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The Gift

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‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.’

Dean nodded at the family of four, squeezing their way through the row of trees. He found himself humming the Christmas song playing overhead throughout the parking lot: though he’d never admit it to Sam, the holiday music his brother insisted on was starting to grow on him.

It was the third year they’d turned the far corner of the parking lot into a tree lot, selling Christmas trees, wreaths, and hot beverages. Dean joked that at this rate it was time they took sock in Swiss Miss from the amount of cocoa they sold. But he also had to admit that the warm, chocolatey treat was the perfect midday pick me up.

When Sam had pitched the idea for community outreach, Dean had thought he was crazy. Winchester’s Auto had been a well-run business for the better part of forty years. It was started by their father after he retired from the Marines, and they did just fine. They at least broke even, had a few loyal customers, and were comfortable enough to do a few pro bono jobs if the situation arose.

But Sam was sick of being the mechanic’s kid, of only being recognized by their grease-stained jeans and coveralls, and wanted to be a real member of the community – whatever that meant. He’d pitched the idea before Dean’s morning coffee, which was originally why Dean had agreed. It had been entirely unfair to ask him anything pre-caffeination, but Sam used that to his advantage and had booked it out of the office before Dean even realized what he’d said yes to.

When the trees arrived, he’d told the delivery driver that they had the wrong address, almost had them loaded back into the truck and on their way before Sam came sprinting out of the shop with his arms waving. He at least was given a full thermos of fresh coffee before Sam had put him to work building wooden stands to hold the sixty trees his younger brother had ordered.

“Sammy, I swear to God, when I end up with a massive bonfire from all of these trees? I’m putting you in the center of it.”

Sam had just smiled and told him to have faith. Then, they’d sold out of their entire inventory by the end of the week.

Now, their tree lot consisted of two hundred pines, one hundred wreaths, their never-ending beverages, and even a table on the weekends from the kids belonging to the neighborhood behind them, selling handmade ornaments and peppermint sticks dipped in chocolate as ‘hot cocoa accents’.

If Sam wanted to be a part of the community, he sure as hell had achieved it.

‘There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well.’

“The sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow.”

Dean stopped in his tracks, immediately looking around for the deep timbre singing. He spotted a man, half buried between two Balsam firs, surveying the base of the large, round tree he was holding.

“Need help?” Dean asked, moving up to the side of the tree. Pine needles rained down on him as the man jumped, dropping the tree so it fell back against the wooden stand with a dull sounding twack. Dean was about to apologize for startling the man, when the words got stuck in his throat.

Bright, blue eyes met Dean’s through the branches, the man’s cheeks tinged pink from embarrassment or the cold. He wore a long tan trench coat over a button up shirt, his blue tie stuck on the branch pressing against his chest. Dean was momentarily struck dumb.

The man, it seemed, was under the same spell. He stared back at Dean for just as long, his eyes widening suddenly when a shrill screech of a child somewhere further on in the parking lot made them both jump.

“I’m sorry,” the man said quickly, his voice deep and sending a shiver up Dean’s spine.

“No, no need to apologize,” Dean answered just as quickly, giving him a smile. “I’m Dean.” He held out his hand, the man meeting him halfway, and smiled at the firm handshake he received back. He wished he wasn’t wearing the thick, leather gloves – he would put up with sticky, tree sap if it meant feeling the man’s hand in his own.

“Castiel,” the man replied as he slipped his hand free. “I’m here looking for a tree.” He suddenly blushed scarlet and appeared interested in the tree he’d been holding, staring deep into its branches. “Which, I’m sure you are too, since we’re standing in a tree lot.”

Dean chuckled, watching the man’s face for a moment. Since they opened the lot, Dean had met a lot of people in their neighborhood, even receiving an influx of regulars for their normal car maintenance. But he’d never seen this man before… Castiel, the name itself was different, but it was a face Dean would never forget.

“Well, partially right,” Dean said after a moment, smiling softly as Castiel’s eyes flicked back over to him. “I’m one of the Winchester’s in Winchester’s Auto.”

Castiel looked confused for a moment, his eyes darting over to the garage before his mouth parted in a soft “Oh!” of understanding.

Dean nodded to the tree Castiel had been admiring. “Looking at this one?” he asked as he stepped closer, reaching through the thick branches to wrap his gloved hand around the trunk. Castiel took half a step back, allowing Dean to yank the tree upright and plunk it down in the center of the makeshift aisle. Dean spun it slowly, watching Castiel watch the tree. “What do you think?”

“I’m… not sure,” Castiel replied hesitatingly and Dean nodded, picking the tree up again.

“If you have doubts, it’s not the one.” He let it fall back against the stand and then clapped the pine needles free from his hands. “Alright, moving on!” He waved his arm forward, smiling as Castiel fell in step with him, their elbows brushing as they wandered to the end of the aisle.

“I came from that end,” Castiel offered when Dean cocked his head, asking which direction they should go to.

“Alright.” Dean led him down the next aisle, slowing his pace so Castiel could peruse the trees here. Sam had already filled most of the spots that had emptied from that morning, and Dean had to admit he was impressed at how well his brother functioned before coffee. Why Sam insisted that they be out here and open at eight A.M. was beyond him. But, as Dean glanced over, watching Castiel’s profile as he turned his face up towards the sun to look at the tops of the pines, eight A.M. was worth it.

“So,” Dean cleared his throat, shuffling his feet in the pine shavings, “wife and kids around? Getting cocoa?”

Castiel blinked as he turned and met Dean’s eyes, confusion flittering across his face for a moment. “No, no kids and definitely no wife.”

Interesting… Dean simply nodded, giving what he hoped was a natural looking shrug. What he really wanted to dig into was the ‘definitely’ on the wife. Bad divorce? Not interested in marriage? Or not interested in the wife part of it?

“Oh, that’s cool. So just you at home?”

“Yes,” Castiel answered, looking back at the tree in front of them. “I have never had a tree before, actually. Not since I was a child, and my father always bundled all of us up and took us into the forest at the edge of the property.” He looked around the area slowly and gave Dean a small smile as he met his eyes. “The idea of a tree lot with hot drinks is much more appealing, now that I’m thirty.”

Dean laughed and nodded his head. “Yeah, plus, you can have me and Sammy lug whatever sucker you pick over to your car, and just to sweeten the deal, we’ll even tie it all down for you. No mishaps on the highway and you only have to do half of the heavy lifting.”

Castiel gave a small laugh at that and Dean found himself smiling wider.

“Ever since my brother passed,” Castiel started, giving Dean a knowing nod when he opened his mouth to speak, “we’ve taken turns hosting the holidays, a Christmas and Hanukkah mashup, between the four remaining siblings. This year, it’s my turn. It’s… actually my first-time hosting, and my niece made a point in telling me that I better have a ‘real tree’.”

Dean chuckled, waving an arm to the side. “Well, you definitely came to the right place for a ‘real’ tree. Does she have something against the fake ones?”

“No,” Casitel shook his head, “my brother Gabriel refuses to have a real tree. She just knows that I, uh, don’t usually decorate my home. It seems… fruitless to decorate when it’s just me, and I spend the holidays away from home.”

“How old is she?” Dean asked, taking a step closer and pulling one of the trees out, slowly rotating it so they both could look at the flourish of branches.

“She’s nine,” Castiel answered, nodding his approval at the tree. Dean, however, could see the large bald spot in the back and shook his head, shoving it back into line.

“Well, first things first… once we pick out the perfect tree, you’re going to want to let it drink for at least twenty-four hours. The branches will come down and fan out a bit, and the tree will thank you. Don’t listen to that fad about adding sugar to the water or any of that, just plain ol’ tap water and the tree will be happy as a pig in sh—” he cut himself off, coughing a little, but if Castiel’s smirk was anything to go by, he knew exactly what Dean was about to say.

“Secondly,” Dean pushed forward, placing a hand on Castiel’s shoulder and leading him forward. He hoped it wasn’t his imagination that the other man leaned back into his touch as he followed the lead. “You shouldn’t decorate it on your own. I’m not sure when your family is actually coming, but if you can, you should wait for your niece. She will be ecstatic to be able to decorate with you.”

“Oh, I didn’t even consider that,” Castiel said softly, his brows furrowing for a moment. “I’m going to need to get some decorations…”

Dean chuckled and shook his head. “You can get the typical bulbs at basically any store this time of year, but…” Dean leaned forward, stopping a few inches from Castiel’s ear to whisper, “Between you and me? Homemade ornaments are the best.”

Castiel let out a shaky breath, turning his head just slightly to pin Dean with his brilliant eyes. Dean felt his heart stop in his chest, his mouth opening on a soft pant as Castiel just gazed back at him.

The sound of a man clearing his throat made Dean jump back, then scowl when he saw his brother smirking at them from between two trees.

“What, Sam?” Dean demanded, proud of himself for not showing just how displeased he was with the interruption.

Sam smirked, eyes darting between Dean and Castiel, and Dean forced himself to keep his attention on his brother. He raised an eyebrow when Sam looked back at him.

“The Kenningston family just got their tree. Need your help getting it up on their roof. Don’t want to make Molly help me at seven months pregnant.”

Dean nodded, recognizing the woman ushering her three small children towards the drink table, their excitement that their Dad would be home for Christmas this year bleeding over to everyone they passed. He’d been deployed for more Christmases than their kids could remember.

Dean turned towards Castiel, giving him an apologetic smile. “Uh, well, just keep looking and I’ll come find you, okay?”

Castiel smiled back and nodded at Sam. “Take your time.”

Dean gave his arm a squeeze, then moved to the end of the aisle to meet his brother. He followed Sam over to a red minivan, the tree already netted and laying on the pavement beside the car.

“Ropes?” Dean asked as he knelt down, fingers brushing over the trunk of the tree. He nodded when he saw Sam had already trimmed it for Mrs. Kenningston and looked up from his crouch to see Sam nodding, pulling twine from his pocket.

Sam tossed the end to him, waiting for Dean to secure the rope around the base of the tree, the brothers working flawlessly to lift the tree to the top of the van. They secured it quickly, tossing the rope back and forth from each side of the vehicle. Just as they finished, the kids were racing towards the car.

“Thank you,” Molly said as she reached them, the youngest of the kids in her arms with coca staining the corner of his mouth. “You boys are the best.”

“You’re so welcome,” Sam replied, reaching out to open the back door of the van. The twins clambered into the back, and Molly put the youngest into his car seat, buckling him in. “Merry Christmas,” Sam said as he opened the front door, smiling as the pregnant woman climbed into the van.

“Merry Christmas,” Dean echoed, waving at the kids in the backseat before clapping Sam on the shoulder. “Get back to work, bitch.”

“I could say the same to you, jerk.” Sam laughed, shoving at his brother gently, turning back to look over their lot. “Looks like you’re doing more flirting than working.”

“I am being a great salesman, actually,” Dean argued, glaring at Sam. “I am helping Castiel pick out a tree.”

“Mmhmm,” Sam rolled his eyes, “and strolling through the trees, shoulders brushing, and looking at the customer more than the merchandise is exactly how we sell things.”
Dean glared at Sam for a moment, then shook his head. “You need your eyes checked.”

“Right, so I suppose it was just my bad eyesight that saw… what was his name? Castiel? Leaning towards you every time you stopped moving, watching you as you spoke, looking extremely interested…”

Dean clicked his tongue, looking around them until he spotted Castiel standing and surveying the next aisle from where they’d been, his brow furrowed in concentration. “You think so?”

Sam snorted and pushed past Dean. “Just ask him out, Dean.”

“I don’t need your permission!” Dean shot back, but Sam was already halfway to the beverage table, his shoulders shaking with laughter.

Dean took a moment to look over Castiel from a distance, resolutely making up his mind as he made his way back over. He didn’t need his brother’s permission, but he damn well was going to take the idea. Castiel straightened from where he was examining the base of a Douglas Fir as soon as he heard Dean’s footsteps approach.

“Any luck?” Dean asked, giving Castiel a smile and loving the one he received in return.

“Yes and no,” Castiel answered, nodding to a tree further down. “I like the looks of that one, but there’s a little boy running to grab his parents now. We were looking at it together and he said it was ‘it’. I think,” Castiel smiled as the boy returned at the end of the aisle, tugging his father’s hand along with him, “I will let ownership of that tree slide.”

Dean hoped his smile didn’t look as dopey as he felt, and they both turned slightly, watching the father pull the tree out to let his son examine the backside.

“Also,” Castiel drew Dean’s attention back towards him, “I should’ve clarified before, but I don’t have a vehicle with me. I walked here.”

“What do you mean?” Dean asked, confused. “You walked here?”

“Yes,” Castiel confirmed with a nod. “I live a few blocks down, and it was a nice day out. I’ve been meaning to check out you and your brother’s lot… I’ve heard such positive things about it. I have just never had an occasion before.”

Dean nodded and cleared his throat, kicking his boot against the pavement again. “Well,” he said slowly, wondering why the hell he felt so nervous, “we close the shop down around six, though we stay until seven to clean up, finish up paperwork, and restock the trees…” Dean trailed off, reaching up to scratch the back of his neck. “If you wanted, you could come back, and we could look for a tree then. You could bring your car, or I could put the tree on mine. We could get a bite to eat… if you wanted.”

Castiel smiled then, cocking his head to the side to meet Dean’s eyes. “I would love to get dinner with you, Dean.”

 

 

Dean paced the front of the shop, Sam clicking away on the computer behind him.

“Dude,” Sam snapped finally, slamming the mouse down hard enough to make Dean jump, “what the hell are you so nervous for?”

Dean scowled, stopping mid step and turning to face the desk his brother was sitting at. “I’m not nervous, Sammy. I’m just…”

“You’re nervous,” Sam said, staring at Dean with an amused expression. “Its… weird, actually. You’re never nervous.”

Dean turned instead of giving his brother an answer and walked towards the front door. They’d already refilled the empty spots with fresh pines, and Dean had pulled two aside that he thought would work well for Castiel’s family celebration. At the end of the parking lot, just beneath the streetlamp, Dean saw a man approaching.

His breath caught in his throat and he found himself smiling as he reached for his leather jacket, hanging by the door, and slipped it over his shoulders.

“I won’t wait up!” Sammy called after him, laughing as Dean flipped him the bird behind his back.

He jogged across the parking lot towards Castiel. “Hey!” he greeted him, reaching for his arm. There was an awkward moment where Castiel reached forward for a handshake, changing to mimic Dean’s movement instead, and Dean ended up grabbing his forearm.

Castiel chuckled, his cheeks flushing, and shrugged, moving to stand beside Dean instead. “Hello, Dean.”

“I, uh, picked out a few trees for you to look at. I saw a couple good ones while I was restocking earlier. I figured we could grab a bite to eat first, though?” Dean asked, wiping his hand to the side to lead Castiel to the side of the building where Sam’s Jeep and his Impala were parked.

“Where do you want to go?” Castiel asked as Dean leaned forward, opening the passenger door. Castiel hesitated, admiring the Impala and running his fingers gently against her frame before slipping into the seat.

Dean couldn’t help but smile. Anyone that appreciated his baby was immediately awarded brownie points. He jogged around the back of the car, getting into the driver’s seat and turning over the ignition.

“I know a little Italian place that makes a mean meatball,” Dean started, glancing over at Castiel. The other man nodded, accepting, but didn’t have that spark Dean was looking for. “Or we could do something a little simpler… There’s a great diner that makes the biggest bacon cheeseburgers.”

“Now here’s the real question,” Castiel said with a smile, “do they have those frozen, simply ‘okay’ onion rings or do they have the real, freshly battered onion rings?”

“Oh, they have the real deal,” Dean promised, laughing when Castiel licked his lower lip. “Good choice.”

Dean pulled out of the parking spot, nodding once to Sam as they came around the building and saw his brother locking up the front door. Castiel gave a tiny wave, then reached for the radio, clicking it on and turning the dial to a comfortable sound level.

Dean held his breath: you could tell a lot about a man about the type of music he listened to. Castiel flipped through a few channels, finally settling on a classic rock station and pulling his hand back to his lap. He started drumming out the base to Metallica’s Whiskey in the Jar.

All of the brownie points.

Dean smiled and drummed against the steering wheel, taking solace in the comfortable silence that had fallen between them. He didn’t feel an intense need to fill the air with small talk, though he did want to know all about Castiel – where he worked, what he did for fun, what were some of his quirks – he felt comfortable letting the conversation happen naturally.

They were three songs in when Castiel reached forward to turn the sound down a few clicks, shifting his weight in the seat to angle his body towards Dean.

“What year is this?” he asked, trailing his fingers over the dash. “She’s in excellent condition.”

“Sixty-seven,” Dean answered, glancing over to the side before looking back to the road. “I restored her with my Dad when I was a teen. She’d been in a pretty bad wreck, you could barely recognize that it was a four door from the frame damage.”

“You did a great job,” Castiel commented, “she’s absolutely beautiful.”

Dean simply beamed back at him, his stomach flipping for a moment. “You sure know how to butter a guy up,” he murmured, but Castiel’s soft chuckle told Dean he’d heard him.

They made small talk throughout the rest of the ride, chatting about their respective families – Dean only had his younger brother, Sam, and those he considered family like Bobby and the Harvelle’s while Castiel was one of five, three of his siblings with children of their own – and their holiday plans.

“I have most of the next two weeks off,” Castiel started, “so I really don’t have an excuse… I should get to decorating and planning for my family.”

“That must be nice,” Dean said with a laugh. “Sam and I take a few days off, but we’re on call for any emergencies that might happen. What do you do for work?”

“I work in Kansas City for the Marines. I’m a Marine Transportation Specialist,” Castiel answered and Dean coughed, his eyes widening as he looked over.

“You’re a Marine?”

“Oh, no,” Castiel shook his head quickly, explaining, “I technically work for Homeland Security. I’ve always been an advocate for Veterans and Military Personnel, so that lead me to my current position.”

“My dad was a Marine,” Dean said as he pulled into a parking spot outside of The Burger Stand, killing the ignition and turning to look at his date. “Retired after my mother passed away and opened up the shop.

“I have great respect for all of our military personnel,” Castiel said, giving Dean a genuine smile. “Its not an easy lifestyle by any means.”

“No,” Dean agreed, shaking his head. There wasn’t much he could remember about their dad being in the service, most of the times they’d been relocated Dean was too young to remember. Most of his childhood memories came from beneath the hood of a car and playing in the office of the garage. But the way his father talked about the Marines, well, sometimes Dean felt like he’d never left the service.

“Alright, are you ready for the best burger of your life?” Dean asked, pulling the keys free and smiling as Castiel’s eyes lit up. He nodded eagerly and Dean chuckled as he let himself out of the car, stopping at the front of it to wait for Castiel.

“It already smells divine,” Cas leaned in to whisper against Dean’s ear, his arm warm where it pressed against Dean’s. Dean suppressed a shiver and smiled wider.

“Just wait until you taste it.”

“Lead the way!” Castiel nudged him gently and Dean laughed out loud as he led Castiel into the small diner.

Chapter Text

Castiel smiled as the waitress set down a large slice of peppermint pie between them before topping off their coffees with a bright smile. Dean had been right about the little diner having the best burgers. The onion rings had been amazing, too, but the company was what Castiel had found himself to be enjoying the most. Dean was witty, charming, and had made Castiel laugh more this evening than he had in quite some time. Hell, he hadn’t laughed this freely since Jimmy was alive.

A date with a gorgeous green eyed mechanic, occasionally Christmas tree salesman, was definitely not what he had expected when he went to check out the Christmas tree lot, but it definitely was a pleasant turn of events.

Castiel groaned around his first bite of pie, nodding as he chewed it up. “You were right,” he grinned at Dean as he licked a few flakes of oreo crust from his lips, “this tastes just like Christmas Day.”

“Right?” Dean agreed, stabbing a large bite with his fork and scraping the bite through the chocolate drizzle on the plate. “I’m not usually big on the cream pies, but this?” Dean raised his fork and took he bite, nodding his head as he chewed. “It’s one of the best.”

“I happen to be quite fond of cream pies,” Castiel replied straight faced as he took a sip of his coffee, enjoying the way it paired with the peppermint. “They are delicious.”

Dean nodded slowly then realization hit him and he choked on his bite of pie, his eyes widening. “Oh my God,” he snorted, his cheeks turning slightly pink as he laughed at Cas’ perfectly straight face, “that’s not what I meant and you know it!”

“So does that mean you are fond of creampies?” Castiel teased, enjoying the way Dean’s pink cheeks made his freckles more prominent. “Well,” he quirked a brow, “enquiring minds want to know?”

Dean reached for his coffee, taking a deep sip before smirking at Castiel over the top of his mug. “You’re going to have to wait for a second date to find out the answer to that.”

Castiel laughed as he took another bite of his pie, smiling as he licked the creamy filling from his fork obscenely. “Mmmm, delicious.” He winked as Dean’s smirk dropped from his face and he stared at the fork with wide eyes.

Castiel laughed again as Dean jumped, the waitress coming up behind him to drop off their check. “Can I get you boys anything else?” she asked, looking between them, and Dean shook his head quickly as he lifted his hips to pull his wallet from his back pocket.

“No, we’re just going to finish our coffee,” he answered, dropping his card on top of the slip and waving away Castiel’s protest. “I got it,” Dean said, meeting Castiel’s eyes and giving him a warm smile. “You can pay at our next date.”

“Next date?” Castiel clicked his tongue as he leaned forward resting his crossed arms on the table. “How do you know there will be a next date, Dean?”

“I think you’re a curious guy, Cas,” Dean answered, grinning at him as he cut the rest of the pie in half with his fork and picked up his bite. “If you want your question answered, you’re just going to have to give me a second date.”

“Blackmail.” Castiel snorted, pushing the plate with the remainder of the pie in front of Dean. He grinned as Dean’s eyes lit up as he dug in with gusto. “Can’t believe you are using my curious nature against me.”

“It’s part of my charm.”

Castiel rolled his eyes playfully, leaning back against the bench of the seat to finish the rest of his coffee. The waitress came back with the receipt and Castiel watched Dean sign his name quickly, leaving a healthy tip before shoving his wallet back into his pocket.

Dean glanced up to see Castiel watching him and he smiled, leaning forward. “Ready to get out of here?” Dean asked as Castiel finished off his coffee and nodded, sliding his trench coat on as he stood. Dean laid his hand on Castiel’s lower back, leading him out of the diner and back to the car. He opened Castiel’s door before moving around to slide into the driver’s seat.

“You going to show me those trees now?” Castiel asked as Dean started up the car. “I’m excited to see which ones you deemed good enough for me to choose from.”

“I just hope you like one of them,” Dean answered back, pulling out of the parking lot and onto the road back towards the garage. The conversation on the ride was pleasant and comfortable, much like their first ride and through dinner. By the time they arrived back, Dean had Castiel laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes.

“I’m telling you,” Dean said between laughs, glancing over to see his date cracking up, “Sam looked much better without eyebrows. Though but I swear, he slept with his bedroom door locked until he was in his twenties. Whenever he stays at my place, I’m sure he locks the door and brings his own shampoo.”

“I would too if I were him!” Castiel weezed as he wiped the tears from his eyes. “If I ever stay with you, I’m definitely bringing my travel kit.” Castiel’s eyes widened and he blushed as he realized what he just implied. “I uh, I,” he cleared his throat, “how about we look at those trees now?” He held his breath, praying Dean would let the subject change fly.

Dean glanced over at him again, suddenly hit with the thought of Castiel in his home; the attractive man lounging on the couch with him, a beer in hand and a movie playing, of Cas soapy and wet in his shower, then warm and crawling into his bed…

Dean cleared his throat and nodded his head, getting out of the car and meeting Castiel around the back. “This way,” he said, holding out his arm for Cas to take and leading them around the back of the garage. He’d laid the two trees against the back door for Castiel to look at and he reluctantly slipped away from Cas’ side to pick up the first tree and hold it out.

“What kind is that one?” Castiel asked as he walked around the tree, carefully examining it.

“This is a Douglas Fir,” Dean answered, spinning it gently as Castiel surveyed the bottom. “They both are, actually. This one is a little taller, but the one over there has a wider base. I wasn’t sure about the space you’re setting it up in.”

“Space isn’t an issue,” Castiel replied as he stopped beside Dean and met the man’s eyes. “Which one would you choose?”

Dean put the first tree back, picking up the second one and giving that a slow twirl between them. “Personally,” he said, leaning them both against the wall and moving to stand at Castiel’s side, “I like taller trees. I feel like the spacing between the ornaments is better and there’s something…” he trailed off, looking down at his feet for a moment.

“When I was a kid, we didn’t really have holiday celebrations,” Dean started softly. “Sam and I did what we could… we lost our mom when we were young, and Dad was deployed a lot until he retired. Christmases just weren’t the same without him around, and whoever we were staying with would try but…” Dean shook his head. “When he was home, Dad was too busy with the shop and Sam and I told him we didn’t need a big celebration. A good home cooked meal and having Dad home was enough for us both.

“So, as an adult, I’ve kept with the simplicity. It’s been a while since I’ve decorated anything. But Sam? We go all out at his house. I roll my eyes when he makes a big deal about having me there to decorate the tree, and he always insists we make gingerbread houses and do the whole popcorn and cranberry strings… but I love it.”

Dean gave a small laugh, looking up at Castiel again. “Just don’t tell him I told you that.”

“Your secret is safe with me,” Castiel assured as he took a step closer to the taller tree and ran his fingers across the needles. “Jimmy loved the taller trees too,” he whispered, “and like your brother, he went all out at Christmas. All of us always went to his house.”

Castiel took a deep breath and let it out slowly before he continued, “The first year after he passed, none of us did anything. It was too painful but afterwards it just felt… wrong, like we had let him down. So, after that we decided to swap years between us all, one of us would host Thanksgiving and Christmas, like Jimmy used to do.” Castiel sniffed as he gave Dean a small smile. “Thanksgiving was… interesting, to say the least. But no one left with food poisoning and it was nice to have everyone at my house. But, Christmas is… different. It feels more important and with this being my first year…” Castiel swallowed hard, “I hope I can make him proud.”

Dean watched Castiel carefully for a moment, then stepped forward, taking both of his hands in his own. “I hope I’m not being too forward,” Dean whispered, waiting for Castiel to look up and meet his eyes, “but I’ve known you for all of… twelve hours now, and I think you’re a pretty amazing guy. The way you talk about your family tells me how much you care and that? That’s what's important. The tree and decorations and presents, yeah, everyone loves those. But what your niece and siblings are going to remember? Is how you cared and went all out.”

Dean gave Cas’ hands a squeeze in his own, smiling at him softly. “When you remember holidays with your brother, what's the first thing you remember? Is it the tree? The food or the decorations?”

“No,” Castiel whispered and shook his head, “it’s his smile as we all crammed into the living room, his laugh as Claire tore into everyone's gifts, and just the way he seemed to fill every room in the house, even if he wasn’t in it.”

“He sounds like he was a pretty amazing guy,” Dean answered back. “I think he is already proud of you, Cas.”

Castiel swallowed thickly and squeezed Dean’s hands, nodding his head.

“Come on,” Dean said softly, “tall tree is the winner. Lets get it tied down to the car and we can bring it over to your place.”

“Thank you, Dean,” Castiel let go of Dean’s hands and wiped his eyes quickly before smiling at the tree as Dean lifted it and started towards the Impala. “I think Claire is really going to love that tree.”

Dean wiped his brow, looking back up at Castiel who was trying to hold the tree still as Dean sawed at the end. “Now I know why we do this in the day,” Dean said with a laugh, starting to saw at the trunk once more. “It’s much quicker using a chainsaw to do this. Though, at nearly ten at night, I think your neighbors would kill me if I used that.”

“Yeah, probably.” Castiel laughed as he nodded. “Seeing as how both Mr. Thompson and Miss Abner get up with the sun, I’d say there's a good chance one of them would throttle you if you started up a chainsaw.”

Dean snorted and shook his head, shifting his weight as he pressed the saw deeper into the trunk. “Almost…” he muttered, giving a few more strokes before the saw cut through the end. “Perfect,” Dean said as he straightened, stretching his back before smiling at Cas. “She’s ready for the stand now.”

“Don’t laugh,” Castiel smiled sheepishly, “its been years since I’ve done this, and I’m not sure if I remember how to set it up in the stand.”

Dean smiled back at him and shook his head. “Well, lucky for you, Sam and I just did this last week. Lead the way!”

“I wasn’t expecting company,” Castiel said over his shoulder as he unlocked his door and opened it, “so ignore the mess.” He flipped on the lights and stepped out of the way, giving Dean room to pass with the tree. “You can’t miss the living room; its to the left at the end of the foyer.”

Dean nodded and followed the instructions, finding the living room easy and leaning the tree against the far wall. He turned back around, looking around the room and raising a brow when Cas came back into the room with a tree stand. “This is what you consider messy?” Dean said with a smile. There was a few magazines out, a book opened on the coffee table, and two bottles of water. “I would hate for you to see my place…” Dean laughed.

“I’m sure your place is just fine, Dean. Here,” Castiel smiled softly as he passed the tree stand to him, “thank you for helping me.”

“It’s my pleasure,” Dean answered back, winking at Castiel. He followed the other man’s directions to where he wanted the tree set up, and together they set about getting it in place. Dean held the tree as Castiel laid down on the floor and began to screw the tree into place.

“I like this view,” Dean commented as Castiel pushed up onto his knees to backwards crawl out from under the lower branches.

“Really now,” Castiel smirked over his shoulder, giving his ass a little wiggle before he sat back on his knees. Dean held out his hand to haul him up. Castiel groaned when his knees popped and he rubbed them as he looked up at Dean, “I’m getting too old to be on my knees on the hardwood floor.”

Dean snorted, laughing at the lewd wink Castiel gave him. “Go see if the tree looks straight,” Dean said with a shake of his head. Castiel took a few steps back and gave a shrug.

“Looks good to me.”

Dean nodded and stepped away from the tree, giving it a once over himself. “Perfect,” he agreed, hiding a yawn with his elbow and looking sheepishly over at Cas. “Sorry,” he said quickly, “Sam has me up at the ass crack of dawn lately.”

“I should be the one apoligizing for keeping you out so late.” Castiel reached down and gave Dean’s hand a gentle squeeze. “Thank you again, Dean. I couldn’t have done this without you.”

“You know, it’s pretty dark out there…” Dean trailed off, looking up to meet Cas’ eyes. “Walk me to my car?”

“I’m a perfect gentleman, so how could I say no to that?” Castiel teased as he placed his hand on Dean’s lower back and guided him to the door. “Wouldn’t want you to get scared.”

Dean cackled at that, leading them to the car and stopping to lean against the door. Castiel stepped up close before him, shaking his head with a small, nervous smile. A shiver went down Dean’s back as something cold hit the back of his neck and he looked up, small flecks of white swirling in the air around them.

“It’s snowing,” Dean said, looking back down to see Castiel with his head tipped back, looking up at the night sky.

“So it is,” Castiel hummed as he closed his eyes, feeling the cold flakes shower his face. He gasped in shock as he felt a warm hand grip his cheek and guide his face forward. Castiel opened his eyes and was met with a radiant smile. “Hello, Dean.”

Dean searched Cas’ eyes and licked his lower lip slowly. “I… I don’t usually kiss on the first date. Not when I’m hoping for another one.”

“What if I told you that you were already guaranteed another date?” Castiel whispered as he leaned in closer.

Dean gave a small laugh and closed the distance between them, pressing his lips to Cas’ and pulling him closer in favor of answering. As Castiel kissed him back, deepening their kiss, Dean knew Castiel didn’t mind the silence one bit.

Chapter Text

‘You know, it’s pretty dark out there… Walk me to my car?’

In hindsight, as Castiel’s mouth moves against his own and the world feels like it comes to a total standstill around them, Dean thinks this was possibly the best suggestion of his life. The kiss just goes on and on, making him want to melt into a blissful puddle right by the wheels of his beloved car, and if the snowflakes had frozen in the air around him and time itself had stood still Dean wouldn’t have been at all surprised. His whole body is flooding with sparks of desire, and the snow falling steadily onto his skin feels like tiny, miniature pinpricks of excitement in themselves.

Castiel is an amazing kisser. Confident, passionate, with just the right amount of tongue, and it’s clear he’s holding something back. For their first kiss, Dean isn’t too surprised. He’s holding back, too. He’s letting Castiel run a hand up his spine, pull him closer by his hip, when all he wants to do is moan wantonly and propel them both back towards the house. He hasn’t felt a fire like this with anyone since… hell, it’s been a long time.

When Castiel pulls back, he only moves away from Dean an inch or so and they’re still so close that Dean’s vision blurs when he meets Castiel’s clear blue eyes. Glittering snowflakes have gathered on the older man’s lashes and have dampened his cheeks, making his skin glow in the twinkling lights from the Christmas decorations. 

He leans back against the car, and Castiel seems to move in a little closer, his eyes not leaving Dean’s for one second. In spite of the cold, Dean feels warm and sated, excited in a way he hasn’t been in a long time. This thing with Castiel, he feels like maybe it could be something. They’ve only been on one date so far, but there’s an undeniable connection between them, a bond forming quickly, and the short making out session - against his car, where anyone could see - seems to have served only to make that bond all the more profound. 

“You’re a good kisser,” He almost tacks a ‘dude’ onto the end, just to simulate retaining some level of control, but instead his voice wavers a little and he still feels not entirely in charge of his own weak knees. Thankfully, Castiel smiles back at him. 

“So are you,” he murmurs, then he’s moving back into Dean’s personal space again and oh yes , they’re kissing again and this time it’s urgent, passion-filled, desperate, and Dean loses his breath entirely. 

Castiel presses him fully back against the car and this time both his hands drop to Dean’s ass, cupping it, pulling him in tight and if it weren’t for the layers of clothing between them Dean knows Castiel would be able to feel just how much he’s enjoying this kiss. And the idea of that makes him feel simultaneously embarrassed as hell and excited in that sugar-rush-high kinda way. 

Castiel’s mouth moves over his again, tongue brushing his bottom lip, holding him close to his body and Dean kisses back with all the fervour he can muster. His hands are gripping Castiel’s shoulder and waist, and he’s sure if they were inside then clothes would be disappearing somewhere by now. But they aren’t, they’re standing under the Christmas lights in the chilly winter air together, and that makes all this even more delicious. 

They break apart again and Castiel’s eyes are dark and a little glazed; Dean feels a spark of pride that he’s managed to bring that look to the older man’s face. 

“I could do that all night,” Castiel murmurs and Dean inclines his head in agreement. 

“Me too, Cas. For sure.” He shivers in spite of himself, pulling his jacket tighter around him. “I should probably get going…”

“Of course.” Castiel nods seriously. “I must admit, Dean, I don’t date very often.” The back of Castiel’s knuckles comes up to brush Dean’s cheek, wiping away errantly melting snowflakes. “But would you permit me to plan our second? I have an idea in mind that I think you’ll like.”

“Sure,” Dean has to swallow a couple of times before the word comes out as it should, his dry throat clicking as he does. “That would be great.”

“Is tomorrow too soon?” Castiel cocks his head, assessing Dean’s reaction to the suggestion, his eyes flitting back and forth from Dean’s right eye to his left. “Or maybe you have plans?”

“I don’t have plans,” he replies, already composing the conversation he’ll have to have with Sam to cancel their movie and beer night. He feels Castiel’s hand drift down to his own and their fingers seem to link together as if by magic. “I’m all yours.”

And he didn’t mean that quite as it came out. 

Or, judging by the gleam in Castiel’s eyes and by the way his gaze drops to Dean’s lips, maybe he did…

“So, are you gonna tell me where we’re going, since I’m chauffeuring us around?”

Dean leans over with a grin and opens Castiel’s door for him, eyeing the other man appraisingly as he climbs in. Castiel is in a thicker version of his tan trench tonight, camel coloured wool, with a grey scarf wrapped warmly around his throat. It’s still early enough for it to be light out, and the snow stopped a few hours ago; the sky is now a beautiful clear blue, melting into orange as the sun descends towards the horizon. The air is crisp like minted toothpaste, every breath sharp and chilled, and Dean can think of nothing more perfect than snuggling up in front of a fire with Castiel, maybe a beer or two, and seeing where the night takes them. But Castiel had sounded so excited when he’d called him up earlier, and he looks so goddamn edible that Dean is suddenly a bit more than curious to find out where they’re going.

After a moment’s hesitation, Castiel leans across and closes the space between them, kissing Dean on the lips. What was clearly intended as a quick peck of a hello turns instantly into something deeper, something lingering, something that makes Dean’s jean’s tighten and his hand clench on the steering wheel. Nope, he hadn’t dreamed up how perfect Castiel was at kissing. Even the lightest brush of their lips is enough to send him weak at the knees. 

They break apart and exchange shy smiles, then Castiel sits back in his seat, appraising Dean’s car once more, running his hands over the dash.

“You really have kept her in good condition, Dean. She’s a credit to you.”

“I could,” Castiel smiles at him, a small quirk of his lips which is enhanced by the shine of his eyes. “Or I could keep it as a surprise until the very last possible moment. Shall we go?”

He gestured to the road and Dean smirks, putting the car into gear. 

“Put your seatbelt on, safety first in my Baby.” They pull out of Castiel’s street, left as per his silent hand gesture, and Dean sneaks another glance at him. He’s got day-old stubble and his hair is windswept. He looks positively edible. “Now where?”

“Head into Kansas City, and I’ll direct you from there.” A sudden apologetic look crossed Castiel’s face. “It’s a bit of a drive. I hope you don’t mind?”

“Are you kidding me? Time spent in my Baby with a cute guy in the passenger side?” Dean throws him a grin. “This date is already a solid ten.”

He follows Castiel’s directions, turning left then right, then left again, as the radio melts from one classic rock track to the next. Then, as directed, he pulls into a parking spot across the road from what looks like a bunch of tents bunched closely together, strung with fairy lights, with people milling about in small clusters. Dean cuts the engine and stares. 

“Is this…?”

“The Christmas markets.” Castiel’s tone is suddenly shy, a little apprehensive, like he’s now worried Dean might not like what he’s planned for them. “I thought it could be fun, that we could walk around together and see all the stalls.”

“Cas, that sounds great.” Dean cranes his neck to look through the windshield, already spotting a stall selling what look like hot churros with melted chocolate. And next to it, one selling hot drinks. Now he’s definitely excited, even more so than he already was. Spending time with Castiel, plus food? Awesome. “I’ve never been, I don’t think I even knew this was here.”

“Really?” Castiel’s face is shining when Dean turns to look at him. “You’ll love it. Shall we go?”

They cross the street together, Dean pulling his leather jacket a little tighter around himself and wishing he’d brought a scarf, then they’re plunged into the melee of cinnamon-scented Christmas spirit. Santa Baby is playing loudly from some hidden speakers and some distance away a choir is singing. Everyone around them is in a good mood, laughing and joking, and Dean somehow manages to manoeuvre them towards the first stall he sees selling drinks. He’s fumbling with his wallet when Castiel puts a hand over his and says,

“My treat, Dean.”

And somehow it feels like the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to him. 

Castiel presses a steaming mugful into Dean’s hands, and he almost swoons when he inhales. Rich, dark chocolatey hues swirl up into the air before him mixed with cinnamon and clove, and he practically salivates. At the first taste, he definitely does. 

“Damn, this is good. Real good.” He takes another sip, wrapping his hands around the Styrofoam mug and feeling the warmth seep into his skin. The music changes to Silent Night . “How did you find out about this place? I can’t believe I’ve never been before!”

“It’s pretty great, isn’t it?” Castiel accepts his own cup and takes a sip. He’s got mulled red wine, Dean notices, with orange slices and star anise floating at the top. “Jimmy and I used to come every year with Claire. We would always buy her a decoration for the tree, something handmade that she chose herself. It was sort of a holiday tradition of ours.” He pauses and, for just a moment, looks a little misty-eyed. “I guess we had more traditions than I realised at the time.”

“That’s really nice, Cas.” Dean slips his hand into Castiel’s, squeezing cold fingers and smiling when his are squeezed in return. “And by continuing those traditions it’s like you’re continuing his memory, right?”

“That’s exactly right.” Castiel smiles warmly at him, cheeks pink with the cold and eyes sparking in the light from the oversized bulbs strung across the nearby market stall. “That’s a wonderful way to think of it. Thank you, Dean.”

“You’re welcome, Cas.”

Hand-in-hand, they walk through the market stalls, stopping to look at various things from little handmade wooden tree decorations to knitted stockings to hang by the fire, from intricately decorated gingerbread houses to sweet pastry treats filled with cream or Nutella. Dean buys a bag of salted caramel cookies and they munch one each as they continue to stroll. The sun has fully set now and the only light comes from the twinkling lights strung in arches above their heads. Castiel’s hand feels warm and strong in his, and it’s refreshing to be out in public with someone who doesn’t mind displaying affection. For a second date, Dean thinks it’s going pretty damn well.

And it’s totally worth the moaning and whining he had to endure from Sam when he cancelled their beer and movie night. He’s promised to make it up to him some other time.

In the centre of the market stalls stands a tree, much larger than any that Sam and Dean sell, draped in coloured lights and stretching so high that they have to crane their necks to see the star on top. Hanging from the branches are 3D cardboard stars made of white and gold, and a little sign next to the tree proclaims that you can write a Christmas wish and hang it from the tree. Castiel squeezes Dean’s fingers and nods towards the sign. 

“It’s probably for children, Cas.” But in spite of his words, Dean pulls Castiel over to the little table where a woman dressed as an elf with long red acrylic nails is working, smiling merrily up at them. 

“Christmas wish?” She says brightly, holding out two pens and two stars. “There’s a slip of paper inside them, write your wish on there and hang it on the tree. You never know!” She gives them both a secretive smile. “It might just come true!”

It takes Dean a moment to decide what to write. He sneaks a sidelong glance at Castiel, who is scribbling something intently, brow furrowed and head cocked. It’s adorable, Dean thinks, how seriously he’s taking this. After a minute more, he decides what to write then adds his star to the tree next to Castiel’s. 

“Merry Christmas!” The elf chirps, and they both smile and reply in kind. 

The rest of the evening passes in a joyful blur, and all too soon they’re walking back to the car, fingers linked loosely, and a warm feeling spiralling in Dean’s chest. As they reach the Impala, a chirping sound comes from Castiel’s pocket and he pulls his phone out, frowning. 

“Dean, I’m so sorry. Do you mind if I take this? It’s my niece.” He checks his watch. “It’s quite late for her to be calling.”

“Of course, Cas, take all the time you need.”

Dean slides into the driving seat, rubbing his hands together and quickly starting the engine so he can turn the heat on. Castiel climbs in a moment later, snapping his phone closed and pulling a sincerely apologetic expression, one that makes Dean want to kiss it from his face completely.

“I’m sorry, Dean. That was so rude of me. Sometimes Claire…” He passes a hand over his eyes. “She can be a little needy. She’s going through a rough time, losing her dad the way she did. I think she sees me as a replacement for him sometimes.”

“You obviously take care of her in the same way he did. That’s a pretty special bond, Cas.” Dean squeezes his thigh. “It’s nice.”

“I had a nice time tonight.” Castiel smiles softly at him. “Thank you for cancelling your plans.”

“I didn’t!” His protest comes too quickly and too loudly, and he feels himself colour slightly  “I mean, okay yeah. Maybe I did. But it’s only Sam, he’ll get over it. Wait - how did you even know?”

“It’s a Friday night, and you’re a pretty great guy. I highly doubt you’d be sitting at home alone with no plans at all.”

“Oh, how little you know me.” Dean can’t help the smirk that spreads across his face. “There’s a Winchester-shaped dent in my couch these days. All I seem to do is work and sleep.”

“And yet the one night you do have plans, you cancel them to come and hang out with me?” Castiel raises his eyebrows. “Gambling type of guy, are you?”

“It wasn’t much of a gamble, Cas.” Dean reaches for his hand and squeezes his fingers. Castiel responds by rubbing his thumb across the back of Dean’s knuckles, leaving sparks in his wake. “I knew we’d have a great time.”

“We did, didn’t we?”

“Hell yeah. And we have enough snacks to last us until New Year, and a pretty good stock of decorations for your new tree. I’d say that makes for one hell of a successful second date, wouldn’t you?”

“Absolutely, Dean. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

“Yeah. Me too.”

They both fall into silence. Headlights from an oncoming car cast shadows over both of them, and Christmas music can be heard blaring from the car’s speaker system. Mariah Carey, from the tinkling sound of the vocals. Dean would never admit it until his dying day, but it’s kinda one of his favourite Christmas songs. He may have it on a tape somewhere in the glove box. 

“So.” Castiel’s voice seems a tone lower somehow, and Dean is hyper-aware that they’re still holding hands.

“So.” 

The quiet in the car between them could be cut with a knife, the tension growing thick as the same thought surely crosses both their minds, unspoken for now. Dean doesn’t want tonight to end. It’s been more fun than he imagined it would be, and Castiel’s surprise of taking him to the markets was pretty perfect. In fact, he can’t think of the last time anyone planned a surprise for him of any sort, let alone one with so much thought put into it. It makes his heart feel a little warm and fluttery. 

When did he turn into such a sap, he wonders idly. What has this guy done to him over the last two days that he’s feeling all gooey over him? Usually he’s the master of playing things cool and keeping his cards close to his chest. But Castiel makes him want to do, feel, and say things he never has before. And they hardly know each other.  

“Do you have a curfew you have to get back for?” Even in the dim light of the car, Dean can see Castiel’s blue eyes almost glowing as he looks at him. It’s an intense stare, one that sends sparks down Dean’s spine. “Or…?”

“I like the sound of ‘or’. Tell me more about ‘or’.” 

He isn’t usually this brazen, but to hell with it. He’s certain now that he isn’t the only one in the car who doesn’t want this date to end. Castiel’s hand moves to his thigh, squeezes gently, then somehow they’re a little closer together. Then closer still, until Castiel’s hand cups the back of his neck and he’s leaning in, warm breath brushing Dean’s ear and causing him to shiver in anticipation and press in just a little more. Condensation is starting to gather on the window, Dean notices idly. Outside, the people, cars and lights have melted into blurred shapes and nothing more. 

Into Dean’s ear, Castiel whispers four short words.

“Your place or mine?”

Chapter Text

Your place or mine?

Those four short words short circuited Dean’s brain. All the possibilities of what they could mean rattled around inside his head. Did Cas want to come over for a cup of coffee? A night cap? Watch a movie? Or...

“Well?” Castiel rasped, the deep baritone of his voice and the way his breath ghosted over his ear caused Dean to shiver. The hand still on Dean’s thigh moved higher and squeezed tighter.

There was no doubt in Dean’s mind now it was definitely for or.

“My,” Dean’s voice cracked and came out higher pitched than he would’ve liked. He cleared his throat and tried again, “Mine’s closer.”

“Your place it is then,” Castiel replied with a quirk of his lips and another teasing squeeze.

Dean swallowed hard and nodded, reaching down to place his hand over Cas’ and gave it a squeeze back. He pulled out of the parking lot, excitement swirling in his stomach as he led them onto the highway and back to Lawrence.

The conversation in the car was light, both of them lost in their own thoughts, anticipation thick between them. Castiel’s hand was warm on Dean’s thigh, causing a slight buzz in his blood that made him push the gas pedal down just a little bit harder.

Castiel huffed a small laugh as his eyes flickered down to the speedometer then up to Dean with a quirked brow. “Eager, are we?”

Dean gave a small laugh, looking over and meeting Cas’ eyes for a moment, before feeling himself blush. He considered for a moment slowing down, but shrugged. He knew Castiel was just as eager to get back to Dean’s place, too.

“You know, its very sexy when you blush.” Castiel hummed as his hand slid to Dean’s inner thigh. “Makes your freckles stand out.”

Dean felt himself blush harder and smiled as Castiel laughed happily. He swallowed thickly, shifting his hips in the seat, holding his breath as Castiel’s hand slipped even further. “You keep that up,” Dean whispered, glancing over again, “we’re never going to get back to my place.”

“Well,” Castiel drawled out as he looked over his shoulder with a wicked glint in his eyes, “the backseat looks awfully comfy, and I’m not picky.”

Dean let out a loud laugh and reached down, threading their fingers together and holding Cas’ hand in place, high on his thigh. He was grateful when Castiel just squeezed back and looked out the window with a smile on his face, because Dean wasn’t sure he trusted his resolve that much. He glanced over, looking at Castiel’s face illuminated by the other car’s headlights. Yeah, he wanted to do so much more to the man beside him than what the backseat would offer.

“At the risk of sounding like my niece on every single car ride we’ve been on together, I have to ask…” he side-eyed Dean with a sheepish grin, “are we there yet?”

“Two more exits, probably ten minutes. Think you can handle that?”

“No,” Castiel grumbled good naturedly, “but I guess I have too, don’t I?”

Dean chuckled and nodded his head, edging the Impala just that much faster. As he turned onto his street, the anticipation in his stomach swirled up, making his hands start to sweat. He had a brief moment to wonder if he’d even made his damn bed before he left to pick Cas up before he was parked and Castiel was hauling himself across the seat and pressing his lips to Dean’s throat.

“God that took forever,” Castiel rumbled as he nipped at Dean’s jaw. “You have no idea how hard it was for me to keep my hand limited to your thigh. The things I wanna do…” Castiel trailed off with a groan. “We better get inside before I drag you to the backseat.”

“Shit,” Dean whispered, pulling the keys from the ignition. He turned his head and caught Cas’ lips, a long slow promise for more once they got inside. Castiel broke away first and reached across Dean’s lap, pulling open the driver’s door and giving Dean a small shove with a smile on his lips before he slid across the seat to get out his own side.

As Castiel closed the car door, snow cascaded down on him. When had it started snowing? He had been so focused on Dean during the drive he hadn’t noticed. He took a deep breath, the cold stinging his lungs as the flakes gathered in his hair. Castiel grinned as Dean grasped his hand and started to jog towards the house.

“Careful,” Dean said as he nearly slipped, laughing as Castiel did the same thing. “Always gets icy right before the steps.”

Castiel held onto Dean’s arm tighter, pressing close against his back as they stumbled up the steps and Dean fumbled with his keys. He unlocked the door and pushed inside, both of them enveloped by warmth and the sweet scent of warm apple pie.

Dean shut the door behind them and they both quickly shed their outer gear and boots, Dean taking Castiel’s jacket and scarf and sliding in socked feet into the kitchen to hang everything on the back of a chair before returning to the foyer to reach for Castiel’s hand.

“Me casa, su casa,” Dean said with a smile.

“Are you going to give me the nickel tour?” Castiel asked as he crowded Dean’s space, backing him up against the wall. He ran his hands down Dean’s chest and gripped his hips. Dean groaned and let his head fall back, thumping against the wall as Castiel kissed his way up Dean’s throat. His hands wandered around to grip Dean’s ass and pull them together. “How about we start with the bedroom?”

“That, uh…” Dean trailed off with a moan as Castiel's teeth nipped at his shoulder, “that’s a damn good idea.” Dean threaded his fingers through Castiel’s hair and pulled him up and into a heated kiss before smirking and grabbing him by his belt loops, yanking as he spoke, “Bedroom’s this way.”

They moved through the living room, a Christmas tree set up and shining colorfully in the corner, and casting the modest set up in purple, blue, and green hues. They stumbled together down the darkened hallway, Kissing and groping each other the entire way. Once Dean reached the door he fumbled behind his back grasping the knob, both of them tumbling inside the moment he got the door open.

Castiel laughed as he wrapped his arms around Dean and just barely kept them both from crashing to the floor. As Dean righted himself, Castiel took a moment to look around. The walls were a forest green and in the center of the room against the wall was a large, king size sleigh bed. The wooden headboard was a deep rich mahogany, paired with the nightstands on either side of the bed, and the comforter matched the walls.

Dean walked them backwards, pulling Castiel against him and sealing their lips together as soon as his knees hit the end of the bed. “So,” Dean whispered, hot against Castiel’s mouth, “this is the bedroom, it's the perfect first stop for the tour.”

“I agree,” Castiel replied as he gently pushed Dean’s chest, causing him to fall back onto the bed. Dean pulled himself back, clearing his legs from the footboard, and sat back up. His eyes widened as he watched Castiel climb up onto the bed and over Dean’s legs, straddling his lap before wrapping his arms around Dean’s shoulders. He smiled down at him wickedly and asked, “So, what's on the agenda for this perfect first stop?”

“I think we’re on the right path.” Dean smiled and reached up, cupping the back of Castiel’s head and pulling him into a kiss. They kissed slow, the air between them hot and excited, though neither was in any rush. Castiel’s lips felt perfect against Dean’s, and he almost pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.

He wasn’t quite sure how this perfect man had fallen into his life just two days ago. But he never wanted this to end.

Slowly, Dean’s hands drifted down Castiel’s back, and he cupped the other man’s ass, rocking their hips together, swallowing down the small gasp that fell from Castiel’s lips. Dean’s fingers brushed up beneath Cas’ shirt, his skin hot to touch, and Cas’ small nod before he pushed forward, running his hands up the corded muscle of Castiel’s back and pulling his shirt off as he went.

“Fair is fair,” Castiel whispered as he toyed with the hem of Dean’s shirt, waiting for permission before removing it and tossing it in the general vicinity of where Dean had flung his.

“You are absolutely stunning,” Castiel muttered as his fingers skated along Dean’s collarbone and down his pecs, his nails gently grazing his hardened nipples, drawing a low groan from Dean.

Dean’s head dropped back and he shivered under Castiel’s touch. “You’re not so bad yourself,” he whispered back, tipping his head back up and letting his eyes roam unashamed down Castiel’s bare chest to his jeans, tight over his crotch. Dean reached forward, mapping out Castiel’s chest in the same manner Cas was doing to him.

“Dean,” Castiel gasped as Dean hands trailed even lower and cupped his rock hard erection through the denim confines. Castiel let out a low moan as Dean rubbed his palm against his crotch, causing him to buck up against the delicious pressure. “Take them off,” he rasped breathless.

Dean nodded, biting back a groan. Ever the gentleman, there was no way he could deny Castiel such a perfect request. He brushed his knuckles over the zipper of Castiel’s jeans before popping the button open with his thumb, sliding his hands down Castiel’s thick thighs as he pressed up onto his knees.

Dean looked up, meeting Castiel’s eyes as he pulled open the zipper and slid the jeans down Castiel’s hips and over the curve of his ass. “You’re so fucking sexy,” Dean said softly, tilting his head up to meet Cas as he leaned down for a kiss.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” Castiel mumbled Dean’s words from earlier, smiling against Dean’s lips as he helped the other man maneuver his jeans the rest of the way off, kicking them to the floor. “What do you say we take yours off now?”

Dean leaned back, shivering as Castiel’s fingers dipped beneath the hem of his jeans, their eyes locked as he worked open Dean’s zipper. Castiel moved to the side to pull Dean’s jeans free and Dean shifted, his legs falling open slightly. Castiel’s eyes darkened and he crawled between them, pressing against the length of Dean’s body before finding his lips again.

They both groaned as their erections rubbed together through the thin layer of their boxers. Dean’s hands slid down the slope of Castiel’s back and gripped his ass as he rutted upwards with a growl. Castiel gasped and threw his head back, breaking a very heated kiss. He dove back down and began to kiss and suck marks along Dean’s throat.

Castiel laved over a blooming purple mark . “Supplies,” he whispered into Dean’s ear. “We need them now.”

“Drawer,” Dean groaned as Castiel’s teeth pressed into his throat again. “Fuck,” he whispered and forced himself to twist away, reaching over to the nightstand to pull it open. He found a bottle of lube and tossed it onto the bed, but had to blindly fumble towards the back for a condom. “Shit, last one. That’s lucky,” Dean laughed and dropped it beside the bottle before pushing the drawer shut and reaching for Cas.

“So,” Castiel began as he pushed up onto his knees and removed his boxer briefs, adding them to the pile of growing clothes on the floor. He grasped his hard cock and began to lazily stroke it as he looked down at Dean beneath him, meeting his hungry gaze and quirked his brow. “You gonna prep and fuck me or just watch?”

“You’re going to be the death of me,” Dean replied with a smirk, reaching for the bottle of lube and popping the top. Dean sat up and as he warmed the lube between his fingers, Castiel shifted, balancing himself with Dean’s shoulders.

Dean leaned forward, kissing Castiel’s throat, his chest, as his fingers circled Castiel’s pucker. He reveled in every gasp and moan Castiel let out, the way his hips rolled, torn between pressing against Dean’s chest and rocking back onto his fingers.

“Yes!” Castiel cried out as Dean added a third finger and grazed his prostate. He claimed Dean’s lips, panting against them as he started to grind down on Dean’s fingers. “So good,” he groaned as Dean struck that special spot over and over. “Fuck me, I’m ready.” Castiel clutched Dean’s shoulders as his dick twitched between them. “Get your boxers off now, I wanna ride your cock, Dean.”

Dean choked on his response, slipping his fingers free of Castiel’s tight heat and reaching down to free himself of his last article of clothing. Castiel reached for the condom, tearing open the wrapper. He pulled the condom free, his brow furrowing as he looked down at it.

Dean’s eyes moved from Castiel’s face to the condom between his fingers, the rubber discolored. He reached for it, swearing under his breath when it felt paper dry.

Castiel cleared his throat and looked down at the wrapper. “When, ah, is the last time you used these?”

Dean felt himself blush. “It’s been… a while,” he answered honestly. Dean flung the condom into the bedside trashcan and picked up the wrapper, flipping it over. “Apparently, almost two years a while…”

“Oh… Um… well… No need to be embarrassed.” Castiel smiled as a flush crept across his cheeks. He took the wrapper from Dean and balled it up tossing it in the trashcan to join the expired condom.“It’s been about the same since I… you know, too.”

Castiel shifted, groaning when their bare erections rubbed together. “I really don’t want to run to the store for unexpired condoms. I mean... talk about a mood killer. And I,” Castiel rocked in Dean’s lap, the feel of flesh on flesh making them both gasp, “really don’t wanna stop. So….” Castiel trailed off as he bit his bottom lip and met Dean’s eyes.

Dean felt his cock throb between them and he cleared his throat. “I was tested, after my last relationship. I’m clean.” He felt himself flush slightly, despite knowing how important the conversation was, it was never exactly easy to have.

“I am too,” Castiel answered back, just as soft. The air between them grew heavy again, hot, and there was a moment’s pause before Dean surged up and captured Castiel’s lips again. He licked inside the warm, wet heat of Cas’ mouth, his hands trailing from Castiel’s shoulders down to his hips, and Castiel reached behind himself to reach for Dean’s cock.

They both groaned as Castiel lined them up and slowly began to sink down, groaning deep from his throat at the stretch and burn of Dean pushing inside.

“Shit,” Dean whispered, dropping away from Cas’ mouth to press a kiss to the center of his chest. “You feel so fucking good.”

Castiel gave a small laugh, cupping Dean’s cheek and lifting his head to kiss him softly before placing a hand against his chest. “Lay back and enjoy,” Castiel cooed as he playfully pushed Dean back.

“Can’t argue with that,” Dean smirked as he laid down on the bed.

“Oh yeah,” Castiel grinned as placed his hands on Dean’s chest, supporting his weight as he started to gyrate on Dean’s thick cock, “much better.”

Castiel’s pace was languid, slow at first; he wanted to savor the feeling of Dean buried deep inside him. But at the first brush of Dean’s cock against his sweet spot, Castiel slightly quickened his stride. He gasped, loving the feel of Dean underneath him, the way Dean’s hands were practically worshipping every inch of his body within reach.

Dean moved with him, rolling his hips up every few strokes, his fingernails pressing almost painfully into his thighs. Castiel hoped he’d have marks to remind him in the morning. He shifted his weight, moaning loudly at the perfect pressure the new angle provided, and Dean swore beneath him, his eyes fluttering closed for a moment.

After a few more nudges against his prostate, Castiel was losing his resolve. He wanted more. He removed his hands from Dean’s chest and white knuckled the headboard, using it for leverage to bounce up-and-down on Dean's cock in reckless abandon.

“Fuck,” Dean groaned as his fingers clutched at Castiel’s hips so hard he knew for sure there would be bruises there come morning. But in Dean's defense, Castiel was riding him like a porn star, and all he could do was hold on for the wild ride. Dean let out another groan as he gripped tighter and thrust upwards, hitting Castiel’s prostate over and over, drawing the most decadent gasps and moans from his lover’s lips.

“Touch me,” Castiel pleaded as he looked down at Dean with lust blown eyes.

Dean removed one of his hands from Castiel’s hips in favor of wrapping it around his leaking cock. He began stroking to the same fast pace of Castiel’s hips, twisting his wrist every few upstrokes, causing Castiel to shake above him.

Castiel’s thigh muscles burned as he pushed himself up and dropped back down over and over on Dean’s cock. Castiel moved his hands from the bed and back to Dean’s shoulders, wanting to feel his sweaty flesh beneath his palms.

Dean’s hips thrust upward meeting him, driving his cock deeper and Castiel moaned when the head of Dean’s cock hit his prostate once again. Castiel squeezed his eyes shut as his head tilted back and he cried out in sheer unadulterated pleasure.

Dean licked his lips and breathed in deep. The smell of sex with thick in the air and the sounds of skin slapping wet skin filled the room. His gaze trailed over Castiel’s body from his sweat soaked hair to his flushed chest, down to where Castiel’s cock head was slipping through the tight tunnel of his fist. He couldn’t hold back his wanton groan at the sight and how it made his cock throb inside the tight heat of Castiel’s body.

“God, Dean,” Castiel keened as he met his eyes, “you feel so good buried deep inside me.” Heat coiled deep in the pit of Castiel’s stomach. “So close, I’m so close,” Castiel panted as he ramped up his pace, chasing his orgasm.

“Fuck, Cas,” Dean spoke through gritted teeth. “Me too. Don’t stop, baby. Don’t stop. Make us come.”

“Yes, yes, yes!” Castiel repeated the mantra as he rode Dean erratically. Castiel’s nails dug into the meat of Dean’s shoulders, the thought of Dean pumping him full of his come making him groan. He was in sensation overload, the feel of Dean’s cock driving against his prostate and the feel of Dean’s hand stroking him at a maddening pace.

“Fuck,” Castiel called out as he felt his orgasm building.

“Come on,” Dean panted as he thumbed over the slit of Castiel’s cock, “let go, come for me.”

“Dean!” Castiel drawled out in a long moan, his cock pulsing in Dean’s hand and painting Dean’s abdomen and chest in long stripes of come. Castiel was panting and his eyes met Dean’s as he continued the rapid pace, determined to push Dean over the edge and into ecstatic bliss with him.

“Oh fuck,” Dean groaned as Castiel ground down. He thrust up a few more times, hips stuttering and cock throbbing as he spilled his hot load inside of Castiel.

“Mmm, so good,” Castiel purred as he languidly rocked back and forth, riding out their orgasms.

Dean groaned again as his cock continued spurting out his release. He could feel his come leaking out of Castiel, down his balls and inner thighs, soaking the bed.

Dean pulled Castiel down for a fevered kiss, all teeth tongue and passion, both uncaring of the mess smearing between them. Castiel broke the kiss with a nip to Dean’s bottom lip.

“That was…” Castiel blew out a deep breath as he ran his fingers through Dean’s hair, “just wow.”

“I agree.” Dean grinned as he ran his hands down Castiel’s back, resting them just above the swell of his ass. Dean’s grin turned into a smirk as he tightened his hold on Castiel and rolled them.

“What the…” Castiel squeaked, disorientated at the sudden change of position. He blinked up at Dean, hissing as Dean gingerly pulled his cock out of Castiel’s sensitive hole.

“You are gorgeous,” Dean hummed as he began to kiss his way down Castiel’s chest and abdomen.

“Dean, wha-what are you doing?” Castiel stammered as Dean dipped his tongue into his belly button.

“Well,” Dean grinned up at him ferally, “I promised I would answer the question you asked me on our first date, on our second one.”

“What are you talking about?” Castiel furrowed his brows, his brain short circuiting as Dean nipped at his inner thigh. “What question?”

“Creampies, Cas,” Dean’s nails dug into the meat of Castiel’s ass, spreading his cheeks apart. “But instead of telling you just how much I like them, I figured I’d show you.”

“Oh god,” Castiel moaned as his head dropped back onto the pillow. The rough drag of Dean’s five o’clock shadow against his inner thighs and the smooth press of Dean’s tongue against his quivering pucker was driving him mad. Castiel’s cock twitched in a valiant attempt to get hard again, and if he was ten years younger he’d have been ready in no time.

Dean swiped his tongue over Castiel’s wet hole, swirling it around the rim before gently pressing in. Dean could taste himself, could feel his come coat his chin, and he let out a long moan, the vibrations causing Castiel’s legs to quiver.

Castiel reached down and threaded his fingers through Dean’s hair gripping it tight. He rocked back trying to take Dean’s tongue deeper but Dean gripped his inner thighs tight leaving no room to question who was in charge now.

Dean continued to eat Castiel out with fervor, altering between long broad strokes and teasing prods of his tongue. Castiel’s legs began to twitch and shake as his breathing became erratic. Dean grinned as he gently scraped his teeth across Castiel’s rim.

“Dean,” Castiel keened as he pulled Dean’s hair, “get up here and kiss me, now.”

How could Dean refuse a request like that.

Their lips crashed together, Castiel moaning into Dean’s mouth as he tasted the other man on his tongue. They kissed until their lips were numb, until their hands hands thoroughly mapped out the others body, until the early morning hours.

Dean smiled against Castiel’s swollen lips, mumbling against them. “I think Cas creampie is my new favorite kinda pie.”

“You are a sight, Dean Winchester.” Castiel snorted and shoved Dean’s shoulder, causing the other man to roll off the top of him and rest beside him. Both Dean and Castiel turned onto their sides facing each other.

“Stay,” Dean whispered as he reached over and threading his fingers with Castiel’s. “Stay the night.”

Castiel smiled brightly as he brought their joined hands up to his lips and kissed each of Dean’s knuckles.

“I’d love to.”

Chapter Text

When Dean woke up the next morning, he expected to be wrapped in Cas’ arms, but instead, he woke up alone with Cas’ side of the bed cold; indicating that he had been up for a while. Dean shook his head and shrugged off the disappointment he felt at waking alone- Cas had no reason to stay until Dean woke up, they weren’t boyfriends or anything, and the guy probably had better things to do than wait for Dean to get up anyway. Although, Dean began to wonder, what would it have been like if they were boyfriends? Early morning handjobs and blowjobs, maybe taking a shower together and washing each other off- it would start off innocently but eventually turn into shower sex because they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. It had been a long time since Dean had been in an actual relationship, and a part of him was feeling lonely and missing the companionship that accompanied a long term relationship. Despite what image he projected to everyone, he was a sappy romantic at heart.

Ignoring the pang in his heart that the imagery caused, he got up and put on a pair of comfy sweatpants, deciding to forego boxers and a shirt for the time being.

Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, Dean entered the kitchen in search of coffee when he stopped in his tracks- Cas was there (He hadn’t left!!) and he was cooking bacon- from the smell of it. Dean wondered how he missed the smell of bacon- but that wasn’t the most important thing right now. Cas was wearing one of Dean’s aprons that were hung on the hook near the fridge- and nothing else. Dean felt all his blood flow south as he took in the sight in front of him. In the light of the day, Dean could see how muscular Cas actually was- he looked bulked up enough to easily be able to lift Dean against a wall to fuck him, but not so much that he looked like he was hopped up on steroids. Cas’ bare ass was calling to him like a siren, perfectly round and with bruises that looked suspiciously like Dean’s fingertips, and if Cas wasn’t standing so close to the stove, he would have went down on his knees and buried his face in that ass.

Ignoring the logical part of his brain, Dean moved towards Cas and wrapped his arms around the shorter man, his now fully hard cock resting perfectly between Cas’ cheeks, separated only by the thin layer of his sweats. Dean nuzzled the junction of Cas’ neck and shoulder and slightly sucked on the skin there.

“You look good enough to eat, Cas. Damn.”

Cas turned to him with a blinding smile. “Good morning, Dean. I hope you don’t mind me cooking without your permission.”

Dean returned his smile and leaned in to drop a soft kiss onto Cas’ lips. What was supposed to be a chaste kiss didn’t stay that was for long; Cas was basically naked and Dean was already hard and soon they were rutting against each other like teenagers- close to completion just because of a few well-placed touches.

Cas turned off the stove as he pushed Dean against the counter, bending to nip at his jaw. Dean groaned in response to the manhandling, his dick twitching in his sweatpants, pretty much begging for some attention.

Unable to handle any more teasing, Dean quickly reached behind Cas to untie the apron. At the same time Cas lifted him up on to the counter and pulled down his sweats with a swift jerk, making his erection sap against Dean’s stomach and jerk wildly at the sensation.

Before Dean knew what was happening, Cas leaned down and swallowed him down in one motion, taking him in down to the base. Dean lifted his legs to rest them on Cas’ shoulders and moaned loudly as he thrust his hips into the tight, wet suction of Cas’ mouth.

His breathing got shallower as Cas reached behind his balls to rub a dry finger at his hole- pressing against it but not pushing in. One of his hands came to rest on Cas’ head, holding him in place and the other scrambled for purchase on the smooth surface of the counter.

Having a sudden moment of clarity, Dean said “Bedroom, Cas. We don’t have lube here and I’m not really into the whole fucking each other dry thing.”

Cas’ mouth stilled on his cock for a second before he pulled off, making Dean whine at the loss of the heat. He smirked before reaching behind Dean and pulled out a bottle of lube seemingly from nowhere and replied, “I was cooking naked because I wanted to fuck you in the kitchen, did you really think I wouldn’t have brought the lube with me?” The gritty texture of Cas’ voice was made even rougher from the blowjob and it almost made Dean some right then.

Dean gulped. “Well then, what are we waiting for? Let’s get this show on the road.” Internally smirking, Dean lowered his voice on purpose and leaned forward to whisper in Cas’ ear, “Fuck me, Cas. Fuck me so hard that I feel it for the rest of the week.”

Before he had a moment to react, Cas was pushing his shoulders backwards and pulling his hips forward so that his ass was off the counter. Dean leaned back on his elbows, enjoying the sight of Cas’ face, red and sweaty with arousal, still bracketed by his knees. Cas gave him no time to compose himself before he took Dean’s dick back into his mouth and began to suck his brains out through it.

At an almost torturous pace, Cas leaned in until Dean could feel the head of his cock hitting the back of Cas’ throat. Fuck it had been a long time since someone had deep throated him this well. Making it even better, Cas swallowed around him at the same time as he pushed a lubed finger into him to the hilt in one stroke. Dean almost sobbed with pleasure at the dual sensations. He bit his bottom lip as he fucked himself onto Cas’ finger, alternating it with thrusting his hips into Cas’ mouth.

Dean got lost in the sensations, moaning and groaning, and before he knew it, Cas was three fingers deep, brushing his prostate relentlessly, and teasing him like they had all the time in the world. (The last thought sent pleasing shivers down Dean’s spine which he decided to ignore for the time being)

“Fuck me, Cas. Please! ” Dean begged, moaning brokenly, and even from this angle, he could see Cas’ cock twitching at his words.

Cas pulled off his dick with an obscenely loud pop, and with a thin strand of spit still connecting his swollen lips to Dean, he leaned forward and plunged his tongue deep into Dean’s mouth in a dirty parody of a kiss. Cas pulled out his fingers and before Dean had the time to even mourn their loss, they were replaced by his thick cock, sinking into him in one fluid motion. Fuck! The guy felt much thicker than the three fingers Dean had just been stuffed with. He had never felt this full before and keened loudly as his back arched in pleasure. Cas pulled Dean’s legs down to rest his knees on the crook of his arm. The position left Dean spread open and vulnerable to Cas’ gaze and fuck, did it turn Dean on even more.

Still leaning up on his elbows, Dean looked down to see Cas mesmerized by the sight of himself fucking into Dean’s hole. He couldn’t blame Cas though, Dean would be mesmerized by that too if he could see it right now.

“Fuck me!” he begged and almost before the words left his mouth, Cas was fucking Dean at a brutal pace, hitting his prostate hard with each thrust. Dean had never been so turned on before- he couldn’t catch his breath and his hard cock slapping against his stomach was the only stimulation he was getting, yet he was sure he could come from that alone. At this point, he was sure that not even the apocalypse could force him to stop. Little unh unh unhs were fucked out of him with each thrust and his mind was blissfully blank.

Dean let his head back to let it hang in mid-air. Cas took the opportunity to be what it was and leaned ahead, which unfortunately slowed down his pace, to suck a bruise onto Dean’s neck. He bit and nibbled at the skin before licking the abused spot and dropping a soft kiss there. The action was so tender, it made Dean’s heart ache for a relationship with this sex god of a man. Dean didn’t have any more time to think about that because Cas immediately leaned back and resumed his earlier speed, fucking Dean hard and fast.

“So close, Cas!” Dean gasped, slurring with the arousal pumping inside of him. “G’nna c’m on just your cock baby, sfat n hard, it’s fillin me up com’letely!”

Cas growled in response, and the sound went straight to Dean’s dick, making him moan loudly. Suddenly, his thoughts (or lack thereof) were interrupted by a loud yelp.

Dean turned his head towards where the sound came from and saw Sam standing at the entrance of the kitchen, facing away from them and still covering his eyes. Dean would have laughed at the situation if he had some air in his lungs.

“Go ‘way, S’mmy.” He slurred.

“Please give us a couple of hours, Sam.” Cas said through gritted teeth, sounding all composed still, and never once stopping his thrusts inside Dean.

“Yeah, mhm, okay” Sam replied tightly but made no attempt to move.

At a particularly hard thrust to his prostate, Dean groaned loudly, spurring Sam into motion as he stumbled on his huge moose feet in a hurry to get out. Sam covered his ears and shouted something on the lines of ‘LALALA I can’t hear you LALALA’ until he left the house.

“Well, not that the interruption is gone,” Cas said, panting, “How about you show me how good you look when you cum?” and thrust harder than he thought was possible into Dean.

That was apparently all the cue he needed because Dean was immediately coming explosively, without a hand to his dick. He moaned as the warm cum splashed onto his stomach and chest. Cas fucked Dean through his orgasm before he pulled out and began to jerk himself off. Dean’s eyes widened at the sight and his cock twitched and a few more drops of cum dribbled out.

“Mark me, Cas.” He growled “Come on me and make me yours.”

Cas quickened his speed and only a handful of pumps later, he was coming all over Dean’s softening cock and stomach with a pornographic sound. Even if it didn’t work out between them, Dean was sure this was going to be in his spank bank for the rest of his life.

As soon as Cas was done coming, he fell forward against Dean, uncaring of the mess between them. He nuzzled into Dean’s neck and started leaving soft, open-mouthed kisses wherever he could reach. Dean sighed softly, reveling in the attention until he elbows and shoulders began to ache. Dean pushed Castiel off and got down from the counter.

“Come on, join me in the shower” he said and without waiting for an answer, pulled Castiel towards the shower.

The shower was spent softly making out and washing each other carefully. After the shower, Dean was feeling light and playful. He took a single towel and wrapped it around both their waists, holding Cas close and breathing his scent mingled with Dean’s body wash.

“Hey, Cas?” he started tentatively leaning back to look at Cas’ face. “Will you be my boyfriend? Like all exclusive and shit?”

The smile Cas gave in return was blinding and Dean was sure he had never seen a more beautiful sight in his life.

“I would love to be ‘exclusive and shit’ with you, Dean.” Cas replied as he cupped Dean’s face and leaned in for a soft kiss. Dean grinned in response and hugged Cas tight. Cuddling into his boyfriend right there in the bathroom, naked and sharing a single towel, was the happiest Dean could remember feeling in a long time.

After they got dressed, Dean’s hungry stomach led them to the kitchen where Cas managed to mix something up from the cold remains of what was supposed to be their breakfast. They sat down at the table, entirely too close and whispered to each other as they ate, unable to keep their hands- and mouths- off of each other for long.

After they had eaten and put away the dishes, Cas pulled Dean onto the couch. Dean was all up for a make out session when Cas said, “Let’s watch a movie.” With a wide, gummy smile- complete with a scrunchy nose and eye crinkles. Dean already knew that he would never be able to say no to that face.

Rolling his eyes, Dean picked out a random movie and put it in, knowing that he had no plans on actually watching the movie. He then ignored the huge amount of space on the couch and deposited himself on Cas’ lap, wrapping an arm around his neck and resting the other on his cheek. Cas brought his arms up to wrap around Dean’s waist and looked up at Dean with those big blue eyes.

“Hey.” Dean said softly.

“Hello, Dean.” Cas replied with a grin. Dean grabbed Cas’ chin between his pointer finger and thumb and pressed a soft kiss to his nose before tilting his face up to kiss his plump bottom lip. The kiss remained chaste even as both the men wrapped their arms around each other tighter.

Breathlessly, Dean broke off the kiss and smiled at Cas. “So, tell me more about your family.” He said, and they spent a long time, just sitting there and talking about their families, completely ignoring the movie, and randomly making out. Dean had always loved cuddling and kissing just for the fun of it and that romantic side of him was currently in heaven.

A short while later, Dean heard the door open followed by a groan.

“Come on, guys. Really?” Sam complained.

Without getting up from his place on Cas’ lap, Dean turned to Sam and said, “After this morning, you really should know better, Sammy.” He smirked.

Sam grimaced and replied, “There isn’t enough brain bleach for that, jerk. I’ve seen more of you than I ever wanted to see.”

“Well, you should have knocked, bitch.”

Before Sam could reply, Dean continued, “Anyway, I want you to play nice and officially meet my boyfriend, Castiel.” He glared at Sam, daring him to be an asshole about it. Thankfully, Sam seemed to take the hint and grinned kindly at Cas.

“Hello, Cas.” He said, extending his hand to Cas for a handshake.

“Sam.” Cas replied with a nod, leaning forward to shake Sam’s hand, before wrapping it around Dean’s waist once again.

Sam seemed to have noticed that Dean hadn’t gotten up from Cas’ lap and rolled his eyes. “What, now that you’re together, do you plan on being this sickeningly sweet all the time?” he asked Dean.

“Yes.” Dean replied with a cheeky grin, not bothering to be ashamed of his cuddly romantic side in front of his little brother.

“Ugh. Just- don’t make me see anything like this morning again.”

Dean grinned at his brother and winked at him, “Well, maybe now you won’t show up unannounced.”

Sam ignored and picked out another movie to watch while he tried to ignore Dean and Cas, and Dean carded his fingers through Cas’ hair. Sitting there with his brother and boyfriend, Dean realized that this is what he had been waiting for his entire adult life, and he would fight to keep this until his last breath.

Chapter Text

 

Dean shuffled into the living room with two steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Castiel, busily breaking down a cardboard box, merely smiled and gestured to the coffee table. It had only taken a few days before Cas had admitted that the reason the house was so neat was that he hadn’t entirely moved in yet, despite having lived in the house since October. Dean couldn’t imagine Thanksgiving here - barely any furniture, no personal items. So he’d poked and prodded and wheedled until Cas broke down and let him start the process, hauling box after box from the garage. 

Three straight days of snow meant that they had to close both the garage and the lot. Castiel hadn’t seemed inclined to kick him out, so they upacked his television and watched Christmas movies on his couch by the light of the tree. This morning it had stopped, the air bright and crisp with a few lazy flakes drifting down from time to time. Dean had made pancakes, which they hadn’t eaten, and after cleaning maple syrup out of their hair and off the kitchen floor, Castiel decided it was time to face the boxes.

Dean sat on the couch to root through the box he was working on. There were only a few left, and the place was already feeling like a real home. There were pictures of pretty landscapes on the walls, some weird knick-knacks on shelves, and a huge old quilt that Castiel had pulled out of a tiny box like a magician with endless scarves. It was resting across the back of the couch. This one looked like it was filled with pictures in frames, and Dean took them out one by one, placing them on the coffee table. 

At the bottom was a large, silver frame, all hearts and curlicues. He turned it over curiously, and the picture made Dean’s heart skip a beat. 

“Cas…” he clears his throat. 

“Hmm?” Castiel stacked empty flat box on top of bubble wrap, on top of empty flat box, only half listening. He was humming something under his breath, and Dean really wished he hadn’t opened this so that he could share the mood. 

“Cas.” His tone was harsh. “I opened this, and it...can we talk about it?” 

“Which…” Cas turned around. Dean held up the picture for him to see. Cas sighed. It was a small, defeated sound. “Oh. I forgot about that one.” 

Dean pointed to the picture. “I assume that this is your brother Jimmy.” 

“Yes. We ar ...were twins.”

“Okay, and because of the wedding dress, I’m guessing that is his wife.” 

Cas swallowed, knowing what Dean will say next, but not taking the initiative. “Yeah. Amelia.”

Dean pointed again, eyebrow raised. Castiel’s feet dragging is not making this any better. “This woman is also in a wedding dress, Cas, and you’re next to her.” 

Cas sat down heavily. “Yeah, we had a double wedding.”

“You said you aren’t married. Are you married?” He felt sick, hurt, betrayed. He’d trusted Cas. 

“Yes. No. I mean ...no, I’m not married. Not any more. That’s Daphne, Amelia’s best friend. We’re divorced. So very, very divorced.” 

The knot in Dean’s stomach loosened, but he didn’t say anything, just waiting. Watching Castiel as he played with the mug of cocoa. 

“It took me forever to come out. Our upbringing, the town we lived in, it was not really conducive to that kind of revelation. Daphne liked me, and Jimmy was besotted with Amelia. I guess I thought it would be fine. That I’d grow to love her. We had a huge family growing up, and the idea of starting a tightly knit family unit with my twin in our hometown… I don’t know, it was appealing.”

Dean nodded. “I get that. What happened?”

Cas looked pained. “Jimmy and Gabriel held their own private intervention, after years and years of possibly the worst marriage ever. Daphne was so… so angry. And she had a right to be. None of it was fair to her. We had a scouring divorce, and she took everything I owned because I refused to fight her for it. Amelia never forgave me for hurting her friend, but she’s at least down to a dull roar. She doesn’t keep Claire from me, and she’s civil.” 

He looked so lost and small that Dean couldn’t stand it any more. He knelt in front of Cas’ chair, enveloping him in a warm, sweet hug. Cupping Castiel’s cheek in one hand, Dean kissed him gently. 

“Hey, I’m sorry for prying,” Dean kissed him again. “Are you okay?”

Castiel nodded but it didn’t look very convincing. Dean rubbed his thumb across Castiel’s lower lip, kissed it, then his cheek, his temple. He could feel the tension slowly leaving his boyfriend’s body. 

“How about we go outside? I think a walk in this beautiful snowy day will help you cheer up, babe. Get fresh air. Exercise.” 

Castiel smiled, but it was tired. “Yeah, okay. Let me get these boxes into the garage.” 

So they cleaned up, whisking away all trace of the upacking spree, and Castiel put the pictures back into the box without lingering over it. When they were done, it was the very picture of a home. 

Dean smiled. “Okay.  Enough stalling, gorgeous. Boots, gloves, the whole shebang.” 

They bundled up, and trudged out into the snow. The sky was bright and blue with a few wintery, wispy clouds, and the snow sparkled. Their breath came out in white wisps, the air cold and crisp. Dean took a deep cleansing breath, grabbed Castiel’s hand, and pulled him out of his yard, into the neighborhood. 

The walk was invigorating. They passed kids shouting and laughing, building snowmen and snow forts.  An old guy wearing a bright red scarf with a snowblower waved as they passed, spraying a fountain of white over his lawn as he dug out his car. When they finally got back, Castiel’s neighbor was just finishing up shoveling the sidewalk in front of his yard, grumbling about snow days as he went inside. It gave Dean an idea.

“You know,” he said, speculatively eyeing Castiel’s driveway, “we should shovel this.” 

Castiel looked dubious. Dean nodded firmly. “Yep. Get your shovel. I’ll be right back.” 

Together, they worked on it, Dean having borrowed the shovel from the grouch next door. Dean waited until Castiel was facing the other direction. Quietly putting the shovel down, he grabbed some snow and squashed it together into a ball. Eyeballing Castiel’s back, he carefully took aim and lobbed it right at him. It hit his arm, making him jump and shout out in surprise. 

Castiel looked at his arm, covered in snow. He looked up at Dean, who already had another snowball and a smug expression. 

“Ohh, Dean Winchester. You just made a very bad mistake,” he growled. “It is on.” 

The fight ranged all over his front yard, the two of them surging through the deep snow, laughing and shouting. Dean was pleasantly surprised as Castiel made him work for it, putting up a good defense, finally resorting to tackling Dean into the snow. 

Castiel sat up, cackling, hands raised in victory, “Hahaha! Take that! I win!” 

Dean grinned and pulled him back down for a heated kiss, feeling like maybe he’d won too.

Chapter Text

Dean twisted his hands nervously, then reached out to straighten the plate of crackers and cheese in the kitchen island. Dean didn’t do this, not since Lisa, and well… that hadn’t ended well. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to meet Castiel’s family, because he was actually shocked and excited that Castiel care about him enough to want Dean involved. But the actual prospect of doing it? Or worrying since he woke up at the ass crack of dawn and started furiously cleaning Cas’ house as if it being slightly messy would be an inflection on him, the new boyfriend? Well, Dean knew he was being ridiculous.

Still, he hadn’t been able to eat lunch and had drank more coffee than should’ve been humanly possible, and he spent twenty minutes perfectly lining up cheese slices to look like six pointed stars.

“Dean.”

Dean looked up to see Castiel watching him from the doorway, amusement clear in his eyes.

“Uh, appetizers and shit are out. Not that they’re shit, because - oh wait, Claire is a kid, I can’t say shit like shit and-”

Cas snorted and crossed the kitchen, backing Dean up against the counter and kissing him quiet. “It’s just Amelia and Claire, Dean. This isn’t some formal to do, it’s going to be fun! If you don’t want-”

“No,” Dean shook his head quickly, “I do want. I just… what if they hate me?”

Castiel shook his head and kissed him once more. “Dean Winchester, I don’t think anyone could hate you.”

“Tell that to my ex girlfriend…” Dean muttered back and found himself smiling at Cas’ eye roll.

It has been a whirlwind of a week, but Dean was glad to be here, glad that Cas had taken his suggestion of making an event of decorating the tree. It was still nearly two weeks until Christmas, and the week the tree had been up in Castiel’s house, bare and making the room smell of pine, Dean itched to put some color on it.

He glanced over and watched as Castiel knelt by the fridge, loading a few orange sodas for Claire near the bottom and relocating a bottle of Chardonnay they picked up for Amelia. Dean was more curious to meet Cas’ sisters-in-law than anyone else.

When they went on their first date - was that really only nine days ago? - Dean immediately knew Cas and his family were close. It was clear from the way he talked about them, all of them. When he found that picture on Tuesday, and then Castiel explained the double marriage situation, Dean didn’t understand how Amelia and Cas could be close and yet, strained. Cas had reassured him that the cool awkwardness over his divorce to Daphne was always just a tough topic, and that they’d worked past it, especially after Jimmy died.

The bottom line,” Cas had said, twisting their fingers together as he pulled them towards the couch, “is that we’re family. Life is too short, Jimmy showed us that. But Amelia will always be my sister.”

Dean thought to his own relationship with Sammy, how they’d had their fair share of disagreements over the years, including the year and a half they only spoke via text. He can’t even remember the fight now, but he remembered how heavy he’d felt until they both pulled their big boy pants on and got over it.

The doorbell rang, causing Castiel to shut the fridge before reaching over to squeeze Dean’s shoulder. Dean blew out a breath and trailed after him through the hall to the front door.

Here goes nothing.

Dean stayed back and watched as Castiel opened the door, a loud screech erupting moments before Castiel was knocked back a few feet, his legs in a vice grip of a long limbs and curly blonde hair.

“Uncle Cassie!”

“Hey, Claire,” Castiel laughed as he bent his knees and stood again, his niece in his arms. The smile on his face had Dean smiling just as wide. “Amelia,” Castiel continued, shifting Claire onto his hip and holding out an arm. A woman stepped forward and fell into the hug.

“Oh, Castiel,” Amelia said and Dean watched her arm tighten around his back, “we missed you!”

“Its only been a few weeks since Thanksgiving,” Cas replied, giving a small laugh before turning his head and kissing Amelia’s cheek. “I missed you guys, too.”

“Uncle Cas! Uncle Cas! Who’s that?” Claire had her head turned, bright blue eyes locked on Dean’s face.

Cas stepped back and turned, placing a hand on Amelia’s lower back to invite her into the house before he shut the door behind them. “This,” he said as the door closed with a snick, “is Dean. We’ve been dating for a little while.”

Claire’s eyes widened and she broke out into a wide smile, turning her head to look at her mom. “Uncle Cas has a boyfriend, Mommy!”

Amelia chuckled and nodded her head, taking a few steps forward with her hand out to shake Dean’s. “It’s nice to meet you, Dean.”

“Likewise,” Dean replied, giving her a smile before nodding at Claire. Claire was now standing on the ground, but had her arm linked through her uncle’s, tugging him forward.

“Are you going to decorate the tree with us? Uncle Cas said there’s gonna be cocoa!”

Dean chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, I was planning on it. As long as that’s okay with you?” He glanced up and saw Amelia smiling over her shoulder at Cas. He cleared his throat and looked back down at Claire. “Do you want to help me make hot chocolate?”

“You mean it's not from a packet?” Claire asked, eyes wide again. “You’re awesome!”

Dean chuckled and followed after Claire who ran back down the hallway into the kitchen. He turned and saw Cas and Amelia watching him. “Hear that? I’m awesome.”

Amelia laughed and shook her head. “Well, at least one of us is. Claire is nine going on sixteen, I’m pretty sure I won’t be awesome again until she’s thirty.”

Dean leaned back against the armchair, smiling as Claire followed after her uncle, good naturedly nitpicking his ornament placement. Dean had been impressed; his boyfriend had gotten the typical baubles of gold, red, and green, but he’d picked up a package of emoji ornaments - which Claire screeched over -, a set of wooden nutcrackers, and sparkly snowmen. He’d even gotten angel ornaments with each of their names on them: Claire, Castiel, Amelia, Michael & Lilly, Gabriel & Kali & Leigha, Anna & Fergus & Gavin & Sasha, and Lucas & Meg & Ronald.

Claire put aside each of the angel ornaments, saying that everyone should place themselves or their families when they were ready. Amelia kissed her head and agreed, then handed over a box they’d brought of reindeer ornaments Claire had made.

“Dean!” Claire drew his attention as she climbed up to sit on the arm rest. “Are you going to be here on Christmas?”

“Oh,” Dean said, looking to her in surprise, “I… well, I don’t think so. It's a family day and I’m sure-”

“You don’t think Uncle Cas wants you here?” Claire asked, cocking her head in the same manner Castiel does.

“Claire!” Amelia scolded, getting a huff and an eye roll that Dean was sure Amelia knew was happening, despite Claire facing away from her.

“Uncle Gabe brought Kali to Christmas last year when they were only dating,” she pressed on, “so wouldn’t that mean Uncle Cas can bring you?”

“Claire,” Amelia interrupted again, placing the bowl of cranberries she was stringing onto the coffee table and standing from the couch, “don’t you think it's up to your Uncle to invite Dean if he wants him there?”

Claire glanced over at her mom and then shrugged. “Uncle Cas might not feel like he can invite someone. He never invites anyone to anything! And I like Dean, and I want him to be there, so I’m going to invite him.”

Amelia crossed her arms over her chest, shaking her head though Dean could see she was hiding a smirk. “What if Dean has family of his own that he wants to spend Christmas with?”

Claire licked her lips and turned, narrowing her eyes as she searched Dean’s face. “I hope you know, we’re totally cooler than any of your family.”

“Claire!” Amelia scolded her again just as Castiel came back into the living room, carrying two large pizzas and balancing plates and napkins on top.

“What… did I just miss?” Castiel asked as he slid them onto the coffee table, looking between the three of them.

“Apparently my family isn’t as cool as yours,” Dean answered with a shrug, picking up his mug of cocoa and taking a sip as he smirked over the top at Claire. “And I’ve been invited to Christmas.”

“What Dean forgot to say,” Amelia added, lifting her hand in a ‘come here’ gesture to her daughter, “is that Claire was being rude and all but demanded Dean come for Christmas. Though, I told her that it was up to you to invite him if you wanted him there and that it's none of our business.”

“Uncle Cas is my business,” Claire argued back, dropping down to her knees in front of the coffee table, facing the couch. “He’s my Uncle and whatever happens with him matters to me. Maybe you don’t want Uncle Cas to be happy but --”

“What on Earth? Of course I want him to be happy!”

“And just because you don’t want to move on or date cause you still miss Daddy, doesn’t mean -”

“Claire Beatrice Novak!” Amelia shouted, silencing her daughter and the rest of the room.

Dean looked in alarm across the room at Castiel, not sure what the fuck just happened or what he was supposed to do about it. Castiel had a pained look on his face and he shook his head slowly before sinking down on the couch and looking at his niece.

“Claire,” he said softly, waiting until she looked up and met his eyes. From the expression on Castiel’s face, Dean knew she was either crying or was close to it. “That wasn’t fair to your mom. You know that’s not what she’s saying.”

“Of course it isn’t!” Amelia said softly, dropping down and sitting close to Castiel’s side.

Castiel gave her a soft smile, reaching over to squeeze her hands. “I appreciate how much you care, and you are right -- what happens in my life is your business, because that’s how our family works. Come here.”

Claire hesitated for a moment, then pushed up and came to squeeze onto the couch between Castiel and her mom, leaning heavily on her Uncle’s side.

“I love that you like Dean. We haven’t had the conversation about Christmas yet, and Dean might want to spend time with his family that day. Whatever he decides to do, we’re going to respect, right?”

Claire gave half a shrug, glancing across the room at Dean before nodding her head.

“Now, I don’t know why you said your mom doesn’t want me to be happy, but I can tell you first hand… Your mom and Uncle Gabe are usually the ones harassing me to date. Of course your mom wants me to be happy, just like she wants Uncle Gabe and Auntie Anna, Uncle Michael and Uncle Lucas to be, too.

“Your mom…” Castiel cleared his throat, glancing up at Amelia before continuing, “deserves to be happy too. But just because she’s not dating doesn’t mean she’s not happy. And just because she misses your dad…”

“I miss him too,” Claire whispered, hiding her face in Cas’ arm.

“We all do,” Castiel replied. “I miss your dad every single day. Don’t put pressure on your mom to date, Claire. That’s not fair to her, or to you. Do you want her to date someone?”

“No,” Claire shook her head, “not really. Not unless he was… you know. Good and stuff.”

Castiel nodded and gave her a big squeeze. “Well… would your dad have liked how you were just talking to your mom?”

“No,” Claire answered with a sigh, “he would’ve sent me to my room and made me, like, write lines or something.”

“No,” Amelia said softly, a smile on her lips. “That’s not what he would’ve done.”

“You’re right,” Claire said, pushing away from Cas and leaning against her mom. “He would’ve made me write you a letter. First draft, an angry one, about why I was mad. Then I’d have to read it and edit it and make it nicer and share my feeeeeelings.”

Dean snorted as Claire dragged the last word out. God, he knew that feeling. “Your dad sounds like my Uncle Bobby,” he said with a soft laugh. “No matter what, that old son of a --” Dean coughed and glanced at Cas, “he, uh, always got me to talk about the ooey gooey stuff.”

“That’s totally like my dad,” Claire said with a nod. “He could make you bare your soul if he wanted to. All by giving you… this look.”

“I wish I had had the chance to meet him,” Dean said. “Sounds like he was a really good guy. Especially if he raised such an awesome kid.”

Claire smiled back at him, her cheeks flushing a bit pink. “Mom?” she said after a moment, glancing back. “I’m… I’m sorry I yelled at you.”

Amelia nodded, leaning forward to kiss Claire’s forehead. “It’s okay baby, it’s okay.”

“Thank you,” Castiel said as he slid up behind Dean, wrapping his arms around his waist and pressing up against his back, “for being here tonight.”

“Of course,” Dean answered, drying his hands from where he’d been washing the few dishes they’d created before laying them over Cas’. “I really liked Claire. She’s a freaking firecracker.”

“Yeah, she is,” Castiel chuckled, kissing the back of Dean’s neck. “Her, uh, proposal to you wasn’t done in the best way but… if you and, well Sam too, want to come for Christmas? I’ll have plenty of food.”

“I can talk to Sam tomorrow at work,” Dean replied. “Sometimes we go see Ellen, but I think she’s visiting Jo this year. She got an apartment near her college, so they’re going to do a mother daughter bonding thing.”

Castiel nodded, resting his head against Dean’s shoulder and closing his eyes. “You going home tonight?” he asked, smiling as Dean turned in his arms.

“I could be… convinced to spend the night,” Dean answered back. Castiel chuckled and answered him with a kiss.

They cleaned up the rest of the kitchen, what little that was left of the pizza was wrapped and stored in the fridge, and Dean went room to room shutting off the lights as Castiel locked the doors. They met back up at the foot of the stairs, the room glowing a bright pink from the Christmas lights. He reached back, twisting his fingers with Castiel’s.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” Dean whisper sang, earning himself a smack on the ass as he ran up the stairs, Castiel close behind him.

Chapter Text

CRASH

"GRANDMAAAAAAA GOT RUN OVER BY A REIGNDEEEEEEER!"

Dean shot up out of bed, immediately grabbing the pillow he'd been laying on and swinging it before him as if it were a sword, blinking the sleep from his eyes as he looked around the room in alarm. Beside him, Castiel groaned and rolled over into the warm spot, pressing his face behind Dean's back.

"WALKING HOME FROM OUR HOUSE CHRISTMAS EEEEE-"

"Uncle Gabriel!" Claire's screech broke through Gabriel's obnoxious singing, followed by the slam of a door and a muffled scream, "Shut up!"

Amelia immediately scolded Claire and Dean turned in alarm as he felt the bed shaking. Behind him, Castiel was laughing, the sound muffled by Dean's body before he pulled back and full on belly laughed.

"Good morning, Dean. Merry Christmas."

Dean stared down at him, his eyes still blown wide, his heart pounding a million beats a minute.

There was a soft knock on their bedroom door, to which Castiel called out permission to enter, and Sam walked through the door, leaning back against it with what Dean assumed was a similar expression to what he wore. Sam's hair was sticking up in all directions, a small spot of drool was dried at the corner of his mouth, and Dean absent mindedly rubbed at his own face - just inc case.

Castiel looked over their faces and promptly burst out laughing once more.

"What. The hell. Was that?" Sam asked, terrified as he turned from Cas to meet his brother's expression.

"Was he at least wearing pants?" Castiel asked as he pulled the blankets back and sat up, slipping his feet into his slippers. He glanced up to see Sam slowly shaking his head and started laughing again. "Well, that was Gabriel's Christmas wake up call, of course. If it helps any, it means breakfast and coffee is ready. He woke us all up once before the coffee was done and I was sure we were going to spend Christmas morning digging a grave after Jimmy murdered him."

Sam nodded his head slowly, finally seeming to wake up as he ran his hands back through his hair. "If Dean had ever done that," he said with a small laugh, shaking his head."

"Bobby would've grabbed the shotgun and pumped me full of lead," Dean finished.

Castiel smiled and leaned over, kissing Dean's cheek before grabbing a bathrobe from the bathroom door. "Take your time," he said to them both, Sam shifting to the side to let him pass, "I'll meet you both in the kitchen."

Dean smiled softly as he watched him leave, then gave himself a minute so stretch before climbing out of the bed. For his part, Sam stayed leaning against the wall by the door, hiding a yawn behind his hand and trying not to let on that he was snooping around Cas' room with his eyes.

"You just gonna stand there?" Dean asked, raising a brow at his brother before bending down to retrieve the socks he'd kicked off in the middle of the night from the floor.

"Well, I sure as hell am not going down there without you. It's your boyfriend's family, and I only remember like... two of their names."

Dean shrugged, but found himself hard pressed to argue. He only really remembered half of the adults names, and the only child he could remember, other than Claire, was Anna's daughter Sasha, simply because the infant had refused to be put down after she was put in Dean's arms.

Sam waited patiently while Dean used the bathroom and brushed his teeth, then both brothers went downstairs together. The tree was lit up, the plate of Santa's cookies mostly eaten and a huge hunk taken out of the carrot -- "You got carrot duty, dude, I'll eat the cookies" Dean said to Cas as they carried the last bag of presents from the garage. Castiel stomped his feet and neighed the rest of the time they set out the presents. -- and Dean grabbed the plate and empty glass of milk to bring into the kitchen with them.

The smell of coffee, bacon, and warm cinnamon greeted them as soon as the entered the kitchen. Castiel had pulled a large folding table up from the basement, extending it off the regular dining table, and giving fourteen seats and room for the two high-chairs. Castiel was moving around one side, setting out plates and napkins, while Gabriel - thankfully having found a fuzzy, red and white robe to put over his Rudolph faced, skin tight boxers - followed after him with silverware.

"Dean-o! Sam-a-lam! Thought you two had fallen back asleep!" Gabriel greeted them, grinning wide. "Though I was going to have to break out my rendition of Dominic the Donkey!"

"God, please, no," Claire moaned from her spot near the end of the table, dramatically letting her head fall to her plate and making it clatter against the table. Beside her, Amelia hid her smile behind her mug of coffee.

Sam took the same seat he'd sat in the night before while Dean carried the dishes over to the sink. "Need me to do anything?' he asked as Castiel came up behind him.

"Grab the bacon?" Cas replied, picking up a large, towering platter of French toast. Gabriel breezed by them and grabbed maple syrup, butter, a shaker of powdered sugar, and a can of Christmas tree sprinkles. Dean shouldn't have been shocked - he'd seen the way the man decorated his cocoa the night before, and yet he raised a brow as he watched the man place the sprinkles and sugar in front of his own plate first.

Once everyone was seated and plates were loaded with food, they took a moment for Michael to speak grace. Castiel's thumb moved smoothly over Dean's wrist while Michael spoke, and Dean found himself smiling and giving his boyfriend's hand a squeeze back. Once the table repeated Michael's "Amen", they dug in.

"God, this is seriously the best French toast I've ever had," Sam said around a mouthful, earning himself a beaming smile from Gabriel.

"Thank you, Sam-a-lam! Kali wouldn't let me add rum to the batter, but-"

Beside him, Gabriel's wife Kali cut him off from where she was feeding their two year old Leigha, "He adds enough rum for you to drink it."

"It cooks off!" Gabriel protested back, accepting the can of sugar from Claire and adding more to his stack.

"Not when you drizzle it with rum after it's off the oven."

Dean snorted and shook his head, cutting off another large slice and shoving it in his mouth.

Meal times with the Novak-Crowley family was unlike anything Dean or Sam had ever been a part of. It was clear from the start that the siblings were all close, Michael and Lucas arguing respectfully over nearly everything, Gabriel playing pranks on Lucas and Castiel as if he were being paid to do so, Anna mother henning each of her brothers - and all four of them taking it, too. They were loud and boisterous and slightly obnoxious at times, but they made Dean and Sam feel like family, too, the moment they walked through the door.

It honestly felt like they had attended family Christmas here every year, and Dean was glad when he looked over to see Sam relaxed in his chair, cutting up Anna and Fergus' son, Gavin's, French toast while the parents were busy trying to get Sasha to eat in her high chair. At the end of the table, sitting beside Claire, Ronald was nearly vibrating in his seat, shoveling his food in as fast as he could so he could be excused to go and open his stocking.

"Alright, alright," Meg finally said, reaching over with a wet wipe and clearing the syrup from his face and hands as best as she could before nodding her head. "Your stocking only. I will know if you touch any of those presents, Ron! And Santa will take them back!"

Ronald let out a screech of excitement and practically ran from the table back into the living room. Claire chuckled but looked over at her mom. Amelia rolled her eyes and nodded her head, reaching over to take the last piece of Claire's bacon as the teenager ran after he cousin. Gavin at least got half of his breakfast down before he was asking Sam to help him out of the "big kid chair".

Once the adults were finished eating, Dean stayed with Castiel and Anna to clean up the table and load the dishwasher. Lucas made a fresh pot of coffee and carried it into the living room to refill everyone's cups and Dean laughed as he heard his brother trying to discourage Gabriel from urging the kids to start picking out the biggest presents.

Once everyone was situation, Dean half expected it to be chaos. And while there was a multitude of paper being tossed everywhere, Gabriel taking delight in balling up the wrapping to chuck it at each of his siblings, Dean and Sam in turn, it was actually the calmest Christmas Dean had ever been in. Since it was hosted at Castiel's house, Cas became the point man, picking out a present for everyone in attendance. Even the kids were patient, waiting until everyone had a gift to open before they were given the go ahead. Dean took on the role of picture taker, and made sure to get a picture of everyone with each gift after they were opened.

When Castiel brought he and Sam a gift, signed from Fergus and Anna, Dean immediately felt panic rise. "I didn't get them anything," he hissed to Castiel, trying to smile in case they were looking at him.

"Christmas is about giving, Dean," Cas replied, winking at him. "I promise you, they're not expecting anything."

Dean nodded and shuffled over to where Sam was sitting, showing him the gift. Together, each brother took a side and pulled the paper free, revealing a large framed photograph. It was a black and white photo, blown up from a the newspaper story, highlighting Winchester Auto when it was first opened. In front of the shop, John Winchester stood, leaning against the same black Chevy Impala that was parked out in Castiel's garage, his arm around Mary Winchester. Dean swallowed hard as he ran his fingers over the picture, lifting the frame up over Sam's lap so he could see it better.

"The sign," Fergus said after a moment, bringing Dean and Sam's attention to him, "it was ruined a good decade or so back, wasn't it?" At the brother's nods, Fergus gave them a smile. "I want to restore it, remake it if I need to. That old metal one you have now just doesn't do your shop justice."

"Fergus does wood working and restoration projects," Castiel supplied, giving Dean's shoulder a squeeze.

"I... wow," Sam replied, laying the frame carefully over his lap before holding out his hand. "I - yeah, thank you. Thank you so much. I... we -"

"That's pretty damn awesome," Dean finished for him, shaking Fergus' hand afterwards. "We really appreciate that, thank you."

Fergus' cheeks turned slightly pink and he shrugged, but Anna nudged him and stood to give them both a hug. "I know you're important to Castiel," she whispered into Dean's ear, "and that means you're important to us. Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas," Dean answered back.

 

 

Castiel smiled as he pulled his legs back up onto the couch, smoothing the knitted blanket he'd received from Amelia over his feet. Dean was laying on the floor in front of him, already groaning about how he was "never going to be able to get up off this floor", playing Battleship with Claire. He laughed each time Sam stood up, secretly directing Claire to where Dean's battleships were behind his back as he pretended to get a drink, or go to the bathroom, or get more cookies.

Michael, Lucas, and Gabriel were sitting out on the deck, bundled up in their jackets with warm, mulled cider as Gavin and Ronald played in the snow. Anna and Lilly, Michael's wife, were putting down Sasha and Leigha for bed.

Castiel let his eyes fall closed and leaned his head back, opening them once the blanket by his feet was lifted and his sister-in-law curled up against his side. Amelia was quiet for a moment, resting her head on his shoulder and looking down at Claire and Dean.

"I think he was here today," she whispered, turning her head to look at Castiel. "And I think he really, really would've liked Dean."

"I think so too," Castiel agreed to both statements, lifting his arm and placing it around her shoulders. "He would've hated that Gabriel made bacon for breakfast though-"

"- because sausage is the only appropriate breakfast food," Amelia finished with a smile, chuckling as she shook her head. "And he would've hated that Claire got makeup from her Aunt Anna."

"Oh, I can hear him now. But you know, he would've been the first in line if she asked to do a makeover."

They nodded together, falling silent and listening to the sounds of their family and the soft crooning of the classic Christmas music playing over Alexa.

"Jimmy isn't the only one," Amelia started again, drawing Castiel's attention back to her, "I really like Dean, too. I think he's good for you. Hell, for this family. I don't think I've ever seen Gabriel prank someone so quickly, or Michael be so invested in talking about himself with a relative stranger."

Castiel nodded his head, smiling softly. "I was happy about that, though not surprised. Dean, and Sam, too, have a way of just... charming their way in. They're both phenomenal men, and I'm glad to have them both in my life."

Amelia leaned forward, picking up their two mugs of cider from the coffee table and handing one to Castiel. "Here's to new beginnings, to moving on, and remembering fondly."

"Here's to family," Castiel said back, clinking their mugs together.

The night continued, the kids heading to bed with heavy feet and wide yawns, the adults falling off one by one... Dean was the last downstairs with him, other than Sam who was curled up on the couch already snoring, despite the tree lights still being on and casting him in its bright, pink glow. Dean reached for him at the bottom of the stairs, twisting their fingers together as he tried and failed to bite back a yawn. They stripped and redressed into clean pajamas - just in case, there were over a dozen people in the house that did not need to see them in a compromising position - and crawled under the sheets.

Dean was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, his legs twisted with Castiel's and his arm thrown over Castiel's chest.

Castiel kissed the top of Dean's head and curled back around him, snuggling into the warmth his boyfriend's body had to offer. As he started to drift off, he thought of Jimmy and how Jimmy definitely would've approved of Dean, and he sent up a silent prayer that next Christmas would be just like this.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

It took Dean a moment to realize what it was that woke him. There was someone knocking on the bedroom’s door. Quite insistently, in fact. It was much too light to be Sam, so whoever it was had to be looking for Castiel.

Castiel was still sound asleep next to him, so he added a little bit of pressure to the hand resting on Castiel’s chest and gave him a little shake. “Babe, there’s someone at the door,” muttered Dean, pulling the covers over his head and burying his face in the crook of his boyfriend's neck as soon as he knew Castiel was awake.

“Uncle Cassie! Uncle Cassie! You and Dean need to get up, otherwise you’re going to miss the movie,” came Claire’s cheerful voice through the door right before he heard the door open. His sleep deprived mind had a slight panic before he remembered that they’d put their pajamas on before going to bed. Even though they were both fully covered by the comforter, he was glad that they weren’t about to scar the little girl for life. Especially when Dean was still trying to impress her and her uncle.

“Claire, it’s only a few minutes past seven. Let them sleep,” called Amelia from somewhere else in the house and the door closed again with a, “But Mom!"

Wait! A few minutes past seven? He had to turn around in bed to be able to see the alarm clock on Cas’ bedside table. The red letters on it confirmed the horrible truth, that the time was only 7:06. In. The. Freaking. Morning. He couldn’t believe it until he watched the last number turn into seven. It was way too early to be awake. Especially on a day after a major holiday.

A movement on the bed next to him had him turning around to see Castiel in the progress of busting himself up to sit against the headboard.

“Babe, why are we up before the crack of dawn?” asked Dean with a yawn as he laid his head down in Castiel’s lap and tried to get comfortable again.

“Good morning to you too,” said Castiel with a chuckle before kissing Dean right underneath his ear, which sent shivers down to all the right places. How Castiel could be so lively before getting his coffee was beyond Dean. “Sorry about her, I forgot to warn you about this. You don’t have to get up now.” But even as he said that, he started untangling himself from Dean.

“Then why are you leaving?” Dean whined as he gripped Cas around the waist in order to try to keep him in bed. Yes, whined because the clock was seven in the freaking morning and he hadn’t had his coffee yet. And now Cas was making it worse by leaving him in this big, cold bed all by himself.

“I don’t want to keep her waiting,” said Cas as he finally managed to get out of the bed. “The morning after Christmas is usually pretty hard on her. She’s getting better, but with all the excitement of the presents gone, it’s hard not to think about what’s missing.”

“Hey, I get it, trust me. It was hard to celebrate Christmas for years after Mom died and then again when Dad passed. But she’s lucky to have all of you,” said Dean as he propped himself up on elbow in order to see Castiel. “But can you at least tell me why it has to happen before eight?”

“The two of us were up pretty early the first Christmas after,” Castiel explained with a shrug, then smiled. “They were showing Ice Age on TV and we ended up watching it together,“ said Castiel before getting lost in thought, a fond smile broke out on his face. “Or I watched it, anyway. She ended up falling asleep on my lap midway through and since then, we have always watched it together. The rest of the family joined in soon after. It’s become somewhat of a tradition to watch it in the morning.”

“I‘ll be down in three minutes,” said Dean as he face-planted in the pillow Cas had left behind in order to rest his eyes a little longer.

“You don’t have to--”

Throwing the covers away to get up, stopping long enough to pull Cas in for a kiss, Dean made his way to the bathroom. “Just make sure there’s coffee,” he answered. As he crossed the threshold he added, “A lot of it.”

After taking care of business and brushing his teeth, he made his way to join the others, only barely managing to sidestep back into the bedroom before both the boys ran into him, giggling in their excitement for the movie. As he made his way downstairs, still in his pajamas, he was met by Claire and the most wonderful smell in the world. Coffee.

“Here, I brought this for you,” she said as she handed it over. “Hey Dean, can I give you a makeover later?”

“Oh, thank god, yes!” moaned Dean as he took the first sip of the black elixir of life, everything else just faded into the background. “Wait, what did you just say?” he tried to ask but Claire was already gone.

A few seconds later, “You were right, Sam. It totally worked!” was heard in the living room followed by laughter from Sam.

The whole Novak-Crowley family, still only dressed in their pajamas, were already gathered in the living room with the exception of Fergus, who still needed his beauty sleep according to his wife, and Gabriel and Kali, who apparently were looking for snacks in the kitchen.

Since the living room hadn’t been furnished with so many people in mind, there wasn’t enough space for everyone on the couches. Michael had been quick to claim seats for him and his wife “as his right as the oldest” which turned into a “That’s my seat” debate before Anna gave up to sit on a blanket on the floor with her kids.

From the look of things, Lucas and Meg would probably be sound asleep on the couch if their son wasn’t so busy telling them about the crazy dream he had.

Sam, with a satisfied grin on his face, had reclaimed the chair closest to the door, so Dean took the opportunity when nobody was looking to hit him in the shoulder. “I will get you for that, you just wait, bitch.”

“Consider it pay back for letting me sleep on the couch, you have no idea what Gabriel gets up to in the morning.”

And with those words, Gabriel walked into the room dressed only in an elf hat and shoes that he’d gotten for Christmas from his daughter, and green skin-tight boxers with bells on them, that could not be convenient in any circumstances, holding a big bowl full of all kinds of candy. “Morning Dean-o! We were about to start without you.”

Shortly behind him walked Kali with a handful of bowls, all full of different fruits and berries, which she handed off to the kids

As Gabriel and his family joined Anna on the floor, the only seat left was on the couch between Castiel, Claire, and Amelia. It was a tight fit, but since Claire was practically in Cas’ lap already, they made it work.

Since they were all sitting so close together, Dean couldn't help but notice how Cas’ arms tightened around Claire when the mother died in the movie. Where his hand was resting on Cas’ thigh, Dean gave him a little squeeze before resting his head on Cas’ shoulder. A second later, Cas’ head joined his.

Throughout the movie, Dean couldn’t help but sneak a peek at Cas every once in a while. In fact, he probably spent more time watching Castiel then he did watching the movie. There was just something about seeing Cas take care of his family that Dean couldn’t help but admire. He’d gotten caught a few times, mostly by Cas. The first time, he reached for Dean’s hand and tangled their fingers together, after that he would get a found smile or a kiss on the cheek, much to Claire’s amusement. Michael had caught him one time, only too turn back around with a knowing smile and pull his wife closer toward himself.

Looking down at their joined hands, Dean felt more at home than he had felt in a long time.

The names on all the angel ornaments glittered as the light from the tree hit them, right above where Claire, Ronald, and Gavin sat playing with their presents. It had been a special moment when all the family members had gathered around the tree to place their names. Gabriel had been determined that his family ornaments should be at the top, only he couldn’t reach it without standing on top of something, which meant every time he got down Michael or Lucas would move them down.

Claire had not been impressed when she found out that Dean’s name wouldn’t be on the tree. Therefore, a great gingerbread competition was held for the best Sam and Dean ornaments. Lucas and Gabriel’s were immediately disqualified on the grounds of being inappropriate for a Christmas tree or too heavy because of all the candy on them. In the end, Claire pick the one Cas made Dean and the one Dean had made of Sam. And if his ornament just so happened to be slightly taller than Sam’s, it was too late to do anything about it by the time Sam noticed.

“Gavin, can you go wake up Daddy for me?” asked Anna, as he walked into the living room, holding Sasha who’d just woken up from a nap. After a quick debate with his mom, Gavin eventually got up to go do what his mother said. Claire’s eyes followed after him the whole way.

Since Sam had gone home to take care of a few things before joining them for dinner later that night, his seat was free for Anna to take. “So have you decided what game we’ll play this year?” Narrowing her eyes, she added, “We are not playing monopoly again, Gabriel,” before he could even finish opening his mouth.

Leaning towards Castiel, Dean asked, “Am I missing something?”

“Lucas and Michael tend to play by different rules than the rest of us and try to conquer the whole board. It can turn ugly pretty fast, especially since Gabriel loves to cheat and egg them on,” answered Castiel as he shared an all knowing look with all the women in the room. “The three of them are banned from playing it.”

“Dad, it won’t fit,” interrupted Ronald from the floor were he and Claire had been trying to puzzle together a Star Wars Lego set he’d gotten from his parents.

“Bring it over here and I’ll put it together while you help us pick a board game,” said Lucas. As Ronald gathered everything to bring to his dad, Clarie excused herself to the bathroom. Lucas, with Michael’s help, ended up having to take the whole set apart to reassemble it correctly. It took a few tries, mostly because Gabriel had stolen the instructions and refused to give them back, but he managed to do it before a decision was made about what to play. Mostly because people kept suggesting games Castiel had gotten rid of when he moved.

“I can just go get the ones I have, then we can decide,” said Castiel as he got up from the couch. “Dean can you come help me bring them in?”

It turned out to be easier said than done to find the right box. The basement was full of boxes, with incredibly different detailed descriptions; from Anna’s neat writing listing everything in the box, to Cas’ eloquent summaries of what could be found in them, to Gabriel’s messy ‘stuff’.

“Does Claire seem down to you?” asked Castiel as took down a box marked by Gabriel to check it’s contents. “She keeps saying she’s fine, but I can tell something is bothering her.”

Even though Dean had only known Claire for a couple of days, he could tell that she hadn’t been quite her usual self. It hadn’t gotten past Dean that everytime one of her cousins had called for their Dad, Claire had quickly looked away or left the room. Call it personal experience, Dean knew exactly what she was going through. Putting the box he’d been looking through back before reaching for the next, Dean said, “Yeah, I think she just misses her dad. I was the same around friends whenever I missed my mom. Just let her know you’re all there for her and try to make her feel included.”

It took the two of them about ten minutes to look through all the boxes, to come up with two smaller boxes with board games in them. Aside from Monopoly, that was quickly taken out and put aside, there were only seven games in total. “You know, I have few good once at home that I doubt you guys have tried. My friend Charlie keeps bringing her old ones over to my house. I can go get them if you like?”

“It’s snowing like crazy! You don’t have to do that,” Castiel shook his head, smiling fondly at Dean. “We can make do with what we have.”

“I don’t mind, really.”

They decided to go check what the others wanted to do first, since Dean would have to dust of the Impala if he went, and Castiel didn’t want him going out in the snow only to end up playing one of Cas’ after all. Since Dean’s games had a bit more adventure-style then the ones Cas had, the kids decided that they wanted to try one of those. After reassuring the adults that he really didn’t mind, Dean went back upstairs to get ready to leave.

As he looked under the bed for one of his socks, Castiel walked into the room. “Don’t get up on my account.” Turning around, Dean raised one eyebrow at Cas as he put his socks on. “Claire was wondering if you needed any help and if she could go with you to pick which ones to bring over. I’ve already promised Amelia I would help her in the kitchen but I can-- ”

“Hey, I got it. I can handle a nine-year-old by myself, go help Amelia.”

As he waited for the light to turn green, Dean looked in his pockets for his wallet. “Here,” said Dean as he opened up his wallet and handed it over to Claire just as the light turned green.

Taking it and looking inside, Claire, with an unimpressed look, said, “You’re giving me your wallet? There’s not very much in it.”

“What? No!” he said, as he took his eyes off the road to look at her. “The photo, look at the photo.”

“The kid looks just like you,” asked Claire as she looked at a photo of a blonde women, sitting on top of the Impala, hugging a goofy little kid. “You’re not married are you?” she added with a glare at Dean.

“That’s because it is me, smartass,” he said with an eye roll. “That’s me and my mom. It’s the last photo we took together.”

“Oh,” said Claire quietly. After looking at the photo a little longer, she closed the wallet and handed it back. Dean noticed she handled it a lot more gently now than she did when he first handed it over. “I’m sorry.”

“And I’m sorry about yours,” replied Dean as he turned onto a new street, before shooting a quick glance towards her. ”I know it’s not easy having other kids with both their parents around. Especially at this time of year.”

“It sucks.”

“But they’re all there for you, you know, and any one of your cousins or aunts and uncles would be willing to talk to you about him, if you wanted. I didn’t have as many people around me as you do. My parents were both only children, Sam was too young to even remember her, and my dad-- my dad missed her too much to talk about her,” said Dean.

He still remembered how difficult the first few years after her passing had been. He had ended up with a lot more responsibilities than a four-year-old should’ve had. In a way, he felt that he’d missed out on a lot of things growing-up and he would hate for Claire to miss out on all those things too. Especially when she had a lot of people that cared about her.

“It wasn’t until a few months later that I met Bobby and he talked about her with me, even though he’d never even met her. But you have your friends and family, so if you want to talk about him -- you don’t have to, if you aren’t ready -- but if you want to, you can.”

Clarie looked him in the eyes for a few seconds before she looked out the window and Dean turned his attention back to the road. Neither of them said anything more after that. The only sound around them was the purr of the engine and the Christmas song playing on the radio. It wasn’t until Dean turned the car unto his street that Claire said quietly, “There was no ornament with his name on it. It was like-- they forgot him.”

“No offence, but that’s the dumbest thing I have heard you say.” Before she could say anything back, he continued, “They are never going to forget him, trust me. Besides, I know for a fact that there is a custom made Christmas tree topper with your dad’s name engraved on it somewhere. It was the first thing your uncle bought.”

Pulling up to his house, Dean turned off the car and turned his full attention towards Clarie. “I can ask Cas about it, if you want.” All he got back was a small nod before, Clarie got out of the car.

After unlocking his front door and picking up the mountain of mail on the floor, Dean showed Clarie towards the cabinet in the living room where he kept all the board games Charlie had brought over. There was a lot more of them then Dean had remembered and it took Clarie a moment to take them all in before she started pulling them out, one after the other. As Clarie looked through the different games and sorted them in piles after reading the backs, Dean went back into the hall, near enough that he could keep an eye on her but far enough that he could have little privacy.

Pulling out his phone and pressing the last called button, Dean waited for Cas to pick up.

“Hi babe. Missed me already?” asked Cas when he picked up and Dean could hear someone make kissing noises behind him before Castiel excused himself. “Sorry about that. My brother is an idiot.”

“Only one out of four an’t bad,” said Dean as he looked through his mail, the stack was a lot bigger than he’d anticipated. How long had it even been since he was home last? Four, five days? Apparently time really does fly when you are having fun. It was a good thing he didn’t have any plants to water or pets to feed. Since there wasn’t anything important that he needed to worry about, he put down the stack on a nearby dresser.

“No, they are all idiots, just in a different way. Jimmy was the only slightly decent one and that was mostly because of Amelia,” said Castiel with a chuckle. If the lack of noise around him was any indication, he must’ve gone upstairs to his bedroom in order to speak with him in peace and quiet.

Lowering his voice, Dean kept his eyes on Claire as he asked, “Speaking of Jimmy. The star with his name on it, why isn’t it sitting on top of the Christmas tree?”

“Oh I showed it to Amilea. She didn’t think it was a good idea to put it up just yet,” answered Cas, after a moment he added, “Why do you ask?”

“She thinks you forgot him.” The silence that followed told Dean that he didn’t need to explain who he was talking about or how he knew that.

Dean could hear Cas as he cleared his throat before asking, “How long till you get back?”

Clarie had almost gone through everything in the cabinet and the pile next to her was reaching her height. Something told Dean that that wasn’t the leave behind pile. “I think your nieces is looking for a way into Narnia. So fifteen minutes? Twenty tops.”

“Great, see you then. And Dean, thank you.”

After saying his goodbyes, Dean hung up the phone and put it away. Making his way back into the living room, he sat on the floor next to Claire. “Find anything interesting?”

Turned out he was right, the pile next to her was all games she wanted to try. Making their way back towards the Impala with an armful of board games in the snow was easier said than done and caused Dean to almost fall a couple of times. The last time had Claire in tears from laughter that Dean soon joined in.

Claire was in the progress of listing the order she wanted to try the games in when they walked through the front door. Anna and Amelia were quick to come help carry everything in, and Claire wasted no time telling them about everything she had picked.

“No trouble?” asked Castiel from the doorway as Dean took his shoes off.

Putting his shoes of the rack, Dean walked up to Castiel, put his hands around him to pull him into a kiss. “Nothing I couldn’t handle.”

As they all gathered around the dinner table to start playing, Dean noticed there was a different star on top of the Christmas tree. He met Claire’s eyes over the table, seeing she’d seen it too, and she smiled before pulling the first game out of the box.

Chapter Text

Waking up in the arms of his boyfriend, Dean decided, was the best feeling ever.

It was the time between Christmas and New Years, when everything seemed to be standing still in anticipation of a new beginning; and while Dean could count on his fingers how long he and Cas had been together, he was sure he could get used to the feeling that being with Cas gave him.

Dean tightened his arms around Cas for a moment, before getting out of bed and pulling on a pair of sweatpants- Cas', probably, by the way they fit him. Dropping a soft kiss on his boyfriend's forehead, he headed down to see what everyone else was doing.

Dean and Sam had come over to Cas' place to spend Christmas with his family, and somehow, none of the guests left afterwards; so Dean was surprised to see that out of so many people, he was the first one to be awake. Smiling to himself, Dean started the coffee machine, letting the pot fill up, as he took out the ingredients to make everyone eggs and hash browns for breakfast.

By the time Dean drank his coffee, the eggs and potatoes were done, so Dean piled them onto a plate and poured a cup of coffee, placing everything on a tray to take up to Cas.

On his way upstairs, Dean ran into Gabe, who (unsurprisingly) already had a lollipop hanging from his mouth. Gabe smirked at him, and looked down at the tray in his hands.

"Why, Dean, I was coming downstairs anyway, no need to bring me breakfast in bed, you huge flirt." He drawled with a wiggle of his eyebrows. Dean just rolled his eyes in response, way too used to Gabe's flirtations by this point, and continued his way upstairs.

"There's preparations for scrambled eggs and hash browns in the kitchen, if you want to make them." He called out to Gabe. He wasn't an asshole after all.

Dean entered Cas' room, and shut the door behind him with a smile. When Dean had gone downstairs, Cas had been spread out, sleeping on his stomach, with his arm still extended towards Dean's side of the bed; now he was curled up into a fetal position, snoring softly, with only the top of his head visible above the blankets. Grinning, Dean set down the food on the side table, and climbed into the blankets, crawling to hover over his sleeping boyfriend. He softly turned Cas, so he was lying on his back. Cas sniffled, but thankfully didn't wake up.

As fast as he could, without waking Cas up, Dean snuck inside the blanket and pulled off Cas' underwear. Cas' cock, still soft, rested on his thigh, and Dean suckled on the head, revelling in the feeling of it getting hard in his mouth. Once Cas was fully hard, Dean wrapped his arms around his boyfriends, honestly, obscenely sexily, muscled thighs, and took him in as deep as he could without triggering his gag reflex.

Cas moaned a soft 'Dean' in his sleep, and unconsciously spread his legs wider, but didn't wake up. Letting go of one of Cas' legs, Dean pulled up one of his hands up to Cas' hole, and pressed the pucker as hard as he could without actually slipping his finger inside.

He heard Cas moan louder, and realized that he had woken up when a hand rested on top of his head, over the blanket. Dean redoubled his efforts and sucked hard at the head of Cas' dick, dipping his tongue into the slit and tasting the salty tanginess of the precome gathered there.

The hand on his head disappeared and Dean whined in complain. Before he could pull off and say something about it, Cas lifted the blankets off and threaded his fingers into Dean's hair, pushing his head further onto his cock.

Dean moaned in pleasure and pulled off just long enough to rasp out a 'fuck my face, Cas' before getting back to sucking his boyfriend's, frankly, delicious dick. Completely onboard with the idea. cas bent his knees, and used his grip in Dean's hair to bob his mouth up and down on himself. Occasionally, Cas would thrust his hips into the wetness of Dean's mouth, but for the most part, Dean was completely at Cas' disposal, to use as he wished. Dean's eyes rolled into his head at that thought, and he felt a drop of precome drip down his own cock, which he hadn't even realized was hard.

Dean could feel spit dripping down his chin as Cas moved his face with more urgency; and his dick was basically drooling at the was he was no more than a vessel for Cas' pleasure at the moment. All Dean could to was take what was given to him, and rut his hips hopelessly against the bed, listening to Cas' increasingly loud groans as the both of them raced towards their orgasms.

"Fuck, Dean!" Cas moaned. "I'm so close- FUCK " Dean heard him groan loud and long. If he was more in his senses, Dean would have worried about waking everyone else up, but all he could do was moan around Cas in his mouth, as he felt him thicken in his mouth, ready to explode.

Instead of pulling out, Cas pushed deeper into Dean's mouth, and ground obscenely as he came. Warm come filled Dean's throat and Dean could only swallow around it. Distantly, he felt his own sweatpants dampening from where he came in them, but he was too focused on Cas' orgasm to care.

He licked Cas clean as they both came down from their orgasms, and went easily as Cas pulled him up for a kiss. The kiss was filthy, and soft at the same time; Cas could probably taste himself in Dean's mouth. Dean felt a hand creep into his pants, and the moment Cas realized he had come in his pants was obvious. Cas broke their kiss to moan loudly, and pressed his hand around Dean's sensitive, softening dick, just on the right side of being painful.

Cas pulled his hand out and placed two of his come covered fingers to Dean's lips. Taking the hint, Dean wrapped his mouth around the fingers, and licked Cas' fingers clean of his come. He saw his boyfriend's eyes flutter close as Cas said, "Fuck, Dean. You're so hot. You're going to be the death of me someday, if you keep this up."

Dean grinned and pecked Cas once more before whispering out a soft "Good morning."

"Good morning indeed, Dean." Cas replied with a satisfied expression on his face.

"I brought you breakfast in bed." Dean chuckled as Cas whipped his head to the side, taking in the now cold coffee and food on the table. Cas leaned up to kiss Dean firmly, before pushing him off and downing half of the coffee in one sip with a happy groan.

"Should I be worried that this is exactly the sound you make with your cock in my mouth?" Dean asked.

"There is no competition, Dean. I'd choose this coffee over you any day."

Dean gasped, offended.

Taking a bite of his eggs, Cas smiled happily and looked towards Dean. "What did I do to deserve this wake up call?" He wondered.

"Do I need a reason to spoil my boyfriend?

"No. No, I suppose you don't."

Dean kissed Cas on the cheek, before taking off his stained sweats. He bent down to pick up a dirty shirt to clean himself off, before heading to the dresser to look for a new pair of sweats to wear. He was fumbling in the top drawer of Cas' dresser when he heard Cas speak up behind him.

"I don't suppose I could convince you to look for a pair in the bottom drawer, could I?" Cas asked. Dean turned around to see Cas' eyes trained firmly on his ass, the heat evident in them.

Dean grinned and spread his legs further, making a show of bending over. "I suppose I could be persuaded." He said.

Dean pretended to look in the bottom drawer, when he felt Cas' tongue lick him from his balls to his hole. Dean yelped, not expecting the feeling, but pushed back into Cas' face, silently begging him to not stop.

After one more orgasm each, they finally dressed up, and took the now empty tray back down- Dean walking in front of Cas, with Cas' arms wrapped around his waist.

When they got to the kitchen, Sam was sitting on the table with his head held in his hands, groaning.

"Morning, Sammy!" Dean said loudly. "Rough night?"

"Uuuuuuugh" Sam groaned in reply, not bothering to explain himself any further.

Dean looked at Cas, who just shrugged in response. Before either of them could do anything else, Gabe piped up from where he was leaning against the counter

"If you guys had been any louder, you could have probably woken the dead. I do have a question though. Which one of you is better with his mouth? Because we heard you both equally loudly."

Dean choked back a laugh at Sam's resulting groan, and Cas looked absolutely mortified. Just then Amelia came down with her hands over Claire's ears, and glared at them all the way to the coffee machine.

"I am so sorry, Sam, Amelia-" Cas began, but Dean turned around and cut him off with a kiss. He wrapped his arms around Cas, and both the men snuggled into each other as Dean whispered into Cas' ear, "This is exactly what I always wished for, and I wouldn't change anything about this, Cas."

And he meant every word of that.

Chapter Text

One Year Later

 

 

Power of Love blares from Dean's phone as he fumbles it out of his back pocket. He balances it between his head and his shoulder, hands busy arranging tree branches. "Sam! Where the hell are you?"

"Okay, don't freak out—"

"What? Why? What happened?" He grabs the phone and paces away, worry for Sam overriding his annoyance at his little brother's unplanned absence.

"I'm going to be a little late, but—"

"Late? You're the W, man! You have to be here on time or it's not going to work!"

"Dean, stop pacing, take a second, and breathe."

Dean throws his free hand up in the air, exasperated, but he does stop. Sam knows him too well. He pulls a deep breath in and lets it out slowly. "How late?"

"Five minutes, man. Just five minutes. I'm at the corner of Elm. There's an accident in front of me, but it's almost completely cleared up."

Dean runs over the calculations in his head. "You're sure five minutes?"

"I'm sure. I've done the math. I'll still be there before Cas. I'm not gonna drop the ball on this, Dean. I've got you."

He sighs. "I know, I know. I just… It's gotta be perfect."

"It will be. Now hang up and finish moving tree branches and lights around for the millionth time, and I'll see you soon."

Dean shoves his phone back in his pocket as he strides over to the trees and glares up at them. The a and the second r aren’t right. He tugs the light string down a little, but that skews the y. "God damn it!"

"Move the right side of the M up a little." Bobby joins him, reaching up with his cane to poke at the tree. "Bring it up to here."

He follows his uncle's instructions and sure enough, the afixes itself. "Sam's running late."

"I know. He texted. Asked me to keep an eye on you."

"Is the second r wonky or is it me?" Dean squints at the lights, glances up at the sky. It's almost dusk, and everyone but Sam is here. He's handed out all the signs, made sure everyone is in position and ready. It's got to be perfect.

"Dean?"

He's been meticulous about everything, down to the last detail. He went back and forth with Claire, picking out the font and colors for the letters in texts, and Donna let him use the fancy printer over at Signs Unlimited. Ellen called in a favor from her florist friend over in Kansas City to get these super special flowers, and Amelia and Gabe picked the order up on their way into town. He dug the lights out of Sam's garage, and between himself and his friends Benny and Ash, the manhandled the trees into place.

It's all come down to this moment, and now… Now he's fucking terrified. What if this isn't what Cas wants? They've talked about it, sure, but not in serious terms. What if he's making a huge mistake, putting Cas on the spot like this? What if Cas would prefer something private and intimate. What if—

"Dean!"

Dean yelps and jumps back as Bobby whacks him in the shin. "What the hell?"

"Quit overthinkin' it!" The old man scowls.

He rolls his bottom lip over his teeth and bites down. "What if he hates it?"

Bobby's expression softens and he lays his hand on Dean's arm. "You really think everybody woulda went along with it if we thought he'd hate it?"

Dean gnaws on his lip. Bobby's right, of course. When he outlined his plan, everyone was on board. Everyone thought it was amazing. He wishes he could feel that certainty again right now.

Bobby taps him in the back with his can. "C'mon. Let's go over the plan with everyone again."

***

Cas stomps the snow and mud from his boots on the welcome mat as he enters Winchester Auto. He pulls his hat off and nods to Ash behind the counter.
"Hey, Cas! How's it hangin'?"

"Good, you?"

"Little to the left today." Ash leers at him and winks.

He chuckles and shakes his head. "Is Dean around?"

"Oh, yeah, man. He's out in the trees."

"Okay." He gestures to the row of seats lining the wall. "I'll jus wait here then."

"No!"

Cas jerks and stops mid-sit.

Ash clears his throat. "I mean, Dean said to send you on out."

"Okaaaaay." He settles his hat back on. He glances over his shoulder at Ash—who makes a shooing motion. Ash's behavior is weird, but then again weird behavior is a primary aspect of Ash's personality, so Cas, as usual, ignores it.

He steps back out into the crisp evening air and gets a few feet down the parking lot to the trees when he spots Sam at the entrance. Cas squints at the man as he gets closer—is he holding a sign?

"Hey, Cas." Sam is indeed holding a sign. It's black, with a purple W, in an Old English font, if he isn't mistaken. He's also holding a stunning, vibrant red and orange flower, which he hands to Cas. "It's a—"

"It's a Wilem van Oranje double tulip, I know." His favorite flower. Cas buries his nose in the delicate petals and indulges in the sweet, spicy scent. "Where did you find this?"

Sam winks at him and gestures behind him. There, in line, are Cas' and Dean's family and friends. Like Sam, they're all holding signs and tulips. "Sam? What's going on?"

Sam smiles at him and pats him on the shoulder. "Just…take a walk."

He does as he's told, stopping in front of Gabe, Amelia, and Claire, holding signs with i, l, and l, respectively. They each hand him a tulip. "What is going on?"

"Keep walking, Uncle Cassie!" Claire giggles and hides her face in her hands. Gabe and Amelia are both pink-cheeked and grinning like idiots. They both nod toward the rest of the line.

Cas looks back at Sam, who is still holding the W. W…i…l…l… Will. He swallows hard as he sees that Bobby, Ellen, and Benny are holding y, o, and u. Oh. Can this really be what he thinks it is?

They all hold out their tulips. Ellen sniffles. "Go on, boy," she tells him.

Suddenly, Bobby reaches out and snags his arm. "If the answer is no…."

"It isn't," Cas assures. He squeezes Bobby's hand. "I swear, it isn't."

Bobby nods and swipes at his eyes. "Good. Didn't wanna have to hide a body in this weather."

Ellen rolls her eyes and elbows him. "Don't be an idiot." She winks at Cas. "Everybody knows you chop 'em up and cook 'em in the winter."

Benny lets go with a bark of laughter. "You betta get on with it, brotha. Dean's gonna start worryin'."

Cas nods and takes the tulips. He clutches them tight as he rounds the corner of tree stands. Bright white lights adorn a row of trees, spelling out the word Marry. On his knees in front of them is Dean. In his left hand is a ring, in his right, is a sign that reads Me?

"Heya, Cas." His eyes sparkle with unshed tears. His posture is perfect, but his voice wobbles on Cas' name, like he's unsure.

Cas closes the distance between them and goes down to his knees. He wraps his right hand around the back of Dean's neck and pulls him in for a searing, deep kiss. "Hello, Dean," he whispers against Dean's lips.

"So um…" Dean wiggles the sign.

"Yes." As if there was ever any other answer.

"Yeah?" Dean blinks and the tears fall. "Really?"

"Definitely"—Cas kisses his cheek—"absolutely"—he kisses the other cheek—"unequivocally"—he leans up to kiss his forehead—"Yes." He rips his gloves off and holds out his left hand.

Dean's hands shake as he slides the ring onto his finger. He twines his fingers with Cas'. "I love you."

Cas smiles and nuzzles their noses together. "I love you, too."

"What did he say?" Claire shouts from outside the trees. "Uncle Cassie? You better have said yes!"

Cas stands and holds a hand out to Dean, pulls him up and wraps his arm around Dean's waist. They walk together back to the entrance to the trees.

Everyone is gathered around, eagerly waiting. They all have their phones out, and Cas can see various faces peering back at them via Facetime—Kali and Leigha, Michael and Lilly, Anna and Fergus with Gavin and Sasha, Lucas and Meg and Ronald, and even Ellen's daughter Jo.

Cas holds up his left hand, showing off the ring.

Claire squeals with delight and nearly knocks him down with the force of her hug. Everyone bursts into congratulations. Sam muscles his way to Dean and pulls him into a tight embrace. Gabe produces a small packet of tissues, which Ellen and Amelia immediately grab.

Dean brushes a kiss to Cas' temple. "Best. Christmas. Ever."

Cas smiles and nods, unable to keep his own tears from slipping. This time last year, obligation to Jimmy's memory and his niece pushed him to come here, to do something he'd never have done on his own, and he ended up with more than he ever could’ve imagined. He's not a religious man, but he likes to think his twin had a hand in this, wherever he is. He tips his head back, licks his lips as the first few flakes shimmer in the air. "Thank you, Jimmy," he whispers.

"You okay?" Dean nudges him.

"Yes." Cas looks around at their blended family and friends talking and joking, reaching for cups of cocoa from the platter Ash is dutifully trying not to drop. He turns and wraps his arms around Dean's waist, sighs happily when Dean returns the embrace. It's perfect.