Yep, here's the sequel! I guess you don't have to have read Hear Me Now to read this, but I think you should ;) Because I can't promise I will explain everything. Anyway, though, hopefully you guys like this one as much as the first! This takes place a little over a year after the events of Hear Me Now, so Dean and Cas are seniors, and it's like, just after New Year's. They are both eighteen but Dean's birthday is coming up. Yes, the puppy-now-turned-dog is mentioned in here and has been given a name! haha ;) Like I would forget the puppy. It is kind of based off of what my old dog, Kodi (short for Kodiak, or Kodiak Bear) who was a mixed breed and was completely black in color and had blue eyes. He looked like a little bear cub when he was a puppy and so I called him Kodiak, but Kodi for short. Sadly, after I had him for a few months, someone poisoned him, and so he is no more ;( I have really bad luck with dogs, and he's not the first one.

Anyway! On a lighter note...

I have no idea where I am going with this story. Don't expect much of a summary, lol, because I'm kind of running blind. I just know I was in the mood to start writing it today and we are ;) I hope you enjoy this one as well! Hope it lives up to the first one, haha. John actually is present in here! Gasp! In the first one, he was present but only in mentionings, not really in person, except at the trial but he never said anything. Anyway, hopefully I will make him into more of a character here.

Don't worry, the Drama Club is still present! I would never get rid of it! haha. It's still there, and yes, Dean and Cas are still in it. The characters are all still there.

Some people mentioned bringing in Gabriel? I might. If I do, he will be Cas's cousin or something that comes to visit, and maybe Michael will too. But anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you like it! Please review!

Onward! ...or rather, let's start! ;)

Steady Now

Sequel to Hear Me Now

Summary: AU. Takes place a year after the events of Hear Me Now. You should probably read that first but you don't have to and I'm not going to make you, but yeah. To get some references in here that I might not explain, you might want to read it over or something. Anyway. Castiel and Dean have been dating for a year now, and now that Justin's gone and behind bars like he should be, things seem to be going easy. Dean is working two jobs and Castiel is working at the local library until they have enough money to buy a place of their own where they can live together. Meanwhile, Anna is making plans for new skits, Sam is being a whiney little (tall) teenager, John is generally nice, Jimmy is a normal annoying brother, and the dog is just happy to be a part of a family. (Horrible summary but yeah, I don't really know where I'm going with it yet. If I think of something, I will add a new summary to the chapter I'm working on, promise! Please give it a shot at least!)

Chapter One

Dean didn't like his second job. That much was pretty obvious by the way he was scowling, but it wasn't like anyone would see him up in this stupid, dusty attic. He felt his nose twitch, his only warning before he was under a sneeze attack, a series of 'ACHOOS' resonating off the old walls. Fixing up a roof he could do, easily. At least then he would be outside. He forgot what the stupid sun looked like thanks to this attic, but he had promised Mrs. Jenkins that he would clean it out for her and help her turn it into a bedroom for her niece, who was to be moving in with her in a month or so. Dean didn't ask for details, just did the work, and she paid good money and she was a really nice lady, but he just hated cleaning attics.

But of course his father knew Mrs. Jenkins and had been talking to her and had heard that she needed help, and he'd felt it his manly duty to volunteer his son to help. Did Dean have a sign on him somewhere that said 'PICK ME, I LOVE CLEANING!' on it or something? No, he did not believe that he did, and yet John kept loaning him out to little old ladies around the neighborhood. Not that he had anything against little old ladies…just that he did not like cleaning, and especially attics of all things.

"But you're so good at keeping this house clean," John had said, hiding a grin when Dean had protested, "that I can't just keep you to myself. Besides, they're old ladies, Dean, they need all the help they can get."

That didn't mean he had to like it, though.

"Everything going okay up there, Dean?" Mrs. Jenkins called up. Her husband was on some sort of business trip, but Dean thought he had just gone away so he wouldn't have to clean the stupid attic. Sneezing again, Dean maneuvered toward the stairs and sighed, feeling his nose twitch again.

"Yeah, it's going fine, Mrs. Jenkins," he called back, kicking a small ball into the corner of the room. He had no idea how to make this place into a nice room, but he figured he was going to have to at least try. John wouldn't let him stop.

And besides, he needed the money if he was going to get his own place by his birthday, which was nearly three weeks away. John could do to have one less kid to feed, anyway. The money they were getting for John's eyesight disability only went so far, after all, and Dean figured it would be better for Sammy if he moved out. Then Sam could have his room, which was bigger, and he'd be happy about that. He was always complaining about his room.

He complained a lot these days, but Dean figured that was just because he was fourteen. People thought being thirteen was bad, but really fourteen was worse because then the teens in question thought they knew everything because they had been a teenager for a year. Honestly Sammy got on his nerves a lot these days, but he would let the kid have his freedom for now, unless something happened or Sam went too far. Until then, the kid had done nothing wrong except annoy his big brother, but then wasn't that what pesky kid brothers were supposed to do?

There were other reasons Dean wanted to move out, as well. A smile flittered across his face as he thought about it, and it was at that moment he lost his footing and toppled over some old box. As he fell, he mentally cursed all the many boxes of the world, damning them all the fiery pits of hell for making him fall. Grimacing, he sat up and rubbed at the back of his head.

"Dean? Everything okay? I heard a thump," Mrs. Jenkins called up to him worriedly. He could hear her moving up the stairs, and he jumped to his feet.

"Everything's fine, Mrs. J, I just tripped," he told her quickly. She had bad knees so having her come up would probably be a bad idea. The stairs probably wouldn't agree with her.

"Call me Janice," she told him, "you're too formal."

Dean smirked. "Alright, Janice." He turned and went back to stacking boxes in the corners of the large attic. This would make a nice room, if it were to ever actually be cleaned out.

This was going to be a long day. Sighing, his nose twitched again and he sneezed violently.

"God damn it," he cursed the dust in the air. "The last thing I need is to be known as Sneezy." He shook his head and sighed. "Great, now I'm talking to myself. This damn attic is making me crazy!"

He jerked in surprise when his phone rang shrilly in the silence of the attic, blaring out his chosen rock tune. Sighing, he pulled his phone from his pocket and flipped it open.

"Yeah?" he asked in his usual greeting.

"Hey," Sam said, "I'm hungry and Dad's sleeping. When are you coming home?"

"Uh, maybe about an hour?"

Sam sighed that annoying 'that is not good enough' sigh and Dean repressed the urge to roll his eyes and mimic the sound just so Sammy could see how very annoying it was.

"Anything else?" Dean drawled. "Because I'm kind of busy getting eaten alive by dust bunnies."

Sam snorted on the other end of the line. "Your boyfriend called."

Dean smiled. "Alright, thanks. Anything else?"

"I'm bored."

"Noted. And?"

"I'm hungry."

"There's bread and I believe there's cheese and ham, make yourself a sandwich."

"I don't want a sandwich."

Dean sighed. "Eat mayonnaise."


"I think there's old, fifteen-year-old tuna in the-"


Dean chuckled. "You're not giving me a lot of options here, Sammy. Wake Dad up."

"I can't, he's grumpy when he's woken up."

"Order a pizza."

"I have no money."

"Get a job."

"I'm only fourteen! You know I can't!"

Dean sighed. "I think Dad should have made you come over and scrub dusty attics."

"Nah, that job totally has your name written all over it."

"Whatever, oh lanky one."


Dean chuckled. Sam had grown a little over this past year…okay, a lot. He was nearly as tall as Dean and he was very thin and lanky, and Dean took every opportunity to tease him because of it. "What do you want me to do, Sam? I'm busy."

"But I'm hungry and you're the big brother and I'm the little brother and you're supposed to feed me," Sam said in that soft, 'please! I'm giving the puppy dog look!' sort of voice that Dean could never deny.

He sighed. "I'll try to get out of here in the next half hour, okay? I'll pick up food on the way home. Will that suffice, oh lanky ruler?"

"Thanks!" Sam said, suddenly all cheerful.

Damn teens and their mood swings, Dean thought with a sigh. "Uh huh, but if I'm going to get out of here by then, I have to go and do my work. 'kay?"

"Okay! Thanks! Bye, Dean!" Sam hung up without letting Dean reply.

Shaking his head, Dean pocketed his phone.

Well, saved by the little brother. Less time today of being in the stupid attic, but more time tomorrow of being in it to make up for today.

He didn't know whether he should thank Sam or smite him.

Castiel was woken by the wet tongue that lapped happily at his face. Groaning, he threw a pillow over his head, his head still throbbing. He'd had a headache all day and thus had been lying in bed the whole time, even though it was already six in the evening.

He was soon smashed by a large, overgrown black dog who yipped happily and tried to tear the pillow away from him. "Go away," Castiel griped, holding the pillow tighter to his head. "Who let you in here anyway? Jimmy. I'm gonna kill him." The dog nudged him with his head, his floppy ears cold to the touch. "Nngh. Stop. Sleep." More nudging. "You really don't get the concept of sleep, do you?"

A bark, loud and in his ear.

"Okay! Okay! I'm up! Sheesh." Castiel threw the pillow away from his head and shoved the dog off of him, sitting up slowly as he rubbed tiredly at his eyes. He glared at the black dog who was watching him with happy, wide blue eyes. The dog, in return, moved forward and licked his face, causing him to grimace. "Soldier!"

Soldier was the dog's name. He wasn't necessarily sure why he had named him that, but as a puppy, the dog had been somewhat serious and reserved at times, eyes alert as though on guard, and Castiel had called him Soldier only one time and yet the name had stuck. Now the dog was an overgrown lump of black fur, some kind of mix between a black lab and some other kind of big dog, Castiel wasn't sure what kind. He had a somewhat curly tail, kind of like a husky, so maybe that was it, but Castiel didn't know. The dog still had floppy ears.

"You wanna go get me some aspirin?" he asked the dog hopefully.

Soldier sniffed at his face and sneezed, pulling away.

"Yeah, didn't think so," he murmured, shaking his head as he crawled out of bed and stretched. Normally Soldier slept in his room but he had let Soldier out earlier so Jimmy could take him outside. Jimmy must have let him back in.

Shaking his head, he climbed down the stairs, Soldier quickly following after him. Soldier liked him the best out of his family, which made Castiel happy. After having been second to Jimmy for most of his life, even though the two were twin brothers, it was nice to have someone pick him.

Of course, Soldier wasn't the only one.

Dean had picked him too, much to Castiel's surprise, but he couldn't have been happier. Thinking about his boyfriend made him smile, and as he entered the kitchen, Jimmy looked up from the kitchen table.

"What're you so smiley about?" he asked, narrowing his blue eyes, identical to Castiel's, suspiciously.

"Nothing. Did you let Soldier into my room?" Castiel asked, grabbing for the aspirin bottle on the counter next to the refrigerator. He filled up a glass with water and swallowed the pills.

"He was scratching at your door, didn't you hear him? I had to do something before he scratched off the wood."

"The door is made of wood…I highly doubt he could have scratched it off," Castiel felt the need to point out.

"Whatever! You know what I mean," Jimmy said, sighing. "Where's Dean today? He hasn't called."

Castiel didn't bother telling Jimmy that Dean usually didn't call until the evenings, and that was it Castiel didn't call him first. Instead, he shrugged. "I heard he's working on an attic today." At least that was what Sam had told him when he'd called the house a few hours ago.

Jimmy nodded and then frowned at Soldier, who was sitting on the ground and staring up at Castiel. "I think he wants you."

"I know. You should take him for a walk."

"Nuh uh, he's your dog, man."

That was true. Dean had gotten him for Castiel for Christmas last year. It had been a wonderful Christmas present.

"Please? My head hurts."


"What, you think I like taking aspirin?"

"Okay, sheesh, snippy."

Castiel sighed. He usually got a little snippy, as Jimmy put it, when he had a headache or wasn't feeling good. "Sorry," he murmured, "just…could you?"

Jimmy nodded. "Sure. Go lay down, you're getting grouchy." He stood and grabbed Soldier's blue leash from the counter, fastening it to his equally blue collar. Soldier whined happily as his tail started to wag, beating against Castiel's leg. The dog knew he was going to get to go for a walk and he liked it.

Castiel shook his head at his dog and then left the kitchen to head back upstairs and to his room.

He was just starting to lay back down when the phone rang. He picked it up, knowing that Jimmy was now out with the dog and his parents were working the late shift tonight. "Hello?" he answered.


Castiel smiled. "Hey," he said back. "What's up?"

"Just got done eating. Sammy got me out of there quicker," Dean said with a chuckle. "I don't know whether to thank him or smite him, because yeah he got me out of there earlier, but now I have to go back tomorrow and do even more work."

"Ah, little brother strikes again."

"Yeah, you're telling me. So, feeling better? Sammy said you had a headache."

"Oh, uh…yeah. A little. I guess." He did feel a little better, but his head was still pounding. He absolutely hated headaches, but then, didn't everyone?

"You sure?"


"Well, I guess I'll let you lay down-"

"Nah, it's okay," Castiel said, shaking his head even though he knew Dean couldn't see. "I like talking to you."

"Oh, um, well…"

Castiel chuckled. "Sam annoying you again?"

"God, yes," Dean groaned. "He's getting worse! I'm gonna have to lock him in his room or something, but then he'd just make so much noise that the neighbors would call the cops, and then he would be even more insufferable."

"Have you tried talking to him?"

"He's a teenager, Cas."

"So are we."



Dean sighed heavily on the other end of the line. "He's not gonna talk to me and I really don't want to instigate a talk about our feelings or even how he's annoying the hell out of me. It's just a phase, it'll pass. Besides, it's not like it's all the time, just…mostly."

Castiel sighed. "If you say so."

"Are you going to go watch the last showing of Anna's play?"

"I don't know. Maybe."

"I might go. I haven't gone since the first one and that's just because he threatened to never give me back my keys."

Castiel grinned. "Yeah, I remember." Watching Dean fume over they keys to his 'baby' was a rather funny memory, especially with Hunter poking him in the side every few seconds.

"I think I might go to the last showing. There's always a little party afterward, and you know what that means."

"Pie?" Castiel guessed, seeing as how Dean loved pie.

"And cheesecake!" Dean declared, a grin obvious in his voice. "I could die happy."

Castiel shook his head. "Your obsession with pie is bordering on crazy."

"I knew it! I knew that attic made me crazy! I was sneezing and talking to myself and everything."

"Uh, that's nice to know."

"Mmm, I thought so. Damn dust bunnies of hell live there, and those evil boxes! They tripped me."

Castiel smirked. "Like the covers did that one time?"

"Exactly! I knew you would see my side of this! It's obviously a conspiracy."

"Sure it is."

"It is!" Dean declared. There was a slight pause. "So I'm thinking I can make enough money by my birthday to move out."

"Cool," Castiel said, smiling. Once they got enough money, they were going to get some small apartment or something and move in together. Castiel had a job - Dean had made him get his license - working at the local library, which was better than it sounded. It paid fairly decent money, and Dean had a job working as a part-time mechanic and also helping people around town, like he had been doing today.

"Yeah. Ugh, I have to go, Sammy's being a whiney little bitch again, something about fried eggs? We don't even have any eggs." He could almost picture Dean shaking his head. "Anyway, I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"

"Alright," Castiel said slowly. "Love you."

"Love you too, get some rest."

The two hung up and Castiel fell back onto his bed, bringing his pillow back up to smash onto his face, hoping to somehow crush the headache.

He had to work tomorrow and he hoped the headache was gone by then. Sure, the library was quiet, but that still meant a lot of reading and locating books on shelves, and numbers and letters and…

Just thinking about it was making his head hurt.

Dean yawned as he lay awake in bed, absently fingering the pendant that was hanging around his neck. It was a necklace he'd gotten for Christmas last year as a gift from Castiel. He never took it off, if he could help it, but he to in PE class. He liked gym but he didn't like playing dodge ball every damn day. It got really annoying.

There was a soft knock at his door. "Dean!" Sam called.

Sighing, Dean rolled out of bed and opened his door, frowning down at his little brother. Or rather, frowning at him because Sam was practically his height and he was only fourteen. It was sad, really, but he would never tell that to Sammy and let him gloat about it. Never. "Yeah?" he asked, reaching out to ruffle the shaggy strands of dark brown hair. Sam's hair had definitely grown darker this past year. He was looking more like their father every day.

Sam scowled at him, narrowing his hazel eyes. "Dad wants to talk to you in the kitchen."

"Alright, thanks. Shouldn't you be getting to bed?"

"Shouldn't you?" Sam shot back.

"How do you know I wasn't sleeping?"

"Because you answered the door right away," Sam said, smirking as he bounded down the hallway and toward his room.

Shaking his head, Dean headed toward the kitchen and found his father sitting there with those bandages around his eyes. He didn't need them all the time, but at night he liked to have them on. It made it easier, he said, but Dean wasn't sure. He probably meant it was easier to sleep because the burns weren't itching when his face touched the pillow.

"You wanted to talk to me?" Dean asked, sitting down at the kitchen table. John was drinking a steaming cup of coffee but he lifted his head at the sound of Dean joining him.

"How did the attic go today?" John asked.

"Fine. I was attacked by dust bunnies and I started talking to myself like a crazy person and I had a sneeze attack, but it went fine," Dean said with a chuckle.

John smiled. "I see. You still planning on moving out on your birthday?"

"Yes, sir," Dean told him. "If that's okay. I could…always stick around and help out…if that's what you want…"

Except that he and Cas had plans, but still…if his family needed him…

He was sure Cas would understand.

"Nah, that's okay," John said, "I was just checking. Been looking into places?"

Dean shook his head even though he knew his father couldn't see. "Not yet, sir."

"Well, I guess there's still time."


Awkward silence.

"Is that all you wanted?" Dean asked.

"Sure. Want some coffee?"

' "Um…okay." Dean stood and fixed himself a cup and then sat back down again, sipping at it quietly.

"Your brother has been rather snippy lately."

Dean nearly choked on his coffee as he laughed. "That's putting it mildly," he said, grinning.

"I don't know whether I should yell at him or just sigh."

"Same here. It's just a phase, it'll pass," Dean told him.

"I know, but still."

Dean shrugged and smirked as he drank his coffee, sitting in the kitchen with his father. This was something he hadn't done in a long time, probably years, ever since his mother's death. Thinking about it made him grimace. The fire that had killed her had also taken away John's sight and permanently scarred his face, putting him on disability, which was how they were able to keep the house and everything after Justin was put away for murder, attempted murder, possession of a gun without being able to own one, and drug possession. Needless to say, he was gone for life, or at least Dean hoped so.

Dean had doubted he would ever be able to hate someone this much, but he was wrong.

Because he hated 'Uncle Justin' with everything he had.

His hands tightened around the coffee mug.

"Take it easy, kiddo," John said as though sensing what he was feeling.

Dean nodded and finished his coffee. "I'm going to bed…night, Dad," he said, standing to leave the room.

"Night, kiddo," John said back.

Sighing, Dean stalked down the hallway and toward his room.

He was right…it had been a long day. does it sound? Good, bad? Like it, hate it? Hmmm? Please let me know! And if you have any suggestions, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Because otherwise, as I said, I'm running blind with this story ;) Hope you like it! Please review!

~Muffy the Dough Slayer~