A/N: Another little thing I wrote for the Wrestling Kink Meme. The prompt wanted as follow: "In one of his FCW promos Dean mentioned taking care of his young cousin until CPS deemed him unfit and removed non wrestling AU where said cousin is still taken and fostered in the Reigns household. Dean meets Roman at one of his supervised visitations."
Hopefully this was done to their satisfaction and hopefully you guys enjoy it too.
Dean shoved his hands into his pockets as he walked towards the diner. The wind was strong, cutting through his old, beat up hoodie. He tried to keep the actual hood up to protect his ears, but the wind kept blowing it right down. He wished he had an actual hat to wear instead. The cold was going to get him another earache at this rate. Whatever. It would be worth it today. Thursdays were his visitation day with his little cousin Lizzie. Six months ago her mother had died, leaving her officially orphaned in the eyes of the state. It didn't matter that her mother hadn't done shit for her in years. It didn't matter that he single handedly raised her from the time she had been four and he had only been ten. It didn't matter that he had ran away from home with her when he had been sixteen because one of his mother's skeezy boyfriends had tried to sneak into her bedroom one night. It didn't matter that he had put any possibility of him having a future on hold to get a job that would put a roof over her head and ensure that she could stay in school. No. None of that fucking mattered to the courts. They took one look at him and saw him as a piece of trash. He was a high school dropout to them. He was the son of a petty criminal and a junkie prostitute who probably would fall into the same fate as one of his parents. Or maybe even both. And despite how he fought and tried to prove himself, they still took her away.
The memory of that day was something he immediately shoved away. He didn't want to think about the day that happened. The way Lizzie had cried and looked at him to find a way for her to stay still haunted him. Being ripped away from the only family she had known had hurt her. As good as she had always been for him, that was how much trouble she gave every family they tried to put her with. She refused to speak to the families and didn't speak at school anymore. Willfully mute was what they called her. She stole things, got into fights with other girls, snuck out to see him because he was her family, not any of the people she stayed with. Many gave up on her, but the Reigns family were lasting longer than the others. They tried to be more accommodating, Mrs. Reigns reached out to him and started allowing him to start seeing Lizzie. Granted it was one day a week at this point and either her or Mr. Reigns were always with them. They had clearly believed the courts, who thought he would abduct Lizzie and run with her if he was left alone with her. He wanted to point out that if he was going to do that, he would have done it the first time she snuck back to his place. But he kept silent, not wanting to get her in trouble. He could play the game their way. He could prove himself trustworthy and get himself more days to see her. Maybe he could get the supervision thing ditched. That was less likely, but whatever. She was at least happier in being allowed to see him and if she was happy, he could be happy.
Dean stepped into the diner, the warmth feeling completely marvelous after walking so far in the cold. His eyes scanned the diner, barely acknowledging the waitresses who were waving at them. Lizzie was in the booth they usually sat at, though it wasn't Mr. or Mrs. Reigns sitting with her. It was some other guy. He looked to be about Dean's age, his black hair pulled back into a nice bun. Strong, chiseled facial features complimented a clearly muscular body. Fuck. The guy was hot. He didn't want to find this guy hot. The only thing he wanted to do with any of these people was to see Lizzie. He didn't need to complicate this shit by popping a boner right now.
"Dean!" Lizzie's voice thankfully broke his gaze on the unknown man. She scrambled out of the booth and ran to him, launching herself right at him.
"Hey short stuff." The wind was nearly taken right out of him as she hit him with a hug, but he didn't let that show. Instead he kissed the top of her head and squeezed her extra tight.
"M'not short," she grumbled. She tilted her head back, strands of strawberry blonde hair still in her face as green eyes narrowed at him.
He smirked. She wasn't that short really. "Still shorter than me though," He ruffled her hair, laughing as she kept glaring at him. He noticed the guy with her watching them with great interest but he tried to ignore him. "What? It's true."
"Jerk." Lizzie elbowed him in the stomach before grabbing him by the hand and taking him to the booth. She scooted in so she could sit by the window and Dean sat down next to her. His spot left him sitting across from the other guy, who was watching him with great interest.
"I'm Roman." An arm was extended across the table, a handshake being offered. "Mom and Dad had to go out of town and asked me to come instead."
Ah. Their actual kid. Dean looked to Lizzie, trying to remember if she had told him about Roman even existing. He was pretty sure that she hadn't. "Dean." He shook Roman's hand, keeping the handshake as short as he could. He didn't like being touched by people he didn't really know. Not unless he was nice and drunk anyway.
If Roman was bothered by how quickly Dean let go of his hand he didn't show it. In fact he smiled as he spoke again, grey eyes lighting up in the process. "She's been pretty excited about this. I think I almost saw her smiling this morning."
Lizzie stuck her tongue out at him as she grabbed one of the menus that had already been left for them. "I want pancakes." She looked pointedly at Dean, making it clear she was talking to him rather than Roman. "Get pancakes with me."
"Why do I gotta get pancakes?" Dean snagged his own menu and flipped it open. He didn't really even need to read it, but he always glanced it over anyway. "What if I want a burger?"
"You always get a burger. Get pancakes with me."
"Why pancakes though? Waffles are better."
She wrinkled her nose. "They are not."
They stared at each other for a long moment before looking at Roman, who was trying his hardest not to openly laugh at this conversation. "Hey, I'm a French toast man myself," he said. "But uh, if I was going to pick between the two, I'd go with waffles."
"Thank god one of you knows what they're talking about." Dean lightly elbowed Lizzie on the arm, an obnoxious grin now plastered on his face.
"Ugh." Lizzie punched his arm and returned her attention to the menu. "Boys are stupid."
Dean was more than a little relieved that she had that attitude. That was something he wanted her to carry with her for as long as possible.
"So um, Dean, what do you do?"
The question caught Dean off guard. "What?" He blinked and stared at Roman dumbly.
"He fixes cars." Lizzie peered around, clearly ready for the waitress to come and take her order.
"Yeah." Dean rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. The complete look of interest Roman was giving with him was messing with his head. A guy like Roman didn't give him those kinds of looks. He had no reason to. "I uh, fix cars."
"Shit man." Roman leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. "That's cool. I'm like, totally hopeless at that stuff."
"It's not that hard. Not once like, you know what you're doing." Dean shifted around in his spot. Still no waitress in sight. Shit. They needed a place to go that had better service. "What um, what do you do?"
"Bartender. At nights. I got classes and stuff during the day."
"What are you studying?"
"Because he's boring," Lizzie added helpfully.
The waitress finally came to take their order, cutting the argument off before it could go much further. Once she left, Dean's attention stayed on Lizzie. Mostly anyway. The fact that Roman was totally staring at him wasn't lost on him. And the fact that Roman was trying really hard to act like he wasn't staring wasn't lost on him either. It became really hard to hide the smirk on his face. The earlier thoughts of Roman being hot didn't seem as awkward now. It still didn't need to be a road he went down. It would still complicate things. But knowing that Roman was giving him the eyes was making it really hard to resist the idea now.
When their food came Dean all but shoveled his burger into his mouth. Meals weren't something he got a lot of. The landlord had raised the rent in his apartment building and bills and putting a chunk away every paycheck to get a new place left very little for groceries. It wasn't anything too unusual for him; his mother had always been too interested in getting high to actually take the time to shop and make sure he had a meal on the table. Anything he ate he had to fight or steal for it.
Dean was too distracted to see the sad look that came over Lizzie's face. She looked to Roman, who was watching him with a frown. He missed the silent exchange between them, Lizzie pleading with Roman with just a look and Roman nodding. It wasn't until Roman spoke again that Dean tuned back into what was going on around him.
"You know uh, my parents are actually going to be out of town until Monday. You could like, stay with us and have more time with Lizzie."
Dean froze mid-chew, his eyes narrowing a bit as he tried to figure out if the offer was legit.
"Stay with us!" Lizzie added excitedly. "I wanna see you and Roman wants to check out your butt."
Roman's face turned red. "Elizabeth!"
"What?" Lizzie frowned. "It's true isn't it?"
Roman turned even more red and couldn't sputter out a real response. Dean found his lips turning up into a smirk. Roman was fucking cuter when he blushed. The last bit of self restraint he possessed went out the window with that blush. Fuck caring about complications. It wasn't like he was any happier avoiding them anyway. He might as well go for it. "Yeah. I'll stay."
The grin on Roman's face and Lizzie's cheer was enough to turn Dean's smirk into a full on smile.