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On Deaf Ears

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Day 9- Enemy 

 

Cas headed down the hall, making a bee line for human resources.  The harassment had to stop and if Tessa didn’t do something about Dick Roman today, he was quitting.  No one even batted an eye as they passed him, but he wouldn’t have cared if they had.  He could still feel Dick’s hand on his ass, and hear the words he’d said as he’d touched him.  It made his skin crawl.

 

He reached her office but the door was closed.  He knocked and waited for her to open it.  A moment later it did, and she was peeking out.

 

“Castiel, is there something I can help you with?”

 

“Yes, I need to file another sexual harassment complaint, and no, I’m not going to do it another time.  I can still feel his filthy hands on me, it’s disgusting.  If something isn’t done about him immediately, I’m quitting and filing a lawsuit on the entire company for not protecting my rights!”  His voice had risen and he had to force himself to calm down.

 

“Well, I’m with someone at the moment.  Have a seat and as soon as I’m finished I’ll have you come in and we’ll get it filed.  I’m assuming it was Dick Roman again?”

 

“Yes, it was.  He cornered me in the break room.  Again,”

 

She sighed heavily and shook her head.  “Alright, have a seat.  I should be done in about ten minutes,”

 

He nodded and went to sit in one of the chairs just outside her office.  He was glaring at the wall when someone stopped in the hall.

 

“Cas?”

 

He turned to see his friend Sam Winchester standing there. 

 

“Hello, Sam,”

 

Sam tucked a lock of hair behind his ear and walked over.  “Please tell me he wasn’t coming on to you again,”

 

“He was.  I don’t know why he thinks he has the right to do what he does.  Last time, he pinned me against the counter by the coffee pot in the break room and I had to shove him back to escape.  This time he came up behind me as I was refilling my coffee mug, and he grabbed my butt.  Told me how sexy I am and what he’d do to me if I’d just give in and let him…fuck me,”  Cas scoffed.  “Like I’d ever let that weasel anywhere near me.”

 

“You reporting him to Tessa?”  Sam sat down in the seat next to him and looked at him with a mixture of sympathy and anger, though Cas knew the anger wasn’t directed at him; it was directed at Dick.

 

“This is my third complaint.  I know she’s reporting them to the CEO, but he’s not doing anything because Dick is the VP of sales, and he’s good at his job.  It’s not right.  I like my job, but I deserve to feel safe in the workplace,”

 

Sam nodded.  “I get it, really I do.  He’s been harassing a few other people too, and he’s made a few passing comments to me as well, except I made it perfectly clear I am straight.  He didn’t like me bending his fingers back so far I nearly broke them after he grabbed at me.  That was down in the garage.  I reported it to Tessa, and it was caught on camera.  The break room has cameras too, I bet it caught him each time he accosted you in there,”

 

Cas thought about the break room.  There were two cameras in there, angled so they caught every part of the space.  They’d been installed after peoples’ lunches kept going missing, but also so the company could continue to spy on everyone.  He was glad the offices didn’t have cameras anywhere except the lobbies outside each one, but corporate was considering changing that policy soon.  If Dick kept up what he was doing, they might add the extra cameras soon.

 

“I think it was captured.  I’ll make sure to tell Tessa,”  He looked at the file in Sam’s hands.  “Are you on your way to a meeting?”

 

“No, I just came from it.  I’m going to meet my brother for lunch, it’s the only time he has this week; he’s been really busy with work,” 

 

The mention of Sam’s brother had him sitting up more.  Dean Winchester was the hottest guy he’d ever seen, and every time he’d come into the building and Cas was free, he’d found an excuse to talk to him.  Sam knew about his little crush, but he was staying out of it.  He licked his lips and checked his watch.  He wouldn’t get to chat with Dean this time.  How disappointing.

 

“I can tell him you said hello,”  Sam said, smiling slyly at him.  He snorted and rolled his eyes.

 

“Yeah, ok,”

 

Sam tapped the file against his friend’s arm before getting up.  “Good luck with getting corporate to actually look into a sexual harassment complaint.  Let me know later how it went.”

 

Cas nodded and went back to glaring at the wall once Sam was gone.  He hated Dick Roman with every fiber of his being.  In a company that generally encouraged their employees to cooperate and get along, he had not expected to find an enemy.  Dick was sexist, narcissistic, and greedy.  He was a nightmare to every man that worked there, if you didn’t count corporate.

 

It was a good twenty minutes before the door opened and Madison Montgomery came walking out.  She smiled at Cas before heading in the direction of her cubicle. 

 

“Cas?  You can come in now,”  Tessa said.  He got to his feet and headed in.  This time he wanted his voice to be heard.

 

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“Wait, you’re telling me Cas got sexually harassed?  And it’s not the first time?  What are they doing about it?”  Dean was holding his burger, waiting to take his first bite until his brother explained.

 

“Well, they did nothing after the first two complaints, and I even complained once, but far, I don’t think he’s gotten so much as a slap on the wrist.  He needs to be fired, but he has gotten sales to rise by 62% since he made VP at the end of last year.  I think corporate is looking the other way because they consider him to be invaluable, but it’s bullshit,”  Sam was angry on his friend’s behalf.  Cas deserved better, and so did everyone Dick kept harassing.

 

Dean took a bite of his burger, wishing he’d gotten to see Cas when he came to pick Sam up, or maybe even invite him to lunch finally, even if Sam was going to be there too.  He just hadn’t worked up the nerve yet.  Hearing that he was being harassed in a place where he should be safe and not afraid of his coworkers ticked him off.  Cas was so nice.  He wondered how the meeting with human resources was going.  He also wondered if it would seem strange if he called him to make sure he was ok. 

 

Sam was already on to another topic and he was trying to keep up, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Cas.  When his brother asked him how work was going, he focused better on that question.

 

“It’s good, actually.  I’m designing a park for the city right now,”

 

Sam smiled, clearly happy for him.

 

“That’s great!  So you guys won the bid with the city?”

 

“Sure did.  We’re doing a botanical garden next summer.  There will be a small lake, an arbor, I’ve started the designs for it too.  First though, we’re working on this park.  I’m designing a picnic area, complete with gazebos for shade, a koi pond, swings, a playground, it’s going to be beautiful when we’re done,”  Dean finished his burger and started on his fries.  He was proud of his work, and he was always thankful when he landed a big account.  The city had a bunch of projects they wanted his firm to work on, and he was excited to get them started.

 

They finished their lunch and when Dean had left, heading back to his firm, Sam made his way back to work.  He reached his desk and sat down.  There were files to review and he tried to block out the noise of the people working around him. 

 

At five, when everyone started packing up to leave, Sam shut down his computer too so me could go home.  He was wondering what had happened with Cas and his harassment complaint, so he decided to stop by his friend’s office to check on him.  Besides, he was sure Cas would want to know if Dean asked about him.

 

He grabbed his messenger bag and slinging the strap over his shoulder, he bid those that were still there goodnight, and then headed upstairs to check on Cas.  The elevators were full with people heading down to the garage so he decided to take the stairs.  When he got to the sixth floor, he hung a right and walked down the hall.  This floor was where the higher ups all worked.  Cas was the project manager and he had a pretty nice office that overlooked the lake.  When he reached the lobby he found the secretary already gone.  She served as the secretary for the four offices, and Cas’ was the straight ahead on the left.  He headed to the door and knocked.

 

“Cas, it’s me,”  He knew his friend wouldn’t let just anyone in after hours.  Without cameras in the offices, he didn’t trust Dick Roman.  The lock clicked and the door swung open.  Cas smiled at him and motioned him inside.

 

“What brings you up here?” 

 

“I wanted to check on you.  How did it go with Tessa?”  Sam followed him over to the desk and sat down in one of the chairs.  Cas sighed as he went around to sit in his seat. 

 

“Well, she admitted that he has a lot of complaints, and they keep piling up.  She documented mine from today, but she says she thinks it will fall on deaf ears, so I’ll be contacting a lawyer.  I’ll be putting in my two week notice after I speak to my lawyer.  I’ve been looking for a new job, but I’m smart enough to do it from my tablet, using my data plan, not the company’s internet.  I don’t want any of that tracked back.  Tessa gave me copies of the recordings from the two times he approached me in the breakroom, but the third one was in the bathroom, and as you know, there aren’t cameras in there.  That one is his word against mine, but the other two I have clear visual proof of.  She says corporate will make the recordings disappear, which is why she put them on a flash drive for my lawsuit,”  He leaned an elbow on his desk and dropped his chin onto his palm.  He looked so lost, and it pained Sam to see him like that.

 

“Well, I can recommend a few lawyers, I’m still working towards my law degree.  Once I’m done, I will take the bar, but for a lawsuit like this, you don’t want a brand new lawyer, you want an experienced one, someone that has taken down large corporations like this.  I would give your lawyer the names of others that have been harassed by him, but also the names of people that have been harassed in general, because the sexual harassment laws are blatantly ignored here, and something needs to be done about that,”  Sam leaned forward and rest his elbow on the desk.  He wanted to cheer Cas up, and talking about Dean always seemed to do that.  “Dean asked about you at lunch,”

 

Cas picked his head up and sat up straight.  Sam noticed that he always did that when he brought up his brother’s name.

 

“Oh?  Is he doing well?”

 

“He’s great, he landed the contract with the city and he’s breaking ground on a new park soon.  He says next year he’s starting on a botanical garden.  He’s very excited.  I know you’ll enjoy the garden, you love flowers.  You should have followed your passion and gone into horticulture some way.  Or taught it.  I think you’d make a better teacher than what you’re doing now.  At least you’d be happy,”

 

Cas sighed again and swiveled his chair halfway around so he could look out the window behind him. 

 

“Yes, you’re right, which is why I have also been looking into teaching positions.  I have PhD’s in mathematics,  and chemical science, a masters in biological science, and a BA in business.  There’s a lot of shit I could teach,”

 

“What the hell are you doing here then?”  Sam asked.

 

“I thought I could make a difference.  Because of my degrees, they hired me and told me that my education and knowledge would be beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry, and in creating new medicines, and yes, I’ve been able to apply my knowledge and I’ve done a lot of good, but Jesus, the sexism, bigotry and homophobia here, it’s unbelievable.  Unless you’re high up, like Dick Roman, then if you’re gay, they just…look the other way.  I get called names in the halls, people whisper about me, and I’m just, I’m sick of it!  I need a change, and to be someplace else.  My time here is done,”  Cas scratched at his jaw, frowning at how his fingers scraped against stubble.  He literally had a five o’clock shadow.  “I’ve been here five years, and it feels like it’s five years too long.”

 

Sam nodded in sympathy.  He understood exactly where he was coming from.

 

“I had the same though, that I could do good here, but I’m just an analyst for now.  Once I’m done with school, I will be leaving so I can practice law.  I am looking forward to that day,”

 

“We’re going to stay friends though,”  Cas pointed a finger at him.  “You’re my best friend here.  Plus I’m tired of your brother dancing around asking me out.  He’s been doing it for two years now.  When is he stopping by next?”

 

Sam grinned and shook his head.  It was about time one of them finally grew a pair and took the plunge.  He knew his brother was totally gone on Cas, but was scared to ask him out.

 

“Next Tuesday.  You know, the only reason he even comes to pick me up instead of having me meet him is in hope of getting to see you and talk to you, even if it’s just for a few minutes.  He doesn’t have to come here, he just wants to.  He was disappointed today that he didn’t get to see you.  I told him about the harassment and I swear, I thought he was going to come here and kill Dick.  He was worried about you, wanted to know that you were ok.  I told him I’d check.  So, I think Tuesday, when he comes by, you should be available to join us for lunch.  Think you can get free at 12:30?”

 

Cas looked at the calendar on his desk.  He had one of those giant ones that took up a good chunk of his desk.

 

“I have a meeting at nine that should be done by eleven and then a project meeting at two.  As long as I’m back before then, yes, I can be available,”

 

“I’m not going to tell Dean.  I’ll just let you be there when he gets here and surprise him.  Then you can ask him out and I won’t have to look at you two pining over one another every time you’re in the same room.  I guess now I’ll just have to be grossed out when you’re hanging all over each other and kissing,”  Sam teased.  Cas laughed.

 

“Well, he’s very nice, and very attractive.  I want to go out with him.  I’m just happy he likes me too,”

 

“God, you’re like, all he’s talking about when he’s not talking about work, his car, music, or movies.  I’m glad I don’t live with him anymore,”  Sam smiled when his friend blushed.  He didn’t mind at all that his brother liked his friend.  If he was being honest, since coming to work here two years ago, Cas had become his best friend.  He leaned forward to tell him about the park his brother was working on when someone knocked.  They both looked at the door but didn’t move.  It opened and Dick Roman walked in.

 

“Cas, I thought I’d come see if you were still here.  We didn’t get to finish our conversation from earlier,”

 

Cas stiffened, his hands gripping the desk as he glared at him.  Dick’s leering grin disappeared when he realized Cas wasn’t alone. 

 

“You have no reason to be in my office, Dick, please leave.  Now.”  Cas’ voice was hard.  “You were unprofessional this morning and I won’t tolerate your harassment anymore,”  Cas pointed at the door as Sam got to his feet.

 

“You really need to stop.  You’re looking at lawsuits if you continue this.  Cas is in a relationship, plus he doesn’t date in the workplace, and even if he did, it would never be you.  So, leave now, or I’ll make you leave.” 

 

“You wouldn’t dare touch me,”  Dick snapped.  Sam shrugged and looked around.

 

“Guess what?  No cameras in here.  No cameras in the lobby either.  That means I can literally toss you out on your ass, or better yet, how about I break those fingers you dared to touch me with last time?  It’s your word against mine, and I have a witness that will confirm that you assaulted me first.  Care to test me again?”  Sam crossed his arm and arched an eyebrow, waiting to see what Dick would do.  The man cursed under his breath and left, slamming the door behind himself.  Sam dropped his arms and turned to look at Cas with wide, disbelieving eyes.

 

“Can you believe that guy?  What an asshole!  What was he going to do if I hadn’t been here?  I don’t even want to think about what he would have tried!  He’s a monster and he has to be stopped!”

 

Cas stood up and grabbed his jacket and his briefcase.  “I think it’s time we leave.  Walk with me down to the garage?  He likes to catch me there too, and I’m betting he’s down there waiting to see if he can catch me alone.  I swear, next time he touches me, he’s getting a knee to his balls and a broken nose.  I’m done with his shit,”

 

Sam grabbed his messenger bag and followed him out of the office.  He waited for Cas to lock his office, and then the door to the lobby before they headed towards the elevators.  As they were waiting, his phone rang.  When he saw it was his brother he answered.

 

“Hey, Dean, what’s up?”

 

“I wanted to give you a heads up.  Mom called and she’s asking us both to come home next weekend for Dad’s birthday.  Expect her to call and pull her whole “Oh sweetie, I love you and I want you to come home.  Will you be bringing anyone with you?” spiel.  She just did it to me,”

 

Sam laughed and glanced over at Cas who was watching him intently.  The elevator had come and gone but he knew if he stepped inside, the call would drop, so they stayed where they were.

 

“You know, you could have someone to bring home,”

 

Dean sighed on the other end.  “Yeah, but I can’t even work up the nerve to ask him out, let alone bring him home and subject him to mom,”

 

Sam grinned and glanced at his friend again.  “Well, Cas decided he’s tired of you dancing around him and he said he’s going to ask you out.  You’ll say yes, right?”

 

“Hell yeah I’d say yes!  He’s really going to?”

 

Sam passed the phone to Cas who was grinning as wide as him.

 

“Hello, Dean,”  Cas said.  He hid his laugh when Dean gasped on the other end.

 

“C-Cas, I didn’t know you were there with Sam,”

 

“Yes, well, he stopped by my office to ask how my visit to HR went, and then we got to talking.  I’m contacting a lawyer because every complaint I make keeps falling on deaf ears, and he says he can give me some referrals.  He’s walking down to the garage with me because Dick just showed up in my office.  He usually catches me in the breakroom or the bathroom, but this time he had the nerve to come into my office, after hours.  He and I, we don’t communicate for our jobs.  He has no reason to be there, and yet he came in talking about how we didn’t finish our conversation earlier.  Sam threatened him and he left, but I don’t trust him,”  Cas was still pissed about Dick coming into his office.

 

“Sammy’s walking you down to protect you?”  Dean asked.

 

“Oh, no, I can protect myself.  He’s there as a witness in case Dick tries again.  I hate that man, and I swear he’s going to need surgery on his balls if he touches me again.  Or maybe I’ll break his fingers like Sam threatened,”  Cas leaned back against the wall between the elevators and looked at Sam.  “That’s not why Sam handed me the phone though.  I want to know if you will join me for dinner Friday.  My house, seven o’clock, I’m cooking Moroccan,”

 

Sam arched an eyebrow as he waited to see what Dean would say.

 

“I would love to.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten Moroccan.  Can I bring anything?  Beer?  Wine?”

 

Cas smiled wide and nodded at Sam.  His friend was grinning and mouthing “I told you so”. 

 

“Wonderful, and no, I have both wine and beer already, plus I have other things,”

 

“Let me bring dessert.  How does cherry cheesecake sound?”  Dean asked.

 

“That sounds delicious.  I look forward to it,”

 

“Awesome,”  He could hear the smile in Dean’s voice.

 

“And so we’re perfectly clear, I am very attracted to you, Dean, not just because of your looks.  It’s much more than that.  I just want it to be clear, so you’re not wondering later if Sam put me up to asking you out.  He didn’t, this is all me,”

 

Dean snickered on the other end of the line.  “I’m glad to hear that.  I’d probably be second guessing it all the way up to Friday otherwise.  And form the record, I think you’re incredibly sexy, not to mention nice, intelligent, and thoughtful.  I’m looking forward to Friday,”

 

“Wonderful,”  Cas smiled happily.  “I’ll get your number from Sam and text you my address,”

 

“I will be waiting for that text,”

 

“Ok, I’m handing the phone back to Sam now.  Have a lovely evening,”  Cas told him.

 

“You too, Cas,”

 

He handed the phone back to Sam who spoke briefly with his brother about the birthday dinner and then he was hanging up.

 

“Alright, let’s go home.  I know I’ve had a long enough day,”  Sam pressed the down button again and the doors immediately opened. 

 

“Tell me about it.  I’ll be glad when I’m out of this place,”  Cas sighed as they stepped into the elevator.  Sam hit the button for the parking level and nodded.

 

“I just want to finish my degree and get out too.  Soon.  We’ll be gone soon,”

 

Cas sighed heavily as the doors slid shut.  “Not soon enough.”