"Are you sure that goes there?" Dean asks.
"Yes," Cas replies, but he pauses for a few seconds, splitting a frown between Dean and the tent pole in his hand. "Reasonably sure, anyway."
"That doesn't look right."
"Well, it is."
"How do you know? The instructions are in French."
"I can read French," Cas points out. He's wearing Dean's brown and yellow flannel, and the collar is crooked, sticking up at the back of his neck. "Besides, the diagrams are very clear."
Dean snorts; the diagrams look like stick-figures drawn by a drunk person. He snaps together the pole in his hand and drops it on the ground with the rest of them, then glances around the campsite, watching out for the other campers. There are only two groups nearby: a family of four set up about a hundred yards deeper into the valley, and two chicks in a tiny tent tucked right up against the mountain. The family left for a hike shortly after Dean and Cas arrived, and the chicks disappeared into their tent about the same time and haven't come out. Dean thinks they're on a date. He doesn't see the romance in a weekend of bad food and no showers, but they look like they're college-aged. They probably can't swing any alone time without sexiling their roommates.
"No one's looking," he tells Cas. "Why don't you just --" he flaps his hand around "-- you know."
Cas shrugs, his mouth thinning, and Dean immediately wants to kick himself. Cas' grace has been a touchy subject since Hannah sealed off heaven. He still has it, and he can still use it, but sometimes it acts a little wonky. Dean doesn't really understand it, except that some days Cas is just more plugged into the matrix than others.
"We're supposed to be... roughing it," Cas says. "Isn't constructing your shelter part of the experience?"
Dean snorts again. He fucking hates camping; he's not interested in any part of the experience. He still doesn't understand how he landed the Daniel Boone portion of this hunt. Sam's the one who goes on early-morning runs so he can commune with nature or whatever, but right now he's playing federal agent, either at the ranger's station or the frat house. Somewhere with a roof and walls and electricity and running water.
"That still doesn't look right."
"You're more than welcome to help me," Cas says, offering him a pole.
"Come on, dude. I don't know where that goes."
"You should. Sam said you two have been camping before."
"Not really," Dean says, shaking his head. They went on a few camping trips as kids, but they'd all been thinly-disguised hunts. They'd stayed in creepy, tumbledown cabins for all but one; that time, his dad had handled the tent and the fire. "Not like this."
"Here," Cas says, shoving a limp handful of tent material at him. "Just hold this. I can't see what I'm doing when it's on the ground."
Sam finally calls just as Cas starts to wrestle with their prehistoric Coleman stove. It's one of the few things Bobby rescued from the fire at the salvage yard; Dean isn't even sure it still works.
"Well?" he asks, wincing at the static snapping in his ear. He walks toward a clearing in the trees but it doesn't really help. "What's the word?"
Sam sighs, the sound choppy and distant. "You're not going to like this."
"If you tell me there's no wendigo --"
"There's no wendigo."
"I fucking knew it," Dean says, kicking a pile of dead leaves. Wendigos are incredibly rare. Most hunters never even see one, and Dean already knows of two -- the one he and Sam tackled right after Sam left Stanford, and the one their dad took down when they were kids. "Okay, so, what chased those fratboys into the woods?"
"What do you mean, nothing?"
"I mean, nothing. They made it all up."
"All of it?"
Sam sighs again; it's barely audible over the rattle in the phone connection. "Well, they did go camping, that much was true, but everything else was bullshit. Their second night there, they got wasted and decided to hike down to the lake for a midnight swim, but they got lost -- like, The Edge lost."
"And, they were missing for five days, and one of these kids, his uncle is a state senator, so it was a big deal around here -- news coverage, search and rescue, a dredge team, the works. After all that, they didn't want to admit they were just dumb and drunk, so --"
"So they told everyone a fucking monster ate their homework?"
"Morons," Dean grumbles, but there's no real heat behind it: no wendigo means he can go back to civilization. It means he can sleep in a bed tonight, instead of in a tiny tent, three inches away from Cas. "How soon are you coming to get us?"
"I need to stop for gas, and I should probably grab us a room before they all fill up for the holiday weekend. So... I don't know, maybe an hour?"
"Awesome," Dean says, looking over at the tent. It's fully constructed now and looks totally solid. Cas is going to be so pissed. "That gives us just enough time to pack up our stuff."
Almost immediately, it starts to rain.
"Shit," Dean says, glancing up as thunder rumbles overhead.
He isn't surprised. It's been humid as hell all day, the air prickly and restless, like the heavy, steel-gray clouds were just waiting for the chance to split open. The trees hold off the worst of it for a full minute, but then a jagged bolt of lighting screams across the sky. After that, the rain starts coming down hard and fast, and Dean finds himself trudging back to the tent through mud that's ankle-deep.
"Dean," Cas says, poking his head through the tent-flap. His wet hair is plastered to his forehead. "Hurry up and get in here."
Dean doesn't bother trying to text Sam. The rain has zapped the little bit of phone reception he had earlier, and it's probably washed out the dirt road leading to the campsite. The Impala isn't exactly an off-road vehicle; he'd had a hard enough time getting down that road when it was dry.
"It could be worse," Cas says.
Logically, Dean knows this. They've got a lantern and enough batteries to keep it going for about a week. The cooler is full of bottled water and beer and the kind of canned food that can be eaten cold, even if it'll taste like shit -- baked beans, creamed corn, Chef Boyardee. There are two boxes of Cheez-Its in Dean's duffel and a twenty-sixer of Jim Beam. However:
"Oh, yeah? How?"
"The tent could be leaking."
"Jesus Christ," Dean says, rubbing his hand over his face. In spite of the thunderstorm it's fucking hot; Dean is sweating like a pig. Cas is stripped down to a t-shirt and boxers; Dean has to keep reminding himself not to look. "Don't even joke about that."
Cas hums under his breath, then says, "Your brother could be here. One of us would have to sleep on top of the food."
"Yeah," Dean says, snorting out a laugh. "Three-man tent, my ass."
"I told you to bring that tent Sam found at the bunker. It looked twice the size of this one."
"It also smelled like mothballs. I think it was World War I surplus."
Cas rolls over onto his side, close enough that Dean is tempted to lean in and kiss his mouth, or the sharp line of his jaw. "Yes, but I wouldn't keep banging my knee against the cooler."
"Hey." Dean clears his throat and looks away. "We'd probably still be sweating."
"I prefer that to being cold. Like I said, it could be worse."
Dean doesn't remember falling asleep; he wakes up sweat-soaked and slow, confused by the hum of the rain battering the tent's roof. His dick is harder than a rock. It's also pressed up against something solid and warm; he only blearily realizes it's Cas' ass after he rubs himself against it a couple times.
Shame stabs through him, hotter and thicker than his arousal. He feels like a total creep. He has his arm around Cas' waist and his thumb hooked in the band of Cas' boxers. He's practically kissing the back of Cas' neck. He takes a deep breath and starts to inch away, but Cas shifts and makes a noise under his breath -- the kind of short, irritated sound that means he's awake.
"I'm sorry," Dean whispers, even though he still hasn't moved back. If anything, he's moved closer; he's a heartbeat away from nosing at Cas' hair, right where it curls at the back of his head. "I didn't -- I'm not --"
"Dean," Cas says again. He sounds furious, but then he reaches back and rests his hand on Dean's hip, his fingers scratching at Dean's jeans. "Don't you dare chicken out of this now."
"Oh, fuck," Dean mumbles, closing his eyes. His lips bump the space behind Cas' ear, and before he can stop himself he's kissing there, open-mouthed and shaky. Cas' skin is sleep-warm and a little salty with sweat, and Dean kisses it again, and again. "I didn't, I didn't think you --"
"Of course I do. I always have." Cas fingers dig into Dean's hip again, harder this time, and he arches back, rubbing his ass against Dean's dick. "I just never knew how to tell you -- you always have to be so you about everything."
"I'm sorry," Dean says, scraping his teeth along the cord of Cas' neck. "I --"
"Just touch me," Cas says, turning his head, his voice a low rumble against Dean's jaw. He kisses there, slow, then leans up to brush his lips against the corner of Dean's mouth. "Everywhere. I want you to touch me everywhere."
Dean huffs out a ragged noise; if Cas keeps talking like that, this is going to be over for Dean before it really starts. He runs his hand down Cas' thigh, palming the curve of muscle there, then slides it back up, tracing the shape of Cas' dick with his knuckles. Cas is so hard; a damp spot is already spreading on the front of his boxers. Dean strokes him a few times through the material, heat curling in his gut at the way Cas' moans, but it isn't enough. It isn't nearly enough.
He shoves the boxers down past Cas' hips, but before he can touch Cas' dick again, Cas catches his wrist and tugs his hand up to his mouth. He sucks Dean's fingers in all at once, easy and sloppy and slow, and Dean bites the inside of his cheek so he doesn't come in his jeans. Cas' mouth is impossibly hot; he keeps making low, dirty noises, rumbles caught in the back of his throat, softer than the obscene-wet sound of his tongue slipping around Dean's fingers. Dean wishes there was more light. The lantern is still on, but it rolled over by the cooler at some point; it's wedged into the corner of the tent, and all Dean can see is the vague shape of his hand and a shadow that hints at the shape of Cas' mouth.
When Cas finishes with Dean's fingers he licks a slow stripe up the center of Dean's palm, then pulls Dean's hand back down and curls it around his dick. He rolls into it before Dean really finds a rhythm, his breath hitching as he moans Dean's name, his hips and thighs working as he fucks Dean's fist. Dean can't see that either, but he can picture it -- the shift and pull of Cas' throat, the pinkish flush burning up Cas' chest, the sticky-wet head of Cas' dick pushing past the circle of Dean's fingers. It feels incredible, Cas pushing back against him before rocking foward, Cas' mouth open and wet at the corner of his jaw, all stubble and heat. He worms his other arm underneath Cas' body, wrapping it around Cas' chest so he can pull Cas closer.
"Dean, yes." Cas shudders, and he twists his arm back, sliding his hand up Dean's neck. "Dean, I -- oh."
He comes all over Dean's hand and all over himself, his fingers curling into Dean's hair and his teeth catching the skin just below Dean's jaw. He takes a couple deep breaths, then shifts around until they're facing each other, and then they're kissing -- really, finally kissing, and it's so good. Dean moans into it, cradling Cas' hot face in his hands as he nips at Cas' lips, as he sucks Cas' tongue into his mouth. Cas fumbles with Dean's belt and the button on Dean's jeans, the back of his hand brushing Dean's dick as he pushes them down; once he has them past Dean's knees, he rolls onto his back and pulls Dean on top of him. Dean ends up straddling one of his thighs, and it feels solid between his legs, perfect, so he just rubs himself there, slow rolls of his hips as he kisses Cas again and again and again.
He doesn't see Cas run a hand through the mess on his belly but he hears it, all soft and slick and wet. He leans up a little, thinking Cas is going to jack him off, choking out a rough, needy noise when a come-sticky finger rubs over his hole.
"Fuck," he hisses. He hunches forward, tucking his flushed face against Cas' neck. "Oh, fuck."
"Do you want that?" Cas asks, quiet. "Would you let me fuck you?"
"Yeah, I -- yeah. Want it. Want you."
"I've thought about it, how you would look -- spread out underneath me, or sitting in my lap in that big chair in the library."
Cas' finger nudges inside, and Dean comes, shaking, his hands scrabbling at the sleeping bag behind Cas' head.
In the morning, Dean has two text messages from Sam. His phone cuts out when he tries to call inside the tent, so he rolls away from Cas and tugs on his jeans. Outside, the sky is the same dull gray as yesterday. The campsite is still a giant mud puddle, but the rain has finally started to taper off.
Sam picks up on the second ring. "You guys all right?"
"Yeah, we're fine. We barely even got wet. What about you?"
"Well, I'd just checked into a motel when it started, so I waited it out in the room. The power went out about halfway through the night."
"Sounds like you suffered."
"Whatever," Sam says, huffing under his breath. "I called the ranger's station about an hour ago. The road down to the campsite is washed out, but they have a truck they're willing to lend to a federal agent in need."
Dean snorts. "I'll just bet." He turns around when he hears a soft rustle behind him; it's Cas, pulling a t-shirt over his head as he crawls out of the tent. His jeans are undone and framing the line of hair arrowing away from his navel. "Look, just get here when you can."
"Two hours, tops," Sam says. "I'm sorry you got stranded out there. You hate camping, and it must've been rough with all that rain."
"Don't worry about it," Dean says, smiling to himself. "It could've been worse."