A/N: Yet another story of how their epic love might have been uncovered ...
Sam woke to the sound of quiet radio music and the smell of wood smoke. He rolled over in the too small bunk and twitched aside a corner of the curtains. He could just see Dean and Cas by firelight, sitting in folding camp chairs a few meters from the RV, holding a beer each and conversing quietly. There was a battery-operated radio and a half gone sixpack on the ground in front of them.
What the hell could they find in common to talk about? When Sam had fallen asleep it had still been daylight and there had been a full sixpack. He watched them.
Question. Answer. Comment. Chuckle. They looked relaxed enough. He guessed the talk wasn't anything about the last rough years. Then again, maybe it was. You couldn't tell with those two. Cas never responded to things in the same way as a normal person. And as for normal, neither of the Winchesters had ever been that.
Sam silently rolled out of the bunk and slid socked feet across vinyl to the open door.
The first voice he heard clearly was Dean's.
"Have you ever thought of getting a tattoo?"
"No. Have you ever smelled a fox?"
"… No… Freak. Unless you count the ones I've met at bars…"
Cas snorted. Actually snorted. Sam could feel his own brow wrinkle in the dark as his eyebrows jumped up.
"… well then. Have you ever -wait. You've smelled a fox? The actual furry animal? Close up?"
"Yes. They are… pungent."
"Huh. Have you ever licked a battery?"
"No. Have you ever tasted yellow snow?"
"How do you even know what that is?" Dean's voice rose in surprise.
"Never mind, Dean, just answer the question."
"No. Have you ever-"
Sam felt the need to interrupt with the obvious.
"You do know you're playing it wrong?" he said, stepping out of the RV into the firelight. "You're supposed to pick stuff you know he has done but you haven't, so that he has to drink more than you."
Dean grinned and raised his half-full beer. "Nah, we're playing 'Have you never'. Its more fun. You have to come up with the most unlikely questions, so when they do have to drink, its way more interesting. Did you know Cas has met royalty?"
Sam was speechless. He suspected they had drunk much more than they were admitting.
Cas sat there, holding his beer, and looking comfortable. "It's not about drinking. It's about the answers," he explained.
"So Cas, learn anything new about Dean?"
"You going to tell me?"
Cas glanced at Dean who gave the slightest shake of his head.
"Sorry Sammy, not unless you're joining the game."
Sam made his mind up quickly.
"Have you ever line-danced?" Dean asked.
Sam took a swig without a word, while Dean hooted at him, questioned his masculinity and cast aspersions on his lineage. Until he realised it was also his own lineage.
"Have you ever eaten raw meat?" Cas asked.
"Dammit. Sashimi counts, right?" Sam drank again.
Cas and Dean glanced at each other, taking pity on increasingly drunk Sam.
"Have you ever kicked a puppy?"
"Oh finally! No, Dean, I have never kicked a puppy." Sam heaved a sigh of relief.
"My turn. Have you ever stolen from a nun?"
Dean took a swig, looking only slightly ashamed "It was an emergency. I swear, lives depended on it."
Cas shook his head and smiled. He looked much less shocked than Sam felt he should.
"Have you ever stayed up to watch the sunrise?" Cas asked. All three of them had a drink.
"Way to girl-it-up, Cas. Have you ever… worn nail polish?" Dean struggled to come up with something that wouldn't get Sam drunk. Okay - more drunk.
This time Cas was the only one drinking, surprising Dean and making Sam laugh.
Cas just shook his head. That was a story from his angel days that he would tell Dean in private, about a scared little girl in a hospital who needed company. Cas had let her paint his nails as a distraction from her fear.
Dean snorted and shook his own head. "That's it? You're not gonna give us an explanation? Fine, but you know I'll just imagine the worst."
Cas smiled. "I've seen your imagination, Dean. It's not as depraved as you think."
Dean looked relieved.
Sam interrupted. "Shut up, its my turn. Have you ever kissed a guy?" he asked, grinning.
Dean and Cas made eye contact and took a swig without hesitation. Sam's eyes grew wide and his brow ridges increased. His grin melted into perplexity. It really annoyed him that they were doing that communicating-without-talking thing. Again.
"Wait. Properly? With tongue? Not like "Goodnight Dad" and a peck on the cheek."
"This game is over." Dean announced.
"What? Oh, come on!"
"No. You didn't say 'Have you ever'. So I call quits."
No amount of whining and cajoling on Sam's part interrupted Dean's packing of the camp site. Cas helped pack, without comment.
They wouldn't normally have left the impala in long term storage and travelled in a camper but Dean had decided he wanted a holiday. And for him a holiday meant a nice easy hunt. Like say, a chupcabra and some simple domestic hauntings somewhere warm, down south. No undead, no demons. Just a nice simple crypto-zoological specimen. This was Dean's idea of taking it easy. Even if it meant his baby was holed up in dad's old storage unit under a tarpaulin. There was no way he was subjecting her to the rough roads, cheap gas blends, dust storms and Sam's burrito eruptions.
At least with the camper they didn't have to worry about getting to a motel every night.
Anyway, it was only for a couple of weeks. He missed her though.
It was Cas' turn behind the wheel. Since becoming human, Sam and Dean had been teaching him to drive. He had a good memory for road rules and a knack for spatial awareness that made him spookily good at parking, and made Sam wonder why he was so bad with Dean's personal space. Sam found Dean's almost parental pride at Cas' parking skills amusing.
Sam and Dean were sitting in the back of the RV. Dean was engrossed in sharpening his knife and diligently not noticing Sam trying to catch his eye.
Sam was giving him the big baby seal eyes. "So…?"
"So what?" Dean was determined to avoid the touchy-feely conversation he could feel coming, and make it as difficult for Sam as Dean felt it was for himself.
"You kissed some guy. With tongue?" There was silence and the sound of steel on stone for a while.
"No, not 'some guy'", he muttered. "Can't you just play Angry Birds and leave it be?"
Sam smiled. "Are you kidding? This is much better than Angry Birds."
"Fine. Plants vs. Zombies, then."
"Dean, stop deflecting the subject."
"I am deflecting, denying and ignoring the subject."
"You can't deny it. You admitted it."
"So what? It happened, okay? End of story."
"No way. Sounds like the beginning of a story to me…- Fine." Sam folded his arms and sat back, making himself comfortable. It suddenly occurred to Dean why Sam was giving up so easily. He stopped sharpening his knife long enough to point it at Sam.
"And don't go hassling Cas about it either!" Sam held his hands up in surrender and had the grace to look a little guilty "Why? He won't mind."
"Just don't. You'll make him feel all … awkward." Dean returned to swiping the knife over stone in smooth, circular sweeps.
Sam watched him, sharply. "So what? Since when do you worry about making Cas feel awkw… Oh. My. God. You kissed Cas."
Dean ignored the outburst and tried to convince himself not to use the newly sharpened knife on Sam. Seriously, Sam was supposed to have the brains?
"You kissed Cas! When? Why?"
"Jesus, Sam! Can you shut up already? Why does anyone kiss anyone? We just did, okay?"
"Wait. We? He kissed you back? Holy-"
"Seriously. Shut up."
"I mean it." There was more emphatic pointing with the finely honed knife.
"Fine. But I'm not done."
"Yeah, you are."
Their stare-off ended in tense, steely silence.
Dean couldn't avoid leaving Sam and Cas alone forever. He tried though. Lord, how he tried. Even going so far as to trail along with them to a natural history museum in a small town they passed through. Sam knew what was going on and tormented Dean by convincing Cas to spend extra time in the geology section of the museum.
"What's the matter Dean?" Sam chuckled. "I thought you liked rock?"
"Very funny, bitch." Dean scowled.
"Ah, the look on your face!" Sam laughed and walked away, shaking his head.
Dean trailed along behind Cas waiting for him to finish staring at rocks and crystals.
"Aren't you bored yet, Cas?"
"No. I find the variety of nature fascinating and comforting."
"Comforting, huh?" Dean stood beside Cas. The raging internal battle between wanting to comfort Cas and refusing to make any public display of affection only showed in his fidgeting hands. Instead he stood beside Cas, staring at the crystals on display, glowing bright colours under ultraviolet light, trying to see what could be comforting about that.
"The world goes on, with or without us," Cas supplied, turning away from the display, his face softly reflecting the glowing colours. They were shining in his eyes too like one of those anime characters, Dean thought. The museum seemed so still and quiet, like Cas' calm had spread in ripples.
"We can go now if you like, Dean."
How long had he been standing there, staring? Dean puffed his cheeks out in a sigh of relief. "You know me. I like action. I'm not a museums kind of guy."
Cas gave him a warm smile "I know."
Eventually it was Dean's turn to drive and he couldn't get out of it without being a total douche about it. He just knew Sam was going to corner Cas and ask a whole bunch of awkward and embarrassing questions. And Cas, being Cas, was going to be completely and devastatingly honest. And then Sam would come after Dean again and there were some things you just don't discuss with your little brother. He was trying so hard to watch them in the rear-view mirror he almost ran them off the road. He wished he could hear what they were saying.
"Dean! Take it easy!"
Sam turned back to Cas.
Cas turned towards Sam in confusion. "So…?"
"The other day… you and Dean. You've both kissed guys before…"
"Yes. - Have I made you uncomfortable? I assure you I don't make it my practise to kiss every man I see."
"What? No! Not uncomfortable, just curious."
"But if you wish to know what it was like…"
"What? No. Dude. No thank you."
This outburst got Dean's attention. "Hey! What's going on back there? I'm trying to drive here!"
Cas turned towards the front of the vehicle and called to Dean with a gleam in his eye.
"Sam was curious about kissing men. So I offered to kiss him. "
Dean burst out laughing and relaxed. Maybe the ex-angel could defend himself from Sam's onslaught of 'Talking About Feelings' without his help after all.
Sam blushed but refused to give up.
"Did you kiss Dean?"
"Yes." Cas was unembarrassed.
Cas frowned. "Why not?"
"You don't randomly go around kissing people for no reason."
This made Sam pause. He had to come at it from another angle.
"Do you… have feelings… for Dean?"
"Of course. I'm human now. I have feelings about everything," Cas retorted, sounding just the smallest bit exasperated and quite a lot exhausted.
"What I mean is-"
"I know what you mean. I am not a child. And it's not your business," Cas said shortly, blushing hotly as he spoke.
"Why not?" Sam pushed on, feeling a little guilty for making Cas feel awkward as Dean had predicted.
"Dean and I are happy with things as they are. It doesn't change anything."
Now that they had both acknowledged something had happened, he felt a little bad for not being more approving about it. Cas interrupted his brooding.
"We've kissed. We're okay with it. Is this a problem for you, Sam?"
"No. Not really. So -you're both okay with it? Really?"
Cas shrugged. "Yes," he stated simply.
Sam chewed at the inside of his cheek while he thought about this.
Cas gave him a sidelong glare. "And don't hound Dean about it."
Sam's eyebrows rose in surprise just as his hands rose in surrender.
Two hours later, it struck Sam; every statement Cas had uttered about kissing Dean was in the present, not the past tense. It wasn't over.