Well...this is...not what I expected. One day I went to the mailroom at my school, and it looked kinda creepy and gloomy and I might've mentioned it to Scoobert0. She then texted me the entire plot to this story. I did not expect it to be this damn long.
3k at the most! And it's freakin 7,738 words and 20 pages long!
Also, thanks to Comedicdrama for looking this over for me.
Anyway. Enjoy this brainchild.
There will be a sequel some day.
Dean sighed and wiped the sweat from his brow and glared around the empty hallway. When everyone had said the mailroom was hard to find, they really hadn't been kidding. They had said there would be signs, though. They had also said it was just down the stairs, and so far Dean had been up and down so many damn stairs he didn't even know what floor he was on anymore.
He'd been at it for twenty minutes and if he was positive he wouldn't get lost trying to get out of the building, he would give up and try again another day. It was too hot for this shit and he was hungry and sweating like he'd just run a marathon.
Finally a passing professor took pity on him and took him down another set of stairs (seriously, the building was only two stories, how many stairs could there possibly be?) down several corridors, down another set of stairs and paused at the entrance to a dark and gloomy corridor.
"Right down here, it's near the end, you'll see it." Dean nodded his thanks at the woman, paused to wipe the sweat from his brow again and headed down the hallway as she walked away.
Two steps into the gloom and Dean was greeted with what sounded like the opening to Thriller. He paused, not sure if he was hearing correctly, but yep, there was the sound of creaking floorboards and a wolf howling distantly.
The sounds, plus the relative gloom of the hallway was just plain weird. And a little creepy.
After Dean had passed a laundry room, something that could have been the boiler room out of a horror movie and what was probably the security office Dean came across the mailroom.
The door was open, but there was a neon green sign taped to the door and cheery purple ink happily told Dean that whoever was "out to lunch". There was a guy sitting behind the desk though, surrounded by boxes, envelopes and paperwork which was being ignored in favor of a book.
Dean stepped into the small room, which was boiling hot compared to outside and the hallway. He cleared his throat, hoping to get the guy's attention, and was ignored. The creepy sounding music was silenced though and a page in the book turned.
Dean took another step forward until he was standing in front of the desk and rapped his knuckles against the wood surface, clearing his throat again.
There was a long silence, then the guy behind the desk reached out and his fingers stroked over the surface of a… rock. A pet rock, Christ, Dean hadn't seen one of those since second grade. Dean watched as the guy continued petting the rock and then whispered, "Shh Rocksy, if we ignore him long enough maybe he'll just go away."
First of all, what the actual fuck?
Second, no one ignored Dean Winchester damnit. Especially not when he'd been wandering the halls trying to find this damn place for the last thirty minutes and he'd sweated through the last of his clean clothes and he was hungry and tired and seriously? A pet rock?
Finally Dean sighed and said, "Um… they told me to come here to get my packages?"
"Okay." And that was it. Nothing more was said. Another page of the book turned and the other hand continued stroking along the surface of the rock.
"Is your name on the sheet?"
The guy heaved a sigh, snapped his book closed and finally looked up at Dean with blue eyes. Not just blue, but blue, especially when they were magnified behind the glasses he had perched on a straight nose.
"Name. Sheet of paper. Is it there?" A long, elegant finger was pointed at the black binder sitting on the desk in front of Dean, it was opened to a pale blue sheet of paper, and sure enough, there was his name.
"Great. How many?"
"Um… how many what?"
"How many packages?"
"Uh," Dean eyed the sheet of paper before it was yanked away by the guy behind the desk.
"Three." The binder was replaced and with another heavy sigh the guy behind the desk pushed himself upright and disappeared into a small room off to the right, when Dean leaned forward a little he could see it was stuffed with mailboxes and more boxes and envelopes. The mailroom looked like this and the guy had time to sit and read? Really?
Also, who the hell wore bright yellow hoodies with dark brown corduroy pants when it was eighty degrees outside and about twice that in the small cramped room. The other guy didn't seem bothered by it though, hardly breaking a sweat as he came out from the backroom carrying Dean's packages.
He slapped them down onto the desk and snapped, "Sign your name."
While Dean signed his name, the other guy threw himself back into his seat and picked up his book, pulling his feet up onto the chair as he opened to the page he'd left off on.
"Well, thanks." Dean muttered, pulling the packages that contained half of his school books. He'd decided to buy them online since there was no way in hell he'd be spending five hundred dollars on some damn books and now he was dreading having to come back down here to get the others when they arrived.
Yet he was oddly reluctant to leave.
Dean shifted on his feet a little and lamely said, "I'm Dean."
Dean waited and when no further introductions were forthcoming said, "Generally that's when you say your name too."
"Because I want to know?"
"But why? You're a freshman, correct?" The creepy guy looked up and Dean nodded and he continued, "I'm a junior. We won't be seeing each other. There is no need for further introductions."
"What if I want to know anyway so I don't have to call you 'that guy' or 'creepy mailroom guy'?"
Weird name to go with the weird clothes and weirder attitude.
"Nice to meet you."
Castiel nodded, returned his attention to his book and made a shooing motion with his hand, "You're free now."
Dean snorted and turned towards the door to leave, seeing no other option to stay around.
The next day Sam kicked him out of the apartment, telling him to go look around the town and see what was what. Maybe meet some people who weren't athletes.
So Dean found himself wandering around, sweating… again since it was hotter than it had been the day before. Why the hell had he listened to his little brother in the first place? The apartment was Dean's, Sam was still in high school for crying out loud.
Somehow Dean found himself standing in the corridor that would lead him down to the mailroom. How he'd ended up here without his knowledge was beyond him.
With a shrug Dean headed down the still dark and gloomy corridor, and right on time, two steps in, a voice started singing very loudly and off key, "I just wanna get you sideways, I'll say anything I can to get me more than just a dance. Tell me where to put my hands, you know you could be my favorite one night stand!"
Dean bit back a grin and stepped into the mailroom. It was a bit neater today, and the fan in the corner was blowing full force. Castiel was once again behind the desk, this time there were headphones in his ears and he was apparently greatly enjoying the song that was blaring loud enough for Dean to be able to hear it.
Castiel continued bopping his head to the beat and not paying any attention to Dean who had stepped far enough forward to know he was in Castiel's line of sight.
"What would you do if I told you that I la-la-la-loved you? 'Cause you know that I la-la-la-lie!"
Dean snorted and eyed the binder open in front of him, he was surprised to actually see his name there with a neat number two next to it. He hadn't expected more of his books to show up so soon.
"More packages?" Dean jerked upright to see Castiel had pulled the headphones from his ears and was staring at Dean with raised eyebrows. Dean nodded and Castiel sighed, standing up and heading into the back.
Dean had a moment to think Castiel had a really nice ass hidden underneath those ugly as hell tan corduroy pants, then he did a double take when he realized Castiel was wearing another sweater today. It was a Christmas green and had reindeer prancing across his chest and back.
When Castiel returned with Dean's two packages he said, "You do know it's August, right?"
"You're wearing a Christmas sweater."
"It's August. And it's got to be like a hundred degrees in here man, aren't you afraid of heat stroke?" Castiel shook his head and settled behind his desk again, looking up at Dean expectantly.
Dean signed his name on the sheet of paper and picked the packages up off the desk, "Anything to do around town today?"
Castiel shrugged and plucked something up off the desk, holding whatever it was in one hand while his fingers stroked along the top. Dean had a feeling it was that creepy pet rock that Castiel was currently petting.
"You're a junior here and you don't know what to do around town?"
Castiel shrugged again, shifted himself around in the chair until he was sitting on his feet and said, "I don't get out much."
"I'm beginning to see that."
"I'm sure you'll find something to do. Be productive! Go read." With that Castiel popped the headphones back into his ears and went about staring out the window, fingers still stroking his pet rock. Dean didn't hear any music, but he figured that was the end of this conversation and headed for the door.
Before he left he paused and said without really knowing why, "See you later, Cas." Since Dean was already leaving the cramped mailroom, he didn't see the way Castiel froze in his chair and stared wide eyed after Dean.
The next day, Dean stepped into the mailroom with the intent of explaining that he thought he might have another package that had arrived as a viable excuse as to why he was back down here. He didn't even know why he was down here, he had just found himself wandering around again and here he was. There had been no creepy music or off key singing greeting him though when he stepped into the corridor so he had a feeling that Cas might not even be in today.
He was though and shouted before Dean could even open his mouth to explain his presence, "The lost and found has gone missing!" as soon as Dean was through the door.
Cas carried on as if he hadn't just spouted something completely and totally random, "Do you think, that if the lost and found went missing, and was then found again… it would need its own box?"
Dean decided to play along so he could keep his sanity, "You mean like a lost and found box for the lost and found lost and found?"
"Yes, exactly." Cas pushed the glasses Dean figured he wore for reading back up his nose and gave Dean a sage nod, like everything said made complete and total sense. Which when Dean thought about it, it did.
Dean didn't want to think about what that meant for his mental state.
Two days later, classes started up so Dean didn't have much time to go and visit Cas in the mailroom.
He did spot Cas around campus a few times, though. It was a small school with only the four main buildings grouped together. Every time he managed to catch sight of Cas, who was always wearing some kind of ugly sweater, he looked like he was bolting between the buildings and Dean never managed to catch up to him.
Dean was sitting in the cafeteria with a few of his teammates when he spotted Cas slipping through the shadows and ducking down into the building that the mailroom was in. He turned to Victor, who was also a junior here and asked, "What's up with the mailroom guy?"
"The weirdo in the ugly sweaters?"
Dean bit back the he's not a weirdo, just unique and nodded.
"Dunno, he was pretty normal when we were freshman here, was a little quiet and shy but he wasn't… like he is now."
"What happened?" Victor shrugged and turned back to his food, "No idea. I don't really care, we weren't friends or anything." Dean grunted, finished his food and stood, slinging his bag over his shoulder and heading out into the parking lot and to the building Cas had disappeared into.
Cas wasn't behind the desk when Dean entered the mailroom and instead he was actually working, sorting through envelopes and putting them in their appropriate boxes. Cas looked up when Dean stepped in, eyes widening slightly like he was shocked to see Dean back down here.
Instead of a hello, Dean was greeted with, "You ever think a cheetah has pulled a hamstring?"
Dean blinked, opened his mouth to respond and shut his mouth, not sure what to make of Cas' completely random question paired with his bright blue sweater and khakis.
When Cas finished sorting through the mail he turned to Dean, eyebrows raised expectantly so Dean said, "I don't even know if they have hamstrings dude."
"Well, a muscle then. They're just runnin' along and then BAM, they pull something. You ever think they do that?"
"I don't know... probably. Why do you ask?" Cas shrugged and settled himself behind the desk, picking up his book and beginning to read.
Seeing that he wasn't going to get anything else out of Cas, Dean nodded his farewell and left the mailroom and Cas to do his creepster act.
In the following weeks as the semester progressed Dean found himself, more often than not, keeping Cas company in the mailroom.
Cas didn't seem to mind; he would do his work and help the other students who came into the mailroom while Dean would sit on the floor behind the desk, studying or doing homework.
Cas would usually greet Dean with a random question or comment and they would fall into a comfortable silence. Sometimes they would have a conversation about their classes and sometimes Cas would help Dean with his homework.
Today, Dean had it in his mind to get Cas outside. He'd never seen the other guy outside except when he was running from one building to the other like he was allergic to the sun.
It was a nice day outside, and, for once, Cas was dressed semi-sane. Tan cargo pants with a black hoodie, the only weird thing being the bold white text that stated for everyone to see, If I were a zombie, I'd eat you the most.
"We should go outside and study, Cas."
"C'mon man. It's October, I've heard it starts snowing soon. It's a nice day out, who knows when it'll be like this again." Cas sighed and glared at Dean over the top of his reading glasses. Dean grinned up at him, wiggling his Biology book back and forth.
Cas sighed, glanced out the window then down at his watch, "Fine."
Dean beamed up at him, then hopped up to his feet and packed his books away into his bag while Cas did the same. Dean waited while Cas closed up the mailroom then followed him down the hallway and towards the exit.
Cas paused at the door, eyeing the outside world distrustfully like he would burst into flame if he stepped out into the sunshine.
"C'mon man, there's a table open over there." Dean pointed across the small yard to a picnic table that was in the shade. Cas sighed, gave Dean a stink eye and stepped outside and into the light.
Where he promptly pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up over his head and let out a hissing sound that sounded like a pissed off cat.
Dean had absolutely nothing to say to that, aside from what he was guessing was a near constipated look on his face, and grabbed Cas' sleeve and dragged him towards the table, "C'mon drama queen."
"I am not a drama queen." Cas grumped from the depths of his hood.
"You're totally a drama queen." Cas ignored him, gave the sun a squinty eyed look of doom and began humming something under his breath. Dean chose to ignore him.
They sat themselves down at the table, Dean pulling his books out and spreading them across the table while Cas continued humming something under his breath.
Two minutes of humming later and Dean finally snapped, "Okay, what the hell are you humming?"
"You are the dancing queen! Young and sweet! Only seventeen!"
Dean clapped a hand over his eyes and groaned, "Oh my God, shut up!"
"You can dance! You can jive! Having the time-" Cas was unceremoniously cut off when Dean leapt up from the table and tackled Cas to the ground.
Cas simply laughed and went with it.
Safe to say they didn't get much studying done that day.
Three days later Dean came down into the main lobby of the residence hall to find Cas at the mailboxes, headphones blaring in his ears again, head bopping and hips swaying to whatever song he was listening to.
Dean stood back and watched as Cas sorted through the mail and placed them in their appropriate boxes. Two girls from Dean's floor approached, giggling loudly about something that had been said between them, Dean saw Cas eye them, then held in his laughter as the other man burst into song.
"You never loved me, not like I wanted you to. You never loved me no-oh-ah-oh." The two girls stared at Cas, eyebrows raised as he shook his ass to whatever beat was playing, ignoring the looks he continued singing on, off-key of course, "But I said I love you baby, what do you want me to do? She's got a girlfriend now-"
Dean approached, laying his hand on Cas' shoulder to interrupt him before he was reported as insane and sent off to an institution. His singing cut off, the headphones were tugged from his ears and he turned to smile at Dean.
"Oh, hello Dean."
"Hey Cas, you realize your singing is scaring everyone?"
Cas hummed, turned and stared at the two girls were still staring, looking unsure of what to make of this. He stared back, stuck the last of the mail into a box and said as he was shutting the mailbox, "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go dig a hole to live in."
Cas marched out of the residence hall and towards the building that housed the mailroom, leaving Dean and the two girls to stare after him, dumbfounded.
Dean grinned, shifted his bag over his shoulder and raced outside with the sudden and startling knowledge that he was sort of in love with Cas.
Dean found himself in his usual position on the floor behind Cas' desk again the next day. Cas was working on a paper above him and wasn't providing the usual interesting conversation. So Dean found himself trying and failing to study for his Anatomy exam that he had the next day, instead focusing on the fact that Cas looked like he was wearing socks that matched the pattern on his sweater vest.
He was in the middle of wondering why Cas would be wearing those kind of socks when he quite suddenly had a fruit hat shoved onto the top of his head. He crossed his eyes to stare up at it, then glared over at Cas who grinned at him.
"What the hell is this?"
"It's a fruit hat."
"I can see that. Why is it on my head?"
"The right question I think is… why wouldn't it be on your head?"
"Because it's a fruit hat?" Cas shrugged and leaned back in his chair behind the desk, arms crossing over his chest, smile smug and self-satisfied.
"Okay, why do you have a fruit hat in the mailroom?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Old Halloween costume. I think. A lot of weird shit gets delivered here, especially when they don't know what else to do with it." Dean grunted in annoyance when his move to pull the hat off his head was stopped.
Dean glared, Cas smiled and spun the chair around while he started rooting around in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet behind him.
Dean took the distraction for what it was and pulled the fruit hat from his head and tossed it towards the door as a reminder to throw it out when he left for the day. Cas made a sound of triumph and held up his find while announcing, "Would you prefer a bowler hat?"
"No, I wouldn't prefer a bowler hat."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes Cas, I'm sure." Cas shrugged and tossed said bowler hat out the window. Dean shook his head and wondered why it was he kept coming down here.
Dean didn't see Cas again for two weeks, he'd had to go out of town for a football game, so the first thing he did was go down to the mailroom to see Cas.
Who, without looking up when Dean stepped into the gloom asked, "You think someone went around and counted all the lakes individually?"
Dean paused, one foot still in the air, smile on his face to greet Cas, he should have known better.
"They call it the land of ten thousand lakes, you think someone went around hand counting them? That would be an awful job. Not very satisfying."
"Where do you come up with this shit?"
Cas shrugged then looked up from whatever he'd been reading to smile at Dean, "Hello Dean. It's good to see you."
"You too, Cas." Dean returned the grin and moved to sit in his usual spot, not even bothering to pretend he didn't want to be here anymore.
"You know I'm on the football team, right?"
Cas looked up from his biology book and nodded, "I'm aware, yes."
Dean set aside his pathetic attempts of a paper and turned to look up at Cas, "So you should come to a game sometime."
Cas' attention returned to his book, "I don't do sports."
"You don't do a lot of things." Cas shrugged and returned to his regular schedule of 'Let's see how long we can ignore Dean before he gets annoyed'.
Dean lasted about ten minutes this time, "Strange how after all these months you never told me what you're majoring in."
"You never asked."
"What are you majoring in?"
"Women and gender studies." Dean stared at him, not sure if he should believe him or not.
"And that requires biology?"
"Yes, it also requires you to shut up and work on your paper and let me study for my test that I have in the morning." Dean stared up at Cas for a moment before turning back to his paper. Cas had never really snapped at him before, so Dean figured it best to just let it go.
A few minutes later Cas let out a sigh, "Majoring in biology with a concentration in microbiology."
Figured it'd be something nerdy.
"And what do you plan on doing with that?"
Cas shrugged, attention going back to his book, "I think they're fascinating." Dean made a mental note to never allow Cas and Sam to meet. They would never shut up.
It took another two weeks for Dean to get Cas to go outside again. Dean didn't know how he'd managed to talk Cas into going to the small diner down the street from the college, but he had managed it and now he was going to milk it for all it was worth.
"You're not agoraphobic or anything, are you?" Dean asked, watching as Cas fidgeted beside him.
Cas snorted and shook his head, "No."
"Then what's with the... twitchiness?" Cas stared over at him for so long and for so hard that Dean almost thought the other guy was trying to crawl into his brain.
"No reason." Cas muttered, bolting across the street as soon as the light changed. By the time Dean got to the other side of the street Cas was in the diner and settled into a booth in the back.
Dean settled across from him, ordered when the waitress came by, and they both settled into an awkward silence. Cas kept twitching and fidgeting in his seat so much that Dean was tempted to slip him the Phenergan that Dean had gotten last week to help with his allergies. It had knocked him on his ass though, so he hadn't taken all of the pills the nurse had given him, they were still in his wallet if Dean remembered correctly.
"Cas, would you relax?" Dean finally snapped after their food at been dropped off. Cas' twitching was getting worse from what Dean could tell. Cas shrugged his shoulders and tucked into his food with such focus that it almost made Dean jealous.
When Cas finished with his food and got up to go to the bathroom, Dean figured to hell with it and pulled the pills from his wallet. He dropped one into Cas' drink, glad that Cas preferred Coke to Sprite and waited. It would probably ruin his weird friendship with Cas, but he just wanted to spend a semi-normal day out in public with the guy.
Cas returned from the bathroom, plopped back into his seat and gulped down his drink. Dean either hoped this idiotic idea would work or, if it didn't, that Cas would never, ever find out about it.
Thirty minutes later and Dean was regretting his decision.
There was something about having a one hundred and eighty pound man slung over your shoulder that had people moving very quickly out of your way. Dean was glad for this, since Cas wasn't exactly a lightweight despite how scrawny the guy looked.
"Dean-" Dean was also trying very hard not to think about the fact that Cas' face was right next to his ass. Or the fact that Dean had his arm clasped around Cas' strong thighs and his own ass was pretty much even with Dean's face. All Dean had to do was turn his head a little and he'd be rubbing right against it... which was really very tempting.
"Dean," Cas tried again, one of his hands coming up to grip Dean's waist while the other dangled uselessly while Dean made his way down the street towards his apartment. He probably should have asked where Cas lived, but he doubted Cas was coherent enough to give him a proper answer.
"Not gonna puke, are you Cas?"
"No... just..." Cas dug his face into Dean's back, whatever he was aiming to say lost in his mumbling.
Dean entered the building and headed for the elevator, several other students were gathered around the lobby, passing the time. They quickly moved out of the way, Dean called the elevator down and waited patiently, acting like he didn't have a junior slung over his shoulder.
When the doors dinged open Dean stepped on and Cas said loud enough for everyone to hear, "You have a very nice ass, Dean."
The doors closed on the smiling and laughing faces of his classmates. Bastards.
In the apartment, Dean tossed Cas down onto the couch in the living room, Cas let out a huff of air and squeezed his eyes shut at the sudden altitude change.
"Why do I feel so funny?"
"I slipped you some Phenergan, Cas."
"You drugged me?" Cas blinked up at him and frowned. Dean waited for him to freak out, or yell. Something.
What he didn't expect was Cas asking, "Did you drug me to have sex with me?"
He actually sounded oddly hopeful.
"No Cas. I just wanted you to calm down."
"Oh," Cas slumped back against the couch cushions, sighed and muttered, "That's... oddly disappointing."
Dean blinked, opened his mouth, shut it then said finally, "Well. Tomorrow Cas, when you're not drugged. We can have sex if you want."
Cas smiled brilliantly up at Dean, closed his eyes and muttered, "I look forward to it."
"Get some sleep, Cas." Dean whispered, even though Cas was already snoring.
Dean woke to the sound of someone humming. It took him a while to remember that Sam had spent the night over at a friends and he'd drugged Cas when they'd been out.
The humming evolved into singing, Dean hadn't expected Cas to hang around in the morning. With a grunt Dean hauled himself out of bed, pulled on some proper clothes and wandered into the living room.
Cas was seated in the middle of the living room, Dean's CDs, DVDs and books spread around him. Cas was singing under his breath as he very carefully put everything back on their shelves in an order that Dean couldn't really make out.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Cas shot him a glance over his shoulder, shrugged and went back to his work, "Organizing."
"They were organized."
"Not in any way that I could tell."
Dean sighed and moved to sit on the couch, watching as everything was replaced. Dean's way of organizing may not have been alphabetical, but it was an organized chaos that Dean was rather good at navigating.
Dean waited until the last book had been put away to ask, "So, are we going to talk about last night?"
"You mean you want to have sex now?" Cas looked over his shoulder, smiling hopefully.
"That's not what I'm talking about and you know it." Amongst the groping Dean had endured from a drugged Cas there had been mumblings of someone named Gabriel. Cas had nearly broken down into tears at one point about it before face-planting into the table, which was when Dean had dragged him back to the apartment.
Cas scowled before turning back towards the bookshelf, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"There's nothing totalk about."
Cas sighed and turned until he was facing Dean, "I don't know what you want to hear, Dean."
"I just want to understand you, that's all."
"Why do you care so much? Why are you even bothering?" Cas glared up at Dean from his spot on the floor. Dean sighed and moved to sit on the floor in front of Cas, figuring this was something that needed to be dealt with face to face.
"We're friends aren't we, Cas?" Cas hesitated before he finally shrugged. Dean figured with how Cas acted, freaking people out and pushing them away, that Cas had never really had many friends.
"Well, we're friends Cas. Friends care."
"I don't even know where to start Dean." Cas whispered finally.
"Okay, who's Gabriel?"
Cas' hands clenched and he looked down at them, before looking up at Dean again, "Gabriel was my older brother." Dean noted the 'was' and winced.
"It was just the two of us growing up, mom died shortly after I was born and dad was hardly ever around, so we were close." Dean nodded, he could relate.
"Gabriel liked to prank people, joke around. So, my sophomore year he decided that the two of us should do things that weren't... normal."
"So that's why you're..." Dean trailed off and waved his hand in Cas' direction. Cas smiled a little and nodded, attention turning to his hands where they were fidgeting on his knees.
"Gabriel thought I wouldn't be able to last a week, acting like I do now. I don't know what made me decide to actually go through with it, but I did." Cas fell silent again, looking like he'd rather being having sex right now instead of talking about this. Dean would have been more than happy to move on to that part, but this was something Cas needed to get off his chest.
"Three days later, Gabriel was killed in a car accident. I know I probably should have stopped with this…whatever it is I'm doing. But I can't. I don't know why."
Dean may not be a genius like Sam, but he hadpaid attention in his Psychology class so he leaned forward and took Cas' fidgeting hands in his own, "You don't want to stop because it's the last thing you did with your brother. You two were close, you're not ready to let go of him so you're clinging to this because it makes you feel close to him again."
Cas' fingers tightened around Dean's before loosening again. Dean sighed and returned the squeeze, even if it was entirely out of his comfort zone, this was something he could do for Cas.
"I suppose you make a valid point." Cas muttered, blue eyes finally looking up. Dean smirked at him, realized he was still holding Cas' hands and released them. Cas though, had other plans. His fingers gripped Dean's hands and pulled them back, eyes still fixed on Dean.
Dean took in the way they were both leaning forward, the way they were both staring, the way they were holding hands and his brain decided that maybe not was a good time to finally kiss Cas. Dean leaned forward a little more, licked his lips and grinned when Cas' eyes tracked the movement.
Then Sam just had to burst back into the apartment, door slamming shut behind him. Cas and Dean leapt apart and Cas scrambled to his feet, looking around for his shoes.
Dean sighed and stood as well when Sam called out to him, when Dean found him, Sam was in the kitchen, practically vibrating out of his shoes in his excitement about something.
"Jess agreed to go out with me!"
Dean couldn't help but grin, Sam had been pining after the girl ever since they'd moved here. "Knew you had it in you Sammy!"
Dean heard the front door shutting over Sam's reminder of being 'Sam' not 'Sammy'. Dean toyed with the idea of going after Cas and bringing him back inside, but decided against it. Cas probably needed some space and Dean could give him that much. For now.
The next day Dean unsurprisingly found Cas in the mailroom. The place was actually neat for once, boxes stacked in the corner, envelopes sorted and in their places. The desk was neat and empty of its usual chaos of papers, covered only in the binder and one of Cas' notebooks, which he was currently working it. It looked like Chemistry, but Dean wasn't sure, it just looked like a bunch of lines and letters with the occasional number to him.
Cas glanced up at him before his attention returned to his work, Dean stepped further into the room, unsure of what to say.
Cas finally broke the silence by blurting, "I wonder how people with odontophobia live."
"Fear of teeth."
Dean moved around to the other side of the desk, frowning while he tried to imagine being afraid of his teeth.
Cas remained focused on what he was writing and Dean fought internally with himself, trying to decide what to do. He was horrible in situations like this, emotional comfort was more Sam's thing than Dean's.
Finally Dean just decided to fuck it. He grabbed the back of Cas' chair and spun it around until Cas was facing Dean.
"Dean, what-" Dean cut him off by pulling Cas up and into a hug.
Cas was tense in his arms, stiff and unyielding, Dean just continued to hold on, even if his brain was screaming at him to just let go. Cas was clearly uncomfortable, how could Dean just assume that Cas would be okay with sudden, personal contact? What if he didn't like being touched?
Before Dean could continue freaking out Cas sighed and melted into Dean's embrace, arms tentatively coming up to wrap around Dean in return. Dean relaxed as well, burying his nose in Cas' thick hair and tightening his hold.
After a moment Dean lifted his head enough to be able to whisper, "You don't have to be like this anymore Cas. Just because your brother is gone, doesn't mean you have to keep this up, you can do other things to feel close to him again. You're better than this."
Cas' shoulders shook and his breath hitched, Dean sighed and started to pull away, to give Cas some space, but Cas had other plans. The grip on Dean's shirt tightened, Cas pressed even closer, face buried in the crook of Dean's neck. Dean could feel the wetness there, could feel Cas' back shaking and his breath stuttering out against his neck.
Dean wasn't sure what to do, so he just stood there, being the support Cas needed at the moment, even if it made him entirely uncomfortable.
"You're going to be okay Cas." Dean whispered when Cas finally started calming down again, hiccupping and sniffling. Dean knew his shirt was probably going to be stained with snot and tears, but he couldn't find it in himself to care.
"H-how can you be so s-sure?" Cas mumbled, not lifting his head from Dean's shoulder.
"Because I'm going to be here to help you through it. No matter what." Cas hiccupped again and Dean chuckled, earning him a jab to the ribs.
Dean only chuckled again and pressed a kiss into Cas' hair, "You okay?"
Cas nodded and finally stepped away. Dean examined his shoulder, shrugged at the damage and looked over at Cas who was busy blowing his nose, Dean froze and gave Cas a look, "What the hell are you wearing?"
Cas looked down at himself, tossed his Kleenex away and shrugged, "Clothes?"
Dean shook his head, unsure of what to say first. Cas plucked at the brown plaid pants he was wearing, smoothed the purple t-shirt down and glared up at Dean.
"We need to fix your sense of fashion."
"There is nothing wrong with my fashion sense."
"You're wearing brown plaid pants with a purple t-shirt. I'm pretty sure that's illegal somewhere Cas."
Cas huffed and smoothed down his shirt again and plopped down into the chair behind the desk. Dean grinned at him and settled down in his usual spot on the floor by Cas' legs, only to see that Cas had kicked off his shoes and his socks were black with neon colored polka dots on them.
"Seriously Cas. Fashion sense, we need to get you one."
Cas scoffed above him, pencil working away at his notebook, "Like denim and flannel button downs?"
When the two of them left the mailroom for the day Dean figured he'd be heading home to his own apartment, but Cas surprised him by saying, "Would… would you like to come over, Dean?"
"To your apartment?"
Cas' eyes rolled, "No, to my lair. Yes my apartment."
Dean decided to ignore that comment, "Sure Cas, I'd love to." Cas nodded and turned to head down the street, not bothering to look back to make sure that Dean was following him.
Cas' apartment building was a ten minute walk from the campus, it wasn't as big as Dean's, but it was nicer. They walked up to the second floor and Cas unlocked the door after a brief hesitation and let Dean inside.
Dean paused on the threshold, mouth open in shock as Cas moved silently into the apartment and disappeared into the kitchen. At least Dean thought it was the kitchen.
The entire apartment was stuffed full of books, Dean had never seen so many books in one place before, not even at Bobby's. Dean slowly moved into the apartment, shutting the door behind him. Every available surface had books on it, some were stacked on the floor. Others were left open on pages as if Cas had been reading them and had gotten up to do something and had forgotten about it afterwards.
"What?" Dean jumped as Cas' voice came from behind him, Dean hadn't even heard him approach.
"You've got a lot of books."
Cas shrugged, as if it wasn't anything important. "I like to read."
Cas watched as Dean moved around the living room, the books varied in titles. Everything from fiction to non-fiction and medical journals, books in other languages and dictionaries. Everything that Dean could think to find he'd probably find here.
Then Dean came across the first painting.
It was a mass of blue and red, with darker green and orange highlights. The middle consisted of a large circle, smaller circles surrounded it and inside was an intricate mass of lines. Dean had no idea what it was, but it looked awesome.
"It's the cellular structure of the herpes virus. I had a picture of it from when I'd been studying it in the lab; I started drawing it one day, recolored it and… that happened. I have others. Gabriel liked them so I tended to do them for him. But now…" Cas trailed off and shrugged, moving forward, hand reaching out as if he was going to turn it around.
Dean stopped him though, "Leave it, that's pretty awesome, Cas. Even though a little creepy."
"How is it creepy?"
"You have a painting of a herpes virus in your apartment, Cas."
"So?" Cas turned towards him now, brows furrowed in a frown. Dean grinned and shook his head; there just wasn't anything that he could say about this to Cas. He wouldn't understand no matter what was said.
"I also have the flu virus, pollen, and several others."
"I don't need to know what they're called, Cas, I just think they're awesome and that's all there is to it."
Cas shrugged, "Whatever you say."
Dean grunted and went about looking at the other paintings Cas had done while Cas vanished again. When he returned, he'd changed into sweatpants and the same zombie hoodie he'd been wearing when Dean had managed to talk him outside for the first time.
He also had beer.
Dean happily accepted the bottle Cas offered him and followed Cas when he turned and beckoned Dean to follow him. They turned down a short hallway; Dean spied Cas' bedroom, but they were passing by it before Dean could get a good look at it.
"Where are we going?" As far as Dean could see there wasn't another room down at the end of the hallway where they were currently heading. Cas simply grinned at him over his shoulder and paused at the end of the hallway, a bookcase in front of them being the only thing Dean could see.
Cas reached forward and gripped the edge of the bookcase in his hand and pulled. The bookcase creaked and opened, revealing a gloomy staircase. What was it with Cas and gloomy areas?
"That's some Scooby-Doo shit right there," Dean muttered.
Cas grinned over at him again, "It used to be a regular door, but Gabriel wanted it to be like a hidden thing. Something only the two of us would know about it. We used to go up here all the time."
"Come up and see," Cas said, turning and heading up the steep staircase. Dean sighed, shrugged and followed Cas up.
'Up here', turned out to be the roof of the building. There wasn't much to it: a two person bench, a small fire pit, and Dean walked up the two steps in front of him and saw that there were plants and flowers surrounding the area.
"Well, this is unexpected," Dean muttered, then smiled to himself. Everything about Cas was unexpected. Dean would never tire of it either, he loved being surprised and Cas was always surprising him. Cas simply smiled at him and sat himself down on the bench, beer resting on his knee and patted the empty seat next to him.
Dean moved and sat next to him, opened his own beer and relaxed back into the seat. Up here the lights of the city were dim and the stars slowly came to life above them. Next to him, Cas was silent as he sipped his beer and not so subtly shifted closer and closer to Dean on the bench. Dean eyed him from the corner of his eye and smirked when Cas pressed against his side, shifting enough so Dean's arm was draped over his shoulder instead of the back of the bench.
"Could have just asked," Dean mumbled, downing the last of his beer as Cas shot him an innocent look. Dean took Cas' empty bottle from his hands and put it and his own down on the ground before settling his arm along Cas' shoulders even more, pulling Cas closer to his side.
They were silent for a few more minutes; Cas a warm, solid weight against Dean's side as they stared up at the stars.
Finally Cas whispered, "Are you sure you want this Dean?"
Dean was silent, wondering how to best put his thoughts into words. He was bad with words. Showing how he felt was easier, but Cas needed the reassurance in spoken words right now, not actions.
"I've never really been one for relationships Cas," Dean began quietly, "But with you, I want everything. Even those stupid brown pants."
Cas grinned up at Dean, his head falling back to rest on Dean's outstretched arm, eyes wide and reflecting the night sky above them, "I want everything too, Dean."
"Good, 'cause that's what you're gonna get."
Dean snorted and sighed, "Cas?"
"Would you just shut up and kiss me already?"
Cas grinned over at him, leaned forward and pressed his lips to Dean's.
When Cas pulled back Dean grinned and muttered, "Superb."
"Shut up and kiss me again."
So Dean smiled and did just that.
For you curious folks, the songs Cas sings are as follows:
La La - The Cab
Dancing Queen - ABBA
She's Got a Girlfriend Now - Reel Big Fish
hope you enjoyed!
like I said, there will be a sequel soon, so...keep an eye out!