Dean’s sitting on the porch, head back as he soaks in the rays of sunlight filtering in between the peeling-paint covered bottom and the wooden cover. He rocks back in his chair, sighing as his knuckles crack and pop, the joints of his wrists aching dully.

The wind whistles through the front yard, rustling the leaves of the blossoming pear tree at the curb of the property, a gentle breeze washing over him. It’s peaceful, content, a softness he’s slowly been growing accustomed to, despite never having had it growing up.

There’s the sound of a door creaking open, and Dean lifts his head, opening his eyes to see a hand tug on the handle and close the front door again. Dean smiles.

“Heya, Cas,” he says.

Castiel’s eyes shine under the bright sun as his lips quirk up. The crow’s feet around his eyes crinkle and the laughter lines by his mouth are more prominent than ever, and Dean just wants to lean forward and kiss them.

“Hello, Dean.” Castiel steps forward, tucking his phone into the pocket of his his pants. He leans forward, propping his elbows on his knees. “I just spoke with Sam.”

“Yeah? How’s he been?”

“Good.” Castiel smiles. “He said they might try to join us for the Fourth of July. Mary doesn’t leave for school until mid-August, so she’ll probably come down, too.”

Dean nods, leaning forward a little, toward Castiel. “Awesome. She’s a good kid. Going to Stanford, just like her dad,” he adds, indisputable pride in his voice.

Castiel hums his agreement, the sound intertwining with the gentle sighing of the wind. He leans over, and Dean leans up; and their lips meet in a soft, chaste kiss.

When they pull away, Dean takes Castiel’s hands in his own, running his wrinkled fingers over the weathered skin, tracing the silver ring around Castiel’s fourth finger.

“I love you,” he states aloud, with no hint of uncertainty. He’s long since forgotten his hesitancy to say the words, but their meaning has been nowhere near diminished.

“As I love you,” Castiel murmurs back.

Dean nods, and clasps their hands together. “We’ve built a good life, Cas,” he says softly, looking over fondly at the love of his life, the gently rolling hills and deep blue sky a backdrop to his words.

“Yes, Dean,” Castiel agrees, and pulls Dean into another gentle kiss. “We have.”