Castiel stirred slowly, feeling groggy as he stretched in bed. His hands felt around for Dean, even as his eyes blinked open, and he saw that he was alone under the blankets. He wracked his brain for what may have happened, but he couldn’t remember past sitting at the table beside Dean, playing board games with Sam and Becky.
His fingers closed on a folded piece of paper, and he pulled it closer, sitting up in the bed and rubbing his eyes to read.
There was an emergency tonight. Sam and me went to help out Garth. I’ll be back soon, okay? And we’ll catch up properly then, maybe go away for a couple of days? Until I’m back, look after the girls so Sam doesn’t whine about Becky all the time, okay? And it’d be great if you could make an effort with Charlie. She likes Harry Potter, go ask her about that.
I’ll call you later.
Castiel couldn’t pretend he wasn’t disappointed. He seemed to keep missing the opportunity to wake up with Dean, and it was something that he wanted very much. But he knew from things Dean had said previously that Garth probably did need a lot of assistance. Likewise, he knew that Dean had meant every word, so there was at least the possibility of them spending a few days alone together when the hunter finally returned home.
He climbed out of bed, noting that he was in Dean’s shirt that he had borrowed the day before, and his pants. Dean must have put him to bed. He felt the smile creep across his face at that thought, of Dean being so caring. And then he headed out, towards the bathroom, hating that now he was a human, he had to listen to strange bodily urges. Like the current one that was telling him to urinate.
He bumped into Charlie by the bathroom door, as she was leaving. There was a strained tension between them as they sized each other up.
‘Sorry,’ Cas muttered.
‘Uh-huh.’ Charlie made to move away, back to the bedroom Sam and Dean had given her. Castiel turned around at the bathroom door, determined to make his boyfriend proud.
‘Um, Charlie? Dean said I should ask you about um, oh …’ what had Dean suggested? ‘Um, Perry something?’
Charlie narrowed her eyes, and shook her head slightly as she mouthed the word Perry like she couldn’t understand the meaning.
‘You mean Katy Perry? She’s okay. She’s hot.’
‘No, it was a male name. He said you liked it.’
Charlie shrugged, and Castiel felt increasingly uncomfortable. How was Dean so at ease with her? Becky walked down the hall at that point, yawning and rubbing her cheek slowly.
‘Hey. Did Dean wake you up last night?’ She asked Castiel as soon as her yawn was over. He shook his head, disappointed suddenly. Sam had clearly disturbed Becky’s night to say goodbye.
‘He left a note.’
Becky carried on nodding, then headed past Castiel into the bathroom, and closed the door behind her. It took him a moment to realise what she’d done.
‘Becky!’ He called through the door.
‘I’ll just be a minute! And you’re talking with Charlie!’
‘I’m not used to being human.’
‘What do you take me for, Dean or something? Hold it.’
Castiel sighed, and looked back at Charlie, who was suppressing a smile.
‘I taught her that. No girl wants to sit in boy pee. Anyway, I’m not into dudes, didn’t Dean spell that out for you?’
‘Maybe it was Henry?’ He made another attempt. At least they were managing to be civil. Dean would be thrilled. There was a spark of recognition in Charlie’s eye, and she smiled. A genuine smile, just for Castiel. He had to admit, it felt good to see.
‘Harry? Was it Harry Potter?’
Castiel wasn’t sure exactly what Dean had written - the note was still in their bedroom - but from Charlie’s enthusiasm, it must have been the correct one.
‘You wanna have a movie marathon? I have them downloaded. It’d pass the time until Dean gets back from wherever he went.’
‘Helping his friend Garth,’ Castiel nodded.
‘A Harry Potter marathon would be good! Do Sam and Dean have any junk food in here?’ Becky called from the bathroom. Charlie grinned at Castiel.
‘Wanna go buy some junk food? Becky’s going to be a while, she’s probably going to shower. You can pee in the store.’
Castiel had never imagined that he’d be running to a local store with Charlie to purchase food. He nodded, despite feeling almost outside of his vessel. It was an uncomfortable sensation, and one that didn’t fade as he got dressed in Dean’s clothes, followed Charlie through the bunker, and into one of the cars in the garage.
At the store, Castiel headed straight to the bathroom as Charlie grabbed a cart, and he found her again in the snack aisle, grabbing a giant packet of cheese doodles.
‘Better?’ She smiled. He nodded, and she grabbed a packet of tortilla chips. ‘Good. Anything you wanna eat? ‘Coz I’m just gonna grab a load of stuff, if there’s anything you really wanna try …’
Castiel glanced around at all the packaging surrounding them on the crowded shelves. He didn’t recognise much of it, and didn’t care to try anything either. There was only one thing he could think of that he really wanted to try, just to test a theory.
‘Where’s the pie?’
Charlie snorted with laughter, choking it down quickly when she saw the hurt expression on Castiel’s face.
‘In honour of Dean not absolutely killing me, no pie. Besides, last time he had any-‘
‘I know, I know,’ Castiel sighed. ‘It might be different now. He might eat it again.’
Charlie raised an eyebrow.
‘You got something to do with dick pie?’
Castiel felt his face heat up. Did everyone know about this dick pie fiasco?
‘Well, he might like to come home to it.’
Charlie looked at him for a moment, before folding her arms.
‘What is it with you anyway?’
Castiel didn’t understand the question, but he had the distinct feeling that Charlie was about to address their dislike for one another. It was something he wasn’t sure he really wanted out in the open, not when he’d been feeling so sorry for her the day before.
‘Well, pie was the only thing that came to mind-‘
‘What are you trying to pull with Dean?’ Charlie interrupted bluntly. Castiel’s cheeks burned.
‘Charlie, I know it’s difficult, being around couples when you’re single and feeling lonely-‘
‘Yeah, I’d rather be single and happy than with someone who fucks with my head.’ Charlie pushed the cart down the aisle, and Castiel followed her grudgingly. ‘I repeat, what’re you trying to pull with Dean? He’s my friend, and yeah he can take care of himself, but I can still be his friend and stand up for him.’
Castiel didn’t miss Charlie’s emphasis.
‘I made a mistake, Charlie. I was overeager. But Dean’s forgiven me, that should be good enough.’
Charlie grabbed a box of corn dogs, and narrowed her eyes once more.
‘Know this: I will be watching you, and judging you. And if you fuck him about again, angel boy, I will hurt you. Maybe not physically, maybe I’ll never be able to do that, but I can access any mainframe I want. I will hack your life into complete misery.’
Castiel smiled in spite of himself.
‘I get why you’re friends with Dean. You make threats just like he does.’
‘Don’t start wiping my memories over it.’
‘I won’t. Maybe I’ll just put you off pie.’
Charlie threw him another stony look, and then smirked involuntarily.
‘At least you can hold your own, I guess.’
‘I’d rather Dean held it.’
She burst out laughing, even though Castiel wasn’t quite sure what he had even meant.
‘Yeah, I already got that. Fine, we’ll get pie, but we’ll have to eat it before Dean gets back or we won’t get any.’
‘Sorry, I can’t lie to Dean about pie. I’m not lying to him anymore.’
‘Dude, stop brown-nosing me.’
Castiel understood that as a joke, and felt a little better. Maybe Charlie wasn’t so bad, even if she didn’t feel the same way about him.
The movie marathon with the girls did not go as Castiel had expected. When he and Charlie had arrived back at the bunker, Charlie had insisted they arrange all their purchases around the coffee table in the room Sam and Dean had installed a widescreen television in. Becky came in the room, forks for the pie clutched in one hand as she balanced a couple of large bowls in a stack in front of her body. As Castiel took the bowls from her, and followed instructions with all the chips, Charlie’s phone rang, and she waved her arm wildly for them to be quiet.
‘Hey! … Oh, yeah, right … you’re an ass … hello. Yes, they’re under my jurisdiction. Well, my department pulls rank. What’s your superior’s name? … Mmhmm, because I’m going to be discussing a possible demotion for you. Do you really not know protocol? No, that’s correct, he’s a trainee. Does he look like he’s fully trained? Just give them what they want and stop wasting my time.’ She hung up and grinned at Castiel and Becky. ‘I love being Sam and Dean’s fake boss.’
Castiel tried not to let it get to him, that Dean had called Charlie instead of him. There was probably a good explanation for it. The girls didn’t seem ready to let him wallow, however, as they began chattering about the food and Charlie hooked her laptop to the television. Then they were pushing Castiel down on the sofa and thrusting a bowl of popcorn on his lap, both cuddling in on either side of him and reaching into the bowl.
He tried to pay attention to the movies, which were long and often - to him - nonsensical, but the girls seemed to enjoy the stories. Castiel supposed that, for regular humans, it was unusual to see floating candles and moving ceilings. But then it made no sense to Castiel that they didn’t react more vehemently to the likes of goblins, elves and trolls. Despite that, he did enjoy the storylines, and some of the jokes, and pretended to agree when Charlie began talking about her “homegirl, Hermione.”
They lost track of time, watching movies and eating junk food, and napped where they sat, only to wake up and begin on the next series that the girls had decided on, in a conversation that had gone over Castiel’s head. They were watching the final movie in the second series when the door opened, and Dean entered the room, Sam standing in the doorway.
‘What are you watching?’ Sam sounded amused, as Dean pushed his way between Castiel and Becky, practically sitting on his boyfriend’s lap, and grabbing a large handful of cheese doodles.
‘Breaking Dawn, part two,’ Castiel said absent-mindedly, watching as the large array of vampires sat around a campfire talking. Dean groaned, and kissed Castiel’s neck in a greeting. Castiel’s reaction was merely to pluck a cheese doodle from Dean’s hand, and nibbling on it slowly, absorbed in the movie.
‘Instead of that bullshit,’ Dean’s breath was hot in Castiel’s ear as he whispered. ‘We have some catching up to do.’
‘In a minute. I have a feeling there’s going to be a huge fight with the Volturi over Renesmee.’
‘Come on, Cas, please?’ Dean nipped his ear, and Castiel fought not to react.
‘I’m invested now, Dean.’
‘They stare at each other almost as much as you two do,’ Charlie observed. Dean ignored her, pressing even closer into Castiel, dropping his voice lower.
‘If you come with me now, I’ll let you top.’
‘After I find out what happens, Dean.’
Dean groaned loudly, nuzzling into Castiel’s neck.
‘Babe, nothing happens. It’s five movies of nothing happening.’
‘Well, then be glad you missed four-and-a-half of them.’
Dean huffed, and began kissing Castiel’s neck again, as though he were hoping to distract him completely. Castiel managed to wriggled a hand up, between his lover’s mouth and his own throat.
‘Dean, no. I’m still covered in bruises. Please, it’s getting interesting. And when the movie’s over, then we can go somewhere without an audience.’
Dean’s response was to kiss his fingertips, his attention caught by the action on the screen. Castiel sat a little straighter in his seat, glad that Dean wasn’t going to talk him out of watching the ending anymore.
‘I thought you guys were going to watch the Harry Potter movies?’ Sam said as the werewolves appeared behind the Cullens. Charlie tutted loudly.
‘We got through all those. And then we moved on to Twilight. Your girlfriend’s choice. Now shut up, it’s getting interesting.’ She sat forward, clutching a cushion. Castiel reached over to take Dean’s hand, forgetting about the cheese doodles that were already there, as Dean rested his head against his boyfriend’s shoulder, groaning quietly. Castiel managed not to smile over Dean’s actions, his sudden affection, instead he scooped a few more of the chips from Dean’s grasp and ate them, his eyes glued to the screen. He barely registered Sam crossing in front of the screen to get to Becky.
Castiel became absorbed once more in the movie, following the action, even as it was revealed to all be an imagined scenario, and up until the montage started. It was then that Dean’s words registered. He’d offered to let Castiel top? Had that been an offer to stop him from watching the movie, or was it because Dean had missed him while he had been away on the hunt? He turned his neck and kissed the top of the hunter’s head, leaving his mouth pressed against Dean’s scalp, breathing in the faint scent of his shampoo.
‘I’m ready now,’ he muttered. Dean reacted quickly, moving the bowl of snacks from Castiel’s lap, and pulling him out of the room and down the hallway. And then he was pressing Castiel against a wall, his hands sliding up underneath Castiel’s - or rather, what he had borrowed from Dean - shirt as he kissed the ex-angel roughly, their teeth clicking together as he pushed his tongue into Castiel’s mouth. Castiel kissed back with a similar enthusiasm, trying to keep Dean’s frantic pace, even as Dean’s hands slid further up, pushing his arms up, and the shirt over his head.
‘We should get back to the room,’ Cas managed to gasp out.
‘You suddenly want an audience?’ Dean breathed back, pressing closer so Castiel was sandwiched between his lover and the wall.
‘I meant our room.’
Dean chuckled, his fingers still grazing Castiel’s side.
‘I know, baby, I know.’
But instead of fumbling over to their bedroom, Dean resumed the intense kisses, pushing his body harder against Castiel’s. The ex-angel could hardly breathe from the onslaught.
‘Dean,’ he gasped out in between kisses. ‘Why did you call Charlie on your hunt? Why didn’t you call me?’
‘Are you kidding me?’ Dean licked along Castiel’s lower lip. ‘Babe, I needed to stay professional, you think I could’ve, talking to you?’
Castiel skimmed his fingertips through Dean’s hair.
Dean resumed kissing him hard, fingers curling around his wrists until he was pinned against the wall. Castiel could feel himself getting harder, eager for his lover, though he knew Dean was going to take his time, to savour it.
‘Can I come on the next hunt?’
‘No. You’re going to stay safe.’
Castiel didn’t argue, though he fully planned to bring it up when they weren’t indulging in foreplay. Dean couldn’t always leave him at home to worry. He was going to change the hunter’s mind.
‘So, what you said in there, did you mean it?’
‘Mmmm,’ Dean began working down Castiel’s neck, and his eyes fluttered even as the thought of the bruises resurfaced. One time, he was going to tell Dean just how much he hated it when Dean made that sound instead of giving a definitive response.
‘Are you going to let me top?’
Dean cleared his throat loudly. Or at least, that’s what Castiel thought. But as soon as he heard the noise, Dean left his neck alone, and turned to look back the way they had come. Castiel turned his head slowly, knowing already who must have cleared their throat, and what they must have heard. Sam was folding his arms, glaring at them both.
‘Dean,’ he sounded quiet, as though he was forcing himself to remain calm.
‘Yeah, um, just about to bring it up,’ Dean was flustered in comparison to his brother. Castiel wondered if it was because of the mention of topping, right in front of Sam, but Dean didn’t move away either. Instead, he looked steadily into Castiel’s eyes, licking his own lips this time, out of habit rather than anything seductive. ‘Cas, we’re um, we’re going to go pack a bag, go away for a few days, okay? Just you and me.’
Castiel nodded, and he looked back to Sam, who was watching them both carefully.
‘You gonna go pack now, right Dean?’ Sam said pointedly. Dean rested his head against Castiel’s for a moment, before he forced himself away, already moving down the hallway. Castiel watched him go, his whole being aching for the man who was walking away from him. He took a step, intending to go after Dean, when Sam cleared his throat again. Castiel looked back, his body turned away from Sam so that the taller hunter couldn’t see the bulge in his pants. ‘Cas, a word?’
‘Sure. Any time, Sam.’ Castiel forced a smile.
‘You’re not going to tell Dean,’ Sam warned him.
‘I promised Dean no more secrets and no more lies, Sam. I have to tell him.’
Sam ran his fingers through his hair, scraping it back behind his ears.
‘Look, Dean already sort of knows, we talked about it. I just want to prepare you, because he’s still going to get mad, even though he knows it’s coming. I just don’t want him to know we talked about it, okay?’
Castiel felt torn, and Sam took advantage of his indecision.
‘I might be moving out with Becky soon, okay? This week away with him - and it is going to be a week - is a trial for that. I just want your promise that you’re not going to hurt my brother again. I want to know he’s in safe hands with you. That you’re not going to screw him over-‘
‘Sam,’ Castiel moved slowly towards his surrogate brother, looking up at him with concern. ‘I know I’ve behaved appallingly and made you believe I would hurt Dean, but please believe me when I say that was never my intention. I was misguided, but he’s helped me understand a few things now that I didn’t at the start of our relationship and now that I can see things for how they are, I know how wrong I was. Believe me, I know I haven’t even begun to make this up to him.’
Sam nodded slowly.
‘Okay. And Cas?’ He smiled weakly. ‘Enjoy your week away. Even if Dean doesn’t let you top.’
Sam walked away, as his last words sank in. Sam had definitely heard that comment, and he felt a strange sense of shame. It was as though the younger hunter was judging him, like Sam knew exactly what he had meant. Castiel hurried back to Dean’s bedroom, where his boyfriend was shoving a pile of flannel into a duffel bag.
‘So, where do you wanna go?’ Dean began piling denim into the bag as well. ‘I was thinking a beach, maybe? Head down to Mexico?’
‘I don’t think I would enjoy Mexico.’
‘Okay. Name a place, Cas.’
Castiel watched as Dean continued packing the bag, crossing the room to go into his underwear drawer, pulling out the clothes that Meg had stolen for Castiel. He noticed, but knew it was best not to comment. Dean still seemed fractious about Meg. Instead, Castiel thought about where he would most want to spend time with his boyfriend. Ideally, he’d suggest his spot in Nepal, but that was impossible now. Still, he found himself describing something very much like it.
‘Somewhere secluded, so it’s just us. Somewhere nearly untouched by humans. Somewhere …’
‘How about,’ Dean stopped packing to turn and slide his hands along Castiel’s hips. ‘A lakehouse somewhere. We’ll get a private beach, rent a place. We’ll catch fish, grill it for dinner. The works.’
Castiel smiled slowly, curling his fingers around Dean’s wrists.
‘That sounds perf … that sound great, Dean.’
Dean laughed, and Castiel was relieved that he at least wasn’t upset by the slip.
‘Good. Oh, um, hey, don’t feel too bad about Sam. He’s got a stick up his ass about something. We’ll enjoy ourselves and get back on track, and he can calm the hell down with Becky.’
Castiel nodded, accepting a kiss from Dean before the hunter picked up the duffel and hoisted over his shoulder, flashing him a grin.
‘Let’s go, babe.’