A/N: In case my formatting gets messed with again, this story can also be found at my LJ. The url is in my profile :)


"Cas, why doesn't she like me?" Sam whimpered pathetically, slumping against the wall next to the toilet seat.

Castiel sighed heavily from where he stood next to Sam, ready to hold back the younger man's hair and assist him through his next round of vomiting. He couldn't work out how they had all gotten so drunk all of a sudden. It had started out with a few glasses of wine, in the spirit of celebrating the early finish of their midterms… By coincidence their schedules had aligned in such a way that they had finished their exams a few days earlier than most of the student population, but having been too exhausted from studying to go out and celebrate properly, Sam had invited Castiel over for a few quiet drinks instead. So they had sat around all night in easy companionship, joking and arguing over trivial things such as the superiority of Kirk or Spock - which usually ended with statements such as, "Bottom line, no one tops Shatner!" Resulting in a following argument over the use of sentimentality as valid argumentation ("Friggin' Spock wannabes") - while going through a few bottles of Sam's wine… But then they had run out, and Dean had offered up his beer… And then there had been a bottle of Whisky… And oh yes, there where shots. He remembered now, Sam leaning over the kitchen sink, sloppily doing shots of something. He didn't remember what of, or if he had partaken in any of those though.

But that's usually how it went. When you sit down and drink for a long time you don't really know how drunk you are until you stand up. And start searching for more things to drink. And start talking about your love life, or lack thereof, until you are vomiting over the toilet.

"Sam, I'm not the best person to ask about relationships." he replied solemnly. "I haven't been involved with anyone in years. And even then it was mostly based on sex." he explained. And he must be drunk too, if he was seriously encouraging this conversation.

"Yeah, but… at least there was sex!" Sam exclaimed, and Castiel couldn't help but laugh at that. Sam never usually joked about sex, but then again, he'd never seen Sam this drunk before either. And obviously sex would be important for Sam, at his age. Castiel remembered what it was like when he did his first degree, how he had gone a little wild with the freedom and spent most of those years partying, drinking, trying all sorts of drugs and getting into all kinds of sexual situations. Sam was no where near as licentious as Castiel had been in those days, but yes, he could remember how important sex had been to his younger self.

But as he had gotten older, he'd found his liaisons to be increasingly lacking in something, empty for all the implied intimacy and promised connection. Then his old friend Balthazar suggested maybe it wasn't so much that he wanted to have sex with a lot of people, but that he wanted to have a lot of sex with just one person, and something about that made sense. He realised that he kept jumping into bed with people because he wanted to share himself, not just his body, but he just didn't know how to go about it any other way.

So eventually he had begun to abstain. From everything. Had started listening to his head instead of his hormones and began taking himself and his life seriously. And some years after graduating from an aimless and directionless Arts degree he had begun his Masters in Philosophy, now the responsible, studious type that his few, select, younger friends turned to for advice while they vomited up copious amounts of alcohol.

"It's Dean. She wants Dean. They always want Dean." Sam groaned miserably, and Castiel heard a snicker from the direction of the living room.

Ah yes, Dean. Sam's older brother. The current campus… 'slut'. For lack of a better word.

Castiel had been surprised when he'd first met his friend's older brother. While he couldn't deny that Sam himself was a very attractive young man, Dean was intimidatingly pretty in that kind of way that should have made him completely unreachable to most people. But while Dean was inevitably charismatic in that way most attractive people learn they can be, he was also much more accessible than Castiel first thought him to be. When he wasn't trying to charm his way into some girl or some boy's pants, Dean was genuinely friendly, funny, fiercely loyal and protective of his friends and family. Dean had even waited for Sam to be old enough to start his Law degree before commencing his own Mechanical Engineering degree, so he could keep an eye out for his little brother away from home.

In fact, once Castiel had gotten to know the older Winchester better he'd begun to suspect that Dean might be in the same place Castiel had been during his first degree. That the reason he slept around so much was not so much because he was a… 'slut'… but because he had a lot of love to give, and just didn't know how to, or hadn't found the right person to give it to, aside from his brother. For all his bravado, Dean had a good heart, as Sam's was big, and so Castiel was forced to change his mind about the older Winchester. And once he actually gave Dean a chance, their bickering and needling had given way to a grudging respect, and since then they had become good friends on their own.

And as a friend Dean could be amazingly generous and supportive when it was really needed, so it always caught Castiel by surprise when Dean behaved like a selfish little brat. How, instead of standing here in the bathroom helping his own brother, he was still drinking in the living room, complaining about how Cas had left him all alone and should come back and keep him company.

"Just ignore him Sam." Castiel murmured soothingly, even as a small grin crept across his face at Dean's antics. He wasn't nearly as drunk as Sam, but he rarely let himself be any kind of drunk at all, so he was feeling pretty good right now. Generous enough to deal with a severely nauseated friend, and the childish whining of another.

"And I'm sure she likes you too Sam. Jo is too smart to not see how wonderful you are." he reassured, rubbing his hand in soothing circles over his Sam's back. Actually it was quite obvious to everyone around them just how wonderful Jo thought Sam was, but no matter what anyone said, Sam ultimately managed to convince himself that her affection for him was merely that of friendship. Castiel had almost given up trying to convince Sam to make a move, but at the moment, he was willing to say anything that might help his friend feel a little better.

"Thanks Cas." Sam slurred, before keeling over the toilet bowl again.

Sam collapsed on the floor when he was done, half draped over the seat as his eyes closed in exhaustion, and Castiel left him to the cool comfort of porcelain, returning to the living room to find his drink.

"Caaas!" Dean whined when he returned. "I'm lonely and bored! Make out with me!"

Castiel nearly choked on his beer mid-swallow, huffing a surprised laugh.

This wasn't Dean's usual flirting. Castiel knew what that was like, having experienced it first-hand, several times. Especially after Castiel had eventually talked about his past and revealed his bisexuality as well. Never mind that they were just friends. Dean flirted with anything on two legs if you let him get away with it, that's just how he was. And Castiel had long since learned it was completely harmless if ignored.

No, this was Dean's 'I want something and I'm gonna whine until I get it' voice. That same voice Dean used for every other inane request he would call on Castiel for, from 'Cas, help me with my paper!', to 'Cas, cook me something, I'm hungry!', or 'Cas, my neck hurts, give me a massage!' …That voice which made Castiel suspect that Dean got a lot of love and attention from his mother as a child. And while he knew Dean never seriously expected him to comply, it didn't seem to stop Dean from asking. Maybe because more often than not, Castiel said Yes. But he had no problems with saying No either. Or with ignoring the younger man until he eventually gave up, and shut up.

"C'mon Cas, make out with me!" Dean said again, turning puppy-dog eyes on him.

Impervious, Castiel rolled his eyes at the younger man, taking another swig of beer. He'd barely even swallowed it down though, when Sam began throwing up again, and he had to abandon his drink to rush back to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, by the time he got there, Sam had already finished and passed out. And somehow, even though Sam had been draped right over the seat, he'd managed to miss it entirely and get it all over the bathroom floor instead.

Castiel sighed. Taking the toilet paper from Sam's limp hands he began to clean up the mess. It was not an easy task, the sight and smell of Sam's vomit very nearly inducing his own a few times. But with the strange single-mindedness that alcohol usually gave him, he simply set himself to the task that had to be done.

He shortly found himself out of paper though, and had to return to the living room to ask Dean where they kept more.

"Cupboard in the hall." Dean replied. Castiel nodded, heading in that direction. But then Dean said, yet again, "Make out with me Cas." And this time, given the current situation, it was no longer amusing.

Huffing out an annoyed breath, Castiel stalked towards the couch, leaned over, and shut Dean up the most efficient way he could think of.

A small gasp escaped Dean's throat when their lips made contact, half-surprised, half-pleased, and Castiel wasted no time, pushing his tongue into Dean's eager mouth and meshing it against Dean's for as long as he had patience for, before pulling away and stalking off to find the toilet paper.

Dean was blissfully silent for the remainder of time it took to clean up the rest of the bathroom floor.

However, the task of lifting Sam's gargantuan frame off the toilet floor proved to be little too much for Castiel to handle. So he was relieved when Dean finally decided to follow him, and appeared in the bathroom, helping him get Sam to his feet. Between the two of them they managed to lift Sam up, drag him to his bedroom, and deposit him on his bed.

As Dean tucked his brother in, leaving a wastebasket by the bed in case of any future accidents, Castiel returned to the living room, reclaiming his beer and collapsing on the couch. A few moments later Dean joined him again and they sat quietly side by side, drinking their respective drinks and catching their breath.

"So," Dean said as he finished off his beer, "Wanna make out some more?"

Castiel chuckled. Dean was incorrigible. But there was no point telling Dean that. He already had, several times. Dean already knew. And was completely shameless about it.

But while Castiel knew the request could have easily passed off as just a joke and nothing more would be said, he also knew that Dean was serious.

Castiel's eyebrows furrowed, his head tilting as he considered the younger man. Dean was a good kisser. However briefly they had kissed before, it was enough for Castiel to have learned that at least. And Castiel liked kissing. It was one of the things he missed the most. And he knew Dean well enough to know that it was all just a bit of drunken fun, so with a shrug of his shoulders he said, "Alright."

Dean grinned at that, reaching over to cup his face with his hands as he leaned in to press their lips together again.

They didn't waste any time opening their mouths up to each other, cutting through any preamble and going straight for the good stuff, tongues reaching out to lave and caress and explore. And Castiel let himself enjoy it this time, allowing his face to be angled where Dean desired and letting the younger man set the pace of their lips. Dean tasted of beer, and whisky, and something fruity Castiel suspected to be the result of the mystery shots… and he liked it, licked deeper into Dean's mouth for more of it. But when the inevitable need for air arose, Castiel suddenly remembered how much he used to like biting as well, so he indulged, taking the flesh of Dean's lower lip in his teeth and tugging on it, soft and slow.

Dean grunted softly in appreciation, mouth returning to Castiel's and sucking languidly on each of his lips in turn. Then Dean's hands angled his face further to the side, stretching out the skin of his neck to mouth a slow, wet trail up the line of his throat. And when Dean began to suck and lick at his earlobe Castiel indulged again, biting into the flesh low on Dean's neck, harder when Dean moaned in response, breath brushing over the wet shell of his ear and sending a shiver down his spine.

"Jesus." Dean huffed quietly, "I can't believe we're doing this." he whispered, grinning in amused disbelief.

Castiel nodded in assent as he mouthed at the bite-mark he'd made, greedy for the feel of flesh against his lips after so long. He pulled at the collar of Dean's shirt until more skin was exposed, and sucked hungrily on the juncture between neck and shoulder, tasting sweat and the tangy remnants of Dean's cologne on his tongue. He couldn't help but nibble at it softly, slowly making his way up Dean's neck, but when he finally came to Dean's ear he took the lobe firmly in his teeth, and tugged again.

Dean let out a laugh at that, breathy and pleased, before finally returning the favor and taking Castiel's earlobe in his own teeth. Castiel keened deep in his throat as Dean bit down, pulling and then sucking at it with soothing lips, and Castiel arched out his neck even further, offering up a far better angle for more of the same.

"Cas," Dean murmured into his skin, "Come to my room?"

Castiel's eyes flew open in surprise. It wasn't unusual for them to spend time in Dean's room, but given the context of their current situation, the question now held an entirely different meaning. And his first thought was to say No. He didn't do this kind of thing anymore. Didn't jump into bed with people when he knew it was meaningless and nothing would come of it.

But then again, it wasn't like Dean was some random stranger either. He knew Dean. And he also knew that even if they did transgress, it wouldn't be weird afterwards. If it even got that far. And it didn't have to. They could just keep making out until they passed out. And both things would definitely be more comfortable on Dean's bed than on the brothers' lumpy, old, spring-jabbing couch.

But of course, fifteen minutes and one hasty relocation later, Castiel realised he'd been kidding himself. Making out is rarely ever just making out. It's a gateway, foreplay, the thing that leads to all kinds of other things. Like roaming hands, searching for skin, finding it, and wanting more. Clothes being removed, friction, heat, hardness… Bodies and limbs pressing and tangling together until lips leave lips and roam far from their point of origin, exploring and meandering across a whole new world of exposed flesh.

And before he knew it, he was taking Dean's cock into his mouth, sucking down on it with a groan like it was what he'd wanted all along. And maybe he did. Because he missed this. Used to like this as much as kissing. Used to love it, actually. Used to love the feel of another man's hot, hard, flesh against his lips… the heavy weight of it in his mouth… the slick, soft head nudging against the back of his throat… that familiar taste and musky scent like nothing else, yet different for every person… yes, he was enjoying every moment of this. And from the way Dean's skin twitched and throbbed against his tongue, the litany of blasphemous curses moaned while he sucked it down, Castiel could tell Dean was enjoying it too.

Then somewhere amidst all Dean's moaning and cursing, Castiel heard a drawer being opened, felt Dean's body shifting as the younger man leaned over. He began to pull off, but Dean cupped a hand around the back of his head, encouraging him to continue. So he did, not even stopping when Dean's palms began to slide down the length of his spine, gripping his hips and guiding him up on his knees. But then, when Dean reached further down, fingers brushing against his entrance, slick with lube, Castiel did stop, his body seizing in pleasure as he gasped loudly around Dean's cock. He pressed back into the touch, a low whine in his throat begging for more, and it was all the invitation Dean needed.

One finger in and Castiel could barely remember what he was doing, the rhythm of his lips faltering with every press inside him. Two fingers and Castiel's mouth was useless, slack with groans and gasps with the head of Dean's abandoned length lolling on his tongue. Three fingers and Castiel was climbing into Dean's lap, kissing him open-mouthed and filthy as he rubbed himself against Dean's body, thrusting down wantonly on those clever digits. It had been years since anyone had touched him like this, taken him apart this way, and he was mindless with it, floodgates of pent-up need breaking open until he was delirious with sensation and desperate for more.

He leaned over, reaching into the opened drawer and scrabbling around blindly for what he wanted. Finally coming across that familiar feel of plastic he wasted no time, tearing the package open with his teeth and rolling the condom down Dean's length. Dean's eyes where fixed on his face the whole time, looking up at him with what seemed to be a mixture of surprise, awe, and disbelief. And Castiel could've laughed at that, could've even empathised, but he needed, wanted, now.

Castiel lifted his hips, angling and positioning himself over Dean's lap, and Dean got the message, pulling his fingers out, surprisingly and frustratingly careful, before clasping Castiel's hips and guiding him down. Castiel whined with relief when the head of Dean's cock breached his entrance, and ignoring Dean's cautiously slow pace, Castiel thrust himself down, taking all of Dean's length in one, hard push.

"Jesus, fuck Cas!" Dean swore into his chest, gripping his hips tight in place, but he continued to ignore the younger man. He knew what he could handle, and he knew what he wanted, so he proceeded to take it, setting a hard, quick, pace up and down Dean's cock.

Dean's curses kept coming, pressed into his chest, his neck, across his ear and against his lips, and Castiel drank them down, clutching at Dean's shoulders and gasping into the air as he impaled himself on pure, hard, pleasure. And yet Dean still touched him with gentle hands and light fingers, teasing brushes over his nipples and his cock, drifting up his spine and making a careful cradle with his arms.

"Dean!" Castiel growled, biting hard into Dean's shoulder and clenching himself tight around Dean's cock. Dean let out a startled yelp at that, grabbing him close, and in the next moment Castiel found himself flat on his back, splayed out on the bed with Dean's weight pinning him down.

He was at Dean's mercy now, not even allowed the space to snap his hips up to meet the younger man's thrusts. And as Dean drove into him, hard and deep, and all he could do was spread his legs wider, open himself up to take it. He wanted to cling to Dean's shoulders, wrap his legs around Dean's hips and urge him on, but they were already pressed so close, his straining cock trapped between the tight friction of their stomachs, and the heat was overwhelming, the intimacy, too much. He reached up to grip at the edges of the pillow instead, scrambling for any form of distance he could find, any kind of safety against complete and utter madness. But Dean would not even let him have this, hands reaching up to pry his fingers loose, lacing them with his own and pressing his hands back into the mattress, gripping them tight.

Castiel supposed this was what made Dean such a sought after lover. Such tender gestures in the midst of such heated passion, such care and attentiveness even as he gave as good as he got, gentleness and force all at once. He supposed this was why they all kept coming back for more, and more, and "More! Please Dean, More!"

"Yeah, yeah Cas, fuck!" Dean groaned, driving into him impossibly deeper, faster, and there was still that look of surprise-awe-disbelief on Dean's face, but Castiel no longer cared, losing himself in a way he hadn't been able to in years, crying out with every thrust until he was coming, clenching, and curling around Dean's shuddering body, Dean's cock throbbing inside with his own release.

~

When Castiel woke a few hours later, they were still wrapped around each other, Dean draped across his chest, snoring lightly into his neck, their legs tangled together warm in the sheets.

It wasn't the first time they had fallen asleep together in Dean's bed. It happened sometimes, after a late night of just the two of them drinking, or in the middle of one of those massages Dean often asked him for, and they would usually wake up in some kind of mess of limbs and twisted sheets... But this was completely different. They were both naked for one thing, stomachs covered in a dried layer of his come, and he could feel the line of Dean's cock lying across the inside of his thigh. And if Dean's cock was already a perfect and beautiful thing in it's full, flushed, hardness, to feel it now, all soft and vulnerable flesh against his skin… Castiel was overwhelmed with the surge of protectiveness he felt in his chest, the desire to hold Dean all that much closer.

And it was all just… too much. Too dangerous. He knew where this road led, and it was better to get off it now, as soon as possible. Before he started wanting this to be something it never was. He knew just how easily he could get attached, and that was part of why he'd stopped doing this in the first place. But he wasn't some junkless automaton that could survive on knowledge and study alone, he had needs and desires just like everyone else damnit, and there was just no undoing it now.

And he didn't want to deal with Dean's usual post-coital smugness first thing in the morning either, not with the hangover that was already threatening to pound through his skull. So he began to disentangle himself from Dean's limbs, unworried that Dean would wake from his jostling as he knew well enough how heavy a sleeper the younger man was. And in a few more minutes, Castiel was fully dressed again, quietly letting himself out of the brothers' apartment.

~

There were things he was expecting. He expected they would give each other some space afterwards. He expected that when they first saw each other again, it would be awkward for a while. But he also expected they would ignore it, and eventually the awkwardness would pass. And then, he expected that they would go back to being comfortable with each other again. Possibly, after some time, it would be something they could even joke about. Just another thing in their shared history that made them close. He knew Dean, and he knew how their friendship functioned, so he wasn't really worried.

What he didn't expect, was for Dean to call him the very morning after. The hint of hurt in Dean's voice when he said, "You didn't have to leave."

"I know Dean, but I needed to sleep in my own bed, in my own apartment, where the Aspirin is." he replied, the first half-truth his addled brain could come up with.

"Your loss Cas, me and Sam are gonna get some pie and watch some Star Trek. Best hangover cure ever." Dean proclaimed. And just like that, it was business as usual.

"And what evidence is there to support this bold claim?" he deadpanned, automatically slipping back into their usual mode of repartee.

"Aw c'mon Cas, you've got a total hard-on for Kirk, just admit it." Dean replied. Castiel sighed into his pillow, completely lacking the will or the overall brain-power to rehash this argument, yet again. Then through the silence on the other end of the line, Castiel heard a distant groan, followed by the sound of retching.

"Was that Sam?" Castiel asked, frowning in concern.

"Yep. Kid's gonna be throwing up all day." Dean snickered.

"So really, you just want me there to look after Sam again." he replied, rolling his eyes.

"And the pleasure of your company, of course." Dean replied, completely unconvincingly. Castiel snorted.

"Maybe later. After I've slept off the rest of my own hangover."

"Caaas!" Dean whined. Using that voice again.

"Goodbye, Dean." he said pointedly.

"'Kay." Dean replied, and he could practically hear the pout coming through the phone.

"Go away now, Dean." he grumbled, already rolling back over to go to sleep. Dean sighed, relenting.

"Okay Cas, talk later."

Only Dean didn't go away.

That very afternoon Dean showed up at his place with pie and one of the Hulk movies that was mindless enough to get through on a hangover. And as they sat together on his couch everything seemed normal… Except for the fact that he was now hyper-aware of Dean's presence beside him, conscious of every minute movement and sound Dean made, his whole body thrumming with an itch that began from where his fingers lay mere inches away from Dean's on the cushions.

But again, this was familiar ground. He always felt like this most strongly right after sleeping with someone. Once he knew he could go there if he wanted to, it was very difficult not to go there again. But if he did, it would be even harder to stop himself the next time, and the time after that, and before he knew it, he would be hopelessly attached to that person, with nothing more than sex as the basis of their entire relationship. And that never worked. It never lasted. And that wasn't what he wanted anymore.

No, if he just ignored it now, it would pass, and over time the urge would fade completely.

What he needed, was space. Just an inch to breathe without Dean hovering around him so he could regain his bearings and think straight.

But over the next few weeks, Dean was always… there. As if they didn't spend enough time in each other's company to begin with, suddenly Dean was everywhere he went. And when he wasn't running into Dean somewhere on campus, Dean was at his apartment, loitering around like a lazy roommate that just happened to sleep somewhere else at night.

And he really tried to not read into it. It was all too easy to come to certain conclusions about Dean's increase in proximity. But when it came down to it, Dean never mentioned that night, nor gave any indication that he desired a repeat or made any advances towards that end. So he concluded that it was simply what he thought might happen. That for someone like Dean, the experience was simply something that made them closer as friends.

Castiel wished it were so simple for him. Having Dean around all the time, made him want Dean all the time. Having Dean around all the time, meant the desire to have him, never had the chance to fade. Dean's constant presence, a constant reminder of what they had done, so easily, and could possibly do again, just as easily.

Except, while Castiel had experienced this kind of lingering desire before, there was a new element to it that created an entirely unprecidented problem. The same element that made Castiel think he could come away from that night unscathed in the first place. Dean was his friend. Dean was someone who knew him and accepted him, someone who's warmth and support he relied on and treasured. And yes Dean could be aggravating, and at times they wanted to kill each other, but Castiel already knew this, and accepted this, and still loved Dean dearly. So while that trust, that comfortable chemistry they already had with each other as friends had translated incredibly well in bed, the real problem was, that this wasn't just about sex anymore. Deep down, Castiel knew that if he let himself, he could easily grow from loving Dean, to falling in love with Dean.

And maybe he had, already, fallen. Somewhere over the space of the past few weeks he had let everything become all about Dean. Had begun to seek out Dean's company above all others, had become always aware and hyper-conscious of Dean's presence, the constant undercurrent of all his thoughts Dean, Dean, Dean.

Maybe it had always been this way. He just didn't know anymore.

He really wished Dean would just go away.

~

He knew things were really getting out of hand when one day Sam sat down next to him at the Campus Quad and straight away asked, "So how's Dean?"

"He's your brother, shouldn't I be asking you that?" Castiel frowned.

"He's barely around anymore. And whenever I ask, he says he's with you." Sam replied. Castiel sighed.

"Yes, he has been around quite frequently lately." Castiel replied, looking down at his feet. He didn't want Sam to see the turmoil their subject of conversation was stirring.

"Huh." Sam replied thoughtfully. "Well that's a relief."

Castiel frowned again, looking back up at the younger Winchester in confusion.

"I don't understand."

"I thought he might be sleeping with someone he didn't want me to know about." Sam explained. But even as Sam's tension visibly faded, Castiel's increased exponentially, a vicious stab of jealousy piercing through his chest at the flippant comment.

"Like who?" he asked, his voice sounding tight and strained through the blood pulsing in his ears.

"Like Jo." Sam admitted, looking sheepish. "I mean, I'd like to think Dean wouldn't do something like that to me," Sam explained, "but you know how Dean is. And you never know what can happen, heat of the moment and all."

"Yes." Castiel replied, squirming uncomfortably. He knew very well what could happen with Dean, heat of the moment and all. But if he let his head do the reasoning, he could conclude that Sam's suspicions were probably groundless. Dean had spent virtually every free moment in his company since they had slept together, so there was very little chance Dean had been doing what Sam suspected. And even if Dean had managed to find the time for it, he liked to think he knew the younger man well enough to know that Dean would've felt a little guilty about it, at least, and he would've noticed that if anything.

Castiel deflated. It wasn't something Sam had any basis for, it was just Sam's own paranoia, his mind fixated on every worst case scenario to explain why the object of his affections did not return his feelings. And Castiel could empathise with that, especially now, when he had just been consumed with his own jealousy over the thought of Dean with someone else.

But Castiel had no right to feel that way. He had no claim on Dean. And Dean certainly hadn't made any claim on him either. It was foolish for him to be feeling any jealousy at all. Especially after just one, random, drunken night.

He was spiralling out of control, and he really needed to get himself back in order.

Sam on the other hand, all he had to do was make that first move. Castiel understood how that could be difficult, when it was someone you really wanted. But it was also obvious to him that Jo wanted Sam too. He'd seen the way the two of them were when they were together. The way they looked at each other, they way they always tried to sit close to each other other or find some way to touch each other, the way they heard everything the other said in the middle of any conversation, and how they responded to each other with a little more focus than with anyone else, voices all that bit softer. The evidence was clearly there. And he just couldn't understand why they just didn't see it, why they just didn't do something about it already.

So when the woman herself choose that very moment to appear, walking across the quad towards them, Castiel found himself inspired, his mind fresh with his recent experience with jealousy and frustrated with the ridiculousness of it all.

"Sam, whatever I'm about to do next, just go with it alright?"

"…Huh?"

"Trust me."

And before Sam even had a chance to reply, Castiel took Sam's face in his hands, and kissed him.

And when Sam's lips parted in a gasp of shock, Castiel immediately took advantage, pushing his tongue into Sam's mouth and deepening the kiss.

By the time Sam came to his senses, Castiel already had his way with him, satisfied that his point was made.

"Cas…? Wha…?" Sam sputtered.

"Just tell her it was an exercise in the power of jealousy."

"What? Her? Who?"

Castiel looked pointedly over Sam's shoulder at where Jo stood frozen, red-faced and gaping. When Sam turned and finally saw her, she whirled around in the opposite direction and stomped off.

"Oh crap, Jo!" Sam exclaimed, picking up his things and chasing after her.

Castiel grinned as he watched his friend run to catch up with her. There was no way the two of them wouldn't confront their feelings for each other now, no way Sam couldn't see how Jo felt about him, not after that reaction.

Castiel's smile became wistful as he turned away. It was a shame he hadn't thought to do that sooner, it might've saved them all from a lot of useless pining. If there was anything he'd learned from the past few weeks, it was that kissing seemed to be a surefire way of instigating... things.

With a sigh he picked up his books, getting up off the bench and turning to leave the two some space to work things out.

He'd barely taken a step before he realised Dean was standing in his path, mere meters away, his jaw set in a tense line of anger and his eyes filled with the hurt of betrayal.

Castiel's stomach dropped.

Dean had seen the whole thing.

And now Dean was stalking away from him, in a manner much like Jo had just moments before… and at the same time Castiel's brain questioned the reaction his heart jumped in to explain why.

"Dean!" he called out as he ran after the younger man, grabbing Dean's shoulder and spinning him around.

"You're in love with Sam aren't you?" Dean hissed at him. "Fuck I should've seen it!"

"No Dean, you've got it all wrong-" Castiel rushed to explain.

"You kissed him!" Dean interrupted angrily.

"It wasn't like that Dean! It was just a stunt!" Castiel pleaded, desperately hoping the younger man would believe him.

"… A stunt." Dean echoed, frowning at him doubtfully.

"Yes! Just something to push him and Jo in the right direction." he explained, gesturing frantically at Sam and Jo.

Dean gave him another doubtful glare before he turned to look at the two in question. As they watched, Sam stepped closer to the fuming girl, reaching up to caress her face and murmur words that softened her angry frown into the beginnings of a smile.

Dean sighed, the tense line of his shoulders leaching out their anger… but then hunching into something more weary, defeated.

"It doesn't matter, you deserve someone good like Sam. You don't need someone like me hanging around you all the time." Dean muttered.

"What?!" Castiel sputtered in disbelief, "Dean, why would you say that about yourself? You are one of the best men I know, and I would not choose to spend so much time with you if I thought anything less."

"Damnit Cas, you can't just say stuff like that to me!" Dean snapped, his shoulders tensing up again in frustration. "I already want you all the time now, and when you say things like that it- It just makes me want you even more." he finished quietly, the admission taking the wind out of his sails.

"You still want me…" Castiel murmured in amazement, more to confirm it to himself than anything, still stunned by the realisation.

"Yeah Cas," Dean said, his eyes softening as he stepped closer, "'Course I do." Another step closer, "Hell, I can't even look at anyone else anymore."

Castiel looked up at Dean in wonder, the expression in the younger man's eyes doing far more to convince him than the numbed workings of his still shocked brain. Tentatively he reached up, his hand shaking a little as he cupped Dean's cheek, the first truly intimate way he had ever touched the younger man.

"I'm sorry Dean, I was working under the assumption that night was just a one time thing." he apologized, his thumb caressing Dean's skin in a soothing gesture. Dean sighed, leaning into the touch.

"Yeah I thought it was too," the younger man admitted, "But I can't stop thinking about it." Dean stepped even closer, reaching up to cover his hand. "Cas, that was the best night of my life, of course I want more."

Castiel stiffened, pulling his hand away as warning bells finally caught up in his head. He dropped his eyes as he stepped back, putting a safe distance between them again.

"Dean… No." he choked out quietly.

A small, strangled noise escaped Dean's throat, both hurt and angry at the same time, and Castiel flinched at the sound.

"What do you mean 'No'?" Dean hissed, the angry hurt still underlying the disbelief in his voice, "Are you seriously saying it wasn't good for you either?!"

"Of course it was!" Castiel shot back. "It's just- I can't just keep sleeping with someone and not get attached Dean, I'm going to want more than just sex."

"What the hell do you think we've been talking about?!" Dean exclaimed.

Castiel blinked at him in surprise.

"Oh. I see. I thought-"

"You think too much, Cas." Dean snorted. Castiel released a breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding, giving Dean a sheepish smile.

"I know. I'm sorry." he replied. Dean returned the smile with fond exasperation in his eyes.

"Let me put this in a way you'll understand." Dean replied, closing the distance between them again, "We make sense Cas, in every way."

Castiel quirked his lips in amusement. Although he appreciated the sentiment, he couldn't help himself. He really couldn't.

"Technically Dean, that doesn't make sense as an argument." he replied.

"It makes total sense Cas. And you know it." Dean grinned. And even though he could already feel himself smiling stupidly in return, he couldn't help but open his mouth to counterject. He was a Philosophy student after all. His whole degree was based on correct argumentation.

"Well, logically-"

"Shut up and kiss me Cas."

"Alright." he replied breathlessly, pulling Dean down by the collar to meet the request with a ferocity and depth that surprised even him. And with each passing moment, every little nagging voice in his head faded into nothingness, until his mind had completely shut down, and his heart began to swell open in his chest with a hope he hadn't dared to feel in years.

When they finally pulled apart he found himself pressed flush against Dean's body, held tight in Dean's arms, chasing after his breath like he'd just run a marathon with Dean's own breath quick and harsh against his lips.

"Son of a bitch Cas, were you holding out on me that night?" Dean asked, the suspicion in his eyes overwhelmed by the awe slowly filling up his gaze. Castiel shrugged his shoulders helplessly in admission.

"If it's any consolation, you made it very difficult for me not to." he replied.

"Fuck." Dean groaned, fists clenching tight in the material of his coat, "Your place. Now." Dean growled. And it was nothing like that whiny voice Dean used when he wanted something from him. It was an altogether different kind of demanding, a different kind of need, low and rough and ragged on Dean's lips.

"Dean, it's the middle of the day…" Castiel protested weakly. As if they weren't already pressed up against each other in the middle of the campus quad, for everyone and anyone to see. "What about class?"

"Don't care." Dean growled again. "I wanna make love to you, right now."

And at that, Castiel was finally rendered speechless, too overwhelmed by his own surprise-awe-disbelief to find words. All he could do was nod frantically in assent as he grabbed Dean by the hand and dragged him away. There was no doubt now, no hesitation left in his mind. His well-built defences were shattering, and he was ready to pour himself through the cracks, ready to give himself completely.

It was time to start following his heart. And his heart belonged to Dean.

~ fin

The heart has reasons that reason cannot know. - Blaise Pascal