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Exalted in the scene

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1.



And this is the cafeteria.

Dean shifted, trying to adjust to the unfamiliar feel of the Letterman jacket that in the last few days had replaced his normal leather jacket. The cafeteria looked just like any other normal school cafeteria he had been in, albeit a bit lager than the last. Most likely to accommodate the big student body of this particular school.

I know Alastair. He said and shifted again when it felt like the collar of the Letterman chafed at his neck. It was included in the tour.

Three days, that was how long he and Sam had spent in this giant of a school and he had already managed to get picked out for the football team — as a reserve for now but whatever — and to get absorbed by the token popular crowd. It was bullshit. He wasn’t some golden football player that needed cheerleaders to prance about his heels. He was just Dean Winchester and even though John had decided that his sons needed some goddamn education Dean failed to see why that had to mean he had to smile and pretend to care. Sam was happy, of course, little dork being the one begging John ‘til the old man’s ears bled. And they had timed it well, getting to the new town just as the new school year was beginning. Even so, Dean thought it was unnecessary. He was seventeen; he didn’t need any more education. What he fucking needed was to be out there and help John so he didn’t get killed by the next neighborhood-friendly ghost turned rotten.

John had been adamant though. If Sam was going, so was Dean. Bullshit.

Well, excuse me. Alastair drawled in that accent of his and Dean barely resisted rolling his eyes. Alastair was captain of the football team and actually seemed to enjoy Dean’s company, God only knew why. You and that kid brother of yours have only been to orientation and a couple of classes, just thought I’d show you the ropes.

Honestly, who talked like that? Dean longed for a conversation with a fellow hunter, just to get back to talking about stuff that actually mattered, if nothing else.

Thinking back to how happy Sammy had been when John told them his plans made him bite back his dry retort, though. Instead, he flashed Alastair his most winning grin and gestured for Alastair to continue talking.

Sorry, you were saying?

Alastair led him deeper into the cafeteria, Dean not failing to notice how some of the students were looking at his friend. Contempt, awe, disgust, adoration. This place had it all and yet everyone parted ways for them.

So here we have our table. Alastair stated and Dean stared at the gathering of typical jocks and cheerleaders. God, could this get anymore cliché?

We have a table? he asked dumbly and one of the girls — Lisa? — giggled prettily at him.

Well, duh. One of the jocks answered and rolled his eyes. Dean just turned to Alastair who nodded.

We sit here and—

Who’s ‘we’? Dean interrupted and Alastair looked slightly annoyed but the unnamed jock answered for him.

The popular ones, bro. He elaborated and stuffed his face full of mashed potatoes. Dean nodded slowly, considering this crowd and rethinking his most recent decisions.

Yes. Alastair harrumphed, getting Dean’s attention back. So we sit here, over there you have the classic nerds. He was pointing to a table with a couple of kids that to Dean’s eyes looked like everyone else. Sure, they were sporting Star Trek-shirts and Dean would swear one of them was wearing fake elf-ears but he couldn’t be sure. Could be some kind of occupational hazard making him see things too. There was a pretty red-head sitting close to a guy with a lollipop in his mouth obviously whispering furiously. They looked like they were having fun. Over there you have… Alastair smacked his lips in thought. I dunno, I think goth for this semester. They’ve been into punk and last semester I can swear they were emos but who the hell can keep count? the rest of the jock-table laughed but Dean just studied the people Alastair had pointed out. They were clad in mostly black, their faces obviously slathered in make-up to appear paler, standing out in stark contrast to their black hair and lips. They had a table at the far back and one of them was sitting on the table, propped back against the wall. Beside him was an attractive brunette, her hand placed lazily on his knee. Alastair tapped his shoulder to make him turn. Over there you have the dorks, the preppy little know-it-alls. If you’ve forgotten an assignment you can always threaten one of them into doing it. He snorted at his own wittiness but Dean barely looked at the people he’d pointed at now.

His eyes had caught on a lonely figure, sitting at a big, otherwise empty table. The boy looked tiny and appeared to be reading the book that lay open beside his lunch tray. His small shoulders were hunched and his raven black hair looked like he had just rolled out of bed.

Who’s that? Dean asked, effectively ending the rant Alastair and jock no. 1 had been having about the dorks.

Who?

Dean pointed at the lonesome boy. That.

Seriously, who? Alastair squinted. You mean the glee club? I was just getting to them.

No. Dean gritted his teeth and pulled Alastair forwards a couple of steps. That guy, sitting alone.

Oh, you mean Novak. Alastair exclaimed, huffing a laugh. Don’t bother with him.

Dean frowned. Why?

Because he’s a looser, sweetheart. Lisa — yes, he recognized her by her voice now — said with a new giggle.

Dean didn’t know why but his stomach felt sour at her words. High school cliques man, he thought tiredly. He was getting too old for this shit.

Yeah, seriously, he’s just a nobody. Alastair said and turned back to his table. A weirdo, everyone just avoids him and look at him, he’s perfected the art of staying out of sight. I seriously didn’t see him!

The whole table laughed at Alastair’s statement but Dean just wished he’d stop saying seriously, it sounded ridiculous.

He must have some friends? he asked, unable to let it go.

Jock no. 1 shrugged and moved over on the bench so Dean could join him. Not really, even his own brothers avoid him.

Brothers? Dean asked and wondered how in the hell that could be true. Not even a witch’s spell could make him treat Sammy badly.

Yeah. Alastair said and turned Dean’s attention back to the nerds. The guy with the sweet-tooth is Gabriel, his older brother and that guy sitting on the table looking like he thinks he’s king of everything is Lucifer, their oldest brother. He got held back a year but fuck if he cares, apparently.

Loser. Another jock stated and the table hummed in collective agreement.

Now that Dean looked closer he could see both Gabriel and Lucifer periodically eyeing their little brother and he wondered…

Biblical names, huh? he said instead, not sure what to add to their little tirade.

Yeah. Alastair said again. The runt is Castiel, Castiel Novak.

Dean thrummed his fingers against the table in thought. All angels, why, though? he muttered and realized his mistake too late.

The table laughed at him, collectively, like some kind of sheep flock.

Why would it mean anything? Lisa queried, still half laughing and Alastair nodded as jock no. 1 slapped Dean on the shoulder.

And who the hell cares? he said and Dean very barely resisted the urge to throw his hand off.

Alastair shrugged. Their little daddy’s a local minister; guess he thought it would bless his kids or something.

Man, did that fall short. Lisa snorted and Dean frowned at her. She jerked her head towards Castiel and Dean saw that the boy was making his way to the trash cans, obviously finished with his lunch. Especially in little baby boy’s case.

How so? he asked, still tracking Castiel with his eyes.

Because he’s a fucking faggot. Alastair announced and Dean’s gaze jerked back to Alastair’s spiteful face.

What?

Yeah so you better watch yourself Winchester. Alastair winked and the table laughed as if that was the joke of the year.

When Dean looked up again he just barely caught the tail of Castiel’s shirt as the boy pushed through the double doors, leaving the cafeteria.


2.


So, how was school today? Dean asked as he filled Sam’s plate with spaghetti.

We got a project in math. Sam answered and accepted the plate before digging in with gusto.

Could you at least try and not sound so happy about it? Dean sighed and sat down with his own food.

Nope. Sammy answered with a toothy grin and Dean couldn’t help but to grin back. They ate in comfortable silence for a while and Dean thought that if Sam was happy it could maybe be worth dealing with the brainless jocks for a couple of years. Maybe, if he finished at least this year without complaint, John would let him come on hunts and just be done with school already.

Have you heard from dad? Sam asked suddenly, as if he had heard Dean thinking about John.

Yeah, he’ll be another couple of days but he’s on his way. He said, grabbing another portion both for himself and for Sam. The kid was growing.

Sam huffed but didn’t appear to be as angry about John leaving them by themselves as he had been at the beginning. Now, almost two weeks later, Sam had finally started to focus on the good stuff. John wanted his boys to have an education and the deal was that they would stay in this town until both Sammy and Dean had graduated at least high school. For Dean that was barely two years and for Sam six years but Dean was honestly a little concerned that John couldn’t wait that long. They still had the yellow-eyed demon to catch and they were still hunters at the core.

And while Dean hoped to be out of school soon, maybe even prematurely, he still didn’t know what to do about Sam. Dean could take care of him fine like it was now and Sam was after all already thirteen so it wasn’t like he was helpless but the fake credit cards would only work for so long and even though John was handling all of their finances it would be harder if they stayed stationary. Dean knew this and he thought Sammy did too. Dean thought that he maybe would have to get a job to keep up appearances and in that case he should probably finish school too. And that would take him even further from hunting. It was much to think about and Dean often found himself in a downwards spiral whenever he tried to address these concerns.

I wish he would just stop. Sammy muttered, voicing some of Dean’s own thoughts.

I know Sam but you know how this life is.

Yeah, yeah. Sam shook his head, obviously not wanting to have this argument again. Tell me about your day, Dean. He said instead and Dean grinned at him.

Yes dear. He teased and Sam made a face at him as he got up to do the dishes.

Everything fun with the jocks? Sam asked and Dean tried not to let his shoulders tense as he stood waiting for the water to get warm enough.

It’s fine. He muttered.

It’s strange to see you in that Letterman. Sam joined him by the counter. Looks good on you though.

Dean sighed. They’re a strange crowd. He admitted and Sammy nodded.

Yeah but who isn’t at this school?

Touché.

Well, I gotta go. Sam stated suddenly and Dean frowned in confusion.

Where? It’s late already.

Math project, remember? It was partner-assigned.

He was already out in the hall in the small house John’s credit cards rented for them. Dean followed him, his hands dripping wet even as he was drying them on a little towel.

Well, he started as Sam was pulling on his shoes. Don’t stay out too late and take your phone with you.

Aww. Sam cooed mockingly. Are you giving me a curfew?

Shut up. Dean spat, not really angry. You’re my responsibility and if you go get yourself killed I’ll kick your ass, bitch.

Jerk. Sammy said affectionately and slipped out the door.


3.


The next time Dean actually saw Castiel Novak again — not just glimpsed him on the edges of his consciousness — was almost four weeks into the semester. Dean was well-versed in the how this school worked by now and he honestly hated the rules, the time-frames, the expectations. The only joy he had was hearing about Sammy’s day when they sat down to have dinner. The kid was so happy it definitely made up for Dean’s misery.

This day he was a little early coming to school and only because John had had to leave them again, chasing after another lead on yellow-eyes and Dean had helped him pack the pick-up before Sam had woken up. Dean hated John leaving without saying goodbye to Sam but he figured it was for the best. Otherwise there probably would have been a fight. As it was now, Sammy had only pouted a little but hadn’t argued when Dean had ushered him into the Impala almost thirty minutes too early.

After getting what he needed for homeroom he thought to head to the cafeteria for a pit stop but ended up taking a wrong turn and found himself in a corridor much like the one where his locker was placed, this one also lined with row after row of lockers. Some students had begun trickling in but it didn’t hinder him from noticing Castiel’s slim form standing by what appeared to be his locker.

Dean didn’t know what it was but the sight of Castiel made him stop and just look at the boy. His hair was still in that tousled state and this close Dean noticed the icy blue of his eyes. He was rustling around in his locker but while his features were carefully schooled in a neutral expression Dean could still see many emotions in his eyes. And whenever someone passed by his exposed back his blue eyes hardened ever so slightly and he pressed his lips together minutely. Why the hell Dean was looking at the boy’s lips he couldn’t say.

He leaned against the lockers to his right and tried to look as if he wasn’t staring. Thankfully, Castiel didn’t seem to notice him. There was something distant about the boy and yet…

Just as Dean thought he should drop it, Castiel slammed his locker shut and started walking in the direction Dean was standing. He wasn’t looking, however, fumbling with the books he’d picked out, so he never saw Dean turning his head and following him with his gaze as he passed by.

There was something about the way he moved, Dean decided. Yeah. It was graceful almost, more like a girl than a guy. That was it; end of story. Good to have it figured out.

Dean turned to leave, prepared to drop it, when he heard a loud smack and a roar of laughter. Turning back he saw that none other than Alastair and Michael — a.k.a. jock no. 1 — had intercepted Castiel and that one of them probably had knocked the books out of Castiel’s hands.

Watch where you’re going, Novak. Alastair taunted and Dean frowned but Castiel just sighed loudly and bent down to pick up the books.

Leave me alone, Heyerdahl. He muttered and Dean swallowed hard. God, the voice on that kid. He shook his head. What the hell was wrong with him?

Leave me alone. Alastair parroted; his voice deeper in obvious mockery of Castiel’s. The hell man? Your rocks must be the size of tennis balls.

Michael roared in laughter again and kicked some of the books out of Castiel’s reach.

Wouldn’t you like to know? Castiel spat and deftly dodged the kick Michael aimed at him, even though he was still crouched down on the floor.

Dean’s eyebrows shot to the roof. The kid was brass and he obviously knew to take care of himself. And a good thing too, seeing as no one of the passing students interfered. Dean started walking towards the trio.

What the fuck did you say, Novak? Alastair hissed and bent down to make a grab at Castiel but Dean cut in-between, putting a hand on Alastair’s shoulder.

Hey man. He said, trying to sound casual. I lost my damn way, going to homeroom?

Alastair huffed in annoyance but straightened anyway. Yeah, c’mon. He muttered and the three of them turned to leave.

Dean looked over his shoulder just as they were turning a corner and saw that Castiel was still sitting on the floor, looking after them. That was the first time their eyes met.


4.


Dean thumped his head down on the dining table. Sam moved his books out of the way but refrained from engaging when his big brother groaned loudly.

Dude. Dean eventually grunted out and he could practically feel Sam roll his eyes at him.

What?

Remind me again how long we’re staying here.

In this particular house or…?

Please don’t fuck with me.

He saw Sam smirking at him when he finally looked up. Well, his little brother said and put down his pen. Since you asked so nicely. What’s bothering you, dear brother?

He made a face at Sammy but then sighed and rubbed his face. I might be in over my head.

It had been about a week and a half since the incident in the corridor where he had practically saved the Novak boy and he had spent those two weeks trying to think of a way he might hear Castiel talk again. Maybe to him. But the only things he had found was that Castiel Novak had near perfected the way to disappear into thin air and that when he didn’t manage fast enough he was almost always ambushed by people wanting to poke fun at him for one reason or another. Mainly because he was gay, Dean supposed, but there were other reasons too. Many girls seemed to like to tease him about his face and especially his cock-sucking lips. Dean didn’t know why; he thought Castiel’s lips were awesome.

A thought that had disturbed him enough to try and avoid the boy and just when he had been doing that he had run right into him, had knocked Castiel to the floor and Dean had just stood there over him, his heart beating furiously in his chest. Castiel was almost half a head shorter than Dean and his body was so slim yet when he crashed into Dean’s firmer form he had felt disturbingly solid and Dean had had a hard time recovering from the fact that that was his and Castiel’s first time touching. He had been conflicted between wanting to help the boy to his feet and to run for his life, hiding from the fact that his blood ran warm at the thought of touching again. Castiel had just sat on his rump, rubbing his elbow and scowling at Dean when, of fucking course, Alastair had emerged and asked if Castiel was causing trouble. It was insane. Dean was bigger, stronger and the one standing up. He had just babbled out something stupid in the situation’s defense and when he had looked down again Castiel had been gone.

In over your head over what? Sam asked and pulled Dean back to the present.

Did you ever stop to think about what us staying in one place might mean?

I dunno, security? Sam deadpanned and Dean groaned in frustration. Sam squinted at him and Dean looked away. But you mean something else. He stated unnecessarily and this time Dean rolled his eyes.

What if something supernatural happened here? We could never take care of it or we would expose ourselves but we can’t not do anything, it’s not in our nature. Dean rather thought he had phrased that quite eloquently but of course Sammy would pick up on the real problem.

You mean we can’t get away with doing what we like.

Dean put his head back down on the table to hide from his brother’s bitch-face. His thirteen-year-old brother’s all-knowing bitch-face.

Is that what you got out of what I said?

That is what you said, Dean.

Dean muttered something unintelligent and refused to acknowledge his brother. This had been a bad idea. Why the hell did he think discussing something that was really nothing would be a good idea? And with his baby brother? Dean should really get some goddamn friends.

Is this about a girl? Sam asked after a long while and Dean jerked upright, only a little embarrassed to notice he had been snoozing with his head on the table, over an hour having passed.

What?

Sammy sighed. I heard what you said Dean and knowing you it’s probably that you want to hit someone, one way or the other and believe it or not, I’d much prefer if this was about some girl you want to sleep with.

Dean scrunched up his face. Ugh, Sam, I don’t want to talk with you about this.

So I was right? Sam sighed again when Dean just looked away. I know you’re a hit-it-and-quit-it kind of guy and that’s fine for the lifestyle we’ve been having but I think you’re worried now that we’re actually living here. He said matter-of-factly and Dean’s jaw dropped so fast it hurt.

Where the hell did you learnt to talk like that? he spat out, suddenly very glad that dad wasn’t home.

From you, duh. Sammy sassed and Dean wanted to go bury himself in the yard. So tell me I’m wrong. He challenged.

Dean would never fucking admit it but he actually blushed. Thankfully Sam had the grace to get up and get a glass of water and pretend like he didn’t see his brother go beet red.

You’re not totally right though. He mumbled when Sam sat down again. I don’t think I would quit this if I ever got to hit it.

Sammy wolf-whistled and Dean really wished he wouldn’t have. Is Dean Winchester in love? he asked, sounding mock-shocked.

What? Fuck you bitch.

Jerk. Sam answered automatically and Dean looked up to see him smirking, clearly just playing with him. So what’s the problem Dean? Just go talk to her.

I’ve been trying. Dean huffed, frustrated. This person is seriously avoiding me. Avoiding everyone.

Sam shrugged. So try harder.

Grade A advice little bro.

You’re a Winchester Dean. Sammy scolded, obviously trying to imitate their dad and Dean’s eyebrows shot to the roof in surprise. Winchesters don’t quite.

Dean laughed at that, actually feeling better. Thanks little man. He said and ruffled Sammy’s hair as he stood to go to the fridge. If nothing else, the gesture at least put some kind of normalcy to their relationship. Goddamn had the kid really grown up so fast? Even so, Sammy’s advice was solid. Fuck if he knew what he wanted with Castiel Novak but for now he just focused on the simple things: he wanted to talk to the kid. Maybe about him being bullied and if Dean could help because Dean couldn’t not help when someone needed it. So maybe they’d talk about that and maybe they’d talk about why Castiel’s hair always looked like he had just had mind-blowing sex.

Either way, Sammy was right: Winchesters don’t quit.


5.


It took Dean all but two days until he finally figured out where Castiel disappeared to every day. There was this little secluded patch of forest just slightly behind the bleachers and when the kid slid into the thick undergrowth and put the trees between himself and the school grounds he was invisible. And it was darn hard to track him there too since the part between the bleachers and the forest was just a plain patch of grass, making anyone approaching clearly visible. But Dean managed. Oh, Dean had not been helping his dad track vamps and Wendigos and shit just to be caught by an ordinary human. Well, not that ordinary but whatever, the point was still made when he sauntered round the tree and found Castiel sitting with his back again the trunk, knees propped up to support the book he was reading.

If Castiel was surprised or scared to see him he did a damn good job of hiding it. He just scowled in irritation as Dean stopped to look at him, grinning from ear to ear.

What do you want, Winchester? he asked after a while, his voice still as deep but Dean didn’t fail to notice the slight defeat in it, as if Dean finding his hiding-spot was the worst thing that could have happened. That hurt but Dean chose to overlook it in favor of what the boy had actually said.

You know my name?

Castiel scoffed and looked back down at his book but Dean could see his shoulders tense, preparing for fight or flight. Everyone knows your name. He stated and Dean raised his eyebrows at that.

How so?

New kid in school? Saunters in like he fucking owns the place and snags a place on the football team without even trying. Yeah, everyone knows your name. You and your brother both.

Dean tried very hard to hide the fact that Castiel swearing in that gravelly voice was goddamn arousing. Instead he tried to focus on the actual meaning of the boy’s words.

You know about Sammy? he said and sat down beside Castiel, cross-legged on the grass.

Castiel looked at him like he was sprouting two heads. What are you doing? he asked cautiously and Dean frowned.

What do you mean? Making conversation?

Castiel narrowed his eyes at him. Leave me alone Winchester.

Why?

Why? Castiel parroted, sounding confused.

I mean… Dean rubbed the back of his neck. If you’d rather not talk to me it’s fine but it took me so long to find you and I… he looked up to see Castiel staring confusedly at him, his head cocked to the side and a fucking adorable frown on his face. Dude. Dean said and mimicked the gesture, completely forgetting to feel embarrassed for thinking a guy was adorable. What’s this?

What?

This. Dean wobbled his head from side to side. Is this your thinking face? I’ve seen you make it before.

Castiel actually blushed and straightened a little, closing his book but keeping his eyes glued to it. What do you want Winchester?

Dean.

What?

Dean smiled when Castiel looked up to meet his eyes. God, his eyes were like the fucking sky. I’ve noticed you call people you don’t like by their last names. I’d like for you to call me Dean.

Okay. Castiel said, very slowly like he certainly wasn’t buying it. Would that be all, Dean?

Dean was ridiculously glad he was sitting down. Man, hearing his name in that rumbling voice should not feel like this. Later, Dean would chalk his boldness up to the fact that he was currently riding a seriously dangerous wave of arousal.

Actually. He said and looked down, pulling at some of the grass by his feet. The football team practices at Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Okay.

Dean still hadn’t looked up. Sometimes friends come and watch us play around.

Yeah. Castiel clearly wasn’t following.

And sometimes girls come too. Dean added and busied himself with tearing the grass leafs apart.

I guess.

Dean looked up and saw to his pride that Castiel was giving him his undivided attention. His chest swelled. Too deep, too fucking deep in over my head.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t mind it if I looked up there and saw you. He pushed out and the look on Castiel’s face was definitely worth the embarrassment he felt at sounding so utterly girly and stupid.

Castiel’s eyes rounded out in surprise and he quickly looked away from Dean’s searching eyes. So fucking adorable Dean wasn’t even ashamed to use that word anymore.

Why? Castiel nearly whispered and Dean had to strain to hear it.

What do you mean why? Because I want you to watch me play of course. Yeah, it only sounded a little douchey when he said it like that. Like he was some all-star player that was worth an audience. But fuck if he didn’t get all warm inside just thinking about Castiel’s eyes tracing him out on the field.

I don’t like being played with Winchester. Castiel growled suddenly and Dean was confused. How had he lost first name-privileges so fast?

I’m not playing around Cas. He said and actually dared to lean a little closer, completely unaware that he had used a nickname for Castiel. Castiel certainly reacted to it though and even if Dean didn’t know what it was that set that haunted look in the boy’s eyes he did at least pick up on the look itself. What’s the matter? he asked gently and Castiel looked away again. I’m not gonna hurt you if that’s what you think. This isn’t Carrie and there ain’t no pig farms around.

The comment actually made Castiel quirk his lips in amusement, if only for the slightest moment but Dean caught it and his heart fluttered in his chest.

I know who your friends are Dean. Castiel mumbled, still refusing to look at Dean. You shouldn’t be talking to me.

Dean huffed a frustrated sigh. Fine, so we won’t talk but would you just come and watch? I would really like to see you on the bleachers. Please. His voice dropped at the last word and Dean could see Castiel contemplating the offer, obviously weighing the dangers and Dean got that. He was asking much. For someone who had perfected invisibility that level of exposure would obviously be terrifying but Dean couldn’t back down now. He didn’t know why but he wanted this.

So when Castiel finally gave a curt nod Dean almost jumped with joy.

Yeah? he asked and grinned like an idiot when Castiel met his eyes and nodded again.

Yeah, I’ll come to watch you practice.

It’s a deal. Dean said and got to his feet, well aware that he probably had missed his biology class for the day and needing to get back to school. I’ll see you there Cas and don’t worry, he winked when the boy made a confused face at him. I won’t tell anyone about your little hide-away.

He made his exit before Castiel could object to the nickname or change his mind- Practically skipped all the way to class where he received detention for the day for being tardy but hell if he cared. Now Cas would come to practice and maybe they would talk afterwards. After a while, perhaps, when Cas could see that Alastair and his posse was nothing to worry about. So he and Cas could talk and he could get to know Cas and they could talk about the bullying and Dean could run his fingers through that thick hair and Cas could press his plump lips against Dean’s and Dean could grind—woah!

Dean cleared his throat and tried to shift in his chair to relieve tension from his totally-inappropriate-for-math-class boner. Goddamnit Winchester!

Cas would come to practice and then maybe they would talk. Talk.


6.


It was one week to the day before Dean finally glimpsed Cas’ slight form far up on the bleachers. He was so excited he only caught himself in the last moment before waving at the boy. Cas was sitting hunched over and reading yet another book. Several rows in front of him sat a large group of freshmen girls, squealing every time someone from the team looked at them. They were there almost every practice nowadays and they were grating on Dean’s nerves. The rest of the team seemed to enjoy the attention though and Dean thought they were all mindless idiots. Until Cas lifted his head and looked at Dean.

Fuck, Dean thought and understood what was so appealing about someone watching him play. The girls could go to hell for all he cared but now he got it.

Cas made no motion that he recognized anyone from the team but Dean knew and it made his heart skip unnaturally. Unable to stop himself he actually waved shyly and he saw that Cas saw, saw it in the way his shoulders squared and the way he ducked his head. He didn’t wave back but Dean felt glad anyway. Felt noticed.

Unfortunately the moment was ruined by the squealing mass in front of Cas. Of course they would believe he’d waved at them. And maybe that was for the best, he thought as Alastair and Michael commented amusedly on it. Maybe that was why Cas had chosen to sit where he did.

Dean didn’t fucking care. Let the girls think he was making googly eyes at one of them. Let the team think he was picking out his next lay. Let them think whatever. He knew and Cas knew and it was the best practice Dean had ever performed.


*****


Of course Cas had been nowhere to be seen after the practice and of course he hadn’t come to the next. Whatever. Dean wasn’t bothered. He let Cas have his time. Dean was totally cool with that.

It was only four days later, when Sammy had yelled at him for being impossibly cranky at home, that he yet again made his way to Cas’ forest.

Predictably, since it was lunch hour, Cas was situated against his favorite tree, reading.

Hiya. Dean said and plopped down beside him, much closer this time.

Cas almost jumped out of his skin this time. Dean! he exclaimed and clutched at his heart.

Dean smirked at the cute way Castiel’s chest heaved when he breathed hard. Didn’t expect company?

Of course not. Cas sneered but actually closed his book. What do you want now?

Dean looked down. Why was Cas making this so difficult? Dean was already having a hard enough time figuring out what he wanted and it wasn’t made easier by Cas continuously asking him.

He shrugged. I missed you at practice.

Cas huffed. I went like you wanted.

It took you a week to do so. Dean looked up and noticed Castiel’s cautious expression and realization dawned. You wanted to wait and see if I was up to something. He said and it sounded much more accusing than he had intended.

Well, can you blame me? Castiel spat. You didn’t seem to be, though, and I went and you waved. The girls squealed happily and everyone was content so it’s done with.

Cas. Dean scooted even closer but stopped when the boy tensed. I don’t care about everyone else, I just wanted you to watch me.

Cas was biting his lower lip and it did things to Dean. Delicious, inappropriate, things. Well, I did and you were great, you should be on the team for real Dean.

I was only great because you were there Cas. Dean mumbled shyly and Castiel’s eyes rounded for a moment before he looked away, looking indecisive.

Yeah, well you shouldn’t go around saying that.

I won’t, Cas. I— he was interrupted by his phone ringing and he didn’t know if he was supposed to be relieved or irritated. He frankly hadn’t known how he should end the sentence he had begun but at the same time he actually felt like he was getting somewhere with Cas.

Pulling out his phone he saw that the caller ID read dad and he frowned at it.

I gotta take this. He said apologetically and straightened.

Sure. He heard Cas answer just as he picked up the call. Cas sounded like he didn’t understand why Dean felt the need to excuse himself. It made Dean feel odd.

What’s wrong? he said to John and proceeded to listen to his dad talking about how his plans to get home this week probably would be thwarted by a possible haunting two states over. Have you called Bobby? he asked, turning his back to Cas and lowering the sound on his phone even further when John continued to rant about Bobby’s ineffectiveness. Yeah, yeah. Dean eventually sighed. Maybe I could help dad. He offered but got a long lecture about Sammy and responsibilities. Then I don’t see why you called. He barked after a while and felt Cas jump beside him. He smiled apologetically at the boy and was actually rewarded with that queer quirking of his lips. Dean’s eyes glued themselves to the sight and he didn’t hear half of John’s irritated retort. Don’t worry dad. He said when he realized what he was doing and finally managed to tear his eyes away. Cas was looking funnily at him. I got it covered here. He said and listened for a while about John telling him to be grateful that he was sharing what was happening because that was what Sammy and Dean had wanted. Dean wanted to tell him to call Sam instead because God knew it was the kid that worried the most but he didn’t. Instead he just hummed along and tried not to imagine what Castiel’s smile would feel like against his skin. Be safe. He said eventually and they ended the call, Dean still a little puzzled as to what John had actually wanted save from informing his kids about his whereabouts.

So, Cas said and cocked his head to the side in that way of his. Parents, huh?

Tell me about it. Dean huffed and tried not to be amazed at the fact that Cas hadn’t used the phone call to bail on him. He looked at the black screen of his phone for a while, contemplating the call and finally sighing. Well, I better go.

Yeah. Cas agreed so effortlessly that it hurt Dean’s self-esteem.

He rose but paused and looked down, surprised to find Cas watching him as if he already knew Dean wouldn’t leave before saying something else. Or as if he wanted Dean to say something. Dean swallowed.

So, will I see you at practice?

Castiel shrugged. We’ll just have to see, won’t we?

I’m not luring you into a trap, Cas.

Cas squinted thoughtfully at him. How would I know?

You wouldn’t. Dean conceded with a grin.


7.


It was three weeks later. Three weeks of boring school. Of Alastair and the other asshats thinking they were funny. Three weeks and two parties Dean just had to attend or so God help him. The last two of those weeks John had been home and they had actually had a good time. Or would have, if only Dean wasn’t so goddamn antsy all the time. Three fucking weeks and Cas hadn’t shown up to any practice and when Dean had gone to the forest he had been nowhere near in sight. He was obviously avoiding Dean and it was driving Dean crazy.

They had been talking and it had been nice and Cas had smiled at him and Dean was fucking tired pretending he didn’t know what was going on. He was a practical man and, most of all, he was a man that relied on natural instincts. And now his instincts told him to find Cas right the fuck now because he could pretend he wanted to just be friends all he wanted but the wet dreams spoke for themselves. He couldn’t get Cas’ lips out of his mind. They had smiled at him. They had!

Because Dean was so practical it wasn’t hard for him to find Cas’ whole schedule and it certainly wasn’t hard for him to avoid his friends and teachers in favor of stalking Cas today. Just as the black-haired boy was leaving his chemistry class Dean emerged from the shadows and yanked him back by the arm. Cas yelped in surprise but no one moved to help him. And one glare from Dean sent the straggles scattering. It actually hurt Dean’s heart to see how easily everyone left even though they most probably expected Cas to get the living daylights beaten out of him by one of the jocks. Because that was what Dean was now. A fucking jock. John had been surprised to say the least but not disappointed so Dean had just rolled with it and at times like this it worked in his favor.

What the hell? Cas demanded when Dean proceeded with hauling him down the corridor.

Shut up Novak. He snarled and Cas complied but struggled all the way to the janitor’s closet Dean had picked out. Dean kept his angry glare intact all the way until he had the door closed securely behind him. When he turned his eyes on Cas he saw that the boy was glaring hard enough for the both of them.

Did I hurt you? he asked and Cas was clearly thrown back by his gentle tone.

He rubbed his arm grudgingly. No. He said and adjusted his backpack on his shoulder. What do you want now?

Dean stepped forward until he was very noticeably in Cas’ personal space. It made the smaller boy uncomfortable, he could clearly tell.

Why are you avoiding me? he demanded but held his voice calm.

Cas stared confusedly at him. You… You get that you’re a jock, right?

What?

I mean, you’re one of the popular kids and I’m… I’m just me. You get the difference, right?

Dean’s head hurt a little. What the fuck does that mean?

Dean. Cas cocked his head to the side in that damn adorable way. Is this the first school with cliques that you’ve attended or something?

I don’t care about that shit. He had somehow managed to slip even closer and Cas’ scent was driving him crazy. He wasn’t even aware that smells could be a kink until now. Yeah, there was no longer any doubt in his mind what this was about.

Well, you should. Cas answered firmly and made to push Dean away but only managing to place his hand against Dean’s chest and press a little. Now let me go, I have no interest to be singled out even more by the in-crowd just because you feel like playing some stupid little game and—

Dean couldn’t resist anymore. Cas’ hand on his chest was warm and his voice was like waves washing over Dean’s senses. Before he could stop himself he had surged forwards, pressing Cas back up against the wall and crashing their lips together.

Cas stood stock still, one hand on the strap of his backpack and the other trapped in-between them. His lips were warm and soft and when Dean licked him he opened his mouth in a quiet gasp, his hand curling into a fist, grabbing Dean’s shirt. Dean groaned against his mouth and pressed even closer when he felt Cas respond. Dean’s hands were at first on either side of Cas’ face but as the kiss deepened he soothed them down Cas’ sides. When he gripped Cas’ hips the smaller boy made a strangled noise and Dean moaned, feeling his dick quivering in the confines of his pants.

But letting his hands travel back and squeeze Cas’ firm butt was the wrong move. Cas gasped again and pushed hard with the hand he had on Dean’s chest. Hard enough for Dean to know when enough was enough.

What the hell are you doing? Cas asked angrily and Dean actually felt proud to hear the slightly breathless tone of the boy.

I think it’s pretty obvious Cas. He said huskily and was thrilled when Cas shuddered at the sound of Dean’s voice.

That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Cas stated, sounding much too calm for Dean’s liking. You don’t get anything, do you?

Dean couldn’t really think with Cas this close and in this state. He leaned in to kiss the boy again but was forcefully pushed back. What Cas? What am I not getting?

Your friends Dean. Cas gritted out. How the hell do you think they would react if they caught you kissing the school joke? A guy? They would fucking beat you to death.

Dean snorted and inadvertently pulled some of Castiel’s smell deep down his lungs. It made him dizzy. I’d like to see them try.

Then they’d go after your brother. Cas deadpanned and that made Dean frown.

To get to me?

Are you really this stupid?

Dean shrugged and was thrilled when he managed to press closer to Cas without being pushed back. We’ve taken worse, believe me.

They were kissing again and Dean couldn’t think about anything except the way Cas’ body felt against his. So small and so fragile and yet so alive. It felt like it was burning under his hands and Dean managed to let his hands wander pretty far before Cas stopped him again. Dean groaned disappointedly.

Fine. Cas spat. You don’t concern yourself with your well-being but I don’t like being played with Dean.

I’m not playing Cas. Dean moaned desperately and dove in to sniff along Cas’ neck. Cas arched his back but soon pushed Dean back again.

You’re new here, I get it that you have to prove yourself to your gang but I don’t want to be a part of it.

Cas. Dean all but whined because Dean Winchester didn’t fucking whine. Why does it have to be one or the other? I’m not pretending just to pull some kind of prank. He grabbed the hand Cas had pressed against his chest and pushed it forcefully against his straining erection. I couldn’t fucking fake this to save my life, okay? he said and tried his hardest not to rub himself against Cas’ slim fingers.

Cas’ eyes rounded out in surprise but instead of relenting his stupid arguments he pulled his hand back and slapped Dean clean across one cheek. The blow was pretty tame compared to a lot of other shit Dean had taken and his head turned more out of shock than force.

Just… Just don’t. Castiel said, his voice levelled but Dean saw his wonderfully kiss-swollen lips tremble.

Dean did nothing to stop him from leaving.