Castiel's luggage arrived by courier that afternoon, and it was decided he would stay in one of the empty rooms upstairs. The room was mostly bare, with an undressed bed, a plain white blind over the window, and bare cream walls. Old seemed to be the best word to describe it. Castiel began to fill the dresser shaped dresser with his clothes, unaware that, in the basement, mutiny was already brewing.
"I say we wait for Garth to return," Balthazar said, examining the grit under his fingernails, "if anyone's going to scare him off, it's Garth."
"Wait?" Gabriel repeated, incredulous. "I'm not waiting. He's going to ruin everything! Say goodbye to sausage-fest Saturdays, that's gone…"
"Gabriel, you're the only one who thinks communal gay porn night is a good idea."
"Respect your Pledgemaster, Chuck, don't make me get the cheez-whizz."
"Shut it," Dean barked, getting everyone's attention. "You're panicking over nothing. He's not going to last a week. We'll break him."
"And if we don't?"
"Dude, this house needs to stay a thing," Ash's eyes widened, "or we're all screwed. Nothin'll stop the Alphas then…"
"Yeah, I know. So we'll just keep on being us. No sweat." Dean grinned. "Who knows, he might even fix things up for us before he goes coo-coo."
And Dean wasn't wrong. The next morning, the house was woken by the noise of a wall crashing down. Dean paused, in the middle of extracting his pop tart from the toaster.
"Ah, good, someone's awake." Castiel walked into the kitchen, brushing dust off of his hands and rolling down his sleeves. "You are aware it's ten in the morning?"
"Yeah… are you aware that you're knocking down walls?"
"While everyone was out last night, I had a builder friend come round and discussed the possibility of upgrading the bathroom. A minimal water closet like that is not up to code for dealing with this amount of people."
"Seriously? They're actually fixing the bathroom?"
Castiel nodded, feeling a small balloon of pride swell in his chest.
"How? We've been bitching about it for years, they always said it wasn't in the budget… how.."?
"I hold a certain amount of sway with the college's board of directors. What I advise, it is recommended they do. When I recommend that the closet space be gotten rid of and made part of the bathroom, and the damp be treated as soon as possible, for instance, it happens."
"Awesome! Dude, that's, uh… thanks." Dean smiled, flipping his pop-tart onto a plate and backing out of the kitchen. Castiel had known that would be a good start. He was sure he'd have them eating out of his hand in no time.
It never took long, with so many young people confined to such a tense atmosphere, for trouble to brew. In fact, within twenty hours, the first blow had been struck.
"I don't understand," Castiel muttered, grasping the door-frame for support.
"What's to understand?" Gabriel said, wiping brick dust off the toilet lid. "They took our wall."
"I knew it was too good to be true."
"How do you know it's these…"
"It's always Alpha Kappa Alpha." Gabriel took a seat on the lid of the toilet, and glared pissily at Castiel. "Always. They run the place, and have dibs on, like, seventy per cent of all college funds for frat houses. They're like the Mafia. A really preppy, heads-up-their-own-asses, college Mafia. And they've got a special hate on for us."
At that point, Dean pushed past Castiel, rubbing sleep from his eyes.
"Everybody out, gotta p-"
Dean stared at the five foot by five foot hole in the bathroom wall.
"Son of a bitch."
And he left. Gabriel frowned, before looking at Castiel again.
"I'm going to guess violence is the sort of thing you're here to stop?"
"Yes… but he wouldn't…"
Even as Castiel said it, he realised he had no idea what Dean was capable of. He turned and strode quickly after Dean, hoping to find him before he created a scene. Gabriel, now left in the empty bathroom, analysed the breezy hole in the wall, and wondered if he was enough of an exhibitionist to just go ahead and shower anyway.
On the grand steps of the Alpha Kappa Alpha building sat a small pyramid of bricks, surrounded by Starbucks chugging jocks. Dean stormed up to them, so mad that he didn't care he was only in a hoody and sweatpants.
"What kind of asshats steal someone's wall? Even for you, Mikey, that's low."
"You don't talk to Michael like that, charity case," one of the lackeys sneered over his starbucks, pushing out his chest and emphasising his bulk. "Else I might have to teach you a lesson."
"Uriel." Michael, the eldest of the group, silenced his fraternity. "Honestly, Winchester, I really don't see a problem. We'd put in an application weeks ago for a back patio. And now we can't have it, because your joke of a fraternity snuck in and stole those funds. So really, we're just reclaiming what is rightfully…"
"You douchebags don't know a thing about "rightful", so shut your damn mouth and give us back the bricks."
The Alphas just laughed. Dean clenched his fist, and started up the steps, but was held back.
"Now, please, let's not resort to violence."
Dean shrugged off Castiel's hand, and spared him a second long glance, which held a fair amount of force.
"Don't get involved, ok? You don't have any business here…"
"Now, now," Michael sighed, already sounding bored. "I'm sure we can all learn from this. If you are the "Mr Novak" here to fix our little slum house, then you would do well to learn that our house raises more than triple the fund money than these guys, and therefore have priority over assignment of it. We, humble Alpha Kappas that we are, can learn never to trust the higher ups to follow through on their promises. And you, Winchester, and all of your junkyard dogs, can learn your goddamn place."
"Oh yeah? And where's that?" Dean snarled.
"The gutter." Michael drawled, to the boisterous laughter of his frat. "Mr Novak, it was a pleasure meeting you, but we have some bricks to keep safe, and classes to get to, so if you wouldn't mind taking your dog off our property, that would be lovely."
"And you'd just love that, wouldn't you, stuck-up prick…" Dean looked like he was about to really let go, when an Alpha pledge, identifiable by his Alpha sash and the fact that he was bringing everyone's breakfasts, walked up behind Dean and Castiel.
"What's going on?"
Dean stared at the pledge for a moment, struck dumb. Even the snickers of the Alpha frat didn't seem to get his attention. Eventually, he shot Michael with one last glare.
"This ain't over." And with that, Dan stormed back to the house, and Castiel followed him, worried by the fierce expression on his face. Dean ran on ahead, and by the time Castiel rounded the corner, the only person he could see was Gabriel, in a red satin smoking jacket, stood by the mailbox and looking like a startled cat.
"What the hell was up with Dean?"
"He confronted the Alpha Kappa Alphas, and didn't go too well."
"He did? Huh… looked awful clean, compared to normal."
"He was about to resort to violence, I think, but then a pledge turned up and… almost seemed to scare him off."
"A pledge?" Gabriel's attention snapped back to the matter at hand like an elastic waistband. "Tall as a redwood, wide as a highway, dresses like a Brokeback reject?"
Castiel nodded, although he wasn't sure whether he agreed with the description. Gabriel sucked in air through his teeth and adopted a faraway look in his eyes.
"Yeah, that's Sam. Dean doesn't like people to talk about him, but… mmf."
Castiel waited for the rest of the story, but realised that Gabriel wasn't going to give up whatever fantasy he was clinging on to.
"Hm? Oh, yeah… He's Dean's brother. And he really doesn't like him these days."