Castiel and Canis

Summary: Castiel and Canis take interest in the new addition to Garrison Drive.

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-C&C-

There were many things Canis the spaniel enjoyed chewing – 'chewing' being a very mild term for what actually happened to Castiel's belongings when the tiny dog got hold of them. He would be more inclined to use words such as 'decimating' and 'obliterating' because the object, whatever it was, would be so completely destroyed that sometimes it was hard to tell what it had been before the attack. Numerous pairs of shoes had been torn apart and dozens of electrical cables rendered useless. How Canis was able to chew through a live wire and not become a sun-fried-spaniel was a mystery to Castiel. Then again, he had been the runt of the litter, the oddball that nobody had wanted but that suited him just fine because Castiel was an oddball too and if Canis's bark sounded more like a meow than a woof then great. The weirder the better. He could moo for all Castiel cared though the neighbours would probably raise a few brows. They already thought Castiel was a loner and a prude; a mooing spaniel could very well be the last straw.

"Good morning, Canis," said Castiel sleepily, entering the kitchen at a lethargic pace and switching the kettle on. "Canis?" he said again when the little dog didn't appear immediately, paws skittering on the shiny tiles like they usually did. He glanced at the brown woven dog basket in the corner, Castiel's characteristic frown deepening at the sight of his shoe which was only partially nibbled and resting on a blue blanket. Canis didn't do half hearted chewing.

Worried now, Castiel searched the rest of the house, calling his name, checking under tables and behind sofas until he found him with a sigh of relief, standing perfectly still, ears pricked, on the window sill, staring outside.

"What're you doing?" asked Castiel, tapping the dog on the head with a slender finger. The spaniel blinked his eyes in rhythm to Castiel's prodding but other than that, he didn't move at all. Following Canis's gaze, Castiel noticed the house across the road, which had been empty for awhile, had a large moving van parked outside with two well built men unloading furniture.

The door to the house was open and a man came walking out dressed in a leather jacket and worn jeans. "In the bedroom guys," he said to the movers, his voice floating through the open window. Canis barked and wagged his tail furiously.

When man shrugged out of his jacket, slinging it on the shiny black car taking up the drive way, and then proceeded to remove more of his belongings from the van, Castiel and Canis tilted their heads.

The man's dirty blonde hair glittered in the sunlight, his biceps moved under the dark t-shirt he was wearing and Castiel couldn't help but notice how impossibly attractive he was. He made his mouth dry up and his heart beat a little faster.

"He's very... handsome, isn't he?" whispered Castiel as if there was a threat of the man overhearing him.

The spaniel didn't answer, choosing to stare as Castiel was at the new addition to the street.

He didn't know how long he and Canis had been watching, they had unloaded all of the furniture and the moving van had disappeared, but when the man's gaze flickered to his, Castiel's legs had fallen asleep so his attempt to discreetly move away resulted in him falling backwards, pale legs flailing in the air and out of his dressing gown for all the world to see as he inadvertently back flipped over his furniture.

Refusing to even get up after such an embarrassing display, he lay on his back in the middle of the floor, blushing hard. "It would be prudent to assume he saw that, wouldn't it, Canis?" said Castiel, looking up at the little dog who was still staring fixedly out of the window.

-C&C-

Sometime later, after Castiel deemed it safe enough to stand and return to his bedroom to put some clothes on, he ate some breakfast – toast and a glass of orange juice – and clipped on Canis's leash in preparation for his Saturday morning walk. He had almost considered skipping it, not at all eager to show his face again to the beautiful man across the road, but 'puppy eyes' were named as such for a reason and Canis had a talent for it (that and chewing through the majority of Castiel's possessions).

The spaniel hurried to the door, tugging on the leash excitedly, and bounced outside as soon as Castiel opened it. Fortunately, he was able to walk past the newly filled house without bumping into its occupant though Canis seemed determined to try and get his attention, straining his little furry neck, pink tongue lolling out and loud yips penetrating the sunny morning air.

Mr. Uriel, Castiel's neighbour, drew back a curtain and eyed him irritably. As with most of the residents in the street, Mr. Uriel considered Castiel far too strange and unsocial to be allowed into the neat click of Garrison Drive.

He didn't mind so much, he accepted that he was different, but sometimes when the rest of the street held parties and events, Castiel longed to be included in the festivities and felt incredibly lonely and sad when he wasn't. He was socially awkward, not unsocial, and wished Garrison Drive would recognise it.

Loneliness was the reason he had acquired Canis in the first place. He had heard dogs were good companions and hadn't been disappointed when he had bought the spaniel and taken him home. Like a jigsaw piece in a puzzle he had settled right into Castiel's life, slotted snugly into his routine, and the little dog was enough to soothe the ache of loneliness but it didn't quench it completely; for that, he needed a human companion.

They stayed in the park for longer than they usually did, returning to Garrison Drive later with a muddy Canis and a paw-print dotted Castiel.

It was while he was walking down the street that he spotted Meg talking to the beautiful blonde man. Castiel almost stopped and hid behind a tree but he had to face him sometime and if he was caught doing something else bizarre his already rocky reputation would take another turn for the worse. So, with what he hoped was nonchalance, he strolled past the pair, keeping his eyes fixed ahead of him.

Canis, however, had other plans.

Yip, yip, yip, bark, woof, meow!

The spaniel strained to reach the man like his life depended on it, his stubby black tail working energetically. "Canis!" hissed Castiel, tugging the dog back but he wouldn't listen and continued his desperate tugging to get across the road, nails scratching the concrete.

"Should I call animal control, Castiel?" asked Meg sarcastically. "Or do you think you can handle it?"

Castiel's face flushed with heat. He refused to look up from the excited spaniel though and since he was unable to pull him back despite the dog's small size, he crouched down and scooped him into his arms. While he was securing a wriggling Canis, he distinctly heard Meg say in a not so quiet voice, "That's Castiel Novak. I'd stay away from him if I were you, Dean. He's so weird but I guess every street has to have a freak, huh?"

Castiel sighed, kissed the top of Canis's soft head and with a whine the spaniel licked Castiel's face, nibbling at his nose as he carried him up the path to his door. He closed it quietly behind him feeling another bout of loneliness overtake him.

-C&C-

The next day Castiel trotted downstairs to find Canis in exactly the same position he had been the morning before, staring out of the window and watching "Dean," as Meg had called him, across the road. Rock music turned down low was playing out of the garage while he worked on his car, the hood raised to display the vehicle's grimy insides. Castiel watched his blonde head bobbing to the beat of the music and his slim hips occasionally swinging. Even at the distance he was at, Castiel could see the motor oil smeared over the man's shirt, arms and face and he was surprised how much he liked it.

It was... sexy.

Another involuntary blush stained his cheeks; Castiel didn't normally acquaint himself with 'sexy'. He was more of a books, quiet dinners and Wheel of Fortune on a Sunday night type of man and if he was lucky enough to find someone interested in dating him, they usually shared the same interests. This man, however, was clearly his exact opposite: the rock music, the car, his easy sociable nature... it was everything Castiel wasn't and yet he was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. He couldn't stop watching.

A new song came on, it was faster with a heavier drumbeat this time and Canis's ears pricked when a guitar solo began blaring through the speakers. A low whine rumbled in the pup's throat steadily growing louder and louder until the spaniel was howling with abandon, paws against the window pane. Dean's head snapped up at the sound and his eyes zeroed in on Canis and then Castiel who cringed internally.

He had been caught staring again!

The last thing he needed was to reinforce what Meg had said about him and yet without meaning to he was doing a good job of it.

Not wanting to sidle out of view like a peeping-tom and attempting to seem just a fraction more normal, he pretended to clean the windows...with the sleeve of his dressing gown. He looked ridiculous, he was aware of that, but he was too embarrassed to stop now that he had started. With a glance at Dean, his cheeks flaming with heat, he found him grinning at Castiel. Whether he was laughing at him or with him, he didn't know, nor did he know whether he was supposed to return the smile. Before he had made a decision though, Dean had already given a quick salute and returned his attention to his car again.

-C&C-

Later that day Castiel was sitting in his garden reading a book while Canis pranced about on the lawn. The sun's rays gently warming his face, arms and neck was relaxing and although Castiel hadn't been remotely tired a few moments ago, he dozed off into a comfortable sleep.

It was a sudden chill on his forearms that woke him up hours later and he was shocked to find the how far the sun had fallen in the sky and how close it was to setting. He picked the fallen book off the floor, carefully unfolded the creased pages and closed it.

"Canis?" he called to the empty garden. Castiel's heart rate picked up a notch when he received no answer after the fourth call of the little pup's name. Checking under the tall leaves of the shrubbery and then the entire house and all of its rooms, turned up nothing and Castiel was seriously beginning to panic. Another search of the garden proved fruitless and he was beginning to think Canis had been stolen when he found a small hole in the gate separating the back yard from the front.

He touched the bent wire gently. "Canis..." whispered Castiel. Where was he? Anything could happen to him! Canis was too young to be out wandering the streets. What if he was run over by a car or another dog attacked him or what if he was thrown in the pound? Canis could die!

Eyes stinging, tears not far away, he opened the side gate and rushed next door to Uriel's home. It was possible he had seen Canis. Castiel banged on the door, too loudly, and supported the "Castiel Novak is a freak" opinion that the rest of Garrison Drive shared but he didn't care. His dog and only friend was in danger.

His fist continued to hit the door only to receive no answer. Truly panicking now, Castiel started yelling Canis's name over and over, walking down the street sniffling when a door to the house on his right opened up and a woman appeared with red hair and blue eyes. Castiel recognised her slender frame and beautiful face as Anna Milton. She had never been openly malicious towards Castiel as some of the other residents of the street had been and always said hello to him in passing.

"Are you alright, Castiel?" she asked tentatively, stepping outside and walking towards him.

"Canis is missing," cried Castiel. "He's only young, what if he gets hurt?"

Anna's soft eyebrows drew together. "Is that your little dog? The spaniel?"

Castiel nodded and, with a small smile, she touched his arm and rubbed it. She probably didn't realise how much it meant to him. "Don't worry, we'll find him."

To Castiel's complete and utter amazement not only did Anna help search for Canis, she called on numerous people in Garrison Drive and asked for their help in the hunt, checking gardens and garages for his lost puppy. And, not only were they helpful, they were nice. Some even joked with him and acted as though they were old friends and by 'some' Castiel would mean Gabriel and Balthazar, two friends sharing a house at the end of the street, who treated everything like a game and acted a good twenty years younger than they actually were.

"So, Cassy baby, how come you never come to our barbeques?" asked Gabriel cheerfully while Castiel and Balthazar were crawling around in a flower patch and calling Canis's name. "I know they're not exactly high class –"

"Gabriel, you ran the length of the street nude at your last 'barbeque'," muttered Balthazar, head bowed to peer under a hedge. "Brothels have more class."

"Hey, I resent that!"

"Oh, wow, listen..." said Balthazar, hand to his ear.

"Is it Cassy's dog?"

Castiel's head shot up.

"No. It's the sound of me not caring."

Castiel's heart sank.

"B, you giant shit, you got his hopes up." Gabriel sighed dramatically, dragging himself to his feet and brushing the dirt from his jeans and hands. "Relax, Cassy," he said and slung his arm over Castiel's shoulders and even though he barely knew Gabriel, he relished the human contact. "We'll have Canton or whatever the little runt's name is back before you know it but," he prodded Castiel's chest, "if we do find him, you have to promise to come to my next barbeque, deal?"

"O-of course," said an astounded Castiel.

"Good. I knew you couldn't say 'no' forever." Gabriel grinned.

Castiel's eyebrows pulled together. "I've never been invited..."

Mirroring Castiel's expression, Gabriel dropped his arm. "You mean Uriel never asked you?"

"No, I-"

"What a douche!" exclaimed Gabriel. "B, did you hear that?" He kicked his friend's backside a little too hard, sending the blonde man tumbling into the shrubbery. "Uh... oops. Sorry.

Apparently, Uriel had told a lie to the entire of Garrison Drive that Castiel was anthropophobic – afraid of people – and it would be best to invite him to invents, which apparently Castiel refused to attend, through him. So the street had continuously asked Uriel to invite Castiel only to be told that he didn't want to go.

He would have been angry if he wasn't so worried about Canis and at the same time incredibly happy that the residents of Garrison Drive didn't all hate him as much as he had previously thought.

-C&C-

By night fall it had started to rain heavily. They had to admit defeat and returned to their homes, apologising and promising to keep a look out for Canis and to put up posters in the morning.

Upset, exhausted and muddy, Castiel stumbled into his painfully empty house and slumped onto the sofa. He stared at the wall for a good half an hour, sniffling and wiping away the stray tears from his cheeks when the doorbell rang shrilly.

Sighing, he heaved himself up, shuffled to the front door and pulled it open.

The sight before him was most likely the best thing Castiel had ever seen in his entire life. A dripping wet Dean, dressed in a thin threadbare t-shirt, so wet it was glued to his very toned frame, was holding a bundled up leather jacket which acted as a shelter for –

"Canis!" exclaimed Castiel, reaching out for the excited pup and cradled him in his arms. The little dog was warm, safe and completely dry. Canis yapped and licked Castiel's face frantically.

Dean smiled. Up close he was too handsome to describe. His eyes, which were a soft green, Castiel noticed, were honest and big and framed with long lashes. Freckles dusted his nose and sharp cheekbones but Castiel's favourite feature, by far, was Dean's mouth – big, wet, suckable lips. "I swear the little guy's like Houdini. Broke into my garage and then out again. I had to chase him through the park," he said and laughed. "He's got way too much energy."

"Thank you," breathed Castiel.

"Hey, no problem," said Dean and an inexplicable blush stained his cheeks. "What's, uh, what's his name?"

"Canis," he replied. Dean seemed nervous and Castiel didn't understand why. From what he had seen so far, Dean was a sociable and confident man.

"Canis?"

Castiel shifted his weight to his other foot and looked down at the puppy in question. "It's Latin for 'dog'."

Dean laughed and when Castiel looked up expecting to see mockery, he was surprised by the amount of affection in Dean's eyes. "Man, that's so you."

Tilting his head, Castiel said, "But you don't know me."

"No..." said Dean. "I guess I don't." He smiled. "It feels like I do though."

Their gazes locked and unfamiliar sensations of nerves and excitement pooled in Castiel's stomach, unable to look away until his eyes dropped to Dean's lips and then it was Castiel's turn to blush.

"Anyway, I, uh," Dean waved his arm in the direction of his house, "I'd better... um, go." He laughed nervously and began stepping backwards but Canis howled and wriggled in Castiel's arms in an attempt to reach Dean.

"Hey, it's okay little guy," said Dean, stroking Canis's head with a large hand. "Here, take this...uh," he looked up at Castiel, "I think he kinda likes it," said Dean, handing over his leather jacket.

Castiel's eyes widened, "I can't –"

"It's cool," said Dean, "it might calm him down."

His heart felt as though it had grown too big for his chest. "Thank you," he said and carefully took it from Dean, his stomach jolting when their fingers brushed and their eyes met.

Dean bid goodbye again and turned around trotting down the path in the pouring rain. It took one long, deep inhale of Dean's jacket for Castiel to push Canis into the house, close the door and to run out into the rain too, shouting, "Wait!"

Stopping in the middle of the road, Dean turned and Castiel jogged up to him, panting a little. "I...I just wanted to...to..." He stared up into Dean's eyes, water falling all around them in heavy splashes, his mind blank, his heart pounding and then, without warning, Dean kissed him.

It was brief but Castiel felt every millisecond of it. Warm and it tingled like licking a battery. And all Castiel could think was that he wanted nothing more than to do it again and again and again.

When Dean pulled back, he smiled shyly and Castiel said, "Do you...You could come in? My house?" Before Dean could answer he quickly added, "For Canis? Because he likes you.."

Dean's smile broadened and he moved closer, taking Castiel's hand. "Do you like me?"

Castiel's face heated and he nodded.

"Hmm, then I guess I'd better come in for you, too," said Dean, cupping Castiel's jaw and kissing him deep.

-C&C-