Author's note- This is really just a headcanon of mine that refused to leave me alone until I turned it into a story. Supernatural and its characters are not mine.
Dean Winchester has dealt with some pretty scary things in his lifetime, and he's damn well proud to say that he's done his best to man up and face them without backing down. He's faced shapeshifters and demons and ghosts and things that others think exist only in legend. And he's not just faced these things, he's fought them, killed them. So yeah, he's brave, not a coward, right?
Right. Right. He hasn't been spending the last three days trying to figure out how exactly he's gonna say this. He hasn't been avoiding Bobby and Sam since they got here because he isn't sure what to do. No, he is most definitely not being a coward. Not at all.
So maybe this is more difficult than he thought it would be. After all, there's not really a guide for this, is there? There's not a guide that explains how to tell people that not only are you a notorious womanizer who's suddenly found himself in a relationship with a man, but that man happens to be an angel as well.
"Explain to me again why you are so worried about this," Castiel murmurs when they're lying in bed together, Dean spooned up against his back. This has become their ritual for the past few nights, Cas appearing late at night once Sam and Bobby are asleep, and staying until just before they wake up.
"Because Cas, people aren't always okay with this sort of thing," Dean mutters. He sort of wishes Cas would save this conversation for another time, preferably one where they're not warm and naked and wrapped up in the aftermath of sex.
"Is this about your father?" Cas asks, in the same flat tone he uses for almost everything else.
"Come on man, do we have to talk about that right now?" Okay. This is most definitely not a conversation he wants to be having with Cas while they're in bed together, not that he really wants to be having it ever anyway. One time, one fucking time, he makes a comment under his breath, about feeling like he did on that one hunting trip when he was sixteen, and now Cas just can't let it go.
"I only wish to know what is making you so upset," Cas says flatly.
"I'm fine, Cas." He presses himself closer to the angel, slipping his hand down the flat expanse of Cas's stomach, in an attempt at a distraction, but Cas places his own hand over Dean's, stopping his progress.
Dean sighs and closes his eyes.
He was sixteen and Sam was twelve. For the life of him, he can't remember the name of the place they were in, only that it was gloomy and grey and they were only there for three months. Their father was hunting a spirit that had been killing members of a prominent family in town. It wasn't the first time John had brought Dean along, but it wasn't like he was making a habit of having Dean assist him either. All Dean had wanted to do was prove to his father that he wasn't going to fuck everything up, that he was more useful to John out hunting, not staying behind with Sammy.
Things had actually been going well, which, retrospectively, Dean would realize, meant that something was about to get really fucked up. First, Dean had tried to buy something from a 7-11 and their credit card had been declined, which meant he was going to have to come up with some money and fast. He didn't bother mentioning this to his father- it had been their silent agreement that Dean would take care of the finances.
That night, he'd told John he was going to get more supplies, although he was pretty sure his father wouldn't have said anything if Dean had told him the truth. They were reaching the end of the hunt, and John's focus was elsewhere.
After a few hours of pool, he'd managed to win every game, pick up a couple hundred bucks, and get a few free beers from the people he'd beat. He'd also managed to end up in the backseat of the Impala with another drunk guy.
Dean had sort of stumbled on his...bisexuality without intending to. If someone was just going suck you off, it didn't matter what they had in their pants, right? After that, he'd just kind of started noticing other guys and then he'd blown a couple and taken one or two of them to bed. He'd never admitted it to anyone, though, because he could just imagine how it would go over with John. Sam was too young to really understand what was going on, and Dean had no one else to talk to, so he finally just shut up and concentrated on proving himself as a hunter.
On that night though, hunting was the last thing on his mind as he tangled with the other man in the back of the Impala. It wasn't exactly the most comfortable place to be doing it but hey, sex was sex, and he was sixteen and a little drunk and more than a little horny and half-naked on his knees sucking some hot guy off...
"What the hell are you doing?"
There are a few things Dean remembers about what happened, namely that the other guy had pushed Dean off of him in about two seconds and basically ran for it, not even bothering to put his shirt back on. Meanwhile, Dean had stumbled out of the car, trying to pull his own shirt back on, with his father pointing a gun at him.
"What are you thinking?" John had screamed at him, features twisted by the harsh yellow glare of the parking lot floodlights. "I can understand letting another man do it to you, but-"
"Dad. I can explain, okay?" Right. Magically, some brilliant explanation (besides I might possibly be just the slightest bit bisexual, just a bit), one that would pacify his father, was going to occur to him then and there.
"Explain? I don't need an explanation for what you were doing, Dean. Unless- you're not doing it for money, are you?"
"For money?" Dean had just stared at him, cold with sweat and panic, because that was one time, one time when there wasn't any food in the house and what was Dean was supposed to do, let his baby brother starve? "Jesus Christ, Dad, what do you think I am?"
"I think you're a goddamn faggot, that's what!" It was the verbal equivalent of a slap to the face, and for a moment, they just stared at each other, until John finally brought the gun down. "Get in the car." Dean wasn't stupid enough to disobey.
Until the end of the hunt, the only time John talked directly to Dean was to give him a command. Finally, three days later, when they were a hundred miles away in another state and some cheap rental apartment, John had come into the room Dean and Sam shared. They stared each other down for a moment.
"I didn't raise you to be a queer," John had said. "And if I ever see that from you again, you better leave and not come back."
After that, they never talked about it again. Dean had forced himself to man up, throwing himself into hunting and pretty girls and being the perfect son.
He didn't sleep with another man until months after John died.
"You truly believe that your brother would mistreat you as your father did?" Cas asks quietly, and Dean doesn't say anything. For all the jokes and insults they trade, he doesn't really believe Sam would think any less of him...but then again, he's not sure he wants to find out. Sam and Cas are really all he's got, and if this secret arrangement is how he can have both of them in his life, then he'll take it. "I know you dislike discussing emotions Dean, but sometimes you do not appreciate Sam and how much he truly cares about you."
"Oh yeah, this is really what I wanna be talking about in bed."
There's silence for a moment again, until Castiel speaks up. "If it is so troublesome for you to admit that you are attracted to men, I could find a female vessel."
"No," Dean practically growls, because he's pretty sure there's nothing more attractive than Cas in this body, with his perpetual five o'clock shadow and gravelly voice. "Fuck, Cas, you have no idea, do you?" He does a little maneuvering so that he can climb on top of Cas and straddle him, although the angel just looks confused.
"I do not know what, Dean?"
"How hot you are," Dean says, and leans down to kiss him.
"I did not pick this body for its sex appeal," Castiel reminds him. "Although-" He's cut off by another kiss, and Dean runs a hand down Castiel's chest.
"Come on, Bobby's gonna be up soon."
When Dean wakes up, Cas is gone. He expects it, of course, but he sometimes secretly wishes that he could wake up tangled up with Cas, instead of alone. If you just said something, maybe...
He looks at the clock, and fuck, it's already noon. Really, he only needs four hours a night, but his ritual of staying up until early morning with Cas is starting to get to him. He puts on a shirt and the pair of jeans he wore the day before so he can get something to eat.
Downstairs, Bobby is nowhere to be seen. Sam, on the other hand, is sitting at the table, arms folded. Dean tries to play it casual as he opens up the refrigerator.
"Don't 'Hey Sammy' me," Sam snaps."What's going on, Dean?"
"What is this, an intervention? I'm fine, Sammy, serious."
"Then what's up with this huge secret you're keeping from me and Bobby? We're not stupid, okay?"
Dean ignores his brother for a minute, digging around until he extracts cold pizza. "No secret, man. I've just been busy, you know."
"Busy with what?" Sam's eyebrows raise. "We haven't had a job in a week, and you don't do research unless you have to."
"I've been.." Fuck fuck fuck what is he supposed to say here? I've been avoiding you so I don't have to talk about things like my sexuality? "I've been working on the Impala." He gives Sam a smile, the really fake kind that he's certain Sam'll see right through, but hey, it's worth a shot.
"There's nothing wrong with your car, Dean."
"I'm upgrading it."
"To do what? Look, I get that you hate talking about things, but if you're in danger-"
"Jesus, Sam, I'm fine, okay? I'm allowed to do things, okay?" He stuffs half the slice of pizza into his mouth before continuing. "Nobody's in danger, so just...relax."
"You do this every time you have to talk about feelings or emotions or...or normal human things." Sam stands up, gesturing angrily. "You pretend that nothing's wrong and you won't talk to me and you just dig yourself into a bigger hole."
"Sam, I said. I'm. Fine." Because he is. He is absolutely fine. Absolutely. "Just back off, okay?" He pushes his brother away from him, and storms out, slamming the door behind him and leaving Sam with a frustrated expression on his face.
Fuck, he's such a coward. Sam had given him the perfect opening there, the perfect opportunity to say Look, I'm sleeping with Castiel, okay? Because I'm not as straight as you think I am, and yeah, he's an angel and all that, but I'm actually happy so please don't be an asshole. And all he did was snap at his baby brother, who can be annoying, but is just trying to help.
He'll tell Sam tonight. Definitely.
Because he doesn't feel like spending the rest of the day shut up in his room avoiding Sam's glare, Dean ends up spending the day outside working on some of the cars Bobby's got in his yard. When the sun starts to set and he feels like he can't pick up another piece of equipment without his arms falling off, he grabs a beer and goes to sit on the porch steps.
When he hears the door opening him behind him, he opens his mouth, ready to give Sam the apology speech he's spent all day working on, but when he turns around, it's Bobby, not Sam, who's standing there.
"Hey Bobby," he says, and goes back to staring out at the backyard.
"You wanna tell me what's going on with you and Sam?" He sits down next to Dean and takes a swig from his own beer. Dean rests his elbows on his knees, hands between his legs, and sighs.
"It's me, okay, man? I'm a coward."
"Well, yeah," Bobby says as if it's the most obvious thing in the world. "You gonna tell grow some balls and talk to us or are you just gonna go on pretending we don't notice?"
Dean runs a hand through his hair uncomfortably. "You're not gonna like this."
Bobby snorts. "You've done plenty of things I don't like, boy. I doubt there's anything else left."
"I'm...Cas and I...we're sort of...together."
He's not gonna look at Bobby's face. He's just gonna stare at the beer bottle in his hand, and hope that this isn't like it was with his dad.
"You're in love with an angel of the Lord, and you think Sam is gonna judge you?" Bobby asks, much more succinctly than Dean could probably manage right now.
"It's not that he's an angel!" Dean spits out. "I've spent years calling Sam a girl and gay and stupid stuff like that and now I have to tell him that I'm sleeping with a guy. Yeah, that's gonna go over real well."
"Look, Dean. Sam's your brother. You've sacrificed your own soul for him. You really think he's gonna act like your father did?"
"You know about that?" Dean can feel himself practically deflating, because dammit, he'd really prefer that particular period in his life remain as secret as possible.
"Damn right I know about it, ya idjit. Can't say that I agree with your father there, but John's gone and it shouldn't matter. Time for you to move on."
Dean chances a glance over at Bobby. Whatever response he has dies on his lips. Bobby just shakes his head.
"You've killed vampires and werewolves and demons, boy. You'll be fine."
Dinner that night is awkward, with Sam giving Dean wary glances every time Bobby looks away, and Bobby giving Dean meaningful glances every time Sam looks away. Finally, Sam excuses himself and goes upstairs, and Bobby just stares at Dean and says, "Go, ya idjit. I'll clean this up."
Sam is sitting on his bed when Dean walks in. He's reading some thick book of Bobby's and he doesn't even look up at Dean. Swallowing, Dean sits down next to him.
"So," he starts, but he isn't sure what to say next. Sam doesn't say anything, so Dean tries again.
"Look, Sam, I'm not...I'm not good at this, okay?"
"What, feelings? Never would have guessed," Sam says, but he doesn't sound sarcastic, just tired.
"I'm sorry about this morning."
"Are you gonna tell me what's up?"
For a second, Dean turns to his brother, stares into his eyes, and then decides he can't do this like that, and closes his eyes, leaning his head back. "I'm not..."
"You're not what?" Sam snaps. "Not okay? Are you dying, Dean? Is that what you've been hiding?"
"Fuck it!" Dean practically yells, turning to stare at Sam again. "I'm sleeping with Cas, okay? I'm bisexual, and I'm fucking Cas!"
For a moment, Sam is silent, both brothers frozen staring at each other, and Dean thinks that every fear he had is coming true, until Sam starts laughing.
"That's what you were so afraid to tell me?"
"You aren't gonna make fun of me for being...not straight?"
"Dean. Dean." Sam smiles. "I've known that for years. Everyone's known that forever."
"I...you're okay with this?"
Sam shakes his head. "Dude, you're my brother. I just want you to be happy." And then he actually hugs Dean, which is a little weird, but actually sort of nice, not that Dean's gonna admit it. "I'm still gonna make fun of you, though," he says, as they pull apart. "You're my older brother, no matter who you're making out with."
Dean isn't sure what to say really, so he just stands up and says quietly, "Thanks Sammy."
"Don't mention it."
He's almost out of the room when Sam calls to him.
"Invite Cas to stay for breakfast next time, okay?"
"I told Bobby and Sam," Dean says, lying in bed that night. He's facing Cas this time, foreheads together.
"Creepy guardian angel watching over me thing. Right."
"I like knowing that you're safe," Cas corrects, and brushes his lips against Dean's. "I am always worried about you."
"I'm fine, Cas. Everything's fine." This time he's the one who kisses the angel. "Just...one thing."
"Stay for breakfast?"
Cas looks at him bemusedly. "You are aware that as an angel, I do not require sustenance?"
"I know that," Dean says. "But Sam wants me to, and...and I wanna wake up with you next to me." Fuck, he sounds like a chick flick.
"I would like that as well," Cas murmurs. "I love you, Dean Winchester."
"Love you too, Cas."