Wait and See

Cashew Chicken With A Whiskey Chaser

Dean is holding up his part of the bargain when Chelsea goes to wake Sam up. He's at his computer. He's looking at automotive programs. He's noticing that they're all two years. He's freaking out about that, but he's not drinking because he doesn't want Cas to figure out that he fell off the wagon. Once he gets everything else delt with, he'll get back on. It'll be fine.

He really had felt like a better person back when he was killing things every day.

Sam is… a little weird as Chelsea tries to scoot him out the door. He pinches her shoulder before he leaves the house with her, just to double check, which isn't that unusual, and he hugs Dean, a big gigantor bear hug, which is.

Dean orders Chinese for him and Cas. It's familiar. It's something that just the two of them did together a million times in the last year. It's not the height of romance, but Dean's not sure how to tell if you're in a romance "place" with someone. Especially under the circumstances.

Chelsea's spot on in her estimate of when Cas will be home from the hotel. The ex-angel walks in the door at 6:00 on the dot, while Dean's on the phone with a couple hunters from Connecticut that he's never heard of, who need some advice on building a bomb, which is at least something Dean can give them without there needing to be any further research.

Cas goes up to his room without even pausing to say hello, and as soon as Dean hangs up, he girds himself and follows.

Cas doesn't answer Dean's first knock, and at the second he sticks his head out into the hallway with a "Yes?" soaked in indifferent politeness.

"Can I come in?"

Cas shrugs and opens the door.

Dean realizes with a shock that he never really comes in here during the day. While the entire rest of the house more or less looks like Bobby still lives here, this is obviously Cas's room. At some point he (or more likely, he and Chelsea) had painted the walls from their grungy old fashioned green to a bright sky blue. The little collection of postcards taped to the wall- artsy shots of rainforest flowers and somewhat more domestic animals- has been steadily growing. There are a couple of potted plants, one that Dean remembers Cas bringing home as a gift from Tony.

It suddenly seems weirdly personal to be in Cas's space.

"What do you want, Dean?" Cas asks, arms crossing in front of himself.

"To hang out with you. Dinner. Little piece and quiet."

Cas sighs, clearly frustrated and turns away. He settles himself down at the head of his bed, knees up. "How much time are you going to require, Dean?"

"For dinner?"

"No. To decide whether or not you want to be with me."

"Wait, what?" Dean wonders where in the hell that came from. He's not deciding whether he wants Cas- he wants Cas, he's just acclimatizing to the idea.

"You said you needed time. And I understand that this is culturally taboo for you. But when we spent the night together I thought you had decided. Then you told me to keep it a secret from Sam, so now I feel like you've changed your mind." Cas digs protectively back against his pillows. "And I don't care if I sound childish, or retarded or whatever, just because I'm new to this but I don't think this should be difficult like this. I want to be with you. And I want to know that you want that too." His tone is so reasonable, almost removed from the situation. Even while he's telling Dean exactly what he feels, he sounds nearly robotic. Like he's been practicing this in his head for the last week and a half.

"I want to be with you, Cas-" Dean starts.

"Then tell Sam and stop ignoring me."

"I can't just tell-"

"Sam doesn't care that I'm not romantically interested in women. I told him pretty much as soon as he got back. He's been very supportive," Cas replies.

Dean supposes, on some level, that he knew this about Sam, or should have guessed it, based on Sam's big fancy liberal college in a big blue state.

"It's different, Cas. You're… kind of a question mark, you know? A little outside expectations. I'm his big brother. It's different."

"No. You're pretending it's different to give yourself time." Cas sits up, fiddling with his hands as though there is something in them. "And I don't want to have anything else between us that feels like a promise you're going to choose me, when you might not."

"I already-"

"No. Dean. One night and then having you cut me out right away doesn't count as choosing."

"What the hell do you want me to do, huh?" Dean growls. "Meet Sam at the door when Chelsea brings him back and just be like- Hey little brother, I'm helping Cas move into my room tonight because I'm kind of in love with the little bastard. Don't come a-knocking."

"Yes," Cas says immediately. "If you really have chosen me- that's exactly what I want. You don't have to make a big announcement at work, you don't have to tell Thomas, you don't have to tell Ellen, I want you to tell Bobby eventually, even if it's a long time from now. But I want you to tell Sam tonight."

"And if I can't?"

"Then I think I should go stay with Chelsea."

That actually stops Dean cold. "What?"

"I'll still come back during the day to help Sam, but I've been looking for another part time job in addition to cleaning at the hotel and if you don't want me here I should leave." Cas drops back against his pillows again. "It would be painful to stay."

Dean's stunned. He tries to think of anything he can actually say to that, but can't and after gum flapping like a fish on a dock for a little while finally comes out with, "I'll bring up some Chinese for you."

Cas just shrugs.

Dean's not surprised when he hears the front door slam as soon as he gets into the kitchen and sits down for a little cashew chicken with a whiskey chaser.

It's so strange to be bringing Sam out for a few errands. For one thing, Chelsea keeps noticing herself looking wherever Sam's looking to make sure that what he's seeing is really there.

For another, it's weird to talk to someone she barely knows, but knows so much about. Thanks to Dean and Cas and Supernatural, she's seen him watch the girl he'd considered marrying burn on the ceiling. She's seen him fuck Demons and get addicted to their blood. She's seen him watch Dean die every single day for months on end and swan dive into Hell to save the world.

It's sort of like meeting a celebrity, in a weird way. She knows it'll wear off. She'd felt a little like that about Dean and Cas at first and now it was more like having a dog and a young, socially awkward nephew. Sam will slot back into the normal side of things anytime now.

"I hope this place isn't too girly-salony for you. My stylist had an opening and I figured you've only got like a week before Dean starts teasing you about the Jesus look-alike thing."

Sam snorts, flipping through a magazine, looking for his old haircut.

"If I tell you something do you promise not to tell Dean?"

"Sure." Chelsea's not sold on this. It makes her uncomfortable that Sam might need to keep something major from Dean, when Dean's been such a mess trying to get him back. But sometimes Chelsea lies. If Dean has to know, she'll pass it along.

"I usually spent more than sixty bucks on a haircut. I mean… not really "spent". Credit Card fraud. But I'm not a stranger to the girly salon haircut."

Chelsea laughs, and then laughs harder when it makes Sam smile, then sends him off with her stylist.

Chelsea wanders off while Sam gets his haircut. She buys herself some jeans, then on a whim, goes to the makeup counter at Herberger's counter. She puts on a little eye shadow, then ends up buying herself some before heading back to the salon.

Sam looks good when she picks him up. Less "Hermit being reintroduced to society" more "young academic". He yawns as Chelsea hands over the cash that Dean sent her out with.

"I'm so fucking sick of being this tired," he sighs.

Perfect. "So let's not give into it yet." Chelsea shrugs. She's had Sam out of the house for an hour, her goal was to give Cas and Dean three, which should be enough time for talking and sex. "Come on. We'll get you some swim trunks and then I'll take you to Barnes and Noble for a smoothie. My treat."

"Right. Swim trunks. For my old man calisthenics. So I can be healthy enough to actually work out and not look like a cancer patient anymore."

"You're surprisingly vain for a guy who lived in a car and motel rooms and abandoned cabins. Anyone ever tell you that?"

Sam snorts. "I'm not the only one. You've never seen Dean getting ready to be a Fed."

"No. I haven't. Come on. Swim trunks."

She takes him to Target. She's gotten too used to shopping with Cas and needing to allot a couple of hours for simple clothing needs. (How do you know the underwear fits if you can't try it on? What is the purpose of the very small pocket inside the larger pocket? Shouldn't I try this on in a small and a large just in case one of them fits better?) It takes Sam about two minutes to pick out a few pairs he likes in a few sizes.

He's fine until they get to the dressing room. He looks up into one of the mirrors in the hallway and freezes with a little gasp. Chelsea sets her hand to his back. "Sweetheart, you okay?"

"I… just…" he reaches behind him, watching his hand as it moves in front of Chelsea and then lands directly on her boob. He jumps again and whips around. Chelsea steps back out of grope range.

"That was you, right?"

"Yeah. It was. Why? Who did you see?"

"Umm… Jess," Sam says. "She was my…"

"I know who she was."

Sam turns back to the mirror and relaxes a little. "Right… it' s just… it's just in my head."

Chelsea takes his elbow. "You wanna go home?"

"Umm… no. That' s all right. I need trunks. And you promised me a smoothie."

"Okay." Chelsea nods. "I'll be out here."

It only takes Sam a few more minutes to try on trunks. Chelsea sets him in the furniture display while she stands in line and then takes him up to Barnes and Noble.

Neither of them were expecting the sign out front. Sam's forehead scrunches up and his jaw drops.

It's a cardboard cut out right in the front of the store.

Of Chuck.

Leaning against a 1967 Impala.

With a shotgun.

"What a douchebag!" Sam says so loudly that three people turn around. "And there's a new one?"

Sam marches forward grabs one of the display books. "When Dean is raised from Hell by a mysterious force… smoldering psychic Pamela… and the thrall of Sam's new companion…" He turns to Chelsea. "Thrall? This is bullshit. I'm gonna get better, and then I'm going to hunt the fuck out of Chuck." He clenches his eyes shut. "This is real right?"

Chelsea takes the book out of his hands and knocks on the cover. "Sorry. Sweetheart. It's real. It's… um… pretty good. I got an advance copy from the author… prophet. Whatever."

Sam rolls his eyes and tucks the book under his jacket.

"So… smoothies."


They walk back through the shelves toward the little café.

And then it's Chelsea's turn to freeze.

Cas is sitting at a corner table. With Tony. They look pretty intimate. Cas is resting his head in his hand, the other hand is out on the table, friggin nestled under Tony's.

Sam doesn't notice him. Chelsea pretends to playfully push him into one of the chairs and then lets him sit there while she gets him a smoothie. She catches Cas's eye while she's paying. He gives her a very steady look back. Her counter is mouthing "I will text you about this later" at him.

So now she's got to get Sam out before he sees Cas, and there's no reason to give Cas and Dean time alone. Sam yawns again and Chelsea starts herding him back to the car.

Dean is pleasantly buzzed at the kitchen table with a half-eaten container of cashew chicken and a stone cold, totally unopened container of moo goo gai pan when Chelsea and Sam come home. They're home late enough that her headlights give him enough warning to hide his flask in his boot.

Dean had decided to let Cas get a little air, and after half an hour had called him. He hadn't picked up. He'd waited another 45 minutes. Cas hadn't picked up. Then another half hour. Cas had finally answered and brusquely told him that he was running errands and he didn't want to talk to Dean right now.

He almost jumps to clean up the evidence of dinner when he hears the door open. Either to hide from Sam anything approaching evidence that he'd anything even a little bit like an assignation planned, or to hide from Chelsea that this is how lame his assignation was.

Sam looks half back to normal when he comes in. The Crazy Hobo Jesus look is gone. He'd look just like he did the last time Dean saw him if he wasn't a solid hundred pounds lighter.

Chelsea looks weirdly grave. Dean looks at Sam harder, but doesn't see any evidence that anything might have happened to him to cause Chelsea's concern.

"Hey, you clean up pretty good," Dean laughs. "Now you don't look like you live in a cave in the woods with Cas."

Sam laughs. "Yeah. I'll be a real boy again anytime now."

Chelsea steps back so that she's behind Sam, and tries to communicate silently. Since this involves nothing but pursing her lips and him and widening her eyes, it's not really helpful.

"I'm gonna go lie down," Sam yawns. "I was out having an adventure for almost two hours, and now I can barely stand."

"Okay, man."

Chelsea waits for Sam to get all the way up the stairs, then turns around and punches Dean in the arm.

"I saw Cas out at the bookstore with Tony. What in the name of fuck did you do?"

"Wait… you saw Cas out with…"

"His ex. What did you do?"

"I didn't do shit."


"Keep your voice down, will you? Sam's right upstairs," Dean says. "We had a little bit of an argument. He left. But it's not as bad as it sounds."

He doesn't believe it. He fucked this up before he even got to give it a shot.

"So you had an argument, and then he stormed out and called his ex…"

"Chelsea, not tonight okay. Just let it lay for tonight. Please?"

Chelsea purses her lips again but hugs him and leaves.

Dean… doesn't freak out. He goes to great lengths to avoid freaking out. He puts away the chinese food. He does the dishes. He finds piddly house stuff to do until eleven. Then he does some research.

Maybe he should be hoping that Cas and Tony are getting back together. Tony treated Cas really well. He thought Cas's little quirks were cute. The only major roadblock to them being together was that Cas couldn't tell him why he didn't have all those little personal histories that people come to expect. If Cas could just be honest with Tony, maybe it would be best for them if they just got together and were happy. Hell, Dean would even back his story up.

The idea of doing just that seems like the right thing to do, and gives him this nasty tickle in the back of his throat and the corners of his eyes. And he knows what that means.

He holds out until midnight before he calls Chelsea and asks her if Cas has gotten a hold of her. Tells her that Cas mentioned staying with her.

She hasn't heard from him. Cas is out with Tony.

And he's not coming home.

He's hanging up just as he hears Sam on the steps. He clears his throat, wipes his eyes, and shoves his phone in his pocket.

"Hey, Sammy, need anything?"

Sam shrugs and keeps working his way down the stairs. He drops into a chair opposite Dean. "Just came down to see how you were."

Dean shakes his head. "Me? Why?"

"Cas still isn't home. Thought you might be worried."

"Well, he's almost a big boy. He can stay out as late as he damn well pleases," Dean huffs.

"Where is he?"

"He's… out."

"I noticed. Where is he?"

"He's got a date I guess."

Sam leans back in his chair and stares at Dean for a moment. "Yeah… Chelsea thinks I didn't see him at the bookstore. But I did. How are you doing with that?"

"Why should I care?"

"Because I overheard Chelsea before she left. I know Cas is out with his ex." Sam looks up at Dean with his big, stupid, empathetic Fed eyes. "And I overheard you this morning and I know you and Cas are together."

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