Castiel was constantly stealing Dean’s clothes. The hunter would notice a missing shirt or jeans. A few times a jacket went missing. Sometimes it would be entire outfits and then he would come across Cas wearing the missing clothing. The fallen angel was often found wearing them in the bunker, sometimes into town or even on a hunt. Sam would simply stare at him with a raised eyebrow, but Dean ignored him with a scoff.
Sometimes Dean would find himself pausing, taking in the sight of his angel, because dammit Cas would always be his angel, with a small smile. Castiel never took Sam’s clothes or any others. It was always Dean’s and only Dean’s that would go missing, that Castiel would take and wear. Sometimes hide.
And then one day it wasn’t just the clothes. Dean had stepped into his bedroom prepared to pass out on top of the sheets without fanfare when he noticed the figure in the bed. Careful and quiet he moved closer to notice that it was just Castiel under the covers, dark hair poking up from under the sheets and resting on one of his pillows. Soft breaths escaping and a steady rise and fall of his chest.
Rolling his eyes at the scene Dean started going through the motions, getting ready for bed before pulling up the covers and climbing into the other side. He could feel the body heat coming from the other man and hear Castiel’s breathing before he found himself slipping into unconsciousness. Dreams easy and light.
At first it seemed like a fluke, a one-off until Dean found Castiel in his bed again. And again. Soon the fallen angel was just heading straight for Dean’s room at night instead of his own room, Items slowly started to fill up the empty spaces and then one morning Dean woke up with Castiel pressed against his back, arm slung around his waist and face pressed into the back of his neck. Warm air puffing across the skin there and Dean lay there frozen. Took a moment to just absorb everything.
The feeling of belonging, of safety and care. Castiel represented those things and he’d introduced Dean to faith. Something that no matter what the hunter could never lose in the angel. Fallen or not. Broken or whole. No matter what Castiel did that feeling of faith and trust, of absolute knowledge that Castiel would protect him was constantly there.
And it angered him and infuriated him. Pushed him to lash out and try to get some kind of reaction out of Castiel because it couldn’t just be him feeling this. He couldn’t be the only one who needed the other. But Castiel never spoke the words back and Dean had given them up several times. Both verbally and through action. He wasn’t one to talk about his feelings; that was more Sam than anyone else.
The arm around his waist tightened and pulled him completely flush against the man behind him. Their legs were tangled and breathing was almost perfectly in sync He could feel Castiel’s chest rising and falling, could feel warmth radiating through him.
Then a pair of lips were touching the back of his neck, softly and carefully he could feel the fallen angel separating them. Knew that Castiel was trying not to wake him, to hide the obvious cuddling and affection. That he would be padding down the hall barefoot to cook breakfast without any hint that he’d spent the night in Dean’s room again. But Dean had everything he needed because Castiel had not woken first this time. Not like he had every single time before. And Dean had been against the gamble. Part of him always afraid that Castiel was going to leave. Again.
Dean moved his leg, hooking them and rolled his body pinning Castiel to the mattress. Blue eyes stared up at him in surprise, still sleep dazed and his dark hair was an absolute mess across the pillow.
He stared down at Castiel, taking in the pillow crease and the flushed cheeks. The other man having forgone a shirt this time had his anti-possession tattoo bared on his chest for Dean to see. A necklace with a pair of wings, something Dean had seen when in town, hung from his neck but fell slightly to the side at the movement.
"Dean?" it was cautious and wary as Castiel stared at him. He was slowly adapting to being a human but Dean would always see the angel in him. "I’m so—" he was cut off because Dean leaned down and kissed him, taking those words away and instead testing his new knowledge.
Castiel’s lips were frozen and then they started to tentatively kiss back. Dean grinned into the kiss and moved his hands up to grip Castiel, pulling them even closer and breathing in his angel. The smell of his soap and bedroom clung to Castiel, mixing with the scent that Dean always associated with Castiel. Winter air and spices.
Then he pulled back and stared at Castiel who was blinked up at him in surprise. ”Have you been sneaking out of here every morning? Doing your own little personal walk of shame without having earned it?” it was joking and his green eyes sparkled with humor because Dean had been feeling lighter since Castiel started his recovery process after Heaven’s fall.
A blush stained his cheeks and blue eyes glanced away as he swallowed, hands clenched at the bed sheets before he finally looked back. ”No chick-flick moments.”
Dean threw his head back and laughed, body shaking with it and pulling a smile from Castiel. He was grinning when he turned back to Castiel to see that smile that was only ever directed at him. The one he remember when they stumbled out of that den of iniquity years ago.
"How long, Cas?" it was curious and Dean wanted to know.
Castiel stared at him, clearly weighing something before, “It started when I first saw your soul in Hell.” he took a breath, “And only increased the longer I was around you.”
"Were you ever going to tell me?" his voice was rough because no one had cared about him for that long that wasn’t family. Dean stared down at him and shook his head, wasn’t going to get upset because these were Castiel’s feelings and the other man had a right to them. "Ok." then he decided to take a plunge. Break one of his own rules, "I…I’ve been confused about you since I got back from Zac’s nightmare future." it was soft. Honest and his heart was pounding because this was different. It was different from Lisa and that was his longest relationship. That one had crashed and burned horribly because he’d only been kidding himself.
The ex-angel cocked his head to the side, staring up at him before reaching up and pulling Dean down for another kiss. Then when they broke for air, “I don’t like sleeping by myself.” which brought another laugh and a grin, more kisses and curious touches.
Without warning Castiel was rolling them and pinning Dean down, taking in the hunter underneath him. His eyes swept over Dean as the other man’s chest rose and fell. Body warm and lips thoroughly kissed. He knew if he’d been given the chance he would have been locking the gates of Heaven behind him before choosing to fall. Had wanted to say something when they were in that bar, when he’d been telling Dean his plan but it had gotten lost.
That had been the thing that had hurt the most. His choice had been stolen and he’d never been able to make the decision. To say the words he knew Dean had needed to hear back when he told Dean he’d fallen for him.
"I need you too."