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Lord of Locksley

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Castiel Novak liked to think of himself as a good person. He was polite and punctual; he pulled his weight on group projects and tried to connect with his fellow students. These desirable qualities made him wonder why he hadn’t made any friends. He was a relatable person, mostly. I mean, sure, maybe he didn’t get all of the pop culture references. And maybe the way he spoke came off as aloof or sarcastic. But he was still a nice guy!

 

His last class of the day had ended and there wasn't a shift in the library that needed to be covered. It was the only job he'd been able to find and it was only part time. It was just enough to cover rent in a small efficiency apartment about ten blocks from the school and just across the line into the bad side of town.

 

No one really bothered him too much, maybe the occasional hustler trying to give him a hard time. He kept his head down and his mouth shut and it seemed to be working out for him. His schooling was paid for; full scholarship. After this semester he could start looking for a job relevant to his major. Just fourteen weeks to go.

 

As he rounded the corner that put him on his home street , his stomach growled loudly. Castiel rubbed it sympathetically. He'd had an orange for breakfast; five hours ago. As he crossed the first street he racked his brain for anything edible in his apartment. He might have bread ends, but he would need to wait until tomorrow afternoon to pick up his paycheck and figure out how much he would have for groceries.

 

He crossed two more streets and was at his apartment building. Castiel heaved a sigh as he pulled open the door that, at one point, probably required someone to buzz non-residents in. It had been broken since before before he moved in. He trudged up the stairs to the second floor and thanked whatever God was listening for small miracles.

 

He pulled his keys from his pocket and flipped three he'd probably never use again out of the way of the one for his door. Shouting from a room down the hall had him hurry to press the key into the hole and his shoulder into the door. He was pleased the key didn't stick when a door at the end hall opened, making the shouting louder.

 

Castiel closed the door after him and threw the deadbolt he'd installed himself for when he was home. When he turned to face his meger apartment he froze, his prior feel-good gone. There was a man in his efficiency. Castiel took a step back into the door and half turned to unbolt the lock, keeping his eyes on the intruder, when the man turned.

 

He was met with bright, mesmerizing green eyes; the man's face scrunched in a show of confusion or distaste.

 

“Hey, kid. You live here?” Castiel's eyes swept over the open space and back to the stranger.

 

“Uh, yeah. Yes. Who, uh, who are you?” Castiel managed to get the words out despite his racing heart. In this neighborhood this guy could be up to anything. The man smirked then licked his lips.

 

“Name’s Dean. I was here to rob you, but I think someone beat me to it. Sorry,” he said the last word with a shrug and arms spread a bit. It was Castiel’s turn to look confused. He looked around his apartment once more before shaking his head slightly.

 

“Nothing appears to be missing. Did you witness the crime?” Dean's eyebrows shot up as his eyes went wide. He turned at the waist, keeping his feet planted and surveyed the room again. No TV, no computer, a mattress with no box spring, the guy didn't even have a microwave.

 

“Dude, you serious?” Castiel scrunched half his face, tilted his head and shrugged a shoulder self consciously.

 

“Well, yes,” the kid said, then opened and closed his mouth a couple times before deciding to just shut it, then shifted on his feet. Dean dropped the corners of his mouth in an exaggerated frown and bobbed his head.

 

“Yeah, alright. Hang tight, I'll be right back.” Without hesitation Dean started for the door behind Castiel. The kid leapt out of the way and backed up a few steps as he watched Dean turn the lock he hadn't gotten to. The green eyed stranger was gone without a look back. He even closed the door behind him.

 

Castiel stood in his apartment for a few moments, not sure what to do next. He finally moved forward and turned the bolt back.  He wiped his palms on his jeans before backing up to the rickety table he'd salvaged from a street corner and dropped his backpack.

 

That had to be the strangest encounter he'd ever had. For sure the strangest of his college career. The guy said he'd be back, but Castiel doubted it. What was stopping him from calling the police? That thought had him chuckling to himself. In this neighborhood people rarely made a police report, and nothing had been stolen. The authorities would just laugh.

 

Besides, Dean probably wouldn't return to the scene of his attempted crime. He was likely just trying to make a quick exit after being caught red handed. Castiel started unloading his books to begin his homework. He had some reading to do before he could type his papers up at the library.

 

Two hours later Castiel was stretching his back over the back of the chair. He had been going at it since the guy had left and needed to stand up and move his legs. Just as he was headed into the kitchen to survey what he had left there was a knock on his door.

 

Castiel froze mid stride and furrowed his eyebrows. He never had visitors. It couldn't possibly be- another knock.

 

“Hey, kid? Open up, it's Dean.” Castiel shook his head in disbelief and ran a hand down his face. He strode to the door as quietly as possible and wished he had a peephole. Castiel hesitated, contemplating not opening the door when Dean knocked again.

 

“C’mon, kid. Not gonna leave me hangin’ are ya?” Castiel huffed an incredulous laugh and released the deadbolt. When he opened the door Dean was grinning at him, a shoulder resting against the door jam.

 

“Hey, kid. Catch you at a bad time?” He asked , arching an eyebrow. God, the guy’s’ eyes were even smiling.

 

“N-no. I just. I was just doing some reading.” Dean nodded and shoved off the side of the door. He turned himself sideways and invited himself into the apartment, again. This time he wasn't alone. Behind him were two more guys; one with a similar build, the other was about as tall but far lankier.

 

“Hey, man. Where do you want the microwave?” the first guy asked heading toward the small kitchen. Castiel stared at the new-looking appliance with wide eyes. He started as Dean snapped his fingers at him.

 

“Earth to uh, kid. Where do you want it?”

 

“Castiel.” Dean froze and narrowed his eyes, then tilted his head and opened his mouth to speak.

 

“I’m sorry, what the fuck is a Castiel ?” The first guy, the one with the accent, rolled his eyes and put the microwave on the counter next to the refrigerator; then headed back out the door into the hallway.

 

“My name,” Castiel replied, staring after the guy who just left.

 

“Oh. Well sure, why not? Where do you want your microwave, Cas?” Castiel looked at Dean and made a face he could only describe as a pout and nodded his head toward the row of cabinets he called a kitchen.

 

“Where he put it is adequate.” Dean grinned and bobbed his head.  He clapped his hands and rubbed them together before heading to the box the second guy had deposited on his kitchen table. The second guy was gone, Castiel realized, probably followed the first one out.

 

“Alright, we got- a toaster, a coffee maker, oh! Dude, check this thing out. It’s a machine that slices vegetables for you and shit. Look, it’s got these four attachments that you put in here. Then you plug it in and put the food in this thing, then push it down! My brother loves this thing.” Castiel watched Dean’s crude demonstration with an odd sort of detachment.

 

“Dean,” the burglar-turned-angel turned to Castiel with his eyebrows raised, still messing with the appliance. “Did you give me your brother’s’ electric mandoline?” Dean put on his exaggerated frown again and looked down at the gadget in his hands.

 

“Huh, is that what this is called? And no, this one isn’t Sammy’s. Got this one from- a friend.” Dean’s grin was suspicious. Castiel just nodded. “So, kitchen?” Dean asked as he scooped up all the parts and placed them next to the microwave. The things nearly took up half the counter space. Dean surveyed the kitchen with his hands on his hips for a moment before turning back to Castiel.

 

“Listen, I know this might be tight for a bit, but we’ll get you more counters or tables or whatever. Think you can deal?” Castiel narrowed his eyes and cocked his head, staring long enough for Dean’s friends to come back in.

 

“Yep, not creepy. Here, Benny. Let’s put that one where the old one was and get rid of it. Garth got the chairs?” Castiel turned as he watched Benny carry an unscarred kitchen table across the room. He watched Dean direct the placement of furniture as if this were his own apartment. Dean’s friends made three trips each and one together.

 

The last one they brought up a freaking loveseat. They each said bye to Dean and Castiel and left the apartment, closing the door behind them. Castiel took another look around.

 

A new microwave, toaster, coffee maker, mandoline. A new kitchen table with four chairs, three more than he had previously. A loveseat with a coffee table, matching TV stand, PS4 and a TV. Dean’s groan caught his attention and he turned to see the man stretching his back, as if he’d carried anything up the stairs.

 

“Alright, it’s lookin’ good in here now, Cas. I think I even got you a proper bed, but that might take a couple days. You thirsty? I’m thirsty,” Dean talked as he made his way to the refrigerator. He opened the door and whistled low.

 

“Yeah, guess I should ‘a seen this coming, huh?” In that moment it amazed Castiel a bit how this man could have an entire conversation by himself and make it sound so natural. He watched Dean pull a cell phone out of his pocket and tap away at the keys for a moment. When he lowered the phone he turned back to Castiel as he slid it in his pocket.

 

“My friend’ll be here in a few,” he said moving to the loveseat. He plopped himself down on the side furthest from the door and pulled a cardboard box from the floor next to it. “You like movies, Cas? What are you into?” he asked without looking up as he shuffled through the box.

 

“Why are you doing this?” Dean paused his movements and looked sideways at Castiel as he quirked one corner of his lips up. The man shrugged a shoulder and tipped his head, then went back to shuffling through the box. Castiel was stuck in place, his feet wouldn’t move. He scanned his apartment again and felt a sort of bodily detachment.

 

Was this really happening? Perhaps he’d fallen asleep while reading his textbook. Or maybe he was finally mugged on his way home and he was lying in the gutter, unconscious, or dead. Castiel squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head. That got dark quickly, but he couldn’t help it. He’d been in town for two months, at school for one; and this burglar was his first friend. If he could even call him that.

 

His internal musing was interrupted by another knock on the door. He almost dreaded answering it this time, not knowing what was going to show up next. Luckily he didn’t have to. Dean leapt up from the couch after putting the box on the coffee table and, again, opened the door like it was his own.

 

“Hey, Jo! Thanks for being so quick.” Castiel watched a petite blonde woman enter his apartment with yet another box. She also had company in the form of a brunette and a redhead, both carrying their own boxes.

 

“Yeah, yeah. You owe me, boss,” the one Dean had called Jo snarked over her shoulder. The brunette winked at Castiel before leaning forward and pressing a kiss to the side of Dean’s mouth ; for some reason this made the kid blush and look at his feet. Dean just grinned and smacked the woman’s ass as she followed Jo toward the kitchen.

 

“Thanks for helping out, Charlie. Almost didn’t recognize you without your computer.” The redhead grinned cheekily and tilted her head to the side.

 

“Aw, of course, Dean. We all know damsels in distress are your weakness and we would never give up an opportunity to help you try and over compensate!” Castiel felt his face get hotter and he turned away from the group to face his new living room, trying to keep his heart from exploding.

 

He missed the death glare Dean shot this Charlie person, and the smile of triumph she gave him back. A familiar whistle from the kitchen had him turning his head back, Jo had every cabinet open. Every cabinet was empty.

 

“Wow, you weren’t kidding, huh? Hey, Cas, mind if I just put it anywhere?” Before Castiel could answer the brunette was speaking up.

 

“That’s what Dean said!” The three girls burst into fits of laughter as Castiel closed his eyes and turned his face away once more. He was suddenly very uncomfortable and felt like he was being mocked more than anything else. Of course Dean was teasing him, it was crazy of him to think someone like that would be interested in someone like him; in any manner.

 

As he steeled himself to turn and kick all of them out he heard the burglar beat him to it.

 

“Alright, you catty bitches. Get outta here, I’ll do it myself.” More voracious laughter came from the kitchen before a booming voice made him jump and turn back to look at the scene in his apartment.

 

“I said out!” Dean’s voice had dropped and his face was a bit flushed with anger. His eyes were hard and cold and had all three girls closing their mouths instantly. Charlie placed her box on Castiel’s new kitchen table and the three scurried to the door. Jo was the last one out, and before she closed it she turned to look at the two men.

 

“Sorry, Cas, we were just teasing. That’s usually what Dean gets for making such a short order.” Castiel turned to acknowledge her, he didn’t want to be rude, to see her stick her tongue out at Dean and slam the door when he took a step toward he. There were giggles fading down the hallway in their wake.

 

Dean ran a hand through his hair and took a couple breaths before he rounded on Castiel, a smirk plastered on his face.

 

“Thirsty?” he asked. “I’m thirsty.”

Chapter Text

Castiel opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling for a few moments before taking in a deep breath, holding it, and looking toward his living area. Sure enough, there was a couch sitting in the middle of the room. All of the other household amenities were where Dean’s friends had left them. Dean had been real.

He sat up in his bed, ran a hand back through his hair and sighed before getting off the floor and making his way to the small bathroom. He took care of his morning routine and made his way to the newly stocked kitchen, staring at the filled counter space with disbelieving eyes before opening a cabinet to find bread. It only took him three cabinets.

He had toast with an apple and orange juice before heading off to his only class of the day. On his walk to campus his mind wandered to the man he’d met the day before. He had admitted to being there for the sole purpose of robbing Castiel. Then, instead of taking any of his meager belongings he brought him stuff. Fairly new stuff. Pretty nice stuff.

The morning class went by in a bit of a blur. He had a hard time focusing on what Professor Turner was saying. He couldn’t help but pick over every bit of the conversations between Dean and his friends. Especially those girls.

After the class ended and Turner announced he was rescheduling his office hours for the next day, Castiel ambled off campus to the library. It was less used by students since it wasn’t the official school library, but they still got some overflow. Especially during exams and when classes first started up. They weren’t quite there yet in the school year but Castiel would see if they needed help today anyway. Otherwise he’d pick up his check and head home.

It was then it occurred to him he no longer had any immediate plans for that money. He’d deposit the check in the bank, of course, he never carried cash with him. But only yesterday the paycheck had been intended for food. In less than twenty-four hours he was in a position to forget about it and get a jump start on next month’s rent.

The corners of his lips twitched up in a genuinely happy smile. The fact that his happiness was, in fact, genuine only made him smile wider. By the time he got to the library Castiel was full on grinning. It felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders, even if just momentarily, and placed on the very broad and capable shoulders of a strange man who had broken into his home.

~*~

When Castiel pushed his apartment door open he couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed his space was empty. Then he felt silly. Dean didn't owe him anything. In fact, he was the one in debt. He bolted the door and set his messenger bag on the table before heading to the kitchen for a snack.

The rest of his day and into the evening was quiet. He couldn't help but wonder if he would ever see Dean or his friends again.

Two days later it was Friday. He finally had an afternoon shift at the library and his study group agreed to meet there that night so that Castiel could participate. He was trying to build up the courage to suggest meeting in his apartment sometime. The others traded off regularly, but until now he didn't have the means to entertain.

The library was slow and Castiel only had to step away from the group a few times. By the time he returned the last time the other students were gathering their things and making plans for hanging out. Castiel put a smile on his face and cleared his throat.

“That was a successful session, I think. I would like to invite you, uh, everyone, to my apartment for our next gathering,” Castiel said, trying to make the words sound natural. He was met with a few blank stares and silence until Sam offered him a lopsided smile.

“Sound good, Castiel. We're going to meet at Brady's next week, but maybe after that?” Castiel's smile faltered a bit and he nodded his head once. Sam's smile widened and was friendly, but Castiel still felt as if they were placating him. Sam and his friend Brady lead the group out. A couple of girls that were walking together glanced at him and giggled.

It was six at night and the library closed in thirty minutes. He had an hour of work left until he could close and lock up. Castiel contemplated finding another study group as he put away returned books and checked the last of the library's patrons out. Maybe he just needed more exposure to different people. Not everyone liked everyone, and that was okay.

By the time he was walking home the sun had set, leaving the last dregs of light to start fading from the sky. It was pitch black when he reached the door of his building. Not for the first time he dreaded entering his lonely efficiency. College was not supposed to be like high school. College was supposed to be different.

There was noise when he reached his floor. Nothing uncommon for a Friday night, but still just as irritating. As he got closer to his door he recognized it wasn't music. There was no rhythm, just bass and background.

It took him longer to realize the noise was coming from his apartment than it should have. He was slightly more surprised with his shock than he was with the sight of Dean in his living room. He stood in his doorway for a moment, registering the faces he knew.

Then familiar green eyes were locked onto his and he couldn't look away; or stop the smile that tugged at the corners of his lips. Dean grinned back, then raised his arms and shouted above the noise of his friends.

“Cas! You made it!” Benny, Garth, and two others turned to look in his direction. Suddenly Castiel felt self-conscious with five pairs of eyes on him. He then remembered he was standing there with his door open. He noticed Benny grin from the corner of his eye and was thankful the Cajun didn't say anything.

“Come sit, we'll deal you in!” Dean yelled again. Castiel closed and bolted his door before setting his messenger bag next to it on the floor. The table he would usually post up on was covered in cards, chips and beer bottles. There was a light cloud of smoke in the air, but it didn't smell like cigarettes; then he noticed the open window.

“Cas, you remember Benny and Garth. This is Cole and Kevin.” All four men at his table gave little waves. Castiel nodded his head and wiped his hands together as he made his way toward the table. Then he noticed they had pulled up his coffee table to make a fifth seat.

“It's alright, Dean. There doesn't seem to be enough space. I'll just get a snack and get some reading done.” Dean made a pained face and darted his eyes around the room, then shook his head.

“It's all good, man, come sit here,” the burglar said sliding to the side of his chair. Cole dropped his cards, face down, on the table and chuckled along with Garth. Castiel felt his face heat up a bit.

“Thank you, but it's quite alright. You seem to be in the middle of your card game and I wouldn't want to intrude.” Castiel rocked forward and backward from heel to toe but made no move to leave. He couldn't seem to make himself look away now that Dean was here again.

Then there was a heavy hand on his shoulder, guiding him around the table to Dean's side.

“Don't worry ‘bout it, brother. It's your house, after all,” Benny said pushing slightly to make him sit. Cole’s forehead connected with his cards on the table and Castiel could see his face turning red around the edges from his laughter. He started to feel like the butt of some joke.

“Don't mind him, Cas, guy can't hold his liquor. Or pot,” Dean laughed. He reached to his left and stole a transparent green visor from Kevin's head to chuck at Cole. Castiel started to smile, then registered what he'd heard. His eyes got a bit wide and he looked at Dean.

“You smoked marijuana? In here?” The funny smelling smoke and open window started to make sense. No one in this building would complain, but Castiel had never known anyone who smoked before. He'd only heard about it. Kevin produced an ashtray from the shelf under the coffee table.

“Want a hit, Cas?” He asked holding out the glass dish. Castiel shook his head and held up a hand.

“No. No thank you. I don't, uh, I don't do that.” Cole was finally back with them and staring at his cards like nothing had happened. Kevin motioned with the ashtray again. Castiel shook his head and started to walk away.

His hand was snatched and he was pulled down to sit next to Dean before he could pull away.

“Leave him alone,” Dean scolded his friends, then he turned to look at Castiel. Their faces were so close and Dean's had relaxed from his smile, looking so serious. Castiel swallowed hard.

“Sit and relax, man. I've been waiting for you.” All Castiel could do was nod. Dean smirked, then turned back to the card game. “Alright assholes. Who's up?”

Castiel was aware of the cards he was dealt, and the conversation going on around him. He heard the easy comradery, and banter in jest; but all he could focus on was the press of a firm thigh against his own. He liked the warmth seeping from Dean's clothing through his own.

Turns out this impromptu card game was just for fun. A fact which was mentioned numerous times since Castiel took a large chunk of the chips in play. He wasn't sure why it was such a big deal, all he did was keep track of the cards played and what everyone put down. The rest was educated guessing.

The game went on for a couple hours after Castiel showed up and it was nine thirty at night before Kevin begged out and made his leave. Taking Garth and the not-so-foul smelling smoke with him.

Dean got up from the table after dropping his cards and went into the kitchen for a new beer. Castiel sat in his seat and watched as Cole cleaned up the game and Benny tapped at his phone quickly.

“Hey, Cas, want a beer?” Castiel's initial reaction was to decline but he didn't have a class at all tomorrow and he'd never had Friday night company. He ducked his head, hoping to hide the shy smile he couldn't stop.

“Yes, I think that sounds nice. Thank you, Dean.” He looked back up in time to see Dean turn and bend to reach the bottom shelf of the fridge. The denim of his jeans hugged his thighs like a second skin, Castiel could swear he saw the outline of toned muscle. The slope of Dean's ass suggested it was firm and well rounded, not flat like a lot of men Castiel had observed.

As Dean stood back up it occurred to Castiel that he was staring, and people tended to frown upon that. He turned his head, before Dean caught him, toward Benny across the table. Only to be met with amused steely blue eyes. He felt his face heat up and swallowed hard as he suddenly felt fidgety.

He looked down at his fingers as they rubbed the smooth surface of his kitchen table. It used to be grounding to run the pads of his fingers or his nails along the grooves and scars in the wood. It was another stark reminder of how kind this man had been to him. He inhaled to apologize and looked up but Benny was back on his phone.

Castiel turned to Cole to find him engrossed in turning all the cards in the same direction. A glass bottle clunking on the table in front of Castiel had him jumping and turning so fast he worried about whiplash.

“Sorry, Cas,” Dean said softly before straightening up. “Didn't mean to startle you.” Dean leaned next to Castiel with a hand on the back of his chair as he took a few gulps from his own bottle.

“Uh, no. It's fine.” Castiel spread his fingers out over the smooth table before lifting his hand to pick up his beer. He took a swig and grimaced a little at the bitter taste. He wiped a drop of liquid from his bottom lip and stood from his chair.

“I would like to change into something more suitable for relaxing at home. I will be back momentarily.” He nodded once when he finished and turned toward his sleeping space to the right of the TV and couch. He’d scavenged a pole that had probably been used to hang drapes out of a trash pile and used it as a makeshift closet bar. His good clothes hung there from mismatched hangers.

While his back was turned he missed the smirk Benny had given his boss. Dean shot him a glare and threw a quick jab at his shoulder. Castiel hung his coat and took some worn slacks and a cardigan from a few stacks of folded clothes between his matress and the bed. When he looked at the pair Benny was back on his phone and Dean was taking the box of cards and chips from Cole as the other man put the coffee table back.

Castiel went into his bathroom to change. When he came out he hung his school clothes and walked back to the table to pick up his warming beer and take another swig.

“Cole, you best get goin’,” Benny said, finally slipping his phone into his pocket. Cole gave Benny a salute and without another word slipped on his jacket and made his way out the door. The silence that fell on them was a bit awkward, but Dean filled it rather quickly.

“Alright, guys. Movie? It’s not too late yet,” Dean said before draining his bottle and going to get another. He held up his empty to Castiel with raised eyebrows. He looked down at his still half full bottle and shook his head.

“No thank you, Dean.” Benny smirked again and huffed a laugh, Castiel began to think he was being made fun of, but before he could say anything Dean was pushing his shoulder toward the couch. The taller man took the middle like it was his throne and grabbed the remote before kicking his feet up. Benny plopped next to him and propped a foot on the shelf under the coffee table. Castiel only hesitated a moment before sitting gingerly next to Dean and placing his beer and his free hand in his lap. After a moment, Dean shifted on the couch and their shoulders were just barely brushing.

The TV droned on for a while before a commercial came on and Castiel realized they weren’t watching a disc. His eyebrows came down in confusion and he pursed his lips while looking to his right at Dean. They were so close Castiel noticed light freckles under the man’s eyes and across the bridge of his nose. His mouth parted slightly on a curious sound and Dean turned his head a little to look at him.

“Uh, you need somethin’, Cas?” he asked, sounding a little worried. Castiel closed his mouth and looked down at his hands, his fingers absently picking at the label on the bottle.

“No, uh, sorry,” he stuttered out, he was going to have to make himself stop staring at Dean. He’d already been caught by Benny and the man himself. He didn’t want- whatever this was- to end because he was socially inept.

“I just noticed the commercial. I do not have cable, Dean.” Castiel looked back up at him and his soft smile.

“That boy is always sayin’ your name,” Benny mumbled under his breath before drinking his own beer. Dean never looked away from Castiel’s face while he threw an elbow into Benny’s bicep, successfully jostling his arm into spilling a little of the liquid down his front.

“Yup. You’re welcome. Got you hooked up for some real premium channels now, Cas. You’ll never be bored again,” Dean grinned wide, and Castiel swore if the man had a tail it’d be wagging; he looked so proud of himself.

“Yeah. I got an appointment to get to. I’ll be seein’ y’all later. Be good, brotha,” Benny said slowly, as he stood and wiped at the wetness on his shirt. He grabbed his jacket off the back of the chair he’d been sitting in before going to the kitchen to put his beer in the trash. Dean waved at him over his shoulder, and then they were alone.

Castiel stared at the man’s profile for a few seconds longer than he knew was appropriate, but Dean kept his eyes on the TV and didn’t seem bothered by it. Eventually Castiel leaned back into the couch cushions and tried to relax.

He wondered, again, why this man was being so nice to him. He wondered why he wasn’t bothered that Dean had, essentially, thrown a party in his apartment; with drugs! He also wondered why, with all the extra space, Dean stayed where he was. Their shoulders brushing when one of them moved.

Castiel wiggled against the back cushions a bit, just as Dean had earlier, and pressed against his side a bit more. He was close enough to smell his aftershave, or cologne. Whatever he was wearing. Dean didn’t mention it, or move away.

They watched TV in silence until the beer was gone and Castiel’s head was a bit fuzzy from alcohol and happiness.

Chapter Text

Saturday dawned and for once Castiel wasn't up with the sun. He and Dean had stayed up until midnight watching whatever Dean put on the TV. He'd never done that in his life without it being a study session. He was nearly giddy with it by the time Dean had left. It almost felt like a rebellion against his upbringing.

“Well, that's it for me, kid. I got a big day tomorrow, need my beauty sleep,” Dean grinned and threw a wink at Castiel. Then his hand was heavy on Castiel's knee and he squeezed once before pushing himself off the couch and retrieving his jacket from the chair they had shared.

“Mind if I leave the beer? Feel free to have some, it's your fridge,” Dean said popping up the collar on his brown leather jacket. He tugged it close around the sides and rubbed his hands together. “Just shoot me a text if you drink it all, I'll bring more next time I come by.”

“Oh, I don't have a cellular phone. But I could take down your number and use the phone at the library,” Castiel explained as he stood up from the couch. The side of Dean's mouth quirked in a smile and he chuckled looking expectantly at Castiel. When he didn't make a move Dean's smile fell and his eyes widened.

“Shit, you're serious. I am not sure why I didn't see that one coming.” Castiel's face heated a bit at the dig, even though he knew Dean didn't mean anything by it. He held no illusions about how odd his lack of technology looked to others. “Don't worry about it, Cas. I know where you live.”

Castiel narrowed his eyes and tilted his head a bit, the way Dean brushed it off was a bit suspicious; especially when surrounded by the evidence of Dean's generosity. Dean just grinned wider, perfect white teeth flashing in a parody of innocence. Then his cheesy smile dropped into a softer one and he stepped into Castiel's space.

“Night, Cas,” he said softly as he leaned down and gave him a light hug. It was only a second, but it was the third time they were pressed together that night. Since Castiel had had a couple of beers, he was slow to reciprocate and awkwardly raised his arms as Dean was pulling away. The man just laughed and reached up to ruffle Castiel's hair before turning to leave.

It wasn't until the door was closed and Dean's footsteps had faded that Castiel shook himself and replied with an even softer, “goodnight, Dean.”

The feeling of Dean's hand on his knee and them pressed chest to chest faded in the memory of how awkward Castiel had been with the hug. He groaned and ran a hand down his face as he stood in front of the mirror. Would that be the thing that makes Dean finally see how weird Castiel is? He hoped not. Dean didn't seem upset as he'd left.

Castiel dressed in shorts and a t-shirt and laced up his old runners. They were a bit ragged but didn't have any holes yet. He wasn't sure what he was going to do when he finally needed a new pair. The sudden thought that he could ask Dean had him frowning.

Just because the man had given him some comforts didn't mean he could call on him for whatever he wanted. He was slightly disappointed in himself and amended the thought with asking if Dean could get ahold of a cheaper pair of shoes. Or something.

His run helped him clear his head. The weather in Stanford was turning nice and he was glad not to be overheated by the time he'd done six miles. He made his way back upstairs to stretch, never wanting to do it in front of his building. He might, if the building were nicer; or near a park.

Once inside Castiel went to the kitchen for a glass of water before turning to the bathroom for a shower. He stopped in his tracks at the sight of the small bag on the table. It was white, with some sort of logo on the side and Castiel had a moment of confusion before a smile crept over his lips.

He walked slowly to the table, looking at his door as if someone were going to burst through. When he pulled the bag open he noticed there wasn't a note so he pulled the box out instead. Inside was a small flip phone. It was silver and had Sanyo embossed on the front.

Castiel flipped the phone open and laughed out loud. If there was any doubt about who the phone had been from it was wiped from his mind. Dean's smiling face grinned back from the screen. How he'd gotten it there Castiel had no idea.

He was exploring the features when the thing dinged in his hands. It took him a moment to find the little red indicator that he had a message. He pressed the icon and there was a line with Dean's name and a phone number.

>>Hey, kid. Now you can call if you need anything.

Castiel stared at the words for a bit. ‘If you need anything’. Castiel nodded once and steeled his features. Dean just wanted him to be able to get ahold of him should something come up. He appreciated the gesture and would ask Dean how much he owed him next time they met.

The rest of his Saturday was quiet. He spent time reading and making notes for class and his study group on Monday. He prepared laundry to take and wash during his shift at work tomorrow. There was a place across the street from the library that would keep an eye on Castiel's things while he worked.

He couldn't help but flick his gaze to the phone sitting on the table just out of reach. He had explored it a bit after deciding to leave correspondence for emergency situations and had set his own tone for SMS messages. He was eager to hear the notification from someone contacting him.

Castiel had also memorized his number already. He was looking forward to giving it to the students in his study group, those who would take it. Maybe then they would be more willing to talk to him between sessions and let him host a gathering.

He went to bed at his usual time Saturday night after double checking his preparations for work the next day.

~*~

Castiel was sitting at the checkout desk in the library, staring at the phone in his hands. His laundry was done and the library closed in twenty minutes. For some reason he was disappointed his phone hadn't made that stupid little noise. Then someone cleared their throat in front of him.

He looked up sharply and stuffed his phone in his pocket as if he'd be in trouble if he were caught with it. Sam quirked a smile and looked from the edge of the desk to Castiel's eyes.

“Hey, Castiel. You doing alright?” Sam asked sliding two books on the counter closer to the librarian assistant. He must have been standing there for a while.

“Uh, yes, Sam. I am well. How are you?” He asked sliding the books closer to himself and opening the first. He scanned the barcode and started clicking his mouse. He saw Sam narrow his eyes and tried to pretend he didn't.

“I'm good, man. You get a new phone?” He nodded his head toward Castiel's pocket and the kid's hand came off the mouse to hover over it. He licked his lips and then nodded, looking up at Sam.

“Cool. If you still want to have study group at your place I can take down your number and give you a call. Brady's roommate scheduled his for the same night, so we need a new spot.” Castiel's eyes widened a bit and he tried not to sound over eager.

“Yes,” he said pulling out his phone, then he cleared his throat. “Yes, Sam. That would work for me.” Sam smiled, not unkind, and took out his own phone. Castiel rattled off his number. Seconds later his phone chimed in his hand and his face lit up while he opened it and tapped the envelope icon.

His eyebrows furrowed together for a second before he frowned. Sam huffed a laugh in front of him. He looked up, startled, and realized the number he didn't recognize must be Sam's. Sam had a curious open-mouthed smirk on his face.

“I am sorry. I was not expecting you to message me so soon. I thought it might be someone else.” Sam tugged the corners of his lips down and nodded once.

“No harm, no foul.” Was Sam’s response as Castiel smiled thankfully and they stood in awkward silence for a few seconds. Sam cleared his throat again and pointed to the open book in front of the kid. “Can I, uh-”

 

“You sure you're alright? I mean, not to pry, but you seem a little distracted. That's unusual for
“Oh, sure,” Castiel said shaking his head and laughing nervously. He was confused by his own fluster and hoped it didn't make him seem less approachable. Sam was pretty much the only one in his study group that spoke to him. He needed an in.you.” Castiel's eyes darted from the computer screen to Sam's face, studying his eyes suspiciously. He stamped the due date in the book sleeves as he debated on what to say.

“I have this friend,” he began slowly as he slid the books across to Sam. “They have been giving me things. Gifts, I suppose. Things I can't pay them back for.” Sam took his books and leaned forward on the counter. Castiel had expected him to beg off and leave once he got them.

“Well, if they're gifts maybe they don't expect you to pay them back,” Sam said carefully. Castiel noticed the emphasis the other student had put on them.

“Yes. That would define ‘gift’. However, I am not sure why he's doing it. We just met. I know nothing about him.” Sam offered a lopsided grin.

“Him?” Castiel felt his face heat a bit at the confession. His father would be rolling in his grave right about now. His son's first aloud admission of being attracted to another man. A big, strong, capable man. “Don't worry, Castiel,” Sam said, interrupting his thoughts. “This is California. Lots of open minded people around. It sounds like he's into you. People don't usually give other people stuff for the fun of it. I say go for it, you might like the results.” Castiel stared for a moment before nodding once and pressing his lips together in a tight, flat smile.

“Thank you, Sam. I think I will,” he said smiling bigger at the butterflies that idea put in his stomach. Sam smiled back and took his books off the counter.

“Let me know how it goes. You have my number, call anytime.” Sam's departing words caused Castiel's smile to falter. They were more open and inviting than Dean's ‘if you need anything’. Suddenly he was right back to wondering if Dean was just being a nice guy. If he was even interested, after all.

Castiel groaned and fell forward to smack his forehead on the table.

~*~

Monday went about as expected. Classes carried on, Castiel took notes and tests, and his study group met at the library. Sam had sent him a text in the afternoon letting him know a few in their group needed to look through some of the books people couldn’t check out. It was a likely enough excuse, but Castiel still had a feeling it wasn't the truth.

Either way it worked out for him. By the time he got to the library at three there was work he could do. So he clocked in and waited for his group to show in a couple hours.

The other students filed in and took up post at a table in the back, Sam and Brady were the last ones and Sam looked a bit apologetic. Castiel had thirty more minutes to go and the table the group had picked was out of his line of sight. He wouldn't be able to participate until his shift ended.

He got an hour and a half with his study group before their time was up. Castiel felt, now more than ever, that maybe he needed a new group. He lingered for a bit after everyone else left so that he wouldn't have to deal with them outright ignoring him.

He was just crossing the street in front of the library when Sam called his name.

“Wait up, man!” Sam strode from the sidewalk to catch up, not even needing to jog.

“Hello, Sam,” Castiel said not meeting his eyes. They stood in the street awkwardly for a moment before Sam gestured to finish crossing. Castiel hesitated before moving his feet, Sam followed.

“Hey, so I'm sorry about those guys. They just don't know you, ya know?” Castiel shrugged a shoulder and tried not to sound bitter.

“It is no problem, Sam. I have come to accept that I am something of an acquired taste.” Sam snorted a laugh and continued to walk alongside Castiel.

“What's that supposed to mean? Oh, are you having trouble with your guy?” It was Castiel's turn to laugh. His guy. What a concept.

“He is not ‘my guy’,” Castiel said gripping the strap of his messenger bag in a tight fist. He wanted to walk faster, to stop talking. He wanted people to stop being nice to him out of pity. He didn't need friends, though it would be nice. “We haven't even spoken since Friday night.”

“Wow, uh. Okay. Did you have a fight or something?” Castiel sighed heavily and shoved his hands into the pockets of his coat. While he wasn't sure about Sam's intentions just yet, it was rather nice to have someone to talk to.

“No. We just… he gave me this phone,” Castiel said and pulled out the little device. “And he left a note saying to ‘call if I need anything’.” Sam smiled, not unkindly, at Castiel's use of finger quotes.

“Okay, and?” Sam prompted, shoving a shoulder into Castiel's.

“I haven't needed anything,” Castiel replied looking down at his feet as he walked toward his street. Sam chuckled.

“I think you're taking him too literally, Castiel. You could need someone to talk to or hang out with. He probably wants you to hit him up.” Castiel's eyebrows furrowed at that. He supposed Sam had a point. This whole thing had come up when Dean had told him to text him if he needed more beer.

“He is rather hard to read. I would be far less confused if people just said what they mean.” Sam made a curious noise and nodded his head a bit. Castiel was surprised they were still walking together. He wasn't sure where Sam lived but was pretty confident it wasn't out here.

“Maybe flirt with him a little. Feel him out. Next time he gets you something offer to use it with him. You guys can cook, or watch a movie or something. I mean, does he know you're interested?” Castiel bit his bottom lip and stopped on the sidewalk in front of his building.

“I am not sure he knows. That could be a good idea, but if the feelings are not reciprocated it could get awkward.” Sam nodded and reached out to put a hand on Castiel's shoulder.

“Look, I don't think this guy would be showering you with gifts if he wasn't into you. Take a chance, show him you're interested. If it doesn't work out I'll take you out and be your wingman for the night.” Castiel smiled at the prospect of hanging out with Sam. He nodded his head again and bid Sam goodnight.

Upstairs his hallway was quiet and empty. He jingled his keys as he fumbled for the right one. Castiel had gotten into the habit of scanning his space for things that hadn't been there when he left. Tonight he wouldn't need to work so hard.

Behind his television there was, what appeared to be, a couple of bookcases, turned to face his bed. It gave the illusion of a half wall and offered some privacy to his bed. Or, as he noticed while walking around the cases, not his bed.

“Heya, Cas! What d’ya think?” Dean asks spreading his arms out. He was laying in the middle of a queen sized mattress on top of a nice looking box spring. There wasn't a frame, but this bed didn't look like it had been salvaged from a garbage heap.

Sam's earlier advice rang in his ears and he felt his face heat up a bit. Dean's smile fell and he sat up on the bed.

“You okay? Is something wrong? I mean, I know I said a couple days, but this one is much bigger than the one I had in mind. I thought you'd like it better.” Castiel took a deep breath and steeled his nerves.

“The bed is lovely, Dean. Would you like to help me use it?” Dean's eyebrows hiked up on his face and his mouth opened and closed a few times with no sound.

Now, Castiel was not stupid. He understood the implications of what he'd asked. But he also figured Sam was correct about sharing these gifts with Dean. They had escalated in size and intimacy. Maybe Dean was also in new territory here and needed assistance in expressing himself.

Though, the longer it took Dean to find his words the more Castiel worried he had screwed this up.

Finally Dean cleared his throat and stood up from the bed. He rubbed his hands together and narrowed his eyes a bit, as if he were studying Castiel.

“You realize you just propositioned me, right?” The older man asked tipping his chin down a fraction. Castiel swallowed hard and shifted on his feet. His earlier bravado melting in the face of Dean's line of questions.

“I am. Aware. I just thought you were interested. Because of the comforts you've brought me.” They stood in silence for a beat longer than Castiel thought comfortable. “Of course, if I were wrong we can just forget the whole thing.” Castiel sighed and slumped his shoulders.

He turned back toward his kitchen table and left his new sleeping area behind. “I am sorry for getting so caught up in your generosity. I suppose it was so nice finally having a friend I misconstrued your intentions.” Castiel put his messenger bag on the table and drew in a sharp breath when he was spun around to face Dean.

He'd nearly expected to be socked in the face, especially if Dean were not gay. Some people didn't take kindly to men hitting on them. Instead Dean leaned forward and softly touched his lips to Castiel's. Castiel felt his breath hitch and saw Dean's lips twitch up before meeting his again.

Dean pulled back again, a bit more, and placed his hands on either side of Castiel's face. “No, Cas. You didn't misconstrue anything.” Dean put emphasis on the word Castiel had used and laughed before shaking his head at himself. Then they were kissing again.

Castiel felt light headed. He had heard kissing could leave one feeling this way, though he'd always figured it to be a metaphor. Whether it be from lack of oxygen or his own elation Castiel didn't care. He never wanted to stop.

Chapter Text

June 2000

 

Castiel tugged at the bottom of his white button up shirt once more to make sure it wouldn't wrinkle. He looked himself over in the mirror and made sure his shirt was tucked in all the way around, every hair was in place and his clothes were clean of stains.

 

Once he was sure he was presentable he made his way out of the room he shared with his younger brother and his cousin. There was noise in the dining room downstairs and he swallowed hard, hoping he wasn't last. Still, he didn't dare hurry.

 

He walked into the room to find everyone already seated, the food on the table growing cold. His brother, sister and cousins went silent as soon as he walked in, everyone looking at him. Castiel remained in the doorway; his hands clasped in front of him, and his head tilted to the floor.

 

“Castiel,” Aunt Naomi finally addressed him. He cleared his throat before answering, knowing if he didn't speak clearly his punishment would be more severe.

 

“Yes, ma’am?” He asked, not looking her in the eye.

 

“Why are you the last to the table?” She asked, her hands clasped in front of her over her awaiting plate. He took a deep breath and didn't stall.

 

“I apologize, Aunt Naomi. I failed to arrange today's clothing before bed last night. It made me last to the washroom this morning,” Castiel recited his practiced response. He still didn't look up, and his peers still hadn't made a sound.

 

“Very well. Since, our rules can slip your mind so can your meals. Stand in the corner until we are finished. Then you may accompany your brothers and sisters to your classes,” Naomi didn't bother watching to make sure he obeyed and instead started in on the meal.

 

Castiel sighed and walked past them all to the corner. All things considered , this punishment was mild. Though, his mother wasn't in attendance this morning, so he may have a second punishment coming later; after she heard.

 

When everyone was finished eating the kids were dismissed. They filed out, oldest to youngest and Castiel fell in step behind Gabriel. The adults called them all siblings, but Gabriel was his cousin, and closest friend.

 

When the silent line left the house to head to the school building Gabriel put his hand behind him, handing off a crumpled napkin to Castiel. When the young man grabbed it he felt it was wrapped around something and fought a grateful smile.

 

Castiel slipped the napkin into his pocket, not foolish enough to believe it wouldn't be seen, he just hoped it might be overlooked. Their instructor, Anna, was fairly new to the commune. She was a little slack with the hard rules and would turn a blind eye to minor offenses. Metatron, however, had been friends with his mother and uncle since before he was born. He would all but smite the boy.

 

He was relieved to find Anna behind the desk in the one room school house this morning. As long as he was discreet she wouldn't say anything to anyone about the grapes Castiel had snuck in.

 

The day went about as most others did. They were each given their individualized lessons and one-on-one time. Castiel managed to eat all of the grapes without drawing any attention to himself. It was better than nothing.

 

Just before lunchtime Amara came into the room, everyone went silent as she strode to the front of the class. Castiel swallowed at the look in his mother's eye and fought the urge to look away.

 

“Hello, everyone. I trust you have all been working hard this afternoon. We'll have no bad reports from Anna?” She directed the last question to the instructor who forced a smile and nodded her head.

 

“Very well. Castiel, I need a word with you before lunch.” She said nothing else as she walked the same path back out of the school house. Castiel left everything at his desk and hurried after her. He knew he was about to receive her reprimand for being late this morning and didn't want to give her more fuel for that fire.

 

He fell in step with her, two steps behind and to her right. They walked for a while, a seemingly random path through the grounds of their commune. All the adults were working and paid them no mind. There were roughly twenty families besides his and none of them had children.

 

He found it strange but had never asked. They were supposed to follow the rules, read their scripture, and never ask questions. He looked at them, trying to make eye contact and maybe nod a hello, but no one looked up.

 

Amara stopped abruptly and his face burned red when he almost collided with her.

 

“Have a seat, my boy,” she offered pointing to a bench alongside the barn. Castiel did as he was told. He sat up straight with his eyes on his hands folded in his lap. His mother sat down next to him and remained silent for a while, looking around their property.

 

“You are growing into a fine young man, Castiel,” she finally spoke into the silence between them. He was slightly shocked to hear her soft tone and so forgot his manners. His head shot up, eyes widened. Her smile was just as soft as her words, it was a bit unnerving.

 

“I- Thank you, Mother,” he stuttered out, unsure how to respond. She tilted her head to the side and reached up to wipe a strand of hair from his face. Castiel swallowed hard again.

 

“You will be sixteen next month. It’s an important time for you. For all of us,” she said before taking a deep breath and searching his eyes. Her own eyes narrowed for a second before she looked away and exhaled heavily.

 

“Castiel, I am going to tell you something. But you have to keep it to yourself, understood?” S he asked looking back at him and nodding once. Castiel’s lips parted a bit but he didn’t answer, simply nodded his head in reply. She gazed at him a bit longer before smiling softly again.

 

“Next month, on your birthday, your engagement to Saraquel will be announced.” Castiel’s eyebrows shot up as he looked at his mother in bewilderment. This couldn’t be true, she had to be joking.

 

“Mother, Saraquel is my cousin?” He didn’t mean for it to come out as a question, but there it was. Amara nodded and looked off over the property again, sitting back against the bench, relaxed as ever.

 

“Yes. That’s why she was chosen for you. When your Uncle Chuck started this community he had great ideas and plans,” she started, looking back to Castiel and maintaining eye contact. “But your uncle is weak. He got distracted, started getting lazy in his duties to his family. That is why Zachariah, Naomi and I took over. And to make sure we continue in the right direction we have to keep our family in charge. Maintain control over our way of life.

 

“Saraquel will make you a fine wife. She is devoted to God and her family. This is a good thing, Castiel.” Amara looked at him with determination and in that moment Castiel knew he had to play along or he would be in great trouble. He swallowed again and took his hands from his lap, placing them under his thighs. He kept his eyes down as he spoke, knowing she would see through his words.

 

“I am not sure I’m ready. I should deserve her, yes?” He asked, trying to keep his breathing even and his voice steady. He nearly jumped off the seat when he felt her rest a hand on his shoulder.

 

“Oh, my boy. You are ready. But we can wait. There is time yet. The engagement will be announced on your birthday. You will wed on Saraquel’s sixteenth birthday. This is a good thing,” Amara said again, putting a bit more force into her words. Castiel nodded absentmindedly, calculating the dates and times in his head.

 

He had two years to figure out what he was going to do.

Chapter Text

Dean was whistling as he let himself into his brother’s apartment. Sam was pretty used to it by now, and normally wouldn't engage in banter anymore; it just seemed to encourage the older man. Today his head snapped up from his laptop screen and his eyes narrowed suspiciously.

 

“Why are you so happy?” He asked cautiously, watching as Dean tossed his keys on the counter and started unloading bags on the kitchen counter.

 

“What? Guy can't be in a good mood? I sing,” Dean replied indignantly, not meeting Sam's eyes as he arranged ingredients. It was Thursday, their usual brother dinner date. Dean would come over and cook, Sam would give him a hard time about his job, Dean would give him money, Sam would half-heartedly refuse, Dean would lecture him about being the older brother, Sam would take the money, Dean would leave.

 

“You hum. Metallica. When you're nervous. When do you ever whistle?” Dean did turn then, his eyebrows drawn down, leaning one hand on the counter with the opposite hip cocked out. Sam wanted to smirk at the sheer sassiness of it all. He grinned, instead, and looked down at his keyboard. He’d completely lost his train of thought.

 

Instead of trying to pick it up again Sam blew out a breath that pushed his hair up and closed the laptop, looking back at Dean.

 

“I will have you know, Sammy ,” Dean paused as he turned back toward the counter. He grabbed a cutting board from the holder and started washing vegetables. “I whistle when I’m happy. Maybe you should be more concerned about why you’ve never heard me instead of what I’m happy over.”

 

“Not a chance. Why are you so happy?” Sam asked as he started packing up his books to clear the dining room table. Dean just started to whistle as he brought a couple heads of broccoli to the cutting board to remove the florets from the stems.

 

Despite what Dean would have most people believe he wasn’t really all that opposed to vegetables. Especially if they came with a hearty helping of meat, and if they were seasoned to perfection. All in all, Dean just really liked food and so whatever he cooked had to taste good.

 

Sam rolled his eyes at his brother’s petulant silence and started scrubbing the potatoes to peel. Eventually Dean broke the silence by asking how Sam’s classes were going, if he needed anything else, if he needed Dean to beat anyone up for him.

 

Sam always scoffed at the last question and gave Dean a give-me-a-break look. At this point Sam had a couple inches on his brother and wasn’t a slouch at the gym either. But he knew Dean still had a big brother complex and indulged him whenever he needed to. Besides, Sam was grateful for the financial support, though he still wasn’t clear on what Dean’s actual job was.

 

Dean had insisted Sam concentrate on his classes and not worry about rent or anything else his scholarship didn’t cover. Sam had protested at first, of course, but Dean was slick and with a cocky grin had assured Sam that someday when he was a big shot lawyer he could take care of Dean instead.

 

When dinner was finished they sat in front of their empty plates, rubbing full stomachs and enjoying the quiet. Before Dean had a chance to start grabbing dishes to take to the kitchen Sam leaned forward, folding his hands over his plate and ticked on side of his lips up in a smirk.

 

“So, you met someone, huh?” Dean froze with his own plate in his hand, his eyebrows shooting up his forehead. His features schooled quickly, but Sam didn’t miss the initial reaction and he fought the full smirk at his own craftiness. He watched as Dean settled back into his chair, not meeting Sam’s eyes. Then Sam was full on blown away when Dean smirked.

 

Not because of the smirk itself, that was Dean’s trademark look. But the type of smirk. Dean’s smile was a bit shy, and he still wasn’t meeting Sam’s eyes. Sam narrowed his gaze at his brother and leaned forward questioningly.

 

“Dude, are you serious? I was just guessing. I mean, it was an educated guess. You haven’t stopped smiling all night and you haven’t picked on me half as much as usual. Did you really meet someone you actually like?” Sam asked, fighting his own smile. He knew he was already in dangerous territory. His brother didn’t do feelings, let alone discuss them.

 

Then the cockiness was back. Dean leaned back in his chair, arms crossed over his chest, trademark smirk in place.

 

“Maybe,” he drawled lazily. Then he stretched his arms over his head and cracked his back. “You know me, Sammy. I always have someone on my mind.” Sam ignored the bravado and pushed a little further.

 

“Yeah, but you don’t usually smile all the time. Who is she? Someone I know?” Sam asked trying not to sound too excited. Dean just shook his head and collected his dirty dishes. Sam followed him to the kitchen with his own.

 

“Come on, man. This is the stuff we’re supposed to share. You found a girl you like, I have Jessica. We’re supposed to give each other tips and stuff. Need advice?” Dean scrunched his nose as he ran water over their dishes.

 

“Dating advice from my little brother? Tips ? No thanks, Sammy. I’ve been chasing tail since before you knew what ‘tail’ was,” Sam scrunched his face and went to collect more dishes from the table.

 

“Gross, Dean. But just so you know, I have been giving a friend really good advice lately. He has no idea what he’s doing and has been very appreciative. Just because I haven’t had as many partners as you doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing,” Sam said a little more gently. He really didn’t want to push, the talk they’d had already was pretty groundbreaking. But he did want Dean to know it was okay to talk to him about it.

 

Dean sighed as he stilled his hands and looked out the window above the sink. He turned his head to look at his brother with earnest eyes.

 

“Thanks, Sam. Really. But I’m okay for now. If I need someone to talk to you’ll be the first to know.” He immediately went back to scrubbing dishes, and Sam felt dismissed; but he let it go in favor of the warm feeling the brotherly bonding had put in his gut.

 

~*~

 

It was late when Dean picked the lock to Castiel’s apartment. He made a mental note on how annoying this was getting and decided he just needed a key. The lights were all off and there was no noise from behind the partition to Castiel’s bed. Dean narrowed his eyes and scanned the dark, the streetlight coming in from the window illuminating the room enough that Dean could see Castiel’s bag and books on the kitchen table. He smiled a goofy smile he was glad the darkness hid.

 

He locked the door behind him, then turned the deadbolt. His face might have flushed at the thought that Castiel left it unlocked so Dean could get in, but it was dark; if no one saw it , it didn’t happen either.

 

There was a second window next to Castiel’s bed that let in less light, but still enough to see the lump under the blankets there. Dean slid off his jeans as quietly as he could and crawled up the bed, over the covers, to curl around the lumped figure. He wrapped his arm around Castiel’s waist and pulled them flush together.

 

The lump shifted and sighed a bit before it froze. Dean nuzzled his nose into the bed ragged hair a bit before whispering, “hey, Cas.”

 

The lump settled a bit, but Dean could feel Castiel’s pulse still racing under his cheek where it rested on Castiel’s neck.

 

“Hello, Dean,” the kid rasped in his deep, sleep roughened voice. Dean pulled his hand back to rub over the blanket over Castiel’s hip, the kid still didn’t move; either away or closer.

 

“You alright, man?” Dean asked carefully. This was the first time they’d laid together in Castiel’s bed, even though the kid had offered only days before. He was starting to worry he’d crossed a line. Which, considering everything, was bound to happen sooner or later. When Castiel’s response didn’t come Dean started to pull back.

 

Castiel’s hand shot out from under his blanket and caught Dean’s wrist, pulling his hand back over Castiel’s stomach. The kid rested his own arm on top of Dean’s and settled back into the bed.

 

“This is fine, Dean. Just, new,” he said cautiously. It sounded like he was trying to pick the right words, like there could be wrong ones. Dean shifted against him, getting comfortable again and pillowed his own head on top of his bicep. He was ready to go to sleep, it had been a long day and he hadn’t meant to wake Castiel when he’d come in.

 

“It’s just,” Castiel started in a quiet voice, hesitant to explain. “I keep feeling like I’m going to be in trouble. Like this isn’t something I’m allowed to do. But I do what I want now, and there’s no one to get in trouble with.” Dean didn’t respond at first, he wanted to see if Castiel would continue.

 

He knew next to nothing about the kid, and it wasn’t as if Castiel was secretive, Dean had never actually asked. But if he were offering up the information now Dean was very interested in getting to know him. After while of silence Dean braved a question.

 

“Why would you get into trouble, Cas?” he asked softly against the other man’s neck. He couldn’t stop the grin that split his face when he felt goosebumps rise against his lips. He wanted nothing more, in that moment, then to kiss them all away. But he felt like they were on the verge of something important here, and didn’t want to interrupt.

 

Castiel huffed a laugh and squirmed a bit, but not to get away.

 

“For one, Dean, you are a man. That alone would be cause for serious punishment. Even before I was betrothed to someone I knew she wouldn’t be who I wanted.” More silence fell over the room. Dean had more questions, he just didn’t know if he wanted to ask them right now. When Castiel had said the word ‘betrothed’ a lump had formed in his throat.

 

“You, were- uh,” Dean was speaking before he thought fully about what he wanted to say. His voice was raspy and he couldn’t seem to finish the question. Castiel squeezed Dean’s arm with his own and snuggled back into him a bit.

 

“Yes. I was promised to her just before my sixteenth birthday. And then I ran.” Castiel didn’t offer anything more. And Dean didn’t want to ask. They both knew they laid awake for a while after that, but neither of them spoke. By morning Castiel woke alone in his bed. Wondering if any of it had been real at all.

 

~*~

 

A couple days later was Friday. Castiel's shift at the library was cancelled so in a moment of bravery he sent a text to Sam asking if he could get the group to meet at his place that evening. With his bottom lip between his teeth he anxiously waiting for Sam's response.

 

Sure, Castiel. I'll make sure we're there by 5 pm.”

 

Castiel grinned wide and started on home. He would drop off his books and things, check his cabinets and head to the store for whatever he needed. Dean had been dropping things off sporadically while Castiel was in class or at school. He wanted to tell him to quit , but Dean and some of his friends frequently made themselves at home, so he rationalized they were just feeding themselves.

 

As if he'd conjured the image himself Dean, Cole and Jo were in his apartment when he got home. He grinned wide, the ever random visits only serving to put him in a better mood.

 

“Hey, Cas, how was class?” Jo asked folding, what looked like, a cloth grocery bag. The second time she had brought groceries over he had expressed his gratitude for them and she'd had them ever since. She laughed at herself then gave him a huge hug, arms around his neck.

 

Castiel had been taken aback the first time she showed such open affection. He wasn't quite sure how to respond and so hadn't. Since then he'd received hello and goodbye hugs from the blonde and remembered quite idly the smile Dean had given him the first time he reciprocated.

 

Dean and Cole were on the couch, beer bottles in hand, TV volume on low. Dean just tipped his head back so he was looking at Castiel upside down and winked at him. Cole held up said beer and then drained it, getting up from the couch.

 

“Good to see you, kid,” he said, setting the empty on the coffee table. “Gotta hit the head then split. Sorry to drink and run.” He twisted to the side, stretching his back then went into the bathroom. Castiel set his messenger bag on his table and made his way to his room, resisting the urge to touch Dean on the way by.

 

Once behind the semi-private bookcases he hesitated to change. He still usually did this in his bathroom, even when he didn't have company. Some ideals of decency were still engrained deep. He took his time selecting casual attire for his study group, hoping Cole would be quick.

 

Jo and Dean held a muted conversation in the kitchen, Castiel couldn't make out he words and tried not to try to hard. He was stuck between not wanting to eavesdrop and countering that this was his apartment and they were technically uninvited. Though, in the end it didn't matter, it was Dean and he got a pass.

 

There was the sounds of clinking bottles and moments later Dean peeked around the bookshelves with a smirk. Castiel smiled back and tried to look relaxed.

 

“Hey, Cas. Thought you were goin’ to the library,” he said slinking in and walking right up to get in Castiel's space. Dean gripped his hips and pressed their fronts together. It was exhilarating, just this simple contact. Castiel liked to think he had control over himself, but just being in this position with Dean had his stomach rolling.

 

Dean's hands didn't leave his hips, never wandered farther down. Castiel couldn't figure out if he were disappointed or grateful. Dean was still looking at him, amusement in his green eyes. Castiel suddenly remembered he had sort of asked a question and his face heated slightly.

 

“Uh, no. I was told my assistance wouldn't be required. So, I am going to host study group at five instead,” he said as he slowly reached up the hand without his change of clothes. He took hold of Dean's elbow hesitantly, rubbing his thumb in the crook. His skin was soft and warm and suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, Castiel wanted to know what it tasted like.

 

The sound of the bathroom door opening jarred Castiel out of his musings. He dropped Dean's arm and tried to take a step back. Dean held fast and the kid didn't fight him. Castiel swallowed hard at the questioning look in Dean's eyes and nodded his head. He wasn't sure what he was agreeing to, but he kind of wanted to find out.

 

“Dean, I'm headed out. I'll check in with Benny later. Bye, Cas!” Cole said from the other room. Jo called out her goodbye as well, neither being answered. Then Dean and Castiel were alone. Castiel couldn't look away from his face.

 

He felt Dean's hand leave his hip and was momentarily afraid he'd read this wrong. Then his clothes were tugged from his hand and tossed on his bed, Dean still not looking away either. Dean's hand came back and gripped Castiel's wrist loosely, pulling his hand forward and placing it on Dean's own hip, right above the crease of his thigh.

 

Dean growled playfully, then grinned and pushed at Castiel's shoulders with both hands.

 

“This coat is irritating. Can I take it off?” Castiel swallowed again, feeling his face turn red. He hadn't been undressed by anyone since his caretakers had deemed him old enough to do so himself. Never by a love interest. He could only nod and move his arms down to help shrug out of the tan coat. It fell to the floor with a soft sound.

 

Castiel licked his lips and looked down at the scant space between them, not noticing the way Dean's eyes dilated at the peek of pink muscle. Hesitantly Castiel's hands came back up to place both on Dean's hips, one hand nudging up at the hem of the man's shirt to feel more warm soft skin.

 

His eyes flicked up to Dean's, questioning. He smirked and shifted his hips forward a bit in acceptance. Castiel shuffled on his feet a bit, as if bracing himself, before dragging his fingertips up Dean's iliac crest. It wasn't deep, just a barely there ridge of muscle, but it was firm.

 

As his fingertips ran up and out over Dean's waist he flattened his hands so his palms caressed the man's ribs. Castiel moved his hands back toward Dean's sternum, causing the taller man to suck in a sharp breath when he grazed Dean's nipples.

 

Castiel looked up, startled for a second, afraid he'd done something wrong. But the look on Dean's face reassured him in a second. His pupils were huge, and black ; there was hunger in his green eyes and a tight smirk on his lips. Castiel felt emboldened and moved his hands to grasp the bunched up material and pull it over Dean's head.

 

Once his chest was bared Castiel raised his hands again, hesitated for a second, then rubbed his thumbs over the tight buds a little more firmly.

 

Shit, Cas,” Dean all but growled, dropping his head back with his eyes squeezed shut. His own hands were bunched into fists at his sides, allowing Castiel this chance to set the pace. To explore at his leisure. Contrary to what most people might think Castiel was no saint. He'd seen his fair share of gay porn since his escape and he had some ideas about what men liked. There were plenty of things he wanted to try.

 

Castiel reached forward and gripped Dean's hips with sure fingers before ducking his head and sucking a nipple into his mouth; hard. Dean cried out and jerked a bit, but didn't pull away. His hands came up to hover just outside of Castiel's shoulders, not wanting to discourage the guy.

 

“Cas, buddy, you sure you've never done this before?” Dean asked a bit breathlessly. Castiel stood and looked at him, his eyebrows furrowed in question.

 

“That is an odd question, Dean. Of course I would know if I had ever done this.” Dean huffed a laugh and reached forward to cradle Castiel's face in his hands. Dean pulled him in as he leaned forward and kissed him soundly.

 

“I just mean you seem pretty sure about what you're doing,” Dean said between kisses. “What do you wanna do?” Castiel kept his hold on the man's hips as he kissed back, taking his time sorting through the things he'd seen. When he pulled back he looked determined.

 

“Lay back on the bed. Against the pillows.” Castiel didn't let go and instead made Dean pull away to do as he asked. Commanded? Dean bit his bottom lip as he slid backward across the neatly made bed, maintaining eye contact. None of the desire in his eyes belaid by his showmanship.

 

Castiel waited for Dean to settle back before reaching down to remove his boots, taking his time with untying the laces and putting his socks in each respective shoe. Dean was wondering how the man could be so fucking calm right now, and how his whole demeanor was only turning him on more.

 

When Castiel was finished with Dean's shoes he circled to the side of the bed and toed his own off, not looking at Dean once. He finally settled on his knees next to the taller man, still fully clothed. Dean licked his lips as Castiel took his time looking over his bare chest.

 

“I would like to,” Castiel hesitated and took a deep breath, then looked Dean in the eye. “I would like to try something. Would that be acceptable to you?” Dean nodded for a moment, feeling pinned by intense blue eyes that seemed like a whole new person was looking at him.

 

“Yeah, Cas. Do what you want. Whatever you want. I'll tell you if I don't like it, okay?” Dean shifted a bit, not a squirm, as Castiel looked over him again; assessing, calculating.

 

After what seemed like forever he finally leaned down and licked over the nipple that hadn't been in his mouth yet. Dean reached up and gripped the top of the mattress in his hands, wanting to make good on his offer for Castiel to do some exploring.

 

Castiel leaned up a few inches, just far enough to study the pebbled flesh he'd just been laving. It was strange being studied this way ; but hot in a way Dean had never expected. He resisted the urge to ask Castiel to keep going and forced himself to relax and take what he was given.

 

Eventually, Castiel looked back up at Dean's face, they made eye contact, then Castiel leaned down and started kissing down the center of Dean's chest; watching his face the entire time. Dean groaned and bit his bottom lip, then shifted up to rub his denim covered hardon against Castiel's stomach.

 

The kid looked startled again as he dipped his chin to look down at the matching bulges in their pants.

 

“That's for you, babe,” Dean said grinning at Castiel above him. Castiel shimmied down further until he was perched on his knees between Dean's spread legs.

 

“May I remove your pants?” Castiel asked looking at him with earnest. His hands were resting on his thighs, tense and ready to move as soon as permission was granted.

 

“Yeah, Cas. Go for it.” Dean lifted his hips so Castiel could pull his jeans off. But instead of getting right to it , the kid ran soft fingertips over the skin at the waistband of the material. Dean jerked to the right a bit and grunted low in his throat, fighting a laugh. Castiel studied his face with narrow eyes and smirked, slow and dangerous.

 

“Ticklish, Dean? I might have to explore that. I rather like seeing you writhe.”

 

“What the fuck,” Dean groaned out on a long breath, arching his back and gripping the mattress tighter. He had no idea why that made him so hot. He was usually on the giving end, not the receiving.

 

His thoughts on the image that made were interrupted when he felt sure fingers at his button, unsnapping it efficiently. The zipper was quickly taken care of next and Dean lifted his hips again as his jeans were dragged down, a slight gasp made him grin.

 

“Dean, do you always forgo underwear, or is this something you were hoping I would discover?” Castiel asked running his fingertips from smooth stomach to coarse pubic hair and back. Just over the edge to feel the contrast in texture. Dean was trimmed, but not shaved and it made Castiel instantly self conscious.

 

“I have a feeling this formal talk of yours is going to turn into a weird kink of mine before too long. And yes, I don't wear underwear,” Dean said watching Castiel's face. He noticed the kid carefully keeping his eyes to Dean's lower stomach, avoiding his half hard dick.

 

“Hey, Cas,” he said softly, then waited for Castiel to look up at him. “You can touch me. I want you to.” Castiel inhaled and nodded his head before looking back down at his hand. After a couple more seconds his eyes finally traveled to the hardening flesh nestled in the hair there.

 

For a few moments Castiel just watched him, seemingly in a daze. Then he reached out with a tentative hand and, moved forward, only to hesitate again.

 

“I've seen a penis before, obviously, but I mean one other than mine. I lived in close quarters with my brothers back at the compound. We sometimes changed in the same room.

 

“I have also seen porn. Quite a bit,” Castiel admitted shrugging one shoulder, still looking at Dean's cock. Dean wasn't sure whether to roll his eyes at the buzzkill of Castiel's past or laugh that his innocent little Cas had looked up porn. Before Dean could interject Castiel continued.

 

“I have always been a better hands on learner. Would you teach me how to please you? Show me how you like it?” Castiel looked up at his face then. His eyes were curious and wide open, and his tongue poked out of his mouth to nervously wet his lips. Dean nearly groaned out loud at the thought that tongue would be on him soon.

 

“Yeah. Yeah, Cas. We can do that,” he said shakily. If Castiel noticed he didn't say anything, just grinned wide and shimmied so that he was on his stomach between Dean's thighs. His hot breath ghosting over the other man's sensitive sack.

 

“Shit. Just, uh, start with your tongue. Circle the head a bit. Ah! Yes! Just like that,” Dean gasped and dropped his head to the pillow. He felt the warm, wet, smooth sensation of Castiel's tongue swiping over the crown. Before Dean could provide further direction Castiel closed his lips around the head and gave an experimental suckle.

 

Dean let out a long, loud groan and rolled his hips softly. Castiel flicked his tongue over the other man's slit and watched intently as the muscles in his stomach and chest rolled and flexed under his skin. He was so transfixed with the way Dean moved that he wasn't focusing on his mouth.

 

“Oh, shit. Take more, whenever you're ready, Cas,” Dean said pulling on the mattress, he continued the slow motion of his hips, not wanting to thrust but feeling too good not to move. The sensation of Castiel's hand slowly closing around the base of his cock had him arching his back and fighting to give Castiel control.

 

Castiel squeezed experimentally and jacked a few inches nice and slow. He had Dean sucking in a hissed breath and panting, his thighs spreading wider on impulse as the muscles there strained. Castiel wasn't the best blow job he'd ever had, but it was Cas and he was being so fucking sweet. His lips slid a bit lower, not quite covering his teeth.

 

“Ah,” Dean gasped, “not so much teeth. Use your tongue a bit, baby.” Castiel looked down at his fist and moved his lips against the hard flesh in his mouth. He tucked them under his teeth and pressed the tip of his tongue into the bottom of Dean's cock.

 

“Uh, fuck ! Yes, Cas, more!” Castiel bobbed his head a couple times, his teeth digging into his lips a bit then pressed his tongue in again, dragging it over the sensitive underside. “Shit, baby, just like that.”

 

Castiel looked back up at what he could see of Dean's face. His back was arched slightly, his head tipped up. But Castiel could see his eyes were squeezed shut and he was biting his bottom lip. He jacked his hand in time with his mouth, switching the tip of his tongue for the flat of it, covering more ground.

 

Dean's hips started to swivel, thrusting lightly on gasps, when his head shot up and he leveled Castiel with an open mouthed stare.

 

“I'm gonna come, Cas. You can pull-.” He was cut off by a particularly hard pull that hallowed Castiel's cheeks and his eyebrows knit together as he watched Castiel watch him come apart.

 

Dean’s muscles finally relaxed and he laid out on Castiel’s bed, splayed and panting. Castiel rose to kneel between his knees and wiped the back of his hand over his wet lips. His own chest was rising and falling heavily, just not as hard as Dean’s. He sat there and watched the other man come down, an odd sense of pride bubbling in his chest.

 

Then Castiel looked over toward the clock on the wall and leapt out of bed, spinning in a couple circles before dipping to grab Dean’s clothing off of the floor.

 

“Shit, Cas. Where’s the fire?” Dean asked as he sat up with a facefull of his own shirt. He was getting this sinking feeling in his gut that Castiel was panicking about what they’d just done and he needed to head this off quick.

 

“I forgot. You distracted me.” Castiel paused to run his eyes over Dean’s still naked body, new heat flaring in the older man’s gut chasing the nerves away. “I have a study group coming tonight. They should begin arriving in about fifteen minutes.”

 

Deans eyebrows shot up and he shuffled off of the bed along side the shorter man, shoving his shirt on over his head. When it was settled , Castiel was handing him his jeans and then left toward the kitchen.

 

“Didn’t know you were having company, I’d have come by later. Do you need anything?” Dean asked shoving his feet into his boots. Castiel turned from clearing his table to smile wide at him.

 

“It was a last minute arrangement. I have been trying to host for a number of weeks, I always feel bad it is on everyone else. Tonight it just sort of worked out this way. And no, thank you, Dean. I think I have everything covered.” Dean grinned back and sauntered up to him slowly, pulling Castiel in by his hips and kissing his lips softly.

 

A thrill went up his spine at the taste of himself on the other man’s lips and he felt instantly bad about not reciprocating. Dean nudged his hips forward to find Castiel wasn’t even hard anymore and whined slightly at the thought.

 

“I am okay, Dean, come back later and do something about it,” Castiel mumbled against his lips. Dean growled lightly and nipped at the other man’s upper lip before pulling away. Castiel had turned out to be such an odd, complex mix of everything Dean didn’t know he wanted.

 

They were interrupted by a knock at the door. Castiel turned to look, his face still in Dean’s hands, then turned back and left a chaste kiss on Dean’s lips. They held hands as Castiel lead them to the door. He opened it to see a couple of the girls from his study group, one on the floor searching through a bag. The other looked between them with a smirk on her face before raising her hand in a silent wave.

 

“Text me later, Cas. Maybe we can meet back up,” Dean said slapping him on the shoulder. He winked at the coed and meandered his way down the hall. The first girl stood with her phone in hand and slung her bag back over her shoulder. She gave Castiel an appraising look, then trailed her eyes down the hallway after Dean.

 

“Castiel, darling, was that Dean Winchester?”

Chapter Text

When he was four , a house fire took his parents from him. His mother was trapped inside, burned along with the rest of his life. His father may as well have been for all the use he was afterwards. It probably wasn’t fair to think of it that way; they always had a place to stay, though it was never the same one. It was him and Sammy against the world.

By the time Dean Winchester was five years old he had mastered the art of charming people for what he wanted, or rather needed. When John was gone off alcohol or just plain gone it was up to Dean to make sure he and his brother were fed. To the old man’s credit he didn’t really start leaving them alone until Dean was six. That’s when the all-dayers turned to all-nighters and sometimes all-weekers.

Up until he was around ten years old he could convince people, rather easily, to give him food or money. Sometimes both. And he was about as responsible with it as any six to eight year old could get. Second-hand or handmade toys for Sam, food for him and Sam. Sometimes he would get a break when John came home with groceries or money for groceries. A lot of the time John just bought whiskey and passed out drunk.

Things started getting a little harder in his teenage years. People were more skeptical of a boy his age peddling for money. He’d been accused , to his face , a number of times of buying drugs or beer with it. The thought alone made Dean laugh. He was determined not to be like John, and Sam needed to eat, and he needed clothes. And that kid was growing like a weed.

The last bit is what drove Dean a little higher on the juvenile delinquency severity chart. He went from stealing groceries to stealing clothes and shoes. He had to steal more as people gave him less. He hated asking for anything in the first place, so it all kind of worked out in his favor. He’d been practicing a long while and had his own system down. A kid who’d started stealing loaves of bread and cans of ravioli when he was four would, after all.

He didn’t steal from small stores; no mom and pop shops. Bigger stores had more security, but they also had more product. A couple pairs of jeans weren’t likely to call as much attention to him at some random Super Walmart on their way through town. Don’t steal too much at once. It’ll do you no good walking out the door with a bulging backpack or pockets. Keep it simple, find another store if need be.

Sometimes things go too good for too long, however, and Dean found himself in the hot seat at the ass end of his fifteenth year. He’d gotten a little sloppy at some outlet store and was grabbed on his way out by security. He sat in the office, not saying a word as the adults with plastic badges threatened to call the police.

“You could be charged as an adult.”

“What would your mother think?”

“This’ll set you up for a life of crime.”

Eventually the store manager let Dean go as long as he promised to never come back. That was fine with the boy. Dad would probably have them moved by the end of the week anyway. But the nab was a wakeup call. The mall-cops had been right. This wasn’t really the life he wanted to lead, it wasn’t a life Sam would be proud of. Although, with Dean’s skillset there weren’t a lot of options for that last one.

~*~

John moved the boys around for five more years before Dean took Sam and left. The older Winchester boy had been honing a new set of skills, one that he was rather proud of. He’d been able to keep it from both his father and his brother. Telling Sam he’d been doing odd jobs and trying to keep his nose clean. Flipping things from garage and estate sales, mowing the odd lawn, that sort of thing.

Sam gave him the narrow, squinty eyed look and stared for too long. Dean just blinking back. Finally the younger man sighed and shook his head.

“Whatever, Dean. Just be careful,” Sam had said, a certain resignation in his voice. It had stung, just a little, but Dean knew he was doing what he had to. He had to take care of Sammy.

When Dean told Sam they were leaving John to strike out on their own his little brother was a bit more excited about it than Dean had expected.

“Do you know where we’re going? Can I pick?” he’d asked with a guarded smile on his face. Dean couldn’t help but smile back and shrug a shoulder, all nonchalance. To his surprise Sam went right to their room and dug through his backpack. He came rushing back to the kitchen and shoved an opened envelope into Dean’s hands. Sam stood biting his thumbnail as Dean opened it slowly.

After reading the first two sentences Dean’s eyes widened and shot up to his brother. Sam was still looking nervous, shifting back and forth on his feet, eyes watching Dean through his curtain of hair.

“When were you going to tell me you were applying for college?” Dean asked, his eyebrows furrowed slightly. Sam’s shoulders sagged and he dropped his hand from his mouth. “I mean, it’s great! I just thought you would have told me,” Dean forced out before Sam could say anything. The younger brother’s eyes widened a bit.

“You’re not mad?” he asked hesitantly, biting his bottom lip.

“Mad? Sammy, are you kidding me? This says you got a scholarship. To Stanford! I mean, I’m no genius but I’m pretty sure that’s a damn good school.” Sam’s eyes widened a bit before a huge grin split his face and he nodded enthusiastically.

“Yeah, yes, it’s great. This is a full scholarship, I just have to pay for housing and books and stuff,” he said stepping into Dean’s space and grabbing the letter with a hand. He started pointing out places where the pertinent details were and explaining, animatedly, what this all meant. Dean had never been so proud of his brother, he’d also rarely been so scared in his life.

~*~

It had only taken the boys a few weeks to settle up in whatever no name town John had dragged them to. They only saw their father a handful of times between the discussion and when they left, so neither bothered telling him. John had long since given Dean the Impala and gotten himself a truck. Something about how it just reminded him of Mary.

Dean worked himself a little harder in those couple of weeks, knowing he would need to get them an apartment when they got to California. He’d had some saved up for a rainy day that would help, but not enough for whatever rent that state was going to ask.

By the time they set out for the trip he was worried they wouldn’t make it. While he’d been taking care of his brother nearly his whole life , John had always made sure they had a roof over their heads. Now Dean was going to be doing all of it on his own and he was terrified he wasn’t going to be good enough. He knew Sam knew there was something on his mind. Neither brother was bold enough to bring it to light.

For the first week the boys lived in the car, driving around Palo Alto and looking for a place close to campus so Sam could walk to his classes. Dean had a harder time working his gig with them being in such close proximity, and Sam being in the car all the time. Classes started in a couple of months and he wanted Sam acclimated and comfortable as soon as possible.

It was the beginning of the second week when Dean caught, what he would later call, the biggest break of his life.

He was walking past some townhomes a little ways from the college. A well - to - do neighborhood that wasn’t so good he looked out of place. His perfect target. He’d already been up and down this street a couple days before, walking quickly and paying attention to everything. Once he got up far enough he’d turn and walk back down the opposite end of the street, scouting from another angle.

Except this time, on his way back, there was a guy sitting just off the sidewalk in an alley between the houses. As Dean approached they made eye contact before he looked away

quickly. Dean shoved his hands into his jacket pockets and kept his eyes forward, not wanting to draw more attention to himself than necessary.

“Hey, brother, you lost?” the guy asked as he made it to the alley. His accent was thick and Dean wondered what the Cajun was doing so far west. He almost kept walking, but there was something in the curious blue eyes that made him stop and look the guy up and down.

“Uh, no. Just lookin’ around the neighborhood,” Dean said rubbing under his nose with a finger. He made a show of looking up and down the street. “Lookin’ for an apartment for me an’ my brother.” The man nodded slowly, a smirk lifting one side of his lips.

“Right,” he replied slowly, as if he didn’t believe what Dean was saying. His green eyes narrowed a bit and he rolled his lips between his teeth, debating on if he should just go. He moved a couple steps down the walkway, ready to bolt when the guy spoke again.

“Name's Benny. I got a friend might be able to help y’out.” Dean looked at him again, this time assessing. By the looks of him , Benny didn't live in this neighborhood, though to be fair he was dressed much like Dean himself. Not much older than Dean, might be able to take him. This could be a trap, and the last thing Dean needed was to get mugged.

“No funny business. Just look like you could use a good meal. An’ me? I could use a capable partner,” Benny said straightening from the crate he'd been perched on. Dean furrowed his eyebrows and shrugged a shoulder while holding his hands out.

“Capable of what?” He asked shifting on his feet and looked over Benny's shoulder down the alley.

“I got an eye for people. Good at sortin’ em out. You look like you could hold your own in a fight,” Benny said crossing his arms over his chest and standing straight with his feet wide. Maybe if they weren't in the mouth of an alley Dean might have given him a different look.

“I'm not into fights,” Dean said shaking his head and shoving his hands in his jacket pockets as he backed up a couple steps. Benny chuckled and shook his head as he rubbed at the scruff on his chin.

“Naw, friend, me neither. But I can hold my own if a game goes sideways.” Dean huffed an incredulous laugh, tired of the cryptic bullshit.

“Sorry, man. I don't know what you're asking and I've long lost interest. See you around,” Dean said waving a hand and backing away from the alley. Benny took a couple steps after him before speaking again.

“You play cards, Dean? Pool? Ever hustle darts?” Dean stopped and half turned so he could see the guy over his shoulder. Benny was standing there, brow arched, hands in his pockets in the middle of the sidewalk. Dean reached up and rubbed his fingertips over his lips while slowly turning to face the other man.

“That your gimmick, Benny?” he asked raising his eyebrows and tilting his head down. The Cajun grinned slowly, tilting his own chin up.

“Among other things,” he admitted slowly. They stood for a few long moments, assessing and sizing each other up. Finally Dean broke the silence, shrugging his shoulders.

“What the fuck, uh? I suppose you could buy me a beer and answer some questions.” Benny and Dean had been inseparable ever since.

Benny was the head honcho of a group of misfits, and that was putting it nicely. Headquarters was a rough looking bar a few blocks from campus called The Roadhouse. It was owned by Ellen Harvelle, mother of one of Benny's friend, Jo.

Jo’s adopted brother, Ash, was an MIT dropout and the technical support for their con operation. He kept track of what they did, when, and where. Every variable available would be entered into his program to map out their successes and losses. To say the least Dean was kind of impressed.

But, of course, he had ideas for improvements.

Dean taught Benny and his friends the tricks he'd picked up over the years. With Dean's skills and eye for the right mark and Ash’s altered algorithm they were living the life in no time.

Dean seemed to have hit the jackpot. He and Sam were able to get their own apartments. Benny and Dean were partners in their little operation; said operation grew quickly. This town was full of rich college idiots and too trusting tourists.

Dean's crew would regularly help people who needed it, and in return would be compensated when the people they helped got back on their feet. They took payment in cash or trade and recycled the goods back into their operation. Within four months of moving to Palo Alto Dean was living like a king.

It was two months later the crew got a tip about stolen goods. One of Ellen Harvelle’s friends was robbed and she asked Dean to recover a family heirloom. Since Ellen had become the mother he'd lost he made it his mission, and took the job personally.

However, when Dean broke into the apartment that was supposed to have the stuff , he knew immediately this wasn't it. Hands on his hips, scowl on his face, he stood in the middle of the

room and sorted through the info in his head. Quite suddenly the door was wrenched open and slammed shut, the deadbolt clicked in place.

Dean turned to see the wide eyed stare of a guy that looked a couple years older than Sam.

“Hey, kid. You live here?”

Chapter Text

Castiel stared at the thin blinking line on his screen. Whenever the phone would go dark he would tap the power button again to light it up, but still didn't know what to say. He knew he had to say something, but they had to be his own words. Being in control of himself was a point of pride for Castiel. He would not let his emotions run away with him.

 

He just couldn't get Bela’s words out of his head.

 

Castiel had never asked for Dean's last name, and was a bit surprised to hear it was the same as Sam's; they had to be brothers. The surname wasn't unheard of, but there was a slight resemblance in looks and mannerisms.

 

None of that was the point. The reason he didn't know what to say was because Bela had seemed so genuine and nonchalant about what she was saying. Like it was simple fact commonly known amongst his peers. She wasn't telling him a secret, or trying to sway his opinion in any direction.

 

She could also, very well, be lying. Castiel liked to consider himself level headed and rational. He was definitely not going to jump to conclusions and start throwing around accusations. He needed to talk to Dean, he just wasn't sure where to start.

 

“Um, well, his name is Dean. I am not sure-”

 

“Oh! So you're the one helping him with Ellen's predicament. I have to say I was rather surprised to hear he was making you pay your debt so soon. He is usually far more tactful than that,” Bela said over her shoulder as she pushed her way into Castiel's flat. The girl she was with smirked as Castiel moved out of the way.

 

“Bela,” he said in way of greeting. He really wasn't sure what she was talking about and didn't want to say the wrong thing. Her smile looked condescending as she tilted her head to the side and put a hand over her chest.

 

“Oh, I'm sorry. How rude of me to assume Dean helped you acquire common comforts. It's just that that's what he does, you know?” She turned and put her purse beside a chair before sitting and placing her notebook on the table. Ava, the friend, sat next to her, looking like she was smirking behind her hand.

 

Castiel was caught off guard, but didn't want it to show any more than he'd already allowed. He nodded once and turned to his kitchen cabinets.

 

“I actually don't know, Bela. I have only known Dean for a short time now. We are just friends. May I offer you a bottle of water?” He opened the refrigerator and pulled out two generic brand convenience store waters. Ava made a face but Bela smiled and shook her head.

 

“No thank you, darling I brought my own,” she said leaning down to grab a bottle out of her purse. “And of course you are. Dean doesn't do relationships, all he has are friends; if they can be considered that. Sometimes at the same time.”  Ava giggled beside her as Castiel nodded and closed the refrigerator. He really wanted someone else to show up.

 

“Come sit, Castiel, we can go over the outline for tonight,” Ava called opening her notebook and looking at him from the corner of her eye. He really didn't want to, but had no real reason to refuse. So he made his way over and sat across from her, opening his text book to this week's chapter.

 

They spent enough time outlining a plan that Castiel built up a false sense of security that Bela was done with her gossip. He really hadn't asked for any of that information anyway.

 

“How is Dean these days, Castiel? It has been a while since he last spoke to me. He doesn't usually interact with people once he's done with them. Busy man, you know?” Castiel wanted to ask her to leave.

 

“He is well, as far as I know,” he responded curtly. Bela just smiled and opened her mouth to continue, but was stopped by a knock on the door. Castiel nearly flew out of his chair to answer, missing the looks the girls gave each other.

 

It was an hour after his last guests had left, he was supposed to have called Dean by now. Sam had given him a strange look when he'd left, but Castiel could do nothing but force a smile and wish him goodnight.

 

He wondered if he should just send Dean a text telling him he was feeling under the weather and just wanted to turn in for the night. It would give him a bit more time to think. Though it wouldn’t be a total lie he still felt like a coward for even thinking it.

 

Castiel typed out a quick message to Dean and set the phone on the table in front of him. He rubbed his hands on his pants and looked around the room. It wasn’t a mess, but things were left by his guests and he needed something to distract himself. He set to work picking up empty bottles and paper plates from snacks. He was done rather quickly and moved on to wiping countertops and the table.

 

“Heya, Cas.” He spun around to be met with bright green eyes. Dean had entered without him even noticing, the door was closed and he was standing with his hands in his pockets. His eyebrows furrowed a bit at the look on Castiel’s face and he took a step forward. “Everything alright?”

“Yes, Dean. Would you mind if we talked for a moment? Would you like something to drink?” Castiel asked moving toward the refrigerator. He grabbed a bottle of water for himself and a bottle of beer for Dean, holding it up in offering. Dean tilted his head to the side and narrowed his eyes a bit. The side of his mouth quirked up in a half smile before he nodded slightly. Castiel returned the drinks to the table and sat down in the chair he’d been occupying earlier.

 

“What’s going on, man?” Dean asked sitting next to him and popping off the bottle cap with his ring. Castiel folded his hands together on the table in front of him and stared at them for a moment, trying to figure out where to start.

 

“Am I your boyfriend?” he asked leaning forward in his chair. Dean’s eyes widened a bit at that as he worked to swallow his swig of beer. He leaned back in his chair, the picture of nonchalance, and smiled cockily.

 

“Are you asking me to go steady, Cas?” Castiel slumped a bit in his chair, his face falling much like a scolded puppy. Dean picked absently at the label on the bottle.

 

“I- Uh, no. I’m not sure where we stand, and I’d like to know.” Castiel nodded his head once and tapped his palm on the table. The smile slipped from Dean's face slowly as he assessed the man across the table. He leaned forward again and cleared his throat.

 

“Ok, man. Yeah. Um, I'm not- uh,” Dean stumbled over his words as he rubbed the back of his neck with a hand. “I'm not all that good with the words thing. I'm more of an action type of guy.”

 

Castiel watched him intently, taking in the body language as much as the words Dean was saying. When Castiel didn't say anything Dean huffed a half lipped laugh and shook his head a little. He licked his lips and pressed on.

 

“I, uh, I like you, Cas. I,” he hesitated again, laughing humorlessly. “You really know how to make a guy nervous, man.” Castiel finally smiled at him and reached a hand across the tabletop. He slid it over Dean's and squeezed lightly.

 

“I like taking care of you,” Dean finally got the words out. Castiel smiled softly and squeezed his hand again.

 

“That sounds good to me, Dean. I do have a request.” Dean's eyebrows went up in question and Castiel pressed on. “I would like to be in a monogamous relationship. I do not wish to share you. I understand this may be asking a lot and would be willing to give you time to think it over.”

 

This time Dean's eyebrows furrowed together and he sat back, pulling his hand from under Castiel's. He licked his lips and tilted his head to the side, assessing for a moment. Castiel stared back, unperturbed, just looking confident.

 

“What do you mean it might be asking a lot?” Dean asked crossing his arms over his chest. Castiel could see the other man closing off and tried to salvage the conversation before he shut down and left.

 

“It is okay, Dean. I like you as well. I feel safe with you, which I also feel is ironic seeing as how we met. I can be patient. You have already done so much for me,” Castiel said trying to reach out to Dean's hand again. Dean pulled away and stood from his chair.

 

“Where's this coming from, man? Is that how you see me? I don't do relationships, let alone multiples. I don't understand, Cas.” Castiel shook his head, knitting his eyebrows together as he stood to approach the pacing man.

 

“It’s alright, Bela explained to me how you usually operate. I was slightly concerned at first. But decided that talking it through was the best way to figure it out.” Dean's head had snapped up when Castiel mentioned Bela but the kid hadn't noticed.

 

“Bela? Bela Talbot?” Castiel cocked his head to the side, his lips parted slightly.

 

“Uh, yes.” Dean stared for a moment before an unfriendly grin tugged at his lips. He started to chuckle and shake his head. The look on his face was slightly reminiscent of the first time he'd met Dean, when the man had yelled at the girls.

 

“Oh, that’s good. That’s fucking rich.” Dean plopped back down at the table and snatched up his beer, drinking the rest of the bottle in a few swigs. He dropped the glass back down with a thunk, making Castiel jump, before leaning forward and resting his elbow on the scuffed wood. With his chin on his curled fingers he looked intently at Castiel.

 

“So where do you know Bela from?” Castiel was thrown off more by the delivery than the question. Dean’s voice was calm once again, none of the previous stress pulling at his facial muscles. It was a little frightening how quickly his mood was able to change. Though, Castiel had an idea that was part of why Dean was so good at what he did.

 

“She, uh- Well, she’s in my study group with some students from class. We are all attaining the same higher education and so study together in a group.” Dean nodded, his smirk coming back. He dropped his hand from his chin and picked up Castiel’s fingers once more.

 

“Yeah, Cas. I know what a study group is. Was she over here earlier?” Castiel allowed his hand to be toyed with as it seemed Dean’s anger wasn’t directed at him after all. With his soft smile and softer touch he was lead to believe the other man had calmed down and was trying to sort out the details.

 

“Yes, she was arriving as you were leaving. She and her friend were here a while before the rest of the students showed up. I probably owe Sam an apology, I am afraid I might have given him the cold shoulder this evening.” Dean’s eyes widened again before he pursed his lips.

 

“Sam, huh? You know his last name?”

 

“It is your brother, Dean. I hadn’t known until tonight when Bela said your last name, but it all makes sense. I wish now I hadn’t confided in him about our relationship, but he is unaware of who I was speaking about; so it may not be a of consequence,” Castiel said shrugging his shoulders and tilting his head.

 

Dean’s own shoulders sagged and he slumped back, tipping his head upward. Just as Castiel was about to ask if he were okay, again, the man let out a boisterous laugh. Castiel's eyebrows furrowed and he pouted a bit.

 

“I am afraid I have lost track of our conversation again,” he said, halfway to himself, as he watched Dean fall into a fit of laughter. When the man could finally get a word in his face was red with it.

 

“I need more, Cas. What, exactly, did you and Sam talk about?” Dean asked before placing a hand over his mouth. His eyes were wet and he looked like he was ready to explode.

 

“Well, I knew we must be friends, but I was not sure if that was it. Sam suggested I ask your help when you gave me a gift to try and engage with you further.” Castiel seemed so nonchalant about it and Dean took a moment to connect the dots.

 

“Oh, shit!” he said getting up and going to the fridge. This time he grabbed two beers and, without asking, popped both tops and deposited one in front of Castiel. “Please tell me this was before the whole ‘proposition’ thing.” Dean was leaning folded arms on the back of his chair rather than sitting.

 

At the mention of that night Castiel's eartips went a little pink, but he refused to be ashamed. He nodded and watched Dean melt into a laughing fit again.

 

“This is too good. That kid’s always on my ass about sleeping around and here he is telling you to hook up with me. This is my favorite,” he said shaking his head and talking a swig of his beer. Then his eyes went wide and he turned back to Castiel.

 

“I don't mean that I sleep around all the time, you know? Just that Sam's been on me to get a steady thing.” Castiel quirked a smile at that. He hadn't been bothered by activities Dean partook in before they met, but Dean was cute to think about it. Dean seemed to relax a bit and smiled back; then stood up straight and set his beer on the table.

 

Castiel's breath hitched slightly in his chest at the look in the other man's eyes as he rounded his chair to stand in front of him. Dean reached out a hand, Castiel took it. Dean pulled him from the chair and wrapped his arms loosely around his waist.

 

“This okay, Cas?” he asked, voice deep and rough. Castiel could only nod as he put his own hands on Dean's shoulders and flexed his fingers. Dean hummed softly as he leaned down to capture Castiel's lips with his own. They kissed slow and sloppy for a few moments before Dean was applying pressure.

 

Castiel stepped back to keep his balance, feeling Dean smile against his lips. Dean pivoted them and pressed forward again, moving Castiel backward.

 

“You know,” Dean mumbled into Castiel's open mouth, “I think Sam's right. I should find something a little more long term.” Castiel smiled at that, and the tickle it put in his gut.

 

“How are you going to do that, outlaw?” Dean groaned and gripped Castiel's hips hard.

 

“I got someone in mind. A little geeky, but I feel like there's something under it all just begging to be defiled.” Castiel chuckled lightly at that and bit Dean's bottom lip.

 

“I want you, Dean.” They backed up just far enough to look into each other's eyes, Dean searching Castiel's face for any sign of hesitation. Castiel just smirked and brought his hands up into the scant space between them to start unbuttoning his own shirt.

 

Dean took another step back and watched with hungry eyes as Castiel slowly revealed more and more bare skin. When he released the final button Dean reached up and slid his hands over Castiel’s bare shoulders, pushing the shirt back and off and it slid to the floor.

 

“Shit, Cas,” Dean nearly groaned as he slid his hands back down Castiel’s chest. Castiel felt his face and chest heat a bit as Dean's eyes roved his exposed skin. He knew he looked good, he ran nearly everyday and did some cardio in doors every now and then.

 

One calloused thumb brushed against a nipple and Castiel sucked in a sharp breath and felt his cock plump up in his pants. Dean quirked the side of his mouth in a half smile and dipped his head to flick his tongue over the tight bud. Castiel gasped and arched his back, pressing for more.

 

Dean closed his mouth over Castiel's nipple and teased with his teeth and tongue, loving the feel of the other man's hands on the sides of his face. The noises Castiel were making were downright sinful and had Dean's own dick pressing against his zipper.

 

Suddenly he was shoved off, a bit too hard, and Castiel was attacking his own zipper. He wrenched his pants down and stepped back to sit on his bed. Dean watched as Castiel scooted back and laid himself out, spreading his knees slight. His breath was deep but quick and his pupils nearly swallowed his irises.

 

“Please, Dean. I would like for you to fuck me.” Again with the nerd talk, but damn if it didn't get Dean more excited. He whipped his shirt over his head before stepping up to Castiel's mattress, all while working his belt and zipper.

 

“You sure,Cas?” He asked, praying to whoever was listening the kid was. Castiel only nodded and bit his bottom lip. Dean dropped his jeans and crawled up the bed to hover over his boyfriend, taking in every hard plane and smooth muscle. They looked into each other’s eyes as Dean settled himself over the smaller man, then their lips crashed together and they were making out like they could consume each other.

 

Dean pulled back and started laveing biting kisses over Castiel’s jaw and neck. Skimming his fingers down soft sides to tease at the waistband on his boxer briefs. Dean had just dipped his fingertips in, teasing under the elastic when Castiel planted his feet and shifted his hips up so the material could be pulled away. Dean laughed breathily and hooked his fingers in, pulling them down. He shifted onto his knees to pull the underwear off Castiel’s ankles, then sat back and looked his fill.

 

Castiel rested his feet on either side of Dean’s hips, letting his knees fall out a bit and relaxing as much as he could. He watched Dean watch him, studying everything, and he felt his face warm up but didn’t try and cover himself or look away. He wanted this. Wanted to give Dean this.

 

“Jesus, Cas. You’re fucking perfect,” Dean said running a hand from Castiel’s ankle up the inside of his leg. His blunt nails tickled at soft hair on the inside of Castiel’s thigh, he just grinned when Castiel jerked at the feeling. “Can’t believe no one’s ever seen you like this. Touched you before.”

 

“Not before you, Dean.” The older man growled slightly as he dipped down and bit into the inside of Castiel’s thigh. Not hard enough to break the skin, but he could tell there would be a bruise there later. Castiel’s legs only separated more, falling away to open himself up.

 

“Shit!” Dean suddenly cursed against his leg, sitting up and looking around. Castiel’s eyebrows furrowed and he sat up on his elbows, watching Dean look as if searching for something.


“What is it?” he asked reaching out for Dean’s hand. The other man absentmindedly held on and ran a hand down his face.

 

“I didn’t bring anything. I don’t have lube or condoms. Fuck!” Castiel gave a shy smile as he plopped back down on his pillows. He put an arm over his eyes and laughed slightly as his other hand dropped on the bed, pointing to a bedside table. Dean’s eyes narrowed as he got up and checked the drawer.

 

Unopened lube and an untouched box of condoms. Dean laughed out loud.

 

“Castiel, you sneaky little devil. You planned this! Did you seduce me, Cas?” The kid peeked an eye out from under his arm; he wanted to retort, wanted to flirt back, but had no idea what to say. Dean just tore the box open, eyes on Castiel and ripped one off, throwing it onto the bed next to the kids hip.

 

“Now, where was I?” he asked sliding back down on his stomach between Castiel’s legs. “This might feel weird, but I promise it’ll be great after that,” he finished saying while coating two fingers liberally with the lube. Castiel huffed an impatient sigh and rolled his eyes.

 

“I have done extensive research on anal sex and how it’s done. If you need any pointers let me know. I got the best lubrication and condoms for the job.” Dean laughed at that and slapped his thigh lightly.

 

“Of course you did, Cas. I can always count on you to do the research,” Dean said flippantly before reaching forward to circle his finger over Castiel’s pucker. That shut him up real quick, like nothing Dean had ever seen before.

 

Castiel had been half hard this whole time, his cock filling out and resting on his thigh. Now, Dean was up close and personal, watching right in front of his face as it grew and darkened a bit. His mouth literally watered as he started applying pressure against Castiel’s entrance. Dean licked his lips and just before pressing in a fingertip he closed his lips over the head of Castiel’s dick.

 

“Oh, shit!” Castiel nearly came off the bed as he got the pressure of duel stimulant. Dean grinned around the dick in his mouth and swirled his tongue over the head, push-pulling his finger in and out, a little deeper every time. When Castiel started rocking his hips in time with the motion Dean swallowed him down more and added the second finger tip; massaging Castiel from the inside.

 

Dean looked up through his lashes at what he could see of his boyfriend’s face. Castiel’s head was thrown back, his hands clenching in the sheets and his back arched. Dean could tell he was trying not to move, trying to keep his hips still. Someday he’d let Castiel fuck his mouth, maybe from his knees. That would probably be awesome. But for this first time…

 

Dean pressed his fingers all the way in, finding that little bundle of nerves inside and sucking Castiel the whole way down.

 

“Fuck! Dean!” was as far as the kid got before he was shooting his load into the back of Dean’s mouth. The older man’s eyes rolled back in his head and he groaned a bit at the sensation and taste. Dean relented on Castiel’s prostate, but kept pumping his fingers smoothly. He rubbed his tongue over the underside of the cock in his mouth as Castiel came down from his orgasm.

 

Dean’s chest puffed a bit at the knowledge that was Castiel’s first orgasm he hadn’t given himself.

 

Dean sat up and licked his lips before rubbing over them with the back of his hand. He watched Castiel pant and try and get himself under control. The younger man glared up at him after a moment, huffing and relaxing back on the bed.

 

“That was amazing. Rather intense. But I really would have liked for you to fuck me,” Castiel said quirking a half smile to try and take the bite off. Dean just smirked down at him and grabbed the condom off the bed. He tore the package and rolled it over his cock with no preamble.

 

“Yeah, well. I still haven’t come yet. And you are a healthy young adult in his prime.” Dean grabbed Castiel by the backs of his thighs and hauled him closer, almost in Dean’s lap. “I’m sure it’ll be no problem.”

 

Castiel’s eyes flew open as Dean put his fingers back inside. They slid in right to the knuckle with very little resistance and Dean hummed his approval before adding a third. Somewhere in there he must have gotten more lube or something because there was no drag. The movement had Castiel’s eyes rolling back again.

 

“Yeah, Cas. That’s it. Relax for me,” Dean said pulling out and sitting up straighter. He had Castiel by the hips now, and was slowly rutting forward, watching his swollen head catch on the other man’s rim.

 

Castiel canted his hips a bit and they finally caught. Dean felt the head pop inside and froze, looking down at his boyfriend underneath him. Castiel was at full attention now, his eyes wide and mouth slack. After a moment to adjust Dean started edging in slightly, shifting his hips forward to fit more of his girth inside that impossibly small hole.

 

He felt Castiel tense a bit, then relax more, then tense again. He felt his fingers digging into his biceps, watched his chest and stomach rise and fall with his panting breath.

 

“So good. You’re doing so good for me, Cas.” Castiel just nodded a bit frantically and inhaled a shaky breath before relaxing on it’s release. Finally Dean slid that last inch inside, came flush with Castiel’s ass, and he closed his eyes and sat there a moment, leaning down to rest his forehead against the other man’s.

 

“Shit, baby. You feel so fucking good.” By now Castiel had risen to the challenge and was completely hard again. He wrapped his legs around Dean’s waist and clenched around him experimentally.

 

“God!” Dean hunched his back as the word was punched out of him. He opened his eyes to glare playfully at Castiel underneath him; who looked far too smug for someone who was a virgin ten minutes ago.

 

Dean smirked and pulled out halfway, then pressed back in; loving the look in Castiel’s eye. Then they were off. Dean kept his eyes locked on blue. He moved so fluidly it was easy for both of them to fall into the rhythm. Castiel arched and moved with him like they’d done this a hundred times before.

 

When they finally came it was within seconds of each other. Castiel clenched around Dean’s cock as Dean gripped Castiel’s and stroked him to completion.

Chapter Text

Bela Talbot was smirking as her hand bumped against the wad of cash in her purse. She plucked out her keys between delicate fingers and ambled to her door, being sure to check each end of the hallway in her peripheral. Once inside she locked the door before flipping on the light switch and gasped at the sight of the man on her couch.

 

She sighed, closing her eyes, then rolled them and glared at him.

 

“Get out,” she stared flatly. She deposited her keys in a glass bowl on the small table by the door before going into her bedroom to stash her payout. When she returned the man hadn't moved.

 

It was only then she noticed the box under his hand on the table next to the couch. Bela narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest, cocking a hip out to form the full picture of catty bitch.

 

“What do you want, Winchester?”

 

“Your head on a goddamned platter,” he replied easily. She tipped her chin up and assessed his features. Usually something like that would be accompanied by a wry grin or followed by a pick up line. Dean was dead serious and his eyes were cold and flat. Bela held her poker face and started calculating outcomes.

 

“Oh, don't be so dramatic. We're the same, you and I, do not pretend you're any better. Name your price and we can put this behind us,” she said cooly, and in an attempt to seem in control she crossed the room and reached for the box.

 

Dean didn't move, just watched, until she was leaning over. Once her hand was within reach he slapped it away. He made sure he didn’t hold back, even though the act alone would have shocked her. She yanked her hand back and couldn't stop the wide eyed look on her face, but she schooled it quickly.

 

“I suggest you hand that over and get out of my flat before something irreversible happens,” she gritted out between clenched teeth. Her eyes were flat and angry and now Dean did smirk.

 

“Shut up, bitch. Now you listen good, cause I'm only gonna say this once.” He paused to lean forward and rest his elbows on his hands, fingers folded loosely together. “Castiel is mine now, in a way you never had a chance of being.” She scoffed and looked at a loss for words.

 

“You are going to stay away from him. Get a new study group. Get a new fucking major if you have to, I don't give a shit. If he approaches you, you run in the other direction. Got it?” Now Bela was smirking again, and Dean knew she didn't ‘got it’.

 

“Oh, dear. Is someone jealous? Don't worry, darling, I have no interest in-” her words were cut off when someone entered from the darkened doorway behind Dean. “Charming. You brought an entourage.” As soon as Benny was standing behind Dean, arms crossed, Jo came out next. She walked around the arm of the couch and stood a couple feet from Bela.

 

The woman's eyes were shifting around nervously now, though she tried to keep her face from revealing too much. She still had the door to her back and could make a run for it if she needed to. She also had the option of screaming until a neighbor called the cops. Dean could see as the gears worked in her head and her shoulders relaxed just a bit as she cocked a hip to the side again and looked at Jo with an unimpressed eyebrow arched high.

 

“This little reunion has been as dull as expected. It is time for your merry little band of street rats to get out. Leave the box.” Bela’s arms were crossed tightly over her chest and she glared at Dean, not giving Benny or Jo another second’s consideration. That was the last mistake in a long line of mistakes she would make.

 

Jo smirked and shook her head as she took three swaggering steps toward the other woman. Bela watched her approach, looking down her nose and sneering. Before Bela could react , Jo pulled back her right arm and smashed her dainty little fist into her nose. Bela’s head snapped back and she staggered back a step as her hands came up to cup her face.

 

“You bitch!” Jo just stood there, hands on her hips, ready for when ever Bela decided to come at her. At first the Brit just stood looking shell shocked with blood oozing from between her fingers. Then she dropped her hands and narrowed her eyes before taking a lungful of air. Jo was faster than Bela’s vocal chords and had a hand around her throat causing her scream to become a squeak.

 

Bela grabbed Jo’s wrist in both hands, trying to pull away, but Jo knew what she was doing and got up into the other woman’s face.

 

“You stole from my family. You implicated an innocent man to try and throw Dean off your trail. Which was just stupid, quite frankly, you know how good he is,” Jo said , a bit amused at Bela’s arrogance and failure. The brunette gurgled a bit, her face turned a shade of red and Jo just looked down her nose.

 

Dean stood from the couch and said, “I’m taking the box back to Ellen’s friend. And you’re going to forget this ever happened. I suggest you be a bit more selective when stealing from people in the future. We let you off easy this time, because we feel sorry for you. It won’t happen again.”

 

Benny had taken the box and was walking around the couch to join Dean at the door. Jo was still glowering at the other woman, her hand dripping with Bela’s blood. She sneered and shoved Bela away by her throat, who started coughing and gasping for air. She hadn’t gotten control of herself by the time they were out the door.

 

~*~

 

Castiel locked up the library doors and descended the steps to head home. Instead of going right he made a left on the sidewalk and couldn’t help but smile to himself. It was nice to not have to watch his back so carefully. When he arrived at his building he entered the code to open the door, still grinning. The elevator took him to the fifth floor where his key slid into the lock and turned the bolt easily.

 

“So, what’d you find?”

 

“Hello, to you too, Dean. My day was okay. Class went well, I aced my test and work was busy but not overwhelming. How are you?” Castiel asked dryly, eyeing his boyfriend standing in the kitchen. He put his things down on the table next to the front door and pulled a file out of his messenger bag.

 

Dean leaned down and gave him a kiss as he passed the stove on his way to the refrigerator.

 

“My day was good. I did a few things. Saw a few people. Made you dinner. Did you find anything worthwhile?” Castiel chuckled lightly as he popped the cap off his beer and took a swig. He stepped up behind the taller man and placed his bottle next to Dean’s on the counter before wrapping his arms around his boyfriend’s waist.

 

“I did,” he said kissing the back of Dean’s neck, “and I’ll be happy to share it with you as soon as we’re done eating. I wouldn’t want your hard work to get cold.” He felt goosebumps rise under his lips and shifted his hands down to tease at the hem of Dean’s shirt. The older man pressed his hips back and wiggled his butt.

 

“Fine. Set the table then.” Castiel laughed and turned to do just that. He brought over their drinks as Dean plated the food and they sat down at their table in their apartment and shared a meal together.

 

After Castiel did the dishes he found Dean sitting on the couch, the file spread open on the coffee table. He took his bag off the entry table and put it on the floor by the coffee table before settling down between the table and the couch. Dean absently reached out a hand to rub over Castiel’s shoulder as he continued scanning the article.

 

“This is good shit, Cas. More than we needed I think,” he said looking over to make sure Castiel heard him right. The kid nodded and offered a smile before putting his own book and notepad on the table to begin his research.

 

“Good. She deserves it, afterall.” Dean squeezed rhythmically and nodded, shifting the papers to another document.

 

“This bitch is a piece of work. But with this she’ll never bother us again.”

 

Castiel had taken it upon himself to find out a bit more information about Bela. She seemed to come out of nowhere with nothing and had made a name for herself rather quickly. The kid was suspicious.

 

Turns out Bela Talbot was Lauren Cohan. At a young age her parents were murdered and she disappeared. Some years later Bela showed up with a full scholarship to Stanford and nothing else to her name. It was at that time she found Dean and seduced him into helping her. It was his MO afterall, helping those in need.

 

As soon as Bela had her leg up , she’d abandoned those who helped her and started helping herself. She was very charming and a convincing actress. Until she robbed the wrong person. Dean still didn’t know what was in the box he’d recovered for Ellen’s friend but he was rewarded well for it so considered it none of his business.

 

They did, however, still worry about Talbot. She was resourceful and they didn’t know what connections she may have built over the years. With Castiel in the library he had plenty of time to dig into her past. Her parents murder was suspicious and her identity change after that moreso.

 

Dean would send her a copy of Castiel’s findings, just to eliminate any ideas she may have about revenge or something equally stupid. The file would remain their little secret as long as she kept her distance and minded her business. Dean closed the file and leaned over to lay on the couch behind Castiel, smiling and running his fingers up through dark, disheveled hair.

 

Bela may have made a mistake by targeting Dean’s family but she literally dropped him in Castiel’s lap trying to use him to throw Dean off her trail. Hense Dean’s inclination to be lenient. If someone had told him a year ago he would be moving one of his strays into his place and that that stray would be a man? He would have laughed. Hard.

 

The kid was becoming an asset, and Ash had taken him under his wing. He and Charlie were teaching Castiel how to do some low level hacking and Castiel's research skills were already sharp. Par for the course.

 

Castiel’s book closing shook him from his throughs. The kid leaned his head back to rest on the couch by Dean’s chest. Dean leaned forward and kissed his temple, curling his fingers in his hair to grip his head. He nuzzled his nose against Castiel’s cheek, the younger man humming and closing his eyes.

 

“Tired?” Dean asked, lips brushing Castiel’s skin. The kid shook his head, making Dean chuckle. It was a bit late, but he knew his young lover didn’t have an early class. And Castiel, he’d learned, was quite insatiable.

 

Dean used his grip on the other man’s hair to turn his head and press their lips together. They made out slow and lazy, licking into each other’s mouths and breathing each other’s air. It wasn’t long before they both got restless. Castiel arched his back and lifted his hips, trying to shift so he could push himself up on the couch without breaking contact.

 

Dean laughed against his mouth and pulled at his shirt to help him up until they were lying face to face, plastered together. Castiel took the older man’s jaw in one hand and pressed his head back as he nipped at his throat; all the while his free hand was shoving at the hem of Dean’s shirt. He really liked how confident Castiel had gotten since they’d started this whole thing, and only encouraged him more.

 

When Dean rolled onto his back Castiel followed, straddling his waist and shoving the shirt up to Dean’s armpits. With a hand still holding the older man’s head back he moved lower and took a nipple into his mouth. He pinched it gently between his teeth and flicked it with his tongue causing Dean to arch his back off the couch. When Dean spread his legs Castiel settled himself between them, pressing their erections together.

 

“Fuck, Cas. C’mon, don’t tease,” Dean said a bit breathlessly. Castiel just grinned against his chest and moved his hand down to toy with the button and zipper on his jeans. Dean knew he was being fucked with because his young lover was really good with his hands.

 

“What do you want, Dean?” Castiel asked using his thumb to flick open the button. Dean whined and pressed his head back farther. The zipper was next, slowly lowered to reveal the trimmed hair Dean usually kept. True to his word , he rarely wore underwear.

 

“Fuck me.” Dean grunted when Castiel sat up and closed his knees, the younger man only laughed as he tugged the waist down then pulled them off by his feet. His hands got slapped away when he reached for Castiel’s belt and he was shoved back to watch the kid do it himself. But instead of taking his pants off Castiel simply opened them, revealing he was also comando today.

 

Dean grinned and licked his lips, pulling the bottom one into his mouth as he looked his boyfriend up and down. “A bit overdressed, aren’t you?” he asked, even though he still had on his rucked up shirt. Castiel simply shook his head and adjusted himself so his hard cock spilled from his jeans.

 

“I don’t think so. I’m going to take you just like this,” he said stroking himself a few times. Then  he reached between the couch cushions and pulled out a bottle of lube. He tossed it onto Dean’s chest and stopped his hand, just held himself. “Open up for me, Dean.”

 

Castiel’s grin grew as he watched Dean’s pupils dilate. “Shit, man. You been watching porn again?” Dean’s tone was more admiration than anything. Castiel may not have much experience but he was very good at mimicry and would often surprise Dean with the new things he tried while they were together.

 

The older man obediently slicked his fingers and spread his thighs, offering Castiel the perfect view and he teased at his rim with the pad of a finger. His lips were parted slightly and he watched his boyfriend watch him as he slowly applied pressure. It was Dean’s mission to tease Castiel into action, and so far he had failed. The younger man seemed to have an iron will and endless patience. Usually Dean was the one to give in and finish whatever task he was given.

 

Just like now.

 

Dean threw his head back, breaking eye contact, as he pushed a third finger inside. His heels were digging into the couch on either side of Castiel’s legs as his hips rotated in small circles; his cock lay untouched on his stomach.

 

“Now, Cas!” he was nearly begging by the time Castiel leaned forward and took his wrist, pulling his hand away. Somewhere in there he had slicked up his cock so when he leaned forward he pressed the head right in, then paused to enjoy the initial feeling. Dean tried to push up and make him go farther but Castiel released his wrist and pressed his hips down with both hands.

 

“Be still,” he growled out, his voice barely over a whisper. Dean did, breathing heavily and letting his young lover have control. When Castiel was satisfied with the older man’s surrender he slowly lowered himself, pressing in deeper and draping his lean frame over Dean s. The rough denim of Castiel’s jeans rubbed against Dean’s sensitive skin.

 

It was fucking hot, is what it was. Dean basically naked, nothing but a shirt up over his chest; Castiel fully clothed, only his jeans open for his dick to get through. Dean moaned and raised his knees, hooking his hands behind them to hold them open. Giving Castiel silent permission to use him however he wanted. The younger man didn’t pass the offer up.

 

Castiel shoved his knees under Dean’s backside, changing the angle a bit, and pressed down on his thighs, nearly folding him in half. Then he started a rhythm with his hips that was so fast and hard Dean wasn’t sure he’d be able to hold it for long. Except he didn’t need to.

 

Positioned like this Castiel was able to hit Dean’s prostate on every other trust, shifting his hips to piston himself where he wanted to go. The older man could feel his orgasm building fast and he knew he couldn’t stop it even if he wanted. He gave an experimental shift, trying to see how much wiggle room he was being given. Castiel’s hand tightened on his thighs before he got very far at all.

 

That wound up being the kicker for him. Apparently Dean liked being held down and fucked within an inch of his life. He started growling out curses, releasing his legs and grasping wherever he could reach. Castiel’s hair, his shoulders, his ribs, elbows, nothing was what he needed. It was frustrating and he wanted to grab his cock but had a feeling he wouldn’t be allowed.

 

Finally, Castiel leaned down a bit further and licked over the shell of Deans ear before whispering, “Come Dean.” And with a shout his muscles locked up and he was shooting his load all over his stomach and chest and up to his chin. Castiel fucked him through it, pounded his hips into Dean’s ass and gripped him so tight Dean thought he’d have fingerprint bruises the next day. And it was perfect.

 

After Castiel came he slumped to the side, resting against the back of the couch for a moment before sitting back and letting Dean’s legs down. The older man was boneless, limp and grinning dopely at him.

 

“That was great,” he said taking a few deep breaths and lazily running a finger through the mess on his stomach. Castiel just grinned, stood and did up his pants. He grabbed Dean’s wrist and pulled his hand up, licking the milky substance from Dean’s hand. His eyes widened a bit as heat pooled too soon in his gut.

 

“You are a kinky fucker, Castiel.” The younger man just hummed around the finger in his mouth, then pulled Dean up off the couch and down the hall toward their room.