"Yes, of course, Mother. I will be there," Dean hears Cas' voice drift into the kitchen. It's followed a second later by Cas, on his phone and looking tense. Dean stops making his sandwich to look at him.
"I understand, Mother. I will explain everything when I see you." Pause, and now Dean can hear Naomi Milton's voice on the other end of the line, though he can't understand what she's saying. "May I bring Dean with me?" … "Dean is my mate." He frowns. "I thought Gabriel explained this to you already." … "Mother, please be reasonable. I cannot help biology." … "You know nothing about him. You haven't even met him yet. That's why I want to bring him to dinner... Mother, please, you have to see that this is unnecessary. I understand that you are upset, but again, he is my biological mate. Am I meant to ignore my instincts? You've always told me my instincts are the only asset I have..." He straightens, expression flattening out. "I will see you tomorrow night, Mother. With Dean. Goodbye." He hangs up with a tensing of his jaw.
"Someone spill the beans?" Dean asks.
Cas cocks his head to the side, frowning, but the tension appears to have eased a little in his muscles. "Beans? Who is making beans?"
Dean smiles, trying not to laugh at him. "It's an expression. Gabriel told your mom about us?"
His expression clears, and he nods. "Yes, unfortunately. It appears he could not keep the knowledge to himself for more than a week. I would say that I am surprised, but I am not. She wants me to go over there for dinner tomorrow night to explain what's happening. Will you come with me?"
"Of course, no way I'm letting you get into the lion's den alone."
Cas' body melts in relief. "Thank you. I don't think I could do it alone."
"Don't worry about it. We'll take her on together. Want a sandwich?"
"Yes, I believe I would. And possibly whiskey."
Dean laughs. "We can do that, definitely." He hands Cas a knife and the mustard and points to the bread. "Spread it; I'll get the whiskey." They end up getting drunk at three in the afternoon and watching the Discovery channel in between bouts of making out on the couch. By the time Sam comes home with Jess, they're giggling like pre-teen girls and falling all over each other.
"Woah, starting early today, guys?" Sam asks in his disapproving voice. Dean loves Sam's disapproving voice.
"We decided to be alcoholics for Halloween," he says, laughing—not giggling, thank you.
"Oh shit, Cas, we missed Halloween." Cas collapses on his shoulder, giggling.
"Relax, Sam, something's obviously up if even Cas is drunk. What happened?" Jess asks, leaning over the back of the couch to kiss Dean's cheek and then Cas'.
"My mother found out about our relationship. She wants my to go to dinner tomorrow and 'talk about it'," Cas explains, even using finger quotes. Dean's drunk enough to think it's cute.
"Cas told her off and hung up on her. It was awesome," Dean says, patting his mate on the knee.
Cas wrinkles his nose at him. "I did not. I only told her I was bringing you and didn't let her respond before ending the call. There was no telling off."
"Well, there's gonna be tomorrow. That bitch thinks she's gonna sell you off to the highest bidder, she can think again."
"Dean, please do not refer to my mother as a 'bitch'," Cas says, but his face says he kind of agrees. Dean's just surprised he can still make fancy sentences with four glasses of whiskey in him. It's kind of hot.
"But she is one. Made you think all that crazy shit about omegas. Fuckin' crazy, that's what that is."
"How about I make you both some coffee, hmm? We brought home Indian," Jess suggests, ignoring Dean's little tirade.
"No coffee," Cas says.
"Yes, coffee. I'll be right back." She walks away towards the kitchen, and Sam sits in his usual chair.
"So, Mrs. Milton knows about you? What'd she say, if you don't mind my asking, Cas?"
"I don't mind. She told me she's already signed the contract with Zachariah, and that I needed to stop being unreasonable and selfish. She called Dean a knothead and accused him of trying to hustle me out of my trust fund. Dean doesn't even know I have a trust fund."
Dean shrugs. "I sorta figured. There's no way you could afford that apartment on a substitute teacher's salary." Dean had been back to Cas' place a few times since the lost kitten incident, and he had been impressed by both the size of it and the view. He'd guessed the rent to be more a month than his first car cost him. "Didn't really think 'bout takin' it, though. Wouldn'tta cared if you were homeless."
Cas gives him a goofy, doe-eyed smile. "I know you wouldn't. It's one of the many reasons I love you." He gives Dean a kiss that Dean's a little too drunk to resist. Sam makes an annoyed sound, and they pull away.
Jess comes in a few minutes later with two coffees and instructions that they're to meet her in the kitchen to dish out their dinner. Sam goes right away, but Dean and Cas take a minute to drink their coffee and try to sober up before standing. Cas almost fell over the ottoman on his way to the bathroom earlier, and that was only after glass number three. Eventually, they get their dinner and all four settle around the coffee table in the living room, talking and laughing until well into the night.
When they go to bed, Dean drops off with the quiet hope that he will get to spend many, many more Saturdays with Cas just like this one.
If Dean had thought Cas was nervous to meet Mary, this was on an entirely different level. Cas is literally shaking standing on the porch, clutching Dean's hand so hard he's already lost feeling in it. "Calm down, sweetheart. It'll be okay. She'll either accept us, or she won't, but either way, we'll still be together, okay?"
Cas looks up at him with fear in his eyes. "I know that, but it doesn't make me feel better. She's my mother."
"And I'm your mate. She's gonna have to get used to this eventually, right? Otherwise, she'll never get to see her grandpups when we have them."
"At the rate I'm going, we might not ever have pups," Cas mutters under his breath.
"Hey, nope. None of that. We're taking our time. If she can't get behind that, then fuck her, mom or not. Okay?"
Cas takes a deep breath and then another. "Okay."
"Okay, I'm ringing the doorbell now. Are you ready?" He reaches over and pushes the glowing button, hearing a distant ding-dong from inside the house.
"No," Cas answers, just as the door springs open, and a severe-looking woman with Cas' eyes and sharp stare steps into the doorway.
"Castiel," she says in a clipped voice, eyeing Dean with disapproval.
"Good evening, Mother."
"I suppose this is him, then?" she asks.
"This is Dean Winchester, my mate. Dean, this is my mother, Naomi Milton."
"Nice to meet you," Dean says with false cheer. Mentally, he's ripping her beady little eyes out for making his mate feel so terrible about himself.
"I would return the compliment, but I do not lie. Come in," she says, and yeah, she's definitely a bitch.
Dean sees Cas' jaw clench as he walks in, hand still tightly holding onto Dean's. They're let into a house that surpasses Dean's childhood home in size, sophistication, and snobbery. It makes Dean uncomfortable just to walk in, like he might knock over an expensive vase or get dirt on the priceless rug or something. He hears voices coming from a door to the left of the giant foyer, and looks over to see a sitting room—a genuine fucking sitting room, like in those Jane Austen movies his mom used to make him watch as a kid—full of people. Dean sees Balthazar standing by the fireplace, a glass of wine held in one hand, a tiny woman standing next to him. He hears Gabriel's voice, but doesn't see him.
They aren't led into that room, though. Naomi takes them down a hallway and into a fancy office full of leather-bound books. Dean thinks Sammy would be salivating, but he focuses on the alpha sitting in one of the visitor chairs, spinning a glass of whiskey between his fingers. He's old, fifty-five at least, but Dean thinks closer to sixty, balding. And arrogant. Dean can smell the smug self-righteousness from the door. He's wearing a gray suit that's a little too big for him, a feat considering that he's already on the hefty side. Dean has a feeling this is Zachariah, and he's a little disgusted if it is. Cas deserves someone a hundred times better. What kind of mother would chain her child to a miserable old alpha like this shit. Dean's hackles go up at the thought.
The guy turns in his chair to look at them, glancing from Cas to Dean with vague disapproval. "Castiel, how lovely to see you. Your mother and I were just finalizing our contract."
"I apologize, Zachariah, but there will be no contract. I have a mate already, as my mother appears to have neglected to tell you. Dean, meet Zachariah Adler. Zachariah, this is my mate, Dean Winchester."
Zachariah looks at Dean as though he were a giant rat standing in front of him. Dean has to resist the very real desire to bare his teeth. He could definitely take the dude in a fight, but he promised Cas he wouldn't challenge him unless they had no other choice. "How interesting. Are you sure? He lacks a certain... sophistication. Winchester... that name sounds familiar to me. Do you happen to work at the shop on Belleview?"
"I own it."
"Interesting. An acquaintance of mine brought her car to you for service, Bella Talbot. She wasn't impressed."
Dean remembers Talbot, a pushy beta with a superiority complex. She'd seduced him, and then tried to get her service for free. When he gave her the bill, she tried to accuse him of unethical practices and fraud. Thankfully, one of Sammy's professors had helped him take her to court and won. She'd had to pay both the restoration bill and his legal fees. He hadn't heard from her since. "I bet. We gonna talk about how you're not getting Cas, or you wanna talk shop some more?"
Zachariah raises an eyebrow and Naomi glares at him. "This matter does not concern you, Mr. Winchester. I'm not entirely certain why Castiel thought it was desirable to bring you here. My son has agreed to enter into a union with Mr. Adler, and he will fulfill his obligations."
"Oh really? And he agreed to this when, exactly, because I get the feeling he never wanted to mate with this asshole in the first place."
"Excuse me?" Adler hisses, standing and setting his tumbler down on the desk. "You listen to me, boy. Castiel agreed to be my omega months before he ever even met you. How do we know you are his so-called mate? I don't see a claim mark on his neck. You could be a homeless vagrant he's pulled off the street for all we know."
"Why would he need to pull a homeless guy to pretend to be his mate if he wanted to mate with you? The reasons for Cas and I not mating yet aren't any of your business. Cas isn't your omega any more than he's your betrothed. He's mine. And better yet, he wants to be mine. You can't say that."
"It doesn't matter what Castiel wants. I am his mother and he is an omega. He will do as I say, or he will suffer the consequences," Naomi snaps, glaring at Dean.
"And what consequences are those, exactly?" Dean shoots back, edging towards really pissed off.
"If Castiel does not mate Zachariah, he will be disinherited and stripped of his family name."
Dean turns to Cas. "You cool with that?" he asks.
"I don't use my family name now."
"You will no longer have the benefit of a trust fund, either, Castiel. Will your heathen alpha want you when you are penniless and without a home?"
"Cas always has a home with me. I don't care if he's penniless. I'll take care of him," Dean says, moving closer to Cas.
"Neither do I. I would rather have to beg for food and stay with Dean than mate Zachariah," Cas agrees, wrapping the hand not enclosed in Dean's around Dean's bicep, eyes fixed on his mother's.
Naomi stares silently at them for a long moment, her face giving nothing away. After what feels like an eternity, she blinks and walks to the desk, shuffling papers in a business-like fashion. "Very well then, penniless and without family it is. I hope you are satisfied with your decision, Castiel."
Cas looks at Dean and smiles. He looks satisfied, even though Dean can feel him trembling. "I am not without family. Dean is my family. I would thank you for understanding our situation and supporting me, but clearly that was never on the table. Thank you for being a wonderful mother. I hope you are satisfied with never seeing your grandchildren. Good evening." Cas turns and walks away, his grip on Dean giving Dean no choice but to follow.
"Castiel," Naomi's voice stops them in the doorway. Cas looks back, but doesn't say anything. Dean sees a flicker of something in the old crone's eyes, regret maybe? "I have never wanted anything but the best for you. When you have children of your own, you will see that."
Dean has an urge to interfere again, but he gets one look at the righteous indignation on Cas' face and decides to let him have this one. "Did you ever consider what I wanted when you were deciding what is best for me? I know that you've never met your own biological mate, but how can you in good conscience try to deny me mine?"
"You are an omega. I only sought to find the best alpha for you."
Cas snarls, surprising even Dean with his ferocity. "Dean is the best alpha for me! He's my biological mate! That's what that means! God is literally telling us that he is the best alpha for me. How can you not see that?"
"No, please tell me how Zachariah, who is old enough to have fathered me, is the best choice for me? Is it his money? His lack of hair? His pot belly? His glowing personality? Did you really want our genes to be combined with his?"
"You little shit..." Zachariah looks like he wants to slap Cas, but Dean gets between them, glaring at him.
"Touch him, and you'll be on the floor a second later," Dean growls, not holding back on baring his teeth now. Zachariah doesn't even look intimidated. Dean will make him pay for the mistake later.
"That was uncalled for, Castiel. Zachariah would have been a good provider for you and your future children."
"Dean's a good provider. He owns his own business and his own home. He is doing very well for himself, and for me. I can also say that he is an excellent father. I cannot say with any sort of confidence that Zachariah would have ever even looked at his children."
Naomi's head snaps up and she stares at him. "How could you possibly know what sort of father this man would be?"
"He has a son from a previous relationship and has raised an intelligent, sharp-witted, friendly child, who is a delight to be around."
"You are giving up the opportunity to be with an alpha who can give you whatever you want for someone who has already pupped with another omega?" Her tone implies that she believes he has lost his mind.
"Yes. And I intend on having pups of my own with him some day, and I am happy to know that my pups will be taken care of as well as their half-brother already is. If that is all?"
Naomi gives him another long stare. "Zachariah, Dean, will you please leave us. I wish to speak with my son in private." It isn't a request.
Zachariah snorts, but he takes his tumbler anyway and walks to the door, stopping only long enough to shove past Dean with a growl. Dean hesitates, looking down at Cas. "You want to talk to her?"
Castiel looks from his mother to Dean and back again. "I suppose it will not hurt. Stay outside the door?"
"Whatever you want. I'll be right outside." Dean cups Cas' face in his hands and kisses his forehead, glancing at Naomi with a warning look as he pulls away and leaves the room. Cas closes the door behind him, leaving him in the hallway with Zachariah.
"I can't believe that little shit chose a vermin like you over me," Zachariah grouses, downing the last of his drink. Dean waits until he's relaxed, off his guard, and clocks him in the mouth hard enough to knock him on his ass.
"I ever hear you talking about him that way again, they won't find your body, you understand me?"
"You despicable little worm! How dare you touch me. I'll have you brought up on assault charges..." Zachariah threatens, struggling to stand back up while clutching his swiftly swelling jaw.
"Oh really? Good luck getting that to stick. You threatened my mate. You're lucky I promised Cas I wouldn't challenge you, or you would have already been dead."
"Ooo, death threats, sounds like a party. Hey Dean-o, didn't know you were here. Where's Cassie?" Gabriel says, sauntering down the hallway with a bottle of some kind of dark beer. The way he's swaying, Dean thinks he might have already hit his limit.
"Inside with your mom." Dean shoves his thumb in the direction of the office door with a sour expression.
"I'm surprised you're out here. And you, too, Zachie-boy. What's wrong, Cassie didn't like you?" He makes a pouty face at Zachariah that earns him a vicious glare. "Looks like you got a nice bruise for your trouble there, big boy. Why don't you run along home?" Okay, Dean might like him for making Zach get all blotchy. He's still pissed about the wake-up call last week, though.
"You don't tell me what to do, you little weasel. I've told your mother she needs to disown you. I don't know why she won't listen to me."
Gabriel smiles, sloppy but knowing. "Well, Zachie-boy, it's like this. Mom talks a good talk, but deep-down, she loves her kids. She might not like what we do, and she might yell at us and threaten to disown us, but when it comes right down to it, she'd never disown a one of us." He grabs onto a nearby door frame for balance and cocks his head towards Dean. "Can I get you a drink, Dean-o? After dealing with this asshole, you probably need one."
"A beer would be nice," Dean says.
"A beer it is. I'll be right back. Don't kill each other while I'm gone. Don't want Maria to have to clean up blood. Again." He turns and sways away from them, back down the hall and out of sight.
Dean turns a glare on Zachariah. "Why are you even still here? What do you think, Naomi's in there convincing Cas to drop me and go back to marrying you? Not gonna happen, asshole."
Zachariah looks incensed, but doesn't say anything. Instead, he throws his tumbler onto the hardwood, smashing it into pieces, and stomps away. Dean looks down at the shattered glass and kicks it to the side as best he can with his shoe, wishing he'd been wearing work boots instead of the leather dress shoes Cas had insisted on. He leans his shoulder against the far wall and waits. A few minutes later, Gabriel is back with his beer and leans against the opposite wall, apparently intent on staying.
"Where'd Zach go?"
"No idea. To hell, hopefully," Dean mutters, taking a swig of his beer.
Gabriel chuckles and nods his head. "I think I might grow to like you, Dean-o. You really love Cassie?"
Dean nods, tired all of the sudden. "Yeah, I do."
"Well, good luck to you, then. You fuck him over, I fuck you over."
"That will not be an issue, thank you, Gabriel," Cas says as he opens the door and steps out. Dean's on red alert immediately. Cas' eyes are red, and he looks like he's been crying.
"Everything okay?" he asks, grabbing onto Cas' elbow.
"I'm fine, thank you. I believe my mother and I have settled our differences. Our dinner invitation has been reinstated."
"Really? You sure you wanna stay?"
"I would like my siblings to get to know you. I think my mother could benefit from some time spent in your presence as well." Dean's about to give his agreement, but stops at the look on Cas' face. "However, tonight is not the night for them to get to know you."
"No?" Dean asks, bewildered.
Cas grabs onto his arm and looks up at him with an intensity Dean hasn't seen in his eyes since they first met. "I'm ready," is all he says.
The hairs on Dean's arms stand up, and he's not even sure what Cas is talking about. "Ready?"
"Yes. Take me home, please."
Dean nearly chokes, coughing loudly and stumbling back into a nearby doorway. "Yeah, okay. Let's uh... let's go," he answers, trying to recover from the surprise. Cas grips his hand to steady him, smiling now, eyes dancing in amusement. He leads Dean by the hand through the house, saying goodbye to Gabriel over his shoulder.
Dean almost trips twice, mind on what they're going to do when they get home. Ben's at his mom's for the week. He has his phone in his hand as soon as they get out the front door and shoots off a text to Sam, telling him to stay at Jess'. He gets the door for Cas, because he's still a gentleman, dammit. He doesn't waste the opportunity to press him against the open passenger side and kiss him to within an inch of his life. Cas is breathless and glassy eyed when he pulls away. He smells like spun sugar. Dean grins and jogs around to the other side and gets in. If he ignores the speed limit, that's his business.
Sam is just coming out the front door with an overnight bag as they pull up, and the look on Dean's face must be enough for him to keep quiet, because he gets in his car with a wave and is gone a few seconds later. Dean has Cas out of the car and lip-locked as soon as he's gone, both stumbling blind towards the front door. Dean fumbles the door handle three times, not bothering to look at what he's doing with Cas' tongue in his mouth and his fingers pulling Dean's hair. Thankfully, Sam left it unlocked. They'd never get inside if he had to mess with a key, and in the state he's in, he probably wouldn't have thought twice about taking Cas on the porch. He finally gets the door open, and they tumble inside, collapsing onto the floor in a messy, giggling heap. "Ow," Cas mutters between kisses, grinning through his laughter.
"You okay?" Dean asks, checking his head over for lumps.
Cas laughs and pulls Dean down for another kiss, wrapping his arms and legs around him like a limpet. "I'm fine, Dean. Take me to bed." Dean doesn't have to be told twice. He grabs a hold of Cas' hips, intending to pick him up and carry him to the bedroom. A glint in his blue eyes is the only warning Dean gets before he's flipped onto his back and pinned by Cas' hands on his shoulders. "I changed my mind," Cas says with a sly grin. "Catch me." He's gone a second later, jumping onto his feet and racing up the stairs, his sweater flying over the railing in his wake. Dean jumps up and gives chase, instincts and adrenaline taking over.
He manages to catch Cas just as he's through the doorway to the bedroom, shirtless now and half-way to unbuttoning his dress pants. Dean grabs him from behind and hauls him onto the bed with a cackle of victory, using his full weight on his hands holding Cas' shoulders down. "Got you," he says, grinning.
Cas struggles to get away, but Dean can tell he's only pretending by his laughter and lack of real force. He waits until Cas is settled and blinking up at him, no longer laughing, before he moves. He starts with a kiss, gentle and slow, to the spot on Cas' neck he intends to mark by the end of the evening. Cas melts into his arms, craning his head to the side to give him better access. Dean takes his time, mapping out Cas' neck with his mouth as he manipulates Cas onto the bed and strips the rest of his clothes from him. He navigates south, pausing at each nipple to suckle and nip them into hard nubs. Cas whines under him, fingers burying in his hair and tugging ever so subtly.
Dean takes it for the encouragement that it is and moves south again, leaving little pink love bites down Cas' chest and stomach. Cas begins to squirm under him, but he ignores this more obvious request, choosing to sit up and strip his own clothes off instead. He wants to feel every inch of Cas' skin against his, and he doesn't want to have to stop in the middle because he's still got his pants on. Cas' gaze is warm on his skin, tracing his lines with appreciation. He leans over Cas for another kiss, unable to help himself. His hands meander down to Cas' entrance, slick and ready for him. The first finger is easy, and it causes Cas to grip his shoulder tight, nails digging into his skin and leaving little crescent moons behind.
The second takes a little patience, but it goes in almost as easily, and Dean scissors them, feeling for the loosening of muscles that means he can add a third. It takes a bit of time and Dean has scratches down his bicep before he hazards a third. It goes in with pressure and a thorough, distracting kiss to Cas' lips. Once the third's in, the forth doesn't take much more coaxing. Cas is so wet now he's leaving a spot on the bed and all Dean can think about is tasting it. He pulls his fingers out, examines them and the thick, viscous liquid coating them, before licking at it. It's like the best dessert he's ever tasted, almost like pecan pie, but better. He licks his fingers clean while Cas watches him, pupils dilating until there is barely any discernible blue.
"Dean, please..." Cas whispers. The desperate drag of his voice is enough to send a shiver down Dean's back. He places deliberate, gentle kisses on each of Cas' cheeks, enjoying the way Cas' eyes flutter closed.
"You're sure?" he asks, wanting to hear it once more. Two months of touching without being able to do more, smelling arousal and being unable to satisfy his mate, texts at two in the afternoon canceling plans because a heat has come, and then waiting the three days knowing his mate is across town fucking himself on a dildo and crying out for Dean; all that patience and finally this is his reward.
Cas lets out a breathless, "Yes," and it's all Dean needs. He shifts Cas' legs wider and moves them up towards his shoulders, making enough room for Dean's hips to shift closer. Cas quietly takes hold of them when Dean prompts, keeping them nice and wide-open. Dean presses a quick, hard kiss to his mouth and takes hold of his own erection, angling it towards Cas' wet, pink entrance. There's resistance at first, and Cas whines in a way that makes Dean worry he's hurt him, but the look of desire in his eyes tells a different story, and Dean presses on. The muscles ease all at once, laying the way for Dean to slide half-way in with very little effort. And holy shit is it good when he does, tight and unbelievably hot and pulsing around him. Dean nearly comes just at the first feel of it.
Dean groans, bracing his hands on either side of Cas' head and dropping his weight onto them, dipping down to nibble at Cas' neck, hoping to give himself time to settle. '"Dean," Cas says into his ear. There are hands in his hair and Cas' legs are now clenching his sides like a vice, holding him in place. Dean shifts his head around to kiss Cas, deep and slow. He pushes into Cas' a little at a time, matching his movements with the tiny keening sounds Cas makes against his mouth. He pulls back when he bottoms out to look Cas in the eyes, but Cas' are closed tight.
"You okay, sweetheart?" Dean asks, and he hardly recognizes his own voice for how deep it's gotten.
"Your so big, Dean. I never thought it could feel like this.," Cas says, opening his eyes to look up at Dean in wonder.
Dean grins at him. "It only gets better from here."
The wonder morphs into want. "Show me."
And Dean does. He makes sure his movements are slow, but deep, pulling his hips all the way back before sliding in until they're flush with Cas' again and then pushing a little deeper than that. Harsh little cries start spilling from Cas' lips. Dean drinks them up, using them as fuel to keep going, keep shifting, until Cas cries out, "OH FUCK!" and Dean knows he's hit the spot. He concentrates on it, digging into him with every thrust of his hips. Cas looks at him like he's a god come down to earth when he's not busy shouting his name, laced with a colorful array of curses.
Dean pulls away from their embrace to send a questioning look at Cas, unwilling to ask, but needing consent all the same. He caresses up Cas' forearms, directing them above his head and lacing their fingers together., leaning down over him and taking his mouth in a heated kiss. When he pulls away again, Cas looks up at him with all the love in the world and nods, giving his permission. Dean's thrusts speed up and Cas tilts his head to the side to present his neck to Dean. Dean noses there, scenting him one final time as an un-mated omega before he sinks his teeth deep into Cas' shoulder. Blood oozes into his mouth, and with it a wave of calm. Every worry, frustration, source of anger, every negative thought in his head goes silent. All he is aware of is his mate underneath him, his mouth against Dean's ear whispering how much he loves him. It's the most peaceful he's ever felt.
All at once, the world returns to him. He's aware suddenly that Cas has already come, can smell the pure, perfect scent of him all over their bed. Cas is smiling up at him with fairy light in his eyes, his hands combing through Dean's hair. Dean looks down at him and sees him, really sees him as an entire person for the first time, and thinks if he only ever says it once, this is the time. "I love you," he rasps, throat raw and painful from the tears caught there.
Cas laughs, tears trickling down his own cheeks. "I love you, too." Dean leans down and kisses the tears away, the salt mixing with the blood already in his mouth. Before he can recognize how disgusting the taste is, Cas is kissing him and he forgets about everything else for awhile.
When he's aware again, he tries to shift off of Cas and finds that he can't. He looks down, shocked to see the edge of his knot buried deep inside of Cas. "Did I just...?"
"Knot me?" Cas asks, laughing. "Yeah, you did. Didn't you notice?"
"No, I was... all I could feel was you."
"Me, too," Cas jokes, down-right giggling. Dean snorts and buries his nose in Cas' neck, only remembering that it might be a little tender when he feels sticky wetness on his skin. He lifts up again and surveys them, looking for a more comfortable way to lay while they wait for the knot to come down. Cas watches him with an amused little turn of his mouth that's fucking adorable and has Dean so distracted he forgets what he's supposed to be doing in order to kiss Cas for a while. When he comes back to himself, he sits up, picking Cas up with him and twisting around onto his back. It's awkward and a little pinched, and the stimulation pulls a second, smaller orgasm from Dean. He almost drops Cas in the shock of it, but Cas kisses him afterward, which is just fine.
When they pull away, Cas balances above Dean using their joined hands, grinning down at him. "You're mine now. No one can take you from me."
"And you're mine." Dean's eyes linger on the claiming mark, red and raw and still dribbling blood just a little. They'll have to clean it soon so that it doesn't get infected, but it's going to leave a nice scar. Dean wishes there was something they could do to permanently mark him as Cas', but alphas don't get marks.
"You're thinking. Stop before you hurt yourself," Cas says, teasing him.
He wrestles Cas onto his chest and kisses him again. "Shut it."
"What were you thinking about?"
"It's stupid, nevermind."
"No, tell me," Cas insists, sitting up again.
Dean doesn't want to say the very girly thing he was thinking, so he asks a question instead. "What made you decide you were ready?"
Cas sits up, hands balanced on Dean's stomach, softly stroking the skin there and making Dean shudder. "I was talking to my mother about what I wanted. I was explaining what it was about you that I found so attractive, and I suddenly realized that I shouldn't have to explain. You're my mate. That should be enough for her. I realized I'd been making the same arguments that she was making with myself, so I stopped. Without all that in my head, there didn't seem to be a point to waiting."
Dean nods, not really knowing what to say to that. He gets it, he does. Self-doubt is something he is no stranger to. He rubs his hands up and down Cas' thighs absently, thinking about how quiet that self-doubt is now. Cas has quieted his demons, even the ones he never would have admitted to having, not even to himself. Cas leans down to kiss his chest, just above where his heart beats underneath his skin. He can feel himself stirring at the touch and reaches one hand up to touch the soft skin at the edge of his bite mark, careful not to use any pressure in case it still hurts.
"We need to get this clean before it gets infected," Dean says.
"It'll be fine until your knot goes down. Let's take a nap. We'll clean it when we wake up, and then you can fuck me again." Cas murmurs against his skin, resting his cheek on Dean's breastbone.
Dean's cock twitches again and he groans. "Yeah, okay."
"Good night then," Cas says, leaning up for a final kiss to his lips. "I love you."
"Me, too. Night," Dean says back, burying his fingers in Cas' hair and sighing his contentment. When he drops off, the last thing he thinks is that he has never felt this peaceful.
"So, when you said he wasn't ready for me yet, what did you mean?" Dean asks, sitting next to Missouri on the swing Cas insisted on hanging from the one tree in the back yard. Dean has to admit that it's a nice place to sit—he and Cas rock on it with Cas' head on his shoulder frequently—but it had been a bitch to climb up to get the supports in, even with Sammy's help.
Missouri gives him a beatific smile and pats his leg. "Just that, baby. He was betrothed to another man when you found him, wasn't he?"
Dean doesn't even want to know how she knows that. "Yeah, a sleezebag."
"I don't agree with your phrasing, but yes, he was. At the time that you first scented him, he was completely ready to mate that man. If you'd approached him then, he would have rejected you out-right. He was still convinced that whatever his mama said, went."
"What made him change his mind, then?"
"Why don't you ask him?" she says with a raised eyebrow. Dean hates the raised eyebrow. It always makes him feel like a scolded child.
"Yeah, okay. I'm gonna grab a beer. You want anything?"
"A scotch and soda, please."
Dean gets off the swing and heads for the house to get her drink, but mostly to try and find Cas. His mate is in the kitchen washing a giant casserole dish while talking to Mary. "I was thinking perhaps six months from now. Dean doesn't want to start thinking about children until we've been mated for a year. He wants us to be able to have time together to get to know each other better before bringing children into the picture."
"Yeah, 'cause once you got 'em, no more sex on the kitchen table," Dean reminds him with a smirk, sliding up behind Cas at the sink and kissing his shoulder where his claiming mark has scarred over. It never fails to make Cas shiver.
"Oh, I wouldn't say that. Your father and I had no problem," Mary tells him, smirking herself.
Dean makes a face at the image of his parents having sex anywhere, let alone the kitchen table he grew up eating at. "Thanks, Mom. Now I'm gonna have that image in my head for the rest of my life."
Mary snorts and swats him with a towel. "Oh honestly, you and Sam both act like you have no idea how you ended up here."
"What are you talking about? The stork brought us here."
Mary just rolls her eyes at him and walks away, shoving the towel in his hands to dry. Dean doesn't object. In the six months since they've mated and Cas moved in, he's grown fond of doing the dishes with his mate. They work quietly for a minute, Cas washing and then handing off to Dean for drying.
"Say it," Cas says, seemingly out of the blue.
Dean blinks at him only to receive a pointed look back and sighs. "It's creepy when you're psychic, you know."
"I'm not psychic. I can practically hear you thinking. What is it?"
Dean hesitates, mostly because he knows there's a huge potential for him to sound like a raving lunatic. Not that Cas would care. According to him, Dean sounds like a raving lunatic often. "So, you know how Missouri's kind of... actually psychic?"
"When I first scented you, she told me she knew you, but she wouldn't tell me how to contact you or what your name was or anything because you weren't ready to meet me."
"I'm sure you loved that." Cas smiles, eyes dancing with amusement.
"I've never wanted to deck a woman more." Dean pauses. "Well, maybe Ruby, but that's a whole other thing. Anyway, I was wondering what she meant by that, you know? So I asked, and she said you were still convinced that your mom had the right idea with the whole betrothal thing."
"Mmm, if I was still at the post office at the time, she is correct. I didn't like Zachariah, but I also thought that my mother knew what was best for me. I'd only started working at the post office because I insisted on having a job and Mother thought it would be best for me to work under my sibling."
"What changed your mind?"
Cas goes quiet, dipping the dish he's washing back into the water to rinse the suds away before scrubbing more at the stuck-on food. When he hands the dish to Dean, it's with an expression Dean can't understand. "I met Ben."
"Huh?" Dean never would have expected Cas to say that. He's so dumbfounded, he can't even form words.
"He's such an engaging child, so happy and full of life. Meeting him was like a revelation. I wanted my children to have his energy and enthusiasm. I knew that if I had my children with Zachariah, they never would. Zachariah would have made them submissive little carbon copies of himself, and I didn't want that. I went home the night I substituted for his class and asked my mother to cancel the betrothal. She refused, obviously. There was quite an argument. She would not out-right end the agreement, but she did agree to postpone the mating by six months. Four months later, I met you. If I'd never met Ben, I probably would have already been mated to Zachariah before I ever met you."
Rage fills Dean's gut at the very thought of that sniveling cockroach getting to his mate before he did. He puts the plate on the counter, and leans over to kiss Cas, channeling all his anger at Zachariah and Naomi into making Cas' toes curl. By the way Cas grips onto him, he thinks he might have succeeded. Just as things are starting to get interesting, Ben exclaims from behind them, "Really?! We're in the middle of a party! Can't you guys stop sucking face for like two minutes? Gross."
By the time Dean manages to pull himself away from Cas long enough to look, Ben has already turned around and is walking away. Dean and Cas start laughing so hard neither can catch breath for a while afterward, which is okay because they're kissing again anyway.
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