"Cas, come look! There's a door!"
There was the sound of dishes clanging with cutlery from the kitchen, then Cas grumbling loudly:
"I'm busy, Dean, this can wait."
Dean left the cramped room and jogged through the barge's length.
He was running all the time now, more than necessary and he enjoyed it every time. He also randomly lifted Cas, carrying him for a few steps, until Cas complained too much.
But the best part of his recovery (all right, the second best part), was that he could fix stuff around the barge and feel immensely helpful.
He also cooked and cleaned, of course, even more so now when they had guests around, at least twice a week. Cas complained sometimes but Dean insisted.
"Come on, Cas, Charlie is cool! You spent the last evening laughing with her."
"That was because of the cootie catcher."
"And you still won't tell me what was written on it."
"So, should I tell her not to come on Saturday?"
"I've forgotten how to be social, Dean."
"You're doing just fine," Dean kissed him, then took his hands, "If you ask me to cancel her or Gabe or anyone else, I'll do it. Even it it's Benny, you know that."
Benny was Dean's new coworker. They carpooled whenever the barge left their main port, where the Impala was parked. Dean wanted to rent a garage but Cas' farmers friends had insisted he leave her in their old barn. They were also invited once in a while.
"Come on, Cas, it's exciting. I mean, there could be an extra room behind."
There was. Why someone had put some shelves to hide the entrance, he had no idea. Once they managed to scrape the rust away, the door opened with a creak. There was a very musty smell, but other than that it looked fine.
Dean was jumping around, describing it in detail to Castiel, even though Cas was standing next to him, a little smile on his face. There was a lot to do.
"Imagine, with a crib and some pastel paint. I'm sure Jess would be happy to let Allison sleep in here."
"There is a lot of work to be done yet. And now that you're working..."
"Bobby's coming, remember? In fact, it's a really good thing I found that room, 'cause we'll have to keep him occupied."
"What about his partner?"
"From what I heard, Ellen likes hard work too. And if she doesn't, you'll keep her company."
Cas was full on smiling now. Dean felt his chest hurt, or maybe he was breathing in too strong. It was so strange how long you could feel madly attracted to the same person, he reflected.
"You look happy. I like that very much," Cas went on. He was walking to the window, frowning as he looked at it, "I do not understand how I missed it. It is quite dirty."
Before Dean could stop him, he was brushing the glass with his elbow.
"Cas, don't! You'll ruin your trench coat."
Dean was back in the living-room, making a list of what to buy or borrow from work.
He had to sit at the table, the couch was covered with books. There was still no television set as, after a long discussion, Castiel had explained that he didn't care for the violence it would bring in his home. Dean had immediately stopped and made without, catching up on a show or two at work, on his breaks.
A few weeks later, Castiel had turned up with an old broken radio set for Dean to fix and place in the kitchen. When they felt equal to it, they listened to the news, but mostly it provided a nice musical boost for whoever was preparing the meals.
He felt a nose tickle his neck, then a kiss.
"You are tiring me, Dean."
"And you're distracting me."
"Yes. I wish to go to bed."
"Not now, honeybee, I have to go and take some measurements."
"There is no rush."
Dean caved. No matter what happened else in his life, Castiel always came first.
Castiel stretched over his chest like a lazy cat. Dean stroke the dark hair gently, his whole body relaxed and content.
"You love your niece very much."
"Yeah." He chuckled at the statement. The way Cas' mind worked was fascinating. He didn't think he'd understand him completely and he like that a lot.
"Do you regret it?"
"What?" He turned to look at Castiel who was opening two gigantic troubled eyes.
"We won't have children together."
Dean opened his mouth, closed it and considered his answer. He was getting better at this and Cas was getting better at communicating.
They had never discussed having children and he was about to say that they could always adopt, but of course, this was silly. Castiel was the only one who could decide if he could ever have another child and it seemed he knew his mind but feared Dean's response. He thought some more. He didn't know exactly how to feel about that, but he had made his mind on something else, so it was an answer anyway:
"I like kids, that's true, but I can live without one of my own. I'd be terrified of becoming like my dad, I guess, so it would be a mess."
"Yeah, you're right, but seriously, it's fine. Sam and Jess look like they love being parents so we should have other little nieces or nephews and anyway..." His throat was constricting and his breathing was getting shallow but he went on, "I want to live with you for the rest of my life and that means accepting what comes with it, the good and the less good..." He paused and took Cas' hand in his. It trembled. "I don't care if we get married or not but I want to say this. You saved me. Completely. I was in Hell and you were there and you gave me... everything. So, that's it. I won't leave, I won't change my mind, I am yours, forever. The life we have is the best one and I don't want you to think I have regrets, okay?"
Castiel was silent for a very long time. Then he said:
"I know, honeybee, but didn't you listen...?"
"No, I meant, I care about getting married. It is possible now and I would like it. We could invite our friends and your family. We could dance, now that your leg is healed. We could do a cake with my honey."
Dean melted in the mattress. He must have smiled, he may have cried a little. What he was sure of was that he answered :
"Yes. To all of it. Even the dancing."
They kissed and moved back against each other, making the barge sway a little bit more than usual.
It took quite a few days before the new room was worked on, but it was worth it.