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748. it's always darkest before dawn

Hurt/Comfort - Hurt/comfort is a fan fiction genre that involves the physical pain or emotional distress of one character, who is cared for by another character. The injury, sickness or other kind of hurt allows an exploration of the characters and their relationship.

- Post with Character Name | Series in the subject.
- Others respond.
- Roll 1-10 at RNG for a scene, play it out and have fun!

1. INJURY. You've been injured. Broken bones or bleeding out or maybe just a tiny little papercut. The choice is yours.
2. SICKNESS. You're sick and laid up in bed, at home or in a hospital. The severity is up to you.
3. FEAR/ANXIETY. Something is happening and you're scared beyond belief.
4. LOSS OF SENSES. Sight, touch, taste, hearing, smell, etc. You've lost some important sense or ability and now you're left to deal with it.
5. DESPAIR. Nothing is good or right anymore and you can't shake the depression. Maybe that friend of yours can help though...
6. BREAKUP. You've been dumped. You need someone to comfort you, possibly by the one who dumped you.
7. MAKE UP. Fight or break up, it's time to makeup.
8. RESCUED. You've just been held captive and/or tortured for however long and finally, someone has come to the rescue.
9. BAD ROMANCE. Fight, cheated on, abused, whatever the case is, someone else can clearly see you need comfort from someone who isn't your terrible lover tonight.
10. LOSS. You've experience a loss of some kind and need help getting through it.
11. INSANITY. You're seeing things that aren't really there, hearing voices, or you're just convinced you're at your wit's end finally and you're going to crack. Maybe someone can give you a helping hand.
12. TIRED. You've had a heard life recently and you're just worn too thin to really care anymore. There's no fight left in you anymore. Can someone help change your mind?
13. ADDICTION. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, or any other type of addiction has got you in its grasp. First time or relapse. Will someone be able to save you?
14. INSOMNIA. You can't sleep anymore, no matter how hard you try. Maybe someone can give you company.
15. NIGHTMARES. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you can't sleep without gruesome, horrible nightmares. Either someone is stuck in your dream with you, witnessing it or they're just waking you up, soothing you out of it.
16. BLACKMAIL. You've been caught doing something you shouldn't and you were blackmailed because of it
17. SEPARATION. You're going to be separated for awhile or were separated for a long time. Either make up for lost time or try to spend every last moment together.
18. VIOLATED. You've been violated in some way. Can include sexual overtones or not. Can someone help you through it?
19. STRANDED. You've been stranded somewhere remote, with no help of anyone finding you for awhile. Can you survive this together?
20. SINS. You're feeling the weight of your sins and guilt clearer than ever. Can someone give you absolution or lessen the ache any?
21. SECRET. It's difficult having to keep that secret of yours, be it a relationship or something you just don't want to share with anybody else. Maybe it's okay to talk about it now though...
22. ADDITION. Babies should be joyous things unless you're in a situation where you know you won't be able to care for them. Either you've adopted or found out you're pregnant.

Ordinary!Cas | Supernatural AU

14/21 Because things have been too happy, clearly

[Dean's usually pretty good about keeping a schedule, his day at the garage starts early and it's good, honest work so he's always ready for bed by eleven or twelve. He's a routine kind of guy. This, though... this is borderline ridiculous. It's nearly half passed three in the morning, and he can't sleep. His mind just keeps going back to...

Shit. He's pretty sure he's crazy about his roommate. It was alright at first, this 'hey, I'd fuck him in the back of the Impala' feeling that was more physical attraction than anything. And then it progressed into, 'hey, I can tell this guy about my past because he's slowly turning into my best friend'. Which would have been fine, awesome, in fact, if it negated that first feeling.

But still, the two were tolerable.

Until they weren't.

He's not used to... like... wanting. And it's freaking terrifying. It's getting harder to live with, because he's got to physically stop himself from doing something stupid, something that'll fuck up this whole thing. And even that he wouldn't really mind as much, because he's used to losing things, but the problem is? Cas is getting to be too damn important to lose.

He's going to have to... to move out, or something. Fuck.

It's a whirlwind of thoughts like that which keep him up, rolling around in bed until he's positive he's uncomfortable in every single position, so he sneaks out, down the hall and to that window in the living room that leads to the fire escape. Slips out it and sits on the cold metal platform, because he needs some fresh air and a little space. If he had time, he'd get in the Impala and just... drive somewhere, but responsibility and reason are preventing that, for the moment, so this is the next best thing.]


[Cas, for his part, has been living in a state of denial as far as his feelings go. Denying the dreams, the looks, the horribly inappropriate things that cross his mind when Dean steps out of the shower, leaves for work, comes home from work, or breathes.

Denying the way that he's beaten off imagining Dean's mouth on more than one occasion. And that's not even beginning to touch the other, less physical things he tries to tell himself aren't really there. If it were just the physical, he could deal; hell, if it were purely physical he'd probably have done something about it by now. He's no prude, not anymore, and has absolutely no qualms about seeking pleasure, especially from someone as beautiful as Dean.

No, if it were only physical, he'd hit that like the fist of an angry god. Twice.

But it's... Decidedly not. It's gone past the point of constantly occasionally checking him out when he's not looking and wondering what those broad shoulders would feel like under his fingers, and has careened into things like 'hmm we're out of bacon maybe I should go get some because Dean likes bacon' and 'wow that was hilarious let me just text Dean about it, he'd think it's funny too' and that stupid fucking twinge in his chest every time he says things like "family" and "are you coming home tonight?".

Things like how, when he's had a crap day and just wants to curl up in bed and smoke all the bowls, he'd still rather hang around on the couch and shoot the shit with Dean because it's better.

But that's not... They're roommates, friends and he just cares too damn much about fucking everything up. He cares enough that he's willing to deny, deny, deny just to keep things the way they are. He's happy the way they are. It's enough.

He's just gonna go to sleep now, because he isn't having this argument with himself tonight. It's not going to solve anything, nothing's ever going to happen...

...Was that the fire escape creaking? He's pretty sure he just heard clanking of a distinctly fire-escapish nature. No barking, but that could just mean that Colt's out cold from his day of exhausting puppy activities. He sits up, squinting into the dark of his room, waffling over whether or not to check it out.

He decides that it's probably a good idea, just to be sure, because he's certainly not going to be getting to sleep any time soon if he's suspicious about someone sneaking in here and stealing their shit or their puppy. He pushes off of his mattress- which is on the floor so it takes more effort than he's really in the mood for to get up- and gropes around until he finds a pair of jeans to tug on before slipping out of his room to see what the deal is.

There's Colt, curled up on the couch like the little ball of fuzz he is; totally normal, nothing out of the ordinary... And there's the open window. He frowns at the open window. Did he leave it like that? He doesn't think so... He isn't getting any weird dude-with-a-gun vibes, and so he pads closer, just to be sure...

Oh. It's... Dean. Sitting on the fire escape. At three AM. No, that's totally normal. He sticks his head out the window, still more relieved than he'd care to admit despite the strangeness of Dean on the fire escape at three AM.]



[If Dean had the capacity to read minds- apart from one glaringly obvious situation being sorted out in a single fell six second swoop- he'd want to kiss Cas right on the spot for being legitimately indignant at the idea of someone attempting to steal their puppy. That's just so very him, and exactly the type of weird, caring shit Cas did to make himself so freaking... important.

Son of a bitch. It was worse than he thought. What the hell is he going to do? Could he move out, ditch out on him? He thinks probably not- just like he wouldn't ditch out on Sam if he had the choice. That's just not... that's not supposed to happen. At all, ever. He doesn't do that.

And it scares the shit out of him.

Hell, if he could read minds, half of the annoying girly thought processes running through there at any given moment might just make him laugh himself into a hernia. Just little inclusive moments where he doesn't really consider doing anything alone anymore. And Cas is usually tacked on right after it. And that's just... Shit, man. He's got to move out or something. Maybe just... take a break. A vacation. Something. Anything.

And speaking of- the man himself. Dean jerks, startled, and suppresses a startled cry that locks in his throat and clenches his teeth.]

Jesus Christ, Cas, wear a bell or something.

Edited at 2012-02-23 03:05 am (UTC)


[Hey, no one steals their puppy. Mala beads are useful for more than just meditation, he bets he could choke a bitch with them, too.

A bell? What is he, a dog? He makes a face as he peers out into the dark.]

Yeah, I'll get right on that, Mr. Night Stalker. What're you doing out here?

[It's three AM, and also pretty damn cold. Cold enough that he wishes he'd grabbed a jacket. Or hey, maybe even just a shirt would have been good. It's too late now, though, and so he guesses he'll just tough it out. Stepping out of the window and onto the fire escape, and totally oblivious to the very serious thinking he's intruding on, he winces at the cold metal under his feet. Shoes, next time he thinks they're being robbed in the middle of the night he's gonna be sure to wear some shoes.

He runs a hand through his already-mussed hair and blinks out into the lights of the town, and he has to admit, it's a decent view.

If he were having a crisis, which he definitely isn't, this would be a pretty good place to go to try and puzzle it out. It doesn't even cross his mind that that's what Dean might be doing out here.

Actually, he has no clue why Dean might be out here. He has work in… Well, soon, and it's pretty out of character for him to be sitting out on the fire escape when he could be sleeping and making sure he's in the best possible shape for his day of actual honest work.

…Cas wonders what that feels like.

It's definitely strange, and the more he thinks about it, the more unsettled by it he is. Maybe something happened with Sam…? He really hopes not.]

[The day Cas chokes a bitch with a strand of hippy beads is the day he laughs himself into a hernia at the irony. Weren't they supposed to be peaceful or something? He's pretty sure the story would startle the vegan that made them into some kind of vegetable-induced heart attack. Which would just... really make the whole thing even funnier.

But that's a good attitude to have. Nobody steals their dog. Bitches will be choked at the attempt. Survivors will be choked a second time. Times like this, he wishes he'd have kept his Dad's guns somewhere other than storage.

Alright, Dean, quick, come up with a plausible excuse. Why would you be on a fire escape platform at three in the morning, without sounding crazy and/or revealing the fact that you're in mumblemumble?]

...Oh, I was just. Pfft. Ah.

[Yes. Nice one. That'll probably do. He waves a hand.]

Thinking. Just thinking.

[Shirtless shoeless psychic bastard's going to see right through him, and he doesn't even have a convenient cover story. And there's no way in hell he's falling back on Sam as his go-to excuse. He'd never do that.

He fidgets with the strings on his hoodie. Cas shirtless is a distraction at the best of times, right now it's going to worry him into a freaking coma, so he shrugs it off and passes it over, looking annoyed because it's easier and manlier than looking concerned.]

You're going to catch friggin' pneumonia, and I'm not taking care of your ass while you hog the couch and look pathetic.

[Yeah, he probably would.]

[Ahimsa only extends to people who aren't puppy thieves. Puppy thieves are excluded.

It's dark, and Cas's vision isn't the best, and so he can't see the expression on Dean's face that would probably be a dead giveaway that he's trying to come up with a plausible story. To Cas it just looks like Dean's distracted, or maybe that he's frozen to death or something.

There's a bunch of stuttering, which, okay, weird, but he doesn't press, only raises an eyebrow and waits for an actual response.

Thinking. Okay, thinking he can buy. He watches Dean tug and poke at his hoodie strings, and is about to ask if he wants to talk about it- not that he really thinks Dean will go for that, but he always offers anyway- when he's (successfully, if it'd been Dean's intention) distracted by the admonishment about his half-dressed state. He makes a face, though he's sure Dean can't see it in the dark.]

You would if you ever wanted to hear the end of my whining.

[Cas exemplifies the Man Cold. He's the person 'Man Cold' was coined for. It really is pitiful.

Frowning, he looks Dean over again, and sitting there in his hoodie and thin as fuck pajama pants, Cas can't imagine Dean's much warmer than he is. Okay, so he has a good thirty extra pounds of muscle on him, but still... It's fucking cold.

Part of him thinks he should go back inside and leave Dean to his thinking, since he's a grown man and doesn't need a damn babysitter, but the other part is telling him that something's up and he'd be a terrible friend to leave him alone out here in the cold.

He decides on a bit of both.]

Well now that I've sufficiently frozen my nipples off, I'm gonna make myself some tea. You want any?

[It wasn't stuttering, it was conversational pause. It's called timing, and he's allowed to experiment with it. He doesn't stutter. He just... god, he needs to check himself 'fore he wrecks himself. This is such a shitty situation in general, and he's not really sure how to solve it.

Move out- Shut up, voice in his head. Reasonable, sensible voice. If it were anybody else coming up to him, asking him for advice on the situation, that would be his solution. Move out, get away from it, stop subjecting yourself to something that's never gonna happen, you're just going to stretch it out and make it worse, and then it'll hurt in the end when it all comes crashing down. People spend years flopping around over other people. Dean is not one of those people.

He just... happens to be very bad at letting people go. That doesn't mean it's the same thing.]


[The look he shoots Cas at the question can't even really be put into words- Are you seriously asking me if I, Dean Winchester, want a cup of tea? He decides to let the look do all the sarcasm for him, and falls back on a nicer response.]

No, thank you. Think I'll pass on that.

[He can just barely make out that look, and he raises his eyebrows.]

Suit yourself.

[He steps back inside, padding as silently as possible over to the kitchen to turn the water on. Turn your nose up all you want, Dean. Tea is amazing.

He turns the coffee pot on, too, because he's awesome like that and is pretty sure Dean's gonna need to up his intake at least threefold to survive the day; there's nothing shittier than being exhausted at work.

Shivering slightly, he decides that now is probably a good time to get a shirt or a hoodie or a maybe even snowsuit. Meandering back into his room- quietly, so that he doesn't wake the sleeping ball of energized death curled up on the couch- he digs up one of his thickest shirts and a sweater best described as a drug rug; from Mexico- he's really into the whole authenticity thing. He also tugs on a pair of fluffy woven socks-- grandma image be damned, it's fucking cold. Satisfied that that the threat of freezing to death has now been dealt with, he makes his way back into the kitchen, tiptoeing past the couch to lean against the counter with a sigh.

There's a choice to be made here: bring Dean some coffee and leave, go inside and smoke a bowl or two, or take his wonderful, warm, soothing tea and sit out there with him until he either talks, comes inside, or pushes him off the fire escape. Whichever comes first.

Who's he kidding? Of course he's gonna sit out there with him. He's curious, of course, he's no saint, but more than that he's actually kind of worried. If it'd been about Sam, Dean probably would have said something... Maybe Bobby or Ellen? He really doesn't know. It's not that he's privy to every detail of Dean's life, but they're friends and they live together so he imagines if it was something important he'd tell him. He hopes he'd tell him, anyway. Aside from one or two glaring examples to the contrary- namely the nature of his feelings and the shady-ass trips to attempt to reconcile with his family- he's been straight with Dean. So he's a bit of a hypocrite... Who isn't?

Maybe he's reading too much into it. Maybe he's just too tired to sleep.

Maybe he met some girl.


The teapot starts screeching as if on cue to the undeniable twinge of (unreasonable) jealousy, and he switches it off quickly, eyes darting over to the couch where Colt's still happily asleep, snuffling into his paws. Crisis averted, he drops a teabag into his mug and fills it, pushing it off to the side to steep while he screws around with the coffee machine. It's one of those fancy ones with too many dials and buttons and blinking lights... So complicated, tea is so much easier to deal with...

He figures it out eventually though, and after a few minutes of digging around looking for sugar- because he knows that's how Dean takes it and if he's gonna play maid he's gonna do it right, dammit- the coffee's done, his tea's done and he heads out to the fire escape with both, stepping into his shoes as he goes. He knocks on the window frame as he steps outside.]

Room service.

[He extends the coffee to Dean and settles himself against the railing.]

[Honestly, he expected Cas to say suit yourself, go inside, make himself some tea, and disappear into that zen chamber he called a room. Just as well, it would have been easier, because he'd have time to tell himself he's being insane- that his feelings for Cas aren't really all that involved, that he's just making this into a bigger deal than he ever really intended to. Just a lack of action combined with proximity.

He knows that's not the case. Hell, he probably knew when he brought Colt home- he hasn't been making a friendship, he's been making a family. He's been bedding down, setting up ties, staking his claim. Roping Cas in with more and more connections in the hopes that he wouldn't be able to disentangle himself. A dog- a mutual dog- a puppy. God, if he moves out, who gets the dog? Cas loves that dog. He loves that dog. Stupid fucking god damn dog.

And then, god bless him, Cas comes back out wearing the ugliest fucking sweater he's ever seen, in those ugly fucking socks, with tousled hair and a cup of coffee, and Dean just wants to dip him low like in the diner and kiss him until he drops that mug and it falls however many stories to the ground and shatters in an alley.

He accepts it. Drinks it. It's perfect. That's just... there's no question to it, Cas knows him so well, he knows how to make Dean's perfect cup of coffee.

He fights down the pain in his chest, because that cup of coffee is just... it's like pulling the trigger.]

I think I should move out.

[He's leaned up against the railing, sipping at his tea- and when, when will he learn not to drink it right away and spare his poor tongue being melted out of his mouth? Fuck, that hurts. Wincing, he lowers the mug, wraps his fingers around it like a hand warmer.

He's about to comment on the view, just to cut the tense silence that he's only just noticing, but then Dean saves him the trouble while simultaneously causing his stomach to drop to somewhere around his knees.

Did he hear that right? Because he thinks Dean's just said I think I should move out, but that can't be right, it just-- What.]

What? Why?

[He has to have heard him wrong. Everything's been going so well, they get along, neither of them has burned the place down yet, as far as he know the rent's covered... They have a puppy for fuck's sake.

This is so far out of left field he actually can't form a coherent thought past What?

He can't look Dean in the eye, either, and so he stares at his tea, watches the steam rise and disappear into the air that feels about a thousand times colder now.]

Is my coffee that bad?

[He means for it to be light, flippant, even, but despite his best efforts, it just comes out miserable, and he hates himself a little bit for being so transparent. He doesn't... It just figures that as soon as he gets comfortable, feels what he imagines are the stirrings of genuine happiness for the first time since his estrangement with his family, he goes and fucks it up somehow.

He would. Of course he would. That's just what he does.

He wonders if it's the smoking... But Dean'd never complained about it, never asked him to stop... And it's not like he surprised him with it, he'd told him up front, thinking it only fair...

Fuck, he just... Fuck.]

[Shit, fuck, the words left his mouth and he wasn't even sure he'd been intending to say them. They just... flew out like they had a mind of their own and it almost didn't seem real. As soon as he heard his own words, though, it sort of cemented their reality. Yeah- yeah it had to happen. This had to happen, he couldn't just-

And, shit, he doesn't have an excuse prepared just like he didn't have one for why he was sitting out on the fire escape. He's usually a pretty good liar, but not with Cas- has he lied to Cas? Not really. Not in a long time. Though- well, kind of every day was a lie, considering his feelings, but nothing so pointed as this?

What could he even say that would compare to being in love? What is a comparable move-out worthy reason? And he's not going to pin this on Cas- that's just not even- feelings or no, Cas is his friend, and, frankly, the best roommate he's ever had. He doesn't deserve some lame excuse, some bullshit answer made to pin the blame on him. Nope, this is all Dean.

Which doesn't put him any closer to finding an excuse, so he gropes for words for a second, eyes on the floor of the fire escape.]

You're coffee's fucking perfect. That's the problem.

[Well... sort of. In a roundabout way. It's the little things, really. It strikes him, then, that he's being a fucking coward. He's being the biggest god damned coward in the history of coward-dom.

Tell him the truth.

The fact of the matter is, he's going to have to move out anyway, right? And Cas is already hurt by the declaration- quite right, too, they're friends, and now he's springing this shit without warning? He'd feel like shit if Cas told him he had to move out, wouldn't he? And he doesn't have an alternative excuse, does he?

He should just tell the truth. He should just say it, say it like a man, own up to it like his Dad taught him to, take the rejection and go back inside and start packing, because that's what he's going to have to do anyway, and at least this way Cas gets the truth, and he gets closure, and it can be like a fresh... thing.

Right. Awesome.

Now just... open your mouth and say that.]

I.... lofffpt. Look. Okay. It's.

[Shit. Okay. Back-up plan. He stood up, curled his hands around the cold ass bars of the fire escape, and furrowed his brow. Closed his eyes rather than staring at the view. Hyper aware of Cas, standing against the railing two or three feet to his right.]

I want to fuck you. [...Okay, so far so good. We can work with that. Now, reign it in a little, cowboy.] But- see okay, that's not the problem- I want to fuck you and call you the next day, except that we live together, so it's more like I want to fuck you and take you out to brunch or something, and then go to work and come home to you and the god damn stupid fucking dog and cuddle on the couch- and fuck you for judging me, okay, that shit is comfortable and if you don't cuddle you're a god damned Nazi communist, and nobody likes those, so shut the fuck up. Well, I mean, I guess Hitler did, but that's really not where this conversation was supposed to go- I just mean- shit- fuck- I don't know- but it's only getting worse, because I could live with just wanting to fuck you- Hell, I'd probably already see if you were game, except you're the best friend I've ever had so- Jesus Christ this is the worst conversation I've ever had.

[He tenses. The hurt is so sudden and overpowering, so absolute that his only line of defense at this point is to get pissed. His coffee's too good? That's the reason why his best friend is moving out, running away, ditching him in this shitty ass town? Seriously? His brows knit together in the deepest of frowns, and he's really, really trying to keep from going off, from losing his shit out here on the fire escape at nearly four in the morning.

His coffee's perfect. What does that even mean?

Drumming his fingers along the edge of his mug, he looks off into the town, at the ground, to the side, anywhere but Dean because... Because if he looks at Dean he won't be able to stay pissed, and for the time being, anger is really the only thing separating him from an even worse kind of meltdown.

He's staring silently and resolutely at a stray piece of yarn sticking out of one of his socks when Dean speaks again, and he almost shrugs it off, excuses himself and goes inside to smoke the most epic of bowls, smoke himself into a coma, maybe... But he doesn't. Because he does look over at Dean at the sound of his voice and fuck, well, he's really screwed now.

He tries to keep his face as impassive as possible, though he's sure he's failing, and gets ready for the mother of all bullshit explanations.

That's not what he gets.]

I-- Dean... What.

[His mouth starts moving before his brain even gets a chance to process all of that. And his first thought, the first thing that comes to his mind is fuck, how dense can I possibly be?

He's a good looking guy. He's had no shortage of people interested in him, and thus far no problems with being able to spot that interest from a mile away- the pleasure thing, he's into it, and it's a handy skill to have, gauging a person's interest. And so the fact that Dean-- That he... How could he possibly miss it? He only spends a huge portion of his day with the guy on most days, and a good chunk of time and brain power thinking about him when they're not together... There's no way he should have missed something so obvious as I want to fuck you.

And that's not even touching the other, much more important revelation here, like the fact that everything he's ever wondered, wished, or fantasized about has pretty much just spilled out of Dean's mouth in an admission that's not really a confession so much as word vomit.

He's pretty sure there was something about Nazis in there, but he can't be positive because he's too busy focusing on the fact that Dean's just told him that not only does he want to fuck, he wants to cuddle on the couch with their puppy. He wants to come home to him. He wants to call him back, and as someone who's well-versed in the art of one night stands, that... That means something. It means he's not the only one who's-- Well, you get the point.

He's also pretty sure he's been staring blankly into Dean's face for the past minute or so. Fuck, he should really say something. Something witty, something smart, something--]


[...Something with actual words would be good, come on now.]

I don't-- [Suck it up, let's go, before you miss your one and only chance, jackass-- He swallows thickly, attempts to wet his dry lips with his tongue.] I'm not really seeing... Where the problem is. With any of that.

[His ears are fucking burning, his heart's thudding away in his chest, and his fingers are clenched so tightly against his mug he thinks it's either going to shatter or his knuckles will pop clear out of his skin. Fuck.]

I'm not a Nazi communist.

[He... Hopes that gets the point across. No, I'm not judging you. Yes, I want to lay around on the couch with you. Let's fuck and go get brunch. Things he wants to say but can't make the words come out, and so he takes a step closer instead, uncurls and hand from his as yet unbroken mug to curl in the sleeve of Dean's hoodie.]

[Yep, there goes that. It's all over in one fell swoop of verbal diarrhea. He should take some kind of public speaking class or something, because seriously, that was the least skilled, least tactful thing he'd ever said in his entire career of picking people up. Considering how extensive it is, that's quite an impressive failure.

Cas was looking at him like he was fucking retarded, which only really served to make him feel even more fucking retarded. His heart beat fast and hard against his chest, hyper-aware and still somehow surreal in a way that only happened when he was freaking out. He kind of wanted to punch himself for it- it was only Cas, he was only losing Cas, it wasn't that imperative, it wasn't that big of a deal. Except that it was. Still, this was pathetic- if you don't calm down right this fucking second and stop looking so pitiful-

And then that gravelly voice cut in, with his name, with hesitancy, with I don't-. Yeah. He gets that. That's why he's moving out, isn't it? It wasn't like he expected a freaking ride on the joy train before being gently let down. Jesus, he's moving out, shit, this was worse than they thought, and the dog- what are they going to do with the dog?

He cocked his head away an inch or two- not because he was being a giant pansy, but in case he turned into one, he'd like to leave with a little of his dignity- whatever was left of it, anyway.

I'm not really seeing... where the problem is. With any of that.



His brain blanks out in about .5 seconds, brows furrow incredulously as his stupid, sluggish brain tries to wrap around that statement. It starts with, well, the problem is that it's not going to go away, it's going to get worse, and he doesn't do that pining bullshit, he may be a pathetic sap, but he's not a freaking teenage girl-

A hand wraps around his wrist, rigid from gripping the railing so tightly.]

Wait- what--

[Just... the most genuinely uncomprehending face he's ever pulled. Dean's just so delightfully slow to wrap his brain around this, mostly because he never pictured having this conversation, let alone it going... well... like this.]

You- you get what I'm saying, right? Just so we're on the same page, here- with like... feelings and gay moments and... Martha Stewart Home Living-esque shit?

[He means serious... things. Not just fucking on the couch.

Well, yes, fucking on the couch. And the table, the bedroom, shower, floor, elevator, hallway- Christ, the back seat of the Impala. Not Cas's bed, though, because those hippy beads kill his erection cold.

Well, okay, maybe Cas's bed, too.]

[That face... That expression of complete and utter confusion... Was he not as obvious as he'd assumed he'd been? Really, the staring alone, he'd thought for sure he'd been caught at it at least half a dozen times.

Maybe Dean'd just written it off as that stoner staring thing he does sometimes when he's really baked. That has to be it, because damn, he'd thought it'd been pretty obvious.

That face is still there, and fuck if Cas doesn't want to lean forward, kiss that confusion away...

He doesn't, though, because talking should probably happen first. God, first, look at him go, just assuming things, assuming that because he'd thrown it out there it's all going to be smooth sailing from here on out... Right, because that's how his life goes.

He's so busy spiraling into despair- because he's just so good at doing that when he hasn't smoked a joint or five- that he doesn't really register Dean's hand around his wrist until he's started speaking, and when he does, he can't tell if it's a warning, a request to unclench his fingers from the warm soft fabric of the hoodie, or just... He doesn't know. And so he's just gonna leave his hand where it is.

A small smile curves his lips, he can't help it. The words "Martha Stewart Living" need to never come out of Dean's mouth ever again, it's too much.]

I-- Yeah. Yeah no, I get it. I'm... I want that. With you. So...

[They're really having this conversation, aren't they? His mind just... Almost can't handle it. They're having this conversation and unlike just about every other serious conversation he's ever had, it doesn't look like it's going to end with him being tossed out on his ass or estranged from people he cares about. Imagine that. Shock and awe.

He won't turn down fucking on any and all available surfaces, but that pretty much goes without saying. They will have to make it to Cas's bed someday; he has a pillow top and a heated blanket, come on, it's pretty much the greatest bed in existence. You'll just have to learn to love the beads, Dean.]

[Cas could have been the most obvious person in the world and Dean probably still wouldn't have picked up on it- mostly because it was mutual, and therefor beyond his grasp. He's a subtle genius when it comes to one night stands, a game of cat and mouse when it comes to flirty chicks or the occasional chatty guy, but when it comes to actual feelings? When he's around someone for more than one or two nights, in a place that isn't a bar, when he actually cares, he's so far out of his depth, he practically drowns.

And Cas was... Cas. Despite his narcissistic tendencies, Dean's got one hell of an inferiority complex. Why anybody would love him is just... man, it's beyond him.

Except that Cas apparently does- holy fucking- are you- is this seriously happening? Is the universe punking him right now? Because if so, this isn't a fucking funny joke. If he gives in to this and it gets taken away from him in the next step like everything always does, he's going to have a serious bone to pick with the universe, because this is...

It comes in waves, that dawning realization and the corresponding acceptance- trickles in slowly at first that this is actually happening, and then rushes over him and floods through his chest like he's having a heart attack- except an amazing, wonderful heart attack. Not the burger inducing kind- though that's probably not far off, thanks to his diet.]

So- wait. Let me get something straight, here.

[He pauses a second, cocking his head, pulls his hand away to motion between the two of them.]

All this time... we could have been having sex?




And- excuse him, how, exactly, did he not know about this godly heaven of a bed Cas owns? Pillow top and a heated blanket, and Dean's been curling up like a friggin' cat trying to generate some warmth because he's too Manly (read: lazy) to go out and buy a decent comforter and sheet set? This is the epitome of bullshit. Deangland is going to have to branch out and try to steal Casfrican territory or something. Plant the flag in Cas's bed.

...Innuendo acceptable, apparently.]

Mmm... That's, uh... About the gist of it, yeah.

[Cas's bed is the best kept secret in the state. It's the perfect place to exist really, and Cas is privately of the opinion that it should be deemed the eighth- or is it ninth now? He can't remember- wonder of the world. The only reason he doesn't spend every waking second baked out of his mind and laying in it is the fact that until now, it'd been in there and Dean's been out here. And so clearly he might be open to an invasion of that territory, especially if it comes in the form of Dean planting his flag. No, really. Dean's flag would be welcomed with open arms. Cas is more than willing to have his bed become an occupied nation.

Not that he's going to let his nation fall quietly... But he imagines when the invaders storm the beaches it will probably be enjoyable for all parties involved.]

Lot of missed opportunities...

[Bed war politics aside, Cas thinks they're going to have to start making up for lost time, and so he steps closer, right up into Dean's space, and slides a hand up the back of his neck before leaning in to press a surprisingly chaste kiss to his lips with a soft hum. His still-warm mug of tea is clenched in his hand between them, heating his chest through his garish sweater, and as nice as it is, he knows he probably shouldn't try to push for more than this, as much as he wants to. It's late, really, really late and he doesn't wanna be the reason Dean drops a car on top of himself at the garage tomorrow for lack of sleep. Because that would happen. That's how his life goes.

But until that time when he's inevitably screwed, he's going to enjoy this. He's actually still at a loss for how this happened, how it's actually happening, and he swears to whatever god it is that's responsible if this turns out to be an incredibly vivid, amazing dream he's going to be pissed. He's a hippy, peace and love and all that, and it takes a lot to get him angry... But that'd do it. If he wakes up in his wonderful bed and this turns out to have been his mind torturing him, he's going to have a problem.

It doesn't feel like a dream, though. Well it does, but there are a few key differences that having him leaning in the direction of Is Really Happening: the cold, for one-- even out on the fire escape of his subconscious, his mind would never let it be this cold. It's really fucking cold. And secondly, and more obviously, if this were a dream, they'd be wearing far, far fewer clothes... As much as he likes the way Dean looks in that hoodie. No, this might actually be real. Unbelievable.]

[Dean would be nothing short of disappointed if Cas let his territory fall quietly. The aftermath, though... if they're both in the eighth or ninth wonder of a bed Cas owns, there's absolutely no reason to leave it. Considering the way he's freezing his ass off right now, he might not leave warmth ever again when he finds it. He should install a mini-fridge into the box-spring and stock it with beer and sandwiches. Casfrica? More like Casibbean Islands. That sounds like freaking paradise.

And then, a pair of lips press against his own. Considering him and Cas are the only ones on the balcony, he's reasonably certain Cas is kissing him. Holy Jesus fuck shit wow yes awesome, good. It's good, because despite having been the one to bring up this conversation, he couldn't quite steel himself and get up the balls to cross the distance himself. Clearly, that isn't an issue.

It's gentle, it's chaste, and it's amazing, and his mind gets totally wiped- this time in a good way. For a second, instead of thinking, he just feels- soft, gentle pressure gently moving, and he moves back, pressing in just a little, deepening, strengthening. The scary part, though, is that it isn't about sex. This kiss has absolutely nothing to do with sex at all, and so when he pushes closer, it's for purely emotional reasons.

God, he's turning into a fucking girl. This is ridiculous. He's a friggin' soccer mom. This is like a romance novel, and he's a friggin' soccer mom. Shit.

Which doesn't stop him from bringing his arms up, wrapping them around Cas's shoulders and holding on tight. Because he's always wanted to, and now he can- and Jesus isn't that awesome? That's just so freaking awesome, that this is actually happening. Cas's mug is hot and hard against his ribs, and he wants to nudge it out of the way and chuck it off the landing because who the hell drinks tea, anyway? Coffee drinkers are sane, reasonable people that leave their mugs sitting where they can be knocked over- but firmly out of the way.

Despite the cold, the mug, the (eugh) emotions, the fact that it's three thirty in the morning and they're on a fucking fire escape, he's pretty sure he could just... stay there and kiss Cas exactly like this forever.

Shit. He has to go to work tomorrow. Today. Whatever. Fuck- because right now would be a really opportune time to learn Cas's bed and... other parts of him. That's not going to happen today, though. They have plenty of time. And, not for the first time, Dean's going to be staring at the clock all day at work, waiting to get back to this dorky, gay apartment.]

[It does sound like paradise, and Cas might even be open to the mangling of his mattress if it'd mean an added excuse to never, ever leave his bed.

Cas hums against Dean's lips as he presses forward, deepening the kiss and it's even better- as ridiculous as this thought even is- because he knows it's not about sex. How could it be, when he knows Dean's not irresponsible enough to forgo sleep entirely when he needs to be at work in a few hours? Cas is, hell, if it were just himself he'd be screwing he'd be all for it, he could just camp out in the back at the shop and that'd be that. But Dean... Dean thinks about things like that, has too much respect, would never even think of going into work half asleep because he'd spent the night fucking on the couch...

And even though Cas would love to pull him inside, make this the best night either of them has had in a good long time, the thought that it's not going to happen because Dean wouldn't wanna go into work like that, and Cas doesn't want to turn him into a slacker, well... It's endearing. It's one of the reasons Cas can summon up for this... this being a good idea, other than the way it makes him feel, jittery and warm and relaxed in a way that's usually reserved for chilled out smoking time.

Dean's arms wrap around his shoulders, and it's so warm despite the chill that Cas thinks he could probably just stay out here like this indefinitely. He manages to disentangle the hand with the mug, pulls it out from between them and wraps it around Dean's waist as his other hand brushes fingers through his hair. Fuck, this is nice, do they really have to--

Yeah, yeah they do. He breaks the kiss- as painful as it is to do so, because fuck if Dean's lips don't feel as good as they look- and leans his forehead into Dean's, a lopsided kind of smile tugging at his lips.]

It's pretty late, we should probably-

[Go back inside? Go to bed? Together? Not together? Dammit, he hadn't really thought that one through...]

[Mangling is such a strong word for the vast technological improvements Dean could install into that lazy stoner heaven known as Cas's bed. Unfortunately, he's not going to get to meet it tonight, but they've got plenty of time for that. There is absolutely no goddam sensible reason why they should rush anything just because they live together. Quite the opposite, actually.

Normally, he'd be freaking out. Shit, they already live together, that's sort of a precarious god damned situation, isn't it? What if things go wrong? What if they don't mesh, what if Cas changes his mind or shit goes down or Dean screws up like he always screws up? They live together already, they've skipped a step, they've gone straight into the phase with the most consequences if things go south. Except... well, he's not sure what it is, but he doesn't feel afraid. He just... it feels like... maybe, for once, it's actually going to work out.

Oh, god. Wow. Shit. That's.

Fucking terrifying.


Arms wrap around his waist, fingers thread through his hair, and the flutter in his chest effectually neutralizes any air he may have had left in his lungs. Cas pulls back, but not completely, and it's a nice little world they create, foreheads pressed together in the dark, in the warmth combating cold- body heat and the thrill of something new. Something... starting.

Yeah, okay, granted this next step was a little awkward, but fuck, who cares? Just charge on past that the Dean Winchester way.

He beams a cocky, narcissistic grin and has the audacity to wink.]

One step at a time, cowboy, some of us can't fall asleep on their desks tomorrow. Damn hippies.

[Cas is... Not letting himself think about what could happen if shit goes south. He just isn't. Not tonight, not like this. Not tomorrow, either, if he can help it. No, he has plenty of time to worry about that when it happens, now's the time to let his tendency to procrastinate work in his favour.

He makes a face that's half annoyance... Or at least mock annoyance, considering that'd been his conclusion as well: not tonight. His hand slides down to Dean's shoulder and he pulls away a bit more, leans up against the railing. He's secretly grateful for that patented Dean way of plowing through the awkwardness, not that he'd ever admit to it. He smirks, shrugging his shoulders.]

Can't blame a guy for trying.

[It's only half serious; he has to agree with the idea that because the situation is... different is one way to put it, they probably shouldn't rush things. As much as he'd like to. As much as his bed would be way nicer with Dean in it.

There's time for that later, though, especially considering he's actually letting himself think that maybe this could work. He drums his fingers against his mug, smirk sliding into a grin and then a yawn, because damn is it late.]

Hippies need to sleep too, apparently. 'M going in. Night, Dean.

[And speaking of things he'd like to do... He'd really like to reel Dean in again, back up a few steps and just... But no. It's definitely time for bed. He flashes Dean a smile- a tired, but most definitely genuine smile- and heads inside.]


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