"So, do you get it now?" Dean asks, mouth still half full of bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Castiel is still wearing his 'difficult problem' face on the other side of the table. He's pretty much been wearing it since Dean started explaining.
"People try to expand upon the things which happen to you and Sam in the books, with their own stories, concerning your adventures and relationships, often in a way that's sexual," he tries cautiously.
"Very often in a way that's sexual," Dean chases a piece of lettuce round the crust. "But that's pretty much it, yeah."
"And do they believe this to be true?" Castiel asks.
Dean makes a rude noise around his mouthful and shrugs.
"God knows," He thinks about offering Cas half of his sandwich, but he'd probably just look at it, which would be a tragic waste of a delicious sandwich. "I think they'd probably like it to be true, if they knew we were real, which they don't...mostly."
"And the internet is where they display these expansions for other like-minded individuals?" Castiel has a way of making it not sound half as crazy as it should.
"Yeah, because the internet is for porn."
Dean drinks half his coke while Cas mulls that over.
"So, anyway, apparently the angels went over well, or at least you did, and in the books we have awesome chemistry. So now Sam's butthurt because they've stopped writing about us having sex and started writing about me and you having sex instead. He's feeling all left out because he doesn't get anyone new to bone, and he's mostly evil-"
Castiel looks briefly shocked.
"In the fanfic," Dean clarifies hastily. "He's evil in that now, or at least he's all jealous." Dean pauses long enough to demolish more of his sandwich. "He's been trying to work out why people like you better."
Castiel frowns, like he still doesn't understand. People are usually pretty good at picking up the subtleties in conversations and Dean's still not used to having to wave them in Castiel's face and then carefully explain them when he still doesn't get it. It's like trying to explain things to a child who's both a judgemental genius and slightly retarded at the same time.
He really hopes Castiel didn't hear that.
"You kind of-" Dean pulls a face. "You kind of stole some of his fans, and me, sort of. When we ran off together."
"We never ran anywhere together," Castiel says, face tipped to the side, confused. Though honestly there are far too many things to be confused about here.
Dean wipes his hands on his jeans.
"That whole period where me and Sam were fighting-" he stops, looks at the angel meaningfully over his sandwich, he doesn't have to clarify exactly what that whole fucked up period was about, because Cas already knows. "I think that's about as far as Chuck's gotten in the published books. So we're pretty big at the minute."
"And in these expansions we accomplish great things together." Castiel's voice holds maybe a trace of cautious optimism.
Dean's kind of unwilling to dent it.
"Sure, I guess, though judging by Sam's bookmarks we mostly just have sex, a lot of sex, I'm amazed I manage to do any world saving between all the sex I'm having. I only wish I was having that much sex in real life-" Dean realises how that might sound. "-only not with you, obviously."
Castiel nods, like he accepts that having sex with him in real life would be weird and disturbing.
"But yeah sure, they clearly want us to save the world, we do epic world-saving stuff. When I'm not, uh- I can't think of a polite way to phrase exactly what it is I'm usually doing to you."
"And you're on top." Castiel's expression suggests he isn't entirely sure whether he's gotten the phrasing right. "Which holds some special significance."
Dean pauses with the straw halfway to his mouth.
"Some people think so," he offers.
"How is it determined?" Castiel asks curiously, and yeah, Dean is so glad he decided to buy his lunch to go. Because having this conversation anywhere other than their motel room, that might have been awkward.
"I don't know, maybe it's a height thing, or a physical power thing, or maybe it's just whoever's prettiest takes it up-" Dean immediately decides that's not the best way to phrase it. "-ends up on the bottom. I'm not exactly an expert."
Castiel is still frowning, like it's complicated rocket science or something. Though what does Dean know, maybe to an angel it is. Maybe all this complicated sex stuff is bewildering from way up there.
"So if I were to be...paired with Sam-"
"Dude-" Dean says abruptly, bits of sandwich scattering across the table. Castiel stares at a piece of lettuce that gets as far as the back of his hand before carefully tipping it off. "That's just uncomfortable-making on so many levels. Don't make me picture that, I really didn't want to just picture that...but it would totally be you."
"Because I'm shorter than him," Castiel states.
"Uh huh," Dean says, because yeah, he's just going to go with that.
"And...prettier." Castiel's clearly not quite as sure about that.
"Uh- maybe, I wouldn't really know."
"And my ability to overpower him is outweighed by this?"
Dean shakes his head, holds a hand up.
"Dude, don't say 'overpower him' in that creepy way when we're talking about sex ok."
Castiel frowns confusion but seems to take the suggestion on board. Though it's clear he's still waiting for some sort of clarification, and seriously Dean's kind of disturbed by the idea that anything he has to say about this might be taken as gospel, maybe fucking literally, by the angel on the other side of the table.
"Look, I don't know, it's not like a rule you have to follow, I think you just go with whatever you're comfortable with- I'm sure the internet will know, you should ask the internet."
Dean coughs laughter into his mostly empty coke because the thought of Castiel following Sam around asking questions like this is almost too good to pass up, almost.
He screws up the empty wrapper for his sandwich and carries it and his cup over to the trash. Then he picks up his bag, drops it on the bed.
"I think Chuck gave you more of a personality in the books, and then the people who write that stuff just kind of ran with it, because, dude, no offence but you're pretty easy."
That gets him the patented 'I have no idea what you're talking about' face of sideways-ness.
"I don't exactly have to work hard to get you to have sex with me," Dean clarifies.
Castiel looks some strange mixture of confused and offended. Then mostly confused and disappointed. Dean knows how he feels, spend long enough on the internet and your opinion of humanity can't help but go down a little.
"Yeah, I know, that's pretty much the way it goes, I cry like a bitch because I'm all angsty about corrupting you, while you're pretty much falling all over yourself to get my-" he's gone to that inappropriate place again. He makes a gesture, which he's fairly sure doesn't make it all better.
"And this meaningless sex serves some purpose?" Castiel asks, sounding vaguely hopeful but quite obviously expecting the answer to be no.
Which makes Dean feel bad about the whole thing, because, weird as it all is, as far as he can tell the porn seems to make people happy. Also, he appears to have no socks in his bag. Where the hell have all his socks gone?
"It's not meaningless," he corrects while digging right to the bottom. "We're totally in love with each other. I had to listen to Sam whine about it all night."
Castiel makes a very quiet noise of surprise, he seems to approve of that explanation, which may be the most unintentionally hilarious thing ever.
The next time Dean looks up from his bag the angel is holding Sam's laptop.
"Show me," he says simply. Like it might possibly be important and Dean knows that serious and determined face too well.
He shrugs, boots it up and opens Sam's bookmarks.
"Let's see what we've got here."
Sam comes back later, and he brings dinner, possibly as some sort of peace offering. An 'I'm sorry I read porn about you,' sort of gesture. With the way the internet is going Dean thinks maybe they should start making cards.
He takes one look at Castiel sat at the table with his laptop and jumps to a whole world of conclusions.
"Dude, are you letting him read it?"
They just happen to be the right conclusions.
"What's with the 'letting him' he's not five, Sam, he can do whatever he likes."
Sam takes two steps forward and tries to look like he's in no way reading over Castiel's shoulder.
Fifteen seconds later he reels away and throws Dean a horrified look.
"Jesus, Dean, that's the one with the-" Sam pulls his hand over his face like he can't bear to look. "You could have at least started him on a PG one!"
"I requested examples that fully demonstrated sexual activity between us," Castiel adds helpfully without looking away from the screen.
The look Sam throws him after that suggests he thinks Dean has gone completely mad.
"What? What, you started it!" Dean accuses, completely honestly, because this is absolutely Sam's fault.
"Look, I just don't think this is entirely appropriate, or y'know, sane."
Dean grins. "Leave him be, Sam, he's learning."
"He's learning about porn," Sam says pointedly.
"In this one we have a deep spiritual connection," Castiel offers from across the room, and Dean's in the best position to catch Sam's whole face flinch like he's just been slapped.
"There you go, not just porn," he reassures him.
Sam doesn't look reassured, in fact if anything Sam looks even less happy now, and seriously, any more misery and his face is going to turn itself inside out.
"Doesn't this bother you?" he asks desperately.
Dean makes a face.
"An angel's reading porn about you Dean," Sam says carefully. Like he might not have noticed.
"You read porn about me," Dean accuses and he can tell he's scored a point because Sam looks uncomfortable and annoyed.
"Why doesn’t this bother you?" Sam demands.
Dean shrugs, because seriously, it's not like they're really having sex, in the real world. They're not even having sex in a parallel universe. It's all fake- like graffiti on a bathroom wall- it's not true, so it doesn't bother him. Sure, it's weird, and he's not going to think about really hard, but he's not going to lose sleep over it either.
Sam gives in, throws up his hands and drops onto the couch beside him, then pulls a book off of the pile at Dean's feet.
It's quiet for long enough that Sam very slowly relaxes and stops turning the pages like they're the cause of all his misery.
There's a soft 'click' from across the room.
"How's it going Cas?" Dean can't resist asking, he just can't.
"I appear to be 'on top' in this one," Castiel tells him.
Dean holds the books he's researching over the top of the couch in acknowledgement.
Sam's clearly pretending they're both dead to him.
Maybe Dean should find some porn about Sam, to make him feel better. Something where he doesn't turn evil or die at the end. Someone must be writing about Sam on the internet, he's giant and awesome, and not exactly beaten with the ugly stick.
Hell, even if it's just an adventure story.
Maybe he should ask Chuck, Chuck would probably know.
Maybe he should get Chuck to write something awesome about Sam. Though he's not entirely sure if making Chuck write something about Sam will make it come true and make it actual real life stuff rather than fake stuff that ends up on the internet.
Jesus Christ, this is more complicated than he thought.
After a long minute of trying, and failing, to will himself into being an only child. Sam lowers his book again.
"Dean, are you absolutely sure you want an angel, who's just started learning about human emotions, are you absolutely sure you want to expose him to hardcore gay pornography...about you."
Sam may have a point there.
This is why Sam gets to vote, because sometimes he thinks about the things that Dean misses.
Dean sighs loudly, shuts his book and pushes himself to his feet.
"Ok, Cas, I think that's enough for now. Sam thinks I might break your brain."
Castiel lets Dean shut Sam's laptop, lets him scoop it off the table and carry it back over to the couch.
He dumps it in Sam's lap.
Sam's got that look on his face, like he thinks maybe he just ruined everyone's fun.