(Fix-it) written for September 18, 2017 ♥
Some nights, when they have the luxury of going to bed without an alarm, and all he can hear is the hum of the radiator plus the soft, contented noises Cas makes in his sleep, Dean lies thinking about just how they got here, about all the times that could’ve broken them.
It’s always been about eschewing convention, from the very second they laid eyes on each other. As star-crossed as any two could get: a warrior of God and a faithless man. By all accounts, they shouldn’t have worked, too much fire in both of them to truly last. Yet the fire made them brave (some would say foolish) and Cas left everything to save one man, who then tore through everything to save one angel.
And now they’re here, in a bunker in Kansas, curled up together like an old married couple, climbed into bed at ten so Cas could read while Dean caught up on emails. They still hunt occasionally, interspersed more and more with dinners at Jody’s and Cas taking Dean to the farmer’s market. Claire comes to stay with them when school’s on break, not so outnumbered now thanks to Eileen. Not that she didn’t have them wrapped around her finger before.
It used to scare Dean how easy it was, that first night when he asked Cas to stay and Cas fit in like he’d always belonged. Waking up together and laughing at Cas when he burned a panful of eggs to a crisp. Laughing that soon melted into kissing, which prompted Sam to plead, “Leave room for Jesus.”
They hold hands when they’re at a diner sharing pancakes and waffles at 1am, because Dean’s become the sort of guy who tugs his boyfriend closer just to see him smile. They could go out for burgers but he cooks them instead, ever since Cas told him that his are best, and Dean thinks he’s reached the pinnacle of being ‘whipped’ when he’s happy to let Cas take charge at IKEA.
Some nights, Dean wonders, with all they’ve been through, if he should be more generous with saying ‘I love you.’ He’s never felt about anyone how he feels about Cas, and sometimes those three words aren’t enough to express it. The sentiment is there in all they do, from the coffee he pours for Cas to the kisses he presses to his hair. The photographs that Cas tacks onto their wall, scenery shots and ‘selfies’ they’ve taken on the road. In the way Cas smiles at him with fondness tucked into the curve of his pretty mouth. That sappy exasperation hasn’t changed, like Castiel can’t help but be in love with him.
But when he sees Sam and Eileen signing to each other, ‘I love you’s over breakfast and folding laundry, and he catches how Eileen beams at Sam every time, Dean thinks maybe there’s something to it that can’t be conveyed by action alone. He thinks of all the missed chances, the bitten back words, the time they wasted in the past nine years. They’ve come so far and overcome so much. There’s nothing to keep him from telling Cas the truth.
So, tonight, he turns to Cas, pulse ringing loudly in his ears as he touches his palm to Castiel’s cheek. Cas blinks sleepily but smiles back, filling Dean’s world with a palette of blue. “Dean?” he mumbles softly, leaning gently into Dean’s hand, and the inner fire that Dean remembers ignites in his chest, steady and warm.
He has no need to glance at the clock. It ticked past midnight minutes ago.
“Happy Anniversary, Cas,” he says. A flutter of his heart and then, “I love you.”