Finally got around to finishing a ficlet that's been sitting in my google docs!
Thanks to @perlukafarinn for the prompt: "I just had this idea of Cas wanting to adopt a kitten and instead coming home with the grumpiest, least friendly cat and being like 'he just needs some love!' while he's just at that moment sharpening his claws on the Impala's seats. Just Dean vs the grumpiest cat who he eventually learns to love bc ofc"
Dean should have known better than to simply accept it as a romantic gesture. The fact that it’s so over-the-top, so perfectly tailored to Dean’s tastes, should have tipped him off right from the start. The homemade burgers, the craft beer he enjoys, the dozen or so candles, the Dirty Dancing DVD ready to play, the fragrant apple pie sitting on the windowsill—and then the other, other dessert (i.e. the reason Dean will from now on, forever and always, associate the line "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" with a particularly mind-blowing orgasm)—
Yeah. He should have known.
Because if there are three things Dean's husband knows will make him blissed-out enough to say yes to pretty much anything he asks, it's good food, good alcohol and good sex. Add a sprinkle of Swayze on top, and Dean’s a goner.
It’s not until the movie is over and they’re enjoying a snuggle on the couch that Cas finally says the thing that makes Dean suspicious.
"Dean?" Cas’s voice is just a little too innocent. "You asked me what I wanted for my birthday."
Dean would kick himself for falling for Cas’s clever ruse, except… he’s feeling too blissed-out. It’s too late to resist now; whatever it is Cas has been plying him for, he just knows he’s going to give in. "Mmm," he hums back. "Why do I know I’m not going to like what you’re about to say?"
Cas gives him the wounded look he has adopted as the final weapon in his arsenal against Dean. “You did ask me what I wanted,” he says, disappointment in his voice that is 100% calculated, for the precise reason that it never fails to tug at Dean’s heartstrings even when he knows what Cas is trying to do.
“Yeah, yeah.” Dean sighs and cards a hand through his (sneaky, sneaky) husband’s already ruffled hair. “What is it you want, sweetheart?"
“Well…” Cas's hesitation doesn't bode well for Dean. "You remember how we talked about adopting a cat?"
"You mean you talked about adopting a cat."
“If you want to get technical about it,” Cas huffs. “But Dean, you don’t even have to do anything. I will take care of feeding it and cleaning the litter box, and any vet visits. Other than that, cats mostly take care of themselves. And I…” Cas sighs. “I just miss it, having a cat around. If Miss Beatrice hadn’t passed away before I moved in with you, we would have had a cat right now.”
Dean takes one look at the longing on Cas’s face and feels himself beginning to give in, like he knew he would. He’s never understood the idea of letting random carnivores live in your house (especially since he knows cats can be total assholes), but… as long as it will make his husband happy, he supposes it’s worth it. “Fine. On one condition.”
Cas probably thought he was going to have to work a lot harder for it. “Of course. Anything,” he agrees quickly.
And because Dean’s not planning on dealing with an asshole adult cat that has belonged to God knows who—
“It has to be a kitten.”
It’s not a kitten.
Of course, Dean can’t be 100% sure about that yet, but the way Cas leaps out of the Impala like his ass is on fire, hand held up in the air long before it touches Dean’s chest in order to keep him from looking through Baby’s windows, kinda gives him a clue.
"Cas, let me see."
"No, Dean, I need to tell you—it's… it's not the one I said I wanted to get when we looked at the website. It's—well, it's—"
It’s a giant, gray monster of a cat, apparently, because that’s the sight that meets Dean the moment he pushes past Cas: the kind of cat that, if it were in an animated movie, would be the huge, hulking, terrifying alleycat (scar across its nose and everything) that all the other animals are afraid of. The cat seems to be in the middle of performing some kind of jailbreak, somehow making its way out of the carrier that Cas bought second-hand, and once it’s out it stretches its back, and it—it fucking starts sharpening its claws on Baby’s upholstery.
“Cas!” Dean shouts, thunder in his voice as he gestures to the atrocity that is going on inside his car. Cas looks suitably panicked as he hurries to open the door and grab the monster by the scruff of its neck so he can get it back inside the carrier. Dean doesn’t miss the vicious hiss or the swipe of claws that leaves three bright red stripes on the back of Cas’s hand before he manages to close the carrier again.
Cas straightens again, but his head remains bowed with guilt as he turns back to Dean.
“What the hell?” Dean demands. “That’s not a kitten, Cas, it’s a frickin’ bobcat!” he says, and the angry yowl coming from the carrier just seems to confirm it.
“He’s not a bobcat, he’s… a Maine Coon,” Cas says, shame-faced. “He wasn’t going to be adopted by anyone else, Dean. He would have been euthanized.”
“Yeah, well, not our problem. It’s not your job to save every animal out there.”
“No,” Cas says, his voice firm despite the guilt on his face. “Not every animal. But I can save him. The kittens in the shelter, Dean? They’re not in any danger of getting killed. They’re guaranteed to be adopted.”
Dean drags a hand down his face, trying to erase the image of brand new puncture marks in Baby’s leather from his mind. He knows Cas is selfless and loves every living creature, and if he’s completely honest with himself, it’s one of the things he loves about him. It’s just… really inconvenient that it has led to Cas adopting a creature from Hell. “Is he going to be like that all the time?”
A tentative smile pulls at one edge of Cas’s mouth; he must sense that Dean is on the verge of surrendering. "He’s just scared right now. Adopted cats often need to become accustomed to their new environment. He just needs a little time and some love.”
“Right.” Dean doesn’t know if he’s ready to believe a word of what Cas is saying, but he can’t tell Cas to take the cat back to the shelter. It would crush him. “Well, are you going to bring the beast in, or what?”
Cas breaks into a wide smile, and Dean just hopes he’s not going to regret this.
“I think I’m going to call him Old Deuteronomy,” Cas says while they’re doing the dishes together.
“Really, Cas. An Andrew Lloyd Webber reference? Stereotype much?” Dean teases.
Cas simply raises an eyebrow at him. "Since when do you care about me fitting into gay stereotypes?”
“I don’t.” Dean smiles and tugs on Cas's apron until he's rewarded with a kiss. “If you hadn’t noticed, I very much love your gay ass. Frills and all.”
“Not as much as I love your bi ass.” A playful grin appears on Cas’s face, and he reaches around Dean with both hands to dip them into the back of his jeans. "Frills and all," he says as he lets his fingers slip inside the lace of Dean's panties.
“Mm," Dean murmurs into another kiss. "I stand corrected." Cas does love his ass and Dean loves it when Cas loves his ass and really, the dishes don't have to be done right this moment, do they? "Hey, what do you say we leave this for later and—"
Dean is interrupted by a loud crash and an unholy screech coming from the laundry room. Clearly, Cas isn't as good at cat-proofing as he thinks he is.
Dean's hope of continuing what they started dies when Cas runs to the rescue and the cat bolts out the door as soon as Cas opens it. Their house isn't huge, but it still takes them three hours to find the damn animal, and trying to wrangle it back into the laundry room ends with Dean sporting more scratches than he cares to count.
"I'm sorry," Cas says softly while he cleans Dean's scratches.
"It's fine." It's really not, but Dean is trying not to take his annoyance out on Cas—although knowing that he's the one who brought the violent little asshole into their house makes it kinda difficult. Still, he's going to try to be more patient and give the cat time to settle in. For his husband’s sake. He may not love the cat, but he does love Cas.
Even with the mindset that he's going to give the cat a chance, Dean can admit to himself that deep down, he doesn't actually expect or even want to like the vicious little lynx. Maybe that's self-contradictory, but Dean can be of two minds at the same time; he contains multitudes, as he’s sure Walt Whitman would say (if Whitman were alive and inclined to comment on Dean’s relationship with the demon cat).
It turns out, however, that the cat also contains multitudes. Because one moment, Dean will be shouting and cursing in pain after his feet have strayed too close to the beast lying in wait underneath the stairs—and the next, the cat will creep up to Dean while he's working from home, claim the spot next to Dean's computer, fall asleep there and… generally look pretty cute for a giant, gray mop of fur. Until Dean moves around too much and earns an annoyed hiss and a swipe, of course, but he's slowly learning to avoid the claws coming at him.
In fact, despite the cat’s cantankerous disposition, Dean grudgingly begins to appreciate it more as they settle into a routine. The furniture scratching is something he probably shouldn't endorse, but when it's Cas's ratty old recliner from his college days that keeps taking the brunt, well… Let's just say Cas is going to have to agree to replace it soon if he doesn't want a rusty spring poking him in the ass.
And yeah, maybe Deut does steal Dean's Scooby boxers and hide them God knows where, but Dean can't stay mad when it leads to Cas buying him several pairs of new (sexier) underwear and they end up making up for Deut's earlier cockblocking.
The icing on the cat cake, however, comes when Cas’s brother drops by.
“Dean,” Michael says when Dean opens the door, with the same disdain in his voice as always. “Is Cas here?”
Dean doesn’t know why the guy even bothers asking; he works at the same hospital as Cas, after all, and they both know he knows Cas’s schedule. As usual, he’s just here to try to catch Dean doing… whatever he thinks he could possibly catch Dean doing that would prove to Cas that he’s not worthy of being a part of their family. “No, he’s—”
Michael pushes his way past Dean without waiting to hear the rest of the sentence. “That’s too bad. You don’t mind if I come in and wait for him, do you? His shift should be over soon.”
Dean wonders if Michael can even hear himself revealing that he knows Cas is at work. In any case, Dean is done playing nice and indulging Michael’s intrusive whims. “Actually, I do mind. I’m in the middle of—”
Dean stops talking when he hears the telltale sound of paws dashing across the hallway floor. It may not be loud, but he has become particularly attuned to the sound over the past few weeks, and he braces himself for the involuntary foot acupuncture that... never comes. Instead, a giant gray ball of fur whizzes past him, and then—for once—it's Michael and his fancy suit that get the honor of finding out what it feels like to be a pincushion, and no more than half a minute later, Michael is out the door with a bleeding ankle after having shouted abuse at both Dean and the cat.
Being such an excellent guard cat deserves a reward, Dean figures, and almost as soon as Michael's car is out of the driveway, he grabs his own car keys and heads to the pet store. And once he gets back… it's time to be sneaky. It's too soon to admit to Cas that he’s actually taking a liking to the cat, so the Cat-Sip Milk goes behind the El Sol beer Cas hates while the new toys, cat treats and the calming pheromone spray go inside the cabinet where Dean keeps his work-related books and documents.
Of course, the secrecy is only for when Cas is home, so between Dean watching Jackson Galaxy videos on cat behavior and taking the time to play with Deuteronomy, blinking slowly at him to communicate friendliness, and using treats to bond with him, it's no wonder it's only a matter of weeks before Cas returns home from work to find the two of them sleeping together on the couch, Deut curled up on Dean's chest.
Dean wakes up to Cas shaking his shoulder and cautiously whispering "Dean?" as if expecting him to freak out at finding the napping feline on top of him.
"Mmm." Dean's much too tired and too comfortable to lament the fact that the cat is out of the bag—so to speak—and he cards his fingers through Deut's fur, soft and tangle-free after Dean brushed it earlier. "Welcome home, sunshine. How was work?"
Cas simply regards Dean as if he's lost all his marbles simultaneously and isn't even bothering to look for them. "Dean." Cas gestures helplessly toward the cat-on-chest situation Dean has going on. "What? How?"
The next best thing to pretending he hasn't made friends with the cat is pretending there was never any animosity between them, which is what Dean chooses to do. "I don't know what you mean, Cas. You'll have to be more specific."
Cas hitches a suspicious eyebrow. "Dean, you detest Old Deuteronomy."
Dean hurries to cover Deut's ears with his hands—or pretend to, anyway, since he doesn't want to wake up the still occasionally grumpy cat. "Sshhh. What a filthy lie to say right in front of him.”
“Dean.” Cas narrows his eyes at his husband and looks ready to question him, but upon opening his mouth to speak he seems to realize that trying to get a straight answer out of Dean is going to be an exercise in futility, and gives up with a sigh. “I take it I won’t have to appease you with caresses and lovemaking anymore?” he asks instead, as if he considers it a chore and as if they ever manage to keep their hands off each other anyway.
Dean hums. “I’m sure I can think of something else to be annoyed about. Now get in here.” He scooches—as much as he can with the cat on top of him—toward the back of the couch, leaving enough space on the edge for Cas to lie down on his side, half-draped over Dean. Cas does so, carefully, looking slightly worried when the arm he curls around Dean’s waist nudges Deut, but Deut just blinks a couple of times and only looks the slightest bit disgruntled before falling straight back to sleep.
“I love you,” Cas murmurs against Dean’s shoulder. “Even though you’re a ridiculous man who doesn’t know his own capacity for love.” Something about the way he says it leaves Dean with the distinct feeling that he’s been played.
“Dude. You knew I’d…?”
“That you would come to care for Old Deuteronomy, given enough time with him?” Dean can hear the smile in Cas’s voice. “Yes. It’s a nice bonus that the reverse turned out to be true as well.”
Dean sighs, but he can’t feel too put-upon—not with Deut on his chest and Cas curled around him. “Come on, let’s get a catnap in before we get started on dinner,” he says. And then, once they’ve both closed their eyes to do just that, “I love you too, by the way, even though you’re a sneaky man who preys on his husband’s weaknesses.”
“Strengths,” Cas corrects.
At that moment, Deut decides he’s had enough of Dean petting him, and Dean receives a nip to his hand for it as the cat dashes off to God knows where. Dean's little yelp has Cas checking for his reaction, likely worried that the bite may have drawn Dean’s ire again, but Dean simply tugs his husband more firmly on top of him and places a kiss against Cas's temple. “It’s okay.” He smiles. “He just needs a little time and some love.”