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Coming Home to You

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The thing about small towns was no one did or said anything remotely interesting without having the whole town gossiping about it by day’s end.

And sometimes you needed to know who was dating who, or when you could expect old woman Josie’s niece to be visiting, the one who made the best pie in three counties. The rumor mill could come in handy like that sometimes.

But the thing about small towns when you were one of the descendants of said town’s founding fathers was that it turned you to somewhat of a local celebrity. Even if you felt like your life wasn’t remotely interesting, privacy was never so appreciated than when your every move was chronicled for the town at large. Even if you actually left the small town, there was the advent of new social networking sites that ensured that your new life would continue to be broadcasted and shared by the local gaggle of gossips.

If only the local rumor mill had cared to update Castiel in the same way.

Perhaps then he would have chosen to return sooner.

--

Castiel exits the airport, his legs are thankful to no longer have to be sitting, but the rest of his body is acutely aware of the humid heat that is already threatening to make his shirt stick to his skin. He’d forgotten how humid summers here could get, and it’s just another reminder of how long he’s been away. He looks to see which direction car rentals are in when he sees “C. Milton” scrawled on a sign being held by a familiar face.

“Joshua,” Castiel greets the old man fondly as he approaches him. The old family butler was more of a father and mentor and friend than any other adult related to Castiel, and he’s one of the few people that Castiel was loathe to leave.

“Dear Castiel, don’t look so surprised. You didn’t think I’d let you take a taxi home now did you?”

Castiel smiles bashfully, “I didn’t want to inconvenience you. Besides, this way I would have a car to get around with.”

“Why’d I oil up your old bike then?” Joshua jokes. “No one uses the cars in the garage, I’m sure you can find one there to your liking.”

Castiel follows Joshua to a car that looks like it’s been well taken care of, the smell of the interior leather a familiar smell that Castiel thought he’d long forgotten. Joshua makes small talk as they exit the relative emptiness of the rural airport, a stark contrast to the flurry of activity of the bustling metropolitan airport he left from.

Castiel doesn’t realize he’s thankful for Joshua’s lack of invasive questions until the question he’s expecting doesn’t come.

He turns his phone back on; the small device pings with messages and emails Castiel received during his flight. He scrolls through the emails, his mind too unfocused to care about replying; his automatic away response will have to suffice in the meantime.

He opens a text from Balthazar. Hope you landed safely. Good luck.

Castiel replies in affirmation of his safe landing. He thinks he’s going to need a lot more than good luck. Bravery. A lot of courage. Luck can’t be the only thing one needs to ask their estranged husband who they haven’t seen in almost ten years for a divorce.

Castiel sighs and leans back into the car, his gaze unfocused on the passing sameness of the scenery they drive by. His mind occupied with a rush of memories from his past.

--

Joshua pulls into the driveway of his old home. The large building looks as imposing and unwelcoming as Castiel remembers, the white pillars and white-washed facade unchanged. Castiel unloads his sole carry-on item and takes it up to his old bedroom that Joshua cleaned up for him. Castiel wonders if he should be surprised at the lack of sentimental items that line the shelves. The covers on the bed look new, probably purchased specifically for his return.

He hesitates a moment, wondering if he should put off the inevitable. But he’s already put off seeing Dean for long enough, and perhaps it would be easiest if he just ripped off the band-aid in one go. It’s been peeling at the edges long enough.

Castiel heads into the garage, five cars glimmer underneath the yellow glow of the overhead lights.

Castiel grabs the keys from the familiar hooks on the wall and heads over to a tan Lincoln Continental. It’s the car that was given to him after he got his license.

He remembers Dean laughing at him about it. It wasn’t that the car was old, but Dean claimed that it lacked the same appeal that made the Impala the classic car that it was. Dean’s Impala was their preferred method of transportation for their various outings, Dean driving and Castiel riding shotgun, but Castiel still remembers occasionally sneaking into the garage when his brother demanded he stay at home and sitting in the backseat of the Lincoln with Dean, talking about nothing and everything. Sometimes they didn’t talk at all, the silence comfortable and companionable the way silence is when shared with the right person.

Castiel shakes himself of the memory as he pulls out of the garage, steering it in the direction of a familiar route. He needs to focus on the present, on what he is here to accomplish. But it’s difficult when everything is tinged with familiarity. It’s been years, but enough of the town has remained the same that Castiel is able to find his destination without issue.

The sight of the dilapidated salvage yard makes Castiel’s breath catch in his throat. He’s been functioning on autopilot so far, but weeks of planning and rehearsing what he’s going to say and do haven’t prepared him for the constant resurfacing of memories at every turn. Castiel didn’t expect the simple sight of seeing the salvage yard again to threaten to close up his throat. Despite its rugged appearance, Castiel has fond memories of many a summer afternoon spent among the ruins of the cars, lying in the shade and munching on ice cubes, fingers intertwined because it was too hot to do more than that.

He pulls the Continental up to the driveway, gravel crunching underneath the tires, dust clouds gathering around his car. He sees a baseball hat clad head poke out from the office as he turns the engine off. Castiel reminds himself to breathe before he opens the door.

“Well I’ll be,” is the greeting Castiel gets when he steps out of the car.

“Mr. Singer, hello,” Castiel extends his hand in greeting, ducking his head in the bashful way he always did when he was around the older man. No matter how many times he visited Dean or how he’d practically moved in to the dilapidated house on the edge of the property, Castiel was always wary of the easy way Robert Singer adopted wayward youth into his family.

“It’s Bobby, ya idjit. Boy grows up practically a son to you but suddenly you’re ‘Mr. Singer’ again,” Bobby mutters gruffly, waving away Castiel’s hand and giving him a one-armed hug that Castiel awkwardly returns. “He ain’t here, by the way.”

“I-,“ Castiel falters. There’s no mistaking who “he” is, Dean was always the reason Castiel ever stepped foot in the salvage yard. At least there’s
no beating around the bush about Castiel’s reason for visiting, it never was Bobby’s style anyway.

“It’s Saturday, I made him go home,” Bobby continues, wiping his hands on a rag that is dirtier than his hands.

Relief floods Castiel. Okay, so perhaps he wasn’t quite ready to see Dean.

“That was nice of you,” Cas says.

“He’d work himself to the bone otherwise.”

“Some things never change I see.”

Bobby eyes him suspiciously, and Castiel tries not to tense under the scrutiny.

“Look, I won’t pretend that it’s not good to see you. Been too long since we saw that face of yours around here, a Milton we actually like, but that boy was damn hurt when you up and left without so much as a by your leave. If what I heard is true, and you’re here to divorce him, just do me a favor and break it off quick. Heck I know that the last time you left, it was a long time before he picked up the pieces and got himself into working order.”

Castiel doesn’t know why he’s surprised that his reasons for being back in town are so transparent or well known, but it still hurts to have the consequences of his actions laid so plainly at his doorstep.
“I didn’t know,” Castiel admitted.

“I figured, but he’s got a good thing going on now.”

“That’s good,” Castiel says, guilt already eating him up inside.
All this time Castiel was so focused on what leaving did to him that he can’t begin to imagine what Dean went through. Castiel did the leaving but Dean was the one who was left and without knowing so much as why.
“Do you know where I can find him?”

“I’ll give you his number,” Bobby enters the office just long enough to jot Dean’s number and address down on a scrap piece of paper he hands to Castiel.

“Be sure to stop by and say goodbye before you go. It’ll be nice to do that this time.”

Castiel grimaces at that. “I will.”

Castiel waits to get back into the Continental before looking at the address properly. The address isn’t quite familiar, but the phone number is the same as ever. He’s getting ready to punch the address into his phone’s GPS when his stomach rumbles loudly in protest. The combination of traveling and general anxiety about his trip had made him skip breakfast, just downing the burnt cup of black coffee on the plane. He should probably grab some food before trying to find Dean.

In retrospect, Castiel should have known that he wouldn’t be able to control every aspect of his reunion with Dean. Even the various scenarios that Castiel’s imagination had drummed up always gave Castiel the upper hand. He hadn’t imagined that Dean would blindside him, that Dean would show up when Castiel was hardly ready to face a reality that he hadn’t even considered a possibility, as obvious as it seemed now.

Cas is in line for the deli in the market, thinking it a safe option where he can just grab the food and go. He’s thankful that the opportunity for small talk is lessened by the hustle and bustle of being the largest grocery store in the small town, when he spots Dean out of the corner of his eye. Dean is in the produce section inspecting a few apples, a mostly full shopping cart at his side.

Castiel takes a moment to observe him, taking in his appearance after all these years. Dean’s boyish features have been replaced by a certain handsome ruggedness that can only be achieved when one works with their body. He has some scruff on his face, not a full on beard, and Castiel wonders how long he’d have to go without shaving in order to achieve that look. He’s wearing a navy blue baseball hat, and instead of hiding his face, it only seems to make him more noticable. The flannel Dean was wont of wearing in his teenage years is ever present, a reddish color being the color of today. Noticeably absent is the oversized leather jacket that had once belonged to Dean’s father. Castiel never met the infamous John Winchester, but he remembers how Dean had practically drowned in the garment with aspirations of filling the jacket one day.

Castiel is hesitant to approach Dean, the protection a public space can offer warring with his need for this moment to be private, when he sees a young black haired boy, no more than maybe seven or eight, bring a watermelon to Dean. Dean smiles at the boy, ruffles his hair, and lets him put the watermelon in the shopping cart.

The air seems to leave Cas’ lungs in one swift swoosh. The decision is made instantly. He turns on his heel and heads back out to the parking lot, his deli line ticket crumpled in his hand, all feelings of hunger replaced by a heavy weight in his stomach and a lump in his throat. He was stupid, he was so stupid. Why did he think it would be a good idea to just show out of nowhere without researching whatsoever what Dean is up to nowadays?

What Dean seems to be up to is raising a family.

Castiel takes a moment to gain his bearings once outside, one hand resting on the hot metal of the Continental, grounding him. He looks around in hopes of remaining inconspicuous during his revelation and spots the Impala, parked close by. The car is as beautiful as ever, it’s shiny black exterior gleaming in the sunlight. Dean has taken good care of her, at least Dean’s love for his car hasn’t changed. Even if Dean has.

Castiel glances at the entrance of the grocery store. Dean will have to walk by him to get to the Impala. Castiel wonders how much longer until Dean comes out with his son. Castiel didn’t see Dean’s wi–the mother of the child, but it’s likely that it’s only because he didn’t wait to see any more before he turned and left. He drums his fingers on his car, his curiosity too invested now to leave.

It isn’t too much longer before he finally spots Dean exiting the grocery store, loaded grocery bags in hand. The dark haired boy is his only companion.

Dean seems too engrossed with something the young boy is telling him that he doesn’t see Cas until he’s much closer. The color drains almost immediately from his face, as if he’s seen a ghost.

“Hello, Dean.” Cas says, his voice low and raspy. Castiel is surprised it even works.

Dean doesn’t say anything, and the young boy regards Castiel curiously, confusion on his face as he looks between Cas and Dean.

It takes a moment for Dean to react, he nudges the boy, “Hey kiddo, just go sit in the car and wait a while okay? I’ll load up the groceries.”

“Alright, Dean,” the boy says. Castiel can’t help but find it odd that a son would refer to his father by his name.

“And no messing with the music,” Dean warns.

“Driver picks the music, blah blah blah, I know!” the boy says, fondly exasperated, and he glances at Cas curiously before he climbs into the passenger seat.

Cas steps away from his car, and moves toward Dean who’s now busy loading up the trunk of the Impala, almost determined to not acknowledge Cas’ presence.

“Dean,” he says again, his voice only just cracking.

Dean stands, takes off his baseball cap and runs his fingers through his hair before he puts it back on. He pinches the bridge of his nose briefly before his hands go to his hips, looking away and then regarding Castiel stoically, “I–Cas, uh, not that I’m not glad to see you, but what the hell are you doing here?”

Cas furrows his brow, okay, so they’re going to go the angry route, “I don’t know if this is the place to discuss–“

“No, you’re right. Where the fuck are my manners?” Dean scoffs, shaking his head.

“Dean–“

“Look buddy, I’ve got to get these groceries back to his mom for dinner, would you like to come? We can talk there, and there’s always plenty of food.”

Cas is taken aback. Of all the scenarios in his head of how their first encounter after so many years would go, being invited to dinner with Dean’s new family had never been one of them.

“I, yes, that would be great actually,” Castiel accepts, aware that he still hasn’t eaten and that he will only be more hungry later once the shock of seeing Dean again has worn off. Of course, he just has to survive dinner first.

“Great, I’m guessing you have your car, so uh, just follow me. I’ll drive slow, I promise,” Dean says, and there’s almost a smile on his face. The burst of anger from before has dissipated.

Cas gets into his car and follows Dean out of the parking lot. He can’t help but feel self conscious when he sees Dean glance at him in his side view mirrors. Dean had always made fun of the Continental, saying it would never be as nice as his baby. He doesn’t know where Dean lives currently, but when they pass through the popular residential area and move closer to the outskirts of town, he feels his throat tighten. Dean didn’t, he couldn’t have, Cas thinks. But sure enough, they take a small gravel lane that would be easy to miss if not for the mailbox by the road, and park in front of the house that waits for them at the end of the lane.

The house is everything Castiel had ever thought it would be, except that the feeling of coming home is glaringly absent.

Dean climbs out of the car, and the young boy immediately runs out of the car and toward the house with the familiarity of having done it all his life. Cas swallows the lump in his throat and gets out of the car. There’s no use delaying the inevitable now. He’s come this far, it would be pretty rude to just make a u-turn and leave.

“You bought it?” Cas says in almost a whisper as he comes up beside Dean, and he can’t keep the awe from his voice.

Dean looks up at the house, a sad smile on his face. “Yeah, took me a few years, but I got the down-payment saved up, and I went for it. Got a good price on it, it needed a lot of fixing up so that helped bring the price down.”

Castiel remembers what the house looked like, and “a lot” is an understatement. He and Dean had found the home in eighth grade, racing on their bikes down the river all the way to where it opened up into the lake. The house had long stood unoccupied, wooden planks boarding up the windows where the glass had been broken. The white paint peeling and shingles missing from the roof. They’d managed to sneak in, motivated by the thought that there was something lurking in the house’s shadows, and finding only a lot of dust and squeaky floorboards. Some research at the library revealed old records that the previous owners had left town, and the town had essentially come into its possession. In their eyes it was theirs for the taking. It became their hideaway, somewhere they could sneak off to when they wanted to escape from the world and just be together.

But when they’d finally realized their feelings for each other, it became a symbol of the future they could have. A home, just enough on the edge of town that they could have their own space separate from their families.

It’s strange, Castiel thinks, that even in their dreams for their future together, he and Dean never thought of leaving the town.

“Well, it looks amazing,” Castiel finally says.

“Thanks, it’s still-there’s still a few things that need fixing up, but a new coat of paint never hurt.”

Castiel helps Dean unload the groceries, they make it in one trip between the two of them.

When Castiel enters the kitchen, the boy sees him and makes an attempt to flee, but a beautiful black-haired woman grabs him by the shoulder, keeping him from moving away.

“Oh, Castiel, it’s nice to see you again. This is Ben, my son, he’s usually much better mannered than this, I don’t know what’s gotten into him.”

Lisa Braeden.

The mother of Dean’s child is Lisa Braeden, who went to high school with them up until junior year when she moved to live with her aunt and uncle after her parents lost their jobs. Lisa, who was set to be captain of the cheer leading squad, and queen of every high school dance that happened. Lisa, who he was sure Dean had had a crush on, while Castiel had still been confused about what he felt for Dean, and who didn’t realize until Lisa left that the burning feeling in his chest was jealousy. That’s who Dean had chosen to start a family with.

Castiel hopes the flurry of emotion he’s feeling doesn’t show on his face when he puts on his best smile and shakes Lisa’s outstretched hand, “Lisa, it’s been quite a while.”

“Ben, say hello to Mr. Milton?”

“Milton?” Ben asks. “Like, here, Milton?”

Cas tries not to grimace. He never liked when people made the connection between him and the town. It was easier to gauge people’s real opinions of him when they thought of him as just another person rather than the great-great-whatever of the town’s founders.

“Yes, now go wash up, dinner should be ready soon.”

They make small talk about dinner, Castiel trying his best to ignore the lump in his stomach. Lisa Braeden is not at fault, Castiel reasons with himself. But it’s difficult to forgive her for the place she’s made for herself at Dean’s side when Castiel is relegated to the living room, a guest in Dean’s home and nothing more.
--

Dean hardly knows what to do with himself. Castiel is here, in his home, currently sitting on the edge of the couch in the living room, looking at the various knick-knacks that count for decoration on the shelves. He looks as uncomfortable and anxious as Dean feels.

Physically, Castiel has changed. He’s filled out, but his jawline is as sharp as ever. Said jawline is currently sporting a serious case of five o’clock shadow, most likely from the lack of opportunity to shave while travelling. Castiel most likely keeps a clean shaven face then. And while he’s not dressed in a full suit, the business casual vibe coming off of him speaks of an office environment. Dean thought that Castiel had never wanted to work indoors.

When he’d seen Castiel in the parking lot, he felt as though his heart had fallen out of his chest. It wasn’t every day that the love of his life decided to come back into his life after ten years absence, even if Dean should have expected it.

The whole town had been abuzz with the news that Castiel would be returning to Milton.

Dean had been on tenterhooks all week. It wouldn’t be long before someone dredged up old gossip–Dean swears that some of the older matrons actually wrote things down in meticulously kept binders that are color coded and organized by month and year– and then he’d be brought back into the latest rumor of the week full force. He thought he had been doing a pretty good job of keeping his head down and just being the local mechanic as far as the gossips were concerned. He had had his fair share in the gossip spotlight and he was perfectly fine leading a bland life that met his out of it.

But it wasn’t Dean’s day to day business that he was worried about.

See, the thing wasn’t just that Castiel was returning to their small town of Milton. And while any town would be abuzz with the news of the return of the youngest son of their town’s founding patron, the thing that set fire to the flame was that he was rumored to be returning to Milton with his fiancée in tow. That alone would have set tails wagging for weeks. But things were a lot more complicated than that.

Complicated in the sense that Castiel Milton was already married. Had been, for almost ten years now, to his childhood best friend. And said husband and best friend (ex-best friend?) was none other than Dean Winchester himself.

They’d gotten hitched in a move that had been entirely unplanned but entirely honest. The two had been inseparable from the start, and it was natural that they bond the formed was nothing short of profound. It helped that they spent practically every day together. Their small town had only one elementary, one junior high, and one high school, everyone in town was together for their entire educational careers. Perhaps in a different town there would be other circumstances to separate the high-brow populace whose parents funded things like school outings from the troubled orphaned boys whose drunk of a father had dropped them off at a friend’s home and gone and gotten himself killed in a roadside collision. In a different world, a father leaving his two sons with nothing but the faint memory of a mother, the trauma of a burning home, and the stench of stale beer all but permanently stuck in their nostrils, would have served a fate much different than the fate that Sam and Dean Winchester carved out for themselves. But this was Milton, and Milton had Castiel, who very early on decided that he didn’t want to be like the rest of his family who preferred their castle in the sky. Castiel wanted to change the world, he figured it was the least he could do to thank the fates for dishing out a better plate for him that unfortunate othesr could only dream of.

Castiel’s knack for trying to save the world had pretty much guaranteed that he would find a friend in the closed shell that was eight-year-old Dean Winchester. Dean who wore mourning like the weight of the world was on his shoulders and had nothing to his name but the 1967 Chevy Impala he had known as home for the past three years, and the position of mother-father-brother to his five-year-old brother. The quick intervention of Castiel’s parents (at Castiel’s relentless insistence) had ensured that Robert Singer, the friend on who’s doorstep Dean and Sam Winchester had been metaphorically laid, got custody of the boys and would be their father in all but blood. Not that blood mattered, family didn’t end with blood.

So Castiel Milton and Dean Winchester were thereafter hardly ever seen without the other, it was as if they had been attached at the hip. They got into all kinds of mischief that only teenage boys in a small town can get up to, including “accidentally” setting the junior high’s principal’s rose bush on fire one infamous 4th of July, or “accidentally” driving Michael’s (Castiel’s older brother) brand new car into a ditch in Dean’s poor attempt at teaching Castiel how to drive.

But their friendship had blossomed into more than just Dean letting Cas ride on his handlebars when Cas had broken his arm trying to climb a fence. It had gone from splashing each other in the murky waters of the shallow river to making out sloppily on the banks of the lake, with dreams of remodeling the abandoned house to their backs and making it their own.

The fact that the Milton’s didn’t approve of Castiel’s relationship with Dean Winchester was something that always hovered over their heads, but Castiel was the younger son. His older brother Michael had already taken up the mantle of running the family business and was being groomed to fit into the role. What did it matter what Castiel made of his life when Michael was already the face of that company? At least that was what Castiel and Dean told themselves.

Dean proposed to Castiel shortly before their high school graduation. He’d pulled out his mother’s ring, one of the few things he still had of her, and put it on Cas’ finger as they stared up at the night sky. The still-warm hood of the Impala and the closeness of each other staving off the encroaching cold of the night spent by the river.

They were young and the world was at their fingertips.

Naturally, because this was Dean Winchester’s life and fate had a habit of throwing any obstacle it could at him, everything came crashing down. Castiel had left without a backwards glance and Dean’s heart clenched firmly in his grip, the gaping hole in Dean’s chest would never heal completely.

But that had been then, things are different now.

Castiel is different, Dean is different.

Castiel is different, and he’s sitting in Dean’s living room and Dean doesn’t know if he wants to punch him or kiss him.

He looks at everything through new eyes. What does Castiel think of the small wooden angel that he carved out of the tree that he cut down to make room for his two car garage? What does he think of the various photos of Ben at different ages that line the walls of the living room? Or the certificate of achievement that Lisa received from the community college set above the mantle alongside Dean’s mechanical certification? Does it make it seems like Dean and Lisa have made a home for themselves like any other couple? Is that what Castiel thinks Dean and Lisa are?

A part of Dean hopes that Castiel does. A part of him hopes that Castiel sees Dean as a complete person without him. A part of him wants Castiel to hurt in the same way that Dean hurt.

“If you’re just going to stand there, why don’t you just let me toss the salad and you go talk to him?” Lisa says from behind him, breaking Dean out of his reverie.

“No, I mean, I brought him without letting you know, I should help,” Dean says, the salad bowl still empty in his hands.

“This isn’t the first time you’ve brought a guest over unannounced, I can handle it. Just go talk to him,” Lisa says, taking the salad bowl from Dean.

“What do I even say to him?”

“Dean,” Lisa says, putting her hands on either of Dean’s shoulder and making him look her in the eye. “You are a good person—“

“No, I-“

“Don’t interrupt me. You’re a good person. I know so. When everyone gave me the cold shoulder for being a single pregnant woman you took me into your home and gave my son a father figure he could look up to. You are a good person. And if Castiel chose to leave you despite that, then the fault lies with him and not with you because you did nothing wrong.”

“You’re right. Have I told you you’re an amazing person?”

“Of course I’m right and amazing, now go talk to him. He’s here, finally, get some closure. You need it, and if he came all this way then I’m sure he needs it too.”

Dean nods, takes a deep breathe and heads into the living room, armed with only a glass of sweet tea for Cas.

Cas takes it, “You have a beautiful home Dean.”

“Uh, thanks.”

And somehow they manage to talk about everything but why Cas is really here.

Dinner is an awkward affair. Awkward in the way that things are when there is a giant pink elephant in the room that everyone is doing their damndest to ignore. Castiel is polite, asking questions about Lisa and Ben. Lisa is ever a gracious host, making sure everyone’s glasses are filled and has had second helpings. Dean spends the entire time trying not to pinch himself, that Castiel is actually here and it’s not some weird dream that his brain concocted to mess with him.

Once Lisa sends Ben off the to bed, she excuses herself and leaves Dean with Castiel.

--

The sun is only just starting to set as they make their way onto the porch.

“Dean–”

“Can I show you something?” Dean asks, before Castiel has a chance to continue.

They make their way around the house, walking close to the small lake and toward the back. Castiel hears the humming of insects, of birds getting ready to roost in the nearby trees for the night. There is a calmness to the night that is at odds with the way he feels.

Dean brings him over to a large wooden structure, small holes have been drilled all over the side. The sound of buzzing increases as they get closer.

“They’re carpenter bees,” Dean explains, pointing out a hole where a bee is only starting to enter. “They’re easier to take care of, don’t really have to do much. I read up on starting an apiary, but I don’t think I’d be very good at it, fixing up the house is still taking up a lot of my time.”

“Dean, this is amazing.”
Castiel is suddenly overwhelmed, had Dean done this for him? When they were younger Castiel had taken to the idea of having an apiary of his own. It’d been long since he’d abandoned the thought.

“Castiel, why are you here?” Dean asks apropos of nothing.

Castiel takes a deep breath. Here it is, the moment that Castiel has been dreading and yet waiting for.

“I’m sorry, I should have explained sooner.”

“About what?”

“Why I’m here. Dean, I’m here to get a divorce.”

So have you seen Dean yet? I need details Cas.

Castiel looks at the text from Balthazar, and curses him.

It’s all Balthazar’s fault. If it hadn’t been for him, Castiel wouldn’t be here, feeling sorry for himself and hating himself for the renewed pain he’s brought to Dean.

He had met Balthazar at work, and had begrudgingly allowed Balthazar to befriend him, even though Castiel now considers him his best friend. His loud personality and go-get-em attitude seems to have rubbed off on Castiel.

It all started when Balthazar was teasing Castiel relentlessly for his celibate lifestyle as he called it. It wasn’t that Castiel wasn’t attracted to anyone, but it was just that none of them were Dean.

“So you’re into guys but what I don’t understand is what’s holding you back? You’re attractive, you’re young, what’s stopping you? Is there some secret romance I don’t know about?”

Castiel was silent but grimaced at the last point.

“Holy shit, Cassie, do you have a secret boyfriend you’ve been hiding from me?”

“Not necessarily.”

“Is it serious? It can’t be serious if you haven’t introduced them to me?”

“Oh no, it’s- I messed up.”

“So you broke up?”

Castiel scoffed, “Not legally.”

Balthazar spilled his drink.

“You’re married?”

“Technically.”

“Cassie, you sly dog! I would have never known. I would’ve done my snooping if I had the slightest inkling. And no one knows?”

“Yes, and I intend to keep it that way.”

“Is that what you left in Illinois? Are you running away? Is it even really Illinois where you’re from.”

“I am. And no, I’m not running.”

“You say that, but you’re the one who is still married to your estranged husband and living in a completely different state.”

“Dean isn’t my estranged husband.”

“Oh so you’re telling me you still have regular contact with this hubby Dean of yours?”

“No.”

“Estranged. Okay, so details. You left, he chased you out, you know nothing about him, what’s the deal?”

“I know he still lives in Milton.”

“Is it a coincidence that the town you’re from also happens to be your last name or am I missing something else?”

“My family established the town.”

“Cas, Cas, Cas, you are full of surprises. So, prodigal son–”

“That would be Michael,” Castiel says, and tries not to spit out his name.

“Cherished baby of the family, marries a no one. How old were you?”

“Eighteen.”

“This just gets juicer, what’s his last name? Or did he take yours?”

“I was going to take his, we never got around to changing all the paperwork.”

“Oh to be young and in love,” Balthazar says dramatically, holding his hands over his heart.

“It’s not as romantic as you’re making it out to seem Balthazar, I assure you.”

“So you weren’t childhood sweethearts who got hitched right after graduation? That’s what rom-coms are made of.”

“We were foolish to rush into something so big without thinking about, and ignoring the repercussions.”

“Is that what you tell yourself?”

“You don’t know the details.”

“No, I don’t, but you’re acting defensive about a relationship that from the sounds of could have been simplified by a quick divorce, yet you continue to drag on and have no intentions of ending it anytime soon.”

“The relationship did end. I doubt Dean has any feelings for me anymore, not after what I did to him.”

“If there isn’t anything still there then you owe it to yourself, and to Dean, to close this chapter of your life and move on.”

“I suppose there is some truth in what you’re saying.”

“So now give me the details, I need names. We’ll have the divorce papers readied in no time.”

Castiel doesn’t know what makes him do it, but instead of heading back to his his childhood home he lets the neon light of the bar call to him.

He doesn’t recognize any one in the bar, but he thinks part of it is the dim lighting. He’s pretty sure that the people recognize him though. Milton isn’t a town where they get too many strangers, and Castiel is pretty sure that if people didn’t know he was going to be visiting, they do now.

He isn’t much of a drinker, going out with Balthazar and drinking socially is the extent of his drinking, but tonight he has other plans. Though vodka is always his drink of choice, the three shots of tequila that the bartender puts down for him go down quickly.

Castiel is an idiot. His whole interaction with Dean was a disaster. Castiel had never had the best social tact, always choosing for flat out honesty and always hurting others without ever really meaning to.

As soon as he’d said divorce, Dean had closed off. Dean hadn’t been completely angry, but the terseness of his responses had been telling.

Castiel had laid out his reasoning. They were both finally going to be able to move on with their lives. Castiel was just holding Dean back, and they had nothing more to lose that they hadn’t already lost. Really, the divorce was for the best. When Castiel had suggested that they could both sign the divorce papers that Balthazar had helped get ready for him, Dean had told him to go fuck himself, and left him on his porch.

Castiel had procured the divorce papers from the Continental and left them on Dean’s porch. It was cowardly, but at that point he’d just wanted to be gone.

Castiel didn’t know what had gone wrong,. Once he’d seen Dean with his family, he thought this was something that Dean would want.

He’s nursing a beer, eyeing the shot the bartender left for him and well on the way to get drunk when he notices someone at his side. Castiel turns and sees Lisa. She catches his eye, but he pretends not to see her and turns back to his drink.

“I thought I would find you here.”

He makes a noncommittal sound before tossing back his shot. He hails the bartender over, and the bartender brings over the bottle to refill his shot glass.

“Hey, Lisa, can I get you anything?” the bartender asks.

“The usual,” Lisa replies, taking the empty stool beside Castiel.

“No Dean tonight?” the bartender asks as he puts down a pale beer in front of Lisa.

“Not tonight.”

Castiel tries hard to pretend that he’s not bothered by the bartender’s innocent question, but it stings. So Lisa and Dean come here often enough to have a usual. Dean and Lisa come here often enough that it’s odd to see them separately. Dean and Lisa are Dean and Lisa. He tosses back the next shot, knowing that he should slow down but uncaring at the moment. He kind of really wants to get drunk tonight.

“Look, Cas, I know I’m probably the last person you want to talk to right now–“

Cas laughs, “Understatement.”

“But I really just need you to listen right now.”

“Can I get another drink here?” Cas says loudly, ignoring Lisa.

“I’d say you should take it easy, but considering Dean’s just about half way through his own bottle of whiskey he keeps in the garage, well, I can see where your shared coping methods came from.”

“Do you have a point here? Or did you just come to rub it in my face that–”

“I’m here because Dean’s too big of a coward to come over here and talk to you, and I have a feeling you’re too big of a stubborn ass to listen to him even if he tried.”

“Just go back home to him and your kid.”

“So this is about Ben.”

“Look, I came here to get a divorce. I get that you’re excited that Dean will finally be free, but I’d kind of like to drink in peace here. After all, a person doesn’t get divorced every day.”

“Wow, you guys really are perfect for each other. And before you throw another lame insult my way, I’ll have you know that Dean is a very good friend, more than anything. And Ben? Dean is his godfather. Dean and I found each other in difficult times, and we helped each other out. That’s all I came here to say. I’ll leave you to your drinking,” Lisa says as she slams some money on the counter and leaves.

Castiel is momentarily stunned by her words.

Dean and Lisa aren’t a thing. Ben wasn’t Dean’s kid. Now that’s something he could drink to.

--

Dean’s phone rings loudly on the table next to him, the caller ID popping up and showing a familiar face. The fact that it’s also 6:30 in the morning should phase him, but she has a knack for calling him at odd hours of the day.

“Sheriff Mills, to what do I owe the pleasure on this Sunday morning?” Dean picks up the phone.

“Dean, good morning, sorry if I woke you. And It’s just Jody this morning, calling mostly as a friend.”
Her voice sounds cautious, and Dean’s stomach drops. Did something happen to Ben? But he didn’t have his little league game until the late morning, and Lisa was going to take him. He would have heard her car exiting the garage,; it creaked like crazy, he needed to oil it.

“What’s going on?” Dean can’t keep the fear out of his voice.

“Well, I guess I’m calling partially as Sheriff. I was getting ready to leave the station when they brought Castiel in.”

“What?” Dean practically yells into the phone.

“Relax, he didn’t get arrested, technically, just brought in for drunken antics.”

Dean laughs, relieved but also very confused, “Castiel was disturbing the peace?”

“Yup, officer Henrikson is getting ready to take over right now. He’s watching over him right now if you want to head on over to the station, told Victor I’d give you call.”

“Thanks Jody.”

“It isn’t the only reason I called.”

“Oh.”

“Dean, you’re my friend, I’ve known you for a while, and I’d like to say that I know you pretty well. I also knew what you were like when you were with him and when he left.”

“Jody,” Dean warns. He doesn’t really want to hash things out right now, the wound he thought had long scarred over has reopened.

“I know it’s not my place, but Castiel was yelling, and he sounded like he’d just gotten some good news about the parentage of a certain Braeden boy.”

“Ben?”
That makes Dean sit up. Okay, he hadn’t been exactly forthcoming about who Ben and Lisa were in his life, he’d let Castiel assume, never flat out saying the truth. That Castiel, when presented with Dean and the Braedens, has assumed they were a family was something that had pleased Dean a little. He’d wanted Castiel to hurt.

“Look, all I’m saying is that perhaps there’s something there that can still be salvaged.”

“Jody, he came all the way out here to ask for a divorce.”

“Yeah, and then proceeded to practically drink his night away. Dean, this could be a second chance.”

“Why are you rooting for him?”

“Because I would do anything to get a second chance with my husband. I know everyone who loses a spouse likes to look back at things through rose colored lenses, but the truth is my marriage was going through a rocky patch. Given the chance I would go back and do my part to help fix things. No one is perfect, and you both were so young, perhaps the only thing your marriage didn’t have to its advantage was your youth. Just talk it out. Please. And if it doesn’t work out, I promise never to give you unsolicited relationship advice again.”

Dean sighed, “Fine.”

“You’ll be okay Dean, things will work out. Now go get your man.”

Dean gets dressed quickly, passing Lisa in the hallway and letting her know where he’s going. She gives him a knowing look, but Dean can only give her a shrug.

He doesn’t really know what waits for him at the police station. Yesterday, when Cas had left, he thought that any glimmer of hope he’d had at repairing their relationship was completely gone. Castiel had made the trip just to divorce him. But then why had he spent the night seemingly drinking in his misery? And why did Jody think there was still something there to save? Things didn’t add up.

Dean enters the police station and approaches the front desk, feeling every bit a high school student even though this time he’s the one doing the bailing out.

“Hey, I’m here for—,” Dean begins saying.

“Dean, just this way. He’s a bit of a mess,” Victor greets him, escorting Dean to the holding cells.
The town is small enough that most people aren’t actually arrested, just given time to sleep off their drunken stupor before getting a metaphorical slap to the back of their hands and then sent on their way.

Cas is lying on the bench, arm over his eyes. He’s snoring just slightly, and Dean can see that his facial hair is growing in even more.

“Your bail is here, you’re free to go,” Victor says, banging loudly on the bars, no doubt aiming for the reaction that Cas dutifully delivers as he startles back into consciousness.
The sudden movement makes Cas groan, returning his arm to his eyes when the brightness of the cell makes him flinch.

“Who?” Cas says, attempting to sit up, eyes still squinting.

“Hey, sweetheart,” Dean says, kind of enjoying the fact that this time he’s the one on the other side of the bars instead of being in the cell right there with Cas.

“Dean? What are you-Officer Henrikson I didn’t–“

“Not my problem, take your time,” Victor says, unlocking the door and giving Dean a pat on the shoulder before he excuses himself to go sit at his desk once more.

“Why are you here?” Cas says in a tone that could almost be described as biting, but Dean recognizes the defensiveness in his voice.

“Well, here in Hicktown, USA, when you’re picked up for drunken disorderly, they call your immediate next of kin, aka your spouse, aka your husband, aka the husband you’re still married to.”

“Oh.”

“Yup,” Dean says, popping the “p” at the end.

“I’m sorry to have inconvenienced you, but you can go now.”

“Yeah? And you’re getting home how? You know they probably impounded your Continental for the night right?” Dean can’t help but feel a little smug. Cas needs him, even if he doesn’t think so.

“I could call a cab.”

“Right, the one cab in town that Garth drives. The one I’m pretty sure doesn’t start running until 9am.”

Cas’ shoulders slump.

“Look, I know I’m an asshole, but I’m not that big of an asshole. I’ll let you save face. I don’t think your family will be very appreciative of you showing up shit-faced not twenty-four hours after showing up back in town. You can stay on my couch, sleep off the rest of your hangover.”
Even if Dean is still mostly angry with Cas, seeing him hungover has improved his mood.

“Dean, I can just get a motel room.”

“Okay, your motel room then.”

“Where is my car?”

“Well if they towed it it’s probably over at Bobby’s place. They probably figured you could just go back and get it from him directly.”

Cas gets up, and everything must be moving, because he sways in place, and Dean can’t help his automatic reaction of reaching out to steady him.

“Vic wasn’t lying when he said you were drunk off your ass.”

“I’m not drunk, just, I guess I’d forgotten how hard the liquor actually is. I’m incredibly hung over.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen you this way since prom night.”

“I don’t remember prom night.”

“Exactly,” Dean laughs.
Cas half smiles, and it’s almost easy, teasing Cas and knowing that Cas is fine with it.

They make their way to the front desk where Victor is nursing a cup of coffee that smells delicious.

“Sorry about being a nuisance,” Castiel apologizes.

“Eh, nothing out of the ordinary around here. You’re probably wondering where you car is.”

“Yes.”

“It was too late, Jody didn’t want to bother the old man,” Victor says, giving Dean a knowing a look. “She left your car where it was, seeing as it wasn’t in the way. Out by the river, local kids used to use it as a make out spot.”

Dean looks at Castiel curiously, but Castiel avoids his gaze and accepts his belongings from Victor.

They’re back in the Impala before Castiel speaks again.

“So Jody and Bobby?”

Dean laughs at that. “Yeah, they’ve been a thing for a while. She doesn’t put up with his shit, and he likes that about her.”

“Well, I’m-Uh, the Continental, it should be by the river, you know the place,” Castiel says, and he’s actually blushing, “the one we used to go to.”

“Oh, I can take you there.”

Dean wonders what Castiel was doing there, that was their place, that was where they would go to hang out and the place where Dean had proposed to Castiel. That Castiel should choose to go there gives Dean hope, and that hope is a dangerous thing right now.

The car ride over to the river seems to take longer than it should. The silence only grows thick between them as they approach the river on the edge of town, and Dean wishes he could say something, but he doesn’t know if he should.
The signed divorce papers burn in his back pocket. He’d decided to bring them with him when he spotted them on the kitchen table this morning, a plan b in the worst case scenario.

Instead, he says nothing and pulls up to the path that has been well tread by the Impala’s wheels, cutting off the engine when he’s side by side to Castiel’s Continental.

Cas looks over at him, “Thank you, Dean, for everything.”

“Don’t sweat it, Cas.”

“Dean, please, I owe you an apology.”

Dean takes his eyes off the road and glances at him expectantly.

“I–I’m sorry.”

Dean sighs. He seems to be doing that a lot today.

“I wish that changed anything.”

“Perhaps not, but more than that, I owe you an explanation, something that is long overdue.”

Silence follows.

“Jody mentioned, well, I would rather hear it from you. If you’re sorry, you’re going to explain yourself really good. I’m tired, Cas. I’m tired of wondering why you left, of not knowing if it was something I did or just who I am.”

“It’s complicated.”

“Story of my life. Lay it on me.”

“Where do I begin?”

“Why don’t you start with telling me why Jody thought you weren’t drinking your sorrows, but rejoicing in the fact that Ben isn’t my son?”

Castiel blanches and Dean thinks Castiel might throw up. But the moment passes, and Castiel looks out the window toward the river before turning back to Dean.

“Dean, why did you think I came out here?”

Dean is taken back, he thought he was the interrogator here, “To divorce me, you told me.”

“You know this isn’t at all how I pictured this in my head.”

“How did you picture it?”

“There would be a lot of yelling.”

Dean barks out a laugh, “Yeah, we used to do a lot of that.”

“We did. You tended to let things simmer before you exploded, but Sam and I would just lash out, unfairly at you for the most part.”

“Yeah, well, I think I deserved it some of the time.”

“How is Sam by the way?” Castiel asks, genuinely curious.
He hasn’t heard much of the younger Winchester since they’ve arrived, his mind too preoccupied with other things than to inquire.

“Uh, he moved out west to California. He’s married now, thinking of starting a family last i heard, we, um, don’t keep in touch that much anymore,” Dean confesses, playing with edge of the steering wheel.

“I’m sorry,” Castiel says, surprised.
He always knew that Sam had wanted to get out of the small town and see the world, but with the way Dean cared for his brother it’s a surprise that they aren’t closer.

“It’s not your fault he can’t pick up a phone.”

Cas wishes that were true, he feels every bit responsible for Sam being able to leave Dean too.

“You know, you could’ve picked up the phone, too.”

Cas grimaces.

“Did you think you’d come here, ask for a divorce and be on your way without an explanation? Just like before?”

“I guess I hadn’t thought that far ahead, just the yelling. I also imagined I’d be a lot more sober than I am.”

“This isn’t how I pictured this to go down either.”

“Oh?”

“We aren’t the same people we were then, Cas. Things, us, we’re changed. Yeah, legally we’re married, but the way things left off, am I crazy for not being able to move on?”

“Does that mean we might have a chance?”

“I don’t know Cas, your explanation better be damned good.”

—-

Cas could hardly see through the tears, guided mostly by the familiarity of where things were in his room as he opened drawers and stuffed their contents into a haphazardly opened suitcase perched on the edge of his bed.

“Castiel! You are stupid to think this could end well,” Michael yells at him, pushing the door to Castiel’s room open.

“I don’t care, I love him!”

“You’re a child, what do you know about love?”

“Enough to know that you don’t feel any toward me.”

“Castiel, enough, stop. You’re not leaving this house, and if you are, it certainly isn’t to join that boy and his drunken uncle in that downtrodden junkyard,” Michael argues.

“Shut up! You don’t know anything about him,” Castiel opens a new suitcase, undeterred.

“I know enough to know that he’d be devastated if anything happened to his brother.”

“Are you threatening Sam?”

“The only driving force keeping that boy going is the fact that he thinks he’s going to help his little brother’s dreams come true. It would be cute if it weren’t so pathetic. What does Dean have to offer that could remotely help Sam succeed?”

“He- Dean believes in Sam,” the retort sounds weak in front of Michael.

“I, on the other hand, have the connections to get Sam started and on his way. A paid summer internship before senior year? Now something like that wouldn’t look bad at all on a college application come fall. Perhaps a nice letter of recommendation from some well placed people?”

“Why would you help Sam?” Castiel asks, suspicious. Michael must have a hidden motive.

“The question, little brother, is why would you get in the way of this happening for Dean and Sam? Why would you let Sam be blacklisted before he can even get one foot in the door?”

“You wouldn’t.”

“You say that as if you don’t know me.”

Castiel knows he has no leverage here, nothing to work in his favor. He lets Michael take the pile of clothes from his grip and toss it back into a random open drawer.

“Now that’s a smart choice, Castiel. You get rid of this little notion that you can marry Dean Winchester, and I’ll make sure that Sam Winchester gets the best start to his little hopes and dreams.”

“I,” Cas begins, so Michael doesn’t know that he and Dean are already married.

“Of course, I don’t want to punish you too much. Dean isn’t going to take the break up easily.” Michael tosses an envelope on his suitcase. “That’s a ticket for a one-way trip to New York with your name on it.”

“What am I going to do in New York?”

“School. Or what, did you think you could hide those acceptance letters from me? I accepted the offer to NYU for you.”

Castiel was going to wait for Dean. They’d do their GE’s at the local community college and transfer to a university that would accept them both. They’d get a cheap apartment and survive off stove-top ramen noodles. And when they’d graduated and gotten good jobs, they’d buy that house out by the lake.

“I’d get packing Castiel.”

—-

“I’m going to kill your brother,” Dean practically growls, making to start the Impala.

“Dean, stop, you can’t change what happened,” Castiel puts a hand on Dean’s arm, and that stops him.

“Why did you let him do that?” Dean says, slamming his fist on the steering wheel.

“Because I knew how much Sam’s future meant to you, I knew you’d somehow blame yourself for Sam not getting everything he wanted.”

“It wasn’t your call to make.”

“It was the only one I could make.”

“He was my responsibility, you didn’t have to-“

“Dean, I practically signed up for it when I married you.”

“How could he do that to you?”

Castiel shrugs, “I don’t think my brother ever had any real love for me. I was his to boss around after our parents passed. I did as he pleased.”

“Still, that doesn’t… You didn’t even- you just left. I didn’t know what happened, I thought something had happened to you. You went to get your stuff from Michael’s house and you didn’t come back,” Dean sounds helpless as he finishes.

Cas can feel the tears welling up in his eyes now. He remembers the trip to the airport, how hard he had tried not to cry but the knot in his throat had made it impossible to breathe and then he’d been crying in gulping heaves. Michael hadn’t even tried to console him.

“If I even tried to, Michael would have taken everything from Sam.”

“Sam got a letter later that week, he was packed and gone by the next.”

“Oh, Dean.”

“You and Sam both gone, just like that.”

“Michael took everything from you.”

“I was angry. I was angry at you, Cas, for the longest time. I thought, if Michael did something, you’d find a way to reach out to me like you always did. But there never was any news, and after a while I figured it was because you didn’t want to reach out.”

“I’m still angry at myself for that. Is that why you never tried looking for me, because you thought I had left of my own free will?”

Dean shakes his head, “I didn’t even know where to begin. I didn’t have the resources.”

“Sometimes I forget how young we were. I felt so mature at that point, like i knew what i was doing.”

“We had our whole lives planned out.”

“It’s a little ridiculous, in hindsight.”

“There was talk, y’know, that you’d be coming back. I don’t know how the gossips got a hold of it. I don’t have Facebook or any of that fancy social media, but they knew you were coming.”

“I’m not big on social media either. Michael must have let it slip somehow.”

“You told him you were coming?”

“Honestly, I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t here. I didn’t want to see him.”

“He’s hardly ever here anymore. He kind of disappeared after you left, too.”

“What else did they say?”

“They said you’d be bringing a fiancé in tow. Rumor was that she was pretty, and had good connections.”

“I hope you didn’t believe that.”

Dean shrugs.

“Dean, I’m gay, I married a man, you to be exact.”

“I know, but things change. Maybe you’d realized you were bisexual. I mean, I am.”

“Well, regardless, there’s no fiancé, no girlfriend, no boyfriend.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Is it?”

Dean ignores this with a question of his own, “So if there isn’t anyone else, why divorce me?”

“I thought it was what you would want.”

“It- it’s not?”

“Is that a question?”

“I don’t know what I want, Cas. Yesterday, when you said you wanted to divorce me, it felt like you were leaving me again, just with a notice this time, a notice that I had to sign off on like I was on board with it. And that pissed me off. It pissed me off that you were the one who was coming back into my life and messing it up again, why were you allowed to hurt me again like that?”

“Dean, I didn’t realize you’d take it that way.”

“And that’s the thing, it made me think that you didn’t care. That maybe you never cared, that you didn’t love me. Maybe that made it easy for you to leave the first time, what did ten years mean? This was nothing to you.”

“This means everything.”

“But you didn’t act like it!”

“How can I ever make it up to you?”

“Cas, please don’t just say that because you feel sorry for me. If divorcing me is what you really want, if you need that in your life to move on or to do whatever, I can take it.”

“I don’t want to divorce you Dean, I’d marry you all over again if that could repair things even just a little.”

“Do you really mean that? I’m not going to make it easy.”

“Make it as difficult as you want for me, I’m not going anywhere, not this time around.”

“Cas, we hardly know each other anymore. What if, what if you don’t like me anymore?”

“I don’t think that’s possible. I feel like I haven’t stopped loving you since I left. No one could ever come close.”

“In the spirit of coming clean, I, well I wasn’t exactly celibate.”

“Oh.”

“Just a couple of drunken encounters in the city, early on mostly. Women, the whole time. I couldn’t, with a guy, it felt more wrong.”

“So, you and Lisa never?” Cas hopes the jealousy isn’t obvious in his voice.

Dean laughs, “No, we established pretty early on that we were better just friends.”

“Good.”

“Good.”

Castiel reaches over, taking Dean’s hand in his and intertwining their fingers, “Is this okay?”

“Yeah, Cas, I think things will be okay.”

Things weren’t perfect, but they’d be okay.

__

Epilogue:

Castiel feels the warmth of the sun on his face. He hasn’t opened his eyes yet, but he’s awake.

He takes a moment just to breathe and listen, he can make out the sounds of the birds outside, and the gently lapping of the water at the lake shore. He smiles. Today is going to be a good day.

He turns his head, opening his eyes to the sight of the still slumbering body beside him. Dean’s face is only just visible, his face buried in his pillow, the comforter brought up around his shoulders. Dean hogs the blankets at night, but the heat of the scorching summer days lingers well into the night, Castiel doesn’t need an extra blanket.

“You’re doing the staring thing again,” Dean mutters, face scrunching up before he opens an eye to peak at Castiel.

Castiel isn’t even embarrassed at being caught, he just continues to stare, “Sometimes I just need to make sure I’m not dreaming.”

“Sap. Would a morning breath kiss make this more real?”

“Hm, I don’t know. The fact that I get to marry you all over again today is pretty dream like to me.”

“Sappier than a freaking Hallmark card, my husband,” Dean laughs, but opens up his arms to invite Castiel into them under the comforter.

Castiel goes into them willingly despite the early heat of the morning. Dean kisses him, and yup, morning breath.
“I like it when you call me that.”

“What, my husband?”

“Mhmm, say it again.”

“My husband has the weirdest kinks.”

Castiel kisses his way up Dean’s jaw, and Dean groans appreciatively.

“If you continue that, we’re going to be late to our own wedding.”

“Oh, who’s the sap now?”

“Vow renewal, wedding, same difference, we’re going to be late.”

“The good thing about it being our wedding, is that they can’t start without us.”

“Good point,” Dean agrees, and flips them over.