Chapter 3: I Knew Nothing Of Romance But It Was Love At Second Sight

For Dean, the next few weeks flew by in a blur. His days were comprised of school and Castiel; his evenings were filled with homework, family and Castiel. He spent the weekends at the Roadhouse listening to Jo talk incessantly about Lucifer, and every other Friday night Castiel would come for dinner and to stay the night, when they would lock themselves in Dean's room. Fall break was approaching at a rapid pace, and every day was a good one for Dean.

Castiel was quickly adjusting to the new changes in his life; public school, a boyfriend, lying to his brothers. It didn't bother him as much as it had in the past. Lucifer had noticed the changes in Castiel, too. More than once he had to remind his brother not to hum Dean's music while he was in the house, and twice Lucifer had to hide the sweatshirt Castiel had borrowed from Dean.

Uriel, thankfully, seemed blissfully unaware of the change in two of his brothers. As usual, he was too concerned with the doings of the church and making sure Gabriel was well behaved. He trusted the triplets to make their own good decisions, for the most part. Michael had noticed the change in his two younger brothers and as a result had pulled away from them further. He locked himself in his room for long periods of time and hardly spoke two words a day to either of them. It didn't bother Lucifer or Castiel in the slightest. They both had more significant people in their life than Michael.

Castiel was looking forward to this week. It was a two-day week, with school only on Monday and Tuesday, for fall break. Dean had invited him over Tuesday night for something he referred to as "forced family fun time", which was when Mary and John apparently forced Sam and Dean to play board games and watch movies. It sounded like fun to Castiel, but all Dean had to say about it was a groan and a roll of his eyes.

Castiel woke with a shiver on Sunday morning before church. Fall seemed to appear over night, and the house was freezing.

"Lucifer," Castiel said quietly. "Wake up." Lucifer groaned and peered out from underneath the covers.

"What time is it?" he asked. Castiel sighed. Lucifer asked the same thing every Sunday and every Sunday it was the same answer.

"Five thirty. We have to get up." Lucifer shook his head and pressed his face into the pillow.

"You shower first," he mumbled. "Wake me up when you're done." Castiel rolled his eyes and rolled out of bed, pulling his robe on. It was cold.

"Fine," Castiel sighed. "We can't be late. Uriel almost lost it last week." Lucifer answered with a light snore. Castiel gave a small chuckle before he padded into the bathroom and started the shower. Last week, he and Lucifer had slipped in five minutes after the start of the sermon, and Uriel had spent a good portion of his lesson glaring at them from behind the pulpit. Castiel had overslept after a late night at Dean's and hadn't woken up to his alarm clock.

The shower helped warm Cas up, and when he stepped out the heating in the house had been turned on.

"Up," Cas said, throwing a towel at Lucifer. He swore quietly before sitting up and pulling the towel around him, walking into the bathroom grumbling. Castiel hardly paid attention to his brother.

When Lucifer and Castiel stumbled downstairs for breakfast, Uriel was already gone, setting up before the early morning service. Michael was standing at the counter in the kitchen, looking over his lesson notes for the sermon, eating a pear. He glanced up when Lucifer and Castiel walked in.

"Good morning, Michael," Castiel said politely. "Did you sleep well?" Michael looked at him for a long moment before nodding, looking back to his notes. Lucifer rolled his eyes and made a face at him. Castiel resisted the urge to laugh and elbowed Lucifer lightly, reaching for one an apple from the bowl of fruit on the counter. He took a bite.

"It is good to see that you two have decided to wake up on time this morning," Michael said coolly. "If you were to pull another stunt like you did last week, Uriel would have you repenting until your knees were so sore you couldn't stand." Lucifer looked up at him sharply, unaccustomed to Michael's cold, threatening tone.

"We made our excuses," Castiel answered Michael. "We are here today. Rest assured, brother, that it will not happen again." Michael raised his brows at Castiel and straightened up, shutting his binder.

"That is not all you would be repenting for," Michael said lowly. "You're straying, Castiel. You and Lucifer both are." Michael glanced at his blond brother. "I know of your girlfriend, Lucifer, and she does not follow us." Lucifer's lips twitched into a snarl.

"That's not your call to make, Michael," Lucifer growled. "Stay out of my life." Michael glanced at Lucifer with disdain before looking at Castiel. Cas' hands were trembling. If he knew about Jo, was it possible he knew about Dean?

"And you, Castiel," Michael said slowly. "You're associating with a family of sinners, and you're falling into step with them." Castiel nearly breathed a sigh of relief before the anger registered.

"A family's sins has nothing to do with their morals," Castiel snapped. "The Winchesters are a good family. I am capable of making my own choices." Castiel took a slow, shaking breath. "You may be our blood, Michael, but you are not our brother." Michael froze and went pale, eyes cemented to Castiel.

"Very well," he said quietly. "If that's how you want us to be, then so be it." He snatched his binder up and left through the garage door. A moment later, Lucifer and Castiel heard Michael pull out of the driveway.

"Christ, Castiel," Lucifer said slowly. "That's the angriest I've ever seen Michael." Castiel didn't say anything, only stared at the door Michael had walked out of. That was the most confrontational Castiel had ever been, and a bit of adrenaline was pumping through him.

"I'm going to make sure Gabe is awake," Lucifer said, walking quickly from the room.

Castiel sank into one of the kitchen chairs and put his head in his hands, knotting his fingers in his hair. He took a shaking breath and closed his eyes. He felt as if he had just unofficially declared war against his brother.

Lucifer, Castiel and Gabriel arrived at the church with plenty of time to spare. Gabriel split from the immediately, drawing himself into the group of church friends he sat with during the sermons. Lucifer and Castiel stuck together, avoiding Michael's glares and Uriel's stern glances. They knew Michael must have said something about their confrontation that morning, and Castiel hoped Uriel would let it slide.

Lucifer and Castiel slipped into a pew towards the back of the church, wanting to avoid too much eye contact with Uriel.

"Michael's told him what I said," Castiel quietly. "We've never fought before. I'm unsure what to expect of Uriel's punishment." Lucifer shrugged.

"He'll probably make you apologize. Give you a few prayers to say. I don't know, Castiel. You were right, though." Castiel looked over to Lucifer in question.

"He's not acting like a brother," Lucifer said quietly. "I told you before that I feel like we're a set of twins, not triplets. Michael doesn't belong with us." Castiel nodded and looked forward as Uriel took his position at the front of the church. He cleared his throat and looked out over his congregation.

"Good morning, brothers and sisters," he started. "Thank you for your attendance." He glanced towards Castiel and Lucifer. Lucifer had his nose buried in a bible, pretending to read it. Castiel met his gaze without blinking. Uriel looked away and cleared his throat before starting up again.

"Before we begin, I have a few announcements." Castiel worked at tuning out Uriel, looking down at his hymnbook. It worked. He managed to ignore most of Uriel's sermon, only paying attention when he was required to stand, kneel or sing.

The sermon ended and Lucifer and Castiel stood, walking quickly into the entryway of the church.

"Do you think we could skip group?" Lucifer asked in a low voice. Castiel shook his head.

"Uriel is already angry with us for this morning. We can't skip group. Especially since Michael is leading it." Lucifer groaned and rubbed his hand over his face.

"This is ridiculous," he muttered. "All of this is bullshit." Castiel shushed him, glancing around to make sure no one had heard him.

"It's only a half hour," Castiel chastised. "You'll be fine." Lucifer shook his head and stepped away, leading them to the classroom that Michael held group in.

Michael was already there, sitting at the head of a long, rectangular table. The seats were filling up with other youths in their church. Castiel and Lucifer took seats at the end of the table, as far away from Michael as they could get.

A few minutes later, Michael cleared his throat and stood, his plan held in front of him in the binder.

"Good morning," he greeted. The younger children echoed his greeting and the older children nodded.

"I had originally planned to have a lesson about a few of my favorite stories," Michael started, "but late last night I made a decision to speak of something else. I'm sorry for those of you who prepared for the original lecture. We will do that next week." Castiel looked up in confusion. Michael never deviated from his plans. He glanced at Lucifer, who looked just as confused as Castiel himself.

"Many of you know that I have started public schooling this year," Michael said evenly. "I've noticed many disturbing trends in that school. Many of the students have no respect for what we're taught and have no respect for what God wants of them." Castiel felt Lucifer stiffen in his seat, watched his jaw clench. Castiel gripped the edge of his chair and stared at Michael.

"Today we will be talking about the company you choose to keep," Michael said, looking at Castiel and Lucifer, "and how it affects your choices and how you hold yourself in the eyes of God." Lucifer exhaled slowly, closing his eyes and flexing his fingers. Castiel continued staring at Michael, unblinking and unmoving. This was directed exclusively towards them. Michael was going to use them to make an example.

"It has been told to us to surround ourselves with people who will better you, both in person and in faith," Michael said, still looking at his brothers. Lucifer glared at him and Castiel held his gaze as evenly as he could. No one else seemed to notice Michael speaking directly to both of them.

"This school that I attend is filled with people straying from the flock, straying from the teachings of God," Michael spoke. "I have chosen to separate myself from them as much as I can. It bothers me to see their Godless ways. Others, however, seem to be less concerned with being led astray." Castiel locked his jaw and Lucifer looked like he wanted to punch Michael.

"Tell me," Michael said, abruptly looking away from his brothers. "Many of you also attend public schools. What sort of behavior have you seen that is unacceptable?" For a moment, no one spoke as they thought of examples.

"Swearing," one of the younger children chimed. "People curse at my school all the time." Michael nodded and scribbled something down in his binder.

"Using the Lord's name in vain, " another person said quietly. Michael frowned and nodded, writing again.

"I'm sure you can think of more," Michael prompted, looking out on them.

"Inappropriate dress," one of the girls in the room supplied. "Too much skin." Michael nodded in agreement.

A few more people spoke about theft, cheating and being rude to others. Michael nodded, looking entirely uninterested.

"Oh, I have one," someone quietly said. Michael nodded for them to continue. The girl took a deep breath. "In my school, we have a homosexual couple." The room quieted almost instantly and Michael leaned forward on the table. Castiel forced himself to look and act normal. His eyes stayed glued to Michael, even as Lucifer gripped his hand under the table.

"Do you?" he asked with interest. She nodded and frowned. "It's disgusting. They hold hands in the hallway and no one seems to care." Michael nodded slowly, agreeing with her.

"Yes," he said. "It is disgusting." He paused and stood straight, looking around. "Can anyone tell me what the Bible says about homosexuality?" Nearly everyone in the room opened their mouth to blurt out different versus.

"One person," Michael said loudly, waving his hands to quiet everyone. He looked around the room to pick someone.

"Castiel," Michael said. "Would you care to tell me?" He felt Lucifer's grip tighten. Castiel cleared his throat and looked calmly at Michael.

"Leviticus eighteen, verse twenty-two," Castiel spoke clearly. "'Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.'" He kept his eyes locked with Michael's until Michael looked away.

"Correct," he said. The word fell in the silent room like a gavel.

Castiel and Lucifer left the room as soon as Michael closed his book at the end of lesson. Lucifer was radiating anger and Castiel could hardly speak. Neither of them looked at each other until they got to their car.

"Castiel," Lucifer said slowly. "He doesn't know. There's no way he could know." Castiel looked up at Lucifer in panic.

"Oh God," Castiel said quietly, folding over in the seat, resting his head between his knees. "Oh God, Lucifer. He has to know."

"No, Cassie," Lucifer said, resting a hand on his brother's back. "He doesn't. There is no way that he could know." Castiel shook his head and groaned as his stomach rolled with anxiety.

"Why else would he have asked me, Lucifer?" Castiel yelled, squeezing his eyes shut. "Oh god, what are they going to do to me? What will Uriel do to me?" Castiel heaved into a strangled sob. Lucifer glanced around the parking lot and started the car, peeling out onto the main road.

"They're not going to do anything, Cas. They don't know." Castiel shook his head again and gave another cry.

"They'll make me leave," he gasped. "They'll disown me." Lucifer shook his head and pulled into the parking lot of an abandoned restaurant.

"They don't know, Castiel. There's no way they could," he repeated, putting the car in park and shutting it off. "Michael is pulling shit from nowhere." Castiel sat back in the seat and wiped his eyes, trying to calm himself down.

"Jesus Christ," he whimpered. "He's going to say something to Uriel. Oh god, Lucifer." Castiel's stomach rolled again and he opened the car door, leaning out and throwing up his breakfast. Lucifer yelped in shock and reached for a napkin in the center armrest, handing it to Castiel. Castiel wiped his mouth with shaking hands, dropped the napkin on the ground and spit before pulling himself back into the car.

"I need to break up with Dean," Castiel said quietly. "They know." Lucifer paled and grabbed Cas' arm.

"Don't, brother," he said frantically. "Don't do something stupid like that. They don't know, Cas. I can promise you they don't know." He knew Castiel would regret leaving Dean. He could see it in Cas' eyes how much he cared about the Winchester.

"They will force me out," Castiel snapped with agitation. "I can't risk exposing Dean and myself." His voice crumpled at the end.

"They don't know!" Lucifer repeated with irritation. "Jo and I have told no one and there's no way he can know just by looking at you!" Castiel shook his head.

"He knows," Castiel whimpered. "I have to… I have to tell Dean…" he fumbled with his cellphone.

"Cas, stop!" Lucifer reached forward and grabbed the cellphone from his brother. "We're going home. We're going to see if Uriel or Michael says anything. Then you make decisions. You don't just panic and break up with your boyfriend!" Castiel snatched his phone back from Lucifer and flipped through it, deleting messages and phone calls from Dean. He locked the phone and stuffed it in his pocket before looking up at his brother.

"You're right, Lucifer," he murmured. "They'll start to wonder where we are if we don't get back." Lucifer nodded and turned the keys in the ignition, pulling slowly out of the lot. They drove home in silence.

When Lucifer pulled into the garage, they both sat in silence for a moment before Lucifer cut the engine and climbed out of the car. He opened Castiel's door and pulled him into a hug.

"I am always here for you, Castiel," he murmured, releasing Cas and heading into the house. Castiel took a shaking breath and composed himself before walking in.

"Castiel," Uriel said as soon as he entered. "A word." Castiel looked at Lucifer, who was slowly ascending the staircase. Lucifer nodded to him and disappeared upstairs.

"Yes, brother?" Castiel asked. Uriel frowned.

"My office, if you would." He motioned for Castiel to follow him. Once inside, Uriel shut the door and sat at his desk.

"Sit, Castiel." He gestured to one of the chairs on the opposite side of his desk. Castiel sat and looked expectantly up at Uriel, prepared to hear that he needed to leave and to be told of his eternal damnation.

"You had a disagreement with Michael this morning?" Uriel asked, leaning forward on the desk. Castiel nodded.

"I did." Uriel raised an eyebrow and leaned back, straightening up in his chair.

"Would you like to enlighten me on that argument?" Uriel prompted.

"Michael was rude to Lucifer and I about the people we've chosen to keep in our acquaintance," Castiel explained. "I may have had a harsh word with him." Uriel nodded.

"Yes, Michael said you were quite harsh. Have you apologized?" Castiel shook his head.

"Apologize to Michael. I'm sure he'll be prepared to do the same with you." Castiel nodded and moved to stand.

"I'm not finished, Castiel," Uriel said calmly. "Sit back down." Castiel sat instantly and waited for Uriel to confront him about Dean.

"I am unsure why Michael has been so difficult lately," Uriel said carefully. "He is not adjusting to this new school as well as I had hoped. That does not, however, make his fears for your soul unwarranted. He is right, Castiel. You are straying and it is the fault of Dean Winchester." Castiel gripped his legs tightly, trying to keep a straight face.

"I do not feel any farther from God, brother," he said as naturally as he could.

"You may not feel it, Castiel, but I can see it. Dean Winchester has corruptive intentions towards you. I cannot stop you from being around him, but know that I will not make your life any easier while you continue your association." Uriel paused and then looked very seriously at Castiel. "Did you find the youth lesson today particularly enlightening?" Castiel went cold and nodded stiffly.

"May I go to my room and work on school work?" he asked quietly. Uriel nodded and looked at the paperwork on his desk.

As soon as Castiel was clear of Uriel's office, he nearly sprinted to his room. He paused outside the door and looked at Michael's closed one. After a moment of consideration, he stepped over and knocked gently.

"Come in," came Michael's muffled voice. Castiel opened the door and stepped into Michael's room. Michael looked up with a blank expression.

"What do you need, Castiel?" he asked tiredly. He was on his laptop with his psychology textbook spread out in front of him.

"I came to apologize for our disagreement this morning," Castiel said coldly. Michael gave him a small smirk.

"Consider your apology accepted as always. Leave." Castiel stammered for a moment before he pulled together his thoughts.

"What was the purpose of the youth lesson, brother?" he asked carefully. Michael raised an eyebrow at him.

"To point out the error in your ways," he answered coldly. Castiel frowned.

"I'm unsure what you mean, Michael," Castiel said slowly. Michael shook his head and motioned to the door.

"Leave." Castiel left quickly, walking over to his room and throwing the door open.

Lucifer was pacing outside the door when Castiel walked in.

"What happened?" he demanded. Castiel shoved past him and flopped onto his bed, facedown in the pillow. He felt Lucifer sit on the edge of his bed and ignored him.

"Castiel, what did Uriel say?" Lucifer asked again, shaking his shoulder.

"The same thing Michael did," Castiel said into the pillow. "Dean is leading me astray, they're both worried for my soul and bullshit like that." Lucifer heaved a breath.

"I know what you think you have to do," Lucifer said quietly, "but please think it through, Castiel. You and Dean are good, Cas. He's good for you and you're good for him." Castiel's chest ached and his shoulders shook as he started crying. He pulled himself up and looked at Lucifer, wiping his eyes.

"I know," he agreed, "but I can't let Uriel and Michael find out about us. It's not going to work, Lucifer. I can't make this work." His lower lip trembled before he started crying in earnest, hugging a pillow to his chest to muffle the sound. Lucifer wrapped his arms around Castiel.

"This isn't fair," he murmured, trying to comfort Castiel. "I'm sorry, Cassie." Castiel sniffled and then jumped as his phone vibrated in his pocket.

"Hey baby. How was church?" Castiel looked at the message and burst into another round of tears, dropping the phone to the bed.

Dean texted twice more that day, and once again Monday morning. Castiel didn't reply.


"It's not like him not to answer," Dean muttered, pacing in front of Jo's locker the next morning. "I don't like it." Jo looked up from her backpack and sighed.

"I'm sure he's busy," she reassured. "Uriel probably had them scrubbing the floors of the church with a sacred toothbrush or something ridiculous like that." She laughed at herself and then frowned when Dean remained silent. He looked up and down the hallway, waiting for Castiel or Lucifer to appear. Jo followed his gaze and shrugged.

"They must be running late." Dean shook his head.

"No, Cas is anal about time and stuff like that." He looked up at the clock. "I'm gonna head to class. I'll see you at lunch." Jo nodded and clapped Dean on the shoulder.

"Good morning, Mister Handsome," Pamela said without looking up. Dean nodded at her and took his usual spot in the back of the classroom, taking out his notebook and looking anxiously at the door. As the students filed in and Cas wasn't included in them, Dean pulled out his phone to check for texts. Nothing. He considered sending Castiel another message, but he didn't want to seem overbearing.

Finally Castiel walked in. Dean pushed his stuff over and waited for Castiel to come sit next to him. Cas looked up at him for a moment before sliding into a seat at the front of the room, dropping his head onto his arms on the desk. Dean's heart stopped and his entire body lurched in anxiety. Why wasn't Cas sitting with him? Dean took out his phone again.

"Cas?" he sent the message and then looked up and watched as Castiel pulled out his cellphone and read the message. Dean watched his hands tremble over the keyboard before he put the phone away, leaving Dean's message unanswered.

When Pamela stood to call role, she noticed the change of seats with a frown but said nothing.

At the end of biology, Castiel shot up and sped out of the classroom, Dean following.

"Cas!" he called, reaching out and grabbing his shoulder. "Cas, talk to me." Castiel yanked his shoulder back and spun around to look at Dean, conscious of the fact they were in a crowded hallway and a few people were looking at him.

"Cas," Dean repeated. "Come on, man. Talk to me." He looked at Castiel seriously, trying not to let his eyes betray his hurt. Castiel took a breath and shook his head.

"Now isn't the time to have this conversation," he muttered, moving to walk away. Dean reached for him again.

"So what, then? You're just gonna blow me off? That's the right thing to do, huh?" he demanded, face flushing. The hallway had cleared out a bit more now. Castiel shook his head.

"Do you want to have this conversation right now, Dean? In the middle of a hallway at school? Or do you want to just drop it." Castiel's eyes flashed as he spoke.

Dean took a step back, shocked by Castiel's tone. He glanced around before he grabbed Castiel's arm and dragged him into the empty bathrooms. He locked the door behind them.

"What the hell is going on?" Dean demanded. "You ignored me yesterday, you ignored me during bio. If you want to break up just fucking say so! Don't ignore my existence, Cas!" Castiel crossed his arms and said nothing. Dean sighed in frustration and pressed his forehead against the tiled wall of the bathroom.

"Did I do something?" Dean finally asked in defeat, looking up at Castiel. Castiel's expression faltered for a moment, but he kept his mouth clamped shut. Dean slammed his fist into the wall in frustration.

"Dammit, Castiel! You can't just shut me out!" Dean took a breath to calm down. "We're dating. In a relationship. Together, Cas. So please tell me what's going on." Dean's voice broke and he snapped his mouth shut, fighting back tears.

Castiel looked at him with as blank of an expression as he could manage before he stepped past Dean and walked out of the bathroom.

Dean leaned against the bathroom wall and swallowed hard, biting back the urge to break down and cry. He wouldn't lose it in the school bathrooms.

He checked his phone for the time. Second period had started. He could slip out a side door and go home where he didn't have to keep himself held together. Sam could ride the bus home, and Dean could have a few hours to cool off and figure things out.

"Hey, do me a favor and make sure Sammy gets on the bus after school. If you're not busy you could come over, too. Need a friend." He sent the text to Jo and took a deep breath before slipping out of the bathroom and walking quickly to his locker to grab his things. He was lucky that a teacher didn't catch him as he walked out to his car.

Dean dropped his backpack on the floor of the entryway and was about to trudge upstairs when Mary rounded the corner.

"What are you doing home?" she asked. Dean jumped a little and turned around, mentally slapping himself. He had forgotten that only high school had classes the short week.

"Oh. Hey mom," he said lamely. "I wasn't feeling too hot so I came home." Mary raised an eyebrow and stepped forward to feel Dean's forehead.

"You're not warm," she pointed out. "Did you skip?" Dean shrugged.

"Yeah," he answered, waiting for her to be angry. Mary frowned.

"Is everything okay?" she asked, more concerned than upset. Dean shrugged again and shook his head.

"No, but I'll figure it out." Mary reached forward and pulled Dean into a hug.

"Do you want to talk about it?" she asked as she stepped back, brushing his hair from his face. Dean shook his head.

"No. Just some stuff. Needed some time to cool off," he replied. Mary nodded.

"Alright. Well I love you," she reminded, patting his arm.

"I think Jo might come over after school," Dean said. Mary gave a smile and a nod.

"That's fine. I'll send her up when she gets here." Dean nodded and took the steps two at a time, vision blurring over with tears.

He flopped down on his bed and pulled the covers over himself, curling up. If Castiel wanted to break up, that was fine enough. What wasn't fine was ignoring Dean without any explanation. That was possibly the worst thing Cas could've done to him.

Dean heaved a muffled sob before he pulled himself off his bed and put on one of his favorite CDs. He grabbed one of the few books he had in his possession and collapsed back onto his bed, reading until Jo texted him after school.

"Got Sam. On my way." Dean sighed in relief and shut the book, slinking downstairs. John had come home from work and was sitting on the couch watching something on the television.

"How you feeling soldier?" he asked, looking over his shoulder. Dean shrugged and leaned against the wall, looking out the front windows. He watched in silence until a car pulled up in his driveway. It was Lucifer's car. He watched with a small frown as Jo and Sam climbed out, both of them waving to Lucifer as he peeled out of the driveway. He caught a glimpse of Castiel in the front seat and looked away sharply.

"Hey Dean," Sam said as he walked in. He disappeared up the stairs and shut his door after him. Dean looked at Jo as she walked in. She looked worried.

"Hey Winchester," she said, hugging him tightly. "What's up?" Dean shook his head and gestured to the living room. Jo raised an eyebrow and followed Dean upstairs, plopping down on his bed and leaning against the wall. Dean closed the door and sat down next to her.

"I think Cas dumped me," he murmured quietly, tucking his knees under his chin.

"What?" Jo asked, shocked. "What do you mean?" Dean shook his head and wiped his eyes, mildly ashamed to already be crying again.

"He didn't sit with me during bio, so I caught up with him in the hallway and dragged him into the bathroom. He didn't even tell me why, Jo. He just stared at me and left." Dean leaned back against the wall and looked up at the ceiling, a few tears slipping from his eyes before he shut them.

"What a dick," Jo muttered, pulling Dean against her. He put his head on Jo's shoulder and let her hug him. "I'll ask Lucifer what's going on. He'd know." Dean shrugged, not really caring at this point.

"I don't even know what I did," Dean muttered. "We were fine on Saturday. Freakin' perfect, actually. He was supposed to come over tomorrow." Dean wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt and sat up again, crossing his legs. "He could've at least given me a damn reason." Jo nodded and fished out her cellphone.

"Do you want me to call Lucifer?" she asked, waving her phone. Dean shrugged again and stood up to put a different CD on.

Jo dialed Lucifer's number and waited patiently for him to pick up. Dean slunk back over to his bed and sat down slowly, watching Jo.

"Hey beautiful," Lucifer answered. "Miss me?" Jo blushed and rolled her eyes.

"Always, Luc," she teased. "What's up with your brother?"

"Which one?" Lucifer asked. "I've got more than I can count and a few I'm reluctant to admit my relation to." Jo chuckled.

"Castiel," she clarified, glancing over at Dean. He had returned to his book, trying to ignore Jo's conversation.

"What about Cas?" Lucifer asked. Jo sighed.

"Well he dumped Dean today." Lucifer let out a long, annoyed groan.

"Fucking idiot," he snapped. "I told him that he was overreacting and he didn't fucking listen to me."

"What do you mean?" Jo asked, smacking Dean and putting the phone on speaker. Dean shut the book impatiently and looked up.

"Are you with Dean?" Lucifer asked.

"Yeah. Is that a problem?" Jo answered defensively. Lucifer laughed.

"Calm down, tigress. It's not. I was just wondering." Jo laughed quietly.

"Hey Dean. I want to take this moment to say that I am not endorsing Castiel's stupidity," Lucifer said.

"Well neither am I," Dean muttered. "What did I do?" He heard Lucifer sigh.

"You didn't do anything. Michael did. Cas is apparently certain that Michael knows about you two, even though there is no way he could. He's taking shots in the dark and has no evidence." Dean was staring down at the bedspread with his jaw clenched shut, face pale.

"What did Michael do?" Jo asked quietly. Lucifer sighed.

"He made a scene at church. Had Castiel recite something from Leviticus." Jo ran a hand across her face and through her hair.

"And you're sure he doesn't know?" she asked carefully.

"Pretty damn. If he did, he would've told Uriel and Cas would be out of a house." Dean put his head in his hands and muffled a cry. Jo looked over at him sharply.

"Hey, I'll call you later alright?" she asked, putting an arm around Dean. Lucifer gave a tired sounding sigh and nodded.

"Yeah. I'm gonna talk to Cas when he finally gets his ass up here. See if I can knock some sense into him," Lucifer muttered.

"Right. I'll see you later tonight," Jo said.

"Talk to you later, lovely." Jo smiled and hung up the phone, pulling Dean into a tight hug.

"It'll be alright," she promised. Dean didn't answer.


Lucifer had just started in on his homework when Castiel finally came upstairs. He didn't bother asking Cas where he had been, waiting for Castiel to say something. When he pulled out his own homework and started it like he hadn't even seen Lucifer, Lucifer cleared his throat.

"Well hello to you, too," he tried joking. Castiel looked up at him for a moment before looking back down to his work. Lucifer sighed and shut his own textbook.

"How was your day?" he tried again. Castiel glanced up and ignored him again.

"How's Dean?" Lucifer asked pointedly. Castiel jumped a little and looked at Lucifer.

"Why do you ask?" he finally answered. Lucifer shrugged.

"He wasn't at lunch today. I was wondering if you knew why," Lucifer lied. Castiel frowned.

"Don't play dumb with me, Lucifer. You dropped Jo off at Dean's. She's called you. You know what happened." Lucifer swung his legs off the bed and leaned forward, propping his elbows on his knees, staring at Castiel.

"What the hell are you doing?" he asked after a moment. "Are you stupid?" Castiel's eyes flashed an angry blue before he answered.

"What makes it your business?" Castiel snapped. "I can do what I want." Lucifer growled in frustration.

"Not when you're making a huge fucking mistake," he retaliated. "You realize that if Michael knew anything, he wouldn't be playing cat and mouse with you! He'd tell Uriel outright!" Castiel's lips twitched into a sort of snarl.

"I'm saving us all the trouble of dealing with it when it finally does happen, then," he retorted. "You don't get it, Lucifer. If Uriel finds out you have a girlfriend, you'll get a talking to. You'll have to say a few prayers and they'll let you on your merry way. If Uriel knew that I have a boyfriend, he'd make me leave. He'd bar me from my house!" Castiel exclaimed, smashing his textbook shut and shoving it onto the floor. "Don't tell me I'm being stupid for looking out for my own safety! I'm done talking about this!"

"Well I'm not done," Lucifer snapped, standing up and towering over Castiel. "I'm not done, because over the last month you've been the happiest I have ever seen you and it is because of Dean Winchester and now you've gone and thrown it out the window on a hunch! A hunch that our psychotic brother has! You're supposed to be the intelligent one, Castiel!" Lucifer yelled, storming out of their bedroom. He slammed the door shut behind him, leaving Castiel sitting on his bed in a sort of angry shock.

Lucifer didn't come back to the room until Castiel was curled up in his pajamas, lights off and back to the door. He didn't say anything to Castiel as he got ready for bed, or the next morning when they both woke up to get ready for school.

Castiel looked for Dean as he walked into the biology room, but Dean wasn't there. He wasn't there at all that day. During lunch, Castiel sulked to the library. He saw Michael and slid in across the table from him. Michael looked up sharply.

"Good afternoon, Castiel," he said after a moment. "I didn't expect to see you here." Castiel remained silent, biting the inside of his lip. Michael frowned.

"Is there a reason you're here?" he tried again. Castiel shrugged.

"I wanted to spend time with my brother," he eventually said. Michael raised an eyebrow.

"I was under the impression that we weren't brothers," he answered evenly. Castiel frowned and nodded.

"I said that out of anger, Michael. I apologized. Can we move on?" he sounded a bit more cross than he had intended. Michael nodded and looked back down at the book he was reading. They didn't speak for the rest of lunch.

There was one more class after lunch before they were let out early for the day. As soon as they returned home, Castiel placed himself in his bed and poured over the books he had checked out from the library, pointedly ignoring Lucifer. After a few hours of homework and watching Castiel read, Lucifer stood up and sighed.

"I'm headed over to Jo's," he said. Castiel ignored him.

"I'll be home around eight," he continued. Castiel didn't respond.

"Be a dick, then," Lucifer snapped, striding out the door. Only when it shut behind him did Castiel look up. He felt awful for being so terrible to Lucifer, who had only ever shown him acceptance and love. He considered going after Lucifer for a moment, but decided against it. He still had homework to do, and he knew Lucifer would be easier to talk to when he came home from Jo's. She had a calming effect on him.

Castiel ventured downstairs around dinnertime to get a snack. Uriel was out for the evening, so no one had bothered cooking. After his brief dinner, Castiel returned to his room to continue reading. At around eight, Lucifer walked back in and flopped onto his bed.

"Did you have a good time at Jo's?" Castiel asked pleasantly, looking up from the book. Lucifer stared at him.

"So you're speaking to me again?" Lucifer asked after a moment. Castiel shrugged.

"I don't have to if you don't want me to," he answered. Lucifer shook his head.

"I don't get it, Cas." Castiel frowned.

"Get what?" he asked. Lucifer ran a hand through his hair.

"I don't get how you can blow me off all day and then talk to me like everything's fine. I mean, you fucking had lunch with Michael, who, if you'd recall, is the reason you dumped your boyfriend." Castiel stiffened at the mention of Dean.

"Can we not talk about Dean?" he asked quietly. Lucifer barked a laugh.

"You don't want to talk about Dean because you know that I am right," Lucifer challenged. "You know that Michael doesn't know a damn thing and you feel like shit for dumping Dean. You know what Jo told me tonight?" Castiel was shaking slightly. He said nothing, waiting for Lucifer to continue.

"Jo told me that you didn't even give him an explanation. You completely shut him down. That's a pretty shitty thing to do, Castiel. You know what else?" Castiel didn't answer again, fighting down tears.

"He hasn't even gotten out of bed today because he's so bent out of shape over you." Lucifer pointed to Castiel, face flushing. "You know that you can still fix this, but you fucking won't, because you're too much of a coward to stand up for yourself and do what makes you happy." Castiel shot off the bed and stormed out of the room, ignoring Lucifer calling after him. He nearly sprinted down the stairs, pulling his shoes and jacket on midstride before he was walking down the road, zipping his coat up to his chin against the autumn chill. He was angry and crying and couldn't sit in that room while Lucifer yelled at him things he already knew and didn't want to admit to himself. Castiel walked until he had cooled off enough to think. He turned down another road and walked into the neighborhood park. It was deserted thanks to the time of night and the weather. Castiel slid into a swing and dropped his head to his hands, trying to arrange his thoughts.

Lucifer was right. He could still fix it. Dean would listen to an explanation, and Dean would understand. He knew that Dean would. He wanted desperately to call Dean and apologize, beg for forgiveness, cry to him. He was too afraid to, for whatever reason.

Castiel kicked his feet into the ground in frustration, staring up at the sky.

"Tell me what to do," Castiel cried quietly, watching as the stars peeked through the clouds.


Dean ignored the first time his phone rang, not in the mood to talk to anyone. After the third time, though, he finally reached for the device on his nightstand and checked the caller ID. It was Lucifer. He hesitated before answering.

"Hey," he said with confusion. "What's up?"

"I can't find Castiel," Lucifer said quickly. "I pissed him off and he ran out of the house. That was an hour ago. He's not answering his damn phone and I can't fucking find him." Dean sat up quickly and checked the time. It was nearly ten o'clock at night.

"What'd you do?" Dean asked, changing from his pajama pants into his jeans and throwing on his leather jacket before descending the stairs.

"I brought you up again. Tried to knock some sense into him. He just took off," Lucifer answered, sounding panicked. "I've been driving around for a half hour, and I can't find him."

"Calm down," Dean snapped. "I'm gonna help. Just tell me where you've checked." Dean was slipping his shoes on at that point, ignoring Mary and John's confused looks from the living room. He just looked at them and mouthed 'Cas'.

"Fucking all over the place," Lucifer exclaimed. "I've got no fucking idea where he is!" Dean sighed and grabbed the keys to his car, running out to it.

"Calm down," Dean repeated, climbing into the car. It was freezing cold out. "Just go back to the house in case he decides to come back."

"Right. Call me if you find him, all right? If he doesn't get in the car with you, stay with him until I can get there."

"Yeah, I got it. Get home," Dean retorted, pulling out of his driveway and turning in the direction of Castiel's neighborhood. He ended Lucifer's call and hit Castiel's speed dial. It rang twice before going to voicemail.

"Cas, where the hell are you? Lucifer's freaking the hell out. Call one of us!" Dean hung the phone up and threw it onto the passenger seat, pulling into Castiel's neighborhood and driving past his house. Castiel had only been gone an hour, and Dean found it hard to picture Castiel walking around angry for a solid hour. He had to have stopped somewhere.

It only took Dean fifteen minutes to find the park. He almost didn't see Castiel sitting on one of the swings. He was wearing dark clothes, and it was only because he glanced at the right time that he saw. Dean swerved into the parking lot of the playground and killed the engine. He saw Castiel look up as the Impala pulled in and stop the swinging of his legs. Dean took a breath and climbed out of the car.

"Get in, Cas," he said tiredly. "Let me take you home." Castiel didn't say anything. Dean sighed and slammed the car door shut, walking up to Cas and sitting in the swing next to him.

"How long have you been out here?" he asked, looking over at Cas. Castiel shrugged.

"You've gotta be freezing, Cas," Dean murmured, looking over at Castiel's light jacket. Dean was wearing his heavy leather jacket and he was getting cold.

"I'm fine," Castiel said quietly, looking up at Dean. "I don't want to go home." Dean frowned.

"You can come over to my house," he offered. "Might be awkward. I can sleep on the floor." He chuckled. Castiel shook his head and closed his eyes.

"I made a mistake," he murmured, looking down at the ground. "I made a huge mistake." Dean shrugged.

"You ran out of your house. Not the biggest mistake I've ever seen," he said, trying to cheer Cas up a bit, hoping to get him back home.

"No, Dean. What I did to you was a mistake. I shouldn't have panicked," Castiel clarified. "I thought Michael knew, but Lucifer was right. If Michael knew, he would have said something to Uriel." Castiel looked up at Dean with tear-filled eyes. "I shouldn't have left you." Dean wiped his eyes and shook his head.

"I'm still here, Cas," he said quietly. "I'm here if you want me." Castiel blinked and pulled himself off the swing, moving to stand in front of Dean. He put one hand on Dean's cheek and paused before leaning down to kiss him. Dean stood up and put his hands on the sides of Castiel's face, kissing him back, trying to ignore the fact that they were both crying.

"I'm sorry," Castiel whimpered as he pulled away. "I was scared." Dean nodded and pulled Castiel into a hug, wrapping his arms around Castiel's body and holding him there.

"It's alright, Cas," Dean murmured. "I forgive you. We're alright." He kissed the top of Castiel's head and pulled away, taking his hand.

"Do you want to go home or come to my house?" he asked. Castiel didn't say anything for a moment.

"I need to and apologize to Lucifer," he answered eventually, wiping his face. "Will you wait for me?" Dean smiled and nodded, leading Castiel over to the car. He opened the passenger door and helped Castiel in before getting in the car himself. He reached across and held Castiel's hand until they pulled up to his house.

Dean waited in the car for Castiel to come back out. While he was waiting, he sent Jo a quick message telling her what had happened.

"Good. You're happier with him," she answered. Dean smiled and looked up as Castiel pulled the door open, throwing a bag in the back seat.

"Is it alright with your parents that I'm staying the night?" Castiel asked as Dean pulled out of his driveway. Dean shrugged.

"They didn't really question when I ran out of my house at ten at night to go find you. I don't think they'll care." Castiel blushed and shook his head.

"I was a bit dramatic," he mumbled. Dean shrugged.

"I laid in bed and cried all day," he said quietly. "We were both dramatic." Castiel reached over and took Dean's hand again, lacing their fingers together.

"I am sorry, Dean," he murmured, rubbing his thumb across Dean's knuckles. "I don't deserve your forgiveness." Dean shook his head and squeezed Castiel's hand.

"It's all good, Cas," he insisted. "Let's not have a pity party." Castiel chuckled and nodded, leaning back in the seat of the Impala.

When the pulled into the driveway at his house, he put the car in park and leaned over to kiss Castiel, pulling him forward gently. Castiel kissed him back, cupping the sides of Dean's face with shaking hands. Dean lowered his hands to Castiel's waist, pulling him closer. After a moment, Dean pulled back and smiled, pressing his forehead against Cas'.

"We should go inside," he said. "Get to bed." Castiel yawned and nodded, reaching over the seat into the backseat to grab his bag.

Mary was waiting when they walked in, leaning against the wall in the entryway.

"Hey Castiel," she said smiling at him. Castiel smiled and nodded to her, slipping his shoes off.

"Can I talk to you for a minute, Dean?" Mary asked. Dean frowned and nodded, looking to Cas.

"I'll meet you upstairs," he muttered, motioning for Castiel to go up to his room. Castiel nodded and looked to Mary.

"Thank you for letting me stay the night," he said politely before climbing up the stairs. Mary smiled after him and then looked to Dean.

"What happened to him?" Mary asked seriously. "Did he run off?" Dean nodded.

"Yeah. His brother Michael went at him. Lucifer couldn't find him so I offered to help." Mary nodded, crossing her arms.

"Is he hurt? Is anyone at his house hurting him?" Dean shook his head frantically.

"No, he's fine. Everything's fine. He just needed to get out," Dean explained. Mary furrowed her brows but nodded.

"You would tell me if there was, wouldn't you Dean?" she asked.

"Yeah. Of course I would, mom." Mary seemed satisfied with that answer and leaned down to hug Dean goodnight. Dean kissed his mom on the cheek before he took off up the stairs, sliding into his room and locking the door behind him.

Castiel was lying back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. He had changed into his pajamas while Dean was downstairs. He looked up when Dean walked in.

"Is everything alright?" he asked, sitting up. Dean nodded and started to change into his own pajamas.

"She was worried about you," he explained as he changed. "Wanted to make sure Michael didn't beat the crap out of you or something." Castiel chuckled and laid back again.

"He wouldn't lay a finger on me," Castiel laughed. "He's a self-proclaimed pacifist." Dean laughed quietly and flicked his light off, sliding into bed next to Castiel.

"Get under the covers," Dean muttered, awkwardly pulling the covers down under his body and slipping beneath them. Castiel wriggled in next to him. Dean pulled Cas against him and pressed his forehead to the other's, closing his eyes and sighing. Castiel moved forward and kissed Dean quickly.

"I'm sorry," he said again, kissing him again. Dean threaded one of his hands through Castiel's hair and wrapped his other arm around his waist, flipping them so Castiel was straddling him.

"It's alright, Cas," Dean answered. "I told you it was fine." Castiel shook his head and dropped down to kiss Dean's neck. Dean exhaled and his eyes fluttered shut, one hand still hooked through Castiel's hair.

"How can I earn your forgiveness?" Castiel asked against his neck. Dean let out a shaky laugh.

"You've already got it, Cas," he answered. Castiel kissed his jaw and smiled against his skin.

"I asked how I could earn it, Dean." Dean blinked with understanding and gave a small shudder.

"We talked about this, baby," Dean said unsteadily. "I don't want you to do anything you're not comfortable with." Castiel gave him a small smile and kissed him.

"I'm not going to do anything I'm uncomfortable with," he answered. "I want to make it up to you." Castiel pulled Dean's shirt off, throwing it carelessly to the floor. He ran his hands tentatively down Dean's chest, fingers trembling.

"Yours too, Cas," Dean gasped softly, pulling the edges of Castiel's shirt up. Castiel took his own shirt off and it quickly joined Dean's.

Castiel leaned down and kissed Dean, less restrained than their normal kisses. He parted his lips and slowly ran his tongue over Dean's lower lip. Dean gave a small groan and parted his lips, meeting Castiel's tongue halfway.

After a few moments, Castiel broke away and kissed Dean's neck, moving to his chest and working his way down. He paused at the edge of Dean's pajama pants and looked up at him. Dean's face was flushed as he propped himself up on his elbows, looking down at Castiel.

"Cas," he said softly, breath hitching as Castiel slipped a finger under the waistband of his pajama pants.

"Hmm?" Castiel asked, pulling them down, lifting Dean's hips slightly to pull them off. Dean groaned lightly and let his eyes close.

"You don't have to," he said as Castiel played with the band of his underwear.

"I want to," Cas answered. "Do you want me to?" Dean opened his eyes and nodded, swallowing hard. Castiel froze for a moment before he took a breath and worked Dean's underwear down his hips. Dean bit his lip, conscious of the fact his parents and little brother were all on the same floor as he was.

Castiel looked up at Dean before he leaned forward and kissed him, wrapping a shaking hand around Dean's member. Dean groaned against Cas' lips and put his hands on Castiel's waist. He felt Castiel's kiss slip into a smile as he started to move his hand slowly.

Dean's head fell back and his breath hitched as Castiel fixed a rhythm and kissed his neck. Dean's fingers tangled back in Castiel's hair and he gave a shuddering groan.

"Cas," he breathed, pulling Castiel's lips against his. Dean's hips stuttered forward reflexively.

"Good?" Cas asked, speeding his hand up. Dean groaned and kissed Castiel again, nodding.

"Yeah," he managed. "Feels fantastic. Wanna try something," he murmured, pulling himself more upright and reaching for Castiel's pajamas. Cas gave a small groan and dropped his forehead to Dean's shoulder as Dean shoved his pajama pants and underwear down. He tentatively grasped Castiel and stroked him. Castiel's hand faltered and he moaned before starting the rhythm he had before. Dean matched his pace, watching Castiel's reactions.

This was new to both of them; the feeling of so much exposed skin and synchronized movements. Dean could almost feel Castiel's heartbeats and Castiel reveled in the puffs of Dean's breath across his collarbone and the way he arched his back off the bed and moaned. Dean could see Castiel's breath hitch and the muscles in his arms strain as he held himself up with his free hand, the way the moonlight through the blinds played across his face.

"Cas," Dean breathed. "Almost there." Castiel nodded and kissed him, speeding his hand up. Dean mimicked his actions and arched up into Cas' hand, groaning. Castiel moaned when he felt Dean spill over his hand. Cas followed moments later, his face pressed into Dean's neck, body shuddering.

Dean reached around until he found his pajama pants and wiped his hand and stomach off, handing them to Cas to do the same. When he was done, Castiel threw the pants on the floor and rolled to the side of Dean, curling up against him. Dean put his arms around Cas and held him close.

"Dean," Castiel said, "I feel as if I still owe you an explanation for my behavior." Dean kissed the top of his head.

"I told you that I forgive you," Dean murmured tiredly. "Go for it, if it will make you feel better." Castiel nodded and took a deep breath, trying to gather his thoughts. This should have been something he had told Dean from the beginning. It was something he had been hoping to avoid entirely, but Cas knew it was something he needed to say.

"I told you about Anael," Castiel said into his shoulder. "About how Uriel excommunicated her, for lack of better terms." Dean nodded and rubbed lazy circles into Castiel's bare back.

"Yeah. What about her?" he asked tiredly, hand shifting up to play with Cas' hair. Castiel squeezed his eyes shut and steeled his nerves. He knew that Dean wouldn't react well.

"Uriel made her leave because she had a girlfriend." Dean's hand faltered and froze in Castiel's hair.

"What?" he asked, more awake now.

"I should have told you," Cas said quietly.

"Yeah, that was something you should've shared," Dean mumbled, starting through Castiel's hair again. "What happened?"

"Our father came home while Anael had her over," Cas explained. "He caught them and gave Anael twenty minutes to pack her things and leave. He closed her bank account and cut off her phone. We haven't been allowed to speak about her or to her since." Dean nodded and stroked down Castiel's spine.

"I won't let that happen to you," Dean said quietly. He wouldn't let Castiel be forced out of his home because of him. It wouldn't have to come to that.

"I'd let it happen for you," Castiel answered softly. "You're worth it." Dean's hand stilled again for a moment, taken aback by the sincerity in Castiel's voice.

"Cas," Dean murmured. He wasn't sure what else to say.

"Can I say something?" Castiel asked, looking up at him. Dean kissed his forehead and nodded.

"I love you," Cas said simply. Dean blinked and opened his mouth to answer, but couldn't form words. He snapped his mouth shut and closed his eyes for a moment before he opened them again.

"I love you," he answered. Castiel smiled.