Dean is stretched out on the sofa. He is asleep. His mouth is open. He’s tired; he’s not trying to sleep pretty.
It’s an ordinary scene. There’s a cup of something tepid balancing on Dean’s stomach, held by a loosening hand.
Castiel, who is sitting on an armchair with a book in his hands, sees it like this:
Glancing over the top of the pages of the book, he realises Dean is asleep (Dean trusts Castiel enough to sleep in his presence; that was not always the case, and it is important).
Castiel loses himself in thought for a moment, and comes back to himself to find his eyes resting on Dean’s face. Dean’s lips look soft. His hair is not as neat as it normally is (it makes him look younger - or maybe that is because of the smoothness of his brow, without a frown).
Dean’s breathing is heavy and slow. When Castiel shifts slightly, he doesn’t stir. (He sleeps deeply, as though he knows he is safe.)
The top of Castiel’s page reads, Who cares? I don’t know! I’ve got a melody, boy, for violin, it’s a gift, and it won’t let me sleep, so I need you to take it down, now… and Castiel thinks he understands. He knows the feeling of something wordless burning in his blood.
(It is love.)
He stands, and sets his book down like a soft-paper tent over the arm of his chair, and walks over to Dean. Castiel’s hand, warm, curls into a loose clench when he stands closer. For a moment, he longs to touch…
He retrieves the cup, and sets it down on the floor.
He wanders to his own room, pulls a blanket off the bed, and takes it wrapped over his arms to lay over Dean, to warm him.
For a moment, when Castiel looks down at Dean sleeping and covered, Castiel sees him as he would a stranger - sees only a man sleeping -
And then something rises in him, rises inevitable as the sun; something that makes Dean familiar. Something that turns sleep into an act of trust. Something that makes Dean’s face worth watching, and watching, and watching… something that burns in Castiel’s blood.