it didn’t reach his eyes like usual.

“Hello, Dean.” He said quietly. Dean didn’t think before he found himself hugging the other man. It surprised Castiel a little but he made the effort to hug back though his hands were shaking slightly.

“Cas, you’re shaking.” Dean told him as they broke apart. Dean took Castiel’s hands in his and held them tight. “I think you’re in shock. We should get you home. I’ll make some of that Raspberry and Honey Tea you like. It should help with the shock.”

“It was very shocking. I think it’s just hit bit a bit now you’re here. Thank you for coming.” Castiel told him, there was a small smile on his face, one that was much more genuine.

“That’s okay, Cas. Let’s get you home.”

Chapter Text

Dean looked up as Castiel came into the hospital room where Dean had been placed under observation, just in case he had concussion.

It had been a complete accident. Dean and his brother, Sam, had been play fighting over a remote for the TV on their yearly adventure through route 66. They would stop at Motels and find interesting places to visit each time.

They’d been grappling at each other, the remote in Dean’s hands as he tried to keep it from Sam who wanted to change over from Dr. Sexy to some boring historical documentary that his girlfriend had told him about. They both ended up falling off the bed and there was a crack as Dean whacked his head against the bedside table. Dean had lost consciousness for a couple of minutes and when he came round, Sam was already on the phone to the ambulance.

Now, Sam sat at his side, apologising for what must’ve been the hundredth time.

“Hello, Dean.” Cas greeted. He smiled when Dean’s eyes met his.

“Hey. Did the doctors say I could go home yet?”

“I don’t know, I’ve just got here and asked for your room number.” Castiel explained. He leaned against the door frame not wanting to intrude too much on the brothers’ time together. Castile knew that ever since Sam went to university they didn’t see each other that often, so times like these when they got to be toggle there were precious.

“You’re allowed to sit down, you know,” Dean told him, patting the covers at the foot of the bed. Castiel sidled into the room and sat gently on the bed, pulling up his legs and crossing them.

“So, they said you’d knocked your head, do I even want to know how you managed that?” Castiel grinned, nudging his foot against Dean’s under the blankets.

“Sam overreacted.”

“Hey!” Sam scowled. “You weren’t conscious for five minutes!” he reasoned, turning to Castiel.

“Ouch! I’m with Sam on this one.”

“Gee, thanks,” Dean teased, he rolled his eyes. “Anyway, we were fooling around after the remote and we both feel and I hit my head on the side table. Now I have to sit here and wear this shitty gown that shows my bare ass.”

“Gross, Dean. That goes on the list of things I didn’t need to know.” Sam’s brow furrowed in disgust and he stood up. “I’m getting coffee. Cas?”

“I’ll just have tea, thanks.”

“What about me?” Dean complained, he folded his arms across his chest.

“The doctor said no caffeine.” Sam reminded him and left the room.

“Bitch.” Dean mumbled just before the door closed.

“Jerk. I heard that idiot.” And dam had gone leaving Dean and Castiel to themselves.

“You came all the way out here for me?” Dean asked after a moment. Castiel had been looking out of the window.

“Naturally. Why wouldn’t I?”

Dean scoffed. “You realise it’s over a hundred miles away from home, right?”

“And you realise that I’m your boyfriend, right?” Castiel smirked as Dean’s shoulders slumped in defeat.

“And you realise that Sam’s not in the room, right?” Dean countered with a wink.

Castiel got up on his knees, a little unsteady on the soft bed. Dean leant back and let Castiel kiss him, pressing their lips together, Castiel was being careful, knowing that Dean was injured but Dean wasn’t having any of it and kissed him back with fervour.

When they broke apart, Dean was smiling and Castiel just looked at Dean intensely, watching as the corners of his mouth turned up and let tiny dimples appear, though they weren’t like Sam’s though. He looked as each freckle was lit up by the afternoon sun coming through the window and made his eyes shine like emeralds.

Dean made an unhappy noise.

“What? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I need a piss, but I don’t want to move.” Dean chuckled.

“Wow. Really, Dean?” Castiel rolled his eyes and sat back on his heels. “Fine, no more kisses unless you get up right now. Besides, you’ll be showing the doctors just how okay you are if you can get up all on your own.” Castiel told him. Dean glared at him momentarily and Castiel could practically see him thinking.

Dean threw off the blankets and slid himself carefully off the bed. The back of his hospital gown flapped open a little, showing his butt off to Castiel.

“It looks good on you.” Castiel teased. Dean blushed and tried to cover himself back up. “It’d look good off you too.”

“Cas!” Dean warned as he shut the toilet door behind him.

It was only a couple of minutes when Dean emerged with a smirk on his face.

“I never thought I’d hear such a thing come from that god-like mouth of yours.”

“There is much you don’t know about me, including my lack of innocence,” Castiel winked and jumped off the bed and going to hug Dean. Dean’s hands raced up the inside of Castiel’s t-shirt and he raked his hands over his ribs. Castiel lowered his arms and patted one of Dean’s ass cheeks, grinning at Dean.

“AHH! For fuck’s sake!” Sam yelled as he opened the door with his foot, two coffees in polystyrene cups in his hands.

Both of the pulled apart quickly and Dean made a quick couple of steps back to his bed and yanked the blankets over himself.

“That’s it. I’m done. Never again. Tell me where I can find bleach.” Sam muttered as he stumbled backwards to the door again and shut it firmly.

Dean laughed loudly, Castiel following suit soon after.

Chapter Text

Castiel tossed and turned in his bed, it wasn’t the same without Dean there. It never was. The sheets seemed to tangle endlessly around his legs, trapping him. It was too cold without a warm body curled up beside him; too hot with Dean’s pillow tucked into his arms. Everything was uncomfortable.

It wasn’t often that Dean took the night shift for his paramedic duties, but when he did, Castiel would never seem to sleep until Dean returned home at about three o’clock in the morning. Castiel found it odd that sleeping without Dean at his side caused him such distress. He’d spent the first thirty years of his life sleeping alone and the rare occasion where another person would just last the night.

The more he thought about it, the more pathetic it seemed to be: that he just couldn’t sleep without him.

Castiel looked at the glowing red numbers on the clock.

2:25am.

Half an hour and Dean would be home.

2:26am.

Castiel watched as the number flickered by. He felt drowsy and as if he could succumb to sleep at any moment, but there was always that niggle in the back of his mind that would keep him awake.

2:57am.

The door creaked. Castiel’s mouth quirked up a little as a slither of light entered the room followed by a dark shadow. The light outside clicked off and he could see Dean creeping around the bedroom. Dean stepped out of his trousers and took of his t-shirt leaving him just in boxers, it would have to be fine for tonight. He wasn’t up for waking Castiel by opening draws and trying to find his pyjamas.

Dean crawled into bed as quietly as he could.

Castiel rolled over, shuffling towards Dean.

“Hey…” Castiel whispered.

“I’m sorry I woke you, Cas.” Dean told him and pressed his forehead against Castiel’s and wrapped an arm around the back of Castiel. Castiel ran a hand blindly along Dean’s jaw and settled his hand against Dean’s neck.

“It’s okay. I couldn’t sleep anyway.”

“Oh, Cas.”

“It’s fine, I promise. I just like having you here.”

“Me too. Go to sleep, Cas.” Dean planted a quick kiss to Castiel’s plush lips before sighing in content and letting his breathing even out and falling asleep.

Castiel stayed awake for a moment longer, watching as Dean slept before he drifted off seamlessly into a dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

Saturday morning saw Castiel curled up on his sofa watching reruns of some show he’d never even heard of. He was barely focussing on what was going on but his brain seemed interested. He wrapped the dark blue blanket around his shoulders and sipped at the warm camomile tea that he’d just about managed to make without injuring himself.

Castiel’s phone vibrated from where it was plugged in on the arm of the sofa. He quickly unplugged it and answered the call.

“Hey, Cas.” Castiel heard Dean’s soothing voice on the other side of the line.

“Hello, Dean.” His voice was croaky after coughing for most of the morning.

“You sound like shit.” Dean said, as if it wasn’t the most obvious thing on the planet. “That’ll be why you’re not at the coffee shop.”

“I’m sorry, Dean. I forgot all about it. I’m sorry.” Castiel pulled the phone away from him as he sneezed three times in quick succession.

“Are you okay? Have you eaten? Blankets? Favourite movie?” Dean’s tone completely changed to that of concern.

“I’m fine. Mostly fine, anyway.” Castiel tells him and chuckles as best he can. “I’ve not eaten yet. I just about made myself a cup of tea. The kettle is dangerous when your coordination is off. I have a blanket. But I’m just watching some random show. I don’t know where my favourite movie has gone.”

“Alright. I’m coming over to make you the best get well soup you’ll ever taste and I’ll check my apartment for your movie, you probably left it at mine.”

“Dean, it’s okay. I’ll get up in a bit and make some sandwiches.”

“Ah-ah. You shouldn’t strain yourself. I got this. Dean Winchester to the rescue!” Dean replied jovially. Castiel could hear him chuckling.

“I’m not some damsel in distress, or one of your first graders.” Castiel huffed.

“I know you’re not. Just let me do this for you?” Dean pleaded.

Castiel sighed and acquiesced. “Okay, Dean. The key is under the mat.”

“Got it! I’ll see you in twenty.”

He put the phone down and stared at the television aimlessly until he heard the spare key turn in the lock.

“Cas?” Dean called into the house.

“I’m in the lounge.” Castiel croaked back, he turned to see Dean in the doorway with a brown bag of groceries in his arms and a DVD in one hand.

“One copy of Mrs. Doubtfire, for you.” Dean smiled as he placed the grocery bag on the side table and set the DVD up. Castiel couldn’t help but smiles as Dean busied himself.

Dean left Cas to watch the first part of the film, hearing him laugh every now and then. He put all the ingredients together to make the ‘souper-soup’ as Dean’s father had called it when he and his brother were younger.

He poured some of the steaming vegetable soup into a bowl and returned to the lounge. He watched momentarily as Castiel chuckled at the film before seating himself down next to him.

“You shouldn’t sit too close. I don’t want you to get ill too.” Castiel told him.

“I don’t mind.” Dean smiled. “Eat up. That’s ‘souper-soup’. It’ll fix ya right up.”

Castiel ate until the bowl was empty and Dean looked at him expectantly, awaiting the verdict.

“That was good.”

“Feel like you could take on the world?” Dean inquired teasingly.

“Maybe tomorrow.” Castiel laughed and returned his gaze to the movie. Dean smiled, he was glad there was some colour back in Castiel’s cheeks as he sipped his now cold tea. He slipped an arm around Castiel’s blanketed shoulders and pulled Castiel towards him.

Chapter Text

One thing that Dean never thought he’d be doing was hiking. For fun.

However, with a backpack slung over his shoulder and his hand entwined in Castiel’s they made their way down another dirt track as they followed the signs around the lake walk.

They had a small picnic, plenty of water and, as Castiel insisted, a big woollen blanket for them to sit on. The sun was shining brightly and Dean had tied his plaid shirt around his waist, wiping his free hand over his sweaty brow.

The track was old, undulating and generally hard work but it would be good practice for when they went on more demanding hikes up small mountains that Cas had picked out. They both had on study hiking boots but that didn’t stop them stumbling ever now and then much to the others amusement once they knew the other was okay.

“Fancy stopping next time we can get close to the lake?” Dean asked, looking over at Cas who was busy watching a group of small birds in a nearby tree.

“Huh?”

“Shall we stop soon?”

“Oh, of course. Look, there’s a large bunch of rocks over there. We’ll eat there. I think it should overlook the lake.” Cas suggested, smiling and pointing to a point fifty metres from them.

Dean nodded and took Castiel’s hand again even though it was probably too hot to do so.

They reached the rocks at a good pace and Dean looked at Cas like he was mad and had sorely underestimated the size of them. The first two metres to reach the top looked steep but after that it evened out to a flat top.

“You sure, Cas?” Dean wondered, reshouldering his bag.

“It’ll be an adventure, it looks flat on top.” Castiel smiled.

“Careful, do-” Dean started but before he could say anymore Castiel began his ascent to the top, putting his hands and feet deftly into small ledges and crevices and eased himself to the part that was less steep.

“Throw me the bag, Dean.” Castiel asked, holding his hand out to take it. Dean tossed it up the two and a half metres to where Cas was before beginning his climb.

He tried to find good, strong hand holds. He wasn’t as good at the climbing stuff like Castiel; flat tracks he could do for miles but Cas was more proficient when it came to climbing.

He got in hands in good positions, just like he’d seen Cas do and reached up his foot to begin.

“Watch your step!” Castiel warned him moments before he put all his weight on a dodgy foot hold. “Move your foot to the right a little, there’s a small crevice that I used that was good.” He instructed and watched as Dean took his footing and began his climb.

It didn’t take long after to climb the short distance.

“You made it look so easy!” Dean commented, pouting and sitting down heavily on the chequered blanket. Castiel tried not to laugh as he saw Dean cross his arms and look like he was a five year old having a temper tantrum.

“Well, poor you.” Cas teased and began placing their sandwiches and crisps on the blanket. When Dean’s pout didn’t let up straight away, Cas threw a crisp packet at Dean which hit him in the chest.

Dean couldn’t help but laugh. He rose up onto his knees, ignoring how uncomfortable it was and knocked Castiel on his back gently. Dean towered over him.

“I should win more often if this is the reward.” Cas said and winked at Dean craning his neck up to kiss Dean’s chin as it was the only part of him within reach.

Dean moved down, pressing their lips together properly. Both hummed contentedly onto each others passion and blinked slowly.

Dean broke away. “Did you cheat? Just to get a kiss?” He winked. Cas shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly and grinned, letting Dean kiss him.

Chapter Text

The past six months have been hard. It has been tedious and frustrating waiting for doctors and physiotherapists to tell Dean what was going on and him trying – so hard – to understand. He was definitely glad that he had Castiel at his side, coaching and encouraging him through each day, both good and bad.

He had been in the car too, with Dean, when they’d been hit by a truck on the highway. Dean barely remembers what happened, tells Castiel that he remembers screaming and then flashing lights but that’s it.

Unfortunately, Castiel remembers it all. Remembers the screaming that came from both of them as they skidded down the road, the Impala rolling from the impact. Remembers the crashes and bangs, the shouts of his name and how quiet it was when they stopped.

The thing he most remembers is how not alive Dean looked when he called his name with no answer. His pale face covered in blood. They were upside down in the car, hanging from their seatbelts.

They both survived though, just about. Castiel was incredibly lucky to have got away with a broken arm, a couple of broken ribs and several cuts and bruises. Dean, however, hadn’t been so lucky. He had broken ribs and a dislocated should, not forgetting the damage to his spine which had him paralysed from the waist down; the doctors had said that it could be temporary, which is what they all hoped for.

Sam had got on the first plane out to Lawrence as soon as he got the call for what happened. He’d sat by Dean’s bedside for the first few days, visiting Castiel too when he could and updated him on Dean’s condition.

Though as soon as Dean woke up after seven and a half days, he told Dam to head home. He didn’t want him seeing him like that, that he should go back home in California to be with Jess. Naturally, Sam had protested, but eventually let Dean win only after begging him to call if anything happened.

Dean was certainly recovering now though. He’d been confined to a wheelchair and going to physiotherapy four times a week or more – if he could manage it – and it was helping. After three months Dean could wiggle his toes again; after four months his whole foot and bend it right knee on his own.

Now, six months later, the swelling on his spine pretty much non-existent, he’s stood – supported by the bars, Castiel and the physio nurse – he takes his first steps in months.

“I’m doing it!” Dean shouts as one foot goes forward, albeit unsteady. He uses his upper body strength to shuffle his hands further down the bars and can feel Sara and Cas holding him up.

Another step, and another. Before he knows it, he’s taken the six steps it takes to get to the end of the walk. Panting and incredibly exhausted just from that, but he grinning as Sara helps him back into his chair.

“You did it Dean!” Castiel says wrapping his arms around him as best he can, he kisses Dean’s forehead. When he pulls back, he can see tears is Dean’s eyes and he looks thoughtful.

“Hey, it’s okay. You did amazing, Dean. Don’t cry.” Castiel mumbles into his ear.

“I – I didn’t think I could do it.” Dean stutters, a tear tips over the edge unintentionally and Castiel is quick to wipe it away with his thumb.

“Dean, if you cry, you know I’m gonna cry.” Castiel says quietly. It makes Dean chuckle and he throws his arms around him.

“Dean,” Sara is talking.

Castiel stands up and moves out the way so she and Dean can talk.

“Well done for doing that. You’ve come a long way.  Now, we can either go again with the bars, or we can just do some joint movements with you for the rest of the time.” She asks, a smile on her face at Dean’s progress.

“I think we should stick to joints. That was exhausting.” Dean tells her and smiles. Castiel takes his place on a nearby chair as Dean wheels himself over to another bench and gets himself out.

The rest of the session is filled with chatter and Castiel laughing as Dean tells Sara stories of the good days at home. Dean explains, now that he knows he’s getting better, that he’s going to rebuild his beloved Impala, make her beautiful and shiny with her perfect wax coating again.

It’s good that he has goals, that’s what Sara tells him as they finish up and Dean gets himself back in his chair with ease.

They get back out to the car, one that Cas found that they could use for now. It’s gold coloured and Castiel is laughing as Dean sets off with his mandatory complaining about how terrible the car is as he’s been doing the past four months that they’ve had it.

Today is a good day, Castiel thinks as he joins the freeway back to their home. Tomorrow will be even better, when Dean will walk the bars again and again over the coming weeks until he can do it all by himself with ease. It’s going to be hard, but they’ve come so far and it’s going in full motion now. They’ve got each other, that’s all they need.

Chapter Text

Arriving at the car park for the diner, Dean exits the car and heads towards the main reception of Lawrence General Hospital.  It’s his Friday afternoon off and he full intends to put it to good use. Lunch with his boyfriend is exactly how he’s going to do that.

Dean saunters up to the front desk and rests his elbows on the high surface grinning at a woman.

“Hey, Dean.” The cheery red-head greets with a smile.

“Hi, Charlie, I’m looking for someone.” He says, they go through this every time Dean comes in, but she plays along anyway.

“Uh-huh. Who ya looking for?” She smiles at him and winks.

“Oh, good looking guy, about ye high,” Dean holds his hand up to just where his eyebrow is. “Kinda dorky lookin’.”

“I think I know who you mean. I’ll page Cas, and tell him you’re here.”

“Thanks, Charlie!” he says and drops a chocolate bar on the desk in front of her.

“You spoil me, Winchester.” She calls after him when he goes to wait by the doctor’s lounge.

Dean waits for a short while, murmuring hellos to Castiel’s colleagues as they pass by him.

Finally, in his usual whirlwind manner, Castiel comes round the corner, his hair is messy and Castiel runs a hand through it in attempt to fix it.

“Hey, Cas.” Dean beams. Castiel barely reacts to him as Dean envelopes him in a hug.

“Hey,” Castiel sighs tiredly into Dean’s shoulder.

“What’s up?” He wonders, pulling back from the hug and holding on to his shoulders. Castiel is normally as bubbly as he is on a Friday afternoon, sometimes even waiting by the door to head to the diner. This is odd.

“It’s been a shit day. Completely terrible, everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I, Dean, I’m sorry. I don’t think I’ll be able to do lunch today. I have so many people to see. I,”

“Hey, it’s fine.” Dean takes Castiel’s face in his hands, cupping his jaw gently. Castiel smiles at the tender touch and lets Dean kiss him on the forehead.

Castiel moves his head up and kisses Dean back. “You should go home, Dean. My shift is over,” Castiel looks at his watch. “In about three hours.”

“I’ll wait.” Dean smiles at him. It’s gross really, how in love they are. Charlie has mentioned it to him several times, asking him to pass a bucket so she can vomit all the cute. Dean takes his hands and holds them tight, reassuring and grounding. “I’ll get a table over at Benny’s across the street and I’ll wait.”

“Dean, come on.” Castiel’s brow furrows. “It’s not worth it.”

“Perhaps not, but you are.” Dean concludes. One last, chaste kiss to Castiel and he walks backwards carefully. “I’ll see you in a couple of hours, Cas!” and with that Dean disappears back outside to wait for Castiel.

Chapter Text

Friday night was always date night. It was unofficial but it kinda happened anyway. Sometimes they’d put on some nicer clothes and head out to the Italian restaurant that was four blocks away and sometimes they’d just chill in front of the TV with home cooked food.

Tonight was one of those nights. Cas had had a long, arduous day at the office and hadn’t come home until half past six, an hour and a half after when he usually came home. He was tired and dumped himself on the sofa without even taking off his coat.

Dean had been cooking in the kitchen, singing along to the radio when he’d come home. Once everything was under control he went to go and say hello.

Getting to the lounge, he saw Cas on the sofa, hair mussed, coat on and arm hanging off the side.

“Hey, Cas,” Dean said, he perched himself on the arm of the chair by his head.

“No.” He huffed in response making Dean laugh.

He ran a hand through Cas’ hair. “Bad day at work?” He asked quietly as Cas’ eyes slid shut. He only received a sigh and a small nod.

“Why don’t you go and shower while I finish off dinner, we’ll have a lazy night in. Watch that film you bought the other day. Sound good?” Another nod from Cas. “Alright then, up and at ‘em, bud.” Dean chirped and helped Cas stand up from the sofa and shooed him off to the bathroom.

Dean served the plates of pasta bolognaise into two dishes and set them down on the kitchen counter just as Cas came out the bedroom.

Dean handed over a bowl to him and they both sat on the two-seated sofa and played the film Dean had already set up.

“Good?” He asked, he looked over to Cas who’d already inhaled half of his meal.

“Yes, thank you Dean.” He smiled and carried on eating, watching the film pass by with interest. Dean packed up the bowls and stacked them by the sink before returning to the couch. He sat sideways and let Cas sit against his chest.

Dean pressed his cheek against Cas’ slightly damp hair.

“I got some new shampoo.” Castiel commented.

“I noticed. It smells nice.” Dean breathed in the new scent and pressed a kiss into his dark hair. Cas hummed in content and pressed himself further into Dean who only held onto him tighter.

“It was coconut and shea butter. I initially picked it up by mistake, but it sounded kinda nice so I kept it.” Cas told him and turned his head so he could kiss Dean properly.

“You should buy it next time.” Dean said when they broke apart. Cas just smiled again.

Chapter Text

Boxes packed and tessellated in the back of the Novaks’ car, he was ready to go. Castiel was heading off to Nevada for university, studying medicine. He was looking forward to it without a doubt. He just wasn’t looking forward to leaving Dean. They’d been going out for the best part of two and a half years so they didn’t want to just drop their relationship and part ways. That wasn’t going to work for them.

Instead, they decided to try long distance with Dean visiting as often as he could with working at the garage.

Castiel grabbed his bag for the journey and chucked in into the back seat, turning to Dean who was stood awkwardly in the middle of the driveway.

“I’m going to miss you, Dean.” He said. He threw his arms around his boyfriend and held him tight, feeling Dean melt in his arms.

“I’m going to miss you too, Cas. I’ll text you and call you when I can.” He told him. There was an annoying inkling in his brain that he’d forget Castiel after a couple of months. That their relationship would just fizzle out. He told himself that he couldn’t forget Castiel whatsoever, who could forget those stunningly blue eyes and the messy untamed hair after all. He smiled into Castiel’s shoulder and brought his head up so he could meet eyes with him.

Castiel kissed him. Dean joined in fervently and they gripped each other tight never wanting to let go. One of Dean’s hands ended up in Castiel’s hair, carding through it surprising gently in comparison to the passionate kiss. Castiel pulled back and took a breath.

“I don’t want to ever let you go.”

“I know, but you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. I’ll see you soon. I’ll come up in a couple of weeks, you can show me around. Something like that. We’ll figure it out. We’ll manage.”

“Get Sam to set your skype up for you too, then we can video chat.” Castiel suggested. Dean nodded and pressed a feather touch of his lips back to Castiel’s.

“We’ve got this. Now, go and learn how to save lives.” Dean encouraged. He gave one last tight squeeze before letting go reluctantly and holding his boyfriend out at arm’s length.

The words teetered on the tip of his tongue. The words.

“Go.” Dean said simply instead and smiled at Castiel.

Just a couple of weeks and he’d take a week to drive to Nevada and see him.

The car started up and rumbled, Dean waved as it rolled off the drive and onto the main street they lived on.

“Bye, Dean!” Castiel yelled out the window just before he was too far away.

Chapter Text

If someone else asked him, Castiel would say that he hated Dean’s job. If Dean asked him, he’d tell him that it was fine, and his choice and it wasn’t up to him to choose for Dean. It was a common argument in their little apartment in Kansas City. It took a while for Dean to really understand why Castiel worried so much. Why he cared so much. Dean just wasn’t all that used to people caring.

Every morning before Dean’s fourteen hour shift Castiel would wake up with his boyfriend of three and a half years’ alarm at the ungodly hour of four thirty in the morning and stumbled half blind from sleep to the kitchen to make coffee. Dean would come out a short while later after grabbing a shower and his clothes.

He sported his Kansas City Fire Department t-shirt and jeans when he did come out. Dean kissed him as he reached the kitchen, taking the mug of coffee from Castiel’s hands and taking a sip before setting it on the counter.

“Morning, Cas.” He said quietly, pressing another warm kiss to Castiel’s forehead. The mornings always seemed to move slowly when it was this early.

“Morning, Dean,” Castiel replied, leaning into the touch of his boyfriend. He wrapped his arms around him.

Dean could tell that Cas was worried about him. It was a dangerous job, he couldn’t blame him. Dean took a deep breath and pulled away and began to pull on his boots.

“Be careful.” Castiel whispered as Dean headed out the door.

“Always am, Cas, I’ll be home before you know it.” Dean smiled and pressed a kiss to his lips. He reached the Impala, started her up and headed to work.

He’ll be safe. He’ll be okay. He always is. Castiel reminded himself as he shut the front door.

Chapter Text

Dean walks into the room just gone ten o’clock, tired after what felt like the longest day in history at work and then dinner with his brother. He sees his long term boyfriend already in bed, lights low and reading a book. It’s one Dean has already read and recommended to him a week ago. Castiel is already halfway through it.

Dean strips down to his boxers and slips underneath the cool covers without so much as a word to Cas as he knows how engrossed he gets. He smiles, he can see him mouthing the words on the page, his pinked lips moving ever so slightly but Dean feels like he could read the words off them if he wanted to. He’s beautiful like this, Dean has told him several times about the way his eyes look so much bluer in the low light.

Shuffling closer, Dean pokes his head through the gap between Cas’ arm and the book, resting on Cas’ stomach.

“Hey,” Dean says quietly and he earns a quick hand carding through his soft hair. He relishes the touch and presses a kiss to Cas’ wrist as it’s the only place he can reach without moving too much.

“Did you have a good day? You were home late.” Cas says distracted by the words on the page.

“Long. Dinner with Sam seemed to go on longer than expected though. I mean, it was fine, it was nice to catch up with him but I’m just tired.”

“We’ll have an early night then,” Cas suggests softly and he feels another hand card through his hair.

Dean hums a response as his eyelids droop close a little at the touch.

“One more chapter.” Cas announces more than asks.

“Those chapters are freakin’ long,” Dean slurs tiredly with a laugh. “Read quick,” He adds with another kiss to his wrist.

“Of course,” Cas says back with a chuckle.

Dean’s pretty sure he dozes off while Cas keeps on reading, at least until there’s a thump to his head.

When he looks up, Cas has fallen asleep and dropped the book. Huffing a laugh, he extricates himself from Cas and picks up the book. He smiles when he sees that he only managed two pages of the new chapter and places Castiel’s bookmark on the page before leaning over Cas to set the book on his nightstand.

“What time is it?” Cas croaks when he wakes up briefly.

“Only quarter to eleven; you fell asleep,” Dean tells him and shuffles back over towards his side of the bed and pulls Cas down with him.

Cas clicks of the light and turns over to the other side, pressing up behind Dean. He throws an arm over Dean’s waist and kisses the back of Dean’s neck.

“Goodnight,” Castiel says.

“Night, Cas.” Dean cranes his neck back and presses his lips to Cas’ in a quick kiss before settling down and closing his eyes.

Castiel sighs contentedly and presses closer into Dean as his breathing evens out and falls asleep.

Chapter Text

Dean was used to going home from his boyfriend’s house late in the evening. Cas’ parents wouldn’t permit him to stay the night. The Novaks didn’t have a problem with Dean per se but they were adamant that he could not stay the night, not even if he slept in the lounge. Cas had argued several times that he was a high school senior and didn’t need to be treated like a kid anymore when his parents had told him. Though they’d just retaliated by telling him he was lucky Dean was allowed round at all. It was at this point Dean had taken hold of his elbow in a silent just leave it.

They were both curled up on Castiel’s bed watching episode upon episode of Dr. Sexy, though Dean was more interested in pressing kisses to the side of Cas’ neck and jaw. He listened to Cas’ quiet hums of content as he did so, running a hand under his t-shirt and smoothing over Cas’ firm stomach.

Castiel was trying hard to keep up with the goings on in the episode while Dean carried out his ministrations.

A kiss behind Cas’ ear had him giggling and Dean let out a surprised gasp of delight.

“Oh! You’re ticklish there!” He said smirking and made sure to kiss him more in the same spot until Cas was squirming beside him and laughing loudly.

“Hey! That’s not fair!” Castiel laughed and curled himself up in a ball to escape his boyfriend’s relentless tickling. He took the moment that Dean stopped to uncurl and tackle Dean onto the bed. He knelt over him, knees bracketing Dean’s hips and hands by his head.

Cas cocked his head as he looked down at Dean, seeing his green eyes shining at him, wet with laughter tears. He still had a goofy looking grin on his face as he looked up breathing hard.

“You’re beautiful,” Cas commented easily, he saw how Dean’s cheeks heated at the compliment.

Before anymore words were spoken, Castiel poked Dean between his ribs causing him to jerk and let out a shout of protest before falling into a fit of laughter as Cas tickled him back. Prodding at his stomach and sides were the best places to get Dean laughing and squirming under him.

Eventually though, they tired and Castiel laid down on top of Dean. Dean looped his hands round Cas’ middle and pulled him close so they were face to face, feeling each others harsh breathing against one another. Cas planted several kisses to Dean’s wet face before grabbing a tissue off the nightstand and wiping his eyes.

Glancing at the clock, Cas saw it was nearly eleven o’clock, which meant that his mother would be knocking on the door soon and asking Dean to leave. Right now though, he didn’t want Dean to leave, ever. This moment was perfect, being this close to each other and not talking but still communicating in so many ways.

“Stay over.” Castiel decided.

“What? Won’t your parents get mad?” Dean knew they would, he’d seen the outcome once before when they’d first started dating in tenth grade.

“Probably, but not if they think you’re not here,” There was a sudden troublesome glint in Cas’ eye and Dean tried to work out what he was thinking.

“What’s the plan?” He asked sitting up and pushing Cas back to sitting on his heels.

“Go knock on Gabe’s door, hang out in there for a half hour and then when my parents come by in,” He took note of the time. “fifteen minutes you won’t be in here and you can stay the night,”

Dean couldn’t argue with that. He stepped off the bed and picked up his bag and shoes that he’d dropped off and headed for the door, giving Castiel one last smile before leaving.

Sure enough, fifteen minutes later there was a knock on the door.

“Castiel, your friend should go home now, it’s getting late.” His mother said and opened the door.

“He already went home, mom,” Castiel lied smoothly and smiled at her.

“Okay, honey.” She replied and shut the door on him.

*

Half an hour seemed to take forever to pass but soon his door opened and Dean returned.

“Castiel, you little rebel,” Dean winked at him and flashed him a goofy grin, the same wink and goofy smile he gave him the first day of tenth grade when they were asked to pick partners for that years main project.

“Come here,” Castiel said, beckoning him over to the bed. Dean dropped his things on the floor before stripping off his shirt and trousers and joining Castiel in his somewhat small but comfy bed.

 

Chapter Text

Dean has always been good with his hands, though not necessarily one for creativeness. Though with his boyfriend’s birthday just around the corner he’s stumped for ideas. He doesn’t want to buy him the run of the mill kind of thing – books, pen sets, dvds – he wants something special, different; something that would tell him something more than his own words would convey.

He rattles his younger brother’s brain for ideas too when he goes over for dinner one night.

“I don’t know, Dean, he’s your boyfriend.” Sam says with an exasperated sigh.

“I know he’s my boyfriend, but I was wondering if you had any ideas.” Dean counters. He huffs and throws himself face first onto the sofa of Sam’s student apartment.

“What sort of thing are you looking for? Books? Dvds?”

“Something different. It’s his twenty second birthday next Tuesday and I’ve got nothin’.” Dean states, lifting his head from the arm of the sofa.

“Why don’t you make him something? That’ll be different, unique even.” Jessica suggests coming into the room with three cups of coffee.

“That would be a great idea if I knew how to make things.” He sighs.

“You’ll think of something. Use the workshop at the garage, I’m sure Bobby won’t mind if you spend a couple of hours there after work.” Sam adds in.

Dean twists over onto his back and thinks about it, it’s not actually a bad idea and he’s already got a plan in his head; he only hopes that the end result looks as good as the idea in his mind.

“Huh… That’s actually not a bad idea,” Dean stands up, takes the coffee from Jessica and gives her an awkward hug in thanks.

“You’re welcome,” Jessica laughs.

*

Over the next few days, Dean spends his time trying to draw up what he wants Cas’ gift to look like. There’s a movie style pile of crumpled paper sitting next to him on the desk. Eventually, though, he’s designed and labelled up a simple drawing, telling himself he can iron out the details when it comes to it.

Knocking on Bobby’s office door one evening just before clock out he asks to stay on for a little while to get some of his project done in the workshop. That’s the bonus of working in a car garage.

Bunny laughs at the fact he thought he even needed to ask and shops him away to work on what he’s got.

He finds the scraps of what he needs from pieces of old car that they’ve replaced in the past but haven’t had chance to throw away yet and begins.

Four days later, it’s nearly done. He asks Garth, who is their expert paint sprayer for advice on painting the small, delicate object.

Painting it seems to take ages, going through taping it up in the right places and then letting it dry. Adding detail with the tiniest looking paintbrush Dean has ever seen.

He’s completely floored by the end result, it’s turned out twenty times better than his original thought and he’s even got an idea of something to go with it.

*

Tuesday rolls round quickly and he’s grateful that this is one of the mornings where Cas doesn’t have to go to class until the afternoon and Bobby let him take the day off work too.

“Happy Birthday, Cas.” Dean mumbles when he sees Cas open his beautifully blue eyes.

“Thank you,” He smiles.

“I’m going to make you some coffee and then I’m giving you your present.” Dean announces and throws the covers back with more gusto that necessary at that time in the morning.

When he comes back upstairs he hands an envelope over to Cas and he’s into it before Dean has got back under the warmth. He pulls out a goofy birthday card which has Cas chuckling quietly to himself.

“I made this for you.” Dean tells him as he passes a small box to him. He watches as Cas narrows his eyes as if trying to see through the box. He opens it up.

“I love it, Dean!” He grins, taking the small, handcrafted bee from the box and looking at it closely. The welded together body, neatly painted; wings made from tiny copper wire intertwined with each other. It beautiful and perfect.

Dean smiles and is suddenly engulfed in a tight hug. “I’m really glad you like it,” He says.

Chapter Text

Cas stood at the front of the classroom, with the teacher standing so close he could smell her oversweet perfume. It was his first day at Lawrence High School and all he wanted was to sit down and disappear like everyone else. The teacher, however, was keen to introduce him.

“This is Castiel, everyone. Make sure you give him a nice warm welcome into our class. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?” She prompted. The last thing he wanted to do was tell everyone about him, but he looked out at the sea of bored, early morning faces anyway.

“I moved here from Pontiac, Illinois. I dunno – I like reading.” He told them, he eyed the teacher quickly and moved away to sit down.

Dumping his schoolbag on the floor next to him he grabbed out new school books, the maths text book and his water bottle. He dug around for his pencil case – which was non-existent.

Cas sighed and listened as the teacher began their lesson, nattering on about polynomials and differentiation. He looked nonchalantly to his surroundings to see if anyone around him had a pen he could borrow.

A dark haired girl to his right had a pencil case full, he notice. “Hey, um, could I borrow a pen?”

She outright ignore him at first, so he asked again, to which she turned to him and shook her head. Ugh.

His day only brightened when the boy in front of him, with dark blond hair leant back on his chair with a pen in his hand.

“You can borrow mine.” He said, voice cheerful and bright. He went back down on four legs, only to turn around to smile at him.

Shit. He had the greenest eyes and the most blinding smile.

“Tha – thank you, uh…” He faltered, not knowing the freckle-face boy’s name.

“Dean. Name’s Dean.” He winked at him, making Castiel blush. Cas looked down at the pen, black with cartoon ghosts dotted on it like a novelty Halloween pen, even though it was February.

He also noticed a slice of paper trapped in the slightly chewed pen lid and pulled it out. A number. Dean’s number. Dean gave him his number. Dean wanted him to text him. He smiled to himself before tuning back into what their teacher was saying.

Chapter Text

Castiel was already nodding off in the passenger seat, head resting against his balled up trenchcoat. It was getting late and they should probably stop some point soon. Dean took a breath, checking the distance for upcoming signs that they might be a motel or somewhere to sleep.

There was nothing for the next twenty miles so Dean pulled the Impala off the back road and into a small layby at the side of the road. The rumble of tyres against loose ground woke Cas up.

“Hey, we’re stopping for the night.” Dean announced to his bleary eyed friend.

“Where are we?” Cas grumbled, looking out the window and only seeing silhouettes of trees and a somewhat never ending road.

“Some back road somewhere. I don’t know, not looked at the map for a while but I know for a fact that I’m tired and you’re not driving my car.” Dean explained.

“This is literally the beginning of every crime drama, Dean. Are you sure there’s no hotel nearby?” Cas’ voice was laced with tiredness even as he complained.

“I’m sure. Just a couple of hours, Cas, promise.”

Dean opened his car door and shone his phone torch on the ground as he made his way to the Impala’s trunk. Opening it up, he grabbed a bottle of water and tossed it into the back seat.

Without much more conversation, Dean downed half the bottle of water before passing it wordlessly to Cas who seemed partially offended by the item he’d been given. It wasn’t like they hadn’t shared things before, they spent most of their high school days sharing everything. Dean put it down to Cas being grouchy when he was tired.

“Dude, just drink it, or grab a fresh one from the trunk.” Dean said, smirking. Cas gave him an intense glare, something Dean had become immune to over the years, but took the bottle anyway and sipped at it carefully.

Dean pulled off his shirt leaving him just in his old Zeppelin undershirt and settled himself down in the front seat of the Impala, shirt balled up behind his head for a little comfort.

There seemed to be endless rustling in the back though, Dean rolled his eyes behind closed eye lids.

“Cas, go to sleep.” He told him simply.

“How do you sleep in this?” He groused. Dean snorted, Cas was definitely not a seasoned car sleeper. He hadn’t grown up on the road like Dean and his family had.

“First of all, baby is not a ‘this’; secondly just lay down and sleep, man.” There was a huff and it went quiet for a while so Dean relaxed and waited for sleep to succumb him.

“Ouch!” Cas hissed. Dean woke up instantly and sat up looking over the front bench seat to where Cas had a frown on his face. His trenchcoat was partially covering him and a jumper was stuffed where his head should go.

“What are you even doing, Cas?” Dean asked.

“The button hit me in the eye.” Cas sighed, rubbing the soreness carefully.

Dean scooted along the seat and opened the door letting in cool air from the outside. Opening the back door he stepped in. “C’mon, there’s enough room for both of us.” Dean told him, peeling the coat off him and folding it and setting it in the foot well.

Cas seemed confused before Dean lay down next to him on the wide bench seat, tucking a leg in between Cas’ and wrapping his arms around him. For a moment, Dean expected it to be awkward, they’d never really done this before. He’d loved the guy for years and never said anything, this was the least he could do.

Cas’ head came to rest on Dean’s chest and Dean pressed his head against the top of Cas’. “Just go to sleep, Cas.”

Cas mumbled something and Dean couldn’t really make it out, he just lay with Cas in his arms and eventually his eyes began to droop and he fell asleep to the sound of Cas’ even breathing.

Chapter Text

Cas stares a lot, though Dean doesn’t let it bother him like it used to. It’s no longer distracting as Dean curls up in the corner of the couch, book resting against his knees. Cas’ cold feet are tucked under his butt, warming them up as the dark haired man thumbs the pages of his own book, long forgotten and hardly read.

Dean looks to Cas when he finishes the chapter and sees that look on his face, the one that has his head tilting and his eyes squinting, with that small smile playing on his lips.

Dean smiles at him and a deep blush rises on Cas’ cheeks and Dean chuckles. It’s not often that he can make the other man blush so hard, but he’s been caught staring intently.

“What are you thinking about?” Dean asks him, he kinda knows the answer already but, honestly, he just wants to hear Cas speak.

“I was just thinking about you.” He tells him and Dean feels his stomach flip and his cheeks heat. “You mouth the words when you read, you know, and it’s sweet when you smile too.”

Dean ducks his head in embarrassment. Cas sets his book down on the side table before scooting over and resting between Dean’s legs, back against his chest. The rest of Cas is warm, it’s normally just his hands and feet that are cold, not that Dean minds, because it means there’s more hand holding. Dean will, of course, pass it off as keeping his hands warm, but they both know better.

Dean places his own book on the couch and wraps his arms around Cas and takes hold of his cool hands. “Your hands are cold again.” He tells him quietly, rubbing warming circles into the backs of Cas’ hands. He feels Cas sigh and realises that may not have been the best thing to say, Cas knows his hands are always cold.

“I know,” Cas huffs, pressing his head into Dean’s shoulder and neck.

“I’ll keep ‘em warm for you,” Dean replied, smiling against Cas’ cheek and covering Cas’ hands with his own. They’ll stay like that for hours until one of them gets hungry, Cas will probably drift off to sleep in Dean’s embrace because, as he’s told him a hundred times, he’s softer than his pillow. Dean will always laugh at that, press kisses into the back of Cas’ neck and the shell of his ear.

Chapter Text

Cas sat on the bed, several ties draped over his arms and holding one up to his neck before shaking his head and returning it to the pile. This was useless. He had seventeen ties and he didn’t want to wear any of them to Sam and Jess’ wedding reception. He huffed and looked utterly dejected as Dean came into the room.

“That’s one hell of a look,” Dean commented, seeing Cas’ look of despair and his collection of ties strewn across the bed.

“I don’t know which one to wear.” He explained, tilting his head as an inclination that Dean should choose.

Dean sat down next to him, rifling through the ties before picking out a silky, dark blue one. “This one.”

He held it up to Cas’ chest, a smile on his face. Cas still seemed unsure but Dean stood up, before taking Cas’ hand and pulling him up and guiding him to stand in front of their full length mirror.

Dean stood behind Cas, his chest to Cas’ back and began to tie his tie for him. The entire time, Dean had a smile that opposed the grumpy look on Cas’ face.

“There,” Dean said and dropped his hands to loop round Cas’ stomach before pressing a soft kiss to the back of Cas’ neck which made the man shiver and close his eyes.

Castiel turned round in Dean’s arms and opened his eyes to meet Dean’s green ones, stomach fluttering and seeing him like it was the first time all over again. He kissed Dean back, lips meshing together like they were made to fit together. Dean pulled back, keeping his hands on Castiel’s waist as he kneaded the softening flesh there.

“It brings out your eyes, you know,” Dean winked and chuckled lightly as Cas’ cheeks reddened from the compliment, Dean told him things like that all the time, yet the blushing never seemed to cease and Dean seemed to enjoy watching the flush reach his ears. “C’mon, before we’re late.”

Another set of kisses were traded and Dean took Castiel’s hand and led him out the door to the Impala. Castiel gazed at Dean the entire way there, just seeing, watching, how beautiful Dean was to him. He was just so damn lucky to have him.

Chapter Text

Cas’ feet were always cold, even sat in front of the raging open fire in his living room, homework resting on his lap. His best friend (and maybe more) sat on the opposite side with his sketch book and pencils, drawing rapidly.

Cas curled and uncurled his toes in his fluffy socks but they wouldn’t warm up. Going upstairs for another pair of socks would just be effort and he was well into his English essay. Instead, he shuffled his cold feet under Dean’s butt.

Dean didn’t react, just shuffled so Cas’ icy feet were tucked under him. Cas did that often and Dean never minded that his butt warmth kept Cas’ feet warm. He was his best friend after all, and what were friends for.

A small buzz formed in Cas’ stomach, growing stronger the longer he left his feet there and he suddenly felt guilty. It was cold enough, he doubted Dean wanted his cold feet on him. He should just go and get a second pair of socks.

He sighed quietly, pulling his feet back and wiggling his toes to get the blood flowing again.

“Cas?” Dean looked up, a small frown on his face, pencil hovering mid-air.

“I’m sorry, I’ll just go get a pair of sock.” Castiel made to move but Dean grabbed hold of his hoodie before he could go anywhere, a small smile creeping on his face.

“Come ‘ere,” He beckoned Cas over, who looked sheepish. “It doesn’t bother me. You and your cold feet. I’m happy to keep ‘em warm for you.” Dean explained, pulling Cas down to sit next to him.

Cas’ English assignment was left on the other side as Cas curled up into Dean’s side, feet tucked under Dean’s thigh and feeling the warmth slowly seeping through. He could feel the heat making him sleepy as the sound of Dean’s pencil scratching over the surface of his sketchbook lulled him into a doze.

Dean looked over at Cas as he felt the weight on his shoulder get heavier as Cas relaxed in his sleep. He was sweet like this, face calm and smooth, his hair sticking up in all directions, no matter how hard he tried to tame it. Dean had even tried to tame it once before with gel and hairspray and the best he could do was a half-ass Mohican which had them both on the bathroom floor laughing until they thought they were going to piss themselves. The memory made him smile and he turned the page in his sketchbook and outlined the memory of Cas with a Mohican, chuckling lightly.

Without really thinking, he turned and pressed a kiss to Cas’ temple and only realised what he’d done when Cas opened his eyes to look at Dean with a sleepy smile on his face.

Then lips were on his, sloppy and awkward, but they were Cas’ lips and that made it all okay. Dean pulled away, not wanting to have their first kiss forgotten because CAs was half asleep. “Go back to sleep,” Dean whispered in Cas’ ear who nodded and landed his head back on Dean’s bony shoulder, quickly nodding off again. They’d make up for it later, talk about it – or just go about their lives as they usually did with the new title of ‘boyfriends’ in their minds.

Dean finished outlining and took hold of Cas’ cool fingers after he’d set down his book and rubbed small, warming curcles into the backs on them, earning a quiet mumble of approval from Cas. This was definitely a good night. Roaring fire, Cas by his side, best friend, no – boyfriend, by his side. That was all Dean needed.

Chapter Text

Castiel couldn’t breathe through all of the chaos. He’d already lost one baby that day and another wasn’t getting any better. He hated how it made him question his career choice. He loved paediatrics and he would never think of doing anything different, but today just wasn’t okay, it was too close to home.

Castiel left the room and wandered through the halls aimlessly even though there were probably patients he should be seeing, parents he should be informing and paperwork to be completed.

“Hey, Cas!” Dean called from the opposite end of the hall. Castiel didn’t look up and instead took a right down another hallway towards the staircase.

A firm hand on his shoulder startled him and spun him round. Dean had caught up with him. He wasn’t in the mood for talking though. Biting tears pricked the back of his eyes and a lump formed in his throat as he saw the concerned look on Dean’s face. He was a good friend. He was his best friend.

“Cas? C’mon, man, look at me. Whatever happened is gonna be okay?” Dean soothed, but it didn’t help. It wasn’t going to be okay.

“You think that leaving parents childless after just two weeks is going to be okay. They were good people, Dean. They didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that.” The tears broke free and ran down his face and once they started they wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t going to be okay. It would never be okay. “I didn’t deserve that…” He added with a whisper.

“Hey, hey, take a deep breath, you’re okay.” Dean pulled Cas into a tight hug, one hand on the back of his head, pulling it towards his shoulder, the other running soothing lines up and down his back. Castiel let out a loud sob before he stuffed his fist in his mouth to silence himself.

Dean pulled away, a small smile on his face that didn’t cover the concern in his eyes. Cas could see he was thinking but didn’t have time to ask what before Dean had taken hold of his hand and was dragging him towards the stairwell door.

“Where are we going?” Castiel asked as he navigated two, then three flights of stairs still attached to Dean.

He didn’t get an answer from Dean and looked at him quizzically as they entered through the basement door. He’d never been to this part of the hospital before.

“In here, don’t worry, you’ll like it.” Dean said quietly, opening a door and leading Castiel inside. It was a peculiar place, large pipes and vents and not much else. Dean took hold of both his hands and pulled him over to him. He had a smirk on his face which Cas couldn’t figure out. “Just wait.” He smiled. “Waaaait for it…”

Castiel stared at Dean for what seemed like an age. He’d never really looked at him properly before and all of a sudden he seemed a whole lot more handsome, his green eyes seem to reflect the fractions of light and bounce of his freckles.

There was a whoosh and Dean grinned, hands slipping down to Castiel’s waist as the air return blew cool up from the vent beneath their feet.

“Oh! Ohh!” Castiel yelped. The air felt purifying. Castiel grinned without even thinking about it. A strange sound erupted from his throat, a mixture of a laugh and a sob but it soon turned to laughter as the air wafted his scrubs. He could forget everything this way. It was peaceful.

The air stopped and Castiel was still reeling from it several moments afterwards, an echo of a grin still on his face.

“That’s amazing!”

“I know, it’s the vent, it clears your head.”

The vent started up again and Castiel laughed. “It feels good.” Castiel decided.

“Anything can happen in the vent.” Dean said over the noise of the vent.

Cas looked up at Dean, they were standing close -too close, not that Castiel minded. “Anything?” He queried.

“Anything.”

“Like what?” Castiel pressed, innocently.

“Just wait.” The vent started up once again and Castiel looked up to the ceiling where the fan was spinning slowly. He felt Dean’s hands tighten on his waist and he was pulled closer. He looked back at Dean whose expression was soft. Dean dipped his head forward and pressed his lips to Castiel’s.

Dean lips were warm and soft and he kissed Dean back, letting his hands rest on Dean’s hips. This was purifying too.

He never wanted to forget, he just didn’t want to remember right now and kissing Dean over the vent seemed to be serving the purpose well. He pulled away, leaving his arms wrapped around Dean and taking a breath. Dean pulled him in for another hug, tight and all-consuming and welcomed. If only he could stay here forever.

 

Chapter Text

Cas was usually grumpy in the mornings, but nothing could compare it to that morning. The one where Cas shuffled into the kitchen, nose red and tissues spilling out of his hands.

“I hate everything.” He grumbled.

“Good morning to you too, sunshine.” Dean quipped from behind his coffee cup.

In return, Dean only received a glare that could smite a hundred people – if Cas were still an angel anyway.

Cas had caught a cold and had been suffering for the past few days but today seemed to be the peak of it.

“Everything hurts, Dean. Is being human supposed to hurt this much?” Dean pursed his lips at Castiel’s words.

No doubt he was achy and out of breath, sore-nosed and sniffly, Dean wasn’t fond on the common cold either.

“It’s just a cold, Cas. It’ll clear up soon.” Dean told him, he filled the kettle and set it to boil before pulling out a cold and flu drink that was sure to help relive him of some of his symptoms.

Soon enough water was boiled and the smell of eucalyptus and blackcurrant filled the small kitchen. He set the steaming mug in front of Castiel and squeezed his shoulder.

“Here, drink this. You’ll you feel better.” He pressed a kiss to Castiel’s temple making a small smile form on Castiel’s lips as he took a tentative sip and breathed in the steam.

“Thank you, Dean.”

Castiel drained his cold and flu drink as soon as it was deemed cool enough to be drinkable and smiled. Already he could breathe better through his nose and wasn’t sneezing every five seconds. His was still achy and felt cold despite the warm clothing he had on.

“Go sit on the couch, we’ll watch a movie.” Dean told him, holding out his hand for Cas to take.

Cas nodded and stood up, letting himself be led by Dean wards their movie room and landed heavily on the couch, joints aching until he found a suitable position.

Dean joined him again moments later, large blanket in hand and an orange.

“Don’t tell Sam, but this blanket is the best thing in this bunker – apart from you of course.”

Castiel blushed a little and Dean sat down on the couch, pulling Cas against him and curling the blanket around them.

The movie started, some old western, and Castiel sighed into Dean’s chest. Dean’s arm tightened around him and they both settled into the film.

Despite still being morning, Cas dropped off to sleep again and Dean could hear Cas’ breath rattle a little in his chest. He was warming up though, which was a good thing. It wasn’t the best start into being human but he’d get Cas through his cold and hopefully back on his feet and possibly hunting again soon before they knew it.

Chapter Text

Something was up with Castiel. Dean had noticed it ever since they put their kids to bed. He was quiet and forlorn looking and it was frankly troubling. Castiel was a thoughtful man, he knew that, they’d been together for over eight years now.

Once Castiel sat on the couch, seemingly as far from Dean as possible Dean thought maybe he’d done something wrong. It was confusing to say the least.

Dean poked Cas with his toe before starting. “Hey, Cas?” Dean signed. He flipped the remote in his hand slowly as he awaited Castiel’s answer.

Castiel didn’t answer for a while, as if he were lost in space. Eventually, he turned his head again, still partly looking lost. “Yes, Dean?” his features softened slightly, making him look more relax, less tense and lost in thought.

Are you okay?” Dean reached out his hand and laced it over Castiel’s. It was warm, and after a moment, curled around his own.

“I’m okay.” He replied, using his voice. Just okay, not good or great or anything, just okay. “Why do you ask?

The question was odd, Dean frequently asked how Cas was feeling and how his day at work had been and Castiel never questioned his motives.

No reason,” Dean decided. He hated being pushed for his own thoughts, he wasn’t about to force them out of Cas. Instead, Dean pulled Castiel closer and let him lie against his chest, the TV was on mute with just the subtitles, though neither of them were watching it.

Cas picked up Dean’s hand and traced patterns over the tanned skin, prodding each freckle with a tender gentleness that made Dean smile sadly. This was the sort of thing Cas did when he was worried about something. He pressed a kiss to Cas’ temple as they relaxed and they slowly tuned into the nature program that was showing. They were Cas’ favourite, he doesn’t really need to hear what was being said and he could focus on the beautiful sceneries and animals darting across the screen.

At some point, Cas released Dean’s hands with a sigh and sat up before facing Dean. The way he looked at Dean like he was going to say something groundbreakingly important set Dean on edge a little.

I want to get the cochlear implant.” He signed, hands moving fast as if he was hoping Dean wouldn’t catch on.

Dean nodded in agreement, it would be Cas’ decision either way and he told him that.

I want to hear our children tell stories and learn to read and laugh. God, I want to hear you laugh too.” Cas was smiling now, his previous anxiety dissipating once he knew Dean was on board with his idea.

That’s great, Cas. That…” Dean’s hands fumbled a little as he struggled to show the right word. Instead of that he pulls Cas in hard towards him, crushing him in an all-encompassing hug.

Eventually, Cas pulled away gently, eyes wet and Dean thumbed away the tears. “I don’t know if I qualify yet, but research suggests that I can.

You do what you want to do, Cas; whatever makes you happy, okay?” Dean smiled brightly.

Okay.

Chapter Text

The last time Castiel had seen Dean was midnight the day he left.

Stolen kisses in Castiel’s unlit bedroom, frenzied hands not wanting to let go. Castiel could still feel Dean’s hands on his bare hips underneath one of Dean’s t-shirt he’d borrowed. It no longer fit but he kept it in a drawer for safe keeping anyway.

It had been seven years. He never expected to see Dean standing in front of him once again.

It was like looking at a ghost. Dean was very much the same but different too. He was older, of course, and had a small scruff on his face and lines across his brow. His eyes were still a beautiful green but they looked tired. There was a scar on his forehead that look particularly nasty.

They stood several meters apart, seemingly unable to move towards each other. Silence engulfed them.

Castiel’s heart was beating fast as he long to run to Dean. He’d spent the last seven years wishing Dean would come back and now he had. It was obvious his brain was having a hard time coping with it.

Finally, he moved towards Dean slowly. He wondered what Dean had been up to the past seven years, if he even cared for him any longer. He’s here, so maybe. Dean had come back and he’d come back to see Cas or perhaps he’d just come to announce he had someone else. Dean wouldn’t do that, he’s not like that. Then, people change.

Castiel’s stomach ached. His gut twisted in ways he never thought possible, the excitement he’d felt when he first saw Dean’s face now twisted into agony.

They were mere inches apart, neither of them said a word but Castiel wanted to.

“Did... did you get my letter?” Castiel asked, voice barely above a whisper. He’d slipped it into Dean backpack as he left.

Dean nodded. “I came back. Just like you asked.”

I love you, Dean Winchester. Please come back.

It was the bottom line of the letter, the rest of it waxing poetic about Dean and some select memories.

Dean’s hand moved towards his back pocket and he pulled out the sheet of paper. Castiel watched his hands as he unfolded the letter, delicate from the years. The coffee mug stain was still there albeit faded. The paper was dirty, especially at the creases and there were a few greasy thumbprints of the back.

“You kept it?”

“Couldn’t get rid of it.” Dean’s eyes softened and suddenly, Castiel was embraced in a warm hug. If he wasn’t so tense, he’d have melted into Dean the moment he touched him. “I’ve been waiting to come back for a very long time.” The words were muffled into Cas’ shoulder.

Castiel didn’t really understand what that meant. Why hadn’t Dean contacted him?

Dean pulled away and looked at Castiel “Dad died three years ago. Sam went to Stanford. I had a job over in Palo Alto for a bit but Sam was doing okay on his own, ya know – he’s got a fiancé now. I was thinking maybe I wasn’t staying around for Sam anymore and maybe I was staying around just because I was putting this off. Shouldn’t have though.”

“I’m sorry about your dad,” Cas replied quietly not sure how to respond to his last comment.

“Yeah, me too. Eighteen-wheeler hit us on the freeway.”

“You were in the car!?” Cas said with concern and then he remembered the scar on Dean’s forehead.

“Yeah, I’m not convinced dad even had a chance. He was conscious when we got to the hospital but it all went downhill from there. I woke up from surgery to Sam telling me dad was gone.” Dean’s eyes were a little misty so Cas pulled him in again.

“Seems we have a lot to catch up on. Coffee?”

Dean smiled. Castiel remembered that smile like the last time he had seen it was yesterday. “Yeah, that’d be great.”

“Black? No sugar, no creamer, no nothing that makes it taste good?” the words rolled off his tongue with ease and suddenly it felt as if Dean had never left. There was still a gap in his heart but he hoped Dean would stay long enough to fill it again.

Dean laughed loudly. “Don’t ever change, Cas.” Dean said, grin big and eyes crinkling in the corners.

I won’t as long as you’re with me.

“Hey, Cas?” Cas turned and paused on his way to the kitchen. “I still love you, if that’s okay.”

“I meant what I said in the letter, Dean. I never stopped loving you.”

Chapter Text

Castiel rested his head against the kitchen table with a long, strained sigh as the front door slammed closed. He knew Dean would be heading off to The Roadhouse to let off some steam. He wouldn’t drink, Castiel knew that as Dean had been sober for the past eighteen months and would probably sit in Ellen’s back office until she scorned at him enough to come back home. Castiel wished he’d never left. He wished they could hash things out like normal people rather than not talking to each other and just offering themselves to each other to reconnect.

Eventually, head aching from feeling so tense, Castiel got up. He rifled mechanically through the kitchen cupboards, pulling out ingredients to make something. He needed to do something with himself or he’ll drive himself crazy worrying over Dean. They may have argued but that didn’t mean Castiel stopped worrying over Dean.

He peeled apples and set them in a pan to boil with sugar and water and a cinnamon stick before sifting flour into Dean’s favourite mixing bowl with butter, salt and water. Kneading the dough was relaxing. Simple and mind numbing and he could feel the tension release as he baked. Laying the pastry into a tin, he blind baked it before adding the apples. Baking it with the lid on top for the final time, Castiel relaxed and a small smile graced his face as he could smell it permeating the air.

The timer beeped and he pulled the bubbling apple pie from the oven and set it upon the kitchen table. Returning to his seat Castiel stared at the steaming pie as it almost mocked him from where it sat. Of course, he’d made Dean’s favourite. Scowling at the innocent pie, Castiel didn’t even realise he’d dozed off, head resting on his crossed arms.

*

When Dean got back from The Roadhouse, he was exhausted, mentally and physically. He’d begged Ellen for a job to do but when she’d told him to sit in her office to cool off he’d ignored her. Instead, he let the college kid take a break and took over as dishwasher.

It was methodical and he was able to lose himself in the simple motions. If the kid sat on the chair in the corner was chatting to him, he wasn’t listening. He was thinking of every bad thing he’d said earlier that night and it ate at him.

A cuff around the back of his head by Ellen and a quick-footed teenager taking his place back had him heading home after several hours. It was dark and cold by then so opening the front door to the warming smell of apple pie was absolute heaven. Any normal circumstance he’d forget everything he wanted to say and dive right in except he spotted Castiel hunched over the kitchen table with the pie on a trivet in front of him. He was asleep and Dean knew that Castiel couldn’t be comfortable in his current position.

“Hey, Cas?” He said quietly, shaking his shoulders and pressing a light kiss to the top of his head. “Cas? Wake up…”

There was a grumble before Castiel sat up with a groan and was rubbing his neck. “ow…”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Dean said.

“Dean? When did you get back?” Sleep was still curling around Castiel’s voice and it made it more gravelly than usual.

“Not long ago,” Dean told him. Dean reached out his hand for Castiel’s and the other man took it quietly. “How about we go to bed, huh?”

“Yeah, oh… I… um… I made your favourite,”

“Thank you, I love you, Cas, you know that. Not just because you make the best damn pie in the universe but I really love you, okay…”

Castiel just nodded tiredly. Dean knew they needed to talk, knew that Castiel would want to talk, but neither of them were in much of a state to do so. They’d talk in the morning – and eat pie (for breakfast because that’s just the sort of thing Dean likes to do, especially when it tastes as good as Castiel’s).

Chapter Text

It was unexpected. That’s what threw Castiel off the most. One minute they’d been standing and waiting for the last train back to Kansas University, and the next, Dean was close to him. Too close.

Personal space, Cas, rang through his head as he held Dean at arms distance and kept his eyes to the concrete floor. Heart beating, everything moving faster than it should be, Castiel felt off. It wasn’t Dean by a long shot, if he took a moment to think, this was everything he ever wanted since Dean sauntered into his dorm room. His duffle bag slung over his shoulder, red plaid shirt, worn jeans and a Led Zeppelin shirt. Yes, he remembered. He wouldn’t ever forget.

“Dean,” Cas breathed. Dean paused before resting his forehead against Cas’. He didn’t say anything. Maybe he didn’t know what to say or was waiting for Cas to carry on. “I… just…” Cas didn’t know what to say either. Just something, something, made him stop. It wasn’t the public place, hell, they were the only ones here.

Castiel closed his eyes and sighed. He felt Dean pull away and knew he was looking at him with that look. The one where his eyes look greener than ever and he looks so concerned. Castiel tries to explain but he can’t even begin, he can’t even look at Dean.

A finger pulled his chin up but he kept his eyes closed. He didn’t want to see his face. Dean’s face was beautiful; freckles dancing across his nose and cheekbones, eyes greener than the greenest grass, smile as sweet as maple syrup. “Dean, I want… I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, Cas. If you want, I’ll still be here when you’re ready. I promise.” Dean’s quietly spoken voice soothed Cas to the core. He opened his eyes and as expected, Dean’s face was laced with concern.

“I don’t know how to do this…” Castiel admitted.

“Neither do I, who does?” Dean reassured, gentle smile gracing his face. Hands fell to his arms and gripped them comfortingly.

The station master announced that their train was arriving so they stood back from each other ready to board.

Castiel couldn’t get Dean’s words out of his head. Castiel wanted to kiss Dean, do everything with Dean and he knew it was only himself and his anxieties that were holding him back. Knowing Dean would wait for him though, that meant everything to him. It also made him feel a little guilty; what if there was someone else who was perfect for Dean but they didn’t get the chance because Dean was waiting for Castiel?

The train came to a stop in front of them and Castiel shuffled his messenger bag on his shoulder before following Dean on board. There were plenty of seats available but they sat next to each other anyway, shoulder to shoulder.

“Whatever you’re thinking, Cas, it’s okay, yanno. I wouldn’t have offered to wait if I didn’t think there was anything between us. I’ve seen the way you look at me, okay.” Dean chuckled before adding, “You’re not that subtle.”

“Meg said the same thing to me several weeks ago.” Castiel muttered quietly before yawning. The rhythmic sound of the tracks beneath the wheels and the late hour are sending him off to sleep. Slowly, heart pounding and brain stuttering Castiel edged his hand to where Dean’s rested on his lap. He entwined their fingers, Dean being patient as Castiel did so, and breathed out a sigh of emotional relief. He pressed his head back into the headrest before closing his eyes.

Their stop was less than ten minutes away but that’s all Castiel needed right now.