“Come on. Just one date.”
The sincerity of the question takes Dean by surprise and knocks him breathless, stripping him of his usually suave demeanor. Like a goddamned idiot he’s huffing out a laugh, trying to find some way to give an answer that isn’t as freaking girly as the flush of his cheeks. The nervousness, however - the fear of being hurt - melts away with Cas’ growing smile, and Dean can feel the crinkling edges of his mouth upturning.
Dean doesn’t give an audible answer, but the two men exchange numbers - a date, time, location. The usual stuff, really, like what he’d do with any other guy.
But then, Cas isn’t just any other guy.
The table, Dean knows, has been set.
“You lied on the phone again.” Castiel pauses, eyes sliding over every facet of Dean’s face before continuing on. “You can’t even tell your parents - ? I just don’t get it, Dean. Are you – ashamed?”
The question hits Cas hard in the gut, forces him to swallow back painful accusations, knowing all too well about Dean’s issues in regards to his mother and father. It hurts, though, to think about Dean being ashamed of their relationship – of the nights they’d spent in the dark, limbs entangled under cold sheets made warm with touches and lingering breaths.
Castiel doesn’t regret a second of it, but then, he’d been out for years.
“Is this too much for you?” Castiel murmurs, taking a single step forward when Dean does not reply, only fueling Castiel’s need to speak, need to shout, to get through to the man he had come to – well, love, probably. “I just - I want you to understand - all I want is you.”
Dean, holy Father, actually snorts, and Castiel recoils.
“Come on, man, don’t be melodramatic.”
Castiel’s tensing, the muscles in his body freezing before Dean finally sighs and crosses over to him.
“I’m sorry, okay? I promise I’ll tell them – soon. Just – I need some freaking time, yeah?”
Dean is smiling against his skin now, a silent apology prompting a series of breathy groans as Castiel melts into the sudden press of lips against his head, cherishing the light brush of fingers in his hair.
“All the time you need.”
“I told my parents.”
Dean grins, hand on Cas’ leg as he speaks, the light hum of ACDC thrumming through the Impala’s speakers.
“Did you really?”
Dean can tell the guy’s trying to hide a smile, and hell if that isn’t the most freaking adorable thing he’s ever seen.
“Yeah,” he laughs, the pressure of his hand on Cas’ thigh intensifying with a hard squeeze. “I promised, right?”
For a few moments, Castiel doesn’t answer. He just looks out at the road, like he’s fighting to find the right words, before tilting his head.
“Yeah…that you did,” Cas murmurs, chapped lips thinning out before finally breaking into a satisfied half-grin.
“Told you.” Dean reiterates, turning away from the man in order to observe the road for a while, the light trickle of rain dancing across the window.
Dean turns his head towards the outburst, eyebrows furrowing with his confusion as to what Cas could be protesting about.
The truck’s arrival cuts Dean’s sentence short, the impact so powerful that the last thing Dean hears before blacking out is Cas’ name on his own lips, solely accompanied with deafening crunching.
Funerals, Dean thinks, are a goddamned waste of time and energy. They’re nothing but excuses for the living, with heads jammed so far up their asses they can’t help but tell themselves a bunch of lies about where the people they’re burying are going. Does anyone ever think, Dean wonders, that maybe the person they’re so convinced is in a ‘better place’ is really just going into the ground?
Yeah, sounds like a freaking great time. Six feet under without any friends or family. Without anyone to say ‘hey, pick up the damn pie’.
Worse though, is a funeral’s aftermath. The ‘I’m sorry’ the ‘if you need anything’ the ‘it wasn’t your fault’s.
Those are worse than the lies, only because they make Dean think about the reality.
He can’t look at the Impala anymore without remembering Cas. Cas’ hand in his, Cas’ hand on the wheel, Cas smiling and laughing and telling him that he’s not to blame for everything, that he can be strong.
Beating the Impala doesn’t help as much as it should – doesn’t take away the freaking goddamned emptiness that eats at him, the survivor’s guilt that makes him choke on air.
“Cas,” Dean breathes out, eyes looking at the wreck of twisted metal and black in front of him, “My parents wanted to meet you, man–” Dean swallows, can’t help the goddamned tears, the stupid flexing of his fingers, the only tick that keeps him from beating the Impala again. “Dinner’s at six. My place. You pick the day Cas – whenever you’re free just –come when you can.”
A date, time, location. The usual stuff, really, like what him and Cas would do on any other day.
But then, he remembers Cas will never show up.
Dean still sets the table.