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Island in the Sun

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Year Five

Castiel feels like he should be used to this by now. While the difficulties of maintaining a “secret” and still healthy relationship with one of the world’s biggest rock sensations whose star is still very much on the rise are numerous, so are the perks. And even though Castiel prefers his normal job and his normal routine, puttering around his garden and falling into his bed at the end of the night, some things that come with the money and fame are inarguably preferable to the alternative.

Right now, for example, Castiel is sitting in a medium-sized room, about the size of an average hotel room, with large glass windows stretching the length of the outside wall. Beyond those windows the tarmac of Los Angeles International Airport stretches as far as he can see, planes taking off and landing, crossing in front of where he sits not one hundred yards away. He looks around the room for the third or fourth time and takes in all of the amenities. Private ensuite bathroom with a shower, giant flat screen TV, comfortable cushioned chairs, complimentary juice, soda, and alcohol bar, a big tray of fruit and snacks. Wi-Fi, butler service, car-to-jet handling of every little detail including security and immigration processing. And conveniently for his nerves, hanging on the wall is a screen that shows his flight and its status.

ATLANTIC AVIATION PRIVATE CHARTER-- 1045 LAX -- NRT -- MPH -- STATUS: ON-TIME

He checks his watch; 10:00 on the dot. The plane should be touching down at any moment if it hasn’t already. As he sips his mimosa and waits, he has to admit that this sort of luxury, while wildly excessive and bought at a price tag he never wants to see, is much more pleasant than waiting in multiple long lines with hundreds of other ornery travelers only to find out the seats in the waiting area are all taken. Of course, it would be even more pleasant if Dean were here with him, but that situation is about to be rectified regardless.

With one last craning of his neck trying and failing to catch a glimpse of Dean’s private plane, Castiel gives up and sinks down into the chair, draining half of what’s left in his champagne flute in one gulp. It burns as he forces it down, simultaneously reaching in his pocket to check his phone -- no messages. He sighs and forces himself to relax. The steward will come and retrieve him when it’s time, he knows that, but as the minutes continue to tick away, he worries. The juice gets warm in his hand where the stem slips down and leaves the glass flush with his palm, but he hardly notices.

Finally, a silver car pulls up outside the room and Castiel feels a rush of relief when he recognizes his tagged bags being rolled out and transferred into the trunk. A knock on the door sounds only moments later.

“Come in,” Castiel calls as he gathers his carry-on and shoulder bag. He doesn’t bother to don his light jacket because while it’s only in the low 60’s outside, he’ll only be out there for a few moments and he’s wearing a t-shirt that really showcases the biceps he’s been working on while Dean’s been away. So sue him, Dean is a rockstar, he’s got legions of fans drooling over him constantly and Cas will take any leverage he can get to put the shoe on the other foot. Not that he’s jealous, that’s never been his style, but seeing Dean’s eyes go dark with lust and want directed only at him… well, Cas is only human, and sometimes Dean feels so far out of his league. It’s nice to be reminded that he’s not.

What was he doing? Oh, right.

The door opens and a man in a crisp suit and tie smiles warmly at him. “Mr. Novak, if you’ll follow me, your plane is ready now. Shall I take your bag?” Castiel declines with a wave of his hand and a thank you, stepping through the door and waiting as the steward closes it and gestures for him to follow. They pass by a few other suites with closed doors before turning a corner and encountering a single metal detector and X-ray machine between them and the outside door. Castiel loads up his bags and steps through as directed, clearing the checkpoint without any issues. The steward takes his bag off of the end of the conveyor belt anyway despite his protests, winking at Castiel as he opens the door and leads him out onto the tarmac.

“Mr. Winchester pays far too much money for you not to be taken care of, Mr. Novak,” he says lightly before the rush of air, noise, and sound engulfs them fully. Castiel rolls his eyes, not at the steward but at the idea that he needs tending to in such a way. The waiting car is a silver BMW that already has its back door held open for him. He yells his thanks to the steward, doing his best to be heard over the ruckus of the tarmac, and receives a nod and a wave as the door is shut behind him. Some of the noise blocked out once again, Castiel can focus on where they’re going.

“Good morning, Mr. Novak,” the driver greets him. “We’ll have you to your plane in a jiffy.” Castiel smiles and nods, tucking away his passport in the front pocket of his bag. The BMW rides smoothly and Castiel all but presses his face against the window to take in everything they’re passing by. It’s fascinating seeing the airport and the planes from this angle and he watches with interest as baggage carts snake past, marshallers holding bright orange cones guide commercial airlines into position, and the planes themselves loom giant far above his head. The BMW maneuvers carefully through it all, staying within the yellow lines that are painted on the ground behind where the planes dock at their respective terminals. The driver continues on past all of the big name airlines all the way to the hangar reserved for private and charter planes only.

Castiel’s heart thumps in his chest, a combination of nerves and excitement, and by the time the car is pulling to a stop and his door is being opened, he practically leaps out. The jet he’s boarding has its stairs down and he’s directed to board immediately. The wind whips at his hair as he ascends and he ducks his head against it, not looking where he’s going and thus slamming straight into a hard, familiar body. Hands catch around his upper arms and steady him where he stands, keeping him from stumbling back and going ass-first down the stairs. Castiel looks up and into the smiling, crinkle-eyed face of his boyfriend, Dean Winchester.

“Dean,” he breathes, briefly forgetting that they’re still standing in the doorway to the plane, perfectly visible to anyone who cares to look. He drops the bag that’s in his hand to throw his arms around Dean’s neck enthusiastically and squeezes. Thankfully, there are no paparazzi lurking and the windows to the main terminals are way too distant for anyone to possibly recognize Dean. It would appear that Dean agrees because he's wrapping his arms easily around Castiel’s back and hugging him without reservation in return.

“Missed you so much, sunshine,” he murmurs close to Cas’ ear, which is the only reason he can hear it over the airport noise. He kisses Castiel softly before bending down to grab his bag for him, taking his hand and dragging him inside the rest of the way. “C’mon, let’s get this show on the road.”

Dean squeezes his hand affectionately as he leads him into the main cabin where Sam waves hello excitedly from where he’s sprawled out on one of the long cushioned benches. The pretty girl perched on his lap, who Castiel recognizes as one of Sam’s girlfriends, Jessica Moore, waves too and smiles. Castiel likes Jessica and secretly hopes that if Sam ever decides to settle down and pare his little harem down to one that it’ll be her and not Ruby or Madison. He supposes Sarah and Eileen are okay, too, but Jessica looks at Sam the way he knows he looks at Dean, and whether Sam wants to admit it or not, that’s how he looks back.

Unfortunately, today doesn’t look like it's going to be that day. Ruby comes barging back in from the forward galley (which is actually behind them), a bottle of champagne in one hand and no glasses in sight. She hip-checks Castiel as she passes him in lieu of a greeting and it's harder than what would be necessary or even friendly. The surprise shove sends him stumbling to the side, his hand yanked unceremoniously away from Dean’s. When Dean sees what happened, he scowls.

“The fuck, Ruby?”

Ruby just shrugs and grins, barely acknowledging Dean at all as she drops her petite frame into one of the reclining chairs that's across from Sam and Jess. Once she's down she lifts the bottle to her lips and drinks deeply. Some champagne dribbles out of her mouth and down her long brown hair, funneling into her cleavage and dampening the front of her low-cut shirt. She makes a show of looking down there and wiping up the liquid with her finger, licking it clean.

“Ew,” Dean grimaces. “Seriously?” Castiel would have to agree but Sam’s practically drooling, so much so that he can hardly tear his eyes away to snark back at his brother.

“Whatever, Dean," he manages. "Like you’re not about to take Cas into the back bedroom and fuck his brains out.”

Dean sputters and points his finger accusingly. “Not the same, dude. Cas and me haven’t seen each other in weeks.” Sam grins and looks past Dean to where Castiel is still standing awkwardly in the door frame.

“Yea, and that’s why I’m not fighting you for the bedroom. But you know, if you’re not gonna use it…” He rests a hand on Jessica’s thigh and she giggles, shifting back and forth on his lap. Ruby grins wickedly too, handing the champagne bottle over to her blonde counterpart and letting her fingers linger where they touch Jessica's perfectly manicured ones against the glass. Castiel tilts his head to the side and watches with interest. He’s never quite understood the groupie thing, but the appeal of multiple partners is certainly an interesting concept. Not for him, but fascinating in its dynamics nonetheless. Jessica is actually an extremely successful lawyer and has no need to chase after Sam or his money, so she must actually enjoy whatever it is they have together. And Ruby, for all the cheesy show she puts on, is very much an in-demand actress with a full career of her own. In fact, none of Sam’s girlfriends are typical groupies or gold diggers, and yet they put up with Sam completely, as far as Castiel knows rarely getting jealous or making demands he can't fulfill. Fascinating, really, Castiel thinks.

“Ew, a whole world of no,” Dean replies to Sam, his hand blindly searching behind him for Castiel’s and tugging him forward once again when he finds it. “See you in Caticlan, bitch.”

"Jerk," Sam replies, with a pointed wink in Castiel's direction as he passes by his seat. Ruby's less subtle, smacking his ass and cheering as he moves past her. He startles and half-turns to glare at her for her brazenness, still blinking in surprise at the unexpected contact. He doesn’t get a chance to say anything though because Dean is pulling him through the last partition, closing and locking the sliding door behind them. He hears the girls’ peals of laughter ringing through the partition and turns to Dean with his eyebrows raised.

“Sam brought both of them,” he observes and Dean rolls his eyes.

“He’s really leaning into the whole ' rockstar'  persona,” Dean replies, and Castiel must be rubbing off on him because he uses air quotes. “If Eileen and Sarah weren’t busy they’d be here, too. I think Madison's moved on but you'd have to ask Sam... Anyway, ‘nough about my nerd brother. I fuckin’ missed you.”

Dean boxes Castiel in against the door and kisses him roughly, nipping at his lower lip and licking into his mouth without pretense. Cas’ hands fly to Dean’s hips as if they've never been apart and he pulls them together. It feels ridiculously good to be touching Dean again and he doesn’t hold back, pushing back against Dean’s mouth just as passionately as he’s being kissed. However reassuring talking to Dean on the phone every night is, it's still a very poor substitute for actually having this.

“How was Canada?” He murmurs his question in between soft presses of lips and Dean snorts.

"Cold,” he stresses, before straightening up to place a halting hand in the middle of Castiel’s chest. “But poutine, dude. Fuck yes,” he adds seriously. “Shit, now I’m hungry.” He looks off to the side as if he’s deep in thought for a long moment and then shrugs, diving back in to continue ravaging Cas’ mouth.

“Food… will wait,” Castiel manages as Dean’s mouth moves from his lips to his neck and strong, nimble, string-plucking fingers twist into the waistband of his dress pants. They busy themselves undoing his belt, button, and zipper, working his pants and underwear down just far enough to pull him out. Dean sucks a bruise above Cas’ collarbone and then licks his way back up over thin stubble to kiss his lips again. Dean kicks at his feet until they're far enough apart that he can stand in between comfortably, shoving Cas’ underwear down over his dick and under his balls, cupping him roughly and making Castiel groan into his mouth. Then he smiles and pulls away, dropping to his knees and placing a palm flat on Cas’ stomach to hold him against the door. Castiel’s hands fly into his hair as he swallows him down without hesitation, sucking and humming like it’s a relief to have his cock back in his mouth. Beneath them, the floor rumbles as the airplane’s engines shudder to life and the jet pushes back from the hangar. The captain’s voice sounds overhead, instructing them to sit down and buckle their seatbelts for takeoff.

Dean stares wide-eyed through thick, dark lashes as he swallows around him, caressing his stomach and chest now that he doesn't have to hold him in place. Castiel moans loudly at the realization that his nightly fantasies are literally coming true in front of him, dropping his head back against the door with a thunk. Even over the roar of the engines, he can hear Jess and Ruby cheering from the other side of the door, though he does his best to drown their voices out and focus on Dean's clever tongue. As the plane lurches forward he loses his balance and stumbles, inadvertently choking Dean and making him pull off in a wet coughing fit.

“Apologies,” he says with a grimace, but Dean just laughs, wiping the wetness on his chin off with a swipe of the back of his hand.

“At least you didn’t fall, that could have been tragic,” he notes. With a break in the action, Castiel’s eyes sweep the small but comfortable room that takes up the back of the plane. A queen-sized bed with a bookcase for a headboard takes up most of the space but the wall on the opposite side has large windows and a credenza that contains a refrigerator and drawers underneath. It’s quite comfortable, the muted browns and crisp whites that decorate the space reminiscent of both the Winchesters’ understated style. Dean’s guitar is propped in one corner, a mess of papers jammed underneath it as Dean had no doubt been passing the time on his previous flight with songwriting. Castiel smiles when he imagines Dean curled up in the corner, alternating between strumming and writing furiously.

As it is, Dean’s relocated himself to the bed and is patting the space next to him impatiently. “You gonna just stand there with your dick out or what?”

Castiel sighs loudly at Dean's crass comment but it’s fond. He hesitates briefly just to throw Dean off before diving onto the bed and tackling him down, straddling his chest and pinning him in place. The plane lurches forward again, one position closer in the takeoff queue. 

“Maybe I’ll just sit here with my dick out,” he challenges with one eyebrow raised. Dean whimpers beneath him, opening his mouth in an offering Castiel’s all too pleased to accept. The plane’s engines rev as he slides inside wet heat and thrusts gently, one hand braced on the bookcase in front of him and the other twined in Dean’s hair. They must be done taxiing into position because the engine noise holds this time, the plane’s speed increasing instead of shuddering to another stop. Castiel finds the sensation of the vibrations alongside what Dean is doing extremely pleasant and he closes his eyes, feeling tight heat coiling in his stomach already. It’s been so long since he’s had anything other than Dean’s voice and his memory, and while he’d pictured them having reunion sex that was slow and drawn out and romantic as fuck, there’s no way he’s gonna last for it, not this round anyway. Oh well, he thinks, we have a whole two weeks in Boracay. As the plane reaches top speed and finally launches off the runway Castiel feels himself tensing, his hips jerking into the sloppy sounds Dean is making beneath him and oh, rapture.

He comes down Dean’s throat as the man moans around him, the plane gaining altitude as Dean’s tongue and mouth work him through it. Once sated and on the verge of oversensitive, he slips out of Dean’s mouth as he attempts to sit back on his heels. Unfortunately, he's unprepared and doesn’t compensate for the plane’s tilted angle as it barrels forward into the sky. Finding himself off-balance, he flails to keep himself upright but it’s too little, too late and he goes tumbling backward and off of the bed, landing with a thump on the floor. Dean bursts out laughing and by the time Castiel claws his way back up the side of the bed with a sore hip and a glare that could smite cities his pretty green eyes are glistening with tears.

“See if I return the favor now, ” he grumbles, rolling onto the mattress beside Dean and elbowing him to move over and make some room. Dean just wheezes and struggles to catch his breath as Castiel tucks his dick and his bruised ego back into his pants.

“‘M good, actually,” Dean finally wheezes around a few deep breaths, using the bottom of his shirt to wipe the moisture from his eyes. Castiel lifts his head up to look and sure enough, there’s a dark spot on the front of Dean’s jeans. Humiliation forgotten, he palms over it roughly, growling quietly and nipping at Dean’s ear.

“That you get off to blowing me is extremely appealing,” he murmurs. “Give me fifteen minutes, I’d like to show you just how much.” Dean grins and leans up to steal a kiss before shoving his way off of the mattress and stripping his sweat-damp shirt from his skin.

“Whatever you want, sweetheart. Let’s get naked and grab some drinks from the galley though first. And burgers. I had someone deliver us IN-n-Out at LAX.”

“Perhaps you’d like to do those things in the reverse order,” Castiel suggests. “For the sake of Sam’s sanity.” Dean’s smile widens and Castiel rolls his eyes as he realizes Dean’s intentions. “I’m going to shower,” he says, standing and trailing a hand across Dean’s bare abdomen as he passes by him to the small full bath hidden behind the rear wall. “I love you.” He kisses Dean softly and grabs one of the robes that's sitting atop the credenza, closing the door softly behind him but not locking it. Not a minute later he hears Sam’s protesting cries and lets out a loud laugh as he imagines Dean strolling naked through the main cabin.

He relieves himself and then starts the shower, hopping in and sudsing himself up in a thick lather. He’s not surprised when he hears the soft snick of the sliding bathroom door and Dean slips in behind him, wrapping muscular arms around his stomach and kissing at his neck. He turns and happily captures his lips, sharing his bubbles and soaping Dean's body up generously at the same time.

“Missed this,” he sighs into Dean’s mouth. “Missed you. ” Dean’s grip around him tightens and he responds by wrapping arms around his neck, rocking up onto the balls of his feet to press affectionate kisses to the corners of Dean's eyes, his forehead, and his cheeks.

“You could come with me,” Dean suggests way too casually, conflicting notes of hope and resignation apparent in his voice.

“Dean.” Castiel chides him sternly because they've had this conversation ten or a hundred times before and he just wants to enjoy the moment, not get overly caught up in what they can't have. “I'm not going to simply give up my life and my career to follow you around the globe. While I will never tire of watching you sing, I have clients that depend on me, and I enjoy my work.” Dean’s face looks crestfallen and Castiel feels a pang of guilt, despite the fact that they’ve discussed this and both agree it’s for the best. “How about we make a deal? When you go back on the road, you pick one week, any week, and I’ll be by your side for the entire thing. That's an extra seven days of vacation I wasn't planning to take.” Dean's face brightens considerably and he catches Cas’ bottom lip between his teeth, sucking gently before he lets go.

“Love you,” he says quietly, and since Castiel knows what it takes for Dean to voice his feelings he treats the disclosure with the gravitas it deserves.

He tickles the shit out of him.

When Dean’s reduced to a giggly, whimpering mess on the shower floor, Castiel flicks the water off and offers him a hand up.

“Let’s agree to worry about being apart when that time comes,” he suggests, and Dean nods as he accepts the towel Castiel offers him. “For the next two weeks, I intend to drown myself in you and worry about nothing at all. Now come,” he commands, hanging up his own towel, taking Dean’s hand and leading them back to the mussed bed. He folds the covers down properly this time and slides under them, dragging Dean in with him.

“Burgers in bed, and then round two?”

“It’s like you can read my mind.”

***

The rest of the flight goes smoothly, despite how long it is. They eat and drink and marathon all the episodes of Dr. Sexy that Dean’s held off on watching while he’s been away and while Castiel can’t say he’s exactly a fan of the show, he loves watching Dean’s reactions to it, and as such he’s happy Dean waited. The plane eventually lands to refuel in Tokyo but they sleep right through it, waking only as the Captain announces their final descent into Caticlan in the Philippines. Caticlan isn’t an airport any of the major airlines fly directly into internationally but that’s another perk of owning a private jet. Dressed now in shorts and t-shirts, Dean and Sam with ball caps and sunglasses, just in case (though they don’t anticipate anyone recognizing them), the whole gang disembarks alongside the small entourage that seems to follow the Winchesters everywhere, even on vacation. At least it’s pared down for this, Castiel notes. He gives thanks for the isolated location and exclusive hotel Dean had chosen, no doubt major factors in how much security they chose to bring and how much privacy they felt they could expect. By his count, Cas only notes one personal assistant, one publicist, and two bodyguards, all of whom will probably stay scarce unless they’re summoned or something unexpected happens in the rock world.

Dean yawns as they make their way towards the stairs that will lead them off of the plane, fiddling with his watch until he’s adjusted it to local time. “Five in the afternoon,” he announces. “Dude, our sleep is gonna be fucked.” Castiel shifts his bag where it’s cutting into his shoulder and elbows him playfully.

“I’m sure we’ll have no problems filling the time. It’s not like it matters, we have nowhere to be.” He catches Dean’s eye and smiles softly, pleased when Dean’s cheeks stain pink with just a hint of a blush.

Sam shoves him lightly from behind and he realizes they've accidentally come to a full stop at the top of the stairs. “Can you two make eyes at each other once we're in the limo? I’m so sick of being on this plane I’m about to tear my hair out.”

Dean gasps. “Not the hair!” He cries, and reaches for Sam’s head, doing his best to dole out a mean noogie through his hat as Sam squirms away and screeches. Castiel pulls him off before Sam decides he wants to fight back and they all end up standing around while the brothers wrestle until someone can claim dominance. Let them save all that for when they’re settled into the hotel and they’re all not held prisoner by childish antics. Still, Dean’s almost glowing with happiness, and Castiel can’t find a reason to be upset by that.

Caticlan’s airport isn’t much more than a single strip runway and a single low building welcoming them. They disembark straight onto the tarmac and are processed quickly through immigration inside, their entire group and all their luggage soon loaded into the two waiting limos out front. It’s as seamless an intercountry transition as Castiel’s ever experienced and soon they’re on their way to the Jetty Port to catch the boat transfer to their destination. Dean holds Castiel’s hand between them on the limo seat that faces forward and rests his chin on Castiel’s shoulder as the countryside flies by. It’s only about a five-minute ride from the airport but the scenery is gorgeous, green and lush with mountains off in the distance. When the ocean comes into view it’s a sparkling turquoise blue and Castiel itches to dive into it.

The limos drop them off at the pier in front of a building that contains a dedicated lounge and check-in for guests of their hotel. They’re offered flutes of dalandan juice and Dean downs three (including Castiel’s) before he thinks to ask Sam to explain what it is (sour orange, a fruit native to the Philippines). He promptly decides that he needs a fresh-pressed pitcher of it in their villa every morning for the next two weeks.

The wait isn’t long, thankfully, before they’re being escorted down the gangway and loaded onto an enclosed speedboat that zips them across the water in a short, fifteen minute or so ride to Boracay. Dean squeezes his hand as the resort, the Shangri-La  comes into view, pointing to where he thinks their villa is, an exclusive two-bedroom bungalow with direct, private beach access.

Upon arrival, to Dean’s delight, they’re greeted with more juice and an escort up to the main lobby where they check in without delay. The attendant steps away from the desk when she’s done, leading them back out of the lobby and providing a brief but helpful tour of the grounds on their way to their little home away from home. She points out restaurants, bars, the main beach where entertainment is provided nightly, a giant meandering pool, places to rent gear for sea sports, a spa, and so much more Castiel has trouble retaining it all. And truly, all that is extremely enticing and wonderful, but Castiel finds himself most pleased and excited by all the lush greenery and meticulous gardening that surrounds them at every turn. He resists the urge to dig his hands into the soil just to see how it compares but allows himself to revel in all the new and interesting flowers and plants lining the pathways beside them. He catches Dean watching him take it all in and beams, he hasn’t even seen where they’re staying yet but he’s already decided that this was a perfect pick by his sweet boyfriend.  

Their escort leads them on to a gated bungalow labeled Villa #13 and ushers them through the swinging outer doors into a courtyard with a paver path that ends at the real front door. After she keys them in and hands over a booklet of information and extra keys, she tells them that their other bags are already inside and asks if they would like a tour of the villa itself.

“We’ll take it from here, sweetheart,” Dean assures her, and she blushes before disappearing back the way they came, ushering Sam and Dean’s entourage along with her to show them to their own nearby villa. As soon as they’ve rounded the corner, all five of the supposed adults remaining attempt to shove their way through the front door at the same time, spilling haphazardly into the main living area where fortunately nothing breakable is displayed near the door.

“Holy shit,” Ruby breathes, dropping her bag to the floor and staring straight ahead out the sliding glass doors that take up most of the far wall of the living space. Ruby’s normally a little rough around the edges for Cas’ taste, but in her observation here he has to agree. “ Holy shit indeed”,  is the only phrase that comes to his mind as well. He steps forward, past the plush couches and flat screen TV to get closer to the glass, Ruby and Jess right at his heels. The view looks out over a stunning infinity-edged pool and beyond that, the white sand and turquoise waters of the ocean, its waves gently lapping at the shore. Aside from the beach, their entire backyard is surrounded by bright, dense vegetation and florals that provide almost absolute privacy. Castiel had expected luxury, but this is exceptional.

“Fuck unpacking,” Ruby declares excitedly. “I’m going in! Who's with me?!” She moves to yank her top off right there in the middle of the living room but stops when Dean’s voice rings out.

“Go ahead, but you forfeit claim on the master bedroom if you do,” he says with a wide smirk. Ruby, Jess, and Cas all turn away from the glass with confused looks on their faces, Castiel with an eyebrow raised at Dean. Sam is standing there sheepishly, scratching the back of his neck and generally looking like a kid who got his hand caught in the cookie jar.

“Uh, so, this was the biggest villa they had," he explains. "Technically there’s only one master, but we had them replace the twins in the second bedroom with a king. So really, it’s not like they’re that different…” He stops bothering to explain as Ruby stomps off, plowing by Dean and off into the right wing of the bungalow where the Master is. She comes back out in less than a minute, walking clear across to the other side without saying a word, presumably to scope out the second bedroom. When she re-emerges, she crosses her arms and glares at Sam.

“Uh, yea, except the Master is way nicer,” she complains. “Anyway, there’s three of us, so we should be the ones to get it. It's only fair.”

“Nu-uh,” Dean interjects. “We'll play for it, that's fair.” He motions between himself and Sam. “Mano e mano, rock, paper, scissors.” Sam hesitates for a second and then shrugs.

“Okay, yea. You're right, that is fair.” Ruby relaxes, uncrossing her arms and smirking while Castiel throws a glance at Jess. Everyone knows Sam has a history of crushing Dean at this game, no matter how hard he tries or how many times they play. Of course Ruby is smug, but Jess just shrugs as if she could care less. Castiel decides he definitely likes Jess the best. By the time he turns back to the brothers, Sam and Dean have thrown down two tieing hands. Two rock, two scissors. They play again, counting off and ending with Sam choosing rock again but this time, Dean picks paper. Sam scowls and Dean looks down at his hands twice before he seems to register that he’s won.

“AHA!” He cheers, throwing his hands up in victory. “Finally!” Castiel bites back a smile and steps up to kiss Dean’s cheek, grabbing his bags and making his way into their hard-won bedroom. Dean follows, closing the door behind them to block out Ruby’s inevitable whiny complaints. Once inside though, he realizes something.

“Dean… our bags are already in here, the ones we sent with the porter from the jetty. In fact, they’re put away in the closet and… all of our clothes appear to be folded or hung up..?”

Dean grins. “Butler service! They handle all the boring stuff for you.” Dean kicks off his shoes and sprawls across the giant bed on his back, sighing happily. Castiel follows after him, peering down in persisting confusion.

“But… you and Sam…” Dean tucks his hands behind his head and rolls his eyes.

“This is our vacation, sunshine. Sammy’s just tagging along.” He yawns and talks through it. “That whole thing was for Ruby’s benefit, otherwise she’d be insufferable.”

“Isn’t she anyway?” Castiel mutters but Dean laughs and reaches out to grab his wrist, giving his best attempt at pulling Castiel down onto the bed. He resists but just barely, relenting only enough to lean down and kiss Dean firmly.

“You’re a wonderful partner and a caring brother,” he murmurs against Dean’s lips, and Dean shoves his face away.

“Nah… just doin’ my big brother duty to get Sammy laid.”

Castiel hums and pulls away from Dean’s grasp, making his way over to the dresser. “You know, I think you can relinquish those duties whenever you’re ready. Your brother has… what? Four girlfriends these days? Plus groupies? I’d say he’s doing fine getting laid on his own.” He rummages in the drawers for his swim trunks, selecting the royal blue ones that Dean sent him in the mail when he’d first surprised him with this trip. He strips quickly and steps in, making sure to take his time straightening up after bending over and displaying his bare ass for Dean to see.

“Five,” Dean says distractedly, and Castiel smirks knowing that he’s the source of it. “Why are we talking about Sam?”

When Castiel turns back around, Dean's sitting up again except now he’s shucked his shirt and is undoing his shorts at warp speed. “I hope you’re changing into a swimsuit,” he says, running a hand over his flat belly and drawing Dean’s eye. Dean sticks out his lip and pouts.

“C’mon, Cas, we haven’t even fucked yet, not for real. Get back over here.” He slaps the comforter next to him petulantly.

“You had two orgasms on that plane, Dean, and we are in a foreign country with beautiful scenery and gorgeous, crystal clear water. We can have sex later,” Castiel insists, returning to the dresser to dig out Dean’s own new trunks, green like his own eyes, and not caring in the least how cliche they two of them are together. He throws the trunks across the room at Dean, not daring to get within grabbing distance, and then opens up the curtains hiding their own sliding glass doors wide. Their view is much the same as the living room and he eyes the ocean water with unhidden desire. Dean slips up behind and presses him against the glass, his cock mostly hard in the shorts Castiel is surprised he even bothered to put on.

“C’mon Cas, I want you,” he says softly into his ear, lips just barely brushing the skin of his neck. It's a tempting offer for sure, but Castiel won’t be swayed.

“Then bring the lube and fuck me in the water,” he replies with a laugh, throwing the door open and darting outside before Dean can protest. He hears a growl behind him but doesn’t stop to look back, hopping quickly across the stone patio, down the steps next to the pool and across the grass until it gives way to sand. He notes two outside seating areas with comfortable chairs and thinks they’ll be quite pleasant to gather at later, perhaps with a fire pit and some drinks. Well, so long as Ruby isn’t still salty about the rooms it’ll be pleasant. Castiel thinks she’s probably too irritated to put two plus two together about the clothes already being put away but Jess will certainly catch it. Castiel doubts she’ll care, though, and his suspicions are confirmed when he hears her squeal and Sam laugh before their own sliding glass door rolls shut again and muffles the sounds.

The sand under his bare feet is warm and soft as he makes his way towards the water, the air comfortably warm but not stifling as day slips into evening. The sun hangs low in the sky, casting rays of pinks and oranges outward as it starts its nightly drop into the horizon and when the water hits his toes it's warm but not so much that it isn’t still refreshing. He wades in quickly, diving under the barely-there waves as soon as it's deep enough. He surfaces and shakes his head, blinking the salt from his eyes as he turns to float on his back. He sees Dean splashing into the shallows and advancing on him with a predatory look in his eye.

“You know that I was kidding,” he calls out in warning, planting his feet back on the smooth ocean floor so that Dean can’t get one up on him. “Neither of us is getting fucked in salt water for the first time in two months. Imagine -- no, you know what? Don’t. Just trust me - ouch.”  

But Dean just rolls his eyes, sinking down into the water and paddling out to where it’s shoulders-deep for Castiel. He twines his arms and legs around Cas' torso and holds on, so Castiel winds arms around his waist and holds him in place. They sway in the ebb and flow of the waves as the sky dims and fills with more and more color above them. Dean kisses him slow and deep and despite his previous pleadings, without apparent ulterior motives.

“Thank you,” he says softly between kisses.

Amused, Castiel cocks his head to the side and nips his nose. “Why are you thanking me? You planned all this.” He strokes a wet hand across the top of Dean’s back and pulls them flush together, resting his chin on a warm shoulder while Dean does the same.

“Just… for being with me. Here, and when we can’t be, you know, physically together. For making the house we share a home. For supporting the band, even though I know you hate the fame stuff. You’re… shit. I feel so fucking lucky to have you, Cas.” Dean’s arms tighten around Castiel’s shoulders and he buries his face in the crook of his neck. But in true Dean fashion, his little chick flick moment doesn’t last long.

Abruptly, he pushes back and grins. “You hungry? I’m starving. Race you to the room service menu,” he yells, untangling himself from around Cas’ body and plopping ungracefully into the waves. He resurfaces sputtering wildly and swims like a maniac towards the shore. Castiel follows more leisurely, letting the current bring him in slowly. He washes up on the shore and gets to his feet, wringing out his suit and picking up the towel Dean had thoughtfully dropped in the sand for him. He hears Dean calling out for Sam and their voices bickering back and forth, though they’re too distant to pick out distinct words. Castiel stretches and sighs happily, tucking the towel around his waist and following Dean's wet path up the stone to the house.

He’s happier than he’s been in a very long time, and it has very little to do with all the luxury, and very much to do with Dean. He catches his eye as he ascends the steps alongside the pool that lead up to the patio and Dean smiles, beckoning him in and waving what must be the menu frantically while Sam attempts to snatch it out of his hands.

Castiel hurries to join his family.

***

The first week flies by far too quickly for Castiel’s liking, though he enjoys every moment. They swim a lot, both in the pools and in the ocean several times a day, taking turns shoving each other off of the infinity edge and into the water and generally messing around. Castiel and Dean float on their backs side by side in the ocean for over an hour one afternoon, just staring at the sky and holding hands, pretending that this is their life and they’re not staring down the barrel of another two months apart in just a few short days.

As long as they don’t think too far ahead, everything feels perfect. With Dean being Dean, food is naturally a main focus of their trip. He introduces Castiel to all sorts of local flavors… adobo, lechon, fried noodles, too many fresh seafood dishes to name, and an ice cream creation that Castiel has become particularly attached to since called halo-halo. Jess made a delicious food discovery too, returning to the villa with an armful of frozen popsicles in little baggies made of all sorts of flavors. She said it was called ice candy and their freezer’s been stuffed full of them ever since. Castiel’s partial to the pandan but truthfully, he wouldn’t turn any of them down. In fact, it’s hard for him to select one new dish in particular that he likes the best. Dean, on the other hand, has no such issues, having a clear-cut winner since their first breakfast on the island. It’s tosilog by a mile, a breakfast spread that includes a fried egg, garlic fried rice, and tosino , which he excitedly explains to Cas that he learned from the head chef is pork belly cured in salt, sugar, and spices before frying. Dean likes it so much that he’s declared regular bacon “dead to him” and done his best to eat his weight in its apparent replacement. Castiel mentally notes to see if it’s available in L.A., and then feels devastated when he remembers Dean won’t be there to enjoy it for quite a long time.

They both do their best to put that looming nightmare out of their minds, though, focusing on filling their days with a multitude of different activities and their nights with each other. Alongside Sam, Jess, and Ruby they snorkel and go jet skiing, they rent kayaks, try parasailing and Dean even agrees to accompany Cas to morning yoga more than once, though he grumbles the entire time. Later, they venture to one of the nearby marketplaces for the second time and Dean stumbles upon a vendor that’s selling homemade instruments. He buys a guitar and serenades Castiel on the beach that night while they’re all gathered around a fire, and Castiel slips into a bit of melancholy, wishing it could always be this way. He wishes badly that Dean’s audience of one, his ultimate fan would be enough for him, knowing all the while that it never would be.

Later that night he pours all of his feelings and frustration into fucking Dean into the mattress, pulling his hair and slapping his hands away when he tries to touch himself so that they only way he can come is on Cas’ cock. Dean thrashes and moans and comes all over himself, never noticing that something is not right at all with the man on top of him. Castiel finishes, immediately slipping out and away to the bathroom to grab a washcloth. By the time he returns, Dean is snoring. He cleans him up anyway, getting a grunt of thanks and an armful of sated rockstar when he lies back down.

He stares at the ceiling for a very long time.

***

On their last full day of vacation, Sam takes the girls back into town for one final round of shopping while Dean and Cas stay behind to score some private time together. It’s not long before a relaxing swim turns into Dean bending him over the side of the infinity pool with one leg up on the side (thank you, sunrise yoga sessions), an arm around his chest and one in between his legs. He’s setting a pretty lazy rhythm by thrusting slow and deep and at first, Castiel’s into it, the feel of Dean behind him, the sun blazing down, the sloshing and gentle slapping of the pool water on his thighs. But as keeps on happening, his traitorous thoughts begin to drift towards the coming days and away from his current potential bliss.

“C’mon Dean, harder, make me feel it,” he begs, but Dean rubs a no motion with this face into his shoulder blade.

“Relax, Cas,” he says softly. “Wanna savor this.”

Castiel grits his teeth and does his best to get back into a “savoring” mindset, but no matter what he does, it’s just not happening. Finally, with a flagging erection and way too many thoughts crowding his head, he gives up and slides off the side of the pool, gently pushing away a very confused Dean.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?”

Castiel sighs and dunks fully under the water to stall for time, pushing wet locks off his forehead as he stands back up. He wades over to the stairs and sits down, legs still in the water. Dean follows, plopping down next to him with a bit of a splash, and Castiel smiles at that before taking Dean’s hand.

“I’m sorry, Dean,” he says regretfully. “I keep… I’ve been working so hard not to let my fears about the coming months affect this trip.” Dean’s brow furrows, and he turns to face Castiel more fully.

“Cas,” he replies, voice full of concern. “You should have told me you were feeling like this! Shit, Cas, not every moment in our lives is gonna be a good one.”

“I know that.” Castiel slaps at the water in frustration. “But you went to all this trouble, paid so much money, I didn’t want to ruin your effort with my silly insecurities and fears about the future. We’ve already had this discussion and neither one of us is willing to give up our own lives. As such, compromises with our time together must be made. I know this. And this trip was supposed to make up for that but instead of enjoying our time together for what it is I’ve just been… wallowing. I’m so sorry, Dean.” Castiel looks up mournfully and meets Dean’s troubled gaze.

“Come here,” is all Dean says at first, opening his arms and folding Castiel into them. “I’m sorry I didn’t pick up on all of this, baby. I feel like a total asshole.”

“I wasn’t exactly broadcasting my feelings,” he mumbles into Dean’s shoulder and gets a tight squeeze in return. When they separate again, Dean bites his lip for a moment before speaking.

“Listen,” he starts. “If it’s bothering you that much, I’ll figure something out. I can maybe… I dunno, I can probably buy us a week. Move some dates around, hell, I’ll cancel a city if I have to. Cas, you are the most important thing to me.”

Castiel shakes his head. “I can’t let you do that. Never mind the cost to the sponsors and to you, it’s unfair to the rest of the band and to the fans that have paid money to see you. No, Dean, I’m a big boy. I knew what I was getting into with you, and I still support you one hundred percent. It’s just as you said, not every moment will be easy. That’s all this is, a moment.”

Dean stares at him skeptically, dragging Cas’ hand into his lap and squeezing it again. “Are you sure?”

Castiel nods, not trusting his voice any longer at the present time.

“Two more months and I’ll be home, that's it for a while. Once this tour is over it’ll just be regular stuff; writing and recording, PR, all the normal bullshit I can do mostly from L.A. Yea?” Cas nods again and tucks himself into Dean’s side. “Cas, is there anything I can do?” His fingers sift through Castiel's hair, and he closes his eyes, doing his best to relax into Dean's body.

“No,” Castiel whispers. “Just love me.”

***

It’s tough to say goodbye to their little home away from home when the next day comes. Castiel finds himself getting ridiculously emotional over the stupidest things, starting with breakfast when they run out of the sour orange juice Dean’s come to enjoy so much. Dean assures him that it isn’t big deal, but once again it’s an unsolicited reminder that they’re running out of time together. When he voices that thought out loud Dean stares him down like he’s sprouted two new heads before delivering a smack to his bicep alongside a not-so-gentle reminder that it is just juice and not a metaphor for their relationship.

All the same, it’s Dean who gets a little misty eyed as they board the ferry back to the mainland. He holds Castiel tight at the back of the boat as they watch their little bungalow disappear into the distance behind a curtain of trees. They do everything in reverse, ferry to limo to airport and back onto Dean and Sam’s jet where the brothers do a coin flip for the bedroom and Dean actually wins fair and square this time. Castiel’s relieved and insists on spending the entirety of the flight curled up next to Dean, just holding each other.

As the Captain announces their final descent into LAX, Castiel becomes tense once again. He’ll be getting off the plane, riding home, and settling back into an empty house all alone and he’s just not ready to let Dean go. But he has clients waiting for him, people who depend on his services, and he’s worked extremely hard to build his business from the ground up based on reliability and quality. He can’t just leave his loyal customers on the hook with no notice. Besides, life on the road isn’t really for him. The parties, the binge drinking, following Dean around like some kind of gold digging lost puppy, none of that is him. He sighs and watches out the window as the plane touches down, dragging them all back to reality and Cas to a misery of his own making.

It turns out that depressingly, Dean can’t even deplane with him, or he’ll have to go through immigration processing twice, and even with the speed of the private lounge terminal, he won’t make it back in time for the jet to clear its takeoff window. He has to stay. Castiel lingers in the doorway of the jet, kissing Dean deeply, holding his face and touching every part of him he can reach as one last-ditch attempt to catalog and remember every last inch of his body after he’s gone. For once, not even Ruby makes a sarcastic comment or tells them to get a room.

Dean’s eyes are shining when he steps back, blowing kisses even as the hatch closes and the stairs are pulled away. Castiel opts to stand by the escort car and wait, watching the refueled plane taxi back into the queue and prepare for takeoff.

He stands there until the plane has long disappeared into the sky, and the chauffeur is urging him to get a move on.

When he finally arrives home, after disarming their security system Castiel drags his bags over the threshold and leaves them laying in the foyer, stumbling upstairs and into their too big and far too empty master bedroom. He collapses on the bed without undressing or even taking his shoes off.

Home sweet home, he thinks bitterly.

***

Chicago, Illinois: Show three of three, closing night.

Dean checks his phone as he sucks down the remainder of his pre-show tea and makes a face. It’s nowhere near as good as when Cas makes it for him. He sets a mental note to ask Cas to at least ship him some of his own honey, fuck yea, that’s exactly what this crap needs. If he’s gonna drink leaf water, it’s damn well gonna taste good. His phone shows 8:45 PM; fifteen minutes to showtime. Their opening act has already come and gone and his guitar is waiting on stage, intentionally out of tune as usual so he can do his signature opening bit. More interesting than the time though, is a message from Cas. He swipes it open, a smile already spreading across his face as he thinks about what his boyfriend might be doing right now. He misses the nerdy little dude so much he can hardly stand it. So much so that he’s been questioning whether the rockstar life is something he really wants to keep up, seriously enough that he’s had a conversation or two with Sam about what would happen if he decided to quit.

Not that he wants to quit per se, but he’s not about to lose Castiel over what essentially amounts to a job, either. Not when they’ve come this far. He’s got a ton of money in the bank and Castiel has a lucrative business, so the money isn’t the draw it used to be either. It’s just… none of this is the same without the person he loves by his side to share it with him.

He opens the text.

 

Cas: Have a great show tonight. I love you more than words can say, and I'll see you sooner than you know.

Dean: Love you too. Call you after?

Cas: Looking forward to it. :-*

 

Dean smiles as he clicks the power button on the side of his phone before slipping it into his pocket. That’ll be something to look forward to, at least, hearing Cas' voice. The third night of a set is always the toughest for all of them. His throat usually hurts, even if he’s been babying and caring for it the way he’s supposed to, though that regimen unquestionably suffers without Castiel here. He knows he’s spoiled, but Cas is meticulous about steam treatments and tea with honey, vocal rest and monitoring what goes down his throat ( and not even in the fun, dirty way).  The result is a throat that works harder and hurts more, but it comes with the gig. He'll suck on a lozenge later.

He gets restless as he hears the lead-in that’s the rest of the band’s cue to run onstage, and then Sam’s voice introducing him as he jogs on behind them to a chorus of screams and cheers, plus several “I LOVE YOU DEAN!”s.

All in a day’s work.

He picks up his guitar and strums it, the chord ringing so ridiculously out of tune that even the most tone-deaf person would recognize it as wrong.

Son of a bitch!” He says emphatically into the mic, and the crowd goes wild. Quickly and with a big smile on his face, he adjusts the tuners until the chords come out sounding right, putting on an exaggerated show of doing so for the fans. When he’s ready, he nods to Sam and the opening notes of I Fell For You burst all around him, including into the transmitter in his ear that helps him stay on pitch. He takes a deep breath and sings.

It goes well, the whole band is on point tonight, one song flowing into the next just as it should, the choruses and hooks bursting with passion. The crowd sings along and Dean engages them more than usual, holding the mic out for them to scream the words of his own songs back at him. They eat it up, and he should be on cloud nine because this is as good as it gets. This is the dream, isn’t it? There was a time he certainly would have thought so. But as he goes through the motions and works twice as hard to make it all look natural, it all feels a little too hollow. He makes it through the seven songs that make up the first half of the show and then mercifully, it’s time for intermission. He’s about to give his usual halfway sign-off to the crowd when something in the wings catches his eye and makes him do a double take.

“Son of a bitch,” he says into the mic, and this time it isn’t an act, because Cas is standing just offstage, a huge smile plastered across his gorgeous face as he waits for Dean to notice him. Once he does, he can barely tear his eyes away to glance over at Sam. Fortunately, Sam has his back, grinning and nodding for him to go, taking over smoothly to tell the crowd to hit the bathrooms and that they’ll be back soon.

Dean all but flies off the stage, forgetting to leave his guitar on its stand and handing it off to a roadie that brushes by him just in time or he would undoubtedly have dropped it. He tackles Castiel, nearly knocking them both to the ground as he wraps his arms around muscled shoulders and the feel of a body that hasn’t left his stream of consciousness for one second since they parted in the doorway to the plane.

“Cas,” he gasps between kisses, “Baby, I --” He has so many questions and so much to say but he can’t bring himself to pull back for long enough to get any of it out. He gets his hands on Castiel’s jaw as he shoves him backward with the pressure of his body doing it’s best to crawl inside Cas’ right there in the wings of the stage, crowding him up against a wall that’s full of switches and buttons they definitely shouldn’t be leaning on. Finally, they both have to break for air though Dean refuses to lean back more than the few inches necessary to get it.

“You’re here,” he murmurs dazedly, and Castiel nods, his smile wide on his face again, like he couldn’t wipe it off if he tried. “I thought…” He trails off, not sure he even wants to ask the question that’s on the tip of his tongue, or hear the answer.

“It doesn’t matter,” Castiel says, shaking his head. “I was wrong. I have employees, Dean. I can let go of the reigns of my business a little. This doesn’t mean I’ll be able to be with you all of  the time, but I can do better. We can do better, we both deserve that. And I want to be here,” he finishes, confidently. “I want to be with you. I missed you so much.” Castiel dives into his mouth again, taking his turn to wind arms around Dean’s neck and licking into his mouth like that’s where the air lives. Dean’s breathless as hell when they pull back again and this is hardly the kind of rest he should be taking between sets, but he can’t bring himself to even remotely care.

“Cas, you are… you are something else,” he says with a laugh, hand firmly cupping the side of Cas' dark head of hair. He kisses him hard, one more time before he can’t ignore Sam’s frantic yanking of his sleeve any longer. “I gotta go,” he says ruefully.

“I know,” Castiel replies with a smile. “It’s alright. I’ll be right here when you’re done.”

Dean’s grin threatens to split his face as he walks backward, late to join the rest of his band on the stage. And despite not having his tea or resting his voice and lungs, he feels good, energized. Being able to glance to his right and see Castiel standing there keeps that feeling, that momentum coursing through him throughout the remainder of the concert and it shows. It’s one of the best sets they’ve done in months and the crowd goes absolutely wild. When Dean waves goodnight at the end of it all, the screams and applause are deafening, everyone clamoring for an encore. He looks over at Castiel who claps and waves him on.

He shrugs, and after a quick conference with the rest of the band strikes the first chords for “Out of Perdition.” He blows Castiel a kiss and the crowd goes insane, not that they can see who he’s gesturing to. Despite the hands covering his face, even from across the stage Dean can see that Cas is already tearing up as he blows a kiss back. Looking out over the crowd and then back at Cas, Dean feels a weight lift from his shoulders that he hadn’t even known was there.

Maybe he can have it all. Only time will tell.

He winks at Cas before stepping up to the mike and opens his mouth to sing.

***

Today

In the Philippines, there’s a chef at a five-star resort on Boracay who keeps a picture over his small, cluttered desk in the resort's main kitchen. It’s a signed photo of him and an American rock star who loved his tosino, especially in his tosilog dish. The picture is of the rockstar with his arm around the chef’s shoulders during a tour of the kitchen where he showed him how to cure and fry the pork belly he liked so much at home. It’s one of his most treasured memories as a chef. In the picture, the singer’s hand is interlaced with his boyfriend’s, a man the chef recognized years later on the news as the same one the rockstar married after dating for years in secret. He’d thought it bizarre that the two of them (and apparently their entire country) thought their relationship was a secret, since as far as he was concerned anyone who saw them together would have to be blind not to see how head over heels they were for each other.

Americans, he thinks with a shrug and makes arrangements to send the newlyweds a congratulations gift of tosino, shipped overnight on dry ice. Except as he’s about to have it sent, he receives word that the newlyweds are on their way to the resort for their honeymoon.

He’ll just have to give it to them in person, and perhaps a copy of the picture, too. After all, with such a secret relationship, they must not have many pictures like that together. 

***

Dean and Cas add it to their "Not-So-Secret" Scrapbook.