“Wait – you’re shitting me, right? Tell me you’re shitting me.”
Gabriel sighed dramatically. “Unfortunately not, Dean-o. Samshine and I got it straight from the horse’s mouth. This wraith is targeting a wedding, and-” he pulled four small squares of paper out of nowhere with a flourish “-we’re all invited!”
Sam, who was standing (in Dean’s opinion) way too close to the archangel, looked embarrassed, uncomfortable, and red as a tomato.
“Uh – no!” Dean all but shouted. “I am not going to a wedding. I hate weddings. I probably won’t even go to my own wedding!” He pretended not to notice the offended look that passed across Castiel’s face at that. “Sammy, you know I hate weddings and you volunteered me for this anyway?”
Sam rolled his eyes. “I volunteered us all for this, and I didn’t have a choice, and you’re going.” He leaned in slightly and told his brother (low enough for the angels not to hear), “you can check out Cas in a suit the whole time.”
Dean glared at him, sighed loudly, and muttered, “okay, I guess we can go.”
For some absurd reason, Sam insisted on actually going shopping for tuxes, despite all of Dean’s protestations that they were illegitimate guests and Gabriel could just magic them some suits. Sam wouldn’t hear a word of it.
Dean spent three seconds picking out his tux, and two of those were figuring out which size to get. It was the cheapest, simplest, most basic black-on-white tuxedo that the store had. Gabriel took about five minutes to find a tan one trimmed with gold, and Castiel’s was a deep blue a few shades darker than his eyes.
(Dean tried to ignore all the inappropriate thoughts that popped into his head at the sight of Cas in that outfit, he really, really did. He failed, but at least he tried.)
Sam spent forty fucking minutes walking around trying to find one that he liked, but eventually he too disappeared into a fitting room. Dean, Cas, and Gabriel lounged around outside waiting for him.
Then Sam stepped out into the room and Dean swore Cas actually went slack-jawed looking at him. Dean found he couldn’t look at either of them, and he told himself over and over that the reason he was so uncomfortable was because this was his baby brother and definitely NOT because he was madly in love with the angel currently undressing him with his eyes.
The suit was forest green with little flecks of silver, and the shirt underneath it was a green so pale it passed for off-white. It was quite obviously tailored to someone with Sammy’s disproportionately long legs. It suited him very well, and Dean found he was completely able to admit that to himself in a non-gay, non-incestuous (he did not want to think about that part) way.
Sam tugged at the bottom hem of the jacket a little awkwardly to smooth it out, then spread his arms to his sides to give his party the full view, looking far too self-conscious for the Sam that Dean knew.
After a long, unpleasant moment of silence, Cas cleared his throat. “You, uh. I believe the phrase is, ‘clean up nice’?”
Dean noticed Gabriel practically seething in the corner, glaring heatedly at his brother. What’s his deal? Dean thought.
“Oh, um. Thanks, Cas.” Sam’s cheeks were flaming and he was fidgeting uncomfortably, but he was still looking straight (or gay? Bi?) at Cas.
After Cas and Sam had been staring at each other for a solid minute, Dean cleared his throat loudly, feeling extremely bitter. (Not jealous. He was not jealous. He refused to say jealous.) They both jumped.
“Save the eye-fucking for later, wouldja?” he snapped. “Sammy, get out of that thing and let’s go.” He turned away violently and as he walked out, completely missed the secretive smile and wink exchange that passed between his brother and his best friend.
"Dude, how did you get your face to turn that red?" Sam asked the angel once they were walking way behind and well out of earshot of Dean and Gabriel. Cas ducked his head, smiling like he was trying very hard not to laugh.
"I was just imagining doing unspeakably filthy things to your brother," he replied casually. Sam almost gagged.
"Hey, same here! Up top," he exclaimed, raising a palm. Cas smacked it, smiling at him in the way that dean often did, like 'you're a complete dork. I love you, but you're a complete dork.'
They moved to catch up with their friend, wearing identical self-satisfied smirks.
The wedding was four days later. (How they managed to get fake invitations and get their names on the seating chart on that short notice, Dean had no idea, but he wasn’t about to question it. It was probably just Gabriel pulling some epic archangel-Trickster strings.)
If Dean had been paying attention to the ceremony, he would have noticed how fake and one-dimensional the vows sounded, how few people were in the chairs, how there was no sign of anything even remotely paranormal.
But he was not paying attention, because he was too busy trying to ignore his unfairly attractive best friend (who was sitting entirely too close to him, practically pressed up against his side), aforementioned best friend’s ever-present (and fantastically impressive) sex hair, and his own raging boner.
Almost as soon as the ceremony was over, Sam, who was sitting on Cas’ other side, grinned at him and grabbed his hand, dragging him toward the booze. Dean watched them go, feeling a little hopeless. He glanced to the side and saw Gabriel looking at them too, with a wistful expression that probably mirrored Dean’s.
Dean end3ed up standing on the side of the room, drinking scotch and talking to an archangel.
“So you’re in love with Sammy?”
“Bingo, Deanster. First try. Good job, buddy. Doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, though, not with the way the guy’s looking at my brother.” He pointed, and Dean followed his finger to where Cas and Sam were-
Slow dancing. Pressed against each other, Cas’ arms around Sam’s shoulders, Sam’s hands on Cas’ waist, staring into each other’s eyes like they’re completely in love.
Sam leaned down and whispered something to Cas, who grinned, shook his head, and said something back. Sam laughed.
I’m gonna throw up, Dean thought, putting down his drink and beelining for the bathroom. He threw himself over the toilet and sat there expelling his intestines for probably ten minutes. Once he finally felt it pass, he stood, washed his mouth, and splashed water on his face.
He could do this. All that had to happen was Dean had to commit to hiding his feelings for the rest of his life, pretend to be happy for them so as not to hurt the two people he loves most, marry some random chick with huge tits and black hair and blue eyes, give up hunting, move to Australia, and never speak to either of them ever again.
Cause that would totally work.
He sighed and opened the door to the bathroom. Just as he stepped out into the hallway that led back to the party, he heard two people talking.
“Cas,” said one voice seriously, and Dean froze. That was Sam’s voice. Dean was totally fucked. He should not be listening in on this.
He did it anyway.
“I love you,” Sam was saying. “I do. Okay?” Cas must have been nodding, because Sam said, “okay,” and then there was a sound like Sam kissed him on the cheek.
Dean turned around, went back into the bathroom, and threw up again.
He was 100% going to blame this on the scotch later.
But then the bathroom door was swinging open again and Sam’s earnest and concerned voice was calling, “Dean? You okay in here?” Dean wiped his mouth, stood, and exited the stall.
“All good, Sammy,” he said with a weak thumbs-up and an unconvincing smile. “Just…” he glanced at the toilet that the majority of his non-breakfast and lunch were currently sitting in. “Taking a breather.”
Sam looked worried, but clapped him on the shoulder and muttered, “okay, if you say so. Now come on, we’re partying.” He led his brother out into the venue. “You want to dance?”
Dean gave him an unimpressed look. “With you?” Sam shrugged. “Yeah, no thanks. I do have some standards. You’re gonna have to do a little better if you want to get with this.” He gestured to his body, but his attempt to make himself feel better at his brother’s expense fell flat on its face.
Sam rolled his eyes and punched his shoulder, though, so maybe he didn’t notice. “Seriously, though. Have some fun. Dance with somebody. Hey look, here’s Cas.” He smiled at Dean again and walked away as the angel came toward him.
“Hey, Cas,” Dean muttered forlornly before realizing how miserable he sounded. He plastered a smile on his face and joked, “it’s nice to see you in something besides the trench coat.”
That jibe failed spectacularly as well.
“Hmm,” Cas said distractedly, looking over his shoulder at Sasquatch, who was engaging himself in a conversation with one of the bridesmaids. He abruptly turned back to Dean as the song changed. “Could I have this dance?” he requested, extending a hand. Dean took it and allowed Castiel to pull him onto the dance floor, unable to do anything besides stare in shock as Cas intertwined their fingers, put Dean’s free hand on his shoulder and his own hand on Dean’s waist, and started to lead.
After about a minute, Cas said, “could we talk for a second.”
“If this is about Sam, date him,” Dean blurted without thinking. Cas blinked.
“Sammy. It’s – you’re obviously interested in him, and he’s into you, so just fucking ask him out and spare me the agony.”
Cas cocked his head to one side. “You do not appear to be very happy with that idea,” he observed.
“No, I’m fine with it,” Dean insisted, literally lying through his gritted teeth.
“Are you sure? You seem tense.”
“I’m fine, Cas!” Dean snapped.
Cas gave him his stony unimpressed-angel look. “You are very evidently not fine, Dean. You spent fifteen minutes throwing up in the bathroom earlier and you’ve been glaring at Sam all evening. What is going on?”
“I’m in love with you!” Dean confessed quickly, unable to get the words out fast enough. “I’ve been in love with you basically since I met you and now you’re all over my brother and I don’t know how to be okay with that!”
“Oh, Sam was right,” Cas breathed. Dean felt his whole body stiffen.
“What?” He stared at Cas, who was still swaying, and was looking up at him as if he was the one who’d put each and every star in the sky just for him.
“Dean, is it okay with you if I do this?” he asked, moving his hand from Dean’s hip to the back of his neck and pulling their faces closer. Dean’s mouth was so dry that he couldn’t speak, so he just nodded.
And Cas kissed him, wildly, messily, with a lot of tongue. He tasted like Grace and power and the wrath of heaven.
And holy shit, it was better than even Dean’s most vivid daydreams.
“So you’re my boyfriend now, right?” Dean whispered in Cas’ ear a while later, holding him tightly to his chest as if he were afraid that he might disappear (to be honest, he was a little).
“Yes, Dean. I’m your boyfriend now,” Cas laughed right back, and nestled his face into Dean’s shoulder.
After dancing together for half an hour (at least) Dean dragged Cas off the dance floor to try and find Sam. Eventually they did find him – in a dark corner of the room with his mouth glued to Gabriel’s and his suit jacket on the floor.
Dean cleared his throat loudly and they pulled apart. Sam turned red and bent to retrieve his jacker. Gabriel just grinned at them like he’d won a million-dollar lottery.
“Guess we were both wrong, then, eh Gabe?” Dean murmured fondly.
“Yeah, I guess so,” the archangel replied dazedly.
“Come on guys, let’s get out of here,” Sam told his friends, smirking widely. Dean looked at him.
“What about the wraith?”
Sam’s smirk just got bigger. “I’ll explain on the way.”
Six weeks ago…
Sam had asked Gabriel to create a fake wedding for them to attend for what he called ‘OPERATION: Oblivious Dean Winchester’. The point was that he and Cas would pretend to be attracted to each other in order to make Dean jealous enough to confess to his angel.
What Gabriel didn’t know was that OPERATION: Oblivious Dean Winchester was part of a bigger plan called OPERATION: A Side of Sabriel.
For those six weeks, especially the one leading up to the wedding when Sam and Cas had really been playing it up for Dean’s benefit, every time Gabriel asked about ODW (as he had dubbed it), Sam would specifically make a point to talk more about Cas than about the mission, about how easy he was to work with, how nice he was, how understanding, to make it seem like he was falling for him. To make Gabriel jealous.
Judging by his reaction the day they went shopping, Sam had succeeded.
(OPERATION: A Side of Sabriel had been entirely Cas’ idea, one day when Sam was complaining about a certain oblivious archangel being unable to take a hint.)
“So, wait,” Dean interjected, staring at Sam from the passenger’s seat of the Impala. “What was all that stuff about?”
“Jesus, Dean, I’m getting there,” Sam grumbled irritably. “It was just more jealousy tactics.”
About an hour and a half prior to this conversation…
Sam made sure when he pulled Cas away from the reception that he took Cas’ hand in a very intimate way, and that Dean and Gabriel were watching. He also showed Cas the perfect way to position himself to make them look sickeningly coupley.
He noticed Gabriel pointing at them from over by the alcohol out of the corner of his eye, but didn’t turn his head. He just leaned forward and whispered, “do you think we’re laying it on too thick?” in Cas’ ear.
Cas smiled and replied, “of course not. And even if we are, Dean deserves to feel like shit.”
Sam laughed genuinely at that, because he carried much the same sentiment for Gabriel.
Over Castiel’s head, he saw Dean break away from Gabe, taking huge strides around the edge of the room. “Don’t look now,” he told his dance partner, “but Dean’s on his way to men’s room. He looks like he’s about to vomit, and I have a feeling it’s not from the alcohol.”
Cas looked instantly worried. “Should we, I don’t know. Wait for him?”
“He’ll be fine,” Sam assured him.
But after the song was over, Sam could tell Cas was more than a little concerned for Dean’s wellbeing, so he pulled the angel to one side of the room, by the bathrooms and said, “hey. Hey, I’m right here. Dean’s right in there. It’s okay. Everybody’s fine. Are you good?”
Cas nodded but looked troubled.
“Kay, what’s up, man? That’s not a good angel look.”
“Are we doing the right thing? Are our brothers going to hate us forever after this?”
“No! Trust me, man, Dean will thank me profusely, or at least as close as Dean can get, anyway, for getting you together. And Gabriel? He’s chill. It’ll be fine.”
Cas smiled and hugged him, and Sam hugged back.
“If you want, I’ll go in there and look for him, make sure everything’s okay.”
Cas nodded. “Thank you, Sam.”
“You’re my best friend, Cas. I’d do anything for you.” Cas looked down. “Cas,” Sam said to get his attention. He glanced back up. “I love you. I do. Okay?” Cas nodded, looking humbled. “Okay,” Sam repeated, then kissed the top of his head on a very odd impulse. He then turned and went into the bathroom to take care of his brother.
So now they were back at the bunker, lounging in the living room with Die Hard playing in the background.
“You know, Dean,” Sam said, smirking slightly at his brother. “Green really isn’t your color.”
“Shut the fuck up, bitch,” Dean shot back, but he smiled into his beer.
“Yeah,” Sam sighed contentedly, “I love you too, jerk.”
“No, seriously,” Gabriel chimed in from where he was pressing himself into Sam’s side, one of the taller man’s arms wrapped around him. “Why do you think Baby Winchester got the green suit? You would’ve looked terrible in it.
“Dean would not have looked terrible in a green suit,” Cas defended his boyfriend. “Dean looks good in everything he wears.”
Dean smiled softly at his angel and Sam crowed with laughter. “Dude, you’re whipped!”
Dean didn’t even try to deny it, and Gabriel burst out laughing. And for a minute, there were no ghosts or spirits or demons or vampires or wraiths, no heaven or hell, no outside world at all. Just a family, enjoying one another.