1 – The Accidental Kiss
Now, Dean's seen enough chick flicks and cheesy TV shows – motel television didn't exactly let him be choosy – to know that the messed up accident that's just occurred in Bobby's kitchen has to be some sort of fluke. There has to be some crazy ass rom-com genie waving his blue hands and casting some voodoo crap on them because there was no way shit like this happened to real people.
They'd been discussing a new hunt: a skinwalker who'd managed to sneak onto the set of a new rom-com show (how ironic) with the intention of biting the main male star. It was going to take a lot of planning to kidnap the dog, considering the little guy almost had as much security as the actors and actresses did.
Castiel was accompanying them on the hunt because he was, air-quote, 'restless'. It irked Dean, because Dean knew that Castiel was still babying them. The almost-apocalypse had shaken everyone to the bone. Dean certainly wouldn't forget the terror of seeing the blood connect and open the door to Lucifer's cage; wouldn't forget seeing a circle of suited angels tear apart Lucifer with some macho weapon from Heaven; wouldn't forget the guttural, ear-piercing scream that Lucifer had released into the church as he perished.
And of course, he wouldn't forget that the dicks had been playing him and Sam all along.
Since then, Castiel had developed a sense of… protectiveness. He was following them and even the slightest danger was averted. It was like having a worried parent constantly looming over your shoulder, watching your every move, waiting for you do something wrong so they could glare at you with that look of disapproval that made you feel guilty.
Dean was almost tempted to trip up on the sidewalk just to see if Castiel would smite it afterwards.
"This ain't gonna be easy," Bobby says gruffly, crossing his arms over his chest and perching his hips against the backrest of a dining chair, "Skinwalkers are sneaky little creatures."
"They're human too. We could catch him out, deal with him while he's not a dog?" Sam suggests from where he's seated at the table. Bobby readjusts himself.
"'T's not the killin' that I'm worried about. Hollywood's pretty tight with security."
"Don't sweat it," Dean chips in from opposite Sam, "We've got the angel express to ride."
Dean cringes the moment the words leave his lips. Bad choice of words… Sam and Bobby don't notice. They're watching Castiel, who's leaning against the counter by the refrigerator, arms folded. The lazy furrow of his eyebrows makes the look he's sending Dean ooze with dissatisfaction.
"I'm not just a means for transport," Castiel says defensively. Dean's head jerks and his eyebrows raise a little, startled at the statement.
"We know, Cas, we're grateful you're here to help us," Sam amends quickly, throwing Dean a glance of disapproval. Dean snorts lightly, eyes still on Castiel, and leans backwards, lips tightening in irritation. What's got his wings in a twist?
With a dazzled blink, Dean rises from his chair, craving for a beer. Risky case, irked Castiel, annoyed Sam – yep, just another average day. An average day that needed a shot of alcohol.
And it's in that moment, when Dean innocently steps forward, that he trips. Trips on a rug that he didn't even knew Bobby owned. A rug… in a kitchen. He's hurtling forward and his hands stretch out to find purchase. They find a warm body, and then he's falling towards it, chest pressing against it first, then knees and then no, lips.
This is where we return to the beginning, where Dean's wide-eyed, lips pressed dryly to a stunned angel's, his mind racing with this does not happen in real life. He's unsure how long he remains frozen in shock, but he's jerked back before it can go on any longer. Castiel's mouth is parted gently, he's staring at Dean with big eyes, and Sam's snorting with laughter behind him.
"Well, ain't you two just the prettiest princesses at the ball," Bobby quips, though his gruffness is laced with amusement. Sam's making ugly sounds in the back of his throat, laughter extending to hysteria. Dean knows it must be his face – he's damn sure there's no way the expression of outrageous disbelief is ever gonna fade.
"I cannot believe that just happened," he eventually manages to growl out, though his attempt at sounding nonchalant fails. He speaks quietly, mortified. Sam lets out another loud laugh and Bobby actually chuckles.
"Dean…" Castiel starts, but Dean holds up a finger, wiping the back of his mouth with his other hand as though wiping away the memory.
"Don't. That never happened." And then Dean's heading towards the fridge, yanking out a beer bottle and plonking himself back in his chair
2 – Close Quarters
So, they're in. As far as Dean knew, Sam was dealing with the guy… dog… skinwalker, while he was trying to outrun a mob of security guards. He pushes past a props lady, knocking her tray of fake knives to the floor, but doesn't waste time turning around to apologise. He can't get caught, not again, not after what he'd been through. God knows how many Dean Winchester's the cops have had crop up on their radar – he didn't want to give them another one.
He's panting, his knees are jerky and stiff, and his lungs are screaming for oxygen. But as he whirls around the corner, he sees another endless corridor. With a tired roll of his eyes, he pushes himself forwards more, the slapping of footsteps behind him urging him to move.
And that's when he sees it – his way out. It's a closet, half-open, and if he just pushes that much further he can squeeze himself into it before the guards can get around the corner. So he sprints with the last of his energy and bursts through it, kicking a bucket in the process. He's slammed the door shut and jammed a broom under it, eyes taking time to adjust to the dark. It's then he realises he's not alone.
He turns quickly, guard up, but halts when he sees who it is he's sharing the closet with.
Dean tries to push himself up against the door to regain some room, but the space from behind him seems to have shrunk, if that was even possible. Castiel is almost pressed against his front, personal bubble totally non-existent.
"Cas? What the hell are you doin' in here, man?" He whispers, keeping an ear out for the guards that had been pursuing him. The footsteps seem to have disappeared, which just adds to the crazy.
"I thought you would require some assistance, but I've found myself unable to leave this room." The angel lowers his head and stares at the floor in confusion. Dean frowns.
"Did you, I don't know, try and use the door? " He asks sardonically, voice still just a loud whisper. Castiel raises his head to glare at him.
"Of course," he replies with attitude, "I tried everything."
Dean feels a slight inkling of amusement at the image of an exasperated Castiel attempting to kick down the door and failing. The two fall into a strange silence.
"Well, this has been nice and all, but I'm getting outta here before the world decides to cast me and you as main leads in 'the love story of a hunter and an angel and how they got trapped in a closet'," Dean whispers. He struggles to turn without making contact with Castiel and ends up elbowing the angel in the ribs a few times before finally manoeuvring himself around. He knocks down the broom and rattles the doorknob. It doesn't open.
"Damnit," he curses, trying to move back to give himself enough room to attempt a kick. He bumps back into Castiel and freezes because he did not just feel angel junk against the ridge of his hip. "Mind backing up a little, Cas? I'm feelin' parts of you I'd rather not feel."
Castiel sighs heavily and the breath makes the hairs on the back of Dean's neck itch.
"I can't. There's no room."
Letting out a quiet, empty growl of frustration, Dean rests his forehead against the door, blatantly ignoring Castiel's belt digging against his ass cheek.
"There's someone behind this, isn't there?" Dean says eventually, shuffling himself back around to face Castiel.
"It would seem so."
Dean tilts his head back so it rests against the door, trying to breathe in fresh oxygen instead of the puffs of air that were being blown over his face. He looks down at Castiel along his cheeks.
Castiel is weirdly stiff in front of him, definitely oblivious to the rising heat of the room. Two grown men in a tiny closet wasn't exactly a cooling experience.
"I have an idea, though the motives aren't very clear." Castiel sounds sceptical. Dean waits for him to elaborate.
"So? Who's the wise guy?" He asks irritably. Castiel lets out another sigh, which Dean wishes he'd stop doing. Having another dude's breath blow over your lips was just wrong.
"Gabriel. He's full of…" Castiel searches for the right word, "…tricks."
Dean's eyebrows shoot up.
"Gabriel? As in, the archangel?"
"Yes, Gabriel, he's—" the words catch in Castiel's throat, and he looks up in alarm. Dean figures he's just stuck on what to say, until Castiel meets Dean's gaze with wide, open eyes.
Castiel shakes his head and points to his mouth. Dean almost can't see the gesture in the dark, but he gets the general gist.
"The dick put you on mute?"
Castiel looks vaguely rattled by the obscene insult, but nods.
Dean's about to make a comment on pesky siblings, but he feels the wall behind him shift. He looks around at the floor in alarm, trying to keep his feet pushed as far back as possible, but then he's fully against Castiel, their chests pressed together with absolutely no room behind him.
"Son of a bitch," he mutters to himself, raising his head. His nose bumps against Castiel's and he freezes, eyes hooded as he looks down at the distance between their mouths. The non-existent distance. One wrong move and Dean's lips are gonna be pressed to Castiel's.
And that's not all that'll be pressed against Castiel if he's not careful. The last thing he want to do is move and cause pointless friction, because explaining that to an angel would not be a pleasant experience.
There's a mutual silence between the two; Castiel unable to speak and Dean not daring to. The air grows thick, and Dean sucks in a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding, closing his eyes when the skin of his lip ever so lightly brushes against Castiel's.
He can't look down, he can't look up, he can't look left or right. Every movement he wants to take might result in a kiss and he's not in any rush to feel those soft lips on his again, no way.
When the closet door finally opens behind him, he almost falls backwards. Sam clutches his shoulders to sturdy him and Castiel walks smoothly out, passive and a little red in the cheeks. Dean puts as much distance between them as he can.
Sam's looking at the two questionably.
"Did you want some time alone or…"
"Ask Cas for the details," Sam looks disgusted, so Dean corrects himself, "Ask Cas why we were locked in a closet like some crappy high school movie set-up." And then he storms away, away from the closet and Castiel.
Of course, the reason his heart is beating so fast is because he's walking fast.