Dean went back to work and covered for Cas at the library, Castiel stayed at home for a little over a month, Mrs. Mosley understood and helped them to keep the secret.
By the time Dean went home Cas had dinner ready, Sam was back around the same time to go out two or three times a week without any explanation.
“I guess his girlfriends are back…” Dean said shrugging and walked out just to stop and turn to Castiel. “I guess you’re not exclusive or I’m being absurdly inappropriate with my jokes…”
Cas hid his blue eyes looking around in the floor as if he lost something. “No actually… we’re… I-I don’t know… I guess we’re not a thing after all…”
Cas thought he saw a smile tugging at Dean’s lips but that is absurd, right?
That until Sam’s phone started ringing every two minutes during dinner and when he finally answered went out of the apartment, Cas looked at Dean and his only response had been a shrug.
“You think he’s working as sex phone operator or something?” Castiel snorted a laugh before turning to his food.
“I’ve been thinking about our chat before summer…” Castiel started. “And you know… the...” he couldn’t address the event just like that.
Dean filled his mouth. “I thought it was just a couple lousy lip gloss stained kisses…” he filled his mouth and looked away blushing.
Castiel actually choked on his chicken parmesan and started laughing; Dean huffed before setting his fork on the table. “What?”
Castiel couldn’t stop smiling. “Nothing, I just… I still can’t believe you…” he made a motion with his hands like showing all of Dean. “My friend, are John! Also John? Why John?”
Dan chewed quietly for a couple seconds. “Because of my dad, me and Sam both brought one of his shirts as a gag.” Castiel snorted and Dean looked down blushing. “The first night I was wearing it.” Castiel didn’t answer, so he added in panic.
“and I know… I ‘m too old to keep doing the rock star thing, I just…” Dean let out a sigh. “Chuck is a friend, we played baseball together in high school and, we had this idea of forming a band.”
Castiel sat closer. “You’re very very good.” Dean looked at him blinking and there it was the little naïve boy Cas saw at the bar, how come he couldn’t see it before?
Dean chewed a little more of food before finally opening. “One has to be careful, Cas, you were smitten with Sammy since we got here.” And finally looking at him. “I had to keep the team’s rule.”
Cas rolled his eyes. “Friend of my brother…”
Dean shook his head from side to side. “Boyfriend of my brother my brother… so team mates won’t fight.”
Castiel tried to speak but only a gurgle came out, he cleared his throat. “You thought Sam would fight for me?”
Dean made a face. “We have never fought, but, there are things that… but it’s you…”
Castiel giggled and rolled his eyes. “Say one of the hottest guys here and in Babylon.” Dean laughed.
“yeah, the prissy who has a giant sign over and a bouncer?” he said self deprecating. “Who; is obviously too old for that shit?”
Cas smiled looking at him. “I was about to say the talented guy everyone wants to fuck? who everyone wants to hate but loves anyway?”.
Dean faced him. “You love me Cas?” Castiel got quiet, not sure on how to answer that question.
Dean smiled, the sad smile Cas learned didn’t really reach his eyes. “That’s okay… I was just joking.” He tried to move away.
“I’ve never been in love before…” he saw as Dean stuttered on his way to the sink. “I had crushes but my family… let’s say I’m not in good terms with them because they can’t accept who and what I am.”
Dean turned. “Well; fuck them, their loss. You have friends here, and if you want to love my brother…”
Castiel scoffed. “Who broke you like that!?” Dean snapped his head toward him hurt obvious in his face. “I mean why you believe you don’t deserve this?”
Dean smiled. “Are you offering anything? Because last time I checked you were literally climbing on my brother’s lap on this same kitchen.”
Castiel smirked. “He was climbing on me… and it was about my food nothing more.”
It was painfully obvious how Dean was fighting the hope; Castiel felt it, right there with the excitement and the low burn arousal. “If you say so…”Dean put his dish down and moved to the fridge for a beer.
“If I ask you a question… you promise not to punch my teeth out of my mouth?”
Dean snorted while she moved to put a beer in front of Cas. “Depends on the question…” he saw as his friend took the bottle, Cas needed some extra courage for what he was about to ask.
He put the bottle down and started scratching the label avoiding Dean’s eyes nervous. “You know I won’t punch you, right? No matter what the question is…”
Cas smiled shyly and looked up. “Sam told me not to hurt you… why? What happened?”
Dean let out a breath through his nose and got up from the chair he was on. “None of your business.”
Castiel saw him leaving. “Told ya… you’d want to punch me in the face.”
He remained sit there for a while thinking about Dean and Sam and his feelings for the brothers, one thing was sure he wasn’t about to give up.
“I can’t believe you think it was lousy kissing me…” Castiel didn’t had time to ask anything Dean held him pushed him against the counter and kissed him again.
Don’t ask, Castiel couldn’t remember his name.
Castiel went back to work a couple nights after Dean -or John- went back too, and the full house after a very short notice was not a surprise at all.
Dean came out to the stage, mask on, and pants so tight you could see everything. He just thrummed his guitar and started I wanna do bad thing to you, and the house went wild, he heard after, that more than one girl fainted when he actually pulled one of the band members and rubbed against him. It was so embarrassing.
It was just the excitement, almost happiness to be back; he was back and Chuck gave him his job back, and now here he was singing, just like his childhood dream had been.
“Good to have you back.” The one blond guy that people confuses with him slapped him in the back and Dean just smiled; Chuck gave him his own personal dressing room that of course after one of the boys, Gadreel to be precise, punched Dean in the face just to be handed his ass, and the Untouchable signs to appear, he was still buzzing with adrenaline as he walked the small dark hallway to his locker near the back door.
The door behind him filled with too many memories. “You were awesome.” Cas was waiting for him there, a stupid smile on his face and looking at Dean’s lips.
Classes this year would be different, they had different classes, Sam and Cas had two together and Dean and Cas only one; Biophysics 205. Sam and Dean had none. And it’s really sad, when you realize you’re not gonna be with those who were with you all the time, is like part of you goes missing, and is like being the new kid in school all over again, the nerves and the anxiety filling you and making you sad, Castiel felt just like he felt a year before when his brothers mocked him and nobody even said good bye to him when he left home.
To cheer himself up Castiel went to buy books, the same book store, the same girl at the register, the same queue, but things were different, more books, because with his job he could afford his books and not to worry for anything, now he had a savings account and this time Dean was with him.
Castiel got the Psychology 202 text book he needed and took a politics one for Dean, Sam needed something about ancient religions’ belief systems, and he had his arms full.
He turned to see Gil as he bee lined to Dean and started talking to him: And of course Dean had to be perfect and nice with him, right? All smile and soul-searing eye contact, right? The slut…
Castiel gasped and his book fell from his hand. Dean was not doing anything, why he thought he was flirting with Gil? Where that came from?
He knew that Dean was a nice guy, that was more than obvious-now- provides his head and he felt bad for it; he stopped sleeping around, and there’s also the fact that they’re not dating, he keeps repeating himself that a couple kisses are not a relationship, and that is Dean who acts as if those kisses never happened. He just acts like a sort of older brother, and it really frustrates him.
The first weekend after classes started they went to a party at Matt’s frat house. The first time the guys were hanging out off of work.
Castiel had danced with a guy, and right now he was at the top of the stairs against a wall as the guy was sucking a mark on his neck. from his vantage point he could see Dean roaming around the freshmen, too cute girls and too young boys, some of them too drunk to know what they’re doing, Dean held one of the girl and pushed her against the wall looking at her eyes and blinking. The girl practically rubbed on him before he took her towards the door.
Castiel pushed the boy to a side and the kid giggled and sat on the floor looking at his fingers and suckling at his cup as if it were a nipple. Dean was gone and something bitter and malicious was growing in him.
He stood there waiting for over an hour drinking shot after shot of tequila until Dean came back, and went straight for someone else. “Dude!!” Someone was at his side in no time. “your friend is in so much trouble…” when he turned it was the blond tall one, Chris, he was the Host of Wednesday to Friday on Babylon’s. “My brothers are done with him; that’s the third kid he’s taking out.”
Cas was too drunk to understand; all he knew is that Dean had a boy against him with a hand on the small of his back while a bunch of frat boys were moving to him. “Damn it, all because he’s a fucking slut.” Castiel groaned.
The blond guy looked at him in disbelief. “No man, he doesn’t sleep with them; he drives them home.”
Castiel looked at the floor where the boy was shielded by Dean; it made him feel like such a bastard, for thinking Dean was taking advantage of those kids. “He’s been doing it since I first saw him last year, the first time he came with Chuck…”
They saw as one of the big guys swung a fist to Dean just to be avoided and held in an arm bar and sent forward crushing with the rest.
It was a thing of minutes before some more of Babylon’s whores –as they were known from that day on- to be there helping Dean.
And it was hilarious, Cas tried to fight with his friends just to be punched down. Dean picked him up after seconds worried eyes on him saying his name: that’s why he was never the one Dean took home, because this was his first time drinking at all.
In the end campus security appeared and ended the party, when things were explained and arrests were made Dean was free to go and he just turned and picked up Castiel. “Come on limpet… let’s go home.”
Once in the car Cas smiled at Dean caressing his arm. “I’m a stupid idiot… I don’t deserve you. No wonder why you don’t want me…” he said pestering Dean and stopping him from starting the car.
“What nonsense are you babbling about?” Dean turned at him, two boys and a girl still on the back seat almost passed out.
Castiel looked at Dean and then to the people behind them. “I thought you were sleeping around, and I thought you were always going after someone else, even when I didn’t like you, when I wanted to believe I didn’t…” Castiel giggled. “It was never hate or disgust… I acted like such an ass…” Dean moved his hand to stop a wiggling Castiel.
“I’m taking them to their dorms and then we’re gonna take you to bed. okay?”
So Dean drove around with a drunk Castiel babbling his feelings to him.
“It wasn’t disgust or anger, it was jealousy, from day one, from the second I saw you at the diner they day I met your brother and you…” he said when finally Dean was carrying him out of the car. “I’m sorry…”
Dean ignored the drunk man he practically was carrying his arms, he knew Castiel wouldn’t remember this In the morning.
“I’m sorry I’m not good enough for you…” Castiel said as he drank the glass of water Dean gave him once he was in bed and without shoes.
Dean held the hand that was passing over blue eyes. “Who says you’re not enough?”
Castiel moved closer and nuzzled his neck. “Love how you smell, love how perfect you are…” and giggling he kept talking. “And I hope you’re drunk enough to forget this…”
Dean nodded and stopping the wandering hands and the head pressed against him. “Who says you’re not enough…”
“Sam, Sam says he has to protect you…. And I get it, I’m just a red-neck, a self important bubba… right?”
Dean let out a sigh. “Sleep, okay?” and pressed him to the pillow against his efforts to sit. “Castiel I mean it, sleep.” Cas could see as Dean’s eyes traveled over his neck where he knew had few bruises.
Castiel nodded like a good boy and smiling softly blurted. “I shouldn’t have kissed Lee… but he had freckles just like you. I wanted him to be you….”
“Sleep, we’ll talk about this in the morning okay?” Castiel nodded but after a second he looked confused.
“Talk about what?”
Dean smiled. “You being perfect and not needing to be anything you are not for anyone.” Castiel whooped softly. “not even for me, okay? Lest of all for me.” Cas nodded.
“About you kissing me at work… because Chuck might want to fire me…”
Dean smiled. “He won’t.”
“Everybody saw it Dean, that I loved you, everyone but me… everybody warned me not to hurt you while all I did was…” his hands were flapping once more around and Dean giggled. “Did you know you love me like I love you?”
Dean felt panic rising. LOVE was major words. “Good night Cas.”
Cas repeated the words and made a kissy face, Dean smiled rolling his eyes. “Good night angel.” He said kissing Castiel’s forehead and hearing a groan from his trouble.
Castiel had the craziest dream in his dream he declared his undying love to Dean Winchester inside a small theater with a dark haired cherub, a hippie and a siren watching them and clapping.
The kiss on his forehead, almost felt real.
Sam parked his brand new car in front of the frat house; She was at his side, dressed in a mini dress that made her legs miles long. Instead of a party what they saw was a bunch of cops and people leaving.
“Damn…” she looked really pissed. “So I came all the way here for nothing?”
“You were late.” Sam looked nervous. “He was here, I swear.”
“I had to work, and I go to school, and a newspaper is not the same as a yoga class.” Sam huffed angry defending his job. “Sam Winchester…” she rubbed her forehead. “You know what? That’s it, I’m done…”
Sam turned desperate. “Please… just… just.”
“No, tomorrow, if you’re gonna do it; then tomorrow.” Sam tried to say something. “Or I’ll go see your brother either you warn him or not.”
Sam decided to do this once and for all. He was desperate.
Castiel woke up on the couch, his body felt like melted gummy bears still hot, feel on your skin, his head was painfully thumping and heavy, the light scarce as it was, since the curtains are drawn still hurts and even the rustling of the crispy clean sheet he’s wrapped in hurt, his mouth tasted like someone vomited in it and… OH… that image was enough; his hand traveled to his mouth but with almost no sound a trashcan was shoved in his face as he puked. He tried to breath but the smell was enough for him to puke more.
He had tears running down his cheeks and his throat felt on flames when he finally looked up. “I’m dying…”
Dean chuckled looking at him with a one sided smile. “No, you’re hung over, it’ll pass…” he offered two pills and a bottle of Gatorade.
Everything came back to Cas, everything and he felt even worst out of pure embarrassment.
“Did all the awfully douche-y things I remember were real? The fight?” Dean nodded. “the guy…” his own hand traveled to his throat and the dull ache of a bruise answered for him. Chris came back too, what he said ad his own confession. With a gasp he looked at Dean. “Oh shit…”
Dean smiled again. “No, no, no, you’re not gonna chicken out now…” Castiel groaned and fell down, way too close to the trashcan for his liking.
“Please ignore me... let me die of dehydration or shame… or whatever…” and it hit him he was naked. “Oh no… did we?”
Dean snorted. “Gosh no… ” And he started laughing to stop suddenly when blue hurt eyes flashed at him. “of we ever… I’d like you fully conscious” Castiel gasped and hid his face for a second but the movement made him feel dizzy and like hurling again.
I had to undress you, because you throwed up in your bed… twice.” Another groan of shame later Dean kept talking, “and in my bed…” another groan.
“and Sam…” a whine left him and Dean couldn’t suppress his laughter.
“Sam’s bed is safe, he didn’t come home last night.” After a beat of silence he finally kept talking. “but could arrive at any time, your bed is ready, so move…” he pushed Cas’ feet off the couch but when he moaned Dean let him be and started talking. “Have you ever dated someone Cas?”
The guy next to him answered with a sad no. “How do you know you—“the word choked him “--like me then… it could be something else…”
Castiel raised his head. “I am sure…”
“Cas... kid I’m not… I’m damaged goods, Sammy…”
“… but I don’t want Sam… I still wanted you even after he kissed me and all.”
“Do you know where the rule at Babylon’s comes?” Castiel made a face. “It comes from the time I played baseball, that way the team will never fight over a girl or a boy.”
Dean held his hand and Cas got quiet. “Sam broke the rule once.” The silence that fell between them was just too heavy; it finally forced Dean to speak. “Right after high school I met this girl… Cassie, and she was… ” he made a face that explained everything. As if he thought she hung the moon.
“The only bad thing is that she wanted me to give up my Music, and wanted me to go to college with her in Ohio, and…” letting out a sigh. “I told her about my family, about mom and my dad, and everything… I told her…” Cas sat up his headache forgotten as he felt the need to support Dean. “And Cassie understood everything wrong.”
“I was opening myself so she could be part of my life, part of my family, and she wanted me to choose between her or my family…” Castiel sat closer feeling his heart shattering at the explanation. “I would never leave my dad or Sammy, not even…” he licked his lips. “Cassie was determined to take me away from them and… Sam was young and stupid and she…”
“It wasn’t his fault, she accepted she did it. But I had to leave, I couldn’t stay home.”
Castiel moved in front of Dean “and you came here with him?”
Dean shrugged. “Chuck was here… so I just came following the band. And Sammy is my brother; I couldn’t just let him leave alone. he wanted to make things right, he tried to convince me to talk to her, to go back, I hope he got the memo now… I’m happy here, with school and the band, and I forgave him, I did. ” He scrunched his eyes and looked at Cas. “Finding you… that was unexpected and was thanks to Sam.”
Castiel felt his heart skipping a beat. “I meant it, you know? I thought it was anger or... or... something else when it was only jealousy… I fell in love with you when you smiled at me the first day…” and blushing. “And I couldn’t understand you not wanting me.”
Dean bit his lips before speaking. “What about Sam?”
Castiel had no idea of what to say. “I don’t think it was ever real. I was stupid and lonely and he was nice.” And finally after swallowing his nervousness Castiel said. “You’re everything I want.”
Dean pulled him up close to his lap but Castiel squirmed. “I just throwed up… and I’m naked.” he whined and both guys laughed.
Castiel got up and ran to the bathroom while Dean got rid of the ruined trashcan. “Don’t you dare to move on or change your mind as I get dressed.” Cas shouted from the bathroom through a mouth full of toothpaste. “When I’m done, we’re gonna kiss.”
“I’m right here and not going anywhere.”
As Castiel came out of his room and was walking slowly to Dean who had his arms spread in invitation the door opened and hit the wall. Sam entered walking as a matador would in front of a half ton bull. “okay, that’s it! Hear me out you morons.”
Cas was about to open his mouth as he closed the space between them but Dean held his elbow and made him stop. “I know I made a mistake Dean, I do, and I’ve been acting as if I don’t care but the guilt is killing me and all I want is for you to be happy with whoever you choose, and this time I’m not gonna be in the middle…”
He took a breather. “And Cas? I saw it in your eyes that you liked him, but I thought he wanted something – someone else, that I’ll have my chance to amend my mistake… ” Dean and Cas could hear steps outside. “But he still had her picture, I saw it, and I thought he’d hurt you because he wasn’t ready yet…” and gasping for air. “Until Summer, I thought… but if I don’t do this I’m gonna loose the girl I love, and I ‘m not ready to do that.” Castiel chuckled but Sam looked at his brother. “I’m sorry about this dean.”
“Are you done?” Dean didn’t even looked him in the eye.
Sam put his hands in his pockets while shaking his head and speaking fast. “I did everything wrong again, huh? But…”
Dean’s arm wrapped Cas’ waist. “Sammy, I don’t think…”
“Let me finish….” Dean waved his other hand in a go ahead gesture as he pulled Castiel close. Sam was too upset to notice. “I-I called her… Cassie, she’s been… we’ve been… ”Castiel turned to Dean, he was white and his face showed how much this was affecting him.
“It was my fault, I thought I could… I contacted her, thinking that’s what you wanted.” Cas let out a breath and a curse. “I called and told her it was her fault, I told her she doesn’t deserve you… I told her I found someone better for you. I told her you’re over her. But I guess I lied because no matter how much I try to bring him home, and keep having him around. You just don’t act on it, is this because that stupid rule?”
Dean looked at his brother his hand leaving Castiel. “Is not stupid… ”
Sam waved him off as he turned to see the door. “I was confused and thought it was better if you two didn’t get together, but you idiots obviously are crazy for each other… !!” and raising his hands in the air. “And you’re not gonna act on it because a rule I was the first one breaking?” and facing Cas. “And you won’t do something when it’s obvious you’re head over heels for each other…”
Dean laughed hard, hard! Bending down and cackling like a maniac. “What? What is so funny?”
Dean pulled Cas by the hand and kissed him, Sam’s jaw dropped. Dean broke the kiss to see his baby brother still staring. “We did something…”
Someone was laughing from the door. “And this idiot was worried for you?”
Sam moved to her held her hand. “Dean, Cas, this is Jess, and we’ve been dating since last November.”
“Good. “ Dean’s held Castiel closer. “Nice to meet you Jess, I guess you’re the one he’s been sneaking out With.”
Castiel smiled at the dumb yet cute face Sam had under the reddest blush he’s ever seen. It was like having a family; it was like having a real one.
“Welcome to Babylon’s.” Cas offered his clients a smile and giving them courtesy drinks. “You’re right in time to see Louden Swain.”
It was winter so the waiters had see through t-shirts on, it did nothing to stop the staring and the groping but tonight Castiel didn’t mind, he was taking his break during the first part of Dean’s act: the first time without a mask. Finally Dean was comfortable enough to do it without a mask, and the reaction of the audience was outrageous.
He kept singing along even when they drove home. “I assume you liked it.” Dean had a stupid smile on his face and a hand on Cas’s; fingers entwined.
Castiel smiled like an idiot. “I always liked your voice.”
They were like that all the time, all the time!
Even at school, they wait for each other, and Dean goes to the library with homemade food three times a week so Cas and Mrs. Mosley could eat with him.
Their grades were almost perfect, and Jess was what Sam needed, she balanced him, made him a better person.
That Summer Dean took Cas home to meet his father, and to learn about the oh-so-secret business.
John loved Castiel from day one; so much he invited him for Christmas too.
They took the car and drove in a three days journey while Sam went to meet Jessica’s parents to Louisiana.
The day before Christmas Castiel was trying to keep his bag away from
Dean who was like a kid and didn’t want to wait to see his – other- present. “It’s a surprise… Dean... No!” Dean stretched his arms trying to reach the one Castiel had pulled away from him, and when his lover gave up Cas kissed his cheek, where his favorite freckle is.
“You won’t have a present…” he said faking a grumpiness he obviously didn’t feel still looking at the bag kept far from his reach.
Castiel smiled and thrown himself forward making Dean squeak and move fast to catch him. “Cas!!!”
“That... there?” Cas said as he kissed dean still holding him in his arms. “Knowing you’ll always catch me. That’s my present. I don’t need anything else.” The smile that crept on Dean’s face was enough to melt the entire winter, Cas felt arms wrap around him.
“I’ll always be there for you.” He knew it was true.
Over Dean’s Shoulder he could see a girl, pretty face, caramel skin, fleshy lips and sad eyes fix on them. That was her, the girl from the picture Sam showed him, and he won’t share his Dean with her.
His arms wrapped tighter around his dean. “If we go home now…” he offered. “I’ll make you hot chocolate, just like your mom used to.”
Dean whooped and carried him bridal stile and started walking to the car among a fit of laughter.
She had no idea of the treasure she lost.