Dean was ranting again. This wasn't unusual, and Castiel tuned it out most of the time, because on the scale of what deserved his attention studying came in far far above Dean's catastrophic love life.
“... and then she brings up Cassie, which was just out of line, dude. I mean, it's not like we talked about our exes at all, because you just don't do that, okay? You just don't. But Cassie, man, that was almost going steady. Almost two months! And Anna just kinda threw it out there, as if it was all my fault it didn't last. That was a two-way street, you know!”
“Yes, I'm aware, as you've told me repeatedly,” Castiel said flatly, frankly more interested in his history paper.
“I mean, come on, just because one or two of my previous relationships tanked, that doesn't mean she has to write me off completely! We could make it work!”
“I'm sure you could, Dean.”
Dean groaned, letting his head fall back over the edge of the couch. Times like these Castiel thanked the heavens for whoever got the idea of couches in libraries, because Castiel knew that whenever Dean got to this point, if he was on a chair he would tilt it dangerously, and it always set Castiel's teeth on edge.
“I don't get it,” Dean huffed. “What am I doing wrong? I'm a good date, aren't I? I mean, I take them out to every stupid thing they wanna see, I go with them to those goddamn health food places they all seem to like, I pick up the check, I listen to their pointless gossip for fucking hours, and I never leave them unsatisfied in the sack. Why does it never work out?”
“Perhaps you should consider going out with someone you have more things in common with,” Castiel grumbled, because listening to the same rant over and over was in fact getting a little tiring. Especially since Castiel's heart got a little more cracked every time Dean found someone new. But that was the status quo of their relationship from the moment they'd met on the first day of college. Dean was straight, Castiel was not, and they were best friends and Castiel was never going to give in to the demands of his pathetic heart, because he wasn't an idiot.
Dean snorted. “Right, because so many college girls love bacon cheese burgers and zombie movies. Hey, here's a thought, why don't I just date you?” Dean grinned and elbowed Castiel in the side until he smiled. Because no matter the strains on his heart, this was the part he loved best. When Dean was himself with Castiel, shared his jokes and kept close. To the best of Castiel's knowledge, none of the cheerleaders ever got that.
“Sure, Dean, why not. I'm free this Friday,” Castiel shot back, too busy highlighting a significant passage in the text to really give their banter his full attention. It was a really important paper.
“Why the hell not,” Dean said after a brief pause. “Hamburgers at the Roadhouse?”
“As always,” Castiel agreed distractedly. What was the year of that battle again?
“Movie after? They're showing Shadow Shark Vs. Undead Uglies at the Weekend Drive-in. I'll get us some of those salty liquorice sticks if you want.”
“You know what I like.”
“Pick you up at six?”
“Mm hmm,” Castiel nodded, finally finding and highlighting that last fact he needed, just in time to turn and see Dean looking at him fondly.
“Thanks, man, you're the best.” Then he pulled Castiel into a hug, and Castiel hugged back, because that's what you did when your best friend gave you a hug for whatever undetermined reason. Dean's arms tightened, and Castiel sighed into the worn leather jacket, only half-feeling the usual regret that it didn't mean what he most wanted it to, because being this close to Dean was just wonderful.
But Castiel's eyes flew open when Dean nuzzled his nose right below Castiel's ear and whispered: “It'll be the best date ever, you'll see. I swear I'll make it work with us.”
Castiel pulled away slowly, his very soul screaming with disbelief. “Are... you really gonna take me on a date?” he asked, bracing himself for the 'just kidding!' he was convinced was coming next.
Dean seemed taken aback by the slight panic in Castiel's eyes and swallowed visibly. “Uh... yeah, man, I'll take you on a date.”
Castiel had to blink hard to bring Dean back into focus, the world fuzzing over slightly as Castiel's universe tilted.
“Really? An actual date? You and I?”
“Well yeah, I mean... if you want to,” Dean shrugged, a small, unsure smile pulling at his lips.
If Castiel's life was a movie, this would have been where the soundtrack would break into a crescendo of the cheesy romantic score, complete with birds chirping and sunlight breaking through the clouds. In reality, all he did was smile. He smiled until his face was scrunched up and his gums were showing and his cheeks hurt.
After a moment of hesitation Dean smiled back.
“So,” Dean grinned. “Friday?”
“Friday,” Castiel agreed.