Yes, it felt awkward letting Cas read the torn-cornered copy of Modern Bride while they waited for the laundry. He couldn't bring himself to try and explain to Cas why he didn't like him reading it. He'd just get that confused and slightly hurt look that Cas got, when he thought he'd failed to understand or blend in. It wasn't his fault that he didn't have the prejudices or the need to label everything into neat categories that Dean did. So he let Cas read it. Dean had spent enough bored hours in laundromats to understand the need for something, anything, to read. If he had any house keeping knowledge at all, it was probably down to the random magazines he'd read in laundromats over the years.

He looked over at Cas seated on one of the grey plastic chairs; the smooth curve of back Dean had stroked that morning and wanted to stroke now. With his shirt sleeves pushed up, elbows on his knees and the magazine held loosely between his hands, Cas looked for all the world like he was reading Guns & Ammo or Fly Fishing magazine. Dean knew he was smiling like a goofy idiot, but it felt good.

When he and Sam used to do laundry Dean had always sat around, legs jiggling impatiently, paging through a two-year-old TV Week someone had left behind, sometimes tearing it up and flicking pieces of it at Sam's head. Sam had been the one, loading and unloading, and folding like a little housewife. Sure, sometimes Dean did the loading and unloading, but there was never much folding. He could kind of see now that he'd been a dick to Sam a lot of the time. But that was their dynamic. Sam knew it didn't mean Dean didn't care, it was just that he had an image, and that image did not involve folding laundry. It involved winking suggestively at the girls who came in with baskets of push-up bras and lacy thongs.

He and Cas didn't have those ingrained patterns of behaviour from years of growing up together. What they had was a history of Cas giving everything he could for Dean. Anything Dean needed, if Cas could, he would give. Dean knew now, you couldn't keep taking without giving back, because eventually there was no enjoyment in the taking any more. Only things without souls could keep doing that. And Dean had a soul. Cas had given him that too.