It wasn't like Gabe to call before noon. Usually, because Castiel was working and Gabe knew better, but also because Gabe would be in the middle of a busy shift at one of his bakeries. Castiel hesitantly picked up the phone, grateful for the week off from his job.
"Gabe, are you in prison?"
"Come on, Cassie. Is that the only reason I would call you?" Gabe's voice was boisterous yet nervous. "I'm just checking in on my favorite baby brother."
"I'm your only baby brother." Castiel pulled the phone away from his ear to confirm the time. "Shouldn't you be elbow deep in flour or something, right now?"
"Nope. All three shops are under control, and I took the week off to fly in. Staying with Mom and Dad, you know?" Gabe's happy charade was faltering, and Castiel had a feeling of what was coming. "It's always great being home. Especially when I get to spend time with my favorite brother."
"Still, your only brother. Did Anna say no to you crashing at her place?" Castiel leaned back in his couch and kicked his legs up on the coffee table, careful to not disturb the stack of papers he had been grading.
"Anna's out of town until Thanksgiving, and something about she doesn't trust me to not burn down her house."
Castiel laughed. "That's a legitimate concern. Are you asking to crash here?"
"Actually, no. Mom and Dad have left me alone, for the most part." Gabe let out a heavy sigh, as though he had been burdened with the most laborious task on the planet. "Are you coming for Thanksgiving?"
Castiel pulled the phone away and looked at the clock on it for the third time. "Gabe, have you been drinking?"
"Look, I told them it would be pointless, but they didn't listen. They want all three of us there for the holiday. Dad said he's getting up there in age, and he wants to be surrounded by his children and non-existent grandchildren."
"Like he's getting grandchildren from any of us." Castiel rolled his eyes. "No. I'm not coming."
"You know that's not going to fly." Gabe suddenly sounded exhausted. "Me and Anna will be here."
"Great, then he's got his two kids, happy marriage and white picket fence. Make sure you pick up a dog for him before you leave."
"Castiel, please. Don't make me beg. Or sic Anna on you."
Castiel pinched the bridge of his nose and squeezed his eyes shut. "Anna's smart enough to not call or to tell our parents to piss off."
"It's just a couple hours on one day. You can cold shoulder them and give them the good old silent treatment." Gabe's voice took on a subtle hint of pleading. "Help me get them off my case and yours."
"I'm much happier spending my Thanksgiving at home with take out and a movie marathon. I might be alone, but at least I'm not getting attacked every other word out of their mouths." Castiel rubbed his forehead, trying to erase the thought of going to his parents for the holiday.
"That was one year, Cassie."
"Excuse me? What fiasco have you been watching?" Castiel stood up and moved to the kitchen to get a beer. "'Why are you single, Castiel?' 'Are you over your phase, Castiel?' 'Castiel, are you going to find a nice woman and give us grandkids?'" Castiel scoffed. "Don't even get me started on the digs they take at my job."
Gabe took in a suction of air, indicating that he was working on an idea. After a pause, he spoke up. "Bring a date."
"Right, like I'm going to find a guy to date me in less than a week." Castiel rolled his eyes.
"There are escort services, Cassie." Gabe paused. "Wait, that's it. There's also Craig's List. See if you can find a date for the day."
"I'm serious, hop on, look in the area, and check out casual encounters. That's got to be someone else looking for someone to spend the day with."
Castiel rolled his eyes and grabbed his laptop off the coffee table. "I thought that was for more... intimate encounters."
"HA! Like I'd send you to that part of the website. I certainly don't want to picture my baby bro doing the do with a dude."
"But, you just want me to bring a random person to Mom and Dad's to keep them off your back and mine." Castiel cradled the phone between his ear and shoulder as he typed in the address for Craig's List. "Look, I make no promises. If I don't make it, you can tell them that their worst fear came to fruition."
Gabe laughed. "That you married some random guy behind their backs, and you're moving to Venice to be Gondolier Captains."
"Maybe that one would push father over the edge." Castiel laughed. "Maybe this isn't a bad idea. I'll call you tomorrow with a definite answer. You and I both know either are good."
"That's my Castiel." The warm affection caused Castiel to smile. "Please give it a sincere look over, ok?"
Castiel promised to give it the old college try and disconnected his call with Gabe.
He pulled up the Casual Encounters section of Craig's List and was surprised to find out how right Gabe was. Many people were offering their services for Thanksgiving company. As he scrolled through the ads, one with an interesting title caught his attention.
Alone on Thanksgiving? Want to stop the ‘Why are you still single?’ questions?
I’m a 35-year-old guy with a GED and a loud, beautiful muscle car that’s older than I am. When people try to guess my age, I get anywhere from 32-38 depending on if I’ve taken the time to put on clothes that aren’t holey jeans and flannel shirts and do my hair. I work as a cook in my friend’s restaurant and tend bar for an aunt when I need extra cash. So if you’re looking for a platonic person to be your SO for a day, I can do it.
I am bisexual, so I don’t care if you’re male or female.
At your request, I can:
Hit on family members (including your parents).
Start an argument over politics and religion (I’m a liberal atheist).
Propose to you (I have a ring that works perfectly for this).
I can also act drunk as a skunk, but I personally don’t drink. I’ve been sober for a few years now. Need a ‘drunken’ fistfight started? I’m your guy.
I’m not looking for payment other than the free meal that comes from accompanying you.
Castiel smiled. This was perfect. It was a guy, he would appear to be less than to his folks, and he promised that he could cause a ruckus. Castiel quickly clicked the contact link and got their number to text them.
[1:00 PM Castiel:] Hi, I just found your add on Craig's List. Is your thanksgiving dinner date offer still open?
He waited several minutes, scrolling through a few more adds, just in case, when his phone's notification for a text message went off.
[1:07 PM 555-555-6767:] Hey, yeah. I didn't think anyone was interested, or it got buried. Name's Dean. You?
Castiel smiled, this crazy idea might actually work.
[1:09 PM Castiel:] My name is Castiel, and I am very interested in you pissing off my parents.
Castiel hit send and realized he needed more information about the random stranger he invited to Thanksgiving with him. As he got ready to send a request to meet in public, Dean beat him to it.
[1:12 PM Dean:] Interesting name there. You free in about an hour to meet? Would kinda like to see you and talk to you before I conform. It also sells the dating thing better.
[1:15 PM Dean:] Any particular place where we can meet?
Castiel sighed out a breath of relief before sucking in a breath of panic. Where could they meet?
[1:17 PM Castiel:] A cup of coffee or tea, maybe? I only know of Right Ground, but they're good.
[1:19 PM Dean:] Oh hell yeah! My friend is the owner. The petite redhead?
[1:20 PM Castiel:] Charlie, right? I've seen her a couple of times.
[1:22 PM Dean:] Perfect! I get off soon and can head right over.
[1:24 Castiel:] Sounds good. What should I look for?
[1:30 Dean] Black Impala. She's my pride and joy. If you're looking for me, Sandy Brown hair, Green Eyes, lots of freckles, and uh...
[1:31 Castiel:] What?
Castiel tilted his head in confusion as he waited for Dean's reply. Was this going to be where he mentioned he had a humpback?
[1:36 Dean:] I'm a bit bowlegged. I've been told it's a bit of a turnoff, but I figured I'd be honest upfront.
Castiel let out a laugh of relief.
[1:38 Castiel:] There is nothing wrong with bowlegs. I've heard they make some things easier. 😘
As soon as Castiel sent the message, he instantly wished he could take it back. Instead, he quickly sent a follow-up message.
[1:39 Castiel:] I'm going to go get ready. See you in about 25 minutes.
Castiel let out a huff of air while waiting for lighting to strike, or a boulder to be dropped on him.
[1:41 Dean:] LOL! See you soon, dude. (Dude, right?)
Castiel didn't get a chance to respond as he quickly hopped in the shower and got ready to meet Dean for the first time.
Castiel had arrived slightly ahead of his and Dean's arranged meeting time. He didn't see a black Impala anywhere, and when he walked inside, there were no men that matched Dean's initial description. Castiel headed to a corner seat that he normally tried to grab when he went to get coffee and found it surprisingly empty.
He sat down, facing the entrance with his back against the wall. A little kernel of self-doubt starting to grow in the back of his mind. Charlie was behind the counter, and he briefly wondered if Dean texted her to tell him to keep an eye for him.
Castiel went to grab his phone to check the time when the low rumble of a muscle car stopped him. He stole another glance at Charlie, and a huge smile crept upon her face. Castiel looked out the front windows. Dean's black Chevy Impala pulled into a spot, and out exited Adonis himself.
Dean didn't give himself enough credit when he described himself. The sandy brown hair was styled short and looked as though it would be soft for Cas to run his fingers through. And the freckles! Dean was a walking star map, and Cas wanted to trace his fingers along the freckles he could see. The only thing he couldn't see were Dean's self-proclaimed green eyes.
Once Dean entered the cafe, Charlie yelled to him and ran out from behind the counter. She wrapped her arms around him and started animatedly yelling at him for not checking in often enough. Dean graciously accepted her punishment and walked further into the shop. Castiel could finally make out the bowlegs that Dean appeared to be self-conscience about. If anything, the legs emphasized everything perfectly.
Castiel shook his head once, twice, and a third time for good measure. This was supposed to be a professional business interaction. He stood up while sliding out of the booth and walked over to Dean and Charlie. "Hello, I'm sorry for interrupting, but are you Dean?"
Charlie looked at Castiel and smiled before looking back at Dean. "You come to my shop for a date, Winchester? Not to see me? I'm offended. Now you don't get that slice of pie." She punched Dean in the shoulder.
"Hey! It wasn't my idea, it was Cas'. He said he liked your coffee." Dean looked at Castiel.
"He is right, I can show you the text message." Castiel reached for his phone in his pocket before finding his hand being swatted away.
"I believe him, and you. Gotta give the old man shit, though."
"Old man?" Dean blinked in shock. "I'm offended."
Charlie shrugged and walked back around the counter. "If you two want drinks, get up here and order before we have the final rush of the day."
"After you, Cas." Dean gestured. "Also, is Cas ok? Not sure how to pronounce your full name."
"Cas - Tee - Ell. But Cas is fine. If anything, it would infuriate my mother and father more." Cas smiled. "My brother calls me Cassie, I hate it, but I let him get away with it."
"Okay, one brother. Any other siblings?" Dean smiled at Cas.
Cas blushed from Dean's smile, "I have my brother Gabriel and my sister Anna."
"Are they part of the deal? Or are they off-limits?" Dean asked. "I mean, I clearly know you want me to go after your pops at the very least."
"You can jab at them if they jab at you." Cas conceded. "Looking for someone to come with me was actually Gabe's idea. So he may not appreciate being a part of the prank."
"Okay. We can play that by ear."
Cas tilted his head. "You said you wanted to see if we clicked before you agreed to the whole thing."
"What do you think I'm doing?" Dean winked. "So, tell me about your parents?"
The pair got up to the counter before Cas could answer, and Charlie sat down two cups in front of them. "Dean, black americano with room for cream. Cas, if I remember correctly, spiced chai latte."
"Thank you, Charlie," Cas responded as he went to grab his wallet.
"I threw it on Dean's tab. You two have a fun date." Charlie winked at them and shooed them so she could get to the next customer.
Dean blushed and looked at Cas and mouthed Sorry before picking up his cup and walking over to where they kept the cream.
Cas took the opportunity to grab his booth back and waited for Dean to join him. "So, you asked about my parents?"
"They're the targets, right?"
"Yeah." Cas nodded and took a sip of his drink. "My mother is Naomi, my father is Zachariah."
Dean held a finger up as he finished taking a drink. "Your family highly religious?"
"What gave that away?" Cas tried to hide his disdain, but by the look on Dean's face, he wasn't doing a good job.
"Gabriel, Castiel, Zachariah... Pretty sure there's a Naomi in the bible too." Dean placed a finger on his lips. "Not too sure about Anna."
"Prophetess in Luke's Gospel," Castiel responded.
Dean nodded in quiet contemplation. He paused a moment, and Castiel could see the gears turning. "Safe to assume you're gay or bi?"
"Very much Gay. I've been told it's a phase my whole life. My parents keep asking when I'm going to bring a girlfriend home. You're the first 'boyfriend' I'm bringing home." Castiel took another sip of his drink.
"Got it. What do you do for a living?"
"High School English Teacher." Cas scoffed. "Reason number two hundred fifty-one I'm a disappointment."
"Being a teacher is a disappointment?" Dean shook his head. "Well, I'll make sure that they know I'm a cook by day, bartender by night. I'm sure they'll love that."
"Your sarcasm is perfect. They both hate sarcasm, despite it being their first form of communication." Cas leaned back in his chair. "They definitely look down their noses at people too."
"Well, I'm sold. Food, chaos, and spending time with an attractive man?" Dean rested his elbows on the table and rest his chin on his knuckles. "This may be one of my best Thanksgiving in years." Dean winked. "What time should I pick you up?"
Over the next few days, Cas found himself texting back and forth with Dean frequently. He kept trying to remind himself that it was just so they could get to know each other so they could pass off as a couple on Thanksgiving. However, with the way that Dean flirted, it was harder and harder to keep that line from blurring.
[Wednesday 3:47 PM Dean:] Hey Cas, I know I'm supposed to be an asshole, but should I attempt to bring something with me?
Cas laughed, picturing how his mother would react if she were brought a gift from Dean.
[3:49 PM Cas:] You don't have to bring anything at all, although the image of my mother turning up her nose is both amusing and disappointing.
[3:51 PM Dean:] So, bring a six-pack of cheap beer. Got it.
[3:52 PM Cas:] You're incorrigible.
Cas found himself setting a special notification for Dean's text messages. He fought hard against doing it, as they were going to go their separate ways after Thanksgiving. Still, it seemed like something you would do for a significant other.
He heard the notification go off, and he picked his phone up again.
[4:00 PM Dean:] If I were a betting man, I'd bet that you liked it though.
Cas found that he couldn't disagree.
Cas' parents, completely surprised that he was coming and bringing a date, asked Cas to arrive around 3 PM on Thanksgiving.
Dean showed up at 1:30 PM.
"Hey, Cas." Dean stood in the doorway to Cas' apartment and leaned against the doorframe.
Cas couldn't help the smile that grew across his face. Dean was dressed up in a nice pair of jeans with a black tee-shirt and an open deep red button-up. "Hello, Dean." He stepped back to let Dean in. "You're early."
"I hope you don't mind. I was a little nervous." Dean smiled sheepishly. "Meeting the parents is kind of a big deal."
"That was the whole deal, Dean. You join me, free dinner, you make them regret telling me to come to dinner."
Dean's smile dropped a little, so slight that Cas almost missed it. "Right. I knew that."
"Everything okay, Dean?" Cas stepped closer and placed his hand gently on Dean's shoulder.
"Yeah, of course." Dean's face betrayed his words, but Cas let it go. "I figured I could also come over and help you load anything that might need to go with us in the car."
Cas frowned, unhappy at seeing this side of Dean. "Want to take a seat? We have some time to kill."
"Actually, can I hit the head? Then we can pack up Baby. You said it takes about 45 minutes to get there on a good day, and there is some traffic."
"Yeah," Cas responded as he pointed to the hallway. "First door on the left." He watched as Dean stepped away, wondering what changed so drastically.
Dean quickly finished up in the bathroom and found Cas in the kitchen, juggling a casserole and a couple of pies. "Dude, please tell me your pies are good."
"As long as they don't hit the floor, they should be." Cas smiled and allowed Dean to take them off his pile. "I remember Charlie teasing you about pie, so I stopped in special to ask what kind you like."
"Pecan?" Dean asked, a huge grin coming back across his face when Cas nodded. "Dude, you went to Charlie to ask her? Why didn't you just ask me?"
"I wanted it to be a surprise, to thank you for this week." The next words escaped Cas' lips before he could stop them. "I'm glad that at the very least, I got to make a new friend out of this."
"Well yeah, Charlie's awesome," Dean responded without missing a beat.
Cas rolled his eyes. "I mean you, Dean."
"I, uh..." Dean's cheeks flushed scarlet as he stuttered over his words. "You're awesome too, Cas."
"Come on, then, let's go load up your car." Cas held up the casserole dish and nodded his head towards the front door. "Sooner we get there, the sooner we can leave."
The pair of them quickly loaded up the car, and Dean handed Cas his phone to punch in his parent's address. The first few minutes of the drive were quiet, as Cas appreciated the roar of the engine.
"So, uh, Cas." Dean broke the silence once they got on the highway. "Question for you."
"I'm listening." Cas looked over at Dean and took a moment to admire his outline, highlighted by the sun.
"Well, we determined that we've been together for a few months and that we met when you came by my place of work. But, uh, are you ok with a little PDA to sell it?" Dean's cheeks turned bright red again, as though he were embarrassed to ask.
Cas slid a little closer to Dean to be able to reach his hand and hold it. When his skin brushed against Dean's, it was as though sparks of electricity shot through his body, and Cas shivered involuntarily.
"Okay there, Cas?" Dean stole a glance at Cas and smirked, before returning his eyes to the road.
Cas nodded as he found his words lacking. They enjoyed the rest of the ride in comfortable silence, only the music and the occasional hum from Dean filling the car.
Once they arrived, Cas took a moment to look at Dean and give him a final once over. The shade of red he was wearing was enticing and made his freckles and eyes pop more than Cas would have thought possible. It had taken all of Cas' willpower to not trace over them with his finger.
"I am." Cas nodded before looking up at their dreaded destination.
The pair got out of the car, and Dean took Cas' hand before going to the trunk. Cas looked down at their hands and felt a soft warmth against his cheek. He turned to find that Dean had kissed his cheek.
"Sorry, I should have asked first." Dean apologized, running his free hand through his hair.
"Dean, you already asked, and I had given you permission." Cas smiled and let out a little sigh. "Let's grab the stuff and get this over with."
Dean popped the trunk and handed the pies to Cas, grabbing the casserole, before closing it back up and following Cas to the house. Cas had shifted the pies to one arm and rang the doorbell. His hand immediately went back to Dean's, and he tried his hardest to not let his nerves show.
"You don't just walk into your parent's place?" Dean tilted his head in confusion. "Even if you don't get along, isn't it home?"
"This place has never been home, Dean," Cas replied, clipping his response as the door opened.
A stoic, cold woman answered the door, looking down at them, despite the pair being taller than her. "Castiel. You came." She scrutinized Dean more thoroughly. "And you brought a friend."
"Mother, I told you I was bringing my boyfriend." He turned to look at Dean and smiled. "This is my significant other, Dean."
Naomi's lips pulled in to a tighter pout. "That term wouldn't be correct, Castiel. Come in. You know where to set them up." She stepped back into the house, allowing them entrance.
"I make two pies and your favorite cheese and spinach casserole," Cas mentioned as he walked past. "I'll need to borrow the oven for five minutes once the turkey is done."
"I don't know, Castiel." Naomi picked up her pace to walk in front of them. "You should have asked if the oven would be available to cook things in."
Dean stared in disbelief at the way Naomi was talking down to Cas. "You mean you can't spare five minutes to make the cheese gooey again? I didn't realize heat was a limited resource."
"Excuse you?" Naomi placed her hand on her chest in shock. "Castiel, you will keep your friend in line."
"Boyfriend, Mother. But he's right. This is your favorite dish. I made it just for you. You don't want it warm?"
Naomi rolled her eyes as the pair set down their food offerings. "I'll figure it out." She glared at Dean. "Why don't you go find your father? He should be in the TV Room watching the game."
"Football. Sure. Let's go, Cas." Dean watched as Naomi cringed at the shortened version of her youngest son's name.
Cas tried to not laugh as he led Dean to the TV Room. He leaned in close to Dean to whisper about Zachariah. "Dean, he absolutely hates his name being shortened to Zach, and he hates the Eagles."
"Oh, I am all over this." Dean winked and wrapped his arm around Cas' shoulder.
"Father?" Cas inquired as they entered the room.
"Castiel. You came." His eyes traveled to Dean. "And you brought a friend."
"This is my boyfriend, Dean." Cas felt the words falling easier from his lips. "Dean, this is my father, Zachariah."
Dean unwrapped his arm off Cas' shoulder and extended his hand to Zachariah. "Please to meet you, Zach."
Zachariah stiffened, and his eyes became cold as ice. "Zachariah, please." He took Dean's hand and shook it.
"Of course, sorry about that, Zachariah. I'm just a nickname kind of person, ain't that right, Cas?" Dean took his hand back and wrapped his arm around Cas' shoulders again, leaning in to touch their foreheads together.
Cas could see the vein in his father's forehead start to throb. "Castiel, do you have no respect for your name?"
"I do, as does Dean. But my name is archaic, and sometimes it's just easier to shorten it." Cas looked at his father and stood his ground.
"Hey, I'm sorry, Zachariah." Dean stepped between the two. "Cowboys vs. Eagles, right?" He pointed at the TV.
"You watch sports?" Zachariah asked, his doubt not hidden at all.
"Hell yeah!" Dean hopped over the back of the couch and landed next to Zachariah on the sofa. "Just cause I like to suck a dick every now and then, doesn't mean I can't like sports." He leaned forward and grabbed some crackers off a platter on the coffee table. "Oh shit, Eagles up, 21-3! Fly Eagles, Fly!"
"Castiel, a word!" Zachariah demanded, scrambling out of his seat. Dean looked at Cas in worry, not relaxing even when Cas gave him a gesture indicating he'd be fine.
Cas followed Zachariah into the kitchen, where Naomi was mashing potatoes. "Who is this bastard friend of yours?" Zachariah hissed, grabbing Naomi's attention to join in.
"He's not a bastard, and he is my boyfriend," Cas emphasized the word boyfriend for the umpteenth time since arriving.
"You are in a phase, Castiel. We've found some nice girls who are very interested in you." Naomi added. Before she could continue; however, the front door opened, Gabe and Anna walking in.
"CASSIE!" Gabe called out, causing both of their parents to cringe. "You came home!" He dropped Anna's duffle bag in the foyer and bolted into the kitchen, trying to pick up his younger brother in a bear hug. "You seriously need to stop growing!"
Anna walked up behind Gabe and pushed him to the side, wrapping her arms around her younger brother. "Hello, Castiel. I've missed you." She pulled back and offered an apologetic smile. "Gabriel told me you were bringing your boyfriend to dinner. Is he here?"
"Castiel's friend is in the TV Room," Zachariah responded before Cas could. "And he is a rude, ungrateful, little prick."
"I can assure you it's not little." Dean walked into the kitchen. "Sorry, I heard the commotion, and I just wanted to make sure Cas was ok." Dean walked over to Cas and wrapped his arms around Cas's waist. "Gonna introduce me, babe?"
Cas melted into Dean's embrace, allowing their actions to cross into new territory. "Dean, this is my older brother Gabe and my older sister Anna."
"I've heard all about you two." Dean lets go of Cas long enough to shake their hands before holding Cas again.
"Well, why don't you all go into the TV Room. Your father and I will finish up dinner." Naomi responded coldly, clearly annoyed by Dean's presence.
"That sounds like a plan. Get that damn football off the TV." Gabe responded.
"But the Eagles are winning. They're hands down the best team in the NFL this year, wouldn't you agree, Zach?"
If looks could kill, Zachariah would have killed not only Dean but all three of his children as well. Gabe, sensing his father's temper rising, herded Dean and his siblings out of the kitchen. "Jesus, Cassie, where did you find this one?"
"Took your advice." Cas shrugged.
"Word to the wise?" Gabe looked at Dean. "Keep him."
"Dean, you don't happen to have any siblings, do you?" Anna asked.
"Brother, half-brother, and an adopted sister. I'm the oldest." Dean tilted his head. "Why?"
Gabe and Anna exchanged looks before Anna followed up with another question. "They single?"
Dean laughed, a rich, warm sound that made Cas melt. "Sammy's not. I don't know with Adam, but he's the youngest of us all, barely legal. Charlie's single, and flaming lesbian."
Anna looked at Gabe. "Sorry, guess I win this round."
"Wait, Anna, you too?" Cas' head tilted in shock and confusion.
She looked over Cas' shoulder to see if their parents were listening. "Bi, Castiel. I'm Bi."
Castiel looked in shock at Anna, then turned to Gabriel. "Are you going to drop a bombshell on me too?"
"I don't care about gender?" Gabe responded.
"What? When?" Cas palmed his forehead and sat on the sofa.
Both Gabe and Anna had the decency to blush. Anna responded first. "I figured it out in college."
"I've dated many people over the years, Cassie. I just didn't always bring them home to mom and pops." Gabriel added.
"You're so much braver than the both of us," Anna whispered. "You brought Dean home with you."
Dean sat on the sofa next to Cas and wrapped his arm around him. He leaned in and quietly spoke into Cas' ear. "Want me to prank them, too?"
Cas burst out laughing, shaking his head and throwing his arms around Dean's neck. "I know why you two did it," Cas stated while hugging Dean tight. "I don't even think I can be mad."
"Dinner time," Naomi announced, appearing in the doorway to the TV Room. "We would appreciate no hanging all over each other at the table, Castiel." Naomi turned her nose up and walked back towards the kitchen.
"Let's go knock out this wonderful holiday, shall we?" Gabe clapped his hands together.
The dining room was awkwardly quiet as the all entered and took their seats. Naomi stood at her place and looked at Zachariah. "Grace, Dear?"
Zachariah nodded and clasped his hands together.
Lord, bless this food and grant that we
May thankful for thy mercies be;
Teach us to know by whom we're fed;
Bless us with Christ, the living bread.
Lord, make us thankful for our food,
Bless us with faith in Jesus' blood;
With the bread of life our soul's supply,
That we may live with Christ on high.
When none of his children nor Dean responded, Amen, Zachariah cleared his throat. "I said, Amen."
Gabe and Anna quickly said it, and Castiel murmured it, but Dean refused to say it.
"Dean, is there something wrong with your voice all of a sudden?" Zachariah shot another deathly stare at Dean.
"Nope, my voice works just fine. I just don't do religion." Dean shrugged. "Guess you could say I'm an Atheist."
Cas flinched as he heard his mother gasp and prepare to yell at him. However, before she could get a word out, Dean spoke up.
"Are you about to yell at Cas? Cause Cas says Grace before every meal. I respect that he does. You know why?" Dean picked up the bowl of mashed potatoes and scooped a heap onto his plate. "Cause Cas doesn't force me to believe something I don't. He's kind, he's caring, and he's understanding. Clearly, you two didn't teach him that." Dean scooped a heap of potatoes on Cas' plate then passed the bow to Anna.
"How dare you!" Naomi spat. "You are a guest in this home."
"Yeah, let me tell you how guestly it's felt since I entered your house." Dean stabbed at the plate of turkey on the table and grabbed a few slices for himself and a few for Cas. "You both refuse to acknowledge my relationship with your son. You both have looked down on me for being a man who is attracted to men and women. God forbid I slip that I work two jobs." Dean smiled sarcastically. "Oops."
Dean passed the fork to Anna, who was staring at her mother as though she would explode. "You know, Naomi. How would you feel if I told you the farce between you and Zachariah here were invalid and not real?"
"We are one man, one woman. That's how it was created. You don't find any instances of your perversion in nature." Naomi gripped the edge of the table.
"Actually, Mom," Anna spoke up. "This last trip for NatGeo? I told you where they sent me. I was in the Savannah. I saw gay and lesbian animals everywhere."
"And the rangers released a document saying that the animals learned it from homosexual humans." Zachariah pointed sharply at his daughter. "You will speak when spoken to."
"You're going to tell the smartest person at the table to shut up?" Dean let out a low whistle and took a bite of a roll he had grabbed. "Man, I'd listen to everything she has to say. She works for National Fucking Geographic." He turned to Cas. "I'll still talk books with you all the time, though, sweetheart." He leaned in and kissed Cas' cheek.
"I said there would be no hanging over each other!" Naomi slammed her hands down on the table.
Dean snorted. "Me, kissing Cas' cheek, is not hanging all over him." He rested his hand on the small of Cas' back. "I bet a hundred dollars if Anna had brought along a boyfriend, or Gabe a girlfriend, you'd call a kiss on the cheek cute."
"Leave." Zachariah's voice sent a chill through the room. "Gabriel can take Castiel home."
"Like I'm going to leave Cas here to take more of your abuse. How long have you been telling him that he's wrong?" Dean whipped his head to Naomi. "How long have you been calling him a pervert?"
"We've never called him that." Naomi defended.
"Mom, you literally just did." Gabriel finally spoke. "You just called being Gay a perversion."
"Castiel isn't gay," Zachariah spoke up.
"Yeah, he is, Dad." Anna stared at her father. "And I'm bisexual. When I told you two about my boyfriend, Rupert? I was actually talking about my girlfriend, Ruby. Ruby and I broke up, and I couldn't properly mourn that relationship because I didn't have a mother who understood me."
"Well, if we're all coming out. I have slept with more dudes than I have fingers." Gabe added. "I've also slept with as many women. I've slept with as many non-binary people. And you know what? I've also slept with Trans people. Love is love, and attraction is attraction."
Naomi looked as though she were about to faint, and Zachariah pointed a knife at Dean. "This is your fault."
"MY FAULT?" Dean yelled, finally raising his voice. "I just met Gabe and Anna today. They were queer long before I met them. I'm dating Cas, who came to me and asked me out. Tell me how this is my fault."
"You made them think it was ok to share this information."
"And you made them feel like they were less than nothing. You're the problem here. Not me, not a single one of your children."
Cas stared at Dean in awe. No one had ever come to his defense so quickly, and here Dean was also defending his siblings. "Dean, I think we should go."
"That's the first smart thing you've said all night, Castiel." Naomi snapped.
"Oh no, you did not." Dean turned to face the Ice Queen at the end of the table. "Did you seriously just call my boyfriend stupid? You know, your youngest son? The person I fall for more and more each time I talk to him?"
"You know nothing about this family, and you came in here and–"
"Ok, Boomer." Dean cut Naomi off, and Gabe spat out his drink laughing. "Cas, let's grab the food you brought and head back."
"Get out of my house!" Zachariah shouted.
"Already working on it." Dean shot off a one-fingered salute and stood up with Cas and followed him to the kitchen.
Dean quickly found the two pies, while Cas found his casserole hidden in the fridge. He pulled it out and frowned, showing Dean. "She was never going share."
"Cas," Dean set down the pies and took the casserole, setting it down as well. He pulled Cas into his arms and held him tightly. "I'm sorry if I did too much."
"I think you could have kept going." Gabriel entered the kitchen. "Cassie, you brought pies? Trying to one-up me?"
"Dean likes pecan pie. You usually bring pumpkin." Cas melted into Dean's embrace, determined to make sure it wouldn't be the last time Dean held him like that.
"Touché." Gabriel let out a sigh. "Got room for two at your place?"Anna entered the kitchen. "Go pack your things, Gabe." She looked at Cas. "Your address still the same? We're not staying here."
"You're just going to crash with me? How do you know I don't have a roommate?"
Anna cut Cas a look. "You two are a new couple, you haven't moved in together yet."
Gabe called to them from the foyer. "Let's roll before they figure out how to trap us here."
"Coming, Gabe," Anna replied. "Meet you at your place, Cassie?"
Cas' face lit up at his sister calling him a nickname - even if it was one he wasn't particularly fond of - and not Castiel. "Yeah. Same address." He reluctantly pulled out of Dean's arms and grabbed the casserole, placing it in Dean's hands. "We should escape too." Cas picked up the pies and followed Anna out of the kitchen.
"Yes, sir." Dean smiled and followed the siblings out of the house.
Once back at Cas' apartment, this time with two siblings in tow, Dean helped Cas get the food in the house and prepared to leave.
"Where do you think you're going?" Gabe tilted his head in confusion, a trait all three siblings shared.
"I messed up a lot for you guys today. I'll let the three of you have your Thanksgiving together."
Gabe and Anna looked at Cas, who took Dean's hand into his. "I know we haven't been together long."
"Yeah, when did you find him, Monday, after we hung up?" Gabe smirked.
"Shut up, Gabe." Cas, Anna, and Dean said in unison.
Cas waited to see if Gabe would say anything else before continuing. "When I did this, I didn't think it would be more than a business arrangement. But I want this to be more. Please, Dean?"
"I'm not sure why, you still want that after today, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want more with you." Dean pressed his forehead against Cas'.
"Well, that settles it." Anna smiled. "Welcome to the family, Dean."
While Gabe and Anna set up in the guest room, Dean called up Charlie, and Cas ordered some Chinese food. Within a few minutes, Charlie was banging on Cas' door, bringing gifts of rolls and croissants and coffee from the Cafe. The two fiery redheads were introduced and instantly hit it off.
Their dinner arrived shortly after, and they all curled up on the various chairs and sofas together. They took turns picking movies to watch and created their own Thanksgiving.
As the night crept upon them, Charlie apologized but reminded them that she had to get up early for Black Friday shoppers who would hit up her cafe for coffee and breakfast. She exchanged numbers with Anna and told them to not be strangers.
Dean got up to go, and Cas grabbed his hand. "You said you're not working tomorrow. That the restaurant was closed for a long weekend."
"I did." Dean smiled at Cas. "I also don't want to impose. You have a full house right now, and I'm not sure if Gabe or Anna are claiming the couch."
Cas tilted his head in exasperation. "Did you think I wanted you to sleep on the couch?" He looked around, Anna had run to the restroom, and Gabe went to go grab a couple more of the chocolate croissants Charlie had brought. "I want you to stay with me tonight."
"You do?" Dean swallowed - hard. "Are you sure?"
"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want you to." Cas stood up and led Dean back to his bedroom. "We don't have to go that far tonight," Cas added as they entered the room. "I'd actually prefer that we didn't.
"This is new, but it feels like forever at the same time." Cas continued, "Did you mean what you said?"
Dean wrapped his arms over Cas' shoulders. "I've meant every word I said today, but what phrase comes specifically to mind?"
"That you fall for me more and more each time we talk?"
Dean leaned forward and pressed his lips against Cas', a soft caress that left them breathless. "One-hundred percent, Cas."