Chapter Six: School's Out

They attended the end of the year party as a group, Dean, Cas, Anna and a few other friends. Dean and Cas had yet to reveal to anyone but Sam that they were a couple, because Cas was afraid of how his family would react, what with the associated fire and brimstone dooming homosexuals. Dean knew John and Mary had a good idea of what was going on, but he didn't feel the need to discuss it- their unspoken support was enough.

At some point, Cas went out for a cigarette, and Anna cornered Dean.

"I just wanted to thank you for coming back into Cas's life, this year. I felt him grow more and more distant, and I was really scared for a while we would lose him, but then you came back to him, and he started to come around to the ways of God again." Her eyes were shining with gratitude, and Dean didn't sense at first what else was bubbling beneath her surface. Then she pressed her lips to his, and Dean froze in shock, not responding for a few seconds because, seriously, what the hell? and then his reason kicked in and he pushed her away.

"I'm sorry, Anna, I can't- it's not- I don't feel that way about you."

All she said was, "Oh," in a small voice, and exited the hallway quickly.

Okay. That sucked. Where'd Cas flit off too? Dean thought, and put the incident out of his mind.

Cas saw Anna press her lips to Dean's, saw Dean allow her to deepen the kiss, and then he was off, running up the stairs to find a place where he could freak the fuck out. A door opened in front of him as he went down the upstairs hallway.

"Hey, Cassie!" It was Gideon, his dealer. Cas didn't really care for Gideon, but he knew that he'd have some decent pot to smoke, and that was preferable to losing his shit.

"Hey, Gids. You got anything cool?"

"Oh, I have everything that's cool, man. Come on in."

Cas sat down in the circle of druggies, taking a hit from the joint and then the bowl and then the bong as they were passed around. He was handed a bottle of something amber-colored, and by the time Gideon broke out the coke, Cas was all too willing to try it. He was about to inhale sharply, when he felt pressure at the back of his neck, and found himself yanked to his feet by a furious Dean.

Dean had been looking for Cas for about an hour before he thought to check the upstairs rooms designated the "don't ask, don't tell" region of the party. Of course Cas was there, and when Dean opened the door, he was about to do a line of some sort of treacherous white powder. Dean grabbed the back of his coat, pulling him roughly to his feet.

"What the fuck, Cas?" he growled with unconcealed fury.

"What the fuck to you, Dean. I saw you and Anna-"

"Dude, she kissed me, I stopped her, she left. That does not in any fuckin' way justify snorting shit," Dean was propelling him out of the room, down the hallway as he spoke, "We are leaving, we are discussing this. End of story."

Cas didn't resist, as Dean hauled him out to the Impala. They were silent as Dean drove to the beach, and it continued until they parked near the creek and made their angry way down to the bank. Cas plunked himself down pissily, and took out his cigarettes.

"Look, Cas, I'm sorry about Anna. I didn't know she felt that way about me. She surprised me, I stopped her, told her no. I promised you that I wouldn't leave you, I said I love you, and only you, forever. I meant it. You gotta learn to trust me, man."

Cas was silent. He lit a cigarette, focused on that.

"Look. Here's the thing. I wanted to talk to you about this for a while but I thought… I thought you stopped. I thought I made it better, and you didn't have to do that shit. I know what it's like. I was drinkin' kinda heavily for a while, to stop feeling, and then when I fell, it all just stopped, I didn't want to anymore. I still don't… And I didn't want to try and control you, tell you what to do, but I need you to stop now. All of it." Dean plucked the cigarette from Cas's fingers, threw it into the water.

Cas had been regarding him silently, expression unreadable.

"I found my own ways to cope without you. I don't think it's your place to judge them."

"We finally got our shit straightened out, Cas, and now it scares me more than anything to think about losing all of this, "Dean gestured around him, "And you using, that threatens it. I don't think I gotta explain to you why snorting hardcore drugs is bad, but even the pot and alcohol, the cigs- these are things that could take you away from me, after I waited so long to have you, have this. The thought of you drinking yourself to death, getting lung cancer, any of that… I don't want to do this without you, Cas. "

"You didn't wait for me, Dean, I waited for you."

"I'm sorry that I pushed you away, Cas, but you gotta believe me when I tell you that I was waiting, too. Longer than you can know, I was waiting for this to happen, for this to be okay, for it to be this perfect. Please. Please stop doing these things that can tear it all down." Dean reached over, and took Cas's hand in his. Cas allowed the contact silently, looking out into the water.

After a long, long time, Cas finally said, "Okay. I'll do it. No more drugs. For us, for a future with you."

"Thank you." Dean pulled him close, kissed him softly on the mouth. Cas returned the pressure with his own, and they made love slowly, softly on the sand. Dean might have cried a little, in a very manly way, but he'd never admit it to anyone but Cas.

It was over a year before Cas could honestly sober up and learn to trust Dean. He relapsed, picked stupid fights with Dean, picked himself back up, let Dean pick him back up, and finally, after one night drinking until he almost did die, started going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, started seeing a therapist. Started figuring out that even when things had been at their worst, Dean hadn't left him, and the moment he realized that the only one that could take Dean away from him was himself, that was when he started to change.

That was the year he and Dean got married.

A few years after that, Sam married Jess, his high school sweetheart, and they moved to California to go to school together.

Five years later, Sam and Jess had the first of several freakishly tall children. They named her Deanna Marie.

Ten years down the road, Dean and Cas adopted a baby girl, and named her Samantha Miriam.

Seventy years into a blissful future, John and Mary Winchester passed away, asleep in bed, holding hands.

So, everyone Dean loved lived happily ever after.

The End.