AN: This was supposed to be really short. So much for that.
A man and woman stood in small, enclosed area of the bus stop, sheltered from the pouring rain. The man looked over. For eleven months, he and the woman would catch the same bus. Occasionally, they would speak to each other. He knew she was an accountant and had two cats and a goldfish. She liked hockey and was afraid of ducks. He cleared his throat and hoped he wouldn't come off as creepy.
Sharon smiled up at him. Her heart beat just a little faster.
'Would you… Would you like to have dinner tonight? With me? I-I know this nice Italian place…'
Sharon's smile grew wider, and she nodded. 'Yes! That sounds wonderful!'
Above them, a winged figure slunk back into the shadows of a tall building.
Castiel slung his bow across his shoulder and pulled out his notebook. He flipped through a few pages then made a mark, crossing off a pair of names. Finally! He was the third cupid assigned to that pair. They were both shy and a little boring. It seemed like no matter how many arrows either of them received, neither would act on their feelings.
The first cupid assigned to their case was still in rehab after going on a drinking binge. After five months, Zachariah went out for a celebratory drink for getting the man to say 'hello.' He didn't stop drinking. Anna got them next. After two months of idle chitchat about the weather and construction, she threatened to resign.
That was when Castiel received them. He worked it like any other assignment. He used his arrows to guide their conversations, but it was slow going. He only had about fifteen minutes each day, five days a week. An extra ten minutes if the man and woman sat next to each other on the bus, which was rare. He slowly worked his way up to arrows that would reveal more personal information.
It was frustrating. The attraction was clearly there, and they were a good match, but neither wanted to make the first move.
Castiel groaned in annoyance as his notebook began to glow. He had been hoping to catch a little break before his next assignment. He flipped to the next page and read the message.
Castiel, since you did such a wonderful job with Billy and Sharon, we're assigning you to another hard case! His soul is hardening from avoiding true love. Warning: He is a hunter of supernatural creatures, so be careful.
Castiel flipped to the next page to find a single name. 'Dean Winchester… Very well.' He tucked the notebook away and headed off to scope out his next target.
Four months. Four months in, and Castiel had yet to tap into Dean's romantic love. The potential was there. Right under the surface just waiting. There was plenty of love for his brother, Sam, and the people he was close to, but nothing to fill the romantic love his heart needed.
Castiel twirled an arrow of lust in his fingers as he watched Dean flirt with a bartender. There was always physical attraction, but never romantic interest. From what Castiel could tell, Dean's heart was closed off to the world. He guessed the man was afraid of getting hurt.
He placed his arrow in his bow and pulled back. He let go, and the arrow flew straight into the bartender's heart. She giggled at Dean and invited him to join her after her shift. Dean eagerly agreed.
The next night, Dean was back at the bar, flirting with the same bartender. Castiel bit his lip as he pulled an arrow from his quiver. Dean and the bartender would be a good match. He aimed the arrow of love at Dean, praying it would take. He gasped as the arrow entered Dean's heart. It worked!
And then Castiel felt his world crumble as Dean sat up straight, eyes wide, and excused himself. What had gone wrong? The match was perfect! She would have accepted Dean and his occupation, and Dean would have accepted her past. Castiel flew off in a rage. He landed in a nearby library and let loose a handful of arrows. An orgy was well under way by the time he left.
Dean stared at Sam. 'A what at the library?'
Sam coughed uncomfortably. 'An orgy.'
Dean burst out laughing. 'And you missed it by five minutes!'
Sam ducked his head. 'I'm telling you, something weird is going on!'
Dean wiped a tear from his eye as he nodded. 'All right, all right,' he replied. 'We'll check it out.'
'I already did,' Sam said. 'Nothing turned up. No EMF, no sulfur, just… Everyone suddenly felt like they…loved…everyone.'
'Huh… You think it was drugs?' Dean asked.
Sam shook his head and shrugged. 'I don't know.'
After walking in on the orgy at the library, Sam was hyper-aware of his surroundings. That was why he even noticed it.
Dean had no problems pulling in a one-night-stand, but this was ridiculous. He wasn't even trying. Men and women were practically throwing themselves at Dean. Dean would be open to all of them at first, and then he would just shut down and dismiss them. Then a new person would take the empty spot at the table.
It happened in three different towns. Sam would have dismissed it had it just been one bar in one town, but it had been in several bars scattered throughout the three towns. Receptionists and cops were shamelessly flirting with Dean. It was getting out of hand.
'Dean…I think something's following you,' Sam said as they entered their motel room.
Dean frowned at Sam. 'What are you talking about?'
'Haven't you noticed it? All those men and women? How they just…throw themselves at you?'
Dean stared at Sam as he thought about it. It was a little strange. And now that he thought about it, his own thoughts were a little off as well. 'Yeah…and I… Sam, I kinda wanted to ask a couple of them to marry me.'
'I don't know! I just… They'd come up, all interesting and shit, and I could see myself spending the rest of my life with them!' Dean exclaimed. He paced the room and ran his hands over his face. 'Shit… What's wrong with me? Am I cursed? Is it that orgy thing? Was I infected or something?!'
'Wait, now calm down,' Sam said as he forced Dean to sit on one of the beds. 'We'll call up Bobby, see what he thinks. In the meantime, let's avoid hitting any more bars. Okay?'
Dean nodded miserably.
They contacted Bobby, and Bobby had suggested they head over to his place to do a little more research. Maybe have a psychic take a look at Dean.
Sam's plan to avoid bars didn't do them much good. On their way to Bobby's Dean was hit on by gas attendants, state troopers, bikers, everyone.
When they reached Bobby's, Dean pushed through the door and pointed at Bobby. 'Don't you dare hit on me!'
Bobby scoffed at Dean and motioned for him and Sam to follow him into his study. A table and chairs had been pulled into the center of the room. 'This here's Pam,' he said, gesturing to the woman already seated at the table.
Dean took a step back.
Pam laughed and patted the seat next to her. 'It's all right, Dean,' she said. 'I don't feel the need to jump your bones. Not right now, at least.'
Dean relaxed a little and took the seat next to Pam. 'So, you're a psychic?'
She nodded and took Bobby's hand in hers as he sat down. 'Everyone hold hands,' she said as she placed her right hand on Dean's thigh and winked. 'You, I have to touch where our mystery entity touched you.'
'Er… I don't think it touch me there,' Dean replied.
'My mistake. Face me.' She placed her hand over Dean's heart and began her incantation.
Dean stiffened as the lights in the room began to flicker.
Dean's eyes flew back to Pam.
'Ca—wait. What?' Pam's face twisted in confusion. She suddenly let go of Dean and Bobby, breaking the circle. She stared ahead, not quite believing what she had just heard.
'What is it?' Sam asked. 'Do you know what's wrong with Dean?'
Pam turned to Sam and gave him an amused smile. 'No,' she replied. 'But whatever it is, I think I got its voicemail.'
'Its what?' Dean asked.
Pam laughed. 'Its voicemail! At least you have a name to work with.'
'What good's a name gonna do me?!'
'We can summon it,' Sam replied.
That night, the study was cleared and a magic circle was drawn onto the floor. Dean brought in a bowl and some ingredients, grumbling to himself.
'This had better work,' he said as he placed the bowl on the desk. He readied his gun as Sam began the spell.
Castiel sat in a corner of a bookstore, reading a magazine. It looked like Anna's gig with celebrities was going quite well. His wings bristled in jealousy. Why couldn't he have gotten Hollywood? Why did he have to get stuck with Dean?
He took a calming breath. He needed to get a hold of himself. He was getting reckless. He had been throwing every halfway decent match Dean's way, then shooting Dean with love, just to see if it would take. Most of the time, the arrow had no effect. But when it did, Dean seemed to panic. Castiel just didn't know what to make of it. Why would someone be afraid of love?
He looked up from his position on the floor. He could feel a tugging sensation. He had never felt anything like it before. What was going on? He gasped as the tug pulled at his very core. He felt dizzy and disoriented. He grabbed at his head and groaned as a wave of nausea hit him.
There was an audible click just above him, and he slowly looked up. He blinked in confusion as he looked down the barrel of gun. His eyes drifted up and settled on the man that held the gun. He flinched back as he realized it was Dean Winchester.
'What the fuck are you, and what did you do to me?' Dean growled.
Castiel tried to disappear, but he was trapped. He was in a summoning circle. He knew enough about them to know he was stuck until released. 'I…I uh…' He looked around, recognizing the other men in the room as Sam Winchester and Bobby Singer. He looked back at Dean. 'I was assigned to your case,' he said helplessly.
'My case?' Dean hadn't been expecting a half-naked man to appear in the circle. And definitely not a half-naked man with black wings. He refused to believe Castiel was an angel. Angels wore robes, not miniskirts.
Castiel nodded uncertainly. 'I'm supposed to help you find love.'
Castiel slowly stood, clutching his magazine to his chest. He nodded as his eyes flitted between the three men. 'I'm a cupid,' he said. 'It's my job.'
Dean stared doubtfully at Castiel. He shifted his gaze to Sam. 'Are you buyin' this?'
Sam shrugged and gestured to the man in the circle. 'He does have a bow and some arrows…'
'That doesn't prove anything!' Dean pointed out. 'Unless those arrows have little hearts, that ain't proof for shit.'
Castiel coughed self-consciously as he wrung the magazine in his hands. 'Um…actually…'
Dean looked back at Castiel with a raised brow. 'Don't' tell me.'
Castiel bit his lip as he slowly pulled an arrow from his quiver, showing off the bright red heart that served as the arrow head.
Bobby turned away, his shoulders shaking from laughter, and Sam stared in amusement.
Dean gawked at the arrow and grabbed it from Castiel's hand, only to have it disappear. 'Hey!'
Castiel backed away as far as he could, his hands raised defensively. 'Humans aren't permitted to touch a cupid's arrow,' he explained. 'The damage it could cause—'
'I'll damage your arrow!' Dean shouted as he waved his gun at Castiel.
Castiel's brows crinkled in confusion. 'I was only trying to help!'
'I don't need your help.'
'Yes, you do!' Castiel argued. His wings flared out as he stood his ground. 'You're letting your fear control you!'
Dean's eyes drifted to the black wings. They weren't very large, and only served to make Castiel look like the male version of a sexy angel costume. Short skirt, strappy sandals, and a golden laurel about his head. Now that Castiel was no longer cowering, Dean could appreciate Castiel's looks. His eyes lingered on Castiel's messy hair. He briefly wondered if all cupids looked like they just rolled out of bed. After a long night of hot sex, another part of his mind supplied.
'Don't let your fear of love keep you from being happy.'
'What?' Dean focused back on Castiel. He was supposed to be mad at him, not daydreaming.
Castiel huffed in annoyance. 'Look, just let me help you,' he said. 'I'll help you find someone that will love you for everything you are.'
Dean pinched the bridge of his nose. 'No, dammit. I don't need help finding love. I'll find someone when I'm good and ready, all right?'
Castiel stepped forward and shook his magazine threateningly at Dean. 'No! Your soul is freezing over. It won't be much longer until you shut out everyone you love! I was assigned to you, and I'm not leaving until I find you a soulmate!'
Dean groaned in frustration. 'Fine! But see how much you can do from that circle!'
Castiel's breath hitched, and his wings dropped down. 'Y-you would keep me here?!' He spared a glance around the room. 'I'm just trying to help you!'
Dean scoffed as he crossed his arms. 'I don't need a fucking match maker!'
Bobby laid a hand on Dean's shoulder. 'Come on now,' he said, smiling. 'You know we can't keep him here forever. How's about you cut a deal?'
Dean sneered at the thought. 'I'm not makin' a deal with that thing.'
Castiel's wings bristled aggressively at the comment. He wondered if he could shoot an arrow from within the circle.
'Bobby has a point,' Sam said. 'Give him a time frame. If he can't find you a soulmate by then, then he has to leave you alone.'
Castiel remained silent. He knew that if he failed to produce a soulmate for Dean before his time was up, then a new cupid would be assigned. But Dean didn't need to know that. Especially if it meant that Castiel got to watch the aftermath.
Dean sighed heavily and paced the room. He stopped when he came back to the circle and faced Castiel. 'One week.'
'One year,' Castiel countered.
Dean stared at Castiel. 'What?'
'Yours is a tough case,' Castiel replied. 'I'll need time to find appropriate candidates.'
Dean glared. 'I'm not gonna have every God damned person trailin' after me for a whole year.'
'The more time I have, the more selective I can be,' Castiel explained. He crossed his arms and tilted his head. 'The less time I have, well…you've seen the results of that.'
Dean's eye twitched. 'Two weeks.'
Castiel spread his wings slightly. '364 days,' he repeated.
Dean's eyes drifted to the wings. He narrowed his eyes. Two could play that game. 'Fifteen.'
'Six months!' Sam cut in. He looked between his brother and the cupid, and shrugged at the glares he received. 'You were going to reach it eventually.'
'No, we would have agreed on 189 days,' Castiel said with a huff.
'It's close enough,' Sam said, his irritation showing. He looked to Dean and raised his brows in question.
'Fine. Six months. But you,' Dean pointed his gun at Castiel, 'had better not send everyone after me again! And don't fuck with my emotions!'
Castiel looked away, thinking. 'I'll agree…but only if you agree not to fight me on this. You will have to give the candidates I choose a chance.' He looked back up at Dean and felt relief when he received a nod.
Dean pulled out a pocket knife and bent down. Why was he even agreeing to this insanity? He scratched away at the paint on the floor.
Castiel closed his eyes and sighed happily as he felt the world open up to him. He hoped everything would work out. Now that Dean knew, he could be an active participant. Give his input on potentials, help Castiel find someone perfect. Castiel brought his hands up, and his magazine morphed into his notebook. A pencil appeared in his hand, and he frowned. He blinked as he looked down, finding Dean staring up at him. He crouched down, so that he was at eye level with Dean. 'Now, then! What are some basic traits you find attractive in a man or woman?'
Dean coughed and quickly stood. He heard a snort of laughter and threw Sam and Bobby a glare. 'How about you ask me tomorrow?' Dean replied. 'After you find some clothes.'
Castiel pouted, but nodded before vanishing.
Bobby was the first to break the stunned silence. 'A cupid?!' He laughed as he slapped Dean on the back. 'Well, it's nice to know there's more than monsters out there.'