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They Stood up for Love

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“Come on, come on, come on.” Dean frantically pushed the button of the elevator. He looked at the illuminated numbers above it. Damn thing was still stuck on the third floor with no indication it would come down any time soon.

Finally, it moved. The red three seemed to mock him when it became a four and then a five.

Dean rolled his eyes with a sigh. It was going further up. That’s just great. He should have known this would happen on top of everything else that went wrong this morning, and the day had only just begun.

The first sign this day would go down in history as one of the worst in his life, was when he overslept. No wonder really, considering he had been up half of the night, drooling all over his computer screen, watching the latest concert of his favorite rock band ‘The Angels’. The lead singer, Castiel Novak, was one hot dude with dark unruly sex hair and a pair of mesmerizing blue eyes, not to mention a nice piece of ass. Dean needed more hands to count on his fingers the number of times he jerked off with the guy’s image behind his closed eyelids.

In his hurry to get into the shower, he slipped on the wet tiles and hurt his ankle. The tender flesh was ripped off, leaving a nasty wound that stung like a bitch. At this point, he considered himself lucky he didn’t break it.

Next on his list of fucking disasters was spilling scalding hot coffee on his crispy white shirt, the last clean one he had in his closet, of course. He searched for the cleanest one in his laundry, sniffed it and changed. It would have to do for now, and he made a mental note to buy some new ones. He had been recently promoted to the head of the IT department. With this new job came a bigger salary, an office of his own, a hell of a lot more responsibility, but also a dress code. From now on it was mandatory to wear a navy blue suit, a white button down shirt and a tie. Dean hated ties. They often made him feel like he was going to choke.

The mechanical ping of the elevator arriving startled him out of his thoughts. He hurried inside and pushed the button to the sixth floor, hoping there wouldn’t be a power failure on his way up. It wouldn’t surprise him.

Dean tumbled out of the elevator an hour late and almost bumped into his boss.

“Mister Winchester. How nice of you to show up,” he said, a sarcastic tone to his voice.

Fergus Crowley, mister Crowley to him and sir to the rest of what he called ‘his plebs’, was a short, round guy with a British accent. He was a zealot who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. It’s what had taken him this far up the hierarchical ladder of this company. At least, it was according to him, and Dean didn’t doubt it for one second. He really was the type of guy who would kill anyone who stood in his way to success.

“Don’t make me regret I gave you this job.” Crowley brushed past him and stepped into the waiting elevator.

Dean rubbed the back of his neck. “I, ehm, won’t,” he said as the doors slid closed. Of all the days, this was the day he just had to run into Crowley, didn’t he. Fucking hell.

----------

Dean hid in his office. The less reason he had to leave it, the less could go wrong. He was glad it was a slow day. No one really needed him and he actually got some work done.

At lunchtime, a knock on his door sounded and Charlie entered with two coffee cups and some paper bags.

“Tell me you have a turkey sandwich on whole meal bread in one of them,” Dean said with a hopeful glint in his eyes, nearly gasping for air.

“Of course I do.” Cheerful as always, Charlie put their lunch on his desk.

“You’re a lifesaver.”

Charlie was a fiery lesbian and his best friend. They spent hours in his home or her apartment, watching old Star Trek episodes or playing video games. Star Wars marathons was also something that was high on their list of favorite things to do.

“So, why were you late this morning?” Charlie reached into the bag and took out a salad. “Drooling over Novak again?”

Dean shyly shook his head. She knew him way too well. He shrugged.

“Oh, you did.” A smile formed on Charlie’s lips.

“So what?” Dean took a bite from his sandwich, savoring the taste of it. “The latest concert of ‘The Angels’ was online and I watched it.”

“You do know they will be in town in a few weeks, right?”

“Yeah, so?”

“So. I’m surprised you haven’t bought tickets to watch them. Come on, Dean. What’s wrong with you? This was your chance to see them live on stage.”

“You know how I feel about crowds, Charlie. I don’t like them.” He took another bite from his sandwich. “Besides, from what I’ve heard, it was sold out in minutes.” He darted out his tongue to lick up some mayo that got stuck on his upper lip.

Charlie stabbed the salad in front of her with the plastic fork. “You can still buy VIP tickets. That’s even better when you think about it. It saves you from standing in line to enter, or to camp at the doors 24 hours before they open to have a good spot near the stage.”

Dean almost choked on his food. He coughed. “Do you know what they cost?” He pushed his glasses a bit further up his nose.

“Yes, I do know that. But it’s not like you can’t afford it. I know you have savings, you told me.”

“They’re for making my attic into a home office.”

“You’ve been telling me that for the past two years now.”

“Well…” Dean waved his arm. “I have to find the time.”

Charlie sighed deeply. She put her fork down. “VIP tickets would also give you the chance to meet them privately. Come on, live a little. What’re you afraid of?”

What was he so afraid of? With his anxiety? Was she kidding? He put the last piece of sandwich in his mouth and rubbed the breadcrumbs from his fingers.

“I’d rather admire him from afar, Charlie. Maybe he’s an asshole, you know? And if he is, I don’t wanna know. It would ruin the fantasies I have about him.”

“Oh, Dean.” Charlie closed the plastic container that held the salad. “I doubt he’s gonna act like a jerk to his fans even if he is an asshole in real life.” She put the leftover food back in the bag.

“Well, I don’t want to find out.” Dean wiped the corners of his mouth with the paper napkin. He crumpled it into a ball and with a wide curve, threw it into the trash bin. “I’d probably make a complete fool of myself, stuttering like an idiot and blushing like a school girl with a crush. No thanks, Charlie.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I know myself well enough.” He pointed his finger at his best friend. “And you do too. What are you trying to accomplish here? It’s not like I’m actually gonna have a chance with the guy.”

“Well,…”

“Don’t even go there. Jesus, Charlie. You’re worse than me.” He ran a hand through the short strands of his hair. “He’s a world famous rock star with a bad attitude who likes blondes with endless legs and big tits, not nerdy IT guys like me.” He took a sip from his paper coffee cup.

“It’s just an image, Dean. He’s gay.”

Dean almost spit out his coffee. He blinked in surprise.

“Now I know you’re joking.”

“I’m not.” Charlie sounded offended. “My gaydar is 100% accurate. Castiel Novak may be many things, but there’s one thing that he’s not and that is straight. The dude’s into dudes, trust me.”

Dean pursed his lips with a frown. He should know better than to question Charlie’s so called gaydar. It had been proven in the past to be pretty spot on. Yet he had a hard time wrapping his head around this little fact she had thrown before his feet. There was no way Castiel was gay, not with his attitude. And even if he were, the man was still a world famous rock star and he was still a nerdy IT guy.

He looked up at Charlie when he felt her hands covering his.

“I just want you to be happy, Dean. And I want you to find someone to be happy with.”

“Thanks, Charlie. But I doubt that’s gonna be Castiel Novak.” He chuckled. “Besides, I am happy. I have you, and I have a very successful little brother, a nice sister-in-law and two adorable nephews. What more do I need, right?” He tried to be lighthearted about it, but he heard how the words he spoke had a sad edge to them.

“Talking about Sam. How is he?”

Dean was glad Charlie changed the subject. “He’s fine. Eileen is due in three months, and this time, it’s a girl.” He smiled.

“Ohhh.” Charlie clapped her hands in excitement. “That’s so great. He really is living the American dream, isn’t he?”

Dean leaned back in his chair. “Yes he is.” The grin on his lips grew wider. “He sure is.”

----------

Entering a cold, dark house at night after work was never pleasant. It was at times like this he wished there was someone waiting for him besides Dory, his goldfish. Maybe he should get a dog.

No. He immediately decided against it. It wouldn’t be fair to the animal to be left alone all day just because he needed company at night.

Dean threw his keys in the glass bowl on the small table next to the door. He shrugged off his jacket and turned on the heat to chase away the chill hanging in the air.

Searching his way through the semi darkness, he went over to the stereo and put in the CD of his favorite rock band.

He turned on some lamps that shrouded the room in an atmospheric glow, pulled out his phone and ordered Chinese for dinner while making a beeline for the fridge to get himself a beer.

He left his phone on the kitchen counter and padded back to the living room where he let himself fall onto the couch. Burying himself into the soft cushions, he took a sip from the bottle and closed his eyes with a sigh.

The haunting voice of Castiel Novak that always sounded like it came from deep inside a tomb, rippled through Dean’s body and soothed his troubled soul. It was amazing how the gruff voice had such a healing effect on him.

Dean let his mind drift back to the conversation he had with Charlie. If he was completely honest with himself, he had to admit he was dying to meet Castiel in person. If only he wasn’t so fucking afraid. He was sure he would turn into a babbling lunatic in the singer’s presence.

Was Charlie right? Was the lead of ‘The Angels’ gay? Dean honestly couldn’t tell. He was bisexual himself, something he discovered at a pretty young age and had a rough time coming to terms with.

Dean swallowed around a lump in his throat thinking about those days and the things he had to do to keep himself and his brother from starving when his dad turned into a raving drunk after they lost their mom. Mary had lost her battle with an aggressive brain tumor, leaving John devastated. More often than not, he drank himself into oblivion in an effort to forget, not caring he still had two sons who needed him.

 

1996

Washing glasses at the sleazy bar in town was not something Dean saw himself doing for the rest of his life, but for now, it was all he had. At 17 he was lucky to even get this job.

It’d been three years now since his mom died and sent his dad spiraling out of control. They lost the house because John didn’t make the payments anymore and they had to move into a cheap two bedroom apartment in the more impoverished part of town.

Money was tight, it always was. John would rather spend whatever he earned on booze instead of food. Somehow though, they managed, until his dad disappeared to God knows where four months ago without leaving them any money.

At first, Dean didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t go to the police to report his dad missing. If he did that, child protective services would come to take him and Sam away. They would be separated. He couldn’t let that happen.

For the first time since they moved into that dump of an apartment, he was glad they lived there. The people in this building didn’t mind each other’s business. They also didn’t want anything to do with law enforcement, so he didn’t have to be afraid one of them would report two minors living alone. It was pretty strange how the law worked. He was 17 and had reached the age of consent in the state of New York, but he wasn’t considered an adult until he was 18.

Dean urged Sam not to speak to anyone about their situation. He told his younger brother he would find an after school job and take care of both of them. They didn’t need their father.

He also made Sam swear to do his best at school. He was a bright kid and if his grades suddenly fell, it would raise suspicion. Besides, he wanted to be a lawyer, right? Dean promised him he would make that happen or die trying.

After days of endless searching, he found this job. It didn’t pay much, but it was enough to get by.

The scrutinizing gaze of a man at the other end of the counter gave Dean the creeps. He’d been watching him for over an hour now and sent shivers down Dean’s spine. Finally, the man with the full beard and an obvious beer belly, moved to sit right in front of where he was cleaning the glasses.

“You wanna make some extra bucks?” he asked without so much as an introduction.

Dean’s interest was immediately piqued. Of course he wanted to make extra money. He didn’t want to seem too eager though.

“Sure.” He casually shrugged his shoulders. “What’re you offering?”

“I’ll give you five if you suck my dick. Ten if you let me fuck you.”

Dean audibly gasped for air. Just like that, out of the blue, this guy asked him for a blow job for five bucks. This was a joke, right? The look in the guy’s eyes told him he was dead serious.

“I’m…eh…”

“Oh please.” The man rolled his eyes. “Don’t act like you haven’t noticed yourself. Good looking kid like you? I can point out at least three men in this bar who would love to see your pretty little lips wrapped around their cock. You could easily make twenty a night. More if you let them fuck your tight ass.”

Dean was at a loss for words. He still couldn’t believe this shit.

“Think about it,” the man said. He took his beer bottle and went to sit back at his place at the other end of the counter.

It was a lot for Dean to process what just happened. Once he had done that, he carefully allowed himself to consider it. Twenty a night was a lot of money for him. More even if he believed that guy.

It was just sex, right? And it wasn’t like he hadn’t given a blow job before, because he had. He had sucked the dick of the captain of the soccer team for one, and he had told Dean he was good at it.

He swallowed as he made his way over to the bearded guy. “I’ll do it.”

The man took a swig from his beer. “Good. When do you get off?”

Dean glanced at the clock. It was almost midnight. “In five minutes.”

The man with the beard emptied his bottle. “Great. Meet me in the alley at the back.” He put some money on the counter that would cover his tab and went out the door.

Dean sighed deeply. What the hell was he doing?

 

The ringing of the doorbell indicating dinner had arrived pulled Dean from the painful memories of his past. He shrugged them off and got up with a groan to answer the door.

Five minutes later the whole kitchen area was filled with the delicious smell of Chinese food that still lingered when he went to bed early.

He put on his headphones to listen some more to the gravelly voice of Castiel as he sang about love and trust and promises.

Dean’s hand moved under the covers and cupped his dick through the fabric of his boxers. He gasped at the pleasure that went through him from rubbing it.

The image of Castiel with his cobalt blue eyes and sexy bed hair danced before his eyes as his fingers crawled behind the waistband of his boxer briefs. He pushed the garment further down to free his hardened cock. The foreskin was already retracted, leaving the sensitive head exposed and wet with precome.

Dean threw off the covers. He didn’t want to mess them up. Goosebumps appeared on his body as soon as the cold air hit his overheated skin.

Another gasp left his lips as he smeared his thumb through the prerelease pulsing from the tip of his cock. He started stroking in rhythm with the song booming in his ears, and tipped over the edge with a loud cry at the crescendo. His heavy breathing slowly returned to normal as he spiraled down from his height, carried by the last notes of the song.

He reveled during another song in post orgasmic bliss before reaching towards the night stand for the wet wipes he kept there. He cleaned up the mess he made on his stomach, pulled his boxers back up, took the headphones off and snuggled under the blankets, drifting off to sleep to the fantasies about meeting Castiel Novak and what it would be like.

Chapter Text

 

With his mouth slightly open, Castiel stared at the picture in his hand. It was the photo of the man who won the ‘Date with an Angel’ contest.

To say the guy was gorgeous was an understatement. He had the most beautiful green eyes Castiel had ever seen and he was sure he had never encountered a man who looked this sexy in glasses. Sun kissed spots were splattered over the bridge of his nose and spread out further on his cheeks. Cas loved freckles. He frowned and tilted his head. There was something familiar about him.

“Not gonna happen, Castiel.” Uriel, his agent, snatched the picture out of his hands.

“Hey. Give that back.”

“I said, it’s not gonna happen,” Uriel emphasized. His eyes roamed over the picture with a disdainful look. “We don’t wanna rake up the rumors you’re really into men again, do we?”

Cas rolled his eyes. “It’s just dinner with a fan. And it’s not like we’re going to a public restaurant.”

“You’re right, you’re not. But the press would like to know who won the contest, and we promised them some exclusive pictures of you and your date.”

“Oh really?” Cas squinted at his agent. “When were you gonna tell me about that?”

“Come on, Castiel. Like you don’t know how it works.”

Cas shook his head. He turned his back to his agent to look out through the arched window of his New York penthouse. Yes, he knew how it worked. Of course he did. It had never worked any other way.

The contest wasn’t his idea. It was something Naomi, the head of the PR department had cooked up. It would make for some great publicity, she had said. Yeah, right. Like he needed more publicity. No, this was all about money. Pictures of him having dinner with a fan were worth a fortune magazines gladly paid. He still couldn’t believe he had agreed to it.

All the muscles in his body tensed up at the hand that was placed on his shoulder. He took in a sharp breath and released it again slowly. He hated the touch.

“Look, Castiel. I’m sure there are some beautiful ladies among the contestants. We can pick out a nice…”

“No!” Cas shrugged the hand off. He turned to face his agent.

The look in Uriel’s eyes hardened. Cas saw he had a difficult time controlling his anger.

“Fine. I’ll let you pick out a…”

“No!” Cas said again. “Either I go with the man who actually won, or I don’t go at all.”

Uriel clenched his jaw. His eyes narrowed. “Don’t be such a petulant child,” he spat.

“I’m not a petulant child.” Cas brushed past him. “I’m a grown man who stands his ground.”

“And who’s about to ruin his reputation and his career.”

Cas huffed out a sarcastic laugh. “And that wouldn’t be good for you, right? You don’t give a damn about me. I’m your goose with the golden eggs. When you look at me, the only thing you see is a fat pay check at the end of the month.”

Uriel walked over to him. “Don’t forget who made you,” he said through gritted teeth. He pointed a finger against Cas’s chest. “If it weren’t for me, you’d be living on the streets eating out of a garbage bin.”

Cas swallowed.  A rather painful flashback washed over him.

 

1991

The fist hit him right across the cheek and split his lip. Cas tasted the iron flavor of blood as he stumbled back and fell to the floor. He barely had the time to recover. He just got back to his feet when he took another blow. It was like his eye exploded in a flash of blinding light.

“Father…please…,” Cas begged in a small voice laced with fear and hurt. It only caused his father to strike again. The awful cracking sound of bones breaking was heard as the fisted hand of Elijah Novak hit his nose.

Dark and white spots danced before Cas’s eyes. On hands and knees he crawled backwards to the farthest corner of his room, leaving tiny drops of blood coloring red blotches on the beige carpet in his wake. The energy to get back up again seeped from his body.

“You’re a disgusting faggot,” Elijah yelled. He roughly grabbed Cas’s arms and hauled him up. “And if beating it out of you is the only way, so be it.” This time the fist of his father hit him in the stomach.

Cas coughed, splattering blood on Elijah’s shirt. He didn’t mean to. He really didn’t mean to soil his father’s expensive grey Armani button down and the yellow silk tie he wore upon it. He braced himself for another blow when a low voice boomed “That’s enough, father.”

Elijah’s fist froze mid-air. “Stay out of it, Michael,” he said without taking his gaze from Cas. His fisted hand was about to come down again, but was stopped. Michael grabbed his arm. “I said, that’s enough, father.”

Elijah’s eyes slowly shifted to his oldest son, who was now standing beside him, demanding some answers.

“I’m as disgusted by him as you are, but you beating him up isn’t gonna change what he is,” Michael explained. “Your power may shield you from a lot, but not from murdering your own son.”

Elijah seemed to think about it. “Fine!” He yanked his arm out of Michael’s grip.

Released from his father’s hold, Cas sagged to the floor with his back against the wall. His legs were not strong enough anymore to hold him up.

Breathing through his nose was impossible. The sharp gasps for air through his mouth made the blood still seeping from his lip slip down his throat. He gagged and coughed as he almost choked on it.

Through the mist of tears blurring his vision, Cas looked up at his father who was towering above him.

“I want you gone by the time I get home from work tomorrow evening,” he said. With long strides he walked to the door. “And consider yourself lucky I give you the chance to clean yourself up and stay one more night. You are no longer my son.” With these words, he left the room.

Cas tried to say something, but the blood caught in his throat constricted his voice. He coughed again.

Michael looked down at him with his arms folded across his chest and a lot of contempt in his scrutinizing gaze.

“Thank you,” Cas whispered. He was actually very surprised Michael had stopped his father. There was no love lost between the siblings. Jealousy was at the basis of their rivalry. As the youngest, Cas was their mom’s favorite, something Michael never forgave him for.

“Don’t,” Michael snapped. “I didn’t do it for you. You asked for this beating with your disgusting lifestyle.”

Cas shook his head. It was no use. He had tried to explain it. He had tried to make his brother understand, but no matter what he had said, Michael never wanted to hear it.

The look in Michael’s eyes seemed to soften. For one split second, Cas saw a hint of pity flashing in them. It was so fast, he thought he had imagined it.

“Be glad father lets you stay another night so you can gather some things. If you were my son, I would’ve thrown you out with nothing more than the clothes on your back.”

These were the last words Cas ever heard from his brother.

He didn’t know how long he had been sitting there on the floor. Finally, he pushed himself up and dragged himself to the bathroom.

The cold washcloth he pressed against his face was a blessing for the sore skin. An icepack would be better, but he was too afraid to go get one; too scared he would run into his father.

Every intake of breath caused a stinging pain in his chest. Not just his face, but his whole body hurt. He could almost feel the bruises forming on the places his father’s fist had landed.

Cas cleaned himself up and tended to his wounds to the best of his abilities. On wobbly legs he went back to his room where he changed into warm flannel pajamas. It was winter after all.

Michael was right. He should be glad his father let him stay another night instead of throwing him out into the freezing cold with nothing.

With slow movements and constantly swallowing around a lump in his throat to push down the tears that threatened to break free, he packed his backpack. He needed to get this done in case his father changed his mind and kicked him to the curb tonight after all.

He went over and over in his head where he would go. There was nothing and no one he could turn to.

He couldn’t go to the police. His father was a powerful magistrate who had the whole police force in his pocket. They would call Elijah and Cas was sure he would receive another beating, and this time he wouldn’t survive it.

Cas had no friends. He was homeschooled by the best tutors money could buy. None of them really cared about him. All they cared about was their bank accounts. His father would call them and make some excuse about why their services were no longer needed. They would probably get a great amount of money to compensate the breaking of their contract. Not one of them would ask any questions.

Cas put the backpack by his bedroom door and fell onto the bed. He curled up into a ball and finally allowed the tears that had been burning behind his eyes to come. His body started shaking with broken sobs as he silently cried.

“Oh mom,” he whispered as the tears slowly made their way across his cheeks. “Why did you have to leave me so soon?”

 

“Did you hear what I said?” Uriel’s baritone voice pulled Cas back to the present.

“I heard you just fine.”

“Then do as you’re told!”

“No!” Cas stared his agent down. There was no way he was going to tear his gaze away first. He used to be afraid of him – deadly afraid, but those days were long gone.

“I made you,” Uriel said so eerily calm it made Cas shiver. “I can break you just like that.” He snapped his fingers right in front of his nose.

Cas didn’t even flinch. “You can always try,” he said. “But I promise you I’ll drag you down with me in my fall. I’m done dancing to your tune, Uriel.”

A murderous look appeared in Uriel’s eyes. If it were bullets, Cas was sure he would be lying dead on the ground by now. It didn’t scare him though, not anymore.

Another few tense seconds went by before Uriel finally succumbed. He threw the picture of the winning contestant on the table. “It’s your funeral.” With angry strides, he walked out, slamming the door behind him as he went.

Castiel took in a deep, shivering breath. He was over forty for crying oud loud, yet Uriel still managed to make him feel like that gaunt kid he found at the brink of death so many years ago. He owed his agent everything. He owed him his life. The price he paid for that however, was high; very, very high.

With a sigh, Cas took the picture from the table. So, this was Dean Winchester, 39 years old and head of the IT department at global industries. He had been a bit surprised by the guy’s age. Sure, he had fans in all age groups, but only a few of the older ones actually entered a contest like this.

Admiring the gorgeous man who smiled at him from the glossy paper in his hands, Cas went to his luxurious kitchen to make some tea. He was glad a man won the contest for once.

The beeps of the microwave pierced the silent kitchen. Cas took the mug out and put a teabag in the steaming hot water. He leaned against the marble counter as he let the tea steep for a few minutes.

Cas had to hide his sexual orientation from the moment his star began to rise fifteen years ago. Uriel had told him it would be a bad career move to come out. He had more female than male fans and it was best he was profiled as a very available, very straight guy. Uriel even took five years off his real age, and all in the interest of creating someone he was not.

As a gay man who had no interest in women whatsoever, (he did try it once though) Cas had his needs. That’s why, from time to time, Uriel provided him with male escorts who came with a high price tag and a clean bill of health. Cas always made sure, due to his own past, they were at least mid-thirties and they did this out of their own free will, and not because they were forced into this world. Once he was sure of that, they spent the night together in mutual pleasure and passion. They were able to satisfy his physical needs, but they couldn’t fill up the emptiness lurking deep inside of him.

Cas took the teabag out of the water and stirred a spoonful of honey through the liquid to sweeten it up. He brought it to the living room where he plopped on his black leather couch. With his finger he gently traced the lines of Dean’s features on the photo. He paid special attention to the guy’s lips. The corners of Dean’s mouth were curved up in a faint smile. For one split second, the thought of what it would be like to kiss those lips crossed his mind.

No. He pushed the secret desire back to where it came from. It wasn’t wise to fantasize about that. He didn’t know anything about Dean. Daydreaming about something that would probably never happen was a bad idea.

Cas carefully sipped his tea. He might not allow himself to get lost in daydreams and fantasies, but he did allow himself to look forward to meeting this Dean Winchester. He didn’t know why or how, but he felt a strange connection to him even though they had never met before.

His mind wandered off.  That strange familiar feeling of before welled up again. Those eyes, he was sure…

Cas dug a bit deeper into his memories and then gasped at the sudden revelation. No! It couldn’t be.

 

1996

Cas was part of an elite unite of male prostitutes. They all had reached the legal age of consent, and provided sexual services to the rich and the famous who often held high posts in the political world. Tonight was the night of the weekly public group sex sessions, and it was mandatory for all the boys to take part.

The boys weren’t permitted to interact with each other. They all wore black masks to hide their identity from not only their ‘colleagues’, but from the participants as well.

They weren’t allowed to come during these orgies. All of them wore cock cages with a cock ring attached to it. It enabled their cock to get half hard, but was prevented by the cage to grow further. It was often painful since their cock couldn’t escape the confinement of its prison.

The cages didn’t prevent them from coming. They just made it more difficult, and easier to control their orgasms.

Cas was deep throating a client while another guy was pounding into him, making sure to hit his prostate with every other thrust. Some of these men got a kick out of the fact the boys they were fucking couldn’t get fully hard, and did everything in their power to arouse them.

Cas’s cock pushed against the thin but firm metal bars of the cage in an attempt to get all the way erect. Precome was leaking from the tip. The urge to come but couldn’t was torture. Cas hated himself for even having that urge. It didn’t mean he liked what he did. Fact was, he despised it, but he had learned a long time ago it was better to accept it than to resist.

The guy in front of him placed his hands at the back of Cas’s neck and held his head still while with one final thrust accompanied by a primal growl, shot his load deep down his throat. He stuttered a few times as Cas lapped up every last drop of semen that pulsed out of the man’s cock.

The client who was fucking him spilled his release in Cas’s ass a few seconds later.

Breathing heavy, with sweat pearling on his forehead, Cas waited on hands and knees for a newbie to come clean him up. It was the task of the new boys who were still in ‘training’ to lick up the cum dripping from the holes of the boys who were just fucked to make them ready for the next man.

Cas closed his eyes. He didn’t want to like the soft tongue that licked his rim. He didn’t want to feel the endless jolts of pleasure dashing through his veins. He could cry because of it, even now, after all these years.

As he opened his eyes again, he saw two new boys were led into the room. Cas knew the drill. They didn’t have to take part this time. This time, they only had to watch.

The ache in his heart for them was real. He knew exactly what was going through them right now. He had been one of them after all.

One of the boys caught his gaze. He stared back and Cas gasped at the most amazing green eyes he had ever seen, looking at him through the holes of the black mask.

Chapter Text

 

Dean was looking through all the application emails from people in search for a job. One of his employees was about to give birth and had decided to become a stay at home mom. Dean needed someone to replace her, someone who would not only fit the profile, but who would also fit in his team.

He was reading through the curriculum vitae of a promising candidate when the phone on his desk rang.

Without tearing his eyes away from the screen, he absent-mindedly picked up, barking a ‘yeah’ into the mouth piece.

“Ehm…am I speaking to Dean Winchester?”

Dean frowned at the unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line. How the hell did this person get this number? All the calls to his office came through Charlie, and his friends and family always called him on his cell. No one had this direct number.

Intrigued as to what this was all about, Dean went along with it. He turned all his attention to the caller. “Yes, this is Dean. Who are you?”

“Hi, Dean.” The voice sounded relieved with a cheerful edge to it. “My name is Hannah. I’m Castiel Novak’s personal assistant and I’m calling you to inform you, you won the ‘Date with an Angel’ contest.”

She had him at the name of the singer he had a crush on. The rest of what she said somehow got lost. For a few seconds he was baffled. Once he was over the initial surprise, he burst out laughing.

“Nice try, lady.” He wiped away the tears forming at the corners of his eyes, fogging up his glasses. “Did Sam put you up to this? Well, you can tell him it didn’t work. Have a nice day.” He hung up.

With a roll of his eyes, but with still a smile on his lips, he went back to the curriculum vitae he had been reading before he was interrupted. Sam and his endless pranks. Of all the stunts he had pulled in the past, this one took the cake. He could not believe his brother actually thought he would fall for this. What the hell? Dean wasn’t an idiot.

But…wait a minute. How did Sam get this number? Dean had no recollection of ever giving it to him. There was no reason to. Sam could always reach him on his mobile. And if his brother didn’t have it then how the hell did this Hannah what’s-her-name get a hold of it?

Dean got so lost in pondering about it, he almost jumped when his phone rang again.

“What?” he yelled a little harder than intended while picking up.

“Dean, please don’t hang up on me.” It was this Hannah person again. Dean must give it to her, she was persistent.

“Look,” Dean took off his glasses. “I really don’t know what this is all about…”

“This is not a prank, Dean. Will you please hear me out?” The cheer in her voice was gone. She almost sounded irritated now.

Dean pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m listening,” he said around a sigh. “But this better be good.”

“Okay. Now that I finally got your attention. You’ve won the ‘date with an Angel’ contest and I assure you, this is not a joke.”

Dean was honestly lost. This must be one of those bizarre dreams people could make heads nor tails of.

“Hannah… Can I call you Hannah?”

“Of course.”

“Hannah. If this isn’t a joke as you so adamantly claim, then this has to be some mistake. I never entered a contest like that.”

“The computer picked out your name Dean, and you cannot be in this computer unless you took part in it.”

Dean searched his memories. He had read about the contest; he and every other fan of Castiel Novak, but he was sure he didn’t enter. Or maybe he was so drunk one night that he did enter and now couldn’t remember it? He felt a headache blooming.

“Your silence tells me you still don’t believe me,” Hannah said.

“How can I?” Dean sighed. “I’m not lying when I say I don’t remember entering.”

“Hang on. I have someone here who might convince you. This is not policy, but he is following this conversation and he insisted.”

Before Dean could fully comprehend what she meant by that, a gravelly voice he would recognize anywhere, came over the phone.

“Hello Dean.”

Dean’s jaw fell to the floor. He almost dropped the phone and he was sure his heart missed a few beats.

“Hi, Cas,” he blurted out without thinking. Shit. He did not just say that. He couldn’t believe he just said that to Castiel fucking Novak, like he was greeting some old friend.

Castiel chuckled. The man chuckled. It was so fucking adorable.

“I promise you, Dean, this is real,” Castiel went on. “Hannah here will call you back in a few days with the details. And, Dean?”

“Yes?” Dean squeaked. He flinched slightly at the sound of his own voice.

“Breathe.”

Dean inhaled deeply. He didn’t even know he had been holding his breath until now.

“Take some time to let that sink in,” Hannah’s voice came back over the line, and pulled him out of his state of utter disbelief. “Can I reach you on this number?”

“Ehm…eh, I can give you my cellphone number?”

“That would be great, yes, thank you.”

Not yet fully recovered from what the hell just happened, Dean drummed up the number of his mobile. He was still listening to the monotone buzz of a call disconnected minutes after Hannah had hung up.

Trying hard to process everything and to make sense of it all, he slowly put the receiver back on. He was going to kill his brother. No, wait. Sam didn’t have this number. He almost forgot about that.  But then who...? He frowned and could almost hear the cogwheels turning in his head.

All the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fell into place when it all dawned on him. Charlie.

With long strides of a man on a mission, he went to the door, swung it open and boomed: “Bradbury! Office! NOW.” He turned on his heels and went back inside.

With his hands behind back, he stared out the window of his office on the sixth floor without really seeing the beauty of the San Francisco skyline.

When he heard the soft click of the door being closed, he turned to his friend who looked like she was just caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

“I can explain,” she said hastily.

Dean raised his eyebrows.

Charlie’s look changed to sheepish. “If you just say what it is I have to explain.” She stared at the carpeted floor as if it was the most interesting thing she had ever seen.

“Did you by any chance enter my name in the ‘Date with an Angel’ contest?”

Charlies head jerked up. “How did you…” Her eyes went wide. “Oh.”

“Is that a yes?”

“Oh my God, Dean. Did you win?”

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

Charlie ran over to him and slung her arms around his neck. “You won? You actually won?”

“Okay, okay. All right.” Dean smiled. How could he possibly be mad at her? She made it impossible with her charming personality.

Finally, Charlie released him from her tight grip. “I’m so excited,” she shrieked. With her hands still on his shoulders she jumped up and down, her ponytail swinging along with her movements.

“Why did you do it, Charlie?”

“Are you kidding, Dean? I knew you would never do it yourself, so I did it for you.” She shrugged. “I just wanted to do something nice for you, you know. And I didn’t think you would actually win. I mean, what are the odds?” She huffed out a small laugh.

Her excitement bubbled up again. “How did you find out?”

Dean went back to sit behind his desk. “Castiel’s personal assistant, a woman by the name of Hannah, called me with the news.” He fell into his comfortable office chair. A smile formed on his lips as he rubbed an imaginary spot on his desk. “And I talked to Castiel himself.”

When Charlie didn’t answer, he looked up at her. Bafflement was written all over her face, her mouth opening and closing like a fish.

“You talked to Castiel?” she gasped.

“Yeah. It was the only way to convince me it was all real.” Dean chuckled. “I didn’t exactly believe it at first.” He leaned back in his chair and rubbed his face with both hands. “I still can’t believe it.”

“Don’t say that.”

Dean pulled his hands away and frowned at her. “It’s just an expression, Charlie.”

“I know. But the universe has a way of throwing it back at you. So, don’t say it. Don’t even question it. Be thankful instead.”

“Yeah, yeah, okay.” Dean waved his arm. “Now get back to work.”

Charlie jumped up. She darted to the door, and just when she was about to open it, she was stopped.

“Charlie?”

“Yes, Dean?”

“Thank you.”

Charlie’s face brightened. “You’re welcome,” she said with the fond smile she only reserved for her friends.

 

1996

The foul smell of the man’s pubic hair, mixed with the sharp scent of urine and rotten food of a nearby garbage bin, was an assault on Dean’s senses as he sucked the bearded man’s dick in the dark alley behind the bar after his shift. The guy probably hadn’t showered in days.

Dean had to fight the urge to pull off and throw up the sandwich he had eaten an hour ago. He constantly reminded himself why he did this. Five bucks for a simple blow job may not be a lot, but it was still more than he had now, which wasn’t much to begin with.

The guy whose cock Dean was sucking as if his life depended on it, was heaving like he had to fight for every intake of breath.

“Yeah, yeah, that’s a good boy,” he gritted out rocking his hips. “You gonna swallow, right? You gonna take it all like the good boy that you are.”

Dean knew it wasn’t a question. It was an order. He nodded, not particularly looking forward to experiencing what this guy’s load would taste like.

The fingers that were tangled in the strands of Dean’s hair tightened and untightened as the man moved towards an orgasm.

He finally climaxed with a deep growl that sounded anything but human. Warm liquid flooded Dean’s throat. A bitter taste with a nasty tinge to it, exploded on his tongue. The guy’s fingernails scratched his scalp and dug painfully in the flesh as he pulled his hair.

Dean closed his eyes as he swallowed, pushing down the urge to pull off and spit it all out.

And just like that, it was all over. The whole thing hadn’t taken up more than five minutes of his time. Five bucks for five minutes wasn’t bad.

The bearded man zipped his pants. “You know, you can make a hell of a lot more than five bucks,” he said while buckling his belt.

Dean opened his mouth but couldn’t produce any sound. He cleared his throat and wished he had some water to wash away the awful taste still lingering on his tongue.

“Yeah, so you told me. But I’m not gonna let you pimp me out to your friends. I’ll find my own clients.” He wasn’t stupid. If he allowed this guy to be his pimp, he would let him work until he dropped, taking fifty percent or more of what he earned. No, thank you.

“I’m not talking about that,” the man said as Dean started to walk away. He stopped in his tracks. That got his attention. He turned back to the bearded guy. “Than what are you talking about?”

“I wanna introduce you to Alastair.”

Dean frowned. “Who’s that? A pimp friend of yours?”

“He’s someone who caters for very rich and very powerful men with pretty boys like you. He’ll give you twenty an hour.”

“I can make that in twenty minutes if I blow four men like you,” Dean said sarcastically.

“And where exactly are you gonna find four men?”

“You said yourself there were at least three other guys in that bar…”

“Yes, but what about tomorrow, huh?” the guy cut him off. “What about the day after tomorrow, or the day after that? If you work for Alastair, you’ll get twenty bucks no matter what. You can choose how many hours you work and if you wanna work every day or just a few days a week. Not a bad deal if you ask me.”

Dean pursed his lips as he thought about that. If he could choose his hours and his days, he could make a lot of money and start saving to put his brother through law school. He folded his arms across his chest. “What’s the catch?”

The bearded man raised his eyebrows while shaking his head. “There is no catch. You will be a male prostitute, of course, but how is that any different from what you did just now? Your clientele will be filthy rich and often highly powerful business men who have a wife and some kids at home, but who like to fuck pretty boys like you. They pay good money to be a member of Alastair’s club. They all have to present a clean bill of health or they won’t get in. It’s all very safe.”

“Right, right,” Dean snorted. “What’s in it for you? I mean, you’re not doing this out of the goodness of your heart.”

The man with the beard threw his head back and laughed. “Of course there’s something in it for me, kid. Alastair is always looking for new boys who have reached the age of consent.” He squinted his eyes. “You are 17 or older, right?”

Dean nodded slowly.

“Good. Can you prove it?”

Again Dean nodded.

“Great.” The guy sounded more cheerful every second. He probably thought he hit the jackpot by finding him.

Dean was still very wary about the whole thing. It all sounded too good to be true. As far as selling your body for sex could sound too good to be true that is. But, hey, all the boys were of age, right? And the clients were rich and famous which meant they most likely showered and, most importantly, they were clean of health. If he really was going to provide sexual favors, he’d rather do it in a place this bearded guy described. It beat sucking the dicks of filthy men in the darkest corners of an alley and catch God knows what disease. It only took the use of an out of date condom that could rip during the act, by a man with HIV and he was screwed for life, no pun intended. Jesus, he hoped this guy was clean. He just gave him a blow job without protection. What the hell was he thinking?

He pushed the thought away. “So, if I agree to meet this Alastair dude, just meet him, I don’t commit to anything, right?”

“Nope. As long as you’re not hired and signed a contract, you can walk away.”

Dean took a deep breath. “Okay then,” he made the final decision. “When and where?”

The bearded guy reached into his pocket and pulled out a ratty business card. “Meet me at this address at six tomorrow.”

Dean took the card. The ink was half faded, but still readable.

“I’ll be there.”

The man pointed a finger at him. “Don’t be late.” He put his hands in the pockets of his jacket, looked left and right and walked away, leaving Dean with the question why he thought this was a good idea.

 

The sound of the alarm clock startled Dean abruptly out of his nightmare. Gasping for air, he frantically looked around the semi darkness of his room. The first inklings of a panic attack bubbled up from deep inside. Dean had come to learn to know the danger signals of his body.

He managed to push it down before it reached the surface when he saw the familiarity of his surroundings. He was okay. He was safe. It was just a dream.

Dean slung his arms around his knees and gently rocked himself to calmness. Damn it. Why? Why did he have these dreams of his past? They were so vivid it was like he was thrown back in time.

He thought he had shut and locked that door. He didn’t need a reminder from his subconscious to the things he had done to have the life he and his brother had now. Lord knows where he and Sam would have ended up if he hadn’t done what he did. But that was over. That chapter was closed.

Tears formed in Dean’s eyes. Soon they fell, wetting the duvet that covered his knees on which his forehead rested.

Sam didn’t know anything about this part of his past. When he suddenly made more money, he just told his brother he had found another job with more hours, which paid more than washing glasses at the bar. It wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t the whole truth either and to this day, he had successfully kept this from his brother.

Dean allowed himself to wallow in self-pity for one moment. Then he pushed everything away again.

With a sigh he got out of bed. He pulled on his grey robe and went to the kitchen to make some breakfast.

As he was scrambling some eggs, his eyes fell on the bottle of Jack standing on the counter. It was challenging him. The temptation to take a drink was overwhelming; it always was when he had one of those dreams of his past. It was how he dealt with them, how he coped.

Somewhere deep inside of him, he was aware that drinking himself into oblivion wasn’t healthy, nor was it the answer, but damn it, it helped him to forget, at least for a little while, what he once did in order to survive.

It took him every ounce of self-restraint not to take the bottle and gulp down half of it. If it were Saturday, he would have given in to the temptation, but this was a work day and the last thing he needed was to lose his job. He wasn’t his dad. He never, ever wanted to become like the man who had abandoned him and his brother.

Chapter Text

 

“That’s a nice looking man, Clarence,” Meg said from behind the keyboard in the Angel’s recording studio in New York, as she was studying the picture of Dean. With a slight move of her head, she tossed her half-long wavy dark hair over her shoulders.

Ever since they first met, and Meg found out Castiel was named after an angel, she nicknamed him Clarence, as a reference to an old movie called ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

“Let me see that.” Ash passed by behind her and snatched the photo out of her hands. He went to sit with it at the drum-set. “I don’t swing that way, but yeah, not bad, for a dude.”

Chuck plugged in his electric guitar. He tugged at the strings. “I still can’t believe Uriel agreed that you go on a date with a man.”

“He didn’t.” Castiel pushed himself up on the small table lined up against the wall. He chuckled as three heads jerked up as one, and he was met with three pairs of eyes filled with questions.

“Uriel told me to pick out a female contestant,” Cas elaborated. “I told him to stuff it.”

A joint gasp rippled through the air followed by a few seconds of dead silence. Meg was the first one to break it.

“Good for you, Clarence.” A sly smile formed on her mouth. “It was time you stood up to that jerk.”

“Yeah.” Ash pointed his drumsticks at Meg. “What she said.”

“I don’t understand why you haven’t fired him yet,” Chuck deadpanned. “I mean, the way he treats you, the way he treats all of us and tells us how to live our lives, that’s just…wrong.”

The band members nodded and hummed in agreement. Cas knew Chuck just said out loud what everyone was thinking but never dared to speak of. “You know why, Chuck,” he said softly. He looked at his hands folded in his lap.

“Because he’s the reason we are known in all four corners of the world,” Ash replied. “If it wasn’t for him, we probably wouldn’t be where we are right now; filthy rich and world famous.”

“Yes, but at what price?” Meg argued. It was a rhetorical question.

Suddenly they were all talking at once, discussing the pros and the cons of having Uriel as their agent. They all agreed on one thing. They didn’t like him, but that didn’t make him a bad businessman.

Cas stayed quiet as he listened to his band members. The three of them and his personal assistant Hannah, were the closest thing to friends he ever had.

Uriel had picked all of them out single handedly. He had an eye and an ear for real talent and could read people like no other. It was amazing how they all fitted in right from the very start.

In the beginning, they had little to no social life. Uriel made them work their butts off, and they were always on the road, riding from one gig to another. They didn’t mind, not really. They loved what they did even if it didn’t pay a lot, and they all had to live together cramped in the tour bus most of the time.

Five years after the band was formed, one of their albums reached number one in the charts. They were exhilarated. From that moment on, things got a hell of a lot more hectic.

In the next two years, they had three more number one hits and the money started pouring in. A few years later they conquered Europe and they were set for life. Even with Uriel taking the lion’s share as he had always done, they now had more money than they could spend.

What the band members didn’t know and what was only between Cas and his therapist, was that Uriel saved his life once, and the price tag that had been attached to it.

 

1991

Why Cas thought it was a good idea to come to New York was beyond him. He should have travelled further South where it was warmer. Yeah, right, like he had the money to afford it.

The first thing Cas had done when he left his home in Pontiac, Illinois, was clear his bank account. He thanked every God in existence his father hadn’t frozen it yet when he withdrew all the money. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to buy a bus ticket and the minimum amount of food and water to get by for a few days. This was little less than a week ago. He just spent the last of his change on a small bottle of water.

Cas asked himself if maybe he could sell his coat. It was a pretty expensive one. With the money he would get for it, he could buy a used, less warm one and have enough left to keep himself from starving.

His coat however was the only thing that shielded him from most of the bitter cold, especially at night. Selling it wasn’t such a good idea. But what was better? Starving to death or freezing to death?

He coughed. Damn it. Now he was getting a cold to boot. That’s just great. He needed to make money and fast. The question was, where? He had been searching for something, anything, since he arrived.

Trying his luck one more time, he stepped into a bar. He dished up the usual story about how he was a student who was looking to earn some extra bucks, while bracing himself for another rejection.

The bartender, probably the owner of the joint, gave him a once over while he rubbed with a dish cloth over a beer glass. He held it up against the light of the counter to see if there were any smudges left.

“What’s the matter?” he said with a smirk. “Daddy doesn’t wanna to give you more pocket change?”

The hurt in Cas’s eyes must have been obvious, because the guy’s demeanor instantly changed. He sighed deeply. “Can you wash dishes and clean glasses without breaking anything?”

Cas blinked. Did this mean what he thought it meant? He nodded vigorously.

“Be here tomorrow at 7. Happy hour starts at 8 and it gets crowded by then. You’ll get off at midnight. Works for you?”

“Yes! Yes it does. Thank you.”

“Don’t be late,” the bartender grumbled. He turned his back and disappeared through a swinging door that led, as far as Cas could see, to the kitchen area.

At the prospect of earning some money starting tomorrow, Cas felt a whole lot lighter. For the first time since he arrived, he could enjoy the beauty of the brightly lit city as it was preparing itself for Christmas.

The holiday season had always been Cas’s favorite time of the year when his mom was still alive. He could almost smell the scent of vanilla and chocolate flavored cookies when he remembered those happy years.

A big Christmas tree with colorful blinking lights woven through the branches, and wrapped presents underneath it always brightened the same corner of the living room every year.

Memories of hot chocolate and snuggles with his mom underneath a blanket on the couch; cheerful Christmas carols and cheesy Christmas movies flooded his mind and brought a sad smile to his lips.

All of it changed when his mom passed away. They still celebrated Christmas; there was still a fully decorated Christmas tree in that same corner of the room, but gone was the warmth; gone was the smell; gone was everything else he associated with Christmas. It never was the same again.

Hurrying through the streets of New York, Cas made his way to his place at an abandoned part of the subway he had found when he was searching for a place to sleep on his first day here. It was crawling with homeless people.

Cas never interacted with them, nor did he try. Not that he didn’t want to, he just didn’t know how. Besides, they weren’t very friendly to him. It took a few days before he figured out why. It was the way he was dressed; his warm coat and equally warm boots, not to mention his sleeping bag. They were all expensive items and the people here probably thought they were stolen. In their minds, no homeless person could possess things like that unless they were nicked, so, they stayed away from him, afraid he would steal from them too.

It was fine. Cas would rather keep to himself.

----------

Cas loved his work at the bar. It had some benefits. First of all, he made some money and second, he had a warm place to stay from 7 till midnight. He was grateful for that.

The cough that was bothering him however, got worse. He couldn’t seem to get rid of it. The over the counter cough syrup he had bought with the first money he had earned, didn’t do the trick.

“That’s a pretty nasty cough you got there. Maybe you should see a doctor,” a man at the counter said as he was waiting for his beer to be served.

Cas looked up at chocolate brown eyes in a dark colored face. He waved his arm. “I’m fine. It’s nothing.”

“If you say so.” The man took his beer bottle and walked away. He resumed his place at a table somewhere in the middle of the bar.

Cas shook his head. What the hell was the deal with this guy? He’d been watching him ever since he started working here a few days ago.

A shiver went through Cas’s body. It was both from an upcoming fever as from the predatory look in that dark man’s eyes. He didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all.

Another coughing fit hit him. This time it was accompanied by a burning sensation in his chest. It was like someone hit him with a sledgehammer.

Cas struggled through the rest of his hours washing dishes and cleaning glasses. He had to hold it together. He couldn’t lose this job, he’d rather die first.

By the time his shift was over, Cas was shaking. Cold sweat was literally running down his spine. He was cold and yet it was like he was burning up inside.

White, cotton like flakes were falling from the sky when he exited the bar. They slowly but steadily wove a thin carpet on the ground. Every year Cas had prayed for a white Christmas. This time he could do without it. Snow was the last thing he needed right now.

Holding himself steady with one hand against the wet, cold bricks of the wall in the back alley of the bar, Cas tried to make his way to the subway. It was hard to breathe; it was like inhaling pins and needles.

He stopped and closed his eyes. No matter how painful it was, he had to take some deep breaths to get rid of the fuzziness in his head.

It was useless. Every intake of air resulted in a coughing fit and explosions going off in his chest.

He took off the backpack from his shoulders to relieve the sore muscles in his neck. It was right then and there Cas realized he had the flu. He was so screwed. If he didn’t take care of it, it would result in pneumonia and that would be a death sentence for someone like him who didn’t have the money to see a doctor.

With the last ounce of strength he managed to dig up, and the final piece of coherent thinking, he decided to go to a hospital. It didn’t matter if he didn’t have any money. Doctors were obligated to help him, right? They swore an oath. They wouldn’t let him die. It was his only hope.

On legs that got weaker with every passing minute, Cas concentrated the best he could at putting one foot in front of the other and holding on to his backpack. It was heavy though, too heavy, but he couldn’t afford to lose it.

A mist blurred his vision. Through the dark spots that danced before his eyes, he saw an ethereal figure floating a few feet above the ground.

Cas blinked. “Mom?” He was hallucinating. He must be hallucinating. There was no other explanation.

The woman in front of him held out her arms.

“Oh, mom.” Cas started sobbing. It was then when he gave up. He let go of his last will to live and fell to his knees, the wet blanket of snow soaking his pants. “Take me home mom. Please, take me home,” he whispered and closed his eyes as he laid down on the cold snow covered ground, welcoming the warmth of the velvety darkness that started to descent on him.

----------

The Angels left the recording studio at 7. Meg invited everyone over to her place for some drinks. Cas declined. He let their driver drop him off at his penthouse and bid his band members goodnight as he exited the vehicle.

Cas’s bodyguard followed him into the building and escorted him upstairs where he relieved the security guard that was posted there whenever Cas wasn’t at home. No unwanted visitors could enter this place without passing three layers of security first. It was a necessary evil Uriel had insisted on the moment they’d become famous and were stalked by crazy fans.

Cas went straight to his bedroom where he changed into comfortable sweats. On bare feet he darted back downstairs to his living room. He plopped down on the corner sofa in front of the fire place that wasn’t burning on this hot summer night.

A copy of Dean’s picture with his mobile number attached to it, was laying on the coffee table. Hannah made it for him on his request.

In his mind, Cas went back to the short conversation they had this morning. He smiled at the recollection.

With his finger, Cas traced the lines of Dean’s face again. He truly was a gorgeous man, but so different from the teenager he had seen briefly what felt like a lifetime ago, except for the eyes. The green eyes that now looked at him through a pair of glasses, had haunted Cas for years. Eventually they had faded to the background, but they never really got lost in the alcoves of his subconscious mind. He always managed to bring up the memory of those eyes whenever he wanted to.

Cas never saw Dean again after that. He got promoted from a worker at Alastair’s club to a high priced escort who made house calls.

Some of his clients were nice enough, but some of them made him do downright horrible things he buried so deep even his therapist had a hard time digging them up so he could face them and deal with them in a healthy way, instead of repressing them and pretend they didn’t happen.

“It’s a small world, isn’t it, Dean,” he whispered at the picture. His eyes fell onto the small piece of paper with a cell phone number scrambled upon it. Dean’s number.

The temptation to call him welled up. With great effort he pushed it away. It was not a good idea to give in. First of all, Dean probably didn’t remember him, not with all the heavy make-up he wore in public and the black eyeliner surrounding his eyes. And second, he had a reputation to uphold; the one of a manly bad boy, a player who liked tall blondes with big boobs.

Cas let out a heavy sigh. It was all a smokescreen. It was a mask he hid behind. Only a handful of people knew who he really was and Dean wasn’t one of them. It’s better he kept it that way. He would have a nice dinner with him, make some small talk, maybe get to know him a bit better and then walk away. It wasn’t exactly rocket science. At least, it wouldn’t be if it weren’t for that annoying little voice in the back of his head; the one that sarcastically told him it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Chapter Text

 

Dean came out of the bedroom, dressed in a beige cardigan over grey slacks and with a white button down underneath it. He posed seductively, to show Charlie his new clothes.

With a critical eye, Charlie gave him a once over.

“Hmmm.” She patted her index finger against her lips. “Nice, Dean…when you go out for coffee. It’s hardly appropriate for a concert.”

Dean’s shoulders slumped. He sighed in defeat. “It’s not just the concert. I have a date with Cas afterwards, remember?”

“I do remember. It still doesn’t mean you can’t go in jeans and a T-shirt.”

“For dinner? Seriously?”

“Yes, Dean. Seriously.”

“Even if they are old and have holes in them? Because those are the only ones I have.” He shot her a challenging look.

Charlie glared back with her arms folded across her chest. She tilted her head, apparently in deep thought.

“You know what?” she finally said. “I’m gonna take you shopping.”

“What?” Dean shook his head. “No. No, no, no.” She couldn’t be serious. She knew how much he hated that. Besides, what was wrong with the clothes he was wearing besides the fact he looked pretty nerdy in them? It suddenly hit him that, that’s what was wrong with them. Charlie was right. He couldn’t possibly go to a rock concert looking like this.

“Come on, Dean. What are you still standing there for? Let’s go.”

Dean moved his eyes heavenward as if the ceiling held the answer to the question about how he was going to get out of this shopping trip. Of course, it didn’t. He had no other choice than to follow Charlie and see where she took him.

--------

Three hours and an early dinner later, they were back, loaded with shopping bags. Dean went straight to his bedroom to change.

He came out, wearing a pair of black jeans, a simple white T-shirt and a very badass black leather jacket. He had even traded his glasses for a pair of contacts he only wore on special occasions.

Charlie nodded in approval with a big smile on her lips. “Much better.” She nudged his shoulder with a fisted hand. “You’re gonna knock ‘em dead.”

Dean huffed out a shy laugh. There was a reason why he didn’t go dressed like this in his everyday life. His looks were what got him into trouble in the past in the first place. He didn’t want to draw attention to himself, so he hid behind a nerdy look to make sure no one would give him a second glance.

 

1996

“Well, well, well. What have we here?”

Alastair reminded Dean of a predator. His eyes were cold and hard, and he had an annoying nasal accent that made Dean want to run as far away from him as humanly possible.

He shouldn’t have come. This was a bad idea. He was about to put a stop to it when the image of his younger brother appeared before his mind’s eye and reminded him why exactly he was here.

“Rule number one,” Alastair said harshly. “You do not speak unless you’re asked something and you always, ALWAYS address me with ‘sir’. Are we clear?”

Dean swallowed around a lump in his throat. “Yes.”

“Yes what, boy?”

“Sir.” Dean swallowed again. “Yes, sir.” His voice was nothing more than a faint whisper. He hated himself for it. The last thing he wanted to show this snake was fear. He straightened and looked him dead in the eyes, like his father had taught him to do when he was faced with something he was afraid of.

“Good. I’ll forgive you this one time. Next time you’ll be punished.”

Dean’s breath hitched at that threat. He didn’t know what kind of ‘punishment’ this Alastair dude had in store, but he sure as hell didn’t want to find out.

“What’s your name, boy?”

“Dean…sir.”

Alastair nodded. “So, Dean. How do you identify yourself?”

Dean frowned. He didn’t exactly understand that question.

“I’m…I’m sorry…I don’t know…sir?”

“Not very bright, are you?” Alastair smirked, and Dean wanted to punch him for that statement. He was smarter than this piece of shit thought. He clenched his hands at his sides to restrain himself from beating the crap out of this douchebag. Right, like that was the smart thing to do.

“Your sexual orientation, boy,” Alastair said with an impatient sigh.

Oh. “Bisexual, sir.” He held his head high as if he was proud of that but could not help heat rising to his cheeks.

Dean had learned a long time ago that he could fall in love with both genders. He had carefully hidden it from his dad though. John would have probably given him a beating to remember if he found out.

“Interesting,” Alastair said thoughtfully. He pursed his lips. “Did Keith tell you who I am? What this is?”

“He told me some,” Dean replied. “Sir,” he quickly added.

“Let me enlighten you,” Alastair said after shooting him a dead glare for almost forgetting how he had to be addressed. “I run a gentlemen’s club. My clientele are rich, powerful businessmen. They often live very public lives, and because of that, they can’t exactly come out as gay or bisexual. Most of them have a wife and kids but they prefer men. Since they are well known faces, they can’t go to the usual gay bars with the risk of being recognized. I guarantee them their privacy. They pay me very good money for that and to be a member of this club.”

Dean nodded. It’s what that bearded man, Keith, had told him.

“You’ll be a male prostitute,” Alastair went on. “You’ll do whatever the clients want you to do and the only way you’ll get off is probably just by prostate stimulation, unless of course the client decides otherwise or he wants to be fucked himself, which they rarely do, but still... No masturbation is allowed within these walls. You can do that in your own free time. You’ll get twenty bucks an hour no matter what you do and you can choose to work whenever you want. Still interested?”

Dean took in a shivering breath. Washing glasses at the bar might have been enough to keep him and Sam from starving and to have a roof above their heads, but that was about it. There was no money to buy new clothes for his brother, and the kid was growing like crazy. The apartment was always cold, they had to be careful with the amount of water they used, and when he came home last night, the electricity was shut off because he couldn’t pay the bills anymore. It had been the last straw. If they wanted to survive, and if he ever wanted to make Sam’s dreams come true by putting him through law school like he deserved, he had to do this. What other choice did he have?

“Yes, sir,” he therefore said, with more determination than he felt.

“Good.” Alastair clapped his hands together in delight. “Now, strip.”

Dean blinked. He didn’t see that one coming. “Ehm…excuse me…sir?”

“I said STRIP boy. Do not make me repeat myself.” Alastair’s tone of voice was firm and demanding.

This wasn’t happening. This douche couldn’t possibly be serious. Did he honestly want Dean to take off his clothes? Here? Now? With Keith still in the room? He shot the bearded guy a quick look. Keith was lazily hanging in the armchair, a smug smile plastered on his mouth.

“Don’t mind him.” Alastair waved his arm. “Now do you really want me to ask again?” The threat hidden in those words didn’t go unnoticed.

“No, sir,” Dean quickly said. With trembling hands he undressed himself until he was standing in nothing more than his boxers. The room wasn’t cold, yet goosebumps appeared on his body.

Alastair studied him from head to toe and then rolled his eyes. “Briefs too, boy.”

Dean swallowed hard. Hesitantly he slipped his fingers behind the waistband of his boxers. In one fluid move, he pushed them down his legs and stepped out of them as they fell at his feet.

“Hmmm, good.” Alastair circled around him, inspecting him like he was some piece of meat. Dean could feel the man’s gaze gliding over him, making all the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He clenched his fists so hard, his fingernails dug painfully into the flesh of his palms.

“That’s a nice specimen you found me, Keith,” Alastair mused. His eyes fell onto his cock. “Not cut, huh?”

“Is that a problem, sir?” Dean challenged.

Alastair gave him a warning glance. “Did I allow you to speak boy?” he boomed.

Dean bowed his head. “No, sir.”

“Then don’t.” Alastair took a step forward and took Dean’s limp cock in his hands. “But to answer your question, no, it’s not a problem. It’s unusual, but not a problem at all. It sure makes masturbation easier doesn’t it?” He slowly started stroking.

Dean inhaled deeply. His cock grew underneath Alastair’s touch. He found the man appalling, but his dick clearly didn’t mind. It was like it had a mind of its own.

“Pretty responsive, aren’t we,” Alastair said with a smirk. “I like that.” He continued stroking until Dean couldn’t help the arousal spiking through him despite everything.  Alastair laughed. “You’re quite the slut, aren’t you?” He released Dean’s cock and stepped back, leaving him hard as a rock.

Dean felt his face heat up with shame. What the hell was wrong with him letting this sleazy bastard touch him like that? Even worse, actually enjoying it? He cursed himself for not having more control over his own goddamn body.

----------

The VIP area of the concert hall was crowded with people who were obviously very important. Dean didn’t know any of them, but he figured they all worked in the music industry or were close friends of the band members.

Even though he was more of a beer drinker, Dean happily accepted the glass of champagne that was offered to him. He took a sip while scanning the room over the brim of his glass. Everyone was dressed casually except some old guys who wore actual suits. He was glad Charlie had insisted on taking him shopping. He might feel out of place, but he looked like he fitted right in.

A few nice looking women checked him out. They tried flirting with him from afar. Dean couldn’t say he wasn’t flattered, but he wasn’t interested. If this was another place, and especially another time, he would have jumped at the opportunity to take home some random hook up, but not anymore. The days of one-night stands were over. He wanted some stability; someone he could spend the rest of his life with, and those two over there? They weren’t exactly long term relationship material. Besides, he was here for the concert and for Castiel.

“Dean Winchester?” The voice behind him belonged to a female and sounded vaguely familiar.

Dean whirled around and was met with a pair of light blue eyes that belonged to a woman with half long, dark brown hair that surrounded a pretty face.

“Yes?”

The woman smiled. “I’m Hannah.” She reached out her hand. “Nice to finally meet you in person.”

“Oh.” Dean mirrored her smile. He awkwardly wiped his sweaty palm on his jeans before taking her hand. “Hi.”

“Castiel asked me to inform him when you had arrived.” Hannah made a note on the paper held by a clipboard she cradled in the hook of one of her arms. “I hope the ride over was all right?”

“Yes. Yes, it was.”

Another smile graced Hannah’s lips. “I’m glad. The car will take you to the place of your meeting which is held secret for security reasons.” She looked up at him. “We talked about this.”

Dean nodded. He had talked a lot with Hannah over the phone the past few days to discuss how this whole ‘Date with an Angel’ thing worked.

“Okay then. The concert is about to start. May I escort you to your seat?” Without waiting for an answer, she turned on her heels and wove her way through the crowd of bodies.

Dean quickly emptied his glass and followed her.

Hannah led him to the balcony that was attached to the VIP area, where he was appointed a front row seat. He had a clear view from up here. The distance to the stage wasn’t too far or too near; it was just about right.

Below him he could see the place was packed. Still more and more people entered and also the VIP area slowly flooded full with the invited guests, or the people who paid good money to get these privilege seats.

The fans got impatient as their excitement grew. When the houselights finally dimmed and the stage was lit in colorful neon lights and bright laser beams, the crowd exploded in cheers. The screams reached new heights when the band entered the stage. It was so deafening and so loud Dean was sure the roof was going to come down.

To say the concert was awesome would be the understatement of the century. To Dean, this was a whole new experience. He had seen a lot of ‘The Angel’s’ concerts online, but to be a part of it, to be there, live, was something entirely different. The atmosphere that hung in the air could best be described as something magical. It filled every pore of Dean’s body and left him resonating with emotions he couldn’t even begin to describe.

By the time the concert reached its end, Dean was clapping and cheering as much as the rest, grinning so wide his cheeks hurt. His admiration of Castiel had jumped to a new level. The guy was amazing.

The band rounded up the concert as they always did, with Cas climbing on a platform on the stage. As the last notes of their most famous song faded away, he spread his arms and looked up at the roof. Two massive black wings were projected on the white screen behind him and made him look like a real live angel. It was the highlight of every concert and it always managed to take Dean’s breath away.

For one short moment, Dean got caught in the brightness of a laser beam. At that exact moment, Castiel glanced up at the VIP area. In that maybe tenth of a second their eyes met. Dean’s heart skipped a few beats as he gasped for air, and he was sure he saw a faint smile ghosting Castiel’s lips before the laser beam moved away from him and Cas jumped off the platform.

Jesus. If he already reacted this strongly to Castiel, how was he going to react when he stood face to face with him? He would find out the answer to that question soon enough as that was actually going to happen later tonight. The prospect made the knot in his stomach that had finally loosened up, tighten again. How the hell was he going to survive the man named Castiel Novak?

‘The Angels’ did an encore as always. After that they took their time to greet their fans before they left the stage, not to return.

A security guard came to get Dean and ushered him to a waiting car. They had to leave before the crowd got the message the band had left the building and started to leave as well. They had to be gone before they got stuck in the rush.

----------

The ride to a secluded restaurant took twenty minutes. Hannah had told him they had rented the whole place for the night especially for this occasion.

Dean wanted to throw up the early dinner he’d had, that’s how sick with anxiety he was at the prospect of meeting Castiel. He hid it behind a demeanor of confidence. No matter how nervous he was at times, he never showed it.

Hannah waited for him in the hall of the restaurant.

“Hi again,” she greeted with that same smile from before. She gave a short nod at the security guard who escorted him, to acknowledge his presence. “Castiel and his band are waiting for you, but before we go in, I would like to go over some things with you again.”

Dean was sure he was going to hear the same things he already heard about a million times in the past few weeks. He was right.

“There will be some pictures taken of you and the band members, especially of you and Castiel. Just, act casual, like they aren’t there. Don’t worry, we have to approve everything they print. You’ll have the chance to chat with the band, get to know them a bit. After that everyone will leave, except Gadreel here, so you can have a nice, quiet dinner with Castiel. I hope everything that is discussed between you two will stay between you two, you know what I mean?”

“Yes. I understand.”

Hannah looked at him as if she was trying to read him, and then apparently came to the decision she could trust him.

 “Okay then. So, are you ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Dean huffed around a small chuckle with nerves raging through him. This was it. He was mere steps away from meeting a man he had been admiring for over a decade now, and he had no idea what exactly to expect.

As soon as Hannah opened the double wooden doors for him and Dean stepped into a dimly lit private room of the restaurant, four pair of eyes landed upon him. The only ones that caught his attention though, were the electric blue ones surrounded by black lines from Castiel.

The piercing gaze he was met with seemed to cut right through him until it touched his very soul, like it was able to unravel all the secrets he had hidden there. It was both scary and extremely arousing, and there was no place to hide; not that he wanted to.

Castiel’s smoky voice sounded even more like decades old whisky in real life. Dean gasped as it rippled through his body and pooled warm in his belly where it stayed, nesting there forever.

“Hello, Dean.”

Chapter Text

 

The forest green eyes that looked at him were the same ones Cas had stored away in his memory. The last pieces of doubt he had that maybe he wasn’t the one, faded away. It was him. The boy from so long ago had become a man.

The picture didn’t do him justice. Not a thousand photos could truly capture the gorgeous man that was Dean Winchester.

Cas formed a genuine smile on his lips. “Hello Dean.” He walked over to him with his hand reached out. Dean took it and the moment they touched, a jolt of electricity shot up Cas’s arm straight to his heart. The expression of surprise appearing on Dean’s face told Cas he had felt it too. He tried to hide it by being casual.

“Hey, Cas.”

The voice was dark as the night but soft like velvet. It did something to Cas’s insides, something he had never experienced before; something he didn’t even know.

Cas didn’t realize he was staring until the bright light of a camera flashed and pulled him out of his reverie. He quickly collected himself as he released Dean’s hand and instantly missed the warmth.

“Let me introduce you to my band members,” he said with a wave of his arm to his friends who were patiently waiting, exchanging knowing smiles and meaningful glances between each other.

----------

For about thirty minutes, they all made some small talk while the reporters were circling around them with their cameras. Sometimes they were asked to pose for some pictures, but most of the time they were left alone.

Cas sensed Dean relaxing with every passing second. Once the ice was broken, everyone chatted like they were all old friends, talking about their lives, telling funny anecdotes and getting to know each other on a superficial level, but Cas knew there was more to Dean Winchester than met the eye. Maybe he could dig a little deeper over dinner. He was curious how the hell Dean got involved with Alastair. What had happened that made him think he had no other options, or there was no way out other than to seek refuge with a sexual predator like that?

It was near eleven when Hannah announced dinner was ready. A few more pictures were taken with them sitting at the table, and then everyone left the room after saying goodbye to Dean.

Gadreel made a last sweep around the room to make sure no reporters were left behind in hiding to listen in on the conversation Dean and Cas might have. Once he was done, he gave Cas a nod and left, taking his position outside by the doors.

Without his friends there to act as a buffer, Cas actually got nervous now that he was left all alone with Dean. He wanted to touch him, to feel him, to kiss him.

No! He drove the desire back to wherever the hell it came from. It was so wrong on so many levels. Dean was here as his fan, nothing more, and even if he did have a crush on him, it wasn’t fair to take advantage of that. Besides, it wasn’t real. Dean was in love with an image, a dream, with everything Cas wasn’t.

Idle conversation was made over the entrée. By the time the main course was served, Cas decided to start his fishing expedition.

“Tell me a bit about yourself, Dean. Where were you born?”

“Oh.” Dean gave him a shy smile. “I was born in Kansas. Lebanon to be exact.” He cut a piece off his medium rare steak. “We moved to New York right after Sam was born. Dad didn’t like the city. It was too big, too loud, too everything and he hated ‘The Yankees’. A sigh left his lips. “But he loved mom and he did it for her.” There was a hint of melancholy audible in his voice as he continued. “He’d do anything for her, you know?”

Cas nodded. “Yes, I can understand that.”

“Life was good for a while,” Dean went on after a few seconds of lingering silence. “Then my mom died from a brain tumor when I was fifteen, sending my dad spiraling out of control. He was gone most of the time and when he was around, he was drunk. We lost the house and had to move to a cheaper place. I took an after school job washing glasses at a bar but soon found something that paid more and when I finally graduated from High School, I could take on more hours and saved every penny I had to put Sam through law school, because John Winchester sure as hell wasn’t gonna do that.”

There was so much pain behind those words Cas could almost physically feel it. So that’s why he sold his body. It all started to make sense, and Dean’s father was responsible for what he had gone through. He hated John for that. There was a special place in hell reserved for the likes of him.

“I’m…sorry, Dean.” Cas had to fight the urge to place his hands over Dean’s to comfort him.

Dean chuckled without much humor to it. “That’s okay.” He waved with his fork. “It’s a long time ago.”

“Is he still around? Your dad?”

Dean shook his head. “No. One day he left and never returned. Haven’t heard from him since. I have no idea what happened to him and frankly, I don’t care. I took care of myself and Sam and when he got accepted into Stanford, I moved with him to San Francisco to be close to him. Got a job restoring classic cars which paid good money and I could put myself through college, which landed me a job at Global Industries, and I recently got promoted to the head of the IT department. I still restore old cars to their former glory as a hobby. It’s a nice extra.”

All the while telling Cas his life story, he didn’t really look him in the eyes. He mostly concentrated on the food on his plate. Cas knew why. He wasn’t really lying, but he wasn’t exactly telling the whole ugly truth either. Why would he? In the end, they were still strangers. Cas was surprised he told him this much already.

“Man, I’m sorry,” Dean said around a big sigh. “I didn’t mean to lay this all on you.” He put the last piece of steak in his mouth.

“That’s totally fine, Dean. I’m…” Cas searched for the right word. “Honored that you trust me enough to tell me.”

Dean wiped his fingers and the corners of his mouth with the crispy white napkin. “Well, it’s not something you tell someone you barely know.” He reached for his wine glass and took a sip. “Did they put truth serum in the food or something?”

Cas let out a soft laugh. “I doubt it,” he joked. “My own personal cook made the food. I trust him.”

Their conversation stopped when a waiter came to take away the remains of their dinner. He cleaned the tablecloth to make it ready for the dessert that was about to be served.

“Enough about me,” Dean said as he watched after the man who walked away with the dirty dishes. He turned his attention back to Cas. “What about you? Did you grow up in New York? The articles I read about your past aren’t clear about that.”

Cas knew this subject would come up at some point. The PR department had cooked up a whole story he had to tell Dean in case Cas’s past was addressed. If it had been any other fan, Cas would have gone along with it. But this was Dean and the last thing he wanted to do was lie to his face. The man had been pretty open with him. It was only fair to do the same. Screw Naomi and screw Uriel.

“I was born and raised in Illinois.” Cas sighed. “Also I lost my mother at a rather young age. I was ten. I have – had – an older brother, Michael.” He took in a deep breath, ready to tell Dean something no one outside his circle of friends knew. “My father disowned me and threw me out when I was seventeen and found out I liked boys more than girls.” He anxiously bit his lower lip, curious about how Dean was going to react to that tidbit of information.

Dean didn’t seem shocked, not even surprised or, most importantly appalled. He just calmly searched his face. “That’s an awful thing for him to do, throwing you out because of that,” he finally said.

They stopped talking again when the waiter from before brought the flambéed crepes with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

“It’s how I ended up in New York,” Cas resumed the conversation when the waiter disappeared again. “I washed glasses at a bar too to get by.”

Dean’s eyebrows shot up. “That’s some strange coincidence.”

“Yes. Yes, it is,” Cas agreed thoughtfully. Oh if Dean only knew how similar their pasts really were. “I’m glad I didn’t send you running for the hills with what I told you before,” he went on.

“You mean the gay thing?”

“Yes. The gay thing.”

Dean shrugged. “No, man. Why would it? I’m bisexual myself.” He dug back into the crepes on his plate, like it was no big deal that he just revealed a big part of himself to Cas.

Cas of course already suspected it. Dean wouldn’t have ended up at Alastair’s club if he wasn’t gay or at least bi. He suddenly realized Dean didn’t have to tell him how he identified himself, he just did it. He wondered why. Was this some sort of open invitation? A subtle way to tell him Dean wouldn’t mind if he tried to take things further?

No! He was not going there. As much as he wanted to taste Dean’s lips or explore the moistness of his mouth, it wasn’t right; it wasn’t sensible. It wasn’t even possible. But, oh what would it feel like to have Dean’s legs wrapped around his waist as he fucked them both to the greatest high of all time? What would it be like to have Dean squirming in pleasure underneath him, begging and screaming his name in sweet release?

The images dancing before his eyes made his cock twitch with interest. Great, and now he was getting a boner. He needed to put a stop to this before he did something they would both regret with the break of dawn. It might be something that was nice to think about, but it wasn’t wise to act on it.

“So, tell me about your brother,” Cas changed the subject to get his mind off the things he had just imagined.

A fond glint appeared in the green of Dean’s eyes. The specks of gold in them lit up as Dean told him about Sam, his sister in law and his two nephews. It was clear as day Dean loved his brother.

Their dinner date was rounded off with coffee. Since it was already two in the morning, Cas opted for decaf and so did Dean.

The sadness that washed over Cas when Hannah appeared to tell them it was time to leave hit him by surprise. Cas didn’t want this night to end. He wanted to take Dean home with him, but no matter how tempting the idea was to hold him through the rest of the night, it was not an option.

Hannah discreetly left again so they could say their goodbyes in private.

“I had a great time, Dean. Thank you,” Cas said as they slowly walked to the double doors where they stopped for a second.

“No, man. Thank you for making it possible,” Dean replied with a shake of his head. His body language betrayed him. Cas saw Dean was as reluctant as he was for this date to end.

They stared intensely into each other’s eyes, neither of them wanting to part.

As they finally shook hands Cas couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to touch him; he needed to hold him just this one time.

Hesitantly, he pulled Dean into a hug. He could feel all the muscles in Dean’s body tense up for a second before he relaxed in his arms.

Cas closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, breathing in the smell of leather and oil mixed with the aromatic woodsy notes interwoven with a hint of lavender from his aftershave. He carefully stored the clean, fresh scent that was all Dean away in his memory forever, before he released him.

He looked into Dean’s beautiful green eyes again and realized that, no, he wasn’t ready to say goodbye permanently. He couldn’t walk away from this; from him and never look back.

“Dean, may I…call you or text you sometimes?”

The initial expression on Dean’s face was pure shock. He looked at him in utter disbelief. Then his features brightened in a manner that could light up an entire city.

“Sure, Cas.” The toothy smile that accompanied his words made the fine lines around his eyes crinkle. At that exact moment Cas crushed like he had never crushed in his life. He was so screwed. How was this ever going to end well?

----------

San Francisco had been the final city the band visited on their tour for the West Coast. After that, they took a four week vacation.

Except for one thing next week – something Cas looked forward to – he had made no plans for how to spend his free time.

It had been six days since his date with Dean. Cas lost count of how many times he had played it over and over again in his mind, cherishing every moment of it.

He had asked Dean if he could call him, but to this day, he hadn’t. Somehow, he couldn’t seem to conjure up the courage.

With a sigh, Cas took out his phone for the millionth time. He formed Dean’s number he knew by heart, but just as he was about to hit the call button, he chickened out…again.

Damn it. A frustrated groan left his lips as he let his head fall against the cushions of the sofa. Why was he such a big coward? He closed his eyes.

“And what exactly are you going to do about it, Castiel?”

Cas’s eyes flew open and looked straight at Hannah. He didn’t even hear her entering, that’s how soft her footsteps had been, dimmed by the carpeted floor.

“I don’t know what you mean.” Cas awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck.

Hannah narrowed her eyes. “Really, Castiel? I saw you with Dean last Saturday night, and if you haven’t been pining the past six days then I don’t know what you’ve been doing.”

“I’m…” Cas cut himself off. Denying it would be a blatant lie, so he settled for “It’s complicated.”

“Tell me. I’m a master at complicating things.” Hannah placed herself on the couch opposite him.

Cas rolled his eyes. But maybe Hannah was right. He needed to vent to someone, someone he could share his feelings and his doubts with. So, why not his personal assistant? He had known her for a long time and of all his friends, she knew him the best.

“I don’t know if Dean feels the same way.”

“Oh, that’s easy. He does. I have eyes and trust me when I say he most definitely does.” Hannah waved her arm. “Go on. Let’s see what more excuses you can come up with.”

With his hands on his thighs, Cas pushed himself up. He went over to the mini bar to fix himself a drink. “That maybe so, but Dean fell for rock star Castiel. You know, the man with the earrings and the make-up and the tattoos.” He let some ice cubes fall into a crystal glass.

“Well, then show him the man behind the earrings and the make-up and the tattoos,” Hannah cleverly countered. “Let him get to know the real you.”

Cas poured a small amount of overpriced scotch over the ice cubes. “It’s not that easy.” He took his drink and brought it back to the couch.

“Believe me, I understand,” Hannah said. “It means you have to drop your mask and show vulnerability. But if you ever want someone to share your life with, you will have to take that chance. This is your chance, Castiel. Don’t let it slip away.”

Cas carefully sipped his drink as he thought about Hannah’s words in the moment of silence that fell between them.

“You’re going to Washington next week, right?”

The reminder of his upcoming trip put a smile on Cas’s lips; a smile that faded as soon as it came. “Yes, and that’s another item on the list of complicated things.”

“One step at a time, Castiel. You’ll cross that bridge when you come to it. Go see Dean after Washington. Spend some time with him, see where it leads and then start worrying about the rest.” She took a breath. “And for the love of all that is holy, call him. What are you so afraid of?”

Cas shrugged. “I don’t know. Falling, maybe?”

“Well, sweetie, then I have news for you. You already have,” Hannah replied. “Now it’s up to you to see how hard the landing will be.”

----------

Cas was still thinking about Hannah’s words long after she had left him alone with his thoughts.

On an impulse he took his phone and booked a first class seat on a flight to San Francisco for tomorrow. Screw everything. It was time he took a leap of faith and grabbed the chance that was given to him like Hannah had suggested.

Chapter Text

 

Why didn’t he call? Dean had asked himself this about a thousand times over the last week.

Every time his phone had rang – both his desk phone at the office as well as his cell phone – he had jumped about a meter high, hoping it was Castiel. His hopes always crashed and burned when it turned out not to be him.

It was Saturday evening, and still no word from Cas. Dean had abandoned all hope. Cas wasn’t going to call. Why would he? He was a world famous rock star, why on earth would he ever be interested in someone like him?

“Then why did you ask me?” Dean whispered. The question got lost in the emptiness of his slowly darkening living room where he was sitting on the couch. Not even the shadows that descended on it held the answer.

Dean had been on a high the first few days after his date. There had been a mutual attraction between him and Cas, he wasn’t mistaken about that. The tension that had simmered between them could have caused a power failure if nothing else. No, he hadn’t imagined it. It had been there. Maybe that’s why Cas had asked to stay in touch. It had probably been a spur of the moment, something he regretted once he had thought it over and came to the conclusion it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

With a sigh, Dean got up. It was time to hit the shower. He had been working on the restoration of an old timer all day and he was sweaty and greasy all over, smelling like engine oil and diesel. Dean loved the scent; his couch not so much. The thing started to smell like a goddamn garage. He should really learn to wash up first and then relax with a beer, instead of the other way around.

On his way to the bathroom upstairs, he placed his empty beer bottle on the kitchen counter and turned on some lamps to chase away the dusk of twilight, when his doorbell rang.

Ugh. Now what? Dean reluctantly turned around to answer the door. Maybe it was Charlie. He knew she had a date with Gilda, the woman he had hired to replace the employee who had decided to become a stay at home mom, but maybe something had come up, whatever that could be.

Dean turned on the light in the hall before he unlocked the door and swung it open in an almost dramatic manner. His breath hitched and for one moment he thought he was dreaming, at the sight of the man standing before him.

“Cas?”

He looked different without the earrings and the make-up but Dean would recognize those blue eyes anywhere. He had stared into them long enough last week for them to be forever seared in his brain, even without the black lines surrounding them.

A distant memory floated at the edge of his conscious mind. He tried to grab it, but just when he thought he had it, Castiel’s gravelly voice caused it to slip away.

“Hello Dean.”

Dean gasped. Much like the first time, the smoky voice rippled through his body and made him all tingly inside, the faint memory from a second ago gone again and maybe lost forever in the labyrinth of his subconscious.

“I’m…I’m sorry. I should have called first,” Cas said. “I can come back later if this is a bad time.” He moved to walk away.

“No!” Dean stopped him and then silently cursed himself for the desperation hidden in that one word. He quickly collected himself, taking on what he hoped was a casual demeanor.

“It’s okay. I didn’t expect you, that’s all.” He plastered an awkward smile on his lips and stepped aside. “Please, come in.”

Cas tilted his head with a few thoughtful lines between his brows, and damn it if that wasn’t just the most adorable thing Dean had ever seen.

“If you’re sure.”

“Yeah, man. Come on in.”

Cas stepped inside and Dean closed the door behind him. He led him to the living room and accidentally caught his reflection in the mirror they passed along the way. A long black streak of oil was painted on his left cheek and another one was visible on his forehead. Shit. He looked like a frigging mess and probably smelled like one too. If that wasn’t bad enough, he was wearing his glasses to top it all off. Fucking great.

Dean clenched and unclenched his fists at his sides to prevent himself from a major freak out. This was most definitely not how he imagined seeing Cas again.

“I’ve been working on a car all day,” he tried to explain his greasy clothes away. “I was just about to hit the shower when the doorbell rang.”

“My apologies. I didn’t…”

“Cas, it’s okay,” Dean cut him off. “I’m glad you’re here.” The words were out of his mouth before he realized it. Damn it, he shouldn’t have said that. Why did he say that?

“Please, sit down,” he quickly added with a wave from his arm at the couch, trying to summon up some form of amnesia to what he just blurted out. “Can I get you something to drink? Wine, soda, water, beer, something stronger?” Great, and now he was rambling. Could this get any worse?

“Not right now, Dean. Thank you.”

“Okay then. I’m…ehm…gonna take that shower now.” Dean pointed a thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the stairs. “You…you…” He took a few steps backwards and bumped into the armchair, which almost caused him to lose his balance and drop to the floor. Biting back an ‘ouch’ he huffed out a laugh. “Yeah.” He turned on his heels and hastily walked away.

“Jesus Christ, Winchester, get a fucking grip,” he silently admonished himself. He was acting like a fifteen year old whose crush just paid him a visit, which, beside the age, wasn’t very far from what was going on. Castiel fucking Novak was here, in his house. This was so far beyond his wildest dreams he had a hard time getting his brain to function properly.

Ten minutes, a quick shower and a nasty bruise later – he had painfully bumped his knee against the sink in the bathroom in his haste to put on his boxers – Dean darted back downstairs. He was dressed in his newest pair of black jeans and the green Henley Charlie had forced him to buy on their shopping spree last week, because it went so well with his eyes.

For one moment Dean had contemplated changing his glasses for his contacts, but then had decided against it. It would seem strange since it was already evening and he wasn’t planning on going out. Still, this was Castiel Novak here in his house and he wanted to look his best for him. Ah well, what was the use? The guy had seen him in glasses now anyway. Besides, what was he so worried about? So his eyesight wasn’t perfect, so what? It’s not like he had a chance with Cas no matter what he looked like.

Back in his living room, he saw Cas was studying the pictures on the mantle. He had shrugged off his jacket and neatly folded it over the back of a dining room chair.

Dean took a few quiet moments to watch him. The blue shirt he wore was so tight, he could see the muscles of his back move underneath the fabric.

Dean’s gaze wandered further down to admire Castiel’s nice piece of ass and the firm thighs that were hugged by a pair of blue jeans. Lord, those thighs. He wouldn’t mind it one bit if he got caught between them in an iron grip around his waist, as they urged him to go deeper and deeper...

Gasping for air he startled himself out of his reverie. His crotch area was getting very tight. What the hell was wrong with him? It wasn’t going to happen. Fantasizing about Cas when he was laying alone in bed at night was one thing. Doing the same with the guy standing only a few feet in front of him was downright creepy.

Dean took a deep, silent breath and adjusted himself. On socked feet he walked over to Cas, forcing a smile onto his lips. He cleared his throat to announce his presence.

“That’s my little brother, Sam,” he said with a nod at the picture in Cas’s hands.

Cas’s eyebrows shot up. “Little?”

“My ‘big’ little brother,” Dean laughed. He pointed at the woman standing beside Sam. “That’s Eileen, his wife of six years.”

“She’s pretty.”

“Hmm.” Dean nodded. “Yeah.” He reached out to take another picture frame. His arm slightly brushed against Cas’s. A spike of adrenaline shot through him at the contact, leaving everything inside him humming in harmony.

“These two adorable kids are my nephews,” he said, trying his hardest to ignore what had just happened. “Aaron is four, Jeffrey is two and there is a baby girl on the way.” He carefully put the picture back on the mantle.

“That’s a beautiful family you have there, Dean.” Cas turned to him and again Dean was hit with that intense stare of electric blue. It was hard to tear his gaze away from those mesmerizing eyes that had the color of a clear summer sky. Dean was captivated by them.

“Are you hungry?” he blurted out as a way to forcefully, however reluctantly, break the magic moment they shared before he did something incredibly stupid.

The corners of Cas’s mouth moved up in a faint smile. “I am, yes.”

“How does homemade lasagna sound? I made some yesterday and there’s enough left for the two of us. There’s also some cherry pie left for dessert.” He snapped his mouth shut at the realization of what he was doing. Did he just invite Cas to stay over for dinner? Fuck.

Cas however, gladly accepted. “I’m always in for a home cooked meal, and lasagna happens to be one of my favorite dishes.”

Of course it was. It must be fate Dean made fresh lasagna from scratch yesterday. What were the odds? Right. Like he was the picture of clairvoyance. Jesus.

“Great. I’m…eh…gonna heat it up then.” Dean turned on his heels and hurried to the kitchen.

----------

They ate at the kitchen counter and were soon engaged in some small talk like they were old friends.

Dean had opened a bottle of Merlot. The more he drank, the more he relaxed in the presence of Castiel Novak the famous rock star. The slight buzz he had going on not only helped to settle the nerves in his stomach, it also helped to find the courage to ask the question that had been burning on his lips ever since he found Cas on his doorstep.

“Not that I’m complaining, but, what made you decide to drop in for a visit? I mean, you are the last person I expected.”

“I wanted to see you again,” Cas replied without looking up from the food on his plate.

Dean blinked in surprise. Wow. Talk about being blatantly honest. Cas really was pretty straightforward wasn’t he. Dean didn’t know how to feel about it.

“I’m… I’m flattered.” He didn’t know what else to say.

Cas took his wineglass and sipped. “I have to be in Washington next week and I thought, well, why don’t I leave a little earlier and visit Dean.” He shot him a smile. “I had a great time last week and I’m sorry I didn’t call earlier.”

Dean dismissively waved his arm. “No, that’s okay. You’re here now. That’s even better than a phone call.” If Cas could be blunt about this whole situation, then he could be too. “I had a great time as well.” He stood up to take the pie from the fridge.

“You know, we are on a four week break before we start our tour on the East Coast,” Cas said while Dean was plating some cherry pie and handed him a slice. “After Washington, I’m planning to come back and spend the rest of my vacation here in San Francisco. Would you mind if I come over for a visit again while I’m here?”

Again, Dean was taken completely by surprise. “Yeah,” he replied almost breathlessly. “I mean, no,” he corrected himself. “No, I wouldn’t mind at all. I can show you around if you like.” He held his breath. He was seriously pushing it now. It was the wine that made him forget all his boundaries.

Cas didn’t seem to mind. “My own personal tour guide huh?”

“Something like that.” Dean huffed a laugh.

“I’d like that, yes.”

Another staring contest occurred. Dean could lose himself in the blue of Cas’s eyes, that’s how intense they were as they bore into his own. He unconsciously licked his bottom lip. If there wasn’t a kitchen counter separating them, Dean was sure he wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to surge forward and plant a kiss on Cas’s mouth.

No. No, no, no, NO! He couldn’t do that. It would ruin every possibility of what seemed to be the start of a promising friendship.

To fight the secret desires whirling inside his brain, he jumped up and started to clean up the remains of their dinner.

Cas wanted to help, but Dean wouldn’t let him.

“No, man. Sit down. Have some more wine.”

Dean rinsed off the plates before putting them in the dishwasher, trying to figure out how to bring up the next thing that had been on his mind since Cas’s unexpected visit. The man he just shared his lasagna with; the man who was sitting on his kitchen counter, casually sipping his wine, was nothing like the rock star he admired so much. Not that it was a bad thing, not at all. It actually was a very good thing because the guy was drop dead gorgeous even without all the make-up he wore in public. Dean was probably one of the few people who got to see him like this. To his knowledge, there were no pictures of Cas available, other than that of his alter ego.

“You know,” Dean said while wiping the counter with a dish cloth. “I barely recognized you when I opened the door.”

Cas nodded in understanding. “I guess I caught you off guard appearing without the make-up and everything else.”

“Yeah. You could say that.”

“Are you disappointed?”

Dean stopped his movements to look up at him. “What? No. No, man, not at all. If anything I’m kinda honored that you trusted me enough to show me the man behind the rock star.” He moved to the sink to rinse off the cloth. He wrung it out and neatly folded it.

“I’m glad,” Cas said. “I didn’t know how you would react, and if you were even interested in getting to know the real me.”

“Are you kidding?” Dean dried his hands on a towel. “Of course I want to know the real you.” He resumed his place at the counter and took the wine bottle. “Some more?”

Cas shook his head. “No, thank you. I have to go. I still have to find a hotel.”

Dean’s eyes widened. “You don’t have a place to stay yet? Man, it’s after ten already.”

“I know.” Cas laughed, which was more like a soft chuckle than a full body laugh. “I came here on a whim, deciding to find something when I got here. I didn’t imagine it would get this late.”

“Wait a minute.” Dean squinted behind his glasses. “Where’s your suitcase?”

“Outside by the door.”

“You left your suitcase outside?”

“Yes. I thought it would be odd to show up here with my suitcase in my hands.”

Dean ran a hand through his hair. Unbelievable. A sudden idea crossed his mind. It would be pretty risky, but, what the hell.

“You know what? Get your suitcase. I have a guest bedroom that is hardly ever used. It’s yours, if you want it.”

Cas stared at him as if he had just told him pigs could fly. “I…that’s very generous, Dean. But I don’t want to impose. I have taken enough advantage of your hospitality as it is.”

“You’re not imposing, Cas. I’m offering,” Dean said, all the time wondering if this was such a good idea. Then again, it wasn’t like he was inviting the guy into his bed.

Cas seemed to think it over. Dean could almost hear it.

“Okay then,” he made the final decision and boy didn’t that make Dean’s heart skip a few beats from pure excitement. Castiel fucking Novak, aka the world famous rock star, was going to stay the night. If this was a dream, Dean prayed to never wake up from it.

Chapter Text

 

1991

 

Cas slowly drifted out of his unconscious state. The more he came back to the land of the living, the more he became aware of his body. It was hurting all over and his head felt like it was stuffed full of cotton.

As the fog in his brain gradually cleared, the memories of what had happened came crashing back. The last thing he remembered was a snowy night; a cold ground and the image of his mom reaching out for him, then, darkness.

With great effort he peeled his eyelids open. He wasn’t there anymore, in that cold, back alley. Now he was lying in a soft bed, comfortable and warm in a room that wasn’t his. The only light came from a lamp at the bedside table that lit up the surroundings in a faint, orange glow.

He tried to speak, but his throat felt like he had swallowed a roll of sandpaper.

“Water,” he eventually forced out, his voice nothing more than a weak whisper.

A glass was held to his lips. Greatfully he took a few sips and was then hit with a coughing fit.

“Easy now,” a low baritone voice said.

Cas looked up to the owner of that voice. He was met with a pair of dark eyes in an equally dark face. He knew this man. It was the man from the bar.

“How,…”

“Don’t try to speak. All you need to know for now is that you’re safe. First you need to concentrate on getting better, then we’ll talk.”

Cas was too tired to argue or to even keep his eyes open for much longer. He closed them and was soon gone again in a forgetful sleep.

The next time he woke up, he was painfully aware of a full bladder. He threw off the covers and moved to get up.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, where do you think you’re going?” the low voice from the man with the black face asked. How was he still here?

“Bathroom,” Cas stammered. “I need to go.”

“Okay, okay. Just, be careful. You’re very weak.” The man helped him to stand up and supported him, as he led him to the bathroom.

With one hand against the tiles for balance, Cas managed to push his pants down and relieve himself. With great effort, he washed his hands afterwards, all the time shivering from the cold. Why was it so cold?

Leaning heavily on the sink, he looked up at his reflection in the mirror. He hardly recognized the boy that was staring back. The ugly, purple bags under his eyes stood out against the pale tone of his face. God he looked horrible.

Another coughing fit got a hold of him. He sagged to his knees on the floor with his hands pressed against his chest. It hurt so much. He vaguely realized this wasn’t just a common case of the flu anymore. This was so much worse.

The banging sound on the door seemed to come from very far away, accompanied by a voice laced with worry. “Castiel? Is everything all right in there?”

Cas tried to answer but couldn’t stop coughing. And how the hell did they know his name? Oh, that’s right, the bar owner must have told them.

“The bar,” he whispered out of breath from coughing. “I have to go back. I can’t lose my job.”

Two strong hands were placed under his armpits and hauled him up. “Don’t worry about that. I’ve taken care of it. Now get up. Let’s get you back in bed. You’re very sick, boy.”

Cas frowned. Where the hell did he suddenly come from? He didn’t even hear him come in.

“The name is Uriel by the way,” the man finally introduced himself as he tucked Cas back in.

He was given a pill and a glass of water. “Here, take this.”

Cas shook his head. “Don’t want any.”

“Castiel, please. It’s just some ibuprofen to help with the fever, and you have to stay hydrated. Take it, come on.”

Too exhausted to refuse, Cas reluctantly did what he was told. If this guy was trying to kill him, he could have just left him in that back alley to die, right?

The pill was hard to swallow but he had to admit the cool water was a blessing for his sore throat that was raw from coughing.

For the next few hours, Cas drifted in and out of sleep. When he was fully awake again, his fever had subsided. His thinking was a hell of a lot more coherent now, and instead of shivering from the cold, he was warm and sweating like crazy.

There was another man in the room; an older man with silvery white hair and soft grey eyes looking at him through a pair of glasses.

“This is doctor Michaels,” Uriel introduced the physician.

“A…a doctor?” Cas looked past doctor Michaels to shoot Uriel a questioning glance.

Uriel rolled his eyes. “I got it covered, Castiel. Now let the good doctor examine you.”

Cas couldn’t do anything but obey. He was asked to open his pajama shirt so the doctor could listen to his chest, and sure enough he was coughing up a storm again.

“A mild case of pneumonia,” was doctor Michaels diagnoses after a full examination.

A ‘mild’ case? Jesus. If this was a ‘mild’ case of pneumonia, Cas didn’t want to find out what a ‘severe’ case was like. He already felt like dying every time a coughing fit hit him.

The doctor prescribed him a course of antibiotics. “It’s important you finish these even if you feel better. Your cough may persist for two to three weeks after you finish your course, and you may feel tired for even longer.”

The doctor started to put away his gear as he kept talking. “Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, and get plenty of rest to help your body recover.”

“Are painkillers allowed with these antibiotics?” Uriel asked.

“Yes. They may help relieve the pain and reduce the fever. A warm lemon and honey drink can also relieve discomfort caused by coughing.” He turned back to Cas. “ If you don’t feel like eating then you don’t have to, but it is very important to drink. Fluids are essential. You’ll get your appetite back once you start to feel better.”

Cas nodded. “Thank you.”

Uriel let the doctor out as Cas sagged back into the cushions. Why did Uriel do this? He must have very good health insurance to have a doctor see him. Was he some rich benefactor or something? The room he was in didn’t look like he was wealthy. It looked very common and so did the bathroom as far as he paid attention to it. It didn’t mean he didn’t have money, just that he wasn’t filthy rich. But, then again, he hadn’t seen the rest of the place yet.

He sighed deeply, which caused him another round of severe coughing. Damn it. Everything seemed so surreal. Uriel may have saved his life, but Cas didn’t trust him. He might have had a very sheltered upbringing, but he wasn’t naïve and he possessed a healthy dose of cynicism.

 He was sure there was a price tag attached to all this. Nothing in this world was free, that’s not how it worked.

----------

Cas startled awake. A bit disoriented, he looked around until he realized where he was. His eyes searched for something to tell him the time. Green illuminated numbers on an alarm clock on the night stand informed him it was a little over eight in the morning.

A smile tugged at the corners of Cas’s mouth. He was at Dean’s. The man had offered him his guest bedroom late last night. It was so much more than he had hoped for when he came here on impulse.

The smile on Cas’s mouth grew wider as he conjured up the memory of Dean opening the door. The expression on his face had been priceless, and the discomfort about how he looked could have almost been called adorable. If he only knew how hot Cas figured he was with his smudged clothes and the black smears on his gorgeous face.

Cas wasn’t exactly a morning person, but he knew he couldn’t possibly get any more sleep, not with the knowledge Dean was sleeping in the next room, and not with the morning boner that was bothering him.

With a groan, he got out of bed. He opened his suitcase to take out the little bag that contained all his bathroom equipment and some fresh clothes, planning to hit the shower.

Dean had showed him the bathroom down the hall yesterday evening, saying he would put out some fresh towels for him.

Determined to get rid of his morning wood – no he was NOT gonna jerk off in another man’s bathroom – he took a more cold than warm shower. It worked. By the time he got from underneath the spray, goosebumps were formed all over his body and his cock had gone down. Cas knew it wouldn’t last. It would only take one look at Dean to have it start growing again. Even the mere image or thought of the man could make him half hard.

It had been a long time since he was attracted to someone enough to make his cock perk up with interest just by looking at them. He wouldn’t go as far as calling it being in love, but he was falling. He admitted that much even though he was deadly afraid of it.

Entering the kitchen, Cas was welcomed by the delicious smell of bacon, eggs and coffee, and by Dean standing at the stove preparing it all. He must have heard him for he glanced over his shoulder with the cheerful words “Morning sunshine. Coffee?”

“Yes. Thank you.” Cas placed himself at the marble kitchen counter that was already set for breakfast.

Dean took a mug and filled it with the freshly brewed liquid. He put it in front of Cas together with a can of milk and a bowl of sugar, and then turned back to the stove.

Cas quietly watched him, admiring everything about the guy. The strong, tanned arms; the bowed legs encased in a tight black jeans; the still moist strands of dark blond brownish hair all made something grow behind the zipper of his pants.

The barstool squeaked as he shifted in his seat to adjust his boner. Damn it. He had to regain control over his body and stop letting images of Dean naked and horizontal run away with him.

He looked up when Dean put a huge plate of bacon and eggs and toast in the middle of the counter between them. He waved his arm. “Dig in,” he said as he started to fill his plate. Then a horrified expression appeared on his face. “I hope you like it? I mean, I have fruit too if you prefer that.”

“No, Dean, this is fine. I love a hearty breakfast.”

“Oh. Okay.” The relief in Dean’s voice was obvious and was accompanied by a toothy smile. Glistening green eyes looked at him through a pair of glasses. They flicked to his mouth for a second and then wandered back to the food in front of him.

Cas’s insides were doing somersaults. Lord knows, if Dean kissed him right now he would let him. Something was holding him back though, which wasn’t at all that strange. Cas could at least name two reasons why Dean restrained himself from acting on what he desired. First, they were still strangers who were only just taking the first hesitant steps on the road to friendship. Dean didn’t want to ruin that by going too fast too soon. And second, Dean was afraid. Just like Cas was afraid of falling, Dean was afraid of flying. Add to that what he had been through in his past and you had a pretty explosive situation if they ever became more than only friends. At some point, they had to talk about the heavier stuff that happened in their lives if it came to that. He sensed Dean wasn’t quite ready to do that just yet.

“So. What do you wanna do today, Cas?”

Cas slightly jumped as Dean abruptly pulled him out of his musings. He took in a silent breath. Why the hell was he thinking about becoming more than friends? He needed to stop doing that.

Desperately trying to hide where his thoughts had gone a minute ago, he buttered some toast. “I leave that up to you. What do you have in mind?”

Damn it. He hoped Dean wasn’t a mind reader, but judging by how warm his cheeks felt, he didn’t have to be. The red that was probably coloring his face was enough to give him away. Shit.

Dean didn’t seem to notice. “In that case, I would like to take you to the ‘California Academy of Science’, the greenest museum in the world,” he said.

“I’ve heard about it. It’s platinum LEED certified, right?”

Dean put some more eggs on his plate. “Yep, that’s right, and it’s the only place on the planet to combine an aquarium, a natural history museum, worlds' largest all-digital planetarium and a four story rainforest under a 2.5 acre living roof. It’s located in Golden Gate Park. We can pack up some sandwiches for lunch and have a picnic afterwards.”

Suddenly his head jerked up as if a thought crossed his mind. Big green eyes stared at him. “Man, I hadn’t considered this, but are you…are you comfortable with going out in public? I mean, I shouldn’t have just assumed… I completely forgot that you’re a…a…that you’re famous.”

“Dean…”

“I can totally understand if you don’t want to. We can stay in, no problem,” Dean rambled on as if he hadn’t heard him. Jesus, was he always this agitated as if he did something wrong? He needed to calm down.

“Dean. It’s fine,” Cas tried to put him at ease. “I want to go to the museum with you and have a picnic afterwards. Sounds nice.”

Dean blinked. “Are you sure?” The sound in his voice betrayed he didn’t fully believe it.

“Yes, I’m very sure,” Cas therefore emphasized.

“Aren’t you afraid of being recognized?”

“No.” Cas shook his head. “One of the benefits of my alter ego wearing so much make-up is that I can practically go anywhere without being harassed by fans, every five steps I take when I’m not rock star Castiel. With a baseball cap on my head and sunglasses on my nose, nobody will even think it’s me. Even you had to look twice yesterday, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.” Dean let out a small laugh. “Yeah, I did.”

“I even have a pair of fake glasses that I often wear when I’m indoors or on a cloudy day,” Cas went on and chuckled softly when Dean’s eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“You do that?”

“Yes, I do that.”

“Well, in that case. I think the museum it is then.” Dean smiled at him. He looked straight into his eyes for a second and then dug back into his eggs as if he didn’t just see the desire Cas was sure had been flickering in there.

----------

Cas helped clean up the dirty dishes of the breakfast they had just shared.

Arms brushed against each other occasionally by accident (or maybe not totally by accident but, whatever) and looks were exchanged that could melt an iceberg in seven seconds.

It was always Dean who broke the stare first and moved out of Cas’s personal space if he stood too close for too long.

Cas couldn’t help penetrating Dean’s private bubble. Somehow he always gravitated towards him. He didn’t do it on purpose. It just happened. Dean was like a magnet.

They worked side by side in comfortable silence making sandwiches for lunch.

Dean packed a backpack with everything they needed for a nice picnic at the park after their visit to the museum, and then they were ready to go, with Cas really looking forward to spending this Sunday together.

Chapter Text

 

Dean was giddy as a schoolgirl on prom night. If someone had told him six months ago that he would hang out with Castiel Novak one sunny Sunday in August, he would have given them the advice to have their head examined. Yet, here he was seeing a dream come true.

It wasn’t just about Castiel the rock star anymore. Agreed, the initial attraction had been purely physical. The low, gravelly voice; the sexy bed hair; the black eye liner around a sapphire gaze had fueled that attraction. They had all been attributes Dean had admired from afar for over a decade. Something had changed in the past few hours though. The more he came to know Cas, the more he liked what he found behind the tattoos and the heavy make-up, and the more he felt a connection on a deeper level.

They were making their way through the park to the museum, chatting about little things that weren’t very important, like the weather or Cas’s comment on how beautiful the park was, when Dean felt Cas’s studying gaze fall upon him again. He had been doing that ever since they left the house, like he was wondering about something.

“Why do you wear contacts, Dean?” he suddenly asked.

The question took Dean by surprise, especially because it came so out of the blue. The relevance escaped him completely.

Dean shrugged. “I don’t know. Why do people wear contacts?” He laughed. “I guess I just wanna look good.”

Okay, and that was not all true. He only wanted to look good for Cas. If this had been any other person, he wouldn’t have bothered with the contacts.

“Well, I think you look good with glasses too. They suit you.”

“Oh.” This was news to him. He always considered his glasses as something he could hide behind; as something that could keep people at a safe distance. Having his biggest crush of all time now telling him he looked good in them, sure destroyed that illusion. Yet, he was flattered because it came from Castiel fucking Novak.

“Thanks. I guess.”

They dropped the conversation, much to Dean’s relief, when they reached the main entrance of the museum and were lucky there wasn’t a long line.

Dean took out his wallet but was stopped by a hand placed on his arm. He inhaled a sharp breath as the fingers burned through the thin fabric of his summer jacket, sending tiny sparks of lightning pulsing through his veins.

“This one is on me,” Cas said as Dean turned to look at him.

“Cas, no, it’s fine, I…”

“Dean please. You’ve done so much for me already. Let me do this.” Cas removed his hand and paid for the both of them.

Dean’s arm was still tingling from Cas’s touch as they entered the museum. Fuck. He was sure that, if they weren’t careful, they could easily cause a massive black out.

----------

It had been a few years since Dean visited this place. He didn’t remember much about it except that he had loved everything it entailed.

They slipped on a pair of 3D glasses and checked out Bugs3D, shot on location in the tropical forests of Borneo. They met Claude, the albino alligator and the South African penguin colony.

At the planetarium, they flew to the outer reaches of the Universe. Furthermore, they experienced the depths of a Philippine coral reef and climbed into the canopy of a Costa Rican rain forest.

It was obvious Cas enjoyed the hell out of it. By the time they left, he had a broad smile on his lips and his blue eyes were sparkling. Dean was almost sad he hid them again when he put on his sunglasses when they stepped outside into the sunlight.

They strolled around in the park, talking about what they had seen and how amazing it all had been, until they found the perfect spot for a picnic in the shade of a tree.

Dean pulled out the blanket from his backpack and spread it out on the grass. It wasn’t until he took out the sandwiches they had made this morning that he realized he was pretty hungry.

He chuckled when he heard Cas’s stomach growling and exploded in a full laugh when Cas said: “Well, this is embarrassing.”

“I think you need this,” Dean said, still laughing as he gave Cas the brown paper bag that contained their simple lunch. He dug back into his backpack and pulled out a small cooling container which held a few drinks.

“Water or soda?”

“Water please, thank you Dean.”

Dean bit back a chuckle while he handed Cas a small bottle of water. The guy was so…polite, for the lack of a better word. A bit stoic too. That was just a façade though. Dean had seen him drop it a few times already, especially while visiting the museum. He had been in true awe at the things they had seen there, not able to hide the emotions shining through his stoic demeanor. Now he had pulled up those protective walls again, but Dean knew he had managed to put a crack in them. He wondered what more it would take to make them crumble all the way down around him.

After they had eaten, Cas laid on his back with his hands folded on his stomach. “I can easily fall asleep like this,” he mumbled.

“Hmmm.” Dean turned his head towards him. The rays of the sun peeking through the leaves of the tree played a game of light and darkness with the shadows on Cas’s face. Through the dark glasses of his shades, Dean couldn’t see if he had his eyes closed but he figured as much.

The urge to bend forward and kiss Cas’s full lips was almost too much to bear. It had been such a long time since he genuinely kissed someone with more meaning behind it than just a kiss shared with the casual one night stand which, let’s be honest, had been quite a while too.

With great effort, he tore his gaze away and laid himself on his back as well. A light summer breeze gently caressed his cheeks. He closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of nature and the distant sounds of laughing children. It was a perfect day. He dozed off.

 

1996

 

After however reluctantly signing the contract – but he had to, it was not like he had any other choice – Alastair handed Dean a black eye mask.

Dean took it with a frown. “What’s this for?” He studied it, wondering if there had been something about it in the contract. He didn’t know. He hadn’t exactly read it, which maybe had been a pretty dumb thing to do, but, again, what choice did he have? Besides, Alastair had summarized it for him. Right. Like he could trust that bag of dicks.

“Dean, Dean, Dean,” Alastair tsked with a shake of his head. “How many times must I tell you to not speak unless you are asked something?” He grabbed Dean’s chin and held it in an iron grip. With his face so close to his Dean could feel his breath he said “I’m growing impatient with you boy,” and then released him.

Dean swallowed and rubbed his painful jaw. He wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow he would find some bruises there. “I’m sorry, sir,” he stammered.

“Good! If you want to know something, ask permission to speak and that not only goes for me, but for all the clients. No interactions are permitted with the other boys either. If you do and I find out, punishment will fall upon you as it will if you break the contract you just signed.” He smirked. “And trust me, you don’t wanna know what that entails. It’s all in the contract as is the explanation of the black masks. You would have known it if you had actually read it. Now put it on and follow me.”

The ominous threat of punishment made Dean fall back in line. He quickly put on the mask and darted after Alastair.

Alastair led him through a long hallway with doors on both sides, their footsteps echoing against the marble walls.

“Behind those doors, there are rooms where the client takes the boy or boys of his choosing,” Alastair explained.

Wait. Boys as in plural? Threesomes? Fuck. He should have read that damn contract. But, then again, would he have not signed it if he had known? He probably would have anyway, and again justified it with telling himself that He. Had. No. Other. Choice. It was as simple as that.

At the end of the hall, there was a double door with two men standing guard. One of them nodded and opened the door for them without saying a word.

Dean entered after Alastair and audibly gasped at the sight of the bar. It was huge and everything in it screamed exclusivity and money; lots and lots of money. It was dimly lit with the use of black light. Erotic, rousing music came from large speakers in all four corners of the large establishment that seemed to go on forever.

The scene that unfolded before Dean’s eyes could have come straight out of a porn movie. Boys in black masks only dressed in lace panties were serving drinks on bare feet. Some were sitting in the lap of men, most of them dressed in expensive suits. Further down the bar, in a darker corner, he saw a boy on his knees doing something that could only be sucking the dick of the guy hanging in the couch. What the hell? Public sex too? He should really, really have read that contract. Not that it would have mattered, but at least he would have been prepared.

It was not until Alastair pointed it out to him that Dean noticed the different colors of the panties the boys were wearing.

“Red means newbies,” Alastair explained. “They’re off limits because they are still waiting for their test results. Everyone has to be clean, for no condoms are used here. The clients can look but not touch.”

“Orange means they can be touched but no sexual activities may occur. They are allowed to watch the sex between the client and another boy or to jerk off when a client wants it while watching said sex. Some clients get a kick out of that.”

“Green obviously means everything goes. Whatever the client wants. So, tell me, boy, are you still a virgin?”

Dean was still in the middle of processing what Alastair had just said, so he didn’t exactly catch the question that followed so close behind the explanation of the panties. It almost gave him whiplash. The confusion must have been written all over his face, for Alastair rolled his eyes at him. “Have you even been fucked, boy?” he boomed.

Dread washed over Dean. At that moment the extent of what he had gotten himself into dawned on him. He had sucked dick and had his dick sucked, but he had never taken it up the ass as they say.

Shit. He was so screwed, and not in a good way. Why didn’t he think of that? Of course he was going to get fucked, literally. He was a male prostitute for crying out loud. What else did he expect?

“Ehm…no, sir,” he whispered, his voice barely audible above the music.

“Oh.” The delight in Alastair’s voice was clear. “We don’t get many virgins. You are going to make me a lot of money, boy. I’m gonna sell you to the highest bidder to pop your little flower. Clients pay good money for that.”

For one fleeting moment, the thought about skipping out crossed Dean’s mind. He would pack up Sam and the little belongings he had and run away. But, where would he go with no money? And what if Alastair or his cronies found him? That sleaze bag had made it perfectly clear what happened to boys who broke their contract. They got punished. Besides, it wasn’t fair to Sam. The kid had good grades. He deserved to go to college and be a hot shot lawyer someday. Dean couldn’t deprive his brother of that just because he wasn’t man enough to do this. Sam depended on him and so Dean just had to suck it up and deal with it.

A strange prickling sensation at the back of his neck made Dean turn around. A man was casually standing at the counter checking him out. Even in the dimly lit bar Dean could see the hungry look in the guy’s eyes as they roamed over his body. All his senses went on high alert when the guy walked over to them.

“Zachariah,” Alastair greeted him and reached out his hand.

Zachariah took it in what looked like a firm handshake between friends. “Alistair,” he said. With a nod of his head he pointed at Dean. “New kid?”

“Yes. I was giving him the tour, explaining a few things.” Alastair smirked. “He is still a virgin.”

“Ooooh.” Zachariah’s eyebrows rose. The hungry look in his eyes changed to downright predatory as they glided over Dean’s body again while licking his lips.

“How much?”

“No, no, no, Zach my friend.” Alastair adamantly shook his head. “I’m planning to sell him to the highest bidder to pop his flower.”

“Oh come on. I’ll pay you whatever you want. Just name your price.”

Dean could not believe they were discussing him with him right there, like he was a toy, or a tool. The realization that that was exactly what he was hit him like a cold shower. He suppressed a shiver.

“Hmmm.” Alastair seemed to think the offer over. “Come by my office in an hour. It’s worth a discussion.”

Zachariah flashed a smile that was all teeth. He looked at Dean and addressed him for the first time. “I’m looking forward to sticking my dick in your tight ass.” With a satisfied smile, he walked away.

Dean clenched his jaw. He wanted to punch the guy in his ugly face and give him a bloody nose. Thinking about the punishment he would get for that, whatever that was, he still didn’t know, was the only thing that restrained him from doing so.

“I’m glad you used your common sense not to hit him,” Alastair said. He must have read his mind. It was that or it was the expression on his face that betrayed him.

“I think it’s time I show you what kind of punishment we use here,” he went on. “So that you really think twice before doing anything stupid, and it’s only fair that you know what awaits you when you break the rules.”

Dean was led through the same hallway from before. He followed Alastair as he rounded a corner and stopped by a door, not sure if he wanted to see what he was about to witness.

“The boy who is being punished right this minute, was caught red handed with drugs,” Alastair explained before they went in. “As you know, we don’t allow drugs in here. Our clients don’t want the boys to be drugged out of their minds and basically become lifeless bodies.” He opened the door and stepped inside.

What Dean saw shocked him to the very core. A boy was sitting on his knees on a small platform of the right height, caught with both his hands and his head between two boards, much like the French elite were bound to the guillotine during the French revolution, but without the threat of a blade above his head. He was getting fucked over and over again with a crowd of men cheering on the one who did the fucking. He watched in horror as two men stepped forward at the same time and decided on a double penetration.

Dean noticed the boy was barely conscious. His blonde hair was wet with sweat and when he uttered a soft moan that sounded so damn broken, Dean felt his heart shattering.

Semen dripped from the boy’s hole. Dean saw it was mixed with blood.

“He’s hurt,” he said, voice hoarse beyond recognition. He wanted to stop this ungodly practice, but there was nothing he could do if he didn’t want to be the next boy bound on that platform being gangbanged like this.

“Of course he’s hurt,” Alastair snapped with an evil grin. “It’s a punishment, it’s supposed to hurt. That’s the whole point.”

Whatever innocence Dean still had left inside of him, it was taken from him that day. He had been scared a lot of times in his life, but what he was forced to witness now was so terrifying that he didn’t know if he could face this fear head on. This was too much. This was way too much.

Chapter Text

 

“Dean. Dean!” Cas softly touched his arm to wake him up. The guy was obviously caught in some bad dream.

With a shock, Dean startled out of it. His eyes flew open and bore straight into Cas’s, looking at him in terror. Then they softened and a sigh of relief left his lips at the realization it was just a dream.

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah, Cas, I’m fine.” With a groan Dean pushed himself into a sitting position. The smile that he shot Cas was forced. Cas knew by now what a genuine smiling Dean looked like and this wasn’t it. It worried him.

“Are you sure?” he pressed on.

“Yes. I’m fine. Just a bad dream, that’s all,” Dean brushed him off.

Cas didn’t believe him, not really. He could see it had shaken him up pretty badly, he did a piss poor job at hiding that.

“You wanna talk about it?” Cas honestly wondered if it had just been a bad dream or that if it had been a distant memory from his past that had haunted him in his nap.

Dean waved his arm. “No man, it’s okay.” He reached into the cooling container and took out a soda can. 

Another question presented itself to Cas as he watched Dean pull the lid open and take a large gulp. Did Dean ever get help for what he had gone through? The answer was pretty clear. He didn’t, or not on a professional level anyway, for he showed mild symptoms of PTSD.

“What time is it?” Dean wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. His voice was laced with the last remains of sleep.

Cas pulled out his phone. “A little past three.” He started tapping on the device in his hand. “It’s time I booked a hotel room.”

“Wait. What? Why would you do that? You have a room, Cas.”

Cas looked up at a pair of confused green eyes. “I’m ehm…didn’t want to assume I could stay another night.”

“Of course you can stay another night, man. Put that thing away.”

A smile pulled at the corners of Cas’s mouth as he pocketed his phone.

“Do you trust me enough to leave me alone at your home? I mean, don’t you have a job to go to tomorrow?”

“I’m gonna call Charlie to say I’m gonna work from home,” Dean said. “Not that I don’t trust you,” he hastily followed. “I just…ehm…yeah.”

The blush that crept over Dean’s cheeks was endearing and so damn adorable Cas almost lost it. He wanted to surge forward and capture Dean’s lips; he wanted to gently lay him down on the blanket and kiss him until they were both out of breath. This was San Francisco, one of the most gay friendly cities in the world. Here, they didn’t have to hide; here they could openly kiss without raising too many eyebrows.

No! Cas shook himself out of his daydreams again. Dean’s whole body language might scream he wanted this as much as he did, but Cas didn’t want to rush things. They were still in the early stages of the getting to know each other department. First, they had to lay the strong foundations of a stable friendship and build up on that, otherwise the whole thing could come tumbling down before it even got the chance of blossoming into more.

There were also other things he had to take into consideration before he went there, like hiding it from the public. To his fans he was still this manly rock star with a bad attitude who liked tall blondes with big boobs.

“Dean, may I ask you something personal?” Cas said, when Dean tore his eyes away from him at the realization he was staring again. The blush on his cheeks turned a darker shade of red while he nodded with the words “Yeah, sure.” His gaze was fixed on the soda can he held in his hands, and his head was slightly bowed, probably to hide the red color that was gracing his face.

“You don’t have to answer if…”

“No, man, it’s fine.” Dean looked up and gave him a smile. “Go ahead. Shoot.”

Cas took a deep breath. “I don’t want to assume anything, but I take it you are still single?”

Dean’s eyebrows shot up, painting some lines on his forehead. Next, the smile on his lips grew a little wider. “Yes, I am.” He took a sip from his soda. “Why d’you ask?”

“I don’t know.” Cas shrugged. “I just wanted to be sure. A handsome man like you…” He didn’t finish his sentence. What he wanted to say was pretty clear. Now it was him who had to turn his head away to hide the warmth that was spreading over his cheeks.

“I could say the same thing about you,” Dean tore his attention back to him. “Assuming you aren’t dating either.”

“I’m not.”

“Why not?”

“I have a reputation to uphold.” Cas sighed. “I’m gay, Dean. Coming out would hurt the band and alienate the fans. It’s not just about me. I have to think about my band members. Besides, it wouldn’t be fair to the one I’m dating to keep it a secret.”

“Man.” Dean ran a hand through his hair. “It must be exhausting to pretend to be someone you’re not.”

“It is,” Cas admitted. “The thing that makes it easier is that no one recognizes me when I go out just like this, now, and I don’t have to hide.”

Dean nodded in understanding. “It’s like you have two personalities. Cas the rock star and Cas the man.” He crushed the empty soda can and put it in the empty paper bag that had contained their lunch before.

“I already know the rock star,” he went on. “And I’m really starting to like the man.” He gave Cas a radiant smile. It was pure and it was genuine, and it made Cas blush even more furiously.

This had been the whole point in coming here, hadn’t it? To show Dean who he really was, and now that Dean had made it very clear that he liked what was behind his stage persona, Cas couldn’t be happier.

“Thank you, Dean.”

“Hey, man. I’m just being honest.”

Cas tilted his head with a frown. “Would you have told me if you didn’t like it – me?”

“Maybe not with so many words, but you would have known, trust me,” Dean replied.

In his eyes Cas saw he was telling him the truth. He probably would have known by now if Dean didn’t like him. Dean was a man of actions, Cas had already figured out that much about him, but he also knew he was just scratching the surface. There was so much more about this gorgeous man to find out. What was behind those green eyes and those adorable freckles? What would he find at the very core of this man’s soul?

Cas suspected he would have to work his way through a lot of debris to get there, because this man was broken. He hid it very well, but Cas knew. It took one to know one.

“Tell me,” Dean broke the few moments of silence that had fallen between them. “I know what you said about the whole secret dating thing, but have you ever…you know…been in love, or tried to date at least, despite everything?”

Cas squinted behind his sunglasses. Not that Dean could see it. Well, since they were peeling off the layers of each other’s personalities to get to who they really were, he had to be honest. This first layer was easy though. Painful, maybe, but not that hard to talk about. It was still safe ground. Everyone had dated once in their lives, right? It shouldn’t be a problem.

“Yes. Ten years ago I met this very distinguished Dutch guy. He came from an old, wealthy, aristocratic British family, but was born and raised in Holland. Despite the age difference – he was a lot older than me – we started dating, much to my agent’s dismay.”

“He didn’t like it? Your agent?”

Cas huffed a little laugh. “That’s putting it mildly.” The thought of Uriel’s reaction wasn’t something he liked to remember. His agent had been furious when he found out Cas had a boyfriend.

“But he had to agree with it, right?” Dean pierced Cas’s memories and pulled him back to the present.

“Yes, he did. I could understand where he came from though. The band was already very successful here in the States and Europe was looming. Uriel said I was jeopardizing the band’s future.”

Dean snorted. “That’s ridiculous.”

“No, Dean, it really isn’t,” Cas calmly disagreed. “It was very important that I upheld the image Uriel had created. I couldn’t be anyone else, the success of the band depended on it.”

Dean’s mouth fell open. “That’s so messed up, man.” There was sorrow swimming in his eyes, but also empathy and…was that love that flashed in them for a second?

Cas averted his gaze. He was seeing things that weren’t there.

“Anyway,” he quickly continued, wiping away an imaginary flake off his thigh. “We promised Uriel to be discreet and everything was fine, for a while, until Balthazar – that was his name – started to get pushy.”

“How so?” Dean’s brows knitted together into a frown.

“He was talking about how he wanted to introduce me to his family and how nice it would be to get engaged and to get married. Same sex marriages were already legal in the Netherlands at that time.” He took a deep breath. “So, one day, two years into the relationship, he dropped on one knee and proposed.”

Dean gasped with wide eyes. “Wow. Why does it feel to me like he totally blindsided you?”

“Because he did,” Cas nodded. “I didn’t see it coming. He knew it was out of the question, yet there he was, putting me right on the spot, forcing me to choose. It was like I came out of a dream as it suddenly hit me that I had been living in an illusion. I didn’t love him, not really. I was in love with the relationship, not with the man. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life with him, I didn’t want that. My friends were more important to me.”

“So, you said no.”

“So, I said no.”

“That mustn’t have been easy, not for you and not for him.”

“It was the honest thing to do. I felt really bad for breaking his heart, until I learned that every time he went to Europe and I couldn’t go with him, he cheated on me. That’s when I fully realized that I had made the right call.”

“I’m sorry, Cas.” Dean reached out a hand and softly touched his. It was gentle, and light as a feather, but it sent sparks up Cas’s arm like no other touch had ever been able to do.

“That’s okay, Dean. Those wounds healed a long time ago.”

Dean looked at him, searching his face while wiping something away from the corner of his mouth with his thumb. His green eyes flicked to Cas’s mouth where they lingered for a second and then he pushed himself up with a groan.

“Have you ever heard from him again? From Balthazar I mean?” he asked while cleaning up all the wrappers and empty bottles and soda cans from their picnic.

“Last thing I heard is that he’s jet-setting in Europe, living the high life and married some heiress,” Cas replied getting up as well, thinking that if Dean had stared at his mouth a second longer, he would have lost all control. And suddenly something else dawned on him, something that made him chuckle.

Dean turned to him. “What?”

“You,” Cas waved his arm at him.

“Me?”

“Yes. I asked you about your love life, more or less, and somehow ended up telling you about mine.”

“Well, I asked,” Dean said with a nod. “And I’m glad you told me.”

“Okay. So, what about you? Any past relationships?”

“Only one.” Dean folded the picnic blanket and put it in his backpack. “Her name was Lisa. We dated for about three years until she got pushy as well.” He stopped what he was doing for a moment and stared into the distance like he was trying to recall the details. “She wanted to get married, settle down, have some kids and I didn’t.” He shook his head and continued zipping up his backpack. “I’m glad I got out of that one.”

“You didn’t love her?”

“Nope.” Dean slung the backpack over one shoulder. “At least not enough to tie the knot. I was a bit like you I guess. In love with the relationship and not with the woman, otherwise I probably would have married her.”

As they were making their way out of the park, Cas thought it was amazing at how similar their pasts really were. They both washed glasses at a bar to get by; they both ended up at Alastair’s club at some point and they both searched for love their whole lives without finding it.

----------

Back at Dean’s place, Dean made popcorn and they watched a movie. Every time they reached, at the same time, into the popcorn bowl that was sitting in Dean’s lap, their hands brushed. If Dean noticed, he didn’t show it, but damn it, it left Cas tingling inside with all sorts of emotions he couldn’t even find the words to describe. He was so caught up in them, enjoying them to the fullest that he didn’t even remember what the movie was about when the credits rolled over the screen.

Dean got up and took the empty popcorn bowl to the kitchen, asking if he wanted something to drink. Beer, soda, something else.

“Beer sounds nice, yes,” Cas said.

Dean came back with two beer bottles. He handed Cas one and plopped back down next to him on the couch.

“So, ehm. What time does your plane leave tomorrow?”

“Three in the afternoon.”

Dean plucked at the label of the bottle. “You’re still coming back?” he asked without looking up.

Cas didn’t quite understand. He told Dean he was going to take a two week vacation in San Francisco, didn’t he? Why did Dean think that he had changed his mind for whatever reason?

“Yes, Dean. I am coming back. San Francisco is a nice city. I would love to see more of it.” After a tense moment of silence he added with a whisper “I would love to see more of you.”

Wow, and if that wasn’t a flirtation Cas didn’t know what was. He was never any good at it and yet he did it now almost effortlessly. There must be a full moon outside or something.

Dean’s reaction warmed his heart. There was that radiant smile again that was all happy, and lit up his entire face along with the different shades of red that crept over it.

“I’m glad to hear that” Dean said around a huff, hinted with a tiny bit of relief. He took a swig from his beer. “And I promised you to show you around. I intend to keep that promise.”

“I know. I’m looking forward to it.”

“You know, you can have the guest room here during your stay,” Dean said matter-of-factly like it was no big deal, but Cas heard the slight quiver of nervousness in his voice. The offer also took him by surprise. Oh it was tempting. Tempting but so extremely dangerous, because he didn’t know how long he was going to be able to restrain himself with Dean sleeping in a room next to his with only a wall that was mere inches thick, to separate them. He was sure it would only be a matter of days before he would throw all caution overboard and do something, with the risk of crashing and burning because they were going too fast.

Of course he could not tell Dean this. He decided to go with half-truths instead. “That’s…very generous of you Dean, but I don’t want to impose.” He instantly realized how weak that excuse sounded. Besides, he had already used it.

“I’ve said it before, Cas, and I’m gonna say it again. You’re not imposing. I’m offering.”

Right. And what was he supposed to say to that? It was like Dean was daring him to spend two whole weeks with him.

“Okay then,” Cas succumbed. How could he resist the pleading yet challenging look in Dean’s bright green eyes? It was close to impossible. “But, on one condition,” he added.

Dean waved with his beer bottle. “Name it.” He took another swig and goddamn it, the way Dean’s lips wrapped themselves around the top of the bottle made his cock twitch. He shifted in his seat and almost forgot what he was about to say. Oh yes, his conditions.

“I buy all the food and the drinks for both of us during my stay.”

“Cas, seriously, you are my guest…”

“No,” Cas interrupted him holding up his hand. “I insist. Take it as a…” he thoughtfully tilted his head. “…as a thank you. Let me do that.”

Dean’s tongue darted out and licked his lips as his eyes roamed over Cas’s face, seemingly thinking it over. Then he nodded. “You have a deal.”

“Thank you.”

They clinked their beer bottles together and simultaneously took a swig from them.

It was going to be a very interesting two weeks, Cas was sure of that. Very interesting indeed.

Chapter Text

 

“Charlie! What are you doing here?” Dean asked around a laugh when he found his best friend on his doorstep, balancing two pizza boxes and pie in one hand, and a six pack in the other.

“Looking for answers.” Charlie, cheerful as always, stepped inside.

Dean quickly took the boxes from her before they fell to the ground. He didn’t really mind if the pizzas got ruined, but that pie needed saving at all costs.

He should have known Charlie would show up sooner or later. She had already asked about a million questions yesterday when he called to tell her he would work from home today; questions he had masterfully dodged. Now she came to ask them in person. It surprised him she didn’t call him from work earlier, but decided to wait until now to ambush him.

“You think pizzas, pie and beer are gonna get some answers out of me, Charlie?” Dean asked. He put the boxes on the kitchen counter while Charlie took out some plates from the cabinet.

“I know they will,” she replied. She plopped down on a barstool. “Now spill. Why all of a sudden did you decide to work from home today?”

Dean couldn’t hide his smile. The corners of his mouth automatically tugged up at the memory of a wonderful Sunday with Cas. It was his face that felt like it was on fire though, that betrayed him.

“Oh my God,” Charlie gasped. She put a slice of pizza on her plate. “You met someone.”

If Dean thought his face couldn’t get any warmer, he was wrong. He felt it heat up even more.

“You totally met someone,” Charlie exclaimed. A twinkle appeared in her eyes. “Tell me, tell me, tell me. Man or woman? I wanna know all the gory details.” She took a bite from her pizza slice and looked at him expectantly while furiously chewing the food in her mouth. The picture was so comical Dean burst out laughing.

“Come on, Dean,” Charlie whined after swallowing the food.

Dean chuckled. It was time to put her out of her misery. “Cas came over for a visit,” he told her in a casual sort of way.

Charlie didn’t really get it at first. “Ehm, Cas?” She frowned and took another bite.

“Yeah.”

Dean could pinpoint the exact moment it dawned on Charlie what - or better put who - he was talking about. Her eyes went wide and she almost choked on her food. She hastily swallowed it away.

“Cas as in Castiel Novak?”

“Yep.”

“The rock star?”

“Yes.”

“OH MY GOD.” The expression on her face was one of disbelief and utter surprise. Dean knew exactly how she felt right now. Hell, he lived it.

“Okay, Charlie, stop squealing.”

“I can’t. Castiel fucking Novak visited you and you expect me not to get all excited? And…ooohhhh…did he spend the night?” She took in a startled breath. “Is that why you worked from home today? Oh my God, Dean!”

“Charlie! Breathe. You’re getting all worked up over nothing.”

Charlie took a few deep breaths and then narrowed her eyes to suspicious slits. “You honestly expect me to believe that?”

Dean rolled his eyes. “Yes, because it is the truth.”

“Okay.” Charlie wiped her hands on a paper napkin. She opened a beer bottle and took a swig. “You’re gonna tell me all about it – in detail, and don’t you dare leave anything out.” The barstool squeaked as she shifted in her seat to get comfortable. With her eyes she commanded him to start talking.

It took one and a half pizzas, two slices of pecan pie and three beers before Dean had the whole story out, and Charlie’s long row of questions came to an end.

It had been amusing to see her reaction when he told her Cas was going to come back, and he himself was going to take two weeks off. She was totally dumbstruck because in all the years they worked together he had never taken that long of a vacation. She also was a little worried. Was it wise to have Cas staying in his house for two whole weeks?

Dean had brushed her reservations about it off with a shrug of his shoulders. He would just take it one day at a time and see where it led him, if it led him anywhere at all.

Charlie left a little after ten. Dean put the leftover pizza and pie in the fridge and opened another bottle of beer to unwind, before going to bed. His mind wandered back to Charlie’s concerns about Cas staying with him.

It had been a bit impulsive to offer Cas his guest bedroom for the duration of his stay, Dean knew that, but damn it, he had meant it. He wasn’t naïve though. The sexual tension that had simmered between them right from the very start was bound to come to an explosion at some point. Dean was surprised it hadn’t happened already.

Yesterday they had ordered Chinese take-out and watched two more movies before going to bed. Separately. Not that Dean could sleep.

After about an hour of tossing and turning he had gotten back up, deciding to take a shower.

Desperate for release, he had jerked off underneath the warm spray with the image of Cas fucking him, dancing behind his closed eyelids.

It had been a long time since Dean was last with a man. His past hook ups had mostly been women. Once in a while he had craved a dick up his ass though. When that happened, he went to a gay bar and had a random dude fuck him. Damn. Had it really been three years already since he was fucked?

Glad he finally had gotten rid of his boner that had been bothering him on and off all Sunday, Dean had gotten back to bed and almost immediately had fallen asleep.

This afternoon, he had driven Cas to the airport. There Cas had pulled him into a hug goodbye with the promise to text him or to call him. Dean could still feel those arms around him at the mere recollection.

Back in the present, Dean emptied his beer bottle, hoping the week ahead of him would pass fast. Cas had only been gone for a few hours and he already missed him. It was insane.

On the coffee table, his cell phone buzzed with an incoming text message. He reached to take it. All the muscles in his body tensed up as he frowned at the unknown number. A tinge of anxiety rolled in his gut when he opened it. When he saw it was from Cas, he let out a big sigh of relief. The message read ‘Goodnight Dean’.

With a smile, Dean replied with a simple ‘Goodnight Cas’ and then saved the number as ‘My Angel’. Okay, and that was a super cheesy thing to do from Dean ‘no chick flick moments’ Winchester, but who the hell cares, right? He only had to make sure Sam wouldn’t find out or he would never hear the end of it. His brother would probably tease him with it until the day he died.

Still smiling like an idiot because he heard from Cas, he got up and went to bed. He turned off the lights as he made his way upstairs, praying as he prayed every night, that no bad dreams would haunt him.

 

1996

 

Dean had decided to give up washing glasses at the bar and to work for Alastair from six until midnight instead. It paid a hell of a lot more. For the first time in a long time he could put some decent food on the table, buy Sammy new clothes and pay a few bills.

Soon, Dean fell into a routine. He got home from school with Sam, made dinner that could be heated up, and then hit the shower.

Underneath the spray, he opened himself up. Washing up was mandatory, prepping wasn’t. Alastair had given him the ‘friendly’ advice however, to do it, and put in a butt plug even if he was still ‘red’, which meant look but not touch. It would give him time to get used to the plug and be a bit more loose by the time he became ‘green’.

Clients never bothered with prepping. They didn’t want to go through all that trouble. It wasn’t much of a problem for the more experienced boys. They got fucked every day and were loose enough. But newbies like himself? Who had never taken a dick up their ass in their lives? Those better prep themselves if they didn’t want their first time to hurt too much.

Dean figured it would hurt no matter what. The butt plug wasn’t that big – clients liked them to be tight – but it was better than nothing at all.

The first few days, the plug had bothered him, but at the same time it had been extremely arousing especially in combination with the lace panties. He liked the way the fabric gently caressed his dick or how it got caught between his ass cheeks. He was deeply ashamed that it turned him on. He was a male prostitute who was going to be deflowered soon, and the experience wasn’t exactly going to be a pleasant one. What the hell was so arousing about that?

Dean was changing in the locker room of the club when Alastair approached him.

“I got your test results back. You’re clean. Congratulations, you are now ‘orange’. With a smirk Alastair handed him a new pair of panties.

Dean blinked as he hesitantly took them. Shit. This meant all those men who had looked at him with a hungry glint in their eyes while he was still ‘red’ were now allowed to paw him. A shiver ran through his body at the prospect.

The thing that really made him gag was that he now was also a ‘cleaner’. It was a fancy word for the newest boys to lick up the semen from the holes of the boys who were fucked at the weekly orgy, to make them ready for the next man. He and another new boy were introduced to it last week. It was so disgusting Dean had almost thrown up his early dinner at the thought he would be forced to do it soon, and had to continue doing it until new boys came in.

Dean remembered clearly how appalled he had been witnessing the whole thing. While the boys could choose their own days and hours, the orgy that always happened on Sunday was mandatory. There was no getting out of it.

For one split second, his eyes had caught the ones of a boy on his hands and knees while he was being cleaned. In his blue gaze, Dean swore he had seen hurt and sorrow flashing.

Dean had quickly turned his head away. He didn’t know if staring was allowed but he sure as hell didn’t want to find out by being bound on that platform, and being gangbanged without lube or prep.

In his brand-new orange panties and the always present black eye mask, Dean entered the bar. He scanned the room and had a hard time not rolling his eyes at the sight of Zachariah who waved him over the moment he spotted him. Dean had no choice but to obey.

“I’m so pleased to see you’re wearing orange,” Zachariah said with a wide grin. He patted his thighs. “Turn around and come sit in my lap.”

Dean reluctantly did what he was told. He slightly flinched when he felt Zachariah’s erection pressing hard against his ass cheeks.

“Hmm, can you feel how hard I am for you, boy?” Zachariah whispered, his breath hot in Dean’s ear. He reached around Dean’s waist and with a finger traced the length of his cock through the lace panties. Dean almost immediately grew hard under the touch. He couldn’t be more disgusted about it, but this Zach douche seemed to like it.

“Alastair said you were pretty responsive,” he smirked. “He sure wasn’t lying. I can’t wait to fuck you.”

Wait. What did he just say? Did this mean Zach douche made a deal with Alastair?

As if he could read his mind Zachariah said “I paid good money for you.”

Dean’s stomach tightened. Shit. He really was going to lose his virginity to this sleaze bag. He had been pretty much in denial about the whole thing, until now. Now it hit him full force that this was really going to happen.

Zachariah signaled a handler. “I want a room,” he told the man in an all-black suit who came over to them.

The man squinted. “I’m sorry, sir. You’re not allowed to perform sexual activities with boys who wear orange.”

“I know that,” Zachariah snapped. “Find me a ‘green’ boy, preferably one who isn’t wearing a  plug and who hasn’t been fucked yet today.” He chuckled. “I like them tight. This one here in my lap will only be there to watch…and to pleasure himself.”

The handler nodded. He led them to a room and then left to find Zach douche a boy who matched his requirements.

“So this is what we’re going to do,” Zachariah started to explain as soon as the handler was gone. “You’re going to sit right there.” He waved his arm at a plush chair standing against the wall. “You are going to watch and jerk off while I fuck the boy who will be brought in here. You do not come. If you’re on the edge, you stop and keep your hands at your sides. When I tell you to continue stroking yourself, you obey but you do not come. Do you understand?”

Shit. Orgasm delay, maybe even denial? Dean wasn’t naïve, he knew what it was, he just had never done it before. He wasn’t even sure if he could do it; if he had that much control.

“DO YOU UNDERSTAND,” Zachariah boomed when he didn’t answer right away.

Dean swallowed hard. “Yes, sir,” he said, trying to suppress the tremble in his voice.

“Good. Sit down. Don’t take your panties off, just push them down.”

While Dean took a seat, the door opened and a pale boy with red hair was brought in.

“Doggy style, facing him,” Zach commanded him, pointing at Dean.

Without a word or hesitation, the boy dropped to his knees and bent over, supporting himself on his elbows, ass in the air.

Zachariah unzipped his pants and pushed them down mid-thigh, together with whatever briefs he was wearing, exposing his hard cock.

Dean’s eyes almost popped out. Holy shit, Zach douche was huge and a hell of a lot more thick than the butt plug he was wearing. And he was going to be fucked by him in a few days? He was never going to fit.

Dean took deep calming breaths to prevent going into full panic mode. Then he noticed the metal cock ring. He knew enough about them that it wouldn’t prevent Zach douche from coming, but it would make the penetration last longer. He also knew it wasn’t wise to keep it on for more than half an hour while having sex.

He watched Zach lubing up his cock – at least he used that – push down the green lace panties the boy was wearing, and guide his cock into the boy’s waiting hole. Once the head was inside, Zach placed both his hands on either side of the boy’s hips and with one forceful move, pushed inside.

Dean gasped while flinching slightly. That really had to hurt. Yet the boy didn’t make any sound, or not any Dean could hear.

“Start stroking, boy,” Zach ordered.

Dean stared at his cock. It was still half hard from the way Zach had traced the length of it earlier. With a deep breath he took it in his hand, carefully retracting the foreskin, exposing the sensitive head.

His first strokes were a bit jerky, but they became smoother as pleasure overtook the knots in his stomach. Soon he found himself moving towards an orgasm.

Dean was ready to tip over the edge when he suddenly remembered he wasn’t allowed to come. He forced himself to let go, biting back a whimper.

“I take it you were you close?” Zach gritted out as he slammed in and out of the boy he was fucking.

Dean clenched his jaw. As if that douche didn’t know.

“Yes, sir,” he said through his teeth.

“Good. Continue.”

Dean wasn’t quite ready yet, but he had to obey. He took his cock and picked up where he left off. With every stroke upwards, his thumb smeared out the bead of precome pearling at the head, reveling in the jolts of pleasure it provided him.

Dean managed to keep himself from coming several times, clenching his fists at his sides when he had to stop, to prevent them taking his cock and stroke himself to completion.

There were a lot of emotions whirling inside of him, as the desire to orgasm became almost too much to handle with every passing second. He hated Zach douche; he despised him for what he was making him do to himself.

Dean lost count. He didn’t know how much time had passed when he whispered “please,” not able to take any more.

He didn’t want to beg; he resented himself for it, but it all became way too much up until the point he didn’t care anymore. His whole body was covered in a sheen of sweat and made him shiver like he was cold, while in reality he was scorching hot.

“Please what, boy?” Zach demanded, still frantically fucking the boy, heaving like he was running a marathon.

“Please… sir. May I…May I come?”

“No. Continue stroking.”

Tears welled up in Dean’s eyes. He took his cock and had to let it go again before he barely touched it. If Zach douche kept this up, he wouldn’t be able to control himself anymore.

Another desperate “please,” left Dean’s mouth, because this was it. He had reached his breaking point.

Whatever Zach’s answer was to his pleading question, it came too late. Dean  couldn’t help himself, and came without permission. He moaned loudly as he spilled his release sticky and warm over his hand. The pleasure was so sharp it was almost excruciating.

He didn’t know how long he had been sitting there, hunched over and spiraling down from his height, when an animalistic howl coming from Zach reached his ears.

He looked up and saw Zach douche stuttering a few times and then holding still before he retracted his cock from the boy’s hole.

“Go clean up,” he told him.

The boy got up, pulled up his panties and disappeared through a door Dean knew led to the showers.

An unknown fear got a hold of him as he realized he was going to get punished. The image of the boy on the platform appeared clear before his eyes.

The terror must have been obvious on his face, for Zach just tsked with a shake of his head.

“Since it’s your first time, I’m gonna let this one go and not complain to Alastair about it so he can give you a proper punishment,” he said, while cleaning up his cock with some wet wipes. “But it better never happen again, is that clear?” He zipped up his pants and turned to Dean with his arms folded across his chest.

The relief that washed through Dean was overwhelming.

“Yes, sir,” he said, trying not to sound too grateful.

“Don’t get me wrong, boy, you’ll still get punished, but I’m gonna be the one to do it. I’m the one who is gonna fuck you, but instead of being careful like I planned, I’m gonna get rough with you. That will be your punishment. Now get out of here, go get cleaned up.”

Dean almost ran out of the room. It wasn’t until he stood underneath the warm spray of the shower that he allowed the tears to come. He sagged down to the floor with his back against the white damp tiles, silently sobbing, thinking that maybe it would be better to just kill himself and leave Sam in the capable hands of social services.

Chapter Text

 

Cas stared out the tiny window of his first class seat on the plane that brought him back to San Francisco. A bright sun in a clear blue sky shone down on the blanket of fluffy white clouds that pulsed underneath him. Soon he would be with Dean again. What was it about that gorgeous green-eyed man that made him want to go back to him? Never before in the history of ever had he experienced a strong attraction like this. Dean was like a magnet tugging at his heartstrings, unable to resist; impossible to ignore.

From the moment they had met, Cas was unexpectedly hit with the knowledge that he would never be able to let him go permanently, no matter what the future had in store for them. Yet, there were still so many problems to overcome; so many issues to work through; so many things that needed to be said and done.

First, there was their past. Cas had his therapist to help him fight his demons, but Dean was battling the war all on his own. He had seen the struggle in his eyes; the hurt; the sadness, but also the desire to be loved for who he was. They were so similar when you came to think of it. Where he hid behind his stage persona of Cas, the badass rock star with an affiliation for tall blondes with big boobs, Dean hid behind a nerdy pair of glasses and ditto clothes. (Although Cas had to admit, Dean looked pretty sexy in those glasses). He had dropped that mask a few times during their time together though, and there Cas had caught a glimpse of a beautiful soul. Broken, yes, yet as gorgeous and as bright as his physical presence.

Second, there was this whole keeping a possible relationship a secret thing in order not to damage the image of the band. He didn’t care about himself, but he cared a lot about the people he held dear to his heart.

And third, there was Jack, his sixteen year old son, the result of a drunken one night stand – and a torn condom – he never really enjoyed, seventeen years ago. Yet, he loved Jack more than he loved his own life. There was a time he would have given up everything for him…

 

2001

 

They were touring Washington during the early fall after a small summer break. They rode from one gig to another, having a grand old time. The band was well on their way to success. Bars loved to book them because they attracted a lot of customers. The places they played at were always packed.

Cas started to notice that there were often people among the crowd he had seen before. It put a smile on his lips for it meant they were growing a fan base, which was a good thing. Slowly but steadily they were becoming famous.

It was a small label they worked under. Their records were being bought, but with Uriel taking the lion’s share, it was just enough to keep them from starving and have a roof above their heads. They were all either living in the tour bus or in their three bedroom apartment. Chuck and Ash shared a room. Meg obviously slept alone and also Cas had his own bedroom. With them sharing the rent, they managed. Uriel always said that the reason he took all that money was because he provided everything that the band needed, from the instruments to the clothes and the makeup they had to wear. Cas hated to admit that his agent wasn’t really wrong in doing it. He did buy everything, and the money had to come from somewhere.

After their performance, the band often stayed a while, hanging out together, and let the adrenaline leave their bodies. This time, it was no different.

Cas was standing at the counter, well on his way to getting drunk, when an arm was slung around his shoulders. He immediately tensed up at the touch. His anxiety grew even stronger when he saw it was Uriel.

“What do you want,” he growled, shrugging him off. He tolerated him, but he didn’t want more interactions with him than strictly necessary.

Uriel wasn’t offended. Cas swore he even enjoyed it because he knew Cas didn’t like it.

“There are some serious ‘fuck me’ eyes shooting at you from the other end of the counter for over half an hour now. It surprises me you haven’t noticed it yet.”

Cas frowned. What the hell? Since when did his agent tried to hook him up with some random dude?  Especially when Uriel wanted him to play he was straight all the time. He really must be drunk out of his mind.

His eyes wandered to the other end of the counter to see who Uriel was talking about. If it was some hot guy hitting on him, he would be all for it. In a sober state he wouldn’t dream of it, but he was drunk and when drunk, rules didn’t apply. Of course he probably would regret it in the morning, but fuck that. He would deal with it while nursing his hangover.

He caught the gaze of a woman with indeed ‘fuck me’ written all over her face. He sighed deeply. He should have known better than thinking Uriel would set him up with a guy.

“I don’t swing that way and you know it,” he snapped, taking a swig from his beer.

Uriel rolled his eyes. “Oh for heaven’s sake. Have you even tried it?”

“No.”

“Then how…”

“I just know.” Cas cut him off with a snarl. “Do I need to spell it out for you? I. Do. Not. Like. Women. That. Way.” With every word he emphasized, he moved closer to Uriel until he was right in his face no matter how disgusting he thought it was. “Got it?” He turned away from him and ordered a double whisky to flush away the awful scent of Uriel’s aftershave.

“Fine. I got it,” Uriel barked. “But she’s obviously a fan, so, I suggest you ignore the ‘fuck me’ eyes and go talk to her, be nice, suck up to her so she will continue to buy your records.”

Cas cursed every God, Pagan or not, in existence, because he knew Uriel was right. He could not alienate potential fans. They held the power to make them or break them. Well, it couldn’t hurt to talk to her, right? He shot Uriel what he hoped was a bitchface and made his way over to the woman. He offered her a drink and they started talking, much to Uriel’s delight.

Her name was Kelly Kline, and after half an hour Cas found she was actually very nice. But that’s where it ended for him. He wasn’t attracted to her. It wasn’t her fault. Cas was never attracted to any woman.

He bought her drink after drink and put it all on Uriel’s tab, he was the one with all the money after all. They switched from beer to whisky shots and soon Cas had a more than happy buzz going on.

At the other side of him, there was this guy, having a conversation with another guy, who often brushed his body against his. At first, he thought it was accidental – the bar was crowded – but after a while he found that the man did it on purpose. He saw it in his hazel eyes when he looked at him. They were glistening with mischief and a hint of shyness. He gave Cas a seductive smile, and then turned his attention back to his friend.

This was nothing more than some harmless flirting that wouldn’t go anywhere, Cas recognized the signs, he wasn’t a fool, but damn it, it gave him a raging hard on. If the man had been alone, he would have asked him his name, but he obviously was here with someone else. If only…

He downed another whisky shot and took in a sharp breath through his teeth while the liquid pooled warm in his belly. He put the empty glass on the bar with a loud thud and mumbled “screw this”.  He grabbed Kelly’s hand and dragged her out of the bar.

Cas’s brain was foggy enough with all the alcohol he had consumed that he could close his eyes and pretend Kelly was a man when he fucked her.

They ended up in the back seat of her car with Cas struggling to put on a condom. No matter how drunk he was, there was always a part of his brain still sensible enough to use protection.

Kelly straddled him and impaled herself onto him.

Cas closed his eyes, trying to conjure up the image of the man who had been standing beside him at the counter. He managed to pretend it was him who rode him to completion although Kelly’s too female grunts almost ruined the fantasy. Couldn’t she just shut up?

The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes. Cas came with a groan and if the moans and the final scream of ‘Oh my God, yes’ from Kelly were anything to go by, she had come as well.

She got off of him and then audibly gasped. In horror, she stared at his cock.

Cas frowned and looked down. He immediately noticed why there was such a shocked look on her face. The condom was torn.

----------

As suspected, Cas regretted the whole thing when he woke up with a killer headache the next day. If he hadn’t been one hundred percent sure he didn’t like sticking his dick in some chick before, he was sure now. He got more satisfaction from jerking off to the images of beautiful men in his mind than he had gotten from that experience. That really was something that was never going to happen again.

He buried the incident deep in his subconscious mind, trying very hard to forget about it, but from time to time, it resurfaced and then he wondered how she, Kelly, was doing, especially because he never saw her again.

Life went on, as it always did, and despite the fact that money was still tight, they were happy. Then, one day in February, Uriel called him and commanded him to meet him in some remote diner a few miles outside the city and boy, did he not sound happy.

All the way over there, Cas wrecked his brain with was this was all about. If Uriel had something to say, he came to the apartment or told them over the phone. He never asked for a private meet up like this, so, what the hell was going on?

He stepped into the diner and scanned the place. An audible gasp left his lips when he immediately identified the woman sitting next to Uriel in a booth at the far end of the corner.

With a few pensive lines between his brows, he stepped over to them. Kelly straightened at the sight of him and looked at him funny, probably because he was barely recognizable without all the make-up that was part of his stage persona.

“Sit down,” Uriel boomed. His face reminded Cas of a big storm cloud ready to explode. When he was like that, you didn’t want to mess with him, so Cas did what he was told and slid into the booth.

“Well, here he is, happy now?” Uriel’s voice was still thick with contained anger as he spat out the words. “Now tell him,” he continued.

Kelly took a deep breath. She stared at her hands. “I’m pregnant,” she softly said without looking up at him.

The silence that fell condensed heavy in the air as the tension rose. Cas was stunned. This must be some nightmare.

“I…I don’t know what to say,” he managed to bring out when he found his voice again that he had lost a moment ago.

Kelly swallowed. She finally found the courage to look at him. “Your agent wants me to get an abortion,” she blurted out. Her big eyes full of helplessness laying in a pale face caught his, pleading; begging.

“What?” Cas shot Uriel a questionable glance. “You told her that?”

“Yes. It’s the best…”

“Without telling me?” Cas cut him off harshly. “Without asking me or consulting me?”

“You’re here now aren’t you?”

“Only because I insisted,” Kelly said with a small voice and then crumbled underneath the death glare Uriel shot her. He tried to intimidate her and succeeded in doing so.

“That’s enough, Uriel,” Cas said, addressing his agent when he noticed how the poor girl tried to disappear from Uriel’s scrutinizing gaze. After giving his agent a warning glance, Cas’s eyes turned back to Kelly. “Tell me everything.”

“Castiel...” Uriel sighed.

“Shut up,” Cas stopped him. “I want to hear it from her.” He gave Kelly an encouraging nod. “Tell me, please.”

Kelly shifted in her seat. “Okay. Well, you know how it happened, right?”

“Yes. The torn condom. Go on.”

“I didn’t know for sure that I was pregnant until December. At first, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. Once I could think straight again, I knew that the right thing to do was to contact you. I wrote a few letters to the record company I found on one of your CD’s, but I never got an answer.” She stopped to take in a breath. “To make a long story short, I asked the help of a detective friend of mine and he managed to get the number of your agent and so I called him.”

Cas closed his eyes. Uriel had probably put the fear of God into her; he could only imagine. He had to hand it to her, she was brave enough to stand up to him, or she wouldn’t be sitting here.

“Castiel,” Uriel tried to speak again.

“I said Shut up Uriel,” Cas snapped.

Uriel rolled his eyes but kept his mouth shut.

“I’ve eh, told your agent everything,” Kelly went on. “He didn’t believe me at first and then told me to get rid of it. I wanted to talk to you, but he wouldn’t let me until I threatened to speak to the media.” She looked down at her hands in shame. “I’m sorry I did that, but he gave me no choice. It was the only way he would let me talk to you.”

Cas dismissively waved his arm. “No, that’s all right. I understand, but, and I hate to ask you this, are you sure it’s mine?”

Kelly nodded adamantly. “Yes. You are the only person I had sex with in over a year.”

“Yeah, right,” Uriel snorted.

Cas ignored him. “Do you agree to a paternity test?”

Again Kelly nodded. “Yes. But only after the baby is born.”

All the time Uriel was either rolling his eyes or snorting. Cas was two seconds away from punching him in the face if he didn’t stop his condescending behavior.

“Agreed. How far along are you?”

Kelly smiled for the first time since he arrived here. “Almost twenty weeks.” She rubbed her belly while her smile grew wider. “It’s a boy.”

Cas could almost feel his heart swelling, and then it fully hit him. He had fathered a child. How unbelievable was that? He put a faint smile on his lips.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“All right. Enough already with this sentimental mambo jumbo whatever stuff,” Uriel barked. He turned to face Kelly. “Name your price, Miss Kline. How much do you want to completely disappear from Castiel’s life and never bother him again.”

“Wow, wait, hold on.” Cas held up his hand. “I don’t want her to disappear from my life. That’s my son she’s carrying. I want to be a part of his life.”

Uriel looked at him as if he had just lost his sanity. “Are you crazy? Do you have any idea what this will do to your career?”

“I don’t fucking care. That’s my son.”

“I don’t want to live in the public eye,” Kelly cut in. “I’m happy to keep this all a secret. I just wanted Castiel to know I’m carrying his child.” She shrugged. “He had the right to know.”

“Thank you,” Cas said genuinely. “I’m glad you did.” He straightened his back and with his hands folded on the table he said: “Here’s what I propose we do.” Someone had to start being a bit practical here.

In the next two hours some agreements were discussed. Kelly would get a certain amount of money every month to provide for her and her baby. In return, Kelly would send Castiel pictures of his son and he would come to visit once a month; more if possible. All her hospital expenses would be paid.

“Not gonna happen,” Uriel disagreed.

Now it was Cas who rolled his eyes. “You know what, Uriel? You can stuff it. It’s either this or I quit the band and move to Washington with Kelly to be near my son and to provide for him.”

“You don’t mean that.”

“No? Why don’t you try me and find out.” He gave Uriel a more than challenging look.

Uriel eventually had to give in. “Fine.” He threw some money on the table and stood up. “I’m gonna have my lawyer make up a contract so Miss Kline here can’t double cross you, or me for that matter.” With these words he strode out with angry steps.

Cas and Kelly talked some more before she had to leave as well. She would stay in the city to sign the contract and then fly back to Washington.

Cas stared after her as she walked out of the diner. He had meant what he had said before, God help him, he did. For this child, his son, he would have given up everything if Uriel hadn’t agreed with his terms.

Chapter Text

 

Dean anxiously jumped from one foot to the other as he waited for Cas at the airport. The past week had gone by so fucking slow; too slow for his liking. It had helped that he and Cas spoke on the phone every so often, but damn, those seven days had more felt like seven weeks.

He glanced at his watch for the tenth time in just as many minutes. What took him so long? Did he lose his luggage or something? He let that possibility run through his imagination for a few seconds, and then his heart skipped a beat as he spotted a mop of dark brown forever bed hair sticking in eight different directions among the crowd.

Soon Cas came into full view. He was pulling a suitcase behind him and a travelling bag was slung around one shoulder.

A huge smile broke out on Dean’s mouth. It was so good to see him but…what the hell was he wearing? It looked like a dark suit with a tie all crooked and wrong, hanging loose around his neck, and an oversized beige trench coat. Dean had to restrain himself from exploding in a full body laugh when he was over the initial surprise of Cas’s ridiculous choice of clothes.

With no sense of personal space, Cas came to a halt right in front of him. He adjusted his bag. “Hello Dean,” he said all earnest and with a voice that could still turn all Dean’s insides upside down. He spontaneously popped a boner. Shit.

“Hiya Cas,” he replied with a toothy smile, trying very hard to ignore what was growing between his legs. He motioned with his arm. “You going for the whole tax accountant look now?”

Cas tilted his head with a frown. “What do you mean?” He looked down at his clothes. “This, eh…this is…”

“Cas, relax, it’s a joke,” Dean explained when he noticed that Cas kind of got embarrassed, as if he had made an effort to look good for him and now Dean didn’t approve; except that he did once he gave the whole ensemble a closer look. It would look utterly ridiculous on someone else, but hell, Cas pulled it off without even trying. It did need some adjustments though.

His tongue darted out to wet his lips as he took a step forward and buttoned up the top of Cas’s white shirt. As he was straightening the tie, he almost immediately realized his mistake. If he didn’t concentrate on what he was doing and ventured a look into Cas’s eyes, he knew he would lose it.

“There. Much better,” he said when he was done, voice hoarse with the contained desire to plant a kiss on the guy’s lips right here and now.

“Thank you, Dean.”

“Don’t mention it,” Dean waved him off, but damn it, it wasn’t easy not to start giggling like a frigging idiot.

He took in a breath. “Okay. So. Have you eaten yet? You wanna go out? Or d’you rather go home and order in?”

Oh shit. Did he really say go home? Like they were living together or something? Well, technically they would be living together for the duration of Cas’s stay, but still…home? Like in home, home? Double shit.

He quickly composed himself. “Okay, never mind, let’s talk about it in the car,” he said with a nervous chuckle, and turned around to lead the way out. He had to prevent Cas from seeing the red that was probably visible all over his face. It felt like it was on fucking fire.

“Dean?”

Cas’s gravelly and dark voice that had said his name around a question, stopped him dead in his tracks. He turned on his heels. “Yeah, Cas?”

Two arms were slung spontaneously around him in the middle of the busy airport as soon as he had turned back to him.

Softly spoken words accompanied the crushing hug. “I missed you.” They sounded like music crawling into Dean’s ear from where they made their way to his stomach, kicking up the butterflies residing there.

“I’m…ehm…yeah…okay,” Dean laughed. He didn’t know what else to say. Sure, he had missed Cas too, but somehow those words got stuck in his throat, not able to make their way out to express how he really felt.

When Cas released him, Dean safely stored away the memory of their embrace with all those complicated feelings it had stirred alive again; things he hadn’t felt in a long, long time.

Cas’s hand rested on his shoulder as his gaze caught his and held it. Dean gasped when he saw his own suppressed feelings mirrored in the cobalt blue of Cas’s eyes.

The hand on his shoulder slid down over his arm, hesitantly lingered at his own hand resting at his side, and then there was a light brush of fingers over his knuckles.

A jolt of electricity, caused by the faint touch, shot through Dean’s body and caused his breath to hitch. He parted his lips, eyes flicking to Cas’s mouth and back up again to shining blue.

“Let’s go home,” he said with a nod, finally able to speak again, and this time the word ‘home’ didn’t sound awkward or strange anymore. This time it somehow sounded right.

Cas shot him a smile. “Yes.” He took his suitcase and trailed after him to the waiting Impala parked outside.

----------

On their way home, they had decided on Thai for dinner. Dean called the order in while Cas was upstairs unpacking his suitcase. He faintly smiled at the recollection of Cas reminding him of the deal they had made. He really wasn’t going to let him forget about that, was he.

He straightened when he heard Cas come darting down the stairs and appearing in the kitchen on bare feet. He had swapped his suit and tie for a more informal look of way too tight black jeans and an equally too tight blue shirt that hugged his broad chest and brought out the color of his eyes.

The sound of the doorbell shocked Dean out of his reverie. It was only then that he realized he had been staring again.

“I’ll get that,” Cas said. He turned and made his way to the door, leaving Dean blissfully gasping at the sheer domesticity of the whole thing. He could easily get used to this; he could easily picture this to be the rest of their lives…

“Get a fucking grip,” he mumbled, interrupting his own thoughts. It was nice to fantasize about it, but he had to be careful not to lose track of reality. These two weeks were probably all they were going to get; all they were allowed to have. And you know what? He was totally fine with that if that was the case. He was going to enjoy their time together to the fullest; he was going to live it like it was his last days on earth and he sure as hell was going to kiss Cas at least once before he had to leave again. He needed to know what Cas’s lips taste like; he needed to know what it was like to have Cas’s soft tongue capture his own; he wanted to get drunk with Cas’s scent as he gave him the blow job of a lifetime…

“I hope it tastes as good as it smells,” Cas brutally pulled him out of his daydreams and startled the shit out of him. His eyes widened. “What?”

“Ehm, the food?” Cas put the bags on the kitchen counter with that adorable frown between his brows that always appeared when he was confused. “What did you think I was talking about?”

Shit. “Nothing, nothing,” Dean hastily said. “Just lost in thought, haha.” He quickly turned around to pull some plates from the cabinet. Fuck. Flustered wouldn’t probably come close to the color that was gracing his face. Beet red would be a better description. This was so fucking embarrassing getting caught by Cas while imagining sucking his dick.

Forcing his face to take on a more normal complexion, Dean messed around with the plates and the glasses, taking his time to put everything on the counter while Cas opened the bags of food. The spicy smell of oriental dishes slowly filled the air as he took everything out.

Dean reached out for the remote of the stereo to turn on the radio. He pushed the wrong button and activated the CD player instead. Soon Cas’s gravelly voice boomed through the house.

Dean almost spit out his food. “I’m…eh…” He scrambled for the remote and frantically tried to find the right button to push. Damn it. Now was not the time to suffer from amnesia, what the hell?

“It’s okay, Dean. I know you are a fan,” Cas chuckled sweetly.

With a sigh of relief that Cas took it so well, he put the remote down. “Yeah, man, but... I don’t know.” He shrugged. “Aren’t you tired of hearing those songs? You must have sung them a million times already.”

“I have.” Cas took the bottle of wine. “Although a million times is a slight exaggeration.” He pushed the corkscrew in and started turning. “I can’t say I’m tired of hearing them though.” With a ‘plop’ he uncorked the bottle.

“Isn’t it weird hearing yourself?” Dean asked as he watched Cas filling both their glasses.

“It was at first. I’m used to it now.”

Dean’s most favorite song started, the one he always jerked off to on cold, lonely nights when he needed the comfort and the warmth. Son of a…shit. He was dying a thousand deaths as he suffered his way through it doing his very best to hide his embarrassment.

“I was thinking of taking you to Baker Beach tomorrow,” he made an effort to chase away the filthy thoughts that went through his head conjured up by the song. “They predict a beautiful day with nice warm temperatures. And since it’s a weekday and it’s September, so summer break is already over for most people, it won’t be that crowded,” he rambled on.

Cas’s whole face lit up. “I love the beach.”

“Yeah, me too,” Dean mused with a dreamy look before digging back into his food. “You have a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge there, we just don’t wanna venture too close to that bridge.”

“Why? Is it dangerous?”

Dean’s head snapped up. “No, not exactly, just…” He squinted. “You really don’t know?”

Cas slowly shook his head, the confusion on his face complete.

Dean felt a giggle bubbling up. Should he tell him or should he let him find out what he meant by himself? He threw that thought overboard as soon as it came up. No, it wouldn’t be fair to ambush Cas with it. Besides, it would probably make for a very awkward moment because, let’s not forget, Dean would be right there with him.

“Let me put it this way. The clothing optional in the northern part is…questionable.”

Cas did his adorable head tilt again, the one that could melt Dean to an awe inspired puddle. He rolled his eyes.

“Nudes, Cas. The further north you go, the more nudes you’ll see.”

“Oh.” Cas still seemed not to know what the hell he was talking about until finally understanding dawned on his face. “Ooohhh.” A broad smile formed on his mouth. “Well, I don’t mind, Dean. The human body is a beautiful work of art in all its forms.”

Dean honestly almost choked on his food, resulting in a few coughs, from the suggestive undertone that had been audible in Cas’s words. He took a few sips from his wine before he was brave enough to look him in the eyes. They were glistening with mischief.

“What’s the matter, Dean? Don’t you appreciate the human body?”

“I’m eh…well yeah…it’s just…not in public…I mean…” Goddamnit. When did he turn into such a stuttering lunatic who hadn’t seen a nude in his life?

“Dean, it’s okay. I was just teasing,” Cas laughed. “I just meant to say that you don’t have to worry about me. I won’t freak out if I see a nude on the beach. Thanks for the warning though.”

Dean waved with his wineglass. He swallowed the food in his mouth. “You’re welcome. But enough about that. Why don’t we take the rest of our meal to the living room and watch a movie?”

Cas nodded in agreement. “Sounds good. I like watching movies with you. You have great taste.”

Good Lord, what was with all the flirting and the teasing today? Did he take a crash course when he was in Washington? He was glad he was standing with his back to Cas while picking out a DVD, because the way his face was heating up again was ridiculous. Traitor.

They sat through two movies Cas clearly enjoyed, before they went to bed, separately, again. Dean wondered how long it was going to take before they succumbed to the strain of the sexual tension and fell into each other’s arms? Or into each other’s lap?

 

1996

 

He was kneeling on the bed, bent over and leaning on his under arms for support while his fingers were wrapped around the base of the thin metal bars of the headboard. Dean was about to get fucked for the first time, and the dread that washed through his veins almost left him paralyzed with a fear for the unknown.

When he had come in this evening, Alastair had handed him a pair of green panties. Dean had stared at them in horror. He knew what it meant. The picture that had formed in his head wasn’t pretty and sure as hell wasn’t something to look forward to.

Dean told himself to control his breathing, and above all, to try to relax. The more he tensed up, the more it was going to hurt. Not that he was an expert, it was just plain common sense.

His legs were nudged further apart, then the panties were ripped from his body. Dean saw the sad remains of green fabric tossed across the room and silently fall onto the floor.

Everything became way too real when the butt plug was removed. He was prepped, but only just barely.

The first inklings of panic bubbled up when something cold and wet was put against his hole and then, with one vigorous move pushed inside.

Dean cried out from the pain and the burning sensation of his rim that was stretched so wide he was afraid it was going to be torn apart. His body tried to fight the thick, foreign intrusion while tears of hurt sprung into his eyes.

“Gnnn, so, so tight. So perfect,” Zach said from behind him while frantically pumping in and out. “You’re going to come on my cock, aren’t you, boy, without touching your own.”

Oh no. No. He couldn’t be serious. Dean didn’t think he could do that. Yes, Alastair had told him that, usually, the only way the boys got off was by prostate stimulation, but Dean never thought he would be forced to orgasm by just that.

His thoughts were interrupted by an unexpected pleasure that rippled through him when his prostate was hit. It overrode the pain, and when Zach started to nudge that sensitive bundle of nerves buried deep inside of him with every other thrust, the pleasure completely took over.

His cock grew hard and hung heavy between his legs. Dean was utterly disgusted by it, but he was more disgusted with himself because he allowed himself to enjoy the whole experience no matter how appalling it was. But, what else was he supposed to do?  It would be easier to orgasm if he just went with the flow instead of trying to swim upstream, because that would get him exactly nowhere.

No matter how hard he tried, Dean couldn’t orgasm. The climax always seemed to be just out of his reach.

By the time Zach maxed out on the time he could wear his cock ring without it becoming dangerous as the worst case scenario, Dean still hadn’t come. He desperately tried to, but just couldn’t do it. His cock and his balls were aching and his prostate was oversensitive by the constant nudging.

With a groan, Zach spilled his release in Dean’s hole, stuttered his way through the climax and then retracted his cock.

Dean almost threw up, that’s how hard his stomach clenched together, and not just from what he had just gone through, but at the thought of what was going to happen to him now that it was over. This was the second time he had disobeyed an order.

His worst fears came true when Zach was cleaning his cock and he said with a shake of his head “I think Alastair needs to teach you how to come untouched.”

Dean felt almost all the color draining from his face. He was going to get punished. The boy, the platform, the gangbanging, the double penetration, the blood, all those images swam before his eyes as he stared at Zach with a fear he couldn’t even begin to define.

“No,” he almost yelled.

“What did you say boy?” Zach boomed.

“I’m sorry, sir, I’m sorry,” Dean pleaded. “Please, don’t let,…don’t…please. I will do better next time. Just, please don’t let them punish me.”

Zachariah shook his head again. “I’m sorry, boy,” he smirked. “I let it go the first time, I’m not gonna let it go again.”

Dean could see Zach took a lot of pleasure in him begging like this. He was past the point of caring about it though. He would gladly kiss Zach douche’s feet if it kept him from being bound to that platform.

Zach pushed a button. Almost immediately, two handlers appeared.

“Take him to a holding cell,” Zach said motioning at Dean. “I need to talk to Alistair.”

“No!” Dean screamed as the handlers grabbed him by the arms. He fought and struggled to get loose. This wasn’t happening; this wasn’t real.

“Don’t fight, you’ll only make it worse on yourself,” one of the handlers said as they dragged him out of the room, kicking and screaming.

A voice, vaguely familiar, penetrated his world of dread and fear. Dean grabbed it; clung to it. It was his lifeline; his way out of the horror from his memories that still haunted him in his sleep.

 

He woke up with a scream so hoarse it scratched his throat. His breath came in short, shallow huffs and puffs, yet somehow he didn’t seem to get enough air into his lungs. His head was woozy as he tried to chase away the last remains of his nightmare. Only then did he notice someone covered in shadows sitting at the edge of his bed. In a panic he scrambled back until he realized the silhouette of the man was Cas, and it was his voice that soothingly floated in the semi-darkness of his room.

Chapter Text

 

“Cas?” His name was uttered around a sigh.

“Yes, Dean. It’s okay, you’re safe.”

“Man.” Dean ran a hand over his face. “I’m sorry. Did I wake you up?”

“No. I was coming from the bathroom and heard you screaming when I passed your door. I knocked and came in to see if you were all right. You were thrashing on the bed… Ehm, bad dream?”

Dean nodded. He looked down at the hands in his lap. “I’m okay.” His gaze moved back up. “Thanks. You ehm…can go back to sleep now.”

Cas swallowed. He didn’t want to go and leave Dean like this. He wanted to stay and watch over him while he slept; he wanted to crawl next to him and pull him into his arms to hold him through the rest of the night. No matter how much he wanted all those things though, he had enough sense not to act on them, not even when he looked into Dean’s eyes, and despite the dimness of the room could unravel the desire hidden in them. But Dean had to use words. Unless he explicitly asked him to stay, Cas had to walk away.

Reluctantly, he got up from the edge of the bed. “Are you sure I can’t get you anything?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Thanks, Cas.”

“Okay.” Cas had to force his legs to move. “Goodnight, Dean,” he said before he walked out.

“Night, Cas,” he heard Dean say before he gently closed the door.

Outside, he took in a deep breath. The sting of upcoming tears burned behind his eyes as he made his way to his own bedroom, because of what he had seen.

In the beam of light from the hallway that had poured inside through the half open door, and that had fallen right on Dean’s hands, he had noticed a thin, white line across one of his wrists. It was faint, and barely there, so it probably was an old scar, but it had crushed Cas like a bug.

With a sigh, he crawled back under the covers. Sleep didn’t come easy. His heart was still aching with an image that was so tragic it was seared into his mind forever. What the hell did they ever do to this kind and wonderful man that made him think the only way out was to take his own life?

Judging by what Dean had told him, he loved his brother, and he would do anything for him, so what did they put him through that was so severe that he even wanted to leave Sam an orphan with no family left?

Cas was honestly afraid to think about it. Being an employee at Alastair’s club was hard, but not enough to break a strong man like Dean. Something else must have happened.

He gasped when it suddenly came to him. Dean was probably punished. An ice cold shiver ran down his spine. He knew the methods Alastair used to punish the boys. They were horrendous.

“Oh Dean,” he said, his voice near broken and too loud in the silent room. “What have they done to you?”

----------

Unlike the previous two mornings Cas had woken up here at Dean’s place, he wasn’t greeted by the smell of breakfast and freshly brewed coffee. Not that he minded. Dean was probably, just like him, not exactly a morning person.

He looked at the closed bedroom door on his way to the bathroom, tempted to knock to see if Dean was already awake. He quickly decided against it. It wouldn’t be polite, and it surely wasn’t wise, not with his morning wood straining in his pajama pants.

Despite his policy not to jerk off in another man’s shower, his hard on left him little choice. He couldn’t possibly imagine waking up with an erection and not do anything about it for the next two weeks, not to mention all the times he was going to get hard during the day, which was bound to happen with Dean so close by his side.

A hot shower and a more than satisfying masturbation session with Dean’s image flashing before his eyes later, Cas exited the bathroom dressed in khaki cargo shorts, a white polo shirt, and a pair of grey no-show socks on his feet.

Again, he was tempted to knock on Dean’s bedroom door when he passed it, until he heard soft snoring coming from downstairs. With a frown he followed the sound and found Dean hanging on the couch, fast asleep and hugging an empty bottle of what looked like scotch.

Sorrow washed through Cas at the sight. So, that’s how he coped. What the hell did he expect to find at the bottom of empty liquor bottles?

With a silent sigh, he went to the kitchen and came back with a white paper towel. Ever so softly, he wiped away the shining sliver of drool dripping from the corner of Dean’s mouth. He didn’t want him to be embarrassed at the thought Cas had seen him drooling like a child.

Dean moaned and adjusted his position but didn’t wake up. Cas thought it was best to leave him be. If he really drank himself unconscious last night, he needed to sleep it off. He took the colorful duvet hanging over the back of the couch and draped it over Dean’s sleeping body. He tenderly watched him for a few more seconds with warm feelings whirling inside that were all new to him. Was this what it was like to be in love?

He was startled at his own thoughts. Jesus. Was he really in love? He shrugged the question off as he made his way back to the kitchen to make some breakfast, and most of all: coffee.

Cas didn’t make breakfast very often. Usually Hannah brought him something, and when he was in Washington, Kelly always had breakfast ready when he woke up. This didn’t mean he didn’t know his way around the kitchen. Jack always asked him to make the pancakes because he made them better than his mom ever could.

Searching in the cabinets for the ingredients and the equipment took some time, but he managed. He even found some blueberries. Perfect.

While whipping up the dough, Cas let his mind wander. He and Dean really needed to talk, especially after what happened last night, and the way he had found him this morning. He also realized he was the one who had to take the first step; he had to open the door to that conversation. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it needed to be done.

A throat being cleared behind him made him jump. It was followed by the words: “I’m sorry, Cas.”

Cas closed his eyes for a second, wondering what exactly Dean was apologizing for, not that he didn’t have anything to feel sorry about, because he sure as hell did. Now, however was not the time. It just had to wait, so, he plastered a smile on his mouth and turned around.

“Good morning, Dean.” He went over to the coffee machine and filled a huge mug. “I think you need this,” he said, placing the mug on the kitchen counter. “How are you feeling?”

Dean plopped down on the barstool. “Like I’ve been run over by a truck and someone is banging the inside of my skull with a sledgehammer.” He wrapped his hands around the mug, carefully avoiding Cas’s eyes, like he was ashamed. Good, he should be ashamed.

“Hard liquor is known to have that effect, Dean,” Cas replied drily.

“Hmm.” Dean sipped his coffee. “I know. I should have known better.”

Cas didn’t say anything to that. Instead, he put a plate with a huge pile of pancakes in front of him with the words “Eat. It’ll make you feel better.”

Dean looked at the food with a skeptical expression in his eyes. “Is that some magical cure for a hangover, Cas?” he asked, a bit amused, with a nod at the pancakes.

“Excessive drinking can throw off the balance of the chemicals in your blood and cause metabolic acidosis, which is characterized by an increase in acidity. It could be associated with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Eating a good breakfast can help maintain your blood sugar levels, provide important vitamins and minerals and reduce the symptoms of a hangover.”

Dean stared at him with his mouth hanging wide open. “I have no idea what you just said,” he breathed while slowly shaking his head. “I only caught the ‘reducing the symptoms of a hangover’ part and well, that works for me.” He poured an excessive amount of syrup on the pancakes. With his fork, he chunked off a huge part and put it in his mouth.

Leaning against the cabinets with his arms folded over his chest and his feet crossed at the ankles, Cas watched him. He saw how his eyes grew wide after the first few chews, and then fluttered closed while a filthy moan came from deep inside his throat.

“Oh my God, Cas,” he said with his mouth full of food. He swallowed it down. “This is…this is…,” he took another bite, “heaven.” Another loud moan that sounded so pornographic it gave Cas a raging hard on, filled the kitchen. Good God. If he sounded anything like this when Cas pounded into him, he would be all for it, because wow. He could easily come by the sound alone.

“Man. Where did you learn how to make pancakes like this?” Dean pierced through his thoughts.

Cas snapped his head up and quickly chased the dirty images in his head away.

“It’s my mom’s recipe,” he replied. “She taught me when I was still very young.”

“Well,” Dean shook his head while finishing his plate, “she probably made the best pancakes in the world, huh?”

“Yes. Yes, she did.” He pushed himself off the kitchen cabinets with the fond memory of his mom’s pancakes fresh in his mind, to take Dean’s empty plate and rinse it off. “Are we still on for the beach today?” he asked, while putting the plate in the dishwasher.

Dean frowned at him. “Of course.” He got up from the barstool to pour himself another cup of coffee. “I was thinking, there are some nice barbecue spots there as well. We can stuff a big cooler container with meat and vegetables and everything else we need and have a barbecue as an early dinner.”

“That sounds nice,” Cas nodded. “Oh, and we might wanna stop by some shops. I don’t have any swim shorts.”

“You don’t need swim shorts, Cas,” Dean said off handedly, messing around with the can of the coffee machine.

Cas almost choked on his own saliva. What the…what? Did he really hear that right or was there something seriously wrong with his ears? Dean couldn’t possibly mean…

“Ehm…I…ehm… I know nudes are allowed on the beach Dean, but I don’t feel comfortable…”

“What?” Dean interrupted him. He whirled around with the coffee mug in his hands and shot him a very confused look. Then, ever so slowly, understanding dawned in his eyes.

“Jesus, Cas, did you think…?” His face became beet red. “No! No, no, no, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that…it’s the ocean, Cas. That water is so cold… you have to be tough as nails to go swimming in there.” He gasped. “Not, not, not that you’re not tough as nails,” he hastily said. “I just mean, that water is really, really cold.”

“Oh.” Cas let out a breath of relief. “I’m sorry. I misunderstood.” He shook his head with a soft chuckle. “Like I said yesterday, I don’t mind it, but doing it myself in public? Not that I’m ashamed or anything. I just like to leave some parts of my body private…” He snapped his mouth shut before he said something really embarrassing, and make this awkward situation even more awkward.

Dean finished the last of his coffee and rinsed the mug off. “I’m sure you have nothing to be ashamed of, Cas,” he said and then quickly turned around to run off with the words “I’m gonna take a shower,” leaving Cas totally speechless.

----------

On their way to Baker Beach, Dean stopped by a supermarket. They filled the big cooler container he had brought with meat, and all sorts of other things for the barbecue. They brought it from the car to one of the barbecue spots on the beach and put it in the shade. It was sophisticated enough with all the cooling elements it contained to keep everything in it fresh for at least a few hours, until it was time to eat.

Cas was awe inspired at the spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Words to describe it failed him, and a picture couldn’t possibly capture the beauty of this amazing scenery. This was something people had to see with their own eyes.

“So. What do you think?” Dean asked, spreading out some towels on the sand.

“Very impressive,” Cas replied with a broad smile. He looked at Dean who had plopped down on the towels, and was now taking off his shoes and socks.

“I’m glad you like it.”

“What’s there not to like about this?” Cas settled beside him, and followed him in taking off his footwear. “It’s great.”

They sat side by side with a comfortable silence stretching out between them. It really was a beautiful day. The light ocean breeze prevented the temperatures from rising too high, and made sitting in the sun bearable.

There were a lot of people on the beach soaking up some sun, but no one was actually swimming. Some were wading in the surf, but that was as far as they went. He watched an occasional dog venturing into the water. It put a smile on his lips. He loved beaches where animals were allowed.

This day was so perfect, and this moment in particular so peaceful, he let go of the decision to try and make Dean talk. Why ruin it all by bringing something up Dean didn’t want to open up about?

Trying to do it as undetected as possible, helped by the sunglasses he was wearing, he let his gaze wander over Dean’s wrists again. Only one of them was marked with a scar and it ran horizontally. Didn’t people who wanted to end their lives by slitting their wrists cut vertically? He was suddenly hit with the knowledge it was probably a hesitation mark. Dean had thought about doing it, wanted to do it and actually did it but had come back to his senses in time before cutting deeper and hitting a major artery. Jesus. Did he ever realize how lucky he was? He could have lost the use of his hand, or worse.

He moved his gaze away, trying not to think about it anymore. That they had to talk about all of this at one point was obvious. Cas didn’t want there to be any secrets between them. Even if this thing they had going on stayed purely platonic, a good talk was necessary. But, not now. Now he was just going to enjoy a nice day at the beach with Dean.

Chapter Text

 

Dean enjoyed the water of the ocean coiling around his ankles and the wet sand underneath his feet. It was a comforting feeling that grounded him, and kept him from a panic attack because he knew Cas had noticed the scar on his wrist.

 

1996

 

His back was burning with the twenty lashes he had received for disobedience. They had made him count them out loud. After that, he was repeatedly raped by horny men who got a kick out of fucking a bloody beaten boy.

However awful, the beating and the gangbanging hadn’t been the worst. The worst was when they had put wires on his penis and his testicles, and something cold and hard was shoved in his ass.

The electric shocks had made him cry out in agony. It had felt like his insides were ripped apart, not to mention what it did to his cock. Why? Why did they do this to him? What was so terrible about not being able to come when he was told to; that he deserved this torture?

The answer to that question had come from Alastair who had told him Zachariah was really offended because he couldn’t come on his cock, and had asked for the worst possible punishment, so it wouldn’t happen again next time.

Next time? Dean stared at the bathtub in the small bathroom of the apartment he and his brother stayed at, as it slowly filled up with water. There wasn’t going to be a next time.

Dean had survived the whole ordeal, but only barely. There were moments he had thought he was going to die; there were moments he had even prayed for death.

The gruesome experience hadn’t killed him though, but it had broken him beyond repair. Something dark had seeped into his soul; something that scared him. It had nested between his bones. No matter how agonizing the electric shocks had been, they had somehow made him orgasm, and he was deeply ashamed of it. Something must be horribly, horribly wrong with him to come from sexual torture. He was a monster; an abomination, and this world would be better off without him. It was better to end it now before he became a sexual predator like the men in Alastair’s club, and started to hurt people himself.

With his hands on either side of the tub, Dean carefully let himself sink into the warm water. He gasped and then clenched his teeth at the burning sensation on his back from the fresh wounds, as he sunk deeper until he was fully seated.

Slowly, he released his breath he had been holding. The soothing water was a real blessing for his sore hole, and his still painfully throbbing cock and balls from what had been done to them.

Gazing around the fogged up bathroom, his eyes searched for the razor blade he had put at the edge of the tub. The hurt, the pain, which were more on an emotional level than a physical one, was all going to be over soon. Soon, he would be at peace in a world where nothing mattered anymore.

In a daze, Dean looked at the razor blade in his hand. He grasped it firmly and with one swift move, made a cut across his wrist.

The sudden sharp pain jolted him out of whatever headspace he had been in. He stared at the blood that seeped from the wound and dripped from his wrist into the water, coloring it pink.

Images of Sam flashed before his eyes. What the hell was he doing? He couldn’t let his brother find him like this. The kid would be traumatized for life. His whole future would be in ruins, and all because Dean wasn’t man enough to deal with the situation he was in. He couldn’t do that to him; he couldn’t be that selfish, what the fuck?

As if he only now realized the severity of what he had done, Dean scrambled up making the water wash over the edge of the tub. He got out and slipped over the wet tiles of the floor, landing hard on his ass. Crawling to his knees, he made a dive for the towel and wrapped it tightly around his wrist, putting pressure on the wound, hoping he didn’t cut too deep and hit a major artery. “Please, God,” he mumbled the silent prayer. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

As he was sitting there, all naked, sobbing with quiet tears and rocking himself, holding his towel wrapped arm in his lap, one thing became very clear to him. When he had made that cut, the excruciating pain of it had overridden the mental anguish he felt deep inside, and maybe, just maybe, he had found a way to cope with the emotional hurt.

 

“What are you thinking about?” a voice coming from right behind him asked. It startled him so briskly out of his memory, he almost jumped a meter high. He turned around and was met with the slightly concerned face of Cas.

“Jesus Christ, Cas,” he breathed out. “Don’t do that. I think you just took ten years off my life.”

“I’m sorry.” Cas put his hands in the pockets of his cargo shorts. “I just came to see if you were alright, not to give you a near heart attack.”

“I’m fine,” Dean said, a little harder than intended. He squinted. “Why would you think I wasn’t?”

Cas shrugged. “You were standing here so still, like you were physically present, but your mind was miles away.”

“Oh.” Dean looked down at the water that was whirling around both their feet. “I was just remembering the first time I came here, and thinking that this city is not exactly suitable for a ‘beach vacation’.”

It was a blatant lie, something he had mastered over the years so he could tell it without batting an eye. It was a survival thing. He didn’t like to remember what he had done in order to survive.

“I don’t know if I agree with that, Dean,” Cas said with a soft chuckle. “Yes, the water is pretty cold, but this beach is very nice.” He looked straight at him through a pair of sunglasses. “And the view is amazing,” he added. He smiled sweetly, bowed his head as if he was shy, then turned around and went back to where their towels were spread out on the sand.

Dean stared after him, baffled. Did he… Did he just… Another flirtation? Seriously?

Anticipation stirred in his stomach. Cas clearly wanted to take things to the next level and this just now? That had been yet again a very subtle way to tell him that.

His excitement was short lived when a dark cloud overshadowed it all. How was he going to explain the scars on his body if he did allow things to go further?

When he got serious with Lisa, he had carefully constructed a web of reasonable explanations to justify the marks the beating and the self-harm had left on his flesh. She had believed him. Eventually he had started to believe them himself, and he buried the painful memories from his past even deeper, until he forgot. It was the only way he could come up with, to go on with his merry life without much interference from his past demons he every so often had to battle, in order to keep them away.

Things were slightly different now because, well, this was Cas. Was he able to look him dead in the eyes and tell him the same lies he had told Lisa? Or was Cas just like all his past hook ups, one night stands or the occasional quick fuck in a gay bar who didn’t care and therefore never asked about it? On the one hand it would make things a whole lot less complicated if that was the case because, let’s be honest here, the attraction was there, and he desperately needed to get laid. On the other hand however… Dean was tired of meaningless fucks that could fulfill his physical needs, but left him starving on an emotional level. He was ready for more, for something deeper, but holy fuck it scared the shit out of him.

Shrugging everything off and still a little overwhelmed by Cas’s flirtation, Dean strode past him with the words: “I’m gonna light the barbecue.” He needed to keep his brain occupied with other things than Cas’s full lips, the way his muscled thighs filled out his cargo shorts, or his tanned, strong arms…Shit. He had to stop thinking about all of it

----------

Dean always knew how to make a mean burger. With a broad smile he accepted the compliments Cas gave him.

“You should cook more often, Dean. You’re good at it.”

Dean shrugged one shoulder. “Who would I cook for? I’m all alone.” He took a bite from his burger.

“I’m here now,” Cas said casually.

Dean snapped his head up. A smile was hovering at the corner of Cas’s lips. Damn that man. But he was right. He was here now, so, why not?

“You sure you wanna try out my cooking, Cas?”

“Sure. The lasagna you made last time was great, the pie was delicious and I think this is the best burger I ever tasted.” He wiped his fingers on the paper napkin. “You have my full permission to experiment on me, and I will be overtly honest if it’s good or not.”

For a few short moments, Dean stared at him in disbelief. Then he threw his head back and laughed. Cas was daring him and he never backed away from a challenge in his life. He wasn’t going to start now.

“You are so on,” he said. “I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into.”

Cas flashed him a radiant smile. “I do. I trust you. If there is anything you wanted to try out but didn’t for whatever reason,” he spread out his arms, “now’s your chance.” He held up a hand. “But, remember, we made a deal. I pay for all the food and the drink, so don’t you dare hold anything back because you think it’s too expensive. I will be very offended if you do.”

In Cas’s eyes, that weren’t covered by his sunglasses anymore, Dean could read he was very serious about this. He swallowed the protest he was about to make and nodded to let him know he understood. He still felt a bit uneasy about it though. He didn’t want to take advantage of Cas because, well, there were some recipes he wanted to try out which required ingredients that weren’t cheap.

----------

The sun had already begun its journey down to the horizon in the West when they were done cleaning up the remains of the barbecue. Now that they had lost its warmth, it got pretty chilly with the breeze that came from across the ocean.

Dean took the big blanket he had brought out of his backpack, plopped down next to Cas and wrapped it around both of them.

He took in a sharp yet silent gasp when Cas put his head on his shoulder and let it rest there. For one moment, he tensed up, but then relaxed again while slowly letting his breath escape. He tilted his own head until he felt the strands of Cas’s hair against his cheeks.

The moment was peaceful, almost serene. With Cas at his side, he relished in the afterglow of the dying sun that painted the blue sky with stripes of pastel colors.

Cas lifted his head from his shoulder. Dean turned to look at him, his eyes caught by a pair of mesmerizing blue ones. Even in the dusk of twilight, he noticed the dilated pupils and the fact their mouths were mere inches apart.

It was Cas who closed the gap and sealed their lips together.

The kiss was soft as a feather and light as the gentle caress of a butterfly’s wings, but the feelings it stirred in Dean were overwhelming. Deep hidden desires, buried by the rubble of his broken soul, fought their way through the debris to the surface.

Cas released his lips. A blue gaze flicked up to meet his eyes, searching, asking.

Dean stared back, not able to pull away. Now that the first, hesitant step was set, he longed for more. He craved it.

Cas’s arm slipped around his waist and tugged him closer. His other hand crawled to the back of his neck. Dean closed his eyes, reveling in the sweet caress of Cas’s warm breath on his face, before their mouths reconnected seemingly by their own accord. They were drawn together like magnets, impossible to resist.

Dean’s lips parted to welcome Cas’s tongue that slipped inside. The second he playfully captured it with his own, all the air got knocked out of his lungs, leaving him totally breathless with sudden feelings he never knew existed.

The blanket slipped from their shoulders as Cas re-adjusted and deepened the kiss. He dragged Dean with him into a sea of emotions that crashed over him like the waves of an ocean. He had a hard time keeping afloat and not drown in them.

However reluctantly, he had to break the kiss to get some more, much needed air into his lungs. Breathing heavily, he put his forehead against Cas’s shoulder, trying to calm down. Never before was he kissed like this; not like this. It was amazing and terrifying at the same time.

The reassuring hand of Cas that was still laying on the back of his neck, helped him to return his racing heartbeat back to normal. It was pounding so hard against his ribs, he was sure it was going to jump out any minute.

“Dean,” Cas whispered. It was so soft it was barely audible.

Taking a shivering breath, Dean lifted his head and looked up at the man who had just rocked his entire world.

“Yeah, Cas?”

“I’m…sorry.”

Wait, what? Why the hell was he apologizing? He held up his hand. “No,” he said with a furious shake of his head. He put the flat of his hand against Cas’s cheek. With his thumb he traced the seam of Cas’s lips, still swollen from the kiss they had exchanged a few moments ago.

“No, Cas,” he softly repeated. “This was something I wanted as much as you did. It’s just,” he removed his hand and let it fall into his lap, “can we take it slow?”

He was surprised at his own words. Here he was, desperately needed to get laid, and he asked to take it slow? Wasn’t that a first.

“Of course, Dean. I wouldn’t wanna have it any other way,” Cas replied. He chuckled and cocked his head. “So, ehm, more kissing first?”

Dean put a huge smile on his lips. “Hells yeah,” he said, and crashed his mouth onto Cas’s in a scorching kiss, that got more heated and passionate with every passing second. He vaguely realized that what he really asked before was not for some meaningless sex for the duration of Cas’s stay, but for something more permanent. He just put his heart out there. He only hoped Cas didn’t break it.

Chapter Text

 

With one hand against the damp tiles of the shower stall for support, Cas wrapped his long fingers around his cock. A shiver rippled through his body as he moved upwards and brushed his thumb over the tip.

The heavy make out session with Dean that had started on the beach and had continued on the couch, had left him so hard it was almost painful. He had to get rid of his boner before he went to bed, or he wouldn’t get any sleep at all.

The warm water of the spray was beating heavy on his back as he continued stroking. Fantasies of Dean bent over while he was pounding into him, flashed before his mind’s eye.

His tongue darted out to lick away the lingering scent Dean’s lips had left on his own. The sweet taste of popcorn mixed with the bitter flavor of beer was intoxicating.

He bucked his hips into his hand, reaching for the climax with green eyes dancing behind his closed eyelids. His hard breathing and the soft groans of intense pleasure he uttered, were muffled by the pouring water clattering against the shower walls.

With a barely contained scream of Dean’s name, he came, spilling his release warm over his hand, shaking with the sensual gratification and the sense of fulfillment it gave him.

Spiraling down from his height, he let his forehead rest on his arm that was still stretched out with the hand flat against the wall. Now that the last inklings of pleasure slowly ebbed away, he was left empty; lost almost. How nice would it be if he could share a mind blowing climax with Dean?

Dean however, had asked him to take it slow, and he respected his wishes. Not rushing things was the only way they had a chance at this, whatever ‘this’ was.

 

1992

With growing horror, Cas listened to what Uriel was telling him. His stomach tightened painfully, causing his appetite to almost disappear. Heat rose to his cheeks as he mindlessly stabbed the salad on his plate.

“I...I don’t think I can do that,” he finally whispered, eyes focused on the food in front of him.

“You owe me, Castiel.” Uriel sounded hard and demanding. “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be alive right now.”

Cas swallowed. He always knew that this big black man didn’t nurse him back to health out of the goodness of his heart, but what he never saw coming was the actual price tag attached to it. A male prostitute? In an exclusive men’s club? Was he kidding?

Uriel seemed to read his mind.“Don’t be such a baby,” he said. “It’s all very safe, like I told you.”

“But...I’m...ehm...I have never, you know, done it before,” Cas stammered in a small voice, still not sure if this whole conversation was even real.

“You’ve never been fucked before,” Uriel said with an understanding nod of his head. “I suspected as much.” He waved his arm. “Don’t worry about it. They’ll teach you at the club.” The smirk in his voice was ominous. It scared Cas to death.

Uriel pushed his chair back and stood up from the table they had been sitting at for dinner. “Think about it, but not too long. I need an answer by tomorrow.” With these words he walked off, leaving Cas to clean up the remains of their meal, as always.

For a few minutes, Cas sat frozen in place. He took in a shaky breath as he forced himself to move. He put the dirty plates in the dishwasher, while numerous chaotic thoughts were racing inside his brain. This wasn’t happening, right? This was all just a nightmare he was going to wake up from very soon.

After cleaning up the kitchen, he strolled to the living room. Still deep in thought, he stared out of the window of Uriel’s  three bedroom apartment.

It was late April. Spring had descended on the city. The bitter cold of winter was replaced by nicer, warmer weather. People had changed their thick coats for lighter jackets, as they hurried through the streets of New York to where ever they needed to be.

It had taken Cas four months to get back to health. He had spent Christmas and New Year in bed recovering from pneumonia. A Christmas tree had joyfully lit up his bedroom, and Uriel had even bought him a present, which had surprised him, but in the back of his mind there always had been a tiny voice asking why Uriel did all of this.

Tonight, he finally was given an answer. Uriel wanted him to be a prostitute in a club run by a man named Alastair. He would get paid twenty bucks an hour which he had to give to Uriel in exchange for a warm place to stay, food, drinks, clothes and an education. If he didn’t take the offer, he would be back on the streets, and then what? He had no money and nowhere to go. What it came down to was that he had little other choice than to just do it.

A shiver ran down his spine at the mere thought of it. He found the whole idea repulsive, but, the question remained, what choice did he have?

So, Cas took the offer, not knowing what the hell he had gotten himself into. When the extent of it became clear, it was too late. Both Uriel and Alastair already had their clutches deep into him.

 

With a gasp, Cas opened his eyes and stared into a pitch blackness. He then turned his head to the side and saw that the illuminated numbers of the digital clock showed 2 in the morning.

A full bladder and a dry throat chased him out of bed. He reached out and put on the lamp on the bedside table, in order to see where he was going as he stumbled to the bathroom.

After relieving himself, he washed his hands and darted downstairs to get a bottle of water.

Entering the kitchen, he found Dean, sitting on the floor with his back against the wall and a nearly empty bottle of Scotch between his legs, seemingly unconscious.

Fuck!

All the alarmbells in Cas’s head went off. He fell to his knees next to Dean, praying he was only sleeping. He gently patted him on the cheeks in order to wake him up.

The sigh of relief that left his lips when Dean blinked his eyes open echoed through the silent kitchen.

“Cas?”

“Yes, Dean.”

Dean’s eyes fluttered closed again. “I need to sleep.” He sagged to the side.

“No.” Cas prevented him from sliding further down to go laying on the cold kitchen floor. “Open your eyes. Dean, look at me.”

Again, Dean peeled his eyelids open. Intoxicating green eyes bore into his own. For one fleeting moment, Cas saw recognition flicker in them. It was so brief he thought he had imagined it.

“I just wanna sleep,” Dean whined, slurring his words.

“Not here on the floor you don’t. I’ll help you to the couch. Come on, get up.”

Dean didn’t cooperate much as Cas hauled him to his feet. It was like pulling up a dead weight. Getting him to the couch was even more difficult. Dean leaned heavily on his shoulders, barely able to place one foot in front of the other.

They finally made it without leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Manoeuvring a drunk guy through the living room wasn’t easy. It was a miracle they didn’t stumble into some furniture or knock over a lamp or a plant.

Cas made sure Dean laid on his side so that, if he should vomit, he wouldn’t choke on it. He stayed with him, placing himself in the far corner of the couch with Dean’s head on a cushion in his lap.

He gently carded his fingers through the short strands of Dean’s dark blonde-brownish hair, not agreeing, but very well understanding why Dean did what he did. Cas had been there where Dean was now so many years ago, before he got the help he so desperately needed.

 

2000

A familiar female voice was calling for him. It pierced through his subconscious state, pulling him out of the darkness. He reached out to grab it, but it was so damn hard. It was like pushing through water.

He tried to open his eyes, but they seemed to be glued together.

A moan sounded. It took him some time to realize it had come from his own throat. Meanwhile, he was still struggling to pry his eyes open. Why couldn’t he open his damn eyes?

“I think he’s waking up,” the female voice said with audible relief.

A hand was wrapped around his wrist, with a thumb softly pressing at the pulse point.

“I think he is.”

Wait. Who was that? He didn't recognize that voice. It was obviously male.

“Mr. Novak? Mr. Novak, can you hear me?”

“Don’t yell,” Cas managed to force out, and oh wow, was that really him who said that? He was surprised that speaking was easier than opening his eyes.

After some effort, Cas was finally able to get his eyelids to move, but damn, they were heavy.

The first thing he saw was the face of an unknown man floating in front of him.

He blinked away the mist that was clouding his vision, and looked into a pair of golden brown eyes standing in a handsome face.

“There he is. Welcome back, Mr. Novak.” A smile appeared on the man’s lips. “I’m Gabriel, your nurse. You can call me Gabe.”

Nurse? What did he mean ‘nurse’? Where the hell was he?

Gabe turned to the person who was sitting at his bed. It was Hannah, a girl Uriel had hired part time a while ago, to help him handle his and the band’s affairs.

“He’ll be fine. I’m gonna tell the doc he woke up.”

Hannah nodded as she watched after Gabe leaving the room. She then turned her attention back to Cas.

“How are you feeling?” Her voice was soft. Cas detected a slight quiver in it though.

“Like someone took out all my organs and put them back in again in the wrong place.”

He coughed. His mouth was dry and sticky. Did they feed him sand or something? “May I have some water?” he scratched out.

Hannah took the cup with water from the table beside the bed and put the straw to his lips.

Cas thankfully drank the cool liquid, until his throat was cleansed.

It was the most basic act, but it left him exhausted. He leaned back into the cushions with his eyes closed.

“What happened?” he asked after a few seconds.

“You don’t remember?” Hannah put the cup back on the table. She took his hand into hers in a gesture of comfort.

Cas searched his memories. His head was so foggy it was hard at first to recollect what the last thing was that he had done before he woke up here. Fragments of what had happened slowly bubbled to the surface of his mind.

He had been in a very bad place last night before going to bed. The awful memories from his past had plagued him so much worse than on other days, that he took more sleeping pills than allowed, in an effort to forget and to numb the mental pain. When they didn’t work as fast as he wanted them to work, he took some xanax, not caring that the combination might kill him. He just wanted to stop hurting so much.

“I...I don’t know what to say,” he mumbled without opening his eyes, too ashamed and too afraid of what he might read on Hannah’s face.

“So, you do remember,” Hannah said with a big sigh.

“I do.”

“Tell me it was an accident, Castiel. Tell me it wasn’t a....” She stopped. Obviously she couldn’t say it.

“A suicide attempt,” Cas finished the sentence for her. He finally found the courage to look at her. In her eyes he didn’t see contempt, but an effort to understand the situation.

He hadn’t known her for a long time, but somehow he felt a connection to her. There was something about her that made him think of her as the sister he never had. It was right then and there that he decided to trust her.

“Maybe it was a little bit of both,” he admitted.

Hannah drew her eyebrows together in a frown. “What do you mean?”

“I mean that, no, I didn’t mean to take my own life, but I did know what I was doing and that it was pretty dangerous.” He shrugged. “I guess the first dose already made me not care about it anymore when I popped the xanax.”

“Oh Castiel.” Hannah’s hand tightened around his. “You are very lucky Meg checked on you.”

“Meg found me?”

“Yes. She said she wanted to ask you something but you appeared to be sleeping. She wanted to leave you alone, but then she saw the bottles on your nightstand and had a very bad feeling about it. That’s when she tried to wake you up. When you weren’t responsive, she called 911, and well, here we are.”

“Fuck.” Cas closed his eyes again.

“Not exactly the word she used, but yes. You scared the hell out of her. You scared the hell out of all of us. Uriel is livid.”

Shit. He hadn’t thought about Uriel. Of course his agent wasn’t happy with him at the moment, what did he expect? It wasn’t about him though; Cas was not that naive. It was probably because he had been on the verge of losing his cash cow.

“Uriel can go to hell,” he bit out.

“Don’t worry about Uriel. I can handle him.”

Cas squinted sceptically at her.

“You sure about that?”

“He isn’t here scolding you out, is he?”

Cas looked down at his hand that was still laying in Hannah’s. He shook his head.

“Then trust me.”

And Cas did. She was probably the only one who could keep Uriel in check.

The silence that fell between them was only filled with voices murmuring in the hallway. They became louder as they came closer, passed his room, and then slowly faded away into the distance.

Hannah shifted in her seat. “You know, Castiel, you don’t have to tell me what happened to you that made you flee into prescription drugs you got from God knows where,” she held up her hand to stop him when he tried to explain, “but I beg you, accidental or not, please seek help?” She looked at him with a pleading glint in her eyes.

“I can give you the number of a very good therapist who I’m sure can help you fight your demons and your addiction,” she went on.

Cas blinked. “I’m not an addict,” he said, appalled that that thought had even crossed her mind.

Hannah tilted her head with her eyebrows slightly raised. “Isn’t that what all addicts say?”

“But, I’m not.” Cas turned his head away to avoid her gaze. “I just have trouble sleeping.”

“And the xanax?”

“It helps me with my anxiety.”

“And may I ask now where you get them?”

Cas sighed deeply. “Uriel gives them to me.”

“Right.” Hannah gritted her teeth. She released his hand and searched her purse for a pen. On a notepad she wrote something down, and handed him the piece of paper.

“That’s the phone number of Dr. Barnes. She’s really good. She can get you on the right medication for whatever problems you’re dealing with, and get you off the wrong ones.”

“But, Uriel…”

“Don’t worry about Uriel,” Hannah briskly cut him off. “You concentrate on getting better and I’ll worry about Uriel.” She got up from her chair.

“Please, Castiel. Think about it. You’ve been given a second chance. Don’t waste it.”

 

Cas was still carding his fingers through Dean’s hair as the memory slowly ebbed away. His agent might have saved his life when he had found him half dead in that back alley, but Hannah had saved him that day at the hospital.

Unlike Uriel, Hannah never asked for anything in return. All she wanted was for him to be happy and healthy.

Cas started to heal the moment he picked up the phone to call Pamela Barnes. She had helped him deal with all the past trauma of sexual abuse and rape. It had cost him a lot of tears and hours of endless sobbing, but eventually, he got through it.

He was still on some mild medication; and he still visited Pamela once every six weeks, but the worst was over for him. What had happened, happened, and he had learned that the only way he could get past it was to stare it right in the face and deal with it head on, instead of trying to bury it in drugs or alcohol.

He looked down tenderly at Dean, whose head was resting in his lap. He had fallen for him in every way imaginable, he knew that now. Everything about Dean was beautiful; the long lashes that cast shadows on his cheeks; the sun kissed spots on the bridge of his nose and forehead; his perfectly shaped mouth with a pair of inviting, kissable lips. Cas could still taste them.

They needed to talk. Before they could even think of going any further, an open and honest conversation was needed.

Cas closed his eyes, just to let them rest for a minute, but fell asleep before he knew it. When he woke up, the head on his lap was gone. Dean was sitting next to him, eyes wide open and staring at him in horror and confusion.

Something awful stirred in Cas’s stomach. “Dean? What’s wrong?”

“You,” Dean said. “It was...it was you.”

Chapter Text

 

Excruciating pain...agony...blue eyes...no, no, don’t...can’t breathe...blue eyes...I need to...please...blue eyes...blue eyes...blue eyes...Cas?

Dean’s whole body jerked as he startled awake from his nightmare. It took him a few seconds to get fully conscience and to realize he was laying on the couch.

Vague memories of what happened slowly surfaced. Cas. Cas had put him here.

Blue eyes...Cas.

Flashbacks of his dream came crashing back. He scrambled up, gasping for air. With the back of his hand, he wiped the drool from his cheek as he stared at the sleeping man sitting next to him.

His gaze went from Cas’s face to the cushion on his knees. It dawned on him that he had been sleeping with his head in the guy’s lap and he...and he…

His chaotic thoughts came to a screeching halt when Cas opened his eyes. Still clouded with sleep, they looked at him.

“Dean? What’s wrong?”

“You. It was...it was you.” He struggled to get the words out.

A confused line appeared between Cas’s brows. “What do you mean?”

The first indications of a panic attack made themselves known; Dean knew the signals so well. His chest tightened, making it hard to breathe.

“It was you,” he whispered, trying his best not to be thrown back into the past to re-live yet another horrible moment he didn’t want to remember. His surroundings faded. No. No, no no.

“Dean. Will you please tell me what you’re talking about?”

Cas’s calm voice that sounded like it came from very far away, grounded him; it kept him in the here and now. He clenched his fists, his fingernails digging painfully into his palms to get a hold of himself again, and to stay in the present.

“No. I need to take a shower.” He jumped to his feet and ran upstairs, taking two steps at a time.

Slightly out of breath, he entered the bathroom, slamming the door shut. Leaning heavily on the sink with his head bowed down, he tried to gain control of his breathing.

Calm down, calm down, calm down. The words ran through his mind like a mantra.

He lifted his head and caught his reflection in the mirror. A pair of green eyes stared back, his freckles prominent in a face drained of all color; the healthy flush against a beautiful summer glow gone, leaving him pale and looking miserable.

It took him some time, but he managed to relax, and once he did, he tried to rationalize it.

While brushing his teeth to get rid of the foul taste in his mouth, he reasoned that the blue eyes filled with sorrow and pain, that had looked at him through the holes of a black mask so many years ago, didn’t have to belong to Cas. There were many people with blue eyes in the world, it didn’t have to mean anything.

He turned on the shower and stripped, abandoning his clothes in a heap on the floor.

But if it hadn’t been Cas, then why did those eyes spark something in his memory? Maybe because they were so similar?

He was so lost in thought that he didn’t realize he had soaped himself with Cas’s shower gel. Only when the familiar scent of cinnamon and watermelon filled the bathroom stall; a smell so distinctly Cas, he knew he had taken the wrong bottle.

Shit.

He quickly rinsed off his body and stepped out from underneath the spray. With only a towel wrapped around his waist, he hurried to his bedroom for some fresh clothes. A pair of black sweatpants and a plain white shirt would have to do. Looking outside, it wasn’t going to be a beautiful day. If the grey clouds above the city held any indication, it was going to be raining soon.

As if nature tried to tell him his instincts were dead on, the rumbling of thunder sounded in the distance. Rainy days and thunderstorms were rare this time of year, but they did exist.

Dean had to admit that the shower had done him a lot of good. The mist in his brain had cleared, and the raging headache he had woken up with was reduced to some soft pounding. Annoying as hell, yes, but better than the feeling that someone was hitting him on the head with a hammer.

He took in a deep breath, preparing himself as much as he could to face Cas. He couldn’t very well avoid him all day now, could he? The guy was probably going to have a lot of questions, and Dean didn’t know if he was ready to provide the answers; or the whole truth for that matter.

The smell of bacon and eggs mixed with coffee floated from the kitchen area and met him at the bottom of the stairs. Dean’s stomach growled. It was then he realized he was actually hungry.

This was the second time that Cas made him breakfast instead of the other way around. God, he felt awful about it.

Cas turned around at the sound the barstool made as Dean sat down. His forehead creased and he squinted a bit. “You look terrible.”

Dean huffed a sad little laugh. “I know. I’m sorry.”

“For what? For looking terrible?” Cas put two plates, one with bacon and another one with scrambled eggs, on the counter. “Or for the fact that it’s the second time I found you seemingly unconscious, because you decided it was a good idea to drink yourself into oblivion.” There was an accusatory tone in his voice.

Shame coursed through Dean’s veins, but at the same time anger bubbled up. This was his goddamn house, and here he did as he pleased. If that was drinking, so be it, and if Cas couldn’t handle that he was free to leave.

He immediately thought that wasn’t fair. Cas was his guest and he deserved better than to find him drunk out of his mind.

Too ashamed to look up, Dean scooped some bacon and eggs onto his plate. He mumbled “thank you” when Cas put a mug filled with coffee in front of him, and dug in.

An awkward silence fell. The tension in the air grew so thick, Dean could easily cut it with a knife.

“Dean, we need to talk,” Cas said around a sigh, adding to the strain that was stretched out between them.

There it was, the four words Dean dreaded hearing. Cas was going to make him talk about his feelings, about emotions ; not his strongest suit. If there was one thing Dean hated more than talking about his past, then this was it.

“But since that is a conversation that isn’t gonna happen on an empty stomach, you eat while I go take a shower,” Cas continued. “You better be still here when I come back downstairs.”

Dean closed his eyes. He was glad Cas gave him some more time to compose himself, and to get some food into his system before ‘the talk’.

Despite the knot in his stomach, Dean managed to enjoy his food. It took a lot more for him not to eat than his insides knotted tightly together. The moment he skipped out on bacon and eggs would be the moment he knew he was in trouble. He would probably be dead before that happened.

Two cups of coffee and a hearty breakfast later, Dean almost felt like himself again. Almost. He cleaned up the remains and was wiping the counter, when Cas entered the kitchen with a determined look in his blue eyes.

Blue eyes

Again, Dean was hit with the familiarity of them. He couldn’t believe they didn’t trigger anything before; that he didn’t remember...except that he did. The moment he had seen Cas without all the make up when he had showed up so unexpectedly, the memory had struggled to get to the surface. Somewhere, deep in his subconscious, he had always known. It didn’t get lost, it just got buried.

Bracing himself for what Cas was going to say, or do, or whatever, Dean leaned forward, head bowed down. His hands were wrapped so tightly around the edge of the counter that it made his knuckles turn white.

“Are you okay?” Cas asked. He went over to the coffee machine to pour himself a mug.

“Yes, I am,” Dean replied. He finished what he was doing. “And I meant what I said. I am sorry. I’m a terrible host. It won’t happen again, I promise.” He turned to the sink to rinse off the cloth, hoping Cas would be satisfied with his apology and his promise; a promise he intended to keep from this moment on.

Of course Cas wasn’t. Who was he kidding here? The guy had let it slide the first time, which was only yesterday, he wasn’t going to let it go again, and, could he really blame him for that?

“Why, Dean? Why did you think losing yourself in a bottle of hard liquor, again, was a good idea?”

It was a genuine question, Dean heard it in Cas’s voice, and for that he deserved an honest answer.

“Nightmares, Cas,” he said.

Cas nodded, as if he had already guessed it. There was a lot of understanding in his eyes, like yes, he got it, but it didn’t mean he condoned it.

“They’re...they’re always so lucid, like I’m there, you know?” Dean continued trying to explain. “When I have one, I usually can’t go back to sleep. Drinking helps. It also keeps the dreams away.”

“It didn’t do a good job about that last night, did it, Dean? You woke up with one this morning. What part did I play in it? Because the way you looked at me, so horrified, and what you said…”

“No. No, no, no,” Dean interrupted him. “That wasn’t a nightmare, that was...flashes....images...not a coherent dream. As far as dreams can be coherent that is,” he tried to laugh it off with a joke. It didn’t work. Cas’s face remained dead serious.

“What did you see, Dean?”

“Nothing, Cas.” Dean dismissively waved his arm. “It was nothing.”

“It was obviously something since it had you pretty shaken up.”

Damn it. Why didn’t Cas just leave this alone? He had already convinced himself the blue eyes from so long ago were not Cas’s, they just looked the same, that’s all. He had to believe that. The alternative was way too horrible to face, because that would mean Cas knew what he had done.

Cas however, didn’t let it go. He was determined to get it all out of him one way or the other. Dean felt like an animal that was cornered, with no way out.

“Tell me, Dean.”

“Please, Cas,” Dean whispered. He was almost begging him now to not do this. “Don’t make me go there.”

Dean figured he had two choices. Either he got angry and lashed out, or he broke down. He was still contemplating what would be best when Cas said:

“It was a boy sitting on his hands and knees, wasn’t it? A boy who looked at you through the holes of a black mask. That’s what your dream was about, am I right? That’s what you remembered.”

Dean gasped. The illusion that he had spun for himself that it wasn’t Cas, just shattered. It crumbled into a million pieces around him. Denial was not an option anymore.

“So, it was you.”

“Yes. I was that boy.”

Dean blinked.“When did you figure it out?” He gritted his teeth and folded his arms over his chest. He was pissed at Cas because he had just made him face the truth he had rather not known. It was amazing how getting angry prevented him from a complete breakdown over all of this.

“The moment they showed me the picture of the winning contestant, your picture. It was your eyes, Dean. They haunted me for a long time after I first looked into them for that brief moment. How could I forget them?”

Wait. Seriously? Cas had known all along?

“You knew from the start, before you had even met me?” he yelled. “And you didn’t think it was important enough to, you know, tell me?”

“Why would I, Dean? You didn’t seem to remember. Why would I ruin a perfectly good evening by raking up a dark past? Like I said, it was a brief moment that happened in another lifetime.”

Dean swallowed. He took deep, calming breaths to not let his anger spin out of control. Cas did have a point there. But that didn’t excuse him for all the other times he had kept this from him. He shook his head while huffing out a sarcastic little laugh.

“Man. If I think about everything we did together and all that time you knew. We fucking kissed and you knew .”

Another thought surfaced, something that made him even more aggravated. “Is that why you came, Cas? To see how broken I am? To see if you can fix me?”

Cas’s eyes flashed. He took a step forward. “Don’t you ever think that, Dean. I’m here because I want to be here. I came because I couldn’t let you go after the time we spent together the night of our date.”

Cas was standing so close Dean could feel his warm breath on his face. A blue gaze flicked to his mouth and back up again. In it, Dean read the truth.

For one short moment, he thought Cas would seal their lips together. He parted his mouth to welcome the kiss, the kiss that didn’t come.

Cas stepped back. “There are things that we need to talk about; things about my past that you need to know.” Cas’s eyes bore into his. “And things about your past that I need to know.”

----------

The darkness of the upcoming storm that had been brewing for some time descended on the living room, shrouding the surroundings in shadows. The rumbling of the thunder came closer as the first drops of rain ticked against the windows.

They were sitting on the couch, the dimness of the room perfectly reflecting their mood as they talked about their past.

Cas took Dean’s hand. With his thumb he gently rubbed over the faint thin scar on his wrist, a mark that he would carry with him for the rest of his life; a forever reminder of what he had once done in pure desolation.

“What made you do this, Dean?”

Dean closed his eyes with a sigh. As he started talking, he could still hear the cracking of the whip and the burning pain as it landed on his back. He could still feel how horrified and disgusted he had been when he had gotten hard at the tenth stroke; how excruciating the electric shocks had been, but how he had orgasmed despite it all.

“And I wish I couldn’t feel a thing, Cas,” he ended, exhausted from what it had taken him to get the whole story out. “I wish I couldn’t feel a damn thing.”

A lonely tear fell from his eye and landed on his hand. “I’m a monster,” he whispered, with his head hanging in shame.

“No.” Cas’s hand tightened around his. “Look at me, Dean.”

Slowly, Dean held up his head to look into Cas’s eyes. He didn’t see pity in them, only empathy.

“You are not a monster. If you don’t believe anything else, then please believe that.”

A bolt of lightning flicked through the room, lighting it up in a spooky white light, followed by the rumble of nearby thunder. The storm was close, basically hanging over the city, by the sound of it.

“Were you ever punished, Cas?” Dean asked.

Cas shook his head. “No, I wasn’t.”

“Then you can’t possibly understand…”

“Dean,” Cas cut him off. “The orgy you witnessed was my last one at the club. I still worked for Alastair, but he rented me out. The things some of those clients made the boys do, made me do, were just as repulsive and disgusting as the methods Alastair used to punish the boys. So, you see, I do understand.”

Chapter Text

 

The moment Cas had seen Dean looking at him, his face a mask of horror and confusion, he had known Dean remembered.

He was glad about it, but it terrified him at the same time. He had no clue what Dean would do next, or how he would handle it.

All things considered, Dean’s reaction wasn’t that bad. Yes, he was angry at first, and he had every right to be, but it could have been worse. Dean could have denied it all or thrown him out, telling him he never wanted to see him again.

Okay, and now he was being overly dramatic. The Dean he came to know and love was not like that.

At least he got the story out and some of the struggles he had to deal with. Yet Cas knew it was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There was so much more to Dean’s story than what was visible on the surface.

One step at a time , he silently told himself, and the first step was to make Dean realize that he was not the monster he thought he was; that he was not alone in this; that there was no shame in reaching out and asking for help.

Green eyes, still shining with the water of yet unshed tears, a lot of questions swimming in them, looked up.

“What is your story, Cas?”

Cas averted his gaze with the blink of his eyes. He stared down at their interwoven hands. It was only fair that he told Dean what he went through, or part of it.

He started at the night when his father beat him, his flight to New York, and how he met Uriel who had saved him from a certain death, and later forced him into prostitution as back payment.

“When I was ‘promoted’ to a high priced escort making house calls, I thought things were finally gonna get better.” He huffed out a sarcastic, bitter laugh. “You have no idea how wrong I was.”

 

1996

At the age of 23, Cas was considered as almost too old to be working at the club. Most of the clientèle wanted younger boys, sure, within the age of consent, but still, younger. For them, Alastair had the perfect solution. He rented them out; they became escorts and they didn’t come cheap.

They first went through a rather strict and spartan training programme before they were sent out, with Alastair making it very clear he didn’t want to hear any complaints about them from the clients or they would get punished. They still worked for the club, after all.

The first client Cas got sent a car to pick him up. Since he was rented for the whole weekend, he had to bring an overnight bag.

The same car that would pick him up on Friday evening would bring him back home on Monday morning.

This surprised Cas. He didn’t know what to expect, but he sure never expected a private ride to and from the client.

Deprived of his appetite by the nerves in his stomach, Cas sat in the backseat of a shiny black limousine, clenching and unclenching his fists. He had been a sex worker for four years, but this was all new to him. He had to spend a whole weekend with what was basically a stranger. Not that the men who fucked him weren’t strangers, but at least some of them became familiar faces overtime. Now he had to stay for two whole days with someone he had never even met.

His anxiety flared up when the car stopped in front of a ten storey building. Cas was on the verge of exiting the vehicle when the door was opened for him. Another thing he didn’t expect.

He got out and looked at a tall man in a black suit and dark sunglasses.

“Are you Steve?” the man asked briskly.

“Ehm...yes.”

“Good.” The man took Cas’s bag out of the trunk. “Follow me.”

Cas trailed after the man into the building and gasped for air when he entered the foyer. Thick marble walls, huge chandeliers and expensive looking fluffy carpets were all signs that renting an apartment at this place was something only the rich and the famous could afford.

The man led Cas to one of the elevators that brought them to the fourth floor.

The hall of the apartment Cas stepped into was a small replica of the one downstairs.

“Wait here. Mr. Masters will be here in a minute,” the man who had brought him up said, before the elevator doors slid closed.

Cas swallowed. He didn’t have much time to take in his surroundings. The big wooden double doors in front of him swung open, and a man with a mop of grey hair, dressed in a cashmere evening robe, entered.

“Welcome,” Mr. Masters said, with a big smile that almost split his face in half. He had a glass filled with an Amber colored drink in one hand, while coming up to Cas with his other hand reached out.

Hesitantly, Cas shook it.

“I’m Mr. Masters, but you can call me William. You must be Steve.”

A bit overwhelmed by this warm welcome, something he couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams, Cas nodded. “Yes...sir.”

“Take off your shoes, Steve. You can leave your bag here too, and follow me to the living room.”

Cas did what he was told, figuring that, by the way William looked, he had to be in his fifties. He also seemed vaguely familiar, but Cas couldn’t really place him.

William plopped down on the couch and patted his hand on the place next to him.

“Come here, sit down.” He took a sip from whatever was in his glass.

Cas placed himself next to William, hands neatly folded in his lap, just like he was taught at the training, and waited.

“I’m going to be very straightforward with you, Steve,” William started to talk. “I’m a rather well known man in the political world and, because of that, I have to keep hidden that I like men more than women, you understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“My marriage is a marriage of convenience. My wife gave me two children, first a boy, then a girl, and yes they were conceived the normal way.” He snorted. “I’m glad she got pregnant so fast. Anyway, after that, no sexual activities occurred between us and we both are now living, very discreetly of course, separate lives, but we do still live together in the main house, for appearances. This apartment is my own, private safe haven.”

Cas nodded, surprised William told him this.

“I had a male friend once, but it didn’t work out and it turned into a big mess,” William went on. He waved his hand. “Long story. The bottom line is that I have learned from that and frankly, I don’t want another relationship. So, I rely on male escorts to satisfy my needs.”

He reached out his hand and trailed his finger over Cas’s arm, a predatory look appearing in his brown eyes that had turned so dark they almost seemed black.

Cas suppressed a shiver that ran through his body at the touch.

“Let’s talk about what I expect from you this weekend, hmmm?”

----------

Cas was handed a pair of cream colored satin panties he had to wear, and only that, for the whole weekend.

He had access to everything. If he wanted a drink, he was allowed to take it without asking. Same for if he wanted a snack. He could watch TV in the TV room, and if he wanted to take a dip in the indoor pool, he had to do it naked.

Another instruction was that, whenever William was in his vicinity, he had to be and stay, hard. Mr. Masters got a kick out of watching Cas parading around in his too small silk panties, with the outlines of his erection in the thin fabric, and with his cockhead peaking over the waistband.

Maintaining a hard-on for hours was uncomfortable, and could get dangerous in a worst case scenario. There were times Cas could barely walk from being - and staying - so hard it was excruciating. The most terrible part of it was that he wasn’t allowed to come, under any circumstances, unless he was ordered to.

The first time Cas got fucked was that Friday night. Cas suspected the guy took some sort of illegal drugs to go on as long as he did. It shouldn’t surprise him. People like this got access to things the general population couldn’t get their hands on.

The constant nudging of his prostate that sent jolts of pleasure through his veins made it difficult for him to control his orgasm. When William was done, Cas was so horny and so desperate for release, he almost burst into tears.

William didn’t allow him to clean up. Cas was forced to go to sleep, next to him, with a raging hard-on and with William’s semen dripping from his hole, leaving an uncomfortable wet spot in his silk panties.

In the morning, William woke him up and demanded a blow job. After that Cas was finally allowed to take a shower, open himself up and insert a butt plug, so he was ready whenever William wanted to fuck him.

There was one time Cas did get off. It was when William impaled himself on Cas’s cock, but he wasn’t allowed to come until William told him to. It was a torture of its own. The guy could keep on going. Cas was so close numerous times it took everything in his power not to tip over the edge.

William commanded Cas to take his cock and to tug it.

“Come, NOW,” William groaned after what seemed like frigging forever.

Immensely relieved, Cas let the orgasm he had held back explode. At the same time that he spilled his release inside William, something warm and sticky flooded his hand.

William ordered him to lick the semen from his fingers and then turned around, demanding him to clean up his hole with his tongue.

Even though Cas had just orgasmed, William expected him to get hard again after that. When he had a difficult time obeying that order, William gave him some pills to help him with it. Now Cas was really certain it was something illegal he got from God-knows-where.

Considering the things Cas had gone through in the past four years, this weekend wasn’t that bad. William didn’t do anything to him he hadn’t done before at the club. Yet, he was glad that it was over and he could go home to the seclusion of his bedroom, where he dreamed about the day he could escape this world.

 

“Cas?” Dean’s voice pulled him out of his memory. He looked up and realized he had zoned out.

“You wanna talk about the time you were an escort? You just said you were wrong when you thought things would get better.”

“Oh.” Cas took in a deep breath. “Some clients were, well, nice, I guess. The first one was. Some were downright sadistic, like the one who hired me for a whole week and locked my dick into a spiked cockcage.”

Dean almost choked, disbelief written all over his face. He blinked a few times.

“A spiked cockcage?”

“Yes.”

“A SPIKED cockcage?” Dean sounded like he still didn’t believe it.

“Yes, Dean,” Cas said, trying his best to suppress the quiver in his voice at the memory.

“For a whole fucking week?”

Cas bowed his head. “Yes,” he whispered.

There was a beat of silence. Then Dean exploded.

“What the hell? I mean, I know those things, and they always come with the warning to handle them with care because they can do some serious damage…”

“Which I have experienced first hand,” Cas interrupted him, nodding his head. He glanced up and the look on Dean’s face now was downright horrified.

“Jesus fucking Christ, Cas, “ he gasped.

“It wasn’t bad when it was first put on. I could feel almost immediately the spikes on the head of my cock, but the feeling wasn’t quite sharp and only a little painful. It was when I sat down, and the pressure changed and the spikes dug in as I shifted in my seat that it became more painful, but it was still bearable.”

He stayed silent for a moment, not knowing if he could do it; if he could tell Dean what he was about to admit.

But Dean had been honest with him when he had told him he had gotten hard from the whip lashes, and had orgasmed despite the excruciating pain from the electric shocks, so now it was up to him to grant Dean that same honesty.

“Dean,” he said softly. The word got lost in the sudden thunderclap that was accompanied by a flash of lightning.

“I ehm...kind of liked the feeling of mild to moderate punishment on my cockhead, it aroused me.”

“Oh, Cas.”

“The blood started flowing and I got hard,” Cas went on as if he didn’t hear Dean. “The spikes pressing against my hard cock produced an intense pain. The client made me suck his dick and then he fucked my ass, and all that time my cock was aflame. When we were done, he forced me to keep it on. As my cock relaxed, the pain eased down to a more mild presence, a reminder that my cock was a prisoner of a sadistic device.”

“Shit!” Dean rubbed his face with both hands. “That’s...that’s just…so messed up.” He shook his head, but then his eyes widened, as if something occurred to him.“Wait,  he did take it off at night, right? He didn’t make you go to sleep with it?”

“He did.”

“He did?”

“Yes.”

“But involuntarily nighttime erections occur…”

“Exactly.”

“God fucking damn it.” Dean jumped up. “Fucking sadists.” He started to pace the space between the couches, swearing a lot of profanities under his breath. Then he whirled back around to face him. “Please tell me he took it off at least once.”

“Only to clean it. There was an instant feeling of relief when it was removed, but he put it back on almost immediately after it was clean again.”

Dean rolled his eyes. There was a substantial amount of anger visible on his face. Dean, the kind man who was horribly punished and tortured himself, was more concerned now about Cas than about his own well being.

“Tell me everything, Cas. Please, tell me.”

Cas swallowed hard. “He organized a pool party. I was forced to serve drinks, naked, with the device on. I wore a butt plug that could be activated by remote which he had. He often used it to make me hard up until the point I could barely walk anymore because of the pain. His friends mocked me; laughed at me. Later on they took turns on me.” He sighed deeply, bracing himself for the next part he was about to tell.

“There were women present. I was forced to orally satisfy them; the women I mean. The client knew I didn’t like it, and that’s exactly why he made me do it. At the end of the week, I was exhausted from the constant pain I was in and from the lack of sleep. A spiked cockcage doesn’t really give you a good night’s rest, you know.”

He stopped talking. There was more, so much more, but it was enough for today.

The only person he ever talked to about this, and the other horrible things he had gone through, was his therapist. She was the sole reason he could now tell Dean without causing it a major panic attack. He had dealt with it, it was over.

He hesitantly moved his gaze up and caught Dean’s eyes. They were full of sorrow, and pain, and anger.

Dean,” he said, cutting through the silence that hung heavy in the air between them. “Do you know now what I mean when I said I do understand?”

Chapter Text

 

Cas’s story filled Dean with so much rage it almost consumed him. All that pain, all that suffering... Fucking bastards who did this to Cas; his sweet, dorky, out of this world, amazing Cas. He didn’t deserve any of it. How evil and twisted does one have to be to enjoy people being tortured like that? That client reminded him of Alastair and all the other predators who visited the club, and made the boys do the most despicable things; not to mention the punishments.

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered, looking into a pair of glistening blue eyes. He didn’t know what else to say; the words to describe how he felt, failed him.

“That’s okay, Dean. It’s all over now. I just wanted to make you see that I do understand. I felt like a monster too when I got aroused by the pain of the spiked cock cage.” He shook his head. “But, Dean?”

“Yes Cas?”

“That doesn’t make us monsters. I learned through therapy that it’s not that unusual, but I’m not someone who needs pain to get off, you know? I’m not gonna look for it.” He shrugged. “It just...happened back then.”

Dean took in a deep breath which he slowly released again. He looked down at their still interwoven hands. It was incredible how similar their pasts were; how similar they were. He found comfort in the fact that Cas understood him so well because of the horrible experiences they shared; that Dean was not alone in this.

“You said...ehm...you got therapy?”

“Yes. Hannah kind of made me after I took an accidental overdose which, now that I come to think of it, wasn’t really that accidental. What I mean to say is, that I didn’t care if I lived or died.” He hesitantly moved his gaze up to catch Dean’s eyes again. “Something tells me you didn’t get the help you needed.”

“No, I didn’t,” Dean admitted around a big sigh. “I had Charlie.”

Cas tilted his head with a frown, something Dean always found so goddamn adorable it could turn his insides into mush, no matter how bad the the circumstances were.

“Charlie? Your secretary friend?” Cas asked, surprised. “She knows about this?”

“She knows some of it,” Dean nodded. He got up from the couch and walked over to the window. “We hit it off right from the start and became very good friends.” He looked into the dimness of the rainy day. “We knew each other for about a year when a movie we were watching triggered a major flashback.”

Dean could still vividly remember it. Something in the movie had thrown him back into the past, and suddenly he had been back at the club, whipped until the flesh on his back ripped apart, and then fucked so hard and so brutally his hole had been burning for days, with no time to recover.

“That’s when Charlie found out,” Dean continued. He turned back to face Cas. “It wasn’t easy to tell her; to let the memories that I had buried resurface, but she helped me through it. She’s very well read in psychology.”

“But she’s not a professional,” Cas stated.

“No, she’s not.” Dean put his hands in the pockets of his sweatpants. He looked down at a spot on the carpet. “I owe her a lot though, Cas. She doesn’t know about how I got off on the pain, but she does know about the rest; the punishments, the torture.”

A short silence fell. The storm outside had passed, but the rain continued to gently tick against the glass, a calming sound.

“I’m glad you had...have...a friend like that who you could talk to,” Cas said. “But, why won’t you consider getting professional help?”

Dean’s head jerked up to look Cas dead in the eyes. “No,” he said adamantly..

“Why not?”

Dean strode over to the couch and resumed his place next to Cas. “Because I don’t want some shrink to pump me full of medication. I’m fine, Cas.”

Cas leaned his head to the side with slightly raised eyebrows. “No, you’re not.”

“Cas...” With a sigh, Dean ran a hand through his hair.

“Losing yourself in a bottle of hard liquor in order to cope with nightmares and flashbacks isn’t exactly the definition of someone who’s doing fine, Dean.”

Dean threw his head back onto his neck and closed his eyes. It was hard to admit, but Cas did have a point. He knew that what he did wasn’t healthy; it was actually pretty dangerous.

“What does it have to take to convince you to seek help?” Cas went on.”Ending up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning?”

“Well, no. But trading alcohol for drugs is not the answer either.”

“You don’t have to take any medication if you don’t want to, Dean. As long as you’re honest with them and explain why. Besides, the drugs are not...addictive.”

Dean blinked and then squinted. “How would you know?”

“Because I took them. I’m still on some mild medication. Pamela, my therapist, and I, are now in the middle of gradually reducing the dose. I can give her a call and ask her if she can refer you to a colleague here in San Francisco; someone she trusts; someone who doesn’t put you on xanax and be done with it.”

Dean thoughtfully pursed his lips. If what Cas told him was true - not that he doubted it - then maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. He remained a bit sceptical though.

“Does it help?”

“Yes, it does. It helped me. It doesn’t take away the memories, but I came to recognize them for what they are: memories of a dark part in my life, and now I can talk about them without having a major panic attack.”

There were a lot of thoughts whirling inside Dean’s mind. He still was a bit wary about the whole thing, but the scales of his doubt were slowly tipping over.

“Can I...can I think about it?” he asked, still not entirely sure it was a good thing to see a therapist. What more could he or she do that Charlie hadn’t done already?

“It’s all I ask,” Cas said, a smile forming on his mouth.

Dean’s eyes flicked to Cas’s lips and then back up again to stare into a sea of cobalt blue, waiting; exploring.

Hesitantly, he leaned forward and smoothly sealed their mouths together.

When Cas answered the kiss so lightly given, Dean pushed his tongue past Cas’s lips. Another tongue immediately welcomed him, again hitting him with the fact that Cas was a damn good kisser.

After a few seconds, their mouths parted. With his hands on Cas’s shoulders,  Dean gently pushed him onto his back on the couch, finding himself on top of him. As soon as he felt Cas’s hard erection pressing against his thighs, his loins caught fire and something started to grow in his own pants. He dove back in for another kiss that was answered as eagerly and as hungrily as the first one.

His hips started to move as if they had a mind of their own. His dick rubbing against Cas’s, only separated by a few layers of clothing, a pleasure so subtle, was both maddening and exhilarating.

He uttered a moan when he felt Cas’s fingers crawling underneath his t-shirt. They were like fire scratching his naked back, creating goosebumps all over his body.

A fleeting thought crossed his mind. Only yesterday he had asked Cas to take it slow, and now he was dry humping the guy. He tossed the brief memory aside. So not the time, Winchester.

A wave of pleasure shot through his veins. It made him gasp for air. Another moan left his lips as his movements became more erratic, while dragging his clothed cock over Cas’s, longing for the dizzying high.

He buried his face in the crook of Cas’s neck. “Oh God,” he whispered, pressing his lips on the tender flesh, willingly floating away on the sea of emotions. He was way past the point of coherent thinking.

“It’s okay, Dean. I got you.”

Cas’s soft voice was warm and comforting, but also encouraging. It made Dean move even faster, desperately reaching for his climax.

Dean knew that if he tipped over the edge now, that was it. There was no way back. Yet, he took that step, and fully trusting the man underneath him, he let the orgasm that had been gradually building up in his belly, explode. He muffled the raw cry of pleasure against the side of Cas’s neck, as he spilled his release in his boxers.

His breathing was heavy and fast as the movements of his hips slowed down, until they fully ceased.  Spiraling down from his high, the first thing he became aware of when his feet hit the ground again, was Cas’s hand laying on his neck, the fingers scratching the base of his skull. The second thing was a sticky wetness in his pants. Next, he was overridden with guilt.

Fueled by his desires, he had lost total control and had shamelessly dry humped Cas like it was the most normal thing in the world, while it really was not.

And yet...Cas hadn’t exactly stopped him, right? He let it happen.

Still. He felt an apology was necessary.

“I’m...sorry,” he huffed out while sitting up. He shifted in his seat because of the uncomfortable feeling in his pants. He avoided Cas’s gaze, afraid of what he might read in his eyes.

“You have nothing to be sorry about, Dean.”

“Oh but I do,” Dean disagreed.

More guilt coursed through his body. He had forced himself upon Cas, and that was so wrong on so many levels. After all the guy had been through, he shouldn’t have done that. God, how could he be so stupid?

“I took advantage of you, Cas,” he whispered. His voice trembled with remorse.

“No, you didn’t,” Cas said, determined. “And will you look at me please?”

Tentatively, Dean did what he was told. What he saw on Cas’s face surprised him. It wasn’t hurt, or pain, or a whole lot of accusations like he had expected, but honest confusion.

“You didn’t take advantage of me,” Cas emphasized as soon as their eyes locked. “Did you really think I didn’t want this to happen? Trust me, Dean, if I didn’t, you would have known.”

Dean took in a shivering breath, relieved because Cas didn’t blame him or hold anything against him.

“Besides,” Cas cocked his head, a shy smile dangling at one corner of his mouth. “I think I need a shower. It’s getting pretty sticky down there.”

It took a few seconds before Dean’s brain processed Cas’s carelessly spoken words. His eyebrows shot up while his eyes widened.

“You...you....you…”

“I...ehm...orgasmed, yes.”

“Man.” Dean jumped up from the couch. This conversation was getting awkward. He wasn’t used to talking about these things. Hell, he had never talked about these things, not even with Lisa, and he had been in a relationship with her.

A familiar heat rose to his cheeks the more he thought about the situation. He needed to be alone for a bit to gather his feelings.

“I ehm...better hurry up with that shower then huh?” he said around a little laugh. He hesitated for a second, watching Cas, who stared at him with a piercing gaze. He swallowed, and with the words “yeah, okay” he turned around and ran up the stairs to the bathroom.

Since he had already extensively showered this morning, Dean just rinsed off his body, paying special attention to his crotch. His eyes caught the faint, white scars on the inside of his thighs, the sad remains of what he once did to himself to cope with the emotional pain.

 

1997

For the first time in a long time, Dean had been able to give Sam the Christmas he deserved. There had been a colorful decorated tree, a few presents underneath it, and a nice meal.

Sam never asked where Dean got all that money from, and Dean never told him. The kid didn’t need to know what Dean did, or what he was: a prostitute...and a monster.

Despite all the punishments Alastair made him go through because he couldn’t come by mere prostate stimulation, Dean still couldn’t do it. Sure, he got hard and there were often times that he was desperate for release from the constant nudging of his prostate, but he just couldn’t. It was frustrating that the climax was always within his reach, but he couldn’t fully grab it.

The punishments stopped when Alastair got it through his thick skull that they didn’t accomplish anything, and if there was one silver lining to it all - if you could even call it that - it was that Zach douche didn’t want him anymore. He was heavily offended that Dean couldn’t come on his cock.

Where Zach douche was gone, there were other douches to take his place. When one of them found out Dean didn’t know how to deep throat, he took it upon himself to teach him that. That’s how Dean found himself on his knees in a room with a guy’s cock shoved so far down his throat he was choking on it. His nose was buried in the man’s pubic hair, making him unable to breathe properly. The iron grip of the man’s hands on his head held him there.

With every sway of the man’s hips, Dean could feel the cock nudging at the back of his throat.

His brain got fogged up. His lungs were burning from the lack of oxygen. He needed air and he needed it now.

“Stroke your cock, boy. Come for me and I’ll let you breathe again,” the man said with an awful smirk in his voice.

With trembling hands, Dean took his cock and started masturbating. Dark spots danced behind his closed eyelids. If he didn’t come soon, he was going to pass out from the lack of air, and yet…he wanted to come so bad before he could breathe again. The restriction of the blood flow to his brain produced a feeling of lightheadedness, which heightened the sensation of his sexual act.

He was on the verge of losing consciousness when a sharp pleasure washed through him, and he spilled his release warm over his hand.

The man held to his promise. He loosened the grip on Dean’s head and retracted his cock.

Dean gasped and took in a deep breath of fresh air. The rush of oxygen back to the brain gave him a sense of euphoria, and damn if he didn’t like it.

“That was nice, wasn’t it?” the man said, with a sly smile at his obvious reaction. “Now turn around so I can fuck you. I didn’t come yet.”

On hands and knees, Dean crawled around. He felt how the guy pushed the panties further down his legs, removed the small plug from his hole and replaced it with his thick cock, after which he fucked him long and hard.

Afterwards, in the shower, Dean got more and more convinced he was a monster. He had just enjoyed erotic asphyxiation, another thing he could add to the list of reasons why there was something terribly wrong with him.

He didn’t know how he could get through this any longer. He had suffered through the punishments, but they had broken him. He couldn’t take any more. Even the thought of Sam and how he wanted to give his little brother the life and the education he deserved, wasn’t enough anymore to push through.

Then he remembered something. When he had attempted to take his own life, the pain of the cut had overridden the emotional hurt.

He wrapped a towel around his waist and went to his locker. He had stashed some razor blades in there and a razor, something Alastair had told him to do. Some clients wanted the boys to remove all their pubic hair for reasons Dean didn’t want to think about, because it was too disgusting. He was lucky he hadn’t encountered one of those men yet.

With a razor blade hidden in his hand, Dean hurried back to the privacy of the shower stall. He was glad it wasn’t a public shower where the boys had to clean themselves up after their sexual activities.

Dean swallowed and made a first cut on the inside of his thigh. It was the only place he could do it and successfully hide it from his little brother.

The pain of the first cut was sharp but short lived. It was pretty superficial, yet it gave him some relief. Encouraged by this, Dean made a second cut. This one was deep enough that he drew some blood.

Dean watched a small stream of blood coming from the wound, running down his leg and mixing with the water at his feet, after which it disappeared down the drain.

A third and a fourth cut were made. By the time he was done, the insides of his thighs were burning and tears were falling from his eyes. Not because of the pain, but because he did this and he couldn’t seem to stop.

It hurt. God it hurt so bad, but it was so much better. He could deal with physical pain, but not with the emotional one. Dean had just found a way to cope.

Chapter Text

 

While Dean was taking a quick shower, Cas was stripping in the guestroom.

He smiled to himself when he thought about the way they had very unexpectedly made love. If dry humping on the couch could be defined as making love that is.

With his brows drawn together he then wondered if it was too soon. Were they rushing things? Well, at least they talked about their past first, so, there was that, and he was glad they did because when his hands had found their way underneath Dean’s shirt, he had clearly felt the imperfections of the scars that were left on his naked back. Cas would have been horrified if he had felt them underneath his exploring fingertips, if Dean hadn’t told him about the whip lashes.

It was admirable how far Dean had gotten without professional help. It took a strong individual to deal with such a trauma all on his own. Humans were pretty resilient though. They could take a lot before they completely broke down to the point they didn’t or couldn’t get back up again.

A knock on the door jolted him out of his thoughts.

“Cas? You in there?”

Cas froze for a second, and then scrambled for some clothes to hold in front of his crotch in case Dean swung the door open.

“Yes, I’m...I’m here.” He held his breath.

“The, ehm, bathroom is available in case you want to take a shower.”

“Ah...yes...thank you, Dean.”

“You’re welcome. I’m gonna make us some lunch.”

Cas closed his eyes, sighing in relief when he heard Dean’s footsteps fading away down the hall. Next time he decided to undress in his room he had to remind himself to lock the door. Dry humping on the couch was one thing, but that didn’t mean he was ready yet to have Dean walk in on him when he was fully naked.

----------

When Cas came back downstairs, freshly showered for the second time that day, a bowl of tomato soup and a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches were waiting for him.

He placed himself on a barstool at the counter they always ate on, and watched in silence as Dean was looking into a thick cookbook and writing something down on a notepad while eating.

“What are you doing?”

Dean looked up and shot him a smile. “Do you remember, yesterday, when you told me you would be a willing guinea pig to try my cooking on?”

“Yes.”

“I’m making a grocery list for the things I need for the menus I wanna try out.” He squinted in suspicion. “You haven’t changed your mind, have you?”

“No, Dean, I haven’t. I would love to try out your cooking. I’m sure that whatever you decide to make, it will be good.” He took a spoonful of soup and hummed appreciatively at the delicious taste.

“You like the soup, Cas?”

“Yes. It’s very tasty.”

Dean shyly cocked his head. “It came from the freezer so I only had to heat it up, but I made it myself a few weeks ago.”

Why didn’t this surprise Cas? Between the lasagna, the homemade pie and the burgers, Dean had already proven he knew his way around food. Cas was dying to find out how well he would do with the more complicated dishes.

The rest of their conversation over lunch was light hearted. Cas didn’t mind. The talk they had this morning about the heavy stuff that happened in their lives, had left him drained. He was emotionally exhausted and from the looks of it, so was Dean. It was best to let it rest for now, and that they both took the time to process it all before Cas told Dean about that other thing; about his son.

----------

Cas couldn’t remember the last time he went grocery shopping. He didn’t need to do it. He either went out to dinner, or his own personal cook made dinner for him, and when he was visiting his son, Kelly was the one who always took care of it.

Walking through the aisles of the big supermarket, watching Dean filling the cart with all the ingredients on his list, Cas remembered how much he enjoyed it.

“Are you sure you wanna pay for all this?” Dean asked, his eyes scanning the strawberries in the fresh fruit and vegetables department.

“Yes, Dean. Remember our deal?”

“I know but,” Dean rubbed his forehead. “The cart is almost full and this is only for two days. I don’t wanna to take advantage of you, man.”

“You are not taking advantage of me, Dean. Will you stop feeling guilty?”

Dean mumbled something Cas couldn’t define, and then caught him choosing a bag of the less expensive strawberries.

“Dean,” he said with a warning tone in his voice. He took the strawberries and put them back.

“Cas, come on,” Dean whined in protest.

“No. Unless the less expensive ones are actually better than the ones that cost a few cents more, I won’t have it. And not because I’m a highly strung, privileged person, which maybe I am, but because I know why you’re doing it.”

With an exaggerated roll of his eyes, Dean took a bag of the other strawberries. “Happy now?” he asked sarcastically, while putting them in the cart.

“Much better,” Cas replied with a smile.

A soft chuckle made Cas look in the direction of the sound. An elderly woman with grey hair pulled up in a high bun and a flowery dress gave him a beaming smile. She was filling a bag with oranges.

“You two are adorable,” she said, her voice surprisingly young for her age. “You remind me so much of me and my late husband when we went shopping.” She looked into the distance for a second, likely reminiscing over something from long ago. With a sigh she came back to the present. “How long have you two been married?” she then wanted to know.

Behind him, Dean made a noise as if he was choking on something.

“We are...we’re not married,” Cas explained, totally caught off guard by the lady’s assumption.

“Oh.” The woman continued to feel the oranges before putting them into her paper bag. “You could have fooled me.” She leaned closer to him. “And it’s not easy to fool me,” she said in a conspiratorial tone as if she was telling him a secret. She put the bag with oranges into the shopping basket that was hanging on her arm.

“Take it from someone like me who has walked on this earth longer than she cares to admit,” she continued, lightly touching Cas’s arm. “Life’s too short to waste time.” She casually strode away.

Cas swallowed. He turned around to Dean, whose face was displaying every shade of red that was to be found on the color spectrum, looking as flabbergasted as he was. His mouth was hanging wide open. He slammed it shut the moment Cas looked at him.

“Yeah...okay, like that wasn’t weird at all,” he stammered, huffing out a humorless laugh.

Cas nodded thoughtfully as he glanced over at the lady who was now examining some apples, before trailing after Dean who was already pushing the cart ahead of him to the next aisle.

Marriage? Were they really acting like a married couple? They hadn’t even made it to fifth base yet. Not that that wouldn’t happen very soon at the speed they were going, but still...marriage?

The thought that she had probably been kidding crossed his mind, but then he remembered the endless wisdom that had been present in her old but bright blue eyes.

He shrugged off the strange encounter and noticed they had reached the liquor department. Dean was standing there, staring at a bottle of whisky he held in his hands.

An unknown fear clenched Cas’s heart. “Dean, please put that back.” He had to do his best to sound firm and steady. He wasn’t going to fund Dean’s suicidal tendencies of fleeing into a bottle of liquor every time he had a bad dream.

Dean ignored him, or didn’t hear him, Cas wasn’t sure. He just kept looking at the amber colored liquid like it was some sort of miracle.

“Dean? I know I said I’m going to pay for everything during my stay but I’m not going to pay for your alcoholism.”

The word ‘alcoholism’ seemed to get Dean’s attention. He moved his eyes from the bottle to Cas. “I’m not an alcoholic,” he bit out.

“Then you won’t have a problem with putting that bottle back,” Cas countered.

Dean hesitated. He licked his lips but eventually decided to put the bottle back in the rack.

Without another word, he pushed the cart a bit further until they passed the wines.

“How about wine, mom?” he asked with a lot of derision. “Is that okay?”

“Wine’s fine to complete the dishes, Dean,” Cas deadpanned.

“Okay then.” Dean motioned to the numerous bottles of wine on display. “You choose. I don’t know a thing about what’s good and what’s not.”

Squinting, Cas examined the wine bottles in front of him. “So, we have salmon and steak, right? I take it that’s what on the menu for today and tomorrow?”

“Yep.”

Cas took a step forward and pulled a bottle of Pinot Grigio out of the rack. “This one will go with the salmon,” he said, putting the bottle in the cart. “And this one,” he took a bottle of Merlot, “will do fine with the steak.”

Dean looked at him with raised eyebrows and a hint of admiration in his green eyes. “Wow, Cas. I didn’t know you were an expert.”

Cas shrugged shyly, gaze fixed upon the tiles on the ground. “I’m not an expert. I just picked up a thing or two over the years,” he said softly, blushing over the honest compliment Dean had just given him.

“Can you teach me?”

Cas moved his eyes up. “Teach you what?”

“What wine goes with what dish.”

“Oh.” They slowly strode on. “It’s not hard, really. Basically, red meat requires red wine and fish requires a white one, although it’s a bit more complicated than that. However, nowadays, it’s okay to drink whatever you like.” He put two six packs in the cart, which made Dean raise his eyebrows even higher until they almost hit his hairline. Then they drew together in confusion.

“You won’t allow me liquor, but beer and wine is fine?”

“There is a big difference between drinking yourself unconscious by consuming half a bottle of whisky all by yourself, and having a glass of wine during dinner, Dean,” Cas explained. “And the beer I just put in the cart? It’s low on alcohol, but it’s very good.”

He saw Dean nodding that he understood what he was saying.

Cas wasn’t going to make Dean stop cold turkey by depriving him of all alcohol. Dean had a problem, yes, but he wasn’t a hard alcoholic who had whisky for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hell, the first time he came to visit he didn’t even see him drink anything stronger than a couple of beers. That didn’t mean Dean didn’t need help, because he sure did. Cas only hoped he would get it.

----------

Two hours later they were back home putting everything in the fridge.

Cas advised Dean to leave the ingredients he would use for tonight’s dinner on the counter. It was best that they were at room temperature before using them.

“It’s something my cook once told me,” he said when he saw the surprised expression on Dean’s face. He took two bottles of beer from the six pack, and handed one to Dean before pulling the lid from his own and taking a huge swig.

“You don’t want one?” he asked when he saw that Dean didn’t open his.

“I want to taste yours first,” Dean said with a teasing smile that made Cas’s heart skip a few beats. What was this man up to now?

He took another swig and then gave Dean his bottle for a taste.

Dean just shook his head to indicate that’s not what he meant. Instead, he took two steps forward and crashed his mouth onto him, licking the seam of his lips, pushing past it and then capturing his tongue in a playful manner.

“That doesn’t taste half as bad,” he said when he pulled back, voice hoarse and eyes dark with desire.

Cas was slightly out of breath from the sudden attack on his mouth but damn, he liked it.

“Do you...ehm...want another taste?” he asked, craving for more.

“Damn straight I do.”

Without taking his eyes from Dean’s face, Cas extra seductively wrapped his lips around the beer bottle. He took his time, making Dean wait, but torturing himself with impatience in the process.

When he finally released his lips from the bottle, they were immediately assaulted by Dean’s again.

He willingly opened his mouth to welcome Dean’s tongue inside.

The kiss deepened and was filled with so much passion that Cas lost himself in it. He was vaguely aware of his jeans being opened and shoved down mid thigh, together with his boxers. Only when a hand gently squeezed his balls, did he break the kiss.

With wide eyes and gasping for air, he looked at Dean’s flushed face. “What are you doing?”

“You want me to stop, Cas?” Dean stole a kiss from his mouth. “If you want me to stop, then say it and I’ll stop. I just wanna give you back what you gave me this  morning.” He slicked up the palm of his hand with his saliva and wrapped it around Cas’s hard cock while boring his eyes deep into Cas’s.

“No, don’t stop,” Cas breathed out. He put his forehead on Dean’s shoulder. “Don’t stop,” he repeated with a whisper.

Dean’s hand stroked his cock with the skills of a professional. The thumb that brushed over the tip, made a jolt of pleasure ripple through his body.

Slowly, Cas started to move his hips until he was actively fucking Dean’s hand, riding the waves of ecstasy.

“Yeah, that’s it, Cas,” Dean said softly in his ear and then licked his earlobe. “That’s it. Come for me, baby.”

The word ‘baby’ filled Cas with so much love that he let go and tipped over the edge. He groaned and came with a long moan that echoed through the kitchen, hanging onto Dean for dear life.

Dean guided him through his orgasm and held him close as he floated down from the high Dean had just brought him to.

Cas took some time to compose himself before lifting his head from Dean’s shoulder.

“Are you okay?” Dean asked, trailing a finger over his cheek.

“Yes, Dean. I’m more than okay.”

“Good.” Dean leaned forward and placed a chaste and very loving kiss on his lips. He then took his hand and guided it to his crotch.

Cas blinked when he felt the wetness there. Did Dean just come?

“I don’t want to spoil the moment by talking about it, but do you remember when I said that the reason that Alastair punished me was because I couldn’t come untouched?”

Cas slowly nodded. How could he forget that? They only talked about it this morning.

“Well, Cas, as you can feel, I just came.” He chuckled. “Holding you, giving you the pleasure you deserve did this to me. You did this to me. For the first time in my life, I came with no stimulation at all.”

Chapter Text

 

This was the third time today that Dean had to take a shower.

He was still a bit baffled by the fact that what he couldn’t do so many years ago, not even when his life depended on it, he had just done today without much effort.

Holding Cas’s cock, stroking him to completion with his release flowing warm over his hand, had excited him more than he could have ever imagined.

As he had held Cas shuddering through his orgasm, he had come as well, which had totally blindsided him. It was exhilarating; it was amazing;... it was scary .

While Cas took his turn in the bathroom, Dean had already made the dessert so it had enough time to cool in the fridge before it was consumed.

He was in the middle of cutting the vegetables for the soup, when the familiar scent of cinnamon and watermelon made him look up. A smile appeared on his lips as he watched Cas placing himself on the barstool, face adorably flustered and his hair still moist from the shower. He still looked pretty impressed at what had happened not half an hour ago.

Dean got somewhat embarrassed himself, and that made the silence between them rise to an awkward tension. What the hell happened with taking it slow? He was the one who had asked for it, yet he was the one who had initiated both sexual acts.

And still… Dry humping and jerking off kind of was taking it slow, right? Rushing into it would mean getting horizontal and naked, fucking each other into the mattress, and that was something Dean wasn’t ready for just yet. Not because he didn’t want to, but because he was a bit self conscious about showing the scars on his body. Cas knew the origin of the ones on his back, but Dean hadn’t told him yet about the ones on the inside of his thighs; the ones he inflicted on himself.

He crashed out of his thoughts by Cas asking:“Can I help with something?”

“Oh...ehm...you can peel the potatoes and clean the asparagus if you like?” Dean replied around a question.

“Sure.” Cas took the potato peeler Dean handed him, and got to work while Dean stewed the vegetables for the soup before adding the water and the stock cubes.

They worked in complete silence for a little while, until the soup was boiling, and Dean put a lid on the pot to let it simmer for about half an hour. It was then that he asked the question that had been burning in the back of his mind ever since he found out Cas had worked at the club.

“How did you get out?”

Cas gave him a frown. “Get out?”

Dean waved with the wooden spoon he stirred the soup with. “Alastair, the club. How did you escape?”

“Oh.” Cas cut the peeled potatoes into cubes like Dean had asked him to do. “I had...help.”

He didn’t elaborate on it any further, but Dean’s curiosity was piqued. So, someone helped him. Dean was dying to know that story, but Cas didn’t seem eager to talk about it, and he had to respect that.

“It’s ehm...it’s okay if you don’t wanna tell me…”

“But I do wanna tell you,” Cas cut him off mid-sentence. “I just don’t know where to start.” He transferred the potatoes from the water into a cookpot.

Dean put the pot on the stove. They had to boil for a few minutes and then cool off before he put them in the oven to bake. “Just start at the beginning.”

An audible sigh came from Cas’s mouth first before he started to speak.

“You remember when I told you that when I was an escort, some of the clients were nice?”

Dean hummed.

A thoughtful glint appeared in Cas’s eyes. “Maybe I should start by saying that Uriel paid for my education. Well, actually I paid for my education by working for Alastair. I thought that after I graduated from college, Uriel would let me go, or at least let me find another job.”

“What did you graduate in, Cas?” Dean interrupted him briefly.

“I have a Masters in Graphic Design.”

“Wow man, that’s...that’s great,” Dean said. He took the lid from the pot with the soup to stir it. The scent that rose up from it was freaking delicious.

“Anyway,” Cas went on. “Uriel said that I wouldn’t make nearly as much as I made at the club if I were to find a job that matched my education, or any job for that matter, and that I still owed him a lot of money. And when I became a high priced escort, all my hopes of ever getting out shattered, because now he would never let me go. I tried to find a job behind his back but...I had nothing, Dean. Uriel owned me.”

Dean cringed at the pain that flashed in Cas’s eyes; the desperation;...the devastation . It must have been so hard for him not to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

He cursed Uriel’s very being. When Cas was all alone in the world, homeless and scared, Uriel took full advantage of his vulnerability. Dean prayed, for Uriel’s sake, he would never meet him, because he would probably beat the shit out of the guy.

“Terminating the contract isn’t hard, you know that, but, where would I go with no money? I would be back on the streets again, and then what?”

Cas was right. At least Dean could keep the money he earned, but Cas had to give it all away. His situation had been pretty hopeless.

“And then I was hired by this very distinguished gentleman,” Cas continued his story. “He was around seventy, but it didn’t show. He was a very energetic, filthy rich widower who worked out everyday to stay healthy. He became a regular and didn’t make me do ehm...strange things. Sure, he fucked me, but he also made sure I enjoyed it. Most of the time I was there just to keep him company. A bond of trust was built. He took a genuine interest in me and when he asked how I became an escort and why, I told him I was forced into it and everything just poured out.”

“Wait. You told him?”

“Not everything, just about Uriel and how I wanted to get out but couldn’t. That’s when he decided to help me.”

“Oh wow. Sounds like a nice man.” Dean stirred the soup again and tasted it. It needed some herbs. “So, how did he help you?”

“On one of my ‘visits’ he took me to the bank and helped me to open an account. He deposited two grand in it.”

Dean, who was in the middle of his tasting session, honestly choked on it, which resulted in a coughing fit.

“Two grand ? he echoed, throat still sore from coughing.

“Yes. Then he rented a one bedroom apartment for me and paid a year’s rent. It was above a bar, a respectable establishment I might add, and he arranged for me to work there as a bartender, as a start, while I could look for a more suitable job in the meantime.” He stopped talking for a minute and then added “There was one condition.”

“Of course there was,” Dean said sarcastically. “There always is.” He turned off the stove.

“It wasn’t that bad, Dean. He just asked me to come visit every weekend and continue to be his own, private fuck buddy. But only his, nobody else’s.”

“And I assume you took the deal?”

“Are you kidding me, Dean? He offered me a whole new life and the only thing he asked in return was to fuck me once or twice a week. That’s a whole lot better than continuing to work for Alastair and be sent out to some sadistic clients.”

Dean nodded in understanding. Well, it was true. If he had been in Cas’s shoes, he most likely would have taken the deal as well. It was his one chance to get out of the sex industry, or at least to get away from Uriel and to be independent.

But, wait, he suddenly remembered something Cas had said. Wasn’t the name of his agent Uriel? He wondered if it was the same guy and if it were, then how the hell did Cas get involved with him again.

He decided to keep that question for later. First, he wanted to know what happened to Cas’s generous client.

“He got very ill a short while later despite his healthy lifestyle,” Cas said when Dean asked about it. “I was there during his final hours. He was so grateful that he even put me in his will. He left me a ton of money.”

Dean blinked in surprise.“Wow. Seriously?” This was getting interesting.

“Yes. His children however, who didn’t give a crap about him when he was still alive, contested it, of course. Since I didn’t know anything about how any of that works and things like that could take years before they’re sorted out, leaving both parties broke, I told them they could have it. I didn’t need all that drama in my life. Besides, he wasn’t my father or my guardian, he was just a client who had helped me but still continued to fuck me as a favour. And while I was grateful, I didn’t want anything else from him. He had done enough.”

Dean pulled out the ingredients to make the appetizers. “That’s very selfless of you, Cas.”

“It was the right thing to do,” Cas said. “I just wanted to get on with my life and leave my past behind.”

Dean couldn’t blame Cas for that decision. Contesting a will could take years and years, a lot of money and a whole bunch of greedy lawyers, something Cas didn’t have so he would lose the battle anyway. Dean, however, would have played it differently. If it was true and that guy’s kids didn’t give a damn about their old man, he would have given them a run for their money, making sure half of what was left in the will would have been spent on lawyers and legal fees. Oh yes, Dean wouldn’t have made it easy for those bastards. Cas was way too good for this world.

With a strange kind of sadness that overwhelmed his heart, Dean thought Cas was also too good for him. What did this kind and gentle man see in him? Was all of this even real? Or was it just a beautiful dream he needed to wake up from?

----------

Since a nice meal like the one he was preparing deserved to be enjoyed at an equally nicely set table, Dean decided to eat in the living room.

Small talk was made over dinner, and by the time the coffee was served, Dean was dying to know Cas’s thoughts on it.

“So. What’s the verdict?” he asked around a chuckle, stirring some sugar through his coffee. He sounded less nervous than he felt.

A goofy smile dangled at one corner of Cas’s mouth. His blue eyes were shining with mischief as they looked right into his, making his heart beat a little bit faster.

“What do you think, Dean?”

“Uh uh.” Dean shook his head. “I asked you .”

“Yes, but I want to know first how well you think you did.”

Dean rolled his eyes. He looked down at his hands, folded on the table. “I ehm, think it was good?” Well, it was, wasn’t it? He followed the recipe by the book and everything tasted as it should, right?

“I could have seasoned the salmon a bit more, maybe,” he went on. “Or...or added some extra sugar to the dessert, and maybe…”

“Dean, relax, it was fine,” Cas interrupted him. “It was more than fine even, it was great.”

Dean moved his gaze up and met Cas’s teasing eyes. A relieved smile broke out on his mouth.

“Really?”

“Yes, really. You could easily become a professional chef if you put your mind to it.”

Dean pushed his chair back and stood up. “Now I know you’re joking,” he laughed. He collected the dirty plates and brought them to the kitchen.

Cas followed him, carrying the rest of the dishes. “Why would I be joking? You’ve got the talent, Dean.”

“Yeah well,” Dean rinsed off the plates before putting them into the dishwasher. “I like experimenting with food and trying out recipes, but I don’t see me doing it day in day out as a living. Not everyone who likes to cook is destined to be a professional chef, Cas.”

“Fair enough,” Cas said. He put the leftovers into containers. “Tell me. What do you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? What is your dream?”

Dean closed the dishwasher and wetted a dishcloth. “I’m too old to follow my dreams, Cas,” he said over his shoulder as he padded to the living room to wipe off the table there.

When he came back, he saw Cas leaning against the counter with his arms folded across his chest. “No one is ever too old to follow their dreams."

Dean huffed out a laugh as he rinsed off the cloth, wrung it out and folded it. He dried his hands and then put them on either side of Cas’s hips on the counter, boxing him in.

“I wanna show you something tomorrow,” he said, voice low and hoarse. He surged forward and captured Cas’s lips in a sweet, chaste kiss. “It’ll answer your question about my dreams.”

Cas shot him a smile. He cupped his face and pulled him back in for another kiss that was a little more heated this time.

----------

After an hour of tossing and turning, Dean finally gave up on his search for sleep, and it wasn’t that he didn’t know what caused it. He knew. He knew well enough.

The reason for his restlessness was that there was not a drop of liquor in the house, and that made him wary. What if he had a bad dream?

Yes, drinking himself unconscious wasn’t the answer, but damn it, it always helped. He would feel a hell of a lot better if he had a bottle of scotch stashed somewhere, just in case. It was like a safety net. An equilibrist also felt safer and more confident when there was something to catch him should he fall, right?

Another half hour passed, with the knot of anxiety in his stomach growing tighter and tighter. He wasn’t going to get any sleep like this.

With a sigh, he got out of bed and slipped into some sweats, planning to go to the night store around the corner. If he wanted to get at least some sleep, he needed that bottle.

As silently as he could, so as not to wake up Cas, he opened his bedroom door and closed it again behind him. On socked feet, he tiptoed through the hall and down the stairs.

In the kitchen he put on his sneakers and strained to listen to anything out of the ordinary that would indicate Cas had woken up. There was no other sound audible but the humming of the fridge, the ticking of the clock and his own, shallow breath. Good. Cas was probably fast asleep.

It took Dean less than fifteen minutes to go to the store, buy a bottle of scotch and sneak back into the house. It was like he had never left.

In the seclusion of his bedroom, Dean stashed the bottle away behind his nightstand. He wasn’t going to let it stand around in the kitchen, not as long as Cas was here. He didn’t need to know about this, and he certainly didn’t need to know when Dean drank himself into oblivion in order to cope with another vivid dream about his past. Twice was enough.

Dean had no reason to worry that Cas would ever find out he had a bottle of liquor hidden here. The guy would never enter his bedroom uninvited or without a reason.

Satisfied and feeling better, Dean crawled back under the covers. He closed his eyes and was fast asleep in a matter of minutes.

Chapter Text

 

Despite a dry orgasm yesterday, and another one caused by Dean’s skilful hands, Cas woke up with a boner.

Jesus fucking Christ. He was almost 45 years old, but his body clearly didn’t get the memo. It acted like a teen with its hormones spinning out of control. Truth be told, it had been this way ever since he met Dean. That man did something to him. Dean fulfilled him; he completed him. Cas had never felt more whole in his life.

His eyes caught the time. The alarm clock on the nightstand showed 11 in the morning.

He turned on his back and stared up at a crack in the ceiling with a slight frown.

Wait a minute. 11 in the morning?

Shit!

He totally slept in. Not that it would be the first time, but still…

Why didn’t Dean wake him? He wasn’t planning on spending his vacation in bed, what the hell? Unless of course he had Dean right there with him. Then things would be different and he wouldn’t mind so much.

The image of making love to Dean all day long, thrusting into him until he begged to come, flashed before him. He tried to chase it from his mind as he collected his clothes and headed to the bathroom.

----------

The vague scent of freshly brewed coffee became more distinct as Cas darted down the stairs. On the kitchen counter he found a heap of something stacked underneath rumpled tin foil. If the strawberries, the syrup and the whipped cream standing next to it were any indication, then whatever was hidden underneath the foil were pancakes. He took a peek. Yep, he was right.

Then he noticed a note.

Help yourself. I’m in the backyard. Meet me there. And bring coffee.

Cas smiled. The note was short and to the point. It said what it wanted to say without much useless fuss added to it.

Since he didn’t have an appetite, Cas put the pancakes in the fridge for later use and filled two big cups with coffee. Unless it was served with or after dinner, Dean liked his black in the morning. Cas on the other hand, always needed some cream and sugar in it.

Armed with the two mugs of coffee, Cas wandered into the yard through the kitchen door. He deeply inhaled the scent of mid morning, smelling the vague saltiness of the ocean that the breeze carried his way, as he followed the sound of classic rock songs coming from all the way in the back. Soon a very nice picture came into view.

Dean was standing bent over, looking under the hood of a car and God almighty, how wonderful that ass filled the tight jeans he was wearing. It was an image that was going to keep him company on lonely nights for a long time. He instantly popped a boner.

Fuck. He should have taken care of himself during his morning shower, but since his cock had gone limp again after waking up with a morning wood, he hadn’t bothered.

He admired the view of Dean’s ass seductively swaying to the sound of the music before he silently moved forward.

“Hello Dean.”

Dean jumped up so briskly that he hit his head on the inside of the hood.

“God fucking damnit!” He turned to Cas with his hand rubbing the top of his head. “I asked you not to do that.”

“I’m sorry,” Cas deadpan apologized. He held the mug out to him. “I brought coffee.”

Dean shot him a short glare through his glasses before his eyes moved to the mug. “Thank you. You’re forgiven,” he said, while taking it.

Cas continued to stare. Damn, Dean somehow looked extra sexy today with those glasses and the stripes of black grease on his face, covered by the shadow of a growing beard. His cock twitched with interest.

Driven by his instincts, he gave in to the temptation, took a few steps forward and planted a swift kiss on Dean’s mouth, tasting the hint of coffee stuck on his lips.

“Wow, Cas. I’m...hm...kind of dirty here,” Dean huffed around a little laugh.

Cas’s mouth lingered against Dean’s. “I don’t care. I like the smell of engine oil on you.” He stole another kiss before moving away. He had to put some distance between them before he lost total control and claimed Dean here and now. Glad he didn’t spill the contents of his mug due to his spontaneous action, he casually took a sip.

Dean still looked a bit bemused from the sudden kisses he had just received. The most adorable shade of pink was coloring his cheeks.

“So,” Cas nodded over Dean’s shoulder to the car. “Is that a Porsche?”

“Huh? Oh.” Dean turned around. “Yeah, it is. A Porsche 930 Turbo to be exact, from 1983. The owner is kinda attached to her and wants her restored, and that’s what I’m doing.” He carefully closed the hood. “Yesterday you asked me about my dreams and I said I would show you.” He waved his arm. “This is it.”

Cas nodded. “I do remember you told me about this during our date a few weeks ago. That you did this as a hobby?”

“Yep.”

“That requires a lot of skills, Dean. Where did you learn how to do that?”

“I taught most of it myself by reading a lot of books on it, and following my instincts regarding my knowledge of cars. Bobby perfected what I already knew, and taught me the rest.”

Cas was lost. Who was Bobby?

“Bobby?” he asked with a frown.

“Oh.” Dean’s mouth turned into a fond smile as he wiped the grease from his fingers on a cloth that was solely made for this purpose. “Bobby Singer, the owner of Singer’s garage. He gave me a job as a mechanic when I moved here. He and his wife, Ellen, even offered me a place to stay. When Bobby heard that I restored my dad’s car, you know, the Impala sitting on my driveway which my dad left behind when he took off, he was pretty impressed. I learned a lot from him, but sadly enough, he couldn’t afford to keep me on full time. He already had two mechanics and Ellen’s daughter, Jo, who manages the store, to pay.” He took in a breath and continued  “However, whenever he got an offer to restore an old car, he let me do it so I could continue to make a living and save up for my own education since Sam got a full ride scholarship into Stanford. I still do it for him, as a hobby.” He pointed at the Porsche. “As you can see.”

Cas raised his brows. “Your brother got a full ride scholarship?”

“Yes he did,” Dean said with pride. “Man, when I heard that I almost jumped through the roof. It meant that I could terminate my contract with Alastair and tell him to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.”

Cas slowly nodded in understanding. He was starting to get the picture. Sam unknowingly saved his older brother from Alastair’s claws by being an A grade student. But not only that; now Dean could use the money he had saved on his own tuition and move to San Francisco. Again he wondered how much Sam really knew about Dean’s past.

He decided to let that subject and the questions involved rest until a later time.

“By the way you speak of him, Bobby must be very close to your heart,” he said, steering the conversation back to the original topic.

“Oh he is. They all are. Bobby was more of a father to me than John ever was, and Jo is like a sister. Benny and Garth are two of my best friends.” Dean pushed himself from the workbench he had been leaning against. “The last few years, Bobby has constantly been asking me if I’m interested in buying the garage from him. He wants to retire, but he doesn’t want Benny, Garth and Jo to lose their jobs.”

Cas sipped his coffee. “Why don’t you? I mean, the clients who come there will continue to come there. The garage would just switch owners, not mechanics, and Bobby does make a living out of it, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, a decent living even, but I can’t afford it, Cas.” Dean ran a hand through his hair. “I have savings, but it’s not enough.”

“Then let me help you.”

Dean blinked. His mouth fell open and there was utter disbelief written on his face. Then he shook his head. “Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m not gonna take money from you Cas.”

“Consider it a loan, Dean. The only difference is that you don’t have to pay me back with interest, and if you have a slow month, you can skip a payment.”

Dean was still shaking his head. “That’s very generous, but...no, man, I can’t do that.”

Cas sighed. “Okay. Do you wanna know how I see it?”

Dean waved his arm. “By all means.”

“You take over the garage and continue to restore old cars for clients. But, you start to advertise it. Make a brochure. Surely you have before and after pictures, don’t you?”

“Yeah. I have some laying around.”

“Great. Use them. And as an IT guy I’m sure you can make a decent and appealing website. I know a few people in the music industry who I think will be interested, so, I will direct them to you. Give it a chance and if it doesn’t work out for some reason, you’ll still have the garage to fall back onto. But imagine when it does work out, Dean. It’ll be your dream.”

Dean’s facial expression changed with every word Cas spoke, until he was looking as if he was actually thinking it over. There was a very pensive frown between his brows.

“You think I can pull it off?” He still sounded sceptical, as if he didn’t quite believe it yet, and needed some reassurance first.

“Yes, I do, Dean. I believe in you.”

Dean cocked his head with a shy smile. “Thanks, I guess.” He moved to collect his tools and put them away. “So, you wanna meet them?”

Cas squinted. He often had a hard time following Dean when he jumped from one subject to the other.

“You mean Bobby?” he said, when he finally caught up on the conversation.

“Yes, I mean Bobby. And Jo and Ellen and the rest of them.”

“Ehm, yes, of course.”

“We always get together at the local bar every other Friday night, just to hang out, play some pool, stuff like that. I wanted to cancel this week because, well, you’re here,” he pointed a wrench at him and then put it in the toolbox. “But if you’re sure about meeting them.” He closed the metal box and put it on the shelf.

“I’m sure, Dean. I’d love to meet them.”

Dean gave him a once over. His tongue darted out to wet his bottom lip. In his eyes, Cas could see hesitation flicker; it was so brief he might have imagined it. It was as if Dean had second thoughts there for a moment, like introducing him to his friends wasn’t such a good idea after all. Then he quickly moved his gaze away and put the car cover over the Porsche.

“Okay then. I’ll let Bobby know I’m gonna bring a guest.”

Cas wondered what the hell that was all about. Besides that tiny glimmer of hesitation, there had been something else shining in those green eyes, something Cas identified as fear. What was Dean so afraid of?

“Do they know about your past, Dean?” he asked as Dean closed the garage doors. It was a stupid question, as he already knew the answer.

“No, they don’t. Besides Charlie, and now you, no one knows. And even Charlie doesn’t know the whole story.” He sighed. “I’d like to keep it that way.”

They slowly walked through the yard to the back door.

“So, your brother doesn’t know either?”

“No!” Dean stopped dead in his tracks and whipped around. “Sam can never, ever find out about this, do you understand?” he said, eyes wide with horror.

Cas frowned. What did Dean think he was going to do? Tell Sam?

“I was just wondering, Dean.”

Dean’s eyes fluttered closed while releasing a breath. “I know, I’m sorry.” He continued walking. “I’m just… Sam has the career of his dreams, a wife he loves more than anything and two children he worships, with a third on the way. He doesn’t need to know what I once did to put him through law school in case he didn’t get a scholarship.”

They reached the back door that led to the kitchen. Dean leaned against the wall and unlaced his boots. “The past is the past,” he went on. “It’s mine to deal with, not his.” With a grunt he pulled off his boots and entered the kitchen on socked feet.

“Sure, Dean. I understand.”

Dean turned to him with a grin. Cas noticed it was a bit strained, like he had to force himself to put it there.

“Thanks, Cas. I’m...eh... gonna take a quick shower and change.”

“You wanna have me make some lunch in the meantime?”

“That’d be great. Be back in a bit.” He hurried off as if he couldn’t wait to get away from him.

Cas was astounded. Now he was sure that Dean was afraid of something, and it didn’t have anything to do with Sam, but more with the friends he was about to meet.

Chapter Text

 

With his hands folded behind his neck, Dean stared up at the ceiling, watching dancing shadows endlessly chasing each other. In his mind, he went over the events of today.

He had taken Cas to ‘The Aquarium of the Bay’ located at Pier 39. Afterwards, he had made Cas another meal that had received a lot of compliments from his so called ‘guinea pig’. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad cook after all.

He let out a deep sigh. His thoughts drifted off to tomorrow, and introducing Cas to Bobby and the gang. It was a bad idea. He should have just offered to take Cas to Bobby and Ellen’s instead, and leave the rest out of it. Jo and Garth wouldn’t be much of a problem, Benny however....

Dean wrecked his brain with how Benny was going to react to Cas. There was some history there, but that was a very, very long time ago. They had hit it off right from the start, and had become friends with benefits for a short time.

While Benny wanted more, like a steady relationship, Dean didn’t, and when he went to get his own education, the booty calls kind of stopped until they fully ceased. Deciding to leave well enough alone now that it was over, Dean took home the occasional hook up, or got fucked in a gay bar until he got into a relationship with Lisa. When that was over, Benny tried again and kept on trying whenever he visited the garage.

Dean always brushed him off, telling him that despite him being bi, he prefered women just a tiny bit more. It was a lie, but it was the only way to get Benny off his back. And now he was going to show up with Cas. It had trouble written all over it.

Benny was part of the reason why Dean was so reluctant to take over the garage - that and the shortage of money. Hanging out with him and the rest every two weeks was one thing, being around that pining man day in and day out, that was a whole different thing.

God damn it. What had he been thinking inviting Cas. He just should have called Bobby to skip this Friday, and gone to visit him and Ellen somewhere next week, or invite them over for dinner.

Ugh . He turned to his side, pushing the thoughts away until they were fully gone from his mind. He closed his eyes while, as every night, he hoped and prayed to God that no bad dreams would resurface in the form of nightmares.



2000

Dean had been working for the club for three and a half years now; three and a half years of daily sexual abuse and weekly orgies; three and a half years of harsh punishments and acting out the sometimes disgusting fantasies of perverted clients. It had made him dead inside, numb to the pain. He had successfully found a way to turn off his emotions.

The cutting continued. The insides of his thighs were starting to look like a roadmap of fresh and old scars. He didn’t do it anymore to override the emotional hurt - he drowned that in a bottle of liquor once he had turned 21 and was legally old enough to buy booze. No, he did it because he hated himself and what he had become.

Stripping himself of his emotions once he entered the doors of the club didn’t mean he didn’t have any morals left. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be laying on his stomach strapped down to a metal horse, a toy often used in BDSM circles.

The toy looked exactly like what it was named after: the back of a horse. Dean’s legs were on either side of it, his knees resting on the adjustable platforms underneath it, his cock trapped between his body and the black leather padding.

He knew he was getting punished for again disobeying an order from a client. This pervert wanted him to shave; get rid of all his body hair, especially around his crotch, so that he would look like an underaged child.

As if that wasn’t enough to make Dean want to throw up the contents of his stomach, the disgusting douche wanted Dean to call him ‘daddy’. He wanted to act out his fantasy of fucking his ten year old son.

That’s where Dean drew the line. How sick in the head does a person have to be to fantasize about fucking his own child?

He had looked the client dead in the eyes and had boldly told him to forget it.

That’s how he ended up strapped to this horse thingy, with no idea what was going to happen next.

“Dean, Dean, Dean,” Alastair tsked, shaking his head. He stood in front of him with his arms crossed over his chest. “What am I gonna do with you?”

It was a rhetorical question.

“Seems like you have figured that out already,” Dean replied wittily, despite the fact there was nothing even remotely funny about the situation he had manoeuvred himself into.

Alastair’s eyebrows shot up. “I’m glad to see you find it so amusing. You won’t be laughing for long I’m afraid.”

“I’m sure I won’t,” Dean mumbled, still having no clue about what they were planning to do to him. He had already been tortured in the most horrendous ways possible in the past, how bad was it going to get? Could it possibly be any worse?

That question was answered soon enough when a door opened. Dean lifted his head and watched two men rolling in something that looked like some sort of device. The only thing he recognized was the dildo that stuck out. It was a little larger than the average erect penis but twice as wide, and bubbled.

Shit.

Dean felt his stomach coil and tighten into knots. It didn’t take a genius to figure out he was going to get fucked by that thing and it was going to hurt; it was going to hurt a lot, he made no mistake about that, judging by how it looked.

“It’s worse than double penetration,” Alastair said with an evil grin as if he had just read Dean’s mind. The bastard really enjoyed this.

“No kidding,” Dean snorted sarcastically, trying to show no fear but failing to hide the tremble in his voice.

“This is a new device,” Alastair said, ignoring him. “Congratulations. You’re the first one to try it out.”

“Well then what the fuck are you waiting for? Do it already.” Dean grew tired of Alastair taunting him. He wanted to get this over with, the sooner the better.

“Oh but I want to give you an out, Dean. I want to give you the chance to change your mind.”

“About what? About giving that pervert what he wants? No, thank you.”

Alastair sighed deeply. “Did it ever occur to you that, maybe, just, maybe, this ‘pervert’ keeps his paws off his son if he can act out his fantasies here in the seclusion of the club, hmmm?”

“I don’t fucking care,” Dean spat out. “I don’t wanna be a part of a sick man’s fantasies of incest and pedophilia.”

“And that’s your final word on it?”

Dean clenched his jaw together. “Yes.”

“So be it.” Alastair nodded to the men operating the machine.

Dean immediately felt his hole being lubed up.

He didn’t wear a butt plug. It was no longer necessary since he was fucked daily and didn’t need much prep anymore.

His ass cheeks were forcefully pulled apart. Something cold and hard pressed against his rim. A few electronic beeps were audible, probably to put the thing in motion.

Dean braced himself, preparing as much he could for what was to come. It wasn’t enough. A cry of sheer agony left his mouth as the dildo on the device pushed inside. Alastair wasn’t lying when he said it was worse than double penetration. His rim was stretched so wide he was sure it would cause some lacerations.

The dildo filled him up inch by excruciating inch. Being stuffed full with two dicks was one thing, but this was ridiculous. He hoped and prayed it wouldn’t do any damage to his insides, because then he really would be utterly and royally screwed, no pun intended.

Dean jerked when his prostate was hit. The dildo retracted and pushed back in, soon setting a steady but torturous pace, hitting that bundle of sensitive nerves with every thrust. His body moved a bit forward with every push inside, causing friction on his cock as it slid over the leather.

“Enjoy being fucked like this until the end of your shift, Dean,” Alastair smirked.

Dean was so caught up in his world of pain, managing the best he could, that the words hardly registered. When they finally did, he was hit with an unknown fear.

“Wha...wha...what?” he gritted out, and hated how hoarse he sounded.

“That’s right, Dean. This machine is set to fuck you for three hours straight, with no pause.”

Dean could not believe what he was hearing. Alastair was joking, right? He had to be joking. Even the gangbanging never lasted for more than an hour, what the hell?

It soon became clear enough that Alastair wasn’t joking, not even remotely. He walked out of the room with the two men on his heels, leaving Dean and the machine alone.

This was not really happening; this had to be some nightmare. The alternative was just too incomprehensible. His hole that was on fire though, told him it was all real.

The constant nudging of his prostate and the friction of his cock on the leather bedding, caused him to orgasm against his will.

For one moment it overrode the general pain, but as soon is it faded away, the pain came back, and that’s when the real torture began.

His prostate grew over sensitive up to the point he couldn’t stand it being nudged anymore, and yet there was nothing he could do to escape it; he was forced to endure it no matter how unbearable it was. He was being fucked raw, literally.

Dean shivered as if he was cold or running a fever. His legs bent at the knees were numb from being in the same position for too long. He had lost all sense of time, and finally broke down completely. He stopped fighting, doing the only thing he could do at that point: he lost consciousness. The welcoming darkness that surrounded him was his only way out.

 

Dean startled out of his nightmare, gasping for air. His chest hurt so bad, that for one short moment he thought he was having a heart attack.

He looked into the pitch darkness. Panic started to rise up as he frantically looked around in search for some light, and found it in the red illuminated numbers of the digital clock on his nightstand.

Guided by it, he scrambled to turn on the bedside lamp. Soon a soft orange glow chased the shadows to the corners of his room.

The pain in his chest ebbed away, as his breathing slowly returned to normal and he could properly get some air into his lungs. Only then did he become aware of the claminess of his shirt that stuck to his body like a second skin. It was soaking wet with sweat, as were the sheets and his pajama pants.

Reluctantly, Dean got up. As soon as he tried to stand, he sagged back down. The vivid dream - memory - had drained him; robbed him of almost all of his strength.

He took in a deep breath and took a few seconds to compose himself. Then he made another effort. This time, his legs did hold him.

Carefully, and shivering from the cold the wet clothes caused him, he shuffled to the closet to take out some dry pajamas and clean sheets.

Constantly swallowing around a big lump in his throat to bite back the tears that threatened to overwhelm him, he changed into the dry clothes and put fresh sheets on the bed. Then he remembered the bottle of booze he had stashed away behind the nightstand.

Without a second thought, Dean took it from its hiding place and crawled with it under the covers. The tears that had been burning behind his eyes finally started to fall, after the first sip that burned its way down his throat. Soon after, he passed out from the huge amount of alcohol he had poured into his system...again.

----------

Dean woke up to a strand of light that lit up his closed eyelids. He was laying on his stomach facing the window. He pried his eyes open and squinted against the bright ray of sunshine that seeped through a crack in the curtains.

With a groan, he closed his eyes again and buried his face into the pillow. The more he came back to the land of the living, the more prominent the band became that was marching through his head. His stomach was upset, and the taste in his mouth was so foul he didn’t even want to define it.

Shame coursed through him, as one by one, the memories of what he had done came crashing back.

He made an effort to lift his head to look at the clock. 09.00 AM. Okay, that wasn’t that bad. It could have been a whole lot worse, like being afternoon, with Cas bursting in here to see if he was still alive. And then he really would have some serious explaining to do; like why his room smelled like a fucking liquor store.

With a little bit of luck, he would be up and presentable before Cas decided to check on him. In order to do that though, he would have to move, and well, he didn’t really feel like it.

“Just a few more minutes,” he mumbled to the empty room. He closed his eyes and drifted back off.

 

2000

A voice coming from very far away penetrated Dean’s unconscious state. It was his guide back to the conscious world.

“Come on boy, wake up,” it boomed.

It was the rather harsh patting of his cheeks that finally startled him fully awake. It took him a second to realize where he was. Next he became aware of his body feeling like it had been run over by a truck, but the fucking by the machine had stopped.

Two handlers unstrapped him from the metal horse and helped him up. The blood that came rushing back to his legs caused a tingling sensation, as the limbs recovered from the numbness. He sagged to his knees.

The handlers hauled him up and almost dragged him to an exam table. He was ordered to lay down on it on his stomach.

The door opened. Dean looked up and saw Alastair walking in, followed by an unfamiliar man in a white coat and a mop of grey hair. From the way he looked, Dean figured it was a doctor of some sorts. Yeah, right. It was more likely a quack who had never finished medical school. No self respecting doctor would work for a predator like Alastair.

The man walked over to him while putting on some transparent medical gloves.

Dean took in a sharp breath as his ass cheeks were pulled apart.

The exam only took a few minutes. “A tiny tear in the anal canal,” was the quack’s diagnosis. He took off the gloves and threw them into the trash bin. Dean noticed they had blood on them. “It’s just a small fissure, it’ll heal on its own.”

Alastair nodded. “Can he be fucked?”

“For his sake, I would advise against it so he can heal properly.” The quack shrugged. “But, it shouldn’t be a problem for the one who does the fucking, since both the boys and the clients are clean.”

“How long before it heals?”

“Two to three weeks, something like that.”

Dean closed his eyes. He was so screwed. There was no way in hell Alastair was going to give him that much time to recover; he wouldn’t give him any time at all, for that matter.

“Thank you,” he heard Alastair say. The footsteps moved away from him.

“You can go. Your shift is over,” Alastair addressed him. “But don’t you think for a second you can have a break. As long as it’s not dangerous for the client, I don’t give a damn. The only reason I called for the doc is because there was blood. I always do that when there’s blood.”

Oh, really? He sure as hell didn’t call for a quack when Dean had received those whip lashes a few years ago. But, of course, that was probably different.

As soon as everyone had left the room, Dean got up from the exam table, still sore all over. He could barely walk from the pain. Being fucked was going to hurt like hell, and that’s when he knew it was over. This was it. He wasn’t going to take it any longer; he couldn’t.

He snatched up a towel, and wrapped it around his waist as he headed to the showers.

“I’m so sorry, Sammy,” he whispered, standing underneath the spray, completely broken and not able to go on. “I’m so so sorry, but I can’t do it anymore.”

Chapter Text

 

Since Dean was nowhere to be found when Cas woke up at 09.30, not even in the garage or in the backyard working on the Porsche, he figured he was still asleep and decided to start breakfast.

When there was still no sign of Dean three hours later, Cas grew wary. Dean liked to sleep in, just like him, but this was ridiculous. It was half past noon already.

A very bad feeling grabbed him by the throat. Damn it. Not again. Images of Dean laying in his own vomit, unconscious and barely breathing, flashed before him. They scared him out of his mind. He closed his laptop and was just about to go check on him, when he saw him coming down the stairs looking absolutely horrible. Judging by his blood shot eyes, he had been drinking again.

“Not a word, Cas,” he mumbled, brushing past him to the kitchen.

Cas turned on his heels and went after him. “I didn’t say anything.”

“No, but I could hear you thinking it.” Dean poured himself a big cup of coffee. “I’m not an alcoholic.” He sounded like he was trying to convince himself more than he was trying to convince Cas.

“I never said you were. You do, however, have a drinking problem. We’ve talked about this.”

Dean glared at him through his glasses. There was sorrow written on his face, and a whole lot of guilt.

Cas stared back, unyielding and determined. If Dean thought he was going to get away with this, he was sadly mistaken. He was going to make damn sure that this was the last time that Dean even so much as looked at a bottle of booze, or at least as long as he was staying here. And if that meant that he had to tie him to the bed at night and bunk in his room, well then he would fucking do it.

Dean broke the penetrating gaze first and pulled the fridge open to take out some bacon and eggs.

Cas watched him for a second.“Sit down. I’ll make it,” he offered. He took a pan out of the cupboard, trying his hardest to push back his tears; tears of both anger and relief.

“No, Cas, it’s fine…”

“I said, sit the fuck down, Dean,” Cas snapped loudly. Startled at his own outburst, he turned to the stove, eyes fixed on the butter melting in the frying pan. He didn’t mean to yell at Dean like that, but damn it, he was just so angry, and sad, and...and he felt so helpless .

“I am sorry, Cas,” he heard Dean say softly. The tone in his voice was full of honest regret, yet Cas couldn’t take it.

“Not good enough, Dean. Not anymore.” He put a few pieces of bacon in the pan.

“What then, Cas? What do you want me to say?”

Cas flipped the bacon, turned the stove to low and whirled around. “How about seeking some fucking help! Do you have any idea what you are doing to me? What you are doing to yourself ? Do you know how much you freaked me out? I can’t lose you, Dean. I just...I can't .” He turned back to the stove to prevent Dean from seeing the water in his eyes. Through a blurry vision, he cracked a couple of eggs with the bacon. A lonely tear made its way down. He tasted its saltiness as it landed on his lips. With the back of his hand, he bitterly wiped the wet trail it left from his cheek.

Two arms gently slid around his waist. A head was put on his shoulder. Cas felt the strands of still moist hair caressing the side of his face.

“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” The voice was a whisper in his ear.

Cas gave in and leaned into the hug. “I believe you, Dean, it’s just…” He turned off the stove and circled in Dean’s arms to face him. “It’s just that you have said it before…”

“I know,” Dean cut him off. “I know.” With a sigh he pressed their foreheads together. “That’s why I want you to call your therapist.”

Cas lifted his head. Dean’s face was open and honest. He didn’t just say it to please him, Cas could see the sincerity in the green of his eyes. Dean was being serious about this.

“If you’re sure.”

“I am.” Dean captured his lips in a swift kiss. “Call her.” He released him from his hold, and reached behind him to take the pan. He scooped the bacon and eggs onto a plate and took it to the kitchen counter.

It was Cas’s cue to go to the living room where he had left his cell phone. He called Pamela on her private number before Dean could change his mind.

She picked up after the fourth ring. In a few words Cas explained to her what was going on, leaving out the details of what kind of past trauma Dean had to deal with, and inquired if she knew someone who would be able to help. He was put on hold.

Pacing the carpeted floor, Cas patiently had to listen to an annoying piece of music. He glanced over to the kitchen where Dean was gobbling down his breakfast like a starved animal. A fond smile formed on his lips at the sight.

“Castiel, are you still there?”

Cas immediately turned his attention back to his therapist on the other end of the line.

“Yes.”

“I have contacted a good friend and colleague of mine. Her name is Missouri Moseley. She’s usually very busy but I called in a favor. She managed to squeeze your friend in next Wednesday at three.”

“That’s...that’s fine. Thank you.”

“No problem. What’s your friend’s name?”

Cas gave Pamela Dean’s name, and in return got Missouri’s address which he wrote down on a notepad. With that, the call ended.

He stared thoughtfully at his phone for a few seconds, before going back to the kitchen. Dean had finished his breakfast, and was now nursing another cup of coffee. He looked up when he saw him entering. There were a few questions written in his eyes. “So?” He took a sip.

“So, you have an appointment at three next Wednesday with Dr. Moseley.” He handed Dean the piece of paper.

Dean studied the address with a concentrated line between his brows. “This is it, huh, Cas?” he huffed out with a small laugh, not sounding too convinced that this was the right thing to do.

“I can go with you, Dean.”

“What, you don’t trust me? You think I’m gonna back out last minute?” The accusatory tone in his voice hurt Cas. And while yes, that may have been part of the reason that Cas offered to accompany him, he shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. I meant that you don’t have to do this alone.”

Dean blinked. His features softened and then his eyes cast down in shame. “I know. I’m sorry.”

Cas reached over the kitchen counter and touched Dean’s hands in a gesture of comfort. “Talk to me.”

Dean’s shoulders slumped.“I don’t know if I can do this, Cas.” He bobbed his head. “I’m afraid that I’m not strong enough.”

Not strong enough? Cas couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Dean was one of the strongest people in the world. You only had to look at what he had been through. He managed to make something of his life despite it all, while all the odds were stacked against him. How many like him would have ended up in a ditch, or six feet under for that matter, from an overdose?

“You can Dean, and you are. Remember, I will be right there with you; I will always be there, whatever it takes.”

A long stare was exchanged. Dean’s face still betrayed a lot of doubt, despite Cas’s reassurance that he would be there every step of the way. It was Dean though who had to actively do it; work on it. No matter how much Cas wanted to take it all from him and put it on his own shoulders, it was just not possible. The only thing he could do was offer as much moral support as possible, and he was adamant to give it all and more, until there was no more to give.

Dean’s voice was hoarse with pent up emotions when he spoke.

“Thanks, Cas. I appreciate it.” He laced their fingers together.

“Will you promise me something, Dean?”

Dean looked up from their interwoven hands laying on the surface of the marble counter. A little huff escaped his lips. “That depends on the promise. I hate to promise something when I don’t know what it is.”

Okay, fair enough. Cas took in a deep breath. “Will you please come to me when you wake up from another bad dream? Come talk to me?”

“You do realise those dreams often happen at night, right? It’s why they’re called nightmares.”

Cas rolled his eyes. He knew Dean was trying to joke about it, but still. This was no laughing matter.

“I don’t care if it’s the middle of the night. Promise me you will come to talk to me!”

“Okay, okay, I promise.” Dean unlaced their fingers and got up to get himself another cup of coffee.

Cas wasn’t sure if Dean really meant it. He hadn’t looked him in the eyes when he made that promise. It would have to do though. He had to give him a chance.

“Thank you. So, is there any more booze in the house I should know about?”

Dean shook his head while pouring coffee into his mug. “Nope. Not anymore.” He turned to Cas. “Feel free to search the house if you don’t believe me.”

“No, I trust you.” It wasn’t entirely true. Sure, Cas trusted Dean, but when it came to Dean and booze, it became tricky. That’s when he had to be careful with what to trust. “Will you tell me now what happened last night?”

Dean shot him a confused look. “What do you mean, Cas? Isn’t it obvious?” He plopped back down on the barstool. “I already explained what makes me drink.”

“I mean your dream, Dean. Was it another nightmare? Another painful memory? You wanna tell me about it?”

Dean shook his head. “No, it’s fine, Cas. Just, leave it be, okay?” He averted his eyes from Cas’s gaze, clearly ashamed of something that probably wasn’t even his fault. Cas already knew about the whip lashes, the electric shocks and the gangbanging. What was done to him that was so much worse than all of that, that he was embarrassed to tell him?

“Dean, talking about it is part of the road to recovery. Those memories resurface because you haven’t dealt with them properly. Instead, you have been drowning them in huge amounts of…

“You think I don’t know that?” Dean brutally cut him off. He jumped up and started to pace the kitchen floor with long, angry strides, hands clenched into fists at his side. Cas could see by the rising and falling of his back that he was taking in deep, calming breaths. Suddenly he turned around, his eyes two dark pools of hurt and anger lying in a face deprived of all color.

“If you must know, Cas, I was fucked raw by a device twice as wide as your average erect dick for three hours straight,” he yelled. “And you know what it got me, Cas? It got me a fucking anal fissure.”

Cas flinched slightly in shock. What the hell? “Dean...”

“Wipe that pitiful look from your face, Cas. I don’t need it. It was the worst possible sexual torture but it’s not like I didn’t deserve it.”

That was it. Cas was not going to let Dean blame himself for what those assholes did to him.

“No one deserves that!”

“I disobeyed an order! I knew what it meant and yet I did. So yeah, it was my fault.”

Cas got up from the barstool. “No, it was not.” He walked over to him. “Damn it, Dean, none of it was your fault. Nothing justified what they did to you.”

A few beats of silence fell. Dean rubbed both hands over his face. At least he didn’t start to argue about whether he was to blame or not, which of course he wasn’t, but try to get that through his thick skull. Cas figured he’d better leave that to Missouri.

“Did you get treatment for your injury?” It was a stupid question. The only treatment the boys got was a physical every three months, but that was more for the clients sake than for themselves. Alastair couldn’t care less if the boys got hurt during a sexual act, as long as it didn’t kill them. He was more concerned about the clients health than that of the boys.

“It was just a small fissure, luckily enough,” Dean replied, a lot calmer now. “It healed on its own, but only because I was done that night. Alastair was never going to give me enough time to recover, as you know.” He brushed past Cas to the fridge to take out a can of soda.

“I already had a lot of money stored away for Sam’s education, but I also knew it wasn’t enough to cover all the costs,” he continued, pulling the lid from the can. He took a huge gulp. “I had to figure out something else, and that’s when life finally cut me a break.”

Cas’s eyebrows shot up.“The scholarship?”

Dean nodded. “Yep, the scholarship. Man, you have no idea how much joy I got out of telling Alastair to shove that contract so far up his ass he’d choke on it, not to mention what he could do with his so called ‘two weeks notice’.”

“Yeah, you told me that,” Cas said. “I imagine he wasn’t a happy camper.”

“Oh, he wasn’t.” Dean laughed, the first genuine laugh of today, although it did have a bitter edge to it. “I got the hell out of dodge after that. Sam got into Stanford and I started a whole new life here in San Fran, and the rest is, as they say, history.” He spread his arms. “So, now you know the whole story of how I got out. Can we drop the subject now?”

Dean was obviously done talking about it, and to be fair, Cas was too. There were still a lot of issues to work through and a few secrets, but they made progress and that’s what was most important. One step at a time.

“Thank you, Dean, for telling me. Just, one more thing?”

“Yeah, what’s that?”

“Remember your promise, okay?”

Dean emptied his drink. “I will.” He crushed the soda can and threw it in the bin. “So, on another note, what are we gonna do today?”

Cas folded his arms across his chest. “I don’t know. What did you have in mind?”

“I wanted to take you to visit Alcatraz, but well, seems like I screwed that one up, huh?”

“That’s okay, Dean. Alcatraz isn’t going anywhere.”

Dean shot him a toothy smile that shone through the pain of the earlier walk down memory lane. “In that case… Do you like crab?”

----------

Dean took Cas to ‘Fisherman’s Wharf’, a unique place on the pier. They had fun browsing the tourist shops, watching the street entertainers, and strolling to the end of the pier to see the sea lions, while snacking on ice cream.

A little before dinner, Dean dragged Cas to the Franciscan Crab Restaurant. He asked for a table at the window where they had an amazing view of the bay and Alcatraz.

Cas knew a tourist trap when he saw one, and well, this definitely was one, but if Dean said that this was the place to go to for some great seafood, then he didn’t doubt it for one second.

He took the menu to see what was good here, but Dean snatched it out of his hands. He leaned forward with a boyish grin on his lips. “Do you trust me, Cas?”

Cas tilted his head. “Ehm, yes?” He narrowed his eyes.

“Then trust me.” He waved over a waiter and ordered a crab feast platter with garlic fries and a bottle of white wine to go with it. When the man walked away with the order, he turned back to Cas.

“You come here for the seafood, especially the crab.”

Cas chuckled. “You just made that very obvious.”

They didn’t have to wait too long for their food to arrive, and by God, Dean was right. This was the best crab Cas had ever tasted.

“Told ya’, Dean said with a smug smile when Cas expressed how delicious everything was, from the crab over the fries, to the white from Napa Valley.

When they were stuffed full, there was no room left for a dessert. They ordered a coffee instead.

Dean asked for the bill and wanted to pay, but Cas reminded him of their deal.

“But I practically dragged you here Cas,” he protested.

“And I’m glad you did.” Cas looked at the bill, slipped the money and a large tip in the leather case and put it on the table. “So, what time do we meet your friends?”

Dean’s demeanor changed. He tried not to show it, but Cas noticed how he tensed up.

“At eight.”

Cas glanced at his watch. “We’re late then.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Dean shrugged and finished his coffee. “But we’d better go.” He slid out of the booth.

Cas trailed after him as he walked to the door, wondering what it was that made him so nervous about meeting his friends?