A/N: So,I've been sick. I spent the entire time marathoning Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey. And this was kinda born. Don't ask me why but it was. Beta'd by the ever lovely Arcanium. A true darling.
Title: The Critic
Summary: The Winchester's own a nice little restaurant. Dean works as a bartender there. Without his knowledge, one night a critic named Castiel Novak stumbles into the restaurant. So Dean does what Dean does best.
- - - SECTION 1- - -
Dean rubbed at his eyes lazily. The street lights glowed bright outside of the restaurant. He gave a small sigh as the rain picked up again. He'd have to give the Impala another wash.
It was supposed to be close to summer time and they were getting torrents after torrents. It sure as hell wasn't helping business.
The Winchester family had a small restaurant in between midtown and downtown. They'd picked the location so that Dean would have an easy commute to the University of Kansas near midtown. (If Dean hadn't dropped out within the first semester; college wasn't for him.) But they were close enough to the center of town to be interesting for business, only a few blocks away from Harvelle's bar and their own home. When John Winchester had gotten back from Vietnam, he and Mary Winchester had moved closer to the city; a nice little suburbian neighborhood where Dean and his younger brother Sam had been born.
They'd opened up the shop a little after that.
Dean sometimes wondered if opening up a family business is what had kept them, well, a family. Sam was too young to remember, but for the first four to six years of Dean's life, his parents fought. There were several nights when John would spend the weekend at a buddies' house or sometimes not even come home at all. There was a lot more drinking back then.
Dean and Mary ate a lot of dinners alone.
They never talked about it.
Not where Dean could hear it, at least. That didn't mean he didn't have suspicions. Especially when one night, John had been grilling a mean steak and joked (in a way that sounded too grateful to be a joke) that it was good to be playing around with fire without a body count.
Winchester's (they'd kept the name simple, like the Harvelle's had) was a decent enough place. Popular with the locals, warm and simple foods (they weren't some damn fancy, froofy joint), and great location. They'd even started to gain a little notoriety in the area. Mary had nearly had a heart attack when Ellen Harvelle had called to tell her to check out the Lawrence tourist page. Online, under Food, and 30 pages back, was a little picture of Winchester's. Dean had been working there since late middle school. Originally he'd just bussed trash back and forth, but now he handled the bar and helped the wait staff. Most of his time was spent between playing around with mechanics and the restaurant.
The rain hammered hard against the window and Dean let a mental prayer drift to whoever was listening that they'd already taken the patio chairs inside. The supports on the chairs were wood and would end up splitting. They weren't made of money. Winchester's did well enough, bills got paid, but life was expensive. At the very least, they didn't have to worry about college. Dean dropped out and Sam had received a work scholarship for Stanford. He'd be leaving in a year.
"It doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon, huh?"
Dean jerked up from his daze, head swiveling around.
"Hey mom," he said, settling back in his stool at the bar. He leaned back down onto the table top and continued to stare. "Doesn't look like it."
"That's a shame," Mary muttered. "I got a call from Wallison down the block and she said there might be a food critic walking around town. It'd be nice to get some good publicity."
Dean swiveled in his chair. "They're all pompous jack asses anyway-" Mary smacked him gently on the nose with a menu "- and we don't need any publicity. People love us."
"It couldn't hurt," Mary said with a smile, before walking back towards some of the last patrons trying to wait out the rain.
They'd had food critics and a few local journalists in their restaurant before. Dean had hated all of them. Whether it was because they asked him a lot of personal family questions, being they were a family owned establishment, or because they actually were dicks, depended on who you asked. According to Dean, it was a waste of employment. It rubbed him the wrong way that self-important jack asses were being paid to run around, eat free food, and then after a full belly, tear the establishment to shreds. They walked around like they owned the place.
Before Dean could get himself worked up, the door jingled. A man wearing a long trench coat stepped in, dripping wet. He watched as his mother rushed forward and called back to the kitchen hallway for a towel. Sam came trotting out with it pretty quickly. Dean intercepted him.
While Sam had been running around for a towel, Mary had gotten the stranger out of his coat and ill-fitting hat. Seriously, he'd looked like a flasher. But now; Unruly wet spikes of dark hair jutted out in every direction as the stranger took off his jacket too. Underneath, his white business-button-up was clinging neatly to his skin. Once the hair was swept out of his face, Dean could see clear, focused, blue eyes.
Although Dean never brought his male hook ups around to the family, it never went past a night anyway, and he tended to avoid picking up people at the restaurant, there were exceptions for everything. This guy could possibly end up being an exception.
So yeah, Dean commandeered the towel from his brother. "Pretty bad out there?" Dean winced a little at the words that came out of his mouth. He had wittier things to say.
His mother gave him a warning look that Dean couldn't understand as the towel was handed off.
The stranger laughed, "It would appear so. I didn't think it would get this bad."
"Well, it's good to have you out of the rain, would you like to have a seat?" Mary asked, gesturing with a hand towards the open tables in the dining area.
The stranger waved her off politely, "I couldn't possibly sit there, completely drenched. I think I'll take a seat at the bar for now."
Dean's ears perked up at that. "Probably for the best, the floors are linoleum instead of real wood so the water damage won't be so bad."
Their guest nodded and wandered with Dean a little further in and to the side. He pulled out on the stools and frowned as he sat down. Dean watched him dig through his pocket and pull out a damp wallet.
"My name's Dean."
"Castiel Novak," the stranger said, holding his hand out. It was still a little wet and he apologized after the hand shake.
"No worries. So, what are we having?"
"What would you recommend?"
"Well, our tap is actually pretty good," Dean said, going through the mental list in his head. He could make a mean mixed anything, but it was generally safer to assume that customers were beer drinkers.
"That'll be fine, thank you, Dean," Castiel said with a smile.
Dean watched him out of the corner of his eye, as Castiel wrapped the towel around his hair, rubbing strongly. He nearly spilled a little over the top of the mug, watching the wet clothing bunch around the guy's biceps.
"Want me to grab you another towel?" Dean asked, setting down the beer on a coaster.
"No, thank you. Is it possible to order some food at the bar?" Castiel asked. His head turned a little towards the dining area, a little wistfully.
"Yeah sure," Dean replied, walking around the bar top. He wandered into the main dining room and grabbed a menu, giving Sam a quick wave to let him know to give John and the other cooks a heads up.
For a little bit, he wasn't sure what to do, yeah every so often a guy would order some fries at the bar. No biggie. And it was usually busy, which again, fine. But the guy was actually looking through the menu and for the first time, in a long time, Dean was worried he was hovering. He had no idea what to do with his hands, so he went to clean already clean cups. When he was done with that, he organized bottles and refreshed the ice bins that didn't need to be refreshed. By the time that Dean was ready to start polishing the bar, Castiel spoke up.
"The special's, please," he said politely, voice spooking Dean a little.
"Yeah, sure, coming right up." He fled towards the kitchen, running away from the low vibration of the guy's voice.
He placed the order as Sam gave him a small glare, and told him not to screw things up. Dean shoved his arm and wondered since when Sammy gave a flying fuck about who he brought home to bed or not. Instead of interrogating his little brother, he marched back up to the bar. Castiel had the towel hanging around his neck. He was looking considerably drier and happier.
"It's good," Castiel told him as he wiped a bit of foam off of his upper lip.
"Thanks." Dean waited a moment, wondering if he had something else to say. Their minute conversation drifted into silence. The man stared around the establishment as Dean prayed for more customers to come in. The bar was empty save for Castiel and it was getting a little awkward for Dean's tastes. He figured guys with nice looks would be more sociable. He was starting to wish Castiel had taken a seat at the dinner tables. Let Mary and Sam make the polite conversation.
"So, what brings you in? We know most of the faces..."
Castiel looked up at him from where he'd been analyzing the doorway engraving. "Work, I'm not a local if that's what you're asking."
"Work, huh?" Dean asked, glancing again and again towards the kitchen. The appetizers didn't usually take this long to come out, did they?
"Yes. The rain was a rather unfortunate surprise but I'll manage."
"Kinda ruined shit for most of us. So, what do you-"
"A single of your house whiskey, please," Cas interrupted, having apparently zoned out after responding to the question.
"Uh, sure," Dean replied, a little put off. The guy went straight back to staring around the place. For a moment Dean was tempted to pick a cheaper whiskey, a bottle he kept around the corner for slower nights, but decided the guy wasn't being that much of an ass. Well, not yet at least.
They'd talked a little more. Small things, most of which Castiel brushed off. Sam finally arrived with some of the food and a second towel. The guy perked up a little and arranged his silverware before folding out the napkin and tucking it in his damn collar. Dean held in a snicker and turned around. In the mirror at the bar he saw Sam shooting him a nasty look and Dean shrugged helplessly, letting himself chuckle a little.
Castiel ate in silence.
Dean bussed down a table or two, leaving the man to eat alone, and by the time he got back to the bar the guy had set down his knife and fork; with half the food un-eaten. He frowned and felt his skin stretch tight over his body. "Something wrong?" he asked, trying not to get defensive.
"Not at all," Castiel replied, coolly.
Before Dean could ask any more questions Sam had appeared out of nowhere. He grabbed the plate and silverware set, promising to bring out the next course soon.
"So, Dean, how long have you worked here?" Castiel asked. He moved his glass towards the edge of the counter in request for another small drink.
"Well, I'm a Winchester so, I guess since I could work."
"I see, so you're Dean," Castiel remarked, nodding to himself, pleased.
"I think we covered that part," Dean snarked back. The guy was weird and Dean's temper was still a little short from the 'sent back' appetizer. He'd never seen patrons eat so little of it.
Castiel fell silent and the minutes that passed gave Dean just enough time to start feeling a little bad for his behavior. He was about to apologize when the main course came out. Sam placed the steaming plates on the counter and refreshed his glass of water. He watched as Sam scurried back towards the kitchen, giving a small and unusually brief 'hello' towards the other customers. Dean shrugged and shook his head.
"Would you mind not hovering over me?"
Dean's body jolted at the sound. He glanced down at Castiel. He'd cut up his food into little bits and was pushing them onto the fork. Those bright, blue eyes he'd been admiring before were staring up at him with a mild annoyance. "I kinda work right here," Dean said, rolling his eyes once he turned his back. He decided to clean off a few more tables in the dining room.
He avoided the bar area for as long as he could; only going back when Sam tugged at his arm. "He wants another drink and you know I can't serve alcohol," Sam snapped.
"Oh come on, like it would matter that much. You've helped out in emergencies before and no one's cared. It really won't matter."
"Yes, it would," Sam hissed, quietly. The entire conversation had been oddly whispered.
With a shove from his brother, Dean stumbled to the bar, now empty of plates. "What'll it be?" he asked, slinging his cleaning towel over his right shoulder.
"One last whiskey, if you could. I was informed I could get the full check from here?"
Dean nodded and grabbed the guy's glass. He refilled it swiftly before sliding it across the table back at him. He hammered in a few numbers on the keyboard and waited for the printer to start whirring to life.
"I apologize if I've been a little brisk."
"My manners, you seem agitated."
"Right," Dean snorted, "well thanks. I mean yeah, was wondering what the hell I did to get the treatment."
"I assure you, it wasn't personal," Castiel said. It was accompanied by a very firm nod of his head.
"Great, good to hear," Dean muttered back. They stared at each other before the back of his brain decided to screw it and go for it. "What would a personal treatment be like?"
Castiel's lips twitched at the corners and he let his head drop. For a moment Dean thought he'd heard an amused huff. The man lifted his head back up. Blue eyes were lit with humor, and maybe even a glimmer of attraction.
Score one for Dean.
The printer pinged at him, letting him know the receipt was ready.
"It would be quite different," Castiel admitted, as he accepted a pen. Messily, he scribbled his name across the signature bar before handing it back.
"Not sure I buy that. Could do with a demonstration," Dean flirted. The guy was actually starting to smile a little now. Maybe it was the drinks or being full of food, or not being wet anymore, but the guy was starting to relax. His face had smoothed out and his hand was loose around the whiskey cup as he drained the last of it.
"As much as I would love to, Dean Winchester," Castiel stood up and gave him an entertained look, "not while I'm at work. That would be very unprofessional of me."
"You're really friggin' weird, you know that?" Dean countered, confused. Was the guy a little off or something? Then again, maybe the entire time he'd been telling Dean to fuck off, he'd been tapping away on a tablet or something.
He never got a response as Castiel walked towards his coat. He shrugged it on, grimacing slightly at the dampness. Briefly, the guy turned back to give him a small wave and nod.
The evening was ending a little bit more disappointing than he'd expected. The guy was off his rocker, a little rude, but god was he gorgeous. Castiel hadn't talked much, but the little he had, well. That was a voice you wrapped your hand around your dick to. That alone, and those lips (Dean had gotten a really good look at them in the close proximity of the bar), those damn lips. All the qualifications for a decent one night stand. Hell, it could've been a perfect storm. Taking a hot, smoky, guy out from the rain and to his apartment. He'd just moved in a few months ago and hadn't really had a chance to romp around in it much. The restaurant had kept him pretty busy.
Why the hell hadn't he asked the guy how long he was in town for? But hey, he'd been told not to hover so he hadn't hovered. You can't exactly flirt if you're not there to do it.
Dean looked up from the bar as he put back the last glass. He shrugged at Sam. "So?"
"What'd he say?" Sam asked, eyes wide with anticipation.
Sam's eyes bulged out a little, widening. "The guy? That was just in here? Castiel Novak?"
Dean's heart plummeted to his stomach. Sam watched the expressions change on his brother's face and felt his own take the nose dive. "Dean," he started slowly, "tell me you didn't do anything stupid."
"He's a food critic, right?" he responded, chuckling a little nervously. "That means he judges food, not, I dunno, me?"
"You were an ass, weren't you? Oh my god, you didn't proposition him... Please tell me you didn't proposition him," Sam rambled.
Dean coughed, nervous. "We never got to the, 'exchanging numbers' part so I think we're good. But hey! Pretty sure he flirted back so it's not all my fault!"
"What's not all your fault?" Mary asked, walking up confused. "What'd the critic say?"
Sam shook his head and walked off. Even a little angry at his brother, it wasn't his business to share that. Dean's male companions had never been discussed in the family. When he was at the restaurant he kept it pretty quiet as well. There was no way they hadn't seen him hit it off with a guy at least once, but talking about it was another thing. It was sure as hell not a conversation he wanted to have with his father. Picking up guys at the restaurant; Dean didn't even know where his father stood on that. The language he used made John's opinion seem rather negative. Then again, he also had some choice insults that degraded women but he loved Mary, respected her, when it came down to it she pretty much ran the Winchester's (both the family and the restaurant).
"I didn't know he was... so I didn't ask," Dean admitted. He felt himself shrink smaller in shame. It was one thing when he was talking to Sam, it was another when it was with Mary.
"Oh." He couldn't look at her. "Well, I'm sure we'll find out in the papers."
Dean felt himself pulled into a hug and gently squeezed back.
He had to fix this.
- - - SECTION 2- - -
Dean woke up with a hangover and thanked the heavens above that it was a Sunday and he didn't have to go the restaurant. Instead, he would spend the rest of the day running around the city looking for Castiel Novak. His biggest prayer was that the guy stayed around the block. Lawrence was a decent size city, and even if he drove the Impala around all the day, the chances of finding the guy were slim to none if he'd taken off.
He was out the door faster than ever. If you were to time him, Dean was dressed and ready faster than he'd been when he'd slept with Rachel, head of the cheerleading squad, and her, 7 foot- 250 pounds of muscle, boyfriend had come crashing in the door.
The Impala rumbled loudly as he pulled out of his driveway. For a little bit, he fumbled with his cellphone, attempting to put it to his ear and slide his seatbelt into the buckle at the same time. He hadn't told anyone of his plan, but he was going to call around some of the stores for information. Mary, had after all, been told by a friend of theirs that a critic was in the neighborhood. If he was lucky, one of them would have information. Hell, best bet was if he was still checking out places in the neighborhood.
"God damn it," Dean cursed at his steering wheel. He was down to three shops to call and it was inching past lunch time. No sign of the guy.
Maybe he did evening meals only?
He'd driven past just about every store down their strip before turning around towards Harvelle's. It'd been a while since Dean had been so grateful that bars still served alcohol on Sunday's, even if you couldn't purchase it in stores. Sending up a quick prayer (it seemed to work for Sam and his mom), he finished his last phone call and slid out of the car. He shook out his jacket and then brought it in tighter. The rain from the night before had dropped the temperatures to a chill.
"Dean, to what do we owe the pleasure?"
Dean sighed at Ellen and gave a defeated shrug of his shoulders. "I fucked up."
"I'm not surprised." Dean scowled at her. She laughed and patted the bar top, "Sit down. What'd you do this time?"
"I think I pissed off a critic."
"Well I sure wasn't expecting that. The one Mary talked about?" Ellen poured a glass of whiskey. "Here. What happened?"
"This guy came in, and I didn't know! I swear, or I would've at least, I dunno, behaved."
"I would pay to see that," Ellen teased.
"Hey! I behave all the time. I've always been pleases and thank you's with those fuck nuts," Dean grumbled. He swished the whiskey around the glass and took a small swig.
"No need to get defensive. But," she paused to lean against the counter, "you usually don't get worked up over being a dick. What else did you do?"
Dean felt a blush crawling up his neck. It spread in a heat up to his ears and attempted to crawl towards his cheeks. He'd spent many nights hammered as hell at the Harvelle's. Ellen and her daughter, Jo, had been privy to many of his 'finer' moments. They were also well aware of his promiscuity with both men and women.
He couldn't bring himself to answer and prayed that Ellen would get the message. She'd always been like an aunt to him, so she knew him pretty well.
"In my defense I think he was flirting back."
"I'm pretty sure he was flirting back. But I was also kind of an ass."
"I don't know how Mary and John do this on a full time basis," Ellen said, but there was no malice in her tone.
"Relax." She re-filled his glass. "If he was flirting back, he probably enjoyed being treated like just another customer. You never know, that could work out in your favor."
Dean rolled his eyes."Right, because I've yet to meet a single one that doesn't think the sun shines out of their ass."
"Well, apparently this guy wasn't that bad if you wanted to take him home."
"Yeah well," he started, not having a coherent response. "Not like it matters. Been looking for him all day and can't find him anywhere."
Ellen's eyebrows rose. "It's that serious, huh?"
"No! God no! Just, I gotta make sure he doesn't give us a crap review just because of me. Figured if he was still touring around, with the rain last night and shit, I could clear things up." Dean leaned into the table, miserable.
Taking pity on him, Ellen sighed and went fishing for her contact book. "I'll put some feelers out, maybe you can catch him before he heads back to-?"
"I don't actually know where he's from," Dean grumbled.
"How about a name?"
"Castiel, something or another. Novascoatia or some crap."
"Castiel Novak?" Ellen asked, setting down the receiver of the phone.
"I really don't like the way you said that name," Dean moaned. The world was against him.
"I wouldn't say I know the name, but," she ducked underneath the bar. After some time of rummaging around she came out with a magazine clipping. "We had Eleanore from down the street in here a while ago. Raving about some guy that was planning on visiting, good for business. She left this."
It wasn't even a paragraph. Probably from one of Eleanore's many cooking magazines, cut out from the back. Castiel Novak was apparently from New York. He had recently published his first few articles, but nothing else. Dean relaxed a little. "Okay, this doesn't sound too terrifying. I thought for a second this guy was something to be worried about."
Ellen took the clipping from Dean. "Well, he did make it into a magazine."
"Yeah, but, at least he's not like the guys that made their way through a few years ago. That was a nightmare just to be near."
"I think you're the only restaurant employee, on your strip, that's grateful they didn't drop by."
"We do just fine without them," Dean argued and Ellen couldn't disagree.
"Well, I'll let you know if I hear anything."
Dean waited at the bar for a few more hours. A few of his friends dropped by, and he harassed Ash when he finally emerged from the back. It was nearing the evening and he still hadn't heard anything from the elusive critic. It was already three hours into dinner service, it would be nearing its end soon. If not a single place around midtown and downtown had seen him yet. He was screwed.
A little drunk, he said his goodbye's to the folks at Harvelle's and started walking down the block to a hot dog stand. He knew he could leave the Impala in the parking lot while he walked off his buzz. The cold fresh air helped, as did the two hot dogs he inhaled. He was midway through his third hot dog when his phone rang. Dean licked mustard off of his finger and flipped his cell open.
"Yeah, what's up?"
"Well, I can't tell you what place he's eating at, but I can tell you what hotel he's at."
"Ellen told me about your little love affair-"
"It's not a love affair."
"- so of course I had to help my compadre out."
"Just give me the damn address."
The drive wasn't too bad, and by the time he made it back to the Impala he was good enough to drive. He didn't make it to full on sober until he was standing outside of the hotel lobby. The temperature had dropped again and the sun had set. He could see little puffs of air collecting in front of him. Around him, people jumbled past, barely paying him any attention. This worked out fine for him. Here he was, some college drop out with holes in his jeans, staring nervously into a hotel lobby. Dean hadn't even been able to work up the balls to step in and ask for the guy.
Every time he got the nerve to move, his knees would lock up and he'd shake his head. This was the dumbest idea ever. On one hand, it could show dedication to the restaurant. On the other, he was a creepy little nutter who should've just stayed at home. Sunday's were supposed to be relaxing.
"Dean, are you stalking me?"
Dean slammed his elbow into the glass as he whirled around.
And there he was. The damn blue eyed stranger that just had to have walked into their restaurant that night.
"No," Came his dull response.
Castiel nodded up at the building, "Are you visiting someone then? You've been standing here for quite some time. I wasn't sure if it was you at first."
"You've been watching?" Dean asked, trying to push the conversation away from himself. If anyone was the weird one it was Castiel.
"You're stalking," Castiel pointed out, but there was a smile in his eyes.
"Yeah well, I just," Dean sighed and rubbed a tired hand through his hair. It spread smoothly between his fingers and he attempted to mat it down again. "Look, I'm sorry."
"For what, Dean?" Castiel asked, stepping closer. He had a small box under his arm. "Would you like to step inside and have this conversation?" Before Dean could respond, Castiel had opened the door and was beckoning him inside. The inside was ten times warmer and Dean sighed in relief. It had felt a little weird to have the door opened for him but he was grateful to get into the heat.
His eyes looked around the lobby for a place to sit and he was surprise when Castiel bypassed them.
"I have a suite, there's plenty enough room for us to talk there. My feet are killing me and I'd like to get this jacket off."
Dean followed mutely, a little overwhelmed. He hadn't really come with a game plan. Which he rarely had one to begin with, but that strange feeling of being off of his game was back. They stood a polite distance apart on the elevator, until a rather large man stepped in and forced them to squeeze in next to each other. Dean had never wanted to push the emergency button so much in his life. He could feel the heat from Castiel's arm against his side. It took all of his willpower not to push back into the other man. He was here to undo all that crap, not get himself into a deeper pile of shit.
Luckily, it didn't take them long to reach their floor. As Castiel led them through a maze of hallways, Dean realized he'd never really seen this side of Lawrence. Yeah, they had nice things, really nice things, but the hotel was pretty damn fancy even for their standards. He'd seen the lobby before, passing by, but never actually been in it. He wondered how a small time journalist, essentially, could make enough money to afford a stay at a place like this.
"Here we are," Castiel said, sliding his key card in and stepping in first. He moved to the side to continue holding open the door for Dean.
"This place is fuckin' huge," Dean let slip as he stepped in. For a second he stood there, frozen, trying to decide whether to take his shoes off or not. "I mean- shit. I didn't mean to."
Castiel just gave him a lopsided smirk and toed his own boots off. Dean followed, kneeling down to pull his own off. The room seemed larger when he walked in. There was a door separating what he assumed was the bedroom and a small kitchenette with a microwave and a mini-fridge.
"Would you like something to drink?" Castiel asked, pulling out a bottle of scotch from the box he'd set down.
"Uh, yeah. Sure, I mean, no. Listen-", Castiel got two cups out from a cupboard, "- I guess a little. I just wanted to apologize."
"I still don't understand what for."
"I didn't know you were a critic."
Castiel paused in his pouring and gave Dean a strange look. "Would it have mattered that much?"
"Yes!" Dean said with a little more force than he intended. He slid off his jacket and awkwardly looked for a place to set it down. It was starting to get hot in the room.
"Why would that be, Dean?" Castiel asked. He walked out of the kitchenette and handed Dean his own cup of scotch before taking Dean's jacket from him and walking it over to the closet.
He really should've had a game plan coming in.
"Look I'm sure you're a great guy, but your job. You know, you're a critic. I've met critics before. You guys aren't exactly..." Dean trailed off, awkwardly.
"Friendly? Hospitable? Kind?" Castiel teased, with a raise of his own glass of scotch. He took a swig and stared at Dean, amused.
"Fu-, no that's not what I meant," Dean took a large gulp of his drink, as he turned around, not wanting the other man to see how flustered he was.
"Then what did you mean? Obviously this was important enough for you to chase me down through the city," Castiel said, suddenly close.
Dean could've sworn he felt a hot breath along his neck, but when he turned around Castiel was a respectable distance away. "Look just," he clenched his fingernails into his palm to avoid blushing, "last night-."
"You were very charming."
"- I was- Wait. What?"
Castiel brought the glass to his lips. "Charming, Dean. You were very charming."
By now, he'd lost the battle of the blush. It had started spreading slowly across his neck, threatening to spill over to the rest of his face "Oh. I mean, I don't know if you guys are usually jerks." Dean wished he could take the statement back as soon as it had left his mouth.
To his relief, Castiel laughed. Well, chuckled, but at least it was a hearty chuckle. "Trust me, I'm aware. Is that what you were worried about? The critique?"
Dean looked down at the carpet, "Yeah, I mean, I didn't want to give the place a bad name just because I can't behave like a functioning member of society."
"Well that's a shame."
Castiel walked in closer, leaning casually against the armchair of the couch in front of the kitchenette. "I was hoping you'd sought me out for different reasons." There was a glittering of something in his eyes.
"Oh?" Dean breathed softly. His stomach clenched tightly and his grip around the glass tightened. Was this a come-on?
"Yes, Dean," the other man said, taking a bigger sip of his drink. Dean copied his movements and waited for him to elaborate. No such explanation came.
"You're gonna have to be a little clearer with me on this." He couldn't help but feel like his tone was a little petulant but fuck. This was not how he'd expected the night to go and he was drowning. If he could only find some footing he'd be fine. Dean Winchester, Casanova. Not, Dean Winchester, I-bet-you-haven't-even-had-the-talk-yet.
"I'd rather not be too forward. I value my sense of composure and professionalism."
"You're not at work, though," Dean argued.
"That is true."
Time seemed to slow a little as Castiel finished off the rest of his drink. He set it down on the small counter, underneath a rather ugly lamp, and moved towards Dean. His eyes darkened and he moved slowly. It wasn't his intention to spook the man and he was always sure to let people know of his motives. It wouldn't be becoming of a person to push where they weren't wanted. The nervous flick of Dean's tongue over his lips and then darkening of his eyes gave Castiel some hope.
Dean downed his drink and slid it to the side. In his haste to get it into his system before the other man could make it to him, he'd spilled some. It coated his bottom lip. A drop made its way down chin. Castiel smirked a little and leaned in. He hooked Dean in with his eyes and let his tongue slide out. The other man nuzzled himself underneath Dean's chin and caught the drop. Castiel followed the trail, up slowly, and then finished catching the remaining liquid with a deft sweep of his tongue across Dean's lips.
"You shouldn't waste that, it was expensive," Castiel murmured.
"Right," Came Dean's brain-dead response before he dove in. He let his hands drop down and yanked Castiel forward by his dress shirt. The other man came forward willingly, melting into Dean's body. "Pretty nice place for a journalist."
"Hmm?" Castiel hummed against Dean's lips as they ground their hips together.
"You're a critic-journalist type, right?" Dean asked in between kisses that he peppered along Castiel's neck. "I saw some-," kiss, "-magazine cut out. Just published your first stuff."
Castiel laughed and the vibrations rumbled against Dean's lips, sending small tremors down his spine. He leaned towards Dean's ear and nipped at it, hands splaying out across his hips. Castiel was rewarded for the action with a low groan and a buck of hips. He let his tongue dip in and out of the shell of Dean's ear before whispering into it. "I was a chef first, Dean."
"Yes," Castiel laughed. He tugged at Dean's shirt, trying to pull it up. "Does this make me less of a soulless, deviant?"
It was Dean's turn to laugh. He shook his head and moved Castiel backwards. He didn't stop until they bumped into the couch arm. "Soulless, maybe," Dean whispered as he flipped them. He let himself drop on the couch and dragged Castiel on top of him. He let out a hearty moan as Castiel's weight settled on top of him. "I'll have to give you a further evaluation on the 'deviant' part."
Castiel grinned with a little wickedness dancing in his eyes. He leaned over and nibbled at Dean's lip before biting down gently, testing Dean's limits. Castiel found that he could roll Dean's lip between his lips until there was the threat of blood breaking through. He nipped a little too hard and the skin broke underneath his teeth. They pulled apart, breathing heavy. Asking for permission with a look, Castiel dipped back in and collected the little bits of blood with his tongue. He licked his own lips before coming back in to pepper gentle kisses along the broken skin.
"Yup, a deviant," Dean grinned. He slid his hand between them and ran a questioning hand over the hardness trapped in Castiel's slacks.
Castiel's breath hitched and stuttered as he pushed into Dean's hand. He mimicked Dean, bringing his hand down in a slow slide across the man's chest. He stopped at the waistline of his jeans. He slid a finger underneath it, tracing across Dean's hips before popping the button open. Without pause, he pulled the zipper down and Dean groaned in appreciation.
"You are going to fuck me, right?" Castiel asked, biting down on Dean's collarbone, tugging Dean's shirt off.
"God yes," Dean moaned, hands fumbling to undo Castiel's slacks. "Fuck, Cas," he moaned as deft hands slipped underneath his boxers.
Dean's hands trembled a little as Castiel explored.
He cursed the buttons on the slacks.
Castiel laughed and moved back, sliding out of his slacks. He was hard and near the hip of his gray, cotton boxer-briefs, a small damp spot was beginning to form. Dean grinned, nibbling on his own lip. Before Cas could get very far on removing the rest of his clothing, Dean had leaned forward. With the devil in his eye he pulled Castiel forward by his thighs. He paused only for a moment, splayed hands admiring the muscle underneath them, before he closed his mouth around the growing wet spot and suckled.
He lapped at the cotton until a small salty taste began to spread out across his tongue. "D-Dean," Cas groaned above him, one hand moving to tightly wrap in his short hair.
"Mhmmm," Dean mumbled, refusing to pull off.
Castiel felt his knees buckling a little as he rocked as much as he could into Dean's mouth. He wanted to feel all of it, not just the teasing lapping that he could barely feel.
"You're impatient, Cas," Dean whispered against Castiel's shaft, mouthing along it. He finally pulled back, grabbing his shirt and tugging it off. Before Dean had the chance to move, Cas was straddling him. Dean's arms were left halfway in the shirt as Castiel pushed Dean's arms back and out of the way.
"Stay," he commanded, tugging on the shirt for emphasis.
He slid down Dean's chest until he reached his destination. He grabbed his jeans and started sliding them down Dean's hips, all the while breathing hot air onto his skin. Every so often Cas' tongue would dart out and lick a line along the edge of Dean's boxers before pulling back. He watched as Dean attempted to lower his hands to finish taking the shirt of and bit at the tender skin.
"Deviant," Dean groaned out.
"Tease," Castiel countered, sliding back up so that he could trap Dean in the shirt. He slid his ass down along Dean's lap, breath hitching.
As Castiel wiggled his way out of the last of his clothing, Dean felt a worry crawl along his spine. He wasn't so punch-drunk that now that it was seriously happening, that he lost awareness. Almost. Nearly there. But he wasn't going to fuck over his family twice.
"Ca-Cas. Hey," he moaned as Castiel settled back over him, spreading his cheeks to slide Dean's slit covered hardness along it. "This is going to ruin everything, but, this is- seriously- I mean the rest-"
The movement stopped. Dean opened his eyes, unaware that he'd even closed them. Castiel's expression was stormy. "What are you insinuating?"
"Just because I want to screw you into the floor, doesn't mean I want to fuck up and take this too far," Dean replied, breathing heavily. Castiel didn't say anything. Dean bit his lip and looked up at the ceiling. "I mean, fuck. I want this, so bad, but, at the bar, and flirting, we were flirting right?" Castiel gave him a patronizing look. "Yeah- right, and you said yourself, work and..."
Finally, Castiel sighed and gave an amused smirk. "Are you always this articulate?" He stood up and for a moment Dean was terrified he'd blown it. Instead, the ex-chef/new critic, went to a duffel and reached in, bending over to give Dean a nice view. He turned around with a small bottle in his hand a shiny metal package. "I admire your concern for your family," Castiel said as he slid back into Dean's lap. This time, Dean could touch, having dropped his shirt to the floor when Cas had gotten up. "I do." Castiel sat up and screwed open the bottle of lube.
"Good?" Dean said, feeling like he needed to have something to add to the conversation. His hands were free to roam and he took advantage of it. Gingerly, he stroked along Cas' sides, enjoying the way the other man's stomach muscles rippled with every sensation. His mouth went dry as Castiel coated his fingers generously, and ran his fingers behind himself.
Cas moaned loudly as they slid in. "But, Dean," he ground out, stroking inside of himself. He lost his sentence in between little hitched breaths.
He kept himself high on Dean's lap, pulling his shaking fingers out of him. He watched Dean's confused face with barely concealed amusement. The condom packet crinkled loudly as Castiel ripped it open. There was a loud swallow from Dean and he licked his lips as Cas rolled the condom onto him. Dean bucked into the warm hands and tried to gather his thoughts together. "But-but what? Huh, Cas?"
Castiel grinned and nibbled along Dean's collar. He slid up and closer, placing one hand on Dean's shoulder for support. For a moment Dean held his breath. "As you said..." Dean felt hot air rush past his neck. "I'm not at work at the moment," Cas whispered as he slid himself down on Dean. He didn't stop until Dean was fully sheathed in him.
Their moans echoed across the hotel room and Dean nearly lost it. "Yeah-yeah. Okay. No more dumb questions."
- - - SECTION 3- - -
Winchester's has a magnificent venue. They're American style food is simple, home-made, and flavorful. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, even to those attempting to destroy their floors with puddles. The food arrives at a timely space and the drinks are refreshing and tasteful. Even beyond their home-cut southwestern style fries, their juicy and flavorful steaks, Winchester's has excellent service. The family works as a caring, loving unit, who extend that warmth to any customer that walks in the door. Perfect spot to visit on a drive through Lawrence, Kansas, whether it be pouring down rain, or a warm spring day.
Castiel Novak (5/5)