Here’s the thing: Dean’s never been so used to Cas that he hasn’t taken every chance to look at him, once, twice, a double-take.
He can never catch all of Cas on the first glance, anyway; his first impression is always a streak of light, like sun flashing too-bright off a mirror, leaving him blinking past the dark spots on the edge of his vision. First glances at Cas are like looking through a wave of heat rising up from the pavement: it’s hard to see past the indistinct lines of pure motion.
But a second glace: that’s when the blurred edges fall into place, that’s when Dean can look past the sparks of energy and see through to the form Cas has taken, and it’s these second glances that are the hardest to take, so Dean steals them every chance he gets.
And if second glances are hard-won, then lingering glances are rare and worthy, something to take note of, and that’s just what Dean’s doing, taking notes, pen poised over a notepad, paying not even the slightest of attentions to the victim he’s interviewing.
Maybe he ought to be writing something down.
Right, Dean thinks, yes, notes. He writes, in small careful letters, the word chair.
He’s noticing the chair only because that’s what Cas is sitting on, feet square on the hardwood floor of a dead man’s office, leaning forward slightly, elbows on his knees and hands in the space between, his fingers steepled together.
Cas always sits so deliberately, as though by using a chair he’s graciously conceding some small measure of acknowledgement to humanity’s powerlessness against gravity; he sits like a preacher, holding the power of judgement, of salvation, in his fine-boned hands. When he sits, he listens attentively, and it’s obvious that his strange calm comes from within.
Trenchcoat, Dean writes below the note for chair, and then pauses.The trenchcoat requires careful consideration.
The thing about the trenchcoat, Dean thinks, is that it would be the first article of clothing to go, if someone wanted to go about getting Cas undressed.
Hmmm. There’s a thought.
You’d have to walk behind him, sliding your hands across his shoulders and down the lapels, and Cas would shrug the trenchcoat off, first one arm and then the other, and then there would be a trenchcoat in your arms and a coatless angel in the room.
You could hang the trenchcoat up on the back of a chair, if you wanted, or you could let it slide to the floor, and that’s where it would stay until Cas slips it back on again.
Suit goes down on the list.
The suit does its job, Dean has to admit. Cas wears Jimmy Novak’s Sunday best with an offhand nonchalance, but even though the jacket hangs loose and the pants are too long, you can still seehow Cas moves under those rumpled clothes: coiled and tense, every muscle held taunt, when Cas is on alert, or languid and unhurried when he’s at ease.
Without the jacket, you could see through the thin layer of that white dress shirt down to the muscles moving underneath; with the cuffs rolled up to Cas’s elbows, you could even see the way his skin slides over tendons.
“Did you get that, Dean?”
The pen slides between his fingers, and Dean snatches it before it hits the floor.
“Yeah,” Dean says, clearing his throat, and when Cas looks away he writes down the word tie.
The tie is a problem, Dean figures, because it’s comprised of great potential, but at the same time it’s a source of conflict, so below tie he writes down pros and cons.
Pros. A tie can be a great resource, Dean thinks, and writes down useful underneath the subheading. A blue silk tie is the perfect thing for grabbing ahold of, if you wanted to run your fingers up and down Cas’s chest, or if you wanted to pull Cas close for a long, slow kiss.
No, Dean can’t really see any cons to Cas’s tie.
Then again, he thinks, there’s a flash of crisp white collar that covers the back of Cas’s neck, and there’s a small ivory button right below the knot of that blue silk tie, and popping off that button is essential to exposing that hollow at the base of Cas’s throat.
Underneath the subheading for cons, Dean writes down buttons.
But the thing about buttons is that once you start unbuttoning one, you’d want to unbutton them all, Dean thinks. It’s a fairly simple process: you could undo each button deliberately, carefully, one by one as your hands move slowly down the planes of Cas’s chest, or you could just say screw it and let the buttons fly off as you rip the shirt apart.
Dean pauses to brush his arm across his forehead, and his jacket’s sleeve comes away damp with sweat.
Of course, now that Dean thinks about it, the shirt’s not the problem; shirts are easy enough to get rid of, once you pull it off and toss it to the other side of the room, where it will lie crumpled on the floor; no, the problem is how to untuck the shirt from the waistband of Cas’s dress pants, how to work that belt out of those loops.
Dean digs his fingers underneath his collar, pulls his tie loose.
The belt would jangle as you unbuckled it, Dean thinks, and a shiver goes down his spine.
You could work that black belt with its silver buckle loose, or you just let it fall to ground along with everything else, and there you’d have it, Dean thinks faintly, because this office is far too warm, it’s stifling to sit here in this heat, the leather office chair squeaking underneath him as he adjusts his position.
“Dean?” Cas asks, and he almost slides out of the chair.
Cas is standing over him; Dean notices that this Cas is fully dressed.
“We can go now,” Cas is saying, looking down at him with that familiar squint. ”I believe we have all the information we need.”
“Sure thing,” Dean says filled with devout relief, and it’s a blessing, the way the breeze from outside hits his face. He feels like he’s burning alive.
Cas settles next to Dean in the passenger seat and cocks an eyebrow at him. ”I think I should look over your notes,” he rumbles, and Dean’s hands tighten involuntarily on the steering wheel when Cas reaches for the notepad.
Cas looks down at the notepad, forehead creased.
“We gonna interview the next victim?” Dean asks, nonchalant, fiddling with the buttons on the dash and damnit, looks like the AC on the Impala’s busted again.
He rolls down his window and very very carefully refrains from looking at Cas.
“No, take us back to the motel,” Cas says eventually, and his careful tone makes Dean glance at him once, quickly, then again.
“I like your suit,” Dean offers weakly.
“Yes, I noticed.”