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“This is too friggin’ weird,” Dean says, eyes wide open with the beginnings of a rising panic, staring at the ceiling even though in this pitch-black curtain of darkness he can’t see a damned thing.

“Why is that, Dean?” Cas rumbles somewhere beside him, his voice gone as dark as the night, and no sir, Dean did not sign up for this, did not sign up for gravel-edged angel voices and pillow talk.

“‘Cause you’re awake, and I’m awake, and this is really fucking awkward,” Dean snaps, wishing desperately that he could turn over, roll over on his side and huddle defensively with his back towards Cas, but he can’t: he’s trapped here on the edge of his mightily sagging mattress, and Dean Winchester doesn’t panic, except when any adjustments he might make to his sleeping position might cause him to topple towards the angel lying next to him.

So they’re both lying here, flat on their backs, and while Dean’s eyes are raised to the heavens in the wild hope that nothing embarrassing will happen here tonight, Cas is simply chilling out on his side of the bed, hands resting on his chest, fingers laced together, all for the world like he’s been laid to rest inside a casket.

Cas doesn’t move a muscle, and that’s potentially the most annoying fucking thing Dean’s ever encountered in a bedmate, because he can’t seem to stop twitching his leg or adjusting his arms.  

He knows he isn’t bothering Cas, because Cas simply can’t be bothered - and Dean knows because he’s tried - but all his nervous fidgeting keeps making him want to apologize, and Dean makes a point of never, ever having to apologize for anything that happens in bed.

He’s not even sure why Cas is here; all he knows is that Cas had politely declined Dean’s invitation to flutter off for the night, and had instead requested courteously to lie down, refused to take off either the trenchcoat  or his shoes, and when Dean had finally returned from the bathroom he’d found that Cas had simply dropped down on the right-hand side of the bed on top of the covers.

Dean hadn’t said anything about the trenchcoat; he’d had a suspicious feeling that he he was gonna need to pick his battles tonight, and had instead elected to argue with Cas’s decision to rest with his shoes still on, and to convince him to crawl under the covers.

Take deep breaths, man, he counsels himself, will you relax already, he’ll be gone in the morning, and that soothing thought might have done the trick, except that when Dean slowly, slowly works his head around to look at his nightstand, he realizes the alarm clock’s on the other side.  

Cas’s side.

Dean thinks about it: if he can rally up the courage to raise his left arm, he could sneak a peek at his watch; but no, too dangerous, that arm is perilously close to Cas’s.  

Any move Dean might make with that arm could lead into dangerous waters, like accidentally brushing against Cas’s shoulder or knocking his elbow, and Dean’s not sure when the idea of knocking elbows became such a source of terror, but there you have it: Dean’s chicken-shit, at least tonight and possibly any day of the whole goddamned week when it comes to Cas, or at any rate the Cas that’s lying next to him on a bed equipped with Magic Fingers.

If he turns his head just the slightest bit, he can just barely see Cas’s profile, faintly green, illuminated by the glow of the alarm clock.  Dean doesn’t usually mind being so close to Cas, but this is different, this is a moment of unusual magnitude, uncanny, with a certain novelty and this almost familiar air of intimacy warring for prominence.  

And the whole thing makes the hair on the back of Dean’s neck stand up, makes the skin on his arm go sensitive, makes his flesh tingle almost uncomfortably, lying there so close, so close - too close, too close - on the bed next to Cas.

And the worst part is Cas doesn’t sleep, never lapses into unconsciousness, and so Dean will be forced to endure, remaining motionless all the hours until dawn.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Cas would just move, Dean thinks, agonized, if Cas would move, just a slight shift, then maybe Dean could too, maybe pull his arm up casually and glance at the time, maybe work up the courage to roll over, but Cas never will, and Dean almost wants to cry.

Cas will never move, he thinks, and Dean will never ask him to; the silence has grown thick with tension and now Dean’s sure if he did try to talk nothing would happen, because his mouth has suddenly gone as dry as the friggin’ Sahara, and Dean might just stop breathing altogether except Cas does the unthinkable, and moves.

Cas sighs, all too-loud in the fierce quiet Dean’s almost come to terms with, and rolls over on his side, his back to Dean, and Dean doesn’t quite know what to do, now: he’d been counting on Cas remaining a motionless lump of perilous angel on his left side for the next four excruciating hours, and now everything’s changed.  

Dean can look at his watch, if he wants to, he can adjust the sheets now that Cas has changed positions, he could even daringly roll over on his side and not have to worry about waking up to Cas’s face looking directly at his in the morning, and Dean’s suddenly overwhelmed with the sudden onslaught of possibilities.  

Dean moves with agonizing slowness, oh-so-gradually shifts over on his right side, doing his level best to make as little noise as possible, and then, holding his breath, makes the final flip and yes, he’s on his side.  Halle-fucking-lujah.

And now that he can move again, he looks at his watch: two-thirty, and damn, it’s not going to be long before that alarm clock’s going to ring, and then Cas’ll take off, no siree, not long at all, and Dean lets out a silent sigh of relief.

Everything’s cool, he’s gonna be able to fall asleep, finally, and anyway the night’s almost over, and he’s almost drifted off when he’s suddenly jerked back into consciousness.

He’s sliding, helpless, sinking into the middle of the mattress, descending with an excruciating slowness he’s completely unable to resist, and fuck, there’s something warm pressing against his back that must be Cas and shit, Dean thinks, tortured, things were going so well.

Dean’s joints lock up, he’s paralyzed, frozen in silent horror, but Cas isn’t moving, isn’t trying to get away from Dean’s touch at all and Dean doesn’t know what to do.

So he stays put.

Gradually he starts breathing again, and suddenly he realizes that Cas doesn’t feel stiff, not at all.  He’s relaxed, limp as a dishrag, melting against Dean like it’s a perfectly natural thing to do, and rather belatedly it occurs to Dean that he’s relaxing, too, yielding to the steady pressure and warmth of Cas’s back.

And it’s not too bad.  In fact if Dean wasn’t still half-alarmed still at the thought of having Cas in his bed, he might’ve even said it feels nice.  Cozy, maybe.  Comfortable.  Soothing.

And Dean’s always liked having another person to sleep with, anyway, likes having company and anyway this still could conceivably be termed platonic, sleeping back-to-back with your best friend.  

Right? Right, some distant part of his mind decides, and Dean doesn’t realize he’d finally managed to fall asleep until he becomes aware of the fact that he’s woken up, somewhere in the middle of a series of hot, wet kisses he’s pressing to the back of Cas’s neck.

He’s got his nose buried in a head full of soft dark hair, and he’s got his arms firmly wrapped around Cas’s waist, pulling him tight against his chest, and they’re still in the sunken middle of the bed except now Dean’s wrapped up all around Cas, their legs hopelessly tangled together underneath the sheets, they’re full-on spooning and there’s nothing Dean’s gonna be able to do to convince himself that this is anywhere in the vicinity of platonic friendship anymore.  

And Cas is sighing, quiet little noises Dean’s never heard out of him before, soft sounds of contentment and happiness, like he’s finally fucking found what he’s been looking for and that’s Dean’s mouth, pressing kisses along his neck and behind his ear.

And oh, oh this is nice, holding on to Cas like this, so nice feeling the scratch of Cas’s stubble against his cheek, but Dean has to ruin it, has to stop planting those kisses all over Cas, he’s got to stop and he knows it.

But even as he breaks away, pulling back, he’s sliding his hand up Cas’s arm and running careful fingers through Cas’s hair, then down again to gently brush his cheek, wondering at the feel of Cas’s skin against his fingertips, wondering more at the way Cas leans into the touch.

“Cas?” he asks hoarsely, because he’s got questions, fuck he’s got questions, like when did we start spooning? and are we in this together? and you love me, right? because it’s suddenly of vast importance to know that Cas does.

Cas goes still.  

Dean,” he murmurs, and he says it like it’s the answer to all those questions Dean hasn’t asked, and maybe it is.  Then, considering, “Is this when I should tell you that I’ll respect you in the morning?”

And Dean’s forced to stick his nose back in Cas’s hair and pull him in tight, because, well, Cas, and really the only reasonable answer to that statement is to say, voice muffled against all that dark hair, “Cas, why the hell did you go to bed with your tie still on?”