I went out to dinner tonight, so here’s a 1.2k established relationship Dean/Cas awkward date fluff ficlet. No spoilers.
Dean takes Cas out for dinner at the swankiest place in Lebanon.
It’s Sam’s fault. Bitch made the reservation and shoved a scrap of paper in Dean’s hand with the date and time, muttered, “No arguing.” Dean spits curses as he irons his suit, shines his shoes, selects the least offensive tie, picks a damn wildflower that he tucks into Cas’s lapel before they get in the car.
The restaurant is nice. It’s got white tablecloths and servers that speak in hushed tones and individual corded lamps at each table and frigging ice buckets. Cas is sipping a glass of white wine and trying to look excited about it, bottle chilling at his elbow.
Dean’s so nervous his palms sweat as he orders whiskey in addition to wine; his heart does a weird, fluttering thing in his chest. He fumbles the menu, drools water onto his dress pants. Cas looks like he just stepped off a GQ cover, as relaxed in a suit and tie as he is in a sweatshirt—dude did spend literally years in a monkey suit. He orders a steak and side salad. Dean stares at the menu’s tiny lettering. It might as well be written in Enochian—he can’t focus—and mumbles “Same” when the waitress clears her throat and lifts an eyebrow to prompt him.
They don’t talk. Dean’s tie is strangling him; his suit itches. Tinny speakers pump stale elevator music. They should’ve ordered pizza or gone out for burgers instead. Cas pokes through the bread basket, selects a dark roll, and layers it with butter. His cheeks puff out like a chipmunk’s as he eats, and Dean’s got to bite his to compose himself. He shoves bread in his mouth despite his twisting stomach.
It’s a blessing that the salads come out quickly—Dean stuffs his mouth with roughage so he can’t be expected to talk; Sammy’d be proud—but there’s an uncomfortable break while they wait for the main course. Dean wastes it stirring watered-down whiskey with his pinkie and staring out the window.
“Dean?” Cas says, finally, confused. Of course he’s confused. Dean’s acting like a jackass, but—
“Would you like freshly ground pepper on your steak, sir?” their server asks, bless her timing. Dean’s tipping her twenty percent.
“Uh, sure,” he mutters and spends too much time spreading the napkin on his lap, smoothing the creases.
“Dean,” Cas says again, meaningfully, several minutes later when both of them are wielding steak knives. Dean’s going to town on a hunk of meat and catches Cas’s eyes over the sea of glassware and silverware and plates that serve no obvious purpose.
“Huh?” he asks.
“Is something wrong?”
Looking at Cas was a mistake. This whole evening was a freaking mistake. Dean wants nothing more than to hightail it out of here, but he can’t just get up from the table and abandon Cas in the middle of the restaurant, no matter how out of place he feels. Sammy’d kill him for being such a dick. He survived forty years in Hell; he can give this another half hour, so he fits his teeth together, sips his water politely, and swallows.
“No,” he lies, flashing a full-wattage grin. “Why?”
“You seem nervous,” Cas says plainly. “Is it because we’re out in public?”
It’s true they don’t go out much, but not because Dean is ashamed. He’s not. He’d beat the shit outta anyone who looked at them funny. It’s just—he’s never been in this position before. Lisa was the closest he ever got, and they didn’t get this close, not this close. Dean’s fidgeting in his seat and wondering how the hell he’s supposed to do this, what he should say.
“We can go,” Cas continues, quieter, focusing on his plate.
“No, it’s…it’s fine,” Dean insists, setting down his fork and folding his hands together. He rests them on the edge of the table. “This is fine, I just—”
“You’re uncomfortable,” Cas finishes. “We can get the rest to go.” He raises his hand to signal the server.
“Cas, I said it’s fine,” Dean repeats, which makes Cas glower at him.
"Well, you aren’t acting like it,” he says.
“I got a lot on my mind,” Dean answers lamely and pinches the bridge of his nose to stave off the headache creeping up his temples.
“You can think about it at home,” Cas says and raises his hand higher.
“Put your arm down,” Dean snaps, then immediately softens. “Please. Finish your dinner.”
Cas frowns but drops his arm, lets out a long breath. ”Tell me why you’re acting like this,” he demands.
“Christ,” Dean mutters, covering his face with both hands. There’s no point putting this off any longer. This plan of Sammy’s was a disaster from its inception. “I’m trying to figure out how to propose to you, you jackass.”
“Oh,” Cas says calmly, like Dean just commented on the weather.
“What do you mean, oh?” Dean asks, irritated. Did Cas hear him right? Dean slides his hands down until they support the lower half of his face, and he’s peering at Cas over his fingertips. He’s chewing his steak.
"I’m sorry,” Cas says once he’s swallowed. “Thank you for clarifying why you’re acting strangely.”
“That’s—that’s seriously all you have to say?”
"I believe the human custom is to genuflect when you ask,” Cas continues. He dabs his mouth with a napkin and sets it down, straightens in his chair. Dean realizes he’s waiting.
“I’m not kneeling in the middle of a frigging restaurant,” he says as the blush creeps up his neck. Is it hot in here? It feels hot in here.
“No?” Cas says. “Alright.”
He pushes his chair back loudly, stands, and comes around to Dean’s side of the table.
“Cas—” Dean protests, but Cas has already dropped to one knee.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. Dean just needs a little more time to work up the nerve, but Cas regards him expectantly from his position on the floor.
All around them, heads have turned to watch. Servers peek out from the kitchen; conversation has fallen to a whisper. The sudden hush is unsettling—someone even paused the horrible music. At least thirty pairs of eyes are looking at them, but Dean can only stare at Cas and swallow hard.
Cas takes his hand. It’s shaking, belying his confident expression. Oh, god, they’re actually doing this. This is actually happening. He’s gonna kill Sammy.
“Dean Winchester,” Cas begins, but Dean cuts him off.
“Yes,” he answers quickly, before his heart can beat out of his chest.
“I didn’t ask anything yet,” Cas reminds him.
“I know,” Dean says. His cheeks are flaming. “Just, I’m sayin’ yes, okay? So, get back in your seat.”
But Cas just grins at him slyly and reaches in his coat pocket. Son of a bitch. This was a setup.
“God, I hate you guys,” Dean mutters, but he’s got to fight the smile and the stupid bubbly feeling in his chest when Cas produces a damn ring box, pops it open, and the patrons freaking applaud.
“Nice plan,” he tells Sam later, swatting him on the back of the head.
“Nice ring,” Sam compliments. “By the way, I call best man.”