It had taken Dean a few days to find one. The new age of technology these days made it hard to find anything that would work, the old music players and tapes having long since been pushed to the side. But after a simple salt and burn in Reading, Pennsylvania, he finally found one.
The cashier who was working the abandoned Gas n’ Sip didn’t question Dean as he rang up the blank tape and the few snacks that he had picked up as well.
Dean nodded in thanks and walked back to the car with his purchases. Sam was half asleep by the time they decided to stop for the night in another run-down motel on the side of the highway.
Dean, who was exhausted as well, threw the bag of snacks and the one tape onto the rickety table by the door before collapsing onto one of the beds.
“Hey, Dean?” Sam asked quietly the next morning as they sipped their coffee.
Dean grunted, having decided it was to early to try and speak.
“Why was there a blank tape in the bag from the gas station?”
It seemed like a simple question, but Dean could feel his face heat up from unwanted embarrassment.
“Oh, that. I-uh-was going to make a mixtape,” Dean answered, tossing his empty coffee cup into the trashcan by the door.
“What year is this?” Sam laughed, “1998?”
Dean cleared his throat, “It’s for Cas”
This answer caused the younger Winchester to raise his eyebrows, “For Cas? Why?”
Dean shrugged, “I don’t know, he just seemed a little down lately,”
Sam scoffed, “You thought Cas, an Angel of the Lord, was feeling a little down, so you decided to make him a mixtape?”
Dean rolled his eyes, standing up and heading to the bathroom, “Shut up,”
By the time they had made it back to the bunker, Dean had already picked out the songs he would put on the mixtape.
It was a little difficult, mind you, as Dean only had done this once before, but that had been long ago and he had help at the time. He picked up a black pen and scribbled a small note on the front,
Dean’s Top 13
He smiled slightly when he added the last part,
He didn’t care if Sam though it was weird, Cas was always confused when Dean made references, not much so since the run-in with Metatron, but he was still often confused. And this was a great start, getting Cas into all the good music Dean had grown up with himself.
Hell, Dean had already made Cas watch a few Westerns with him, though it was quite hard to get through an hour and a half movie when Cas asked questions through most of it.
The next time he saw Cas, though, was after a particularly scary hunt with a werewolf that almost had Dean in the hospital.
Sam was off sulking, probably in his room, angry at his brother for always risking his life for other people, and Dean himself was in the library, drinking a well deserved beer. Cas was sitting across from him, observing him with caution.
“What?” Dean asked after a few minutes of unwanted staring; he set down the beer bottle back onto the table.
Cas squinted at him, “Are you sure you’re okay, Dean?”
Dean rolled his eyes, Cas had asked that exact question at least thirty times now, “Yes, Cas. I’m perfectly fine! If I didn’t would I really keep it from you?”
“Well, you do seem to-”
“Nevermind, Cas,” Dean sighed, rubbing his tired eyes, “Look, all I’m trying to say is, if I were to even think I would be bitten by a werewolf, or anything for that matter, you and Sam would be the first to know,”
Cas grunted, “Alright, Dean. Just if you’re sure you’re okay.”
Dean looked Cas straight in the eyes, “I’m fine,”
There was a moment of awkwardness before Dean cleared his throat, “Look, I’m gonna try and get some sleep, are you gonna hang around for a bit?”
Cas nodded, “Of course, I will be here when you wake tomorrow,”
Dean nodded and headed to his room, about to close the door behind him when something caught his eye.
The mixtape was sitting on his desk next to the picture of he and his mom. Dean picked it up and walked back to the library where Cas was still sitting.
“Hey,” Dean said, getting the angel’s attention.
Cas looked around confused, “Oh, hello Dean, is it the next day already?” He made a move to get up, but Dean held up a hand, chuckling.
“No, I just forgot to give you something,” Dean set the mixtape down in front of Cas.
“What is it?” Cas asked with surprise as he picked up the old piece of technology.
“It’s a mixtape,” When Cas showed no signs of recognition, Dean continued, “It’s got music on it. That one in particular has Led Zeppelin. Specifically my top thirteen songs.”
A small smile plaster itself onto Cas’ face, spreading a warmth of approval through Dean.
“Thank you, Dean,”
Dean rubbed his neck, trying to get the redness he felt to die down, “Yeah, Cas. Goodnight.”