Alrighty, I have no little blurb planned out for today, so I guess… Let's keep on truckin'. Er, writing. Writin'.

Nevermind.

Now, after the initial shock of hearing somebody else's voice while you're alone on the water (and jumping backwards, landing on his ass, and shrieking like a little girl), Dean pulled himself together and leaned over the side of the boat. He got a glimpse of the frightened bobbing of the head of his merman. This 'Castiel', it seemed, had been startled by his shouting (Dean Winchester didn't shriek).

"Oh no, no,no! It's okay, it's okay!" Dean assured, waving his hands out over him to get Castiel's attention back to himself. He stilled again and looked Dean in the eyes, just staring. He didn't say anything, and that was fine with Dean because he didn't think he'd be able to reply.

"Are you alright?" Castiel asked, snapping Dean out of his stupor.

"Oh, uh, yeah."

"You had a strange look on your face."

Dean nodded; he probably had. He wasn't quite used to being speechless yet. He would make an effort not to let it happen again.

"You have been thinking of me?" The merman asked, hoisting himself up further to be better able to look Dean in the face. He was leaning on his forearms, holding a good amount of his tail out of the water as well. After Dean was sure he wasn't still seeing things, and staring at it for just a moment, he realized he'd been asked a question. And a truly awkward one at that. Saying what he'd really been thinking at the time would be going against everything he'd ever preached. How could he say, 'Oh, you've really been the only thing on my mind for four days,' without sounding like a little bitch?

"Well, about that—"

"I have been thinking of you as well." Castiel cut in, eyes seeing fit to roam over Dean's face countless times before looking back into his eyes. "It's strange; you aren't the first human I've seen. So, why?"

"Hell if I should know." Dean replied, getting sucked right back into the stare again. He couldn't very well make the same argument; before he saw Castiel he hadn't even known mer-people existed.

"It must be something about you, specifically, then… But I don't know what." Castiel seemed to be moving into his own mind inch by inch, and Dean was sure that in a minute he wouldn't even remember Dean was there. He snapped his fingers in front of his nose, and his companion snapped out of it.

"Hey, you still with us?" Dean grinned. Castiel watched him twitch in that same position for a while longer, and then nodded.

"Yes, of course." He answered curtly.

"And to think my brother didn't think you existed!" Dean muttered, caught halfway between poking Castiel anywhere he could and, well, not doing that.

"What do you mean? The last time I heard from you, every human on earth knew of our existence." Castiel tipped his head to the side, and his eyebrows knitted in confusion. Dean thought momentarily that this was adorable, but stopped that train of thought instantly. This wasn't adorable, this was a man-fish who was clearly way out of the loop.

"Oh yeah, and when did you last hear from us?" He inquired, quirking an eyebrow.

"I don't know, it is hard to keep track of time living under water." Castiel thought back to his last encounter. "I do remember that the last fishermen I saw were there to plead for safer waters to sail, after a large storm. It had been easy enough the quell, and they didn't need to ask with such fear—we are actually a peaceful people."

"Well, the last storm was in October, and nobody talked of mermen then, either." Dean commented, leaning on the side of the boat to the right of Castiel. He mused over how strong Castiel must be to be able to hold himself up out of the water so long with only his arms.

"So, Dean, what is your brother like? I would like to make a comparison to my own."

Dean wasn't all that surprised to learn that Castiel had siblings, almost everybody did around here. Why should people living in the ocean be any different? "Well, his name's Sam—I call him Sammy, though, annoys the hell out of him—and he's a giant nerd. I mean giant literally, too, this kid is tall. He has to duck to get into the house!" Castiel listened, hung onto every word, and stored them away for future reference. "He's got all this college crap hanging around; dropped out two years in, I think. Still had more of a student career than I did, but," He shrugged. That was all that really needed to be said about Sammy, without going into too much detail.

"He sounds interesting." Well, that was just about the opposite of what Dean thought, but Castiel was a merman, so who knew if they had nerds down there. "All of my brothers and sisters are equally so; they're all very clever and they have several skills each. My brother Balthazar, for example, is very good at languages. He can speak just about everything in Europe. My sister Anna is well traveled. I've not left home, though." He concluded his short rambling with a cough. It was no wonder, he sounded like he had a permanent case of frog-in-throat.

"They sound like they would make best friends with Sam; he's always loved languages. Took to Latin really easily."

"And what about you, Dean?" Castiel asked, resting his head on his hands, albeit awkwardly since he was still pushing down on the boat.

"Not much to tell. I dropped out of school in senior year—that place wasn't going to help me at all, nothing they taught was gonna carry on into my life later, see—and now I live with Sam and my dad in the town over.." He gestured to the shore again.

"I see." The merman looked at the rough plastic deck of the boat, "Perhaps if I went to school I would know what half of that meant." Dean laughed, and Castiel joined in after a little bit. It was nice, Dean thought, laughing along with somebody. Sure, he and Sam made the occasional joke both of them found funny, but this was fresh and the conversation was different. The conversational partner was different.

They were interrupted then, when Dean's cell phone rang. Wondering how he got reception out here on the boat, he flipped it open and answered with a quick, "Dean."

Castiel watched in awe as Dean spoke into the small machine, and gasped when another voice—angry, it seemed—spoke back at him. It was harder to hear, but if he strained he could hear them well.

"Dean, where the hell are you?" It was Sam, and Dean cursed inwardly before answering him.

"Sam, hello to you too. I'm out on the boat."

"What the hell are you doing out on the boat?" He could hear the bitchface in Sam's tone.

"Oh, you know me. I love the waves, and the salt, and the sunburn. Just so exhilarating." He snarked. "What do you think I'd be doing out on the boat?"

"Dean, tell me you're not still looking for this merman." Sam sighed heavily into the receiver, and Dean grinned widely.

"No, Sammy, I found him! He's right here, right next to me right now!" Dean held the phone up to Castiel, who watched it warily, and he leaned back slightly when it was thrust into his face. "Cas, say hi!"

"Who is Cas? I thought this was Sam." Castiel said, squinting. Dean nodded.

"It is, Castiel, just say hi." Well, since it seemed to be a big deal,

"Hello." Castiel said, and Dean pulled the phone back up against his ear.

"Dean, who was that?" Sam asked, wondering who his brother could have possibly found to go on the boat trip with him. They had a very small circle of friends, and as far as he knew all of Dean's friends were people Sam was familiar with. He didn't recognize the voice of this one, though.

"Sam, this is Castiel. He's the merman! I found him!" Dean was ecstatic, waving his free hand around as if it was helping him prove his point. Probably more to release his extra energy.

"Uh, huh." Sam agreed, the sarcasm dripping from his voice wasn't lost on Dean, though. "You found the merman, and his name is Castiel. And somehow you managed to get him onto your boat?"

"No, see, he's hanging on the side of the boat—"

"Dean, I don't have time for this! We were supposed to meet Jo at the game an hour ago! She's going to kick your ass, dude!"

Dean slapped himself in the forehead, groaning, "Ugh, I totally forgot! Sam, could you cover for me until I get there?"

"I don't think that's gonna work, Dean, she's already pretty mad. I need to forcibly hold her back from the phone right now." Sam hissed something, probably with his hand over the speaker, and then continued, "Dean, I gotta go! Get your ass over here!" And then Sam hung up.

"Sorry, Castiel, I'm going to have to go." Dean apologized, and Castiel nodded.

"I understand. If you have plans, you should honor them." He slipped down into the water again.

"You gonna be there tomorrow?" Dean asked, as casually as he could while rushing around on the deck.

"Of course. Does this mean I will see you then?" Dean nodded, and Cas hummed. "I'll see you tomorrow, Dean." And with that, he slid under the waves and was gone. Dean watched the spot where he'd disappeared for a minute longer, and then started the engine to head home.

It got easier and then got harder again.

Don't worry, though, I've got the rest of the plot falling into place, and I'm sure I can get it all down!

Review or something, yeah?

-D