A drop of blood slowly made its way down Dean's temple, making him ingest a sharp breath as his eyelids dropped shut. He felt his body shiver in despair. He was waiting for the pain that was no doubt about to hit. A pain that he'd never felt before. A kind of pain that made him want to die rather than suffer through it. A burning sensation caused him to let out a hoarse, miserable scream, making him feel like his whole being was on fire. The flames licked over his limbs roughly and he tugged desperately at his restraints to try to get away. He was stuck. Trapped like an animal, only his cage seemed to be more similar to hell than any other zoo he'd ever been to. His voice carried through the smoke and heat, hoping to attract someone's attention. Someone who could help him. Someone who could save him.
Suddenly a breeze of air swept past him, clearing away some of the black clouds covering his vision, and he was met by the most beautiful sight to be seen. Enormous dark wings were embracing what looked like a man, whose eyes were so blue Dean could've sworn they only existed in heaven. Despite the pain, Dean couldn't help but be mesmerized by this creature. His toned torso made Dean's jaw drop a bit, and when he sent him a crooked grin Dean could immediately feel the calm surround him as the fire went out and his hands and feet were released. He dropped down to the ground, which wasn't as hot as it had been before, and looked up in wonder at his savior. He couldn't talk; he didn't have the strength to. Before he could react, the unnamed man took a hold of his damaged shoulder, making him wince and let out a gasp. Then he felt like he was flying. Soaring high over hell, over earth and finally right into the gates of heaven. When he could feel solid land under his feet again, he turned his head to look at the angel, 'cause that's what he was; an angel. But he was gone. In his place was a lonely black feather. Dean bent down to pick it up. He supposed it was softer than anything he'd ever touched before. Perhaps it would tell Dean how to get a pair of wings of his own. He smiled slightly just as his index finger reached out and-
One hot angel. One cool devil.
Dean seriously couldn't have picked a more appropriate song as his ringtone.
Your mind on the fantasy. Livin' on the ecstasy.
"All right, all right, I get it," he grumbled as he flapped around with his hand to get a hold of his phone. He squinted at the screen and let out a sigh as he answered. "What?"
"Well, good morning to you, too."
"Not in the mood, Sam. What do you want?"
"Uhm, it's 8:30. Usually around this time I've received at least three text messages and one phone call from you. I figured you must've forgotten to set your alarm or something and slept in," Sam explained. Dean's eyes widened as he glanced on the clock. It was true, he'd slept in. He was supposed to be at work in half an hour.
"Shit!" he exclaimed as he threw the covers off himself and dashed towards the bathroom. He could hear Sam chuckle on the other end and he emitted an annoyed grunt and hung up on him. He didn't have time to small talk anyway. He quickly went through his morning routines, eventually hopping into the kitchen on one foot as he tried to tie his shoe at the same time, carelessly rummaging through the cabinets for a clean cup, praying to all the forces that brewing his coffee wouldn't be as slow of a process as it usually was. Truth be told, he didn't really know why he always brought coffee with him to work when he could just get one there. Supposedly he got tired of the beverage the café served that he drank all day, every day. He wanted to mix it up a bit. But today he cursed through his teeth, put the cup aside, stopped the brewer, and grabbed his keys instead. One homemade coffee-free morning wouldn't hurt. He put on his jacket and swiftly locked the door before running out towards his car. Only as he stopped at the first red-light did he realize that he'd left his phone were he'd thrown it away after hanging up on Sam. This would be a long day.
"You're late," Gabriel Novak remarked as he rushed in through the door, sweaty and out of breath.
"I know, and I'm sorry."
"Ah, it's okay. Just don't let it happen again."
Dean liked Gabe. He was the kind of easy going guy that Dean had always been able to get along with. They'd met a few years after Dean had graduated high school, deciding against everything in his nature that he needed to get away from his family, away from his dad. He'd grabbed Sammy as soon as he could, dragging him with him all the way to South Dakota where the only person who they could consider a relative was residing. Bobby had been more of a father to them growing up than John ever had. He always dropped them off at Bobby's place, claiming that he had important business to attend when in reality he just got drunk, went out to search for a job and then complaining about no one hiring him. It just became too much for Dean, and when he realized that he didn't give a damn about any of his sons, the decision hadn't been that hard to make. Sure, Sam had been upset for a while, but Dean knew that it was only out of habit. Besides, he and dad didn't get along at all. They were always at each other's throats, so the younger Winchester got over it pretty quickly. Dean demanded that he stayed with Bobby and finished school. He stayed with them for about two years, but when he realized that Sam was fine, he was happy and safe, and as much as it hurt for him to come to the conclusion, he didn't need to be watched over every second of the day. So Dean left. Not the state, hell, not even the town, he just decided to get his own place. He needed to. He needed some space. Sam was a bit thrown off, but agreed with him when Dean explained his purposes. Dean immediately started looking for a job. While living with Bobby he'd helped him with at the auto shop, but he knew that it was time for him to try something new. That's when he met Gabe. They accidentally bumped into each other at a bar, after talking for a while he realized that he was a pretty cool guy and you could say that a friendship kicked off. When Dean finally let him in a bit on his past, letting it slip that he was looking for a job, Gabriel offered him a place at his café without a second thought. Three and a half years later he was still here.
Dean snapped out of his reverie and took his place behind the counter. His days mostly consisted of routines, but he wasn't complaining. He was almost doing his job automatically, which kind of made his head rest a bit. He didn't have to think too much.
"So, Dean-o, any nice dreams that kept you occupied?" Gabe asked with a grin as he approached him.
"Nah, not really," Dean replied, deciding to keep his angel dream to himself. "Kind of forgot to set the alarm."
Gabriel snickered. "Oh, Dean. You're lucky you have Sam."
"How did you know it was Sam?"
Gabriel gave him an incredulous look. Dean raised his hands.
"Okay, I get it," he said with a laugh. Sam and Dean were close, really close, and Gabriel knew that. Probably everyone who'd ever interacted with them knew that. They took care of each other, and that felt nice.
"So, any interesting costumers that happened to come in while I was breaking every traffic law imaginable to get here?"
"Well, that weird guy with the many piercings ordered a brownie about five minutes ago," Gabe supplied.
"The one with the bird tattoo?"
"That's the one."
And everything was like normal. Dean taking orders and Gabriel rattling in the kitchen to get everything done, some occasional bickering breaking out between the two of them, laughter and teasing along with bitch glares and swatting of shoulders and heads. It was familiar. It felt like home.
The bell rang as the door was being pushed open and another well-known face popped into view. Sam grinned at him, flicking some hair off his forehead and walked up to the cashier. Dean caught his eye and the younger male nodded. Dean immediately reached for a plate, plopping a cheese sandwich onto it, setting it on the counter as Gabe walked by and handed him a cup of hot black coffee, just like Sammy wanted it. Sam paid him without him saying a word. They just knew it all too well. Sam always ordered the same thing for breakfast, so they didn't even have to communicate more than with their eyes. He sat down at the table closest to Dean, taking a bite of his sandwich.
"So, how late were you?" he asked, smirking through his mouthful.
Dean rolled his eyes. "About ten minutes. It's a freaking record."
"You should thank me for calling you."
"Yeah, yeah," Dean dismissed him with a wave of his hand. Gabriel walked past him again, shooting Sam a grin before disappearing into the kitchen once more. Gabe had kind of become Sam's second older brother. Hell, sometimes it felt like he was Dean's older brother, too, despite the fact that he was more childish than any of them. He'd just taken care of them in his own way, making Dean feel more than welcome when they met, and therefore making Sam feel the same. Dean caught Sam's smile as the latter looked down at the table, and he felt his own lips twitch. Sure, sometimes he got very possessive of Sammy, but he deserved to feel protected. It was safe to say that Gabriel was their friend. Their very close friend. He'd taken both of them under his wings. Dean couldn't thank him enough for what he'd done for them.
The bell rang again and Dean turned towards the new costumer, putting on a charming smile and opening his mouth to ask what they wanted to order. The sight that greeted him was breathtaking.
The man was staring at him with oddly familiar bright blue eyes. He had this ruffled style going, his hair tousled as if he'd just rolled out of bed, a trenchcoat accompanying the suit he was wearing underneath. The lines on his face made Dean weak to his knees. His lips looked so full and delicious as they formed around the words he was saying. Wait-
"I'm sorry?" Dean choked out, blinking to try to regain his focus. The man smiled. Oh God.
"I said I'd like a coffee with a little milk and a spoon of sugar, please," he repeated. His voice was deep and rough, and it made Dean wonder what he'd sound like panting his name in the darkness. Wow, he's definitely going to hell now.
"Right at it," he said and turned to the coffee machine. Gabriel marched out of the kitchen and smiled hugely. "So, I see you've met Castiel."
"What?" Dean asked confusedly. "As in, your brother Castiel?"
"That's the one," Gabe said. Dean turned to the newcomer and practically gaped at him. That's Castiel.
"I can introduce myself, you know," Castiel said, shooting Gabe an annoyed look.
"Oh, I know, but you probably weren't going to," Gabriel said, still grinning. Castiel rolled his eyes. Dean was still staring at him and it wasn't until Sam let out a loud laugh that he snapped out of it and continued making Castiel's coffee.
"So, Castiel," he said a while later. The café was rather empty, with Christmas right around the corner most people just didn't stay there to eat. Castiel had taken a seat next to Sam – on Gabriel's demands – and was currently talking to him about something when Dean decided to speak up. The way he turned his curious gaze on him made Dean feel giddy and he cleared his throat. "I heard you live in California. What brings you here?"
"Dude, you live in Cali?" Sam piped in. Castiel just smiled at him before answering Dean's question. "I could say that I'm here for the holidays, but the truth is I've decided to move here for now. Gabriel's offered to let me stay with him."
"Huh." Dean couldn't think of anything else to say. Maybe Castiel didn't want him to know the reasons behind the move.
"That sounds like a good idea. He might deny it, but Gabe needs some company," Sam said. Castiel nodded in agreement. Dean snorted when Gabe's protests were heard from the kitchen.
"Is Gabe offering you a place here, too?" Dean asked, motioning around the room.
"Cassie is a professor," Gabriel cut in. "He's got a job at Sam's college."
"Wait, my college?" Sam asked incredulously.
"I'm an English teacher," Castiel supplied.
"Dude, how old are you?" Dean asked.
Dean let out a whistle. "So you're gonna be Sammy's teacher? You have my permission to give him detention shall he misbehave," he added with a wink. Sam rolled his eyes.
"Speaking of college, shouldn't you be on your way, Sasquatch?" Gabriel said as he glanced at his wrist watch. Sam's eyes widened and he all but flipped the table in his haste to stand up.
"God, you're right," he said, grabbing his coat and coffee and walking towards the door. "I'll see you guys tonight," he shot over his shoulder as he exited the café.
"Bye, Sammy!" Dean and Gabe called after him. Castiel just watched them in amusement. Gabriel disappeared again and Dean turned to the younger Novak. "So, a professor, huh? What made you choose that employment?"
"I love the language and I love teaching people the importance of it, so I guess it fitted," Castiel said casually, but Dean could see the way his eyes lit up while talking about his job. He bit his lip to hide a smile.
"Well, it's better than what I do," he said jokingly.
"Why did you start working here?" Castiel asked.
"I needed a job, Gabe offered me a place, the rest is history," Dean said with a shrug.
Castiel looked like he wanted to ask more, but decided against it. Dean cleared his throat and grabbed a cloth and started wiping an empty table. He could feel Castiel's eyes on him, burning at his neck. He refused to look at him.
Twenty minutes later Castiel stood up, announcing that he was leaving for an appointment at the college. Gabriel clapped his back, wishing him good luck then proceeded to ruffle his hair a bit, just to provoke him. The dark glare he got in return didn't seem to faze him at all.
Dean shook the man's hand, telling him it was a pleasure to meet him and then he was gone. And Dean suddenly felt empty. His desire to see Castiel again grew larger and larger during the day. He couldn't help it. There was something very interesting about that guy that made Dean feel the need to get to know him. It didn't make sense at all, but that was how things were.
Castiel had managed to slip out of his mind by the time he closed the coffee shop. He finished cleaning the counter, grabbed his stuff and locked the door before walking towards his car. The drive home was calm, the only sound breaking the silence being the classic rock blasting from the speakers. It was exactly what he needed after a hard day's work. He passed the turn to his apartment and continued driving to Bobby's instead. It'd been a while since he last visited.
The purr of the Impala must've alerted Bobby that he was there, because the older man was standing at his porch, gazing at him in the darkness.
"Hey, Bobby," Dean greeted as he jumped out of the vehicle and walked towards the house.
"Dean," Bobby said in return, going in for a one armed hug before letting him in. "What a surprise. How've you been, kiddo?"
"Oh, you know, same old, same old." He perched himself on the couch, taking the beer Bobby offered him with a smile. "Where's Sammy?"
"He's upstairs studying for his finals. I told him to take a break, but the kid's just not having it."
"He's dedicated. That's a good thing."
"Working himself to death is never a good thing."
"I should go and get him. He'd be pissed if he found out I'm here and we didn't tell him," Dean said, standing up again and placing his beer on the table. "I'll be right back." He climbed up the stairs and walked in the direction of the guest room, which was currently occupied by his little brother. He opened the door without knocking and was fairly disappointed when he found Sammy lying on his bed, books scattered around him.
"Wow, you're actually studying?" he said incredulously. Sam jumped and turned his head to look at him.
"Of course I am. What else would I be doing?" he asked, eyebrows raised.
Dean shook his head. "Never mind. Take a break and come down and spend some time with us. There're beers."
"I thought we were going to your place later to drink beers with Gabriel," Sam remarked.
"Yeah, well, there's nothing wrong with a pre-party, right?" Dean said with a grin. Sam rolled his eyes but obeyed.
An hour and a bunch of laughter later they were walking into Dean's apartment, Sam sending Gabe a quick text to tell him they're there. Dean immediately steered into his bedroom and grabbed his phone. He had three missed calls from Gabriel, one from Sam, two from an old friend and one from an unknown number. He also had a bunch of text from the aforementioned people wondering where he was. He started typing in apologies as he walked into the living room again. Sam was sitting on the couch, having turned on the TV and watching a rerun of some weird show only he would like. Dean took a seat beside him.
"Is Gabe coming?" he asked as put his phone in his pocket.
Sam nodded. "Yeah. He said he was bringing Castiel with him. That's okay right?"
Dean's stomach made a painful swoop at the thought of Gabriel's brother. He licked his lips and locked his eyes on the television. "Of course that's okay." Sam grinned and for a moment Dean was paranoid that he knew what he'd felt just seconds ago. Sam could read him better than anyone unfortunately. But Dean couldn't help being excited to see Castiel again. It was hard not to be.
The evening had turned out better than expected. Gabriel and Sam drank way too much than they should've, ending up being so drunk they couldn't even walk straight. Dean was so glad that tomorrow was a Saturday and his little brother could suffer through his hangover without having to go to class. Castiel, on the other hand, had kept to his one beer he was holding all night, finishing it only minutes before the Novaks decided it was time to leave. Dean had asked what was up with that and all he'd said was that he preferred drinking enough to just get tipsy. Apparently he didn't go well with hangovers.
"So, you've got any hobbies?" Dean asked, raising his voice to be heard over his brother's and Gabriel's roaring laughter.
"I like painting," Castiel said. Dean let out an impressed sound.
"Painting? Are you any good?"
"I wouldn't say I'm good," he mumbled shyly. "I just really like it." That was the moment Dean made it his goal to see some of Castiel's artwork. The older male asked him about his hobbies in return.
"Well," he started. "I kind of like playing the guitar. You know, and singing."
A small smile spread over Castiel's lips. "Do you write your own songs?"
"Sometimes," Dean admitted. He didn't know why he told Castiel all this. Not even Sam knew about his songwriting.
"Are you kidding me? He's always writing songs," Sam slurred from where he was sitting on the floor. Okay, so maybe Sam did know about it.
Castiel's smile grew and he watched Dean curiously. Dean rubbed his neck.
"Sometimes," he repeated.
As Dean waved the Novaks goodbye by the door, Sam wobbled up to him, taking a hold of his shoulder for support.
"I guess I'll leave now, too," he said, giving Dean's back a light pat.
"Like hell you will." Dean grabbed Sam's arm, pulling him back into the apartment. "You're not going anywhere in this state. You're crashing here."
Sam didn't even protest, he just sighed and swayed into the guest room. When Dean moved he'd purposefully chosen a flat with two rooms, knowing Sam would want to stay over sometimes. Truth was Sam actually lived there part time. Either it was too late for him to get home, or he already had all he needed for the following morning here, or Dean claimed that he was too tired to drive him, or he'd accidentally fallen asleep on the couch. They always came up with excuses for him to stay, because both of them couldn't seem to get out the words to just ask for it. Half of Sam's stuff were scattered around the place anyway, and all of them knew it was just a matter of time before Sam told Bobby it was time for him to move out, only to move in with Dean instead. Dean didn't mind though. Being away from his brother was hard.
Sam was already blacked out by the time Dean exited the bathroom, walking into the room to turn the lights off. He flicked some hair off Sam's forehead and threw the covers over him before walking out and closing the door quietly. For some reason Sam always looked like he was five again when he was sleeping. Dean padded into his own bedroom and dove into his bed immediately. Boy, was he tired. It'd been a long day and all he wanted to do was sleep. As he closed his eyes the image of the angel from his dream popped up, only this time he looked like Castiel.
The days passed by and Castiel was pretty much a member of their little group. Dean got to know him better and better, and frankly, he really liked what he saw. Castiel was funny, witty, smart, you name it. The fact that he was the most beautiful person Dean had ever laid eyes on didn't make it any worse. Honestly, it only made everything so much better.
"It'll feel weird having you as my teacher next year," Sam said, making a face at the thought.
"Professor Castiel Novak," Dean tested out loud. "Sounds pretty hot. I bet all the ladies will be all over you."
Castiel ducked his head as he smiled bashfully. Dean grinned. He was adorable.
"Yeah, well, too bad Cassie plays for the other team," Gabriel piped in, taking a swig of his beer.
"Did you just out your brother?" Sam cut in.
Gabriel held up his hands. "He doesn't mind. He's been trying to tell you guys for ages, but he doesn't know how. So I just thought I'd do it for him."
Castiel didn't look pissed or upset. He looked kind of relieved.
"Did you really think we'd judge you for your sexuality?" Dean asked, gaping at him.
Castiel shrugged. "You wouldn't be the first."
"Cas, we'd never judge you for anything. You can talk to us," Dean said. Castiel smiled. "And now that I've already initiated a chick flick moment, I think I should add that I also swing that way. Well, I like girls too, but you know," he trailed off. Cas just smiled warmly at him.
"That sounded like you just offered him a date or something. Like, 'hey, I'm available'. Smooth Dean," Gabriel snickered.
Dean covered his face with his hands, groaning inwardly at his friend's bluntness. Great, now it probably looked like Gabriel was right.
"Shut up," he said, shooting him a glare through his fingers. Gabriel just laughed.
"You called Castiel 'Cas'," Sam said later that evening. Dean looked up from where he was watching TV on the couch, raising his eyebrows. "So?"
"You only give nicknames to people you really like."
"Dude, I give everyone nicknames."
Sam rolled his eyes. "But these are more of affection. Sammy, Gabe, Cas…"
"Nah, I'm just saying. I thought it was cute you consider him close enough to give him a nickname, offer him your support and come out to him. It's pretty endearing."
"You did not just call me cute and endearing," Dean said with a glare. Sam chuckled.
"Anyway, I'm just glad you seem to get along well with him. It probably means a lot to Gabe."
"I know it does. He adores Cas as much as you adore me."
Sam snorted and shoved him. Dean grinned. "I like Cas. He's cool."
"I like him, too. And it's gonna beso weird having him teaching me English next year. Oh, God," Sam groaned.
Dean gave him a sympathetic pat on the knee. "Just listen to what he says and you'll be fine. Besides, he might be able to help you off hours. Not that you will need it, but still."
Sam smiled. "I-"
"No, shh, be quiet. The movie's starting," Dean exclaimed, holding out a hand to shush him. Sam only rolled his eyes.
Going back to work after having spent Christmas with literally the most important people in his life, eating and drinking like never before, going to bed in the morning and sleeping till noon, you could say that Dean was more than a little disorientated. He stifled a yawn as he finished taking an order from a costumer, assuring her that her coffee would be right up. Fortunately for him Gabriel didn't kick his ass for coming in late so often, having a hard time to get back to his routines himself.
Cas rushed into the café, looking slightly flustered and his hair was sticking up more than usually. Dean raised an amused eyebrow as he slumped down on a chair.
"The usual," he said tiredly. Dean started on his coffee immediately and brought it to his table.
"What's up?" he asked.
"It's my first day at work today," Cas said in explanation.
"Oh," Dean let out knowingly. "Nervous?"
"Hey, it's gonna be fine. I bet you'll give all the other professors a run for their money."
One corner of Castiel's mouth twitched and he took a sip of his drink. He reached for his bag and started rummaging through it, bringing out a notepad along with a pencil. A skeptical look crossed his face as he started writing something down. Dean decided to leave him at it, going back to wiping a table that someone had spilled orange juice on.
"Hey, guys," Sam said as he entered the shop, taking a seat in front of Cas and sending him a small smile. Castiel gave a tightlipped smile back.
"It's your big day. Are you excited?" he asked as Gabriel handed him his usual order.
"Along with terrified," Cas answered, twirling the pen around.
"Don't be. You'll be great," Sam assured him. Castiel gave a tense sigh, going back to whatever he was writing. Sam peeked at the notebook.
"Woah," he exclaimed in amazement. "You drew that?"
Cas looked up then down again at his creation. "Yeah," he mumbled.
"Cas, that's amazing!" Sam stood up and walked over to his side, crunching down to take a better look. Dean's curiosity got the best of him and he strutted over to them to see what the fuss was all about. He felt his jaw drop.
On the paper was a drawing of a beautiful old oak, its branches rising almost all the way up to the clouds. A snake was hiding behind one of the roots and a thick, black feather was lying beside it. That was what threw Dean off the most because that feather looked familiar. He gaped at the sight.
"Wow," he breathed. Cas had turned a dark shade of red, his hand covering his mouth as he avoided their eyes. Dean blinked. "Cas, dude, don't be embarrassed. This is amazing. You drew it now?"
Castiel rubbed his neck. "I started on it last night to calm my nerves."
"Cassie always draws whenever he's feeling stressed out," Gabriel supplied from where he was finishing a sandwich. "He's very bashful about showing his work, though, as you can see."
"I should go. Don't wanna be late," Cas suddenly said, standing up and putting his notepad into his satchel again. "Goodbye."
"Cas, man, come on. We're sorry for intruding, but you're really good," Dean said with a grin.
"Thank you, but I still must be on my way." With those words he left the coffee shop. The three of them chuckled a bit.
"Oh, Cassie," Gabriel said fondly. Oh, Cassie indeed.
Dean heard from Sam later that evening that Cas' class had been really good and that he must've overcome his nerves because he'd been as cool as ever. Dean was glad. He'd been worried about him all day. Sam also informed him that having Castiel as a teacher wasn't as weird as he'd thought. Dean had smiled and patted his brother on his back.
It was one of those rare nights where Dean was sitting in his apartment on his own; Sam was at Bobby's for once and Gabe said he and Castiel wanted to stay home. Tomorrow was Cas' second day and he wanted to get some rest, so Gabriel decided to keep him company. Dean didn't mind, though. It felt nice to be alone once in a while. He went into his bedroom and grabbed his guitar, sitting down on the bed and running his fingers over the strings. He hadn't played in very long, so it was about time.
It's been a while since we were here We're just friends tangled up in loose ends Twisted tunes, a melody of spite We're just friends tangled up in loose ends I lost it in your kiss, your lips,
Been too long my fear is
Holding back the memories of your eyes
Scattered notes and broken glass you had left me
All that's left is shattered hearts
It's plain enough for us to see that
You've got me
You've got me
I feel it coming around again
Let me know where you let your heart go
And I will just pretend
That I have never felt this way
Since you I have never felt this way
I feel strange
It's no fuss
I'm not in love
If you give me the words then I might
Let go unknown feelings
Telling me that I cannot fight
When you speak that shite
Let go unknown feelings
Telling me that
You've got me
You've got me
I feel it coming around again
Let me know where you let your heart go
And I will just pretend
That I have never felt this way
Since you I have never felt this way
I feel strange
It's no fuss
I'm not in love
Sweetness, in your smile
Your words make me whole
But your scars demand a healer's touch
I'm glad I'm not you
We're just friends tangled up in loose ends
Twisted tunes, a melody of spite
I lost it in your kiss, your lips,
Dean finished the song he'd written a few months ago and put the guitar aside. It's been even longer since he wrote something. Inspiration just hadn't struck him yet. He sighed and stood up, about to get ready for bed. Inspiration better hurry up.
"I thought that a bunch of young adults would be harder to tame, but apparently I was wrong," Cas said as Dean handed him his coffee as usual. The only difference was that they weren't at the café, they were at Dean's apartment. It was a nice change.
"Maybe you're just very intimidating," Dean teased. Castiel rolled his eyes.
"Or maybe they're just acting as the mature people they should be."
"Speaking of college, though. How's Sam doing? He never really tells me much about it."
"As his teacher I can say that he's doing great in my class and he seems very dedicated and forward," Cas said.
"And as his friend?"
"He doesn't participate much in social events. I mean, he has friends, and they've asked him to go out with them several times from what I've overheard, but he always declines."
Dean frowned. "Really? I just thought no one really invited him. And that sucks and all, but I never thought it was his choice." Dean bit his lip. "Why doesn't he want to go with them anyway?"
Castiel shrugged. "I have no idea. He's an outgoing kid. I can't really see a reason here."
Dean hummed. "I should ask him. But later. When the time is right and he won't be able to dance around it."
"Sounds like a plan."
"Anyway, what about his love life? Is he secretly dating someone I should know about?"
"If he was secretly dating someone I doubt he'd want you to know," Cas said with an amused smile.
"Oh, come on. Don't talk like his teacher here. You're also his friend, and friends dish about they're friend's love lives to their brothers."
Castiel laughed and a mischievous look covered his face. "Okay, this is very vague, but I've seen him look at this girl in my class more than ten times per lesson."
"Now you're talking. Go on," Dean grinned.
"The obvious flirting and the way he always gets flustered around her is also a telltale sign."
Dean let out a loud laugh. "Oh, Sammy. Always the subtle one."
Cas smiled. "It's quite adorable."
"I bet. When do you think he'll bring her home to meet the parents?" Dean said and winked.
"If we're the parents, then never."
Dean chuckled. "Oh, I'm so going to tease him about this."
"Hey, no, he'll blame me," Cas said indignantly.
"He should know better than to mix his love life and English, especially since you're the professor," Dean said matter-of-factly.
"So, what's her name? I need a name here, Cas."
Cas rolled his eyes. "Jessica."
"Sammy and Jessica. Sounds catchy."
"They do fit together."
"Then why hasn't he asked her out yet?"
"I don't know. He might be shy."
"As usual. He just needs a push in the right direction, and I'm more than happy to oblige," Dean said with a grin.
"You should let him handle this in his own way, Dean."
"Yeah, yeah," Dean waved him off just as Cas' phone started ringing. He picked it up swiftly and answered. "Hello? Gabe? No. Why? Really? No, it's fine. Uh huh. I could ask." He covered the phone with his hand and turned to Dean. "Gabe says he's got some guests over. Apparently this big firm wants to advertise the café, so they're discussing important things that, I quote, I would never understand, so he asks me to stay away for tonight and he wonders if I could stay here. Only for tonight," Cas added, biting his lip nervously. Dean nodded reassuringly and Castiel smiled. "It's fine, Gabe. Right." Cas turned slightly red. "I suggest you be quiet. Bye, Gabriel." He hung up. Dean peeked at him curiously.
"What was that last part about?"
"Nothing," Cas said quickly. Dean raised an eyebrow. "It's nothing," he repeated. Dean decided to let it go.
Dean had no idea where he was or how he'd gotten there. He drowsily opened his eyes and tried to locate his whereabouts. The first thing he realized was that he was hot. Not uncomfortably hot, but his body temperature was definitely higher than usual. He noticed that he wasn't in his bed, so he must be on the couch in the living room, since that was the only other place he ever slept in besides his bedroom. He shifted a bit and froze when he heard a low moan. He turned his head and perceived that he was literally lying under Cas. Castiel was on top of him. How had this happened?
His eyes widened as he realized that they must've fallen asleep. On the couch. Together.
And he didn't really mind.
Castiel was a great blanket. He hugged his body tightly and made him feel safe and warm. His head was resting on his chest and Dean suddenly got the urge to run his hands through his hair. He totally would if someone hadn't burst into the apartment at that exact moment.
Sam peeked his head in and found the heap that was Dean and Cas. He looked shocked for a moment, and then a sly grin overtook his features.
"Sorry, didn't mean to disturb," he said, entering the flat fully. "I just needed to get some of my books I'd left here. I'll be out of your hair in just a minute."
"Shut up, Sam," Dean spit out quietly, not wanting to wake Castiel. "You know nothing happened."
"But you want it to," was Sam's respond as he walked towards the guest room.
Dean remained silent, not feeling the need to actually reply to his little brother's childishness. Sam returned and smirked at him, taking his lack of speech as a personal victory.
Cas let out a breathy sigh and Dean realized that he had started to gently run his hand over his back. He stopped and Cas frowned in protest. He was just too darn adorable, and Dean couldn't help smiling a bit. He knew he would regret it since Sam was still in the room, but there were some battles he just couldn't win.
"You really like him, don't you?" Sam said softly. Dean wanted to deny it, to say that he was crazy, that this meant nothing, but he didn't. He couldn't. He couldn't lie about this.
"I… I don't know, Sam." He licked his lips. "It's complicated. I-" He gave a nervous laugh. "I feel like I need him in my life, you know? Whatever we might be, I just need him here." Dean rarely talked about his feelings, but he was just tired of keeping this hidden. Sam asked him a question and he, for once, answered it. There was no point in keeping quiet.
"Oh," Sam finally said, a small smile spreading over his lips. "I know you do. It's not hard to tell." He squatted down to Dean's eye level. "And he needs you to. Just ask and he'll stay."
"It's not that easy, Sam," Dean said, taking his eyes off of Castiel for a moment to look at his brother. "What if he doesn't need me the way I need him?"
"Then you can cry, you can hurt, you can push the world away, but when you're finally done feeling sorry for yourself you will realize that he wants to be a part of your life, and even if it's not the way you want him, he does love you. Though fortunately for you I know he loves you like you love him."
Dean shook his head. "I'm so done with this conversation," he announced.
Sam laughed. "What? It got too touchy-feely for you?"
"It sure as hell did."
"Well, at least now you know."
"That talking about your feelings can be good sometimes."
"Yeah, yeah. Speaking of feelings. Cas told me you're crushing on a girl in your class." Sam turned red and Dean grinned. "Just make a move already, will you?"
"Oh, God. Bye Dean," Sam groaned.
"No, wait! Teasing aside, I have another question." Sam raised his eyebrows. "He also told me that you don't go out with your friends when they ask you, and I just want to know why."
Sam sighed. "I just don't want you to be alone, Dean. I know you say you don't really need friends, but I know you feel lonely sometimes."
"Sammy, I'm alone by choice. It just works better that way. I let Gabriel in, now I'm letting Cas in. That's enough for me. I don't need many friends. You don't have to feel bad for having fun once in a while." When Sam didn't reply, Dean added, "Plus, how do you suppose you'll ever get laid if you don't go out without your good looking big brother?"
Sam punched his shoulder lightly. "Jerk."
"I'm leaving now. Good luck with waking Cas up. I hear he's a heavy sleeper."
"Oh fucking joy."
Sam grinned. "See you later, Dean."
Dean had managed to worm himself out from Cas' embrace without rousing him, stepping into the kitchen to start a new brew of coffee. He was so glad it was his day off.
He tried not to dwell on the fact that they had slept through the night in each other's arms, avoided thinking of what would happen when Castiel woke, refused to worry about being left alone for good. He needed his mind to shut off for a moment, or the aftermath would be bad.
He took a shower. A long, hot, wonderful shower. You'd think he'd need a cold one, but he wanted to relax, not cool off. Afterwards he wrapped himself up in his bright orange bathrobe that Sam had given him a couple of Christmases ago. He'd said that it would brighten up his days, and Dean really couldn't argue about that since he knew Sam's reasons behind the act, so he'd thanked him with teary eyes. He entered the kitchen again and poured himself a cup of coffee, sitting down at the table and grabbing the notepad and pen lying on it. Inspiration seemed to be closer than usual that morning.
He'd been sitting there for about half an hour when a timid voice broke the silence. He looked up to find Cas standing by the doorway, rubbing his eyes tiredly.
"What happened?" he asked, squinting at him.
"You fell asleep on the couch and I figured I'd just leave you there for the night," Dean said. It wasn't a lie, not entirely.
Cas stared at him for a while before walking towards the counter to grab a cup of coffee himself. Then he proceeded to sit down opposite of Dean, peeking curiously at Dean's notebook.
"What are you writing?"
"Uh, just a song," Dean mumbled, hurrying to close the small book, pushing it aside.
"You didn't have to stop because of me," Cas said.
"I only write when I'm alone," Dean confessed, taking a sip of his beverage.
Castiel nodded, a smile tugging at his lips. Dean smiled back. It was easy to smile with Cas around.
"Nice robe," he suddenly said. Dean's head snapped down to his torso and he blushed wildly. Cas' smile widened a bit.
"Don't sweat it. I genuinely like it."
Dean rubbed his neck. "Well, thanks."
"You are welcome."
The silence afterwards was a bit tense, but maybe that was just Dean's imagination. He played with the edge of his cup, trying to think of something to say.
"I know you lied, by the way."
Dean was never really gonna get used to Castiel's sudden comments. He frowned at him in confusion.
"About me falling asleep on the couch and you let me be. I know we fell asleep together." Cas was looking at him so intently, and Dean wanted to either grab him and kiss him soundly or hide under the table.
"Uh," he mumbled uselessly. "How…?"
"I woke up," he said.
Dean swallowed. "When?"
"When you were talking to Sam."
Now Dean really wanted to hide. He should know better than to talk about his feelings of all things in the presence of the object of his affections. He really should know better.
When Dean didn't give any verbal response, but merely started panicking in his seat, Cas was quick to calm him.
"You have nothing to worry about," he told him. "Because these feelings are mutual."
Dean had never been so relieved before in his life. He also hadn't been as aroused and blissful either. He looked at Cas in awe, trying to find the words, but failing miserably.
"I…I don't know what to say," he finally choked out.
Cas smiled. "Then don't say anything."
To say that Dean was happy that he was only wearing a robe would be an understatement.
The smug grin Sam shot him when he entered the café with Cas the next day was enough to make him flush and glare at him. Dean knew that his brother knew. Neither of them had given any sign of being alive throughout the whole day. And Sam knew, oh he knew. Dean really wished he wouldn't be so damn clever all the time.
"And why, may I ask, didn't either of you pick up your phones when we called yesterday?" Gabriel asked as he spotted them.
"We were busy," Dean replied, sitting down, Castiel following suit.
"Oh, I see." Gabe wiggled his eyebrows and Sam laughed.
"Be quiet, you two," Dean said, sending them a look that just made them crack up even more. He sighed and glanced at Cas who was smiling at him. He reached to grab Dean's hand on the table, and the latter stroked his thumb over Castiel's cold knuckles.
"Okay, that's all the confirmation I needed," Gabriel grinned and handed Castiel his coffee.
"That's adorable," Sam cooed.
"Adorable indeed, but don't think I'm letting you off the hook just because you're my brother-in-law now. Your shift started five minutes ago, Dean-o."
Dean sighed. "Right at it, boss."
"That's my boy."
That night as Dean and Cas were just coming down from their highs, having spent hours making love to each other, Dean scooted closer to his lover, pressing his mouth to his collarbone as he whispered, "I want to show you something."
"Haven't you already shown me enough for one night?" Castiel asked in a teasing manner, still slightly breathless.
Dean rolled his eyes. He heaved himself off of Cas, who whined in protest, and stood up, grabbing the guitar leaning on the wall and sat down again. Castiel examined him curiously, following his every move. Dean started strumming the instrument, clearing his throat and glancing at Cas.
"I wrote something for you," he said.
"For me? When?"
"When you were asleep yesterday. I finished it today on my break."
Castiel's eyes widened in delight and he smiled softly. "Play it for me."
Dean obeyed, locking his eyes on Cas' and started singing.
And the rest is history.
This is the longest one shot I've ever written and I spent hours working on it and really tried giving it my everything, so I hope you enjoyed it. It is slightly inspired by An Exercise in 'Worthless' by beastofthesky which you should definitely check out, by the way. It's amazing.
The song I used in this fic is called "I'm glad I'm not you" and it's by Ed Sheeran. The song Dean started singing at the end isn't really based on any song. Dean's ringtone is "Rock N' Roll Train" by AC/DC.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, any of the characters nor the songs.
Please leave a review and tell me what you thought. Take care everyone.