This fic is co-written with gambits princess who gave me the promt and we've been exchanging ideas for the plot ever since. The story is set somewhere in season six after Sam got his soul back, more specifics are not really necessary. Enjoy and please R&R :)
The knife flew out of Dean's hand and clattered across the floor as the demon they had cornered flung Dean away from him. The older Winchester would have slammed into the next wall if Castiel hadn't chosen that moment to appear and so Dean slammed into him instead. The angel caught the hunter and held him tight in his arms to prevent him from falling due to his momentum.
Dean grabbed the lapel of Cas' trench coat to steady himself while still hanging on to the angel's arms. He stared up into Cas' intense blue eyes, their faces were merely inches apart. Dean knew he should let go, there was a demon in the room with them, but he couldn't make himself move. He was so close to Cas, too close, but he couldn't move away. He was mesmerized by those deep blue eyes and the chapped but still soft looking lips of the angel.
It wasn't until they heard a yell and the sounds of the demon dying after having been stabbed by Sam that Cas broke the spell by pushing Dean back up fully on his feet and letting go of him. Dean was strangely torn about this. He wouldn't have minded just staring at his angel for a little longer but he was also afraid of where that might have led. They had been way to close. Not that that was something new, with Cas always invading his personal space, but this time had felt different somehow.
Cas looked around, taking in the wreckage of what at one time had been a house, the dead body on the floor across the room and Sam cleaning the knife on the dead man's clothes. "I think this is a bad time. I will come back another time," he stated and then vanished in a rush of wing beats.
This only added to Dean's confusion as relief and hurt rushed through him. Since he didn't understand these feelings at all he converted them into anger and frustration which made him lash out at Sam.
"Dammit Sam. We needed him alive. That was the point of this whole fucking trip," he yelled, glaring menacingly at his brother. Ever since Sam had gotten his soul back they'd been hunting demons trying to find Crowley's flunkies to get whatever information he had had about purgatory and possibly the Mother of All.
"I know that. But you weren't really helping me here, were you. Picked a hell of a time to get into a staring contest with Cas," Sam snapped back, annoyed by his brother. "Jerk," he added very quietly but Dean heard it.
"Bitch," the older hunter shot back, but he knew that Sam had a point and they stopped arguing and worked together to bury the body of the poor man who had been possessed.
After the clean-up they returned to their motel for the night. Dean couldn't stop wondering why Cas had appeared during their demon hunt. He hadn't said what he wanted and had just left again after they had shared this little moment that kept replaying in Dean's mind over and over.
Cas had returned to his favorite heaven when he had left the Winchesters. He had just needed some time away from this war he was fighting, had just needed some distraction. Following the Winchester brothers around, even though they didn't know he was there, had seemed like the perfect way to forget his own problems for a while.
But when that demon had flung Dean across the room and Cas had known Dean would get hurt if he hit the wall he'd just had to do something about it. Dean was his charge and he didn't want any harm to come to him. So he had caught him before the hunter could hit the wall. But Dean hadn't reacted the way the angel had expected him to.
Usually in a situation like that, namely a fight with any kind of monster, Dean would have gotten back on his feet and rejoined the action as soon as humanly possible. He would never leave Sam alone to deal with a monster if he had a choice.
But not this time and Castiel didn't understand that. He couldn't forget the look on Dean's face which he hadn't been able to interpret. Even though he had spent quite some time on Earth now and a lot of that time had been spent in Dean's company, humans still sometimes confused him. There had been something in Dean's eyes that he had never seen there before.
Dean had just held on to him and stared at him. But then it might all just have been surprise. Surprise at not hitting a brick wall as expected but being caught by an angel instead. Dean couldn't have known that Cas had been following him for a while so really surprise was probably all there was to Dean's reaction.
This reasoning should have made him feel better but without really knowing why, he wished nothing more than to be wrong about this. He felt empty inside, something he had never experienced before. Being here in his favorite heaven, watching the autistic man who inhabited it fly his kite, usually made him feel good and calm and happy.
Today he felt none of those things and it was very confusing. He didn't understand himself anymore. Under normal circumstances he would go to Dean and talk to him about it, let the hunter explain what was going on. But since it was Dean who had caused this confusion he couldn't do that this time.
He needed someone else he could ask and he knew just the right person. He would talk to Sam. As Dean's brother Sam would know what it all had meant, if anything at all. So Cas returned to the motel where the two hunters were staying and waited outside for one of them to leave the room so he could talk to Sam in private.
Finally the door opened and Sam came outside walking towards the Impala, keys in his hand. When he was almost at the car the door of the room opened again and Dean stuck his head out.
"Don't forget the pie," he called after his little brother and then quickly closed the door again before Sam's death glare could hit him full force.
Sam shook his head and got into the car. "I will not forget the pie, although I really should now," he muttered to himself glancing over at the now closed door once more. He could not believe he had just lost at rock-paper-scissors. He knew Dean always chose scissors, always. It was a testament of how exhausted he was that he had chosen paper today and was now on the food run.
He started the engine and pulled out of the motel parking lot, only to almost swerve into oncoming traffic when Cas suddenly appeared in the passenger seat next to him.
"Dammit Cas, don't scare people like that when they're driving. Dean might forgive me if I forget the pie…eventually, but if I wreck his baby he'll kill me," Sam called out still slightly shaking after regaining control of the car. Whether he was shaking from fear of almost dying in a traffic accident or fear of almost having to tell his brother he had totaled the car he wasn't sure. The outcome would be the same anyway.
"My apologies, Sam. I need to talk to you." the angel replied.
"Alright, what about?" Sam asked, curious to hear what Cas wanted.
"About Dean and about what happened earlier today."
"You mean when you caught Dean and then the two of you didn't lift a finger to help me trap that demon and I ended up killing it?" Sam didn't really need to ask this question. He didn't need verification of what exactly Cas was talking about but he did need to vent his anger a bit about what had happened.
"Exactly. The way Dean behaved was…odd."
"Yes. He should have joined you in the fight again but he didn't. I don't understand why," Cas explained what his actual question was.
"Well, I don't know. Maybe he was just taken by surprise. I mean, you did show up kind of unexpected," Sam tried to make sense of Dean's behavior.
"I suppose so," Cas replied quietly, "but he kept staring at me in a way I don't understand."
"You two always stare at each other, no matter the situation. It's kinda your thing and nothing strange."
"I don't know. This felt different." After having said that Cas went quiet and seemed lost in thought. Sam had the feeling that he was missing something important but he couldn't quite put his finger on it so he decided to be quiet as well and just drive.
By the time he reached the diner Cas had vanished without another word and Sam stayed in the car in the parking lot for another few minutes to think about what the angel had told him. Yes, Dean's reaction had been odd, even if he'd been taken by surprise. That shouldn't have kept him away from a fight.
And he had seemed disappointed and almost hurt when Cas had left again without explaining why he had come. Similar to the reaction Cas had just had when Sam had dismissed the signs that… "Oh! My! Freakin'! God!" he exclaimed as the realization hit him that maybe there was more going on between his brother and the angel. Only they didn't know it yet.
After letting this thought sink in he finally got out of the car to get the food. When he was looking at the display of pies he suddenly had an interesting idea though. He would not get pie for Dean. No, instead he would get some angel food cake, just to see if he could get a reaction out of his brother. Oh, he was going to have so much fun.