Castiel can’t look away.
He is tall. Very tall. Long legs hugged by soft-looking old jeans, the buttons of his red flannel shirt straining a bit as he puts his hands on his waist. And what big hands those are too. Long fingered and strong. Cas imagines this man is more suited for a more physical job than a library assistant. Maybe a firefighter, or a soldier, or heck, even a gun-slinging cowboy. He would definitely look good in a cowboy hat and some really nice leather chaps…
And to add to Cas’ frustration, the man is now laughing. Broad shoulders shaking slightly, eyes sparkling with childlike-joy, face splitting into a grin so bright, Cas wonders why he hasn’t gone blind yet from the sight.
Yes. It sounds ridiculous. Cas imagines this is how romance novel writers describe their dashing, young, millionaire rakes for the first time (he imagines because he doesn’t read those things. No sir). But this is exactly how he sees this man.
It’s even more ridiculous how much Cas strains to hear the man’s name when the head librarian approaches him from across the room. He’s new, and she’s strict, and he watches as she instructs him about books (because what else is there to instruct a library assistant about?). Cas ends up not hearing anything at all, but he catches the movement of the librarian’s lips as she says his name and he reads it as either ‘Weird Lester’ or ‘Winchester.’ She says his name again, and Cas is relieved to find out it’s really Winchester.
So the incredible Mr. Winchester nods, takes everything she says seriously, and goes back to work after she leaves. Cas watches, transfixed, as the man begins to return books to the shelf. When he bends down to put a book on the lowest shelf, Cas cranes his neck to better admire the view… but is sorely disappointed when the tables and chairs block him from sight. Then the man gets up soon after and moves behind a shelf, disappearing completely from view.
Cas unenthusiastically returns his gaze to his laptop screen and opens an email sent to his shop inquiring about ‘XXXL-sized pink tutus for dogs’. He runs a pet shop in town, The Pet Garrison, and no, he answers the email, his shop unfortunately does not carry pink tutus for dogs as big as a Great Pyrenees. However, he adds, he can point the owner to a good tailor in Sioux Falls that accepts orders for pet clothing, Crowley’s Tailoring Service.
Cas looks up from his laptop just in time to see Mr. Winchester emerge from behind a shelf. When he turns to look Cas’ way, Cas quickly ducks his head behind his laptop screen, trying his best to act casual as he hastily returns to his emails.
He usually hates it when he has to walk to the library to use the free wifi. His shitty Internet connection at home decides to die on him occasionally, and he’s been thinking of changing providers for some time, but now he supposes he could put that off for another few weeks.
‘The library’s not so bad,’ he thinks as he spares a careful glance back towards the man’s direction.
Mr. Winchester is now reaching for a book at the top shelf (it’s a big book, and a really tall shelf) and when he lifts his arm above his head, his shirt rides up to reveal a sliver of skin underneath.
Yes, definitely. Going to the library has its advantages.
“Hey, uh…Castiel,” the customer reads Cas’ nametag and smiles. ‘Did I get your name right? Castiel?” he asks.
It’s a new customer, Cas thinks, and definitely from out of town. “Yes. That is my name,” Cas agrees. “What can I help you with, sir?”
“I’m thinking of getting a pet,” the man standing on the other side of the counter tells Cas. Then he chuckles. “Of course, what else would I be doing in a pet shop, right?” He adds with a lopsided grin. He’s handsome, almost as handsome as Mr. Winchester from the library, though not as tall, and not as gifted in the soft, flowing hair department. Also, he seems way too confident about his charms. He’s already hit on two other female customers since entering the pet shop… and he’s only been there five minutes!
“What kind of pet are you looking for, sir?” Cas asks. He’d direct the customer to Anna, his assistant, but he fears this man will only jump at the chance to flirt with her the entire time.
“I dunno… I’ve got no clue how to take care of animals…” he says, glancing at the kittens on display beside the counter. “And call me ‘Dean’,” he says with a dazzling grin. He is very charming, Cas will admit to that.
“Not that I’m dissuading you or anything,” Cas begins. “But taking care of a pet is a big responsibility. You have to think of your lifestyle and if it fits the kind of pet you are looking for.”
“Oh. Well good thing it’s not gonna be my pet. I’m sure my baby bro Sammy will know what to do with the thing once he gets it,” Dean answers.
“Does this ‘Sammy’ know you’re getting a pet?” Cas asks.
“Nah. It’s Sammy’s birthday in a couple of weeks and I’m thinking a new pet would be a nice gift. He always grumbles about how I am terrible at giving gifts so I thought I’d prove him wrong. He really likes animals, so a pet’s a perfect gift for him, right?” Dean says, picking up a ball from the counter and tossing it repeatedly into the air.
“A pet is actually a terrible gift,” Cas tells him, and he watches with little amusement as Dean fails to catch the ball in time, and it bounces to the accessories rack and rattles a few bows and hair clips off their perch.
Dean grabs the ball before it does any more damage and gives Cas an incredulous look. “Seriously?”
“All the cats and dogs you see in here are from the Sioux Falls Animal Shelter,” Cas tells him.
Dean takes a second look at the cats again. There were five of them, three fluffy kittens and two adults. On the other side are the dogs. Exactly a dozen of them, puppies and adults alike, ranging from the small (a chipper looking Chihuahua) to the big (an equally chipper looking Lab mix). “These are shelter animals?” he confirms.
“Yes,” Cas replies. “A big percentage of pet gifts end up in shelters, and if no one ends up adopting them, then they are euthanized. Some of the animals you see here were surrendered to the local shelter because their families weren’t ready for the responsibility. This is the very reason why I advice against giving pets as gifts.”
“Eesh, that’s terrible,” Dean says.
“If you choose to get a cat or a dog here, you will only be paying for the adoption fees. However, I understand if you’d rather buy a pet from a breeder. I know of a few reputable ones in—“
“No, no. Are you kidding me? These animals are fine! I was wondering why they cost a fraction of those cats and dogs I saw at this other petshop… and they look no better than the ones you have here!” he tells him. “Plus, I know a thing or two about living like a stray, and I tell you, it ain’t easy. These guys are real troopers.”
Cas smiles at that. So this guy’s pretty decent after all, he thinks, and immediately feels guilty for being a bit hard on the guy for wanting to give his little brother a gift. He may have misjudged him earlier, and Cas has a feeling that this Sammy might not be too bad as well.
“But if your brother really is good with animals, like you said, and you believe he is up to the challenge… then I see no problem in giving him a pet,” Cas finally concedes.
This makes Dean smile. “You think so?”
“So long as we are able to find a suitable type of pet for him,” he adds.
“I’m sure Sammy will be great with a pet. The guy can’t resist a big pair of puppy dog eyes.”
“Nobody can,” Cas replies with a small smile of his own as he gets out from behind the counter. “Let’s look around,” he tells Dean, and Dean follows him around the pet shop. “So, you have absolutely no idea what pet you’ll be getting?” Cas asks again. When Dean shakes his head, Cas pauses a while to contemplate his options. “Ever thought of getting him a gold fish?”
Every morning before going to work, Cas takes his dog Buttercup for a walk (Buttercup is a Chinese Shar-pei, black, looks more like a small hippo-bear hybrid, and definitely male). They take the long, scenic route in the park and eventually stop at a bench by the pond where Cas eats his breakfast (today is coffee and a bagel). Buttercup enjoys quietly watching the joggers and other dog walkers as they pass by, though none are too keen on running a little too close to the rather intimidating dog.
Cas doesn’t mind. In fact, he prefers it if people don’t approach his dog too much. Buttercup is harmless but he does slobber a lot, and it saves Cas from the embarrassment of trying to provide tissue or paper towels to victims of Buttercup’s foamy, white slobber sprays. Most of the regular joggers in the park have learned their lesson, so most of Cas’ morning walks with Buttercup are rather peaceful and uneventful.
But not today.
As Cas finishes off the last of his bagel, he sees someone starting to approach the bench. A jogger, most likely.
“Wow, that’s a gorgeous dog,” the jogger says, a little out of breath, as he walks closer.
Cas looks up, and he too loses his ability to breathe. It’s him. The new library assistant. Mr. Winchester. Oh and he looks really good too, sweaty and flushed from exertion, his shirt stretched nicely against his chest and biceps. Big biceps.
If Cas still has the ability to think coherently, he’d warn him about the slobber, but since Cas has probably forgotten his own name at this point, he doesn’t realize the danger until it’s too late: Buttercup is already enthusiastically slathering the man’s hand with a good amount of his saliva.
Cas pales at the sight, and he immediately searches his pockets for a tissue or something to wipe off the mess. To his surprise, the man just laughs it off and kneels down on the ground to scratch the back of Buttercup’s ear.
“Aww, you’re a sweet boy, aren’t you?” he says, grinning widely when Buttercup snorts and continues to lick his hand. He looks up at Cas with that same grin on his face, and Cas could swear his brain short circuits in that instant. “What’s his name?” Cas hears him ask.
Cas opens his mouth to speak, but finds his throat a little too dry. He barely croaks out, “Buttercup” after a couple of tries.
Mr. Winchester laughs, and Cas couldn’t get enough of the sound. “Buttercup? Really?”
Castiel’s cheeks flush a brilliant shade of red. Before he could think about it, he is already up and pulling on Buttercup’s leash. “I’m sorry. We have to leave,” he says before hastily walking away and leaving the man surprised and baffled by the bench.
“I’m so stupid,” Cas says to himself once he’s walked a good distance away from the pond. He looks down at Buttercup. Cas has never embarrassed about his dog’s name, no. That’s not the reason he panicked and literally ran away. The problem was, it almost sounded like the man was calling him ‘Buttercup’—and that should NOT have sounded as good as it did. “He probably thinks I’m weird,” Cas tells Buttercup, who only looks up at him with a bored expression. “And he’d be right,” Cas continues, slumping his shoulders a little as he walked.
“I’m thinking a dog would be perfect,” Dean tells Cas the moment he enters the shop.
“Ah, a dog…” Cas says as he continues to stack rabbit pellets onto the shelf. “…are you sure?” he asks. Dean’s been coming to the pet shop almost every day for the past couple of weeks. In that time, Cas has learned a lot about Dean and his brother (whom he’s only ever heard Dean call ‘Sammy’).
Turns out, the brothers are from Lawrence, Kansas. Dean’s a mechanic while Sammy, Dean reported with much pride, just graduated from law school and is taking some time off before he tries for the bar. They moved to this small town near Sioux Falls to help Bobby Singer out while he recovers from his mild stroke the previous month. Dean’s running the salvage yard in Bobby’s stead while Sammy takes care of the housework.
“Yeah. I just remembered Sammy had a dog in college. Bones, I think. That’s the dog’s name. He liked giving weird names to animals. I remember when he was 5, he named a stray cat ‘Fish’ and when he started going to school, he started naming all our neighbor’s goats after philosophers like Plato and Aristotle because they had beards.”
Cas chuckles at that. If anything, Dean can’t stop talking about Sammy and his little quirks. And Cas doesn’t mind. The more he knows about Sammy, the more he can help Dean find the perfect animal. Besides, Dean’s a colorful and entertaining storyteller, and Cas has developed a fondness for the intelligent and witty little boy in Dean’s stories. He’d hope to meet this Sammy someday, if only to shake his hand and congratulate him for putting up with a brother like Dean. Because if his stories of their childhood prank wars were anything to go by, then Dean is one very annoying older brother.
“Can you guess what he named their pig?” Dean asks.
“Francis Bacon?” Cas guesses.
Dean laughs. “I swear I was in tears when I first heard it!”
“It’s the most logical choice of name for a pig,” Cas says as he places the last of the bags of pellets on the shelf. “Give me a minute,” he says before turning to wheel the cart back into the storage room. When he emerges a few seconds later, Dean is already by the dog cages, giving each dog another look. He’s gone over these animals at least twice already, and he’s somehow developed an attachment to some (he was somewhat saddened when all three of the kittens were adopted the other day, but it only lasted until he learned of the arrival of four more cats in the afternoon). “So, you really think it’s a dog now, huh?” Cas asks.
“Sammy’s birthday is in two days,” he says, then he stops and looks at Cas in alarm. “Not that I’m just settling for any old animal since I’m running out of time…I would never!” he tries to explain.
Cas just nods. He knows Dean wouldn’t. If he just wanted any animal, he’d have bought one and left already on his first trip to the shop.
“I just got to a lot of thinking last night—a lot more than usual—and I’ve decided a dog would be a perfect fit for my brother. Besides, like I said, he had a dog before. He’s got experience,” Dean says the last part with a lopsided, almost lecherous grin, and Cas just rolls his eyes.
“Alright, a dog it is,” Cas says.
Dean blinks. “What? So you agree with me?”
“Ever since you told me your brother loves the outdoors and has a lot of free time, I’ve been thinking a dog would suit him well.”
“What? But I mentioned that to you like the second day I came here!”
“I know,” Cas says as he walks to the dog cages and looks at the dogs one by one. “I wasn’t 100% sure. Plus, I was waiting for you to arrive at the same conclusion.”
Dean scoffs. “I remember you telling me you were gonna help me find a pet. Turns out you left me all on my own. Thanks a lot.”
“I advised you against the rabbit and the hedgehog, didn’t I? You were so sure then too.”
Dean frowns. “Okay. You got me there,” he admits.
“Besides, I was only convinced a dog would be good for him once you told me he already had a dog before. He knows what it takes to raise a dog, and that’s important.”
“So, who’s the lucky guy?” Dean asks, looking at the dogs all lined up. “You’re not hiding another Hellhound behind the counter for me, are you?”
Cas chuckles. He brought Buttercup to the pet shop the other day, and when Dean saw him, he was terrified for a second. ‘Is that a hellhound?’ he asked when Buttercup stared at him with his glossy, dark brown—almost black—eyes. ‘It’s a Chinese Shar-pei,’ Cas had told him. ‘And you shouldn’t judge by appearances, Dean. Buttercup is harmless.’ Hearing the name got Dean into a fit of laughter and after a few minutes, he was already playfully scratching the dog’s belly. He never stopped calling him ‘Hellhound’ though.
“Are you going to help me out here or are you just gonna wait for me to ‘arrive at the same conclusion’?” Cas hears Dean ask.
“I was going to do that… but I thought you might choose one of the Chihuahuas so, no, I’m just gonna give you a couple of options to choose from.”
“Great!” Dean says enthusiastically. “Which ones?”
Cas stops at the very last two cages in the line. The big cages. “Harley and Sadie,” Cas says.
Dean’s eyes light up. “The big guys?”
“Harley’s a Mastiff mix, and Sadie’s a German Shepherd mix. They’re both big dogs, and energetic, but I think either one will be fine for your brother.”
“Oh, yeah. I think they’d be very fine for him.”
“So which one will it be?” Cas asks.
Dean pauses. “Ugh. I can’t do it,” he says. “Can I just take ‘em both?”
“No, Dean. Just one. If your brother isn’t unpleasantly surprised with your gift and he’d like to look into adopting another dog later, then we’ll talk. But right now, pick just one.”
Dean contemplates his options for a moment. “Can I play with them? See which dog’s personality would match Sammy’s?”
Cas smiles. “I was beginning to think you learned nothing from me during all this time,” Cas tells him.
“What do you take me for?” Dean pretends to be insulted, but the grin on his face gives him away.
“Alright. Let’s go out back and I’ll show you what these dogs can do,” Cas says with a smile of his own.
Cas looks at his watch as he hurriedly enters the library. He’s running a little late today. There was a problem with the catnip delivery and he had to make several phone calls to iron out the mess. He didn’t even have time to walk Buttercup and get breakfast because of it. Then, to add to his misery, his Internet died on him at the very last minute. This wouldn’t have been too bad if Cas hadn’t agreed for Dean to pick up his brother’s dog before the pet shop’s usual opening time.
In the end, Dean chose Harley, the Mastiff mix, because he was friendlier to him than Sadie was. Cas just told him it was probably because Sadie was more intelligent, and knew not to trust shady people like Dean.
Settling into his usual spot at the corner of the library, Cas opens his laptop and proceeds to send the email he was working on back at home. In his rush, he completely forgets about the hot new library assistant until the man is standing right in front of him.
“Hey,” the man greets enthusiastically.
Cas looks up and is frozen in his spot.
“Buttercup, right?” he asks.
Cas’ jaw drops.
“I mean, your dog. You have that dog. The Shar-pei,” he tries to recover awkwardly.
Cas closes his mouth and tries desperately not to make a fool of himself again. “Yes, I have a dog. That dog. The drool machine.”
Mr. Winchester laughs quietly, trying to keep himself from making too much noise. “Yeah, I think the skin on my hand’s gone all soft and moisturized thanks to your dog.”
Cas doesn’t know if he’s supposed to laugh it off or be embarrassed about it, so he ends up doing an awkward combination of both.
“Oh, hey, it’s fine,” he reassures Cas. “I’ve got a soft spot for dogs, and yours just happened to be the most adorable animal around.”
“You think Buttercup is adorable?” Cas asks, a dumbfounded expression on his face. “People usually either laugh at his appearance or get really terrified.”
“Nah. Him? No way,” he says. “Sure he looks like a hellhound, but you can tell he’s a sweetheart.”
“A hellhound?” he asks before letting out a soft laugh.
“That’s what he looks like, right?”
“Apparently so,” Cas agrees. “Though I think a Neapolitan Mastiff would be a better hellhound.”
The man’s face brightens. “Oh, can’t argue with that. Big dogs are the best.”
“It’s not the size that’s important, though,” Cas tells him.
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” he says, and there is a glint in his eyes that Cas’ overly eager brain almost mistakes as playfulness. “Being big has its advantages.”
Oh. Okay. He isn’t mistaken. “Like what?” Cas asks, and he swears his brain short circuits again when the man licks his lips and grins.
Cas jolts all of a sudden and the man stops before he could say anything in reply. Cursing under his breath, he removes his vibrating phone from inside his pocket and looks at the screen. Anna. “Crap,” he says. He looks up at the man, gets lost in his impossibly beautiful eyes for a split second, before he finally finds the words. “I’m sorry, I have to go,” he says, hastily closing his laptop and rushing out of the library… once again leaving the man surprised and baffled and suddenly alone.
“I’m late, I know,” is Cas’ first words when he answers Anna’s call.
“No shit, Sherlock. Dean is already here. Will you be here soon or shall I do the honors?”
Cas glances at his watch. “I’ll need ten more minutes to get there. Have him sign the papers and I’ll be the one to hand Harley to him.”
“You got it.”
“Hey, got enough beauty sleep?” Dean jokes as Cas enters the shop. Harley is already with him, sporting his brand new leash and collar.
Cas doesn’t think it’s funny. “Are the adoption papers and vet records with you?” he asks, setting his things down on the counter and checking the computer quickly for the evidence of Harley’s adoption in their records.
“Yeah, got it right here,” Dean says, waving an envelope in the air. “Who knew it’d be that easy?”
“Everything seems to be in order,” Cas says, walking to them and giving Harley a pat on the head. “You have everything Harley needs at home, right?”
Dean rolls his eyes. “You’re like a protective mother hen. Yes. Everything is at home. I already installed the pen right after Sammy left for work this morning. Got Harley’s bowls ready there too. And I bought all the important stuff here just yesterday—dog food, vitamins—so you know I have them at home. Relax, okay? Harley will be fine.”
“Just making sure,” Cas says. “Okay, I guess you’re free to go. Just don’t lose the dog before your brother even sees him.”
“Haha, very funny,” Dean says as he tucks the envelope under his arm and turns to Harley. “Come on, Harley,” he says, tugging a bit at the leash. The dog obediently gets up and follows him to the door.
“Bring Harley around some time, okay?” Cas calls out.
“Sure. See you around, Cas,” Dean says as he waves goodbye. And then, they’re out the door.
Cas takes Buttercup out for a walk that afternoon. Anna’s been fishing for another vacation next week, and Cas only agreed to it if she’d watch the store for him in the late afternoons. She agreed in an instant, and now Cas has his afternoons free to deal with more of the shop’s orders and transactions. He just finished talking to the Sioux Falls Animal Shelter, and they’re sending a couple more dogs for adoption the next day.
He sits on his usual bench by the pond and wonders what Sammy’s reaction was upon seeing his brother’s birthday surprise for him. Harley’s a great dog, and he deserves a great owner. Cas is confident he got this right for everyone, and he only wishes he could’ve been there to see the big reveal. He already feels like he knows Sammy from all of Dean’s stories, and honestly, he can’t wait to meet Dean’s amazing little brother.
He is rattled out of his thoughts by the bark of a familiar dog. He turns to look towards the direction of the bark, and immediately sees two figures he recognizes. Harley is running at top speed towards them, and right behind him, is Mr. Winchester himself. It takes a moment for things to click into place, and when it does, Cas is left speechless.
“Hi,” the man greets as both he and the dog stop a few paces before the bench. “I had a feeling I’d see you here.”
“You’re Sammy?” Cas asks incredulously.
Sammy cringes before laughing. “That’s what my brother calls me, yeah. But I prefer Sam.”
This is Dean’s little brother? The intelligent little boy in Dean’s stories… and this giant of a man… they are the same person? “Sam,” Cas whispers. “and Dean. Dean Winchester.”
“Yeah. So you knew my brother all this time?” he asks.
Cas just manages to nod.
Beside them, Harley and Buttercup are slowly starting to circle each other, smelling each other’s butts. Sam chuckles and tries to pull Harley away, but to no avail. “And you decided to leave a dog in Dean’s care? You even more courageous than I am.”
Cas chuckles at that. “I had my doubts,” he admits. “Dean told me he had a little brother…” Cas begins, then looks at Sam up and down. “I didn’t realize he was lying.”
Sam grins widely. “He doesn’t like to mention his little brother is actually a lot bigger than him. It’s one of his insecurities.”
Harley decides to leave Buttercup and walks directly in between the V of Cas’ legs. Cas smiles as he pets his head. “So, what do you think of Harley? Are you liking him so far?”
“Are you kidding? He’s awesome,” Sam says as his face splits into a wide grin. “Dean couldn’t have picked a better dog.”
Cas’ smile grows wider. “That’s really nice to hear.”
“Well, he tells me this pet shop owner gave him a bit of a hand,” Sam says. “But I think it’s more than a hand. You probably had a lot to do with choosing this guy,” Sam says as he leans down and scratches the side of Harley’s neck.
The movement brings him closer to Cas’ level, and when Cas looks up, Sam’s face is closer than he’s ever been before, and it’s making his stomach do weird somersaults. “I only pointed Dean in the right direction,” Cas says, even as he feels his throat go dry.
“I went to the pet shop to thank you personally, but your assistant said you took the afternoon off.”
“I have afternoons off until the end of the week… but…” Cas stops as a thought occurs to him. “How did you know where to find me?”
Sam stands back up and sheepishly scratches his head. The movement lifts his flannel shirt up and a thin band of skin peeks from under the fabric.
Cas unconsciously licks his lips.
“I sorta asked a few people about you the other day,” he admits.
Cas feels his jaw drop.
“Oh wait, no, it’s nothing like I’m a stalker and I want to follow you around or anything like that. Well, okay, it’s a little bit like that,” Sam tries to explain. “ But... I just, I saw you around the library a few times, then when I got to talk to you in the park, you just bolted. And again when I talked to you in the library, you just left,” he says. “I was beginning to think there was something wrong about me. Like maybe I smelled repulsive so you fled when I tried talking to you,” he tells him, and his face sags a bit in disappointment. And oh no, are those puppy dog eyes? Well, that alone is enough to break anyone’s heart.
“What? No!” Cas blurts out. “You DO NOT smell repulsive. You smell very good, actually, and there’s nothing wrong with you. Nothing at all!” Cas tries to quickly reassure him. “I just… I’m an idiot who can’t maintain a decent conversation with anyone.”
The sad expression quickly fades from Sam’s face and is replaced by a genuinely relieved and happy smile. “So does that mean you’re okay with it? With my stalking you.”
Cas chuckles at that. “Well, technically it’s not stalking if the person you’re stalking stalks you back.”
“Oh?” Sam sounds intrigued.
“Yeah. In fact, I probably know more about you that you’d be comfortable with. Like that time in second grade when Meg Masters pulled your pants down in front of the whole class.”
A bark of laughter escapes Sam’s throat. “Oh I will kill Dean once I get home,” he says. Once the laughter dies down, he seems to straighten his back, like he’s preparing himself to say something important. Finally, he speaks up. “Say, we’re having a little get-together at Bobby’s house for my birthday. Just me, Bobby, Dean, and a few other people. You wanna come?”
Cas is surprised. “You’re inviting me to your birthday party?”
“Well, it’s nothing fancy. There’s gonna be beer and pizza. You can bring Buttercup. So… are you coming?” Sam says, tilting his head to the side and pointing his thumb towards the general direction of Bobby’s house.
“What? Right now?” Cas asks in disbelief.
“Yeah. Unless you have other things to do? Which is fine, by the way. You don’t have to feel obligated to go… I just thought I’d really like for you to be there. ”
Cas can’t believe this is happening. The first time he saw Sam, he didn’t even think he’d look his way. Now they’re actually having a conversation (a decent one at that), and now he’d ‘really like’ for Cas to be at his party? Looks like good things do happen to him from time to time. “Ah, when you put it like that… how can I say ‘no’?”
“Great!” Sam grins.
Cas stands up, and the two of them begin walking to Bobby’s house, dogs at their sides. After a few paces, Sam speaks up. “So, you think I smell good? And there’s nothing wrong with me at all?” Sam asks.
Cas looks up at Sam—he’s never gonna get used to how tall he is—and sees the teasing smile on his face. “Did you just say all those things just to trap me into saying something embarrassing?” Cas asks suspiciously.
“Of course not!” Sam denies. “So do you?” he asks again.
“It’s not something I will repeat on pain of death,” Cas tells him.
“Really? Not even if I show you something Meg Masters saw that day?” Sam asks.
Cas’ eyes grow wide at the implication—and the fact that Sam even went anywhere near there.
“What?” Sam asks, as if the surprised look on Cas’ face is something totally unexpected. Except, of course it isn’t. Sam knows exactly how his words sounded, and it does nothing to calm Cas’ nerves. “I still have my grade school Batman briefs in one of my bags. I mean, I don’t wear it anymore but it’s my lucky underwear.”
This makes Cas laugh. “No way. Who’d want to see some ratty old briefs anyway?”
“Okay. So you want to see my new underwear then?” Sam says with a straight face.
And oh. Cas gets it now. It seems the persistent and annoying gene runs in the family. “Is that supposed to be a pick-up line?”
“No,” Sam scoffs. “Why? Would you rather not see any underwear?” he asks again, and the way he says it makes it very clear exactly what he means.
Cas laughs. He never realized he could feel appalled and oddly aroused at the same time. He’s pretty sure he’s blushing already. “Let’s just see how the night goes, okay?” Cas tells him.
Sam’s face brightens considerably. “Sure,” he agrees. “If I’m lucky, maybe I can get another birthday present before the day ends, huh?” he asks.
And oh, he really is pushing it, and Cas is just loving his audacity. “If you’re lucky,” Cas just says. “You might even get to see my lucky boxers—it’s blue and has paw prints on it.”
Sam looks down and unashamedly imagines Cas in those very boxers. “Paw prints, really?” he says in disbelief.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Cas says with a wink.
This makes Sam laugh so hard, he scrunches his nose and sticks his tongue out a bit. It’s the most captivating laugh Cas has seen on anyone, and he realizes can’t look away even if he wanted to.
Oh yes. Looks like someone really IS getting lucky tonight.