Even though his now-human form requires the occasional rest, Castiel often has trouble sleeping. He finds something unnerving about closing his eyes and rousing later, having lost hours in between. Anything could happen when he is unconscious. The world could explode and he wouldn't notice.
Dean has sworn to assist Castiel with his problem, and though the offered exhaustive bedroom activities are greatly appreciated and enjoyed, they do not always end with Castiel asleep. Relaxed, yes. Content, yes. But sometimes, after Dean's breath has evened out into gentle snores, Castiel remains awake, staring at the ceiling or the wall. He would prefer to stare at Dean, but Castiel remembers Dean's aversion to being watched while asleep. Castiel isn't certain Dean would still mind now that their relationship has progressed to a sexual nature, but he's afraid to ask – afraid to find that maybe not that much has changed about their relationship after all.
When Dean blinks awake and finds Castiel staring at the ceiling, he mumbles, "Can't sleep?"
Castiel offers a small smile to calm him. "I'm fine."
"That's not what I asked," Dean says. He sits up in the bed and Castiel immediately misses the heat and comfort of his body.
Castiel's smile slips into an all-too-easy frown. "Where are you going?" he asks when Dean stretches his legs over the edge of the bed.
Dean scrubs his face with his palms. "If I'm going to stay awake with you, we can't sit in bed."
"Dean, you don't have to –"
"Can it, Cas," Dean says. He takes Castiel by the hand and leads him from their shared bedroom down into the library of the bunker. The overhead lights hum, disrupting perfect silence. Dean pulls a chair out for Castiel before disappearing between the walls of books.
"Dean?" Castiel calls, uncertain.
Dean returns a moment later with a board game under his arm. He puts it down between them. Monopoly. A tradition starts then and continues for the next several weeks. Castiel still sleeps occasionally. Dean makes sure that their dalliances in the bedroom remain exerting and satisfying and often that works. Yet once in a while, the two sit at the table in the library with a board game between them.
They try Monopoly, and Payday, and Scrabble, and Boggle. Dean begrudgingly buys Candyland at Castiel's insistence, and though Dean complains about playing it, he cannot hide the smile that pulls at his lips when he pulls a good card. Their game of Risk lasts twelve hours, and in the end, when Dean has lost everything but Australia, he flips the board and says he still won. They don't play that game much after that, and they never play Sorry. "Too many bad memories," Dean says and Castiel is inclined to agree.
One night, they decide to play Life. Castiel likes the colorful board and all the cards with professions and houses. He's curious to play. He wants to know what kind of life he would have drawn if he had been born a human. Sure, the game of Life isn't the most accurate representation of humanity, but it's a lot closer than Castiel's existence before.
Dean grumbles when they set up the board. "There's no black car," he says. "I wouldn't be caught dead owning a mini-van." Castiel hands him the green piece, but he refuses. "I'd rather have blue." Castiel takes the green van for himself.
They go to college. When they graduate, Dean becomes a teacher.
"You'd make a good teacher, Dean," Castiel insists, even though Dean brushes off the compliment with a grunted, "Nah."
Castiel draws the accountant card. He can't be sure, but he's convinced Dean cheated from the way he's snickering.
Dean moves twice as fast across the board as Castiel, and reaches the next stop sign first. "Get married," Castiel reads diligently off the board. But Dean doesn't move. Castiel glances up and Dean is blushing.
"I don't want to," he says.
Castiel gestures to the board with his hand. "The game says you have to."
"Where does it say that?"
"Right there," Castiel says, pointing. "Get married." He pushes the small box of leftover pieces toward Dean. The blue and pink pegs clatter together at the bottom.
"No," Dean says. He crosses his arms over his chest.
Castiel frowns and reaches for the sheet with the rules. He buries his face in it, searching for the section on marriage. "You have to, Dean," he confirms. "Then you roll to see how much I give you in gifts."
"I don't want your money, Cas," Dean says.
Castiel places the rules flat on the table. "You don't want to play?" He can't help the disappointment that seeps into his voice. He really wanted to play this game: get married, buy a house, buy insurance, adopt children, and retire.
"No, Cas, don't – I do," Dean says, fumbling. "I do. I just don't want to do this part."
"There are lots of pegs to choose from in the box," Castiel says.
"But I don't want to marry any of these," Dean says. He scowls at the cardboard box and pushes it away from him.
Castiel thinks to say something. He would quickly cave and let Dean skip this particular stop sign if it meant he would keep playing the game. But before he can suggest that they just move on, Dean speaks and all thoughts are lost.
Dean points to Castiel's green van sitting atop an orange square. "I want to marry that one."
"That's my car," Castiel says, because he can't think with the way Dean is staring at him, like they are suddenly talking about so much more than a simple board game.
"Yeah," Dean says.
"That blue peg is supposed to be me," Castiel says.
"Yeah," Dean says again. "Look, either you ride in my car or I'll ride in yours, I don't care."
Castiel looks down at their two vans separated by five spaces on the game board. It does seem an absurdly large distance. "I believe this game is supposed to be competitive not cooperative."
"Says who?" Dean asks.
Castiel picks up the sheet of rules again. He doesn't read it. Instead, he studies Dean over the top of the paper. Dean taps on the tabletop with his fingertips, a beat to a song Castiel can't place. His green eyes are staring at the red space on the board. He bites his lip and then sighs.
"Look, Cas, if you don't want to –" he starts.
"It's not in the rules," Castiel says.
Dean smirks. "Since when has that ever stopped us." And he's right.
Castiel crinkles the sheet of rules into a ball and throws it over his shoulder. He plucks the blue peg from the green van and hands it to Dean. "Get married, Dean."
Dean smiles, and that smile is worth breaking the rules to see. It's worth everything.
Later, when the sun comes up, they take one of the little van pieces outside and spray-paint it black. From then on, they always play with the same game piece, their little Impala.
"Not a mini-van," Dean insists.
Thank you so much for reading! This was written for deancasweek13 on tumblr, so if you've seen it before that's (hopefully) why. My sn is the same. Cross-posting on Ao3 as well. No beta, please forgive!
Disclaimer - I do not own Supernatural. I don't make any money from this.