A/N: Sorry for the long hiatus. Real life struck with a vengeance, much like a Die Hard villain. The smut is not as smutty as it should be, but I figure no-one really just 'dives in' on their first try. So think of it as Cas & Dean 'dipping their toes in the water '.
Honestly, this story probably could have gone on longer. But I think those tales will be better told in another story... ;)
Warnings: some language, half-assed smut (pun completely intended), gratuitous schmoop.
Balthazar stared at the blinding white, punctured by the occasional black silhouettes of the tips of trees, weighed down with more white. His head tilted to the side as he tried to sense the location of the demon. He'd had a brief talk with Gabriel. Since Crowley had only expressed an opinion (albeit a badly timed one, in poor taste) and not done any actual damage, the archangel was content for Balthazar to unbind him from the snowdrift Gabriel had set him in. Besides which, with no way to destroy the soul-stealing blade and no idea what had actually happened to Castiel's grace, they might need the demon's co-operation in future.
Balthazar waved a hand lazily and the demon appeared. Crowley looked mildly surprised at his surroundings but otherwise unimpressed. He brushed a stray snowflake from the shoulder of his dark suit. "Where's my Glen Craig?"
Balthazar straightened the cuffs of his own suit jacket and raised an eyebrow. "You're welcome."
One side of Crowley's mouth rose in a smirk. "This could be the beginning of something."
Balthazar's face remained coolly impassive. "Diabolique ou divin?"*
It was Dean's idea that they all go out to the local bar where their last catastrophe had begun. Dean was curious to see if human Cas would still have the pool skills he used to have as an angel. Cas still seemed to have an excellent eye for pool, although he wasn't perfect like he used to be, now that he had all of the little annoyances and discomforts of being human. The itches, the tremors, the distractions.
Since Cas now made the occasional mistake which gave Dean and Sam a chance, they actually had a good game. It didn't hurt that losing his turn meant Dean could appreciate Cas' ass as he bent over the pool table either.
Cas refused to get drunk and ended up driving a completely pie-eyed Sam and Dean home at two in the morning, on his new fake driver's license, as they hollered the lyrics to 'Blaze of Glory' at the tops of their lungs.
Dean kind of liked having someone beside him in the morning to hand him some aspirin and a glass of water. Someone who didn't make him sleep in another room because he was drunk, and didn't comment on his morning breath. Someone who smoothed his hair back and kissed his hot forehead and looked at him with eyes that were fond, not judgemental. Cas' smile was so undemanding, so giving.
"Cas…your smile makes my heart swell and my soul rise up."
"Dean, that's … beautiful." Cas' smile grew teasing. "You're still drunk."
Dean sighed heavily. "Yeah." He gratefully leaned his head against Cas' cool shoulder as Cas kissed his forehead again.
Apparently hangovers made Dean maudlin.
Dean and Cas were slumped on the couch, sharing earplugs to the one mp3 player. Dean's face was so unimpressed it was almost pained. In contrast, Cas' eyes were closed, his brow peacefully smooth, a small smile curving the corners of his mouth. Dean pulled his earplug out. He turned towards Cas. "You like this?"
Cas opened his eyes and stayed splayed on the couch, turning only his head. "You don't?"
Dean paused, then evaded the question. "Show me your play list." Cas straightened himself up and handed over the player. Dean's thumb scooted over the screen as he frowned at it.
"Awful. Yuck. Awful. Embarrassing. Sam-worthy. No. God no. Awful."
A crease had appeared on Cas' brow, that was growing with each judgement from Dean's lips. Dean looked up and noticed Cas' expression.
"Hey, no! I mean, its your play list, you gotta have what you like. I'm just saying…" He handed the player back apologetically. "Hey. You don't have to like what I like. Free will, remember?" He smiled and stroked Cas' cheek, some of Cas' frown smoothing out at the gesture.
Cas couldn't help it, a corresponding smile slowly grew on his own lips. Dean leaned in and kissed the smile.
"Barry White? Really?" Dean murmured, still smiling.
"Sam said you'd like it." Cas smoothed the collar of Dean's jacket and used it to pull Dean in for another kiss, before sliding it off Dean's shoulders.
"Yeah, I kinda do. In context." Dean grinned, toppled Cas over onto his back and slid onto him. Cas looked surprised but not unwilling.
"Culture lesson. Barry White? Make-out music. Lesson over."
Dean began kissing Cas' neck, mouthing his way around under his jaw to the other side where he began to suck more intensely with the intention of leaving a mark. Cas closed his eyes and arched his neck. His hands snuck under Dean's t-shirt, and smoothed over his back. "Damn, you smell good, Cas," Dean breathed against his ear. Cas' only response was a quiet "Mm." Dean leaned away a little to look at Cas. "Is that all I get?" Cas' eyes were still closed. "Mm hm." Dean leaned in and kissed Cas on the lips. He worked at Cas' lips with small licks, growing slower and firmer, working his way into Cas' hungry mouth, until he finally elicited a groan from him. He murmured against Cas' lips "That's it, baby. Tell me."
Cas slid his leg between Dean's and bent his knee a little, putting some pressure on Dean's swollen cock. His hands moved to Dean's ass and squeezed, gentle but firm. "Sweet - holy - fuck… Jesus, Cas."
"You're being incoherent, Dean."
"Oh, so now you can talk."
Cas smiled and kissed Dean, sucking at Dean's tongue, encouraging him to explore his mouth again. Every squeeze from Cas' strong fingers had Dean squirming against him. Cas knew they weren't being very discreet, but it felt so good. And it kept feeling better. He wanted to know just how good it could get. Dean's hands were curved under his shoulders, pressing him closer. Every second breath from Dean was a groan, their sinuous movements against each other becoming firmer and faster. "Dean…more," Cas panted. Dean became still and leaned his forehead against Cas' shoulder, breathing heavily. "Okay, that's it."
Cas rubbed his back under his t-shirt, concerned. "Dean, what's wrong?"
"We have to stop, or this is going to get embarrassing." Cas' brow furrowed in confusion. Dean blushed.
"Dude. Don't make me spell it out."
"You've gone from 'baby' to 'dude'. Did I do something…culturally unacceptable?"
Dean tangled his fingers into Cas' hair and kissed him deeply. Cas nuzzled back at him in relief.
"No, baby, no. It's just, uh…I was getting pretty close to…you know. Coming."
Realisation dawned in Cas' eyes. "Orgasm? That's why it felt…"
Dean's eyes closed tightly and he sighed resignedly before answering. "Yes."
"Oh." Cas rubbed the small of Dean's back with one hand and placed the other over Dean's heart.
"Yeah. Oh. And I am so not doing that with clothes on. Or on Bobby's couch."
Cas circled his thumb slowly over Dean's nipple through the fabric of his t-shirt. "Where then?" he whispered against Dean's cheek.
Dean swallowed loudly and spoke quietly "Dammit, Cas." Cas made a needy noise and kissed Dean urgently. Deep, languorous kissing began. Appreciative sounds rolled from Cas' throat,
while Cas rubbed his nose affectionately against Dean's cheek. "Dean…" He didn't know how to describe the aching heat that was growing in him. "You wanna stop for whatever reason, you just say so, okay?" Dean's fingers held Cas' chin. Cas watched Dean's face solemnly and nodded. Cas' eyes traced his lips, his jaw, his eyes, then he pulled Dean's face closer and unhurriedly stroked his tongue against Dean's.
Dean breathed out a groan. "Do you have any idea what that does…?"
Dean closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against Cas'.
Cas kissed him again, his lips lingering before he answered, smiling. "I do now."
Cas rolled his hips against Dean, holding onto Dean tightly, his palms flat against Dean's sweating spine. He felt Dean shudder, and respond by rubbing himself against Cas' thigh and making soft sounds. Dean levered himself up a few inches, unbuttoned and unzipped Cas' bulging jeans. His warm hand smoothed over Cas' stomach which made him twitch ticklishly, then strayed further, over soft, warm fabric, until he cupped Cas in his palm. Cas gasped and nestled himself against Dean's hot palm, squirming. Dean gave a slow, firm squeeze. Dean felt Cas' muffled cry, his face against Dean's neck, flesh twitching and sudden hot wetness pressed against his wrist. Dean felt a matching heat in his chest as Cas panted, moist lips against Dean's ear, making small sounds of effort. Dean felt his body respond to Cas' sounds by shuddering and tensing, the warmth in his chest expanding, so that it was almost painful. He just wanted to give Cas everything good that he could. He slipped his damp hand into Cas' hair, the other hand curled against Cas' neck and kissed him hungrily. He stopped long enough to gently bite and lick Cas' lips. He could barely catch his breath."Love you, baby… Cas. I love you."
His abdominal muscles jerked involuntarily and he pressed his face into Cas' shoulder. His body trembled with the strength of his need for Cas; not Cas' body, but Cas himself, his voice, his expressions, his caring, his smile, his questions. His pounding heart drowned out everything. He only knew he wanted more of Cas as he felt a deep-seated tension break and pulsed hotly into his jeans. He felt Cas' hands tentatively stroking at his hair in concern as he relaxed, his full weight draped over Cas.
For something that he'd sworn he wouldn't do, and hadn't done since high school, he felt pretty good. He kissed Cas' neck over and over again. He felt the vibration of a contented hum from Cas. He cupped Cas face and kissed him as Cas kissed back eagerly. Cas lips tasted of salty perspiration, the inside of his mouth warm and sweet. Dean had to admit it felt kind of good to get messy and lose control a little. And confess his love like a girl. No. He refused to feel bad about it. He needed Cas to know. With the lives they led, they couldn't leave things like that unsaid. Not again.
Cas' fingers trailed through his hair and stroked behind his ear. "Dean? Can we do that again?"
Dean's smile grew. "We can do a lot more than that." Not that he had much idea how, but they'd figure it out, because Cas was astoundingly honest, and Dean would do anything that was good for Cas. "First - we shower and get a change of clothes before Bobby and Sam come back. Then you and me are going to Google some stuff and … learn." He brushed back Cas' hair and kissed his forehead tenderly. Cas smiled back, his eyes alive with curiosity.
He looked up from cleaning out the barrel of his old shot gun to see an abnormally hesitant Dean in the kitchen doorway. He frowned. "What's put the wind up you?"
"Uh…" Dean didn't seem to know what to do with his hands. He'd promised himself he would do this, so he was going to do it, if it killed him. "I've gotta say something and I just want you to hear me out and not interrupt, okay?" He held his hands out to forestall any response from the older man.
Bobby shrugged and nodded. These boys were getting stranger every day. He continued to clean out the shotgun.
"Alright," Dean continued, "here goes… You've always been a constant in mine and Sam's life, since we were little kids. You're always there for us and you've saved our asses more than a few times. You were there for us when we had no-one else, and you were the voice of reason when me and Sam couldn't think straight. I want you to know, I don't say this shit lightly and I don't take it for granted. You're like a father to me, Bobby, and you know … I love you. There. I said it." He stood waiting. Bobby had stopped cleaning the shotgun at Dean's awkwardly forced words. He pushed the front of his cap up and met Dean's eyes without saying a word for several harrowing moments.
"I know all that, you idjit. Now scat, so I can sob my tender little heart out," Bobby growled sarcastically. Dean's mouth quirked into a relieved grin. "You got it." He left feeling like a looming disaster had been averted.
"See you, Sam! Bobby! We're going fishing!"
Dean threw a couple of rugs, a plastic cooler, a backpack and a couple of fishing rods into the trunk of the Impala and slammed it shut.
Sam came out of the barn and strode over wiping grease from his hands with a rag. "Since when?"
"Since I decided Cas has to learn to fish."
"Fishing takes patience, Dean. Its not your area of expertise."
"Cas has plenty enough patience for the both of us." Which was a lie.
And if they came back looking dishevelled and smug and without any fish, no-one commented.
Sam looked up from inspecting what was left of a stripped out, faded '68 Mustang Fastback** that Bobby had him fixing. Numerous engine parts were arrayed on a tarpaulin beside the faded tomato-red car.
"Hey." Sam wiped his hands on a rag and looked evasive.
Dean leaned against the car and eyed Sam speculatively. "I've been wanting to talk to you for days. It's like you've been avoiding me or something." There was awkward silence from Sam before he answered disbelievingly. "Really? You want to talk?"
Dean's nose wrinkled. "… Yeah, about a couple of things. So just… let me get it out, okay?"
Sam leaned against the car beside him and nodded. "Sure."
Dean cleared his throat and looked at the car parts on the floor. "… You're a good brother, okay?" Dean held his hands up "I'm not saying you haven't made mistakes. But I've made my own share of bad calls, so we'll just call that 'water under the bridge'. There were times when I didn't think we'd both make it this far - but I'm glad we did. I get that you don't see things the same way I do, and that's fine. If I was a dick, I'm sorry. I was only trying to look after you. That's all I was ever trying to do… so yeah.'
"Jeez, Dean. Are you dying or something?"
"Not this time. And I'm not done yet."
"Oh, sorry. Please, go on. I'm intrigued that being mute might have finally made you see sense." Dean snorted, then drew a deep breath.
"About Cas. And me…" Sam said nothing and waited. Dean's eyes stayed glued to the scattered car parts.
"It's… he's… I'm…" Dean sighed in exasperation and wiped a hand over his face. Sam looked perplexed and amused at the same time. Dean took a breath and tried again.
"I really want it to work. It's not just a 'thing'." He looked at Sam earnestly. "He knows me. He gets me, even though we both know I'm a pain in the ass."
"I know, Dean."
"Cas already pretty much told me that you guys are serious, and I need to let you guys work it out."
"He did? Huh. I can't decide if that's awesome or if I'm horrified."
"He cares, Dean. And I think he really does 'get' you. I don't think it's going to be easy because, well - it's you. Also he's still got a lot of learning to do. And if you hurt him, I'm not sure whose side I'll be on." Sam raised his eyebrows and smiled a crooked smile at Dean, who grinned back for a moment.
"Duly noted. Thing is…I was kind of thinking…Cas and I could take a road trip. Alone. To… figure stuff out."
"Wow, Dean. Are you making… plans? Like future plans? Just…wow."
"Shut up," Dean said smiling.
"Or is this about deflowering?"
"See this is why Cas and I have to be away from here, bitch. And technically… that horse has bolted." Dean strode quickly out the barn doors.
Sam stood, mouth open, trying to decide whether to ask or not.
Dean loves burying his nose in Cas' hair, against his skin, in the scent and the feel of him. He loves that this is how he gets to fall asleep every night.
Cas wakes up with his face smooshed against the side of Dean's neck, a hot palm between his shoulder blades, holding him close, warm breath in his hair. He loves that this is how he wakes every morning.
*French: Diabolical or divine?
**Hell of a sexy car.