Well, folks... here it is. The very last chapter.
I'd just like to thank EVERYONE. Everyone who's reviewed, who's come to talk to me, who has just been reading and not saying anything, ha. It's been a hell of a trip, folks. Thank you for accompanying me on it.
A brief slang dictionary, RIGHT NOW (because it wouldn't make sense to have it at the end): passion pit means drive-in movie theater, and backseat bingo means making out in the back of a car. Uh, that should be it.
I'm really sad to leave this story behind. Really. And I'm sad to leave all of my amazing readers behind.
But such is the way of life.
Please keep in touch, though. Even though I have no idea what my next project will be (maybe it'll be Les Mis-related...).
And everyone who's just been lurking this whole time? Now is your chance to say hello and give me your thoughts on this story as a closing statement.
So again. Thank you so much for reading, for putting up with me, and for loving my boys.
Thank you, bless you, and enjoy the end of Bubblegum and Cigarettes.
They make plans for a week after that.
When Dean is driving Sam and Castiel to school, they try to limit the significant looks, because even though Sam knows about them, he tends to get very red-faced indeed every time their stares catch a little too long. (It's not that he minds. It's just—his brother and his best friend. Gross.)
So they finally find a time when Dean isn't working and Cas can come up with a neat little lie to tell his parents, and Dean checks out the listings in the papers and can't decide if he should take Cas to see Some Like it Hot or North By Northwest. He ends up taking them to Sleeping Beauty since he doubts he and Castiel will be paying much attention anyway; it is rare, after all, for couples to pay attention at drive-in movie theatres.
Because, cheesy though it may be, Dean is taking Cas to a drive-in.
And the word "couple" still sends shivers down his spine.
He picks Castiel up a block away from his house, where Cas is sure his family has no friends. Dean isn't hurt or bothered by the fact that Cas is worried about being seen, because he knows it's not shame that makes him cautious. Dean, of all people, knows about the dangers of a relationship like this.
But they both agreed, that night behind the tree, that it will be worth it.
So Dean assures Cas that "hey, baby, going to a passion pit is the best thing that can happen to boys our age," and even though Cas's blue eyes were dubious, he agrees.
Castiel has no idea what to expect, but he knows he has no reason to be nervous.
He's with Dean. Anything that happens, happens. And Dean would never hurt him or do anything he wouldn't be comfortable with. And even though Castiel is less than interested in the film Dean is taking him to see—and he knows Dean isn't all that excited about Disney's latest picture, either—something tells him that they won't be watching too much of it.
He just so happens to be right.
He is jittery the whole ride there, and once they finally make it to the drive-in, Dean sees his nerves and rolls the car all the way to the very, very back; far enough away from the screen that the families up front won't see them but not too far to actually see what's going on in the movie.
But he's still nervous, of course.
Dean stops the car, fiddles with the radio until he finds the frequency that the audio will be playing on, stops the car, and sighs. "Look. I can tell you're… uncomfortable."
The movie starts, and the radio crackles to life, making Cas jump. Dean turns it down slightly and turns to him, still waiting for an answer. Castiel takes a deep breath. "I'm not uncomfortable, Dean," he says quietly. "I guess—I don't know. You've obviously done this before, and I obviously haven't, and I know I don't have anything to be nervous about, but—I'm still just so new to this, all of it, and—"
"We don't have to do anything," Dean assures him quickly. "Not if you don't want to. We can just sit here and watch the picture."
"Oh, no, I want to do something, at least," Cas objects. "I'm just—won't we get seen?"
Dean sends him a smirk that makes shivers run down his spine. "Nah. We'll steam up the windows good enough that no one will see."
Something inside of Castiel bubbles and snaps, and before he can overthink it he's got Dean pinned to the driver's side door, mouth hot against his neck, and Dean lets out a quiet, throaty laugh, which makes Cas growl and move back up to kiss him hard enough that he can barely make a single sound.
At some point, Dean praises him for being a natural at all of this, and Cas pauses to blush prettily, at which point Dean can't hold himself back, either, and pulls Cas in for another kiss, or twenty, or forty, or too many to count.
After, when they are lying there just listening to mingling breaths and pulses, Castiel slowly sits up and, with a slim finger, traces out a heart and "D+C" in the steam on the windows. He half-hopes Dean doesn't see, because it's so sentimental and too soon, probably, and when he looks back at the other boy he's expecting Dean to give a bitter laugh and tell Cas not to get any ideas.
But Dean is just looking at him with this warm, overwhelming, unreadable expression in his too-green eyes, and he sits up, too, not saying anything, just wrapping those arms around Cas from behind and pressing one kiss to the nape of his neck as they watch the letters drip down the glass.
They've managed to miss half the movie, and send each other bashful smiles as Dean uses the sleeve of his long-removed shirt to wipe away some of the steam on the front windshield so they can actually see the screen.
But neither of them, of course, can focus.
"I think we need to talk about this," Cas says hoarsely after a lengthy pause, and Dean looks pensively at him.
"What—how—" Cas trails off vaguely, not even having a thought fully formed in his own head. He leans over so he's resting against Dean's shoulder, and Dean hums and gently begins to stroke his hair. "How is this going to work?" Cas whispers.
Dean sighs, and it echoes through Castiel's body. "It'll have to be a secret," he says grudgingly. "Sam knows already, but no one else can. Honestly, I think it won't be too different from just being friends in public. But in private, well… Anyway."
"Anyway," Cas repeats, cheeks slightly flushed. "So… just like friends."
"Yeah," Dean smiles. "Who knows? Maybe it'll help with the tension 'tween the greasers and the Socs."
"Maybe," Cas hums, recklessly leaning up to brush his lips against Dean's jaw. He can't believe he's brave enough to do that, but after all, he's allowed.
"But we're exclusive, right?" Dean asks, tone suddenly uncertain. "It's just you and me? Even though we're acting as just-friends in public and playing the occasional game of backseat bingo, there won't be any girls or anything like that?"
"Dean," Cas scolds, "of course not. How could there be any girl for me when you exist?"
Dean flushes and bites his lip with pretty white teeth, turning his eyes back to the screen. "Just wanted to check."
"You have nothing to be worried about," Cas murmurs, allowing for another kiss to his neck. "Yes, we're exclusive."
"Good," Dean says shortly, and something inside of Cas flutters and his mouth just starts saying things of its own accord, despite Cas desperately trying to stay quiet about this.
Dean looks down at him, one eyebrow raised at the tone of his voice. "Yeah, baby?"
Cas blushes furiously, bites his lip, and looks away. "I—I love you," he whispers, almost hoping Dean won't hear him.
But he hears a quiet intake of breath from Dean, and then he's being turned around again so Dean can seal their lips together once more, returning the sentiment, if not the words.
Castiel is alright with that. Words have never been either of their strong suits, anyway.
And he doesn't really need words, anymore. He has Dean, and Dean's mouth on his own, and the wide back seat of the Chrysler, and goodnight kisses behind trees, and rock and roll music, and, of course, important enough to list twice, he has Dean.
And he plans to keep all of that for a while.
Too much heart was always Eve's problem; she'd had a murmur since youth, and even though doctors always assured her that it wasn't anything to worry about, really, she died peacefully in her sleep two years later of quiet, painless heart failure.
Dean was devastated, perhaps even more so than when Mary had been killed. But he and Castiel somehow got through it, guiding each other with their misery back to happiness.
Michael and Lucifer Milton were called to fight in the Vietnam War shortly after their mother's death.
No one was home, three months later, to accept the telegram that both sons had been killed in action, so no one knew about it for another two weeks.
When they found out, and the bodies were brought back, Dean went to the funeral and stood in the very corner of the crowd so no one would see him. Castiel noticed his presence there, though, and couldn't even find words for how much he loved him.
Dean was called to fight, too. Just another few more weeks after the twins' funeral.
He and Castiel, knowing they were traitors to their country, got into the Chrysler and drove off. A roadtrip, just the two of them, until the war was over. They were young and in love, and they saw the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas and a few Guinness Book of World Records landmarks.
Once the war ended, they saw it as safe to return to Lawrence.
Turns out, Sam and Jess had gotten married in their absence.
John was still alive, oddly enough, but Sam had sent him off to a nursing home in Kansas City, because Jess was pregnant and they needed the house to be free from negative energy.
They welcomed Dean and Cas back with open arms, but they knew they couldn't stay. A month later, the boys had moved up to Maine, where they built themselves a ranch house far enough away from the road that no one would ask questions as to why two grown men were living together with no one else there.
Dean wanted children. So did Cas.
But they couldn't have them, of course. Adoption wasn't even considered, because people would ask questions.
Honestly, though, they were just happy to have each other.
They were never legally married, but Dean had two rings made and they did a quick ceremony in their orchard with a Bible and wedding vows.
Of course, they had their fights, but more often than not, they were stupidly happy until their last days.
(Even though Cas made Dean give up smoking and then hid all the liquor in the house.)
And so, Soc and greaser, bubblegum and cigarettes, Dean and Cas—they lived happily ever after.