Benny has Victor pinned to the ground and is fending off Dean’s attempts to sit on him when Cas walks in.

They all freeze. Cas stops and stares at the tableau in front of him.

“Are you all wearing the roller skates I got you for Christmas?” he asks, his eyes looking suspiciously dewy.

“No,” Dean says, but then Benny shoves him and sends him careening on his skates into the kitchen counter and Victor clacks his way across the living room floor and Cas smiles bigger than he has since he moved in.

——

Dean and Cas sit on the hood of the Impala, gazing mournfully at the dark street.

“This was supposed to be your present,” Dean says. “I know you wanted to see the street all lit up. I messed it up. I’m sorry.”

“No, it was nice,” Cas says, but his bitter tone betrays him. “I’ve just got really bad timing lately, that’s all.” He sighs once, then gets up, shoving his hands into the pockets of his trench coat. “We should go.”

Dean stares after him for a few moments, then stands and strides quickly down the driveway of the closest house.

“Where do you think you’re going?” comes Victor’s indignant screech from the car.

“Hey! Hey, wake up!” Dean hammers on the front door with his fists. “Hey, why are your lights off? It’s Christmas, turn ‘em back on!”

“Oh, hell no,” Victor says.

“He is out of his mind,” Benny mutters.

“Make it Candy Cane Lane or whatever!” Dean shouts. “You spent all your time working on this, don’t you want to show off? Come on!”

He cups his hands around his mouth.

“Come on, everybody! This whole neighborhood is ridiculous! Show off, come on, you got an audience!”

“Yeah, turn ‘em on!” Benny suddenly shouts from the car.

“Turn on your lights!” Victor joins in.

Victor and Benny and Andrea all tumble out of the car and begin running up and down the streets, screaming and clapping their hands and shouting as loud as they can.

“Turn on your lights!”

“Your snowman is dead!”

“Where’s your Christmas spirit?”

Turn on your lights!

“Dean,” Cas says. “Everyone, please. This is so nice, but—”

Suddenly, the whole street begins to flicker, and the snowmen begin to emit a yellow glow and the candy canes flash in reds and whites and the reindeer look alive and the Christmas lights blink like stars from the roofs of every house on the street.

Andrea, Victor, and Benny cheer, jumping up and down like little kids, and Cas turns to look at Dean, and in the glow from Candy Cane Lane his eyes shine like the lights on the trees and Dean feels like he’s been punched in the head. He feels like this is a moment that means something, but he just doesn’t know what yet.

“All right everyone, back in the car,” Dean says. “I’ve already missed my flight but I need to get on the next one so my own mother doesn’t murder me.”

They all begin to pile back into the car, and just as Dean is swinging open the driver’s seat door, there’s a gentle touch to his shoulder, and when he turns, Cas is smiling at him in that soft, rare way he does.

“Thank you, Dean,” he says, and goes to hop in the back with Andrea.

Dean watches him go, and something inside him slots neatly into place.

“No, problem, Cas,” he says. “Merry Christmas.”