What is he even doing?
Novak is walking to the front of the bus to, what, throw something away? Because little Mr. Perfect is too good to just toss his trash on the floor like a normal person?
Dean rolls his eyes in annoyance as he makes eye contact with him and then, because karma hates Dean Winchester, the bus lurches forward on a particularly low dip in the road, and Novak falls straight into Dean’s lap.
Fuck. He can’t handle this.
Castiel turns his head toward Dean and Dean gets an up close and personal view of his bright blue eyes and all of those dumb piercings. They hold eye contact for a moment before Dean raises his eyebrows in what he hopes looks like impatience.
“Well? Get off, Novak,” he grumbles, shoving at his torso before belatedly realizing he’s basically just copping a feel.
“At least buy me dinner first,” Novak smirks as he gets up, his deep voice hitting Dean in all the right places as he presses his hands down on top of Dean’s shoulders for leverage, and Dean grits his teeth in frustration, trying not the let the flush on his cheeks show.
The only thing getting Dean through this hellfire of a camping trip is the fact that he won’t have to deal with Castiel for the next 48 hours. He won’t have to brush by him in a crowded hallway, he won’t have to sit next to him in Calculus and smell his skin, he won’t have to have a staring match with him from across the cafeteria.
It’ll be perfect. He can act like Novak doesn’t exist for two whole days. It’s not much, but he’ll take anything he can get these days.
“…Lisa and Jo, Billie and Tessa, Dean and Castiel…”
“Don’t interrupt me, boy,” Mr. Turner barks from the front of the group before continuing with the list of partners, and Dean feels someone slither up beside him like a snake. He turns his head and Novak is standing there, an innocent smile on his face.
“Hello, Dean,” he says.
Dean rounds on him and points a stern finger at him. “I am not sharing a tent with you.”
He’s sharing a tent with him.
“The whole ‘same gender’ partner system is very heteronormative, don’t you think, Dean?” Castiel asks thoughtfully while lounging on top of his sleeping bag in a relaxed posture.
Dean pauses from where he’s trying to spread his own out and he looks up at him, a deadpan expression on his face. “What?”
“Heteronormative,” Castiel repeats. “Big word, I know. Basically, it assumes that with two boys and two girls partnered together, nothing untoward will happen. But that’s working under the assumption that all of those boys and girls are straight.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Novak, and I don’t care.”
“Mr. Turner believes that you and I are both straight, and that by putting us in the same tent, he’s avoiding any… amorous behavior. Do you catch my drift?”
“Are you saying you’re gay?” Dean asks uncertainly, and Castiel just shrugs nonchalantly.
Dean rolls his eyes as he unzips the bag containing his clothes and toothbrush and everything, trying to act like he doesn’t care. “Great. That means you’re probably gonna fall in love with me or something.”
“Going to fall in love with you? Who says I haven’t already?”
Dean scoffs self-consciously and unrolls his sweatpants. “I knew it.” He’s about to take his jeans off, but when he hesitates, Cas lets out a mirthless chuckle.
“Oh, please, Winchester. You can change in front of me, it’s not going to make me all hot and bothered.”
“It’s not that,” Dean says as he finally decides to unbutton his jeans, shucking them off in the limited space the tent offers. “I just didn’t want you to be jealous of my quads.”
Cas chuckles again, but this time he sounds genuinely amused. “Please. My thighs are much thicker than yours.”
“You wish,” Dean mutters. He slips his sweatpants on over his boxers and zips himself into his sleeping bag.
Castiel and Dean are at the back of the line of people currently hiking through the woods, both of them shuffling their feet and halfheartedly trying to keep up with the group.
Dean has one thing on his mind, though, and he doesn’t think he can do anything else until he gets it out in the open.
“Whoa, are we in nickname territory already?” he cracks, kicking at a rock on the trail with his stupid Doc Martens (why he wore those on a camping trip Dean will never understand).
“Fine, Novak. Forget it,” Dean mutters, losing his nerve.
Cas chuckles innocently and says, “No, what?”
“Um. It’s just—are you really gay? Or were you just messing with me?”
Cas narrows his eyes and any sense of mirth in his face drains out slowly as he throws the stick in his hand to the ground. “Don’t worry, Winchester. You’re not my type,” he says bitterly.
Dean sighs in futility. “That’s not even what I meant but whatever.”
“Then what did you mean,” he grits out.
“I just—are you gay? Yes or no.”
“Yes. You gonna go run and tell Zach and Gordon?”
Dean shakes his head and chuckles without humor. “I, um. I’ve never met someone else who’s—so I just wanted to know—”
“Someone else?” Cas interrupts, raising his eyebrow in curiosity.
“Yeah. Well, I still like girls, too. I like both, or either, or whatever. I really have no idea why I’m telling you this, I just thought—if you really are, you wouldn’t run off and tell everyone that I am too,” Dean says inelegantly, stammering his way through it.
Cas stares at Dean with a strange look in his eye, before saying, “I won’t tell anyone.”
The rain is pattering on top of the roof of the tent, and Dean finds himself just hoping and praying that this old tent doesn’t have any holes in it.
If the tent floods, then he’ll be wet and freezing and he’d have to probably, like, cuddle with Cas or something for warmth. And as if he’d want to do that.
“Winchester,” Dean hears under the rumble of the storm.
“Are you awake?”
Dean scoffs in tired annoyance. “No.”
Dean can practically hear Cas roll his eyes, and then he hears the unzipping of his sleeping bag as he crawls over in the tight space and hovers over Dean’s head.
“What are you doing?” Dean asks, the closeness of Cas’s face doing strange things to his insides.
“Why did you tell me you’re gay? Or bi, or whatever you are. Why did you tell me?” he questions, an odd look of sincerity in his eyes.
“What do you mean?” he asks quietly.
Cas’s eyes trail over Dean’s face slowly and fall on his lips last. “Because I’ve been thinking about it and I don’t think you would’ve told me unless you wanted me to do something about it.”
Dean’s heart is beating so hard he’s sure Cas can hear it, and he sniffs quietly under the loudness of the rain around them. “Um,” he says elegantly.
“I’ve been thinking about how we’ve had this back and forth thing for years and now we both know that we’re both into guys.”
“So if I kissed you right now, would that be totally out of line?”
Dean’s eyes widen and he swallows with a loud click, saying, again, “Um.”
Cas seems to lose his nerve at his Dean’s silence, and he starts backing away. “Nevermind. I, uh—bad call.”
Dean goes to reach his hands out but they’re trapped in the sleeping bag. “Cas, wait. I—hang on,” he says, maneuvering his way out and grabbing onto the collar of Cas’s shirt, pulling him down and attaching their lips together.
Cas makes a soft noise of surprise as Dean kisses him, pulling back slightly before falling back down. Dean sucks in a sharp breath through his nose as their lips move softly against each other, and he finally knows how that stupid lip ring feels against his own.
Cas draws back after a moment of chaste kissing, but he’s already breathing heavily. Dean smacks his lips together, licking the taste of Cas off of them.
“Just so you know,” Cas murmurs, staring at Dean’s mouth as he speaks. “I didn’t do that just because I like guys. I did it because I like you.”
Dean scoffs, but it’s fond. “Since when?”
“Since always. I know you like me too, Winchester.”
He shrugs. “Maybe. Just a little.”
Cas smiles softly and leans down to press a kiss to the underside of Dean’s jaw before he promptly coughs all over Dean, making a face of disgust.
“You taste like bug spray,” Cas explains, still sticking his tongue out.
“I don’t taste that bad, asshole,” Dean mutters with a shove to Cas’s shoulder. He laughs and sits up, knocking into Dean’s side.
“Scoot over,” he says, and Dean does. Cas gets in the sleeping bag next to him and Dean wraps his arms around his shoulders, pressing a kiss to his cheek. When he licks his lips afterward, he gets the fresh taste of sunscreen on his tongue.
“Oh, gross. Sunscreen.”
“Deal with it,” Cas mumbles against Dean’s lips, and all Dean can think is that he’s pretty sure Mr. Turner didn’t have this in mind when he grouped these two boys together in one tent.