So, everyone is writing AU high school fics and i thought, why not join in the fun? Except my is a little violent and sad, but has a happy ending.

Basically, Cas's dad abandoned the family. But Cas's family has a rep in his high school. But Cas is the nerd and doesn't follow it. Dean's the new kid and they fall for each other. There's some sabriel in here. Bad things ensue becasue their school is prejudiced.

Read and enjoy!


I Promise, I Love You

Castiel groaned. Not because of the bright sun in his eyes, not because it was a school day, not because it was 6 AM, and definitely not because he was still tired. No. He was groaning because of who was doing the waking.

"Go away," he mumbled, his voice heavy with sleep.

"Awww, but where's the fun in that?" came the reply.

Castiel groaned and threw his brother off his bed, smiling at the satisfying oofing sound he made as he ended up, face first on the floor. "There's the fun in that," the eighteen year old replied.

On the floor, his brother, who was only a year older than him, pretended to laugh. "You're hilarious Cassie," he said.

And Castiel scowled. "Do not call me that, Gabriel."

Gabriel, because it was him, rolled his eyes and pounced on his baby brother again. "Don't call me Gabriel and we have ourselves a deal."

Castiel saw a good agreement when it showed itself and this was definitely one of them. "Yes, yes, now get off!"

He shoved Gabe off, this time making him slam his head on the floor. "Ouch. Damn-it Castiel. I'm going sheesh. And don't shoot the messenger baby bro. Mikey's the one who sent me to wake you. After all, you've got your big debate today." Gabe wiggled his eyebrows…

…and Castiel groaned.

Ok. So he was groaning for two things now: Gabe and his debate.

Perfect.

Add a million older siblings who were going to tell him he was going to do fine and make him feel really bad about it to the list and you had yourself a recipe for suicide.

"I am going to fail," Castiel moaned into his pillow.

Gabriel shrugged. "Maybe. When I had to do mine last year, I hated it too."

Castiel popped his head up and propped it onto his hand as he scowled and said, "Correct me if I am wrong but, I'm quite sure you won your debate last year."

Gabriel smiled slyly. "I did. But that's only 'cause I bribed 'em first."

Castiel looked on at his brother dubiously. "With what?" Gabriel never had money and if he did, it was usually gone within the hour. That boy had a sweet tooth.

Gabriel fished out one of his signature suckers and popped it into his mouth. He then pointed to the lollypop and said, "With these."

Castiel sighed. He should have been expecting that. Leave it to Gabe to bribe people with sweets. Of course he would. And of course it would work. Castiel finally sighed and got out of bed. He couldn't see the point in postponing it any longer. He was going to have to get up sometime.

Gabriel pounded him in the back in a brotherly way and said, "Yeah! You go get 'em champ. Who are you going against anyway?"

Castiel ground out, "Meg Paul."

Gabriel made a face. "In that case, never mind. She's gonna cream you. But don't worry; I'll be home, waiting with a nice can of beer for you." And with that, he left downstairs where their sister Anna was making breakfast, the smell of eggs and bacon wafting up to the second floor.

And Castiel groaned and smacked his head into the wall.

His life officially sucked.


Castiel quickly changed into a dark suit, throwing a blue tie around his neck, not tied at all. He threw his trench coat over it. Hey, they had said to dress up professionally for the debate. So he was.

But just because he was not staying those clothes all day, he shoved a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt into his backpack, along with sneakers to change into later.

He looked in the mirror in his bathroom just to survey the damage. His black hair was bed tousled and he was in no mood to fix it. He literally squirted the smallest amount of gel possible in his hand, ran it through his hair and blinked his sapphire eyes to see if it changed anything. Nope. He sighed and thought, what the hell?

Making his way downstairs, his bag slung over his shoulder, he almost slammed into his twin. Jimmy was less of an academic student, more following the family business: sports star. He cringed. It just reminded him why he was the only geek in school that never got picked on: he was a Novak. You didn't mess with a Novak, not even if they were taking college classes since freshman year. And the only reason why: they had a family rep in school. Michael had been captain of the football team ten years prior, his jersey still in the center of the High School's trophy display case. Lucifer, a year younger, had been football captain the next year, his jersey on the right of Michael's in the trophy display case. Uriel had been Captain two years later, his jersey on the left of Michael's. A year later, Raphael's jersey joined theirs, this time for the soccer and hockey teams. Anna's jersey was in there for field hockey and the swim team. And this year, Jimmy's was definitely joining theirs, for football and soccer. He was both teams' captains. Gabriel was known as the trickster of the school, therefore they loved him and a few people had cried when he graduated last year.

And Castiel? He was the top of his class, Valedictorian. He was getting his name on a plaque in the school foyer.

And for that, the family hovered over him, making sure he was always doing ok. Because to them, he was the star, although to the rest of the world, he was the guy who didn't make the family team.

Great.

And that was why you didn't mess with a Novak. Because they had a rep in Lawrence High, dating back to their oldest member aged 28 now.

The whole city thought they were perfect, minus Castiel. But the odd ball knew better. Michael was bossy and Lucifer was an ass. And being the two oldest, they never got along. Not really. The only thing they agreed on was that Castiel was special and was going to do great things in his life. The rest of the time was spent arguing over the most trivial things, sometimes.

That was what happened when you got abandoned at eighteen by your father to watch seven kids.

Which is what happened to Michael.

But anyway.

Uriel was just… creepy sometimes. And Raphael had a temper problem and thought he was better than the whole world at times. Anna was kind of a whore; Castiel had to admit, although he loved her a lot. Gabriel was SO annoying. Jimmy slacked and was only good at sports.

And Castiel was shy, proper and quiet, the only one in the family that seemed to have those traits.

But they were all close, so, so very close, although they all had different mothers, minus Jimmy and Castiel, since they were twins. They all had the same father though. They would do anything for each other, constantly watched out for each other, although Lucifer was unpredictable at times. But then again, living in the same house for twenty seven years with the same people made you a little crazy. At least, that's what Castiel said to rationalize why Lucifer had almost sold him on eBay when he was ten.

Good times, good times.

And so, Castiel sucked it up and made his way downstairs. Anna was there at the table, a plate of eggs and bacon ready. She kissed his forehead, her red hair tickling his face. "Morning Castiel," she said, smiling.

He smiled back. "Good morning Anna." He dug in of course, because if there was one thing Anna knew how to do right, it was cook. "Who's taking me to school today?" He had his license, sure. But he didn't have a car.

Which was too bad sometimes.

"Gabriel," Anna answered with a sympathetic smile.

And Castiel groaned, because really? Why today?

"Can't Lucifer take me or something?" And he noticed how horrible that sounded. He wanted Lucifer to take him to school over Gabe? He really was having a bad day. "On second thought…."

"I wouldn't even if my life depended on it," the man in question answered, grabbing Castiel's bacon and scoffing it down before his little brother could protest.

Anna smacked him on the arm. "Lucifer Novak! Don't be rude! You could have just asked for some!" She rolled her eyes when Lucifer blinked at her.

"Is there a point in here?" She slapped him upside the head. "Ooohh," he said. "That was it, wasn't it? That 'rude' thing."

Castiel just pushed the plate away. He was too nervous about the debate anyway. He'd probably just have ended up throwing it all up.

"Awww, Luce. Look what you've done! You put Cassie off his Wheaties." Gabe cracked a smile and Lucifer had to chuckle at that. They may have been at each others throats on any other day, but give the two of them a common goal, and they were the best of friends. Today just happened to be 'Make Castiel So Nervous He Can't Think'. And they were doing a bang up job of it.

"Come on, worry wart. I don't have all day. You're retarded twin's already in the car. Andalѐ!" Gabe then said.

After seeing Castiel's green face, though, he softened a bit. Lucifer didn't though and muttered, "Twerps gonna barf on the stand."

"Back off, Lucifer," Gabriel then snapped and Castiel felt a fight coming on, so he rushed out the door, breakfast forgotten, dragging his brother along.

Once at the car, Gabriel muttered, "Sometimes, I hate that guy."

Castiel snickered. "And I hate high school."

"Me too."

"Gabe, you loved high school."

"Did not. Barely made it through."

Castiel conceded, "You only went because you practically had a prank to pull everyday of it."

Gabriel shrugged. "You got me there, I won't deny that."


As they walked into the school, Jimmy ran right past Castiel to the ring of preps and jocks. He waved goodbye to his brother and Castiel had to roll his eyes. He made his way to his own little group of friends. Yeah, he had friends. Sheesh, some people just didn't expect that.

Ok. So maybe they weren't all that popular and they were only few…

Anyways.

First, leaning against the wall was Bobby Singer. He was a red-neck kind of guy, ripped jeans, tablecloth red button-up, shed full of guns and machetes. Beside him was Ash, still rocking a mullet. Sometimes Cas wondered about him. After all, it wasn't the eighties. Rolling her eyes and talking animatedly was Lisa Braedon, all dark hair, dark eyes and creamy skin. Across from her was Ellen, her cousin and total opposite. Ellen had golden blond hair and light honey eyes. Ellen was also three months pregnant with the child of Will Harvelle. They just called him Harvelle. But she was also engaged to Harvelle, which dismayed and calmed her parents about the pregnancy. After all, it was the 21st century. Getting pregnant and married right out of high school was not at the top of most people's list.

But Will's family owned a saloon and bar called the Roadhouse. His father had recently died and Harvelle was left with the Roadhouse which had just come into his ownership on his eighteenth birthday. So he and Ellen were set.

Also among them was the always impervious Crowley. No one actually knew what his first name was or if his last name was even Crowley, but that's what they called him. He was a cheeky little bastard, friend one minute, enemy the next. Judging by the way he was chatting good-naturedly with Bobby, he was in the friend category as of now.

Then there was Rufus, the tall, funny African American boy who was poking fun at Crowley, double teaming the demon (figuratively of course) with Bobby, and making him pout. And then, in the corner, quietly chatting was Chuck, not entirely sober. And you didn't want him to be either. He was a little… wonky in the head, to put it nicely and the alcohol calmed him, though where he got it in such large amounts never ceased to amaze them. The only person who could even remotely calm him was his girlfriend of three years, Becky. She was a little cracker jack, but then again, Chuck really needed someone who could handle crazy well. And Becky definitely could.

Castiel smiled and then got the air knocked out of him as Lisa was the first to see him and hugged him tight. She looked a little glassy eyed, now that Castiel looked at her closely. And then it hit him. "Oh Lisa…"

She shook her head. "It was bound to happen… And now this!"

Of course, she was talking about her boyfriend, ex now. Castiel had gotten into a small fight with her, warning her against the dangers of jocks. She hadn't listened. So the breakup was inevitable. But the added 'this', that was unanticipated.

"Lisa… what happened?" he asked carefully.

At her tortured look, Crowley decided to help. His version of help is not the same as Castiel's. "She pulled an Ellen, minus the well off husband-to-be who stuck around."

Castiel's eyes widened. "Lisa!"

She looked down sheepishly. "It was once… and… my mother can't even look at me!" She almost cried, then. But Castiel knew she was stronger than that.

He tipped her chin up and looked her in the eye. "There," he stated.

"What?" she asked, shakily.

"I looked at you. And so are they. We can stand you." He tipped his head to the side. "Most of the time." Lisa burst out laughing, because it was either that or cry. She chose laughter. "Lisa, we're the only one's that really matter. We got your back."

She smiled now, her mood definitely lifted and hugged Castiel as the final bell rang. "Thank you, Castiel. And… I'm sorry." She looked away.

"Why? The way I see it, a loser used you and hurt you in the process. And the next chance I get, I am tripping him down the stairs." Castiel smiled as the group laughed and Crowley nodded approvingly.

As the rest of them parted, going there separate ways, Lisa smiled and said, "You are our angel, Castiel. No doubt about it."

And then he was alone, walking into his homeroom, feeling a little sad for his friend and a little nervous for himself. Castiel made his way to the back of the room, to the last row and sat down at his desk in the corner. He was the only one it that row and no one was in going to change that any time soon. He honestly didn't mind.

As more students filed in, Castiel started to draw. He usually just sketched and it was his secret talent that only Gabe knew about. God forbid Castiel wanted to go into drawing and artistry instead of being a professor or doctor. Families sometimes.

Suddenly, their homeroom teacher, Mrs. Missouri Moseley walked in. Castiel looked up and his breath caught in his throat. There, standing beside her was the most beautiful boy he'd ever seen. He had on ripped blue jeans, brown boots, a Metallica t-shirt and a beat up leather jacket. He had a plain black backpack slung over his shoulder. Castiel took in his face, the freckles dusting his nose and cheeks, that honey blonde hair, cut short and spiking up. And his eyes. Castiel found himself unable to breathe looking into those eyes. They were green with flecks of brown dotting them, and glowing golden in the morning sun.

All in all, he was gorgeous and was reminding Castiel that he was not straight. Great. Just another thing added to his secret stash of well, secrets. I love to draw, I'm gay…

And why was Gabe still the only one who knew about either?

There was something seriously wrong with that picture.

Castiel just didn't have the patience to look for what it was.

"Attention, please. We have a new student. I'd like you to welcome Dean Winchester to Lawrence High School." At the silence she said sharper, "Now, I know your parents taught you better than that. Welcome him!"

A murmur went up welcoming the newcomer into the school and warning about horrible lunch. The stranger, Dean, didn't seem to acknowledge any of it though. And Castiel suddenly found out why. Dean Winchester was staring… at him.

Did his suit pants just get tighter?

And then, the worst sentence uttered by Mrs. Moseley: "Well, Dean, it seems that we have only one seat open. So go on and sit beside Mr. Novak, the young man with blue eyes in the back."

Yeah. His suit pants just got tighter.


When his parents had told him that they were moving from South Carolina to Lawrence, Kansas, Dean hadn't been worried. He didn't have many friends back home anyway, most people didn't respect an eighteen year old who knew more about cars than they did, or that had the biggest soft spot for his baby brother, or that couldn't keep a steady relationship with any girl.

Well, he loved cars, loved his baby brothers, and girls were… complicated.

Now, Sammy had almost thrown a fit and definitely would have if he hadn't been dissed the last day of middle school for being the Valedictorian and had decided that he hated their whole state, never mind the town. So when their father had informed them that they were moving since his hunting job had landed them a permanent spot in Kansas, Sammy had almost burst out with happiness.

But, again, he didn't.

And the little twerp was just way too excited to start high school, while Dean was definitely not. He was very pessimistic about being the new kid for the rest of senior year. It was not a very appealing thought. And who was going to befriend a guy who was only there for a year and liked fixing up cars and mullet rock?

No one, that's who.

So when Dean walked into his new homeroom, he was more than surprised to get a jolt of electricity to the brain when he saw a serious looking guy sitting alone in the back, a tan trench coat on and the bluest eyes he had ever seen. He barely heard the teacher introduce him and reprimand the class as he stared at him.

And then he had stared back and Dean's mind decided to shut down, so that he had to ask the teacher what she had said when told to get going. And then he had felt his heart do weird, unnatural things when she told him to sit next to blue eyes, who was now Mr. Novak.

Maybe he was sick?

Dean nodded and made his way to the back, and plopped right down next to Mr. Novak. The guy jumped a little and then, as the normal din of the class started back up, stared at him.

He smiled, not knowing why he was even bothering with Mr. Stoic And Taciturn. "Hey, I'm Dean." Ok, so that had just came out.

The guy blinked and then bit his chapped lip and said, "Uh… hello Dean. I am Castiel Novak." The guy cringed, as if expecting a reaction from Dean. He seemed surprised when he didn't get one.

"Uh, Castiel is it? Wow. Hi. What is that, a saint name?"

Oh yes, he was making small talk, which was very un-Dean like. As long as he got to see those eyes… Ok, that was a very gay thought. He was never going to think of a dude's eyes like that. Ever. Again.

Although they were gorgeous…

STOP!

"An angel, actually. Of Thursday," he said, his voice surprisingly gravelly and deep. He licked his lips and Dean told himself that he was not following his tongue, just making sure he didn't…accidentally…bite it.

Wow. Not even Sam could make a lamer excuse.

"Cool. Angel name. But… Castiel? Doesn't that sound intimidating, like, at any second you're gonna smite someone?" He didn't think that his stoic friend (when had he started considering him a friend?) would get the joke.

But then, Castiel's lips twitched and the corner lifted marginally. "Intimidating? I never thought about that. And as for the smiting, anyone who does get smote most likely deserved it."

And Dean found himself cracking up. Who the hell knew a quiet guy in a suit and ugly coat had a sense of humor?

Before he could continue with the conversation, the bell rang and people started leaving for their classes. But Dean had no schedule yet and so wasn't surprised when his new teacher asked him to hang back. It was the next part that he didn't get.

"You too, Mr. Novak," she added, making Castiel's head tilt to the side that Dean noticed was achingly adorable.

And he caught himself again. Stupid, random gay thoughts. But maybe they were a sign?

After all, Dean didn't believe in predestined futures, so maybe his was trying to form itself.


Had he been flirting, Castiel thought as he walked up to Mrs. Moseley, the room now empty, Dean following close behind. Close enough to touch. Bad thought, he thought to himself. Bad.

"Yes, Mrs. Moseley?" Castiel finally said as he reached her desk.

Without looking up from her paper, she said, "Castiel, Mr. Winchester does not have a schedule yet. Therefore, he is shadowing you for the day. Am I clear?"

Castiel nodded and then remembered that she wasn't looking and said instead, "Yes, ma'am."

"And you, Winchester." She looked up now. "You and your pretty boy looks and charm will not work here. If you get this child in trouble, you answer to me, young man. Are we clear?"

Wow, Castiel thought. Mrs. Moseley could see right through students, couldn't she?

But Dean looked different than Castiel or the teacher would have thought. Instead of smug or sheepish for having his tendencies bared and open like that, he looked thoughtful and reserved, if not a little horrified.

"I would never, Missouri. Not to Cas," he answered, calling her by her first name, like he knew her.

It seemed like they did though. "Dean Winchester, if you call me by my first name again while in this building I will haul your ass back home and let your parents deal with you." And then, under her breath, "Why couldn't I get stuck with Sam?"

Dean smiled and gave her a quick peck on the cheek, to Castiel's surprise, making the older woman bat him away, but playfully. "That's 'cause Sammy's not a super awesome senior like myself. Or Cas."

And what was Dean calling him now? Cas? What the hell was that? A nick-name?

At least it wasn't Cassie.

He shivered. Stupid Gabriel.

Dean then saluted Mrs. Moseley and dragged Castiel out of their before she could say anything more. "You know her?" Castiel asked.

Dean nodded, the smiling shrinking back to a more reasonable size. "Yeah. Old family friend of my dad's. She's the one who got him a job down here."

Down here? Where was he from? "Where are you from originally, then?" Castiel asked.

"South Dakota," he answered.

That wasn't that far. But still. "Oh."

"What, you live here all your life Cas?" Dean asked, a laugh in his voice.

And Castiel nodded. "Yes, actually."

Dean sobered up a bit. "Never travelled?" Castiel shook his head. "Seriously Cas?"

Castiel shrugged, liking the nick-name even more. "No. I never had the opportunity. My family is too large to cart around the country."

"How many?"

Castiel smiled. "If you count Gabriel as one person, although he eats for about ten, then there are eight of us."

"Wow, five siblings. That's a lot."

By now they were at Castiel's Physics class, his first block before his debate in history. "No. Seven siblings. One of which is a twin."

Dean made a face that Castiel had to admit was adorably cute. "What about the 'rents?"

Castiel stopped opening the door to class. His eyes glazed over and he felt that sickening hurt tug at his heart. "My mother is dead. My father is… I honestly don't know. He left when I was eight and my oldest brother was eighteen." And then he walked in, leaving Dean to stand dumbstruck and guilty outside the classroom.


Dean finally walked in, making his way to Castiel, who once again was sitting in the back of the class and was looking a bit morose. Dean didn't like the thought that he had caused that. He lid in next to Castiel and whispered, "Hey, sorry about that Cas. I didn't mean to upset you or anything."

And it surprised him. Because since when did Dean Winchester apologize? And actually mean it?

Never.

So what changed?

Maybe it was whom he was apologizing to...

"It is not your fault Dean, you couldn't have known," came the soft reply.

Trying to ease the tension that he swore wasn't there just a minute ago, Dean asked, "So, you always where suits and a trench coat to school?"

Castiel actually smiled and Dean thought, angel indeed. STOP! Although it was all teeth and gums, chapped, plump lips pulled back, Dean thought it was the cutest thing…. UGH! QUIT IT!

"Trench coat, yes. Suit, not so much. I have a… debate."

Castiel felt that nervous ball drop into his stomach again, splashing all those acids along his stomach wall. He hated debates.

"You ok Cas?" Dean asked, as their teacher explained a lab Castiel had already done.

He nodded. "Yes. AP World History II. You have to do a debate senior year to pass. We've had a month to prepare but…" He shrugged, trying to downplay his fear of speaking in front of others.

Dean patted him on the back affectionately, making Castiel flush red and blame it on his coat. "Dude, judging by your classes, you're a genius. You'll be fine."

Dean was pretty sure, since Castiel had classes like Calculus, Physics, AP World History II, Psychology, Historical Literature and the likes. He knew that if he tried hard enough, he could get into at least three of the aforementioned classes and pass with a B- average.

But why would Dean try? Well, maybe if he had every class with his Cas…

With Cas. Just Cas. Not his Cas. Just plain ol' Cas.

Right.

"It's not that that I'm worried about." And Castiel went on to tell him about Meg and how much of a bitch she was (his words, not Cas's… and why was he even trying to protect his angel's Cas's pure honor?) and how he was the resident geek and how most people wouldn't even listen to his side of the debate.

But he brightened when he spoke of a girl named Ellen and how she was in his class also. Dean felt this burning feeling scorch his insides. Jealousy. He was jealous of Ellen. What the hell?

"Oh," he answered.

Castiel steered the conversation away from Ellen and to other topics, then and Dean was eternally grateful.

He'd never admit why, though.

They spoke for the rest of the block period, learning all there was to know about each other. Dean had a younger brother named Sam who was a freshman and he had both parents in the house. His mother was a journalist and his father was a big game hunter, hunting for various companies, his skills widely known of.

Castiel had a twin and had been abandoned at a young age, his siblings raising him and his brothers. He was also the youngest.

They got into more detail, religion, music preference, etc. and by the end of class, Castiel knew Dean like the back of his hand. It was also nice to have someone like him for him and not because of who his family was.

Dean on the other hand had practically memorized everything about Castiel, burning it into his memory so he would never forget, because he really didn't want to.

They made their way to Castiel's history class, where he abruptly began to hyperventilate. Dean, trying to find an excuse to distract him and calm him down, noticed his tie was untied. "C'mere, Cas," he said, grabbing the blue piece of silk and deftly tying it while looking into his friend's (it was official) sapphire eyes. "There, wouldn't have been professional otherwise, huh?" he said, trying not to make it seem like that little action was such a big deal. Although, secretly, to him, it was.

"Th-thanks," Castiel stammered out, rushing into class, Dean on his heels, determined to sit next to him.

They sat in the back (surprise! Not.) and Dean watched as some seniors scrolled a pair of podiums up onto the small dais in the front of the room. Castiel kept tugging at the tie and he finally undid the first two buttons of his white button up. Dean tried not to look.

He finally caught Castiel's hand and held it to the desk. "Quit it Cas, you'll do fine."

Before he got another word out, a girl with wavy honey hair and honey eyes walked up to their desks. "Hey Cassie," she greeted Castiel.

Dean felt himself get a little sick at the endearment, but Castiel only looked embarrassed. "Ellen," he hissed.

Dean almost groaned. This beauty was Ellen? Great. And to his dismay, she had a pretty little engagement ring on her left ring finger. Double great.

Castiel noticed Dean's drop in enthusiasm. "Dean…?"

"Mmmhmm?"

"Are you alright?" He nodded. "This is Ellen Dirks. Ellen, this is Dean Winchester."

Ellen lifted an eyebrow. The way Castiel was looking at Dean was… endearing if anything. And the guy was looking kinda pissy anyway. Maybe it was nothing but… Castiel couldn't be straight, not fully anyway. But she wasn't saying a word. The thing about women when they get pregnant, she found, mommy instincts kick in for everyone.

"You told me about her," Dean said carefully.

Ellen looked at Castiel. "Did you tell him everything?"

Castiel shook his head. "No. That's your choice, not mine."

Ellen rolled her eyes. But before she could get a word out, Dean said, "You're pregnant, aren't you?" He could tell, actually, barely remembered when his mom was pregnant with Sammy, but remembered nonetheless.

And it made him feel sick. Cas was… engaged to her. And having a baby with her? Why did that make him feel wrong?

"Well, I'll be," Ellen said. "You got yourself a boy with a keen eye here Cassie." She shook her head. "Yes. I am. Little Jo here is only two months along, but here nonetheless."

"It's a boy?" Castiel asked curiously. Not at all how Dean imagined a man would sound if his fiancé told him they were having a boy.

"No clue, darlin'. But Harvelle over there is insistent that we're either naming 'em Joanna or Jonah. Damn man and his Jos." Ellen rolled her eyes.

Dean was confused. "Who's Harvelle?"

Ellen laughed and said, "Baby's papa. And my man-to-be, consequentially."

Dean didn't know if he felt more relief or confusion. Relief that it wasn't Cas's. Confusion as to why he cared.

"Oh, you thought…." Castiel himself said. "No. Ellen is more of my… sister."

"Yeah the one you never had nor will have any time soon," she said, snickering.

Their teacher walked in and Ellen waved and sat next to a man, one Dean assumed was Harvelle. The professor prattled on about the debate of the day and then called up two names.

One was Cas's. The other was that Meg bitch's.

Meg was up first. She was tall, with brown hair and pretty eyes and an ass to die for, if you were into that stuff. She was in a slutty, way-too-tight skirt suit, her breasts pushed up and almost spilling from her blazer.

She was talking about the Penobscot Expedition and how Paul Revere should not be blamed for it. Dean guessed Cas had the other side of the conversation; how Mr. Revere was to be blamed and punished like everyone else. Dean was unimpressed by Meg though. Most of the time she repeated herself and was almost leaning over the podium so her chest could show, most of the male eyes in the room following them. The females were the eye-rollers. Dean joined the eye-rolling party. As did Harvelle, because if anything, he was faithful.

And anyway, who was she to make Cas uncomfortable and sweat in a corner, his knuckles white as they gripped the desk before him? But being in the back and alone with your friend (definitely friend) had its advantages.

Dean slung an arm around Cas's shoulders and whispered into his ear, "Dude, relax. You can totally kick that slut's ass. I believe in you."

As Dean pulled back from a startled Castiel, Meg came off the stage and bowed, way too much everything showing. And then, Castiel was up. Dean pushed him out of his chair and up to the direction of the stage whispering, "Go get 'em tiger!"

Castiel was going to throw up. He was pretty sure and hated that Lucifer was right. But as he stood, shaking and looking at all those imploring faces, he knew he was.

Ellen looked sympathetic, Harvelle's face mirroring hers. Castiel thought of what Dean had told him and then, with that thought, looked to the man in the back.

And his face changed everything.

It said, 'Well, what are you waiting for? I know you can do better than that.'

With one eyebrow up and his eyes slit, Dean Winchester changed everything.


Loosening his tie with one hand, and running the other through his hair, Castiel started to speak. "Most people liked Revere. He helped out with the Midnight Ride, got in with the Sons of Liberty, kicked Lobster tail." A few people, history professor included, snickered at the joke.

"But!" Castiel continued, making most everyone, besides Dean, jump, "BUT! He was a traitor! In the Penobscot Expedition, he put his thoughts, his needs, his selfishness before. His. COUNTRY!" He started to pace, facts spewing from his lips and to the crowd's ears. He argued vehemently that Paul Revere deserved to be equally punished just as the others in his squadron had been.

By the end of his debate, Ellen was dumbstruck, Harvelle was mildly impressed, Meg was pissed and Dean had the biggest, proudest, smuggest, 'I-told-you-so' smile on his face.

It was evident who had won the debate. Castiel.

He bowed, less graciously than Meg and walked back to his seat. He took a moment to breathe, take in what he had just said and then he looked to Dean who was giving him this look that said he'd give the world to see Castiel that passionate about something.

Maybe, even him….

STOP!

The rest of the class passed and it was lunch for Castiel, which meant it was lunch for Dean. Still in a good mood, Castiel remembered that he had spare clothes and excused himself to the bathroom for a minute to change.

And when he walked back out, Dean almost whistled. Man did he clean up good. Castiel was in blue jeans that hugged his waist and legs, and a snug plain, black t-shirt. The trench coat was thrown over an arm and he was smiling.

"Well, well, well," Dean finally got out.

"What?" the man who looked about as close to an angel as one can get, said.

Dean just smiled and let Cas lead the way to lunch. There, he was introduced to the rest of the posse. He had something to say about everyone.

Bobby was pretty cool and his family owned a Salvage Yard, so he was on Dean's good list.

Crowley was a dick. End of story.

Rufus was a funny guy and could get even a lip twitch from Cas. It made Dean feel good that only he could get a smile from the silent man.

Dean respected Harvelle.

Ellen was WAY too motherly and he interjected several times that he had one at home when she fussed, but he only got a laugh out of her.

Lisa was ok, but, he didn't even ponder the thought of a relationship with her; not only was she not his type and they wouldn't get along for long, she was also pregnant with someone else's baby. She was a nice friend though.

Ash. Was. EPIC! He had the mullet to go with his love for good rock and he and Dean got along perfectly.

Chuck was different, to say the least. The dude was definitely not sober, that much Dean could tell, and Cas had whispered to him that he never really was. And apparently that was a good thing. Chuck weirdly carried around a notebook. If any 'visions' popped up, he had whispered conspiratorially to Dean.

Becky, his girlfriend, was always acting like she either had ADHD or was high. Or maybe both. But she and Chuck were perfect for each other, that much was obvious. She was also one of the only people that could get through to him.

Either way, they were all great all together and the day had them all sitting with each other in similar classes, though every single one of them noticed that Dean always sat with Castiel and made sure that he was in every conversation, if not the center of it.

And Castiel liked that a lot.


It actually turned out to be a great day until, as he was getting his things from his locker to leave, Gabriel texted him that Jimmy had been picked up earlier and brought home because of a hockey puck to the forehead that rendered him unconscious. His older brother informed him that he now had three choices: Walk home, get a ride from someone else or call Lucifer.

He was NOT calling Lucifer. Definitely not.

Not only was he a crazy driver, but he might try and ditch Castiel a state over just because he thought it was funny.

So that left the two reasonable choices (the only choices really): walk or get a ride.

No to Bobby because that truck… No to Ellen and Harvelle because, again, pick up truck, pregnant girl… no. No to Lisa, because she was going with Ellen and Harvelle and he didn't envy Harvelle at all, what with two pregos in his bumpy truck.

No to Ash because his car smelled like sex, smoke and drugs and was covered in sex, smoke and drugs. No to Crowley because he was a creep. Rufus was going with Bobby so no to him. No one in their right mind carpooled with Chuck and Becky.

Crap. He was walking.

Castiel smacked his head into his locker, which scared Dean, who was standing behind him. "Hey, buddy, you ok?"

Castiel muttered, "My whole day just got destroyed. My brother has… ditched me. I either walk, get a ride or call my brother, who's the devil, to come get me. And since I can't get a ride, I'm stuck walking."

Dean spun him around and raised an eyebrow. "Who said you don't have a ride?" At Castiel's questioning look, Dean said, "I have a car Cas. Geez. What you never thought to ask me?"

Castiel really hadn't. "I didn't think you'd say yes, even if I had asked."

Dean looked away as he muttered, "Cas, its kind of hard to say no to you." Castiel blinked, confused and then Dean said, "Come on. You're riding with me. But first, the little bitch."

Castiel screwed up his face as Dean walked down the hall and followed asking, "Who?"


"You're such a jerk Dean," Sam said, pouting.

"And you're such a little bitch," his older bother said, waiting for him to get out of class.

Sam stuck his tongue out at his brother as he walked by him and then froze when he saw Castiel leaned up against the car outside where he was waiting. "Who's he?"

Dean followed his brother's gaze and smiled when his landed on Cas. "That is Castiel my little bitch. Feast your eyes on the angel of Thursday."

Sam made a face and said, "Isn't today Thursday?"

Dean blinked and then nodded. His bro was right. "Yeah, actually. Wow. I met the angel of Thursday on a Thursday. Would you look at that?"

Sam sighed walking out of the building. "He's not really an angel Dean."

Dean grunted. "He'd mind as well be."

At this, Sam stopped. Was that… affection in his big brother's voice? Hmmm… interesting. Very interesting.

"Oh… he nice?"

Dean smiled. "Nice? The guy's amazing! Dude you should have seen him! He's smart, he's funny. Don't let the holy tax accountant trench coat fool ya."

Dean prattled on about Castiel till they got to the car and Sam actually met the guy. He had black tousled hair and big blue eyes and was looking at Dean… reverently.

The hell?

"I'm Sam Winchester. You must be Castiel Novak. My annoying older brother hasn't shut up about you." He stuck a hand out to shake and Castiel just tipped his head to the side.

"Uh…"

"Never mind," Sam said, quickly taking back his hand.

"Sammy, you're a backseat driver today. We're giving Cas a lift," Dean said, nodding for the man in question to get into the car.

"Cas?" Sam said as Dean gave him the one fingered salute and went into the car too. "Who the fuck gives a guy a pet name unless they're dating?"

From inside, he heard Dean hiss, "Samuel Jonathan Winchester, get in the car before I leave you here and have to tell Mom and Dad something horrible happened to you and where they buried the body."

Sam got in the car.


Dean pulled up in front of a big white house and Castiel nodded. "That's it?" the Winchester asked.

"That is it."

"Damn," Sam said from the back.

"True that lil bro," Dean answered.

Castiel shifted uneasily and then, Dean gripped his shoulder and said, "Chill, Cas. It's cool. Um…" He let go as Sam tried and failed to get over the fact that his brother had actually touched and tried to calm someone, much a less a guy. "You… uh… need a ride tomorrow?"

Castiel's mouth opened with a little pop and Dean's head snapped up at the sound. He stared at the pink mouth (and that thought was SO not gay. Nope.) and licked his lips and continued, "Since I know where it is… and stuff."

And now he was offering him a ride? What the hell had gotten into his brother?

"Yes, Dean. I would like that," Castiel finally answered.

Dean smiled like God himself had said he accepted. "Yeah me too. Sweet. Well, I'll be here around seven?" Castiel nodded. "Awesome. See you man." Castiel started to get out of the car, when Dean grabbed his arm and said, "Wait! Here." He fished out a piece of paper and scrawled something on it. "Take me cell number. You know, just in case I'm late."

He gave a smile and so did Castiel and then they… well they stared at each other. Which Sam thought was a little weird, but….

Dean was happy and so was….Cas.

"See you tomorrow?" Dean said.

Castiel nodded. "I'll… call you later?"

Dean's eyes widened with eagerness. "Yeah. Definitely. Bye, Cas."

"Goodbye Dean."

He finally left, both boys' hearts beating a little faster. Dean actually stayed out front until Castiel disappeared inside the house. Only then did he pull out.

AS they made their way home, Sam contemplated what he had just witnessed and then, "Hey Dean?"

"Mmmhmm?"

Sam knew he was going to get punched for this but…. Seriously? 'Here's my number, you know if I'm late', and 'I'll call you later'? Puh-lease.

"Is Cas your boyfriend?"

Sam got punched.

But… SOOO worth it.


Castiel found himself smiling as he walked into the kitchen, throwing his things down. Dean had given him his number… and he was calling later. How long would he have to wait till later?

"Hey Cassie, I see you made it home. And in one piece. I take it you didn't call Lucifer?" Gabe snickered.

But Castiel was just in too much of a good mood to care about the nick-name and the joke. "Mmm."

"Anyways," Gabe continued, ignoring his brother's weird behavior. "Need a ride tomorrow?" Gabe was just asking to spite him…

….so when he got, "No," he was surprised.

"What?"

"I have a ride for tomorrow," Castiel was staring at his phone.

"Castiel, what are you doing?"

"Gabe, when is later?"

He lifted an eyebrow. "'Scuze me?"

"I said I'd call them later, but… when is that?"

Gabe blinked. Was his brother… pining? The hell? "Umm… call them around eight, I guess. No, seven. Call around seven." He paused as Castiel nodded. "Who are you calling?"

"Dean Winchester."

"Oh," he said. Weird. Who the hell was that and why was he calling him?

"Wait, who's taking you to school?"

"Dean Winchester."

"Oh," Gabriel said.

So it was like that.


Castiel called at seven. Dean picked up on the first ring.

"Hello?"

"Dean?"

He sighed, contentedly. "Hey Cas."

"Hello Dean. It's good to hear your voice."

Dean smiled. "You too Cas, you too."


It was like that for three months.

And dean and Cas only got closer. Not only had a lot happened in three months, but Cas and Dean had stuck by each other and helped each other through it all.

First, there was the car accident with Bobby. He had been paralyzed. It had been a hard time for all of them. And then, there was Ash. He had… gotten into some bad stuff and now… well… the funeral had been beautiful. And then Harvelle had gone on a trip to see some people who wanted to expand the Roadhouse as a franchise and the plane had crashed. For weeks Ellen had refused to speak to anyone, not even coming to school.

And it was for that reason that Dean hated planes.

Anyway, through it all, Dean and Cas had stuck to each other like glue. Dean still remembered the first time Cas had heard about Harvelle and how Dean had found him collapsed and in hysterics in the bathroom. And Dean had stayed with him in there until the end of the day.

Cas still remembered when Dean had heard about Ash and how he had just showed up at his house, eyes glazed over and asked Cas if he wanted to go for a ride. It had been silent, but in the end, they had just ended up pulling into the local beach and watching the sun set together.

And then the touching started. It was barely noticeable at first by the remaining people in their little, isolated group of friends. Dean would tap Castiel on the shoulder passing by. Castiel would grab Dean's arm as they walked if he was trying to talk to him. But then, Dean started slinging an arm around Castiel's shoulders and Castiel actually brushed hair from Dean's face and Dean didn't seem to mind. It was moments like this that had the others wondering.

And then, there was the Lisa Incident. Lisa had been definitely flirting with Dean at lunch one day while Castiel was out getting his and Dean had been seemingly uncomfortable. The whole table (minus Lisa of course) had noticed it. Dean was agitated and was sending 'back off' vibes, but the girl didn't seem to take a hint.

And then, Castiel had come to sit down with his tray and Dean had changed entirely. He smiled, actually smiled, moved his seat to sit next to the blue eyed Novak, slung his arms around his shoulders and whispered, "If I said I missed you, your response would be…?"

And Castiel had smiled and shook his head saying, "I missed you too, Dean, naturally."

And a look had come over Lisa's face and she had sat back beside her cousin and asked her something, to which Ellen responded, "Yes, sugar, I think they do."

And Lisa had never made a move on Dean again.

Now, that was what everyone else was seeing on the outside, but on the inside, the boys' heads were swirling. Castiel couldn't stop thinking of his best friend and just didn't know why. He'd find random things that reminded him of Dean and his whole family noticed a change in his behavior when the young man wasn't around.

Dean on the other hand practically lived off of Castiel. He talked about him to his family nonstop without noticing he was doing so and they all noticed that he seemed more comfortable at school. Sam especially noticed this and every little thing that his brother and the Novak did. The touching, the knowing everything about each other, which he proved one day.

"Dean?" he asked his brother.

"Yeah, Sammy?" Dean said, looking through a car magazine, while Cas sat beside him, reading a novel.

"I'm gonna make us some sandwiches. Peanut butter and jelly ok?"

Before Castiel could open his mouth, Dean said, "Not ok. Cas is allergic to grapes. And blueberries. And strawberries." He paused. "Damn Cas, is there any fruit you can have?"

The blue-eyed boy thought then said, "Cherries."

"Cherries?"

Castiel nodded. "Yes. I can have cherries."

"How about bananas?" Sam had then asked.

Now, before dean could get a word out, Castiel scowled and said, "Dean doesn't like bananas, Sam. You should know that."

And Dean had looked pleased that Castiel knew him, just as well as he knew Castiel.

And of course, Sam had known about Castiel's allergy to grapes (though not those other fruits) and had been aware of Dean's aversion to bananas.

He had just wanted to make sure.

Make sure that they really liked each other.

He just had one question: why couldn't they see it?

It was like an epiphany, when Dean realized it. He had gotten up in the morning, around six o'clock, and gone through the motions. Brushed his teeth, got dressed, went downstairs to eat breakfast. Kissed his mom as she came down the stairs, saluted his dad as he came down the stairs. Woke up Sam so he wouldn't be late.

The usual.

But he felt like something was missing as he sat at the breakfast table in the kitchen and spooned cereal into his open mouth. He knew his phone was in his jacket and his jacket was on the dining room table. His car keys were in his pocket and the Impala was the garage. He had his homework done (thank god, it truly was a miracle) and he was sure he had everything else he needed for the day in his back pack.

So what was it?

It was only when Sam walked in, his hair slightly sticking up, dressed for school and ready to eat, and said, "Hey Dean, aren't you picking up Cas today? You don't want to be late," that it hit him.

Cas.

That's what was missing.

Cas.

Dean sat there and stared at the wall for a good ten minutes before Sam snapped his fingers in front of his brother's face and said, "Dean!"

"Y-yeah? What?"

"You were spacing man, you ok?" Sam looked at his brother.

"I…" He stopped. Ok. So he missed Cas, wanted to see him, was… pining over him? Whoa. "Yeah. I'm fine."

And then, "Hey boys, can we talk to you for a second?" Dean turned to see his parents standing in the doorway.

"What's up?" Dean answered, trying to get his mind off of his blue eyed… friend? Why was it hard to call Cas a… friend?

"We just got a call from your grandfather Samuel and grandma Deanna," their father continued. "They invited us over for the weekend."

Before Dean could express his pleasure, his mother finished, "For a hunt."

"I'm out," Sam declared.

"Ditto," Dean answered, nodding to his brother.

"But boys…" his mother said.

"Look mom, we love 'em, but no. I'm not hunting. It's not my thing and Sammy faints at the sight of blood and dead animals that don't come from a Happy Meal."

"Do not!" Sam exclaimed.

"Go ahead and deny it like the little bitch you are," Dean said smugly.

"Dean Maryweather Winchester, watch your language!" Mary Winchester, his mother, exclaimed.

And Dean rolled his eyes, because only his mother would call him by his middle name too. "So what do you boys want to do instead?" John, their father asked, "Because your mother and I are going."

Sam shrugged. "Victor's been asking me to stay over his house, so I can always stay over for the weekend." He glared at Dean pointedly. "No point staying in the house with this jerk for three days."

His parents consented and then looked to Dean. "What?"

"What about you?"

"I'll just stay home, I guess. I'm eighteen and unlike Princess Samantha over there, I don't need constant company."

"But it may help your personality," Sam muttered.

"Well you think on it, ok?" his mother said.

Dean nodded and then, "I'm getting Cas. Sammy, you want a ride?"

But strangely something clicked in Sam's head about Dean spacing earlier and he said, "Nah. Dad can take me, right Dad?"

It was the tone of his voice that got John's attention and he immediately agreed. "Sure."

"Kay. Suit yourself." Dean walked out, kissing his mom's cheek and saying goodbye to his father as he walked out the door.

John promptly turned to Sam and said, "Cas? I thought his name was Castiel?"

Sam nodded, a stupid, silly smile plastered to his face. "Yeah. That's what I said when I heard too."


Dean didn't know why but he was a little jumpy making his way over to Castiel's house. It wasn't like he had never picked him up before. Today just seemed… different. Because Dean had finally realized that Cas was a lot more important to him than just a friend.

And Dean hadn't realized that he had gotten over the differences of guy on guy action a long time ago and that that thought didn't bother him at all.


Castiel woke up, walked out of his room, throwing on his tight jeans that were ripped at the knees, and then looked around his room for the band t-shirt that Dean had gotten him. He didn't find it. Instead, in his draw he saw a lollipop wrapper.

"GABE!"

Gabe, meanwhile, was still asleep and fell out of bed at the sound of his baby brother's scream. He got out of bed, just to be thrown back onto it by Castiel, who looking like an avenging angel, he was so mad.

"Where is it?" he asked vehemently.

"What?"

"WHERE'S MY PINK FLOYD T-SHIRT? I KNOW YOU HAVE IT YOU LITTLE TRICKSTER!" Castiel looked like he was about to blow a gasket.

Gabriel responded innocently, "I did no such thing!"

And then, Castiel took his lollipop wrapper from his pocket. "Georgie over here says otherwise."

"Damn-it," Gabriel scowled as he spoke. He sighed. "Top draw, on the left under my Superman underwear."

Castiel scowled and went to go look for them, producing said underwear and the shirt. He slipped the shirt on and then tossed the underwear into Gabriel's face. "HEY!"

"That's for being immature, Gabe. And for having really gay underwear," Castiel said, a smirk on his face.

Gabe mimicked him and then something clicked in his head. Castiel had flipped. Over a shirt? The hell? "Uh, Castiel, not that I'm judging or anything, but, it's just a shirt. And when do you listen to Pink Floyd?"

Castiel looked insulted and like it was obvious at the same time. "Pink Floyd is amazing!" he exclaimed. And then, "And Dean got me this shirt. It was actually his, but he gave it to me in gym when he found out I liked them."

Gabe stopped. "You have gym together?"

Castiel nodded, like it was no big deal. "We shared a locker for a month, Gabe."

"And you saw him… without a shirt?" Gabriel said.

Now Castiel blushed. "No. We had separate stalls. Geez Gabe, you're such a perv."

"And you never… sneak a peek?" Gabe pondered.

Castiel looked horrified. "WHAT? No, never! I would NEVER do that to Dean! You hear me? Never. He's too… special for that."

But Gabe saw something in his brother's eyes and softened. "You really like him, don't you?"

Castiel opened his mouth to object, but then thought about it. Gabe knew about everything (and when he said everything, he meant EVERYTHING) so what was the point? He loved how Dean was majorly obsessed with his car, how he loved old mullet rock and hummed it to himself when he was nervous. He loved how he messed around with Sam, but would take a bullet and no less for him. He loved how Dean was Dean no matter what and didn't play down his personality, how he loved to be himself. He loved how Dean accepted him for him and not his family name (although he didn't really know about that and if Castiel had his way, he never would). He loved Dean's righteous passion for what he believed in, how he never gave up, how he was SO self-sacrificing and really, truly believed in free will. So… yes, he loved Dean. No, he couldn't tell him, because he also knew that Dean wasn't gay or even bi. He saw the way he looked at girls, the way gym shorts made him smile funny or when a girl gave him 'the eye' he always smiled back. Although it was nothing compared to the smile he gave Castiel when they were alone… which didn't matter.

So Castiel nodded. And Gabe said, "You don't think he feels the same, not even a little?"

Castiel shook his head no. "I know he doesn't Gabe."

Suddenly, there was a beep and Castiel ran to Gabe's window. It was Dean and the Impala (Dean insisted that the Impala had her own personality and Castiel sometimes had to agree). Castiel gave a feeble smile to his brother and rushed out of his room, as Gabe went to the window and watched his love-sick brother get into the car (Imp-something, he was sure it had to do with that, Castiel never shut up about how much Dean loved the thing) and drive off.

"I hope you're wrong, Cassie," Gabe murmured, shoving a lolly into his mouth and going back to bed. What? He couldn't resist. "I hope you're wrong."


Castiel looked… gorgeous if Dean was being honest with himself. He was wearing tight blue jeans, tighter than Dean had seen him ever wear. The hugged his butt and accentuated EVERYTHING and Dean found that he thought Castiel's body was just beautiful. And then, to top it off, Cas was wearing Dean's old Pink Floyd t-shirt. It hung off his frame snugly, but was still big enough to be adorable on him.

God, he was turning into a chick, wasn't he?

And his hair? Oh my God. It was like he had just rolled out of bed, it was sticking up everywhere. He was dying to ask him if that was what happened and if he could ever get it messier when a dirty thought popped into his head and he found himself regretting thinking about it, since Castiel was just too pure and special for those thoughts.

He'd been oddly quiet on the ride to school and hadn't made much eye contact, which wasn't like Castiel at all. He was always staring at Dean and it had become somewhat of thing Dean had gotten used to, something that calmed him. No matter what, Castiel would always be watching him, be there. And this was just disturbing.

Dean pulled into the parking lot and cut the engine. It was still early and they could afford to wait. So they did. Dean turned to Cas and had to ask, "You ok, Cas?"

He looked like he had been snapped out of some deep thought and Dean almost felt bad. "Yes. I am fine Dean. Why?"

His tone, Dean thought. It was back to that monotone he didn't like very much. "Yeah. You seem different. What's up?"

Castiel blinked and tilted his head and Dean realized just how bad that got to him when his blue eyed friend did that. "Nothing Dean. I was just…" He hesitated, and since when did Cas hesitate, the guy that was sure of everything? "I was just thinking of someone." He sighed now, sounding a little depressed.

And Dean was feeling a little jealous. Who was so important that his angel (a term of endearment of course) was thinking about them and feeling sad over them? "Well, forget about them. You've got me."

Castiel smiled now, teeth, gums and chapped lips and Dean found himself smiling too. He loved that smile. "Yes. I do have you." He darkened again, the smile fading. "My best friend." He said it as if it was the end of the world.

And Dean felt like it was. "Anything wrong with that title?" he asked, honestly, because he knew the abbreviation was right (bf), but the words that made it up, not so much.

Castiel sighed and left the car instead of answering and Dean wondered if he had gotten him angry. He followed him out and into the building, walking straight to their little group. Bobby was doing wheelies with his wheelchair, Lisa and Ellen both looking like he was going to give them a heart attack. Both women were already showing though, Ellen more than Lisa. Their clothes were also slightly baggier. Crowley wasn't with them, which didn't necessarily mean he wasn't in school, but most likely on their bad list and wouldn't dare come close, in fear of being run out. Rufus was laughing it off with Bobby and their new friend, Pamela, was rolling her eyes and telling the pregnant women that they worried too much.

Oddly, Castiel didn't talk to anyone as he stood in their presence. No one seemed to notice something wasn't right. No one but Dean, which kinda aggravated him. Because it was Cas. How could they NOT see something was wrong with him?

The bell rang and they all shuffled (or in Bobby's case, wheeled) to class. Castiel was silent in homeroom, even quieter in Physics (since Dean had tested out of all his classes to be in Cas's except for math because honestly? He wasn't that good.) and just seemed put out when they met up for lunch after their separate math classes.

And then, the last straw. Cas didn't sit at the lunch table. He sat alone at the back of the cafeteria.

Now everybody noticed. Of course it took them this long. Just because they knew Cas longer, didn't mean they knew him better. No one knew Cas like Dean.

"What's wrong with him?" Rufus asked, inclining his head toward Castiel.

"Yeah, what died and crawled up his ass?" Bobby threw in.

"That would mean someone had taken the stick out of it, if anything would be able to die up it!" Rufus cracked, cackling.

All three women rolled their eyes but Dean was pretty pissed. Who were they to talk about Cas like that? After all, they weren't the ones living in a home of deranged family members, now were they?

"Shut up," Dean snapped, making both men snap their mouths shut in surprise. "Don't, ok? Just don't." And with that, he got up and walked over to the empty lunch table that Cas was sitting at alone.

"So…" Pamela said, "What about them Mets?"


Dean slid into the seat across from Castiel and honestly, the Novak couldn't even look at him without wanting to break out into tears. Stupid Gabe and his meddling. Stupid Gabe and making Cas talk. He had made Castiel realize just how much he cared about Dean and just how much Dean didn't. Not in that way. And it just hurt and sucked ass big time.

So yes, Gabe was to blame. Entirely.

"So, you gonna bitch in a corner or what?" Castiel looked up, unable not to, because God just DIDN'T give human beings voices like Dean Winchester's so they could be ignored. "What's up Cas? You've… been mopey."

Oh, I realized how much I loved you and that you don't reciprocate those feelings and I want to tear my eyes out just so that I don't have to see you with other people, Castiel thought. Instead he answered in a gravelly voice, "Nothing Dean. I am fine."

And to his surprise, Dean gave him what the man himself would have classified as a Bitchface. "Don't give me that bull, Cas. I know you, man. You're upset. Who did it and where can I find them so I can beat them to the shit?"

Castiel almost laughed. Would Dean be so willing to beat his object of sadness to a 'shit' if he knew it was himself? "No one Dean."

Dean was silent for a moment, just staring at Cas like they sometimes did. Castiel found that he was momentarily comforted by it. It was something that they, and only they, did together. Stare. Wow, it actually sounded a little creepy…

Dean wanted to know what was making his Cas so upset, so upset that he sat alone and wouldn't even tell Dean what it was. Had someone broken his heart? But Dean would have known if he were involved with anyone, wouldn't he? Castiel could be so unpredictable sometimes.

Dean opened his mouth to say something else, but he rejected the thought. He liked the silence between them. It wasn't awkward, like most people thought when they saw the two staring in silence, emerald entwining with sapphire. It was comfortable. And the fact that they were close enough to be able to not be uncomfortable when one decided to start an epic staring contest made Dean's heart beat a little faster.

But he wouldn't be telling Castiel that. No way. He was religious and would reject him.

He wasn't even gay.

Then again, neither was Dean. It was just… Castiel.

And then Dean started thinking about how significant that stupid kid was in his life and he couldn't ignore the fact that there was some underlying feeling in there. He just didn't know what. And, God he wished he could talk to Castiel about this without stumbling over every word that exited his mouth (wouldn't that be nice?) but he could barely think it, never mind tell the guy himself.

So no, he was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn't see Sam walk up to them.


Sam had been watching the silent exchange that he knew was going on from his lunch table. On one side of him was Ruby, talking about herself and creepy stuff about the Devil that, quite frankly, Sam was totally ignoring. On his other side was Jess, the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen. She was sweet, nice and not at all stuck up like Ruby. Sam shivered thinking of the demon's (total figure of speech) name. She looked like the kind of girl that could get a man hooked on anything: love, sex, hell even BLOOD.

Which, hello? Gross.

Jess was just awesome though and he'd be going to the movies with her today before heading over to Victor's for their weekend sleepover. Speaking of his weekend arrangements, Sam was pretty sure he was about to make one for his brother in about, oh, he didn't know, five minutes?

Maybe less, by the way they were staring at each other.

"Um… Jess, I need to talk to my brother. Are we still on for tonight? I'm sorry about this," Sam found himself apologizing.

But Jess just gave him this sunny smile that melted his heart and said, "Yeah, we're still on for tonight. And it's alright. Hey," she nodded to Dean and Cas. "Is that your brother's boyfriend?" She was open to everything, although, Sam noticed, the school itself wasn't open to that kind of stuff. Not at all actually. If anything, maybe a bit prejudiced. He hadn't seen one gay or lesbian.

"No," Sam said standing up, "But he should be right?"

And Jess smiled. "Definitely."

And that was how Sam had made up his mind to go over there and hook up his brother and friend.


Sam walked over to Dean's table. "Hey, Dean."

And of course, his older brother jumped nearly out of his skin. He was just too busy staring into his not-boyfriend's eyes. "Holy shit, Sammy. A little warning next time."

"Sorry," Sam said in a way that made it clear and simple that he wasn't. "I just came over to tell you that it's cool with Victor that I'm staying at his place this weekend. I also scored a date, but that's beside the point. I just need you to give me a ride home so I can get my overnight bag. Victor's mom is picking me up." He then paused his rambling to stare at Castiel, who had a surprised look on his face. "Hey there, Cas."

"Hello Sam. Why, may I ask, are you staying over Victor's for the whole weekend?"

Sam made a mock surprise face, putting a hand to his mouth. "You mean my idiot-"

"Hey!" Dean interjected.

"-of a big brother didn't tell you yet?" Sam continued as if he hadn't been interrupted. Castiel furrowed his brow and Sam knew the next few minutes were crucial. "Well, mom and dad are out for the weekend. I'm spending it at a friend's. Dean's being a nincompoop and staying home alone for three days." He looked at Dean. "Poor, poor nincompoop."

Castiel looked to Dean, surprised. "You didn't tell me this."

Dean scowled. "Not like I could, Cas. You haven't talked to me all day. You wouldn't even look at me."

Sam could hear the hurt in his brother's voice and saw the sadness in Castiel's eyes, the confusion and guilt. Wow, they had issues.

"I'm sorry," Castiel said very quietly.

Dean's face softened. "Nah, man, its fine. Really. I get it. It's your off day. We all get one."

Sam rolled his eyes at that. Dean never let him get off easy for anything. Figures he'd do it for his not-boyfriend. "Yeah," Sam commented, "Yours just happens to be every day. And the only one that can put up with it is Cas over here." Sam sighed. Then he brightened, as if he had just gotten an epiphany. Not. "Hey! I know." He turned to the blue eyed young man and said, "Cas, you feel bad for being a dick to Dean right?" Before Dean could interject, Castiel nodded and Sam continued. "Then why don't you fix it and stay with Dean at the house for the weekend?"

The reaction he got was unexpected.

"NO!" Castiel practically yelled.

Dean's face was one of hurt and Sam of surprise. "Um… why?" Sam finally said.

Castiel blushed furiously. Dean, although hurt and a little torn inside, defended the man who had torn him. "Sam, leave him be. He doesn't owe you an explanation."

"He owes you one, though," Sam pointed out.

"Sam, don't be such a prick. Leave him-"

But Castiel knew Sam was right. "No, Dean, your brother is right. That was rude of me. And I didn't mean it like that. I just meant… do you even want me to? Wouldn't you get sick of me, having to see me for three days?"

Dean smiled now, very warmly and Castiel felt this pleasant warmth go through him. "Cas, no matter how much I see you, I can't get sick of you. If anything, I don't see you enough man."

Sam knew just how chick-flicky that sounded, but said nothing on that. "C'mon, Dean could use some company."

Castiel looked to Dean who shrugged. "Little brother's not wrong. If only he could be less of a bitch about it." Sam stuck his tongue out at him. "Anyway, Cas, final word is yours. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. K?"

And Castiel nodded. But the look Dean was giving him, it was screaming for him to agree. SCREAMING. So Castiel rubbed his neck and looked down and said, "Then, yes. I would like to spend the weekend with you. Unless you have an objection?"

He looked up to see Sam preening and Dean with a smile plastered to his face permanently, looking extremely pleased. "Objection? Hell no. Suggestion? Maybe. Wanna bite to eat before hand?"

Dean froze. Nope. Those words had not come out of his mouth. They really hadn't. Castiel just knew what he was thinking. Then why did Sam look epically surprised?

Crap.

Castiel blinked and then a pleased look came over his face. "Yes Dean. That would be most… exceptional. You can swing by my house at around five, if that's alright with you."

And Dean nodded. Nodded because if he was looking at this as an outsider, it had sounded like he had asked Castiel out. And that Castiel had maybe, just maybe, agreed. And neither of them was freaked out. Not even SAM.

Speaking of the little prick, he was back at his table, feeling self satisfied and whispering to Jess, "Not dating, but on the road."

And she smiled.

Because really? How could you not at a face like that?


Sam was already at Victor's making faces in the back seat the whole way home and wishing him a happy weekend with Castiel in a strange way, like the little twerp had ESP.

Like he said, twerp.

And now, Dean was on his way to pick up Castiel. His parents were still home, packing and getting ready for the trip. They would be until seven, when they were heading out, and which Dean and Castiel would probably be coming back at. So they were determined, for some reason or the other, not to miss the debut of the blue eyed Novak.

He pulled up outside of the big white house and waited, his car idling. Suddenly, his phone buzzed and on it was the message icon. He opened it to find a message from Cas. Ok, so it was under 'My Angel' but no one else needed to know that. All they needed to know was that Cas had texted him that he would be a while, so Dean could come inside.

And honestly, Dean had never been into the Novak's house before. So he wasn't missing the opportunity when it arose.

Dean cut the engine, opened his door and walked up to the house. He knocked on the bright red door and waited. Several seconds later, he heard a commotion behind it and the door was opened by a tall woman with bright red hair and green eyes. She seemed to have the same nose as Castiel, he observed, and was about twenty five.

"Oh! Hello!" she said.

"Um…" Awkward. "Hi, I'm Dean. I'm here to pick up-"

"Cassie!" she finished. "Of course, he said he was staying over for the weekend. Right. Come on in, sweetie. You can wait in the kitchen." And she almost dragged the teen in.

Dean gaped as he followed her through the house. It was covered with art, mostly angels and heaven scenes, depicting the Christ Child. They were beautiful and he found himself lost in the paintings.

As they entered the kitchen and the red-haired woman went back to the stove where she appeared to be cooking when he knocked, a slightly shorter man walked in. He seemed slightly older than Dean and had a lollypop stuck in his mouth at an angle.

"Well, well, well," he mused, looking Dean up and down. "What have we here? Where'd you find him Anna?"

He turned to the red haired woman, who in turn to his question, smacked him with a wooden spoon. "Gabriel! Don't be rude! This is Dean Winchester, Castiel's friend." Her eyes glittered at this.

Contrary to popular belief (popular belief being what Castiel thought) Castiel's whole family knew how he felt about Dean. The poor boy was just too damn obvious for them.

Gabriel's brown eyes widened. "Oh really? You're the guy with the car and that stupid shirt Castiel had a cow over this morning."

Dean scrunched up his face. "He flipped over a shirt?" The hell?

Gabriel sucked on his lolly and then said, "Well, yeah. I took it and hid it (practical joke I swear, he said when Dean gave him a death glare) and he freaked. Left some evidence," now he waved a wrapper around. "Traitor," he muttered. "So the squirt knew it was me. Attacked me and threw undergarments in my face for the stupid thing. Turns out, you gave it to him or something. Whatever."

Dean was pleased, immensely so, and Gabe could tell. He was happy that Castiel held his shirt in such high esteem. No wonder the angel had looked so ruffled this morning. This guy was giving him hell.

"Gabriel Novak, by the way. Castiel's senior by one year. That's Anna." Gabriel inclined his head toward the red haired woman. "Our older sister. Don't let her motherly demeanor fool you; she's a first class whore."

"Gabriel!" Anna exclaimed as he ducked her next swipe with the wooden spoon.

Gabriel just laughed, seeming to be having fun with this. At that moment, a tall man with blonde hair and bright blue eyes walked into the room. Gabriel immediately shut up and Anna got a smug look on her face. The man was tall and broad, more so than Dean and that was saying something. He looked very serious and in no mood for Gabriel's nonsense.

And then he saw Dean. "And who might you be?"

His voice was piercing and Dean was glad when Gabe answered, "Dean, Castiel's friend. You know, the one with the car."

The man grunted and then turned to mutter something to Anna, who held the spoon to his mouth, making him groan and then taste it at her pout. He nodded and smiled, which was a relief to Dean to see that that thing could be happy.

"I'm Michael, by the way, Castiel's oldest brother." He leaned against the counter and watched Dean where he was sitting at the kitchen table.

"And I'm second," Dean heard a deeper voice say behind him and in walked Michael's opposite. This man had dark hair, dark eyes and just this… darkness around him. "Hey kiddo. The name's Lucifer. Not to be confused with the fallen angel that became the Devil, although, if you want to confuse us, by all means go ahead and confuse us. I'm not complaining."

"It's not like he'll be able to tell the difference," Gabe retorted.

Lucifer flipped the younger man off and the sent Dean a disturbingly happy grin for a man that seemed… entirely unhappy.

And then, in walked another man, this one decidedly more different than the other two. He had darker skin and was shaved bald. He also had a strong build, one that Dean noticed all three men shared. Before he could get a word out, Gabriel said, "Dean. Castiel's friend. He had a car."

The man grunted and grabbed Lucifer by the shoulder, shoving him over to lean on the counter. Lucifer in turn shoved him back and cackled with delight when he almost fell. "So close…"

"That's Uriel," Gabriel said, filling Dean in on the new man that had started to glare at him. Remember? They all KNEW!

To add to it, a man who was slightly lighter than Uriel walked in, also of strong build and dark hair, but with a softer face. He lifted an eyebrow and let Gabriel speak. "Dean. And that's it, because if I have to explain one more time how he's a friend of Cassie's and has a car, I'm gonna puke. Get with the program people!" He then turned to Dean and said, "That's Raphael Novak. Other older brother." He sighed. "So many… if Dad hadn't gone with angel names, we'd all be screwed. Hell, I wouldn't remember half of you."

And Dean had noticed that. All angels' names? Wow. Religious parents no doubt. So that's where Cas got it.

And then… Cas walked in. He was in regular jeans and a striped red and black shirt and his hair was neat and he carried himself with this dignity…

So… wow, not Cas.

Dean looked kind of confused now. Castiel gave him butterflies (never would he admit this) and the man in front of him just… wasn't. He looked at him and noticed that something was missing from his eyes when he looked at Dean. Something important.

"You look familiar," the man who looked like Castiel said, "Do I know you?"

Dean thought his world was going to crumble. What the hell was going on?

Before he could flip, though, once again, Gabe came to the rescue. "And last, but not least, James Novak. AKA Jimmy. Castiel's twin, older by five minutes. Clear things up champ?"

Dean nodded, relief written all over his face and he wasn't even trying to hide it.

And the family saw it and realized that he felt just as strongly for Castiel as Castiel felt for him. Now, all six brothers were leaning against the counter. They were glaring, except for Gabriel, and Anna was just shaking her head and rolling her eyes.

"So… you're friends with Castiel?" Michael said. Dean nodded.

"Close friend?" Uriel asked.

"Define close," Dean stated.

"Birthday, favorite color, band and food?" Lucifer said.

"September 18, 1992. Green, Pink Floyd and he has this weird obsession with White Castle Hamburgers," Dean answered just as quickly without hesitating, thinking or stuttering, a small smile on his face. An affectionate smile.

"Oh, he's whipped," Gabriel whispered to Jimmy, making his little brother laugh.

"Yeah," Lucifer said. He'd heard the question too and was answering Dean at the same time. "You're a close friend."

Uriel knew the signs. He grunted as did Raphael. They knew dean cared about their brother. Whatever.

"You good at anything, Winchester?" Michael asked. Interrogated, Dean realized.

"Fixing cars, hunting," Dean offered.

"What do you hunt?" Lucifer asked, suddenly interested. "People?"

Dean looked at him horrified. "No, he hunts big game animals, Lucifer," said a familiar gravelly voice that Dean now realized Jimmy didn't have. "Like buck and caribou." Castiel was in his clothes from school, the only difference the duffle bag hanging from his shoulder by its strap filled with what Dean supposed were Castiel's clothes. They probably smell like him, he thought. And did nothing to suppress the thought.

Weird.

Castiel smiled at Dean. "Ready? Because I am."

At this, Gabriel looked offended. "That hurts, Cassie," he said, mock-fainting, putting a hand to his forehead and falling into Jimmy, who caught him while laughing.

Castiel rolled his eyes tripped Gabe up, making him smack into the floor. "You can't be hurt Gabe. You're too covered in sugar for that."

Gabriel got himself up off the floor and rolled his eyes at the smirks his older brothers were giving him. "Yeah, well. Whatever. Get out of here with your stupid boyfriend and leave us in piece."

"Pieces!" Lucifer threw in.

But Castiel was flushed red. Gabriel had NOT just called Dean his boyfriend. But by the look on Dean's face, he had. "Excuse my brother," Castiel said, tempted to strangle the man right there and then and looking like he would and could too. "He's stuck in the closet."

At this, Dean grabbed Castiel by the duffle and brought him closer to him than necessary. Neither minded, though and the family could only watch. Dean knew though, when Castiel was going to blow. "Easy tiger. Let's get going before you make Gabe over there a splat on the wall, yeah?"

Castiel huffed and nodded, making his way out to the front and the Impala. Dean went to follow but was grabbed on the arm by Michael. Lucifer looking amazed, said, "No one's ever been able to calm that kid down before. He has a temper when he gets started. Damn, what did you do?"

Dean was at a loss. "I-I just… know him."

Michael's face was unreadable. Then, "You care about him." Dean went to protest. "Don't even try," he cut him off with. "Apparently, Gabriel's not the only closet gay in this house."

"Hey!" said 'closet gay' exclaimed.

"You hurt him," Michael continued, "There are seven of us to hurt you." He smiled and it was dangerous.

"That's right," Lucifer added, because Castiel was his baby brother and he cared, secretly. "Anna will join in the action. Gabe wasn't kidding: she's a whore." He paused. "For a lot of things, including beating guys who mistreat her baby brother, to death."

And with that, Dean left.


Castiel noticed Dean was a little pale, albeit confused when he entered the car. "Are you alright Dean?" he asked.

Dean nodded. "Yeah…just…" He sighed. "Never mind Cas. You ready for an awesome weekend with Dean Winchester?"

Castiel sighed as Dean pulled into the local diner. "We aren't even going to leave the house this weekend, are we?"

"Probably not."

Castiel got out of the car. "Whatever."

Their early dinner was had in silence, a comfortable one though. A Dean/Castiel silence. Dean paid, after having a long conversation with Castiel to distract him so he wouldn't see Dean paying for the bill and be tempted to pitch in. It was his treat.

They made their way back to Dean's house, where his parents were just about ready to leave. Walking in, an arm slung around Cas's shoulders and a smile plastered to his face, his day made all the better by his time with Castiel, Dean was content.

His mother was in the living room and just… froze at the sight of her eldest son. Dean was happy, carefree, and relaxed, things he never really was. And instead of giving a young lady an endearing look, he was giving it to a young man.

And then, she saw it.

That glimmer in Dean's eyes, that twist in Castiel's smile, the way they were just… being, existing around each other.

They were in love.

And she was pretty sure they didn't know it.

Dean tore his eyes off of Castiel and to his mother as they walked in and curiously took in her surprised and bright expression. "You ok mom?" She nodded and then he face-palmed. "Crap. Cas, mom. Mom, this is Castiel Novak."

Mary took in the bright sapphire eyes, the coal black hair, the sharp nose and sinewy muscular body. He was lean and fit. He was also in jeans and what looked like an old shirt of Dean's… Wait, they were sharing clothes?

In all, she wasn't expecting this. It was better. "Hello, Castiel. I'm Mary, Dean's mom."

"And I'm John, Dean's father," the man said as he walked into the room, gazing suspiciously at the arm Dean had slung over Castiel's shoulders. He looked to Mary and his face asked her a question. He had seen the look too.

"Cas, dad. Dad, this is the one and only Castiel Novak." Dean smiled at Castiel's name, liking the way it sounded. John lifted an eyebrow. Who knew his son could be so… emotional?

Castiel untangled himself from Dean and walked over to shake Mary and John's hands. "I'm very pleased to meet you," he greeted, stepping back. His eyes wandered back to Dean, where the two parents saw that love spark again.

Wow, they had it bad.

"Yes, we've…. Heard a lot about you," John said slowly. He made eye contact with Mary and she knew the look well enough. He would distract and secretly interrogate Castiel and she would talk to Dean. "Castiel… has Dean told you that the Impala is not the only classic muscle car we own?"

Castiel knew a distraction when he saw one and knew that this one had a valid reason so he went along. "No sir," Castiel smiled, turning to Dean. "That he failed to mention."

"I didn't think you'd be interested in cars Cas," Dean responded.

"Dean, I'm interested in what you're interested in. You like cars. Therefore I have to give it a shot."

And to their surprise, instead of giving Castiel his chick-flick line, Dean smiled and nodded, answering, "K, whatever. Go look at some old cars, if you really want to."

John led Castiel to the garage and Dean turned to his mother who had grabbed his arm. "What?"

"Dean…" Mary was unsure how to start, so she just went for it. "Dean, how much do you know about Castiel?"

Dean thought then said, "Everything."

She was surprised. What? "Exactly what is 'everything'?"

Dean took a breath. "Well, he had seven siblings. Six older brothers, one of which is a twin, who, by the way, looks nothing like him (in Dean's opinion at least), and has an older sister. Their names, in order, are Michael, Lucifer, Anna, Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Jimmy. His mom died when he was born and his dad left the family when he was eight. He loves hamburgers from White Castle, is religious. Loves the color green (Mary realized it was because of Dean's eyes). He had a good friend who he relied on that died, Harvelle. He has some really great friends, hell, WE have some really great friends. He loves the rain and hates horror movies. He finds the idea of flying fascinating and swears one day he will."

Dean shrugged. "He's Cas. He's the kid who finished high school in freshman year and had been hanging out till he can get enough college credits so they can pay for his schooling. He's the nerdy little guy with wings when he's listening to Pink Floyd. He doesn't get personal space but… I forgive him for bursting my bubble from time to time. And he's awesome with Sammy, that's a plus. He loves his family, is closest to Gabe, who I swear will be the death of someone someday. He has an awesome singing voice and he can draw like a beast! He's…"

"Cas?" his mother suggested, seeing how much he cared about that one boy in the garage.

Dean nodded. "Yeah. He's Cas. He can make me laugh when I don't even feel like smiling. He's my best friend. He's perfect."

Dean sort of stopped there as a scary realization hit him. Holy. Shit. He loved Cas. He actually loved Cas. Loved-loved him, as in would die for him. Would protect him with all his heart. And would give anything for him, anything to make him happy.

Dean looked at his mother who had noticed the change. "Oh," he said weakly.

"What?" she asked, though she wasn't expecting an answer.

Dean shook his head. "N-nothing. Don't you and Dad need to head out?" Dean didn't know how he felt about Castiel staying over now. Oh great.

She smiled and nodded. "You're right. JOHN!" she called out. As she heard him respond that they were coming, Mary turned to Dean and said, "Our room, bureau on the left, top right draw in the back." Before Dean could ask, she answered, "You'll know if you need it."

And then, John came back with a slightly frazzled Castiel and informed them that he now understood how to change car oil, though he hinted to Dean not to let the boy try.

And then Mary and John left.


They were half way down the interstate when John had to ask. "Well?"

Mary laughed. "Oh he loves him alright. You should have seen what he knew about him! And he said it all without hesitation or regret and a lot of happiness. I think he realized it himself before we left."

"And?" John prompted. He needed to know…

"And, yes, John. If they do anything, they'll be safe. See? I'm a good mother. What about Castiel?"

John laughed. "That boy would follow Dean into the pits of Hell, drag him out, and put him back together again. And he'd be able to too, since he knows him better than I think we do."

Mary was silent, then: "Our little boy is growing up."

John grunted. "Yeah. Let's just hope that at least one of our children turns out straight and not like a curly straw like the other one."

Mary smacked him on the arm for that one. Justice was served.


Dean knew now, knew and I had no idea what to do about it. Right now, Cas was sitting on the couch next to him, watching some sappy romance that they had just seen showing on TV. They were both washed and clean and in pjs. Deans consisted of black boxers and a Metallica t-shirt. Cas's consisted of white boxers and a plain white cotton tee.

Dean was itching to do something, something he never thought he would want to do to a man: he wanted to kiss Castiel. He really did, more than he ever wanted to kiss anyone. And oh! Those lips! They were wide and still slightly chapped and besides that, Castiel needed a good shave… or not.

Dean scooted closer to Castiel who was watching the movie with trivial interest, barely paying attention to the screen and quite focused on… well, him. Castiel hadn't taken his eyes off of Dean in the last hour. And Dean didn't want him to.

"Hey Cas," he asked, breaking the silence.

"Yes Dean?"

Dean sighed and muted the television, turning in his seat to Castiel. Those damn blue eyes… Dean's heart was going crazy now. Cas was just so perfect and he was straight, which was a big problemo. Dean hated himself for what he was about to do: Make Cas uncomfortable and hate Dean for causing it. If he did this, he was sure they would never be friends again.

"Cas," Dean said again, lower this time, moving closer to him.

And Castiel didn't back away. To Dean's utter amazement, he sat still in the middle of the couch and stared Dean in the eye which was endearing to Dean, although intimidating to others.

"Yes, Dean?" Castiel responded.

Dean was very close now. So, so , so close. His face was probably inches away from Castiel's and the other young man still hadn't moved, making Dean wonder if Cas actually knew what was going on.

He looked into those beautiful, splendid azure eyes and then, Dean did it. He leaned in and pressed his lips to Castiel's. It was not like he thought it would be. He thought he would feel dirty and wrong, but all he felt was as pure as snow and as right as rain.

And then, the most remarkable thing. Just as Dean was about to stop, pull back and lose his friendship with Castiel forever….

Castiel kissed him back.

Just like that, he felt the slight pressure of someone struggling to regain control over the kiss, then it came back at him full force, pushing him back a little. It lasted a while longer, hot tongues dancing, lips gliding, teeth clacking against one another. Castiel was actually holding Dean close to him and Dean was doing the same, Cas's white cotton tee bunched up in his hands, pulling him closer and closer and closer….

Until they pulled apart, because they were only human and had to breathe. They rested their foreheads against each others and stared into the others' eyes, losing them selves completely in swirls of ocean and fields of grass.

"Castiel," Dean murmured, sending shivers down Castiel's spine.

"Dean," was all he could think to say in return.

Suddenly, Dean pounced on him, pushing him down onto the couch, the Winchester perched on him. "How long?" he asked. Of course, the question referred to how long had Castiel felt that way about Dean, wanted to kiss him?

"From the first day I met you," his angel whispered.

"Thank God," Dean breathed. "Me too." Dean bit his lip. "Cas…."

"Dean?"

"Cas, I…I- Cas…." Dean relaxed and took a calming breath. He noticed Castiel's breathing was labored and smiled when he realized that he had tired him out.

"Castiel I-"


"-love you," Castiel said at the same time Dean had. They sat there frozen.

"You love me?" Dean asked, astonished.

But Castiel could barely comprehend what had happened. It was different. It was more meaningful. It was crazy. He just nodded, unsure of what to do. He really loved Dean. And Dean didn't even ask him to prove it. Because Castiel knew he loved him. He trusted him and needed no proof.

"And you… you love me?" Castiel inquired, feeling similar, if not the same as the Winchester.

Dean nodded. "With all my heart." He kissed Castiel's lips firmly. "Forever," he murmured against his angel's lips.

They kissed deeper then, letting the epiphany wash over and through them, Dean grinding into Castiel, pushing him farther into the couch until Dean had this weird sensation come over him. He wanted Castiel. In that way. But could they?

He looked at Castiel and whispered, "If I told you that I loved you and that I wanted you, what would be your response?"

Castiel chuckled lightly and said, "Take me Dean. I love you, I'm yours, naturally."

Dean kissed him chastely. He kissed his neck, he kissed along Castiel's collarbone, he kissed Castiel's hair and then got off of the couch and helped the smaller man up. He led him slowly an meaningfully up the stairs, and down the hall that had the bedrooms in them. As they walked by his parents' bedroom, he asked Castiel to wait a minute and checked the draw his mother had asked him to, having a feeling he knew what was inside. He was correct.

He took what he needed, and then continued the slow, decent to his room.

Once outside it, he gave Castiel one of the items and told him what to do with it. And then, they slowly kissed their way into Dean's bedroom and locked the door.

Needless to say, they did not leave the house that night and were content to sleep in the next morning. Because they had proved their love for each other.


At this point, happy was a really inappropriate word, because waking up with the one person you've given yourself fully to doesn't make you happy it makes you… complete.

And that's how both Dean and Castiel felt as the early noon sun woke them both up in each others arms.

Dean pushed a lock of dark, sweaty hair from Castiel's forehead and kissed the spot. The smaller young man purred in approval and snuggled closer to him. "Mmm," Dean murmured, adoring that warmth, "Love you, babe."

"Love you too," Castiel said, feeling like it was a dream and ecstatic that it was not. He sighed and then as he realized exactly what had happened, he sat up and said, "Dean?"

"Yeah, babe?" Dean said, slowly getting up next to him and kissing his neck.

"I'm not a virgin anymore." It was more of an acknowledgement than anything else. And Castiel found he didn't really mind.

"Me neither," Dean whispered. Castiel looked at him surprised and Dean groaned. "Great. My own boyfriend thinks I'm a man-whore. Yeah, Cassie-baby, I was a virgin. Feast your eyes."

"B-but, you were so-" Castiel had no words.

"Really?" Dean grunted. "Huh. It's probably because you love me."

Castiel rolled his eyes. "Whatever, Dean." Suddenly, Dean got out of bed and stretched. Castiel raised and eyebrow. "Where are you going?"

Dean chuckled. "Shower, sweet cheeks. And then I'm getting some grub and doing… erm… laundry." He wiggled his eyebrows and headed for the bathroom, Castiel on his heels.

"Me too," the blue eyed Novak said.

Dean started the water. "Fine by me. I get to share everything else with you, why not this?" But he was smiling and it made Castiel feel kind of sick to his stomach as he realized that Dean had pretty much bared his soul out to him and he hadn't even told him that he was part of the school's poster boy family.

But he would tell him today. He had to be honest with his…

Wait, Dean had called him his boyfriend?

"Boyfriend?" Castiel asked as he got in beside Dean and shivered as hot water rushed over him.

"Well, yeah…" Dean said. "I mean, unless…"

"No," Castiel murmured, kissing him, water running into his eyes. "I want it."

And Dean smiled blindingly. "And I want you."


Castiel flipped a pancake over in the pan as Dean came up with a load of laundry. He had promised to make breakfast if Dean did laundry, because honestly? Who had patience for laundry?

Dean started folding the sheets from the previous night, already having changed the bed sheets and smiled as he saw Castiel cooking. The blue eyed beauty was in a pair of loose blue jeans and one of Dean's t-shirts, which was pretty big on him, since it wasn't an old one. He was barefoot, his toes the most precious thing Dean had ever seen.

And if he was slowly turning into a chick on the inside, so what? It was CASTIEL!

"So," Castiel started in a tone Dean was wary of.

"Babe, what is it?" he asked wanting him to cut to the chase. Castiel put a plate of pancakes in front of him, distracting him for a moment, the little bugger. He sniffed the fluffy battered cakes and let a small smile ghost across his features. He turned back to his boyfriend. "Seriously. What?"

Castiel sat down, a smaller amount of the fluffy goodness that was pancakes on his plate and looked down, not meeting Dean's eyes. "A few things. One, our school's population does not tolerate male on male relationships well."

Dean grunted. He'd noticed. Or hadn't noticed, having seen not one gay, lesbian or bi in that school. "I know. It doesn't matter to me. Does it to you?"

He shook his head. "No. Just wanted to make sure you knew."

"What else?" Dean swirled his pancake in chocolate syrup.

Castiel sighed and pushed away from the table, crossing his arms. "So, maybe I haven't told you everything about me…"

He scrunched his eyes closed. Dean was going to be furious at the least, unforgiving at the most, maybe worse and Castiel couldn't even fathom…

Dean felt shocked. What? He swallowed. That hurt. "Cas, I told you everything and you still haven't-"

"It's nothing serious Dean. I didn't tell you because… because I wanted to be sure you liked me for who I was. Of course, this was before you told me the truth about that…"

Dean scowled at him. "What is it? You have to tell me now, you realize that right?"

Castiel nodded. "The reason I started." He took a deep breath. "My family…"

"All those brutes named after angels?"

Castiel gave him a dirty look. "Uh huh. Them. Well, they're kind of like… idols at school."

Dean raised a lethal eyebrow. "Come again?"

"They've been the sports start there for over… god, maybe twenty years? Maybe forever. The school and the city loves them. They've given the town a reputation, one I do not follow. My whole family, even Anna, contributed to this. I didn't follow their status quo. They're fine, the school not so much, but no one can say anything because-"

"Because you're a Novak," Dean said like he had an epiphany.

"Yeah… How did you-?"

"Know that particular phrase?"Dean said. Castiel nodded. "I wondered why people left you alone when you're obviously one of the smartest individuals known there that they would usually put down. Someone said something about you being a Novak." He brightened again. "Those jerseys in the trophy case-"

"Are my family's," Castiel finished. He shook his head at the way Dean had described him. It was a nicer way to call his… boyfriend a geek.

"So you have a rep that people use you for and didn't want me to use you?" Dean asked, finishing his breakfast and putting the plate in the sink. He walked over to Castiel, who had his head in his hands. "Babe, why would I ever…?"

Castiel shrugged. "Its part of being human, I guess. The insecurities. I'm sorry."

Dean kissed the back of his neck and felt that strange feeling come on again, which, WEIRD, because he'd already had Castiel and he still wanted him and maybe that was the true meaning of love, still wanting someone even though, technically, you've had them already and shouldn't still want them. And it was more of a need anyway.

And Castiel felt it too.

They made love that day, slow, wherever they deemed necessary and meaningful.


They woke up on Sunday and Castiel groaned something about church and not wanting to go, but having promised Michael.

Dean had an evil idea then.

The next second Castiel opened his eyes, Dean was in a sweet little button up shirt, not plaid for once, that was light green, a darker green, like his eyes, tie on around his neck, black slacks and shiny shoes adorning the lower half of his body.

He shrugged at Castiel's shocked look. "Hey, you promised babe." He pulled him out of bed and said, "And I promised I'd stick by you."

Castiel tilted his head and Dean kinda didn't want to go anywhere without kissing him now. "When did you promise that?"

Dean gave an innocent smile and said, "Why, just now." He kissed him, satisfying (for now) that little tug. "Now go get dressed."


Church was uneventful, although the faces that Gabriel was making at them when they walked in together and sat at the pews behind the Novak family were pretty eventful. They went from surprised to mocking to happy to 'if you hurt him I'll kill you with my bare hands' (that one was directed at Dean). It was pretty funny and Castiel had almost laughed at some point during the Liturgy.

After that, they had parted from the family, although Dean had gotten many an evil eye that Castiel had deflected. They drove back to his house and Dean whipped up a quick lunch, which he fed Castiel on the couch as they watched some weirdo show called Supernatural. But it had blood, guts, action, adrenalin and beer, so.

"You know," Castiel said, chewing the pasta in his mouth, "That angel, Misha, he's definitely hung up over that hunter, what's-his-name?"

"Jensen," Dean said, bringing another fork to Castiel's mouth. He made airplane noises and then shivered at the thought of planes and changed it to cars vrooming around.

Castiel scowled at him and took the fork forcefully, but not before saying, "Don't make me kick you out and on the couch."

And Dean couldn't laugh at that, because he really didn't wanna be couched.

"Anyway, yeah. Jensen and Misha. They have the hots for each other. You think the producers meant to put the subtext in?" Castiel continued.

Dean shrugged. "I don't know, but seriously? They need to make out already. The sexual tension? Babe, you can cut it with a knife."

"Kinda like right now?" Castiel asked, as Dean dropped the plate onto his coffee table and pushed Castiel down on the couch.

"Mmm hmm," he muttered, kissing him. "Babe, are we…?"

"Yep," Castiel cut him off with kissing him.

On the couch. And hell, why not?


Castiel woke up on the couch, the TV still playing reruns of Supernatural. The scene he saw was pretty mind-blowing. The angel was kissing the hunter. If he was right this was season six, last weeks episode. He shoved Dean, who was sleeping on him and said, "Hey, hun, look."

Dean blearily opened his eyes and caught the end of the scene and smiled lazily in triumph. "Told ya, they had to make out soon."

Dean nuzzled him and then checked the time. It was ten. He sighed as the episode ended. Tomorrow was a school day…

"I'm bushed. You coming to bed babe?" Dean got up and stretched.

Castiel nodded, letting Dean haul him up and bring him in for another kiss. "Yeah." He yawned and Dean stuck his tongue into Castiel's open mouth. The Novak in turn rolled his eyes disgusted. "I had to fall for the one who's always horny."

"Am not!" Dean protested as he followed Castiel upstairs to the bathroom. The scary thought of what was going to happen when his parents came back and they couldn't do this anymore hit him and he felt sick. He didn't want this to end, the weekend he fell in love.

He resolved to sneak into Castiel's room by the window, like a certain creepy vampire if he had to, to spend the night.

They showered and then hit the hay like there was no tomorrow. Castiel curled up to Dean's chest and Dean in turn, wrapped his strong arms around the slight frame of Castiel's body. He pushed him closer, so much closer and with his other hand, smoothed down Castiel's hair and forehead, humming a soft song under his breath and rubbing Castiel's temple. Castiel was asleep in no time, making Dean smile and in turn, fall asleep to the sound of his heartbeat and breathing.

It was bliss.


Dean got up the next morning to see Castiel propped up on his elbow and just looking at him with those gorgeous blue eyes of his. "Morning," he whispered and kissed Dean lightly on the mouth.

Dean deepened it and then heard Castiel groan. It made him want more. "Dean, no," Castiel protested, although not pushing his boyfriend away. "It's a school day. We have to go."

It was around five thirty when dean pulled away and looked at his alarm. He sighed. "Fine," he grumbled. "But you're showering."

"Yes Dean."

"With me," the eldest Winchester cleared up.

Castiel smiled. "Yes Dean."


They made it to school on time, thanks to Castiel's Type-A personality and needing to get out of the house early. Stupid, pushy angelic looking boyfriends.

As they walked into the building, hand in hand, the trouble started.

A few shocked people openly gasped, but that wasn't the worst part. As the day progressed, the shoving started. At first, Castiel thought it was an accident. The second time coincidence and by the tenth time, he was sure that the jocks were doing it on purpose.

Dean kept steering him clear of the people he suspected, but Castiel would then get slammed by someone else and OH GOD the Winchester was pissed. Sam had smiled when he saw them in the hall and then frowned when Castiel got shoved and would have gone flying if Dean hadn't had an arm around his shoulders.

That was also the first time Dean noticed Castiel actually winced. He dragged the smaller man into the bathroom with him and demanded his shirt be taken off. Castiel obliged and Dean almost stalked out of there and killed every single person who had shoved him. Because Castiel's shoulder and back was peppered with red spots and bruises and it had been done under Dean's watch.

"Those egotistical sons of bitches!" Dean yelled, turning for the bathroom doors to go out there and seriously kick some ass.

But someone held him by the arm and he turned to see Castiel, a betrayed look on his face. "Dean no. That's what they want. They're trying to mess with us. Give it a couple of weeks, they'll get used to it." He smiled now. "And if not, well, then, that's too bad for them. Because I'm not giving you up for the world."

Dean pulled Castiel to him and held him close, running a hand through his hair. "They hurt you," Dean started.

"Not for the world," Castiel emphasized.

Dean grunted. "Not even if God demanded it?"

Castiel actually chuckled. "I'd tell God to shove it, Dean. And besides, I don't think God would want me to be unhappy. You make me tremendously happy Dean."

"And I thought that was only White Castle Hamburgers," Dean teased.

Castiel shook against him as he laughed. "Well, you do it too."

Castiel kissed dean quick and then slipped into his shirt afterward. They walked out together, not caring if people gave them looks and when someone was about to smash into Castiel again, muttering, "Fag," Dean shoved them.

"Touch my boyfriend again," he growled. "And you will not be a happy camper, you filthy dick-bag."

As they walked to lunch, the two got a wider berth.


"Wow," Ellen said as they sat down. "About time you two got your act together."

Dean opened his mouth to respond and stopped when Rufus and Bobby laughed. Crowley (back on their good side it seemed) snickered. Lisa smiled and Pamela nodded in approval.

"How did you know?"

Ellen rolled her eyes. "Sugar, how did we not know, is the question you should be asking."

Dean and Castiel shared a smile and held hands under the table. Bobby saw though. "Oh God, I swear you two idjits, if you start acting like two dogs in heat…"

Lisa kicked him under the table. "Robert Singer, you watch your mouth." She smiled at her cousin who nodded approvingly.

So yeah, their little group was pretty screwed up. Ellen was pregnant and talked to her baby (either Joanna or Jonah, she was keeping it a surprise in honor of Harvelle), Lisa was pregnant and talked to her baby (a boy, she was hoping), Bobby was a trucker in a wheelchair, Rufus one of the only and rare African Americans in the school, Crowley the guy who was totally dealing under the table and dabbled in EVERYTHING, Pamela the weirdo new girl, Chuck and Becky who were ignoring them all and talking about something called divine sight, and the gay couple that consisted of Dean and Cas. And the great part? None of them cared how much of misfits they all were.

Lunch was over soon and then they started heading to class. Dean felt a drop of apprehension when he realized it was math next and he and Castiel didn't share that class. But he knew someone who did…

"Jimmy!" Dean called after he walked Castiel to class. Jimmy was smart enough in math to be in the Calculus class.

Jimmy smiled a little but looked upset. "Hey, Dean. I heard what people are doing to you guys. I told most of them to knock it off. Sorry if it doesn't help."

Dean almost got a little pissy that people listened to Jimmy and not Castiel, but he knew the twin was just trying to help. He gave a warm smile that didn't quite reach his eyes and said, "Thanks man. Hey, can you do me a ginormous favor?" Jimmy nodded. "Keep an eye on your brother for me? Please? If anyone hurts him, you tell me and I swear to God I'll get them later."

Jimmy bristled. "Please. Like I'd let anyone touch my baby brother." By five minutes, Dean felt like adding, just because Castiel would have. "And by the time you'd get there, there'd only be left overs."

Dean smiled for real this time. "Thatta boy." Jimmy smiled. "So… watch him?"

Jimmy now rolled his eyes. "Yes, Dean. Relax." And he walked into class.

Dean muttered a curse and then said as he walked down the hall, "Right. I can totally relax. Because people might beat my boyfriend to a crap. Right. I'm TOTALLY relaxed. Not."


Calculus passed and so did Dean's math class and in no time, he was at the door, waiting for Castiel to come out. Surprisingly, he was scowling. "You asked my brother to watch me?"

Dean cringed and shot Jimmy a look. The twin shrugged and walked off. "I just wanted to make sure you were going to be ok."

"Dean," Castiel said, seeing the absolute fear and honesty in his boyfriend's eyes. He sighed. "Ok. You're forgiven. Just stop looking so dejected."

Dean scowled. "Big words, Cas. Big words. You only get to use big words in bed. And the only big words you can say there are my full name when you're-"

Castiel shoved Dean, making him laugh. "Shut it." And then he smiled. "It's a trade secret."

And that made Dean laugh even more.


The day passed fairly quickly after that. People still shoved Castiel and it was really getting annoying. Dean was a coiled up spring by the end of the day when they were in their Physics class after school so Castiel could talk to their professor about some college credits he was completing. Even Mr. Jim (they ALL called him that) saw the terseness in his stance.

"Is everything alright?" he finally asked.

Dean sighed and Castiel looked down. "No. Cas and I, we're…" He let it trail off and put a loving arm around Castiel, pulling him closer.

"Ahh," the teacher said in understanding. "And?"

"No one else is as accepting as you," Dean said bluntly. "Not really. He's gotten shoved around a lot today. And I'm just worried…"

Mr. Jim (he was a pastor somewhere, but, oh well) nodded. "I understand."

Castiel spoke a little more at length until he finally noticed Dean fidgeting. The guy really wasn't an academic kid and he was dying to leave. He was pleading with Castiel to hurry it up.

He finally sighed. "Dean, why don't you wait at the car? I'll be out in ten minutes, I promise."

Dean's face darkened. "No way. If I have to hear you geek out over science, so be it but you're not leaving the building alone."

"Dean-"

"He's right Dean," Mr. Jim said. "I promise he'll be fine. But you look like you're in pain. It's alright Dean. You can go."

Dean hesitated, honest to God hesitated, and Pastor Jim really knew he loved the Novak. So he reassured him soothingly, "Dean, he'll be fine. I promise."

Dean looked pained but nodded. "Ok, Cas. But only because you asked." He leaned over and kissed him sweetly and shortly on the mouth and then murmured, "Ten minutes. Ten minutes and I'm coming in, guns blazing and dragging that bounce-a-dime-off-of-it ass of yours out and in to the seat of my car, you hear?"

Castiel chuckled and nodded, pushing him away to find Pastor Jim smiling. "Goodbye Dean."

"Yeah but Cas-"

And then Castiel says one word, "Couch."

And Dean's face goes white. He gives his forehead a kiss and says, "See ya babe."

As Dean walked out, Pastor Jim stared at Castiel and said, "You were going to couch him? Really?"

Castiel shrugged innocently. "Hey, it works. He's gone right?"

And the physics teacher laughed and laughed.


Dean went to the car, not liking how many people were hanging around, but trusting the teacher/pastor and his boyfriend to keep him safe. So he leaned against the outside of his car and waited.

And waited.

And waited.


Exactly ten minutes later, Castiel concluded his conversation with the physics teacher/pastor and smiled as he left. The pastor pointed out that maybe Castiel should call Dean to come pick him up outside the main office, that way if there were any problems…

But Castiel waved him off. Its not like he was going to get jumped or something.

Castiel rolled his eyes as he walked down the hall, shoving the pastor's worried look out of his mind and replacing it with Dean's smiling face. In just a few minutes he'd be able to see it and that was all worth thinking about…

Castiel barely noticed here he was going. What was the fastest way to get to the parking lot? Well. There was a side door…

Castiel veered off the hall and to the right to the side door that led to the parking lot. Sure it was bordered on two sides by walls and had bins of garbage and a dumpster in the corner and wasn't all that pleasant to walk through but, whatever got him to Dean faster.

He didn't even see them coming.

It happened the second he walked out the door, the shove. He unexpectedly tripped and crashed to the ground, looking up to see Alastair, one of the jocks that had been screwing with him this morning. Next to him was Zachariah, or Zach as he liked to be called. Behind him were a few more people, including one girl, Lilith and a boy that he was pretty sure was named Brady. And they were all…

What were they all doing?

Castiel got up off the ground and was about to ask, when someone decked him in the face. He gave a cry of surprise, landing on his butt. Wiping at his lip revealed that it was laced in crimson blood. What the hell?

And then, Alastair started to speak. And Castiel didn't like what was coming out o his mouth. "You call yourself a Novak," he spat. "And we let you. Because of the fat that you were." He shook his head as Castiel sat stock still, slowly trying to find his phone, get to Dean…

"But then, you go off and become the smart ass you were bound to become. We let it pass, because you could still, somehow make that, that NAME worthy to be tacked at the end of your own." Alastair turned dark ugly eyes as another boy Castiel recognized, Azazel, snickered and got closer. "And then you do this!"

Castiel flinched as Azazel's hand came crashing down and busted his nose. He gasped and spit out a , "What the hell?" as he sat up.

Alastair looked positively murderous. "YOU SULLIED YOUR FMILY NAME!" he exploded. "You know why?" Castiel's eyes widened. "Because you're a fagot, a marshmallow. You're gay and ass-fucking the new kid. You disgust ME!"

Castiel felt every blow to his psyche and felt his self worth crumble. What the hell?

"You disgust them," he emphasized. And then he smiled. "So we're going to end this black mark on the name that we all love." His eyes seemed to go black. "We're going to end you."

Castiel's eyes widened as he scrambled to his feet, phone forgotten. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. They were going to-to-

Someone grabbed Castiel by the shirt collar and slammed him to the ground. Suddenly, he was showered with heavy blows and punches to the gut. His face was whipped from side to side, his gut was torn to shreds with hard, sharp knuckles and hands and, oh shit, had Alastair just pulled out a switch blade?

He felt searing metal burn the skin of his arms and legs as he heard that sick laugh behind him. It was soon drowned out by the sounds of his own screams. He was picked up then, slammed into the dumpster and banged repeatedly into it. He was horrified to see that Lilith was not participating but… filming this hate crime on her phone, laughing as his blood sprayed onto his assailants.

And they liked it.

He was suddenly thrown to the ground again. Castiel knew that there was something broken, couldn't even focus through the white out pain in his head. He felt his collar bone shatter under heavy blows and someone twisted his ankle in their grip and then held down his thigh. Suddenly, his leg was wrenched up and he let out a gut churning scream as something was steadily snapped. His bone.

He got kicks to the ribs, severe, harsh kicks that made him want to throw up. Something in his chest snapped and he could barely make a sound as his breath rushed from his lungs in a whoosh. He choked then, on a blood, his own blood as someone kicked him square in the stomach with the toe of a steel toed boot.

"Dean," he rasped out as someone cracked is head to the side with another jaw shattering blow and yeah, something in there was definitely broken. Because, really, who else could he call? Who else was on his mind at that moment, when he was so sure that with the next blow he was going to just give up and die?

Suddenly, someone delivered a harsh, swift kick to his groin, making him cry out with ripped lungs and broken ribs in pain. Salty tears that hurt the cuts on his cheeks and his broken nose streamed down his face, because that hurt the most out of everything they had done to him. They kicked him again and again and another time for good measure and Castiel was screaming in pain and wanting them to stop.

"You don't even use it!" he heard Alastair scream. "YOU ARE DISGUSTING!"

Castiel couldn't feel any part of his body now, not really, and was so surprised that he was still conscious. He felt his phone buzz in the grass next to him where it had fallen out and his blood slicked fingers wearily scrabbled for it. He wrapped his fingers around it and then screamed as Zachariah slammed his boot down over his hand. Bones snapped out of their places in his fingers, but that didn't stop Zach. He kept stomping until the phone itself cracked and broke, sharp pieces jutting into Castiel's palm, mingling with the bones and flesh of his skin.

Castiel couldn't cry out, blood sputtering from his mouth instead. He only felt the dim feeling of horror as Alastair said to Azazel, "Go ahead, you Yellow Eyed Demon," Azazel's nick-name on the field, "have your way."

For a moment, a horrible moment, Castiel thought they were going to violate him. But then, Azazel pulled out a gleaming Swiss Army knife. He bent down over Castiel's broken, bloodied form and then…

Castiel screamed out, blood staining his teeth and bloody spittle sprayed his cheeks. Azazel laughed maniacally as he dragged the hot knife across Castiel's abdomen, cutting the thin flesh open and stabbing into it. He couldn't breath.

"Enough!" Alastair said. "We need him conscious for the end." And the way he said it…

Azazel smiled then, and went to the dumpster where he picked up a bottle. He started to pour it over Castiel and the immobile Novak tasted the tainted flavor of…

Kerosene.

Oh my god, Azazel was going to burn him.

But he couldn't move, couldn't speak, was on the border of oblivion and couldn't care. All he thought of was Dean and how Dean would take his tragic death and if Dean would move on and forget about him and oh GOD what would Dean do?

He heard the clicking of a lighter and his blood shot eyes made their way to Azazel who was holding the damned thing. He started to lower his hand, the rest of the crowd with bloody fists waiting in anticipation, pining over the final, critical moment…

And then, suddenly, there was a sound, someone walking by the door and they all froze. Lilith slid her phone shut and nodded to Alastair that it was all recorded and saved and Azazel looked put out, but ready to go. He hadn't had time to burn Castiel but…

Before they left, the rest of them walking out that stupid Yellow Eyed Demon swung his fist back and slammed it into Castiel's temple.

He didn't even realize he was gone as the black consumed him.


Dean waited. He looked at his phone. He had called Cas about ten minutes ago. What the hell was taking his angel so long?

He was tempted several times to go over there and see what was going on, what was taking Castiel so long. But no. He would call one more time.

Except, all he got this time was an annoying beeping noise, instead of Cas's adorkable 'Why do you want me to say my name?' voicemail.

The hell?

Ok, that was it. Embarrassing or no, he was going in there and dragging that finely toned ass (and it was) out and back to the car. Oh the punishment Cas would get when they got home! Maybe Dean would even couch him!

Dean tried not to feel uneasy as he saw a large group of guys exit the bathroom, wiping wet hands, newly washed he supposed, on their jeans. Among them were some jerks from earlier who had shoved Cas around; Alastair, Azazel: the Yellow Eyed Demon, Brady and Zachariah. And what the hell did Lilith find so funny when she glanced at her phone?

He shook his head and walked into Pastor Jim's class to find it filled with only pastor Jim. "Where's Cas?" Dean asked, a nervous ball forming in his stomach.

The teacher looked confused. "Excuse me? He left at least a half hour ago…Dean?"

"No," Dean said, thinking of the wry look Lilith had been giving him. "No," he whispered, thinking of them leaving the bathroom, hands washed, of evidence. "No, no, no, no!" he started screaming, running down the hall, looking for that one pair of blue eyes…

And then, a door. A door leading outside to the parking lot that was open a crack. A door with a smudge of red across the handle. A door that Dean was so afraid to go through he almost threw up.

Because he knew who was behind that door.

Dean threw it open with shaky hands and let out a scream that gathered the attention of several passing faculty.

Because there, in a broken, bloody messy heap, was Castiel.

And he wasn't breathing.

Dean dropped to his side as several teachers came out and gasped, several pulling their phones out and dialing 9-11. A few ran to the nurse, but she was gone and several went to the office to get Castiel's file and find his emergency contacts.

And they only knew it was Castiel because Dean could identify the crushed phone under his crushed hand and his clothes. His face…

Dean felt his heart wrench with sadness, misery, ANGER.

He pressed shaking hands to Castiel's bruised throat, a throat he had kissed affectionately that morning and felt…nothing. A cold, horrible thing gripped him and he felt his sanity slipping. Castiel was… was … not breathing and… and…

"No," he breathed out.

Dean immediately went into soldier mode. He could perform CPR. He knew how. He tilted Castiel's head back in a head tilt-chin lift move and looked, listened and felt for breath. Nothing. He immediately delivered two rescue breaths and then moved over to compressions. Oh God but all the blood he was getting on him and did he taste… kerosene? Someone had tried to… burn him!

Dean counted thirty compressions and moved back to those once large and chapped lips, now split and oozing, forcing his life into Castiel and praying every time he let his sweet breath into those dead lungs. Tears of pain and anger that he couldn't save this unresponsive male, the love of his life he realized in horror, came down his cheeks. He pushed down harder on Castiel's chest, feeling broken bones under his hands, and torn flesh, started counting his compressions out loud. There came a time when he couldn't even see, his vision was so blurred by tears.

Castiel still wasn't moving.

Suddenly, Dean felt someone grab him under the arms and yank him off of Castiel's unresponsive body. "NO!" Dean screamed, determined not to leave his side. They kept dragging him away as he finally realized the EMTs and ambulance had already made their debut and were checking Castiel's vital signs. There was whispering and tying Cas down to a gurney, a brace around his neck and all these things going through him…

"…unstable…"

"…unresponsive…"

"…AED… clear him…hospital…"

"…in time?"

"NO!" Dean screamed again, pushing against whoever it was that was grabbing him and moving him away from the scene and to the parking lot. He heard a vaguely familiar voice say that they would answer questions at another time but that right now, Dean needed to get home.

Dean struggled until he was thrown into the back of some rickety old hatchback. "NO! LET ME OUT NO! CAS! CASTIEL, NO!" Dean started to scream bloody murder. He felt something of a hopeless sob break forth from his lips and he began to shake uncontrollably. Cas was… Cas may … he couldn't think straight.

The car started to move away from the scene as ambulances streaked by. Dean was a crumpled heaped, mess in the backseat, blubbering and unable to hold himself together. Oh God, oh GOD. How was he supposed to live, to function with out Cas? How was he supposed to-to breathe?

TO DO ANYTHING?

Dean felt the car lurch and started to scrabble for the handle of the door. It was locked. "Out," he rasped. Then, louder, "OUT! Get me OUT! Let me out, please let me out, please, oh god please." He was sobbing now, tears streaking down his face.

"Sorry Deano, not going to h-happen." Dean flicked his head up to see Gabe driving in the front seat. So Gabe was first on Castiel's emergency contacts? Ok, weird.

"Gabe, bring me back. Bring me back Gabe. Gabe! GABE! Please!" He was begging, he knew but it was Castiel, of course he was. "Gabe, Gabe, please, bring me back. Bring me back! BRING ME BACK!" Dean started to shake again.

Gabe's eyes were bright. He turned onto another street and then down another and stopped. They were in front of the Novak's house. Gabriel got out of the car and slammed his door, going over to Dean's side and dragging him out too.

"Let's go," Gabriel said, trying to reason with him.

"No," Dean muttered, his eyes red, his voice haggard. "No, let go, Gabe. Let me go. GABRIEL LET GO! LET GO, PLEASE LET GO!" Dean exclaimed breaking down again, right there on the sidewalk. "Please, let me go to him, Gabe, let me go!" He tried to speak through the tears but he was blubbering again.

Gabriel swallowed thickly. Christ if Cas didn't pull through this one he was sure they'd be having two funerals instead of one.

"Dean, let's get you inside, ok? C'mon, man. Easy, easy does it." Gabriel lifted a deflated Dean up, taking some of his weight and walking him to the front door. It opened on Anna, her eyes the same shade as her hair, Michael looking sick and Lucifer angry, all with coats on their way to the hospital. It had been their idea to make Gabe go get Dean, knowing he would have hindered the EMTs had he stayed.

Raphael was at work as was Uriel, but Gabe was instructed to tell them both what had happened when they got home and where to go. Jimmy was not allowed to go, although he was practically a broken mess, almost as bad as Dean, but not quite. No one was quite as screwed up as Dean, the one who loved their brother to death (hopefully not literally, not yet) the one who had tried to resuscitate him, that bloody broken mess Gabe had walked in on.

Jimmy stormed to his room as Gabe led Dean to a couch where the Winchester sat in stony silence, tears silently running down his cheeks. He didn't move, didn't even look like he was breathing.

And Dean thought it was all over. That he had had Cas for a grand total of three days all for himself and had been the happiest and luckiest guy in the whole entire world and then… then God had been a dick and taken Castiel from him.

God. It was his fault Dean had surmised as Gabriel locked the door after his family. God, the God that Castiel had so much faith in, believed in. He had let him get… beat to a shit in the alley of a school next to garbage by people who were garbage and not worthy enough to lick his boots.

At that, Dean stood up and in an angry rage, punched the wall. He left a dent in the plaster and a smear of his blood as he screamed in absolute anger and helplessness. He was so lost without Cas. Oh God, it wasn't fair! And it was all Dean's fault that it had even happened. God may not have helped, but Dean could have prevented it. He could have insisted on staying with Cas, could have went to get him after ten minutes and the worst that Cas would have suffered was a bloody nose, maybe not even.

But he had let him stay longer, thinking he was geeking out and planning his very successful and amazing future and they had been wailing on him. His Castiel. His baby. His love.

Dean punched the wall again, now actually breaking the plaster. He screamed out in pain, but more from the heart that his fist.

And then he slumped against the wall and cried, cried until he couldn't breathe and couldn't think and couldn't speak and hiccupped until he felt like he was going to throw up.

"He owes us a new wall," Dean heard Gabe say.

"Shut. Up," responded a familiar voice and Dean was sure that Gabe was scowling at Sammy Bitch-Face # 6: Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

And then, "Dean!" And there was Sam, his eyes wide and glassy like he was going to cry. He raced over to Dean and this time, when he hugged his older bother, Dean hugged back. He needed his little bro right now, more than anything else.

"Thought I'd pick him up," Gabe said, as he walked in. "The little shit actually called your phone then called mine. How the hell'd you get my number anyway, Sasquatch?" Because for Sammy's age, he was almost as tall as Dean. How embarrassing.

Sam shrugged, backing out of the hug and dragging Dean to the couch. "I remember Cas giving it to me and saying that if Dean wouldn't respond and he wouldn't, then to call Gabriel. That's you, isn't it?" Sam asked unimpressed.

"Oh yeah," the man in question exclaimed.

Sam rolled his eyes. "Closet gays are so full of their not-entirely-there-machoism."

Dean actually chuckled as Gabe fell speechless. It was in his understanding that Gabriel made you unable to talk, not the other way around.

And then the Trickster smiled and Sam got this look, like he knew he was going to get that comment right in the ass. "Well, looks like the one who has outdone the closet gay is worthy of the closet gay, don't you think… Sammy boy?"

Sam blushed, but no more than that and it made Dean wonder: great, were they both curly straws?

"Are you ok Dean?" Sam asked. Before Dean could give a snarky reply, Sam answered, "Of course you're not! What a stupid question. You're boyfriend's in the hospital. God, man."

Dean felt another tear. He looked at his hands and his shirt, at Castiel's blood painting them."I tried to save him but…" He choked and Sam went white.

"Oh shit…"

Gabe nodded.

And then, Dean was wasted. He flopped down on the couch and shut his eyes. He just needed to think for a moment.

Think and sleep apparently.


Sam sighed as Dean started to snore. He was stuck alone with Gabe. "So…" he started. "My big brother and your little brother. That's something, huh?"

Gabe snorted. "Oh yeah. I saw that coming. The staring!"

Sam felt relieved that he hadn't been the only one. "I know right? They were ridiculous! The touching and whispering-"

"Did you hear what they whispered?" Gabe exclaimed and Sam nodded, equally horrified. "I'm telling you, I couldn't even tell my boyfriend that shit."

Sam smiled wryly. "So you admit that you are gay."

Gabriel shrugged. "Bi. I go either way." He gave an evil smile. "How 'bout you, Gigantor? Which way do you swing?"

Sam tried to think of Jess and those curls, he really did, but the way Gabe was looking at him, he wasn't too sure. "I-uh…"

Gabe dragged him upstairs and said, "Well, let's find out then, shall we?"


Dean woke to the smell of spices and broth and almost called out to his mother. But he realized he was not in his house and the days events hit him like a rock and his heart cracked and broke and tore itself to pieces that it burned all over again.

Cas.

Cas was…

He got off the couch. He couldn't think about it right now.

Making his way to the kitchen, he was surprised to see Gabe cooking and talking to Sam as the little nerd did his homework, occasionally asking for his input. Turns out that Gabe wasn't that stupid. But WHY was he helping Sam?

Dean was about to make his presence known and ask, when he saw the hickey that Sam sported on his neck and the few that Gabe had trialing down to disappear under the neck of his shirt and on his neck and he felt a jolt of surprise. Not that he minded that Sam went that way, because, hello, so did he, it was just the age difference of what? Five years? Four?

But Sam smiled genuinely at Gabe and that sourpuss Novak wasn't shoving whip-cream on Dean's face and tickling his hand so he seemed pretty mellowed out by his little brother.

He walked in on the weirdest conversation though.

"…remind me of?"

"Who?" Sam asked absentmindedly.

"My older brother," Gabriel continued. "Lucifer."

Sam snapped his head up. "I remind you of the devil?" He sounded horrified.

"No, my brother. His name is Lucifer. I know, what was Dad thinking? And he's not the devil. Although…" Gabriel tried the soup and nodded, adding something. "He makes you wonder sometimes."

Sam looked absolutely appalled. And then he spotted Dean. "Dean, Gabe says I remind him of the DEVIL!"

Dean stretched as he walked in and said to Gabe, "Really Novak? That's sick. You give you're brother hickey's and make out in your room with him?" At the flush in Sam and Gabe's cheeks, Dean said, "Or is that reserved for my little brother?"

Gabe opened his mouth. "I can explain-"

"No, I can," Sam said.

"No, Sammy, I'm not letting you get in trouble with him-"

"He'll break your face, GABE! The hell, I'll let that happen. Dean, it was all m-"

"Shut up the both of you!" Dean shouted, silencing them. "You like my little bro enough to defend him. You like Shorty over there enough to save him from my fist. Fine. Just fine." He turned to Gabe and shoved him into the counter. "But, you take my brother's v-card before he's 18 and I kill you. I swear to God I will."

Gabe nodded. "I wouldn't. I promise." Wow. He really meant it too. And both Dean and Sam realized that.

"I know," Dean said. "It still had to be said."

And then he let Gabe continue cooking and Sam continue his homework.

Suddenly, the phone rang. Gabe calmly picked it up, his eyes brightening as he heard more and grunted into it. It ended with Gabe saying, "I'll tell him."

He then turned to Dean. "He's out of surgery."

Dean felt the world freeze. "Can I…?" he wanted, no needed to go.

Gabe nodded. "Raph picked up your car. It's out front." Dean didn't even care someone else had driven his baby. He was gong to see Cas. "And no worries, Sam can just chill here… if you want to, that is," he added, addressing the younger Winchester.

"Yeah," Sam answered. "Like I want to go home where my parents are probably doing business stuff or worse." He sighed. "Of course I want to stay with you Gabe. Geez. Aren't you a giant ball of insecurities."

Gabe stuck his tongue out at Sam and Dean saw the first person in forever that understood Sam like he did and for once did not comment on how gay they both sounded. Gabe threw him the keys to his car and then he was out the door.


"He really does owe us a new wall," Gabe commented as the door slammed shut. "No matter his status as Castiel's soul mate and yours as my boyfriend. He's paying for a God-damned wall."

Sam raised an eyebrow at his label but since he was NOT his brother, didn't point it out. He just shrugged. "Or, you can make Lucifer pay for it."

Gabe nodded and smiled. "I like that idea." Then he paused and said, "And damn Sammy, that was SUCH a Lucifer thing to say!"

And Sam groaned.

Great, just great. The last thing you wanted to remind your boyfriend of when you were necking was of his older brother.


Dean felt like the world was spinning as he ran down countless corridors, looking for that stupid room number. 456A, 456A, 456A…

There!

Dean almost crashed into it as he hastily made his way to it. It had been a pain to get in, but once he had given his name, he was directed right up. So they were expecting him.

And now he was here and he felt like he was going to throw up. How would Cas look? Would he even be conscious? He thought not, but…

Dean took a deep breath. He had to just…do what? He thought he was going to collapse, at this exact moment. Oh god.

Anna had been in the hall with Raphael and Uriel, the two looking somber for once. They had been on their way out. Their looks though, like they weren't telling him something…

Dean lifted a hand and was about to open the door when he felt tears prickle at the backs of his eyes. He finally just pushed the door open. And there he was, that little angel of his, all wrapped up in gauze and tubes and wires and shit was that…?

Was that a machine breathing for him?

Dean tried not to cry, swallowed that giant lump of cotton in his throat about a million times until someone said, "Its ok."

And then he cried. Big fat tear drops rolled down his face. Dean collapsed into a chair that Lucifer had surprisingly pulled up for him. He was right next to Castiel's bed and he gingerly took his not-broken hand in his own and applied pressure. Castiel's face was clean of blood, but was so cut up, like someone had been running with scissors and hat fallen down the stairs. He was bruised, big blackish purple smudges under and around his eyes. He had long, thin and thick sewed up cuts along on his arms and he was sure, his legs. He could see the lump of bandages around Castiel's stomach where he had been gorged. His leg was set in a cast and elevated on the bed. His head was wrapped, a brace around his neck.

How was it a surprise that the poor thing couldn't even breathe for himself?

Dean brought a hand up to his mouth as he shook. Michael was there too, sitting on the other side of the bed next to Lucifer and the two were just staring at the youngest member of their family. Something in their faces looked the same and it wasn't just the look of holding in tears, as if they were soldiers.

"Why?" Dean croaked. He didn't mean for an answer, but Lucifer gave him one anyway.

"Because people suck Winchester. That's why."

"Do they… do they know who did it?"

Michael shook his head. "The cops did a whole swab on him. They got stuff from under his nails and from his skin. They got finger prints off a lighter they found next to him so… they're looking into it." He sighed, tired. "They'll get them."

Dean then told him of his theory and how he had seen all those people leaving the bathrooms, how it might have been them. He also told them to call the police and ask them to look for the beating online somewhere, since he had seen Lilith with a phone. Maybe they could track down those people like that.

It was worth the shot.

Dean moved a strand of damp hair from Castiel's forehead then, hooking it gingerly behind his ear. He let his hand wander down to his cheek and stroke it and he felt another wave of tears hit him. God, Cas was so broken.

Dean looked over to Michael and Lucifer. It was way too quiet. "So… uh, why did you guys stay?"

"Someone had to," Lucifer answered. "We're not leaving Cassie here alone… in case he wakes up."

So he wasn't anytime soon, Dean gathered by the way Michael's jaw twitched.

"Why do you call him that, Cassie?" Dean asked, because, although he really wanted to know, small talk was the key to everything.

"Our… Dad called him that." Michael looked away.

"Where is he anyways, Cas only said that he left when he was eight?" Dean asked.

Lucifer rolled his eyes. "Don't you think that if we knew we'd have already kicked his ass for leaving? As it is, none of us really cares except Cassie. He insists the guys coming back but…"

"You're no as sure," Dean said. Cas really was the only one who had faith. "What made him leave?"

Michael gave the broken laugh now. "Maybe it was our mom, or his or even us."

"Your mom?"

Lucifer raised an eyebrow. "You honestly don't think we all have the same mother, do you?" Dean was quiet. Well, maybe not Uriel and Raphael but… "Seriously? No. Dad was married about… what was it, Mikey? Five times?" Michael nodded.

"But wasn't your dad all holy and stuff? How did he believe in divorce?" Dean asked.

At that, both oldest Novak's faces went dark. "None of them got divorced," Michael said.

"They all died," Lucifer replied.

No wonder the guy had gone, Dean thought bitterly.

"What happened?" Dean then asked. The more he knew of Castiel the more he needed to know. He wanted to understand him.

Michael sighed. "Hey, why the hell not? It's not like we've talked about Mom much since she died." He shook his head at Lucifer's scowl. "Dad married mom. They were happy. They had me. They got happier. They had Lucy. Their happiness did not improve, contrary to popular belief."

Lucifer slapped Michael upside the head. "Jerk."

"Bitch." Just like me and Sammy, Dean noted. "Anyway, right after Luce was born, mom died. Just…. Never woke up. We're both too young to remember her. Anyway, a few years later, he married Laura Albert, Anna's mom. She stayed for not even a year before she died."

"How?" Dean asked.

"Car crash," Lucifer answered.

"Then came Roberta Florence." Michael smiled. "One of my favorites, personally, out of step moms. She was a nice lady, a little crazy, but cool. She's Uriel and Raphael's mom. She died of cancer."

Lucifer shook his head. "She was pretty great, actually. We loved her." He laughed now. "Then came the infamous Kerrigan Sumiton. Gabriel's mom. And just to prove that Dad wasn't picky with his wives' religion, Kerri was a pagan, so Gabe grew up the first year of his life confused. Then she died."

"Heart attack," Michael said sadly.

"And finally came the amazing Ms. Carla Milton. The twin's mom. She died during child birth." Lucifer's voice was uncharacteristically soft. "In this same hospital." Dean felt his heart tug. "And then dad left. Like the dick he is."

Michael rolled his eyes. "Lucifer!"

He shook his head. "I was seventeen and I understood that he couldn't do it alone. But he wasn't! He had us. Apparently that wasn't enough. He left us with kids from the ages of fifteen to eight! Mike, how the hell is that fair?"

"It's not." Dean shook his head. He needed to steer them to clearer waters. "Why do some of you look the same though? Like, Anna, Cas, Jimmy and you Michael have blue eyes."

Lucifer smiled. "Dad had blue eyes. The same color as Castiel's." He swallowed at his little brother's name. "Little bitch he is."

Michael swatted him on the arm. "Lucy over here has our mother's eyes."

Lucifer swatted him right back. "So you two are full-blood brothers?" Dean clarified.

Michael nodded. "Anna has her mother's hair, of course. Dad's eyes. She doesn't have any full blood siblings. Uriel and Raph both look just like their mom, except for their eyes. They aren't dad's color, but you know they're his. Gabe is also one of the only ones with no full-blood siblings. He looks like his mom, but again, had that DAD aspect. And then the twins… I know it's going to sound weird, but even though they look the same, Castiel looks more like dad than Jim."

"Then why do you two argue all the time if you two are the only things that you each have left of your mother?" Dean asked.

Lucifer looked so god-damned pitying and Michael just looked pissed. "I may love Lucifer," he said, "but try living with him for twenty seven years. You'd understand why this ass is always on my case. God-damn Alpha Male shit and his stupid rebellious crap."

Lucifer flipped him off. "I love you too, you douche wad." He turned to Dean. "I don't expect you to understand. Michael raised me, pretty much raised us all. Dad was always too busy doing whatever dad did. He actually left us quite a chunk of moola, but we're saving that money for Cassie and his retarded college tuition. But we're the oldest in the house. We have to watch everyone. Sometimes the only person who understands us and will let us take out our frustration on them is each other." Lucifer thought then said, "Well, besides Castiel. He always listened, even when he was younger."

Dean nodded, his eyes flowing right back to the man lying still in the bed in front of him. "Yeah," Dean said, "he listens."

"So," Michael then intervened, sounding kind of awkward. "The policed ran a few tests on him, make sure he wasn't drugged or under the influence of alcohol or anything. They also ran a… a…"

Lucifer sighed. "They ran a rape kit on him."

Dean felt his blood run cold. He couldn't breathe. If anyone had touched a single hair on his angel's head, he was going to track them down, kidnap them and slowly torture them until they begged for death.

"Don't worry," Michael cleared up when he saw the murderous look on Dean's face. "It came up negative."

"For forced entry," Lucifer emphasized.

Dean felt a wave of relief hit him and then, he seized back up. Uh oh…

"You ever plan on telling us that you did our brother? Because when they asked us if we knew that he wasn't a virgin, do you know what this idiot said?" Michael said.

Lucifer smiled and repeated, "Well, according to last Friday, he is."

Michael groaned. "THAT. That was what he said to police officers. Then they told us they got a name on… the stuff they discovered. Lo and behold. Dean Maryweather Winchester. But, according to them, it was mutual. Is that correct?"

Now Lucifer was waiting on his answer too. "Yes," Dean answered instantly, because it was. "Yes, I promise. I would never hurt your brother. I would never want to. It was mutual. Yes."

And the thought of Cas lying there so innocent and open and now lay here broken made Dean want to cry even more.

"Hey," Michael said. "Just making sure. We believe you don't worry. It's just a big brother thing."

Dean could only nod. It was nice talking to the brother's but it couldn't take the pain away from Cas being M.I.A.

Nothing could.


Dean went to the hospital every day. He did his homework there (because he knew Cas would want him to do that) and brought him all the daily news. Sometime, Ellen or Bobby or someone else would come and check on them, just to find Dean in a deep conversation with the comatose angel (now a sad term of endearment). Sometimes, Gabe would come over with Sam and spend a little time. Dean saw that his brother was actually happy with Gabe and that it was reciprocated through Gabe. And plus, the hickeys were plentiful.

He was glad it was staying at that.

Dean spent the weekends at the hospital, talking to a sleeping Castiel or reading to him. He made it through the first book of the Sword of Truth series and was insistent that Cas liked it and that it wasn't him digging the whole cloaks and daggers thing.

Whenever he slept over night, Dean always made sure to kiss Castiel on the forehead or cheek or a quick brush to the lips. He always said his prayers, something he knew would make his mother proud if he cared enough to tell her. He always slept next to the bed, you know, just in case.

The other's found that he was quieter at school and when the results had been found on the DNA samples that had been taken from Cas and the police had traced the video (because they found it and man was it grotesque. Dean regretted watching it, since it gave him nightmares , but he needed to know just how bad he failed and man was it BAD) and come into the middle of the lunch room and arrested several people, including Alastair, Azazel, Brady, Zachariah and Lilith, Dean had gone stir crazy and flung himself at them, because he knew it was them, had been looking for them all day to KILL them.

He had been restrained by the police that had watched him and known he would do something foolish. They saved him a world of trouble by not letting him get revenge.

So now, of course, he was once again waiting in the hospital in Cas's room. A few days ago, they had taken out the stitches going across his arms and legs. They were now, pale, scabby lines crisscrossing his skin. His bruises had faded out to a pale, sickly yellow color. The neck brace was gone and the stomach bandages were off to let the wounds breathe.

It hit Dean that it had been about a month since Castiel had wound up here. A month that Dean had come to the hospital straight after school, only going home at six when visiting hours ended. Coming in and bunking for the weekends, only to go to school with a crick in his neck and back pain on Monday.

He heard the door open behind him and saw Gabriel walk in, a hand in Sam's and Dean smothered a stupid, silly grin that was dying to tease them. But the second Cas woke up (and he WOULD wake up) he was going to do all that girly shit and more. He would tell Cas he loved him everyday, hold his hand when he wanted him to and even when he didn't want him to, let him sit on his lap at lunch, cuddle on his couch and just let him snuggle close to his chest.

Surprisingly, the two weren't alone. In walked a six month pregnant Ellen, Bobby wheeling in behind her, Pamela not far behind. Rufus was at his grandmother's for the weekend and Lisa had recently moved into an aunt's house in Arizona. She was missed but kept up with her cousin's e-mails and constant ultrasound pictures.

Bobby had a pizza in his lap and said, before Dean could ask, "You don't have to spend a Friday night alone, you idjit."

And Gabriel laughed as Sam giggled and Ellen smiled and Pamela just rolled her eyes.

They sat then, everyone pulling up a chair and grabbing a slice of pizza (well, Ellen grabbed two, but that was because she CLAIMED to be craving it at the moment). They all quietly talked, all acutely aware that a lot of Dean's focus was on Castiel most of the time. He still spoke, participated in the conversations. And, while everyone knew he would probably love to be emo and brood alone, they also knew that that just wasn't healthy.

When eight o'clock came around, a nurse popped her head in and told them that visitor's hours had ended a while ago and that they needed to start clearing out. Of course, that didn't apply to Dean. They knew he stayed Friday through Sunday. Slowly, people started to go. Pamela and Bobby were first, Pamela shoving Bobby's chair out the door before he could insult anyone again and leaving with a smile and wave. Ellen gave Dean a quick kiss on the cheek next as she got up to leave, saying that she was perfectly capable of driving home. But she promised to call Dean when she did get there. Ten minutes later, she was saying goodnight over the phone and Dean smiled as he heard her mother flip in the background that she had driven home alone.

Ellen was fine.

Gabriel and Sam left last. Dean made Gabe promise not to stay over at his house with Sam or vice versa, making Sam blush and both his boyfriend and brother say, "Look, Princess Samantha is having a hissy fit!"

It was said affectionately by both, though, so Sam tolerated it enough. But he swore, when they got home (yes, he was still spending the night at Gabe's, but it was nothing serious and Jimmy and Anna always watched them and he slept in the spare bedroom anyways) he was making Gabriel sit at least a foot away from him with minimal/no kissing or hickey-making.

Ha.


Dean was then left alone. He sighed as he made himself comfortable on the hospital chair and then, he leaned over and gave Castiel a small kiss to the forehead. "Night, angel," he whispered, before leaning back and letting himself drift off to sleep after praying that night.

The weekend was uneventful. They checked Castiel over, said his brainwaves were strong, that is was curious he was not waking up, that he was otherwise doing fine and that in a few weeks, they could take off his leg cast.

Dean spent the rest of his weekend starting to read the next book of the Sword of Truth Series to Cas out loud. He even made voices sometimes. He also had to admit that Zedd was pretty cool and funny. Although he had an appetite to match Dean's and it would be a wonder to see who won THAT one.

Monday was back to school, no surprise or fun there. The others asked home the weekend was, how Castiel was and then spread it around the school. The hate crime had shocked everyone to the reality that people had different sexual preferences and that that didn't mean that you could automatically hate them and that they were wrong. Now, everyone was interested, although no one that Dean could see was coming out of the closet if they had ever been in one.

The week flew by and by the end, Dean was pining to get over to Castiel. He just needed that calm, reassuring quiet that radiated off his angel. He drove to the hospital, a little Pink Floyd playing just to get him to calm down since it reminded him of Cas.

Of course, when he made his way down the hall and saw a crowd of people outside of Cas's room, his heart dropped to his stomach. He dropped his overnight bag and flat out ran to the room, sliding to the front and shoving people aside. And there, a nurse was crying, saying that she didn't mean to, that it was just an accident and Castiel's breathing tube, the one that was in his mouth that helped him breath…

It was on the floor.

And Castiel's heart had just stopped….

"CAS!" Dean exclaimed, running to the side of the bed where he had gone lifeless. And Dean meant lifeless. He wasn't moving, his hair had lost that live feel, that soft look and looked dry and blah. His eyelids looked so much heavier than they had just yesterday.

And they were pulling him back.

Dean struggled as other doctors got called in, as a defibrillator was brought and he was dragged off to the side. He shoved and pushed and used all the power he had to escape the grasp of the men holding him.

Once free, he ran to Castiel and shoved doctors away. This was it. Cas was gone and all Dean wanted to do was…

Kiss him one last time.

And he did.

Those lips felt so… dead under his mouth and it was breaking his heart. Dean was suddenly wrenched off of Castiel as they dragged him back, burly men literally lifting him off the ground as he kicked and screamed and cried and sobbed and-

"….Dean…?"

The while room went silent and Dean felt the world just freeze. That voice, that stupid voice he had thought he would never hear again, gravelly, like the deep rumble of thunder, worthy of any angel.

It was Castiel's voice.

Dean was suddenly let go of and he shoved compliant people away as he made his way to Cas's bedside. And there he was, looking soft around the edges and bed-tousled. He was blinking those huge blue eyes slowly and looking around dazedly as a doctor ushered everyone but Dean out of the room, whispering to a nurse that they could check on Castiel later.

He licked his lips slowly and swallowed as Dean ran a loving hand through his soft hair, making it stick up in impossible directions. "Dean," Castiel repeated.

"Cas," Dean said softly. And then he couldn't hold it in anymore.

Dean just broke down and cried.


A week later, Gabriel and Sam walked in on them softly kissing, the book in Dean's hand sliding to the floor with a small slap.

"Ahem," Sam said like the bitch he was.

"We interrupting something?" Gabriel asked.

Dean kept kissing Castiel anyways and when he was finished, he pulled back and smiled and whispered, "I love you."

Castiel gave him an out of breath smile and responded, "I love you, Dean." Sam and Gabe made pretty funny mock-gag noises that they really didn't and couldn't mean, since, hello, they were in the same situation.

Castiel had taken that well, had taken Lisa leaving well, hadn't taken Dean crying on him when he woke up well, and had started crying as well. That had been a sight to see, with lots of kissing and many an "I love you" and touching and promises, oh the PROMISES that Castiel was holding Dean to, the promises Dean was definitely going to fulfill when Castiel was better and out of here.

Castiel smiled at the two. "Hello, Sam, Gabriel."

Gabe scowled at his full name and Sam just laughed and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, which curiously made Gabe's piss-ass mood disappear into thin air.

"What brings you freaks and geeks to our humble abode thingy?" Dean asked. He was lying in the hospital bed with Cas, under the covers, his shoes on the ground, an arm slung around Castiel's shoulders, his head tucked under Dean's chin.

"Just wanted to see how the little brother was doing, is all," Gabe responded. "Geek over here wanted to tag along for two reasons."

As Sam scowled at the geek comment, to which Gabe pointed out that he was obviously the freak so Sam had to be the geek, Dean asked, "One being?"

"Because I was going," Gabe said as if it were obvious and Sam rolled his eyes. But Dean saw that it was true. "And he wanted to spend some time with his beau."

Dean rolled his eyes, mimicking his little brother as Castiel asked curiously, "And two?"

"I wanted to check on my brother," Sam answered.

"Aw, Sammy, that is so sweet. Are we gonna start exchanging Christmas cards now?" Dean asked, being an ass as usual. Castiel slit his eyes and then got an evil look on his face. His hand disappeared under the cover and crossed over to Dean's side. Sam and Gabe laughed as Dean made a surprised face. His eyes darted to Cas as he exclaimed, "OW!"

That was it for Sam and Gabe. They exploded into laughter. "At least we know who's in control in that relationship," gabe said, as Sam nodded, tears in his eyes from laughing so hard.

"Babe, what was that for?" Dean asked, pouting.

Castiel took his hand back and said, "Be nicer to your brother."

Dean rolled his eyes but didn't talk back. Damn was he whipped.


Gabe and Sam stayed for a while, each pulling a chair up to either side of the bed and conversed with the two. Everything was going fine until Gabe's eyes wandered over to the door and he froze. His face seemed to drain all its color. Sam was the first to notice (of course he was) and when he looked all he saw was some guy standing in the doorway, watching as Dean pushed Cas closer to his side and kissed his forehead.

"Gabe, what-?" he started until Castiel's eyes followed Gabe's and the same look came over his face. Dean noticed the second it happened and Sam swore that one day he'd know Gabe as good as that.

Dean jumped out of the bed and stood in front of it in a protective stance and said, "Cas, babe, you is that?"

It was evident that the dark haired, blue eyed man knew both the brothers. It was then that it hit Dean. The man's eyes. Dean had only seen them on one other person and not even his own twin had them.

"Dad had blue eyes, the same color as Castiel's," Michael said.

"Dean," Castiel said, swallowing thickly. "That's our…

"That's our father."

And so, Dean did the only thing he could think of.

He punched the guy square in the jaw.


Ten minutes later found Mr. Novak in a hospital chair, an ice bag pressed to his face. Dean was glaring daggers, Castiel wouldn't look at him and Gabe was staring straight ahead, not even embarrassed to be squeezing Sam's hand so hard. Because if he didn't, he was going to cry and he could not cry, just couldn't.

Sam got it, though.

The room was so tense. Finally, the man himself broke the silence. "Castiel, I heard about what happened and I came and-"

"Hold up," Dean said, his anger seeping out. "It takes your youngest child almost getting beat to death by homophobes to get you to crawl out of whatever hole you came out of? You know what, ass whole? Go crawl back in. Because you weren't here when he almost died. You weren't here when he was hurting or crying. You know who was? I was. Gabe was. Michael, Anna, Uriel, Raph, hell, even Lucifer, the fucking devil he can be, was here for him! My own brother was here! And you weren't. So I think I speak for us all when I say that we DO NOT WANT YOU HERE!"

"How long have you been in love with him?" he asked instead of responding.

Dean was caught off guard, then answered, because he wasn't ashamed, "Since the second I laid eyes on him. Where's your love been?"

"Dean, enough!" Castiel exclaimed, grabbing his arm and dragging him back to the place next to his bed. Castiel really didn't need this type of stress when he was trying to recover.

But his father was here.

"Maybe we should call Micha-"

"No," their father said. "No, I came to see you Castiel. No one else. I'm not staying. I'm sorry."

Castiel swallowed hard and Gabriel shook his head and got up. "I'm sorry," he whispered. He left. Sam followed after throwing Dean a look that his brother understood.

"Then why come at all?" Castiel asked, and Dean knew that look. Castiel was trying not to cry.

"I came to see how you were. To tell you that I know that you were the only one who believed that I would come again. I came. I know you prayed."

Castiel's eyes went wide. "How…?"

His old man smiled. "God knows all. He just deems it proper to share sometimes." He turned to Dean as he got up. "I see you are in good hands, Castiel?"

Cas nodded. "The best."

"You love him?"

"Always."

"Good." He smiled and Dean saw Castiel in it. He also saw all the Novaks in that smile. He walked over to Dean and patted the younger man on the shoulder. "Thank you for taking care of him when I couldn't," he said to Dean.

Dean could only nod. "It wasn't for your benefit. It was for him. It was for me. I need the little nerdy guy." Dean found Castiel's eyes and winked. That brought them a smile.

Castiel's father nodded. He pressed a hand to Castiel's forehead and his eyes fluttered closed. "You're at peace my child. I see that." He pulled his hands back and Cas's eyes opened. "Goodbye, Castiel." Cas could only nod. He turned to Dean and smiled wryly. "Goodbye… Dean Maryweather Winchester."

And then, he walked out of the room.

Dean froze for a minute, wondering how he knew his whole name, never mind the last part. He then snapped out of it and ran to the hall. But there was no sign of him. And when he asked the nurses where he went, they gave him blank faces and said that no one of that description had come into or out of the hospital. When Dean came back, he told Castiel this. The poor thing had already started to cry and Dean held him as he did so.

"The day he left, he took me aside you know," Castiel whispered between the tears. "He told me he was leaving because he had a higher calling, that he was going to find himself, find God. He made me promise not to tell anyone. He told me he would be back, to never stop believing. I never did. I listened to him. I prayed everyday and I was so lost until you came Dean. And now…"

"Hey, shh, I'm still here, babe. I'm not going anywhere," Dean whispered into Cas's hair. "I love you Castiel Novak." Dean rarely used Cas's whole name, never mind his last name too.

"I love you Dean Winchester."


It was June 16, four moths later and they were all crowded into Lawrence High's football stadium. Their Valedictorian was at the podium, about to give his speech.

And was it going to be different!

"Hello, everyone," Castiel said into the microphone, his eyes on dean in the front row the whole time, although Ellen was in the back with baby Joanna (it had been a girl) in her lap and man did that girl have a set of lungs!

"Its been and interesting four years, hasn't it?" There were many murmurs and many a 'hell yeah!'. "I agree. But you, know, its been a more interesting year. So much has happened from walking in and being a freshman, not knowing what was going on in the school, to be high-tailing it out of here in out senior year. Some of us have a plan, some don't care for one. Some have someone waiting on the other side for them, no matter what happens, some have their sight set on that special significant other. I' lucky to have someone already." His gaze landed on Dean, who felt the whole football field's eyes on him. Way to make a guy feel special, Cas, he thought. But then, he sat up nice and straight so everyone could see the guy the Valedictorian was dating and how proud he was to be that guy.

Castiel smiled at the change and continued. "We've lost a lot of people this year, been through trying times, but you know what I say? I say, screw the pity everyone else is giving us, because we made it. We made it, guys. Its pretty simple, that small truth. We made it through the drama, the pressure, the stress, the heartache and heartbreak and pain. We made it through the good and bad and, hell, we even made it through the absolute suck."

A few faces lifted eyebrows, but they didn't stop him, because, honestly, he had a point and it was a pretty good speech altogether.

"We were strong enough, made our OWN choices and didn't let anyone else decided. Because, it's OUR future, OUR lives, OUR one and only free will and we have a right to that free will and we all used it to get here. We wouldn't be here otherwise. Class of 2010, bravo. You just graduated high school."

And at that, a loud roar went up. Red hats flew up into the air and people hugged. Cameras snapped photos and girls cried and guys gave each other manly hugs (or so they told themselves) and held back the tears to shed another day.

Castiel jumped off the stage and Dean swore he seemed to float in midair for a moment before he touched ground and literally ran into Dean's arms. "You did it, babe," Dena murmured into his hair.

Castiel chuckled. Gabriel was rolling his eyes and Sam was laughing. They had both come and were currently walking over, hand in hand. Dean's parents were snapping pictures, but none of them were really looking, just smiling at each other, or teasing Sam, telling him he had three years left. Of course, Gabe then seriously pulled him aside and swore on his father and mother's souls that he would wait for Sam no matter how long it took.

Sam was pretty happy with that. He couldn't imagine anything better than that.

Castiel smiled. "So, have you accomplished everything you wanted to today?" He was meaning that in a funny way, as if to say, hey, we graduated high school, what's the next impossible thing on our list? I already survived a beating and you survived my kinda wacko dad. And we both are doing pretty well ignoring the hickeys our brothers are giving each other. So now what?

But Dean looked quite serious then, dragging Castiel away from the large crowds that he knew he didn't like and moving him toward the front of the school. He snuck inside the building and surprisingly, led the Novak right to their homeroom. Well, officially old homeroom.

"Dean, what are we-?"

"Remember the first day we met? In this very same room?" Castiel nodded, although it was almost a year ago. "I really love this room for it."

Castiel smiled, and sighed wondering when Dean was going to get to the point with this. "Me too."

"I also love you."

Castiel smiled. There it was. "I love you too, Dean."

He turned away, thinking the conversation was done, that Dean had just wanted to take him somewhere private and memorable to say that to him when he heard behind him, "Enough to want to marry me?"

Castiel froze and spun around to see Dean actually kneeling, looking a little more than awkward, but meaning every word coming out of his mouth. "Dean-"

"No, Cas, I'm serious. I love you. I always will. I want you. I want you to be mine. Officially. I want to be yours. I want to make you happy. You make me happy. I already have a job and I'm pretty sure you can get one if we need it enough. We can get an apartment, work up from there as you make your way through school. Mike and Luce told me about your college fund. We can make this work. I'll support you in everything and-"

Dean was cut off as Castiel swooped down and captured his lips with his own. Dean almost dropped the little box with the simple sliver ring in it. No jewels, just the days date, Castiel's name and his engraved on the inside.

Castiel broke off from Dean's lips, a smile on his face, one that made Dean feel light headed and it had nothing to do with the kissing. Cas took the box, from Dean and said, "It's a nice ring."

Dean raised an eyebrow. "It was my grandfathers. From my dad's side. I had it reset and fixed a bit. Pure silver actually. I heard it keeps the monsters away," he joked, although the way Cas was going with this was going to make him throw-up.

"So your parents know?"

"My dad does."

"And if I say no?"

Dean didn't let the hurt show. He refused to influence Cas's decision. "Then I would love you just the same and it wouldn't change a thing. Of course, I'd be trying in another year or two again and waiting to see what you said. And no matter how many times you turn me down, I will never give up and leave." Dean shrugged. "Just so you know."

"And… if I say yes?" Castiel asked, his own breath hitching at the light in Dean's eyes.

"If you say yes, you will be the happiest man on Earth. I'll make sure of that. I will love you everyday and I will never stop. I will be yours and only yours. I will give you my all, since you already have me, mind, soul… body." He pressed his forehead against Castiel's. "I love you Cas, I really do. I only want what you want. I love you."

Castiel already knew what he was going to say the second he heard the words come out of Dean's mouth; he was just checking. Better to be safe than sorry, though with Dean, he knew he really didn't have to be. Because he really wouldn't ever hurt him or leave or stop loving him.

"Well, like I said, it's a nice ring," Castiel murmured.

Dean slowly took the box from him and said, "Is that a yes?" And Castiel was glad that dean was finally hoping for something.

Castiel smiled. "That's a definite yes." And Dean laughed and slipped the simple band onto his finger.

"There," the Winchester said. He got up and brought Cas up with him, tugging him close to deliver the sweetest kiss he had ever given. "Perfect. A little of me in you."

Castiel rolled his eyes. "You've already had a little of you in me."

And Dean had to laugh. Look at his angel, with a sense of humor all his own? And a funny one at that.


They walked out hand in hand then, people congratulating Castiel and nodding to Dean. When they finally made it back to the parking lot, where everyone was waiting, Gabriel started, "Where the hell have you to be- Holy mother of Christ, what have you two done?" He had spotted the new jewelry.

"I told you it was a nice ring," Castiel said, making Dean blush and laugh.

Sam whooped. "YES! You two are getting hitched!WHOO HOO!" He turned to Gabe. "Babe, you owe me twenty bucks."

Gabe made a face and then coughed it up when Sam made the puppy dog eyes. "You woobie," Gabe said, but rolled his eyes when Sam gave him Sammy Bitchface #37: Oh. No. You. DIDN'T. "Oh, c'mere," Gabe said, and kissed him on the cheek.

"Where's it gonna be?" Sam asked, as they said goodbye to their parents and headed for the Impala and the stupid hatchback which was parked next to it (NEVER AGAIN, he had told Gabe. The stupid car made his baby look bad). "Since they don't recognize gay marriage in Kansas?"

Dean stopped. He'd thought of that. "I dunno. Wherever Cas wants to go I guess. There are a few places."

"Yeah," Gabe said, "Like Connecticut or Massachusetts or-"

"Or New Hampshire or Maine or New York," Sam continued.

Dean shoved Cas into the car before the two could go on and said, "And now, we have our official wedding planners. But seriously, where do you want to go?"

Castiel smiled. And then he kissed him. Only then did he answer. "Honestly? It doesn't matter. Let them pick. I have plenty of scholarships to pay for college. That money is just sitting there waiting to be used. And since its under my name, I get to use it anyway want."

"Oh, really?" Dean said, pulling out of the school parking lot and heading to that dinner of long ago. "And what's that for?"

"A really nice honeymoon. With you."

Dean nodded. "Sounds reasonable. Any particular reason you wnt to spend it on me?"

Castiel thought of thwacking him, but honestly? They just got engaged. "Because I love you Dean Maryweather Winchester. I promise."

Dean smiled. "I love you Castiel Azrael Novak. I promise, I love you."

And they drove on.

FIN


Well there it is. Three weeks of hard work and patience i DON't have.

I'd ike to put a disclaimer on several things:

Pink Floyd

Supernatural and all its actors and characters

And Cas's 'i lost my breathing tube and am dying' scene. I took that from Just Like heaven, a movie and tweaked it.

I also want to point out that i SUPPORT homosexuals and homosexuality. Just in case you guys got the wrong idea from my fic.

REVIEW?