January 19th, 2017
The next day starts pretty normal.
Cas is being his usual grumpy morning-person-self until Dean brings him some coffee and after that they spend the hours until lunch in the library, helping Sam catalogue some of the boxes full of reports and lore from the storage rooms. It’s boring work and Dean almost wants to protest and remind them that Cas promised a week of celebration, not pushing papers around and inhaling dust for hours. But he holds himself back, not wanting to draw attention it.
Instead he goes out to get pizza for all of them and tries to convince himself that he’s entirely glad that Cas’ celebration plans have apparently already dissolved into nothing. No reason to feel disappointed.
After they’re done with the pizza, Sam goes to take out the trash and Dean reaches for another folder with a heavy sigh. Cas’ hand on his wrist stops him however. “I want to show you something, Dean,” he says, his face giving nothing away.
Dean shoots him a curious glance. “What is it?”
Cas doesn’t respond. He gets up from his seat instead and tugs at Dean’s hand, until he stands up too and follows him.
“What about the papers?” Dean asks, halfway down the hallway leading to their room, and he kicks himself mentally for it a second later, because it’s not like he actually wants to continue sorting through them.
“I’m sure that Sam can manage the rest of them alone,” Cas quips and now there’s a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
Dean feels like a total idiot for the nervous anticipation rising inside of him, as Cas comes to a stop at their door and looks at him for a moment to see his reaction. Normally, whenever he’s waiting to enter a room there’s nothing good to be found on the other side of the door. He has the giddy feeling that he’s going to like what he’ll find this time, though.
With a sudden move, Cas pushes the door open and Dean thinks for a moment he’s going to yell something like “Tadaaaa!”, or something equally dorky, but Cas only squeezes his hand and leads him into the room. They don’t break eye contact, each of them enjoying the happy excitement on the other’s face, until Cas lets out an amused chuckle and finally nods into the direction of their bed. “Take a look.”
He doesn’t need to be told twice and swivels around to look with a grin. He freezes when he spots the objects at the foot of their bed.
“Do you… not like it?”
The uncertainty in Cas’ voice finally snaps him out of it.
“It’s – they’re awesome, Cas!” He turns back around and pulls Cas into a kiss, to show him just how awesome he truly finds his gift.
Cas looks more than pleased when they break apart, but still tries to explain, “The store owner told me you can exchange them, if you-“
“Hell, no. I’m keeping those beauties,” Dean interrupts him and finally walks over to the beautiful, shining new guitars standing on the floor. Two guitars, one electric and another acoustic one, because Cas either couldn’t decide or probably didn’t want to.
He picks up the acoustic one first and sits down on the edge of the bed, strumming his fingers over the strings once. There’s still some basic knowledge hidden away in his memory, back from when Robin taught him how to play at the boy’s home, but ultimately he didn’t spend enough time there to really learn as much as he wanted to. There are lots of things he gave up that day when his Dad rolled into the driveway of Sonny’s house.
Not wanting to dwell on the past, he turns his attention back to Cas. “How did you know?” he asks in wonder. He’s never told Cas, or anyone really, that he’s always wanted to learn how to play.
Cas rubs his hands against his jeans for a second, a little nervous tick he’s acquired ever since he turned human and subsequently stopped wearing his trench coat all the time. “I saw you,” he finally answers. “When we were investigating Lucifer’s hideout at Vince Vincente’s hotel room. You sat down with one of his guitars and even in the middle of a hopeless situation you seemed to find joy in something.”
Dean swallows against a sudden lump in his throat. He hadn’t been aware that anyone really noticed that little moment of indulgence. “Some people would say it’s stupid, getting distracted like that during a case,” he tries to argue half-heartedly.
“I admire you for it, Dean,” Cas counters, while he walks over to sit beside him. “Your ability to see something good in your life, no matter how dark or hopeless the situation seems, is one of your greatest strengths.”
The open adoration on Cas’ face is almost too much and Dean lowers his head, idly plucking at the strings, while he tries to come up with a retort. It’s nice to hear such a compliment, but he still has trouble wrapping his head around the things Cas sometimes says to him now that they have become intimate. He feels too vulnerable, opening himself up to all the comfort and love Cas is so willing to bestow upon him, always afraid to have it taken away again.
Cas nudges him slightly. “Would you play something for me?”
“You realise that I haven’t played in ages, right?” Dean asks, amused despite his glum thoughts. “This is gonna sound horrible.”
“I want to hear you play,” Cas insists without hesitation, apparently not concerned for his poor human ears.
“Alright,” Dean chuckles and tries to think of a song. The perfect choice presents itself to him quickly, when he remembers one sunny afternoon he had spent with Robin shortly before he left. They had sat outside almost the whole day, alternatively making out like the teenagers they were and playing guitar. Well, mostly it was Robin who played while Dean sang along as loud and off-key as possible to mess with her. Somewhere between all that laughter there had been one quiet moment where she started playing that one particular song, confessing quietly that her grandmother used to sing it to her when she was a child. Dean recalls how he had thought about telling her how his mom used to sing him Hey, Jude every night, but the memory of fire and smoke stopped him. He’d been so carefree during those days, for once not being reminded every single moment about his Dad’s thirst for revenge and everything they lost and he didn’t want to answer any questions about his past right then.
He tries some of the chords now, clumsily switching between them a few times until he thinks he can attempt to play, and then starts the first line of You are my sunshine. His first try is almost not recognizable, but at the second try it comes out as something akin to a melody and he smiles up at Cas, who’s watching him delightedly.
“Hey, Cas?” he asks, after he’s repeated the beginning of the song a few times.
Dean hesitates. He doesn’t want to seem ungrateful or needy, but he keeps wondering about this morning, especially when he sees how happy Cas looks just sitting there and watching him fiddle around with the guitar. “Why did you wait until now? This morning wasn’t exactly a celebration, you know.”
Which yeah, sounds as ungrateful as Dean feared it would. Cas furrows his brow and Dean’s fingers stop in their movements, afraid he just managed to ruin this. “That wasn’t… I didn’t mean –“
“Dean, it’s alright,” Cas interrupts him and puts a reassuring hand on his thigh, while Dean thinks how lucky he is that his boyfriend literally has the patience of an angel to put up with his bullshit.
“I actually thought it would make you more comfortable, starting the day like every other,” Cas admits, a wry smile on his face. “Yesterday you didn’t seem too keen about my plans for your birthday.”
Guilt tugs at Dean’s heart at that, but he refuses to give in to that feeling, because he knows that he can make this better, knows that Cas will listen to him and understand him if he tries to explain himself. And for Cas, Dean is more than willing to try as often as necessary.
“It’s true, you surprised me yesterday. And I don’t feel like it’s worth so much effort,” he begins.
Cas makes a noise like he wants to protest, hearing the unspoken “I’m not worth the effort”, but Dean puts a calming hand over his and goes on. “But you doing this? For me? It – it makes me happy, okay? You make me happy, Cas.”
A fond look appears on Cas’ face and he all but melts against Dean’s side. They remain like that for a while, just enjoying the closeness, until Cas nuzzles into his neck and starts places kisses there. Dean feels a pleasurable flush rising from that spot up to his cheeks at the feeling of Cas’ lips and his hot breath against his skin.
“Play me some more,” Cas demands in a low voice, between two kisses.
Dean’s mind immediately goes to all the ways he could play Cas, everything he’s learned during the last few weeks about what makes Cas lose himself in pleasure, and it takes all his willpower to put his hands back on the strings of the guitar and not start tugging at Cas’ clothes instead.
His resolve lasts about twenty seconds, in which he undoubtedly fails to play even one correct chord, before he carefully sets the guitar down in its stand and surges back up to capture Cas’ lips with his own.