This is my first Supernatural AU fic, so I hope you all will be gentle with me.
I own nothing having to do with Supernatural and make no money.
This is not beta'd, so please forgive any mistakes.
Castiel Allen, English teacher extraordinaire, rifled through the mound of papers on his desk muttering a weary sigh at just how bad some of them were. He was no softie when it came to education and he certainly played no favorites, so if you were dead-set on not paying attention or studying... well, basically you were pretty much screwed. From the look of things a handful of his students were going to be wailing and lamenting come Monday morning.
Castiel was of the opinion that his class wasn't tortuous by any means, but it wasn't a leisurely stroll through the park either. He wanted the kids who planted their asses in those chairs five days a week to think. He supposed he was that rare teacher who encouraged his students to not just accept whatever they were being spoon-fed as the God-given gospel. What good did it do, shoveling the same re-hashed garbage into their receptive minds year after year? In his opinion, doing so didn't go a long way in promoting creativity or critical thinking; two components sorely lacking in the youth of today.
Picking up a particularly badly thought out and badly written assignment, Castiel sighed once more. He just didn't get it. At the beginning of the year this kid had been doing pretty good; not great, mind you, but good enough to be passing the course. For the past few months Castiel had noticed a decided decline in not only his written work, but also in classroom participation. Not that Dean Winchester made a habit of participating much, but when called upon he frequently had a short, yet relatively decent answer or argument to make in support of his answer. Castiel could respect a good argument, basically because in his room they were so infrequent in nature, so when a real chance came along to exercise his mental muscles he jumped on that mother like a shot.
Glancing at the watch on his wrist, he uttered a low 'damn' before shuffling the papers between his hands in a haphazard fashion. Daphne was going to have his hide. He was late home last night and the meal she had so painstakingly prepared had been ruined. It had landed him on the couch for the night with a side-order of the silent treatment that had lasted well into this morning. He did not want to risk the couch, or its after effects, for a second night in a row.
He was just locking the door of his classroom when his friend and co-worker Rufus Turner called out to him from the end of the corridor. Castiel took in his track suit of blue and gold (school colors), whistle dangling by the string wrapped tightly around his finger and huffed out a small laugh when he saw that Rufus was still wearing his football cleats leaving thick, black scuff marks in his wake.
This man had to be in possession of a pair of the biggest brass balls in existence because Ellen had informed him point blank that if she ever saw him wearing them inside the school again he'd need a doctor who specialized in rectal surgery to pry them out of his ass. Rufus either didn't take the principle's threat seriously, or he thrived on living dangerously. Castiel was putting his money on the latter.
"Thank all that's holy I caught you before you left," Rufus panted out, trying to catch his breath. Holding a hand to his chest, he wheezed, "Shit, I'm thinkin' maybe I should take up aerobics or somethin'."
Chuckling, Castiel said, "You haven't caught me, not really." Pocketing the key in his coat, Castiel grabbed the handle of his briefcase. "I have to make tracks now, or the only holy thing I'll be catching is holy hell."
Poking Castiel lightly in the chest, Rufus smirked while saying, "That right there is why I'm still livin' the happy single life. Don't hafta account to no one for my whereabouts and if I wanna hang with my buddies I won't be havin' to make the couch my home cause of it."
Castile snorted derisively while pushing the offending finger out of the way. It was actually quite extraordinary how frustratingly on the mark Rufus could be in regard to Castiel's marriage and about the couch. The fact that his friend couldn't spare Daphne the time of day, and made no bones about his less than high regard, didn't endear him to his wife at all. The not liking definitely went both ways and had been a serious bone of contention between Castiel and Daphne for years now.
"I'm tellin' ya, boy it's high time you took the reins and broke that little filly in. Show her whose boss and all."
Cocking his head to the side, Castiel answered with a wry twist to his lips, "Marriage isn't about breaking anyone in or about being solely in control. It's about compromise, my friend and you're just too damned stubborn to give any of that over to another person which is why you're still single and still a sorry, sad sack of shit."
"Whatever," Rufus blithely blew him off with a brief wave of his hand. "Let's drop it cause this whole marriage business is startin' to make me nauseous." Smacking his lips together, Rufus went on to say with a grimace, "Matter of fact, think I just threw up in my mouth a little." Castiel shook his head as if to say, 'you poor shmuck'. "Now, as I was sayin'..."
"Walk with me," Castiel offered up instead, and was actually quite surprised when his friend did just that. Perhaps compromising was only crap when it came to marriage or the opposite sex.
Since Rufus generally practiced what he preached (even if it was sexist and straight out of the Dark Ages) it was no wonder that he and Ellen were constantly so at odds with each other. Castiel found their rather volatile dealings highly amusing, and more than once thought about encouraging the man to get his ass in gear and ask out their boss because clearly there was something going on there.
Throwing his arm around the younger man's shoulder, Rufus began, "Here's the deal. I got this kid and he's way talented, and not just in football either." Castiel nodded, reluctantly slowing his stride to match Rufus'.
The man seemed quite passionate about the subject, and when Rufus was passionate about something his comments were interspersed with wild hand gestures or dramatic pauses which led to this jarring continued start and stop of their journey toward the parking lot. Castiel's car had never seemed so far way.
"Problem is," Rufus tightened his hold round Castiel's neck; a silent signal that they were once again going to be hitting one of those halting pauses, "he's haven' some issues with a few of his classes." As predicted, they had now come to a full stop. Looking directly into Castiel's eyes, Rufus continued, "One of 'em happens to be yours."
Looking just as directly back, Castiel murmured quietly, "And?"
Rufus searched those disconcerting blue eyes, but all that lay in their depths was curious confusion. Heartened by this, Rufus continued, "If he flunks outta your class he won't be able to play sports anymore and there goes his chance at any sorta scholarship."
Immediately, Castiel shook off his friend's arm. Shooting the nervous looking black man in front of him a withering glare he turned, stepped off the sidewalk, and began stomping toward the few remaining cars in the lot.
"Castiel! Castiel!" Rufus called after him, but Castiel just kept on going, his over-long strides taking him to the side of his car at a record breaking speed.
Pulling his car keys from an inside pocket of his coat, Castiel shoved the correct key
mercilessly into the lock turning it with a vicious twist of his wrist. He was just folding his body into the front seat of the car when Rufus reached him.
"Aw, man," Rufus panted, "Come on, I didn't mean..."
Yanking the door shut behind him, Castiel stuck his head out the partially open window and snapped, "I have a pretty good idea of what you meant, Rufus!"
The man in question ran a hand through his short, graying hair before saying in exasperation, "I'm just worried about this kid." Ignoring Castiel's snort of derision, Rufus continued, "Look, this kid's had it rough, and I don't know the details but just by his records alone!" Castiel's brow rose in astonishment. "Yeah, yeah," Rufus waved a dismissive hand, "I know I'm not one for reading files, but I gotta say in this instance I felt almost compelled."
Any temptation Castiel might have had to go ripping out of the lot – right over Rufus' foot if necessary – died a swift death. "You truly care about this student. This isn't just about your football team and maintaining its record."
Castiel was stating the obvious because as far as Rufus was concerned reading files was delving way too far into a student's personal life, and Rufus just didn't do personal. Castiel – who was beginning to acknowledge a certain amount of defeat in the face of this revelation – asked a desperate looking Coach Turner, "What did you have in mind?" Rufus opened his mouth, but Castiel hastily added, "I am not just going to pass him. I don't care how many forlorn expressions you throw at me."
Rufus' head jerked back and with an affronted look demanded, "Forlorn? Forlorn?! Really?!" Shaking his head sadly, he went on to say, "Man, you really need to work on your vocab, man. Who the hell says forlorn nowadays?"
Running out of patience (and time) Castiel bit out, "Those who are not intellectually stymied."
Folding his arm across the partially open car window, Rufus ducked his head in and said with a smirk, "I'm just gonna assume that was an insult considerin' it's you throwin' it out there, and roll right along and ask if you think maybe you could tutorDean."
Tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, Castiel contemplated Rufus' suggestion. It was doable if he switched a few things around, and he didn't think Daphne would mind. Well, not too much anyway. If he worked it out that one of his tutoring days could be on a Monday while Daphne was enjoying her book club of the week meeting she'd probably go for it as it wouldn't take any time away from her. Then, there were Thursdays when his wife made a habit of dining with her family in Topeka; she'd be gone for hours.
Blowing a breath out through pursed lips, Castiel shot his friend a side-long look of amused affection before saying, "Okay." At Rufus' triumphant fist pump and muttered 'Yes!' Castiel warned him, "I'm not going to go easy on this kid. If he passes it's because he worked for it and no other reason. Anything other than that would be immoral and unethical, not to mention, in no way beneficial to him. Agreed?"
Grinning widely, Rufus let out an enthusiastic, "Hell, yeah!"
Chuckling, Castiel switched on the ignition while indulgently shaking his head from side-to-side at his friends' antics. He was just about to put the car in 'drive' when a hand was slapped forcefully against the planes of his chest. "Hold up, there's your new tutorial project now."
"Winchester!" Rufus called to a figure off in the distance standing by an impressive, and from what Castiel could tell from where he sat, well maintained vehicle. Beckoning with a wide sweep of his arm, the man continued, "Get your ass over here, boy!"
So, Dean Winchester was the one who had his friend in such a worried frenzy; Castiel should have known. This kid was popular, well thought of, and universally revered by teachers and students alike. Castiel supposed it helped that he was captain and star player in just about every contact sport Lawrence High had to offer. It was ironic that Castiel himself had been doing his own fretting over the young man currently jogging at a leisurely pace in their direction.
"Hey, coach," Dean greeted Rufus with a small, but tired smile.
The kid's hair was damp and Castiel couldn't tell whether it was from the tough football work-out or from the showers. As he stepped closer, Castiel caught the distinct scent of soap and deodorant. The showers it was. The varsity jacket with the oversized 'L' clung to his wide shoulders and he wore it well, but without the snide inflated pride he'd seen most of Dean's team-mates flaunt their letters. No, his jacket looked at home; like it belonged right where it sat.
Clapping his hand down solidly on one of his key player's shoulder, Rufus said, "Mr. Allen here has agreed to tutor you."
Dean's gaze swiftly swiveled to Castiel, pinning him to his seat with a pair of intense green eyes and, whoa, he was one hell of a good looking kid. The fact that he hadn't noticed before wasn't surprising at all. Castiel was often so caught up his teaching he failed to notice anything non-related, and looks – gorgeous or otherwise – hadn't ever really been high up on the notice Richter scale. And, in his further defense, he did have to divide his attention up amongst numerous students, and other than this morning, Castiel had given very little thought to any specific one.
But, then again, Castiel took special pains to not notice whether the students who graced his classroom were attractive. It was highly inappropriate, and he had no desire to walk the path of Alistair – a former teacher – who'd had several liaisons with his students. None of them had been under age per se, but it had still cost him his job. Therefore, whenever Castiel had chance to notice – in passing – the attractiveness of one of the young ladies he taught, he firmly pushed it into the category of appreciation of a purely aesthetic nature; like indulging in the pleasure of perusing fine art or a beautifully constructed Grecian statue.
"Oh," was the less than enthusiastic reply from the Adonis look-a-like, and it really pissed Castiel off because he didn't have to help out a kid who was in danger of failing; he wasn't obligated or anything. His displeasure must have shown on his face because in the next instance, Dean was saying quietly, "Thanks, it's just I don't have a whole lotta spare time."
Brows deeply furrowed, Castiel snapped out, "Neither do I, Mr. Winchester, but I was willing to give up a few hours of my valuable time in order to assist you. Believe me; I've got better things to do than try to talk a lazy kid – who clearly has no desire to improve himself – into a series of clearly unwanted tutorials. In fact, I'm already late for a very important appointment."
"Yeah," Rufus snickered, "for his wife's pot roast."
Rufus wasn't always the most astute of men but even he could sense the mounting tension. Maybe a bit of home-spun humor at his friends' expense would ease the atmosphere a bit.
Dean ignored his coach and transferred his gaze to the ground, shoulders hunching inward protectively, then he raised blazing eyes and stated fiercely, "I'm not lazy Mr. Allen and it isn't that I don't want to learn." Thrusting his hands into his pockets, he continued as a flush of red swept up his neck and settled on his sharply delineated, freckled-dusted cheekbones, "I have a job three days a week after practice and half the day on Saturdays so…"
And didn't that just make Castiel feel like the world's biggest horses ass. Here he'd gone hastily assuming that Dean was turning him down out of pure laziness and lack of motivation to improve his grade, which hadn't been the case at all. Yeah, definitely feeling like a horses ass.
"My apologies," Castiel stiffly answered. "I shouldn't have assumed that your hesitation to accept Coach Turner's efforts to secure my services stemmed from a reluctance to apply yourself to what is bound to be a series of long and arduous lessons."
Giving Castiel a perplexed look, Dean asked of an amused Rufus, "He always talk like that?"
"'Fraid so, but you'll get used to it," Rufus assured the dubious looking Dean. "After a bit, you'll even think it's kinda cute."
"Rufus!" Castiel admonished, outraged at his friend's show of familiarity (and in essence disrespect) in front of a student. It didn't help his mood at all when he noticed the student in question trying to hide the upward quirk of his lips, and failing miserably.
"Besides, you should be used to his ancient ways of speakin' cause you're stuck in his class listening to him drone on, and on, and on," Rufus reminded his star quarterback with a wink, pretending not to see the dagger-like glare being shot his way by Castiel.
Shrugging his shoulders, Dean admitted with a sheepish grin, "I'm not always really listening."
Rufus threw is head back and let out a raucous laugh while Castiel snapped out an irate, "Which would explain your abysmal grade, young man!" Castiel gripped the steering wheel until his knuckles showed white. He was seriously displeased, and not at all certain that he wanted to tutor someone who so readily admitted to blatant inattentiveness. "This was a monumental mistake," Castiel bit out between clenched teeth.
"Now don't go gettin' your britches in a twist," Rufus commanded good-naturedly, not completely oblivious to his friend's simmering ire. "I'm sure Dean here will give you his undivided attention once y'all are one-on-one."
The shrill ringing of Castiel's cell phone interrupted whatever Rufus and whatever more asinine drivel he'd been about to spout for Castiel's benefit in the hopes of getting his own way.
"Damn it all to hell," he exclaimed as he fumbled through the deep, inner breast pocket of his coat. It was Daphne. It had to be.
"That Daffy," Rufus asked as Castiel finally managed to pull his cell from the cavernous hole. "When you gonna get rid of that fugly thing?" For a split second Castiel wasn't at all certain if Rufus meant his wife, his phone, or his coat which certainly spoke volumes of his rattled state of mind. "You've had that mangy trench since high school, man. Don't ya think it's time to cut the apron strings?"
With a huff of annoyance, Castiel flipped open the face of his phone, put it his ear, and with a marked change in both tone and demeanor said, "Hello, Daphne."
"I kinda like it," Dean piped up from beside his coach causing Castiel to jerk his head to the side and pin the young man to that very spot with a puzzled frown. The kid shifted around uncomfortably, toeing the black macadam with his boot before saying bashfully, "You sorta remind me of Constantine when you're wearin' it."
Castiel is only half listening now as Daphne continues to reprimand him for his tardiness… again. "The Roman Emperor," he queries in confusion as his frown deepens further.
Rufus snorts and his star player merely looks at Castiel with utter astonishment written all over his remarkable face, before asking aghast, "You don't know who Constantine is?" Looking as if Castiel were the saddest thing to have walked this Earth, he muttered, "Man, oh man, you are way uneducated, dude."
Baffled by this kid's bizarre behavior, Castiel used a hand to cover the cell (Daphne was still ranting) before stating with snide condescension, "I'll have you know that I have been extensively, meticulously, and propitiously educated." Dean shrugged his shoulders, looking highly unimpressed pissing Castiel off in ways he hadn't felt in years. Bodily harm flitted fleetingly through his head, but he squashed it down and instead retorted, "I have matriculated and have graced the hallowed halls of many esteemed establishments of higher learning!"
Rufus groaned out loud when Dean shot back with a sneer, "Brag much?"
That was it! "I'll call you back," he snarled into the phone, snapping it shut with a graceful flick of his wrist. Wrestling for the handle of the door, Castiel flung it open nearly hitting Rufus in the process, but he was far from giving a shit.
Dean took a steady step back, straightened up his frame to its maximum height of 6'1, and raised his fists fully prepared to defend himself if necessary. Rufus watched in fascinated horror as his ordinarily tractable friend vaulted from his car and charged over to where Dean stood stone-faced and battle-ready.
"Put your fists down, young man!" Castiel directed furiously. "I refuse to engage in a physical confrontation with a student, and your threatening stance and manner are deserving of a severe reprimand which, by the way, will go on your permanent record!"
Dean sullenly did as he was told, but his shoulders remained taut and his face retained a grim determination that would have intimidated most folks with its fierceness. Not Castile though. He moved in far closer into Dean's personal space than was comfortable for both Dean and his coach, and exclaimed forcefully, "I will not put up with that sort of discourtesy. If I am to tutor you, you will accord me the respect that my position is due. Are we clear on that, young man?" When Dean kept up his stoic silence, Castiel bit out a thunderous, "Well?!"
Shoulders shaking with repressed rage, Dean answered with reluctant and exaggerated respect (as requested), "Yes, sir."
Castiel either didn't notice the insincerity or he was just plain fed up with the whole confrontation because all he did was spare his watch a brief glance, heaved a huge sigh, and said in a tired and solemn voice, "Good. Now, I really have to be on my way. See me after class on Monday so that we can synchronize our schedules."
Dean said nothing, just turned on his heels and briskly stalked back to his car. Castiel's shoulders slumped. He really hated confrontation and was now left with a sensation of dissatisfaction and exhaustion with a smidge of disorientation. Groaning, he recalled that he still had Daphne to contend with when he got home. Oh joy, he thought derisively. The fact that he'd hung up on his wife mid-harangue was, without a doubt, going to land him in the doghouse. His pillow and blanket were probably already neatly stacked on the couch. No doubt she would subject him to another bout of the silent treatment as well, and while he felt momentarily bad for thinking it: At this point it would be a welcome blessing!
"Hey," Castiel felt himself pushed from behind, "what the fuck was that?!"
Castiel veered around Rufus reaching for the handle of his car door, and huffed out impatiently, "I have agreed to tutor your fat-head, disagreeable brat. Therefore, I would appreciate it, immensely, if you would refrain from giving me further grief."
So saying, Castiel slid into his car, turned the key, put it in gear, and drove away while Rufus contemplated the back fender of the rapidly disappearing vehicle completely gobsmacked.
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