One Mission

Title: One Mission
Time Period: January 31, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: What has been seen may not be able to be unseen, but it can be ignored. For a time.

Mariah had held herself together through the ordeal and through getting Cordelia home and getting it all reported. There may have been a slight freak out once she and Cas were away from the manor and heading back to the Dovetail, but now that she's in the comfort of her own room… well, she's more settled.

Sort of.

Her first order of business is to get out of the clothes she'd been wearing. Nevermind that there's no blood on them or anything. They get tossed over a chair as she goes to her wardrobe to pick something else out. The only sign that she may still be bothered is the fact that she stands there staring at the clothes for far longer than necessary. But at least it's warm enough in her room for her to be standing about in her underthings.

It seems that Cas had much the same idea, dismissing himself into the section of her rooms where they spent their first times together— mainly meaning where her bathtub happens to be. There's sounds of water splashing, scrubbing, and rinsing and spitting in the next room, and when he comes out it's obvious that he's washed his face and hands and given his mouth extra attention as well.

"Not the kind of morning I was hoping for," he says outloud, voice not quite as hoarse as it was before, but definitely darker than his usual voice. The smile hasn't been regained. Stepping across the room, he moves up behind her staring at her clothes and wraps his arms around her from behind, pressing his face against her hair.

When he comes up behind her, Mariah's hand drops to his arm and she leans back against him. "Admittedly, it wasn't what I had hoped, either." She lingers there just a moment, her eyes closing as she indulges in that bit of comfort.

But she turns around, her hands coming to cup his face. It's a move that betrays a shake in her fingers, but she doesn't mind so much with him. "Are you alright?"

"Shouldn't I be asking you that?" Cas says in a sheepish voice, managing a thin smile for a moment, as he shakes his head slightly. The shake of his head could be an unconscious response to the question. It's one of those situations where it's hard to be alright afterward.

As if talking about it embarasses him, he ends up studying a missplaced lock of hair instead of her face, even reaching to toy with it.

And her hands aren't the only ones shaking, slightly. "Not used to seeing things like that. I never was cut out for a militia or anything… as is probably obvious. At least you ladies managed to keep your stomachs. I wasted my whole breakfast."

"You can ask me, too," Mariah says with a light, shaky smile. "I'm not, either. I never…" She pauses there, opting instead to press a little closer to him when he toys with her hair.

"It's sheer stubbornness. I'll be a complete mess once you've gone." Her fingers brush against his jaw, and she leans in to rest her head against his shoulder; taking comfort in the physical, as she tends to. And perhaps, in the presence of a warm body.

Once again, Cas' arms wrap around her. The hug is as much for his own comfort as for hers, most likely. It helps him stop shaking, at the very least. "That's kind of telling me I should stay as long as possible," he responds quietly, pressing his lips against her hair.

"Do you want me to stay for a while? I got most of my work done before we were supposed to meet," he explains quietly, letting her know he could. For a while.

Mariah's arms wraps around his neck in response, although it's more a cling than a hug. She'll just tell herself it's a hug, though. She opens her mouth to protest his first words, but as he makes the offer, she leans back a little to look at him.

"Yes," she answers simply, if a little vulnerably. "I can't even manage to pick out a dress," she says, waving a hand back toward the wardrobe, her tone a little self-depreciating, "It's ridiculous."

"No, it's not," Cas says quietly, keeping his arms firmly around her as he leans in to press his lips against her forehead. The herbs he used to scrub out his mouth can be smelled on his teeth, a scent she's used to, as he scrubs his teeth at least twice a day. He cares for his teeth even when he doesn't shave.

"It's alright. To be upset. You— you seemed to recognize him. I didn't, but— I haven't been here long enough to know everyone, but… You don't have to get dressed. I think you look fine like this, anyway," he says, managing to smile.

Her showing her nerves seems to have helped him cover up his own.

Mariah leans into that kiss, letting out a bit of a sigh before she looks at him again. "He comes around here sometimes. Not one of my regulars. Because, frankly, he doesn't pay terribly well." There's a pause there before she crinkles her brow and corrects herself. "Didn't. I guess."

Still, whether he was a bad customer or not, though, it's set her off kilter, seeing him that way. She glances away toward a wall for a moment, pressing her lips together as it that'd force back the wetness in her eyes. "Didn't deserve that, though, aye?" she says, as mildly as she can manage.

"Very few people out there deserve that," Cas says quietly, tilting his head around to catch signs of moisture in her eyes, even as she's looking away. "Hey— if you need to cry you can," he says quietly, before he changes his hold on her, kneeling down a little to put an arm under her legs and lift her up against his chest

"But we should also get comfortable first, yes?" he says quietly, as he carries her over to the bed and settles down, still holding her against him.

She would protest her need to cry, she really would, but when he scoops her up, whatever she might have said goes unspoken. Instead, Mariah drapes her arms over his shoulders and gives him a look that's downright touched.

Even when he gets them to the bed, there isn't crying, but she does lay against his shoulder, her forehead pressing against his neck while her hand clings to his shoulder. "You're… You're so sweet to me, Cas," is what she eventually says, perhaps finding him a more palatable topic.

"Maybe you should be paying me for these visits," Cas manages a soft tease as he gets comfortable beside her, freeing a hand so that he can touch her face, brushing back her hair and checking for those tears he gave permission to shed.

It doesn't last too long before he suddenly feels the need to explain what he just said, "I'm just kidding, of course— I— I mean I would like to give you everything that you give me, but… You know."

Her eyes may still be threatening tears, but his tease starts a smile curving her lips. It's even a genuine one. But it's his rambling explanation that gets it to flesh out.

She sits up, listening to him for a moment, but before it goes on too long she brings a finger up to press against his lips. Her expression is still milder than usual, but it's much closer to normal. "I know," she says, agreeing with some gentle amusement in her tone.

The finger against his lips stops him from rambling any further in his explainations, though Cas' lips do move a little under her touch as if he might be working on words. They never create real sound, and after a moment her smile helps bring back his.

The hand on her face twists, grasping her palm with his fingers as he pushes her hand aside so he can kiss her again. Gentle, but deeper. Almost as if he's trying to kiss away the bad memories, or express himself through something other than words.

It's worked before with them.

Mariah watches his hand move hers without protest, and she leans in to meet him for that kiss. Her eyes drift closed and she draws that kiss out while her hand shifts to press her palm against his and entwine her fingers with his. Her free hand comes to just barely touch her fingertips against his cheek.

She's not ashamed to be a little needy there, either, as the embrace isn't driven by passion just now, but a general desire for comfort. To get it as well as give it.

In this situation, they are both in need of some comfort, and for Cas at least the giving helps him just as much as anything else. It doesn't reach the desperate or overly passionate levels that such contact might have in the past, perhaps because of the need for gentle comfort.

After long moments where everything else might cease to exist, his lips break away, to breathe, and so he can trace a finger along her lips. Still gentle and sweet, and he seems to be checking her eyes, her expression, to judge how she might be feeling.

"You're sweet to me too, you know," he says, referencing a statement that somehow seems ages ago.

Even when he pulls back, Mariah's eyes stay closed and there's just a sigh over his finger when it touches her lips. Her own fingers slide along his jaw as she blinks once or twice and looks up at him.

She may not be one hundred percent, but she looks far steadier than she did even moments before that kiss. Her hand in his squeezes softly and she cants her head to the side at his compliment.

Her lips curve into a gentle smile and a brief, breathy laugh follows. "Well. You make it easy."

"I could say the same about you," Cas says in deep whispers, leaning back in to kiss her, though this time it's her neck that he dots with kisses. Soft and light and warm. And a little rough from the stubble on his cheeks. It doesn't last too long, because he starts speaking again, in the same softened tones.

"You always made me feel more comfortable. Which probably sounds funny with how much I stumble over things still… but… I feel… safe around you. Masque's been berating me to tell you these things— or at least I think that's what he's meaning when he gets me to talk about you. I am afraid I don't really speak familiar, much less dog. Though we did come up with a code of sorts."

Her smile widens when he starts kissing her again and her eyes slide closed while her hand slides into his hair. She must not mind the stubble much.

Her eyes do flutter open when he starts to speak again, and her smile turns a bit crooked. "Safe despite the punching," she says, teasing just a little before she leans in to rest her forehead against his. "I feel safe with you, too," she confides after a pause, her voice a low whisper.

When she leans back, there's a bit of amusement in her expression and she lifts an eyebrow, "So you boys talk about me, do you?" Her hand moves there, coming to rest on his leg instead as she shifts her position a bit. "You know what's odd? In all our life, Masque's and mine, I've only seen him change shape once. He was a deer when he came to me and he stayed that way until we came here. He's been a badger for years." There may be a mild puzzlement in the way her brow crinkles, but not an unpleasant sort.

Safe despite the fact he's the one who emptied his stomach at the sight of a mauled body, and furthermore cowered away from the punch rather than standing up to it? From the look in his eyes, he's not really sure whether to believe her.

Cas tilts his head at the description of Masque, though, and the oddity that he's taken with him. "Hn, that is strange. I mean it's cool, the whole familiar shape changing thing. Never gets old now matter how many times I see it— but… maybe he thought a dog would make me more comfortable." And even after today a dog definitely did. "Mostly I do the talking, though, he just barks. And wags his tail."

She seems honest enough, at least! And at that look, Mariah brings both her hands up to his face to kiss him again. Just a light, gentle kiss, but reassuring.

"He wags?" Mariah shakes her head a little with a laugh, looking a bit surprised at that. "With me he's just a grumpy, irritable badger." Which isn't all true, as he has seen them affectionate together, but true enough. "And meddling, apparently." Her arms move to drape over his shoulders and she smirks a little before she adds, "I think he might just like you. It's good. He only has me for company, and the animals usually."

"He definitely wags, and growls sometimes, but barks and even jumps up with his paws on my chest and licks my face," Cas says with a grin, well aware he's now being as much a gossip with her as he has been with the familiar. He seems to find it a smile-worthy topic. More so than a body he wishes he hadn't seen.

"I like him too, though. Though I wouldn't have minded if he had chosen to turn into a horse instead. It'd make the trip home faster…" And possibly risk insulting the magical being, which is why he would not suggest it to him. "I'm glad to have company, though."

Now even more than before.

Mariah laughs at that bit of gossip, her hands coming to cover her mouth for a moment before they drop back to her lap. "Adorable. I'd love to see that."

The bit about him turning to a horse gets another laugh, and she glances around a bit as if making sure the familiar isn't about. "Don't let him hear you say that." When she looks back to him, though, her fingers come to gently tug on this shirt as her smile softens a bit. "Can't blame him much for wanting the trip to last longer."

The laughter makes Cas' smile widen, becoming more genuine and the dimple deeper and easier to see. "He probably just wants the trip to take longer so he can get me to talk about you. He always gets the most excited when I start to," he says, reaching up to touch her hair gently with his free hand, tracing her cheek as he does.

If he had one mission with this topic, it suceeded.

Laughs and smiles, possibly the best comfort he can think of.

After a moment he asks, as if he can't help himself, "So I was right in thinking he'd be mad if I mentioned he could become a horse?"