The brothers had spent the afternoon talking about old times. It was almost hard to believe that Sam was going to be a grandpa. Sam made the drive out to the Bunker where Dean and Cas (and sometimes newbie hunters) made their home to give him the news in person.
They talked of hunts, and epic quests, and monsters in the age of Jack. After a time, their words trailed off into companionable silence, as conversations do.
It was Sam who finally broke the silence, "Dean?" "Yeah." "You ever regret hanging up the keys?" "What are you talking about? I'm gonna drive Baby until the day I die."
"No, I mean hunting." Sam sounded thoughtful, but he was smiling. "Do you miss it?"
Dean's face softened, he looked almost wistful,"You mean, do I miss skeevy motels, and strange, lumpy beds with stinky bedspreads and ugly carpet, and busting my ass to save people who would never know any better, or wouldn't thank me if they did? That hunting?"
Sam chuckled, "Yeah, I guess that's it. I mean, saving the world, saving people, hunting things. You don't miss it?"
Dean sipped his bourbon, noting that he had reflexively purchased the same brand that Bobby used to drink "I used to miss it bad. Jonesed for it hard. And then I'd think of Cas."
Dean's eyes travelled to the sofa where the angel was napping with a book open on his chest, "I'd think of what we went through to get him back, how we tore the Empty a new asshole, and what that cost... ...and I realized that Cas had been right all along. And I couldn't let him down by going back to trying to throw my life away on a hunt..."
"...that my pain wasn't going to be fixed by more pain..." Dean's eyes got a little teary but he brushed them away with the hand that wasn't holding his bourbon. "Cas was right, only love can do that."
Sam raised his glass, "Here's to love." Dean smiled, "To love." Then he chuckled, "Not gonna lie, though man... I do feel like I'm getting a little soft."
"Soft? You?" Sam couldn't help but laugh as well, "I never thought I'd hear you say it. Maybe you should take up pilates, or yoga." "Never, Sam. You will never see this ass in yoga pants." "You'd be cute." Sam chided.
"Never, Sam..." Dean finished his bourbon and set the glass on the library table, where everyone's initials were carved, "Sam... I.... uh... I like soft. I mean... what I like is, uh... I like... I like feeling.... Safe. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can relax. You know, really relax... and it's real. I feel safe. I like that." "Me too, man." Sam said. "Me, too."
Dean got up from the table, and winked at Sam, "Now, enough of this touchy-feely crap. Cas, wake up! I'm making steaks!"