Castiel has been pouring over the books most of the day. Well, some of it. Dean has taken Sammy out- apparently for new clothes and for fresh air but Castiel has the feeling that Dean rather enjoys showing Sam off.
Dean is a great big brother, of course he is, but Castiel honestly believes he’d make a great father too.
He turns another page in a crumbly book- it’s been burnt, or at least partially and that makes some of it very hard to read. But it may be useful.
Then again, considering how useless the dozen or so other books they’ve got have been, why should this be different?
He sighs and pushes the books away. The curse doesn’t look like it’s anywhere near breaking, at least not by itself, and they can’t really do nothing much longer.
He pulls the book back again, and tries to focus. Absorbing knowledge the human way is far more time consuming and tiring than he would have supposed.
At some point he must have drifted off, because he wakes up to a baby Sam sat on the table in a reindeer outfit, antlers and all on the hood. As Castiel forced his eyes to focus properly, the baby laughed, and Dean appeared behind.
“You hit the books pretty hard.” He said as he sat himself down next to Castiel.
“But without much success.” Castiel replied, reaching out to push down the baby’s hood. “Your shopping trip seems to have been more successful. Sam looks very happy.”
“Yeah. He does, doesn’t he?” Dean beamed. He did look happy, and adorable to boot. Unthinklingly, he put his hand on Castiel’s shoulder, squeezing it proudly before relaxing and letting his thumb stroke over the fabric of Castiel’s shirt.
Then he stopped, suddenly, pulling his hand away. There had been too many accidental caresses recently, too many nights where they’d fallen asleep on the couch together after putting Sam to bed and Dean had woken to find Castiel’s head resting on his shoulder. “Er. Yeah. I got some sensible stuff too, I mean…”
“We can talk, Dean. There is something I have- Sam!“
Castiel never got to finish that sentance. Both he and Dean jumped up as the baby reached for the heaviest book on the unstabled pile, grabbing and pulling it towards him.
In the moment of choas that followed, both trying to pull Sam out of the way as the volumes tumbled, several landed on Dean’s feet, many slammed directly into the floor, but one solitary book fell forward, landing open in front of Castiel.
“Shit, Sam!” Dean managed, his heart aparently thumping with just as much fear and fright as Castiel’s. “You could have been hurt!”
Sam didn’t seem as concerned, yawning up at his brother and closing his large eyes. Dean let out a breath, a long calming one.
“I’m going to go put him down for a nap, somewhere safe where he won’t hurt himself.”
It didn’t take long, thankfully, to make sure Sammy was asleep. He wouldn’t nap long, not without being fed first, but it would be an hour or so for Dean to have to himself, and more importantly, avoid the conversation Castiel had tried to start.
“Hey, Cas?” He said, as he retraced his steps back to Castiel and the debris of fallen books. Castiel was sat, hunched over the table, studying again. “I’m going to hit the shower-“
“You brother is very good at research.” Castiel said, before Dean could wander off again. “I think this book could be it Dean.”
Dean was over in a shot, frowning down at the page in front of him. It didn’t much look like English at first glance, the script strange and the spelling worse than he’d seen before. But after a moment, the words seemed to become more obvious.
“Dean, don’t you see?” Castiel said, turning a page with reverant fingers. “This is how to help Sam.”