Dean is raking. Not because he wants to, but because he promised Cas. And Cas has never broken his word, so how can Dean do any less? Dean frowns at the leaves, which despite his efforts, keep redistributing themselves on the lawn with each breeze.
"Hey, Deano!" Gabriel appears directly in front of Dean, out of nowhere, causing dry leaves to fountain everywhere as the air is displaced by his arrival.
"Holy! -" Dean considers smacking Gabriel in his annoying face with the rake. "Why do you have to do that?"
"Because it never ceases to amuse me," Gabriel smirks.
He looks around at the garden and nods, making an appreciative pout. "Nice. So this is 'living the dream'?"
Dean bristles at the flippant dismissal of their new home. "Until now, it wasn't bad."
Gabriel ignores Dean's defensive eyes and surveys the house and small yard with a measuring eye. Dean thinks that, maybe, he is going to cover his new home with so much pest-proof warding it will make Bobby's paranoia look amateur.
Dean leans on the rake and turns to look at his first permanent home since childhood (an idea scarier than most hunts he'd ever been on) with the eyes of an outsider. He knows to most people it seems an unassuming, peeling, single story bungalow, but to him it's a big deal. He finds it hard to divorce the place itself from the plans and memories he and Cas are making here and realises he's already become attached to it. It's run down, but he has plans to fix it up and Cas is pretty good with his hands. Dean half smiles at his own double entendre.
His half smile is interrupted by Gabriel's demanding question "One thing. Why is your yard a love letter?"
Dean frowns, staring at Gabriel, as though trying to figure out what the punch line might be. He decides life is too short to figure out the motivation of the world's most twisted archangel.
"Okay, I'll bite. What the hell are you talking about?"
Gabriel puts his hands in his jacket pockets, and points with his foot. "These plantings are new, yes?"
"Ye-eah. Turns out Cas has a green thumb. So?" Dean has a bad feeling about this and resents it. He doesn't want Douche-y McDoucherson ruining his fondness for his new home.
Gabriel doesn't answer but wanders over to the porch steps. "Are you familiar with your incredibly repressed Victorian forebears and some of the creative ways they tried to hide their 'unhealthy' emotions?" Dean guesses that's a rhetorical question as Gabriel points to the small floral bushes beside the steps. "Balsam, fierce love. Next to that, jonquils. Aw, you love him back!" Dean frowns at what he had previously thought of as inoffensive flowering bulbs and bushes, when he had thought of them at all.
Meanwhile, Gabriel wanders idly to the roses flowering by the garden faucet. "Red roses. Classic. Seriously, are you getting this?" Dean comes to stand beside him, dragging the forgotten rake. Gabriel turns to him and jabs his thumb at some more greenery without looking. " Freesias around a red rose, true love surrounded by trust." Dean stares, speechless. Why does Gabriel have to ruin everything?
Gabriel takes a noisy bite of a Kit Kat he pulls out of a seemingly empty pocket and chews it obnoxiously, like he's enjoying a show. He heads for the aging oak in the centre of the lawn. Dean looks at the rake in his hands and then the back of Gabriel's head. "I will smite you," Gabriel says casually without looking back. Dean throws the rake to one side and follows, maybe a little bit curious.
Gabriel stands beneath the oak, pointing at various plants around the garden that Dean had previously been calling 'the leafy green thing with the red flowers' or 'the one with the hairy leaves'. Cas always knew which ones he meant, so why learn the names? He stops next to Gabriel. He hopes his folded arms and compressed lips convey his massive scepticism. They're just plants…aren't they? And Cas just enjoys working outdoors.
Gabriel points with his Kit Kat. "Ranunculus, 'you're hot.' I'm paraphrasing here. The Victorians were way too wordy."
He points to the left. " Magenta stocks, 'I'll always think you're hot, babe.' Again, paraphrasing."
He points further to the left. "White hyacinths, 'You don't even know how hot you are.' My, my, someone's a horny gardener." He snaps a bite of his Kit Kat in a satisfied way that makes Dean want to brandish the rake again. Dean feels he might be blushing, but he really hopes not.
"Over there, lavender, devotion. Over there, Daphne, 'Don't ever change.'" A small noise of recognition escapes Dean's throat. Gabriel arches a brow. He watches Dean with amusement as he points to a shaped, standard ivy Cas spent hours one sunny morning trimming into a perfect globe.
"Ivy, faithful friends become lovers."
"Now you're just making this crap up!" Dean just knows he is blushing. He can feel the heat of his ears betraying him.
"Oh no, Deano. I kid you not. I might be translating it to suit your vocabulary, but the meanings are there. Get your gigantic brother to research the Language of Flowers for you."
Gabriel jerks a thumb over his shoulder. "Behind us, around this tree, nasturtiums, conquest. Finally. And of course grass, grass, everywhere, submission and man-on-man love." Gabriel smugly stuffs the last of his chocolate bar into his mouth.
Dean's eyeline skims over the garden, a now noticeable blush high on his cheeks.
Gabriel rubs his hands together as though his work here is done. "So, where is Cas, anyway?"
"Uh, … at the plant nursery…" Dean wishes he could stop, "Getting peonies." He winces at Gabriel's snort.
"Happy marriage," Gabriel chuckles. He claps Dean on the shoulder in amusement and disappears, leaving an echo of chuckles turning into hoots of laughter.
When Cas gets home from the nursery (he smiles, realising he thinks of this as 'home') he stands at the head of the path with his newly purchased peonies in hand. He wonders why there is a little urinating gnome statue near the steps, that wasn't there when he left this morning. The small smile grows as he sees that Dean has not only raked the leaves as he promised, but seems to have gone the extra step of weeding and mowing as well.