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Cas + Dean 4Ever

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Dean wasn't snooping. He wasn't snooping, because it was his hotel room ever since Ruby had insisted that two beds was not enough if Dean was going to complain about her having sex with Sam and that there needed to be walls between them if Dean was just going to whine and moan about the scarring of his eyes—and look, Dean wasn't being unreasonable here. He went to Hell, capital H, and saw and did terrible, terrible things, and even so, there were just some things an older brother shouldn't be subjected to, and one of those was his little brother's naked ass as he was pushing his way into a demon dick-first. No. Just no.

Point being, it was his room, and if someone left something in it, then it was free game. An open, engraved motherfucking invitation. Hell, it was practically a gift, and if it had Castiel's name on it, that just told Dean who to send the thank you card.

Besides, Castiel was an angel. It wasn't like he had anything majorly private going on, and if he did, it wasn't private-private, it was probably apocalypse-related-private. If it was related to the apocalypse, then it was related to Dean and probably something he needed to know. Decision made and at peace with the rightness of his actions, Dean opened the cover. He stared. He turned the page, then another. He stared some more.

"Well. Fuck."

On second thought, maybe some things were private after all.

("Sam?" Castiel asked. "I have a request. Call it a favor."

Sam wasn't in a good mood, didn't want to hear it; Dean had been an even bigger asshole than usual, like he hadn't had his pie quota for the day and was taking it out on everyone else in turn. Sam just wanted to take the brief time he had to himself with Dean out grabbing food to pull it together, remind himself that he didn't actually want to kill his brother. Talking with Castiel—"Dean is so awesome we should form a club" Castiel—wasn't likely to help with that.

But—call it curiosity, call it intellectual greed, call it whatever you'd like—a part of him wanted to know what it was that Castiel would ask of Sam that he couldn't ask Dean instead.

"Sure, fine, whatever. Make it quick."

Castiel did. By the time he finished explaining, Sam wasn't in such a bad mood anymore.

"Yes," Sam said, smiling so wide he was almost concerned he'd scare Castiel off the whole idea. "Yes, I'll help.")

It was private, Dean acknowledged that now, but somehow he couldn't help himself.

"Last night, I had a dream that Dean and I—" skidded up from the page to assault his eyes, and Dean closed them and ground the heel of his palms in until he saw stars. Did angels even dream? Apparently so. Or maybe this could be a return of the prank wars with Sam. Maybe next Dean would find itching powder in his sheets and saran wrap over the toilet bowl. With this soothing thought and after a few deep breaths, Dean found the courage to look at the diary again.

"This night . . . when he wrapped his arm around my shoulder I knew he'd be mine soon," said the next page. Their names were written next to a heart in which the not-quite-word "4ever" was inscribed. Another page was dedicated to the sexy quality of Dean's lips, apparently very kissable and described with such disturbing fascination that Dean decided he didn't want this to be a prank after all, because there was no way Dean wanted to think about Sam thinking about his lips. Or maybe Ruby wrote that part.

. . . No, still not better.

Dean closed the cover, mind budding with plans to exact his revenge on Sam and his demon girlfriend. He'd need to make a run to the local Walmart for duct tape, dishwasher soap, and several jars of marbles, if he could find any. Dean was composing a list of further supplies when he opened the door to Castiel's face.

Castiel's voice hinted at concern as he asked, "Is everything all right, Dean?"

Dean barely held back an embarrassing startled noise and instead glared. "Don't do that. You don't just lurk outside of people's doors."

"I was not lurking," Castiel informed him. "I was preparing to knock. I believe you said something about wanting me to come in by means of the door. Or has this changed in the past hour?"

"No," Dean said and cleared his throat. Castiel's eyes were intent, but they were always intent. And it—it certainly didn't have to mean anything when they flitted briefly to rest on Dean's lips before meeting his eyes again. "Knocking—knocking is good."

"I'll keep that in mind," Castiel said evenly.

Dean kept his hand pressed to the side of the door, impatient, but apparently Castiel was content to wait all night, staring at Dean's face (and lips, oh, God, he'd just looked at Dean's lips again). "Did you need something?" Dean asked, and if Castiel said, "You," Dean was going to—

"I'd forgotten something," Castiel said. "When last I was here. A book. It would have my name on the cover?"

And just like that, Dean's knees were weak, horror clenching its icy hand around his chest, because this was not a prank, this wasn't Sammy's revenge for stealing the last donut that morning or calling him a pretty pretty princess in front of his demon girlfriend, causing Ruby to laugh and offer to make Sam a crown. The diary, and Castiel's fascination with Dean's lips, and the dream where they—shit. All real.

"Have you seen it?" Castiel asked carefully.

"I, uh." Dean didn't want to lie, but there was no fucking way he was admitting to laying eyes on the thing. If life had taught him anything, denial was a good substitute for an inability to change reality, and Dean and denial were about to become best friends. "Dunno. Feel free to check the room. Lock up behind you when you're done."

Dean slipped between Castiel and the doorjamb, trying not to think of the way his shoulder brushed Castiel's, or how Castiel smelled kind of like burning ozone this close, like he used lightning for cologne. Dean tried not to think of how instead of leaning away, Castiel stayed perfectly still and let Dean touch him.

Prank or no, someone was going to suffer with Dean, and as his little brother, it was practically Sam's job description.

("Glitter," Castiel said doubtfully.

"Glitter," Sam confirmed cheerfully. "Oh, and maybe some rainbow stickers. No, definitely some rainbow stickers. See if you can get some unicorns. We need to Lisa Frank this thing up."

"Who is Lisa Frank?" Castiel asked as he pasted in a picture of Dean, a blurred close-up that nevertheless caught the vivacity of his smile.

"Not so much who, as what. And what Lisa Frank is, is awesome and kind of terrifying." Sam hadn't stopped smiling since they had settled on a plan. "Dean is going to shit a brick."

"I don't believe—" Castiel began.

"Not literally," Sam said quickly. "Look, trust me. This is a great plan. This is, in fact, the best plan EVER." Sam began to hum as he cut out a few star shapes from the bright pink construction paper scattered over the bed.)

The denial thing would be really helpful if the diary wasn't suddenly making appearances everywhere. In Castiel's hand whenever he appeared, like it was no big deal to lug around a huge-ass book with him that held all his secrets open for anyone to read who could wrest it from his hands. In the Impala's backseat, like he'd been writing quietly back there while they'd crossed over the Indiana-Kentucky state line. On Dean's bedside table, because the only thing better than Castiel watching him sleep was Castiel watching him sleep while waxing poetic about how Dean's hair brushed his forehead in the night.

The hair thing was actually in there, because wresting it from Cas's hands wasn't actually necessary, considering he kept leaving the thing behind like the worst "Do you like me, y/n?" letter in history, and Dean was apparently even more susceptible to temptation than his stupid baby brother. "I am the worst role model ever," Dean said, because even if Sam couldn't see Dean flipping furtively through the pages as he went in the gas station to grab some jerky and a couple Cokes, this didn't change the fact that Dean was a complete and total hypocrite when he lectured Sam on resisting temptation.

Dean couldn't bring himself to care.

On one page, maybe a quarter of the way in, a picture of Dean was pasted in. A heart was drawn around his face, and an arrow pointed at the picture with the words: "My BFF." Dean's introduction of Castiel to the internet was apparently the gift that kept on giving. If the next page had leet speak, Dean was out, done, finished. He was turning in the diary, turning in his brain, and going home, or at least to Bobby's to lock himself in the safe room before it turned out that Castiel had also discovered 4chan.

Dean surreptitiously checked Sam's progress—the cashier was ringing up his purchases—and told himself he would read one last page. Just one. And then he'd be done with the thing.

Dean and denial, he acknowledged in some distant part of his brain he was trying very hard to ignore, were becoming best friends, but not in the way he'd originally hoped for.

("What does that even mean?" Castiel asked.

"Best Friends Forever," Sam said absently. Ruby was collapsed on the bed beside him, and she still hadn't stopped giggling. Every time she caught her breath, she turned to look at Castiel and started laughing again. Sam suspected it was only a matter of time before she volunteered to help.

"Best friends . . . forever," Castiel repeated slowly, then nodded approvingly. He ignored Ruby entirely in favor of inking the letters carefully in.)

Dean had a problem. Dean had a major problem, and he needed help. He could acknowledge that now.

"I have a research project for you," Dean told Sam. "An angel research project."

"Ask Castiel," Sam replied without looking up from the laptop.

"That's kind of not an option," Dean ground out, because it was looking more and more like he might actually have to explain himself.

"Why, did you guys break up when I wasn't looking?" Sam asked. His voice was a little strange, off somehow, and he was still glued to the laptop, like whatever he was doing could possibly be more important than Dean's current crisis.

He'd better not be watching porn, Dean thought. They had a rule about that now, because the last time they'd had on porn—and never mind that it was Dean, that's not what was important here—Castiel had appeared and then made Dean spend twenty minutes explaining to him why the pizza guy had offered himself as an extra topping, but none of the pizza was ever actually consumed. As if that hadn't been bad enough, Castiel insisted on watching another one and said, "I didn't know humans could bend that way," then stared at Dean with a frankly speculative expression as he asked, "Can you bend that way?" Dean suspected this had been yet another case of Castiel fucking with him, but the angel was so deadpan it was impossible to be sure. Best to avoid the situation entirely.

. . . And now Dean's brain was thinking about Castiel, porn, and Castiel fucking with him (Castiel fucking), and that was going nowhere good.

"Dean? Dean?" Sam said, watching him with concern, like it wasn't the first time he'd repeated himself. "Are you okay?"

"Peachy," Dean said.

Dean had a problem, but Dean had lots of problems, and one was more pressing than the others.

"I'm just. Going back to my room. To take a shower," Dean said. A cold shower. The coldest he could manage.

("You're not going far enough," Ruby said. "All this romantic stalking bullshit is great, yeah, but this is Dean. It's not a full mind fuck until there's fucking."

"No," Sam said. "I didn't want to get involved in the lips thing. There's no way I'm going anywhere near that."

Castiel, meanwhile, had tilted his head to regard Ruby thoughtfully. "Is this true?" he asked, and though he was looking at Ruby, Sam could tell Castiel was asking him.

"Yes," Sam said, "and okay, sure, fine, go for it. Whatever. I'll even send you some links to porn for research. But otherwise, leave me out of this part."

"Dean said I wasn't allowed to watch any more porn," Castiel said.

Ruby started laughing again. It took her a very, very long time to stop.)

Dean didn't take a cold shower. He meant to—God knew he meant to—but then he was naked, and the bathroom door was locked, and it wasn't like anyone had to know. Dean's life was kind of shit, and if he could have one thing, just one private moment to himself in which he could be honest, in which he could let go and just feel for a while, then what did it matter, if he wasn't hurting anyone? No one had to know.

He turned the water pressure all the way up and let the warm water pound against his skin as he braced one hand against the tile and curled the other in a fist around his dick. He started slow and let his mind wander. Normally, he thought of women from porn—sometimes men—or his latest fuck; sometimes Dr. Sexy popped into his head; very rarely, he let himself think of Cassie, of her warm hands and her soft lips as she whispered against his chest, "It's okay, Dean, I've got you. You can let go."

Now, however, all Dean could think about was that damn diary and Castiel's preoccupation with his lips; that spiral of thoughts about Castiel and porn and the idea of Castiel fucking with him, then of Castiel fucking him; Castiel's speculative voice as he'd asked, "Can you bend that way?" and the thought that had crossed Dean's mind at the time that, for Castiel, he'd like to try.

His hand sped up, and he tightened his grip, trying to find that perfect place deep inside of him, seeking that one moment of freefall and mindless pleasure. He was close, so close—

"Dean?" came Castiel's voice from the other side of the bathroom door, and that was it, Castiel had the worst timing ever, and Dean was choking back a scream as he came all over the shower wall. After a moment, Castiel's voice came from the other side of the shower curtain, shadow visible through the thin plastic, because Castiel had no sense of privacy whatsoever. Dean guessed he should just be thankful Castiel hadn't materialized in the shower itself. "Are you all right?"

"Fine." Dean's voice came out strangled, and he cleared his throat and tried again: "I'm fine." Then, "What have I told you about knocking?"

"I did. You didn't answer."

"Most people would take that as a hint to go away," Dean said, and he vacillated between mortified anger and despair over Castiel's inability to ever learn. Dean could only be grateful that he'd opted for the shower instead of using the bed.

"Do you want me to go now?" Castiel asked.

Dean sighed. "No, just. Just give me a minute." Castiel's shadow against the curtain didn't disappear. "I meant wait outside."

Castiel's shadow twitched, as though with guilt, before he vanished.

"Great, Dean, kick the puppy while you're at it," Dean told himself, frustrated on a number of levels, and set to cleaning up as fast as possible.

("What do you have so far?" Ruby asked, flopping down onto the bed next to Castiel. Castiel scooted over, whether to make room or in an attempt to inch away, Ruby didn't really care. For an angel, Castiel was kind of a pushover.

"Foreplay, fellatio, frottage—"

Castiel's even voice was interrupted by Sam's exaggerated choking sounds. "What did I say about not wanting to be involved?"

"You're not involved," Ruby said impishly. "Castiel hasn't written anything here about hoping for an incestuous menage a trois. Though could you imagine Dean's face?"

"I don't need to," Sam said, "because I believe I'm making it right now." Horror barely covered it.

"Yes," Ruby said happily, "yes, you are." To Castiel, "This checklist barely fills half the page. Let me help."

Sam made several more strangled noises and dug out his head phones, plugging them into the laptop and pulling up Pandora. Ruby made a point of shouting her suggestions.

Castiel looked between her and Sam, made an obvious decision not to get in the middle of it, and dutifully wrote everything down.)

Dean made a decision. He and the diary were done. This was leading nowhere good, and whether it was Castiel fucking with his head or actually serious, it didn't matter, because there were more important things going down, like, oh, say, the freaking Apocalypse. Dean had to get his head in the game.

This decision was helped when Castiel appeared, diary for once nowhere in sight, and said, "We have a mission for you."

"Please tell me it involves killing something," Dean said. Some nice, simple deadly mayhem was just what Dean's situation called for.

Castiel clearly didn't approve of this plea, but he said, "There are ogres."

"Ogres," Dean said.


"Huge, smelly, deadly ogres?" Dean asked.

"Yes." Castiel now looked as if he wondered whether Dean had hit his head at some point while Castiel had been off seeking revelation or defending other seals.

"Sounds good," Dean said, smiling wide, and that look of doubtful concern didn't leave Castiel's face, but Dean didn't care. Ogres were good. Ogres were awesome.

Almost as awesome as Castiel's hand on his shoulder, his thumb brushing the side of Dean's neck as he transported them directly to Sam's room, but Dean wasn't thinking about that sort of thing anymore. He wasn't. This assertion was made truth when they teleported in on a naked Sam and half-naked Ruby, ruining the entire point of separate rooms; Dean's balls tried to crawl back in his body to die as he pressed his hands to his scarred eyes, and Sam asked, "Weren't you supposed to teach him to knock?"

(Castiel had moments of doubt. "Mrs. Castiel Winchester? You're sure?"

"Trust me," Sam said, his eyes wide and his lips twitching.

"But how will he know I mean him and not you?" Castiel asked.

"I think he'll know," Ruby said. "Especially considering this follows the page where you talk about his cock and your wedding vows."

Sam shot her a look that said, quite clearly, "Why must you ruin this for me?"

"Wedding vows are important," Castiel conceded. He wrote, "Mr. Dean and Mrs. Castiel Winchester of the Lord," across several lines, trying several different scripts until he found the one that was most aesthetically pleasing.)

Ogres were, in fact, terrible. They weren't the worst in the series of horrible events determined to fuck Dean's shit up that was his life, but the ogres definitely seemed determined to at least be a lowlight in Dean's week.

They'd hidden out in the sewers, because it wasn't enough that they smelled like they'd rolled around in tons of crap, they had to live in it, too. Things—terrible things Dean did not want to identify—squished under his boots, and Dean had already determined that when they were done, he was going to burn all of his clothes and the nonessential equipment, then shower for a week. "Should've thrown paper," Dean said, not for the first or the last time in his life.

Because Dean hadn't endured enough torment this week, he'd been set up as bait to draw the ogres out, and he almost didn't notice when they'd bitten. On his second course around the sewers, always sticking close to the kill zone they'd set up, Dean finally heard the not-very-distant sound of footsteps thudding behind him. Looking back, Dean saw that the ogres were much larger than he'd imagined, nearly twice Dean's height; their heads brushed the ceiling, their hands were half the size of Dean's torso, and apparently for a bunch of giants, they moved like ghosts, because they were only maybe forty, fifty feet behind him.

"Definitely should've thrown paper." The one advantage to the ogres' size was that it hampered their progress through the tunnels, made it difficult for them to navigate the twists and turns Dean took, arms and legs pumping as he tried to keep in mind the map Sam had shown him before going in.

Dean actually did make it to the right chamber, the one with only two exits and a thirty degree incline between the two, even made it halfway across the room before his foot caught a loose stone, a piece of trash, a fucking banana peel for all he knew or it mattered, and Dean went sliding, leg folding under him and head hitting the floor so hard he saw stars of light streak across his vision.

"Dean!" Sam called, and Ruby said, "We have to close the gate."

Dean thought, I'm fucked, then, Wait, where's Cas? because it shouldn't have taken him that long to close the door behind Dean.

Before Dean could lever himself up to look, to fight, to start running again because Sam was a moron and wouldn't close the second gate locking the ogres in until Dean was safe, a hand landed on his shoulder and an arm wrapped around his waist, lifting, and Dean and Castiel were on the other side of iron bars, through which Dean could see the now extremely pissed off ogres. One was lying motionless on the ground, shiny, black blood trickling out from under its body, but the others were throwing themselves at the walls and the doors on either side.

"You can safely continue the plan now," Castiel told Sam calmly, as Dean tried to catch his breath.

Sam and Ruby turned and pushed the oil barrels over, let the oil coat the floor and slide down the incline. They backed up several feet, and, with a grin, Ruby lit a match and tossed it to land in the oil; the chamber and everything in it went up in flames. The shrieks the ogres made nearly sounded like human screams, but Ruby just kept smiling as she said, "Burn, baby, burn."

It occurred to Dean by this point that Castiel was still holding him, and that they weren't actually touching the ground.

Castiel's breath was warm against Dean's ear as he asked, "All right, Dean?"

Inappropriate reaction, Dean told himself. Extremely inappropriate reaction.

For once, he wasn't explaining this to his dick, but to his brain and his chest, which had clenched in reply, like Castiel had just whispered post-coital words of affection. At that thought, Dean realized he was probably going to have to have that talk with his dick, after all.

"Yeah," Dean said. "I'm good."

After a few seconds—during which Dean had to remind himself several times that post-battle kisses were only the sort of things that happened to him, usually by incredibly hot female (or, in one or two cases, male) would've-been victims expressing their gratitude, not something Dean initiated himself with a freaking angel of the Lord—Castiel gently set Dean down. Sam was watching with a weird expression, and Ruby had that look like she was going to start laughing again any moment now. Ruby looked that way a lot, lately.

Dean cleared his throat and gave Castiel a manly smack on the shoulder. "Thanks, man."

"Any time," Castiel said in that low, steady voice that was almost like fondness, the sound reaching deep in Dean's heart and easing something constricted and broken.

Never mind the plan to ignore the diary. Dean was safe from the ogres, but he was still fucked.

("What's CBT?" Castiel asked.

Ruby's lips twitched, but all she said was, "It's an abbreviation, like BFF."

Castiel underlined it twice. He wondered if he should tell Sam he could take off his headphones now.

Then Ruby said, "You know what would make this even better? If you checked some of them off." Her expression was especially pleased at this idea.

"Why?" Castiel asked. He tapped Sam on the shoulder, and Sam shot him a look of gratitude for being his filter and sanity saver.

Ruby rolled her eyes. "Because then he'll think you've done them."

"Done what?" Sam asked.

"The list," Ruby said, tugging the book out of Castiel's hands and holding it up for Sam to see.

Sam gave her one of those puppy dog looks in return, but rather than taking mercy, Ruby smiled like Sam's pain pleased her. She'd explained, though, that some couples (and threesomes and so on) were "into that," and apparently, if the evidence of their meetings were anything to go by, she and Sam were one such example.

"I believe," Castiel said slowly, "that this is one of your suggestions I'll have to forgo."

"It'll be fun," Ruby said. Then, mostly to herself, with great delight, "His FACE."

"It would be dishonest," Castiel said. "I have no intention of checking any of these off until I've actually accomplished them."

"What," Sam said, eyes wide.

"Unless," Castiel corrected himself. "Unless I actually accomplish them." For some reason, this didn't seem to reassure Sam.

Ruby, meanwhile, grinned wider and pounced Castiel, pressing him to the bed. Castiel could have dislodged her, but instead, knowing himself in no immediate danger, he allowed himself to follow the path of curiosity.

"What—" Castiel began in an unintentional mirroring of Sam, and Ruby pressed her tongue between his lips and into his mouth. It was wet and not entirely unpleasant, but neither was it welcome.

It was also over nearly as fast as it began. Ruby pulled back and said, "Check!" Then, "Don't make that face, angel. I'm doing you a favor."

Sam was making choking sounds again.

Ruby groped Castiel's ass for good measure and said, "No, really, you'll thank me later." She rolled off the bed and repeated to herself, half-laughing, "His face.")

If he was fucked anyway, Dean decided, he might as well give in, go all the way. The next time Castiel left the diary behind, Dean kicked his feet up and settled on the bed with the intention of reading through the entire thing. Because Dean was that kind of guy, he started with the end. To say this was a mistake was an understatement.

"Is this a checklist?" Dean asked. "Is this an actual sex checklist?"

Dean wondered if angels of the Lord were even allowed to have sex, much less some of these sex acts in particular. Each word branded itself on Dean's brain, and he had little doubt that the next time he masturbated, he wasn't going to be thinking about porn or Dr. Sexy or his last fuck, but rather the words "fellatio" and "anal" written in incongruously beautiful script. Face heating, Dean flipped back a few pages, because there had to be something easier to read in here.

"Mr. Dean and Mrs. Castiel Winchester of the Lord?" Then, "Is this an invitation list?"

Maybe the sex checklist would be easier after all. Sure, he was having trouble swallowing, he'd already had to adjust himself, and he was wondering if maybe the bed really wasn't the best place for this, but it had to be better than seeing speculation over whether Bobby would be willing to walk Dean down the aisle.

Frottage, foreplay, French kissing—

"Why the hell are some of these checked?" Dean was reading on autopilot by this point—bondage, roleplay, fingering, whatever—as he thought furiously over whether something had happened he couldn't remember, or if this meant someone else had put their hands and mouth on his—the—the angel, but then his eyes skidded over three letters and came to an abrupt stop. "Wait. WHAT."

(Sam had to admit, with a very real admiration, that Ruby was evil. Sam? Sam had pulled out the glitter and unicorns and twelve pages of Lisa Frank stickers and thought himself a genius.

Ruby suggested wedding invitation lists and baby names.

"Gazardiel is a respectable name," Castiel said determinedly, because apparently he was right there with Ruby about everything but the names themselves. "I served with her for many years."

"You seriously want to name your theoretical baby after a dead angel?" Ruby asked. "Plus, there's not even a good nickname for that. The kid would get her ass kicked at recess. Sam, back me up here."

"I think," Sam said slowly, "this is almost worse than the checklist."

"Speaking of," Ruby turned her smirk Castiel's way, "if there's anything else on that list you need help with—"

"I won't."

"But if you do—"

"I won't."

Sam had thought it was bad enough when Ruby was afraid to come around because of the angel. He'd had no idea how much worse it would be once she'd decided she liked Castiel.

"I am invited to the wedding, right?" Ruby asked.

Castiel eyed her carefully. "I suppose we'll need bridesmaids."

"The important question is: will you wear white to the wedding?"

So much worse.)

Okay, Dean hadn't managed it the first time he'd tried to confide in Sam, but if there was anything that would lend a man terror enough to man up and talk to his brother, it was seeing CBT underlined twice in an angel's checklist of things he wanted to do to his charge. As in: to Dean. As in: to Dean's junk.

Dean was getting some fucking answers even if it meant humiliating himself or, worse, talking about his feelings.

Sam took his sweet time answering the door, and when he did, his face was bright red and Ruby was sprawled languidly across the bed. For some reason, pink and yellow construction paper was spread out next to her. She was fully clothed, but Dean still had no desire to speculate on what they'd been doing. Sam said, "Uh, what's up, Dean? It's kind of late."

"We," Dean said firmly, "are getting pie." He wasn't taking no for an answer, because if he put this off now, he'd just keep doing so, until Castiel asked him about baby names or checked more things off his list or something else equally disastrous. Dean needed to head off his doom now, before it snowballed into a second fucking apocalypse.

Sam seemed to sense Dean's determination, because he said, "Okay. Let me just get my coat."

"Am I invited?" Ruby asked in a sing-song voice, her smile strangely wide for the question.

Dean glared, but Ruby didn't seem to notice.

Sam shot her a placating look. "I'll bring you back some." Sam added in a warning tone: "If you're good."

"I'm always good," Ruby said, her smile transforming into a leer as she stretched slowly.

"I don't need or want to know," Dean said, turning his glare to Sam. "Seriously, time for pie."

Dean waited until they were seated in a vinyl booth of an all-night diner, cherry pie with extra whipped cream settled in front of them, before he could bring himself to explain. It took another two pieces of pie and a side of ice cream before he was done. "So what is it?" Dean asked. "Is it some freaky angel-charge thing? Is he fucking with me?" Dean shoveled another forkful of pie in before he could manage, words garbled around the sweet taste of apple, "Or does he want to fuck me?" Dean swallowed the pie and said, "It's not serious, right? Tell me it's not serious."

Sam, to his credit, had not laughed at him, though it was obviously a very near thing. He had a hand over his mouth and took a minute before he answered. "Actually," Sam said, and it looked like he was trying for solemn and failing wildly, "I think it is serious. I'd meant to tell you about something that Castiel had asked me."

"He talked to you?" Dean asked weakly.

Sam nodded. "He wanted my advice on what sort of flowers would be appropriate for a human wedding."

Dean decided his only possible course of action was more pie. Pie was the only thing that could fix this: beautiful, delicious, sanity-saving pie.

Sam laughed and said, "Okay, seriously, Dean, I—"

Castiel appeared suddenly next to their booth, and normally Dean would remind him about not freaking out the locals and how humans didn't bamf in when they had someplace to be, but Castiel's expression was so grim the words died in Dean's throat. He had a smear of blood down the line of his jaw and a hand print of it on his canvas coat's shoulder. "A seal has just been broken and another is in immediate danger," he said.

Dean was already moving out of the booth, and Sam was right there with him. There was a reason they carried all the weapons and equipment they needed in the trunk of the Impala, and Castiel didn't even wait for them to take the time to reach it, just teleported them right next to it. He fed them details as Dean popped the trunk and they grabbed extra holy water and the shotguns. By the time it was all over, Dean couldn't bring himself to care anymore whether Castiel had something on his checklist that was on Dean's hard list or if he wanted a spring wedding or if he wanted to have fifty kids and name them all Gazardiel. He was tired, his ribs still hurt even after Cas had healed him, and it would be nice, really nice if Dean could have just one good, uncomplicated thing in his life.

Sam apparently felt much the same, because upon being deposited in the motel's parking lot as the first hints of the sun breached the horizon, he headed straight for his motel room and, presumably, Ruby. If Sam had meant to tell Dean anything else before they'd been interrupted and pie was discarded in favor of yet another very long, dispiriting night in which Dean fought for his life and all of mankind, Dean didn't know and he didn't really care.

There were only two main thoughts in Dean's mind as he climbed into bed: sleep, and the knowledge that thanks to Cas, they'd skipped the tab and had yet another diner they couldn't go back to.

"Damn it, they had good pie," Dean muttered to himself, not even noticing the diary was gone as he fell into dreams.

("So when does it end?"

"What?" Sam asked, at his laptop again.

"A prank," Castiel elucidated. "How do you tell when it's over?"

Sam shrugged. "I don't know. When the other guy figures it out or it stops being funny anymore."

Ruby shot them both looks that communicated precisely how hopeless she found them. By Sam's logic, this was never going to end, because Dean was utterly, endlessly gullible when it came to the angel, and as far as Ruby was concerned, this was never going to stop being funny.)

Here was the problem: Dean didn't get what he wanted. Dean never got what he wanted. If he got something he wanted, it was just the universe convincing him to let his guard down before it sucker-punched him right in the balls. Dean didn't enjoy being sucker-punched in the balls. Very few men did—though, going by the checklist, Castiel might be one of them. The important thing was this: Dean didn't get what he wanted, and as much as it pained him and embarrassed him and made him wonder if maybe he really had been dropped on his head too many times, what he wanted was Castiel.

"We need to talk," Dean said before Castiel could flit off like he normally did after the rare mission that went totally right for once.

"Talk?" Castiel asked, tilting his head to the side.

Dean figured they could dance around the topic for a while, and Castiel would probably need it spelled out, and then Dean would have to talk about his feelings or something, or—

"Fuck it," Dean said, and just went for it, fisted his hands in the lapels of Cas's tax accountant trench coat and pulled him forward, crashing their lips together and not letting go.

After a long moment, Castiel said, "Intriguing." Then, "I feel compelled to inform you—"

"I know about the diary, okay?" Dean said, because he didn't want to talk about it when there was kissing and—if Dean played his cards right, and Dean always did—a whole lot more on the table. "I know, and I don't care, I just—" He pressed his lips to Castiel's, slipped his tongue in Castiel's mouth as his hands tugged and pulled at Castiel's coat until it came off his shoulders, down over his arms to be discarded on the floor.

Castiel seemed to submit to Dean's desire to avoid the conversation for several minutes as Dean tugged the shirttails from his dress pants, undid and discarded his belt, and led him by the tie toward the bed like a silk leash. Castiel's eyes had gone dark, the irises a bare rim of blue around the pupils, and he licked lips shiny from all the kissing as Dean turned them so that the back of Castiel's knees bumped the edge of the mattress. Dean went for Castiel's zipper, and Castiel said, "Dean, you really should know—"

"Less talking, more sex," Dean said, unable to resist palming Castiel's ass as he pulled down Castiel's pants and boxers in one go. Castiel made an awesome noise at this, then an even more awesome one when Dean pushed him down onto the bed. Neither of these sounds compared to the ones Castiel made when, once Castiel had scooted back until he was practically settled against the headboard and Dean had crawled onto the bed with him, Dean kissed Castiel's hipbone, licked the hollow, kissed the inner crease of his thigh, and then went for it, sliding his mouth over Castiel's cock.

"Dean—" Castiel said, gravel voice scratching even lower than usual, and he sounded desperate, almost broken. "Dean, Dean, you—"

Dean had once learned this trick from a pretty boy with brown eyes and an even filthier mouth than Dean himself, and Dean was kind of out of practice by this point, but when he tried it anyway, Castiel's voice broke mid-vowel. When Dean looked up to see, Castiel's hands were gripping the bedsheets like they were the only thing anchoring him to the earth, his eyes wide, wide open and staring at Dean like Dean was the only thing that existed, the answer to his prayers, the reassertion of his faith. His lips were parted and bitten red, and he didn't seem able to finish whatever he'd been trying to say, like Dean had broken his brain.

Dean was awesome.

To confirm this, Dean grinned and got back to it. The only further words Castiel spoke were, "Dean," and, "Yes," and "Please," followed by the most wrecked noises Dean had ever heard from Castiel, like with every swipe of his tongue or press of his fingers Dean was pulling prayers from him a vowel at a time.

Contrary to Dean's faintest expectations, ones he would never admit aloud or even mostly to himself, Castiel didn't come light or rainbows or whatever the fuck, but regular semen, sudden and salty in Dean's mouth. Dean had warning—barely—but it was Castiel's first orgasm ever, if his diary was anything to go by, something he'd been thinking about for months, and damn if Dean didn't have some stupid-ass hearts and flowers impulse to make it special, make it mean something if only to himself, and Dean ignored all his usual instincts to pull away, to spit, to do anything but prove that sometimes, Dean was a swallowing kind of guy.

Not that Cas noticed. He was staring at the cracks in the ceiling now, as if all his thoughts had flown from him and were capering about up there, putting on a show. Dean crawled up next to Cas and kissed his jaw, said, "A little reciprocation would be nice."

Castiel looked at Dean, almost bewildered, then visibly gathered himself, face schooled to something approaching its usual inscrutability. "There was something I meant to tell you," Castiel said as his hands slid inside Deans boxers, fingers sliding across his hipbones and back to land on his ass, kneading gently. "But it can wait."

Castiel then proceeded to prove that for a guy with not a lot of practical experience, he was practically (quite literally) a fucking expert.

Afterward, naked and submitting to a little post-coital cuddling, because apparently angels needed that sort of thing if Castiel's diary and its many passages exhorting the praises of Dean's hugs were anything to go by, Dean carded his fingers through Cas's hair and said, "So what did you want to tell me?"

"Never mind," Castiel said, head tucked into the corner where Dean's neck met his shoulder, Castiel's lips dragging delicately at Dean's skin on every syllable. "It can wait."

("You had sex!" Ruby said, beaming. Sam and Dean were on the way back from a hunt, and Castiel had decided it would probably be prudent to wait until they returned. Why Ruby was also waiting in Dean's room, Castiel was uncertain. "You totally fucked Dean!"

"Sometimes," Dean had told Castiel once, "the only thing you can do is avoid eye contact. You make eye contact, and you're lost."

This advice wasn't actually helpful, because Ruby took his silence and averted gaze as both an affirmative and an invitation to inquire further. "How was it? Was it everything you ever dreamed?" Continued silence did no good. "Was he up for the bondage? Because that sounded totally hot. I was surprised that was your idea. I don't suppose you actually used the tie—"

"I believe the saying goes: a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell," Castiel quoted desperately from memory. "By which I mean, I don't wish to discuss the particulars with you."

"Awww," Ruby said. "You like him."

With this topic, at least, Castiel felt he was on steady ground. "I do."

"That's adorable," Ruby said. "That really is. I feel like we're friends now, like we could share anything. So tell me: does he call your name during sex, or your father's? I know it took me a long time to train Sam out of that shit."

Castiel hadn't once made eye contact, but he felt most decidedly lost.)

In the days that followed, they had sex everywhere. Okay, not everywhere, because while Cas could travel a hell of a lot of places, it was pretty much impossible given Dean's lifespan, but they certainly did try.

On the bed, they traded blow jobs and hand jobs, took turns fucking each other past the point of words, communicating with hands and lips their attraction, affection. In the shower, Castiel sunk to his knees on the cheap porcelain to press Dean against the glass door and proved he was an extremely fast learner. In an alley, as ridiculous as it was when Castiel could teleport them directly back to the motel with a touch and a thought, Dean's hands and back dug into the rough brick behind him as Castiel took the brunt of his weight, grinding against Dean with desperate friction, his eyes never leaving Dean's face as their foreheads pressed flush together, something in his expression near devastating. In the Impala and on the Impala's hood, because if there were three things Dean enjoyed that went awesome together it was sex, Castiel, and his car. Hell, they even had sex in Bobby's wrecking yard, tumbled together on the dirt beside a rusting heaped tower of metal, Castiel's hand pressed over Dean's mouth, palm cool against Dean's overheated lips and chin, a caress and an impromptu gag, because Dean couldn't stop—Dean couldn't stop to go indoors, couldn't stop touching and pulling and pressing their bodies together, couldn't stop the noises coming from deep in his throat, way down in his chest, being wrung out of him note by note by the unrelenting pressure of Castiel's other hand around Dean's dick. Dean couldn't stop any of it, and he didn't want to.

In all, they had a lot of sex.

And if it was anything more for Dean? He wasn't going to say something unless—until—Cas did.

("You still haven't told him," Ruby said, and for once, she didn't sound teasing or gloating or amused—just thoughtful, her eyes slitted half-closed.

"I haven't," Castiel confirmed.

"It's been a couple weeks." Ruby didn't sound like she was judging—she was a demon; the chances of her judging Castiel were incredibly low—but rather like one friend telling another something he already knew. "It's only going to be worse if you wait."

"I agree," Castiel said quietly.

They stood patiently next to one another, each waiting for a Winchester to return, and spoke of nothing more.)

It was all going fine, everything was perfect except for the impending apocalypse and Dean's inability to muster up the courage to tell Sam that apparently inappropriate relationships were in the Winchester blood or something, because in addition to Sam having a demon girlfriend, Dean was fucking an angel—that it was maybe something more than fucking. Sam, Dean thought, maybe even knew, because he'd tried to talk to Dean a couple of times, said, "Look, Dean, about Castiel—"

Usually, Dean managed to interrupt him, but sometimes Ruby, eyes knowing, apparently took pity on Dean and grabbed Sam by the elbow. "Hey, I need you for something." Though not that much pity, because when Sam looked at her in confusion, she frequently followed that with, "We haven't had enough sex today," her grin directed in equal parts at Sam's mild embarrassment and Dean's horror.

The point was: It was all going fine, and Dean had everything he wanted outside of world peace and an end to a life like a monster movie. This was how Dean should've known he was about to be punched in the balls.

It wasn't anything in particular that jolted the memory. The day was normal enough. They'd saved a seal, had some celebratory pie, and Castiel had fucked Dean through two orgasms like sex was one of his super powers before disappearing on angel business. The diary hadn't even made an appearance for a while, not since the first time Dean had pushed Castiel down on his bed and blown him. If asked, Dean couldn't have said what it was that triggered it, but when he spotted the diary on the motel's one chair and went to pick it up, he remembered with sudden alarm a conversation he and Castiel had after Dean had introduced him to the wonders of the internet past porn.

(Porn hadn't gone well any of the times Castiel had been introduced to it, and Castiel hadn't believed Dean that that was what the internet was for.)

"And what is the purpose of this . . . trolling?" Castiel had asked, expression one of intent curiosity, like a cat trying to figure out door knobs.

"It's like—it's like practical jokes," Dean said, which led to explaining practical jokes, and then to explaining his practical joke war with Sam.

"So it's a form of social bonding? A means of lifting one another's spirits?"

"Yes," Dean said, giving up. "That."

"Ah." Castiel had paused for an all too long moment, before he said, expression strangely determined, "I think I could do that."

"You may want to take it up with Sam or me before trying anything on your own," Dean advised, and—as the topic had never come up again—that was the end of that.

Or not, apparently.

Staring at the diary with even more horror than he had upon first discovering its contents, Dean had only one repeating thought. "Son of a bitch." He was going to kill Sam.

("May I request your opinion?" Castiel had asked. "Do you think this has too many hearts?"

"No, no, I think you need more hearts," Sam had replied. "And put wings around some of them."

"I will defer to your greater expertise," Castiel said and carefully penned in several more. In truth, he agreed with Sam. He didn't think there could be enough.)

Before Dean could collect his bruised balls and go talk to Sam—and okay, it was taking Dean a while, but you'd think he'd catch a fucking break and be given the time to work up to it—Castiel returned.

"Dean—" Castiel began, then stopped. His head tilted the slightest bit, and his eyes narrowed. "What's wrong?"

"What's wrong?" Dean asked mockingly. "What's wrong? I don't know, Cas, why don't you tell me." He held up the diary before tossing it onto the cheap motel table.

Castiel's eyes were, as ever, in-fucking-scrutable as he regarded Dean. "Sam told you."

"Sam didn't tell me shit," Dean said. "Neither of you had the damned decency to let me know I was a stupid, oblivious asshole, making a moron of myself over a fucking joke."

"Dean," Castiel said. "You must know I never intended—"

"Never intended what?" Dean interrupted, and his voice might have been the wronged, bitter tones of a thirteen year old being dumped for the first time, but he had the right, damn it. "Never intended for fucking with me to turn into actually fucking me? For me to find out before you were finished dicking me over? What, Cas?"

Castiel was silent for a long time before he said, voice quiet, "My apologies. What can I do to make reparations?"

"What can you—?" Dean couldn't help a choked, harsh laugh. "You know what? Fuck your reparations and fuck you. It's over. I don't—" He shook his head and ran a hand roughly through his hair. He couldn't even look at Castiel. Dean should've known, should've remembered how fucking heartless and spineless angels were. "Come get us for missions, but if you have anything to say, you say it to Sam. You and me? We're done."

"If that's what you would like," Castiel said, and the asshole's voice was even, without inflection, not the least bit affected.

"It is," Dean said tightly.

"Very well."

When Dean looked up, Castiel was gone.

(Castiel had gone to Sam, because that's what Dean had said, Dean or Sam, and it would have ruined the surprise to ask Dean himself.

"Sam?" Castiel had asked. "I have a request. Call it a favor."

Sam looked visibly irritated, but not, it seemed, with Castiel, because he said, "Sure, fine, whatever." He waved a hand. "Make it quick."

"Dean has been . . . in somewhat low spirits lately. I have an idea for rectifying that." Castiel explained about what Dean had told him of practical jokes. By the time he finished, Sam was smiling, like the thought of cheering his brother in such a way was a balm for his own spirits. It pleased Castiel to see that the Winchester brothers were growing so close again, to see whatever damage done to their bond in the past months and their separation healing.

"Yes," Sam said. "Yes, I'll help."

At the time, Castiel wasn't pensive, or concerned, or worried in any way that it could go wrong. Castiel was just happy that he could do his part for Dean, that he could help spread some of that joy Dean's way.)

Sam, Dean was beginning to realize, was just as stupid as Dean himself was.

"I don't see the big deal," Sam said. "I mean, yeah, I meant to tell you—tried to tell you a few times, actually—but as much as you freaked out at the diner, it's not like you haven't pranked someone yourself. I can remember a few things you pulled that were so much worse than some glitter and Lisa Frank stickers. I even thought you knew at first, considering what you did to my shower. Ruby wouldn't have se—talk with me for a week."

Dean's brain skipped right over all near references to Ruby and sex, because his brain had more important things going on than being scarred by mention of his brother's shower sexcapades.

"You didn't know," Dean said, and if his chest felt hollow, like all the goopy bits had been scraped out to make the fillings for some despair pie—like pumpkin, but bleaker—at least there was the fact that his brother hadn't known, that Sam wouldn't do that to him.

"Know what?" Sam asked slowly, gaze gone considering, and Dean made the decision right there that, okay, he couldn't have almost anything he wanted, but one thing he was going to give himself was an out to this conversation.

"Nothing," Dean said. Then, making an exaggerated face of reconsideration, he intoned, steady and serious as he could manage, "I just thought you knew. About Cas and my big, gay love."

Sam grinned. "Right. How could I have missed it?"

"I don't know," Dean said. "Maybe you need glasses, Sammy. Surely you saw my moonlight serenade during that werewolf case. Or maybe when I picked Cas a bouquet from that field in the middle of that battle for a seal? Come on, you must've seen when I got down on one knee and proposed in the middle of Bobby's wrecking yard."

Sam laughed, and Dean felt the tense muscles of his own strained smile ease somewhat, even as those in his chest clenched tighter still.

"Yes," Sam agreed. "I have no idea how I missed your epic romance."

"I don't know. Love is blind," Dean said, blase, like he didn't care at all, "and so are you."

("Angel?" Ruby asked, sidling up next to him.

"Don't," Castiel held up a hand. "Please. Don't."

Ruby's eyes narrowed, but she swallowed back her questions, was already pretty damn sure of the answers. Maybe no one else had realized where this was going, but Ruby had expected something like this from the start, when Castiel had carefully drawn in hearts and penned in the word "forever" like they were sigils he had to get just right, and the next day Dean had tried again to introduce him to the wonders of pie. Ruby was a demon—was one of the best fucking demons there was—but she'd been a human first. Castiel was largely clueless, and Dean, human or not, was largely oblivious, but Ruby had understood.

She understood now, as she stood quietly next to Castiel until the Winchesters came back and Castiel disappeared.

Ruby had been wrong about one thing, and one thing only: it had finally stopped being funny.)

"Here's the thing," Ruby said, sliding into the booth and stealing Dean's slice of peach pie, like she felt hadn't been living up to her demon reputation and needed to put a few extra ticks in the evil column. "Angels, demons, we don't really tend to get attached. Me and Sam? That's an exception, not a rule."

If Dean was expecting a "suck it up; angels don't get human emotions, and you shouldn't have expected anything else" speech, that wasn't what he actually received.

"Castiel," Ruby said, and now she was looking at Dean with a hard, unforgiving expression, "is, by some mystery of cosmic chance, important to me, and God alone knows how—seriously, ineffable is all that comes to mind here—but you're important to him."

"Are you giving me the 'you break his heart, I break your legs' speech?" Dean asked disbelievingly as Ruby took a huge bite, demolishing in one go a third of the pie. Dean would be offended at Ruby's threatening tone—and, worse, pie theft—if he weren't in a state of shock. How was this his life?

"If I'd given you that speech, your kneecaps would be tiny, shattered pieces," Ruby said. "I'm giving you the 'you're fucking up your life and made the angel cry' speech."

"Castiel doesn't know how to cry," Dean said on autopilot. How the hell did a demon and an angel become friends? Also, was Ruby using demon pie-eating super powers? She'd taken another huge bite, and the pie slice was reduced to a third its original size.

"You should make sure it stays that way," Ruby said. "For an angel, he's a pretty fast learner." She stood up. "And that's about all that disgusting heart-to-heart shit I can deal with. I'm off to fuck your brother until the sugary taste is gone."

It wasn't enough Ruby had to break his brain; she had to add scarring images like the worst of cherries on a what-the-fuck sundae. And she took with her the rest of Dean's pie.

("I," Ruby said, stalking toward Sam and gripping his shirt to pull him in close, "have been a very good girl."

"Have you, now?" Sam asked with a grin, picking her up and whirling her around to walk them toward the bed.

"Yes," Ruby said, grinding her hips against Sam's with intent. "I really, really have.")

"Cas, wait," Dean said, gripping Castiel's shoulder before he could follow his new modus operandi of getting the hell out of dodge after helping Sam and Dean hold off Hell another day.

Castiel stilled immediately, and his voice was careful as he asked, "What do you need, Dean?"

"Do you—" Dean moved his hand from Castiel's shoulder to settle light and uncertain against the side of his neck. "If you could do it all over again, would you dick me over this time?" Dean didn't know what he wanted from the question, how he wanted Castiel to react; Dean just knew that he needed to know. Castiel's stare in return was inscrutable as ever; it was like trying to discern feelings from a brick wall. Dean was used to throwing himself at immovable objects and operating on sheer, stubborn willpower and inability to quit, but this was actually, actively ridiculous, even for him.

"You're giving me somewhat mixed signals," Castiel replied finally. "I'm uncertain what you want from me."

"You don't know what I want from you?" Dean demanded, and if he were being honest, he'd admit he was maybe overreacting, his anger over the top in reaction to such a simple statement, but one, honesty was overrated, and two, Castiel was infuriating. "I've been nothing but straight with you!" Then, "Okay, not straight, exactly, but—"

Now Castiel looked confused, and only more-so with every word, and Dean sighed, gave up.

"Never mind." Dean let go of Castiel's neck, let his hand drop to his side as he took several steps back. "Never mind. Just—forget about it."

"No," Castiel said, and now, finally, some emotions were beginning to bleed through his steady voice. Prominent was bewilderment, like Castiel had no idea what he was saying or why. "I don't want to forget about it." Castiel crossed the space between them and brought his hand up to rest on Dean's neck in a mirror image of Dean's position before. "Dean, I am asking, in all seriousness and with no knowledge or even the slightest inkling of your answer, what you want from me. Tell me what you need."

And Dean hated this discussing feelings shit, had done his best to avoid it for weeks, but it wasn't like that had gotten him anywhere. Then again, that didn't mean he was going first. "I need to know what the hell you were thinking." Because this was Castiel, Dean knew he would have to be clear, to specify, "I need to know why you didn't just fucking tell me."

To his surprise, Castiel didn't dodge the question. "I didn't want it to be over," Castiel said. "All I wanted was to make you happy."

Oh my God, Dean thought. We are the stupidest people ever.

Castiel's thumb kept sliding back and forth along the tendon of Dean's neck, but otherwise he was still, obviously waiting for Dean's answer. Dean could have said, "Yeah, great job there," or, "You are such a girl," or, "All I wanted was you," but Dean hated that feelings shit, and if it had caused problems before, not talking about it, at least now Dean knew. Dean leaned in, and Castiel tilted his head, and they were kissing, hesitant, and kind of chaste, and so sweet that if Ruby were watching, she'd probably have gagged. Then Dean thought, okay, just in case—

"There's nothing else you're not telling me, right?" Dean asked. "Nothing else that's going to turn around and bite us in the ass?"

Castiel hesitated. Dean glared.

"The only thing—" Castiel stopped and gave Dean a look that said he wasn't really sure Dean wanted to know.

Fuck that. "Tell me."

"I love you," Castiel said, his voice making the words a simple fact rather than a revelation.

Dean choked.

Castiel brushed their lips together, spoke low against Dean's mouth between kisses. "It's okay, Dean. I don't need or expect you to feel the same."

Castiel was going to make Dean say it. "I—" Dean managed.

"It's okay," Castiel said and mouthed at Dean's jaw, at his neck.

Dean pushed Castiel away and blurted out, "I love you, you stupid asshole." Castiel froze. "Don't look at me like that. I'm not saying that shit again."

Castiel actually fucking beamed at Dean. "Dean, I—" and there was no way in hell Dean was listening to the end of that sentence, because it was all going to end in another chick flick moment, and Dean's head was going to explode.

Dean pulled their mouths together, and there was nothing chaste in it this time, nothing hesitant or sweet. Okay, maybe a little bit, and maybe something bubbled up in Dean's chest, bright and happy, but—"Goddamnit." Dean was ruined.

"Don't blaspheme," Castiel said, almost absently, and went for Dean's pants.

("You shouldn't have threatened Dean," Castiel said.

"Don't thank me all at once," Ruby said, and okay, she wasn't that kind of girl, but it took a whole lot of effort to turn her smile into a smirk. "So how did the make-up sex go? It's not my favorite, but—"

Castiel was blushing. Castiel was actually blushing.

Ruby nudged their shoulders together. "That good, huh?"

"What are you doing to my angel?" Dean asked gruffly as he and Sam walked out of the gas station loaded up with drinks and snacks.

"Your angel?" Ruby asked.

"Ruby," Sam said warningly. "You can wander off anytime. I'm stuck with him when Dean throws a bitchfest."

"I'll bitchfest your face," Dean muttered, but Castiel had crossed over to him to help carry all the Hohos, and Dean's heart didn't seem to be in it. When Castiel's hands brushed Dean's, Dean even smiled.)

Dean made Castiel go through the entire diary with him for what was actually true, and what was a Ruby inspired lie.

"What about this one?" Dean asked, pointing.

"I was told," Castiel said slowly, looking at the diary's checklist, "that it was an abbreviation, like BFF." He looked back up at Dean. "Am I to understand this is not the case?"

And Dean? Dean couldn't help himself, because Ruby was one evil, glorious, kind of hilarious bitch. He started laughing so hard he had to lie down.

"Dean? Dean? What's so funny?" Dean couldn't stop laughing. "Dean?"