A/N: I admit to not being fond of this story, but maybe someone can enjoy it. I worked hard on it, a good seven hours total (that's how long I usually spend on my fics) but when I went back and read it, I just wasn't happy. Oh well. Review and favorite and what not, if you feel up to it.
Expect Lunae Lux and Wayward Sons and Angels to be updated soon :]
"I'll never ask you for anything else, I swear" Sam said for the millionth time that day. Usually, after saying that, he would deny having said it when he needed something else, knowing perfectly well that Dean would help him out. He was always there for Sammy, no matter what.
Even in situations when he demanded ridiculous things, like this.
"And what am I going to do while you are at this concert?" Dean replied in what he thought a sensible tone. "Stand outside? Stroll the streets and see how long it takes me to get mugged?"
Sam looked down at his feet, standing outside Dean's apartment door with a tent and a backpack sitting behind him. The stubborn kid had already made his mind; he would go with Dean as his driver or he would hitchhike there. Dean wavered on his standpoint before Sam shot him-God forbid-the puppy dog eyes.
It had started with insistent phone calls that morning, and then ended up here. He couldn't say no to the stupid kid.
"You're going no matter what I say, aren't you?" Dean rubbed his temples with his fingers, exasperated.
Sam's eyes lit up; he knew he had won now.
"I'm not sleeping in the tent," Dean sighed after a moment.
"You won't have to! Uncle Bobby got me a hotel room-"
"Did you tell him you're turning down his generous offer to sleep in a tent near the stage?" Dean interrupted.
At that, Sam had the decency to look away guiltily.
"Well…no. But I figured you could use it!"
'Hey free stay at a hotel room,' Dean thought, trying his best to make the situation sound better.
"Let me get my crap together, okay? Then we can go. This concert better be for a charity or something because I'm damn sure not paying to get in."
He threw the last words over his shoulder as he retreated back into his apartment, not even caring if the neighbors heard him. They surely had gotten used to his cussing by now.
Only three minutes later, Dean pulled out of his driveway and headed for the highway, preparing for the four hour drive to Madison Square Garden. Dean actually enjoyed driving, but he couldn't say he was looking forward to Sam's constant gushing over the band he had set his mind on seeing, named Celestia. But the thing that confused Dean the most was the fact that Sam completely disregarded their hot, red-haired lead singer (so Dean had looked at the CDs a few times - what of it?) and instead obsessed over the violinist, a reclusive man-according to Music! Magazine, not that Dean read that-with dark hair and piercing blue eyes like ice.
Not that Dean cared, of course.
It only took five minutes before Sam got tired of conversation and put in a CD of theirs, playing one of their instrumental tracks: a soft and gentle lullaby-like tune that relaxed Dean's grip on the steering wheel.
"You like it, don't you?" Sam asked, eyes bright. "Admit it, Castiel is amazing."
"He plays a pansy instrument," Dean replied bluntly, then back-stepped. "But whatever. I guess he's okay."
"He's amazing," Sam insisted further. "I'm going to meet him and get him to sign everything I've got. Do you think he would want my number?"
Dean blinked, taking his eyes off the road for a moment to gawk at his brother.
"He's a guy. And let's not mention he's six years older than you."
"He's an amazing guy, and 18 and 24 aren't that far apart. Wait, exactly how do you know how old he is, anyway?"
Dean cleared his throat and kept his eyes focused solely on the road without answering. He secretly enjoyed tracks three and seven, which featured lengthy violin solos. In the back of his mind, he felt like he was betraying some part of himself. He enjoyed the classic rock, the good stuff, with killer guitar riffs and heavy drums. The stuff his dad listened to. Then again, the song Kashmir had had a violin, and Led Zeppelin did no wrong, so maybe it could be acceptable.
"I love this one!" Sam cried each time a new track began, right until the end of the CD. Then he put in another disc, one with a lot less violin.
"Did Castiel tick them off during this time period or something?" Dean asked, gesturing towards the CD player.
"Oh no," Sam said hastily. "This was before Castiel joined them. Their old violinist sucked."
Dean bit his lip, trying to find a discreet way to ask Sam to put in a different CD, preferably a more recent one. Even his clever mind couldn't think of anything, so he sighed and listened to the old Celestia, which was decent, but lacking, in his opinion.
By the time they arrived at their destination, Dean could identify which songs featured Castiel the most, which tended to be his favorites. They parked and made their way towards the commotion, Dean mentally preparing for a fight to find a place to stand.
The ravenous fans pushed and shoved to be the closest to the stage, their voices loud and insistent, talking chattering and screaming. Sam flirted with a girl next to him with blue hair while they waited for Celestia to perform. They had come just in time to see them as the closing act, but that didn't much matte, because more bands were playing tomorrow.
Sam mainly came for them anyway, and he was thrilled to discover they were tomorrow's finale, too.
"Who's your favorite?" Sam sounded like an eager puppy.
Dean missed her reply as the voice of the crowd grew high in excitement, and Celestia stepped on the stage to wild cheers.
"There he is!" Sam forgot about the girl, clutching at Dean's arm as if he were about to fall over in exhilaration.
Dean certainly saw him. He didn't need Sam pointing him out, and, to his own astonishment, his eyes bypassed the red head, Rikki, without a pause. She might as well have been the microphone stand. No one could ever deny who was the best looking, man or woman.
As Castiel picked up his violin, Dean heard several girls gasp with awe at him. At his easy, quiet grace. At his rich, dark hair that looked as if he had just drawn a hand through it. At his blue eyes that regarded the crowd with a quiet welcome. He wore blue jeans and sneakers, as if concerts were no longer a big deal to him. Only the top half of him was more formal: a white button-up shirt and a black tie.
"If only he didn't have a boyfriend," a girl next to Dean groaned, eyeing him longingly. Most of the crowd was doing the same.
"The good ones are always gay," her friend huffed.
"He's gay?" Dean whispered to Sam ferociously. He certainly wasn't aware of this. Music! Magazine didn't mention such a thing. "Is that why you're lusting after him like a lovesick school girl?"
"Hey, you're drooling over him, too," Sam pointed out, effectively shutting Dean up for the entire concert. Not that Dean would dare say anything, for the band played an unforgettable show. They met the crowd's eyes, smiled, danced, and goofed off. Even Castiel, who mainly looked on with a soft smile, pulled off his tie and put it around his head while the others took off their shirts entirely, save for Rikki.
According to the reactions of the hardcore fans in the crowd, this had been an outrageous gesture for Castiel. Dean hadn't pegged him as a quiet, proper man, but his stage presence offered no other traits that he could identify. Dean wondered why he was touring with a music group if he behaved so differently from them.
They behaved as children, only being serious on the song that required it, but enjoying themselves so immensely that it was captivating.
Not that Dean enjoyed it or anything, but he could easily say his favorite part of the concert was the playing of that one track. The one that started with gentle piano and transitioned into a lengthy violin solo. Castiel took center stage, as the lead singer had no vocal part. He swayed with the music, moving with the strums of his bow and smiling that same, gentle smile. He enjoyed making the music, no one could dare deny that. As the solo picked up more in intensity, he closed his eyes as if her were overcome with emotion during the melody. Several people in the crowd did the same, standing on tiptoes and leaning forward, straining their ears to catch every single note.
Each was golden and filled with something that simply became the man Dean had observed thus far; graceful, gentle, and teeming with unspoken emotions that were suppressed by something Dean couldn't quite place. Hearing the music, he experienced a sharp ache to figure him out.
No one dared speak a word. Even the breathing seemed thunderous in its intrusion into the soft world that Castiel had pulled them into with his bow.
When it was over, the crowd, including Dean, leaned in further, straining themselves to catch the final reverberations before it was over. After the silence took over, Castiel ducked his head in a pleased way. For a few heartbeats, no one dared clap, waiting to be sure there was nothing left for them to catch, before a tumultuous applause broke out.
People threw roses, cheering. A few women up front were even crying, stretching their hands longingly towards the stage as to capture some part of the moment.
"Wow," Sam whispered, eyes illuminated with awe. "That was…powerful."
Dean meant to agree, but he couldn't quite find his voice.
The band played two more songs, neither quite matching the grace of Castiel's song. Nevertheless, they were beautiful all the same. Mostly because they featured him. The few concert-goers who knew little of him before now kept their eyes locked anxiously on him, waiting for him to play again. He was intoxicating even at a distance, and Dean felt an itch to get closer, to find out more about him.
Oh God. He could feel a crush coming on. Sam would never let him live this down.
"Are you sure you don't want to stay at the hotel? You REALLY want to stay here in a tent with a bunch of smelly hobos?" Dean asked imploringly. "I mean, the hotel is top notch. I don't want to tell him we let the room go to waste or that we went to see a sissy band."
Sam rolled his eyes, adjusting his backpack on his shoulders.
"They aren't a sissy band. I know you liked them, especially Castiel. You stay in denial, I'll stay in my tent, okay?"
He waltzed off before Dean could protest, so he tried to argue with himself instead on the way to the hotel. He couldn't make his words sound convincing to the small contours of his mind which, against all his misgivings, screamed one thing: Castiel was fucking hot, and Dean knew he was doomed.
The hotel had a grand, proper five-star appeal. It would be perfect as a horror movie setting where everything was too perfect and the hotel managers acted as robots, but were actually cannibals who attacked every room, going up one floor after each meal.
Dean could see the movie poster now: When you check IN, they check you OUT.
That's what preoccupied his mind as he pulled his duffel bag behind him and pressed the button for the eighth floor. Uncle Bobby sure had a lot of money. Mostly thanks to his gambling and wild trips Vegas, but whatever. It benefited him right then, so why complain?
As he stepped in, he heard a gravelly voice call from the hallway, "Could you hold the elevator, please?"
He obliged instinctively, then gasped as Castiel swung himself in, pulling a rolling suitcase behind him. Smiling politely at Dean, he moved to press the button for the eighth floor.
'That's my floor!'
Dean tried to remember how to form a proper sentence, to ask him anything, anything at all.
"I just came from your concert," he blurted out, making Castiel jump.
"I'm sorry!" Dean apologized quickly. "It was just really good. I don't usually listen to bands like yours but - oh wait, that came out really wrong."
He pressed his lips together, regretting his choice of words and finally deciding it would be better if he just didn't talk for moment. Castiel smiled kindly at him, a spark of interest lighting his eyes.
"It's okay. I understand. I'm glad you enjoyed it. What was your favorite song?"
"I don't know the name," Dean admitted. "It was the one where you had the big solo."
"Oh," Castiel said, looking rather pleased. "Volante"
"Pardon?" Dean asked politely. He didn't speak whatever language that was, but he didn't feel like asking and sounding stupid.
"It means flying. Or soaring. It's an Italian musical term that I found appropriate."
Dean mulled this over and discovered that the name was entirely fitting; the music had been soaring and graceful, angelic in its essence. It matched the few things he knew about Castiel thus far. Stricken, he realized the elevator ride was over and he had suffered on unspoken words almost the entire time.
His mind drew a blank. Had he said anything remotely interesting?
"Are you going to sleep right now?" Dean blurted out, just as the doors slid open.
"Erm. Probably not," he replied, stepping out. He avoided Dean's eyes, vaguely shy. "I, um…suffer from insomnia."
He drew his chin down, surprise flitting across the shadows in his eyes as if he couldn't believe he had just admitted such a thing to Dean, a stranger.
"Why don't we have some fun, then?" Dean suggested, feeling the heat flush to his face at the poor word choice once again. Since when did he BLUSH anyway? What was going on?
"Fun? How would one do that here?"
Dean regarded him, trying to work out how serious he was. Had Castiel never just acted stupid for the fun of it? Even on the stage he controlled himself; it was only his solos that overcame him, that brought down the walls.
"Well, if you really can afford to hang out with a commoner," Dean replied cheerfully, "then there are lots of things to do in a hotel."
"Just kind of throw yourself forward. You won't fall," Dean promised, performing yet another cartwheel to serve as an example for Castiel.
"I just can't get it right," Castiel sighed after what had to be his hundredth failed attempt at one. "How did you learn to do them?"
Dean flopped down on the floor, beaming. "An old girlfriend taught me. She was a cheerleader."
Castiel's lips twitched, but he gave away nothing else.
"You just have to keep practicing. Kind of like playing a new song," Dean continued. "It's not easy at first, but it gets there. You can't give up. That's how my old girlfriend put it anyway, but I wouldn't really listen to anything else she said. She wasn't exactly intelligent."
Castiel laughed lightly, offering a hand to Dean.
"I'm afraid I've never had a girlfriend," he admitted, hauling Dean up so that they stood close.
"Never?" Dean exclaimed incredulously, trying to ignore the effects that their closeness had on him.
Castiel shrugged, looking away.
"I tried. It just didn't work. I'm gay, if you have to stick a label to it," Castiel met Dean's eyes with a level stare, as if he were searching for something. The gaze seemed to weigh a lot, seemed to thicken the air.
"You know what? Let's wreak more havoc on this place. I think the people are sick of us being cheerleaders," Dean suggested, looking away.
They ran down the halls, Dean yelping and pounding on the doors, Castiel jogging reluctantly behind at first, until he got in the mood and was racing ahead of Dean, screaming even louder.
His eyes betrayed his enjoyment, how far he had relinquished his self-control. Dean loved it.
They ventured downstairs, where Dean pretended that Castiel was his child, though they were clearly in the same age range. Castiel had never acted out before, but his rich, deep voice playing the part of a child was too comical not to break out into laughter and run away from a confused crowd.
"What now?" Castiel asked, sounding excited.
"Let's go act like a married couple," Dean suggested.
So they paraded around the lobby, sweet talking each other with Dean calling Castiel Cassandra in a pompous voice.
"Well, Cassandra, see how lovely," he boomed in a deep voice, alarming a group lounging on the couch. "This place is posh, eh? Just to your immaculate taste."
"Yes, dear," Castiel said in a high pitched voice. "I simply adore it. Now let's go upstairs and polish our diamonds before a speck of dust befalls them."
They retreated to Castiel's suite, where they jumped on the bed and banged on the walls, screaming madly before they acted like the married couple again.
"Yes! OH YEAH!" Dean cried, laughing with a mouth over his hand so no one suspected he was faking it. "Give it to me, baby!"
He nodded at Castiel, who froze up, confused.
"Just follow my lead," Dean whispered fiercely, starting to scream and groan again.
"Yes!" Castiel cried, breaking out into laughter as well. "Right there!"
They flopped down, erupting in laughter. Castiel's tie was askew, but he didn't move to fix it. He glowed with a happiness that could almost match what Dean saw onstage, and that pleased him. This man really fascinated him, for odd reasons, and he didn't want to say goodbye yet.
As if Castiel read his mind, he suggested timidly, "Why don't I have some dinner sent up and we eat on the balcony? Unless you have somewhere to be."
At that, he looked away, almost remorsefully.
"Not at all," Dean replied quickly, confused by Castiel's happy, but disappointed, expression that followed his reply.
This man became more and more a mystery with each passing hour, but it only made Dean that much more determined to figure him out, beyond the plain words that Music! Magazine stuck to him. Perhaps their dinner date-Dean felt an odd kick in his stomach at the word-would help him decipher him. Maybe he would answer some questions for a new fan.
By candlelight, Castiel's face glowed with a sleepy contentment. Their dinner, rich salads and lobster, lay half eaten between them, encircled by several glasses of red wine. Down below, in the city, a few stray dogs barked, a few cars honked, but it all seemed very far away from the moment that lay between them.
"When did you start playing violin?" Dean asked, taking another generous drink of wine.
Castiel, on his seventh glass, became more and more quiet, but more intense, as he drank. He became a bit more inviting, a bit more comical, but a silent mystery all the same. Thankfully, that began to change as he opened his mouth.
"My father insisted the moment I was strong enough to support it on my shoulder. I was about five, I suppose, when my serious lessons started. I played every single day. He homeschooled me, devoting very little time to my studies."
He took another sip of his wine, eyes lost in the memories. Dean had a feeling he wouldn't be admitting these things if he weren't under the influence of the drink.
"He was a controlling man. He demanded much of me. I think he wanted to be sure I was as successful as he was, but in another field. He wanted me perfect, to play in a fancy orchestra and earn enough money to buy a mansion next to his, where we could flaunt our resources over the others who were not as fortunate. He was a shallow man, to say the absolute least."
"Well apparently you didn't join an orchestra," Dean pointed out brashly. "What happened?"
Castiel looked down, smiling.
"I ran away with my violin. He was furious, but I was 18 and I was finally free. I had finally reached the point in my life where he could not legally stop me. I saw Celestia was having open auditions, right in this area all those years ago, and I never regretted anything."
"You've been with them for six years?" Dean asked, stunned. That was a long time to be playing violin, over and over and always being on the road, not really having a home.
"Yes," Castiel replied proudly. "It has been glorious, and my father has started talking to me again recently. This isn't the success he wanted for me, but even he can't disapprove of the money I make."
Dean titled his head, raising his glass to hide the bottom part of his face. Castiel was more interesting than he had originally thought; he was shy and sweet but daring and wild in his own quiet manner. He wondered what exactly had driven this man to stay in his shell, despite the six years of freedom.
"So, you are a new fan of our music," Castiel pointed out mildly, abruptly eager to change the subject. "Tell me how you came to our concert?"
For a moment, Dean had forgotten about Sam entirely, or how he had been reluctant to come here at all. He couldn't believe he had started the morning with pancakes and MTV, completely unaware that anything unusual was to happen. What would Sam say if he saw him having dinner with the famous Castiel?
"My little brother is your number one fan," he explained. "He begged me to bring him here to see you, and then insisted on sleeping in a tent because he thinks he can meet you as you come in for tomorrow's show."
"I'm sorry I missed him, then," Castiel mused, placing his chin in his palm thoughtfully. "Does he look like you?"
Laughing, Dean shook his head regretfully.
"Not really. His looks kind of came from everyone in the family, in my opinion. But he's just like our mom: gentle and sweet, kind of gullible but she knew what she wanted in life and he obviously does, too."
They smiled at each other, as if they were sharing a secret joke.
"How did this happen? Do you always invite strangers into your room? And what are your band mates going to think when they come in?"
"You are only the second man I have ever let in, Dean. And my band mates all have their own rooms."
For some reason, that statement hung in the air between them almost an invitation.
"Your brother is staying in a tent?" Castiel asked, his voice husky.
Dean's thoughts floundered as he tried to remember how to work his jaw. What was Castiel implying? He didn't really expect him and Dean to do anything, did he? They had just met. That was certainly an issue here. Dean liked girls, which was a bigger issue. Oh God, sometimes he liked girls a bit too much.
But what else could he do with himself, with the night, when Castiel was watching him with his enticing eyes, as if he were waiting for Dean to say something?
They drank a bit more, allowing themselves to be taken by the wine entirely, and left the food outside, leaving the balcony doors open to welcome the summer breeze. Castiel had lit candles while they were waiting for the food to be sent up, and the room smelled like the ocean and vaguely of flowers.
Castiel sat on the edge of the bed, trying to pull off his shoes. For some reason, Dean felt compelled to help, but as he tugged, he wound up in the floor, laughing. He managed to pull the shoes off after two more tries, but then was faced with the prospect of taking his own off.
"Get them," he groaned, sticking his feet in Castiel's lap, and lying on his back. The whole situation was ludicrous, but he went with it for the sole fact that he had never felt more exalted, more at home in a hotel room with a gay man who could easily have anyone he wanted. He had the looks, the money, and undeniably, the talent. But instead, it was with Dean that he laughed. It was Dean that he helped, pulling his shoes off and laughing again at his mismatched socks. They had done a lot of laughing in the past hour, but Dean couldn't remember telling any jokes.
It was him, the man in the elevator, he had chosen, for whatever odd reason. Maybe there was an instant attraction, a force of nature. Magnets drew them together as Dean climbed onto the bed, giggling like a child as pushed Castiel down and hovered over him.
"Your tie is…uh…er…"
His drunken mind struggled to find the proper word.
"Crooked," he concluded finally, and ingeniously.
"Does it matter?" Castiel asked sensibly. "I don't think it's going to be on much longer."
The artificial lights and the candles were the only sources of light, but even in the darkness, Castiel's eyes glowed warm, like blue embers. His body was flushed with warmth and his lips bowed in a suppressed excitement. Dean wanted him to know it was okay to feel outside of his performances. Maybe he could offer him another performance, of a different rhythm that could maybe ignite something new, something better than either of them had ever felt before.
Dean wondered distantly what they would do after this, what would happen in the morning when they had to part ways and never see each other again. The prospect offered a pain so excruciating, it felt alien in his heart. He didn't feel this way, not ever. But maybe he had just as much to learn as Castiel.
"It's okay," Castiel whispered firmly, sounding unlike himself. Maybe they would just have to start learning now.
Dipping down, Dean connected their lips with a strange hunger in his stomach. He tasted the wine on his lips, still fresh, and felt the hunger grow, threatening to consume him entirely.
For the first time, Dean Winchester had taken a chance with someone, and he found someone that matched him in all the ways he wanted. He could be gentle, and he could be fierce, but with Castiel, he was himself in a way that he had not known before, which did not seem possible, as he had never had sex with a man. But right then, he couldn't care about anything but pressing their skin together, seeking the warmth as if the room had suddenly dipped in temperature. He sought Castiel's lips and traced the shadows tattooed on his skin, hoping maybe he could leave a hint of himself there, if tomorrow dawned to see them as nothing more than they began: strangers in an elevator.
Dean's eyes fluttered open, taking in the white ceilings with a vague interest before sitting up abruptly. The action triggered a headache, causing him to sway and fall back against the lush pillows. He felt content until realization dawned upon him. He had slept with a man last night. The famous, lusted-after violinist, Castiel.
As if on cue, the sounds of a violin began towards the sitting room, soft and sweet. Dean sat up again, his curiosity peaked, and moved cautiously out of bed. This time, the pounding in his head was not overwhelming, and he could look around for his clothes. They were folded on a chair, but he disregarded everything but his boxers and jeans.
Well, why the hell not?
Castiel sat on the padded window ledge, gazing out over the buildings with the windows open. The winds caressed his hair, moving it as he moved with his bow. He was playing Volante, almost as a welcoming song. He was only clad in pajama pants and socks, but it seemed perfectly natural after last night.
When he looked up and saw Dean, he halted, stealing the music from the room all too suddenly. Surprise, then anxiety, darkened his eyes.
"You shouldn't have stopped," Dean said, but shrugged it off. "So, should we go down for breakfast?"
Castiel looked at him, trailing his eyes down his chest before switching them back to the outside world stubbornly. Gazing down at himself, Dean realized, with a bit of amusement and embarrassment, that he was covered in light bruises in hickeys. He wished he could remember more of the night.
Sweeping his gaze down Castiel's bare chest, he saw that he had bruises as well, but not the kind that came from eager hands-Dean felt a bit of heat in his face at that thought-but from something else entirely. They bloomed thick and dark across his ribs and chest, down his stomach. His back was covered in faint scars, something Dean knew he could have no hand in. It wasn't even possible, but he still had to ask.
"Did I do that?" he asked softly, horrified.
Castiel glared for a moment, shoulders tense, before he relaxed, slumping against the wall.
"No Dean. My boyfriend did."
With that, Dean felt his gut twist with shock and pain, and oddly, a sense of betrayal. He had wanted to believe last night had been theirs alone, but what could he do now? Only then did he recall the random girl at the concert saying that he was taken.
Yes, Castiel had a boyfriend.
"And he abuses you?" Dean demanded, answering both Castiel and the trail of his thoughts. "He hits you and does this but you haven't left him? We…we did a lot of crap I've never done before and you have a boyfriend?"
Placing his instrument down, Castiel walked over to stand in front of Dean and grab his hands.
"I broke up with him, but he refuses to accept it. I didn't cheat on him, in my mind frame. But Dean, he might see it differently if he knows what happened. I don't want you in harm's way because I wasn't strong enough to leave him in the beginning."
"What if I don't care?" Dean asked, feeling bold. "Because I don't. I don't know how the hell any of this happened, but it's the best thing that's happened to me since my dad gave me the Impala, and holy shit, that's saying something. Is there anything we can do? That I can do?"
Slowly shaking his head, Castiel backed away and placed his violin in its case, moving towards the bedroom. Dean followed, anxious for some reason.
"I'm afraid this is a mess, and I didn't mean to drag you into it. Stephan will be waiting for me after the show today, and I am tired of running from him."
Clenching his teeth, Dean stomped forward and spun Castiel around so that they were facing each other. Castiel refused to meet his eyes.
"So you let your dad boss you around, made sure you were nice and proper for 18 years and you finally get free only to throw yourself back into jail? Castiel, he could kill you one day. Is that what you want?"
Castiel looked away, and Dean felt something break inside him. Maybe it was his heart, though he couldn't exactly recall having one. Go figure.
"Bye, Cas," he said after a length of silence.
Castiel's head snapped up at the nickname, eyes wide with regret and loss for something very good that almost could have happened. Maybe Castiel didn't know how to have good things happen to him. Maybe he passed them by, and when he was confronted with them, he just stood there, unsure.
Just as he did while Dean picked up his clothes and his bag. Just as he did while Dean opened the door and looked back at him once more.
The famous Castiel, in all of his beauty, stood in the middle of the room, confused and alone. But Dean knew it would do no good to go back and rework the events of last night. They couldn't jump through that hoop again, or they might fall flat on their faces. But how could he erase last night from his mind, when the images played again and again?
Castiel's head thrown back, his hands clutching at Dean's back and arms. He wondered if they had left scratches, or if maybe the light shadows of bruises he had observed on Castiel's body might have been from those moments. Trying to match them up was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, but he could enjoy the jumbled picture all the same. He just wished it was complete.
Sam greeted him at the gate, entirely unsuspecting. He poked his head out of his tent, sleepy but excited.
"I made lots of new friends. And they appreciate Celestia," Sam teased, sticking his tongue out at his brother.
'I think I just appreciated Celestia a lot more than any of these people ever will,' Dean thought.
"As soon as they are done playing, we are gone," he said heavily.
Sam scrambled up, confused. "Dean, what happened to you? You look like you've had your heart trampled on. Did a one-night stand go wrong? I told you hookers aren't going to fall for you, didn't I?"
Dean shook his head ruefully, hating how close Sam's words hit home. He didn't want to think of last night as just a one night stand; the term degraded it into something with next to no emotion or meaning. That just wasn't the case.
"Just…get ready to go, okay?"
Celestia performed only four songs, serving as the finale to the prior concert. Castiel, by popular demand, stepped up to play his solo song, Volante, but he halted before it began, ignoring the confused looks his band mates shot him.
His blue eyes searched frantically, to the left and right, sweeping the crowd until, at last, he found Dean. Only then did he rosin his bow, place it on the strings, and begin the piece. It could be his imagination, but Dean thought the song was played with more emotion than the day before. It sent chills coursing through him, sent his heart into a frantic pace, because Castiel, unlike yesterday, kept his eyes firmly locked on Dean the entire song. As he ended with the final, long note, he closed his eyes, overcome by something only the both of them felt.
The sadness hung in the air, but again, the crowd did not sense this. They just saw it as a performance, an improved performance. The crowd moved to jostle around the band as they packed up, trying to get a closer look, to hopefully touch them and talk to them.
Dean walked to his car alone.
Sam barged into his house a good three weeks later, waving a newspaper in the air.
"You have got to see this!" he cried. His face was painted over in anger, his mouth drawn down and his eyes burning.
"Sam, shut the door. You're letting in the light."
Sam blinked in surprise, but obeyed so they could get around to the topic at hand.
For the past three weeks, since arriving back from the concert, Dean had sat on his couch, watching the pizza boxes mount up beside him, hardly believing he had eaten so much. He had made a type of nest out of blankets, only moving to pee, shower when he had to, get another pack of Pepsi, and answer the door for more pizza from the local place down the street.
One would say that Dean was suffering from a breakup, but that wouldn't be accurate. He felt lost, and hurt, and he couldn't place why. They had one night together, a few hours of messing around the hotel, but another part of him had slid into place, a part that had been missing until just then. Castiel was supposed to be in his life, he knew it. But it just hadn't worked out that way.
"Okay, so you know Castiel, from Celestia?" Sam continued anxiously, snapping him out of his reverie.
"Yes," Dean replied a bit too quickly. His interests had been aroused for the first time since he had gotten home.
"Well apparently, his boyfriend was big time abusive. He put Castiel in the hospital two weeks ago and the paparazzi just found out! Think about how hard they must have worked to keep it a secret!"
"What?" Dean demanded, sitting straight up. He snatched the paper, eyes skimming over the article. A broken leg and a few cracked ribs, multiple lacerations, innumerable bruises, and so much more.
"They say Stephan - that's his boyfriend's name - meant to kill him. He's in jail right now."
Sitting in his dark house, Dean couldn't quite believe that Castiel had even been real, especially their night together. Good things didn't come to Dean and sweep him off his feet to carry him into enchanted unicorn land where the clouds were cotton candy and everything sparkled. That wasn't for him. But he had come within an inch of bliss with Castiel, so maybe he could go a step further.
"Does it say which hospital?" Dean demanded, searching the article again.
"Nope," Sam shrugged. "I already looked for it. They are probably trying to keep it secret. This is pretty big news, you know. Poor guy. I wonder if anyone knew about Stephan."
'I did,' Dean thought, overwhelmed by guilt. He should have stayed, or made Castiel stay. He could have prevented this, but he had not even gone after him after the concert.
After Sam left, he pulled out his laptop and looked Castiel up on every search engine the internet could offer, clicking on links and smiling at the younger pictures of him, and laughing a little when he found the news article about him joining Celestia.
The Castiel in the picture was 18, young and a bit naïve in the face, but still worn around the edges. His eyes were bright and enthralled, his mouth curved into a charming smile. After all, he had just pulled off a daring stunt. He had run away from his father, had found freedom. Why couldn't he have stayed that way? Why did he have to meet Stephan?
This drew out his curiosity, so he looked for Stephan next. The man was only shown in pictures with Castiel, standing tall with his chin up, a possessive arm wrapped around him. His eyes were narrowed and mean, his face pointed. He almost came off comical, like an old-timey villain in a black and white picture. If only.
Dean hated the man he had never met, and he hated his helplessness. But maybe it was over. He could only hope that Stephan remained in jail, and Castiel recovered fast and found someone who would be good to him, who would never hurt him.
That night, he was awoken by the song, Volante. He groaned, sitting up and looking for the source of the noise. It was the last thing he wanted to hear at the moment because of the guilt attached, but he couldn't place where it was coming from. His T.V. had been operating on mute for the past few days, his cell phone had been turned off after he had called Bobby to thank him for the hotel room, and there didn't seem to be any other rational source. His neighbors must be playing it.
Following the sound, he found himself outside on the fire escape, where he could pinpoint the noise as just below him. Craning his head downward, he felt a shiver course through him as he saw Castiel, his leg in a brace, a bandage across his cheek, but still appealing in every sense of the word.
Playing their song, as Dean liked to think of it.
He waited, patiently enjoying it, until Castiel had finished. They considered each other in silence before Castiel spoke.
"I told him I had moved on. He wasn't pleased to say the least But it was all worth it."
"I couldn't be worth that," Dean growled, gesturing down towards Castiel's leg. He felt angry with himself again, because now he knew he had played a little part in what had happened.
"It was," Castiel called up. "Rikki read me a book while I was confined to bed where a man romanced a girl by playing guitar outside her window. I hoped maybe a violin might work just as well."
Dean smiled, amused by his innocence, and eager to see where they could go now. Hopefully they could start slowly, get to know each other more, and then who knew?
"Maybe you should come in?" he asked, beaming. "I have pizza. And soda. If you've ever tried those before."
"I haven't actually," Castiel replied dryly.
Breaking out into laughter, Dean began picturing what could happen now. They could go on dates, maybe. Like the one on the balcony. They could have nights like the one after the concert, except clear and unclouded from wine.
Once he had Castiel seated on the couch and he had brought him a can of Pepsi, which he enjoyed immensely, Dean dared to ask something that had begun to nag at him.
"Aren't you on tour? And if not, what then?"
Castiel took a long drink, holding up his finger to indicate he needed a moment. He smacked his lips happily, and Dean knew he would have to start buying more Pepsi right then.
"The tour was over last week, and I didn't have to play, though I wanted to. We start again during the fall, but maybe, if we work it out, you could come with us. Help us unload, stay in fancy hotels…"
He trailed off, appraising Dean's reaction.
"I'm aware it's rather soon, but I thought….well….we started something very good and I felt like maybe we could really go somewhere. Maybe we could be serious…"
He broke off again, taking Dean's silence as an ill omen.
"So, we are a thing?" he asked calmly, while Castiel squirmed anxiously.
He shrugged after a moment, looking away.
"That doesn't sound too bad at all," Dean finished, grinning.
"You mean it?" Castiel asked, sounding delightfully surprised.
"Absolutely. I can't wait to tell Sammy."
Dean had never been so happy about letting Sam wrap him around his finger; if it weren't for him, he wouldn't be where he was now.
Not only was Castiel sweet, and kind, and handsome, and talented, but he could cook. Damn, he could cook. All the same, the best thing he made was cheeseburgers. They were the best he had ever tasted by a long shot. Odd that he had only eaten them a few times but could make them so well.
Sam couldn't believe that his brother had hooked up with Castiel, and he constantly asked for autographs.
"I'm going to sell these on Ebay!" he cried every time Cas signed something.
Dean couldn't quite believe the events himself, that a celebrity was living with him in his rather crappy apartment, but Castiel reassured him that compared to all the grandeur he had been forced to be around, his apartment might as well have been Heaven.
They fell in love quick, to no one's surprise but their own, and spent each day thinking about something ludicrous to do, like all the things Castiel had missed out on growing up.
They firstly got a dog, after paying the pet fee, which was no big deal for Castiel. He bathed in money. Then, Castiel enjoyed having him around so much, that they got another, and then a cat, who hated Dean with a fiery passion.
They also got a few clown fish, which Castiel had no familiarity with, having never seen Finding Nemo.
So, they watched old, cheesy movies, and newer, even cheesier, Disney movies, and Castiel's bruises faded until they only remained in his memory. Stephan served time in jail, but Castiel wasn't ready to see him, to tell him how happy he was without him.
Every morning, without fail, Castiel awoke long before Dean. The insomnia worried him, but Castiel insisted that he had long since grown accustomed to it, and he liked playing his violin to wake Dean before his alarm.
So every dawn, just as the sun began to cling to the horizon, he played Volante. Dean personally wondered if he would ever get tired of playing that song again and again, but he couldn't see himself growing tired of hearing it, so he said nothing. He just enjoyed the moments where he woke up and could see the place where Castiel had lain, feel the final traces of his warmth, and he could hear everything that drew them together, like cable wires strung across the violin, played and strummed until they created a song that became THEM. One that sent Dean, to say the least, soaring.