Castiel is sleek despite his size and those long legs carry him gently over the snow. Dean, however, is a tank. He howls as his mate takes off for the woods, momentarily forgetting himself, churning up snow in large plumes. As soon as he gets into the tree line he yelps as he’s tackled unexpectedly.
He mouths playfully at Cas’ jaw, squirming under him. His tail plows a furrow in the snow from wagging so furiously. Dean goes still just as Cas jumps off, then scrambles up to bow back and take off after his mate.
There is no argument that Cas is faster so Dean struggles to catch up. He does eventually, careful to show his station by just running next to Cas, wide head lined up with his mate’s shoulder. Having run these woods many a time before being invited into Bobby’s home as a dog he knows the terrain well. Dean nudges Cas’ shoulder with his head, telling his mate to turn right slightly so they avoid the trails that snowshoe enthusiasts follow in front of them.
They run parallel to it. Dean gets it now, he’s safe and occasionally dogs just run to have fun. The canid portion of his instinct tells him to enjoy this, that this is good and he’s bonding with his mate. He is careful to keep his voice quiet. Hikers feared wolves and wild dogs, to be innocently shot by a fearful human would be nothing short of tragic.
Castiel loves the feeling of running as a wolf. The wind whipping past his face. All the scents. The sights. Everything is new and different and it’s even better having Dean beside him. He can’t even begin to describe how happy he feels. But since he doesn’t know this area too well, he doesn’t go all out and follows Dean’s lead when the skinwalker turns off the path they had been running.
The urge to bark and just voice his excitement tickles the back of his throat, but he resists the urge. The faint scent of anxiety coming from his mate stops him and he slows down to butt his muzzle against Dean’s affectionately. It’s a gentle remind that they won’t get caught. That they’re safe even this close to human trails.
They keep moving for some time, though they eventually slow to a brisk jog. Castiel’s just taking in as many sights and sounds and scents as he can while he’s out here. He’s curious. But the sound of running water has him stopping and dancing kind of like a puppy until he bounds off again.
He approaches the snow covered banks of the river, seeing that the water moves just fast enough to avoid being frozen. He walks closer to investigate, sniffing curiously, but slips on a patch of ice and stumbles over with a surprised yelp. Castiel makes a few attempts to get up on the ice, but really only succeeds after belly crawling over to the snow.
A quick roll in the snow and a shaking of his fur has him feeling like some of the shame and embarrassment is gone, but it still lingers deep down inside.
"Horse dancing?" Dean side eyes Cas for a moment before bursting into laughter. "Horse ballet. Horse grew up and instead of getting into racing went I just want to dance." He throws his arms wide at the last word and rises on his toes.
"Dressage?" He’s still laughing and grinning wide but he hopes that he isn’t insulting Cas. Dean bumps their shoulders as they walk. "It’s called dressage, babe, and yeah, we’re getting them ponies when we move out to your dream house in the country."
The dream house in the country still looms over Dean like some unbeatable monster that frankly scares him more than being deployed to Afghanistan. Being deployed he can handle, even with all the fears of dying or coming back half the person he left. Letting Cas down he can’t handle.
He nods about the Army. “Military would be good for them, I think it would be good for most people. At least to do a few years and then go to college or something. Burn off that early twenties energy.”
Dean is well aware that he sounds like an old man even though he’s only mid twenties himself. “Well the British Military at least, they’d really see how people are treated in other countries. I think that’s pretty important.”
Looking at Dean, it’s easy to see that his husband is over thinking things. Probably about how he wants their family to have the perfect life. This makes the omega sigh softly.
"Don’t overextend yourself. If we can’t get the house in the countryside or the ponies that’s fine. We’re just two average people trying to raise a family and that’s great. We don’t need more than we can afford," he reminds Dean and hits his arm lightly. "It’s just a stupid dream anyways. Like my bakery. We just need to do things one step at a time and we’ll see where we can go after getting over that next hurdle."
Castiel nods his agreement about the military though he had never enlisted himself. He was quite content learning how to cook and opening his own shop. He hopes he can do that again, but who knows. It might be more difficult here than it was back home.
They start heading over to the restaurant as the sky darkens and are promptly seated in the restaurant after their reservation’s confirmed. It’s a nice place. Not too sophisticated, but just enough so that you knew you were in for a treat.
He gets the twins settled in highchairs with half a piece of bread each and then seats himself. ”What did Sarah say about this place?” he asks Dean as he pulls in his chair.
"Morbid, babe," Dean teases about the chocolate joke. He rubs his stomach in sympathy. One or two times he’s eaten a chocolate bar only to shift then have pretty bad indigestion. Generally he avoided it now, which was no big deal since he preferred pies with fruit in them.
"Amelia cleared this as safe for all things shifty," he jokes, meaning both them as skinwalkers and Cas as a werewolf. "Apparently the processing will kill most of what harms dogs, plus it’s really diluted."
He busies himself with the brew room, cleaning things, straightening other things. Dean looks at Cas like he’s never heard of running for fun. He comes from a lifestyle where he runs only when chased. “Uh, yeah, okay.”
Dean throws the rag he had been cleaning with into the trash and looks at Cas. “Is that safe? You’re pretty nondescript as a wolf, could pass for a big shepherd or something but aren’t you afraid someone will see us?”
It’s important for them to spend time together as canids now that they’re mated. Body language and other nonverbal communication was just as important as their talks. Dean thinks about it, lips bitten together, then nods. “Yeah okay, but we stick to the woods opposite the farm. No farms or where anyone can see us.”
He starts stripping as he heads up the stairs, leaving his boots at the base and his clothes on a hook as he goes. It’s his dog form that steps out of the door that opens slowly, waiting for Cas to come out so he can nose the door closed.
"I’m confident we won’t be seen so long as we stick to the woods." He’s smiling confidently and helps Dean finish up in their basement brewery. But he’s excited. He gets to run and the wolf in him is just excited at that too. Can’t wait to feel the wind rushing past him and just take in all the scents in the woods.
He gives a whoop when Dean agrees, but flushes and immediately quiets after he realizes what he had done. Castiel ducks his head sheepishly, but he’s wearing a happy grin, glad that Dean wants to run with him. Running in their animal forms will be good for them he thinks. Not only is it exercise, but he can better learn his mate’s scent and get to know him better.
Castiel follows Dean’s lead after figuring out what he’s doing. He strips down piece by piece, folding them enatly and setting the pile aside with his shoes and socks. He ascends the stairs and leaves the cellar as a large wolf. If there were to be seen now, there would be no mistaking what he is. But Castiel doesn’t give anyone the chance.
The wolf makes a mad dash for the woods, legs carrying him quickly to the dense cover of the trees and beyond the tree line. Once in though, he waits for Dean to join him and tackles his mate to the ground playfully, tail wagging wildly in his excitement. He jumps off his mate and barks, play bowing before he charges off into the forest again, expecting Dean to give chase.
Daddy voice. He could live with that, he supposes. His mouth twists into a frown, not wanting the twins to ever be afraid of him but also not wanting them to not listen when something is serious because they think he’s joking. Humor is his defense, the kids are going to pick up on that as they get older.
His frown melts away when Castiel calls Arwen the warrior princess. Dean bounces her then lets her lay on his forearms so she looks like a flying superhero. “Warrior princess. Are you going to be a paratrooper? Here’s your first lesson. Always make sure your chute opens.”
He points Arwen at the glass front so she can watch the ground get closer. When the elevator car stops he lifts her back up so he can nuzzle her stomach. “Sorry, baby, you scared me,” he whispers barely audibly then tucks her on his hip to go to the stroller parking.
"I hope if she does want to be a daredevil she never tells me," Dean announces as he straps her into the stroller. "I couldn’t tell her no just because I’m afraid but I think I’d have a heart attack if I had to watch motorcross or something."
Dean checks his watch and nods. They did have more time than he thought. Good. It was their last night here, they should see everything.
"I’d like to think I would be supportive of our daredevil daughter, but in reality I would probably just worry all the time," he admits with a little smile and snugs Aniel close to press another kiss to his downy hair. "But I know you’ll probably be a bookworm like me. I can see it."
Aniel giggles and enjoys the attention, but traps his bearer’s head in his little arms and Castiel makes faces as he’s drooled on. ”Messy baby,” he says in a teasing tone and wipes Aniel and himself off with a wet wipe. He then sets the grinning infant down in the stroller and straps him in next to his sister before covering their legs with a blanket.
Despite how warm they thought it would be, the night air is crisp. Cool, but not cold and the cool breeze that blows is pleasant after being crammed into an elevator full of people.
"Maybe they’ll get into horse dancing or racing. Maybe even just raising horses. You wanted to get them ponies, right? Might be good to start them early." Castiel smiles softly and nudges Dean’s arm gently before taking the stroller and pushing the twins along down the street.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of tourists crowding the streets, admiring the beauty of the lights, but Castiel heads down the street, planning on walking down alongside the river. He bets the view is most breathtaking there. And the restaurant is down near there anyways, so it’s killing two birds with one stone.
"Personally, i wouldn’t mind it if at least one of the twins wanted to join the army. Their sire was a soldier too, after all. Brave and strong. I won’t encourage them, but I won’t deny them if that’s what they want to do," he speaks up again and looks to his mate, expression neutral, but clearly seeking a reply.
"We can always come back, but I don’t think they let people switch Armies that frequently." Dean wraps his free arm around Cas, snugging his family together. They stay like that until people start moving and Dean guides them around once more so they can see all of the skylines before heading back down.
Even though everything is all closed in it is a little unsettling to be this high up. Especially when Arwen reaches out for it. Dean grabs her hand immediately, a growl forming in the back of his throat that has his daughter looking up at him in fear and confusion. He panics when her face twists in tears and she starts squirming unsure what to do when her usual source of comfort is now the source of fear.
Dean looks around then at his daughter and starts hushing her, bouncing her as they wait. “You scared me first,” he whispers lowly, forehead pressed to her much tinier one. “I got scared when you grabbed for the cage.”
He looks over at Cas guiltily, sure that his husband was now regretting everything and going to want to go back to the hotel. “I’m sorry, I just… she scared me Cas.”
Arwen has her face tucked into Dean’s neck and is whimpering but much more quietly. “I didn’t mean to,” Dean protests again as they get back into the elevator.
The growl that rumbles from his mate not only has Arwen tensing up, but Aniel and Castiel too. It’s a warning and the omega doesn’t realize what it’s for. Is instinctively afraid that he’s done something wrong though he has no idea why. But he comes to with a whimpering and squirming infant in his arms and Castiel looks down with a wry little smile and hushes him gently.
He rubs Aniel’s back and bounces his baby boy in his arms gently, shushing him quietly as the whimpers die down and the infant just snuffles against his chest. Castiel finds himself a little more relaxed, but looks to his mate, feeling a little confused until some explanation is given.
"It’s alright," he murmurs just loud enough so that Dean can hear him and he reaches over to rub Arwen’s back gently, trying to get her to calm down too. "You didn’t want her to get hurt, so you were just being protective. It’s natural."
He next moves closer to his alpha and nuzzles at his shoulder gently, feeling comforted by the strong scent of his mate. ”I don’t blame you. I don’t think Aniel or Arwen do either. They’re just confused. You’ve never had to use daddy voice on them before,” he reasons with his husband as they step into the elevator together and stand side by side.
"Shower some more love on our warrior princess and I’m sure she’ll forgive you." He wants to lighten up the mood. It’s their last night in Paris after all and they have a dinner reservation to catch. Not that they’re pressed for time, but he wants to make the most of their night.
The ride down in the elevator is nearly as nauseating as going up, but he manages to keep himself vertical and just sticks close to Dean. He doesn’t let Dean move away either, wanting to let his mate know that he feels safe with him and that he wants him near.
"Come on. Let’s go get the stroller. We can walk around some more before we head to dinner."