Dean throws random things into boxes. This apartment had come furnished, and as it turned out he didn't own all that much- a mish-mash of cutlery, cups, plates and bowls collected from various garage sales and thrift stores, a few pots and pans, clothes and toiletries, a few movies, almost nothing of real value. Usually he didn't think much of it, he was naturally a minimalist, and his financial situation had only exasperated the tendency, but he always got an odd feeling in his stomach about it when he moved. He felt like he was twenty years old, had been living on his own for basically four years and had nothing to show for it. He knew there would be no judgment from his new roommates, not that he would have cared if they had, but he worried that it would raise questions he didn't want to answer. His most valuable possessions were a photo of his mother, holding Balthazar, with Anna at her feet, taken a few days before she had left, and his father's old leather jacket. It had scared people in high school, made them think he was some kind of rebel when in reality it was warm, and was the best jacket in the house. He wore it when John was passed out on the couch, and didn't seem likely to move to the kitchen to get another drink let alone manage to get somewhere that would require wearing a coat.
The place he lived in was adequate, for the amount of time he spent there. It was mostly sleep, and the occasional meal. It was tiny, and in his opinion had been way too expensive, although he was paying double rent. He wouldn't be sad to see it go. He had learned after he sold the house that there was no point in getting attached to places he lived. That house still haunted his nightmares- realizing that his mom was gone, the final fight that sent Henry packing, the scene when they had taken Anna and Balthazar, when he packed his Dad up to go to the court hearing to get himself emancipated- the memories, at least the vast majority weren't pleasant. He still got angry, sometimes. It had gotten better after a few months at Bobby's, but the kind of rage he felt, towards the circumstances he had been given, for his powerlessness to stop them never went away. He took the boxes down to his car. It had come into Bobby's shop when he was seventeen, a bruised, battered mess, and the owner didn't want her anymore. He had bought the '67 Chevy Impala for two hundred dollars and spent a year restoring her to her original glory. It was his pride and joy, and he had lived out of it more than once.
"We're headed to a new place, baby," he said as he ran his over her roof and got in.
Castiel's move was more complicated. He hated moving, and he wasn't sure why. As a child he had always stayed in the same house. He had lived in three different apartments in two years now and he wasn't sure why he still hadn't managed to get into a rhythm when it came to packing. There were clothes, notebooks, sports equipment, and novels spread everywhere as he fought to get all his bedding into one box. He could have sworn he had packed half the stuff currently littering the floor the day before. He had linens. Why the hell did he have goddamn linens? He changed his sheets once a month and usually put the same one back on. Finally he looked around, and saw that he had way too much stuff to fit to Sam's relatively large apartment. Even with Sam promising to carve them out their own space in each of the common areas it just wasn't going to happen.
He resorted to the old standby his mother had forced him to do as a child with his old toys. He began piling his stuff into charity, throw away and keep piles. He was supposed to be moving tomorrow afternoon, and he had no idea how he was going to manage it. All he had was the aforementioned pile of stuff, and a stack of boxes; he wasn't even sure if he had tape and a marker at this point. Eventually he managed to sort through all of the stuff in his bedroom. He tossed the items, mostly clothing and knick knacks he had wanted to save from his mother's frenzy after the divorce into trash bags, to take to Goodwill later. He began rooting around in the area that doubled as an office and living room for masking tape and some form of marker. Eventually he had to sigh in defeat. He grabbed the bags and tossed them in back of his car, figuring he may as well stop on the way to the store.
Cas hated the office supply store in town; it was almost as bad as the bookstore when it came to price gouging but it was right next to the Goodwill, and he didn't see the point in driving across town to Wal-Mart. After dropping the bags off to the exasperated, overworked volunteers he went into the store, and made a beeline for the markers. He selected an off brand permanent marker that was apparently on sale for sixty-seven cents, and began the hunt for the masking tape. He was so engrossed in looking at the aisle markers wondering in just what random spot they managed to hide the tape that he didn't notice the curly haired brunette engrossed in a similar task. He glanced at her just as he walked straight into her. She yelped, and he jumped, managing to grab her before she crashed into a display of crayons.
"Shit. I'm so sorry."
"It was my fault. I wasn't watching where I was going." She grinned up at him, looking like she liked what she was seeing.
"I wasn't either. I suppose it's both our faults." Castiel shrugged lamely and realized he was still holding on to her. He let go, and allowed her to take a step back to put a more respectable distance between them.
"Yes it is. I'm Amelia."
"I don't suppose I could offer to buy you some coffee?"
"You could, but I would, much to my dismay, have to decline." Castiel groaned internally. This was the universe making a peace offering, and he had to deny it. He really hated his sense of responsibility sometimes, but he knew that moving should take precedence.
"That would be unfortunate. I won't offer then."
"I would say yes if I wasn't in the process of moving."
"That's understandable then."
"Are you a student?"
"I'll be starting this semester."
"I'll see you around campus then I hope." Cas grinned at her, and sidestepped to go to the next aisle. The encounter made his day a little better and more so when he found the tape. He was curious about the woman, but figured he wouldn't see her again. It was a big campus, and he hadn't even asked what she planned to major in.
He managed to get back to his apartment, and get the moving boxes put back together and labeled before his phone began insistently ringing on the nightstand. He picked it up, and answered.
"What's going on?"
"I found some of your old toys in the attic. If you want them I'll hold on to them until spring for you."
"I'm just getting ready to move and my new place will have less space. You can just donate them."
"Alright. Do you happen to know when Gabriel will start answering his phone again? It seems like it's never on."
"You know he travels a lot, and no I don't. I can't keep track of him, any more than he can."
"Alright, dear. That's the whole reason I called."
"Right, well, I'll talk to you later."
"Yes, of course. Goodbye." Cas hung the phone up, his mood dissipated, and he once again began chucking stuff violently into boxes. This was a fairly typical conversation with his mother, and it always left him irritated. She was desperately scrubbing the house in an attempt to remove all the remaining traces of his father, and had been for about three years. Her mission apparently also included getting rid of all traces of her children. She was always trying to hoist something onto him that he didn't have room for, and then demand to know where Gabe was. Throughout the time he had been in college he had gotten more and more frustrated with her, and last year had called her out on her need to eliminate everything reminding her of her ex-husband- including her children. Any warmth had dissipated out of the relationship at that point, and now she only called to ask after Gabe and pass off useless items.
By the end of the night Castiel was surprised by how much of his apartment he had managed to pack up. He felt accomplished, and decided that the rest of the kitchen could just wait until tomorrow. He fell asleep to thoughts of Amelia, the girl from the office supply store.
The morning his new roommates were supposed to arrive Sam found himself cleaning. He didn't know why. Initially he had figured they were going to be living with him, so they may as well know how he lived from the get-go. In part, he supposed it was because he was bored, and when he was bored he cleaned. He also found himself moving stashes of various drugs to his room as he found them. There were a few he didn't remember hiding, and wondered vaguely how old they were. By noon he figured he had got them all, or else they were so well hidden that they would never be found again. He had the tendency to play tricks on himself when he was high sometimes. As he waited for Dean and Cas to show up with their first load of stuff, he allowed his thoughts to drift to Amelia.
It wasn't something he found himself doing very often anymore, and when he did he usually didn't allow it to continue. There was too much history there for him to allow himself to dwell on it. He wondered what she was doing- if she was still in Europe. She had disappeared after their senior year, apparently trying to find herself. He knew it hadn't been easier on her after he dropped out, that high school wasn't kind, but at the time at least he hadn't been able to bring himself to care about her. Not after what happened with Kaylee, not after what she knew, and hadn't told him. Then she had the audacity to turn around and tell him he was making mistake as he got deeper into the drugs he had been dabbling in for a few years. As time had passed he found himself not hating her for it anymore, actually missing her. He knew she would never see her again, but still he missed her. He shoved the thoughts aside, and sprayed some more Pledge onto the rag.
Eventually he heard a muffled knock on the door. He went to open it, and laughed at the pile of boxes he was currently faced with. He could see the outline of a leather jacket, and assumed it was Dean.
"You could grab a box you know."
"I could, but then you think I may actually be nice to you." He took a box anyway.
"You're a sweetheart."
"How many more trips do you have?" Dean looked at him, confused.
"Dude, this is it."
"You own four boxes worth of stuff?"
"Like not even furniture?"
"You said this place came furnished, and so did my last place, so no."
"Right. Come on, seriously I'll even help you move it in."
"That's really it. Ok?" A look of understanding crossed Sam's face. He realized there was still a lot he didn't know about the men who were moving in with him, and that any sort of roommate situation couldn't be strictly no strings attached. You had to know something about the people who you were living with, even if you only talked to them when they paid the rent. They carried the small pile of boxes to the room Dean would be occupying, and Sam left him to get unpacked, and settled. It didn't take long for Dean to come out carrying one of the boxes.
"Hey, where do you want the cutlery and stuff?"
"Just open the cabinets, you'll find the stuff. There's not much of it."
"When is Cas supposed to get here?"
"Castiel Novak. That's his name right? The other guy?"
"When he gets here I guess."
"Right." Dean got the sense that Sam was very much a go with it kind of guy. He certainly seemed casual, as he lounged on the couch, picking absently at the sleeve of his worn hoodie. He began piling dishes into the cupboard.
"So how's astrophysics?"
"Still standing I'd imagine. I took the week off."
"The week?" Dean wasn't opposed to taking the occasional day off. He had done it often enough in high school, even though it was usually to work.
"Yeah." He concluded that Sam was a mystery he wouldn't be able to solve anytime soon, and that it would be best to just let be. He sensed that prying would be an excellent way to get kicked out. He was thankful when a low knock sounded on the door. Sam heaved himself off the couch, and pulled the door open with surprising grace. Castiel was carrying substantially fewer boxes than Dean had, and had several more to bring up. Dean finished stacking the last of the glasses, and folded the box up.
"Right, first door on the left is your place." Cas went over, and deposited the boxes on the floor before reemerging.
"You need some help getting your stuff up?"
"That would be lovely, if you aren't busy settling in yourself." Cas had a formal way of speaking that Dean found vaguely off-putting. He supposed he would get used to it, and he got the sense that Castiel had been raised in a very different environment than he had.
"Yeah, not a problem." Dean wandered down the hall with Castiel, the baggie he had found in the cabinet weighting heavily on his mind. He needed to say something about it- it wasn't fair that he didn't know. They got into the elevator, and Cas was surprised by how comfortable he was with the silence.
"Do you have a problem with it?"
"No, it's just, unusual for people to address me by a nickname."
"Alright then. Cas it is."
"What were you going to say?"
"I found a baggie of… stuff in the cabinet when I was putting dishes away."
"Yeah. Like drugs. Heroin I think."
"Oh. That is problematic."
"Yeah. I mean should we say something."
"Yes. Perhaps it is not his?"
"Yeah. Right. It's just I'm not the best situation to be living with a drug dealer or something."
"I don't think that anyone is ever in a good situation if they live with a drug dealer."
"Yeah right." He was surprised by Cas' bluntness. He was kept just a little off his game, and he wasn't sure how he felt about it. The comment did make him curious about Castiel's past, about why he was moving to this situation. He got the feeling that it wasn't for the same financial constraints he had. They reached Cas' car, and pulled boxes out.
"You have a lot of stuff."
"Most of it mostly duplicates of things I imagine Sam already has. There are also several records. Once I determine what the household already has I imagine some things will go to Goodwill."
"Right." Dean suddenly had an uncomfortable pit settle into his stomach. He did most of his shopping at Goodwill- in fact not counting food, and things that couldn't be bought used he did all of his shopping at Goodwill. He'd never actually met someone who donated that stuff though. They carried the boxes back up, and returned to the car a few more times until all the boxes were in Castiel's room. They knew that it was time to mention what Dean had discovered.
"It's Sam, and what?"
"We wished to speak to you." Sam quickly ran through his mind what they could want to talk to him about. He was uncertain, but the sinking feeling in his stomach told him that he wasn't going to like the conversation he was about to have.
"Yeah, alright. What's up?" Dean knew it was best to just get right to the point. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the bag. Sam's eyes flickered in recognition, and he felt his throat constrict.
"Yeah, that. Something you'd like to tell us?"
"I'm, uh, kind of a druggie. I haven't done that stuff in ages though."
"Right. It's just well, you have roommates now."
"It's not that big of a deal. I just light up on occasion, pop a few pills."
"Listen, if the wrong people found out about it, I could be in some serious shit."
"No one knows. Calm down. Like I said I keep it quiet."
"I am more concerned for your well-being."
"I'm fine. It's not a problem. I'll make sure everything is out of the shared living areas ok?"
"Fine." Dean wasn't happy, and it showed. Sam knew he was in deep, but figured that the other man would eventually forget about it. At least he hoped he would. Cas' concern was touching, in a way, but he was perfectly alright. He may have overestimated his tolerances once or twice, but he was ok. There wasn't a problem. He stood up, and walked to his room, shutting the door behind him. Dean and Castiel simply glanced at each other.
"I should go get moved in. I'll see you later, Dean." Dean was left standing there wondering what the hell he had managed to get himself into. He had a druggie, and apparently a misplaced time traveler for roommates. If the court found out about them, there was no way he would be able to get custody of his siblings.
A/N: Well, here's this chapter. Not much to say besides I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope to hear from you either way.