Sorry this took so long. I had it almost completely finished, and then the document got infected with some sort of virus and so I lost all of my work and had to start over. ARGH!
Anyway, this is a companion fic to Heaven By Your Side, takes place a month or so after the last chapter (NOT the epilogue). Can be read separately, but some parts of this will make more sense if they are read after the main fic.
Lastly - the places I name in this fic are all real. The Oceanaire is a real restaurant, which I have been to, and it is EXTREMELY good. Like, so good your tastebuds might fall off. Mine did. So if you ever get the chance, definitely check it out. And after dinner, they go to the National Gallery of Art. The show and the artist are fake, but the gallery is real, and pretty awesome, so you should check that out too, if you stop by D.C.!
Whew! Alright, on with the story! Enjoy, and don't forget to please review! :)
Dean emerged from his long, hot shower, dripping water all over the floor as he finished tying a towel around his waist. Water droplets went flying in every direction from the dark spikes of his wet hair when he shook his head. Swiping the steam-fogged mirror with his hand, he reached for his toothbrush and squeezed a generous amount of toothpaste onto the bristles. That was one thing Sam used to get on his ass all the time about – using up all of the toothpaste. Was it his fault that he loved when it foamed up around his lips, or that he enjoyed the minty fresh tingling it left in his mouth? The younger Winchester could be frugal all he wanted, but Dean was willing to spend a little extra money on his pearly whites. And now he could use as much toothpaste as he wanted without getting bitched at. Just one of the luxuries of not living with your brother.
It was a walk in the park for Dean to live with Castiel, especially after putting up with Sam's crap for years. They never seemed to tire of each other, and when they got into arguments, they never seemed to last long. At least, never through the night – even if they fell asleep on opposite sides of the bed, separated by Dean getting a little too drunk at the bar that night or Castiel being a little too self-sacrificial during the hunt of the day, it would always be a tangle of forgiving limbs meeting in the middle by morning. Dean had managed to convince the angel to sleep at night so that they could wake up together, and so that Castiel wouldn't just stare at his sleeping lover in the dark, because that was a little creepy, even if Dean didn't really mind it so much. Besides, he had argued, Castiel was already used to sleeping from his short time without his grace, after he had ripped it out to escape Raphael.
That whole catastrophe was something they never talked about much, but in their own way, they were sort of thankful for it. Sure, the entire time had been incredibly stressful and they had gotten into more than a few fights and even almost died, and then Gabriel had ended up killing Raphael in order to save Dean's life, which was tragically hard on both of the surviving angels, but still... If it hadn't been for Castiel's brief stunt as a human, he and Dean wouldn't have been forced to face their feelings for each other, and ultimately fall in love. And – though Dean wasn't all too grateful for this – Sam and Gabriel wouldn't have gotten as close as they did, and ended up together as well. So it all worked out in the end, for all parties. Except maybe Bobby, who was still scarred for life knowing that there was some extreme 'holy lovin' going on under his roof.
When they finally decided to pack up and move on, the last Dean and Castiel heard of Sam and Gabriel was some conversation about the cities of Europe before the archangel zapped them off to who knows where (presumably a city in Europe). However, Dean and Castiel had decided to continue hunting across the country, scoping out demons and ghouls and any other hell-spawn that was leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. The couple had established a good way to work around each other, and to work with each other as they moved in and out of various motel rooms. A perfect example was their bedtime routine; they would shower together (not always in a sexual way, either – sometimes they would play with the soap suds in their hair and end up having a soap war, or Castiel would merely wash the places on the hunter's back that he couldn't quite reach before they turned off the water and got out) and then they would spread their towels out on the floor and lay down beside each other to air-dry while they talked about the latest case, or the previous day, or nothing at all. Once they were dry, they would pull on some sweatpants, Castiel usually grabbing one of Dean's old t-shirts, and Castiel would settle into bed to read while the hunter washed his face and brushed his teeth. And then Dean would slip under the blankets, huddling close to Castiel's side for warmth until the angel turned out the light and snuggled into Dean's arms.
But not tonight. No, tonight was different. They weren't going to bed – in fact, far from it. Dean showered alone, dried off alone, and instead of donning a ratty pair of sweats, he was eyeing the tuxedo hanging on the wall of the bathroom, placed there so that the shower would steam out the wrinkles. Okay, so maybe the tux was a little extreme, but the hunter couldn't have cared less. If he was going to do this, he was going to do it right. Castiel was going to have the best first date in the history of the universe.
Their relationship hadn't come about in the conventional way. Hell, not much about either of their lives was conventional in any aspect, but that didn't stop Dean from wanting to give Castiel everything they had missed out on, up to and including dates. The notorious ladies man enjoyed going out to a movie and having dinner with girls every now and then – before Castiel, of course. But where a younger version of Dean might have viewed the whole dating thing as a ploy to get in their pants, the current Dean Winchester wasn't even slightly concerned with getting his angel into bed. No, all he wanted from this night to make Castiel happy, and to put a glowing smile on that lightly-stubbled face he loved so much.
Love. He loved Castiel. He laughed with joy just thinking about it, unable to stop himself. Again, while his younger self would have gone running in the opposite direction at the mere mention of the four letter word, Dean now would proclaim his love for his angel to just about anyone who would listen. And not only did he love him, wholeheartedly, but he was proud of it. And that was the most amazing feeling in the world, rivaled only by his immense pride in his little brother.
So tonight Dean would be following through on the vow that he made to himself to be the greatest boyfriend ever, but he would also be walking around the streets of the capitol of the United States with Castiel on his arm, showing him off to the world, sending the message loud and clear that he was the one who held this angel's heart.
Of course, he hadn't exactly let Castiel in on his plans for the evening, wanting it to be a surprise ("It's not a bad surprise, Cas, it's a great one, I swear," he had insisted more than a few times). The only drawback was that it had been a struggle to get Castiel to leave for a little while so that Dean could get ready. After lots and lots of persuasion – the hunter may or may not have tried those puppy dog eyes that always worked so well for Sam – he had won exactly an hour. Which left him with... Shit. Twenty minutes.
Dean scrambled for his tux, bare feet slipping in the puddles of water on the tiled floor, and dropped his towel into said puddles before rushing out of the motel bathroom and getting in front of the full-length mirror that leaned against the wall. He grinned at his reflection, giddy with excitement, before beginning to dress himself. Everything he was wearing was specially and deliberately picked out beforehand; the tuxedo had been bought for quite an impressive sum, but the hunter didn't mind giving away some of his hard-earned poker money, because this wasn't just any old suit he used to play FBI agent. The dark fabric was smooth and soft, and brand spankin' new, tailored perfectly to fit his figure. A button-down shirt had also been bought, because though Dean had plenty, they were all worn and faded, and this new one would create a shocking contrast with blinding white peeking out from underneath jet-black. A different store sold him the wingtips he had purchased, but those were broken in already, because Dean wasn't about to have blisters on his heels ruining his date. Yep, he had thought of everything, right down to the boxer briefs he was wearing – his second favorite pair. Not the old blue ones that had been washed a million and one times and were threatening holes in some places; the sleek black ones that hugged his ass in just the right way, were incredibly soft and ridiculously comfortable, that nearly had Dean turning himself on when he chanced a look in the mirror. Yeah... those ones.
Tugging on his black dress socks, he glanced at the time: two minutes. So close. All he had to do was button up his jacket, slip on his shoes, and put on his bow tie and he was golden. The first two he had accomplished in a matter of seconds, but when he reached for the tie, it was impossible not to just stop and admire it for a moment. The silky thread practically glowed in the low light of the bedside lamp, and Dean rubbed his thumb over the material, reveling in its softness. But what really had caught his attention in the store, what had convinced him that this bow tie was the only one he could possibly wear for tonight, was the vibrant, electric color. Blue, like a clear ocean that stretched out for miles, reflecting the light of the sun, constantly shifting and rolling so that it appeared to be a hundred different shades of the same color. Deep, bright, mesmerizing... and it was no coincidence that they exactly matched Castiel's eyes.
As Dean tucked the tie under his shirt collar and knotted it neatly, he smiled, hearing the familiar whoosh of wings behind him.
The hunter turned right into him, barely managing to spread his arms before they were full of angel. It had only been an hour, but the guy hated being away from Dean for any length of time, no matter how short – it would almost be annoying if it wasn't Castiel, and it wasn't so damn cute.
"You look nice," Castiel said softly before pressing his lips gently against Dean's, who just hummed in response. "What is the occasion?"
Dean leaned back and quirked an amused eyebrow. "You won't get it outta me that easy, dude. I told you, it's a surprise."
A frustrated reply was already forming on Castiel's lips, but it was quickly forgotten when he noticed the gorgeous blue bow tie practically shining in his face. "Your tie..."
"What? You like it?"
Dean beamed. "Got it 'cause it matches your eyes, you know," he murmured, stroking Castiel's cheek with his finger. He pulled away and turned to retrieve the box it had come in, which was laying on the bed, and handed it over to the angel. "Here."
Castiel peered inside and his lips parted, the only change in his expression, but to Dean who knew the angel all too well, it was like a flashing neon sign that screamed excitement. The second tie that he had bought was delicately lifted from the box and held up to the light to be admired.
"Dean... is this..."
"For you," Dean nodded. "Here, lemme put it on."
Calloused fingers brushed against each other as the hunter took the new tie in one hand and with the other expertly removed the classic navy tie that Castiel always wore, tossing it to the floor. He looped the new one around Castiel's neck and tied it the right way, not the way that the angel always did it, upside down and backwards or whatever. It suited him well, the silky thread that matched the color of Dean's bow tie shimmering in the light, bringing out his eyes beautifully.
"Perfect," Dean whispered, stealing another quick kiss. Flattening the collar of Castiel's shirt and trench coat, he cleared his throat and asked, "You ready?"
"I do not know where we are going, Dean," Castiel pointed out.
"Great, let's get going then," the hunter grinned, ignoring the irritated look being aimed his way. He clapped Castiel on the shoulders and marched to the door, grabbing his keys and holding the door open for the angel like a true gentleman. And again, when they reached the parking lot, he sprinted around to the passenger side of the Impala to open the door for Castiel, who slid in with a suspicious but somewhat amused look on his face. Once Dean had settled into the driver's side, he cocked his head and kept his gaze on his lover, but said nothing.
"So I think I should warn you," Dean began as he pulled out of the parking lot and started down the road, "we're having dinner tonight. And it isn't burgers. But you're still gonna eat it."
"Dean," Castiel sighed exasperatedly. The only food that he ever agreed to eat was burgers. And oranges – he liked those too.
"I know, I know you don't need to eat, but just humor me, okay? You're gonna like it, I promise."
Castiel nodded, still confused but somewhat amused as well. "Are we going into the city?"
Their most recent hunt had brought them just outside the limits of Washington D.C., so it wasn't a particularly far-fetched guess, and Dean didn't mind confirming it.
"Yeah. You ever been?"
"Many times in the past."
"Like, the recent past, or the way-back-when past?"
"The way-back-when past," Castiel answered, not even batting an eye at Dean's odd vernacular. He had come a long way in understanding it, actually picking up on some of the references the hunter threw out every once in a while.
"Well, you've never been where we're going, I know that. Neither have I, technically, but I looked it up and damn, it's awesome."
The majority of the car ride was a comfortable silence broken only by the traffic around them and the soft hum of Black Sabbath from the Impala speakers. The sun had almost set and Castiel was mesmerized by the bright lights all around them, colorful neon signs and car headlights and buildings with grids of yellow windows. Every now and then the trees and buildings would give way to reveal a national monument in the distance, lit up by high-powered lanterns and framed by the darkening purple sky, and even Dean was entranced by the majestic structures.
Eventually they made one final right turn – Dean had memorized the directions so they wouldn't get lost, and thank God he had, because the busy streets were a freakin' nightmare – and pulled smoothly into a parking garage, where Dean payed the booth attendant and was waved through. He parked his baby in an empty spot near the back so that she'd be safe, then insisted that Castiel wait for him to open up the passenger door before he got out.
"I can get out of the car without assistance, Dean."
"It's called being polite, okay Cas? Just – okay, c'mon."
They made their way back up to the street and Dean locked their arms together before marching down the sidewalk toward their destination.
"Will you tell me where we are going now?"
"We're almost there, Cas," Dean told him. "Just two more seconds."
They passed a couple of street vendors and it was difficult to walk past the heavenly aroma of warm pretzels without stopping to have a bite of one, but the hunter was almost too excited to care. A few more steps and they stopped abruptly in front of a covered black archway that looked almost like a tunnel, the writing on the front lit up a light blue and topped by a large swordfish.
"We're here," Dean announced proudly.
"'The Oceanaire,'" Castiel read out loud. "What are we doing here?"
"It's a seafood place," the hunter explained, green eyes searching his lover's face for a sign of happiness, or excitement, or something. "It's... I thought you'd enjoy it."
"Dean... You are taking me out to dinner?"
"Yeah," he replied, nervously running his fingers over Castiel's new tie. "A dinner date. You know, cause we've never... I mean, if you don't want to then –"
"I would love to," the angel cut him off, accenting his words with a soft kiss.
"Oh," Dean breathed. A smile slowly spread across his face. He stepped back and motioned toward the door. "Shall we?"
With intertwined fingers, the couple made their way into the archway, only letting go because they had to pass through the revolving door that connected to the restaurant. Dean went first, stepping out easily on the opposite side, but Castiel, who had followed in the space behind the hunter, seemed lost, helplessly passing right by the exit and going around in another circle. Trying to hold in his laughter, Dean reached in and tugged Castiel out by the sleeve of his trench coat as he came around the second time, slinging an arm around his shoulders and getting that bubbly feeling in his chest at the adorable, confused look on Castiel's face.
"You okay, man?"
"I think so," Castiel said, nodding slowly.
Dean chuckled and walked with his lover up to the front desk, pushing through groups of smartly dressed people waiting to be seated. The overwhelmed host looked up at them with a tired expression. "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but there is a wait of –"
"We have a reservation," Dean informed him, "under Winchester."
"Ah," the host sighed in apparent relief, checking the name on the computer screen in front of him. "Thank you for calling ahead. Right this way, please." He grabbed two menus and started weaving his way through the restaurant with Dean and Castiel on his heels.
The restaurant was dark with a low ceiling, patterned carpet covering the floor except for at the bar, where it was glossy hardwood. Dim, blue-tinted lights highlighted fancy designs on the walls and hanging pictures of the sea, fish, whales, crabs, and a couple mermaids – Dean reminded himself to ask Castiel about them later, because if they were real, he'd bet an angel would know. The wall of the main front room that faced the street was made entirely of tall windows, allowing a little bit of city atmosphere to bleed into the underwater feel of the restaurant. Huge fish tanks separated the dining rooms and they were filled with all kinds of colorful and exotic fish, most of which the hunter had never seen before in his life. They passed by a lit display of fresh lobster, crab, and steak that had Dean's mouth watering just looking at it, and then after making their way past tables upon tables, they emerged into a more private dining room. There were only a few couples sitting in this back room, spread out to provide a more intimate setting for each party. Dean had requested the private room specially, knowing that it would be a better experience for Castiel, and himself as well. These lamps cast more of a yellow glow than the eerie blue light that filled the other rooms, and the reds and orange designs on the carpet, walls, and chairs made for a very warm setting.
The host laid their menus down at a table against the far wall and assured them that their server would be with them shortly before hurrying back to his desk.
"Isn't it awesome?" Dean was still in awe over the whole place. It was so nice, so elegant, and he'd never been inside a place like this before without having to lie about who he was, steal a cursed object, or gank a rogue ghost.
"It is quite beautiful," Castiel agreed. He began to pull out his chair, but Dean quickly slapped his hands away.
"Let me," the hunter smiled. Instead of reaching for the chair, he gently tugged the trench coat off of the angel's shoulders and folded it over his arm. Then with a flourishing gesture, he pulled out the chair and neatly scooted it up to the table once Castiel had sat down.
"You are not usually concerned with me pulling out my own chair," the angel observed.
Blushing a little, Dean explained, "Tonight is special. It's different. It's... well, our first date."
The corners of Castiel's lips turned up just the tiniest bit, but his eyes shone ten times brighter than before. "You look good in a bow tie," he commented as Dean took his seat across the table.
"You bet your ass I do," Dean winked.
"Good evening, gentlemen," a high-pitched voice piped up from behind them, startling them both. "My name is Katie, I'll be your server this evening. Can I start you off with something to drink?"
Dean and Castiel turned to the cheery girl standing over them, hands clasped behind her back, black apron wrapped around her thin waist to match the rest of her clothing. Her long blonde hair was tied neatly in a ponytail, but even pulled back the small waves cascaded down her back beautifully.
Dean smiled warmly at her and glanced at the wine menu before replying, "How about a bottle of the Kim Crawford Marlborough, Cas?"
"Whatever you wish, Dean," came the angel's somewhat standard response.
"Excellent choice," Katie sang. "One of my personal favorites. Now, while you're looking over our menu, allow me to tell you about our specials this evening..."
As she prattled on about expertly grilled sirloin and perfectly buttered lobster, her bright eyes flicked back and forth between the couple's matching ties, and Dean could see the corner of her pink lips curl up in a smile. Obviously Dean was a genius at this whole shopping thing.
"You know, I think I'll just have the grilled filet mignon with shrimp, and he'll have the Alaskan snow crab," the hunter decided after she finished her speech. "He's never had seafood before," he added to explain why he was ordering for the both of them.
"Ah, of course," Katie winked at Castiel. "No problem, sir. I'll just go put your order in and be right back with your wine."
Castiel cocked his head at Dean, who was grinning like a madman. "What is it?"
"Nothing," the hunter hummed, taking a sip of the water that was sitting in front of him. "She likes our ties." The angel merely quirked an eyebrow, and Dean shrugged in response.
Katie returned with their wine and a couple of glasses, telling them to enjoy and beaming a gorgeous smile at them before she walked away. The hunter poured out the drinks and raised his glass to Castiel. Yes, he knew it was cheesy, but he'd already surpassed that point with the whole door-opening thing. So he didn't even hesitate before saying, "To us."
To which Castiel replied just as naturally, "To us," clinking his glass to Dean's before raising it to his lips.
While waiting for their food, the couple conversed easily, commenting on some of the more obscure fish populating the restaurant tanks, or talking about maybe taking a trip to South Dakota to visit Bobby, or imagining what Sam and Gabriel were doing left to their own devices, which provided for some horror as well as some laughs. Time passed quickly, like it usually did when it was just the two of them together, and soon their dinner arrived at the table, along with their friendly server, who raved about the food even as she was setting their dishes down in front of them. Dean's eyes practically rolled into the back of his head once he caught a whiff of his steak and shrimp, but he kept his hands folded in his lap, waiting eagerly for his angel to take the first bite of his crab.
"Are you going to eat, Dean?" Castiel asked with concern.
"I wanna see your face when you taste it," the hunter said excitedly.
With a raised eyebrow, Castiel looked down at the crab legs on his plate. He picked one up and raised it to his mouth.
"No!" Dean cried, and the angel froze. "Sorry, I should have told you... You gotta break it open first, to get to the inside. You don't eat the shell," he explained, laughing a little. "Here." He motioned for Castiel to hand him the crab leg, and the angel obliged, also passing over the crab cracker and the long-stemmed fork at Dean's request. The hunter demonstrated how to crack the shell and pull the meat out with the fork. Leaning precariously over the table, he took a bit of meat on the end of the fork and dipped it in the small well of butter on Castiel's plate before holding it up to Castiel's mouth. "Eat."
As soon as Castiel's tongue snaked out and tasted the crab, his eyes lit up like spotlights. He enthusiastically took the whole bite into his mouth and chewed. "This is very good."
"Told you," Dean beamed, handing the angel his crab cracker and fork. "Your turn."
While Castiel set to work on his crab, Dean dug into his steak, sneaking in a piece of shrimp between every bite. The food was delicious, exploding with flavor on his tongue as he mixed it with sips of the wine, and he couldn't stop himself from letting out a couple of low moans as he ate. He knew The Oceanaire was famous for their outstanding food, but damn, this stuff was food of the gods if there ever was any.
Those moans – though thankfully remaining unnoticed by the others in the dining room – definitely caught Castiel's attention. He paused with his fork halfway to his mouth and stared at Dean with darkening blue eyes. The hunter's face was screwed up in pleasure one second and then completely relaxed the next, and it was the epitome of pure bliss. The same face that he made when he...
"Dean," Castiel hissed. "Stop."
"Stop... making those noises," the angel demanded, scoffing slightly at Dean's lack of etiquette as he tried to talk with his mouth full. "This is not an appropriate time."
Dean swallowed and grinned mischievously. "What, you don't like it?"
Castiel just glared. "Dean."
Chuckling, the hunter went back to his dinner, trying to keep his contentment silent for the sake of his lover. They ate in silence for a while, Castiel immensely enjoying his crab if the way he practically licked the plate clean was any indication, and Dean patted himself on the back for the good choice on his part. Finally, Dean's fork clinked as he set it down on his empty plate and wiped the sauce from the corner of his mouth with a napkin.
"That was so freakin' good," he breathed, patting his stomach. "I think I'm about to explode, I'm so full."
At Castiel's overly concerned expression, Dean added, "Just an expression, Cas."
The angel nodded in relief. "What about dessert?"
"No dessert," Dean groaned. "Couldn't eat it all. They don't serve pie, anyway."
They finished off at least half of the bottle of wine – well, mostly Dean did – before the server reappeared.
"I take it you enjoyed your dinner?" the peppy blonde smiled, eying their completely cleaned plates.
"You have no idea," the hunter assured her. "It was great, thank you."
"Oh, don't thank me," she shook her head. "I'll pass your compliments on to the chef. Is there anything else I can get you gentlemen?"
"Just the check, thanks sweetheart," Dean replied, and Katie nodded happily and skipped off to retrieve it. "Alright, you ready for some walking?"
"Walking?" Castiel repeated in confusion.
"Not too far, but yeah. The night ain't over yet," Dean told him with a grin.
He paid the bill with a card under the name of Roy Alburne, leaving a generous tip for their kind server, and then stood, offering his hand to his angel. He helped Castiel back into his trench coat, ignoring his weak protests, and then twined their fingers together before leading him out of the restaurant onto the sidewalk.
"Where are we going?" Castiel asked as they wandered down the sidewalk through the pedestrian traffic.
"You'll see." The surprise wasn't over just yet.
It was a pretty far walk, but the evening weather was nice, and the streets were cast in a warm glow from the streetlamps and buildings all around them. The architecture in D.C. was beautiful, very old, and though it didn't exactly peak Dean's interest, Castiel certainly admired it. They passed by restaurants and bakeries and office buildings and museums, vendors and parks and ponds and monuments. And one of the best parts, in Dean's opinion, was how liberal the atmosphere was. They couldn't always walk down the sidewalks of Kansas hand-in-hand without getting a couple pointed glares and being called rude names. But here in the nation's capitol, no one even seemed to notice the green-eyed man pecking his lover on the cheek whenever and wherever he felt like it. And he loved it.
They passed Pennsylvania Avenue, and Dean was very nearly tugged in the opposite direction of their destination by an overly eager angel that happened to spot a big fountain – when had he become such a five-year old? It didn't matter, because the hunter managed to put them back en route to Constitution Avenue, where they hung a left and Dean's nerves immediately started to kick in. He had just assumed that Castiel would be into this – what if he wasn't? What if he hated it? What if he thought it was boring and wanted to go back to the motel? They'd have a long, awkward walk to get all the way back to the Impala at that parking garage. It certainly wasn't Dean's cup of tea, but when he heard about the exhibit... well, he couldn't think of a better place to take Castiel. Except for now, when he started realizing how stupid his idea was.
"Now, Cas," he began after clearing his throat, "we only have to stay as long as you want to. I wasn't really – I mean, I wanna go too, but mostly 'cause I want you to go, 'cause I thought you'd like it, but if you don't it's really okay, okay? So just say the word and –"
"You're rambling," the angel observed. "Why are you nervous?"
"No reason, just – you heard what I said, right?"
This was the second time in one night that Dean had rambled about what seemed like nothing for no reason, something he did whenever he got anxious. Castiel knew that he had put a lot of thought into this evening to be so concerned about how it would pan out. It was endearing, but also frustrating that Dean didn't trust himself to know what the angel wanted, when really doing anything with Dean would please him.
Castiel was pulled out of his thoughts when he was yanked backwards by his hand because the hunter had stopped abruptly in front of a large white building; tall, with Roman-style architecture and colossal columns in the front that cast long shadows with the glow of the high-powered lamps beaming up at them, and in between the columns hung banners that read 'Now showing Marcus Manolota's new collection – Dancing With Angels'.
"It's not like, real angel stuff I guess, but when I saw it I just thought –"
"– was a stupid idea, I know, if you don't want to we can turn around and go back to that fountain and –"
"Dean," Castiel repeated more forcefully, which finally silenced the hunter. "I would love to see the art museum."
"Really?" Dean's face lit up like a Christmas tree.
The angel nodded and tightened the hand that was holding his lover's. Dean was so thoughtful – Castiel knew he would be bored out of his mind walking around, looking at a bunch of pictures hanging on the walls. But the hunter was willing to do so for Castiel, and that was more than enough to make him happy. "Let's go."
They paid a small fee and managed to make it through the metal detectors with no complications – Dean had thought ahead and left his weapons in the Impala, but he had no idea where Castiel kept all those angel blades and stuff. Maybe his trench coat was like Mary Poppins' bag or something – bigger on the inside, so you could keep lamps and elephants and shit in there. He'd have to ask about that later.
Entering the first room of the exhibit, Dean knew he had picked a good place to go because of the way Castiel was instantly mesmerized by the artwork. He followed as the real-life angel slowly circled around the entire room, carefully studying every painting, every sculpture. They progressed on to the other rooms, and each received the same meticulous treatment. One time, Castiel tried to reach out tentative fingers to brush against the canvas of one particularly beautiful piece, but Dean had quickly pulled him back with a chuckle.
"Can't touch the art, Cas."
"It's Raphael," Castiel said quietly.
The painting looked nothing like the archangel bastard that Dean knew. (Okay, so maybe he shouldn't call him a bastard because he was dead, and he was Castiel's brother after all, but still. He acted like a bastard.) The Raphael in the painting had long auburn hair and bright golden wings that were at least twice as long as his body. They were spread out so they spanned at least three-quarters of the huge canvas, and the detail was so intricate that you could see each individual feather. He had some sort of staff in his hand, with a round, curled end. He wasn't smiling, but he wasn't unhappy, either. He was just... peaceful. And the sunlight streaming from the clouds behind him almost made him glow, made him seem powerful, marked by great reverence.
"He was not always so cruel," Castiel murmured, still looking at the painting, though his eyes had sort of glazed over. "It is unfortunate that you could not know him the way he used to be. He used to heal humans, and want to help them. He believed in humanity as much as anyone. And then..."
The angel trailed off, a saddened look on his face, and Dean stayed silent, waiting, knowing that he couldn't do anything to lessen Castiel's grief but wishing with his whole heart that he could.
"He was doing what he thought was right," Castiel finally spoke again. "Because of that, I can forgive him for what he's done. He acted in the name of God, just as I do. He was my brother. That will never change."
"Do you miss him?" Dean asked, without really thinking about it, voice hoarse from being silent for so long.
"Yes," the angel admitted, "but I began missing him long before he was dead."
"Thank you for tonight, Dean."
"I'm just glad you liked it," the hunter sighed, shrugging out of his tuxedo jacket and throwing it carelessly onto the motel bed before flopping down next to it.
"I did, very much," Castiel affirmed as he walked over to the hunter and sat next to him. "I never thought you would be... the dating type."
Dean looked up from burrowing his face into the pillow. "Me either, man," he chuckled. "C'mere." Rolling onto his side, he opened up his arms as an invitation for his angel to curl up beside him.
"We are still in our clothes, Dean."
"Yeah, so? I'm tired. Come here. It doesn't – Hey, wait, where are you going?" Dean asked frantically as his lover stood up and walked out of sight. He instantly relaxed when he felt his shoes being untied and slipped off, along with his socks. "Alright, this works."
Castiel chuckled. "I thought it might."
The hunter slowly turned onto his back and Castiel crawled up onto the bed, straddling his hips. "Mmm, this really works," he hummed, running his hands down Castiel's sides to rest on his hips.
"I thought you were tired."
"When did I say that?"
Shaking his head in amusement, the angel gently tugged the knot free on Dean's bow tie and then set to work on the buttons of his shirt. He leaned down and pressed light kisses to each bit of skin he uncovered, eliciting a content sigh from his lover. His lips brushed over a patch of dark hair just above the waistband of Dean's slacks before he pulled away, slipping the fabric off of Dean's arms as he went and finally tossing it down to the floor.
"That's a nice shirt," the hunter whined, but the complaint was ignored. Castiel intended to keep this innocent, merely undressing Dean for bed, and he was not the one who suggested this, so he had no intention of stopping once he had started.
Castiel bent over and began kissing and licking at Dean's freckled neck while he undid his belt, yanking it out of the loops and casting it aside. Dean began to squirm under his tongue, hands searching for the lapels of Castiel's own coat and jacket, trying to push them off of his shoulders, but the angel was having none of it. Instead, he grabbed Dean's wrists and pinned them above his head, growling in his ear a rough, "Stay."
It was hard to stay still when he was the object of Castiel's affections, the sensitive spots on his neck being teased, feeling the button on his jeans being popped and the zipper sliding down, releasing some of the pressure on his groin that he hadn't even noticed was there – but Dean did it. He latched his fingers onto the headboard and let out a rough groan, but he didn't move. He didn't move when Castiel slipped off the bed and began working his pants down, bunching them around the ankles before yanking them all the way off. He didn't move when the angel began stripping himself, letting the trench coat and suit jacket fall to the floor, unbuttoning his shirt at a maddeningly slow pace, unbuckling his belt and letting his slacks fall to his knees, stepping out of them and standing before his lover in nothing but his tie and tight blue boxer briefs. He didn't move when Castiel climbed back up his body to perch over his chest, dragging the new tie across his lips and staring at him with those blue, blue eyes, so deep that Dean thought of them as little universes, tucked away in the vessel's anatomy.
Nimble fingers worked the knot around Castiel's neck until the tie came loose, and he kissed the fabric softly, sweetly, before laying it carefully on the bedside table. Dean's heart swelled with emotion watching how he treated that tie – almost as though it were sacred, worshipping it like he worshipped Dean himself. As though he was the only thing that mattered.
And then finally, finally, the angel stretched out, aligning their bodies, sinking onto his lips and drinking from them like a butterfly drawing nectar from a flower, rolling their tongues together in a sensual dance that only they knew the steps to. A muscled thigh found its way between Dean's legs and he couldn't stop his hips from bucking up, couldn't stop his head from lolling back, couldn't stop the moan from escaping his throat. Castiel rucked up against him through the fabric of their boxers, sweet, sweet friction driving him crazy, taking him to another world altogether, one of those universes contained behind Castiel's eyelids, that only consisted of the two of them.
"Cas," Dean breathed against the angel's lips. "Please..."
Castiel took that as his cue to start his descent, leaving a path of kisses in his wake, fingertips roaming all over the hunter's abdomen as his body bucked and rolled in reaction to every touch. And then he suckled on a nipple, biting gently with just the right amount of pressure to drive Dean crazy, waiting for those helpless gasps of breath before he moved across to the other one, making it just as puckered and red and swollen as the first.
When he reached the waistband of Dean's boxers, the hunter looked down to see those eyes – God, those eyes – almost completely black, twinkling with anticipation, and it made him impossibly harder.
"Cas, please," he begged.
The angel rolled the black boxer briefs down and all the way off, expertly stripping off his own blue ones as well before climbing back up Dean's body and placing a few slow kisses to the insides of his thighs. Dean's breath stopped, time stopped, everything stopped... and then a tentative tongue at the tip of his cockhead brought it all back, crashing down around him, filling him up inside and dragging him down all at the same time. His toes curled when Castiel's lips sealed around him, his back arched when his lover started to suck, his hands flew to grip the angel's dark hair when he felt himself being swallowed down.
"Oh, yeah, Cas, fuck, like that," he moaned breathily. "God, don't stop."
He felt his legs being forced apart, didn't even realize that his thighs were squeezing together, couldn't control himself with Castiel's mouth on him like that, didn't particularly want to. He just wanted to let go, to let Castiel have him, to climax in that way that he only could with his angel.
Suddenly, a whole new craving took over him, in a feral way that left him helpless to resist. He growled and yanked Castiel by his hair, pushing him roughly onto his back, straddling his waist in one fluid motion so he was trapped, subject to Dean's desire. The kisses with which he covered the entirety of Castiel's chest were hard, demanding, rough without being too rough. Castiel whimpered and wrapped his arms around Dean's shoulders, clawing at him, trying and failing to find something solid amongst the plains of Dean's back to hold on to.
And then, without any warning whatsoever, Dean's mouth was on his cock, taking him in to the back of his throat, laving around the head with his tongue, lapping at pre-cum and coaxing out more. It was overwhelmingly good, so much so that Castiel forced him up, locked their lips together and wrapped his legs around the hunter's waist in a secure embrace.
"You gonna come?" Dean asked, rolling his hips against the angel's, sliding their cocks together. "C'mon – oh, fuck yeah, Cas, come for me."
"Dean," Castiel gasped, the word mangled and half-broken but still there, still hanging in the air, uttered like a prayer.
Dean's hands wound their way around Castiel's abdomen, sliding up to his shoulder blades, digging in roughly with the pads of his fingers, and Castiel screamed. Where his wings connected to his vessel, or however it worked – the angel had yet to explain about all that – was extremely sensitive, and Dean took full advantage of that whenever he could. Like right now.
He dug into Castiel's shoulders harder, eliciting another strangled cry, and simultaneously rutted up against his cock, making the angel lock up his muscles and come instantaneously. The hot, thick fluid splashed onto their stomachs, their chests, Dean's cock – and that, along with the indescribably, purely blissed out look that Castiel makes when he orgasms, triggered Dean to spill his own load, which he did shouting the angel's name.
Chests heaving, arms and legs shaking, foreheads sweating against each other, they laid there for a moment until Dean mustered up the energy to roll off to the side. He hissed, overly-sensitive cock rubbing up against Castiel's bare flesh, but it smoothed out into a contented sigh when the angel rolled with him, snuggling up into his chest and plastering their bodies together.
Castiel whined when Dean reached over to grab a couple of tissues from the bedside table, then purred happily when the hunter finished haphazardly cleaning them off and tossed the tissues aside to wrap his arms around him. They somehow managed to wriggle the sheets up without disentangling themselves and finally, Castiel snaked out an arm to flick the light off, and they settled in to sleep.
However, after a few moments, a timid voice pierced through the dark silence.
"I'm sorry... about Raphael."
"Just don't say anything, okay? That's all... that's all I wanted to say. Just accept it. Because I know it hurts. And I want you to know that I know that."
"I love you."
The head on his chest nuzzled into him and soft hair tickled his chin.
"I love you too, Dean."