Author's Note: Inspired by Blake Shelton's "Honey Bee," because this time last year I went through a country phase. It was supposed to be fluffy, but I'm horrible at writing fluffy things, so there was inevitably some angst mixed in. Hope you like it, anyhow! Happy reading :)

I'll Be Your Honey Bee

Standing out in the field, watching the sun set over the distant trees, Dean doesn't think he can actually sell this place. Grass farming isn't exactly popular or lucrative, so if he sells, the buyer's probably going to be a commercial farmer, and he doesn't think he can do that. It'd be like stomping all over everything Dad believed in.

Besides, the pasture seems to be in pretty good shape, and Dean's only heard good things about the livestock that they'd had to get rid of when the news came that Dad had passed. It's been a few months now, so all of the grass is overgrown and wild, but Dean remembers Dad saying that the more species of grass were in the ground, the better.

He scuffs the ground with one of his boots and remembers the days when he and Sam used to run through the open pasture. Dad would laugh at them, and Mom would scold them for tracking manure all over the place when they came home.

God, Dean thinks, smiling, they were filthy little kids.

But then Mom died, and Dad stopped smiling, and it was right around then that home stopped being home. So Dean had jumped at the first opportunity to leave, and Sam had followed suit, four years later.

Staring across the empty field, at the place where cattle should be grazing, Dean thinks maybe he should have come back sooner, should have called to check on Dad more often. Last year, Dean had missed a few calls from Dad, and most of the time he didn't bother calling back—when Dad stopped being a father, Dean stopped being his son.

Some movement in the distance catches Dean's attention, distracting him, and at first he thinks it might just be a trick of the fading light, but—no, that's a tendril of smoke, rising from a small cabin, one of a few one- or two-bedroom places that were thrown up around the edges of the property for farmhands to live in.

But no one's supposed to be here—no one's on the payroll because Sam and Dean had been planning to sell the land, which necessitated the firing of workers and ridding of livestock.

What this tells Dean is that he's got a squatter.

Pulling his jacket a little tighter around himself because it's darker and colder now that the sun has set, Dean picks his way across the field.

When he reaches the house and knocks on the door, no one answers. But the lights are clearly on inside, visible through the curtains—whoever's here isn't trying to hide it, probably because they hadn't expected anyone to be coming back anytime soon.

Dean jiggles the doorknob, but it's locked, and Dean left the master ring of keys at home when he went out, because it wasn't as though he'd been expecting a squatter.

Then he hears a sound coming from the side of the cabin, so he walks around it, a little wary because it's dark, and he doesn't know what to expect.

What he sees is a person—probably a man, judging from the height and build—in a long, tan coat with his back turned, bent over and examining what looks like a heating unit.

"Hey," Dean says. The man doesn't turn, so Dean continues, "You aren't allowed to be here."

"I work here," the man replies, and wow, he sounds like he's coming off a pretty bad sore throat or something.

"Yeah well, did you happen to miss the memo that this farm is closed?"

"I watch the bees," the man says, as though he hasn't heard Dean, and Dean's just starting to get angry when the man straightens and turns around.

The squatter happens to be standing in a ray of light coming from a crack in the curtains of a side window, so Dean gets a really good look at his face—specifically the cut of his jaw, especially prominent because he's tilting his head to the side; the juts of his cheekbones, casting light shadows on his cheeks; the delicate arches of his eyebrows; the gentle curves of his eyelashes, framing eyes that are narrowed because the guy is squinting at Dean, and oh, right, Dean's kind of standing in a shadow, and it's dark enough now that it'd be hard to make out his features.

The guy takes a few steps closer, moving out of the light, but he almost looks better by moonlight, especially as he gets even closer, about an arm's length away, because his eyes are ridiculously blue, sparkling with the moon's reflection, and goddamn, Dean can't even find it in himself to be angry about the squatting anymore.

The corners of the man's lips turn down into a displeased moue, and there's something about the way his mouth moves that Dean really, really likes, something about the glint in his eyes that's more than just the moonlight.

Dean's chest suddenly feels too warm, his heart beating too fast, and he's seen cheesy shit like this in the movies and he never thought it could be real, but he thinks, crazily, that he might already be in love with this strange man who's squatting on his dead father's land.

"You are Dean Winchester," the man observes, still looking displeased, and Dean doesn't even have time to be surprised before the guy continues, "I don't like you. Go away."

Well, shit.


Twenty minutes later, Dean finds himself in the small living room-slash-bedroom of the cabin; it only has a grand total of three rooms: a kitchen, the living room, and a bathroom.

Dean hadn't gone away when the man—Castiel is his name—told him to, so Castiel had shuffled past him, grumbling something about how unreliable modern technology was, and then he'd turned to Dean and said, "Are you coming in or not?"

So of course Dean had followed Cas into the cabin, but then Cas had disappeared into the bathroom, leaving Dean alone to sit on the small sofa.

Looking around the room now, Dean notes that there is no television, no radio, no stereo, not even a CD player. The only remotely interesting thing in the room is a small hearth, where a fire is blazing heartily, keeping the room pretty warm even though the heating system is out.

Maybe Cas's main entertainment really is watching bees. As Dean thinks this, Cas exits the bathroom in a too-large black t-shirt and grey pajama bottoms.

"Hey, so how do you know who I am?" Dean asks. Cas doesn't answer, just shuffles into the kitchen, so Dean follows and tries a different question. "Were you a beekeeper, then?"

"I am a beekeeper," Cas corrects him calmly, and just as he reaches the stove, a kettle goes off, and he turns off the heat. "Tea?" he asks, glancing back.

"Yeah, sure." Dean hates tea.

"I only have Darjeeling and Earl Grey."

"I'll have whatever you're having," Dean says, staying in the doorway because he isn't really sure about Cas's boundaries.

Castiel fiddles with a teapot, back turned to Dean, and Dean does his best to keep his eyes off Cas's ass—and by doing his best, he means that he only peeks like once. Okay, maybe two or three times, but he's only human, and Cas has a pretty fine behind.

Meanwhile, Cas pours the water into the teapot.

"Did you work for my dad?" Dean asks while they let the tea steep—he doesn't like the stuff, but he does know a little about it.

"No."

"Then what are you doing here?"

Cas half-turns away from the counter so that he can look at Dean like he's an idiot. "I already told you. I watch the bees."

"I didn't even know we had bees," Dean says. They certainly hadn't had bees when he left, but god, that was eight—no, nine years ago already.

"If you had come back to visit, maybe you would have known," Cas says primly, turning back to the teapot.

Dean frowns, because Cas sounds strangely bitter about it. "Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but that's none of your business."

"You're not wrong," Cas says, but he sounds no less unhappy.

He pours tea into two cups and passes one to Dean before slipping out of the kitchen and into the living room. He gestures for Dean to sit down on the sofa, and Dean hesitates, because it's a pretty small sofa, and if they were to share it, they would definitely be right up against each other. But Cas sinks gracefully to the ground in front of the couch, legs folded Indian-style, and looks at Dean expectantly.

So Dean sits down and takes a sip of the tea. Yeah, he still hates it, but he thinks he manages to hide it pretty well—he keeps a neutral face while it goes down, and—

"You don't like tea," Cas says, and okay, maybe Dean's not as smooth as he thought he was. "Why would you accept tea if you didn't like it?"

Dean fights the urge to groan. "To be polite, I guess?" he supplies.

Cas tilts his head to the side, like that's something he hadn't considered before, and then he nods, like he's accepting the explanation.

"Look, Cas, you can't stay here."

"That isn't my name."

"What?" Dean says, and then he shakes his head. "Oh. Well, it doesn't make a difference. You can't stay here."

"It's my home."

"Well, Sam and I were thinking about selling the farm, so—"

"You won't sell it," Cas says, like it's a fact. Before Dean can protest, he adds, "And even if you were to sell it, you cannot sell this house or the small plot of land surrounding it. If you'd actually read John's will, you would know this."

Dean stares. How did Sammy fail to mention this? "Are you sure?" he asks.

"No. I'm making it up because I'm squatting here," Cas says dryly, and the funny thing is that Dean can't even tell whether he's telling the truth or being sarcastic, because both possibilities seem equally likely.

He'll call Sam about the will tomorrow.

"How do you know we won't sell the land?" Dean asks. "Neither of us have the time or the skills to run a farm."

"But your father certainly left enough money to keep the farm running and his workers employed. Grass farming is very cost-effective, so it wouldn't take much," Cas says easily.

It sounds like he's really educated, and Dean wonders why he's working—or not-working?—as a beekeeper. "I don't understand," he says. "You said that you didn't work for my dad, but it sounds like you worked here as a beekeeper."

Cas looks down at his tea with a small smile. "John and I kept each other company. I suppose lonely souls tend to gravitate toward each other."

Dean feels a surge of guilt at this, even though Dad was the one to push Sam and Dean away. It's the sorrow in Cas's eyes, Dean thinks, because that's a look that only comes from old hurt, and Dean wants to know what put it there.

Cas's smile fades, and he confides, "The past few months have been more difficult. The cattle used to graze right in front of the house. I liked that. I would have moved the bees closer to me, but I find I miss the old house. Seeing it is like seeing John again. Sometimes I feel like he's looking back at me." His eyes flick up to Dean then, and he says, "Don't sell the house."

Dean looks at Cas's face, even prettier up close and in the flickering firelight, and well, he'd already been thinking about not selling the place, right?


The next morning finds Dean sitting at the kitchen table in his childhood home, on the phone with an HR rep at Kansas City International Airport, because Lawrence Municipal didn't have any openings for aircraft technicians. Kansas City is a little farther from the farm than Lawrence—a thirty to forty minute commute as opposed to twenty—but really, it doesn't make that big a difference.

They set a date and time for an interview, Dean thanks her for her time, and they hang up. As Dean finishes marking his calendar, he looks outside and sees a man walking by the house, wearing a long coat and a straw hat, from which a veil is hanging—must be Cas.

Dean puts down his pen, grabs a jacket, and goes outside, jogging a little to catch up with the resident beekeeper.

"Hey, Cas," Dean says when he catches up.

"You shouldn't follow me to the hive. You'll get stung," Cas says.

Dean frowns, looking at Cas's clothing, and says, "Shouldn't you be wearing like a white coat and gloves and the whole deal?"

"I don't need it," Cas replies. He stops walking and turns toward Dean. "Stay here. Coming closer increases your chances of being stung."

"Okay, then."

Cas walks the rest of the way over to one of two wooden structures—hives. Dean doesn't really know anything about bees, and he watches as Cas lifts up something that looks like part of the top of the first hive. But something's attached to it—part of the hive?—and Cas examines it before replacing it and picking up a different one.

"What are you doing?" Dean asks.

Cas doesn't answer, muttering something too quietly for Dean to hear. Then he puts the top of the hive back down and pats his coat down, dislodging a few bees, before coming back toward Dean.

"Bobby Singer has a few head of cattle available for purchase," Cas says as he passes Dean, and he doesn't even slow down, so Dean turns and walks with him.

"You're that positive that I'm not selling this place," Dean says, brows raised.

"Heritage birds tend to produce better eggs," Cas adds.

"What is a heritage bird?"

"They won't sell very well as meat birds, though," Cas continues. "John tried that before, but customers preferred Cornish crosses."

"Cas, do you even hear me when I'm talking?" Dean asks.

"My name is Castiel."

"Okay, Castiel, answer my question."

But Cas doesn't say anything, so Dean just follows him, partly because he's curious, partly because he doesn't really have anything more interesting to occupy his time right now. Except maybe googling heritage birds to find out what the hell Cas is talking about, but he can do that when he gets home.

They reach Cas's cabin a few minutes later, and Cas leaves the door open for Dean, so he just follows Cas in and shuts the door behind him.

"Tea?" Cas asks, hanging his coat and hat up by the door, and this time Dean shakes his head.

"No, thanks."

Cas just nods and pads into the kitchen, and Dean hovers in the living room a little awkwardly. "What do you do all day around here?" he asks, not sure whether he'll even get a response.

"Gardening is a good use of time," Cas says, emerging from the kitchen.

"Oh, so you have a garden. Is it a vegetable garden, or...?"

"I can grow whatever I like," Cas replies.

It's silent for a few minutes as the water boils, and then for another few minutes after that as Cas makes his tea.

When he comes back into the room, he seems mildly surprised and maybe a little peeved by Dean's presence. "Why are you still here?"

"I thought maybe we could get to know each other a little better, since we're the only ones around here," Dean says.

"I already know you, and I don't like you," Cas says.

"That isn't fair," Dean says, shaking his head. "What do you even know about me?"

"Abandonment is cruel," Cas says, but his eyes are distant now, and Dean gets the sense that Cas isn't really even talking about him anymore.

"Cas?"

"Perhaps John did not satisfy your needs as a good father, but he regretted his choices and tried to reach out to you. His efforts were useless because you did not respond. Now he's gone, and you're here." Cas's eyes shift to Dean then, and he takes a sip from his teacup. "It doesn't fix anything."

"Maybe I didn't come here to fix things," Dean says, irritated. "And my dad was a borderline alcoholic who didn't pay any attention to Sam and me. I don't get why you—"

"He stopped drinking," Cas interrupts. "Though he did accept mead now and then, when I visited."

"That wasn't the main problem," Dean says.

"I don't want to talk about this. How long are you staying?"

"What, here? Uh, 'til you kick me out, I guess."

"On the farm. How long are you staying on the farm?"

"I was kind of thinking I'd move back here," Dean says. Hell, he's already got a job interview, so it's pretty much decided. Sam's probably not gonna be happy about this.

"Hmm," Cas says, frowning. "Jo Harvelle is very good with cattle. I don't think she's found another job yet. It would be nice to see her again." He sets his cup down on the small coffee table (is it still a coffee table if it's used for tea and not coffee? Dean wonders) and says, "If you'll excuse me, I will tend to my garden now. You can see yourself out."

"Okay. Good talk."

Dean leaves the house, pausing when he's maybe ten yards away to watch as Cas walks around the side of the house toward the back. Then he turns back toward the main house. He's gotta see a man about some cows, and then he'll pay the Roadhouse a visit.

And then he'll figure out what the hell heritage birds are.


Cas passes by the house each morning on his way to check on the bees—the guy works like clockwork, seriously—and Dean makes it a habit to accompany him there, pelting him with questions as they walk because Cas is fucking adorable when he's irritated.

Cas typically only answers three or four questions at most (and sometimes he answers with something that's completely irrelevant to the question), and Dean's gotten used to arriving at work (yeah, he got the job in Kansas City) with a random assortment of facts. Over the course of the next few weeks, Dean collects a bunch of pieces that help him put together a picture of Cas's life.

Cas grew up in an orphanage and never met his parents.

Cas had way too many "brothers" and "sisters"—the guy actually threw up the fucking air quotes, too—at the orphanage, and none of them actually liked each other.

Cas hasn't seen Star Wars and doesn't plan to (Dean invited him over and was promptly shot down).

Cas was adopted by a douchebag who wanted someone to beat up in lieu of the wife who'd left and taken their son with her. He'd been four years old. He was brought back to the orphanage when people figured out what was going on, but it took them over a year to notice.

Cas only has faith in humanity because a kind, old lady adopted him, but then she decided she didn't have the means to support him and sent him back to the orphanage again.

Cas loves apples and strawberries and oranges and grapes and blueberries and—well, Cas loves fruits.

Cas isn't a big fan of chocolate, but he can tolerate dark chocolate (what the actual fuck, though).

Cas ran away from the orphanage in his early teens and never looked back.

Cas once thought that he was so alone in the world that if he'd killed himself, no one would have noticed (the admission had sent shivers down Dean's spine, and he hadn't been able to say a single fucking thing in response).

Cas didn't kill himself because he heard some buzzing as he was randomly trespassing across some property (this property, he hadn't said) and was approached by a man with a shotgun who'd told him to get lost, or he'd be eating salt-filled shells. Cas had told the man to shoot him, but the man had lowered his gun instead and invited him to watch the bees. Cas never said that the man's name was John, but well, he kinda didn't have to.

Cas sometimes forgets that Dean's still watching him and starts talking to the bees. Sometimes he hums, and though Dean never recognizes the tunes—for all he knows, Cas could be making them up on the spot—they're beautiful.

Cas is stupidly good-looking and doesn't even realize it.

Cas is grouchy and surly and really fucking perfect, and Dean doesn't think he's ever been so head over heels before.

Cas tells Dean to go away almost every other day because he doesn't like Dean. (It absolutely is not heartbreaking.) (And Dean does not pout when he gets to work on those days—Benny is making that shit up.)


It's morning, about six weeks after meeting Cas, and Dean woke up before his alarm today, so he's standing out on his porch, waiting for Cas to come by.

Cas shows up right on time, with his bucket and coat and straw hat, and Dean jogs out to meet him. Usually, they go right on to the hives, but this time Cas stops, and Dean looks at him, confused, because Cas doesn't break patterns—that's another thing Dean's picked up about him.

"Cas?" Dean says, frowning.

The man is silent for a moment, as though he's choosing his words, and then he says, "Why must you do this?"

"Do what?"

"I don't like you, Dean. I don't like it when you—I just—you're always here. You don't have to supervise me. I know how to manage a beehive."

Dean's dumbstruck. Cas has told him to get lost in the past, but it's never been in so many words. There is absolutely no reason for the ache in his chest, and he needs to shut that down because it's getting really out of control.

"Dean," Cas says, jerking Dean out of his thoughts. "Are you even listening?"

"What does it matter whether or not I'm listening? You're never listening to me," Dean blurts out. "Sure, I'm here, but weren't you lonely anyway? How is my company any different from my dad's? I'm sure you didn't tell him to go away whenever he came to talk to you."

"That was different," Cas says quietly.

"How?"

"I needed a father, and he needed a son," Cas says. The words are burning, ridiculous, shouldn't even be true, except that Dean knows that they are, fuck. "You and I," Cas continues, "we don't need each other."

"We don't have to need each other to be able to talk."

"But I don't even like you," Cas says, and damn it, that is it.

"Okay, can you stop with that? You've said it enough times—I got it," Dean says.

"I don't know, Dean, have you? I don't think so, because you're still here."

"You know what, have you ever considered the possibility that you were so fucking alone in the world because you pushed everyone away? That ever occur to you, Cas?" Dean says, unable to stop himself.

Cas ignores the jab, and Dean doesn't know if it's because he just doesn't care, or if he's already thought of that and simply disregarded it—that does sound like something Cas would do, anyway. "I thought I told you to call me Castiel."

"Yeah, and I just wanted to have a normal—" here Dean pauses because none of their conversations can really qualify as normal, and now that he thinks of it, this may be the most normal conversation they've had since they met, and Dean fucking hates it. He starts over, "I just wanted to talk to you today like we usually do. Guess we don't always get what we want."

Cas remains silent after Dean finishes speaking, and they stare at each other for a long moment. Then Cas turns away and heads for the hives, and Dean watches him walk away. Part of him wants to follow, if not to talk to the guy, then just to annoy him out of spite.

But Dean's not that much of a dick, so he turns and heads in the opposite direction, toward his car. He'll get to work a lot earlier than usual, but he just can't be on the farm right now.


That night, when Dean comes back home, he finds a jar of fresh honey sitting on the welcome mat on his front porch. There's no note, but then again, there's no need for one.


The next morning, when Dean goes out to talk to Cas, it's as though the conversation from yesterday never happened. Cas is back to his normal attitude, answering questions at random and ignoring most of the rest, and Dean isn't sure whether he's happy with this or not. He'd hoped for something more substantial, something that felt more… more connected.

Goddamn it, Dean doesn't do 'connected.' What has Cas done to him?


One Friday night, a little over two weeks after Cas confronted Dean, Benny invites Dean out for drinks after work. Dean comes home late and wakes the next morning feeling unwell, and he knows from experience that it's not just from a hangover. So instead of getting up, he rolls over and goes back to sleep.

He doesn't know how much time he's passed out for, but he wakes up to a faint but insistent pounding sound, and it isn't just the blood pounding in his head. It takes a moment for the mental sluggishness to clear up a little, and he identifies the sound as someone knocking on the front door.

The clock on Dean's bedside table reads 8:30am, so it wouldn't be Cas—Cas would have passed by the house half an hour ago. Jo, then? Or one of the other farmhands Dean hired back?

Dean reaches out for his bedside table and gropes blindly until his hand lands on his phone, but he has no missed calls or unread texts, which… wouldn't a visitor have at least tried to call before coming over and knocking right on the door? He closes his eyes again and tries to go back to sleep, but the pounding on the door continues, and it's only worsening his headache.

Dean tries to take a deep breath, but his nose is too congested, and he groans, frustrated. Giving up on the idea of more sleep, Dean sits up. The room feels way, way too cold, and he wraps the covers around himself as he gets up, because he can't be bothered to get a jacket from his closet.

He might be wallowing a little in self-pity.

He might also be hoping to guilt-trip whoever's interrupting his rest into making him soup or something.

Dean grabs a few tissues, blows his nose, discards the tissues, and then makes his way downstairs, slowly. The pounding gets louder as Dean gets closer, so he calls out, "Stop knocking, damn it! I'm coming!" (Except the stuffed nose makes his m's come out more like b's, and he sounds like a friggin' idiot.)

The knocking stops, thankfully, and a moment later, Dean reaches the front door and unlocks it. He pulls it open a crack to peer out and is surprised to see a tan trench coat. He follows the familiar material up to a concerned face, and yeah, Cas really just spent the last several minutes banging on Dean's door. What in the world…

Cas frowns at Dean through the crack and steps forward, pushing lightly on the wood, and Dean backs out of the way to let him open the door wider. "What are you doing here?" Dean asks.

But Cas squints, and Dean can tell that he's not going to answer the question. Sure enough, Cas asks, "Why are you wearing a blanket?"

Dean opens his mouth, drawing a breath to speak, but the air that passes through his throat starts a coughing fit, and he sways backwards a little. Cas immediately steps into the house, hands landing on Dean's right shoulder and left elbow to steady him.

"You are ill," Cas observes, and Dean would make a sarcastic remark about how observant Cas is, except that he's still coughing.

Dean lets Cas lead him upstairs, but when Cas starts taking him toward the master bedroom, he resists and jerks his chin toward his own room. He can practically hear the question already, so Dean says, "I wasn't really ready to move into Dad's room."

Cas doesn't respond to that, only leads Dean into the bedroom and yanks the covers away from him.

"Hey," Dean protests weakly, shivering a little, and damn it, he hates being sick.

But Cas just shoves Dean down onto the bed and throws the covers over him, leaning over to tuck him in, and wow, Dean can't remember the last time he was tucked in, but he feels ridiculously embarrassed right now. He starts to sit up, but Cas fixes him with an unwavering stare, and Dean holds still.

"Stay," Cas says, and before Dean can answer, Cas leaves the room.

Dean dozes off, so he doesn't know how much time passes before he wakes again to the sensation of the bed dipping down. His eyes snap open, and he sees Cas there, in a faded t-shirt that looks maybe slightly too big for him—he must have left his coat downstairs. Dean's clock has been shoved aside to make room for a large bowl of what smells like chicken soup, and Dean starts to sit up again.

This time, Cas reaches over and pulls him up, supporting him until he's leaning back against the headboard. When Dean's settled, Cas picks up the bowl of soup and passes it to Dean, keeping his hands there until he's sure that Dean has a good grip on it.

"You should give me your house key," Cas says.

"What?"

"I will return later to check on you."

"Aw gee, Cas, I didn't know you cared," Dean says, sniffing. He takes a sip of the soup.

"I did not have ample time to make my own stock. Had I known ahead of time—"

"Dude, it's fine," Dean says. "It's… really good."

Cas stares at Dean, brow furrowed in consternation. "No, it is practically an abomination. I made do with the stock powder you had in the cupboard." Then he shakes his head and says, "Regardless, keys. I need your keys."

"You don't have to—" Dean starts, but Cas doesn't look like he's about to back down, so Dean sighs and says, "Okay, see the pants on the chair over there? They should be in one of the pockets."

Cas gets to his feet and crosses the room, and Dean drinks some more of the soup. It really does make him feel better, makes him think of the times that he got sick when he was little. Mom always made chicken soup for him, and sure, she typically made it from scratch, but he hasn't had chicken soup made from scratch in a really long time anyway, and he's almost forgotten the difference.

"You should have told me you didn't like the honey," Cas says as he rummages through Dean's pockets.

Dean looks up from the bowl. "What?"

"I saw it in your kitchen. It hasn't been touched."

"Well I mean, I just… I don't really eat anything that uses honey," Dean tries.

Cas turns around, looking exasperated, but Dean's throat chooses that moment to start tickling, and he hurriedly sets the bowl down on the table just before another coughing fit takes over. Cas is beside him in an instant, patting his back.

When Dean's done coughing, Cas offers the bowl to him again, but Dean shakes his head, so Cas sets it back down. "I don't really have much of an appetite right now, Cas, but thanks."

Cas indicates that Dean should lie back down, so he scoots forward in bed and lies down, and he'd be lying if he didn't enjoy having Cas there to support his weight, even if Dean doesn't exactly need it.

And then Cas gets up, starting to leave the room. "I will take the honey with me, if it'll be wasted here."

"Hey, wait. I uh… maybe you could show me a few things?" Dean asks. Cas raises an eyebrow, and Dean says, "When I'm feeling better."

"I suppose I could," Cas says, head tilting a little in the way that means he's thinking.

He steps back over to the bed and places a hand on Dean's forehead, eyes thoughtful. Then he pulls his hand back and cracks a smile, small and fond, and Dean thinks his heart might be bursting because in all the time that he's known Cas, he's only seen the guy smile that one time when he was talking about Dad. The closest he's come otherwise is a neutral, peaceful expression. Dean wants to speak, to say something, anything that'll keep Cas at his bedside, but then he doesn't want to make a sound, doesn't want to break the spell that's putting that little smile on Cas's face.

So he just stares at Cas, long and hard, committing his face to memory, because as much as Dean adores (Jesus, since when does he use words like adore? Dammit, Cas has the worst effect on him ever) Cas's customary frowny face, this smile is so, so much better.

"Sleep, Dean," Cas says.

"Yeah, okay," Dean says, but he can't stop looking at Cas's face.

"Dean," Cas says, insistent, and Dean feels a pang of disappointment that the smile is gone.

"Okay, okay."

Dean closes his eyes then, and about half a minute later he hears Cas's footsteps moving toward the door. He opens his eyes in time to catch a glimpse of Cas disappearing through the doorway, and it isn't until this moment that it occurs to Dean that he never asked what Cas was doing here in the first place. Did he honestly come to check on Dean just because Dean didn't come out to pester him this morning?

And then Dean can't help but grin, because perhaps Cas doth protest too much, and he likes it when Dean's there, irritating the hell outta him. If that's true, well, Dean might be the luckiest man ever.

When he eventually falls asleep, it's with Cas on his mind and a smile on his face.