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Sewn With Silk

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It was like flipping a light switch on and off at midnight. The moments of clarity were so glaring, even when the stark black nothingness swallowed Dean up, the imprinted images left behind were still there; Michael made sure of that.

Faces. Places.

Women and men. God—children… Smiling. Happy. Good peopleinnocent people… Parks, and carnivals. Saturday markets, outlet stores. It didn’t matter when, or what the cross streets were. It was the same every time; Michael would draw back the curtain, and the dark would lift long enough for Dean to see their faces. To feel it happen. To be reminded that he had no control. The blood stained the grooves of his skin and filled the space under his fingernails like a mile marker of greatest possible fuck-ups. It was hot on his hands in the kind of way that burned holes through his soul. Stuck there. Built with each new kill. Michael never washed them—DEAN NEEDED TO WASH THEM—he only brought up the lights.

So, Dean chanted—resorted to it. Turn it off… turn it off… turn it off… was the anthem in his head, because it was all he had. He needed it—repeated it. Over and over and FUCKING over again, because when there wasn’t nothing, there were the faces.

That’s why when Cas’ showed up in Dean’s face, split lip and bloody hands, it didn’t matter what he was saying, or that Dean’s legs and arms were oddly lead-heavy and acid-trip pliable again. His whole damn body felt like the cells had just been turbined. All he could do was scream. Turn it off! Turn it off! “Turn it off! TURN IT OFF!”

He couldn’t stop, even after Cas was holding him.

——

Then there was water.

Somewhere between then and now he’d been in a car—must’ve been…

—Samtalked to Sam

Knew he hadn’t been able to let go of Cas’ sleeve—he remembered that much, at least. It’d been the awkward way Cas had turned to free himself that’d burned the memory home. He’d slipped from his coat, turned to load Dean up, and a bloody sigil, carved over his chest winked through his unbuttoned shirt.

Dean had kept it—the coat. Clutched it in his lap as sounds of the road tried so damn hard to coax him from this stupor. Words got tossed around the cabin like “shock” and “breakdown”. Sam’s eyes kept slipping to the side, then away again.

Dean wished he was in the back. With Cas. Wished he could get his hands to stop shaking.

“Do you know how long?”

“Hundred and forty-seven days,” Dean croaked, which was probably the wrong answer because the car got quiet after that. Shoulda said no…

Time was so fucking jumpy.

It bloated now. Slowed down to an acrid crawl as Dean stared at the ribbony lines of light dancing on the bottom of the porcelain. A familiar, deep-throated hum toyed off the bathroom walls and mixed with the sounds of water. Dean could fill the words in by heart. “All of my love, all of my love/All of my love to you, oh.” A hand—big hand—scooped at a rag and wiped it down Dean’s chest, water trailing rivulets.

Hand.

Hands.

Dean looked at his—Clean. Dear FUCK—and he followed the line the arm made up to Cas’ face. Caught his surprise mid-gut as Cas blinked back at him, puffed a gentle “Hi.” He smiled, something small. Hopeful. The split in his lip was scabbed now. He looked like he’d been crying. The collar of his shirt yawned open at this angle, and Dean could see all the lines carved messy through his skin. Why hasn’t he healed? He shoulda healed.

Dean wanted to say everything—anything—but hot tears ate tracks down his face instead. Fuck—and now Cas looked sad—He shouldn’t look so sad.

“Okay,” Cas said, voice catching. He dipped the rag, wiped Dean’s face. “It’s okay.”

He started humming again.

——

Dean was in front of a flickering tv screen with all the in-betweens missing before time took another pause. The sound came on slow. He vaguely realized they were watching Tombstone, knew it’d been playing for awhile. He was warm and dry. Piled in blankets and pillows. Sitting up—didn’t remember sitting.

He took a quiet breath and let his attention drift from the dancing midnight light over to Cas; piled in a wooden bucket chair beside him with shoes off and feet up at the edge of Dean’s bed. His coat was still missing and he’d traded his shirtsleeves and tie for a plain black tee and some hair that looked about three days overdue for a wash. The clock beside his chair told Dean no one had any business being up, but this was Cas, so it was extra surprising when he yawned.

“Drinking isn’t going to help your Tuberculosis in the least bit,” he mumbled as Doc Holiday tossed back another shot and swung a pistol at some drunk handlebar mustache with no clue he was an antagonist. He picked a fingernail at the volume button on the remote, added, “Not to say I don’t understand the appeal.” Then, he raised the tumbler that’d been resting between his thighs—empty now.

Dean’s heart ached at the sight of him. “You washed me,” he said, and his voice came out like a terminal grandpa. Broken and sticky. Air-bleached. It wasn’t what he’d planned, but it was easier than saying I was there, I swear. Truth be told, it was an even easier I’m here now.

Cas startled, eyes wide for a moment as he looked over. “I…” His feet came off the side of the bed as he righted in the chair. “Hi,” he puffed, smiled. It was a repeat from the bathroom and Dean suddenly had some trouble swallowing down. Cas must’ve noticed. He set the glass down, continued, “Yes. I, uh… lost the coin toss, I guess.”

Joke. It was a joke. Dean was supposed to take it, use it to deflect—return to normalcy—“Thank you,” he said instead. “I… and the blood…”

Cas’ smile fell. “Dean—of course.”

He knew he shouldn’t, but Cas was so close, and the urge was overwhelming. He reached out, fingered the split on Cas’ lip. Dragged slowly over the scab, hands shaking. He wondered why it was still there—if it hurt to touch. Cas let him, watched him as the tv’s muted blues cooled the flush in his cheeks.

“I missed you,” he suddenly said against Dean’s fingertip. Dean vaguely remembered being the one who’d thrown the punch.

“I killed a lot of people. I, uh… there were a lot of people, Cas.”

“You didn’t kill anyone.”

“...Kids, too. I killed, uh… kids.”

Cas’ eyes went glossy. Brow so knitted it nearly changed the whole landscape of his face. He pulled Dean’s hand away, held it. He was warm. “No, that wasn’t you, Dean.”

“What’d you do with him?”

“Dean—”

“He ain’t dead. I know he’s not—”

“He can’t take you again. Permission was rescinded—”

Cas—” Desperation suddenly clawed up into Dean’s throat as the whole yes scenario played through his brain like an episode recap: the look on Cas’ face. The knot he’d had in his stomach hard enough to choke on. The feeling of Michael crawling into his body like someone had just moved the skin off his skeleton and restretched it to fit someone else. It fucking still didn’t fit right. “Tell me. I just—I need you to tell me—”

“Heaven,” Cas relented, choking on the word a little. The muscle at the back of his jaw jumped. He and Sam must’ve talked about this—must’ve agreed not to discuss it. But he was always so quick to fold for Dean. “I managed to expel him to Heaven. He has no vessel right now, and hopefully, he won’t be able to find any suitable others. Please don’t worry about him. You’re weak.”

“That’s, uh…” Dean breathed, chewed it. Expelled—the mess on Cas’ chest must’ve been a traveling spell marker. He’d done it before; carved himself up… for Dean. Count the number of ways you ruin him, Dean. “That’s probably gonna blow up on us later.”

“Maybe. But later is not now. Now, you should sleep.” He peeled from his chair, laid Dean back. Face close and chin brushing Dean’s temple as he kept hold of Dean’s hand, didn’t let it go. He smelled like cinnamon for some reason. “Can you sleep?”

“I… No…”

“You can sleep,” he whispered. “It’s okay now.”

“…Okay.”

He kissed Dean’s temple, and it felt like the first good thing.

——

Dean did.

He slept till the clock on his nightstand told him it was almost noon and Sam had reached his baker’s dozen for well-checks. He rolled over. The chair beside him was empty now—askew to the bed with a blanket draped over the back like someone had slept in it—and it bothered him how much that bothered him. He thought twice, reached for it anyway. It smelled like cinnamon.

Sam poked in again a few minutes after and Dean ended up staring down at a tray of chicken noodle soup dressed with a single pack of saltines as he rolled a shoulder that felt like it needed oil. He avoided asking where Cas was, but just barely as Sam tossed the blanket to the side and filled the hole in the chair. Laptop balanced on his knees and scrolling through a couple cases he was pretending he needed Dean’s opinion on. “Is it cold or something?”

Dean must’ve been drifting. He looked up, caught Sam’s concern and shrugged it away, popped a spoonful in his mouth. He swallowed it down and his stomach contested. He made a face about the same time Sam’s mouth went thin. “I know it’s not a burger, dude, but you’ve eaten nothing for four months. I don’t know what you can even digest right now.”

“Yeah, well… not this,” he mumbled back. “But, hey, at least I’m not catatonic.”

Sam gave him a careful look.

——

Cas poked his head in around nine, and this time he looked fresh-showered clean. “You look well,” he puffed, pausing at the threshold with a smile. The hall light cast a halo through his mess of hair. Dean almost asked him if he’d fallen asleep with it wet—if that wouldn’t have been a ridiculous question from start to finish.

Sam closed his book. “Yeah, well he’s not eating,” he said, standing. “Maybe you’ll have more luck. Or else I’m calling mom.”

“What is this, Kindercare?”

They both said yes in unison and Dean was almost too proud to be mad about it.

Sam brushed the hair from his face. It was getting too long. “You get a nanny whether you like it or not till you can drink a cup of coffee without making it look like the T-Rex scene from Jurassic Park,” he said pointing. “And you’re not allowed to be pissed about it, till you can actually get up and fight me.”

“I’ll fight you right now,” Dean mumbled. “But you get points for that reference so I’ll let it slide.” He glared anyway til all that was left of Sam was a ribbon of hallway light through the cracked bedroom door.

Cas was still decorating the threshold, soft expression on his face that wanted to curl up in Dean’s chest and stay. If he kept that shit up, Dean was gonna end up making it awkward. He waved impatiently. “All right. Quit standin’ there and cough up whatever you brought for show and tell tonight.”

“What?”

“Last night was...” He had to think. “Tombstone, right? So tonight is…?”

“Oh,” Cas blinked, surprised. Chewed his lip as he shuffled. “I brought another movie, but… uh, we watched Tombstone three nights ago,” he said quietly. “Did Sam not tell you? You’ve been in and out.”

“Oh...” Okay, maybe a little catatonic still…

“But, regardless, I thought we’d keep the theme going.” He flashed a DVD and a smile.

——

“I think it’s fascinating that this idea of the Wild West is still so steeped in modern culture when in reality, it was only relevantly active for a thirty year time period,” Cas said, fishing another handful of unbuttered, unsalted popcorn from the bowl in Dean’s lap. Like eating air, but Dean was keeping it down. They were nearly down to seeds now.

True Grit filled the room with salty language and pistol fire. Cas had ended up on the bed beside him somehow. No easy way to share a bowl of popcorn with a chair between them—that was the excuse Dean gave, anyway, after Cas stole a kernel, popped it in his mouth.

Dean pushed his cowboy hat a little higher—courtesy of Cas, too—took a chance and looked over. “I can’t believe you’re gonna talk shit about cowboys right in front of me on cowboy night.”

Cas raised an eyebrow. “No shit-talk. Just an observation,” but a little smile tipped his lips to the right.

“What kinda world would it be if The Dude never had a chance to put on a pair of spurs and suck rattlesnake poison outta someone’s arm?”

“One where I imagine he would still have an opportunity to play the more culturally significant character.

Dean feigned shock, playfully shoved him. “Say that to my face, you son of a bitch,” and they almost lost the bowl of popcorn.

Cas laughed.

Fuck, he never laughed—Dean wanted to kiss him. Felt it like warm sun in the back of his throat. And no matter how desperately he trawled for the little voice that always told him to lock his shit back up, he kept coming up empty.

Maybe Michael took it with him…

Cas settled on the bed again. “It’s good to have you back,” he hummed.

“Yeah, it’s good to be back,” and he watched Cas’ toothy grin melt into something soft. He looked beautiful in the dancing television light. Eyes that never quit talking, in stark contrast with his often deadpan expression. The shadows played his cheekbones like sin. “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course.”

Dean’s stomach jumped. “Where’s the suit and tie, Timberlake? You never go this long without it.”

Cas shrugged. “My coat’s still in the…” but he cut himself short. “You just want your shirt back,” he said instead.

“Wha—is that mine? You stealing my clothes now?”

“No.”

Dean puffed, tried to chew the smile from his lips. “I feel like I’m getting conflicting information on this,” he mumbled and listened to it roll through Cas as another chuckle.

“Not stealing. Just borrowing,” he muttered back. A little flush danced through his cheeks as he relaxed against the headboard beside Dean. Their shoulders brushed. All Dean had to do now was stretch his fingers and he’d be able to graze the inside of Cas’ wrist. Slide the touch up his arm. Lean in and nose him for a kiss when he turned. Dean could tell him he was welcome to keep the whole goddamn shirt if he just got to see it on his floor one more time.

“Then, how ‘bout this?” he whispered, and he almost touched it again, the cut on Cas’ lip. “Why’re you walking around with this?”

Cas suddenly worried it, tip of his tongue flicking out to landscape before pulling it under his top teeth. He looked away, back to the tv again jaw flexing and that nagging feeling sprouted alive in the middle of Dean’s chest again. It never went away for very long. “You don’t wanna tell me,” he realized.

“No, there’s just nothing to tell. I forgot about it. Want me to make more popcorn?”

Dean wanted to believe him. Fuck… He wanted to. “Yeah. Sure,” he said, but his smile fell.

——

He finally got his legs under him the next day, and not just for a short trip to the bathroom while he hugged the wall, or a longer—more irritating one—as he hung on Sam. The sick feeling he’d sat with all night after the movie wrapped had been enough to do it. And it hadn’t let up through the morning either. All through Sam’s blah blah blah, and a tray of milkless Rice Krispies. Bananas. Fucking—

“What the hell even is this?”

“It’s, like, a protein shake thing.”

“I thought you were tryna get me better, not make me worse.”

“Wha—it’s chocolate. You like chocolate.”

“No, this is cardboard drowned in Hershey-syrup tears. It ain’t happening.”

“I’m sorry—have you seen how skinny you are?”

—The phone call with Mom didn’t ebb it. Neither did the one with Bobby. Or Jack, or Jody, or—he sighed. He was just done sitting with it. He had his goddamn suspicions, and even if that one temple kiss was all he ever got, it was still more than he deserved. So, he followed the spilled light through his doorway like it was the goddamn yellow brick road to Oz, because, it was close to six and Cas was nothing if not predictable when Dean had his head screwed on straight. He was gonna have to pull this curtain back whether he wanted to or not.

And fuck Sam too, because Dean had to fold his sweats at the waistband twice just to keep them on.

He rounded the kitchen and found Cas at the table, folded over a laptop with bedhead and some half-eaten toast pinched between his fingers; cinnamon and sugar. He wasn’t wearing much yet—some loose-fitting sweats and last night’s black tee. Yep, night shift meant late-night mornings. “You know, you can’t eat that crap every night—should try some eggs.”

Cas startled, almost dropped his toast. The color drained from his cheeks. Bloomed again in ruddy pinks. “Dean—”

“Yeah. Busted. You’re human.”

Cas set his breakfast down, pushed the plate away. The sound it made on the tabletop was louder than it should have been. “Please don’t be angry—”

“How exactly am I s’posed to not be mad after I find out you been lying to me this whole time?”

“I didn’t lie, I just didn’t mention—”

“It’s the same damn thing, Cas!” He felt the fear crawl up into his throat and he forcibly swallowed it down. Clenched his fists as the next question came out small. “How did I do it?”

Cas did a double take. “What—?”

“That’s it, isn’t it? I fucked you up? Something I did—or something you did to save me. That’s why you’re walking around with a busted lip and that mess on your chest. That’s why you wouldn’t tell me. Because it was me—?

“No—Dean—”

“You say it was Michael and that’s the kind of semantical crap that’s really gonna piss me off—”

“No!” Cas huffed. Stood up sloppy from his chair but didn’t move from the table. “We used a relatively simple angelic exorcism spell to free you. I just—we had to stun him first. The sigil was for that. It had to be mobile because we never knew when we were going to run into him. It—my grace—was never involved. There’s no blame on you.”

Dean chewed it, feet glued to the floor. He tried to add the numbers but came up short. “Then why are you human? If that’s true, then why didn’t you heal?”

“It was a mistake I can rectify.”

And there it was: the brick wall again. Fuck if it didn’t feel like they were having the same conversation over and over again for the last ten years with the topic set to shuffle. Yell about a problem, unbury Pandora’s box of smooshy feelings, throw dirt back on it before anyone could crack the lid. Except, this time Dean was too thin to do the dance—everything was too fucking thin. “No. I don’t want any more popcorn, Cas,” he begged quietly. “I want you to talk to me.”

Cas’ face went in his hands and came back out eyes wet. “Michael,” he relented, pausing to roll the name around his mouth like the aftertaste was as bitter as his tone. “We got you back and... Michael had been so needlessly cruel to you…I was so mad.” Tears suddenly tore tracks down his face, violated that shadow under his cheekbones. Dean felt the sight of them like knives in his chest. Realized he’d never seen Cas cry before and wasn’t exactly sure just how paralyzed he was to see it now. “I couldn’t stomach the association with Heaven anymore—I couldn’t stand to have them in my head—so after we got you in the car… I ripped my grace out. Sam got angry, you were in shock. I was supposed to heal you. He—he told me I needed to keep it in so I could heal you, but I couldn’t. I can’t heal this, Dean—it’s out of my control, my power. I never seem to be able to help when it matters.”

He sunk into his chair again, scrubbed the heel of a hand down a cheek, stared at the lonely plate of toast. “Regardless…” he muttered to it. “Regardless, I shouldn’t have done it. I let emotion get the better of me and it…clouded my judgment. We need my grace. My feelings toward Heaven don’t matter in the broad scheme, and I understand that. As I said, I still have it.” He shook his head, “I can put it back in. I just…I didn’t tell you, because, I…” and he trailed. Looked up. Whatever he wanted to say took a careful turn in his mouth then reburied. “I just didn’t want to tell you,” he said instead. “You have better things to worry about.”

Dean caught his breath somewhere between his fourth rib and the new hole ripped through his heart. He realized those tears must’ve been contagious because his face was wet now too. He felt like he could take the next seventy years to digest everything Cas had just said, and still not get it all. So he blurted the first thing that popped into his head.

“I never did a damn thing to deserve the kinda love you give me.” His stomach went sliding as Cas tangled him up with surprise. He was sure if he even so much as looked at the sink right now he’d puke, but, fuck it, he was cracking the lid. “But, yeah. I think Sam’s right. See, cuz without you, I’d probably still be Michael’s hand puppet. Without you, I’d still be… gone. Cuz, you… Cas, you were the one that washed the blood off, an’ after that I felt like I could think again. You… you were the one that sat with me when all I could see were the faces.” He blinked, felt more tears slide down his face, hot. “It was you who told me it was gonna be okay then —and fuck if I shouldn’t know better by now, but it felt so true coming from you that it was, an’ I finally felt like I could sleep again. Now, we’re, what? Closing in on a week? One single week—an’ you got me smiling at movies like none of that shit even happened in this lifetime.” He wiped his face, tried to unglue his feet. No luck.

“But if you don’t think that’s helping, then I don’t know what to tell you. Cuz that’s healing me, Cas—except, you never used an ounce of your grace for any it. So, I guess, maybe Sammy was wrong too. Maybe it doesn’t matter whether you’re an angel or not. Maybe you could be whatever the hell you wanna be as long as you’re here… Cuz, I think it’s just you that does it for me.”

Dean muffled the sob with the back of his hand and managed to button himself back up, even as Cas stared. He had hands clutched to his stomach and neck strung tight. Blues big enough to have their own gravitational pull. And Dean was suddenly, painfully aware that the refrigerator had just kicked on. Yep, he was definitely gonna puke. It was gonna be all cardboard flavored chocolate sludge, too. But Cas pushed from the table before he could work it up. He fished a chain from under his collar, pulled it till the vial at the end popped out of the cotton and kissed the kitchen corners cool.

He took his time, eyes crawling up the front of Dean’s chest as he stopped close enough Dean could smell the cinnamon and butter from his breakfast. Feel the heat on his skin. See how badly he needed a shave—they both did. “I think that’s what I want to be,” he whispered. He paused only long enough for a mental snapshot, then strung the chain over Dean instead. “I want to be here.” His eyes finally came up. “I always want to be here, Dean.”

Dean kissed him. Caught him soft and slow, lacing fingers behind his head to pull him flush. Cas melted into it. His cheeks wet Dean’s palms. He smelled like the musty sheets in his bedroom, because, of course, no one had rewashed them for him since he started needing ‘em. The moment came down on Dean hard; thinking of Cas asleep in the chair beside him. Waking up with a stiff neck only to crawl away before Dean ever noticed. Then, crashing out alone in his bedroom after that with nothing but the blank walls and nondescript furniture to go with the hollow feeling in his chest that kept telling him it didn’t matter that he wanted it all to be forever.

Dean felt it all tipping.

Their kiss turned heavy. Teeth and tongues. Cas made a noise that Dean felt in his belly, and seriously, fuck sweatpants though because there was at least a small chance this wasn’t gonna go all the way off the cliff before Dean felt Cas hard against his thigh.

He tipped Cas back. Ran his shoulder blades into the drywall as the row of ladles beside the stove rattled. Cas’ elbows went up on Dean’s shoulders, fingers clawing into Dean’s hair. If Dean was stronger—maybe if Cas was smaller—he’d try to pick him up, but he slipped hands under his shirt instead. Felt his obliques flex as Dean hooked hands at his hips and tugged them forward. Tugged the two of them flush and ground against him, dicks all but free under their respective thin cotton blends.

It took one whole pass for Dean to remember he didn’t have any underwear on—or Cas to show him he didn’t like wearing them at all. Dean swallowed a needy sound. Pushed Cas’ pants down, pulled him out. Cas gasped against him. “Dean—”

Yes.” It wasn’t a question, but he was answering Cas anyway. He was gonna answer Cas like his life depended on it, because, it felt like it did. It felt like everything depended on it. He ran a practiced hand down Cas’s dick, felt him shudder. Took his forehead in the temple as Cas bowed forward overwhelmed and completely pliable. “You’re perfect,” Dean whispered. It was the truth. Humanity was good on him. There wasn’t a damn thing that could get that mischievous look out of his face. “You say my name, and it’s perfect. You look at me—”

Cas bit a kiss into Dean’s neck, bucked into his hand. He was already wet, precome sloppy, and Dean strained in his pants. Christ, Dean wanted to strip him. Map all his curves and archive their corresponding sounds, but this wasn’t that kind of time. This was a quick and dirty thank you. It was an I’m sorry. It was whatever it needed to be to break the seal they couldn’t seem to shuffle past so their first time could go in the bag and forever could finally get started.

Cas came like he was in on the idea, moaning like he was inventing colors as he spilled over Dean’s hand and onto the kitchen floor. Dean followed him off the edge. Came in the inside his sweats from nothing but friction and the goddamn anticipation of it all. He had to burrow into the crook of Cas’ neck just to muffle the desperate noise that bled out with it, and Cas held him there. Fingers curling at the back of Dean’s head and breath thready.

They stayed like until Dean was listening to the refrigerator again, this time, with a heartbeat accompaniment. Cas rethreaded his arms around Dean’s waist and locked hands behind his back. Dean could neither confirm or deny if there was swaying. He’d sure as hell never say it out loud, but it just might’ve been his favorite part.

Cas nuzzled in beside his ear. “Do you want me to bring you back to your room?” he asked, voice a calm lull in the night. Dean hadn’t realized it, but he was leaning pretty heavily on him.

“Yeah.” He collected himself, cleared his throat. “Movie? We could watch, uh, Tombstone, huh?”

“Again?”

He pulled back, frowned. “What do you mean again?” and waited just long enough for it to muddle Cas’ expression before folding. “I’m kidding.”

“That’s not funny.”

“Don’t worry. I totally remember watching it last night with Sam.”

“Dean. Stop. That’s not funny.”

——

Dean woke the next morning belly down on the mattress and swaddled in sheets. Lazy memories of the night greeted him in a wave of warm. A movie had turned into TNT Cinema Classics instead of a tried-and-true fave, and they’d only half-heartedly watched it while Dean mastered a dozen different ways to inappropriately flirt instead of actually paying attention; head in Cas’ lap. An innocuous comment about how good he smells. Touching the underside of his chin when he dared to look up at the tv.

It was no surprise when it all degraded after Dean got his Spiderman-esque half-upside down kiss that turned into Cas straddling him in a makeout session that could’ve put a lot of high schoolers to shame. They’d each come again; Dean after some slow, downright sinful head, and Cas jerking himself to Dean’s noises. Cas lost his shirt somewhere in the process. Dean probably still wasn’t wearing pants. The grace had lit them all the way through it.

They’d both fallen asleep sometime after as an old, 90s keyboard score played beside a British narrator teaching them all about the ins and outs of the silk harvesting.

The tv was still humming; infomercials. Dean cracked an eye. He was down by Cas’ thigh, with his pillow more under his chest than head. Cas’ pants were sleep-messy, pushed up over his calf and bunched at his knee. Dean smiled.

It was good to wake up with somebody.

He took advantage, dragged a warm hand up Cas’ leg. To his surprise, Cas caught it. Stopped him. Dean looked up and realized Cas was sitting, face angled toward the door.

Son of a bitch.

Dean sighed, flopped his head to the other side. Didn’t bother moving otherwise. Found Sam sitting in the chair beside them like he knew he would, hands folded in his lap, and a bowl of Rice Krispies expectantly waiting next to the clock; it was late morning. He had Dean fitted in a pretentious look, eyebrow cocked. “Feeling better?” he asked quietly.

“Get out.”