It took Dean a minute to realize that while he’d been brushing his teeth at one of the sinks lining the wall in the bathroom, Cas remained immobilized in front of the full-length mirror. Patting at his mouth with a towel, Dean glanced at him and curiosity morphed into concern at the dark look Castiel was giving his reflection, eyes narrowed and mouth pulled down at the corners.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, standing with one hip against the last sink. He cast a glance around for the clean shirt he'd brought to change into after his shower, but it wasn't where he recalled putting it during his bleary morning shuffle. When Cas didn't answer after a moment too long, Dean returned his attention to him, brows drawing together.
“You’re a good cook,” Cas said, making Dean blink in surprise.
Cas inhaled deeply and it came out as an audible sigh of defeat. “Everything you cook is good." He swept his gaze to where Dean regarded him, frowning and head angled. "Acclimating to being human has been easier than I expected this time. Your cooking has been incentive to remember to eat regularly.”
Lost, Dean scratched the back of his head and gestured toward the wall. “Then why are you glaring at the mirror like you want to smite it?”
Cas gave his reflection a baleful stare. “I’ve gained weight.”
Dean didn’t mean to snort a laugh- he really didn’t- instantly sobering when Cas turned that same glare on him. The hunter held up his hands. “Sorry, I just wasn’t expecting that.”
The angel looked down at himself, a hand coming up to rest on his stomach before he regarded the planes of Dean’s chest and stomach. It made butterflies curl in his belly and heat rise to his face. Where had he put his shirt? Did he throw it in the dirty clothes with the rest?
“You’re body is much more toned than my own.”
Huffing another laugh, Dean rubbing his jaw and tried to force down the twisting self-consciousness. “Well, I mean, Jimmy was a jogger right? He was fit that way. You look fine.” A memory of Cas in only a towel flickered through his mind forcing his skin to prick with a fresh blush deeper than the first. “You’re pretty fit. But, I mean, me and Sam workout daily- Sam more than me. If you’re worried about what you look like, you can start working out with us. Go jogging with Sam or whatever. And we go on hunts more than you, whereas you’ve stuck close to home since you moved in.” Dean let his gaze rake over the former angel. “I think you’re worrying too much. I can’t see a difference.”
Cas regarded his reflection again, hand falling back to his side. “This is my body now and I want it to be found attractive and appealing.”
There would be no end to Dean's blushing this morning it seemed. He opened his mouth. Closed it. How the hell was he suppose to respond to that? What was a clinical, platonic way of saying Cas was attractive? Cas was gorgeous. He deflected, laughing lightly and ignoring the sour turn of his stomach at the idea of Cas seeking romantic entanglements.
“Decided to try for the whole romance thing now that you’re human?” He scrubbed at his hair, averting his eyes. "Good for you."
“Being human will finally give me chance to, yes. It wouldn't have worked before.” He glanced back at Dean. “ Or maybe it would have, but then they would possibly be unduly burdened by guilt when I gave up my grace to be with them instead. This way, the obvious choice didn't have to be made. And I want to be attractive- to them and for them, so that attention I garner would fill them with pride rather than shame.”
Brows knitting, Dean started in offense. “Okay, first off: whoever loves you is gonna love you no matter what you look like. Looks fade. Humans get older. We get scars. Life and crap happens. Weight gain, weight loss, broken bones, hell, eventually facial lines and gray hair. Whoever loves you- really loves you- is gonna love you regardless, and if you ever tell Sam I said this, I will call you a liar until the day I die, understood?”
Chuckling, Cas gave a solemn nod and grabbed his toiletry bag, turning to leave. Dean held the door open for him, eyeing the other man with a masochistic sense of curiosity. He wanted to know who had caught the angel’s eye that suddenly made him conscious of his appearance. He tried to remember the women they had met or saw regularly. Which of them would be Cas’ type? Though the angel caught attention from both men and women, Dean had only ever seen Cas show interest in female partners, what with Meg, which he didn’t want to think about, and then free love Cas of the apocalypse. Who was it this time?
Nodding his thanks, Cas stepped out into the hall and headed toward his room.
The self-punishing part of Dean wouldn’t be denied. “Hey,” he called, and the angel glanced back without stopping, “whose attention are you wanting anyway?”
Cas gave him an impish smile. “Yours.”