Castiel sighed as he put his suit jacket on a slipped a masquerade-style mask on his face. He wasn’t looking forward to the night ahead of him; his parents were throwing a lavish masquerade ball for the entire city, and Castiel had to go so his family would look good. With one final glance around his room, where he wished he could be for the night, he left and went to find his parents.
“You look wonderful, my son,” Castiel’s mother called as Castiel met his parents in the hall just outside the ballroom. “Now, remember to be polite and greet everyone as they arrive. Can you do that for us, Castiel?”
Castiel nodded. “Yeah, I can do that, Mom.”
“Lovely,” his mother remarked. She smoothed a hand down her dress, flattening out a few little creases in the deep blue satin.
“Did you want to wear this tonight?” his father asked, holding out a small velvet box containing their family’s most treasured item: a solid gold pin in the shape of two wings. It had been in their family forever, and Castiel’s father always wanted him to wear it for special occasions.
“No thank you,” Castiel said. “I think we should keep it in the display case for tonight.”
“If you say so,” said Castiel’s father. He set it back inside the display case, leaving the box open so people could see it if they happened to pass by. He shut the case and locked it up. “Let’s make our way to the ballroom, shall we? We have many guests to greet, and they should all be arriving soon.” He hooked his arm through his wife’s and led the three of them to the ballroom.
Castiel pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked his text messages. He had one from his friend Charlie, saying that she’ll be there tonight. At least he would have someone to hang out with to make the night a little more bearable.
“You coming, Castiel?” his father asked, pausing to glance back at his son.
Castiel turned his phone off and shoved it back in his pocket. “Yes, I’m coming.” He followed them into the ballroom. He took a deep breath and made his way towards the door, preparing himself to greet the guests once they began to arrive.
Dean ran through his plan for tonight for about the hundredth time as he dried the last few dishes and put them back in the cupboards. He was ready, he knew that, but his only problem was sneaking out of the house without his little brother Sam finding out what he was doing.
He and Sam had been living on their own since Dean turned eighteen three years before. They moved out so they didn’t have to live with their father, an alcoholic who treated the two of them like they weren’t even people, like they were one with the dirt out in their backyard. The only problem with that was that they now had no money, and Dean had to work his ass off just to pay for all of their basic needs. He did have some excess money at the end of each month, and he put it in an account he would use to pay for Sammy’s college, but there wouldn’t be enough by the time he graduated.
Dean sighed and ran through the plan one final time. Dress up like a guest at the Novak’s masquerade ball so he could get into their expensive townhouse. Sneak out of the ballroom and find their solid gold pin. Get out and sell the pin.
His only hope was that it would be enough to send Sam to college. If not, he guessed he would have to work at Uncle Bobby’s mechanic shop all day, every day, and never sleep until Sam turned thirty.
Dean really didn’t want to have to do that.
He walked down the hall and lightly knocked on Sam’s door. “Night, Sammy!” he called, hoping that he didn’t just wake Sam up.
“Good night, Dean,” Sam replied, slightly muffled. He was probably already curled up in bed, ready to go to sleep for the night.
Satisfied, Dean turned around and headed to his room so he could get ready. He shed his jeans and tee-shirt, soaked in grease from his day at work, and replaced them with an old suit he borrowed from Bobby. It was a little big, but it would work. His final touch was an old mask he found lying around his dad’s house. He figured it was his mom’s, probably from a Halloween when the two were dating.
He took one look in the mirror and nodded, content with his appearance. He figured he would fit in pretty well at the ball. He also tested his magic, some weird ability he had had since he was a baby, and made sure it was working fine so he wouldn’t have any issues when he tried to escape.
With that, he left and made his way to the Novak townhouse.
Dean surveyed the ballroom once he made it in, taking in the large group of people dancing and the other mingling around near the walls. Everyone was wearing some sort of mask on their face; some covered people’s entire faces and some only covered their eyes. Dean felt bad for the people who decided to wear the ones that covered their whole face. He thought it would really suck if they couldn’t eat the food he figured tasted just as delicious as it smelled.
Because he was thinking of the food, he made his way over to the table where they kept it, pushed up against the far wall, out of the way of the dance floor. He grabbed a few small pastries and shoved them in his mouth, trying to ignore the weird looks he was getting from a few people. He picked up a few others and wrapped them in a napkin so he could eat them later, once he got home.
About twenty minutes later, Dean took another glance around the room. It seemed that everyone was preoccupied with dancing and eating food, so Dean took this as his opportunity to leave and find out where the pin was.
Dean walked up to one of the guards standing by the doors that led into the rest of the Novak’s residence. “Excuse me, sir,” he started, trying to act uncomfortable, like he was holding in a shitload of pee. “Where are the restrooms?”
“Down the hall, to the right,” the guard answered. He stepped aside and let Dean leave.
“Thank you, sir,” Dean said before heading out of the ballroom. He followed the guard’s instructions, but once he turned the corner he made his steps quieter so no one could hear him as he began his search for the pin.
Dean walked around for at least twenty minutes, stopping every now and then on the off chance that someone was following him. He looked at many display cases that held many expensive-looking items, but none of them contained the pin he was looking for.
He was about to lose hope and call off his search when he stumbled upon another display case just down the hall from the ballroom. He jumped back and gasped when he saw the pin sitting in the middle of the case, box open and ready for anyone to see it. He looked around and tried to figure out a way to get into the case without alerting the guards that were inside the ballroom less than fifty feet away.
Dean stepped away from the case and carded his fingers through his hair, trying to think. The toe of his shoe caught on something that sounded like metal, and Dean stooped down to pick the thing up. It was a key, and he figured he might as well try to use it to get into the display case. He felt around the case, trying to find the keyhole, then stuck the key in the lock and tried to open it. To his surprise, and maybe a little luck, it worked, and the door to the display case swung open, inviting him to take whatever he wanted to.
Behind him, Dean heard some footsteps. He stuck his hand in the case and grabbed the pin, closing the box so it didn’t fall out while he escaped. He started to run, and the footsteps behind him grew louder as he made his way down the hall.
“Stop!” a voice yelled, and Dean skidded to a halt and slowly turned around. “What did you steal?”
Dean’s eyes grew wide as he focused on the gun currently pointed at him, and he almost dropped the pin. He tried to say something to the guard, but he was cut off as a bullet hit him in the arm. He cried out, but he tried his hardest to keep himself calm.
“I’m sorry!” he called out, trying to keep quiet so he didn’t alarm any of the guests at the ball. He turned on his heel and took off towards the nearest wall that he knew led outside. He stuck his hand out and will the wall to split open and let him through. He dove through the gap in the wall and shut it behind him as he landed on the ground right outside the townhouse.
“Aw shit,” he groaned as he rolled over onto his injured shoulder. He took a few deep breaths to calm himself down, then jumped up onto his feet.
Dean heard a few pairs of feet running around the corner, and he prepared himself to be met with some more bullets. The feet slowed to a halt, and Dean slowly turned around, coming face-to-face with a handsomely dressed man with piercing blue eyes behind an ornately decorated mask. Behind that guy was the guard who had shot him.
“Uh…” Dean started, unsure of what to do. “I’m sorry?”
Castiel smiled and waved once he saw Charlie enter the ballroom, wearing a deep purple jumpsuit and wearing a beautiful mask over her eyes. She made her way over to where Castiel was standing and gave him a hug, throwing her arms around his waist and squeezing tight. Castiel laughed and returned the embrace.
Once they pulled away from each other, Castiel smiled and said, “Hey, Charlie! Or should I be calling you Celeste because we’re in front of so many people, and we wouldn’t want our families to be embarrassed of us.”
Charlie snorted. “Please never call me Celeste. I will kill you.” When Castiel laughed at that, Charlie exclaimed, “I’m not kidding!”
Castiel rolled his eyes. “Whatever. You wanna dance or something. We can still talk, but it won’t look as though we’re being antisocial.”
“Sounds good,” Charlie replied. “We’ll have less of a chance of bringing great shame to our families’ names.”
Castiel took Charlie’s hand and led her onto the dance floor. They chatted with each other through several dances, trying their best not to be too obnoxious and annoy the rest of the guests. After a while, Charlie complained of her feet hurting and a want to eat half of the desserts on the food table. Castiel helped her over to a chair and brought her a large plate of food.
“Thanks, Cassie,” Charlie said, plucking a brownie off the plate and shoving the entire thing in her mouth. “You’re the best,” she added through a mouthful of chocolate.
“No problem,” Castiel replied. “I should probably mingle with some guests. I’ll see you in a bit?”
Charlie nodded. “Go, have some fun. I’ll be here with some fucking delicious food and comfortable feet.” She gestured to her now-shoeless feet and a pair of heels sitting under her chair. “Bye, Cassie.”
“Bye, Charlie,” Castiel replied. He turned around and headed over to the side of the ballroom, trying to see if there was anyone he should talk to. He ended up leaning against the wall right by the door that led to the rest of his home, eyes glued to his phone screen.
Suddenly, he heard a loud noise, like something fell and hit the ground. He took his mask off quickly so the guards would know it was him, then left the ballroom to try and figure out what was happening. He tied the mask back on and took off down the hall, where one of the guards had a gun extended in front of him, fixed on a guy holding a box that looked strikingly similar to the one that contained his family’s gold pin. The guy turned away from Castiel and the guard and escaped through the wall, leaving no trace that he was actually there.
Castiel stopped in his tracks and gaped at the wall, now perfectly fine as if nothing had even happened. He grabbed a red and yellow coat and slipped it on. “What the fuck?” he mumbled before jogging around the corner and making his way outside, trying to find the thief.
Once Castiel made it outside, he skidded to a halt right next to the thief. The guy looked as if he had been at the ball because of the suit and the mask, but he obviously hadn’t been there because of the social setting.
“Uh…” the thief said. “I’m sorry?”
Castiel rolled his eyes at the man and sighed. This guy seemed like a pathetic excuse for a thief, but he still stole something of the Novaks and Castiel needed to get it back.
Dean’s heart was pounding and he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t expect to be caught. He swore under his breath and shoved the pin into the inside pocket of his jacket before clutching his injured shoulder and taking off again. He made it to the other end of the house before the pain in his shoulder was too much to handle and he fell to his knees. He fell on his side and tucked his head to his chest, trying to hide the fact that he was crying.
The footsteps that had been following him halted and Dean peeked over his shoulder. The guard had his gun out in front of him. Dean’s eyes shifted to the other guy who had taken off his mask. Dean was shocked to see that the guy was Castiel Novak, the guy he had just stolen from.
“Are you all right?” Castiel asked, and Dean just knew that the guy could tell he was crying.
Dean wiped his face with his sleeve and pushed himself to his knees. Slowly, he raised his hands in surrender, wincing as the pain in his shoulders increase and more tears began to appear in the corners of his eyes.
Castiel turned to the guard and said something quietly. The guard stepped forward with a pair of handcuffs and put them around Dean’s wrists. He grabbed onto one of Dean’s arms and helped him stand up, then kept his grip on him as the three of them began to walk back to the townhouse.
Once they arrived at the townhouse, the guard placed him in an empty guest room.
“You’ll be staying here overnight, and we’ll question you in the morning. I’ll send a nurse in to tend to your wound,” the guard explained before searching Dean for any weapons. He took the pin Dean had stolen and his phone, then disappeared into the hall. He shut the door and locked it, and Dean heard him calling to get other guards to stand outside his door and make sure he doesn’t try to escape or steal anything else.
“You should go back to the ballroom,” Dean heard the guard say to Castiel.
Dean heard a sigh, and then light footsteps walking away from the guest room and towards the ballroom.
The guard tapped on Dean’s door and called, “The nurse will be with you shortly.”
Dean groaned and flopped down onto the bed, wincing when he accidentally landed on his wounded shoulder instead of his non-wounded shoulder. He rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in his pillow to muffle a few screams.
He was in pain, and he was angry that he was caught. He knew it was wrong to steal, that it was against the law, but he needed it in order to send Sam to college. He didn’t know what he was going to do, and he was probably going to end up going to jail.
How was he going to explain everything to Sam? To Uncle Bobby?
Dean screamed one more time before dissolving into a fit of tears.
A soft knock came on his door, and Dean flipped onto his side so he could see who it was. A young woman walked in carrying a bag full of medical supplies.
“Are you the nurse?” Dean asked, trying to wipe his tears away so she didn’t know he had been crying. “The guy said he would send a nurse.”
“I’m a doctor, actually,” the woman said, “but I am here to fix up the wound.”
Dean nodded and sat up. He took off his jacket and shirt so the doctor could get to his wound. She fixed it as quick as she could, which Dean was thankful for because he really just wanted to go to sleep.
“Thank you,” he said once the doctor stood up and cleaned up the supplies she had used to tend to the bullet wound in Dean’s shoulder.
“No problem,” the doctor replied. “I’m just doing my job.” She glanced Dean over one more time before turning away from him and leaving.
Dean sighed and laid down on the bed, wrapping himself up in the sheets. He flipped so he was facing the door and fell fast asleep in almost an instant.
The next morning, Dean awoke to a pounding on his door and someone standing right outside his room shouting at him to get up. Dean sat up and stretched out his back. He surveyed his rumpled clothes and tried to smooth them out the best he could before getting up and heading over to the little table by the window. He figured the guard would want him there when he came back to question Dean.
About ten or so minutes later, someone lightly rapped on the door before opening it and letting themself in. The guard that shot Dean yesterday walked in, followed closely behind by Castiel.
“Morning, Winchester,” the guard said, walking over to the table and taking a seat across from Dean. “So, we’re gonna start with some questions on what happened last night. First--”
Castiel cut him off. “We should at least give him something to eat first. He’s probably hungry.” He turned to Dean. “Do you want something to eat?”
Dean shook his head. “No, no. I’m fine.”
Castiel frowned, but nodded and took a step back, letting the guard take over.
“So, as I was trying to say earlier, why were you trying to steal the pin?” the guard asked, a rough edge to his tone. “It’s an heirloom for this family, and it’s important to the Novak history. Do you want to ruin that history?”
“No,” Dean mumbled. “Look, this is going to sound really stupid, but I really needed it for the money. I was gonna sell it and get some money.”
The guard scoffed. “Everyone needs money. Why are you so special?”
Dean sighed. “Well, if you want the whole boring sob story, I’m the only provider for my family. Have been for years. My job is enough to pay the bills and set some money aside for my brother’s college, but I still need more money in order to have enough by the time by brother graduates high school.” Dean glanced up from his hands to gauge the guard’s reaction.
The guard rolled his eyes. “Sure,” he said. “Likely story.”
Dean shrugged. “Well, it’s the truth.” He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back in his chair. “If you don’t believe me, then that’s your problem.”
Castiel tapped on the guard’s shoulder. “May I speak to Mr. Winchester alone?” he asked, pleading to the guard with his eyes.
“I don’t believe that’s a good idea, sir,” the guard started. “He’s a threat to your safety and the safety of all the people here.”
Castiel groaned. “He’s fine. He doesn’t have any weapons. He doesn’t have a criminal past. From what I can tell, this is the only thing he’s done wrong in his entire life, and he wasn’t even successful at that.”
“I’m sitting right here!” Dean called.
Castiel whirled around to face Dean, who was sitting there with his arms across his chest. Right, he could still hear him.
The guard sighed. “Whatever, kiddo. You can talk to him. I’ll be just outside.” The guard got up and exited the room, firmly closing the door behind him.
Castiel tapped his fingers on the table nervously before finally working up enough courage to sit across from Dean Winchester. Now that he was sitting right across from him, Castiel could make out a splash of freckles on the other man’s face and a pair of piercing green eyes. He was gorgeous.
Castiel shook his head. He couldn’t be thinking that. This man had stolen something from him. Not that he was that angry. The pin meant nothing to Castiel, but he knew it meant the world to his parents and other various extended family members.
“So, uh…” Castiel started. “So you need money for your brother’s education?”
Dean nodded. “Yeah, I think I made that pretty obvious.”
Castiel snorted and shook his head. “Okay, okay. Uh, what do you normally do to earn money?”
“Is this part of your investigation?” Dean asked with a laugh. He didn’t seem as annoyed with Castiel anymore.
“It can be. But really, I’m just curious.” Castiel propped his chin on his hand. “So tell me.”
Dean folded his hand together and unfolded them, folded and unfolded. He seemed nervous.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to,” Castiel said. “I completely understand.”
“No, no, no!” Dean said quickly. “It’s fine. I’m a mechanic. I work at my uncle’s shop. Well, he’s not my real uncle, but whatever. Anyway, it’s not enough to pay for Sam’s college, and I’d really hate for him to have to take out a shit-ton of loans ‘cause they’re so much of a hassle to pay off.”
Castiel nodded. “I understand that.” He sighed. “Well, I’d love to drop charges, but I’m not sure I can make that call. I’m really sorry.”
Dean shrugged. “I guess I deserve that.”
“I, personally, am not angry that you tried to steal that pin. I hate it. My parents try to make me wear it to every social gathering we host, but I never do.” He laughed quietly to himself. “I should’ve let you leave with it. I would have, but the guards were there and saw you steal it.”
“Well, maybe you could see what you can do? Not that you have to. It would just make mine and my brother’s lives so much easier.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Castiel said. “Maybe I could lend you some money? As a gift?”
“Oh no, sir… uh, Mr. Novak?” Dean said, a little flustered.
“You can call me Castiel.”
“Castiel,” Dean said, testing it out. He scrunched his nose. “I’m gonna call you Cas.”
“If that’s what you want,” Castiel said, grinning.
“Anyway,” Dean said, trying to get back on track. “I couldn’t take your money.”
“You were trying to take a family heirloom from me. You can’t take my money?” Castiel snorted. “Maybe I should let you steal it from me.”
Dean sighed, but he quickly replaced it with a chuckle. “You’re not gonna let that one go, are you?”
“Absolutely not,” Castiel said firmly.
“Whatever.” Dean rolled his eyes, but he had a small smile on his face. “Could I borrow your phone? The guards took mine and I wanna let Sam know that I’ll be home later. At least I hope so.”
“I’ll make sure of it,” Castiel said, leaning in and saying it quietly as if it were a secret. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and handed it over to Dean. “Here, call away.”
Dean punched his brother’s number into the phone and turned away from Castiel. He had a quiet conversation with his brother for a few minutes. Eventually, he hung up the phone and handed it back to Castiel.
“Thank you, Cas,” Dean said.
“You’re welcome,” Castiel replied, sliding the phone back into his pocket. “I’ll go talk to the guard and see if we can get you home without any charges.” He stood up and went outside to speak to the guard. He gave him some trouble at first, but he eventually was able to convince the guard to let Dean off without any charges.
Cas reentered Dean’s room and sat back down at the table. “Good news!” he said. “You’re all good to go. The guards will escort you back to your house.”
Dean inclined his head towards Cas. “Thank you. I really appreciate what you’ve done for me.”
Castiel caught Dean’s eye, and they held eye contact for a few seconds, staring at each other, unblinking. “Uh,” he said, breaking eye contact, “you’re welcome. Maybe I’ll see you around?”
“We’ll see,” Dean said with a grin. He walked up to the guards with confidence, and one of them handed over Dean few meager belongings. “Bye, Cas.” Dean turned around and gave Cas a wave before turning back to leave with the guards.
Cas waved after him, a sad expression on his face. “Goodbye, Dean.”
Dean thanks the guards as soon as he arrives in front of his house, and he tells them to say the same to Cas.
Dean unlocks his door and heads on in. “I’m home, Sam!” he called. It was a weekend, so Sam could still be sleeping, but Dean sincerely doubted that. The kid liked to wake up early and study on the weekend. If he wasn’t doing that, then he was probably reading a book.
Dean heard a door open somewhere in the house, and soon Sam came barreling into Dean’s arms. “Dean! You’re here! I was so worried about you!” his little brother said excitedly, wrapping his arms tighter and clinging to Dean’s shoulders.
“Nice to see you too,” Dean said, returning the embrace.
Sam pulled away. “Where the hell were you?”
“Hey!” Dean said. “Language.”
Sam rolled his eyes. “I heard you say worse when you were younger than me.”
Dean thought back to those moments and nodded. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“So,” Sam prodded, “where were you?”
Dean sighed and collapsed on the couch. “The Novak’s townhouse.”
Sam sat down next to him, an expression of confusion on his face. “Why?”
Dean took a deep breath. “Okay, so don’t get mad, but I was there to steal something.” He waved his hand in Sam’s face when he saw his younger brother try to say something. “I was going to sell it to help pay for your college. I don’t think I’m going to make enough money just doing what I’ve been doing.” He sighed. “Anyway, it didn’t work out that well. I was caught. However, on the plus side, they let me off with no charges.”
Sam stared at him, still confused. “Okay…” he drawled. “How did you get caught? Did you use your weird little trick thing?”
“Escaping through the wall?” Dean asked. “Yeah. But they saw me.” He paused and have his brother a weird look. “You seem surprisingly calm about this.”
Sam shrugged. “I don’t know. You’re fine, I’m fine, no one was hurt. It’s cool.”
Dean laughed. “Well, I guess that didn’t need much explaining.” He ruffled Sam’s hair. “Why don’t you go do your homework? I still need a reason to earn money and send you to college.”
Sam grumbled, but he got up and went to his room.
Dean settled into the couch and turned on the TV, flipping the channels until he found some random show that seemed only vaguely interesting. He tried to pay attention to the show, but his mind kept telling him to think about Cas. The guy was attractive, but Dean had known that just by seeing pictures. What Dean wasn’t expecting was for the guy to be so kind and genuine, so unlike what Dean expected out of rich people.
Was he falling for Cas?
No, absolutely not.
A few days after Cas met Dean, he was still thinking about the guy. His freckled cheeks, his stunning green eyes, his personality. He wasn’t sure why, but he really wanted to talk to him, get to know him better.
He needed help.
Castiel pulled out his phone and dialed Charlie’s number. It rang a few times before she picked up.
“What?” she groaned. “It’s so early!”
“I need help, Charlie,” Cas said quietly, trying his best not to be that loud. No one else was near him at that second, but he didn’t want to risk waking someone and invoking their wrath. He told her what he was feeling about Dean, and he even mentioned why he knew Dean in the first place. “I don’t know what’s going on with me,” he concluded.
Cas could hear Charlie sigh on the other end of the line. “I think you like the guy, Cas. And I guess that makes sense. He seems like he’s your type, based on what you’ve been telling me.”
Cas scoffed. “I don’t like the guy.” He paused and thought for a second. Every moment of the day, the thought of Dean Winchester was on Castiel’s mind. That wasn’t normal. That’s what happens when someone falls in love or has a crush. “On second thought,” Cas amended, “I think I do like him.”
“Why don’t you call him?” Charlie suggested. “Do you have his number?”
“Uh…” Cas drawled. “He called his brother from my phone. That number might still be in my call history… thingy. I can try calling that.”
“Sounds great, Cas,” Charlie said. “Good luck!” She hung up.
Cas sighed. He opened up his call history and scrolled through until he found the only call he made on the day after the masquerade ball. He pushed himself up into a sitting position and stared at the number, still unsure if it was the right thing to do. Taking a deep breath, in and out, in and out, Cas hit the number and brought the phone up to his ear. After a few rings, someone picked up.
“Hello?” a rough voice asked. Cas didn’t recognize it, but people did sound different over the phone than they did in real life. Still, he could’ve gotten the wrong number, accidentally clicked on the wrong old call. “Who are you looking for? It’s kinda early.”
Cas cleared his throat. “Uh, sorry. I forgot how early it was. I can call back later.”
“No, no, it’s fine,” the person on the other end said. “Do you need something?”
Cas inhaled deep, letting the breath loose through his mouth. “Could I speak to Dean Winchester? Is he there?”
“Yeah. Let me just go get him.” Cas heard the other person walk around and knock on a door. There was a hushed conversation, and then Cas assumed the phone was handed over.
“Hey, who is this?” a familiar voice said. Dean.
Cas smiled a bit. It was nice to hear Dean’s voice. “It’s Castiel. Cas, as you decided to call me.”
Dean laughed softly. “That’s right. Hey, Cas! What’s up?”
“I, uh…” He frowned. He didn’t know what to say. It would sound weird if he voiced what he was thinking about. “Do you wanna hang out sometime? Talk?”
There was a pause. “Uh, sure! Why not?” Dean said. He told Castiel his address. “You can come by anytime today. I don’t have work.”
“I’ll be there soon,” Cas replied. “Goodbye, Dean.”
Cas hung up the phone and threw it on his bed. He went over to his wardrobe and surveyed his clothing, trying to find something suitable to leave the house in. He didn’t want to wear anything eye-catching because he didn’t want people to recognize him as he made his way to Dean’s house. His eyes caught on an oversized, worn in sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. He threw those on, as well as a pair of boots and some sunglasses.
Once he stepped out of his room, the guard standing outside stopped him. “Where are you going? Do you need someone to walk with you?”
Castiel shook his head. “No, I’m fine.”
The guard frowned. “Are you sure?”
Cas rolled his eyes and pushed past the guard. “Yeah, I’m sure. If my parents ask where I am, say I’m at a friend’s house.”
Cas plugged in Dean’s address to the map app on his phone and started walking to the Winchester house. He took in the city around him, all the people walking around, the cars driving by. He should have taken a car, but he didn’t feel like going back home to get his car.
About twenty minutes later, Cas made it to Dean’s house. It was kind of small, but it looked nice. There was an old car parked on the road in front of the house, a ‘67 Chevy Impala. He made a note to ask Dean about the car.
Cas walked up to the front door and knocked softly, trying not to bother any neighbors. It was still kind of early, but Dean hadn’t objected when Cas said he would be over soon.
The door opened, and a young kid stood there staring at Castiel. “Uh, hi?” the kid asked. Kid was inaccurate; he was probably in high school, about fifteen or sixteen years old. “Who are you?”
Cas shuffled his feet. “Uh, Castiel. I’m here to speak to Dean Winchester. He should know I was coming over.”
The guy nodded. “I’ll go get him. Come on in.” He waved Cas in and closed the door. He walked away and knocked on a door, saying something in a hushed voice. Dean stepped out of the room and made his way to where Cas was standing by the front door.
“Hi, Cas,” Dean said, a wide, bright smile on his face. He stepped up to Cas and tightly wrapped his arms around his shoulders.
“Oh, hey, Dean!” Cas replied, smiling and returning the embrace. “It’s nice to see you!”
Dean pulled away, but he kept his hands on Cas’s shoulders. “You too, Cas.” He stepped back and let his arms hang at his sides, looking down at the ground and rubbing at his neck. “You wanna sit on the couch and talk?”
Cas nodded. Dean grabbed his arm and led him to the couch, sitting down and pulling Cas along with him. Dean folded one leg up on the couch and turned so he was facing Cas.
“So,” Dean started, “you asked to see me. What did you want to talk about?”
Cas looked down at his hands. “Uh…” He didn’t know how to tell Dean that he had a crush on him. “I don’t know. I thought we hit it off and we could be great… friends.” He really wanted to say they would be a good couple, but the words wouldn’t leave his lips. “Unless you don’t want to. Then you can forget what I just said.”
Dean laughed. “Of course I would love to be friends! Why do you think I let you come over?”
Cas frowned. “You’re making me feel stupid,” he said, half joking. “But all right. I do have another question, though.”
Dean slung his arm over the back of the couch, right behind where Cas was sitting. “Shoot.”
Cas took a deep breath. He wanted to ask about what Dean thought about a relationship, but he couldn’t muster up enough courage. Instead, he said, “What’s with those magic powers? How did you get them?”
Dean shrugged. “I don’t know. I think I was born with them.” He paused. “They don’t really mean a whole lot to me. They kinda freak people out. I barely use them for anything, and when I do, it’s usually to piss off Sam.” He gestured to the room the guy who let Cas in had disappeared to. “That was my brother Sam, by the way. I’m sure you probably figured that out, though.”
Cas nodded, even though he hadn’t really put that together. He would have, but he hadn’t put any effort into figuring out who the other guy was. “Yeah, of course.” His phone buzzed, so he pulled it out to see who had texted him. It was his parents, demanding he come back home because they needed to plan a brunch for the next day. Cas sighed. “I need to go home. Unfortunately.”
Dean frowned. “Oh,” he said, seeming to be genuinely upset. “Well, maybe we can text later? Here, I’ll give you my number.” They exchanged phones and put their numbers into the contacts. They traded them back, and Dean led Cas to the door.
“Thank you for letting me come over, Dean,” Cas said.
“Yeah, man,” Dean replied. “Of course. You’re welcome anytime.”
Cas pulled Dean in for a quick hug. “It was nice to see you. Bye.”
Dean squeezed his shoulder. “Of course.” He pulled away. “Bye.”
Cas stepped outside and waved as soon as he made it to the end of the sidewalk. Dean waved one last time before gently shutting the door. Cas threw in some earbuds and started the trek back to his house.
Dean sat back down on the couch, leaning back and letting the cushions swallow him up. He was sad to see Cas go. He really liked talking to him, and he even thought there was something there other than a regular friendship. Something like… attraction? A possibility for a real relationship? But maybe he was seeing something that wasn’t truly there.
“Hey, Dean,” Sam said as he walked into the room and plopped down on the couch. “Was that really Castiel Novak? The guy you stole from?”
Dean nodded, but didn’t say anything else.
“His family’s, like, super rich!” Sam exclaimed. “And he came here, to see you!”
Dean rolled his eyes. “I don’t need an explanation of what happened here. I was there. I know what happened.” He took in a deep breath. “I think I like him. Is that crazy?”
Sam shook his head. “No, of course not. I think it’s pretty nice. You haven’t dated anyone in what feels like forever.”
Dean looked down at his hands and frowned. “What happens if I tell him and he laughs at me? I still want to be friends with him, even if he doesn’t like me in that way.”
“Okay, calm down, Dean,” Sam said. “You don’t know what’ll happen if you don’t tell him. Why don’t you invite him to hang out. Maybe go to the park? You can walk around and talk, get to know each other.”
Dean nodded. “Okay. Yeah, yeah. That’s fine.” He looked at his phone. “I’ll do it later. He just left. It’ll seem like I’m bothering him or something.”
Sam pushed himself off the couch and patted Dean’s arm. “Well, whatever you do, I wish you good luck.”
Dean let a small smile appear on his face. “Thanks.”
Later that night, Dean paced around the living room after dinner. He was nervous about texting Cas, but he was trying to tell himself that he would be fine. It wouldn’t kill him. People texted each other all the time about making plans and hanging out. Why couldn’t Dean do that?
“I think I’m gonna head to bed!” Dean called, hoping that Sam would hear. “Good night!”
Sam poked his head out of the kitchen. “You that tired?” He shrugged. “Whatever. Night.” He disappeared back into the kitchen.
Dean went to his room and got ready for bed quickly. He flopped down on his bed and pulled the covers tight around him, like a little cocoon. He found Cas’s number in his contacts and started a new message.
Hey, Cas , he wrote. How are you?
It was at least ten minutes before Dean got a response.
I’m fine, Dean. You? Cas said.
Dean hit his head against his pillow a few times. They were talking about how they were feeling, the same basic conversation he had in the mechanic shop when he was greeting new customers? Whatever, at least it was a start.
Good , Dean replied. I’m good.
Do you wanna talk on the phone. I like hearing your voice.
Dean didn’t get a chance to respond before Cas called him. He picked up and turned on his side.
“Hi, Cas,” Dean said, smiling softly.
Dean could almost feel Cas smile in return. “Hello, Dean.”
They spoke for a while about random things. Dean told Cas about how he sat around watching TV all day during his day off. He also mentioned the awesome dinner he made for him and Sam, along with the big pile of leftovers they would have for another day. Cas talked about the stupid brunch he had to go to with a bunch of people he hated. He spoke animatedly about the people there he hated, and Dean couldn’t help but smile as Cas was relaying his story.
Eventually, Dean couldn’t take it anymore. “I like you, Cas,” he blurted out, and he immediately covered his mouth with his hand. “Oh, shit,” he murmured.
“Dean…” Cas said. He paused and didn’t say anything more.
This was it. Cas was going to tell him that he didn’t think of him that way. Dean was just going to have to crawl in a hole and die.
“I like you too,” Cas said.
What. Did Dean just hear him correctly?
“You do?” Dean asked, a little louder than necessary. “I mean, that’s great. I thought it was just me, and you wouldn’t like me back and you would call me stupid for liking you.”
Cas snorted. “I would never!”
Dean heard Sam cough from the next room. “Shut the fuck up, Dean!” he called.
Dean felt his cheeks turn red. “I think I’m annoying my brother,” he said.
“No shit!” Sam called back.
“Tell him I say sorry,” Cas said. “Do you wanna meet up tomorrow?”
Dean nodded, before he realized that Cas couldn’t see him. “Yeah. There’s a nice park not far from my house. We can go there, walk around, hang out. Should be fun.”
“Sounds good,” Cas said. “Bye, Dean. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Good night, Cas,” Dean said before hanging up. He fell asleep almost right away.
Dean pulled on his nicest pair of jeans, his only pair that didn’t have any grease stains or rips. He found his favorite Led Zeppelin tee and threw that on. Satisfied, he grabbed his phone from his desk and left to go out to the kitchen. Sam was sitting at the table with his breakfast and a few books, some his own and some for school.
“‘Sup, nerd,” Dean said, giving his brother’s hair a ruffle as he walked past. He went to the coffee pot and poured himself a cup, also grabbing a bagel on his way back to the table. “Do you think this is fine for today?” He gestured down to what he was wearing.
Sam looked up from his book and gave Dean a once-over. He nodded his approval. “Yeah, you look fine. When are you meeting Cas?”
“About half an hour,” Dean replied. He took a sip of his coffee, choking on the too-hot liquid. In the meantime, while he waited for his coffee to cool enough, he started to eat his bagel.
Dean and Sam sat in silence for a while, eating their breakfast. Dean checked his email, seeing if anybody had specifically requested anything at the mechanic shop. Sam worked on his homework, stopping every once in a while to explain something to Dean. Dean had no reason to know any of it, but he knew it helped Sam learn so he didn’t complain.
“Do you have to leave soon?” Sam asked, checking the time on his phone.
Dean jumped when he saw what time it was. “Oh, shit! I do!” He tipped his head back and poured the rest of his coffee down his throat before rushing over to the door to grab his shoes. When he was done, he said goodbye to Sam and ran out the door, starting to make the short walk to the park.
Dean arrived at the park and started to walk around. He hadn’t told Cas where to meet him specifically, but the park wasn’t that big. He pulled out his phone and sent Cas a quick text, telling him that he was there already. Soon, Dean saw Cas walking around.
“Hey, Cas!” Dean called, jogging over to Cas.
Cas turned around and a wide grin split across his face. “Dean!”
Dean stopped next to him. “Do you wanna walk around? It’s a nice day.”
Cas nodded. Dean led the two of them down the path. They walked together for a while in comfortable silence, just taking in the beauty of the scene unfolding around them. The weather was beautiful; the sun was out, but there were some clouds out so it wasn’t too bright. The temperature was pretty comfortable, and there was a slight breeze that stirred up the tree branches and caused the grass to sway.
“Do you wanna sit down on that bench over there?” Cas asked, the first thing either of them had said for about twenty minutes.
“Sure,” Dean said. The two of them made their way over to the bench and sat down. “So,” he started, nudging Cas with his shoulder, “I hear you like me.”
Cas shook his head and smiled softly. “Funny,” he said. “I heard the same thing about you.”
“What do you like about me?” Dean asked. He didn’t expect much of an answer. They hadn’t known each other for that long, but there must have been something.
“Your personality,” Cas said. “You seem really caring, and you’re willing to do anything for your brother. I admire that.” He paused and laughed quietly to himself. “Of course, those pretty eyes and freckles helped a lot.” Cas reached out and took Dean’s hand. “What do you like about me, Dean?”
Dean grinned. “Your ass.”
Cas swatted at Dean’s arm with his free hand. “Be serious, Dean!”
“Okay, fine,” Dean said, mock pouting. “Your personality, as well. You seemed to really care about helping me instead of locking me up in a prison. You didn’t have to do that, but you did anyway. You seemed so sweet, but also like you’d be willing to do anything for the people you love and the people who love you.”
Cas smiled and leaned in towards Dean. “Can I kiss you?”
“Of course,” Dean replied.
Cas pressed his lips against Dean’s, gently, like he didn’t want to force it at first. Dean wrapped an arm around Cas’s shoulders and pulled him closer, deepening the kiss.
Dean pulled away and rested his forehead against Cas’s. He took a deep breath and smiled. “I liked that.”
Cas grinned back at him. “So did I.”
“See,” Dean said, slipping into a teasing mood, “if I hadn’t stolen that pin, we wouldn’t be here right now, kissing in a park. We wouldn’t even know each other!”
Cas rolled his eyes, putting a hand on Dean’s cheek. “Just shut up and kiss me again.”