Dean wakes suddenly, with a start.
Hand over heart, he sits up gasping, a bead of sweat rolling down his forehead.
This has become his routine of late. His days are normal and he feels good. Relaxed. Happy. But then night comes and with it, the bad dreams.
He reaches for a glass of water on the nightstand and an arm tries to snake its way around his waist.
“Nightmare?” Cas asks.
“Yeah. Same as the others. Same as always.” He runs his fingers through his hair, nails scratching at his scalp, and pulls them down his face, trying to wipe clean the memory of the dream.
“It’s over now, go back to sleep,” says Cas.
Dean lays back down, but he knows he won’t be able to sleep again. Not after this dream.
He tosses and turns for what seems like ages, but is really only a few minutes. He sighs and decides to get up and make some coffee. It’s almost 6am anyway, might as well get up for the day.
Cas stops him with a hand to his chest.
Dean lays on his back and Cas rolls over to him.
“Stay there,” he growls in Dean’s ear as he drags his hand down Dean’s chest, nails scraping their way along and slipping under the band of Dean’s boxers.
“If you’re going to get up early, I might as well make it worth your while.”
Dean gasps for the second time this morning.
It's 7:30 now and Dean is up, showered, coffee’d and ready to go. Cas hasn’t managed to wake up yet, but that's no surprise. He’s never been a morning person.
Dean’s phone rings as he settles himself in the library, looking at a newspaper.
“Ghostbuster’s,” he answers. He always gets a kick out of that.
Cas and Dean have settled themselves on the coast. North Eastern, to be specific. Cas found that he just felt better by the water and Dean felt better with Cas, so they searched and found and are now settled in a bungalow just outside of Mystic, Connecticut. They liked the name and thought it fitting, considering their lives.
Sam and Eileen live just down the way in Norwich. He’s taking courses at the community college there and she helps Dean with research. Sam and Eileen share an apartment, a bed and now, a last name.
Dean and Eileen do what Bobby used to do, running the hunters network - helping hunters with whatever they need to get the job done - only on a bit of a bigger scale, as there’s more of them than there were of Bobby. Sam helps in his spare time and Cas helps too, sometimes.
Mostly, though, Cas keeps to his gardening, reading and yes, bee keeping. He’s been thinking about taking some online courses as well, but hasn’t pinpointed what he’d like to study. He’d been a multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent, after all. There isn’t much he doesn’t know.
Dean is having a good day, this morning’s startled awakening forgotten. The phones are quiet, so he delegates researching what Sam thinks may be an Adlet (although Dean’s sure its a Chupacabra because, honestly… how would an Adlet get to the states…) to Eileen. He’s relaxed, calm. Content.
He takes a break in the early afternoon and finds Cas in the backyard, reading. He takes his hand and leads him upstairs. The window is open so he tries to muffle his moans into the pillow, but is unsuccessful.
Afterwards, they lay in bed together, just laying, being. Their breath is light and their heart's peaceful. Turns out Dean is a snuggler, after all.
Tonight, Dean has cooked. He wanted to make something nice, for Cas, so he’s tried his hand at homemade pasta. There’s wine for Cas and beer for himself. There may or may not have been a pie involved as well.
He considers the meal a success when Cas gets up from the table and kisses him like a starving man who hadn’t just eaten his weight in homemade deliciousness.
Dean smiles to himself as he washes the dishes.
After dinner, they head to the back porch for some fresh air. It’s late September, so it’s still warm, but fall is definitely on its way in.
Dean sits down on the porch swing while Cas heads into the yard, admiring some particularly bright flowers he’s managed to keep alive all season.
It’s so domestic that Dean’s heart hurts.
Cas walks up the porch steps, holding a flower, and stands in front of Dean. He hooks a finger under Dean’s chin, angling him upward. Cas kisses him, warm and steady. He bites at Dean’s lip as he pulls away and runs a finger down his cheek, holding Dean’s gaze for just an extra beat.
He hands Dean the flower and sits next to him on the porch swing. Dean isn’t sure what kind it is, but he rarely does. He thinks Cas probably only plants flowers that he knows the meaning of. That seems like a Cas thing to do.
He looks at it again though, realizing he doesn’t think he’s ever seen this flower in the garden before.
“Dean,” Cas says.
Dean looks at the flower and then looks up, taking in the view of the garden, looking for the plant that the flower came from. He doesn’t remember Cas planting any of these flowers.
He stops and turns to look at Cas. “Cas, when did you…”
Cas looks at him with sadness on his face.
“Have you forgotten again?” He asks.
Dean is confused, so he doesn’t reply. He thinks about the garden. He knows Cas planted these flowers, those bushes. He knows Cas hung a strand of fairy lights on the back porch for when the nights are warm and they want to spend it outside. He knows it, he just can’t remember it actually happening. He never saw it happen.
Cas turns to him, placing a hand on his cheek again. Dean feels dazed.
“Dean. Dean, I love you, but you have to wake up now. You have to fight.” Cas’ voice is raising a bit and Dean is getting more confused.
“Cas, we don’t fight anymore. What are you…”
“Dean, fight! Wake UP, Dean. You have to fight this!”
Dean swallows in an attempt to quell his rising fear. He doesn’t understand why Cas is yelling. They were having a nice night.
“I can’t...I don’t understand.” He says. “I’m going to call Sam...”
Sammy. His lifeline. Sam will ground him, bring him back to center. He’ll know why Cas is so upset.
He stands, facing Cas and walks backwards towards the kitchen. Dean’s phone starts ringing. Cas’ hand drops, but he stays standing where he is.
The ringtone is wrong. Dean has time to realize this as he’s scrambling through the door back into the kitchen. It’s more of a beeping sound, fast paced, somewhat erratic.
He picks up the phone to answer it. “Sam? Sam what…” but there’s no one on the other end, just the beeping and he still hears the beeping sound after he hangs up.
He tries calling Sammy back, while he searches the kitchen for the source of the noise, but the phone doesn’t seem to be working. It’s just that sound getting louder and louder. It’s relentless and frustrating. If he could just figure out what that noise is...
“Goddamnit! What is happening?!” He asks. Cas is coming in to the kitchen now yelling, “Dean, wake up! DEAN!” Dean’s hands are in his hair, pulling at it and he’s turning in circles. He heads towards the living room, backing away from Cas and his yelling and trying to find where that damn beeping sound is coming from, but he can’t escape any of it. The beeping just gets impossibly louder.
“Dean, wake up! DEAN!” Cas yells. It’s been three weeks now and it’s killing him to see Dean like this. He sits back down in his chair and turns at the sound of someone entering the room. Dean’s nurse.
“He’s having another spell.” He says wearily. Sam walks in a few moments later, coffee in hand, bags under his eyes.
“Again?” Says Sam.
“Yes.” Sighs Cas.
The nurses are used to his by now, so instead of all hands on deck, it’s just the one nurse checking vitals. She knows what to watch for and expect and hasn’t had to call the doctor in for any of Dean’s “spells” for over a week now.
The nurse turns the sound off on the heart monitor for a few moments. Quiet fills the room.
“Any luck?” Cas asks.
Sam sits down, hands Cas his own cup of coffee. “No,” he says, “no one’s heard a thing. Rowena’s not answering. I’ve prayed to the angels, Cas. Any of them, all of them and...nothing. There’s still just… nothing. No sign of Michael, no...anything. Just nothing.”
“How can there be nothing?” He asks. “How could Michael just leave him like this?!” asks in exasperation. He knows that they’re lucky that Dean is alive at all, but fatigue and frustration have taken over.
He rests his head on the bed next to Dean. Dean’s heart rate is still high, a bead of sweat rolls off of his forehead.
Dean wakes suddenly, with a start.