"Oh, Deano, we're home!" a song-song voice echoed from the top of the stairs.
The loud thunk of the metal door closing made itself known, but it wasn't quite enough to drown out the greeting.
As Dean appeared below them, he called back, "Sorry, what was that? I think someone in Arkansas might not have heard you!"
Jo shot him a look before trotting down the stairs, Cas close behind her. "Honestly," Dean went on, "I don't think noise that loud should be able to come out of a person your size."
"Yeah, well," she quipped back, throwing a duffle bag down onto the table, "I've never been one to follow protocol." Dean rolled his eyes and snatched up the duffle to unpack it. "How'd it go?" he asked, addressing them both.
"Fairly straight forward," Cas supplied. "The shtriga was easy enough to pin down once we spoke to the families."
"Your boy here makes a great fake husband," Jo cut in, giving Cas a playful elbow to the ribs. "Yeah?" Dean smirked. "Makes an even better real one."
Cas smiled fondly as Dean pulled him over for a kiss on the cheek. Jo feigned retching even as her eyes sparkled with laughter.
"Really though," she chuckled, "it was an easy one. In and out and 'bye-bye monster.' Any hang ups on your end?"
"Nada." Dean moved back towards the duffle bag. "HQ ain't really my thing, but if you two keep up like this, we'll have to send Sam and Eileen on vacation more often."
Jo snorted, boosting herself up to sit on the table as Cas moved to help Dean unpack. "Uh huh," she mused. "Good luck getting him to lay off the books for more than a week. He goes reverse stir crazy when he isn't here."
Dean chuckled, and there was silence.
"I'd be happy to take a shift, though," Jo went on after several moments. "Like next week or something, if you needed it." Her voice was a little too casual; Dean leveled a look at her.
"And I don't suppose you'd be aware that one Mr. Benny LaFitte volunteered his time for next week, huh? That’s just a happy coincidence for you?"
He felt more than saw Cas fighting a grin next to him as Jo struggled violently against a blush.
"So?" she snapped. "What, you don't trust a girl and a monster to run things here? Worried we'll ruin the integrity of your precious little fort-"
"I'm worried you'll ruin the b-"
Dean was unable to finish his retort as a tin of rock salt connected squarely with his jaw.
"It was nearly empty," she shrugged with defiant nonchalance.
Dean rounded, pointing a stern finger at Cas, who was no longer able to bite down his laughter.
"Watch it, mister."
Cas bit his lip as he worked to stifle the last of it; Dean huffed out a sigh and looked back to Jo, defeated.
"Just watch yourself hanging around these mythical creatures, okay?" He popped another kiss onto Cas's cheek and stage whispered, "I hear they can get real clingy-"
He ducked as a handful of empty shells came flying through the air towards his head.