June 16, 2015
Charlie pushes the back door open. The sound of kids’ voices screaming with laughter follows her in, and shuts off when she kicks the door closed. She’s muttering to herself - two lemonades, two milks, one water - as she moves into the kitchen. Preoccupied with the beverage order, she doesn’t notice she’s not alone in the room until she practically stumbles over Cas.
He’s sitting at the table sort of leaned over with his head on one hand, eyes half closed. He looks like he’s about to take a nap.
“Hey dude, you okay? I almost stepped on you!” Charlie takes a step toward the table and leans down a little. “Cas?”
Cas sighs out a breath and peers blearily up at her. “Hello, Charlie. Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. What did you say?” He blinks slowly, as though his eyelids are almost too heavy to lift.
Charlie frowns. “Just saying hello. Hey, are you okay? You look a little whumped.”
“I - I think so.” Cas manages to push himself to an upright position. “I’m just feeling really tired. I didn’t sleep well last night.”
Charlie’s still frowning down at him. “Come to think of it, buster, you didn’t eat much breakfast. Maybe you’re just hungry? I’m about to rustle up some grub for the young-uns, I could fix you something. What sounds good? I think there’s some of that many-bean soup Dean made.”
Cas shakes his head, making a face. “N-no, I’m not really hungry. Thanks.”
“How can you not be hungry? Here, let me…” Charlie moves closer and rests her palm on Cas’ forehead. “You’re a little warm there, Captain Solo. Looks like you might be coming down with something. I’m gonna bring you some water, okay?” She hurries off to the sink and fills a glass, then brings it back and sets it down beside Cas.
“C’mon, drink some of that. I gotta get some food to these restless beasts, but I’ll come back to check on you, okay?”
With an effort, Cas gulps a little water and nods without speaking. Charlie stands watching him for another moment, and then moves around the kitchen gathering up sandwich ingredients, carrots sticks, cookies and the requested drinks. She balances everything on a huge tray, gives Cas one more worried glance and heads out the door.
By the time she gets back, exchanging the tray and dirty dishes for bubble-blowing supplies, Cas has left the kitchen. The water glass sits on the table, still half-full.
When Dean comes through the back door, much later, he can hear distant sounds of bath taking: giggling, splashing, Charlie’s voice, come on, you guys! work with me here! He grins as he hangs up his keys and jacket. The kitchen is clean and quiet, just a small light on over the stove. He wanders through the downstairs part of the house, peeking into rooms and wondering where Cas is.