Title: White Shirt
Song: 'Born This Way' - Lady Gaga
Pairing(s): Dean/Castiel, (very) minor Sam/Balthazar
AU: High School
Warning(s): brief mention of homophobia

"You can't be serious, Cas."

Castiel visibly faltered in front of his boyfriend, the once brighter smile falling short. His fingers clutched the shoulders of the bright white t-shirt, the front of which was blank, unlike his own. His own shirt had a set of two words pressed on in a dark, bold print. 'Socially Inept', one of Cas' biggest insecurities.

"Why not?" He folded the shirt meticulously, laying it on Dean's computer desk.

"I told you babe, I'm just not ready." Flopping back on the bed, Dean ran a hand over his face and blew out and unsettled breath before laying his arms over his head. "I just can't."

"Dean." Cas' sat on the side of his bed, hands gently rubbing his wrists before peeling his boyfriend's arms away from his face. He smiled as green eyes met his, being rewarded with a shaky one in return. "Hello Dean."

"Hey Cas." The smile brightened a bit as Cas' hands slipped and weaved into his own.

"You remember what I said to you when Balthazar freaked you out? 'I won't ever push you to come out; I'll wait years if I have to'?" Dean frowned, but nodded. "I meant what I said. I wouldn't ever push you into coming out. You don't have to put that on the shirt, you can put something else." With a loving smile, Castiel leaned forward and lightly kissed him, retreating once Dean tried to lean in for more. "I would appreciate it if you could do something, beloved. To have my boyfriend's support, even silent, would mean a lot to me tomorrow."

Dean bit his lip, but tugged him down into a hug. "Can you stay awhile?"

Snuggling into his side, Cas shook his head. "The assembly's tomorrow. I need to call Jo and make sure everything's all set." Next to him, Dean started to tense until Castiel ran a hand over his arm reverently. "I don't have to leave immediately, however."

Sometimes, Dean wondered how in the cosmos he had gotten Castiel Novak, when Cas deserved so much better (he'd said it once to Cas, watching Cas simmer beautifully in afterglow. He'd gotten so pissed at Dean he'd actually yelled, or as close as he could, and proceeded to prove many, many points of his argument to Dean. He'd had trouble sitting right for a few days after that, and had vowed not to mention it again).

When they had first met, it was in the second half of freshman year. Guys from the baseball team were giving the new kid a hard time and Dean hadn't been able to just sit by and watch. After coming to his defense, helping the kid up and properly introducing himself, Dean was hooked on the skinny kid with dark bed hair and the most illegal pair of blue eyes he'd ever seen. Castiel had apparently been just as hooked, as they hung out every day, or just about. Cas got Dean to study more; Dean got Cas to lighten up. Dean's family loved Cas, and how good he was for him. Cas' family welcomed him like one of the fold.

Cas was still picked on and pushed around, mainly for being out and not caring who thought what about it. The catalyst was in the end of their sophomore year when that dick Roman had actually punched him, and Dean had gone nuts on him. In the end, he was dragged away by Castiel of all people, and they took shelter in the boy's locker room. Dean carefully checked over Cas' blackening eye for any more potential damage before he even thought about his own, and Cas leaned forward and kissed Dean. He'd kissed back, but they spent so long after trading heated kisses talking about potentials, closed-door dating and Dean's closeted bisexuality. Cas had said he wouldn't force him out of the closet, but had actually made his promise almost a year later when Balthazar had been pressuring Dean to come out before their anniversary and had sent him into a panic attack.

After the catalyst fight with Dick Roman, Castiel had gone to the administration to start a GSA branch at their high school and after accruing enough interest had finally started the club. It ate up a lot of his time, but Dean was proud of his boyfriend. Cas was making a legacy in the school, and making it a safer place for Out and Proud students.

One of their last events Cas had planned for their senior year, until he was forced to help pass the torch on, was co-sponsored by the student council; students wearing white shirts, with black bold print stating their biggest secret, fear, or whatever they wanted to share. It was to help solidify a sense of unity in the school, and help the student body blend together more. It was a fantastic idea.

Castiel Novak was a wonderful person.
Unfortunately, he had a closet case for a boyfriend who, with their two-year anniversary coming up, still didn't have the balls to tell Castiel he loved him. The universe and its sense of humor.

Scrubbing a hand over his face, Dean rolled out of bed and shuffled to Sam's room.
Maybe he could help him with an art project.

The event couldn't have gone much better than Castiel had imagined. The gymnasium was packed full of students in white shirts, chatting, embracing and mingling with students they wouldn't otherwise talk to. Castiel, Jo and a few other GSA and student council members were heading a table, offering out water and handling the music over the loud speakers in the room. He smiled politely at a thin girl with bright red hair and a Gryffindor scarf curled around her neck, with the words 'Nerd' in bold print across her chest—Charley, he thought her name was.

The only way this day could've gone any better was, well, Dean.

He'd seen his boyfriend only for a moment this morning, and had gotten a better eyeful at lunch. Jeans and his leather jacket tucked up to his chin. He couldn't see the shirt underneath, but it still didn't help the sense of disappointment from sitting in his stomach. He'd just wanted Dean's support—but if he wasn't into the event he couldn't very well make him.

Cas was told he had the patience of a saint on more than a few occasions when it came to Dean. He didn't force Dean to come out, didn't push the envelope. Dean could only make that decision on his own. Yes, Castiel has an amazing boyfriend; yes he's proud of both himself and their relationship. And, yes, he wants to brag just a tiny bit because Dean is amazing and he loves him.

But he doesn't push the subject. Dean (and their relationship) will come out when the time was right.

A dark figure passing through the crowd caught his eye, and soon a familiar figure in a leather jacket was weaving his way up to the table. Dean smiled weakly, looking a bit off as he shoved his hands into his jacket pockets. "Hey Cas."

Cas smiled back, though worried why he looked like he might fall over any moment. "Hello Dean. Are you alright?"

Nodding slightly, he looked down at the table, fidgeting slightly. "Yeah, I'm alright."

That worried him more. "Dean?"

"Just, give me a sec, Cas." Slipping his hands out, he fluffed up his hair before fiddling with the zipper of his jacket. With a fine tremble in his hands, Dean slid the zipper bus down and slowly peeled his jacket off. Cas' breath caught —Dean was wearing the white shirt he'd brought over the day before, rumbled slightly from being trapped under leather all day. In bold lettering across the front was a single word; 'Bisexual'.

"Dean…" Words were sticking to the back of his throat. Dean was...

"Yeah, well…" Giving an uneasy smile, Dean hooked a thumb into his jeans loop and handed his jacket to his boyfriend. Behind him, Cas noticed a few people looking at Dean, gawking mildly at the white shirt. "Take care of this, would you? I'll get it back later."

Cas nodded, taking the jacket from him. The familiar leather under his fingers made him smile, and he wanted to bury his nose into the collar but refrained. "I think I saw Sam and Balthazar over by the bleachers." He supplied with a shy smile, tucking the jacket into the crook of his arm.

Dean made a face, but nodded. "Older Brother Duty calls, then. I'll see you later?"

"I look forward to it."

Smiling, Dean nodded and turned to go find his baby brother—and for the second time that day, Castiel was rendered speechless as his boyfriend wandered into the crowd.

Across the back of Dean's white shirt, written in dark marker in his slanted, messy handwriting, was the five words Cas had always hoped to hear, but seeing them written the first time was great, too. He'd just ask if Dean could honestly tell him, later.

'In Love With Castiel Novak'