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Perdu En France [Lost In France]

Chapter Text

“Pardon moi, monsieur…mais, je suis un éléve dans les États Unis, et je parle un peu de fraçais,” He had approached suddenly, catching Dean off guard. They were in the extremely busy underground, and Dean could hardly hear a word of what the boy was tentatively saying to him in clearly very broken french. He did however notice the extremely wide, ocean-blue eyes; presumably they were quite unavoidable. For that reason, and that reason alone, did Dean linger to help the fourth lost tourist he’d encountered that day on his way to work before school. He worked at a coffee shop twelve blocks away from home, and had to take the metro at 6am in order to make an hour shift before school started at 8:30. It really was too early for this.

“Monsieur, repetez s’il vous plaît, c’est trop bruyant,” the boy’s apparent attractiveness didn’t stop Dean from being his usual, curt self. Especially before his morning espresso.

“Ah, uhm, je suis désole!” This time he was much louder, and he spoke so slowly and with such a thick american accent, that it was still a bit difficult to understand him; but Dean got the idea.

“Ouais, ouais. Quand est-ce que vous voulez, monsieur? Je suis un homme très occupé,” Dean was being meaner than he knew he should be, and talking a lot faster than he knew the boy could comprehend, while simultaneously referring to himself as a ‘man’, when he’d only just turned seventeen a month ago and was often mistaken for fifteen. Yet, he couldn't help but find it amusing the way the boy’s eyes darted between his, and he could almost see the wheels in his mind spinning faster and faster trying to keep up with the conversation.

“Je suis désole,” he said again, and Dean rolled his eyes; he really wasn’t as annoyed as he was portraying himself to be anymore though, it was more entertaining at this point. “Uhm, je suis...perdu? Et je veux aller....travailler?”

Dean almost couldn’t help but laugh, was this boy actually living in France? He’d never make it. How old was he anyways? It didn’t look old enough to be working...but then again neither did Dean.

“D’accord, et où est-ce que vous travaillez?” Dean had decided to let up and make it a little easier on the kid. If he were in his place, he’d be terrified, and really, he was doing his best.

“Je travaille à un café....Le Chat Blanc. Je suis très, très perdu,” he really was quite distraught, but at the name of the cafe, Dean reeled. Of course it was the same cafe he was headed to right at that moment. The one he worked at, and apparently so did this guy now. Dean sighed.

“Bien. I am going to there right now, follow me,” Dean said, deciding to reveal is albeit minuscule understanding of the English language. In other words, he took pity on him.

“You know English??” The boy looked dumbfounded, and the dumb look on his face only served to annoy Dean again. He immediately regretted his moment of weakness, really this kid was pretty damn attractive.

“Non, viens avec moi, vous étes très bête...”

“Hey! I know what that means,” Dean rolled his eyes and hoped the kid got lost again as the train he was supposed to get on rolled up to the platform and he got on.

Unfortunately, the kid did not, and before he knew it they were walking tandem into the coffee shop at exactly 6:15am. Never had Dean needed three shots of espresso more than he did then.
The boy looked thrilled to have found where he needed to be, and thanked Dean in English profusely, but Dean ignored him. He walked behind the counter, grabbed his apron off the hook, threw it around his waist, and immediately began to make the perfect espresso he needed. Hoping upon hope that the boy might never attempt to speak to him again. Naturally, this was not the case. As Dean turned around from the espresso machine, the stunningly blue eyes were mere inches from his own, causing him to jump in surprise.

“Merde, attention!”

“You didn’t tell me you worked here too,” the boy now insisted on speaking only in English it seemed, much to Dean’s disgust. It wasn’t as though he had a better understanding of the language than the boy appeared to have of French. Especially since he still hadn’t moved an inch away from his face.

“Nan, j’espérais te perdre encore,” Dean said, shoving past the boy. He was unmoving in his resolve to speak his native tongue, but from the look of it the boy hadn’t gotten a word he’d just said, not even that he’d used an informal referral. Dean figured there was no way out of this, so he had to accept that he’d be working with this annoying American at least for a while, and there was no way he was gonna use formal speach towards him the whole time. Besides, the kid probably didn't know the difference anyways.

“Well what’s your name anyways,” the boy spoke very fast, and Dean didn’t catch anything but “name”. This fact was probably apparent on his face, as the boy immediately looked apologetic. “I mean, um, je m’appelle Castiel. What is your name?”

Dean had half a mind to ignore him.

“Dean,”

“Dean? Your name is Dean?”

“Ouais,”

“That sounds American,”

“Ce n’est pas,”

“Je sais. But it sounds American,”

“Je suppose, mais nous devons traivailler maintenant, nous sommes payés à l'heure,”

“Did you say ‘we’re paid by the hour’?”

“Je ne sais pas! Tais-toi!” Dean could’ve hit him at that point. He wasn’t here to teach him French or make small talk. He was here to get to work then get to school, that’s it. He was beginning to think he should’ve left him in the metro.

Of course, that’s when the manager walked in.

Chapter Text

Dean had had one of the worst mornings yet, since the accident, and timing seemed to be stacked against him. Sam hadn’t gotten out of bed until 5:30am despite Dean waking at 5 just to get him up, and his dad hadn’t risen at all. He’d had to skip making Sam’s lunch just so Sam could catch the school bus, which he felt awful about even though he knew it was Sam’s fault entirely. For some reason he tended to feel responsible for Sam’s mistakes. Maybe it was an older brother thing. Then, because of that, he’d almost missed the bus to the underground. On top of that, he’d almost been late getting to the station; though perhaps if he had, he could have avoided meeting Castiel there. Now, of course, the manager had walked in just as Dean yelled at the new guy to shut up. At this point, it was only 6:23am and Dean was already ready to be done with the day. Unfortunately it’d only just begun.

“Dean! Qu'est-ce que tu es en train de faire?” His manager sounded furious, and he was rarely anything but lightly firm. He was a stout man, shorter than Dean by at least a few inches, who everyone called Bobby. The rumor was he’d just shown up one day and taken charge, but that was years before Dean had started working at Le Chat Blanc, so he couldn’t confirm or deny the claim. He liked his manager well enough, and he had become a close friend of the family. Since his mother’s accident, Bobby knew how Dean’s father had reacted, how badly he’d shut down, and had given Dean the job at the cafe more to keep an eye on him than anything else. Bobby was one of the many people Dean felt like he let down on a daily basis, despite his best efforts.

“Désole, c’est Castiel. Tu ne m’as pas dit-il y a un nouveau garçon aujour’hui,” he spoke as quick as he could, so Castiel wouldn’t catch a word, but Bobby would grasp his annoyance; but Bobby only replied with a side-glance and a wave of his hand in dismissal, and turned to Castiel.

“Bonjour, Castiel. Est-ce que vous avez trouvé votre chemin ici?” Bobby had spoken just as quickly as Dean had spoken to him, and Castiel was noticeably lost. Bobby didn’t seem to notice, though, and stood awkwardly waiting for an answer. Dean rolled his eyes.

“He is asking to you if you found the cafe,” Dean sighed, translating the best he could with his high-school level knowledge of the English language.

Bobby had taken English in high school as well, but, having never left France in his life, he’d presumably all but forgotten the language entirely. Inexplicably, however, he was deft in Japanese, a fact Sam found extremely enthralling. Castiel’s face brightened, having seemed to understand the translation, whereas Bobby’s fell, hearing Dean needing to relay it in the first place.

“Oui, oui! Um..oui,” was all that Castiel said, and Bobby’s gaze fell to Dean, who gave him a ‘do you understand now why I was telling him to shut up?’ look.

“Ah, excuse me, it was...” Bobby said, looking back at Castiel and clearly struggling trying to remember the four years of english he had taken twenty years ago. “I thought...”

He looked angrily back at Dean and quickly said, “J'ai pensé qu'il connaîtrait le français quand il est venu! C'est ce qu'ils m'ont dit!”

Dean just shrugged, “Je ne sais pas, Bobby. Je ne sais pas même qui ceci est, ou ce qui se passe. Il s'est juste montré dans le métro, et m'a dit qu'il a dû venir ici donc je l'ai amené.”

Dean couldn’t help but feel glad that Bobby seemed to be just as annoyed by Castiel’s ineptness as he was. He knew he was grinning quite cheekily. Yet, he was sort of starting to feel bad for the kid a bit, against his every will. He couldn’t stop himself from putting himself in Castiel’s shoes, as much as he was trying not to. Seemingly new to the country, don’t speak much of the language, and the only person you’ve talked to longer than a minute is being a callous ass. At this thought, Dean started to feel really bad, and it didn’t help that he happened to meet Castiel’s strikingly blue, hopelessly confused eyes right at that very second. He sighed, his grin fading. Bobby was looking at the floor, chewing at his cheek, likely deliberating over what to do about the situation.

“Eh bien, le français ou aucun français, il peut toujours travailler, non? Tout il a besoin à savoir dit est ‘que voulez-vous, le café ou le thé?’. Vraiment?” Dean said to Bobby, who looked up from the floor at him, surprised by the words after his previous attitude towards the new comer. Understandably, as Dean had surprised himself in saying them.

“C’est vrais...mais, il est un peu bête, non?” Bobby said, chuckling a bit now, looking towards the new kid.

At the word, Castiel, who had before been utterly lost to the regularly-paced conversation, looked surprised. “Hey! I know what that word means! Why do you guys keep calling me that?”

At this, both Bobby and Dean laughed at Castiel’s sheepish tone.

“Je crois qu’il est bien,” Dean smiled, looking at Castiel’s bright eyes and excited expression.

Truly, he was good-looking, and this was a fact Dean was desperately trying to ignore about him. He didn’t have any time for a crush. Besides, Castiel was too annoying to be relationship material anyways. But he knew the smile was incriminating, and Bobby looked at him with a raised eyebrow. At the silent question understood perfectly as 'was that smile what I think it was', Dean scowled and turned away from the two. Which, of course, made Bobby grin, as that was all he needed to get the answer to his question.

This day is only going to get worse, isn’t it, Dean thought, while pretending to wipe down the counter with nothing in his hand.

“Dean, demandez-lui ou il va à l’école tandis qu’il est ici,” Bobby said quickly, in a suspiciously teasing tone.

Dean whipped back around with narrowed eyes, glowering at Bobby, who was grinning ear-to-ear like a hyena. He turned his body slightly towards Castiel, but took hist his steadfast glare off of Bobby's giddy expression.

“Where are you going to school to when you are in France?” He asked him, only looking away from Bobby in shock when the reply came.

“Lycée Fénelon, do you know that school?” The shock was short-lived in Dean, replaced with bland acceptance as Bobby cackled away. Of course Castiel would be going to his school. Of course.

Chapter Text

Before that very moment, Dean hadn’t even known there was an international program at Fénelon. He knew it was a good school, as far as public schools go, he had to go nearly thirty blocks from home to get to it on the days he wasn’t working, when Bobby didn’t give him a ride after his shift. It was another thing he felt guilty about. He got to go to a four star high school, while Sam was a mile and a half away at Saint-Exupéry (also known as ‘the middle school nobody wanted to go to’). At least he was coming up on his final year, and soon he could join Dean at Fénelon, where he could keep a better eye on him all day. Provided he could pass the entrance exam, which Dean barely passed; but he knew Sam would get a higher score than Dean could even dream of. That’s just how Sammy was. Dean also knew in the back of his mind that Sam could probably take care of himself, but this was a fact he pushed back against harder than anything else; because if Sam didn’t need him anymore, who did?

“Dean? Allons-y,”

“Ouais, désole,” Dean had been staring off into space rather than locking the staff-entrance door to Le Chat Blanc as he was supposed to. Bobby had the car running a couple feet away, ready to pull out of the little back alley behind the café to head to school.

Dean turned the key, quickly jostling the knob to be sure it was bolted, and swiveled on his heels, hopping off the small one step down. Dean walked around the car, and got in the back seat behind the driver's position. Castiel, naturally, had gotten shotgun, much to Dean’s distain. He used to enjoy the rides to school in Bobby’s little four-seater. They’d chat about classes Dean had that day, any big tests he was fretting over, and sometimes, on rare days, Dean would even discuss how things were going at home. Those were rare days. Yet most every day that Bobby drove Dean to school, it was a little easier to walk up those steps to the first class of the day, despite the ungodly hour of the whole thing.

Dean did feel a pang of guilt at the immovable thought in his mind that Castiel’s presence was going to put a damper on the usual comfort and sense of safety that surrounded those car rides, yet he couldn't help it. He knew there was always the ability to talk rapidly in French to Bobby about whatever he wanted, knowing that Castiel wouldn't be able to follow; but conversations from the back seat of a car just aren't the same as the front, especially if the correspondent is the one driving. So Dean was silent the whole ride, while Castiel and Bobby made awkward minuscule conversation amongst themselves, with Bobby in unbelievably broken English, and Castiel in almost worse French. In the slow, traffic-filled fifteen minutes that stretched out longer than it usually seemed to, Dean couldn't help but think of that morning. Perhaps it was the spell of rainy weather— something about watching droplets cascade down clouded windows does things to peoples thoughts. Or maybe it was the prospect of going to school for the whole day, with the people in said school, once again that made Dean incapable of positivity. Whatever it was, he kept inadvertently replaying his mistake of attempting to rouse his father, which had gone as expected, but still made Dean feel terribly. As he rested his forehead on the freezing window at yet another red light, he couldn't help but remember how he’d contemplated not even trying with his dad that morning, but had ultimately resolved to not have a day in his mind that he didn’t at least try to get his father up and moving (two things he seemed to no longer have any interest in whatsoever). Dean knew it wasn’t entirely fair, the role he was forced into, Dean missed his mother as much as his father did, but he also knew there wasn’t exactly much he could do about it. So day in and day out, Dean followed the motions, and it wasn't until moments like those in a silent, rainy car, that Dean thought much about it at all. He avoided the topic of his father with just about anybody besides Sam, and sometimes even Sam, as much as he could. That was the only thing he really could do, was avoid, avoid, avoid.

Sooner than it seemed when looking back, Bobby pulled up to the front of the school. Castiel got out first, but Bobby put his hand on Dean’s shoulder as he turned to leave. Dean looked back and met Bobby’s apologetic smile; there was a kindness in his eyes that Dean knew should have made him feel cared-for, but hated to admit that it instead made him feel inexplicably defensive.

“Dean, arrete pour un moment. Euh..je sais il n’est pas…sensationnel, mais il pourrait utiliser votre aide aujourd’hui, OK? Il est nouveau…et il be pourrait pas sembler être, mais il a peur. D’accord?”

Dean looked out the window to see Castiel, midway up the stairs at the entrance to the school, holding his elbows tightly, with his shoulders tucked against his neck, hopping on his heels under the scourge of the winter downpour. He’d actually waited for him. Whether it was because he didn’t know his way to class, or because he genuinely wanted to wait for Dean, he couldn’t tell. His brain pushed that it was the former, but deep down Dean wanted to believe that it was the latter.

“Oui, d’accord,” Dean said hastily, realizing that the way he'd said it had unintentionally come across as disinterest in Bobby’s admittedly very good point.

Castiel did indeed likely need Dean’s help that day, and Castiel probably was pretty damn scared, as much as Dean despised the truth of it. Not to mention Dean hadn’t been able to not notice how unbelievably stunning Castiel somehow looked while standing in freezing weather, like he could have taken a full-scale photo shoot right there and then. Dean recoiled at the thought, forcing himself to consider it a purely platonic, simply factual observation. He still very much wanted to dislike Castiel, but man, if that boy wasn't making it increasingly difficult to do so.

Dean gave Bobby a look that he hoped conveyed his sincerity in the agreement, and got out of the car. The wind was biting, Dean’s hair was immediately soaked, and when Castiel noticed Dean rushing up the steps, he was noticeably relieved. As Dean approached the shivering, drenched, wind-blown boy, he had a strange urge to wrap his arms around him, but shove him simultaneously. Considering this motion unkind while also physically unattainable, he instead decided to simply grasp Castiel’s elbow, roll his eyes, and pull him up the remainder of the stairs and through the heavy front doors of the school.

 

Lycée Fénelon probably had near two thousand kids attending in all different grades, and Dean could tell that Castiel was almost immediately overwhelmed; he pulled back on Dean’s grip, wide-eyed and still shivering. This begged the question in Dean’s mind, where exactly was Castiel from? He knew it was someplace in the United States, he’d caught that bit of information when he’d first met him, but given his reaction to a relatively average-sized school, Dean couldn’t help but wonder exactly how far out of his element Castiel really was.

“Do you have a schedule?” Dean asked him, trying to coerce the boy’s cold, un-budging form from the direct entryway. To do so, he had given up his resolve to speak French and only French.

“What?” Castiel’s eyes met his for a moment, only to dart about the crowded hallway just a second later. It was quite crowded, Dean remarked, for being nearly thirty minutes early, but he had known it to get much worse before.Dean sighed and gave Castiel’s elbow a tight pull, sending him lurching forwards.

“Come,” Dean said, pulling him along behind him, expertly navigating that hallways he knew well at this point, until they reached the bathroom. Dean pushed the door open and pulled Castiel inside along with him. Dean was relieved to find the washroom empty, and doing its job sufficiently of blocking the noise from the halls outside.

“Castiel, do you have a schedule,” Dean said, knowingly sounding impatient. Castiel couldn’t know of Dean’s slight warming up to him, that would be unacceptable. To his surprise, Castiel began to snicker, then laugh. For the life of him, Dean could not figure what Castiel could possibly find funny in the given situation.

“What are you laughing for?!” Dean nearly yelled, which caused Castiel to bite his lip to stifle the laughter, but still grin toothlessly.

“It’s just, it’s just the way you say my name,” he grinned, and Dean made the mistake of glancing down at his straight, white teeth. He felt a warmth rise to his cheeks, and felt an overwhelming desire to leave the bathroom right then.

As he turned to, Castiel caught him by the jacketed arm and shouted after him “Wait!” Dean stopped, not yet fully intent on staying to help him. If there was one thing Dean hated more than anything, and he wasn’t even sure why, it was embarrassment.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, you just say it like caystey-elle and I just thought that was a bit funny, that’s all. Please, I don't know how to get to class. I do have a schedule, I do, they gave it to me three days ago… but I don't know what any of this means. Please, Dean, don’t go?”

Dean narrowed his eyes and turned back around to face the now slightly panicked boy, shaking his clutch off of his arm. Although Dean had only understood a bit of what he’d said, he’d gotten enough.

“You say my name as funny as well, Cas,” Dean spouted, not sure if he was trying to offend Castiel or lighten the mood. Perhaps both.

Castiel just smiled again, making Dean force himself to yank his eyes away from Castiel’s face, staring at the wall behind him to avoid the painful and unexplainable blushing.

“I don’t mind if you call me that,” Castiel said, to which Dean just scoffed, but secretly made a mental note of for future use.

“Now you give to me your schedule,” Dean said pointedly, suddenly becoming aware of how closely they were standing, and taking a step back, sticking his hand out between their two bodies for Castiel’s schedule.

Castiel placed the schedule in his hand, and at first glance Dean’s shoulders fell. He and Cas’ schedule lined up almost to a T, except advanced chemistry and French (in which Castiel was in the remedial class of, thankfully). Even their lunch period was the same. Dean took a deep breath and shook his head.

At least I’ll know where to take him, and he’ll know where to go, Dean thought. There’s the upside, I won’t have him bugging me in the halls.

Yet as much as Dean wanted to believe this, he also knew that wasn’t true. He’d have Castiel bugging him all the time, and there seemed to be no way around it.