Weeks passed and everything started settling into place with Dean, no longer worrying over how to deal with his father's death and what had happened whilst it took place; the scars would always be there, you just don't get over that kind of death, especially when it took place in your own home. Where could you feel safe if not your own house? The small, cardboard box filled with John's most cherished possessions was still hiding silently under the bed frame, but he couldn't bring himself to look inside yet, everything was going so well and he didn't want to ruin it by trying to clean up the remains of his bloody death before he was ready.
Dean and Castiel saw each other at work; most days they would stay late to help clean up before heading home, but both men knew that Castiel needn't be there and neither said anything about it either, instead relishing in the extra time they spent together. They didn't talk often during work, speaking instead with sneaky touches on the shoulder, a hand brushing Dean's, sometimes a casual, light slap on the rear from Dean when he passes, which make Castiel blush and duck his head. They text each other too, late at night when Dean couldn't sleep and just needed that little bit of normal for the lull to wash over him and Castiel was never mad with him, not when Dean had woken him or fell asleep waiting for a reply, he was always understanding if anything a little proud that he'd managed to do better than the prescribed sleeping pills; he didn't know about them, but Dean supposed this is what he'd be bragging about if he knew. Either that or berate him for going against the doctor slash therapist Sam had forced him to see.
So that's how he had gotten to be entirely restless after a really busy Saturday night. He might just clean and help with prep, but the more they cooked the more he cleaned and some of those bastards demanded clean utensils for the same things; it was like they were allergic to putting the spoon they used five seconds ago back in the same pot to get the same sauce, and you gotta get them all shiny or they'll just plain refuse to use them. Don't tell me spoons don't matter, those spoons add up dude. You know how many spoons he had to clean that night? Too fucking many, that's how many. Anyway, Dean had made it home and gone through the whole shabby routine until he was lying on his back in his double bed staring at the ceiling. He'd already tried everything he usually does that gives him a sliver of a chance of falling asleep; closing his eyes desperately trying to coax himself to sleep, covers on, covers off, changing clothes, going to the toilet to settle him, laying in every possible, comfortable – and also a few that weren't - position he could think of before finally giving up and reaching for his phone.
Castiel was barely awake when Dean called him, no sane, healthy person who worked in a kitchen would be; Dean refused to relate what he just thought to himself. Despite how tired he must be Castiel sounded pleased that he'd called and Dean felt simultaneously guilty and delighted that he could muster the energy to deal with him again, "You are having difficulties sleeping again."
Dean sighed down the phone, feeling sorry for Castiel having to deal with him again, but not willing to stop, "Bingo. I'm sorry man. You sound tired."
"It's not a problem Dean; I frequently find myself tired. It is no new information."
Dean smiled at Castiel's reassurance, "So what's the cure for today doc?"
"That depends Mr. Winchester. How awake are you? Due to the tone of your voice I would say you're almost fully awake."
"Your observational skills never cease to amaze me, Cas."
"Perhaps you should try doing something that helps you relax. Excluding you thinking about something relaxing, seeing as that obviously didn't work after the first time I called you; I highly doubt that would change now."
Dean pursed his lips, thinking for a minute before giving Castiel a 'bye, see you soon' and hanging up, but Dean highly doubted Castiel knew how soon Dean intended to make that. Throwing back the covers Dean fumbled in the dark for his keys and unable to pocket his phone due to the lack of pockets on his pyjama bottoms and black tee, he left it where it was. Doubting he'd be gone until morning he excluded the idea of writing a note to Sam and hurried out the door to where his baby was patiently waiting to be reunited with her owner again.
The drive to Castiel's was silent; music unable to fulfill the buzzing in his veins for no particular reason, just the concept of surprising Castiel. Which come to think of it could also go very wrong, he really should have let him know, but it was too late now and Dean would face the consequences like a man. He reached Castiel's apartment building and took the steps two at a time to his floor, knocking on his door without hesitation.
The day had gone pretty slowly, these kinds of days always do. Customer complaint rates were a frequent thing, even though most of the food Sam had taken back and had to apologise for was perfectly fine, more than fine actually, but 'the customer's always right.' The kitchen always made delicious food, but he'd remembered Castiel telling him once that people like that may need to show what authority they have over him, because they're intimidated by his size. Sam had just shrugged it off and carried on like normal, but the more rude people he encountered the more Sam was beginning to think that not only was Castiel right, but their main customer fan base were dicks.
He'd also had trouble all month with Balthazar; the British shit had managed to get a hold of a picture of Sam and Gabriel 'cuddling' as he liked to put it, no doubt it had come from Dean originally, and he'd already been yelled at for invasion of privacy which could have gone a lot better had Dean not been laughing through his entire speech. He'd planned it and everything. What? Judging a guy for being bored during work now? Work wasn't safe anymore with that information. He'd chatted with Balthazar quite a bit, but they'd never really been too close and one of those reasons was that when Balthazar had something on someone he didn't leave it alone until something new came up. Before Sam was pretty sure it was Castiel's and Dean's new found relationship, but apparently that got boring when there weren't 'descriptive sex details' involved and he'd moved onto Sam as soon as the picture was in his hand. So far he'd made jokes - which were to be expected, printed off a bunch of them and sticking them in places that no one would expect. He's hid them so well that Sam found another yesterday, folded up tightly and tucked in six months later in the reservations calendar book. The most creative one yet was a platter of food, carefully constructed to represent the photo completely; Balthazar had said he'd taken a photo of that one himself he was so proud. The guy was a child. A child with way too much time on his hands.
He'd got off work early today though, thanks to whatever higher power that was over him at that moment and he entertained ideas of going home and sleeping the day away, before calling it quits and just going to Gabriel's for the rest of the day; after of course taking a detour to a twenty four hour convenient store. There was enough coffee there to keep him awake and functioning until the shop closed and then he could go home and sleep through Sunday. Gabriel was kind of busy when Sam arrived, the shop was full of the same regulars sure, Chuck practically inhaling his coffee, his tiny frame shacking with excitement over some new idea he'd gotten as he frantically jotted down notes on his little pad. He was glad, the man was looking crest fallen for weeks, and with writing as his career that couldn't have been a good sign for him, but now he may even get his laptop out again this month. It hadn't been released from its case in days. There was Becky, coffee barely touched as she pined over Chuck who, according to Gabriel, didn't even know her name yet, though blushed thoroughly every time she winked at him or he caught her staring. He was probably too shy. He ought to help them out some time with that. Adam, the guy who never sat in the same seat twice in a row, he drank his coffee way too hot, the guy must have some high pain tolerance coupled with a disorder, because wanting to burn all of your innards was not normal. Naomi was sitting in the corner, doing God knows what with all those paper, all Sam knew about her was that she worked at a laser eye surgery clinic and drank way more coffee than she should. The rest of the regulars were faces without names, a blur of information he gets stuck on sometimes. The others were mainly the kind of people to come and collect then leave, not much of a difference to any other coffee shop in that department.
Sam made it over to Gabriel and the look of delighted surprise on his face was more than worth coming here dead on his feet, but Gabriel being Gabriel silently made him a coffee and handed it over before serving the person at the counter.
Castiel's brow crumpled into a frown as he walked over to the door, you didn't need to be buzzed in to get into the apartment, but that didn't mean he got regular visits at night, at times like this he was glad to have a peep hole, another knock sounded and Benny's ears perked up at the noise, but he seemed to lose interest quickly and fell back asleep in his secluded spot, out of sight. Castiel peered through the peep hole and instantly unlocked the door flinging it open; his face torn between thrilled and stunned. Dean was beaming at him; the day hadn't seemed to take any toll on Dean what so ever, and Castiel became increasingly amused as he took in Dean's current state. He was wearing fresh pyjamas, and Castiel remembered Dean telling him at some point that it helped him to sleep if he knew he was clean. He wasn't wearing anything on his feet, a complete disregard for the weather and Castiel suddenly thought of how uncomfortable the drive must have been, and he made a head note to give Dean some slippers or at the least socks before he left. Discounting the other aspects of Dean's appearance the most enticing to Castiel was the fluffy bed hair, perfect for running your fingers through, but it also represented how restless Dean must have felt to come here; a style that could only be achieved by the tossing and turning of a sleepless night. Well, either that or some really hair grabbing sex.
He met Dean's eyes; or rather he tried to seeing as Dean was trailing his gaze down Castiel's bare chest and Castiel instantly blushed under his scrutiny, "Dean, when I advised 'do something that helps you relax' I didn't mean drive here."
Dean smirked, giving Castiel his full attention now, "Sorry Cas, but I wanted to ask if you'd like to come with me."
Castiel frowned again, head lopping to one side. There wasn't really any hesitation in Castiel's mind to say yes in the first place, but his curiosity often got the better of him at times like this, "Where?"
Dean smiled honest and open, "Somewhere that helps me relax."
"If you would wait a moment, I need to collect some clothing."
Dean may have nodded, but Castiel didn't have time to see it, he was already preoccupied with running to his room and throwing on a faded deep blue hoodie, pulling on a pair of socks, and grabbing a pair for Dean. He threw them in Dean's direction, not really looking with an order to 'put them on or contract hypothermia'. Not that socks would really make a difference, but he didn't want Dean to have cold feet and complain. He pocketed his wallet and keys in his hoodie before returning to Dean at the door. After locking up Castiel and Dean walked outside, Dean steering Castiel to his car. And they drove, watching the roads blur outside his window and the yellow streaks leak into black.
The drive was short, but Castiel was still curious, so when they pulled up at a beach he didn't know how to react. It was secluded and small, as if it had floated out to sea and been lost. Dean immediately exited the car, ignoring the need to lock it and stumbled down to what looked like an individual alcove where the grass melted into sand. Castiel followed shortly after, the sand giving a little under his weight, individual grains shifting towards his feet in fluid movements that Castiel could feel even through his socks. When he reached Dean he was looking up at him eyes half lidded and obviously more tired than earlier; the drive must have calmed him considerably. His eyes expectant for a companion and Castiel obliged, sinking into the sand next to him and running his hands through the grains, letting the smooth but rough surface tingle his fingertips as he moved them in shapes, molding the sand like clay and admiring how malleable it was.
His fingertips traced a rock, and he unearthed it clearing the coating of sand that had accumulated on it. The rock was peculiar in colour, natural tones blended into one another; it's shiny surface a pallet of colour, speckled with detail. The shape was regular, but the swirls brought it alive.
Dean shuffled toward him resting his head on Castiel's shoulder, and Castiel wrapped an arm around him pulling him in closer, making him more comfortable. He tilted his head so he could see Dean's face as he handed Dean the rock, insisting he keep it when Dean attempted to return it. He felt Dean smile into his shoulder. His eyelids had drooped completely, the moonlight glistening off of the plains of his face, dipping in between his lips and shadowing the arcs in his features. Castiel had no idea how long they had sat there, half asleep and watching the waves; marveling in each other's company. He watched the light flicker around his features as Dean talked, "Tell me something about you."
Castiel frowned for a minute, unable to think of anything worth knowing, before concluding that it didn't particularly matter, Dean would probably fall asleep through anything long winded so he went with anything that came to mind, "When I was a child my mother used to give me spinach frequently, claiming that it would make me strong."
He paused for a second, glancing at the waves slowly ascending up the shore line, glimmering off the surface and highlighting their molten movements, it was a truly beautiful sight, as if the light was dancing off the shore for them. He continued a moment later, "I hate spinach."
Dean laughed then, causing Castiel to smile and watch the light play along the contours of his face again, before returning his attention to the sea, "Colour?"
"What's your favourite colour?"
"Ohh, I.. I don't really have any particular favourite colour. You need every colour available to make something beautiful; even something as simple as an eye is flowing with colours; a mixture of a thousand shades and still as bright. True beauty isn't one defined colour; it's everything that creates it that makes it count." Castiel blushed afterwards, figuring it had sounded better in his head.
Although Dean just hummed in reply and Castiel knew he was close to sleep, "Dean, where are your keys?"
Dean simply uncurled his hand revealing the jumble of keys to him and Castiel took them noticing no signs of hesitation in handing them over to him. Dean trusted him, Castiel smiled at the thought, kissing the top of his head in a tender moment. They sat for a while longer and Castiel felt the minute Dean fell asleep, his breathing shallow and his body limp against Castiel.
He woke him slightly and deposited Dean in the passenger seat before driving to his apartment, not wanting to disturb Sam. As they reached the apartment he piloted a half asleep Dean up to his room, sitting him on his bed so he could pull off his shoes and jeans then manhandling him under the covers. He turned to leave content with the couch when Dean's hand flew for him catching his waist in a loose grip, 'dude, it's your bed. Sleep in it' he had said and Castiel bit his lip in thought before toeing off his shoes and socks, shuffling out of his trousers, and sliding next to Dean in his bed, Dean didn't move closer to him, respecting his privacy, but he smiled against the pillow before he dropped off again.
The customers were rowdy, they usually always were, but do these guys ever sleep? It's probably so busy because they were closing soon and the all-nighters slash workaholics needed their fix; after that they were on their own. The last customer had just left; extra-large, extra strong coffee in hand, leaving a string of fumes trailing behind her. He hadn't even turned to Sam before he started talking, "Do you want to come over?"
Tessa had agreed to close up shop with him tonight, needing additional money, she was happy to stay so he had no qualms with leaving so suddenly, but it was always nice to tease the guy. He turned to face Sam, tapping his fingers against his lips with a completive look on his face, "I don't know princess; it's awfully late. Plus, how do I know you're not really a psycho axe murderer who wants to sacrifice my sweet, sweet body to the dark Lord Satan?"
He watched Sam roll his eyes and hoist a plain, plastic bag onto his lap. He'd missed it when Sam had come in, but the outline suggested something in a tub, he didn't have long to guess though, because the next thing he knew Sam was reaching into the bag and pulling it out saying with a raised brow, "Don't human sacrifices usually require virgins? Anyway, would a satanic, psycho, axe murderer offer you gummy bears?"
He swung the bucket over the top of the counter and Gabriel's eyes lit up, 'Hell. Fucking. Yes.', "Actually, that's a pretty sure fire way to get me into anyone's car so… yes. Yes they would."
He turned to Tessa next, question to leave ready on his tongue, but she just waved him off smiling, "Four for you Tessa, you go Tessa."
She shook her head un-amused as Gabriel grabbed his things and left mumbling to Sam, "Pedophiles coax people into their cars with candy too princess; you sure you don't want to tell me something?"
Sam ignored him in favour of opening his car and simultaneously attempting to stop him from wrestling the pot out from underneath Sam's arm, but giving up after he started to tickle him. Gabriel ran off giddily to the other side of the car, thrilled with his success; already clawing at the lid, looking to anyone watching like he was trying to physically tear through it. When Sam unlocked the car Gabriel slid into one of the back seats, and when Sam gave him a questioning look he hugged the sweets tightly against his chest and replied with, "I don't want you taking my babies away from me."
"Babies? You do realise you are eating your 'babies' right now, right?" Sam turned back to the wheel, murmuring and taking off towards his house, "Calling me a satanic, psycho, axe murderer, you're a fucking deluded, baby eating, cannibal."
They drove in silence, not by choice, but by the fact that Sam couldn't understand a gummy mouthed word of what he was saying and Gabriel was too absorbed in the task of how many individual bears he could fit in his mouth all at one time. They reached Sam's house and he clambered out, opening the door with his own key, not because he was in a hurry, it was literally just because he liked to remind Sam that his house was always open to his pranks, although Sam could easily retaliate as Gabriel had also given Sam a key to his place; the reason being emergencies, but that turned into whenever either of them decided the come round unannounced. Sam followed shortly behind, closing the door and taking a detour down the hall as Gabriel inspected the film pile for one of his favourites, cutting the investigation short when he found Iron Man. Sam returned when Gabriel was popping the disc into the player, gummy bears still constricted to his custody, "Dean's not home yet."
"Don't worry about it, Sam. He's probably out prancing around with Castiel."
He turned around to see Sam lounging across the sofa, a duvet bunched around his body so Gabriel swiped the remote from the side table, approached the couch and daintily twirled before falling straight onto Sam in a fake faint with a sigh. Sam jolted, and wrapped Gabriel up where he lay, like a burrito in retaliation, but Gabriel rolled free as soon as Sam's hands weren't holding him in place then wriggled under the duvet maybe a little closer to Sam than is recommended for friendship; pressing play and finally sharing the gummy bears with Sam. They didn't last long. Sam always said his stomach was a bottomless pit, and he was starting to wonder after he managed to finish the pot with minimal help from Sam who claimed to be full.
A little more than half an hour later Gabriel was feeling more tired and groggy than before, the novelty of eating one of his favourite sweets nearly completely worn off, and replaced with a pressing need for rest. He didn't need to look at Sam to know that he was contently relaxed. Sinking lower into the blankets he could feel his eye lids start to droop and the images on the screen blur into one extraordinary blob of colourful swirls. His body was starting to shut down for the night, his eye's merely slits and he started leaning towards Sam, slowly sliding until his head was resting in his lap, and took the lack of reaction as a good sign, not that he particularly cared at this moment in time. His eye lids closed completely. 'Damn, I'm going to miss my favourite part.'
Okay, wow. So it's been longer than I remember since I updated this so hopefully I'll still have people waiting for this chapter, but it's almost four thousand words, that my friends is that size of a smut fanfiction sometimes. I kind of have an idea for the next chapter and I hope you guys didn't think this update was too dumb; you're all awesome for not giving up on me yet. How do you like Season Eight, because it's almost over? Anyway it's like 3am so goodbye and goodnight. Hope you enjoyed. I don't even know why I write these little authors notes things? :D