Cas has a theory.
He thinks it’s possible that Dean wants to kiss him.
Benny’s turn at watch and Dean’s supposed to be sleeping, but he can’t sleep. He twitches and shifts, his eyes open and dart and stare up into the treetops, and Cas watches from a few feet away, concerned. Dean’s the only one of them who needs to sleep. Cas likes to, and he hasn’t been able to for a long time, not when he was alone and had to watch out every moment to keep from being impaled on a leviathan’s fangs. Benny doesn’t sleep so much as stares into space and disconnects from everything.
But Dean needs it, and for whatever reason sleep’s not coming to him. A cold, helpless feeling settles into Cas’s heart as he watches. Sleep is a simple, voluntary action for him. For humans, it can be harder, especially when they see the kind of things in their dreams that Cas knows Dean does. He’s peeked before.
He tries to remember what has calmed Dean to sleep before. He starts in Dean’s childhood, hears the strains of “Hey Jude” in a distant melody. It would be too intrusive to sing that, it would remind Dean too much of things lost too long ago. But maybe. Maybe something similar.
OH MY GOD
AU Meme: Dean and Cas adopt kittens! - for Bee
“I cannot believe you actually convinced me to get those things.”
“They’re not things, Dean. They’re kittens and they’re cute.”
“They’re not that cute, okay?”
“Are you jealous?”
and I am pissed off that I have to learn next year what being alone is like.
“Dean, are you still there?”
The rain beats against the wind-shield, every drop splatting with a thunderous boom. Through the thin glass and the walls of the Impala, the cars and trucks speeding down the highway with him all roar, the mechanical stampede fighting to rival the weather’s fury. Everyone in such a hurry despite the massive storm, and by some miracle Dean hasn’t gotten into an accident courtesy of some idiotic Prius stopping in the middle of the road or something.
He leans his cheek on the warm cell phone, shoulder propping the device up so his ear presses to the speaker and his mouth is by the receiver. He fidgets, adjusting the phone carefully so it doesn’t wind up on his lap or he doesn’t hang up by some accidental face-button-mashing. His hands clench the rough steering wheel, grunting a bit until his lips brush the base of the phone.
“Yeah, Cass,” He replies at last, gruff voice strained. Olive eyes peer through the wind-shield, the road beyond a new and foreign land. Dean wonders where he took the wrong turn and which highway he popped on goes right through Niagara Falls, “I’m still here.”
A quiet sigh of relief breathes in his ear, soft as a calming spring breeze, and for just a second it feels like Castiel’s right next to him. But instead of a gust of warm breath hitting the side of his face, all he has is a stupid phone that keeps heating up like a compact fireplace made of plastic and wires.
“Are you almost back?” He barely covers the worry in his voice, the concern bleeding into his gravelly voice whether he knows it or not. It sounds like he has something caught in his throat almost, a bundle of more questions all rolled up and stuck to the back of his tongue, to afraid to unfurl, roll, and leave his lips in a series of ‘Where are you?’s and ‘Are things okay?’s and so on. He probably thinks that’ll bother Dean, make it seem like he doubts him. But it’s just a little anxiety, the ones that pop so easily into the minds of lovers pacing on pins and needles, infectious and burdening, always whispering petty things in their ears just to tease their nerves.
Castiel worries about Dean. He worries a lot. He doesn’t like to but he does anyway. It’s just something sewn into his nature, coupled with his compassion and cradling his flame, the one always ablaze thanks to one Dean Winchester, burning for him and him alone. And when he’s too far away, well, he worries. Worries because he loves him; worries because he misses him.
Dean knows that well because he does the same exact thing.
“Should be soon,” Whenever the road decides to stop playing hide-and-go-seek, “Don’t worry,” Hypocrisy screams at him as, in the far off distance, lightning strikes the earth.
Castiel stifles his breath and already Dean sees him stiffening. Never say ‘Don’t worry’; that riles up more than it calms down. And he knows that, he’s just stupid. He has to be or else he wouldn’t’ve said it.
Dean bites his lip, leaning back as the cars in the lane over speed by, disturbing the growing puddles of rainwater and splashing the side of the Impala. Even though the traffic’s moving fairly quickly, to Dean they’re standing still. He’s crawling along the road at eighty and the rain just won’t let up, won’t clear and reveal his driveway, the lights in the little house still lit, Castiel’s darkened silhouette displayed in the panes glossed with fresh vertical streams of newly fallen water, waiting for Dean’s return. He wants the curtains of coal clouds to draw away so the light can reflect in those blue, blue eyes—so vivid, so scintillating, deep as the oceans, bright as the sky—and then glow as their gazes meet.
That’s all he wants. That’s all he needs. That’s all Castiel needs too. And that’s all that really matters. Nothing else does.
And then, Dean relaxes, soothing warmth flowing through his veins, a smile curving on his lips. It’s a funny, near ethereal epiphany, emollient and liberating, surreptitious serendipity creeping up on him and blooming with a blessing, one graced so rarely these days.
“Cass,” He breaks the silence over the phone. He waits a moment before finally catching a hum from the other side, “Remember that one night we looked at the stars? Like, right after we saw Thor?”
He imagines Castiel nodding at first, forgetting that he’s not in the same room, only to quickly remember and say, “Yes…”
“Well you said that if we looked up at ‘em, we’d always be together,” He pauses, taking a moment of remembrance himself. He remembers that night, remembers it fondly. Not just because that was one of the nights they went that far, but because of the things they said, or more what Castiel said. He might be an awkward little nerd but he certainly has his moments of eloquence. He might not talk much—but with eyes like his, eyes that say everything, he really doesn’t have to—but he means every word he says, each one dripping with sincerity so overwhelming that sometimes Dean needs a second to process the depth of his meaning.
“I did,” Castiel’s voice quiets, scarcely audible above a rumble of thunder. Dean blinks, Castiel painted on the back of his eyelids, wearing a solemn and pensive face, as usual, blue eyes staring into Dean’s soul. Castiel always looks at Dean like he’s a puzzle, a puzzle with all the pieces piled up in a mess and for the life of him Castiel doesn’t know where to begin. He doesn’t even realise that to Dean, and most other people, Castiel’s a big mystery too, and Dean picks up each jigsaw piece trying to solve the it. But not even Sherlock Holmes can sleuth this one out, no, because whenever Dean thinks he’s just go things figured out, it changes on him again. Many find it frustrating but for Dean it’s the best game in the world, one he’s more than willing to play for eternity after eternity, until the end of time and then some.
“Well, you also said that if you look up at the sky and I look up at the sky,” The echoes of the memory play in his mind, reminding him exactly what words Castiel spoke that night, “Then we’re looking at the same sky and we’re together.”
‘It’s silly,’ Castiel laughed, each low chuckle edged with nervousness, forced out for one reason or another. A slight smile teased at the corners of his chapped lips, but solicitude shadowed his features. His Adam’s apple quivered when he swallowed, all the air in his mouth turning to cotton, sucking up all the saliva before clogging his throat. It was one of those ever too rare moments when Castiel spoke absent-mindedly, spreading his wings and letting his mind fly to some joyous bliss, one he only found with Dean next to him.
Dean always treasured these moments, with Castiel’s head resting on his chest, the crisp air blowing on them as every star sewn into night’s blanket twinkled for them. He had one hand clasped with Castiel’s, bony fingers laced with his, and another carelessly stroking the other’s chest. He smiled, tired and soaked in the afterglow, the words caught in his mind for him to think over more carefully later, like a dream-catcher storing the loveliest of fantasies.
‘Nah,’ He said, resting his head against the crown of Castiel’s. He kissed the messy brown locks, inhaling the scent of thyme and salt. His smile widened when he heard a happy purr, ‘Sounds like a line from a song or something.’
‘Oh, and that makes it so much better?’ He playfully enquired, looking up at the warm olive eyes. They both just stared at each other, gazes speaking for them, and with a smirk and a chuckle Dean kissed him, ending the conversation.
“…Cass?” Dean takes a hand off the wheel to actually hold the phone, checking to make sure he’s still on the line. Call still going, “You still there?”
“Yes, Dean,” There’s something new in his voice—hope or happiness or something of the like—that easily warms Dean’s heart a little. It’s a relief.
“Good,” The rain drops aren’t falling as quickly, Dean notices, the big plops now bitty drops lightly pattering on the hood of the car. The Heavens stopped grumbling, and all the clouds above start drifting, the menacing ash fading into a soft silver.
“The voice says I’m almost out of minutes.”
Dean chuckles. After all this time Castiel still uses his cruddy little phone with its own little plan, always convinced that he’ll never use 200 minutes because there’s no reason to call people, “Gotta go, then?”
“Don’t worry,” He hears the comfort, the calming, the new ease in his voice, envisioning those chapped lips curved into the slightest grin, “You’ll be home soon.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
And when he hears those words, Dean’s sure that nothing else matters.