Castiel is tired.

Maybe exhausted is a better word for it, he doesn't really know. All he's certain of is the comfy bed waiting for him at home, readily pliant to his jaded will, and one of Castiel's favorite people waiting at home as well. A lazy smile washes over his face at the thought. He stands at the elevator doors, duffle bag in hand, and nudges the button. On any given day, Castiel would climb the stairs, since he only lives on the fifth floor, but tonight he isn't going to. Because tonight, he is too sore and too deflated to even try. As the minutes drag on, Castiel loses patience with the elevator's inability to arrive quickly.

"Come on you piece of crap. Hurry up." Castiel says weakly and jabs his finger into the signal button a few more times.

"Ahem." comes a woman's voice.

Castiel turns to find a small elderly woman looking up at him judgmentally.

Mrs. Thomas. Perfect.

If there was any reason for Castiel to become more agitated, Mrs. Thomas would be it. She has this problem, namely with Castiel. She hates him in fact, or rather what he does for a living. Either way, he would be lying if he said the feeling wasn't mutual. If this was an ordinary day, Castiel would go out of his way to be as polite to Mrs. Thomas as possible and "smother her with kindness" as the saying goes. But this isn't any other day. Castiel's too far gone to give a crap about Mrs. Thomas' repugnance.

"Good evening Castiel," She joins him at the elevator doors and gives him a brief but judgmental once-over. "Long night?" she adds suggestively.

Castiel decides to bite his tongue and flashes her a very forced, dramatic smile instead. He's happy that the elevator doors picked that moment to open before he has a chance to say something he'll regret later. Something along the lines of "screw you."

"Ladies first." he says bitterly and motions toward the inside of the elevator. Mrs. Thomas shuffles through the doors irritatingly slowly and Castiel has to resist the urge to roll his eyes behind her.

Once they are both in and the doors close behind them, Castiel presses the fifth floor button and assumes a position farthest from the woman. He lets his head rest slightly on the wall behind him, letting his mind drift to the sound of crappy elevator music as the duffle bag grows heavier in his hand. The ride is short and filled with contempt but Castiel prefers the silence to an artificial conversation neither party truly want to engage in.

"Goodnight Castiel. I'd tell you to stay out of trouble but I do realize that's quite impossible in your…profession." She bites out the words condescendingly as they both exit the elevator.

Bitch.

Castiel tries to shake off her comment, but it hits too deep and he can't help becoming upset. He wonders how Mrs. Thomas would treat him if she didn't know the truth. Maybe if Gabriel hadn't picked the hallway to openly scold Castiel about his job, Mrs. Thomas would be none the wiser. She wouldn't judge Castiel based upon the fact that he's a prostitute. She'd be a sweet old lady that judged him solely on the type of man he was and not what he had to do behind closed doors to make it by.

Besides, it wasn't as though Castiel chose this "profession" for kicks. It was his last resort in a difficult situation and it isn't people's place to judge him on the matter.

Castiel lets out a frustrated sigh as he hauls himself through the threshold of his apartment door. He's greeted with the smells of things and sounds he can't quite describe that admittedly calm him, and he knows he's home.

"Hello Dean." Castiel greets a sitting Dean as he places his duffle bag on the floor and keys on the table stand near the door.

"Hey Cas," Dean rises from his seat on the couch and stretches his arms overhead, exposing a small amount of his stomach. "What time is it?" He yawns while checking his wristwatch.

"Uhm little past nine. I'm sorry I know I said I'd be back a little sooner but my…appointment ran longer than expected. " Castiel winces. "He wasn't a problem was he?"

Dean shoots him a sleepy smile in response and retrieves his coat from the couch.

"It's no big deal," Dean treads lightly towards where Castiel is standing. "He's a good kid, he kept me entertained most of the time." He smiles fondly. "Night, Cas." Dean plants his hand on Castiel's shoulder giving him a firm grip and pat before reaching for the door handle.

"Wait," Castiel says as he pulls out a few bills out from his back pocket. He holds them out to Dean. "Here, for the trouble."

"Cas," He gently pushes Castiel's hand away. "It's fine, Elliot's a good kid, doesn't even cause any trouble. He's a lot like my nieces that way." Dean laughs lightly. "And it's not like I had to go out of my way to get here, I live down the hall." Dean reminds him with a smile.

Castiel insists Dean take the money anyway because it doesn't feel right. But Dean just gives him a warning look that sends butterflies to Castiel's stomach and a shy smile on his lips. And then he's gone.

When Castiel locks the door behind Dean, he leans against the door in defeat.

He wishes he had the confidence to talk to Dean. And not about Elliot. Or the weather. Or mindless chatter while they're getting mail. At this point in his life, Castiel doesn't care what people think about him or what he does. He doesn't need to waste his time pleading his case to anyone. But there's something about Dean; Castiel wants him to like him. He isn't sure how to even go about propositioning Dean. Could it really work out?

Dean Winchester, the guy who lives four doors down from Castiel. With the charismatic personality and infectious laugh. With the mesmerizing green eyes Castiel has to restrain himself from staring into during casual conversation. Dean, with the incredibly large younger brother who, despite his size, is charming and friendly. The man who loves spending time with his nieces and in retrospect, is amazingly good with Castiel's son. The guy that Castiel is intimidated by but drawn to all at the same time. Would he honestly be interested in Castiel, or would it be too much to accept what Castiel does for a living?

Castiel struggles with the decision to go after Dean and invite him to stay for a drink or just go crawl into bed.

He chooses the latter. He strolls towards his bedroom with heavy eyes as a yawn escapes him. When Castiel gets in sight of his bed, a smile effortlessly creeps on his face. A small body lays comfortably, slumbering with content. Usually, he doesn't sleep in Castiel's room, but on the occasion that he has a nightmare or Castiel is away from home too much, he'll have a clingy five year old joining him in his bed. With that thought, Castiel tries to ignore the pang of guilt in his chest when he realizes why Elliot is here tonight.

After hassling his way into his pajamas, Castiel gently slides in bed, careful not to wake the sleeping figure. And at last, there it is. The warmness of his blankets and softness of his bed working to welcome Castiel home. His head makes contact with the plush pillow and he sighs in gratification, involuntarily waking his son.

"Hi Daddy." Elliot says rubbing one eye.

"Hi baby," He smiles. "I didn't mean to wake you, I'm sorry. Go back to sleep."

Elliot lifts the blankets off of his body and scoots closer to Castiel's welcoming physique.

"I'm glad you're home Daddy." He says as he rests under the weight of Castiel's left arm and closes his eyes. Castiel kisses his son's hair and snuggles him closer before drifting off to a well-deserved rest.