Dean and Castiel aren't quite the same after that night. The next morning, Dean tries to explain to Cas that nothing had really happened with Amber but Cas just smiles a tight little smile and tells Dean that it was fine, that maybe Dean could text him a warning next time and he would stay out.
The feeling that Castiel was pulling away made Dean feel sick. Castiel was back to treating Dean like a casual acquaintance at work and was hardly ever home for dinner. Every meal that Dean ate alone tasted like it was flavoured with sawdust and every portion he tupperware'd for Cas just sat in the fridge until Dean gave up and dumped a week's worth into the trash.
Dean would sit alone on the couch, the tv switched on, one ear listening out for Castiel's key in the lock. He'd never felt so low in his entire life. As though his chest was hollow and cold. All he wanted was a smile from Castiel, a look, and he didn't feel like he could ask for that anymore. And he was scared that Castiel would never want to give it to him.
At least they had been friends before Dean had moved in, that had been something, but now it seemed as though their friendship was over and any potential for a relationship, crushed. Dean didn't ask anyone else back to the apartment, despite Castiel's assurances.
The feelings he had for Castiel were still there. In the moments when, despite Castiel's determination to avoid him, they met in the hallway or the kitchen and Dean felt suddenly light-headed. He still desperately wanted Castiel in his bed, but that had taken a backseat to the lurching, clumsy love that had made its home in his heart.
Dean had always thought Castiel was the awkward one.
Castiel woke up early, hoping to slip out of the house before Dean. He made his way into the kitchen, intent on filling his travel mug and creeping off to work. It wasn't that he wanted to avoid Dean, but this was easier. A profound, and ignored, part of Castiel knew that he was making it worse. That pushing Dean away, in the long run, was the wrong thing to do. But it was all Castiel knew. To keep Dean close would hurt much more than losing him now.
Cas let his head drop for a moment.
"Good morning, Dean."
Sunlight was only beginning to stream into the apartment and it picked out the golden glint of Dean's hair. Castiel lost himself in the halo for a moment until Dean cleared his throat.
"I…uh…I've found another place. I'll be moving out at the end of the week."
Castiel just nodded and kept his eyes trained above Dean's head.
"Cas?" Dean ventured, "If you want me to stay, I can…I mean…"
"I will go down to the basement tonight and bring up some of the packing boxes."
Dean looked at Castiel, concerned.
"I don't have to go, Cas. If you don't want me to."
Castiel finally met Dean's gaze.
"I think it's probably for the best. I will see you at work, Dean."
Dean heard the soft click of the front door and rested his forehead on the cool, white surface of the refrigerator.
It was one of the worst days of Castiel's life. He went through the day by rote, ate a lunch he couldn't taste and typed email replies he could barely remember five seconds after pressing 'send'. Life before Dean hadn't been perfect, by any stretch, but he had never felt so stricken in all his life He had been content, the achingly dull kind of content that anaesthetises even the most romantic of people. And now Dean Winchester had ruined it all. He had crept up on Castiel and invaded his every notable moment. Everything memorable, he wanted to share with Dean. Anything that made him laugh or caught his eye.
Castiel wanted Dean and no one else. He thought only of Dean when he touched himself. The toys he used were not sterile rubber and latex, but Dean's velvety hardness. The throaty voice in his head that urged him on, called him 'Cas', was Dean's.
But it was always going to be more than just sex for Castiel. The way Dean smiled and joked and tried to lighten Castiel's days were more precious than anything else. Castiel thought he could make it if he had Dean there, standing by his side.
Castiel walked home that night, foregoing the bus. The longer his journey home, the less time he had to spend in the apartment with Dean. The apartment in which he would soon be living alone. Again.
The security door swung open with a little coaxing and Castiel made his way up the stairs. A chuckle escaped before he could stop it when he remembered Dean's offer to carry him up to their floor. These were the memories he would keep with him when Dean was gone. Castiel would still see Dean at work but he was getting better at keeping his distance at the office. He would never have to see Dean bring home another woman or, better yet, look into Dean's sleepy, green eyes of a morning.
Feeling morose, Castiel let himself into the apartment and sniffed the air appreciatively; warm bread and the rich scent of cooking meat. His stomach grumbled as he realised Dean must have made hamburgers.
The walk from the hallway to the kitchen was a short one and Castiel turned the corner into the kitchen, stopping dead at the sight before him.
Dean was wearing a French maid's outfit. Specifically, the French maid's outfit that Castiel had worn at Halloween.
The black satin fabric stretched across Dean's broad shoulders, the frilly white cap sleeves failing to emasculate him. His tanned and muscular physique made the outfit obscenely sexy. Dean was leaning over, pulling a tray out of the oven and Castiel caught a glimpse of white tulle barely covering Dean's lean ass. For a crazy moment, Castiel wondered if Dean was wearing the stockings too.
Dean lifted himself up slowly, placing the tray on the counter and turning to face Castiel.
"Welcome home, Cas."
Dumbstruck, Castiel could only stare.
"I cleaned up a little, made some dinner and, after that…uh, maybe I could bring you a drink in the lounge."
Castiel felt like he had been dropped in an alternate universe.
"Dean, what is happening here?"
Dean shrugged and raised his hands, palms up; "I just want to repay you for your kindness, Cas. Letting me stay here, finding me a job. You've been a great friend."
Taken aback by the edge of bitterness in Dean's tone, Castiel frowns.
"I don't understand."
"You've been such a good friend and neighbour," Dean reiterated, "and now, you're done with me. Time for me to move on, right?"
"Have you lost your mind, Dean?" Castiel choked out.
"No, Cas, definitely not. You've been avoiding me these last few weeks so I figure that's it, Elvis has left the building."
Without breaking eye contact, Dean moved from behind the counter to stand directly in front of Castiel.
"And I know you want me, Cas. I see how you look at me, I heard you call my name when you came."
Cas fired up then, grabbing Dean's wrist, "So this is how you repay me for inviting you into my house, Dean? This is what you think of our friendship. You're going to whore yourself around here in your last week…for what?"
Dean had the good grace to look ashamed at this, but Castiel wasn't finished. His eyes flashed and he gripped Dean more tightly.
"I don't want you to feel 'obliged' to fuck me, Dean. And believe me, I've wanted this for a while. Before you lost your job, before the night I got drunk and you took me to your place."
Dean's brain had stopped processing much above basic bodily functions and the sight of Castiel's flashing eyes and pink, pink mouth moving in front of him.
Castiel went on, "That morning I woke up and wanted nothing more than to crawl into your bed and wake you with my mouth. But I was way too…hungover. And I was scared Dean. Scared of what you would think, scared of how much I wanted you."
Dean was fully hard now, but Castiel's words penetrated that flood of hormones and, before he knew it, Dean was cupping Castiel's jaw and pressing their lips together. He thought he heard Castiel whimper, but he focused on kissing him. Telling him, without words, all that he needed Castiel to know.
But not using his words is kind of what landed Dean in this mess in the first place.
"Cas, how the hell could you miss this? The only reason I notice you looking at me is cos I'm looking too. And yes, I heard you call out my name. But you have never heard me because every single time I come, I muffle yours with my pillow. Every single goddamn time, Cas."
Castiel looked bewildered but his eyes shone. Curling his fingers around Dean's nape, he drew him in for another kiss, this one full of relief and something he couldn't name but that would stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
The oven timer dinged and was ignored as Dean and Castiel continued making out in the kitchen. Slowly their touches became bolder, their tongues, so tentative at first, met and parried. Their moans were honest and soft, reflecting amazement at something they had denied themselves for so long.
"Mmmm?" Castiel rested his forehead against Dean's, his eyes closed in contentment.
"How the hell did you wear this costume for a whole night? It's itchy as hell."
Castiel threw his head back and laughed. Dean grinned at him.
"I had scratches for days," Castiel said, when he had calmed down.
"So, I had better take it off soon, right?" Dean smirked.
Castiel reached under the skirt of the costume and manhandled Dean, pressing him against the bench and pinning him with his hips. He reached under the skirt and palmed Dean's cock through his briefs.
"I don't know," he breathed into Dean's mouth, "I like that look on you."
Dean gasped as Cas massaged his dick, the tips of nimble fingers caressing his balls. His writhing caused the seams of the bodice to rasp against his nipples and he brought his hands up to repeat the sensation.
"God, Dean," Cas gasped and dropped to his knees. His dark head disappeared under a cloud of tulle and Dean felt him mouth his cock through the fabric of his underwear.
"Cas!" Dean placed a hand on the back of Castiel's head, pushing lightly.
Castiel curled his fingers in the waistband of Dean's briefs and pulled them down his legs. He held them so Dean could step out of them before ducking back under the skirt and taking Dean in his mouth, suckling the head like he had suckled Dean's tongue only minutes before.
Dean leaned back against the cool granite of the bench, barely believing that Castiel was kneeling in front of him. His fantasies had not prepared him for the feel of Cas' wet, warm mouth or the desperate rush of love he felt.
His head dropped back as Castiel sucked without pause and it took all his willpower to coax Castiel back up to eye level.
"Your bed, now," Dean managed between kisses, intoxicated by the taste of himself on Castiel's tongue.
Castiel pulled Dean away from the bench and pushed him down the hall towards the bedroom, "Go ahead of me, I want to enjoy the view."
Dean's smug smile said, "I told you so."
At the door to Castiel's room, Dean stopped, causing Castiel to run into him from behind. Castiel slipped his hands around to Dean's stomach and Dean reached a hand back to stroke Castiel's hair.
"Goddamit Cas, I can't believe we're finally doing this."
Castiel nosed behind Dean's ear and placed a soft kiss on his neck.
"Thank you, Dean."
Dean turned in Castiel's arms and looked him in the eye.
"For moving into this apartment building, for just being you. I wish I had been brave enough to tell you how I felt earlier."
Dean snorted, "Can you imagine how much sex we could have had by now?"
Castiel laughed softly, "I'm technically a qualified accountant, Dean. I can do the math."
"Not in the slightest."
"Uh, Cas. I wanna tell you. I almost went Glenn Close on Tom for a while there, when you started dating him."
Castiel ran a finger down Dean's cheek, "The whole time I was with Tom, I thought of you, Dean. It's been only you for some time now."
For a moment, Dean and Castiel just looked at each other. The intensity of their gaze mimicking the heat that awaited them as soon as they moved on to the bed.
Dean pushed Castiel down to sit on the edge of the bed, and, for a moment, just let his eyes run over the other man's face, as though memorising it. He unbuttoned Castiel's shirt slowly, taking his time on the buttons before pushing the material off his shoulders and bringing his mouth down to Castiel's neck.
Every gasp and moan drove Dean to mark Castiel harder. Fumbling, Castiel managed to remove his slacks, finally fully naked to Dean's touch. He moved to unzip Dean from the maid's outfit.
"Leave it," Dean's voice was breathy with arousal.
Cas bit back a groan and lay back on the bed, pulling Dean down on top of him. Dean straddled Castiel's hips, rubbing their cocks together briefly before asking Castiel where he kept the lube.
Castiel trailed wet fingers down the cleft of Dean's ass before briefly touching the tight ring of muscle. Feeling Dean clench, Castiel ran a soothing hand down his chest and took Dean's cock in his fist.
Castiel pressed a fingertip to Dean's entrance and gently breached it. Dean's breath hitched but he moved his hips up and down. Swapping between lush kisses and working Dean's cock with his hand, Castiel managed four fingers, stretching Dean and getting him used to the feeling of fullness.
Dean leaned over to thrust his tongue into Castiel's mouth, feeling the press of Cas' smooth warm skin against his own. He reached behind and pushed Castiel's hand away from his ass, grasping the other man's cock and sliding on to it, one centimetre at a time. Castiel's eyes never left his, and when Dean was fully seated, Castiel's eyelids fell briefly before his crystal blue eyes met Dean's and he started to thrust.
At first, Dean was happy to let Castiel take the lead, but, before long, Dean was riding Castiel's cock hard, rolling his hips in big circles. The white tulle of his costume scratched Cas' smooth skin and the texture added another layer to their coupling. Cas reached up and yanked the bodice of the costume down to Dean's waist and roughly thumbed his nipples, eliciting a sharp moan from the other man.
Dean was lost to everything except the incredible feeling of Castiel inside him, Castiel's eyes on his and the sense that he would never get enough of this. But he'd be goddamned if he'd stop trying.
When he came, it was with a drawn-out moan that sounded like his lover's name.
Castiel came moments after, easing out of Dean and drawing the other man to him, away from the now damp sheets.
Dean lay across him, exhausted, and just before he fell asleep, Cas heard him say, "It really is better when you love the other person."
Castiel was glad Dean wasn't awake to see him cry.Six months later
That was it. Dean was moving them to another apartment building as soon as they could afford it. The security door in this place was actually driving him insane. Mainly because every second he spent trying to open it was a second he could be with Castiel.
"Fucking door…fuck!" Dean exclaimed, almost falling through the now open door.
Castiel, holding it open from the inside, raised an eyebrow, "Aw, poor baby, want me to carry you up the stairs?"
"Screw you, Cas," Dean said gruffly, pulling his boyfriend in for a kiss.
"You'd better," Castiel was getting better and better at sexual innuendo every day. Dean couldn't have been prouder.
As Dean headed up the stairs to their apartment, Castiel shut the security door and paused, thinking about how his life had changed. It wasn't always easy, living with Dean, and he was pretty sure life with him was no picnic for Dean, but Castiel had never been happier. He would go through all the awkward moments, all the pain, a hundred times, just to have this.
Castiel followed the love of his life up the narrow stairs and into their home.
A/N – That's it! Last chapter Thank you so much to all those who read and reviewed.