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The Accidental Mr. Right

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At some point, it was going to happen, Dean could have predicted it. His friends and relatives stopped asking him how his ‘beneficial friends’ were doing and started asking him when he was going to settle down.

“Settle down, or settle?” Dean asked Bobby over a beer at the Roadhouse. “And why would I do either?” His eyes roamed the room for a likely candidate.

“So, let me get this clear in my own mind,” Bobby said, fixing him with that   auger-like stare, which had so terrified him as a youth, “You sleep with anyone over the age of twenty-five who’ll have you, once, maybe twice, because it’s easier and more fun than figuring out what you want in a partner and looking for it.”

“I’ll know it when I see it, if I ever see it,” Dean said with a shrug.

“But will that special someone see you?” Bobby said. He scowled affably. “I wouldn’t want to be competing for attention with quite so many people.” Bobby knew Dean was bisexual and free with his favors (and what a horror-show of a mercifully brief chat that had been) so he had the decency not to assume Dean’s imaginary Someone was a woman. Points for Bobby.

“Maybe my someone is bi and totally non-monogamous and has a crazy sex drive,” Dean said.

Bobby sighed. It wasn’t a pleasant sound.

“Maybe you don’t know yourself as well as all that. Lyin’ in bed waiting for your squeeze to come home is a no-fun experience and you’re an idjit for thinking it would look good on you.”

“You’re a newlywed. You’re preaching the ‘holy gospel of sanctified matrimony’,” Dean said in a quavering southern preacher voice, raising a finger to emphasize his point. Bobby had married Ellen - in a hurry - six months earlier. Nobody knew what the hurry was about, it wasn’t like Ellen was knocked-up, or anything. “And with Sam all hand-fasted with his crazy-hot pagan mama, you’re wanting to get the last of your kids married off.”

Bobby’s face softened and he sighed. “Dean, I don’t want you to wake up when you’re fifty and find out that it’s a hell of way to live, takin’ little blue pills just to keep the one-night stands happy.”

Dean shook his head and gave Bobby a wry and affectionate smile. “Bobby, you’re my father in every way that counts, so that gives you a right to speak up. But I’m also your kid in every way that counts, so please don’t be offended if I just do things my own fuckin’ way.

A few weeks later, Dean was in the mood for some dick, so he went to his favorite gay bar. He’d tried the internet, but there was nothing quite like checking prospects out in person. As he was getting out of his lovingly restored Impala, Baby, he heard two people talking as they walked toward the front door of the bar.

“Ruby – I can’t go in there.”

“You can and you will.”

“I don’t want a one night stand. I’m not going to find the fling of my dreams in a bar in a strange town.”

The man’s voice was harassed, but still civil. It was an educated, sexy voice. Ruby, whoever she was, wasn’t having any.

“Angel, you have the perfect opportunity to have some consequence-free sex! You’re nine hundred miles from home and in two weeks you’ll be back there. Find somebody cute to pop your cherry and when you get home you can start looking for Mr. Right in earnest.”

Dean chuckled under his breath. He now had a plan for the evening, and it was a good one.

“At least come in with me while I ‘peruse the menu of available hotties’,” Angel said with a sigh and air quotes.

Dean couldn’t see his face, but that was okay. He wasn’t going home alone. He made sure he could identify his one-night Angel from his clothes, and slipped around the building and got one of the kitchen staff to let him in the back.

The hunt was always so exciting.

He stayed close to the back of the room until he saw Ruby and Angel seated at the bar. Her intention, obviously, was to ditch Angel as soon as he was comfortably settled, which she did; she didn’t even stay for a libation.

Oh god, he’d ordered a Shirley Temple. His Angel didn’t even drink. Dean considered this for a moment, and thought it had been ages since he hadn’t been liquored up before sex; maybe he should try it without the alcohol, as a sort of science experiment.

In profile, the Angel had a mop of black hair, just long enough to pull on, mmm. Firm nose, firm chin. He nervously turned to look around him and caught Dean staring at him. He looked like a deer in the headlights, not at all expectant or horny. Dean caught the flash of blue eyes and a cute face, and that was good enough for him.

He sat down next to him, extended a hand and said, “Hi, my name is Dean,” and waited.

Angel looked at his hand, eyebrows raised in surprise, and shook it. Dean thought, Warm hand and a firm shake. All systems are green so far. “Castiel,” he replied.

“That’s a mouthful,” Dean said, and Castiel thought that anybody who could make a short sentence sound like a sexual innuendo was being unfair to hit on him, since he was now officially speechless. Green eyes, beautiful hands, and a face so amazing Castiel was almost scared to look at him directly, as if his eyes might burn out or something. He forced himself to, and found the man looking at him with sympathetic amusement.

“Can I call you Cas?”

“Sure, I guess,” Castiel said, with effort.

“So, Cas, I understand you’re looking for some action, or you wouldn’t be sitting alone at this bar. Although, I dunno, that Shirley Temple is gonna make people think you’re either a killjoy or an alcoholic.”

“They can think what they like as long as they don’t serve me alcohol. I’m a puker,” Castiel said. His normally very censorious internal censor seemed to have run away, overcome by that grinning face.

Dean laughed. “Absolutely no alcohol, got it.”

Castiel wiggled in his seat for a second before he spoke. “Can I ask you a question? Why is the best looking man in the room sitting next to me?”

“You’re going to hurt the feelings of the bartender if you keep talking like that,” Dean said.

“He’s cute, but he’s out of my league –– as well as being a little young for my taste.”

“What’s your taste?” Dean asked. He slid his tongue through his lips for a half-second and Castiel felt the bar stool drop about two inches. No, that was his stomach.

Castiel returned his attention to his drink. It was far easier than attempting to maintain a calm expression while looking at this impossibly sexy guy.

“I suppose in the service of the mating dance I should say, ‘you’,” Castiel said. He walked up to you, remember. He’s not planning to reject you.

Once again Dean laughed. He said, “What, I’m supposed to show you my glorious blue feet, bang our noses together and lift my head and squawk?”

“The mating dance of the blue footed booby,” Castiel said quietly to his drink. His shoulders shook. He was relaxing - something he hadn’t thought possible.

He felt Dean’s hand on his shoulder, as he turned him. Castiel’s back stiffened and his heart started to pound.

Dean smirked. “Oh, so you were laughing. Look, I know you don’t want to be here. I happened to overhear your conversation with that wicked-looking brunette.”

Once again his heart seemed to stop dead and start up again at an even faster clip. “She does know she’s hot,” Castiel said with a sigh.

“But not to your taste,” Dean said.

“I prefer men as potential sex partners.”

“How about as actual, current, real sex partners, like you and me in about twenty minutes if you’ll get in a car with me?” Dean asked, smiling cheerfully. He batted his lashes, and Castiel’s limbic system administered another little spike of adrenaline to the rest of his body. Castiel tried to calm himself.

“How long does it take get to your place?” Castiel asked suspiciously.

“From here? Fifteen minutes I guess.”

“So, no foreplay,” Castiel said. “Pass.” It didn’t do to look too easy.

“Now, wait a minute!” Dean protested. He gestured to the bartender. “Shane, Shane, c’m’over here. What’s my reputation in these parts?”

Shane was twenty-six, fabulously queer and hotter than a fire pit. One of Shane’s enamelled and brilliant front teeth pulled at an intriguingly plump chunk of his lower lip. Dean lifted one brow at him. “Unvarnished?” Shane answered, and then pretended to wipe the bar.

“Unvarnished,” Castiel said, piping up.

Shane addressed his comments to Castiel. “He’s kinda slutty, but he’s not tacky.”

Castiel looked between the two men in disbelief at what he was hearing.

“Jesus, Shane! You better not get near the dude carving my tombstone,” Dean said.

Castiel laughed aloud at this.

“C’mon,” Dean said, “I think Shane’s stint as my PR person is over.”

He stuck ten bucks in the tip jar, since he hadn’t ordered anything, and, looking at Cas, jerked his thumb at the front door. “You coming?”

“Not ye-et!” Shane catcalled after them.

“Congratulations, you’ve just been successfully picked up in a bar!” Dean said cheerfully.

“Wait a minute, if you overheard everything – “ and Castiel, who could be adorably dense, figured it out. He stopped in his tracks and blushed fit to hurt himself.

“Your secret is safe with me, and it won’t be a secret anyway real soon, so please come along and take a ride with Baby.”

“I didn’t want you to know,” Castiel said.

“I did hear the word ‘cherry’. I’m assuming you’ve at least got some experience making out.”

“I only just figured out I’m gay,” Castiel said gravely.

They had arrived at the car.

“Better late than never. And you were just going to have sex with the first person who asked you?  If you’re looking for Mr. Right there’s no harm in sharing that with him… you have waited a while,” Dean said, starting to feel a little weird.

Castiel looked at him. Dean had no idea how he knew, but he immediately knew why Cas was doing it - this programmed one night stand.

Dean said in a heavy tone, “You want to have some experience, but you don’t want it to be in your home town or somebody you might get attached to. Don’t worry. You won’t get attached to me.”

He gave Cas a jumbo-sized wink and said, “Tell you what. Get in the car with me, no keys in the ignition, just sitting here, and you kiss me, and tell me after that that you don’t want to go home with me.”

“I kiss you?”

“Kissing’s out? Damn, I was looking forward to it,” Dean said fretfully. He  unlocked the passenger side door and, with a noble air, opened it.

“Shut up and get in the car,” Cas said, getting in, which was more like it. Dean obliged, and then waited for whatever this strange man could come up with.

For a second he stared at Dean, and Dean collapsed a couple of brain cells trying to figure out what the stare meant.

“Is that a stare of ‘intense interest’?” Dean asked. He widened his eyes and then narrowed them, trying to mimic Cas’s expression in the hopes of getting a laugh. “Or have you decided I’m a predator, in which case, what was my tell?”

Cas said, the intense look replaced by a smile and brimming eyes. “You’re luring me somewhere using sex.”

“I’m luring you to an evening of debauchery and if you’re as much fun as I suspect you’ll be, you’ll even get breakfast.”

“And if I’m not?” Castiel said, with a little sass.

“Cab fare back to your hotel. You’re only here for two weeks so I’m assuming you’re in a hotel.”

Cas faced forward and sighed. “Staying with my cousin, but it might as well be a hotel with the constant flow of takeout and sex workers and however much I’d like to pretend it isn’t so, a shocking quantity and quality of street and other drugs.”

“I should meet your cousin,” Dean said immediately.

“What about that description was attractive?” Castiel asked, horrified.

Dean winked. “I’d make a case for your cousin’s place of residence being ‘of prurient interest’.”

“I’ll bet you can’t even spell prurient,” Cas said. Dean began, very slowly, to appreciate Cas’s sense of humour.

Dean took a deep breath. “One last thing before the kissing does, or does not, get started. In the spirit of full-disclosure: I’m bisexual.”

“I don’t think I’m supposed to care, so I’m not going to,” Cas said, and scooching closer to Dean, put his hands gently on his shoulders and kissed him. He closed his eyes at the last minute. Dean didn’t, but he closed his eyes  after thirty seconds of Cas’s tongue insinuating itself into his mouth. Dean decided to wait on pushing back to see what fancy French kissing Cas thought he could unleash.

Two minutes later, Dean pulled back a fraction of an inch and said, “You can stop now, you’ve - uh - demonstrated a basic command of the skillset.”

“You said you were looking forward to it!” Cas said. His voice was lighter somehow. The gravel was gone and vulnerability, never far from the surface, was in his tone. He had an exquisitely clean shave and tasted very fine.

Dean was impressed.

“I was, but that was when I thought I could teach you a thing or two,” Dean said.

“Hmm,” Cas said. Dean caught the flash of teeth and the pleat of lips, and Dean thought, Why should I hide that I think he’s hot? I asked him to come home with me!

“Where to now?”

“Uh, I thought my place,” Dean said. Cas had spit on his chin. On cue, he produced a clean hankie from his inside jacket pocket and tidied his face. To Dean’s surprise, Cas offered the hankie. Dean mopped himself up without comment and said, “What, you want this to be more like a date?”

“I expected finding someone to have sex with would consume most of the evening,” Cas said, not really answering the question. “My success so far leaves me at a bit of a loss.”

Dean chuckled, he couldn’t help it. “So why not go back to my place?” Dean said.

Cas’s response took Dean aback. “Well, you said you’d kick me out when we were finished, and it wouldn’t likely take that long, and I’d like to spend more time with you.”

Cas expected Dean to be irritated, but he was in truth ashamed of himself for suggesting that only a truly great sexual performance would prevent Dean from kicking Cas out – and, of course, this guy, who seemed sweet and sensitive, would assume the worst. Dean had Cas figured out as that kind of guy. “I’m flattered. You hungry?”

“I was too nervous to be hungry before, but I’m starving now. We can split the check,” Cas said helpfully.

“What do you want?”

Cas said, “I’ve put myself in your hands so far, why don’t you pick?”

“Trusting dude,” Dean said with amusement, skillfully avoiding the mental image of what was going to happen when Cas really did ‘put himself in Dean’s hands’ and - hopefully vice-versa. Baby growled to life and Dean took him to an unassuming 24-hour diner. Cas had mac and cheese and salad and refused dessert.

“It’s pie,” Dean said.

“I’ve eaten enough and we all eat too much sugar.”

“But it’s pie!” Dean said. “It’s the reason I brought you here!”

“Yes, it’s your reason for bringing me here; I’m here for food and conversation.”

Cas was the most precise eater Dean had ever met. He did not drop crumbs, he did not miss his own mouth, and he did not talk and eat, which gave Dean the conversational advantage. Dean kept up a line of engaging patter and was unafraid of controversial topics. He was trying to see if there was anything he could say that would make Cas bail, and was entertained by the results.

In short order, they had covered politics, (“I voted Republican until I came out,” and “I only vote in municipal elections - I wanna be able to drive to the asshole’s house and tell ‘em what I think of ’em”), religion, (“I’m the world’s laziest atheist after a very restrictive religious upbringing,” and “You can’t possibly be a lazier atheist than I am,”) and sports, (“I do it, I don’t watch it. I cycle, I hang-glide and I’m a black belt in karate.” “Hang glide? Seriously? I go to the gym and I box.”)

They got into an argument about which martial art was superior. After a while, Cas brought the napkin to his mouth - unnecessarily - and said, “I’ll never hit you first, but I guarantee I’ll hit you last.”

Dean gaped - only half-jokingly. “Where is all this hostility coming from?”

“It’s not hostility, it’s a statement of fact. Both require fitness, speed, skill, planning. But karate is more all-purpose than boxing.”

“Hang-gliding?” Dean asked, after a second.

“I kept dreaming about flying. But I didn’t want to listen to an engine, so my choices were soaring and hang-gliding, and hang-gliding was closer, so that’s what I do.”

They looked at each other briefly. Dean was suddenly struck by how they weren’t having awkward dating conversation. Cas wasn’t pulling any conversational punches, but he was civil in both choice of words and tone, and he was quick to acknowledge when Dean had made a point, or to note a discrepancy in his logic. Dean began to be curious about what Cas did for a living, and tried, on the basis of what he knew about him so far, to guess what it was.

More remarkable than the easy flow of conversation was how Cas hadn’t looked at his phone, not once. Dean could not remember the last time he’d been out on a date without the phone coming out. It was, in some ways, the most flattering and yet laid-back compliment he’d ever received. He’d once had a partner check his phone during sex, an experience he hoped never to repeat.

They’d fallen silent. Cas looked out the window of the diner and appeared to zone out.

“You okay?” Dean said after a minute.

Cas’s eyes appeared brighter than usual. “Just wondering if I’ve said something so objectionable you want to end the date.”

Dean scowled and, in a tone indicating that he was secretly an eight year old boy, “No, silly.”

“I’m silly.”

Dean morphed into a man his true age. He looked at Cas with a knowing smile and said, “You’re intelligent, and attractive, and your table manners fucking defy gravity. Unless you’ve gotten cold feet you’re still coming home with me.”

“I’m pretty much warm all over,” Cas said, which struck Dean as funny. Cas sometimes took things very literally.

“I’d like to ask a personal question, if I may?” Dean asked.

“Of course.”

“How are you going about looking for Mr. Right?”

“I have a list,” Cas said.


“I require honesty, cleanliness, self-sufficiency and kindness in a partner,” Cas said. He looked at Dean through his lashes, which was a lot hotter than it should have been. “If you were looking for a partner, what would you want?”

“Shit-tons of sex and to be self-supporting, I guess,” Dean said. “When you said you had a list I was expecting you to literally bring out a list.”

Cas’s voice became somewhat stressed. “He has to like me, as well as love me. He has to be able to tell me what’s bothering him and to listen when I’m whining without wanting to slap me or telling me to shut up. He has to have a thick enough skin to deal with my family, which dices and juliennes boundaries like a kitchen doodad on a late-night show,” Cas said, screwing up his face.

“You’d love Sam,” Dean said, without considering the implications. Holy shit, Dean thought. I was actually thinking about introducing the two. And they would get along. I’d bet money on it.

“Sam is?” Cas enquired.

“Baby bro.”

“Is he much like you?” Cas asked.

“Crowley says we’re chalk and cheese,” Dean said. “Crowley’s our accountant.”

At some unspoken signal they rose to pay for their food at the till, and then Cas realized that he was minutes away from having full-on naked in a bed sex with a man for the first time and began, invisibly, to panic. He really liked Dean, from what he had seen of him so far, and he suspected that Dean was going to be very disappointed in an uptight and incompetent ‘performance’ and he started looking for ways to escape.

Dean noticed that the eye contact, which had made Dean feel like Cas was genuinely interested, vanished.

At the point Cas was about to smile, apologize and call a cab, Dean put an arm around his shoulder and said, quietly in his ear, “Relax. I said I’d take care of you, and I meant it.”

“I’m a technical challenge, am I?” Cas said back, dourly.

“No, Cas,” Dean said with a breath of laughter. “And don’t put words in my mouth, when I’d rather have something else in there.” The server overheard enough of this to roll her eyes.

Cas’s heart pounded.

Cas didn’t even remember the walk to the car.  Dean’s hand reached over while he was driving. For perhaps thirty seconds he held Cas’s hand. The touch calmed him down until he could look at Dean again.

At his own door, Dean paused. He could see Cas’s heartbeat in his neck; the poor guy was obviously freaking.

“Nothing’s happening on the other side of this door unless you want it to,” Dean said. He smiled at Cas; a pleased, conspiratorial smile.

Then they were on the other side of the door, kissing again.

Chapter II

Dean felt Cas melt against him. Often, kissing seemed like a sloppy, almost violent contest with no rules; Cas kissed gently, but with intense focus. Dean let his hands wander. He coaxed Cas out of his jacket; Cas hummed in annoyance as their lips unlocked.

Cas was freaking again. “Do you - do you want me to take the rest of my clothes off?” he asked.

“Do you?” Dean asked.

Cas didn’t answer. So, no. They were still kissing fifteen minutes later. Cas heaved a deep sigh and said, “Um.”

“Wanna help me out of my clothes?” Dean asked cheerfully.

“You want me to?”

“We can stick with dry humping if you want,” Dean answered. Might as well be practical.

Cas apparently did not want, which for someone who wanted a communicative partner, wasn’t playing very fair, but Dean supposed he was a little distracted. Cas almost looked cross-eyed as he reached for the buttons on Dean’s jacket. He hung it up behind him. When Cas made a little startled noise, touching the skin of Dean’s midriff for the first time as he passed his hand under Dean’s T-shirt, Dean closed his eyes and let Cas do his thing, exploring firmly enough not to be ticklish, lightly enough to make Dean’s briefs even damper than they already were.

Cas pushed his hands up Dean’s ribs and the henley came off.

“You have me at a disadvantage,” Dean said, and started counting down the buttons on Cas’s shirt.

He was interrupted as Cas bent to kiss his left nipple.

“Ehhhr,” or something like it, came softly from Dean’s mouth. He realized he’d closed his eyes after the initial thrill of shock. When he opened them Cas’s eyes were open as well, inches away, and he was smiling an unguarded smile, a warmly intimate smile. His expression wasn’t the slightest bit lustful or dominant. It was as if instead of being sexual with Dean, Cas had just shared a private joke with him. Aren’t we dopes for being so hot for each other, his eyes seemed to say.

Dean got busy with the buttons, and they embraced skin to skin for the first time. Dean lost all his air - again - and Cas made a little whimper that turned into a groan as Dean lost his patience with the high-school stuff. He grabbed Cas and ground against him with lazy circular twists of his hips.

“Oh, Dean,” Cas said.

Dean, used to relatively anonymous and casual sex, flinched a little, hearing his own name. He realized, a breath later, that he wanted to hear Cas say it again.

“Cas,” he whispered back. He felt Cas tremble in his arms, and kissed his neck softly. Dean was rewarded with another little tremor. He slid one hand down over the base of Cas’s spine and the other up to cradle the back of his neck and kissed him hard. Dean tasted blood and pulled away. Cas gasped and leaned against him as if his knees were about to give way, and then abruptly dropped to his knees and started struggling with getting Dean’s jeans off, which was a bit of a surprise.

“C’mon, we’ll be more comfy in bed,” Dean growled, more or less dragging an unresisting Cas by his neck the ten steps further into Dean’s bedroom. Cas shook himself a little, then looked down at Dean’s zipper, and worked on getting it open.

As soon as Dean’s dick was free of restraint, the head of it disappeared into Cas’s warm, slick and eager mouth. Dean groaned and spread his legs a little. In a husky voice, filled with need, he said, “Can I put my hands on your head?”

Cas didn’t speak; he flicked his gaze upward in agreement, and the face-fucking became very intense after that. After a couple of minutes Dean realized he was so wound up he was going to come, and said so. Cas gently slid his mouth away and looked up. “You wanted me to stop?”

“Where do you want me to come?”

“Am I doing okay?”

“If my pulsating, quivering dick and me saying I’m about to come isn’t enough I don’t know, Cas,” Dean said in a tight voice, and then gave a grunt of laughter.

Cas moved an exploratory knuckle into Dean’s taint. The other hand enclosed his shaft, and Cas’s mouth accepted him more hungrily, more deeply it seemed, with every stroke. Cas made a little choking noise and Dean backed off. Then Dean thought, Imagine having this to come home to every night, as Cas’s mouth swirled over the head and his hands stroked and massaged ––and Dean promptly bust a nut. Orgasm came on so fast he had no time to warn Cas, who responded by opening wide and stroking hard.

Dean lay back on his bed, as soon as Cas let go of him. Cas took his own pants, briefs and socks off and lay beside him awkwardly. Dean encouraged him into big spoon position and was given hard (and hot and cold and wet) evidence that Cas had enjoyed sucking his dick about as much as he could without coming himself.

“Give me a second,” Dean panted. In truth he couldn’t face Cas. The idea that his orgasm had been triggered by the idea of being Cas’s Mr. Right freaked him out so badly he needed a little dead air just so he could think.

A breathing space revealed the idea that he was enjoying the idea of role-playing Mr. Right. For a commitment-phobe like him, it would make sense - he could explore it without a double-ring ceremony and a twenty thousand dollar reception - thank you very much.

Dean relaxed. He could play Mr. Right.

The perfect squeeze would immediately compliment the sex.

“That was spectacular. Thank you for letting me come in your mouth.”

“You’re welcome,” Cas whispered shyly. “Thanks for giving me the confidence to try blowing you.”

“If that’s what happens when you get a pep talk, where do I sign up to coach?” Dean asked, grinning to himself.

“I got a pep talk when you took me home, Dean,” Cas said. His breath on Dean’s neck, sweet and warm, was like biting into the perfect fresh chocolate chip cookie.

Dean’s back stiffened a bit.

“What? I guess you did,” Dean said distractedly. He wasn’t really thinking about that though. What he was thinking of was the word ‘home’. That’s what this felt like. Home, warm arms, somebody happy to see him, somebody to talk to. Somebody he didn’t have to kick out because he wasn’t boring or light-fingered or foul or rude in some other personal or indefinable way. Somebody who was worth listening to, worth liking, worth living with, worth arguing with, worth — building a life with. That was what Cas wanted, and Dean hadn’t recently met anyone who deserved it more.

“I don’t know where you are,” Cas said softly, “but I don’t think you’re here with me right now.”

“I am,” Dean demurred. He turned to face Cas and kissed him, collecting the last of the taste of his own wild enjoyment of Cas’s mouth.

“Whatever you want, ask.”

Cas was silent.

“What would help?” Dean said, trying to coax him.

Cas was silent.

Dean shook him, gently.

“I don’t want to - “ Cas began, and then fell silent.

Dean tried to stay calm. Cas was thinking about bailing, he could feel it. Mr. Right has excellent communication skills. What would he say?

“You want to cuddle for a while?”

Just like that, Cas had scooched up the bed and gotten under the covers.  Dean joined him. So Mr. Right is a mind reader? Don’t know why the hell that would make him popular, Dean thought sourly, if he could hear what I’m thinking he’d book it in horror.

Dean, not normally a cuddler, prepared himself to be annoyed. Cuddling sucks because your partner fidgets, has sharp toenails, needs a shower, or hogs the covers. Cuddling sucks because you get sweaty and hot and stuck together. Cuddling sucks because it proves that you are needy and childish and co-dependent.

And cuddling sucks, because this is Dean, asleep, his arm around Cas, his breath sweeping over Cas’s shoulder like a blessing.

At first Cas couldn’t believe that Dean had fallen asleep. He was outraged.  He was hurt. He felt spurned, rejected, ignored. His balls were only a fraction bluer than the rest of him.

Then he started using his brain, which was a relief, after all those grisly emotions.

Dean had said, “If you’re lucky…. you spend the night.” Or some variant, of that, but that’s what he’d meant. So maybe this was Dean saying, “You’re spending the night.”

If Dean hadn’t trusted him in his house, he would have escorted him to the door with a smile. He wouldn’t have fallen asleep with his arm around him. Dean trusted him. It was the only conclusion he could come to on the evidence.

If Dean had said, “I’m bagged, catch you in the morning, so sorry,” Cas knew he’d be feeling different. Miffed, but contented to sleep in his arms. He’d be in for an orgasm - one at least, anyway - before he did the walk of shame back to his room at Gabe’s place.

And then, could a non-existent God please show some hack or variant on mercy and get him through the next two — horrific — weeks of his scheduled expert testimony with regularly scheduled bouts of sex with the succulent Dean Winchester.

Having rounded up his emotions and stuck them under a pin called Dean, Cas contemplated jerking off, but he couldn’t imagine doing it without waking Dean, so he dismissed the idea.

He could wait. After a few minutes, he too slept.

Around four a.m. Dean woke up and realized that he was lying in his own bed, in a lover’s arms. He started, but didn’t waken his partner; and he lay as still as he could, brows furrowed as he stared out into the darkness, trying to remember what had happened.

His blood ran cold. He’d shoved his dick down Cas’s throat, blown his load and then – essentially rolled over and gone to sleep. Winchester, you suck.

But Cas was still here. Okay Mr. Right what’s your advice this time.

Mr. Right was unequivocal. Cas is asleep. Why not leave him that way? After all, communication is only good if it’s two-way. If the person is not paying attention or asleep, unless something’s on fire, leave ‘em alone.

Dean felt a little better. He could always give Cas a stealth blowjob as a wakeup call. He still felt guilty, but didn’t want to waken Cas, who slept with such a peaceful expression that it would have sacrilege to make him conscious and possibly cranky.

They woke around seven, Cas first. He got up and slipped back into bed. Dean opened his eyes.

“Hullo gorgeous,” Dean croaked. “I seem to have fucked up.”

“Hullo handsome,” Cas said. “I’m not fucked at all; up or otherwise.”

Nobody had the mojo to come back with a quip that fast without coffee. “I can fix that.”

“Before or after coffee?” Cas asked sweetly.

Dean didn’t get an answer out before Cas withdrew his arm and rose. “May I assume you have a coffeemaker a brain-dead hamster could use?”

“You may, if you don’t assume I have any milk or cream to put in it,” Dean called back.

“I take mine black, and ha ha I already made coffee so you should smell the enticing aroma shortly.”

He got up and after a couple of minutes brought Dean a cup of coffee. Castiel propped himself against the headboard, and looked down at Dean, who was lying on his side. Dean sat up to drink his coffee. As soon as the two men were no longer facing each other, Castiel spoke.

“Now I get to listen to the abject apology. Go!” Castiel said, firing his ‘finger-gun’.

There was a pause. “I hate public speaking,” Dean said.

“I’m the only other person here,” Castiel said, a notable pause between every word.

“Apologizing is like public speaking,” Dean said, and Cas turned on him and caught him almost pouting.

Dean panicked. What would Mr. Right do?

Suck it up, asshole.

“I’m sorry I fell asleep and left you hanging. It’s why I don’t cuddle after I come - I just pass out. I don’t feel right sleeping - most of the time - with someone I’ve picked up from a bar.”

“But you felt all right sleeping in the same bed as me.”

“I trusted you from the minute I laid eyes on you.”


“You were cautious with me.”

Castiel laughed. It was almost a cackle. “That wasn’t caution, that was panic. I didn’t think you were real, for the first five minutes I was talking to you. I thought you were a stress-related hallucination.”

“You’re here for a court case - so that’s what’s causing the stress?”

“A class-action suit; I’m the plaintiff’s star witness,” Castiel said. “Don’t really care about any of that right now, I’m still waiting for the abject part of the apology.”

“Use me however you like,” Dean said, spreading his hands. “I can’t apologize enough but I can make it up to you. Mind you I have to be at work in about ninety minutes, so I don’t know how much use you’re going to get out of me.”

“However I like?”

“That’s what I said,” Dean said loftily. How much trouble could we get into in an hour, he thought.

Castiel, however, had a legalistic turn of mind. “I’d like to ‘use’ you, and vice-versa, every day for the next two weeks, or until my testimony’s done.”


“I had a good time. You had a good time. Let’s have a fling,” Castiel said. He tried to sound casual, like he suggested flings every day.

“You haven’t even come yet!” Dean said.

“You harp on performance but really, Dean, it’s okay,” Castiel said. A little course correction couldn’t go amiss. Life with a partner wasn’t necessarily always going to be sex, sex, sex. “The only thing you did wrong was not tell me you were about to fall asleep. That’s it.”

“I didn’t take care of you,” Dean said. That almost pout was back, and Castiel found it irritating.

“Because you were taking care of yourself, which you have to do to take care of someone else,” Castiel said, “In this case, me.”

“You aren’t really angry with me,” Dean said. The ‘in this case, me’ seemed to be a sly reminder that Dean had a reputation as the town pump, which up until about twelve hours ago hadn’t occurred to him might be an issue. Cas promptly rubbed it in.

“I don’t know and I don’t care what you have going on with other men.”

As if I’m sucking a stranger’s dick every night, Dean thought resentfully.

Castiel continued, “But I’d like to have a lot more sex with you, and I want us to both be adults while we’re doing it.”

“I can manage that,” Dean said after a very brief pause.

“Can I have your phone number?”

They traded numbers. “Sorry my number’s long distance – text is best,” Castiel said.

“Can I please, finally, take care of you?” Dean asked.

“No,” Castiel said. “I won’t be rushed.”

“You’re hella bossy.”

“I know what I want,” Castiel said, and gasped as Dean gave up on conversation and began to trail kisses down Cas’s body.

“Me too,” Dean said, just before his mouth abruptly closed over the head of Cas’s cock.

“Oh. Oh,” Castiel said, moaning. Dean’s left hand felt its way to Cas’s right nipple, and began to tap, tweak and pinch.

Cas didn’t argue. Seven minutes later he came with a series of floor shaking groans.

Dean was coming in his hands in the shower fifteen minutes later.

Cas didn’t have any problems with his testimony. He felt like he could do anything, really, knowing that Dean was going to lay hands on him again real soon.

Chapter III

Cas texted Dean as soon as he was out of court.

C: Any chance I can see you this evening?

D: Yes pls. Want to dine out or… eat in?

C: Both.

D: See you at Neighborly’s at 6:30.

Dean texted the address, and forgot that his brother often ate there.

Cas was waiting for him. Seeing his face light up as he entered, Dean immediately felt both pleased and guilty,

Then he felt irrationally guilty; Sam and Jess were two booths over. Jess was telling a story with a droll expression on her face and Sam was laughing so hard he had started to splutter. He waved as he saw Dean.

Dean made straight for Cas and whispered, “My brother is here. He’s going to want to know what’s going on.”

“Friends with benefits?” Cas hazarded.

“Shit,” Dean whispered. “How do you feel about us dating?” Sam had risen from the table and was coming over.

“Uh,” Cas said. It was kind of overwhelming; dating somebody as hot as Dean? He’d expected to spend a lot of time indoors with him, not exactly ‘dating’. “I don’t live here, so it’s …”

“Hey, Sam!” Dean said, and collected a hug.

Sam was very tall, and almost as good looking as Dean.

The look he gave Cas was warmly inquisitive. “And who’s this?”

Cas stood and held out his hand. “Cas Novak,” he said, smiling broadly.

“Sam Winchester.” He sat. “How do you know Dean?”

“I picked him up in a bar last night,” Cas said, face innocent.

Dean closed his eyes in dismay. To his surprise, Sam laughed uproariously.

He turned to Dean. “Is that true?”

Dean scrunched his mouth up and gave his brother a hate stare.

To his brother, he said, “What is wrong with dating someone I met in a bar?” To Cas, he said, “And I picked you up, remember, Mr. Shirley Temple?”

“You don’t drink,” Sam said. That, more than Dean apparently dating someone well-dressed, well-spoken and age-appropriate, surprised the hell out of him.

Cas said, “My entire family is alcoholics from one end to the other; I never started drinking so I haven’t had to find the willpower to stop.” He eyed Dean mischievously and added, “Wait until you meet Gabe; he does all my drinking for me.”

Jess joined them, “So who’s this?” and the introductions went around again. “Care to join us or are you two still at the awkward stage?”

Dean looked at Cas. “If Dean has no objection, I don’t.” The four of them jammed into the booth, Dean sitting next to Cas and facing Team Inquisition.

It was useful, nonetheless. Dean learned more about Cas than he had the previous night. He was thirty-seven, never married, no kids, and shrugged a little as he admitted that he was only recently out. He had no allergies, no pets, owned his own home in a little university town in Georgia, and was a global expert on bees, pollination and the coevolution of pollinators and plants.

“A global expert,” Dean said. That would look good to Jess and Sam, who were always going on about how Dean seemed only to date people who weren’t as bright as he was, but Dean’s heart sank. This guy had two PhDs, apparently, and here Dean was customizing classic cars for a living. Oh well, he’s the one who wanted a fling; once he finds out I’m an academic washout he’ll be relieved to head back to his buttoned-down life in Georgia.

“You knew about the PhDs?” Sam asked.

“No,” Dean said, flatly. “I’ve got my GED,” and stuck his finger into his mouth and popped it.

“Dean, don’t show contempt for education,” Cas said. “Almost a billion people globally didn’t get enough education to be literate; a GED is nothing to sneeze at.”

“Sneeze away,” Dean said airily. “Everybody else here does.” Jess made a little noise of disagreement; Sam groaned.

“Not me,” Cas said, frowning, and gave Dean’s hand a little squeeze. Jess and Sam shot a look at each other. “So now I’m curious — what do you do for a living?”

“I restore and customize cars, particularly classic Detroit iron,” Dean said.

“Like the Impala?” Cas said, eyes round.

“Yeah. I’m a grease monkey,” Dean said.

Cas wasn’t having any. “The Impala is gorgeous. Would you work on a ’68 Camaro?”

“With pleasure,” Dean said. “Yours?”

“My cousin's,” Cas said. “We can talk details later.”

They ordered, the conversation ebbed and flowed, a couple of very pleasant hours passed, especially once Dean got his head out of his ass and quit seeing every change in subject as an unspoken criticism of his education and brains.

Sam talked to him for a second as he was coming out of the men’s room.

“Dean, this one’s a keeper.”

“Too bad he’s going back to Georgia in two weeks,” Dean said, trying to sound nonchalant. “He wanted a fling, and I mean to oblige him.”

“He wants a fling?” Sam said, poleaxed.  “What do you want?”

“Works for me,” Dean said, shrugging. “He knows I’m not one for romance and commitment.”

Sam didn’t want to let it go. “Dean, he genuinely likes you! At least he looks to me  the world’s most suspicious guy when it comes to your taste in men — like he does. He’s respectful, funny, humble — and if he looks at you like that after one night with you I may have to gag really hard and ask you what your secret is.”

Dean let out a little, unamused laugh. “Likes me? Doesn’t mean much. I think Cas likes everyone.” He walked back to the table and settled up the bill. Cas looked up at him as he approached and Dean realized he must look pretty grim to make Cas’s smile vanish so fast. He rustled up a less forbidding expression, but knew a smile would look fake. “I’ll tell you about it in the car,” he said softly.

“What did I do wrong?” Cas said, once they were sitting in the car out of the wind. “I peeked - you were talking to Sam.”

“You?” Dean scoffed. “No, I got a lecture from Sam about how amazing you are and how I’d better treat you right.” Like Mr. Right.

Well, that’s flattering, coming from him. Underneath that banter your brother’s one of the smartest and most observant men I’ve ever met,” Cas said.

“If you’re trying to worm your way into my favor by saying nice things about my brother, you’ve already figured me out,” Dean said, wiggling his eyebrows.

Cas tilted his head to one side and changed the subject. “Did you grow up wanting to restore cars?”

Amazing. He didn’t assume it was my last choice. He really does act like a keeper.  Dean got a little shiver and ignored it. “Yes. Worked at auto parts stores every summer - depending on where my dad ended up - and then apprenticed, then opened my own weekend business, and then opened my own shop after Sam started his career and I could finally spend my own money again."

Cas was impressed.  Dean really liked it when Cas looked at him like that, smiling, with just a hint of 'cat that ate the canary'. "You put Sam through law school? Neither of you said anything at supper."

Dean shrugged. "Sam would assume I'd already told you, since I never stop bragging about him."

"You did say I'd like him, and you were totally right."

Dean sighed. "I'm sorry I got snarly back there, I felt outclassed by all of you."

"Take me home and I'll try to put you in a better mood," Cas said.

"What kind of better mood?" Dean said suggestively, to cover the little shiver he got every time the word 'home' came out of Cas's mouth.

"The sweaty panting kind," Cas said.

Cas was expecting Dean to drag him off to bed again, but instead he sat him down on the sofa and said, "Wanna neck?" and they ended up sucking face for a really long time, long enough that Cas stopped thinking about sex and gave himself up to the dreamy sensation. He was feeling almost light-headed when Dean started unbuttoning his shirt and scattering kisses across his chest.

The next thing he knew Dean was gently cleaning come off their bellies. He felt helpless with lust any time Dean touched him. Then they were in the shower, Dean's sweet, long kiss amid the spray and steam anchoring him.

Feeling as relaxed and well-taken care of as he could ever remember, he took Dean's hand as he led him to bed and slept. Dean's arms were around him, and he slept deeply and dreamlessly.

After the third night when Cas had come home just before leaving for court, Gabe started to quiz him.

"So, who is this guy who's keeping you up until all hours?"

"He's a fling, Gabe, somebody I picked up in a bar who's very… well he's very attractive and fun."

"You're sure it's nothing more than that?"

"He made very sure to explain to me that he's not into commitment. 'Here for a good time, not a long time', that's his motto."

"Sounds like I'd like him," Gabe said. "Can I meet him?"

"No!" Cas said.

Gabe's eyebrow rose, and rose, and rose again. He smirked. "Why? Afraid I'll grab him when you're done with him?"

Cas said, with a little ice, "I don't have a problem with it, after I leave town. He restores cars. You can get the Camaro over to him -- I'll get you his business card."

Gabe pulled the ever-present lollipop from his mouth with a rude sucking noise. "O-ho, a man who works with his hands! I bet he's worked you over a few times."

"I'm not going to talk about my sex life to you, Gabe, I simply can't trust you to be discreet," Cas said.

"Look at you, all grown up and setting boundaries," Gabe said in a fond, lazy voice.

"I'm off to the court house again. Don't expect me for supper," Cas said, and left for court.

That day was particularly brutal. Cas gave his testimony unemotionally and under cross examination maintained his composure even as the lawyer was sniping at him. He thought about Dean, and gave a crafty smile to the lawyer, as if he'd just noticed a flaw in his argument. The opposing lawyer stumbled, just for a moment, and then recovered.

"Great job in the stand today," their team's second seat said to him, as he gathered his papers in readiness to flee into Dean's arms for more education in the art of pleasing another man sexually.

"Thank you," Cas said.

"Want to grab a drink and some dinner?" the lawyer continued.

"Uh," Cas said awkwardly. "I have plans. I'm meeting a friend."

"No problem," he said cheerfully, and Cas, nodding, left, heading back to Gabe's place to grab a change of clothes.

By the time he got to Dean's place, he had supper ready - chili from the crock pot and garlic bread and coleslaw and Cas - relieved that they didn't have to go anywhere, and starving after a trying day - promptly fell on his food.

"Damn, Dean, you're a really good cook," he said.

Dean blushed. Cas looked at him curiously. "Are you blushing from a compliment? I thought you were a libertine, impervious to the opinions of others!"

"I'm not a libertine, I just like sex. And I like sex with you an awful lot."

No, Cas thought. I'm not going to let you get my hopes up. I'm not special to you, you're just being Dean.

He wiped his mouth with his napkin and held out his hand, and Dean followed him, and after a slow, teasing blow job that had Cas loudly begging for release, Dean opened him slowly and fucked him hard while he trembled and groaned in time to their thighs slapping together.

It was only the second time Dean had fucked him in the ass. The first time he'd been so gentle and slow and tender that Cas had been reduced to begging after a while, overcome by the need to feel Dean's hard, hot cock railing into him. Overcome, and astonished by how needy he was, and how very willing Dean was to give him exactly what he wanted. He loved being sore in the stand the next day.

This time Dean started slow and tender and stayed that way while they were face to face. Cas squirmed and thrashed under him, wrapping his legs around Dean, pulling him into his body with all of his strength. Sweet, sloppy kisses rained down on him. Dean held his arms above his head and Cas almost sobbed.

"Can I flip you over to finish?" Dean gasped.

"Oh yes," Cas said, and put his ass in the air.

"God, you look completely fucked out already," Dean said, and slid into him, while Cas pushed back eagerly to meet him and Dean groaned.

"Cas, Cas, Cas, yeah baby give it all up for me," Dean grunted. "I'm coming," and Cas felt the spasms of Dean's orgasm as if they were happening to him, as if he couldn't tell which of them was who.

Dean dealt with the condom and got washcloths and wipes.

They lay in each other's arms, sweat cooling, and Cas felt himself drifting.

Dean said, "How was your day?"

Cas frowned. He didn't want to talk about the case. "I think one of the lawyers sort of hit on me today."

Dean, eyes closed, smiled. "Why not, you're gorgeous. Boy or girl?”

"Boy," Cas said. "But not really, he's only a couple of years younger than me."

"Feel any sparks?" Dean said teasingly.

"When I have you waiting for me?" Cas said with feeling. His arms tightened around Dean. "Not a chance."

Dean smiled to himself. Score one for Mr. Right.

His testimony was over. It hadn’t taken the full two weeks. Cas lied to Gabe, and lied to Dean, so that he could have another two days of Dean’s sexual expertise. Dean surprised him with a massage the second last day; surrounded by candles, giving himself up to Dean’s strong warm hands, Cas felt as it he might never be this happy again. He felt bad that Dean, who was so perfect in so many ways, had made it clear that Cas shouldn’t be looking at him as a potential partner, and so Cas didn’t ask any of the questions that he might have asked, rather than hear something that would break the beautiful bubble he was floating in.

Dean never had a chance.

“Can I drive you to the airport?” Dean asked. It was the last morning they’d ever share a coffee.

“Gabe’s going to drive me,” Cas demurred. Now that he had to leave, he felt terrible. He had to say something. “I had a really good time, Dean. I’ll never forget you.” He wished he’d bought a gift, or something, and then wondered if that would be tacky.

Dean breathed out once, hard. “I don’t imagine I’ll ever forget you,” he said quietly.

“Really?” Cas said, a little frown line between his brows. “You’ll be able to get back to your regularly scheduled fun, now… I’ve been jamming up your schedule for weeks.”

Dean said, “I didn’t mind. It was fun, turning you on like that.”

Cas smiled.

A week later, he wasn’t smiling. The university was harassing him about the time he’d taken off for the court case even though the admin said it had been taken care of, a couple of his grad students were in a huge and stupid fight about lab time and the relative merits of their theses which was spilling over into his thinking time, and everywhere he looked and everything he felt reminded him of Dean.

The idea of looking for a life partner after Dean seemed stupid.

Nevertheless, he forced himself to date. Over the next two months, it went from being a grimly accepted personal assignment to a catalogue of dating horror.

Date number one jammed his tongue down his throat without checking to see how Cas felt about it first, and Mr. I-too-have-a-PhD was off the list.

Date number two talked about his comfort level with threesomes, and Mr. You-Really-Should-Take-A-Chill-Pill was off the list.

Date number three was incredibly sweet and an amazing conversationalist but his hands felt cold and his skin felt greasy. Cas grimly went through with it anyway and even had sex with him a second time because hey, nobody’s perfect, and Mr. Sensitive Plant said, “I can tell you really aren’t that into me, but I’d like to be friends if you don’t mind,” and Cas was okay with that. Inias and he became coffee buddies and the two of them, liberated from awkwardness by the awkward genesis of their friendship, compared date notes after that with cynical hoots of laughter and cries of mock outrage.

Date number four gave him suggestions of things he was discouraged from saying in bed, which was okay, because everyone has triggers, but also a list of things that he was required to say in bed, which was not cool. “Aye-aye captain,” and “Oooh Big Daddy fuck me so good,” were not sexy, especially since the man requiring him to say that turned out to have a Confederate flag done up in pride colours and started talking about how Jews were responsible for everything wrong with America.

“You might have put that you’re a racist on your profile,” Cas said to him before he fled.

Date number five was a very attractive guy with a great sense of humour and very nice fashion sense, who wanted to watch porn of twinks fucking while he boned Cas, and his bed smelled funny, and his bathroom was so filthy Cas almost had an asthma attack. Skeeved past endurance, Cas declined his calls and said, primly, when his date finally caught up with him, that ‘hygiene had been a factor in his decision not to date him again’ and after that the calls stopped.

Dean stayed out of reach, in his mind. He was partying with the Swedish bikini team, when he wasn’t drowning in frat boys. Or maybe he had decided to find a nice muscle-y working class guy, an unpretentious fun-loving guy like himself, to settle down with. Someone who would be able to follow his descriptions of intricate car troubles and their elegant (or cheap and dirty) solutions; someone with callouses and the casual strength that comes from daily labor. He imagined him, a little younger than Dean and beefier; maybe with a full beard and a rack of tattoos that made him look like he could morph into either a ‘biker gang enforcer’, or a ‘reading to kids at the library teddy bear’, at the drop of a hat.

He imagined him, ball cap on backwards, chaffing at Dean as he made one of his amazing breakfasts. Maybe he smoked cigarettes and he’d stand on the balcony smoking while Dean made blueberry-strawberry pancakes. For some reason Cas pictured him so that the sides of his head were shaved, but he didn’t have big ugly jewelry in his ears, just one tasteful gold stud. Dean was stealing looks at him, with that little startled smile he made sometimes, Cas had only seen it a couple of times, and he didn’t know how to interpret it, but he loved it. And now some other man was living and stealing all the smiles that should have belonged to him. But you can’t possess Dean. He’s his own man.

The admin said, “Doctor Novak. Cas. Cas.”

Cas sat up and banged his head on the underside of his desk.

“I brought you some tea,” and she set it down next to him.

He’d been crying, and not even aware of his surroundings.

People, as they do, began to talk.

He overheard a conversation, “He was obviously traumatized by the experience of giving testimony,” and went back to his office and closed the door so he could laugh and cry at the same time.

Dean was Mr. Right, and Cas was going to have to figure out how to deal with it, because the idea of trying to make it work and then knowing that he wasn’t enough for Dean would kill him. His own ethics wouldn’t allow him to issue an ultimatum to Dean. He was a free spirit and if he chose to share his lovely body and skillful mouth with other people Cas wouldn’t judge him. He could miss him, though. He was getting very, very good at that.

He quit eating. He fainted in the lecture hall one morning, and got ordered to go home and stay hydrated.

Being at home for a week on doctor’s orders, he did nothing except stooge around in his pjs and continue fantasizing about Dean settling down. It was horrible. He knew he was hurting himself, compulsively returning to an imaginary picture show of everything he’d miss out on.

The beefy guy was setting the table, the way Cas had done a few times, dropping into this wildly compelling domesticity, that felt so real while it was happening Cas hadn’t bothered to question it, hadn’t bothered to think how Dean was creating this safe, warm, loving environment for him to be himself in.

The beefy guy was cuddling with Dean after sex, and Cas couldn’t stop crying, picturing it.

His phone rang. There was no point dodging Gabe, he’d just keep phoning.

“Are you dying?”

“No,” Cas said.

“You’re not at work, I called the office to leave a message figuring you’d be there, but no, you’re on medical leave. So I repeat, dear cuz, my previous question — are you dying?”

“No,” Cas said, the irritation plain. “I’ve been under the weather.”

“Anything to do with the man who’s now fixing up Sugar Pipes?”

“Sugar Pipes?” Cas asked, disbelieving.

“The Camaro, dummy, try to keep up.”

“Dean,” Cas said stupidly. “You took your car to Dean.”

“Well, yeah, dummy, you recommended him with stars in your eyes. What the hell happened? He asked me if you’d mentioned him, and I said that you said you don’t discuss your sex life, and he rolled his eyes and I told him that apart from saying that you were very attractive and fun and totally not into commitment Cas literally didn’t say a word.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake, Gabe,” Cas said, humiliated.

“Was I lyin’?” Gabe asked slowly.

“No, but the idea of the two of you discussing me is — dreadful.”

“Are you into him still?”

“Gabe — if you do anything, like send him flowers in my name, or a strip-o-gram, or tell him to call me, I’ll cut you out of my life and my will,” Cas threatened.

“Why don’t you want to hear from him? He’s obviously dying to hear from you.”

“He liked having sex with me,” Cas said. Dean had been very, very clear on that point. “If he was interested in pursuing me for a — a relationship — he would have. Dean does what he likes and nobody can stop him.”

“So….” Gabe said. “You must have said something to him to make him think there was no point pursuing you.”

“What the hell does he want from me?” Cas said, his agony now obvious. “I would never try to tie him down. I couldn’t do it. I can’t do it. And he made it clear to me, right from the first conversation, that he’s into sex with lots of people, and as much as he enjoyed it with me, I’m just a notch in his bedpost.”

There was a little pause while Gabe digested this. He’d seen his share of lovesick fools in his life, and if Dean wasn’t one of them, he’d give up white sugar.

“Are you sure he thinks of you that way? That you aren’t more than that to him?” Gabe asked, and Cas’s blood ran cold. Gabe was serious approximately never, but he was dead serious now.

Cas thought about the massage. The way Dean had held him after the first time he’d topped, telling him how it had been absolutely perfect, to quit worrying about ‘performing’. Dean taking the time to kiss him until he felt trusting enough to shed his clothes. The time Dean had woken him up by sucking on his little toe and how he’d shrieked at how ticklish he suddenly was and Dean covering his mouth and then rubbing up against him while smothering his cries. The ‘mornin’ sunshine’ and ‘g’night Cas’ that had bracketed the perfect Saturday they’d spent together, twenty-four hours of shopping and sleeping and Netflix and laundry — interspersed with fucking and sucking and kissing and cuddling at all hours and locations in the apartment. Skinning his knees in the bathroom. Inhaling his scent, an indefinable straight-to-his-libido mix of spice and floral and musk and pure man.

“Hey, dummy, quit hyperventilating and answer the question.”

“I’m pretty sure Dean was indulging me, giving me a perfect time because he knew I was — I didn’t lie to him, he knew I was a virgin. And he — he told me, maybe in not so many words, that I was a little intimidating to him because of my — academic qualifications. So maybe he did feel that way for a minute, but he’s too sensible to —“

“Shut the fuck up,” Gabe said. “I mean seriously, shut it.”

Cas tried to speak.

“Unh-unh, nope, no-ope,” Gabe said, his voice a staccato machine-gun assault into Cas’s thought processes.

Cas tried to speak.

“I don’t think you’re listening. You have ten minutes to call Dean and leave a message on his machine - if he doesn’t answer - asking him if he would like to see you again. If he says no, then perfect, you win! — ya fuckin’ chucklehead!— and you can continue to implode into your hole and pull it in after you and I won’t even mock you. Pop question, asshole. What will you do if he says yes?”

Cas was having trouble breathing.

“Nothing,” he finally managed. “He won’t.”

“You’re not trying to put a ring on it, it’s just dating!” Gabe said, with the heavy sarcasm for which he was widely noted. “I’m hanging up now, and if you don’t call Dean I’m going to tell your mother what happened to her Alice blue nightgown a quarter of a century ago.”

“No!” Cas barked. “I’ll call him, but I’m sure I’ll be very sorry I did.”

It was a couple of minutes before his hands stopped shaking, and he was able to call. He repeated to himself, “Hi Dean, it’s Cas. Would you be open to seeing me - dating me? Give me a call back.”

But Dean answered, and all the air in his body seemed to check out.

“Cas,” he said. The concern in his voice was so warm, and so real.

“Yeah, hi Dean,” Cas managed. Then he found he couldn’t speak again.

“You okay?” Dean asked.

He almost had to gasp to get enough air in, “Yeah, I was wondering if you’d be open to dating me,” Cas said.

Dean said, “Love to,” and Cas did gasp, it was so unexpected. His entire body was tensed for what he thought would be the inevitable rejection. He started to babble.

“I know — I know that monogamy is out of the question but I just — well — I just miss you so much I —“

Dean’s voice cut in. “Monogamy is out of the question,” he said.

“Yes, Dean, you made that really clear, and to be honest, it’s what made me try really hard in the dating world —“

“How’s that going,” Dean asked tonelessly.

Cas gave an uneasy chuckle. “I — I don’t know what to say. Not great obviously or I wouldn’t be calling. I know you’re a busy guy, and you like your variety, so I just wanted to be clear that I’m not expecting monogamy from you, it’s not something you have to negotiate.”

“And the same goes for you, right, Cas,” Dean said.

“I’ve had sex with other men, well, two other men after some horrible dates. Dean, honestly, you spoiled me rotten, and I’m really glad you’re open to seeing me after I said it was just going to be a fling.”

“But you’re still looking for Mr. Right,” Dean said. His voice was in its lower register.

“No,” Cas said simply. “When would be convenient to come visit?”

“Like, to stay over? A weekend?” Dean asked, suddenly sounding animated. “Anytime. Seriously, just let me know when to come get you at the airport.”

“Is this weekend too soon?” Cas said shyly.

“God, no,” Dean crowed in delight.

“I’ll text you with my flight details,” Cas promised.

“Awesome. See you then, Cas,” Dean said, and the satisfaction and expectation in his voice filled Cas with happiness.

“Goodbye for now, Dean,” Cas said, and disconnected.

He called Gabe back.

“You unutterable asshole,” Cas said.

Gabe was not fooled. “Yeah. And I was right, wasn’t I, ya big dummy. So when are you going to see him?”

“This weekend.”

“Finally! Just think, you could be hiding under your desk crying or you could be flying to OK City for a dirty weekend.”

“You. You spoke to my staff.”

“She’s worried about you. She thinks you were traumatized by the trial; I straightened her out before she tried to get you tossed into a sanitarium.”

“Oh for the love of God, Gabe, stay the hell out of my business,” Cas moaned.

“She’ll see, when you wander into the office on Monday morning with shopping bags under your eyes and your knees a yard apart, a magical transformation in you,” Gabe said cheerfully. “Love ya cuz, you can thank me later,” and he hung up.

Cas wanted to run through the airport, dragging his rolling luggage after him like a madman, but he managed to keep himself down to a very aggressively fast walk. When he got to the pickup bay he saw Dean right away, looking at a different door and holding a sign. At first he figured it was something humorous, because Dean did love his pranks. As he neared him, Dean turned and met his eyes and then Cas halted to read the sign.

It was hand lettered, with glitter, and two little pride flags, and it said:



Cas forced himself to walk up to Dean slowly.  When he was a yard away, he stopped, and drowned his aching, lonely sorrow in the love he saw in Dean’s eyes. He let go of his luggage, and took the sign out of Dean’s hands very gently, and put it face up on the roof of his car. Then he kissed Dean for about ten seconds. When he let go of him, they were both trying really hard not to cry, and Cas managed, “Dean, please, please take me home,” and Dean said, “Anything, Cas. Anything,” into Cas’s neck.

They talked it through. It wasn’t fun. But Dean, with painful honesty, explained his sexual history and Cas explained his belief that Dean wouldn’t settle for boring ol’ him when he could have his pick of anyone who walked down the street.

“It was Sam,” Dean said. “Sam told me that you were absolutely wonderful, and that you were into me, and that I should date you for real. And I told him all you wanted was a fling, but you kept treating me… I kept feeling as if all my life I’d been waiting for someone to be just kind to me, and nobody, but nobody, Cas, has ever been so attentive. I feel listened to, I feel safe. It’s a stupid thing for a man my age to say, but it’s true, I want to feel safe. And at the same time I want to rail you very, very hard into this here mattress,” Dean said, patting it affectionately, “while you yell my name.”

“It was Gabe. He told me to call you.”

“He told me he would. I didn’t think anything would come of it. You’d find somebody as smart as you and as classy as you and I’d never get another chance like it.”

Dean gave the ghost of a chuckle.

“Everything was different with you. I wasn’t drunk. I knew you were a virgin so I had to go easy on you, not make any assumptions, be really clear and careful about consent - a lot more than usual. You went from being a one-night stand to meeting my brother, and handled that like a champ - converting my brother to team Cas in two hours, which — seriously Cas — you have no fucking idea what that meant to me in terms of seeing you as a partner. I tried to imagine taking Sam to meet any of my other one-night stands and I started to see a pattern, and I really didn’t like it. You didn’t make fun of my business. You didn’t call me a low-brow, or pretend you were slumming, dating somebody so much lower on the socio-economic scale than you. I spent so much time thinking about how to be your Mr. Right, I waltzed right past the fact that it was who I wanted to be; I didn’t want to fake it, I wanted to be that for you. I gave you the massage hoping you’d understand that we were not really in fling territory any more but I was terrified you’d just say, ‘Oh, gee, I’m sorry, fling’s what works for me, sorry you caught feels, I’m outta here!’”

“Dean,” Cas said. “I’m so sorry. The idea of trying to make you conform to my value system so I could have bragging rights over you being my boyfriend — it didn’t sit well with me.”

Dean stroked his face and kissed him. “And the funny thing is, Bobby warned me. He said I’d get tired of one-night stands, but I had to have a couple of weeks with you to understand what domesticity could be like. I went completely squirrelly after you left. I thought, well, I was sober when I picked up Cas, maybe it’s preventing me from establishing rapport with some one … you know, nice.  Relationship material. And what I learned was that I had to be drunk to pick someone up, because otherwise I’d be too picky, and that’s when I realized that if I wasn’t drinking, I’d probably be having a lot less sex.”

“That doesn’t sound great,” Cas said.

Dean gave a self-deprecating snort. “It was the wakeup call I needed. I quit drinking. I don’t want to drink any more. I don’t want to be that guy that can’t have fun without a beer in his hand.”

“Wow,” Cas said.

“So,” Dean said.

“So,” Cas said.

“We’re together,” Dean said.

“Yes. For as long as you want me,” and he ducked his head into Dean’s shoulder. “Did you mean it? Did you mean what it said on the sign?”

Dean took a breath. He said the words he’d never said to anyone who wasn’t family.

“Yeah. I do love you.”

“Will you marry me?” Cas asked, after he let Dean’s words settle.

Dean couldn’t speak for a minute, and Cas looked him full in the face.

Two tears fell. Sniffing, Dean said, “You may be crazy enough to ask me,” and he paused to make a little hiccup, trying to get his breath under control. “But I ain’t crazy enough to say no.”

“Then can I ask you to make the arrangements so we can get married in OK City? Apart from Gabe, who conveniently lives here, everybody who should attend is on your side of the family.”

Dean was astonished. “You mean you — want to marry me right away?”

“And stiff you with most of the work, too, although I’m fine with City Hall,” Cas pointed out.

“No problem,” Dean said blankly. Then, after considering his new status for a moment he said, “Hey! Where’s my engagement ring?”

“Don’t be so materialistic,” Cas chided. “I got you something better.” He fumbled around for his clothes and pulled a small envelope from his jeans pocket.

“What is it?”

“It’s my house key. I know, it’s almost a thousand miles away, but I want you to know that you’re welcome there, always and forever.”

“Always and forever,” Dean said. He kissed Cas briefly, and then lay back with a dreamy smile on his face. “Sounds amazing.”