Do you think on the ride home Dean took off his flannel and made Cas put it on to replace his bloody shirt?
“I really am alright, Dean. You don’t need to sit back here with me.”
Dean ignores Castiel’s reassurances, just like he has been ignoring them for the last fifteen minutes.
“Cork it, Cas! Mom’s drivin’, Sam’s shotgun, and I’m back here with you, makin’ sure you’re really holdin’ it together. That’s just the way it’s gonna be so stop tryin’ to fight me on it!”
Both Mary and Sam give each other wide-eyed looks, but stay quiet—knowing that Dean is still processing everything that had happened back in the barn. He’s still drowning in the feeling of being out of control, and it’s driving him absolutely nuts.
“Here, Ma” Dean grunts, shoving the Impala’s keys at the woman and then turning back to tend to his angel.
She swiftly nods and takes the keys before ushering her other son around the far side of the car—and then, all at once, they climb in to join Castiel, who has already been carefully placed in the backseat by Dean’s steady hands.
“Does it hurt anywhere?” Dean asks—slightly calmer now but his voice still has a rattle to it.
“No, Dean. I’m feeling fine—just like I said before.”
“Well, you don’t look fine. You’re kinda pale. Sam, doesn’t he look pale to you?”
Sam turns around and gives Cas a sympathetic look before shrugging silently at his older brother, knowing that his opinion doesn’t really matter right now anyway.
“Yeah, see—Sam thinks so. You should lean back a bit.”
“These seats don’t recline, Dean.”
Dean frowns at him. “Then scoot down a little! Jesus, Cas … I’m just tryin’ to make sure you’re okay!”
“I am okay … I have already told you—”
“Scoot down, Castiel!” Mary grits firmly from the front of the car—glaring at him through the rearview mirror, eyes flicking back and forth between the angel and her eldest son.
He wants to protest again, but then Castiel nods, finally understanding that the only one not fine right now, is Dean, and doing what he asks—no matter how pointless it is, will make him feel a little better … a little more useful. Cas scoots down in his seat.
Dean smiles, happy that his friend is finally listening to him. “Alright then … better?”
Castiel stops himself from rolling his eyes. “Yes … better.”
The proud smirk that immediately graces Dean’s face seems to trim away the tension in the car—until the moment that the folds of Cas’s coat fall away, exposing the dirty, blood-stained white button up beneath. “Oh … shit, man! That looks bad!” the man yelps as soon as he sees it.
Castiel squints and cocks his head to the side, finally following Dean’s eyes down to where the usually clean looking garment, is now a tattered mess strewn about his body. “Oh. Yes, well … I can just—” Cas begins, already lifting his hand to will the mess away, but he stops mid motion—cutting the magic short because the man beside him is starting to fidget in his seat. “Dean? What are you …”
Dean teeters back and forth, wriggling from side to side in the confined space until he finally manages to free one of his arms from the black coat and plaid overshirt that he’s wearing.
“Hold on … almost …” Dean soon rocks all the way over until his head is practically in Cas’s lap—but he doesn’t seem to notice because he’s too focused on freeing his other hand. “There!” he yelps victoriously, finally holding up the plaid shirt for everyone in the car to see.
Sam nods and Mary holds back a chuckle, and Cas just continues to stare at the man—confused and slightly annoyed by everything that he’s doing.
“Okay, Cas. Your turn” Dean says after another moment, eventually turning happy eyes back on the angel.
“My turn?” Cas asks, feeling suddenly nervous about what he’s expected to do.
“Yep” Dean chirps, looking Castiel up and down with a long pull. “Strip and put this on.” He holds the flannel out towards him, but he doesn’t hand it to the angel just yet, as if he’s planning on dressing him himself … and at this point, Cas wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what Dean had in mind.
“Dean …” Castiel grumbles again, now—rolling his eyes for all to see. “You realize that I can fix this, don’t you?”
Dean only grips the shirt tighter in his hand.
“I am an angel … I have the power to—”
“Just put on the damn shirt!” All three Winchesters bark in unison.
And that makes the angel finally throw up his hands in defeat. “Alright!” he exclaims, quickly sitting straight and leaning forward so that he can work his body free from his coat. But before he can completely shimmy it off, Dean’s hands are on him, fiddling with the buttons of Cas’s dirty white shirt. “Um … what are you doing?”
“Helping” Dean snaps, but his cheeks are turning red and his hands are starting to shake against the angel’s chest.
Cas stares at him a moment, and then up to the front of the car where Sam and Mary are vehemently avoiding eye contact with anything but the road. So he turns back, just as Dean undoes the final button and pushes the cloth aside, displaying every inch of Castiel’s unmarred skin.
The man then stills for some time—never looking away and holding his breath until the second Castiel is finally able to speak.
“You see, Dean … I’m all healed.”
Dean quirks up the side of his mouth, but his face quickly falls flat again, while his eyes bounce away and back several times, seeming torn as to where to look now.
After that, it only takes another minute for Cas to slip out of the ruddy, old shirt and into Dean’s flannel—and for the first time since they left the barn, Dean doesn’t interfere, nor do Mary and Sam act like anything is happening just behind their heads. In fact, the frenzied tone of their drive has seemed to mellow, and even Dean appears to have settled down; although, his hands still twitch with the need for something to do … which doesn’t go unnoticed by the angel at his side.
Castiel sighs, flicking his eyes down towards the soft plaid that’s now draped over his own shoulders—the fabric is warm and smells like Dean; so just as he begins to fasten the last two buttons, he purposely skips one—so the thing is now bunching up across his stomach. “There” he confirms, drawing Dean’s focus back to the task at hand, and of course—Dean notices the mistake instantly.
“Ah—jeez, Cas … you’re helpless, ya know that?” Dean mutters with a smile, reaching over eagerly to straighten out the buttons and get them all in the right order.
But Castiel just smiles too, taking the moment to take in the worried Winchester—his charge, his family … a man that he loves—and he nods. “You’re right. What would I do without you?”