Cas was back. Dean couldn’t quite believe it. Cas was back! Dean’s life had been nothing but darkness and confusion for weeks, and then suddenly Cas is standing on the sidewalk next to a payphone, alive and well. Dean can’t help but laugh to himself as he thinks about it. So, after he had left Cas with Jack in the library, he had walked straight to his room, picked up his record player, and carried it all the way to the kitchen, where he was humming along to the music as Castiel entered the room.
Dean stood by the kitchen counter, with his sleeves hastily rolled up to his elbows and an apron tied around his neck and waist.
“Didn’t see you there, buddy”.
“Hello Dean.” Castiel came into the kitchen and took a seat in a chair by the dining table. “What are you doing?”
When Dean looked up to answer Cas, he was smiling widely at him. “Just put a pie in the oven. Thought it would be nice, you know, with you being back and all.”
“That does sound nice.” They exchanged a smile over the kitchen counter, before Dean went back to wiping it clean. Cas leaned back in his chair and enjoyed the moment. It was truly nice to be back in the Winchesters kitchen, and for a small moment he could act like their lives normally where this quiet and domestic. A new song started playing on the record player. Dean instantly started humming along.
“I know this song,” Cas said, and this got Dean’s attention. “It’s on the mixtape you made me”.
“So, you do listen to it? The Led Zeppelin mix?”
“Yes of course. It was a gift. From you.”
“And it was much needed. You can’t go through life without knowing of the greatest band that ever existed.”
“I don’t think Sam necessarily would agree with that sentiment.”
“And that’s because Sam has absolutely no taste. Despite all my attempts to teach Sam to like even just decent music, it never really worked on him. So, I’m not letting you listen to bad music,” Dean said and turned the music up louder. By now he was singing and moving along to the music. Cas could not help but smile.
“You’re in a good mood.”
“Yeah, Cas, it’s just good to have you back.”
Before Castiel had the opportunity to think of anything to answer, the song changed again. Dean instantly started to chuckle. “Oh, now this song brings back good memories,” Dean started his story. “Years ago, before Sam and I started hunting together because he still was in school, sometimes after I had finished a case I would go to a club or something. Keep in mind, this was a long time ago, I most have been 24 or 25 years old at the time. I would slip the DJ a couple of bucks and ask them to play this song. Don’t really know why this song, guess it was just my lucky song or something. Then I would lock eyes with a pretty girl and ask her to dance. As you can imagine, I can’t dance for shit, but I had spent hours perfecting these moves, so I guess I could kinda make it work without making a complete fool of myself. “
“I’m sure you looked majestic” Castiel said sarcastically, but the comment did not have any bite to it when it was accompanied by the smile on his face.
Dean raised his eyebrows at Castiel. “You don’t believe me?” He untied the apron behind his back and draped it on the clean counted after he had pulled it over his head. “I’m gonna show you.” He made his way around the kitchen island, toward Castiel.
“Dean, what- “
“Stand up.” Cas did as he was told.
“Since you don’t believe I have perfected these moves, I’m gonna show you. Hell, you probably don’t know how to dance either, so think of this as another of your learning-how-to-be-a-human lessons.” While Castiel was too stunned to answer Dean lifted Castiel’s arms up and draped them over Dean’s shoulders. Dean lazily placed his hands on Castiel’s hips. Dean definitely knew what he was doing. Even though Dean was teaching him dance moves that he had not used in more than two decades, it came back to him quickly. He did leave some distance between their bodies. Definitely more space than Dean would leave if he were dancing with a woman he was trying to seduce back to his bed. He started swaying them to the quick rhythm of the song. With stiff legs and tense arms, Castiel tried his best to mimic Dean’s fluid movements, and despite the facts that he could tell he was failing horribly, Dean didn’t seem to mind.
For a moment Cas could imagine Dean when he was 25 years old, with his soft skin and freckled cheeks and green eyes that had yet to see all the horrors that life would bring him. A Dean that was kinder and quick to laughter. A Dean he never truly had met.
“Okay, so what you’re gonna do,” Dean begun his instructions, “is look her in the eyes, make her feel special, you know, give her a little smile. And because the music is really loud, you have to lean in to talk in her ear if you want to say something”, Dean said, whilst illustrated his point by leaning in to say this in Castiel’s ear. Since the music in the kitchen was nowhere as loud as it would be in a club, Dean lowered his voice, and it came out low and raw next to Castiel’s ear. When Dean pulled back, the song changed again, and this time it was much slower than the previous songs.
“What do you do when it’s a slow song?” Castiel asked softly.
Without saying anything Dean pulled Castiel closer and tightened the grip on his hips just slightly. He slowly swayed them around the kitchen. But something apparently annoyed him.
“This gets in the way”, Dean said, as he moved a step away from Castiel, so when Cas’ arms dropped, Dean could push his trench coat of him. Without taking his eyes of Castiel he gently threw the coat down on the dining table.
“Much better”, he mumbled as he drew Castiel close again. Without the trench coat, Castiel could feel the warmth from Dean’s hands on his hips through his trousers. Something caught in Castiel’s throat, and before he could think of anything to say to Dean, a joke, a snarky remark, anything that could cover how he really felt, Dean pulled him even closer, so Castiel’s head now were resting on Dean’s shoulder, and his arms were around Dean’s torso. Dean continued to sway them around, but by now it was mostly around in small circles on the floor where they stood. Castiel could feel Dean’s breath on his neck, and he became conscious that Dean couldn’t help but notice how fast Castiel’s heart were beating. The song ended, and it must have been the last song on the record, because the kitchen filled with silence. Their movements become slower and slower, and eventually they were standing still on the spot with their arms around each other. Dean was drawing small circles on Castiel’s hip with his thumb. Castiel could feel Dean breathing in, like he was mustering up the courage to say something. When Dean finally pulled away, his eyes were closed, and he did not open them until he could look directly into Castiel’s eyes.
“Listen Cas”, Dean begun, and he stood so close that Castiel could feel his breath on his face, “I’m just so happy you’re back. After you-, “ he did not finish the sentence, but Castiel knew what he could not bring himself to say. After Lucifer stabbed him in the back, after he died.” Dean drew in a shaking breath, his gaze fixed somewhere over Castiel’s shoulder “I just didn’t know what to do without you. You just mean so much to me, you know. And I did know that before, don’t get me wrong, but when you suddenly just weren’t here anymore, and I never thought I would see you again, I...” Castiel’s hands felt clammy. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I had a lot of time to think when you where gone, and …” Dean shifted his gaze, so he was giving Castiel the eye contact he had so desperately been craving. Dean drew in another shaking breath, but before he could get a word past his lips, a loud crash could be heard from the library. The loud noise brought Dean back to the present, and he quickly took a step back, creating a space between them that Castiel felt was bigger than the universe.
“Cas!” came Jack’s hesitant voice through the wall. “I think I knocked something important over.” Dean blinked a couple of times before he said, “you better see what the kid got up to this time”. Castiel nodded curtly, and turned away from Dean, even though all he wanted to do was to grab Dean’s arms and demand that he tell him what it was he wanted to say to him, what it what that was so important. But Castiel took one look at Dean, and it was clear from the look on his face that whatever moment they had had together had passed. Castiel swallowed past the lump in his throat and turned around to look at Dean one last time before he left the kitchen. “I’m happy to be back by your side too.”