Midnight Snack

Title: Midnight Snack
Time Period: January 15, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Certain complications are approached and danced around and most forms of resolution are entirely avoided. Except one.

The middle of the night is not when normal, respectable people are out and about. And someone in Mariah's profession should really be working at this hour. However, a split lip mars her appearance enough to be excused for a few days and while in the past she might have tried to take on a less picky client all the same… these days, she takes the extra night off rather willingly.

So it is that while the house is asleep and the stable boys in their quarters are as well, there's a tap on the window. Followed quickly by another. And another. Tomorrow, someone will discover the small pile of pebbles on the ground nearby, but for now, Mariah's intent on waking up… well, whoever sleeps closest to the window.

It takes more than a handful of pebbles to wake up the young man in the nearest bunk. In fact the man a few bunks down wakes up from his snoring with a loud snort first, muttering under his breath. Without the snoring to drown it out, the next few pebbles make it through the fog of an uncomfortable sleep. Cas may sleep well in the Dovetail, in a place that makes money on it's beds, but his bed with the stable boys isn't exactly comfortable.

The interior of the barrack is dark, and slightly warmer, leaving the windows fogged against the cold of the outside. A hand is the first thing seen, smearing over the wavy glass to squint out. From the familiar bed-hair, she woke up the right person.

Reaching to pull the ragged blanket up around him for extra warmth, he pushes against the window until it slides up, letting cold air in. "Who's there?" he whispers out, unable to see well yet.

But from the sounds of mumbling and the return of snoring, the other men don't seem to care too much.

Down below, Mariah stands, bundled against the cold in a coat, gloves and even a scarf, and next to her in the light snow covering the ground is a picnic basket with a heavy blanket resting on the lid. She smiles when the familiar face comes to the window, although it's only with the uncut side of her lips.

"Just someone looking to sneak you out for a few," she calls back, as quietly as she can manage and still be heard. "If you're interested," she adds, sounding a bit hopeful.

It seems to take a few moments for the words to process. Cas reaches up and pinchs the bridge of his nose until the sharp jolt of pain makes him wince. Likely, he was making sure he was actually awake, despite the cold. "I'll be there in a minute," he says in a tired hoarse way she recognizes from when he usually wakes up.

The window slides shut, and those minutes are no doubt spent getting clothes and boots on. The door on the side of the building opens and closes and he steps outside, dressed warmly, and carrying a folded blanket in his hands.

Squinting around, it takes him a few moments to look in the right direction, but when he does he takes a few brisk steps that direction. In the pale light, it's difficult to make out details, but the bruising across his face seems to have gone away for the most part. Just a little on the nose itself now.

Mariah can't help but smile as he slips back inside, even if it irritates her, much less alarming, injury. She waits as patiently as she can, stomping footprints into the snow in an attempt to keep herself warm.

When he comes out, she turns to look his way before she comes to meet him. Oddly enough, she seems a little nervous and not exactly sure how to greet him, so she ends up putting her hands on his arms and leaning in to press a cheek against his cheek. "I thought you might fancy a midnight snack," she says, as if this were an entirely normal occurrence.

Head tilting to the side slightly as if curious, Cas takes a few moments before he can nod in response to that, looking around him as if trying to remember where everything is. "I wasn't expecting a midnight snack— or… you. Shouldn't you be…" he trails off, having not quite noticed the lip yet it would seem.

"I'd say we could go to the hayloft, but Colm sleeps there. Kid may be deaf, but I'm sure he's not— whatever people who are completely unaware of what's going on would be called. Is there even a word for that?" It seems she has succeeded in making him ramble, if nothing else.

"Unperceptive, I think works," Mariah says, his rambling, as always, getting an amused smile in return. "But, I did have a spot in mind. It's a bit of a walk…" She doesn't exactly ask if that's alright, but her expression is questioning all the same.

As for where she should be, she doesn't answer. Standing here in the middle of the night seems to be enough of an answer for her, anyway. But she does tilt her head at him a bit. "I mean, if you… need sleep…"

"Oh, great, cause I don't think I can think well right now," Cas admits, sheepishly, with that tired tone that he might have when he's about to try and fall back asleep. But her statement seems to startle him a little—

"What— no— I don't need sleep that much. Certainly not— I mean to say— I definitely want to go." It's almost as if he was worried she would change her mind if he said the wrong thing.

The hand opposite the arm she grabbed reaches up to touch her hands and he smiles, hopefully— and visibly trying to wake up more, "Lead the way."

There's palpable relief in her expression at his answer, and Mariah lets out a soft sigh before she nods. "Alright. Good." She only steps away from him long enough to pick up her basket, which she slings over an arm before she comes over to take one of his hands in hers. It's a good thing it's dark, hides the bit of blush pinking her cheeks.

"This way," she says as she retraces her footprints back away from the barracks, tugging him along with her. "So… How's… how've you been?" As if she didn't just see him a few days ago. "Your nose is looking better." Of course, last time it was bleeding…

"Seems like it is," Cas says, unconsciously reaching up as if he intends to touch it, but the free hand is the one she's holding, so it doesn't make it all the way. It seems he'd rather squeeze her hand instead. "Still sore, but I can breathe better through it now." His voice has certainly lost all of the nasaly sound, if that's any indication.

"But I've been okay. Working hard until my next day off. Which should be soon." There's a hint of shyness in his voice, as if he's not quite bold enough to imply that he will be spending the day off with her— nevermind he often does spend at least a good portion of it. As he smiles at her, his smile shifts, as if he just noticed something he hadn't before, his smile thinning.

"Ah. It'll be good as new any day now. Even if it does give you a bit of… devil-may-care, I admit, I like your face untarnished," Mariah says with a gentle laugh.

When he mentions his next day off, she steps in a little closer to him, "You'll let me know when?" It's a delicate dance around blatantly asking if he'll come around, but she did warn she's not entirely good at being direct.

It seems her path here had her hopping a fence to get in, instead of walking around to find an opening, and it seems that's her planned exit, too, as she breaks away from him, but only because getting over it is difficult enough in skirts without having her hands full as well.

For the moment, that distracts him enough to bring back the smile. It seems she's very good at distracting him. "I definitely look forward to not having to worry about bumping my nose with anything," Cas says with the same shy voice as he reaches out to take her basket. "Here, let me hold that til you're over. I promise I won't peak."

The last time she brought a basket it had contained a surprise. He's certainly not planning to ruin any possible surprises— whether he expects it or not.

"I— I think I'll be off two days from— " He pauses, looking up. "Tomorrow. I'll be off tomorrow. Not— today tomorrow, but— since it's after midnight…" He'll hand the basket and blanket back over the fence before he scales it himself. Fences are something he's good at climbing. And he isn't burdened by skirts.

The promise gets a laugh from Mariah, soft though it is, it cut through the otherwise quiet night. "Alright, well, if you promise," she says as she passes the basket to him. It's a bit of a production, getting herself up and over in her many and often freeflowing layers, but she does so without rip or tear and reaches to take the basket back so he can follow.

"Tomorrow. Alright, that's a — I mean, if you'd like some… company." Once he's over, too, she takes his hand again and that's where her steps deviate from her approach and she leads them off to trail through unblemished snow.

"That's not too soon?" Cas asks, suddenly seeming concerned with the earliness of his… possible appointment. "I would have given more warning but I didn't really…" he trails off, grimacing at the stuttering as he lands on the other side of the fence and has her hand and the blanket back. He'd taken the blanket in case she was cold, but it seems to be a suitable addition to a late night picnic, if unintentional.

"I would like some company, yes," he finally directly says. But then almost immediately adds, "I mean, if you don't mind." They're quite a team sometimes.

Glancing between the path she used to get to the fence at the direction she points them, he seems to be trying to remember what's out that way— but he's too new to probably know. He explored some, but never enough. "Are you warm enough?

She can't help it. His reply, or perhaps the whole conversation, makes her laugh again, warmly. Instead of answering, exactly, she steps over to him, lifts up on her toes and kisses him. That gesture, too, comes with a certain amount of nervousness.

"I don't mind. If you don't." This time, it's added playfully and she turns away to lead them through what turns out to be an open meadow, with a single, large tree sitting off in the distance. This seems to be where she's headed. "Is anyone ever warm enough in a Scottish winter? But I'll be alright."

The kiss lightens his smile and no doubt stalls his mind for a few moments by the way he suddenly steps when she turns away and leads him on. Almost as if Cas briefly forgot how to walk. "Oh, I don't mind," he responds absently, just to make it clear as he's led onward.

The clearing at the tree makes him suddenly laugh softly. "I suppose it was too much to hope you knew a nice little abandoned cottage with a fire and— not that this isn't beautiful. It's not… not exactly warm. We'll have to huddle together for warmth."

"If I knew a place like that, it wouldn't be so abandoned, ey?" Mariah says with a crooked smile. His last words deepen that smile and send an amused, sidelong glance his way. "Oh, I see where your mind is," she teases, turning to face him and walk backwards.

"I should be offended, but you'll have to pretend I gave you a hard time about it," she notes, still teasing, seeing as how she is quite difficult to offend. At least in that manner.

"You wouldn't give me a hard time," Cas says, walking at the same pace she walks backwards, even a little faster to close some of the distance between them. "You know I'm completely harmless— And I imagine you're colder than me. You are wearing skirts. I don't wear skirts, but I can't imagine they're warm." Even if they have more layers than his clothes probably do…

"Your legs must be— Are you hurt?" he suddenly changes what he's saying, his whole tone and expression changing a little too. His eyes are adjusting, and she's facing him now. And what nagged him earlier seems to be realized.

"I do believe you're right about that much," Mariah says with a chuckle on her words. After all, she isn't giving him a hard time. "Skirts do have a draft issue, I'll admit. But you get used to it after a while. If you ever decide to try them out," she says, complete with impish twinkle in her eye.

His change of subject flips her expression, too, to something a little more surprised. Her hand lifts to cover that spot on her lips just as she says, "No." And it drops just after, like she only just realized the movement. "I mean — this isn't anything serious. Just a cut is all."

The comment about him trying skirts may have made him blush faintly, but the subject change keeps him from going into the whys and the wherefors. Cas steps closer, reaching up to take the hand she touches her lip with so that he can see it again. The frown remains for a moment, and his brown eyes meet green for a few moments.

There's a question in his eyes, a worry that he doesn't speak. Instead he leans forward and kisses her lips gently, right over the cut. "I'll have to remember to be gentle," he whispers as he pulls back, his smile lighter, still concerned, but at least not a frown anymore.

Mariah looks back at him, gaze flicking back and forth between his eyes for a few moments. There's little doubt she sees the question there, but I got into a fist fight with another prostitute isn't the story she wanted to tell this evening. Doesn't quite set the right mood.

When he kisses her, she leans into it, her eyes sliding closed, and her steps slow to a stop. His words get her looking back up at him, and there's a certain level of desire in her expression that she's not bothering to hide. It's enough to make her linger there close to him for a few moments, and she has to shake herself out of it with a light laugh before she can start them moving again. "We'll never get to the tree if you keep that up." But in reality, it's not so far away now. In her defense, her back is to it.

"Sorry," Cas apologizes with a smile, looking around her head so that he can actually see how far they are before he responds. "Not much further— in fact you better turn around before you run into something and fall." Despite the concerned warning, his hand tightens on hers, showing he would do his best to catch her if she did trip over a tree root.

This time he steps more firmly, so that he can lead the rest of the way, letting go of her hand so he can find a place to spread out the blanket. It's rough and thick wool, and certainly better than nothing. The limbs of the tree kept most the snow out of the area he chooses, so it won't get too damp. Once it's spread out, he offers her a hand, planning to help her sit down before he joins her.

Mariah glances over her shoulder, but before she can do anything about it, he's taken the lead and she follows on with a gentle smile curving her lips. Once he's set out the blanket, she sets down the basket and takes his hand and his help. She might not need it, but the gesture makes her heart fluttery all the same.

Once she's sitting, she moves to unpack what she brought along, the first of which is a blanket of her own, but that's set off to the side. The 'snack' she's brought along turns out to be a meaty stew that's really more of a meal than anything. And still warm, if the steam coming off it is any indication. But, she doesn't get too far in unpacking, since once he sits down she scoots over next to him. You know. For warmth.

If she hadn't scooted over, very likely he would have, if the way he leans into her is any indication. Cas' eyes widen at the 'snack' and he grins, commenting on her own thoughts, "This is about as much as my supper," he teases, leaning in even closer for a moment. To emphasize his words. "It smells wonderful, and that should keep us both warm for a while longer."

At least their insides. His hands are already getting cold, but that's something they can help with the huddling. Once he has his spoon and a bowl, he looks over at her again. "So what brought you here tonight?" While she answers, he'll no doubt start eating.

"We had plenty leftover. I thought I might put it to good use. I admit, the fact that it was warm had a lot to do with my choice." Mariah digs around enough to pull out a pair of spoons, one to pass over to him, of course.

"Oh… well," she blushes at his question, but being away from buildings and sheltered from what light the moon gives off, it's hard to tell. "It's just too pretty a night to waste," she says, gesturing out to the scene in front of them. And it is quite beautiful, in a quiet, cold fashion. "And I might have found myself thinking of you, is all," she says softly before she starts eating as well.

After another warm mouthful, that he cooled by blowing on it some, Cas can't help but smile as she admits to thinks that— he probably didn't expect her to. Leaning closer again, he says, "I find myself thinking about you a lot too. For one, I'd much rather be sleeping in your bed than mine— yours is far more comfortable, and warmer and…" he trails off.

"I— that was probably inappropriate. But— true anyway…" And he gets to blush too. It's just the steam and the cold both! Or not.

"I also miss hearing your voice a lot," he adds in softer tones, before looking out to try and admire the dark cold night.

"Might be inappropriate for… other women," Mariah says with a gentle shrug, "but not for me. Actually, one would argue it's the best compliment a woman in my profession can get, ey?"

She looks over at him as he looks out at the night, and despite the fact that she's only a few bites in, she sets her spoon back in the basket in favor of laying her head against his shoulder. "You know… anytime you — Anytime you'd rather not sleep with a bunch of stablehands, you can tell me… You be welcome, is all I mean. Or maybe I should just come steal you away more often."

While she stops eating her soup, Cas continues to down his, though it slows down even more as she rests her head against him. It may be he didn't eat much, so her soup is going into a hungry stomach. Supper could have been many hours ago in a place like this.

"Anytime?" he asks around the spoon whose contents have already been swallowed. He was just removing the excess a little— He shifts so he can look over at her. "You don't really mean anytime, I'm sure… You… need some nights to— for— " For things he doesn't like to think about! "I don't think I could afford anytime I want," he finally says.

Mariah looks back at him, silent for a long moment with her lips pressed together, as if needing to run through some sort of internal argument before she can speak.

"Yes, of course," she ends up saying as she sits up again, picking up her spoon to twirl between her fingers as she goes on. "Within reason, I mean," which isn't at all what she meant, which is likely why her words reek of backtracking just now, "Anytime could get quite expensive, it's true." Her attention turns back to the stew, and she dips her spoon in for another bite. "I just mean, I like having you around," she adds with a smile that doesn't quite match the authenticity of those before it.

"Did I say something wrong?" Cas suddenly asks, tilting his head to the side as he looks back over at her. It seems he noticed the oddness in her tone, expression, and the pause at the beginning. "I do want to see you— a lot. I'd probably stay with you every night if I could, honestly— though I bet you'd get sick of me pretty fast…"

He's smiling, despite the embarasing words he is saying. Embarassing to him, to admit to all that.

"Like I bet I'll be offering to walk home with when you're ready to go. A lady shouldn't travel alone at night."

Shaking her head around a bite, Mariah reaches over to take his hand for a quick squeeze. "No no, you're perfectly fine," she eventually says, that hand moving to touch his cheek gently. "I think you might be surprised at how long it would take for me to get sick of you."

The offer makes her smile, a soft, almost sad expression there for just a moment. "That's very gentlemanly of you, Cas. I'd love an escort home. I hope it's… alright if it's some time before that's necessary, though."

"I probably shouldn't have said I would stay with you every night," Cas admits after a moment, shaking his head at his addled brain, as he squeezes her hand back. Even if she says she wouldn't get sick of him for a while, he knows there's… complications.

"I don't mind if it takes a while. It's not so cold now, really." Between the warmed bellies and the closeness. The blanket absorbs most the cold of the ground, too, and the tree blocks the wind.

"After I finish working to— later today— Maybe I can go straight to the Dovetail and spend the rest of the evening with you. Since I'll have the day off and we could sleep in."

Mariah laughs a little there, shaking her head at his words, "You can say whatever you'd like. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little flattered by it." Her teasing tone returns, although gentler now.

"I'll be looking forward to it," she says with a warmer smile and her free hand moves to rest on his leg. "It'd be nice to not have you running off in the early hours. Maybe we could even manage that breakfast in bed this time."

"I'd really like that," Cas admits in soft tones, setting his soup and the spoon down so that he has both hands free to touch her face. The soup has at least warmed them, and her skin helps with that too. "I'll visit more often," he says softly. "I'll probably have to leave most mornings early, but— I think I can manage a couple nights a week."

With a softer smile, he leans in to kiss her, trying to be gentle with her cut lip, but tasting like the soup they're sharing. The kiss stops soon after it started, just so he can add, "Really beautiful." Could be talking about the night, but may not be.

When he touches her face, Mariah's more genuine expression returns whether she wants it to or not, complete with flushed cheeks. He can feel the warmth of them under his fingers. She drops her hand to cling to his jacket, though, and she clears her throat. "All that, it wasn't a sales pitch, Cas. I… I need you to know that. Not that I wouldn't love to see you more often, but not if it's going to empty your pockets." Something about it all disappoints her, given the way her mouth turns down at the corner.

But that expression changes when he kisses her, even when it cuts off early, it leaves her a little dizzy. His words make her smile broader, even though there's a sting in her lip to do so, and she tosses her spoon aside in favor of sliding her arms around his neck and leaning in to kiss him again.

The growing closeness is only made more so when Cas' hands move down, grasping her waist and pulling her up into his lap. The skirts actually work well to keep him warm while his body shields her from the coolness of the ground even more thank the blanket did.

The kiss may drag out, to help warm them both, but when it breaks again he shifts to kiss her neck, so that he can catch his breath— and speak softly near her ear. "I know you… feel odd about me paying you. You seem to— act weird every time it comes up. But I— Even if you weren't… even if you didn't have this profession…" He trails off, as if he's not exactly sure how to say what he's trying to.

Pulling back so he can look into her face. "I don't want to empty your pockets, either. Or have you need to… do more than you would if— Let me pay you and I promise next time you buy me something I won't try to say no to it."

Mariah settles into his lap easily enough, and she responds to the move by deepening that kiss as it draws out. When he moves to her neck, it does very little for helping Mariah catch her breath, and there's a soft, strangled noise in her throat before he starts to speak.

That at least helps clear a bit of the haze; she's used to causing that, not so much to being subjected to it herself. She swallows softly before she leans back to look at him. "I just — " There are reasons for that weirdness, but instead of actually voicing them, she lets out a laugh on an exhale and smiles softly at him.

"Bribery, is it?" She glances around them a moment, her hands moving to her hips as she looks at him. "I… I suppose I can live with that arrangement," she eventually concedes, although the aforementioned weird comes in the form of her not looking entirely happy about it all.

There's a frown that is actually just Cas pressing his mouth all on one side and looking at her curiously. It's difficult to drop something when it seems like it still bothers her. "I could always— get a discount?" he asks quietly, almost timid really. As if he's not sure it's even an appropriate thing to ask. How does someone discount their time.

"Is that just making it weirder?" he asks, still holding her on his lap with his arms. Even if it's a little weird, he's not going to let her get away easily.

The questions do, indeed, seem to make things weirder, as Mariah runs her hands through her hair before dropping them to his shoulders again and fixing him with a look that sits between uncomfortable and amused. "You're not going to let this go, are you?"

At least she isn't actually trying to get away, and in fact seems reluctant to do so. "I don't know what to do about you," she says, at length, "I've never come across this particular conundrum before and it's just… throwing me for a bit of a loop." As far as what that conundrum actually is, she still hasn't actually said.

"It bothers you— how can I just ignore that," Cas says with the same expression, though it seems he's trying to smile even then, as he shifts his arms against her back so that she still remains trapped. Even if she seems reluctant, he's unwilling.

And she's only adding to his confusion. "Sorry— I— I'm not sure you have to do anything about me. I mean… I'm just— it's only— " He frowns more solidly now, eyes shifting to the side for a moment. "I— Do you want me to drop it? I can. If— if that would be easier for you, I can… let it go. For now."

Mariah's brow furrows, and she shakes her head a little as he replies, but she keeps from actually interrupting him until there's a detectable lull. Her hands cup his face there, though, as if trying to keep his focus from shifting again. Or maybe her own. "My profession, my… cost, if those things didn't exist. If I was just Mariah. I would still be right here, right now."

She lets out a sigh and a hand comes to run over her face before she looks at him again. "It complicates things a bit. I never had a client that was someone I would — Not that they aren't — It complicates things."

"Oh," Cas says quietly, with sudden realization dawning in his eyes. Still, his hands don't loosen and he doesn't pull away, though he does look somewhere else for a moment, down at first, as if trying to figure something out.

Once his mouth opens and then closes a few moments later with just a breath of air escaping. Complicated may be the word for it for them both.

Shifting her weight in a fidgetting gesture, he looks back up at her face. This time he takes a deep breath, as if preparing himself for something. Still, the more he says, the more he fidgets in some manner. "Even if— even if you weren't all that too— I would still want to— make sure you were safe and… and that you had food and a— What I'm trying to say— I would try to take care of— I mean help— I mean…"

"I'm sorry," Mariah says, what with that long silence hanging in the air. "I didn't mean for things to get…" She trails off there, too, nervous about making it all somehow worse.

When he answers, it's her turn to look elsewhere, and she rolls her shoulder uncomfortably before she looks back to him. "I can take care of myself. Always have, you know. I don't want you to take care of me, Cas, I just want you to — I just want you — " She cuts off with a shake of her head. She closes her eyes, too, because there might be a little more emotion there than she really wants displayed at this moment.

The added emotion is recognized, and shared. Though Cas seems hesitant to speak as much as she is. He already stubbled all over his words. Some might even think her words were a kind of rejection. Or at least a removing of responsibility.

Even if it's a responsibility he wants.

Despite the hesitation, he speaks quietly, realy a whisper, "I— would still take care of you. That's— friends are supposed to take care of each other. And… And we're more than…" he trails off awkwardly, recalling a conversation from before.

Instead of trying to finish, though, he removes one of his arms from around her and touches her face, making he face him so that he can lean up and kiss her.

If they can't finish what they might want to say with words, there are other ways to communicate.

It takes his touch to get her to look back at him, and she looks a little lost and confused and glad all at once. But luckily, she doesn't have to say anything more, but channels it into a sort of desperation in that kiss. Her hands cling to him like she's afraid he might disappear otherwise, and that kiss deepens as it draws out.

More than friends, indeed. It seems alternate forms of communication are perfectly acceptable in this conversation.

The cold is easily forgotten in situations like this, but not entirely. The heat trapped between them doesn't keep what's not too warm, but it helps keep away some. This primitive form of communication may be easier for them both, but Cas still finds himself breaking it after— some time, really. Not to pull away but to move his arms, reaching toward the sides to pull up the blanket on the side the basket isn't on, so that he can pull it around her some.

Just some extra warmth for them both. There's little pulling away besides that. Not even from her face. Warm breath play against her cheeks, even as it mists in the cold air. "I'm glad you woke me up," he whispers softly, pressing his nose against her cheek until he pulls back. "If that didn't still hurt I'd think I were having a really good dream. Though I don't think my dreams would be this cold, either…" he smiles faintly. "But you would definitely be in them. The really good ones." What can't be said can be danced around.

When it does eventually pause, Mariah takes the opportunity to catch her breath, although it only seems to help a bit. She smiles at him as he tries to cover her up and while it might all work out better if she'd get up and move the basket… she doesn't actually want to move.

"I'm glad, too," she says back, her fingers moving to run through his hair gently. "I was half sure you would tell me I was crazy and go back to bed." Her smile turns warm as he goes on, and she leans in to kiss him again, although it is shorter this time. "I'd hope the really good ones would involve a warm beach, or at least a fireplace."

"I would never tell you you're crazy," Cas tsks softly against her lips in soft tones as he holds onto her and returns the kisses. They could keep this up despite the cold. And this part…

"This part would definitely be in the dream, probably in front of the fire," he says with a dimpled smile, even as a hand moves from around her to toy with the fabric of her skirts. There's reasons beyond the emboldened smile that's beginning for form. Mostly being that his hand is cold. Despite the move, he seems just as interested in conversation. Now that they can talk. About more innocent things. "Where would you dream us?"

"Now you tell me. You're only going to encourage me to subject you to my odd whims with talk like that," Mariah says with a smile between kisses.

"Oh, this part better be in. Although, I prefer the real thing…" When his hand moves to her skirts, she lifts an eyebrow, but just playfully. So far anyway. "Me? That's easy. A dim, empty dance floor. When the crowds've gone, but the band'll still play a song or two."

From his smile, Cas may not mind the idea of being subjected to whims. At least not the ones he thinks she would subject him to. The hand keeps moving under the fabric, seeking out warmth and protection from the cold air before finally seeking out her leg. Gentle light touches that don't go higher than her knee. So far.

"A private dance— I know I'd like that. Wouldn't have to worry about anyone stealing you off, or about running into people. Hopefully I won't step on your feet… And I don't think we'll need mistletoe as an excuse to kiss." There's a shy smile as he adds, "Or at least I hope not."

At least it makes his hand a bit less cold by the time he actually touches her. Sitting there under all that fabric, her legs are actually quite warm and those touches only draw her closer to him, encouraging a bit there.

"I didn't much mind the feet, you know. Although, in the dream, you might be in gentler shoes." At his shy smile, she leans in to press a soft kiss to the corner of his lips before she leans her forehead against his. "I think we're past that by now, aye? Seeing as you did ask for more directness and all."

Speaking of boldness. The encouraging seems to have worked, at least Cas' hand strays further along her surprisingly warm legs. Surprising for him, at least. "Starting to think you wore these for a reason," he says quietly, tilting up to nudge his nose against hers. Very lightly.

"I've seen you in trousers before, you know— but you chose to dress like this." There's a growing embarassing tone to his voice, but he manages to keep from stumbling over his words too much. "And you didn't seem in a hurry to get walked back to your place, either."

Mariah's breath catches as his hand moves along her leg, and her hands grip onto the fabric of his coat in anticipation. His words, however, get a gentle, if nervous, laugh from her.

"I can't imagine what you're accusing me of," she says, playful enough if not for the way she looks at him. Like she knows exactly what he's accusing her of, and suspiciously like he isn't at all wrong. And the fact that she leans in to press a kiss at the hinge of his jaw probably doesn't help her words hold water, either. "I believe I mentioned I'd been thinking about you…"