02 – Laundry [takes place in the askdomesticdestiel verse]
Dean cracked open the top on his beer bottle, taking a long pull and leaning against the counter. This was his favorite time of day, the small quiet in the kitchen after coming home from the garage. Zep and Cas had learned to give him this time, so he could listen to the creaking of the house, its worn supports settling.
It was warming up early this year, spring coming in March instead of waiting for late April. He couldn’t say he minded, though. The winter had him holed up in the house all hours and his skin was starting to itch with the old need to be on the road. It was a distant memory now, but it was Dean’s entire life until two years ago. Just being able to go into his yard without a parka helped ease the urge.
He snatched a cookie from Cas’ ridiculous ceramic frog jar and headed for the back porch. It was just as rickety as the rest of the house, the east corner quickly succumbing to dry rot and carpenter bees, the damage currently hidden by a collection of terracotta pots dotted with tiny sprouts in the soil. Dean smiled around his mouthful of snickerdoodle; they had all promised to paint the exterior of the house as soon as the weather was warm. He was looking forward to it.
Out in the yard, a collection of sheets and tee shirts fluttered in the breeze. Dean walked down, past the bin of frisbees and soccer balls, out to the wide stretch of yard, to seek out the ghostly silhouette behind the cotton. He caught a glimpse of dark hair leaning down to fetch a flannel from a yellow laundry basket.
“We have a dryer, y’know.”
Cas pushed a sheet aside and peered back at him. “I know,” he said calmly. “There’s no need. This saves electricity.”
Dean popped the last of his cookie in his mouth, washing it down with his beer. He rounded the clothesline, mindful to keep a distance between the freshly washed pants and his greasy garage jumper. He studied Cas, looking so comfortable doing laundry, the sun lighting up his pale face.
Cas stopped. “What is it?”
Huffing a laugh, Dean took another swig. “It hits me sometimes, how weird this is.”
Cas pinned the last shirt to the line. “What’s weird?”
Dean gestured with his beer bottle at the yard and house. “This. I mean, I figured I wouldn’t live long enough to see my late thirties. Didn’t think I’d ever have my own place, or a normal job.” He gestured at Cas. “I never figured I’d have a wife – or, well, y’know.”
Castiel’s sarcastic grin was definitely one he’d learned from Dean. “Oh? Am I your housewife, then?”
Finishing his beer, Dean crowded Cas’ space and looped an arm around his waist. “House husband sounds better.” And it did, and he had to laugh. Dean had never dreamed of having a wife, much less a husband. His younger self would probably shit bricks at the idea, but present Dean didn’t care anymore. If only he could tell his younger self how good it was going to be, that all the suffering and hurt and bullshit would finally pay off, and in the most unexpected way. Dean kissed Castiel then, gentle and sweet, listening to the laundry rustling on the line around them. Three years ago, he thought peace like this was a pipe dream.
Cas broke away to pick up the empty laundry basket. “Out with Sam. They should be back by dinner.”
The same arm snaked around Cas’ hip as he straightened up. Dean leaned in close to his ear.
“I hope you’re done with chores for the day, then.”
Grinning, Cas broke away, making a quick break for the porch. “Only if you take a shower first. You’re filthy.”
So Dean chased him, up the porch, into the house and up the stairs. Yeah, life was good.