- This is (obviously) a work of fanfiction. I don't own anything but the original characters. I don't claim ownership over the characters or storyline of the TV show Supernatural, no matter how grateful I am for them, which is hella.

- Thanks to the Sister Husbands, who are my best friends in the whole world, and happen to be gracious enough to also beta most of my works for me. I don't know what I'd do without you girls, but I certainly wouldn't be doing this.

- Please enjoy a one-shot instead of all of the other shit I should be writing.

Dean is more than aware of the dangers of driving too fast in the rain, thank you very much, but this is important.

Cas is important.

He didn't mean to yell at Cas, or be such a jackass. He just couldn't stand seeing that dick Balthazar hanging all over Cas, with his stupid face, and his stupid accent, and his stupid v-neck shirt. And Cas just laughed, like it was no big deal. Like Balthazar wasn't being a total tool.

So, okay, yeah. Maybe Dean lost his temper, said some shit he didn't mean. Like calling Cas a slut, even though Cas has had less than half of the partners Dean has had in his high school career.

Sure, he shouldn't have called Cas a picky know-it-all. Like, Cas is a know-it-all, but that's because Cas unerringly knows fucking everything. And yeah, he's a little nit-picky, but that's because Cas expects the best of himself and those around him.

And, okay, probably shouldn't have told Cas he's a repressed jerk, either. Not only is it contradictory to the slut thing (Cas hates shit like that), it's not even true. Cas feels just as much as the next person, he's just quiet about it, subtle. You gotta know where to look. You gotta know that his eyes sparkle when he's happy. You gotta know that the smiles that barely touch his lips but light up his whole face are the ones he really means. You gotta know that the slump of his shoulders when he's feeling upset or burdened is his most impassioned expression, the tightening of his fists when he's angry the most violent. You just gotta know Cas.

Dean knows Cas.

And maybe Cas said some stuff back, but God bless it, Dean deserved it. Dean is a dickweed, and a jerk, and an assbutt. And maybe he doesn't know what an assbutt is, necessarily, but he's gonna find out, and he's sure he'll agree.

Because as much as Dean knows Cas, Cas knows Dean right back.

And it took peeling out of the parking lot of stupid Bela's driveway, away from her stupid house party, for it to start to sink in.

Dean's been best friends with Castiel Novak since they were four years old, since he saw the weirdo sniffling on the sidewalk because someone stepped on a bee. Nevermind that it was summer and that Cas was wearing a too-big cable knit sweater and slacks. Dean walked right up to him, scooped the bee up, and they both ran into the Winchesters' home. Mary helped them give the bee water and try to nurse it back to health. It died, but the friendship that was forged did not.

In the last fourteen years, Cas has been Dean's everything. He's been his best friend, confidante, brother. He's the first stop Dean makes on his way to… Well, anywhere.

He was the first one Dean told when he got a crush on Cassie Robinson in the fourth grade. He was there when John Winchester died. He was there when Mary went through chemotherapy, and he baked the cake at the party they threw when she was declared in remission. He's been right next to Dean at every one of Sam's stupid baseball games, bitching about the heat and cheering Sam on just as hard as Dean has. He's been there for Dean through everything.

Dean's been there for Cas, too. When Cas' mom left when he was ten, he was there. When Cas' dad started to do a slow fade into the background of his kids' lives, he was there. When Cas' brother, Luke, went to jail, Dean sat next to Cas during the trial. When Cas' other brother, Michael, kicked Cas out of the house when he found out Cas is gay, Cas came to stay with Dean. When Cas' father finally put his foot down and parented for five minutes, demanding that Michael shove it up his ass and that Cas move back home, Dean stayed the first few nights with him.

Their lives have been so fucking intertwined that Dean's not a hundred percent sure where one of them begins and the other one ends.

What he does know, though, is that he fucked up. He knows it by the cracking pain in his chest, the burning tears in his eyes, the shaking in his hands. He knows it because if he even tries to think of a future without Cas, it rolls out in front of him, bleak and hopeless. The graphic design career he kind of wants to try for won't happen because Cas is gonna be the only one who can convince him to even apply. He's gonna live in his mom's basement for the rest of his life because he's never gonna move into a dorm with Cas. The vague, blurry image of the person Dean marries, with the two-point-five kids and the picket fence and the golden retriever, those are never gonna happen, because how's he gonna marry someone if he can't get Cas' opinion of them?

It's that hysterical thought brings Dean's spinning mind to a screeching halt.

Because, as it turns out, now that he's really thinking about it (now that he's thoroughly fucked it up, that is), that person isn't a blurry image. The person next to him when he thinks about how he wants his life to be is Cas.

Not just in a "best friend" way. In a, "I want to come home to you at night," sort of way. Like, he wants to hold Cas' hand while he does stupid shit with him on Valentine's Day or his birthday. He wants to let Cas hide behind his shoulder during scary movies in the theater. He wants to do goofy, schmoopy shit with Cas just to see those blue eyes shine at him.

And, oh, dear Christ does he want to kiss Cas.

Shit. Dean didn't know he was gay. Is he gay? Is he technically bi? Demisexual? Cas-sexual?

He slams on his brakes and yanks the wheel, making a U-turn in his baby that would make him wince on any other occasion. The car doesn't matter (sorry, baby), though, not right now. Neither does whatever definition he'll need to figure out at some point to describe his sexuality to his mother, should it come up (although he's positive Cas will know what it is, probably already does, the know-it-all). The only thing that's important is Cas.

The only thing that's ever been important is Cas.

"Fuck," he hisses.

He is driving kind of fast, and Baby isn't the quietest car that ever was. She's also the only Impala in town, and pretty much everyone knows what she sounds like.

So, even though it's raining like crazy, he shouldn't be surprised that Cas is already standing on Bela's front porch, frowning, his arms crossed angrily as Dean pulls up.

He flings himself out of the car and runs across the front yard, goes up the stairs until he's one step beneath Cas on the porch, a few feet from him. The rain beats down Dean, thoroughly soaking him again.

"I think I'm in love with you," he says without preamble. No use beating around the bush.

Cas doesn't react except for one raised eyebrow. "You think?"

And, yeah, okay, Dean is definitely in the wrong here, but Jesus. He's having a fucking revelation here, in the pouring fucking rain, and here's Cas, correcting him.

"Oh my God, Cas, yes! You finicky asshole! I think I'm in love with you, because I thought something was supposed to change! I was supposed to have this big goddamn Nicholas Sparks moment on a Ferris wheel in the rain or some shit where I'd say, 'oh, I'm in love with Cas!'" Dean is breathing heavy, his chest heaving, and he's so painfully gone on this stupid nerd in front of him that he's not even really mad, he's just desperate.

"But I've always felt this way, Cas," Dean says, his voice softening, just a little, just for Cas, "and I thought this was just how people felt about their best friends. I thought everyone's heart beat faster, or their palms got sweaty, or whatever fucking cliché you want to put here, I thought everyone felt that. But now that I think about it, Sam sure as fuck doesn't feel that way about Brady, and I don't feel that way about Charlie, and I should hope you don't feel that way about Meg. It's just you, Cas. I… I think it's always been you."

Cas is just staring at him, and Dean's whole world is simultaneously moving and stopped. Everything is here, with him, and it's just out of reach, and maybe it will always be out of reach. That would be terrible, because he imagines that if he can't have Cas, then this yawning hole in his chest is never gonna go away, that it'll just always be like that, it will always be this empty and painful inside him. He's just gonna have to live like this, because Cas is always gonna be it, there's no one else, there never will be-

"You fucking idiot," Cas snarls, and Dean's whole body sags as his heart drops. But now Cas is stepping forward and fisting his hands in Dean's shirt and is he about to hit Dean?

But, oh, that's Cas' mouth on his, and yes, yes, yes. Dean wraps his arms around Cas' waist and tilts his head to slot their mouths together, and everything is perfect. Cas' lips are hard against his own, but he opens when Dean's tongue brushes against his bottom lip. Cas is making these desperate little noises that Dean can barely even hear over the thunder and the rain, but he doesn't care, he doesn't care, because this is Cas, and this is where Castiel James Novak has always, always belonged.

A sharp, loud wolf whistle cuts into Dean's consciousness. He's startled, sure, but he feels firmly that Cas is overreacting when the dark-haired boy pulls away and turns to glare over his shoulder at Benny.

"Was that necessary, Benjamin?" he says, and woah, is that what Cas' voice sounds like post-kiss? Because, hello, worth it.

The Cajun is grinning. It's dawning on Dean that his little speech may or may not have had an audience. "Just glad all that pinin' is finally over, brotha."

"And the eye-fucking," Bela sneers.

"You're welcome, darlings!" Balthazar sing-songs, and Dean can feel himself scowl.

Cas turns back to him, but his face is gentle now, as are his fingers as he cups Dean's jaw. "Oh, Dean," he says softly.

Dean leans forward to press his forehead to Cas'. "Sorry it took me so long," he murmurs.

"I'm glad you're here," Cas says with a smile. He looks up, blinking rapidly, then meets Dean's eyes again, and God help him, those blue eyes are sparkling, and that dark hair is plastered to Cas' face, and Dean's heart thuds in his chest.

"You got your Nicholas Sparks moment, after all," Cas says, his deep voice rolling in laughter. Dean glares, but he can't help his smirk as Cas presses forward to bury his face in Dean's neck, shuddering as he laughs.

"Yo! Bitches!"

Charlie's voice has them both looking back at the doorway to the house. The crowd has dispersed, because even if Dean's world just rocked on its axis and came back to rest in a better place, no one else gives a fuck that Dean Winchester and Castiel Novak are (finally) fucking, or will be shortly.

The redhead is grinning ecstatically, though, and she's waving two towels. "Come inside! Make out in the warm! It's better!"

Dean looks at Cas the same moment Cas looks like him, and everything in his life is perfect in that moment.

"Let's go inside, Dean."

- Feedback gets my motor running.

- I'm a wreck. I have six WIPs and one long one-shot I need to finish. Why am I like this. Send help.