Rating: NC-17 (PG-13 for this chapter)

Summary: 1998 ~ Dean has always hated cats. Castiel loves them. Dean is a high school drop-out who seems to be going nowhere in life. Cas is a college student with big plans for his future. They are two completely different people whose paths manage to cross accidentally. Dean is smitten from the start. Cas is cold and reserved. Can Dean win him over? Or are they just not meant to be?

Pairings: Dean/Castiel, Ash/Bela (for this chapter)

Warnings: (for this chapter) swearing, smoking, alcohol, attempted sexual assault and minor violence.

Author's notes: Happy Halloween everyone! All mistakes are my own :)


He hated him.

Cas decided that when he was stuck on the phone to an over-excited Becky on Sunday night as she told him how 'a cute guy' visited the shelter on Friday asking about him. Admittedly, it did take him a while to realize who the hell she was blabbering on and on about, but when he did, he decided that the guy was beginning to get real annoying and worthy of an ass-kicking if he didn't stop stalking him. Then Becky went ahead and said that she had told the guy his shift times and Castiel got even more pissed. Great.

Now he'd constantly be dreading every time the door swung open at the shelter when he was there. It wasn't that he didn't find the guy attractive or anything; in fact, he didn't really get the chance to check him out. It wasn't that he was scared of Mr. Green Eyes; the guy wasn't in the least bit intimidating. It was just the fact that he could tell exactly what the guy wanted from him by the looks he gave him, like a predator getting ready to zone in on their poor defenseless prey. Well, Cas certainly wasn't that poor defenseless prey the he was looking for. He was not going to let him get into his pants. Not that easily.

Cas knew that all leather jacket guy probably wanted was sex anyway. It was what any normal, hormonally-charged, teenage guy had ever wanted from him and he stopped all that shit months ago when he realized it was hurting him emotionally and turning him into something he wasn't.

Monday was an average day at college. He went to his morning classes, ate lunch at a nearby cafe with Charlie and Balthazar and then went to his afternoon classes before walking to work. Thankfully the weather was still holding up and he managed to get there before the rain started. Becky was still on at the desk for another hour, so he just muttered a 'hi' to her, left his bag in the staff room and headed to the laundry room to put a few items into the washing machines.

Once he was finished there, he made his way to the main shelter area. He did the same thing every time someone else was at the desk. The cats and kittens they sheltered there were no doubt the best part of his day, and spending time with them hardly felt like a job. Though this time he was drawn to that little ball of fluff that his stalker brought in like some big knight in shining armor last Friday.

Castiel crouched down with a small smile on his face to peer into his enclosed run. The little kitten was stretching against a scratching pole, dragging it's tiny claws down it as he yawned widely. It was beyond adorable to watch.

Castiel loved cats. Ever since he was a kid, all he wanted was a house full of cats running about, jumping on furniture and being generally playful. He still remembered the first kitten he ever owned. He was only four years old at the time and had called it 'Flame' since she was ginger and full of life. She'd lived well into her teens and Castiel was heartbroken when she died, and that was how he finally decided to volunteer at the shelter.

After he stepped into the run that leather jacket guy's kitten was in, he sat on the floor and reached out to stroke his fur gently. "Hey there," he whispered, chuckling softly when the little kitten began to purr and rub up against his finger eagerly. Usually he'd give all of the cats equal amounts of his attention, but today he found himself all focused on the playful little furball that the green-eyed guy had brought in. He tried to tell himself that it was just because the furry little kitten was one of the cutest in the whole shelter, but there were plenty of cute kittens here at the shelter, so why was he so drawn to this one?

Suddenly, there was a soft rap of knuckles against the side of the cubby that Cas was in, shaking him out of his thoughts. He turned around to see Becky standing there with an excited smile on her face. "Someone's here to see you," she giggled, twirling a strand of her long, blonde hair between her fingers. Castiel sighed heavily and rolled his eyes. He knew who it was without even having to guess. Leather jacket guy.

After giving the kitten one last scratch under his chin, Cas rose to his feet before leaving the run and heading back up the hallway towards the lobby where, sure enough, the smug bastard was leaning against the desk.

"What do you want?" Cas asked, hoping his voice expressed his irritation effectively enough. If his voice didn't, his fed-up expressions and body language sure would.

Becky cleared her throat from somewhere behind him before correcting him in a polite manner, "How can we help you?"

The guy looked taken aback by Castiel's attitude and he tried not to smirk at that. He watched him straighten up before that same overly-confident grin graced his lips once again. "I was just thinking about what you said the other day." His eyes were now focused on Becky. Castiel folded his arms across his chest - which was now covered in cat hairs - and stared at leather jacket guy expectantly, waiting for whatever he had to say. "About your filing system," he continued, "and how you need it transferred to your computer."

"Oh yeah," Becky acknowledged, nodding her head as she slipped past the hatch and over to where there was a mountain of folders scattered messily across the desk. "It's getting kinda crazy. You know someone who could do it? I mean, I'd do it myself but I'm far too busy-"

"No, we are not hiring at the moment," Castiel interrupted rudely, tempted to begin tapping his foot on the floor impatiently. The guy's gaze was suddenly fixed with his and Castiel felt scrutinized and insecure. So much so, that he had to look away before he got hypnotized or something.

"That's not what I was meaning," the guy muttered before glancing over at Becky again. "My brother's a smart kid, good with computers and all that shit. Maybe he could do it for you." Castiel rolled his eyes, shaking his head. Ever the hero this guy was. He seemed like the type of guy who loved any attention he could get his hands on. Pathetic.

"Totally! That'd be awesome actually!" Becky answered in that high-pitched, excited tone that was probably in the same league as nails scraping down a chalkboard.

"Awesome, I'll get him to call you guys. What's the contact number of this place?" the guy asked as he tugged out his beat up Nokia phone from his pocket.

Becky proceeded to giving the guy the number for the shelter and continued to thank him profusely. Castiel felt like telling the guy to stick to his day job when he began acting all modest. It was all so blatantly fake. Everything about the guy was fake, everything from his personality to his leather jacket.

"Really, Becky? You brought me all the way up here for nothing?" Cas sighed before turning around to walk away back down the hallway. Then he heard the guy calling his name and his eyes widened as he stopped in his tracks and turned back around slowly with one eyebrow raised. "How do you know my-?"

"Oh, that's my fault, sorry! I told him when he came in last week looking for you," Becky told him, grimacing slightly.

Cas huffed out a breath, shaking his head again. How was she even employed? "What do you want? I'm working," he growled at the guy, staring over at him expectantly.

"I want your number," the guy replied flirtatiously, wriggling his eyebrows and looking like a damn fool.

There was silence for a few seconds before Castiel took a few steps into leather jacket guy's personal space, staring him right in the eye. "Yeah, sure, of course. It's: seven-eight-five-get-lost-dickhead." He then smiled sarcastically before turning to walk away again.

"Do I really have to come back here every week 'til you give me your number?!" the guy's voice echoed down the hallway.

Cas just shrugged, not stopping or turning around as he answered with fake cheerfulness, "Not really, 'cause it's never gonna happen."

- DEAN -

Dean had never been one to give up easily. Not with potential boy/girlfriends that was for sure. So, why would things be any different with this guy? Sure, he was playing hard to get and acting like an angry, misunderstood teenager. Dean had dealt with people like him before though, but he just couldn't seem to get him out of his mind.

He visited the shelter once more that week, on Friday during his lunch break to 'check on the kitten' even though he sneezed like hell when Castiel led him down to let him see the furball for a while. God, the things he did in order to spend time with someone who treated him like shit were unbelievably pathetic. He tried his charm, wit and natural good sense in humor in an attempt to score Castiel's cell number. But all he left with was a lowered self-esteem and a glare from the guy he was majorly crushing on.

Wow, way to go, Winchester.

It was Thursday of the next week when he came up with another tactic. Since he had the shelter's contact number and not Castiel's, he decided to call him that way to talk. Nervous butterflies were fluttering around in his stomach as he dialed those numbers before raising his phone to his ear and listening to the tone for several moments before he finally got an answer of, "Hello, Kitty-Kats Rehoming and Rescue Centre. How may I help you?"

Dean got chills - and also felt all warm and uncomfortable - listening to that gravelly voice speak right into his ear like that. God, this was not the time to be having dirty thoughts of what Castiel would sound if they were together all naked and sweaty in bed— He had to quickly shake himself out of those thoughts before clearing his throat as he twirled the phone cable idly between his fingers. "You can help me by agreeing to go on a date with me," Dean replied with a mischievous grin as he sat down on the edge of his bed. He could hear him sighing heavily and moving about some papers in the background.

"Well then, I definitely do not want to help you. Goodbye," he replied.

"No, no! Wait!" Dean shouted, holding his hand out as if that would somehow magically stop someone who was more than five miles away. "Why are you being so hard to get, Dude?"

"Hard to get? You think that's what I'm being?" Castiel chuckled dryly. "No, what I'm being is sensible. I know what guys like you want and I'm not prepared to lose that much respect for myself by lowering myself to your level. So, no thank you."

"Wow, you really know how to make a guy feel two inches tall, huh?" Dean sighed, frowning. He felt like there was nothing he could do to win this guy over. He was completely exhausted. Maybe it was just far too much work running after this guy. Maybe Dean had finally found someone he couldn't have.

There was silence on the other end before Castiel lowered his voice a little to say, "Don't bother me at work again, ok?" Then the line went dead and Dean must've sat there listening to it for ages afterward like a love-sick teenager.


Stupid leather jacket guy bothering him at work. Now Cas was stuck with two troublesome new arrivals along with his coffee spilled all over the desk and a horrible mood to go with it. He would never say it out loud, but this guy was really starting to get to him. His relentless flirting and how he tried way too freakin' hard were both irritating and maybe a little endearing at the same time.

But, no, Cas was never going to hook up with him, he made it a promise to himself. He'd go celibate if that was what it took. The whole week, Castiel tried hard not to think about the emerald-eyed stranger. He applied himself to his college work instead, studying hard for the end of semester exams which were coming up scarily soon. And, when he wasn't slaving over his untidy desk at home with five mugs of coffee and tons of notes surrounding him, he was at college or work. At work, he found it more difficult not to think of Mr Leather Jacket with the nice smile and the pretty eyes and the freckles on his n-

Sure, he'd look after all the other cats and make sure they were comfortable and well-fed, but his favorite was definitely Midnight. Oh yeah ... he'd now given the scruffy little kitten a name. It was because of his dark black fur. Maybe he was getting way too attached to 'Midnight' with the way he let him curl up on his lap when the lobby was quiet as he flipped through some magazines or how, when he went out back for a smoke, he'd let Midnight run around his feet. But he didn't care, he liked Midnight, but he definitely didn't like Leather Jacket guy. Not at all.

He hated how he wasn't allowed to have pets in his apartment. It was one of the worst rules of the damn place. That and not being allowed to smoke in or around the premises. It sucked. If he had it his way, he'd have piles of cats and kittens running about in his room.

That was the worst thing about being a college student who lived in a shitty apartment that he had rented from the biggest asshole he'd ever met. Castiel would spot an adorable cat at the shelter and just fall in love with it causing him to get extremely upset that he couldn't adopt it and take it home with him. He would totally adopt Midnight if he could. Maybe he would once he finished college and got an apartment of his own. Hopefully no one would choose to adopt him before then. Cas promised to do everything in his power to stop that from happening.

Castiel didn't see or hear from Leather Jacket guy all of the next week. Which was probably a good thing since it gave him time, when the shelter was quiet, to study for his exams. Though he tried hard not to feel disappointed that he didn't get the chance to shoot the guy down again or insult him wittily. Yeah, he definitely missed the hatred he had for him along with their never ending banter. However, he didn't have to wait for long to see that annoying, fake leather jacket guy who he didn't find hot one bit.

It was the next weekend when Castiel was starting his Friday night off at a local bar with his college friends, Balthazar and Charlie. They'd already downed a fair amount of tequila shots each and were now sipping at their pints of beer as they sat around a table at the back of the bar laughing and relaxing after a hard week filled with exams and stress. Castiel was sat with his legs resting on the table between them with a cigarette hanging limp between his fingers in one hand and his half-empty pint glass in the other.

"So, her head was literally up my skirt, and she was really going for it, right?" Charlie continued in her story about her latest sexual adventure.

Balthazar groaned, rubbing his eyes as he shook his head. "No, god, please. Really, Charlotte, as much as I love listening to your fascinating sexual exploits, I really think I should be more drunk right now."

Charlie rolled her eyes before nodding and humming in agreement. "Yeah, I know," she muttered, gulping down the last droplets of her beer before shoving her pint glass into Castiel's hand. "It's your round, blue eyes."

"Yes, get off that pretty little ass of yours and get us some more drinks, Cassie," Balthazar purred, handing Cas his glass just as he stood up.

Cas took one last drag of his cigarette before stubbing it into the ashtray sat in the middle of their table.

"Oh, and it looks like someone's been eyeing you all night." Balthazar nodded over to where a guy was standing at the bar, eyes fixed on Cas.

Leather Jacket guy.

"Shit," he sighed, frowning over at him.

"What? You know him?" Balthazar asked, surprise lacing his voice. "He's kinda hot."

"Was he a good lay?" Charlie chimed in causing Cas to glare at both of them as they snickered like a pair of immature teenagers.

"Shut up, both of you. I did not sleep with him. He's just this irritating dick who's been stalking me for the past few weeks," he groaned, running a hand through his hair frustratedly.

"Well, it sure looks like he wants to fuck you senseless, so bring our drinks back before you leave with him, ok?" Balthazar said, patting Cas on the back with a smirk on his face that Castiel was tempted to punch right off. Instead, he just scowled, glaring in warning at the already tipsy Balthazar who apparently couldn't hold his drink for shit.

"I am not going to leave with him. I don't even remotely like him," he explained before turning on his heels and making his way towards the bar with three pint glasses in his hands. He was confident that he could manage to get back to his table without too much interaction with the guy.

Once he got there, he set the glasses down on the bar and slipped his wallet out of his shirt pocket. "Three beers, please," he asked the barmaid who immediately began pulling the pints. There really was no use praying that the guy wouldn't notice him, Cas just never seemed to have that sort of luck. So, he decided to just play it cool. He didn't even glance anywhere in his general direction as he kept his attention focused on the barmaid.

- DEAN -

Stop being such a pussy and just say hi to him, Winchester.

Dean had no idea why he was trying so hard to pluck up the courage to start a conversation with a guy who had humiliated him over a week ago by making him feel like shit. It was pointless. And yet, he still didn't seem to want to give up.

"Castiel? Hi," were the words that finally fell out of his mouth without command. Dean congratulated himself on not sounding nervous or croaky as he watched Cas turn his head slowly to look at him, lips pursed together in what could only be immense irritation.

"Hello," he muttered plainly before turning back to stare at the barmaid again.

Then Dean started having doubts. What if Castiel wasn't actually gay or bi or whatever? What if he was reaching for something that he had no chance with here? Or maybe Dean was just being a little too cocky. He knew that he was a good looking guy, but what if he wasn't the sex-god he believed himself to be? God, if only Castiel wasn't so damn confusing and mysterious all the time.

He was served his own drinks by a barman who took his money before handing back his change with a polite smile. Before he left to return to his table where Jo and Ash were waiting, Dean decided to try his luck one last time just for the sake of it.

"Wanna have a drink with me?" he asked before clearing his throat awkwardly and glancing down at the glasses in his hands. "I mean, you could come have a drink with me and my friends."

"No. I'm with my friends tonight and I'm certainly not going to just leave them for someone like you."

Dean sighed as he watched Castiel pay for his drinks before heading back to his table. Okay, maybe he stared a little too long at his ass, but he couldn't resist when Castiel was wearing jeans that tight. He made his way back to his own table shortly afterward, setting the drinks down at the table with a slight frown on his face.

"So, who was the guy?" Jo pried, taking a sip from her beer bottle, watching him expectantly.

Dean rolled his eyes, shaking his head. God, he definitely did not wanna talk about his constant humiliation. "No one. He was … no one," he replied absently, taking a long sip of his own beer before nudging Ash's foot with his own under the table. "Dude, what was up last weekend? I heard you hooked up with Bela or somethin'," he said, trying to change the subject completely. Ash grinned widely like the freakin' Cheshire Cat and Dean huffed out a laugh. "Seriously, dude?"

"All I'm sayin' s'that she's a feisty woman ... Outside and inside of the bedroom," Ash answered before leaning back and taking a long sip of his drink, winking at Dean who was chuckling to himself, ignoring Jo's eyes still on him.

As the night went on and Ash began making a fool out of himself by flirting with every girl who so much as glanced at him across the bar. Dean found himself glancing over at Cas at least every other second. He watched him finish at least three cigarettes, helping to add to the pollution of the air in the bar which was becoming more and more stuffy like it was every Saturday night. Dean also noticed cute little habits Castiel had like running his fingers through his hair and chewing on his lips almost constantly.

Jo managed to distract him for almost ten minutes with her drunken stories before he returned to staring over at Castiel once again. Except, there was someone new at his table. An older guy with black hair and a black suit on, looking quite smart. He was leaning over him and by the looks on their faces Dean guessed it was about something serious. When Castiel's other friends headed towards the rest rooms, the guy wrapped his hand around Castiel's arm and tugged him to his feet before leading him outside roughly and Dean instantly got worried. What the hell was going on? Whatever it was, Dean knew it certainly wasn't any of his business.


"Ouch! God- Seriously, Crowley, let go of me," Cas growled, trying to tug his arm away from Crowley who'd managed to drag him out of the bar and into a dark alleyway at the side of it.

Fergus Macleod, or 'Crowley' as he preferred, was his ex. That was it. His ex. His past. Except, since Crowley was his landlord and Castiel hadn't paid the last few months' rent, he kinda owed him a whole lot of money. Money which he didn't have. "You got my rent money this month, Milton?" he asked, pinning Cas up against the wall, causing him to groan, close his eyes and turn his head away as Crowley's alcohol-stenched breath ghosted across his face.

He swallowed thickly before opening his eyes to glare at Crowley. "No," he said calmly, staring him down, facing him. Anger flickered across Crowley's face before he nodded slowly and Castiel could tell that he was thinking up some other way to get his month's worth of rent.

"Okay, love, trousers down," he said as if it were a perfectly normal thing to ask someone to do in a middle of a dirty alleyway.

"What the-? You're kidding, right?" Cas breathed out as a chuckle, trying to keep his confident facade up. Crowley glared at him before pulling a knife out from where it was tucked away in his belt.

"Do I look like I'm kidding?" he asked and Cas bit down on his bottom lip nervously. He was scared now. Sure, Crowley had been like this many times before, but not right here in such a public place.

"C-Can't we go somewhere more ... private?"

Crowley paused for a while, blinking once before barking out a laugh. "This isn't a tender, lovemaking session. It's a payment. Now, drop your trousers before I carve you a new one," he demanded, dragging the cold blade of the knife against Cas' cheek gently.

Castiel shook his head again, this time more firmly. This obviously was the last straw for Crowley as he let out an impatient growl before reaching over to try and undo Cas' pants himself. Castiel immediately began struggling, groaning as he tried to push Crowley away. He didn't want to do this; not here. Not anywhere, but he knew that he didn't really have a choice.

"No- please don't," he groaned, punching and pushing at him but Crowley was just too fucking strong.

He was about to give up and just let Crowley have his way with him so that he could get it over and done with minimal damage. That was when there was a loud, booming shout at the end of the alleyway. Cas couldn't really make out who it was at first, but soon a fist is connecting with Crowley's jaw, sending him stumbling backwards with his arm over his face as he swore loudly. He glared once more at Cas, looking extra dangerous thanks to how dark it was in the alleyway, shadows cast over his face.

"This ain't over, pretty-boy" he barked out, pointing at him, before clearly figuring out that it wasn't worth it and walking away quickly, spitting out some blood and muttering angrily to himself.

Even though this situation was now over, Castiel knew this would only make things worse in the long run. He decided he was angry at this 'hero' person. So, after fixing himself up, he walked towards them and pushed them roughly, soon noticing it was leather jacket guy.

"What the fuck did you do that for?!" he shouted, hands balled into fists, still shaking thanks to the adrenaline rushing through his bloodstream.

"To save your ass," was the guy's reply which made Cas laugh humorlessly.

"Yeah? Well, my ass doesn't need saving," he replied, getting up in the guy's personal space- god, calling him 'the guy' and 'leather jacket guy' was getting really fucking old. "I don't need you to protect me! I don't even know your damn name!"

"Dean!" the guys yelled, breath warm against his face as Castiel just blinked. "My name is Dean," he repeated, softer and calmer as they stared at each other. Castiel stepped back and nodded a little, arms folded across his chest in a defensive posture.

"So, can I maybe have your number now?"

Castiel's eyes widened and his eyebrows shot up. Dean was really asking for his number at a time like this? This guy had no sense of appropriateness. "Ugh, you never give up, do you?" he groaned, averting his gaze to the dark night's sky above them and breathing out slowly. He could hear Dean huffing out a chuckle and when he looked over at him there was a cocky smirk on his lips. It made him want to poke his eyeballs out with a stick or something.

God, he hated this Dean guy so fucking much. He made his blood boil. But there was something else, something deeper than that that he definitely didn't want to put his finger on. "Whatever," he grumbled, deciding that this may be the only way to get Dean to leave him alone.

He walked towards him, slipping a pen out of his back pocket and taking the lid off it with his teeth before grabbing Dean's hand roughly and scribbling down his phone number on his palm, rolling his eyes when Dean squirmed a little under his touch. Once he was finished, he shoved the pen back in his pocket before turning around to leave.

"That offer for a drink still stands," Dean's voice echoed through the alleyway. Castiel shook his head almost instantly.

"And the answer is still no," he replied with a grin before turning the corner as he swayed his hips unnecessarily just to tease Dean a little. Wow, the guy - now known as Dean apparently - really was determined. Determined and stupid. Who the hell would get involved when Crowley was trying to get his money worth from him? He could've gotten seriously hurt, Crowley wasn't exactly one to walk away like that.

That worried him a little, he knew fine well that this definitely wasn't over and that Crowley would probably be waiting for him when he got home. He decided to enjoy the rest of his night though. He spent most of it smoking away his anxiety over Crowley.

"Woah, slow down there, Thomas the Tank Engine," Balthazar chuckled, taking the twenty-pack of cigarettes away from Cas slowly - there was only about 5 left in the actual box right now and he'd only bought the packet a few hours ago.

"Thomas the what?" Cas asked, eyebrows knitted together before he took the last pull from his cigarette before stubbing it into the ashtray and blowing the smoke up into the air slowly.

"Never mind," Balthazar laughed as he got to his feet. "Time to get the party started. Let's go clubbing."

"Seconded!" Charlie giggled, obviously more than a little drunk right now.

Even though Castiel didn't feel very much like clubbing, he didn't feel very much about going back to the apartment to face Crowley either. So, in the end, he tagged along with Charlie and Balthazar who thoroughly enjoyed their night on the town. After getting hit on by tons of drunk guys and girls, Castiel decided to call it a night at the early time of 1.30am. He took a taxi home and, as he was fumbling blindly with his keys for his apartment, he prayed to a god that he didn't believe in that Crowley wouldn't be in there waiting for him.

Obviously, Castiel had never been lucky in anything. The moment he managed to open the door, Crowley was sat in the rocking chair in front of the television seemingly waiting for him with infomercials playing on the late night TV channel.

Cas sighed heavily, closing the door quietly behind himself and shrugging off his trenchcoat, hanging it on the makeshift coat hanger which was actually just a nail hammered into the back of the door.

"Finally home are we?" Crowley's thick British accent made Castiel want to shoot himself in the face as he turned to face the back of his chair.

"What are you doing here, Crowley?" he asked, voice firm and definitely not trembling a little.

Crowley chuckled huskily as he set his beer down on the messy coffee table before getting to his feet with a soft groan and turning to face Castiel with a lopsided grin. "You're not that stupid, college boy," he answered, eyeing him up and down. "Since I'm in a good mood, I've decided to give you one more day. No money, no apartment." He then walked over right into Cas' personal space, two fingers pressing under his chin to tilt his head up a little. "Or maybe we can come to another ... agreement." Castiel glared right into his eyes, never backing down with his gaze.

"I'll have the money," he answered with cold determination in his voice.

Thankfully, Crowley mustn't have felt in the mood to mess with him tonight. He just took a step back and shot him a smirk before sauntering out the door. Castiel stayed in the exact same position; pressed up against the wall as he listened to Crowley's footsteps heading down the corridor, getting softer and softer. Once he could no longer hear them, he let out a breath he didn't even realize he was holding and sank down to rest his head against the wall, shaking fingers searching around for his cigarettes.

One left.