A/N: There may be the possiblity of further chapters...
It was nearly Christmas. Dean was reluctant to make a stop anywhere, even to eat. It was a time of year he'd never been fond of. Turkey, stuffing, roasted sweet potatoes and pie. So many pies. Which would have been great, except he didn't know any one who cooked that stuff. Invariably, every diner they went to would serve some dry slices of turkey with too-salty gravy and dry, floury potatoes that had been reheated so many times their crispy skins had become leathery jackets. And for dessert a slab of heavy, suet-based pudding with gummy, tasteless, yellow slime passed off as custard. The thought actually made him shudder. And don't forget mince pies, which were the least palatable of all pies, and Dean should know. And the carols didn't even bear thinking about. So relentlessly perky, sentimental and depressing all at the same time.
He'd thought he was over it. He and Sam had their own traditions that had meaning for them. They had their prank wars and the 'bitch/jerk' thing, and Dean didn't feel like they had to keep up the pretence of Christmas cheer. Once you'd brought someone back from the dead by selling your soul at a crossroad, any gift you ever gave them afterward was anticlimactic. It was all a sham anyway. People preached good will for a couple of weeks of the year, while their family gatherings caused them to slowly lose their minds, then they went back to being selfish jerks.
But he wasn't over it, not completely. He glanced over at Cas riding shotgun, jaunty red beanie leaning against the car window, giving colour to his pale cheeks, contrasting with his blue eyes and dark hair. He wanted Cas to have the human Christmas experience, even though Cas seemed to find all days interesting, whether it was Columbus Day or laundry day. You kind of needed kids for the authentic Christmassy thing though. They were too young and unbroken by life to have stopped believing in good things, like gifts appearing overnight from mysterious, benevolent strangers. Cas was a bit like that. He seemed young in the way he saw things, although Dean knew technically he wasn't. He wasn't completely broken either, just a bit… scratched up by life maybe, and he still believed. In second chances, in trusting. In Dean. That's not to say he was naïve, because he was a good judge of character and no doormat, but he was undeniably optimistic and trusting.
They would definitely have to stop soon. It was getting darker and colder as evening loomed and soon the roads would get icy. The heating in the Impala wasn't great (nobody's perfect), so they rode rugged up, but overnight it was best to huddle up in a motel somewhere and watch awful Christmas movies, interrupted by Cas' amusingly bizarre questions. Every few days Dean would call Sam and confirm they were fine, because Sam was like the nagging sister he'd never wanted.
Dean pulled off the highway into the next small town they came across. The dark, wet Impala passed under swags of Christmas bunting that garlanded the street. Dean parked them outside the office of the only motel on the main street. The parking lot was poorly lit by yellow sodium vapour lights which were great for fog but did absolutely nothing against the dark. Cas sat up and yawned when the engine stopped.
"Where are we?"
Dean smiled. Clearly, Cas had been dozing off during the drive. "Some place called Beaversett."
Cas frowned a little. He wasn't sure why he asked. The names never meant anything to him, although he had enjoyed many places they had visited, and was even starting to enjoy the journey, slow as it was.
Dean placed the cold car keys into Cas' warm hand and went in to get them a room. Cas knew the drill. He got their bags out of the car while Dean got them a room. That way Cas didn't have to worry about coming up with aliases or convincing lies and the person behind the counter didn't start speculating about why two men would want a room together. They dumped their bags and got ready to eat at the nearest restaurant that was still open. Cas kept his beanie, zipped up his jacket, put on a scarf, all while Dean sat on the bed and waited. Dean liked that their silences were comfortable, that neither of them felt the need to fill them. Cas looked up from zipping his jacket.
"Dean. You are not going outside like that."
"I'll be fine."
"No, you will be cold. By the time we get to the diner, your hands will be freezing and you'll be very unpleasant company."
"Why, Cas, how would cold hands make me unpleasant company?" Dean smiled his suggestively crooked smile.
Cas rolled his eyes, a bad habit he had picked up from Sam. He stood in between Dean's knees and wrapped the still-warm scarf from his own throat, around Dean's neck, while Dean held onto him by the pockets of his jacket and smiled up at him, relaxed.
"Please, Dean." Cas gave him the big-eyed, pleading gaze.
"Aw, that's not fair."
Cas' earnest stare lost a little of its innocent quality when the corners of his mouth started to curl up.
"A hat and gloves as well, Dean."
"You can't ruin this hair with a hat! And I don't have gloves."
Cas reached down and stroked Dean's cheek, then slid his hand up into Dean's hair … and rubbed it into an ungodly mess. "Now its ruined anyway. Put a hat on."
"Fine." Dean glared in silence for a moment, "But there had better be a reward later."
Cas pulled a plain black beanie onto Dean's dishevelled head. He tilted Dean's chin upwards and kissed him, ending with a lingering suck on his bottom lip and smiled at the effect it had. Dean's eyes had closed and his complaining had ceased. His eyes slowly opened. He stood so they were eye to eye, ran his hands up Cas' jacket and framed Cas' face with his hands, pulling him into another kiss which involved much more exploration and sucking of tongues. "Baby…" he whispered.
Cas shivered. "No." he said, placing his hands over Dean's. "We are going to eat dinner." Dean slowly, gently rubbed his nose against Cas' and murmured, "You sure?" Dean's warm breath and intense gaze were melting his resolve. "… yes?" Cas took a head-clearing breath, "Yes."
Dean's look changed from steamy to fond. "Okay. But if I come back with a full belly, and fall asleep without giving you any 'satisfaction', don't come crying to me."
"I have yet to survive a single night unmolested, full belly or not," Cas shot back with raised eyebrows.
"Molested? Oh, someone is sleeping on the couch tonight." Dean's tone was mock-outraged but there was humour in his eyes.
"Let's go. I'm hungry. I will tell you a story to pass the time." Cas pocketed the room key and herded Dean out the door.
"What kind of story?"
"One about a family I knew, who were fleeing cross country. They were hunted. Someone had been killing first born sons and wanted to kill their son." Puffs of steam rose from Cas' lips as he got involved in the story.
"Whoa. What happened to them? Was it fairies again? Cross country, huh? Did they travel in an RV?"
"No, they travelled on a donkey." Cas gave a tiny smile.
"On a…? Dammit, Cas! Stop trying to sneak in bible stories." Cas chuckled. It was a game he never got tired of.
Last time he had gotten quite a long way into the saga of Samson before Dean had cottoned on. Dean had even seemed to enjoy the drama, in a soap-opera kind of way. The trick was to modernize the names and describe locations in broad, general terms. Days later, in a moment of comfortable, closely-tangled weakness, Dean had confessed that he had looked up the story of Samson to find out how it ended; but he hadn't really enjoyed it, because they didn't tell it like Cas did. Cas had liked that admission very much. The rest of that night's interactions had been far less verbal.