Summer could be pretty rough on teachers financially, especially in the beginning, but Dean had been teaching English at Lawrence High for a decade now and he knew to save up for those three sparse months. Unfortunately, he hadn't known to save extra for the pricey part that unexpectedly went out on his Baby's engine near the end of June, and now he was stuck doing random part time jobs for the rest of the summer so he didn't have to resort to a Ramen diet, or worse, borrow money from Sam and get that damn pitying expression from his little brother. Which was why he was currently sitting in the hot July sun in nothing but a pair of swim trunks and a thin white t-shirt, trying to heckle people into paying to dunk him. The county fair had been desperate for workers and Dean had been desperate for money, so it had been a match made in Purgatory.
“Come on, toss a ball, hit the target, win a prize,” Dean called out, trying to attract some customers. The last person to dunk him had been almost half an hour ago. Dean was soaked in sweat from the heat by now, and the omega would much rather be soaked in water instead. “Get me wet and get a stuffed animal, so we both win,” he tried, his joke bordering on not so family friendly territory. Hey, if Disney and Pixar could do it, so could he.
He saw a guy walking his way with what he assumed was his daughter or little sister or something. But no matter what the relation, a guy alone with a preteen girl was probably more willing than most to cave to a bit of friendly ribbing, especially if he could convince the girl that the cheap stuffed animals they gave out as prizes were a lot more awesome than they really were. “Hey, dunk me and win a prize for the little lady,” he called out to the guy.
He glanced over at the dunk tank, and Dean had to hold in a gasp at how amazingly blue the guy’s eyes were, even from so far away. The little girl had the same blue, too, so Dean was pretty sure she was probably his daughter. When the guy started to walk away again, Dean took a chance, hoping he was right. “Hey, get your daddy to win a prize for you,” he called to the girl, mentally crossing his fingers that he’d guessed right. “Pretty little princess like you deserves a cute stuffed animal to show off.”
The guy kept walking, but Dean could tell he’d gotten the girl's attention as she paused to look at the stuffed animal display. Alfie, a former student of Dean's that was working the prize part of the dunk tank, earned his minimum wage this time as he started showing off the stuffed bears and koalas and dogs. Dean gave him an encouraging thumbs up as he showed off a green and yellow dragon.
“Daddy, they have dragons!” The girl shouted to the man, who had yet to notice his daughter wasn’t walking behind him any more.
“And every princess should have a dragon for a friend,” Dean said, giving the girl the most winning smile in his arsenal. They didn't call him a lady killer for nothing.
“Please, Daddy?” The blonde girl begged, and Dean was already eyeing the guy’s arm up, hoping he was good at aiming. The water wasn’t cold any longer, but it would still be seriously refreshing right about now.
The guy still looked indecisive, so Dean decided to go big or go home. “Yeah daddy, please?” He teased, and had to stop himself from pumping his fist in the air in triumph when the guy walked over to his daughter.
The wind shifted then, and he was hit with their scents. Alfie’s he knew from having the kid all four years he was in high school, some combination of flowers and cinnamon buns that fit perfect with his gentle, omega nature. The girl’s was obvious, since all unpresented children had that same basic kind of scent, that Dean always like to just call potential. But the guy’s, who was beyond obviously an alpha now that Dean was close enough to smell him? Holy crap, he smelled incredible. There was a salty tang, almost like ocean spray, and mixed with the smell of lime, it was almost like a margarita. And underneath that beach drink scent was something woodsy, maybe cedar? Whatever the wood, Dean was already hooked and he didn’t even know the guy’s name yet.
“I don’t know, Claire,” the alpha said, and Dean’s knees felt weak even though he was sitting. That voice, holy crap times a million.
“Hey, how ‘bout this,” Dean said, his mouth not bothering to ask permission first. “You dunk me, and not only will Claire get herself a new dragon best friend, but I’ll even take you on a date. Sound like a plan?” Please let him not be insulted, please let him not be insulted.
Dean’s face broke out into a grin when, instead of looking angry, the alpha blushed. When he handed money over to Alfie and collected the baseballs to throw, Dean wanted to freaking burst out into song. He’d never smelled anybody even half as amazing as this guy, and if he hit the target Dean would definitely be the one who won the best prize.
“C’mon, you can do it,” Dean cheered, and Claire joined in. The guy pulled his arm back like he knew what he was doing, then smirked as he let go and… missed by a mile. Damn it.
“Daddy, please? I wanna name the dragon Fang the Destroyer,” Claire begged, tugging on her father’s shirt. Dean suddenly liked the kid a little bit extra, because he so would’ve given a stuffed animal a name like that when he was a pup. Poof Froggie when he was three didn’t count.
“You can do it, man,” Dean shouted, getting a little over-eager. The guy wound up again, looking like a damn major league pitcher, and then… missed again. Damn it! Maybe Dean could still get him to go on a date as a consolation prize? Would that be too demeaning?
“Daddy, I know you can do better than that,” Claire complained, glaring at her father before looking back at the dragon plush longingly.
“Hush Claire,” the alpha replied, smirk back on his face. He tossed the ball experimentally a few times, as if trying to gauge the heft of it, then wound up again. Dean scooted over a little to the left, closer to the target. Screw fate, he wanted that damn date and he wanted it now. The alpha let go, a pitch that looked perfect, but Dean wasn’t confident after those last two. He slammed his fist into the target, right before he saw that the ball would’ve hit it anyway. The platform fell out beneath him and he was suddenly surrounded by lukewarm water. It felt heavenly, but he still quickly struggled to the surface. He had a hot guy to ask out properly.
He wiped the water out of his face as he heard the deep laughter of the alpha as he walked closer to the dunk tank. Dean glimpsed Claire hugging Fang right before the universe narrowed down to just him and the alpha. Up close, he smelled even better than he did far off. Looked way better too. How were those eyes real?
“You cheated,” the alpha accused him, though not harshly.
“Only cuz you couldn’t throw,” Dean said back.
“If you hadn’t hit the target before my ball got there, it would’ve hit,” the alpha argued.
Dean shrugged. “Didn’t wanna risk it.”
The alpha chuckled. “That desperate for a date?”
“With you? Yeah, maybe a little,” Dean said honestly, trying not to blush.
The alpha chuckled, and Dean lost the battle. “So, where are you taking me on our date?” He finally asked.
Yes! Dean grinned, not caring how goofy it probably looked. “Well, I know this great place, has the best burgers around. It’s called The Roadhouse, friend of my family runs it.”
“I do love burgers,” the alpha said, still smiling. Holy crap, that grin should be illegal.
“You’ll love Ellen’s, they’re so delicious it hurts,” Dean bragged. The woman was practically his aunt, they were so close, but he meant every word. The only burgers he’d ever had that were better than the ones Ellen served at The Roadhouse were the ones he made himself. Though he might be a little bit biased on that one.
“I can’t wait,” the alpha replied. “So, what time do you get out of here?”
“Hey Alfie, when’s Benny’s turn?” Dean called over to the omega, who was keeping Claire company. He’d definitely have to thank him later for that.
“In about an hour, Mr. Winchester,” Alfie called back after checking his watch. The kid just finished his second year of college, but he still called Dean Mr. Winchester like he did in high school, no matter how many times Dean told him he didn’t need to any more. Old habits die hard, apparently.
“Gotta head home and shower after swimming around all day, but I can probably be there in about two hours, if that was what you had in mind,” Dean said.
“That sounds perfect,” the alpha said back, making Dean want to swoon.
“You know,” Dean said as he realized he was forgetting something very important here, “I never got your name.”
“Castiel. Novak,” the alpha, Castiel, said. “And I’m guessing there’s a first name in there somewhere, Mr. Winchester?” He teased.
“It’s Dean. Alfie just calls me that because I was his teacher until a few years ago,” Dean said as he started to swim over to the ladder that led to the platform. “I’m only doing the carny gig to get my car fixed,” he explained as he pulled himself up and positioned himself comfortably.
“Ahh, so handsome and intelligent,” Castiel said, making Dean once again blush. Damn alpha. “Do you wanna know a secret, Dean?” he asked, picking up one of the baseballs that had went wide, tossing it in his hand like the third one.
“Sure, Cas,” Dean said, watching the alpha walk back over to where the customers were supposed to throw from.
“I went to college on a sports scholarship for baseball,” Castiel said, then wound up and threw the ball again before Dean could even blink. It hit as dead center on the target as you could get, and the platform dropped out from underneath him. He let out a surprised yelp as he splashed back into the water. When he surfaced again, Castiel, Claire, and Alfie were all laughing. “I just liked watching you sweat,” Castiel said, then went back to laughing. Dean just pouted as water dripped down his face.