A/N: Hello, lovelies. I'll keep these notes brief since the first chapter is rather long. I've been editing and editing this first one for about two weeks now. And I just finished re-editing it for what seems to be the hundredth time tonight. I could probably edit it some more too because, well, I'll admit. I'm positively nervous with this fic. You're probably wondering why. It's because I know there are so many other Covid-19/Quarantine and AU fics out there already that are so brilliant and inspiring. I've read so many of these and found myself each time going "I want to write one. I badly want to write one." So, here we are. In addition, I've reached that level of quarantine (I'm a solo quarantinee) where I've started naming my fic bunnies-and this one is named Charlie-and he's sort of long-winded. Anyway, long story short, this is my take on the tropes of "Secret Lovers" and "Covid-19 quarantine" among several others. It's going to have humor, smut (I'm not sure how much because, well, I honestly don't write that much usually), drama, family, and the usual others. I'll try to lay off the heavy on it as best as I can, but I'll admit that I'm a drama/angsty/romance writer. Sorry. Many thanks goes to RiaRose for helping me with the smut-ish sections. Seriously, if you love Marvel Stony fics, she's your woman. Either way, hope you enjoy.
To anyone walking past the ranch-style, grey brick-accented house in the sleepy subdivision, the home looked fairly boring. It was well-maintained and its occupants usually kept to themselves. That wasn't to say they weren't friendly if caught by a neighbor or two outside because the family always was and so very respectful—except for that one incident a few years back. But most of the neighborhood had forgotten about that time honestly. It wasn't unless one wandered too close and heard the sounds from within that one would know that the house was anything but quiet inside usually.
Stilted needy moans mixed with the rhythmic thumping of the rich mahogany headboard as it slammed against the wall incessantly from the lovers' frantic coupling. Slowly, it built into a crescendo that ended with a shouted broken curse to the Heavens. The happy couple were blissfully unaware of the outside world, focused entirely on themselves and their intense, everlasting love for one another. Like most mornings these days.
With a wide gummy grin, the messy raven-haired man stared down in absolute adoration, watching his lover gasp as his softening cock slipped out with a pop, a trail of come leaking out. His husband was always so fucking stunning in the morning light, more so after sex. As the rough, calloused hands flailed out to grip their satin bed sheets, he observed the thrown back head, neck taut, mouth agape, and puff of breath from his lover, holding himself back from sucking the delightful flesh and marking him even more. Instead, he counted all the sexy freckles speckling his husband's face until the deep, throaty moan made him lose count. He rumbled a soft chuckle tiredly in response, flopping down and pressing a tender kiss against the badly kiss-swollen lips.
"What?" innocently feigned his husband, the deep emerald eyes glistening up brightly, as the puffy pink lips twitched in badly hidden amusement.
"Of all the men in the universe, you, Dean Winchester, are the one I had to fall for." Cerulean eyes rolled hard as he slowly pushed himself up and scooted off the bed.
"Fate's a bitch, ain't she, Cas?" Dean joked back, running a hand through his dark sweat-drenched lighter feathery hair. He sprawled himself out sinfully like he was ready for an encore, which honestly probably wasn't that far from the truth. He locked his fingers behind his head and stared back enticingly, even wiggling his hips suggestively when he caught the sharp gaze again.
Snorting back, though, Cas shook his head before he tossed the first piece of clothing he could find in the somewhat darkened room towards the bed. Outside, the rain steadily fell against their curtained window. It was going to be a dreary day. "Clean yourself up. You have work in two hours."
"How about you come over here and do it yourself, angel?" purred Dean, his tongue flicking out to run over his lips briefly before he winked back.
Another scoff filled the air before Cas pointed back at the brat in their bed. "You're worse than an incubus, I swear." He turned away and padded silently towards the opened door opposite of them that led into their master bathroom.
"Really?" instantly complained Dean in obvious disbelief. "You're just going to leave me, your drop-dead gorgeous husband, hanging here like this?" He objected louder when Cas still didn't take the bait. "I see how it is. I put a ring on it, and now you're all," his voice immediately lowered into his husband's deep timbre, "Yes. Just one orgasm is adequate for now. Any more than that, and we will need to head to the nearest emergency room." He tore his gaze back disappointingly and glared up at the ceiling. "So much for our profound bond," he muttered bitterly, his hand absentmindedly stroking his cock lazily. He could feel the pulse of blood slowly returning, despite already falling to completion just minutes prior.
"Yes, I know. You're horribly mistreated," Cas retorted back with another eye roll, pausing in the doorway to glance back. The soulful baby blues trailed down the naked form of the sex god of Kansas—or so his hilarious idiot liked to call himself. "Dean," he called out gruffly, his left brow raising as his arms folded neatly across his tanned chest impatiently, "are you waiting for me to grip you tight and raise you from perdition here?" He caught the surprised forest green dart back to him instantly and forced himself not to react. Damn, he was so fucking lucky to be married to Dean.
Understanding the unsaid words, his husband instantly scrambled off their bed, tossing aside the shirt he had used to clean up with earlier. "Coming!"
Cas waited until he could feel the heat coming off him before he rumbled another dark chuckle. His left brow—the dom!brow as his husband affectionately liked to call it—rose more as he forced himself to stare back impassively, which honestly was hard to maintain when Dean looked that damn good afterwards. If he were only younger, then he'd be buried back deep within his righteous man who led him to his current downfall. "Yes," he murmured, the deep oceanic blues flicking downwards suggestively before he returned to the freckled face, "you will be." Dean shivered, he noted in glee.
A half hour later dressed in his familiar white button-down dress shirt and a pair of black slacks with a thick leather belt slipped through the loops, Dean sighed heavily before he tossed down his phone frustrated onto the bedside table with a frown. He caught the quick flinch from Cas, who had been watching him dress from their bed. The once gentle rain now turned into a miserable downpour.
"Sorry," he muttered, giving Cas a quick apologetic smile.
His husband waved it away, though, and instantly crawled on his knees to the edge of the bed, glancing up. "Is everything all right?"
"Depends," Dean replied vaguely, meeting the worried blues a second later.
He leaned forward to meet Cas's look. "If you were hoping to have the house mostly to yourself for this whole quarantine thing," he quipped with a shit-eating grin suddenly engulfing his face.
His husband stared, though, his head pulling back in surprise. "What?"
Dean chuckled in response. "Starting tomorrow, they're shutting down the field office and having all of us work remotely while this is whole COVID crap is going on. Of course I'm not sure how they want me to do that exactly, but that's what my boss just said." He rested his hands on the strong, bare, tanned shoulders. "So, you're stuck seeing my ugly mug 24/7, sunshine."
"Oh." His deep soulful blue eyes quickly darted away towards the far wall.
"Yeah, uh, not the reaction I was going for here, but okay . . ."
"No." His husband turned back sharply. "I mean, I'm happy of course that you're going to be here." He returned a loving smile, gently plucking one of the hands from his shoulder before pressing feather-light kisses against the cracked, calloused fingertips, working his way down to Dean's wrist. "I just wasn't expecting it," he admitted, glancing up as he pulled back a second later.
"Yeah. Me neither." Dean bent his knees slightly and pressed their foreheads together. "But I got to admit, it'll be good being here with you all day. Damn better than what I was thinking at least."
His brows knit together as the blue eyes did their usual squinting head tilt. "How so?"
"Well, Mom was saying the other day how the mayor or whatever was suggesting she and the deputies stay at the precinct until this is over. Something about less movement or—I don't know, man. I honestly tuned her out after a while." He then straightened himself back up, rubbing his back with a wince while keeping his left hand on Cas's shoulder.
"Dean!" his husband cried in outrage.
"What?" He shrugged back. "There's only so much you can take of hearing her go on about Sioux Falls this and Sioux Falls that, and 'When are you boys and the kids going to come up this way again and visit,' etc, etc."
"She misses you," Cas remarked pointedly.
He scoffed, though. "No. She misses the chance to fuss over me." He then smirked, his brilliant greens darkening slightly. "You know what this means, though, right?"
Blue eyes rolled again with a loud groan. "So help me, if you suggest using handcuffs again in the bedroom, I'm divorcing you."
Dean huffed, lightly hitting him in the shoulder. "Jeez, grump. Not everything about me has to do with sex."
"Oh, really?" The piercing deep sapphires stared back disbelievingly.
"Then what were you going to say, hmm?"
Dean blinked. "Uh—"
"That's what I thought," huffed Cas, pulling out of Dean's embrace before he stood beside their bed for a moment. "You should finish getting dressed."
"Or not . . ." After all, he only needed to go into the office at some point today. It was never specified when exactly he had to do it. Just that he needed to be set up before tomorrow.
"Dean," warned the vibrant blue-eyed man.
"Fine. You never let me have any fun." He gasped loudly when strong hands suddenly seized his waist and yanked him into Cas. Damn, he loved it when his husband manhandled him like this.
"I let you have all sorts of fun. I'm just not as sex crazed as you are," Cas retorted, a hand lightly pulling Dean's chin down to force their eyes to meet.
"Well, yeah, because your parents were super religious or whatever."
"If that were true, how would you explain my brother I wonder?"
"Eh, still not sure you two are related honestly," Dean quipped, his body quickly melting into his husband's embrace. He loved these moments when it was just them in the house. They were usually few and far between unfortunately even with the kids away at college now. Either he was working long hours at the office on some case or Cas was held up in his on some weird project thing. He closed his eyes, breathing in the weird fruity shampoo his husband used. This would be one of their last moments alone together. He wanted it to last forever, knowing it wouldn't, though.
Snickering, Cas lightly brushed his lips over Dean's. Like usual, they melded together within seconds, trying to climb into each other to become one again. He eased them back out of the loving gesture a few moments later with a tiny sigh, their chests heaving. "As much as I would love to agree with you, I can't." His eyes softened sadly, clearly wishing the two would get past their animosity somehow. "So, please, do try to get along with him. You and he are not that different honestly."
"Yeah, see, the only thing that ass and I have in common is you, man. But, yeah, sure. I'll play nice with him the next time I see him again. Scout's Honor." He waved a hand dramatically. "Which isn't going to be—what—until the holidays, right?"
"Saved by the bell," Dean drawled, "literally." He smirked before he gave his few inches shorter husband a brief kiss and then skipped off towards the front door. All in all, it was surprisingly shaping up to be the best day yet. "Please be girl scouts. Please be girl scouts," he chanted quietly to himself, turning the knob. He had been craving the damn thin mints for ages now, but someone—the sexy loser in the bedroom—wouldn't pick them up at the store. Some such garbage about preservatives and how they were bad for you. Which was hilarious considering Cas had zero problem with his stupid damn microwavable burritos he'd eat occasionally.
The second the door opened and forest green eyes saw the short, sandy-haired man standing on the porch with a suitcase at his side, Dean glared, cursing God to Hell with Lucifer. Fuck! He just had to put that bad mojo out in the universe earlier, hadn't he? Damn it!
"Nope," remarked Dean a second later, slamming the door shut in his brother-in-law's face. He didn't care. He did not fucking care one bit! He turned away to head back to the bedroom. Out of sight, out of mind.
"God—fucking—damn it," he hissed under his breath, stopping in mid-step. His shoulders hunched violently in irritation.
"Who is it?" Cas called out from their bedroom, likely getting dressed in a hurry now at the prospect of a guest.
"Jehovah's witness," Dean lied, whirling back around with clenched teeth. He had to get rid of the asshole on his front porch before Cas saw him. Otherwise, he'd be screwed.
"Please, for my sake, don't yell at them this time like a raving lunatic!" his husband shouted back. "I'm still getting looks at the store over it, and it's been over three years."
"No promises, angel," he replied back with a yell. Since he knew his husband did love his annoying asshole brother, he would have to suck this up and deal with the annoying idiot sooner rather than later. He threw open the door a second later and glared murderously. "Gabriel, I swear I'll—" The hissed words died on his lips when he finally noticed. Downcast amber eyes, left hand placed over right wrist, head hanging low, disheveled appearance, not engaging in conversation, not exhibiting usual juvenile behavior. "What's wrong?" he asked, his irritation quickly replaced with genuine concern.
It took a few moments, but eventually his brother-in-law lifted his head up to look him in the eyes, the drenched golden dark locks framing his face miserably. Dean instantly felt a chill sweep down his spine. He had only spoken directly with him at the wedding five years ago, but he could never recall seeing that particular haunted look in the man's eyes before. Whatever it was, it wasn't good at all.
"Castiel didn't talk to you." Gabriel forced a sad smile before he nodded jerkily. "Oh." He glanced back down at the ground, shifting his weight awkwardly. "I can—I'll just—yeah." He turned away to head back into the fierce downpour.
Dean inhaled sharply, glancing upwards as he wondered why the hell every Novak man he had ever met was always so damn dramatic all the time. "Cas!" he bellowed, watching his brother-in-law turn back around in surprise after having taken only a step or two from the front door. When he caught Gabriel's stance relax slightly and watched the withdrawn amber regain a little bit more of its usual spark, he knew his husband was finally approaching from behind.
"Gabriel!" Cas gasped the second he likely saw his brother. "But you said—"
"Yeah. I know," replied glumly the downtrodden man. "Sorry, Cassie. Had to change the time thanks to Zachariah and his douchbaggery-ness."
Cas stepped up beside Dean then. "It happened then?" he asked gently, which threw Dean for a loop even further.
A second later, the younger Novak wrapped his big brother in a warm embrace tightly. They held one another for a few moments before they pulled apart, Cas's arm easily sliding across his brother's back to pull him into a side embrace.
"Come inside. I'll make you some hot chocolate while you change into drier clothes."
"Uh . . ." Dean cleared his throat and forced an uncomfortable smile, seemingly snapping out of his thoughts finally. "Cas, could I talk to you in the bedroom?" When he saw the squinted look, he forced his smile more. "Please?"
"Kitchen's over there," his husband directed to his brother as they walked inside.
Dean and Cas strode quickly to their room, reaching it a few moments later, with Dean closing the door quietly behind them. Where would he even begin to start with this one?
Cas held up a hand, though, quickly deciding he'd go first and start this conversation. "I know what you're going to say—"
"Oh, I very much doubt you do," he quipped, sighing heavily as he shook his head.
"He's my brother, Dean," Cas remarked emphatically, clearly ready to fight tooth and nails.
"Yeah, no, I get that." The green eyes darted to his husband. "All right. I do." He held up his hands sympathetically. "And I feel for the guy. But, Cas, he absolutely cannot stay here."
"Why not?" his husband challenged, taking a step towards Dean. "We have the guest room. And with the kids staying away in the dorms, it's not like he's going to be imposing all that much. He may get annoying, which you have my permission to punch him over, but we can't just throw him out onto the streets." Cas's hands then grasped his, squeezing his hands firmly and pleadingly. "Please. I know you and he get on each other's nerves, but I'm asking you. Please."
"Please, Dean. He doesn't do well by himself," he declared quietly. "All right. So when he told me he thought with everything going on that he would likely have to stop working and didn't know if he'd be able to pay his rent and everything, I offered our guest room. I know I should have asked, but he's my brother. The only damn one who hasn't tried to make my life a living hell. And he practically raised me. I can't just turn my back on him. I can't. Not when he's been with me through everything. When I had no one else, he was there. I can't do that to him. I can't."
Dean quickly pressed a finger to Cas's chapped lips and sighed heavily. "I love you," he murmured, sighing heavily. He caught his husband's immediate confusion and glanced down regretfully. "The reason he can't stay here is because you're not the only one who offered that room." He closed his eyes and waited for the blow up that would likely happen much later. "I asked Sam to come out here and offered it to him already. That's why I'm saying no. Not because it's your brother."
He sighed heavily and nodded slowly. "Yeah."
God, they were a bunch of dumbasses sometimes. Five years of marriage, and they still ran into these hiccups where one didn't tell a crucial thing to the other. Thankfully, they both had done it this time so they wouldn't be spending their isolation fighting the entire time. He hated when they fought.
"We'll tell him then," Cas stated a second later.
"What?" Dean blinked, confused.
"We'll tell him that Sam is going to be here, that you previously had offered the room to your brother first, and see what Gabriel says."
"Okay." Made sense at least. "But what if he decides to leave?"
"Then that's his decision, but, fair warning, I will be calling him every night to check on him if he decides to leave."
Dean smiled faintly before he pressed their foreheads together again, nuzzling their noses. It was a stupid thing they did every now and then, something Cas had started, but it had stuck.
"No matter what he decides," Dean quietly murmured, meeting the loving azure, "I want you to know that I won't kick him out. All right? You have my word. He's family. Even if he is an annoying little shit sometimes."
His husband snorted, pulling back and meeting his look. "You still haven't forgiven him for the reception yet?"
"No. And I'm surprised you have."
"It's Gabriel. He's . . ." He laughed quietly and sighed. "It would have been abnormal if he hadn't been found in one of the confessional boxes with someone."
"Dude! He had sex twice at our wedding!"
"I'm aware," Cas replied dryly with a carefree shrug. "You know, considering I'm the one who had the unfortunate pleasure of catching him while retrieving your coat."
"That poor bridesmaid," Dean muttered, recalling a rather lewd and entirely bragging conversation he'd had with his brother-in-law at his stag party. Of course at the time he hadn't been aware that the bragging man sitting beside him would be his soon-to-be brother-in-law so he had enjoyed himself entirely too much swapping heavily sex-involved stories with the stranger. It wasn't until after Cas had introduced them that both Dean and Gabriel had realized their fatal mistake.
"For the record, it was a groomsman," Cas pointed out.
"What?" Green eyes darted to him. "I thought you said—but—wait. So he was shacking up with one of our groomsman? Dude! What the fuck?" He lightly hit Cas's shoulder with a glare. "Which one?" When Cas merely stared blankly back, Dean's mind went down the list of possibilities. It couldn't have been Sammy. His little brother just didn't swing that way. Ketch was a maybe, but he didn't want to think of his partner like that really. "Wait! Tell me it wasn't Benny. Please, God, tell me your brother didn't—ugh. No! Dude!" He punched him again in the shoulder. "Seriously, what's wrong with him?"
"Are you finished?" Cas stated brusquely, clearly long past finished with this topic.
"Yeah, fine. But, I mean, if he stays, we have to lay down some ground rules, all right? And the second he breaks one, he's out of here. Understand?"
"Yes," his husband replied with a groan. "Now, can we please head back out there? We are, after all, leaving him alone in our house unsupervised."
"Oh, shit. I didn't . . . yeah." Dean then reached out, grabbing Cas's forearm. "I meant what I said earlier, though. I mean, as long as he follows the rules mostly, I won't kick him out. And if he does break them, I'll make sure your brother has a place to stay beforehand. I know how . . . I mean . . ."
"Please stop," Cas mumbled with a soft look. "I knew what you meant without you drudging up our shitty childhood. You're a good man, Dean Winchester. It's one of the reasons I married you."
"Oh?" He smiled back cockily, forgetting about his brother-in-law for a moment again. "And what was the other, sunshine?"
"You're incorrigible." His husband chuckled back, glancing up at him and staring deep into his soul, as if it were just them and no one else in the world anymore.
Dean lowered his head slowly, inching closer to the chapped lips he loved.
The sound of something breaking, however, shattered the moment.
"Fuck!" a voice cried from the kitchen.
"Damn it, Gabriel," muttered Dean, catching his husband's amused look. "He's worse than a child, I swear."
"Perhaps," drawled the blue-eyed man, "but you'll grow to love him. I'm certain of it."
He shook his head, turning away. Not fucking likely.
They both headed out of their room to see what sort of mayhem the older Novak had caused this time. They found Gabriel at the sink with his back to them, water rushing out of the faucet.
"All right. What'd you break, asshole?" grunted the green-eyed man, approaching the wavy-haired man whose hair was fluffing more and more as it air-dried.
"A glass," Gabriel answered back, his voice oddly stilted somehow, as he didn't turn around to greet them. "I'll replace it, though."
"Damn right you'll replace it."
"Dean!" Cas hissed at his side with a mild glare.
The second he reached the older Novak's side, he felt his gut clench in horror. "What the fuck, dude!" Dean's eyes widened before he snapped his fingers towards the linen closet, thankful that Cas had sprinted off to get some clean towels without a question. His hand reached forward, grabbing the other man's wrist to steady it. He could see at least four large chunks of glass embedded in Gabriel's palm, but it was hard to see through the startling mess of his badly bleeding hand. He moved the man's hand further under the running water, gently plucking with kitchen tongs out the glass shards and tossing them onto the counter. "You're going to need stitches probably," he mumbled, focused on his task.
"Yeah" was the whispered reply.
When Dean gently removed the last shard, he sighed audibly and glanced at the older man. There was that damn look again. It didn't sit right with him. It didn't belong on Gabriel's face at all. It was . . . unnatural and unsettling. When he saw a towel be thrust in their direction a moment later, he wordlessly grabbed it and wrapped it tight around the man's hand, bringing the man's arm up to stop the bleeding.
"All right. I'll get Baby, and we'll head—"
"Do you have any superglue instead?" Gabriel interjected quietly.
"Superglue," his brother-in-law repeated calmly, meeting Dean's look.
"Yeah, just a second," Cas said, moving off to open their junk drawer.
"No sense in heading to the hospital and bothering them right now, you know?" he remarked with a faint shrug. "Not when I know superglue works just the same."
Dean scoffed and inclined his head. Yeah. It was more the route of Neanderthals in some people's minds, but he knew from growing up and spending the better part of his childhood in his dad's auto shop that superglue worked pretty much the same in closing wounds. He just wouldn't have thought that his brother-in-law would have been all right with it. The more he knew, he guessed.
The two slowly headed over to the dining room table then, Gabriel sitting down and holding his wrapped hand out with a wince. When Cas rejoined them soon after, Dean stepped back, recognizing the look in the fierce blue eyes.
"Oh, brother, what did you do?"
"Sorry, Cassie," replied the older brother with a ghostly somber smile. He hissed when Cas slowly started to unravel the already blood-soaked towel.
Dean caught the sharp look his husband gave his brother before the big brother glanced down in shame and remained silent. They were always a mystery to him. He and Sammy were close, sure, but not like this. He hooked his thumbs in his pockets and silently watched them more, wondering idly if he'd ever learn the whole story of what the brothers had gone through. He had tried to get Cas to open up about his family occasionally, but his husband would usually change the subject after a bit. Whatever it was that the brothers had gone through, it was clearly traumatic as fuck.
When he heard a phone vibrating nearby, he turned around and saw his screen light up from where it was plugged in on the kitchen counter. Knowing the brothers likely needed a moment alone, he reached for his cell and walked off into another room.
"Hey, everything okay?" he asked, answering the call. It was rare for him to get a call this early.
"Yes, Dad," the young woman said through soft laughter. "Everything's fine. I just—well, they're cancelling in-person classes, so I'm giving you a warning bark."
Dean's eyes narrowed before he blinked for several minutes as his mind processed this. A warning bark? "So, what does that mean exactly?"
"It means your kids are coming home, old man, so put on some damn pants for once," she retorted with a snort.
"What?" he choked out, his mind and heart fighting one another. The words repeating in his head quite frequently were 'Yay' and 'Son of a bitch.'
"Yeah, I know. We're cramping your style. Trust me. We'd much rather be at college than be with you two, but what can you do?"
"What's he saying?" a younger voice—his son—asked from the other line.
"Nothing currently, little bro. Sounds like he's having a stroke or something."
"Ha-ha," Dean grumped, his mind fully resetting before he glanced at his kids' empty rooms. They had gone from him and Cas to him, Cas, and Sam to him, Cas, Sam, Gabriel, and now the kids. Did none of them understand how social distancing worked? "Answer me this. Why can't you two stay in the dorms?" Not that he didn't want to see his kids of course, because he did. He just was looking at it logistically speaking. That would be a fuck ton of people in the house on top of each other. In the middle of a literal pandemic. And they were coming from all over the country to his house.
"I'm sorry," she scoffed sarcastically. "Have you ever been inside a college dorm? These people are filthy animals. Yeah, no. I would much rather be at home with my gay. clean-freak, strict dads then to be here with these idiots."
"I don't know whether to be happy about that or insulted by it, Claire Bear."
"Good. Then I did it right," she remarked with an obvious wide smile. "Anyway, Jack and I'll be home sometime tomorrow probably. We still have to pack up our stuff, so you got one more night to yourselves."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Then I guess your sexy dad and I'll have to—"
"Whatever, old man!" she sighed dramatically in a rather bored tone. "Just don't break a hip."
A quiet beep, beep then alerted him to the fact that she had ended their call. He huffed and shook his head. She clearly had gotten her sass from Cas. He walked back into the kitchen then, noticing his husband's deep frown at whatever Gabriel was mumbling.
"All right, so"—Dean held up his phone—"that was the kids."
"Are they all right?" his husband asked, his head jerking upwards in worry.
"Yeah. They sounded fine." He shrugged back. "I guess their university is kicking them out over this Coronavirus crap, and they decided we were their best option of survival over their friends." He heard his brother-in-law's quiet snort and glanced at the man before he returned to his husband. "So, instead of four people, now we got six."
"Four?" Gabriel questioned, glancing between them. "Who else is coming?"
"My brother Sam," Dean stated, leaning his hip against the counter before he crossed his arms. "He lives out in New York, and with everything going on out there, I'd rather have him here."
"Sam?" repeated the man with wide amber eyes. "Oh." His eyes darted to the kitchen table. "I should, um." His voice trailed off before he stood up and turned towards Cas. "Thanks for the offer, little bro, but I'll . . . it's fine."
Green eyes glanced upwards. "Just sit down, will you? I'm not rescinding the offer. You can stay. There's just going to be some ground rules, all right?" He frowned when he caught Gabriel's head snapping to Cas in fear. Maybe this time isolating with the two brothers would help him finally solve the damn mystery with them.
"Dean, you don't need to—"
"No, I don't," he agreed, meeting the amber eyes. "But you're family, asshole. So, sit down and shut up. Or, God help me, I'll handcuff you to a damn chair and cover your mouth with duct tape." He watched his brother-in-law stare at him for a few moments, clearly debating if it was worth it to stay or not, before Cas gently rested a hand atop of his arm and Gabriel sat back down. "Rule number one, no leaving the house. That means no sneaking out to some bar to screw some chick or guy or whatever you're into these days. Your ass is to be in this house every single day of every single hour unless we as a family unit go for a walk or drive or whatever." He pointed at him. "I won't have you risking your niece and nephew's lives, and my brother's for that matter, all because you can't sit still for a bit."
"Good. Rule number two, no messing with us with your stupid tricks. I'm going to have sensitive material in the house because of my job, and if you go anywhere near it, I will arrest you for it."
Gabriel's eyes meandered over to his little brother. The corner of his lips twitched slightly.
"Rule three, no ordering or watching porn or whatever in clear view of the kids."
"Absolutely no fun should ever happen here. Got it," his brother-in-law joked, his lip twitching more to hold back his laughter.
"Gabriel," he growled. "I mean it. I will not have you subject the kids to your—"
"But you and Cassie can still eye-fuck in front of us, right? Like, that's still okay?" dryly remarked the older Novak. "Or do these rules not apply to you?"
Dean clenched his jaw and glared. The urge to punch the childish dick was seriously high right then. He then exhaled loudly, trying to push out all of his irritation to calm himself again. The damn asshole was doing this to rile him up just like every other fucking time they've ever met. They seriously brought the worst out in one another.
"They apply to everyone living under this roof, Gabriel. So, don't go thinking you're anything special because you're fucking not." Within seconds, he caught both Novaks flinch violently and glanced between them, feeling his gut clench when he saw Cas's haunted look. He made a note never to say that particular phrase again since it seemed to inflict serious pain to the brothers. Seriously, what the fuck kind of hell did they live through exactly?
"Are there any more rules I'm to adhere to?" the man asked quietly, his rare seriousness returning as his eyes dulled back into the withdrawn look again.
"Just please try to be considerate, okay? That's all I ask," Dean replied with a sigh. "If you can do that, then we'll be peachy."
"All right. Fair enough," Gabriel stated respectfully, inclining his head. "I'll try."
"Good." Dean then ran his fingers through his spiky hair, guilt twisting his insides as he noticed his brother-in-law was still wearing damp clothes. "You should go take a shower or something, and get out of those damn clothes." The second he said the words, he caught the instant shift in the man's eyes. His stomach dropped in response. Oh shit.
The golden-wavy haired man, though, didn't take the bait this time for some reason and stood back up. "Which way is the shower then, bucko?"
Dean motioned to his left vaguely. "At the end."
"Thanks." Gabriel walked over to his suitcase a moment later, bending down to open it and grab some things before he headed off in that direction.
The second the bathroom door closed, Dean groaned, letting his head fall forward. "Cas . . ." he murmured, sighing when he felt his husband's arms pull him into a hug. "Why does he always have to act like a damn teenager around me?"
His husband chuckled quietly, pressing a simple kiss to his slight stubbled cheek. "You two constantly push each other's buttons to see who will explode first. And, well, I believe I saw some childish behavior on your part as well. Eventually, you'll see that my brother isn't the enemy here." He then thought on it for a moment. "At least not that particular brother of mine."
"Am I ever going to meet the rest of them?" he asked quietly.
"No." Cas's body tensed briefly before he perceptibly forced himself to relax. "There's a reason Gabriel and I have nothing to do with our family, Dean."
"I know," he mumbled. "I just wish you trusted me enough to know what that reason was, angel," he admitted softly, gently brushing back his husband's messy black locks.
Vibrant baby blue eyes flicked to the deep lush green. "It's not a matter of trust," Cas quietly murmured before he leaned up and brushed his lips over his husband's. He then pulled back a beat later and sighed. "It's a matter of keeping you safe." He then turned away to step back.
"You realize I'm a trained FBI agent, right?" Dean remarked with a raised brow. "That I have a shit load of firearm, hand-to-hand combat, and other training and expertise? That I'm practically a fucking kickass ninja?"
Cas snorted in response, his lips turned upwards in a wry smirk. "Oh, really?"
"Yep. So, I don't need you to keep me safe." He yelped a second later when his arm suddenly was twisted behind his back, and he was roughly slammed down against the dining room table, his husband's weight pressed firmly atop of him bending him over it. Well, fuck.
"Then why is it that your husband, an academic and nerd by all rights, can do this to my so-called 'fucking kickass ninja' husband, hmm?" Cas breathed darkly into his ear.
Dean let out a low groan, feeling the warmth pool deep in his belly. Fuck. If Cas kept this up—he swallowed back those thoughts quickly, trying to brush past the initial lust that had resulted. But, damn, did he love this animalistic side to the dorky man sometimes.
"Simple," he stuttered out, shivering against the delicious friction. God, what he would do to be fucked against this table right then. "You're a kickass ninja too." He felt his husband's quiet laugh.
"Not exactly." A gentle kiss then was pressed against his temple. "Just, please, Dean. Trust me. Someday I'll be able to tell you. Just not today." He then released him, standing back up and brushing a hand down his clothes as if nothing had happened.
Dean, however, was still presenting his ass, as if still pressed firmly against their table. The second he heard a door opening, though, he shot back up, hissing when a muscle in his back protested. When the hell had he gotten so old? He glanced to his left, noticing Cas had moved to the counter to work on the promised hot chocolate. At the footfalls quickly approaching, he bit back his flicker of irritation and quickly readjusted himself to hide his slight bulge. To be continued . . . again.
Dinner was a quiet affair. Gabriel was keeping to himself again. And Cas was clearly in his own mind without a care in the world. Dean, however, was picking at his food, wondering what he had done this time to garner that particular reaction from them. He had apologized numerous times about earlier.
"Steak, okay?" he asked, hoping to break the silence. He frowned when his husband's fork clattered onto his plate in surprise.
"Yeah, it's, it's good," answered Gabriel with a forced smile before he returned to his glass of wine and glanced away again.
Dean turned towards the silent blue-eyed man and waited for the usual reply. When after a few more minutes ticked by and nothing was said, he sighed heavily.
"All right. What's going on?" He glanced at both of them. "What am I missing?"
"What?" Cas's brilliant blues darted to him.
"You heard me." He gently set down his fork. "Clearly I committed some horrible sin by choosing steak or I don't know. But you're both acting like I'm killing you with this dinner, guys."
Gabriel huffed a gentle laugh. "Hardly."
"Okay . . . you want to elaborate at all here?"
Amber eyes darted to him before they slowly meandered over to the younger Novak.
"Nothing to say," Gabriel replied a moment later with a shrug, making a show of leaning back as if he was perfectly relaxed and content.
Dean could see right through that bullshit, though. Both Novaks were on guard for some reason.
"All right. New rule." He glared when Gabriel groaned instantly. "Since we're going to be living in close quarters for an indefinite amount of time, I need to know whatever this is, so I don't continue ending up walking across the proverbial landmine that you two have around you."
"There's no landmine," Gabriel argued.
"Oh, agree to disagree vehemently on that one," Dean quipped, leaning back with his own crossed arms. "So, please. All right. I get that something happened. Some traumatic—"
"Yeah, no, um, this is where I'm out." His brother-in-law stood up instantly, grabbing his plate of food and glass of wine. "Thanks for dinner."
Dean watched him head towards the guest room and glanced upwards. He then tilted his head to meet Cas's somber look.
"Is it so wrong of me to want to know?" he asked quietly. "That's all I'm asking. Is it?"
"Then why is it every time I bring it up with you or now with him, you two act like I'm in the wrong?" He sighed heavily. "I'm trying not to end up upsetting you two accidentally. We've already seen that I have a stupid brand of luck when it comes to it."
Cas gently patted his hand with a loving smile. "He knows, just as I do, that you don't mean to do it on purpose. You couldn't possibly know."
"All right. Well, that's all fine and dandy, but I need to know at least things not to say."
His husband forced a laugh and shook his head. "Trust me. If I had a cheat sheet, Dean, I'd have given it to you long ago. I'm still learning my own triggers."
"Whatever happened to you guys, like, whatever it was, if we're going to survive this and not kill one another, I'm going to need some map or whatever. Because otherwise if we keep pushing it off, some day one of us is going to snap. I'm just asking that you—please, all right? Help me out here."
He watched the baby blues soften and slip away silently. He just wished he could at least know something. He was hating the whole atmosphere they were developing. The world was already ripping apart at the seams. It didn't need to do the same in their house too.
"I don't know what it was about this for him, but for me, I was thinking about earlier and forcing you against the table as I did. That was what I was thinking so morosely."
Dean nodded slowly. "You know I don't mind when you manhandle me, right? That I trust you." When he caught the bright azure eyes, he felt a brief, irrational flicker of fear at the coldness he saw reflected in them.
"You mentioned earlier my ability to subdue you so easily had to be because I had to be a ninja too." He drew in a slow breath evenly, almost prescriptively in its way. "Do you recall when we first met one another?"
"Yeah. Course I do." It had been one of those meetings where one couldn't honestly forget it because it was so rom-com funny in a stupid serious way. "I was on a case in Illinois." A serial killer if he remembered correctly.
"And what?" Dean's brows knit together before he shrugged indifferently. "I mean, if you want me to apologize for shooting you in the shoulder again, I'm sorry. But in my defense, I did identify myself as FBI to you. You kept approaching, though, ignoring my orders. How was I supposed to know you didn't mean any harm?" His husband snorted ironically. "What?"
"You honestly never thought to ask the question of what I was doing there in the first place?"
"Well, you were a lab tech or whatever. And there was a dead body. What's more to consider?"
Cas smiled faintly and shook his head. "Remain here."
"Um, well, not sure where else I would go exactly." He watched him leave the room and chewed his lip in thought. Was Cas not a lab tech at the time then? But that didn't make sense. Why would his boss have told him that story at the hospital if it weren't true? Unless she didn't know. Dean's heart dropped as his mind supplied various other what-if reasons. Each answer became seemingly darker until he finally blurted out when Cas finally returned a few minutes later, "Tell me you're not a serial killer."
"What?" His husband chuckled. "No, Dean. I'm not a serial killer." He then held out a familiar small black leather-bound item.
The emerald eyes grew exponentially before he hesitantly grabbed and opened it. His mouth dropped. "Wait. What?" He glanced back at the badge and swallowed. "You're, but, what?!" He looked back at it, utterly flabbergasted. "But it was my case!"
"Then why the hell were you anywhere near—dude, what the hell?!" He stared at him and then looked back at the badge. He'd disregard the whole lying for eleven years for now. They'd circle back to that shortly. His immediate issue right then was the fact that it appeared that his husband had been trying to poach his fucking case at the time.
"I was there on behalf of my boss to guide you along and assist you as a sort of inter-agency cooperation. In reality, though, it was a protective assignment for me." He pushed forward, brushing off Dean's growing outrage. "We had learned through back channels that your name was on a hit list, and your boss at hearing this asked mine for a favor. The fact that you shot me, however, ruined any chance of being under my protection so you ended up under my partner's instead."
"So, you were a US marshal?" This dorky dude who preached meditation and new age yoga shit all the time had been a fucking fed like him? Seriously?
"And I'm learning this now, eleven years after meeting you, five years after marrying you?" Dean scoffed, standing up and tossing the badge onto the table. "Were you ever going to tell me?"
"I'm telling you now."
"Again, I reiterate, eleven years after we met, five years after we married!" he growled. He then pointed towards the guest room where Gabriel was. "Does he know?"
"Yes." Cas then sighed. "He's the one who encouraged me to apply in the first place."
"You're fucking with me now, aren't you?"
"You lied to me for years, Cas!"
"Technically, I didn't. Because we never discussed it."
Dean's eyes flashed murderously as he took a step towards him. "Fine. Whatever. Why you tellin' me this all now?" He then glared harder. "Eleven years after I shot your stupid ass."
"I'm telling you now because I haven't thought about any of that until now. As you so eloquently put, you shot me. I was discharged due to my injuries, and I left the service behind, choosing you, Dean, over duty. And I'd do it all again."
"Awesome." He scoffed, shaking his head as he turned away. He was so pissed right then.
"Dean, I joined to protect people from assholes like my family. That's why I'm telling you this." He then sighed heavily. "Yes, I know I should have told you long before now. But after a while, I honestly didn't see the point."
"The point is that you shouldn't hide shit from someone you love, Cas!" He then sighed heavily, pressing his palms hard onto the edge of the counter. His whole body vibrated in anger. They'd get past it. Somehow. They usually did. But that didn't mean he wouldn't be fucking pissed about it for a few months. He scoffed, shaking his head. "That's why you were so calm with the kids when I was taken a few years back. Because you knew . . . God, Cas. I can't . . ." He glanced away and worked his jaw back and forth in irritation.
"Yeah, I bet you are," he scoffed. "Any other family members I should know about that I might run across on cases?"
Dean motioned for him to continue. "Well, come on, angel. Don't be shy now."
"My oldest brother, Michael, is an intelligence officer."
"You're shitting me."
"No. However, I haven't seen him since he joined. I like to imagine that he's still out there somewhere, but we can't be sure."
"And your other siblings?" He could remember hearing a whisper of them every now and then.
"Raphael is at Fort Leavenworth awaiting execution last I heard. And Lucifer is . . ." His voice trailed off. "Somewhere out there in the world unfortunately. Just like my father is."
"No. I mean, I have an old partner named Hannah, but I haven't seen her in decades. And you've met Balthazar."
"Your gay best friend?" His eyes narrowed immediately at Cas's wince. Oh hell no. "Spill it. Who is he really?"
"My former partner with the marshals. He was the one ultimately tasked with protecting you."
"Wonderful." Dean groaned, letting his head fall forward against his chest. "Next you're going to tell me our neighbor isn't a priest."
"Well, he's not," Cas replied quietly. "He's a former Black Ops soldier from what I've learned."
Yeah, Dean supposed he could believe that. The man did seem a bit more buff than a priest would ever be. He then pointed back towards the guest room again. "What's he? CIA? NSA?"
"Yes, Cas, Gabriel," he stated coldly. "What agency does he belong to?"
"None of them. He really is a porn director out in Hollywood. Has been for decades."
He nodded back jerkily. He considered all this new information for a few moments, noticing that Cas was waiting patiently for him to digest it all. If he had to think on it, this was probably the most he had ever learned about Cas's family and his past in probably ever. He couldn't disregard that at least. It was a start. And it did help lessen the initial blow of finding out that the man he had married had been lying all these years.
"So, those projects you're working on in your office, what are they really?"
The blue eyes fell sullenly.
"Cas, please," he pleaded, hating the fact that his words had such a strong reaction like that.
"It's about my brother." Cas then clarified with a heavy sigh, "Lucifer that is."
"What about him?"
"I think he's murdered at least a dozen or more people in the past twenty years."
" . . . what?" Dean stared at him, his mouth slightly open.
"Do you see now why I didn't want to tell you about my family?"
He waved that off, focusing on the rest of what he had said. "Why do you think he's a killer?"
"Because Luci used to get off on it," a voice rumbled quietly behind him a second later. Gabriel had returned. "He'd brag about how he'd kill us, how no one would ever find our bodies., how he had done it before with no one having figured it out." A heavy sigh then echoed through the quiet house as his brother-in-law headed back to join them, setting his dirty plate in the sink. "You should just let that particular ghost of our past go, little brother. It's not worth it."
Dean glanced between the brothers. "Did you ever tell anyone?"
"Oh, lots of times," Gabriel remarked bitterly, speaking for Cas again. "We told everyone we knew at some point." He shrugged. "Didn't matter, though. We were the misfits of the family." He plopped himself down into one of the kitchen chairs and stretched out lazily. "So, the day I turned fifteen, I decided enough was enough. I was getting us out of there once and for all."
Dean glanced at his husband and saw the blank look again. He knew from experience it meant Cas was trying hard not to express his emotions for some reason. It had taken him years to break through his husband's stoicism and figure out the small nuances.
"I got up early that morning," Gabriel explained, "and begged Dad to let me take his car out on a road trip, promising I'd take Cassie with me. That way he could work on whatever shitty novel he was writing and not be interrupted by us all weekend. He handed me the keys and didn't even bother so much as to glance at me, let alone acknowledge my presence even. Because deadlines. So, Cassie and I took off on the open road, running away and escaping that particular nightmare." He chuckled darkly. "I think I wrecked that car about ten hours later. Sent it flying off a damn cliff somewhere out in bumfuck nowhere. We hitched rides after that with truckers until I got us out to California. And the rest you can say is history." He grinned, the jovialness not quite reaching his eyes.
"So, wait," Dean glanced at his husband, "your dad thinks you're both dead?"
"Probably, yeah," Cas replied with a shrug.
"Yep," Gabriel concurred. "In fact, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, Gavriel and Cassiel Shurley died in a tragic fiery car crash."
Dean glanced towards his husband and then to his brother-in-law. "How did you—someone at the marshals would have figured it out during the background check. They would have noticed the inconsistencies at the very least."
Gabriel's grin this time did reach his eyes. "Yeah. Probably. But what can I say? I'm resourceful, and I know how to play the system, Dean-o." He was proud of himself clearly. "It took a bit, longer than I wanted it to, but eventually I found him." He shrugged lightly. "Frank Devereaux, the go-to expert in creating new identities and backstops. You name it. I found him through some contacts who had used him. They all claimed he was the absolute best. That he was used by the government and others. I was fifteen, so I thought 'Why not?" He waved his hand vaguely. "Took about . . . four or five months before I had enough cash for it, but the second I had the money, he created them for us. When I got picked up the first time by the cops," he laughed darkly, "I nearly died when they ran me in their system. I was so sure that they'd find out the truth and it'd be all over. That Gavriel would pop. But it didn't. Instead, it came back to Gabriel Novak, 15, from Long Beach, California, a ward of the state. Cassie and I went to the pier to celebrate once DCFS busted me out and naturally we ran. We were free."
"Weren't you worried someone would figure it out eventually?"
"Maybe the first three times I got detained, sure, but not after that." His brother-in-law leaned forward. "You see, Frank, he was smart. I had told him our story. At least to a point that is. So, he ended up taking pity on us poor abused Shurley boys. Which means when he did our new identities, he added a little bit redundancy to it to make sure that we never had to go back to Dad. Frank basically put us into the witness protection program. So every time law enforcement ran us, it'd pop with some blurb stating how we were two orphan boys placed into the program after our family had been tragically murdered by some unknown assailant connected to some redacted case. As long as we kept our mouths shut, no one knew differently. And it wasn't like DCFS gave two fucks about us really and bothered checking their files to see any patterns."
Dean closed his eyes. It explained so much as to why Cas never wanted to talk about his past. Holy fuck, the things they had to have gone through. And he was positive this wasn't all of it either. But it was so much more than what he had thought, so much worse.
"I made sure Cassie went to school, though, kept his nose clean, and I worked odd jobs and did some stuff I'm not proud of just to make sure we had money to eat." Gabriel forced another dark, mirthless laugh. "We lived on the streets for, hell, a year and half, I think, before I finally managed to get us off it. I mean, don't get me wrong. We really did try the foster care route initially, but our experiences weren't the fluffy Lifetime bullshit ones. Our first foster family didn't give a damn about the kids in their care, just the money. And our second ones were lovely people really, but they had their hands full with all the others they had. After the fourth one was a goddamn pedophile freak. I wasn't going to subject my little brother to it, so we made it on our own. And I kept him safe the best I could."
Dean nodded slowly, keeping his eyes down out of guilt. God, what did one say after learning any of this?
"And look at him now. Got a sweet life of his own." Gabriel forced his smile before he leaned forward and smacked Cas in the knee playfully. "I did pretty good with you, didn't I, kiddo?" He then laughed quietly. "Not so bad for being a screw-up like always, am I?"
"Brother," Cas rebuked with a pained look.
At the sound of the neighbors' dogs suddenly barking outside, their attention veered from that lovely conversation to the front door. A shadowy figure reflected through the hazy glass of the door before there was a hard thump against the door followed by a groaned "Goddamn it!"
Dean relaxed at hearing his younger brother's voice and casually strode across the house, throwing the front door wide open a moment later. His brother was bent over picking something up from the ground, his wallet it seemed. Some things never changed.
"Don't tell me you lost your shoe again, bitch," the older Winchester drawled with a wide grin, chuckling when he saw Sam jump in surprise.
"Ha, ha, jerk," the younger grumbled, straightening back up before he quickly thrust his wallet back into his pocket and threw his arms around Dean. They patted each other exactly twice before Sam grabbed his bag again and stepped into the house.
"Dude!" Dean huffed, glaring at him. "Easy with the floor, will you? Shit's harder to clean if there's dents in it."
"Sorry," the tall man said absentmindedly before he stepped away from his bag, which was still left at the front door in the way. "Gabriel?"
Amber eyes jerked up instantly at hearing his name. "Uh, yeah?" He then cleared his throat and stood up, his eyes making sure not to meet the ever-changing hazel whatsoever. "Oh. Sorry. I'm, uh, well, I'm crashing the bro party."
"Wow." Sam then laughed nervously, nodding slowly. He glanced briefly towards the blue-eyed Novak who was looking at both of them strangely as Cas moved to stand next to Dean. "Hey, Cas." But then the hazel eyes locked back on the shorter man with slightly wavy dark golden hair. "I didn't think you'd—huh." He shrugged coolly. "Guess I owe your brother some money after all."
"What?" Gabriel and Dean both whirled on Cas, who instantly hid his blue eyes and scrunched his face up in an obvious sign of guilt.
"Wait. Hold up!" shouted Dean. "You knew he was coming?!"
"Course not," Sam scoffed, giving his brother one of his famous bitchfaces. "But I assumed he'd at least offer it, considering."
The towering, shaggy-haired man shrugged again. "Considering how close they are. Jeez." He rolled his eyes. "Jealous much, dick?" Sam then walked seemingly towards Gabriel before veering off at the last possible moment around the small island to head to the fridge instead.
Dean's eyes narrowed at this. Why hadn't his brother just walked around the wall closest to the fridge instead? It was less steps. He then glanced towards Gabriel in confusion when he caught him drop back onto his vacant kitchen seat hard before he quickly turned away. Dean was missing something obviously between Sam and Gabriel, but he didn't have a clue what it could possibly be. The only time he could ever recall the two meeting was around the wedding. And that was only because Cas had naturally chosen his brother as his best man, and Dean likewise had chosen Sam as his. Both Gabriel and Sam, therefore, had to work closely with one another. Or at least they were supposed to have. They dropped the ball a lot during that time, but that was another story for another time.
"Anyway, let's get you caught up here," Dean shortly remarked as he walked around the shorter walk side of the fridge to his brother. "He's staying with us obviously. You'll naturally get the guest room. The kids called earlier and will be here sometime tomorrow. Oh, and Cas, you know, was a US marshal and lied to me about it for eleven years." His hand came down heavy against his brother's shoulder. "So, welcome to Hell, Sammy," he drawled.
"Uh, all right then." The hazel eyes with flecks of sea green currently darted over Dean to something behind him before Sam reluctantly turned back with a quiet sigh. "Am I supposed to be upset for you over that or what?"
"Did you miss the part where I said he lied about it for eleven years?" Dean repeated before he scoffed. "You know what? Nah." He threw his hands up into the air and whirled around. "It's fine. I don't even care. I don't."
Not to be outdone, the older Novak huffed an unamused laugh behind him. "You do realize you basically ended my little bro's career when you shot him, right, Dean-o? In other words, you're the reason he's no longer a marshal. But, yeah, sure, by all means, do continue to go on about that. You're clearly in the right here."
"Brother," quietly murmured Cas soon after, likely giving his brother a reproachful look based on his tone. "He's right to be angry with me. I withheld that from him."
"Among other things," added the grumpy Winchester, pursing his lips as he made it a point not to look at his husband. "You going to be okay, Sam?" He jerked his head minutely towards his brother-in-law as the deep green remained trained on his little brother.
"Um, yeah." He looked around, clearly confused by the question. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Good. I'll see you in the morning," grunted Dean, patting his brother's arm before he headed to the master bedroom. The door slammed shut behind him a moment later.
He undid his tie, practically ripping it off before he threw it across his room. Unfortunately, he never did find time to head into the office to collect his laptop and other items he'd need for working remotely. So he knew he'd have to go in for sure tomorrow and pray his boss hadn't noticed.
For fuck's sake, though, of course he knew he was the reason Cas no longer worked, save for a project here and there. That day was forever etched in his mind. He could still recall the electric blues staring at him blankly after his gun had gone off. The harsh reality pierced him deep in the gut. He had nearly retched right then as his mind raced in horror of his actions, the gunshot reverberating in his mind. He still didn't recall calling for an ambulance. Just that the EMTs showed up not long after, Dean still holding Cas—terrified to break their eye contact for even a second.
Cas was right. They never talked about it. Not really at least. Hell, at the time, Dean had been so guilt-stricken that he made a concerted effort to check on him whenever he could, much to the dismay of his boss who told him in no uncertain terms that he was to stay the fuck away from Castiel Novak if he knew what was good for him. At least now he knew why—another case closed there.
Gripping a part of his shirt, Dean yanked it out from where he had tucked it into his pants earlier. His mind continued to sift through the memories from their early years. It had been almost instantaneous like someone had flipped a switch on inside. The more he sat with Cas, the more he found himself needing to be at the man's side, longing for him. It had moved so damn quick. They had gone from hurt-and-comfort to full-on porn-without-a-plot in mere days after that. A whirlwind of love, Cas had said in their vows—and shit, if that wasn't exactly what it was. They never once talked, though. Hell, Dean never once even thought to ask what Cas did. He just assumed the dorky guy was a lab tech all these years. How the hell could he be mad over that when he never even thought to ask?
He shucked off his socks and scoffed, shaking his head. This was stupid. Beyond idiotic. He paused with his fingers on his belt buckle. What was he really upset about here? That Cas never volunteered that he was a US marshal in all their years together? Or was this another manifestation of his guilt over his actions? His head hung lower, and his eyes closed. He took a moment before he turned around and headed back out to the living room. None of them had moved since he stormed out.
"Say goodnight, Cas," he quipped, gently pulling his husband back towards their bedroom.
"But it's only eight-fif—"
"Don't burn the place down, idiots," Dean called over his shoulder prior to lightly pushing Cas into their room. He quickly closed the door behind them a few seconds later. "I want to be mad at you. I so badly want to be mad at you over this. Do you understand that?" he asked with a disapproving frown.
"Yes," Cas murmured, wetting his lips before he glanced down.
"But your asshole of a brother's right." The brilliant blue jerked back upwards in surprise. "So, I can't be. Because—let's face it—I did end your career."
"No, babe," he murmured with another heavy sigh before he stepped into his space. "We both fucked up. Again. We need to stop with the damn secrets all the time, though. It's going to ruin the best thing that's ever happened to us if we keep it up. And I don't want that." He slowly threaded their fingers together, rubbing his thumb gently against the back of his husband's hand.
Cas smiled shyly with a quick look down before he glanced back up, his eyes completely soft with affection. "I see." He took the half-step that was somehow still between them and pressed himself firmly against him. "What do you recommend we do about this then?"
Dean inhaled deeply, snaking his arms around Cas's shoulder and his waist to pull him until they could feel one another's rapid heartbeats. "Well . . ." His smirk grew into a predatory grin as his voice trailed off, the hunter green darkening even more somehow. "That is if you believe Dr. Sexy,"—Cas snorted—"which we definitely do in this household, then there's only one thing to do."
"Oh?" rumbled his deep voice Dean affectionally called Cas's 'oozing sex timbre' sometimes. "Tell me more."
A low chuckle slipped past.
"Hasn't anyone ever taught you that the best part of fighting," Dean murmured, running his tongue over the top of his teeth, "is the mind-blowing sex afterwards, sunshine?"
Meanwhile out in the kitchen, Sam and Gabriel silently stared at one another.
"You came," Sam stated astonished after more moments of silence. "You actually came."
The amber rolled as Novak stood up from his chair with a sigh. "Yeah." He approached slowly before he paused a good foot from the Jolly Green Winchester. Just in case their brothers decided to return for some reason. "But only because I had nowhere else to go thanks to Zachariah."
"What?" he took a step towards him but stopped himself as well. "What'd he do?"
"Raised my rent. Again."
"Okay, but you're not necessarily broke," Sam pointed out. "In fact, let's be honest here. You could've gone to that fancy resort in the Alps or wherever if you wanted to. Instead, you came here." He waved away his unsaid words. "Just like I knew you would," he stated, taking that final step into his bubble. Six feet apart be damned where they were concerned clearly. He smiled down pensively, grabbing his hands. "I mean, who do you think put the idea in your brother's head in the first place?"
"What?" he breathed out with wide whiskey-colored eyes. "Why would you—"
"Two weeks with our brothers," Sam cut in sharply. "With my brother," he reiterated with a firm squeeze to their hands. "Two weeks of him being stuck here in this house with us and nowhere to run. No bars. No restaurants. Hell, he can't even really go to any of those shitty stores of his."
"So, then, you're basically using me to torture your brother? Gee. Thanks."
Sam rolled his eyes and scoffed. "No." He then lowered his head to force their eyes to meet. "I'm tired of us sneaking around all the time. Of hiding our engagement." His hands clenched tighter when he caught the amber eyes widen more. "Aren't you?"
"Yeah, I mean, sure," he replied with a shrug. "Only there's a problem with your logic here. By locking us all up here together, you're going to make the odds of your brother shooting me increase exponentially. And unlike my bro, I don't really want to experience that ever thanks. Not to mention, Dean sort of hates my guts and would probably shoot to kill instead of maim."
"He's not going to shoot you."
"Want to bet?"
"I'm serious. I bet you a date on the French Rivera with all the mind-blowing sex you could ever imagine. By the end of this quarantine, your brother will have shot me."
"Fine. But he's not going to." Sam raised a brow. "Because if he were that loose of a canon, there would be no way he'd pass the necessary psych evals in order to work for the FBI. So, quit being dramatic, will you? He's not going to shoot you. I mean, he might punch you, but he won't shoot you." He rolled his eyes again and gave him a chaste kiss. "He's only ever accidentally fired once, and that was with Cas. You're going to be fine."
"Yes, says me," he countered. "Do you know much that messed with him mentally afterwards? He actually voluntarily went to counseling after it. Did you know?" He shrugged then. "And he did all the necessarily training again without a single bitch uttered about it. He knew he had screwed up."
"Yes, but he loves Cassie, Sam."
"And he'll learn to love you too, idiot."
He scoffed, glancing upwards. "Doubtful. He looks at me and remembers his wedding day." He then turned his attention fully onto the taller man. "Now, what do you think he'll do when he finds out that both times I was caught that day was when I was balls deep inside his sweet little brother?"
"Please. Like he and Cas haven't fucked in some seedy ass bar bathroom before," he drawled before he jerked his head towards the direction of the guest room. "Now, since we've only got tonight without the kids around, what do you say to making the best of it, Frodo?"
"But I thought you were tired of sneaking around like horny teenagers, Gandalf," mocked Gabe with a shit-eating grin, his eyes glistening in the low light. "Unless . . . wait . . . is it a kink for you?"
Sam chuckled quietly before he snorted unexpectedly. "Just get your sweet ass in there, candy man," he ordered gruffly, his hand then smacking Gabe's ass lightly.
"So demanding tonight," vibrated the older Novak, quickly whirling around before he walked them back into the guest room as he pulled him in behind. He most definitely liked this side of Sam.
"That's what you get for being on the other side of the damn country, asshole."
"Well, good thing I've got you then, dick," he retorted with a dark chuckle.
"Seriously," huffed the taller man, quickly slotting their mouths together in a searing and hungry kiss a second later as his hands instantly went to work on removing his fiancé's clothes. "Less words." The door slammed shut behind them soon after with muffled chuckles.
At the sound of something thumping against a nearby window, Gabe slowly pulled himself into consciousness. He blinked and rubbed at his eyes for half a second at the sight of an unfamiliar dark room before he scoffed in sudden understanding. Ah. That was right. He was at Cassie and Dean's.
"Well, fuck me," he murmured to himself, the exhaustion weighing heavily on him. He knew deep down that he should leave right then before he was caught with the younger Winchester, but the feeling of absolute contentment crooned to his soul. He hadn't felt this happy in three weeks by his estimate. When he and Sam were last together. When he had finally worked up the courage to propose. So, he waited for half a moment, enjoying the feeling of being in the man's arms and hearing the relaxed thump-thump of his heart beating underneath his ear.
Of—fucking—course, he groaned silently. Of course the little shit was awake.
"Oh, hell no, don't you even start," he mumbled, rolling towards the edge to leave the warm, comfy safe haven he loved so very much.
"What?" Sam said innocently with a deep chuckle. "You're the one who—"
"Uh-huh." He swung his legs over the edge, hearing the arm flop down behind him. "With that, my bold lover, I bid you a fond adieu," he dryly remarked, quickly snatching his clothes from the floor before pushing himself up out of bed. He winced yet again when his joints popped, his muscles having contracted sharply after he had stood. He was too old for this shit clearly.
"Come on. Don't be like that, grump," Sam murmured, reaching for him. "I'm only teasing."
The sharp amber darted back to his lover who returned his stare with a lopsided grin.
"I'm old, Sam, not stupid," he quipped. "I know you were."
"Then stay." His hand gently slid back and forth enticingly over the spot Gabe had just vacated. "Please? For me?" He then did the dreaded puppy dog eyes that were next level voodoo.
"And give your brother a chance to find me in your bed? Yeah. That's a hard no for me, bucko."
"Really?" the cheeky brat replied before the amused hazel flicked downwards suggestively with a growing smirk. "Because it looks to me like a—"
"Down, boy!" remarked Gabe, a finger outstretched but a badly hidden smirk on his lips. "Not all of us are in our thirties anymore."
"No. Some of us are in our early forties," the imp teased, definitely amused with himself. He then leaned further into the bed, putting himself on full display like he was in one of Gabe's pornos. And to think just a few years ago this beautiful criminal defense lawyer blushed at any mention of sex. "You can't honestly be wanting to spend the rest of the night out there on that old lumpy couch when you could be right here, beside me, all night."
"Wanting to? No," he agreed with a shrug. "However, needing to? You bet your ass."
Sam quickly moved towards the edge of the bed. "Gabe—"
He scoffed back, running a hand through his wavy hair, though. "This shouldn't have happened." He motioned between them. "This is our brothers' home. We're guests here."
"Yeah, okay, sure, normally, I'd agree with you," Sam stated, nodding slowly. "But then, I feel inclined to point out all the times where I personally have been subjected to them fucking around at Mom and Dad's house over the years. So," he drew out with a coy smile, "objection, counselor."
Gabe snorted, rolling his eyes. God, Sam was such a nerdy dork sometimes. "All right. Fine. How about this?" He drew in a quick, deep breath. "I want to be on at least semi-friendly terms with your brother before the wedding. He's a huge part of your life—I know that—and I don't want our kids—if we decide someday to go that route and adopt like our brothers did—to wonder why their Uncle Dean doesn't come around the house to see them." He crossed his arms with a frown when he saw Sam's twisted smirk. Why the hell had he corrupted this poor innocent soul again? "What, asshole?"
"Nothing," Sam replied, holding his hands up defensively. "That's just . . . incredibly sweet."
"Yeah, well, great." He then motioned between them. "This, you and me, can't happen until after your brother's urge to kill me has lessened, all right? My life depends on it. So, I'm begging you. Please. If you care for me at all, want to spend the rest of your life with a screw-up like me, don't go acting like we're in a cheesy ass porno. Because, newsflash for you, I want my brother at my side when I marry you and your damn luscious locks, Rapunzel, and the only way that's going to happen is if I get on Dean's good side. And the only way I can get on his good side is if I—"
"Become someone else entirely for two weeks?" Sam stated sarcastically with a raised brow.
"No. Of course not," he scoffed, blowing out a puff of air that moved one of his dark golden curls slightly. "But banging his kid brother is not exactly a good way to be seen in a different light, you know? It wouldn't have worked for me at least. So, come on."
He chuckled, though. "Fine. I'll try to keep my hands to myself then." Sam then shrugged his broad shoulders before he stretched sinfully again, putting himself on full display once more. His hand slowly trailed down provocatively before the tease seemingly wrapped a hand around his cock and gave it a few soft strokes. "But just know you have a week, Gabe," he stated, his hand falling limply to his side. "Because two weeks from now, no matter what the hell shitshow we're in, I'm marrying you."
Gabe felt his heart stop with everything going silent like a horror film. "What?" What did the freakishly tall man he loved so much just say? He couldn't process anything over the loud buzzing.
"You heard me. You and I are finally going to do this. I don't care if we have to do it at the courthouse wearing silly stupid masks or what." Sam quickly sat up then. "I'm sick of lying when anyone asks if I'm with anyone. I'm tired of waiting. We've done enough of it, and, hell, these could be end times for all of us. We don't know. The scientists and researchers certainly don't fucking have a clue. So, yeah, you have a week before I tell my brother the truth finally. Before I stand in that very kitchen," he stated, pointing at the wall, "and shout to the world how much I love you."
"Oh." Amber eyes fell to the floor flatly. He dragged a hand silently across the nape of his neck. "Okay then." A week. A week to make Dean like him.
Well, it was official. He was fucked. Contracting the stupid virus was the least of his problems. At least this engagement lasted longer than his previous ones. When Sam's hands slipped into his a few moments later, his head jerked up in surprise. When had Sam moved?
"Don't worry about it. It'll be okay," his fiancé said with an encouraging, hopeful smile. "Hell, Mom and Dad can't wait. They're already planning what to send us."
"You told your parents?" he asked breathlessly, his insides clenching in horror. Oh he was deader than dead now. Dean would shoot him, sure, but the boys' parents would be the ones to hide his body—and considering that their mom was the current sheriff of Sioux Falls, he wouldn't put it past her.
"I told you. I'm tired of hiding us like we're some dirty secret. I love you, and I don't give a fuck who knows it. So, two weeks from now, hell or high water, I am marrying you, Gabriel Novak." He squeezed their hands. "Because if this time is proving anything from what we've seen thus far, it's that we have to make the most of the time we have together. So, yeah, you have a week. After that, I'm sitting our brothers down and telling them. I'm going to tell them how you came onto me in a men's bathroom at some fucking ludicrous strip club that Dean wanted to go to for his stag night. How you had read your brother's text message wrong and thought that's where Cas's was instead. How you couldn't keep your damn eyes off me—which, same. How you got so damn protective when some jackass started making some wisecrack about me. And then you know what I'm going to tell him, Gabe?"
No. He honestly didn't have a damn clue.
"I'm going to tell him how for weeks after the wedding I couldn't get you out of my mind. How I flew across the country, making up some lame excuse, just to see you again. Because unlike our idiot brothers, we weren't going to have our heads stuck so far up our asses and miss our chance to be together. I don't want to wait as long as they did to get married. I want to marry you now."
As Sam spoke, Gabe felt the corners of his lips slowly curl upwards, recalling clearly the day the tall giant had shown up on his set five years ago. The hot-headed director had gone from enraged at the freakishly good-looking man who literally stumbled into one of his shots to absolutely breathless when he realized just who that wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube Adonis was—and the implications of what Sam's being there meant.
"You still won't tell me, will you?" he asked after a moment with a chuckle when the hazel darted to him in confusion. "How you got onto the lot in the first place. Security should have stopped you at some point. Or why are they even there then?"
Sam grinned widely and shrugged. "I may have shown them some rather incriminating and quite colorful photographs of a certain adult film director and myself."
"Huh. Maybe I'm not the bad influence here after all." He then leaned over and kissed him sweetly, holding him for a second before he sighed quietly. "Good night, Sam." He then pulled back and left wordlessly, a smile gracing his lips. He could do this. Piece of cake. How hard could it be?