The world turned upside down — in a good way — for one black velvet night.
“I already apologized, I'm not sure how much else you think I can do. As you’ve so helpfully reiterated several times in the past 10 minutes, it’s passed one am.” Castiel's hands fisted where he had them safely ensconced in the pockets of his trusty trench. He was going to fucking kill Gabriel. Gabriel and his stupid dares that Castiel just couldn’t seem to ever say no to. Or, well, he said no plenty and as firmly as he could and still Gabriel somehow managed to wrangle him into his shenanigans. This time it had been his best pleading face and “but I'm still getting over Kali” that had done it.
Castiel was almost 100% sure that Gabriel was just fucking with him. He really didn’t seem all that upset about Kali originally but over the course of the last couple of days he’d been a little … quieter than usual and that was as sus as it could be when coming from Gabriel. Gabriel didn’t do quiet. He was loud, brash, crude, unapologetic…pretty much everything Castiel normally envied. Except in this case. Right now, Castiel wanted nothing more than to punch this man across his pretty jaw just to get him to shut the fuck up so he could go, taking the rest of his shredded dignity with him.
“You egged my house!” The man sounded scandalized, like Castiel had committed the worst faux pa of the century. He snorted indelicately, wondering what his reaction would be if Castiel told him he was gay. It was always fun to rile up straight white males. He normally tried not to stereotype but it was past his bed time and he was tired and angry and this man just screamed All-American Hot-Blooded male . He even had freckles. What kind of grown ass man had freckles?
Castiel was fairly new to the States (he and Gabriel were born in Greenland, back when it was still further under Russia’s rule and where Gabriel had moved to the States as quickly as he could, Castiel was just now getting around to it) and when this man had stepped out onto his porch he’d almost asked if he had dirt on his face before scooching up a little to see and nope, freckles. Castiel had certainly written about freckles and he’d always wanted a gay freckled lover but, alas, up until now that had remained naught but a wet dream.
“Well?” the man asked. Castiel had long since stopped listening to the long-winded rambling of the lunatic, although admittedly the low tones of his voice soothed Castiel and made his body feel like it needed to get ready for bed.
But he digressed.
He squinted at the man as he thought of a way to work in that he was gay, if only to watch him falter and then do his best to run away as quickly as possible from Castiel lest the gay was catching. Briefly his mind went to Gabriel as he wondered how his brother would do it- probably he’d flirt and giggle but Castiel did not giggle and he also didn’t flirt. His people skills were, at best, rusty.
It didn’t help that he was a writer and an audiobook narrator. He made decent money and had no one to spend it on as he spent most of his time alone…with only Gabriel and Charlie bursting through his front door with an explosive energy that rivaled a lightning storm. They barged in, provided commentary and gossip fodder that he shared with no one else because of the aforementioned reasons and then left, leaving him feeling drained from the chaotic energy but loved and looked after.
“What was the question?” He asks the man, once again focusing on him. He just noticed he has once again stopped talking. Whether it was just now or five (possibly ten minutes) ago is anyone’s guess but the silence finally cut through Castiel’s senses so it’s probably been a while.
The agog look on freckled man has not left his face. Castiel decides it’s a good time as any.
“I'm gay.” He says calmly. His tone indicates that should explain everything. Castiel knows it does not.
Judging by the look on his neighbors face it does not.
That surprises Castiel. The only people who would never let him get away with spewing such bullshit excuses are other gay people. He can only imagine what Charlie would do if he ever tried it on her. He smirks to himself as he considers what the look on her face would be if he did. He makes a mental note to try sometime. Then again, he did value his life and for such a small person she had a mean right hook so maybe not.
The guy snorts , the sound bringing Castiel’s attention, once again, back to him and crosses his arms, showing off his impressive biceps although Castiel notices (with more than a little satisfaction ) that his runner thighs are bigger than freckle man's are- never mind that he’s always been genetically blessed in that area, much to Gabriel’s dismay.
“I'm a 4 on the Kinsey Scale, Sunshine. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter.”
Castiel is suddenly glad it’s dark. He feels ashamed that he brought that up only to get it thrown back in his face, and he hates being called a liar (something he suspects stems from how hard Naomi had hissed it at him when he came out to her at the tender age of 7- she had been a stellar Mother. Not.) And he’s embarrassed that much more because he was actually lying (if only in a roundabout way- he may have to discuss this with Gabriel, aka Mr. Morality because he was actually a very sought-after Personal Ethics uni professor.)
As if sensing his sudden discomfort, the man’s voice is suddenly much quieter. “You alright, man?”
Still feeling chastised, Castiel tugs on one of his sleeves uncomfortably. The sleeve is already all the way down, it’s just a nervous tic... a “tell”, Gabriel would call it. Freckle Man’s eyes flicker down to it and the look on his face turns contemplative for a few seconds before pointing a finger at Castiel.
“I like you, Sunshine. You can’t lie for shit. And that’s not even considered a lie, it’s more like a con or a manipulation to intimidate or make the other person uncomfortable enough to get out of a situation you want no part of. You want some coffee? Beer? Whiskey? It’s a little old because I don’t like- well, I don’t drink that stuff anymore, but you’re welcome to it.”
“I... don’t know you...” Castiel doesn’t always listen to Gabriel but Stranger Danger has been firmly knocked into his head ever since that time that Castiel almost got himself killed by allowing a stranger who allegedly needed to use the telephone into his house. Luckily (or unluckily , in the perpetuator’s case), a camera that apparently Charlie had installed had alerted that someone besides him was there. Thinking he had gotten himself a new beau she’d flipped it on just in time to catch the guy slipping something into Castiel’s drink. She’d immediately called Gabriel who ran over (he lived next door) and took the guy down. It had been a fucking weird thing to exit the restroom to.
Gabriel had visited all over the world and for a guy his size he was not only exceedingly strong but could protect himself in more ways than Castiel could think of. The guy was lucky Castiel had convinced Gabriel to let him leave. And after chastising them for spying on him, he acquiesced to letting them leave the camera, so long as they only turned it on when it alerted them that someone’s besides him was there and so long as they allowed him to have the same camera installed in their own homes so he could “keep an eye” on them too.
It was a weird set up, he knew it was weird, but it made him feel safe.
“It’s not like I’m going to kill you or drug you. Hell, we won’t even be alone. My brother, Sammy, is inside. He’s an environmental lawyer and I’m a nature photojournalist. Like Ansel Adams.”
It sounded interesting. It really did. But...
“I still have to check with my brother first.” Castiel said, firmly. He took his cell phone out of his pocket and kept an eye on Dean as he pressed the #2 on his keypad.
“’Sup, lil bro.”
“Gabriel. I came to egg this person’s house, just as you told me to and I accidentally broke their window. They are vexed but have invited me into their home for stale whiskey.” Cas ignored Dean’s indignant hey as he continued on, giving his brother all the facts.
“Why did you freeze the eggs, Gabriel?”
“He invited you where?”
“You froze the eggs, why did you freeze the eggs?”
Between one moment and the next, Cas hears “Oh, for the love of-” and then the phone is ripped out of his hand.
“I’m Dean. Dean Winchester. I live with my brother Sam. Your brother broke my window. I’m inviting him in to talk about how he’s going to fix my freaking window. I’m not a freaking murderer. Also, I told him I had coffee, beer or whiskey. I don’t know why he fixated on the stale whiskey part. Not that it’s stale.”
For a moment, neither of them hear anything until a sigh and then Gabriel’s voice comes back.
“Coffee. Give him coffee. He loves coffee. I’ll be there in five.”
“Ok, coffee. I can do that. I live-”
“I know where you live, Deano. You’re Dean Winchester. Older brother to a brother that looks like a tall glass of water after a long day in the desert.”
Castiel sees Dean (his name is Dean) open his mouth, only to pull the phone away from his face and look at it before handling it back to him.
“He hung up.”
“That is his ‘M.O.’” Castiel nods, doing the air quotes Gabriel and Charlie often tell him are unnecessary. Dean looks at his hands as they suspend in the air but doesn’t say anything beyond looking curious. He motions for Castiel to follow him and then leads the way up the porch with the five steps.
Part II- Dean's POV
“Dean? Did you figure out whodunit?” Sam calls out over the sounds of Call of Duty in the background. Dean only grunts in response as he pads silently into the kitchen to get some coffee going for the strange little man in his living room. Well, the strange part is true, the little not so much. He’s got an expansive chest underneath all that...sweater vest type shit Sam wears and he’s got some thick ass thighs. Dean’s never been so excited to meet a gay man. He wonders if...well, shit. He doesn’t know his name. Oh well, Sunshine suits him nicely. He wonders if Sunshine is a top, a bottom, a switch. Dean doesn’t bottom often but something makes him feel like he wouldn’t mind being the recipient of that low ass voice giving him some instruction in the bedroom. He wouldn’t call himself kinky, per se, but who doesn’t have a set of cuffs?
“Dean, where- who are you?” He hears Sam stand up and rushes back into the living room before his Sunshine finds himself on the ground. Sam is a black belt in too many different types of martial arts. He likes exercise. Dean would never.
“Wait!” He calls out to Sam.
“He’s the one who did it. It was a prank.”
“A prank. How old is he? 12?”
Dean glares at Sam. “What’s got your panties in a twist? Don’t be rude, bitch.”
Sam ran a hand over his hair. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was in the middle of playing COD and this person on the other team just kept killing me and killing me like it was his sole mission in life. I hate that dude.”
Sunshine, who’d been quiet until now, speaks up. “I am 30. Gabriel says I’m going on 60 but I do not understand that reference. He is the one who begged me to do the prank. He likes you. He calls you a ‘Tall Drink of Water’. Oh, and a ‘Tree’.”
And really, there’s absolutely no reason why this thirty-year old putting quotations around ‘tree’ should be this adorable but there you have it. With as much as his heart is going pitter-patter, Dean is starting to wonder if he got it wrong. Maybe it’s actually Valentine’s Day.
“A tree? Why a tree?” He hears Sam ask and yeah, that one’s a little weird. He had been on his back to the kitchen to finish the coffee and to grab Sam some more stale- not stale, dammit, whiskey but now he hangs back just a little.
“Because he’d like to ‘climb you’.”
Dean fucking loses it. He can envision the bitchface Sam must have on his face right then and he almost keels over in laughter.
Naturally, that’s when the doorbell rings and, figuring that Sam can get it, Dean gathers himself and finishes his trek into the kitchen for that coffee.
When he comes back Sam’s still in the same spot, which means that Sunshine must have been the one to open the door. Weird, but ok.
The second thing he notices is how Sam is having a stare down with a very short short man. Without even realizing it he starts humming Spice Girls only to be interrupting by Sunshine.
“Is this what eye-fucking looks like?”
Dean once again starts laughing at the behest of his brother’s sputtering. Sunshine’s brother looks amused and turns to him.
“Hiya Deano. I’m Gabriel. This here-” he says, pointing at the taller man next to him, “is Cassie.”
“You must be Sam. And if I’d known we were going to eye fuck on the first meet, I would have put on my spider lashes. They make me look fabulous dahlin’.”
Dean watches Sam’s eyes narrow. “If we were doing any sort of fucking, trust me, you’d know it.”
Gabriel fans himself and Dean’s holds in a snort. He just met him and he can already tell he’s going to be best friends with Gabriel. He can’t wait to hear his retort. Sure enough, he doesn’t disappoint-
“Oh my. Are you telling me you’re directly proportional to your body, Sammy? Cos if so, daddy likes.”
“Oh God, I need brain bleach now.” Dean groans dramatically.
“Sure thing, Deano. I’ve got just the thing. Cassie here is also hung.”
That tidbit does so many things to Dean’s mind he doesn’t even know which one to focus on first. Thoughts are ping-ponging all over the damn place.
“Gabriel, I think you broke him.” He hears a gravelly voice say and he holds on to it, willing it to keep talking so it can pull him out of the chaos that broke out when Gabriel had dared uttered those words .
“Not on my good Christian carpet.” He hears himself say, distantly. And then Sam is slapping him on the face. “Dean, you alright?”
“ Oî , Samsquatch. Quit that. If anyone is going to be clapping those cheeks, it’s going to be Cassie. Now, come on, let me finish beating you at COD and Cassie will take care of him.”
“Excuse you, but he’s my brother. And who the hell are you and why are you here? Wait- why did you say ‘finish beating’- when, omg, are you Loki?”
Dean gets himself together just in time to watch his brother pulling Gabriel by the sleeve into their den, where their console is. He has a feeling that he hasn’t seen the last of Gabriel and that he might just be the one that catches the ever-elusive Sam “Sammy” Winchester. His brother has been with many people, some serious, some not so much, but in all that time, Dean has never seen him invite any of them into their den, citing it as his “happy place”. Yeah, Gabriel is definitely here to stay.
Making a mental note to give Gabriel his has-been-prepared-for-fucking-years big brother speech, Dean turns back to “Cassie”, slightly wrinkling his nose.
“Cassie, huh? I don’t know, I think I like Sunshine better.”
To his surprise, Cassie’s nose also wrinkles.
“Only Gabriel calls me that, Dean. My name is Castiel Novak. He Is Gabriel Milton. We are Heteropaternal Superfencundation twins. It means,” he continues on seeing the look of utter bewilderment on Dean’s face, “that we are twins who have the same mother but two separate fathers. Gabriel says Mother was a ho. He is not partial to her.”
“Are you?” Dean asks, trying not to laugh at the ‘ho’ bit because, yeah, that totally sounds like Gabriel.
He loves his mom and can’t imagine anyone not loving their mom but it seems that tonight is a day (or night) of many first because he sees something cold pass over Castiel’s face and automatically knows what he’s going to say. “She hated Gabriel’s father and was an assbutt to him. No, I’m not either.”
For a moment they stare at each other. Cas’s- yeah, he’s going to stick to Cas, it just feels good on the tongue- cerulean eyes boring into his. He’s never seen eyes like that and he makes a mental note to take lots of pictures later.
They’re clear but deep all at the same time, the same blue as the waters he saw in Greece during his senior trip, the same blue as the waters that had felt like home to him. He feels the same peace envelope him now and when the shot of a heat so intense it swirls in his belly before spreading throughout his body, follows, he jolts and realizes, no, decides something else.
Cas is also here to stay.
Part III- Epilogue- Sam's POV
Two Years Later:
“That’ll teach you not to do the crime, if you can’t do the time.” Sam quotes to an exasperated Gabriel who grumbles about him being such a lawyer, even as he picks through his now all-pink, used-to-be-whites in an attempt to find a t-shirt. It’s Halloween again and somehow in the Milton/Novak/Winchester family that has evolved to the equivalent of an April Fool’s Day.
But Cas and Sam don’t get roped into it, they learned their lesson last year during the Great Language Debacle where Gabriel had switched the language on Dean’s TV to Mandarin and then couldn’t remember the steps to switch it back. Dean retaliated by doing the same to Gabriel’s console, which was way too far (according to Gabriel) because as reigning king of COD, he was expected to be there and he couldn’t be if he couldn’t log in.
All four of them had ended up at Charlie’s house, begging for help. The lineup was Dean, Cas, Sam, and Gabriel with the respective bookends shooting each other glares every so often. Their pseudo feud didn’t end until Cas and Sam looked at each other and said, “Ihop?” to which the kids (yes, Dean and Gabriel) cheered and all sore feelings were forgotten in lieu of chocolate chip pancakes (Gabriel) and Funfetti ones for Dean.
This year they left them to their own devices and instead opted to go out for the perfect day as soon-to-be bro’s in law. They visited a couple of organic fruit and veggie stands, went out to eat at their favouite vegan restaurant (with the added bonus of not having Gabriel or Dean there to complain with every bite they took) and afterwards, they’d walked over to a locally owned bookstore (savvy small business shoppers that they were) before heading to the local coffee shoppe where they discussed their purchases over Pumpkin Spice (actual pumpkin spice, not the high fructose syrup sold at other places) lattes with soy milk. They’d ended their day with some gong and Reiki yoga that had been an elevating incredible experience, something they agreed had relaxed them enough to go home and endure the chaos they were sure to find.
“You think they’re still alive?” Sam had asked Cas as they walked to Baby (yes, Dean allowed Cas to drive her. Would wonders ever cease?) after yoga. Cas had laughed lightly before pulling up a picture of the laundry room Dean had sent him while they were in yoga. Gabriel had snuck in and added half a bottle of dish soap to the washing machine and the magnitude of bubbles was so great they had managed to make their way into the hall. “Oh God.” Sam moaned. “I can’t imagine what our place is going to look like.”
He was, of course, referring to the place he and Dean used to live at. Gabriel now lived with him and Dean lived with Cas.
Sam had popped the question first, taking only a few months before deciding that he was only prolonging the inevitable because he already knew he was going to end up married to Gabriel. Their engagement had been a longer affair because Gabriel had a list of everything couples should do before tying the knot and since Sam had gone out of order, now he was having to...pay the price.
Upon further reflection, Sam knows he’s definitely going to pay the price of being married to Gabriel.
But then he looks at his candy-loving, chocolate-smelling, whiskey-eyed, gold-hair- coloured , prank playing, rascally, basically-a-kid, sweetheart lover who is now wearing his t-shirt instead (all the pink ones are on the floor) and is sitting cross-legged on the bed, munching on a Twix that is definitely going to leave a stain on the bed because he keeps putting it down every other bite so that he can type properly (he’s getting another degree, this time in gaming because he’s decided that he wants to be a “professional game try-outer") and smiles to himself because he knows that’s a price that he’d be willing to pay again and again.