Disclaimer: Supernatural is not mine- its Kripke and Co.'s. I just like playing with them.
Sam Campbell stared listlessly at the screen of his laptop. He put signs up seeking two roommates for his four bedroom apartment, three weeks ago. The fourth bedroom remained unoccupied by anything save a slowly dying houseplant, and the desk he was currently sitting at. His hopes were dwindling- why one Earth would someone respond to an ad seeking roommate who wouldn't ask questions. Hell, it sounded sketchy even to him, and he was the one who wrote the damn thing. He'd give it another twenty four hours. Even if one person responded it'd be a load off his shoulders. School was expensive, as were other things he preferred to keep around, and he needed less rent.
Absently, he lit up a joint. The cloying smoke filled his lungs, and he grinned, finally able to relax. It was among the more mellow things he'd experimented with since he was a teenager, and one of his favorites. He didn't have a problem, he knew that- maybe he'd overestimated his limits once or twice, but there was no cause for alarm; the occasional joint wasn't going to kill him. That's not what Amelia would say, he knew, but Amelia's opinion hadn't mattered, not for a very long time. She had made her choices, as had Kaylee, and there was no turning back now. It was four years ago anyway.
On occasion he played with the idea of letting his mind clear and always decided against it. He got enough unwanted comments about his intelligence when he managed to keep a perfectly respectable GPA when he didn't go to class half the time, and when he did show up he was usually high. He hated to think of what he actually might be capable of if he got out of his own way. He majored in astrophysics, because that's what smart people were supposed to do. Occasionally he would get crap for having a GED instead of a high school diploma, but the jokes usually stopped once he set the curve for the class. In all honesty he hated everything that had to do with it, but it was just about getting the degree at this point. He needed to prove that he could do it, without help, and with the choices he had made. He made his way across the hall to the messy bed and flopped down, legs hanging out over the edge. He was aware of the sound of his e-mail dinging in the other room, and again a few minutes later. Maybe he should get up and look at them; they could be potential roommates, but he wasn't too concerned right now, preferring to enjoy the floating feeling. The only bad thing about his need for roommates would be keeping his habits relatively quiet. He drifted off, content to be as he was.
As luck would have it, Sam's decision to wait another twenty-four hours was exactly what needed to happen. The next morning he scrolled aimlessly through the mountains of event reminders for events he would never attend, a few e-mails from professors, Facebook notifications, and assorted junk. There were two emails that caught his eye- one headed Response to Call for Roommates, and the other headed Saw You Needed a Roommate. He opened the first one and read:
I saw your sign seeking roommates. I am in need of an apartment, and would like to meet with you to discuss the details. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sam shrugged. He seemed like a decent enough guy, if a bit stiff. He typed out:
Thanks for responding. I was getting ready to give up on it. Does tomorrow at noon, at the coffee shop on 3rd work for you?
He hit send, and opened the other email.
I saw your signs for a roommate. If there's still a room available I'm in. Hope to hear from you soon.
He opened the response window.
Thanks for responding. I'm meeting with the only other response tomorrow at noon at the coffee shop on 3rd. You're welcome to join us.
He sent that message too, and sat back and waited for a response. He grinned when there was an almost instantaneous email from Castiel.
I am definitely willing to meet with you. I will see you tomorrow.
It seemed like this would all go smoothly, and for that Sam was glad.
Dean had typed out the email hastily, almost on impulse. His one bedroom apartment was cramped, uncomfortable, and he really couldn't have the kids over and have enough space for them to do their thing. Not that they were allowed over, but he always found himself hoping, that maybe this time. Living with roommates isn't idea, especially with his awkward situation, but he knows with the lease on his apartment coming up quickly it's probably his best option. He internally groans, but it seems at least like this Sam guy has his own skeletons. That's honestly how he likes it, a minimum of questions.
There's a lot in his life that he just can't explain away. His mother, Mary, left just after Balthazar was born six years ago. The last thing she did was name him. He had been fourteen then, and his older brother, Henry, sixteen. John had always been a drinker, but after Mary left it got worse. Henry had fought with John, saying that he needed to get help, that it wasn't good for the kids to grow up like that, like they would be taken away. When Dean was sixteen John told Henry to get out and not come back. He did, and Dean hadn't heard from his older brother since. He hadn't had much time to worry about it anyway since the responsibility of keeping a roof over the heads of Balthazar, and Anna, two years older than the baby, fell on him.
John tried, but never managed to hold down a job. Dean took what work he could, doing odd jobs, and had a fairly steady gig at the garage a family friend, Bobby, owned. He managed, but it wasn't easy. He would've dropped out if it hadn't been for Bobby riding his ass. It didn't help that that same year social services finally had enough, and took Balthazar and Anna to a foster home. He had just managed to get visitation rights, and he accepted it. He refused to go to foster care, and became an emancipated minor. Bobby was kind enough to lend Dean his couch as often as he needed it, and money was tight even after selling the house. He was still responsible for keeping the rent of John's small apartment paid for; once in a while John would manage to make a payment himself, but generally Dean forked over the money. Bobby had been there when he graduated, and he had had the rare opportunity to see Anna and Balthazar.
He was always grateful for those moments. He wasn't Henry, he didn't run away. If there was anything he had learned it was that family was the most important thing he had, and he wasn't going to just abandon Anna, and Balthazar to be raised by strangers. Bobby had insisted he went to college, so he went. He had no urge to do so; his one love was cars, and he would perfectly content spending the rest of his life working on them. It was only his respect for Bobby, and the kindness he had shown to him that made him go. He majored in mechanical engineering, not out of any particular love for the discipline but because at least it meant he'd eventually be able to work with motors. He still worked at Bobby's garage, and occasionally bartended at his wife's bar. He barely made enough to pay the tuition not covered by scholarships, his own bills, and his father's. The place he was looking at had lower rent, and that meant more money to go around. It wouldn't be like high school where every month was a struggle.
Things had never been easy. He knew that's just how it was, and that was the hand that had been dealt to him. He accepted it. He tried to keep his life quiet, simple. The less noise he made the better the chances were of him getting custody of his siblings. There was no point to the rest of it. He didn't worry about himself that much, he didn't need to. He kept a roof over his head and food in his belly. That was all he really needed. He hated the coffee shop on 3rd, but figured it would be a good idea to at least meet the guy, and apparently another interested person before he fully committed to living with them for at least the next year.
Castiel's motives for moving in with Sam were simpler than Dean's, or even Sam's motives for putting up the appeal in the first place. His lease was up, and he was tired of his neighbors' loud, wall banging sex. He was reasonably certain he might have had a class his freshman year with the guy. It was some sort of required speaking class, and he remembered that the guy didn't say much, but when he did it was generally a crazy kind of brilliant. He had made more than his share of mistakes in high school, and when his senior year his parents had announced they were getting a divorce he had barley flinched. As it turns out the process was long and drawn out, and now, two years later, they were finally getting it finalized. It had torn his family apart. He had never been incredibly close to them, but had enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner as much as the next guy. He talked to his mother once a month or so, usually she called to ask if he wanted one thing or another as she began to destroy all of the things his father had left in the house. He hadn't talked to his father for the better part of a year. He did text his older brother Gabriel fairly regularly, but hadn't seen him in about two years. His job was something that involved pretty intensive travel, and he rarely touched down in the area for longer than it took to get on his next flight.
He hoped that new space would allow him to get his life together. He still wondered why he majored in English, but once he managed to actually read the stuff he enjoyed analyzing it. It was better than anything involving math at any rate. The dyslexia served as more of an annoyance than a hindrance, but dyscalculia, at least for him was a whole other ball game. He planned to take his final math class, statistics, this semester. He managed academically, fairly well for the most part. Personally, he had made some pretty questionable choices lately, which had culminated in a one night stand with his high school girlfriend, Meg, a few months ago. She had been the girlfriend that he had sworn he never even wanted to see again, and her place in his life gave her a permanent marker on the crazy side of the hot-crazy scale.
He was glad that his e-mail had been responded to quickly, and happily agreed to meet with the man. Cas shrugged into his coat, and headed for the door. The place on 3rd was a walk, and made him wish he had a car. He made it there eventually though, and walked in. There was a tall, dark haired man sitting at a table, and had looked up when he came in; next to him was a slightly shorter man, who seemed less concerned with finding whoever it was they were waiting for. He guessed that this would be Sam.
"Yeah. You must be Castiel."
"Yes." Cas shook the proffered hand, before turning his attention to the other man.
"And you are?"
"Dean Winchester." The handshake from Dean was less warm. Cas sensed this was a man who you didn't cross.
"Nice to meet you." Cas went to get coffee, and as soon as he sat back down Sam started talking.
"So, you two were the only ones who responded to a call for two bedrooms, so this isn't like an interview or anything."
"I figured we'll all be living together for a while, so we may as well meet before moving in together. So majors? Mine is astrophysics, sophomore."
"Mechanical engineering, sophomore."
"English, junior, just technically." They chatted a bit more about habits like drinking, the hours they kept, preferred level of cleanliness, fairly typical things that suddenly became very important when you were about to move into someone. It was a bit stilted, but they didn't have to be friends, just tolerate each other. They managed to set a schedule for things like cleaning and grocery shopping, as well as personal boundaries, which Sam and Dean needed a lot of. Castiel shrugged it off- he didn't have a problem with it if they had their secrets.
"So when are your leases up?"
"Ten days." Cas was grateful he had less than two weeks left with neighbors who he suspected were actually rabbits.
"So are you going to move in?" They both nodded.
"I'll expect you in eleven days then." The men exchanged phone numbers in case something came up in the next week, and agreed to move in the Saturday after their leases expired. After saying their goodbyes they went to live their lives, as they knew them, for a few more days.
A/N: Welcome to a new college AU. I hope you enjoy, and whether you did or not please R/R.