Like Now


A bit of unabashedly schmoopy Destiel, because it’s Valentine’s Day.

Dean doesn’t sleep through the night,
even now, so many months since he awoke under the ground
and clawed his way back to the living.


It concerns Castiel, this malfunction, for
he knows how much human operation depends on that sort of rest,
on the mental unwinding for which his Father made the night.
He worries that he did something wrong
left out a piece or mishandled a part
when he rebuilt what was Dean.

To him, then, it seems perfectly reasonable
that he is the one to supervise Dean when he sleeps
even now
during the day
during what Sam insists, with a jibe in his voice that Castiel can’t comprehend,
on referring to as Dean’s “nap time”
a euphemism that Dean clearly resents,
but to whose logic always he surrenders.

As such times
like now
he takes the steps two at a time
to the little room up under the eaves that
Bobby’s let him claim as his own.

In those moments
he doesn’t seem surprised to see Castiel there, waiting,
sitting carefully in the hard-backed chair by the window.
Dean rolls his eyes and peels off his jeans and crawls up into the bed
And turns his back to Castiel with a sigh.
Castiel watches him dream from a distance
counts the breaths he takes as he drifts
traces the clutch of his hips under the covers
as he settles and falls into sleep.

There’s something about Dean when he’s like this,
stretched out long-limbed and lazy
that makes Castiel feel uneasy.
Dean’s so vulnerable in such moments,
in this one,
so far from the knife-wielding bravado he breathes out during the day
that he seems alien to Castiel,
different, like another species of Winchester entirely,
one that Castiel doesn’t know,
a man with whom he’s barely acquainted
and yet a man he knows inside and out.
It’s a tension, a double vision,
that makes Castiel shift in his chair, his vessel unsettled.
Yes. Uneasy.

He looks away from the warm sprawl on the bed
and peers out,
beyond the window to the messy stretch of Bobby’s yard.
His vessel has to squint at the sunlight
the bright narrow beams that bounce and sing off rusty metal.
Still. It is an easier sight than Dean’s eyes
that are lit up, when he is awake,
with the sort of gentle amusement
that he wears when they are alone like this.
Like now.

“Cas,” Dean says from the bedclothes. Awake.

“You’re supposed to be sleeping,” Castiel says to the curtains. “Resting, Dean. Are you not?”

Dean lets out a huff—that, too, is familiar—and shifts around on the bed,
the ancient frame calling out each movement so clearly
that Castiel swears he can see it,
the way Dean’s arms are stretched above his head,
the way his ankle’s turned outside the sheets.
Oh. Or perhaps what he sees is Dean’s reflection,
sketched out within the panes of the window, soft and scattered. Smiling.

Castiel glares down at his hands, those would-be traitors, for
in moments like these
when he is close to Dean
and it’s quiet
they twitch with defiance, with want,
for the burn in his fingers reminds him of Dean’s flesh newly made
and scorching under Castiel’s palm
his vessel’s
for he has no doubt that
no matter the shell that contained him
what touched Dean, what clutched him, was Castiel,
all of him, everything he was created to be.

“Cas,” Dean says again, and yet it’s different, his name is, somehow.

He looks over, curious, and Dean’s sitting up.
Sitting up with one arm extended,
stranger still,
a flush on his face and a look in his eyes that says clearly
Come here.

“I don’t—” Castiel says, the words hot thick in his throat.

“C’mere,” Dean says, out loud or with his body or both, Castiel is not certain.
He does as he’s told, just the same.

For a moment
Dean simply stares at him
that beautiful smile that Castiel once wove from threads of his Grace
and laced into the shape of Dean’s mouth.

“Why are you squinting?” Dean breathes, the words soft in the air that’s between them. “Cas? You’re making me—“

And when Castiel kisses him
when he tugs Dean’s warm shock into his mouth and puts his hands all over that skin,
new and familiar,
that smile doesn’t bend, doesn’t break,
but wraps itself around Castiel’s name
and pulls them both into the stars.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s