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How To Fail At Keeping Your Heart Safe From Sleepwalking Angels by Dean Winchester

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Dean Winchester and the Sleepwalking Angel

It was almost 1 am as an exhausted Dean Winchester made his way up to the porch at Bobby’s. Sam was in Superior, working a case with ghouls and some cheerleaders (Dean kinda regrets sitting it out, but Sam had been dead set on him taking care of it alone).

For the past couple of months, they just couldn’t seem to catch a break. There was always another job, another nasty, another problem they just couldn’t ignore. The two of them had been endlessly battling everything within a...well, anything radius.

Despite the fact that the apocalypse didn’t actually go down, there were innumerable creatures out there to be dealt with. Dean wouldn’t tolerate any talk of a break. Throwing himself into the hunt was the way he’d always coped with everything and recently, he did have a lot to cope with.
If the death of a certain blonde hunter and her mom were part of the reason, he didn’t choose to share it.

Initially, Sam went along with it. He looked up cases, researched every monster, and was always ready to accompany Dean to the bar of his choice. But, his brother didn’t want to go to any of them. Stupid, stubborn Dean had only wanted to stay on the road and kill as many creatures as possible. That’s when he realised how Dean was basically trying to work himself to death.

He put his foot down. No more cases. A break is what they all needed.

The older Winchester huffed in exasperation, recalling the grating whines of his sibling as he pestered him to relax for some weeks.

“You’re overexerting yourself, Dean! You need to rest! You need to listen to me because I’m a geeky nerd who has pages on stress relief printed in my bag!”

Okay, so maybe, those weren’t the exact words or the tone. But that was what the main content was. It was probably the only time he managed to out-stubborn his elder brother. (Totally not counting all the times he got Dean to give him the Lucky Charms)

Unfortunately, taking a rest wasn’t that easy. A case had turned up in Lawrence and he’d been forced to go take care of it. Despite the case being a simple salt-and-burn, he’d been kicked around by the witchy spirit, cackling and definitely off her rocker.

Tired to death and wanting nothing more than to crash on his bed, he crawled up to the door.
Dean was tough, but a guy needs his beauty sleep, okay?

“My squirrel is a cutiiiiiiiiiie
My squirrel is a cutiiiiiiiiiiie”

Dean froze, hand twitching to his knife. He listened for a few moments, but heard nothing. Thinking he was sleep-deprived and probably hallucinating, he continued.

“But he’s away at seeeeeeeaaa
Oh come back to meeeeeeeee”

Okay, THAT he definitely had not imagined. As the four lines were repeated, he recognized the voice. Crashing through the front door in a panic, he wondered what had happened to Castiel. As soon as he entered the room, though, all coherent speech left him.

The former angel-of-the-lord, present human and hunter-in-training, was standing on the table, gripping a hairbrush like a microphone, mimicking a pop star.

Tapping his foot to his own imaginary beat, Castiel hopped from one foot to the other, waving his hands about wildly. And- ugh. Castiel sucked at composing. Who the hell even says cutie anymore?

Before he could start singing the ridiculous rhyme again, Dean stepped forward.

“Cas, what the hell are you doing?” The angel in question turned around so fast, Dean winced. As his eyes focused on the hunter, an ear-to-ear smile broke out on his face and he started making grabby hands at Dean.

Before he could even begin to move back, the squealing (yes, bad ass angel-of-the-Lord squealing), man jumped off the table, arms extended as though he expected Dean to catch him.

Immediately worried about the safety of his the angel, Dean came forward, arms held out to catch the pyjama-clad man, heaving a sigh of relief when he landed safely, bridal style.

“It worked!” the lunatic cried happily. Dean stiffened as Castiel snuggled closer to his chest and exclaimed. “The song brought back my squirrel!”

Giving a toothy grin, he wrapped his hands around the disbelieving hunter’s neck.

Dean slowly shook his head, convinced the other man had finally gone off the deep end, singing songs about- wait a minute.

“EXACTLY WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY CALLING ME A SQUIRREL, HUH?” Dean whisper-yelled, barely holding back from actually shouting. He suddenly had the urge to drop the rather cuddly being in his arms.

“Aww, Squirrel. I’ll tell everyone else that only I can call you that. You don’t have to-” At this point, though, the hunter ducked in order to avoid a very close hit with the brush.

“CAS-TI-EL!” Dean thundered, watching the angel leap out of his arms and whack something in the air. “WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING?”

“Don’t worry! I’ll protect you from the jellyfish! Go, run, Squirrel, run!” Castiel pranced about, hitting the ‘jellyfish’ with his ‘mic’.

Dean stared at him in silent disbelief, till finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. His, “What is wrong with you? How much marijuana did you smoke?” was met by an astonished glare.

“This is no time for Appy Fizz, Squirrel. You’re embarrassing yourself.” Castiel shook his head in disgust and went back to protecting them from the jellyfish.

Now seriously worried, Dean grabbed his hand to turn him around and finally saw what he hadn’t so far. The angel’s eyes were unfocussed and slightly glassy. Almost as though he was-

“My squirrel’s a cutiiiiiiiiiie
My squirrel’s a cutiiiiiiiiiiie”

Dean sighed. He’d pick ghouls over this any night.
__________________________________________

The next morning, Castiel headed down to the kitchen after his shower. On entering the kitchen, though, he stilled. Unsure of what Bobby’s expression meant, he hoped he hadn’t done something wrong inadvertently.

“Um, hello, Bobby.” The hunter didn’t reply, instead staring at Castiel, who was getting decidedly more unnerved by the second.

“You did it again, Cas!” It’s Sam who finally broke the awkward silence. Castiel stared at him in confusion till it suddenly struck him.

“I...sleepwalked again?” Castiel asked, testing the word out carefully.

“Yes. Yes, you certainly did.” Came Bobby’s reply, voice wavering with what Castiel thinks is anger. One look at the man’s face, though, revealed he was barely holding his laughter in.

Sudden dread filled him. “Did I... I didn’t try to reorganise Sam’s belongings again, did I?”

Sam glared at him. “Spray-painting all my clothes pink, and somehow managing to set ‘It’s Friday’ as my phone’s ringtone does not count as ‘reorganisation’, Cas.”

Flushing, Castiel hastily began to eat his breakfast as Bobby finally gave in to his guffaws.

His somnambulism had come as a shock to all of them. His grace had drained temporarily, leaving him very much human and thus, defenceless against all other human frailties. The first few days, he’d simply wandered around the house, but recently, the angel had taken to talking and dancing as well. Remembering the night that he’d defiled Sam’s belongings was still rather humiliating, so he chose to concentrate on his cornflakes instead.

Minutes later, they all heard the heavy tread of Dean’s feet as he came down the staircase.

“Well, you look like shit.” Bobby drawled, as Dean plopped down on the chair next to his.

“Yeah Bobby, good morning to you too.” The effect of his glare was dampened by the huge yawn that followed.

Sam huffed. “Seriously, dude. Your hair’s all over the place, your eyes are bloodshot. Did the ghost hurt you bad?” Dean merely grunted at him and turned his chair the other way around, suddenly finding himself face-to-face with a brunette angel.

When green eyes found blue ones, though, they weren’t filled with their usual compassion, or friendliness. No, the look Dean gave Castiel was positively venomous.

Holding the glare for a few more seconds, Dean finally turned to nurse his cup of coffee.

“Well, at least you didn’t start singing Taylor Swift hits this time.” Bobby finally said, as he picked up the newspaper.

After another nervous look at Dean’s stormy face, Castiel swallowed nervously. He was sure he’d done worse than sing ‘Love Story’.

-*-*-*-*-*-

It’d been nearly a week since that traumatic night with Castiel and Dean had mostly managed to get over it.

He did find out from Sam that Castiel had somehow begun to sleepwalk, but really, he just couldn’t bring himself to forget those particular events. Because really, how many times do you see a fallen angel wiggle his hips to ‘I Kissed A Girl’?

Anyway, that scarring night was thankfully behind him and he was just happy he could go back to working on Bobby’s junk yard crap and drink beer all day long.

But obviously, Someone Up There had a problem with him trying to chill, so he was just heading to his room after drinking some water in the night when he heard a muffled scream.

“Please, no! Stop! It won’t fit in there, please stop!” he froze in cold fear. What new problem had the idiot gotten himself into this time?

He took off in the direction of the scream, cursing the day the dumbass had swooped in to rescue him.

Bursting through the door, he sighed with slight relief as he found Castiel alone and quite upset. Thank God. For a little while it had almost sounded like he was being- Never mind.

Wait. Was Cas...pouting?

He shook his head and stepped forward. “Okay seriously, Cas. What now?” he questioned, pinching the bridge of his nose.

Castiel turned to him with a tragic expression. “It’s the vending machine! I told them it wouldn’t fit in Lucifer’s Cage, but they didn’t listen, they never listen, and now it’s broken, and there are Pepsis everywhere!”

Dean snorted.

Everywhere!” the brunette repeated with narrowed eyes.

“Oh, c’mon Cas. It’s just Pepsi.” Dean said, trying (in vain) to appease the idiot.

Castiel glared at him. “If you’re going to be so useless, you might as well just go back to Hotel Transylvania!” he huffed, angrily.

Dean sighed. Who thought it was a good idea to let the angel watch dumb, cartoon movies? He should be called a saint for all this trouble. “I’m sorry, Cas. I’ll be helpful now. Tell me who ‘they’ are.” He finishes, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

“The baby cupids, of course!” Castiel said, rolling his eyes as though it would be clear to anyone with even a slightly functional encephalon. Right, baby cupids. Because why not. Obviously.

Dean sent a silent prayer to God, for once hoping He’d come down to take care of His moron of a son, trying to avoid said son’s violent hand motions.

“Stop dozing, Squirrel! Don’t you want to put all the Pepsis back in the machine before Lucifer stops stripping for Crowley?!” he asked impatiently, stamping his feet about.

Dear G- He really did not need that mental image. When he voiced this, Castiel just raised one eyebrow. “Don’t be such a devilohomophobe, Dean. Two men can find love too.” Suddenly, his eyes brightened. “Do you want me to strip for you? Then you’ll see it’s not wrong!” Already, the angel’s hands were lifting the hem of his shirt, sharp hips coming into view and oh my God, how is skin so beautif-

NO. No, no no no. Dean’s not lusting after somnambulism-stricken angels. Nope. He lunged at Cas, and pulled his shirt back down.

“D’you want me to do it with music?” the brunette asked sincerely.

Yup, Dean was definitely better than that Dalai Lama character. “You lunatic. Let’s get you to your room.” Dean sighed and started pulling him along.

Castiel’s face momentarily dropped and Dean struggled to ignore the pang he felt. Just as soon as it had appeared, though, the morose expression vanished as the brunette cheered up.

“Great idea, you can lie down comfortably while I strip then!”

-*-*-*-*-*-

Dean tucked Castiel into his bed, making up some bullshit excuse about there being time since Lucifer had decided to give Crowley a lap dance as well. The sucker bought it, and burrowed deeper under his blankets. (But not before he’d pecked a thoroughly flustered hunter on his cheek.)

-*-*-*-*-*-

It was Castiel’s turn to cook breakfast the next morning, so when he came down at 6 o’clock, he was surprised to find an apron-clad Dean Winchester humming and turning pancakes.
Dean, he decided, had a lovely voice.

“Are you just going to stand there and check out my ass, or will you help? It is your day to cook.” Castiel flushed and stepped forward.

“I wasn’t- you, uh...” the angel stammered before sighing. “My apologies, Dean. If you wish, I’ll complete making rest of the breakfast and you can go relax.”

Dean turned around, openly smirking at him. “Whatever makes you think I’m not relaxed now?” Castiel cocked his head to the left and considered the question Dean had posed with great thought.

“I don’t claim to be an expert of human lifestyle, Dean. But I believe I have known you long enough to understand you don’t like to rise early unless there’s an immediate threat. I also happen to know that you mostly cook when you wish to take your mind off other, more stressful matters. Furthermore, I-”

The brunette cut himself short when he noticed Dean facepalming. “Did I...say something wrong?”

“Wrong? God, no. No, Cas-you’re just...You’re a dork.” Dean said, immediately wishing he could take his words back in. Dork? What, was he a high school girl? Maybe he’ll say ‘you’re cute’ next.

Thankfully, Castiel’s lips twitched as he involuntarily smiled. Dean’s tension seeped out. “C’mon. Hand me some pancake syrup.”

The next hour was spent in a whirlwind of chuckles and jokes on Dean’s part and a lot of head-tilting on Cas’ part when said jokes failed to register with him.

“Wow, I really should begin to give you lessons in pop-culture. It’s a sin that you’ve spent so many years, ignorant of Harry Potter. Tonight. Tonight is the night that you shall be informed about the magical world of Harry Potter. The couch in front of the TV. 7pm sharp. Do not be late- The Chosen One does not wait.” Dean deadpanned, then burst out laughing when Cas said he’d smite Dean if he had to tilt his head again.

-*-*-*-*-*-

The next night, Dean didn’t move out from his room till nearly 3 am to go downstairs. He usually only met the sleepwalking idiot around 1 o’clock so he figured he’d be safe. While sleepy Cas was annoyingly adorable- did he just say adorable?!- he didn’t want to make this a habit.

Only, of course, Castiel was just emerging from his room, clad in a pair of sweats and simple white t-shirt, violently (and okay, this is one violent guy) beating back something with a butter knife.

“GET AWAY FROM ME YOU MONSTERS! I’LL KILL YOU ALL! I’LL STAB YOU WITH MY GOLD DAGGER!” He slashed his ‘dagger’ around, clearly hell-bent on making the ‘monsters’ accept defeat.

Dean closed his eyes and just stood there for a few moments, counting to 30.

Just as he was opening his eyes, though, “I’M GOING TO GET BACK MY GRACE AND COME AFTER YOU AND FATHER KNOWS I WILL NOT SPARE THE LIFE OF ANY LEPRECHAUN IN EXISTENCE!”

Dean counted to 50.

Then, very carefully, he pushed his hands in his pockets to ensure he didn’t do anything impulsive like strangling an angel talking to imaginary, leprechaun monsters in his sleepwalking state.

He then walked over to the same angel.

“Cas,” he said, very very patiently ignoring the throbbing in his head. “Would you mind explaining to me exactly what it is you think you’re doing?”

“Squirrel,” Castiel imitated Dean. “Would you mind explaining to me exactly why you haven’t grabbed your gold dagger yet? I know you like it when I’m all smitey but I need you to remember I don’t have my Grace!”

“Don’t call me- I’m not- I don’t like it when you’re smitey, okay!” Dean stammered, blushing for the second time in a week because of the stupid angel.

“Yes, Squirrel. I get it. Now will you-” Castiel broke off with a scream as he stared at something with horror as he lunged towards the floorboards. He only avoided banging his head because of the hunter who sprang forward to hold him back.

“NO! No, let me go! It’s genocide! Wait, don’t hurt them!” the angel struggled ferociously in Dean’s hold before finally slumping back into his chest.

“Cas?”

The angel had his head in his hands and Dean could hear soft sniffling.

Fan-friggen-tastic. He’s standing with a weeping angel of the Lord outside his room at 3am in his PJs.

“Cas, hey. What’s wrong?”

Cas looked up slowly, staring at him in shock. “You mean to tell me you didn’t just see hundreds of leprechauns attacking those poor, defenceless pixies?”

Jesus Christ.

“The leprechauns killed the pixies, Dean! Slaughtered them!” Cas cried in anguish. What even is his life?

“THEY ALL DIED! AND FOR WHAT DEAN? FOR WHAT? ONE BOTTLE OF SPARKLY GLITTER GLUE!”

...

Fuck. His. Life.

No, really. He could deal with leprechauns, and- and the stupid Taylor Swift shit. But sparkly glitter glue? What. The Flying. Fuck.

“That’s it. I don’t know what’s gotten into you. We’re finding you a shrink first thing in the morning and you’re going to meet him or her and take the damn medication they give you. Because seriously, what is wrong with yo-

Dean broke off as the angel’s dry sobs echoed through the empty hall. No no no no no. Man, he hates comforting sad people. He’s terrible at it.

“Whoa, dude you okay?” Dean tried to pry Cas’ hands from where they were glued to his face without success. “C’mon, Cas.” He sighed in resignation as the angel rocked back and forth not looking up. “Just talk to me...please?” he tried on a hunch, softly.

The angel looked up slowly, eyes still glassy. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Dean. I know it was my duty as a hunter to try and save the lives of those helpless pixies. And I’m sorry I couldn’t! I’m useless without my powers.”

Dean’s banged his head against the wall when his heart clenched. Then he banged his fist against it. When even that didn’t hurt, he kicked it and then spent the next few minutes cursing and hopping on one foot. Freaking angels.
Trust Cas to be harbouring some form of twisted, sub-conscious guilt.

“Okay, you listen to me. You don’t need your mojo to be the awesome, kickass, nerdy little adorab- erm, nice guy you are. You went against your family for us, and honestly, I’m still not sure what we- what I did to deserve that. The fact that you can’t use your powers and still want to help speaks volumes, okay? You just-”

He was cut off by a lapful of angel hugging him and nosing at his neck, and that should really not have felt that good. It made his hair rise and little thrills shoot down his spine. Before he’d had his fill, though, the other pulled away. “I’m sorry for not saving the pixies, Dean.”

This dude is seriously dense.

“It’s okay. At least you defeated the...uh, leprechauns right?” Perfect. Now he’s crazy too. They should probably get matching medical bands proving it.

“Yes, but I didn’t save the pixies.” He said sorrowfully.

“Stop that. The- uh, pixies will know you tried at least. That’s what matters.”

Castiel looked at him for a few moments before suddenly pulling Dean on the ground and snuggling up to him like a koala bear. Dean laughed, hesitantly giving in to the urge to run his hands through Cas’ hair and then doing it more surely after getting a pleased hum.

Okay, maybe he hummed back.

(But he’d deny it till the day he died)

-*-*-*-*-*-*

The next day Dean went around, feeling happy and cheerful. Sam was heading out to Colorado to meet an old friend and Bobby was on his way to check in on Rufus. It was a sunny day and it was going to be just him with his angel best friend. Which he was going to enjoy. Change of company is always pleasant and at least Cas never tried to get him to talk about his feelings.

Or worse, make him order salads. He genuinely listened to Dean rant about how Led Zeppelin could kick Bieber’s ass and he never raised judgemental eyebrows when Dean flirted with the waitress. Although Dean hadn’t tried with any waitresses recently. He wasn’t losing his touch, of course not. It’s just- there were more important things to do, you know. Like teaching Cas the difference between the salt and pepper shakers. Or why a classic car had to be treated like royalty.
What? Someone had to.

Even now that he didn’t have his powers, Cas never complained about not being able to go back to Heaven. So, he must be staying because he wanted to.
Be here. With Dean. And the others. And Dean.

The thought sent a happy buzz through him as he headed downstairs. Bobby and Sam had left after lunch so he found just Cas sitting in the kitchen. The kitchen that smelled like- Heaven. Well, what Heaven would smell like if its leftovers were sitting in the sink.

“Am I hungry. What angelic dish do you plan on preparing for this starving mortal, Cas?” Dean moved closer, staring sorrowfully at the half cheeseburger Sam had left in the sink.

“You ate four cheeseburgers for lunch, Dean. It is impossible for you to be feeling starved.” The angel said flatly.

That surprised a laugh out of him.

“Yeah, well. I have a centaur’s appetite.”

“Believe me, Dean. Everyone’s seen it.” Cas deadpanned.

“Your ability to joke without showing any emotion on your face will never not being disturbing.” Dean mock-glared at the other.

Castiel just stared back.

Dean sighed. “You make life really weird sometimes.” When he looked up and saw Cas’ lips curling, he shoved at the angel’s shoulder. “Alright, come on. We’re going to go find ourselves some pie at the palace of your dreams. You like unicorns and stuff right? Let’s go.” He said, pulling on his jacket, mentally picturing the confused look that must be on angel’s face.

“What palace has unicorns, Dean?” And there. The angel had his signature look on.

Dean grinned. Satisfaction feels so good.

“Walmart.”

-*-*-*-*-*-*

Castiel didn’t like Walmart. It wasn’t a palace and he didn’t understand why Dean would call it one. There were persistent shop assistants coming up to him with a smile that had become very annoying after the first 12 times. One of them returned no less than 4 times, all the while licking his lips with a strange smile on his face.

Castiel had replied to all his questions and comments, uncomfortable with the lack of regard for his personal space. Dean was nowhere to be seen and this assistant was rapidly progressing to the stage where he thought it’d be okay to touch Castiel without permission.

“What’s your name, darlin’?” he’d asked at last, backing Castiel up against a shelf of cold drinks. The angel uncomfortably leaned away, muttering his answer trying not to look at the assistant.

“Oh come on, sweetcheeks (he should’ve known the assistant wouldn’t actually use his name, he should’ve just known). I’m not all that bad-looking. You’re allowed to look.” He leaned forward to whisper in the brunette’s ear.

“Maybe more.” The assistant pulled back to look at him with a disturbing smile and suddenly moved away, leaving Cas a little confused and blushing. What did the man mean?

Before he could brood about it, though, the assistant was returning with a piece of paper in his hand.

“Here. Call me if you want a good time.” The assistant- Erik, his nametag read- winked.

Castiel just frowned. “No offence, Mr. Erik, but why would I call a shop assistant if I wanted a good time?” Erik laughed.

Leaning forward, he whispered in Castiel’s ear. “Playing hard to get? Now, that’s going to be fun.” Before the angel could open his mouth, though, there was a strong arm wrapping around his waist, pulling him back into a solid wall.

“He’s going to be fine, thank you.” Wait, that’s not a wall. Castiel turned his head and looked at the hunter currently glaring daggers at Erik. Who seemed like he was going to wet himself. Or maybe that’s his angry face. Castiel couldn’t really make out.

“Dean?” Green orbs immediately flickered to Castiel’s and suddenly he was being pulled by the hand towards the exit.

“Wait, Dean. Where are we going? Weren’t we going to get pie?” Castiel asked in confusion. Dean just shook his head, lips pursed tightly.

“We’re going to order in. Get in the car.” He said as they reached the Impala, banging the drivers’ side door roughly.

Castiel frowned as he got in. It’s not like Dean to hurt the car. He said as much only to get a disgusted snort in response.

“Yeah well, it’s not like you to pick someone up at Walmart. To pick anyone up at all, in fact. What the hell Cas?” the hunter said, starting the car and turning around.

“Dean, you know I wasn’t...picking him up.” He said unsurely. “I was merely answering all his questions.”

Dean let out another snort at that. “Yeah well, next time make sure to actually tell him that. Because it didn’t look like-” He cut himself off with a sigh, realising how much of a dick he was being to the angel.

As he glanced over at the passenger seat, he almost punched himself. Cas was slouching, trying to make himself smaller with a carefully blank look on his face. The one that basically screamed he was hurt by whatever dick move the angels had made this time.

Only now Dean knew he’d put it there and it did nothing to appease his guilt. “I’m sorry, Cas. I know I was being unfair.”

The angel just muttered an ‘it’s okay’ under his breath. Who said angels were bad at guilt-tripping? Master of Heartbroken Looks was sitting right next to him. Alright then. Time for the big guns.

“Hey, Cas? Wanna grab some ice cream?” Immediately he was reintroduced to Cas’ toothy grin as the angel tried (and failed) to control his glee and look nonchalant.

Freaking angels, dude. What even.

-*-*-*-*-*

As Dean stepped out of his room again that night, he didn’t try to hide from Castiel. In fact, when a few minutes had elapsed and the person in question still hadn’t pranced into view, he was almost upset. And when he realised he was angry about this of all things, he got even more pissed at himself.

It wasn’t until he saw a light in one of the spare rooms that he came across the angel trying ‘sexy dance’, all loose limbed and happy-looking.

“Castiel.” Dean leaned against the doorframe. “Which demon are you trying to chase away with your ballerina skills? Pray do tell.” He grinned, actually enjoying the angel moving and shimmying.

“Oh please, Dean. Like one can’t dance out of joy. I’m feeling pure bliss right now.” Castiel said, closing his eyes and shaking his body.

Maybe it was the dancing or the late hour, or the need to subtly reinforce Cas was his after the events of that afternoon, but suddenly Dean’s hands were finding their way to close around Cas’ waist and drawing him closer. The angel just sighed happily, locking his hands behind Dean’s neck and swaying.

Dean wasn’t sure who moved first, him or Cas. But the next second, his face was pressed tightly against the brunette’s hair, as he tried to melt into Dean’s neck. For a few seconds, Dean froze. But then, a hand was coming up to softly stroke at his back, reminding him of those sunny years when Mom would hold him tight before passing him onto Dad to say goodnight. Safety, warmth, and relief flooded his veins as he clutched back at Castiel and sank down to the floor with him in a pile of limbs by the window.

“Hey Cas?” Dean said softly after a few minutes.

“Hmm?” Cas responded sleepily.

“You need to take care of this sleepwalking thing. What if you dance your way out the window tomorrow night?” he asked with a touch of concern in his voice.

Castiel’s hands tightened possessively in the fabric of Dean’s shirt. “Won’t. Big, bad hunter always rescues me. Does it for free and everything, too.”

Dean huffed a laugh, realising Cas sounded a lot like him when he sleepwalked. Closing his eyes, Dean allowed his mind to float in security, resting for a few minutes.

Soft snoring shook him out from his light nap and he chuckled, looking down at his guardian angel. Staring at people who’re asleep is definitely creepy, but for once, Dean couldn’t bring himself to care. It was so rarely that he saw him this open and carefree and after all the shit they’d been through, he deserved it.

He deserved to be able to go to a bar and wonder about inappropriate names of drinks. He deserved to watch every boring, historical show and gripe about inaccuracies in that deadpan way of his. Hell, he even deserved to find physical and emotional intimacy with someone. Someone who could understand him. Who could accept the fact that Cas didn’t like gummi bears because he could ‘feel their pain, Dean, please no.’ He deserved it all. This beautiful, reckless idiot had risen up against the only family he’d ever had. He’d saved Dean’s sorry ass on countless occasions. Hell, he’d called Michael- friggen’ Archangel of the Lord- an ‘assbutt’ before deep-frying the douche. Just to get Dean the five minutes he wanted to talk to Sammy.

And then Lucifer had snapped his fingers and Cas had exploded into a million pieces. Dean watched the man, who pulled him out of Hell, blow apart and the only thought going through his selfish, dense brain was: “At least I can still talk to Sammy.”

Dean had never deserved this selfless, little dork. He didn’t and he never would.

Before he could go on another guilt trip, Dean gently extricated himself from the tangle of limbs and softly padded over to his room after covering Cas with a blanket on the mattress.

He’d no sooner shut his eyes than he found himself being shaken awake by a very angry-looking angel. The cross-legged angel, currently murdering him with his baby blues aimed perfectly.

“I could’ve danced out a window!” the brat whined, finally breaking the silence. For the second time that day, he felt immensely guilty.

“I’m sorry Cas, I just thought I’d-” he was cut off by a pair of lips pressing to his own. A hand stroked the back of his neck and he moaned into the kiss, before remembering himself and abruptly pulling back.

“Cas? Is this you? Are you awake?” Hope curled like a stubborn idiot in his heart, stamping down every careful argument of why he didn’t deserve any of the happiness he was feeling.

The brunette had stared back at him for what felt like minutes, before softly whispering in a dazed tone, “Do you think we could use the glitter glue as bait for the leprechauns?”

-*-*-*-*-*

Dean hadn’t looked at Castiel all week. He hadn’t spoken to him, he hadn’t smiled at him. He hadn’t made any pop culture references. (The last one would have been the most worrisome and probably led him to think Dean was possessed till he heard him and Sam bantering about ‘Bob the Builder’.)

The first two, though, definitely worried him. It wasn’t like Dean to ignore him, especially without stating a reason.

He’d tried to talk to him many times but after a few stilted exchanges, it became clear Castiel wasn’t as gifted in the art of conversing as the hunter.

Sam had more than once glanced curiously at him, more so when he noticed Castiel staring at Dean with wistfulness, but had refrained from bringing it up. For which Cas was grateful. He really felt awkward talking to others about his emotions. Well, anyone but Dean. However, yesterday morning the younger Winchester had stormed in, making Castiel wonder if he hadn’t once been a terrifying seraph fond of smiting people just on principle.

“You! What did you do to him?” he demanded in a harsh tone.

Castiel merely stared back, bemused. “Me? I didn’t do anything to any-”

“Yes, you did! Dean was fine and dandy a few days back and now he’s the epitome of depression and gloom. I mean, he’s talking about ‘Bob, the Builder’ when I asked him why he was so silent!” he huffed, sending a strand of hair flying back in place.

Castiel took a deep breath. “Maybe if you could tell me what happened, I could try to help?”

The other man just glared before launching into another rant. “He’s never like this. He’s loud and obnoxious and infuriatingly Dean and watching him so silent all of a sudden feels like a sucker punch to the gut. I’ve been asking him what’s wrong but he won’t say anything other than his usual manly shit. So I asked him if I pissed him off and he said no. Then I asked him if he couldn’t access the Busty Asian Beauties website and he just glared at me. Then, on a whim, I asked him if you did something, and he just froze! Like, the guilty oh-no-Sam-you-guessed-it-right froze and just stammered his way out of the room! Dean Winchester never stammers! You- you broke my brother!” Sam took a deep breath, to refill his lungs most likely.

“Sam.” Castiel started calmly. “I have no idea what I did to cause your brother such discomfort. But I promise to try and find out, so he can go back to being himself.”

He just got a grunt and a ‘you better’ in return. He sighed.

Winchesters.

-*-*-*-*-*-*

Castiel was getting frustrated. Dean could feel it. The angel had tried to talk to him so many times, only to be shut down abruptly. After the last time, when Dean had actually caught an expression of hurt flash across his face, Castiel stopped coming up to him.

Dean didn’t know whether to feel sad or relieved.

That night had very quickly become sour after Dean realised Castiel was still asleep. The angel had tried to cling to him even as Dean had tucked him in bed, tight enough to prevent further wandering. Before he could completely leave the room, though, the angel had looked at him happily and sighed, “Goodnight, Squirrel! Sleep well, we’ve to catch the leprechauns tomorrow.” before snuggling in and promptly falling asleep.

It had taken every bit of Dean’s control to not stalk out to the garage and use a wrench on the Impala’s hood. He had decided other things, though. Castiel must be avoided at all costs, because God forbid he suddenly remembers Dean leaning into the kiss. And that he was not to go out of his room to have meaningless conversations with cute, sleepwalking angels.

The plan had worked for almost a week, till Sam had thrown up his hands. “Okay, seriously. What? What is wrong with you? Why are you going around with that look? Why haven’ you made any innuendos? WHY AREN’T YOU TALKING?”

He tried to muster up some older-brother glare points but failed, going by the look on Sam’s face.

“What is it? Are you angry at me? Pissed off because I didn’t let you order pizza?” He shot Sam a scornful look. “Okay, then. Is the Busty Beauties website not working?” He sighed at that. If only it would work for him. But no. His stupid brain was stuck on babies in trench coats.

“I just- I can’t stand it, Dean. You won’t even talk to me properly anymore.” Sam said softly. Dean’s felt guilt poke at his chest because he’d promised himself after the apocalypse to never let that look find its way on Sam’s face again.

Before he could say anything, though, his brother was ploughing ahead. “Is it Bobby? The annoying waiter at Biggerson’s?” Dean was opening his mouth to say no when, “Is it Cas?”

He froze, closing his mouth with an audible snap. Almost instantly, he heard Sam suck in a sharp breath. “Did you do something? Did he do something?”

Before Dean could start to panic, Sam had taken off in the direction of the library.

Fuck this shit. He’s going to say hi to Jody. (He's not running away. He's not.)

-*-*-*-*-*-*

It had been nearly a week since Castiel had kissed Dean and he’d taken to locking his room at night to prevent any dumb angels sleepwalking their way in.

But he’d been hungry, having skipped dinner in order to avoid another awkward meal with Cas. Not that it mattered, because he’d barely stepped out of his room, making sure no one heard him, when he found himself facing a smug-looking angel. A little too smug, almost like...Dean groaned. Not the sleepwalking again! He managed to avoid this so carefully and now-

“Dean, I have good news.” The brunette smiled wide, and Dean was so not prepared for another night of listening to how Castiel had somehow managed to download the exclusive singles of Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest album. “I found a way-”

He snapped.

“To what? Drive the leprechauns away for good? Or is it elves tonight? Because whatever it is, I don’t care, okay? I don’t care about what stupid thing you’re seeing- it’s not real!”

Cas’ smiled faded and Dean watched helplessly as a confused frown replaced it. “Dean, I don’t understand...” the angel said softly, looking like the older Winchester had stabbed his puppy and was preparing to eat it. As expected, his signature head tilt followed and Dean felt a wave of affection crash through him.

Nope, no no no. Not going to feel any emotions, thankyouverymuch. “Really? Because I had to literally pry your fingers from the telephone the other night when you decided you could tempt them out with some glitter glue and wanted to order some from a Chinese restaurant!”

Suddenly, Cas’ face cleared. “You...were there when I was-”

“Oh you bet your ass I was there. I was there, every night. Every night, I stood next to you as you used kitchen cutlery to stab imaginary demons and yelled in Polish. I was there when you decided you would enforce the rule of having Friday evening parties in Heaven. I was there when you decided that an upset cupid had created the concept of orgies and wanted to hug him to make him feel better! I was there when you decided chasing supernatural creatures was too boring for you and you decided to spice things up by kissing me! Did you ever stop to think what I might feel like once you woke up? How it would hurt me to pretend I didn’t like it because you don’t even remember it? ”

Immediately his eyes widened and he slapped a hand over his mouth. But it was too late. Castiel was already staring at him in astonishment, mouth popping open.

“I...kissed you and you liked it? Wait, Dean. Do you like me?” He tried to backtrack, to move away but the angel was turning every way Dean turned, ducking his head to make eye contact.

Finally, Dean threw up his hands. “Fine, screw it. It’s not like you’re going to remember it in the morning and I’m already upset so what’s the big deal in telling you, right? Yes. Yes, I like you. You’re cute and have an amazing sense of dry wit and I love it when you go all smitey because frankly, it’s hot as hell. There, I said it. And tomorrow morning you won’t remember any of this. Great. Let’s get you back to bed now.”
He started pulling Cas towards his room, face firmly set so no emotion would crack through.

But as much as pulled, the angel wouldn’t budge, just standing there and smiling dopily. Dean tsk-ed.

“Come on Cas, let’s go pick up some Pepsis in your room. Or whatever it is that you’re imagining right now. I don’t think I can deal with your somnambulism for-”

Castiel jerked back. “I’m not sleepwalking, Dean!” he grinned, for the first time realising what the past week had been about.

The blonde snorted. “Sure you’re not. That’s why you’re grinning like a maniac. Come on, let’s go.” This time, Castiel pulled back harder, glaring a little at the idiot.

“Damn it, Dean. I said I’m not sleepwalking!” he crossed his arms.

Dean stared at him in confusion. The angel was usually very cooperative when he was in this state. He slowly lifted his hands, trying to look non-threatening. “It’s okay, Cas. It’s alright. I’m just trying to get you to bed. Come on, your sleepwalk-”

With an animal-like growl of frustration, the angel sprang forward, hands flying up to cup Dean’s face and lips attacking his with a vengeance.

Dean tried to resist, he truly did. But then the other man fucking nibbled at his lower lip and Dean lost all coherent thought as he grabbed Cas back. When they finally pulled away, he was sporting an expression saying, ‘well?’

Dean cleared his throat sheepishly. “So, uh. You’re awake.” A smug nod. “Well, then. Why’d you kiss me?” he asked in genuine confusion.

“Because I like you too, Dean! Isn’t that obvious?” Castiel smiled.

“Apparently not!” a distant voice yelled.

Dean snorted and reached for Cas. The angel continued. “I was trying to say that I found a way to get my Grace back and now I’m ‘fully recharged’. And you’d been avoiding me so I wanted to talk to you alone. Because you clearly are incapable of starting a mature conversation.”

Dean huffed. “Hey, I didn’t- you were. That wasn’t-”

“Yes, Dean. Please do put forward your brilliant argument. Can’t wait to hear it.” Castiel grinned.

“Yeah, me neither!” Sam shouted from his room again, making Dean groan and bang his head against Castiel's shoulder.

“Okay, fine. I admit I was an idiot. Can we go back to the part when we were kissing?” he said, receiving a mischievous grin in reply.

“You know, since I'm not a human anymore, I don’t need to sleep. Maybe we should put that time to better use?” Cas’ eyes crinkled as Dean nodded eagerly, and his smile grew into full-blown laughter when he heard Bobby yelling from downstairs.

“Don’t you dare get jizz on my bedsheets!”

-*-*-*-*-*-*

Castiel and Dean didn't emerge from the room till noon next day.
Castiel learnt various uses of his tie in that span of time.
He also learnt that Sam could be very terrifying while saying, “If you hurt him, or let him get hurt, I will carve out colourful Enochian symbols you've never seen on your chest before chopping off your genitals. With a meat cleaver.” Even though dimples were involved, he felt shivers wrack his vessel.)
-*-*-*-*-*
(Sam also learnt very quickly that brain bleach was a commodity he urgently required.)