Pairing: Dean/Cas Length: 2.5k Tags: Fluff, Mild Angst, Pining, First Kiss, Canon Divergent Read on AO3
A special thank you to @braezenkitty for being my awesome beta <3
“You just gotta get laid,” Dean said, reseating the burger beside the pile of fries on his plate, this time with a big bite missing. “Or a decent kiss, at least.”
He crumbled a napkin between greasy fingers, tossed it to the middle of the table. Shoved his shirtsleeves up one more time as he tucked his black fed tie under the table ledge and away from the plate. “It’d loosen you up, buddy. And maybe you’d quit tryna live vicariously through horny eighteen-year-olds.”
This was because of the door-to-door canvas. The couple at the park who’d been all over each other, that Castiel hadn’t been able to stop looking at—even after the old, blue-haired lady at 512 Bakersfield Court had made a comment. “Your partner likes to stare…” like she’d never in her seventy-five years of life seen someone curious about such a thing.
“If only that was the first time I heard it, too,” Dean’d smiled back from her stoop, the sharp sun cooking them both in the stuffy Tennessee heat. A marked jab to Cas’ ribs, and a walk to the nearest pub later, and Dean was bringing it up again, because, of course he was. Why talk about the case?
“I only glanced at the couple in the park,” Cas sighed. “It’s not a recurring issue. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Dean laughed, lipped his beer bottle, and took a stout drink. “Sure,” he said. “Glanced at them. Glanced at those girls holding hands last week—though, I’ll give ya that one. I gave ‘em a couple once-overs too.”
“Point is, it ain’t the first time, and you’re a damn liar.”
Cas rolled his eyes. “My being, or not being with people has nothing to do with anything—”
“Has everything to do with everything when you’re touch-starved.”
“I’m not starved. I’ve been… touched.”
Dean scoffed, swirled his beer bottle. “Sure, if you wanna count Reaper-Fools-Day.”
“I’ve kissed more people than April,” Cas bristled back. “How about we talk about what you know of touch starved instead?”
Dean snapped shut, cocked his head as a follow-up comment seemed to slip from his mouth quick. He replaced the words with a couple fries and averted eyes. “Fine,” he relented around the bite. “And?”
He looked back up, eyebrows jumping. “Were they any good?”
“Who? The people?”
“The kissing, idiot. Was the kissing any good?”
Cas’ heart flopped. He slipped a hand down his beer bottle, and then back up again nervously. The motion pulled Dean’s attention in a glance, so Cas tucked the rogue thing back onto his lap instead. Fingers lacing together under the shelter of the slick waxed top where no one could see. “I don’t know. Yes?” he offered carefully.
“Are you tellin’ me, or askin’ me right now?”
“No—I mean… ” Cas cleared his throat, shifted in his chair, and listened to the wood slats groan. “They were fine. They were… wet.”
“Wet?” Dean repeated. “Cas, wet is how you describe a swimming pool… Oregon in the winter, maybe… Not a kiss. Never a good kiss.”
“Then how should I describe it?”
“No, I mean… if they were wet, then they were wet—”
“No, please. You tell me.”
Dean’s face suddenly fell wide in mock innocence. “What? You want me to describe a good kiss to you right now? In the middle of a restaurant.”
“If wet is insufficient—”
“Oh, yeah. It’s like, miles of not-sufficient-ness, dude.”
Cas chewed a smile down and gestured Dean’s way. Crossed his arms, and sat back. He watched Dean waffle before finally sliding back in his chair to think. He splayed wide, elbows up on the armrests and knees hugging the corners. His face caught the dim overhead lights, and the sun-kissed healthy pink of his skin shone back like warm earth.
He had white in the creases beside his eyes where his smile lines had shaded him from the harsh afternoon sun. A little cut of tan at the bridge of his nose where his sunglasses sat after he’d gotten sick of squinting through the reflections of every bright midday door.
“Okay, it’s like this,” he said finally, tapping an erratic finger on the neck of his bottle, and pausing to worry his lip. “A kiss is a kiss is a kiss, til it ain’t. If you’re with the right person, then the tension between you’s gonna be thick enough to cut. It’s gonna feel like you’ve got a firecracker in your gut, and that other person’s just flicking the Bic. The minute the two of you kiss, the fuse lights. That bastard explosive rips up through your chest, and pops behind your eyes, and I’m talking—screw seeing colorsat that point—you’ll be so wrecked, you’ll know what they sound like.”
Castiel smiled as Dean came back in with a languid look, and a tongue tip between his teeth. He peeled forward, hovering over the table, so much closer than before, that there was only the dragging smell of his burger all tangled up in his woody cologne for Cas to breathe.
“That’s a good kiss,” he said slowly, and maybe it was Castiel’s imagination, but the sun kiss on Dean’s cheeks had spread to his ears now. “Sounds good, don’t it?”
“It sounds very good,” Castiel agreed. “Very surreal.”
Dean let a long, animated sigh into the room and it mixed happy with the gentle murmur of the busy forks and glasses around them. “Oh, it’s very real,” he said. “Just not very common.”
He poked absently at the pile of cooling fries, and sucked the salt from the end of his finger. The gorgeous smacking sound it made curled red ribbons in Cas’ stomach. “Still, you find someone who’ll give you that, and it’s the kinda thing that’ll right some wrongs. Know what I mean?”
Cas took a long drink, smile falling as the carbonation from his beer prickled reality back into his tongue. “Sure,” he said quietly. “I’ll have to take your word for it.”
Dean’s mouth thinned, and his eyes ping-ponged away uneasy. He tailed and tacked down the waitress, kept locked on her as she floated behind the counter poking something into the mounted LED screen beside the register. “Doesn’t that rub you, though?” he asked, “not knowing for yourself. Don’t you… want that with somebody?”
Cas puffed surprised, and his mouth went dry. Try as he might, the beer wouldn’t wet it. “I mean, yes…” he said earnestly, and the admission ate holes in his stomach.
“Then… how come you ignore all the waitresses I send your way? You’re never gonna get it if you don’t even try.”
Cas was suddenly, and shamefully aware of his attention at Dean’s lips, and when Dean snagged a glance at him, Cas tore his eyes away, shoved them onto the table instead. Focused everything he had on the bleed of condensation below the cool, brown bottle to his left.
“Those people wouldn’t change anything,” he said to the ring. “Colors were never meant to make sounds for some.”
Dean fidgeted the fries again, finally pushed them aside, and brushed the salt off his hand this time instead of eating it. “I guess we better head out,” he said, flagging the waitress. “Sam’s waiting.”
They paid, and headed back out into the melty summer heat. It was sunset, but the air was still laying in the city thick as a wool blanket. Shadows stretched through the streets like plastic-capped Halloween fingers, crowding up in the alleyways and turns, painting the dingy brick walls black.
Cas flared his coat to check his back pocket for his wallet as they passed a couple people with hungry eyes, but just as quickly remembered that he’d dropped his last twenty for the meal, and let the impulse to feed them drift out. Still, he welcomed the brief breeze it gave him, and he wondered if maybe it was getting time to rethink the coat. Grace or not, he seemed to be touchier to the temperatures these days, and it was starting to seem like wardrobe was becoming more important—practically speaking.
Dean shed his own suit coat as if he’d just read Castiel’s mind, and slung it over his shoulder with a hooked finger. His shirtsleeves were still shoved up to his elbows under the blazer, as if he’d put it on after dinner, distracted. “Nothing fancy,” he murmured to his feet.
“Hmm—?” He looked over quick, eyes wide, before blinking them back down. “What?”
“I just didn’t catch what you said.”
Dean shook his head. “I didn’t—” But when Cas frowned, opened his mouth to contest, Dean relented. “Oh, you mean the, uh, thing I said out loud…” He cleared his throat, added “apparently” under his breath, and slowed down for some oncoming foot traffic.
“I was just thinking about the, uh, Nichols’ story,” he said, temporarily falling in line behind Cas as a group of people passed. He touched the small of Cas’ back out of nowhere, and kept his hand there. Cas’ chest snagged. “The alibi Brent was peddling didn’t feel right.” His voice was soft in Cas’ ear, almost breathy—but brief, and when he pulled up beside Cas again, sidewalk clear, Cas grabbed a shaky glance, but Dean wasn’t watching.
“You, uh, think they have something to do with the black magic we’re seeing?” Cas asked, and his voice managed to pour out level, despite his stomach coming off that quick rollercoaster dip.
“I mean, the house was a little much for a twenty-hour a week gas-slinging gig at the local area Gas n’ Sip, don’t you think?”
It was the most they’d talked about the case all day.
“Fancy,” Cas reiterated, then, “I certainly never would’ve been able to afford that place when I worked there.” For some reason, the comment pulled Dean tight at the joints. “But I couldn’t even afford hourly motels.”
“Well… the hourlies charge more.”
Cas frowned again, started to ask why when Dean squirmed past it. “But, you’re right,” he said. “Doesn’t add up no matter how you flip the numbers.”
“So, do you suspect they’re the source of the black magic, or victims of it?”
They hopped down the curb, checking the way for traffic, and ended up on the grassy side of Spring Street, just down from their motel. Dean popped a piece of gum in his mouth, balled the wrapper, and stuck it back in his pocket instead of tossing it away.
“I suspect there’s something screwy going on,” he said, “and that’s as far as I’ve got.”
He plucked the gum from his mouth a moment later, and flicked it to the bushes, ran a hand down his face. “Sam’s doing backgrounds as we speak. Here’s hoping there’s a smoking gun in there somewhere. But, ‘til we get that, we’re pulling straws.”
The streetlamps kicked on, buzzing like fireflies in the thick night, the light falling on the street in goldweave strings as they hustled past a defunct sporting goods store—hollow bones brick and mortar now. No one missing what used to be inside.
Dean scanned the streets, watched another few strings of dusk foot traffic pass on the left while he chewed his cheeks.
“Did Sam find anything at the morgue?” Cas pressed, because the silence seemed oddly unnerving.
“No—I mean, uh, I don’t know. Haven’t talked to him.”
“I thought we were meeting him.”
Dean’s attention caught up in a little alcove at the end of the street and he gripped his jacket tighter, tucked his chin and let a heavy breath out. “We are,” he said quietly.
“Not at the morgue?”
“Um, no, he’s at the motel,” Dean said, and he sounded nervous. “Waiting to take us.”
“Maybe we’ll get lucky and we’ll find a hex bag, or—”
Dean suddenly shoved Cas’ sideways, off the street and into the alcove, shadows tangling up in the corners of it, all those long witch fingers bleeding to flat black. Castiel grunted, surprised. “What’re you—” and his throat went dry as Dean pushed him into the stuccoed brick backside of a closed Chinese restaurant, hands curling up on both sides of Cas’ jaw, but fingers combing a soft arc “—doing?”
“Nothin’, if you don’t want me to,” Dean whispered, conviction skippy at best. His body was hot against Cas. Heavy and hard. Nothing like April’s… Meg’s… Hannah’s…
The question—and it was a question—coiled in Cas’ belly like a fever dream, but an answer never had a chance of bubbling back out. Because a response would’ve been moot before it ever left his lips. Castiel’s pause was too long to be a no, and his fingers had already found their way to Dean’s waist. They were making note of the way his blue button down clung to his sides, like the tee underneath had been soaking in all that sudden, nervous heat since before they’d ever even left the bar.
And so, Dean brushed their lips together, not a hesitation so much as dipping a toe, and a rush of butterflies went right to Cas’ head without mercy. Cas whimpered without meaning to, and Dean landed the meat of the kiss, hands falling down Cas’ neck and dragging that unruly sensation through. His lips were soft and his cheeks, five o’clock gritty. He worked Cas’ mouth open with a roll of his jaw, and a flirty burst of mint graced Cas with the pass of Dean’s tongue.
Castiel melted into it, fingers curling around the back of Dean’s head as he tried desperately to get a handhold on something. Their hips rolled together. Cas stole himself a handful of Dean’s ass. Felt Dean hard against him as he moved against Cas’ thigh.
Dean’s breath went rocky, like he was fighting some kind of tightrope walk of heavy and thin, and the sound he made was dirty enough to sin. Castiel nosed him, combed fingers through his hair as Dean pulled back. His eyes fell hot on Cas’ mouth. The shadows ate the flush from his face, but not the burning heat of it.
“Now tell me again,” he whispered, voice licking at Cas ear and coming out like gravy. “Tell me again what a kiss feels like.”
Castiel huffed, tried to catch his running brain. He couldn’t help himself, hands still at Dean’s waist, he held him there. The both of them were hard, and neither of them were in a hurry to do anything about it. “I would say… green makes a helluva sound,” he whispered back.
He watched a wicked smile crawl through Dean’s face. “There it is,” Dean hummed, dragging a chill with his thumb from the skin he’d bared at Cas’ side, and chasing it to Cas’ neck with a soft breath, a kiss. “An’ I’m just getting started too.”
Then, he pulled away, the absence of his sticky heat leaving Cas bare. The gravel chewed under Dean’s heels as he headed for the street, pausing only to stoop for the jacket he’d shed at some point on the way. He shook it off, straightened his tie. “Let’s go! We’re late!”
Castiel swallowed, hand to his stomach, and peeled himself from the brick.