"Claire?" Castiel knocked lightly on the wooden door.
"Yeah?" A voice answered, but sounded unfocused.
Castiel creaked open the door and surved for signs of intrusion out of protective habit.
Clair was sat on her floor surrounded by various objects, music playing loudy next to her. The room had an alcoholic scent that had put the angel off at first.
She was focused, but it was on her nails she was painting black.
Castiel stood awkwardly, assessing the room and deciding what way to start a conversation with the young hunter.
Her hair was pulled back but some strands fell anyway as she focused of keeping her nails neat.
The angel was about to speak but Clair had already dipped her brush back into the paint pot to sit.
"Heya, Cas. What's brought you 'round here? Need hunter's help?" She teased, laying lax in her too large pair of maturnity sweatpants only held up by a tighten drawstring and an old grey t-shirt cut off of some band Cas assumes is popular with... Punks? Goths?
"No, actually. I had heard about what you and the girls did... For Sam and Dean, I mean." He stepped into the room, leaving the door wide behind him.
She seemed to be a bit somber a moment before that over confident smirk replaced it.
"You mean saving their asses?" She grinned proudly.
He had also heard of her friend. But Castiel had been around the block far too many years now to bring up what is being hidden by false confidence and showmenship. She is much like Dean in some regards.
"Yes, actually. I heard you were very brave... Sam and Dean regaled the story for me and Jodi spoke very highly of you girls. Especially you, Claire."
Cas knows he is not her father, that was Jimmy, who use to be his vessel. But he can't help feeling paternal pride especially after hearing how much a hero this young woman came to be.
Claire looked to her drying hands and chewed her lips, "Thanks... Cas. I had to keep up with the big three somehow. Get back at the Winchester boys, of course." She chuckled in a way that felt bittersweet.
Then her lips quirked into a mischevious grin, "Come here."
Her face was bare of makeup but showed the womanly sharper features trying to overtake her noticable baby features.
Cas shuffled infront of her, still standing a resonable distance.
"No, dummy, sit," Clair kicked his shin playfully.
Castiel fumbled with his coat to sit on the floor before her.
"Give me your hand," She reached out to take his large rough palm as he tilted his head with a furrowed brow. It didn't take much to realize her intentions.
"What are you doing?" Castiel tugged his hand back, but relented when she forced it flat on her knee.
"Painting your nails. Hmm... We are gonna try.. Which one, black, dark red, blue, white?"
Castiel was about to pick the white before deciding with the one labeled with a cartoony pie with black bat wings.
"That one," Castiel taps a finger to the deep almost black red.
She pressed play to her music, something more pop than Dean's music but more metal that it too.
They sat without speaking as she painted with full consentration. It didn't take long but the drying took a while.
"Wait here-" Claire ran out leaving him alone in her room. When she came back, it's with a cup of water and she closes the door behind her.
She sits infront of him again and places the water between them.
"Watch this," Claire dips her fingers into the water, a couple at a time as they change from black to a grey silver.
"They.. They change color." Cas stated the obvious.
"You do it," She takes his hands again and dips a few fingers into the cold water. He does the rest himself but his nails turn to a bloody crimson.
"Do all nail paints change color?" Castiel inspects them.
"Nah, but the blue turns purple and the white turns clear. I have loads more and powders and stencils. I can do words and pictures." She twisted behind her and grasped onto a basket almost out of reach. She flops it down showing a large collection as she puts the other four back.
"Can.. Can you make bees?"
"Bees?" Claire giggled, "Sure, I mean.. Come back when the paint is chipped bad and I'll do it then. Give it a couple days. But if you use them too much, it'll come off quicker.
And that was the start of what becomes Dean's obsession.
Dean rests his forehead against the cold wood of the table where he nurses his coffee. Since they have had some free time, he has had plenty of time to drink himself to a coma. Now he is reaping in the sow.
"Dean, I see you are.. Hungover, would you like-" Castiel cuts himself off when Dean raises his index finger instead of his head.
"Sh, nah nah no. No talkie. Already kicked Sam out."
Castiel remained silenced at the doorway, not sure if he should go or not.
No, not after all these years of wondering if he was intruding. He belongs here. He has a room here. He is family. They have reassured him many time now.
So Castiel makes bacon.
And Dean is at a cross of loving or hating him. But it's bacon; he ain't turnin' down bacon.
It wasn't until Cas placed the plate in front of him that he noticed.
"Dude, what's with your hands, man?" His usual grumpy exterior is more gruff with the migraine.
"Hm? Oh, yes. I went to visit Claire and the others. To see how they were doing. Jodi told me her side. Claire was painting her nails and asked to do mine. I quite like them." Castiel made an 'e' with his hand to inspect them. "Is that a problem?"
Dean looked at them a little longer, "Nah man, they're cool, just didn't expect 'em is all." He shook it off. There was something about it he couldn't put his finger on. It makes you.. notice his hands more. The contrast attracts the eyes.
"Oh, watch this," Castiel turned on the cold sink tap and ran the water over his fingers. The nails turned a bright red. "She said she'd makes bees next time."
"That's neat. Technology today, man."
"Indeed. This would have been considered magic not ten years ago."
And for the next two months, Castiel would get his nails painted every week. He'd even bring snacks for the girls to do his nails. They tried makeup once, but he didn't care much for it, but Dean thought it was a riot. Especially the hot pink lipstick. Sam had only raised an eyebrow, grin, and offered a beer.
But the nails he liked a lot.
And everytime he had them done, the first thing he would do was show them to Dean.
He even bought some of his own, now sitting in his room.
And then it happened.
Just like with Claire, Dean knocked on the door while Castiel was painting his own nails.
He was quite while he finished the dragon scales with the red base, black crackle, and metalic powders with a clear topcoat.
"Dean, I was just finishing up. May I help you?"
"Hey Cas, what they look like, now?" He watched him as he awkardly shuffled to sit on the edge of the bed.
"Dragon scales. Patience taught me this, and I found it much nicer than their rendition of angel's grace."
"Cool, that's cool- hey can I ask you something?" Dean wiped his palms on his denim jeans, licking his lips.
"Oh, course Dean, anything. Is there something wrong?" Castiel turned to him fully, legs cross Indian style.
"Wrong, no nothin' wrong. Not wrong at all, just umm.. We haven't had a case in a while and I am gettin' restless. Wonderin' if you wanted to go on a food run with me. Catch a movie. There's a'old drive in showing Grease."
"Movie? I haven't been to a movie in a while. I remember we went to the premire night for that space war movie with you, but not a drive in. Is it new? Or a reboot? The only one I can remember is old."
"Ah, no- yeah. It's kinda old, but a classic. Just thought, I'd be cool to go as.. not... friends." Dean's eyes traveled around the generally blank room but focused on what use to be a sparingly amounted collection that has now gone wild. A basket filled with different types and colors. A desk lined with stencils and sponges. A few trinkets for nail care, too.
"Like... brothers?" Cas tries grasping for straws.
"No! No- Not brothers. I mean as lovers- not lovers. Likers? No, like a date." Dean looked at the angel only to realize he is biting the inside of his cheeks and his shoulders are shaking.
"Dammit Cas! You- you!" He playfully punches the angel's shoulder.
Cas can't help but laugh a little which melts the hunter's heart as much as his cute enthusiasium of showing Dean his new designs does. Gummy smile and all.
"You ass, will you come or not?"
"Depends, are you Dean Winchester asking me on a date?" Cas controls his breathing and smiles giddy at the green eyed man.
"If I say yes, will you go?" Dean smiles nervously.
"On condition." Cas stiffens up, but not in an alarming way, but a stuff up 'You do as I say' way.
"You have to kiss me" Cas smiled just as nervously.
"Deal-" Dean tries to lean in, but is stopped.
"Ah, no. You also have to let me paint your nails," Castiel picks up a bottle and shakes it causing a little rattle.
"Fine, now come closer, you look cold over there."
That kiss seals two dates, many hunts, and an impossible amount of nail polish used on two grown men.