AN: Based on a set of very nsfw gifs which I can't really link through here, but if you see the tumblr version of my posts I'll link them when they're relevant to the story (tumblr = jhoomwrites). The story will get to its nsfw portions in due time and tags will be updated accordingly.
Let me preface this whole thing by saying I know nothing about how fraternities or sororities work. My knowledge of them is based completely on TV/movies and second hand stories. So with that in mind, I made up both a school and a fraternity to make it clear that I'm not trying to talk about any specific institution. This is all make believe.
(Side note: I also do not approve of hazing in general, but after I saw that post I could *not* get it out of my head. It fucking *demanded* to be written)
I should mention that because there is some sex involved under the umbrella of hazing, I want to make it clear that although it could be viewed as dub-con, it is *not*. I have the characters explicitly state at the beginning that they do not have to do anything they don't want to, and Cas is aware of that fact the whole time. It's really more of a sub/dom dynamic, I think, under the guise of hazing. Main point: everything is consensual.
One final note - I fluctuate between referring to the characters in this story as boys, young men, and men. Cas is 18 at the start of this fic, Dean is 20. As someone older than that, I have no issue calling anyone under 26 a kid nor do I have issues with referring to them as adults, either. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to point out that no one in this story is underage.
What possessed Castiel to join a fraternity, he still doesn't know. If he has to put the blame somewhere, it would be on his older brother for teasing him so much. Claiming he'd be too awkward and socially inept to make any new friends when he started college. That he'd probably just barricade himself in his room or some corner of the library, spending four years of his life buried in books and essays and internet databases.
So when he walks through the quad and sees tables from various clubs trying to recruit new members, he picks one seemingly at random and signs up. (It isn't completely random, truth be told. One of the guys at the table is rather handsome. Okay, very handsome. Hot, even. And maybe Castiel wanders over in spite of himself to try and talk to him. The opportunity doesn't present itself, but Castiel writes his name down with the off chance that he'll see the handsome man with freckles again.)
The whole thing feels a bit empowering, a nice fuck you to his older brother specifically and the expectations of his family and friends in general. It isn't until he gets back to his dorm room that he reads over the pamphlet he picked up and realizes he'd more or less joined the school's biggest fraternity.
Sigma Sigma Beta is South Kansas University's oldest and most fraternity. They have housed thousands of student athletes and scholars over their prestigious tenure. While offering a chance for like minded young men to come together, Sigma Sigma Beta encourages community service and leadership among all its members.
It goes on to describe the frat house, some of their recent community outreach projects, and even has a list of well-known graduates. All in all, it sounds promising. So he shrugs and figures why not, he could deal with the week of pledging he's basically just committed himself to.
Which is how he finds himself in a line of hopeful pledges, all looking nervously at each other and trying not to fidget too much as they wait. They were greeted briefly upon entering the frat house, told to wait in the rather large communal living space while their future frat brothers discuss what to do with them. There's a healthy mix of nervous and cocky young men in their group, and Castiel isn't exactly sure where he fits in that mix.
Before he can ponder it too long, he's interrupted when a group of older boys joins them. There are five in all, to go along with the twenty or so pledges that have been quietly whispering amongst themselves. To Castiel's disappointment, the freckled man isn't part of either group.
One of young men steps forward - the oldest, Castiel guesses - and clears his throat a bit before addressing them. "Mornin'. Name's Benny. I'm president of this here chapter. Now, I don't know how much they've told you about what to expect this week, but I'm gonna lay it out for ya. This is pledge week, affectionately called Hell Week by me and my fellow brothers who have moved far enough past it to look back on it fondly.
"We'll be breaking y'all up into five groups, each under the direction of one of your future brothers. At the end of the week, they'll let me know if they think you make the cut. Their recommendation ain't everything, but I wouldn't go around pissin' any of 'em off. And let me make this clear: for the next week, we own you. One of us tells you to jump, you'd best be asking how high. We'll start you off easy, but you just be ready for it to get hard quick.
"These here," and he gestures to the four men standing off to the side, "are the guys y'all need to look to. There's Gordon, Aaron, Victor, and Crowley." As their names are rattled off, each nodding or waving ever so slightly. Castiel feels a little ill at ease when he sees the glint in Gordon's eyes, the predatory way he looks at them. It isn't much better when Crowley winks at them before licking his lips. He hopes, prays, that he'll end up with Aaron or Victor. "We also got one more comin', but Deano ain't exactly the most punctual of us."
They're unceremoniously divided up into five groups, standing at attention while the frat brothers walk around to pick which one they want. Benny graciously says he'll take over for Dean until he shows up. It's a genuinely uncomfortable experience, being looked at as though they're cattle. Gordon in particular keeps eyeing him and he really is second guessing the wisdom of this decision.
"Dean's got this group," drawls out Benny, effectively getting rid of Gordon's unwanted attention.
"He's not even here-"
"Don't care. He's got these ones."
Relief fills Castiel at hearing that. Until he realizes he doesn't know anything about this Dean except that he tends to be late. He could very well beworse than Gordon or Crowley. Well, if things get bad, he reminds himself, he could always just quit. While not ideal (even though he hasn't yet mentioned this little plan to his family, he's sure he would still feel embarrassed at its failure), it's always an option.
The groups have just finished being divided up when the front door slams shut and a young man rushes in. "Sorry, sorry! Family stuff, but it's taken care of. Did I miss it?"
Castiel's breath catches in his throat, excitement replacing his earlier apprehension. It's Freckles from before, at the sign up table. The cute one that had started this whole thing to begin with. And if he was attractive before, he's absolutely radiant with his messy hair and hap-hazardly done up shirt. With barely contained hope, he eagerly waits to hear what he so desperately wants to be true.
"Nice of you to show up, Winchester."
"Nearly missed the good part."
"Need to buy a fucking watch, man."
"Brother." Benny reaches out to pull the other man into a hug. "No worries, we've got it all squared away for ya. This here 'll be your group of pledges for the week." He nods their way before addressing Castiel's small group. "This here is Dean, he's in charge of y'all."
Dean smiles and waves shyly as he looks each of them over. His gaze goes right past Castiel and then he immediately does a double take. Dean's eyes wash over him and Castiel would swear Dean actually licks his lips, but it happens so quickly it's completely plausible that he imagined it.
He almost doesn't notice how Dean looks to Benny in surprise, eyebrows upturned in question. The other man just shrug with just the barest upturn of his lips. He pats Dean on the shoulder and whispers something that has Dean blush brightly. It's admittedly a very attractive look on him.
"Alright boys, get 'em started."
They break off into their smaller groups, each taking over a corner of the living room. Clearly unimpressed with that idea, Dean waves them through the kitchen and into the backyard. Being out in the early afternoon sun and a gentle breeze make this whole day all the more surreal. They've been divvied up like brand new toys, which in some ways isn't all that inaccurate. Now they stand at attention in a semi-circle, Dean walking around them with a skeptical look.
Apparently he likes what he sees because he has a goofy little grin on his face when he finally stops his inspection and stands in front of them. Swinging his arms up and clapping them together like he just cannot wait to get started, he licks his lips again. "We're gonna have some fun, boys, let me tell you. You're gonna sleep well tonight cuz I'm gonna wear you out." He winks at them and Castiel tries not to shiver. "Tomorrow will go a lot easier if I tire you out first."
He starts slightly as if remembering something important and shakes off the cocky little persona he'd been wearing. His earlier smirk gives way to a serious look. "Oh, hey, I don't know how much Benny already explained but it never hurts to go over this a couple times. We're gonna push you guys pretty hard. That's kinda the whole point. But you do not have to do any of the shit we come up with. If it's too hard or we just push a little too far, do not hesitate to let us know. Seriously. This is just supposed to be in good fun. If I ask you to do something you can't do, don't do it. Simple as that. It will not effect whether or not I recommend you to Benny. We clear on that?"
There was a weak mumble of agreement.
"Uh, I'm sorry but I didn't fucking hear you. We clear?"
"Yes!" they chant in unison, a little louder than earlier.
"Okay, sounds like we're only getting half of the idea." The seriousness shifts back into a smug smile. It's the only clue that they're back to playing their earlier game. "I still own your asses for the week, so I'm gonna need you to show me a little more respect than that. So, I will ask you one more time. We clear?"
They hesitate a moment before answering in a crisp, "Yes, sir!"
Dean practically beams at them. "Much better. Let's go run some laps."
He was not been joking about tiring them out. It feels more like boot camp than anything else. Hours after hours of running laps, doing burpees, jumping jacks, and push-ups until their muscles burn, all the while waiting for Dean or one of the other frat brothers to scream out "AIR RAID!" and have them falling flat on the ground and covering their heads.
"I fucking love that movie," Dean laughs out as he pops open a beer and toasts Aaron.
It's surprisingly intense, but Castiel bears it with all the grace he can muster. He spent four years on his high school track team, so things are hardly as rigorous as they could be. One of the other boys in his group - Kevin, if he heard the name correctly - is having a lot more trouble trying to keep up. The poor guy probably hasn't run more than two miles together his whole life and it's really starting to show in the way he's falling behind the rest of the group.
True to his word, though, Dean takes the kid off to the side and talks to him in a hushed voice. Castiel tries to keep an eye on what's going on as he continues his laps around the frat house (luckily only once delayed by Benny's all too pleased, "AIR RAID!"). He does see Dean pat the kid on the back before forcing two bottles of water into him and making him sit in the shade for a solid half hour with a bag of chips. The rest of the day, he notices that the intensity of their workout doesn't change much, but Dean seems to modify it a bit for Kevin and regularly check in with him.
(Great, Castiel thinks to himself. Handsome AND sweet. I am so fucked.)
Some time in the early evening, all five groups file back into the house, drenched in sweat and smelling pretty rank. Castiel's breathing's heavy as he tries to calm his heart back down from the suicide runs Victor insisted everyone do. (In a show of solidarity, the older frat boys did them too, but they aren't nearly as tired - it ended up being four of them trying to outrace each other. Crowley did not participate.)
He feels eyes on him, that phantom itch of being watched, and looks around only to find Dean starring him down. There's something about it that should made him a bit uncomfortable - if Gordon were to look at him with that kind of hunger, he's sure it would make his skin crawl - but all it does is make his pulse even more erratic. They hold each other's gaze for a moment before Dean gives him a wink and turns away.
(Yep. Definitely fucked.)
Benny walks in, shaking hands or patting the backs of his brothers. "How'd they do?"
"They're tired as fuck," Victor laughs out.
That gets an answering chuckle from Benny, who looks them over. "That they are. Alright boys, go back to your dorms, get yourselves a nice dinner and a hot shower. And a good night sleep, cuz tomorrow ain't gonna be any easier."
The way he says it promises that it would, in fact, be worse.