Genre and/or Pairing: Castiel/Dean, Sam
Spoilers: up to mid-season 5
Word Count: 5,566
Summary: Dean hates witches, and the feeling is generally mutual. This one had a particularly devious sense of humor, though.
Fanbingo square: Secrets & Lies / Speech Deprived
“The Whole Truth”
by Mina Lightstar / ukefied
She hated his mouth, she’d said. Something about the prevalence of sarcasm and the death of sincerity, or whatever. Dean doesn’t remember caring at the time, and he certainly doesn’t care anymore. He does recall a distinct lack of affection for his smart-assed remarks, and the woodswitch going off on some rant about Dean getting his just desserts.
He’d asked if she was going to bake him a pie. It had been the wrong thing to say — well, no, it had been a fucking awesome thing to say, but it did come with painful repercussions. Whatever, he thinks, even as he braces a hand against a wet tree trunk to keep from keeling over. It was worth it.
So, then there’s the hex. Dean leans against the rough bark and breathes deep. He’s sore from being thrown into things, and cold because it always fucking rains at the worst possible time during a hunt, but other than that he feels fine. For all she hated his mouth, it still works; he opens wide, swallows some rainwater, seeing if anything hurts. Nope, just peachy. So what the hell?
“What a delightfully crafty witch,” he mutters darkly, and then blinks droplets out of his eyes because he’s pretty sure that wasn’t what was on the tip of his tongue. “Beautiful young thing, too,” he adds to his own horror.
She wouldn’t have, he thinks desperately — except that she would have. He shivers, rain chilling him to the bone, and groans. This is one of the stupidest things to ever happen to him.
“This is the most amusing thing that’s ever happened to me,” he sighs aloud. And then he sort of wants to punch himself in the face.
“Where the hell have you been?” Sam demands once he stumbles back to the Impala. Sam is soaking wet, hair plastered to his face, and he looks none too impressed.
“Catching some rays in Jamaica,” Dean quips — and yeah, it’s pretty good, but not what he wanted to say. He’s brought up short, blinking in the darkness.
“Did you find the witch?” Sam asks, ignoring the apparent sarcasm because hello, Dean. “I didn’t find anything.”
“I didn’t find the witch,” Dean replies, the words coming so smoothly that lying through his teeth was effortless. He stares past his sodden brother, the nature of this hex finally becoming clear to him.
“You didn’t answer your phone,” Sam accuses. “I called you, like, four times. Tried looking for you, thought you got into it with the witch. If you didn’t find her, what were you doing?”
“Sam,” Dean groans, “I really don’t want to talk to you.”
His brother is taken aback. “I — what? What the hell?” he demands, face scrunching up.
Dean rubs at his face. Great, now it’s wet and dirty. “Let’s hang around here in the pouring rain and argue about it,” he suggests, to his chagrin. Then he promptly belies those words by walking around Sam to the driver’s side door.
He catches the echo of Sam’s “jerk,” over the wind, and then they’re both in the car, pulling back onto the highway and heading into town. The wipers are working overtime, and for several minutes their swishing is the only sound.
“Well,” Sam sighs, “if we had no luck finding the witch, we’ll have to try again tomorrow night. Doesn’t make sense, though. I thought she was out in full force at this time of year.”
“Sam,” Dean ventures, trying to work with the spell. “The sky. The sky is magenta.”
“Huh?” Sam actually looks out any window he can crane his neck for, inspecting, because god knows they’ve seen stranger things. “No, it isn’t. Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he replies seamlessly, “never better. No issues to speak of.”
Thankfully, that’s close enough to his usual spiel of denial that Sam takes the bait. “No, really, are you feeling all right?” Dean can hear the genuine concern, but it’s laced with “if you blow me off again, I’m going to stop trying.”
“I,” he tries, fighting over lumps that aren’t there. He’s having — trouble — speaking. The lies come naturally when he’s asked a question, but it seems unprovoked statements are something else. “I’m great, really, absolutely no need for concern.” He shoots Sam a sidelong glance, hoping he looks adequately freaked. He must, because Sam raises his eyebrows and sits up straighter in his seat.
“What is it?”
Goddamn it. Too vague. Dean sits on this for a few seconds, working the muscles in his jaw. “My name is Inigo Montoya.”
Any other time, the warring expressions on Sam’s face would be priceless. He looks like he can’t decide whether to lay into Dean for knowing The Princess Bride, or to be pissed off at Dean for derailing a serious conversation with The Princess Bride. “What has gotten into you?”
“Most definitely not a hex!” Dean crows, smacking the steering wheel in victory. “Nope,” he adds, giving Sam a relieved grin, “not hexed. Definitely not.”
“… Okay,” Sam allows after a pause. “Hey, maybe I should drive?”
“Yes,” Dean agrees, even as he recoils from Sam’s reach. “Yes, I’m down with that.”
Sam lets his hand drop to the seat between them. “Look, stupid question, but is this some kind of messed-up Opposite Day thing?”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what it is.” Damn it! Dean smacks the wheel again, angrily this time.
“So,” Sam hazards, “not Opposite Day?”
“Yup, it’s Opposite Day, all right.”
Sam drums his fingers on the leather. “Is the sky yellow?”
“Always has been.”
They slow to a stop at the main intersection. Sam’s gaze darts between Dean and the traffic lights, and says, “The light is red, right?”
“It sure as hell isn’t,” Dean replies. He’s still braked, though, because shit, the light is red.
Sam chews on his bottom lip, thinking. “So, Dean, do you like,” he considers, “AC/DC?”
“Hate ‘em,” Dean dismisses. “Too loud, too in-your-face. Can’t stand them.”
“Oh my god,” Sam moans, flopping back against the seat. “You’re hexed.”
Sometimes, it gets to the point where they’ve traveled so much that the states and towns blur together. You never realized how many little hovels called “Pleasantville” existed in the U.S. until you stayed in most of them. This one’s particularly off-the-grid, and their motel has the worst taste in wallpaper. Dean wants to know who informed these people that pastel-on-brown was a good idea. He wants to know so he can punch this person in the face — for the sake of humanity.
The wallpaper is still fugly as sin after Dean comes out of the shower, and the beds are creaky and Dean doesn’t trust them to support the sheets, let alone himself. It’s better than being out in the storm, though, so he cracks open a beer and waits for Sam.
When Sam lets himself in, he drips all over the goddamn floor and shoves a small pile of things at Dean’s chest.
“‘M going in the shower,” his brother mumbles. “Fill those out.”
The take-out bag is wet but the burgers are still hot. Dean eats two while filling out the forms. They’re nonsense; one job application, one survey for a department store, and a credit card application. They’re forms he would lie on anyway, but watching his hand unconsciously scrawl fictional replies is almost surreal.
Sam cackles for five whole minutes after reading them. Dean watches this guffawing moose yuk it up and feels his left eye twitch.
“That’s entirely appropriate,” he says, deadpan. “You should laugh some more.”
“I’m sorry,” Sam chokes out. “I’m sorry, ma’am. It really isn’t funny, is it?”
“No, really,” Dean insists. “You are positively hilarious. I could be the butt of this joke all day.”
“Okay, seriously,” Sam says, straightening and wiping his eyes, “we should call Bobby and get him researching this.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t find us annoying at all,” Dean says.
Sam gives him a long look. “You know, if our lives were just a little different, I would have no clue you were hexed. I’d just think this was some long bit you were doing.” He shrugs. “Anyway, we gotta call Bobby because this town has barely grasped the concept of ‘cell phones,’ let alone wi-fi.”
“You’re an idiot,” Dean says, and winces, because that really came out wrong — no matter which way he really meant it.
Sam blinks at him. “All right. So, you’ve basically been transformed into the world’s most consummate liar.”
“I doubt it.”
“You can’t seem to tell the truth no matter what.” He gestures to the strewn-about papers. “You can’t even write what you really mean. The question is, can you not tell the truth-truth, or can you only lie about what you believe the truth is?”
“I’m sure this is all very important,” Dean sulks, lying down to stare at the ceiling.
Sam is undeterred. “The more we know about the curse, the more Bobby will have to go on. So when it makes you lie, does it sort of make you inadvertently tell the truth which is then twisted into a lie? Like, if you were going to lie anyway, does it stop you from lying but make you lie again?”
Dean’s head is spinning. He lifts up on one elbow and gives Sam a look.
Gigantor raises his hands in surrender. “Okay, too convoluted? What about: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Dean’s about to say, that is some zen yoga bullshit question, quit wasting time — or the lie-quivalent of it, anyway — but when he thinks about it, he feels … something. Like a block falls into place in his skull. He blinks, slowly, and says, “I don’t know.”
Sam stares at him, searching, then picks up his phone and calls Bobby.
“Never heard of a spell that makes you lie,” Bobby had said. “Plenty that make you tell the truth, but not the other way around.” He promises to look more into it, but cautions that the safest course of action is probably killing the woodswitch that cast the spell.
“Figures,” Sam mutters. “A witch we can’t find and who apparently doesn’t need hex bags to do her nasty work.”
“I guess we should give up,” Dean says. “I’m doomed. And to think, I was so happy.”
Sam tries hard not to think about that. He really, really does. “It’s fine. Tomorrow night, we’re going to comb every inch of that forest, find the witch, and make her un-curse you, whatever it takes.”
“I’m sure she’ll be easy to find,” Dean sighs, knocking back another beer.
“Easier, anyway,” Sam assures him, already fluent in Liar!Dean. “I asked for reinforcements.” Dean opens one inquisitive eye, still chugging, and Sam waves a dismissive hand.
“Your accommodations,” Castiel says over the echo of rustling feathers, “decline steadily.”
“Sorry,” Sam offers, “the Ritz was all booked up.” Dean barks a laugh; Cas doesn’t get it. “Bobby tell you?”
“Yes.” Cas turns to Dean, gaze boring into him like he’s trying to see where the curse has taken up residence. “Are you pleased to see me?”
Dean lowers his bottle. “Ugh, god, no.”
“Hm,” is all Cas says.
Sam stops his lips from quirking into a grin. “So what do you think?”
Cas shakes his head. “This really isn’t my area of expertise,” the angel admits, “but I will come with you to find the one responsible.”
Sam nods. “We still don’t know if the lying is the extent of the spell. Something nasty could be waiting at the end of this. It’s all fun and games until someone starts bleeding from their eyeballs. Hey, Dean, what’s your favorite food?”
“Salad,” his brother replies without hesitation — then gives him a nasty look.
The next morning, they discover that yes, the spell does get worse.
Dean sleeps late, because an ancient trickster witch whooped his ass and cast a spell on his tongue, and that kind of hurt doesn’t go away with just a catnap. He knows Sam got up at fuck-you-o’clock and Cas is sitting on the edge of Dean’s bed and has been there, presumably, all night. Which is not creepy at all.
Cas says, “Good morning.”
And Dean freezes, half-pushed to a sitting position, a reply frozen in his throat. He opens his mouth; nothing comes out. He tries again, and still nothing. He shuts his jaw with an audible click, as though that will reset the system, and tries a third time.
“You look like a fish,” Sam ribs from the table — but in the tone of someone who is trying to cover his “Are we screwed? Oh god, we might be screwed” with humor.
He can’t answer that one, either. It isn’t a question. He swallows audibly. Right, then.
Fortunately, Sam is pretty decent at charades. Well, either that or Dean missed a promising career in interpretive dance.
“We’d best communicate with inquiries,” Cas says. “Sorry,” he demurs, “already I’ve forgotten. Would it be easier if we communicated with inquiries?”
“Not at all,” Dean sighs gratefully.
“Well,” Sam clears his throat, “there’s nothing for it until tonight, so do you want breakfast?”
“Hell no. How could I possibly eat at a time like this?”
“Okay, then,” Sam affirms, and grabs his coat.
Pleasantville, Whereeverthefuck is the kind of small town where some people still pump for water, the population is a homogenous pale-faced blob, and everyone wears lots of flannel. The locals are friendly, softly-accented, static beings. Things have been done the same way for decades, with little change fighting its way through — so it’s not that they’re close-minded and opposed to outside thinking, it's just that they haven’t had much cause or opportunity to accept any. They see something from the big urban cities and greet it with a perplexed sort of “well, lookit that right there, isn’t that different?”
This is how the rest of the diner is looking at them right now. Dean can’t really blame them; three road-weary thirty-somethings shuffle into a small town, and the rejected NBA player and bedraggled tax accountant order Dean’s pancakes for him. It must look strange.
“Pancakes okay with you?” Sam asks while they wait.
“You know they make me want to vomit,” Dean retorts, and frowns when Sam only chuckles.
“So Bobby got back to me while you were sleeping.” His little brother stirs some sugar into his coffee. “He did find some lore on hexes like this, but nothing that really matches the woodswitch’s doing. The lying thing, yeah, but now it’s looking like the hex is slowly stealing your ability to speak at all. Or at least, to speak independently. And yeah,” he answers the unspoken question, “either the witch has to voluntarily reverse the spell or we have to gank her.”
“We’ll split up at moonrise, then,” Cas says. “When the town sleeps. A discerning eye should be able to spot the witch’s activities and one party can alert the other.”
Breakfast arrives presently, and Dean drizzles raspberry syrup liberally on his short-stack. Even Cas ordered pancakes, so as not to attract undue attention. More undue attention, anyway.
“You okay pairing off with Cas, Dean?” Sam asks around a mouthful of waffles. “Witch kind of has it in for you, as it stands.”
“I’d rather work with a ferret,” Dean replies, sucking back weak coffee so he doesn’t have to see the expression on Cas’s face. That’s also one of those things that come out wrong no matter what.
“That’s sweet,” Sam teases. “You kids play nice.”
Dean forks his pancakes with a vengeance, pretending they are Sam’s face.
Sam’s being pretty good about it. He thinks so, anyway. There are literally a thousand questions he could ask Dean, point-blank, and at this stage of the spell, his brother might have to answer them. Answer them with filthy lies, yes, but as they are discovering, the spell strengthens over time and though Dean will lie through his teeth, he will answer. It’s sort of a messed-up Cassandra situation: like if she’d been locked in her own head until someone deigned to pay attention to her, and then spat lies the moment anyone asked her a question.
The woodswitch must think she’s pretty funny. Or Dean really pissed her off. Dean has that effect on things.
At any rate, the point is Sam has a magic key to all the blackmail material in the world, and he is not going to turn that key. With great power comes great responsibility, and all that. Sam figures he is about eight different kinds of awesome brother, and Dean owes him big time. Plus, you know, wearing your heart on your sleeve against your will is just not fair.
But he wants, so badly, to ask Dean about Castiel.
He sighs, checks his watch; four o’clock. The day is dragging by, accentuating how little there is to do in this town. Sam shifts in his chair, watching their latest load of laundry cycle. It’s so boring, the laundry run has become a group outing.
Cas is still here, though. Which is, you know, the whole thing, Sam thinks. The questions turn over and over in his head, and he wants to ask them — just ask them. Any other time, there is just too much going on, or he’s absorbed in his own issues, or he’s just respecting the fact that some things are none of his damned business for the moment. But today — this lazy, quiet eye of the storm — seems like the day. To ask.
He doesn’t. “Ruby would have come in handy right now,” he says instead. He steels himself against the looks of mild condescension (Cas) and what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you (Dean.) “Well, she would have,” he insists.
“A former witch might have known of a counter-spell,” Castiel allows. Dean’s disgusted expression is aimed at the angel next, but Cas meets it head-on with a calm gaze. “Woodswitches and witches of the Middle Ages are not one and the same, however. Ruby may not have been much good to us.”
They don’t have to ask what Dean thinks.
The washer buzzes. Sam changes the load over and flops back in his chair. Dean goes to sit on the dryer as it tumbles, and Cas takes his abandoned seat. They are the only people in the tiny laundromat.
Sam still doesn’t ask.
When midnight rolls around, the full moon is high in the cloudy sky and Dean doesn’t need words to articulate how he really feels. His .45 is clean, loaded, and twirling ‘round his thumb as he looks out the passenger seat window. They figured the woodswitch would be immune to stakes through the heart, so the rest of Dean’s hidden arsenal includes a flare gun (always fun) and his hunting knife. Worst case scenario: what can’t be blown or burned away will be hacked and slashed beyond recognition.
“Remember,” Sam says as they pull up at the edge of the woods, “this is her element, her space. She is way more dangerous than she should be, especially at this time of year. Who knows what she’s capable of?”
“I certainly don’t,” Dean replies, voice dripping with sarcasm. Sometimes the curse isn’t so bad; it does have perfect timing.
Sam gives him a withering look. “It’s too bad this is our last chance to break the curse. I would have liked another whole day without you running your mouth. It’d be a nice little vacation.”
It’s not a question, so Dean just gives his brother his sunniest smile.
“We’ll head east,” Castiel says, already outside the car. His trench coat flaps slightly in the breeze as he gazes into the trees. “I don’t sense anything overt, but I can tell these woods are … touched.”
Sam and Dean slam their doors and size up the joint. Dean’s trigger-finger itches for a chance at the witch. Sam pockets the Impala’s keys and fishes his gun out of his coat.
“Okay,” his brother says. “Be careful.”
The woods on the outskirts of Pleasantville haven’t changed since the night before. They’re still thick, still dark, and still creepily quiet as hell. Of course, this is when Cas decides he wants to talk.
“Have you told Sam?”
This is going to segue into one of the many conversations Dean doesn’t want to have, but he can’t help answering. “Of course I have. Why wouldn’t I?”
Cas nods, having adapted fairly well to Dean’s cursed speech pattern. Which is funny as fuck, because he’s still working on getting Cas to understand sarcasm. “I suspected not. I have seen his curiosity. It is,” the angel pauses, “quite apparent.”
Dean rolls his eyes, because that is putting it mildly. Sam has spent the past day bouncing in his seat, like a little kid being made to guard a full cookie jar but not have any — not even one.
“I meant to come to you regardless,” Cas goes on. “I know my last visit was brief.”
And here we go. Dean rolls his eyes again, hoping Cas gets the picture and shuts up. With the Apocalypse bearing down on them and glaring paperwork errors that somehow resulted in the world’s biggest sissy and Dean, of all people, being the Earth visas for Evil and Good, respectively … well, their — their thing, whatever it is, just doesn’t seem like that big a deal.
Cas doesn’t let up, though. He crowds Dean against a tree — which, personal space, jesus — and gets right up in his face and, goddamn it, Cas has obviously been thinking about this all day. “I can endeavor to join you more often,” he offers, like he fucking knows a damn thing about what Dean wants. Dean grips Cas’s forearm, fingers twisting into the trench’s sleeve for long moments until finally Cas takes pity on him. “Would you like that?” Or not.
“No,” Dean snarls, angry at the hex for simplifying and at Cas for wasting time with this and at himself for even feeling it because — because fuck. Dean’s life is chock-full of people who just can’t leave well enough alone.
“My search has me away more than I like,” Cas murmurs, voice a low timbre in the dark. It’s an apology Dean doesn’t need, doesn’t want, but he can’t stay angry when Cas’s hand cups his cheek, fingernails scratching through the faint stubble. “There are some things,” he says, so close now, warm breath puffing on Dean’s bottom lip, “about becoming more human, that I don’t mind so much.”
And hell, what is he supposed to say to that? He’s momentarily grateful for the curse, and then it turns out he didn’t need to be hexed because Cas doesn’t even wait for an answer. He hasn’t kissed Cas in weeks; warm desire roils deep in his belly as they make up for it, the angel pushing him hard against the tree. Dean takes it, winding his arms around Cas’s back and gripping fistfuls of his coat, pulling restlessly at the fabric. Cas sucks Dean’s tongue into his mouth and Dean feels a moment of pride because, hey, guess who Cas learned that from, and a long minute later, they break for air.
Cas pulls back just a little, and asks, “Was it good?”
Dean licks his lips, feeling like an amateur because, guardian angel or no guardian angel, he is on a job, and replies, “It was terrible.”
Cas’s mouth quirks into a smile, the smug bastard. Dean rolls his eyes again and shoves him away. This accomplishes very little, naturally, and after a brief second delay to remind everyone who the teleporting tank is, Cas steps back on his own.
Of course, as with every good thing in Dean’s life, something shows up determined to ruin it. This time, it’s animated shrubbery.
Dean sees the first tree move over Cas’s shoulder, and at first he thinks it’s a trick of the light, or just the wind. When the little tree pulls itself out of the earth and starts walking toward them, Dean raises his Colt and fires. He’s a damn good shot, but Dad was remiss on teaching him the killshot points on zombie trees.
Cas leaps into action once it becomes obvious the bullets didn’t work. The angel moves with practiced grace, sword slicing away slim branch after slim branch, dodging the tree’s feeble attempts at retaliation. After Cas makes flimsy firewood out of the damned thing, Dean hears the rustling. A lot of rustling. He doesn’t want to look; he wishes his life was more like a movie, where it wasn’t real and the plot didn’t advance unless he looked.
“Dean!” Cas calls, voice sharp, and so much for blissful ignorance.
His gun is useless, and the flare gun is for the witch — also, risking a forest fire: overkill — so Extreme Weed Whacking it is. The trees move with a lumbering gait, balancing awkwardly on their roots and reaching out with leafy appendages. Between Cas’s sword and Dean’s knife, they cut down sapling after sapling, bush after bush — and oh god, Dean has a mountain of terrible one-liners he is dying to use, so fuck that witch — and it just goes on and on until finally, Dean breaks his latest anorexic opponent over one knee and finds there are no more challengers.
Did we win? he wonders as he pants, leaning on his knees.
Cas is vigilant, sword in hand, eyes scanning their surroundings. “Dean.”
Dean turns around to follow Cas’s gaze, sees what Cas sees, and slouches with a groan. The thick, full-grown maple is pulling its powerful roots out of the earth, standing tall and proud and potentially nasty — like those geriatric trees from Lord of the Rings. Dean aims the flare gun but hesitates. From the corner of his eye, he can see Cas raise his hand, but the angel seems reluctant, as well. The maple’s roots hit the ground; Dean can feel the earth shake beneath his feet.
And then, something in the air — changes. It makes the hairs on the back of Dean’s neck stand on end and sends a chill up his spine. He shivers, feeling goosebumps even beneath his jacket. The maple tree goes still, just for a moment, and then they hear the creaking and cracking of felled flora.
“Timberrrrr!” Dean shouts without thinking, and he and Cas scramble to get out of the falling maple’s way.
It’s kind of a shame to watch a tall, proud (spookily animated) tree die like that, hitting the forest floor with a thundering thud and going still, leaves rustling. It took out a few smaller trees on its way down, and it's a few moments before the forest is silent again. Dean glances at Cas, who is staring back at him with those penetrating blue eyes.
“You spoke,” the angel says, answering his unspoken question.
“I did,” Dean agrees, and then it hits him. “I did! The curse is broken. Sam! Sam must’ve—” he glances around, hoping for some sign of his brother.
Cas looks over at the fallen tree. “That explains why the foliage returned to normal.”
Dean’s phone vibrates; Sam’s texted him one word: Impala. “Back to the car,” he tells Cas.
Before they leave, though, Dean pokes the dead tree with a stick. Cas doesn’t understand why it’s hilarious.
Sam looks like he went seven rounds with Mike Tyson — pre-earbiting — but he’s standing under his own power and even offers Dean and Cas a small smile when they arrive. “Did it work?”
“Like a charm,” Dean says easily — and, realizing that may not be proof enough, adds, “Good timing, by the way. Saved us from an Ent, or whatever the hell they’re called.”
Sam raises a bloodied eyebrow. “You were attacked by a tree?”
“Nearly,” Cas clarifies. “Seems you dispatched the witch in the nick of time.”
“We were attacked by a small army of Charlie Brown Christmas trees,” Dean recounts. “Nasty little buggers, but so sad-looking, you almost felt sorry for them.”
“Speaking of,” Sam grumbles, tossing Dean his keys, “the witch was … interesting. So affable, you wonder why someone so nice would…” he trails off, pursing his lips together.
“Lure people into her woods and murder them?” Dean supplies.
Sam nods, looking distraught. “It’s so strange, you know? Up until the end, she was really very pleasant. Like, honestly so. Told me what her life was like before, apologized for causing such a fuss and whatnot. I just … sometimes, I don’t know. What makes them tick?”
“What made her tick?” Dean asks, nodding toward Sam’s disheveled appearance.
“I tried to convince her to break your curse. She wouldn’t have it, but I argued and argued — and then I brought up the murders, and … there she was again. The pleasant old woman was gone and — yeah.” Sam shrugs. “Kind of a shame. Up until she tried to eat me, we were having such a nice conversation.”
“Except for the murdering,” Dean reiterates.
“Yeah,” Sam agrees, rubbing the back of his neck. “It just kind of makes you think, what the hell happened?”
Sam claims the first shower, then sits on his bed and allows Dean to patch him up while Cas is sent on a Jack Daniels run.
“Thanks,” Dean says at length, concentrating on snipping excess bandage so he doesn’t have to meet Sam’s eyes.
“For?” Sam asks, and Dean grits his teeth because Sam knows, but is going to make him actually say it.
“Not taking advantage.” He packs up the first-aid supplies and shoves them back into the bag.
“Forget it,” Sam says, in that fond, disarming voice he uses when Dean admits to having feelings and doesn’t want to scare him off. “So,” he continues in a rueful tone, “what’s the deal with you and Cas?”
Dean does look at him then, sternly, one finger pointed at his chest. “Go the fuck to sleep.”
Sam’s laughter follows him on the way out, but Dean doesn’t care.
“We don’t have to talk about it,” Cas says later.
Dean swallows his mouthful and passes the bottle back to Cas. “Okay,” he agrees readily, leaning back on the hood of the Impala to look at the stars.
“It was just something I felt I needed to say,” Cas continues, taking a sip. He passes the bottle back to Dean, who feels like a dick.
“Cas,” he manages, dropping his gaze. This is awkward as hell; witch got the last laugh, after all. “Look, I—”
“I know, Dean.”
“No, no, you don’t. God.” He takes a drink, waving his free hand around like it can communicate what he can’t. “I know we don’t talk about, about this thing. But it’s not because — fuck, it’s not because I don’t, you know, it’s just. It’s just, hell, everything is all fucked up, every which way, and we’re all over the place, and I don’t even know. Ugh,” he snorts, taking another swig.
Cas is waiting patiently, leaning next to him on the car. Dean risks a glance and, finding encouragement, tries again.
“I’m trying to say, if you were able. To be around more, I mean. I wouldn’t mind, is all,” he finishes lamely, picking at the bottle’s label.
Slowly, Cas reaches over and takes the bottle away, setting it carefully on the pavement. He tugs Dean’s jacket; an invitation. “I will try my best for you,” he promises.
Dean accepts, scooting closer, one hand already reaching for Cas’s tie and wrapping it around his fist. “Me, too,” he whispers.
Pleasantville is the kind of town that goes to sleep and wakes up at the same time every day. The parking lot is deserted when Cas moves over him, pushing Dean down onto the Impala’s hood. He hears one of them accidentally kick the bottle of Jack Daniels but doesn’t bother mourning it, bucking up into Cas’s hands, shoving the trench coat off the angel’s shoulders, and thinking this is probably the naughtiest thing that’s ever happened in this town.