Just Like Heaven
A sharp rap of knuckles on his bedroom door stirs Castiel from his thoughts. He blinks slowly at his reflection in the mirror and slowly turns off the running water. Another year older, he thinks grimly, might as well accept it.
“Coming.” He calls to whoever is behind the door. He wipes his face on the fresh towel and makes sure all the shaving cream is gone before he steps out of the bathroom.
Before opening the door he gathers himself and takes a deep, calming breath. All of the attention of birthdays always makes him nervous. Coupled with surprises, which Dean has a penchant for, Cas’ stomach is a knotted wreck. He exhales through his nose. He’s okay.
He closes his eyes as he opens the door, steeling himself for the crowd of people Dean has likely gathered on the other side. But as the door swings open with a quiet squeak there’s nothing. Cas opens his eyes cautiously.
There’s nobody there. His hallway is empty. He carefully peers around the corner, making sure there’s no one waiting to jump out and surprise him. There’s no one, and besides, Dean’s likely learned his lesson after the first genuine surprise party and the black eye he had a week after. The only thing is a small whiteboard placed at Castiel’s feet. He squints at the words neatly written there: “Greenhouse.”
Cas’ eyebrows crease together in confusion. Well, this is different. The greenhouse is certainly a staple in Cas’ life and it holds a very special place in his heart for more reasons than one, but he can’t imagine why Dean wants him to go there. Oh shit, he thinks, stopping in his tracks. If Dean is throwing a party in the greenhouse Cas is going to have his head. His plants will be ruined. He grits his teeth and briskly walks to his backyard with more urgency.
He’s prepared to yell at Dean as he rounds the corner, ready to see a huge crowd of people fogging up the glass in his precious greenhouse but he falters when it comes into view. The doors are open, beckoning, and there are old Christmas lights strung up along the inside, bathing the interior in a soft yellow glow. Castiel’s heart clenches, how long has Dean been out here working on this? He can’t see Dean anywhere and decides to venture inside.
Inside it’s even more beautiful than he could imagine. He trails his fingertips along the leaves of his plants as he always does.
There’s a chair in the middle of the central aisle. Castiel comes to it and lifts up the iPad sitting on the seat. There’s a post-it note with the words “play me” on it. Castiel rolls his eyes. Dean is definitely pulling out all the stops for this birthday.
Cas sits down and sighs contentedly as he looks at his plants bathed in the warm light. The night sky is dark and the stars are twinkling through the glass panes of the greenhouse. It really is a lovely night, he thinks. If only Dean would show himself and they could spend it together. He supposes the only thing he can do is follow instructions.