Once he got Cas settled under his comforter, with a drowsy but convincing promise to come get him or Sam if he felt at all like he had the night before, Dean started to head for his own room, fully intending to collapse into his memory foam for at least a few hours.
Cas had other ideas.
"Could you stay with me?" He asked, reaching blindly for where Dean's shoulder had been a moment prior.
"What, you want me to spoon you until you fall asleep or something?" Dean asked with dulled sarcasm, leaning down to where Cas' hand was, pressing himself into it.
Cas opened his eyes and furrowed his brow in uncertainty. "A spoon would be involved how?"
Dean tried to bite back a laugh as Cas stared. He didn't quite succeed. "Know what? Think I'll just have to show you. But, uh, not now. I need to, uh..."
Dean gestured vaguely towards the door even though he couldn't think of a single reason to bail on Cas right then - other than his obvious need to get the hell away from him before the, admittedly, unlikely event that he spring up and pull a ring out of his pocket.
"I need to change," Dean said finally, realizing that he was in fact still wearing the clothes he had had on the night before. Cas was too, but Dean figured spending a few hours hooked up to an oxygen supply gave him a free pass.
Another contemplative crease appeared at the top of Cas' temple, but he nodded all the same.
"I'll come back in a bit to check on you," Dean said. He ruffled Cas' hair. "Promise."
"Thank you, Dean," Cas said as he curled deeper into his pillows. Dean huffed lightly. Of course Cas would thank him for running scared.
Once out of Cas' room, he stood in the hallway and ran his hand down his face a few times before finally heading into his own.
Traitorously, he pulled himself into bed with his clothes still on. But digging something out seemed like a waste of energy, and he was running on fumes as it was.
Earlier he had almost dozed off sitting up in the hospital chair, but the sound of Cas' erratic breathing had kept him just on the edge of truly falling asleep.
And even if that hadn't kept him up, Sam's hair would have. Unlike Dean, Sam had had no trouble letting sleep claim him, and his long, thick mane had repeatedly dangled over and brushed against Dean's cheek. Dean had drowsily considered cutting it off while he slept but either decided he was above that or too tired to find scissors. Either way, Sam still had Jesus hair.
Now though, despite how tired he knew he was, once in bed, his thoughts would not allow him to drift off.
Every single one of them was about Cas. Sam saying he and Cas were in love. Cas saying they were soulmates. Cas buying him a damn ring.
He was in so deep here, and ...
Damn it all, he wanted to be.
It was Cas.
So some thirty minutes later he threw himself over the side of his bed and headed back to Cas' room.
He cautiously opened the door, letting only a thin trail of light spill in from the hallway. He hesitated, thinking that he really didn't want to wake Cas up.
"I'm not asleep, Dean," Cas said as he tugged the cord on the lamp beside his bed. Dean took that as the invitation it was and drew closer, pushing the door shut behind him. He wasn't planning on leaving.
"You didn't change," Cas observed, more question than accusation.
"No," Dean agreed. Then he thought that, maybe, he actually had, and a soft grin spread over his cheekbones. "But said I'd check on you. So scoot."
Cas raised an eye before shifting over a few inches as Dean pulled himself onto the mattress. "Are we going to 'spoon' now?"
"Well, we aren't going to fork," Dean said as he slung one arm across Cas' chest and loped the other around his shoulder and collarbone.
"Fork?" Cas asked. "Are there...are there so many forms of intimacy named for cutlery?"
Dean grinned but didn't answer. Instead, he tugged Cas closer, rested his chin on his shoulder, and breathed in his hair. It hadn't been washed in three days, was kind of greasy, and smelled vaguely like hospital antiseptic. Cas hummed into the fold of his arms, though, and Dean figured there were worse things.
A minute later, Cas wordlessly rolled forward to turn the lamp back off before wriggling straight back into Dean's arms.
After that the room was quiet for long enough that Dean had begun to drift off when Cas unexpectedly murmured, "I like spooning."
"Yeah? Huh. Well, good," Dean said distantly. Then he pressed his fingertips against Cas's shoulder and said, "How 'bout you like sleeping too? Cause I need some."
"Alright, Dean," Cas said into his pillow.
A few hours later, Dean woke up to his arms stretched across empty space, the mattress still lightly dipped and warm from where Cas had been lying. A pleasant, fuzzy feeling coursed through him before he hazily wondered where Cas had gone.
He probably would have outright panicked about Cas' absence if it had lasted past his dazed journey into full consciousness. But during it, Cas awkwardly toed the door to the room open trying not to drop the two plates he was holding, before treading lightly across the linoleum. He smiled lightly when he saw Dean was awake. "I brought your pie."
"What, no bacon and eggs?" Dean teased as he sat up and reached for the plate and fork Cas was offering.
"I was unaware there was a prescribed menu for this," Cas said tugging the plate back out of reach. "I can try to make bacon and eggs."
"No, Cas, I was just... Cas, pie in bed. That's like a sex dream." He kind of wished he hadn't put it like that, but Cas gave him his plate back so he figured it was probably worth it.
"The baker claimed that the pie would taste like home," Cas said as he sat down next to Dean and leaned against the headboard. He picked up his fork before staring sullenly at his own plate. "I'm not certain that's possible. Does home have a taste?"
"Don't know. Maybe," Dean said because that was way too deep for how long he'd been awake.
Then he gave Cas an inquisitive glance. Because what kind of madman just stared at pie when he could be devouring it? He didn't get it at all so he just shrugged and mentally threw his hands up before digging wholeheartedly into his own slice. He thoroughly relished every bit of the blend of pecan, vanilla, and sugar.
When he'd wolfed down about half of it, he looked over to see Cas still frowning at his own still whole piece. He pushed his fork against it a few times but made no move to actually eat it.
"Dude, you don't know what you're missing," Dean said.
Cas huffed and his shoulders sagged.
"Cas, you alright?" Dean asked.
Cas took a deep breath before turning to look at Dean. "I don't want to eat."
"Well, not that I get turning down pie, no one's making you," Dean said, giving Cas a quizzical once over. He felt like he was missing something, but he had no idea what.
"Not just the pie, Dean. I don't want to eat at all," Cas said. Then, when Dean started gaping at him, because, yeah, that was a pretty serious problem and one Dean could not even begin to process, he added, in explanation, "I'm afraid to. What happened last night, it could happen again. It was... unpleasant."
"Yeah, don't oversell that whole not breathing thing or anything," Dean said, setting his fork down so he could curl his arm over Cas' and rub at his shoulder. Then after musing about what he could do for him, he asked, "You've had pecan pie before, though, haven't you?"
"Yeah, I think so," Cas said.
"Then you aren't allergic to it," Dean said.
Cas frowned at the pie again like he wanted to believe Dean but couldn't.
Dean took another bite of his own piece before setting his plate aside, then moved Cas' aside as well. Then with a half formed, likely terrible idea, he cupped Cas' face in his hands and pulled him forward, pushing Cas' lips apart with his own, immediately sticking his tongue into Cas' mouth.
Cas surged forward, insistently trying to push his own tongue into Dean's mouth, since it seemed like it was what he was supposed to do. It was all kind of awkward and weird, because Cas clearly had no idea what he was doing, but, well, Dean hadn't done it to satiate his sex drive.
He drew back and let only their lips latch together before moving his hands to the back of Cas' head, tilting it up slightly. Cas followed his lead and tangled his own hands in Dean's hair. That was better. Nice, actually.
Then as Cas started to understand the rhythm of it, the motion between them became more fluid, and Dean started to think there was really something to the brush of stubble against his cheek. He almost didn't want to stop.
However, he had to remind himself that he hadn't initially done this for kicks. He drew himself back before he actually couldn't stop.
"Don't stop, Dean," Cas insisted, looking absolutely tantalized when Dean pulled away.
"Eat your pie, then we'll talk," Dean said. Cas looked from Dean to the pie, puzzled disappointment clouding his every feature. Dean made a show of licking his tongue over his teeth before asking, "Your mouth taste like pecan now?"
Cas looked at Dean, then seemed to move his tongue around his own mouth, his eyes lighting with comprehension. "The kiss was a trick."
"You're not mad, are you?" Dean asked, suddenly nervous. That was really not what he'd been going for. He'd really just wanted to help.
"No. It was a good trick for a good reason," Cas conceded. Then, with a weary sigh, he added, "I would have preferred you kissed me because you wanted to."
"I did want to," Dean said quickly. Then rubbing his hand over the back of his neck and shoulder, he scrabbled for the right explanation, "But, man, I didn't know...I wasn't...having a reason to do it... needing to do it...it..."
"Helped," Cas supplied.
"Yeah," Dean said, feeling weirdly caught.
"The same reason you needed to ask me to be your Valentine jokingly," Cas said. He picked up his pie and hesitantly lifted a forkful to his mouth. "Then when I agreed regardless, you felt obligated to go along with it."
Dean's eyes widened. "You knew I was kidding?"
"It's safer for you that way, I suppose," Cas continued like Dean hadn't said anything. "Of course, if you ever want to have sex with me, we'll have to be inventive. I believe there are spells."
"Cas, stop. Look at me," Dean said pressing his forehead against his, causing Cas to drop his fork in surprise. "Don't you dare start looking up sex hexes. I can't even begin to tell you how wrong that sounds. And, dude, I want to have sex with you."
It wasn't a lie either, definitely not after that kissing, and, really, probably not before it.
"Because you need to stop me from opening a spellbook," Cas said.
"No, Cas, because..." Dean started then stopped and rolled his eyes when he realized Cas was smiling. "You're infuriating, you know that?"
"Would it help if I told you Sam told me the heart was a joke?" Cas asked. "He also suggested why. He thought I should know. He was concerned I had misconceptions about our date."
"Gee, I wonder why," Dean said without thinking.
"He told you about the ring," Cas said. He looked down guiltily. "I'm sorry, Dean."
"What? Don't apologize," Dean said. "I'm not...I'm not mad. Just, let's not jump the gun here, okay?"
"I don't know what that means," Cas said.
"It means," Dean said, sucking in his breath before he jumped off the cliff, "It means, let me tell you when we're ready. Because, you know what, we will be. Because..."
He knew why. He'd known why for ages. He still couldn't say it.
"Because you love me," Cas offered.
"Yeah, that," Dean agreed.