I’m half-asleep on Bobby’s old couch, my nose buried in a dog-eared issue of Hustler when the familiar, loud-as-hell flutter of wings scares the crap out of me. “Son of a bitch! Can’t you use the front door like everyone else?”
I look up to see Cas with a...forlorn--God, that’s such a Sam word--look on his face. He’s holding a square white box, and I’m really hoping there’s not some freaky angel crap in there. “My apologies. I didn’t mean to startle you, but I wanted to give you this.” He sets the box down on the coffee table, flipping the lid open with nimble fingers to reveal a cake.
I start to wonder why--though sometimes I’m past the point of wondering why Cas does anything--until I remember that today’s my birthday. Birthdays in my family have never been a huge event; you spend a lifetime fighting demons and there’s no such thing as a happy birthday. Over the years, Sam’s learned not to make a fuss over it.
“Making a fuss over it” seems to be Cas’ bread and butter, because there’s blue and green icing balloons all over the cake, whipped cream, cherries, and “Happy Birthday Dean” scrawled in messy red icing.
“How did you know?” I ask, but it comes out a little rougher than I intend.
Cas sort of shrinks back a bit. “I overheard Sam mention it this morning.” I almost ask him how, but then I remember: right, angel thing. “I believe it is a human custom to present one with a dessert on their day of birth, is it not?”
Every now and then, he’ll do something that squeezes my heart and makes it hard to breathe. “I hope you didn’t spend too much.”
“I didn’t. I made it myself.” His piercing blue eyes light up with pride.
The mental image of Cas baking a freakin’ cake makes me laugh out loud. C’mon, you try imagining an all-powerful angel wearing an apron and oven mitts and try not to crack up. It can’t be done.
“You’re laughing,” he says, his gravelly monotone pinched with a hint of chagrin. “Why are you laughing?”
“Nothin’, man. Just the thought of you cooking something... It’s kinda funny.”
He tilts his head in that familiar way of his. “I don’t see the humor.”
“Yeah, of course you don’t,” I mumble. “So, uh, not for nothin’, Cas, but you know I’m more of a pie guy, right?”
His shoulders slump and he looks away, and in that one moment I’ve never seen him look so hurt, so human. His eyes are wounded, lost, and I want nothing more than to smooth away the little worried V on his brow. All my little quirks are well-known to Sam and Bobby, but Cas is new to my likes and dislikes. Hell, he’s new to walking the freakin’ planet. I should cut him some slack.
“I--I mean, I’m sure it’s great,” I say in a poor attempt to fix whatever I’d broken. “C’mon, let’s dig in.” He grants me a small yet brilliant smile, still too embarrassed to look at me, and I feel a bit of pride in being able to pull such joy out of him.
Wait, do angels even eat? Well, there was that one time Famine came around and Cas couldn’t stop shoving White Castles down his throat, so I guess angels can eat, they just...don’t.
I’m really overthinking this.
“Wow, Cas, this is great!” I exclaim around a mouthful of cake, almost in disbelief that it’s overthrown pie on my list of things almost as good as sex.
“Y--you think so?” I like the way his voice sounds when he’s surprised.
“Yeah, I didn’t know you knew how to cook--” I look over at him and--oh, fuck me, there’s a little blob of icing on his cheek, perfectly placed by the corner of his mouth, and oh God it reminds me of something else I’d like to see on his face and--whoa, suddenly I’m turned on. Quick, think of Crowley naked in a hot tub. Fuck, it’s not working!
I can’t stop staring at his perfect fucking face and that glob of icing just begging me to lick it away. His voice breaks my focus: “What are you looking at, Dean?”
“Uh, you, uh, got some icing there.” I try to gesture appropriately, but Cas just looks at me like I’m insane, and maybe I am, because the next thing I know my hands are grabbing his face, pulling him closer as my mouth finds his, breaking away momentarily to taste the sweetness by his cheek. He doesn’t shove me away or smite me or anything like that, just moans into my mouth while my fingers tangle in his hair and my lips glide effortlessly over his. His mouth is sweet with sugar, his stubble rough against my chin, and I don’t care because I’m kissing him, and he’s letting me kiss him, and for a brief moment there’s no demons, no apocalypse, no hunting, just...this.
I tear myself away, reluctant, and the sight of him so breathless with his hair in gorgeous disarray is enough to make me want to go in for seconds. But I don’t. I’ve probably made him uncomfortable enough for the rest of the week.
“Is that,” he starts, his voice breathy and ragged, “another human custom?” He licks his lips, making a chill roll down my spine.
I shrug and take another bite of the cake. “You could say that.” I don’t feel like explaining this whole attraction thing to a centuries-old angel right now. Actually, I don’t want to have that conversation ever. That’s more up Sam’s alley; he’s always going on about his feelings and emotions and all that touchy-feely crap.
“I like that one,” he says.
I smile despite myself. “Yeah, so do I.”