Wake up. Breakfast. Work. Lunch. Work. Dinner. Sleep. Wake up.

Castiel had always been one for routines. They kept his life organized and clean. Just the way he liked it. His brother Gabriel had always teased him about it. "You were born middle-aged, Cassie! And you're only getting older!" He would joke.

He had never thought he would miss his brother's mocking, miss him being there to drag him out of his routines.

He sighed deeply and adjusted his tie, walking at the same brisk pace he always did. Slow enough he did not break a sweat but fast enough to get to work on time. Someone pushed into him and he flinched, palming the bottle of hand sanitzer in his pocket and squirting a generous amount on his hands, careful not to get it on his sleeves. The dress code at his work was lenient, but that was not an excuse to show up looking anything other than his best. A button up and slacks with a blue tie kept his look clean-cut and professional.

Just the way he liked it.

Castiel rather enjoyed his work. His section in the bullpen was spacious enough, the pay was good and the work was simple, crunching numbers and keeping an eye on the budget. It wasn't exciting but he had never liked exciting especially now when the world seemed to be such a filthy and disgusting place..

He left the office exactly seven hours and forty five minutes after he arrived, trench coat pulled tightly against him as the fickle Dallas winds pulled at his perfectly coifed hair. People crowded around him but he maintained some resemblance of personal space due to his faking a hacking cough. Christmas had ended weeks ago and the snow had melted to a permanent, dirty slush. It was too warm for playing in the snow, too cold to wander outside. There was nothing to do, nowhere to go.

The world was drab and grey this time of year.

Then a flash of color caught his eye.

The boy, no, the man, leaned against a faded brick wall. His jeans were dirty and faded. His leather jacket had obviously seen better days. His shoes were indestinguishable, held together with thick strips of duct tape. His cheeks were flushed bright red from the cold. He didn't seem to mind. His smile was bright and cheerful, his green eyes sparkled happily. He held between his hands a cardboard sign.

Free Hugs.

Gabriel would have thought that was the "coolest" thing ever. He would have given the man a big bear hug, the kind that left Castiel sore and breathless, given him a high five. Maybe he would have taken a picture and invited his over for a beer.

Castiel went home and made himself dinner.

Every bite tasted of ash.

The man soon made himself a new part of Castiel's routine. Neither his outfit nor demeanour changed. He wasn't at his corner in the morning but there by 4:45 every day of the week with his sign. They never made eye contact, never spoke to each other but he captivated Castiel just the same. Novelties were so hard to come by when you were afraid to leave your house.

One day, it snowed. He was there still, snow coating his shoulders and head, flakes sticking to his eyelashes delicately. His breath escaped in white clouds. He shivered volently, but his smile never wavered. Castiel took a deep breath and stepped delicately out of his routine.

He could have asked a million questions and still have more. Who are you? What are you doing? Why are you doing this to yourself? What do you want?

"Hello." He said simply, holding out his hand. "My name is Castiel."

The man looked at his hand and smiled a smile that stole his frozen breath away before pulling him into a hug. Castiel froze in shock before leaning into it. He touched his face when he pulled away. He was surprised to find that he was crying.

"Hi." The other said breathlessly. "My name is Dean."

They met every day for a week. Sometimes they would hug. Sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they just stood and stared at each other until the crowd would carry Castiel away. "Would you like to come home with me?" He finally asked one day. Dean smiled sweetly at him and tucked his sign under his arm.

He splayed out on the couch, careful to remove his jacket and shoes before streching and yawning sleepily. A few days ago it would have bothered him to have someone make themselves so comfortable in his home. Now it just made his heart swell oddly.

Dean sat up on the couch, looking around and smiling. "Who's this?" He asked, picking up a picture frame. He knew immediately what it was. There was only one picture in the apartment.

"That's my brother Gabriel and I." Castiel swallowed. "He died a few months ago." Dean put it down and patted the cushion next to him. Castiel sat. "I have a very large family but he was always my favorite. All the others thought I was a bit unbalanced." Dean took his hand and squeezed it tightly. "It wasn't anybody's fault. He had an aneurysm. We didn't know until one day he tripped down the stairs and...just...didn't get back up."

"I'm sorry for your loss." Dean bit his lip when he didn't answer, staring hard at their entertwined hands. "My mother died when I was a teenager." He confessd. "My dad went crazy and ran off. My brother was sent to live with our grandparents. They wanted a cute baby-faced honor roll student. Not a flight risk dyslexic. I went to live with a family friend. I wonder sometimes what happened to him. They moved and changed their phone numbers. I wonder if he even misses me. I wasn't the best person when I was younger."

"No one was." Castiel said in a monotone. "I used to drive my brothers and sisters crazy. By the time I was twenty Gabriel was the only one who could stand me." It was hard to keep the self-loathing out of his voice. "My sister comes by but I think she just feels sorry for me."

Dean kissed him, stealing the ugly words along with the other's breath. It was firm and quick and left him feeling dizzy. "I guess I'll just have to love you enough for all of them." He shrugged.

"I have eight siblings, Dean." Castiel responded, cracking a slight smile.

He kissed him again, longer and deeper. They were both blushing when he pulled away. "I can do that." Dean sighed, breathing in the smell of ink and his angel.

Nothing changed that day yet everything did.

Castiel didn't stop bringing industrial size hand sanitizer bottles to work. Dean didn't stop standing on street corners. Dean found out Castiel secretly loved children's cartoons. Castiel found out Dean wasn't jobless and that he wrote very successful romanc novels under a female alias. They both found out they couldn't live without each other.

Castiel met Uncle Bobby. The man was uncouth and lived in a salvage yard. He made delicious pie just for Dean and wished his "idjits" well. Dean met Anna. She was a cop and threatened to arrest him under loitering charges. She couldn't dance and sang Nicki Minaj in the shower.

Life was

They fell into bed together, kissing deeply and smiling. By this point in time the snow had long melted away and had just begun to fall again. "What do you want for Christmas?" Dean asked, nuzzling into his shoulder and nipping gently at a bulging tendon. Castiel shrugged and stared up at the ceiling, smiling. Sometimes the domesticality of things made him want to laugh.

"Nothing." He brought their hands to his mouth and kissed Dean's calloused, scarred palms. "What more could I possibly want?"

"A puppy." The blond suggested hopefully.

"We are not getting a puppy." He chuckled. "The apartment contract says no pets."

"Oh yeah, I forgot you signed a deal with Satan."

"If you want to talk about Satan, talk about my older brother. Castiel," He mocked in a deep voice. "Thou shall not live in sin."

"That's right!" Dean said suddenly. "Isn't all of your family, like, crazy religious?"

"Most of them." He agreed.

Dean was quiet for a long while. "And do we...is it...me...?"

Castiel pieced it together and scowled. He rolled them both over, balancing the slightly smaller man on his narrow hips, taking a tight hold of his chin. "Now listen, Dean Singer and listen well. I would not trade you for anything. They are not my family. They never were. They've always hated me, except for Gabriel and Anna, they have never wanted anything to do with me. You are my family now and you're all I need. I love you, beloved."

He blushed deeply as Dean stared at him, shocked. Castiel had always been a man of few words and this display was unexpected. Dean grinned, as bright and cocky the day they first met before leaning and kissing him. "I love you too, angel." He murmured quietly.

Anna thought her brother and his boyfriend were adorable together, no matter what her family said about it. She knew Gabriel would have agreed. Not to mention there was a part of her that absolutely loved pissing off her stuffy older brothers. Therefore she was psyched when both Castiel and Dean "secretly" called her to help them arrange their surprises. It was a good thing Balthazar still owed her from that time when they were ten.

Dean woke up on Christmas day with a tax accountant bouncing impatiently on his stomach. "Wake up!" He ordered. "It's Christmas!"

"Fuck, Cas, you're heavy." He groaned.

"Get up! Your present is waiting!"

"It can wait a little longer." He yawned, rolling over. Castiel grabbed him by the hand and pulled hard.

"No, it can't! Get dressed! Get up!"

"Alright, alright! Jesus, you didn't even celebrate Christmas until I told you about it!"

Castiel growled impatiently. "No! Get dressed! I'll be in the kitchen!" Breakfast was nice. The food was good even if the music was too loud." Cas was really starting to freak him out with the wide-eyed stare thing he had going on though. "Open it!" The brunette demanded, plopping the festively wrapped present onto the breakfast bar.

"Calm down, Cas. I'm sure I'll love it. Whatever it is." Dean said, not liking the strange twinkle in his eyes. He tore quickly at the paper and ripped the box open. "Seriously? Are we going to do this? Seriously?" He held up the smaller box.


Dean opened it and pulled out an envelope, ripping it open with his teeth. "Distraction. Distraction. Disraction." He read, quirking an eyebrow. "Are you distracted yet? Keep reading. Distraction. Distraction." He didn't hear the door open over the music. "Good. Now check your jacket pocket. Really, Cas? What the hell is going on?" He pulled out a folded piece of paper. "Turn around. I swear if this is another-" He spun around and his jaw dropped.

"Hi Dean." Sam smiled shyly.

Dean gaped dumbly. He stood and stumbled forward, capturing his big little brother in a tight hug. "How did you get here?" He asked, squeezing him. Sam squeezed back just as tightly, tears gathering in the corners of his eyes. "Castiel called me." He said.

"Cas, how did you find him?"

He shrugged, smiling sillily. "My sister's a cop and my brother works for the IRS. It wasn't too difficult. Sam is very good at paying his taxes, by the way."

"Cas this is...this is..."

"Amazing." Sam finished, resting his chin on top of Dean's head. "I can never thank you enough."

"Merry Christmas, Dean." Castiel. "I'll go put Samuel's bags away." He was stiff and formal as he caught the taller's eyes. Sam grinned at him like a little boy and snuggled his little big brother close. He melted and smiled back. "I'll give you two a moment alone."

An hour later, they left to walk to the store to pick up Twinkies, something Dean insisted was a Singer family christmas tradition. Castiel had let it be. His phone buzzed thirty minutes into their trip.

Come to corner.

He contemplated not going for a moment, to teach Dean a lesson in manners but he was feeling forgiving. It was their savior's birthday after all. He braved the cold with his trademark trenchcoat and an extra scarf for Dean in his pocket. The idiot had forgotten it again and it had started to snow.

He nearly ran into a group of giggling teenage girls on the way out. They seemed to be taking pictures of the pavement. Curious, he peeked over their shoulders.

This way, Cas! was written in bright pink chalk, with an arrow pointing forward.

He blushed and grinned, following the instructions, allowing himself to be led to the corner of First and Amistad.

This way now!

Let's go!

If it's over 4:30 you better hurry up!

He was breathless when he finally reached it. Dean looked at him and smiled. His heart abruptly stopped beating. There was a small procession of people standing next to him. Bobby was not much of a surprise, he was supposed to show up some time later today. Anna and Balthazar were more of a shock, especially with the thumbs up they flashed him and the rainbow colored t-shirts they wore. Sam stood grinning off to the side with a pretty blonde girl. But what really took his breath away was Dean. He was dressed in the same outfit he had been wearing the day they first spoke to each other, down to the soft snow coating, holding a blank cardboard sign.

Blue eyes met green as the blond smiled, flipping it over.

Will you marry me?

Castiel lunged forward and kissed him, tangling his fingers into his short blond hair. Dean tasted of disorder, of things messy and spontaneous.

Just the way he liked it.

AN; I don't know about you guys but that is how I am at Christmas. I'm stumbling around mumbling, "it's Christmas, bitches. Whoo. Where my presents at?"

And did you know that "First and Amistad" actually exists? He made it up but it exists. AND IT'S IN TEXAS!

...in the middle of the desert.