Dean's fingernails bit into the skin of his palms with the effort to force himself to say nothing, despite how much he wanted to. He couldn't though, and he knew it. Too much was at stake for him to risk opening his mouth, even if it was going to tear him apart to just stand there.
He couldn't risk it though. Not when he knew he was one suspension away from being cut from the football team. It was senior year and he knew that his playing this year was going to be the thing that, hopefully, got him a scholarship. He knew KU scouts had been looking at him lately, and he was going to do his damnedest to impress them, but he knew to do so he couldn't step in on this fight.
Instead he was forced to watch as Gordon Walker, another member of the football team, approached a boy on the other side of the school parking lot, standing next to an old Lincoln Continental. Only this wasn't just a boy. This was Castiel Novak- or Cas, as he'd taken to referring to him in his head- the boy Dean had had a crush on for going on 3 years now. And Dean was going to have to stand back and watch him get hurt.
“Yo, Fagstiel.” Gordon called with a smirk on his face. “Suck any good dicks lately?”
The boy in question stared back at Gordon with a look of disinterest in his piercing blue eyes. “I'm impressed, really, blowjob jokes and the addition of 'fag' to my name in order to mock my sexual orientation. Very original, Gordon, gold star.”
Dean paused, his fists unclenching slightly as he stared at Castiel in wonder. Castiel, the quiet boy who liked to spend his lunches alone in the corner of the library, reading and doing his homework, the boy who was always the first to raise his hand in Calculus, but whose voice shook when forced to read aloud in English- this boy was standing up to Gordon Walker. He didn't know whether the tightness he felt in his chest was fear or pride.
Gordon's friends- Zachariah, Azazel, and Cole- after a moment of staring at the boy in surprise, all laughed, probably amused to see a kid thinking he could stand up to them. Gordon, however, simply looked shocked. This must have been one of the few times anyone had ever stood up to him, and he didn't seem to be adjusting very well. His stare hardened and he simply looked at him, growing angrier by the second before responding with, “I'd watch myself if I were you, Novak.”
“Oh, really now? What are you going to do, beat me up?” Cas scoffed, taking a step forward to stand just a few paces away from Gordon. Then, oddly enough, the boy began to smile smugly. “Come on, I dare you.”
Gordon huffed and pulled back his fist to swing, but in that moment Dean snapped out of it and into action, crossing the parking lot at a fast pace. Unfortunately, however, he wasn't in time to stop Gordon's fist from colliding with Cas' cheek, sending him stumbling back. Dean narrowed his eyes, picking up his pace and, when he got there, grabbing the bastard by the front of his shirt, jerking him closer.
“And what do you think you're doing, Walker?” Dean asked, plastering an innocent smile on his face, although it probably came out more crazed than innocent. “Trying to show off?”
“Back off, Winchester,” Gordon snarled, trying to pry Dean's hand from his shirt. “This doesn't involve you.”
“Oh, it doesn't?” he asked, raising a brow and huffing a laugh. Oh, did it ever concern him. “Really, because I'm thinking it does. Especially when it involves you attacking some completely innocent kid, just because you decided to up your juice.” A smug smile formed on his lips at that. “Which reminds me, how pissed do you think Coach Singer's gonna be when he finds out what you've been up to, huh?”
Gordon froze, dropping his hand from where he was still trying to free himself. He hesitated, before saying in an unsure voice, “You wouldn't. We're playing Linwood in the homecoming game, and you'll be screwing over the whole team.”
“No,” Dean said, shaking his head. “I'd just get you and your asshole friends in a world of trouble. The rest of the team is clean, I know that for a fact.”
“You're going to screw me, your teammate, over for some fucking cocksucker?” The other boys eyes narrowed in suspicion. “You a faggot too, Winchester? You fucking him?”
“You know, I really don't appreciate you using that word. You could offend someone, one being me.” Dean said, jerking him forward once more, bringing them even closer. He then said, in a low, threatening voice. “And you know, I may be gay, but that don't mean I can't kick your ass into next week, on top of talking to Coach Singer about your little... habit.”
Dean pushed Gordon away then, making him fall back on his ass. He ignored him after that, turning to face the boy he'd come over here to defend, who was staring at him in awe, like he couldn't possibly believe that someone would stand up for him. Dean felt his heart clench at the thought.
Dean smiled, warm and friendly, with just a hint of concern. “You okay, buddy?”
“I am,” he said, seeming to have snapped out of it. The awe, however, seemed to there to stay for a while. “You're Dean Winchester.”
“I am,” he confirmed. “And you are...?” Oh, like you don't already know practically everything about the kid. But he didn't want to scare him off, so he lied.
“Oh, I apologize. Those neanderthals almost caused me to forget my manners,” the boy stuck out his hand for a shake. “I'm Castiel Novak. Be careful around me though, you might catch the gay.”
Dean chuckled, shaking Castiel's hand. “Well, then. I guess it's a good thing I'm already gay, huh? Well, bisexual.”
Castiel looked surprised. “I thought...” He trailed off before continuing slowly, “I figured you were just saying that to mess with him.”
“Nope, 100% bisexual,” Dean replied. He realized, belatedly, that he was still holding Castiel's hand, and dropped it with flushed cheeks. He rubbed the back of his neck, a nervous habit. “But, um, I was kind of wondering... do you have someplace to sit tomorrow at lunch? Because my friends, not my teammates- well, Benny, but anyway, we'd be glad to have you. If you want.”
Castiel's whole face seemed to light up with that. “I would like that very much, Dean.”
“Great,” he said, smiling back just as brightly.
Dean was still worried about suspension, though he apparently didn't need to be, because he was never called down to the office. Gordon, likely out of fear of Dean ratting him out, said nothing about the fight. And, that weekend, Cas attended Dean's game to cheer him on with their, yes their, friends, and, during halftime, he said yes when Dean asked him to be his Homecoming date.