"Look, Dean, you're obviously coming down with something, and you're kind of a grouch when you're sick," Sam is standing in the doorframe of their shared dorm room trying, in vain, to usher Dean back inside, "Only place you should go right now? To get meds or, I don't know, soup."

That's totally logical. Dean knows that's totally logical. The thing is, he's trying to meet up with one Castiel Novak for their first date, and he doesn't want to cancel. He really likes this odd, quirky, somehow adorable guy that he keeps getting into weird and unintentionally hilarious discussions with in mythology class.

And he'd finally, finally worked up the courage to ask him out at the end of said class two days prior. "Can't stand a guy up on the first date, Sammy. What's he gonna think?"

"That he likes not having his immune system compromised?" Sam shoulders his backpack and steps into the hall. "Well, I've got class, so I can't stop you from leaving. But, Dean, my advice, cancel the date and get some sleep."

Once Sam has disappeared down the hall, Dean glances surreptitiously down it.

On the one hand, the coast is clear. On the other, he's simultaneously too hot and too cold and completely regretting that he's wearing jeans and a button down.

The only thing he really wants right now is to be wearing sweatpants and lying horizontal.

It's just he'd waited the better part of a semester to ask Cas out...

But deciding that Sam is occasionally right and maybe death warmed over isn't his best look, he pulls out his cell phone, winces at the illumination, and texts Cas. Think we could do this whole date thing in a couple days? Got a cold.

It is a date? Oh, good. I wasn't sure.

Dean rubs at his forehead and tries to replay their conversation, because he's pretty sure he asked Cas out to dinner and a movie, and ultimately decides colds are the devil. Really?

You asked if I wanted to 'hang out.' It was open to interpretation.

Oh. Sorry, Dude. Yeah, definitely a date.

Good. I appreciate the clarification. We can certainly reschedule. I hope you feel better, Dean.

Thanks. See you in class.

XXX

It's about an hour and three coughing fits later when Dean decides that he can't live without cough medicine or wait for Sam to get back from his shift at the library. So he bundles himself up and trudges his way to the student center.

By the time he gets there, he's shivering so bad he's shaking. And despite the fact that he knows it's warmer inside than outside, he's not actually sure he can tell the difference. So deciding that his main goal is to get in and get out as quickly as possible, he folds his arms around himself and avoids eye contact with everyone in his general vicinity and gathers his supplies - cold & flu stuff, ginger ale, and a mini apple pie.

He's got everything he wants and everything he needs - everything that is except tomato rice soup.

He finds the soup display in the back corner, and it's just as ransacked as the rest of the place. Cold & flu season must be hitting campus hard. The shelves are almost empty, with most flavors only having one or two cans left.

He's almost afraid they're out of tomato rice when he catches sight of the very last can. Grinning at his good fortune, he reaches out for it only to have a gloved hand placed next to his.

He really doesn't want to get into a fight over a can of soup right now. He really doesn't. But he's pretty sure nothing else is going to make him feel better as much as this is.

He doesn't even wait for the guy to say anything. He just pulls it off the shelf and turns towards the cash register.

He doesn't get two feet before a hand is being placed on his shoulder. Dean stiffens and stands stock still.

It's a can of soup for Christ's sakes. They can't both want or need it that badly.

Or maybe this guy really does need it more than he does, if he's actually willing to fight a stranger over it.

Dean waits as the guy clears his throat several times before saying, "I can pay you for the soup. I have money... I have a friend who is ill, and I want to take this to him. Please."

Cas' voice is rougher and deeper than usual, but it's still definitely Cas. A definitely sick Cas. A definitely sick Cas who is trying, he assumes, to bring him soup.

Dean starts laughing so hard he feels like he can't breathe and goes into a coughing fit. He's pretty sure it's worth it. Because, seriously, only Cas. "Don't even recognize me, Casanova? That stings."

"Dean?" Cas squints at him like he's a mirage. Dean wonders if he has a fever. "You're wearing far more clothing than usual. I did not realize it was you."

"You know, could have said you were sick too, Cas," Dean says. "Definitely would have felt better about ditching you."

"That...that did not occur to me," Cas says. He tilts his head slightly before gesturing to the soup can. "I could...I could still get this for you."

Dean snorts. "Awfully noble of you, bringing me soup when you look about as terrible as I feel. Seems to me like I should be getting you some...or, well, we could...uh...not sure I'm going to want all of this can."

"Dean, you've told me about eating far larger quantities than this," Cas says. "I am certain you can finish it."

"Cas, kinda trying to do something here..." Dean says. "Just... you want to have a first date where we both feel and look like shit and watch stuff in my dorm room together anyway?"

"Oh," Cas' eyes light up and his lips curl slightly at the corners. "I see. In that case, I would hate for any of this soup to go to waste."

Later on that evening, when Cas is half snoring and half wheezing against his side, Dean decides that dinner - tomato rice and ginger ale - and a movie - Star Trek: The Voyage Home - was a complete success.