((Apparently I am not happy unless I am writing crackish fluff fic for odd pairings? For Sastiel Week, with the title and song lyrics from The Moody Blues (who in my personal headcanon, are Cas's favorite). Now everyone go listen to them.))
I've been thinking about our fortune
And I've decided that we're really not to blame
For the love that's deep inside us now
Is still the same
And the sounds we make together
Is the music to the story in your eyes
It's been shining down upon me now
The first time it happens—or at least, the first time Sam notices it, but really, who knows how long this has been going on?—they are at a gas station in South Carolina. Western part of the state, close to the Appalachians and the northern border. The tank is still half-full, but Dean insists on stopping because gas is more expensive in North Carolina and he wants, "junk food, Sammy; not all of us exist on coffee and fucking salads."
Sam feels like Dean uses a lot of hyperbole in everyday conversation. Seriously, he eats more than salads. Sometimes.
But Dean isn't really who he's concerned with right now. It's Castiel.
Castiel, who has been riding in the back of the Impala and hanging around in motel rooms and finding hunts with them for the last three weeks as they traverse the country—business as usual but with one added angel. It's a pretty okay setup, actually. Sam can't even imagine the three of them being separated again and okay that's pretty corny, call them the Three Musketeers or whatever but the point is, the point is, something odd is going on.
So they're at the gas station, and all three of them have exited the car to stretch their legs. Dean jerks his thumb at the stop and grins a bit. "Food!" Sam rolls his eyes a bit as his brother heads toward the building, but he's considering following him because hey, he's kinda hungry and also because fuck Dean, he eats junk food, too. He turns to Cas to ask if the angel wants anything and stops short because
it takes him a moment to process it
no really, a very long moment
Cas is staring right at him, his mouth is partially open and he is doing some really fucking obscene things with his tongue.
Sam turns tail and speed walks to the door of the gas station. He stops for a moment, takes a deep breath, turns around—everything seems to be normal for a moment but then Cas catches his eye and he's doing the tongue thing again.
"Oh my God." Sam jerks the door open and hurries in, searching for Dean.
He finds his brother in an epic staredown with a shelf full of a variety of chips.
"Cas is being weird."
Finally Dean makes eye contact with him, but instead of the concerned expression the situation Sam feels warrants, he just looks amused.
"Wow. That's new, Sammy. Cas being weird? Really?"
"Dean! You're not taking me seriously."
Dean just grins and claps him on the shoulder. "No worries; I think you take yourself seriously enough for the both of us."
For some reason, Sam's glare only seems to make him smile wider.
Dean has been in a ridiculously good mood for a while now. Which is great, really, but also has the unfortunate side effect of him finding everything funnier than usual, including Sam, even when it really shouldn't be funny because Sam is being serious here.
He's about to try again but Dean cuts him off by grabbing three bags of various flavors of Lay's and heading towards the back where the soda is. Sam fumes a bit, but waits near the door until Dean pays and follows closely behind him as they leave and head back to the car. With some relief he sees that Cas is already in the back seat.
Sam and Dean slide in to their respective seats and they take to the road again.
Except now Sam knows something is up.
They're actually in North Carolina now, having crossed the border maybe fifteen minutes ago, and they'll probably be at their destination, Boone, right around nightfall. Dean is struggling with opening the third bag of chips, and while he's distracted Sam turns around in his seat and looks at Cas.
Cas notices immediately, stares back at him for a moment. His gaze flickers to Dean, apparently checking to make sure he's not watching because once he sees that Sam is the only one looking at him he very deliberately sticks his tongue out. He doesn't do anything weird with it this time, but it's already weird because Castiel is sticking his tongue out at him so what the actual fuck. Sam takes a very long moment to wonder if maybe he's fallen asleep during the drive and this is all a very strange dream, or if maybe he'd eaten something funny and this is all a very strange dream, or if somebody had slipped him some kind of drug and this is all a very strange dream.
The tongue retreats again as Dean finally manages to tear the bag open and stuff his hand inside, emerging with a fistful of chips. He gives Sam a triumphant smirk, but notices the way he's turned towards the back and the smirk turns wicked.
"What? Wanna climb in the back with Cas, Sam?"
Sam instantly turns to the front again with a "Shut up, Dean."
There's a pause before Cas speaks up and says, "You are welcome to sit back here if you wish, Sam."
Sam knows his face is getting red and hopes Cas can't see it—though he knows Dean can, the fucker.
"Don't pay attention to my idiot brother, he's just fucking with me."
Dean practically cackles as he turns the music up.
"I think Cas is fucking with me."
They're in Maine another week later, and it's Cas's turn for a food run. The brothers are left to sit, or in Dean's case lounge, around the motel room until he gets back. Dean seems content with his beer and the TV, but Sam feels jittery and he really needs to tell someone about what's been going on.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Dean, damn him, still sounds as amused as the first time Sam tried to bring it up.
"I mean he keeps doing weird things. Weird like, making faces and sticking his tongue out."
Dean makes a face himself. "I haven't seen anything like that. Are we talking about the same Cas here? Kinda expressionless, broody sorta guy? That Cas?"
"He only does it when you're not looking," Sam insists. "Which is why I think he's fucking with me."
"Oh of course, only when I'm not looking. Maybe he's not fucking with you, maybe he wants to actually fuck you, huh?" Dean throws his head back and laughs like he's the funniest man in the world, which he's not, he's just a douchebag.
"Don't be stupid," he mutters. Dammit, is his face getting red again? "Besides, you guys are the ones with all the eyefucking."
Dean shakes his head. "It's not eyefucking. I think it's mostly that he wants to punch me in the face."
"I want to punch you in the face," Sam says, and that's the end of the conversation because Cas chooses that moment to walk in with two bags full of containers of Thai food.
Sam loves Thai food.
They crowd together on the edge of the bed closest to the TV. Cas is stuck in the middle, pulling out various cartons which Dean grabs immediately to survey the contents and decide which he wants.
This is the kind of behavior Sam has already gotten used to from his brother, but he still shoots an exasperated can you believe him? glance at Cas, who sort-of-but-not-quite smiles back. And it absolutely does not make his stomach flutter, because that kind of thing is for romance novels and weird fanfiction, not his life as a very masculine fuck-you-Dean-my-hair-is-not-girly man. Did he mention the part where he was a man?
That would not be the last time he talked to Dean about the whole Cas thing, and not because Sam brought it up again, but because Dean would not let it the fuck go.
Sam really, really wishes he had never even mentioned it to Dean, because now it seems like every time he gets within five feet of Cas—and considering the amount of time they spend in the car, that's a lot—Dean is smirking at them or waggling his eyebrows or something ridiculous like that. Sam hasn't blushed this much since he hit puberty, but between Dean insinuating things and Cas still doing the weird faces thing, he feels justified in being a bit on edge.
So when Cas sits next to him on the back porch of a recently de-ghosted inn they're staying at and explains that he's sent Dean into town to look for a brand of locally-brewed beer, he's so fucking relieved for the break that he full out beams at the angel. Cas blinks at him, does that funny kinda-smile again, and looks away. He seems almost embarrassed, and Sam can't figure out why but it must have been something he did so he feels kind of embarrassed, too.
Cas doesn't leave, though, just sits next to him and they stare out into the yard in what Sam supposed could be called a "companionable silence."
After maybe fifteen minutes tops, though, Cas starts doing something weird again.
He starts humming.
Sam is startled at first, but Cas doesn't even look at him, just keeps humming. The tune is familiar, though Sam can't think of what it is for the life of him. After a while he relaxes again. They stay out for a long time. Every once in a while Cas will pause, shift a bit, and start on a different song. Sam feels like he knows all of them, but just as he works up the courage to ask Dean comes around the side of the house, sees them, and glares.
"I spent like an hour looking for that shit. What was it called?"
Cas looks annoyed. "Non Est."
"Yeah, that. Couldn't find it anywhere. You sure the owner recommended it?"
"Positive." For some reason, the word is pointed and slightly pissed-sounding. Cas gets up and goes inside. Even more strange, Dean's glare turns into a smile as soon as he's gone.
"So. Have fun with Cas while I was gone?"
Not this again. "Dean. Seriously. It's not like that."
"Sure." Dean drags the word out like the child Sam swears he is. "Then why did Cas send me on a wild goose chase, if it wasn't 'cause he wanted to be alone with you?"
"Just because you couldn't find whatever that beer was called—"
"Oh c'mon, Sam, we've been learning Latin since we were kids. Non Est? Does not exist?"
Huh. That's weird.
Now it's Dean's turn to look annoyed. "Man, you guys didn't make any progress, did you? Jeez."
"Shut up, Dean," Sam says automatically. But he's starting to have doubts.
Cas isn't seriously trying to…flirt with him or something, is he? Really, who pulled silly faces at someone they were trying to flirt with?
Socially awkward angels, maybe?
Sam gets up with a scowl. This is ridiculous. There is no way—
Second Hand News. Then Dreams, then Never Going Back Again, then—
Holy shit. Had Cas just been humming a Fleetwood Mac album?
Sam loves Fleetwood Mac.
And if he remembered correctly, he'd said something along those lines during a squabble over music in the car about a week ago. And Cas had been in the back seat, quiet as usual, when he said it. No way.
"You're blushing again, Sammy."
"I said shut up."
Sam almost asks about it, but at the crucial moment he realizes Do you like me? is just about the most embarrassing thing that he could ever say to anybody so instead he sits down heavily in the chair across the table from Cas and stutters out, "So you, you like the Rumours album?"
Cas had been browsing the internet on Sam's laptop, but he immediately turns his full attention to Sam. "Yes. I searched for the band after you recommended it. With Google."
Sam feels incredibly awkward. He doesn't quite know how to respond to that.
Castiel continues, "Stevie Nicks is…quite something."
"Yeah," Sam agrees. "Yeah, definitely. Um."
Cas tilts his head, seemingly waiting for Sam to say something.
"Well, Fleetwood Mac is my favorite…you already know that. Uh, do you have a favorite band?" He regrets it as soon as it comes out of his mouth, because the idea of the angel listening to and having a favorite band is ridiculous, but Cas surprises him.
"If I had to choose, I would say The Moody Blues."
Sam pauses. "Really? I think I know maybe one song by them?" For some reason it comes out as a question. Cas perks up and beckons him closer, and it's kind of cute oh shit fuck no he did not just think that so he scoots his chair around the table until they're sitting next to each other. Cas pulls up Youtube, plugs in earphones, and hands one side to Sam. They each put a bud in their ear, and before Sam can quite catch up they've listened to Nights in White Satin and Question and they're starting on The Story in Your Eyes.
At one point he looks up and sees Dean, who he'd actually completely forgotten was even in the room, sitting on the bed and smirking at them. His instinctive response is to duck his head, which kind of puts his face closer to Cas's, and when Cas looks over at him his eyes are really close and Sam gets a full view of blue.
Sam loves blue eyes.
They end up huddled together at the table listening to music for half the night.
Sam is starting to think he might have a problem.
Sam thinks he has a problem.
The problem is Cas. More specifically, it's his…relationship with Cas. And God that sounded stupid because it really, really shouldn't be a problem, but here he is anyway with what he is pretty sure is a crush.
So he's started talking to Cas more often, after that night with The Moody Blues, and he's never really thought too hard on it but Cas is an angel. Well, he'd thought about it, obviously, but he hadn't really considered it from the angle he is seeing him from now.
Cas is an angel, so he has a unique perspective on all things human, from music to politics, and the history lover in Sam had a field day when he realized Cas had been around since practically forever and there were so many things Cas could answer about just about everything. They are in the middle of a particularly spirited discussion of ancient Mesopotamia when Sam realizes this is probably the most he's ever talked to Cas at a time, and that they've been just talking and having conversations for about a month and he hadn't really noticed until Dean made some sly comments about "geek love" and "getting a room."
The next time he and Dean are alone, he makes a half-hearted attempt to deny it, but is immediately shot down in flames.
"Sam. You have the biggest angel crush right now. I dunno who you're trying to fool. Seriously, just bang him already."
"Dean," he whines, but his brother just gives him a stern look.
"Sam, if you do not get over whatever bullshit hesitation thing you've got going on here and tap that I will be forced to take action."
Sam blanches. He doesn't exactly know what Dean is planning when he says "take action," but he's sure it isn't good.
Hesitantly, he meets Dean's eyes. His brother actually looks serious. Dean sighs and scratches at the back of his neck. "Why don't you just, you know, look at him? If you're really not sure."
Sam frowns. "What do you mean? I look at Cas all the time." And shit, he hadn't meant to say that.
"Yeah, for like ten seconds at a time. Max. Take it from me, actually looking him in the eye isn't all that hard."
Sam isn't quite sure what to say, so he ducks his head, mutters something about eyesex, and leaves the room quickly.
"Action, Sam! I will take it!" Dean calls after him warningly.
It all comes to a head in the kitchenette of a motel room.
An uncommon amount of things come to a head in the kitchenette of motel rooms, in Sam's life, but he supposes that's because his life is filled with an uncommon amount of drama and motel room kitchenettes.
Dean is, of course, absent. Sometimes Sam wonders about Dean's ability to sense when emotions are going to be talked about. He's really good at avoiding moments like this.
The moment in question: he and Cas are in the kitchenette. It starts out normally, with Sam making his way to the fridge for a beer; Cas is washing out a cup in the sink. When Cas shuts off the water, Sam pauses with his hand on the refrigerator handle. He watches—shit why was he watching—as the angel turns, crosses the short distance to the opposite counter and reaches up to put the cup back in the cupboard.
Sam realizes with acute mortification that he had definitely just checked Cas out from behind.
Cas turns around again when Sam's head thuds into the freezer door, but doesn't question when he sees Sam's vague it's nothing, don't worry about it hand gesture. Instead, he hoists himself up onto the counter and sits, watching Sam watch him.
Sam thinks for a moment that Cas looks kinda cute like that, with his legs dangling, but that's almost worse than when he was checking him out so he quickly looks away. Dean's words come back to him, though. It shouldn't be so hard to look at him. If Dean can do it, it should be no problem for me. Right?
So Sam looks at Castiel again, and this time, he holds his gaze.
They stare at each other. Sam realizes this probably looks like eyesex to an outsider, but there's no one else around to see. It's just him and Cas.
He'll be thankful for that later, because he knows (or really, multiple people have told him) that it's pretty easy to read him just by his face, and he can't even imagine the blackmail material Dean would have if he'd been there to see Sam's face when he realizes:
He has a problem.
He loves Cas.
His gaze shoots down to the floor because oh shit, oh fuck he's in love with Cas. He hears rather than sees Cas get down from the countertop and move towards him. Cas's bare feet come into his line of vision, and he tries to focus on them and not think about anything else like the fact that Cas is right in front of him or that Cas is looking at him still or that he's in love with Cas but he realizes when he feels a rush of affection for the angel just because of his fucking feet that he is utterly screwed.
"Sam?" Cas sounds hesitant. "Why won't you look at me?"
"Um." He's not sure how to answer that question.
Castiel pauses for a moment. Sam hears him shift a bit, and when he speaks again he sounds almost…determined?
"I had hoped to keep your eyes on me."
This startles Sam into looking at him. "What?"
"In the past," Cas explains, "your gaze always passed over me."
Sam shakes his head, still not sure what he means.
"You never looked at me if you could avoid it. And when you couldn't, it was never for more than a few seconds at a time."
Sam can't deny that. Especially since it's the second time he's been told as such in so many weeks. He supposes it's a leftover habit from before—when they weren't on such good terms, and he was just "the boy with the demon blood."
"I wanted your eyes on me."
This time it starts to make sense. "Is that why—? With the—?" He pokes his tongue out a bit to indicate all the ridiculous faces he'd seen Cas make. "So I would look at you?"
"Yes," Cas confirms. He looks a bit sheepish. "I realize now that may have been a bit counterproductive."
"It did draw my attention…"
"But not in the way I wanted. That plan really was…absurd." Cas frowns.
"I thought it was kind of fun, actually." Sam offers a smile, but when he sees Cas's gaze soften in reply, he feels compelled to look away again. Cas doesn't allow it for long this time, though.
Sam startles when he feels Cas grasp his chin and gently direct him to look at the angel. "Sam. I feel maybe I am not being direct enough."
"Direct enough? About what?" His voice sounds funny to his own ears. He hopes Castiel doesn't notice that he's trembling slightly or that his face is flushed.
"Sam. I know you are more intelligent than this. Why do you think I have been trying so hard to get your attention?"
Sam thinks about it, and Cas is right. It is obvious.
"Oh," he says. "Oh."
Cas gives him that hesitant half-smile he loves—loves, and he loves Cas and it isn't a problem, not if Cas loves him back, no, then it's amazing and fantastic and he loves Cas and Cas loves him back.
"Oh," he says again, just for good measure, and then he leans in, and then Dean interrupts.
"Finally! I thought all this tension was going to kill me."
Cas gives his brother a look that most definitely screams I want to punch you in the face.
"Okay, okay, I'm leaving. Seriously, though: finally." And he ducks out of the kitchen before either of them can throw something at him.
And then they kiss.
When the final line is over
It's certain that the curtain's gonna fall
I can hide inside your sweet sweet love
For ever more