Five Lessons Dean Tries Teaching Castiel for Winchester Family Bonding (And One Castiel Figures out on His Own):
1. Respect the Impala.
"No, really," Dean said, crowding into the back with Castiel and ignoring Sam's look of astonishment that he'd ceded shotgun without a fight. "You want to get on Dad's good side, you've got to get on the good side of the car."
Castiel tilted his head and said, "But I could take us there nigh instantly."
"It's not the destination, it's the journey. And this is journeying in style." Dean reached across Castiel and buckled him in, hands brushing Castiel's hips.
For a moment, Dean worried he'd gone too far, but Castiel just said, "If you say so, Dean."
"I do," Dean said firmly.
Of course, this was kind of ruined when John came back, took one look at Castiel, and said, "Who let him in the car?"
2. John likes people, and people eat food.
"I don't require nourishment," Castiel said uncertainly, but he went willingly enough into the booth under Dean's insistent hands, and Dean slid in next to him, pressing their thighs and shoulders firm together.
"Nourishment isn't the point," Dean said, handing Castiel a menu. "Food is awesome, and if you're going to be part of this family, you need to join in the family dinners."
"Your family isn't here." Castiel stared at the menu as if it were written in some strange unknown language even an angel of the Lord couldn't speak. "John and Sam went to the library. We should join them."
"This is a practice run," Dean said, "and they've got the research for this job covered. Your research project is how to get in good with Dad, right?" Dean shot Castiel his most charming smile. "This is me helping you out."
When the server came over, Dean put his arm around Cas and said, "He'll be having the pie."
Delighted, Dean said, "Every flavor you've got."
By the time Castiel had made it through all fifteen—he preferred Key lime and cherry, and he'd made the best disturbed face ever upon discovering he hated the texture of almond—Dad was calling to say they had a lead.
"Be right there," Dean said. He snapped the phone shut and dropped it in his pocket, then turned to Castiel, who was still learning the art of napkins. Dean leaned even further into Castiel's space, because it wasn't like Castiel would think there was anything weird about it.
"You've got a—" Dean said before chasing the whipped cream with his thumb, the tip sliding against the corner of Castiel's mouth and slipping the tiniest bit in.
"Got it," Dean said, voice gone a little rough, and he was having trouble removing his hand.
Castiel stared back at Dean with steady eyes, and how awesome was this? It was like having a super power, this freedom to touch Castiel without anyone but the server getting weirded out.
Said server cleared his throat and said, "I brought you the check." Then he leaned in and said, "I think it's cute, really, but this is a small town. Be careful," so it seemed even the server was okay with it.
"Dean," Castiel said after Dean dropped his hand, "why would we need to be careful?"
"Who knows?" Dean said. "Small towns, they're all different. All sorts of strange quirks. Speaking of, we figured out the ghost—"
And they were off and running, and after that, Castiel had to take care of some angel business. The next night, though, the family Winchester was catching a quick dinner at some tiny diner off Route 6, and—though the burgers were greasy to the point that even Dean was hesitant, the salads were so limp Sam looked like he might cry, and the booth was so worn Dean could feel the coiled springs digging into his ass—it was really, really nice. John was actually smiling as he recounted a hunt with Bobby from back in the day, using the salt and pepper shakers as props, and Dean wished, ignoring a dull ache in his chest, that it could last forever. When the smile slid off John's face like it had realized it had the wrong man and a stormy look took its place, Dean followed his gaze to Castiel, hovering uncertainly next to the table. Dean really hoped he'd remembered their whole talk about not scaring the locals and walking in by means of the door instead of that magical angel appearing act.
"You can't even let a man eat in peace with his sons?" John growled, and Castiel threw Dean one of his more helpless looks, his eyebrows actually furrowed and chapped lips slanted the slightest bit. "What's so important it couldn't wait ten more minutes?"
"Never mind," Castiel said, expression gone cool and distant again. "I was mistaken."
And it seemed they needed to have that talk about appropriate and inappropriate times for teleportation again, because Castiel just disappeared.
John shook his head. "Angels," he said, sharing a sympathetic look with Sam for once.
That was that for angelic attempts on intruding family dinner.
3. Do not bring up Mary. (No, really. Do not bring up Mary.)
"Seriously," Dean said, holding the back of Castiel's head with one hand and using the other to hold an ice pack he was pretty sure Castiel didn't actually need against his bloody cheekbone. Angel or no, John Winchester in a rage could do some fucking damage. "You deserved that."
Castiel said, "I only told him the truth. If Mary Winchester had not made that deal—"
And okay, Dean liked Castiel, but—
For the second time that evening, a Winchester broke his hand on Castiel's altogether too pretty face.
"Do you need me to take you to the emergency room?" Castiel asked.
"No," Dean said. Then, "Fuck, yeah, okay."
Pretty face or no, this shit was totally not worth it.
4. The Yellow Eyed Demon is serious business.
"You were in danger, Dean," Castiel said, implacable, and Dean had to roll his eyes or he'd punch Castiel (and that was not an option considering the last time).
"It was our first chance in fucking forever," Dean said, "and we had the Colt. I'd take that risk again for just a shot at him. That's all we needed. Next time? Forget about me. Focus on taking Azazel out."
John, however, didn't seem to be getting with the program here, because instead of chewing Castiel out, he put a hand on Castiel's shoulder, which was like a full on hug and effusive words of praise from John. "You made the right call." He looked at Dean, eyes hard, and said, "He made the right call."
Castiel looked at Dean with that I see you down to the soul stare and said, "You're worth more than you believe."
Dean shook his head, throat clenched tight, enraged beyond all attempts at speech, and he walked out the motel door before he could give in and break his hand again.
5. John likes people, and people sleep in beds.
"It's a great idea," Dean said, using Castiel's chest as a pillow. This absolutely was not cuddling, because Dean Winchester did not cuddle. Besides, Castiel was lying stiffly under him like he didn't quite know what to do with his arms or hands, and unless Castiel decided to take part, it couldn't be anything even remotely like cuddling, because cuddling required two people. Dean was pretty sure there was a rule about that. "Trust me."
"I do," Castiel answered. "Though I'm not certain why."
"Hey!" That would hurt more, but Dean had to admit he wasn't exactly batting a thousand here.
"I meant," Castiel said carefully, "that not all of your observances regarding your father have been correct."
"Like?" Dean asked accusingly. He propped himself up to stare with righteous fury from barely three inches away, as if daring Castiel to answer—though he just knew Cas was going to bring up the dinner thing, or maybe the thing with the Impala, or—okay, there was a lot of ground to cover here.
"John Winchester does not actually like most other people," Castiel said promptly. "Also, as an angel of the Lord, I don't require sleep, and—"
It was at this point, John and Sam walked into the motel room. From the (actually incredibly hilarious) expression on Sam's face, Dean was abruptly reminded of three things:
One, he was pressed full length along the top of Castiel's body. Two, they were dressed for sleep, which is to say he was wearing only boxers and had talked Castiel down to the same. Three, from their position under the covers, it probably looked like they were wearing even less.
John's face had gone still, and he wore the utterly blank expression of a man biting back his first five responses. "And suddenly," he said slowly, "I begin to understand. C'mon, Sam, we're getting a different room." Sam preceded him out the door, and John paused before leaving to turn back and tell Castiel, casual and almost offhand, "You break his heart, I find a way to tear out your grace and bury it and you in fifty separate places."
The closing of the door was loud in the silence that descended.
Castiel turned to Dean and asked, "What exactly is happening here?"
"Um," Dean said. "You're right, I am terrible at this. Maybe we should've brought in Sam for help with my dad after all." Actually, Dean was pretty sure that would've gone a hell of a lot worse considering Sam's track record with their dad, but Castiel didn't have to know that.
"I meant," Castiel said, just as slowly as John mere moments before, as if he were giving Dean time to follow his thoughts to their natural conclusion, "what is happening here?" To emphasize his point, he drew one hand along Dean's side to rest gently over the elastic of his boxers.
"Oh," Dean said weakly. Apparently after several months, even angels caught on that this wasn't human normal.
"Dean," Castiel said, "I'm going to kiss you now."
"Okay," Dean said hoarsely.
For once, their Winchester bonding lesson of the day did not end in disaster, though Dean immediately needed a completely new lesson set, starting with the wonders of lube and nudity. Castiel proved himself to be a very dedicated student.
And the one Castiel figures out on his own:
1. No Winchester has ever liked his son in law.
This didn't stop Castiel from trying.