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Some Supernatural Schitt

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“I think I found us another case,” Sam spun the computer around so Dean and Cas could see. They were sitting at a diner in a little town in Michigan, recovering after a long night ganking a particularly nasty ghost. Dean had just demolished a bacon cheeseburger and was now onto dessert.

Cas squinted at the computer screen in his typical Cassian look of concentration. “Multiple unusual deaths in Elmdale. Police baffled.” 

Dean scooped a softball sized piece of cherry pie into his mouth. “Sounds good. Sounds small. Gives us some time for Cas to rest up, now that he’s turning human,” Dean mumbled out of the side of his mouth that had the least amount of pie. 

“Gross, Dean,” Sam brushed a couple of projectile pastry crumbs that had landed on his laptop keyboard. “It’s in Ontario, Canada, about a four hour drive from here.”

Dean crammed the last piece of pie into his mouth and gave Sam a pastry-filled grin. “Leh’s ge’ goin’! I fi’ished my pie.” 

Sam made a face at Dean, and Dean chuckled. “You’re disgusting,” Sam slid out of the booth. “Sometimes I can’t believe I’m related to you.” 

Dean chewed his pie loudly at Sam, and Sam walked away shaking his head. Dean then turned to Castiel who was intently studying him across the table with his usual unblinking creeper stare. 

“Wha’?” Dean asked Castiel before swallowing his pie. “Ready, Cas?” 

Castiel tilted his head like one of those baby owls Dean had seen once on a documentary channel late at night. “I thought it was cute.” Cas’s voice seemed more gravelley than usual.

“What?” Dean got up from the booth and brushed crumbs off himself. 

“The way you love to eat pie.” Castiel stood up abruptly and crowded against Dean. Dean felt a sudden flush of heat wash over his body, like he had just entered a sauna. 

“Thanks, man,” Dean clapped Cas on the shoulder. “But never say that again. It’s weird.” 

“Okay,” Cas nodded seriously. A wrinkle appeared between Cas’s eyebrows as if he was working hard to commit that to memory. Dean almost expected him to pull out a notebook and write it down. 

“Let’s go, buddy,” Dean pushed past Cas to exit the diner. “Time to see Canada.” 

 

***

 

After three and half hours of driving, Dean realized that this part of Canada was pretty boring. The monotony of haystacks was only broken up by the occasional barn. Dean smothered a yawn into his hand. “Tell me more about where we’re going, Sammy, before I fall asleep at the wheel.”

“Elmdale is a small town, surrounded by mostly farmland. It’s famous for its acapella festival.” Sam read off his phone while lounging in the passenger seat of the Impala. “Seems like a pretty uneventful town.”

“Except now there’s a couple of deaths.” Dean tapped on the wheel in time to the AC/DC song playing quietly in the background. “What’s weird about them?” 

“One sec, let me pull it up,” Sam scrolled down on his phone. “Aha, here it is. A month ago, some cattle were found dead with the meat stripped off of their bones and human teeth marks left in their flesh. Then, a couple died during intercourse because their hearts burst out of their chest. After that, there were a few more cattle deaths before a person was found dead, torn apart, with human teeth marks on their flesh. Just yesterday, another couple’s hearts burst out of their chest and another victim was found torn apart. Police think the heart bursting is due to drugs and the other victims are due to wild animal attacks, but they’ve never seen anything like it before.” 

“Gross,” Dean shuddered. “That does sound like our kind of stuff.”

“First cattle, then people?” Cas frowned in thought. “Maybe a pack of werewolves? Or vampires?” 

Sam shrugged. “I’m not sure. Could be a lot of things.” 

“What about the people that fucked to death? I’ve never met anything that causes people to fuck until their hearts burst,” Dean mused. Then he grinned, “Heh, not that it sounds like a bad way to go.” 

“I’ll check Dad’s journal,” said Sam. “There may be something in there.”

As Sam dug around in his backpack, Dean exited the highway, passing a sign welcoming visitors to Elmdale. Elmdale was a small sleepy town with homey looking shops dotting the main street. Dean turned into a small side street where a three-story building took up most of the block. 

“Google Maps says that we have arrived,” Cas announced rather unnecessarily from the backseat. “Destination is on our right.” Once introduced to Google Maps and Siri, Cas had taken to technology in an annoyingly (Dean’s first thought was ‘endearingly’, but he mentally tossed that out of his head) incorrect sort of way that took twice as long as simply using the eyes in his head.

Dean frowned at the red awning in front of the building. “Elmdale Hotel,” Dean read the golden letters on the awning. “Sammy, I thought you said this was a motel?”

“I never said it was a motel.” Sam pulled out his phone and tapped it a couple times. “I said that this was the only place to stay in Elmdale.” 

“It looks nice,” offered Castiel peering out the window. Cas’s eyes were squinted in a way that gave Dean the warm sort of feeling he got after a good cup of chicken noodle. 

Dean tore his eyes away from Cas and examined the ivy covered building with suspicion. “Looks like it’s out of our budget, Sammy.” 

Sam sighed. “Why don’t we go and ask how much a room is? If it’s too expensive, we can ask them if there is a motel nearby.” Sam rolled down the window and looked at Dean expectantly.

Dean grunted in affirmation, shifting Baby into first to cruise into the hotel’s circular driveway. A uniformed man sprung out from behind a small desk labeled valet parking. 

“Guests at the hotel?” called the man. “I can help you with any luggage and Jefferey can park your car for you.” The man nodded behind him at another uniformed man. 

Dean turned to Sam with raised eyebrows. “If we stay here, you are gonna be the one paying for valet.” 

Sam shot a prissy look at Dean and turned back to the man. “We were wondering if there were any motels in Elmdale.” 

The man shook his head. “No, sir. This is the only place to stay in Elmdale, but there is a motel in the adjacent town,” offered the man. “If you follow this street, you can’t miss it. Says Rosebud Motel in big red letters.” 

“Thank you very much,” called Dean. Sam gave a nod of thanks and Dean pulled out of the driveway back onto the road. Dean was in the middle of an epic air drum solo to break up the tedium of the road, when he was startled by Sam’s hearty laugh. 

“Schitt’s Creek?” Sam chuckled. “What a name!” Sam pointed to a painted sign on the right side of the road.

“Welcome to Schitt’s Creek!” Cas read off of the large colorful sign. “Where everyone fits in.”

Dean slowed down the car as they passed the sign to get a better look at it. 

“Is that guy fucking that girl?” Dean grinned gleefully.

 “The sign clearly states that she is his sister.” Castiel gestured to the bright red addendum on the sign.

“That doesn’t make it any better, Cas.” 

“He is obviously just making sure she doesn’t fall into the creek,” Castiel said. Dean snorted in disbelief, but let the matter drop.

As Dean drove further, he realized that Schitt’s Creek was less of a town and more of a long street. Farmland made up most of the rest of the scenery. As promised, the Rosebud Motel was easy to spot, less so because of the sign, and more so because it was one of about the five businesses in town. 

Dean pulled into the small parking lot and smiled in satisfaction at the broken ‘No refunds’ sign in the window which now only read ‘No fun’. “Ah, Sammy, this is more my style. No valet, no fancy ivy, no breaking the wallet.” 

Sam sighed, but shrugged. “Thought it might be nice to stay in a more upscale type of place for once.”

Dean scoffed as they got out of the car and entered the motel. At the front desk, sat an intimidating woman with a spiky black wig wearing what looked to be a shiny black trash bag. She was reading a book and had black framed glasses perched on the end of her nose. 

“Hello, ma’am.” Sam cleared his throat. “We would like to book two rooms, please.” 

“Oh, hello.” The woman looked Sam up and down with a critical eye. “I’m afraid I don’t know how to do that. You’ll have to wait for my associate to be back.” The woman pointed to a small red sign that said ‘Back in 15 minutes!’ and pointedly went back to her book. 

Sam looked at Dean and shrugged. Dean sank down onto the couch across from the desk and Cas sat uncomfortably close. Dean could feel the heat from Cas’s thigh on his leg, and felt strangely jittery.

“Personal space, buddy,” said Dean nudging Cas. Cas merely sighed and scooted about an inch away before leaning back into Dean. Dean thought about shoving Cas away, but instead moved back into Cas’s warmth. It’s not like the trash bag lady would say anything; she wasn’t even looking at them.

Sam folded his long limbs into the adjacent chair and began pecking at his phone again. 

“I’m hungry,” Dean rubbed his stomach and pouted. Cas gave him a sympathetic look. As Cas had begun to fall again, he was starting to feel the pangs of hunger. 

“You’re always hungry.” Sam barely looked up from his phone. 

They sat for about ten more minutes, Dean jittering his legs up and down. He observed the giant deer painting behind the desk, the set of stairs leading to a second story, and the odd assortment of papers on the coffee table in front of them.

“How long until we get a room?” whispered Cas in Dean’s ear. His breath tickled Dean’s skin and Dean shivered involuntarily, though not unpleasantly. Dean suddenly felt annoyed that Cas was able to arouse such a reaction from him with just a whisper, a reaction that Dean hadn’t felt since he was with Cassie all those years and years ago. Dean thought he had long since been unsensitized to light touches that seemed to hint of love.

“Why don’t you ask?” Dean muttered. “I’m sure that lady would love to answer all of your questions.” 

Alas, Dean had forgotten about Castiel’s imperviousness to sarcasm. Before Dean could stop him, Castiel had already sprung up from the couch and approached the desk in a military-like fashion. “How many of the 15 minutes has passed already? How long have you been here? Do you work at this motel?” he interrogated. 

The woman didn’t even look up from her book to answer the barrage of questions. “You can importune my associates with those inquiries. Unfortunately, your zetetic habitudes will not bear fruit with me.” She spoke with a strange rising and falling intonation that gave her voice an old-timey movie sound.

“What?” asked Castiel. He looked back at Dean in confusion. Dean shrugged. If he didn't know better, he would say that the lady was not speaking English. Her accent was certainly quite unplaceable. 

Castiel opened his mouth as if to ask another question, but he was saved by the door opening. A man in a dark tailored suit and with severe eyebrows dominating his face bounded into the room. “Ah, Moira, we have guests!” The man smiled broadly at Castiel. “Hello, I’m Johnny Rose. I trust you have been checked in?”

“No,” Castiel looked confused. “We were waiting for her associate.” 

“Moira,” John turned to the woman at the front desk with eyebrows raised. “I thought I told you to man the front desk?” 

Moira looked up at John with an indignant expression. “John, I have been manning this desk with the fortitude of the royal army standing guard for the queen of England.” 

“Well, thank you for your service, Moira, but I can take it from here.” Johnny rubbed his hands together and turned back to Castiel. “How can I help you, gentlemen?” Moira gathered her book and tottered out of the room on high-heeled shoes that looked like some of the torture devices Dean had seen in hell. 

“We’ll need two rooms please.” Sam walked up the desk and dug out his wallet. “We aren’t sure how long we’ll be staying, but we can pay by the day.” 

“Two rooms, coming up!” John beamed at them, before turning to frown at the computer. “Well, let’s see here,” John muttered to himself as he clicked away at the computer. 

It wasn’t long before the door opened yet again and a woman clad in flannel and jeans walked in. She raised her eyebrows at Sam, Dean and Cas clustered around the desk, seemingly taken aback by the amount of people in the room. 

“Stevie!” John called with a hint of desperation in his voice. “Can you help me with this check in? Everything is stuck in all caps again.” 

Stevie sighed and hurried over to the computer. “Didn’t you read the post-it I left you, Mr. Rose?” Stevie replaced John at the computer and deftly typed away at the keyboard. “How many rooms would you like?”

“Two please,” responded Sam. 

Stevie frowned. “Well, unfortunately, we only have one room available. And it is a single.”

“One room?” John cried and looked over at the screen. “That can’t be right.” 

“Well, it is right, because someone promised to book Dick Stone for three nights, even though I warned them that Roland was planning to book a room under a fake name again.” Stevie gave John an unimpressed look. 

“Well, how was I supposed to know that Mr. Stone was Roland, Stevie?” John’s eyebrows wiggled in indignation and his eyes widened. “When I called Roland out on it, he pretended to be so offended that I thought I offended a real person!” 

“Does the name Dick Stone sound like a real person to you?” Stevie folded her arms.

“Are there any other motels in the area?” asked Dean. “We don’t need anything fancy, just a place to crash for a few nights.” 

Stevie exchanged a glance with John. “There’s a hotel in Elmdale.”

“I could move David and Alexis into our room,” offered John. He paused, seemingly thinking better of the idea. “Though that might take a good eight hours.” 

“Eight hours at the very least,” Stevie shook her head and turned back to Dean, Cas and Sam. “Look, here’s what we can do. We can either bring in a couple cots or we can take a few hours to open up a room we’ve been using as storage. It has a bed, but the decoration is a bit...tacky.” 

Dean gave Stevie a smile. “Look, I don’t give a damn what it looks like as long as it’s clean and I can sleep on it. I don’t know if an extra cot is gonna cut it for the three of us.” 

Stevie nodded. “Okay, that’s settled then. I’ll give you the room for half off on account of the extreme tackiness.” 

“Sounds good to me,” Sam spread his giant hands in an agreeable fashion.

“I’m just going to change the bedsheets and get our supplies out of the room. Meanwhile, you can put your bags in the first room.” Stevie handed Sam a key and swiftly exited the office. 

Dean, Cas, and Sam made their way to their room. It was pretty decent, as far as motels go. There were no suspicious stains and though the taps ran brown for a few seconds, there was moderately good water pressure. The most disappointing part of the room was the singular small bed. 

Dean eyed the bed with the knowing apprehension of a six foot man who has attempted to sleep in tiny beds before. “If the bed next door is bigger, I’m calling it.”

Sam fixed Dean with an annoyed look. “I’m taller than you, you know.”

“I’m older,” Dean shot back. “And I said it first.”

“Fine,” Sam rolled his eyes. “If the bed next door is bigger, you can get it if you share with Cas.” Sam said this like it had another meaning than its literal one, but whatever Sam was getting at, Dean didn’t get it 

“Cas doesn’t sleep much anyways.” Dean shrugged. “I don’t know about you, but I’m starving. Did you find out if there is a burger place nearby?”

“The bad news is that it looks like there is only one dining place in town,” said Sam. “The good news is that it’s walking distance and supposedly has a very extensive menu with mildly edible food.”

“Excellent,” Dean rubbed his hands together and grinned. “I hope they have pie.”

The meal at the cafe was uneventful and the food was no better or worse than the usual shitty diner food that Dean had been raised on all of his life. However, the waitress was rather strange. When Sam asked Twyla the waitress if she heard about the murders, she beamed as if she had just won the lottery. 

“I sure have!” Twyla’s smile was almost blinding. “I’m surprised that you’ve heard of it, because so far I’ve only gotten one RSVP, and that RSVP was my mom, who always comes. And my mom’s current boyfriend, but he may not come because he has a big sale. The last time he had a big sale, he was arrested for dealing cocaine.” Twyla shook her head, while still smiling brightly. “Anyways! Are you staying until Friday?” 

“Uh, maybe?” Sam’s face grew more confused with each word Twyla spoke.

“Great!” Twyla walked away with a spring in her step. “See you there!”

Dean laughed at Sam’s bewildered face, snorting water all over the table. Sam, once again, looked disgusted at Dean’s eating habits. Castiel, on the other hand, gave Dean a soft smile which made Dean shovel food into his mouth to avoid whatever feeling that evoked. 

 

***

 

After they had eaten, Sam, Dean and Cas retired to their motel room to go over the details of the case. They had just gotten settled, when there was a knock on the door. Sam opened the door, revealing Stevie, the flannel-clad worker from the front desk.

“Hi,” Stevie held a key in her right hand. “I got your second room ready for you. It’s actually connected to this room.” Stevie nodded at a door in the wall of the room. 

“Come in,” Sam moved aside to let Stevie into the room. 

Stevie unlocked the door and tossed the key to Dean. “Enjoy. Let me know if you need anything else.”

“Thanks,” Dean said and opened the door. Inside the room was a bed that looked like it belonged in one of Gabriel’s porn movies. Dean couldn’t decide what was worse; the heart-shaped padded headboard, the red satin sheets, or the fact that the whole monstrosity of a bed was reflected in the mirrored ceiling above his head. 

Sam poked his head into the room and sniggered. “This bed certainly looks bigger than the one in my room. I’m sure you’ll enjoy sharing this one with Cas.”

Dean hit Sam on the shoulder. “You’re taller than me, are you sure you don’t want it?” 

Sam smirked at Dean. “You made your bed, now lie in it.” 

 

***

 

A few hours later, Dean was still awake. It was hard enough to sleep with Cas staring at him like a madman; it was even harder when Dean could also see the reflection of Cas staring at him like a madman in the mirror above him. It became even worse when Dean realized that he wasn’t too upset by the image of him and Castiel laying together in a tackily romantic bed; in fact, if Dean was being really honest with himself, he actually liked the picture of him and Castiel together in bed. What really bothered Dean was the fact that he was so unbothered by Castiel and him lying in the same bed, but that thought alone was just making his head hurt. 

Dean had finally managed to wrestle his burgeoning bisexual crisis into a tiny box in the back of his head and was just beginning to nod off when loud music began playing from next door. 

DON’T CRYYY OUT LOUUUUDD.

JUST KEEP IT INSIDE AND LEARN TO HIDE YOUR FEELINGS.” 

Dean sat up with a grunt and whipped out the gun under his pillow. “What the hell is that? Sammy?” Dean glanced over and saw that Castiel had fallen asleep face down onto the pillow. 

FLY HIGH AND PROOOOOUUUUUUD

AND IF YOU SHOULD FALL, REMEMBER YOU ALMOST HAD IT ALL.”

Dean burst through the connecting door between the rooms and saw Sam sitting up sleepily in bed. 

“Did you and Cas have a fight?” yawned Sam. 

“What?” Dean asked. “Why would we have a fight?”

“The music,” Sam tried to keep his smile in check. “That’s not you, is it?”

Dean sputtered. “You think I would listen to that?”

Castiel appeared at the doorway, looking soft and sweet with his hair mussed and his eyes sleepy. (Dean quickly wrestled this thought into his bisexual feelings box and shoved it in the closet in the back of his mind). “Dean. What’s going on?” 

They made their way outside where they saw John in a long baggy nightshirt banging on the door to the room adjacent to theirs. 

“Roland!!” John pounded on the door. “I know you are in there. Turn the music down!!” 

A door to another motel room opened and a female voice called out. “Da aad , stop yelling!” 

A man with similar eyebrows to John popped his head out of the same doorway. He wore a large fuzzy black sweater and had a disgruntled expression on his face. “Ugh, dad, why are you wearing your Ebenezer Scrooge nightgown outside where everyone can see you?” The man gestured out to the empty parking lot. 

“Eww wah , dad is wearing the nightgown outside?” came the female voice again. “I just stopped having nightmares about it coming to life and humiliating me in front of Bradley Cooper.” 

“For the last time, it’s a perfectly respectable nightshirt, David.” John turned and glared at the man in the fuzzy sweater. “And if you don’t want me outside, why don’t you come over here and try to get Roland to turn down the music?” John’s eyebrows looked like they were about to jump right off of his face. 

“What?” David scrunched his face in an absolutely disgusted look. “Uh, no thanks. I am very very good,” David’s head disappeared back into the room and the door slammed shut. 

John sighed, then seemed to notice Sam, Dean and Cas standing outside their rooms. “Hello, gentleman. I apologize about the noise. It’s not usually like this.” 

“Is there anything we can help with?” asked Sam. “What’s the matter?”

“No, no, no, but thank you for asking,” John’s eyes had stopped bulging out so much and he appeared to be calmer. “Nothing’s the matter, it is just the mayor’s anniversary with his wife tonight.” 

“I take it the anniversary didn’t go well, huh?” said Dean. 

John shook his head. “On the contrary, it seems to be going very well.” Seeing their confused faces, John elaborated, “This is their wedding song.” 

“Oh,” said Sam. “Glad to know it’s not anything bad.” 

John shook his head. “I’ll handle this. They seem to be winding down now.” 

As if to prove him wrong, the chorus of the song blasted through the door again. 

DON’T CRYYY OUT LOUUUUDD.

JUST KEEP IT INSIDE AND LEARN TO HIDE YOUR FEELINGS.”

An unearthly shriek shortly followed. Dean turned to Sam with eyebrows raised. 

“Banshee?” mouthed Sam, nodding his head to the source of the scream.

“Ghost?” suggested Dean quietly. 

Another motel room banged open and the shriek became louder and more clear. “ JOOOOOHHHNNNNN! ” It soon became apparent that the sound was not due to supernatural causes when a woman fell out of the motel room wearing a strange grey mushroom-like contraption on her head. 

John rushed to help the woman up and helped her remove the grey bulb from her head. Now unmasked, the woman was revealed to be Moira, the intimidating front desk lady.

“Oh, Johnny,” Moira clutched John’s hands tightly. “Make that horrendous ballad cease before I tear down that door and put an end to it myself.” Moira’s eyes were wide and crazed. She pointed at the motel room making all the noise with a shaking hand. 

“I’m on it, sweetheart,” John reassured. “Just go back to bed.” John helped Moira up and disappeared into the motel room.

Sam turned to Dean. “I think we can go back to bed. Or try to at least. I don’t think anything supernatural is going on here.”

Dean shook his head. “I gotta tell you Sammy, this is one of the wackiest motels we’ve stayed in. And we’ve stayed in a lot of them.”

 

*** 

 

The next day Sam, Cas and Dean hit up the local sheriff’s office. Dean was a bit worried that the sheriff may be suspicious of why three FBI officials were interested in a Canadian case, but the sheriff of Elmdale was very eager for any help she could get, as Elmdale wasn’t used to seeing a lot of crime. The sheriff let them pour over pictures of all of the recent deaths in Elmdale and gave them access to the crime scenes of the most recent deaths. 

They first visited the body of the victim who the sheriff believed was attacked by a wild animal. However, when Dean, Sam and Cas studied the body, they found no wounds indicative of a wild animal. 

Dean pointed to a pair of distinctly human teeth marks in the thigh of the victim. “That’s no animal attack-- we’re either dealing with Hannibal Lecter or some sort of supernatural creature.” 

Cas studied the arm of the victim, which had been nearly torn off. “I don’t think any normal human could cause those sorts of wounds.”

“So supernatural then,” Sam said looking at the body. Dean and Cas nodded in agreement. 

Then, they visited the home of the two victims whose hearts had burst out of their chest while having sex. The scene was bloody, with blood splatter on the floor, walls, and even the ceiling. They poked around for a bit, examining the bed for any sign of hex bags, sniffing the air for the scent of sulfur, and testing for any EMF.

They had only been there for about fifteen minutes when Sam squatted and examined the ground closely. “I think I’ve seen that white fluid in the photos of the two other crime scenes.” 

“Sammy, I’m not giving you the talk again,” Dean smirked. “But when two people love each other very much--” 

“No, it’s not that,” Sam pointed to the source of the white liquid. “It’s this bottle. The other victims had the exact same bottle in their house, nearby the crime. It looks like this milk is the last substance each victim had.” Sam pointed to a glass that was half full with milk.

Castiel picked up the bottle. “Rose Apothecary.” He sniffed the bottle carefully. “Smells alright.”

“Don’t smell it, Cas,” Dean plucked the bottle from Cas’s hands. “You don’t want to handle it more than you have to.” Cas’s caring creeper expression made Dean’s chest ache in a way that he wanted to avoid thinking about.

Sam pulled up the photos of the other two crime scenes on his phone and zoomed into the nightstand. “Look, it’s the exact same bottle, from the exact same shop.”

Dean carefully wrapped the bottle in a cloth and stuck it in his coat pocket. “Sounds like we better check that place out.” 

 

***

 

Rose Apothecary was back in Schitt’s Creek. The store looked like it was airlifted straight from a particularly fancy New York borough, with its clean black exterior and wide open windows that featured a variety of expensive looking products. 

Inside, Dean recognized the man with bold eyebrows at the register as David from the motel. David was standing next to another man with a round pleasant looking face. 

“Morning,” Sam walked to the counter. “Are you the owners of Rose Apothecary?” 

“Mmmhmm,” David nodded, smoothing down his black leather sweater. “Can we help you today?”

“My name is Agent Smith,” said Sam flipping out his badge. “I’m here with Agent Page and Agent Grande.” Sam gestured to Dean and Cas who showed their badges to the two men. 

David pointed to a table with artfully packaged brown bags. “If you’re here about the tea, it just smells like weed, it isn’t actually weed. I double checked with the farm and they assured me that it was just a calming medicinal herb--” David paused. “Oh my god, now that I’m saying that, maybe it actually is weed?” 

“We’re not here about the tea,” Dean chuckled and shook his head. “But I wouldn’t mind sampling a bit to go. Just to make sure.” 

“Dean,” Sam admonished and turned back to the two men. “What are your names?”

“I’m Patrick Brewer,” said the pleasant faced man. “And this here is David Rose. What can we help you with today?” 

“You sell this milk at your shop, right?” Sam held out the empty bottle from the crime scene. “Do you make and bottle this yourself?” 

“That’s body milk, not milk,” corrected David. “And I don’t make it. Everything in the store comes from local vendors. I can give you the address of the farm that sells us the body milk.” 

“What’s body milk?” asked Dean. 

David scoffed. “It’s milk…” David gestured down at himself “... for your body .” David stared at them like that made any sense.

“Anyone with a fiber of common sense would get that,” muttered Patrick with an amused smile. “That’s what David said, when I asked him if you could drink it, anyway. Nearly everyone who comes in here asks that question.” Patrick gave David a fond look.

“So you aren’t supposed to drink this?” Cas wrinkled his brow and studied the label.

David rolled his eyes. “No. What part of body milk are you not getting?” 

Patrick sighed and cleared his throat. “So, is there anything else we can help you with today?” 

“Have you gotten any complaints about the product?” asked Sam. “We think that the milk-- the body milk-- is linked to some of the deaths in Elmdale.” 

“My product is linked to deaths? Like actual real person deaths?” David looked horrified. “Patrick, this is very off brand.” 

Patrick put a comforting arm around David and shook his head in disbelief. “To answer your question, we’ve received no complaints from anyone about the body milk. Both David and I have sampled the products and have had no ill effects. Is there any other way we can help?”

David was still staring at the body milk with revulsion. “When I heard someone had died, I thought it was just Twyla’s murder mystery party again. I didn’t even think that there were actual deaths .” 

“We just need the name of the farm,” said Sam. “We’ll handle it from here.” 

“Of course.” Patrick scribbled something on a sheet of paper. “I’ve given you the address and the contact information for both me and David. Let us know if we can help in any other way.” 

“Will do,” Dean nodded at Patrick. “Thank you for your time.” 

 

***

 

Dean’s hunger predictably rumbled up around noon, so they headed back to the cafe for lunch. Dean eagerly opened the large fold-out menu, ready to get the food, but Sam still had the case on his mind. 

“So what do we know so far?” Sam hadn’t even touched his menu. He was frowning in that ‘caution: nerd brain at work’ expression that so often fell upon his face.

“We know that something funky is going on in this town,” Dean offered, nearly whacking Cas in the face with another fold of the menu. “It may be related to the body milk, whatever the hell that is. Why would you want to put milk on your body?"

“David said that you weren’t supposed to drink the milk,” said Sam. “But at the crime scenes it looked like the milk was in drinking glasses. Maybe this is a less supernatural problem and more a problem of people using the product in a way that they weren’t supposed to.”

“There’s no way that those bodies weren’t afflicted by something supernatural,” countered Dean. “I mean what could be in this body milk that causes people’s hearts to explode out of their chests? You saw the crime scenes.” 

“I know bath salts caused people to do crazy things,” Sam shrugged. “Maybe body milk also causes people to go crazy?

“But what about the bodies with the human teeth marks?” asked Cas. “How does that fit in?”

“Great point.” Behind the great wall of menu, Dean jabbed his thumb in Cas’s direction. “What about that Sammy?”

“Well, bath salts did cause someone to commit cannibalism. Maybe the body milk also causes people to go crazy and become cannibalistic? But my hunch is there is something more supernatural going on in this town. Maybe we need to do more research,” mused Sam. “Maybe there’s a history here that we’ve missed.” 

"Well, whatever it is, the milk seems to be the best bet we've got," responded Dean.

Their discussion was interrupted by Twyla to take their order. Shortly after, she came back with their food, and Dean eagerly tucked in, demolishing his burger in record time. When Sam finished his salad, he pushed back his plate and said, “So what’s next?”

“I think we need to check out that farm and see if there is anything fishy there,” Dean turned to Cas. “Are you almost done with that smoothie?” 

Cas nodded and slurped the last bits of it. “I am ready to talk to the farm people.”

“Let’s check it out,” said Dean. “And they’re called farmers, Cas.”

 

***

 

The farm didn’t look particularly spooky. It actually looked pretty idyllic. A couple cows grazed on the grass and the sun made the main house seem warm and welcoming. As they made their way to the front door, they saw that an elderly woman in a style of dress that looked like it was from the eighteenth century sat on the porch. She sat with her arms folded in her lap rocking back and forth peacefully.

“Ma’am, are you the only one here?” Dean called. “Can we talk to the owners of the farm?”

The woman stared at Dean with distrust in her eyes, but didn’t say anything. 

“Is she alright?” Cas muttered to Dean. “Do you think she may be a threat?”

“Unless she disappears into thin air, I’d say she’s probably just old,” Dean whispered back. “Let Sammy deal with this. Old ladies love him.”

“Ma’am, can we ask you a few questions?” asked Sam gently, holding out his badge. “My name is Agent Smith. 

The woman shook her head, sending a wisp of white hair loose from her bun. “We don’t talk to strangers.” 

“We’re not strangers, ma’am,” tried Dean, also holding out his badge in front of him. “We’re from the FBI. We were sent here by the folks at Rose Apocothery.” 

“You’re not from here.” The woman shook her head more vehemently. “We don’t talk to strangers.” 

“Is there anyone else here on the farm that we could talk to?” Sam talked slowly and calmly, holding his hands out in front of him in the universal gesture of ‘we mean no harm’. “Maybe a relative or caregiver?”

The woman gave Sam a dirty look. “ We don’t talk to strangers.”

“Ok, lady, how can we not be strangers?” Dean was starting to get frustrated. “Do you want a formal introduction or something?”

“Bring a friend of ours.” The woman rocked back and forth with agitation. “We don’t talk to strangers.”

Sam looked at Dean and Dean shrugged. 

“So if we brought someone to introduce us to you, you would talk to us?” asked Castiel. 

The woman shrugged and nodded. “Then we talk. We don’t--”

“Talk to strangers,” Dean interrupted. “Yeah, yeah, we’ve got it.” 

Dean, Sam and Cas left the farm. “We can ask David Rose to introduce us,” suggested Sam. “He’s just in the room next door to us.” 

Dean shrugged. “Sounds good.”

“There was something off about that farm,” muttered Sam. He looked out the window at the shrinking silhouette of the main house in the red light of the setting sun. 

“No kidding,” said Dean. “I’ll bet that those creepy old people put some weird stuff in the body milk, people drank it and started to go crazy.”

“And I found this in the bushes.” In the back seat, Cas whipped a small hex bag out of his trenchcoat.

“Cas!” Dean yelped and swiftly pulled the Impala over to the side of the road. “You don’t just touch hex bags like that. Who knows what it will do?”

Cas gave the hex bag a distrustful look. “I strongly suspect that this is a fertility spell. I found it by the cows.” 

“How do you know it’s a fertility--” Dean cut himself off and shook his head. “You know what, I don’t even want to know. Let’s burn that thing and get the hell out of here.” 

 

***

 

When they were back at the motel, Cas was hit with the urge to use the restroom. After a long period of time had gone by without Cas emerging (Dean and Sam were able to change out of their FBI suits, drink two beers, start and resolve an argument about Pamela Anderson), Dean knocked on the door. “You okay, buddy?”

“I think you should talk to David without me.” Cas’s voice sounded slightly strained. “Everything I ate today is exiting my body at a remarkably fast speed.”

“Do you think that was a side effect of the hex bag?” asked Sam, looking worried. “Or maybe burning the bag didn’t stop the curse?” 

“Why would they want to make cows poop so much?” Dean paced by the bathroom door. “Maybe this was some sort of sick way to keep people off of their property? Like some sort of Montezuma's revenge?” 

“I’m okay!” called Cas from the bathroom. “I have stopped expelling matter. But I do not wish to spend any time without immediate access to a toilet. You should go talk to David before it gets too late.”

“Thanks, Cas,” said Sam. “We’ll keep you updated.” Sam moved to exit the room, but Dean grabbed Sam’s arm. 

“Should one of us stay with him?” Dean jerked his head towards the bathroom. “He’s not used to this.”

“We’re just going to be next door, Dean. I’m sure Cas will be alright.” Sam smiled at Dean. “What’s up with you? The last time I threw up, you ordered and ate a fish sandwich right in front of me.”

“You’re right,” Dean shrugged. “Let’s go, Sammy.”

Dean waited until Sam’s large form disappeared through the door, before turning back to the bathroom. He knew he was being unusually protective, but he couldn’t help himself. 

“Hey, Cas?” Dean grabbed a bottle of water from his bag and placed it by the bathroom door. “Drink lots of water. Call us if anything, and I mean anything, goes wrong. We’ll be just next door. Okay?” Dean hovered anxiously by the door, awaiting a response. 

“Okay, Dean,” Cas’s voice sounded tired and Dean frowned. Though Dean knew that Cas had been through much more than anyone else, Cas had a softness to him, a naivety that made Dean worry. 

Dean shook himself out of his thoughts and went to join Sam at the room next door. 

Sam rapped on the door, but there was no response. “David?” called Sam. “David Rose?”

“Dav id !” a female voice came from inside the room. “The men that dress like Stevie are here!” 

“That’s the FBI, Alexis,” David’s voice wafted very clearly through the motel door. “I don’t think I can handle this much stress in one day.” 

“Relax, David,” came Alexis’s voice. “I once held off the FBI for three days while helping my ex-boyfriend’s drug dealer friends escape a Colombian drug cartel. It’s not that hard.” 

“I don’t want to hold them off” called David. “I just want to finish my Turkish Orange Blossom Calming and Clarifying Mask before I have another panic attack in the bathroom.”

“I’ll talk to them, David.” The door opened on a stunningly pretty face. “Hi, I’m Alexis.” The girl bent her hand at the wrist and held her arm in front of her. It took Dean a good long minute to realize she was offering her hand out to shake. 

“Hi Alexis,” said Sam tentatively shaking her hand. “Can we speak with your brother?” 

Dean flipped out his ID badge and Sam did the same. 

Alexis took one look at their ID badges and laughed. She turned back into the room. “David? You can relax, they aren’t FBI agents.” 

David’s harassed face peaked out from the bathroom door. “What do you mean they aren’t FBI agents?” asked David. “They’re holding their badges right in your face.” 

“Those are fake badges, David. Anyone with eyes can see that.” Alexis smiled with a far off look. “They actually look a lot like the badge that was made for me when I had to escape a really messy Lithuanian hostage situation.” She ran her fingers through her blonde hair and giggled, as if the memory was a particularly funny one. 

Sam and Dean exchanged a look. “Ma’am, these are very real,” said Dean. “And we need to speak with your brother.” 

Alexis was about to say something when a loud growling sound echoed in the air. 

Sam gave Dean an exasperated look. “Don’t tell me you are hungry again.”

Dean held his hands up in the air. “It’s not me.”

The growl echoed louder, this time apparent that the source wasn’t Dean’s stomach. Dean and Sam whipped around. Glowing red eyes blinked in the evening night. A crouched man appeared out of the shadows, grinning maniacally, with blood dripping down his face. 

“What the…” Though the man looked like the definition of a creepy supernatural creature, Dean had never seen anything like this man’s glowing red eyes. 

A low viscous rumble emitted from the man’s throat. The man crawled forward, then began to charge. Sam and Dean quickly pushed past Alexis into the motel room, shutting the door just in time if the loud thud of the man bashing against it was any indication. 

“What the hell was that?” asked a panicked sounding David from the bathroom.

“That was what we wanted to talk to you about.” Sam pulled out the body milk and showed it to Alexis. “We are pretty sure that this milk may be causing people to go crazy.” 

“What?” David finally emerged from the bathroom. “I’ve used that milk plenty of times and I’m not crazy.” David said this with an neon orange facemask on his face while dressed in what looked like a black feather duster that shed feathers every time he moved his arms. 

There was a brief silence.

Sam cleared his throat. “Well anyways, we think that people are drinking it.”

“Well, that’s crazy,” David sounded exasperated. “It’s body milk. You’re not supposed to drink it.” 

“The problem is people are drinking it,” Dean said gruffly, as he dragged a dresser in front of the door. “And we need to stop it before they murder someone else.” 

Dean would much rather he was in his room with Cas, rather than these two whiny urbanites. At least then, he’d have more weapons at his disposal. Dean sent a silent prayer up telling Cas to stay put. He hoped that Cas still had enough mojo to hear him. The thudding at the door became louder, so Dean pulled out his gun, switched the safety off, and leveled it at the door. If what was out there was actually a supernatural creature, the gun probably wouldn’t do any good, but it was better than nothing.

“A gun?” David looked at Alexis with alarm. “Why did you let these people in our motel room?” 

“Oh my god, David.” Alexis’s arms drew close to her body like she was holding two invisible handbags.  “Would you rather just have them murdered right in front of you?” The more argumentative Alexis got, the wider her eyes became. 

The door was beginning to make splintering sounds under the assault of the man outside. 

David pointed to the bed with the white sheets. “ This is why I wanted the bed further away from the door.”

“Ugh, David,” Alexis glared at David. “Eckgh.” She made a face at David, who made a face back.

“Everyone stay calm. We have this under control.” Sam’s voice was cool and collected, but he shared a worried look with Dean. They still hadn’t even figured out what sort of creature was out there. 

As if reading their thoughts, David asked “Can I ask what exactly is outside?” 

Dean didn’t want to get into it so he jerked his head at Sam. “Long story short, vampires, werewolves, etc all exist,” explained Sam. “We think that there is something in your body milk product that may have supernatural side effects. We don’t exactly know what that is or what exactly is happening.”

“Well, I think we should call the police.” David looked very pale under the orange fask mask. “We can let the professionals handle it.”

“The police won’t be of any help in this case,” said Dean. “Watch this.” Dean fired five shots through the small hole the man had managed to make in the door. The man was knocked back by the gunfire, before leaping to his feet again, growling even more. 

“It’s not alive. That should have killed a normal man.” Sam gestured to Dean’s gun. “The police aren’t equipped to handle this.”

David clutched his chest. “I think I’m going to need something stronger than my calming and clarifying mask to calm me down. Like, a lot stronger.” 

Alexis walked over to Dean, circled her index finger in the air before finally poking Dean with the finger. “You know what, I think this is a rugaru.” She punctuated every word with a poke to Dean’s arm, ending with a poke on his nose. “Boop.” 

Dean was so taken aback he couldn’t even speak. 

“A rugaru?” Sam frowned in thought. “This doesn’t quite fit. Rugarus don’t have glowing eyes like that.”

Alexis shook her head. “You’re thinking of the English type. I encountered this type when I went to France and accidentally got sucked into a showing of Tilda Swinton’s partner’s art.” 

Sam turned to Dean and shrugged. “It’s worth giving it a chance.” 

“So we need fire.” Dean started patting his pockets, looking for his lighter. “They can only be killed with fire.” 

“So kill it with fire!” David gestured at the door in a rather hysterical manner. 

“Do you have any matches or lighters, Sam?” asked Dean. “I got nothing.”

Sam patted his pocket and shook his head. “Everything I’ve got is either in the trunk or in my bag.” 

“I can use David’s solid silver whitehead lancet,” Alexis popped up beside Dean, holding what looked like a pointy silver pen. “I’ve done it before.” 

“How did you find that?” cried David. “I made sure to hide it because last time you used it to get gunk out from under your keyboard and I broke out for three whole weeks.”

“Do I need to remind you that I read your diary?” Alexis turned to face David. “Also, that wasn’t my fault. You are supposed to sanitize the lancet before each use.” 

“I hate to break into this wonderful family discussion,” Dean interrupted. He had to speak loudly to be heard over the sibling’s squabble and the rugaru’s ever persistent banging. “But you gotta burn rugarus. That’s the only way they die.”

“Ummm no, you can also use pure silver on the French ones.” Alexis rolled her eyes. “Ugh. Just let me do it, Dean.”

“Uh, no way,” said Dean. “No offense, lady, but you look like you’ve never stabbed anything larger than a pimple.”

“Um, I'm sorry, were you attacked by a wendigo while trying to organize Jennifer Anisten’s birthday in Aruba?”

“What?” Dean had never been so confused in his entire life. 

“Exactly,” said Alexis. “It was so hard to, like, swing at the wendigo with the ax when I had just had my nails painted, but I managed to get rid of it in time for the pedicure.” Alexis looked at her nails and smiled.

“Wait, I’m sorry,” interjected David. “You knew that there were all these supernatural things in the world?”

“Well, yeah, David,” Alexis rolled her eyes and sighed. “Everyone knows about them.”

“Everyone does not know about them,” David seemed upset, if his eyebrows were any indication. “ I don’t know about them.”

“Well, I’m sorry that you feel left out, David.” 

“I don’t feel left out.” David put his hands on his hips. “Why would I feel left out?”

“You seem a little upset,” insisted Alexis. “You always overthink these things, David.” As Alexis got more agitated, her arms more and more resembled those of a distressed t-rex.

“Maybe, I’m upset because there is this undead... thing is outside our room and my snowy white bed with extremely high thread count sheets is the one that is closest to the door.” 

The rugaru bashed at the door again. Dean shot Sam another worried look. If they didn’t figure this out soon, they’d all be dead.

“I’m going to do it.” Alexis grabbed the lancet and her purse before striding over to stand by the door. She pulled out a perfume bottle from her purse and uncapped it. 

“Shouldn’t you take your shoes off?” Sam pointed at Alexis’s high heeled sandals. “I think that would give you more purchase on the floor. You might need it.” 

“Oh, no, I didn’t purchase them,” Alexis said, apparently mishearing Sam. Alexis leaned on the door and twirled a strand of her hair with a finger. “I actually got these at a white elephant gift exchange at Emma Stone’s holiday party. Andrew Garfield said I looked absolutely stunning in them, which caused a bit of a problem because--” 

“Alexis!” shouted Dean. “If you’re gonna do something, do it now. The door isn’t going to hold much longer.”

“Oh my god , okay,” Alexis rolled her eyes. Dean and Sam readied their guns to fend off the rugaru. She wrenched open the door, sprayed the rugaru with the perfume, and stabbed it in the heart with the lancet. It fell dead at her feet. 

Dean and Sam shared astonished looks. “How did you do that?” asked Sam. “What’s in that bottle?”

“This perfume was made by Dominique Ropion especially for me,” Alexis held out the perfume in front of her. The bottle was shaped like an A with gems set in the shape of a star. “It’s called un peu d'Alexis . It repels almost anything that’s not human. And Robert Pattison said it was the most delicious thing he’d ever smelled.”

“Um, excuse me?” David pointed at the rugaru’s unmoving form with a shaking finger. “What are we going to do about that? We can’t have the guests see that!”

“We’ll take care of it,” Sam said reassuringly. “We’re pretty good at this.”

David nodded as if he didn’t believe them, then sat on his bed, patting the bedspread like he was soothing a scared animal.

“What happened to your friend?” asked Alexis. “I thought there were three of you.”

“That’s what we were going to ask about,” said Sam. “We went to the farm that sells the milk earlier today.”

“We think they’re witches,” Dean pulled up a photo of the hex bag on his phone. “Cas found a hex bag at the witches farm. He thought it was a fertility spell for the cows. He’s either having a side effect or the curse is still on him because he’s now shitting himself to death in the motel bathroom.”

“Did he happen to try one of Twyla’s smoothies?” Alexis thoughtfully tapped her lips. 

“Yeah, how did you know that?” Sam looked surprised. “He tried the Mystery Green Machine.”

“That’s a common mistake,” explained David. He was still patting the bed like he couldn’t believe it was still stain-free. “The mystery green smoothies are particularly toxic. People use them to prepare for colonoscopies.”

“Well, that’s good to know,” Sam wrinkled his nose. “Gross.”

“Well anyway, we went to the farm, and this old lady said that we needed someone to introduce us,” Dean continued. “So we wanted to know if you’d do it, David.”

“Me?” David looked incredulous. “You just told me they were witches! Why would I want to go there?”

“Because people are dying, David,” explained Sam. “And you can help save them.”

David sighed and rolled his eyes up to the ceiling. “Okay, fine. But I can’t go tomorrow. I have to watch the store while Patrick goes to some business conference.”

“Let’s go the day after,” Dean suggested. “We can do some more research tomorrow, anyway.” 

“Will you come with me?” David asked Alexis. “It’s my turn to take a selfish.”

“No, it is not,” Alexis countered. “Do you not remember the yoga class with Mutt and Twyla?” 

“That was a really small selfish,” David protested. “Your selfishes are always huge.” 

“It’s not my fault I have a life, David. Your selfishes always involve needing help to leave the house.” 

“I’m sorry, but I have to ask. What is a selfish?” asked Dean. 

Alexis and David started to explain, but then got into a quarrel about a Gucci bag in Italy. Dean jerked his head to Sam, and they both quietly left the bickering siblings behind in the motel room. They picked up the rugaru and buried it in the yard behind the motel, leaving the whitehead lancet in the body. They figured David probably didn’t want it anymore. 

 

****

 

Cas was lying in bed staring at the mirrored ceiling when Dean got back to the motel room. 

“Hey, Cas,” Dean’s voice came out softer than he meant it to. “Feelin’ okay?” Dean chucked off his jeans and slid into bed besides Cas. He could see Cas’s eyes watching him in the mirror. 

“I feel better now,” Cas sighed. “I forgot how uncomfortable it was to be human.”

Dean couldn’t tear his eyes off of Cas’s reflected face in the mirror on the ceiling. Cas looked tired. “Yeah, well. There are some good parts too,” said Dean. “Pie for one.”

“Yes, there are,” agreed Cas. Dean watched Cas turn on his side to give Dean his full unreflected creeper stare. “I know there are.”

Dean turned his head to look at Cas. Cas’s face was closer than he thought. Dean could see the individual hairs of his eyebrows and the flutter of his eyelashes. Dean swallowed heavily, feeling as though he could not breathe. “Are you happy, Cas?” Dean didn’t know where the question came from. 

“When I’m with you,” Cas murmured and his eyes closed almost bashfully. With Cas’s eyes closed, Dean felt like a bright spotlight had just been turned off. 

Dean flickered his eyes over Cas’s chapped lips, feeling mildly surprised. He didn’t know how to respond or even if he should respond. He remembered all of the fights and arguments he had with Cas and wondered how that could possibly be true.

“Are you happy?” Cas’s voice was no more than a whisper. 

“As happy as I’ve ever been, since before mom died,” Dean responded, surprising himself with his honesty. 

“What do I mean to you?” 

Dean was taken aback. “Well, I mean, you’re family, Cas. I thought you knew that.”

“I know, Dean.” For whatever reason, Cas sounded sad. “Thank you for reminding me.” 

Cas’s breathing evened out into sleep, but Dean remained awake. As he stared at Cas’s sleeping face, he felt it rather ironic that their roles had changed. Dean was now the creeper in the night staring at a sleeping Cas. He wondered if Cas felt the same calm that he felt as he watched the rise and fall of Cas’s chest. Did he miss something? Was there a moment that had quietly slipped by? 

Dean tried to shove his thoughts into the back of his head, but they streamed out like smoke from under a door. What would Sammy think about this? What if these feelings ruined everything? Dean hadn’t been in a functional relationship since Lisa. He wasn’t even sure if he remembered how to be romantic. Romance and the hunter lifestyle were seemingly incompatible.

Cas had been part of their lives for so long; he couldn’t bear it if he lost Cas because of some stupid hopeless romance. Dying had a better chance of bringing Cas back to him than a failed relationship. He didn’t want to suffer the awkward stilted conversations so common between ex-lovers. He loved Cas too much to lose him, which is why he would never-- could never-- be with him. With that resolved, Dean fell into an uneasy sleep filled with dark wings and ruffled brown hair.

 

****

 

The next day, Dean woke to an empty bed. He sat up, checked the bathroom, before using the connecting door to enter Sam’s room. 

“Morning, Sammy.” Dean itched to ask about Cas, but decided to play it cool. Cas could take care of himself. 

“Dean,” Sam had Dad’s journal open and was pouring over a page. “Dad was here before. He knew a hunter here, called Maureen Budd. She ran a motel.” 

“This motel?” asked Dean. 

“I’m assuming so,” said Sam. “He calls it a shit motel, but that may actually be a joke referring to the town’s name.” 

“What else does it say in there?”

“Well, it says that he came here to learn about a protective amulet made by Maureen Budd’s family. Apparently, the French people who settled here were trying to escape a curse, but instead brought the curse with them. The curse caused the town to be attacked by rugarus. The Budd family created this amulet a while back, which repels the rugarus, allowing people to settle here without being eaten to death. He said Maureen Budd was quite a character.”

“Want to go check it out?” Dean pointed out the door. “The front desk is right around the corner. We could ask Stevie to introduce us.”

“Alright,” said Sam. “Seems like a good lead.”

As they walked to the front desk, Dean asked in what he thought was a very nonchalant manner, “Where’s Cas?”

“He went to go pick up some food at the cafe,” said Sam. “Are you guys okay?” 

“Why wouldn’t we be okay?” Dean wasn’t sure if he sounded defensive or not.

Sam shrugged. “Just wondering.” 

When they got to the front desk, Stevie was sitting by the computer playing sudoku. “Can I help you?” she asked, looking like she would rather not. 

“Do you happen to know a Maureen Budd?” Sam waved John’s journal in the air. “Our dad was a friend of hers.”

“I wasn’t aware that she had friends.” Stevie didn’t seem very impressed with Sam and the journal.

“Do you think that you could connect us with her?”

“I wish I could,” said Stevie. “Unfortunately, unless you have a medium, I can't. I’m her niece, Stevie Budd. She left me the motel.”

“Oh, I see.” Sam deflated with disappointment and looked at Dean. 

“Any chance that you have seen an amulet around here?” asked Dean. “Maybe it got moved sometime?” 

Stevie shot them a judgy look. “An amulet? Oh yeah, I saw a whole bunch of them, right next to all of the talismans and magic wands we have in this motel.”

“Very funny.” Sam gave a soft huff of laughter. “Look, your aunt Maureen had an amulet that meant a lot to our dad, and he passed away. Do you happen to have any of her old stuff laying around?”

Stevie shrugged. “I have a box of her stuff upstairs. You can look through it, if you want. It’s mostly dust and dolls.”

“Thank you so much.” Sam nodded earnestly.

Stevie led them upstairs into the attic and pointed to a couple of dusty boxes in the corner. “Go for it.”

Dean and Sam dug through old newspapers, ugly dolls, and layers upon layers of dust before they found a leather bound journal. 

Sam blew the dust off of the cover and opened it. “Jackpot!” Sam smiled at Dean. “It’s Maureen’s hunting journal.”

“I’m gonna keep poking around a bit,” said Dean. “You see if you can find anything about the amulet in that journal.” 

Sam sat down to read with a penlight in mouth, while Dean started on another box, which seemed to be full with old romance novels. 

“Aha!” Sam exclaimed. “Apparently this amulet is passed down through the maternal side of the family, but is kept behind the masculine facade of the family name. It needs to be activated after the previous keeper dies.”

“What the hell does that mean?” asked Dean. 

Sam shrugged. “Beats me. But Alexis was right. This also says that the Canadian rugaru is a different species from the American rugaru because it originated in France, not England. The Canadian rugaru has glowing eyes and more human teeth than its American counterparts. It can also be killed by stabbing the creature with a silver knife and spraying it with lavender. Alexis’s perfume must have lavender in it.” 

“Great!” Dean brushed the dust off of his jeans and stood up. “Why don’t we put this back and ask Stevie about her grandmother’s last name?” 

 

***

 

Stevie did not know her grandmother’s maiden name, so when they got back to their motel room, Sam went digging in the vast reaches of the internet. 

Cas came back with coffee and pastries for everyone. “Dean.” Cas handed Dean a pastry and their fingers touched. Dean felt like he was back in middle school falling for his childhood crush. The same giddy nervousness and embarrassment that he hadn’t experienced for literal decades swirled in his stomach. If he didn’t watch himself, he would turn into a thirteen year old girl.

“Look,” Sam’s voice interrupted Dean’s internal musings. “I found a 1930’s census with a Mary Biche, who goes on to marry a Robert Budd in the 1950s.”

Dean choked on his coffee. “What now? Her last name is Bitch?”

“No, it is B-I-C-H-E,” Sam spelled out slowly. “Biche.”

Dean shook his head and chucked.. “What is it with these people and their last names in this town?”

“But get this,” continued Sam. “Biche is a french word for doe. And do you know what is behind the front desk of the motel?”

“A portrait of a giant stag,” answered Dean. “The masculine facade of the family name.”

 

***

 

That night, they broke into the front office of the motel. Not that they did much of breaking in. The door was unlocked. 

Dean and Sam worked to carefully lift the heavy stag portrait off the wall. Cas helped them carefully examine the back of the canvas for anything that looked out of the ordinary.

“There’s nothing here,” frowned Cas. “No secret compartment.”

“Nothing in the frame either,” added Sam. 

“Son of a bitch,” cursed Dean. “Where else could it be?”

To make matters worse, the door swung open, revealing Stevie and David. Stevie and David stopped dead in their tracks and gaped at the scene in front of them

“Oh my god, they’re stealing the ugly picture,” David seemed to break out of his state of shock. He hit Stevie’s arm. “Stevie, do something.”

“What do you want me to do?” Stevie looked uncertain. She turned to Dean, Cas and Sam. “We can leave. You can have the portrait. I honestly don’t care about it that much.”

“We aren’t stealing the portrait,” Sam clarified. “But maybe you could help us with something.”

“Help you… steal the portrait?” David shared a concerned look with Stevie. 

“We’re still looking for your aunt’s amulet, Stevie,” explained Dean. “We thought it was in the picture frame, but we couldn’t find anything.”

“Maybe it’s in that compartment on the wall,” Stevie pointed to the wall where the picture used to hang.

Cas ran his fingers over the wall. “There is a compartment here?” 

“Yeah, my aunt showed it to me and I used it to store my weed,” explained Stevie. She walked to the desk and felt underneath. There was a clicking sound and a door hidden in the wall swing open, filling the room with a stench of marijuana. 

Cas dug around in the compartment, before pulling out an ugly amber necklace. “Could this be it?” He looked questioningly at Dean. 

Dean shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Why are you guys so obsessed with this amulet, anyway?” asked Stevie. 

“Has David told you the real reason why we are here in this town?” Dean fixed David with a questioning eye. 

Stevie nodded. “Unfortunately, I have heard all about it, about five times by now.”

“Well, we’re trying to figure out how to stop the attacks,” explained Sam. “We’re going to see the witches tomorrow. We might as well bring along the amulet.”

“Well, hold on,” said Stevie. “If you’re bringing the amulet and David, I’m coming along too.”

“You will?” David looked enthusiastic. 

“Against all my better judgement” Stevie shrugged. “But that’s what friends are supposed to do, right?” She gave David a small smile. 

David nodded and smiled. “That’s right. I’ll pay you back for this.”

“Oh, you better.”

 

***

 

The next day, David led Stevie and Sam onto the farm. The plan was for David, Stevie and Sam to distract the witches, while Cas and Dean snuck onto the farm to lay a trap.

From Dean and Cas’s vantage point in the bushes, they could see Sam, Stevie, and David very clearly.

David was pale and quaking with fear. “This is worse than moths.” David clutched tightly to Stevie’s arm. 

“Wow, I didn’t know anything was worse than moths.” Stevie sounded more sarcastic than usual. “Get off of me. You’re cutting off my circulation.” 

She tried to push David off, but he clutched to her tighter. “Stevie, please. I think I’m literally dying of fear.”

“We’ve got everything under control,” soothed Sam. “We are going to do our best to make sure you both are not in any harm. Just try to act natural.” 

David gave a wordless nod and gulped loudly. 

While Sam, Stevie, and David talked to the witches, Dean and Cas encircled the entire group. They carefully laid down a spell given to them by Rowena that would trap the witches within a boundary and limit their magic, similar to a devil’s trap.

They had just finished murmuring the last incantation before the witches became aware of the trap. “What’s all this about?” asked one of the witches. She whispered a spell, which quickly fizzled out, and put her hands on her hips in a disapproving stance.

“Tall one,” a witch with wispy grey hair pointed to Sam. “What have you done to us?” 

Dean nodded to Cas and they stepped out of hiding. “People in Elmdale are dying because of you,” Dean accused, turning to face the witches. “Right before they die, they drink the product that you sell at David’s store.” The witches turned to look at David. David was shaking and looked as though he was wishing he could disappear into the ground.

The witches frowned. “Well, you’re not supposed to drink it,” said one witch. “Anyone with a fiber of common sense would know that.” 

“Thank you,” David loudly agreed, straightening up and apparently getting over his fear. “That’s exactly what I said.” 

“Just because some people are idiots, doesn’t mean you have to chain us up like this,” called a witch. 

“People shouldn’t die because they are idiots,” countered Sam.

“And they certainly shouldn’t fornicate until their death,” Cas added. 

“What?” The witches looked confused and muttered to themselves. “Fornicate?”

“The people drank the milk, had sex, and then their hearts leapt out of their body,” explained Sam. “You are saying that you didn’t have anything to do with that?”

There was a collective murmur of realization and the witch with the wispy hair spoke again. “We stand corrected. The deaths are on our hands. But we swear on the bones of our ancestors that this was all an accident.”

“Oh, this is definitely our bad,” a witch with braided hair nudged the young woman next to her. “Lydia, you’ve done it again. No wonder our bones were aching.”

The woman next to her --- presumably Lydia--- cast her eyes downward. “I’m sorry, this was all a mistake. A terrible terrible mistake.” 

‘What is this?” asked Dean, pointing at Lydia.

“Well, we have mostly normal dairy cows on this farm,” explained the witch with the braided hair. “But we also have one sacred cow that we took from Germany back in the 1500s when we migrated to France.”

“This cow gives us strength in our bones, to help us combat the side effects of living for so long.” explained another witch. 

“But Lydia sometimes gets confused and mixes up the milks, and puts the sacred cow milk into our products and gives us normal milk.”

“She got hit in the head during the Frankish civil war of 715 and has never been the same since,” the witch with the plaited hair whispered.  The other witches shook their head sadly.

“We’ll take her off milk duty,” promised another witch. “Sacred cow milk shouldn’t be dangerous to use as body milk. However, if a human drinks it without the proper preparation it can cause all sorts of effects.”

“Maybe add ‘Do not drink’ to the milk packages, David?” suggested a witch. “We thought it was abundantly obvious, but obviously people are stupider than we thought.”

“So this was all a mistake?” David’s voice sounded a little shaky. “Can we get a refund for the milk at the store?”

“Oh, of course, David,” the wispy-haired witch nodded encouragingly. “We’ll also send you off with some of that peanut brittle your sister loved so much, as an apology gift.”

“Wait,” Sam held out his arms and the chattering witches became quiet. “This town has also been plagued by rugarus. Could that also be caused by the milk?”

“Oh no,” the witches shook their head in disapproval. “That’s the curse. Maureen’s young niece didn’t take care of it?”

“Take care of what?” Stevie stepped forward and faced the witches. “I’m Maureen’s niece.”

“The ritual!” cried a witch. “The one we gave Gerta Biche a long long time ago.”

“What?” Steve looked lost. “What ritual? Who is Gerta Biche?” 

“Counter the curse to save the town, with phoenix's bed on the sacred ground. Take a breath to say the spell; when you’re done, all will be well,” the wispy haired witch recited. “It sounds much better in French.”

Sam's eyes alighted with recognition. He took out Maureen’s notebook from his jacket pocket and began flipping through the pages. 

“I’m sorry,” Stevie’s face was one large wrinkle of confusion. “What am I supposed to do? Do phoenix’s even exist?”

“Oh, for the amulet to do its job, the ashes of the previous owner must be spread over a sacred site that was established when the settlers first moved in here. Then, the new owner of the amulet must say a little incantation. It’s not that bad,” reassured the witch with braided hair. “Have you done any of the steps already?”

“Well, she did request a very specific parking lot for her ashes to be spread over.”

“Yes! That’s it!” cried a skinny witch from the back. “It used to be a beautiful meadow, but no mind. You did the first part of the transition spell. Just finish it and no more pesky rugarus.”

 “Their story checks out,” said Sam. He gestured to a page in Maureen’s notebook. “Maureen wrote the exact same thing. I didn’t think much of it when I first read it, because I didn’t understand what she was getting at.”

“What do you think?” Dean nodded at Sam and Cas and drew them aside. “Can we trust them?” 

“They seem alright,” Cas’s face seemed awfully close to Dean’s, but he didn’t mind. Dean nudged Cas’s side, just because he could. Cas smiled in return.

Sam’s eyes flickered between Dean and Cas. “I’ll take the spell binding the witches down. You guys get the car ready. We’ve got to go do the spell before the rugarus kill anyone else.”

Sam began scuffing out the marks of the spell. Dean and Cas led Stevie and David to their cars. 

“David, dear?” cried one of the witches. “We are so sorry about all of this. If you still want to do business with us, then we’d love to.”

“Also, Stevie!” called another witch. “Be careful! Before the spell is cast, the amulet attracts rugarus.”

They all piled into their respective cars. Sam gave Stevie the incantation and handed off the peanut brittle to David, before joining Dean in the passenger seat of the Impala. Dean followed Stevie’s old red car to a parking lot just outside of Schitt’s Creek. 

The moment they stepped out of the car, three sets of glowing eyes appeared in the distance. 

“Son of a bitch,” Dean cursed. “It couldn’t go well for us, just this once?” He drew his silver knife and got into a defensive stance

“Stevie, David, and Cas work on that amulet,” ordered Sam. He joined Dean with his own silver knife. “Dean and I will hold them off.” 

“Oh my god oh my god oh my god,” David groaned resting his face in his hands. “How did I end up here of all places?”

Stevie was frozen, clutching the amulet in her hands with a shocked look on her face. 

“Stevie?” Cas drew Stevie’s attention to him. “Focus on me and let’s do this spell.” 

Stevie took a deep breath. “Okay,” she nodded determinedly. “Let’s do this.”

As Stevie and Cas began the ritual, Dean and Sam began slashing at the rugaru’s circling around the group. “Do you think silver bullets would work, Sammy?” Dean stabbed, but the rugaru was too quick. “It would be a hell of a lot easier than trying to skewer these bastards.”

“Yeah,” Sam pushed his sweaty hair out of his face. “They’re pretty damn fast. Sometimes the lore is very specific, but it’s worth a shot.”

The rugaru lunged at Dean and its maggoty face got a little too close for his liking. “Sayonara, sucker,” Dean shot the rugaru in the face. The rugaru simply growled and moved even closer.

“Didn’t work?” shouted Sam, busy with his own rugaru. 

“No dice!” confirmed Dean. “Looks like the silver knife and lavender’s the way to go.” 

Dean and Sam dodged and hacked, finally managing to kill one rugaru. The other two still circled the small group.

“How’s the ritual going, Cas?” grunted Sam as he swiped at his rugaru and missed.

“Nearly there!” called Cas. “Just a bit more.”

Dean and Sam managed to kill another rugaru. They advanced on the last rugaru, but it fell dead at their feet before they even got within stabbing distance. 

“You finished?” Dean asked Stevie. 

Stevie pushed the hair out of her face and smiled proudly. “We’re all clear.” 

“Good job, Stevie, “ Sam gave Stevie a kind grin. “Just in the nick of time.”

“And your aunt never mentioned this before?” asked David. “Seems like this would be an important thing to mention, once or twice.”

“Well, she always said she was a bitch at heart,” shrugged Stevie. “She told me I’d be a bitch too one day. I always thought she was talking about our general preference to avoid all human contact. I never thought she was talking about being a Biche, the holder of a protective amulet.” 

Sam began to chuckle and before long the whole group had broken into the laughter that accompanies intense relief. Once the last giggle had finally subsided from Stevie, Dean patted his stomach. “Welp, guess it’s time for dinner. I’m hungry.”

“What’s new?” Sam rolled his eyes. 

“Do you want to have dinner with us tonight?” asked Stevie. “David’s family is having dinner at the cafe. I’m sure they’d love for you all to join us.”

“We’d be delighted,” Cas responded with a smile. 

 

***

 

Dean and Cas were waiting outside of Sam’s room for him to finish conditioning his hair, when a tall good looking man strolled by them. The man paused, turned to face them, and ran his eyes over Cas’s body. Dean felt the cold feeling of jealousy settle uncomfortably in his stomach and moved just a little closer to Cas. 

“Howdy,” the man’s eyes appeared to be glued to Cas’s face. “My name’s Jake. You guys new here?”

“Uh yeah, but we’re just about to leave,” Dean cleared his throat, trying not to sound too insecure. 

“I see.” An easy smile spread on Jake’s face as he took in Dean and Cas standing together. “Just wanted to say that your shirt really brings out your eyes.” Jake winked at Cas.

“Thank you,” Cas smiled uncertainly. 

“If you happen to stay longer, you’re both welcome to come to my place for a whisky.” Dean wasn't an expert, but he was seventy percent sure that Jake was asking them for something more than a whisky.

“Thank you. We’ll consider your offer,” responded Cas. Dean tried to refrain from smacking his head.

“I hope you do,” Jake nodded his head, then continued to saunter right into the front office of the motel. Dean hoped he would never see him again. 

“What was that about?” asked Cas, looking mildly confused. 

“Forget about it,” Dean scowled, putting a definitely-not-possessive arm around Cas. “We can wait inside the motel.”

 

****

 

When Sam’s hair was finally back to its glossy glory, they made their way to the cafe. It felt strange becoming friendly with a group of people so different from themselves so quickly. Before coming to Canada, Dean would have hightailed it out of Schitt’s Creek right after the case, but the Rose family was slowly growing on him. They were vain, narcissistic, dramatic and petty, but their hearts were where it really mattered. 

Dean swung open the door to the cafe. It was easy to spot the group, not just because there weren’t many people in the cafe, but also because of Moira’s three foot long bright blue wig. 

“Over here!” Alexis flapped a hand at them and they made their way over to the table. Moira, John, Alexis, and Patrick scooted over to make room.

“Hey,” said Dean as Cas nodded his hello. 

“Nice to see you all again,” Sam greeted. 

David and Stevie entered and joined them at the table. 

“Nice to see that you left us some space,” Stevie said sarcastically. Patrick grinned at Stevie and offered his seat, pulling up another chair for himself.

“Move Alexis.” David dragged a chair next to Patrick and dropped a box on the table. “I have some peanut butter things.”

“Ooooh, David. Nom nom for us!” exclaimed Alexis reaching for the box. “Are these witches the people we met on our buying trip before we saw Heather and her goat cheese?”

David nodded. “Yes, and they remembered you because you ate so much brittle.”

“I told you they were farm witches, David,” said Alexis. “They had the dresses and, like, the little hats.” 

“Well, they looked like Mennonites.” David rolled his eyes. “How was I supposed to know that they were five thousand years old and were using a sacred cow to make my body milk?”

A fit man with a familiar looking smile jogged over to join them out the table. “Hi, I’m Ted.” The man gave a cheerful little wave. “Alexis has told me all about you.”

Dean and Sam nodded their greetings, then exchanged looks. Vague memories of the Morton House flickered back into Dean’s mind. 

“Weird question, but are you related to someone named Corbett?” asked Sam. 

“Yes,” beamed Ted. “The Corbett’s are my mother’s sister’s family.”

“I think we may have met one of them,” said Sam. “Alan Corbett was a good man.”

“He was my cousin. He passed away a few years back,” said Ted. “Were you friends?”

“Something like that,” said Dean. 

“He saved us,” added Sam. “A long long time ago.”

Twyla came to take their orders and then bring their food. It was a nice meal, despite the offbeat strangeness of the Rose family. 

When the talk turned to the supernatural, Alexis looked up with a little smile and tossed her hair back. “I remember this one time when I had to fight off this hellhound that was coming after Paul Rudd.” 

“Paul Rudd?” Patrick looked astonished. “Does deals with the devil?” 

“Yes, why did you think he doesn’t age?” 

Patrick held up his hands. “I stand corrected.” 

“A small portion of Hollywood is involved with the supernatural, dear,” said Moira. “How do you think they maintain all of their wealth and looks?” 

“You knew about this too?” David’s eyebrows shot up again. “How did I not know about this?”

Dean watched how Patrick put his arm around David, rubbing David’s back reassuringly. Dean had never met that many male couples, and had met none that were engaged to be married. He didn’t think himself as prejudiced, but looking at David and Patrick, he didn’t expect a relationship between two men to be so normal. Dean didn’t know what he expected, but he was fascinated to see such a happy and healthy relationship.

But what really surprised Dean was how much the whole town accepted David and Patrick’s relationship. Maybe Dean’s Kansas roots were showing, but whenever Patrick and David did anything remotely romantic, Dean couldn’t help to keep one eye on the lookout for trouble. But no one in the cafe seemed remotely disgusted or even shocked by the relationship. No one seemed to care. That realization loosened a part of Dean that had been knotted up since he was a child. 

And when Stevie asked (sarcastically of course) how Dean, Sam and Cas were so brave, Dean chucked even as a queasy feeling rose in his chest. Dean never felt like he was brave. Brave was a word for someone who faced their worst nightmares, but monsters, demons, angels, and any other creepy crawly creatures didn’t do it for Dean. Hell, lock him in a haunted house with a pocket knife and some matches, and Dean might even be happy. 

Dean’s greatest fear was not anything that could be fought with a gun, a fist and some brains; Dean’s nightmare was losing the love of his family just by being himself. Sammy could blow off his dad and make his own way in life, but Dean? Dean couldn’t bear being anything that made him a vulnerable son or brother. Dean wanted to be the stronger older brother that protected Sam; he didn’t want Sammy fussing about prejudice surrounding Dean’s sexuality. And if John Winchester somehow miraculously showed up alive today, Dean would want to make him proud, something Dean never thought he could do if he dated a man. 

But watching David and Patrick, Dean felt different. In all of the death and darkness he had faced, it was refreshing to witness something so good, untainted by prejudice or hate. And as the faint feeling of hope settled somewhere in his chest, Dean looked at Cas and thought that maybe he could be brave for once. 

 

***

 

After the meal, Patrick pulled Dean aside. “Mind if I show you a product in the apothecary?” Patrick nodded towards the door. 

“Sure,” Dean shrugged and followed Patrick to the store. 

Inside, Patrick presented to Dean a beautifully wrapped box. “We have a new product. David and I already sampled it to make sure it wasn’t also made by witches or something like that. But I thought you might like it as a thank you gift for keeping David safe.”

Dean tore open the wrapping to reveal the most gorgeous looking apple pie he had seen in his life. “Awesome,” Dean grinned. “I love pie.” 

“I heard,” laughed Patrick. He reached behind the counter and brought out four more boxes. “Here’s a few more for you, Cas, and Sam to share.” 

“Thanks, man,” Dean took the boxes and inhaled the cinnamony goodness wafting from the pies. “We normally don’t get thank you presents.” 

Patrick’s face broke out into a bright smile. “Well, you certainly deserve one.” 

Dean pulled off a piece of crust and stuffed it in his mouth. “Much appreciated.”

“There is something else.” Patrick shuffled his feet. His grin faded and he looked at the ground like he was nervous. “Feel free to tell me to fuck off or if I’m out of line. But I just wanted to tell you a little bit about how I got together with David.” 

Dean shrugged and broke off more of the pie. “Go on,” Dean mumbled through an exquisitely tasty bite.

Patrick’s smile returned. “I had been on and off with my ex-fiance for years. I thought she was the girl I was going to eventually marry and have kids with. But then I met David, and my whole world shifted. I never knew I was attracted to men before, though I was always curious. I was so scared to take a chance on David, but I’m so glad I did. David changed everything in the best way. I’ve never met anyone like him.” 

“He’s certainly one of a kind,” agreed Dean, wiping some crumbs off on his jeans.

“You can say that again,” Patrick laughed. “David and I were business partners when we started dating. I was so afraid that our relationship would go sour and that would change everything. But we stayed strong.”

There was something in Patrick’s voice that made Dean stop cramming pie in his mouth long enough to look Patrick in the eyes. Patrick’s round eyes were warm and filled with sympathy.

“I just say this because--- and I could be really wrong--- but I think you and I share some character traits,” Patrick’s voice was soft and kind. “We are both very cautious with our hearts.”

Dean swallowed heavily. “Go on.” Dean’s voice sounded hoarse, like he had just been shouting for hours. 

“And this... caution can sometimes be so overpowering that it makes us blind to how positively others actually see us,” Patrick continued. “It can make the world a little darker than it actually is. Does that make sense?” 

“Thanks for the pep talk, but I’ve seen how dark this world can be,” Dean said. “I’ve been to hell, literal hell. I’ve watched far too many good people die to know that this world is twisted, unfair, and downright sick.”

Patrick nodded. “That’s fair. You’ve faced things I could never and I respect that. I just wanted to tell you that good still can happen.” Patrick shrugged and smiled. “Enjoy the pies, Dean.” 

Dean was suddenly struck by a memory of Castiel saying a similar sentiment many years ago. “Good things do happen.”

“They do,” agreed Patrick with a tone of eternal patience. 

“Right.” Dean didn’t realize he had spoken out loud. “Right,” Dean repeated and fidgeted with the pie boxes. 

“Well, thanks for saving the town, Dean,” Patrick held out a hand to shake. “We all appreciate it.”

Dean grabbed Patrick’s hand. “It’s all part of the job, man.” Patrick held the door open for Dean and his pie boxes, and Dean stepped out into the cool night. 

“Goodnight,” Patrick gave a little wave and walked off into the direction of his car. 

Then, alone under the night sky, in the town where everyone fit in, with five boxes of pie in his hands, Dean was suddenly feeling very very brave. “Patrick!” Dean called.

Patrick turned back around and faced Dean, waiting for a response. 

“Thank you,” Dean hoped Patrick would get what he meant. 

“It’s all part of the job.” Patrick grinned. “Good luck, Dean.” 

Dean sighed and walked back to the hotel, hoping his courage would last. 

 

***

 

When Dean entered the motel room, Cas was already in bed apparently asleep. Dean felt a twinge of disappointment, but that soon dissipated when Cas’s eyes opened as Dean placed the pies on the table.

“Patrick gave us pies as thanks,” explained Dean. “I sampled them, you know, just to make sure that there wasn’t any witchcraft, and I do have to say that these may be the best apple pies I have tasted.”

“Good,” Cas sat up on his elbows and stared at Dean. Dean, for once, stared back without a dry or witty comment. 

Dean took a deep breath willing himself to speak. “Cas,” Dean’s voice was rougher and more uncertain than he thought it would be. He cleared his throat. 

“Yes, Dean?” 

Before he could lose his nerve, Dean blurted out. “You’re not family, okay?” 

Cas’s face crumpled and he nodded. “I understand, Dean.”

“No, no, no, you don’t,” Dean ran his hands through his hair. Of course he would screw this up. “That came out wrong. Let me explain.”

“It’s okay, Dean,” Cas held out his hand like he was trying to sooth Dean. “You don’t have to explain.”

“No,” Dean shook his head. “I have to.” Dean sat down at the edge of the bed. Cas’s arm slowly lowered down onto the bedspread. 

“I don’t want to hear it,” Cas’s voice was low and hurt. 

Sitting in front of Cas, Dean felt more nervous than the time he faced down Chuck himself. “You mean a lot to me, Cas. You’re family and you always will be, but you’re special, Cas. I don’t want you to be a brother to me.” Dean shifted uncomfortably, hoping Cas was able to read through the lines. “If you’ll have me.”

Cas tilted his head and scrunched his forehead. “Are you suggesting a romantic endeavor?” 

Dean fought every fiber of his being that was screaming at him to retreat. “I--I--”

Dean’s stuttering seemed to be affirmation enough for Cas. “You--- I---- Yes, of course, Dean.” Cas’s face was filled with wonder. 

The tension abruptly left Dean’s shoulders. “Really, Cas? You mean it?” 

“I have loved you since the moment I saw your soul,” Cas smiled his gummy smile. “And I have been falling for you ever since.” 

“Right,” Dean nodded like he was used to having his world turned upside down in an instant. “Right, right. Right.” 

“You don’t have to say it back,” Castiel put a hand to Dean’s face. It was large and slightly sweaty, different from the small feminine fingers Dean was used to when datinng girls. “You were brave enough today for the both of us.”

“Cas…” Dean didn’t know how it happened, but somehow he ended up kissing Cas, soft and clumsy. Cas’s prickly stubble rubbed harshly against Dean’s face, but Dean didn’t mind. He was kissing Cas, and frankly, he didn’t give a damn about anything else. 

The kisses were soft and sweet at first, but when Cas took Dean’s bottom lip between his teeth things quickly progressed, leaving Dean with a great appreciation for and fondness of the ceiling mirror.

 

***

 

Dean expected the morning after to be awkward, but it was like any other morning, besides the short morning-breath kisses. Dean left Cas in bed, getting up to brush his teeth and change into something more presentable. Dean took a deep breath before grabbing a box of pie, steeling himself for the hardest part. 

“Morning Sammy,” Dean entered Sam’s room. Strangely enough, Sam was still in bed. “We have pie!” 

Sam groaned and covered his head with his pillow. “I think I need something healthier for breakfast and about three more hours of sleep”

“Suit yourself,” Dean took a big bite of pie. If he was gonna do this, he might as well have pie while having the scariest conversation of his life. “Sammy?”

“Yes, Dean?” 

“Cas and I---” Dean cleared his throat. “Me and Cas---” His words seemed to be stuck at the back of his throat. 

Sam took the pillow off of his head and his grumpy expression faded. “I know, Dean,” Sam’s voice was gentle. “Are you finally together?”

Dean’s relief was so great that he felt like he could fly right up on the roof. “Yeah,” Dean grinned, then frowned. “Wait. What do you mean finally together?”

Sam yawned loudly. “You and Cas had something special going on ever since you met. I’m not dumb,” Sam rubbed his eyes and his face contorted in an even bigger yawn. “I thought you would come around sooner, but you didn’t.”

“Huh,” Dean put another bit of pie into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. Dean was amazed about how relaxed and comfortable Sam was with Dean’s confession. Hell, if he’d known Sam would have reacted like this, he would have said something a lot sooner. 

“I was always the brains of the two of us,” Sam teased, before shrugging and sitting up. “Actually, can I have one of Patrick’s pies? I guess it wouldn’t hurt to do a little celebrating just this one morning.” 

Dean held out the box. “Yes, go ah---” Dean cut himself off. “Wait, how did you know about Patrick?”

“Know what about Patrick?” Sam tried to give Dean an innocent look, but that look hadn’t worked on Dean since Sam was eight years old.

“Don’t give me that BS, Sammy,” Dean snatched the box of pie out of Sam’s grasp. “I never said that these pies were from Patrick.” 

Sam sighed and held out a hand in defeat. “I asked him to talk to you,” admitted Sam. “I thought it might help if you talked to someone in a stable loving relationship who came out later in life.” 

“You asked him to talk to me?” Dean asked incredulously. “Why?”

Sam smiled in disbelief. “Dean, I want you to be happy. Didn’t it work?” 

Dean glared at Sam before clapping on the shoulder. “Bitch.” 

“Jerk.” 

“I’m gonna go eat pie with Cas.” 

“Go ahead.” 

Before Dean closed the connecting door, he smiled. “You’re a good brother, Sammy.”

“Can I get the first selfish then?” Sam joked. 

“Sure, Sammy,” Dean smiled and nodded. “You can have the first selfish.”

 

***

 

A couple hours later, Sam knocked on their door. “Are you both ready to leave?” asked Sam when they had opened the door to admit him. 

Dean and Cas exchanged a look. “We, ah, were thinking we needed to spend one more day. Just to make sure everything is going well in town,” Dean suggested casually. “You know, just the usual.”

“I take it the ceiling mirror was a success,” Sam said dryly. 

“Yes, it was,” answered Cas, before Dean could slap a hand over his mouth. 

Sam chuckled and picked up his bag. “Well, in that case, I’m going to stay in Elmdale. I’ll leave you two here and pick you up later. The walls are far too thin for me to stay in this motel.”

Yesterday’s Dean would have felt embarrassed, but today’s Dean just felt giddy. “Thanks, Sammy.”

“I’m really proud of you.” Sam’s face was filled with a bright sincerity that (to Dean’s absolute horror) made Dean turn a light pink. “And I’m so happy for both of you.” 

Dean punched Sam in the arm. “Shut up, Sammy.” 

“I really am,” Sam protested. Sam’s eyes flickered from Dean to Cas, and a wide heartfelt smile grew on his face.

And Dean couldn’t help but to smile back. He had Castiel’s love, Sam’s respect, a motel room with a ceiling mirror, and a belly full of pies. Life couldn’t be any better.