Disclaimer:Author owns a house and a car and a dog and a kitty, but no characters or situations mentioned here.
A/N: A gift for tiptoe39 who is awesome and still one of my favorite writers ever 3
Could've Used Post-It Notes
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." -1 John 4:7
152 freckles adorn Dean Winchester's body since his return from Hell.
He isn't even sure that 152 is an accurate count, but that's what he's managed every time he's tried. There are just some places that are too far out of the way and that Dean's kind of embarrassed to ask a random hook-up to check. Not that he has too many of those at the moment. C'mon. He has a whole pile of crap on his plate that includes PTSD Hell-style and y'know, the Apocalypse. There's just no time for much else.
And he wouldn't be bothered at all by the amount of freckles he has (he certainly hasn't ever cared before), but when Dean was born he had had 49 freckles. Mary used to tickle him when she counted the ones on his face and shoulders and elbows. Cassie had confirmed the final count, much later and in much different settings, after Dean had made one too many late-night confessions about his mother and the things he missed about her.
49 to 152 freckles is a big jump, though, and for some reason Dean doesn't think that Hell gave him the extras spread over the planes of his stomach, knees, and inner thighs. Sure, he's spent a lot of time being warmed by hellfire but it doesn't quite work like sunlight. Dean can't really think of anything else that may have caused the sudden increase of freckles. Overall the Freckle Situation isn't overly distracting, and for the most part Dean can put it on the backburner. The times between hunts and bored at whatever motel is home for the day are the ones that usually lead to freckle-hunting.
Castiel is keeping him company while Sam's out getting food and stocking up their supplies. The angel had shown up during breakfast and had looked particularly down, growing wearier each day he's cut off from the Home Office. Keeping that in mind, Dean puts on Ghostbusters (Castiel still doesn't understand the movie, and it's his third time watching it now. Dean is determined to fix this.) and tries not to be too obvious about it while he steals glances at the freckles on the top of his left foot and the odd splatter on his opposite ankle that oddly resembles a sunburst.
"Those are some of my favorites."
Dean glances up in time to see Castiel's eyes fixed on the spatter of freckles he had just been inspecting, and the hunter is stunned to see the ghost of a smile play across the angel's lips. A moment passes as the words register, and Dean gapes at the angel. "Um, what?"
Castiel draws nearer, leaning far into Dean's personal space to brush his fingertip across the starburst of freckles at Dean's ankle. "These," Castiel clarifies. "These ephelides are among those that I left when I remade this body."
Dean stares at Castiel as he pulls his hand back and straightens, thinking What? And, when his mind remains blank, he says aloud, "What?"
"There should be many others. I left 103 in addition to your original ephelides," Castiel explains matter-of-factly, like they're not talking Dean and this unknown habit he has of getting freaking freckled by an angel.
As if the handprint wasn't enough, Dean thinks. And, really? "Ephelides?" Dean repeats. "Freckles, Cas. Call them freckles." Then, because that really isn't the point, he adds quickly, "And what the hell are you talking about, leaving freckles? You're the one who put new freckles all over me?"
Castiel returns his look evenly, head tilting just slightly. "Of course," he says. "How else would I remember what I need to know about your body?"
Dean gapes at Castiel for a very long time. Castiel continues to gaze back at him, which is pretty much par for the course. When it becomes painfully obvious that he's going to have to continue this conversation, Dean prompts him further. "Cas, seriously, what the hell are you talking about?"
Castiel's shoulders twitch as he gives a slight sigh, and he moves to sit by Dean. Without asking permission, he reaches for Dean's hand. Dean flinches, but doesn't draw away as Castiel flips his hand to touch the freckle at the inside of his wrist. "This is where you are the most ticklish," the angel says as Dean squirms slightly. "You always tie your wrist sheaths a bit lower than this spot because it distracts you otherwise.
"This," Castiel continues, fingertips trailing over the freckles at the bend of Dean's elbow, "is where you like to be touched when you are in need of reassurance."
Dean quivers. Then quivers again, surprised that the response is less get the fuck away from me and more hey, there's some unnecessary five inches between us why don't you come a little closer. Still, he's supposed to be feeling outraged or something. He's like, 88% sure that that would be the appropriate response to learning that your angel made freckles to keep notes on your body's responses to 'external stimuli'. Keeping that in mind, Dean means to grumble. Instead, he finds himself saying "What about the ones here?" and pointing to the line of freckles that had appeared on the corner of his jaw.
Castiel smiles, his blue eyes brightening. "That is where I touched your face as I breathed life back into you," the angel says, then fits his hand over the marks. "Like this."
Dean twitches. "And, um, the one here?" he asks, pointing to the tiny mark at the corner of his mouth.
Somehow, Castiel seems to glow. Dean wonders if maybe that's how angels convey their happiness. "That," Castiel breathes as he leans in, until his words are a warm, wet huff against the freckle in question, "is where my Grace brushed when you drew in that first breath."
And then their lips are pressing together chastely and Dean thinks he might've been the one to lean in but he doesn't really give a damn because holy shit he's kissing Cas. And it's kind of nice. Really kind of nice.
Cas draws back, hand fluttering from Dean's jaw to rest in his lap. The angel watches Dean expectantly and after a moment, the hunter clears his throat. "So, uh, 103 new freckles to remind yourself of what touches I like?"
Castiel dips his head in a slight nod. "Yes. I wanted to remember exactly what you enjoy."
Dean laughs suddenly, shaking his head as he claps Castiel on the shoulder. "Dude. Remind me to introduce you to post-it notes." Then, licking his lips, Dean lets his hand wander up to cup the angel's nape. "So, what were the rest of them for?"
Castiel gives Dean an honest-to-God smirk, and suddenly Dean feels like melting gold under that electric blue gaze. "Lie back, and I'll show you."
Dean loves his new freckles, every single one.