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A Simple Man

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Dean wakes up to yelling. He rolls over onto his back in his double bed and puts a hand under his head. He's exhausted, lying in his dark room after a 14 hour shift at the auto body shop where he works. He doesn't want to listen to Sam yell at their father.

The last thing he wants to do is play peacekeeper, but when he hears the first dish shatter, he rubs his face and gets out of bed.

The light from the hallway nearly blinds him when he opens the door, and he has to squint. He narrowly misses a coffee cup being thrown at him, and he moves out of the way just in time for it to shatter, splattering his bare feet with ceramic pieces.

He looks up from the pieces at his feet to the scene unfolding in front of him. Neither Sam nor John, their dad, had seen him come out of his room. They are screaming at each other, standing inches apart in the kitchen.

This isn't new. Dean has seen them fight hundreds of times before, watched as they threw things from the kitchen and barely missed each other. He had driven both his dad and Sam to the ER numerous times to get stitches the times they hadn't missed. But this fight, tonight, Dean is just not in the mood to deal with it. He's bone-tired and almost turns back around to go to bed before he hears his father's throat make a sound that stops him.

It would almost be comical, the spit flying out of his dad's mouth and landing on Sam's face, but the dead silence that follows makes this anything but a joke.

He watches in slow motion as Sam brings a large hand up to his face and wipes the spit from it. Sam looks at his hand, eyes wide, before he stares back at his father. Dean watches. He can hear his breathing, coming out in pants. He knows what's coming, can feel it in the pit of his stomach before Sam even realizes he's going to do it, but Dean is frozen to his spot.

Dean watches, staring at Sam looking down at his hand covered in their dad's spit. Dean watches as Sam looks up into his dad's eyes. He watches as Sam rears his hand back and slaps their father across the face, John's head pivoting so that he's now staring at Dean.

Dean can see the fear in his dad's eyes, and maybe that's what finally gets him to react. He races to stand behind Sam, pulling his arms back and wrapping his own arms around Sam's middle. Sam's arms are trapped behind his back, Dean's strength holding him, dragging him away from their dad.

Sam is screaming, "I should have done that a long time ago! You are worthless! You are nothing but a deadbeat dad who's never been there for us!" Dean continues to drag Sam back, staggering under Sam's weight. He finally drags him across the apartment, turning their bodies and pushing him against the wall.

He looks up into his little brother's eyes then, arm strung across Sam's chest. "Please," Deans says. "Please just go to your room and lock the door. I'll handle this."

Sam's jaw is clenched. Dean can see it trembling, but Sam doesn't say anything, and finally Dean watches the fight go out of Sam's eyes. He loosens his grip across Sam's chest and watches as his brother strides over to his room, slamming the door behind him.

Dean jumps, just slightly. He turns to face his dad, folds his arms across his chest.

"So," he says. He stares at his father across the room, John still visibly fuming.

"So what?" John grumbles. "Sam came at me. I was just protecting myself." John stares at Dean across the room, eyes hardened, nostrils flared.

"Came at you?" Dean asks. "Sam is a 17-year-old kid, dad! You don't need to protect yourself from him, you need to be a dad and not spit in his goddamn face!" Dean is nearly yelling, voice hoarse from having just woken up, a perpetual growl sown into it from years of yelling over the machines at the shop. He's constantly fighting to be heard.

John stares at him, opens his mouth to say something, and closes it again. He tightens his jaw and narrows his eyes at Dean before turning his back on him and striding over to his own room.

Dean watches from the open doorway as his dad takes out a duffel bag and begins shoving random items into it. He watches as his father grabs clothes off the ground and stuffs them into the bag. He watches as he walks over to the nightstand and grabs the picture of Mary, his late wife, off of it. John looks at it once before gently placing it on top of his things. He zips the bag, looks around the room, and makes his way back to the door, not meeting Dean's eyes.

Dean is following his every movement, rooted to his spot. He's not even sure how he got from the back wall to the doorway, watching his dad pack his things up. He's watching with a sense of cold detachment. This is some other kid's sad life, not his. Some other stupid kid's dad obviously walking out on him.

He turns and watches his dad's back as John walks out of the apartment, not even turning to look at Dean one last time. When the door slams this time, Dean doesn't flinch.

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Dean sighs. Just like the fighting, this is not the first time John has walked out on them. He'll probably go to some skeevy bar, drink too much bottom shelf whiskey, and pass out in the car. He'll call Dean in a few days, voice soft, reciting the lyrics from Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Dean will tell him to come home.

It had always happened like that before, so why did this time feel so different?

Dean sinks back against the wall next to his father's room. He slides to the ground and puts his face in his hands. Because John had taken the picture this time, and he had never done that before. It felt final, the way he had placed the picture gently on top of his things, not looking back at Dean once.

He looks up when he feels Sam slide down next to him, looks over at his brother. Sam isn't a kid anymore. He's tall, his legs stretching out in front of him. His hair is shaggy, and Dean reaches a hand over to ruffle it.

Sam shoves him off, but there's no heat behind it. "So, he's gone, huh?" He looks down at his lap and then back up at Dean.

"Yeah, he's gone," Dean says. He looks over at his brother. "Want to tell me what the fight was about?"

Sam sighs. "He saw the acceptance letter from Stanford. He was pissed I didn't tell him. Then pissed at how much money it cost. Then pissed when I told him I got a full ride and didn't need him to pay for it, that I was going whether he wanted me to or not. I don't know, Dean. Why do we ever fight? Dad gets mad at the littlest things. You know he doesn't want me to go to college."

Dean nods. It was true. He had once been home when John went on a tirade about someone in the house eating one of his hot pockets. He couldn't dodge the remote when John chucked it at him when Dean had the nerve to tell him John was the one who had eaten it one night when he was black out drunk and just didn't remember. Dean had needed five stitches above his eyebrow from the remote. John had never apologized. He started writing "JOHN" in big block letters on every hot pocket box in the freezer, even wrote it on the individual wrappers just in case.

Sam sighs, bringing Dean back to reality. "Well, I guess we should probably clean this up." He stands up and reaches a hand down to Dean. When Sam pulls Dean to his feet, Dean winces and looks down. Both of his feet are bloody, and he feels a sharp pain shoot up his left leg.

"Sam, go grab some paper towels and alcohol wipes." He sinks back down to the floor and pulls a foot into his lap. There's a big gash in his heel, pumping out blood. Dean feels like he might be sick. He pulls the other foot into his lap and gingerly touches the piece of ceramic lodged in the arch of his foot.

"Sammy!" He yells. Sam peeks his head around the corner. "Yeah, Dean?" he calls. He can see his brother cradling a foot in his lap and walks over to him, carrying paper towels, gauze, and a bottle of alcohol.

"Oh, shit," he says when he can see the piece of cup stuck in his foot. "Should I, like, pull it out?" he asks. God, he hopes the answer is no. As many times as Dean had fixed Sam up, Sam still got nauseous at the sight of blood. He couldn't imagine having to pull the piece of cup out of Dean's foot, but he could imagine the spurt of blood that would rush from it. He's getting light headed and needs to sit down.

Dean looks up at Sam's pale face and smirks in spite of the pain he's in. "Nah, don't pull it out, Sam. We have to go to the ER, though, because I can tell I'll need stitches." Dean sighs. He'd just been there last month, getting a cast off his arm after John had shoved him too hard into the coffee table and broken his wrist, pissed that Dean had poured a bottle of whiskey down the drain. "Hand me the gauze."

Sam pushes the items closer to Dean and stands up. He watches his brother wrap both of his feet in gauze and helps him up when Dean reaches his hands up. Dean slings an arm around Sam's shoulders, one of Sam's arms going around Dean's waist. Dean can't put any weight on the foot that still has the cup stuck in it, so he has to hop on his other foot. He feels utterly defeated, using his brother as a crutch, blood patterned in the hallway carpet, the cup still lying in pieces in front of his door. And now he's going to the ER at god knows what time in the morning, and he has to be up in a few hours for a 12 hour shift at the garage. If he could even still make it to his shift with two bandaged feet.

He sighs. "Dad probably took the car," he says to Sam. He watches as Sam pulls out his cell phone and requests a Lyft.

"Three minutes, Dean." They hobble to the apartment door, closing it behind them. Dean barely registers the soft click of the door as he and Sam make their way down the hall.

Chapter Text

When Dean finally exits the ER room, the groan he gives that the sun is coming up catches the attention of a doctor dealing with a patient in another room. Dean watches as the doctor's eyebrows raise slightly, his lips pull up, and then he shakes his head and turns back to the patient he's with.

Dean just can't catch a fucking break.

The doctor who had stitched his foot up is giving him instructions that Dean is barely listening to. "Go pick up your prescription for your pain meds, make sure you keep your foot elevated. Stay off your feet as much as possible for the rest of the week."

At that, Dean stops hobbling down the hall and clutches the doctor's arm. "Woah, wait. Dr. Mills, you know I can't do that. A week is too much. I gotta work. You know I gotta work." Dean liked the doctor, had had her almost every time he had come in. After the first few times, she stopped threatening to call child services. She was the one who had quietly threatened John enough to keep him from laying his hands on Sam. Dean hadn't been there for that conversation, but when John came out to the waiting room, refusing to look up at Dean while Dr. Mills was resting against the door frame with her arms crossed, a smug smile across her face--Dean knew she had said something. They had stared at each other a moment before Dean mouthed a silent, "thank you." She had just nodded her head.

Sam stopped getting hurt after that. Well, at least not enough to go to the ER.

Dr. Mills looks up at Dean. "Hon, you can't be on your feet in your condition. So unless you want to be back here by Friday needing me to re-stitch you up because you busted them, you'll miss a few days of work." She pats Dean on the back, making him almost lose his balance on his crutches. He has to hop a couple times before he regains his balance. Dr. Mills is barely holding in a laugh.

"Oh, yeah, so funny," he mutters under his breath. They continue walking to the doors when Dr. Mills is stopped by another doctor.

"Jody, hey, wait up," he calls. It's the same doctor who smirked at Dean from the other room. He swiftly walks over to them and stands just a little too close to Dean.

"Will you sign off on this for Ms. Smith in room 109?" He asks. He's close enough that Dean can smell him--a little like pine and sandalwood, with a hint of leather underneath. It's so different than the anti-septic smell around them, and Dean unconsciously leans into him a little.

"Sure, Dr. Novak," Dr. Mills stresses the name. "Please stop calling me Jody in front of patients, Castiel." She hands him the clipboard and turns back to Dean.

"Dean, this is Dr. Castiel Novak. Dr. Novak, this is Dean." Dean has to shuffle the crutches under his arm a second before reaching a hand out to shake Dr. Novak's. When he touches it, Dean's breath catches just slightly. It's soft, and he grips his hand just shy of painful.

"It's nice to meet you, Dr. Novak," Dean says. The man's eyes are fucking breathtaking, blue like the ocean on a cloudless day. He's staring at them a little too long before Dr. Mills clears her throat and Dean rips his hand away.

"I was just walking Dean out, Dr. Novak," she says.

"Oh, sure, Jody. I'm almost off my shift, so I'll walk with you." He smiles up at Dean as they turn and head down the hall. When the door opens, Dean can see Sam curled up as best as he can be in one of the waiting room chairs, limbs sticking out everywhere. He chuckles in spite himself.

He turns to Dr. Mills. "I need to make a phone call really quickly. Do you mind waking Sam up to finish paperwork?"

"Of course, Dean." She strides over to Sam and shakes him gently. Dean excuses himself from Dr. Novak and turns down a hall to call the garage.

It's 5:45 a.m. He's supposed to be at work in about half an hour, and he can't even walk. He sighs and hits dial on Dick's garage, his boss who is so aptly named.

Dick answers on the third ring.

"Hey, Dick, it's Dean. Listen, I'm at the hospital. I had an accident last night that tore up both of my feet. I just got stitches. I'm on crutches until further notice. The doc says I have to stay off my feet for at least a week so the stitches don't rupture. So I can't make it to work this week." The words come out rushed, knowing that Dick is probably going to kill him.

Dick will probably be mad, dock his pay for the month. It'll be hard, but Dean can do it.

"Yeah, Dean," Dick breathes over the phone. "Take this week off. As a matter of fact, take all the time you need off. You're fired."

Dean starts to protest, but Dick cuts him off. "You've missed about a week every two months since you started working here. I don't care if you've been here since you were 16. I don't care that you're a good mechanic. I don't even care that you've got to take care of your family. You're fired. I'll have someone drop off your stuff at your apartment this week. Good-bye." And Dick hangs up the phone.

Dean sinks to his knees with the phone clutched in his hand. It's Dr. Novak who finds him a minute later. He places a hand on his shoulder and kneels down next to him.

"Dean, are you ok?" he asks. Once again he's just a little too close, and Dean can smell the pine and leather on him.

"Yeah," Dean says. He pushes himself back on his feet, letting Dr. Novak's hand drop from his shoulder. "It's just-" he pauses and sighs. This guy doesn't know him, and he'll probably never see him again. No harm in telling the truth. "My boss just fired me from my mechanic job. I've been working there since I was 16. Five years, man, and he just fired me." Dean looks up at Dr. Novak's blue eyes.

The man sighs. "A mechanic, huh? I know a guy. Let me walk you out."

They turn and walk down the hallway together. Sam and Dr. Mills look up when they reach them.

"Ready to go, kid?" Dean asks.

"Ugh, Dean, I'm not a kid anymore," Sam says. "There's not a Lyft available. We could wait for the next bus if you want."

Dean sighs. Of course. "Yeah, ok. Let's go."

Dr. Mills laughs at them. "There's no way you can walk to the bus stop like that," she says. "It's like a mile away! I'm not off for a few more hours, but I could drive you home after."

Sam and Dean look at each other. "Sam has to get to school soon," Dean says. "Thank you, but he can't miss anymore classes."

Dr. Novak speaks up then. "My shift just ended. I can take Sam to school and then drop Dean off."

All three of their faces turn to Dr. Novak. He blushes just slightly, just enough for Dean to notice.

"It's nothing. I'm off for the next two days."

Dean stares at him. "Uh, thank you, Dr. Novak. That's incredibly kind of you."

Dr. Novak looks at him, standing just close enough that Dean can smell the sandalwood on the man.

"You're welcome. And please. Call me Castiel."

Chapter Text

Dean hobbles on his crutches toward the door, Sam and Dr. Novak trailing behind him. When he gets to the door, though, he can't get it open. Dr. Novak brushes up behind him. Dean stiffens at the feeling of him pressing against his back, his breath on his neck.

"Please, allow me." Dean shuffles out of the way and watches the man open the door for them.

It's still early, and the sun has yet to heat up the Autumn morning. Dean shivers, telling himself it's because of the chill and not because he's about to get into a stranger's car with his little brother. If Dr. Mills likes him enough to let Sam and Dean go with him, then Dean's sure he's not about to be murdered. Mostly sure.

Dr. Novak leads the way to his car, a sky blue Prius. He opens the passenger side door for Dean and reaches out a hand to let Dean sit down. He takes the crutches from him once Dean has his seat belt on and sticks them in the hatch. Sam barely fits in the back seat, knees scrunched up, but he's grateful they don't have to catch the bus.

Dr. Novak gets into the driver's seat and starts the car, putting his hand on Dean's headrest as he reverses out of his spot. Dean is drowsy, the pain and the lack of sleep catching up to him. He's fighting to stay awake and give directions to their apartment.

"Turn here," he says and yawns.

Dr. Novak does as he's told and smiles at Dean. "You have to be exhausted. Why don't you rest for a minute. I'm sure Sam knows how to get to your house." He looks at Sam in the rear view mirror.

"Yeah," Sam quips up from the back. "I just need to run in and get my backpack and then I'll give directions to school."

Dean nods his head and it drifts off to the side. He doesn't mean to fall asleep, but he does. When he wakes up, they are sitting in the car lane at Sam's school. Sam opens the door and calls out a "thanks, Dr. Novak! See you later, Dean," as he closes the door.

Dean wipes his hands down his face and sits up, wincing as his foot touches the floor a little too hard. He looks over at the man sitting next to him.

"Um, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to fall asleep. I guess I'm a little more tired than I thought." His voice is gruff, and he tries to clear it. "I can catch a bus from here. There's a bus stop not far from Sam's school."

Dr. Novak looks over at him and puts the car in drive. "No, it's ok. Like I said, I have the next two days off. I can drive you back to your apartment and drop you off. But first, don't you have a prescription to fill? Where do you normally get your medicine?"

"I, uh, I don't." He hesitates. "I don't get a prescription. I just take Tylenol or something." The truth was, after the first time he came home with a prescription pain pill, his dad had taken them all within a week. So he just stopped getting them filled.

Dr. Novak looks at him from the corner of his eye. "You have to be in quite a bit of pain. The foot is not a good place to get stitches. Do you think you're too big of a man to take medicine?"

Dean turns his head, mouth slightly open. "Something like that," he grumbles. Who the fuck was this guy to make assumptions about him?

"You know, I've seen your file at the hospital. Dr. Mills and I are friends. You come in a lot. Lots of contusions, broken bones, needing stitches." He reaches to turn the heat down and Dean's eyes follows his hand. "Either you're very clumsy, or you live with someone who wants everyone to think you are."

Dean blushes. "You don't know me," he whispers. He's feeling claustrophobic, sitting in a car with a virtual stranger, talking about his life like it's some case file he's studying.

Dr. Novak presses his lips together. "True. I don't know you, Dean. I'm just making an observation." They pull into Dean's apartment complex and Dr. Novak parks the car. He turns his body to face Dean, laying his hands in his lap as he does.

"Now, you've just lost your job and you can barely walk. I have a friend who owns a mechanic shop. His name is Bobby Singer. I take my car in to him all the time. I'll call him and ask him to meet with you." Dr. Novak looks at Dean after he's done talking.

Dean stares straight ahead, refusing to meet his eyes. "Why are you doing this? You don't know me at all." He tries to relax his fists which are balled in his lap. When he can un-clench them slightly, he turns his face and meets Dr. Novak's blue eyes.

He watches the man's lips turn up. "Jody and I are friends. She tells me you and your brother are good people. She won't tell me why you keep ending up in the hospital, but that's ok. I can guess. Think of it as just a guy helping you out. You strike me as the type of person who doesn't get help very often." Dean's eyes widen at his words. Dr. Novak smiles. "I thought so. It's not fair that whoever did this to you put you in the hospital, and it's not fair that you lost your job because of it. It's a small favor I'm ringing in. Don't worry about it."

Dean can't say anything, just stares at the doctor. What a turn this day has taken.

"Now," Dr. Novak says, "I take it you're not lucky enough to live on the ground floor?" Dean shakes his head no and looks down, his cheeks blazing red. "Ok, then let's get you upstairs and to bed, shall we?"

Dean wants to protest, save this little bit of dignity, but Dr. Novak doesn't even give him a chance to say no. He slides out of the car, opens the hatch, and before Dean can even lift his feet out of the car, Dr. Novak is standing there, reaching a hand to take Dean's.

He lifts him to his feet, Dean grimacing as the foot with stitches in it touches the ground. He stumbles forward a bit, and Dr. Novak's arms wrap around him.

"I got you," he says. Dean is so close to his face, heart thumping in his chest. He swallows hard as Dr. Novak grips him under his arms and hands him the crutches, can finally breathe again when he lets go of Dean entirely.

Dr. Novak follows Dean up to his apartment, standing behind him to make sure Dean doesn't fall down the steps into the foyer. When they get to the elevator, Dean insists that he's fine and can make it into the apartment by himself. Dr. Novak looks at him sharply and Dean stops talking, leading the man into the elevator and hitting the button to his floor. What was wrong with him? He's barely been able to breathe since meeting this man. They are as far apart in the elevator as they can possibly be, yet Dean feels that all the air has been sucked out of him. That a vacuum has opened up and is drawing him closer to Dr. Novak.

When the elevator finally dings and opens, Dean rushes out of it. He hobbles to the apartment door and fumbles with the keys, finally getting the door to unlock. Dr. Novak follows him inside. Dean surveys the damage just a second too late, and heat rises to his face. Dr. Novak doesn't say anything about the mess in front of him, just asks Dean where his room is.

Dean holds out a hand down the hallway. There are plates and bowls smashed all over the apartment. His bloody footprints stain the carpet. He's embarrassed by this mess, embarrassed that Dr. Novak had pegged his life so instantly. He hobbles to his door, careful to step over the broken cup. Dr. Novak's face doesn't change at all, doesn't even seem to see the damage that surrounds them. He follows Dean into his room. He takes the crutches from Dean and leans them up against the wall next to his bed as Dean lies down on it. Dr. Novak grabs the pillows not under Dean's head and shoves them under Dean's foot, propping it up.

Dean's eyes are drooping, fighting to stay awake. Once the pillows are in place, Dr. Novak sits down next to him. "Dean, I'm going to leave now. Keep your foot elevated."

Dean's eyes open a little wider. "Thank you, Dr. Novak," he slurs.

His head is drifting to the side when he hears him say, "Again, call me Castiel."

Dean is falling under, tumbling down, but he manages to get out, "Thanks, Cas" as he falls asleep.

Chapter Text

When Dean wakes up, it's late afternoon. The sun is golden and lighting his room. Dean blinks his eyes a couple of times. He goes to throw his legs over the bed, and the movement sends pain up his calves and into his thighs. He leans over to grab his crutches against the wall and nearly knocks over a glass of water.

Dean looks down at the nightstand. There's a full glass of water, two Tylenol tablets, and a folded over note. Dean holds the Tylenol in his fingers before dropping them in his mouth and chugging the water. He grabs the note.

Dean--

You don't have real pain medicine, but here's this Tylenol. Keep your feet elevated. Change the bandages once a day after you shower, careful not to let it get stuck to your stitches. Use your crutches as much as possible.

I called Bobby Singer, owner of Singer auto shop. He said he can meet with you Monday. I hope you don't mind, but I overheard your conversation with your boss, and I told Bobby that he sounded like a real dick. Bobby agreed. The job is a basic guarantee.

It was nice to meet you, Dean. I hope to see you around again sometime, though maybe when you can actually walk.

-Castiel Novak

p.s. I like the nickname you gave me as you were falling asleep. This "Cas." It makes me sound way less uptight than I actually am. Don't forget it.

Dean doesn't know why, but the note makes him blush. The last line sounds like a veiled threat, and Dean is interested to know what would happen if he did forget to call him Cas.

He places the letter back on the table and grabs his crutches. He hobbles from the hallway into the kitchen. Sam is sitting at the table working on homework, a skillet of hamburger helper on the stove. Dean is starving.

"What's up, Sammy?" he says as he ruffles his hair. "How was your day?"

Sam looks up from his homework long enough to swat Dean's hand away. "Dude, stop messing with my hair," and he huffs out a breath. "My day was fine. I'm tired though. We had a pop quiz in Chemistry and I know failed it. I couldn't keep my eyes open. What about you? Feel better?"

"Sam, you've never failed anything in your life. I'm sure you'd get an A even if you jumped up on the table and pulled your pants down in front of the class." Dean smiles at Sam's grimace. "And, yeah, I feel a little better. Thanks for asking. And thanks for cleaning up the hallway. Real helpful."

Sam scoots himself back from the table and walks over to the stove to stir the hamburger helper. "I didn't clean anything up. I thought you did it when you got home." He reaches up and grabs two plates and serves them both a large portion. "So if you didn't clean it up, who did?" Sam turns back around to Dean and walks the plates over to their seats and sits down.

Dean blushes. He can't meet Sam's eyes. "Oh, come on, dude!" Sam nearly shouts. "It was Dr. Novak, wasn't it? I knew something was up with you two the moment I saw you." He stabs a bit of food on his fork and shovels it into his mouth.

"Wipe that look off your face. Nothing is up with us. He just helped me get into the apartment is all. He probably didn't want to step on any shards of glass either so he just cleaned it up on his way out. No big deal." Dean looks down at his food, scraping his fork around it.

"Ok, man, whatever you say," and Sam starts shoveling his food into his mouth at warp speed.

They both sit in silence and eat for a while, Sam finishing his first helping and getting more. The boy can eat, and Dean is worried about keeping the refrigerator stocked on a good day. Which reminds him.

"Sammy," he says and has to clear his throat. "Dick fired me today, when I couldn't come into work. So I don't have a job. I, uh, I have an interview on Monday, when I can walk a little better. It's not a sure thing, but it sounds promising. Down at Singer's garage. So we won't have a paycheck for a while, you know. So we have to cut back a little, until we can get some money."

Dean can't look into his brother's eyes. Sam stops shoveling food into his mouth and sets his fork down on his plate.

"Alright, Dean. We'll be ok," Sam is barely whispering. "Hey, look at me, man." Dean raises his head to meet Sam's eyes. "We've always been ok. We'll be fine now. If anything, we're better than fine. Dad's gone for a while, so the house will actually be calm this week. You can rest up, get ready for that interview, and I can do my homework and actually sleep for once. Win, win." He smiles up at Dean, and Dean swears he can feel his heart shatter. His little brother staring up at him, so trusting, so willing to look for the positive spin.

He clears his throat again. "Actually, I don't know how long dad will be gone this time. He, uh, he took the picture of mom. Packed it in his bag. I don't know, Sammy. It just seemed so final this time. He's never taken the picture before."

He looks into his brother's eyes. Sam stares at him, eyes darting over Dean's face, before he slams a giant fist down on the table. The plates jump, and a little bit of milk spills in front of Dean.

"Who the fuck cares if he's gone for real this time, Dean!" Sam yells. "We don't need him! Life will be so much better with just the two of us. You won't get in the middle of our fights. I won't have to feel guilty about you coming home from the hospital with broken bones and stitches because of me. Dad won't be here to scream at me while I'm doing my homework. It will be so much better!" And then he's sobbing, head in his hands, and Dean is scrambling up to put his arms around him, sinking to his knees.

"Sammy, it will be better. We'll be ok. Like you said, we always are." He's rubbing his hand in circles around Sam's broad shoulders.

"Why couldn't we get a normal family, Dean? With a mom who isn't dead and dad who isn't trying to drink himself to death? What did we do to deserve this, huh?" Sam sniffles.

Dean looks up at his little brother, trying to answer this impossible question. "We've got to hold on to what we've got, Sammy," he sighs before continuing, "It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not." His face doesn't betray the joke. "We've got each other and that's a lot."

Finally, Sam cracks a smile and laughs. "You're an idiot, you know that, Dean?" he asks but he's laughing. He stands up to clear the dishes.

"Oh, and, by the way, who re-bandaged your feet?" Sam says, smirking.

Dean looks down at his feet, wrapped in clean bandages. He turns the one with stitches over in his hand and catches sight of a phone number scrolled across it. His face turns red.

He grabs his crutches, scuttling out of the room to Sam's barking laughter.

Chapter Text

On Monday, Dean can hobble with one crutch. It's been a week since getting his stitches, a week since their dad left. A week since he met Dr. Novak.

He had gotten better at changing out his bandages. Taking a shower was impossible, as he couldn't stand on his feet for long enough while balancing, so he had been reduced to taking baths all week like a child.

After dinner with Sam last week, when he unwrapped the bandages Dr. Novak had put on him while Dean was asleep, Dean immediately threw them in the trash. He sank down in the tub, propping his feet up above the faucet. He felt ridiculous, stretched out and not fitting in the bath tub, the sound of Sam's laughter still ringing in his ear.

He felt even more ridiculous that he had a hard on. Dr. Novak's note was still sitting on his nightstand next to his bed. He was curious about this man, that was all. It's not like he'd never experienced a beautiful man giving him attention before. Dean was pretty well known at the gay bars around town. Dean knew he was attractive, and he had never had a problem getting a guy before. But he didn't even know if Dr. Novak was gay or just incredibly kind.

Besides, it's not like he liked the guy. Just thought he had amazing eyes.

Dean sighed. He finished bathing and pulled himself up out of the bath. Damned if he would ask Sam for help getting out of the bath. He slipped a few times but finally caught himself, wrapping a towel around his waist. When he bent over the sink, his eyes skimmed over the waste basket next to it, the bandage with the number written on it on top.

He shivered thinking about Dr. Novak's soft hands lightly bandaging his feet while he slept, his hands skimming over his feet while Dean was completely unaware, and bent down to retrieve it. He hobbled to his room and wrote the number down on the note Dr. Novak had left earlier in the day and then threw the bandage away again.

It's not like Dean would ever call him. Just in case.

Now, Dean is standing in front of Singer's garage. The weather had turned colder in the past week, Lawrence finally giving in to fall.

Dean shakes his head and hobbles his way inside the garage, his toes a little numb from where he still can't get a shoe on the foot with stitches.

He walks up to the desk where a red-haired woman is sitting. She turns and smiles at Dean. "How may I help you?"

Her name tag says Charlie, and Dean smiles at her. "Hi, I'm here to see Mr. Singer. I have an appointment."

Charlie turns to the phone sitting on her desk and holds a button down. Her voice crackles over a sound system a second later. "Bobby, your morning appointment is here."

She moves her hand off the button and motions for Dean to sit. "He'll be right with you."

Dean shuffles over to the chairs behind him and looks around the building. It's not a huge garage, a little smaller than Dick's. The front room is kept neat, with posters of what the garage offers up on the walls, a tv hanging on the wall across from him. There's a large window to the left that lets patrons see inside the garage. They have four hydraulic lifts.

A door opens and Dean watches as an older man with a pot belly wipes his hands on a rag. He strides over to Dean and sticks his hand out. Dean pulls himself to his feet before shaking his hand. "Hi, I'm Bobby. You must be Dean. Come on back to my office."

Dean can't get a word in before Bobby turns around and moves to the door he just came out of. He follows him through it and takes a seat in front of the desk. Bobby shuts the door behind him and walks around the desk, sinking with a sigh into the seat across from Dean.

"So you want to work for me, huh?" He looks up at Dean, mouth pressed in a tight line. "Dr. Novak told me you were looking for a job as a mechanic. Where did you work before this? You got a resume?"

Dean shakes his head. "No resume, sir. I worked at Dick's garage for the past five years. He just let me go last week. I'm a hard worker, though, Mr. Singer. And a good mechanic. I've got experience." He holds his eyes steady on the man sitting across from him, but he's silently berating himself for not bringing a resume.

"Dick's, huh? That guy is a real, well, you know." The corners of his mouth turn up just slightly before pressing back into a line. "Five years is a long time to work for someone, though. Especially when you look like a kid. How old are you anyway?"

"I'm 21, sir. 22 in January. I started working for Dick when I was 16, as soon as I could get a job. I started out as a janitor, but he started letting me work on some cars doing easy things. Oil changes and the like. I learned quickly, though. My dad had this '67 Chevy Impala that I worked on all the time as a kid. Learning other cars wasn't hard." He feels himself relax in his seat.

"I like those Impalas. Don't make them like they used to." Bobby leans forward, elbows on the desk, chin resting on his hands. "I'll tell you what, kid. I don't normally do this without seeing some references, but you seem alright. I'll give you a trial this week, let you work on little projects around here. You do a good job, we can see if we can make this more permanent."

Dean smiles before letting it fall. This guy does not seem like the smiling type. "Thank you, Mr. Singer. I can do a trial. I've got to ask though." Dean looks down in his lap, his voice barely a whisper. "Do you think-" he clears his throat, color creeping up his neck. "Do you think you could pay this week? It doesn't have to be much, whatever you can afford. I'll take whatever you want to give." He looks back up at the older man sitting across from him, begging himself to hold his gaze.

"Are you in some kind of trouble, kid? Need money this week. You're not like a drug addict are you?"

Dean's mouth falls open slightly. "What? No. Not a drug addict. I've got a younger brother who's still in school. And medical bills to pay." His eyes drift over to the crutch leaning against the wall. He closes his mouth and looks back over at Bobby Singer.

"What about your parents, kid? No one's around to pay the bills?" Bobby looks at the kid across from him.

Dean can't meet his eyes. "No parents, sir. My mom's dead. A long time ago, when I was four. And my dad walked out on us last week, not that he was much help when he was around. It's just me and Sam, sir. And I could really use a paycheck." He looks at Bobby, daring him to look at him with pity.

Bobby doesn't. Just opens his mouth and sticks his hand out. "I can do that, Dean. Come back tomorrow, 7 a.m. sharp and I'll set you up with some work." He drops Dean's hand. "But first, figure out what you're going to do about that foot, boy."

Dean is elated, smiling from ear to ear and pulling himself up with his crutch. "Yes, sir. I'll be back tomorrow. You can count on me, Mr. Singer."

Bobby opens the door for them both, letting Dean out before him. "I better be able to. But, kid, if you call me sir or Mr. Singer one more time, I'll let you go before you even start."

They stop in front of the door to the parking lot. Dean is grinning. "Got it, si--" he stops himself and coughs, wipes the grin off his face. "I got it, Bobby. See you tomorrow."

Dean hobbles over to the bus stop in front of the garage, excited to be able to tell Sam he's got a job.

Chapter Text

When Dean gets home, he briefly considers pulling Sam out of school to go celebrate. But it's the middle of the day, and Sam has a test in English. So it's just Dean, so jittery with excitement he can barely sit still.

In his room, Dean gathers the things one of his old co-workers dropped off for him earlier in the week. His extra pair of boots, his blue cover-alls covered in grease. He grabs some paper towels and a spray bottle from the pantry in the kitchen and sets to work wiping his boots as clean as possible.

He's sweating by the time he feels they are clean enough for Bobby's liking. He wipes the back of his hand across his forehead and puts the boots in the corner. His jumpsuit is beyond repair. He puts it on top of his boots and goes to lay on his bed.

Dean drums his fingers on his stomach for a minute before leaning over to grab the note Dr. Novak left him last week.

The number is there, under the p.s. Dean's hand goes to his pocket to pull out his phone and starts to dial it before shaking his head and sitting up.

This is stupid. He doesn't know this man. He just gave him a ride once. Probably just felt sorry for him.

Dean shoves the phone back in his pocket and grabs his crutch. He opens the door to his room and shuts it behind him. He grabs his keys off the table by the front door. He hobbles his way over to the elevator and rides it down. He walks his way to the bus stop a little ways from his apartment complex.

When the bus pulls to a stop on Massachusetts Street, Dean makes his way down the steps and over to Henry's. It's part bar, part coffee shop, part gay hang out.

Dean's not sure if he's in the mood for a coffee or a beer, but when he sees the dark haired man in line, the decision is made for him.

He gets in the line for a coffee, careful to not stare a hole in the back of Dr. Novak's head. When the man turns around after paying, he catches sight of Dean almost instantly.

He walks over to him, and again stands just a little too close. "Dean! Hello, fancy running in to you here." His blue eyes gaze over Dean's body. Dean swallows. "I see you can walk better."

"Hi, Dr. Novak. Yeah, I'm feeling better. Can almost even stand without a crutch." To prove it, Dean moves the crutch out from under his armpit and puts weight down on his foot. He immediately winces and pulls his foot up off the floor, stumbling in the process. Dr. Novak's hand reaches out to steady Dean, fingers digging into Dean's upper arm.

"Yeah," Dr. Novak says, with a hint of a smile on his lips. "Almost stand." He takes his hand off of Dean. "Listen, I'm just here before I go into my shift in an hour. The hospital isn't far from here. Do you want to sit and drink a coffee with me?"

Dean's mind goes blank. He can't say anything, and finally Dr. Novak says, "Hey, no worries if you don't want to." He goes to grab the drink he ordered.

Dean's brain finally starts working again. "No!" he basically yells. "I mean, yeah, I'll have coffee with you. Just let me order." He gets a small black coffee and hands the money to the barista. He clears his throat and turns to walk to a table by the window. He doesn't see the smirk Dr. Novak has on his face.

They sit at a small table, Dr. Novak's hands wrapped around his cup of coffee. "So, Dean, have you been taking care of your bandages?"

Dean looks at him. He's wondering if this is a segue into the number scrolled on the bottom of his foot, but Dr. Novak's face is so impassive that Dean decides this is just a doctor-patient thing. He tries not to feel the disappointment spreading through his body.

"Yeah, doc. Been re-wrapping my feet every day after I shower like you said. I feel better, though it still hurts to walk on the one that got stitches."

He misses the slight tilt of Dr. Novak's body when Dean mentions showering, too busy blabbering.

"Dr. Mills says they'll come out on their own later this week. Those dissolvable ones. The cut on my other foot is already mostly healed, doesn't even hurt anymore." He stops talking when he hears his name called.

Dean goes to stand but Dr. Novak reaches a hand out. "Please, I'll get it."

Dean watches Dr. Novak walk to the coffee bar. He licks his lips, and then he blushes when he realizes he's staring. He looks back down at the table as Dr. Novak places his cup of coffee in front of him.

"So, Dean. We didn't really get a chance to talk when I saw you last. You were too busy falling asleep." Dean blushes. "Tell me a bit about yourself. I know you're a mechanic. You've got a younger brother who's part giant." Dean scoffs because it's kind of true. Sam is a giant. "And you have a proclivity for ending up in the emergency room at all hours of the night. What else?"

Dean laughs. "Who uses 'proclivity' in a sentence?" Dr. Novak frowns slightly. "No, sorry. Maybe you just have a proclivity of using big words. What else is there to know?"

Dr. Novak looks at him, leans over the table slightly, rimming his coffee cup with a finger. "Everything." It's barely a whisper, and Dean has to lean in to make sure he heard him. He's starting to wonder if his face has a proclivity for being red whenever Dr. Novak is around.

"Um. I'm Dean Winchester. Born and raised in Lawrence. Sam is my younger brother. We're four years apart. I've been a mechanic since I was 16, but you know that. I like working with my hands." He glances up at him then, but Dr. Novak's face doesn't change. "I'm 21, turning 22 in January. I like pie."

"You like pie?" Dr. Novak says.

"Yeah. Apple is my favorite, but I'll eat just about any pie as long as it's still warm."

Dr. Novak smiles. "I'll have to remember that." Dean's mouth opens, but he can't respond before Dr. Novak starts speaking again. "What else? What about your parents?"

Dean presses his lips together. "Nothing much to know there. My mom is dead. She died in a fire when I was four. It's been me, my dad, and Sam since. Sam was a baby, doesn't even remember her. My dad's not around much." He looks down at his cup of coffee, brings it to his lips.

"Not around, or too busy knocking you around?" Dr. Novak stares into Dean's eyes, doesn't flinch.

Dean places the cup on the table. "Hey, man. I don't know you like that. Don't ask me for coffee and then make assumptions about my family." He clenches his fist in his lap. "Thanks for the company. I've got to go."

Dean hauls himself up from his chair, grabs his crutch, and hustles toward the door. This guy is probably just another adult ready to place Sam in foster care, using Dr. Mills to get to Dean. He'd dealt with enough concerned adults over the years to notice the signs. Of course this cup of coffee was just a ploy to get Dean to admit his dad was the one who caused all the trips to the hospital. But, whatever. Dean is an adult. Sam hasn't been to the hospital in years, is going to school regularly. They are fine. And who is this Dr. Novak to think he could get Dean to talk about his family? He had the most beautiful eyes, and Dean was blinded by that. But he was done.

He shoves the door open, the bell hitting the door wildly. On the sidewalk outside of the coffee shop, Dean realizes he doesn't know how he's going to get home, not knowing when the next bus will arrive. He sighs and stumbles his way over to the bus stop.

He groans and pulls out his phone, ready to text Sam and say he's going to be late getting home. But Dean sees an icon for a voicemail. He hadn't heard his phone vibrate in the coffee shop.

He clicks the icon and holds the phone up to his ear.

"Dean," his father's voice says. "I'm not calling to tell you I'm coming home. I'm not. This was it for me, kid. Sam doesn't need me anymore, and you never did." He hears his dad sigh. "I'm calling because I left the car at the airport. Long term parking. The keys are in the tailpipe. You can have it. I know I messed up, Dean. So I'm not trying anymore. Take the car, have the apartment. Take care of Sammy. And, Dean. Remember to be a simple kind of man."

The voicemail ends, and Dean slouches down against the wall of the bus stop shelter. So his dad really wasn't coming home this time. Dean had known it, felt it in his very core. But to hear his dad say that, and then to leave the car he loved so much--Dean knew it was true.

He puts his face in his hands and stifles a scream. Goddamn it.

This is supposed to be a time to celebrate getting a new job. Instead he's sitting on the dirty ground outside of a bar with a busted foot. And his dad is never coming home.

He looks up when he senses a shadow. Dr. Novak is standing over him, blocking out the sun.

"Need a ride?" he asks.

Dean groans. "You just don't know when to quit, do you?" He hauls himself to his feet, staring at the man in front of him.

"Oh, you'll find that it takes quite a while for me to listen when someone says no." He smiles at Dean. "The next bus won't be here for another hour. You can choose to stand out here in the cold until then, or you can take my offer and I'll drive you where you need to be. I trust you'll make the right decision." Dr. Novak winks at Dean and steps back.

Dean bites down on his tongue. He's drawing blood. Finally, he sighs and says, "Fine." Dr. Novak smiles.

He turns and walks down the street, not bothering to see if Dean is following. But Dean is, wondering why in the world he's about to get in that sky blue Prius for the second time in as many weeks.

Chapter Text

"Where are we headed?" Dr. Novak asks.

"Don't you have a job to get to?" Dean retorts.

Dr. Novak doesn't say anything. He reaches into his front pocket of his jeans, careful to keep his foot at the same level on the gas pedal, and pulls out his phone. He hits dial on the screen.

"Hey, Jody," he says. Dean whips his head to face him, mouth open. "Can you cover my shift? Something important came up. I go in in about 45 minutes." He listens for a second. "Yeah, I know it's short notice. Uh-huh. I get that, Jody. I'll cover your weekend shift for you. No. Just Saturday. Jody--" he huffs and grits his teeth. "Fine, Sunday, too. Thanks, Jody. Talk to you later." He hangs up the phone and places it in the console between he and Dean. "Taken care of."

Dean stares at him.

"So, like I asked, where are we going, Dean?"

Finally Dean shuts his mouth. What is this guy up to? "I, uh, I need to go to the airport."

"Going away together already, huh? I've got to say, it's a little soon for my taste, but if you insist." Dr. Novak teases. He puts his blinker on and gets on the ramp for the highway.

Once again, Dean feels himself blush. "Very funny. No, I'm not going anywhere." Dr. Novak glances over at him, a smirk on his lips. "We're not going anywhere either. I've got to pick up a car from long term parking."

Dr. Novak doesn't say anything, just stares ahead. They drive in silence, and it's starting to get to Dean. He drums his fingers on his knees, then reaches and fiddles with the window lock. He pushes it back and forth, back and forth until finally Dr. Novak reaches a hand over and puts it on Dean's knee. He squeezes. It's not exactly painful, but it gets Dean's attention.

"Please. Stop making noises. If you're uncomfortable, turn on the radio," he says.

Dean looks at him, but he stops messing with the lock. Dr. Novak takes his hand off his knee and returns it to the steering wheel.

"Kind of controlling there, doc." Dean reaches over to the radio and turns the volume up. It's on an old 90's song. Dean has to physically keep himself from drumming his fingers.

"You have no idea," Dr. Novak mutters. Dean pretends he doesn't hear it, but he squirms just slightly in his seat.

Another minute passes with just the radio making noise. Dean reaches over to turn the volume down on the radio again. "I'm sorry I've been such an ass," he blurts out. "It's just, too many adults, people in power, have tried to pry into our lives and get Sam into foster care. Sam hasn't gotten injured in years. He's fine. So when you asked all those questions, I kind of blew up. I don't like when people assume things they don't know. I'm sorry."

Dean can see the man's jaw contract before he speaks. "But what about you?"

"What?" Dean asks.

"You said Sam hasn't gotten hurt in years. But what about you, Dean? I saw that apartment, all the things smashed, the blood on the carpet. Sam might not be getting hurt, but I suspect that you have been." He grips the steering wheel.

Dean looks down and back over at Dr. Novak. "Why do you care?" he asks.

Dr. Novak closes his eyes. He opens them and presses a finger against his forehead. "I don't know," he says. He says it softly, and Dean believes him.

"Dean, who's car are we picking up from the airport?" He finally asks.

Dean sighs. "My dad's. He took off last week." Dean holds up a hand before Dr. Novak can say it. "Yes, the same time I came in for stitches." He watches the man shut his mouth. "I guess he hopped a plane. He left a voicemail when we were in the coffee shop. Didn't say where he was going, just that I could have the car. He called from an untraceable number. He loved that car."

Dr. Novak nods slowly and pulls the car into the lane marked for long term parking. "What does it looks like?" he asks.

"It's a black '67 Chevy Impala. Hard to miss."

They drive through the parking lot before finally spotting it in the back row. Dr. Novak parks next to the car, and Dean hops out. He grabs the crutch from the back seat and hobbles around to the back of the car. He sticks his hand in the tailpipe and pulls out the key ring.

Dr. Novak stands leaning against the passenger door of his car, arms crossed. Dean walks around to the driver's side of the Impala.

He looks at him. "I don't know how I can thank you, Dr. Novak," Dean says. "Driving Sammy and I home last week, driving me to the airport today. You know, I got the job at Singer's auto shop. I know you had a big hand in that, too. Well, I didn't exactly get the job, just a trial. That's why I was out today. I was going to celebrate." He pauses, looking at the man in front of him. God, his eyes are so blue against the car's color. "I'm rambling." He sighs. "Anyway, thank you, Dr. Novak. Let me know how I can repay you. I'll do whatever you want." Dean reaches a hand out to shake Dr. Novak's, but the man just stares at him.

Dr. Novak finally reaches a hand out to touch Dean's, but rather than shake it, he tugs hard enough to pull an unsteady Dean against him. Dean finds himself pressed up against the doctor, breathing ragged and unsure how he got in this position.

"Uh, doc?" He asks. He's looking up into his eyes, trying to find his balance.

"I hope you got my note, Dean," he whispers. "I asked you to not forget that nickname. Tell me, what is it you called me again?"

Dean's mouth is open, staring up at him, his heart hammering against his rib cage.

"Cas," Dean whispers. He's not sure why he hasn't punched this guy's face in yet, but there's something about him that makes Dean incapable of ignoring him.

Dr. Novak smiles at the nickname and places a hand on either of Dean's arms. He pushes him back so he's standing on his own. He brushes his shirt down, smoothing the fabric.

"Good. Now, I have an idea of how you can repay me. A proposition if you will. Can you keep a secret, Dean?"

Dean nods, words stuck on his tongue.

"I thought so," Dr. Novak says. "Tell me, Dean, have you ever heard of BDSM?"

Chapter Text

Dean drives aimlessly around Lawrence. He was planning on picking up Sam after school, but now he can't imagine having to face Sam after the conversation he just had. Talking to his little brother about normal things, how school was that day. Making dinner together.

His face is still red.

When he heard Dr. Novak ask him if he knew what BDSM was, Dean had laughed. When he looked at Dr. Novak's face, he stopped laughing.

"Bondage, right?" He said.

Dr. Novak had shaken his head. "That's only one small part of it. Bondage is fun, yes, but I'm talking about a different aspect of it. Dominance and submission."

Dean couldn't help but snicker. "I wouldn't have pegged you for the whips and chains type, doc." He tried, but he couldn't help the smile that wouldn't come off his face.

"I'm not usually the one getting whipped and chained," Dr. Novak said. "Nor am I the one being pegged." The smile finally slipped off of Dean's face, replaced by a wide 'o.'

As in, "oh." Dean couldn't keep the sound from escaping his lips, couldn't hide the interested twitch his cock gave. He stumbled back and leaned against the Impala.

"Dr. Novak--" Dean started to say. The raise of his eyebrows made Dean stumble on his words. "I mean, Cas." He watched the other man's face become blank again. "I don't know what you're offering here. I thought I could buy you a beer sometime. Maybe two. I won't lie. I thought maybe we'd have an easy fuck." He licks his lips. "You've got incredible eyes. I mean, I've never seen eyes so blue. And clearly you're a nice person, driving two patients home from the hospital when you didn't have to. I just. I don't know about all this. I've never actually met someone into this kind of kinky stuff. I don't really think I'm into that kind of kinky stuff. I kind of like anonymous sex. You know, bathroom stall, don't really get a good look at the guy, one night stand kind of stuff." He felt his face heat.

"You don't think that's kinky?" Dr. Novak asked. "Look, Dean. I'm not asking you to be my boyfriend. Just giving you the opportunity to be involved. Safer. Not having to worry about what these one night stand men have."

Dean looked at him. For the first time since they met, Dr. Novak wasn't standing too close to Dean, and it felt like some sad irony, that this was the most intimate thing they had talked about, and Dean couldn't smell him.

"Why are you offering this to me?" he asked. "What makes you think I'd like something like that?"

Dr. Novak looked at him, clenched his jaw before speaking. "I made a mistake. I thought you were coming in all the time because you had a rough dominant. Dr. Mills had asked for a second opinion on your broken wrist a few weeks ago and I saw your file. It shouldn't happen, but it does--a dom who's too rough on his sub, hitting them. I heard that groan coming out of the room next door, and I realized you were the same man from the file. I thought, 'how can I get this man to groan like that again?' You struck me as the perfect sub. I thought you were already taken, but when I saw your apartment, I realized I was wrong. At the coffee shop, when you blew up about me asking if your dad was the one who knocked you around, it solidified it for me. I already knew, but I was holding out hope that maybe I was wrong. That maybe you were just looking for an invitation. I don't even know why I'm telling you this now, knowing you've never done this before. There's something about you, Dean. It makes it hard to stay away."

Dean swallowed. His head was swimming. "What does that mean? The perfect sub?"

Dr. Novak looked at him, stared into his eyes. "To me, It means you're exceptionally loyal."

Dean comes back to the present, narrowly missing a trash can on the side of the road. When he gets the car back under control, he pulls over and puts the car in park. He wipes his hands over his face. "What the fuck am I doing?" he whispers to himself.

He drives home and starts dinner for Sam. By the time Sam gets home, Dean has already cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, tidied the living room, and is on his third ready-to-freeze meal. Sam comes into the kitchen and plops his backpack on the table.

"Hey, Dean," he says. Dean grunts out a hi. "I saw dad's car outside. Is he back?"

Dean turns around to face his brother. "No. Got a message today from him. He left the car at the airport in long term parking. Told me to go pick it up, that it's ours."

Sam nods. "So he's really not coming home this time?" he asks.

"No, Sammy. I guess he's really not."

There's nothing more to say to that. Sam sits at the table and pulls out his math book. By the time Dean has finished his current meal and heated up dinner for them both, Sam is already working on his English homework.

"No homework at the dinner table, Sam." Dean slides a plate in front of Sam. "How was school today?"

"Fine. Got a big project coming up after Thanksgiving break. Lots of midterms. Which reminds me. Jess invited me to Thanksgiving at her house this year." Sam looks at his brother. "I figured it was fine because it's not a big deal around here anyway. I'm sure you can go, too, if I ask them."

Dean doesn't look up from his plate. "No, go ahead. I'll watch the games here and drink some beer. I won't have to worry about being too loud while you're working or dad's taking a nap. It'll be fun."

Sam smiles. "Yeah, I thought so, too. Hey, wasn't your interview today? How'd it go? You get the job?"

Dean starts telling Sam about Bobby's garage, tells him about the trial period before he finds out if he gets to work there permanently. Sam's laughing while Dean describes Bobby's pot belly, and it feels good to talk to his brother like they're normal people, the conversation with Dr. Novak pushed out of his mind for a while. But over the chatter and laughter of his little brother, Dean can't help but think that this is going to be his first Thanksgiving he'd ever spent alone.

Chapter Text

Dean wakes up the following Tuesday with painful morning wood. He had another dream about Dr. Novak.

In it, after Cas had explained about being a sub and being loyal, rather than Dean nodding slightly like he had in real life, he had said, "Why don't you fuck me then?" And Cas had been on him in a second, turning him around and pressing his face into the Impala door while unbuttoning his pants. Dr. Novak had pushed them down just over the curve of Dean's ass. Dean's breath was fogging up the window. He watched his breath show up on the window in little pants, watched it shrink and widen again.

He woke up when he heard the sound of Cas' zipper.

Dean groans. In reality, after Dr. Novak had explained why he was talking to Dean about his lifestyle, Dean had once again said he wasn't interested.

Dr. Novak had nodded, put his arms to his side and said, "You have my number if you change your mind," and walked around to the driver's side of his car, driving away without looking at Dean once.

Dean thought that was the end of it, but he'd woken up every morning since with that same stupid dream replaying in his mind, and a hard on that took a full 30 minutes' shower jerk to go away.

It was getting ridiculous.

Dean stumbles out of bed. Sam already left for the day, so Dean doesn't hide his erection. He shucks his clothes off while waiting for the water to heat up in the shower. He doesn't need his crutches anymore, the stitches having finally dissolved. While he's still limping, it doesn't hurt as much and he can finally get his foot in his shoe. Which is good, because today's the last day of his trial at Singer's garage.

He grabs a banana on the way out the door and immediately regrets it, having not touched himself in the shower.

He leaves the banana on the seat of his car and goes in to work.

Charlie is sitting at the front desk. She smiles at Dean and waves. Dean waves back and goes through the door to the garage. Bobby is nowhere to be found, which means he has to be in his office. Dean grabs the log the mechanics keep and flips through the pages, stopping on the most recent entries. When Dean skims the page, the mention of a sky blue Prius stops him in his tracks. It's only then that he looks up at the furthest lift, already hoisting a blue Prius in the air.

Dean feels like he might be sick.

He hears the door close behind him and turns around. Bobby and Dr. Novak are talking. Bobby laughs and hits Cas lightly on the back. They stroll over to Dean.

"Dean, hey! You know Castiel, right?" Bobby says.

This can't be happening. "Yeah, Bobby. Dr. Novak is the one who got me the interview with you." He glances up at Cas. "Hey, Dr. Novak," he says.

"Hello, Dean," Cas says back.

Dean has no idea how the man can be so calm right now. Dean feels like everyone can hear his heart beat, and he feels the heat rising from his neck into his cheeks.

Bobby looks over at Dr. Novak. "It's a good thing you told me about this boy. Done one hell of a job around here. I was just about to offer him a full time position, actually. Glad you can be here to hear it, too."

Dean forgets his shyness and looks up at Bobby. "Really?" he asks. Bobby nods. "Thank you so much, sir. I mean, Bobby. This is fantastic!"

Bobby laughs. "Don't thank me. You're the one doing the work. Let me take care of Dr. Novak here and I'll tell you about benefits."

Bobby turns around and walks toward the door to the main building, calling out "Let me grab that invoice, Castiel, and I'll be right back. Left it in my office" as he goes. The door closes behind him.

And Dean is alone with Dr. Novak for the first time since asking him to be his sub.

"Congratulations, Dean," Cas says. "I'm happy for you."

Dean can't meet his eyes. "Thank you."

It's quiet, Dr. Novak not saying anything, just looking impassively at Dean. Dean is still holding the log book and starts running his hand over the pages, giving himself something to do. The sound it makes is a soft swish, letting the pages ruffle together and fall again. Dean is watching them rise and fall, rise and fall, when Dr. Novak's hand comes up to grab Dean's wrist.

Dean stops.

"Has anyone ever told you that you fidget when you're nervous?" Dr. Novak asks. He removes his hand and takes the book from Dean, placing it back on the stand. "I could teach you to hold still, you know. Show you how much better it can be when you just let the moment wash over you rather than trying to keep yourself busy because you're uncomfortable."

Dean closes his eyes. He swallows. Dr. Novak is close again, and Dean can smell the pine and sandalwood.

The door opens, and Dean's eyes snap open. Bobby is striding toward them, holding out a piece of paper toward Dr. Novak.

Cas takes it from him. "Thanks, Bobby. I'll go pay Charlie once the car's parked."

He doesn't look at Dean, and Dean thinks that maybe this is just another dream he's having. Bobby turns to him, though, and Dean has to lean forward to get himself to pay attention. He's painfully aware that he has an erection, thankful for the first time in his life that he's wearing a baggy jump suit.

"Get Castiel's car off the lift, will you?" Bobby says.

They turn and go to the front desk. Dean walks to the end of the garage and presses the button for the lift Cas' car is on. When it's on the ground, Dean walks into the the building and stands behind Bobby and Cas.

They turn to Dean, both smiling.

"You got any big plans for Thanksgiving, Dean?" Bobby asks.

Dean shakes his head no. "My brother is going to his girlfriend's house, so I've got the place to myself. I'm probably just going to watch the games and eat some pie."

Bobby laughs. "Ah, good, no plans! Castiel invited us over to his place. It's a tradition of sorts. Me and Charlie go over every year. We play poker with Castiel and his brother, eat until we can't anymore, watch the games, and get stupid drunk. You're welcome to join us."

Dean looks from Bobby to Dr. Novak. "Uh, thanks. That's really nice of you to offer. I don't want to impede on your day, though."

Bobby shrugs. "Your loss. Castiel, I'll go pull your car around." Bobby walks off, leaving Dean and Dr. Novak alone.

"I hope you change your mind, Dean," Cas says. "I'd enjoy having you there. Plus," Dean sees his lips pull up in a smirk, "there will be pie."

Dr. Novak turns and walks out the door, leaving Dean standing in the office, mouth open, and leaning his hips backward while hunching his shoulders forward to prevent anyone from noticing the tenting in his pants.

Chapter Text

Dean is happy. Aside from the encounter with Dr. Novak last week making him feel a little awkward, life is good. He's gotten his first paycheck from Singer's garage, and he's able to get Sam some new clothes. Sam is doing great in school, making straight A's without really trying. They're both getting real sleep for the first time in their entire lives, neither one of them jumping when a neighbor closes the door too hard.

They settle into a routine. Dean works from 7-3, picks Sam up from school when he's not going to Jess' to study, and makes dinner for them both while Sam does his homework. It's nice. He's not worrying about Sam getting hurt, or needing to go to the ER unexpectedly, or tip-toeing around the apartment. Dean still hasn't heard from their dad, and yeah it stings a little, but being able to keep Sammy safe for the first time in his entire life outweighs that sting.

Money had always been tight. Dick's didn't pay as well as Singer's, and what little extra money they had wound up going in their dad's pocket, quickly spent on booze. So the money rolling in from Dean's new job is making him a little woozy. He's never had this much money in his life. Not having his dad around to spend it all means Dean gets to buy something for himself for a change.

So that's why he's at an adult store, wearing sunglasses and a baseball hat on a cloudy day.

For all the times he'd been a quick fuck in a men's bathroom stall, Dean had never once felt compelled to buy himself a toy. He relied on the anonymous guys and his hand to get him off, but lately, it wasn't enough.

He'd always been the guy everyone flocked to in school. He had girlfriend after girlfriend, gotten really good at saying all the right things. They dropped their panties easily, and Dean almost laughed at how good he was at it. He kept his personal life away from home, though. He couldn't bring a girl in the house. And to be honest, there never was one good enough to introduce Sam to anyway.

A year after he graduated, he met Rhonda at a party. She had approached him, which had never happened before, and led him up to a spare room. It had been a night out after a big fight at home. He had stepped in between Sam and his dad, and his dad had punched him in the arm hard enough to leave a bruise. His dad had left that night, so Dean left Sam at home alone and gone out. Sometimes he just needed a release.

Rhonda had pushed him down on the bed and straddled him. She sat her beer down on the table beside her and had leaned down into Dean. Rather than kiss him like Dean thought she would, she gripped his jaw and turned his head. She whispered in his ear, breath tickling. "I want you to do something for me."

She stood back up and Dean watched her strip. When he tried to take his own shirt off, Rhonda stopped him. She pushed him back on the bed, and Dean had liked it. Liked her being in control. Liked not being the one to lead everything. So when she made him sit up and started pulling his clothes off, Dean let her.

It was the first time he had gotten hard with a woman without needing to imagine something else.

After she was done, she pulled her satin panties over her hips and held them in her hand.

"Put these on," she said. Dean laughed and started to get up to push her on the bed and she had stopped him.

"I'm not joking. Put them on." She stood there, legs spread wide and naked, letting her panties dangle from her fingers.

Dean decided to follow directions.

He pulled them up over himself, let his dick rest inside of them pointing up.

Rhonda had just stared at him, hands on her hips. Finally, she pushed him back on the bed and straddled him again.

"How do they feel?" she asked.

"A little weird," Dean said.

"But good, right?" Rhonda said.

She worked a hand over the front of them, rubbing Dean's shaft. He closed his eyes.

"Yeah," Dean whispered. He could feel her nails skimming over him through the underwear, was shivering under her hands. And suddenly, she stopped.

Dean's eyes snapped open, and Rhonda was sitting back on her knees.

"Turn over," she said. Dean again followed directions. She resettled her weight on top on his thighs, resting her hands on each round cheek of his ass. "Have you ever heard of the perineum?" she asked.

Dean shook his head no from under her.

"It's on top of your prostate." Rhonda gently pulled the underwear down, and Dean could feel himself wet the front of them as the material slid over him. "If you give it enough pressure, you'll come."

Dean lifted his hips to let the underwear slide down. "Spread your legs," she said.

And then Rhonda was there, too close to Dean's anus for his liking, but touching him so well that he couldn't stop writhing. She never laid a hand on his bare dick, never kissed him. But Dean had come harder than he ever had in his life.

That's when he started cruising gay bars. Rhonda had woken something in him that he didn't know existed. He liked the men who were a little rough on him, liked getting filled and pounded. Liked not having to be the one to do the fucking, being told what to do. He liked being the one who got fucked.

But he had never done it to himself, always relied on a stranger to give it to him in a bathroom stall.

He walks between the aisles and finally sees a dildo he likes. It's average size. Dean knows he can handle it going in him, knows that he can handle it on his own.

He walks up to the register and puts the box and a bottle of lube down. The teller looks at him with a bored expression and bags his things.

Dean gets home before Sam. He takes a bottle of beer out of the fridge, pops the top off, and chugs it. He takes a swig from the bottle of whiskey that's left over from their dad and heads to his room. He pulls his clothes off quickly.

He takes the dildo out of the box, places it on the bed. He squirts some lube on his fingers and rolls his legs up. He circles his rim with one finger. He's already painfully hard and hasn't even touched himself.

He presses his finger into himself, lets it drift over the tight circle of muscle. He places his other hand on his dick, wraps his fingers around himself and jerks once. He presses the finger in further and crooks it, and he presses that spot inside himself. He moans so loudly he thinks the neighbors must have heard and turns his head into the pillow.

And just like he had done so many times before in the previous two weeks, he thinks of Dr. Novak's face, his soft hands the ones wrapped around him rather than his own. He goes to pick up the dildo, but he can imagine Cas pushing him up against the Impala, and he crooks his finger again and comes, splattering on his stomach, his chest, and across the note that Dr. Novak had left the first time they met.

Chapter Text

The following week at the garage, Bobby does everything he can to get Dean to say yes to Thanksgiving at Dr. Novak's, dropping hints all the time.

They're busy, the holiday bringing in more costumers than usual getting ready for road trip season. Dean barely has time to sleep, let alone think about crashing a stranger's Thanksgiving.

He likes Bobby. The month he's been at the garage has taught him a lot about being a mechanic, and he knows he has Bobby to thank for that. He wouldn't mind sitting and watching a game and drinking a beer with Bobby or even Charlie. But he can't imagine facing Dr. Novak in his own home. Sitting down to a meal with him. Pretending their relationship was normal while his boss sat a chair away.

The dreams are getting worse for Dean. They started innocently enough, just waking up hard and that image of Cas pushing him against the Impala replaying in his mind. Now he was dreaming about being locked in his office, tugging Dr. Novak's white coat off with his teeth. It might have been that he'd been watching too much Dr. Sexy M.D., but he'd woken up a few nights to wet pooling around his thighs, the image of wide blue eyes seared into his tired brain.

Dean is busy, but not busy enough to notice that Sam is hardly ever home. He's been working double shifts, sometimes not getting home until 7 or 8. He keeps expecting Sam to be there, stretched out on the couch with a book in his hand, but he came home too many nights to silence. He watched Dr. Sexy until he was too tired to follow the plot and dragged himself to bed, that same dream replaying night after night.

Dean works, cooks meals that go uneaten, watches Dr. Sexy, and tries not to worry about his dad or brother.

Two days before Thanksgiving, the garage slows down and Dean returns to his normal work schedule. He even gets a couple paid vacation days from Bobby. He surprises Sam at school. He watches his brother walk out of the big double doors, his arm slung around Jess. He waves to her at the bottom of the steps and she walks away, smiling a hi at Dean.

"Hey, long time no see," he calls to his brother.

Sam laughs. "Yeah, I guess it's been a minute. Did you get the afternoon off?" he asks.

"Things slowed down a bit, yeah. Even got the next few days off. This is your last day before fall break, right? I was hoping we could go grab some burgers. Catch up. Hope you're not too cool for your big bro now." Dean says, ruffling Sam's hair.

"Ugh, Dean! What have I said about touching my hair?" He huffs. "Yeah, break starts tomorrow. I wish you'd said something earlier about going out. I made plans with Jess and some friends to celebrate before we have to start that big project."

Dean tries to not let the disappointment show. "Oh, yeah. I got it. Well, we can hang out after Thanksgiving then. You go have fun with your friends."

"Hey, I can cancel with them if you want. I know I haven't been home much, but you've been working so much, and it's kind of weird being there alone. Too many old ghosts, you know? I'll tell Jess I'll see her Thanksgiving and we can go get that burger." He goes to pull his phone out but Dean stops him.

"No, man. You're young. Hang out with your girlfriend. I'll see you tomorrow." Dean says.

"Are you sure?" Sam asks. Dean nods. "Thanks, dude. And, you know, you're young, too, Dean. You should go out. Do something fun for once. You work too much." Sam clasps a hand on his brother's shoulder. "I'm gonna walk to Jess'. I'll see you tomorrow. Pancakes?" he asks.

"Pancakes," Dean replies. "Bye, Sammy."

Sam waves and starts down the sidewalk.

When Dean gets home, he can't help but think about what Sam said about the apartment holding too many old ghosts. There are nicks and chips in the paint on almost every wall. Dean can remember how each one got there.

He goes to the fridge and grabs a 6 pack, places it on the coffee table in front of him, propping his feet up before taking a swig.

The hole at doorknob level by the front door is from the time his dad had kicked the door in. The table by the front door is missing a piece of leg from the time Dean had been pushed into it by their dad while protecting Sam. It's propped up on a few books but still has a slight lean.

Dean starts on his third beer, briefly considers that they might be going down too easy.

In the kitchen, the pantry door has a broken hinge. Both his and Sam's room have fist-sized holes in the wall from the threat of being punched and John punching the wall instead, careful not to leave a bruise on their faces after that day with Dr. Mills. He walks through each room, swinging a bottle in his hand. The bathroom's towel rack has been torn down. The lock doesn't work from John kicking that door in while Dean tried to get the window open fast enough for Sam to climb down the fire escape. Dean had been in the hospital for a week after that, his ribs broken and eye swollen shut. Dean lied and said he fell down the stairs. Sammy had made it out, though.

Dean makes his way to his dad's room, the last beer held loosely from his fingers. He hasn't been in it since he left, but he looks around the room now.

The bed is a mess of sheets and blankets. There are clothes everywhere. A drawer is pulled out of the dresser, but there's not a single mark on any wall. Dean can't remember a time their dad had dragged a fight into his own room.

He takes one last large swallow from the beer and holds the bottle in his hand.

Of course this room was the one that remained untouched. Every other room in the house had a mark on it. Both Sam and Dean had their fair share splayed across their bodies. But their dad had never taken a hit before and neither had his room.

Dean chuckles realizing that for the all the times his dad had laid a hand on he and Sam, the only time he had ever been hit was the night Sam had slapped him across the face. The night he left for good.

Dean looks at the bottle in his hand. He grips his fingers around it, thinking about that slap. Sam had done it so easily, his father's spit dripping from his face. Sam was far braver than Dean. Sam had a future, going to college in California. He deserved a life away from an apartment that just held bad memories. He deserved the world, and if his dad wouldn't give it to him, then Dean would.

He hurls the bottle across the room. It shatters above the bed, raining glass down and leaving a hole in the shape of a circle on the wall.

Dean leaves the room, shutting the door behind him.

In his own room, he grabs his phone and looks at the note Dr. Novak gave him. He sends a single text to the number before shutting the phone off and crawling into bed, pressing a pillow over his head. The word is a mantra that replays in his head until he finally drifts to sleep.

"Ok."

Chapter Text

Dean wakes up to Sam sticking a finger in his ear.

He sits up and shoves him off the bed, Sam laughing hysterically on the way down.

"What is wrong with you?" he asks.

Sam keeps laughing, pulling himself up on the bed. Dean groans and places a hand to his forehead, wiping it down his face.

"What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you? You look like crap, dude," Sam says. "What the hell happened last night? Did you take my advice and go out? Maybe with a certain doctor?" He nudges an elbow into Dean.

"Nothing. I didn't do anything. Just stayed in," Dean replies. Through his hangover, he can feel heat rising in his face. He hopes Sam mistakes it as just being flushed from sleep and not from the mention of Dr. Novak.

"You mean you're 21 years old, have a couple days off from work this week, and you stayed in by yourself and got drunk?" Sam scoffs.

"Yeah, something like that," Dean says.

"Totally a normal thing to do," Sam says. He throws a pair of pants at Dean. "Get dressed. You promised me pancakes." He closes the door.

Dean lays back on his bed, groaning from the movement. He's trying to remember how many beers he drank last night, but the whole night is a little fuzzy. When he finally musters the strength to get up, he knocks his pillow to the ground and finds his phone underneath.

It's still turned off, and Dean presses the on button, but Sam is yelling outside his door about pancakes. Dean calls a "yeah, yeah" and pulls on a pair of jeans that smell ok. He puts a flannel over the shirt he slept in, rakes a hand through his hair, grabs a pair of shoes, and opens the door.

Sam immediately hands him a hot cup of coffee.

Dean smiles. "Oh, you know me so well," he says, and he pulls his brother in for a hug before taking the mug from him and sipping from it.

When the coffee is gone, Dean finally puts his shoes on and leads Sam out the door.

At IHOP, Dean orders enough breakfast for two people. Even Sam, who eats enough food to satiate a small army, is a little disgusted at him, but Dean keeps shoveling food into his mouth.

When he finally feels a little more normal, he pushes both plates away and burps.

"Ugh, come on, Dean. Can you at least act like you've been in public before?" Sam asks from across the table.

"Whatever, little brother. You'll come to learn about the magical cure of IHOP for even the worst hangovers. Just wait." He points a fork at Sam.

"Yeah, yeah." Sam cuts a piece of pancake but rests it on his plate. "So what have you been up to, Dean? I feel like I haven't seen you in weeks. How's the new garage? You like it? You been going out at all? Meet anyone?" Sam stuffs the pancake in his mouth and chews.

"Enough questions, there, Sammy?" Dean smiles. "Uh, Singer's is good. I like Bobby. I like everyone I work with. The hours are good, aside from how busy we've been the last week or so. But Bobby pays double for overtime, so I can't really complain." He pauses. "And, yeah, that's pretty much it. Did I cover everything?"

"Close, but you somehow managed to leave out if you've been going out. If you've met anyone. Interesting. It almost seems like you're avoiding the topic."

Dean rolls his eyes. "You know we don't talk about that, Sammy. I told you I'm not going to tell you about the clubs. And I'm definitely not going to tell you about any men. Besides, there's nothing to tell. No guy, no going out. I've been too busy at work." Dean looks down at his plate.

"I tell you about Jess. I want to know, man. I mean, not excruciating details about your sex life. Please spare me those. But I want to know if you're being safe. If I should kick anyone's ass. You've never once told me about anyone you've been seeing. There's got to be at least one guy you've been interested in?"

Dean picks up his fork and scrapes syrup back and forth on his plate. He wants to say that there is a guy he's interested in. Very interested in. That he has incredible eyes and had the same concerns about safety as Sam does. That he was kind and seemed at least marginally interested in Dean, and he made Dean's heart beat faster whenever he was near. And that he wanted Dean to be some sort of submissive sex slave. And that Dean had sort of said yes. And that all Dean can think about is checking his phone to see if Dr. Novak had texted back.

He wants to tell his little brother this, but he can't. "There's no guy. There's never been a guy. You know I'm not about to date anyone. What if dad found out?" He says it before he really thinks it through.

Sam looks at him. "That's what I mean, though. This is the perfect opportunity for you to actually see someone without dad finding out. We can't get in touch with him. He doesn't have a car. We have no idea where he is, but he's definitely not in Kansas. This is the right time for you to stop sleeping with random guys and actually date one. Maybe bring him home. Then I wouldn't have to worry about you so much."

Dean watches Sam shrug his shoulders, pushing his plate to the middle of the table. Dean hadn't so much told Sam about being gay as Sam had guessed it a few years ago. Dean had never told him about the girls either, but reputation got around. Sam had brought it up casually and made it clear he really didn't care, but he needed Dean to be safe.

Dean was grateful for Sam for that. Their dad was a different story. It was never something out-right said in their home, that John would kill one of them if they were gay. His dad had made homophobic jokes while they were growing up, snide remarks about "fags." It was enough for Dean to know his dad wouldn't approve, that he already felt like his home was a war zone and he might get really hurt if his dad ever found out. So he never saw the same man twice and went out of the way to bars he knew John would never go. But maybe Sam was on to something now.

"You don't have to worry about me, Sammy. I'm safe." He pours more coffee into his cup. "What about Jess, though?"

Sam's face reddens. "She, uh. She--" he shakes his head. "We're good." He won't meet Dean's eye, and Dean laughs.

"Alright, little brother."

They sip their coffee in silence. Finally Dean remembers a thought from the night before. "Sammy, I was thinking about what you said about the apartment. I agree. It's weird being there. Too many bad memories. Singer's pays way better than Dick's, and we don't need three bedrooms anyway. We should start looking for somewhere to move after Thanksgiving. What do you think?"

Sam smiles. "I'd like that, Dean."

"Well, ok then." Dean pulls out his wallet and hands it to Sam. "I gotta go to the bathroom. Will you pay?"

Sam nods and Dean rushes off to the restroom.

He's thinking about what Sam said about dating, about bringing someone home. His phone has been burning a hole in his pocket. He's been dying to check it during the entire breakfast, and he finds he's breathing faster now that he has a moment to himself.

He locks the door on a stall and pulls it out of his pocket. The message he sent is there, one small, terrifying "ok." He looks at the white screen blaring up at him, heart hammering, the image of Cas pushing him against the Impala flashing in waves across his brain. Dean doesn't know what he's expecting in return. Hope is blooming in his chest, that maybe Dr. Novak is enough for Dean to bring home to Sam, that maybe Dean can finally walk down the street holding a man's hand. Or, at the very least, that Dean can finally be fucked and dream about something else for a change. Any of those things would be nice, and Dean presses the message button with a slight smile on his face.

But the only thing staring back at him is his own pathetic ok.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Dean wakes early. He and Sam had spent the whole day together, and it had been the most fun he'd had in months. But Sam had work to do, and he told Dean he'd be in and out the rest of the week working on a project. Jess and her family were letting Sam sleep in the guest house the rest of the week, so Dean would have the apartment to himself.

After an hour of looking for projects to do around the apartment, Dean gives up and drives in to work.

Bobby looks at him funny when he walks in. "Didn't I give you the rest of the week off, boy?" he asks.

"You did, Bobby. I was bored. Thought I'd come in just to see if you needed anything."

Bobby laughs. "Never met a kid who came in on his day off because he was bored. You ain't got a girlfriend, kid? Attractive young man like you shouldn't be working so much."

"No. No girlfriend, Bobby. Sam's about to go off to college. The more I work the more pocket money I can give him before he goes. It's not a big deal." He shrugs.

"Well, ok, then. I bet Charlie's got some paperwork that needs filing."

They walk over to the front desk and Charlie takes out her headphones.

"Hey, boys!" She smiles up at them. "What can I do for you? Dean, aren't you supposed to be off today?" she asks.

Dean laughs. "Yeah, I just couldn't stay away."

Bobby claps Dean on the back. "Dean here was bored on his day off and decided to come in." He chuckles. "Charlie, you got any girlfriends you can set Dean here up with?" He takes his hand off of Dean and leans on the counter.

Charlie and Dean look at each other. Charlie turns her lips down slightly. "Uh, sure, Bobby. I could ask around." She coughs. "Actually, Dean, if you were coming to Castiel's for Thanksgiving, we always go out that night after Bobby passes out. Me, Castiel, and his brother Gabriel. It's always the most fun I have all year. Even if you don't come over for Thanksgiving, you should go out with us."

Dean looks over at Bobby. "I'm really grateful for the invitation. I am. But I already told you. I don't want to put Dr. Novak out." He smirks as he thinks 'but I'd like him to put out,' and immediately has to come back to the conversation. "How do you guys know each other anyway? Dr. Novak must be a really good customer."

Bobby laughs. "He is, but that's not how we know him. Castiel's brother is Charlie's boyfriend. Been dating for years." He looks at Charlie.

She opens her mouth and looks from Bobby to Dean. "Yeah, me and Gabe met at a bar and hit it off a few years back. Castiel was actually with us that night. The three of us got really close pretty quickly. That's why Castiel comes into the garage. Bobby gives him a good price."

Dean nods. "Did Gabe come into the garage, too? Is that how you two ended up at Thanksgiving?"

Bobby laughs. "When Charlie started dating Gabe, rather than us spending Thanksgiving alone, Gabe invited us over to Castiel's. We've been going ever since."

Dean's brows knit together. "How long has Charlie been working here for you to be going to Thanksgiving together?" He looks at Charlie. "You look pretty young."

Charlie and Bobby look at each other a second before bursting out in laughter. Dean's eyebrows furrow further.

When she catches her breath, Charlie says, "Bobby's my dad, Dean. That's how we know each other and why he comes over to Thanksgiving with me and Gabe."

Dean says a drawn out, "oh." This makes sense. Bobby and Charlie were awfully close to just be working together. His cheeks flush.

"Don't be embarrassed kid. We don't go around making it obvious I'm Charlie's dad. I don't want the guys to say I treat them unfairly because Charlie's my daughter. But, yeah. When Charlie graduated with a degree in IT, it just made sense for her to work here. She didn't want to go corporate, and Lord knows I can't do anything on the computer."

Charlie laughs again. "That's kind of why we keep pestering you to come over for Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, we have a blast. But Castiel, Gabe, and I don't really watch the games. Bobby needs some company. And if Castiel invited you, then he must really want you there. We haven't had a new person over in, well, ever. It's just been the four of us."

Dean nods. "But Dr. Novak didn't invite me. Bobby did."

Bobby looks up at him. "I told you about the invitation, but Castiel is the one who brought it up. I wouldn't have told you to come over if he hadn't said something first. I've got some manners, boy." He looks sternly at Dean.

Dean's mouth opens slightly. "Oh. Well. Yeah. I know you have manners. I just didn't know about Thanksgiving. It's a big holiday. I don't want to crash it."

Bobby cuts him off. "Relax, kid. I was just messing with you. You come to Thanksgiving if you want. No pressure. But it would be nice to have someone to finally watch a game with." He hits Dean on the shoulder again and turns to Charlie. "Find this man some work to do, Charlie." He walks into his office and shuts the door.

Charlie smiles up at Dean again. "It's just Benny here today, and we have two cars. I'm light on work myself. You can ask him if he needs something done."

Dean nods and says, "Thanks Charlie."

Charlie stops him before he walks away. "Dean, Bobby's right. He does need someone to watch the games with. It would be nice to have him talking with someone rather than yelling at the tv by himself while the rest of us get dinner together. But Castiel really wouldn't have asked about you coming if he didn't want you there. He's never invited anyone over but us. Gabe practically had to beg him just to get Bobby and I in his house. He must really like you."

Dean feels his face flush again. Charlie is looking at him. "And I feel like you like him, too." She winks at him and holds a hand up when Dean starts to open his mouth to protest. "Save it. I saw you two the day he was here getting his car looked at. And I keep the books on all the repairs done on the cars. There was nothing wrong with it. He just wanted an excuse to see you."

Dean's face flushes further and he looks down at the counter above Charlie's desk.

"You don't know Castiel that well, and that's fine. You like Bobby. Bobby likes you. I like you. You don't have anything else to do. It really isn't an extra burden on any of us if you're there. We want you to go. And Castiel is a good guy."

Dean looks at her again. "Ok. I'll think about it."

She smiles up at Dean. "Good! Now go away. You two interrupted my podcast." She pushes the earphones back in her ears.

Dean walks into the garage and nods at Benny. He looks at the log book but there really isn't much to do. Benny can easily get both cars done today. Dean closes the book and places it back on the shelf.

He pulls out his phone from his jump suit pocket. There still isn't a message from Dr. Novak, and Dean pretends that he hadn't been checking his phone every five minutes since yesterday morning. He feels a little pathetic, wishing that Dr. Novak would just text him back. Give him instructions. Anything. He sighs and puts his phone back in his pocket. He grabs a funnel and makes his way over to a lift. He's thinking about spending the next week alone at the apartment, Sam off and in love with Jess while Dean fantasizes about Dr. Sexy. It doesn't seem fair that he's standing in his own way when this is the first time in his life he doesn't have to worry about anything bad happening. Sam is good. Dean is good. Their dad is gone. And even if the only guy Dean has ever actually liked only wants him for kinky sex, that's good enough for him, right? He can do that.

He lifts the hood of the car and finally makes a decision about Thanksgiving.

Chapter Text

Dean is nervous when he shows up at Dr. Novak's house. He's holding a bottle of wine and tequila, unsure what Cas might like.

The house is cute and close to the coffee shop he'd seen him at earlier in the month. It's just on the other side of the university. The bottom portion is brick while the the top is sage green siding. It has matching sage green shutters and a white picket fence that leads up to a sage green door. He can see smoke coming out of the chimney, and he briefly considers turning around and going back to his car, watching the games at a bar and sleeping with a random guy who's only in town for the day.

But Charlie opens the door before Dean can leave.

"Dean!" she cries out. She reaches in for a hug, and Dean awkwardly holds the bottles behind her back, clinking them together when she steps aside. "Hey, guys, Dean came!"

She motions for him to come in and closes the door behind him. Bobby is lounging in a chair with the volume up too loud on the football game. He barely grunts a hi before he starts screaming at the tv.

Charlie leads him into the kitchen where Dr. Novak is leaning against a counter. He glances at Dean but doesn't say anything. Another man, who must be Gabe, smiles at Dean when he walks in. Gabe takes the bottles from him and sets them on the counter. He looks back up at Dean and says, "You must be the guy who's trying to get it on with my brother!"

Dean's eyes widen and he opens his mouth, looking from Cas to Charlie back to Gabriel.

Charlie hits Gabe in his arm. "Shut up, Gabe. Be nice. It's Thanksgiving."

The three of them laugh but Dean can only stare behind them at the wall, willing his face to not turn red within the first five minutes of seeing Dr. Novak again.

"Gabriel is a little bit of a jokester," Cas says. "Trust me, you'll never get used to it. But you do learn to ignore him after a while." Cas smiles at Dean. "It's good to see you can finally walk."

Dean immediately feels more at ease. "It's nice to meet you, jokester." He hears Charlie and Cas laugh and puts his hand out for Gabe to shake it. He smiles when he does.

Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

"Well you brought tequila, so you can't be that bad," Gabe says, echoing Dean's thoughts. He turns and opens the bottle and grabs four shot glasses. He pours them all a drink and then holds his own glass up.

Charlie says, "Gabe, it's barley 3:00. We have to hold off on the shots if we're going to make it out tonight."

Gabe rolls his eyes. "We can have one right now. All the food we're gonna eat will make it like it never even happened. Come on."

They toast, clink glasses, and everyone takes their shot, exhaling loudly to let the fumes out.

Gabe takes the glasses and places them in the sink. "I'm gonna go check on Bobby and see if he needs anything. Charlie, you want to help me set up the poker table?" He gives a clearly pointed look at Charlie, who laughs, and they leave the room.

Dean looks at Dr. Novak. "So," he says.

Cas continues to look at him, not saying anything. "Uh, thank you for having me. I didn't know if you drank wine or beer, so I brought you wine and tequila. I figured a doctor would probably drink wine. And the tequila was just in case you didn't like red wine. I didn't know if you liked red or white. I figured everyone likes tequila." He sighs and looks at him. "I'm rambling again, aren't I?"

Dr. Novak nods his head. "I was just going to let you go this time. Clearly being alone with me makes you uncomfortable. It's probably better for you to get your jitters out before the rest of the evening starts."

Dean doesn't know what to say to that.

"Thank you for the wine, Dean. And the tequila. I'll drink them both. And for future reference, I like beer, too." He steps closer to Dean, and Dean swallows, his tongue suddenly heavy in his mouth. Dr. Novak is getting closer, and Dean can smell him. It's intoxicating mixed with the heat from the kitchen. When Cas is standing in front of him, close enough that all Dean has to do is lean in to kiss him, he closes his eyes and tilts his head. He's dizzy. The shot and having Cas so close to him after all the dreams he'd had is making him woozy. He can feel the air from Dr. Novak's nose on his face, can feel the ghost of his lips graze him.

And then a timer goes off and Dr. Novak is turning away from him, grabbing pot holders. Dean's lips are puckered, he's breathing fast, and Dr. Novak is leaning over the oven to pull something out of it. His jeans are stretched over his ass, and Dean is very uncomfortable.

"I, uh." He clears his throat. "I'm going to watch the game with Bobby." He hurries out of the room.

He plops down on the couch beside Bobby. Bobby reaches a hand between them and comes up with a cold beer. He hands it silently to Dean.

Dean laughs and looks between them. Bobby has his own cooler set up by his chair. Dean thinks Bobby is a genius.

They watch the game in mostly silence, Bobby muttering occasional swear words when the game doesn't go his way. He hears clattering in the kitchen and a few times looks up when he can hear Dr. Novak laughing really hard. Cas, Charlie, and Gabe move around the kitchen like they've done this a million times before. Everyone has a role, and they all execute it perfectly. They stop a few times to clink glasses, laughing at some inside joke shared between the three of them.

Dean smiles. He and Sam do the same thing at home. They share the chores and eat together. They laugh over old jokes from the times when their dad wasn't around and things were good. Dean can tell that Cas, Charlie, and Gabe have a bond that isn't just because they're family. They move with an ease that says they know each other's secrets. He and Sam are inseparable because of what they've been through, years of lying to adults and making sure they were both ok. He watches the three of them giggle and drink together. Yeah, the three of them know each other.

Dean looks at Bobby. He's busy grumbling at the tv, bringing a beer to his lips periodically. He wonders what Bobby knows about Castiel. Wonders if he can guess that Dean is gay.

Bobby speaks up but doesn't look over at him. "If you're waiting for me to offer you another beer, I'm not your waitress. Stop staring and get it your damn self."

Dean smiles and reaches to get one. Bobby probably doesn't know a thing.

Charlie comes into the living room two hours later and blocks the tv. Bobby moves his head around to try and see the game, but before he can get mad and yell, Charlies says, "Dinner is served!"

They get up and go to the dining table. Dean ends up sitting next to Dr. Novak after Gabe shuffled seats a few times.

Bobby stands at the head of the table. "Everyone grab hands." They all do, and Dean is suddenly aware of how sweaty his palms are. Cas' are cool and just as soft as the first time they touched.

"Lord, I'm thankful for the people sitting at this table. Thank you for my daughter, Charlie, and her boyfriend Gabe, and for Castiel letting us into his home again this year. I'm thankful for a new friend in Dean. Lord, please help speed up the grand baby process." Dean peaks an eye open and watches Charlie's lips slide down. Gabe is trying his hardest not to snicker. Dean snaps his eyes back shut. "Thank you for the food on the table and the hands that prepared it. Amen."

Bobby sits back down and they let go of their hands. Dean is passing a bowl of mashed potatoes when he feels Dr. Novak's hand on his knee, inching it's way up his thigh. He drops the spoon, and everyone looks at him. He blushes.

"Sorry about that." Dean feels the hand skim his inner thigh and start back down the other leg.

They all go back to eating, but Cas never takes his hand from Dean's leg, and Dean no longer has an appetite.

He pushes food around his plate and pretends to be interested in the conversations, but the entire time he has to focus on how to keep himself from having an orgasm at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Chapter Text

Dinner is awkward. Everyone asks Dean questions about his life, and he tries to keep is voice even when he answers. He can't even get up from the table to help clear the dishes once everyone else is finished, just heaps more mashed potatoes on his plate and pretends to eat.

Finally Cas disappears into the kitchen and Dean can shuffle things around. He stands, puts his hands in his pockets, and tucks the bulge into his waistband. He's uncomfortable, but hopefully that will make it go away quicker.

Dean helps clear the table. He hands dishes to Dr. Novak, who loads them into the dishwasher. Bobby goes back to his chair and watches the first 20 minutes of the last game before he's completely knocked out.

In the kitchen, Charlie dries the dishes and hands them to Gabe so he can place them in the cabinets. "Dean, we've got dessert coming soon. Dad's probably already asleep, so we can play poker without him. Want to work up an appetite before you get some pie?" she asks.

Dean sees Dr. Novak's smirk. "I can play some poker, but I'm not really hungry enough for dessert," he says to Charlie.

Charlie frowns. "Ah, come on! Castiel makes them himself. Why don't we play and then you tell me how you feel after?"

Gabe puts the last plate away and they settle back in the same spots at the table. Dean briefly considers that Charlie and Gabe said they were going to set up the poker table earlier and yet they’re back at the dining table, but the game is too distracting to really give it thought. Dr. Novak is good at poker, but Dean's not surprised seeing as how he can never tell what he's thinking anyway. Cas' hand stays on his cards, but Dean crosses his leg away from him just in case. He's still hard, but the ache in his lower abdomen is dulling.

He's enjoying this. Gabe makes him laugh, and Charlie's wit takes Dean back. He feels like Sam would like her. Cas is definitely more reserved than the two, but even he chuckles a few times.

They're having such a good time that they lose track of the time. Charlie glances at her phone after refilling their fourth glass of wine and nearly spits it out. "Guys, we've been playing for three hours! We need to go get ready!"

She throws her cards on the table, and Dean is kind of mad because he definitely would have beaten her if she hadn't shown her hand. She and Gabe stumble to the living room and wake up Bobby, who swears he was never asleep. They call a "bye" out to Dr. Novak and Dean as they hustle down the driveway and say they'll meet them at 10:30 back here.

And then Dean is standing in Dr. Novak's house alone.

He goes to the table and starts putting the poker chips away. He stacks the cards. His hands are shaking.

Cas sits on a counter in the kitchen and watches Dean clean. He doesn't say anything. He sips from his wine glass and twirls it in his hand.

"Where should I put these?" Dean asks. He's trying so hard not to look directly at Dr. Novak's crotch, but the man's legs are spread wide, and he sits his wine glass in between his legs. Dean feels like he might be doing it on purpose.

"You can just leave them on the counter. It's Gabe's. He'll get it when they come by later."

Dean holds the cards in his hands. "Ok." He runs a thumb over the edge of the deck, letting the cards rise and fall.

"You're fidgeting again," Dr. Novak says to him.

"Sorry, Dr. Novak," Dean says. He puts the cards on the counter.

Cas lifts the glass back to his lips and takes a sip without taking his eyes off of Dean. Dean watches the movement mesmerized. He leans against the opposite counter, hoping to look as clearly undisturbed as Cas is.

Dr. Novak smirks and lets out a soft chuckle. Dean lets the silence linger a minute longer before he can't stand it anymore.

"Why didn't you text me back?" he finally asks.

Cas rests the glass between his legs and runs a finger around the edge of it. "I was wondering how long it would take you to bring it up. We almost made it the whole night. Very good. I'm impressed." He continues running his finger around the glass.

"So you got it?" Dean asks.

Finally Cas hops off the counter and leans against it, opposite Dean. He doesn't move closer.

"I got it. But I'm not that easy, Dean. You've got to woo me a little bit. Make me know you want it. A text doesn't really display that. And besides, how will I know if you'll follow my directions if you're not in person?" He winks at Dean.

"Woo you? You're the one who approached me. You're the one who almost kissed me in the kitchen. You're the one who wouldn't move your frickin' hand from my leg all night!"

Dr. Novak smiles. "A little bit you don't know about submission, Dean--the lead up is everything. It's about control. I control how turned on you are. I say when and where. You follow my lead. You let me touch you, trust me to do right by you, and I reward you. It's simple, really. I see how hard you're willing to work for it, how much you're willing to do what I ask of you, how your body responds to me. I let that build and build until you beg me for release."

He inches closer to Dean, stops right in front of him. Dean can feel the heat coming off his body, can feel the desire curling inside him. He closes his eyes.

"So tonight is all a game to you?" he asks. Cas is right there, his blue eyes moving back and forth across Dean's face.

"In a way, yes. But it's more than that. I like the control. I like watching you come undone underneath me. I like being the one responsible for that undoing. But, Dean, the secret is that the longer you hold out, the more you fight it, the more I want it. And so far you're doing an excellent job."

Dean swallows then licks his lips. "Glad to be of service."

Cas smiles. "I like you. You're snarky. It makes me feel like eventually you'll step out of line just a little, just enough for me to teach you a lesson." Dean's eyes widen. "You're incredibly loyal, Dean. Anyone can see that. I reward loyalty."

Again, Dean finds himself close enough to Dr. Novak that he can smell him. The sandalwood and pine is there, along with the leather, but the wine from his breath is drawing him in. He's leaning into him, staring at his lips, trying to make sense of what he's saying. The more he fights it, the more Cas wants it. He turns his head away from him.

Dr. Novak smiles. "Good." He grips Dean's jaw in his fingers and turns his face back to look at him in the eye. He brushes a thumb over Dean's lips.

"Cas?" Dean whispers. He can feel his heart hammering in his chest, is certain he's about to catch on fire from the tension.

Dr. Novak leans into him, barely grazes his lips against Dean's. His breath hitches and Dean closes his eyes.

"I love that name, Dean. I can't wait until I hear you moaning it underneath me." He lets go of Dean's face and moves back across the kitchen, leaving Dean stunned and barely able to stand.

Cas grabs an oven mitt, opens the oven, and grabs something in it.

He turns around to face Dean. Dean can see the bulge in his pants, the flush in his cheeks. He's feeling victorious that maybe he's getting the hang of whatever this is going on between them. But then the scent hits him, and Dean looks from the bulge to Cas' eyes.

"Pie?" he asks.

Chapter Text

Dean looks at Cas holding an apple pie and staring at him like he's the dessert. He feels like this must be a dream. Hell, he's had this dream before.

But it's real, and Cas had asked a question.

"Pie?"

Dean looks at him. "You're just about to finally kiss me and you stop because you felt like having pie?" He scoffs. Clearly he's missed something.

Dr. Novak stares at him. "I don't want pie. You told me how much you loved it, so I made you one." He shrugs.

Dean looks at him, mouth wide open. In all his life, no one had ever baked him a pie. Sam had never tried, not even on his birthday. His dad would have laughed in his face if he had ever asked. Dean had never made one. Just always relied on cheap diners. Now here was this man with incredible eyes, and Dean was standing in his kitchen on Thanksgiving day, and he had made him his own pie.

"Dean?" Cas asks.

Dean snaps out of it and closes his mouth. "No one's ever made me a pie before," he whispers.

Cas sets the pie on the counter, removes the oven mitts, and walks over to him. "It's not a big deal. I like to cook." He puts three fingers under Dean's chin and lifts it so they have to look at each other. "Besides, I don't really want you to eat it." He licks his lips and removes his hand. He smooths his hand down his torso, Dean's eyes following the entire way. "I want to watch you fuck it."

Dean's eyes snap up to Dr. Novak's. "What?" He stumbles back and leans against the counter.

"You heard me. I want to watch you fuck the pie." His eyes don't leave Dean's face.

Dean flushes. He feels a little faint. And, God help him, he's incredibly turned on right now. He's trying to calculate how many years of therapy he'll need from wanting another guy to watch him stick his dick in a pie, but all he can get out is, "Why?"

Cas shrugs. "I told you, Dean. I'm not in this for a boyfriend. I want to watch you lose control. I want to see how far you're willing to go for me. It's part of the control I crave. It's part of being a dom." He leans into Dean's face. "And if you're a good sub, if you really want to do this, then you'll do what I ask without any questions." He leans back against the counter and takes a drink from his wine glass.

Dean considers. He feels an ache deep in his abdomen. He's so painfully hard and all he can think about is Rhonda and her satin panties, dangling from her fingers. He hadn't wanted to do that either, but he had and it had changed who he was forever. And not in a bad way. Giving up that control in the bedroom made all the decisions he had to make every day easier. Knowing that no matter how bad things got at home, how many times he had to make sure Sam was safe before he could think of himself, that there was always someone who would make him forget himself for a while meant Dean could face the bad days.

So he looks at Cas, and before he has time to really think about what he's saying, he says, "Ok."

Cas smiles and puts the wine glass back on the counter. "Correct answer." He walks over to him and places a hand on either shoulder. He slowly drags them down Dean's arms. He hooks a finger around Dean's right index finger and brings it up to his mouth. He sucks, not taking his eyes off Dean. Dean feels the tongue roll over his finger, feels it right down to his dick. He gasps.

Cas continues to suck Dean's finger while reaching both hands to Dean's waist. He hooks his fingers into a belt loop on either side and tugs, pulling Dean up against him and forcing his finger deeper into Cas' mouth.

He can feel the outline of Cas' hard length against his thigh. Dean moans, and he feels Cas bite down gently on his finger. His hips push into his involuntarily. Cas releases Dean's finger. He pushes it against Dean's lips, drags the wet finger down his throat and over his collar bone. He shucks off Dean's flannel shirt and pulls the undershirt up out of his pants.

Cas slides a hand under Dean's shirt onto his bare stomach. Cas' hand is smooth but it feels like fire, and Dean hisses slightly and closes his eyes.

Cas pushes him against the counter and undoes the button on Dean's jeans. He unzips his zipper and pushes himself against Dean, the counter biting into Dean's back.

Cas gently rolls the pants over Dean's hips, down the curve of his ass, and he kisses his neck. He runs his tongue over his Adam's apple. Dean moans.

He brings his arms up to rest on Cas' shoulders, but Cas pushes back from him and grabs his wrists and lets them drop. They look at each other, and Dean feels like he's done something wrong, but then Cas walks over to the pie and hands it out to Dean.

Dean takes it. He's staring at the first pie anyone's ever made him. He looks at Cas, but Cas' face is once again blank. Dean puts his finger in the middle of the pie. It's still warm, but not hot. He pulls his finger out and sticks it in his mouth.

It's delicious.

Cas turns Dean around and pushes him against the counter. He drags his hands down Dean's back and stops at the bunch of fabric from his boxers. Dean feels him hesitate before Cas slides them down slowly. Dean's holding the pie with both hands, but Cas is brushing his fingers all over Dean, and Dean can feel himself trembling. He puts the pie down and braces himself with his hands on the counter.

He can feel Cas slide to his knees behind him. His hands are on either of Dean's cheeks, pulling them apart. Dean feels like he can't breathe, but then Cas is there, licking him open.

He's so close already, the suspense of the past month and every dream he's had about this very moment catching up to him. He moans loudly enough that he brings a hand up to cover his mouth.

He has to breathe deep. Cas is stretching him, tongue running in circles around his hole. He dips his tongue in, and each time Dean feels like this surely is it, that he's going to come before they've even started.

But he doesn't. He gets himself under control and looks down at the pie. He lifts it with both hands and lines himself up with it.

He sinks into it. Cas stops circling him. The pie is warm and moist. There's nothing wrapped around him but heat, but Dean still moans in spite himself.

He swears he can feel Cas smile behind him.

Cas stands behind Dean and places both hands on a hip. He spins him around, Dean still holding on to the pie tin.

Cas watches him move himself inside of the pie. Dean lets himself thrust into it, looking for anything to help him release. He's close, and his legs are shaking under him.

Heat is curled low in his abdomen. He's panting, and he looks at Cas' body. For the impassivity the man puts off most of the time, mercifully he's obviously bothered right now. His face is flushed, his lips plump, his shirt is wrinkled, and he has an incredibly large bulge sitting in his pants. Dean moans again thinking about getting his hands on it, and finally Cas moves.

He takes the pie tin from Dean and places it on the counter. He sinks to his knees in front of him, staring up at Dean.

Dean watches him sink his lips around Dean's cock, Cas not closing his eyes.

Cas takes him in to the hilt, pressing his tongue to the underside of him. Dean is clutching the counter. He's trying desperately hard to hang on.

Cas pulls himself off of Dean, circles his tongue around him, and sinks back down. His eyes close. He reaches his hands around and grabs Dean's ass, pushing him further into his mouth. The wet heat is dragging him further over the edge, and Dean digs his fingers into the counter to keep from pulling at Cas' hair. He's so close, doing everything in his power to keep from crying out, to keep this going a little longer.

When he feels Cas swallow around him, Dean can't even give him a warning. He shutters and yells out a startled, "Cas!" He comes, and Cas keeps going. He presses his mouth around him tighter, sucking at him until Dean is suddenly falling on top of him, his knees too weak to stand any longer.

He's panting, lying mostly naked on top of Dr. Novak in his kitchen on Thanksgiving day. "Is that what you were expecting?"

Cas chuckles. He stands and reaches his hands out to pull Dean to his feet.

"Not even a little bit," he says.

Dean watches as Cas sticks a finger into the pie and puts it in his mouth, licking every piece off of him.

Chapter Text

Dean watches as Cas walks back over to the counter and downs the rest of his wine. He places the glass in the sink.

Dean gathers his flannel and pulls his pants and boxers up, unsure of what to say.

Cas is immediately back to his impassive self, not looking at Dean. He turns toward him, grabs the pie, and throws it away.

Dean feels his heart stop. Cas must notice the frown because he says, "What?"

"I just hate to see a good pie go to waste," Dean replies.

Cas looks at him and chuckles. "From where I'm standing, I don't think it went to waste." He walks past him, brushing his arm lightly. He calls, "Gabe and Charlie will be here any minute. I've got to go brush my teeth" on his way through the living room. And then he disappears up the stairs, and Dean is standing alone in Dr. Novak's kitchen feeling like he did something wrong.

He straightens himself up as best he can. He's wondering if this is just what this kind of relationship is like. Cas doesn't seem much like a cuddler anyway, but the way he brushed Dean off after what he just asked him to do--it doesn't seem right.

The doorbell rings and Dean waits a second to see if Cas might answer it. When it rings again, Dean opens the door to a very drunk Gabe and Charlie.

"Dean!" Charlie yells, drawing out his name. "So good to see you!" She hiccoughs, and Gabe laughs at her.

She throws her arms around Dean, giggling in his ear. "I am so getting laid tonight!"

Dean laughs nervously and she stands back up straight. Gabe looks at him, nose sniffling.

"Do I smell pie?" he asks.

Dean can feel himself flush, but before he can answer Cas comes down the stairs.

"You two smell like a liquor store exploded," he says.

Gabe and Charlie laugh. "I'm disappointed the two of you don't. Let's go!" Gabe says.

He grabs Charlie's hand and leads her outside. Dean looks at Cas, but Cas walks past him. Once outside, he shuts the door and heads over to the car.

Gabe rides in the passenger seat of the Lyft, so Charlie, Dean, and Cas have to squeeze in the back. Dean is in the middle seat, which doesn't seem fair since his legs are the longest, but his thigh is pressed up against Cas, so he can't complain.

He's feeling loopy, the good mood Gabe and Charlie are in rubbing off on him combined with the drinks he's had and the release Cas gave him--he feels silly, like anything could happen tonight. Underneath, though, he's unsure why Cas is all but ignoring him after what they just did. He pinches himself under his thigh just to bring him back to the moment. Sam said he should go out and have fun. That's what he's going to do.

They pull up in front a bar that Dean is very familiar with. He looks at Cas as they walk in. "This is a gay club," he says. Cas just looks at him and raises one eyebrow, like Dean is an idiot and of course they would go to this particular club.

Cas opens the door to incredibly loud music. Charlie and Gabe immediately go over to the bar. They order shots for the four of them, Charlie yelling a loud "woo" before throwing hers back.

Dean gets a beer and stands at the bar. He's not sure what he should do. Cas probably won't dance, and Dean doesn't really dance anyway. He's grinded on a few guys before being dragged away to the bathroom, but that was just so he could get laid. He's not sure if he's exclusive with Cas, but he knows he doesn't want to piss him off by doing that tonight.

He watches Gabe and Charlie dance, Charlie rolling her hips while Gabe does an awkward shoulder shrug over and over. Sometimes he bends at the waist a bit, and Dean thinks he looks a little like a turtle. He chuckles to himself and takes another swig from his beer.

Cas is staring at him, a slight smile on his face. He hasn't said anything to him since they left the house, but he's still standing next to Dean and not off finding some other guy to fuck, so that must mean something.

"What?" Dean asks him when he catches his eye.

Cas looks down at his drink, brings it to his lips, drinks slowly, and sets it back down. Dean follows his every movement. "You're just really beautiful, you know that?"

Dean feels himself flush and is about to say something when Charlie comes up behind him.

Gabe orders another round of shots, and they all take them. Dean's definitely feeling drunk now, his limbs loose and his brain swimming. Charlie drags him on the dance floor and they dance a minute, Charlie's red hair flying. Dean laughs and shakes his body, not caring if people are looking. He's having fun.

When the song ends, Dean tells Charlie he's going back to the bar. Charlie keeps dancing. Gabe and Cas are talking at the bar and stop when they see Dean.

Dean's out of breath and laughing, and he doesn't notice how quiet they get when he approaches them.

He orders another beer and sits at the stool between them. He faces the dance floor, back resting against the bar top. They drink in silence watching Charlie have the time of her life on the dance floor.

Dean looks over at Cas. He's already staring at him, and Dean can't help but smile when he notices. He watches Cas' lips turn up and his face slightly redden. Dean is about to lean over and whisper to him that he's beautiful, too, that he's fallen asleep every night since he met him picturing his eyes, that he can't imagine sleeping soundly without the note next to his bed, that he still hasn't fucked himself with the dildo because he's waiting for Cas. He's about to tell him that this is the best night of his life, even in spite of how cold Cas seemed earlier, but then a man walks up behind Cas and taps him on the shoulder.

He turns, lips pressed together, and looks at the man behind him.

Gabe stands up abruptly, and this gets Dean's attention.

Gabe stands directly next to Cas in front of Dean.

"Gabriel," the man says. He's just a bit taller than Cas, but he holds himself with an authority that makes him seem taller. He's black, with a few moles underneath his right eye that look like a constellation.

"Uriel," Gabe says back.

Cas puts a hand on Gabe's shoulder and leans down to him. "I'm fine, Gabe. Just talk to Dean until I get back."

Cas looks back up at the man and says, "Should we find a more private spot?" He gestures his hand across the bar, and Uriel turns and heads in that direction, Cas following behind him. He doesn't turn to face Dean or Gabe.

When they disappear, Gabe sits back down and chugs his drink. He won't look Dean in the eye.

"Gabe?" he asks. "What's going on? Who is that guy?"

Gabe looks at him, presses his lips together. Finally he throws his hands in the air. "What the hell," he says. "I'm not supposed to tell you this, Dean, so you didn't hear it from me. Castiel is my friend as well as my brother, and I want to keep him as a friend. You got it?"

Dean nods.

"Good. If you're with Castiel, then I think you know about his," he hesitates, "tastes."

Dean blushes and looks down.

"Ah, yes, you do. Well that makes this easier. I don't know much about you Dean, so I can't really say if you've been in the BDSM business a while or not."

Dean interrupts him. "I just found out about being a dom or a sub from Cas a month ago. I've never really heard about it before then."

Gabe shakes his head. "A newbie, huh? Cassy is one crazy son of a bitch." He orders another drink and downs it before placing his glass on the counter. "Well it's a lifestyle that makes it hard to find people who are willing to participate. You can't just go to some random bar and ask a guy if he'll do humiliating sex acts with you. Well, I mean, I guess you could, but it's probably not the sex you're really looking for." He winks at Dean. "There are clubs for people interested in the same things as Castiel. You are introduced to subs who fit your tastes. Everyone has a background check. It's safer, and it makes it easier to satisfy your needs."

Dean nods, but he's having a hard time focusing. "So what does that guy have to do with Cas?" he asks.

"Uriel is from a club Castiel used to be apart of. They've known each other for years. This was before Castiel really knew what he wanted, but," he hesitates again and looks at Dean. "Uriel is his ex. He was the love of his life. He's the only guy Castiel ever dated. It ended ugly a few years back when Castiel was in Chicago finishing medical school. They haven't seen each in a long time."

Dean looks at Gabe, his mouth open. Of course the night Dean is feeling his happiest the man who had made him so happy would have his ex show up out of nowhere.

Dean has all the worst luck.

He can't say anything to Gabe, just nods his head. Gabe orders him another beer and silently hands it to him. Dean chugs it, beer spilling out of his mouth. He can't stop though, and Gabe orders another and hands it to him when Dean slams the other bottle on the counter.

He feels like he might cry, Uriel combined with how drunk he feels and the horrifying realization that he had just fucked a pie and liked it barreling into him.

Gabe puts a hand on his shoulder. "Hey, man. I'm not good at this touchy-feely crap. But Castiel really likes you. He's never brought a guy home to meet us before, and I know my little brother pretty well. It probably doesn't look like it right now, but he won't do anything to jeopardize his relationship with you."

Dean looks at him and nods. His words aren't comforting. They're not in a relationship, and if this Uriel was the love of Cas' life like Gabe says, then who's to say they're not fucking right now in a bathroom stall?

He grabs his beer and chugs more, wiping his hand across his mouth.

He looks at the dance floor and nearly doubles over.

"Uh, Gabe? Why is Charlie making out with a girl?"

Chapter Text

Gabe glances over at the dance floor where Charlie is full blown frenching another woman. "Huh, must be her conquest for the night." He looks back at Dean and raises his eyebrows twice.

Dean is staring at him. "Isn't she your girlfriend? Why don't you care that she's cheating on you?"

"Oh, Charlie's only my girlfriend when Bobby's around. Don't get me wrong, she's great. But she's not really my type. And clearly you can see that I'm not her's either."

Dean furrows his eyebrows. "I don't understand."

Gabe sighs. "I'm gay, Dean. Charlie is gay. Castiel is gay. You're gay. We're all gay. Charlie is under the impression that Bobby will hate her if she tells him. It's dumb because Bobby knows Castiel is gay, and I bet he can probably tell that you have the hots for him. Bobby doesn't care, and he wouldn't care if Charlie came out. But she thinks he would. I love her, but you can't interfere with family unless you're blood." He sighs again. "So when Cassy and I met her at a bar a few years back, the three of us became friends really quickly. Charlie introduced me as her boyfriend, and we've just gone along with it since. Charlie's like our little sister. Bobby's like the dad Castiel and I never had."

Dean's eyes widen at that.

"It's a long story, and I shouldn't be the one to tell you. I've already said too much. Castiel will tell you everything you need to know when he's ready." He puts a hand on Dean's shoulder again. "The point is, it's not my place to tell Bobby about me and Charlie. She has to be the one to do it. And it's not really my place to interfere with you and Castiel, but he's my brother, so I'm going to do it anyway." He takes a long drink from his glass. "I hate Uriel, Dean. Like really, really hate him. He's an ass. I hated him when Castiel first met him, and I hate him even more now. He fucked with my brother, Dean. Castiel was new to the scene, the pressure of med school getting to him. I introduced him to a few friends I knew who would let him blow off some steam. He got really into it and started going to the club. Uriel claimed him almost immediately. He was much older than Castiel. He was meaner, too. Cassy subbed for him for years before he finally got brave enough to leave him. Uriel was pissed. He lashed out at him in their last session, sent Castiel to the hospital. It was the final straw for me. I wasn't as involved as Castiel was in the club, but I knew people. Everyone was afraid of Uriel, but I told him if he ever laid a hand on my brother again, I'd kill him. We moved back to Kansas after that, and Castiel's been good ever since. We don't talk about what happened."

Dean's head is swimming. This is so much information to take in. He feels nauseous and excuses himself for the restroom. Gabe calls to him, but Dean ignores him.

Of course the one guy Dean has ever actually, truly liked would come with so much baggage. Of course he'd have to compete with burly, handsome, already-been-the-love-of-Cas'-life guy. Of course he couldn't just meet some normal guy and date him and take him home to Sam and make dinner for him.

He crosses the dance floor where Charlie and her date have finally stopped kissing. They dance, and Charlie reaches out to grab Dean's wrist to pull him in between them. Dean shakes her off and nearly runs the rest of the way to the bathroom.

He locks the door on the one-room restroom and leans over the sink. He splashes cold water on himself, stares at himself in the mirror.

Is this really the kind of guy he wants to be with? Someone who humiliates him by asking him to fuck a pie and then leaves him alone in a bar when his ex-lover walks in the door?

How did he even find himself here in the first place? He wishes he could go back to that night in the hospital and say no to that ride. He wishes he could erase all the dreams he's had since that moment, all the wasted time he's spent thinking about those blue eyes.

It's his fault anyway. He doesn't even know the guy, and Cas had made it clear from the beginning that all he wanted from Dean was sex and compliance. Dean thought he could do it. He thought he'd like having one partner who told him what to do when he couldn't think for himself, felt that Cas would be more than enough for him to leave behind the one-night-stands. But now he knows he's been the biggest idiot on the planet.

He hangs his head in his hands, slides down against the bathroom door, and lets the tears fall.

There's a knock on the door a little above his head.

He yells, "occupied!" and stands up to rinse his face.

The knock continues, and Dean is too angry to care that someone is about to see him crying. He slings open the door and starts to yell, "I fucking said it's occupied!" when he realizes Cas is on the other side of the door.

He stares at him, stunned, and Cas uses the moment to push him back into the restroom, locking the door behind them.

Dean does his best to wipe his face. Cas' face instantly turns concerned, blue eyes widening and furrowing his brow.

"You've been crying," he says.

Dean huffs out a breath. "Gee, you think? You left me alone with your brother when your ex-lover shows up after asking me to fuck a pie for you. You're lucky all I'm doing is crying."

Cas opens his mouth to say something but stops. He crosses what little space there is between them and grabs some paper towels. He rinses them under some water and holds them up to Dean's face.

"What are you doing?" Dean asks.

Cas wipes the paper towel around Dean's eyes, soothing the redness.

"It's called sub-drop," Cas says.

"What?"

"Sub-drop. It's when you've done a scene that makes you feel really good and then later all the chemicals that made you feel that way are gone. You're left feeling kind of hollow. Or just not yourself. It's my fault, actually. I didn't take the time to introduce you to any of this stuff before I asked you to, um, you know. As your dom, I'm supposed to take care of you, and I didn't do that today. I'm sorry." He finishes wiping Dean's face and places the paper towel in the trash.

Dean looks at him, jaw tightening. "I don't know what that means, but I think I'm a little more upset that you walked off with your ex than I am about anything else we've done tonight."

Cas' face falls. "You have every right to be. Gabe probably told you way more than you need to know, which means you know how Uriel and I ended things." He sighs. "I promise you, Dean, Uriel showing up here tonight is just a tragic coincidence. I didn't even want to go out tonight, but Charlie insisted. We do this every year, and I thought I'd have more time to ease you into all this before anything happened. Again, it's my fault. I shouldn't have asked for so much so quickly."

Dean looks at him. "So you didn't want to fuck me with a pie tonight?"

Cas laughs. "No! I really thought we would take things slow. Pie-fucking is strictly a third date thing anyway." Dean presses his lips together and furrows his eyebrows. "Hey, I'm kidding! I've never done that before. I just meant that I didn't mean for anything to happen between us tonight, but I couldn't control myself." He steps closer to Dean. "You're irresistible, Dean."

Dean is panting, unsure how he went from angry tears to being turned on. Cas is coming closer, tilting his head, and Dean's heart beats faster. He's pressed against his body, the heat working it's way up his throat. He swallows and closes his eyes. Cas' lips are right there, his hands on his hips. All he has to do is lean in an inch.

And then there's a knock at the door. Cas opens his eyes, looking at Dean. He places a kiss on Dean's forehead and turns around to open the door.

Charlie is standing at the door with a girl wrapped around her. She looks at Cas and Dean and says, "You mind sharing with a girl?" She giggles, the girl kissing Charlie's neck sloppily.

Cas turns to face Dean. "Can we talk about this more at my house? I know you might not ever want to see me again, but I owe you an explanation. Please say yes."

His eyes are pleading, and Dean finds himself nodding his head even though everything in him is telling him not to go with this man.

They walk past Charlie and her date, but Charlie grabs Dean's wrist before he can leave the room.

"Castiel is a good guy, Dean!" she's whispering loudly. "He's had a crush on you for months. Been pining after you. But shh, I'm not supposed to tell you." She lets go of Dean's wrist, turns to her date and starts kissing her as Dean leaves the room.

The door closes behind them. Cas looks at him. He sighs. "Drunk Charlie can never keep a secret."

Dean looks at him. "What does she mean for months? I met you at the hospital a month ago."

Cas grabs his hand, lacing his fingers with Dean's. "I will tell you everything, but not here. Please. Let's go."

He tugs lightly on Dean, and Dean finds himself again following this man who is at once infuriating and impossibly charming.

Chapter Text

Cas immediately goes to the kitchen when they get to his house and starts heating water for tea. They haven't said anything since they left the club, the drive over awkward.

Dean's still drunk, and he's so tired from the crying. There are so many things to think about--Charlie and Gabe lying to Bobby, Cas' ex showing up and being a crazy dominant who had nearly killed Cas, Cas having apparently known Dean for months without saying anything to him. He can't focus on anything, so he concentrates on Cas' movements in the kitchen, scooping tea leaves out of a jar and steeping it in a mug of hot water.

He hands it to Dean and makes one for himself.

Dean sits himself on the counter, warming his hands on the mug. Cas finishes steeping his tea and leans against the counter across from him.

He brings the cup to his lips and sips before placing it on the counter beside him. He looks at Dean.

"I met Uriel when I was in my first year at med school at the University of Chicago. I was a good student, top of my class, but the work was killing me. Gabe knew I needed some type of way to relieve my stress. Gabe is big in the clubs scene, not just BDSM clubs but working them. He's a promoter for all types of clubs. He's got a big personality, you know that, and he likes to party. So he knew about this club. He also knew that I was seeking out bad guys in bars. I'd go to class all day, do an internship until 1 in the morning, and then go to clubs and find someone to fuck. Gabe thought the club would be a better way to get the same release. So he took me there, and I met Uriel. I'd never met someone so in control in my life. He liked me immediately. I liked being told what to do. It was freeing, being with him. I never had to think. But eventually he wanted to do things I didn't. I had just graduated and wasn't sure where I was going to do my residency, but I knew I didn't want Uriel in my life anymore. It was hard because I loved him. Or thought I loved him. I was just in love with the lifestyle and how free I felt. I told Uriel I wanted out, that I was leaving Chicago. He had gotten fairly violent before this, but he always stopped when I told him to. Part of subbing for him was being able to tolerate pain, to try and last as long as possible so Uriel didn't win. He didn't care about me. It was stupid, me doing that. It just gave him an excuse to do things I didn't want him to. So that last time, he was already mad because I told him I was done. And he lost control. I don't remember much. I woke up in the hospital and Gabe told me we were leaving, that I would never see him again."

He stops and drinks again, not looking at Dean. "Not all of it is bad memories. I was 22 when we started our relationship. Uriel was well in his 30's. He was established, and he treated me well at first. We went on expensive dates. It was all very lavish, being with him. It was difficult to leave him, but I discovered that I didn't need to be a submissive anymore, that I was in control of my life. Gabe and I moved back to Kansas and have been here since."

Dean looks at him, trying not to think of the large man he saw earlier hurting Cas. "Gabe said you don't know your father."

"Did he now?" He sighs. "Gabe and I come from an incredibly conservative family. My dad left my mom when we were very young. She already had 5 kids. She was religious before my dad left, but she went crazy when he did. We grew up in a traditional God-fearing church. Gabe and I knew we were gay in high school, and my mom tried everything to 'cure' us. Eventually when that didn't work, she kicked us out. Gabe had just turned 18, and I was 15. We haven't seen our family since."

Dean nods. "So what Charlie said back at the club? About having a crush on me for months?"

Cas flushes and looks down at the cup in his hands. "I haven't been completely honest with you. It's true that Dr. Mills asked me to look at your file. But I've seen you before. You're at that gay club a lot. Gabe sometimes drags me out when he feels I'm working too much. He's under the impression that I'll find a nice guy and settle down and leave the dominant stuff behind me. I saw you there one night, drinking at the bar. I'd never seen someone so beautiful. As a rule, I don't approach someone I meet outside of the club I'm apart of. I didn't know if you'd be interested in this. But I saw you again and again, and every time all I could think about was you underneath me and tracing those freckles with my tongue. I tried to forget it, especially when I saw that you kept disappearing with men in the bathroom. But then I saw you at the hospital, heard you groan, and I knew I couldn't stay away."

He looks at Dean, cheeks red.

"So that's why you offered Sam and I a ride home when you didn't know us?" he asks.

Cas nods. "You must think I'm some kind of creep, but I promise you I would have never approached you if you hadn't been in the hospital that night. It was too serendipitous for me not to jump at the chance. And I understand if you want to go now. I can drive you home."

He sets the cup on the counter next to him and pulls his keys from his pocket. Dean swallows and hops off his place on the counter. He takes three large steps to stand directly in front of Cas and reaches his hands to place them on his hips.

Cas looks up at him, brows creasing a line above his nose.

"What are you doing?" he asks.

Dean looks at this man, someone he barely knows but who's been the only thing he's thought about in the past month. The person who bandaged him when he was hurt, who got him to fuck a pie. He doesn't know where this is going, but he knows he can't throw it away right now.

So he looks down at Cas and says, "Something we should have done a long time ago." And he leans in to kiss him, slowly opening Cas' lips with his tongue. He melts into Cas and lets himself kiss this man who is terrifying and so beautiful.

Chapter Text

Dean is cheering in his head. Cas is finally kissing him. He's been dreaming about this moment for weeks, and he's having a hard time breathing now.

Cas' hand comes up to fist in Dean's hair, tugging slightly. Dean moans, and then Cas' other hand grabs his ass, pushing him flush against his body.

He can feel how hard Cas is against his thigh, and it makes him harder. He pushes his tongue in his mouth and Cas bites it. He tugs his hair harder, and Dean rubs himself against his thigh. Cas moans, and it makes the hair on his neck stand up.

But then Cas puts his hands on Dean's chest and pushes him away, panting.

Dean looks at him. He's disheveled, his hair sticking up wildly. His shirt is bunched up around the waistband of his jeans, and Dean can see the bulge in his pants clearly.

"Did I do something wrong?" he asks.

Cas catches his breath and runs a hand through his hair. "What? No, absolutely not. You're doing everything right. I just-" he pauses, looking at Dean and groans. "Can you just turn around or something? It's really hard to concentrate."

Dean looks at him, pulling in his bottom lip to suck on it. He starts walking closer to Cas again, but Cas holds up his hands.

"Wait. I'm serious. I already couldn't control myself once today. I don't want to do it again."

Dean stops, pouts slightly, and leans back against the counter.

"Thank you," he sighs. "Dean, I treated you so poorly today. It's not fair to you. I shouldn't have asked for a scene so quickly, and I should have made time for after-care when we were done. I messed this up, and I am so sorry. Let me make it up to you, please."

Dean squints at him, the lights in the kitchen a little too bright and his brain swimming. "What's after-care?" he asks.

"It's what I should have done to help you avoid a sub-drop. Make sure you're taken care of. Your needs come before how I'm feeling in that moment, and I was so selfish ignoring you like that."

"Why did you ignore me?" Dean asks.

Cas groans. "I felt so guilty about moving so fast. I thought you would say no. It's stupid, but you doing that for me so soon made me think that maybe I don't deserve you. I've been thinking about you for months now, dreaming about it. I forget that it was my imagination and not actually you. We skipped a million steps today, and I thought maybe if I acted like an ass you'd realize you don't want me and leave."

Dean looks at him. He could have left at any moment, refused to go to the club, but he hadn't. Why? He says, "That's not really an excuse."

Cas looks down at his hands and nervously pulls his shirt down. "I know. I know," he whispers. "I really don't deserve you, Dean. But I promise I will make it up to you. I'll be devoted to you if you let me. Starting right now. Let me take care of you like I should have earlier."

He holds a hand out for Dean. Dean's so tired and too drunk to drive home. He hadn't left earlier, but he can now. Just call a Lyft and go home to his empty apartment. Cas is looking at him so longingly, so hopeful that Dean feels his heart skip a beat.

Dean thinks about how terrible he felt earlier when Cas had ignored him. Why hadn't he left when Cas made it clear that he didn't want him there? Because he was holding out hope that Cas would take care of him. When he told him he was beautiful in the bar, the feeling that bloomed in his chest was indescribable. If Cas is offering to care for him now, Dean surely deserves that, right?

He takes Cas' hand and watches a wide smile stretch across his face.

Cas leads him up to the bedroom, rubbing his thumb over Dean's hand.

His bedroom is large with a vaulted ceiling. There's a king sized bed and a large wooden dresser and a chair in the corner. The bed is made, and Dean thinks of course Cas is the type of person who makes his bed.

Cas walks him over to a door rather than sitting him on the bed like he thought he would. He opens it to a spacious bathroom. There's a glass shower with a rainfall shower head and a deep clawfoot tub. There's two vanities and a vase of flowers sitting between the two sinks.

He lets go of Dean's hand and turns the faucets on in the tub. He puts his hand underneath the stream and adjusts the handles until he finds the perfect temperature.

He walks back over to Dean and pushes his plaid shirt off of him. He says, "arms up," and Dean holds his arms above his head while Cas takes off his undershirt. When it's over his head, Cas leans in and kisses Dean on his forehead tenderly.

He unbuttons and unzips his pants and pushes them down. Dean steps out of them. Cas stares at him and Dean feels himself start blushing again.

"Don't be embarrassed." Cas cups a hand to Dean's face. "I wasn't kidding when I said you're beautiful. Look at your body, Dean. How did I get so lucky?"

Cas leads him over to the tub and turns the water off. Dean sinks into it, the warm water relaxing his tired muscles. Cas sits on the edge of the tub. Dean places his hand in his lap, and Cas starts massaging it. It feels good, and Dean lays his head back and closes his eyes.

"I haven't seen you naked," he suddenly says to Cas. He feels Cas pause the massage and then start again. "You've seen me twice and I haven't seen you at all. It's not fair."

Cas sighs and lays Dean's hand on the tub. He stands and pulls his shirt over his head, revealing abs that Dean would like to run his fingers over. There's a splattering of chest hair, and Dean can imagine running his hands through it. He stops breathing.

Cas unbuttons his pants and pulls them down in a swift motion. He steps out of them and then goes to sit back down on the edge of the tub.

"That's not naked," Dean says. He can see Cas turning over the thought in his head, trying to figure out how he can get out of it. He rolls his eyes and stands back up, running his fingers under the waistband of his boxer briefs, and rolls them down his legs. He bends over, letting them fall, before kicking them toward the door.

"Happy?" he asks.

Dean is staring. "Very," he replies.

The man is huge. His hips cut to form a v, and he has a line of hair leading down to his shaft. He's half hard and Dean is starting to reconsider their arrangement. No wonder the guy didn't want to get naked.

He licks his lips as Cas comes back over to sit on the edge of the tub again.

Dean leans up, propelling himself forward. "Sit with me?" he asks Cas.

Cas looks down at him, clenches his jaw, and slides in behind him.

He feels his hands wrap around his middle, and Cas pulls him against his chest. He wraps his legs around him. Dean lays his head back against him, the hair on his chest scratching his cheek.

Cas runs his hands up and down Dean's stomach. It tickles slightly, but Dean is so comfortable he lets Cas do it. His head slides down his chest a little, eyes drooping.

Cas lifts a hand to hold Dean's head up. "Hey, don't fall asleep on me. Not in the bath." He presses his lips against the back of his head. "Come on, get up. I'll put you to bed."

He pushes Dean up slightly and stands up. Dean is so tired, barely able to pull himself up, but Cas hauls him to his feet and wraps a towel around him, running small circles to dry him. It's so gentle, and Dean can feel his legs giving out under him.

Cas finishes drying him and lets Dean sag against him. He puts an arm around Dean's back and reaches the other down to scoop Dean up, surprisingly strong. He carries him to the chair in the corner and sits him down.

Dean groans when Cas goes to move away. He leans down and kisses him on the nose. "I just have to turn the bed down. I'm not going anywhere."

Dean sinks into the chair while Cas gets the bed ready.

When he's done, he pulls Dean to his feet and helps him get in bed. He tucks the covers around him and goes to the other side of the bed and crawls into it. He pulls the covers over them and pulls Dean against him. He kisses his shoulder and tucks his arm around him.

Dean shifts his body closer to Cas and settles his head onto the pillow.

He wants to tell Cas thank you for a perfect night, for taking care of him, but he's so tired that all he can whisper is "Cas," before falling asleep.

Chapter Text

Dean wakes to light kisses on his face. He's lying on his stomach, and Cas is on his side, facing him.

Dean tries to swat him away, but he keeps leaning in to kiss his face and then moves down to his neck.

"Good morning, sunshine," he says between kisses. He kisses Dean's shoulder.

Dean groans. "What time is it?" he asks.

Cas keeps kissing him, dragging a lip over Dean's upper arm. "7. I couldn't sleep any more."

Dean rolls over to face him. "7 is too early. Go back to bed." He moves the comforter back over both of them and rolls so he can press his back into Cas.

Cas keeps kissing him, moving from his neck down his back. He drags his teeth down his back, sending shivers through Dean's body.

"Seriously. So tired," Dean breathes out.

"So let me wake you up," Cas says. He moves so he's pressed against Dean's body, and Dean can feel his growing erection on his thigh. Dean presses his lower body into him before rolling on to his back.

Cas leans on an arm over him and runs a hand through Dean's hair. "This is exactly how I want to wake up. You have no idea how beautiful you are, do you?" He leans down and kisses Dean lightly on his lips.

Dean blushes. "You keep saying that."

"It's true. When I saw you across the room that night, it was like a record scratch on my life. I couldn't look at anyone else but you. I haven't thought about anyone else but you in months." He smooths his thumb over Dean's cheek.

Dean stares up at him, eyes wide. "Is this part of after-care, too?" he asks in a whisper.

Cas' eyebrows furrow. "No, it's not. This is just me telling you the truth right now. Because you are beautiful. Because I really couldn't get you out of my head."

Dean licks his lips. "Want to know a secret?"

Cas nods, laying his head on a pillow on his side to face Dean eye to eye.

"You're all I've thought about since we met. I couldn't get you off my mind. I kept having these-" he blushes and stops himself. "Never mind."

"What? Dean. I want to know. Please tell me." He leans in closer to Dean, cupping his face.

"It's stupid," Dean says.

"Nothing you could ever say could possibly be stupid."

Dean sighs and bites his lip. "I've had all these dreams about you. About us. They won't stop."

Cas smiles. "What kind of dreams?"

Dean squeezes his eyes shut and shakes his head. "I can't."

Cas leans in and kisses both eyelids and then his nose. "You can tell me anything."

He opens his eyes and looks at the man staring at him like he's the only person in the world. "That day in the parking lot, when you took me to get the car?" He swallows. "I keep having this dream that instead of leaving like you did, you pushed me up against the door and fucked me from behind."

Dean looks up to Cas' smirk. "I've had that dream, too," he says.

Dean laughs. He rolls over so he's laying on his stomach half on top of Cas, his leg pulled up over his stomach and his arm stretched around him. He rests his head on his chest.

Cas kisses his head and runs a hand over Dean's back. He moves his fingers in a lazy circular pattern over him. Dean feels his eyes drift shut.

"I really like you, Dean." Cas' voice wakes him from his drowsy state. "Not just because you are beautiful, but because you're caring for your brother and yourself, and you do it no questions asked. You deserve to have someone take care of you for a change."

Dean moves his head to look at him. "I don't need anyone to look after me."

"No, you don't. You don't need anyone to, but I want to. I want to be there for you. I want to make sure you're taken care of."

"You just feel sorry for me because you saw my apartment after my dad left. I don't need your pity." He yawns, drawing his arm tighter around Cas.

"Hey." Cas sits up a little, forcing Dean off of him. He sits up and pulls his legs underneath him. Dean is staring up at him. "I don't pity you. I don't feel sorry for you. I really do think it's admirable what you've gone through. If I hadn't had Gabe growing up, I don't think I would have made it where I am now. Think about where your brother would be without you. You're amazing, Dean. You don't have my pity. You have my awe."

Dean looks at him but he can't say anything.

Cas lays back down and pulls Dean back on top of him, drifting his fingers up and down his spine.

"Can I ask you a question?" Dean asks.

Cas nods. "Anything."

"Do I have to fulfill your every wish as your submissive?"

"You're not a genie, Dean. This is a relationship. We both get something out of this. I will work so hard to satisfy you. This isn't about me getting off on you doing what I say. It's both of us being committed to each other. I have specific requests, yes, but only if you agree to them. It brings me pleasure when you follow my directions because you want to, not because I want you to. I need that control of making requests, but it's ultimately up to you to follow them. I need to know you're doing this because you want to. I need you."

"And if I don't follow a request? Will you hurt me?"

Cas stops running his hand over his back. "Never. I will never do anything you don't want me to. My role is to keep you safe at all times. I want to bring you pleasure, not pain."

He looks at Dean and runs his thumb over his lips. "And speaking of pleasure." He moves so he's on top of Dean, holding himself up by his arms. "We can talk about this later. I promise I will answer all of your questions. But you're naked in my bed, and I've been up for hours waiting to do this."

He leans in and kisses him, soft and tender. Dean deepens in, lifting his head up and pressing hard into his mouth. Cas shifts so a knee is on either side of Dean, but he's careful to not let himself touch him.

Dean is already breathless, moving his hands over Cas's chiseled arms. He drags his nails down his arms, and Cas gasps against his lips. It gives Dean the opportunity to push his tongue into his mouth, and Cas sucks on it.

Dean moves his hands down Cas' back, scratching lightly as he goes. He can feel Cas shuttering, trying to keep himself off of Dean. Finally, Dean slowly reaches down to Cas' ass, digging his fingernails into the flesh. Cas bites Dean's lip a little too hard and he yelps.

He looks down at him face flushed. "What do you want, Dean?" he asks.

Dean stares up at him. "I don't know."

"You know what you like. What do you want? You have to tell me."

"I just want you," he says.

Cas shakes his head. "Not good enough. Tell me what you want or you get nothing."

He moves to slide off Dean, and Dean grabs him by both arms. "Ok, ok." He sighs. "I want you to kiss me."

"Where?"

"Starting at my lips, and making your way down."

Cas smiles. He kisses him on his lips, biting his lower lip. He moves down to his neck and drags his teeth until he reaches his collar bone. He sucks it, and Dean is writhing underneath him. Cas pins his arms to his sides and keeps going, taking a nipple between his teeth. Dean pushes his hips up, but Cas won't let him touch him. He makes his way over to his other nipple and circles it with his tongue. He continues down the middle of him, letting go of his arms. He dips his tongue over his belly button, and Dean moans underneath him. He lifts his hips up, trying to find any friction. He's so hard, throbbing under him and untouched. Cas just moves his lips over a hip bone and sucks. He bites at him and Dean knows he's going to leave a bruise. Cas doesn't stop. He moves to the other side and bites and sucks at him there. When he's finished, he re-centers himself on Dean's body and starts a slow descent down his stomach. He kisses a line down his middle, works his hands under Dean's ass and squeezes. He's so close, inching his way down to the head of his penis, and Dean is trying his best to hold still. He stops where his dick rests heavily on his stomach and lifts his face an inch above him. He breathes hot air over him, and Dean bucks his hips.

"Is this what you want?" Cas asks him.

Dean is panting. "Please, Cas."

"Please, what?" Cas asks. He works his way down a thigh, turning Dean's leg so he can inch his way up his inner thigh. He runs a tongue over him and Dean feels him get so close to that spot where his legs meet, but Cas jumps it and starts on the other thigh.

Dean moans. "Please."

"Ask, Dean." Cas runs his tongue down to that spot again, is so close that all Dean has to do is push his thighs into his tongue. Cas is squeezing his ass so hard. He pulls his cheeks apart a little and Dean feels that slight burn.

"Cas, please fuck me." He's panting, his fingers fisted in the sheets. His abs ache from trying to hold still.

He can feel Cas smile against him. "Do you want my mouth, my hand, or my dick?"

Dean can't think. The spot Cas is hovering over is a million degrees, and Dean feels like if he doesn't get some sort of friction he's going to explode. He moans. "All of it. Just, please. Please fuck me, Cas."

Cas lets out a breath of air, pushes Dean's legs further apart, and then licks under his sack. He's so close to his hole and Dean feels himself tighten and release, but he moves up instead, taking one ball into his mouth. Dean cries out, and Cas moves up to lick a line from the base of his dick up to the head. He mouths it for a second before taking the head of him into his mouth. He circles the line with his tongue, and Dean is so sensitive that he feels like he might come right then. Cas loosens his lips and Dean feels himself settle.

Cas slowly works his way down him, sucking and licking him. When all of Dean is in his mouth, he pulls back up, all the way to the head and runs his tongue around him over and over. He licks at the opening, and Dean feels himself jerk into him. He immdiately apologizes and tries to keep himself still.

Cas puts a hand on Dean's base, fingers loose around him. He takes his mouth off of him and looks at Dean. "Show me how you want it."

Dean furrows his eyebrows. "This is so good. I just want you to keep going."

"I'm never going to learn what you like unless you show me. So show me, but don't come."

He moves his lips back over Dean and releases his hand from his shaft. He grabs Dean's hands and places them on his head, curling his fingers around him. Once Dean's fingers are in his hair, he lets go.

Dean is looking at him, hands on this man's head. Cas isn't moving, just letting his head sit in his mouth. They are looking at each other, and finally Cas circles him once again, and Dean feels himself grab his hair.

Cas smiles around him, and Dean understands. He pushes Cas down on to him, clutching his head. Cas takes him in all the way, and Dean pulls him back up by his hair. Cas is sucking so hard. The tight wetness is pushing him over the edge. He pushes and pulls Cas' head until he's so close he can't stand it, the ache in his belly hurting. He can feel himself clenching and unclenching, and he can't catch his breath. He pulls Cas off of him with a loud pop.

Cas looks at him. "Good job, Dean."

Dean is panting, unsure why Cas is praising him, but the need is so persistent he can't speak. Cas climbs up him and puts a hand on Dean's chest. He rests his weight on top of him, and Dean can feel his dick settle between the man's ass, while Cas' sits heavily on his stomach. Now that he's fully hard, Dean can see exactly how big he is, and it's a little scary.

Cas catches him looking. "Dean, I'm going to fuck you now. If it's too much for you, you have to tell me to stop. Just say stop and I will, ok? Promise me."

Dean looks at him and nods his head.

"Say it."

"I'll say stop if I can't handle it. I promise."

"Good."

Cas moves his weight off of him and reaches into the nightstand next to his bed. He places a bottle of lube and a condom next to him. He shifts himself so he's between Dean's legs, pushing them out wide.

He squirts lube onto his fingers but leans down and tongues him instead. Dean isn't expecting it and lets out a loud moan.

Cas circles him with his tongue and pushes his way inside. He dips his tongue in and out until the ring of muscle loosens itself, and then Cas pushes a finger in. He stretches him with it, and then he gets another finger in. He scissors him open and presses a finger into that spot, and Dean jerks his hips up and then backwards, forcing Cas' fingers deeper.

"Cas," he pants. "I'm ready. Please." He's writhing, Cas' fingers pulling him open, the burn matching the ache he's feeling. He's so close.

"Please, what, Dean? What do you want?"

Dean is trying to keep himself controlled, trying to stop the thrusting of his hips. "Fuck me."

Cas pulls his fingers out of him, rips the condom open, and slides it over himself. He spreads lube over himself and then lines himself up with Dean.

He inches his way in slowly. Dean feels himself tighten around him and then relax. Cas moves himself in with so much control. He's going painfully slow, the stretching making Dean crazy. He clutches at Cas' arms and tries to push himself down on top him, but Cas stops.

He holds himself inside of him. Dean is panting, looking up at Cas. "Move, Cas. Please." But Cas just sits there. Dean is pulsing around him, the intrusion welcome. He knows he won't last long, and the teasing isn't helping. "Oh my god, Cas. Move!" he practically yells at him.

And then Cas does, thrusting into Dean. He clamps a hand over Dean's mouth so Dean's moans are muffled. He immediately touches his prostate, and Dean pushes his hips up and back down, forcing Cas deeper into him. He feels him bottom out. Cas pulls his legs up further and takes a slick hand to Dean's shaft. He moves in and out quickly, grazing his prostate as he goes. Cas runs his hand up and down his shaft, rubbing his thumb over the head. He's clenching around him, trying to hold on.

Cas leans down over him, changing the angle and forcing his dick to hit his prostate with each thrust. His hand is so hot and wet, squeezing hard. He can feel the heat building inside of him, pulsing quickly. Cas lifts the hand off Dean's mouth.

"Come, Dean," Cas says. "I want to watch you come."

He thrusts into him deeply one more time and Dean does, spurting over his stomach. Cas' hand doesn't stop, milking him. He keeps thrusting into Dean and and finally Dean feels him stutter and release, jerking into him. He collapses on top of him, smearing his come over both of them.

Dean is panting. Cas lifts himself and pulls out of him. He takes the condom off and ties it, throwing it on the floor. He lays next to Dean.

"You're so tight," he says. "You did everything I asked you. I'm so proud of you." He runs a hand over his cheek.

Dean smiles, the praise warming him.

"Let's shower." He pulls Dean up out of bed and starts the water for them both.

When it's warm enough, they step into it and Cas wraps his arms around Dean, holding him tight. He kisses him on the forehead.

Dean feels himself sink into him, laying his head on his shoulder.

"I could get used to this," Cas says. Dean doesn't say anything, but he's thinking me, too.

Chapter Text

Dean rolls over in bed a few hours later searching for the warmth of Cas' body, but there's nothing. He opens his eyes and looks around the room, but it's empty. He's confused for a second, but then he sees the note on the empty pillow.

He sits up and pulls the sheet over his thighs. He's slightly embarrassed that he's still naked, and even though Cas isn't in the room, it's weird that he's spent so much time without his clothes on. But then again, everything that's happened to him since he met Cas has been a little weird.

The note is folded over once just like the one still sitting on his nightstand at home, and Dean smiles at the thought that Cas is methodical like that and then blushes when he remembers what he got on that perfectly folded note.

Dean--

Have I mentioned how beautiful you are? Especially so when you sleep. I would have liked to keep you up a bit longer, but the way your lips part and your cheeks blush and you reach for me unconsciously means I forgive you.

Go to the bathroom and put on what's there for you. Meet me downstairs.

--Cas

Dean feels his face warm. He's not sure how he's supposed to feel about someone watching him sleep, or studying him enough to know what he looks like when he's doing so, or that he's been given directions and he's itching to follow them, to see what Cas will do to him next.

He puts the note back on the pillow and opens the door for the bathroom, trying to slow his pace. He's got a feeling that Cas likes slow and deliberate and not rushed. Dean is trying his best not to run.

Dean's clothes are nowhere to be found, but on the table between the sinks lays a light green pair of boxer briefs, like the kind Cas wore last night. Dean pulls them on. They're tight on his legs and exemplify the half hard bulge already present. They're soft and Dean realizes that they must belong to Cas and not just be a new pair he gives his subs. The thought that Cas has worn these enough to soften them elicits a groan from him. The bulge grows.

Dean wants to run downstairs, but he drags a hand through his hair instead and tries to get it to lay down. He gives up and opens a drawer to find a toothbrush. There's one that's still in the package and another that Dean guesses must be Cas'. Rather than open the new toothbrush, Dean runs water and toothpaste on the open one and brushes his teeth. He feels slightly guilty, but he's more anxiously excited about it. Cas' mouth has been on this, and that knowledge gets him all the way hard.

Dean puts it back and closes the drawer. He shifts himself in the underwear so it's even more obvious how hard he is and heads downstairs.

Cas is in the kitchen and Dean can smell something spicy cooking. He's got his back to him when Dean walks in, and Dean takes the time to study him. He's got dark grey jeans on that hug him in all the right places and he's barefoot. He's got a light blue sweater on and Dean can see a checkered collar folded over the top, the same light blue color of the sweater running in a thin line to form boxes.

Dean must hum his approval or something because Cas turns around. He smiles when he sees him, and then he sweeps his eyes down his body slowly, pausing on the bulge. Dean shifts nervously under the gaze, and Cas' eyes snap back up to Dean's face.

"I'm making lunch. It will be ready in five minutes. Set the table."

Cas turns back around, and Dean takes the moment to lean against the wall and admire his movements. Cas works slowly, stirring the sauce and bringing the spoon to his lips to taste. He doesn't even make a noise when he slurps, and Dean wonders how that's possible.

Cas sets the spoon back in the pan and doesn't turn around as he adds more pepper, but he says, "that was not me asking, that was me telling" in a slow, soft voice that jolts Dean out of his reverie and he's moving to the cabinets to grab plates.

He sets the table and then is unsure what he's supposed to do next, so he sits in a chair next to the head of the table and waits until Cas brings out the food. Dean tries his hardest not to fidget, but he's suddenly aware that he's in nothing but underwear while Cas is dressed like he's going to church and they're about to have their first meal alone together. He puts his hands under his thighs and straightens his back against the chair, but he bites the inside of his cheek until Cas finally brings out the food.

It's some type of curry, and Cas doesn't say anything as he goes to fill up his plate with rice and sauce, so Dean just sits there, waiting. When Cas starts to spoon the food into his mouth, Dean finally reaches for the rice spoon.

Cas holds his spoon to his mouth and stares at Dean and Dean freezes, unsure if this was the correct thing to do. Cas slowly lowers his spoon back to his plate and lays his hands in his laps.

"We're going to talk about our arrangement. I know you have questions. This will be the time I will answer them. I will tell you the things that I am asking of you, and you will decide if this is something you are willing to do or not." He spoons food into his mouth and swallows, bringing a napkin up to wipe the corners of his mouth before replacing it in his lap. Dean follows his every movement. "The first thing is, I give you permission to do anything while you are here. You do not speak or make noises unless I tell you you can. You wait until you have permission to serve yourself food. When we eat together, you sit at the chair next to mine, on the right, and not in any other seat. When you are here, you leave your shoes and shirt at the door. You may wear your underwear and jeans unless I have something specific for you to wear, in which case I will leave them by the door or text you to tell you. Are you following along?"

Cas looks at Dean, and Dean's not sure if that's permission, so he nods his head.

Cas gives an amused smile. "Speak."

"Yes, I understand," he whispers.

"Good." Cas looks satisfied, like Dean is doing something right, and he's not sure why he feels so proud of himself for it, but he does.

"Serve yourself some food." Cas eats his food while Dean reaches to put some on his plate. It's hot, and he blows on the first bite before putting it in his mouth. It's delicious, and he can't help but look over at Cas.

"Did you make this yourself?" he asks. Cas briefly looks annoyed and Dean finds himself apologizing before Cas can say anything, but he reaches a hand to Dean's wrist and halts him.

"I didn't tell you you couldn't speak. It's been a while since I've had a sub, and I've never had anyone who is brand new. It's a learning experience for us both." He offers Dean a small smile and removes his hand. "Yes, I made it. I like to cook, but I'm often too busy to do so."

Dean takes another bite, thinking over the things Cas has already said. What kind of things will he be asked to wear? He can definitely do shirtless, and he's down to nothing but underwear right now anyway and it's not so bad. He already messed up by sitting in the wrong chair, but the chair Cas wants him in has his back to to the rest of the room, which must be the point, Dean realizes. He mindlessly spoons food in his mouth because he didn't realize how hungry he was until this moment, and Cas starts speaking again.

"When I give you a command, you follow it. Hesitation is not ideal, but as I've said before, I like you just a little bit snarky. Do not cross the line, and we'll be ok. If you do mess up a command, punishment may vary from being gagged or tied up or spanked. I do not choke, and I refuse to suspend you. Are these acceptable to you?"

Cas is looking at him expectantly, but Dean's not sure how to answer. He's never been tied up or gagged or spanked. Sure, the random guys have gotten overly handsy at the bars, but it was always just a harsh grab that stung a little. Dean never felt unsafe. His dad is the only who's ever restrained him before, and that was with an arm and not with rope.

He's clearly thinking too much because Cas finally says, "when I ask you a question, that's your cue to answer."

"I've never, uh." He pauses and wrings his hands in his lap. "I've never been tied up or spanked." He can feel his face redden and he looks at his plate. He's starting to think Cas won't want this anymore with how inexperienced he is, but Cas reaches a hand out and clutches Dean's jaw so he has to look at him.

There's fire in Cas' eyes, the pupils flaring. "We can start slow," he says.

He drops his hand and continues eating. After a few bites, he looks at Dean. "You must have questions for me."

It's not a command, but Dean figures this is the time to prove he can do what Cas asks, and he desperately wants his approval. "So you want me to follow your directions but not too eagerly?"

Cas laughs. "I want you to be yourself. I've already seen what you're like in the bedroom. Eagerness is not a bad thing." Dean feels himself blush because he had been eager with the pie, and he's definitely embarrassed by that. "But a little fight is also not a bad thing. You read the situation. Just do not deny me what I want and don't try to force me into something. If you are truly uncomfortable with a situation and you don't want to do something, say our safe-word and we will immediately stop whatever it is we are doing. Everything we do is consensual."

"What's our safe-word?" Dean asks.

"You choose. It needs to be something that is easily recognizable for what it is, something out of the ordinary. Make sure it's easy for you to say when you're not in a good head-space. Something that brings you comfort."

Dean mauls that over. He's trying to think of something that brings him comfort and having a hard time coming up with a word.

Cas' voice brings him back. "Dean? You need to eat. Finish your food."

Dean does as he's told and spoons the curry into his mouth. He sips from his water glass every few bites and listens to Cas.

"I have toys. Dildos, plugs, vibrators, floggers, and paddles, as well as things to restrain you. Since you are new at this, tell me what you have used before and we can start there."

Dean nearly chokes on a bite of food and has to chug from his glass before he catches his breath again. His cheeks are burning. "I've never used anything," he says quietly.

He refuses to look at Cas because he knows that he's definitely going to be told to leave, and he shifts heavily in his seat expecting a dismissal at any moment.

"I bought a dildo a few weeks ago. It's not very big, but I still haven't used it. I was waiting for--" and he realizes what he's about to say and stops and shakes his head. "I've only ever been fucked by guys. They never used anything. They might have been a little rough, but it never hurt, and I kind of liked it." He blushes again and dares a look up at Cas.

Cas is staring at him, mouth open. He swallows when Dean meets his eyes. "We can figure that out together. It's incredibly important that you tell me when you are feeling uncomfortable if you agree to this. You have to know your limits and tell me immediately when you feel that I'm pushing them past your breaking point. Do you understand?"

Dean nods, and then remembers that Cas told him this was the time to speak, so he mumbles out a "yes," and starts eating again, taking shaky breaths between bites. He's hard and nervous, and truth be told he's not hungry anymore, but Cas had told him to eat, and he really wants to please him.

He finishes and pushes his plate away and looks up at Cas again.

Cas is staring at him. The inspection makes Dean less uncomfortable than it should, and finally Cas speaks. "What were you waiting for?"

Dean furrows his eyebrows and is about to ask what Cas is talking about, but Cas interrupts him. "You said you bought a dildo and haven't used it yet because you were waiting for something. What were you waiting for?"

Dean can't hold his eyes anymore and looks down at his plate. What should he say? That he was hoping Cas would fuck him so Dean wouldn't have to do it himself? That he prefers a human touch over rubber? That he was holding out hope that Cas would eventually live up to every one of Dean's dreams and he wouldn't have to worry about the toy?

He drags a breath in and blows it out. "You," he says and meets Cas' eyes.

Cas holds his face steady, but Dean sees the moment of realization flash across his face, and he falters for a second, and it tells Dean that Cas isn't as nonchalant about this as he lets on, that Dean is affecting him, and it sends a new surge of desire to his dick.

Cas slowly rises from the table and gathers the dishes. He heads to the kitchen and Dean hears a drawer open and the dishes clank down into the sink. He's just about to get up and ask where his clothes are so he can leave because clearly Cas doesn't want him at all, and Dean had gotten all of his signals mixed, but then Cas sits a bottle of lube in front of Dean and calls over his shoulder, "you have until the dishes are in the dishwasher to get yourself ready" as he goes back to the kitchen.

Dean hears the water running and the dishwasher opening, and he scrambles to his feet because it just hit him what Cas said, and if he's ever going to follow directions, the time is right now.

He leans himself over the table and gets to work.

Chapter Text

Dean doesn't have long before Cas is finished, but he's worked in two fingers and has stretched himself good enough when he feels Cas behind him.

He pulls his fingers out and lays his palms flat on the table. His cheek is pressed into the surface. He hadn't pulled the underwear all the way down, just over the curve of his ass, and now he's starting to regret it because what if Cas leaves him like that and doesn't touch him?

Cas takes his time, and it's driving Dean crazy. He can see one arm and Cas rolling up the sleeve, slow and methodical. He hears the zip of his pants and wriggles his ass just a little bit, just enough to remind Cas that Dean's ready and waiting.

Cas doesn't make a noise, but the swat he gets on a butt cheek makes Dean cry out.

"I didn't say you could move," Cas whispers above him.

The hit hadn't really hurt. It was just unexpected, and if anything it makes Dean want it more. He can feel his fingers twitching to grab on to something, but he makes an effort to hold still while Cas finishes undressing.

Finally Cas grabs hold of one of Dean's hips. He drags a finger down his crack, and Dean is already panting, but the feeling makes him hold his breath until Cas is passed the hole.

He loudly exhales when Cas removes the finger. The hand goes to Dean's other hip, and then Cas is leaning over him. Dean can feel the scratch of the sweater Cas hadn't taken off. Cas leans down to his ear. "Tap your right hand twice if you want this to stop."

And then he's gone, and Dean feels his hands leave his hips and the sound of a condom wrapper opening. He feels Cas pull open his cheeks, and he's lining himself up with Dean.

He inches his way in, as slow as he had been this morning, and it makes Dean want to push back on him, but he hadn't been told he can move, so he just lies there and waits for Cas to push himself all the way in.

It's maddeningly slow. Cas keeps his hands pulling him open, and the stretch stings. He feels himself tighten and loosen around him. He desperately wants to touch his dick, but he keeps his hands where they are and screws his eyes shut. He feels a tear slide down his cheek from the effort to not move.

Cas is murmuring above him. "You are doing amazing. You have no idea how good you're being for me." And Dean feels himself swell with pride.

And finally Cas moves, pulling all the way out and thrusting all the way back in, hard. The force pushes Dean's face harder into the table, and he has to bite his lip to keep from crying out. Cas picks up a relentless pace, his fingers digging into Dean's hipbones. The sound of skin on skin is loud in the room, and Dean wishes Cas would make any kind of noise, something to tell him that he's coming undone.

Dean is aching, the pull in his stomach getting stronger. Cas hasn't touched him, his hands locked tight on his hips, and he's needing something to push him over the edge. His legs are shaking, but he keeps his body perfectly still.

Cas speeds up and his hips stutter once. Dean feels it and lets out a small moan, and then realizes that he's made a noise without permission.

Cas leans down to his ear again. "You like that, Dean? You like my dick so deep inside you? You like me coming in you?"

And Dean finds himself nodding his head yes, not caring that he hasn't been given permission, because yes, he does like that. And he likes that he affects Cas likes this.

"How many more moans can I get out of you, huh? I bet you'll make enough noise that the whole neighborhood can hear you."

He slows his pace, and Dean immediately groans, because that's not what he wants at all. He wants Cas to finish, hard and a little painful. He wants to lose control because of Cas.

Cas changes the angle and Dean realizes why he's slowed down. He hits his prostate with each thrust, a slow attack on his body.

Dean is holding his breath, eyes squeezed shut. His body is shaking, and he's not sure how much longer he can last. It's cruel that Cas hasn't touched him or let him touch himself, but he keeps driving slowly into his prostate and finally Dean lets his breath out on the heel of another loud moan, and Cas moves.

Dean hears the quiet gasp above him and then he's jerking his hips into him. He's pounding him and hitting that spot inside him, and it drives the breath out of Dean each time.

"You're going to come just like this. I'm not going to touch you. I know you can, Dean, because I've asked you to, and you're doing so good at giving me what I ask of you."

And he thrusts into him again hard, and Dean comes at his words, the sound of his name on Cas' lips. Cas drags an arm around his waist to hold Dean up while he rides the aftershocks of his orgasm, Cas still pumping into him.

He feels himself tighten and loosen around him, and finally Cas comes, stuttering his hips and leaning his forehead into his back.

They're panting, and Dean is embarrassed at how easily he came for Cas, but Cas is pulling him up and turning him around, pulling him tight against him. He's whispering, "you are perfect" over and over, and Dean shakes his head against him.

Cas puts a finger under his chin and looks him in the eye. "You might not see it yet, but you are perfect, Dean." He presses his lips lightly against his forehead and then reaches down to pull up Dean's underwear over his ass and then his own. He shoves the condom in a pocket.

The wetness in the front of Dean's briefs are cold, and Cas must notice the shiver.

"I put your clothes in the dryer."

He leads him to the laundry room off the back of the kitchen and pulls Dean's clothes out of the dryer. He hands him his boxers and jeans, but he keeps hold of the undershirt and flannel. Dean brings them up to his nose and inhales deeply, the sandalwood and pine making him smile. He peels off the briefs and puts on his clothes while Cas folds his shirts.

"You like that smell?" he asks.

Dean nods. "It smells like you." He blushes, but he doesn't miss the small smile that flashes across Cas' face.

"We have a couple more things to discuss. Do you want to do this on the couch or in bed?"

Dean considers for a moment. He's slept enough for the day, and he wants to be able to look at Cas when they discuss this. "Couch."

Dean pulls his feet under him and waits for Cas to come sit with him. He hands him a glass of water and sits in the chair across from the couch. Dean rolls the glass in his hands.

"I want you here at 6 Friday night through 4 p.m. Sunday. If that is a problem, we can talk about hours. I can't do weeknights, and occasionally I might have to work on the weekends. I will tell you ahead of time if you don't need to be here for the weekend."

Dean considers this. Spending the entire weekend here means he gets less time with Sam, but Sam hasn't really been home much in the past month anyway. He'll need to talk to Sam about it, he guesses, but then he's not sure what he should tell him. That he's spending the weekend with Dr. Novak? He'd have to explain that they've been seeing each other, and Sam will want to meet him.

Cas coughs and Dean looks at him. "Have you heard anything I've said?" he asks.

Dean shakes his head and lowers his eyes.

"It's a lot to take in. Drink some water and take a second. Ask me anything you want to know."

Dean sips his water and then looks up at Cas. "Sam will want to meet you. I've never been in a relationship before. He's leaving for California in the summer, and I don't know if he'll like that I'm not home every weekend."

Cas nods. "I'm sorry, Dean, but this is not the type of relationship where I meet the people who are important to you. Talk to Sam and let me know what hours work best for you, but I can't be your boyfriend. I'm not interested in that."

Dean's taken aback by that and nearly drops his glass of water. "I've met your family."

"Gabe and Charlie know what I like. The fact that you know Charlie already is the reason why you met them. I don't introduce my subs to them. Yesterday was the exception. I do not want you discussing what we do here with Charlie. Bobby knows I'm gay, but he doesn't know about the dom stuff.

Dean nods, but he's disappointed. He likes Cas and all the hopes he had about bringing him home to meet Sam are dashed. He tries not to let his face fall.

"I'm sorry, Dean. If this is not something you want, then you can go."

Cas is looking at him face blank once again, and all Dean wants is to rile him up just a little, to shake him so he knows what he's thinking.

"I don't want to go," he finally says.

Cas smiles. "Good. The last thing is what's off-limits. I need you to follow my directions, and you've proven you can do that so far. I already told you I don't choke and I won't suspend you from the ceiling. I don't do pain or lasting damage. But here's what you can't do."

He takes a breath and Dean is intrigued by this. Cas is hesitant for the first time since meeting him, and Dean feels himself sit up more.

"Don't touch my neck. This means a hand or lips or anything. The rest of my body is fine, but do not go near my neck."

Dean watches as Cas traces a line around where his limit is, from the jawline down to his collar bone. He watches his adam's apple bob up and down, and Dean gets the over-whelming urge to kiss it, but that's off-limits.

And then he finds himself standing and tucking his legs into Cas' side and sinking into his lap because Cas hadn't said he couldn't move, and he looks so vulnerable right now, and Dean just wants him to feel better.

Cas looks up at him but pulls his hips in closer.

"Do you understand everything I've said so far?" Dean nods. "Are these things you're willing to do?"

"I need to talk to Sam about hours on the weekends, but everything else is fine."

Cas smiles. "You need to think of a safe word. We can spend the rest of the day together and then you need to go home and think about everything."

Cas presses Dean's hips up and Dean climbs off of him. Cas settles himself on the couch, legs stretched out and holds a hand up for Dean to join him. Dean snuggles in so his back is to Cas' front, and he lays his head on Cas' outstretched arm.

Cas turns the tv on and flips through channels until he finds an old movie. He reaches his arm around Dean and pulls him in tighter, and they settle into a lazy afternoon together.

By the time Cas nudges him and hands him the rest of his clothes so he can leave, Dean is wondering if it would be over-stepping his boundaries to ask to stay longer. He decides it is, and he drives back to his apartment feeling both excited about the following weekend and a little sad that it's not more time.

Chapter Text

Work is a little weird all week because Dean knows Charlie knows about Cas and him, and Dean knows about her and Gabe, and he's totally unsure how to act around her and Bobby with all this knowledge.

He finds himself avoiding Charlie all together, but by Thursday he's so distracted that he jumps when Charlie comes up behind him in the garage. He'd been thinking about Cas, of course, and how he hadn't texted him at all this week, and he's supposed to be there tomorrow, but he also hadn't talked to Sam about it yet, and he's a ball of tension and energy.

Charlie startles him enough that he hits his head on the hood of the car he's working on, and she laughs at him as he rubs it.

"We haven't gotten a chance to talk since Thanksgiving. I hope you had fun," Charlie says once she's stopped laughing.

"Yeah, yeah, I did." He's hoping Charlie might not remember too much about what happened at the bar seeing as she was so drunk.

But of course Charlie remembers. "So you're with Castiel now," she says. Dean's face reddens and she hurries to correct herself. "Hey, I don't care about what you two do. I think you're good for Castiel. He's happy since he met you. Please don't think I'm judging you. I don't have room to." She looks down and steps back from him.

"Why don't you just tell Bobby?" Dean asks her. "I don't think he's going to care, and surely you'll be happier if you tell him."

"Bobby never had a son. You heard him at Thanksgiving. He's hoping for a grandson, and he might be totally fine with Castiel being gay but I'm his daughter, and it's different."

"Maybe, but I don't think so. He loves you. He'll love you especially when you tell him the truth. I'm sure he'll be happy if you're happy."

Charlie looks like she's going to argue, but then Bobby comes through the door and Charlie drops it.

"Hey!" he calls. Bobby claps Dean on the back and turns to face them. "How was your first Novak-Singer Thanksgiving?" he asks.

"It was good. I had a good time. Thank you for making me go. Thank you both."

Bobby laughs. "You and Castiel really hit it off." Dean blushes. "Hey, look, I'm happy for you. Castiel deserves someone like you. You're a good kid. You're going to make him happy."

Dean blushes further and Charlie laughs at him before speaking up. "I was just telling Dean the same thing, dad."

"Yeah, well, it's a good thing seeing people with someone they truly like. But that's enough chick flick moments. Ain't I paying you or something?"

Bobby turns and walks back into the building, and Charlie goes to do the same, but Dean gives her a pointed look before she goes, and she huffs out a breath.

"We're going to be good friends, aren't we?" She laughs out.

"I hope so," Dean says, and then they both get back to work.

Dean is hoping all day for his phone to go off, but it never does, and by the time he's home he has to shower to relieve some of the tension. It's hotter than he would normally take it, but it helps keep his mind off of things. Sam finally gets home a little after 5, and it's the first time he's seen him for more than ten minutes in days and he finds he doesn't know what to say.

They dance around topics until finally Sam laughs awkwardly and tells Dean to sit.

It's not like his brother to be so serious in a conversation, so Dean sits and listens to him.

"Dean, as you know dad's gone and neither of us really wants to stay in the apartment. I've been looking around at places we can rent, and I was hoping we wouldn't have to stay in another apartment but actually have a yard for once, so I looked at a couple of houses and I found one I think we'll both like."

Dean laughs because clearly Sam has put a lot of thought in this, but he's not sure about having an entire house. They haven't lived in a house since the one they lived in when the fire happened, which means Sam doesn't remember having a yard, so he guesses Sam has a point.

"I was hoping you'd come look at it with me tomorrow."

Dean snaps his head up because tomorrow's Friday which means he's supposed to be at Cas', but he doesn't want to let Sam down.

"I have plans tomorrow night, but what time were you thinking?"

The look on Sam's face makes Dean back-pedal. "I can cancel them. I want to go look at the house with you, I just already told Ca--" and he stops himself because he's said too much, and he doesn't want to get Sam's hopes up that this is going to work out between them.

"No, no. I want you to go hang out with whoever you're going to see. It's fine. I told the landlord we'd come at 4, but if you need to go then we can reschedule."

Dean breathes out a sigh of relief. "I was going at 6, so 4 gives us plenty of time to see the house."

Sam nods. "Great. So I'll tell you a little about it but first are you going out with Dr. Novak?" He slips it in like it's nothing, but Dean knows better. Sam is gearing up for teasing, and Dean decides it's better to just tell him than hide it. He'll need an excuse about what he's doing over the weekend anyway.

"It is Dr. Novak, but It's not that serious. I went to Thanksgiving at his house and it was fun, but it was a little strange."

"Woah, woah. You went to his house on Thanksgiving? Dean, I don't know what your definition of serious is, but that's it," Sam says.

"No, it's not like that. My boss, Bobby, and his daughter, Charlie, who also works at the garage know Cas and his brother, and they invited me. It just happened to be his house."

"Dean, you're not really helping your argument. That's serious--your boss and your boyfriend's brother." He laughs when he sees Dean's epic bitch face.

"He's not my boyfriend. And anyway, we're not talking about this anymore. We're talking about the house. Tell me about it."

Sam holds up his hands in a defeated gesture. "Ok, ok. Not your boyfriend. Got it. The house is 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. It's over by the university, but it's not right on campus. It's got everything we need and a big backyard. But it's a little more expensive than what we're used to, which brings me to my next point." He sighs. "I know you've been paying rent for forever, and you're working extra to help have some savings when I leave for Stanford. This house is me asking, not you, so I got a job to help pay for it."

Dean starts to argue because his little brother definitely doesn't need to help pay for anything, he should concentrate on school, but Sam stops him. "I already figured it out. I'm going to work weekends. It's at this little kennel assisting with the animals staying over the weekend. I take care of them while they're there and there's a place to sleep. I still get time to do my homework, plus a weekend job looks good on a college application."

"Sam, you already got in to college. I don't really know how I feel about you staying somewhere by yourself all weekend long."

"I won't be alone. There are two assistants," and he blushes enough that Dean understands.

"And the other one is Jess," Dean says.

Sam's face gives him away. "It's not about her. I really do want the job. I think it will be good. You know how much I like dogs."

Dean laughs. "And I know how much you are a dog."

Sam jumps up and starts hitting Dean, but Dean's got him pinned before he can do any real damage. Sam's huffing, and Dean tells him to say uncle. Sam keeps squirming until he finally gives up.

"Uncle!" he yells, and Dean lets him up.

"I'm just saying being alone all weekend with your girlfriend is kind of a big deal. Do Jess' parents know?" Dean asks.

"They know about the job, but not about me being her co-worker. Besides, you know we won't do anything to mess up college. Her parents would freak if they knew, but we're going to sleep in separate rooms. It really is about the job. Jess is just an added bonus." Sam smiles.

Dean knows it's true. Sam won't do anything to jeopardize California and getting out of Kansas, and he's too nice of a guy to do anything to mess up Jess' future either.

He ruffles his hair. "Ok, little bro."

"Ugh, Dean, you're such a jerk," but he's laughing as he smooths down his hair.

"Bitch," Dean says back.

He smiles and gets dinner ready while Sam starts his homework. Sam just gave him an excuse not to be home, and he's feeling a little guilty about how excited he is that he gets to spend the entire weekend at Cas', but not enough to stop him from dancing around the kitchen while dinner cooks.

Chapter Text

When Dean gets to Cas' house the following night, he's less nervous than he was on Thanksgiving. This time he's empty handed, and it gives him a moment to consider if he's supposed to knock or ring the doorbell or just go in.

The house he and Sam had seen was perfect. It was small and white and had a porch with a swing. It wasn't the most gorgeous house in the world-not like Cas'-but it would do. It's only a few streets over from Cas', and Dean thinks that he could probably just walk over here, but he likes having the car just in case. He's in a pretty good mood, but then he looks at the time and it's 6:02, and he's late for their first weekend.

He knocks on the door tentatively but Cas doesn't answer. It gives Dean enough time to work up a nervous sweat, and finally he just decides to go in because Cas surely likes punctuality over manners anyway.

Cas is nowhere to be seen from the entryway. Dean removes his shoes and socks and pulls his shirt up over his head. He folds it and lays it on top of his shoes and leaves them by the door. The entry opens into the living room, where an over-sized white couch sits perpendicular to the fire place. The tv is on the mantel, and there are two brown leather chairs that face the couch. Cas has moved the room around since he was here last, which Dean finds a little strange. The dining room table is large and wooden with white chairs at it and sits behind the two brown chairs. It leads into the kitchen, which has yellow paint and is galley style but spacious. The stove is on the back wall, and there's an island in the middle made of old wood. Cas isn't in here either, and Dean's a little worried that he might be trespassing and the reason why he didn't get the a text is because Cas figured he just wasn't going to come, and then he's panicking and racing back to the door.

He stops in his tracks when he sees Cas sitting on the bottom stair. There's a glass of wine in his hand, and Dean feels like there's no way he walked past him, but he was wrapped up in looking around the house, so maybe he had.

Dean stands behind the couch, looking at Cas. He's breathing hard and sweaty, and of course Cas just sips from his glass and looks at Dean.

It's driving him crazy that he's so un-bothered, but finally Cas stands and walks over to Dean. He walks around him and then circles back to the front and lifts Dean's chin with his fingers.

"You're late," Cas says. It's not anger in his voice, just a fact, and Dean doesn't know what to do.

"I didn't know if I was supposed to knock or just come in, so I knocked but then I decided I should just come in because I was already late and I didn't want to keep you waiting. I'm sorry." Dean lowers his gaze, but Cas grips his jaw harder and Dean snaps his eyes back up.

"In the future, the door will be unlocked, and I will be waiting for you on the couch."

Dean nods as best he can with Cas' grip still on him, and he drops his hand.

"Did you touch yourself this week?" Cas asks.

Dean blushes and lowers his eyes again and shakes his head. He tried, but it wasn't enough, and he gave up each time.

"Don't lie to me. I asked you a question, and you answer it."

Dean looks back up at Cas. "I tried early this week but couldn't, you know."

"You couldn't come," Cas finishes his statement for him. Dean nods his head lightly and Cas closes his eyes. When he opens them, Dean can see his pupils flare and darken, and it sends a jolt of electricity through his body. "You must be so pent up. I bet even if I barely touched you you'd come for me."

Cas is stepping into Dean's space, his body inching closer, and he can't believe he just said that, and he can't believe that it makes him so hard. He leans into his ear and whispers, "go to the bedroom and get yourself almost there. Don't touch your ass and don't take off your pants."

Then he's moving away from him and into the kitchen, drinking from his wine glass as he goes.

Dean turns on his heels and rushes up the stairs.

The room is exactly the same, the white comforter smoothed over the bed. There are four sky blue pillows resting against the wrought iron headboard. There's nothing else on the bed, and Dean's not sure how far Cas is behind him, so he lays himself on the bed without turning the covers down and unbuttons and unzips his pants.

He reaches a hand in to pull out his mostly hard cock. Its up just a bit over the waistband of his boxers, and Dean works a hand around himself. He fists himself gently, his head propped up on the pillows and closes his eyes.

It takes two or three pulls before he's fully hard, and another couple before he's out of breath and his thighs are clenching in anticipation. He wishes Cas would hurry up and do this because he's been almost there all week but it hadn't been enough and he is a bit pent up. He hears himself breathe out Cas' name, and then he feels a dip in the bed beside him and Cas is there, leaning over top of him.

Dean's not sure how long Cas has been staring at him like this, but he's embarrassed and close enough that Cas really might just only need to lay a finger on him to come.

He takes his hands off himself and reaches them up to touch Cas' waist, but Cas grabs his hands and holds them above Dean's head.

"You want it, don't you?" he asks.

Dean nods. He wants Cas to kiss him, to lay on top of him, to be naked and not still in his business casual clothes, but Dean gets none of that.

Instead, Cas lowers his head and runs his tongue down Dean's neck to his belly button, still holding his hands over his head.

Dean is trembling, and he wants desperately for more touch than just his tongue, but Cas has him pinned.

He moans before he can stop himself and Cas pauses above him. He leans back over Dean's ear, takes the earlobe between his teeth and sucks, and Dean bucks his hips up, and his dick catches on the fabric of Cas' pants and he comes in stripes across himself, panting.

When he realizes what he's done, he's so ashamed of himself that he almost pulls himself up to leave, but Cas is leaning over him with a look of awe on his face.

He smooths a thumb over his cheek and says, "that was so much easier than I thought," and Dean hears that he's easy, that he's not worth Cas' time, and his face falls, but Cas pulls him into his lap.

"Have you been thinking about me all week?" he asks. He plants a kiss on the top of Dean's head, and Dean nods underneath him. "You are incredible."

Dean looks up at him. "I'm sorry. I couldn't even last two minutes. I'll make it up to you."

"You don't need to make anything up to me. That was perfect. You came undone under me without me even touching you. Just the thought of me. You don't see how sexy that is, do you?"

Dean shakes his head and sits up. He moves himself off Cas' lap and straddles him.

"You must have had a long week," Dean says. "It's not fair that only one of us gets some release.

Dean's not sure if this is allowed, but Cas doesn't stop him as he pulls down Cas' pants and takes him into his mouth. He feels Cas relax under him, and his hands go to Dean's hair. He's pulling a little hard, and he pulls enough so that he lets go of Cas and brings his eyes up to him.

Cas is breathing hard. "Do you have a safe-word yet?" he asks.

Dean nods. "I thought about it a lot. Pie. That's my word."

Cas' lips pull up slightly, like he knew that Dean would say that, and Dean hopes he gets that pie is his limit because it's ruined for him now.

"I'm going to fuck your mouth. Since you won't be able to speak, tap me on the stomach twice and I'll stop." Dean nods. "I'm not going to be gentle."

And then he's pulling him back over himself. Cas is fully hard now, and he's huge, and Dean wonders if he is going to be able to get all of him in his mouth. He licks him around the head and then lets his mouth go slack as Cas drags him where he wants him to be. Dean breathes through his nose and keeps himself from choking when Cas pushes him all the way down. He pushes into Dean's throat again and again. Dean swallows, and Dean feels his hips stutter, and Cas' hands come off Dean's head. His scalp is sore from how hard he pulled, but he wants to taste Cas so badly, so he keeps going as far as he can, sucking and licking until Cas is finally trembling under him. Dean can tell Cas is close, and he pulls back up to the head and wraps a hand around the base of him. He twists and sucks until Cas is moaning, and then he goes harder until Cas stills and he comes hot in his mouth.

Dean sucks until Cas pulls his head up, and he tugs Dean against his chest. Dean can feel Cas' heart pounding in his chest.

"Perfect," he whispers, and he pulls Dean up to kiss him. "I haven't had dinner yet. Are you hungry?" he asks.

"Yes," Dean replies. He's liking lazing around in bed with Cas' warmth around him, and he doesn't really want to get up, but he is hungry.

"Good. I'll cook you something. Clean up and come downstairs." Cas moves and zips himself up and leaves the room.

Dean stretches himself out on the bed before going to the bathroom to wipe himself down. So far he doesn't really feel like he's submitting anything. He likes being told what to do. He doesn't really feel embarrassed about anything they've done so far, except for maybe how eager he'd been with the pie and how quickly he'd come just now, but Cas liked it, and if he was making Cas happy, then he's happy.

This isn't exactly the type of relationship he was imagining for himself, but if it means he gets to have Cas, then he can do it.

He goes downstairs and ignores the clawing in his stomach that tells him maybe he wants more.

Chapter Text

Sunday comes too quickly. Dean's just getting used to waking up in Cas' bed and finding his way around the house before Cas is handing Dean the rest of his clothes and pushing him toward the door.

They've just finished fucking against a counter in the kitchen, Dean still sporting a chubby when Cas looked at the clock and told Dean it was time to go. He looked strange then, his normally blank face twisted with something that looked like anger and sadness, but Dean catches it for just a second before Cas straightens his face and leads Dean to the door.

"This was a good weekend," Cas says as Dean pulls his shoes on. "I hope you enjoyed it as much as me."

Dean smiles. "I did." He pulls on his shoes and stands up straight, looking at Cas. He's not sure why he has butterflies right now after all they'd done this weekend. Nothing should feel like a first anymore, but Dean can't help the feeling like Cas is waiting for a goodnight kiss, and it makes his insides twist up in a good way.

Cas looks like he wants to say something else, but he moves so Dean is pressed up against the wall next to the door, his body trapped by Cas'. They aren't touching, but Dean can feel the heat coming off of the man, and he's once again close enough to smell him--the same scent mixed with sweat and sex. Dean catches his eyes shifting down to look at Cas' lips, and Cas licks them. Dean flicks his eyes back up to Cas', but the man leans closer into Dean's face, and Dean closes his eyes expecting to get a kiss, but he hears the door opening instead and Cas is moving away from Dean, holding the door open for him.

"Have a good week at work, Dean."

Dean can't say anything. He swallows a couple of times and tries to slow his breathing, and then he's walking out the door to the Impala like nothing happened. Well, nothing did happen--not the kiss he was hoping for anyway.

He barely registers the drive home, just goes through the motions and is already on his bed before he realizes he's home and Sam's not.

The apartment is empty, but Dean's kind of happy it is. He doesn't need to tell Sam what he's been up to this weekend. Everything between he and Cas can be kept to himself.

He gets flashes of images of the weekend--the feeling of Cas' slacks on his dick, the soft slap of Cas' hand on his butt, the water running over his face when he had Cas in his mouth in the shower, the bite of the counter into Dean's hips while Cas was pressed up behind him, waking up burrowed in next to Cas. They do nothing to help slow his heartbeat, but Dean lets the images wash over him.

He rolls over on to his side and pulls his knees up. It had been a good weekend. Cas cooked for him and made sure he was satisfied in all things. He was extremely attentive in bed, and he let Dean nestle closer to him when they were done, his body so tired he couldn't lift his limbs if he tried. Cas kept pulling him closer to his side and did lazy movements--kissing his head, running his fingers over Dean's back. Dean had felt a state of bliss that he couldn't fully describe.

He sighs. Five days is a long time to wait for Cas. He can do it though, he tells himself. He can be patient and wait to see what Cas has in store for them on Friday.

He reaches over and grabs the note still on the nightstand next to his bed. It's given him comfort over the past few weeks, reading it over and over before he falls asleep. The come stains aren't so obvious, but Dean knows they're there, and it makes him blush when he picks up the note, but it's a reminder that Cas can elicit that kind of pleasure from Dean, so he can't bring himself to throw it away.

He stares at the note on his side, just breathing and not really thinking, and then he feels his phone vibrate in his pocket.

He pulls it out and the screen lights up with the message icon on the front, and Cas' name is on the screen. Suddenly Dean is scrambling up in bed, his lazy afternoon gone, and his chest feels like it's on fire.

"Are you thinking about me?" it says. Dean feels his heart racing. He doesn't know what to say. This isn't a command, just a question, but Dean doesn't want to be so obvious. Cas had felt like a mind-reader all weekend, getting Dean to put off his orgasm when he felt he couldn't take it again and again. Cas knew when he needed to sleep and when he was hungry or thirsty before Dean really knew it himself. It was crazy how much Cas seemed to know him so well already, so of course he'd know that Dean was laying in bed and thinking about him rather than getting himself ready for the work week.

"Yes," Dean replies. No use in lying. He's hunched up in bed and waits for the reply, but it's taking longer than it should, and Dean's starting to think he said the wrong thing, that Cas wanted him to keep the weekend to just the weekend and let Dean have his time to himself. He's just about to reply back that no, he absolutely wasn't thinking of him, just thinking about what he should take for lunch this week, but finally the phone buzzes in his hand.

"Good. I'm thinking about you, too."

Dean smiles and relaxes. "What are you thinking?"

He waits for the reply and snuggles down into his bed.

"About watching your face when you come, about you bent over my counter in the kitchen, about my fingers in your hair in the shower."

Dean stares at the screen in front of him, his heart picking up a quicker pace. His face is hot, and he feels himself tightening in his jeans. After everything they did this weekend, how many times Cas made Dean come, he's got an erection from a text message. It's strangely arousing that Cas isn't even in the room but Dean feels like this.

"I'm thinking about that, too," he sends back. Those images and more flash through his mind, of Cas' careful face gasping when he comes, of Cas' fingers digging into his thighs and the bruises he left.

"Are you touching yourself, Dean?" is the next reply, and Dean is painfully aware that he's not, and he wants to come to Cas' words on a screen.

He's panting now, but he knows he has to wait for permission. He wants to wait for permission.

"No."

He waits and tries to slow his breathing. He's vaguely aware that his hips are moving in slow pushing motions, trying to find friction in his jeans.

"So good for me, Dean. Don't touch yourself this week. Wait until Friday. I'll make it worth your patience."

Dean groans. He wants to throw his phone across the room because now he's so turned on and he can't do anything about it, and if he thought Friday was far away before, it feels like an eternity now.

"So not fair," he replies.

He doesn't wait long before his phone buzzes again. "It's not meant to be fair. But you'll do it because you've done everything I've asked and more so far, and I know you'll do this for me, too."

Dean blushes because it's true--everything Cas has asked of him he's done willingly, and it had been good for him, better than anything he's ever experienced, actually. He'll do this because Cas wants him to and because he trusts Cas to not do anything Dean can't handle. They haven't known each other long, but Dean trusts Cas to push him to his limits but not past them. He's about to reply when he gets another buzz.

"And don't wear underwear Friday."

He groans in frustration because that's really not fair, but the anticipation is curling inside him already. He knows Friday will be good, and he can wait because Cas wants him to. Because Cas trusts him, and Dean will do anything to keep Cas' trust.

Dean feels like he's messed up a lot in his life--he couldn't keep his dad home and he couldn't really keep Sam safe while growing up. He barely scraped by in high school, too concerned with work to concentrate on school. He's been one failure after another, but Cas makes him feel like he's something special when Cas is the one who's special. Cas has gone to medical school and is a successful doctor. Dean doesn't deserve it, not the way Cas concentrates on his body like it's a temple, not Cas himself.

"You're killing me. Only 121 hours until Friday." Dean feels like such a dork for sending it, but he can't help himself.

"You're cute. Go enjoy your afternoon. I'll see you in 120 hours and 59 minutes."

Dean smiles to himself and gets out of bed to make dinner. Cas called him cute, and it shouldn't make him as happy as it does, but Dean's trying not to think about it. He hums a Zeppelin song while he gets dinner started, imagining all the things Cas has planned for him.

Chapter Text

On Friday, Dean is so pent up with energy that he forgets to eat lunch. He counts down the time on the clock, busying himself with work. Charlie looks at him oddly all day, but she doesn't say anything.

When he's finally done for the day, he goes to pick up Sam first before heading home. They haven't seen each other in a few days, and Dean's starting to get pissed about it. Even if Sam is old enough to take care of himself, he's still leaving in a few months, and Dean wants at least some time with him before he goes.

Sam kisses Jess on the cheek and she waves at Dean in the car. Sam climbs in, tightening his jacket around him. Even though it's early December, it's cold, and Dean thinks it might snow before Christmas this year.

"What's up, bitch?" Dean says as Sam pulls his seat belt on. He reaches over and pushes the side of Sam's head before putting the car in drive.

Sam huffs. "Jerk." Dean can feel him looking at him.

"What?" he asks.

"Nothing. It's just, you seem different for some reason," Sam says.

Dean frowns a little. "How so?"

"I don't know. Happy maybe," Sam says.

Dean laughs. "Yeah? Maybe I am."

Sam shakes his head but is grinning. "You took my advice? You're actually seeing someone?"

The silence is enough to make Sam to chuckle. "Good! I like Dr. Novak. Have you seen him much recently?"

"How do you know it's him? I could have found some random guy to fuck more than once."

Sam scoffs. "Gross! Ugh, Dean!" He sighs. "I know you're just deflecting. It's Dr. Novak. You get weird every time I mention him. And you went to his house on Thanksgiving. You've never once said anything about any random guy or girl you hooked up with, but we've talked about him multiple times now. I think it's a good thing."

"Didn't know you were the sappy type," Dean replies. This conversation is making him uncomfortable. He can't tell Sam they are just fucking, and he definitely can't tell him about their arrangement.

"I've had the same girlfriend for two years. I have to be at least a little sappy. Besides, I already told you I approve. You're almost 22 and never been in a serious relationship. It's not normal. Dad messed us up, and I know you took the brunt of that, but you deserve to be happy. Stop trying to find happiness in random guys at bars. If Dr. Novak makes you happy, then it's a good thing and you should just be happy."

Dean mulls that over. "It's Castiel."

"What?" Sam asks.

"Don't call him Dr. Novak. Call him Castiel." Dean pulls the car into a parking space in front of their building and hops out, Sam following. He starts talking when the elevator doors close.

"Well if Castiel makes you happy then just be with him and be happy. Stop worrying about what other people think. What dad thinks. What I think. Dad's not here, and you know I've always practically begged you to be monogamous. It kept me up at night, knowing you were out sleeping around. I never knew if you were hurt or you caught something." Sam stops and takes a breath. He looks a little shaken, and Dean's freaked by that. Sam made it clear he wasn't happy about how Dean took his frustration out, but he's never looked so...so scared.

"Woah, dude. I didn't know you felt that way. I'm fine. I've always been fine."

"Yeah, well, how could I know that? And how do you know? Did you ask the guys if they were clean? Did you always use protection?"

The elevator doors open and Sam exits quickly. Dean's stunned into silence because his 17-year-old brother is smarter than him, which he knew, but not like this. He follows Sam into the apartment.

"Sammy," he starts but Sam holds a hand up.

"No, Dean. You don't know what it was like. Dad pushing you around and you disappearing all hours of the night. I felt bad enough that you took the hits dad gave. I didn't need another thing to worry about. You have this need to keep everyone at an arm's length. You don't have friends. You never let anyone get close. It's my fault. I took up all your time. It's bad enough that dad left us and raised us the way he did, but my brother, who's only ever been a model of selflessness and courage, is dumb enough to sleep around with men you met in bars."

Sam takes a breath and sits on the couch.

Dean sinks down next to him. "This is not how I imagined the few hours we got to spend together going."

Sam sighs and looks at him. "I'm sorry, dude. I don't know where that came from. I'm just tired of you never letting yourself have what you want. And I can tell you like Castiel, but you just keep making a joke about it every time I bring it up. I'm not going to be around much come August. I mean, I know I'm not around much now, but it would be nice if I knew you weren't just sitting around alone here or working all the time. That you actually had someone."

"I'm fine being alone," Dean whispers, but as he's saying it, he knows it's not true. He's missed Sam, and he looks forward to going to work and seeing Cas because he does feel alone.

"Ok, Dean," Sam says. "Just promise me you'll get yourself checked out. Just in case. And don't overthink the Castiel thing too much. If you like what you've got going, then just let it happen."

Dean sighs because Sam doesn't know the full story. Cas doesn't want to date Dean, but Dean can't deny he's happy with what they've got going on now. He's never dated anyone anyway, so he doesn't know if he'd like the holding hands, walks in the park shit. But Sam does have a point. He can just let things go as they are without thinking too much about it, and he can definitely get tested. "I'll get checked out."

Sam visibly relaxes, breathing out a long sigh. "Thanks," he says.

"You're welcome. Hey, don't you need to get ready for work?" Dean asks. "Should I make dinner before you go?"

"I don't need to be there until 8, but dinner would be nice, thanks." Sam kicks his shoes off and stretches out on the couch and turns the tv on as Dean gets up.

"Cool. I'm going to shower and then start dinner. I have to be at Cas' at 6, though." Dean says it quickly, but Sam's eyebrows shoot up anyway.

"You're actually telling me you're going to see him rather than make a joke?" He asks.

"Not a big deal. I'll probably hang out with him for the weekend." Dean shrugs.

"Ok," Sam says. He smiles but mercifully turns back to the tv without saying anything.

Dean goes to the bathroom and removes his clothes while the water heats up. He feels weird. The conversation with Sam put him off his excitement for the weekend, and now he just feels anxious about it. It's one thing to admit that he's seeing Cas, but how long before Sam asks why they never go out? He can't see Sam being cool with Dean's relationship being purely sexual.

He pulls out his phone from his jeans and presses call before he can stop himself. Cas hadn't sent anything else this week, but he hadn't told Dean he couldn't call or text when he wanted.

It rings a few times and Cas finally answers, voice deep and breathy. "Dean?" he asks. "What's wrong?"

For a moment Dean is unsure why he called. Cas' voice is different on the phone, huskier, and it makes his brain feel fuzzy. "Cas, hi. Nothing's wrong," he says.

Cas pauses, and Dean's worried he's hung up, but he asks, "why are you calling?" in a voice that isn't angry, and Dean lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding.

"I got into a fight with Sam," he breathes out. "I just feel a little weird."

"And you're not coming tonight," Cas says. He sounds defeated and it hurts Dean to hear it.

"No, no. I'm still coming over. I've been excited about it all week. It's just Sam and I never argue, and my stupid brother said some things that's got me really thinking and it just took me out of how excited I was for the weekend, and I just wanted to call and--" he trails off because he's not sure what he wants, but Cas' voice makes it a little better.

"And get yourself back in the mood," Cas breathes out.

"Yes," Dean says.

"And you called me rather than touch yourself."

"Yes," Dean says again because that's it and he didn't know it was until Cas said it.

"Good," Cas says.

"So you're not mad I called? Are you at work? I interrupted you. I'm so sorry," Dean rushes out.

"Stop," Cas says, and Dean freezes. "You did nothing wrong. I'm glad you called. You need to be able to tell me things. It means you trust me."

"I do," Dean breathes out.

"I know," Cas says. "Is that the shower I hear?" he asks.

Dean forgot the water was running. "Oh, shit, yeah. I forgot the water was on."

"Are you naked?" Cas asks.

Dean blushes. "Yes."

He almost misses the slight breath of air that Cas lets out, but he hears it and his cock twitches in interest. "You haven't touched yourself this week, right?"

"No."

"So good, Dean. What should I do to you when you get here? Maybe push you up against the wall right then and fuck you immediately. You won't have underwear on, so it will be easy. Just push your pants down and press your face against the wall, watch you come all over the paint."

Dean groans and leans on the sink vanity. The mirror is fogged up, and the room is humid, but Dean is sweating for a different reason.

"Or maybe I'll make you wait more. Eat dinner slowly. Watch tv. Shower. Make you want it until you can't stand it anymore and fuck you until you're screaming in the mattress."

Dean presses his ass in the air and leans over the sink on his elbows. He can imagine Cas dragging a finger down his crack and shivers in spite of the heat.

"I already came this week, Dean." Cas' voice is low and husky, and the bass sounds strong and possessive, and Dean is panting at his words. "When we were texting. I had just come an hour before that with you and already wanted you again. Wanted to be buried in you. Wanted to feel you squeezing around me. Three days wasn't enough. I could fuck you a million times and it wouldn't be enough."

Dean is panting, his elbows shaking from holding his weight. "It wouldn't," he breathes out. "I want you in me, Cas. Now. Want to throw my legs around you."

"Two hours. Go shower, Dean. Get ready, but don't touch yourself. Remember. No underwear. And don't be late." Cas says, and Dean smiles at the commands.

"Ok," he says and hangs up. He showers and the only thing on his mind is Cas.

Chapter Text

Dean and Sam have a slow dinner, Dean purposefully keeping the conversation light. Sam doesn't say anything about Dean's improved mood.

They talk about moving, and they decide that they'll move in two weeks so they have the house right before Christmas. It means Dean is going to miss a day at Cas' because Sam already said he would ask off for a Saturday so that he can help move the bigger stuff. He's not willing to move everything after school since they're moving right when his exams are, so Dean will have to get the smaller stuff over there by himself, but it's a good compromise, and Dean can't really complain. But he is bummed that he'll have to tell Cas he has to miss a day.

When he pulls up to Cas', he's humming with excitement. He's already half-hard, which seems ridiculous, but he tries not to think much about how easily Cas does that to him.

He's right on time, and he opens the door without hesitation this time. Cas is nowhere to be seen, and he's already got his shoes and socks off and turned to face the wall to pull his shirt up when he feels hands tugging his wrists behind his back. He's suddenly pressed against the wall, cheek turned so he can catch a glimpse of Cas' dark hair. His heart is pounding, and the wall is digging into his cheek. Cas presses his body flush against Dean, and Dean can feel how hard Cas is already, and it makes him moan.

Cas kicks his legs apart and presses his lips to Dean's ear. "Did I say you can make noise?" he asks. Dean bites his lip to keep from moaning because Cas is so close to his ear, and he likes when Cas sucks at it.

Cas is grinding against his ass, his dick pressed against him. He moves so one hand is holding his wrists and the other is undoing the button on his jeans. His pants are already slung low on his hips because he hadn't put a belt on. The fabric feels strange with nothing between it and his skin, and he's hoping Cas will pull him out already, but instead Cas gets the button popped and palms him through the fabric, making Dean throw his head back.

Cas sucks at his neck and lets go of his wrists to pull his hair to bare his neck more.

"Hands flat against the wall," Cas murmurs to him and quickly goes back to biting and sucking his neck.

Dean follows the order, placing his palms against the wall. Cas still has a hand in his hair and a hand palming him through his jeans, and Dean has been waiting all week and has been teased too much, and he just wants Cas to hurry up.

He pushes back against Cas, and Cas abruptly lets go of Dean and moves away. Dean doesn't have time to protest the sudden lack of heat against him before Cas is turning him around and roughly pushing him against the wall. Dean's head knocks against it and he cries out before he can stop himself because Cas hasn't said he can make noise, and he already messed up once.

Cas' hand finds the place where Dean hit the wall and rubs it soothingly. "Are you ok?" he asks, gently, and Dean doesn't want that. He wants the roughness. He wants Cas to take him like this.

"Yes," he breathes out.

"Do you want me to keep going?" Cas asks. He rubs soothing circles on the back on his head, looking for a knot.

"Please, Cas," Dean says. His eyes are closed, focused entirely on Cas' hand on his head, and as soon as he says Cas' name, his lips are covered with Cas', and he's no longer gentle. He moves his hand from his head and shoves Dean back roughly against the wall, keeping his hands on his hips. He bites his lip and kisses him forcefully, the sheer fire from it forcing the air out of Dean's lungs. He can tell Cas wants this, too. Has been longing for it as much as he has, and that makes him light up with some unknown feeling--pride maybe, or deep satisfaction.

Cas stops kissing him and Dean catches his breath. He pulls his shirt up over his head, and then Cas is turning him around again, and Dean automatically presses his hands against the wall and arches his back a little, just enough to know that his ass sticks out.

Cas hums his pleasure and kisses him down his back. He stops at the place where his shoulders meet and drags his teeth over him, and Dean arches into it, but keeps himself from moaning.

And then Cas is pressed against him, clothes rubbing against his naked back, and his hand slides into Dean's jeans and pulls him out. He doesn't pull his pants down. He jerks him a couple of times, smearing the pre-come over him. Cas nips his earlobe and Dean thrusts into his hand. Cas' hand on his hip digs into his skin, and Dean throws his head back.

"You want me to bruise you, Dean?" Cas asks. "Want me to mark you up because you're mine?"

Dean nods, knowing he still can't make noise, and Cas lets out a huff of breath and is suddenly pulling Dean's pants down roughly, the material grating against his sensitive dick.

Cas puts a hand in front of Dean's face, the other moving to palm him once more. "Suck," he says, and Dean takes his index finger in his mouth and sucks.

Cas adds his middle finger and then his ring, and Dean's mouth is full and his lips tear slightly from being chapped from the winter wind. He runs his tongue on the underside of Cas' fingers, relishing the taste of him, pressing his tongue flat against them. Cas pushes his fingers in further, grazing Dean's uvula, and Dean gags just slightly.

Cas pulls his fingers out roughly and kicks Dean's legs apart further. Then he runs a wet finger around Dean's rim, sending a shiver up Dean's spine. Cas manages a finger in, and the stretch burns from lack of preparation, but it also feels good, and he fingers him in and out enough that Dean loosens.

Cas starts sucking at Dean's earlobe, and before Dean realizes what he's doing, he feels a second finger slide in easily. He flushes at how quickly Cas has figured him out, but then Cas is scissoring him open and adding a third finger, and the pressure makes Dean moan, and then Cas is roughly pulling out of him.

Dean hadn't heard the sound of a bottle of lube or condom open, but Cas is sheathed and wet, and he pushes into Dean easily and in one go. Cas normally takes his time, going slowly and making sure Dean is ready before he does this, and the quick fucking takes Dean's breath away.

Cas is in him and already moving back to thrust into him again. It's a relentless force, making Dean's legs shake with effort to stand still and take it.

He bites back his moans, and the feeling of fullness inside him is sending him over the edge quickly, but then Cas' hand is in Dean's hair and pulling his head back hard so that Cas' lips are against his ear.

"Make as much noise as you want," Cas pants out, and then his other hand is on his dick, stroking him quickly.

Dean moans at that, the permission given to him making him pant out all the things he's wanted to say.

"Cas," he breathes. "So close. I want--oh, god. I want," but he can't finish his sentence because he feels himself seizing up, and Cas' hips are stuttering.

Dean knows Cas is as close as he is, but he suddenly slows down, thrusting in and out of him at a deliciously slow pace.

"No," Dean pants. "Want you. Faster. Come inside me."

Cas releases Dean's hair and Dean presses his forehead against the cool wall. Cas doesn't listen to him. He continues his languid pace, one hand on Dean's hip pulling him back against his body, the other on his dick, wrapped loosely around him and jerking slowly.

Dean can't take it. He can hear Cas breathing behind him, his control over their bodies making Dean want it more.

Cas doesn't speed up, though. He thrusts into him slowly, pulls back out and starts all over again. It's drawing a slow build in Dean, making his stomach ache from the need of it.

He's been on edge all week, thoughts of Cas making him wake up to a stiffness in his cock that would be comical if it hadn't happened every day. He wants this. He wants to be taken apart and then taken care of. Because Cas will do that for him, and Dean realizes in that moment he needs Cas, has always needed Cas, even before he knew that Cas existed. The realization sends the breath out of him because this is more than weekend fucking, and Dean doesn't know what to do with that.

He moans, and then Cas wraps an arm around Dean's waist and pulls him tight against his body, his other hand still on his dick, but tightening.

Cas keeps up the slow place, but his lips are next to Dean's ear. "Come for me, Dean," he whispers. "Want to feel you clench so tight around me. I'm close, but I need you to come first."

And then he tightens his grip on Dean and jerks lazily twice, but it's the thought that Cas wants to watch Dean unravel before him, wants to feel him seize up around him before he allows himself pleasure that sends Dean over the edge. He paints the wall with his come, panting and only held up by Cas' strong arm around him.

Dean feels Cas still and empty into him, jerking shallow movements a few times before he pulls out of Dean and turns him around. Dean lays his head on his shoulder, careful not to touch any part of his neck, and breathes deeply against him.

Cas feels so good, arms wrapped tight around him, and he's not sure how long they stay like that before he finally says, "let's get cleaned up," and starts leading him upstairs.

Later, when Cas is fast asleep and Dean wakes to the lights still on in the bedroom and his head tucked into Cas' chest, he moves his head up to look at Cas. They are completely wrapped up in each other, Dean's leg thrown over Cas' body and Cas' arm wrapped tightly around Dean. Dean takes the time to study him, his dark stubble and chin that dips in just slightly, his full lips parted, his hair that sticks up in all directions. They fell asleep naked, and Cas' chest is firm under his cheek. Dean runs a hand over Cas' abs, and Cas moves slightly, just enough for Dean to still and Cas to turn his head closer toward him.

Dean knows he shouldn't, but he can't help himself. There, just below Cas' adam's apple, above the dip in his throat between his collar bones, is a faint line that runs the width of his throat. Dean sits up and examines it, making sure Cas is still deeply asleep. It's thin, mostly white rather than red, which means it must be an old scar. He reaches out a finger and gently traces it, and Cas stirs underneath him, his eyebrows creasing his beautiful face.

Dean jumps and shrinks back. He immediately turns off the light and snuggles in closer to Cas, his breathing coming out in quiet pants.

Dean tries to sleep, and he smiles slightly when Cas unconsciously reaches for Dean and wraps both arms around him, but Dean can't sleep with the knowledge he now has.

He knows it in the deepest part of himself, and it makes him feel sick.

That Cas, his Cas, must have had his throat slit by something and someone, and instantly Dean knows it was Uriel.

He can't help the tear that slides down his cheek.

Chapter Text

Cas must notice how weird Dean is acting because he gives him a wide berth on Saturday. He lets Dean wear a pair of his sweatpants over his boxer briefs, which is unusual as Cas normally likes him in nothing but his underwear, but Dean doesn't complain.

He feels dirty. He knows he broke a rule, when Cas was asleep and vulnerable no less, and he feels terrible about it. He feels even worse knowing that Uriel hurt Cas. He's angry, and he can't do anything about it.

They're sitting eating breakfast when Cas takes Dean's hand and holds it on the table while he spoons cereal in his mouth. It's that small act that Dean can't stand. He doesn't deserve Cas, and he definitely doesn't deserve how sweet and gentle he's being when Dean is the one who messed up.

He needs to be punished.

He can't tell Cas that he knows about the scar. It makes sense why Cas is typically wearing collared shirts buttoned up all the way. It's a faint line, so it's not noticeable unless you are close like Dean was last night, but now it makes sense why Cas won't let Dean touch his neck. He definitely can't tell him that he touched it because then Cas might tell him to not come back. Dean wants to hurt, but it would be too much if Cas told him he didn't want him anymore.

Cas tightens his grip on Dean's hand and Dean looks at him.

"What's going on in that head of yours?" Cas asks.

Dean lowers his eyes and blushes.

"Are you still thinking about that fight with your brother?"

Dean shakes his head. Cas squeezes his hand and lets go and Dean finally looks up at him.

Cas' normally blank face looks concerned, and Dean hates its because of him. He needs Cas to be angry, not worried about him.

Dean looks back and forth at Cas' eyes and finally decides how he's going to be punished. He gets up abruptly and sits in Cas' lap, and Cas is so shocked by it he doesn't react for a moment.

Dean faces him, his legs on either side of Cas' body, and starts grinding his hips down on him. He leans in to kiss Cas, and then Cas is standing, pushing Dean off of him.

Before Dean even knows what's happening, Cas is hauling him up, a hand clamped tightly around Dean's wrists and twists them to his back. He pushes at Dean in front of him and leads him into the kitchen. He forces him over the counter of the island, a hand on the back of Dean's neck so that his cheek is pressed hard into the wood, the other still clutching his wrists.

It hurts, and it's exactly what Dean needs.

"What gives you the right to force yourself on me?" Cas growls above him. His lips are inches away from Dean's ear, and when Dean doesn't answer, Cas presses the hand on his neck harder into him, digging his nails into the skin.

Dean takes a breath and asks, "Why do you always get to decide when you have me?"

He knows he's over-stepping his boundaries, but his heart is hammering in his chest and he's breathing hard from the pressure of the hand on his neck. This is exactly what he deserves right now. Angry Cas, not sweet, hand-holding Cas.

Cas nearly barks a laugh. "I'll show you why I get to decide. You wanted this. You don't get to do anything without my permission. I decide what you get. And right now, you're getting spanked."

Cas moves both hands off Dean's body. "Hands flat on the counter," Cas says. Dean presses from his elbows down to his fingers as flat as he can against the surface. Cas moves away from him, grabbing something over by the stove that Dean can't see. And then he's back and pulling Dean's sweatpants and underwear down in one swift motion.

It takes Dean's breath away, how angry Cas is. He's still in control, but Dean can feel him barely hanging on, like if Dean does one more thing he isn't supposed to, he'll snap.

It's terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

Cas is leaning over him, no part of his body touching Dean. Dean wants the skin on skin, wants something to remind him that Cas is here, that he chose this, that he needs to be punished because Cas deserves someone who can follow simple directions. He's breathing hard, and his eyes are squeezed shut. Dean jumps at the unexpected feeling of Cas' finger dragging over a cheek, down his thigh.

"I'm going to spank you now, Dean. You're going to take it. What are you supposed to do at the table, Dean?" he asks.

"Sit in the chair next to yours quietly," Dean squeaks out.

"That's right. Why do you do that, Dean?" Cas is breathing hard above him, and the finger scratches painfully down his ass.

Dean gasps. "Because I'm your submissive."

"Good. A submissive is just that, Dean--submissive. You don't exist for me to pleasure you when you want. You exist for me and only me. I give you what I want to give you, and you do not force yourself on me. Ever. You understand?"

Dean nods against the counter, but Cas slaps him hard on the right cheek, and Dean croaks out a "yes."

"I don't think you get it yet, but you will."

Then Cas hits him hard with something that isn't Cas' hand. Cas has spanked him a couple times before, but not with anything, and the instrument stings. This is a punishment for pain, not for pleasure.

Dean cries out, and Cas hits him hard again on the other cheek.

It hurts, the pain echoing over his ass. Cas hits him again on a thigh this time, and his knees buckle underneath him, but Cas' hand pushes him hard in the middle of his back, keeping him from sliding down to the floor.

He can feel welts rising on his skin, and then he realizes it's a wooden spoon he's being hit with, that Cas must have taken it out of the vase it's usually in by the stove.

Cas hits him again, hard, in the same spot as the first hit, and the pain blinds him for a moment, but then he's a kid again and his dad is chasing him around with a wooden spoon, and then he hears the word "pie" being screamed in the room, and he doesn't understand why Cas would say their safe word when he's the one being hit. But then he's being pulled up, and he realizes he's sobbing, snot dripping down his face, and Cas is pulling up his clothes and pulling him in his lap on the floor of the kitchen.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry," Dean gasps out. He can't catch his breath, and his chest hurts from heaving. He vaguely registers the sting on his ass, but it doesn't hurt nearly as much as his betrayal to Cas, and he can't stand having Cas rubbing soothing circles around his back.

"Shh," Cas whispers. "You have nothing to be sorry for."

"But I didn't listen to you, and then I was rude, and I just wanted you to punish me, and I should be able to take it, but I couldn't. You don't deserve me. You should have someone else, someone better. I can g--" but Cas cuts him off.

"What do you mean, you wanted me to punish you?" Cas asks.

Dean pulls himself out of Cas' lap and sits on the floor in front of him, even though it hurts. He can't look at him, can't speak, and he lets the tears slide over his cheek without stopping them.

"Dean, did you purposefully force yourself on me so I would punish you?" Cas asks. He sounds breathless, the anger gone out of him and replaced with exasperation.

Dean panics. "Please don't kick me out. I just made a mistake. I didn't mean it. I'll be good, I swear." He places his hands in Cas' lap, and Cas is staring at him, mouth open.

"Dean, stop." Dean keeps his hands his lap, willing himself to not clutch at Cas. He can't look at him, can't stop himself from whispering "please" over and over.

Finally Cas reaches his hands out and cups Dean's face. He draws him up so Dean has to look at him. Cas drags his thumbs over Dean's cheeks, wiping away his tears. "You're shaking," he says, and then he pulls Dean into his lap and cradles him, kissing his forehead. "What happened?"

Dean stares up at him. He shifts his eyes down Cas' face and settles on the scar on his neck, and Cas stills underneath him.

"You saw the scar," he says. It's a realization, not a question, and he looks ashamed of himself, and it breaks Dean's heart. "When?" he asks.

"Last night. We left the lights on and I woke up and I saw it. I didn't know what it was, and I leaned in, and I...I.." but he can't finish the statement because Cas is scrambling to his feet, dropping Dean on the floor. Dean scrambles up after him. He watches Cas pace the room.

"Did you touch it?" he asks.

Dean feels so ashamed. He broke Cas' most important rule, and he deserves every ounce of anger Cas is going to give him. "Yes," he mutters.

Cas stops pacing and deflates against the counter. "You must think I'm so ugly now."

Dean is moving before he realizes it. He pulls Cas into his arms. "How can I think you're ugly, Cas? You're perfect. You're the most perfect person I've ever met."

Cas pulls away from him, but he lets Dean keep his arms loose around him. "Did Uriel do that to you?" Dean asks, and Cas looks up at him, eyes wide.

"Yes," he says, and Dean feels the anger surge back. He wants to kill Uriel, wants to hurt him as much as he must have hurt Cas and more, and he doesn't realize he's squeezing Cas' arms until Cas pries him off of him and lets his hands drop.

"It was a long time ago, and it was a mistake. I'm safe now, Dean. He can't hurt me," Cas says. He moves away from Dean.

Dean clenches his fists.

"If you want to go, you can. It wouldn't be the first time someone's left because of it," Cas says. He looks defeated, and Dean doesn't know what to do.

The anger goes out of him, and he moves to stand in front of Cas. "I don't want to go. I touched it. I broke the rule. You should be kicking me out."

Cas huffs out a laugh. "You did, but you've been punished enough. I have a scar, and I don't like being touched on my neck. It's a mark that people in this community don't like. They don't want people who are marred by others."

Dean puts a hand on Cas' cheek, and Cas leans into it. "I'm scarred, too," he says. "You want me, and I have scars all over."

Cas takes the hand on his cheek and holds it. "I know," he says.

He leads Dean up to the bedroom and strips him of his clothes, then he pulls his own over his body. He starts at the scar on the pad of Dean's right thumb, a cut from something he doesn't remember but knows involves his dad. Cas kisses it, and Dean snuggles into the bed. Cas moves up to the scar from the pin in his wrist and kisses that, too. Dean realizes what he's doing, and he starts to get up, but Cas gently presses him back on the bed.

"I don't care about your scars, Dean," he says. "You don't have to tell me about yours, but I'll tell you about mine." He kisses the scar from a large gash on his upper arm. "That last session is a blur. I can't remember much from it. It started out normal enough, a scene we'd done a few times. Despite how he'd treated me the last few months, I still trusted him. I was blinded by how I felt about him, young and stupid and thought he'd never do anything to really hurt me." Cas shakes his head and kisses a cigarette burn on Dean's inner arm. "He started choking me. Breath play was his thing, and I liked it sometimes, but he wouldn't listen to my safe-word, and finally I got him off of me. I was almost out the door when I felt him come up behind me. I don't remember what happened after that, but the doctor told me he must have cut me with a box cutter. He barely missed veins, but he did, and I'm alive."

Cas keeps kissing Dean's scars. "Did he go to jail?" Dean asks. He's shivering under all the attention, all of his worst features on display and Cas kissing him everywhere that used to hurt. He feels Cas shake his head on his skin.

"Gabe and I were already gone. I didn't want to go on trial. I didn't want to see him again."

"Oh my god," Dean breathes out. "But you saw him at the club, and you talked to him. You hadn't seen him since it happened and you just went with him?"

"I knew he couldn't do anything to me. I'm not the same person I was when I was with him. He's not interested in a dominant personality, and I knew he wouldn't want me. He apologized when I saw him, though, and I guess it was nice to hear. I don't need anything from him. He's ancient history, and I have everything I need right here."

Dean sits up and tries to ignore the weight of that last statement. "Cas, I'm so sorry."

Cas wraps him in his arms. "It's ok." He kisses the raised scar on his ribs, and Dean melts into him. Cas kisses each scar, all the pieces that mark him as worthless to his father, and puts worth back into him. He kisses him gently until every scar is kissed, and he doesn't realize he's crying until Cas kisses his cheeks and then his lips and he tastes the salt from his tears.

"You're beautiful, Dean."

Dean opens his eyes to look at Cas. "I'm not," he breathes out.

"You are. You're the most beautiful person I've ever seen, and you're mine, and I've never been happier."

Dean is straining under the words, trying to keep himself calm at how much they mean, but he can't stop himself from blushing and wishing he weren't under Cas' gaze right now.

Cas rests his weight on top of Dean so he can't go anywhere, and then he pulls Dean's finger up to his neck. He holds his hand with both of his, keeping the finger out, and Dean realizes what he's going to do before he can pull back. "Cas, no. It's your limit. Stop. I don't need to--" but Cas cuts him off.

"I want you to," he says. He closes his eyes and drags Dean's finger over the scar. Dean can feel him swallow under his finger, and Cas lets his hands drop. Dean stops tracing the scar and puts his hand around Cas' throat gently, and then he sits up and kisses Cas with everything in him, trying to let his kisses tell him what he can't.

That he's perfect. That Dean will do anything he can to make sure Cas never hurts again. That the scar is nothing to him. That it means everything that Cas is letting him do this.

He kisses him until his lungs burn, and then he pulls back and Cas breathes out a quiet, "I know."

Chapter Text

After that, time moves quickly. Dean flits from work to picking Sam up from school and getting the apartment ready for the move to going to Cas'. Before he knows it, it's moving weekend, and he gets up early while Cas sleeps beside him and drives over to the apartment.

Cas had been surprisingly fine with Dean needing to leave all day Saturday. It's only their fourth weekend together, not including the day after Thanksgiving, and it's a couple days before Christmas.

Dean wants to spend all of his time with Cas. He hates the quiet of his bed during the week, how cold it is when he rolls over. Cas has started texting him more during the week, just little things like what he's having for lunch, or a crazy story that came through the ER. Dean has sent him a good night text every night since the Sunday after the scar incident, and Cas sends a good morning text back to him because he most often works the night shift in the ER. When Cas is asleep during the day, Dean can imagine him curled up in bed, and it makes him want to throw whatever tool is in his hand at the time and run to Cas.

Yeah, he feels a little pathetic, but it's ok because it's Cas, and he knows Cas doesn't want a boyfriend, and it makes it easier to fall into the rhythm they're in now because there's no pressure for a relationship. Cas just wants him, and Dean can do that.

Dean drives the moving truck over to the new house with Sam in the passenger seat. They unload everything, setting up the living room and kitchen. They made a little bit of money with all the things they sold of dad's, and Dean only feels marginally guilty about it. It helps that dad's the reason they won't get their security deposit back. Sam and Dean don't have too much to set up in the new house, so he's hoping the day will go quickly so that he can get back over to Cas.

Dean's just about got everything out of the Impala and is trying to close the door with his hands full when he sees Cas run by the house and stop when he catches sight of Dean.

Dean nearly drops his stuff because here's Cas, sweaty and wearing sweatpants that are tight on his ass and legs, and standing in front of his house. He can see the huffs of breath coming out of his mouth, and Dean is glad all of the things in his arms are covering his crotch because he definitely has a hard on.

"You're moving here?" Cas asks and he cocks his head to the side. It's adorable, and Dean shuffles the things in his arms.

"Yeah, this is the new house," Dean replies. Cas is still on the sidewalk, Dean standing in the driveway, and the distance seems silly with how close they've gotten to each other over the past months.

Sam chooses that moment to come outside, and Dean turns his head reluctantly away from Cas to look at him on the porch.

"Dr. Novak!" he says. "Come in! We don't have much set up yet, but we can give you some hot chocolate."

Dean looks at Cas. He's clearly uncomfortable, and Dean is just about to chastise Sam and tell Cas he doesn't need to come in when Cas speaks up. "Sure, I'd like that."

Sam beams, purposefully not looking at Dean, and Cas follows him in the house.

Dean sets his things in his bedroom quickly. He doesn't want Sam alone with Cas too long, but Sam's on his best behavior when he gets to the kitchen.

Cas is seated at the small table, sipping a mug of hot chocolate. He gets a bit of whipped cream on his nose, and Dean has to physically stop himself from licking it off.

"Is your house close?" Sam asks.

Cas wipes the whipped cream off, and Dean's unsure what to do. Cas makes him sit in the seat to his right, but this isn't his house right now, and the kitchen table doesn't have a chair at the head of it, so Dean really doesn't know where he's supposed to sit. He settles to lean against the wall, and he can see the smirk Cas gives him.

"Yes," Cas starts. "It's a couple of streets over, closer to KU. This is actually on my running route."

"You like running?" Dean asks.

Cas cuts his blue eyes over to Dean. "I wouldn't say I like it, but I run. I exercise several times a week actually."

"Me, too," Dean says.

Cas smiles. "It shows."

Dean blushes, and Sam clears his throat. Cas turns his attention back to Sam.

"Dean tells me you're going to Stanford in the fall. What are you planning on majoring in?"

Sam lights up. "I'm going to be a lawyer. My girlfriend actually got into UC Berkeley, so we're moving there together."

"I went to Berkeley for undergrad," Cas says. "It's sort of far from Stanford."

Sam nods. "Yeah, about an hour without traffic. We talked about it. We're young, and we think the distance will be enough that we can have our own separate college experiences but still get to see each other on the weekends. We don't want to rush into anything or keep each other from having the best college experience possible."

Cas looks at him. "That's very mature of you."

"You went to Berkeley?" Dean asks.

Cas turns to face Dean. "For undergrad. I wanted out of Kansas, and California seemed far enough away. My brother wanted to move with me, so we went. I ended up in Chicago for medical school when I graduated and back here after."

Dean nods slowly. He knew Cas was smart, but he hadn't realized just how smart. He can imagine an 18-year-old Cas walking on campus.

"What did you study?" Sam asks Cas.

"Biology at Berkeley, then general medicine at the University of Chicago. Then I started my residency in internal medicine here."

"You're kind of young to already be a doctor," Sam says and Dean's just about to hit him in the back of the head, but then Cas laughs.

"Yeah, you're right. I started undergrad a year early. I'm 28."

Dean would choke if he had anything in his mouth because he knew Cas was young, maybe early 30s, but he hadn't realized he was that young, and a 7 years age difference is nothing. Plus he now has to imagine a 17-year-old Cas on campus, and it's strange. Cas is a genius.

The conversation lags, and Cas stands up. "I should get back to my run," he says. "Thank you for the hot chocolate, Sam."

He starts to the door, giving Dean a look that has him following him on the way.

Once outside, Cas turns suddenly and pushes Dean up against the front of the house. He kisses him hard, and it sucks all the breath out of Dean's body.

"I'm running because I can't stop thinking about you," Cas says once he pulls back. "Hurry up and finish so that I can fuck you hard once you're back."

Then he's moving quickly away from Dean, before he can really register what he's said, and running up the sidewalk.

Dean stands there, watching him as he goes, until Cas turns a corner and Dean can no longer see him.

Chapter Text

Dean rushes through each room and unpacks the boxes. He sets up the house in record time and even has the moving truck dropped off before dark. He showers quickly and throws on his clothes and yells a bye to Sam before Sam can mention that he's not even spending the first night in their new home.

Dean decides to walk to Cas'. It's cold, but it feels nice, the air clean in his lungs. It's a short walk, no more than 10 minutes, and Dean shuffles up the sidewalk to Cas' porch and opens the door.

The house is warm, and Dean can smell a fire going. He strips his coat, shirt, and shoes off and folds them.

Cas is waiting for him on the couch, a wine glass already in hand. He's got his feet tucked under him, and Dean kneels in front of him, eyes down.

Cas places the wine glass on the table next to him and leans into Dean. He takes his face in his hands, Dean still keeping his eyes on the floor, and kisses his forehead. He kisses the top of his head, then each cheek, then his chin, then his nose, and finally kisses him softly on the lips.

Dean closes his eyes and relishes the soft feeling of Cas' lips on him, and finally Cas hauls him up and lays him on the couch.

He settles his weight on top of him and kisses him deeply. Dean wraps his arms around Cas' torso, and Cas hooks a heel under Dean's legs. He ruts up against him, and Dean can feel his hardness against his hip.

Cas unbuttons Dean's pants and lets Dean pull his shirt off. Cas gets up and shucks off his pants and Dean lifts his hips up to pull off his own. Then Cas is back on top of him, and the skin on skin is glorious.

He kisses him lightly and pulls back. Cas' eyes are searching Dean's. Finally he says, "I missed you," and leans back into Dean before Dean can say anything.

This is different. This is not the quickness Dean's used to. Yes, Cas likes to go slow, but it's never been like this.

Cas stops kissing him and gasps. He moves his hips up and down, rutting into Dean over and over. He reaches down and runs a hand over Dean's cock, smearing pre-come over them both, and the slide is easy. Cas buries his head in Dean's neck and rocks them both. He builds up speed until Dean's legs stiffen and he can feel Cas trembling on top of him. Dean comes first, spurting on their chests, and finally Cas comes, calling out Dean's name into his neck. He bites his shoulder and stills.

They lay there for a moment, and finally Cas gets up and brings back a washcloth to clean Dean up.

He snuggles back on the couch, pulling Dean closer to his side so his head rests on his chest.

Dean stares at the fire, dragging his fingers over Cas' belly. It's comfortable like this, Dean tired from the move and sated from the orgasm. He drifts off before he realizes it.

When he wakes up, the house is just starting to lighten. Cas is kneeling in front of him while Dean's on the couch. There's a fluffy white blanket over him, and Dean realizes he must have fallen asleep like that.

Cas is shaking him gently. "Wake up. It's snowing."

Dean sits up, rubbing his eyes, and looks out the big bay window. Fat white flakes are falling from the sky. He smiles and turns back to Cas.

"I want to go on a walk," Cas says.

Dean nods. He pulls on all his clothes and brushes his teeth. He meets Cas by the door, and Cas leads him outside.

It's cold, and the snow has already blanketed everything enough so that Dean can't really see the grass. The sun is just starting to rise, and everything has a blue hue to it.

Cas walks beside him, and Dean accidentally brushes his hand up against his, but Cas takes it before Dean can put it in his pocket, and he laces his fingers through Dean's.

They walk in silence, letting the snow fall over them. They eventually reach a small park a few streets over, and Cas stops. He sticks his tongue out and looks up at the sky.

"What are you doing?" Dean asks him, laughing.

Cas looks at him, face serious. "Catching snowflakes."

And he goes back to facing the sky, catching snowflakes and letting them melt over his tongue.

Dean looks at him, studies the curve of his throat. His face hurts from smiling, and his heart is pounding for no reason. He doesn't know why. The walk over wasn't difficult.

He throws his head back and catches snowflakes with Cas. They must look ridiculous, two grown men in a park on Christmas Eve with their heads tilted back. But Dean realizes he doesn't care, didn't care that he held Cas' hand on the way over where anyone could have seen him.

After a while, Dean stops and pulls a piece of paper from his coat. Cas looks at him.

"Sam wanted me to do this, and I thought it was important you knew, too. It's not a big deal, but it was a big deal to me. And I know we haven't talked about it, and I understand if you don't want to, but I thought I'd let you know anyway." He hands the paper to Cas. "Merry Christmas, Cas."

Cas looks at it. Dean has just given him a literal clean bill of health. He got tested earlier last week, and it had made him nervous. He wasn't sure if Cas would even want to do anything without a condom, but Dean wanted to put it out there just in case.

Cas smiles at him, mouth stretching wide, letting his dimples show and his eyes crease. He's beautiful like this, and Dean knows whenever he thinks of Cas from now on, it will be in this moment with the snow in his hair and his face lit up with that smile.

"Thank you, Dean," he says. He hands the paper back to him. "I can show you mine before we do anything, if you want."

Dean shakes his head. "I trust you. If you say you're clean, then you're clean."

Cas takes his hand and they walk back to the house. People are coming outside to shovel their walks, and they don't even look up when they pass. No one says anything about Dean holding hands with another man, and Dean smiles to himself at what a non-issue this is. He's just walking down the street with Cas, and it's not a big deal.

In the bedroom, they strip off their wet clothes and snuggle under the covers.

Cas begins a slow descent down Dean's body, kissing and sucking. It leaves marks, but Dean doesn't stop him. Cas coats his fingers with lube and works him open slowly, letting the pressure build and build until Dean is begging.

"Please, Cas. I'm ready."

Cas stops and pulls his fingers out. He slicks himself up and lines up to Dean's hole. It's open and puckered, and Dean wants desperately to feel Cas' skin and not the rubber he's felt each time before.

True to form, Cas sinks into him slowly. He lets out a small gasp of air, the only way Dean knows this is different than the other times, but keeps himself under control. He works himself in and out slowly, and Dean wraps his legs around him.

Finally, he picks up the pace, moving and thrusting against him. It doesn't take long before Dean is barely hanging on, and finally Cas asks him to come, and he does, painting himself.

Cas comes a heartbeat or two later, hard. He slams into him a final time and gasps for air, laying his head on Dean's chest. He looks absolutely wrecked and beautiful.

"Good Christmas present?" Dean asks.

Cas laughs. "The best." He pulls out of him and lays beside him.

They only have a few hours until 4, but they sleep most of them, and Cas gently shakes Dean awake a little after 3. He makes them sandwiches before he leaves, and they eat them at the kitchen island, side by side. When they finish, Dean washes the plates and puts his clothes on.

"I'll drive you home. We walked enough today," Cas says.

Cas grabs his keys and Dean sinks into the passenger seat of the sky blue Prius. The radio is on to a classic rock station, and Cas is already a street over when Dean registers what song is on.

He turns the volume up, listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd sing Simple Man.

"My dad used to sing this to me," he says quietly.

Cas glances at him out of the corner of his eye but doesn't say anything, and Dean continues.

"It started out as a joke when I was little. You know, 'sit beside me, my only son.' It was funny because then Sam came along, and it just became our thing, something between dad and I. When he started leaving, he'd get drunk and leave me voicemails singing that song. 'Be a simple kind of man, be something you love and understand.' It's how I knew he was ok."

Cas listens beside him and then clears his throat. "Do you feel like you're something you love and understand?" he asks.

Dean smiles, breathes out a laugh. "I didn't used to." He turns to look at Cas. "But now I think I'm starting to."

Cas lays a hand on his thigh, palm up, and Dean takes it, lacing his fingers.

They pull into the driveway, the last words of the song ending, and Cas leans over and kisses him. It's quick and breathless, and Dean lets him kiss the memory away.

Cas doesn't pull out of the driveway until Dean has the front door closed, and then he watches the car drive off, resting his fingers against his lips, the image of snow in Cas' dark hair flooding his brain.

Chapter Text

A few days later, Dean gets a text from Cas in the late afternoon.

It's just starting to get dark when his phone buzzes. "Get dressed. We're going out." No room for discussion. No asking if Dean has other plans.

Dean scrambles up off the couch and gets himself dressed.

He's been lazy this week. Bobby closed the garage for the whole week, so Dean has a vacation, and Sam has been in and out working on school stuff. The new house is nice, and Dean has it just the way he likes it. There are still a few boxes to unpack, but everything is mostly in the right place.

Christmas had been good. He made a few things for dinner for Sam and Jess before they had to go to her parents. Dean hadn't felt alone, though. He enjoyed the house, riding the high from his weekend with Cas. Sam loved his Christmas present, and Dean had to beg him not to cry when he saw the paper. He just smiled up at Dean and said a quiet, "thank you."

Cas has never asked to see him in the middle of the week. The only time he'd seen him on a weeknight was Thanksgiving, and that was because it was a holiday. They've strictly stuck to the weekends and texting during the week.

This has Dean moving at warp speed.

Cas pulls up in his car a few minutes later and Dean opens the door when he knocks.

Cas steps in like it's his house, and the confidence he has makes Dean want Cas to take him right here, right against the door.

"It's looking good," Cas says.

He's wearing his tight grey jeans that hug all the right places and a button up under a light grey sweater. He looks prim and proper, and Dean's worried that he might be under dressed in his jeans and ratty flannel.

"Where are we going?" he asks.

Cas smiles. "Another one of Charlie and Gabe's holiday dance parties. We're going to the same bar. I couldn't bear to be there without you. Let's go."

Dean lets his words run over him. He was not hoping for a romantic dinner. He wasn't. Dancing sounds fun, and it will give him the chance to work off some of the calories he put on this week from laying around the house all day.

They don't speak until they're almost to the bar. "You're not going to leave your car there, are you?" Dean asks.

"I'm not drinking much tonight. I have to work this weekend because I have New Year's Day off, and I hate drinking before a long shift."

Dean nods. "How was your Christmas?"

"Fine. Gabe, Charlie, and Bobby came over. The usual. We ate too much and gave presents that no one really wants and everyone went home. How was yours?"

"The same, actually. Sam and Jess, his girlfriend, were there. I made a small dinner and we opened presents. They had to leave to go to Jess' house, though, so I just spend the rest of the day cleaning up." He shrugs his shoulders.

They get to the club and meet Gabe and Charlie at the bar. There's a drag show going on on stage, and everyone is crowded around the front. The bar is still decorated for Christmas, lights strewn up over the dance floor.

Charlie hugs Dean when she sees him and Gabe hits him on the shoulder.

"We were just going to order shots!" he yells over the music.

"None for me, Gabe. You know I have to work," Cas says.

Gabe gives his best pouty face but Cas doesn't budge. Finally he throws his hands up and orders three shots of tequila and passes them out.

"To Christmas!" he yells, and they throw back their shots.

Cas orders Dean a beer and gets a glass of whiskey on the rocks for himself. When Cas isn't looking, Gabe orders another round of shots for them and Dean takes it before Cas can say anything.

He looks annoyed, but not pissed, and Dean takes that as a good sign. "I'm going to dance!" he yells in his ear.

He downs the rest of the beer and follows Charlie out on the dance floor with the rest of the bodies. They shake and grind on each other, Dean looking up occasionally to make sure Cas is watching him. He always catches his blue eyes staring at him, sipping from his drink slowly.

Dean drinks in the gaze, moves his body in a way that Cas must surely like, and turns around to shake his butt so Cas can see.

Charlie laughs at him. "Really putting on a show there, aren't you?" she says.

Dean blushes but keeps dancing. "If he likes it, it's better for me later."

Charlie laughs and puts a hand over her mouth. They dance and laugh, trying out-do each other.

Then Dean feels someone come up behind him. He knows it's not Cas, and he turns to see some guy who looks vaguely familiar behind him.

"Remember me?" he asks. Dean does, sort of, and realizes he must be a guy he might have hooked up with once.

He's drunk enough that he throws his arms around this guy's neck, but he's not drunk enough to know that it will get a rise out of Cas. He just wants Cas to dance with him, and he figures if some other guy is willing to do it, then maybe Cas will finally come to the dance floor when he sees him.

Dean starts grinding on him, letting his leg fall between the guy. They're halfway through a song before he feels a hand grab him tightly.

Cas is there, hand burning a print into Dean's arm. It hurts, and this is not the reaction Dean wanted. He wanted to make Cas jealous enough to come dance, not be mad at him.

"We're leaving. Now," he growls.

He leads Dean through the crowd, hand still clamped tightly on his arm. There's definitely going to be a bruise.

Cas doesn't speak to him on the drive home, doesn't talk as they take their shoes off. He stops Dean when Dean starts to undress. He goes to the kitchen and comes back with a glass of whiskey, and then he leads Dean up to the bedroom.

Cas sits in the chair by the window. It's white upholstery, over-stuffed, and Dean stands a little ways in front of him, not sure what to do.

"I'm sorry," he starts, but Cas doesn't let him finish.

"If you want to be a slut," he says, "then you can be a slut for me. Do not dance with other guys."

Dean nods his head, but the words hurt. He's not a slut. He was just dancing.

"You're going to strip for me," Cas says. "And you better make it good."

He leans over to the speaker on a small table next to the chair and then Dean hears Pony by Ginuwine start to play.

He laughs nervously. "What? This song? No way."

Cas gives him a look that stops him. "I'm not asking you. I'm telling. You are going to do this because clearly you wanted someone to see you dance like that tonight. You're going to dance for me, and you're going to strip your clothes off as you do. If you do a good job, I'll reward you."

Dean hesitates, but then Cas looks pissed, and Dean starts to move. Cas settles back in the chair, and Dean starts to sway his hips back and forth.

The music is loud, the sound bouncing off the walls and high ceiling.

Dean lifts his hands over his head when the lyrics start, and shakes himself while turning around. He stands with his back to Cas and lets the flannel shirt fall over his shoulders, revealing his tight white undershirt.

Dean keeps his back to him, shaking his butt in small circles. He lifts the shirt slowly off him, revealing skin inch by inch. He can't see Cas' reaction, but Dean is just drunk enough to let himself do this for him.

Finally the shirt comes off and Dean turns back around. Cas is staring at him, eyes hard and jaw set tight. Dean throws the shirt in Cas' direction, landing just at his feet, and he can see that that gets Cas' attention. His pupils darken. He takes a long sip from his glass.

Dean runs his hands down his body, rolling it as he goes. Cas clutches the glass in his hand but otherwise looks unbothered.

Dean unbuttons his jeans but doesn't pull them down. He turns back around and sinks to the floor, letting his ass stick up. The song is really moving now, the deep growl of the voice making Dean thrust down and up each time he hears it, and then he slowly drags himself back up and pulls his jeans down. He does it slowly, for all the times Cas has gone slower than Dean would like, and barely gets them off before he sinks to his knees again and crawls over to Cas.

He stops in front of him, sitting back on his heels. He puts his hands behind him on the floor and thrusts up twice to the beat, but Cas doesn't even break a sweat.

Dean stands up and turns around, pushing his ass into Cas' face. He rolls it around. He knows his underwear is tight and Cas likes it, and he knows he must have an affect on him. He slowly sinks into his lap, grinding on top of him to the song, and he can feel Cas quickly hardening against him.

He smiles and uses the arm rests to bounce up and down, pushing his ass against Cas' body as he goes.

Finally, Cas moves. Dean hears him set his drink down and then he's standing over him, pushing him face down on the bed.

He keeps his feet on the floor but roughly pulls down his underwear.

Dean hears his pants unbutton and unzip, and then he feels the fabric slide down him. Cas doesn't even pull them off, just stops enough so that only his dick is out, and then he opens a drawer and Dean feels lube being poured down his crack, and shutters at how cold it is. Cas smears it over his hole.

"You're mine," Cas growls. He roughly gets a finger in, not stopping to let Dean relax under the intrusion. "You don't dance for other men. Only for me."

Dean moans underneath him. He wants this, likes how rough Cas is being. He gets a second finger in and barely has him open before he's pushing himself in.

It hurts, the burn and ache making Dean cry out.

Dean pulls his hair back hard. "You're not going to come."

And Dean mewls at that because he really wants to. He loves when Cas is this rough, loves when he's just close enough to losing control.

He pounds into him, hard and fast, and Dean trembles under the weight.

"Say you're mine," Cas pants above him.

Dean moans because he wants to come and can't, and he can tell Cas is close. "I'm yours!" he cries out.

Cas bites his earlobe and keeps his teeth there, ramming into him. Finally he jerks back shallowly a couple times and stills. He's panting, and he slides out of Dean and on the floor, Dean following.

"Tell me you'll never do that again," Cas says. He doesn't look angry. Maybe sad, and Dean realizes what it must have looked like to Cas, having Dean all over another guy. He knows how he felt when he saw Uriel, and he hangs his head.

"I won't do it again," he breathes out. "I'm sorry."

Cas lifts his chin so Dean is looking at him. "I know you are."

He leads him into the shower and pushes Dean up against a wall. He slowly sucks him off, letting the water wash over them both.

Chapter Text

Dean wakes too few hours later to the blaring of an alarm. He reaches over to find Cas, but only finds empty space.

He rolls over and sits up. Cas is busy dressing himself in front of the bed, only his navy slacks on. He's got his back to Dean, and his muscles stretch over him when goes to pull on a white button up. Cas turns around and smiles when he sees Dean.

He leaves the shirt unbuttoned and walks over to Dean. He places a kiss on the top of his head.

"I'm sorry I woke you," he says.

He starts buttoning his shirt and Dean stops him, gripping the shirt in both hands. He leans his head forward and kisses his belly button. He feels Cas take a deep breath under him.

"Dean, I have to go to work," he says. There's no conviction in his voice, though, so Dean keeps kissing until Cas finally shrugs him off.

"I thought you had to work this weekend?" Dean asks.

"Friday includes the weekend, unfortunately."

"So I'm not going to see you at all?" Dean whispers. He knew Cas would be working until Sunday night, but he thought he'd get all Friday with him before he had to go. This is disappointing.

Cas stops buttoning his shirt and looks at Dean. "Hey, it's not that bad. We got last night together. If you want, you can even come back Sunday and we can watch the ball drop for the New Year." He sounds shy when he's asking, like he's been turning the thought over in his mind for a while, expecting a no from Dean.

"You don't have plans?"

"No, it's just me for New Year's Eve. Charlie and Gabe already have dates, and I've had enough clubs for a while." He gives Dean a pointed look, and Dean blushes.

"I'll come back Sunday. I don't have to work Monday either, so maybe I could stay until that night?"

Cas beams. "I'd like that. I'll be home around 7 Sunday."

Dean is elated. It means he doesn't have to wait a whole week to see Cas, and he even gets to spend time with Cas before he has to go to work. Plus a New Year's Eve kiss is certainly a given, and Dean can already imagine what that kiss will lead to.

He reaches a hand up and starts unbuttoning Cas' shirt.

"Dean," he says, a warning, but Dean ignores it.

"What? I'm just enjoying the view. You got one last night."

Cas grabs his hands firmly, but not enough to hurt. He sits down next to Dean on the bed. "Are you ok? Last night was intense. I want to make sure you're fine before I can't see you for three days."

Dean shrugs. "I kind of liked." He blushes and doesn't look Cas in the eye, but it's true. He had liked it. Cas was rough on him. He liked watching his reaction while he danced for him. He liked stripping his clothes off for him. A part of him even liked being called a slut.

Cas grips his jaw with his fingers to make him look at him. "There's no shame in liking what we did. It was amazing for me. I just need to be sure you enjoyed it for you, not just because you wanted to do it for me."

Dean nods. "I did. I liked watching you watch me. And I liked how rough you were. I even liked the humiliation."

Dean watches a flicker of desire in Cas' eyes before he quickly blinks and goes back to his blank face. "Ok. Will you text me if that changes? If you start feeling off or questioning what we did? I'll be at work, but I'll keep my phone on me. I can't guarantee I'll text back right away, but I'll try."

"Sure, but I really think I'm fine."

"I know, but it's just a precaution." Cas gets up and tucks his shirt in and knots a light blue tie around his throat. He straightens it and smooths out his clothes. He looks absolutely stunning. "I have rounds all day and then the ER shift the rest of the weekend. There are a few times I'll get to sleep, but I don't know when that is yet. There's some food in the fridge if you want to make yourself breakfast. Stay as long as you'd like, but make sure you lock up when you go."

He kisses Dean on the head and then he's out the door, his bag carrying his scrubs and coat in his hand.

Dean lays back down and sleeps a little longer. He takes a long shower because Cas' shower is so much better than his own and then heads home.

It doesn't hit him until late Saturday night, when he's been watching Dr. Sexy, that he had basically been a stripper for Cas.

The realization hits him in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. He had danced around the room like a whore, stripping his clothes off. He let Cas fuck him and call him a slut, and what's even worse is that he had liked it. He feels shame burn his face. How could he let Cas do that to him? What is wrong with him that he's willing to strip his clothes off, get spanked, or fuck a pie for this guy?

He feels anger surge through his body, and he clicks the tv off and stumbles in to bed. He pulls the covers over him and tries to shut out the images of him dancing for Cas.

He's got the phone to his ear before he realizes it, and it's ringing. Cas answers just as Dean is about to hang up, his heart pounding.

"Dean?" he asks, sleepily. Dean has no idea what time it is, but it has to be late and Cas must be exhausted.

"I'm sorry. Ignore me. Just go back to sleep." He pulls the phone away from him and starts to hit the end button, but he can hear Cas calling his name loudly.

He puts the phone back to his ear. "Dean, what's wrong? You have to talk to me. I'm here. I'm awake. Just tell me what's going on."

"I feel..." he trails off, letting Cas talk for him.

"Sub-drop? Are you feeling angry or sad?"

Dean only hesitates a moment before speaking. "Just so angry, Cas. How could I let you do that to me? Why would I take my clothes off for you? What's wrong with me that I would like it?" He's whispering, but his throat hurts. He feels the pinch in his nose that signals he's going to cry and wills it back.

"Dean, there is nothing wrong with liking what we do together. Don't feel ashamed. You told me you liked those things, and I did, too."

"But I shouldn't like it. I shouldn't want you to be so rough on me. Or to call me a slut."

"In the moment, were you feeling that way? When you were dancing on me, did you feel like a slut?"

Dean considers for a moment. When Cas first said it, it stung, but he hadn't felt like a slut. He was just intoxicated with how much attention Cas was focusing on him. "No. I felt confident. Watching you watching me. Knowing I was turning you on. It felt good."

"Try to harness that feeling now."

"Can you tell me why you wanted me to do it? I think it would make me feel better if I heard why." Dean says. He settles on the bed, turning to curl up on his side.

He hears Cas sigh and then the sound of a door close. "I watched you dance all over that guy, and it made me so angry. I don't like feeling out of control. I couldn't stand it, watching you writhe all over him. So I snapped. If anyone gets to have you dance on them, it's me. You're mine, and I'm the only one who should get to see your body like that. Who gets to touch you. So I needed you to show me that you wanted me. I needed to watch you dance for me, and only me. Understand?"

Dean nods because he does. Cas had let his anger and desire over-take him, and that's sexy in a way that Dean doesn't really get. "I understand."

"Good, now you should get some sleep. We have to stay up until at least midnight tomorrow, and I'm tired. I can't have you tired, too. Can you be there by 7:30?"

"I can. I'll see you tomorrow night, Cas." Dean closes his eyes.

"Are you ok now? Do you want me to stay on the phone with you?"

"No, I'm ok. You get some rest."

"Ok. Good night, Dean."

"Good night, Cas." He registers the soft click of the call ending, and he smiles to himself. Cas made everything better. Cas always makes everything better.

He drifts off to sleep still clutching his phone in his hand.

Chapter Text

Dean is on Cas' doorstep at 7:30 sharp the following night. Cas is on him in a second when Dean opens the door. Dean's still feeling a little shy, but Cas lets him keep his clothes on and leads him over to the couch. The tv is already on the New York coverage of the New Year's celebrations, and there's a fire going. It's cozy, and Dean snuggles his back against Cas on the couch. Cas smooths the fluffy white blanket over them both. They watch tv for a while, the volume low, but finally Dean talks.

"How was work?" he asks.

He feels Cas still behind him. Cas doesn't normally talk about work, just the funny stuff about what kind of crazy things got stuck where. Dean knows his job takes a toll on him, but he doesn't tell him about the bad days. Dean asks anyway, hoping that Cas will eventually allow him in.

Cas sighs and rubs his hand over Dean's back. "Hard."

Dean doesn't say anything, letting the silence allow Cas to talk. "Late last night, a few hours before you called actually, a call came in that a man was coming in with his girlfriend. Terrible call. She shot herself in the head, attempted suicide. He was literally holding her head together, trying to keep her alive. It was awful, watching him. He wouldn't let go, kept screaming if he let go, she'd die, that all his love would spill out. He was hysterical, and there was nothing I could do."

Dean turns to look up at Cas. His eyes glaze over, but he doesn't look at Dean. "I had to tell him she was gone. I expected him to break down and cry. Her blood was all over him. Instead, he calmly looked up at me, said 'thank you, doctor,' and got out his phone to call relatives. It got to me. I can handle crying. I can handle the anger at me when people think I should have done more, but he just looked at me, completely calm."

"Cas. I'm so sorry. If I had known, I wouldn't have called. I can't believe I was so selfish."

Cas stops him. "No, don't be sorry. It meant I could fix something that night. I got you to calm down, got you to fall asleep. You can't save everyone, Dean, and it's hard, but it's a part of the job. You made me feel needed when there was nothing I could do for that man."

Dean sucks in a breath. Cas needs him? Dean is the one who needs Cas, not the other way around.

Cas leans in and kisses him on the forehead. "I don't really want to talk about it anymore. Thank you for coming tonight. And thank you for always taking my mind off of work."

Dean nods and settles back on the couch. He keeps his arms wrapped tight around Cas’s arm, though. They watch the coverage, laughing at how insane some of the people are, talking about the music. It's easy, the conversation. Dean doesn't even realize how much time passes, letting Cas distract him from the time. A little before eleven, Cas gets up and Dean shifts so his feet are under him.

Cas comes back with two flutes of champagne, and Dean smiles.

"I didn't think you were so into tradition," Dean says.

Cas scoffs and hands him the glass. "Some traditions are nice."

He turns the volume up on the tv and they watch the countdown. They're sitting side by side on the couch, bodies turned toward the mantel. Dean hears Cas clear his throat behind him and turns to face him.

"I know this probably isn't what you had in mind when you met me. But I wanted to say thank you for agreeing to be my submissive. The past two months of getting to know you have been so much better than the few I spent watching you from afar, thinking how unattainable you were. You've exceeded all my hopes and dreams, and I just want you to know that."

Dean blushes, mouth open. Cas' words wash over him. He wracks his brain for what to say back. That this is better than what Dean had been hoping for, that it doesn't matter that he doesn't want a boyfriend, that having Cas is enough for Dean. That he has feelings for him he doesn't even understand, that it's terrifying and exciting at once. All he gets out, though, is "me too."

Cas laughs, and Dean hears the announcer say, "One! Happy New Year!" And Cas is leaning into him, hand wrapped around the back of Dean's neck, and kissing him deep.

He's breathless by the time Cas pulls back, and he takes a long drink from his glass.

Cas takes Dean's flute before he finishes it and places them both on the table. "So, now that it's January. When's your birthday?"

Dean laughs. "It's still December in Kansas, Cas. You remembered my birthday is in January?"

Cas just looks at him, eyebrows furrowed. "We can be on New York time tonight. And of course I'd remember. I remember everything you say."

Dean blushes because, yes, Cas definitely does. The attention Cas lavishes on him makes Dean preen. Sometimes he can just let it go, but right now, when Cas looks at him like there's nothing going on in the world, like the tv isn't showing video of hundreds of people kissing in Times Square, it takes Dean's breath away. "It's the 24th."

"That's the middle of the week." Cas looks sad for a moment. "I have to work that day, but we can celebrate that weekend. Would you mind being here that weekend? I don't know if you have a party planned with Sam or anything."

Dean shakes his head. "We'll do something on my birthday. The weekend is all yours. What are you going to do?"

Cas laughs and gets up. He shuts the lights and tv off, placing the glasses in the sink. "I'm tired, aren't you?" He asks and doesn't look back at him as he walks up the stairs.

"Wait, Cas, what are you planning? Aren't we supposed to talk about these things?" Dean calls to him up the stairs.

Cas doesn't say anything, just keeps that smirk on his face as he strips for bed. Dean follows, taking a pair of boxer briefs from Cas and standing next to him in the bathroom. They brush their teeth, but Dean mumbles out a "you're not going to tell me, are you?"

Cas spits and runs water over the toothbrush. "No."

Dean puts his toothbrush next to Cas' and follows him in to bed. He snuggles in close to Cas, trying not to think about what he has in store for him.

He's almost asleep before he realizes that, for the first time since saying yes to being his sub, they are going to bed without having any sex.

Dean snuggles in tighter to Cas, listening to the deep breathing for a while. He's safe here, comfortable and warm in Cas' bed, and for the first time in his life, he feels like that safety might last.

Chapter Text

The suspense is killing him, but finally it's Dean's birthday weekend, and he's standing on Cas' porch taking deep breaths before he goes in.

His birthday had been fun, Sam even going so far as to get them party hats and decorating the kitchen with confetti. He gave him an old vinyl record player, which Dean loved, and a Bad Company and Led Zeppelin record. They ate cake and watched reruns of Dr. Sexy. It was the best birthday he'd ever had.

His dad didn't call, not that Dean was hoping, but Cas had sent him a text that morning. He was the first person to tell him happy birthday, and he even said it again when they were on the phone that night.

He pushes the door open to Cas' house and immediately stops in his tracks. He can smell something cooking, and he knows what it is.

Cas comes out of the kitchen where Dean can see him wearing a plain white apron. "Leave your clothes on. We're having dinner first."

Dean toes off his shoes and walks into the kitchen. Cas has a spread of food over the counters-- chicken wings, pizza, ice cream, veggie trays, french fries, and there's a pie cooling on the stove.

"Cas, is anyone else coming for dinner tonight?"

Cas cocks his head to the side as he unties his apron. "No, why do you ask?"

"You can't possibly think I can eat all this food."

"I've seen you eat, Dean. You'll make a dent." He pats him on the shoulder and hangs the apron up on the hook by the fridge. "Set the table, please."

Dean looks at him, narrowing his eyes. "I get a please?"

Cas shrugs. "It's your birthday. Do it before I forget to ask nicely." He swats Dean on the butt lightly for good measure.

Dean laughs and grabs the plates. He sets the table and starts carrying platters of food to set on the table when Cas comes up behind him. He places two large white candlesticks by their seats and lights them.

Dean looks up at him. "Is this for my birthday, too?"

Cas nods. "Savor it. It's just for today."

Dean settles into his seat and waits for Cas to start piling food on his plate. When he nods to Dean, Dean eagerly reaches over and grabs chicken wings and sliders and pizza and mashed potatoes. His plate is too full for everything, so he eats his first plate quickly before piling his second with everything he couldn't fit the first time.

Cas laughs at him. "What were you saying about there being too much food?"

Dean gives a false chuckle but slows down. He finishes up everything on his second plate and sits back.

"I hope you saved room for dessert," Cas says. He gets up, ignoring Dean's panicked look.

He comes back with a pie with a dangerous number of lit candles in it and sits it in front of Dean. "I hope you don't mind that I won't sing to you. But you can blow them out and make a wish."

Dean thinks for a moment, and then sucks in a loud breath and blows all 22 candles out in one huff.

Cas laughs. "I knew you had good lung capacity." He starts taking the candles out and lays them on an empty plate. Dean must look wary, because Cas lays a hand on his shoulder.

"Relax. This is simply for you to enjoy. It's your birthday. Some people get cake. Dean Winchester gets pie."

Cas cuts him a large slice and puts it in front of him. Dean takes a big bite and moans around it. It's apple, still warm from the oven, and it is definitely the best pie he's ever had. He lays his fork down and scoops a large spoonful of vanilla ice cream over top of it.

Cas looks at him, smiling, and eats his own pie slowly.

When everything is finished, Dean starts to clean up, but Cas stops him.

"It's your birthday. Let me." He grabs all the plates and carries them in to the kitchen. Dean feels silly, watching Cas clean up the dinner he made.

"You don't get to cook and clean up. Let me help." Cas looks like he's going to argue but nods instead, and Dean starts putting all the uneaten food away. Cas has the dishwasher loaded and Dean has just finished wiping down the table when Cas gives him a dark look.

"Are you too full for the rest of the night?" he asks.

Dean halts and shakes his head no.

"Good." Cas takes quick steps so he's standing in front of Dean, hands pushing under his shirt. Dean hadn't seen it coming. He kisses him hard and pushes him toward the staircase. It's hard to walk backwards with Cas attached to his mouth, but he only stumbles a couple of times. Cas leaves a trail of clothing through the living and up the stairs. They're mostly naked by the time they get to the bedroom.

Cas opens the door, watching Dean's face.

The bedroom has been transformed. Cas has strewn up twinkling lights over the beams in the ceiling. There are rose petals on the floor and bed. Cas has soft music playing, and there is a bottle of champagne sitting in an ice bucket by the chair. It's beautiful, but Dean's eyes rest on the bed.

There are a pair of leather handcuffs already wrapped around one of the iron posts on the headboard, cuffs sitting on a pillow.

Dean turns to face Cas.

"We've never done this before, but tonight is all about you and your pleasure. I want you to try it, but if you don't like it, we can stop."

Dean nods and walks into the room.

He kneels on the bed, examining the cuffs. They're smooth, the inside of them covered in faux fur, and the softness takes Dean's breath away.

He feels himself harden, and he turns to face Cas still standing in the doorway.

"Ok," he says. Cas smiles and moves to him.

Dean settles on his back on the bed, head resting on two of the sky blue pillows. Cas sits on top of him, straddling him. He grabs one of Dean's wrists, kisses it, and places it in the cuff. He tightens it, and the pressure is enough that Dean knows it's there, but not enough to feel like it's too much. Cas does the same with the other wrist.

Dean can hear the music, a soft pulsing beat. Cas gets up and drops his pants and stands at the end of the bed.

"You ok?" he asks. Dean nods, and then he feels Cas' fingers clamp around both ankles and pull, and then Dean is stretched out on the bed, his wrists above him. The chain had stopped him from sliding down the bed all the way, and the loud metal noise made Dean gasp.

Cas looks at him. He reaches up and rolls Dean's underwear down until they are all the way off, and then Dean is lying naked on Cas' bed with no escape unless Cas lets him out.

He's breathless.

Cas kneels down and licks up Dean's foot. The sensation makes Dean arch up, but the restraint pulls his wrists back and he has to lay back down.

"Remember when I said it's so much better when you learn how to let the moment wash over you rather than fidget because you're uncomfortable?"

Dean nods, looking down at Cas.

"This is that moment."

He moves up and sucks Dean's big toe, and then quickly moves up his leg. He kisses up his thigh, turning it outward to kiss the inside of it. He crawls on top of him, the only part of him touching Dean is his mouth, and Dean is already thrashing under him.

Cas doesn't stop. He kisses his way up Dean's chest, taking a nipple in between his teeth and sucking hard. He bites at him, and Dean can't move his arms to help focus the pleasure.

Cas starts his way down his other leg and stops at the other big toe, and then he's on top of Dean and rolling him over.

His wrists twist with the chain, but now he's on his elbows and knees and Cas is pushing him down so that he's flat on his stomach. He kisses him where his shoulder blades meet and drags his teeth down the line of his back.

The music is driving into Dean's brain. He can't see Cas, only feel his lips and teeth drag over him, and it's driving Dean crazy. He has absolutely no control right now. He's letting Cas have everything, and he can't breathe.

Cas drags his tongue down Dean's crack, and Dean cries out and lifts himself up. Cas pushes against Dean's thighs so Dean's up on his knees, his elbows luckily on the soft pillows. The chain slides down the post, the sound grating against the driving beat of the song playing. Dean realizes it must be on repeat. There are no words, just soft "ohs" over the sound of the guitar and synthesizer. The drum beat sounds like a heartbeat over and over, and Dean feels his heart sync to it.

Cas' weight leaves the bed and quickly comes back. Dean hears the bottle of champagne pop, and then Cas pours a small amount down his back. Dean arches up, the cold champagne running down his spine and into his crack, but Cas' tongue is there lapping it up before it reaches the bed. Cas sets the bottle on the nightstand, and Dean settles so that his back is once again straight. He hears a bottle of lube opening and feels Cas circle him with a finger. It's just enough to get Dean wet, to send a shiver up his spine, before Cas is moving the finger away. His tongue replaces it, licking him slowly. Dean tries to scoot forward, but Cas holds him tightly against his hips, and Dean settles. He runs his tongue around the hole and slowly pushes it in. Dean is writhing underneath it, his elbows shaking from the weight he's holding. Cas slides a finger in against his tongue, and the pressure is too much. Finally, Cas moves his tongue away and leans over Dean, getting a second finger in. Dean can feel his naked body over his back, and he tries to push himself up against Cas.

Cas scissors him open quickly, lube soaking his fingers. He leans into Dean's ear and bites it, forcing Dean to clench around his fingers.

He relaxes, and then Cas is asking him to look at something.

Cas holds it in front of his face. It's small and black, and looks like a top with a flat edge. Dean realizes what it is. He tries to turn to face Cas, but he can't.

"I'm going to put this in you, ok?" he whispers over him. "It won't hurt, but you have to relax. I promise I'm not going to leave it in you all night."

Dean nods, and he feels Cas nudge the plug into him. It goes in easily, and Dean barely has time to adjust to the feeling before Cas is flipping him back over. He nudges at his cock, and Dean realizes how neglected it feels, especially with the plug pressing against his prostate now.

Cas takes him in slowly, circling his tongue a few times before finally dragging his tongue down the length. Dean moves his arms, dragging the chain up and down the post. His legs stiffen, but Cas doesn't let up. He sucks him hard, taking him in deep and immediately pulling back out. He keeps up the quick pace, and Dean is shaking under him.

"Cas," he gasps out. He squeezes his eyes tight. The music and the plug and Cas' mouth are too much to handle. He wants to wrap his arms around Cas, dig his fingers into the sheets, but he can only wrap his fingers around the chain and pull. "I'm so close. Want you in me. Don't wanna come like this." He gasps it out, and he has to clench his thighs together to keep from coming.

Dean knows Cas won't listen to him. He almost never gives him what he wants until he's screaming for it, but Dean has learned a lot of patience over the past few months, and Cas mercifully moves his mouth off of him.

Dean's panting, and then he feels Cas push him again and he rolls over, drawing up on his elbows and knees again.

Cas roughly pulls the plug out of him. "You did so good for me, Dean. Look at your hole, open and waiting for me. Do you want me inside you?"

"Yes," Dean breathes out. "Please."

Cas pushes a finger in and presses it down on his prostate. Dean yelps but somehow doesn't come, and then Cas pushes into him quickly, sinking into him in one go.

He moves quickly, his hips pounding against Dean, and Dean pants. His arms and legs shake, and he can feel himself heaving in time to the music.

Finally, when he can't take it anymore, he holds his breath and feels himself still before violently coming. He collapses on the bed, panting and continuing to spurt come. Cas comes a moment behind him, fucking Dean into the bed.

Cas reaches up and undoes the cuffs. He turns Dean so that he rests in his lap, legs wrapped awkwardly around him. Dean lets his head drop against Cas' shoulder while Cas rubs his wrists.

He's still breathing hard, but the massage feels good. His hands are tingling. Cas kisses him on the forehead.

"Happy birthday, Dean."

Dean smiles. "You could have just made me dinner, you know?"

"What's the fun in that?" Cas says back. He smiles so that his dimples show.

Dean lets himself sit there a moment longer, but then he feels his thigh start to ache. He tries to lift himself off Cas, huffing out, "ow! Cramp!" but he ends up dragging Cas down to the floor, the sheet tangled up around them.

He lays there, legs stretched out, and rubs the cramp out of his thigh. He starts giggling, high pitched and loud, and Cas looks at him, mouth a straight line before he starts giggling, too.

Then they are both laughing hysterically on the floor, naked and covered in come, unable to catch their breath. Finally, Dean slows down a bit and hiccoughs until he can breathe normally. He looks up at Cas above him and all the twinkling lights behind him. Cas smiles slowly, the right corner pulling up slightly more than the left, and Dean watches the creases come out next to his eyes.

Dean can feel his heartbeat pounding in his chest. Cas stares down at him, and all the lights on the ceiling bring out his eyes more somehow, and then the thought crosses his brain before he can register the enormity of it.

He loves Cas.

Cas looks at him, smile fading. "What?" he asks.

Dean sits up and winces. His legs and ass are already sore. "Nothing."

Cas looks like he's going to say something else, but Dean quickly gets up and goes to the bathroom to clean himself. Cas follows, a puzzled look on his face, and Dean pulls him in tight for a hug.

"This is the best birthday I've ever had. Thank you, Cas."

It's what he can say, and Cas lights up at his words. "Anything for you."

He leads Dean back to bed, wrapping him up tight. It doesn’t take long before Dean hears Cas’ breath even out, but Dean is nowhere near tired.

No matter how many deep breaths he takes, he can't get his heart to slow down.

Chapter Text

Dean spends the rest of the weekend pushing the thought out of his mind. He only freaked out once, Sunday morning, when Cas had brought him breakfast in bed. They had just finished eating when Cas leaned over and cupped Dean's cheek with his palm and said, "I love your stubble." Dean had only freaked out a little, jumping out of bed and claiming he had to use the restroom.

So maybe he was freaking out a lot.

It's Wednesday, and he keeps dropping things at the garage, muttering curse words. Benny looks at him funny but doesn't say anything. Benny likes to keep to his work, which Dean appreciates. He gets his job done and doesn't bother anyone, so Dean's glad it's Benny he's working with this week and not someone more chatty.

But then there's Charlie.

She pulls him aside at lunch, dragging him to a diner down the street. Dean barely has the time to get the grease off his fingers before Charlie has him in her car.

Luckily, she doesn't start on the questions until Dean has a burger in front of him. Of course she starts talking when he's got a mouthful of fries.

"So what's going on with you?"

Dean tries to chew and swallow quickly, grumbling things as he does, but Charlie doesn't let him get a word in.

"I mean, I think things are going well with Castiel. He seems happy. But then you show up this week and you won't look at me, and you keep messing things up when you've never done that before. It's not really my business, and I wouldn't talk to you about it if Gabe hadn't said something to me, so I gotta know. Are you going to leave Castiel?"

Dean finally swallows--gulps, more like--and looks at Charlie's concerned face. "What? No!"

"Oh, thank God!" she breathes out. She sinks into her seat for just a second before she leans abruptly over to Dean and punches him in the shoulder. "Then what is wrong with you?"

Dean rubs his shoulder. Charlie punches hard. "Nothing is wrong with me! And that hurt!"

"You're fine. Look, Dean, I think of you as a friend, and I know that you're not really forthcoming with information on you and Castiel, but just know I'm here if you want to talk." She picks up her sandwich and takes a bite.

Dean considers for a moment, watching Charlie chew. "Cas talked about me?" he asks.

Charlie nods and puts a hand in front of her mouth, still chewing. "Gabe and him talk more than you think. He's worried that you want out, that he's not making you happy anymore. I guess he noticed how weird you've been acting and said something to Gabe, and Gabe is incapable of keeping a secret so he told me, not that I needed him to tell me there's something going on with you."

"That obvious, huh?" Dean sighs.

Charlie nods. "So what is it, Dean? We've gotten close over the past few months. Gabe is my friend, but you're my friend, too, and I won't tell him if you want to talk about it. Do you want out of your relationship with him? You know he's willing to renegotiate terms if you're unhappy. Are you unhappy with Castiel, Dean?"

Dean shrugs and says, "It's more like I'm too happy."

Charlie looks confused for just a moment and then Dean watches as she realizes what he's said. "You're in love with him?" She whispers it across the table, like she can't believe him, and Dean puts his face in his hands, nodding.

"Dean, that's great!"

Dean looks at her. "Is it great, Charlie? He made it perfectly clear from the beginning that he's not interested in that side of a relationship. I like where we are, and I had to go and mess it up by falling in love with him." He pushes his burger away from him and leans back against the booth, crossing his arms.

"Hey, I know I don't know a lot about the way that kind of relationship works, but I feel like you and I have a lot in common. I don't see anyone exclusively, and I know you didn't either before Castiel, but you can be sure that if I met a girl I fell in love with, I'd drop everything and be with her. If you've found that, you've got to hold on to it. It doesn't matter what kind of relationship it is. Don't be afraid of your feelings just because you think he might not feel the same way. I can speak from experience and say that you're different. He cares about you, but maybe he's showing it in a way he knows how rather than saying it."

Dean thinks about that. Cas has been incredibly sweet since about a month in to their relationship, no longer just the sarcastic man Dean met in the hospital. The texts he sends just to see how Dean's day is. The walk in the park in the snow, holding Dean's hand. New Year's Eve when they just kissed. His possessiveness at the bar when Dean was dancing with that other guy. Letting Dean trace his scar. Even the huge amount of food for his birthday. Cas must have been cooking for hours, just to see Dean happy on his birthday. But how much of that is just Dean projecting his feelings into normal things Cas does? How much of it is just Dean hoping?

"Maybe," he says to Charlie.

She smiles. "If I were you, I'd make sure you were clear with Castiel that you aren't unhappy. He's been really freaked out this week. He's worried about you, and he just wants you to be the happiest you can be."

"Thanks, Charlie," Dean says.

They finish eating in silence and then head back to the garage.

After work, Dean sends Cas a text. "I'm sorry if I've been acting strange lately. I'm happy. Please don't think otherwise."

Cas responds almost immediately even though Dean knows he's at work. "Let me guess. Charlie got to you?"

"Maybe," Dean replies.

"I really need to stop telling Gabriel so much," he sends back.

Dean chuckles at that. "So are we good?"

"We are. Can you do me a favor for Friday, though?" Cas asks.

Dean feels his heart pick up a little. "Anything."

"Will you dress up? Not a suit and tie or anything, just nice."

Dean lets out a breath because that was not where he was expecting this conversation to go. "I can do that."

"Good. I need to go. Call just came in. Text me if you need anything the rest of the week."

Dean smiles. "Ok."

"I'm serious. Anything at all."

"I will! Now get back to work. I'll see you Friday."

Cas doesn't respond after that, and Dean does feel better, albeit nervous about what Cas has planned for Friday. He's never asked him to dress up before. It's always been to wear less clothes, actually.

Thursday and Friday go quickly at work and Dean is just about to leave his house to go to Cas' when he gets a text.

"Stay there," it says.

Dean sits back down at the kitchen table where he and Sam had been talking. "I thought you were leaving?" Sam asks.

"Me too. Cas just texted me and said to stay here."

Dean looks at his phone, imagining all the different reasons why Cas doesn't want him to come over. He's dressed in a pair of light grey slacks, a white button up tucked into them, and even has a navy blazer on underneath the dark green pea-coat he had to dig in his closet for. His dress shoes pinch. It's the most dressed up he's ever been.

Sam doesn't look too concerned. He had finally stopped teasing him about his outfit about 30 minutes prior to the text because he was begging Dean to ask Cas about meeting Jess. Sam had told Jess about Cas going to Berkeley, and she wanted to meet him and talk about going into the medical field. Dean was absolutely sure Cas would say no.

But that doesn't stop Sam's puppy dog eyes. Now that Dean is apparently staying home for a while longer, he launches back in, full attack. "Please just ask him. It would mean so much to Jess if she got to meet someone who went there. She wants to be a doctor, but she doesn't know what she wants to study yet. It would make so much sense for her to meet Dr. Novak."

"I already said no, Sam. Cas is busy," Dean says, knowing it won't stop him from begging more.

It doesn't. "Yeah, but we can just meet with him for like 20 minutes. He can spare 20 minutes. What's the harm in asking?"

Dean's just about to give in and say fine when he hears a knock at the door.

He locks eyes with Sam, and he sees the realization hit Sam before he understands who it is, and Sam's up and running to the door before Dean can stop him.

Sam makes it to the door before Dean can tackle him, and he opens it as Dean is hopping to his feet, brushing off his coat.

"Hello, Dr. Novak," Sam says, his best polite voice on. "Come in."

Cas walks in to Dean's house for the third time. He takes a look around and then his eyes settle on Dean, standing just behind Sam.

"Hi," he breathes out. He's all smiles and crinkling eyes, and it takes Dean's breath away.

"Hi," Dean says back.

Sam shuts the door, startling them both. "Dr. Novak, do you want some tea before you go?"

Dean gives him his best bitch face, but Sam purposefully ignores him.

"I can have a cup, but then we need to go. We've got a long drive ahead of us," Cas responds.

Dean looks at him, but Cas just walks into the kitchen.

"Where are you going?" Sam asks.

"It's a surprise for Dean, but I will tell that it's in Kansas City."

Sam nods and pours a cup of tea for he and Cas and a cup of black coffee for Dean.

Cas helps Sam carry them to the table, and Dean once again wonders which seat he's supposed to sit in. Cas sits his cup down next to him, though, and Dean relaxes and takes the chair.

Cas smiles at him and lays a hand on his knee.

"What's in Kansas City that I needed to get so dressed up for?" Dean asks.

"You'll see when we get there." He turns his attention to Sam and asks, "How are school plans going?"

Sam smiles, and Dean sees the false innocent look he's mastered over the years flit across his face. "Plans are good. Thanks for asking. But actually my girlfriend, Jess--you know, I told you about her when you were here last--she's the one going to Berkeley. I told her about you, and she's thinking about being a doctor, and she would like some advice from an alumni before she commits. I was thinking that you could talk to her."

Cas says a quiet "oh," and Dean starts to speak up.

"Sam, I told you Cas is busy. I don't think he has time to talk to Jess about--" but Cas speaks over him.

"I can do it. Can we meet here? Over dinner one night?"

Dean turns to him, mouth open. Cas wants to have dinner with Dean and his brother and Sam's girlfriend? At his house?

"Cas, no, you don't need to do that." Cas lays a hand on Dean's wrist.

"It's ok." He smiles and turns back to Sam. "I'm off Thursday of next week if you two can make it work then."

Sam beams. "I can. Thank you so much! I'll go call her now!" He gets up and walks into the living room, voice booming with excitement.

"You didn't have to do that," Dean says.

"It's nothing. It's just a dinner. And look at how happy your brother is." Cas smiles and takes the mugs and places them in the sink. "We need to go so we can make our reservation."

"Reservation?" Dean asks, but Cas just leads him to the door.

Sam finishes his call and sees them out. "Thanks again, Castiel. This is so kind of you. I'm so glad my brother met you."

Dean drags Cas to the car before he can say anything more and Sam shuts the door behind them, but not before Dean can hear him snickering.

"Are you going to tell me where we're going?" Dean asks again.

Cas opens the door for him. "Nope," and then he closes it and walks around to the driver side of the sky blue Prius.

The drive isn't as long as Dean expects, and it's really not so bad because Cas keeps his hand on his knee the whole way there.

They pull up in front of a French restaurant called Ca Va and Cas rushes around to Dean's side of the car to hold the door open for him. Cas hands the key to a valet and then he opens the door for Dean, hand pressing against the small of his back.

The restaurant is fancy, tablecloths and a million different kinds of forks on the table. Cas helps Dean out of his coat and pulls Dean's chair out for him before sitting in his own, and Dean takes a moment to look around the place. It's definitely the nicest place he's been in.

"Cas, what are we doing here?" he asks.

Cas just smiles at him. The waiter comes and Cas orders appetizers Dean can't pronounce and a bottle of champagne that can't be cheap.

After the waiter pours it, Cas holds his glass up.

"What are we celebrating?" Dean asks. He's doing remarkably well at not freaking out. He's out of his element, but if this some sort of new scene Cas wants to try, then Dean is willing to go along with it.

"Us," Cas says, and Dean furrows his eyebrows. Cas sets his glass down. "I want to talk about our arrangement." Dean feels his heart beat faster. Did Cas drive him 45 minutes away from home just to dump him? He starts to panic, but then Cas grabs his hand. "I've been happy with us, but it occurred to me I didn't ask you if you were happy."

"I am, Cas. I'm happy. I told you," Dean breathes out.

"I know. I believe you. I just wanted to talk about the possibility of more between us, which is why I wanted to take you out on our first date."

Cas looks nervous, and Dean registers what Cas is saying.

"This is a date?" he asks.

Cas nods. "I'm willing to discuss the potential for more dates in the future, if you want."

"You don't have to do this for me."

"It's not just for you. I want it, too. I like being out with you. I like talking to Sam. I like that you know Charlie and Gabe and Bobby. I like hearing about your day, and I like telling you about mine. I've already crossed so many lines--texting you and seeing you outside of our scheduled hours and the scar. What's one more?"

Dean smiles, but he can't help but feel like he's forcing Cas into this. "Cas, I'm happy with what we've been doing. Don't feel like you need to give me more. I'm fine."

"Stop," Cas says, curtly, and he takes his hand from Dean's. "I told you I want this for myself. The past three months I've been the happiest I've ever been. You make me happy. This week, with how distant you've been, it made me realize that I'm willing to do anything to keep you a part of my life. I want to make you as happy as you've made me, and I think part of that is doing normal things like going on dates."

A waiter sets a plate of caviar on the table.

"You call this normal?" Dean says before he can stop himself. He always does this--makes jokes or fidgets when he's uncomfortable. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry about how I acted this week. I've just been distracted, and I took it out on you, and that's not fair."

Cas nods. "See? We're already getting the hang of it." Dean scoffs. "You don't need to tell me what happened. I just need to know that you're in this as much as me. If you want out, all you have to do is say so."

"I don't want out, Cas. I just don't want to force you into something you don't want to do."

"If you say one more time that you are forcing me into anything, we will leave right now and I will spank you in the car. The ride home will be unpleasant for you." He says it voice low, and Dean shifts in his seat and looks down at his empty plate. He can't deny how hot it is to hear Cas say that in a place like this. "Good. Do you want this, Dean?"

"Yes," he whispers, and Cas reaches across the table to lift his chin.

"Me too." He picks up his glass and motions for Dean to do the same. "To us," he says, and they clink.

Dean can't believe his luck. He loves this gorgeous man sitting across from him at a fancy French restaurant on his first real date, and he wants more than just to fuck Dean. And he's got a dark look on his face that has Dean already panting. Fucking is good, too.

Dinner ends and they drive home, Dean stuffed full of food he had never heard of but had been delicious. They turn the radio up loud and sing along to old songs, laughing when one of them messes up the lyrics. He's looking forward to snuggling in next to Cas, but Cas pulls into Dean's driveway instead.

"We're not going to your house?" Dean asks. It's late, and Dean's tired. All he wants is to do is go to bed.

"First date, remember?" Cas gets out of the car and walks Dean up to the porch.

"I had a lovely time tonight," Dean says. He's got butterflies in his stomach, and Cas is staring at him.

"Me, too," he says. "Come over any time tomorrow. Whenever you get up, ok?"

Dean nods, and then Cas cups his face and kisses him gently. He presses his body into Dean's, and Dean is breathless when Cas pulls away.

Dean watches Cas walk down to his car. He waves and smiles at Dean, and then he drives away.

Dean leans against the door, trying to catch his breath. It was the perfect first date.

When he goes to unlock the door, it gives without turning the key. All the lights are on in the house, but Sam is gone to work.

Dean walks down to his room, his lips still wet from Cas', and tells himself that Sam just forgot to lock the door on his way out.

Chapter Text

Dean wakes early, the sun just starting to rise. He pulls on running clothes before he has the chance to change his mind and then he's out the door.

He waits for the initial burning in his lungs from the cold air to go away, and then he settles into a rhythm. He loves watching air puff out of his mouth, loves watching his feet fly out from under him. It gives him time to think. Cas had basically asked Dean to be his boyfriend last night, and Dean fell asleep so happy his face still hurt this morning from smiling. It's exactly what he wouldn't admit he wanted from the start. Now that Cas has offered it, Dean can't believe how much relief he feels. A small part of him--one he hates--thinks about what Cas said about Uriel taking Cas on fancy dates at the start of their relationship and where it ultimately led them. Dean knows Cas would never do anything to hurt him, but what if Cas is giving Dean more of what he wants because Cas would like Dean to give him more? What if it's something Dean's not willing to do? What if he thinks Dean's not good enough to try it? He shakes the thought from his mind and picks up speed.

He knows Cas wouldn't say yes to meeting Sam at his house, wouldn't agree to meeting Jess, would have never let Dean touch his scar if Cas didn't care about him. Since realizing he loves Cas, he's been on the verge of saying it at every encounter. He almost screamed it over champagne last night, almost whispered it on the porch. He's typed it out as a text message numerous times and deleted them all because what if Cas doesn't love him back? What if he's experimenting because he hasn't had a sub in a while and Dean's just enough for him to get back in the game before he finds a new one? Imagining Cas with anyone else has Dean gasping for air.

He fights through it and starts a sprint. Cas cares about him. Cas had spent months before meeting Dean wanting him. He showed up at the garage just to see Dean. He cares about Dean, and Dean knows it, but he just doesn't understand why. It's gnawing at him, worrying him into a state of anxiety, and the run helps, but ultimately it's being with Cas that gets his brain to shut off. He's not even sure why he's feeling this way after his perfect night. Something has him spooked, and he just can't put his finger on it.

He runs a path around the university, more miles than he's done since meeting Cas, and then jogs over to Cas' house.

The sun is fully up now, and Dean guesses it's around the time Cas would be getting up anyway. He takes the spare key from the fake rock under a bush and unlocks the door.

Cas isn't downstairs, so Dean makes them both a cup of coffee and carries them up to the bedroom.

Cas is sound asleep, a pillow clutched in his arms where Dean normally sleeps. He's shirtless, and Dean sets the cups of coffee on the nightstand and gently rubs his fingers over Cas' back.

He stirs, pulling the pillow tighter against him, until Dean finally rouses him enough that he rolls over.

"Good morning," Dean whispers over him.

Cas smiles slowly, letting his teeth show. "It is now."

He sits up and lifts the covers. Dean scoots in where Cas' warm body was and hands him the cup of coffee.

"How'd you sleep?" Dean asks after a sip.

Cas furrows his eyebrows. "Not as good as when you're here."

Dean lets out a chuckle. "You're the one who wanted to be chivalrous and take me home. I would have gladly spent the night here."

"You liked my chivalry, mister," Cas says back to him. He bumps Dean with his shoulder.

"What kind of gentlemanly things do you have planned today, sir?" Dean bumps him back, careful not to spill their coffee.

"I think we'll start with crumpets and tea and move on to polo in the afternoon, how does that sound to you, old sport?"

Dean laughs. This is easy. This is Cas making Dean forget about everything he thought earlier. This is Cas making Dean feel like he's important, that he's everything Cas ever wanted.

Cas sips from his cup, and Dean feels that gnawing again, the words screaming in his brain. He wants so badly to tell Cas he loves him, wants to watch him take in those words, watching that smile stretch across his face and crinkle his eyes.

"You ok?" Cas asks him.

"Yeah, sorry. Just thinking," Dean replies. He shakes his head and looks at the man beside him. Dean can't say it, not yet. It's too soon and Cas has already given him so much. He can't say it now, when he's sweaty after a long run and Cas still has morning breath. The moment has to be perfect. Cas deserves that.

Cas reaches over and places their cups on the nightstand. "I know a way to get you stop thinking," and he looks at Dean with that dark look in his eyes, and then Dean's buried under Cas' weight.

Dean gives in and lets Cas kiss him in spite of how much he knows he probably smells. It's sweet and lazy, Cas still mostly asleep and Dean's body starting to feel heavy from the run.

Finally, Cas stops to catch his breath, leaning over Dean. Dean watches his eyes shift back and forth across Dean's face, watches his smile reveal white teeth inch by inch. He rolls off him and pulls Dean into him tightly, their bodies fitting together.

"Thank you for you last night, Cas." It's barely a whisper, Dean staring into Cas' eyes.

"You don't need to thank me," Cas whispers back. They don't want to break the mood, hands clasped under the covers and Cas running his other hand down Dean's back.

"I do need to thank you. I've never been on a date before, and I don't think I realized how much I wanted one until last night. It's like you always read my mind. Like you know what I need before I do."

Cas smiles. "Your happiness is important to me. And," he takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. He exhales as he opens them. "You're right. I was going to wait to tell you this, but I can read your mind. I know what you're thinking all the ti--."

Dean laughs and pulls himself up to sit on top of Cas. "See, I try to be cute and serious for one second and you have to go and make a joke out of it." He lightly punches Cas in the arm, and then Cas has him pinned underneath him, both of them giggling. Cas kisses Dean hard, the air knocked out of him, and then Dean forgets what they were just talking about, so wrapped up in Cas' lips, those three words once again screaming in Dean's brain. He lets Cas kiss him, lets him roam and claim his body, until even those important words are a dull roar and he's nothing but sensation.

It's a lazy weekend, the two of them watching tv and cooking together and passing the time with sex. Sunday passes by quickly, and when the clock chimes that it's 4, Cas looks at Dean and shyly asks him if he'd like to stay for dinner, and Dean can't breathe he's so happy.

Cas tells Dean his funniest moment in the ER--when someone he knew from a club had to come in to get a very large vegetable removed from his rectum--and Dean's laughing so hard he has tears running down his face. They're stalling finishing dinner because it means Dean has to go, the last 20 minutes spent pushing food around their plates, and Dean is just about to ask if he can stay the night when his phone rings.

Dean excuses himself. No one ever calls him, and Sam knows he's at Cas'.

He answers without really looking at the ID.

"Hello?" he asks.

"Dean?" It's Sam, and instantly Dean is on alert. He sounds frightened, his words coming out quickly. "Dean. I just got home and the house is a wreck. I think someone broke in, but I can't find a broken window. I need you to come home. I don't want to stay here."

"Woah, Sammy. Slow down. Just stay on the porch. I'll be there in 5 minutes."

He registers a complaint from Sam but hangs up before he really hears him, and then Cas is right at his side, keys already in his hand.

"Sammy said someone broke into our house," Dean hears himself say.

Cas grabs him by the arm and leads him outside and to his car. Dean left the Impala at his house, having run to Cas' the morning before. It means someone broke in even though there was a car at the house. It means someone was watching to know no one was home.

Cas speeds the few blocks it takes to get to Dean's, and then Dean has the door open before Cas has even parked, sprinting up to Sam.

Sam's sitting on the porch step, arms wrapped around his knees. He looks up when Dean gets near. "It's awful. Everything is all over the place. Who would do this to us?"

Dean hugs Sam. "I don't know."

He leaves Sam with Cas and walks into their house. All of the chairs in the kitchen and dining room are overturned. The cabinets are open in the kitchen. Clothes are strewn down the hall. Dean makes his way down to Sam's room. It looks like nothing has been moved at all, and Dean hopes that his room is the same, that the perpetrator was looking for something in the front of the house and just gave up. Dean opens his door. The room has been overturned. The dresser is on its side, spilling clothes. The closet looks like someone pulled everything out, which explains the clothes in the hall. The bed has the sheets and blankets balled up, the pillows thrown across the room. There's something clearly trapped underneath the blankets. Dean stops because he knows what it is. Nothing in the living room was missing. Not the tv or the vinyl record player. None of the electronics were damaged. Sam's room wasn't touched. Dean knows this was personal.

Under his mattress he kept two things: the dildo and an envelope full of cash with Sam's name on it.

Dean lifts the mattress. Both are gone. He shakes out the covers and sure enough, the dildo falls out along with the notes Cas gave him.

Dean sits on the bed. Cas comes in a moment later, Dean holding the notes in his hand. Dean looks up at his frightened face in the doorway, and that scares him more than anything--that Cas can look at Dean like that.

"We have to call the police," he says.

Dean shakes his head. "I know who did it."

Cas moves and sits next to Dean on the bed.

"Who?"

Dean considers. Cas knows that his dad might have been abusive, but he doesn't know everything. Dean hasn't told him anything except what he said about Simple Man. Cas has guessed the rest, but Dean never said it was true. He doesn't want Cas to look at him differently, with that scared look on his face in the doorway, like Dean is a thing that needs pity. He doesn't want that from Cas, but he also knows that there's no denying this. It's who Dean is. It's who his family is, and if Cas wants to be a part of Dean's life, then he has to know. He prepares himself for Cas to sprint out the door and pushes the words out before he can stop himself. Before he can tell Cas he loves him and please don't let this ruin things between them.

"My dad."

Cas lets out a breath. "How do you know for sure?"

"He didn't touch Sam's room. He went right to where he knew I kept my money. And he found the dildo. And these." Dean holds out the notes for Cas.

Cas takes them. "You kept these?" He thumbs the notes, tracing Dean's name.

Dean nods. "It helps me sleep when I'm not with you."

Cas stills and hands the notes back to Dean. "Do you want me to help clean this up?"

Dean looks at him. "You can go. I can do this." Cas looks afraid, and Dean is worried it's less about his dad and more about what he said about the notes.

Cas looks like he's going to say something but Sam comes in the room, not bothering to see if they are in the middle of talking.

"Dean, we can't stay here tonight."

Dean sighs. Sam's right. But where are they going to go? Sam can probably sleep at Jess', but Dean can't ask Cas for that, especially not with the way he looks now. "Dad got the money, Sam. He came here for what he wanted. I'm sure he's long gone."

"You don't know that, Dean. He might have taken the money, but it will be gone in a few weeks, and then he'll be right back here."

Cas speaks up, startling Sam and Dean. "You don't know if it was your dad. Hiding money under a mattress is pretty common. I think you need to call the cops and then you can both spend as long as you would like at my house. Sam, go get your things packed up. Bring whatever you need for school."

Cas is full dominant voice, in control. He's already got his phone in his hand, dialing 911. Sam turns without saying anything and goes to his room.

Dean looks at Cas. The frightened face is gone, replaced by hardened eyes. He's pacing the room and finally stops, phone pressed to his ear. Dean can hear a muffled voice on the line and then Cas speaks. "Someone broke into my boyfriend's house."

Dean snaps his head up, not hearing Cas' next words. He doesn't see the mess his room is in. He just sees Cas, in control and figuring out how to make this better for Dean. And he hears the words "my boyfriend" again and again. Finally, Cas puts his phone in his pocket and kneels in front of Dean.

"Cops will be here in 10 minutes. Go check on Sam and I'll pack some things for you." It's a command, not a request, and Dean moves without hesitation.

Sam's got his backpack stuffed full already and is working on a duffel bag. Dean watches his quick movements. He's reminded of watching his dad leave and then shakes the thought from his mind. This is not like that. Sam's coming with Dean, not leaving him.

"Cas called the cops. I'll drive you to school and pick you up. I don't want you walking around."

Sam stills and turns to face Dean. He nods and then zips the duffel.

The cops come and take prints. They ask probing questions, and Dean and Sam tell them what they know about their dad--he's probably on a bender, been gone almost four months, and he never said where he went. They briefly recount his abusive tendencies, and Dean catches Cas wince and quickly recover.

The cop is just about to leave when he turns to Cas. "Is there anyone you know who might want to harm the Winchesters?"

Cas stills. He stares at the cop. "No one comes to mind."

Dean coughs. "Cas. You don't think..."

He trails off because Sam is standing right there, and it's just too weird to talk about this with him in the room.

"If you have anyone who might be of interest, it's best you tell us now," the officer says.

"He's not of interest," Cas starts. He sounds annoyed, and Dean flinches. Cas softens his voice. "I have an ex who I haven't seen in years who recently showed up in Lawrence. But I assure you he would never do something like this."

Dean looks at him, mouth open. How could Cas defend him?

"Its best we take his name just in case." The cop opens his notebook, looking at Cas.

Cas sighs. "Uriel Jones."

The officer writes it down and gives Dean a few polite words and his card.

Dean's tired, and Sam looks terrified. Cas grabs the bag he packed for Dean and leads them outside. Dean makes Sam ride with Cas, relishing a moment alone, and they drive over to Cas'.

With Cas not there, Dean can't get his brain to shut up. What if the person who broke in was still there when Sam got home? What if it wasn't their dad? Who would want to steal from them? Why would they take care to wrap up the dildo and the notes so that Dean would be sure to find them together?

Dean takes a shaky breath and steps out of the car.

They get Sam settled in one of the spare bedrooms. Cas makes Dean shower, washing his body for him, and then he dries him like their first night together.

He pulls Dean in close in bed, arms almost too tight around him. Dean's too wired to sleep, too worried about things to just drift off. The truth is, his dad found the few things that he knows makes Dean gay, proving something he's only teased at for years. He wrapped them up so Dean would find them, and then he destroyed Dean's room and all the rooms after he found those items.

He can feel his heart racing because this is his fault, and he knew he shouldn't have listened to Sam. He can't date anyone. Can't let himself have what he wants because this is what it gets him. Dean wasn't home to protect Sam this time, and they just got lucky.

He stiffens in Cas's arms, but Cas just pulls him in tighter.

"I don't know what I would have done," he whispers.

Dean's not sure if he means to talk so he just lays there, but Cas continues.

"What if I hadn't asked you to stay for dinner? What if you were home? What if whoever broke in was armed or wasn't just looking for money? I would never forgive myself if something happened to you." His voice breaks, and Dean turns to look at him.

In the pale light, Dean can see the tears sliding down his cheeks. Cas presses his forehead into Dean's, and Dean is suddenly thinking those words again.

"It's not your fault," he says instead.

Cas nods. "I know, but I can't bear to think what would have happened if I hadn't asked you to stay. If you left just three hours earlier. It would be my fault then. It would be fault for sending you there."

He's crying now, and Dean is frozen. Cas can't control his emotions. Can't stop himself from crying. He's shaking, and this is nothing like letting Dean touch the scar. This is so much more, and Dean understands. Cas is thinking those words, too.

Dean pulls Cas against him. "I'm here now, Cas. I'm here, and I'm fine, and I'm not going anywhere."

Cas clutches Dean, buries his head in his neck. "You and Sam stay as long as you like. Stay so I know you're ok."

Dean nods against him. "We're ok, Cas. We're ok, and we're here and safe because of you."

Cas stills, and Dean hears the start of a whisper, but Cas stops himself and starts over. "I promise you I'll keep you safe."

It's not I love you, but it will do.

Chapter Text

Dean sleeps better than he expects, but Cas still beats him out of bed in the morning. Sam's not in his room either, so Dean makes his way downstairs.

Sam is sitting at the island in the kitchen, and Cas has his back to him at the stove.

Sam has a giant plate of food in front of him, and he looks up at Dean. "Good morning," he mumbles, mouth full.

Cas turns, spatula in hand, and smiles.

This is weird. His little brother is sitting in Cas' house, eating breakfast on a school day. Dean is at Cas' house on a work day. Sam seems to have forgotten how upset he was last night, shoveling food into his mouth. Cas flips bacon and scrambles eggs, and everyone is just acting like this is a normal day. And it's especially weird how not weird it is. Dean can imagine it--waking up here every day, Cas making breakfast and Sam sitting here, the three of them in a routine.

Dean snaps out of it and walks up behind Cas. He wraps his arms around him, laying his head on his shoulder. "Thank you," he whispers.

Cas turns, letting Dean hug him. He smiles. "There's plenty of food for you."

Cas starts putting food on a plate, handing it to Dean. Dean takes it and sits next to Sam. Sam barely looks up at him, scraping his plate. "Dude, your boyfriend makes good pancakes," he says through bites of food.

Dean winces, looking at Cas, but Cas is still busy at the stove. "Don't call him that, ok?" he whispers.

Sam looks at him. "But he is your boyfriend, Dean."

"Maybe, but we haven't had that talk yet, and I'd appreciated it if we got to define our relationship rather than my stupid kid brother defining it for us." Cas had called him his boyfriend last night on the phone, but that was just for convenience in getting the cops to come, not because Cas really thinks of Dean as his boyfriend. Even if Cas wanted to go on dates and had said the word "boyfriend" to strangers, Cas still made it perfectly clear in the beginning that he didn't want a relationship. Dean has to keep that in mind. They need to take things slow.

"Whatever, dude. Just make sure you keep him because he makes better pancakes than you."

Cas turns the stove off, loads a plate up with food, and moves to stand on the other side of the island.

"Sam, what time do you need to be at school?" Cas asks. He's already dressed, just his navy slacks and blue checkered button up on. He's got the sleeves rolled up, and Dean wishes Sam wasn't here because Dean loves when Cas is in his business clothes, and Dean can imagine waking up and seeing Cas in his business clothes every morning, and getting him to take them off before he has to go. The weekend already feels like a lifetime ago.

"7," Sam replies. He finishes his plate and stands to get more food off the stove.

Dean tries to give him a dirty look, but Sam is too invested in his plate to notice. "I'll take Sammy to school after breakfast, and then I have to go, too. What time are you leaving for work?" Dean asks.

Cas chews and swallows, taking his time. "I'm not going in today. I called out. And I already called Bobby and told him you're not coming in either. I'll take Sam to school and then we can go back to your house and try and straighten it up."

Sam looks back and forth between Cas and Dean. He takes a last bite and puts his plate in the dishwasher. "I'll just go get ready then," he says, and then he's out the door.

Dean sighs. "Cas, I appreciate what you're doing for us, but I can go to work today. And you shouldn't have taken off either. It's my house. I can put it back together. And I would like to take Sam to school. We haven't gotten to talk yet, and I want to check on him." Dean feels awkward telling Cas this after everything Cas has done for them, and especially since he's never said no to Cas. This is new to their relationship, and Dean doesn't want to offend him.

"You're not going into work. And neither am I." Cas' jaw twitches, and Dean sees a snippet of last night's emotions flit across his face before he recovers. "You can take Sam to school, but then you are coming back here and we are going to your house together."

It's a command, and Dean feels himself slip into that space. He's about to agree before he remembers that this is his fucked up life that he needs to take responsibility for, not Cas'. Cas doesn't need to be involved in cleaning up after his dad. He doesn't need to care for Sam, and he definitely doesn't need to miss a day of work for Dean.

Dean shakes his head. "I don't want you to miss work because of me. And I definitely don't want you cleaning up my house. None of this is your fault, and you're already doing so much by just letting Sam and I stay here last night. I don't want to inconvenience you." Dean looks down and takes a shaky breath.

Cas puts down his fork and walks around the island. Dean turns in his chair when Cas is standing next to him. He can't lift his eyes up to him.

"You are not making me miss anything. You are not inconveniencing me in anyway. I meant it when I said the two of you can stay as long as you like. I don't think it's a good idea to go to work today anyway." He kneels at Dean's stool so Dean has to look at him. Cas smiles when Dean finally does. "I wouldn't be able to concentrate. So please, let me take care of you. Let me help you. I need to do this for me, ok?"

This is new. Dean looks down at Cas kneeling in front of him. Cas who looks frightened right now. Cas who cried last night. Dean nods and Cas stands up. He kisses Dean on the top of his head and walks back to his plate like nothing happened. Like he hadn't just told Dean he'd be too caught up in thinking about Dean to work. That he needs to take care of Dean, not just want. That he asked Dean rather than commanded it.

Sam comes downstairs a moment later, and Cas already has Dean's plate in hand and is loading it in the dishwasher. Cas seems to be everywhere this morning, making more than enough food and cleaning up the kitchen before Dean even realizes it's dirty. Dean looks at him, but Cas busies himself with wiping down the island counter.

"I just need to get dressed and then I'll be ready," Dean calls as he heads back upstairs.

It doesn't take long, but Dean hates leaving Sam and Cas alone for any amount of time. It's not like Cas is going to tell Sam about being a sub, but as comfortable as he feels when he's in the room with the two of them, as soon as he's not he remembers this isn't just a relationship and Cas isn't Dean's boyfriend. And he doesn't want Sam to find out.

He throws on his clothes as quickly as possible and brushes his teeth. Dean is back in the kitchen in time to see Cas cutting the crust off a sandwich while Sam opens a zip-lock bag.

"Uh, what are you doing?" Dean asks.

Cas doesn't pause. "Making Sam's lunch." He removes the crust and places the sandwich in the open bag. He seals it and hands it to a smiling Sam.

"No, you're not. Sam is 17, Cas. He doesn't need the crust taken off his sandwich." Dean gives Sam his best angry face, eyes furrowed, and Sam looks marginally guilty, to his credit.

Cas shrugs. "He can have the crust taken off today." He smiles at Sam and Sam beams back at him. Cas kisses Dean's cheek and then pushes the two of them out the door. "You're going to be late." He turns to look at Dean. "Come straight back here." He looks worried, like Dean could ever imagine defying him.

In the car, Dean waits an appropriate amount of time--like ten seconds--before he yells at Sam. "You cannot just have Cas make you food all the time, Sam. This is his house. He's already being too kind to us by letting us stay there. We don't need to eat all his food and we especially don't need to ask him to cook for us. Come on, dude."

Sam listens to him rant. When Dean bangs his hands on the steering wheel, Sam finally speaks. "He wanted to cook. He made the sandwich without really asking me, and I jokingly asked to take the crust off. I didn't know he would actually do it. He takes things kind of literal. And, if I remembered correctly, he was the one who told us to stay at his house. Demanded it actually. So don't yell at me about being a bad guest. He wants us there. We don't need to be on our toes the whole time. He likes you being there. You should have seen how he was looking at you this morning. How much he talked about you while you were still asleep. Why can't you see that he cares about you?"

Dean sighs. Maybe Sam is right. Cas seemed really chipper this morning, making way more food than necessary. And he did invite them there. And last night happened, Dean reminds himself, but maybe he misread why Cas was so upset. That it was because Dean admitted to reading the notes over and over and not about the break in. He hates himself for even thinking it. It was a scary night for all of them. Still, though, they are guests and Cas might be the worlds nicest not boyfriend by letting them stay with him, but he is still not his boyfriend. "Ok. Just--let's try to be a little bit better while we stay. Clean up after ourselves. Maybe offer to cook. Alright?"

"Alright," Sam says.

"Good." Dean puts his blinker on and turns. "How long are you thinking we should stay?"

"I don't know. I don't really like that dad's just out there and he knows where we live. He could show up at any moment. I just wanted a house to feel like ours. You know? Safe. And he already ruined it."

Dean nods. "I'm going over there today with Cas to clean up. I really do think dad got his money and he left again. He doesn't have the car, and he really seemed like that was it when he left in October. We called the cops, they know what he looks like. I think we're ok."

"I get what you're saying, but last night was the best night's sleep I've gotten in years, man. It's just something about Cas. I don't know. I felt at home there. I feel like I already know him. I know you haven't been dating that long, but he's already done more for us than anyone in our lives. We probably can't stay there forever realistically, but can we stay for a week? Just until the house is put back together and I feel a little better?"

"I'll ask him." Dean turns into the parking lot and waits in the line of cars. Cas' house does feel like a home. And this morning with Cas and Sam there felt oddly familiar. Domestic. Dean liked it--more than he was really willing to admit to himself.

Sam opens the door when it's finally their car's turn at the front of the line and then closes it and turns back to Dean. "Can you ask him about Jess' dinner? I know this is bad timing, but she was really looking forward to it, and if he's still willing to do it, it would mean so much to her."

"Sure, Sammy. I'll pick you up right when school gets out, ok?"

"Thanks, Dean." Sam opens the door to get out again, but he pauses and turns and hugs Dean tightly before finally hopping out and shutting the door.

Dean watches his brother walk up the steps. He waits until the door closes and drives back to Cas.

Chapter Text

Cas has the kitchen back in order by the time Dean gets back. Dean meets him at the island where Cas is still drinking coffee.

Cas smiles when he sees Dean. He stands and dumps the rest of his coffee out in the sink.

"We should go," he says. Dean turns and Cas leads him outside.

Cas keeps his hand on Dean's thigh on the drive over. They don't speak. Dean's a little nervous about seeing the house again. He didn't tell Sam the real reason of how he knew it was their dad who broke in, and his heart is suddenly racing as they pull into the driveway. Logically, he knows no one is here, but to think someone broke into his house and was in his room when he wasn't home, going through his stuff--it's scary. Even if it was his dad. Especially if it was his dad.

"Ready?" Cas asks.

Dean opens his door and Cas does the same. Cas puts his hand on the small of Dean's back as they walk up to the porch.

The house is still in disarray. They stand in the doorway and look at the living room and kitchen. In the light, it looks worse.

"I'll take the kitchen and you start in the living room, ok?" Cas says.

Dean nods. He uprights the coffee table and chair. He moves the couch cushions back and tidies the living room. He can hear Cas putting glass back in cabinets. Dean glances over his shoulder every so often and looks at Cas stretching to reach the top of the shelves.

Dean finishes first and starts gathering the clothes up in the hallway. He's putting the clothes back in the closet when Cas comes in.

"Kitchen is done," he says.

Dean turns. "Thank you."

Cas nods and starts making the bed. He smooths out the sheets and pulls the comforter back. He fluffs the pillows and puts the notes back on the nightstand. He holds the dildo in his hand.

Dean folds the clothes on the floor and puts them back in the upright dresser. His room is cleaner than it has been since he moved in.

Dean listens to the sounds of Cas moving things behind him as he puts the clothes in the dresser. Dean's wrapped up in his own thoughts--about his feelings for Cas, about convincing Sam to move back, about the date Friday night which feels like forever ago. He was so happy Friday and so terrified last night. What if Cas doesn’t want him anymore because of all his baggage? The thought nearly topples him, and he clutches the dresser and takes a deep breath. An even worse thought—how can he be so selfish in putting Cas through this?

He's straightening up the picture frame on top of the dresser when he feels Cas wrap his arms around him.

The dildo is pressed into his stomach.

"You never used this?" he asks against his neck. His breath tickles and Dean feels the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

"No," Dean whispers. He slowly takes his hands off the picture frame and drops them to his side.

He feels Cas' lips and teeth drag against his neck. Cas turns him and Dean is pressed against the dresser. Cas' lips close over Dean's. It's a rough kiss, Cas biting at Dean's bottom lip.

Dean has to move to take a breath. Cas takes the moment to push Dean toward the bed, nipping along his jaw as he goes.

It's frantic. Cas is practically clawing at Dean, and Dean is panting already, his wayward thoughts replaced with a buzzing. He needs this. Cas drops the dildo on the bed and pulls Dean's t-shirt up and over his head. He unbuttons and unzips his pants and pulls them down, kneeling as he goes. Dean steps out of them and Cas pulls them off. Cas looks up at him, hands on Dean's hips. He moves to roll the waistband on Dean's boxers down. He grasps his hard cock, and Dean gasps. Cas doesn't hesitate and takes Dean in his mouth quickly. Dean hunches over, grabbing Cas' shoulders. Cas continues, squeezing Dean's ass and pushing him further into his mouth.

"Cas," Dean pants. "Stop. I don't want to come like this. Please."

Cas of course doesn't listen. He pulls off of Dean and circles the head of him and sinks back down. Cas presses his tongue against the base and Dean digs his fingers into Cas' shoulders more.

"Cas. Gonna come. Stop!" Dean pants. He feels himself thrust into Cas' mouth and Cas finally pulls off of him.

Dean is left panting, dripping wet. Cas undoes the buttons on his shirt quickly. He pulls it off and Dean finally gets enough sense to move. He unbuttons Cas' slacks and pulls them down. Cas steps out of them and kicks them behind him. He pushes Dean down on the bed and leans over top of him.

Cas moves quickly, sucking marks over Dean's body. He pauses over his aching cock and asks, "do you have any lube?"

Dean arches up and pulls open the drawer to the nightstand. Cas takes the bottle and flips open the cap. He squirts some on his fingers, smearing it over them, and pushes Dean's legs apart. He slips a finger in easily, waiting only until the ring of muscle loosens itself before he thrusts in and out of him. He adds a second finger and pulls them apart.

"You open up so quickly for me," Cas mouths against his neck. "Why did you never use that dildo again?"

Cas crooks his fingers and hits Dean's prostate, and Dean feels himself clamp down around Cas. Cas stills and Dean says, "I was waiting for you. It isn't as good as you."

Dean can feel Cas smile against him. He adds a third finger too fast, the burn making his dick jump. "What if I'm the one using it? Do you think you'll like it then?" Cas asks. He moves the fingers apart, circling him and pounding into his prostate. Dean was already close before, and now the teasing is bringing him over the edge.

"Yes," he hisses.

Cas pulls the fingers out of Dean. He grabs the dildo and coats it with lube. He pushes it into Dean quickly, not letting Dean get used to the sensation before it's buried inside him.

Cas resettles his weight so that Dean can feel his hard cock against his hip. He pushes the dildo in and out quickly and moves his body so he ruts up against Dean at the same time. His face is pressed into Dean's neck, and Dean can feel the soft pants.

He doesn't slow down and Dean starts to tremble. He wants Cas to touch his dick, wants Cas inside him. The dildo is much smaller than Cas, and Dean likes knowing how he can fit inside him. That Dean can stretch to fit Cas.

"Please," Dean whispers. Cas is moving so quickly, and Dean can tell he's close. Cas moves his leg over Dean, and the motion moves Dean's untouched dick against Cas' leg. He arches his back and Cas pushes the dildo in deeper. It hits his prostate, and Cas thrusts his body into Dean. Dean's hips stutter, and he cries out. He comes and Cas stills. He pulls the dildo out when Dean finally stops moving.

Dean is left panting, and he can feel how hard Cas still is against him. Dean moves, making Cas lay flat on the bed.

Dean takes Cas in his mouth and sucks. It doesn't take long to get Cas trembling, and Cas' hands pull Dean's hair. He pushes Dean down onto him and Dean swallows. Cas pulls Dean off of him by his hair and, before Dean can pull back, Cas comes across his face.

Dean lets it hit him, Cas' eyes rolled back in his head as he rides out the aftershocks. When Cas' fingers finally slide out of Dean's hair, Dean looks at him.

Cas has a smirk on his face, but he looks slightly regretful underneath it. He swipes a thumb through the come.

"You look beautiful like this," he says. Dean blushes. Cas kisses him and gets up.

He returns a minute later with a paper towel. Dean wipes his face while Cas settles again on the bed.

Cas pulls Dean against him after he's done cleaning his face. "I'm sorry," he says.

"You don't need to be sorry about coming on my face," Dean says.

Cas laughs. "No, not that. I'm not sorry for that. I'm sorry that your house was broken into. I'm sorry that it's not a safe place for you. That you think your dad would hurt you because of me."

Dean looks up at him from his spot on Cas' chest. "It feels safe right now."

Cas smiles and runs his hands through his hair. "Can you tell me about your dad? We haven't really talked about it, and I need to know. Why do you think he would wrap up the dildo and the notes? Why would he trash your house?"

Dean stills and blows out a breath. They haven't had this conversation, and Dean still doesn't want Cas to pity him. It’s just been him and Sam for so long, and it’s terrifying to tell someone the truth. But he deserves to know about this if he just spent the whole morning cleaning up his house after his dad. "You know he's been abusive. My mom died when I was four and Sam was a baby. After she died, my dad went a little crazy. He started drinking heavily. He held it together for a few years. We moved from motel to motel until I was about 10, and then we started renting apartments. He got angrier and angrier as years went on. He took his frustration out on Sam more than me. I don't know why. The first time he hurt me enough that I had to go to the ER, he swore it would never happen again. But it did. It was my job to make sure Sam was safe and make sure dad didn't kill himself from the booze. I got in the way. He left a few times over the years, but never for this long. He's stolen money from me before. And I think he always knew that I was gay. He made jokes over the years. He called me all kinds of derogatory names. I was careful when he lived here. That's why it was bars I met guys in. Never took anyone home, never went to anyone's house. Until you. I don't know if he would hurt me if he knew about me being gay, but I know he wouldn't be happy. I think he saw your name and saw the dildo when he was looking for the money and went crazy. That's it."

"You really think it was him?" Cas asks.

Dean nods and then furrows his eyebrows. "Don't you?"

"Yeah. You convinced me. I think it was him rather than a stranger. I guess I'm just worried. How does he even know where you live? He's been gone for months."

"I mean, I have a pretty identifiable car. Maybe he went to the leasing office at the old apartment and saw our forwarding address. Who knows? When he wants money, he's willing to do anything to get it. But, really. I don't think you should worry. Like I told Sam, he got what he wanted and he left. He might have been angrier than usual, but I don't think he'll come back."

"How can you know that?" Cas asks. Dean watches his face flush and his eyes narrow in anger. "He showed up out of the blue and destroyed your house. He broke in, Dean. What if you or Sam had been home? I swear I would never forgi--"

"Hey, hey. Stop. Look at me," Dean says. "I know. You don't have to tell me. I know how you feel. But I've been taking care of myself for a long time. This was scary, but it's not the worst thing he's ever done or could do." Dean cups Cas' face in his hands. He wants to say that the worst thing his dad could possibly do is hurt Cas. Dean would really never forgive himself if that happened. He tells himself that his dad is long gone. That, even though it's likely he saw Dean with Cas if he found out where they live, he's angry but not stupid enough to hurt someone else.

"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" Cas asks.

Dean lets out a chuckle. "No. I just meant that I can take care of myself. And you don't need to worry about this. I'm sorry I'm putting you through this, actually. This is not what you wanted out of a relationship, and I've come with so much baggage." Dean lets the words slip before he can stop himself and then claps a hand over his mouth.

Cas sits up. "Is that what you think? That I'm just in this for sex?" He looks so hurt, and Dean rushes to fix his mistake.

"No! That's not what I think. It's just, you made it so clear that you didn't want a relationship where we met each other's families or we went on dates. Just a submissive. I didn't mean to bring all this extra shit into it, and now here you are housing me and my brother and picking up my house when my dad destroyed it."

"Dean, all of that is out the window at this point. I thought I made it clear Friday night. I don't want you as just my submissive. I want you to be yourself with me. This is new for me, too, and I'm sure I'm going to make mistakes. You already know my family. I know Sam. I told you I want to go on dates. I want you as more than just my submissive, but it's up to us how we define that, ok?"

"Ok," Dean says. His head is reeling. Cas is telling him everything he wants to hear, and Dean can feel those words in the back of his throat. "Cas?" he says. Cas lays back and down and looks at Dean.

"Yes?" he says. His eyes are so blue right now, and he drums his fingers over Dean's hand.

Dean feels those words screaming in his brain. It's like they're clawing up his throat, but Cas is staring at him, and even if he keeps saying all the things Dean wants to hear, he still can't say it. It would mean too much. It would change everything. And what if Cas doesn't love him back? Dean could have easily mistaken the tears last night as something else. Just terror? He sighs. "I'm kind of tired. Can we take a nap?" he asks.

Dean lays back down but not before he sees the look of relief flash across Cas' face. It tells Dean that he's right. He can't say it. Cas might care for him, but he doesn't love him.

Cas pulls him in tight. "I'm tired, too. A nap sounds nice." He kisses the top of Dean's head and pulls the covers over them.

Dean waits until he hears Cas' breathing begin to shallow before he rolls over out of Cas' grasp. He stares up at the ceiling until his eyes droop and he finally falls asleep.

Chapter Text

They wake hours later to Cas' ringing phone.

Dean is pushed against the wall, Cas pressed into his back. Cas answers, voice groggy and deep from sleep.

"Hello," he says.

Dean hears a muffled voice on the other end and rolls over. Cas runs a thumb over Dean's cheek, and Dean leans into it.

Cas sighs. "Ok. I'll be there soon."

He hangs up and rolls over to look at Dean. "That was Jody. There was a big emergency and the ER is short staffed. I need to go in and I don't know what time I'll be done."

"Ok," Dean says.

"You have a key. There's food at home. You and Sam make yourselves at home, ok? I'll call you when I get a chance."

Dean smiles. "Thanks, Cas."

"You're welcome." Cas moves off the bed and pulls on his clothes. As much as Dean likes to watch Cas undress, watching him dress has its perks. His shoulder muscles ripple as he pulls the shirt up his arms. He bends to pull his pants on, his round ass on display. He has a sense of determination on his face as he buttons his shirt. Dean watches his fingers move deftly over the buttons.

Cas smiles when he catches Dean staring. "Come on. Get up. You need to get Sam soon. And I don't want you here alone just yet." He leans over and kisses Dean on the lips.

Dean gets up and dresses quickly. Cas leaves the room and Dean looks around. Everything is put back in its right place. The discarded dildo lays dirty by the bed, and Dean picks it up and shoves it back under the mattress. As Dean turns to leave, he grabs the notes on his dresser and stuffs them in his pocket. If Cas isn't sleeping with him tonight, the notes will help him fall asleep.

Cas is already on the porch, so Dean takes a moment to make sure the windows and door are locked. No window was broken, so it's possible his dad picked the lock, but Dean makes extra sure to latch and re-latch the windows just in case.

Cas drives Dean back to his house. He gets his bag ready and then leaves and Dean is left standing alone in Cas' house. He still has an hour or so until he has to get Sam.

He wanders up to the bedroom. Dean hadn't made the bed before he left, so it's still a mess. Dean smooths the sheet over the bed and fluffs the pillows. He pulls the sheet and comforter back over the bed and folds it down. He places all four pillows in the center and then stands back. Good as new.

It occurs to him that he has spent more time in this bed over the past four months than his own. Cas' house has started to feel like home, and now he and Sam are sleeping there for the time being. Dean shakes his head. It makes his heart pound to think of that--that Sam was right down the hall from where Dean slept with Cas, that Cas had made them breakfast, that Cas was treating Sam like he was family. Now Cas isn't even here and Dean's expected to use his house like it's his own.

Dean looks over at his empty bag. Cas packed him enough clothes for a week. As soon as they got to Cas' house, Cas had unpacked everything and put it in an empty drawer for Dean. Dean has kept a few random things in it over the past few months. Just t-shirts and extra underwear, but now it's almost full. It means Dean has his own drawer in Cas' dresser. His toothbrush is in the medicine cabinet. His body wash is in the shower because Cas likes the smell of it.

Dean basically lives here. Even before Cas offered to let them stay. Dean has slowly inched his way in. All the things Cas has said over the past couple days—keeping him and Sam safe, wanting more out of the relationship. How much of it was Cas actually wanting those things and not Dean just forcing his way in? And now he’s expected to stay here without Cas?

Dean takes a breath and pulls the clothes out of the drawer. He stuffs them back in his bag, places it on the bed, and goes to pick up Sam.

In the car on the way over, all Dean can think of is how quickly they are moving and how much it feels like Dean is the one forcing it on Cas. Of course Cas said he wanted to go on dates, and he was the one to say that Sam and Dean should stay with him. But all of it seems too good to be true. Dean's barely 22, and Cas wasn't looking for something like this when he approached Dean. Maybe this isn't the time to push himself into a relationship. Maybe the way Dean thought Cas felt the other night was wrong. He was just hoping so hard that Cas felt something more that he misinterpreted his feelings of fear as love. That look he gave him earlier of relief--like Cas knew Dean might say it--is stuck on repeat in his brain. Cas doesn’t love him. Or if he does he’s terrified of hearing it.

Before Dean realizes it, he's in line for pick up at Sam's school. Sam is already bounding down the steps and opening the door before Dean registers where he is.

"Hey, dude," Sam says. He throws his backpack in to the backseat after shutting the door, but Dean doesn't respond. "Earth to Dean," he says and waves his hand in front of his face.

"Yeah, hey, Sammy," Dean finally says. He puts the car in gear and starts to drive.

"You ok?" Sam asks.

"Fine. Just thinking. How was school?"

"It was a good day. Can't complain. We're getting ready for Valentine's Day, so there's all this buzz about candy-grams and things."

"Yeah, cool," Dean says absently. Truth be told, he hasn't heard anything Sam has said, mind still wrapped up in the second Cas' face gave his relief away in the light of his room earlier.

"Something the matter?" Sam asks.

"No."

"Ok." Sam taps his fingers on his leg. Dean puts his turn signal on and merges.

"It's just. I've been thinking that maybe we won't stay at Cas' tonight. The house is all cleaned up. No time like the present to get over our fears, huh?"

Sam turns his head. "What? No. I'm not ready. Cas said we can stay as long as we want. Why do you want to go tonight? Did something happen?"

"Nothing happened. It's just not our house, dude. And Cas is being too kind to us. He has to work tonight, so he won't even be home. Do you really think it would be fine if just the two of us stayed in his house? That doesn't bother you?" Dean asks. His heart is pounding. Part of him is hoping Sam agrees and part of him is hoping Sam fights him.

"Yeah. I guess," Sam says slowly. "If you really don't feel comfortable staying there without him, then I guess I can ask if I can stay with a friend tonight. You really feel fine going back to our house? It hasn't even been a day."

"I'll be fine. You stay with a friend. The house is all put back together. I checked all the windows. I'll be fine, ok?"

"Ok, Dean." Sam settles into his seat, but he remains tense the rest of the drive back to Cas' house.

Dean fixes him a snack while Sam does his homework at the kitchen island. Once it's done and the sun is starting to set, Dean grabs their bags and loads up the Impala. He drops Sam off at Jess' house. Sam waves with a frown on his face, but Dean drives off anyway.

Their house is quiet and dark. Dean settles into his bed, but it doesn't feel as comfortable as Cas'. Dean gets out of bed several times to check that the door is locked. It takes him a long time to fall asleep. He keeps looking at his phone, hoping that Cas might call or text, but it never lights up. Dean holds the notes in his hands, rubbing the paper with his thumb.

Dean tells himself that this is fine. It's his house. He can handle whatever is thrown at him. He drifts in and out of consciousness, that look of relief flashing across Cas' face waking him with a start every so often. It's the worse sleep he's had in months, but at least he's proven that he doesn't need Cas to take care of him.

Dean's not sure why it matters so much that he proves this to himself.

Chapter Text

Dean drives to work early the next morning. There was no text or call from Cas, and Dean is tired and in a bad mood.

Sam calls Dean on the way to the garage. He stayed in Jess' parents' guest house last night and they're already at school. Sam's still wary about saying at home, so Dean lets him stay there the rest of the week as long as they have dinner together before he goes over there. He hates that Jess and her family get to see so much of him. Their dad's not even here and still has a hold over what they do.

Dean's in an even worse mood when he finally gets to work.

Once again, it's Benny who's in the garage today. Miraculously, Charlie and Bobby are nowhere to be found when he walks in, so he starts work immediately. Benny barely looks at him, which Dean is grateful for. He puts his headphones in and turns his music up loudly. It's not typically allowed that they can listen to music while working, but Bobby's not here, so Dean is willing to risk it.

He loses himself in his work. He's elbow deep in an engine when he feels someone tap him on his shoulder hours later. He turns, and there's Charlie, sad smile stretched across her face.

He takes out his headphones and sticks them back in his pocket.

"Hey," Charlie says. "Castiel told us about what happened, and we want to show you how much we care. Can you clean up and meet us in the lobby?"

Dean takes a look around. Benny's not in the garage anymore. It's just him. He turns back to Charlie and nods. She smiles and turns on her heels and leaves the room.

Dean finds a towel and wipes his arms down as best he can. He's basically clean when he opens the door to the lobby.

Charlie, Bobby, Benny, and the rest of the mechanics are standing in the lobby. They all stare at him with nervous smiles on their faces.

Finally, Bobby steps forward and claps Dean on the shoulder, drawing him forward.

"Dean," he starts. "Castiel is an important person to both Charlie and I, and if you're important to him, that means you're important to us. But more than that--you've become an invaluable member of our team here. You're a great mechanic, and you've become an excellent friend to my daughter. We are so happy to have you here at Singer's. Castiel told us about your house being broken into. We want to show you how important you are to us. So everyone chipped in a little bit of money and we're giving it to you." Bobby hands over a thick envelope to Dean. Dean takes it and stares at Bobby's smiling face.

"Thank you," he whispers. He looks at Bobby and Charlie and the rest of his co-workers smiling at him.

"Don't mention it, kid," Bobby says.

Dean might be tearing up just a little bit.

The rest of the group disbands and gets back to work. Dean turns to Bobby. "I can't accept this. This is too much."

"Kid, you deserve it. You've worked your ass off the past few months. No one deserves to have their house broken into, especially not someone who's taking care of his little brother, too. This will help replace some of what was lost for Sam. I know we haven't known you long, but we consider you family. I can't tell you how happy Castiel seems now that he's met you." Bobby smiles at him again and then walks to his office and closes the door.

Dean takes a deep breath and then walks up to Charlie's desk. "This is too nice."

Charlie smiles at him. "Bobby seems scary, but he's a big softy at heart."

"Yeah, I guess," Dean mutters. He's got an envelope full of cash now and nowhere to put it. What's worse, it came from someone else's surrogate dad. Dean can't even keep enough money to help Sam without someone else supporting him.

"Hey, I know it's probably none of my business, but Castiel told me a little about what happened. He's been so freaked. I know he had an emergency at the hospital earlier, but he called Gabe and I on the way. He's really worried about you. Said it was your dad who broke in? Why would he do something like that?"

Dean feels himself tense up. He draws his shoulders back and clenches his jaw before he catches himself. He tries to relax. He blows out a breath. "Yeah, we think it was my dad."

"Oh my god," Charlie breathes out. "I know he's not been around, but why would he break into your house? Why would he trash it? Why would he steal from you?"

Dean looks at her. "Some dads don't care about their kids as much as others. Some don't accept them for who they are like others."

Charlie opens and closes her mouth. She looks up at Dean and clears her throat, but Dean cuts her off.

"Look, Charlie. My dad's not a great guy. He's a homophobe and a drunk. I'm just saying some of us aren't as lucky to get dads who are willing to do what Bobby is willing to do for me."

"I know, Dean. I know how lucky I am," Charlie whispers. "I'm just glad you're ok."

They look at each other a moment longer and then Dean drums his fingers on the counter and walks back to the garage.

He shoves his headphones back in his ear and listens to classic rock as loud as it will go. He's touched by how kind everyone has been, if a little freaked out by it. And Castiel orchestrated the whole thing. He’s not sure why that makes him so angry.

By the time his shift ends, Dean knows what he has to do. He finishes up and washes his hands before getting in his car.

He calls Sam on the way to pick him up from school.

"Hey, kid. I'm on the way. Are you ready?" Dean asks.

"Hey, Dean. Actually, I'm going to Jess' really quickly to work on an English project with a couple others. Can she drop me off at the house by dinner time? I promise we won't walk. And then she can just come get me around 9 or so. Ok?" Sam says.

"Yeah, that's fine, Sammy. I'll see you for dinner. Any requests?" Dean asks.

"Can you make burgers, actually?"

"Sounds good. See you in a bit."

"Bye, Dean," Sam says.

Dean hears the click and puts the phone on the passenger seat. He turns the car around and drives to his house.

Cas still hasn't called or texted him, which Dean finds odd. He called Charlie and Gabe yesterday after he left. For a second, Dean panics and thinks that Cas might have been hurt. Is it possible he's still at work? It's been about 24 hours. Sometimes Cas is at work that long, but only when it's a scheduled shift. And he always texts Dean. Dean can feel his heart pounding.

He turns and drives up Cas' street rather than go home. His car isn't in the driveway. Dean almost stops to go in, but then decides he's being crazy and just drives home. Cas doesn't have to tell him where is at all times.

When he gets a few houses up from his own, he sees the sky blue Prius sitting in his driveway. Dean breathes an audible sigh of relief and feels the knot in his chest loosen.

Cas sits on the porch steps, scrubs still on. They're wrinkled. Cas' head rests against the post, and he barely moves when Dean opens the car door.

"Cas?" Dean asks. "What are you doing here?"

"You weren't home when I got home. Your stuff was gone. And so was Sam's. You didn't tell me. So I drove over, but you weren't here either. I thought about driving to the garage, but I'm so tired."

Dean kneels in front of him. "Do you want some water or something? We can go sit inside, ok? It's cold out here." He tries to pull Cas up, but Cas plants his body.

"Why did you take all your things? Did you even stay there last night? Why wouldn't you tell me you didn't want to stay?"

Dean looks at Cas. He has dark bags under his eyes. He looks exhausted and sad, staring at Dean in a way Dean hasn't seen before. It scares him, how much he feels when Cas looks at him. Dean feels the envelope in his pocket before speaking. It grounds him. "Cas," he starts. "You've been so good to Sam and I, I just didn't want to overstep my boundaries. I stayed here last night, but Sam stayed at Jess'. He's not ready to come back, but it's fine. It's our house. We're ok. I can take care of us, ok?"

Cas looks at him, lifting his head off the column. "No one believes that you can't, Dean. I know you can take care of yourself and Sam. I know you don't need me. I just..." he shakes his head and starts again. "You weren't where I thought you were going to be. It's important to me that I know you're safe."

Dean nods. "I'm fine." Cas' voice started out tired and quiet, but now he sounds more like his dominant self, voice gruff and deep with a hint of anger.

"Good." Cas stands and walks down the steps. Dean follows. They stand in the yard, facing each other. Dean can feel his heart pounding. This feels like an important moment, and Dean knows there's no going back from this.

They stare at each other. Cas looks so tired and so sad right now. He can see the anger in his eyes, and Dean can't help but look down.

"Are you staying here tonight?" Cas asks.

Dean stares at his shoes and nods his head.

Cas sucks in a breath. "I'll see you Friday at 6 p.m. then."

Dean watches his shoes fade from his line of sight. He lifts his head and calls out, "Cas" before he can open his car door.

Cas looks up at him, a flash of hope evident on his face. He pauses, hands resting on the hood of the car and looks over at Dean.

"Sam wanted me to remind you about the dinner with Jess. Are we still good to do that Thursday?"

Dean watches Cas' face fall for just a second before it becomes blank. Dean thinks he can see his jaw muscle twitch.

"Sure, Dean. I'll be here Thursday for dinner with Jess."

He gets in his car without saying anything else and drives away.

Dean watches him go. When he can't see the car anymore, he stumbles under his weight and sits heavily down on the porch step, still warm from Cas' body. Dean rests his head against the post and tries to get the image of Cas' sad eyes out of his mind.

He's doing the right thing. Reminding everyone that they don't need to take care of him. Cas doesn't deserve all the extra burden Dean has brought. Cas deserves a submissive, and Dean can do that. He can take care of himself and give Cas exactly what he deserves.

He sits a moment longer on the porch before sighing and going into the house to make dinner. Dean knows it's the right thing to do, but why does his heart feel so heavy?

He pounds the ground beef for the burgers until his fingers numb and all he can think about is the loud banging. It drowns everything else out.

Chapter Text

Dean hardly talks at dinner. He made burgers, probably too many, but Sam brought Jess to dinner as well so they don't all go to waste. Jess fills the awkward silence with talk of her excitement to meet Cas at dinner, which makes Dean's heart do a series of beats that range in nonexistent to trapped bird.

Sam gets Jess to grab something out of his room while Dean washes the dishes and finally lashes out at him.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" he whispers. "Jess just wanted to thank you for getting Castiel to talk to her and you didn't say a word to her all night."

"Sorry," Dean mumbles as he dries a plate.

"Dude, what is up with you?" Sam asks. He says it softer now, less harsh. He places a hand on Dean's shoulder and turns him, taking the plate from him. Dean won't meet his eyes. "I'm your brother, Dean. Talk to me."

"It's nothing. Just didn't get a good nights sleep last night, that's all." Dean starts to turn to begin placing the dishes back in the cabinet, but Sam stops him.

"Yeah, and I wonder why? I told you it was too soon to come back here. We should have just stayed at Castiel's."

Dean slams the plate a little too hard as he places it on the counter. "Stop. It's our house, Sam. I've been dealing with dad forever. This is nothing. He's not going to come back, and I'm not going to exploit some nice doctor just because dad wrecked our house one time."

"Some nice doctor? He isn't just a random guy doing us a favor, Dean. He cares about you! And you care about him! I can't believe you're being this stupid right now. I get that you're probably just upset about dad, but you don't need to take it out on him, and you definitely don't need to take it out on Jess and I!"

"Shut up, Sam!" Dean yells. He can see Sam retreat into himself when he does and instantly regrets it. He sighs. "This is dad we're talking about. Yeah, what he did was pretty bad, but he was probably drunk. You know he wouldn't really hurt us."

"We both have pretty extensive medical records that say otherwise, Dean. If he's back, if he was snooping around here, who's to say he didn't see you and Cas? You know how he feels. You think he won't hurt us, but we have no idea what he's capable of. Stop trying to make it rational. You're scared, and I get it, but you can't just push everyone away who cares about you. You need to talk about it. And you need to let Castiel take care of you."

Jess walks back in the kitchen carrying a bag of Sam's things. Sam puts his arm around her. "Think about it, ok?" he says.

"Sure, Sam," Dean replies. "Jess, thank you for coming to dinner. I'll see you Thursday."

Jess smiles as Sam grabs his backpack. He leads her outside. Dean stands on the porch watching them go. The sun is almost set, and Dean realizes he has another long night ahead of him.

Dean closes the door behind him and locks it. He turns to the kitchen. He grabs a bottle of Jack Daniels he keeps on the top shelf. Beer just won't do tonight. He pours himself a large drink and puts two ice cubes in the glass. He takes a long drink and then settles on the couch to watch tv.

He pulls out his phone many times, looking at their old texts. Dean reads through them quickly and then reads them again.

It boils down to too many things: that Dean loves Cas and doesn't think Cas loves him back, that he knows Sam is right and their dad would hurt him if he knew about Cas, that he's upset Cas got his coworkers to give him money, that this is the first time someone else is taking care of Sam and Dean doesn't like it, even if it is Cas because it means Dean can't. There are too many things to focus on, but the thing he keeps coming back to is that Dean can take care of himself and Cas didn't want this in the first place. The fact that Cas must feel sorry for Dean enrages him.

Dean finishes the last of the drink. The ice is barely melted, so Dean decides to have another. He gets up and knows he's already tipsy. He sways as he gets his balance and then refills his glass. He's going to have to slow down if he doesn't want a hangover at work tomorrow.

Dean watches old reruns and tries to slow his sips. He keeps pressing his phone to look at Cas' number. He's drunk enough that he could call him. It's not late. He chugs the rest of his glass, sucking an ice cube in his mouth. He swirls it around his tongue for a moment and then spits it back in his glass. He shoves his phone back in his pocket as he jumps up from the couch. He sits the glass in the sink and grabs his coat and shoes. He's got his keys in his hands and unlocks the door quickly.

The Impala starts up loudly. Dean backs out of the driveway before he can really think about what he's doing. He's at Cas' house within a few minutes, and he knocks on Cas' door hard enough to hurt his knuckles.

He's sucking a knuckle into his mouth when Cas opens the door wearing a plaid pair of pajama pants and a plain white v-neck t-shirt.

"Dean?" he asks.

Dean lunges forward and kisses him, clicking their teeth together. Cas backs up against the wall and Dean pulls the door shut behind him. He's only turned for a moment, but Cas takes the opportunity to shove him against the closed door.

He's panting. He's got an arm slung across Dean's chest, and his face is close enough that Dean can feel his breath. "What are you doing here?" he asks. "You don't just get to show up at my house uninvited." He leans in close to Dean and sniffs. "Are you drunk?"

Dean lets out a small laugh. "Maybe."

Cas' grip looses slightly. "And you drove here?" He looks shocked at first and then very, very angry. "There are children in this neighborhood, Dean."

"It's a school night. They're not out right now. Besides, it's only five minutes," Dean slurs.

Cas' mouth opens. He lets his arm drop from Dean. "Why are you here?" he asks. He backs up toward the living room, blocking Dean in the foyer.

"I just wanted to see you."

"You saw me earlier. You would have been able to see me tonight but you decided you wanted to stay at your own home. So why are you here?"

Cas folds his arms over his body and squares himself up. He squints his eyes at Dean. The gaze is too much, and Dean lowers his eyes.

"I couldn't wait until Friday."

Dean hears Cas huff out a breath of air and then grab his arm. He leads him up the bedroom. Cas makes him sit in the chair and Cas takes a seat on the bed.

"Why did you act the way you did earlier?" he asks.

Dean glances up at him. "What do you mean?"

Cas briefly looks annoyed before speaking. "You didn't tell me where you were. You were so cold when you saw me. Did I do something? Are you worried about your dad?"

Dean looks back down at his lap. His head is swimming. All he wants is for Cas to fuck him, not to have this talk. "You didn't do anything. Maybe I think it would be better if we go back to the way things were before. You know, a set time frame." Dean lets the words rush out, pressing his fingers into the tops of his thighs.

"You mean aside from tonight?" Cas replies.

Dean looks up at him. "Aside from tonight."

"And Thursday night, unless you want to cancel dinner with Sam and Jess?" Cas stares at Dean, and Dean feels his cheeks heat up.

He looks back down and nods.

"But starting Friday, everything goes back to the way things were before. No phone calls or texts during the week. Just Friday through Sunday. Is that what you want?" Cas asks.

Dean nods again. His heart is pounding. He made a mistake coming here tonight. He shouldn't have gotten drunk. Should have just stuck with the plan to only see Cas on Friday. He's weak, and he hates himself for it.

Dean hears Cas suck in a breath. "Then I guess let's do this, then."

Dean looks back up at him. Cas has a steely look on his face. "Wait here," he says and leaves the room. He's back in a moment, fist clutched around something.

"Strip," he says as he sits back on the bed. Dean stands immediately and starts to pull off his clothes. Cas hadn't even let him take off his shoes. He throws everything in a pile near the chair and starts to take off his boxers.

"No," Cas says. Dean looks at him, hands still on the band. "Sit"

Dean sinks back in the chair, and Cas saunters over to him. He kneels in front of him and lays whatever is in his hand on the floor where Dean can't see. He rolls his underwear down, and Dean lifts his hips to help. He peels the boxers off and lays them on top of the rest of his clothes. He kisses the inside of his thigh, leaving a wet mark.

"What you did was wrong--driving over here drunk and showing up with no notice. You know you need to be punished, right?" Cas leans in and kisses the other thigh. He turns his blue eyes up to Dean as he does so.

Dean nods. Cas breathes hot air over his dick. It makes his cock jump, and Cas sits back. He grabs him by the base and then holds the thing up for Dean to see. It's a black silicone cock ring, and Dean feels his stomach drop.

"You're not going to come," Cas says as he slides it into place. "You've been bad, and you need to be punished. I'm going to fuck you, maybe more than once, and you're not going to come."

His words have the opposite affect on Dean. He should hate this, being told he's not allowed to do the one thing he wants, but he's hard now, and he can feel the ring sitting tightly against his base.

"Good, Dean," Cas says as he watches him harden. "Go lay on the bed."

Dean does as he's told. His dick stands up, already so hard and leaking. He watches Cas methodically strip off his clothes, pulling the t-shirt over his head before removing the pants. He makes sure Dean is watching as he slowly rolls down his orange boxer briefs. His dick springs free, bouncing into Cas' chiseled stomach. Dean sucks in a breath.

Cas takes his time, walking around to the other side of the bed and grabbing a bottle of lube.

He squirts some into his hand before leaning over Dean. He spreads his legs, harshly throwing a knee to the side. He barely teases before inching a finger in. Cas is rough, the way Dean likes it, and he's already got two fingers in before Dean realizes that's the point. Cas is doing everything Dean likes because he wants him absolutely begging for it. And then he's going to deny him.

Dean moans. Cas speeds up his pace, opening his fingers and then crooking them to hit his prostate. Dean bucks up, trying to find some release, but Cas pushes him down again.

He leans into Dean's ear. "I think you're ready," he whispers. He roughly pulls out his fingers and then he's filling Dean, pushing into him hard. Again, just the way Dean likes it.

Cas pulls his right leg up and over his shoulder, changing the angle. He drives into his prostate. The ring is so tight, and Cas doesn't relent. Dean wants desperately to come, but Cas won't touch him and the ring is uncomfortable.

"I'm so close, Dean," Cas whispers. His hips drive into him harder. It's driving Dean crazy.

"Cas," he gasps out. "Please!"

"I love when you say my name like this," Cas says. "So desperate. But you're not getting what you want."

He grips Dean's wrists and pushes his hips harder, absolutely driving into Dean with everything he has. Dean feels Cas' hips stutter, and then he moans out Dean's name and comes hard, slamming into him.

Cas stills above him and pulls out of him. "Stay. Don't let anything fall out." He walks out of the room, but Dean doesn't miss the way his legs wobble at first.

Dean clenches himself together until Cas comes back. He kneels between his legs and then works a plug into him. "Now you'll be ready when I want you again," he says. He gently pulls the ring off of him, and Dean gasps at the small feeling of release. It's not enough though, and Dean groans.

Cas lets Dean lie there a moment, getting used to the feeling of the plug and lack of ring.

Finally, Dean rolls so he can see Cas better. "Aren't you tired?" he asks.

Cas laughs. "I took a nap after I left your house. I'm good to go for a few hours."

Dean groans. His head is still buzzing, but he's not nearly as drunk as he was an hour ago. "I have work in the morning," he says.

"You're the one who came here," Cas replies. "I'll make sure you make it to work. But you might be a little sore."

Dean feels his cheeks heat again.

Cas smirks and then lets his face fall. "Dean? he asks. He looks almost shy, and Dean looks at him with wide eyes. "I'm ok if you want to change your mind. You don't want anything other than the parameters of Friday through Sunday. I want to be sure this is something you actually want. But you can't change your mind again. If you say yes to this, then after dinner Thursday, we are nothing but a dom and a sub. There's no room for anything else. Do you understand me?"

Dean stares at him and wracks his brain. Does he actually want that? Just the sex and nothing more? It means he still gets Cas, but maybe not the way Dean actually wants. Not the dates. Not the late night texts or phone calls. Dean wants those things. But he doesn't want Cas to pity him. And he doesn't want Cas to feel the need to take care of him or Sam.

Cas is staring at him, hand under his head. His face is completely impassive, and Dean wishes that he could read Cas' mind more than anything right now. Dean nods, and Cas' eyebrows furrow for just a moment before he quickly sits up and pulls Dean against him.

Cas straddles him, pinning his hands above his head. "I'm not going to be gentle," he says. He takes a hand off of one wrist and works the plug out of him. Dean feels come and lube leak out of his body as Cas quickly fills him again.

Dean has a long night ahead of him, but at least it's in Cas' bed, even if it's not the way he really wants Cas.

Chapter Text

Cas kept his promise of not being gentle. He also didn't let Dean come until the morning, when he woke him up an hour before his alarm after keeping him up most of the night. He led him to shower, turning the water on hotter than it needed to be to help ease some of the ache from Dean's body. He ordered Dean to put his hands against the wall and then Cas fucked him, slow--the way Cas likes it, until Dean was shaking apart. Cas kept a hand clamped around Dean's dick. It didn't take long for him to come, and he did so with a loud moan, jerking heavily into Cas' hand while Cas kept up his slow assault behind him. Cas came into him for the fourth time since Dean had arrived too few hours before, and they both panted as the water ran over their bodies, spent. Cas was cold after that, both of them leaving for work and neither touching each other as they left.

Dean is sore, and it hurts to bend down to work on the cars he needs to finish, but he relishes in the ache because it means last night was real. Cas is real, and the pain is what he deserves after showing up at his house drunk and telling him he just wanted a sexual relationship. It means Cas doesn't need to feel like he has to take care of Dean and Sam. It means Dean doesn't have to worry about when or if he tells Cas he loves him. It means he just has to show up on Friday and be fucked. Just like Cas wanted from the start. So much less complicated, he keeps telling himself.

Dean feels like a whore. So it makes sense that he should be sore from all the fucking. It's what he deserves.

Dean suspects Charlie knows about the new turn of events by the time Thursday rolls around, but she doesn't mention anything to Dean. Surely Cas talked to Gabe already, which means he talked to Charlie, and it annoys Dean that his relationship isn't a private thing between he and Cas, but maybe he's just paranoid and Cas hasn't talked to Gabe. But Charlie keeps eyeing him and sighing, and Dean knows she knows.

She doesn't say anything, though, and Dean leaves to go pick up Sam having not spoken to her all day.

Sam and Jess are excited when they get in the car. Jess has a stack of pamphlets in her hand and they're yammering about questions they want to ask Cas. Sam barely says a hi to Dean, and Dean drives them home without speaking. Dean decided to make spaghetti, something simple and filling. He has a few hours until he needs to start dinner.

Sam and Jess do their homework at the table in the kitchen. They giggle while they talk and work, and Dean scoffs and goes to his room. He loves that Sam has Jess, he really does, but he can't handle their love at the moment. In his room, he changes his shirt several times, finally settling on his typical: a black t-shirt and a plaid shirt on top. He's wasted enough time that he can start dinner. Sam and Jess are still doing homework, both of their heads bent over their books. They don't look up when Dean walks in.

Dean puts a pot on to boil water and starts browning meat. He lets the sauce pan heat up and gets garlic bread together. It helps keep his mind off the fact that after today, he and Cas go back to an arrangement Dean had decided was best for them but that he doesn't really want. This is the last off schedule thing they get to do, and it's because he's helping his little brother. It's ironic because Sam is the main reason why he wants the set schedule with Cas--that way Cas has no obligation to Sam at all. That, and because Dean is too afraid of what will happen if he says I love you and Cas doesn't say it back. Dean loses himself in his head, thinking through what happened Tuesday night when he got drunk and drove over to Cas'. He had given him an ultimatum, and Dean has to stick with it. Cas doesn't want him to change his mind again. But he hadn't kicked Dean out when he was drunk and acting like a child. He had let him stay, and he was on his way over now to help his little brother's girlfriend decide her future career. Everyone has said how much Cas cares for him, but Dean just can't risk it.

It's that thought that distracts him enough from cooking that he lays a finger on the sauce pan and burns it. He jumps back, sucking the finger into his mouth as he hears the doorbell ring. Jess is suddenly standing next to him, coaxing the finger out of his mouth while Sam answers the door.

Cas is standing there, a concerned look on his face. His eyes dance to Jess and back to Dean. Dean has words tumbling in his brain, but he can't get anything out. Cas seems to be having just as difficult a time speaking.

Finally, Jess says, "he burned his finger on the pan," and Cas walks forward. He takes Dean's hand from Jess and examines the finger. He holds it carefully, inspecting the burn and finally walking Dean over to the sink. He turns the water on cold and runs Dean's finger under it for a minute.

Dean lets the water run over him, not thinking about Sam and Jess behind them or the food on the stove. Cas is here and once again taking care of him, and Dean just lets it happen. Finally, their eyes meet and Cas leans forward to look closer at the burn. "You'll be ok, but if it starts hurting again, run some cool water over it. Make sure it doesn't blister." They're standing close together, Cas still holding Dean's hand when he hears Jess laugh behind them. He looks over at her.

"You're so cute together," Jess says. Sam smiles at Dean like he's trying to say I told you so. Dean looks back at Cas. Their eyes meet for a moment before Cas drops his hand and moves to the stove. He stirs the sauce and then turns the burners off.

"Is there anything I can do for dinner? Setting the table perhaps?" he asks.

"No, no. You're our guest. We can do everything. You just take a seat and enjoy," Sam says. "And, by the way, this is my girlfriend, Jess."

Jess smiles at Cas and sticks her hand out. Cas shakes it and smiles, but Dean can tell it's not heartfelt.

Dean moves from the sink to get a colander and has to awkwardly lean over Cas to get the pot of spaghetti. He can smell him, and he briefly closes his eyes before he rights himself again and dumps the water and noodles into the colander.

Dinner is going to be weird.

Sam and Jess get drinks and set the table while Dean finishes preparing everything. He serves the salad first. They eat in silence for the first few bites before Jess finally speaks up.

"So, you know I'm going to Berkeley in the fall. I want to go into the medical profession, but I'm not sure what to do yet. I just wanted to meet to talk about your field and your experience at Berkeley. What are some classes I definitely have to take? Which professors do I need to know?"

Cas listens as he eats and answers each question. He recommends professors and classes and Dean zones out. He gets up to start making bowls of spaghetti for everyone and cuts the garlic bread. He can hear the clink of forks behind him and takes a deep breath. He can do this.

He puts bowls on the table and a plate of garlic bread in the center. He sits back down and gets caught off guard when Jess asks Cas a question about how they met. Dean nearly chokes on his food.

Cas doesn't hesitate. "We met at the hospital when Dean came in for stitches."

Jess looks down at her plate. "Oh, right. Of course." She looks at Sam and Sam immediately drops his fork and puts an arm around her. He whispers something in her ear that Dean can't hear, but whatever he said works because Jess smiles again.

The conversation picks up after that, Jess weaving questions about school in around questions about Cas in general. She's easy to talk to, and they eat and talk and laugh for longer than they need to. At one point, Dean realizes he's not nervous anymore, and he reaches a hand out to place on Cas' knee before he knows what he's doing. He's laughing at something Sam said about school, the hand an after-thought, when he feels Cas nudge him off. He doesn't look at him, but he pushes his hand away until Dean lifts it, and suddenly Dean's standing and pushing his chair back.

Sam and Jess look at him. "There's ice cream. I'll get some." He rushes to the freezer and grabs it. He scoops it into bowls quickly, giving him time to breathe. Why had he laid his hand on Cas' knee? He knew better. He hardly touches him without permission anyway, but the movement had felt so natural. This is why it's best to go back to an arrangement. This is why it's easiest to just be with Cas on Cas' time. Being with him feels too natural, too easy. He's too comfortable with him in his home, around Sam.

He takes another shaky breath and brings the bowls back to the table.

The mood has definitely shifted, Cas no longer as easy going as before. Jess and Sam don't seem to notice, talking and laughing as much as before, but Dean sits uneasily beside him.

They finish their dessert and Cas finally says he should go. They all stand and follow him to the door.

"Jess, I hope this was a helpful experience. Please let me know if you need anything else," Cas says. He pulls his coat on

"Thanks, Castiel! It was helpful," she replies. She turns to Sam. "I'm going to put dishes in the sink if you want to help me."

Sam nods. "It was good seeing you, Casitel." They turn and go back into the kitchen and start loading the dishwasher.

Cas clears his throat. "Jess seems like a nice person."

"She is. I like her with Sam," Dean agrees.

"Will you let me know if she needs anything else? I'd be happy to help."

Dean smiles. "Sure thing."

"I'll see you tomorrow?"

Dean looks at Cas. They're close enough to kiss, and Dean has to force himself to take a small step back. "Of course. I'll be there at 6 sharp."

Cas' lips tilt down before they even out. "Good." He turns and opens the door before abruptly turning back, almost knocking into Dean. "Good night, Dean," he breathes out.

"Good night, Cas," Dean says back. And then Cas is leaving, and Dean is left itching for a kiss.

He waits until Cas is in his car before shutting the door and helping clean up the kitchen. He ignores the ache in his chest as Jess goes on and on about what a cute couple they make.

Chapter Text

The following night, Dean is standing on Cas' porch at 5:58, watching puffs of air come out of his mouth.

Cas hadn't texted him to let him know if he should expect anything, and the anticipation is killing him. He wants to be right on time, not early, so he watches his watch tick the seconds away, anxiety building in his stomach with each tock.

He can't hear anything inside, and finally the time hits a few seconds before 6, and Dean is pushing the door open and stripping off his shoes like he's done every weekend for the past three months.

Cas is nowhere to be seen. Dean folds his shirt and places it on top of his shoes. He steps in to the living room.

Cas has once again rearranged the furniture, which is why Dean couldn't see him. The couch is closest to the dining table, not visible from the foyer. Cas sits on it, not glancing up when Dean walks in.

For a moment, Dean considers what it must be like for Cas to hear the door open and have to wait for Dean to finish undressing. If it were Dean, he knows he couldn't wait.

He walks over and kneels in front of Cas, hands flat on his thighs. This position had been uncomfortable at first, but now Dean is used to it.

Dean waits for Cas to acknowledge him, to touch him or ask him for dinner or something. Cas remains silent. The tv is on, but the volume is barely audible. Cas continues to ignore Dean. The minutes tick by, and Dean feels his fingers twitch. He knows he can't move. It's a testament to his will right now. He'll win.

Cas is as still as Dean is, having not looked at Dean when he walked in or moved at all when Dean kneeled in front of him. Dean's been sitting like this for several minutes, willing his fingers not to move. He's pressing his finger tips into his thighs, trying his hardest to keep his breathing even. The anticipation is building. He had already been half hard when he got here, but the longer he waits, not knowing when Cas will touch him, the more turned on he gets.

Finally, Cas stands up. Dean expects him to tell him to follow him upstairs, but Cas walks around Dean and goes into the kitchen. Dean doesn't risk a glance up. He can hear Cas moving around and glasses clinking. What is going on? Cas has never waited this long to initiate anything. And after all the tension from last night, Dean feels like he might explode. He's been waiting for this. How can Cas just brush him off so easily?

Cas comes back in the room holding a wine glass. He sits back in his seat, legs inches away from Dean. He's close enough that Dean can feel the heat coming off Cas, and his bare arms show goose bumps. Dean keeps himself still, though. Cas seems completely entranced in whatever he is watching. Dean stares at his lap, nails digging into his thighs. He will not move.

Dean hears the wine glass being placed on the coffee table, and Cas moves his legs in the process, barely grazing Dean's arm. He keeps his leg there, resting heavily against Dean. Dean sucks in a quiet breath. Cas knows what he's doing.

Cas keeps his leg resting against Dean. Both men are still. Dean has no idea how long he's been here, but his nervous energy doesn't waiver. His dick is pressing into his jeans. He wants desperately to shift in order to get some friction, but he stays in his position. His knees ache from the hard floor.

Finally, Cas moves to pick back up his glass, shifting away from Dean again. When he moves back, he moves so that a leg is on either side of Dean. Dean continues staring at his thighs, but his breath speeds up.

Cas lets him sit there for several more minutes, and finally he reaches down and lifts his chin with his fingers.

Dean meets his eyes. Cas' cheeks are flushed. He looks satisfied, like Dean has passed some test. Cas moves his fingers away from Dean's chin and unbuttons and unzips his pants. Dean watches as he pulls himself out of his jeans and underwear. His shirt is rucked up enough to see the thin line of hair leading down to his shaft. Dean licks his lips. This feels like a reward for being so patient.

Cas puts a hand behind Dean's head and leans him forward. Dean can smell him, and there's a small bead of pre-come at the tip. Dean leans forward more and licks it. Cas takes his hand off Dean's head and sighs, scooting himself forward.

Dean takes him into his mouth fully. He lets him sit in his mouth, pressing his tongue to the underside of him, and stares up into Cas' eyes. He makes sure Cas is watching as he slowly inches off of him, sucking hard. He sinks back down after licking around the head. Cas maintains the eye contact until Dean has him as far as he can go, and finally Cas lays his head back on the couch and closes his eyes. Dean moves after that, wrapping a hand around him while he continues sucking.

Dean can feel Cas' thighs shake, and when Dean swallows around Cas, Cas presses both hands into the back of Dean's head and moves him. Dean lets his jaw go slack, allowing Cas to fuck into his mouth how he wants. Dean can tell Cas is close, but Cas pulls Dean off and he's standing up, pulling Dean up with him. He leads him to the back of the couch and bends him over. He slaps his ass once before unbuttoning his jeans and pulling them and his underwear off.

Cas leans over Dean, his cock pressing into Dean's crack. Dean can feel lube being spread over him and lets his hands rest on the back of the couch, leaning over it so that his ass can stick up as much as possible. Cas whispers above him, "Don't get come on the couch," and sinks into him.

He's gentle, more gentle than he needs to be, but after the pounding he got the other night, Dean is willing to let Cas be as gentle as he wants.

Cas moves slowly, circling him and sinking into him. He does this a few times before finally wrapping a hand around Dean's untouched cock. He strokes him a few times, speeding up his thrusts as he goes, until Dean is panting. Cas hadn't said Dean can make noise, and Dean is trying his hardest to keep his moans quiet. It's difficult with how good Cas feels right now, his hand wrapped tight around him. Finally, Cas sinks his teeth onto Dean's earlobe and curses, ramping up his thrusts behind him. Dean can feel his thighs start to bruise from the back of the couch.

"Come for me," Cas pants out. He swipes his thumb over the tip and strokes him the way Dean likes it, but Cas also said not to come on the couch.

"Close," Dean moans. "The couch," he gets out before he moans again.

Cas stills for a moment before continuing. "I'll catch it. I can feel how close you are. So tight, Dean."

He continues his thrusts, twisting his hand around Dean until Dean is trembling and finally coming. Cas holds his palm in front of Dean, angling him downward until Dean finally stills. Cas speeds up while Dean is still clenching around him until Dean can feel him still and come, thighs slapping against Dean.

Cas lays on top of Dean for a moment to catch his breath before he gets up and goes into the kitchen. When he comes back, his clothes are neat again. He hands Dean a paper towel and then walks upstairs without a word.

Dean cleans himself and pulls his boxers back on. He follows Cas upstairs and into the bedroom, where Cas is brushing his teeth.

Dean leans against the door frame. "Kind of early for bed, don't you think?" he asks.

Cas doesn't stop brushing his teeth. He glances at Dean and spits, running water over his toothbrush. "It was a long week for me," he replies. "Do you want to shower before you go to bed?"

Dean shrugs. "A shower would be nice."

Cas turns without a word and turns on the water for the shower. He strips off his clothes while Dean rolls his boxers off. He steps into the stream and waits to shut the door until Dean is in the shower with him.

Cas holds out a loofah and Dean's body wash. Dean takes it and starts lathering up his body while Cas washes his hair. They don't touch, which is odd for them. Cas is normally all about cuddling after sex, the pie incident still a painful memory for him. But now he just lets Dean shower like he normally would, moving out of the way when Dean needs to rinse.

Dean lets it happen. He was the one who told Cas he just wanted the sex, right? This is the relationship he asked for.

Cas finishes and waits for Dean to rinse his hair. When they are both rinsed and clean, Cas steps out of the shower and wraps a towel around himself while Dean does the same.

Cas pulls on new boxer briefs and his pajama pants. He hands a pair of boxer briefs to Dean and then he walks over to the bed and turns the covers down.

It's hardly 9, but Dean gets into bed with Cas. Cas turns off the light next to his side. He breathes out a "good night," and then he rolls over so his back is to Dean.

In the dark, Dean listens to his breathing become deep. He's back in Cas' bed, but the distance between them feels like he might as well be in his own house, rubbing the notes between his thumb and finger to help him sleep.

Chapter Text

Dean goes through the motions, picking up Sam from school, going to work, and going to Cas' on the weekend.

He's not happy, and Sam must notice how unhappy he truly is. He gives Dean a wide berth and doesn't ask any questions. He stopped bringing up how thankful Jess was to meet Cas after Dean had blown up at him the week after. But Sam has finally moved back, and they haven't heard or seen anything about dad since the break in.

It's finally March, the weather warming just slightly. It helps with Dean's mood a bit, but he's still mad at himself and mad at Cas, even though he knows he doesn't have a right to be. He wanted this.

Cas has been clinical every weekend since the one after Jess' dinner. They still sleep in the same bed, but Cas doesn't touch him. Dean wakes up the nights he's there having rolled into Cas' space. He moves himself back over to his side each time, and finally be puts one of the pillows between them to keep himself from snuggling into Cas' back while he sleeps.

Charlie still hasn't said anything about it. She must know something is going on, but she stays true to her word about being Dean's friend, too. She doesn't mention anything, but she does go out of her way to be nice on Mondays. Dean comes in in a bad mood each time, tired and cranky and mad at himself about how the weekend went. She buys him a coffee more than once and has it waiting at his station in the garage. Even Benny seems to be kinder, leaving a sandwich in the fridge with Dean's name on it.

Dean knows how fucked up he's acting.

This was his choice, and Cas had said there's no room for anything more once Dean made his decision. Dean had made that decision. Cas had given him an out and Dean ignored him.

It’s around lunch time on a Friday in the third week of March when he gets a text from Cas.

"Had to take a shift tonight. Won't be home until late. Just come over tomorrow afternoon instead."

Dean reads it and reads it again. If this were a month or two ago, Cas would have asked him to be waiting for him at home when he got there. But this isn't a month ago. It's now, and Cas doesn't want him at his house when he's not there.

The only good thing out of this is that Sam has the weekend off because of spring break. He can at the very least hang out with him tonight.

Dean finishes his lunch and goes back to work. He ignores Bobby and Charlie the rest of the day, leaving at exactly 3:00.

Sam's home when he gets there, still in his pajamas on the couch. For a kid about to go to Stanford, Sam is lazy when it comes to his vacations from school.

"Good news, Sammy," Dean says as he puts his keys on the table. "Not going out tonight. What do you want to do?"

Sam looks at him. "I'm going bowling with a bunch of people for a final spring break thing. I'll be back around 11 or so. You want to come with us?"

Dean sighs. "No. We'll just do something tomorrow. Enjoy your time out."

Sam looks like he wants to say something, apologize or anything, but he just gets up off the couch and goes into the bathroom. Dean hears the water turn on.

He sighs. It must really be bad if Sam is actively avoiding him.

Dean goes into the kitchen and starts making a snack. It's early still, but Sam is always hungry. He can eat this and still have room for dinner.

Sam's out of the shower about 20 minutes later. He's dressed and ready to go when he finally comes into the kitchen about an hour later. Dean has cheese and crackers and apple slices cut up on a plate at the table when he walks in.

"Uh, thanks?" Sam says. He picks up a cracker and a slice of cheddar and an apple slice and eats them together.

"Anytime," Dean says. He busies himself cleaning up crumbs and putting dishes away. He can hear the crunch of Sam eating behind him.

"So, Dean?" Sam asks. Dean turns and faces his brother. The plate is mostly clear, and Sam looks up at him from the table. "I haven't wanted to ask what's going on, but you have to tell me. I'm worried about you."

Dean sighs. "Nothing is going on, Sam. Just want to spend some extra time with my brother before he goes off to college."

"Sure, Dean. I get that. But I mean, what's going on with you and Dr. Novak? He's not been around since that dinner. And I know you're still seeing him on the weekends, but you don't seem happy anymore. If he doesn't make you happy, you shouldn't be with him."

Dean opens his mouth and closes it again. Cas does make him happy. That's the problem. Dean is the one who is ruining his own happiness. Cas has done nothing wrong. He's just making sure that he's giving Dean exactly what he asked for. "I'm happy with him. It's nothing, Sam. Just worry about yourself." Dean smiles and holds Sam's gaze.

"Ok," he says, standing. "I have to leave to go to Jess'. We're getting dinner before meeting everyone."

Sam walks out of the room, leaving his plate behind. Dean cleans it up and places it in the sink. This is what he can do. He can take care of Sam and he can clean up after him and make sure he's fed. No one has to do that job for him.

"Bye, Dean," Sam says at the door. "I'll be home around 11 or so. Maybe a little earlier. Just call if you need anything, ok?" He hesitates at the door, looking at Dean.

"Sure, thing, Sammy. Go have fun," Dean says back. Sam looks at him sadly before opening the door and disappearing down the steps.

Dean's alone on a Friday night.

He cleans up the kitchen and tidies the living room. He spends a good portion of the afternoon mopping the kitchen and rearranging the furniture. He ultimately leaves the rooms how they were before, but he's wasted enough time that it's dark out, and he decides to skip dinner and just watch tv on the couch.

He flips through channels and finally settles on an old Bones episode. If he's lucky, there will be a marathon. Dean watches the episode and then another and another until he wakes up hours later to a commercial.

There's someone standing in the corner of the room, and Dean lets his eyes adjust before he realizes what that means. It's not Sam, and he jumps up quickly and moves to the person before he realizes who it is.

His dad is standing in his living room.

"Hey, Dean," he says.

Dean stops and sits back on the couch, staring up at the man. He looks rough, skinnier than he had when he left. His hair is completely grey, stubble grown out on his face. His clothes have holes, and then Dean registers the smell. Alcohol and waste.

"Hey, dad," Dean says. "What are you doing here?"

John moves to sit on the chair caddy corner to Dean. "Can't a dad stop in to say hi to his boys?"

"Not when he left months ago and hasn't called since," Dean replies before he can stop himself.

He watches the flash of anger across his face before he calms himself and laughs. "Well, I'm here now. And I need a favor, Dean."

Dean barely registers his breathing. How did his dad get in? He hadn't heard a window break or the door open. He glances at the door. It's closed, nothing broken.

"What is it, dad?" he asks, looking back at John.

He smiles. "I need money, kid. Just enough to get by for a while. I've been traveling everywhere, but money runs out quick. Can you help your old man out?"

Dean looks at him. This is the second time that he knows of that his dad has broken into his home. The one he and Sam chose specifically to keep themselves safe from him. His dad had disappeared months ago, leaving Dean with a medical bill and Sam to care for. It would be better if he had just left and stayed gone, but of course he's back, begging for money. Dean breathes in deep and looks at him. "No."

"What?" John asks, the smile sliding off his face.

Dean can feel his heartbeat quicken. "No, dad, I can't help you."

John looks at him, eyes squinted. "Now you listen to me, boy. I came here to get money. Your job is to take care of me. I haven't asked you for a damn thing. You will give me money."

"No, I won't. My job is to take care of Sam. Your job was to take care of us, and you didn't. I'm not giving you anything. Please leave my home."

John stares at him a moment and then starts laughing. He coughs as he does so. "I'm sorry, when did you think you grew up and became a man? I'm not asking you. Give me the money, or I'll take it from you."

"No," Dean whispers again. He doesn't take his eyes off of his dad.

John jumps up and grabs Dean's shirt, hauling him up off the couch. "You think I don't know about that fag you've been hanging around? You think I don't know about what a faggot you are? I'll kill you, you fucking prick. You've never been good for anything." He pushes Dean back. He falls over the coffee table on to the floor. Before he can protect himself, John kicks him in the ribs.

"I'll kill you and that boyfriend of yours, too!" he yells. He kicks him repeatedly, Dean lying in the fetal position. "No son of mine will be a homosexual!"

John screams and starts punching Dean. He hits him in the head. He's on the ground with Dean, but Dean can't do anything. He can smell the liquor on the man, the stench burning his nostrils. This is worse than anything he's ever gotten before from his dad. He's not protecting Sam. Just laying on the ground and taking it, unable to defend himself.

He hears the sickening crunch of a punch landing with his nose. Tears spring up to his eyes. He puts his arms over his head and waits for more kicks to land, but then he hears Sam's voice and his dad is being pulled off of him.

"I called the cops! Get the fuck out of here!" Sam screams.

Dean can hear footsteps fall and the front door slamming. Sam's gentle hands are on Dean. "It's me, you're ok," he repeats. "Dean, look at me. He's gone. You need to get up. I need to see what I can do."

Dean looks at him. One eye is swollen shut, and he's crying so hard he can't see him clearly. He slowly lets his body lay against the floor. Everything hurts.

"I called the police. Should I call an ambulance? What do you need? Is anything broken?" Sam says. Dean can barely hear him. All he can think about are John's words about killing Cas. He will. He'll kill him if he gets to him, and suddenly Dean is jumping up and running out the door, shaking off Sam's hands as he tries to clutch at him.

"Dean! Stop!" he yells behind him. "What if something is broken? Where are you going?" But Dean is running up the sidewalk, not caring what Sam says behind him.

His body stings, but he runs as fast as he can to Cas' house. He pounds on the door when he gets there. All the lights are off, and Dean thinks that maybe he's still at the hospital, but then the front porch light comes on and the door opens.

Cas is standing there, groggy and rubbing his eyes. "What?" he starts to say, but Dean pushes him inside and locks the door behind him.

"What happened to you?" Cas asks. "Dean, what the hell happened?" He sounds panicked, but he's untouched. His dad isn't here, and there's no way he's letting him hurt Cas.

"Dad," he pants out. His chest is on fire. "Hurt me. But I had to make sure you're ok."

Cas looks at him. "Dean, we have to get you to the hospital. You could have a punctured lung." He tries to grab on to Dean to lead him outside, getting his keys as he goes.

"No!" Dean yells. "I don't know where he is. I have to keep you safe!" Dean screams and then he's crying, collapsing into Cas' arms in the foyer.

Cas wraps his arms around him, pulling him in tight. "I'm right here. I'm safe, but what about you? We have to go." He tries to pull Dean up, but Dean just plants his weight. "Dean, come on," Cas grunts.

"I'm so stupid. So stupid!" Dean chants over and over. Cas shushes him, letting him cry. Everything in Dean's body hurts, but Cas is here and he's not hurt, and it makes everything better.

Cas kisses his head repeatedly, shushing him over and over.

Finally, Dean catches his breath enough to look at Cas. Cas looks terrified, eyes wide. He stares at Dean like he's a wild animal.

"He said he would kill you. I couldn't let him hurt you. I'm so sorry I came here." Dean tries to stand, but he can't. Cas holds on to him.

Dean looks up at him. His Cas. He clutches him tighter. "I love you," he breathes out.

Cas stills. "What?" he asks.

Dean continues clutching him, head pressed into his neck. "I love you so much, and I couldn't bear to think about what would happen if he hurt you because of me."

Cas stands up, leaving Dean on the ground. He takes a step back, holding his hands out in front of him. Dean looks at him.

"You can't," he starts. He keeps backing up, terror in his eyes as Dean looks at him from the floor. "You can't love me."

Dean is reeling, in pain and watching Cas walk away from him. "I can. I do love you."

Cas closes his eyes and backs into the railing on the stairs. He opens them and looks at Dean. "Stop!" he yells. Dean looks at him. "You can't love me. You don't love me!"

Dean scrambles up as best he can. His leg hurts, and he doubles over in pain from his side. He collapses in front of Cas. "Why can't I love you?" he asks. His head is reeling.

"Because the last person who said that slit my throat!" Cas yells.

Dean looks at him. His words hurt more than anything else that's happened. Cas is comparing him to Uriel.

"Look at me and tell me you don't love me, too. I know you do! You love me!" Dean yells at him, holding onto Cas' leg.

Cas looks down at him. His blue eyes are wide and frightened, holding on to some long ago memory. He doesn't even see Dean.

"Say it, Cas. Say you don't love me. I'm nothing like Uriel. I know you love me. Say that you don't and I'll go away." Dean is crying, voice hoarse.

Cas closes his eyes. He puts a hand up to his face. He looks back down at Dean. "I don't love you."

Dean lets go of his leg. Cas moves away from him, calling someone on the phone. A moment later, Dean hears an ambulance outside. He sees the lights dance around the living room. Sam is there a moment later, holding Dean on the floor.

Dean doesn't register what happens next. He feels himself being lifted on to a stretcher. His clothes are cut off him. People poke and prod him, but all he can focus on is Cas staring at him.

Cas doesn't love him. His brain screams it. As the ambulance doors close, Dean watches as Cas finally looks away.

Chapter Text

It takes a week to recover enough to walk around. He doesn't have any broken bones, but his ribs are bruised and there's some internal bleeding.

Dr. Mills takes care of him in the hospital, but Dean asks to be discharged three days earlier than he's supposed to be. She lets him go against her better judgement.

Dean's laid up on the couch. Sam missed two days of school, but finally Dean convinces him to go back when he can move better. He actually takes the pain medication prescribed to him this time. Sam hadn't even asked to stay somewhere else. He immediately stayed with Dean when he came home, not even leaving to meet Jess. He waits on Dean hand and foot. He doesn't say anything about Cas. Dean's not sure what he saw when he got to his house. He has no idea what he knows about what happened between them, but Sam doesn't bring him up.

His body feels better, but his heart continues to hurt. Watching Cas look away from him when the ambulance doors closed had been the final straw for him.

But really, he blames himself. Cas had done everything right. He told Dean he wanted to date him. He was open and honest with him about his past. He explained that he wasn't going to do the back and forth. He told Dean he had to choose what he wanted, and he was honest about what that would look like if Dean chose. Dean had made that choice, not Cas. The only thing Cas hadn't done was love him, and Dean can't really blame him for that. Who would love someone like him?

Dean sighs and winces. His ribs hurt when he moves, and he's stayed in this position as much as possible since coming home earlier in the week. He's been trying to avoid thinking about Cas, but now that Sam's back at school and Dean has nothing to do, it's much harder.

He watches soap operas. He gets into Days of Our Lives by the third day he's home and Sam isn't. It's on and he's got his feet propped up on the couch when he hears a knock at the door.

Dean freezes and turns the volume down. He starts to feel his chest tighten when the knock comes again. He takes a deep breath. Dean gently lifts himself off the couch and looks through the peephole.

Gabe stares back at him.

Dean opens the door. Gabe smiles at him. "Hey, Deano. Can I come in?" He pushes past Dean before he can answer.

Dean closes the door behind him and turns around. "Hi, Gabe. What are you doing here?"

Gabe grabs a beer out of the fridge. He opens it and looks at Dean. "Do you want one? I can never have these conversations without a little help."

He gets another beer out without waiting for Dean to answer him. He hands it to Dean and then sits on the couch. He waits for Dean to sit down on the couch next to him.

"We have to talk about Castiel."

"Gabe--" Dean starts but Gabe stops him.

"No, I know you don't want to hear it. I know having his brother show up at your house after what you've been through is the last thing you want. But I didn't say anything the last time Castiel did something to ruin his life, and I'm not going to watch him do it this time."

Gabe leans forward and turns toward Dean. He takes a large swallow of his beer. "Just hear me out."

Dean nods and tries to slow his breathing. Taking deep breaths hurts his ribs, but he can't seem to catch his breath.

"Thank you," Gabe says. He takes another swig of his beer and sets it down on the coffee table. "You know we didn't have the best upbringing, but I don't think you know how bad it was for Castiel. Our mom was religious, and you know she kicked us out when Cassy was 15 or so. But you don't know that she tried conversion therapy. We had a pastor that led his counseling sessions. He never told me what happened, but I know it wasn't good. I tried to get him out as quickly as I could, but I was 18."

Gabe finishes his beer and reaches for Dean's. He swallows before continuing. "Castiel got into trouble after that. He was young, and I know whatever happened with that pastor fucked him up. He got into fights. He was suspended all the time. He bounced from school to school until he finally ended up at a school that had a teacher he loved. He was a junior in high school, and that teacher got him to straighten out. He did his homework. He joined clubs. He was a completely different person. He pulled his grades up and graduated early, going to Berkeley on a scholarship. I went with him. I thought it would be good for him to have me around. And you know the rest, I think."

Gabe takes another drink and glances up at Dean. "I'm not saying you should excuse anything. I don't even really know what happened between you. Cassy told me you know about Uriel, about the scar. I want you to know how big a deal that is. He's never told anyone about what happened, not even Charlie. I think Uriel was his way of taking control of the situation with that pastor. He might not see it that way, but he let Uriel do things to him that he never should have. He felt like he was allowing it, and that made everything that happened when he was younger ok. Castiel is a strong man, Dean. I love my brother, but he's lost. He will push people away who love him. Especially when he feels like things are out of his control. He hasn't told me about your home life, and it's not my business. But I do know you're hurting, and I do know that my brother has something to do with it. He loves you, and he's too afraid to say it. He's too afraid of too many things. That's why he hides behind a relationship with parameters. He told me he was going to give it up for you. He asked you to date him, right? And you said no. He was heartbroken. He probably didn't show it to you, but he was heartbroken."

Gabe stops to take a breath and looks at Dean. Dean's eyes are wide and wattery. Gabriel is saying too many things that Dean wants to hear and doesn't want to hear.

"He won't tell me what happened between you last week. He said you got hurt, and he ruined everything. I'm here to tell you what he's too afraid to. Even if it means I'm overstepping my boundaries. Castiel loves you. Being with you is the happiest I've ever seen him. Whatever he said to you he didn't mean. Please find a way to forgive him. He's lost without you. He's the worst I've ever seen him. It's a lot to put on you, but just consider what I'm telling you."

Gabe finishes the rest of the beer and stands up. Dean looks up at him. His lungs ache from trying to control his breathing.

"He told me he didn't love me. I told him I loved him and he said he doesn't love me. So I appreciate you coming here, but Cas doesn't want me. He'll find someone else to make him happy." Dean stands and limps to the door, opening it for Gabe. "It was very nice to know you, Gabriel."

Dean holds the door open for him. Gabe closes his mouth and looks at Dean, eyes searching. He gives up without a word and walks out the door. Before Dean can close it, though, Gabe turns around.

"It was nice to know you, too, Dean," he says. He gives Dean a smile and turns down the steps.

Dean inches his way back down on his spot on the couch and takes another pain pill. He waits until his head goes fuzzy, and then he wipes his hand across his cheeks to collect the tears sliding down his face.

Chapter Text

Dean feels better half way through the following week, enough that he can go back to the garage.

He walks in after dropping Sam off at school, and it reminds him of the first time he walked in to Bobby's garage, on crutches.

He hasn't been sleeping well, and it's been harder to eat. He's lost weight and he knows he looks like shit with the way Sam eyes him in the morning. Bobby's not around when he walks in, and Charlie is sitting behind her desk already on the phone. She gives a small smile as he walks by, and Dean hates the pity he's getting.

He busies himself with work. He hopes Charlie doesn't bother him. Charlie's great, but he's just not ready to talk to her about Cas. And he's not ready to hear his side of the story. Gabe was bad enough, but he considers Charlie a friend.

He sighs. They've been busy the past week according to the log, and he's got a bunch of work to catch up on. Plus Bobby had paid him over the week, and Dean feels guilty about it.

Dean gets to work and doesn't glance up again until well after 1. He worked all the way through lunch, and no one told him what time it was. He's sore, but it's a welcome distraction. For the first time in almost two weeks, he's not thinking about Cas.

Charlie catches him in the break room right as he sits down to eat. She pulls up a chair at his table and starts talking about garage gossip, not that there's much to say. One of the mechanic's ex wives showed up and yelled in the parking lot. It's pretty boring, but Charlie talks like it's the most interesting thing she's ever heard.

Dean catches her between a breath and lays a hand on her wrist. "Charlie, I know what you're doing, and you don't have to."

She looks at him. "I'm not doing anything."

"It doesn't have to be awkward."

Charlie's eyes fill with tears. "I'm your friend, too. And I'm so sorry about what happened to you. And I'm sorry about Castiel. And I'm just sorry."

Dean pats her hand. "I know you are. You are my friend, and nothing's going to change that, ok?"

Charlie nods. "Can I just say one thing and then I promise I won't say anything else?"

"Ok," Dean hesitates.

"He didn't tell Gabriel anything. He just showed up at his house the night it happened and cried. Didn't say a word. He still hasn't told him anything. So I don't know what happened, and neither does Gabe, but I do know that whatever Castiel did was bad. Or whatever you did was bad. I've never seen Gabe like this. He's worried about his brother."

Dean considers getting up. He doesn't want to talk about this. He doesn't want to hear how upset Cas is. But it's Charlie, so he sits. "Gabe came to see me last week. I get he's upset or whatever. But he looked me in the eye when I was at my worst and told me he didn't love me. So I don't want to hear it." He holds Charlie's gaze.

"Ok," she breathes out. "Why would your dad do this to you?"

"He found out about Cas. He knows I'm gay. I wouldn't give him money. He was drunk. I don't know."

Charlie nods, still looking at him with wide eyes. "I'm going to tell my dad."

Dean can barely hear her. "What?"

"I'm going to tell my dad about being gay. You were right. Some kids don't get the luxury of having a parent who loves them unconditionally. I need to tell him."

"Good for you, Charlie." For the first time in a while, he actually smiles.

They smile at each other for a while longer and Dean goes back to finishing his sandwich.

Charlie taps the table after a moment and stands up. "Want to go out with me one night? I mean, after you feel better, of course."

Dean looks at her. "I don't know, Charlie."

"Just hear me out. I love dancing with you. Just dancing. It'll be fun! We never see each other outside of the office!"

Dean's caught up with her infectious attitude. "Sure, Charlie. I'll let you know when I'm ready."

She leaves after that, and Dean finishes his food and goes back to work. It's a quick afternoon and then it's 3 and time to go pick up Sam.

He drives over to the school and waits for Sam to get out. Sam and Jess come out of the door a moment later and Sam immediately spots the Impala. He seems relieved when he sees the car, like maybe Dean wouldn't make it.

He kisses Jess on the cheek and then bounds toward the car.

"Hey!" he says as he opens the door. It's clearly false enthusiasm. He throws his backpack in the back seat and then Dean drives.

"You don't need to do that," he says.

"Do what?" Sam asks.

"Act like you're happy when you're not. I'm ok."

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Sam look at him. "You don't smile anymore."

"It's been a hard month, ok?"

"I know, Dean." Sam sighs. "I just don't know how to act around you."

"Just act like my brother."

"It's hard to do when you're moping around. Look, man. I know something happened with Castiel. I know something is going on. You don't want to tell me, but it's not just what happened with dad that's got you so upset. He's been doing shit like this for years. Something happened between you two. I saw how you looked that night."

Dean clenches his jaw but keeps driving.

"You were hysterical. You wouldn't let go of him. He looked so scared. So heartbroken. Something happened, and it wasn't just dad. He said something to you."

"Stop, Sam."

"Why won't you just be honest with me? I'm your brother! You're in love with this guy, you run out of the house when you're bleeding to make sure he's ok, and then all the sudden you refuse to see him or talk about him. He did something, and I'm mad at him, and at you because you won't tell me."

"Stop!" Dean raises his voice and turns the car into the driveway. Sam looks at him. "I can't talk about it. Everyone keeps talking to me about Cas. Leave it alone. I fucked everything up! It was me. He did nothing wrong!" Dean throws the car in park and slams his hands against the wheel.

"Dean. I've never seen you like this. You love him. That's all I ever wanted. Just knowing you were able to care for someone and have him love you back. I just wanted you to be happy because you spent too much time caring for me. But now you're miserable. And you don't want to talk about it, fine. But I need you to do whatever it takes to be happy again. I can't stand to see you like this. Maybe that's selfish, but I miss my brother."

Sam gets out of the car without waiting for Dean's reply.

He sits in the car longer than he needs to. In a way, this all started with his dad. He wouldn't have met Cas if he hadn't needed stitches. Who knows if he would have ever worked up the courage to talk to him in the bar? And now it ended because of his dad. And that stupid I love you. Sam's right. He does deserve his brother, but how can Dean go on with his life when he's just so sad? All he wants to do is call Cas.

He presses his forehead to the steering wheel. He will not let this happen. He will not ruin his last few months with Sam just because of some guy.

He walks into the living room where Sam is seated on the couch.

"I'm going out tonight. Are you going to be alright?"

Sam looks up at him. He looks like he's going to say something, eyebrows up, but he just nods.

Dean walks to his room and picks out his clothes for the evening.

It's been a long time since he's been to that bar. And he could sure use a drink.

Chapter Text

It's crowded when he gets there, even though it's a week night.

The coffee shop downstairs was mostly empty, patrons driven out by the loud music upstairs. Dean's in the back corner of the bar. He's already had a shot and half his beer. It's not that he's hiding in the corner, but he's definitely nervous for the first time in a long time.

He came to the coffee shop rather than the club because it's a little quieter. He's not in the mood to dance anyway.

Everyone is drinking and talking. The music is up just a little too loud, but it helps push people closer, so they have to shout in each other's ears and push their bodies together.

There's already someone eyeing him. He's definitely going to need another drink if he's going to do this.

He downs the rest of his beer and flags down the bartender to get another. He's kind of cute, and Dean briefly considers flirting with him before he remembers he'd have to wait until his shift is over, and there's no telling what time that will be. He left Sam at home alone, which he only feels slightly guilty about, and there's no way he's leaving him there for most of the night. It's best to just find someone and get this over with.

The guy at the other end of the bar is still giving him furtive glances. He's good looking. Dark hair and light eyes. He tries not to think about why he likes that combination. He decides he's going to wait until he finishes this beer before he approaches him. He would normally wait until the guy flirted with him first, but tonight is different. He feels like he's waiting to jump off a cliff, and it would just be easier if he went ahead and did it rather waiting for someone else to go first.

He sips his beer and gathers information. The guy doesn't look much older than 30. Jeans and a button up. Nice watch on. He's drinking what looks like a gin and tonic, and it's still the drink he started with when Dean walked in. So he's sober. Dean watches a sweat bead slide down the glass. The guy catches it on his finger and brings it to his lips. He catches Dean looking, and that's his cue.

Dean walks over to the guy and sits down next to him.

"I would ask if I could buy you a drink, but it doesn't look like you need one."

The guy looks over at him. His eyes drag down his body and back up to his face. "I could offer to buy you one," he says. His voice is deeper than Dean expected.

"You could," Dean flirts back.

The guy smiles and finally turns his whole body toward Dean. "Would you like a drink?"

"Please. A beer."

The guys smiles at him and gets the waiter's attention. He's effortless, the waiter immediately turning his attention to him. Dean's got a beer sitting in front of him and a bag of Chex Mix that neither asked for in 2 minutes.

"What good service you have," Dean says. He holds up the beer and waits for the guy to hold up his own drink. They clink and Dean takes a sip.

"I come here a lot," the guy says and shrugs. "But this is the first time I've seen you."

Dean sets his beer down and puts his hands around it. "Yeah, haven't been out much this winter."

"Well who would want to come out in the cold?" The guy takes a drink from his gin and tonic.

"It seems kind of worth it now," Dean says.

The guy sets his glass down and chuckles. "And here I thought I'd have to wait to get to the point of this conversation."

"And what is the point?" Dean asks. His heart is pounding. This is easier than it should be.

The guy looks at him, sizes him up. "My name is Michael. Want to get out of here?"

"Dean." He reaches a hand out to him and Michael shakes it. "Why go somewhere? Downstairs is empty."

Michael doesn't look as taken back by that as he should, and Dean watches him take another drink. He's got half of it left, and Dean's worried that he might want to finish it before they do anything.

Instead, he reaches in his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. He throws money down on the counter and takes a last drink before standing and walking downstairs. He doesn't look back to see if Dean follows.

Dean does. The shop downstairs is completely empty. There's a guy smoking a cigarette outside, but he's got his back to them.

Michael doesn't hesitate. Dean's barely off the last step before Michael turns and kisses him. Dean tenses. His lips don't feel right. Too chapped. He kisses too hard.

Michael wraps his arms around his waist and deepens the kiss. He tries to get his tongue in his mouth. He's walking Dean backward, toward the back bathroom and away from the door. Dean follows and lets the tongue in his mouth.

He moves quickly, half dragging, half walking Dean toward the door. He takes a breath and starts kissing Dean's neck.

They're almost to the bathroom when Michael pushes a hand under Dean's shirt. His hand is cold and clammy, and it accidentally scratches Dean.

It's the feeling of his nails on him that makes Dean stop. He pulls back from Michael, breathing hard, and looks at him.

"I'm sorry. I can't do this," he stammers. Michael looks at him, eyes wide for a moment before he narrows them and grabs at Dean.

Dean slaps him off, but it makes Michael angrier. He's not a big man, but he has a tight hold on him and drags him hard enough that Dean can't get away.

"Stop," Dean says. "What the hell are you doing?"

Michael just holds him harder, dragging Dean's arm toward the bathroom. Dean's starting to panic. The guy has a vice grip on his arm and a mean look on his face.

Just as Michael reaches the bathroom door, Dean hears someone running up behind them. He braces to be hit, but the distraction causes Michael to let go of him.

Suddenly, Michael is being punched in the face. He staggers backward holding his cheek and looks at someone behind him.

Dean turns. He must be delusional, his fight or flight response in overdrive, because there is absolutely no way Cas is standing behind him, pissed off look on his face and a quickly swelling hand.

"What the fuck are you doing?" he growls.

Michael backs up into the wall, hands held up in front of him. "I didn't mean anything by it."

"I bet you didn't. Dean, go outside. My car's in the lot." He doesn't take his eyes off Michael.

For some reason, the command pisses him off. "I'm fine."

Cas turns to Dean. "Do what I tell you."

Dean stares at him. He's never seen Cas so angry, and that lets the fight out of him. "Fine. But you're coming with me."

Cas turns fully to Dean. Michael looks at both of them, still backed against the wall.

"I'm not walking out of that door unless you're coming with me," Dean says.

Cas sighs and looks at Michael. "If I ever see you again, I will do so much worse than give you a black eye."

Michael nods and Cas backs up. Michael runs past them both and out the door. Dean turns to Cas. "How did you know I was here?"

"I didn't."

"You were just out for the night and happened on the same bar I was in?"

Cas shrugs. "Did you drive here? Let me take you home."

Dean looks at him. "No, thank you."

"Dean--" Cas starts. He looks at him, but Dean cuts him off.

"Let me see your hand." He takes his hand in his without waiting for Cas to hold it out for him. His knuckles are bruised already and swollen. One is split, but the blood is already dry.

"It'll be fine." He lets his hand rest in Dean's. "Please let me take you home."

Dean gently lets his hand go. "No."

Cas looks at him, eyes narrowing. "Please don't do this," he whispers.

"Do what? Refuse to get in a car with the person who left me bleeding on his floor after I told him I loved him? I think I have every right to say no."

Dean watches that blow sink in. He almost gives in when Cas' face falls, but he holds his ground and stares at him.

"I deserve that. But I'm trying to fix it now. Please just let me take you home."

"It was good to see you, Cas." Dean is shaking, but he pushes past Cas and starts toward the door. He's almost there when Cas catches him. He places his unhurt hand on his shoulder and spins him around.

"Dean, I fucked up. I know I fucked up. Just let me explain. Just let me say sorry."

"No!" Dean yells. It echos off the empty room. "You don't get to say you're sorry. You don't get to feel sorry for me right now. Just let me go. Just let me go!" And then he's crying, and Cas has his arms wrapped around him.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so, so sorry," Cas repeats into his hair. He holds Dean as he cries.

Dean's mad at himself. He did not want this. Definitely not Cas soothing him. He wants to hold his ground, wants to be angry at him, but he feels so good, so familiar.

"I need to get help. You deserve that. I'm not ready to be what you need, but I'll try my hardest if you let me. I'll find help. I'll see someone," Cas says. He pulls back and looks at Dean.

"You'd do that for me?" Dean says between sniffles.

"I'd do anything for you."

It's exactly what Dean wants to hear, but he's still too broken to believe him.

"I have to get home. Sam's by himself."

Cas looks at him, letting his hands fall from Dean's face. He looks defeated.

"It's not a no. It's a not yet. But I do have to go." Dean steps around him. He's still shaken from Michael, and his eyes hurt from crying. His brain is a little fuzzy from the beer, but he's mostly on edge from tonight. He just needs to get home.

He feels Cas behind him, and he makes it to the door just as Cas is holding it open for him. "Good night, Dean," he says. He offers a slight smile and Dean steps through the door.

"Always the gentleman," Dean replies, and then he turns down the sidewalk to his car, passing the table in the window they sat in the first time they were at this bar.

This is not how he intended the night to go, but he's satisfied with the turn of events. The night is cold, but Dean doesn't feel it as he gets into the Impala.

Sam's already asleep when he gets home. As soon as Dean gets into the house, he locks the door and pulls his phone from his pocket.

"Home," he texts Cas.

His phone immediately buzzes. "Thank you."

Dean sees the sweep of lights go across the living room and looks out the window just in time to see the blue Prius pull out of the drive.

"But you already knew that," he replies.

"Guilty. Meet for dinner later this week? Just to talk."

"Friday at 6? Just talking."

"Deal. Good night, Dean."

Dean smiles in spite of himself. He's got a million things he needs to say to Cas, all of them bouncing around his head, but he settles on "good night," and gets into bed.

He's too wired to sleep, but for the first time in weeks, he actually smiles as he sees the notes next to his bed. He puts them under his pillow and rolls over. He hadn't taken his shirt off, and it smells like Cas. He holds it up to his nose and breathes deeply.

It helps slow his heart rate, and before he knows it, he's finally drifted off.

Chapter Text

It's Friday, and Dean can't help but stare at the clock. He's not getting any work done, and to make matters worse, Bobby asked to see him this afternoon, which means he probably wants him to work late today. On one hand, it's good that he'll be distracted by working later. On the other hand, he just wants to go home so he can get ready.

He's not nervous. Not at all. If anything, he's ready to do this. He's already had about a dozen conversations in his head. He knows what he's going to tell Cas, starting with he's not sorry he said I love you. He meant it. Still means it. But if Cas can't accept that or love him back, then he's going to walk away from him forever tonight.

Dean goes into Bobby's office when the rest of the mechanics clock out at 3.

"You wanted to see me?" he asks.

Bobby's behind his desk, papers all over the surface. He glances up at Dean. "Take a seat."

There's something in his tone that makes Dean get goose bumps. He sits and waits for Bobby to stop typing and look at him. Something tells him this isn't about working late after all. He puts his hands under his thighs so he doesn't drum his fingers.

Bobby continues typing. He looks at a paper and then turns back to his computer. He hasn't acknowledged Dean at all, and Dean's starting to feel his heart speed up.

Finally, Bobby takes his hands off the keyboard and looks at him. "Dean, we need to talk."

Dean sits up. "Yes, sir?"

"It's come to my attention that you convinced my daughter to tell me something."

Dean starts to sweat. "What do you mean?" There's no way Bobby is upset that Charlie is gay. That has to be what he's talking about. But maybe he's mad that Dean knew and neither said anything.

"Charlie told me, Dean. She said you convinced her to talk to me about being a lesbian. I can't believe she didn't say anything to me. But I'm her dad. I knew. At least a part of me knew. I'm mostly upset that she lied to me for so long or felt that she couldn't tell me. But I wanted to say thank you for getting through to her. She said she wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for you. So thank you for whatever you said to her."

Bobby stares at him across the table with watery eyes.

"I just told her the truth, Bobby. It wasn't really me."

"Her whole life she felt she had to keep this from me, even lied to me about Gabriel. But as soon as you walk into our lives, she's ready to tell the truth. It's you, boy. You convinced her it was better to tell me than to keep living a lie."

Dean blushes.

"I know about you and your old man. She said part of it has to do with you standing up to him. I don't know a damn thing about him, but I do know you, and you are one fine young man. Whatever happened with him, I just want you to know that sometimes family ain't your blood. Sometimes family are the people who are around when you need it the most. Charlie has me and Gabe and Castiel, but now they've got you. I want you to know you've got me. I'll never be able to repay you for what you've given me, but I do need you to know how important you are to my family. And that makes you family, kid."

Dean looks at him. "Thank you, Bobby."

"I mean it, kid. Now let's get out of here. It's the weekend." He smiles at Dean and gets up.

Dean stands too and follows Bobby out to the parking lot.

Bobby sighs. "It's absolutely none of my business, but I've got to say something. I'm not going to watch you two ruin a good thing. I think of Castiel and Gabe like my sons. And I've got to tell you that you're the best thing that's ever happened to Castiel. I don't want to see the two of you mess it up because you're afraid of commitment."

Dean looks at him. "Ok, Bobby."

"That's all I'm going to say about that, ok? You do what you have to do, but just remember if your heart is in it, you can't really go wrong. I know your heart's in it, and Castiel's heart is in it, too. You do what you will with that."

"Thanks, Bobby," Dean says. Bobby nods and goes to his truck.

Dean gets into the Impala. He sits behind the wheel. He's got a few hours before he needs to be at Cas', but he just can't wait. He feels his heart rate speed up as he decides what he's going to do.

Dean doesn't even drive home to clean himself up. He calls Sam in the car on the way.

"Hey, Sammy. I left work late. Are you good?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm at Jess'. You coming home?"

"Probably not tonight. Got some things to take care of," Dean smiles as he says it.

"Ok, Dean," Sams says. Dean swears he can hear him smile.

"You gonna be alright?"

"I'll be fine. You call me if you need anything, ok?"

"You got it. Bye, bitch."

"Bye, jerk."

Dean hangs up the phone and throws it in the passenger seat. He hits the gas a little harder and feels the Impala pick up speed.

He pulls up to Cas' house and sees the blue Prius in the driveway. It's a little after four, way earlier than he needs to be here, but he just can't help himself.

He knocks on the door but doesn't wait for Cas to answer. He opens the door and sees Cas drying his hands on a towel, peeking his head around the wall to the kitchen.

"Dean?" he asks, and Dean feels his heart skip a beat.

He doesn't even close the door. Just takes large steps to close the space between them. He looks at Cas standing in front of him for only a moment. His head is cocked to the side, a bewildered look on his face. Dean doesn't wait for him to say anything else. He leans in and kisses him, wrapping his arms around his waist.

Cas is stunned, hands still at his side, one holding the towel. It takes him a moment to start moving his lips, but he finally does, kissing Dean back like never before. He drops the towel and pulls Dean tight against him.

It's not enough. They are so close but Dean wants him closer, harder. Wants Cas to understand how desperate he's been, how much he needs him.

Cas seems to get it, kissing him back with fever. It's sloppy and uncalculated, something Cas never does, but he keeps going, clutching at Dean with everything in him.

Finally, as if on cue, both of them pull back, gasping.

"I thought we were just going to talk?" Cas asks.

"You already know what I'm going to say."

Cas nods, raking his eyes down Dean's body. "Why don't you refresh my memory?" He pulls back and closes the door and then walks to the kitchen. He sits down at the island and pulls a mug of tea closer to him.

Dean follows, watching him take a sip.

"You made some mistakes. I've made some mistakes. But I can't stay away from you. You're all I think about. I was going to come here and tell you that if you can't love me, then that's it for me. I'll walk away. But I can't do it. It would be a lie. Maybe it's because I'm young, or you're my first love. I don't care. I just know that I can't live my life without you in it."

Cas sips, not looking at him. "You don't see how absolutely crazy that is?"

"Of course it's crazy. Love is crazy. But you can't honestly tell me that you don't feel it, too. I know you do. I know you can't stay away either. That's why you were at the bar the other night. I may have just been your submissive in the beginning, but I know there's more to it now."

Cas doesn't look at him. He furrows his eyebrows and looks at his tea, running his fingers over the cup. "I don't deserve you, Dean. You deserve to be with someone who isn't so fucked up."

Dean moves, spinning Cas' stool to face him. "How could you ever think that? I deserve you. You are exactly what I want. You're talking to the king of fucked up. I don't care about what's happened in your past. Just be honest with me. Tell me how you feel. I need to hear you say it."

Cas takes a deep breath and turns his blue eyes on to Dean. They're wide, pupils dark and taking over the iris. He licks his lips. "I've been so afraid of being loved or falling in love. I thought love was someone hurting you. I thought love was someone saying if you love me, you'll do this. I don't ever want that to happen. I don't want you to feel like I'm telling you to do something out of love. I can't watch that happen again."

"It's not, Cas. You won't hurt me. I know you won't. And you have to know I won't hurt you."

Cas nods. "I do. I know you won't. But what if you decide you don't want this again? I told you I wanted more. And you didn't. It took everything for me to say that and you just gave it up."

"It was a mistake. I thought I had coerced you into it. I thought you were just trying to make me happy."

"I wasn't. I want that, Dean. I want the dates, and waking up to you, and breakfast in bed, and making sure Sam has lunch for school. I want to come home to you every day and hear about your day." He grabs Dean's hand, examining a dirty nail. "Even when you look like this. I especially want you like this. Because it's you, and you make me so happy."

Dean smiles and refuses to let the tears swimming in his eyes fall. "So say it. Say what I mean to you. I already told you. I have to hear you say it."

Cas looks at him from his stool. He closes his eyes and licks his lips. "I love you," he whispers.

Dean can barely hear him. He leans closer to his face. "You what?" He turns his ear to Cas.

"I love you, you idiot," he says. He laughs, looking up at Dean. Dean drops to his knees in front of Cas.

"I know you do." He lays his head in Cas' lap. Cas runs his fingers through his hair.

"We've got so many things to figure out," Cas says.

Dean looks at him. "Tomorrow. For now, can you just say it again? Just to make sure."

"I love you," Cas says again.

Dean smiles. "I'll never get tired of hearing that."

"Seriously, Dean. We have to talk about our dom/sub life if we're going to be in a relationship. And Sam. And we still need to talk about your dad. We don't know where he is. How will I keep you safe? We've got to talk about therapy. I've got an appointment next week. If you like the therapist, I thought we could go togeth--"

Dean cuts him off with a kiss. "Tomorrow." He gets up and holds a hand out for Cas to take. It only takes Cas a moment of grappling with being frustrated by Dean cutting him off or taking what Dean is offering.

He grabs his hand and leads him upstairs, laughing as Dean closes the bedroom door a little too eagerly.

Dean looks at the man in front of him, smile crinkling his eyes the way he loves, and thanks whatever being there is that led him to this man.

There's so much they need to figure out, but right now, they're just Dean and Cas, and they're just in love and ready to prove it to one another.

Chapter Text

Hours later, the sun starting to set, Dean lays on Cas' chest and watches him breathe.

Cas trails his fingers over Dean's back. "Move in with me," he says suddenly.

They've been laying here for hours, talking about all the things they needed to--therapy, how to balance their dom/sub life while being boyfriends, what to do if John shows up again--but this was not a part of the plan.

"What?" Dean asks. He leans up to get a better look at Cas, but Cas looks completely serious.

"It's the best way to keep you safe. Maybe your dad won't be back, but why take the risk if he does go back to your house? I know Sam likes it here. I like having you both here. Move in."

"But we just started renting. There's the lease. It will cost extra to get out of the contract." Dean says.

"Don't worry about that. I've got plenty of money," Cas says as he holds his finger up to Dean's lips as Dean starts to argue. "You have to get used to someone wanting to do things for you. That's a relationship, Dean. Let me take care of you because I love you.

And because he's said those words again, Dean doesn't argue. He settles back on Cas' chest.

"Good. We should get up. Have dinner. Do you want to call Sam? Go over to your house and get some clothes?" Cas asks. He makes no move to get up, though, and keeps dragging his finger over Dean's back.

Dean laughs. Sarcastically, he says, "You're in such a rush."

That makes Cas move. He lifts Dean off him and stands up, bending to put his pants back on. Dean admires the view.

"I'll start dinner. You call Sam." Cas bends down to kiss Dean on the forehead and then walks out of the room.

Dean stretches and thinks about how his luck has changed so drastically. And it's all because of Bobby. What did he say that made Dean change his mind? Or was it Sam? Or Gabe? Or Charlie? Maybe it was a combination of all of them telling him what he most wanted to hear.

Regardless, it's Cas who is responsible for his good mood. Cas and those three little words. Dean smiles to himself and gets up. He pulls on his clothes and finds his phone in his pocket.
He dials Sam's number and waits through the rings.

"Hello," Sam says over the line.

"Sammy," Dean replies. He can't stop smiling.

"What's wrong, Dean? I'm at Jess' but I can be there in a minute, just let me find her keys."

"Nothings wrong. Stop. I'm at Cas'. We talked."

"Everything good?" Sam asks. Cas hears him stop rustling.

"Everything's great. I'm calling because Cas asked me a question and I need to run it by you."

Sam hesitates, but eventually asks, "What's going on?"

"He asked us to move in. He thinks it would be better for us. Safer."

"Dean! That's great!" Sam yells. Dean has to move the phone away from his ear. "It makes so much more sense for us to live with him, especially since I'm not going to be around that much longer. The house would be too big for just you," Sam says in a rush.

Dean wasn't expecting him to be so excited. "Ok, Sammy. You sure you're ok with this?"

"Are you kidding me? I love Castiel. I love being at his house. He takes care of us. He takes care of you. He makes me feel safe."

"So it's a yes, then? We're moving in with Cas?" Dean asks. He can feel his heart hammering in his chest.

"It's a definitely we're moving in with Castiel.”

"Ok then." Dean can't hide his smile. "You staying with Jess tonight? Or you coming here?"

"I'll stay at Jess'. Let you two celebrate."

Dean chuckles. "Alright, you get your stuff tomorrow and we'll talk about closing the lease, ok?"

"Alright, Dean. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Bye, Sammy."

He hangs up.

Dean goes the bathroom and then downstairs. Cas is at the stove, making what looks like soup.

Dean walks up behind him and puts his arms around him, running his hands under his shirt. Cas hums his approval and turns his head into Dean. "I can get used to this," he says and turns to face Dean.

"Well, you better. I talked to Sam. He's on board with us moving in. We'll get our stuff tomorrow."

Dean watches the small smile spread wide across Cas' face. "That's great." He holds Dean tight and then releases him. "Will you set the table?"

Dean goes and gets bowls out and sets them by the stove. He finishes setting the table as Cas turns off the stove and starts ladling soup for them. Dean carries the bowls to the table and they settle into dinner. Dean waits until Cas gives him permission to eat.

Cas smiles. "We need to talk about that. Do you want to keep this kind of relationship up?"

Dean stills. "You don't?"

"It's not about me. I'm asking you."

Dean blushes. "I wouldn't mind keeping up this part of our relationship. Though I guess it complicates things if Sam is here."

"Yes, it does. How about we just do what we talked about earlier? We keep our dom/sub life relegated to the bedroom and we just have a normal relationship otherwise."

"Can you do that?" Dean asks. He hopes so, though he has to admit he does like being his sub.

"I've never done that before, but I'll try now. I'll do anything for you." Cas moves his hand to hold Dean's. "I mean it. This is new for both of us."

"So we'll try." Dean says. Cas squeezes his hand and lets go.

They finish their meal and then clean up together. It's late when they get to bed, but they're too happy to sleep.

Cas lavishes kisses over Dean's body. They move slowly, relishing the night. It's the first time Dean can really, honestly say that they are making love, not just fucking.

Dean falls asleep spent, wrapped in Cas' arms.

When he wakes the next morning, Cas is already up. Dean stumbles his way downstairs and finds him sitting at the island, sipping a cup of coffee. And Sam is sitting with him.

They turn together, and Dean is suddenly very aware that he's in just his underwear. He blushes.

"Ugh, Dean!" Sam says. "Put some clothes on!" He dramatically shields his eyes and Dean smiles and runs back upstairs. He shucks on his work clothes and walks back downstairs.

He leans over Sam and lets Cas kiss him on the cheek. "Good morning, handsome," he says.

Sam makes a gagging noise and they laugh at him. Cas gets up and pours Dean a cup of coffee. He hands it to him.

Sam lets him drink a few sips before he starts asking questions. "So what are we going to do with the house? How much do you think it will cost to get out of the lease? How did the two of you even get back together?"

Dean shushes him and puts the cup down. "The house will be fine. We can afford it. Cas' is big enough for all of us. And we just talked. We're fine. Better than fine. Don't worry about us."

Sam sighs and then smiles. "I'm happy for you, Dean." He turns to Cas. "I don't know what you did to him, but he's been so torn up the past few weeks. I think you're good for him, and I trust you, but I don't want to see my brother like that ever again." The stern voice he gives is really laughable.

"Easy tiger," Dean says, but Cas stops him.

"You're right, Sam. We had our differences, but it's ok now. And I agree--I don't want to see him like that again."

Sam gives a slight nod and then gets up from the island. "I have to get to school. Dean, are we going to grab everything this afternoon or just some stuff?"

"Let's just start with our clothes and things. We can figure out bigger stuff over dinner. Let's decide together." He lets Cas grab his hand and bring it to his lips.

"Ok. Drive me to school?"

Dean nods and Sam goes to grab his backpack in the living room.

"I'll be back after we get stuff from the house this afternoon." Dean says. Cas kisses him on the cheek again and then Dean's moving through the living room, Sam trailing after him.

In the Impala, Sam can't stop staring at Dean. "What?" he finally asks.

"Nothing," Sam replies. Dean focuses back on the road, but then Sam is staring at him again.

"Just tell me."

"I'm happy you're happy, Dean. And I'm glad we're moving in with Castiel. I really am. I just don't want to see you get hurt. The way you've been acting this month. It's sucked. It's not you. Just promise me you're doing this because you want to and not because you think I want you to."

Dean pulls up outside Sam's school. "I'm doing this because I love Cas. And I'm happy. And I do think it's a good idea to move in with him. Not just because I know you like it there, but because I want to. I want to be with Cas."

Sam puts a hand on Dean's shoulder. "I'm proud of you," he says as he gets out of the car.

Dean's not really sure what to make of that.

Sam closes the door behind him and then meets Jess at the bottom of the stairs to the school. Dean watches as they walk hand in hand into the building, and Dean finds himself not wanting to make fun of them for once. He finds himself missing Cas.

He smiles to himself and then drives to work.

It's a quick day. Lots of cars to attend to, and Charlie and Bobby won't stop giving him knowing smiles all day. Cas must have called Gabe already, and Dean finds himself not annoyed that their relationship isn't private, but a little excited that he's got an extended family who knows about him and Cas.

When 3:00 finally comes around, Dean rushes to pick Sam up from school. He picked up some boxes earlier in the day, and they drive home to pack up clothes and necessities for Cas' house. Their house.

Sam and Dean split off to their respective rooms and put clothes in boxes. It only takes them about an hour to pack, and then they meet back in the living room, their boxes stacked by the door.

"You have everything?" Sam asks him.

Dean looks around. The house was supposed to be their safe haven, but it turned into a nightmare. He eyes the living room, and then he sees the record player Sam got him for his birthday. "We should take that," he says.

Dean lifts it and closes the lid. He puts the records on top of it and then loads up the car with Sam's help. Sam waits in the car as he locks the door.

They smile at each other as Dean backs out of the driveway, neither looking at the house in front of them.

Later, after dinner, after they've talked about what from Sam and Dean's home should come to Cas' and what should go where, Dean sets the record player up in the living room and puts on Led Zepplin II. The whole house fills with the sound of Whole Lotta Love.

Sam looks up from his spot at the dining room table where he's doing his homework. Dean starts playing the air guitar, really getting into it. He dances over to where Cas is sitting on the couch and leans into him, sinking to his knees during a guitar solo. Sam rolls his eyes.

But Cas is smiling from ear to ear, and Sam watches as his brother plays his heart out on the air guitar for the guy in front of him. It's sweet, and a little dorky, and everything that Dean has always deserved.

Sam closes his book and walks past them. "I'll let you two lovebirds have the living room and finish doing my homework in my room."

Dean barely glances at him, but he knows Sam's not really mad. He waits until he hears Sam's door close and then he gets off the floor and sinks to his knees over Cas, still playing the air guitar.

"What a rock god," Cas says, laughing.

"I'm your rock god," Dean replies. And then Cas tilts his head up and kisses Dean, and Dean finds his heart hammering in his chest again.

He's in a home with his brother, and someone he loves, and it's safe. And aside from Dean being the annoying brother he's always been, Sam can get his homework done and live out the last two months of his senior year of school without fear.

It's everything Dean has ever wanted.

And yet, he still can't shake the feeling that John's out there, waiting. It sends chills down his spine to think that he's going to come out of his hiding spot, and Dean doesn't know when.

But Cas is here now, kissing him with fervor. And Dean lets him kiss away the fear.

Chapter Text

It doesn't take long before they fall into a routine and Dean forgets all about the fear he felt the first night he stayed with Cas.

It's the mornings he loves best. Cas wakes up slowly, which Dean didn't expect. It turns out that the mornings he's woken up with Cas already up and ready to go before they were living together were a fluke. He's really not a morning person at all. He does put on a good front for Sam though. Cas is the one who makes him breakfast and fixes his lunch for him. He insists every time Dean tells him he can do it.

Dean loves it. He loves the domesticity. He loves that there's someone he comes home to. Someone he wakes up to. Someone who makes him dinner. Someone who looks at Sam like he's as special as Dean has always known he is.

Which is why Cas is going all out for Sam's 18th birthday. It's a week a way, and already Cas has planned and re-planned a menu. Dean finds him pouring over it at the kitchen island when he gets home early on a Tuesday afternoon in late April.

Cas jumps. "You startled me! I thought you were Sam."

"Sorry, babe." Cas raises his eyebrows at the nickname, and Dean instantly blushes. He quickly recovers though, as Cas leaves the mess of papers on the island and strides across the room. He tilts Dean's head and kisses him.

"You can call me whatever you would like," he says, smiling.

Dean relaxes. "What else do you need to do for the party?"

"I think I have the menu down. I'm not changing it again."

"I'll believe it when I see it," Dean grumbles.

"Watch it," Cas says, "or you'll need to be punished." There's a glint in his eye as he steps back from Dean.

"It's been a while," Dean says.

Cas smirks. "You've been very good."

"I can be bad."

"I have no doubt," Cas relents. He turns back to the papers, leaving Dean half hard and frustrated. "But I need to get this planned."

He grabs a paper and hands it to Dean. "The only things I need from you are on this list."

Dean looks at it. Favorite mementos, baby and childhood pictures of Sam, decorations that Sam would like. "You can pick out the decorations, Cas. He's not going to care."

"I know, but it's not every day you turn 18. I want it to be perfect." Cas looks down at the papers spread out in front of him, but Dean notices the light blush on his cheeks.

He walks up to him and puts his arms around his waist. "Hey, it is going to be perfect. Because you're planning it for him. And you clearly care about him. Don't worry about everything else, ok?"

Cas looks at him and slowly offers a small smile.

"There we go," Dean says. He lets go of him and sits on the stool beside him. "The rest of the stuff on here--I can go get it tonight. Sam's watching a movie over at Jess'. He said he'll be back around 10."

"Do you want me to go with you?" Cas asks.

"No, you can finish up with this stuff. I'll be fine."

Cas sighs. "When are you going to get out of the lease?" he asks softly.

Dean tenses. "Soon."

"You've said that every time I've asked. You and Sam have lived here for almost two months and you still haven't moved everything in."

"I'll do it, ok?" He keeps his head down, studying the paper in front of him. The truth is, Dean's not really sure why he hasn't gotten out of the lease yet. At first it was easy to say that it would be too expensive, but then the landlord told him that there were a bunch of college kids moving in early for summer jobs and he wouldn't charge him for it, and then Dean didn't have an excuse. It was something about that being the first home he and Sam had ever chosen for themselves. Something about the ability to pay for it all on his own. It was just a house, but to Dean it represented the first real freedom he'd ever had. And maybe there was a part of him that was still scared Cas was going to wake up one morning and realize this had all been a mistake.

Cas sighs but drops it. "You go get that stuff and I'll go finish up the rest of the decorations." He stacks the papers and puts them back in the white binder they came from.

Dean leaves the paper on the island and follows Cas up to their bedroom. Dean strips off his work clothes and puts them in the hamper. Cas doesn't like a mess.

Cas turns the shower on for him. This is a part of their routine, too. It's funny the little things that Dean has gotten so used to. Like Cas starting the shower for him after work.

It's been hard with Cas' schedule. He's tried to only work during the week days, which has mostly worked out, with the occasional weekend shift. He's lucky he's been able to come home around the time Dean gets off.

The shower is perfect, and Dean is surprised when Cas joins him. He feels his hands slide up his back.

"Mmmhm," Dean groans out as Cas kisses his neck. Cas takes the washcloth from him and lathers it with Dean's body wash. He starts a slow descent down his arms. He works down his back, pausing to pay attention to his ass, and then bends to wash his legs. The water washes the suds down the drain, and Dean feels Cas lick at that spot. He puts his hands on the tile in front of him and pushes his ass into Cas' face.

Cas turns him and rises to wash the front of him. He's methodical, rubbing circles over him. Every few strokes, he kisses Dean. Finally, when Dean is painfully hard, Cas wraps his hand around his cock and strokes it a few times.

"Turn around," he eventually growls after his motion speed up. Dean obliges.

Cas doesn't waste any time opening Dean. He's quick, using the water and his spit as lubricant, until finally Dean is begging. Cas bites his shoulder, sinking into him slowly, deliciously.

Dean hasn't gotten used to the slow speed. It still drives him crazy, but he's learned that it also turns him on, and leave it Cas to teach him the patience it takes to really relish the moment.

And finally, Cas' hips stutter and then he's begging Dean to come, breathing in his ear canal hot and wet, and Dean does, because Cas asked and he will always do what Cas asks. Cas follows, shaking his release. It takes him a moment to get his bearings, and he finally pulls out of Dean.

They let the water wash over them and then get out of the shower.

"Well, that was pleasant," Dean says as he towels off. Cas just gives him a sly smile and gets dressed.

"Go get that stuff and then we can have dinner, ok?" he says. He leans and kisses the top of Dean's head and then strides into the bedroom. He's clearly distracted.

Dean frowns but finishes dressing before following him. Cas has the closet door open, running his hands over one of Dean's flannels.

"Cas, what's wrong?" Dean finally asks.

Cas stills and closes the door. He turns and faces Dean, crossing his arms. "I want you to get out of your lease."

Dean sighs."Cas, I already told you. I will."

"When?" Cas asks. He drops his hands to his side. "You've said that so many times. And yet we've paid rent twice for a house that no one's living in."

"That's not fair. I paid it. You didn't have to."

"It's not about the money, Dean. It's about the fact that I asked you to move in with me, and you still have one foot out the door."

"I'm getting out of the lease, ok?"

Cas narrows his eyes. "I'll believe it when I see it."

Dean stares at him. "Fuck it. I'm going to get your pictures. I'll be back later." He storms past Cas and down the stairs, grabbing the keys off the hook by the door.

It's a short drive to the house, too short, and Dean doesn't have any time to cool off before he's pulling into the driveway. The Impala helps some, though. He runs his hand over the steering wheel before getting out.

The house is mostly bare, just a few boxes and chairs here and there. He makes his way to Sam's room after turning the hall light on. His room is neatly packed up. He doesn't even have the comforter still on the bed.

Dean turns the light on and goes to the closet. It's not completely dark yet, but the sun is setting, casting shadows over the room.

There's a shoebox on the top shelf. Dean pulls it down. It's full of pictures, but none of Sammy. Just old photos of John and Mary. There are a few of Dean, and a couple of Jess when they first started dating. Dean smiles at that.

He closes the box and puts it back on the shelf and turns the light off. In his own room, it looks almost completely unchanged. Except for the lack of clothes in his closet, nothing has been moved.

All of the photo albums are in the bottom drawer of his dresser. He opens it and gets them out.

The first one is full of baby pictures of Dean. There's John and Mary smiling, holding baby Dean as he comes home from the hospital. Mary put the photo albums together before she died.

Dean turns the pages and smiles to himself. John looks so happy here, so peaceful. So unlike the dad he's always known.

In the third album, baby Sam makes an appearance. Dean pulls those pictures out, smiling at how little hair Sam had as a baby and how much hair he has now.

When he has a collection of baby pictures, Dean closes the book and turns to his nightstand. The pictures of Sam from his childhood will be in there. It's not as organized and neat as Mary's photo albums, but it will do.

There's a neat stack of pictures tucked in the back. Dean pulls them out and rifles through them. There's Sam on his first day of kindergarten. Sam and Dean sitting on the Impala with their dad, Sam comfortable in their dad's lap. And then there's the last one--the four of them standing outside the house before it burned down.

Dean runs his fingers over it. What would have been if that accident hadn't happened?

He stacks the pictures together and then stands. He looks around the room again.

His dad spent his entire life pining after their mom. She was the love of his life, and he never recovered from her death. Dean doesn't want that. But he also doesn't want to never live. John died with Mary, damned if Dean will die with her too.

And it hits him.

He sits on his bed and pulls out his phone. It only takes a moment for Cas to answer.

"Dean, do you think Sam would like baseball or basketball banners more?" he asks breathlessly.

Dean lets out a chuckle. "Neither. Listen, Cas. I'll get out of the lease. I'll do it tomorrow, as soon as the landlord is up. I'm sorry I haven't done it yet. I've been an ass."

Cas pauses. "Is that what you want?"

"What I want is to be with you. I don't want to fight. It was stupid. I should have moved everything in weeks ago. I don't know what I was thinking."

Cas sighs. "What you were thinking was 'what if this doesn't work out? What if something goes wrong and then Sam and I are homeless?' I can see why you didn't get out of it. I shouldn't have pushed you into it."

"Cas, you've given me so much of yourself. It's not fair that I've been holding back. I trust you. And I can't spend every second of my life afraid of something that might not happen. I can't not live."

"Ok, Dean."

"So are we good?" Dean asks.

"Yeah, Dean, we're good."

"I've got the pictures you wanted. I don't know about mementos. Sam's got some nerd trophies from spelling bees and stuff like that."

"That's perfect."

"I'll grab those. Are you about to come home?"

Cas sighs. "I suppose I'm not getting anywhere with decorations. Are you sure you don't want to pick things out?"

"I'll go with you tomorrow, ok? Just come home. I'm hungry." Dean walks out of the room and stops dead in his tracks. "Cas? I need to go. I smell gasoline."

"What? Dean? You smell gas? Do you have a leak?" Dean can hear the fear in his voice.

"I don't know. It's probably nothing. Just come home, ok? I'll see you in a minute."

Dean can hear Cas calling his name as he clicks the end button. The hallway is still lit, and nothing looks out of place, but the undeniable scent of gas fills the air.

He walks slowly down the hallway. It's quiet, and Dean can hear his breath. His heart is beating so fast he can feel it in his throat.

Dean gets to the end of the hall. The front door is still closed, and he turns his head to the left. The living room is empty. He exhales, and takes a step into the room.

That's when he feels the squish of the liquid under his shoe. He turns toward the kitchen, and there's John, sitting casually at the table with a can of gasoline by his side.

He smiles widely, a grin that hits Dean in the gut. They stare at each other, and finally John holds up a lighter and says, "Hi, kid."

Chapter Text

It's the grin that really pisses him off.

He looks so smug, holding that lighter, his feet resting in a pulled out chair.

Dean can't move. He's clutching his phone in one hand and the pictures in the other.

"I've been waiting for you to show up here. Staking it out. It's hard to get you alone these days, huh? You've been real chummy with that fag you've been staying with."

John doesn't take his eyes off Dean as he stands.

"I told you I'd kill you. We were interrupted before, but I don't think you'll be saved this time."

Dean stares at him. John paces the kitchen. "If it's money you want, I'll give you some. Just give me a second and I'll get it for you."

"It's a little late for that. Besides, I'm sure I'll get plenty of funds when people find out that my first born is dead." He clicks the lighter, letting the flame flicker.

"You're here, too. You light that, we both go up." Dean can feel his heart pounding. He's clutching the pictures in his hand, and he has the sudden thought that he's wrinkling them, and Cas wouldn't like that.

"I won't be around to watch it." John walks closer to him. Dean can smell him. He's worse than before. There's no telling what he's been doing these last few months.

"You need help, dad. Don't light it. Just let me go and we can help you. You can move in with me. We have plenty of sp--"

Dean is stopped as John slaps him across the face. "I will never accept charity from someone like you." His breath has a sickly sweet smell to it, and Dean closes his eyes and quickly opens them again. They stare at each other, and suddenly, John lunges forward and headbutts Dean.

The last thing he thinks as he falls to the ground is to hold tight to the photographs so that they don't scatter everywhere.

He can't have been knocked out long, but the overwhelming smell of smoke wakes him. He's lying face up in the living room, watching flames lick the ceiling. His back is wet.

Dean turns over and crawls to the door. He pulls himself up, his head pounding, and rattles the doorknob. It's locked, something blocking it from outside. He tries the window next to the door, pounding it with all his might. There's nothing left in the living room that could be used to break the window, and the rest of the rooms are quickly being engulfed in flames.

He's going to die. He slides down the wall to the floor. The smoke is thick, flames already tearing up the walls in the kitchen. There's nothing he can do. It looks like the fire started in the back of the house, the living room still mostly untouched except for the thick smoke filling the room. He crawls toward the door, trying to get air through the crack in the bottom. It's no use. He sits against it and looks down, pulling his legs up against him. The pictures are still clutched in his hand, crinkled under his fingers.

Is this what his mom felt like, watching helplessly as flames lit up her home?

It's ironic that it's his dad who saved him from that fire only to be the one to start this one.

It's so hot. Dean tucks the pictures between his knees and takes his flannel off. He smells it, and sure enough the back is soaked in gasoline. He throws it towards the hall and watches it light up.

He reaches around and feels the back of his undershirt. It doesn't seem as wet, and he quickly pulls it over his head and smells it. No gasoline. He wraps it around his head, trying anything to block out the stench of smoke.

He wishes he had said I love you one last time. They didn't get any time, and the fight from earlier feels like such a waste of what little time they did have. All the back and forth over the last few months feels like a waste of their precious time. And it was his fault. And now he's never going to see Cas again.

He lays down on the floor, trying to get as far away from the smoke as possible. He's not going to watch Sam graduate or go to college. And he's never going to see Cas again or be able to tell him just how much he loves him. He wants desperately to say he loves him and he's sorry.

He lays quietly on the floor, the pictures clutched so tightly in his hand that his fingers hurt. He wishes he and Cas had taken a picture together so he had it now. There's an image in his head of Cas standing at the end of an aisle, and Dean is trying his hardest to get to him. Cas is smiling, and Dean runs toward him. He wants that picture in his hand right now, but the image in his head will have to do.

The flames crackle loudly, but suddenly there's a loud crash that sounds like glass breaking, and a woosh of flames swirls around him. Dean looks up. There's a rock in the living room and glass on the floor. The window by the door is broken, and there's a hand breaking the rest of the glass away.

And there's Cas' voice, screaming Dean's name.

Dean crawls toward it, the sound ringing loudly in his ears. He can hear sirens in the distance, but it's Cas' voice that leads him out.

Cas screams his name again, and then his gentle, soft hands are reaching for Dean, pulling him up and out of the window.

The porch is cold on his back, and he breathes precious air into his lungs. Cas is staring down at him, mouthing something Dean can't hear.

His eyes are as wide and terrified as they were when Dean crashed into his house and said I love you the first time, and Dean has that awful feeling of rejection again, but he blinks it away and there's Cas, clearly mouthing I love you over and over.

He closes his eyes as he feels himself being lifted, red lights blinking on and off even behind his eyelids. There's so much noise, and then there's the beautiful feeling of oxygen being pumped through his body, and he opens his eyes to Cas staring at him. Beautiful Cas, bathed in the light around them, and he realizes that he must be in an ambulance because he can see the doors being closed. And there's Cas, unblinking, as the doors close. And there's still Cas, seated by his side as they start to move. Dean shakily holds up his fist with the photographs in it and tries to smile under the mask. Cas looks at them briefly and then back to Dean, eyes swimming. His blue eyes are the last thing he sees.

It's noise that surrounds him. Dean hates it--he can hear people talking, but he can't do anything to shut them up. He can't shout as much as he wants to, and there's nothing he wants more than to move. To get up and take a piss, or to scratch an itch, but he's rooted to wherever he is.

Sometimes, when it quiets down briefly, he can hear Cas' voice above the rest. Sometimes he can hear him clear as day in his ear. "I love you. Come back to me."

Dean wants to. Not being able to say I love you too is worse than hell. But every time he tries to open his eyes, he sinks further down.

There's no passing of time. Just the endless buzzing of noise wherever he is, marked by the few moments of Cas' voice giving him a reprieve.

It takes a while, but one day he can feel Cas' hand resting heavily in his. And he can even will his finger to move just a bit, just enough that he can hear the gasp from Cas, followed by the soft whisper of "I'm not leaving you. I'm here."

It takes even more time, but finally, miraculously, he can open his eyes. It blinds him, and it must be mid-day wherever he is, but the moment he does, there's Cas, blocking out the light.

"Cas," Dean croaks. His voice is deep, even for him, and he tries to clear it before speaking again.

Cas leans into him and hushes him. Dean can feel the tears sliding over his own face as Cas gently shakes against him. "They found him," he whispers. "It's over."

He leans up and looks at Dean. "Do you remember the fire?" Dean nods. "Cops found your dad trying to escape in your car a few miles from the fire. He was arrested immediately. You were put in a medically induced coma. You were badly burned, but you're doing much better."

Dean looks at him. "How long was I out?"

"A week. You needed time to rest and heal. You're ok, but you're not out of the woods yet."

"I missed Sammy's birthday party?"

Cas smiles at that. "He said we can postpone it."

"But all your work--"

"Can be replicated when you feel better. It's not a party unless you're there, Dean."

Dean nods and tries to swallow. Cas sees the effort and grabs water without asking. He lifts the straw to Dean's lips and holds it as Dean sips from it.

"I thought I'd never see you again," Dean whispers.

Cas stills and slowly places the water on the table. "You're fine, Dean."

"But I almost wasn't, Cas. And I thought I'd never see you again, and I couldn't stop thinking about all the time we wasted fighting. Not being together. I was so stupid, Cas. So stupid. When I was laying there all I could think was I wish I could say I love you one last time."

"Dean--"

"No, listen. I love you. I love you, and I was an idiot for so long, and I swore to myself if I made it out of that fire I'd tell you how much I love you."

"I know you love me, Dean." Cas looks pale in this light, hair messed up and greasy. It looks like he hasn't moved in a week, and Dean thinks he probably hasn't.

"Marry me," Dean says.

"What?" Cas still has Dean's hand in his, and he clutches it tighter as his eyes widen.

"I want you to marry me."

"Dean, you don't know what you're saying. You just woke up from a coma. You're not well. You haven't even seen Sam yet. Let me go get the doctor. He should check you out." Cas tries to move but Dean clutches his hand tighter.

"I know what I'm saying, Cas. Marry me. I was dying, and the only thing I could think about was you standing at the end of an aisle. What a fool I'd be if I never asked. So marry me."

Cas stands there, mouth slightly open. "No." He shakes his head and Dean feels his heart seize up. Cas places a finger over his lips as Dean starts to argue. "You're not asking me like this. Not in a hospital. Not when you've just woken up from a coma. Not without Sam's permission. You can ask again when you're better. After we've talked to Sam." He removes his hand from Dean's mouth.

Dean is quiet at that, but he slowly nods. "Speaking of Sam, where is my brother?"

Cas smiles. "I'll go get him. I finally got him to go home and change his clothes last night, but he's back here today. Jess has been bringing his school work." He squeezes his hand again and then walks out of the room.

Dean hears Sam before he sees him. His big footsteps squeak down the hallway as he runs into Dean's room. He stops himself just in time to not hurl his body on top of Dean, but only just barely.

They only have a moment to look at each other before the room is full of doctors and nurses. The chatter is loud, filling the room, and Cas tugs at Sam's arm to pull him back toward the wall. Dean doesn't remove his eyes from the two of them, even as he's poked and prodded.

His whole life is in this room. He's spent his life barely living--trying his hardest to save a damned man. His dad never wanted saving, and he almost brought Dean down with him. But it's Sam and Cas who taught him how to live. That there's more to life than chasing old ghosts. That sometimes you get lucky enough to walk out of the flames twice.

The one thing his dad did give him rings in his ears as he watches Cas smile at him with his arm around his brother: "Follow your heart and nothing else."

Maybe he's not a simple man after all, but he's definitely learned to be something he can love and understand.

And that's enough.