He looks at Gabriel’s message, then deletes it. Stuffing his mobile back in his pocket, Castiel resumes his sprint in the middle of winter frost.
Castiel is a seasoned runner. Nothing can put him off a task once he’s made up his mind to it. Yet right now he is questioning the madness of his decision when he huffs all billow of smoke in that freezing temperature in an empty park with only the sound of his light feet and hard breathe.
Still, he goes on.
Winter is always apocalyptic to Castiel’s experience. Not one deterred easily, he makes a point of circling the entire park for 60 minutes straight. Snow hasn’t covered the streets white but the air has mercilessly turned into thin icicles that can murder any lungs. Even the layers of sweat draping his body, from his black beanie to the crook of his neck is sticky and cold.
He supposes this will be the last weekend he can run even with traction shoes and protective gear. Any more below 28 like today will definitely hurt some joints later. He huffs and leaves cloud of smoke behind, sound of his panting slight.
He emerges from the trees of the park to the pavement of the side street with shadow of sun across the pale sky. The main road is empty as he falls back to his route home. Castiel breaks his rhythm. He can see the dark blue shade of the roof of his house, its favorable warmth making his sprint into leaps.
He begins to lose momentum when he suddenly hears a familiar classic gear behind him. He turns behind in expectation and slight confusion. Sure, enough he sees a familiar1967 Chevy impala drive around the corner. Its headlight flashed once when it saw him, honk coming as catcall when it pulled on the curb to his side.
The untint glasses pulls down by the passenger’s seat. Castiel leans to meet the driver’s quirky smile. Handsome is by default, this man’s standard feature. Smiling makes him perfect. Castiel’s heart should have returned to its normal beat, instead it’s mocking his regulation.
“Hello, Dean.” Getting breathless must have something to do with all the running.
“Hey, gorgeous,” Dean’s deep voice can always cast some serious love spell, “I heard real exercise can do body good, but damn they didn’t tell me it’s goin to be you good.” He wriggles his eyebrows meaningfully, fixating his eyes on Castiel’s body, definitely checking out everything hidden on the elastic layers.
“You’re not doing bad yourself.” Cas grants with dominant brow rising, but he lets his eyes fall on the man’s figure too, shamelessly roving down the dark blue coat and jeans, “I can still use some push ups and sit ups, if you want to help.” He still has no luck with a perfect wink, but he’s been told by this man it’s cute.
He didn’t try.
“My hands are all on deck but if you ride me now, might even spill you my secrets.” He is all suggestive and wink, it makes Cas consider all the correct life choices he has made in life. Getting married to Dean Winchester for one.
Castiel just stares openly as he does. He put his arms on the window sill and leans his chin on his left palm. Dean’s wearing that dark Henley shirt that always look good on him, soft and loose. The man’s bed hair is too unkept to ignore, and Castiel can smell his familiar perfume and simmering coffee inside the car invitingly.
“I don’t mind another kind of spill, I’m ready for my time on the saddle. And yes, I will gladly ride every inch of you, Dean.” He loves the way Dean’s cheeks turn a deep shade of red, loves the way the man’s quirky smile fall into jaw locking pout. Castiel gives him a smirk. Two can always play the game and they are on par with flirting. At least to Castiel’s knowledge, no one can flirt with the Dean the way he does. It’s the obvious chemistry in there from the beginning that plugged not only mutual attraction but sealed some serious soul links, cuff and tagged. Profound like they’re soul mates. Castiel has never believed otherwise.
“Geez, Cas below the belt as always.” Dean breathes hard as he unlocks the door, eyes dark, “Get in here, you mad man running around winter wonderland.”
Castiel grins all gummy, eyes crinkling, a thing he’s learned he can do since meeting Dean. He opens the door and slides inside the passenger seat, Dean jerking his hand to the back seat to get a bunch of clothes.
The door shuts and Castiel quickly removes his beanie and jacket to his base layer tops, warmth quickly seeping to his dropping temperature. He peels the drenched top too, Dean watching the show pleased then throws him one of his clean shirts. Castiel gladly slips in it, too big but comfortable and feeling extra comfortable. Dean throws him a thick jacket next, and then hands him a hot coffee closing on his palms. Cas inhales at the incredulously delicious aroma and takes a sip. Still warm too. He turns to Dean who’s still watching him with a small smile.
“I thought you’re driving back after you sleep in?” He asks, recalling his phone call with Dean not three hours ago. Dean turns the wheel to drive home, engine rumbling so majestically in Castiel’s ears.
“Couldn’t sleep after you called. Gotta go home, y’know? I mean, everybody in the studio did. Couldn’t stay in that hole another second without thinking of you.”
Castiel doesn’t bend. He does notice the lines under Dean’s eyes.
“It’s dangerous to drive when you’re tired. How long did you sleep?”
“Two hours, maybe? I dunno.”
“You drove without sleeping.” He points out, lips priming in disapproval, eyes keen.
“Nah, I’m not that tired. It’s nothin’. We’ve been working on the recording since Friday. But uuhhh it’s all cool. We finished. I slept this morning.” Dean yawns impossibly wide.
“This is morning.” Castiel’s voice is calm. His thoughts are not. He knows Dean can push everything to his limit if he wills it, that’s his M.O. Dean is a machine when it comes to work, just giving out everything to the point of exhaustion. Cas supports him, he does. But the bugs under those eyes are always so concerning.
Silence can sometimes be colder than winter. Dean glances in his direction quite aware of the icicle storm billowing in the sigh beside him.
“You had a good night? Did you miss me? It’s been three days.”
Cas looks away. A hand squeezes his thigh, it burns.
“Aw, C’mon Cas, I’m all wide awake and here. And I got coffee.”
Castiel doesn’t say anything. He stomps down the irritation growing in his stomach. He takes note of the slippery road and the still foggy street. He barely sees the outline of the white-washed wall of their house, the evergreen sprouting elegantly in all directions, giving a stale color of green, yellow and pink to the surface of their gate.
The fog must be darker from the studio. Dean could have been in an accident.
The car finally stops in front of their house, but neither moves out.
“Cas…c’mon babe…” Dean reaches out to his fingers, entwining their hands.
A soft tickle of current hums on his skin. Castiel’s always feel that with Dean so close.
“Y’know I can’t stay there, it’s quiet… it’s lonely with all the music gone. Gotta go home is all I can think of. Who’d not want to go to your arms, huh? Can you blame me?”
“You could have waited when the sun’s up.” When it’s safe.
“It’s more dangerous when I wake up not beside you.” Sweet talk.
“Please, don’t break into a song.” Castiel shoots him a reproving look, Dean smiling when he pulls the back of Cas’ hand to his lips. It’s warm and tender.
“Only if you make me beg today, y’know I’d want you.” And that loosens Castiel seeing Dean’s sparkling eyes getting his headspace to their bedroom where things have always been lively between them. It’s been two years and they’re still like two idjits dancing and meeting for the first time. It’s never changed.
“I’m spanking you to sleep today.” Castiel growls with meaning. The man visibly glows.
Cas is sure the sun just got snagged from the east to his face because Dean is taking over his world.
“I’m not sure that’s an idea you put in my head if you really want me asleep, but sure.” The kiss at the back of his hand turns smothering wet. Dean’s always been a tease with his tongue. Cas rolls his eyes when he pulls his hand back, all winter cold forgotten outside.
“I’m gonna tie you to bed.” Castiel exits the car, Dean’s eyes following him with a smirk.
“You’re always full of ideas I like.”
Dean steps out of the car too, his face is a mixture of boyish infatuation and elation.
Just like the first time they met, Dean’s just showing all loving smile the man gave him when two years ago in that fundraising concert Castiel co-founded. Dean’s just a starting solo artist and very much everything that blew Castiel away.
Arrogant and saucy Dean had been, but very appealing and irresistible. If Dean hadn’t cornered him at the back stage after a week of on and off squabbles like an old married couple, Castiel may have died believing it was one sided.
Bickering have never stopped, and they are married. They’ve been together since then. They will be together forever, the golden ring band on their fingers attest to that.
Sometimes Castiel thinks this life is an illusion and he’ll wake up without Dean beside him. It’s a horrifying thought, life without Dean.
Painful and wrong. He doesn’t stray to that too much. Dean is with him.
“No touching. You gotta learn to behave.”
Castiel hears a groan behind him, but he knows Dean likes it when he takes over like that. Dean is still so charming in any and every kind of mood. And very pliant despite all the edges of masculinity Castiel always enjoy breaking apart.
Dean’s lashes flutter from his pouting expression knowing very much how Castiel could never stay mad at him.
Yes, marriage is a compromise—by using each other’s weakness to win. Castiel has been fighting the fierce battle because Dean is just irresistable by nature and if Cas doesn’t keep his feet on the ground, he’ll feel like he’s spinning and falling off the sky not remembering when he jumped.
“But I got home for you.” Dean says lamely, closing the car door with hunched shoulders.
The defeated frame has Castiel staring back, a hand already opening their gate.
“Even bought grocery.” The man mutters, already falling in his sulking mode, it’s cute. Castiel tilts his head, curious.
Dean walks to the back of the impala to prove his point. He slots the key in with Castiel falling on the step beside him.
The tackle is expected as Castiel finds himself getting wrapped in his husband’s arms with half grumpy expression and half smile on his own face. He must’ve look stupid because Dean’s getting that pleased look when he kisses Castiel’s cheek.
Spinning. Falling. Slipping. It’s all right there.
“I said no touching.” He drawls unconvincingly, though not doing anything to stop the assault. Dean knows he’s an expert black belter but that never chased him away. Pulled him closer even.
“I’m cuddling you cause you’re so cold from all the running.” Dean says, brushing his lips on Cas’ right ear lightly.
“I’ve been hot ever since your car showed up.” He admits, sighing to the stubble grazing the side of his jaw.
“Ooh, Cas, sorry to break it to you, but I think you got a kink with my baby.”
“Baby or babe? I have given you plenty of time to think about it.” Castiel narrows his eyes at his husband. “Choose wisely.”
“Can’t be both?” Dean’s too busy nipping his neck now and Castiel’s heart flutters, though he tries to excuse his gasp with a cough.
Dean catches his husbands glowering look at the obvious misbehavior, cheeks tinge red.
“I mean, I’m givin both to you, Cas, we’re a package. And you know you love baby.” There’s now that deep suckling at the back of his ear. Castiel sighs. His husband can always be spontaneous.
“Dean.” Cas grits his teeth, arousal slamming. “Public display.”
“No one’s watchin.”
“Not what our surveillance camera will tell you.”
“I’d like that as Christmas gift, please.”
Castiel rolls his eyes.
“I already have a collection from the front door, the living room, backyard even the laundry room…” he inhales at that particularly long suck that’s meant to live a mark.
“Oh great, more to add on my classic shelf.” Dean chuckles and raises his head up, catching his husband giving him a dirty look.
“Aw, c’mon Cas. Stop lookin’ at me like that or I’ll think you’re in love with me or somethin’.”
“Or something.” Cas murmurs, feeling Dean nosing his hair and kissing his now red neck again, leaving a warm spot where the sun can’t even compete. Dean’s body is always warm and welcoming.
Cas maintains cool. “It’s deliberate so you don’t look anywhere else. It’s a leverage.”
“Mmmm… you smell good all windup like this. I must’ve smelt like morning wet market. Did go to wet market and bought stuff.”
“I like wet.” Cas finds himself saying in earnest. “You bought salmon, didn’t you?”
“Bought shrimps, prawn and fish sticks too. Cod fillets were goners, you’d think is cod’s holiday or something’. Should’ve bought that earlier but fresh market’s already pack with people coz it’s Sunday. Imagine if I didn’t buy that gammon on Thursday? Ughh, wouldn’t be able to live with myself. Might even go to the next town…”
“You bought this many?” Cas says, awed as he takes a quick look at the content of the trunk. Five giant grocery bags are tucked in around two boxes of fresh market goods. Dean shrugs casually, still beaming.
“Yeah, bought those groceries last night before I went to the studio. I mean it’s Christmas, Cas and we’re gonna have Sam and Jessica and Jack! You know how we need to feed Sammy his due, big foot’s coming to town! And Jack’s a growing kid, he needs his protein and stuff, m’sure Jess will approve. The important thing is the family is coming and I’m helluva excited.”
Yes, it radiated through Dean’s skin despite the dark lines under his eyes. Castiel observes him closer. Dean’s still high. Always a kind of effect Castiel has over him.
Castiel just knows exactly how to get him off his overstimulation. He leans down to take one box, indicating Dean to follow.
“Let’s get you inside, Dean. I’ll bring this, you carry the other. Then you and I are gonna set you up on the bed. To rest.” He adds when Dean practically beams up, like a puppy promised with treats.
“Yeah, yeah but I was planning on getting more stuff for the smores—”
“I already bought the fruits, sweets and recipes for the desert.” They walk in pile.
“Pie priority.” Cas affirms.
Dean chuckles. “Oh, good. Then wine and beers all left?”
“I have them too. I got everything you didn’t cross out on the list you pinned on the ref last Thursday. Even have the cod.”
He turns to face his husband just as he gets the lock of the door open using his own keys.
Dean is looking at him like he’s heaven sent, eyes widening and flickering even his freckles shine. Castiel is just glad he checked on that when he returned yesterday after Dean said he’ll have the day for recording session.
It’s like a routine anyway. A habit Cas has grown accustomed to because part of making Dean happy is to always stay close and attentive.
Dean may not look it, but Cas knows how very much care-starve Dean had been as a young child, abandonment issues of parents aside. So little gestures like this? Dean takes to heart. Dean takes to his memory. Dean just loves.
Castiel shakes his head before he enters the door, a radiating man on his heels, the effect of cod, huh.
He throws his keys on the bowl, welcomes the warmth of their house. The living room is all white, covered with streak of snow decorations and paraphernalia. The amber on the fire side is still glowing when Cas checks before he proceeds to their large kitchen.
This room is Cas and Dean’s favorite part of their house apart from the bedroom.
Its walls are brick white, mahogany logs visible on the ceiling supporting the metal chandelier. The dark metal stone stoves are all set up around the counter with funnel above.
The rectangular table in the middle is Castiel’s piece of work, carved from an oak tree he purchased two months ago. Took Castiel another month to carve it to perfection, a symbol of love.
Castiel will never forget its first setup in the house though. Never made Dean forget either.
Apparently, Dean’s having the same racy thoughts.
“You look like you have history with an ex, I’m getting jealous.” Cas comments when he drops the box on the counter, leans on the edge and cross his arms to his chest.
Dean’s staring at him from the table where he also put the grocery bags down with twinkling eyes.
“Yeah, he’s the hottest guy I ever dated. Wished he’d remember I like this table.”
“I’m sure he does.” Cas’ eyes glint darkly towards the table too. Dean begins to smile.
“C’mere babe.” Dean begins his predatorily moves and Castiel is surprised he can move with such precision despite the fatigued. He waits till Dean is wrapping both arms around his waist, willing him to also respond when their hips grind, lips ghosting on Castiel’s chin.
He stands against Dean’s warm chest, breathing down and looking at Dean’s chiseled jaw. How can there be such perfection? Yet Castiel doesn’t let go of the reigns, not after seeing on closer inspection the paleness underneath the once un-bagged eyes.
“I said no touching, Dean.” He remarks, arms tight to himself.
Dean pouts, pressing their hips together obstinately. Castiel inhales sharply. Dean is smiling looking like he’s won the lottery.
Still, Cas closes his eyes. He falls for this and Dean’s going to be crawling off bed come Monday. Dean will be beat before he can even greet Sam and his family a merry Christmas.
Castiel knows he will hate himself because he can’t help loving the way Dean’s skin is flushing. He can feel his husband’s beating chest rampaging as he presses closer, breathing already ragged. Much better when Dean’s beneath him, that is.
The idea sparks some interesting picture in his mind. But Dean needs his sleep. So Castiel scowls because he knows this will take another resolute choice on his part. Of Dean being the too seducing and Castiel being the prim guy with stick in his ass. He doesn’t care. He can take care of Dean this way. His mind sets alarms when Dean grinds their hips invitingly again.
Castiel maintains a steady face, but he’s itching to take Dean.
“I need you to go upstairs and rest, Dean. I can take care of everything here.”
“And I need you to take care of me babe.”
Dean begins nuzzling Castiel’s neck temptingly, his lips setting things on fire. Kisses that can burn holes are pressed on the line of his veins. Urging him to move, to feel, to possess. Dean’s lips brush next to Castiel willing him to answer. It’s elaborate, the way the butterflies in his stomach wants to flutter but Castiel cages them. Dean trails the seams of his lips, grazing his lips coaxingly.
Castiel doesn’t respond. Dean moans wildly, hands sliding behind Castiel, pulling him in, leaving hot wet trails on the efficiently swollen lips for five minutes, before the man is groaning and dropping his head on Castiel’s shoulder.
“Fuck, Cas… four days…” Dean whines heavily. Castiel opens his eyes, firm but loving.
“I know. But exciting you further will exhaust your body, Dean. I know better than to do that.”
“But I’m okay.”
“No, you’re not.”
Dean fidgets under his gaze but relaxes when his husband finally reaches a hand and runs his palm at the base of his nape.
Cas stares at those savage dark lines under his beautiful eyes. Dean is perfection, all flush and on fire but even the fieriest blazing fire die in time.
They look deep in each other’s eyes, until with a solemn plead, Dean takes Cas mouth again, pressing so eagerly, breaking into Castiel’s lips and moaning when Castiel lets him in.
Butterflies are gone and the roaring dragons are up. It’s always mind-boggling, the way Dean kisses him like he’s sucking the soul out of his partner. That’s how passionate Dean is. And Castiel always feels like he’s skipping a step when he lets himself drown in his kisses. It’s scary sometimes, but that’s why until now, despite being married, Castiel is careful of keeping the reigns tight. For Dean
To take care of Dean. Dean first before his own.
The kiss rightly becomes intense, tongues meeting and ending inside two molten lavas.
Tension building at the pit of his stomach takes Castiel to deepen the kiss, enjoying the sensation of Dean’s pliant mouth. Dean’s breathe against his own is more rousing, flooding his senses while his body eagerly presses Cas back, hands rubbing down on Cas’ hipbones.
Castiel catches himself and pulls away this time, already melting but he knows he has a purpose to perform.
“Cas…” it’s a moan painful to hear, his mouth chasing his husband’s inclining chin.
“Dean, go upstairs and make yourself ready for me.” Cas says urgently. “Lie on the bed. I will take care of you.” He means it.
Dean’s pupils dilate as he blinks several times. Then he’s out of Castiel’s space as he scrambles back up to their wooden stares. Castiel watches the man stumble on the second flight, probably nearly breaking his neck, then gone. Castiel huffs a frustrated sigh and turns to the sink. But he knows he needs to move quick if he has to take care of his husband.
Castiel internally curses as he remembers his own schedule that lead to this neglect. It hasn’t been that hectic than last year, but the demand of his time is taking a toll. He’s been out the whole weekend last time too.
Dean’s never complained. Never says anything about Castiel’s absence during the weekdays or morning. So, he can’t blame Dean for wanting to go back home quickly just to be with him. Dean’s making an effort and so will Castiel.
But he could have been in an accident like that. Cas could lose him like that. The man exhales again. There’s a lot of steam he needs to blow created by his own fragile mind.
Sometimes his overprotectiveness of Dean gets the best of him, but he’s glad. It means he can save Dean even in his— Castiel’s— wildest desire. That’s how he deems Dean important.
Because Dean is.
Quietly, he begins trudging upstairs. His phone rings before he can take a step on the stairs.
Castiel grabs his phone from his pocket, sees his brother’s number. Gabriel. He hadn’t heard from the man for 12 months.
He easily hits the ignore button.
He walks unhurriedly to their room when his phone buzzes a message alert. Narrowing his eyes, Castiel reads Gabriel’s favorite two-word message.
Cas humors him and leaves his phone on the side table before entering his and Dean’s what they favor to call hobby dungeon. Implying hot sex.