If You Liked It
Dean's been keeping an eye on Sam. Not out of any actual worry, but just because Sam is always going to be his little brother. Things have been a little hectic, what with Sophie being officially declared psychic, Chelsea hitting the always-sick stage of her pregnancy and Cas finally getting a part time job at the bookstore in town.
Everyone needed a break by the time Tanya came into town and offered to babysit, though, in Dean's opinion, Chelsea needs a break from Tanya more than anything else tonight.
Dean had gotten the impression that Tanya wholly expected Sam and Chelsea to treat themselves to some sort of date night or maybe even a night in the hotel just to get away a little bit. She had seemed surprised when Dean and Cas had shown up at the front door, and then even more surprised when Dean and Sam had taken off in the Impala and Chelsea and Cas had gone off to do something equally no-stress in her Prius.
Dean had no idea what Cas and Chelsea had decided to do, but he and Sam had somehow wound up in the middle of a standby from a life that was starting to feel, sometimes, like it had never happened. They'd dropped by a liquor store, Dean had grabbed a six pack of O'Doules, Sam a six back of Miller, and they'd wound up at the clearing that looked out over the city, sitting on the hood of the car and watching the stars in the slight chill of the early June breeze.
Dean cracks open his non-alcoholic beer. He's gotten used to not drinking, but there are times where you still just need a beer. The hiss of Sam's beer echoes.
"Kinda like old times," Dean comments.
Sam chuckles. "Yeah. Sort of. Except no half healed cuts and bruises. And I've been checking my phone all night in case Tanya takes Sophie outside, gets her mind read, and freaks out." He waves his phone as evidence. "As it stands we are going to need to think of a reason behind our bizarre "no face touching" rule."
"How are you doing with that? The whole thing with Sophie?"
"It's weird how it's not that weird." Sam shrugs. "I mean, what's really changed? I believe her when she tells me what the dog's thinking." Sam shrugs and gulps down his beer.
"Yeah. Well. You've got the warded house. We've had a meltdown or two."
Sam nods. "I know. But… you know what Missouri said."
The psychic that Bobby had found to pay Sophie a house call had been Missouri Mosely. She'd driven up, checked the energies in Sam and Chelsea's house, then Dean and Cas's. She'd cackled a little at Dean for "having a fella", then declared that everything felt normal. Sophie was just psychic and it had taken this long for anyone to notice because all the wards and magics in Sam and Chelsea's house were dampening it. Her extended stay with her uncles had probably been the first time she'd had a couple of days to get used to the way her powers worked.
"Yeah, I heard Missouri," Dean sighs. "It just sucks that we've all been working so hard to… you know, shield her and now we just flat out can't. You haven't woken up from a nightmare to a toddler sobbing because you accidentally gave her a glimpse of Hell."
"No… but I'm the one she crawls in with when she can't sleep because of those things… so there's that. I'm trying to just stay positive. We saw terrible things when we were younger. We eventually worked our way to normal…ish. For her at least they're just pictures. And it'll keep her from ever wanting to Hunt for herself. She'll never get taken in by some handsome drifter." Sam gave him a pointed look. "She won't have any creepy guys able to lie to her." Sam takes another drunk from his beer. "Or some creepy girl, I guess."
Dean accepts the fraternal punch to the arm with a snort. "Very PC"
"I'm an accepting guy."
"How are you accepting the other news?"
Sam shakes his head. "Oh you mean the news about twins? That news?"
"Yeah. That news. The twin news," Dean laughs. Sam had been handling baby two just fine, but had shown up at Dean and Cas's house a little on the freaked out side when he'd learned that his brood was increasing to three in one fell swoop.
"It'll be great. I like being a Dad."
"You do not seem excited."
"I am excited. I am. I'm just tired. I've got a constantly morning sick wife, a sister in law who I know still doesn't like me in my house and a baby psychic. I just wasn't braced for another surprise. But it'll be fine. I'll be more excited when Tanya goes home and Chelsea feels better."
Dean nods and shoves his hand into his jacked, into the inside pocket where he still keeps a switchblade and pulls something else out of the pocket. "How's this for a surprise?" He hands Sam the little box he's been carrying around for the last month and hands it to Sam.
Sam takes it and pops it open. He whistles. "Well… if you're proposing to me then I'm surprised. If you're proposing to Cas then I'm going with what the hell took you so long?"
Dean takes refuge in a little bit too long sip from his beer before he replies. "It's not really a proposal. I just… you know. Carry it around. I saw it somewhere after I'd cashed a chuck-check and I just… I don't know. It made me think of him."
Dean leans back against the windshield. He's getting better at the whole feelings and honesty thing. He can talk to Cas about anything even if there are a couple of topics that he needs to work himself up to. He can admit when he's upset. He can ask Cas to just sit with him. He can lay on the couch with his head on Cas's chest without feeling "chick-flicky". He can accept flowers from Cas's garden, and has been the object of some jealousy at work because once or twice Cas has brought him a few. He can suck Cas off in the shower or the kitchen and not think about anything other than how much they're both enjoying it.
But it's still hard sometimes to talk about Cas. Everyone around him accepts it, and he knows that and it's not the problem. Sam's even attempted to initiate a few milder versions of the locker-room style conversations that they used to have now that it wasn't just a validation conversation like it had been the first couple of times.
Dean just can't quite wrap words around what Cas actually means to him. He can't just sit on the hood of his car with his brother and say "I want him around until the day I die, and I want to show him that I want him around until the day I die."
He can't even quite admit to Cas yet that there is an undercurrent of "I want you to always been here, and I'm terrified that you won't be."
Dean takes another gulp of his O'Doules. "I don't know. I mean… it's not a proposal. I can't marry him. And he's… I mean… he is what he is. He's only been human for a few years. I'm not really sure what his reaction would be."
"Well. No one knows him like you do."
"Yeah." Dean says. "I guess." He takes the ring back from Sam and tucks it into its box.
"But I know you. I know how badly you want something permanent. I know how happy you make Cas and how much he wants you to be happy. As long as you've known each other and everything you've been through together I'm just shocked you haven't put a ring on it yet.
"I just want…" He clears his throat and tries to force what he's thinking into words. "The whole picture thing freaked me out. Cas. Wings. Holy roller reunion. The idea of him just… gone…" Dean drinks deeply from his can again before going on, "but you don't ask a guy to give up his home and his species and his immortality for you."
"There is no evidence that any of that is on the table. And even if it was. You're his home, Dean. We're his family. Has he said a word about wishing he could go back to Heaven?"
"He said he misses his wings."
"Yeah, but has he ever said shit about going back to Heaven?"
"No," Dean admits.
"So, why wouldn't you just give him the ring and show him that you don't ever want him to go?"
Dean tucks the box back into his pocket. "I'll wait for the right time."
Sam laughs. "Yeah. I kept saying that. It's crap. Just go home tonight, tell him you love him, tell him you always will, and hand the damn thing over. And while you're at it, start calling him your boyfriend in public. The verbal gymnastics that you go through to avoid it are ridiculous."
Dean lets that sink in. "Did you just 'Dad voice' me?"
Sam looks a little embarrassed. "Yeah. I guess I did. I must be all grown up now."
"You seem nervous," Cas comments.
Chelsea looks up from her phone, feeling suddenly guilty. "Nervous?"
"You keep looking at your phone as though you expect terrible news."
Chelsea sighs and tucks her phone back into her pocket. She is trying to enjoy an almost nausea free night with her friend. And she'd been doing just fine so far. She and Cas had gone to the mall, gone to the movie they'd both been interested in, but that Sam and Dean didn't want to see, they are relaxing. She is relaxed. She's just… concerned as well.
"Well… maybe not terrible news, but Tanya isn't Libby. You know?"
"I think Sophie understands that there are certain things she must keep to herself," Cas replies.
Chelsea sighs. She wonders a little about Cas's confidence in Sophie's maturity.
"Well. She's four. Tanya is Tanya." Chelsea gathers up her purse and light jacket. Cas extends his arm to her. She's not that pregnant yet, she's barely showing and she can get up just fine, but the gesture is gentlemanly and sweet.
"I'm starting to really freak out about not being able to tell my family the truth, Cas," She admits. "I mean… at first it was just a couple white lies. A couple half truths… but now they've known Sam and all you guys too long. The lies just keep piling up and now we have to lie about our daughter and I'm asking her to lie. It's too much already and we've… we have two more kids incoming. Two more kids who are…" she looks around and drops her voice "Who are in the whole vessel of Lucifer bloodline. What if they've got powers too? I can't hide three psychic kids… but there is no way to make it sound true."
Cas looks at her with concern heavy eyes. He sets his hand at her elbow. "Would you like some ice cream? Sam says it calms you down when you're pregnant and upset?"
If Dean had pulled that on her she would have smacked him, but it's not condescending from Cas. He's actually just trying to help. And it's the sort of subtle nuance of understanding that you need in order to deal with Cas. It's something that she's used to. It's something the rest of her family has almost gotten used to, just because he's been around at holidays for a couple years and it's the kind of thing that makes so much more sense when you know the truth about him.
"I would like some ice cream."
"Come on," Cas says.
Chelsea tucks her hand into the crook of his elbow and they leave the theater. "I think telling them will be easier than you think."
"And why is that?"
"Because none of us are convincing as normal people," Cas says matter of factly. "And your family doesn't really believe the lies we've been telling them."
"Chelsea, I don't have any human experiences before the age of thirty three. I've been getting away with it because of the stupid cult lie, which I also don't have any detailed information for. I know your mother doesn't believe me."
"I heard her telling your father that she thinks Dean and I met in prison. She thinks we were both incarcerated very young and we're lying about the Iraq war because you asked us too and that's the reason that Dean and Sam were estranged for a time."
"Really? And my Dad believes that too?"
"I didn't know what the VA was. I am a terrible liar."
"Awesome…. That is… awesome," Chelsea manages, realizing that it does make sense. It's a decent guess. "Well, the truth is better than came-of-age in jail, but still, how are we supposed to convince them that a bunch of impossible crap is true?"
Cas gives her a serious look before answering.
"How do you kill a vampire?"
"Dead man's blood."
"Salt and Iron. Burn the bones."
"Identify a Demon?"
"What regiment did Sam serve with in Afghanistan?"
Chelsea could feel the way her mind went blank as Cas's point loomed. "Oh."
"Still. It's going to be an uphill battle," Chelsea sighed.
"When isn't it?" Cas replies.
Cas springs for ice cream for the two of them and they wander outside and find a bench out in the fresh air and near quiet.
"I'm glad we did this," Chelsea says. "The two of us haven't just hung out in forever."
Cas nods, then stills. "Chelsea?"
"Do you think Dean wants to be married?"
Chelsea processes that for a second, making sure she understands what he actually said and not just the words he used.
"I think he wants to be with you," she replies, watching Cas out of the corner of her eye.
"No. I know that. I just… I know Dean wants something… permanent. I feel like I can't give it to him."
Cas shuffles, digs into a pocket and hands her a ring box. She pops it open.
"He used to wear a ring a little bit like that," Cas says. "Heavy and gray. It's just a gesture. We wouldn't be tied. There's more legal significance to the fact that the house is in both our names. I can't… sometimes I feel like he gave up so much of the normal life that he envisioned. For me. I want… I think this might work as a way to show him that I can be… permanent."
Chelsea tries the ring on. It absolutely dwarfs her finger and she wonders if Cas thought to have it measured.
"I think he'd love that, Cas," She pulls off the ring and hands it back to him. "And to hell with legal. I don't think legal means much to Dean."
"Back during the Renaissance a marriage was considered official with just a friar and a witness," Cas says, playing with the ring, watching it as he talks. "A friar doesn't mean much to either of us, I guess."
"I think having actually been and Angle makes you a decent stand in."
Cas clears his throat, puts the ring back in the box and slips the box back into his pocket. "Now you need to tell your family that I was an Angel."
"And that Sam was a Hunter. And what a Hunter is."
"Not to mention the apocalypse and your psychic daughter."
Chelsea groans and drops her head down to Cas's shoulder. They talk about ways of bringing it up, ways of telling her family the truth. Nothing inspired springs to mind and they give up before their ice cream is finished, instead talking about Cas's new job.
Tanya is watching TV quietly when Chelsea and Cas get back. Sophie is asleep upstairs and Chelsea and Cas both go upstairs to kiss her goodnight.
They hear Sam and Dean coming in the front door. They're not loud but it's just enough commotion to wake Sophie. Chelsea carries her downstairs to say goodnight. She manages to stay awake for another ten minutes before falling asleep in Dean's arms.
Chelsea knows that Sam thinks Tanya still doesn't like him. She has been writing this off because Tanya doesn't really like anyone, but Cas's "Previously Cell-Mates" revelation has her wondering. She's watching the way Tanya talks to all of them and realizing that Tanya does watch Cas and Dean a little too hard with Sophie. The way that Sophie puddles in Dean's arms and tucks her face into his neck as she starts to fall asleep. The way Dean kisses her hair when she sighs.
It's not as though the truth would change that, Chelsea thinks as she and Sam brush their teeth before bed. If anything, the truth makes them all seem more dangerous and even getting them to where they are in her family- accepted, celebrated, trusted with the kids, has been a struggle.
"You alright?" He asks her, jolting her out of her thoughts.
"Mmm? Yeah. Sorry. Just… thinking." She rinses and spits.
"Clearly." He rinses and spits. "You have a nice girls night out with Cas?"
"You know Dean hates it when you call it that," Chelsea chides.
Sam shrugs. "So get this- Dean bought Cas a ring. Like a month ago. Just carries it around."
"You're kidding. Cas bought Dean a ring too."
Sam scoffs. "Those two are ridiculous. Dean… I mean I get it. He's always going to… have those scars and no matter how long or how much Cas fixes him, he's never going to be Normal Joe, but damn… just put a ring on it man. And when Cas proposes to him it's going to be really ridiculous. And Dean's going to get all awkward about feeling like a girl."
Chelsea laughs at Sam's indignation. "Really? You think Cas'll pull the trigger first?"
"I think Dean will hold onto that ring until he confuses it for the box he keeps his dentures in, and that when Cas finally sees it he'll say yes. I think the only thing that can prevent this is the weird-ass proposal that Cas will come up with before that happens."
Chelsea adjusts her pajamas bottoms, loving the way Sam watches her do it, and sets his hands to her stomach as she does it.
"I think Dean'll propose first," she opines. "I think Cas'll do one of those things that makes Dean smile like all the weight on his shoulders is lifting and the question will just pop right out of him."
Sam smiles warmly at her. "That was poetic. You think that up ahead of time."
Chelsea takes his forearms in her hands. "I feel like you look at me like that sometimes."
Sam leans down to kiss her. "I do."
"But… umm…" Chelsea pulls teasingly out of the kiss. "Back to the Cas Dean question… fifty bucks?"
Sam snorts. "Fifty bucks Cas proposes first. And when I win, I'll take you out to dinner."
Chelsea rolls her eyes, but shakes his hand and then tip-toes back up into the kiss.