A/N: This was written for a friend who kept asking for "SUSPENDER-FIRETRUCK-SUPERHOT MAKE UP SEX" in 'Grace Under Fire'. I couldn't quite work it into the fic at the time, so I wrote this instead. And now I've decided to post it here as well since I'm currently working on my first big bang and probably won't be posting anything else for a while :S Anyway it's probably not necessary to read 'Grace Under Fire' before this, but it might be good to know a little bit about Star Wars. There is geekiness ahead! And yes, the title for this is a lyric from an old Madonna song. The one with the lock and a key that's a metaphor for opening your heart... or for sex, depending on how you look at it ;p


One is such a lonely number (5 times Dean gave Cas the key to his house)


The first time Dean gave Castiel the key to his house… wasn't that big a deal. Well it was, but just not for the obvious reasons. They'd only just started dating really, but Dean was already spending all his free time with Castiel. So much so that Sam had jokingly asked whether Dean still lived at their house or not, he barely ever saw him. So Dean decided it was time to invite Cas over for once. Which meant that first… Cas had to meet Sam.

Not that Dean introduced everyone he brought home to his brother. Not if he could help it anyway. It's just that since he and Lisa had split up, Cas was the first person he'd spent more than one night with, let alone every night possible.

So yeah, that part of it was kind of a big deal. And Dean was nervous as hell about it. So nervous he could barely juggle the bags of groceries he was carrying for the dinner Cas had offered to cook, and his hands shook so hard he couldn't even get his key into the front door.

And even though Cas must've been nervous as well, and his arms were similarly laden with bags, he still managed to sweep in and save Dean like some kind of angel, somehow transferring his bags to one arm and freeing a hand to rest on Dean's shoulder, soothing him silently.

Eventually Dean mustered a sheepish smile, handing the key over. "Could you…?" Dean asked, indicating the door. Cas merely smiled in response, taking the key from Dean's fingers and unlocking the door with ease.

And if Dean hadn't already been panicking so much, he might've seen some kind of metaphor in that. Especially when dinner went so ridiculously well. So well, he was almost jealous of the nerdy new bromance between his boyfriend and his brother.

It wasn't long before Cas noticed him pouting though, but it wasn't until Sam finally went to bed that Cas was able to question him about it.

"I guess I just forgot, is all." Dean muttered, slouching into the couch a little further.

"Forgot what?" Castiel asked, tilting his head in that adorable way of his as he frowned in concern.

"You're a High School History teacher. Sam put himself through Stanford." Dean explained. "Only reason I even bothered finishing High School is because Ellen woulda kicked my ass otherwise."

"Ellen?" Castiel asked. "You mean, Principal Harvelle?"

"Yeah." Dean replied. "Her husband Bill was a firefighter too. He died on the job, a long time before Dad did, and Ellen used to look after us a lot when Dad was working. Practically raised us."

Castiel blinked at him silently.

"What?" Dean mumbled. Castiel shook his head, smiling a little.

"It's difficult to reconcile what I know of Ellen as the Principal of the school where I teach with the idea of her being something of a mother figure to the man I'm dating."

"Trust me, I'm fully aware why that's difficult. She is a scary lady. She still scares me." Dean shuddered.

"Not enough to scare you into going to college though." Castiel chuckled.

Dean huffed a small laugh at that. "Guess not." he murmured, before going quiet again.

"…Dean?" Castiel prodded softly, shifting closer beside him on the couch.

"You sure you don't wanna be dating someone like Sammy?" Dean looked away. "You know, someone you can get your geek on with?"

"I thought we 'got our geek on' just fine." Castiel replied.

"I'm not talking about the crazy amount of times we've watched Star Wars together, Cas. I'm talking about smart stuff. The kind of stuff you and Sam were talking about all night." Dean frowned, avoiding Castiel's eye with a petulance that bordered on childish.

"Ah." Castiel sighed. "Well, I do like Sam." he said. "And I suppose I could get over the fact he went out with Balthazar. It was just that one date, after all." Castiel reasoned, and Dean's gut began to sink a little.

"In fact, I should probably try dating Balthazar as well. He did ask me when he first started teaching at the school… and French is the language of love." Castiel deadpanned, and Dean snorted at that, finally realising Cas was messing with him.

"The problem is, I just don't get the same kind of urges around them as I do around you." Cas sighed again, even managing to sound a little forlorn as he rested his head on Dean's shoulder.

Dean's lips finally twitched into a small smile. "What kind of urges?" he asked softly, and felt Cas grin against his neck in response.

"The kind that involve lips…" Cas breathed against his collar, and Dean shivered at the sensation, "And skin…" Castiel whispered, sliding his palm down Dean's crotch, and Dean couldn't help the little moan that escaped his throat at the implication there.

"And hands…" Dean chuckled lowly, hardening stupidly fast in Cas' grip.

"Obviously." Cas replied, pressing an open-mouth kiss into his neck. Dean moaned again, his hips beginning to thrust up against Cas' hand for more of that perfect friction.

"Is Sam going to bother us again or do we need to move this somewhere else?" Cas murmured against his ear, lips slowly making a trail across his jaw.

"Nah…" Dean replied, half-gasp half-groan, "Sam's dead to the world by now. He won't be bothering us again." he managed to reply, before catching Cas' mouth with his own.

"Good." Castiel breathed in between kisses. "Because I don't want to go anywhere else anytime soon." Cas murmured against his lips. And when Dean finally met Castiel's eyes, he understood what it was Cas was really saying.

And then Cas was sinking to his knees, and Dean didn't pout again for a very long time.

~

The second time Dean gave Cas the key to his house, was again, mostly a logistical thing. It was Summer, so with Cas not having to go into school to teach, Dean got to spend even more time with him. But for some reason, no matter how much time they spent together, it still never felt like enough. And by the time Dean had to go into the station for a few days' shift, he found he missed Cas even more than he usually did.

Cas must've been feeling it too, because Dean had barely started his latest shift before Cas decided to come visit him at the station. And somehow, what had started out as Cas bringing him some lunch, turned into Cas sucking him off in the backseat of the Impala, quick and quiet in the private parking lot behind the station, like teenagers with no where else to go.

"This is ridiculous." Castiel huffed afterwards, nuzzling into Dean's neck, "I barely got through one night without you. How am I supposed to get through the next three days of your shift?"

"You could bring me dinner?" Dean joked. Castiel chuckled at the implication of what Dean was really suggesting.

"And until then?" he replied, arching an eyebrow.

"I dunno, read one of those gazillion books you have at your place or something." Dean shrugged.

"I've read them all." Cas sighed. "And I don't think I could force myself to concentrate on something I already know the ending to right now, no matter how good it is."

"Tell you what, Cas," Dean said then, digging a hand into his pocket and pulling out his keys, "Why don't you swing by my place and borrow one of Sam's books. You've got the same taste, and he won't mind. Find something you haven't read yet so it keeps your attention. Better yet, why don't you grab my Firefly boxset? It's not as serious as Battlestar but there's lots of stuff in it I know you'd love." Dean grinned.

"Well, I have heard good things, but… Are you sure?" Cas frowned, eyeing the keys hesitantly.

Dean rolled his eyes and began working his house key off the ring. "It's cool, Cas. Besides, it's a crime you've waited this long to see it." he replied. "And this way I have an excuse to go straight to yours after work, because I won't have the key to my house." he grinned, holding out the key.

"Dean Winchester, you are the smartest man I know." Castiel smirked, taking the key from Dean's fingers and launching himself at Dean's lips again. Dean groaned into the kiss, tasting himself in Cas' mouth and feeling a familiar hardness nudging into his hip.

"Does that mean I get to have dessert?" he smirked, reaching down to palm Cas' long-ignored hard-on.

"Anything." Castiel hissed at the sudden stimulation, nodding frantically, "Anything you want."

"Good." Dean replied, unzipping Cas' fly and pulling him out. "Because I kinda want something of you to carry around with me until this weekend." he murmured, lowering his head, "Something I can carry inside me…"

After that, Cas brought Dean every meal of the day.

And when Dean's shift finally ended, he went straight to Cas' apartment, and barely left his bed for days.

They should've stayed there, too. But that weekend was, of course, the same weekend they ran into Dean's ex Lisa Braeden and her son Ben, and everything went to hell…

~

The third time Dean gave Cas the key to his house, was the first time it really meant something. It had been months since that weekend they'd run into Lisa and Ben Braeden, and the chance encounter had sent Dean into some kind of tailspin. Months since Castiel had blurted out the words "I love you," and Dean had quite literally run scared.

There were old issues there. Issues that Dean couldn't seem to get past to be able to give himself completely to another person. Or to allow someone to give themselves completely to him, as Castiel had. And nothing Castiel said or did made any difference, until the day Sam finally came to him, and asked him to give his brother one more chance.

He almost didn't. But right after that Balthazar walked in, and Sam asked him to give them another chance as well, and the look of genuine happiness on Balthazar's face afterwards was just the inspiration Castiel needed to keep trying.

Of course, that was also the day Dean went into a burning building, and very nearly didn't come back out.

Even if Sam hadn't intervened on that day, Castiel might've gone to the station anyway, the fire was that serious. He would've wanted to be there for the people he'd come to love, in one way or another, regardless of whether or not Dean pushed him away again.

But this time, Dean didn't push Castiel away.

Something happened to Dean in that fire. The close brush with death forcing him to face his fears, and realise how ridiculous they were, in the face of how much he was missing out on. And the realisation that he could still have all those things had given him the strength to pull himself out of the fire, to safety, to life, to love and Castiel's waiting arms.

Yeah it was a chick-flick moment. Right there in the fire station's garage with Sam and the rest of the squad watching. But Dean couldn't care less about the catcalls, or the dirt and ash, or the pain in his leg, or anything else but never letting Cas go again.

So when Dean finally pulled Cas aside, leading Cas through the station to his locker to find his keys, they were both well aware that this time meant a lot more than it had before.

"I've still got stuff I gotta do here, but I'm gonna try and get outta here as soon as possible okay? And I really want you to be there when I get home." Dean explained, holding up the key.

"I can wait for you outside Dean, I don't mind." Castiel replied.

"Cas you look wrecked, you should get some sleep." Dean frowned, concern in his eyes.

"I look wrecked?" Castiel scoffed, reaching up to brush some of the soot from Dean's face. Dean huffed a laugh, taking Cas' hand and leaning in closer.

"I'm fine. And I'm serious, Cas. You need sleep. And I'm not saying I don't either, I just know I won't be able to unless you're with me." Dean admitted quietly. "There are… things… I need to say to you," Dean murmured, a meaningful look in his eyes, "And I don't want to wait any longer than I have to."

Castiel held Dean's gaze for a moment longer, basking in it's promise after so long apart, and found himself relenting, taking the key from Dean's fingers.

It was still difficult for him to leave Dean at the station, but as soon as he slid into Dean's bed, wrapping himself up in Dean's lingering scent, Castiel found sleep easier than he had in months.

He probably wouldn't have, if he'd had to go home to his own bed, regardless of what had transpired between him and Dean that night. It hadn't really had time to sink in yet, and it probably wouldn't have felt real if he'd had to go back to his apartment alone. He probably would've ended up worrying whether Dean would really come back to him, or if Dean would change his mind, yet again.

But being asked to wait at Dean's instead meant that Dean really was going to come for him, that it was real, and it gave Castiel the security and peace of mind he needed to finally get some rest. And when he woke next he was wrapped up in Dean's arms, warmed by Dean's body pressed up behind him, with Dean's soft snore pressed into the back of his neck. And even though Castiel thought he was dreaming at first, he quickly realised that it was really happening.

He rolled over as gently as possible until he was facing Dean, and watched as Dean slept, undisturbed and peaceful. He didn't know how long he looked, eyes starved after so long, taking the time to let everything sink in, until Dean finally woke as well, smiling sleepily at him and pulling him closer.

It wasn't really morning yet, and they both still needed a lot more rest, but after everything that had happened their need for each other outweighed all else, and they soon found themselves moaning into each other's kisses, and pushing clothes aside. Dean's leg was wrapped tight after being injured in the fire, and they only had enough energy to press and rub against each other, but it was enough. For the first time Castiel knew he could tell Dean he loved him without Dean running away, so he did, over and over again, barely able to look away as Dean touched and moved against him so carefully and so perfectly.

And he could see, in Dean's eyes, the things Dean wanted to say - I'm sorry, I was scared, I was stupid, I'll never leave you again – but the only thing Dean actually said was, "I love you, too."

And it was all he needed to say.

~

The fourth time Dean gave Cas the key to his house was - as per the so far established pattern - kind of a smutty affair. Except this time, the sexy times came first, and involved suspenders, firetrucks, and yes, even a bit of pole-dancing…

It was late at night, and everyone in the station was fast asleep. Except for the poor guy in the office on nightwatch, and Dean, who was staring blankly at the television in the common room, slouched on the couch with his knee bouncing up and down in restlessness. Flicking through the channels one last time, and finding more of nothing, he finally gave in and reached for his phone.

"Dean?" Castiel's voice was a welcome balm, however groggy it sounded. "What is it? Is everything alright?"

"Everything's fine. I just missed you is all." Dean murmured.

"Oh." Castiel replied. And in the silence that followed Dean knew Castiel was smiling. Just a little, at least.

"Did I wake you?"

Castiel sighed, and Dean heard sounds of movement as Castiel shifted himself into a different position. "Not really. I was doing some marking, and then I might've started to doze a bit on the couch."

"I thought you were hanging out with Balthazar tonight?"

"No, that's next week. Balthazar is with Sam tonight."

"Oh." Dean replied. "Oh." he repeated, the pieces finally clicking together. "So that's why Sam changed his shift."

"Yes, I believe tonight is supposed to be a very 'special' date."

"Yeah. Ew." Dean cringed. Castiel chuckled.

"And why are you awake, Dean?" Castiel asked, thankfully changing the subject. Cas didn't want to think about his best friend's sex life any more than Dean wanted to know about his brother's.

"We had a false alarm earlier, and now I'm too wired to sleep."

Castiel tsked. "Dean, you know you need to be rested properly."

"I know," Dean muttered. "It's just… lately… I've been having trouble sleeping without you in the bed."

Castiel huffed a small sigh. "Yes, I know what you mean." he commiserated.

"The sheets here don't even smell like you." Dean added, dangerously close to whining.

"Oh it's my smell is it?" Castiel shot back, amused.

"No… But it helps." Dean replied, actually pouting this time. Castiel chuckled again.

"How about tomorrow I drop by and give you one of my shirts to sleep in?" Castiel suggested. "I'm wearing one of yours right now." he added, and a flare of possessive arousal shot through Dean at that.

"Dammit, Cas, now I miss you even more." he growled, "How am I supposed to last until tomorrow?"

"Well… I am awake already…" Castiel murmured, "And I'm still dressed…" he sighed, "I guess I could drop by tonight."

"Oh God I love you." Dean groaned in relief.

"I know." Castiel replied softly, a little smirk in his voice, "But I'm just going to bring you one of my shirts. I am not having sex with you in that room where the entire brigade sleeps." he stipulated.

"Of course not!" Dean huffed.

"And it's too cold out to have sex in the Impala."

"Wouldn't dream of it." Although he kinda was.

"Okay then." Cas replied. "I'll be there in 20."

"Cas?"

"Yes, Dean?"

"I'm still in my uniform."

"Make that 15."

~

That uniform did things to Castiel he was ashamed to admit.

He blamed it on that ridiculous charity calender Sam had roped him into buying before things got serious with Dean and Dean had freaked out. All those months pining, while Dean grinned at him from 15 inch glossy paper, wearing the whole damn fireman getup - but shirtless.

God the pining.

Castiel had to fight down his arousal the entire, excruciating, 15 minute drive to the station. But there was simply no hiding the flush on his cheeks when Dean met him at the entrance, suspenders and all. He could've blamed it on the cold, but Dean would've known better.

Dean ushered him into the station nonetheless, rubbing his arms and kissing him until he was acceptably warm and halfway hard. Castiel was a little worried someone might see them at first, but the station seemed truly deserted with everyone asleep upstairs.

"Come on." Dean grinned at him, taking his hand. Castiel followed without question as Dean led him through the halls, past the office, the lockers - all of which he had seen before - but he was a little surprised when Dean led him towards the stairs. As often as Castiel had been to the station, he'd never been upstairs before. And even though he knew what was up there from what Dean had told him, it would be nice to finally have accurate visuals to put to the many stories he'd heard.

There were more bathrooms, and of course the common area with a TV, a few couches, and a full kitchen. Dean even took him to the door of the sleeping area, holding it open for a couple of seconds so Castiel could have a quick look, the light from the hall outside illuminating a row of sleeping (and some snoring) bodies. Then finally Dean took him to the end of the landing, where there were a couple of poles running from the ceiling down through wide holes in the floor, leading to what Castiel knew was the garage.

"Come on." Dean said again, with an encouraging grin.

Castiel hesitated, eyeing the pole warily.

Dean chuckled softly. "It's perfectly safe, Cas. You just gotta know what you're doing."

Castiel turned his baleful eye on Dean.

"Okay okay," Dean grinned, "Just put your hands on it first, like this," Dean explained, crowding in close from behind and lifting Castiel's hands towards the pole, covering them until they were in the right position. "Then hook one leg around, and the other underneath as support." Dean murmured into his ear, climbing onto the pole behind Castiel and using his body to guide Castiel's limbs into the right position. "Yeah, just like that. Don't worry, I've got you." Dean whispered, pressing into him as he wrapped himself around Castiel's body more securely, cocooning him safely against the pole, and the shiver that ran through Castiel then had very little to do with fear. "Now open your eyes, and let go." Dean whispered, and they slowly began to slide downwards, Dean controlling the rate of their descent as he cradled Castiel with his body.

"Dean!" Castiel breathed shakily as they passed through the floor, emerging from the high ceiling above the station's garage, dimly lit from the exit lights at the doors and casting most of the space around the waiting firetrucks in darkness.

"Be ready to land, Cas!" Dean breathed into his ear, and then suddenly they were sailing down the pole, the floor rushing up to meet them with alarming speed.

"Dean!" Castiel exclaimed, his stomach lurching up into his throat. But before he could really begin to panic, it ended, Dean slowing their descent with such control Castiel barely even noticed when his feet touched the ground.

"You okay?" Dean asked softly. Castiel nodded, wide-eyed. Dean unwrapped himself from his position, and Castiel followed suit, stepping off the pole.

"Wow." Castiel breathed, awed. "You get to do that every day?"

Dean laughed loudly at that. But then Castiel grinned mischievously, jumping up onto the pole again and twirling himself around it with a little flourish before he landed again, and Dean's jaw dropped open in surprise.

"Damn, Cas! You been taking Polates or something and not telling me?"

"Hmmm…" Castiel eyed the pole thoughtfully, "I think I could enjoy that."

Dean laughed again. "Seriously? It took me a whole year before I could even keep my eyes open on that thing!"

"You didn't." Castiel replied, disbelieving.

"Heights, man." Dean shook his head. "That was a hard one to get over."

"Oh yeah?" Castiel replied, wrapping his leg around the pole again, "How hard?" he smirked, thrusting up against the steel pressed against his obviously hard crotch.

"Sweet Jesus." Dean hissed, before grabbing Castiel's hand again, yanking him away from the pole and leading him deeper into the garage.

~

"Dean?" Castiel called out uncertainly, holding tightly onto Dean's hand as he was pulled along through the dark. The emergency lights from the exit doors became weaker the further they went into the garage, and it was almost black in between the trucks themselves, so he could only trust that Dean knew well enough where they were going.

"Here." Dean stopped, taking Castiel's hands and placing them on what Castiel eventually worked out was a ladder on one of the firetrucks. As he climbed up Castiel was relieved to find there was better light on top of the truck, and when his eyes began to adjust he chuckled at what he saw there.

"Dean, are those your bedsheets?"

"Maaaaybe." Dean replied, coming up behind him and easing his trenchcoat off his shoulders.

"Well then," Cas replied, turning around and pushing Dean's jacket off in return. With a sly smirk he grabbed onto the suspenders holding up Dean's heavy uniform pants, and began tugging Dean towards the sheets. "You better start getting me naked, so I can start rolling around in them."

And with that, Dean was diving for Castiel's pants, hurriedly unzipping them as his mouth crashed onto Castiel's with a starved groan. Dean didn't mess around, tugging at Castiel's shirt as soon as his pants were loose, and unbuttoning it as quickly as his fumbling fingers would allow. But Castiel had been aroused for quite some time now, and lost patience easily, pushing Dean down onto the makeshift bed.

Dean blinked up at him from the sheets, flushed and surprised, and Castiel practically jumped on top of him, straddling Dean's hips and holding him down. Grabbing Dean's hands he twisted them through Dean's suspenders, quick and easy as Sharon Stone in the original Total Recall, binding Dean's wrists in the straps. But before Dean could even crack a Schwarzenegger joke, Castiel took it one step further, unclamping the suspenders from the front of Dean's pants and tying them to the steel safety bar that ran across the top of the truck's cab, behind Dean's head.

"Son of a b-" the rest of Dean's surprised curse was muffled as Castiel quickly yanked Dean's grey t-shirt up over his head, using it to tie Dean's wrists more securely to the bar as well.

Castiel took a moment to observe his handiwork, the beautiful expanse of tanned, freckled skin and well-toned muscle laid bare before him. He barely even registered his hands moving of their own volition, working open the fly of Dean's pants and pulling out more hard skin to appreciate.

What a vision Dean made then, all tied up and aroused, and it made Castiel ache ten times more than any Calender spread ever had.

In an instant he was pressing his lips to that skin, sucking and nibbling and shucking off his own clothes as best he could without removing his lips from their downward trail. Dean actually whimpered when Castiel finally sucked him down, straining against his bonds and squirming under Castiel's grip, the string of filthy praise and encouragement from his lips making Castiel moan against Dean's cock in return.

"God babe, your fucking mouth-aahh!" Dean grunted as Castiel scraped his teeth along the ridge of Dean's tip.

Dean was coming undone, and Castiel wanted to be there with him so badly. He reached behind himself, pushing his fingers against his entrance, and they slid in easily, the lube he'd quickly inserted before he'd left his apartment easing the way. He was grateful he'd taken the few seconds to do it, since he knew how he'd probably react when seeing Dean in his fireman's gear, or rather, out of it. In record time he had himself stretched out and ready for more.

Grabbing onto the bar behind Dean's head for support, he slid himself down Dean's cock with a groan, and Dean nearly bucked up into him when he realised what Castiel had done.

"Fuck Cas, have you been lubed up this whole time?!" Dean gasped in amazement. Castiel nodded breathlessly, clenching and squirming around Dean to drive the point home. Dean sobbed out another curse at that, taking up a stream of barely held together profanity again as Castiel began to ride him slow and deep.

Dean wasn't entirely helpless though, speeding their pace as he began to thrust up inside Castiel, hard and angling himself just right. And before long, Castiel wasn't just using the safety bar as a counterweight to push down, but was hanging on for dear life.

"Untie me baby, please." Dean gasped, "I need to fuck up into you."

Castiel whimpered in reply, nodding, and loosened Dean's wrists as best he could until Dean could work himself free. And then Dean was grabbing his ass, spreading him open and holding him steady as he began thrusting up even harder, ridiculously faster, pounding Castiel inside with the kind of accuracy that only came from familiarity. Castiel could only sob out cries of pleasure, clutching at Dean's shoulders as Dean had his way.

And then Dean was rolling Castiel over onto his back, sealing their mouths and moans together as the change of position allowed him even deeper than before. The angle meant Dean had to slow down a little, but it made the slide and drag of every thrust even more pronounced, even more of a tease as Dean's cock stretched and massaged him inside.

"I'm close Dean, so close!" Castiel gasped.

"Me too babe." Dean replied, and then he changed their position again, rolling Cas over onto his knees and sliding into him from behind.

"I want you to come all over my sheets, Cas," Dean whispered into his ear, reaching down to pump him with his hand. "I wanna be able to smell you everywhere, all over me, so I always remember where I belong," Dean murmured, "Right here, inside you."

Castiel's climax hit him hard, his entire body clenching in spasms as he painted stripes of his come all over Dean's sheets.

Dean followed almost instantly, muffling a shout into the skin of Castiel's neck as he grabbed Castiel close and filled him up inside.

~

They collapsed sideways onto the sheets afterwards, huffing and catching their breaths, and when they began to cool down Dean pulled his blankets around them like a burrito, keeping them warm in the middle.

"Are you really going to sleep in these sheets now?" Castiel asked, squirming against a spot that was still wet.

"Why not?" Dean replied. "It doesn't stop us at your place, or mine."

"But we don't share a room with an entire squad of firefighters." Castiel pointed out.

"Cas, they'll just be happy I'm finally getting sleep."

"I suppose." Castiel huffed. "If you're not well rested, it puts them in danger too."

Dean sighed contentedly, pulling Castiel more snugly against his body.

"I could've just given you one of my shirts though." Castiel added, grumbling. Dean barked out a laugh.

"Sure. That's why you showed up all prepped and ready for me."

Castiel's lips twitched up into a smirk at that, but then he sighed, rolling over and burrowing into Dean's chest.

"I missed you." he mumbled.

Dean huffed affectionately, pressing a kiss onto the top of Cas' head. "Yeah, me too." he replied. "Like crazy."

He held onto Castiel for a moment longer, and then began disentangling himself, reaching over for his discarded jacket. When he turned back again, he had a little box in his hands.

"Dean?" Castiel blinked down at it in confusion.

"Open it." Dean whispered.

Castiel's gaze flickered between Dean's face and the box as he slowly took it from Dean's fingers, confused and hesitant. And when he finally saw what was in the box, his frown became even more perplexed.

"Dean? What is this?" he asked, holding up the key that was inside, adorned with a red bow.

"Move in with me."

"… What?"

"Cas, I'm tired of splitting time between three places. It's hard enough being stuck here at the station for days, and when I leave I just wanna be wherever you are. What's the point of keeping two places anymore?"

"Um… I suppose that makes sense." Castiel replied. It seemed like a logical proposition, but this was Dean's family home he was being invited into. This was a big deal.

"Besides, there's more space at my place to run around, you know, for kids or whatever." Dean shrugged, looking away.

"… Kids?" Castiel breathed, stunned. When Dean finally met his gaze again, he could see how vulnerable Dean was in that moment, eyes filled with hope and fear and nervous anticipation.

"Yeah." Dean whispered, swallowing hard. "What do you think?"

Castiel forced down a few deep breaths as it began to sink in, his eyes flicking back and forth between the key and Dean's face, until he finally met Dean's gaze head on, a smile beginning to spread from the corner of his lips. "I think… I want these sheets to be ruined by the time we're done with them." he replied, "And Yes."

Dean's face broke into one of the most heart-shattering smiles Castiel had ever seen. "Fuck I love you."

"I know." Castiel grinned back. And even though they said it to each other every day, that was one of those times Castiel really did know.

~

The fifth time Dean gave Cas the key to his house didn't happen until some years later. Leia was in her "terrible two's" and was going through a phase where she was flushing anything she could find down the toilet, and somehow she had gotten her hands on Castiel's keys. At least that's what it looked like by the time Castiel rushed into the bathroom, to see a swirl of something shiny disappearing down the toilet bowl.

Three hours later, after an extensive search of the house, the garage, his car, the front and back yards, all with a toddler in tow, Castiel had to conclude, after finding absolutely no sign of his keyring, that it had, in fact, been flushed.

And Dean, doting father that he was, had merely laughed at Leia's antics when Castiel told him about it on the phone.

But when Dean came home from the station later that day, pulling Leia out of Castiel's exhausted arms with his customary greeting of "Hey princess!" and tucking her securely around his hip, he pressed a new copy of the house-key he'd gotten on the way home into Cas' hand as he squeezed it Hello.

Castiel smiled gratefully when he felt the familiar shape against his palm, and leaned over their daughter to press a kiss to Dean's lips in thanks.

"I love you." Castiel murmured when he pulled away.

"I know." Dean smirked.

There may or may not have been some superhot sex that night as well.

~ fin