The soft pattering of the screen door slapping back on its hinges calls Sam out of his reverie. Dean must’ve come back for something while he was out on guard duty and, all at once, Sam is reminded that he should’ve been out to perimeter check a while ago. He sighs, shifting his worn thumbs over Castiel’s flanks to nudge him around before he pulls back entirely.
“Listen… why don’t you get some sleep while I go and walk the line, and I’ll bring some breakfast back later? You look like you got ran over by a bus,” Sam sighs, smile half-cocked as he leans forward to brush the lightest kiss over Castiel’s pursed lips.
There’s no time or energy for wringing more from Castiel than what he’s already given, and it’s entirely not worth the potential argument, so Sam scrubs a hand through his hair instead and pads across the room for his pants and boots. The morning chill bites at him as he rolls his jeans on, but Sam ignores it in favor of throwing on an overshirt and toeing on his boots. The sun will be enough to keep him warm for the five hundred paces it takes to circle Goodsprings.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
They’ll have time for explanations later — time for Sam to crawl into bed and rub the ache out of Castiel’s tender shoulders. Time for kisses and confessions. He can let Cas rest for now; the desert is waiting.
Sam’s voice is a distant buzz in the fog pervading Castiel’s mind, lost in the sharp scream of what Cas knows he should recognize, but can’t. That smell is like death and brimstone and abandoned metropolitan highways in the chaos of the End, but whatever it is, whatever lurks in the dark of Castiel’s recognition, Sam doesn’t seem to notice. And perhaps Castiel is all too eager to lean on Sam’s assessment of the situation— after all this, he’s not certain he could handle another crisis.
Sleep and food are among the furthest things from Cas’ thoughts, neither necessary, though perhaps rest is becoming so. For the first time since this all began, real sleep as opposed to meditative rest doesn’t seem so far out of reach and Castiel sighs as Sam leans in, brushes their lips together and walks away. That lingering sensation of dread pits deep in his gut, but Cas finds himself no longer able to distinguish if it’s origin is the creak of that door, or the horrors he has witnessed in this week passed in moments.
As Sam disappears into the hall, Castiel hopes it’s the latter.