So, I was moaning to elemenoze about how I've only written things for Million Little Things and my 'verse, so he whacked me upside the head told me to quit my bitching and gave me a prompt for an AU. I love me some AU's, and I got some immediate ideas with what he gave me, but I'm still a bit nervous about this since I don't know how well I write AU's. But yeah, it's a little break from what I'm always writing.

Prompt: "Give me a Dean/Cas AU. I want a firefighter Dean, teacher Cas…throw in some Gabriel, Jimmy, Anna, Sam/Jess and an adorable, vomit inducing child of theirs. Give me an unremarkable first meeting and awkward shenanigans the second time around. Shake well and serve."

Title is from the proverb: "Love is a sweet tyranny, because the lover endureth his torments willingly."

So…yeah. I hope you guys like it, depending on how well this goes over I'll update soon.

Edit: I've gone through and have had this beta'd (finally!) so...yay. Better grammar never hurt anyone!

Dean was too busy trying to remember what the hell went into Bobby's chili instead of paying attention to where he was going. So when he slammed into someone else's cart like some sick reenactment of a car crash, he wasn't too surprised. Didn't mean he was pleased, but it was to be expected in the middle of the rush of people doing their grocery shopping after a day at work.

Dean glanced up, frowning and not all together happy with having to apologize to whoever it was he'd slammed into. He was in a rush, already running late for work when he'd been ordered to pick up the food for the weekend shift.

If this had been some sort of movie, one of those damn romantic comedies that Jess was always making Dean and Sam watch with her, there would have been sappy music playing in the background and the lead actor's eyes would have widened and had some sort of snappy comeback die on his lips when he caught sight of the person he'd rammed. Since Dean's life nowhere near resembled a movie, he simply eyed the guy in front of him, who was frowning down at his phone, before turning that frown to Dean.

"Uh… sorry." Dean managed to get out, annoyed with the frown; it wasn't entirely his fault was it? Since the dude wasn't paying attention either. The other man blinked his too big, too blue eyes at Dean, ran a hand through his dark, messy hair and said, "Apologies, I wasn't paying attention."

"No harm, no foul, right?" Another frown again, this time accompanied by a slight tilt of the head to the left, fine brows furrowing together. Any other time Dean would have been focusing on how insanely attractive the other man was, would be focusing on actually smiling and making jokes, maybe even eventually landing a phone number. Not this time though, Dean was busy, rushing around trying to buy food and get to the station on time. Dean finally realized he was just being stared at, the other man's head tilted like some curious Labrador trying to figure something out.

"Right, I'll uh… be moving on then." Dean muttered, pulling his cart back and heading down the aisle.

By the time Dean was standing in line to check out, his phone buzzing with texts from Bobby, Jo, and Victor, asking where he was with their food, he'd forgotten all about his strange encounter.

"Seriously bro, when are you going to stop teaching snot nosed little kids and come work for me?" Castiel frowned into the paper cup full of hot chocolate that had been handed to him by his brother, "I have no interest in coming to work for you, Gabriel."

"Oh come on! Jimmy did."

"Jimmy had no other choice; you were going to go bankrupt." Gabriel scoffed from his position behind the counter, "I would have hired someone… eventually." Castiel shot his elder brother an unbelieving look. Gabriel sighed, "Okay, maybe I wouldn't have, but this is a family run store, Cas! Not like I forced Jimmy out of his boring office job or anything."

"You nearly got him fired by sending pictures of me with another man to his boss." Gabriel snickered, handed Castiel a chocolate from the case he was standing in front of. "I can't help that my family was blessed with twins. Makes it so much easier to work some things around." Castiel rolled his eyes and popped the chocolate into his mouth, he would probably hate Gabriel if his brother didn't make such wondrous chocolate.

"Speak of the devil!" Gabriel shouted when Jimmy entered the store. Castiel moaned around his chocolate and muttered out, "Gabriel this is amazing." Gabriel beamed at him, "You like? It's a new recipe."

"I think I would fall in love with you for your chocolate making skills and be your kept man if we weren't related." Jimmy rolled his eyes, tossed his bag into the office at the back of the shop, turned to Castiel and paused.

"You met someone!"

Castiel returned his attention to his cup of hot chocolate and murmured, "I didn't." Gabriel hopped up to sit on the counter, Jimmy leaned against it, eyes wide, and sparkling with mischief, "You did. You can't lie to me Cassie, we're twins."

"Well c'mon bro, what's his name? What's he do and is he hot?" Castiel sighed and shrugged, keeping his attention on his paper cup. Jimmy reached over and poked Castiel's shoulder, "Come on Cassie, you haven't been with anyone for… a long time. This is good!"

"That's not true! There have been… other… men…" Gabriel and Jimmy's eyebrows were in danger of disappearing into their hair, so Castiel cleared his throat and muttered, "I didn't 'meet' anyone, he crashed his shopping cart into mine in the grocery store, we exchanged apologies and went our own ways."

"You're still thinking about him, though." Curse being a twin.

"I'm still stuck on the whole 'there have been other men' thing. Cas, you been having some seedy one night stands?"

"No! I don't… no!" Gabriel chuckled and moved away to check on his chocolates, Jimmy continued to stare at Castiel; Castiel knew his brother was trying to get a read on him. Castiel kept his attention down on his now empty cup, thinking of golden skin, light brown hair and green eyes.

"You should have at least got his name and phone number. Grocery store hook ups are the best." Castiel sighed, tossed his cup at Jimmy's head. "How would you know? You married your college sweetheart right out of college."

"Well, Amelia and I sometimes role-" Castiel snatched his bag from the ground and made a run for the door, "I'm going home! I have papers to grade!" Jimmy's laughter followed him out the door and to his car. Why he thought visiting his brothers after dealing with hyperactive eight- and nine-year-olds was a good idea was beyond him.

Dean was enjoying his day off; Sam was at work, Jess was at work, and his nephew Riley was at school. He had the house to himself and not a damn thing planned to do that day, so he was sprawled on the couch in nothing but his sleep pants, lightly dozing in the sun.

His phone ringing, 'Sam' flashing across the screen, interrupted his doze.

"This better be good, Sammy. Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie were just about to give me a backrub. Naked." Sam sighed on the other end of the phone, "I need you to go pick up Riley from school. His teacher called me and said he puked."

"Why don't you or Jess go get him?" Dean loved his nephew - adored him, but Dean wasn't feeling up to actually getting dressed and dealing with a sick child.

"Because I'm in the middle of court, Dean, and Jess is stuck in a meeting." Dean sighed and grumbled out that he would do it.

Fifteen minutes later, Dean was standing in the doorway to Riley's classroom. Most of the kids were sitting at their desks pretending to be working when really they were watching the small group of people up at the front of the room. The room was medium sized and cozy. Maps and pictures and everything else a third grade classroom would need were on the walls, a few rugs were on the floor, and bookcases in the corner surrounded a large light green couch. It was the kind of room that Dean would have loved to have as his own third grade classroom. From the looks of it, everything had been paused in the middle of their math lesson; basic multiplication problems written up on the whiteboard.

"Mr. Novak, there's a strange man standing in the door!" Dean snapped out of his examination and found himself the center of attention. When Dean laid eyes on 'Mr. Novak', he fought the urge to point and stare. It was the same person he'd crashed to in the grocery store on Friday. Bright blue eyes widened a little and Dean had the feeling Mr. Novak was having the same urge.

"Thank you, Justin. Everyone return to your work, please. When I come around in five minutes, I want to see some progress." The kids hastened to return to their work, tongues poking out, brows furrowed, and furious whispers to try to figure things out. And that voice, how had Dean not realized that voice on Friday? Deep and gravely, it did things to Dean that he would never admit to.

Mr. Novak stepped away from where he'd been standing, supervising the vomit clean up from the looks of it, and held a hand out for Dean to shake. "I'm Castiel Novak, Riley's teacher. You must be his father?" Dean blinked, shook himself out of it, and took the offered hand in his own, Castiel's fingers were long and elegant, palm smooth and warm against Dean's own calloused one.

"Uh… no. I'm his uncle, actually. Dean."

"Oh? Well it's a pleasure to meet you, Dean. Riley, your uncle is here to take you home." Dean spotted Riley's blonde head pop up from his desk in the middle of the room. He grinned at Dean and came hopping towards them. When he came to a stop in front of Dean, he pointed to the rug that he'd apparently puked on, at closer look Dean noticed it was a map of the world, "Look, Uncle Dean! I managed to puke on North and South America!"

A strangled sound came from Castiel before he clapped a hand over his mouth and turned to the side a little, shoulders shaking with silent laughter.

"That's awesome, man."

"I told them I didn't need to go home; I'm not feeling sick anymore, I just had too much candy." Dean raised an eyebrow at Castiel who had returned to the conversation with his composure back, the other man shrugged. "We take the kids around to other classrooms to trick or treat before Halloween. Riley must have been sneaking some out of his bag." Riley shot his teacher a sheepish smile, "I'm sorry for puking on your new rug, Mr. Novak."

"I forgive you. Just go home and try not to eat any more candy." Riley nodded and headed off to gather his things.

"So… I remember you. From Friday. You smashed your cart into mine." Well, that was lame Winchester.

"I remember you as well. And if I recall you smashed your cart into mine." Dean waved his hand, dismissing his statement and said, "If I'd known you were my nephew's teacher, I would have been friendlier." Castiel simply shrugged and they stood in awkward silence while they waited for Riley to return.

Riley returned and Dean said an awkward, "Well uh… see you later, Cas." Castiel simply nodded, turned and shouted, "Nathan, if I see you put one more piece of paper in Emily's hair, you will get to stay in here and work on your cursive during recess!" Nathan immediately went back to work while Emily let out a screech and started combing fingers through her hair.

As they walked out of the classroom, Riley sighed and said, "Nathan is always teasing Emily. He makes her cry sometimes."

"That just means he likes her."

"Why would you do that to someone you like?" Dean glanced down at Riley who was looking up at him with Sam's puppy eyes, Jess' blonde curls falling over his face. Dean shrugged and said, "Ask your dad when he gets home later."

"I should have asked Mr. Novak. He knows everything." They climbed into the Impala when they reached it and Dean asked, "You really like him, huh?" Riley nodded with his usual enthusiasm and said, "He's awesome. We all get to take turns sitting on the couch with him during reading time, and he tells really good stories." Dean smiled over at his nephew and turned up the music, smile broadening into a grin as Riley broke out into pulling some sweet air guitar moves.

Now all Dean had to do was think of reasons to pop in on his nephew's teacher more often.

Castiel had never been happier for a day to end. He adored teaching and he loved his students, but this year's bunch was going to be the end of him. It was all Dean Winchester's fault, too. Castiel sighed into the papers he'd face planted into; Dean with his eyes and his mouth and skin, his perfect ass and broad shoulders and-

"Hey Cas." Castiel shot upright with a squeak, glared at Sarah who had quietly entered his classroom and positioned herself in a chair in front of his desk.

Dean Winchester was going to be the end of him.

"Hello Sarah." Sarah had been teaching the second grade when Castiel had started working here several years ago. She now taught the other third grade class across the hall. They'd become fast friends when she'd shown him around town and introduced him to fellow teachers.

"You're looking a little worse for wear there, buddy."

"Third graders and sugar are a dangerous mixture." Sarah nodded her agreement, smiled and asked, "So who was the hunk who stopped by earlier today?" Castiel felt the blush creep up his neck and to his cheeks. He knew Sarah saw it by the way her smile widened. Damn him and his fair skin. Castiel hid his head in his arms when Sarah laughed and clapped, "Oh my God, Cas, you have a crush!"

"Please, not you too! I get enough grief from my brothers."

"This is too good to pass up, Cas. That man is a hunk. You need to ask him out." Castiel just wished the floor would open up and swallow him whole in that moment.

"He's a relative of a student. I shouldn't."

"Oh please, there's no rule that says you can't. Not like he's a parent or anything." Castiel only groaned into his arms, "Oh c'mon, Cas. Man is hot, and he was totally eyefucking you." Castiel raised his head finally and raised an eyebrow, "Eye what?"

"He totally wanted to throw you against the wall and have his way with you, little children watching be damned." Another blush worked its way up his cheeks, "And you totally would have let him! Cas, you kinky bastard." Castiel buried his head in his arms again, "Please go away."

Sarah reached over the desk and patted his shoulder, "Don't worry, we'll get you laid. It's been too long for you."

"Why does everyone think I haven't had sex in such a long time?"

"Well, when was the last time you did the dirty then?" Castiel hesitated, he didn't really talk about his sex life with people. The only person he did share with was his younger sister Anna, and only because he didn't have to see her every day. Sarah was a good friend though, and he usually told her everything.

"Last month. Don't ask for details, though. I don't remember. Gabriel, Jimmy and I went out for drinks and I got amazingly drunk, woke up in bed naked with a stranger the next morning."

"Never figured you for a one night stand man, Cas."

"I'm not. Wasn't a moment I'm proud of, Sarah." Sarah chuckled, rubbed her hand through Castiel's hair and said, "Well, we'll try and make it into a relationship, then, since I know it's been at least four years since you've had one of those." Castiel lifted his head and scowled at her; his last relationship having been the reason for his move here. No matter how long ago it was, it was still a touchy subject.

"Don't bother yourself Sarah; knowing my luck, Dean isn't even gay."

"Gay or not, he still wants to do you. We're gonna make it happen, don't worry." With that, she stood and left the classroom, leaving Castiel to grade his papers and plan for the rest of the week.

"How is this my life?"

The empty classroom had no answer.