Dean yawned and rubbed his face as he entered the kitchen, grumbling something barely passing as a good morning. His brother and Cas were already up.
“Good morning, Dean,” Cas replied with a small smile. The angel had begun to spend breakfast with the brothers as a way to break up his marathon of Netflix and recommended movies. Dean thought he was wasting his time with whatever girly movies Sam had told him to watch, but he didn't say anything after the initial teasing.
Sam was drinking one of those weird smoothie things and flipping through a newspaper. Dean slumped down in the chair across from him and kicked him under the table.
“What was that for?” Sam glared over his paper.
“Did you make anything edible for breakfast or just that green smoothie crap? Is there even coffee?”
Before Sam could reply, Cas piped up next to him. “I made coffee this morning, Dean. It should still be hot. Would you like some?”
Dean glanced at his friend and grinned. “Yeah, man, that'd be great!”
Cas nodded and stood up before murmuring, “As you wish.”
Dean didn't have time to think about the weird phrase before Sam was choking on his last gulp of smoothie.
Dean watched him struggle for a second before asking, “Dude, you ok?”
Sam nodded and took a shaky breath. “Yeah, um…” he trailed off and looked at Cas who had returned with his coffee. “Thanks, Cas,” Dean said absently, still watching Sam. The angel sat down and stared hard at his own cup, playing with the handle.
“Sam?” Dean prompted.
“Uh, yeah, no, I'm fine. Just… it just went down the wrong way.” His brother hadn't stopped looking at Cas, who finally decided to return the stare with a strange half-pleading, half-challenging look.
Dean felt like he was only understanding part of this conversation.
“Am I missing something here?” he asked.
The other two whipped around to look at him before relaxing back in their seats. “Nope,” Sam said. He slid the newspaper across the table. “Read this and let me know if you think it's our kind of thing.”
The next day, Dean was working on the Impala when Cas found him. Not that his baby had any problems, but he liked to keep her in top shape and gave her regular tune ups when he had the time.
“Heya, Cas,” he greeted his friend with a grin.
“Takin’ a break from Days Of Our Lives?”
Cas scoffed. “That was one time, Dean. I have not attempted to enter the world of soap operas since.”
Dean chuckled. “Alright then, what can I do you for?”
To Dean's surprise, Cas looked down at his shoes, almost sheepish and mumbled something under his breath.
“Dude, I can't hear you when you mumble like that. Just spit it out.”
He looked up and seemed to relax a bit when he made eye contact with Dean.
“Sam has informed me that you make excellent burgers. And since that is one of the only human foods I truly enjoy, I was wondering if you might… ah… make some?”
Dean grinned and felt warmth fill his chest.
“Dude, yes! Tell ya what, why don't you stick around and help me with a couple last things on Baby, and then I'll whip us up some for lunch. Sound good?”
Cas's eyes widened in surprise. “You want me to help you with your car?”
“Sure, man. Just hand me whatever I ask for from that bench right there, alright?”
Cas smiled that small smile that was the equivalent of a huge grin on everyone else.
“As you wish.”
There was that weird phrase again. Dean just chalked it up to Cas’s weird way of talking and turned back to finish up his car.
“Hey, Cas, can you hand me that book?”
“As you wish.”
“Dude, you have to watch Indiana Jones, he's awesome! Harrison Ford, man!”
“Of course, Dean. As you wish.”
“Cas, man, you gotta stop sneaking up on me! I almost had a heart attack!”
“As you wish.”
This went on for two solid weeks. Dean wasn't an idiot. He knew there was something to this new phrase that Cas kept using. He said it practically all the time now. But when he asked about it, Cas just shrugged and said he liked the way it sounded.
Which was bullshit because he never said it to Sam.
Speaking of Sam, Dean suspected he knew what it meant. Whenever he was in the room when Cas said it, he would get this unreadable expression and find whatever he was pretending to do suddenly super interesting.
In the grand scheme of things, Dean knew it wasn't really important. They had bigger things to worry about. But he couldn't shake the feeling that he was missing something important. Cas was telling him something, in a code that Dean didn't know. It was frustrating as hell.
It all came to a head when Sam walked into his room and tossed him a DVD before crossing his arms. He had bitchface #17 on, which meant Dean was being an idiot and didn't know it.
He picked up the DVD and glanced at the title. He rolled his eyes. “The Princess Bride, Sammy? Really?”
“Yes, Dean. Really. I'm taking Cas to the store with me. You are going to watch that while we're gone. At least the first ten minutes.”
Dean looked at his brother incredulously. “Sam, I don't know what you think you're doing, but I am not watching anything called The Princess Bride. There is no way—”
“Damn it, Dean!” Sam exclaimed. “This is important. Trust me, ok? Just watch the damn movie. Wait till we're gone. You'll understand.”
They stared down each other for a few seconds before Sam relented. “Would it help convince you if I said Cas had watched it about two and half weeks ago?”
He must have seen something on Dean's face because he nodded. “Yeah, I thought so. Wait till we're gone.”
Dean barely waited until the door closed behind them before he was shoving the DVD into the TV. Maybe he'd finally understand what the phrase meant.
He watched with impatience as the sick kid opened his gift from his grandpa. When the old man started reading the book, he had a brief moment of appreciating Buttercup before the farmboy said, “As you wish.”
He sat up straighter and focused harder on what was happening.
“‘As you wish’ was all he ever said to her…”
He almost fell off the bed when he heard the narrator say, in a smooth voice, “She was amazed to discover, that when he was saying ‘as you wish’ what he meant was, ‘I love you’.”
I love you.
The movie kept playing, but Dean was no longer listening. He felt like his whole brain was filled with static except for three words.
I love you.
Holy shit. Cas loved him? Like, was in love with him? For how long? Why hadn't he ever said anything?
Dean mentally kicked himself. It was obvious why he had never said anything. Before purgatory, Dean's not sure he would have responded kindly to a confession like that. And he had never given any indication of being interested in men, so why would Cas ever try? He probably thought he had no chance at all, so he found a way to express himself without tipping off Dean.
Dean stalled on his last thought. Did Cas have a chance? How did Dean feel about him? Surprisingly, the whole male vessel thing really wasn't as big an obstacle as he would have thought. It may be weird, but Cas was Cas.
He… he loved Cas. That wasn't even a question. He may never say it out loud, but it was true. He would die for the weird little dude. But was he in love with him? Besides knowing he needed him, Dean had never looked too close at his feelings for his angel…
His angel? Dean snorted. Well that pretty much answers that question, doesn't it? He glanced at the clock. Sam and Cas should be home in about an hour. He had a lot to work through before they got back.
Dean heard the door open and practically tripped over himself in his haste to get to the bottom of the stairs.
Cas was the first to come down and he smiled down at him. “Hello, Dean. We're back.”
Dean felt that warm feeling spread through his chest at the sight of his angel and any doubt about his decision flew out the window.
“Hey, Cas. Need any help?”
He shook his head. “You can check, but I believe Sam got the last bags. I'm going to start putting these away.”
Dean let him pass, resisting the urge to reach out just yet. When Sam appeared at the top of the stairs, they stared at each other for a minute before Dean reached out a hand.
“Cas is in the kitchen. I can take the rest of the stuff in there.”
Sam nodded and handed the bags over before declaring he was going to his room.
Dean walked into the kitchen and started to unload the groceries in his bag. They didn't speak and it was a comfortable silence. It always had been with them. Dean waited until Cas only had a couple cans left in his bags before saying casually, “So, I watched a movie while you guys were gone.”
“Oh?” Cas said without turning around. “What movie?”
Dean watched his reaction closely.
“The Princess Bride.”
Cas dropped the can he was putting away before snatching it back off the counter, his shoulders stiff.
Dean continued in his casual tone. “It was pretty interesting. The dialogue, especially.”
Cas still hadn't turned around and Dean started moving toward him.
“Dean, I… I'm sorry, please, would you…” he turned around and cut off when he saw how close Dean was to him.
Dean reached across the small space and took the can out of Cas’s hand, placing it on the counter next to him. Cas was holding his breath and when Dean crossed that last bit of space and backed him against the counter, he let it out in a gasp.
“Would I what, Cas?” Dean asked in a low voice, his eyes flicking between Cas’s eyes and lips.
“Uh… would you… kiss... me?” he asked nervously, his face full of excitement and a tiny bit of fear.
Dean grinned and whispered before leaning in, “As you wish.”