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honey honey, how you thrill me

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It took a lot to reach the end of Dean’s patience, on a good day. On a bad day all bets were off, of course, but lately most days had been good and so he somewhat prided himself on how well he’d been dealing with the situation up until now. However, Cas was an expert on stumbling upon all the wrong buttons when it came to Dean, and pushing all of them. This is why, at 7 a.m. on a goddamn Tuesday, Dean was rushing through the labyrinth of hallways in the bunker on a mission to tear Cas a new one. In his hand he clutched the proverbial last straw in the form of an innocent little jar of honey. It was sample-sized, barely two ounces if that but to Dean it might as well have been a whole freaking pound.

“Cas!” he yelled, ignoring the mad edge to his own voice as the single syllable echoed off the walls.

It had been months since Metatron stole Cas’s grace, and even while they’d managed to thwart his plan of locking the angels out of Heaven, which would have been catastrophic, they still hadn’t been able to locate what was left of it. So for all intents and purposes, and maybe even permanently, Cas was as human as the rest of them. While the initial adjustment had been filled with complaints and the occasional insult, Dean and Sam had done their best to give their friend time and space to get used to his involuntary species downgrade. Time had passed, though, and by now Cas was functioning fine. He had the hang of human hygiene, could hold his own in a fight and had found the time to explore some personal preferences, not all of which agreed with Dean. Favorite food? PB&J; a classic. Favorite TV show? Jane The Virgin, because he enjoyed the modernized take on the Immaculate Conception. Weirdo. In short, Cas had a good handle on the whole being a person thing, and Dean was done going easy on the guy.

He finally found Cas out back where he had managed to build a little garden, though that was a bit of a generous term. Mostly it consisted of overgrown weeds that had probably been around since Henry freaking Winchester, and a random assortment of terracotta planters that Cas had dragged home from various yard sales all around the area.

Dean had zoned out for the explanation of which plant was important for what but Sam had nodded along knowingly the whole time, so Dean had let those two share their little thing. He couldn't even complain, since the space Cas was using was well out of everyone's way and he had used his own steal-it-yourself truck to haul all his equipment back to the bunker, meaning they were also rid of the ridiculous Lincoln Continental Cas had been cruising around in when they’d first taught him how to drive. He turned out to be a decent enough driver, a little heavy on the breaks still, but he hadn't graduated to the Impala yet. Cas was family but he’d only had his fake license for a couple of months and Baby was a lady.

None of that mattered now as Dean towered above where Cas was doting on a little patch of flowers with slightly hanging heads, a frown on his face. "Cas," he growled, allowing his anger to simmer under the name.

"Yes, Dean," Cas acknowledged him but didn't look up from his task.

"Care to explain this?" It took everything in him not to toss the jar of honey into the dirt by Cas's knees. He was an, asshole but that didn't mean he had to be cruel.

"It's honey," Cas said once he looked up to see what the fuzz was about.

"Yeah, I know it's freaking honey, Cas. What was it doing in the shower room?"

"Oh, I must have forgotten it there after my shower when we came back from the farmers' market the other day. Thank you for finding it." A thoughtful expression crossed his face. "Was my red hoodie there too by any chance?"

And that was it, really. The crux of the entire issue. Because Cas was a fucking slob and always left his things all over the place. in a remarkable display of out of sight out of mind, the maroon hoody, which was actually Dean's not that he'd ever ask for it back, was still on the tile floor in the shower room right where Dean had tripped over it and managed to kick the jar of honey out of its pocket.

Because Cas was also a hoarder. Dean's best guess was that if you lived a couple of millennia without possessions, it was easy to overcompensate in the sentimentality department. And while some things were undeniably sweet mementos, case in point a receipt from his first burger fully human from a shitty roadside diner while on the road with Dean, others were not that. For several weeks now, Cas had been bringing home insane quantities of honey. From every artisanal store to every farmer's market within a three state radius, Cas had bought honey. Creamy, clear, infused with ridiculous flavors like sage or lavender and because he was a slob with no respect for Dean's household order, jars of honey kept freaking turning up all over the place. Cas's dedicated honey shelf in the pantry had quickly been full and so the collection had gradually been conquering more and more ground in Dean's kitchen, though he had found the occasional jar in the library, among his tools in the garage, on the map table and now in the freaking shower room.

"We've talked about this. I don't care what you do out here or in your own room but have some respect for the people you're sharing a space with."

"I apologize." Cas looked about as contrite as a stubborn toddler. "I forgot the common areas were to be clear of personal items."

"C'mon, don't be like that. It's just common courtesy. I mean, you don't see me leaving my skin mags lying around either. No one wants to deal with that."

"While I find the comparison between my love for honey and your masturbatory habits troubling, I understand your point. I'll keep the jars in my room from now on."

"Yeah. Thanks," Dean choked out, cursing himself for forgetting that becoming more human had not made Cas any less blunt.

At least the honey issue seemed to be settled once and for all.

 


 

The honey issue was less settled than a losing game of Catan, though it didn't come up again until the very tail end of the summer.

They hadn't really been all that busy, partly due to the fact that the angels were busy putting Metatron on trial and Crowley was... Well probably scheming something or other but for the time being he seemed to steer clear of them. Because of that their hunts stayed fairly close to home base, and weren't exactly strenuous and frankly, Dean realized he really could do without the smelly motel rooms and constant muscle aches. Now though a bigger fish had come along and they’d caught its scent purely by coincidence- or rather Sam and Cas had.

On one of their precious farmers' market runs that Dean was no longer invited to because apparently he was a buzzkill, they overheard a couple of people talking about some murders that had taken place and that the police claimed weren't connected even though all the victims had ties to the market one way or another. Since it was also the season for the upcoming harvest festival and with it a potential deity, there was a big chance it was their kind of gig. That, or a serial killer whose villain origin story had something to do with organic goods.

Honestly, Dean could relate. They’d barely pulled up in the vendors’ parking lot in Cas’s truck because the Impala didn’t have enough freaking cargo space, and if Dean had been the one driving, he’d have already done a one-eighty spin and hightailed it out of there. As it was, Cas killed the engine and shot Dean a warning look through the rearview mirror. With a sigh, Dean swallowed down the complaint that was resting on the tip of his tongue and pushed the door open to climb out of the backseat he’d been banished to.

The plan had been set up fairly quickly, though Dean hadn't really been involved much in that either. A bit of surface level research had shown that all the victims so far had been connected, in one way or another, to bees, which meant that Cas’s out-of-hand honey collection would finally come in handy by making him the perfect bait. Within only a couple of days, Sam had managed to forge all the needed city council signatures that would approve Cas Novak as an official honey vendor at the harvest festival. Cas was neither thrilled about using what used to be his vessel’s last name, nor that they had to peel the labels off all of his honey jars to replace them with his official brand; Sting Operation. The name had been Dean’s sole contribution, and he’d fought tooth and nail for them to use it. Sam and Cas had already given him a hard No when he’d suggested Cas’s cover should have been Barry B. Benson; this was the compromise they’d been able to settle on.

While they set up the little market stand for Cas’s first entrepreneurial endeavor, Dean noticed that Cas looked oddly at ease in his role. He was dressed in jeans and a plain t-shirt, with a blue apron tied loosely around his waist. There was even a rare smile teasing at the corner of his mouth. Ever since becoming human, Cas had been smiling more in general, though the way it brightened his whole face was still something Dean needed to get used to because it came with a side of some serious heart-palpitations. His cynical side insisted this more relaxed version of Cas had little to do with the guy being happy and more with the general broader range of emotions. Not that Dean didn’t have his hands full with making sure Cas actually was happier, because Cas had been through a lot of shit and honestly he deserved a break from it all. If that meant he wanted to play a bit of dress up and talk people’s ears off about honey, who was Dean to deny him that.

Most of the stands surrounding Cas’s were still in the process of being set up, seeing as it was fairly early in the day. The harvest festival wouldn’t officially be opened until noon. This meant their target deity would likely not be showing up until later either. Figuring Sam and Cas had this thing under control so far, Dean went on a little tour of the premises, to find a good vantage point where they could keep an eye on Cas later on, but also on the prowl for some coffee. He did end up finding both, but almost dropped the latter when he returned to find his brother replaced by a woman.

She was pretty, with long auburn hair tied back in a messy ponytail and a bright smile, though Dean’s attention was more drawn to the fact that her hand rested on Cas’s bare bicep while he laughed. Full on belly-laughed. All Dean ever got was an eye-roll or an enthusiastic exhale if he managed to surprise Cas with his wit, but this was the first time he actually heard Cas outright laugh. It was a good sound. It also caused an ache deep within Dean’s chest.

He’d been watching the pair for a little while, pretending to drink his coffee, when Sam suddenly stepped into his peripheral vision. He grabbed one of the cups from the paper tray Dean was clutching a little too hard.

“I wondered where you’d gone off to,” Sam said.

“Figured I’d only be in your way, so I did some scouting.”

“Anything to get out of the heavy lifting, am I right?”

“Shut up,” Dean murmured, though his brother wasn’t entirely wrong. To his credit, Sam didn’t comment on the way Dean’s eyes never left Cas and the pretty brunette. He did however huff out a laugh when Dean choked on a sip of coffee as he watched her scribble something on a piece of paper that she then handed to Cas.

His feet moved on their own accord, a snickering Sam hot on his heels. When they reached Cas’s honey stand, Dean forced a smile.

“Hello, Dean,” Cas greeted him, his face still lit up with the joy someone else put there.

“Brought you some coffee,” Dean said curtly, holding out the last remaining cup on the tray.

Cas accepted it gratefully, his expression going soft under the wide smile before he turned toward the woman. “See, I told you he was very considerate.”

“Well, aren’t you lucky, Cas,” she said, her voice a pleasant alto. She held out her hand for Dean to shake. “I’m Bree, we’re market stand neighbors for the day.”

“We were bonding over the fact that both our businesses contain some sort of word play,” Cas added. When Dean looked at the hand painted sign on the front of her stand, he couldn’t help but chuckle. Breeswax. She was selling an arrangement of yellow, bee themed products; candles, soap, lip balm, you name it. No wonder Cas was a goner, he’d found a fellow nerd.

And really after talking to her for a little while, Dean couldn’t be too mad about that. Bree’s humor was sharp-edged and her laughter contagious and all the subtle creature tests came back negative so if anything they needed to keep an eye out for her safety as well, considering the theme of her products. If Cas got a little roll in the hay out of it by the end of the day, Dean would be the first person to congratulate him, though when he told Sam as much his brother just gave him a skeptical look.

 


 

The festival was opened with roaring success. A huge number of people gathered in the area, joining the various harvest-themed activities on offer, enjoying the food, and bobbing their heads to the upbeat music the band was playing from a small stage. Both Cas’s and Bree’s market stands drew a decent amount of interest, mostly from wine moms and friendly old ladies. Which is why Dean’s attention was immediately caught when a customer fell out of that particular pattern.

Dean hadn’t been paying attention for a total of fifteen minutes, engrossed in a portion of funnel cake that served as his lunch and yet when he looked back at their Sting Operation, Cas was laughing again, this time in the company of a guy. Not just any guy though. Dude looked like he’d stepped straight out of an issue of Harvest Festival Magazine, if there was such a thing. His feet were bare under an intentionally ripped pair of jeans, a flannel shirt in fall colors was hugging his very defined chest and his hair was honest-to-god tied back in a man bun. And this middle aged hipster had his paws all over Cas who didn’t seem to have a single complaint about that.

“Cas is fitting right in,” Sam piped up from where he was lounging on a hay bale that served as a makeshift bench.

Dean tried to keep his voice light when he replied, “Yeah. Turns out he’s a real flirt.”

Sam shrugged but hid a grin behind a forkful of some pumpkin, kale and feta cheese atrocity. “Whatever sells the cover.”

“I better go check on him before he gets uncomfortable.”

“I don’t know, Cas seems to be handling the attention just fine.”

Dean refused to admit that his brother was right even though all the signs were there. Cas’s posture was relaxed as he casually leaned with his hip against the countertop of his market stand, and where he had been all smiles with Bree, this guy seemed to give Cas a certain edge. It was the difference between the flattery of being flirted with and actively flirting back and Dean felt the blood freeze in his veins at the realization.

His funnel cake suddenly uninteresting, Dean shoved the leftovers at Sam before stalking back toward the stand with determination. When he noticed his approach, Cas squared his shoulders and took a subtle step out of Man Bun’s orbit as if he’d been caught doing something he shouldn’t.

“Hey there,” Dean said, clapping a hand on the stranger’s shoulder with a bit too much force. “I see you’ve been eyeing some of the merchandise.”

Infuriatingly, the guy didn’t even flinch under the sudden contact, nor did he tear his eyes away from Cas. “What can I say. Can’t resist something sweet.”

“Funnel cake’s over that way,” Dean deadpanned with a nod in the rough direction he’d come from.

The stranger chuckled. “I think I found what I’ve been looking for.”

“Dean, you’re blocking the way for other customers,” Cas said, voice dipping low in warning as if Dean was the one being unprofessional.

Swallowing down the unexpected sting of rejection, Dean balled his hands into fists by his sides. “Right. Guess I’ll go check out the scare crows.”

Cas didn’t seem to hear him at all.

 


 

For the remainder of the festival, Dean was walking around with a bad feeling in his stomach he blamed entirely on the frightening amounts of pumpkin pie and roasted chestnuts he'd consumed throughout the day. So far, none of the customers stopping by Cas and Bree's little market corner had struck him with an air of ancient deity. Though Man-Bun had checked in with Cas several times, even bringing him a cheese platter at some point because the camembert paired with Cas's honey was a revelation. Dean's fist in his stupid face would be a damn revelation, not freaking dairy. Cas was lactose intolerant as a human anyway, not that the guy had cared enough to ask.

Sam had disappeared from his post at some point too, leaving Dean entirely abandoned. This had been a stupid idea. There was no case here. The last visitors of the festival were already making their way toward the parking lot, signaling to the vendors that it was time to pack up. It looked like it had been a good day for Bree, who had only a few beeswax candles left on her counter and was carefully placing them back into a small box when Dean walked over. Cas was nowhere to be seen, probably gathering some boxes from the truck himself.

"Looks like you made some bank today," he said, making Bree laugh.

"Yeah, it wasn't half bad. Though Cas certainly helped, a pretty face always draws a crowd. It's really tragic, what happened to Tommy, but he was an old grump."

Dean figured she was referring to Thomas Anderson, one of the beekeepers that had been murdered and whose stand Cas's Sting Operation had replaced for the festival.

"I can imagine," Dean said noncommittally. “Where's Cas off to anyway?"

Bree scanned the area. "He just said he'd grab a drink with that guy who kept coming back. Prius or whatever his name was. They should've been back by now, the food court's closing just like the rest of the stands."

"Great," Dean huffed, more than frustrated. He'd been fine with the idea of Cas getting it in with Bree at the end of the day, but the little shit going off with some dude before the job was done was really rubbing Dean the wrong way.

Misinterpreting Dean's sudden exasperation, Bree put a reassuring hand on his arm in what appeared to be her signature move. "I wouldn't worry about it. All he seems to talk about besides honey is you."

While Dean was torn between wanting to ask what exactly that was supposed to mean, and running off in terror of the potential answer, he didn’t get a chance to do either when his phone started buzzing in his pocket. Sam’s name flashed on the display.

“Where the hell are you?” he barked, though his anger dissipated the moment he heard his brother’s labored breathing.

“Priapus took the bait, he’s after Cas. We’re in the corn maze.”

“Who?”

“The god we’ve been hunting all day,” Sam snarked between sharp intakes of air. “No time to explain now, but if you can, bring a donkey.”

“What do I look like freaking Shrek to you?” Dean yelled into the phone, though the line was already disconnected. When he looked up Bree was eyeing him with a candle in her hand. “Excuse me, I need to go find a donkey,” Dean told her honestly, already backing away. Where the fuck was he gonna find a donkey?

“I’d try the petting zoo,” Bree offered, apparently taking pity on him.

Grateful but painfully embarrassed, Dean gave her a thumbs-up before heading toward where he though he remembered some animals chilling in the shade of a large oak tree. To his relief, they were all still there and currently left unattended.

It was less of a struggle than expected to convince a smallish grey donkey to come with him as he lead it by its halter, though once they reached the corn maze, the animal’s cooperation ended. As much as Dean pushed and pulled, the donkey refused to take even a single step into the tall corn. What was Sam going to do with a donkey anyway, usually a wooden stake was the way to go with any sort of demi god, or whatever this Priapus guy ended up being.

“C’mon, get a move on, Eeyore,” Dean begged as he pushed at the donkey’s backside, while also staying out of kicking range.

The donkey was unimpressed.

A sudden shot rang through the air, scaring a murder of crows up from between the corn stalks and startling the donkey out of its stubbornness to move. The problem was, it took off straight into the maze, ripping the lead right out of Dean’s hand in the process. That’s how Dean found himself chasing after a donkey while trying not to get lost in a freaking corn maze, gun drawn in case whatever they were hunting decided to let off Cas and come after him instead.

He didn’t catch up with any of those options until he reached the center of the maze to find all three in one of the strangest face-offs Dean had ever witnessed. On the one side of the circular area that was free of corn stood Cas and the donkey. On the other stood the man-bunned stranger, who Dean had apparently been right to feel suspicious of. What was more than a little disturbing was that the god was completely naked, goods hanging out and all. And he was hung. Like, enough so that it caused Dean genuine discomfort in certain areas just at the thought of that thing going anywhere near them.

The donkey brayed in clear distress, causing the god to flinch back.

“Keep that filthy creature away from me,” he growled, taking on a fighting stance. Dean averted his eyes from where they wanted to stay focused between his legs in morbid curiosity.

“It’s over, Priapus,” Cas responded coolly. “You won’t hurt anyone ever again.”

“You offered yourself to me freely, Castiel. Just like those others did. I was flattered, really, that an angel would give themselves up so eagerly. To kill you, to consume you, is my gift to you.”

“How generous,” Cas declared. “Though as the human saying goes, thanks but no thanks.”

Dean couldn’t help but laugh at the bone-dry delivery. Cas’s snark was something else, alright, and Dean freaking loved every rare opportunity to witness it.

Priapus was not done monologuing and continued on, “For centuries, the bees have been a symbol of my devoted followers. Where they are presented, I know my sacrifices are waiting for consumption. Bumble has been exceptionally useful for that, but I do quite enjoy the in-person dealings. Call me old-fashioned that way.”

“No, I agree with you on that one,” Sam suddenly spoke up, emerging from the corn stalks and giving the god just enough time to register what was happening before a stake was pushed right through his heart.

Priapus sank to his knees, eyes glazing over as all life left him. Rather than remaining there in all of his well-hung naked glory, his form began to dissolve right before their eyes, transforming into a swarm of bees before those too vanished into thin air.

For a long moment they stood there in quiet triumph until the donkey broke the silence by making it known that it was not happy with having been an involuntary participant in whatever the fuck had just happened.

"So. God of bees, huh." Dean finally said, looking between Cas and his brother. "What tipped you off?"

"Oh we knew we were hunting Priapus from the start," Cas explained matter-of-factly.

"I'm sorry, what? And you didn't care to tell me?"

"We needed the cover to be convincing," Sam added.

"Yeah, for him, not me!"

"It was actually essential you were unaware of the exact nature of his MO. Other than the bees, all the victims had another thing in common. They were gay men."

"And you thought I'd blow your cover wide open by doing what exactly?"

"By overcompensating. We needed you to act jealous, if we had told you to go flirt with Cas, you would have been all flustered and weird about it and probably called him bro a couple of times. This way it was authentic." Sometimes he really, really hated his little brother.

"I don't flirt with Cas," Dean insisted, though the hurt that passed over Cas's features tied his stomach into knots because fine, maybe he did. Sometimes. A little bit.

"It still worked," Cas insisted. "That's what matters. Now, we have a donkey to return and I'd like to collect my remaining honey." He turned to leave without looking at Dean who was in turn expertly avoiding Sam's surely judgmental gaze.

 




Later that day, after Cas had shown him the cold shoulder and refused his help in putting the honey back in its proper spot, Dean found himself by Cas's door, tail between his legs and a tray of homemade bee sting cake in his hands that had cream oozing from its sides because Dean had been too impatient to let the brioche cool down completely before adding the filling.

He knocked awkwardly using his elbow. "I come bearing gifts."

It only took Cas a few moments to pull the door open just a crack, presumably to see what was on offer. Seemingly satisfied with what Dean had made, he stepped aside in a silent invitation. It didn't occur to Dean until he crossed the threshold that he hadn't actually been to Cas's room since they arranged the bare minimum of furniture Cas had eclectically picked from all the different unoccupied dorms in the bunker.

It looked very lived in, Dean realized. There was a crocheted comforter on the unmade bed, clothes everywhere except the hamper, and an assortment of old timey postcards on the wall above his desk that marked all the different places they've taken Cas since he'd become human. The most noticeable thing though was of course the still sizeable collection of honey that lined several shelves as well as the floor where he must have run out of space. Some of them had the fake labels  on them Sam had printed for their hunt, others still sported the original.

Cas moved some books off his desk to make space for the tray in dean's hands but once they both held a slice, Cas motioned for them to sit on the bed. They ate in what could have been companionable silence, if it weren't for the nervous beat of Dean's pulse behind his temples. When he had wolfed down his own piece, Cas waited patiently for Dean to finish.

Going for a joke, Dean plastered on a smile that was filled to the brim with fake confidence. "So, uh. About today. That was… quite the Five Dollar Footlong, huh?"

Cas stared blankly at him for a moment before shaking his head. “Dean, I have no idea what you’re saying.”

Forgoing the metaphor, Dean clarified, “That was one big dick, is what I’m saying.”

"You were jealous," Cas offered, finally nodding in understanding, though it wasn’t what Dean had meant at all.

He sputtered, “I’m fine in the dick department, don’t worry.”

“Yes, I remember.”

And yeah, under different circumstances they’d be having the whole friends don’t talk about rebuilding their friends after raising them from the pit conversation, but this wasn’t the time. Instead, he did what he does best and deflected as best as he could.

"The guy was creepy alright! With the-- with the bare feet and the freaking cheese! Plus, that Bree chick seemed like a catch."

Cas laughed, though it wasn't like at the market this morning, all warm and full. It was a sharp, frustrated sound that cut Dean right where it hurt the most. "Dean. Bree had to be convinced too. She was under the impression you and I were ‘a thing’, as you'd say."

"A thing. You and me."

"Yes, Dean. You and me, as appalling as that seemingly sounds to you."

"But she gave you her number!"

"She was in business with the latest victim, Thomas. We were talking about how his family doesn't know what to do with his hives, and it worried her because she got a big portion of her wax from him. I expressed some interest in maybe adopting the hives, if at all possible. The number she gave me belongs to Thomas’s daughter."

"Oh," was all Dean managed to say to that, foot thoroughly lodged in his mouth.

Cas looked at him for a long time, waiting for Dean to say more. When he didn't, he heaved a heavy sigh and took their empty plates to the sink by the wall where a number of other dishes were already piling up.

"Thank you for the cake, it was really good, though if there's nothing else you need, I'd like to get ready for bed soon."

Dean watched him as he forlornly stood there in his own room, still in the jeans and t-shirt he'd been wearing all day, now dirty from the chase through the corn maze, and his expression unreadable as he waited for Dean to leave.

"Alright, fine," Dean found himself saying, startling some of the sadness out of Cas's eyes. "Maybe I was a bit jealous."

Some of the tension drained from Cas’s shoulders. "Why was that so hard to admit?"

"Because, Cas."

"A helpful explanation, thank you."

Dean scratched nervously at the back of his neck while looking apologetically up at Cas. "Don't be an ass. I'm out of my element here, alright."

"We both are, yet I seem to be the only one willing to put any effort into changing that."

"Gee. You're making me sound like such a catch."


"You are," Cas said, entirely serious.

"Shut up."

"I mean it, Dean. This past year, it should have been the hardest thing I'd ever have to endure. For an angel, there is nothing more crippling really than to lose one's grace and with it a more or less eternal existence. Yet, while there were many challenges, I find myself grateful. The things I got to experience, and learn thanks to you, with you, they will remain with me for as long as I’ll stay on this earth. I'd gladly give up a thousand eternities, if it means I get to share this one lifetime with you."

Leave it to Cas to deliver a fucking love confession without even saying the words.  

Dean was speechless for the longest time, his focus mainly on keeping his breathing even while Cas, once again, waited. Serene and patient until Dean finally dragged himself off Cas’s mattress to cross the few feet of space between them.

“Ditto,” he finally managed to croak out, ready to put some effort into taking Cas’s hand for reassurance only to realize it happened naturally all by itself. Cas’s fingers slotted perfectly between his, rewarding him with a gentle squeeze. “I mean, I don’t have eternities to give up for you. So, you win that one.”

“You are insufferable,” Cas complained, though there was a smile in his voice as he leaned in closer, the hand not currently holding Dean’s coming up to cradle his face.

Helplessly, Dean leaned in until their foreheads came to gently rest together. “Arguably that’s part of my charm.”

Arguably,” Cas agreed in a whisper against Dean’s lips, before closing the final gap between them.

 




Dean and Cas became a thing much to Sam’s initial joy and increasing regret, though while some things changed, others remained the same. This is how, months later when spring was already well on its way into summer, Dean was storming through the bunker in his dead guy robe, absolutely fuming as he carried two empty jars that had tumbled out of the kitchen shelf when he had reached for the coffee.

“Cas!”  he yelled, not caring if he woke up his brother or the ghosts of Men of Letters’ past.

He found Cas in his garden, right by its newest addition, the apiary. Nestled into the space between the Henry Winchester memorial weeds and an assortment of lovingly planted spring flowers were four beehives that formerly belonged to Thomas Anderson and had now found their new home with Cas, who’d spent weeks reading up on the Do’s and Don’ts of beekeeping before finally daring to call the number Bree had given him at the harvest festival. Lucky for him, no one else had expressed their interest at the time and so it was arranged for him to take over the colonies.

Cas could sit out there in his garden and just watch the bees for hours on end, and Dean could spend that same time watching Cas. His anger at the poorly placed honey jars was quickly forgotten when Cas turned to meet him with a bright smile.

Rather than going off on his planned tirade, Dean said, “Good morning, sunshine.”

“Good morning.” Cas’s initial smile faltered in favor of a slight frown as his gaze fell onto the items in Dean’s hands. “Oh, I was wondering where I’d put those. Bree gave them to me at the market yesterday. She said if I’m going to have my first harvest this year, I’ll have to start stocking up on those.”

“Cas, if you eat any more honey, I’m gonna have to start calling you Winnie the Pooh. I think we can repurpose some of the jars you clean out almost weekly.”

Cas laughed an unabashed, full on fucking belly-laugh. Dean beamed right along with it while Cas caught his breath.

“I’m just excited,” he finally got out, moving into Dean’s space with a familiarity that never failed to make Dean’s heart pick up a delighted double-beat.

 “Yeah, me too.”

And fine, maybe Dean was a bit of a sap, but they were having a moment here and what else was there to do but kiss the guy stupid.

 

Things weren’t perfect, Cas’s grace was still out there somewhere and even if he wished to stay human, it should be an actual choice, not the only option. Crowley was starting to become a nuisance again, with demon presence increasing all over as Kevin reported from wherever he and Mrs. Tran were hiding these days. The monsters never slept.

But despite all of that, Dean and Cas still always had something to be excited about in their own little eternity between hunts and honeybees.