Wait and See

Second String

Dean leans forward and presses a kiss to Cas's lips, then finds himself shocked to be there.

It had just been an instinctual push. He hadn't even thought it through, it had just happened, like pulling out a gun during a Hunt, or pouring salt across a door.

Cas's eyes aren't closed.

He feels like he should pull back. Let it just be some slightly too old fashioned little weird affectionate thing that he doesn't stop in time. Like everything else. This isn't okay. This isn't what men do. This is too much.

But he can't pull back.

Cas does, with a panted, "I don't understand."

Dean shakes his head.

"You said I couldn't kiss you," Cas persists.

"Yeah."

"Tony always asked me if he could kiss me. You… you were upset that I was dating a man. You didn't want to touch me."

It kills Dean that Cas does sound confused more than anything else. Like he's just laying out the facts and looking for support or correction.

"I'm sorry for that. That was stupid."

"No. Don't be. We… I…"

Cas's eyes lock on Dean's lips as Dean moves down, heart hammering so hard he'd be surprised if Cas can't hear it.

Dean's hands are shaking worse than they have all week. Cas's eyes are inhumanly blue and his lips are dry and warm.

The warmth of gratitude and heat of affection start to falter under the chill of panic.

And Cas tips his face up, turning it into an actual kiss rather than a press of lips. He grips Dean's elbow. The angel's thumb digs into the spot where he used to tap his fingers. It's strangely reassuring. It's a ghost of a gesture Cas used to make when Dean took care of him. It's okay to take care of Cas.

Dean knows he's getting in over his head… but he just, suddenly wants this. Like he wanted Cas to stay when Cas manhandled him into Bobby's bed. Like he wants this constant, oppressive loneliness to let up, even just temporarily.

It's an… honest kiss. Cas's inexperience is obvious. He has no rhythm or technique. The hand that isn't tight to Dean's arm keeps landing unsurely elsewhere on Dean's body. It makes Dean feel strangely protective of him, like when he was still tying Cas's shoes and making him food out of cans. Dean sets his arms just behind Cas's waist and feels a fine tremor travel up his fingers from Cas's body.

Cas's tongue probes at the seam of Dean's lips and Dean's nerve is suddenly, utterly gone. He pulls away.

"Umm…" Dean starts. "We should… we shouldn't leave all these dishes here."

Cas looks hurt for a moment, but blows out a steadying breath and nods, turning back to the sink.

There are a lot of dishes left and Dean's heartbeat is nearly back to normal by the time he hands Cas the last plate to dry.

Dean declares that he's going to go turn in. Cas makes a soft noise of assent but doesn't follow. Dean goes upstairs, brushes his teeth and is in bed, in the big bedroom, where they've been sleeping. He can hear Cas shuffling around in the house. Hear the creak of the stairs. The water in the bathroom. It's like a physical pain in his chest when he hears Cas pad down the hallway, toward his own room.

Then after a moment he hears the floorboards creaking again and his door opens.

"All the pillows are in here." Cas takes a few steps into the room.

He looks so small. It makes Dean just hate himself. He sits up, and holds out a hand before remembering that it might not be a universal gesture. Cas seems to pick up on it anyway, walking in and taking Dean's hand.

"Stay here."

"Dean, I don't understand what's happening. You're acting very strange and I don't… I won't put up with you getting mad at me about any of this."

Dean tugs him closer. "I don't understand either. Please stay?"

Cas resists the pull of Dean's arm, stepping away.

"Please?" Dean pulls him over again he comes willingly.

They sleep on separate sides, hands wrapped together in the empty space between them.


Cas wakes Dean up by shaking his shoulder gently until Dean opens his eyes.

"Dean. You'll be late for work if you don't hurry."

So Dean hurries and is grateful for the distraction. He doesn't have to freak out about what he did quite yet. He's got to hurry and get to work.

When Dean gets down to the kitchen Cas has a toasted peanut butter sandwich ready for him in a baggie. Their fingers touch when he hands it to Dean and he looks so wide eyed that Dean kisses him again, just a quick brush of the lips.

It's very 50's sitcom, running off to work and kissing the wife goodbye.

Dean wishes he hadn't thought of it like that.

He's doing a good job not thinking about it at all at work, letting his mind just hibernate in the repetition of priming and scouring a car that someone brought with the whole side panel scraped to hell.

But he can't block it altogether. Because he kissed Cas last night and woke up with him this morning and has to go home and face it tonight and for the first time in years he doesn't feel like total and complete shit.

He doesn't feel good. He feels uncomfortable and worried and stupid and ashamed.

Because he should have seen this coming. The total lack of space. The hand holding. The lingering touches and desperate clinging hugs. His near disgust at the hot chick and her perfect blow job and how it felt better to be a ruler's width from Cas than to be balls deep in that random girl's throat.

And under the discomfort, worry and stupidity, and shame, there's still the fear.


Dean goes to the library after work. Lingers in the occult section. Picks up a big stack of books. Stops at the grocery store. Realizes that he has no idea what's in the cupboards because that's Cas's domain. Buys juice.

His phone rings in the grocery store. There's some sort of Kelpie situation in New Orleans, which is just fucking weird. He heads home but circles the block six times, cranking Metallica just a little too loud before finally feeling fucking ridiculous about it and just going the hell home to deal with Celtic monsters in Creole territory.

There's a full house when Dean walks in. Bobby, Chelsea, Ellen and Cas are in full hunting mode. Apparently Gabriel's hint about Hell was supposed to be a decent heads up after all. There has been an explosion of monster attacks, just since Dean got off work. All over the country, all sorts of things, almost coordinated.

Bobby and Ellen are on the phones, sending out troops. Chelsea's on her computer with a weather map up, looking for omens. Cas has a map out on the table and he's sticking pins in it, looking for patterns.

Dean, with his encyclopedic, though thus far fruitless, knowledge of the lore library starts digging for causes and correlations.

It's three hours later and Mackintosh is dead before they get a call from Carrington over in California. It's Demon on Monster violence. They need to set the rag-tag little army to work protecting civilians, but they might as well set down a salt circle and let the damn things try to kill each other. They pass the message along and all let themselves take a breather for dinner, but keep vigil over the phones.

Cas makes pancakes. Dean reaches his fork out to snag one off the stack and finds it already snatched away by Gabriel who has manifested himself a chair around the table.

"Hello, Hunters Headquarters," he says cheerfully.

"What the hell are you?" Ellen demands.

"Gabriel. Archangel," Cas and Dean answer, wearily and in unison.

"I come with news. Still nothing about Sam, but I do have two things. You're not going to like them."

"I never do," Dean points out. "Hit me."

"Tonight's big battle? Crowley is trying to take over Hell and annex Purgatory."

"Purgatory?" Chelsea asks.

"Where the bogey men go when the die," Gabriel clarifies. "I wouldn't suggest buying a condo there, but it's better than Hell by a long shot."

"I though Purgatory was like a soul car wash. They got you scrubbed up for Heaven?" Ellen asked.

"Nope." Gabriel began oozing syrup all over his pancakes. "It's like a big black forest from a fairy tale. A monster terrarium. It's also a little more… fluid than Heaven or Hell. Easier to escape back to Earth."

"So if Crowley gets his way he could install a revolving door?" Bobby asks.

Gabriel shrugs. "Don't worry about it."

"Don't worry about it?" Dean demands. "What in the hell do you mean don't worry about it?"

Gabriel rolls his eyes. "Let me put it this way- who has two thumbs, the Armies of Heaven under his command, likes this world, and will sweep in and save the day if the monsters or Demon's gain the upper hand?" Gabriel points at himself. "This guy. This is waaaaaaayyyyy above your pay grade, little Hunters, but I appreciate the enthusiasm. Kick back, have a drink and leave the big guns to the big boys."

"You said two things?" Cas prompts.

"Right. Maybe you'll like this one, maybe you won't. I found Adam. And his mother. They're happy and healthy and back in Minnesota."

Dean gaped at him.

"I asked him to look," Cas offers quietly.

"How long?"

Gabriel grabs another pancake and starts eating it daintily off of his fork. "Looks like they could have been there this whole time."

"So… someone popped Adam out of the box on day one, and Sam is nowhere to be found?"

Bobby clears his throat. Dean sees Cas shoot him a look.

"There have been a hell of a lot of time anomalies though. We might not know the truth about when he got back," Bobby points out.

"He's been here on earth," Gabriel asserts.

"Can you tell for sure?" Cas asks.

"Yes," Gabriel replies immediately. "I can. Belief creates power. The Angels believe I'm God. I've been enjoying a miracle here and there," he nods at Ellen, who draws back suspiciously. "For all intents and purposes, I'm God these days." He admits this a though it's a gross and highly contagious skin condition. One involving pus or blisters.

"You're God?" Cas scoffs.

"And say a prayer of Thanks, Castiel. There are a lot of Gods who would let this little Purgatory vs. Hell match burn out of control. I'm a God that cares enough to go and put the fire out if need be. There are worse people in the world to be… all seeing."

There's something about the way he says it And if that didn't sell it, the leer at Cas does. Gabriel knows that there is something happening between them. Now on top of all of the other worries, Dean can add the threat of Gabriel showing up while he's in bed with Cas and cheering them on to his list of concerns.

He grabs his juice and takes a deep and disappointing gulp when he realizes that he is already actively planning being in bed with Cas again later.

Cas pulls back on himself at the insinuation.

"Okay. Your lordship," Bobby snarls. "Give your poor servants a leg up then. Who else is back?"

"What do you want me to do? List everyone who's still kicking? Give me some names, Bobby."

They all start tossing them out. Dean and Ellen both ask for Ash first. Dead, according to Gabriel. Having so much fun in Heaven that Gabriel's considering upgrading him like the pagan's used to do. Ellen asks for a couple more people from the bar. All dead. Dean checks on Bela and Gordon, just in case. Dead. And Ruby. Dead.

It's Bobby that asks about John. Dean's surprised, and then ashamed at the relief he feels when Gabriel declares that Papa Winchester isn't coming back.

"Okay, plebians. That's enough of the questions," Gabriel declares. He reaches out and grabs the plateful of pancakes. "I've done my duty to the home team. Gabriel out." He disappears.

"Freakin Angels!" Dean yells at the ceiling. Cas pushes his foot up against Dean's.

"Adam," Cas says quietly.

"Yeah, well. The kid's only crime was getting born to the wrong man," Ellen sighs.

"Pretty common crime," Bobby comments.

"Epidemic," Cas agrees. His foot moves a little against Deans. Dean takes another gulp of his juice.

"So… did we just get switched off?" Dean asks. "If Hell gets out of control Gabriel will just swan in and take care of it and we can all go play bingo?"

"Bingo?" Cas asks.

"He's kidding, sweetie," Chelsea says.

"Well… hell with it. Pretty bastard's got my vote then. Or prayer, or whatever." Ellen yawns. "Let's break out the whisk- ahem- pie."

And so the noble Hunters have dessert and coffee, Dean thinks to himself. It should sound more bitter than it does, but after years of an absent God who let them all struggle and die, Dean is ready to accept Gabriel's little experiment in giving a shit.

Adam though. Gabriel never did say if he could just pop down into the cage… but he was the one who had known about the horsemen's rings being the keys. But that didn't prove anything. Adam being out didn't guarantee that Sam was out. Gabriel had seemed to want to take credit for getting Ellen and Jo back on Earth. That didn't mean he would take credit for Adam as well. And Dean had a gut feeling that Gabriel was telling the truth about not being able to find Sam. He was coming through on everything else he'd promised.

Dean's head hurts. He just wants everyone out of his house so he can deal with one huge fucking issue at a time.

It's another hour or so. The phones aren't ringing. Ellen, Bobby and Dean make calls, it sounds like Hell and Purgatory may still be at war, but the Human casualty isn't going to be an issue. There have been Angel sightings.

Everyone slowly peels away and goes home.

And Dean and Cas are alone.

They find themselves back at the sink just like they were last night, doing dishes in silence. Dean keeps waiting for Castiel to say something, but he doesn't. Finally the last dish is put away. Cas turns to Dean, takes a step just a little too close and looks up at him, already moving up into the kiss.

Dean lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding and sets his hands back around Cas again. They tilt their heads back and forth for a few moments, in a comically chaste kiss before Dean mentally girds himself, and whispers, "Cas?"

When Cas responds with a quiet, and somewhat overly resigned "Yes?" Dean takes advantage of his open mouth and slips his tongue along the inside of Cas's mouth.

Cas responds with a gasp that makes Dean's thudding heart stop for a moment, before erratically kicking back up.

"Dean?" Cas quavers, turning his head. "Can we go upstairs?"

"Okay."

Cas's breath is sharp on the stairs, each one carving out into the utter silence of their house. The house they've lived together for the last year. The house that Bobby is going to give them. Both of them. "You boys have a home here".

Dean's terror is peaking by the time they settle into their bed, and Cas seems to have his own reservations. The light goes out and they lay on their sides, hands clasped, kissing slowly, but thoroughly as Cas worms his way closer and closer.

Cas makes noise when he's being kissed.

Little gasps and heavy breaths. Vocalized shivers and stutters. A noise that seems to come right from his chest and can only be described as a rumble. Deans' mouth catches them all. He lets his hand slide out of Cas's, down his forearm and up his shoulder, palming down his back and bringing Cas that little bit closer. Cas struggles to balance for a moment before pushing his knee forward. Dean lets it slide between his own legs and they're suddenly hip to hip and chest to chest.

Cas makes a noise that's almost like a squack and Dean can feel him, completely hard against his hip.

They still haven't talked about what they're doing, and they're going to have to deal with that eventually. And Cas hasn't gotten any further than this with anyone, so this might push up the day where they eventually have to deal.

And Dean wants to know what other sounds he might make, and it's easier to kiss Cas in the dark.

He pushes forward, rolling Cas onto his back, and letting his hips press down against Cas's. The former Angel's whole body goes still with a noise like a cry from something with no voice box.

"Stop?" Dean whispers.

"No, no, don't stop," Cas replies. He hooks his fingers around Dean's neck and pushes back up against Dean's hips with an honest to god whimper. Dean meets the hesitant little roll of Cas's hips with his own and Cas's head falls back out of the kiss.

Dean hasn't been so turned on by this since he was 15, doing this standing up in a broom closet at school with some girl whose name he doesn't remember anymore. He'd shot all over his jeans and just skipped back to the motel they were staying in early.

He and Cas are both in their jeans now, and Dean feels a little bit 15 again, because he sure as hell isn't taking his jeans off for this. It's too much like admitting what's going on. He can play the "celestial beam of intent" or whatever thing pretty hard, but Cas's cock against his means things and it's easier not to worry about that yet if the clothes stay on. It's just going to have to be a laundry day.

Cas is starting to catch on, miniscule little bumps up turning into long drags against Dean's body. His whimpers are turning to whines. Dean shifts out of Cas's increasingly sloppy kisses and kisses down his jaw. Cas's gasps are loud in Dean's ear as he works his mouth against the angel's neck. Dean let's the tip of his tongue slide along the vein that sticks out of Cas's neck, and Cas's entire body jumps underneath him.

"Shh… I gotchya," Dean whispers "I gotchya, Cas."

"Dean… I think I'm… I'm going to…"

"Good," Dean says. He kisses Cas's neck again, rocking down against Cas's stuttering hips. Dean brings his teeth into play, nipping gently at the spot under Cas's ear.

Cas's body goes rigid and he swallows his gasps as his hips pup upward into Dean. Dean digs his fingers into Cas's spine, holding him close as Cas thrusts up against him one last time and then goes entirely limp in Dean's arms, with a noise like he's deflating.

"Oh," Cas pants. "That was different than when I do it for myself."

"Good different?" Dean asks, though he can guess the answer from the way Cas's body feels like water in his arms.

"Yes." Cas turns to kiss Dean. "Did you… do you need to?"

"It's okay," Dean tells him. Cas doesn't look convinced, but Dean's not fifteen anymore and he's perfectly happy to not have to scrub a come stain off his jeans in the morning. Besides, he's not that far gone. Cas held out longer than Dean had expected him too, but it had still been a sprint not a marathon.

And he's still got this fence in his mind. Without logic or reason holding it up, that separates "okay" and "too much". Cas- with no experience or real gender or clue what's going on, coming underneath him is weird but okay. There is still something dark and forbidden and too much about Dean letting himself get off on this too.

"But… it's customary to… reciprocate? Isn't it?" Cas gropes for words. "Chelsea said-"

"It's okay," Dean says more firmly.

Cas is shifting uncomfortably, clearly only beginning to realize the sticky underwear situation he's gotten himself into. He glances down at Dean's lap where the bulge of Dean's engorged cock is obvious under his jeans. Dean sees his fingers flex but then he wriggles in place again.

"Why don't' you go clean up? That's going to get uncomfortable."

Cas nods. "This is less complicated in the shower."

Dean's shocked at the brashness of the invitation from Cas and then more shocked when he realizes that Cas thinks he's begin coy. Dean goes for oblivious, even though it's a risk trying to sell that on the master of oblivious.

He leans over and kisses Cas. "Go take a shower. I'll be here."

Cas shuffles out.

Dean feels weirdly neutral. Too aroused for panic, too panicked to be really aroused. Hard, but not so hard he has to do anything about it.

And he's starting to realize that he knows where the fence in his mind came from. His father built it. There are things that men don't do. This is definetly one of them. But the foundations of the fence were laid wrong because he'd had to be a man and be Sam's mother (look after Sammy) at the same time and he's been letting Cas move the fence around post by post all year. But he still can't just cross over it or knock it down. Not all in one go. He likes Cas here. In the house. In the bed. Coming surprised and gasping underneath him. He just needs time. He just needs… privacy and patience.

And for no one to ever find out.

Dean dithers for a moment before deciding it would be okay to kick off his jeans. Cas has complained about Dean sleeping fully clothed. Apparently his jeans catch in the covers and pull them away from Cas, who then gets cold. And Cas does hate being cold.

But some habits die harder than others. He's laying on his side, quietly qualifying and rationalizing and sorting the last few days into okay and not okay when Cas slips into bed with him.

Dean feels him scoot closer after a moment, then again. He holds still, letting Cas work his way to the end of whatever he's trying to do. And that's when Cas throws his arm around Dean's waist.

Being the little spoon is not something men do and Dean clamps down the instinct to throw Cas off, slowly rationalizing this too.

It would hurt Cas to push him away.

He's got to look after Cas.

So it's okay.

"Good night, Dean."


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