Summary: Today Dean was finally moving to Palo Alto to live with the gorgeous gay millionaire he met on the bus, or was he? A sequel to 'Love Etc.' AU, unrelated Sam/Dean.
A/N: Following the events of 'Love Etc.', Sam arranged to return to his position at Stanford and take his new boyfriend, Dean, along to live with him. They were planning to go today. All Sam had to do was pick Dean up at his old apartment. We begin with Dean's POV.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, its fandom, its characters or anything connected to them. I do not make money or profit in any way from this story.
Love Express (Chapter 1) by frostygossamer
Dean was sitting on the front steps of his apartment building. Actually it was his former apartment building, since he had settled up till the end of the month and packed all his crap. He was now waiting patiently for Sam to arrive in his SUV to pick him up and drive them both to a 'new life' in California.
The pile of bundles and packages at his feet were surprisingly few, considering they contained almost every possession he had accumulated in the year he had lived there, plus the almost four years he had lived with his ex, Jo. And then there was that solitary box that held the sum total of his dad John's life, mostly mementoes of the ex-marine's service days and of his short but passionate marriage to Dean's sainted mother. That one box followed Dean everywhere, naturally.
Sometime in the next few minutes Sam would be arriving with a two-wheeler trailer hitched to his SUV for Dean's junk. Sam's had been sent on ahead already. Then they would be driving right across the country to Palo Alto, where they were going to live, together, as a couple.
A gay freakin' couple. Dean shivered. He was trying bravely to fight down a wave of panic. Was he doing the right thing? Was the gay lifestyle really for him? Would he adapt to something so alien to his macho values, the values drummed into him his whole life by his dad? Did he really WANT this?
"C'mon, Sam. What's keepin' ya, man?" he hissed under his breath. The big dope had better get there soon or Dean was going to lose his nerve.
As if it knew, right at that moment his cellphone rang.
Dean fished it out of his pocket and glanced at the display. It was Luis, his former boss as the repair shop. Dean sighed. Luis and Julio, his fellow mechanic, were both good guys, but they were also both old-fashioned, red-blooded Latino 'hombres'. Dean had heard enough casual homophobia from the two, and even joined in enough, to not relish ending up the subject of one of their thoughtlessly crass jokes. They didn't mean anything by it, Dean knew, and he had been just as bad with the caveman-talk, but just the same...
Dean would never be ready to let Luis and Julio find out about Sam. The last couple months Sam had had to give him a ride to work every morning, because he wouldn't ride the bus after he found out the regular passengers had all guessed about the two of them. But he had insisted Sam drop him half a block from the garage. He just couldn't have his hairy-assed co-workers guess Sam was his boyfriend. Such a freakin' dumb word anyways, 'boyfriend'. 'Lover' was a much less stupid term.
Dean accepted the call. "Hey, Lu."
"Hola, Dean," Luis' voice was cheery. "Don't worry it's good news. Been reckoning up last month's tips and it looks like I owe you like another 53 dollars of your share. You wanna gimme a forwarding address so I can send it on to you?"
Dean hesitated. Did he want to give this guy his address in California? The address he would be sharing with a certain Mr. Sam Winchester? A.k.a. his gay lover? He thought not.
"Well, uh," he began uncertainly. "You want my new address?" He decided to play dumb. "Not exactly sure of my actual address till I get there, Lu," he lied. "May take me a while to find me a place."
Luis snorted at his end of the line. "OK. So whaddo I do with your cash, pal? Ain't ya gonna need it out there?"
Need it? Yeah, well maybe not so long ago Dean would have done almost anything for a few extra dollars, just to pay off the interest on his loans. But now? Now when he was moving in with a guy who owned a successful quoted tech company? Not that he would EVER want to sponge off of Sam but...
"Ya know what, Lu," he said decisively. "Why don't you let Julio keep the lot. Tell him to buy something nice for his girl, huh?"
Luis snorted again. "You sure 'bout that? Don't you always tell me your dinero's kinda tight?"
Dean smiled ironically to himself. "Don't reckon money's my biggest worry right now, Lu," he answered.
"OK. Suit yourself, amigo," Luis agreed, and he terminated the call.
It felt kind of good to throw away good money that way, not something he had ever made a habit of in the past. It was like lighting your cigar with a new bill. Dean snickered to himself, and he was about to put his cell back in his pocket when he remembered something.
One missed call.
Dean glanced down the street. Still no sign of freakin' Sam. Where in the hell had the guy gotten himself to? Dean sighed. Last night he had ignored a call from Jo. He had told himself he would get back to her.
Now Dean really did want to tell Jo that he was moving to California, not just vanish like some deadbeat wraith, but he really didn't want to answer any awkward questions. Jo didn't deserve any more lies, she had gotten enough of them from him while they were together, but would she be understanding if he dished up the truth?
Before he could overthink any more, Dean jabbed the speed dial key he had assigned to Jo's number.
"Jo?" he asked the moment the call went through.
There was a pause. "Dean? That you?"
"Yep, it's me," he replied. "You, uh, called me yesterday?"
"Yeah, and it went straight to voicemail, as usual," she griped.
Dean chuckled. "You know me, babe," he said.
"Don't I," Jo replied, with a little laugh. "Wanted to ask you if you still want this box of cassette tapes I found under the stairs. All 70's and 80's metal, AC/DC and retro crap like that. Or, uh, I could just ditch 'em?"
She knew that threat would provoke a reaction from Dean.
"The hell," Dean gasped. "You dump those tapes, and I'll never forgive you. They were Dad's."
"Oh, sorry," Jo apologized quickly. She knew Dean was sensitive about his dad. "So, you want them?"
Sure Dean wanted them. How could he have forgotten about them? His dad's rock collection. He had grown up to that soundtrack constantly playing in the Impala. Jeez, how he wished John hadn't had to sell that damn car.
"Sure," he said. "It's just... I'm moving to the West Coast, like today. California."
He heard Jo inhale. "California?" Was there a touch of upset in her voice? "Well, uh, that'll be nice for you. What brought this on?"
"Not right now," Dean thought. "Time for confessions later."
"Had enough of the rain," he joshed. "Gonna chase the sun for a change."
Jo chuckled. "Sounds like fun. So, uh, you gonna swing by and pick up the tapes on your way, huh?"
Dean hesitated. Yeah, he could do that. He could get Sam to 'swing by' Jo's, and then he would have to introduce Jo to Sam and Sam to Jo, but that would be way too heavy right now.
"Tell you what," he said. "You hold on to them, babe, and I'll send for them once I get settled in."
"Wha? You want me to store them for you?" He could see her shaking her head. "OK, Dean, I'll hold onto them a couple more weeks, but then, you know, trash can."
Dean winced. "I'll let you know," he affirmed. Couple weeks in sunny Palo Alto and maybe he would be ready for the truth. "That all you wanned?"
"Yeah, that was it," Jo agreed. "And, uh, just to ask how you're doing, honey."
Dean found it cute the way, even though it had been more than a year since they had agreed to go their separate ways, Jo still worried about him.
He smiled. "I'm doing great," he said. "More then great actually. Babe, you'd be surprised."
Jo laughed. "Nothing you do would surprise me, Dean," she chuckled. "Unless you told me you, I dunno, came out or something."
"Jo," he growled warningly. Jeez, his ex sure had a way of accidentally hitting the nail on the head.
"Just kidding," she said and snickered. "Good luck in California, Dean. Hope you find what you're looking for out there."
"Yeah. Well, I hope so too, Jo. I really do," he wound up the call.
Dean sighed. He stood up from the building's steps and walked to the curb of the sidewalk to stare at the line of traffic.
Where the hell was that sonovabitch Sam?
A/N: Next chapter we'll hear from Sam. More tomorrow.