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The Plight of the Philodendron

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"Dean," Cas calls, padding across the war room towards the library, "I can't find the --"

He stops abruptly in the doorway, blinking in surprise. "What is that?"

Dean raises an eyebrow. "It's a plant, Cas. Angel or human, 'm pretty sure you know what a plant is."

Cas rolls his eyes, and Dean fails to suppress a snicker. "Thank you, Dean. Yes, I know it's a plant. My question was more to towards why there is a plant in the bunker? The underground bunker?"

"What, I'm not allowed to put up some décor?" Dean says in mock-offense, but he doesn't quite meet Cas' eyes.

Cas gives him a flat look. "I've seen your bedroom, Dean. The 'décor', as you put it, is grey walls and guns."

Dean sighs, rubbing the back of his neck. "Look, it's -- it's dumb. It's nothin'. S'just a plant, okay?"

He fiddles awkwardly with the leaves, heart-shaped and waxy. Cas just watches him and waits, head in its customary tilt. Neither the intensity of his gaze nor his infinite patience are diminished since his fall from grace, and eventually Dean sighs again, finally looking up.

"Look. I know you want a cat or some shit -- an' I get it, y'know, somethin' that doesn't even know if you're angel or human or in between, doesn't care -- and I wish we could have one, I do --

"No you don't," Cas interrupts, still frowning in confusion. "Cats make you sneeze."

"Yeah, well, there's Benadryl and crap," Dean mumbles. "Anyway. I thought maybe, I dunno, once you get your wings back, an' you can just flap back here whenever, we can think about it, maybe go down to the shelter -- though I swear to God, if Sam comes back with a fuckin' dog -- but right now, I mean, sometimes we gotta leave at the drop of a goddamn hat and are gone for God knows how long, and --"

"Dean," Cas says, interrupting his rambling. "I'm aware that animals -- pets -- require care. And I would not adopt any creature if I weren't able to provide it. But --"

"And we couldn't take it with us either," Dean continues, turning back to the plant. "I mean, it'd go crazy in the car, and Baby'd have an aneurysm, cat hair on her seats, and anyway most motels --"

"Dean," Cas interrupts again. "I'm not a child. I know that a pet would be impractical in our current situation. But I still don't understand…" He gestures vaguely at the plant, still sitting unconcernedly on a bookcase.

"I just thought you might like it," Dean admits. He adjusts it until a tendril of leaves hangs gracefully over a drawer. "There's no life in the bunker, no green things, I thought you might miss it…"

"You got it for me?" Cas whispers, moving forward to stand next to Dean. He reaches out and strokes a leaf wonderingly, drawing a fingertip down the pale veins.

Dean flushes. "Uh, yeah, guess so," he mumbles. "It's a, um, a philo- -- philo-something, I think…"

"Philodendron," Cas says softly. He lifts the leaf he's holding, brushing it over his lips, and Dean swallows.

"Uh, yeah, that. Anyway, the dude at the greenhouse said it's pretty hardy, doesn't really need sunlight -- though not sure he got that no sunlight in here really means no sunlight. So I thought maybe, y'know, if we manage not to kill this guy, there's some others might work too, like a spider plant, or a -- a -- pothos? -- an' maybe even an herb garden, and…" He trails off, blush deepening. "I'm gettin' carried away, ain't I."

"Perhaps," Cas agrees, but he's smiling, and still hasn't let go of the plant.

"Yeah, well," Dean mutters. "S'fuckin' stuffy in this place. Least we'll get some oxygen." He looks up at Cas uncertainly. "You -- d'you like it?"

Cas just turns to him, something unreadable in his shimmering stare. Then without warning, without letting go of the leaf, he leans in, brushing his lips against Dean's.

Dean freezes, a small, high sound escaping his mouth, and Cas steps back, wide-eyed, finally opening his hand.

"I -- I'm sorry," he manages. "I didn't -- you -- I know --" He finally gives up and turns to disappear out the door, but Dean's brain finally comes back online and he reaches out, catching Cas' wrist before he can escape.

"Cas."

"Dean, I'm sorry, I don't know why I did that, I --"

"Cas." He tugs gently on Cas' hand, and finally Cas turns around, fear and sorrow written in his eyes. "Dude. Don't look like that. You just… surprised me."

Cas laughs softly, but the sadness doesn't leave his face. "I surprised me, too." He looks down at his feet. "I hope you won't think too badly of me, Dean. I'm still struggling with these -- human -- emotions, and I didn't even realize --"

"You -- you want to kiss me?" Dean asks hesitantly, still motionless.

Cas flushes, not lifting his eyes. "Don't make me say it, Dean, I know you --"

The rest of his words are swallowed by a gasp as Dean presses their lips together again, almost as gentle as the first.

They break apart after a few moments, staring at each other wordlessly, until Cas brings his free hand up to stroke a fingertip down Dean's jaw.

"Are you sure?" he asks, still hesitant, but Dean just snorts weakly.

"Yeah, Cas. I'm sure."

Another beat goes by, and then suddenly they're kissing, really kissing, hesitation lost in the tangle of lips and tongues and teeth. Cas presses into Dean's space, crowding him back until he's pressed against the bookcase, and their hands tangle in each other's hair.

"Jesus, Cas," Dean finally gets out when they separate for air. "Don't do things halfway, do you?"

Cas flinches, drawing away minutely, but Dean just yanks him back in. Cas finally works his knee between Dean's legs, knocking against the bookcase, oblivious to the alarmed jouncing of the philodendron.

"Fuck," Dean groans. He drops his head back against the wood, and the plant jiggles a few more inches towards the edge, but Cas just attaches his mouth to Dean's neck.

"Shit," Dean breathes. His hips jerk, shamelessly rutting against Cas' thigh, but Cas just grinds upwards in response. He twists his fingers in Cas' hair, drinking in the shudder. "Cas, y'gotta -- 'm gonna -- we gotta -- fuck!"

Cas drags a hand down Dean's body, working it between Dean's dick and his own thigh. He palms it for a moment, then squeezes. Suddenly Dean's coming in his jeans like a teenager, hard and fast, and the last aftershocks nudge the plant over the edge of the bookcase, teetering for a second until it falls resignedly to the floor with a crash.

They ignore it, still panting against each other as Cas grinds against Dean, as they ignore the sound of heavy footsteps clattering down the hall, and then Sam's panicked voice calling from the door.

"Dean! I heard -- I -- uh." He stares at them blankly, still pressed against each other in obvious disarray.

"Uh," Dean echoes, turning his head without letting go of Cas.

"I," Cas elaborates, flush seeping back into his cheeks.

Silence echoes through the library for a moment. "So," Sam finally says. "Not a monster."

"We had a plant," Cas volunteers, tilting his head towards the pile of roots and soil splayed mournfully across the floor.

Dean groans. He finally grits his teeth and turns to Sam, awaiting the inevitable explosion or mockery, but Sam's just standing there, eyebrows raised and a grin working at his mouth.

"I'll get a new pot from the basement," he offers. "Good as new." He turns to leave, then turns back, eyeing the forlorn philodendron on the floor. "God, I hope you guys never have children."