A/N: So... I feel I should warn y'all beforehand that I don't often write multi-chapter fics. It's an approach I'm not really used to, and as a result, updates on this might be very irregular. All I can promise is that I never leave anything unfinished, no matter how long it takes. And that the rating will definitely go up eventually ;p
Castiel sighed as the fire alarm went off, his hand halting in mid-air before the whiteboard as shrill ringing pierced through the air. He almost laughed at the collective sigh of relief that came from his 10th grade History class, but by the time he turned around to face his students he made sure to have a stern look on his face.
"All right everyone, let's line up next to the door. Leave your things, Angela. Let's all stay calm and keep quiet please." he instructed as he went to the door.
Taking a quick look around the hallway outside he saw Balthazar the next door down outside his French class, peering around in curiosity as well.
"Did you hear anything about a drill today?" Balthazar inquired, catching sight of Castiel and walking over.
Castiel frowned, shaking his head in the negative. More teachers began to emerge from their classrooms, looking around the hallway with similar expressions of puzzlement on their faces, but there was still a decided lack of panic in the air. Or smoke, for that matter.
"One of the Home Ec kids has probably burned their muffins again." Balthazar sighed overdramatically. Castiel huffed out a laugh.
"Probably." he agreed. With the exception of one minor explosion in Uriel's chemistry lab a few years ago, most of the unscheduled fire alarms had originated from some cooking fiasco in one of Crowley's Home Economics classes. Castiel had even begun to suspect that it was some kind of maniacal plot Crowley had hatched to convince the School Board the kitchens needed upgrading. But although Crowley usually dealt with the fires before they got out of control, the detectors still picked up the smoke, automatically setting off the alarms and calling the nearby fire department. While the students always welcomed the unexpected respite from their classes, unfortunately it meant the teachers had to re-work their lesson plans to make sure all the subject material was still covered.
"Well." Balthazar perked up suddenly, "Let's look on the bright side!"
"And what's that?" Castiel asked, tilting his head in confusion. Balthazar smirked.
"Firemen, Cassy. Firemen."
Balthazar had already found Castiel again by the time the firetruck pulled into the parking lot. The kids were already well settled in their designated areas, standing around chatting and generally looking bored, and though a handful managed to look up in mild interest at the truck's arrival no one rivalled Balthazar's keen anticipation of the event.
"Here we go." Balthazar murmured under his breath excitedly as Principal Harvelle walked up to meet the truck. Castiel rolled his eyes at the eager leer on his friend's face.
"Balthazar..." Castiel began warningly, about to launch into a well-trodden lecture on 'appropriate behaviour in front of the students', but he was abruptly cut off, air knocked out of his lungs as Balthazar practically slammed a hand onto his chest, other hand clutching at his own chest over his heart.
"Good Lord, I'm in love." Balthazar breathed. Castiel followed the line of Balthazar's gaze back to the truck, where a positively gargantuan young man had gotten out of the passenger side, long brown hair framing all angled features under his helmet, his firemen's jacket hanging off an impossibly broad set of shoulders. Castiel had to admit, the man was attractive, but nonetheless he eased Balthazar's hand away from his shirt, frowning at his colleague in disapproval.
Balthazar barely noticed, his hand dropping away obediently while the other clutched at his heart even tighter. Castiel sighed, relenting. It wasn't like Balthazar ever listened to any of his lectures anyway. And to be honest, life would be a lot more boring if he did. So Castiel decided to let it go, yet again resigning himself to his friend's antics.
That was the moment the other firefighter got out of the driver's side of the truck... and looked straight at him.
Even from his spot across the small parking lot Castiel could see the green of the firefighter's eyes, the spattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose, the pink of his almost feminine lips framed by the angled curve of his jaw… And as the air once again rushed out of Castiel's chest, a part of him couldn't help but agree with Balthazar's sentiments completely.
"Dean." he tried again, more loudly.
When Sam still didn't get a response, he turned in the direction his brother was staring, and saw two of the school's teachers - an attractive blond man almost comically clutching at his own chest, and a dark-haired serious looking type with large blue eyes, staring intently back in their direction.
Sam narrowed his eyes. Was the blond guy hyperventilating or something? No, there was no panic there, the man was fine. And none of that explained why his brother was acting like a deer caught in the headlights.
"Stay with the truck, Probie." Rufus instructed as he climbed down from the back of the truck, interrupting Sam's thoughts. "S'usually just a false alarm here, but stay alert anyway."
"Sure thing." Sam replied. Rufus turned towards the Principal, clapping Dean on the back as he walked past, and his brother finally snapped out of it, following Rufus silently.
Sam leaned back on the truck and looked back over at the two teachers. He noticed, with some amusement, that the dark-haired one's gaze followed Dean's back as his brother walked away.
So that's how it was. Nothing new there, Dean got that kind of attention all the time.
The blond however, still seemed to be looking in his direction.
"Castiel." Balthazar said determinedly, eyes trained on the young Adonis leaning against the firetruck.
Castiel didn't reply.
When the lack of response finally registered, Balthazar reluctantly ripped his eyes away from his firefighter prey, and blinked in surprise at what he saw. Castiel's jaw was set in a tense line, eyes intent in a completely focused kind of way that he'd never seen before. Curious, he looked around in the direction of Castiel's gaze and saw the two firemen walking with Principal Harvelle, one of them sending furtive glances back in their direction, as if he couldn't help himself. Then as the small group disappeared into the school, he heard Castiel release a slow, shaky breath beside him.
Balthazar turned back to his friend, an amused smirk on his face.
"Casti-el." he drawled, impressed. The firefighter was very good-looking. A different kind of gorgeous to the tall piece of yum standing by the truck, but still, definitely worth noting. Especially where his Cassy was involved. And Cassy looked involved. Very involved.
Castiel blinked at the sound of his name, finally snapping out of it and turning towards him, eyes glazing over in confusion. Balthazar sighed fondly, gripping Castiel's arm and giving him a little shake to call him to attention.
"Watch my kids for a minute okay?" Balthazar asked slowly, as if talking to a lost little child... which was exactly what Castiel looked like at the moment, all wide-eyed and breathless.
"O-okay." Castiel stammered, still distracted.
Oh yes, very involved.
But Balthazar knew if he left his friend to his own devices, nothing would ever come of it, too cautious and reserved for his own damn good.
Shaking his head in exasperation Balthazar walked off towards the truck. For the moment he had bigger fish to fry. Much bigger, taller, muscular fish to fry. And maybe, if things went smoothly, Balthazar might be able to do a little fishing for his Cassy as well.
Sam shifted anxiously as the blond teacher walked across the parking lot towards him, a confident swagger his approach. The man's overall demeanor was relaxed, open, but there was something almost predatory in the man's eyes that made Sam squirm like a pinned fly.
"Hello!" the blond teacher greeted, smiling pleasantly enough.
"Hi." Sam replied with an uncertain smile as the man stopped before him.
"'Probationary'?" the man said, eyeing his helmet and reading the label there. "Doesn't that mean you're in training?"
Sam quirked an eyebrow as he registered the English accent in the other man's drawl.
"Yeah, just started a couple months ago." he replied politely.
"Oh? And how are you liking it?" the man asked, seeming genuinely curious.
"It's alright." Sam shrugged. "Mostly false alarms so far."
The man laughed. "Yes well, I'm sure that must be a bother for you, but it's all a bit of excitement for us." he said, eyes twinkling in humor. Sam couldn't help but laugh a little at that.
"Balthazar Roche." the man introduced himself, reaching out his hand, "I teach French here… Well, I try to anyway." he said, smirking at the listless teens around him. Sam found himself laughing again, beginning to relax. A little polite conversation couldn't hurt anyone, and it might make the otherwise routine run to the school pass by a little more quickly.
"Sam Winchester." he replied, shaking the proffered hand.
"Winchester? Are you related to that other fireman? I saw the name on his uniform." Balthazar inquired.
"Yeah that's my brother. Dean."
"Ahhh, a family of firefighters, how interesting." Balthazar replied. Out of reflex Sam snorted.
"Yeah, interesting at best." he replied dryly, and Balthazar laughed in response, catching the jest at his brother's expense. Sam decided he kind of liked the way the corners of Balthazar's eyes crinkled up when he laughed.
"So you are the younger brother, I take it?" Balthazar said with a wry smile.
"What gave me away?" Sam grinned.
"Well it wasn't the size of you, that's for sure." Balthazar replied with an assessing smirk, and Sam felt his ears turning pink under the gaze. Polite conversation had officially turned into flirting, and Sam suddenly found himself stammering stupidly in response. Thankfully, that was when he caught sight of Dean and Rufus in the distance, returning with the Principal.
He'd almost forgotten Dean's strange behaviour earlier, but when his brother returned Sam narrowed his eyes in observation again. Dean was still oddly quiet, holding himself a little stiffly, and kept shooting glances out of the corner of his eye at something. When Sam followed the direction of his brother's attention he saw the dark-haired teacher from before, the man's eyes again following Dean's path.
"Huh." Sam grinned to himself, catching on. Dean got a lot of attention sometimes, but it wasn't often Sam saw him respond to it this way.
"Yes…" Balthazar drawled in agreement, smirking knowingly as he observed the same scene.
"Tell you what, Sam," Balthazar said, "I'll give you Castiel's number to pass on to your brother, if you give me yours."