Dean sighed as Bobby continued to explain all the reasons why he couldn’t get past the gate at this… Last Hope place. To his experienced ear, it sounded like excuses, but he couldn’t really blame the man. He’d do anything in his power to stay as far away from a gay camp like that as possible.
Bobby had told them all about his latest case, full moon killings, but nothing that pointed towards werewolves, that morning. The fact that they were happening at a homosexual resort geared towards helping struggling couples brought Dean’s mind immediately to crazed human zealots, but the older hunter didn’t agree. Bobby thought it was more up their alley. Something about symbols and sigils and rituals.
“Did you try the whole FBI act?” Sam asked.
“Of course. They let me in, but they were worse than a couple of bloodhounds. Wouldn’t leave me alone for five seconds, something about the woods being too dangerous and some bullshit about how I had to have an escort. Didn’t do much good. I saw some… weird symbols and etchings, ones I’d like to get a closer look at,” Bobby told them.
“Think we could sneak in after dark?” Dean asked the older hunter.
“It’d be hard… that place is locked up tighter than Fort Knox. I have no idea why. They gave me some off the wall excuse about ‘high profile clients’ they have sometimes and how important discretion is in their line of work,” Bobby explained.
“Yeah, I bet… well, I think we should call Cas,” he told the other two, slapping his thighs as he stood up from his seat. “I need a beer. Anyone else?”
“Sure,” Sam answered, eyes narrowed as he watched Dean walk away.
“Stop staring, Sammy, it’s not nice,” Dean called as he leaned over into the refrigerator.
“Is that, like, your default method of dealing with a case now? Calling Cas?” Sam asked.
“What? We hit a dead end; we call in the big guns. What’s bigger than a freaking angel of the Lord?” Dean asked, smirking at Sam’s eye roll.
“Fine, then pray to your angel.”
“He’s not my angel…” Dean muttered setting his beer down on the desk Bobby and Sam were still sitting around. “Okay… um… Castiel? Cas? Get your feathery ass down here… Please?”
Dean immediately felt stupid at the looks on his fellow hunters faces. So what if it wasn’t the most eloquent prayer… it usually worked.
“Dean,” a familiar voice, tinged with irritation, sounded behind him.
Dean turned and smirked when his gaze landed on the familiar disheveled holy tax accountant behind him.
“I’m sure there are much nicer ways of requesting my presence,” Cas told him, a frown marring his face.
“Yeah, but that one usually gets your attention the quickest,” Dean quipped.
The angel just sighed.
“What do you need, Dean?”
“Bobby’s got a case and we could use a ride on the angel express to get past the security. Think you could zap us in?”
Dean thought for a minute that Cas was going to roll his eyes, he’d obviously been around Sam way too long, but the shorter man just shook his head.
“I can take you there. I just need you to show me where I am supposed to go.”
“Thanks, man!” Dean responded, slapping a hand on the angel’s back, right between his shoulder blades. Cas sucked in a breath and moved away quickly.
“Uh… sorry? You okay?” Dean asked, surprised at such a response from a being he was pretty sure didn’t feel pain.
“I’m fine. Now, where am I taking you?” Cas asked, refusing to meet Dean’s eyes.
“Here,” Bobby pointed out, showing them on a map the exact location of the resort. “You should aim for the woods, anywhere else’s probably too open and the damn cameras are everywhere.”
“Well, let’s do this,” Dean said, motioning for Sam to come over. “Got your knife?”
“Yeah. Think we need anything else?” his brother asked.
“Just our guns should be fine for now. If we need anything else, Cas can zap us back.”
Cas reached out and placed two fingers on each brother’s foreheads and Dean waited for the normal disorientation and lack of air that accompanied angel travel, but it never came. He opened his eyes to see what was going on and met Bobby’s confused eyes.
“Uh… now’s fine, Cas,” Dean told the angel.
“I… I tried. It didn’t work,” Cas told him, looking as confused as Dean felt. He watched the angel square his shoulders and reach out for their heads again.
This time, the disorientation came and when Dean opened his eyes, he was standing on a street corner. Across the way was a large gate and across the gate were gilded words spelling out “Last Hope”.
“Um, I thought we said middle of the woods, not at their front door.”
“I couldn’t move into the woods. I don’t know why, I brought you as close as I could,” Cas told him, snapping a little on each word.
“It’s fine, Cas… we’ll go, see if we can see anything, maybe a reason why you can’t get in,” Sam told him, forestalling any argument that could break out.
The three men made their way across the street to stand outside the large gate.
“Now what?” Dean asked, still feeling annoyed.
“This could explain why I couldn’t ‘zap’ us in,” Cas told him, pointing to a faint etching on one post of the massive gate. “It’s Enochian. It’s a barrier. There’s bound to be more along the entire fence line. If I cross the line created by the symbols, my grace would be bound. I’d be powerless.”
“Well, isn’t that just great. So, whatever is killing these people, it obviously doesn’t want angelic interference.”
“That would be a logical assumption,” Cas pointed out.
“Okay, so, this plan is obviously not going to work. Let’s get out of here and back to Bobby’s before we get caught,” Sam suggested.
Cas reached out and as soon as he fingers touched their heads, they found themselves sitting once again in Bobby’s living room.
“That was quick,” the older hunter pointed out.
“Yeah, well, the whole place is angel-proof, so…” Dean trailed off, grabbing up his deserted beer.
“That ain’t good.”
“How long till the next full moon?” Dean asked.
“Two weeks,” Sam answered.
“So, we’ve got a few days to figure out how to get past security, figure out what it is, and how to kill it. Must be Tuesday…” Dean muttered, taking another long pull of his beer.
Bobby was staring at one of the glossy brochures that littered his desk intently.
“What’s that?” Sam asked before Dean could voice the question.
“It’s a pamphlet about the program that resort runs,” he explained, barely paying attention to the men in the room. Slowly he raised his eyes to meet Dean’s. “I may have a way in for ya, but you ain’t gonna like it.”
Dean raised an eyebrow.
“I don’t like the sound of that.”
“The next ten day session starts in three days. It ends on the full moon. It would be the perfect way in…”
“Oh, hell no!” Dean spit out. “No way in hell am I going undercover to a… a… fag camp! It’s bad enough people always assume Sam and I are gay, this… no… just… no.”
Dean looked over at his brother, expecting to see a matching look of horror but was shocked when Sam wore a thoughtful expression.
“Sam! What the fuck, man? You are not seriously thinking about this?”
“I’m not thinking we should go together, no, but…”
“But what? It’s says for couples. A couple indicates two.”
“Exactly. And… I think we actually have the perfect couple to pull this off…” Sam pointed out, his face melting into an evil smile.
Dean just stared in confusion at his brother. He was totally lost.
“Dude, no way in hell am I going there with Bobby. No offense,” he added, turning towards the older man.
“No, not Bobby. They’ve already seen him, it wouldn’t work anyway.”
“Then who?” Dean demanded.
Sam’s eyes strayed from his and landed on the still silent angel, who stood off to the side, calmly watching the proceedings.
“No,” Dean told his brother, his anger growing by the minute.
“Why not?” Sam asked, his eyes still on the shocked angel.
“Why not? Um… where do I start? How about the fact that he can’t get in for a start.”
“That’s not entirely true, Dean,” Cas finally spoke up. “I can enter the grounds, I just would have access to my grace. I would essentially be human.”
Dean glared at the other man.
“Not helping, dude.”
“Dean, get your head out of your ass. It’s not real, it’s an act. You pull crazy crap off all the time, how would this be any different. We’re talking about innocent lives. Get over your damn homophobia and go. It’s the best option we have,” Bobby snapped.
Dean turned once more to Cas.
“You can’t be okay with this idea.”
“Why not? You have had me pretend to be many things from an officer of the law to a child protective services worker, how is this any different?” Cas asked, head tilted innocently to the side.
Dean let a small growl loose as he turned his back on the other man.
“Stupid fucking angels.”
“Dean,” Sam started, face morphing into his most annoying bitch face.
“Fine! Fine, but I swear… you’re gonna get it, Sammy. Pay back’s a bitch.”
“Oh, don’t worry, he’s going, too,” Bobby spoke up.
“What now?” Sam asked, head whipping around to stare at the other hunter.
Bobby handed them another pamphlet.
“They have an opening for a handyman. I think you’d fit that position just fine. Dean and Castiel would have back up. You’re going, too.”
Dean smirked at the panicked look on his brother’s face.
“And just think, Sammy, you’re single… all those gay dudes unhappy with their partners, looking for a little-”
“Dean? Shut up.”
“Pack up boys, you leave Sunday.”
Dean and Cas stood once more outside the large gates that proclaimed Last Hope. This time the pair was holding a large duffel each and Cas had lost his normal holy tax accountant attire and was instead clad in a simple dark blue t-shirt and faded, well-fitting blue jeans.
“You ready?” Dean asked, eyeing the Enochian symbols on both of the large cement posts that held the gate.
“Yes. Dean. You really don’t have to worry. It will not be permanent and it is not the first time I have been… human.”
“Yeah, but we don’t know what we are going after and having you in there, powerless, makes me nervous.”
“I know how to use a gun, Dean. I know exorcism rituals in more languages than you can comprehend and anyone, even a child, can throw holy water or salt and burn something. I am far from powerless,” Castiel pointed out.
“Fine, you’ve made your point. Let’s go. The sooner we get in there, the sooner we can gank this son of a bitch and get this over with.”
Dean and Cas made their way inside the large gate. The hunter glanced over at the angel in time to catch him flinch and his steps stumble.
“Cas?” Dean asked, reaching out to steady his friend.
“I’m fine,” Cas assured him with an annoyed look.
“If you say so,” he answered nonchalantly.
The two men followed the long winding path and signs, which read “Registration”, to a large two-story old style house, complete with white picket fence and wrap around porch. Off to the left and right smaller, same style dwellings could be seen along the wood line.
A large banner over the open front door proclaimed, “Welcome!”.
“Oh, boy,” Dean muttered under his breath.
“It looks welcoming,” Cas commented, eyes roaming over the large building they stood in front of.
“Yeah, welcoming. Well, let’s go in. Now, remember your name?” Dean asked.
“Cas Novak. Not that hard to remember. It’s also printed on the fraudulent ID and credit card you gave me.”
“Just making sure.”
Dean led the way into the large house and followed the signs to a small sitting room. The room was sparsely furnished with random chairs that seemed mismatched and a large, antique desk situated in the middle of the room.
Two men stood at the desk already. One was leaning over the wood writing on something while the other man glanced around the room looking bored.
Dean walked up to the desk, followed closely by Cas. He picked up one of the clipboards and eyed the paper forms it held. There was one form for each individual then one form to be filled out together as a couple. Dean handed one page to Cas.
“You think you can handle filling this out on your own or should I fill them both out?” he asked.
“Yes, Dean, I can write my name. I do know how to read and write,” Cas answered in an irritated tone as he ripped the page from Dean’s hand. The hunter rolled his eyes.
“I never said you couldn’t. Jeez, don’t be such a girl.”
Dean looked up from his paper and met a pair of amused blue eyes. It was then that he realized he and Cas had been putting on a show for the other couple.
“Jack, I’m done. Let’s go,” the man who had been filling out the paper called.
Dean glanced over at him in time to catch a small apologetic smile.
“Desk’s all yours. Sorry it took so long,” he told the hunter, dragging his partner out of the room. Dean just shook his head. This was going to be a very long week.
After Dean and Cas had filled out all their paperwork, they made their way to the dining room per the instructions they’d found on the desk.
When they entered the large, open room a far too cheerful woman greeted them. She had shoulder length wavy blond hair and dull blue eyes. A sickly sweet smile graced her far too thin lips. When she opened her mouth to speak, Dean nearly cringed.
“Hello and welcome to Last Hope, my name is Hannah Strong and I am the owner and coordinator here. I am so pleased that you have chosen our establishment. And you are?” she spilled, barely taking a breath between sentences.
“Uh… my name is Dean and this is my… this is Cas,” Dean introduced them haltingly, not able to bring himself to use the word partner. Hell, this was a gay resort, he was pretty sure they could all guess who Cas was supposed to be.
“It’s wonderful to meet you,” the blond woman gushed while she flipped through a notebook she held between horridly manicured hands. “Yes, here we are. Dean Smith and Cas Novak. You will be in Cabin Twelve,” she told them, handing Dean two keycards, “and for today’s brunch you will be at Table Four. Here are your nametags. Please wear them during all group times,” she explained, handing Cas two plastic laminated pin on tags bearing their names in large print.
“Thanks,” Dean mumbled, quickly moving around her and searching for Table Four. He caught sight of their assigned table, right next to a table occupied by the same couple they had met in the sitting room earlier.
“Well, let’s do this,” Dean whispered, leading Cas over to their empty table. Besides the table to their left that held the familiar couple, only one other table was occupied.
On the other side of the room a table held another male couple. One man was tall, probably as tall as Sam, and quiet with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He was watching the man with him with a look of sheer embarrassment.
The other man, the one embarrassing Mr. Tall and Quiet, was being very loud and boisterous, gesturing wildly with his hands and talking so loudly they could hear every word he said here on the other side of the room. He had short cropped, spiky light brown hair but Dean couldn’t tell his eye color because the man’s head wouldn’t stay still long enough to get a glimpse of his eyes.
“Hi. I, uh, don’t think we introduced ourselves earlier.”
Dean whipped around and came face to face with one of the men they had met earlier.
“My name is Alec,” the shorter of the two men introduced himself. He had blond hair, short and perfectly styled with what had to be at least a pound of gel. His startling green eyes were framed by thin, delicate looking wire-framed glasses. Dean’s first impression was geeky college professor. “And this is Jack,” Alec continued, gesturing towards the taller man.
Jack looked… rough. He had short black hair, close cropped in an almost militaristic style and light blue eyes. He looked uncomfortable, like he’d rather be anywhere but here. Dean knew how he felt.
“Dean,” the hunter said by way of introduction and offered his hand to Alec. “This is Cas.”
“Pleased to meet you.”
Dean then offered his hand to Jack and shared a commiserating smirk with the other man.
“So, uh… first time here?” Dean asked, completely lost for what he was supposed to say now.
Alec looked a little confused for a minute.
“Yes, first time. I’m thinking there aren’t many people who would come here more than once… if it doesn’t help the first time, it probably won’t do any good to spend money on a second week.”
“Oh… yeah, that’s true…”
It was quiet for a few minutes, neither couple seeming to know what to say.
“So, um, how long have you two been together?” Alec finally asked. His question caused Dean to flinch. They hadn’t really had a chance to discuss their history, he thought they’d have more time to come up with a past and a story.
Dean glared at Cas. The angel just shrugged sheepishly.
“So… is it two or is it four?” Jack asked.
“We’ve, uh, known each other for four years, but we’ve only… you know… yeah, for two years,” Dean answered, pushing as much confidence into his posture and words as possible.
“Ah,” Alec said with a nod. It seemed to be an okay answer because Jack and his partner didn’t pursue that line of questioning.
Dean was relieved when more people started to filter in. The new arrivals drew Alec and Jack’s attention away from him and Cas. Once the room was filled, Hannah stepped up on a podium and announced that brunch was served. She pointed towards a long buffet table filled with mouthwatering foods. He decided that maybe this whole getaway wasn’t going to be all torture. There were obviously a few good parts.
Hannah also told the assembled group that after brunch they would have a couple hours to get settled into their cabins and that they would all meet back at the main house at one o’clock for their first group session.
Dean immediately took back his good thoughts from earlier. Group sessions? Yep, this week was going to be sheer torture.
Dean glanced around the surprisingly large cabin that he and Cas were stuck with for the next ten days. It had a studio set up, with kitchen, living room, dining room and bedroom all in one large, open room. He spied his first problem with the cabin on the right wall. Innocently decked out in shades of blue and a mound of very comfy looking pillows was a large, king size bed. One bed. As in a single bed, that he and Cas were obviously expected to share.
He just groaned. Cas glanced over at him, obviously confused.
“Is there a problem?” the shorter man asked.
“Yeah, I’m not gay, yet here I am, at a gay resort, staring at the bed I’m gonna share with another man for the next week and a half… I’d say there’s something wrong.”
Cas raised one eyebrow at Dean’s rant.
“Technically, Dean, I am neither male nor female,” the angel pointed out.
“Cas, man, not making it any better.”
Dean tossed his duffel down on the large bed and stomped off to the bathroom. Thankfully the person who designed these cabins had seen fit to close in the restroom, there was no way he was doing his business with an audience, fake boyfriend or not.
After he’d taken care of his imminent needs, he returned to the main room and froze when he found Cas going through his duffel, carefully unpacking the clothes and placing them, neatly folded, into the drawers provided. It was entirely too… domestic for his tastes.
“Dude, what the hell are you doing?”
Cas glanced up with a startled expression on his face. Dean almost laughed at the deer in the headlights look the other man was giving him. He never thought the day would come when he could sneak up on the angel.
“I’m putting up the clothes. If they stay in the bags, they’ll be wrinkled,” he pointed out as if it should be obvious to Dean what he was doing and why.
“You’re touching my boxers.”
“I’ve seen you naked, Dean, why are you worried about me touching your clothing?”
Dean sputtered at that.
“When the hell have you seen me naked!?”
“There are many times, especially during that first year, where I watch out for you and Sam.”
“Again, I ask, when the hell have you seen me naked? Do you watch me when I’m fucking around?”
“At times I have… accidentally interrupted something, but I assure you, I left as soon as it became obvious what I had come in on.”
Dean just stared, not even knowing what to say to that.
“Other times I may have showed up while you were in the shower, again, I left to give you your privacy, but…”
“Dude, just stop. I don’t really want to know,” Dean told him, stopping the angel’s fumbling explanations.
Castiel just shrugged.
“We should head back to the main house. It’s almost time for our group meeting. God, I need a drink,” Dean muttered.
Hannah Strong glanced around the assembled pairs, a pleasant smile on her face. She seemed to be an okay woman, if a little too cheery for Dean's liking... and WAY too obsessed with how everyone was feeling.
"Well, I think it's about time we get started. You've all had a chance to get to know each other during brunch, but let me officially welcome you to Last Hope. I sincerely hope that you will all find what you are looking for here," she spoke to the group, her smile never faltering.
"Now, these group sessions will occur every morning at nine promptly and I do expect EVERYONE to be present. This is integral to repairing your relationships... with that said... let's start with our first question, shall we? What brings you to Last Hope and what do you feel is the leading problem or missing element to your relationship? " she asked, gaze searching each couple. "Let's start with Lauren and Allie and work our way around. Ladies? "
Dean fought the impulse to roll his eyes at the question. What was missing from his relationship with Cas? You mean, besides the actual relationship? How the hell was he supposed to know? What was he supposed to say? Oh, well, see, he's missing this important thing called a soul and me? yeah, I'm kinda missing this thing called gayism... you know, that ability to actually be with another guy... Yeah, that would go over well
Maybe if he just listened to the other answers, something would come to him... or maybe he could hope Cas already had this one in the bag. He glanced over at the angel to see a very confused and lost look on his friend's face. Nope, not relying on Cas for this.
The first couple to speak was a lesbian couple that Dean really wouldn't mind getting in the middle of... oh wait... lesbian, right. Wow, this week was going to suck serious balls.
Dean cringed at his choice of wording. Note to self... no thinking of sucking and balls while at a gay resort.
The taller brunette spoke first, Lauren he thought he remembered.
"Allie likes cock," she spit out rather bluntly.
"Wait... I thought you chicks were lesbians," Dean blurted out.
Lauren turned a glare on him.
"We are! Well, I am... Allies bi," she told him, practically spitting out the word.
"You make it sound like it's something horrible," the small blond woman, Allie obviously, spoke up, sending her own glare Lauren's way.
"It is! How am I supposed to feel about that, huh? That's obviously something I can never give you, yet it's obviously something you really like," the brunette spoke, anger seeping out of her voice to be replaced by pain.
Allie sighed, her eyes straying around the room. It was obvious she didn't want to get into this here and Dean couldn't help but feel bad for her.
"How many times do I have to tell you, I love you... so I might like guys too, that doesn't mean I want to replace you with one? "
"Very good, Ladies... I think we definitely have a starting place to work from... how about you, Jack? Would you and Alec like to go next? " Hannah asked, staving off an obvious argument before it could go any further.
Jack cleared his throat and glanced at his partner before speaking.
"I... uh.... Alec and I don't have problems. I mean... I suppose we do... we wouldn't be here otherwise, right? " he spoke quickly and nervously. It looked like Dean wasn't the only one who didn't really want to be here.
Jack shifted in his seat and let out a long sigh.
"We... we've been trying to adopt and, well, unfortunately too many people still have issues with homosexual couples and we haven't been able to get approval. It's been hard on our relationship... we've been fighting more than usually... we thought a few days away from it all would help us," he told the assembled group, on hand reaching over to grip the blond man's thigh. Alec glanced up at his partner and gave a sad smile.
Dean leaned back in his seat, realizing that he and Cas were next... and he had NOTHING. He might could make up a sad story, but, after hearing the real ones... he wasn't sure he could come anywhere near what they had said.
"Very good, Jack. We'll work on that, you two can take this time to reconnect and I'm sure an opportunity will come for you two," Hannah told the pair before turning her golden brown eyes on Dean. "Your turn."
Dean swallowed roughly and glanced towards Cas. The other man just shrugged his shoulders, obviously as lost as he was. Taking one more deep breath, he blurted out the first thing that came to his mind.
"Cas saved me from Hell."
Dean saw Cas's head whip towards him, his eyes wide with shock and a warning in their depths.
"Not literally, of course..." Dean said, chuckling nervously. "I.. uh... had just come back from the war... umm... a pretty rough deployment, I was... you know... a little lost. Cas was there, umm... a friend at first, ya know, but... uh... he sorta, you know, put me back together."
Dean wracked his brain for where to go from there.
"Dean isn't gay," Cas spoke up. Dean's eyes shot to his friend's. "I mean... he wasn't gay. He... has trouble accepting that he... feels the way he does about another man."
"I... uh, don't know how to tell my friends, my family... kinda, you know, puts a damper on things," Dean finished, hoping he'd said enough and promising to buy Cas all the hamburgers he could eat for his quick thinking.
Hannah was nodding knowingly.
"Well, I hope you will learn that loving a man is nothing to be ashamed of, it's the person inside that you fall for, not the gender on the outside. Well, Mike... Tom, how about you guys? "
Mike smirked as he looked around the room. When his eyes met Dean's he gave a salacious wink.
"Tommy here has a little problem. He's boring in bed."
The taller, dark haired man, Tom he had said, glared at Mike.
"I am NOT boring in bed, and she asked for what's missing in our relationship-“
"Exactly, and that is something that is missing in our relationship. I mean... I don't ask for anything outrageous. I have a healthy sexual appetite... that's not a bad thing." Dean tried not to laugh.
If there was ever a stereotypical gay man... Mike was it. He was flamboyant, outspoken, impeccably dressed and... well, he tended to flip his hand and give the whole.. limp wrist thing WAY too often.
Then there was Tom.... Dean had two words for him: whiny bitch.
"You want me to dress up like various superheroes.... I hate tights! Do you realize the damage those could do to my man- parts? "
"It's a bit of harmless role-playing!"
"What is so wrong with me, huh? Why do I have to be someone else? " Tom whined and Dean was REALLY going to get sick of his voice soon.
"Okay, gentlemen... I think we can work through this. We'll put this at the top of our list for our one on one session. Sarah, Anne? Would you like to go next? " Hannah spoke up, once again playing peacemaker.
The tall, very butch looking blond woman sitting next to Tom crossed her arms and glared at the group.
"Why are we here? Hell if I know," she muttered.
The smaller red head sighed sadly and pushed her hair behind her ear.
"We're here because Anne has a problem with my religion. Which was fine at first, but now that I've been asking her to go to church with me... she's pulling back," Red Head, Sarah, spoke up.
"You're 'religion' says that what we do is a sin and we're going to burn in Hell... yeah, I have a problem with it," Anne pointed out.
"A lot of Christians believe that, but, as I've told you time and time again, the Church that I'm a part of is different. We believe that God loves ALL of his children and wants to love others as well. That is one of his first commandments, he doesn't say, 'love only men,' he says 'love one another'. I don't believe a loving and forgiving God would make his children 'burn in Hell' simply for falling in love," Sarah spoke very vehemently.
Dean scoffed at that. He couldn't believe people still believed that God was "loving" and "forgiving".
Cas leaned over and pinched Dean's thigh hard causing him to jump in his seat.
"You have a problem with one of my statements? " Sarah asked, eyes narrowed at Dean.
"I have a problem with God," Dean muttered, not wanting to draw attention to himself again.
Sarah just shook her head sadly.
"Well, that is definitely something we will be sure to talk about in our later sessions," Hannah told the sad red head. Well, I do believe that is everyone. Thank you again for sharing today and I hope that this is a great start to a wonderful week and a half. Now, you have a little time before lunch, so, why don't you go back to your rooms or you are welcome to walk around our beautiful grounds, enjoy this time together, cherish each moment."
Dean couldn't fight the impulse to roll his eyes this time. He had had about enough of the lovey- dovey feeling talk for now, thanks.
"Let's go Cas," he said, dragging the angel up by his arm. All he wanted to do was get back to the room and crash. There was no way he was going to last through ten days of this crap... no way...
Dean flopped down on the king size bed and stared up at the wood beam ceiling. It wasn’t even dinnertime yet and he already wanted to shoot himself in the face. He’s a dude, really, why the hell would he want to spend the next ten days discussing his… feelings. Seriously? Gay or not, what guy does that?
“I saved you from hell?” Cas asked incredulously.
“Well, I didn’t see you coming up with anything better!”
“You lie for a living, and that was the best you could come up with? The truth?”
“It worked, didn’t it? She was nice and happy with our sappy, sad love story.”
Cas just sighed before fidgeting. Dean had noticed the angel doing that a lot during the day.
“I… I think I may need to use the restroom,” Cas answered, a light blush rising on his cheeks.
“So… go. Bathroom’s right there.”
Cas’s blush deepened, his eyes darting around the room.
“It was… not the most pleasant part of being human, I was trying to put it off as long as possible,” the other man admitted.
Dean snorted out a laugh.
“Dude, that’s not healthy. For the next few days, you’re human. Get used to it.”
Cas rolled his eyes before reluctantly walking into the bathroom. Dean resumed his staring, waiting for the other man to come back out and trying really hard not to wonder if Cas had had trouble figuring out the toilet the first time he’d had to use it. Some things he really didn’t need to know.
When Cas returned, Dean blurted out a question that had been lingering on his mind since their group session earlier.
“Why do you seem so tolerant of all this shit? Isn’t homosexuality a major no-no according to your Father?”
Cas tilted his head in that annoying way that meant he was reading way too much into what Dean had just said.
“You’re the one who taught me that God had given all His beings free will, that we were not bound by His will. Shouldn’t that apply to whom one chooses to love?”
Dean was speechless. That wasn’t exactly what he meant when he’d lectured Cas about free will and choice and… no… not what he meant at all.
“Are you saying that you believe that we should all have free will except when it comes to sexual relations? To relationships?” the angel asked.
“No, that’s not… I mean… oh, never mind.”
Dean rolled his eyes and made his way into the bathroom. He really needed to piss and any excuse to end this conversation was a good one in his mind.
Dinner that evening was a bit smaller than the brunch had been, with fewer tables and no arranged sitting. Dean figured that was Hannah’s way of forcing them to mingle and get to know each other a little better.
He and Cas made their way to an empty table and sat down, full plates in their hands. Dean opened his mouth to point out that they were having burgers, Cas’s favorite when a timid voice spoke up from behind him.
“Are these seats taken?”
Dean turned to find Alec standing behind his chair, an unsure look on his face. The last thing he wanted was to have to talk to anyone else but he figured it would be pretty impolite to turn him down.
“Nah, they’re free.”
“Thanks,” Alec answered, sitting down on Cas’s right, leaving the seat on Dean’s left open for Jack, who was still standing at the buffet table, loading up a plate. He placed several large, old looking books down beside his own sparsely filled plate.
“Doing some light reading?” Dean asked, trying to read the faded titles on the spines of the books.
“Yeah… I’m a teacher. I, uh… I teach high school English and Literature. I thought I might have some free time to read over some possible prose for next year,” he explained.
“Dante?” Cas asked, eyeing the top book.
“Yeah. I thought about having my seniors read all three of Dante’s works.”
“Is that something you have an interest in?” Cas questioned.
“He’s got an angel kink, Dante’s just his way of covering that up,” Jack spoke up from behind Cas as he made his way over to Dean’s side to the empty seat waiting for him there.
Alec’s face turned beat red.
“I do not. That sounds so… wrong,” Alec muttered.
“Al, you’re totally obsessed with Enoch, Dante, and that chick, can’t even remember her name… the one thing they all have in common? Angels and Demons…” Jack told his partner, reaching over to pull out a small thin book from under the larger volumes. “Like this one… The Journal of Anael. A fictitious story about an angel who fell in love with a human and thus chose to Fall, to rip out her Grace, in order to be with the man she loved.”
Cas raised an eyebrow and reached for the small book.
Alec shrugged, cheeks tinted pink in embarrassment as he handed over the small book.
“It’s not that unbelievable,” Cas commented, “the Book of Enoch as well as the Book of Genesis in the Bible tell of angels who lusted after humans, procreated with them, and then fell because of it.”
“So, the author’s just an idiot who stole her plot from other sources. It’s just an overused theme, nothing more.”
“It’s a heartbreaking tale, very beautifully written,” Alec told them quietly, staring down at the table and his uneaten food.
“It’s a load of crap. I mean, there’s fiction, and then there’s this crap that pretends to be real to convince a bunch of love sick teens that love is worth dying for… almost as bad as Romeo and Juliet,” Jack told them, “or Twilight.”
“You don’t believe any of the stories are true?” Cas questioned the other man while skimming through the small book.
“I think angels and demons, Heaven and Hell, God… they’re the biggest crock and bull of them all.”
Dean glanced at the quiet blond and could see the hurt radiating from his green orbs. This was apparently a sore spot for the two of them.
“It’s just a book. I’m sorry my interests bother you so much,” Alec muttered before grabbing the book from Cas’s hands and leaving the dining room.
Jack rolled his eyes at his retreating partner’s back.
“Aren’t you going to go after him?” Dean couldn’t help but ask.
“Nah. He’ll chill out in a hour or so,” Jack dismissed.
Cas’s eyes were still glued to the door Alec had just left through. Dean nudged him to gain his attention. Concerned blue eyes met his for a moment before Cas spoke up.
“Excuse me for a minute,” the angel muttered before standing up and following the blond man out of the dining room.
Dean cleared his throat, not sure what to say now that both he and Jack had been abandoned by their… friends.
“So, what do you do?” Jack asked, seemingly unconcerned by the last few minutes.
“Uh… I’m a mechanic,” Dean told him; coming up with the only job that he knew anything about outside of hunting.
“Sounds fun. My dad and I always used to work on his car together,” Jack told him, a nostalgic smile on his face.
“Yeah, same here. So, what do you do? You a teacher, too?”
“Hell no. I don’t have the patience for that. I’m a cop.”
Dean was surprised at Jack’s response. The last he checked, any form of armed forces tended to look down on same sex relationships. He couldn’t help but ask about that.
“And, uh… are they okay with… you know, you and Alec?”
Jack scoffed at that.
“Well, there aren’t regulations against it anymore, but are they okay with it? I’d say not… though the Sarge tries to be understanding. The outright hostility isn’t there like it used to be, at least in Oregon, where we’re from.”
“That’s good…” Dean let his reply trail off, really at a loss for what to say now. Small talk was never his forte, unless it was about the hot chick across the room, or the alcohol they were drinking… what do you say to a gay guy?
“I better go save your guy from Alec’s melancholy,” Jack told him after he’d finished up the last chicken leg on his plate.
“Oh, yeah. I’ll see ya around.”
Dean watched Jack leave the dining room and decided he really didn’t want to end up in another discussion with yet another set of campers. He quickly threw away his trash and made his getaway. He enough time to get back to his cabin and e-mail Bobby before he and Cas were expected to meet back with Hannah for their one-on-one session.
Dean is lounging on the large bed, staring innately at the ceiling when Cas returns.
“Have fun with your homo bonding?” Dean asks lightly.
“Actually, I found something interesting out,” Cas responds.
“What, that Alec is actually the top in that relationship? Because, I’m really not seeing that.”
Cas leveled an annoyed gaze at the hunter.
“No, I mean about the… being we are hunting.”
“In one of Alec’s books, I recognized a couple sigils that we saw on the trees on the edge of the woods.”
Dean sat up; intrigued by the way this conversation was going.
“Well, what did you find out?”
“It is Aztec. One in particular is a name. Coatlicue.”
“Never heard of it… demon?” Dean asked.
“No, goddess. A fertility goddess to be exact.”
Dean raised his eyebrows at that.
“So, the couple that wants a baby, but can’t have one, has a book with symbols and sigils and all kinds of shit on a fertility goddess and they just happen to show up where murders are occurring… seeing a pattern here, Cas?”
The angel’s face was troubled.
“Dean, I don’t think Alec and Jack have anything to do with this.”
“If the shoe fits…”
“But it doesn’t. Dean, Jack and Alec are both men. Regardless of whether or not they could actually pull off summoning this goddess, it wouldn’t matter. Two men still cannot conceive or give birth to a baby.”
Dean didn’t know what to say to that.
“Well, there still the only lead we have so… just keep your eyes open.”
“If you wish,” Cas told him, sighing resignedly.
“I do. Now, let’s head out. We don’t want to be late for Ms Strong’s session.”
Hannah’s dull blue eyes flicked between Dean and Cas, obviously taking in the good three feet they kept between them.
Dean shifted nervously in his seat. He was not ready for this, no way in Hell.
“Alright, Dean, Cas, why don’t we start from the beginning. I’d like to get to know you both a little better.
“Dean, you said you were part of the war… were you deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq?” Hannah asked kindly.
Dean swallowed, trying to decide which answer would get her to drop this topic.
“I… uh… you know what? I don’t think I want to talk about this,” he told her, praying she’d let it drop.
“Well, that’s understandable. Alright then, Cas, you and Dean were friends before you became involved, correct?”
Cas looked at Dean with wide eyes. Dean wasn’t sure how to help him out or how to communicate that he should just make something up but Cas seemed to read his mind.
“Yes, we were… or… I like to think we were. Though, I believe it was more… mere tolerance on Dean’s part in the beginning,” Cas told Hannah.
Dean narrowed his eyes at Cas. What was he doing? He was digging an even deeper hole for them!
“Oh, really, and why is that?”
“He… uh… he wasn’t exactly like the guys I’d normally hang out with,” Dean explained, “I thought he was kinda… dorky.”
Cas raised an eye at Dean but the hunter just shrugged.
“Yet you two eventually ended up together.”
“Well, like I said, he sorta… put me back together. There’s… uh… a lot more to him than first meets the eye.”
Hannah smiled. She seemed pleased with his answers so Dean figured he was saying the right things.
“Now… I can’t help but notice that there seems to be a distinct lack of… physical interaction between the two of you,” the blond woman spoke with a gentle smile, “would you say that’s true?”
“Uh… well… I’m not, you know, a big fan of public displays,” Dean said with a forced chuckle.
“Ah. So, when you are alone, you are completely comfortable with the physical side of your relationship?”
“Uh…” Dean swallowed hard. “Sure, yeah, no problem there.”
“Cas?” Hannah asked, turning her attention on the quiet man.
Dean glanced over at the nervous angel and nearly groaned at the wide-eyed, panicked look on Cas’s face.
“Yes… we’re… fine with it,” the other man answered.
“Okay… so, let me ask you: who instigates sexual relations between the two of you when you are alone?” Hannah asked.
Dean nearly chocked on his own tongue at her question. Once again Dean found himself blurting out the truth before he could think better of it.
“We’ve never had sex.”
Cas’s head whipped towards him, eyes wide with shock.
“Oh…” Hannah said, a knowing look in her eyes as she wrote something down in the notebook that lay across her crossed legs.
“I mean… we… uh… yeah, haven’t exactly gotten there yet,” Dean stuttered, wondering what the hell he had been thinking.
“I see. That’s completely understandable, Dean. I want you to be honest here. You admitted that you weren’t attracted to men before Cas, so it is only right to assume that you would have a few… hang-ups when it comes to sexual intimacy with a man.
“That will be one of our focuses while you are here then. We can help you overcome any preconceived notions you might have about sex with a person of the same gender,” she told him, a compassionate smile pasted on her face.
Dean glanced over at Cas and could practically read his mind. He was in deep shit. He had just made things a hundred times worse.
“Alright, Cas, then. What exactly has your experience been when it comes to sexual relations?”
Cas opened his mouth but there was no way Dean was going to let him be the experienced one in their fake relationship.
“Cas is a virgin,” he blurted out.
Castiel’s eyes shot over to his, wide and concerned.
“Oh, is that true, Cas?” Hannah asked politely.
“Um… yes. Yes, I am a… virgin,” the angel answered, shifting in his chair, another glare making its way to Dean.
“I… uh… figured we could take this slow since it’s new territory for both of us,” Dean explained in his most sincere voice.
Dean watched Cas nervously rub the back of his neck, a trait he didn’t see all that often from the usually calm and collected angel.
“Well, I think that is wonderful actually. This is something you can learn together. Cas, you have a wonderful gift you can give Dean, and Dean, Cas has no history or expectations so I believe that is the perfect start for your own journey into this uncharted territory,” Hannah explained.
“Uh… right,” Dean muttered, just barely controlling that annoying desire to roll his eyes again.
“Well, I think we’ve said enough for today. I do have a suggestion for the two of you. The first step in being comfortable enough with each other to progress to that next level is to be comfortable with each other, both mind and body.
“Do the two of you share a bed?” Hannah asked.
“Um, well, there’s only one bed in each room, so, yeah, we don’t really have a choice,” Dean answered.
“Okay, then, what do you wear when you go to bed?”
“My boxers and a t-shirt, why?”
“Uh…” Cas glanced over at Dean, confusion obvious in his eyes. “The same,” he finally muttered, lowering his gaze to the floor. The hunter knew for a fact that Cas had slept fully clothed, head to toe, in his suit and trench get up the last time he’d been human.
“Well, I propose you change that. I think the two of you should sleep completely nude tonight. No barrier between you. You should be comfortable with each others bodies,” Hannah told them.
Dean looked over at Cas and saw the poor angel’s eyes wide with panic. Did Cas really think they were going to follow her insane suggestions? He was gonna have to have a talk with the guy.
“Sure… maybe we’ll try that,” Dean told her, standing up ready to get the hell out of there.
“One more thing,” Hannah said before Dean could get Cas up out of his chair.
“Yeah?” he asked, stifling a groan.
“Here,” she told him, handing him a folded piece of paper, “I really think you should look at this link, it might help answer a few of your questions the two of you are bound to have.”
“Thanks,” Dean told her, all but dragging Cas out of the room before she could order them to do something else asinine, like making out in front of her so she could observe their technique. Seriously, what was up with this woman?
Dean was muttering expletives under his breath as he and Cas made their way back to their cabin. The angel had been very quiet since they left the meeting room and Dean was starting to worry about his friend.
“Cas, man, you know we don’t actually have to do anything she says, right?” he asked, watching the other man’s face carefully.
“Of course, it’s just… a little… this is all a little more awkward than I thought it would be. Lying is… still a new talent for me,” he admitted.
“You’re doing fine. She may think we are the most socially awkward pair that’s ever come through that gate, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. As long as we solve this case and keep anyone else from dying, then… well, we’ve won.”
“So, what do you think we should do? We have a few hours before we should head to bed…”
“Perhaps we could just… rest. Return to our cabin and… watch the television? It’s been a… stressful day.”
“That is a damn good idea. Beer and B-rated horror movies it is,” Dean told him with a smile, clasping the angel’s shoulder in a friendly grip.
Cas gave him a small smile.