intheperiphery (intheperiphery) wrote,
intheperiphery
intheperiphery

A Mid-Autumn's Night Scheme

Title:A Mid-Autumn’s Night Scheme
Rating: NC-17
Genre: AU
Pairing: Dean/Castiel
Spoilers: none, it’s an AU!
Warnings: schmoop, adorable kid!Sam,
Word Count: 10,024
Summary: Winchesters are a sneaky bunch. Part 5 in the Once Upon a Wendigo Verse.

Author’s Note: Please note the change in rating. Enjoy.



With October coming to a close, autumn is in full swing. The foliage in and around the backyard has morphed into reds and golds, the trees littering the yard with leaves. Dean pauses from raking to wipe his forehead on his sleeve. The leaves that have accumulated over the week are taking longer than he’d anticipated to rake into piles, but are providing a source of great entertainment for Sam who happily digs through them to look for twigs to serve as moose antlers.

It’s no surprise to Dean that Sam’s newest obsession is the star of his most recent favorite book. Dean has read If You Give A Moose A Muffin to him every day for a week since Cas read it to him, sometimes even twice a night. Dean can practically recite the whole book by heart.

Sam suddenly drops the two twigs he’d been holding up to his head and lunges at Dean’s legs, wrapping tightly around his left and clinging to the denim.

“Can we make muffins, Dean? Please please please please?” Sam drags out the final ‘please’ while looking up imploringly. The leg-clinging is a new (annoying) habit Sam’s picked up as a method of getting his way. Dean has quickly learned that Sam’s added weight makes several chores very difficult: vacuuming, laundry, grading papers, etc. It’s infuriatingly successful.

“Just like in the book, Dean! I want muffins,” he pouts and shifts his feet to balance precariously on Dean’s shoe.

“How about you help me finish up out here first?” Dean motions to the open door of the shed where Sam’s mini rake is leaning against the wall.

Sam shakes his head, his floppy hair fluttering in the wind. “Muffins!” A particularly strong gust scatters the leaves Dean had painstakingly gathered into a neat mound.

He sighs. “Alright, muffins it is.”

Sam lets go of Dean’s leg with a cheer and zips off into the kitchen through the back door. He kicks off his shoes, foregoing the velcro straps, and leaves them abandoned by the screen door left ajar. By the time Dean’s set down the rake by the shed, Sam’s already digging deep through the bottom cabinets for a mixing bowl, his blue sweats and striped socks the only visible part of him.

“What are you in the mood for, buddy?” Dean asks as he pulls out some of the essentials from the pantry.

“Cornbread,” Sam’s muffled voice comes from inside the cabinet before he emerges with a large plastic mixing bowl.

Dean sets his dry ingredients on the kitchen island counter, scoops Sam off the floor and sets him on a chair. “Are you going to help me measure?”

“I want to crack the eggs,” Sam decides.

Dean nods and the two begin to prepare the batter. Sam ends up helping with the mixing, too, gripping the large wooden spoon with both hands and stirring counterclockwise in a meticulous fashion.

The oven announces the end of the preheat cycle with a single beep just as Dean is scraping the last of the batter into a muffin tin. He pulls on his oven mitts and places the two trays on the middle rack. He closes the oven door and Sam peers through the glass window, eager for the muffins to rise.

Dean picks up the wind-up timer and turns it slowly.

“How many minutes, Sammy?”

“15 minutes!” Sam chirps while wiping a finger on the countertop to lick at a rogue splash of batter.

“Sam, that has raw egg in it,” Dean admonishes. Sam finishes licking his finger anyway. “Don’t come crying to me when you get salmonella,” and wipes down the counter before Sam decides he rather likes the taste of raw batter.

“Samella,” Sam repeats and laughs at the silly-sounding word.

---

Dean startles to consciousness at nearly four in the morning to suspicious noises in the backyard. Despite the nice neighborhood, burglaries seldom do occur, and he’s damned if it’s gonna happen to him and Sammy. He stealthily makes his way downstairs, grabbing a wooden baseball bat from the coat closet.

He pads into the kitchen and up to the backdoor, glimpsing through the glass panels. He can’t see much through the early morning darkness and light fog. He flicks the switch for the backyard light, but nothing happens. He flips the switch a few more times before giving up with a curse.

Just my damn luck, he swears, the light bulb’s gone out.

It’s deathly quiet outside, even the crickets have stopped their chirping. For a minute all he hears is his own breathing, then he hears it again: distinct rustling. The hairs on his bare legs stand on end and he re-adjusts the grip on the bat, opening the door slowly. He cautiously steps outside, eyes darting every which way, looking for any signs of danger.

The motion-sensored light near the garage turns on and a dark shadow ducks behind one of the trashcans. That’s when Dean notices the other trashcan has been tipped over, its contents strewn everywhere.

“W-Who’s there?” So much for sounding large-and-in-charge. He tries again, “I swear to god, I have a bat and I played baseball in high school.”

Only silence answers him.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you, fucker,” he growls, and takes a deep breath before pushing the second trash bin out of the way. Two raccoons look up at him, one holding a familiar looking muffin, the other’s cheeks fit to bursting, its nose and whiskers covered in crumbs.

“Jesus!” Dean does not scream, taking a step back. The raccoons take this opportunity to flea, running around Dean and scrambling over the wooden fence. In their abandoned spot, several half eaten muffins lay as if in a horrific crime scene, the scent of corn wafting in the cool morning air.

Once back inside, Dean confirms that those had, in fact, been this afternoon’s muffins by checking the bowl on the dining room table. Only two muffins remain, Sam’s ever-generous personality graciously allowing himself and Dean one muffin each.

Oh, Sam is in so much trouble.

---

“I was moose-hunting!” Sam cries, dramatic tears rolling down his cheeks and snot dripping down his red nose.

“I know why you did it, Sam, but you’re still grounded.”

“No!” Sam denies, shaking his head wildly.

“Sorry, buddy. You know the rules: no TV for a week.”

“No!” Sam screams.

“It’s your choice: no TV for a week, or no trip to the pumpkin patch?” It’s last minute, but Dean can just tell Cas that Sam no longer has permission to go on this month’s field trip. He’s hoping Sam will choose the first option over the second, not entirely eager to have that conversation with the zealous educator.

Sam looks devastated, lip trembling as he considers his choices. “N-n-no T-TV,” he blubbers. New tears spill over. “I just want a moose!”

“I know,” Dean comforts, placing Sam on his lap and rubbing his back in small circles, “I know.”

“It’s-it’s n-not fair,” Sam mumbles into Dean’s chest, “I want a moose so-so I c-can ride it to school. Like a horsie, but more cool.”

Dean chokes.

---

By Monday, Sam’s (mostly) over his failed moose trap and has accepted his punishment with resignation. He tells Castiel all about it -- or his version of it, anyway -- as Castiel makes his rounds around the classroom.

“Now I’m grounded and I don’t get muffins and I can’t watch TV,” he ends his story sadly while using a thick paint brush to color in a fat raccoon holding a still steaming muffin.

“You’d have to go far up north to find a moose, Sam. Have you ever been to Canada?”

Sam shakes his head. “Is that where they live?”

“Among a few other places, yes.” He holds out his hand for Sam to take and leads him to a large map of North America on the wall opposite the art supplies. Castiel points to a shiny sticker of a star designating the location of Lawrence, Kansas. “We’re here. This is where you live.” He drags his finger up north slowly until he reaches a large grey mass labeled ‘Canada.’ “Moose live here. This is Canada.”

“Ohhh,” Sam nods, processing the information. “That’s not that far, Mr. Milton,” he states, matter-of-factly. “Moose are big and I bet they can walk down here in one, no, two hours. And I would pet mine all the time and brush it and feed it and it could sleep in the backyard and Dean wouldn’t even have to play with it because it would have me.”

Not sure where to begin challenging Sam’s beliefs on moose, Castiel settles for lending Sam a children’s magazine issue dedicated to the animal in question. Sam takes it eagerly and puts it in his desk.

“Now finish up your raccoon painting so I can hang it up on the wall,” Castiel encourages, patting him on the shoulder.

During lunch, Castiel makes copies of a field trip checklist for his students’ parents/guardians to go over before tomorrow’s grand day out. The checklist provides a little section on appropriate dress, covering details from hats to shoes. At the end of the packet, Castiel has included the weather forecast for tomorrow and a reminder to bring a coat or a jacket.

Kevin hands the packets out while Castiel re-briefs his students about the trip, reminding them to not bring their backpacks and to be ready for a fun day. The children titter excitedly as they file out of the classroom, some boasting about the large pumpkins they’ll bring home.

Sam turns and waves goodbye before following after Ben and leaving with the Braedens.

---

Castiel hums while tidying up the classroom. He fastidiously straightens out the desks and makes sure each chair is pushed into its corresponding desk. The students had been particularly helpful during cleanup time, and upon closer inspection of the desks, he decides there’s no need for a second wipedown.

While Cas is wrapping his scarf around his neck, it dawns on him that Sam had not gone home with Dean. Sam had gone on his monthly playdate with a friend, this time to spend an afternoon doing kid yoga at Lisa Braeden’s yoga studio. Which means, Cas pieces together, Dean is free for dinner. Pulling out his phone, he sends Dean a quick text before locking up his classroom and heading toward his car.

---

Dean had been quick to report his whereabouts, and before long Castiel finds himself driving onto the university campus. He slides into a parking spot and looks for a campus map to point him in the direction of the English Department.

Thankfully, a few helpful students are able to guide him until their paths diverge, one going so far as to walk him until the building comes into view.

“It’s that building right over there, you can’t miss it.” The student departs with a wave, and Castiel continues down the road toward the brick building.

Once inside, he spots the faculty directory and finds Dean’s entry. (Prof. Winchester, English, Rm. 211.) He quickly heads upstairs and is just rounding a corner when a smaller, slightly rotund body collides with his.

“My apologies,” Castiel excuses himself and takes a step back, noting the man’s meticulous appearance. Probably another professor, Castiel decides to himself.

“Nothing to worry about, love,” he says, patting at his coat to rid himself of imaginary dirt. Only his accent forgives the endearment.

“Do you know where I can find Professor Winchester’s office?”

The man looks him up and down in an unveiled appreciative glance. “I don’t suppose you’re one of his students?”

“I’m not,” Castiel responds simply, missing his queue to offer any additional information.

The man waits a beat before huffing in amusement. “Handsome and clueless.” The man takes a quick glance at his very expensive watch, the face bordered with small studs of white diamond, before extending his hand. “Fergus Crowley, Head of the English Department. And you are...?”

Oh, Castiel realizes, this is Dean’s boss. He clears his throat and shakes his hand. “Castiel Milton, I’m a teacher at a private elementary school here in Lawrence.”

“Charmed,” Fergus grins, slowly pulling away from the handshake while making deliberate eye contact. “You’ll find Dean’s office just down that hall on your left.” His eyes give Castiel a once over, lingering on his rear for a moment before meeting his gaze. “And you’ll find mine on the very end, if you catch my carefully veiled innuendo. Now enough chatter, I must run.” He waggles his fingers. “Tah, angel.”

Castiel watches Fergus leave and round the corner before continuing down the hall, toward the room where Dean is currently squirreled away, slaving over ungraded midterms.

He passes by the offices of Prof. Henriksen, Mr. Shurley, and others before reaching his intended destination. There’s a little glass plaque next to the door signifying the office is Dean’s, but with the door open and Dean sitting inside grading papers, it’s rather hard to miss. Castiel leans against the doorjamb and watches as Dean reads his notes for the paper aloud.

“B-minus for a surface comparison of vampiric literature,” he mumbles, “could have explored thematic similarities between texts further, in particular the role of consent in conversion. What is the difference between consent and induced consent? Operationalize it!”

Dean pauses with a frown. “Is a B-minus too lenient?”

“On the contrary, you are quite the harsh grader,” Castiel interjects, stepping into the office and closing the door behind him with a click.

Dean looks up and smiles. “Says you,” he disagrees, “my worst student.”

“I’m trying really hard to pass your class, Mr. Winchester.” Castiel insists, his tone turned earnest and innocent, and Dean’s imagination explodes with images of Cas during his college days.

“Professor Winchester,” Dean corrects with a smirk.

“Professor Winchester, sir.”

“Well if you paid more attention in class...” Dean trails off, rising from his seat and coming around the desk to press Cas against the door.

“The subject matter is all so confusing,” Cas tilts his head up, his eyes wide, guileless, and blue. “I think I need extra guidance.”

Dean groans, “Cas, you’re killing me,” and finally greets him with a heavy kiss. He pulls away with reluctance and rests his forehead against Cas’s shoulder. “We cannot do this here.”

“Would it help if I told you your boss stepped out just a moment ago?” Castiel offers hopefully.

Dean lifts his head. “How do you know my boss?”

“I’m certain our exchange was a flirtation on his behalf. Fergus was not shy to insinuate I visit him in his office for the exact same nefarious reason I have to come to yours.”

Dean’s face morphs from disbelief to disgust. “Fergus? That fucker,” he growls, gripping Cas’s hair to bring him in for a more demanding kiss. Castiel responds eagerly to Dean’s possessive behavior, a small moan making its way between kisses to fill the otherwise quiet room. The generous sounds coming from Cas’s throat threaten to dissolve Dean’s sense of propriety.

“Okay, no,” Dean breaks away with a gasp, “we need to stop before we can’t stop.”

Castiel nips at Dean’s jaw. “And you call yourself an English professor.”

“Ha, ha,” Dean responds, and pinches Cas’s ass. Hard.

Castiel yips. “Ah!”

Dean’s dick twitches in response. “Okay, we really need to stop.”

Dean sits back down on his chair and Cas rubs his smarting ass cheek before sitting down on the other seat.

“What are your plans for Halloween?” Dean asks, capping his pen and tossing it in the first drawer of his desk.

“No plans, I’m not fond of the holiday,” Cas replies at the same time his eyes notice the Halloween decorations littering the tiny office.

“Is it a religious thing?” Dean asks, berating himself internally. Religious name, religious upbringing, duh Winchester.

“It’s not a religious matter, although I was raised in a Christian household,” Castiel explains. “Halloween,” he pauses, searching for words to describe his general dislike of the holiday. “It’s the whole affair,” he begins to tick off fingers, “watching scary movies, dressing up in deliberately grotesque and macabre costumes, eating obscene amounts of candy -- I’ve never liked any of it.”

Dean stares at him in disbelief. “My god, you are so adorably boring. You just named all the reasons Halloween is awesome. Especially the scary movies, dude. How can you hate the classics? Friday the 13th? Nightmare on Elm Street?” Cas narrows his eyes in response and Dean barks a laugh. “Okay, okay, so you’re not a fan.”

“Your passion for the holiday rivals Gabriel’s.”

The casual mention of the unfamiliar name throws Dean. “Is that your...” Dean trails off, suddenly nervous about the direction of the conversation. He doesn’t think he’s ready to talk about exes, especially Castiel’s, a jealous voice in his head mocks.

Castiel continues, oblivious to Dean’s discomfort. “Although I should have known better than to spend my first real Halloween with him.”

Okay, so they’re definitely talking about exes. Dean shoots for nonchalant.

“Do you guys still...talk?” Please say no, please say no, please say no.

“Of course,” FUCK, “he’s my brother.”

“OH,” Dean’s eyebrows shoot up. “I mean right. Of course he’s your brother.” He forces a laugh that comes out sounding more like a bray, dashing any hopes of disguising his relief and embarrassment.

“You thought I was talking about an ex-boyfriend,” Castiel observes bluntly.

“No, well,” Dean attempts to deny before slumping his shoulders in defeat. “Yes.”

“I have dated other people, Dean.” Castiel hesitates. “Do you...want to talk about them?”

“NO!” Them? Plural?? “So!” Dean says loudly, desperate for a change of topic, “You have a brother, that’s cool. I didn’t know that.” How did I not know that? He’s come to understand Castiel’s penchant for taciturnity, in fact rather enjoys his usually quiet, sometimes mysterious demeanor, but it had not occurred to Dean how intensely a private person Castiel could really be. He didn’t even know the man had a brother for crying out loud, and that’s first-date basics. Most of what he knows about the kindergarten teacher are facts he’s gleaned from their conversations and some major Sherlock Holmes-ing from his brief, disastrous visit to Cas’s apartment.

“I have an older sister as well, Anna. I lived with her for a time while I was in grad school.”

Part of his attraction to Cas, Dean decides, is the challenge he presents. He’s never had to fight so much to get to know someone. It’s as much infuriating as it is exciting. “I bet you’re the hottest Milton sibling,” Dean winks.

“In terms of temperance, I would say I’m the coolest.”

“Not what I meant,” Dean chuckles, glad the conversation is veering back toward safer waters. “But hey, I think you should give Halloween a second chance. I can’t really do scary with Sam--”

“And the stories about wendigos don’t count as scary?” Castiel interjects, skeptical.

“--that’s different,” he defends weakly, “but you should still spend it with us. Sam’s dressing up as a moose so I’m going as a mountie.” He waggles his eyebrows suggestively.

“I don’t find members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police particularly arousing,” Cas deadpans.

“Dude,” Dean protests, “You should find me arousing in any state of dress.”

“I already do.”

“Oh.” His grin turns a little goofy. “Awesome.”

---

The second the school bus bumps and rattles to a stop, the screaming and chattering rises in decibel.

“If you can hear me, clap once.” A few scattered claps sound in the bus. Castiel tries again. “If you can hear me, clap twice.” The bus settles into a buzzing silence, save for the click of a disposable camera. “Ed, Harry, save your pictures for later.”

Once he has the children’s attention, it doesn’t take long to organize them into two groups for the hayride. He hoists each student onto the wagon beds, and they dutifully make room for each other on the hay bales. Kevin hops onto the second wagon while Castiel takes the first, sitting next to their guide and owner of the farm, Farmer Tom.

Farmer Tom takes them on a tour of the grounds, stopping the wagons occasionally to point out specific animals and crops.

“Over there, way down there,” he points, the children turning to see what lies in the distance, “are the pumpkins. That’s the last stop on the tour, after lunch.”

At the barn, the students beg and plead for the tour to stop so they can pet the sheep and goats.

“Maybe just the sheep,” Farmer Tom allows, “the goats are too big ‘n’ temperamental for you lot.”

Soon after, he leads the group into a neatly manicured clearing next to the pumpkin patch, parking the wagons next to a small wooden cabin emitting delicious aromas, the words ‘General Store’ painted simply in white over the threshold.

It’s a sunny day, but the wind is a bit nippy, so as Castiel unloads the students from the hayride wagons, he makes sure every coat zipper is zipped; every button, buttoned; and every drawstring pulled tight and tied. The children gather around the ponies to gently pet their gleaming coats. One pony nuzzles playfully at Jessica’s hair, snorting in protest when the group pulls away.

They step into the general store which turns out to be a souvenir shop and bakery rolled into one. In honor of autumn and the abundance of pumpkins, the store’s inventory is an impressive array of pumpkin products: cans of pumpkin soup, jars of pumpkin butter, bags of raw and toasted pumpkin seeds. The bakery’s spread offers some staples, but its highlights are the special pumpkin baked goods: pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake bars, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin bread, to name a few. Each row of hot pastries draws the four year-olds close until they’re all pressed nose-to-glass against the display case.

The woman behind the counter leans over and laughs good-naturedly, endeared by all the hungry faces. “You know what’s my favorite thing for a cold day like today?” she suggests. “A nice, hot mug of pumpkin hot chocolate.”

This draws the children’s attention immediately, and before long, each student is nursing a small mug of the rich drink. Castiel and Kevin, though tempted by the chocolate, opt instead for pumpkin lattes topped with white froth and sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg.

With drinks in hand, the group wanders back outside to congregate at a large, wooden picnic table. The school-provided lunches are stacked neatly at the end, each box carefully labelled for their intended recipient.

The lunches are handed out and soon the sounds of happy munching and cheerful chatter fill the air. Sam opens his box, unwraps his sandwich, and is promptly distraught by its contents. He lets out a small whimper and sits dejectedly at the table.

Ruby notices his slumped shoulders. “Whassa matter?” she asks between bites of her own sandwich. “You don’ like turkey?”

Sam shakes his head, tears beginning to well in his eyes.

Ruby’s eyes widen. “Uh-oh.” She puts her sandwich down and shoots a hand into the air. “Mister Milton!”

Castiel is occupied with Ed and Harry, helping them rewind the film on their disposable cameras, so Kevin makes his way over in the educator’s stead.

“Yes, Ruby?”

“Sam doesn’t want his sammich,” she supplies, then turns to Sam. “Do you want my chips?”

Sam is simply too devastated to accept or reject the offer. He tilts his head up toward Kevin and sniffles. “I got turkey,” his voice cracks, and a fat tear streaks down his cheek.

Sam is one of Kevin’s favorite students; academically, he’s the most advanced (and impressively so), but emotionally he’s the most sensitive of all his classmates -- easily brought to tears and not easily placated. Any situation involving the small Winchester’s tears is a situation well above his paygrade. Recognizing the signs of one of Sam’s cry-a-thons, Kevin quickly flags down Castiel to nip this one in the bud.

Castiel places the disposable cameras back in Harry and Ed’s waiting hands before making his way over. “What’s wrong?”

“Sam got turkey,” Kevin reports as Ruby tries to offer a chip from her bag to Sam.

Sam lets out a distressed hiccup. Castiel quickly assesses the situation, glancing at Sam’s open lunchbox and then at Sam’s still quivering lip. There’s enough time for damage control and Castiel doesn’t hesitate, swooping in to lift Sam out of his seat and hitching him onto his hip.

“Looks like we accidentally got you the wrong lunch, hm?”

Sam buries his face in Castiel’s shoulder, clinging to his thick wool sweater.

“Why don’t we look at some lunch options inside the store?”

Sam looks up at Castiel, teeth worrying away at his bottom lip. He nods finally, uncharacteristically shy.

Castiel nods and walks into the general store, opening the door with one hand and taking care to not bump Sam against the door frame. The lunch menu options prove to be equally as enticing as the dessert options, the flavorful aromas of pumpkin ravioli causing Sam’s stomach to growl.

“You like mac and cheese, don’t you Sam?”

“Yes,” he mumbles, his grip on Castiel’s sweater steady and true.

“This is pumpkin mac and cheese,” the woman from earlier informs kindly. “Do you want to taste it first?” She holds out a small bite of the warm pasta on a tasting spoon. Sam clings harder to Castiel’s side, so Castiel takes the spoon for him, blows on the steaming noodles, and brings it close to his mouth. Sam opens his mouth obediently and eats the offered food, chewing thoughtfully.

“What do you think?” Castiel asks gently.

Sam swallows and breaks into a toothy smile. “It’s good!” His gloom lifted, he looks to Castiel and pleads, “Can I have more?”

“Why don’t we get you a bowl?” Sam agrees enthusiastically and the lady sets on preparing the smallest container.

“Mister Milton,” Sam tugs, “can I have a large bowl?”

“Do you think you can finish an entire large bowl?”

“It’s really good and I bet Jess and Ben and Ruby are gonna want some, too,” Sam babbles happily, his good nature shining through and through. Castiel can’t bring himself to say no.

“...Very well.”

---

After lunch, the students explore the pumpkin patch with full bellies, climbing over pumpkins almost their height. Some pumpkins are even taller, inspiring awe from the four year olds. Kevin follows after the group with the school’s Canon camera, snapping pictures to decorate the walls of their classroom.

“I want this one!” Adam points to a large, warped pumpkin that stands a few scant inches taller than him.

Madison stands next to a taller pumpkin and wraps her arms as far as they’ll reach around it. “I want this one! My daddy can open it and I can hide in it!” She demonstrates by hiding behind the vegetable and popping out a few seconds later, shouting, ”Boo!”

All the other children erupt in a chorus of giggles and suddenly exploring the pumpkin patch becomes a game of hide-and-scare, students darting behind large pumpkins to try and startle their classmates. Kevin switches the camera setting to video and records a few minutes of the impromptu game.

Sam runs from pumpkin to pumpkin as Ben, Ruby, and Madison chase him around the patch, laughing and tumbling around in the dirt. Castiel does a headcount every five or so minutes, always glad to encourage physical activity, but not willing to lose anyone in the pumpkin patch.

The laughter begins to subside and the students pause to stretch and catch their breaths. Farmer Tom tilts his hat against the sun and leads them into a smaller section of the patch, pumpkins getting smaller and more uniform in shape and color.

“We’re almost there, kids,” Farmer Tom gestures excitedly, opening a rickety wooden gate that leads to a narrow path trudged through tall grass.

Ruby pouts as they make their way single-file through the grass. “I can’t see where we’re goin’.”

The other children “yeah” and “me, too!” in agreement.

Farmer Tom chuckles deep and turns to share a grin with Castiel and Kevin. “Well, don’t you worry, kids. We’re here!” He steps aside to present a small clearing bursting with the smallest pumpkins anyone has ever seen.

“You can all take one home,” Castiel instructs. “So pick your favorite.”

---

“Cute pumpkin,” Dean comments as he and Sam walk back to the car.

“It’s the best pumpkin,” Sam exclaims, waving it around. “I got the best one.”

“Alright, champ,” Dean says as he settles Sam into his booster seat, “The Roadhouse okay for dinner tonight?”

“Yeah!”

Dean pulls away from the curb toward The Roadhouse, elementary school disappearing from sight as they turn the corner.

“Are you excited for Halloween tomorrow?” He only half-listens to Sam’s excited babble, distracted and nervous as he is. Since he invited Cas to join them trick-or-treating, he only feels it right to run it by Sam.

“--and I’m gonna get more candy than you, and I’m gonna--”

“Hey buddy,” Dean interrupts, “do you mind if someone comes with us to help us trick or treat?”

“Like Ruby and her mama?” Sam asks hopefully, stars in his eyes.

“No,” Dean shudders. “I was thinking more like Cas-- I mean, Mr. Milton.”

Sam falls silent and Dean risks a glance at him through the rearview mirror. Sam’s gaze is particularly scrutinizing. Dean’s hands wring the steering wheel nervously. Truth be told, he’d expected Sam not to care.

“Is Mister Milton your boyfriend?” Sam asks suspiciously from the backseat.

Dean brakes abruptly at a four-way stop. Someone calls him an asshole and swerves around him.

“Why would you say that?” Dean demands, hooking an arm over the bench seat to look at Sam. There’s no way Sam could know about him and Cas. Oh god, what if they slipped? What if Sam caught them kissing?

Sam laughs his ‘Dean is dumb and silly’ laugh. “Because you smile like this every time you see him!” He smiles and hitches his shoulders up to his ears in an exaggerated show of bashfulness.

“I do not make such a dorky face you big liar,” Dean denies, but it just makes Sam laugh more.

“Dean likes Mister Milton, Dean likes Mister Milton!” he singsongs. Is it possible to be bullied by a four-year old?

Dean huffs and turns back to continue driving.

“You’re a bully. Cas is just a friend.” Sam’s chanting grows louder. “I do not!”

---

Ellen seats them at a small booth and gives Sam a paper placemat and a set of crayons.

“I’ll be back with your food in just a few minutes, boys.”

Sam picks up the blue crayon and starts to color in the sky when Jo slides into the booth next to him. He drops the crayon and greets her with a hug.

“Jo!”

“Hey Sammy,” she leans down to kiss the top of his head. She turns to Dean with a smirk. “Hey fatty.”

Dean groans and lets his head fall against the high back of the booth. “Oh my god, can’t anyone be nice to me?”

“Oohh, touchy touchy. What’s the matter, Dean? Trouble in paradise?”

Dean glares. He does not want to get into a “discussion” about Cas again, especially in front of Sam. He’d finally let up his chanting when Dean threatened to turn the car around and take them home. Feeling annoyed and ganged up on, he petulantly kicks Jo under the table.

“Ow! Geez, Winchester, what are you? Five?

He shrugs and leans his elbows on the tabletop. “So you and Ash together yet?”

“He’s just a friend, I’ve told you,” she huffs, flipping a lock of hair over her shoulder.

“I didn’t know friends smooched behind the Roadhouse at closing time.” Dean purses his lips and makes obnoxious kissing noises.

“That has literally never happened,” Jo says in disgust.

Dean leans back into the booth, reveling in Jo’s discomfort. “I bet you’ve imagined it.”

Jo’s nostrils flare, a retort forming on the tip of her tongue, when Ellen returns with their food.

“A Hot Turkey for you,” she announces as she sets down a plate with a fully loaded turkey panini in front of Dean, “and a Sam Veggie Special for you, sugar,” she finishes and gives Sam a large plate of roasted vegetables over a bed of rice. She pinches Sam’s cheek and tucks his hair behind his ear. “You are just the skinniest thing,” she coos, “I just want to take you home and fatten you up.”

An idea pops into Dean’s head. “D’you want to?” he blurts.

Ellen looks over, “Beg your pardon?”

“Borrow him,” Dean clarifies, “for a night?” He looks at Sam, “Don’t you want to sleep over with your Aunt Ellen and cousin Jo?”

Sam nods distractedly, fingers-deep in his vegetables.

Ellen looks at Dean suspiciously. “You never let Sam out of your sight.”

“Well I just figured you’d want to spend more time with him,” Dean plays innocently, “but if you’re not interested...”

Jo cracks up. “Oh my god, Dean Winchester you are cellophane transparent.”

Ellen snaps her fingers in realization. “This is about that pretty boy you brought in here a few weeks ago, isn’t it?” Dean flushes a mean pink and Ellen looks down at Dean with empathy in her eyes. “We all have our needs. God knows I practically became a nun after I had Joanna.”

“Mom!”

Ellen slings a rag over her shoulder and places her arms akimbo, all business. “So,” she says, willing to settle the matter efficiently, “when do you want Sam to sleep over?”

---

“One day I’m gonna be bigger than a moose. Moose are bigger than anything, they’re bigger than sheep! Dean, I pet a sheep and it was soft, not as soft as Ruby’s puppies, but soft and then my hands smelled funny.” He sniffs his hands as if to make sure the smell is gone.

“Quit squirming so I can fix your antlers,” Dean grits around a safety pin he’s holding between his teeth.

Sam sits relatively still for a few moments before bouncing on the bedsprings in excitement. “Dean where did we put my pumpkin! I want it outside next to the jack-o-lannerd.”

“We’ll put it outside before we go--”

The doorbell interrupts Dean and Sam shoots off the bed and toward the door, shrieking “Trick-or-treat!” down the stairs.

Dean quickly follows him into the hallway, where he trips over Sam’s antlers.

“Sam,” Dean reminds exasperatedly, scooping up the antlers and sprinting down the stairs two at a time, “don’t answer the door by yourself!”

Sam pulls open the front door, Dean coming up right behind him and ready to scold. Cas is waiting patiently on the front porch in his tan trenchcoat, admiring the decorations. “Hello, Sam. Dean.”

“Why aren’t you dressed up?” Sam asks, disarming Castiel with large eyes and a disappointed face.

Castiel struggles to answer so Dean volunteers for Cas. “He is dressed up.”

Sam directs his attention to Dean. “He is?”

“Yep. He’s a... a tax accountant?” Dean winces but he’s gotta run with it now. “Cas, you’re dressed up as a tax accountant, right?”

“...Yes,” he nods.

“There you go, he’s a tax accountant,” he announces as he steps aside to let Cas into the house. Then, because he can’t help himself, he adds, “but it needs a little bit of work, wouldn’t you agree Sam?”

Sam beams up at Cas. “Dean’s the bestest with costumes! He can fix you up real good,” he testifies and leads Castiel up the stairs by the hand.

“I don’t really think this is necessary,” Castiel protests weakly, looking back at Dean with a plea in his eyes. Dean shrugs. If Cas can’t say no to Sam, that’s his problem.

Once in Dean’s room, Sam lets go of Cas’s hand, leaving him standing awkwardly in the center of room. Sam clambers back onto the queen-sized bed while Dean pulls out a box from the corner.

Dean laughs at Castiel’s stiff posture. “Relax, this’ll only take a minute.”

“I think this ‘costume’ is fine as is,” Castiel stresses, hoping Dean will listen. He doesn’t. Instead, he continues to rummage through the box labeled HALLOWEEN for a last minute addition to Castiel’s outfit. Sam jumps up and down on Dean’s bed in excitement.

“Candy, candy, candy!”

“I mean,” Dean continues, ignoring Sam and Cas completely, “we’ve already determined you look like a tax accountant in that trench coat--”

“It’s an overcoat,” Cas corrects.

“--so we can just spruce it up a little.”

“How?” Castiel asks, incredulously.

“Hm,” Dean pulls out a pair of yellowed vampire teeth before deciding against them and tossing them aside. He goes back to digging. “Aha! You can be a Tax Accountant...FROM HELL!” he shouts, brandishing a small plastic bottle of fake blood. “All you need is a little bit of this all over that coat--”

"Absolutely not,” Castiel immediately rejects, crossing his arms defensively and shaking his head firmly.

“It’s non-toxic,” Dean reads off the label. “Caution: may stain.”

Definitely not.”

In the end they decide on Holy Tax Accountant because it is the only variation on 'Tax Accountant' that doesn't involve fake blood or mangling his trench coat in any way. He straps on a pair of white fluffy wings and dons a halo made of gold pipe cleaners, courtesy of Dean’s 5-year-old imagination. It is the simplest costume Castiel has ever willingly worn, but certainly not the worst costume he’s ever endured.

“You know, you could just leave it as it is,” Castiel suggests. He and Dean are standing in front of the bathroom mirror while Dean fusses with the pipe cleaner-halo. It keeps leaning to one side, giving the impression of a wilted angel finally come home from a particularly grueling day at work.

“I suppose,” Dean frowns, stepping back to look at his work. He nods approvingly, then peeks into the hall to make sure Sam’s nowhere in sight before leaning forward and kissing Cas. “Thanks for being such a good sport about all this.”

“I fear I never had a choice to begin with,” Cas admits, sliding his hands onto Dean’s hips, “Sam can be very insistent.”

“If you let him, he will take advantage of you,” Dean warns and leans in for another kiss. They exchange slow kisses, Castiel’s hands wandering down Dean’s hips to cup his ass. Dean winds his arms around Cas’s neck. “And if you let me,” he whispers into Cas’s ear, gently biting the lobe, “I’ll take advantage of you, too.”

Castiel groans. “Dean, contrary to popular belief, I’m not a man of infinite patience.”

“Good thing I found Sam an overnight babysitter. By 7 o’clock he’ll be at the Harvelle’s.”

Cas stares at Dean, dumbfounded. “You’re serious.”

“Babe, tonight I’m a mountie. And a mountie,” Dean grins cheekily, “always gets his man.”

---

Castiel has never trick-or-treated with such enthusiasm in his life. They head out as the sun is setting and the jack-o-lanterns slowly come to life, lighting up walkways and squeaky porches. Sam’s costume garners a lot of attention, Dean’s attracts many appreciative glances, but ultimately it’s Castiel’s costume that rakes in the extra swag.

“That’s pity candy,” Dean grumps, comparing their loot.

“It’s not a competition, Dean,” Cas says diplomatically, “but I am winning.”

“Yeah, well you got a shit-ton of Tootsie Rolls. Who’s crying now?”

“It’s still you.”

Dean encounters some of his students, most dressed in typical costumes, but a pair have crafted costumes based off monsters they’ve covered in class. He makes a mental note to give them a few extra credit points for awesomeness.

By the time they make it to the Harvelle’s front door, Dean is carrying Sam on his shoulders and Cas is carrying all their bags. Cas rings the doorbell and Ellen opens the door seconds later.

“Come on in,” she ushers them inside. Dean sets Sam onto his feet who immediately takes off in search of Jo.

“Do you boys want to stick around for coffee?”

“Thanks for the offer, Ellen, but if we stay for coffee, we’ll stay for dinner and then we’ll never leave,” Dean laughs as Castiel sets down Sam’s candy bag and duffel.

Dean takes the candy bag and takes a quick peek inside. “Sam can have two pieces of candy, no more. He should be in bed by eight, eight-thirty latest. School starts at 8:15 tomorrow. His bedtime books are in his overnight bag, but make sure he brushes his teeth first. His toothbrush and toothpaste--”

“Take a deep breath, son. This ain’t my first rodeo. He’ll be fine.”

Jo comes into the foyer with Sam in tow. “Say goodnight to your brother.”

Dean kneels to face Sam. “You be good, okay? Listen to Ellen and Jo. When they say it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Awesome. Goodnight, Sammy,” Dean says, kissing the top of Sam’s head.

“G’night, Dean!” He hugs Dean tight around the neck, then moves to stand in front of Cas. He looks up and waves shyly. “G’night, Mister Milton.”

“Good night, Sam.”

Ellen takes him by the hand, leading him into the dining room, “Are you hungry? I made you some green beans...”

Jo peeks around the corner until Ellen and Sam are out of sight. “Alright,” she announces, clapping her hands together with a wide wicked grin. “Open up those goodie bags.”

Dean furrows his eyebrows, confused. “What? Why?”

“Consider this your last stop. C’mon, we bought the good stuff this year,” she wheedles.

“Fine,” he agrees and opens his bag, never one to refuse food, especially when it’s free. “You too, TurboTax.”

Cas opens his bag obediently and holds it out in front of Jo. “Trick-or-treat.”

From her backpack next to the candy bowl, Jo pulls out a box of condoms and a bottle of lube, dropping each item into Dean and Cas’s bags respectively.

“Jesus Christ, Jo!” Dean squawks, his ears turning a shade of beet red.

“Have fun, guys! Happy Halloween.” Jo has the gall to fucking wink at them before shoving them out the door and closing it with a thud.

---

Dean fumbles for his keys, noting his sweaty palms, and finally manages to open the door. He holds it open, waiting for Cas to step into the house and surreptitiously wipes his hands on his breeches. He takes off the Stetson and hangs it on the topmost knob of the coat rack.

They linger awkwardly in the living room, unsure of what to do next. Before, there had been a sense of urgency, to finish what had been started. But now, with the rest of the night before them and no distractions in sight, they’re at a standstill. The metaphoric cat has caught the mouse: now what?

Dean clears his throat. “So, uh,” he grasps, “do you want a beer?” There’s something about Cas just standing there and looking oh-so calm that makes him lose his cool, unraveling him at the ends with just a glance. Cas takes a beat too long to answer and Dean turns toward the kitchen. “I’m gonna get you a beer. You can, you know, hang your coat,” he waves at the coat rack near the front door.

He takes a little longer in the kitchen than he knows he realistically needs, taking a moment to pep talk his nerves away. Nut up, Winchester, he grabs two beers and uncaps them. There is an attractive man in your house so get your head in the game. He closes the fridge door with his hip, makes his way back to the living room, and stops short. Castiel, upon trying to take off his coat, had forgotten the wings strapped to his back. As a result of his efforts, he has both arms trapped behind him, the elastic holding them firmly in place.

“I may require your assistance with these wings,” he wriggles.

Just like that, the tense air is broken, and Dean places the beers down with a laugh. “I’m telling you, worst angel ever. I can’t believe you got more candy than me.” He eases the pipe cleaner out of his hair and begins to tug off the strap-on wings.

“You are wearing a fine costume, Dean. I would go so far as to award you with the superlative ‘Best Ass.’” Cas announces, rotating a shoulder when his arm finally goes free.

“Yeah, yeah,” Dean waves a hand dismissively, placing the wings and halo aside. “I’m about two seconds away from awarding you ‘Best Ass-Kisser,’” he snarks, turning to retrieve their beers just as Cas slides up behind him.

“I would gladly accept that title,” Cas rumbles into his ear, punctuating the statement with a kiss to the lobe.

The fine hairs on the nape of Dean’s neck stand on end. The beer bottles are noisily deposited back on the coffee table and Castiel finds himself getting bullied onto the couch. Dean clambers atop Cas who hums in agreement, placing a hand on Dean’s thigh and giving it a playful squeeze. “These pants do give you very shapely thighs.”

“They’re called breeches,” Dean replies snottily, “You should know, Equestrian Club Captain.”

“How did you know I made Captain?” Castiel inquires before deciding kissing Dean a more worthwhile endeavor.

“I--” Dean breaks off as Cas pulls him in a for a hot kiss. “Captain, really?”

Castiel makes a noise of complaint, incredulous that Dean would pick now of all times to learn about his college days. He quickly switches their positions, pushing Dean into the plush couch and climbing on top of him, settling directly on his hips. “Yes really, Dean. I’ll even show you pictures later if you will just shut up and kiss me. Please,” he adds as an afterthought.

It’s phrased as a request, but Dean hears the undercurrents of a command, and immediately hands are everywhere. There’s an intense rush of excitement, and for once there’s no need to turn on the TV to drown out the noise from privy 4-year old ears.

They tussle on the couch, articles of clothing slowly coming undone and disappearing. Cas sits up to help Dean out of his red tunic, the cross-strap belt halfway across the living room. Dean pushes Cas against the couch cushions, straddling his lap and pulling his shirt out of his pants. They’re both sporting boners, and they’re both desperate for friction, rutting against each other and making out like teenagers who skipped the prom altogether. Cas rolls his hips, grinding into Dean’s ass, the hard length rubbing between his cheeks and making Dean gasp. They’re still on the couch, they’re adults, godammit, and they need to be upstairs yesterday.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Dean pants, placing his hands on Cas’s chest.

Cas pants and frowns in worry. “Too fast? Do you want to stop?” The offer to stop is genuine, but incongruent compared to the rest of him that is screaming go: white dress shirt untucked and completely unbuttoned, tie loose and askew, hair mussed beyond belief, and an impressive hickey blooming on his collarbone.

Dean huffs a laugh. “Trust me, this is awesome. Let’s just move this upstairs.”

---

Once in Dean’s bedroom, the urgency from earlier becomes a slow burn, each touch hot and lingering.

They kiss slowly and languidly, Castiel maneuvering Dean toward the bed while he inches his hands under Dean’s t-shirt. He peels the shirt off, pressing kisses to each bit of skin as it is revealed. Naked from the waist up, Dean settles on the bed and props himself up on his elbows, quirking an eyebrow at Cas.

Castiel climbs onto the bed, bracketing Dean’s hips with his thighs. He kisses the expanse of skin before him, from Dean’s collarbones to his navel, dipping a tongue into the small hollow. Castiel’s hands wander, mapping Dean’s body, feeling the quick expand-contract of his ribs, rubbing his thumbs over Dean’s nipples as they respond to the touch and harden.

Cas kisses his way up from Dean’s navel to his chest, pausing momentarily before licking a broad swipe over one of Dean’s nipples. Dean gasps, hips jerking up, hands grasping at Castiel’s shoulders.

Castiel smirks. “Good?”

Really good.”

Castiel licks and kisses Dean’s nipple, biting lightly while pinching and rolling the other with his thumb and forefinger. Dean whines and pants, arching his back into Cas’s touch as he focuses his attention on the other nipple.

Cas blows on the nipple and sits up, admiring the red marks on Dean’s chest. Dean is trembling, cock tenting in his breeches and blushing from his cheeks to his chest.

Castiel’s dick twitches, painfully hard. “Take off your pants.”

Dean moans, snapping out of his pleasure-induced haze to shimmy out of the tight breeches. He pulls them off, tossing them toward the laundry basket by the closet.

He kneels on the bed, dick straining against his boxer briefs.

Castiel’s eyes darken with want. “Everything off, Dean.”

Dean skims his hands over the waistband of the briefs, pulling the elastic away and slowly easing them off his legs. He’s completely naked now, a stark contrast to Cas’s still-clothed body. He bites his lip, enjoying the powerplay.

“Lay back on the bed,” Cas orders, and Dean goes without protest, spreading his legs as Cas settles between them.

Castiel sucks marks into the sensitive skin of Dean’s thighs, biting his way up to his hips. Dean can feel Cas’s breath on his dick, each kiss, bite, and suck closer and closer to his penis, but never quite making the mark. He clenches his fists in the sheets.

“C’mon, Cas, c’mon,” he pants.

Cas hovers over his cock, so close, but pulls away. “Touch yourself, Dean. I want to see you do it.”

Dean unfurls a hand and brings it to his mouth, licking at his palm before wrapping it around his cock. He pumps his hand up and down the shaft, moaning as he sees Cas palm himself through his slacks. He quickens his pace, hand twisting on the upstroke. He’s close, he can feel his balls tightening, arousal curling hot and insistent in his stomach.

Castiel can see Dean begin to tip over the edge, technique faltering as he seeks his release. “Stop, Dean.”

Dean groans and squeezes the base of his cock, “Jesus fucking Christ, Cas, if you don’t get naked right now, I swear to god--”

He sits up and lunges at Cas, wrestling him out of his clothes and lavishing the same attention he was afforded earlier. Dean flips them over, admiring the view for a moment before sucking a high school-sized hickey low on Cas’s neck. Cas, Dean discovers, has sensitive ears and a very sensitive neck, practically growling when Dean bites on an earlobe.

When Dean finally pulls off Cas’s underwear, Cas is fully erect, dick slightly curved and long. Dean smiles wickedly and swallows Cas down in one smooth, glorious move.

“Fuck,” Cas groans, “fuck.”

Dean hums smugly around Castiel’s length, head bobbing up and down as Cas quickly unravels. Cas threads his fingers through Dean’s hair and Dean groans, pulling off Cas with an obscene pop and pressing a kiss to the tip of his penis.

Cas whines at the loss of Dean’s mouth on him, hands falling to his sides. Dean takes one of Cas’s hands and holds it up to his mouth, tongue darting out to lick at his fingertips before sucking two fingers into his mouth.

Castiel’s eyes darken, understanding the silent request. He turns them over, but instead of grabbing the bottle of lube, he hitches Dean’s legs over his shoulders. He suckles on the tip of Dean’s penis, then gently laps his way down the length and continues past his balls to lick at the puckered hole.

Dean jerks at the sensation, locking his ankles behind Cas’s head. “Jesus!” He bites back a moan, embarrassed at how good Cas’s tongue feels.

Cas eases his tongue in, each time pressing a little deeper. Dean’s thighs shake, eyes half-shut in pleasure, so distracted he doesn’t notice Cas fumbling for the lube. The next poke of Cas’s tongue is accompanied by the tip of his pointer finger.

“More, more, please,” Dean begs, so beyond caring at this point. He’s so turned on he could cry. “Just fuck me already.”

Cas studiously ignores him, deftly adding a second finger and pressing in, in, there--

The spark of electricity when Cas brushes against his prostate is so intense he actually yells out, feels like his breath has almost been punched out of his lungs. Suddenly everything is too hot, too intense, too much, not enough.

“Cas,” Dean sobs, gasping for breath, “I won’t ask again, please. Fuck me or I’m going to roll us over and fuck you for being such a tease.” If he means to sound threatening, the effect is lost in the way he presses back against Cas’s fingers, searching for pressure and friction.

It’s finally too much for Cas to wait. With his free hand, he fumbles for a condom, passing it to Dean. “Roll it on me,” he pants, continuing to fuck Dean open with his fingers.

Dean rolls the condom on, giving Cas two firm pumps before Cas pulls his fingers out. Dean falls back against the mattress, digging his ankles into Cas’s back. “Come on,” he whispers, body flushed with want.

Cas reverently places his hands on Dean’s hips, holding him still as he presses into Dean. His mouth drops open, a small “oh” escaping his lips.

“This is my favorite part,” Dean hisses with pleasure, pants turning into moans as Cas presses all the way in. Cas is big, he saw and felt that in his mouth, but now he’s so full, legs going slack and slipping off Cas’s shoulders.

Cas catches Dean’s legs and tucks them back onto his shoulders, pulling his hips back before snapping them forward.

“Ah!” Cas starts driving into him in earnest, hitting his prostate with every other thrust. “Right there, yeah, c’mon Cas.”

Before long they’re both panting and grunting, ‘so good’s and ‘make me crazy’s and ‘I could fuck you forever’s escaping their lips.

They’re getting close, Dean can feel he’s almost there, Cas’s thrusts becoming more erratic and less controlled. He wraps a hand around his dick and gets three pumps in when Cas pulls his hand away and pins his arms over his head.

“No,” Cas gasps, sweat dripping down his nose, “just like this.”

“I can’t, I can’t,” Dean pleads, frustrated and desperate, but Cas just fucks him harder, bed shifting and headboard slamming against the wall. “I-- I--Ah!”

Dean comes with an intensity he’s never felt before, whiting out as Cas fucks him through his orgasm. Cas pounds into him for a few more thrusts before finally coming himself and collapsing on top of Dean in a boneless heap.

It takes them both a few minutes to collect themselves. Cas pulls out slowly and tosses out the condom. Dean reaches around for anything to wipe them down, grabs Cas’s button-up shirt and cleans them both.

They lay there, naked and sated until their breathing evens out. Cas sighs deeply and settles into the mattress. “Amazing.”

Dean grins. “I know, right? Memory foam.”

---

By the end of their third round, Cas’s hair sticks to his sweaty temples and Dean pushes his hair back, smiling at the unruly tufts of hair that stay upright in defiance.

Castiel closes his eyes and hums at the sensation. “That feels good.” He tilts his head into Dean’s touch.

“Finally, a cat I’m not allergic to,” Dean chuckles.

Cas snorts, remembering the fiasco, and moves closer to Dean on the bed. “Your face puffed up like a balloon, here,” he places a kiss on Dean’s nose, “and here,” a kiss on each cheek, “and here,” two gentle kisses on Dean’s eyelids.

Dean catches Cas’s lips with his own before he moves away. “Hey, it’s not funny. I got hives you know.”

Cas drags his gaze down Dean’s body, appreciating the numerous hickeys and bite marks. “You look like you have hives now.”

“And I have you to blame for that. Again.” Dean pretends to be put-out by the red bruises, and Cas just chuckles and sighs out deeply, becoming increasingly drowsy.

“My pleasure,” he slurs sleepily. And just like that, Cas is out like a light.

Dean lays on his side, facing Cas, watching him breathe slow and deep. He closes his eyes and waits for sleep to take him.

It doesn’t.

Dean rolls onto his back, shifting on the mattress to find a comfortable spot. Ah, there, that’s his memory foam kicking in, and he relaxes into its comfort.

Except he still can’t fall asleep. It’s not fair. Cas is out, sleeping like a log, and he can’t get his mind to shut up enough to follow suit.

Oh God. He and Cas had sex.

Why is it suddenly such a big deal? They’d both been aching for it, planning and planning for a night together that finally got to happen, but now that it has, Dean can’t help the unexpected bout of anxiety it brings.

He turns his head to glance at Cas. He’s gorgeous, distractingly so, even asleep and snoring softly, naked body firm and perfect. Dean swallows and turns his gaze to the ceiling. It’s been a while since he’d been in anyone’s bed, and even longer since he’d invited anyone into his. It’s shocking to Dean how intensely he needed Cas, how he still needs him, wants to continue needing him. The implications of that are terrifying.

Cas sniffs in his sleep, shifting and reaching a hand out to Dean, fingers curling around his shoulder. For all their chemistry and conversation, he still knows surprisingly little about him. Cas is 29, he’s Sam’s teacher, he has two siblings, he lives in an apartment with his cat, and still pretty new to town.

But he doesn’t know where Cas grew up, where he went to school and spent his summers as a child, what kind of family he has, did he have pets growing up? What was his favorite subject in school? Why did he choose to be a teacher? Why Oxford? Why grad school while living with his sister?

Dean wants to know the answers to all these questions, wants Cas to share facts about his life so Dean can tell Cas all about his. He wants Cas to know about his parents and why he takes care of Sam and how he almost couldn’t do it. He wants to be known by Cas, be discovered by him, and possibly, maybe...loved? Accepted despite his faults and his occasional stupid flares of temper and fierce protectiveness over his car, how he’d do anything, anything, to make sure Sam gets everything he ever needs, maybe even let him have a dog a few years down the line when Sam understands the responsibility involved in having a pet that relies solely on its owners.

And god, how could he forget Sam in all of this? Sam adores Cas, and isn’t that just icing on the cake? It’s so easy to be with Cas because Sam approves in his own way, teasing Dean about them being boyfriends.

Are they even boyfriends? They’ve never brought it up, and Dean’s sure as hell not going to be the one to do it. Winchesters are not needy, or clingy. Besides, they’re fine the way they are, right? They’ll figure it out as they go. It’s so unlike the past few years to have perfect, beautiful, amazing Cas fall into his life like this, and have everything work out so well. What if he fucks things up? He already has once, and Cas was gracious enough to start over with him, but who’s to say he won’t fuck it up again?

The thoughts become a cycle of doubts, each feeding into the next, and before he knows it the first tendrils of sunlight are peeking in through the curtains.

He needs sleep, or as much sleep as he can get between now and heading to work, so he turns onto his side, feeling Cas’s arms wrap around his waist, Cas pressed against him, a warm, sturdy line along his back grounding him even as he drifts off into sleep.

---

END PART 5

Tags: pairing: castiel/dean, type: fic, word count: 10001-15000
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