Cas walked in the front door to find a disgruntled looking Sam on his couch and Dean nowhere in sight. He raised one eyebrow sardonically.
“That went well, I take it.”
Sam rolled his eyes.
“He called me selfish. And then I told him he was acting like a two year old and he stormed out.” Sam was positively pouting now. Cas gave him a hard look.
“You do not honestly think that Dean will let anything get in the way of being there for you on your wedding day? Or myself, for that matter?” Cas perched himself on the couch next to Sam and awkwardly patted him on the shoulder.
“Sam. Dean has been looking forward to this day ever since you and Sarah became serious. He could not be happier for you. He will get past this.”
“Thanks, Cas, but I’m pretty sure you’re forgetting two things about Dean.”
“And what is that?”
“One, he can hold a grudge like nobody else I’ve ever met.” Sam stood to walk out the door.
“And two?” Cas’s query stopped Sam with his hand on the knob.
“Two, Dean is the bravest person I’ve ever met. He’s stood up to demons, ghosts, the devil, and anything else you can come up with that would make normal people piss themselves and lock themselves in their closets. But airplanes are the one thing that make Dean cry like a 3 year old girl.”
When Dean finally stumbled through the door to his and Cas’s house the only taste in mouth as sour as the recently regurgitated whiskey was the fact that his traitorous brain had at some point started referring to his house as his and Cas’s house. He meandered drunkenly into the kitchen to find said angel sitting quietly at the table as the scent of freshly brewing coffee filled the room.
“God, Cas, you’re such a girl.”
Cas raised his eyebrow, though in confusion or consternation Dean’s drunken brain couldn’t tell.
“You heard me.” Oh, splendid, now his brain had decided to make his mouth belligerent in addition to entirely illogical.
“I am genderless, Dean. And my vessel is male.”
“Yeah, but,” Dean paused to wave an exacerbated hand around the kitchen, possibly slightly less effective in that he subsequently had to stumble against the wall to hold himself upright. “Look at you. Sitting in our, fuck, my kitchen making coffee.”
Dean felt his facing growing red and kept talking, trying to gain some semblance of order over the verbal diarrhea that was currently spilling out of his mouth uncensored.
“It’s domestic. That’s what it is. You’re domester ... domestat ..... like ... like a sheep. Or something.”
Dean wondered briefly if Cas was going to hit him for comparing a celestial being to a dirty farm animal. Cas, however, merely stood up and walked over to the coffee pot to pour himself a cup.
“My resemblance to farm animals aside, do you think that we could perhaps talk about what is actually bothering you?” Cas turned back to face him and Dean found himself growing more flustered after he got pinned by those blue eyes.
“Yes.” Dean shouted. The one corner of his brain that had retained its sanity was asking him why exactly he thought yelling at an angel who was only standing on yellowed linoleum holding a mug that said “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” with giant greet shamrock lips on it was the proper way to proceed with this conversation. But Dean didn’t want to kiss him, or think about his lips, and Cas sure as hell wasn’t Irish so really he shouldn’t even be allowed to drink out of that mug, it was false advertising, and slander, and forcing his drunken brain to go down a path that he really did not want to go down. So Dean decided that shouting even louder was the only way to get that part of his brain to shut the hell up.
“Yes. You’re my problem. You’re an angel! What are you doing here all the time, drinking coffee and watching television, and asking me all those stupid fucking questions? Dude, I don’t know why people thought it was a good idea to make a television show about a talking horse, or why sometimes shoelaces are flat and sometimes they’re round, or why men and women’s shirts button on the opposite sides. No one knows that shit, dude! And why the fuck would you think I’d care about those questions, or teaching you how to make pie, or explaining to you why you should only get iced tea in the south, or care enough to keep you here at all? You don’t live here, Cas. You’re an angel. Go be a fucking angel.”
And of course, while Dean’s traitorous and belligerent mouth was shooting off all that crap, he was of course meaning something else entirely. His words actually meant:
“I’m scared shitless all the time now. I’m more scared now than I was when I hunted all the time. I’m scared that I’m going to get rusty, and then when someone needs me I won’t be able to save them. I’m scared I won’t be able to save Sammy, or you, even though I know you don’t need saving. I’m scared of flying to Sammy’s wedding, but I’m mostly scared that once he’s married he won’t want me around anymore. I’m scared that someday once I answer all of your questions and you finally figure out this whole humanity thing, you’ll finally realize that I’m a really bad fucking example of a human and you’ll leave me behind.
I’m scared that you’ll leave, Cas. But I’m especially scared of letting you know that I want you to stay.”
And of course, Dean was talking to an angel, so that angel should be fully capable of reading Dean’s mind and deciphering that hidden meaning that Dean was always trying so hard to bury under jokes, and swears, and denial. So that angel should understand that Dean isn’t actually mad at him, and should just look at him gently and come over and fucking hug him or something because it’s been so long since Dean let himself hug anyone.
That’s what should have happened.
But instead Dean found himself standing in an empty kitchen with a shard of porcelain that said “kiss me” sitting in a pool of coffee cooling on the yellowed linoleum next to his right boot.
After Dean had cleaned up the broken coffee mug and the whiskey had made a second reappearance, Dean sat on the edge of his bed for a while, considering his options. Now, he had known he regretted the words coming out of his mouth before they were even formed. He knew that he had to man up and apologize to Cas, and not some mumbled I’m sorry, but a true, ballsy, heartfelt sort of deal.
The only problem was, Cas would actually have to show up again for that to be possible. And after Dean telling him to get the fuck out, repeatedly, Dean wasn’t really sure that was going to happen. A few halfhearted prayers to Cas were met without any answering fluttering of wings. Dean wasn’t surprised.
Dean went into the bathroom to get some asprin.
“Giving up so easily?” Dean whirled around at the sound of the voice feeling suddenly entirely sober. He narrowed his eyes and responded guardedly.
“What the fuck are you doing in my bathroom, Gabriel?”
“Nice to see you again too, Dean-o.” Gabriel was leaning against the doorframe and eating a Klondike bar. “Also, thanks so much for the thank you for letting your brother stab you when you tried to save the world fruit basket. I found the haiku on the card particularly heartwarming.”
Dean narrowed his eyes.
“I didn’t send you anything.” Gabriel looked at him incredulously.
“I know that, you unbelievable asshat. You’re a selfish prick who needs to pull his head out of his ass, you know that?” Aspirin forgotten, Dean pushed by Gabriel impatiently to head back into his bedroom, scowling irritably when some of Gabriel’s ice cream smeared on his sleeve.
“Thanks for that, you dick.” Gabriel waggled his eyebrows at Dean in response.
“I know just the angel who would be happy to lick that off for you. Or, he would if you hadn’t just spent the afternoon treating him like a worthless piece of crap.” As Dean whirled on him, Gabriel help up his hands in a classic don’t shoot the messenger gesture. A couple of flecks of ice cream spattered the wall behind him. “Hey, I know it’s not the part of you that you really want him to be licking, but beggars can’t be choosers, you know.”
“What do you want, Gabriel?” Dean ground out through clenched teeth. Gabriel grinned that infuriating smirk of his.
“I want my brother to be happy, kiddo. And for some unknown reason, he’s decided that an emotionally stunted tadpole is what is going to make him happy.” Gabriel shrugged and paused to take an enormous bite of his Klondike bar. “So I’m here to help you fix the mess you made.” Gabriel’s words were garbled around a pile of melting ice cream. Dean looked at the smeared chocolate in his hand, irritably.
“I’m pretty sure you’re the one making the mess here, not me.” Gabriel’s smile became slightly tighter.
“Cute.” He said, shortly. He snapped his fingers and the remains of the ice cream disappeared. “Now,” Gabe said, sitting on the edge of the bed and patting his lap encouragingly, “Come tell Uncle Gabriel everything.”
Dean full out growled in response. Gabriel rolled his eyes.
“Dean-o, I’m here to actually help you, if you can’t tell, and my patience is wearing thin. Here’s the deal. Cas is currently sulking in Heaven. If I go piss him off enough, he’ll come back here just to get a break from my charming and sparkling personality.” Dean couldn’t help but smile at that.
“And what then?” Gabriel rolled his eyes again.
“Then you pull your foot out of your mouth and tell him that you were PMSing and that you’re just so scared of flying in a plane to Sam’s wedding that your brain made you say all of that crap just to stop you from crying like a little girl and clinging to his coattails asking him to zap you there instead.” Dean heaved out a sigh and sat on the bed as far from the angel as he could get.
“I just don’t understand why they had to have it in Hawaii. I can’t drive to ... wait, what?” Gabriel looked at him blankly.
“Which part didn’t you get?”
“Cas is an angel.” Dean said slowly. Gabriel snorted.
“Well, yeah, genius, what glue have you been sniffing?” Dean chose to ignore him.
“I don’t have to fly in a plane at all.” Gabriel rolled his eyes up to the ceiling and mouthed oh my God in an exaggerated fashion. In one quick motion he stood and patted Dean condescendingly on the head.
“Dean. You are truly one special individual. Now, I’m going to go spectacularly piss off my brother now, so you concentrate on getting ready to grovel your brains out. See you at the wedding.” And with one last smirk and snap, Gabriel was gone.
“Gabriel! You better not fuck up that wedding after all the trouble I’m going through to get there!”
Dean was pretty sure his pacing had worn a permanent track into the carpet by the time Cas returned home. To his home he meant. Oh, fuck it.
“Cas,” he started before Cas could say anything. Unfortunately, that one word seemed to have used up his eloquence quotient for the evening.
“Hello, Dean.” Cas finally replied gruffly to break the uncomfortable silence. Dean let out all his breath in a whoosh. All right, here goes.
“I’msorryIyelledatyou.” The words all came out racing and tripping over each other in their haste. Cas looked confused.
“What?” Dean groaned.
“Come on man, can’t you just read my mind or something? I’m not good at this chick flick shit.” Cas looked back at him impassively.
“I wouldn’t want to invade your privacy, Dean. I already seem to have been invading your personal space quite enough as it is.”
“Come on Cas, don’t be like that.” Dean said, trying vainly to ignore how petulant his voice was sounding. “You know I didn’t mean it.”
“No, Dean, I don’t.” Cas replied sharply. “Contrary to your belief, I am not always listening to your thoughts. If you have been choosing to not tell me something, for whatever reason, then I do not know it.”
Dean stuffed his hands in his pockets when he discovered they were shaking. He wished that Cas would just punch him or something. That would make this a hell of a lot easier. Dean took another deep breath and tried again, speaking more slowly this time.
“I’m sorry I yelled at you, before. I didn’t mean any of it. I was upset at Sam, and drunk, and I took it out on you. Sorry.” Cas looked into his eyes in a way that made Dean pretty sure that Cas could see his soul, his innermost thoughts, and what he had for dinner last night.
“You would like me to stay?”
“Yeah, Cas.” Dean replied softly. “I want you to stay. Now is that enough of a chick flick moment for you? Can we move on now?” Cas smiled gently.
“Yes, Dean. Now we can move on to our plans for Sam’s wedding.” Dean looked up in relief.
“Yeah, about that. You can just take me on angel airlines, right, Cas?”
“I can, yes.” Dean grinned, feeling like an idiot.
“Awesome. I guess I didn’t have to freak out about it after all. Hawaii, here we come.”
“I will not, however.” Dean stopped dead in his tracks and turned to stare at the angel in disbelief.
“What the hell do you mean you won’t do it?” Cas sat calmly on the couch.
“I mean just what I said. While I am capable of flying you to Sam’s wedding, I am choosing not to.” Dean opened his mouth, ready with an angry reply, but Cas held up his hand and cut him off. “Just as I am choosing to forgive and forget your tirade from earlier today. Just as I am choosing, day after day, to remain here with you while I could be in Heaven with my brothers. Am I not entitled to these choices, Dean?” Despite the calm and even tone of Cas’ voice, Dean sensed that they were very quickly back on dangerous ground.
“Uh, yeah, sure, Cas.” Dean sat on the couch uncertainly next to his friend. “Why did Sam have to have his wedding in freaking Hawaii anyway?” Dean grumbled, mostly to himself.
“Because Sarah’s grandmother is too ill to travel and family is very important to her.” Dean winced, knowing that those last words were meant to be a dig at him. Cas looked him up and down and Dean struggled to suppress his involuntary flush. “You, however, seem to be in perfect health to travel.” Cas stood and began to make his way into the kitchen. Dean looked up at his retreating back hopefully.
“Hey, Cas, just because she’s too ill to travel doesn’t mean you couldn’t fly her back here, right?”
“Shut up, Dean.” Dean crossed his arms and sunk back into the couch. “And stop pouting.” Cas’ voice floated back from the kitchen, out of sight.
“I am not pouting.” Pleased to have gotten the last word in, Dean triumphantly stuck his tongue out in the direction of the angel. In a very mature, very manly, not at all pouty way, of course.
“You have got to be kidding me.” Cas smiled at Dean, his eyes sparkling positively evilly.
“You said you wished to travel by angel airways, Dean. I was merely attempting to be a conscientious friend and grant you your wish.” Dean grit his teeth and swung his bag over his shoulder as he stalked toward the loading gate, the plane with the words Angel Airways and a stylized angel scrawled in blue ink on the side visible through the window.
“It looks more like a pigeon about to take a crap than an angel.” Dean grumbled as he waited for the woman to take his boarding pass. Cas looked through the window critically.
“It is the wingspan. It is not large enough.” Dean rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, sure Cas. It’s the spitting image other than the wingspan. Look, it even has a little trench coat.” Cas smiled at him.
“I believe that the color blue exactly matches the shade of my vessel’s eyes, however.”
“I hadn’t noticed.” Dean muttered as he handed his boarding pass to the girl behind the desk, trying not to be too obvious as he ogled her cleavage.
“Yes you did.”
Dean flushed painfully.
“Let’s go find our seats, Cas.”
Twenty minutes later found Dean anxiously humming Metallica under his breath as he gripped the armrests in a strangle hold.
“Takeoff was successful.” Cas said as his blue eyes bored into the side of Dean’s face.
“Thanks for that, Cas. Now I lost my place in the song.” Dean ground out without opening his eyes.
“I was merely attempting to reassure you. Statistically speaking, the vast majority of crashes happen during take off. So you should now be reasonably certain of your safety.”
“Oh yeah, you’re reassuring all right.” Dean responded, his voice rapidly climbing to a pitch only dogs could hear. Cas’ gaze became more compassionate.
“Dean. Even if something were to happen, which it will not, do you really not think I would save you?” Dean forced a small smile and nod through his humming. Cas, thankfully, fell silent.
An hour into the flight Dean’s throat was starting to get hoarse. Not to mention all the anxiety was starting to give him stomach cramps. He opened his eyes to find that, oddly enough, Cas was doing a crossword in the seat next to him. He leaned over, thankful for the distraction and then blinked in confusion.
“Dude, are you making your own crossword?”
“Yes.” Cas answered shortly, chewing the end of his pen thoughtfully in a surprisingly human gesture.
“And ... is it in Enochian?”
“So who exactly is going to complete it?” Cas blinked at him in surprise.
“I hadn’t thought of that.” Dean’s laugh surprised him. He hadn’t expected to be able to relax enough to laugh. Cas returned his smile, the skin crinkling adorably around his eyes.
Yeah, I said it, his brain thought vindictively.
Shut up he hissed mentally to himself.
“Can I get either of you a beverage?” Dean turned gratefully to the sound of the flight attendant’s voice.
“Oh thank, God.” And then Dean actually saw his attendant. “What the fuck?”
“I’m afraid your options are coffee, juice, soda, or water. We have no fucks here.”
“Gabriel.” Cas said, testily. “What are you doing here?”
“Bro, didn’t you see the name on the side of the plane? Angel Airways. You didn’t find that at all suspicious?” Cas looked at him blankly.
“Humans name many things after the host. It was not unnatural to believe they would name transportation after us as well.”
Gabriel laughed loudly.
“And the fact that the tickets were only 30 bucks?” Dean groaned.
“Oh, for the love of God, Cas!” Cas stared at his lap sullenly.
“It was an excellent deal.” Gabriel let out a whooping laugh.
“You bet it was, little bro’. Now, if you two love birds will excuse me, I have other passengers to wait on.”
Gabriel sauntered down the aisle pushing the drinks cart leaving a sullen Cas and panicked Dean in his wake.
“We’re gonna die. Jesus fucking Christ, we are actually gonna die.”
“Dean.” Cas said impatiently. Dean whirled on him.
“It’s not even a real fucking airline, Cas! You couldn’t figure that out?”
“And now we’re at the mercy of your dick brother.”
“Who has absolutely no problem killing me, and in fact has, hundreds of times!”
“Dean!” This time Cas shouted his name loud enough to shock him into silence. “Dean, if you hadn’t noticed, there are other passengers on this plane. For all of his faults, Gabriel would not allow innocents to come to harm.” Dean let out a bitter laugh.
“Oh come on, Cas. It’s Gabriel. Trickster pagan god slash dick archangel, remember? These people probably aren’t even real.”
“Of course they are.” Cas replied calmly.
“Yeah? And how can you be so sure, Cas? You couldn’t even tell that this wasn’t a real fucking airline!” Cas growled and quick as lightning reached into Dean’s lap.
“What the fuck, dude?” Dean’s voice squeaked out, embarrassingly high and girly. Cas glared at him and unbuckled his seatbelt, unceremoniously hauling him out of his seat and dragging him toward the back of the plane.
“You are causing a scene and upsetting the other passengers.”
Dean snorted and tried to wrench his arm back. Didn’t work. Damn angels and their supernatural strength.
“The fake passengers you mean?” With a rough shove, Cas pushed Dean into the thankfully unoccupied bathroom and followed him in, slamming the door shut behind him and flipping the occupied sign in place.
He looked pissed.
Dean very quickly discovered that these bathrooms were never meant to have two fully grown men in them as he found himself smashed back against the toilet with wrathful angel pushed all up against his front.
“Um, Cas?” Dean started with a shaky laugh. “They’re probably not really cool with two dudes being in here at once, you know.” Cas narrowed his eyes.
“Who won’t be, Dean? The flight attendants? I assure you, Gabriel is probably thrilled that we’re both in here at once.” Dean gave an uncomfortable cough.
“Yeah, but that’s just cause he’s a sick bastard, Cas. You don’t know what he’s picturing us doing in here.” Cas’ gaze narrowed and Dean was pretty sure that he wouldn’t be able to move even if Cas’ body hadn’t been pinning him in.
“Oh, I don’t, do I?” Cas growled in a voice that shot straight to Dean’s dick. But Dean’s dick quickly had other things to worry about as Cas was kissing him.
Kissing him. Hard and hot and messy and nothing like Dean had ever expected from his angel.
Not that he had been, you know, picturing this happening or anything.
Cas finally pulled back with a victorious look in his eyes as Dean struggled to regain his breath and not fall onto his ass on the toilet seat behind him.
“What the hell was that, Cas?” Dean noticed that his voice was sounding pretty breathless, in a detached sort of way.
“That? That was something I learned from the pizza man.” Cas deadpanned. Dean stared at him for a moment and then burst out laughing. Cas’ nose crinkled at him warmly and he started laughing even harder, only to be caught by a warm arm around his waist as his laugher unbalanced him enough that he started to topple backwards.
And he really did not want to sit on that seat.
“Thanks, Cas.” Dean said, his eyes on the angel’s mouth. Cas’ lips quirked.
“You’re very welcome, Dean.”
And this time it was Dean who initiated the kiss, tangling his fingers in oversized trench coat and perpetual sex hair as he proceeded to show Cas exactly how it felt to make out with a Winchester.
And by the glazed look in Cas’ eyes as he pulled away about 20 minutes later, he thinks that lesson went pretty well.
When Dean and Cas finally stumbled out of the bathroom, clothing mussed and cheeks flushed, it was to find Gabriel sprawled across their seats, feet up on the seat in front of them, eating Twizzlers and doing Cas’ crossword with a line of concentration stretched across his forehead.
“Gabriel.” Cas said simply, by way of greeting.
“Nice crossword, bro’. I added one for you though to make it even better.” Gabriel stood and handed it to him. Cas and Dean looked at the paper in confusion and peered at the clue for 18 across.
18. What is the only thing that successfully distracts Dean Winchester from his pansy fear of flying?
The answer was an impressive 32 boxes long, started with an s and ended with a g. Cas, being a ridiculously intelligent angel and all, got it much more quickly that Dean.
“Gabriel!” Cas said, but then to everyone’s surprise, started laughing helplessly.
“What does it say?” Dean asked, a growing fear in the pit of his stomach. Gabriel smirked and leaned over to fill in the boxes with a flourish.
Dean opened his mouth, an angry protest ready on his tongue, but Gabriel took that opportunity to shove four Twizzlers in his mouth.
“Uh, uh Dean-o. You’re not gonna talk your way out of this one. You might want to sit down and buckle up. We’re landing.” Dean spit the Twizzlers out.
“There’s no way we’re landing yet. We haven’t even been up in the air for two hours.” Gabriel winked and with a snap the fasten seatbelt light dinged on.
“Angel Airways, kiddo. Angel Airways.” Dean rolled his eyes and pushed a still laughing Cas back into the seat so he could sit down and buckle his seatbelt. Dean took a deep breath and resumed gripping his arm rests, waiting for the flight to be over. Cas looked at him curiously, and then began humming “Enter Sandman” under his breath.
It was Dean’s turn to laugh.
“Quiet Dean, you’re interrupting my humming.” Cas said, facing straight ahead. Dean grinned and shook his head, thinking that it was pretty cool that Cas could hum that with him.
And when Cas reached over and tangled their hands together? That was pretty cool too.