A/N: Another pathetic attempt at fanfiction by yours truly! I have no idea where this takes place in the storyline, and it's rather plotless. I just wanted an excuse to write fluff. No clear character motivation, direction, or development. Just a bunch of cute scenes with a general flow and some slash thrown in for good measure. Enjoy Cas as a kid with a rubber duck and crayons and Dean as a father figure. Obviously, none of this belongs to me as I'm writing on this site and not for Supernatural.

Castiel cursed internally from inside the ring of fire and glanced around the empty warehouse until a figure casually strolled in. For a few moments, he just watched him. The man, no more than thirty with brown eyes and dirty blond hair, teeth straight and nose slightly crooked, finally tilted his head and laughed.

"You're pretty stupid for an angel." He stretched out a hand in Castiel's direction. "It's a good thing you don't need brains to serve my purpose."

Castiel's eyes widened. "Moloch!" he yelled before everything went to hell in a hand basket.

"Dude," Dean said from where he'd been reclining on the bed watching TV. Sam looked up from his laptop. "I just got the weirdest text from Cas."

"Since when does Cas text?" He shoved his laptop away and turned his attention to Dean, who was handing over the phone. The message was nothing but an address. Sam typed it into his search bar and handed the phone back.

"So what is it?" Dean asked.

"Um," Sam scrolled down, "it's a—it's a park in a small town in southern Illinois. That's not what's strange, though." Dean waited for Sam to continue. "There are a lot of recent articles from papers near the town. It looks like…three? Four? kids have all gone missing this week." He skimmed. "All the parents say they can't remember the details. Just that they clearly thought they were there while they were gone. There aren't any leads."

"That's up our alley, right?" Standing, Dean went to fetch his duffel bag. "So what? The God Squad wants us to check it out?"

"I guess?"

Dean paused. "Then why the hell send a text? He could've called—or dropped in. Doesn't have a problem doing it any other damn time." He was already clicking the call button on his cell and pressing it to his ear before he finished.

It rang three times.

And then a child's voice came over the line.


Dean shot a look at Sam before putting the phone on speaker. "Who is this?" he asked.

Punctuated sniffles came over the line before the same child's voice whined, "Dean."

Sam's eyes were wide and confused. "Do you," he kept his voice down and started again, "do you think this is one of the missing kids?"

"I don't know what to think, Sammy. You still there, kid?" A soft whimper came in response. "Hey, we're gonna be there soon, okay?" They were already shuffling out of the door with their things and loading into the Impala. It was about a two-hour drive from where they were in Indiana, just having finished up a regular salt-and-burn. Sam navigated while Dean turned the phone off speaker, tucking it between his ear and shoulder, and sped—reasonably—down the highway. Back roads weren't going to cut it.

"Hey," Dean said again when the crying grew faint. "It's okay. You're okay, alright? We're on our way. Gonna be there before you know it."


He passed a car that drove like it had all fucking day to get to its destination. "Why don't we play a question game?" Sam glanced over at him. "Like me, my favourite colour's blue. What's yours?"

"Green." Rustling crackled over the speaker.

"Green's a good colour," Dean agreed. "Like trees and grass and turtles." 'Turtles?' Sam mouthed sarcastically. Dean glared and mouthed back 'bitch'. "Here, why don't you talk to Sammy? Is that okay?" The kid made a small sound in the affirmative, and Dean handed over the cell.

Two tension-filled hours passed while Sam reassured the kid almost relentlessly that everything was going to be okay. They were finally pulling into the small town, population three-hundred-and-fifty, when Sam told the kid to hang on and be brave because the phone was beeping its slow death. The park wasn't hard to locate in such a small area, if it could be called a park. There were four swings, a rusty slide, and a mediocre jungle gym. It was inside a tube there that they found a small boy.

He couldn't have been older than two, dressed in only an oversized white dress shirt that hid all of his limbs. He was still clutching the phone tightly in his shirt-covered hands when Dean ducked down outside of the plastic shelter. The boy's bright blue eyes, red rimmed and puffy, met his.

And Dean knew.


The little boy scrambled out of the contraption and into Dean's arms. "Dean!" he wailed, and dissolved back into tears. Wrapping his arms around the child and running a hand through his dark hair, Dean stared at his brother.

The what the hell was silent but clear.

"I don't know," Sam said.

Two towns over, they found a motel that smelled like cheap detergent. Dean was sitting with Cas who refused to relinquish his grip, and Sam was out fetching dinner and some clothes for the kid, which he insisted on.

Leaning back on the bed, Dean stroked Castiel's spine as he curled motionless into Dean's stomach. "Y'okay?" he asked. Cas finally peeked up, his large blue eyes frightened and curious.

"Dean," he said. It was all he said.

"Do you want to watch some TV or something until Sam gets back?" Cas propped his chin on Dean's chest, hands balled into tiny fists under his cheeks, and stared. "No? Just keep being a creepy son of a bitch? It's more natural to blink," he emphasized, and demonstrated. "Like that. See? Not creepy."

Cas giggled. It caught Dean off guard. He'd never heard Cas laugh before, not like that, not such a high-pitched, carefree sound. Curious, Dean puffed out his cheeks and crossed his eyes. Cas burst into giggles once again.

"You know," he said. "You're actually kind of cute like this. And so help me, if you ever mention this when you're a full-sized douche with wings, I will shoot you." He tickled Cas' side with an index finger. "You got that? I'll shoot you."

Cas smiled and nuzzled into Dean's chest with a yawn, and the door opened to reveal Sam.

"I got takeout from a diner down the road, and clothes and shoes for Cas at a resale shop. I'm pretty sure the old woman there was hitting on me when I told her they were for my kid. She's actually your type, Dean, in case you want to go back." He paused halfway across the room, looking at Cas nestled against Dean sleepily with a raised eyebrow. "You two get some bonding time in?"

"You want the clingy angel? You can have him."

"I'm good," Sam said, depositing the bags on the small table by the window with a clear view of the green, leaf-ridden pool in the back.

Dean shook Cas a little to rouse him. "You hungry?" Cas gave a slow nod. "Alright." He picked Cas up under his little arms and threw him over his shoulder once he stood up, which made Cas giggle again and kick his feet.

"Did he just?" Sam asked.

"He's easily amused, Sammy. Just like you." Dean plopped Cas on the floor and rummaged through the bag to pull out a takeout container. He ripped off the top of the box, scooped some mashed potatoes into it with a plastic fork, and set it down in front of Cas. "Eat up."

Both Sam and Dean watched Cas as he stared at the fork like it held the answers to the universe, ignored it, plunged his tiny hand into the potatoes, and shoved the food in his mouth. It stuck to his nose and cheeks—and somehow his hair.

"He eats like you used to, Sam."

"So he eats like you still do?"

"Shut up," Dean growled. Cas glanced up at them with a mouth full of potatoes before resuming his meal. Sam dove into his salad as Dean ripped through several pieces of fried chicken.

"So," Sam said, "he told you anything about how he got like that?"

"No offense, but he doesn't exactly say much. Any ideas?" Dean said through a mouthful of chicken.

"I was thinking earlier of what had enough power to do something like this. You've got angels, witches, pagan gods, maybe some kind of weird cursed object. But I doubt angels would be snapping up kids, witches are usually a revenge plot of some sort and we've never seen a case of them attacking kids, and I can't imagine all the kids came into contact with the same object on accident."

"So a god?"

"I dunno." Sam took another bite of salad. "What pagan god would live in rural Illinois? They've got German history around here and agriculture, yeah, but why would it just crop up now? And why turn Cas into a kid?"

"To shut him up?"

"If it has the power to do this, I'm sure it could've just killed him."

"So what if it can't? I mean, it looks like the thing's just going after kids. Maybe Cas would have to be a kid for anything to work. Like a loophole. And it looks like it's gotten rid of his angel mojo too. He's hungry and tired, not something you see in an angel. It could just want him out of the way."

Sam nodded. "Our best bet right now is a pagan god. Probably one of child sacrifice or that has to do with abduction. It's the only thing that fits. I'll do some digging. Tomorrow, we can talk to the sheriff in the area. See if we can find any leads. Right now, um," he looked down. "Uh, Cas needs a bath."

Said child in question was now thoroughly coated in potatoes with a large grin plastered on his face.

"So bathe him," Dean said.

"I'm still eating, and I have research to do, and he likes you better, and he is your angel—."

"He's not my angel."

Cas stood on wobbly legs and reached up, dirty fingers squeezing the air. "Dean!" The look Sam shot Dean said I told you so. The one Dean shot back said Shut the fuck up. He picked up the bag of clothes on the table regardless and walked into the bathroom, running the water to clean out the tub and then plugging it and finding the right temperature. "Come on, Cas," he called, and the angel came tottering in. He felt awkward pulling the ruined white shirt off of Cas, leaving him bare, but reminded himself that he'd done things like this for Sam when they were kids. It wasn't any different.

He stood up, shut the door, and twisted the water off when a few inches filled the tub. He hoisted Cas up and placed him in it. Once he was settled, staring at the water, Dean rifled through the bag and set a small green—really, Sam?—shirt on the edge of the sink with a pair of grey sweatpants. Something bumped into his hand as he continued to search through the clothes.

He pulled out a rubber duck.

"God damn it, Sam!" he yelled through the door. Laughter travelled back through the wood. The bastard had planned all of this. Begrudgingly, Dean knelt next to the tub and sat the duck in the water.

Cas pointed at it. "Duck." He scooped it up and chewed at the beak.

"Keep it out of your mouth," Dean warned, even though he knew Sam had to have washed it somewhere at one point. He wasn't that stupid. Dean grabbed the sample shampoo on the side of the bath and squeezed a tiny amount onto his fingers. Putting it back, he used his free hand to wet Cas' hair, dipping it into the water and then running it through the dark locks to dampen them. Cas was too focused on the duck to care when Dean started lathering the food out of his hair. He washed Castiel's face and fingers with a cloth that was on a rack by the sink. Cas was pleasantly passive throughout.

"Alright. We're done. Time to put the duck up and get out."

Cas looked at him with wide eyes. "Duck?"

"Yes, duck." He pointed. "That duck." Cas held it up to Dean. "Thank you," Dean said, and reached for it, right as Castiel squeezed the yellow thing and squirted him in the face with water. Dean sputtered and leaned back, and Castiel burst into peals of laughter. Glaring, Dean pulled him out of the water and set him on the bath rug. "Not funny," he said, and took the duck. Cas whined for it as Dean placed it on the counter. When he turned back, Cas' bottom lip quivered and his eyes filled with tears. "All right, all right!" Dean said hurriedly. He stood up and squeezed the rest of the water out of the duck, handing it to Castiel before he could start sobbing. "It was a good shot, okay?"

He towelled Cas off and awkwardly manoeuvred him into his clothes around the toy. Sam watched them both when they left the bathroom and curled up together in front of the TV on the farthest bed, Cas in Dean's lap, his back to Dean's stomach, duck in his mouth. Less than an hour of mindless cartoons later, Cas was limp against Dean. The duck had fallen to the side, barely clutched in his tiny fingers, and his head had tipped back with his mouth open, a line of drool glistening from the corner of his lips.

Carefully, Dean slid Cas from his lap to the bed, less than a foot from his hip. He pulled the thin blankets up around him and wiped off his mouth with a thumb. He passed the rest of the night watching TV, his hand stroking Cas' hair without realizing it.

Thunder gently rattled the window when Sam finally closed his laptop and crawled into the other bed. Dean took that as his cue to shut off the TV and slide under the covers himself.

The first thing he noticed when he woke up was that it was still the middle of the night. The second was that it was heavily storming. The third was that Cas was frantically pushing on his shoulder and saying his name. He rolled over just as a bolt of lightning lit up the room a blinding white. Cas dove into his chest, shaking.

"Hey?" Dean pulled Cas away from him to look at his face. "It's just a storm." He was full on sobbing now, and Dean felt his heart break. "Come here. Come on." He pulled Cas up into his arms as he settled against the headboard. Castiel buried his wet face into Dean's neck. "It's okay."

When Sam woke up a few minutes later, it was to Dean cradling Castiel, rubbing his back slowly, and—unless Sam was imagining it—singing Hey Jude in a broken voice. He rolled over and went back to sleep.

The next day, it was decided Sam would talk to the sheriff while Dean talked to some of the residents of the town, posing as a concerned father thinking of moving to the area. The only thing Sam learned was the names of the missing children and that they had vanished one on Monday, one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. They had found Castiel on Friday. The townspeople were nervous the trend would continue.

Dean wandered into the park they had found Castiel at. There were four children here and three parents. Dean approached a young blonde woman with her eyes trained on a little girl on the wet swings. A Labrador sat at her heels.

"Dog!" Castiel cried happily from Dean's arms. The mother laughed at this.

"Do you want to pet her?" she asked. Cas nodded, and Dean sat him down. Whenever Cas reached for the Lab, however, she backed away.

The woman pouted. "Anabelle, he's not going to hurt you. He's just like Emily." She looked at Dean. "I'm sorry. She's usually not like this."

Cas' bottom lip jutted out as he reached for the dog again, only to have it move. "Here," Dean said. He squatted down behind Cas and extended a hand toward Anabelle, stroking her muzzle and coaxing her closer. Once she was within range, he took Cas' hand in his own and gently placed it on the side of the Lab's face.

"Dog!" Cas giggled happily.

The woman smiled. "You're a new face around here. I'm Tabitha."

"Dean." He helped Cas pet Anabelle one more time before the dog backed away and Cas contentedly plowed into Dean's midsection. He stood up and gave Cas his hands so he could attempt to climb Dean's legs, mostly kicking his feet out into Dean's shins and flopping around like a fish.

"He's adorable. He yours?"

"Uh, yeah," Dean said. "He's um, we adopted him recently." Not a lie. "His family sort of…left him behind." Also not a lie.

"That's awful," Tabitha said. "I can't imagine doing that to a kid."

"It seems like there's a lot of bad stuff going on with kids lately," he said.

"Word spreads quickly," she said, watching Emily. "It was such a quiet town last week, always has been. Now four kids from Emily's daycare are missing. I don't even know what to tell her. She keeps asking me if they're sick. They're all pretty close over there."

"Daycare?" He winced as Cas kicked his shin a little too roughly.

"Yeah. A lot of kids go to daycare, next town over. Lot of single parents around these parts, but you aren't, right? You said 'we' earlier." She laughed. "Sorry if I'm being nosy. We don't get newcomers often."

"Oh," Dean said. "Me and my brother. I'm um, unattached. I take it you are too?"

"Got a divorce right after Emily was born." She smiled warmly. "Maybe you two could come over for a playdate sometime soon."

He knew what she was suggesting. Something in Dean's chest stretched tight at that. It was easy to fuck a woman he barely knew the name of, to kick ass, take names, and move on, but things like this? Children. Marriage. Playdates. A home. He wasn't going to have any of that. He hadn't had it growing up, and he sure as hell wouldn't have it now that some woman was offering it. Looking down at Cas just reminded him that he wasn't going to be a father, or a husband, and even if he was, he'd probably fuck it all up. His dad had raised him fighting, as a soldier, not as a kid. God forbid some unlucky woman run into him. She'd turn out like his mom or Jess and their kids would turn out just like him and Sam—fucking kickstarters to the Apocalypse who lived out of a car. His throat constricted. He didn't even know why he was letting it bother him. He had let go of the idea of a normal life dozens of years ago, but just this, just pretending, standing in a park and calling himself a dad, was hard sometimes.

"Dean!" Cas pulled on his arm. "Up!" Dean did as he was told, holding Cas on his forearm with a leg tucked under his armpit. Cas placed his hands on Dean's face.

"What is it?" he asked quietly.

Cas leaned in and pressed his mouth to Dean's in understanding. It was more like a soft colliding of faces than a kiss, but Dean understood. His heart ached as Cas smiled and nuzzled into his cheek in a way that said I'm grateful for you.

Tabitha smiled. "He really loves you."

"Yeah," Dean said. His voice was wrecked at this point. He cleared his throat. "I should get back to my brother. Tell Emily I said hey and keep safe."

When Sam got back to the motel, Dean was tickling Castiel within an inch of his life on the bed, which was not something Sam ever thought he would see in his life. Castiel shrieked with laughter and tried to roll away from Dean's hands.

"Magic words, Cas!"

Cas giggled. "Please!" he squealed. Dean relented long enough for Castiel to hug his face. "Mine!"

"Oh yeah?" Dean blew a raspberry against Cas' neck, which made him squeak, and planted a kiss on his forehead. This. This was what made life worth it. Having someone who loved you like this.

Sam cleared his throat. "So um, you two find anything useful?"

"Huh?" Dean looked up from his perch over the top of Cas, balanced on his forearms. "Yeah, actually. A mother in the park told us the kids all go to the same daycare."

Sam nodded. "Same here, but the sheriff told me all of the parents' statements were weirdly similar. They all claimed they picked their kids up that day, but the daycare called them later and told them they never showed up. Thing is, all the daycare workers who called the parents say they don't remember it and that the parents had picked up their kids those days."

"So this thing is messing with memories?"

"It sounds like it," Sam said. "But if the kids were never picked up from daycare, and the daycare claims they were still there later but turned around and said they had been picked up…then, they're going missing from the daycare, right? This god convinces the parents they showed up, so they don't, takes the kids sometime after the daycare calls the absent parents, and then convinces the daycare workers the kids went home? That's…screwed up."

"And confusing. Why let the workers call it in? Why wait until the end of the day to take the kids? The god could just screw with everyone beforehand and make off with the kids earlier. No trace."

"Maybe he wants someone to notice him?" Sam offered. "Gods thrive on worship and sacrifice. Maybe he wants the kids to be handed over so he doesn't have to go to the trouble? Wants the recognition back?"

"So an arrogant god who lost his reputation. Right, that gives us every pagan god in existence. Throw in some child sacrifice. Narrows things down a little."

"If the kids are disappearing from the daycare, I'd almost bet it's a new worker. Someone who fit right in because he wanted to, could study everyone's schedule, could manipulate everything how he wanted it, and choose the right kid."

"That's sick." He looked down at Cas and asked in a childish voice, "Isn't it?" He nuzzled Cas' cheek.

"You two are, uh, friendly."

"You're just jealous he likes me best." He pulled Cas up and perched him on his side.

"He's always liked you best, Dean. I don't see how this changes things."

"Shut it, Sammy," he said. "Let's go get something to eat. We can talk once we have food. I'm starving. Aren't you, Cas?" Cas nodded. "See? He's with me on this. Food, then psycho baby-snatching god."

At the diner, Cas sat in Dean's lap and ate anything Dean offered him on his fork. The waitress was enamoured with him, stopping by more often than necessary to refill their drinks. "Let me get him some paper and crayons," she insisted at one point, and so now Cas was standing in the booth, scribbling away on a piece of paper with a purple crayon.

"So," Sam said, "daycare worker. Should be easy to locate tomorrow. Tonight, we can pin down which god we're dealing with, find what we need to kill it, and get a hold of the right supplies. It doesn't seem like the god is striking on the weekend."

"You don't happen to know what god it is, do you, Cas?" Dean asked. Cas stared at him like a deer in the headlights.

"Moloch," he said after a few long moments, and went back to colouring.

Sam glared at Dean. "He's known the whole time and you just ask him now?"

"What?" Dean said. He threw his hands in the air. "We've been busy."

"With what? Cartoons and snuggling?" Sam violently stabbed his food.

"Not just that!"

It was at that point Cas finished his picture. It looked like a rainbow composed of entirely purple with a large circle underneath it. He handed it to Sam, which threw everyone off.

"For me?" Sam looked at Dean, who was very adamantly not jealous. "Um, what is it?"

Cas tilted his head. "Sam." He pointed.

Dean glanced at the picture and started laughing. "Dude—I think that's you."

"What?" Sam said, staring down at the gift.

"I think that mess of purple is your hair!" Dean laughed. Cas smiled proudly.

Sam glared. "You've corrupted an angel of the Lord and you think it's hilarious."

"He drew it."

"Sam!" Cas cried happily. Dean held up his hand and grabbed Cas', bringing them together for a high five.

Sam shoved his food away and set the picture down. "You're so going to Hell."

"Been there, done that," Dean said with a grin. He shovelled a last bite of pie into his mouth, and into Cas' when he begged, and slid out of the booth, a giggling Cas tucked under his arm. Sam may or may not have folded up Cas' picture and stuffed it in his wallet.

In the motel room, Cas watched cartoons while Sam and Dean researched Moloch and decided the best way to kill him. Fire was decided upon as a popular theme, and when they asked Cas if setting the god on fire would work, he shrugged and turned back to the TV.

When they decided to call it a night—many, many theories later—Dean crawled into bed with Cas and Sam flopped down on his own bed. Castiel claimed on spot on Dean's chest. "Mine" was all he said.

Dean stroked the angel's hair back. "We'll find this bastard and those kids and get you back to normal. Dick with wings who never comes when we need him, who stares too god damn much."

Castiel nuzzled his chest and yawned. "'ove you," he mumbled.

Dean paused, and then slowly, he ran a thumb over Cas' cheek and found that despite everything, he couldn't disagree. The angel really did in his own weird way. And some part of Dean really loved him back. He'd somehow become family. "You too," he murmured. "Get some sleep."

In the morning, Dean was mostly aware of a weight on his chest.

"Jesus, Cas, you're freakin' heavy."

"My apologies, Dean," a gruff voice answered back next to his ear.

Dean froze. His eyes shot open, and he slowly turned to stare at Castiel. Full-sized, deep blue-eyed, messy-haired, full-lipped, stubbly Castiel.

"Hello, Dean."

"Uh…hello, Cas."

"It seems the effect of Moloch's power has worn off."

"Yeah," Dean answered dumbly. Cas was still wrapped around him like an octopus, face wonderfully stoic, only an inch from his own. That was when Dean noticed the arm locked across his chest was bare. It was also when Castiel decided to shift his weight to straddle Dean, the blankets falling back. Dean was left staring up at Castiel's controlled face…then down his bare neck…then past his shoulders…down his slim, muscular chest…to the legs on either side of him…to what lay between. "You're um, naked."

"Does it bother you?"

"Uh…" Dean's brain tripped over all available responses, but luckily—or unluckily—Sam chose that moment to awake and look over.

"What the hell?" Seeing his brother straddled by a very naked, very male angel of the Lord first thing in the morning was definitely not something he thought he'd ever see.

Dean looked over. "Cas forgot basic social conventions again. But as you can see, he's back in all of his awkward glory."

"Right," Sam said. "I'll um, be in the bathroom. Cutting out my eyes. Knock if you need me."

He left, and Dean still hadn't told Castiel to move. "Comfy?" he asked sarcastically.

"Very," Cas said, grinding down slightly to emphasize his point. "Oh, that's inappropriate. I apologize." He slid off of Dean, and Dean was definitely not admiring his ass before his suit and trench coat made a spontaneous reappearance. "I'll take care of Moloch. I know what to avoid now, and I know where he's keeping the children. I'll be back in a few hours."

He disappeared.

When Sam came out of the bathroom after a shower, he asked Dean where his angel was. Dean assured Sam Cas wasn't his angel and said he'd run off to find Moloch. Dean assured himself the situation between his legs had nothing to do with the naked angel.

Hours later, the children had made a miraculous return in the town square. Sam was packing up in the motel room while Dean leaned against the hood of the Impala, counting the success as another eventless hunt but being glad overall that no one had died this time around. It was a rare treasure, something that made his job worth it.

The clouds rolled across the pink-tinged sky as Castiel appeared next to him. Instead of a hello, he said, "Moloch has been taken care of. It was my fault for falling into his trap to begin with."

"You did good, Cas," Dean said with a shrug, adamantly not looking at the angel. "No one died. You're okay. Sam and I aren't in the hospital. It's all good."

"Dean," Cas said. Dean finally looked over. His heart gave a painful thud in his chest as he remembered every time Cas had excitedly yelled his name, held his hand, sat in his lap, and slept in his arms in the past day. His kiss and I love you. He thought it was just affection, finally having someone that looked up to him like Sam used to. He thought it was a second chance, a rare gift that would vanish when Cas returned to normal. But here was the angel standing in front of him, and he still wanted to hold his hand and hear his deep voice rumble out in a laugh, wanted to wake up to someone for once and make them smile. And having it be Cas…didn't sound all that bad. He could easily imagine kissing Cas to make him shut up, slipping an arm around him in a diner booth, and—fuck—holding onto those hips with both hands and thrusting up into that body, just to break Castiel's apathetic mask and hear what that voice sounded like reverberating off the walls.

He shook the images away.

"I remember everything that happened," Cas said.

Fuck, Dean thought. This is going to be the most awkward conversation of my life.

"And I just wanted to say thank you."

Dean raised an eyebrow at him. That was…unexpected. "It's no problem, Cas. You take care of us often enough."

He stepped in front of Dean. "I…know that it bothers you, but you would be a good father." Dean stared at him in shock. "You treated me better than my own has." Before Dean could think to question the gravity of that statement, Cas placed both of his hands on Dean's face and captured his lips in a gentle, lingering kiss. It was as innocent as the kiss Cas had given him as a child, but this time, he curled a hand around the back of Cas' neck and returned it. When Castiel pulled away, he looked confused.

"I don't know what any of this means, Dean."

"Neither do I, Cas," he admitted. "We'll figure it out. But if it helps…I liked all of it."

"Okay." The angel gave a small smile, hesitantly stepping forward to wrap Dean into his arms and nuzzle his neck like he'd done as a child before he vanished in a flutter of wings.

After he was gone, Dean finally noticed Sam, who had been standing in the doorway the entire time. His brother threw his bag into the back of the Impala and climbed into the passenger seat. "You are so going to Hell for this," he muttered, and sat the rubber duck on the dash.

Sliding behind the wheel, Dean grinned and licked his lips. "Worth it, Sammy."