Castiel checks his phone for the tenth time, groaning in irritation. Dean said he would meet him at the restaurant at 6:30; it's already 6:45. He grumbles to himself, it's not like Dean to be late. Normally, Dean is the one pulling him out the door at the very last minute while Cas continues to fiddle with his shirt cuffs or searches around for his jacket.
He glances around the empty foyer. Castiel finds it very strange that there is no one else here, especially considering that they were on a wait list supposedly. The hostess had apologized when Cas had arrived, saying that a very large party was taking up most of the restaurant this evening. Some sort of large family gathering, the girl said.
Who the Hell has a family gathering at an Olive Garden on a Wednesday night? Cas thinks
Castiel slumps back on the bench. He didn't even want to go out tonight; he was more interested in staying home and making some headway on the moving boxes that still littered their house.
Castiel smiles to himself and glances down at the lock screen of his phone. It's a photo of Dean and him on the day they moved into the house, their house. Dean is grinning from ear-to-ear, holding up the keys to the front door with one hand while Cas is tucked beneath his other arm.
Months of searching had been fruitless until he and Dean had stumbled upon the little white house, only a few blocks from the river's edge. The price was a bit more than they originally wanted to pay, but as soon as they stepped inside the Queen Anne-style home and saw the hardwood floors and classic design, they both knew this was what they'd been searching for.
It needed some work, that was for sure. There was no garage, something Dean worked on remedying as soon as they'd closed in November. The backyard was also in rough shape and Castiel was eager for spring to arrive so he could start planting a garden and reseeding the lawn. The wallpaper in the master bathroom had to go and the kitchen was in serious need of an update; both of these we're project Cas and Dean planned on working on over the summer.
Aside from that, the house was perfect, structurally. Big enough not only for Cas and Dean but also for, perhaps, a family in the future.
Cas grinned to himself as he pulled his Kindle from the inside pocket of his trenchcoat. Dean bought it for him for Christmas, already pre-loaded with "A Dance With Dragons." He taps it on and finds his spot in the book.
Castiel lets himself get sucked into the action of the story, barely noticing when the door between the restaurant and foyer opens. Someone walks into the area and sits down on the bench across from him.
"Hey, excuse me Sir?" A familiar voice says. Castiel raises his head, ready to remark on Dean's tardiness. Instead, he startles when he sees Dean sharply dressed in a dark suit and tie on the bench across from him.
"Dean?" Castiel asks, eyes flicking over the clothes. "What's going on? Why are you dressed-?"
"I was wondering...," Dean cuts him off, taking a nervous breath. "I'm here alone actually, and I was wondering if you'd like to join me for dinner?" A slow, hesitant smile spreads across Cas' face.
"What are you up to?" He asks. Dean snorts and shrugs absently.
"Nothing, nothing," he answers, looking away. "I'm just wondering if this… gorgeous man sitting across from me would like to spend an evening with me." Dean dips his hand into his pocket and pulls something out, "and then maybe forever after?" Castiel's eyes widen as Dean extends his hand out, offering a glimmering silver band in his direction. His jaw drops open and he feels like all of the blood is draining from his face.
"Dean," he breathes out.
"It's just…" Dean licks at his lips nervously, "It was just over a year ago that we met and it happened to be the best accident of my life. I've never been happier than I am with you."
"Dean," Cas repeats, setting his kindle aside.
"Marry me, Cas?" Dean asks softly, his expression gone serious. He moves off the bench, kneeling on the floor in front of Castiel. He looks from the ring to Dean and swallows hard.
"Oh my God," he mumbles in disbelief. "Did you… Did you really just propose in an Olive Garden?" Dean's shoulders drop and his expression fills with confusion.
"What? I thought it was kind of clever," Dean answers defensively, rising to his feet. "Like our first date, y'know? I mean, there's more to it than this. I practically rented out the entire building." Castiel laughs breathlessly as happy tears spring to his eyes, completely overwhelmed.
"Dean, I…" The door to the restaurant opens and Meg pokes her head out.
"Are you guys done yet?" She asks, glancing between Dean and him. "What's the verdict?"
"He hasn't answered yet," Dean sighs. She glares at Cas pointedly.
"Well, hurry up, Clarence!" She snaps. "Some of us our starving in here." Cas looks from Meg to Dean to the ring in his hands.
"Yes!" He blurts out. Instantly, he is swallowed up in a hug. Dean squeezes him tightly, mumbling "thank yous" and "I love yous" into his hair. Cas presses his face against Dean's shoulder, happy sobs bubbling up from his chest. He is only vaguely aware of more people coming into the foyer with a smattering of applause. Cas raises his head to see the entire Winchester family as well as Balthazar and Meg.
Dean pulls back, wiping a tear out of the corner of his eye. He bites at his lip shyly as he takes Cas' hand and slips the band onto his left hand.
"And now it's official," he says. There is a click and a flash as a picture is snapped.
"Smile, you two!" Mary says, holding up her camera once more. Cas and Dean pose with their arms around each other before separating and fielding hugs from everyone else. Sam and Jess both squeeze Cas hard enough to leave him breathless. John gives Cas a warm nod and a friendly pat on the back, which Cas counts that as a win. Cas catches sight of Balthazar briefly embracing Dean before leaning down and whispering something in his ear that causes Dean's smile to falter (Cas could swear he heard him say "If you hurt him, there won't be a body to find").
Mary moves forward, hugging both Cas and Dean simultaneously. "Welcome to the family!" She gushes. She pulls back and looks at both of them soberly. "By the way, I will expect a wedding from you guys. An actual wedding, none of the Las Vegas bullshit!" Dean snorts in surprise at his mother's language.
"I told you, Mom," Sam groans. "It just made more sense-"
"Sam Winchester, you deprived me of a wedding!" Mary states fiercely, turning on her heel and facing her youngest child. "I amdeprived!"
"Don't worry, Mary," Cas says gently, placing both hands on her shoulders and kissing her softly on the cheek. "You'll get a wedding." Jessica fakes a cough, muttering "Kiss-ass" jokingly.
"Come on," Dean says clapping his hands. "Let's go order our dinner. I know I'm starving." Everyone shuffles out of the foyer. Castiel feels Dean slide their hands together, pulling him into the restaurant.
Dean didn't just go out of his way to invite both of their families, but many of their friends as well. The proposal quickly turns into a makeshift engagement party. Castiel watches happily as Ava chats with Meg while Gabe has Jess and Sam in stitches.
"What would you have done if he'd said 'no?'" Charlie asks, popping a piece of fried calamari into her mouth. Dean smiles and shrugs, glancing at Cas out of the corner of his eye.
"I figured he was good for it," he answers. "Plus, Cas already proposed to me first." Castiel chokes on his wine and swallows painfully. He turns to Dean, brow furrowed.
"No, I didn't," he says.
"Sure you did," Dean replies as he takes a bite of his linguini. "Remember? The night we found out Sam and Jess got engaged?"
"I did not propose to you, Dean," Cas insists. He's sure he would've remembered asking Dean to marry him.
"But you did, Cas," Dean says wryly. "You said, and I quote, 'For the record, I'd marry you in a heartbeat.'" Castiel opens his mouth to argue the point and then immediately claps is shut.
"And I said 'Same,'" Dean continues.
"I think that counts," Charlie teases Cas. Dorothy nods in agreement. Castiel blinks a couple times, sighing and nodding reluctantly.
"Alright, alright, you got me," he admits. He narrows his eyes at Dean. "You always do that." Dean gives him a cheeky grin.
"But you love me for it," he says. Cas' face softens and he leans forward, kissing Dean tenderly.
"I do," he murmurs, twining his and Dean's fingers together. "I really do."
A/N: For a ficlet that was supposed to be just 2K words, this really took on a life of its own. This is also my longest fic to date and I amstunnedI can't thank everyone enough for reading, commenting, and leaving favoriting. This story would have never happened without your support. I genuinely mean that.
Big, gigantic thanks (and equally gigantic hugs) to ANobleCompanion for all her help, her professional expertise and for hosting countless 1K1Hrs. You are the entire reason I was able to keep on schedule and didn't take two years to write this. Come find me on Tumblr (same URL as my name)