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imagine til the follow-through is effortless

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"...And fruit snacks, but 'only if they have the right blue'," Cas reads from his phone. "Jack was very adamant about that, although I don't know what it means."

"Yeah, but I do." Dean jots it at the bottom of the list: good gummy shit. "Good job, Cas. Your kid's got great taste."

Though he doesn't look up from where he's definitely texting Jack some incomprehensible reply in their hieroglyphic secret language, Cas smiles. "Considering the fact that you knew what that meant and I didn't, I think it's safe to say you can take credit for that."

Dean's heart does not go all skip-a-beat, pitter-patter in his chest, because he's an adult. It's acid reflux, okay? "Alright, Scooby gummies, chicken nuggets, Sam's weird harissa thing, Model Magic, and like twenty kinds of cereal. Anything else, your highnesses?"

"You also wanted to make green bean casserole when Jody and Donna come to visit this weekend," Cas adds. "And the chicken for dinner tonight."

"Right." The reason Dean was actually going to the store. "Thanks."

List thusly amended, he picks up one of the endless reusable bags on his way out that Sam and Cas are so adamant about everyone using to save the whatevers.

"And honey," Cas adds.

Dean stalls in the doorway, eyeing the ceiling. "Okay."

"And double A batteries."

"You know, you can just text me all this shit."

Cas just hits him with the ol' squint-n-tilt. "But you're right here."

Sighing out all his fondness, Dean rolls his eyes and swaps the list for the keys in his pocket. Baby's still parked out front to air out the four-bodies-that-spent-the-week-trekking-through-the-woods smell, but he can't make dinner with an empty fridge, so back he goes again. Not like Dean minds. He loves driving, he loves the wind in his hair, and he loves taking care of his ragtag family. Also, if he wants bacon for breakfast tomorrow, he's gotta go buy some, so away he goes.

"And you always complain when I do that," Cas says, following him out to the map room. Good: at least that way he can't see the uncontrollable smile on Dean's face.

"Yeah, cuz I can never figure out what it is. Just, like, a little less emoji and a little more English and we'd be golden, buddy."

Cas huffs, but he's audibly smiling too.

"Alright. Keep your phone on you, yeah? I might ask you to preheat the oven, I know I said chicken but I haven't landed on how yet."

"Sam also wants potatoes in some form," Cas relays, phone buzzing in his hands. "And anything green, which he thinks I'll be a better messenger for. Oh." He looks up at Dean, mid-realization. "I wasn't supposed to tell you that part."

God, Dean wants to kiss him so bad, he's so ridiculous. Dean's just as bad, though, so he keeps it to himself.

"Sam'll get his greens when he mans up and says it to my face. Anything else, text me—with words."

"Yes, Dean," Cas says flatly, but when he looks up, there's a conspiring half-smile on his face.

"Kay. Later."

He meets Dean halfway when the latter leans in for a quick kiss before clomping up the stairs, calling over his shoulder, "And start the laundry, yeah?"

Dean doesn't get an answer before the door shuts behind him, but he knows the answer's gonna be yes, because no matter how many times Dean critiques his heavy-handed pour, Cas insists that he knows perfectly well how to handle it. Jokes on him: Dean already put detergent in and slapped a post-it on the lid reading, "Just hit play ;)" It's like a little treasure hunt. He's hilarious. And adorable.

The thing about living in the bunker is yeah, they're in the middle of nowhere, and it kind of sucks that even if there was a place that delivered pizza, there's no way they'd deliver to what's ostensibly an abandoned power plant in the middle of nowhere, but— but, one, no traffic, and two, Baby gets all the parking lot buffer space she deserves, and if anyone parks right next to him, Dean's not the one who's gonna look like an asshole for side-eyeing them.

Both of those are true when he heads to the grocery store, quick and easy, ready for an in and out trip for the assorted shit Dean's family wants.

He's pushing his little cart down the snack aisle when he realizes what the fuck he just did.

"Shit." Box of graham crackers slips from Dean's hand into the cart. "Shit."

"Alright there, dude?" The sassy faced teenager behind the register looks up from her phone with one raised eyebrow.

Dean doesn't even answer, just leaves the cart in the middle of the aisle, muttering, "Sorry," and runs back to Baby.

Heading the other direction there's still no traffic, though Dean wishes, for once, there was, if only to give him time to think about the fact that he just kissed Cas and walked out the door like nothing fucking happened. As is, with nothing but empty asphalt and no distractions on the horizon, Dean makes it home before he can even begin to wonder why he didn't even fucking seem to remember any of the actual sensation.

He doesn't know how fast it is, this abrupt about-face, but when Dean gets the door open, Cas is still standing at the bottom of the stairs. Other than his eyes drifting down and his mouth falling slack, he hasn't moved an inch: right where Dean left him, where he was standing when Dean...

For all that Dean threw open the door without worrying about drawing attention, he doesn't seem to have, and he lets the door fall slack in his hands slowly, making as little sound as possible. Cas is staring at the ground ahead, eyes unfocused but not distant: like he's trying to see something that was there a second ago, but the focal point is gone. As Dean watches, trying not to feel like a perv, Cas's mouth finally shuts. He raises two fingers, loosely spread, to the air in front of his mouth, not touching, just—

The last thing that touched those lips was Dean's lips. He remembers now: the pressure of their lips touching, full and solid contact, a little dry because they were both talking, a little rough, a little stubbly. Because Dean wasn't thinking about it, it wasn't anything like a first kiss, tentative and uncertain and, like, tender and shit. It was firm. Grounding. Real.

The door slips from his hand, Cas's fingers make contact with the barest smile, and Dean realizes Cas had been kissing back.

When the door swings back into its frame, Cas's expression vanishes, locked up and packed away somewhere Dean can't see. Too late: it doesn't matter. Dean's already made his decision. He's not an idiot and he knows what it meant, so he pauses at the top of the stairs and waits for Cas to look him in the eye before saying, "Hey. Forgot something."

Dean doesn't have to wait for Cas's response either, just takes the stairs two at a time and kisses Cas again. It's better when it's on purpose.