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Sweet Boy

Chapter Text

“Why do we have to go to this thing, anyway?”

Dean rested his forehead against the cool window, tapping his fingers on his knee to the tune of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” rumbling through the speakers of his father’s beloved 1967 Chevy Impala. It was only shortly after 6 p.m. but the sun was already rapidly beginning to set, only barely above the trees, soft light streaming through the branches. It was cold, more so than usual for the typical December in Kansas, the temperature holding pretty steady somewhere between the low twenties at night and high thirties during the day. Not that his dad’s cracked window helped any, ensuring an escape route for the smoke billowing from the cigarette hanging between his lips.

“‘Cause I gotta go, and I can’t leave you boys alone.”

Dean scoffed. “You leave us alone all the time. I’m sixteen -”

“Yeah, well, maybe I also wanted to take advantage of the fact that I’m a single father raising two boys on a salary that has plenty of room for improvement,” John grunted, pulling the cigarette from his lips and tossing it. He rolled the window up and looked over at Dean, winking, lips upturned in one corner. “New boss means a chance for a good first impression. Morale’s been down at the warehouse for months and if this guy’s as good as they say…” John shrugged, “may be smart enough to realize a little pay increase would help. And playing one of the only cards I got couldn’t hurt.”

“So we’re cards?” came Sammy’s voice from the backseat, and even without looking Dean knew he hadn’t even looked up from his Gameboy.

“Among other things,” John said with a chuckle, drumming his fingers against the steering wheel.

“I thought you liked your old boss,” Dean muttered, letting his head fall back against the headrest.

“I liked old Elkins just fine, but the numbers don’t lie, son. We lost close to a million dollars in company revenue last year alone. He was a nice enough guy, but he just wasn’t gettin’ the job done. Execs wanted someone new- younger, with fresher ideas.”

“So,” Dean grunted. “A douchebag.”

“Hey, watch it,” John warned, glaring over at the boy. “I mean it, Dean. I need you to behave tonight. Take a break from that smart mouth of yours and make your old man look good, okay?”

Dean grumbled under his breath and sunk down in his seat, watching the bare trees rush by and the sky gradually darken. The neighborhood gradually went from old, one story homes with chipping paint and sagging foundations to sleek, modern houses with multiple levels and big, fancy front doors. The roads were smooth and black, lit by electric gas lamps, that curved through hills on which these modern mansions sat.

Dean swallowed as the car began to slow and he grew more than a little nervous. His dad hadn’t said anything about this guy being rich, but he supposed it made sense. He’s the big boss, right? Of course he’d have money.

John swung the Impala into a winding driveway and Dean’s mouth dropped a he took in the impressive home that came into view. It was the perfect blend of old style and new comfort, combining dark wood, stone, and floor to ceiling windows to create a modern- but also somehow cozy- residence. It was probably the most expensive house Dean would ever step foot in and he was sweating with nerves, mentally telling himself to keep his hands in his pockets and don’t touch anything.

“Whoa,” Sammy breathed, leaning over into Dean’s space to get a better look. “That’s, uh...big.”

“And expensive,” John grunted as he put the car into park. “So keep those hands to yourself. If it looks breakable, don’t even breathe near it.”

Both boys nodded and the three Winchesters stepped out the car. Dean hugged his jacket around him tighter and instinctively checked to see if Sammy had his zipped up. John was already headed towards the door, and the two boys hurried to catch up.

“How much do you think this place costs?” Sammy asked in wonder, head tilted back and mouth hanging open as he looked up at the vast mound of brick and wood.

Dean snorted, shoving one hand in his pocket and draping his other arm around Sam’s shoulders. “More than we’ll ever see. I’d say...close to a mil, at least.”

“Wow.”

Dean chuckled, and the two of them picked up the pace when John reached the doors and motioned for them impatiently. They were giant wooden double doors with panes of frosted glass down to Dean’s waist, nestled within a brick arch that encapsulated the entire stoop and opened on both sides, leading to an expansive porch. There was a small camera in the upper left corner, and Dean frowned up at it, shivering as a cold chill racked his body.

John hesitated, looking torn between ringing the doorbell and simply knocking. He finally settled on knocking and they waited, hands in pockets and shoes scuffing against the stoop. The wind had begun to pick up, no doubt ushering in another cold front, and Dean was vaguely wondering how much more they could take when the door swung open.

Dean’s not sure what he expected, but it wasn’t entirely the picture of the man on the other side of the door. He was dressed in business casual, which was expected, in worn dress shoes and black pants, a tucked-in white button-up and blue tie. He had dark hair, neatly coiffed, pushed up off his forehead and swept to the side. But he was tan- much unlike any of John’s coworkers Dean had ever met, including Mr. Elkins- with broad shoulders, dark stubble littering his sharp jawline, and equally dark bags under excruciatingly blue eyes. He nodded and gave them a stiff smile, gesturing toward them with his beer, which hung loosely between slender fingers.

“John Winchester and…” he narrowed his eyes slightly toward Dean and Sam, “entourage.”

John plastered on a smile and held out a hand, which the man took. “Mr. Novak. These are my boys. Sam, my youngest, and that’s Dean. I hope it’s okay that they tagged along tonight.”

Mr. Novak nodded at Sam, then turned his intense gaze to Dean, giving him a nod and a smile, then withdrew his hand. “Just Castiel, please, John. And of course, you’re all very welcome.” He stood aside and held the door open, gesturing inside with his beer hand. “Please, come in.”

The three Winchesters shuffled inside, Dean filing last and softly shutting the thick door behind him. John muttered one last “don’t touch anything” before he was pulled into the crowd by a clearly already drunk co-worker. Dean bit his lip and looked around, amazed at how huge the place was and how many people could fit inside. It looked as though the party was already in full swing, and Dean realized him and Sammy were the only kids in attendance.

“Way to go, dad,” he muttered darkly, glancing at Sammy when he shuffled closer to Dean nervously.

“There’s food in the kitchen,” Castiel’s voice broke through the loud murmur of the crowd and Dean almost jumped, looking up at the man with wide eyes. Castiel smiled at them both a bit apologetically, as if he knew just how bored they were going to be and probably wondering why their dad brought them in the first place. “And I should have some soda in the fridge. Help yourselves. Just that way.” He pointed with his beer hand to the room on the other side of the foyer, opposite from where the party appeared to be.

“Th-thank you, Mr. Novak,” Dean stumbled, grabbing Sammy’s wrist and giving the man a wide berth as he moved around him.

“Please, just Castiel is fine,” he waved his beer with a shrug. “I’m not overly formal.”

“Okay, Mr. -uh, Castiel,” Dean tried the strange name and kind of wanted to ask where such a name came from, but the man was gone before he had the chance.

Dean dragged Sammy into the kitchen and breathed in relief when he discovered it was mostly devoid of boring business men and women. The spread was impressive and- yes, there was pie. Fucking awesome.

“Dean,” Sammy hissed, looking around nervously. “Better not let dad hear you-”

“Calm down, Sammy,” Dean clicked his tongue as he gathered up two plates and started piling whatever he could reach. “Dad’s too busy schmoozing the new boss for a pay raise to care if I’m cussing.”

“Schmoozing isn’t necessary,” Castiel chuckled from behind them, and Dean almost dropped the plates as he spun around. Castiel was gathering more beers from the fridge, looking at them both with a raised a brow. “But your little brother is right; you shouldn’t use such language at your age.”

“Uh,” was Dean’s eloquent reply.

Castiel just chuckled as he kicked the fridge door shut. “I’ll be sure to give your father’s salary some extra thought.”

Dean blinked and his shoulders sagged as the man winked at him, then turned and left. Sammy, unconcerned with it all, grabbed his plate of food and wandered off into the crowd. Dean huffed and grabbed his own, plate, then followed him out.

It was a surprisingly unstuffy party though, considering it taking place in nothing short of a mansion. The house looked almost staged; full of furniture and some relics, but otherwise devoid of personal touch. There were no pictures on the walls- save for an old one at the end of the hall of two kids playing with sparklers- and everything was just so . Dean assumed it was due to the fact that Mr. Novak had likely only just moved in, since John told him the company brought him in from somewhere up North. It also explained the money. Northerners were known for coming to the midwest and down South and buying up what was cheap real estate to them. A house this size probably cost little more than a nice townhouse in a place like New York.

Sam caught up to John, who looked to be shamelessly bragging about him to a glassy-eyed man in a plaid shirt, which was no surprise. Sam was an exceptional kid by anyone's standards. Member of the math club, chess club, captain of the debate team at his middle school, and he was one of the basketball team's star players, his most recent growth spurt only adding to his value where that was concerned. Dean only had him by a few inches now, although he relished in the fact that his little brother still had yet to beat him when they wrestled at the house. It was one of the only things he could hold over him anymore.

Dean held his plate in one hand, shoveling a mouthful of macaroni and cheese into his mouth as he turned away from the crowd and began wandering down one of the long hallways. There were a couple rooms on either side, all closed except one at the end of the hall, which was a large bathroom. Dean stopped and turned, heading back toward the source of the carried voices. He paused outside of one of the rooms, glancing up to make sure he was alone before trying the door. It was locked, as he expected, and he expected the rest were too, but with nothing better to do, he tried each one.

He stopped again outside the doors to the living room, finding everyone deeply immersed in their own private conversations. Sam still stood with John, who had an arm draped around him and a beer in his other hand, gesturing toward a couple of men who’d gathered there. He recognized Miss MacLeod, the company’s receptionist with long, curly bright red hair and a strong Scottish accent, smiling brightly up at Mr. Novak as he spoke, one hand shoved in his pocket and the other holding his beer, which appeared to be nothing more than a casual placeholder since Dean was pretty sure he hadn’t seen him take so much as a sip of it since they’d arrived. Miss MacLeod had been Hoppmann’s secretary for as long as Dean could remember, often bringing them drinks or snacks while he and Sam waited for John to get off some days after school. In all those years, he’d never seen her look as interested in anything as she appeared to be now, bright red lips stretched into a wide smile, twirling her glass in her hand and straightening all of her five feet, three inches, and pushing out her modest chest in her not-so-modest black v-neck dress.

Dean sighed and wove his way through the throng of boring adults until he reached the kitchen. He snagged a couple pieces of pie and another soda and retreated into the cold of the huge backyard. The party was visible through the large glass doors as Dean sat in one the patio chairs, staring down at the tarp that covered the pool. He wanted to rescue Sam, but his little brother seemed to be enjoying the attention and there wasn’t much to do anyway. For all his money, Castiel didn’t even seem to own any video games. Dean silently vowed to never be a boring adult.

He was trembling as he finished off the second piece of pie when he heard the glass doors slide open, followed by a soft click as they shut. Dean looked up, expecting to see Sammy or John, but blinked in surprise when he saw Mr.- no- Castiel smiling at him a bit sheepishly.

“Don’t mean to interrupt,” Castiel sat in one of the other chairs and sighed as he dug out a cigarette, lighting up quickly. “Just needed some...air.”

Dean looked pointedly at the cigarette- and the irony of that statement- and Castiel chuckled as he took a drag. “Yes, I know. Trying to quit.”

Dean snorted and picked at the crust of the pie, feeling the man’s eyes on him. Not in a creepy way, just in an intense way. Like the man could dissect him and know everything him with just a single glance.

“Why do you, uh, need air?” Dean muttered, looking up as he popped some crust into his mouth.

“I don’t do well in large crowds for very long,” Castiel shrugged, smoke billowing from his lips. “The curse of the introvert, I suppose.”

“If you’re an introvert, why did you throw a party?” Dean asked, genuinely confused.

“Certain things are expected from a new boss,” Castiel said a matter-of-factly. “And I like to get to know the people who are going to be working for me.”

“Like Miss Macleod?”

Castiel snapped his eyes to Dean’s in such a sharp gaze that Dean was temporarily breathless. He swallowed and lowered his eyes, wishing he had listened to his dad and kept his smart mouth shut.

“Yes,” Castiel finally said, his voice low and quiet, a small smile pulling at his lips. “Like Miss MacLeod.”

Dean kept his head down, staring at his lap and ignoring the way Castiel’s eyes made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. After a few minutes, Castiel finished his cigarette and stood.

“Don’t stay out here too long. You’ll catch cold.” He flicked the cigarette into the yard and slipped back inside, and Dean could breathe once again.

He slowly finished his pie and downed his soda before finally getting up to head back inside, giving one last look at the large yard and pool, complete with an intricate wooden gazebo. He slid the door shut behind him and deposited his trash in the can in the kitchen, then made his way into the crowd in search of his dad and Sam.

Castiel was in the middle of speaking, so it was quiet in the room save for a small murmuring amongst everyone. Dean seemed to have caught the tail end of the speech when he walked in what he hoped was inconspicuously, although he could’ve sworn Castiel’s eyes darted straight to him the moment he entered the room.

“...and my goal is to expand on what Daniel Elkins nurtured here, to make American Hoppmann the most desired and reliable feeder and conveyor company not just in the midwest, but across the United States. Thank you.”

There was a light applause as Castiel awkwardly tipped his beer and walked away without preamble, and out of the corner of his eye Dean saw Miss MacLeod start off in the same direction.

“Dean!”

He turned to see John waving him over, standing next to a dark-skinned man in a green henley. Sam was back on his Gameboy again, brow furrowed, his thumbs moving a mile a minute.

“You remember Gordon, don’t ya?” John asked, his words already slurring a little. Great. So Dean would be driving home tonight.

“Uh, yeah. Think so,” Dean muttered, giving Gordon an obligatory smile. “Welding, right?”

“The only one worth his salt,” Gordon grinned, taking a swig of his beer. “How you been, boy?”

Dean shrugged and stuffed his hands in his pockets again.

“Tenth grade this year, you believe that shit?” John continued, waving his beer around and throwing an arm around Dean. “When I started at the warehouse he was...what? Six years old? Time flies, man.”

“Time flies,” Gordon agreed robotically.

“I’m uh...gonna go get something to drink,” Dean lied, slipping out from his father’s grasp. “C’mon, Sammy.” He grabbed Sam’s sleeve and pulled him with him through the crowd, not stopping until they were in the hall, clear of people.

“Where we goin’?”

“Dunno.” Dean chewed his lip, looking back and forth down the hall. “Let’s go check the place out. Plenty more rooms...maybe he has an X-box somewhere or somethin’.”

That was more than enough to convince Sam, who pocketed his Gameboy and followed Dean back down the hall toward the door. Where the kitchen was on one side, there was a virtually empty room on the other, that looked like it was supposed to be another living room, and a doorway on the far wall.

“This way,” Dean commanded, and Sam trailed behind as they beelined through the room. Through the doorway was another hall with rooms lining the walls, and between that and the living room was a staircase up to the second floor.

“Bingo,” Dean grinned, shooting Sammy a wink before he started up the steps.

“Dean, I don’t think we’re supposed to-”

Dean stopped and turned to him, gripping the railing with both hands. “Sammy, they don’t even know we’ve left. Plus I never have, nor will I ever be, in another house as fucking massive as this one, and I wanna see what’s upstairs.” He turned back and began ascending the steps. “All the cool shit’s probably up here, anyway.”

“Dean, I really don’t think we should-”

“You wanna go listen to all that boring talk? Go right ahead.” Dean waved him off, annoyed with his little brother’s pesky sense of right , and paused when he reached the top landing. He looked back to see Sammy gone and rolled his eyes. Heaven forbid Sammy break the rules even once.

The upper level was mostly dark save for what light was coming from downstairs. Just like downstairs, all the doors were shut. Dean tried a door and was surprised to see it was unlocked. Curious, he poked his head inside. It was decently sized library, shelves lining the walls and stuffed with more books than Dean would ever hope to read through in his lifetime. Sammy was the reader, Dean was more hands on kind of learner.

He closed the door and tried another, then another. A guest bedroom here, a bathroom there, an office that looked virtually unused, and-

“Oh,” Dean jolted when he realized he was standing in the doorway of Castiel’s bedroom. He almost backed away, the rule of never entering his dad’s bedroom ingrained into his brain, but stopped short. He was overwhelmed with curiosity and stepped inside, looking around the large room. It was the only space that seemed to have some personal touch. A king sized bed, a picture or two on the nightstands, a bookshelf with well-worn paperbacks. It was all nice and tidy, a far cry from Dean’s room. He blamed the responsibility of constantly looking after Sammy for not having time to clean up, but his dad never believed that excuse.

Dean turned to leave when he noticed a curiously closed door. The doors to the closet were open in a casual manner, as if Castiel had left them that way in his rush to get ready. The one on the far left was closed tightly and- yep, locked. Dean frowned at it, wondering what could possibly be on the other side that would make Castiel lock it up, even within his own bedroom.

“You aren’t supposed to be up here.”

“Shit!”

Dean jumped and turned, clutching his chest and breathing out heavily when he saw Castiel standing in the doorway, his arms hanging by his sides. He'd ditched the beer, Dean noticed idly, and he wondered if he'd actually drank it or if he'd poured it out.

“You aren't supposed to be up here,” Castiel repeated, taking a step toward him, and in the dark it was hard to tell if he was actually angry or mostly indifferent.

“I'm, uh…”

Dean took a step back, stumbling slightly, his hand sliding off the knob. Castiel stopped, his hands twitching by his sides.

“S- sorry…”

Castiel narrowed his eyes. “What are you doing up here, anyway?”

Dean floundered. “I, uh, I was just-”

“It's impolite to help yourself to someone else's personal space, Dean.” Castiel took another step and stopped again, pulling at the base of his tie. He tilted his head. “Surely you know that.”

The sound of his name on Castiel's tongue shouldn't have affected him the way it did, and it took him by surprise when it sent a shiver through him.

Castiel just stood there, finally crossing his arms over his chest, and when he spoke his voice was softer than before.

“You should head back downstairs. Your father will be looking for you.”

“Uh, y-yeah. Yes. I will,” Dean mumbled, pushing off the locked door when he realized he had pressed himself against it. He skirted around Castiel, his skin prickling and breaking out in a light sweat. “S-sorry again.”

He didn’t wait to hear whatever Castiel said. Dean practically ran out of the room and down the stairs, all the while feeling that intense gaze.

----

It was another few hours before John finally deemed it time to go. Most others had left and even Castiel was missing, seemingly deciding his job as host was done. Dean hauled himself off the couch, taking John’s empty beer bottle from his hand, and tossing into a trash can when he poked his head into the kitchen to look for Sammy. It was, of course, empty and Dean sighed as he began his search for his wayward little brother.

“Sammy,” he called out, earning a few drunken glances from the last remaining guests as he wandered about the halls. “C’mon, man. Dad’s ready to go. I gotta drive us back…”

Dean stomped up to the second level when he couldn’t find his brother downstairs, thinking maybe the brat finally got up the courage to break one little rule. He checked the library, the office, the guest bedroom, and the open bathroom door proved Sammy wasn’t there either. He was about to give up when he heard some muffled sounds coming from Castiel’s bedroom. Dean hesitated, but curiosity got the best of him in the end. He cracked open the door, and stifled a gasp at the sight he was greeted with.

The muffled sounds were Miss MacLeod’s stifled groans, her face smashed into bed as Castiel’s powerful thrusts made her slide across the sheets. He stood at the foot of the bed, his stance wide as his hips snapped expertly, driving himself in and out with fierce determination. He gripped her thighs, keeping them spread wide, and she clawed at the sheets in ecstasy.

Dean stared, because he couldn’t not , but his gaze wasn’t drawn to the naked woman on her hands and knees. It was glued to Castiel, to his powerful thighs and strong arms, a hand pressed firmly to the small of Miss MacLeod’s back, pushing her down... the muscles on his back rippling, that thick cock-

Dean abruptly stumbled back, tripping over his own feet and falling flat on his ass in the hallway. He barely noticed the pain in his tailbone and scrambled up, running into the nearest room and slamming the door shut.

He flipped on the switch to see that he’d found the bathroom, and he sat down on the toilet. His chest heaving, he and buried his reddened face in his hands. His blood pounded in his ears and his gut was clenching. Dean closed his eyes and all he saw was Castiel, his naked muscles strung tight as he moved.

“Fuckfuckfuck,” Dean scrubbed at his face and clenched his thighs together, the throbbing between his legs alarming and insistent. It wasn’t the first time he’d had a reaction like this for a boy- man , or even a woman, for that matter. The locker room at school was always a little awkward for Dean, but this was the first time the reaction had been so strong and instant . Not to mention for a man easily twice his age.

But Dean knew what he’d find if he opened that door, and he’d done it anyway.

“Damn it,” Dean groaned, one of his hands gripping his thigh almost painfully. He couldn’t get that image of Castiel out of his head and throbbing wasn’t going away. Fuck.

----

“What took you so long?” John slurred, eyeing Dean and Sam suspiciously.

“Couldn’t find the loser,” Dean muttered, nudging Sam with his elbow.

“I was in the bathroom!” Sammy pouted.

“There’s a million bathrooms in this place, Sammy,” Dean growled, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “Can we just go please? I’m tired.”

“What’s your problem?” Sam frowned and Dean shrugged him off, shifting on his feet.

“Nothin’,” he said gruffly. “Let’s go.”

He managed to usher everyone to the car and his dad slid into the passenger seat without argument, buckling his seatbelt and slouching down in the seat. Sam buckled himself too, immediately going back to his game before Dean could even start the car and back it out of its spot.

John stumbled into the house when they got home without so much as a word, and Dean held Sam’s door open for him as he tucked his game away in his pocket and slid out of the seat. Dean forced a smile and looped an arm around Sam’s shoulders as they walked inside, then followed Sam into his room.

“I don’t need you to tuck me in,” Sam rolled his eyes, sitting his game on his desk and shrugging off his jacket. Dean smirked and plopped down across his bed, propping himself up with an elbow.

“I know. Just...I dunno. Wonderin’ what’s been up with you lately.” Anything to keep his mind off the dark hair and blue eyes invading his thoughts all night.

“On a Saturday night that’s different than what I told you when I got home from school yesterday? Nothing.”

Dean huffed and sat up, clasping his hands in his lap. “Okay, smartass. Just tryin’ to show some interest, is all.”

Sam sighed and tossed his jacket on an old chair sitting in the corner, then sat in his old wooden desk chair. “Dad’s doing a lot better, Dean. He’s been talking to me and he knows what I’ve got going on at school and all...you don’t have to do so much.”

Dean shrugged. “Maybe I like hearin’ about what you’re up to. And besides...dad still has a long way to go. He still doesn’t know you got that President’s award, or whatever, does he?”

“It was the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, and yes, he does, actually,” Sam said matter-of-factly. “He said he’s coming to the awards ceremony next week, if he can get off, anyway. But Mr. Novak seems nice. I think he’ll let dad come.”

Dean abruptly sat up on the bed and cleared his throat as he stood. “Ah, yeah. Seems nice. Well, you know I’ll be at the ceremony. Night, Sammy.”

He left for his own room, ignoring his brother’s curious stare. Once safely inside his room and the door shut, Dean quickly shed himself of his residually sticky jeans, his face flushed with embarrassment. Thankfully his dad had been too drunk to notice anything and Sammy was too damn innocent to notice anything. He fell into his bed and quickly shut off the lamp on his nightstand, pushing his head under his pillow as if that would dispel the images from his mind. It didn’t.

He just hoped Castiel didn’t notice that mess in the bathroom. Dean only missed the toilet a little , thank you very much, and had cleaned it up as best he could, but with his luck, he probably missed something. Maybe Castiel had maids or something, and he’d never see it.

Yeah, and maybe Dean could stop thinking of his dad’s boss’s too-perfect-for-words body.

“I am so fucked .”

----

Dean side-stepped around the table as he laid down silverware and napkins, trying to make their old secondhand table look as presentable as possible to host anyone besides themselves. Then again, when it was just the three of them, they didn’t typically eat dinner at the table anyway, usually opting for the living room in front of the tv or separate bedrooms. They hardly ever had visitors at all, much less for dinner, and if he was being honest with himself, Dean wasn’t really even sure how to be a proper host in his own house.

“Don’t understand why we’re doing this anyway,” he muttered bitterly as he straightened one of the forks, then purposefully and spitefully moved it again when he realized what he’d done. “It’s stupid.”

“Because,” John said patiently, bringing over a covered pot of mashed potatoes with oven-mitted hands and setting them on the table, “I’m tryin’ desperately to make a good impression, son. We got the end of the year push coming up and reviews shortly after that, and you know what follows reviews?”

Dean sighed, looking away to roll his eyes. “Raises.”

“That’s right.” John peeled off the gloves and handed them to Dean, then ruffled his hair. “I know this isn’t our thing, but it’s important to me, okay? I’m tryin’ to make a good life for us, for you boys, and I need to do all I can to get there. And if that means kissing the boss’s ass, well-”

Dean groaned and retreated back to the kitchen to check on the bread, finding the rolls needed a few more minutes before they were ready. He grabbed the handle of the ancient pot the green beans had cooked in and took it to the table as the knock at the door came, and John waved a hand at Sam.

“Go on and grab the door, Sammy, if ya don’t mind.”

Sam jumped up from the couch and pocketed his Gameboy, opening the door with a friendly grin and a wave.

“Hi, Mr. Novak,” he said cheerfully and Dean almost rolled his eyes again.

“It’s Casti-” Castiel paused and shook his head, accepting the inevitability that the youngest Winchester was never going to call him by his first name. “Hello, Sam.”

Sam stepped aside and Castiel walked into the modest living room, complete with a threadbare couch and a rug that had seen better days. John refused to throw it out, though, seeing as Mary had been the one to pick it out. The small home was littered with items like that, things that the late Mrs. Winchester had personally chosen and thus was untouchable.

“Mr. Novak,” John breezed into the living room, free of oven mitts. “Thank you so much for coming.”

“John, please,” Castiel sighed as he shrugged off his coat. “We’ve known each other since high school. Enough of the ‘Mr. Novak’ nonsense.”

“You knew each other in high school?” Dean blurted out from the kitchen, poking his head out through the entryway.

“Dean, don’t be rude,” John said tersely. “Say hello to Mr.- Castiel.”

Dean hoped no one saw his blush and the way he averted his gaze as he held out his hand. “Uh, hello, Mr.- shit -Castiel.”

“Dean, watch your mouth,” John hissed.

Castiel chuckled and firmly shook Dean’s hand, either not noticing or politely not mentioning the sweaty palm. “That’s alright, John. I seem to remember you having quite the mouth at 16.”

“Yeah, well. We all want better for our children, don’t we?” John smiled, gesturing toward the kitchen.

“Wouldn’t know,” Castiel said blandly, shuffling past Sam into the kitchen and bracing himself on the backs of one of the chairs, whites of his knuckles showing.

“Don’t think Miss MacLeod wants children one day?”

Dean looked to Castiel, who stared at John blankly for a solid few seconds before just barely tilting his head, smile pulling at the corner of his lips.

“Again, I wouldn’t know.”

“Oh. Oh, I thought you two were-”

“It became very clear very quickly that Rowena and I want...very different things,” Castiel explained. “I don’t think I’d be reaching to say anything that may have been there was over just as soon as it’d begun.”

Dean almost let out an audible sigh before mentally kicking himself and averting his gaze from anywhere close to Castiel. He went back into the kitchen again to check the bread, using an oven mitt to pull the pan out and turning off the oven as he heard John try to dig himself out of an extremely awkward conversation. So...dinner was going pretty well already.

Dean carried the rolls to the table and doubled back for the chicken, placing that in its spot and joining everyone else at the table. He sat in his normal spot and tried to look nonchalant when John motioned Castiel into the seat across from him, like he’d be able to eat a fucking bite with Mr. Intense Blue Eyes staring at him the entire time. He tried to look solely down at his plate, only looking up to take the dishes that Castiel passed him as they all loaded their plates. Before they’d even begun eating, though, that tactic proved to be problematic when Dean spilled his sweet tea everywhere while trying desperately to avoid looking at Castiel, but he just used the opportunity to distract him for the next five minutes while the conversation continued around him.

“...and Dean taught him how to play, after all-”

“Hmm?” Dean jerked his head up from dabbing the tea pooled onto the floor, nearly hitting it on the table. “What?”

“I was just telling Castiel how you taught Sam how to play chess, since he just won that tournament,” John said, spearing a bite of chicken and waving it in Dean’s direction. “Basketball too, come to think of it-”

He knew based on how the hairs stood up on the back of his neck that Castiel was staring at him, but he made a point not to make eye contact.

“Oh. Yeah. Yeah, it’s…’s no big deal.” He shrugged and finished soaking up the last of the tea before depositing the paper towels into the trash and sitting back down.

“So what kinds of things are you interested in, Dean?” came Castiel’s voice, and they may not be used to casual dinners with practical strangers, but even Dean knew enough to know it was common courtesy to look at someone when they spoke directly to you.

“Um,” Dean pushed around his mashed potatoes with his fork, wishing Castiel would stop looking at him and also knowing that if he did Dean would miss it. “Dad enrolled me into football, so there’s that. Uh-”

“He’s amazing at computers,” Sammy piped up with a smile, swallowing a mouth of chicken. “He’s building his own, too.”

Castiel raised a brow, never looking away from Dean. “Oh? That’s impressive, Dean.”

“If he can pull it off,” John shrugged and Dean dropped his gaze, steeling his expression. “Playing those games on the computer doesn’t make him a tech genius, Sammy. Computers are complicated. Kid’s great at throwing that pigskin, though,” John said to Castiel, giving Dean a pat on the shoulder. “Not too bad under the hood, either. Be a great mechanic one day. Work with all sorts of cars. Every boy’s dream. Sammy, here, he’s destined for college. Plunk him down in any class and he’ll get that A.”

Dad .” Sam pouted, sinking down in his seat with an embarrassed frown.

Castiel swallowed and wiped his mouth with a napkin before folding and placing it neatly back on the table while Dean tried to think of anything other than the vision of the man roughly fucking Miss MacLeod into the mattress. They almost seemed like two completely different people.

“What kind of computer are you building, Dean?” Castiel asked, seeming legitimately interested.

“Oh, it’s uh, not for any particular reason. More just to see if I can do it.” He shrugged and looked down as he pushed his food around with his fork. He couldn’t say what it was actually for, since he was planning to surprise Sammy with the finished product for his birthday- a custom gaming computer. He had little more than the processor purchased so far, and he’d need to bank many more hours at Bobby’s garage for the money for the other parts, but he was confident he could get it completed before May.

Castiel hummed and nodded, but didn’t look away, instead furrowing his brow as he watched him.

“So, uh...so you two went to school together,” Dean said again, trying desperately to steer away from the awkwardness of Castiel’s stare.

“Yes.”

Dean waited for Castiel to elaborate, but he only shoveled a small bite of potatoes into his mouth, like his simple ‘yes’ was more than enough explanation.

“Didn’t even realize it was him at first,” John said with a laugh, taking a sip of his tea. “Dunno how, he looks the exact same-”

Castiel smiled as he wiped his mouth again, tilting his head slightly to the side. “Mmm, I believe I was much more...rested, back then. Had a bit more life in my eyes, too. To be young and naive.”

Dean didn’t realize that he was the one staring at Castiel this time, until that gaze was back on him, and he looked down quickly as he felt the backs of his ears heat.

“We didn’t really run with the same crowd,” Castiel continued by way of explanation. “John was much like you, Dean. Sports, very hands on. But then, he was never the type to show any kind of interest in technology and the like.” His mouth quirked in the corner. “That was more my domain.”

Dean blinked at him. “Did you...did you just make a computer joke?”

Castiel just smiled and speared a piece of chicken, and Dean once again had to look away at the sight of the man’s lips wrapped around his fork, however briefly it may have been.

The rest of dinner was pure torture for Dean as he tried- and failed- to keep his eyes off the enigmatic man sitting across from him. Conversation centered around Sam and work, and thankfully Dean was able to keep himself out of it for the most part. Eventually, after everyone had their fill, Sam disappeared into his room, Castiel and John retreated into the living room with John’s good whiskey, and Dean did his regular duty of cleaning up.

As he washed dishes, he swore he felt Castiel’s eyes on him, but every time he looked up Castiel was deep in conversation with John, his eyes nowhere near Dean.

Stop letting your mind play tricks on you, Winchester.

With a rough shake of his head, Dean scrubbed furiously at the plate and snorted at himself for being stupid enough to think a successful, much older man would be so engrossed in some silly high school boy. Jesus.

Whatever. It wasn’t his first stupid crush and it won’t be his last. Boys his age crushed on everyone. Locker room talk told him half the boys in his school had crushes on their hot teachers, and in their defense, Mrs. Tran was pretty fine. This was totally normal. Minus the guy part, but Dean always kept that weird part of himself locked up tight.

By the time he had the dishes cleaned, dried, and put away and the leftovers stashed away in the fridge, Castiel was saying his goodbyes. Dean nodded and mumbled a ‘goodnight’ before Castiel disappeared out the door. He sagged his shoulders, ready to crawl into bed and listen to some really loud AC/DC.

“Aw, shoot,” John’s voice brought him from his thoughts. “Castiel forgot his coat. Dean, be a sport and run it out to him?”

Dean couldn’t even open his mouth to refuse before John shoved the coat into his hands. He sighed and slipped outside, the door shutting as he jogged up to the car.

“C-Castiel,” Dean stumbled over the name, coming to halt by the man just as he opened his car door. “Uh, your coat. Sir.” He held it out, keeping his gaze on the cracked pavement.

Castiel raised an eyebrow, waiting a beat before taking the coat. “Thank you, Dean.”

Dean mumbled some iteration of “you’re welcome” and turned to leave.

“Dean?”

He turned back to Castiel and forced himself to look up at him. “Yeah?”

Castiel draped an arm over the top of his door, his jacket clutched in his hand. “If you end up needing any help with that computer, I’d be more than happy to assist. Technology, electronics...they were my first love. I’ve picked up a thing or two over the years. And I could probably find you some pretty good deals on parts, too.”

Dean’s hands fidgeted by his sides before he finally had the good sense to stuff them in his pockets. “Yeah. Yeah, that’d be great. Thanks.”

“Of course.” Castiel held up a finger and ducked into his car briefly, depositing his jacket and grabbing something out of his center console. He straightened and closed the door behind him, and Dean stiffened as he walked over, holding something out to him that was hard to make out in the dark. “Here. This has my personal number and email. You have any questions, feel free to use either.”

Dean gathered the courage to actually look at Castiel this time when he said thank you, and the man gave him a genuine smile and a small nod before Dean pocketed the business card and started back toward the house again.

“And Dean?”

Dean stopped and closed his eyes briefly, then turned back to Castiel slowly, finding him still standing in the same spot. Castiel shoved his hands in his pockets and took a couple of steps toward him, glancing toward the house before fixing his gaze on Dean again as he stopped in front of him, in Dean’s opinion, entirely too close for comfort. When he spoke his voice was low, a deep whisper, causing Dean’s skin to prickle.

“Those looks you give are going to get you in trouble.” There was a brief flash of an amused smile that danced across his features, a hint of mischievousness in his eyes. “They’re going to get us both in trouble.”

Dean did an amazing impression of a fish, his eyes wide as he worked to say something, anything, to that while his heart tried to jump right out of his chest. Castiel just looked at him, amused and too fucking calm, before giving one last look at the house, licking his lips, and turning to climb back into his car. The engine started and Castiel was down the road, and Dean was standing there like an idiot with his mouth hanging open and his throat growing dry.

Finally, with the cold seeping into his uncoated skin and his throat hoarse, Dean found some words.

“I am so fucked.