This is a one-shot from my fic Pretty Much (which should be read before this, or else this might not make sense). It is from Cas' point of view and takes place at Christmas time (aka chapter 10 in Pretty Much) Enjoy!

It was a bitterly cold day when the Novak's packed up their car to head to Maryland. Most over their family was spread across the country, but the majority of them lived near or around Maryland, so they always met there for Christmas.

The drive was almost 7 hours. Anna had either slept or was on her iPhone, listening to music or texting her friends. Castiel either read one of the 6 books he brought with him, or stared out the window. The landscapes they drove by were pretty nice, but Cas just wished he had remembered his phone so he could have been texting Dean. Dean wasn't expecting Cas to text him, but Cas figured it would have been nice.

When they arrived, there wasn't any snow on the ground. Cas wished they would have a white Christmas, but that sadly wasn't always the case in Maryland.

Lucifer and Michael, Cas and Anna's cousins, met them the three of them at the door and helped bring in their suitcases. Well, Michael helped. Their house was massive and had many guest rooms, so their entire family could stay, and their family was huge.

It had been relatively quiet until Gabriel arrived. He made sure that he was heard when he entered the house and immediately started to talk to everyone and cause mayhem.

Castiel tried to stay away from him for as long as possible, but it was inevitable. Gabriel caught him and brought up Dean. Of course.

"Cassy! How're you doing? How's your friend Dean?" Gabriel asked Cas, elbowing him in the side when he mentioned Dean.

"I'm good. How are you?" Cas answered, avoiding Gabriel's second question.

"Oh don't ignore my question Cas! It's obvious you still like him! I mean you still wear his scarf when you go outside, and what? Now you have a hat and gloves to match! Did you pick them out yourself or did Dean give them to you as a gift?"

Cas blushed dark red. Gabriel always knew what was on Cas' mind and always got right to the point. But Cas had to make sure that Gabriel knew he was 'straight' so he would still be safe from his father. He stuttered a bit but then finally said, "Uh…y…yes. Dean did give these to me. As a Christmas gift. It was a nice gift to give a friend." Cas said, emphasizing the word 'friend' and giving Gabriel a look so he would understand.

Gabe made a weird face like he understood. People didn't give him much credit when it came to smarts, but Gabriel really was a genius. However, once they finished their conversation, Gabe couldn't help but give Cas a sad, understanding look. It was the same look that Anna gave him after she had heard some of the fights between Cas and their father.

There were still a few days until Christmas, so the younger people of the family had to help with any decorations and setting the table each night for dinner.

One night, Raphael ordered Castiel to help Michael set the plates out for dinner, which Cas really didn't want to do. Michael was one of the few people in the family that knew that Cas had been sent to straight camp, and Cas worried about how Michael would treat him.

However, Michael acted the exact opposite of what Cas thought he would do. Instead of hating Cas, or just trying to stay away him, Michael smiled at Cas when he entered the kitchen.

They peacefully set the table until Michael spoke up.

"I heard about camp." Michael said simply, but he didn't sound mean or anything.

"Oh?" Cas said, uneasily.

"Yes. I'm sad to hear that you had been…well…that you were against God, but I'm glad to hear that you are better." Michael smiled.

Castiel weakly returned his smile. Michael was almost as religious as Cas' father, but was apparently much nicer about it, even though he still thought Cas had to be 'fixed'.

"Thank you, Michael."

And then the boys finished setting the table in comfortable silence.

As they left the kitchen, Cas couldn't help but notice Lucifer giving him a strange look from the living room where he was putting up decorations. Cas didn't know what to think of it, but decided to avoid him anyway. Lucifer sure did live up to his name sometimes, and Cas did not wish to cross his path.

On Christmas Eve, Castiel was sitting in the parlor near the Christmas tree reading and listening to some Christmas songs that Anna put on.

When the song 'All I Want for Christmas is You' came on, Cas couldn't hide his smile. The song immediately made him think of Dean.

'I wonder what Christmas would have been like if I could have stayed up in Massachusetts.' Cas thought to himself. His imagination went a little crazy as he imagine all the cheesy romantic moments that happened in movies around Christmas time.

His book was completely forgotten as he day dreamed about Dean. Kissing under the mistletoe, or watching Christmas movies while it snowed outside, or ice skating.

Cas didn't realize that he had been smiling to himself until suddenly Lucifer was right in his face. Cas jumped a little in surprise.

"A little lost in thought Castiel?" Lucifer asked with a leer.

"Yes, just a little." Cas answered nervously.

"What were you thinking about?"

Cas felt like he was being interrogated. Lucifer wasn't taking his eyes off of Castiel's face as if he was looking for something.

"Nothing." Cas said quickly. "Just my book." Cas amended.

"Hmm really?"

That's when Castiel realized that they were alone. Anna must have left a little while ago, and there was no one else in the area. 'Was Lucifer waiting to get me alone?' Cas worried.

"You weren't thinking about your boyfriend were you?" Lucifer said without any question that Cas had a boyfriend.

Cas was about to reply, but Lucifer just continued talking.

"Yes I know you're… "straight" now." Lucifer said, using air quotes. "But you can't fool me. I know you, Castiel, and you can't lie to me." His tone was quite diplomatic, like he was about to offer something, as if Castiel had something or could do something for him.

"What do you mean?" Cas said innocently, but was panicking on the inside.

"Oh nothing really. I just want you to know that I know. I don't think any less of you, if you're wondering. If I were you, though, I would just tell everyone. I mean you hate these…monkeys as much as I do." Lucifer said, referring to their family. "Why stay here and be hated, when you could just leave and never have to see them again?" Cas had thought about it though. But Cas couldn't just leave his family. He loved his family, even if they didn't love him.

"Be good Castiel." Lucifer said with a strange tone in his voice before leaving Cas alone once again.

'But would Lucifer say anything? I mean he didn't sound very threatening, just…devious, like he was planning something. He wouldn't tell me father, would he? What if the told the whole family?' Cas began to worry more and more, just increasing his paranoia.

Castiel began to tread much quieter through the house. He avoided everyone if possible, even at dinner. He kept conversation to a minimum, but thankful he didn't talk much anyway so no one thought much of it.

Except Anna.

On Christmas, Anna noticed Cas was unusually quiet and tried to coax him out of his shell, but it was almost impossible.

Cas did not want to talk to anyone. He didn't want to accidentally say something that Lucifer could use against him. So, Christmas went by rather quietly and fearfully.

When it was time to leave, Cas was slightly surprised that Lucifer hadn't said anything. Lucifer just gave him a strange smile before they left.

Cas wasn't sure what Lucifer was trying to do. It had sounded like he wanted Cas to come out, but it also sounded like he wanted Cas to be afraid to come out. Cas was just confused and snuggled into the blue scarf around his neck for some comfort.

Cas was happy to be home for New Year's, although he was sad that the Winchesters were still on vacation. He would never admit it but he really missed Dean.

He was happy when school started again because school meant he could see Dean again. However, Dean wasn't there. According to Jo, Dean had to stay home sick since he caught a cold when they were in New Hampshire.

Jo noticed Cas' immediately deflation when he realized he would still have to wait to see Dean. Cas hadn't realized how important Dean was in his life until Dean wasn't there anymore.

So, Jo caught up with Sam and invited herself, Cas and Ash over to their house to bother Dean. Jo gathered everyone up in her truck and made a quick stop at the Roadhouse for some supplies before she drove to the Winchesters.

Cas was happy to see Dean. Dean did look pretty exhausted from being sick, but he still somehow looked stunning. Cas had to hold himself back from giving Dean a bone-crushing hug.

Instead, Cas headed to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate for everyone. He couldn't stop smiling though.

The movies Jo picked were…strange. They were pretty good, but were also weird. Cas liked them though, and so did Dean. When Dean began to lean more on Cas, Cas couldn't help but put his arm around him. He made excuses for himself, thinking 'he's sick and tired and cold. I'm just here to help.' But he really just wanted to be closer to Dean…and help him feel better.

Cas subconsciously went to feel Dean's forehead. He wanted to see how sick Dean still was, but didn't really realize he had done it. "You're still hot." Cas stated, covering for his action.

"Why thank you. It's good to know that this sickness hasn't made me any less attractive." Dean said, smiling up at Cas. Cas' heart melted, and he looked away from Dean to hide his blush.

After they had finished the movies, Jo and Ash had to leave, but Cas decided to stay a bit longer. Mary had invited him to eat dinner, which he graciously accepted.

After dinner, Cas realized that Dean was still asleep, so he thought he should just bring Dean up to his room. It would have been impolite to leave Mrs. Winchester to do it by herself.

Cas looked at the calm face of Dean, who was sleeping quite peacefully. After a moment, he slipped his arms under Dean's back and knees, and picked him up, bridal style. 'It's the easiest way to carry him.' Cas thought to himself.

When Cas tucked Dean into his bed, he looked at him for a bit longer. And that's when it hit him.

Looking down at Dean made Cas realize that it doesn't matter what Lucifer said, Cas truly loved Dean. Cas wouldn't come out to his family just for the sake of coming out. 'I can't hide myself forever, and I don't want to. I want them to know how much I love Dean. One day they will understand. They may not like the fact that I love another guy, but they won't hate me. At least not all of them. There will be family, like Gabe and Anna, who will love me no matter what. I don't have to choose between my family and Dean. I just have to choose love, and fight for it.'

Cas watched Dean for a little while longer, resisting the urge to kiss his sleeping form. He instead went to feel Dean's forehead again. It didn't feel as hot this time, for which Cas was happy.

Cas then left, choosing to walk home. 'It won't be easy to get through all of this with my family, but as long as Dean is by my side, as a friend, or maybe more, I will be okay.'