A/n: Written for the neverending birthday challege over at livejournal.
Beta'd by the lovely AngelisIgniRelucent ! Thank you so much!
I'll be posting the rest periodically until it's all up. Hope you enjoy!
Comments: Are my air. If you like it, hate it, want to marry/kill it, please, tell me! :)
What You Do When No One's Looking
The cigarette hanging precariously from his lips let off tendrils of pale gray smoke into the air that curled around his face and stunk up his clothes. Securing the cancer stick between two fingers, Dean drew from the filter, hollowing his cheeks suggestively and held the pull in his lungs. He released it with a sigh and took a deep breath.
"I've been stood up." A scoff puffed out along with the next drag from the cigarette. Dropping the remains on the ground and stomping it out, he made his way back toward campus where the Impala was parked - the car his father had left him when he'd decided that his kids were holding him back.
He couldn't blame his father for leaving, not really, but he was the first raindrop in the storm that had been Dean's life ever since.
It had been a procession of firsts - the first time Dean found the money running out he was sixteen years, four months, and twelve days old. The first time his father had brought a woman home who wasn't mom he was sixteen years, nine months, and twelve days old. The first time he was left to take care of Sam by himself for a month he was seventeen years, eight months, and nineteen days old. The first time he realized his father wasn't coming back he was eighteen years and three days old. Dean had felt at once better, lighter, less tense. His father was now gone and Dean could finally be out from under his thumb. He could now raise Sammy the way he should have been all along.
Now, sucking in a breath and holding it to bring himself back to the present, he couldn't help but to think this wasn't the first time a John had chickened out, but fuck if Dean was going to stand out there and actually look like a hooker waiting for him.
How Dean hated that word: hooker. Sure, a lot of them are doing this to get money to pay for drugs or pimps when they can just barely afford the dump they're living in at the moment because the landlord hasn't kicked them out on their barely clad ass, but they give street walking a bad name.
Dean wasn't doing this because he needed to pay a pimp. His brother had a path, a very secure and specific path that meant money. College was expensive. Dean had checked. He continued to believe Sammy was the best thing to happen to him. Sam gave him a goal, something to look forward to, and all he wanted was to make Sam's life better than his own. For the last three and a half years, he'd done what he does best: have sex. Only, more often than not it'd been for money. Sammy deserved the best and, even with a scholarship, the money was going to be tight.
When he was younger, Dean had wondered what he would be willing to do for his family - for his brother. He never knew until a few years ago when he was in the thick of it; until he was so deep in the shit that it was past his knees and suffocating him with its fumes with the knowledge that there was no way out. That even if he saw a rope to pull himself out, there was just no way he would have the strength to. Might as well just hang himself with it for all the good he would be to Sam.
The back alleys and rusting dumpsters were not always the most prominent reminders of what he was. It was his clothes. The stains on the knees of the few pairs of jeans that weren't ripped from being on the ground so often. It was his stance. The level of his once-determined, set shoulders now lowered as far as his self-esteem. It was in his breath. The peppermint-sweet burn of mouthwash that only served to remind him of what he'd done. It didn't really wash away the remains, but somehow enhanced the taste he was trying so desperately to forget until the next customer.
But sometimes... Sometimes it's all worth it. The first year Dean had been sucking cock, he could afford a present for Sammy's fourteenth birthday, and the splitting grin when Sammy'd held up the brand new pair of shoes made Dean's suffering worth it. Not just sometimes. Always.
"We were both young when I first saw you..."
Fuckin' Swift. Castiel swatted irritably at the traitorous machine that was spewing Taylor's whiny voice and the same four notes in a continuous procession through the speakers and waking him up from a rather nice dream. The only reason he had that stupid song was to wake him up in the morning and move him from whatever warm nook he happened to create for himself underneath the covers to stop the assault on his ears. Every morning he grumbled to himself why he kept using it until he remembered that it was the best song he could come up with a few years ago to do the job, and had never gotten around to changing it.
Throwing the covers back with a scowl he stretched, arching his back and yawning loudly, the groan pulled from somewhere near his toes. As he scratched his abs absently he got up and trekked to the bathroom then kitchen, nearly shitting himself when he saw Crowley hunched over a pile of steam and a mug of coffee.
"An IV drip would get it into you faster." He called, startling his friend and nearly making him drop his cup.
Crowley grumbled. "Fuck you, I like the taste."
Castiel had no idea what he meant. Tea was his morning pick-me-up thank you very much; coffee just tasted too bitter - the harsh bite made him cringe no matter how much sugar or milk he stirred in.
"You look like shit."
"G'morning to you too." Castiel mumbled as he turned the burner on under the pot. It felt like a peppermint day. Taking two bags from their sleeves and slipping them into his mug he sat on one of the island stools, resting his feet on the very edge and wrapping his arms around his legs. After looking at Crowley's sour expression for thirty-six-Mississippi, he sighed. "How's Ben?"
"Richard. And it's over. He was too..." The man scrunched up his nose trying to think of an appropriate word to describe yet another conquest, not ex-boyfriend. "Clingy." Seeming satisfied, he took another gulp of his putrid brew then dumped the dregs of it down the drain before pouring another cupful.
Castiel sighed. "I don't see why you even try. Go to the gay bar, find a cute guy, fuck him against the wall then leave. Be a man about it. Or, at least, not an asshole."
"Are you seriously bringing up that crap again? I told you I only do that to guys I like."
"You did it to me."
A long whistle from the pot brought his legs to the floor and had him padding to the stove. Crowley was right, they had done just that.
He had just gotten dumped by his then boyfriend, Jimmy, who he had been with for over three years. Everything had seemed great to Castiel but Jimmy had wanted out. Castiel couldn't make him stay no matter how much he'd begged on their apartment floor, the last words Jimmy said to him still ringing in his ears. 'And I thought I was the girl'.
The next night his friends had dragged him, literally kicking, to Jessie's, the residential gay bar and demanded he drink himself under the table. He hadn't wanted to but they insisted, bought his first four rounds, and after that he really didn't want to stop.
A really, like really really good looking guy with brown eyes and short brown hair had come up to him, bought him his seventh round, and asked him to dance. As the third Ke$ha song came on and she asked if anyone wanted to dance with no pants on then meet out back, his mysterious suitor had arched an eyebrow as he ground against him to the beat.
When his back had hit the brick twenty minutes later he had figured, what the hell? Why not?
It hadn't been his first time bottoming, but it was one of the best, and the aches he had the next morning when he'd woken were actually pretty awesome. After rolling over, however, he came face to face with a smirking Crowley.
It had been a onetime thing but they both knew that. A week later Crowley had moved in with him and taken over the extra room and half the rent. Roomies. Yay.
"You're going to..."
"Shit!" Castiel screeched as the water overflowed and ran down his hand. Mumbling something that resembled "Fucking Crowley" he turned the faucet on cold. He set his hand under the stream and sighed.
What a way to start a Monday.
After drinking down his tea, taking his shower and getting dressed, the pair loaded into the car and made their way to work. There was only one good thing about working and living with Crowley. He had one weird taste in music and loved to show off his newest finds at top volume at seven o'clock in the morning.
"It's in the way he says he loves, it's never enough..."
There was a pause in the lyrics, time for the guitar to play a sad string of notes that Castiel took advantage of. "This is a chick song."
"I wish that he could feel inside, what it's like..."
"Wow. Feelings? Coming from you? Creepy."
"I lost my way, I couldn't face, till one day..."
"Dear Lord, I can't take this so early." Castiel groaned as he tightened his hold on the wheel before he took a turn.
"My world came crashing down, I had to break..."
"I can feel a loud chorus coming on..."
"No No No No, you took a bite, you spit me out, a million times before, I've heard them shout. 'You couldn't change, it's a shame, I'm a nobody! I'm a nobody!"
"You're ruining it."
"Bitch, I'm a star!" Crowley growled indignantly.
Castiel huffed a laugh. "And Hell is just a sauna."
The rest of the ride is filled with a slightly off-key rendition of the song being blared throughout the vehicle and Castiel couldn't help but smile. No matter how bad his roommate sang he would always let him. How could you say no to someone with a fake accent that sang like a strangled canary?
Thankfully, Crowley decided this was the time to turn the depressing song down and ask, "Why did you have to move here for again?"
"I needed to get away."
"You mean run away."
"No." Castiel growled. He wasn't a coward no matter what Jimmy said. "iGet/i away. Jimmy wouldn't stop calling and coming over, you know that. I couldn't stand to be near him anymore. If he wanted to break up with me, that's fine, but he didn't need to be such a bitch about it." His grip on the wheel did not get tighter. His knuckles were lying.
"Come on, Cassy. You miss him." When Castiel gave him an incredulous look, he continued in a much softer voice. "It's okay if you do. You were together for a year and the way he left sucks. Just remember that you need to get over him and fuck as many guys that will let you in their pants as possible."
He couldn't help but to laugh at Crowley's version of a pep-talk. The guy didn't have a serious bone in his body. "New job, new life, same old Crowley."
When he got a smack upside the head, he laughed again.
"Why did we move here, though? I mean, Lawrence is so... small. Why here?" Crowley practically pouted as he asked.
"There are still gay people here, you know. San Antonio isn't too far away and the clubs are gay friendly."
Scoffing, Crowley glanced out the window and saw the school coming up. "I wonder if..."
"Don't even think about it. I need this job. No screwing the students." Castiel glared at him as best he could while pulling into the parking lot and trying to find a spot. When he heard a pitiful whine come from the passenger seat he scolded. "I mean it."
Crowley's sex drive was one of the reasons he was fired from his old job. Apparently the boss didn't like that one of his employees had a history with his new boy-toy, also an employee, and not so discretely left Castiel a letter on his desk. When he'd confronted the asshole, thinking that he was a homophobic douchebag and had a letter of resignation in his hand, he'd stalked into the guy's office without knocking and found said douchebag on his knees with Crowley sitting in the Head Master's chair. Crowley had smirked, the exhibitionist bastard, and came down the guy's throat with a grunt. As his boss had smiled up at his friend, he'd seen Castiel out of the corner of his eye and gasped, a bright flush creeping onto his cheeks. The resignation was met with a nice compensation package. One that Crowley had promptly bought a new television with.
"You are a terrible friend and a cock-blocker."
Castiel laughed. "Just because..."
Dean sat in the idling Impala, waiting for Sam to get out of school. Even with the disappearing John he could afford a quick lunch for him and his brother. It's not like one good meal would leave them bankrupt. He'd texted Sam ten minutes ago saying that he'd be waiting in the back parking lot for him, and good ol' Sammy had asked if they would be back for his chemistry test in the next class.
Kid's going to be a smart-ass time saver when he grows up. And a hot shot lawyer, Dean planned on making sure if that.
A tap on the driver's side window tore through his thoughts and he smiled when he saw his little brother. He motioned for him to get in and sat up straighter.
"Where are we going?" Sam asked as he plugged in the seat belt.
Dean's smile faltered a little. "Sammy, did you forget?"
"Forget... oh." He looked so sullen that Dean bumped his shoulder with his elbow and smiled when Sam did it back. "Mom's birthday lunch at the Roadhouse?"
Sammy grinned and everything was fine.
He blasted AC/DC as they crawled through town to the only small diner they could afford. A few older folk shook their heads and tutted at the loud music, and looked away when they saw it was just a couple of kids. They didn't know who Dean was or what he did, but his car was showy and music loud, so what could he be other than a trouble maker? Many had been friends with his parents and didn't even try to remember who the young Winchesters were. Not their kids, not their problem.
Whatever. It wasn't like they were handing him the money he worked for.
Well, that not exactly true, Dean thought with a little smirk. Most of his customers were the married men of this town who wanted something their wives wouldn't give them – something he gave for the right price. The people here were so closeted that they fucked him with his face in the pillow or, more often than not, facing the wall. As long as they didn't see his face they were happy. There were those few who did it face-to-face, but they only wanted to kiss his puffy lips that tasted like them while they drove him into the mattress, gritty concrete or sand, or the back seat of their car. He wondered if their wives could smell the sex their husbands had in the back when they buckled in the next day.
"I'm thinking about quitting the debate team and getting a job." Sam told him as he stared out the window, not wanting to make eye contact.
Dean shook his head once. "No. You stay in school. You do what you need to so you get the best grades and finish. A job would take you away from your studies." He hated telling Sammy no. It was one of the hardest things he ever did, but Sam needed to stay in school. Anything that jeopardized that would be unacceptable.
"Come on, Dean. I need to work. I need to pull my weight around now that I'm old enough to be able to. You've always done something, one job or another, to get us by. I want to help."
He just said nothing and continued driving. Dean didn't want to let on that he was kind of getting old for his 'work' and probably needed to get an actual job, preferably one with benefits, to pay the bills. Not that he would ever tell Sam that. Sam needed a new check-up, maybe even braces, and Dean couldn't afford that with his current health plan. Hell, he couldn't pay the rent with money from time to time. He wasn't able to stomach Sam doing anything but going to college and getting a real job, a girl, a family, and a happy, picket-fence life. School was Sam's thing, work was Dean's.
The Impala turtle-crawled into a parking spot and stopped. Both boys agreed with a look to talk about this later and just have their mom's birthday dinner in peace. Closing the door to his baby as gently as he could, Dean jogged ahead of his brother to get the door.
"I'm not a woman." Sam mumbled under his breath, hustling past anyway.
Snickering, Dean replied, "That hair says otherwise." He had to duck the swing his brother sent his way and laughed harder.
"And you're a bitch. See? A woman." Dean smiled, eyes flitting over the booths to find an empty one near a window so he could watch out for his baby where she was parked.
They found what Dean considered the perfect seat and plopped down just as the waitress floated over. "What can I get for you, guys?" She asked, hip thrust out just slightly.
"Two cokes, please." Sammy ordered.
The waitress raised a brow but said nothing as she wrote it down.
Dean said as he flipped closed and collected the menus, "He'll have the large garden salad with ranch and extra bread and I'll take the bacon burger with fries. Thanks."
When she left, Dean and Sam raised their glasses and toasted to their mom before they gulped down most of their drinks.
Castiel yanked nervously on his tie again. He'd gotten along with the staff okay, made a good impression with his kind words and no spilled coffee in the break room, but the students were another thing all together. Now that he was here, he wondered why he'd taken the job at the university. Most of the kids here didn't listen to him. Like ten minutes ago when he tried to introduce himself, or two minutes ago when he'd tried to get their attention and settle them down.
He was ready to go quit and scamper away when the door was thrown open and a short, brown-haired man stalked in and bellowed, "Will you people shut up?"
An instant quiet filled the room and Castiel's ears rung with the silence. He remembered the small man from the break room and tried to nod his thanks, but he wasn't paying Castiel any attention.
"This is despicable. Your new teacher, Mr. Novak here, was gracious enough to pick up everything and come here to teach your sorry asses and this is the thanks he gets? No, the next one of you to squawk a word gets detention." When he saw a hand in the air he snapped, "What?"
The boy's eyes widened slightly as he said, "But you can't give us detention."
"Is that so?"
The kid just gulped and looked down at his desk.
"That's what I thought."
Castiel felt a little upset with Gabriel, he'd finally remembered the guy's name, but understood that if the students didn't think he was respected by his colleagues they wouldn't either. Still, he let himself pout a moment before he began in a much softer, kinder voice, "I'd hate to do that, but it's not beyond me."
A few kids chuckled behind the boy that had spoken up before and he sighed. "Yes, I'm new. No, I don't care what you think. Mr. Milton here was nice enough to introduce me, but don't think I won't remind you of who is in charge if you get out of hand.
"Now, if you all will bear with me, I think we can have a good semester, but that's up to you. Treat me with respect and I'll return it. Don't and I won't. Again, that's all up to you. If you'll come up as I read your name and grab a copy of the syllabus of required work for this class, that would be great."
A quick glance at Gabriel told Castiel that he'd done a great job. He let out a breath and let himself smile a little.
The rest of that class and the next went by in a blur. The students hadn't spoken out of turn and let him get through his entire lesson plan for the day with a little time to spare. Most appeared bored when he lectured but he could deal with that as long as they listened. The kids were just coming off vacation so he understood their attention was taken by texting and sniggering about parties they had gone to, but he did have a job to do and he knew how to do it. He'd taken away three cell phones in the first class and four in the second. Detention was threatened but never handed out – that would be cruel for the first day. When he got back to the teacher's lounge for lunch he sighed heavily until his lungs were empty and he let out a little squeak. This was only the first day and already he was stressed to the max.
"You look like you could use a drink." A buttery British voice said from behind him. As Castiel whipped around to see who had spoken and looked at the owner of that voice, he couldn't help but to stare. The man was good looking, but not really his type. He had on a black tailored blazer suit that screamed unfavored mafia son and his hair stuck out in a supposedly styled manner. His teeth had to have been soaked in bleach for a month for his mouth to be so white.
Castiel cleared his throat. "I did not know we were allowed to drink on the job."
The man laughed. "Not generally, no, but Uriel, one of the math teachers, does. Keeps a fifth of Jack in his middle drawer if you're interested." He made a motion toward the door with his thumb hitched out to go get it but Castiel shook his head.
"I think my first day shouldn't be finished here by leaving drunk, but thank you..." Drawing out the end of the sentence, Castiel tipped his eyebrows up, silently asking for the man to fill it in with his name.
"Forgive me. Balthazar McDaniels, drama department head and teacher. You must be that new fellow, yes? Cassy Novak?"
Balthazar gave him an indulgent smile. "Yes, yes. So how about that drink later tonight? Gabriel and I are heading over to a little club here in town if you would like to join us."
Thinking it over for only a moment, he replied, "That's a very nice offer..."
"What in the bloody hell have you gotten me into!" Castiel was slammed in the back of the head from behind with a badly aimed hand that nearly toppled him over. Crowley continued as though he hadn't almost given his best friend a concussion. "This is an even worse school than the one we left, and that's saying something."
"Why? Was it because none of the students will listen to you or because none of the staff want to have sex with you?" Castiel asked with a snicker.
Crowley vibrated with something close to indignant laughter. "Both!"
"Crowley, meet Balthazar, the drama teacher." Castiel introduced, trying not to giggle at his friend's ungodly behavior.
Attitude changing immediately, Crowley purred in what Castiel assumed was his sexy, seducing tenor, "Hey there." Reaching out to shake Balthazar's hand, he smiled somewhat creepily.
"Don't think it's going to happen."
Crowley dropped his hand and shook his head. "What does a gay man have to do to get laid around here?"
As the two began chatting about clubs and raves, Castiel padded over to the window that overlooked the campus. He loved it here. The grass was a vibrant green that stood out against the antiqued brown of the school buildings. The trees provided shade for the warmer months where he could sit and grade. Being in the middle of town, the school was the perfect place for kids to be because it was surrounded with cafes and delis and parks, all serving to students and tourists.
His gaze was moving toward the parking lot when he saw a young man that caught his eye. He wanted to look away and stop any thoughts before they could build into anything, but then something made him pause. Narrowing his eyes to try for better scrutiny, he could tell he didn't go to the school. Or, at least, not now. The guy wasn't carrying any books or a bag with him and his clothes were sub-par for many of the students that attended. No, he couldn't be a student. His conclusion had nothing to do with the fact that Castiel would love to bend the guy over any flat surface and...
"Cassy! I take it back. I love it here. We're going out tonight to celebrate!" Crowley crowed from across the room as Balthazar snickered.
He smiled at them. When he turned back the guy was gone.