Castiel sighed, putting another pointless file into the ‘pointless files’ pile, which at the moment was just about breaching his vision of his office door.
Heaven was Hell at the moment.
After years of knowing Dean Winchester, he had sort of...adopted his fidgety, restless nature that left him simply unable to spend hours between countless days behind his desk, sorting out reports and files between ‘urgent’, ‘worthy’ and ‘completely fucking pointless’.
Humans have an irritating tendency to pray for pointless things that don’t mean anything or demand any kind of celestial attention. Frankly, God doesn’t care if Troy doesn’t love you back, Sonya , and His angels had bigger worries.
The pile in the middle was about a quarter of the ‘dear lord stop asking’ pile, and the ‘urgent’ pile was even less, with a staggering total of two files after six hours so far of sorting. Castiel’s limbs buzzed with the insistent need to get up and do something. His mind was numbing, and that wasn’t even possible for an angel.
Another aching sigh left his chest as he leant back in his chair, glaring daggers at the ceiling, which was just a blank space. Cas couldn’t help but think about how fitting it was - an empty canvas to parallel his empty mind.
His phone was on his desk, in the far corner, depressingly silent. Cas itched to pick it up and ring the Winchesters himself, see if they needed any back up on a case, hell, if they needed beer. Anything but doing this for another three hours before the next angel took over. The next angel could sit here for days, weeks even, and not feel the slightest crawl of energy willing them to their feet. Because every other angel was quite far from Castiel.
And besides, he couldn’t help but miss the Winchesters with a desperate ache.
The thrumming silence of the room was enough to elicit a ringing in Castiel’s ears, only heard when everything else was sucked into the void of oblivion. The ringing was obnoxious to say the least - constant, tedious - but it was better than the silence.
The ringing was soon replaced with a buzzing, and Cas frowned at the ceiling. It was most likely unnatural for the ears to produce an on-and-off buzz, much like that of a phone buzzing on a desk.
Oh. His phone was ringing.
Cas almost knocked over the ‘please shut the fuck up’ pile in his excitement as he lunged across the desk for the phone. The sight of Dean’s name caused an elation in his gut, shoving the boredom to the side in an instant. He pressed the answer button and sat on his desk, swinging his legs over to stand on the other side. “Dean!”
Any hint of excitement was quickly replaced with icy concern at the tentative tone on the other end of the line. “Are you alright? Where are you?”
“Yeah, I’m all good...well, not really, but, uh…” A shaky exhale, followed by stumbled shuffling. “Look, weird request, and I know you’re probably really busy with super important angel crap but-”
Cas couldn’t help but cut him off with a scoff as he glanced back at his desk, seeing that he had in fact knocked every file across the floor. “Trust me, I’m not busy at all.”
“Uh...okay? Great, uh…”
Cas frowned. “Dean, what is it?”
“Can, uh...can you come over?”
Cas’ frown deepened as he unfurled his wings, at the ready. “To the bunker?”
“No, uh, to the…” More shuffling. “The Shanty Motel, just off north on the twenty-one, room two twenty-six-”
Castiel pictured the room in his mind, blinked, and opened his eyes to a pair of startled green ones.
“Jesus fucking-” His voice echoed in delay through Cas’ phone, which he hung up and slid into his pocket. Dean placed his hand on his heart, leaning back against a wall. “How many times, Cas! Warning!”
Castiel frowned. “Sorry. What’s wrong?”
Cas watched with hidden endearment as Dean swallowed, showing badly hidden hesitation in the flicker of his eyes, the twitch of shaky fingers through sandy hair, his lower lip stuck between his teeth. “Okay, I’m going to do something we haven’t done in a long time, if that’s alright with you.”
Cas tilted his head. “I’m...not sure what you’re referring-”
Dean cut him off with the wave of a hand. “Just shut up, okay?”
And then he was leaning into Cas’ collarbone, one arm wrapped around his middle back and the other crushing the back of his neck. Cas wasted no time in mirroring his position, one hand massaging the back of Dean’s head. The angel smiled at the feeling of Dean relaxing with a shaky sigh, tightening his grip. His face lifted to rest in the crook of Cas’ neck.
Butterflies erupted in Cas’ chest, and his easy smile grew into a loopy grin. He couldn’t help himself - the elder Winchester had a way of melting the angel back down into a pure human, sucking out the cold emotionlessness and allowing his vessel to be filled with warm unconditional love for the trembling man in his arms.
And suddenly Cas wasn’t a restless being who craved constant action over calm tedium, who avoided sitting still like the plague. He could have stood there for eternity, perfectly happy, if the human had requested it so. All of Heaven could collapse around them, all of Hell could have risen and every monster from the depths of Purgatory could have charged them from every angle and Cas wouldn’t have twitched a muscle. Nothing gave him this sense of fuzzy peace like Dean did.
Dean’s breaths were warm against his neck, slowing with each second he held him. Cas dragged his thumb across the back of Dean’s head. He didn’t speak - if Dean had something to get off his chest, he would be sat in front of a bottle of whiskey rather than pressing himself into Cas, gripping him like he thought he might disappear any second.
So Cas tightened his own grip in a silent message he hoped was clearly received.
I’m not going anywhere.
Dean’s hand lifted from his back, and Cas waited in sudden devastation of the pat that signalled the moment was over. But the hand didn’t come back down, rather hovered, energizing the space between his palm and Cas’ trenchcoat with indecision. Dean hesitated. Cas could feel his heart rate increase beneath his palm, could feel how the rhythm of his breathing stuttered, and could feel how a cold hand clenched his heart.
Castiel waited. He didn’t move, didn’t so much as loosen his grip. He waited patiently for Dean to make the call.
The hand came down, clenching a shaky handful of Cas’ coat with a final sigh, before that dreaded pat came down harder than any blow, and he was leaving. The grip loosened, the warm fuzz froze solid in his chest. His arms felt cold, empty.
Glistening green eyes hesitantly met his own. “Uh...thanks, man, I, uh…” He cleared his throat, suddenly very interested in the outrageous floral pattern across the bed sheets. Cas waited, watched as Dean swallowed, clenched his fists with uncertainty, before he finally flickered his gaze back. “Sorry, that was probably really weird.”
“Not to mention a complete waste of your time, I mean-” Dean huffed out a laugh, leaning back against the wall and running a hand through his hair so it stood up at messy angles in the way Cas couldn’t help but love. “You’re a freaking angel, you’re probably caught up in life-threatening biblical business-”
“-you probably can’t afford to be making pissbitch calls to me, I’m, uh-”
“Dean, stop talking.”
Cas heard the snap of teeth as Dean shut his mouth, watery gaze now fixed on the floor. Sighing, Cas sat on the edge of the bed so he was somewhat in Dean’s field of vision. “I want you to listen to me, Dean Winchester. Can you do that for me?”
Dean rolled his eyes and sat on the other bed so he was opposite Castiel, so close their knees were almost touching. Cas could feel the desire for connection spark between the space of empty air between them, so he shifted so they met, jeans to polyester.
“Dean, look at me.”
Another eyeroll. His hands clenched into fists before he relented and met the angel’s gaze.
“You’re never a waste of my time.” Dean scoffed and looked back down, so Cas leant across and tapped below his chin to get him to meet his gaze again. “You’re not. Trust me when I say this, I was bored out of my mind, and that’s not even possible for angels.”
Dean studied his gaze, chewing slightly on his lower lip. “Okay...so I caught you at a good time, that’s good to know.”
Cas sighed, the sparks of frustration towards Dean’s stubbornness itching his gut. “That’s not…” He ran a hand down his face, and didn’t miss the familiar smirk that played across Dean’s lips. “You know that’s not what I mean, Dean. How many times do I have to scream to the high heavens that you’re not a burden to me before it breaches those deprecating steel walls you’ve built around yourself?”
Dean feigned a look of consideration. “I’m thinking somewhere between eleven and...twenty-five.” His smirk returned, before dropping slightly. “Look, if reminding me I’m not a burden is a burden to you, doesn’t that contradict what you’re saying?”
Cas hoped the glare he sent Dean’s way portrayed how wrong he was in the way Cas intended. The smirk returned, but Cas could see the hurt behind his eyes that spoke in every way how much Dean didn’t believe him.
Cas sighed. “Think about it this way. I was about five minutes from calling you asking if you needed me with you. And not because-” He held up a hand before Dean could intervene. “-I was bored, though that was a contributing factor. But because of how long it had been since I have last seen you. It’s been a month, at least, and I just…” Cas wet his lips, trying to describe how he felt. He was still unsteady with this whole emotions thing. “I wanted to see you, because being around you is the only thing that makes me feel...uh…”
The word was right on the tip of his tongue. “...human.”
The word hung in the space between them, and for a moment Dean just stared at him. For once, Cas had no idea what was flickering behind those eyes he could usually read so well.
Finally, they seemed to settle on amusement. “What do I keep telling you about chick-flick moments?”
Cas scoffed. He couldn’t help but love how much more lively and entertaining Dean made life - every moment seemed to brighten in his presence.
Dean’s smirk grew, before falling back into a hesitant smile. “Hey, uh...we don’t need to mention this to Sammy, alright?” His hand gestured between them.
Cas smirked. “Not mention what? That you called an angel down from the heavens for a cuddle?”
Dean grabbed a pillow and threw it at Cas, smacking him in the face. “Shut up, hot wings.”
“Aw, you think I’m hot.”
Dean’s jaw dropped in amused shock. “Was that a flirty comeback? From you?”
Cas smiled. “I’ve been practicing.”
Dean laughed, genuinely, and a few more sparks grew the fire in Cas’ chest. God , he loved this man.