This is just fluff!!! Inspired by 13.06.
The first time Castiel nudged Dean awake in a motel in Boise, he quickly found himself staring down the barrel of a gun with the silhouette of Dean’s ridiculous bedhead behind it. “Dean?” he raised both hands, mostly out of imitation since bullets meant nothing. He watched as Dean stared back and blinked the sleep from his eyes before groaning, “Shit. Sorry, Cas” and lowered his gun.
He’d already known that Dean had lightning-fast instincts, instincts he’d honed since he was a child and had to protect Sam all by himself. Later that morning, after his coffee, Dean looked a little sheepish and pink around the edges. Cas could only assure him that it was okay, filling Dean’s mug and kissing his cheek.
Cas eventually learned that Dean didn’t startle when they woke together, their limbs loosely tangled. That Dean just snuffled and pulled him closer, muttering, “Five more minutes” while Cas softly laughed. “Who’s making me coffee?” he always asked, already on his way to the kitchenette. It was rhetorical and Cas would merely huff, taking in his fill of Dean in his boxers.
Dean slept especially well when they turned in early to watch a movie, propped against the pillows. Dean used to talk a big game about drinking at bars - and Castiel knew that had once been his life - but these days, with their base at the bunker, Dean preferred to stay in unless they were on the road. He liked to rest his cheek on Cas’ shoulder, gesturing excitedly at the screen. He knew his trivia cold when it came to westerns and made Cas watch his favorites whenever he could. He didn’t mind persuading Cas with smiles and kisses, and Cas certainly didn’t mind being persuaded. Though that never stopped him from occasionally sighing and grumbling at the guns and tuberculosis.
He remembered passing through a town with a touristy gift shop, their route more leisurely after a hunt. He saw Dean linger at a rack of hats and asked Sam to distract him while he purchased two. The sound Dean made when Cas wore one that night was a memory he logged away with incredible smugness. It was worth Sam glaring at them the next morning, made worse by Dean’s innuendos about riding cowboys. Cas knew better than to step into the middle of it, but kept his hand on Dean’s knee underneath their table.
He knew what it meant to indulge Dean like this, to be so well-acquainted with someone and allow his entire world to revolve around him. He knew what Dean was like in the morning, at night, in between, and could sometimes predict the words he’d say before he said them. They would bicker and kiss and let their spaces overlap and Cas was all too happy to keep it that way.
So, now, when Jack turns to him and says, “He… really likes cowboys,” he just replies, “Yes, he does” while they both watch Dean examine the hotel room like a kid in the candy store. He wears the cowboy hat Dean hands him later and calls it “absurd” though he goes along with it, because if this is something that’ll make Dean smile, then that’s what truly matters. It’s been that way for years.
At one point, back at the hotel, Dean still in his getup - bolo tie and all - Cas is crowded gently against the wooden paneling with an armful of cowboy and playful green eyes. “Hey, there, handsome,” Dean quirks his lips, and Cas fights the laughter bubbling from his chest. “I’m a hunter and it’s ‘you’ season.”
Castiel laughs for real then. “Then catch me, cowboy.”