chapter 6

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December, 1969


They'd read about it in the , of course. Everyone had read about it. It came right before Christmas, and Cas stared at the headline, unblinking, before moving on into the kitchen. Dean flipped to the weather instead, complaining about the cold while Cas put coffee on.

"Put on another sweater, because I'm not turning the heat up," Cas said, refilling Dean's mug, "we can't afford it right now."

Dean snorted, turning another page.

"The draft's tomorrow," he commented, and Cas nodded, stirring into his own cup.

"We'll have to watch, I guess," he replied.

"Guess so." The page rattled as Dean straightened it out."Can't believe it's going to get that cold on Saturday. They've got to be kidding..."

Cas watched the milk swirl into the coffee, turning it a toffee brown.

"Is it really December first tomorrow? Feels like it was Thanksgiving just yesterday," he muttered, brow furrowing. No matter.

"It's going to snow early this year," Dean continued, "that's what I think."

"You've been saying that for almost four years, Dean, and every year you're wrong," Cas remarked, still stirring absently. Dean looked up from the table.

"You poisoning me or something?" His laugh broke Cas' thoughts, and he brought the coffee to him, sliding it across the table. Dean's eyes didn't stray from the paper as he drank, skirting his teeth along the edge of his teeth.

"You want any toast?" Cas asked, and Dean shook his head.

"No, I'm fine."

Cas nodded and drank his own coffee, wool socks slipping around the legs of his chair as he curled his feet. "Tips should be good. It's December, so remember to be nice and say happy holidays," he teased, Dean raising his eyebrow, still reading.

"It's wrong," Cas said all of a sudden, face getting hot. "It's wrong of them to do this."

"There's nothing we can do about it," Dean said gently, still not looking up. "So don't get all worked up. There's nothing we can do."

"We can, if they'd only listen for half a second and realize we're not doing any good over there," Cas continued, hand clenching around his coffee mug. Dean shook his head.

"Cas, please. Not now."

"I don't like it. I don't like it at all," Cas whispered, and Dean sighed, folding the paper up and slapping it down on the table.

"Nothing is going to happen," Dean tried to console, but Cas frowned.

"You don't know that!" he snapped, and Dean glared at him for a moment before his face softened.

"Let's go out for ," he said enthusiastically, trying to change the subject, and Cas groaned, thinking of the medical school applications he still had to .

"Do I really have to get dressed?" he grumbled, hunching his shoulders, and Dean laughed, standing up and his hair.

"Come on, you've been moping around for days. Let's go out."

"I don't feel like it," Cas muttered, but Dean was already out of ear-shot. He touched the newspaper and turned it around so the headline was facing him. He stared at it for a while and then flipped it over, rubbing his face tiredly. Maybe he was coming down with something.

He sat in the silence, listening as Dean walked around in their bedroom, the closet door opening and closing, the heavy footfalls meaning that Dean had put his boots on. Cas was lost in his thoughts, his hand moving over the newspaper before coming back to curl his fingers around his coffee cup. He jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder and Dean leaning over to kiss his cheek.

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