The first time he does it, he has a very valid reason to. Cas has a broken femur, and a cast, to show for it. Thankfully, it isn’t a femural shaft fracture, and doesn’t require surgery. He’d broken his leg in the minor accident he’d had with a car - he was the pedestrian - and Dean had made sure to yell at the twenty three years old driver until the kid swore to never overlook a traffic light again. Anyways, they’d taken Cas to the hospital, and after a small procedure and a couple hours in the hospital - they’d let him take his boyfriend home.
Of course, at that moment, neither Dean nor Cas had remembered that they live in a first-floor apartment, and due to the stellar landlord-tenant relationships, the elevator was often down.
“The doctor told you to,” Dean snapped, when he saw Cas trying to put weight on his injured leg. “Not do thatvery thing, Cas!”
“Well,” Cas defended. “I’ve gotta, Dean! Because I can’t exactly teleport to our bedroom, so -”
“- shuddup.” Dean finds himself marching up to Cas, far too up in his personal space to not be about to do what he’d been debating with himself about doing. “You’re not a wriggler, are you?”
“Is that a sex term?” Cas threw back, smirking.
Dean ignored that - still sorta pissed off at Cas for coming in front of a slightly-speeding car just because he thought everyone on a city road was as law-abiding and respectful of zebra crossings like he was. Cas should’ve known better than to do something like that - what if, in his stupidity, he’d broke something more than a leg!? The thought pained him, and made him even more mad at Cas.
“I’m gonna pick you up and take you to our house.” Dean declared, equally for his benefit as for Cas’s. Cas blinked at him like he’d gone paranoid, and Dean swallowed, to absorb even more of the determination he knew he should feel.
Half-limp, and unable to move back, Cas shook his head firmly. “You’re not doing that, Dean.”
“Are you planning to set up camp in the lobby?” Dean bristled. “Because I’m not into the idea of going to a motel or back to the hospital!”
Cas was silent.
His eyes were a show of vulnerability, suddenly shining with the realization of being a liability. That very moment, it struck Dean, and it was like a kick to his stomach. He was hurt, and Dean was being an asshole to him.
“Cas, babe,” He put his hand on the shorter man’s spine, comfortingly. “You worried I’d drop you..?”
Cas looked at him hesitantly. “I know you wouldn’t..but what if we both fall and fracture our hips or something?”
Dean scoffed, dismissing the thought. “Will you just lemme do this, Cas?”
Cas pursed his lips, and there was indecision on his face - which was better than the definite refusal before and the cue for Dean. He knew his boyfriend well enough to know that Cas wouldn’t ever say a ‘yes’ outright to an idea like this, but him considering it meant - in Cas-tongue - that Dean was allowed to do this.
He grinned at Cas, readied himself, and keeping his eyes trained on Cas the whole time, picked him up bridal-style, with a hand under his neck and the other under his thighs.
Cas gasped, as Dean lifted him up, automatically clinging to Dean in a hurry that Dean found more endearing that he’d ever tell Cas.
“Ready?” Dean teased, before beginning to climb the stairs.
Cas almost screwed his eyes shut, until when he didn’t, and kept staring at Dean’s face as he carried him up. “We’re actually doing this.” He muttered, looking down at the stairs for the first time - careful not to move any more than he had to to inconvenience Dean.
Of course it wasn’t easy. Cas was six feet of running muscles (and concentrated snark, but Dean was hoping that was weightless or something). Dean may be taller, but even he knew that Cas looked bigger than him because of how he was built. But Dean was determined. They didn’t even really quiver.
Dean, aware of his own strength, put him down on the first landing, for a few moments. Cas still leaned on him, but Dean was very much okay with that, in spite of the fact that he was panting.
“You’re strong,” Cas informed Dean, coyly, when Dean picked him up again - with way more expertise than before, instantly adjusting his hands in the space behind Cas’s knees (careful to avoid the plaster) and the other holding up his upper body.
“Damn straight.” Dean replied smugly, resisting the urge to blush, and directing all of his attention to getting Cas to their doorstep first. “Get down, Cas, you’re home.” He let him on his feet, still half-steady, and began to unlock the door to their apartment with his keys.
Cas was grinning wide, at him, when he straightened and the door swung open.
“I’m regretting the cast on my leg right now, because otherwise, I’d ask you to carry me to the bedroom.” Cas raised his eyebrows, giving him that look which made him weak in the knees -
Which was not the way to go right now, with one of them unable to walk right now.
“You enjoyed it, huh?” Dean prompted instead, not picking him up, but tucking Cas’s arm around him and supporting him as they walked into their living room. They both landed almost at the same time on the familiar couch they’d chosen together, at the time of moving in, almost two months back.
“I wish I could show you how fun it was,” Cas replied, without a speck of suggestion in it. “I could lift you too, you know.”
“You know I’m taller than you, right?” Dean couldn’t help the note of pride.
“You can lift me up two flights of stairs, and you think Ican’t -” Cas narrowed his eyes at him, but there was a smile on his lips. “You clearly haven’t realized all the benefits of dating another man, Dean.”
Dean smirked. “Don’t promise me stuff you can’t deliver, Cas. At least not rightaway.” Cas frowned. “Well, I suppose I’m also supposed to get food and everything now that you’ve rendered yourself unpotable,” He smiled fondly at Cas, who huffed in annoyance. “So, my cooking or takeout, babe?”
The memorable next time, they’re in the middle of an argument. It’s a goddamn funny argument too, because Cas is hell-bent on not sleeping yet, and Dean will not let that go.
“Fucking 48 hours, Cas!” Dean yelled, “I’m not here for a weekend, and you don’t even go to bed!”
“I told you that I didn’t mean for that to happen.” Cas bristled, looking away from Dean. He looked like he wanted to use the ’but I dozed off on my desk enough times’ line again, but Dean was glaring at him too hard. “And if you’d stop freaking out about my sleep schedule for a moment, I’ve gotta finish this paper!”
“When’s the last date?” Dean clenched his fists, and hissed through his teeth.
“Today’s a Monday, you complete -” Dean lost it, and began to march towards his annoying boyfriend, who obstinately took a step back. He stood in front of Cas, inches away from his beautiful goddamn face, adorning an annoying frown.
“Are you planning to kiss me to sleep?” Cas rolled his eyes. “Because I’d like to see you try.”
“Nope.” Dean shot back, hella serious. “But I will carry you to bed.”
Cas narrowed his eyes, like that didn’t make sense - unless something must’ve clicked in his head, and he raised his eyebrows. He stole a glance at his computer, the word document of his paper for college open. He turned back to Dean, swallowing. “What?”
“You know what.” Dean’s voice was more level, but he was still exasperated with Cas. “I can do it, and I will, Cas.”
“Fine.” Cas bit his lip. “Carry me.”
Dean was slightly taken aback at the change of heart, but he also knew that he’d not seen Cas since fridayand wanted to be close to him - would’ve made it much easier if he’d slept human hours, but still.
Without a word, Dean bent and picked Cas up with a flourish. It was still hard to do it, but at least he knew all the correct ways to make it more comfortable for them both.
Cas, this time, wrapped his hands around Dean’s neck, beaming. “Hello, Dean.”
“Come on, you sleep-deprived idiot.” Dean muttered, deliberately bouncing on his heels before walking towards his bedroom.
“This is unbelievably hot.” Cas told Dean, burying his face in Dean’s neck, and making Dean swear under his breath because goddammit.
“I know, right?” He joked, instead of making a lewd comment like he really wanted to - because believe it or not, Dean had that level of self control when it came to his boyfriend’s health. They reached the bed in no time, and Dean practically let go of Cas once he reached the memory-foam mattress - one of the loves of his life.
Cas, making a content little sound in his throat, began to make himself comfortable - for all his bite against this, literally five minutes back.
Sometimes, especially as a twenty four year old in college, you just need your bed to remind you how much you actually want to sleep.
Cas was already in just a ratty tee and pyjamas, so Dean stripped down to his boxers and joined Cas on the bed, who, for all his stillness and adorable sighs, was still awake.
“What else d'you need to sleep?” Dean teased.
“I was just thinking,” Cas returned, turning around to face Dean who was lying on his back, and wrapping an arm around his middle.
“About how awesomely strong I am, for being able to carry my big, grumpy boyfriend around?” Dean suggested.
“I’m not big.” Cas muttered, drowsily.
“You are, in all the ways that matter.” Dean chuckled at his own joke, because Cas was too asleep to react to it anymore. Fucking finally.
Dean carded his hands through the sleeping man’s hair, comfortable in everyway ever, and began to drift off to sleep himself, even feeling a little proud of himself.
Of course, those were the good two times. Followed by a number of bad times too. Once Dean realized that he could carry Cas around, he began to do it more freely.
There was a certain thrill in picking Cas up when they kissed, and an equal thrill in seeing the annoyed frown on his face on the Sunday mornings when Dean picked him up and landed him on the kitchen chair so that he had company while he cooked breakfast.
He carried him to bed when he fell asleep on the sofa, and Cas would regularly wake up bitching that there was a reason he napped on sofas, so that he could wake up due to the factor of uncomfortability, and resume his work - and that by carrying him to bed like this, Dean was disrupting his work schedule too.
The number of ‘pick you up’ puns were endless, once Dean discovered the joys of that. Cas must also enjoy it too, because he didn’t exactly laugh at all of Dean Winchester’s lame jokes, but he practically fell over laughing when Dean uses an old and tried one.
But he also knows that it annoys Cas most of the time now, but that’s part of the charm, really.
Cas swears that he’s gonna put on weight so that Dean can’t carry him around, randomly. Dean does him one better and says that he’ll restart going to the gym to sustain his newfound ability, and eat in just as much increased quantity as Cas says he will for the purpose.
Then there’s the time that Dean wins an argument at Wal-Mart, when he threatens to pick Cas up - which is one of the weirdest things that he’s ever done, but Cas is laughing just as hard as he was taken aback - and that settled the debate on frozen meat.
So yeah. There’s a lot of times Dean does it, purely to annoy Cas. And it works like magic and that’s amazing.
But then there’s the really awesome times too, where Dean gets to actually fucking dramatize the line, ‘carry you over the threshold of the altar of our marriage’ or something before Cas swears at him to shut up and start kissing him already, and he was getting impatient to be dehymenated as a wedded man or some shit Dean doesn’t remember because then they started making out.
Their honeymoon, close to Dean’s 27th birthday, is the only time Dean’s actually close to dropping Cas - but Cas has only himself to blame because he began to kiss Dean while in the middle of the act - and forgive him for not being completely stable on his feet whilst necking your husband.
And then there’s all of the times when they’ve put their daughter to bed, and Dean has insisted on carrying Cas to bed after a few moments too - a ridiculous gesture but greeted with annoyed grins and half-meaningful rolled-eyes.
So, there. Dean Winchester could pick Castiel up, and he does it often. Castiel can pick him up too, but he knows Dean loves it so he lets him do it. And most of the reason Dean does it, is because Cas either melts in his hands and goes all fluffy and clingy - or he snarks at him mid-air and yells for Dean to get over this phase, or argues that he’s a grown man who doesn’t want to be carried around like a fucking baby. Dean has a good argument to that, especially when Cas looks at him with that crease in his forehead and hint of a scowl, even while he’s hiding a smile. “No offense, Cas, but without your degrees and computers, you’re kinda like a baby in a trench coat.”
Of course, we couldn't end the story without this. One evening, when Cas remembers that he’d once told Dean he could pick him up too, he acts on it. Its almost easier for him, which is a tad bit annoying - but also really fun. Dean kinda gets Cas' instant reflex to begin to hold onto Dean, because it's kinda like a crazy leap of faith when you're both the same size. Also, Cas was extremely right. In his previous 22 years of being in the closet, he’d clearly missed out on the opportunity of this. None of the chicks he went out with could’ve pick him up like this, or even been into the seemingly weird idea.