Cas couldn’t stop the thoughts racing through his head. He knew he was probably just overreacting but still his mind wouldn’t stop.
Dean had been working later and later for the last few months. While Cas knew that Dean put his heart and soul into the shop, especially since he had taken it over from Bobby, the amount of hours he was working was more than unhealthy. Granted, Dean was still eating fairly regularly and getting a decent amount of sleep but their relationship had migrated to the back burner. Cas got to see his boyfriend for an hour at night and for brief snippets of time before they headed off to work in the morning. Dean kept telling him that this busy spell wouldn’t last long but it was driving Cas crazy.
That’s why he found himself behind the wheel of his Lincoln Continental, pulling out of the small driveway of their rental house. He almost smiled as he remembered how often Dean complained about the driveway: how narrow it was, how there wasn’t a garage, how it couldn’t decently fit two normal-sized cars. A lot of times Cas parked on the street so Dean could have the whole drive for his beloved Impala.
But ever since Dean didn’t get home until 10 or 11 at night, Cas had started parking in the drive. Besides, Dean left before him in the mornings too.
As he pulled into the garage, his throat closed. All of the lights were off. Maybe he’s closing shop early and just turned the lights off , Cas tried to rationalize. He parked the car and walked around to the back of the garage. Maybe Dean’s back here, getting into the Impala, he thought as he rounded the corner.
Nothing. No cars, no people, most importantly, no Dean.
Heart racing, Cas pulled out his phone and called Dean.
“Hey babe, I’m a little busy, what’s up?” Dean answered.
Cas noted how he sounded out of breath and took a deep breath. “Just wanted to see if you were going to be home earlier tonight.”
“Probably not, Cas. I’m still behind at the garage. I promise this won’t last forever though…”
Dean was still speaking but Cas had already tuned out. There was a distant roaring in his ears and his vision flickered at the edges.
“Okay Dean I’ll see you later,” Cas said, interrupting whatever Dean had been prattling on about, before hitting the end button, not even waiting for a response.
He climbed back into his car and just drove. WIthout realizing it, he found himself at Charlie’s house. Standing outside her door, he froze. It was 9 at night. He should go home. He was overreacting. Before he could walk back to his car, the door flew open.
“Were you going to knock or just stand there all night?” Charlie laughed, leaning against the frame. “I saw you on the cameras while I was working on some coding.”
Cas opened his mouth but instead of words, a sob escaped.
“Cas, what’s wrong?” Charlie reached for him.
Cas slumped against her petite frame, tears blurring his vision.
“Come on sweetie, let’s get you inside.” Charlie tugged at his coat, guiding him to the couch.
As he settled, she busied herself by getting him a glass of water and grabbing a blanket. “Tell me what’s wrong, Cas. Is it Dean?”
Cas nodded, ignoring the water and snuggling into the blanket. Charlie always found the best blanket.
“Is he OK?” she frantically said. “Cas do we need to call anyone?”
“No!” he blurted out. “Can I– can I just stay here for a few days?”
Brow knitted in confusion, Charlie studied Cas before slowly nodding. “Of course you can, Cas. You’re always welcome here.” She paused for a moment. “I assume you don’t want me talking to Dean about this.”
Cas finally looked up at her. “I’m sorry Charlie, I know I’m putting you in a difficult position but I need some time. I need to think and figure things out.”
Charlie got up from the couch. “Take all the time you need. I’ll go put fresh sheets on the spare bed. And Cas,” she paused before walking down the hall, “I’m here if you need me, okay?”
Cas nodded before curling deeper into the fuzzy blanket.
“That was weird,” Dean said as he stared at his phone. He shrugged it off as Cas being Cas before turning back to the job at hand.
A few hours later, he pulled up to their house. Strangely, the house was dark and Cas’ car was nowhere in sight.
Dean whipped his phone out, but he didn’t have any missed calls or messages. He pressed Cas’ name in his favorites but the call went straight to voicemail. Racing into the house, he didn’t notice any signs of disarray or struggle. Heading into their bedroom, he saw that Cas’ charger was gone. As was his toothbrush and other toiletries in the bathroom.
Heading back into the kitchen, he saw a note pinned to the fridge he had overlooked in his initial sprint into the house.
Dean, I need some space to think. Please don’t try finding me or contacting me for a few days. I’ll call you when I’m ready to talk. Cas
Dean clutched the note and slowly slid to the floor. He didn’t even say ‘I love you,’ Dean thought.
Clambering up from the floor, Dean reached for the fifth of Jack on top of the fridge.
“What happened?” he whispered to himself before tipping the bottle back.
A toe nudged Dean’s side.
“Get off,” he growled. As it nudged him again, he rolled away trying to escape it but only succeeding in smacking his head against the bottom of the fridge.
“Damnit,” he groaned, slowly sitting up to stare at the intruder.
“What the hell man?” Sam said. “I got a call from Jo at nine saying that you hadn’t come into the garage yet and weren’t answering your phone. I tried calling you and Cas and no one picked up.”
“Well if he calls you back, maybe you can get some answers,” Dean snapped.
The look of frustration melted into concern. “What are you talking about Dean?”
“Here,” Dean shoved the note into Sam’s hands. “That’s about all I know.”
Quickly Sam scanned the note. “You hadn’t had a fight or anything?”
“No, Sam,” Dean huffed. “I’ve been working a lot lately, trying to get the majority of the house finished before his birthday but nothing has really happened.”
Sam rolled his eyes. “Are you still keeping that a secret? I would have thought he would have figured it out by now.”
“He thinks I'm pulling late hours at the garage.” Dean held his hand up before Sam could voice his protest. “Yes, I know it’s not ideal but he’ll understand.”
Sam knelt beside Dean. “He knows you’re keeping something from him. Think about it Dean. What would you think if Cas started working late all of a sudden and didn’t give you concrete details about why?”
Dean’s eyes widened. “Shit. I need to find him.”
Dean had been calling people all day. None of Cas’ siblings had heard from him and neither had Meg. He hung up the phone from that call, cursing Meg’s name. Her insinuations that maybe it was for the best made his stomach ache.
The sun had long since set when it dawned on him: Charlie. Frantically, he called her. “What’s up handmaiden?” she chirped.
“Is Cas with you?” Dean asked bluntly.
“Uh, what?” Charlie stuttered. “Uh, why would Cas be here?”
“Charlie, you’re terrible at this. I’m heading over now.”
Before Charlie could protest, Dean hung up and jumped in the Impala.
“He doesn’t want to see you,” Charlie answered at the door. “I don’t know why so don’t even ask. He’s holed up in the spare room. I don’t know what you did Winchester but he’s terribly upset.”
Dean walked past her without a word and knocked on the spare room door. “Cas, open up please. I need to talk to you. I think we’ve had a miscommunication.”
There was no answer.
“Cas, please. I’m not leaving until you talk to me.”
Several moments of silence passed before Dean sunk to the floor, back against the door.
Charlie had followed him with a blanket. “I think you’ll need this,” she whispered.
Several hours had passed when Castiel figured that it was safe to venture out. He slowly turned the handle and opened the door, jumping back as Dean fell into the room.
Groggily, Dean looked up at him. “Heya Cas.”
Cas leapt over Dean’s body and tried to barricade himself in the bathroom but Dean shoved his boot in the way.
“Please let me talk to you Cas,” Dean softly whispered.
“What if I don’t want to hear what you have to say?” rasped Cas.
“Just take a drive with me so we’re not bothering Charlie. It’s late. And if after the drive you still want me to bring you back here, then I will, I promise.”
Cas finally looked into Dean’s eyes, noting the redness of them and the sadness that permeated them.
“Fine,” he whispered back.
The Impala took the moon-soaked curves with ease. There wasn’t a lot of traffic on the outskirts of town normally but at 2 in the morning, it was deserted.
Dean glanced over at Cas sitting rigidly in the passenger seat. His heart ached. Please let this work , he desperately thought. Please .
The car jolted slightly as he pulled into the driveway. After everything was said and done, Dean was going to pave this but for now with all of the trucks coming and going, it was pointless.
Cas furrowed his brow in confusion. “Where are we Dean?”
“Just wait,” Dean said. “Let’s park first.”
After parking the car, Dean hopped out and raced around the car to open Cas’ door. “Follow me, Cas.”
The two of them walked up the slight hill to the frame of a house. Cas studied the lines of the house, trying to imagine what it would look like once it was complete.
“This is where I’ve been all those times I said I was at the shop, Cas,” Dean softly said, grabbing both of Cas’ hands. “I wanted it to be a surprise for you.”
“I don’t understand,” Cas said, eyes darting from Dean to the house. “This is ours?”
Dean softly smiled. “Yeah. I got the land and I’ve been working with Benny and Rufus to get the work done. They’ve been here during the day and I’ve been putting in some work at night. I wanted to have most of the construction done before your birthday.”
“You idiot!” Cas shoved Dean. “I thought you were cheating on me!”
Dean hung his head. “Yeah that’s what Sam told me it probably looked like. I just wanted us to have a space that was all our own. I could never cheat on you Cas. I love you.”
Cas grabbed Dean’s face. “I’m still mad at you, don't get me wrong. But I love you too.” He planted a kiss on Dean’s face before pulling away. “Now show me those house plans.”
Dean laughed as he grabbed Cas’ hand. “Let’s go get them out of the car.”