Short and sweet. Dean's having a harder and harder time of denying what he feels for a certain blue-eyed friend of his. And it's making him a little ornery, and a lot confused.

Dean had a habit of saying things without meaning to.

To a lot of people, he was a mystery. And to other's he seemed utterly uncomplicated - a handsome drifter, looking for a couple of beers and a good time. But to the people who really knew him, namely Sam and Bobby, he was essentially an open book. Complexity and all. Because Dean was complex, no matter how simple he tried to be.

Now, getting the details of what was distressing Dean was like pulling teeth. But it was easier than first grade math for Sam and Bobby to figure out when there was something wrong in general. Because Dean had a way of projecting his feelings all over the place, especially when he was trying to keep them hidden.

Essentially, Dean was obvious.

And Sam always caught on.

But there was one thing Dean was not going to let Sam figure out. Ever. Granted, his little brother was very observant and could tell something was irritating Dean and had been for weeks. But Sam also noted that it was an almost comical irritation, as opposed to the familiar, dismal, heavy is my soul kind of upset that Dean seemed to go through now and again. So while Sam was curious, he wasn't worried.

So thus far, Dean's secret had remained just that.

And thank God for that, because this was not a conversation he wanted to have, especially with his brother. As Dean sat down at the little breakfast table in their less than swanky motel room, he thanked his lucky stars that Sam hadn't figured out what he was brain-wrestling with before he'd gotten a chance to deal with it himself on his own. Now Sam was out for his morning run (the health-nut), and Dean finally had a minute to himself to sit down with his coffee and think.

Like he had a choice.

This damn...problem was on his mind all day every day whether he actively set aside time to consider it or not. A problem that showed up unexpectedly and disappeared just as quickly. A problem that challenged him, but exhilarated him all at once. A problem with blue eyes and nervous hands.

An irritation, that had him a stuttering mess every time it bothered to grace them with its presence.


Dean kicked the table leg with frustration as the mere thought of the angel's name sent a chill down his spine. He tired to think back and pinpoint the moment when this had happened, when he'd become infatuated with an overly literal soldier of God that wears an ugly trench coat and terrifies hookers. He'd tried many times to identify the instance when everything changed, the magic moment... But he never could find it. Dean just realized one day that whenever Cas showed up, his chest would relax, as if he'd been holding his breath until he saw him again. Dean noticed that when he felt low and alone, it was Cas he wished was there. And he acknowledged that recently, his hands would tremble when Cas was in the room, and his bottom lip would be sore when Cas finally did leave because Dean would have spent the entire time biting down on it. Out of nerves, or some subconscious, Freudian desire to kiss him...

Dean shook his head before the fantasy could depict itself in his mind. He always stopped short of letting himself imagine something like that.

Nevertheless, the desire to think it was still there. And now every time he saw that jackass his heart would thump ridiculously in his chest.

But he never could figure out when exactly all this had started. It seemed like maybe it had always been that way and he'd only now just noticed. And it was throwing him off his game.

It felt like... having a crush.

Jesus, just thinking it had Dean smacking his palm down against the table. He wasn't some fourteen year old girl! Cas was a dude. Not even a dude! He wasn't even a him, he was an it! it with...with know - a dick. So yeah, he was a dude, even if he was also an it.

Dean rubbed his eyes. This was insane. That's it, he thought, the proverbial lightbulb going off above his head. I'm insane. I've finally lost it and as a result, I have an unnatural attraction to a friend who has helped me through a lot of crap.

Like Stockholm Syndrome, right? Dean shook his head. Even he knew that wasn't an accurate analogy. But he was grasping at straws. Was his attempt to make this make sense that lame? He sighed heavily, standing to put his coffee cup in the sink.

Turning from the table he gasped suddenly, and dropped the mug - it smashed on the floor as Dean came face to face with none other that the irritation itself.

"Damn it Cas!"

"Hello Dean."

"Some warning, man. I've told you."

"I apologize."

Dean looked down at the shattered fragments of the mug, "Crap."

"Allow me," Castiel got down on the floor and gathered the shards of the cup into his hands and before Dean could blink, the thing was made whole. Dean raised his eyebrows, always impressed at Cas' true power. "There," Cas looked up at Dean from his position on the floor, satisfied with his handiwork.

And as Dean looked down at him, a truly inappropriate thought crossed his mind at the image of Cas on his knees on the floor in front of him...that look of satisfaction in his eye. Dean's heart leapt into his throat and he gave a short, nervous laugh for, what seemed to Cas, absolutely no reason.

Cas' head tilted at Dean's odd behavior and a familiar flutter passed through Dean's chest at the quirk that was so cute on the angel.

Wait, what? "Cute?" Dude, what the hell? Dean cleared his throat loudly.

Cas squinted at him and stood up fully, placing the mug on the table behind Dean, having to reach past him to do it. And Dean definitely didn't breathe in his familiar, unidentifiable but enticing scent of the angel as he leaned in close. Definitely not. That'd be weird...

Castiel squinted hard at Dean, tilting his head once more.

Dean's heart fluttered again as he watched Castiel perform that oh so familiar, oh so Castiel action. Again?Really? Shut up! Dean thought angrily at his own heart, cursing the organ that was beating so loudly he was sure the whole city could hear it.

Castiel's eyes focused on Dean's chest then, and Dean stopped breathing. Dean could swear those blue eyes nearly bored a hole into his shirt, that stare was so intense, so focused.

"What's wrong with your heart?" Castiel asked sincerely, his gaze not faltering.

"What?" Dean's hand came up to his chest, resting over his heart instinctively, as if he could hide its traitorous thumping from the angel. His mouth went dry.

"Your heart, its beat was briefly... erratic. Are you injured?"

"No," Dean said defensively, realizing Cas must have heard his inexplicable reaction to their proximity. Dean was quickly becoming even more embarrassed about said reaction. He took a deep breath, actively trying to calm his heart, but the way Cas was staring...

"There - it did it again." Cas said as he stepped in even closer. Dean watched with shallow breath as Cas raised his hand to Dean's chest, resting it there lightly. Dean could feel the warmth of Cas' palm through his t-shirt and closed his eyes for a fraction of a second before snapping himself out of it. He fought against leaning into that touch.

Castiel's eyes were intense as they adopted a far away look, as though he was concentrating entirely on the sound, the feel, of Dean's beating heart.

Dean swallowed hard, almost choking when his body realized it had barely been breathing.

Castiel Hmm'ed quietly before looking at Dean, whose eyes were wide. "I am concerned for your well-being, Dean."

"That's nice, Cas. But... I'm pretty sure I'm fine. It's just... nerves."

"You are nervous?"

"No!" he answered a little too quickly, and Castiel noticed, Dean could tell by the ever so slight narrowing of his eyes. So to cover his obvious dishonesty, Dean just kept talking, "Too much coffee this morning. I'm jumpy. Caffeine's got me all wired, ya know? No, I guess you wouldn't know. Angels don't need coffee right?" He laughed awkwardly.

Castiel gave an honest half-smile, and Dean felt like there was magma pooling in his chest cavity. He prayed Castiel didn't sense that too.

And either he didn't, or he ignored it because Cas took his hand from Dean's chest and took a step back. "Personal space," he quoted Dean sincerely, "I remember."

Dean smiled, offering pathetically, "Don't worry about it... really."

Cas gave a short nod. "I'll be going."

"Wait!" Dean called a little too desperately. Then he panicked, not having any idea what to say now that he'd stopped Cas from departing. And here the angel was, blue eyes fixed on Dean expectantly, awaiting an explanation.

Dean had to think fast, "You never said why you showed up in the first place." He simultaneously patted himself on the back for thinking of something logical to say, and kicked himself for making it sound like Cas better have a good reason to be there.

Cas looked for a moment like he wasn't sure what he wanted to say, before turning to Dean and answering, "I wanted to check in."

There was an awkward moment of silence as Dean's stupid, thumping, annoying heart kept telling his brain, Read into it! He wanted to see you! He just came by to see your face and check in because he - "Oh. Thanks." He couldn't stand to think too much about Cas while Cas was standing right there - what if he could hear?

"Your welcome," Cas offered politely.

Dean wanted to say I'm glad. Come whenever you want. Maybe even, I like it when you come by. That would certainly let the angel know he hadn't meant that Cas needed to have a reason to visit. He was just working up the courage when Cas stated abruptly, "I must go" and was gone. Just like that. Nothing but the brief breeze of his wings left behind to say goodbye properly.

Dean exhaled long and hard, bad mood settling over him the moment Cas was gone. He plopped down into his chair at the table, running his fingers over his newly re-formed coffee cup. The simple white cup didn't look like much, but now the thing was special. He mused about how no one else who stayed here would ever know... this silly little object, had literally been touched by an angel. Dean wondered if Cas using his power to put the thing back together meant that a little bit of Cas was infused in the cup, like angelic Castiel-residue was forever splashed across it, invisible to the human eye. Dean considered putting the mug in his bag to bring it with him wherever the went next...

Then the door opened, Sam came in, and Dean was immediately hating himself for being such a sentimental loon.

Feeling the frustration rolling off of his brother, Sam pulled his headphones out of his ears and quirked a look at Dean, hoping to be able to read him.

Feeling the stare, Dean asked sharply, "What?"

"Still in a mood today, huh?" Sam stated nonchalantly, grabbing a towel from the bed.

"No I'm not," Dean bit, clearly expressing the opposite.

"Dude, seriously?" Sam said, looking at his brother with that face that said, Really? We're still doing this?.

Dean avoided his eye contact. "Shut up."

Sam shook his head and headed toward the shower. Maybe when he got out Dean would be in a better mood. Yeah right. Either way, if Dean didn't shape up soon, Sam would be forced to figure out what was bothering him for himself.

Dean did feel bad for taking all of his feelings out on Sam. It wasn't his brother's fault after all, and Dean was being a dick. He could admit that to himself. He'd have to make it up to him - let him pick the music on the next drive or something.

Dean wandered to the counter and refilled his coffee cup, sipping his black coffee and smiling when the ceramic touched his lips.

He wasn't even thirsty.

Hope you enjoyed!