Title: Skyscrapers
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: dean/cas, dean/jo friendship
Spoilers: none
Warnings: language i guess
Word Count: 7k+
Summary: Dean had never been in the library before. [high school AU]
Notes: this is for SUMMER, my favorite- it was her birthday on may 29th and WOW was i late with this fic and anyway she deserves a better fic for waiting this long but WHATEVER I HOPE YOU LIKE IT I LOVE YOU

Dean had never before realized that libraries could be so damn big. He'd always kind of believed that in movies like Beauty and the Beast the libraries were just an exaggeration, but apparently there were people who liked to sit in these places and just read. He didn't even know that this many books could even fit into one place.

He'd been in the school library, of course, but he had never really seen a reason to go to the district's. At the moment, though, it was kind of necessary, because his paper on Hamlet was due in two days and Sam didn't have a copy of the play, explaining that he preferred Shakespeare's comedies to tragedies, to which Dean rolled his eyes and exited the room. So, Dean had headed off to the district library for the play and had, abashedly, gotten lost.

Dean skipped over the fiction section in search of an area with plays, because with a place that large, it must be split up- but he passed non-fiction, young adult, reference books, and just about every other section that existed, twice, without seeing a "plays/musicals" sign. There was no one around to ask, either, and he wondered why there was a need for a library that huge if no one was going to use it.

He was just about to head back to fiction when he realized that he didn't recognize the area he was in.

"Christ," he muttered, looking around.

A noise arose from around the corner and Dean turned his head. He followed the sound, confused as to why anyone would be in this part of the library, and reached an area with bookshelves so tall they were just irrational. It was brighter there, though, and Dean squatted down to look through a bookshelf. This part of the building seemed like an add-on; it was spherical and surrounded by glass windowpanes. He heard some more shuffling and moved over to the right to glance through the books.

A boy that looked about his age with dark, messy hair and a long coat sat down on the ground. He was facing dean's bookshelf with his back to the wall and reached over to an area Dean couldn't see, his arm coming back with a large book in its hand.

Dean's legs cramped but he didn't move. The boy held the book in both his hands and traced the binding, the pages, and the lines on the cover before opening up to the first page.

Dean's hand slipped and a book tumbled down of the shelf, and he didn't have to look to know the boy had perked up. Dean hid behind a chunk of books because there was no way he was going to be caught staring, and when he heard a book being set down, killing the silence, he took the chance and glanced behind him before running off and around the corner.

He didn't stop until he reached the fiction section.

Dean didn't go to the library again for a few weeks. The temperature had changed slightly; whatever was left of the colored leaves was gone and replaced with chilled air. Dean was assigned his next book, but when he stood in front of the school library that day, he turned around and walked next to it right out of the school.

He was... curious. The way the boy held the book in his fingertips like it was the only thing that mattered, like he had all the time in the world. Dean wasn't sure what he wanted- just that through the past few weeks he had thought of little else.

Twenty minutes into the drive he asked himself if he was really that curious to go all this way to see someone he didn't know, (or, as he was telling himself, "to see what book he was reading") but then again, the diner with the fresh pies and the best burger sauce was only three minutes away from the library.

Dean took Sam with him, who was slightly surprised when on the way home from school Dean said, "Hey, you like books, right? Want to go to the library?"

"Dean, for the three years we've been living here I don't think you've ever been to the library."

"'Course I have," Dean argued, and so they went.

Dean wasn't exactly sure what he was looking for; it had been weeks since he was there, and there was an incredibly small chance that the boy would be there again. But he kept moving, watching Sam go in the other direction before trying to find the tall bookshelves and the rounded windows.

It was difficult to find, which Dean should have expected. Things are only hard to find when you're looking for them.

After a few more minutes, he saw a familiar looking entrance and slipped in, looking up at the bookshelves.

He walked around the first to go to the windows, but waited a few seconds for a noise; shuffling, a drop of a book. Nothing.

He peeked in between the books. No one was there.

He felt something drop- his heart rate, most likely, which he didn't even realize was high, and he walked over to the wall. He looked at a spot next to a chair, then back at the bookshelf, and realized this was where he saw the boy sitting before.

Dean sat down and crossed his legs. The light coming through the windows shone down onto the ground in front of him, and he could almost call it comfortable, but the absence of people was distressing. It was way too quiet- even for a library. Dean had never really been alone except for car rides, and even then there were cars surrounding him the whole time. Whenever Sam wasn't with him, he was with Jo or other friends, and being in such a deserted area was making him squirmy.

He stood up and looked around him, ready to leave, but something on the chair caught his eye.

There was a corner of a book sticking out in between the chair and the cushion. Dean lifted the cushion up to find a book- no, four books- hidden in the seat. Did this kid know that libraries allow people to check books out?

He looked at each book- they were all large and Dean hadn't heard of any of them- big surprise to him- and he recognized the one with the silver patterns on the front, the one the boy was holding. Dean looked around quickly before setting the books back on the chair and putting the cushion on top, feeling intrusive.

He left and found his way to the lobby surprisingly easily.

"C'mon Sammy, let's go."

Sam looked up from his table, his homework spread around him "Dean, we've only been here for twelve minutes."

"Twelve minutes too long," Dean said. He grabbed Sam's backpack and threw it over his shoulder. "It's going to take an hour for me to wash this smell of book off of me."

Sam rolled his eyes and stood up, a small smile on his face. "I can carry my own backpack Dean, I'm not six."

"That's okay," Dean said, walking towards the exit. "I just like embarrassing you."

When Dean went to the library again, December was almost over. He had a big test in math coming up that he apparently had to pass to graduate the class, and Jo was determined to have him get an A, which he thought was like asking him to shit a rainbow, but he agreed, however reluctantly. They had been cramming in Dean's house for the past three days until Dean looked over at her, textbook in hand, and said, "want to study in the library?"

Dean wasn't paying attention. His textbook was open, and his notes were in his hand, but he kept glancing behind him where he knew the boy's spot was, and if he went all the way to this library without checking if he was there, he'd be thinking about it for the whole month.

"What do you keep looking at?" Jo asked, looking behind her. "Is Lisa Braeden there or something?"

"I have to...uh..." Dean stood up, Jo looking at him with raised eyebrows.

"I have to go to the bathroom," he said, and paused for a second before speed walking in the direction of the restrooms.

As soon as he was out of Jo's sight, he turned a corner and headed towards the very back, having memorized the route by now. His adrenaline ran through his veins; he told himself to calm down – what exactly was he so looking forward to? Seeing the boy? Looking at the books?

He entered the room and slowed, avidly listening for any sounds. When he heard none, he walked around the bookshelf and glanced at the empty spot next to the chair.

He sighed, cursing himself. Did he expect the boy to be sitting there, looking up at Dean, telling him why he likes the back of the library? Why he likes the quietness and the remoteness of it all? The books, the spot next to the chair?

Dean shook his head before turning around and coming face to face with a set of huge, bizarre blue eyes.

"Christ-" Dean backed up, his heart pounding in his ears. "Don't-"

Dean stopped and stared, realizing. His eyes widened.

"-do that," he finished halfheartedly.

"Sorry," the boy said, looking at Dean without a hint of recognition on his face. "My brother says I need to learn personal boundaries."

There was silence as Dean gulped and looked around, anywhere but the boy's eyes because he felt like he was being read by a psychic, the way they searched him.

"It's no big deal," Dean said. "You just scared me a little."

The boy turned his head slightly and squinted, and Dean shivered.

"Why were you watching me?" he asked, and Dean coughed before saying, "What?"

"Last month, you were the one that came in here and knocked down the books."

"Uh-" Dean paused. He looked up at the boy's face and was surprised to see no anger, no disgust – Dean would have been a little creeped out if someone was watching him, to be honest, but there was nothing like that on the boy's face; just confusion.

"I was...looking for a book?" He said. He knew the boy wouldn't believe him, but he didn't ask any more questions; he went and sat down next to the chair.

He looked to the left, where the sunlight shone on the ground. Dean opened his mouth to ask what the hell he was thinking about but was interrupted when the boy looked up at him and said, "What's your name?"


The boy nodded his head and looked back at the ground. Dean waited a few seconds. Nothing.


The boy looked up again. "My name is Castiel."

"Who chose that one?"

Castiel grimaced only barely. "It's an angel's name."

Dean smirked. "Well-"

"Don't" The boy held up a finger and shook his head slightly, looking up at Dean, but there was a hint of a smile at the corner of his lips.

"Well, it was nice meeting you, Cas," Dean said. "I'll let you get to your reading, or whatever."

Dean glanced at Cas' eyes briefly, wishing he had a photographic memory, before backing up and exiting the room. He headed back to Jo, partially running, to see her looking through her phone.

"I'm back," he exclaimed.

"Where have you been?"

"Sorry, it was that damn school meatloaf," Dean replied, sitting down. Jo raised one eyebrow at him as he picked up his pencil.

"What?" He asked, still a little out of breath.
She looked back at her notebook, writing something down. "Oh, nothing."

"How often do you come here?"

"Almost every day, every other week or so there's a day can't make it." Castiel didn't look up from his spot, didn't flinch, though Dean was sure he didn't make a sound walking up to him.

"Why?" Dean asked. It had been a week since his last visit. God knows he wanted to return the next day, but even though he was sure Cas wouldn't mind, he didn't want to seem...too eager.

He was leaning against the bookshelf, Cas a few feet away from him, and only then did he look up.

"I like to read," Cas said with a shrug. "I come here."

Dean tapped his foot against the bookshelf impatiently. He wanted to ask more on the subject, but felt he was imposing. He had to say something – he didn't know why, but he wanted to get to know this boy, and leaving then wouldn't do much good. Besides, he didn't really have anything else to do. Sam was still at school, at an AV club meeting or something, and Dean had been itching for an excuse to come back. He couldn't leave now.

"Do you listen to music?"

Cas looked up, surprised. "Uh..."

"C'mon, you can't not listen to music."

"Sometimes I listen to whatever's on the radio, but I can't really...uh..." His gaze dropped due to Dean's shocked stare. "...name anything."

"Christ," Dean said, but he was trying to contain his grin. He walked over and sat down across from Cas, pulling his iPod out of his pocket.

"It's time," he smirked, his eyes locking with Cas'. "You learn a little something about classic rock."

Over the next week, Dean went back to the library every day after school and stayed until he needed to pick Sam up. It was like Sam was trying to make a resume to run for freaking president, he was in so many goddamn clubs.

Dean was thinking of himself as a kind of music teacher when he was showing Cas his music, but then he realized that he couldn't sing or even read music, and he was a little biased towards one genre. He had made Cas promise to download some of the stuff, though, and only missed a visit when he had to hang out with Jo in order for her to not be suspicious or anything. It didn't really help, though, because by the time she cornered him after their studying session she was more than suspicious.

"Are you fucking someone in the library?"

"Never pegged you for the jealous type, Jo, but it's kinda hot."

She crossed her arms persistently and took a step back, allowing him some space. "Why are you spending so much time there?"

"I've taken an interest in literature. Wow, did I not know what I was missing." Dean stepped to the side and she followed his moves, not letting him through. "C'mon, let's just watch the movie."

Her mouth quivered and she took a step back. "Thank you," Dean said, but she pushed a finger onto his chest before he could walk by.

"We are not done with this conversation, okay?"

Dean rolled his eyes and walked by her. He didn't answer.

Dean waited a few days to go back. Every time he was about to make the corner to go towards the library, he felt as if Jo had an extra pair of eyes that she might have left in the car, waiting for him to make the turn and prove her point. She wasn't really in his car, though, and Dean could go wherever the fuck he wanted. Jo wasn't his mother and his dad had been out of town for months. He didn't have authority.

He went immediately after school, not surprised when he didn't see anyone in the room. Cas wasn't able to get there as quickly because of wherever his school was, and that reminded Dean that he didn't even know what school Cas went to. He didn't know a lot about Cas, their conversations pertaining mainly to music so far. He made a mental note to ask him about that, but it was discarded as Cas arrived in the next few minutes, Dean watching the snow fall from on the chair, Cas' books jutting into his ass.

"You're here early," Cas said, making Dean jump.

He sat upright, stretching a little. "Yeah, ugh, sorry for not letting you know I wasn't going to be here the last couple days. And you really need to work on your entrances, man."

Cas sat down next to the chair, but a little farther away than he usually sat. "It's alright, I don't expect you to be here all the time, we only just met anyway."

Dean didn't know what to say to that, he didn't even remember that they hadn't known each other a few weeks ago. He felt like he knew him already, like he'd known him for a while. He shifted in his seat and grimaced when he sat on another book, preferring to fall on the floor ungracefully, to Cas' amusement.

"Shut up," Dean said, rubbing his ass.

"I didn't say anything."

Cas was smiling softly, eyes glued on him, and Dean almost felt his heart leap. His cheeks heated up, but he didn't change positions, trying to break his gaze but quite unable.

The smile had been lifted off Cas' face by now, but he was still looking at Dean, and his eyes seemed a lot bluer than Dean had originally thought. That's when he looked away, straightening up against the chair. He cleared his throat and didn't look at Cas – well, his eyes anyway – who sort of shifted so one of his legs was crossing the other, pulling them in closer to his body.

"Uh...where were we with the music?" Cas asked quietly, looking down.

Dean scratched behind his ear, looking back at Cas but still avoiding his eyes. "We were sorta done, I think. You've...uh...heard a bunch so far."

He cursed himself for the silence that followed, because he didn't know how to follow. But then he remembered the reason he was interested in the boy in the first place; he had so many unanswered questions from just a glance.

"Do you ever take books home?" He asked. He was worried it might sound a little off-topic and desperate, but it kind of was desperate. He would rather be desperate than awkward.

"Uh..." he started, surprised by Dean's subject change. "...no."

"Why not?"

"Um...I have...several reasons." Cas sounded uncomfortable but Dean was trying not to look at his eyes, so he rested his head against the chair and closed his own.

"What are they?"

"Um, My house can get pretty loud; I have a lot of siblings. We kind of take care of each other since I don't have a mom and my dad isn't...uh...really around all the time."

Dean let out a bitter laugh, opening his eyes to look at Cas. "Believe me, I've been there."

Cas looked at Dean confusedly, and Dean continued.

"My mom died in a house fire when I was four," he said.

"I'm so sorry."

"No, no, it's fine," though it wasn't, and Dean looked down into his palms. "Uh… my dad has been kind of… neglectful, since then, I guess. I basically raised my little brother myself."

A mutual silence followed. An understanding was better than pity, which was what Dean was used to, and he was glad Cas offered him the former.

"When I was younger-" A silence followed as Cas hesitated to continue, as if he was preparing himself, like he never got a shot to say everything he wanted. Dean cringed at the thought and leaned up off the chair, facing towards Cas.

"-I always thought my dad would be there for me. He worked overtime, so he could never come to parent-teacher meetings or to my competitions or anything – academic, I mean – and when he didn't show up at my eighth grade graduation I accepted the fact that he wasn't going to be there for me. And...I was okay. Not for a while, but eventually. I had my brothers and my sister, and if he wasn't going to be there, then I didn't need him."

After a few seconds Cas looked up, having expected a reply from Dean.

"Why are you looking at me," Cas said. It sounded like more of a statement than a question, but Dean smiled and shook his head.

"You're a smart guy, Cas," Dean said, slapping him on the shoulder. Cas jumped.

He hadn't been to Jo's house in a week and a half, which probably set the record since he had moved to that stupid town. His excuses were even getting kind of lame, either "studying" or "watching Sammy," which were both sort of true at one point or another, but if he wanted to get actual work done he would be studying with her, and Sam didn't really need to be watched because, well, he was almost fifteen.

Dean decided to hang back with her and go to a movie so she wouldn't be able to bombard him with questions, but he knew he wasn't going to last very long when she asked him if he wanted to stay for dinner. She was his best friend, yeah, but he wanted to keep this to himself. Cas was his, he could be a figment of Dean's imagination for all he knew, and he wouldn't even care. He'd been seeing him for over four months and it felt like so much longer. He didn't know what to make of it.

They went up to her room after and sat sprawled on the floor playing video games, the only noise in the room coming from drooling zombies. Dean watched as out of nowhere Jo's character stopped shoving her dagger into a zombie's stomach and let herself get eaten alive, and he looked over.

"Jo, what the hell?"

Her face had been blank, but as soon as Dean spoke she laughed. "Dean, calm down, it's a game."

He slumped in his seat against the edge of her bed. "Why did you stop," he mumbled.

"I just- I was thinking about asking you about the library-"

"What about it?" Dean said, looking back at the screen.

"Well, I decided I'm not going to force you to ask. It's your business, not mine." She put her hand on his shoulder and he shrugged it off, rolling his eyes. "Just remember you can tell me anything."

"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind." Jo took her controller back in hand and started a new game.

Dean reached behind him on to the bed and pulled down his bowl, finding it empty.

"By the way," he said, "do you have any pie left?"

"He's the smartest kid I know," Dean said. "He probably got all of his genes from my mom. Including her X chromosome."

"All women pass on an X chromosome to their children, male or female."

"Yeah, well, you know what I mean, smartass."

Cas smiled and ducked his head. Dean caught a glimpse of his eyelashes before he looked back up.

"You and your brother seem very close."

Dean shrugged. "I mean, he's my brother."

Cas looked at his hands again. "What's it like at your house?" Dean asked. "You said you have like, what, five brothers and sisters?"

"Uh, I have seven, but I haven't seen a few of them in a while. Right now it's basically just me, my sister Anna, and my brothers Gabriel and Michael. Michael goes to the community college and is home when our dad's not. I guess I just remember the house being very noisy from years ago, when my other brothers still lived with us."

"Is Anna your only sister?"

"Yeah, the youngest," Cas answered. "She's a little less then a year younger than me. My mom died a few months after Anna was born, so I don't remember her."

"You guys must have taken care of yourselves pretty well."

"Yeah," Cas said. "We must've."

Dean thought that spring was supposed to be warm, but apparently not this time around. It was April and he wasn't even able to sleep in the basement yet because it was still so cold. He had been sleeping in his dad's room for most of the winter, but on this particular night John decided to come home, and Dean made it his goal to avoid him as best as possible. Sam was already asleep and John was drunk, so Dean just said "hey, Dad," and headed upstairs into Sam's room, pulling a blanket out of his closet and taking a pillow out from under Sam's head.

When Dean drove himself and Sam to school the next day, Sam was quiet. Dean assumed it was from the arrival of their dad, but Sam was never really phased by that anymore. He seemed to be contemplating something, and Dean could only take it for so long before he turned off the radio and looked at Sam.

"Why aren't you talking?"

"Neither are you."

"You know what I mean."

Sam looked out the window for a moment before looking back at Dean.

"Who's Cas?"
"How do you- where did you hear that?"

"Well, uh," Sam said, a smile creeping up onto his face. "You said it in your sleep."

"Are you finished with that book I lent you?"

"You mean the one you hide under a chair that I had to sneak out? No, I'm..uh..almost..done."

"So you haven't started."

"Give it some time, I'll have it done by next week," Dean said, sitting on the ledge of the chair.

Cas laughed, a big, open laugh, and it sent chills down Dean's spine. "I'm sure of it, Dean," he said. Dean smiled and blood rushed up to his face, but he had no fucking idea why – if this was what a crush was supposed to feel like – like his heart was in the sky and like there were caterpillars crawling around in his abdomen – he was screwed. He'd never felt like he could go into cardiac arrest at any moment.

"You never told me what the second reason was," Dean said. He looked outside at the finally sunny weather and realized when he had been told the first reason, it was still cold out.


"About why you don't take books home? You said the first reason was because it got pretty loud at your house, what was the other reason?"

Cas' eyes widened for a moment and then he reached back behind his neck. "Uh...I think I just like it back here, I guess."

"But it's so..." Dean waved his hand around. "...quiet."

"That's what I like."

"You don't get..uncomfortable? Sitting by yourself?"

Cas looked up at Dean, biting his lip, and Dean gulped – not very appropriately. Cas was contemplating something, asking Dean permission to talk, and Dean's gaze didn't waver. Cas looked down at his hands as he started.

"Um – you have a younger brother, so you were never in my situation- but because of my dad not really being there, my brothers became incredibly protective of me, of all of us. There was barely a minute in the day where I wouldn't see them, and when I first started high school they let me out a little more. I liked coming here because here, it was only me. The outside world didn't exist – you know, except for that parking lot through the window behind me – but they weren't watching my every move. It was refreshing, I guess. And it just became a habit, so now I come here almost every day."

"I guess that makes sense," Dean said, but he had already started to picture it.

"I like the quiet and the sunlight shining through the windows. It's comfortable, even if this seat is not."

"Then why don't you sit on the chair?"

Cas shrugged. "It doesn't feel as good."

Dean recognized the girl smiling at him with the bleach blonde hair and slightly asymmetrical eyes-maybe they'd hung out in the same group of people before, he thought- but she wasn't in any of his classes and he couldn't quite remember her name. She was calling him Dean and asking about a party, but he wasn't really paying attention because the bell rang and he wanted to get to the library as fast as possible.

"Yeah, alright, I'll be there," Dean flashed a smile he was sure she would eat up, and he rolled his eyes when she winked and strut away after saying "thanks, Dean." In a moment he'd forgotten about her and was racing to his car. Sam had his last freshman class council meeting so Dean didn't have to pick him up yet. Only one more day of school left, one day, and he would be free for the summer. The whole summer.

Well, besides the summer job he would have to get. But that didn't matter at the moment.

"I can't believe school is almost over," Dean said, resting his head against the wall. "Just one more stupid day of finals and then I'm going to be a senior. I don't have to take shit from anyone next year. Thank god."

"You don't seem like the person who would take shit from anyone in the first place," Cas said.

"Cas, I think that's the first time I've heard you swear."

Cas punched Dean on the arm lightly, laughing. "Shut up, I was just repeating you."

Dean laughed and put his hand on Cas' shoulder, and he realized how close they were sitting. Dean had sat next to Cas against the wall and Dean didn't remember sitting that close to him, but their knees were almost touching.

His hand continued to rest on Cas' shoulder and he swiped it away without looking up, not noticing the tensing of Cas' muscles under his hand.

"You know, Cas...what you said yesterday, about this place-" He looked down at his hands. "I kinda get what you mean. I mean, I really enjoy being here – the quiet never bothers me. But the thing is-" He looked up at Cas, who had already been looking, and held his gaze, which wasn't entirely difficult when his eyes were like sapphires. "I think if you weren't here, I would miss you too much to enjoy it."

Then he found himself turned towards Cas. Cas must've leaned in, because now Dean was inches away, and he couldn't decide whether to look at his eyes or his lips because both were the prettiest things he had ever seen, and now they were closer and Dean could taste Cas' breath on his lips, he could almost feel the outline, and Cas' eyes were wider than they'd ever been but Dean kept leaning over, not moving, until Cas' breath hitched and Dean pulled back.

He stood up almost instantaneously, looking around but not at Cas. "Uh, I'll, uh, I – I have to go."

He ran all the way back to his car.

In their last class of the day – which wasn't really a class considering they had finished their last final and were sitting in class talking – he heard a group of girls talking about a party the following Friday, an end-of-the-year thing. It was being held by Bela Talbot, they said, and the juniors were crashing it.

Dean grimaced when he realized he had agreed to go to the party. He wasn't really in the mood at the moment. He didn't think he'd be in the mood a week from then.

He forced himself to the library, holding up traffic when he didn't know whether to make the turn or not. He stared at the road while the cars behind honked and yelled, and Sam looked over questioningly.

He made the turn and told Sam he had to return a book he borrowed for school, who didn't really look like he believed him. Once they arrived, Dean headed to the back with a lump in his chest.

To say the least, he was worried.

He stood at the entrance, trying to come up with something to say, almost turning back. But he was still slapping himself in the face for turning away the previous day– turning back then would just make him hate himself even more.

He hadn't expected for Cas to not be there.

He tried again, the next day. The next day, too, and by Thursday he had wished he'd gotten Cas' phone number, or email, or even house address because at this point he would leave his house in the middle of the night to go throw pebbles at Cas' window.

One thing, he knew, is that he wouldn't stop trying.

"Dean, what's up with you lately?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Jo rolled her eyes and paused the game. "Since when do you snap back at me like that?"

"Since now."

"Dean, for the past six months you've been acting like you won the lottery-"



"Seven months, not six."

Jo rubbed her face in her hands and looked up at him. "Okay, Dean. Seven months, since I have no fucking idea. You've been the happiest person I know, and that's saying something for you, no offense. And for the past week you've locked yourself up in your house, despite the fact that the hardest year of our high school education is over, and I could swear all you're doing is eating pie and watching Dr. Sexy M.D."

"I met someone."

Jo leaned back on the balls of her feet. She hadn't been expecting a confession. "What?"

"I made a friend. In the library. And no, I wasn't having kinky librarian sex against the bookshelves, this person was my friend, and our age, and I messed everything up. Okay? Just leave it at that."

Jo sat back and whistled.

"Well, on the bright side, at least you finally told me," she said. "You know, part of it."

"Yeah," he said.

"You're still going to the party though, you know."


"It'll make you feel better, I promise."





"Jesus Christ-"

"You'll thank me later."

He felt like he'd been building up this headache since That Day, and it was just about to strike. The roar of the music pounded in his ears and he didn't remember why he'd dragged himself to this party anyway – despite his promise. He turned back to see Jo dancing with a couple of their friends, so he looked around to find a corner where he could hopefully sit down and close his eyes.

Bela Talbot appeared in front of him and he squinted when she grinned.

"Dean!" She leaned forward and hugged him, pressing a kiss to his cheek. "So glad you could make it, darling," she said in her English accent that Dean was almost sure she made up. He nodded, smiling politely.

"This, uh," he closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. "This is a big party you've got, who's here?"

She seemed unfazed by his lack of responsiveness, looking behind him to wave at someone. "Oh, this was originally a graduation party, but eventually many of the juniors like yourself arrived, as well as students from Sampson High. I assume word got around quite quickly."


"Dean, are you alright?"

"Yeah, I just..." He glanced towards the stairs. "Do you think I could, uh, rest a bit upstairs?"

"Hmm, you can try, but I would listen through the doors first if I were you, you know, just to make sure," she winked, tapping him on the shoulder. She went off to greet her next guests, and Dean headed towards the stairs.

"Hey, Dean!"

An arm was thrown across his shoulder and Dean grimaced.

"Hey, Ash," he said. "Whatcha got there?"

Ash staggered next to Dean and held out his cup. "Whiskey 'nd soda or scotch an' soda or both or neither," he slurred. "Ya wan' some?" He forced the cup up to Dean's nose and he pushed it away.

"Uh, no thanks, maybe later-"

Ash continued but Dean was distracted. He kept noticing the way any of the guys' jeans hugged his legs and layered up by the ankle, or the way his button up shirt didn't have the cuffs quite turned up correctly, or the way his hair stuck up in so many different ways, and Dean's headache grew until he finally pulled away.

"Sorry, I, uh, gotta go. Talk to you later."

He ran up the steps and thanked god for Bela's fucking castle of a house when he found at least a few rooms that weren't inhabited by horny teenagers. He went inside, closed the door, and laid down.

It took a longer time for him to fall asleep than the amount of time he actually slept for.

He dreamed of Cas right before he woke up. Cas was with him, but he wasn't sure where, just that Dean hadn't moved. It felt like just a glance, and then Dean woke up, slowly with a slightly lessening headache, but not any less depressed.

The door was open a little when Dean sat up; a couple had probably tried to get a room in there or something, he assumed. He took his phone out of his pocket – it was only 11:30, which meant Jo probably wouldn't want to leave for a few hours. She was his ride.

She would probably want him to be having fun, anyway, so he pulled himself up and dragged himself downstairs, and walked straight over to Ash, who was downing shots one after the other, laughing to no one in particular.

"Hey, Ash?"

"Whas up Dean-o?" Ash replied, almost toppling over from leaning too far back to take a shot.

"I, uh...I think I'll take that drink now."

He was being dragged into a room, probably by Jo, and there were too many people following them in. She was drunk, he thought, but he wasn't exactly sure because he was definitely drunk. He had never known how well alcohol could kill headaches and at the moment it was his elixir. He sat in a circle, or someone pushed him down, and Jo leaned up against his arm and, yeah, she was definitely drunk, too. He recognized only a few people in the circle, there were some juniors and seniors and probably a few from the other school. He would say there were about fifteen, but his whole brain was on pause.

Someone was pushing someone else down into the circle and he went reluctantly; or he just fell from intoxication. Dean noticed the messy hair at first, and he closed his eyes. Guys that reminded Dean of him ought to be illegal. There were way too fucking many at this party.

"Sit down, Cas."

He opened his eyes and his mouth went dry.

Cas' eyes were stuck on him from across the circle, wide and scared. Dean felt surrounded, he wasn't sure if it was the alcohol or Cas' eyes. He tried to look away but couldn't, and Cas' gaze didn't waver. Not at all.

Jo had been tapping on his shoulder, and he leaned his head toward her because he couldn't look away, not now.

"It's your turn," she said sleepily, still resting on his arm, and he diverted his gaze to look down at the bottle in the middle of the circle.

A few people were looking at him, he noticed, but most were laughing and talking and Dean hadn't even realized the game had started. He looked at the bottle and leaned forward, glancing as many times as he could at Cas without missing the bottle entirely.

He spun it lightly; he didn't have much strength at the moment. The bottle spun once, twice, and it took about ten seconds but felt longer with Cas' knowing gaze on him.

He didn't take his eyes off the bottle for a few moments, but he knew where it was pointed. He thought of Cas, coming so close to kissing him, and turning away. Cas' cheeks were red, from alcohol or from the situation, Dean didn't know. He looked at Dean remorsefully and wide eyed, but Dean had no idea what Cas was sorry about, because he was almost already on his hands and knees, leaning forward over the empty beer bottle.

Cas' mouth opened then closed, and his eyes scanned the room. Few people were paying attention, and Cas leaned over shyly, his eyes not having narrowed. Dean shuffled over to be closer and then they were inches apart, Dean not tired of seeing Cas' eyes up close. Sapphires.

"Cas-" Dean gave a strangled whisper against his lips. He felt his heart beating against his chest, the thrum of the music in the background, Cas' breathing. Their noses brushed and Cas let out a "Dean?" so quiet he didn't know how he caught it, and he heard a "shit-" behind him before he was grabbing Cas by the neck and pulling his mouth against his.

Cas' neck was hot under his hand, his lips dry and warm. Dean's eyes shut tight and he held himself up by one of his arms to keep in place. He breathed out through his nose and bit lightly on Cas' lip, eliciting a soft whimper from him. Cas brought a hand to his face and Dean's was head far gone, his grip on the floor slipping.

Cas came closer and their mouths separated, their foreheads leaning against each other slightly. They gasped for breath and Dean had never seen Cas' eyes so dark – but he didn't get to look for very long because Cas leaned back in and met his lips with Dean's, putting his hands on either side of him, and Dean moved his hands to Cas' back until someone was pulling him away and he opened his eyes to see someone pulling Cas back, too.

"Jesus Christ," Jo said, and she didn't seem very drunk anymore, so maybe she had just been tired, but Dean's eyes were still on Cas, his pupils blown wide and his lips full and moistened, and when he bit his lip Dean almost crawled across the circle back over to him.

Someone was pulling Cas up and he went, glancing back at Dean as he walked out of the room, Dean wanting to follow but Jo tugging him back down.

"Shit, Dean," she said, but he was still looking at the door. He swallowed and looked forward, a few people staring at him.

"Can we leave," he grumbled.

"That's a good idea," she said, and stood up, pulling Dean to his feet.

When he got home, he didn't fall asleep for two hours. He blamed it on blue eyes and soft lips.

Dean sat down next to the chair, resting his head against the wall and closing his eyes. When his hangover passed he headed over, taking his time with the drive. He wanted for Cas to be there – of course he did – but he knew better than to get his hopes up. He was still a little disappointed, though, it would be strange if he wasn't, and he realized that Cas had to come back at one point; he had only gotten through half of the last book stuffed under the chair.

Dean felt he could stay there for hours – the sunlight, the tall bookshelves in front of him.

Skyscrapers, he thought. They were like skyscrapers.

It was calm, but the only thing keeping him from falling asleep was the lump in his chest that had been growing since he left the party.

He missed Cas.

"I saw you there, you know." Dean jumped and stared up.

"Cas," he said faintly.

"When you were here, the second time. You came and looked through my books, and you sat down there, right where you are now."

"I – I didn't hear anyone-"

"I can sneak up on people pretty well," Cas said, sitting down across from Dean.

Stitching up wasn't hard to do since the tear wasn't so bad; the fall could have been so much worse. Cas sat, complete and real across from him, and he didn't have to think about his mom or his dad or that damn fucking final he probably failed. The only things crossing his mind were Cas' eyes, the small smile, and the one beam of sunlight draped across his face.

"You're uh...a...very... good kisser," Cas said, and he scratched his neck.

"You know why I came to this library in the first place?"


"I didn't write my Hamlet essay. It was due in like, one or two days, our first essay of the year, and I hadn't even read it. I went here because I couldn't wait till the next day to go to the school library, and when I got here I couldn't find the section where they kept the plays. I wound up back here, and I saw you reading. And you know what?"

Dean leaned forward, scooting closer so he wouldn't have to sit on his knees. He put his hands on either sides of Cas' face and leaned in, their noses brushing. Cas stared up and warmed up to his touch.

"I love my English teacher," Dean started quietly, turning his head so his lips were parallel to Cas', and whispered, "almost as much as I love you."

Cas sprung forward and clashed his lips with Dean's, pushing him backward from surprise. Dean smiled against Cas' lips and his arms settled on Cas' hips, who had his hands on each of Dean's shoulders, holding him against the wall.

He pulled apart, gasping for breath before smiling and then laughing, laughing hard against Dean's chest, who looked up at him through his lashes.

"Why are you laughing?" Dean said, feeling the vibrations through his chest.

"No, no- it's just – I don't think you're what my brother pictured when he took me to that party saying I need to get laid," he laughed again, and Dean raised his eyebrows.

"Calm down Cas, you haven't gotten laid, yet," he said, and Cas shook his head. He rested his head on Dean's shoulder and closed his eyes, sighing.

"Uh, Cas," Dean said.

"Yeah," Cas answered tiredly.

"Can I, uh,..."

"What is it?"

"Can I, um... have your number?"