Dean was staring at nothing in particular, just the trees and the clouds that seemed to stretch forever and on. His fingers were fumbling through his school bag, attempting to distract himself from the tingling feeling in his arm. His college professor was rambling on about something related to the Holocaust; he had learned about it in high school, the teachers then had just left out the parts that would be cruicial to know. Dean had never liked history, so he always found himself zoning out, ignoring the facts his professor was giving, and focusing on how the trees moved.
He had stayed up studying all night though, desperate to pass this test, even if it was just with a seventy. His arm was still tingling as he turned to look at the college professor. He didn’t know any of his professor’s names, only that they were supposed to teach him things while he was paying a profuse amount of money.
Dean turned his gaze back to the window, watching a few birds chase each other. Dean wasn’t one to watch animals for fun, but it calmed him down much more than a history exam did, so he dealt with it.
A moment later, he watched as the professor handed him a sheet of paper. Questions lined the paper, front and back, he held his breath as he skimmed over the ink.
The first question seemed rather easy, “ What was the Holocaust?” He lingered on each answer a tad longer than was really needed, then finally decided on the fourth choice, “a time in history when six million Jewish people were murdered by the German Nazis.”
All around him, people seemed to be finishing. It made Dean self-conscious, almost as if he thought people would be annoyed with him because he was taking longer than the others. This isn’t like high school, he reminded himself.
“What was the nationality of the man who helped saved many Jewish captives during WW2, Oskar Schindler?” Dean had to read the last question over and over again, each time just seeming more and more complex than it really was. He knew this question, he knew the answer. His mind was just distracted, unfocused. He finally pulled his thoughts into order, and circled the letter next to “German” .
Minutes later, the bell rang, and students piled into the hallway. He zig-zagged throughout the hallway, ignoring the other students. His dorm wasn’t too far away from his last class, his jitters already calming down as he saw his door.
Dean didn’t have a roommate; he didn’t want one. Dean trusted very few people, all of whom didn’t go to his college. His brother, Sam, or Sammy, as he liked to call him, seemed to be his best friend. Dean’s default mode wasn’t what most people enjoyed. He has been called it all, asshole, jerk, bitch, bastard, douchebag, dick. Even the professors seemed to enjoy calling him out on things that he had no way of controlling. Sam was different though, even if he was still in high school, Sam understood Dean more than anyone ever did; Sam knew that Dean tried hard. Sam had looked up to Dean since as long as he could remember, everything he learned was taught by Dean. Sam had also never judged Dean, not once, even when Dean messed up. It was one of Dean’s pride and joy, it was something that he could freely brag about if he wanted to.
He opened the door to his dorm, entering his safe space. His bed was pressed up against the wall, gray sheets covering it. He had a few posters hung up, not many though. Each poster had one of his favorite music artists on it. His favorite poster, a picture of Led Zeppelin, was hung above his bed. His dresser had just four drawers, which surprisingly enough held all of his clothes, which wasn’t much. The blinds of his windows were shut almost all the time in his room. Dean liked to stare outside the windows when he was bored, but not so much when he needed to be studying; plus, it would have been awkward if people saw him jacking off.
Dean knew he had one more class, but he also knew he was exhausted from sleep deprivation. He checked his watch, the time reading 4:13 pm. He would have two minutes before the class started, meaning he wouldn’t be able to sleep for another hour or so unless he stayed in his dorm.
Of course, Dean decided to stay in his room. He did the ten minutes of studying before finally passing out, letting his eyes close.
The ringing of Dean’s phone is what woke him up. Sam was calling, which brought a wave of relief to go through him; they hadn’t talked in several days, which wasn’t normal for them.
“Hey, Sammy!” Dean said, yawning while doing so. Dean was still exhausted, but he would stay up for his little brother.
“Hey, Dean. So there is someone I want you to meet, and I was wondering if you would come over either tonight or tomorrow night for dinner or something like that? If you’re busy or something, then you don’t have to.” Sam’s voice was heard through the other line.
Dean smiled, “yeah, of course! What time should I be there?”
“Any time after five works.”
There was a moment of complete silence, Dean attempting to find something to say.
“Okay, well, I will see you tomorrow then. Later, Sammy.”
“Yeah, later, Dean.”
Dean hung up the phone, letting his head hit the pillow again.
Dean loved his brother, he loved Sam dearly, but he didn’t love meeting new people. People who didn’t know Dean all that well assumed he was a jerk. They assumed that he didn’t care about anything, except for himself.
That’s not what bothered him though, because everyone judges people. It is just a natural thing, even if it isn’t a good thing. What did bother him was the fact that they didn’t even try to understand him. It was okay at first, mainly because they would leave him alone; it started to bother him when they called him names behind his back. He didn’t bother them, so why couldn;t they leave him alone.
Dean spent a few minutes trying to get more comfortable again. It didn’t work. He was already awake and wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep for a while. So, Dean decided to just sit up and do nothing. He stared at his wall for who knows how long, questioning just about everything. He wondered if things would ever be good again.
He wondered about who he would fall in love with. He wondered about who he could trust. He wondered about things that were so random, it turned into him wondering how he thought about that. He thought about a lot of things too. Like how his father would come home in a drunken state almost every night, yelling and screaming for no apparent reason, just because he was able to. He thought about how his favorite color only appeared at a certain time of day, in the sunset. It wasn’t a particular color, it was just how the colors blended together into clouds and blues, purples and pinks, reds and yellows. Dean wouldn’t admit it, but he loved watching the sunset. He longed to do it with someone who he loved, someone who he could be with for the rest of his life.
What had started as him thinking about whether things would ever be good again, had turned into him wondering about who he will fall in love with. Dean knew he wasn’t straight, he knew he liked boys, but he didn’t know if he really wanted to admit to it. Dean wasn’t ashamed of it, but he wasn’t ready to tell anyone about it, despite a few people’s suspicion.
He wanted to tell his brother about how he liked boys rather than girls. He had been with a girl once, but it didn’t feel right. He didn’t like how her lips tasted like strawberry lip gloss, he didn’t like how her hands were smaller than his, and he didn’t like how she had practically pounced on her. He had hated how it felt inside her. Most teenage boys would have been thrilled to have a one-night stand with a girl, but Dean hated every second of it.
Dean didn’t want to ever have sex with a girl again. But he was terrified to be with a boy. He was scared how his brother would react to him coming out, how people would react to him falling in love with a boy.
Dean would do anything to seem normal, even if it did mean pretending to love girls.
Castiel watched the moon outside of his window. He hadn’t slept in a few days, the insomnia starting to get impossible to handle at this point. He had tried everything- counting sheep, taking benadryl, drinking chamomile tea, rubbing lavender on his wrists. He had even gone to see a physiatrist, who had only recommended melatonin, a common medication to help people sleep. Of course, as Castiel had expected, it didn’t work.
So, Castiel turned to staring at the night sky. He had always loved the night more than the day, he just didn’t know why. The moon appealed to him, made him feel calm. And the stars had a way of just imitating the perfect twinkle, like the glint and sparkle in someone’s eyes when they were ecstatic.
Castiel did this often, staring out his window at nothing in particular, just watching the stars and the moon. It made him happy, it distracted him from the anxieties and nerves that never seemed to stay at bay with him. Castiel was especially anxious now, knowing that he had made plans to meet two people he didn’t even know.
Gabriel, his older brother and one of the few people who accepted him for liking boys, had called him while at a friend’s house. Gabriel had asked Castiel if he wanted to meet his friend and their brother. Castiel, of course, not able to decline, had said yes to Gabriel. He had instead wanted to say no, he didn’t want to go meet new people. Castiel already had to meet enough people every day as it is with being in college, a very well known college, at that. And now, Castiel had plans for tomorrow.
Castiel turned to his bed, the white duvet sheets clinging to it. He knew his room was bland, boring even, but he liked it like that. He had always liked the blandness of his room. There were no posters and hardly any color, but he kept it.
He laid down on the mattress, pulling the duvet up to his chin. His anxiety had gone down, which would probably help him sleep, or at least make it easier to fall asleep.
Castiel closed his eyes, trying to imagine home. He tried to imagine the way his father used to smile, lifting Castiel up onto his shoulders and running around. His mother would always scold them, saying that it isn’t safe to be doing that in the house. They wouldn’t listen, and would instead keep on laughing and playing around. Castiel’s mother had beauty like no other, beautiful blonde hair that was down to her shoulders, freckles that could barely be seen unless you were up close, eyes that were almost as blue as the ocean. Castiel’s father would always say, “your mother’s eyes are a beautiful blue, the type of blue that made people drop to their knees. But your eyes, Castiel? Your eyes are bluer than the most clean ocean on this planet. Your eyes are what’s going to change this world, son.”
Castiel missed his home. He missed how things used to be, how things were before his father became an abusive drunk. Castiel missed how when he came home from school, his mother would always have snacks out on the table. They would talk about his day, the things he had learned. Castiel missed how his brothers would argue over the smallest things; they always seemed to find something to bicker about. He missed how simple it used to be to fall asleep. He missed how easy his life used to be.
A bat swooped outside, making small squeaking noises in the night. Castiel turned onto his side, facing the wall. He heard the front door of his house open and then close. Gabriel was home.
Gabriel worked late most nights, and when he wasn’t working, he was at his friend’s house. Gabriel had never been one to judge, he was the only one who truly understood Castiel. Despite the teasing and bickering that they shared with each other, they were best friends. They may have argued about who’s turn it was to do the dishes, or who’s mess it was to clean up, but they always had each other’s backs. When Castiel started to have severe panic attacks, the type of panic attacks that ended with him trying to get air into his lungs, Gabriel took him under his wing. Gabriel had a house that was only fifteen minutes away from his college, and there were four rooms, so Castiel was able to stay.
“Stay as long as you need, man! It’s not issue, Cassie,” Gabriel said. “Cassie” was Castiel’s nickname, which he hated with a passion; it was what Gabriel had called him since as long as he could remember.
So, Castiel stayed. He moved in two weeks ago, not worrying about what the school said. Castiel was somewhere he felt comfortable, and he trusted Gabriel with his life, so why would he worry about what the school thought.
Dean was dreading going to his brother’s house. Not because he didn’t want to see Sam, but because he didn’t want to see his brother’s friends. Sam told him that it was nothing to worry about, but that did nothing to diminish the fear that crept into his stomach as he opened his car door.
Sam had turned eighteen a few months ago, and he was still in high school, but he owned a house. It used to be Dean’s house, but after he left for college, Sam got the house. The grass was a little taller than it used to be, and the driveway had one more car than there typically was.
Dean locked his Impala, Baby was what he named her. Baby was Dean’s pride and joy. He walked up the three steps that led to the front door. He could smell the barbeque cooking in the backyard, making his stomach growl.
Deep breath in, deep breath out, he reminded himself as he raised a fist to the door. Dean knocked three times, and took a step back. Ten seconds passed before Sam came running to the door and opened it.
“Dean!” Sam laughed, engulfing his brother in a quick hug.
Sam followed Dean into the living room, where two people sat talking.
Sam pointed to the first one, he had a boyish look still, with golden hair that reached just below his ears.
“That’s Gabriel. He is my, um, friend.” Sam expressed, moving his finger to the other guy. “And this is Castiel.”
Dean moved to shake their hands. Gabriel smiled and Dean smiled back.
When Dean shook Castiel’s head, Castiel stood up.
Dean wasn’t one to be awestruck. But he was. Dean could see all of the freckles that dotted across Castiel’s face, he saw the bright blue irises that captured him in, he could see how Castiel’s lips were chapped and pink and full and it distracted him.
Dean realized he was staring at Castiel’s lips for too long when he cleared his throat.
“Okay. Time to tell you why we asked you to come here.” Sam started. A nervous crack was in his voice, which is what showed Dean just how nervous he was. Sam walked closer to Gabriel, slowly grabbing his hand. “Me and Gabe, we are, um, we’re together.”
Dean was shocked. He knew Sam only had a few girlfriends, three at the most, but he wasn’t expecting him to have a boyfriend.
“Look at you, Sammy!” Dean chirped, a wide smile on his face.
If Sam had a liking for boys as well, then he would surely accept Dean.
It felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of Dean’s chest. And it only got lighter as the night went on.
It was now midnight, and Dean was drunk. He was intoxicated with a little bit of everything at this point, but he felt good. Dean was high on happiness and the blue eyes that kept on meeting with his.
“Hey Cas- wait, can I call you Cas?” Dean gave Castiel a smile, hoping that he would be okay with it to spare him the embarrassment. Castiel laughed and nodded. “Okay, Cas, what college are you going to?”
Dean could see the look of surprise on Castiel’s face. He figured not many people asked Castiel that question, given the look he got.
“I, um, well, I go to a college not too far from here. It’s about twenty minutes away. What about you, Dean?” Castiel gave Dean the same innocent smile that Dean had given him.
Dean’s eyes widened. Surely he would have seen Castiel around, so there was no way that they went to the same school.
“Huh, is it super big, lots of people, bland and ugly?” Dean questioned, bringing the bottle of beer up to his lips, taking a swig of the burning yet addictive beverage. Castiel’s eyes widened, nodding.
“What? No way! I would have seen you around before, especially with eyes that blue!” Dean laughed out. He realized what he had said once it was too late, and he already regretted it. “Shit, um I don’t mean it like that, just that I have seen everyone in my school.”
Dean was typically okay with lying. He had to often considering all of the things he gets caught up into. But right now? Dean wanted nothing more than to say that he thought this man in front of him was beautiful.
Castiel laughed while Dean fumbled with his fingers, trying to make it less awkward.
Sam stood up, rolling his eyes towards Dean. Gabriel yawned, stretching his arms while doing so. Sam pressed a quick kiss onto Gabriel’s cheek.
“I’m going to bed, later you drunks,” Sam laughed.
“G’night, Sammy.” Dean paused, watching Gabriel follow him up the stairs. He watched as they laughed and gripped ahold of each other’s hands. Dean forced a laugh mixed with a cough; he was happy for his brother, but he wanted something like what they have. Gabriel pressed a kiss onto Sam’s neck, them both giggling like two drunk girls. “Hey! Use protection!”
Castiel barked out a laugh at Dean’s remark. It was the type of laugh that people would find beautiful. It reminded Dean of his favorite song, but he couldn’t press why.
Dean wanted to take Castiel on a date. He wanted to dance in the rain with this man. He wanted to wake up every morning next to him. Dean wanted to know every single inch and crevice of this piece of art, and he wanted to make Castiel feel more than they had ever before.
But like every great love story, the first date had to come first.
Dean stared at Castiel’s chapped lips, beginning to find the courage that he needed to do what he wanted to do. Castiel was looking outside the window, still sitting on the couch with Dean, his legs crossed. Dean could see the reflection of the moon in Castiel’s eyes, it made him want to take a picture and keep it forever, it was so beautiful. That was all that he needed