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if these lights are low enough (there's only so much i can say)

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All this prohibition crap can just go to hell, is what he thinks.

Dean coughs lightly in the dim of the underground room, a haze of blue smoke snaking around him — not tobacco smoke, or smoke from a fire, but something much more mystical, he figures, something he can’t quite put his finger on, but he knows that he likes it — and blinks hard. He’s not tired, he’s not drunk, he hasn’t a headache, and yet he finds his reality warped and much slower, languid, comforting in a way that makes him sleepy, but not tired.

Not tired, never tired.

New York never sleeps.

He loosens his tie and smiles to himself, leaning his head back and letting his eyes slide shut. He loves these nights, loves these lazy Saturday nights spent in the company of such familiar strangers, such comforting, blank faces, with their boas and short hair cuts and fine-tailored suits, creased in all the right places, smoke obscuring their faces.

It’s poetic, Dean thinks to himself, and chuckles.

Gabriel ordered him a scotch forty-five minutes ago before dragging Dean’s brother off to some cramped back room, probably to neck the hell out of one another, but Dean really can’t be bothered, not with the music, hot damn.

There’s a fine layer of dust on the table beside Dean, and he’s leaned his head back lazily, letting his hands tap against the dusty table, sending particles flying into the smoky, dark air in time with the jazzy swing filling his lungs as he breathes, and he feels it, within every bone and milliliter of blood in his body, and it makes him want to sing.

He doesn’t, though, people like him don’t do that.

Nobody wants to see Dean, so they don’t see him. That’s their choice, and that’s really how they work nowadays. They choose the way their world looks, with the simple application of a yes or a no, and what they want to see is surrounded by loud, clamoring trumpets and tambourines, and what they don’t is wrapped in a thick layer of that mystical blue smoke and in the dark of underground taverns and they never have to think about it.

They have a habit of just not thinking about things, and Dean finds it cute, really. He finds it cuter than anything, because he’s done a great deal of thinking in his life, and now that he’s quit, because he couldn’t care less nowadays, due to a certain someone, he understands the appeal of it.

So they don’t see him. And he likes it that way; he really doesn’t want them to see him, but again, he couldn’t care less. What he holds above them is perhaps far more threatening than anything they could ever hold underneath him, but he’s not threatening, and he doesn’t loom, but he sits and he enjoys and all he asks for is their companionable silence, their blank faces, these familiar strangers to stand about him and let him hide.

He quite likes it.

He’s not tired. He’s not drunk. He hasn’t a headache. The smoke wraps around him and the saxophone fades away and it’s this sleepy sharpness that takes over him and makes his eyes glow in the dim of the underground.

Balthazar takes over on piano and the quiet clapping subsides and everybody goes back to drinking and talking quietly around dim candles and this is classy and relaxing — not loud and boisterous like other clubs, or like New Orleans — but something Dean can keep up with, because he’s much faster than it and can actually slow down for once.

He smiles again and Balthazar’s hands move over the keys.

And he knows it’s coming, because it always comes around like a lead ball on a tether, but it’s so much more riveting, so much more enjoyable and slow and quiet and languid like the rest of this world he’s quite grown to like, and Castiel’s mouth is on his before he knows it and he’s not surprised at all. He smells like wood and that charming blue smoke and brandy and something that Dean has never been able to place a finger on, but it’s marvelous.

He kisses back lazily, and his hand reaches up and curls around what must be Castiel’s neck, and he brushes against the nape of his neck and the saxophonist makes a breathy sort of whimper, something that’s not full of need but something full of promise, an almost ethereal promise, like Castiel’s about to slip away. He’s quite like that. It’s very interesting, which is why Dean loves him so much, loves his presence, loves his him.

Castiel discreetly slips his legs over Dean’s and he’s straddling his lap, and Dean grabs his hips and smiles that same lethargic smile that he hasn’t been able to drop for months, and his grin is infectious. Castiel smiles down at him, and leans his forehead against Dean’s, and everything’s just so right.

Nobody looks at Dean, because nobody wants to see Dean. He quite likes it that way.

Castiel’s wearing a tie, but Dean finds that trite and cliché and far too Harlequin, so instead he finds the rough material of the saxophone strap still hanging loosely around Castiel’s neck, and brings him back down to kiss him again, open and wet and long and slow and smoky, and that’s what Dean likes about jazz.

He quite likes jazz nowadays. He never did before.