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I Met Him on a Sunday (and My Heart Stood Still)

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Castiel’s feet hit the damp sand at the shoreline in a steady rhythm. It was still dark out and the fog was thick, but he knew this beach. He’d been running this same stretch of sand for a week now. The mile from his little rental to Lighthouse Pointe usually took him eight minutes. He could just make out the lighthouse’s slender structure through the fog. Suddenly, a dark shape was in front of him and he couldn’t stop.

“Oomph.” The shape was definitely human. Castiel went down with a thud, landing solidly on top of the offending shape…definitely male... Another shape joined the fray. A low growl rumbled to his left. Great, a dog…a large dog. “Lucifer, sit,” came a baritone out of the dim morning light and fog.

Castiel scrambled to his feet. “Sorry. Didn’t see you.” Through the thick mist, Castiel made out the features of a man, a bit taller than his own six feet and wearing dark clothing. No wonder he couldn’t see him in the dark. “You should be wearing something lighter so you could be seen and your dog should be on a leash.”

The man was dusting sand off of his…uniform. Shit. The fog was thinning and Castiel could see a badge and a gun on the guy’s hip. “Lucifer is a working K9.”

Shit, way to go…knock a cop to the ground, tell him he needs to dress differently and let him know there’s a leash law. Nice way to start his new business off…wasn’t there a cliché about cops and donuts?

“I apologize, Officer.”

“Chief.” Whoa, now that the sun was coming up, Castiel took note that the man was quite beautiful. He should have been an underwear model instead of a cop.

“Huh?”

“I’m the Chief of Police.”

Shit, shit, shit. “Oh…well, sorry again…I’ll just be going now…” Castiel turned and broke into a jog, twenty yards later his was at a steady run.

Back at the house, he quickly showered and dressed. He took his cup of herbal tea out to his deck and listened to the ocean for a few minutes. It soothed him. The fog was gone and it was going to be a beautiful day. His thoughts drifted back to the cop…correction, the chief…why did the gorgeous ones have to be such assholes? Not that he played for Castiel’s team anyway, but still…

The bike ride to work took him all of five minutes. His Sunday hours were light, open at eight, close at eleven. He unlocked the back door and let himself into the small commercial kitchen. After only a week of being open, Castiel still got a rush from opening the door to his own business. The Angel Key Bakery was in a prime location. His brother, Gabe, moved to Angel Key ten years ago and opened a candy shop. Two months ago, he called Castiel and told him about a local bistro closing and would Castiel be interested in buying the place for investment purposes. Instead, Castiel cashed out his 401k at the accounting firm, pulled a few grand from his trust fund, gave his notice and was now putting his culinary and baking skills to work.

“Morning, Boss.” Meg, his only fulltime employee, a brash but good hearted woman, greeted him.

“Morning.” Cas’ tone must have warned her that something was up.

“Uh oh, what happened to set you off?”

Cas started the industrial mixer and began weighing out flour. “I was out on my morning run and literally ran into the police chief. Knocked him down and everything.”

“Way to make a good impression.” Meg slipped on her apron and started icing the Key lime cupcakes.

“In my defense, it was dark and foggy and he was wearing a black uniform.”

“He’s kind of cute, huh?”

“Cute is not the word I would use. Does he ever do anything other than scowl?”

“Dean? Are you kidding? Dean’s always laughing and joking around. His brother lives next door to you, Sam, the attorney.”

Castiel met Sam and his wife, Jess, the day he moved into his little cottage. They seemed like a nice couple. Jess even stopped to pick up two dozen cupcakes on Friday for her class. She was a teacher at the small island school. Sam worked at a firm in Key West, twenty miles due south of Angel Key.

Castiel flipped the sign by the door to open at exactly eight. There were already a couple of his new customers waiting. Garth, one of Angel Key’s police officers grinned and waved at him through the glass as he unlocked the door.

“Meg, may I have two maple bacons and a large milk.” He gave Castiel a fist bump as he walked past him.

Benny Lafitte, the fire chief, was also waiting for his usual. “Morning, Brother.”

“Morning, Benny.”

The two men showed up the first day of business and were back every day since. Castiel found he enjoyed their company in the early morning before all the tourists came in. Garth was goofy but warm hearted. Benny was gruff, but he showed up at Castiel’s house that first night with a six pack of beer. Castiel really loved the idea of living in such a tight knit community. Gabe assured Castiel that with Key West so close, they were really gay friendly here. Castiel wasn’t one for wearing rainbows and marching in gay rights parades, but he wasn’t going to hide his sexuality either. Not that it had come up yet.

“Castiel ran into the chief this morning.” Meg grinned. Castiel frowned at her.

“Dean’s a good man. His brother, Sam, lives next door to you,” Benny said before taking another bite of his cruller.

“So I’ve been told,” Castiel said dryly. He was stocking the front cases with baked goods and he didn’t even look up.

At eleven, Castiel packed up the showcases and wrapped the breads. Tomorrow they would be marked down fifty percent. The pastries, cupcakes and donuts were boxed up. Castiel would deliver these to the local grocery store. He’d made a deal with the owner to supply him with a few baked goods daily since the store didn’t have its own bakery. The Seaside Hotel contacted him Friday about starting a service to deliver fresh baked pastries to their lobby Monday through Friday. Castiel welcomed the income. His first weeks sales were more than he expected.

He placed the boxes in the basket on his bike and peddled around the corner to the Angel Key Supermarket. Once they were dropped off, Castiel headed home. This was his first free afternoon since he moved here and he looked forward to going for a long swim and then relaxing on his deck with a few beers.

***

It was noon and Dean was still finding sand in every crevice of his uniform and even under his uniform. He really hated tourists. Who ran at the buttcrack of dawn…in the dark…on a foggy morning? A stupid tourist, that’s who. He’d already been in a bad mood. Some fisherman reported seeing someone taking flash pictures of a sea turtle nesting by the lighthouse. It was against the law to do anything to disturb the endangered turtles. That’s why he was on the beach at zero dark thirty instead of still in his warm bed with its wonderful memory foam mattress. Whoever was the culprits were gone by the time he got there and he was heading back to his house when he’d gotten hit and knocked to the ground by the jogger…runner…whatever they called themselves these days. He should have let Lucifer bite they guy, but the mayor would have his badge if there was a lawsuit.

Dean left Garth at the station and drove his city issued SUV to his house. His house was built on the edge of the Lighthouse Pointe Natural Seashore, a protected stretch of beach on the north end of the small island, one of many in the Florida Keys. He pulled up next to his baby, the black 67 Impala his father gave him when he was just a teen, and parked. He opened the back of the SUV and Lucifer, his German Shepherd, leapt out onto the driveway.

The first thing he did was grab a shower. How did sand get in his butt crack? Oh, right, the asshat knocked him backwards.

While he was technically on duty 24/7, Sundays were his day to kick back, relax and hang out with his brother over a couple of beers. Garth was on duty and Jody was in charge if anything happened. Dressed in jeans and a Henley, he grabbed Lucifer’s favorite ball and a six pack of beer.

There was a butt ugly pimp mobile in the rental house next to Sam’s place. “There goes the neighborhood,” he said jokingly to Lucifer. He made a mental note to check out the renters. Dean didn’t want the wrong crowd coming onto his island and causing problems.

Dean didn’t go to the front door, he walked around the side of Sam’s house and found his brother on the deck like he knew he would. The two brothers greeted each other and opened their beers. “Where’s Jess?”

“She had to do a grocery store run.”

Dean threw Lucifer’s ball out on the beach and the dog raced after it, barking happily. “Saw you have new neighbors. Have you met them yet?”

“Yeah. Castiel. He’s the owner of the new bakery.”

“Humpf.” Dean snorted. That’s all Garth talked about now. Benny was even a fan of the place. He went in once. Meg, a local woman, was behind the counter. Dean looked in the display cases for pie and didn’t see any. When he asked about it, she told him they didn’t make pies. What type of bakery didn’t make pies? A fucked up one, that’s what.

“What’s with the face?”

“What face?” Dean threw the ball again and watched the dog take a flying leap off the porch to give chase.

“The constipated face.”

“Who’s constipated?” Jess’ amused voice came from the backdoor.

“Dean,” Sam said with a smirk.

“I’m not constipated. I’m pretty damn regular.”

“TMI.” Jess was laughing and making a face at him.

She grabbed a beer out of the cooler and gave Lucifer a scratch behind the ears. “I got four steaks, why don’t you walk over and ask Castiel to join us for dinner tonight?”

“Great idea.” Sam stood up and jogged down the steps.

“What’s this Castiel guy like? And what kind of name is that anyway? Is he some foreigner?”

“He’s sweet and really nice looking. Castiel was an angel, I think. And no, he’s not a foreigner. He’s Gabe’s younger brother.”

“Sweet Jesus. I don’t think Angel Key can take another Novak.”

Sam was back and announced Castiel would be joining them. “I told him to come over around five for a beer.”

Dean’s attention was drawn next door. He watched the man who he assumed was Castiel walking towards the water. Hell, the man had a killer body. He trotted to the water’s edge where he dropped his towel and dove into the surf. Strong arms plowed through the water and Dean stared through his mirrored sunglasses. When the guy was about a hundred yards out, Dean stood up. “Your neighbor is out too far.”

Sam grinned. “Nah, Castiel swims every afternoon. Gabe told me he almost made it to the Olympics.”

***
Castiel was just about to go out the door for a swim when his neighbor banged on the back door.

“Hey, Sam.”

“Hey, we’re grilling out some steaks tonight and wondered if you wanted to come over?”

“Sure, thanks. What should I bring?”

“I think Jess has everything covered. What about dessert?” Sam laughed sheepishly. “I guess you always get to asked make dessert for parties and stuff, huh?”

“Yes, but I enjoy baking. Any requests?”

“Can you make pie?”

“Of course.” Sam left after making him promise he’d be over around five for a beer. Castiel grabbed a towel and jogged towards the water.

He dove under and came up already cutting through the water. The water was cool, but not cold even though it was still early March. Living this close to the equator certainly had its advantages. He gaged the distance by the small buoy anchored in the shipping channel. At a hundred yards he stopped to tread water for a few minutes. Once his breathing returned to normal, he struck out towards shore.

Castiel showered quickly. He was right in the middle of rolling the pie crust when his brother called.

“What up, C?”

“I’m making a pie.”

“Pie? What flavor?”

“Cherry. That’s the only fruit I have in the house.” Castiel pulled the large bag of cherries out of the fridge. He’d been saving them for an experiment at the bakery, but dinner with new friends was more important. He could always buy more cherries.

“I’ll be over in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.” Ever since Castiel moved in, Gabe mooched meals.

“No tonight. I’ve been invited to the Winchester’s house for dinner.”

“Goody, Cassie’s making friends. On a much more serious note, wanna go clubbing tomorrow? I’ll take you to Bobby’s Monkey Bar in Key West. You could get lucky there and I can be your wing man.”

“I’ll think about it, Gabe. No promises.”

“All work and no play makes Castiel a very horny boy.”

“Goodbye, Gabe.”

He pulled the pie out of the oven at quarter of five. It was perfect, right down to the shape of cherries cut out of the dough. He should probably bring beer too. Slipping on a pair of flipflops, he picked up the dessert and beer and headed next door. He saw Sam and Jess standing around their grill and the back of someone’s head in a hammock. The hair was close cropped, brown with blond and ginger highlights. He rounded the corner of the porch and froze. A familiar looking dog lay on the top step and the police chief himself was sprawled out in the hammock. Castiel wasn’t sure who was more shocked, the chief or him.

“Shit.” At the man’s words, Sam and Jess both turned to stare at the chief.

“Dean?” Sam was giving his brother a dirty look.

Castiel hadn’t moved from the bottom step. “It’s okay, Sam. I don’t think your brother likes me much. I’ll just leave the pie and come over another time.”

“No, Castiel, you are our guest. Isn’t that right, Dean?” Jess’ voice gave no room for argument and Castiel was secretly delighted that the chief looked chastised.

“When did you two even meet?” Sam asked looking back and forth between the two. “And why wouldn’t he like you? Dean likes just about everyone except tourists.”

“Your neighbor likes to run on the beach in the dark and barrel over innocent people who just happened to be out doing their job.”

“Your brother was on the beach in dark clothing standing at the water’s edge and…

“Then he tried to tell me to leash my fucking dog, like he’s…

“And his dog almost attacked me….

Sam and Jess went back and forth like they were at a tennis match. Both men looked like they were ready to come to blows. Castiel backed down first, after all he was at Sam’s house. It would be rude to start a fight with his brother. “Sam, Jess, thanks for the invite, but this isn’t a good idea.” He sat the pie on the deck railing and turned to go.

***
Sam and Jess were giving him the evil eye. Damn it… he’d watched the man walk away and smiled triumphantly. That was until the dirty looks started and the silent treatment…don’t forget the damn silent treatment. “What?”

“You go over there right now and apologize, Dean Winchester. You were rude.” Jess had her hands on her hips and once she did that, there was no pleasing the woman unless you did exactly as she said.

“Me? What about him?”

“So you both made a bad first impression, but you can fix it. Go apologize and see if you can start over. He made pie, Dean.” Sam picked up the pie and waved it under Dean’s nose. God, the aroma made Dean’s mouth water.

“No Castiel…no pie.” Jess snatched the pie out of Sam’s hands and took it in the house. Dean stood, rooted to the spot and blinked. She took the pie. She threatened him with pie…or lack thereof. Fuck.

“Fine.” Dean spat out the word and gave the command for Lucifer to stay before heading next door. The back door was open allowing for the ocean’s breezes to enter. Most people in the keys left their doors and windows open all year round. He stood at the door looking in. The guy had good taste. He could see the living room and dining room from where he stood. The floors were white washed pine and he’d decorated it with minimal furniture, all in shades of white, tan and light blue. Dean heard banging noises coming from his left and assumed Novak was in the kitchen.

Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door jamb. Novak came around the corner and stopped, a dish towel was flung over his shoulder and his hair was worse than it was before…and that was saying something. The guy’s hair looked like he’d just done ten rounds of freak nasty sex.

“Can I help you?”

Oh, yeah, he could help him alright…by getting naked and….where did that shit come from? “Uhm…Sam said we needed to start over.”

“There’s no need. I’ll just stay out of your way.” He turned to go back to what he was doing. Dean needed to think of something. Lead with the truth, it usually worked.

“Jess won’t give me pie until we make nice.”

Did the corner of the guy’s mouth just lift a little? Maybe….

“Speaking of pie, why don’t you have it in your bakery?”

“Pies are easy to make. I like challenges…coming up with something new and different. When were you in the bakery?”

“Pie is my favorite dessert. I came in on Wednesday, Meg was working.”

“I must have been in the kitchen.” He cocked his head sideways to look at Dean. “I will start making pies then. What’s your favorite kind?”

“Cherry, pecan, lemon meringue, pumpkin, apple….”

He laughed. Dean thought he had a nice laugh.

“I’m really sorry…”

“I was a dick….”

They both spoke at the same time.

“Why were you out so early this morning?” He looked honestly interested.

“One of the local fisherman spotted some tourists taking flash pictures of a nesting turtle. It’s against the law on a protected beach. I thought I could catch them but by the time I got there, they were gone.”

“I run early every morning. I could keep a look out if you’d like.”

“Thanks. That would be cool.” Dean shifted from one foot to the other. Maybe the guy was a complete douche after all.

“So, if I see anyone, should I just call the police station?”

“No…no. I live in the last house before you get to the protected area. You can just call me.”

“Okay.” Dean thought he had the most beautiful eyes. Earlier at Sam’s they were darker like the ocean…when he’d been pissed. Now, they were lighter, like the sky. He was just staring at Dean and Dean realized he’d been staring into his eyes.

“Right…uhm…I guess you’ll need my phone number.” Dean looked away, searching for something to write with but Novak took his phone out of his pocket and handed it to Dean. Dean took it and smiled at the screen shot. A large cupcake with colorful sprinkles took up the entire screen. He punched in his number and dialed it so he’d have the baker’s as well. When his phone range, he quickly typed the word ‘cupcake’ for the contact name.

“We should go over to Sam’s before Jess makes good on her threat to not let you have any pie.”

Dean grinned. “Yeah.”

They walked back next door and Sam beamed at him. Dean rolled his eyes. The meal was great, but the pie was like eating a slice of heaven. Two slices of heaven. He would have eaten three, but Sam began to make pig noises and Dean reluctantly pushed his plate away.

Castiel…that was still a mouthful, but he couldn’t very well call him Cupcake…helped Jess clean the kitchen while Sam and Dean tossed the ball for Lucifer a few more times.

It was only eight, but Castiel stood up and stretched. “Thanks Sam…Jess…I had a great time, but four rolls around early.”

“Four?” Dean squawked.

“I do run a bakery…you know the old commercial ‘time to make the donuts’? That’s my life.”

“Goodnight, Castiel.” Sam and Jess called out as he walked away. Dean just watched him go. He was halfway between the two houses when he turned.

“I’ll be out running around four thirty – please stay out of my path.” It was said with a grin and Dean found himself smiling back.

“If I’m out, I’ll wave a flashlight or something as a signal.” Dean saw the flash of Castiel white teeth in the darkness. He was still smiling when he realized Sam and Jess were staring at him.

“What?”

“Were you flirting with our new neighbor?” Jess asked, looking pleased with herself.

“Fuck, no. Jesus, we fight, you bitch. We’re friendly, you bitch. A guy can’t win.”

“I wasn’t bitching. I thought it was cute.”

“Sam, control your wife.” Dean scowled and stood up. He snapped his fingers for Lucifer to heel. “I’m going home.”

“It’s only eight,” Sam said. “Since when do you go home at eight?”

“Since I was up at the ass crack of dawn looking for tourists molesting our turtle population.”

Dean drove home as the last streaks of color from the sunset disappeared from view. Lucifer bounded from the car and raced around peeing on every tree and bush in Dean’s yard. He left the door open for the dog and popped the top off another beer.

Maybe he’d stop at the bakery tomorrow and get a donut or something. Garth said they had awesome coffee too.

Chapter Text

Castiel stretched out to his full stride, legs taut, running shoes pounding on the sand. The lighthouse was just ahead. He could see it clearly since there was no fog this morning. The only sounds were the gentle lap of waves on the shore and the crunch of his shoes on sand. He got to the lighthouse and ran in place to the count of thirty and then turned for home.

As he rounded the point, he could see the red roof of a house. That must be Dean’s. The house set back up near the road. A well tended lawn with flowering bougainvillea and hibiscus surrounded the house. He was so intent on studying the place that he didn’t see the dog until he was right up on him. Lucifer stood alert watching him. Castiel from a young age was taught not to run from dogs because they would give chase and possibly bite you, so he slowed to a stop. He was in great shape but he was still breathing heavily from his run.

“Hey, boy,” he said softly. “Where’s Dean?”

The dog sat and tilted his head sideways. Castiel glanced up at the house and saw a light on. It hadn’t been on before so Dean must be awake.

“Can I finish my run? Or are you going to chase me and bite my ass?”

“Lucifer, come.” Dean’s voice carried over the beach. The dog sprinted towards the house without a backwards glance.

A part of Castiel wanted to jog up to the house and say good morning. The smarter part of him decided that would be a big mistake. Crushing on the police chief wasn’t a good idea. He didn’t know anything about the guy, he could have a girlfriend…or a wife? He wasn’t wearing a ring – yes, Castiel checked. No one mentioned a wife, but you just never know. Better to be safe than sorry.

He turned his eyes towards home and finished his run. He needed to get to the bakery, baking always made him feel better about his life and the world in general.

The small island town was peaceful and quiet in the early morning hours. Castiel turned on the lights and looked at his notes and recipes. After planning his lineup for the morning, he began to gather his ingredients. Lavender pound cake sounded like an interesting thing to try.

“Morning.” Meg entered through the back door and immediately pulled her hair up into a scrunchie.

“Good morning, Meg.” Castiel poured the batter into a loaf pan.

“You sound better this morning. Guess you didn’t knock the chief down again.”

“Very funny. Don’t you have donuts to make?”

Castiel unlocked the front door and greeted Garth and Benny. While he got them their orders, they chatted companionably. After Benny left, Castiel sent Meg in the back to get more napkins, they had plenty up front, but Castiel needed to speak to Garth alone.

“Is Chief Winchester married?” The question was casually asked, like Castiel was inquiring about the weather.

“Nope. He dated Lisa Braeden for a couple of years and everyone thought they were going to tie the knot, but something happened.” Garth shrugged. “They’re good friends now, so it must not have been too bad. Her son, Ben, really looks up to the chief. They still do a lot of stuff together.”

Castiel settled in to finish baking for his special orders after Garth left. The chief was a hundred percent straight. He expected as much, but it was nice to be sure. Now, he could tamp down this crush. Maybe he would go with Gabe tonight. Nothing like a one night stand to clear your head.

He was pulled out the last of the pies. “Pies, boss? You said we didn’t do pies.” Meg sniffed appreciatively at the butterscotch apple one.

“I got a request.” Yes, he made the pies for Dean. Three different flavors.

“From who?”

“Just a customer…”

“Anyone here?” Castiel would know that voice anywhere. Meg hurried to greet the customer. Castiel took a deep breath, pasted on a smile and balanced the three pies on his arm.

“Good morning, Chief Winchester.” Keep it formal, that way no one is the wiser, least of all Dean Winchester.

“Morning, Cas. Pies!” Dean’s face lit up like a child on Christmas morning. Meg’s eyes went from Dean’s to Castiel’s. The smirk she gave Castiel irked him.

“I made a butterscotch apple, a coconut cream and a mixed berry. Would you like a slice?”

“Hell, yeah.” Dean leaned forward to stare hungrily at the pies.

“Which one would you like to try?” Castiel was trying to stay distant and keep it professional but he could not help smiling at Dean’s boyish enthusiasm.

“I want a slice of all three. Just box it up to go, Cas.” Cas? Castiel tilted his head in much the same way Lucifer did.

***
The way Cas tilted his head was freakin’ cute. Cas? Crap. Well, he didn’t correct Dean so it must be okay. Cute? What the fuck? Was he growing lady parts?

Cas baked him pies. Not just one pie, but three. He couldn’t wait to try them. He watched the baker put the three generous slices into a tan baker box with the store’s logo on it. What had Jess said about Cas’ name…an angel…

“Hey, Castiel was an angel and we live on Angel Key. Funny, huh?”

“You’re just now getting that? Slow on the uptake there, Dean-o.” Gabe Novak’s voice was behind him.

“Don’t you have some candy to sell or something?” Dean didn’t dislike Gabe, but sometimes he was so snarky and it got on Dean’s nerves. He couldn’t believe Cas and Gabe were related.

“The shop doesn’t open until nine…it’s only eight forty-eight. I just came in for one of my baby brother’s delicious confections.” He nodded at Dean’s box. “I see you are sampling Cassie’s sweets.”

Dean felt his face heat up and prayed he wasn’t blushing. “Yeah…pie…” He cleared his throat and tried to sound manly. “I need to get to the station. Bye Cas…Meg…Gabe.”

He strode quickly down the sidewalk. He’d seen Cas that morning, running on the beach. He told himself he woke up early because Lucifer needed to go out.

The station was only six buildings up from the bakery. Linda Tran was behind the front counter, the petite woman was their secretary, dispatcher and half the time she acted like their mother.

“Did you remember my donut?” She asked him, eyeing the box.

“Fuck.” Dean was so flustered and excited about the damn pies that he forgot Linda’s order. “I’ll go back and get it.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll call Garth, he was on his way back to the station anyway.”

“No!” Linda looked up sharply. “I mean…don’t bother Garth. I’ll just walk back down there. I forgot to get coffee too.”

“Chief, we have coffee here.” She was looking at him strangely. Crap, what was wrong with him?

“Yeah, you’re right. Just call Garth and have him pick up your donut. I’ll just pour myself a cup of coffee from our coffeemaker…the one we have…” Dean backed into his office and shut the door. He leaned against it and groaned. What was it about Cas? Sure he was sexy as hell. Not that Dean was gay. A straight man could appreciate another man’s looks…and body…and hair…

Dean stayed in his office for the rest of the morning. The first piece of pie was freakin’ awesome. The second was fuckin’ amazing and the third sat on the corner of his desk waiting to be eaten. He worked on some of the paperwork he’d been putting off. At lunchtime, Dean left his office to go on patrol while Garth took his lunch break. He drove slowly past the bakery. The place was packed with people, mostly tourists by the looks of things. Dean could spot a tourist at five hundred paces.

He swung into Bobby’s garage and shot the shit with him for a while. Bobby and his wife, Ellen, pretty much raised Dean and Sammy after their mother died and their dad started drinking himself to an early grave. After he left Bobby, he continued his drive down Northshore Drive. The road circled the entire island. He passed the turnoff for the small k-12 school. The very same school he and his little brother attended. The school made him think of Lisa.

They ended their two year long relationship last year. He thought things were going great. The sex was good…not great…but good. He satisfied her and that’s all that counted, wasn’t it? She came over to the house one night last March and said they needed to talk. Next thing he knew she was telling him that she loved him but she wasn’t his soulmate. Soulmate…that sounded like something Sam would say. She said they both deserved someone better. Then she told him that he needed to think long and hard about what he really wanted in a partner. Hell, he wanted what everyone wanted…someone he could trust…someone he was attracted to…someone to love…and blue eyes. Dean’s thoughts snapped back to the road in front of him. The color of someone’s eyes wasn’t important. Where had that come from?

Dean turned off on the crushed shell road that led to Lighthouse Pointe. He got out of the SUV and opened the back door so Lucifer could jump out. He watched his dog sniff around, tail wagging. Since Dean took the police chief’s position two years ago, Lucifer seemed like a different dog. He was playful and acted younger than his seven years. The German Shepherd was a retired military working dog. He’d been Dean’s partner while Dean served in the Marines stationed in Iraq. When Dean returned to the states, the military was going to retired the dog, but because of Dean’s impeccable record as a hero, they released Lucifer to Dean. When Mayor Alder hired him, he got a package deal, a new chief and a trained K9 cop.

This part of the island was peaceful. Tourists came to see the lighthouse and take pictures, but they didn’t come here to sunbathe or play beach volleyball. The sand was pristine here and was a protected sea turtle habitat. Dean used his keys to unlock the lighthouse. While the lighthouse still worked, the lightkeeper’s house was now a small museum. The huge beacon was now run on batteries. Dean made his way up the spiral staircase to the lantern room, from there; he stepped out onto the catwalk. He had a view of the entire island, from the drawbridge connecting them to the Overseas Highway, to Main Street…to Bobby’s garage. This was home. Everyone that lived on this tiny coral island was family.

***
Castiel rubbed the back of his neck. It had been a long and busy day. Spring break had started, so the island was swarming with tourists. While Castiel liked to bake unusual desserts, he had to keep the normal touristy things like Key Lime cupcakes in the showcase. Today, they sold over five hundred cupcakes. He had a consultation that afternoon with a bride who was getting married at Lighthouse Pointe. She wanted a beach themed cake. He promised her he would sketch out a few designs tonight and have them ready by next week and she could do the cake tasting at the same time.

At five, he sent Meg home and cashed out the register. He boxed up the remaining baked goods for the grocery store. The hotel manager called Castiel as he was getting ready to lock up. She was very happy with today’s order and wanted to thank him personally.

He smiled all the way to the bank. His bakery was going to do fine. While he was at the grocery store dropping off the boxes, he did a little shopping for the house. His refrigerator only had beer and sandwich meat in it. Since he didn’t have his car, he could only buy what he could carry in the basket of his bike.

The young girl keyed in his purchases, chicken breasts, some fresh fruit, a bag of Arborio rice and a butternut squash. According to Gabe, they would eat and then head down to Key West for an night of booze and debauchery.

He put his bag into the basket and swung his leg over the bike. He got ready to push off when a dark blue SUV pulled up next to him. Angel Key Police Department was stenciled on the door.

“Hi, Cas.”

Dean’s window was down and his elbow hung out of the vehicle. He was wearing aviator sunglasses and flashed Castiel a grin.

“Hello, Chief.”

“Dean.”

Castiel nodded and repeated. “Dean.”

They stared at each other for what seemed like hours but in actuality it was slightly less than a minute. Dean finally shook himself out of it and asked, “What’s up?”

“Just heading home to fix dinner.” Castiel gestured towards the basket on his bike.

“Great…I’m uh…probably going to have a frozen pizza.” Dean’s eyes looked sad, like he was dreading his frozen meal.

Castiel’s brain must have short circuited because he found himself saying, “I’m fixing baked chicken, butternut squash risotto and fruit salad…would you like to come over?”

Crap…crap…what had he done? He won’t accept. After all, they were just acquaintances, not friends…

“That would be cool, Cas. I could bring beer or something.” Dean was smiling and he’d accepted. God, what was he going to do now?

“Seven okay?”

Castiel peddled furiously down Northshore towards his house. Gabe’s phone rang twice before he picked up. “Gabe, I’ve got to cancel dinner plans and we’ll have to reschedule the night out.

“What’s going on, sibling of mine?”

“Uhm…just something has come up.”

“Okie dokie. Laters.”

Castiel looked at his phone. That was easy. Too easy. He jumped off his bike and leaned it against the house. Standing in the middle of the dining room, holding onto the plastic grocery bag, Castiel had a small meltdown. His eyes darted around the house. It was clean. He only had an hour to make himself presentable and cook…no time for a swim this afternoon.

He started the oven and seasoned the chicken. Then he ran into his room and shucked off his clothes. His shower was quick. Should he shave? This isn’t a date, you idiot. Racing back to the kitchen after dressing into jeans and a t-shirt, he started the risotto and turned on his Ipod to soothe his frayed nerves.

The table was set and everything was ready when Castiel’s front doorbell rang. He took one more look around. The table was set, food was being kept warm...okay, he could do this. Dean was a friend. A straight friend…that’s all.

“Hello, Dean.”

“Hi. It smells great in here.” Dean held up a six pack. “Fridge?”

“Yes. In here.” Castiel led Dean into his kitchen. Castiel began to serve up dinner while Dean put the beer into the fridge. He pulled two out of the carton and took them to the table. Dean watched intently as Castiel placed their plates on his small dining room table.

“This looks amazing, Cas. Kind of fancier than what I’m used to.” Maybe Castiel went too far with his need to impress. The cloth napkins were folded into perfect triangles. He used small leaves of kale as a garnish. He bit his lip nervously.

“Sorry, I just don’t have guests very often, unless you count Gabe.” Castiel pulled out his chair and motioned Dean to sit.

“Gabe doesn’t count. Seriously, this looks great, Cas.” Once they were seated, Dean shook out his napkin and placed it in his lap. “I’m kinda disappointed there are no candles though.”

Castiel’s eyes widened. “I can get some.” He made a move to get up but Dean’s laughter kept his butt in the chair.

“I was just teasing you, Cas. This is perfect.”

They ate for awhile in companionable silence. The music from Castiel’s Ipod was playing in the kitchen. Midway through dinner, Castiel realized he’d put on his ‘Seduction’ playlist. Lionel Ritchie, The Whispers, Barry White, Marvin Gaye…

Fuck. Castiel heard the opening chords to ‘Let’s Get It On’ and wanted to sink into the floor. He stared at his plate hoping he wasn’t fifty shades of red.

“You know, Cas, if George Michael’s ‘I Want Your Sex’ comes up next, I’m going to think you are trying to seduce me.”

“God, I’m so sorry. I was just…I meant to cut it off before you got here. I’ll just go turn if off now.” He bolted for the kitchen, a wave of nausea rolling over him.

***
When Dean pulled out of the grocery store parking lot, he could have kicked himself. He blatantly used puppy dog eyes and the sad remark about frozen pizza to get an invite for dinner at Cas’. It worked, but now he was sitting across the table from Cas and he looked good…and smelled good…not cologne, but freshly showered…something citrusy.

He teased Cas about the lack of candles, just to lighten the mood. Cas seemed nervous around him. He hoped the whole police chief thing wasn’t an issue. He was just a regular guy.

Cas really knew how to cook and Dean was enjoying the meal. Funny, they really weren’t talking, but Dean didn’t feel the need to fill in the silence with random shit about the weather or the latest movies. That’s what happened with most dates…you felt the need to talk all the time so no one would feel uncomfortable. Not that this was a date…not even close. Just two guys enjoying a good meal…and beer…and music…a typical guy night…

Dean didn’t notice the music at first. Barry White’s deep voice faded and then Marvin Gaye’s famous song of seduction started up. “You know, Cas, if George Michael’s ‘I Want Your Sex’ comes up next, I’m going to think you are trying to seduce me.”

It was meant as a joke…only he’d embarrassed Cas and felt like shit when the poor guy practically ran into the kitchen to turn off the music. Dean waited for him to return. After a couple minutes, Dean stood and went into the kitchen. Cas was at the sink, looking out the window at the ocean.

“Cas?”

“Dean, this was a bad idea. I…please don’t hate me but…but I need to tell you something and I hope…just…you don’t have to be a friend, but just don’t hate me.” Cas’ words all ran together and it took a few seconds to get what he was saying. He didn’t turn around, so Dean couldn’t see his face.

“Cas, unless you are confessing to being a pedophile or a serial killer, I don’t think there’s anything you can say that would make me hate you.”

“I’m gay.” The words seemed to hang in the air.

Dean closed his eyes…he knew where this was going. He couldn’t… “Cas, I’m not a homophobe. I don’t hate people because of the way they were born.”

Cas still didn’t turn around. What was the big deal? Oh…Oh… “Cas, you know I’m straight, right?”

No words, Cas just nodded. Fuck. “You need me to help you clean up?”

Just a shake of his head. Dean wanted nothing more than to go to the man and rub his back and tell him it was okay. They were friends, right? Sure…

Dean let himself out and drove home. Lucifer was excited to see him. Dean made a call to Jody and asked her to cover for him tonight. He pulled the bottle of whiskey from the kitchen cabinet, took it to the back deck and sat. The sunset was glorious as it always was in the Keys. He drank from the bottle until the last dying ember dropped beneath the horizon.

Chapter Text

Castiel waited until he heard his front door close before he let out the breath he’d been holding. He just ruined a budding friendship. Maybe Dean was telling the truth, maybe he didn’t care if Castiel was gay, but he would definitely avoid him now that he figured out Castiel was carrying a torch for him. He felt so stupid.

He looked around the kitchen at the remnants of the meal he’d taken such care to cook. He might as well have put up a billboard…’I like you, Dean Winchester’…between the fancy meal, the carefully set table, the damn playlist. He was a fucking idiot. And it wasn’t like he could disappear into a city of thousands, no, he lived on an island with a population of less than five hundred people.

After he cleaned the kitchen, he took one of the beers that Dean brought and went out to his back porch and sat to watch the last of the beautiful sunset disappear on the horizon.

The next morning, Castiel woke with his alarm, but instead of getting up and putting his running clothes on, he stayed in bed. For the first time in years, Castiel didn’t feel like a run.

It took him another twenty minutes to get out of bed and into the shower. After turning on the lights in the kitchen of the bakery, Castiel began to work at a fevered pace. By the time Meg got there, the front cases were almost stocked. Castiel was piping frosting onto a birthday cake for Lilith Alder, the mayor’s wife.

“Someone’s been busy.”

“I’m going to be working back here all day, if you can man the register.”

“Sure, boss.” She looked at him quizzically, but didn’t comment. She came back from the front of the bakery a few minutes later. “Where are the pies?”

“There’s no need to have them. They weren’t a big seller.”

“But the chief…”

“Drop it, Meg.” Castiel’s voice was cold and it was very clear that he didn’t want to discuss it.

Castiel winced at the hurt look on her face. She was mouthy and came across as brash and unfeeling, but he knew it was just a front. She was smart, funny and was grateful to Castiel for hiring her.

He heard Garth and Benny come in, but he didn’t even come out to say hello. He didn’t expect Dean and so he wasn’t surprised when the man didn’t show up.

The mayor stopped by right before closing to pick up his wife’s cake. Castiel didn’t care for the man. Zachariah Alder was a sleaze. He liked the cake though and that was a good thing.

Castiel called his brother. “Gabe, let’s go out tonight.”

“Sure, Kiddo. We’ll head down after we eat.”

“No, let’s leave around six and eat down there.” Castiel needed to get off this island for a few hours. If he met a man that could make him forget a certain police chief, even if it was only for a little while, all the better.

Later that evening, he showered and paid special attention to what he wore. The faded jeans fit snuggly around his ass and crotch, showing off his assets. The dark blue button down brought out the color of his eyes. He looked at his reflection in the mirror with a critical eye. Not bad. Not bad at all.

He was standing out front waiting for Gabe when Sam got home from work. “Hi, Castiel. Want to join me for a beer?”

“Thanks, Sam, but Gabe and I are going to Key West tonight.”

“Going to party, huh?”

“Yes.” Party? No, not really. Castiel was on a mission. Find a man to fuck him hard enough to forget Dean Winchester.

Gabe’s silver convertible pulled up and a few minutes later, they were heading south on the Overseas Highway.

Bobby’s Monkey Bar was pulsing with loud music. Their dinner had been nice, but Castiel wanted to hurry the evening along. Even as their hands were stamped at the front door, Castiel was already looking around. Gabe followed his brother to the bar and ordered them a tropical drink. Castiel frowned at it. He would have preferred beer. Frozen concoctions with little umbrellas sticking out of them were not his deal. Gabe, trying to be a good wingman, pointed to several different men…a few twinks, a few bears…nothing that appealed to Castiel. He saw short, dark hair and a nice ass across the room and Castiel made his move.

Three expensive drinks later, Castiel told Gabe to go home because he’d be riding with someone else.

“You’ll be riding alright.” Gabe gave him an exaggerated wink and Castiel rolled his eyes. Gabe left a few minutes later.

***
Dean’s alarm went off at four. It was still dark out. Why was his alarm going off so fuckin’ early? His head hurt. He remembered sitting on his back deck with the bottle of whiskey. Did he set his alarm while he was wasted? But why four a.m.? Cas. Cas runs by his house every morning. He just needed to stay away from him. Give the guy a little distance to get over his crush. Hell, he obviously didn’t know him very well if he had developed a crush on Dean. Dean wasn’t a catch by any stretch of the imagination. Cas just thought he liked Dean. It was probably just a physical thing. Dean knew a few gay men in Key West, nice looking guys. He’d just introduce them to Cas. Why did that thought make his stomach twist in a knot?

Dean let Lucifer out to do his business and he started his coffee. The dog scratched to get back in a few minutes later. Dean turned off the kitchen light and opened the back door, leaving Lucifer inside, he sat down to wait…in the dark…so Cas wouldn’t see.

He waited until after five. Cas didn’t show.

Linda came into work and stared at Dean in disbelief. She pointedly looked up at the clock on the wall. “What are you doing here?”

“Last time I checked, I worked here.”

“Dean, it’s not even seven yet.”

“Yeah, so, I just thought I’d get some shit done.”

She pursed her lips at his tone, but didn’t say anything else. She did pour herself a cup of coffee, the coffee he made. He frowned at her grimace and watched as she poured the entire pot down the drain and start another one. He slammed his office door. The coffee wasn’t that bad. He took another sip. God, it tasted like mud.

Through the glass window of his office door, Dean saw Garth come in with two tan bags from the bakery. He gave Linda one and he sat at his desk to eat his…whatever it was that Garth got. Some sort of chocolate donut. Dean’s stomach rumbled. He could go for a piece of Cas’ pie.

He stuck his head out of his office. “Garth, could you do me a favor and run down to the bakery and get me a piece of pie.”

Garth looked up with his mouth full. He chewed, took a swallow of milk and said, “Pie? There weren’t any pies today.”

“You sure? Yesterday Cas made three different kinds.”

“I can call Meg to make sure, but I didn’t see any.”

“No, just forget it.” Dean went back to his desk.

Dean spent the rest of the day in a foul mood. He had a meeting with the mayor and city council at noon. It was a lunch meeting and he choked down a dry sandwich and soggy chips. Why couldn’t they have their meetings at The Roadhouse or the diner? After that, he patrolled for an hour or so, before telling Linda he was going home.

Restless, Dean paced his house until Lucifer whined and went to his bed to stare balefully at his master. He took off his uniform and changed into jeans and a t-shirt, then settled on his deck to drink a few beers.

When he was sure Sam was home from work, he loaded up Lucifer and they drove to this brother’s house. Sam was already on the back deck with Jess. “Sammy. Jess. What’s for supper?”

“Pork chops.” Sammy reached down into a bucket of ice and handed his brother a beer. Dean leaned on the railing where he could see Cas’ house…if he wanted too…not that he wanted to or anything.

A short time later, Jess was inside and Sam nodded towards Cas’ house. “Why are you watching Castiel’s house?”

“What? I’m not watching it. Just looking around, Sammy. Protect and serve, Sammy, that’s what I do.”

“Castiel isn’t home.”

“I said I wasn’t watching his house. Cas is over twenty-one, he can do whatever he wants.” Dean purposely stepped away from the railing and sat on the hammock. Now, he wouldn’t be tempted to look over there. After a few minutes of silence, Dean couldn’t stand it anymore.

“So, where is he?”

“Who?” Sam said innocently. Bitch. Dean just cocked his head and gave Sam one of his best bitch-faces.

“He went to Key West to party with his brother.”

“Good. That’s good.”

They ate and while Jess graded papers and prepared for the next school day, Sam and Dean walked out front to Sam’s car. “It’s just knocking sometimes when I’m idling.”

“Could be some bad gas. Go ahead and pop the hood.” Dean checked out Sam’s car, going over all the engine methodically. He was tightening the cables to the battery when a car horn startled him. He hit his head on the hood and swore.

Gabe Novak’s car was parked behind Sam’s. “Saw you crazy cats out here and thought I’d stop by and say hello.”

Cas wasn’t in the car. Did Gabe already drop him off? It was awfully early to be home from a night of partying. Sam got the information for him.

“Where’s Castiel. I thought you guys were going to party.”

“Baby Brother hooked a cute one.” He looked at Dean who was holding Sam’s dipstick, dripping oil. “As we speak, he’s probably getting his oil checked.” He giggled annoyingly. Sam rolled his eyes, but Dean just replaced the dipstick and closed the hood with a loud bang.

“You’re good, Sammy. I’m heading out.” Dean called to Lucifer, who’d been lying in the grass, and found he couldn’t get away fast enough.

Two hours later, Dean could not believe he was staking out Cas’ house. He told himself that Cas was new to the Keys and he wanted to make sure the man got home safe and sound. Protect and serve. It was part of his job. The Impala was parked across the street in The Roadhouse parking lot. He had a great view of Cas’ place.

Close to eleven, a Jeep pulled up at Cas’ house. It sat idle for a short time and then Cas got out and went inside. The Jeep sped away. Dean followed it…the driver was going two miles over the posted speed limit…not on his island…nope. Dean took the portable strobe light and mounted it on the hood of the car and flipped it on. He sneered when the Jeep pulled over to the side of the road.

“License and registration, please.”

“Are you even a cop? Where’s your uniform? Let me see your badge?” The guy was being belligerent. So what if Dean didn’t have his uniform on, he was still the chief of police. Dean pulled out his wallet and flashed his badge.

“I wasn’t speeding.”

“Tell it to the judge.” Dean took the guy’s documents and went back to his car. He didn’t have a computer to check for outstanding warrants, but he had an old ticket book in the glove box.

“Well, Mr. Jeremy Parker…you should have kept your dick in your pants.” Dean muttered to himself. He scrawled all the information onto the ticket. The guy snatched the ticket out of Dean’s hands and drove away…under the speed limit.

***
Castiel wasn’t usually aggressive, but he had the guy pinned to the side of his Jeep and was putting all his frustrations into a wet, sloppy kiss. The man…he said his name was Jeremy…was moaning and his hands were cupping Castiel’s ass.

“Where do you live?” Castiel barked out, grinding his hips into…James…no, Jeremy’s crotch.

“Houseboat Row.” Castiel nodded and pushed the man towards the driver’s door. He got into the passenger seat and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“You sure are horny.” Jason…no Jeremy grinned.

“Yeah.” Castiel dick was already softening. He stared out his window at the palm trees and bungalows flashing by. Houseboat Row was just what it sounded like. A marina filled with houseboats, some fancy and expensive, some that looked like they weren’t even close to seaworthy.

The Jeep stopped and Jeremy…no…wait…yeah, that’s right…Jeremy turned off the ignition. Castiel couldn’t do this. “Look, Jeffrey…”

“It’s Jeremy.” Castiel tried to smile at the man. He was nice looking, had a great body and it did absolutely nothing for Castiel. There wasn’t even a hint of a spark.

“Jeremy, I’ve had way too much to drink. If you could take me home, I’ll pay for your gas.”

“Wow. That’s just fucking great.” Jeremy restarted the Jeep and threw it in reverse. Castiel winced as he ground the gears. He didn’t even speak to Castiel after that. Castiel just pointed the directions. When they pulled up at Castiel’s house, he felt like he should say something. He pulled out his wallet and laid the ten dollar bill on the center console. “Jeremy, I really am sorry.”

“Whatever.”

Castiel got out of the vehicle and didn’t look back. Four o’clock was going to come way too soon.

It did. The alarm blared from his nightstand and he growled at it. He debated with himself about skipping his run again today, but his need for fresh air to clear his head won out. He ran, pushing himself, Ipod blaring in his ears. He refused to look up at Dean’s house.

Castiel kept himself busy at the bakery. He made the hotel’s delivery himself, finished the design of the seashore themed wedding cake and placed an order with a baking supply company in Miami.

Just to keep himself sane, he went for a long swim that afternoon and then called Balthazar. They’d been lovers at one time, but Balthazar was all about free love and not settling down. They stopped their sexual relationship, but the friendship was just as strong as ever.

“Cassie. How is life in the islands? Met any cute cabana boys yet?”

“The business is going great. I’ll be able to put all the money back into my 401K by the end of the year.”

“That’s good, Cassie. But how are you?”

“I just told you, everything’s great.”

“The business is great. How is Castiel?”

“Fine…great…”

“You forget that I know you very well, Mon Amor. Talk to me.”

Castiel sank down onto one of his deck chairs and sighed. “I did something stupid.” He proceeded to tell Balthazar all about Dean Winchester.

“Every gay man in the world has crushed on a straight man at one time or another, Cassie. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. And if he’s not a homophobe, then he’ll just forget about it and you both can go about your own merry ways. Give it some time, avoid him if possible and get laid. Nothing stops a crush like being fucked by a big dick.”

“I tried that. I went out, picked up a guy and…and just couldn’t.”

“I could always take a few vacation days and come allow you to use my body as you see fit…for old times’ sake, of course.”

Castiel laughed. “You would too, wouldn’t you? You’d drop everything, hop on a plane and come here if I needed you. You are a good friend, Zar. I don’t know if I deserve you.”

“Darling, you deserve so much more. Remember, I’m a phone call away. Ciao.”

“Caio, Zar.”

Chapter Text

Dean woke Wednesday morning at his normal time. He needed to shake himself out of this bad mood or Linda was going to slap him upside his head. She’d done it before. You would think she would respect him a little more, he was her boss after all.

Just after eight, Dean drove slowly down Main Street. He spotted Garth coming out of the bakery with his breakfast. Good thing his officer was on the skinny side since he ate Cas’ stuff every single day. When he walked into the station, Linda was on the phone.

“Yes, Lilith Alder’s birthday cake was amazing. And you’ve got to try his lavender pound cake…there’s just a hint of lemon zest in it. Because he told me so. Yes, I know him. Uh huh, he’s gorgeous. No, he would not be interested in Mrs. Wilson’s daughter…I know she was runner up in the Miss Florida Pageant…he wouldn’t be interested because he’s gay. Yes, I’m sure. Because he told me…”

Dean huffed out a breath. This island was known for its gossip. Later, Dean stopped at the diner for lunch. Ruby handed him his usual iced tea and gave him the daily menu. He was going over the specials when he heard Cas’ name come up.

“Castiel told me that I was using too many eggs. I changed my recipe and he was right, it turned out better than ever before. He’s such a sweetheart.”

Dean looked over Ruby. Since when did the diner’s owner ever change her recipes? After lunch, he took the SUV over to Bobby’s to get an oil change. On Bobby’s desk was a familiar tan box. Dean began lifting the lid of the box and it was slapped away by the older man. “Go get your own. Castiel made these especially for me.”

“What is it?”

“Vanilla cupcakes with candied mango.”

Dean waited until Bobby was under his SUV before swiping one of the cupcakes. It was like biting into a sugar coated cloud. The noise that came out of his mouth was almost sexual.

Dean drove east on Northshore to finish is afternoon patrol. As he passed the school, he saw Lisa getting into her car, so he pulled up next to her. “Hey, Gorgeous.”

“Hi, Dean. I haven’t seen you in awhile. Ben wants you to take him fishing soon.”

“I’ll call him and we’ll set something up. Want to go grab a cup of coffee and catch up?”

“Sorry, I’ve got to go talk to Castiel about Ben’s birthday cake.” Castiel, Castiel, Castiel…damn was everyone on the island a member of the Castiel Fan Club?

“Maybe later then.” Dean drove away with a frown. He pulled the SUV into his designated parking spot in front of the station and let Lucifer out of the cargo area. Before he could cross the sidewalk, a group of tourists passed him, all carrying tan bags with the bakery’s logo on them.

“Want a cookie, Chief?” Linda was holding up a tan box. Fuck me sideways!

“No, I don’t want a fuckin’ cookie.” Slam. The glass shook in his door. He raked his hand through his hair.

His door burst open and Linda Tran, all five foot, one inch of her, entered. “Dean Winchester, I don’t know what has gotten into you, but you need to get your panties out of your crack and deal with it. Everyone is tired of it.”

She was right. As much as he hated to admit it, Cas hadn’t done anything wrong. Dean was the one acting like a jerk. There was no reason they couldn’t be friends…Cas was free to fuck anyone he wanted, even if the guy was a douche and deserved the ticket. So what if Cas had a crush on Dean. He took it as a compliment. If someone as great looking as Cas thought Dean was crush-worthy, that was a good thing, right? They’d hang out, have a few beers and Cas would see just what kind of loud mouthed son of a bitch Dean was. That crush wouldn’t last long and then they could stay buddies.

Then again, Cas already had a thing with the douche…maybe Cas was over him already. Nah, it would take more than a one night stand to get over Dean Winchester. But what if it wasn’t a one night stand?

Dean left the safety of his office when he saw Linda go towards the ladies’ room. A few minutes later, he was pushing the door to the bakery open. A tinkling from the bell above the door alerted Meg there was a customer. She looked up, saw Dean and frowned.

“We don’t do pies anymore.”

“I heard. Is Cas here?”

“No.” Meg went right back to arranging a tray of cookies.

“No?”

She looked up. “What part of that word do you not understand?”

“Where is he?” Dean was getting pissed are her attitude. He could show her what a real attitude looked like.

“Is this official police business?”

“No. Look, Meg, just tell me where he is.”

“Out.”

Dean snarled…curled his lip and everything. She was on his last freakin’ nerve. “Meg Masters, if you don’t tell me where he is right damn now, I will serve a warrant on all your unpaid parking tickets.”

“He had errands to do. That’s all he said.”

Dean stood on the sidewalk in front of the bakery looking east and then west. The island wasn’t that big, he could find Cas. After all, he was a trained policeman and before that, he was in the security forces. How hard could it be?

He drove through the grocery store parking lot, eyes peeled for a green bike. It wasn’t there, nor was it at his house, or at the candy shop, or at the bank…

“Chief…we got a call from Seaside. A tourist claims someone broke into their car.”

“Thanks, Linda. I’m near the bank, be there in five.”

As he pulled into the Seaside Hotel’s parking lot, he spotted Cas leaving on his bike. Damn it. He was on a call and couldn’t talk to the man now.

By the time, Dean calmed the ruffled feathers of the couple from Vermont, it was close to three. Their car was not broken into and the camera that was ‘stolen’ was actually in the wife’s purse all along. There was still paperwork to file though. Five o’clock couldn’t come soon enough. Dean was going to go home and change, then he’d pay a visit to the local baker. They needed to talk.

***
Castiel was hanging up from his call with Zar when someone knocked on his front door. He looked out the front window and saw the black car. He stopped in his tracks. Dean was at his front door. Why?

He took a deep breath. He counted to ten. He counted to ten again. His palms were sweaty. Dean knocked again. “Cas, open the door. I know you’re in there.”

Castiel opened the door. He should have taken a few seconds to put on a shirt, instead of answering the door in just his jeans, but it was his house and Dean hadn’t been invited. Dean was wearing tight jeans and a dark gray t-shirt. Lucifer sat at his side, looking up at Castiel with large brown eyes.

“Hello, Dean.”

“Cas.”

Castiel tried to look away. He tried not to look into those beautiful green eyes. “Did you need something?” Castiel thanked his lucky stars that his voice didn’t betray his internal terror.

“Can I come in?” Dean looked over at his brother’s house and then in the other direction, like he didn’t want anyone to see him standing there.

“Why, Dean? You don’t want anyone to see you at the gay guy’s house? You should have left your car at home, it’s pretty noticeable.”

“I told you I wasn’t a homophobe, Cas. I just need to talk to you privately.”

Castiel turned and walked towards the back door leaving Dean to follow. He heard the door shut behind him. He sat on one of his deck chairs and clasped his hands on his knees, posture stiff. Dean sat in the other chair and Lucifer lay at his feet.

This time, Castiel wouldn’t look at Dean. He looked at the ocean instead. He took deep, calming breaths and waited. And waited.

“Okay, here’s the deal. You like me, I get that. What’s not to like, I’m adorable.” Castiel turned and looked at him. Dean was grinning and when Castiel met his eyes, he winked. He winked. The bastard winked.

“Is this some sort of joke to you, Dean? Because right now, I’m not in a joking mood.”

Dean’s grin faded and his eyes got serious. “No, Cas. Listen, okay? I just…can’t we just start over or something…friends? I actually flattered that you’d think I was good enough for you.”

Castiel didn’t know what to say. Dean wanted to be friends. Could he be friends with Dean? Could he put his feelings aside? Before he could form any sort of answer, Dean rambled on.

“Look, once you really get to know me, you won’t think of me that way, trust me. Besides, haven’t you already found someone to scratch your itch? So, see we can put all that awkward shit behind us and kick back a few beers…

Castiel’s eyes narrowed. “What did you say?” Castiel’s voice was cold but unfortunately for Dean, he didn’t pick up on it.

“You know, your date the other night. Gabe said you found someone and then he brought you home pretty late…not late by my standards, but for the ‘time to make the donuts’ guy, it was late.”

“How do you know when he brought me home, Dean?” Dean finally picked up on Castiel’s tone.

“I…uhm…was just driving by…” Dean’s eyes wavered and he licked his lips. He was lying.

“No, you didn’t just drive by…were you watching my house, Dean?” Castiel stood up, fists clinched at his side.

Dean stood up too. “Okay, Cas, you want the truth? You’re new around here. You…you let it be known that you have a thing for me, then hell, the next night you’re out fucking some stranger. I was worried about you. I just wanted to make sure you got home okay. Is that such a bad thing?”

“Get. Out.” Castiel’s voice was deadly quiet and Dean should have paid better attention.

“Cas.” Dean took a step forward, getting into Castiel’s personal space. “Be reasonable.”

That did it. Castiel pushed Dean back away from him. “Reasonable?” He stepped forward and pushed Dean again. “Reasonable? For your information, I didn’t find someone else to fuck. Not that it’s any of your business.”

Something flashed in Dean’s eyes and he stepped forward again, putting his face right into Castiel’s. “Why are you…” He stopped and his eyes dropped to Castiel’s mouth.

***

Dean thought their talk was going okay. He wasn’t going to mention the douche, but it just spewed out of his mouth. Cas’ tone of voice should have clued him in, but his big mouth overrode his pea-sized brain. It was like he couldn’t shut up.

He was flustered. It was Cas’ fault. The man answered his door in just a pair of tight ass jeans…that’s it, no shirt…no shoes…just those freakin’ jeans…the smooth expanse of chest and that narrow happy trail into his waistband…

“Get. Out.” Cas looked like he was getting ready to punch him in the face. Body Language 101, clinched fists, narrowed eyes, steely voice…someone was going to get cold cocked.

Maybe he shouldn’t have said, “Be reasonable.” Dean knew better. Cas pushed him, two hands square on his chest.

Wait, what did Cas just say? Cas didn’t fuck that douche? That was such a relief…because… because Cas deserved someone better than that asshat. Not any other reason…Dean wasn’t personally relieved because what Cas did in the privacy of his bedroom wasn’t any of Dean’s business…only…

Dean just couldn’t stop his body’s reaction. He was straight, damn it…why was the thought of kissing Cas even in his head…his eyes dropped to Cas’ mouth…

As kisses go, it was probably the worst Dean ever had. Dean took pride in the way he kissed. But this one…he banged his lips against Cas’ teeth, he didn’t even remember to turn his head so his nose bumped Cas’. Cas didn’t even respond, he just stood there looking at Dean like he was some sort of insect. Dean’s eyes went wide with shock. What had he done?

“Cas, I…” Dean Winchester, ex-Marine, Medal of Honor recipient, Chief of Police…ran. He ran out the door, Lucifer hot on his heels. He fumbled with the keys and peeled out of Cas’ driveway. By the time he pulled into his driveway, he was in full panic attack mode. Or at least he thought what was happening to him was a panic attack. He’d never had one before to base it on.

He’d just kissed a man…no, he kissed Cas…not that Cas wasn’t a man, because he was…a man…that is.

What was happening to him? What was it about Cas that…that made him want things? Things he never wanted before. He wasn’t gay. He loved women…kissing them, touching their breasts…fucking them. Women, not men. Only there was…no. No.

Dean wasn’t one for running or swimming, but he had to do something. He took off his clothes and pulled on a pair of cargo shorts. The water was cool. He waded in up to his waist and then dove. He heard Lucifer barking at him from the beach. Why did Cas have to move onto his island? Dean was content with his life. Even after he and Lisa broke up, he’d been content. When he was horny, he drove up to Miami and hit the bars…or he took care of himself.

He dove again, staying down on the bottom until he ran out of air. He’d been half hard…standing in front of Cas… He surfaced with a gasp, pulling air into his burning lungs.

***
That was twice now that Castiel was left standing there listening to the slam of the front door. Twice Dean Winchester turned his world on its axis. There would not be a third time. Castiel would make damn sure of that.

He sank down on the chair and realized his hands were shaking. Dean kissed him…well, if you could call that ten second fiasco a kiss.

“Castiel?” Castiel looked over and saw Sam standing on the sand at the foot of the porch steps. Oh, God…did he see?

“Did Dean just…” Castiel closed his eyes. “Did my brother just…kiss you?”

Castiel turned away so he wouldn’t have to see Sam’s face. He’d come to care for the couple next door, now…

“I knew it.” Sam’s voice, light and full of mirth, surprised Castiel and he turned back around.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I just always suspected Dean was bi. Oh, he’d never admit it, but I’ve seen him look at men…” Sam’s voice trailed off and he just stared at Castiel.

“He freaked out, didn’t he? It wasn’t something you said…you didn’t slap him or anything? He just kissed you and ran? Wow. This is huge.” He laughed softly.

“I’m glad you’re amused, Sam, but your brother…I can’t…I won’t set myself up to fall.”

“Hey, Castiel, I’m not…look, for what it’s worth, I think my emotionally challenged brother likes you.”

Later that night, Castiel tried to watch a movie, but it didn’t hold his interest. Neither did the book. His mind kept replaying the scene on his back porch over and over. Dean kissed him. Worst kiss ever.

Castiel didn’t sleep…he plotted his revenge.

Chapter Text

Dean woke with a splitting headache. He’d finished the bottle of whiskey last night and when that wasn’t enough, he had two shots of tequila. The sun was too bright, the seagulls too loud and his mouth tasted like Lucifer shit in it.

“You look like shit.”

“Thank you, Linda. You always know the right thing to say.” Dean was still wearing his aviators because even the fluorescent lights of the station hurt his eyes.

Garth came in right behind him with a tan box. “Morning everyone. Castiel told me to give this to you, Chief.”

Dean furrowed his eyebrows. Cas? Cas probably hated him. What was in the box? A better question would be what poison did he use?

Garth was holding out the box expectantly. Dean took it, holding it like it held a bomb. It was heavy. Linda and Garth stared at the box. Oh, no, he wasn’t opening it out here. He turned on his heel, marched in his office and shut the door. Lucifer laid down on his bed in the corner of Dean’s office.

The box sat on his desk for the next ten minutes. Dean tried to do some paperwork, but he screwed up the form twice and then the bottle of correction fluid tipped over, ruining the whole document.

“Son of a bitch.” He glared at the box. It was mocking him. With a snarl, Dean opened it and his mouth dropped open and a soft whimper escaped. Inside was a perfect pie with a set of lips cut into the crust. Written on the inside of the box were these words:

“Please work on your kissing skills.”

Dean growled. He was a great kisser. It wasn’t his fault. It really wasn’t.

Once again, he had to wait and watch until Linda went to the ladies’ room to leave his office. He walked quickly to the small kitchenette and grabbed a knife, fork and paper plate. The pie was blueberry. Dean moaned around his first bit.

As it got closer to lunch time, Dean felt to need to bond with some testosterone. He called Benny at the fire station. Benny informed him that he was having lunch at The Roadhouse with Castiel. It wasn’t fair, he wanted a Roadhouse cheeseburger. Thursday was meatloaf day at the diner and he hated Ruby’s meatloaf, she put green pepper in it.

He supposed he could just have pie. The piece he’d already eaten wasn’t poisoned after all.

“Sam, what time are you leaving the office today?” Dean hoped his brother would be home early. He needed a beer and some mindless conversation.

“I’m leaving around four, why?”

“Just want to hang out with my brother. Can you and Jess come to my place?” He really didn’t want to be next door to Cas’ house.

“Your place? We never go to your place. Let me check with Jess and I’ll call you back. You cooking?”

“Yeah, I can cook something.” Dean hung up and waited for Sam to call him back. Meanwhile, he had a few hours to kill. Ben would be out of school by now, he’d see if Ben wanted to go to the pier for a little while and fish.

“Lisa, tell Ben to grab his rod. I’m taking him fishing for an hour or so.”

“Not today, Dean. Ben is down at the bakery working on his merit badge. Castiel is teaching him how to bake bread.”

“Oh. That’s cool.” No it wasn’t. A wave of jealously swept through Dean. At thirty-seven and no girlfriend in sight, Ben might be the closest he ever got to a kid.

Sam sent a text letting Dean know that Jess had some papers to grade and she already had some chicken in the crockpot. Dean could come to their house. He groaned. Fine, he was a freakin’ grown up. He could handle it.

With nothing to do until Sam got home, Dean got in his SUV and patrolled the island. There were only a few cars in The Roadhouse parking lot so Dean stopped to say hello to Ellen and Jo.

“Dean, what’ll you have?” Ellen asked him. Since he was in uniform, he asked for a Coke and took a stool at the bar.

Jo came out of the kitchen. “Oh, hey, Dean.” He gave her a halfhearted wave. He found he wasn’t in the mood to talk. He just let his mind wander. Until he heard his name.

“Dean? Are you in there?” Jo’s voice sounded annoyed.

“What…sorry.”

“I asked you if you thought Castiel was hot. I was talking to Meg yesterday and she said that half the tourists that come in the bakery are just there to look at him. He does have dreamy eyes.

Dean shoved his Coke away. “Why are you asking me? He’s a guy.” Dean stood up and threw a dollar on the bar. “I’m not gay.”

As he turned to leave, Jo said, “So, you aren’t gay. You can still have an opinion. You think Dr. Sexy is hot, you said so.”

Dean didn’t respond. Yeah, he thought Dr. Sexy was hot. That didn’t mean he wanted to fuck the guy. Cas was hot. There, he admitted it. Cas was hot. It didn’t mean anything…definitely didn’t mean he wanted to… He slammed the SUV’s door.

His thoughts went south. So far south, they were in the gutter. Was Cas a top…the image of Cas with his hands gripping some guys hips, pounding into him, head thrown back… Dean closed his eyes and let his head rest on the steering wheel. The image in his head changed and it was Dean’s hips that Cas was holding onto. “No!”

He stomped up the steps to Sam’s back porch, Lucifer at his side. Sam tossed him a beer. Dean avoided looking at the light yellow house next door. He’d seen the green bike leaning by Cas’ front porch. Cas was home, just inside. What was he doing? Dean found himself wanting to see the baker’s pretty smile. After that damn kiss, he’d never be able to look at Cas again, let alone hang out with him. It wasn’t even like they were best friends…they barely knew each other at all. Dean had just felt something. Some sort of connection.

“You going to go to the offshore power boat races this weekend?”

Dean usually went every year, he’d take a couple of vacation days and stay in Key West. Party every night, join the crowd of race fans and get laid.

“Nope, I’ve got to do some work on the house.” He wanted to install an outdoor shower since he’d seen one on HGTV that he liked. He heard the bang of a door and without thinking, turned towards Cas’ house. He saw Cas coming out of his house. Holy shit! The man was wearing next to nothing. Dean usually thought Speedos were for sissies and the European types, but damn if Cas’ ass looked great in the shiny red scrap of fabric. The muscles of his legs were defined from years of running. And that ass, high and firm…

“Dean…Dean….” Sam’s voice pulled him out of his trance. He turned back and his brother was smirking at him. “See something you like?”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Sam changed the subject to his upcoming trip to Atlanta. Jess’ best friend from college was getting married and they were spending the week up there the first part of April. Dean was grateful for the change of subject. With his aviators on, he could cut his eyes towards the sea without Sam being the wiser. He watched Cas swim to the channel marker and tread water. A few minutes later, strong arms cut through the water bringing him towards shore.

The steps to Cas’ back porch were only about fifty feet from where Dean was leaning against the railing. Fifty feet was close enough that when Cas approached his steps, Dean could see the outline of the man’s cock and nut sac. The thin, wet fabric left nothing to the imagination. Dean choked on a swallow of beer. Sam had to stand up and whack him on the back a few times.

The traitorous bastard threw up his hand and waved to Cas. “Hey, Jess and I are looking forward to tomorrow night. What can we bring?”

“Nothing, I’ve got it covered.” Dean refused to turn around. It would be humiliating. Not only did he kiss the man, it was a bad kiss…the insult on the pie box drove that little tidbit of information home.

“What’s going on tomorrow night?” Dean asked casually.

“Castiel invited us over for dinner and game night.”

“Game night? Sounds lame.” Only it didn’t.

***
The message on the inside of the pie box had been an inspiration. It told Dean that Castiel acknowledged the kiss and wouldn’t let it be swept under the carpet.

The next stage of his ‘Let’s Fuck With Dean’ plan was having several of Dean’s friends over to his house for dinner. He rolled the idea around in his head until it all came together. He took the morning off. Meg and his newest employee, a young man named Kevin, could handle the bakery. Kevin’s mother was the dispatcher for the police department. Castiel liked her. She’d mentioned that her son needed some after school work and later, a summer job. He was a smart kid and learned quickly. With the bakery in good hands, Castiel did his shopping. He hadn’t played Cards Against Humanity in months.

His phone rang and he pulled it out of his pocket. “Hey, Sam.”

“Just to let you know…Dean should be at my house by five.”

“Why are you telling me this, Sam?”

“Use the information as you see fit.”

Castiel gave it some thought. He stopped at the small touristy shop a few doors down from his bakery. He hadn’t worn one of these since he left college. You had to wear one when you were on a swim team. As he dressed in the small scrap of fabric, he felt a little self-conscious. It was one thing to wear one when everyone else on your team wore one, but the small bikini was flaming red and everything showed. Everything.

He watched from inside his house until Dean arrived and was settled in with his beer. He strode out of his house, making sure to let the screen door bang loudly. And he walked…no, he strutted towards the water. The swim was invigorating and he remembered why swimming in the Speedos was required. It gave you great aerodynamics in the water. He probably shaved at least a minute off his time.

Here goes. He strode across the beach and knew the wet fabric was showing Dean…who was he fooling with those mirrored aviators…all of his assets.

He was just about up his back steps when Sam called over. He was looking forward to the evening with his new friends. Castiel wondered briefly if he should ask Dean. No, probably not a good idea. The guy had some seriously repressed sexual issues and Castiel couldn’t get involved in that.

That night as Castiel lay in his bed, windows open so he could hear the sounds of the sea, his mind kept coming back to Dean. There was no doubt in his mind that he wanted the man. He was just scared of messing up the life he’d started here. His business was going great, he was making friends and for once, he felt like he belonged. Even if Dean wanted to explore his sexual orientation, when he got bored, Castiel would be the one with the broken heart.

His decision to keep his distance from Dean made, Castiel turned off the lamp and got comfortable. Twenty minutes later he was still awake and his body was telling him that while his mind was made up, his body still wanted Dean.

Castiel tried to fantasize about celebrities he found attractive…he even tried to imagine Balthazar’s hands roaming over his body. The image of Dean kept pushing those thoughts away. When he came a short time later, it was with Dean’s name on his lips.

***
Dean took Lucifer on a walk to the lighthouse. The night was clear, the quarter moon was enough to light the beach. His brain kept bringing up the image of Cas in that stupid Speedo. Dean didn’t do dick. So, why wasn’t his dick listening? Right there on his brother’s back deck, he’d started to get hard. It took every amount of concentration he had to tamp it down.

Now, here he was still thinking about the man. Not just his almost naked body, but his smile and the way his eyes flashed when he was angry. He groaned, pushing down on his hardening dick.

He got back to the house and stripped down. A good night sleep would get his mind back on track. Apparently Little Dean had other plans. Within seconds, Dean was running his hand up and down his now fully erect dick. Fantasizing was just a ways to an end. It didn’t mean anything.

His other hand explored his body, imagining it was Cas’ hand, over his chest, pausing at each nipple before moving down his flat stomach…his right hand was moving faster…he cupped his balls and gave them a squeeze… God, it felt so good…what would Cas’ mouth feel like wrapped around his aching cock. That thought alone sent Dean over the edge.

Dean let the aftershocks roll over him. He closed his eyes and waited for his breathing to return to normal. His cum was cooling on his stomach and chest and it spurred him to get out of bed and wash off.

When he got back in bed, his heart began to race again. He’d just jacked off to the image of a man…not just any man. Castiel Novak. Cas…

That night he dreamed. Cas was standing in front of him wearing a suit, white shirt and blue tie…oddly enough, he was also wearing a trenchcoat. Dean pushed the trenchcoat off his shoulders and it feel to the floor. The dream went from zero to sixty in a heartbeat. Cas was naked, huge cock jutting out from a thatch of thick hair, balls heavy. Dean was on his knees, taking Cas into his mouth and instead of being disgusted, he was relishing the feeling…the taste… Cas’ head was thrown back as Dean took him apart with his mouth…his tongue.

Dean woke, sweaty and hard. Sometime during the night….during the dream, Dean managed to kick off the sheet and the comforter. The evidence of his dream lay against his belly, leaking his juices over his stomach. He spread his legs wide and bent his knees. Using the precum as a lubricant, he rubbed his opening. Women had touched him there before and he’d liked it. He’d even touched himself there, but he was entering unexplored territory when he pushed a finger inside. It wasn’t what he expected. He figured it would hurt like a motherfucker. It was just…strange….not bad strange…just…not bad at all. From this angle, he couldn’t insert his whole finger, so he flipped over onto his hands and knees and entered from behind. Oh…yeah…holy fuck.

Holy fuck! His finger brushed against his prostate and he just about came off the bed. He put all his misconceptions about anal sex out of his mind. If a finger felt this freakin’ awesome, what would Cas’ dick feel like. Wait…what?

Dean finished his shower and dressed in his uniform. He was through with running from the man. So, he’d kissed the guy and it was a bad kiss. It was time he got over it. Dean was a Marine and Marines weren’t afraid of anything. Especially, some baker. He’d face the enemy with fully automatic weapons in their hands, Cas would be easy compared to that.

Okay, so not so easy. Dean walked into the bakery with a sense of bravado, damn he had game. That was until he saw Cas behind the counter. He faltered. Cas with the blue eyes, the sexy stubble, the incredible sex hair. He pulled back his shoulders and stepped up to the counter.

“Morning, Cas.”

Cas was looking at him warily. “Good morning, Chief.”

We were back to chief now. For some reason, that hurt. “Garth raves about your chocolate, maple and bacon donuts. So…I thought I’d try one. And a large coffee please.”

Cas just nodded and picked up one of the chocolate confections and placed it in a tan bag. He sat it on the counter and picked up a large Styrofoam cup with the familiar logo. “How would you like your coffee?”

“Uhm…black, one sugar.”

Cas rolled his eyes, but turned to make Dean’s coffee. “Wait, just surprise me.”

Dean watched Cas add coffee to the cup, then steamed milk, then he squirted some sort of syrup into the cup and added a dollop of whipped cream. Dean wondered what the calorie count was. Then he took a sip while Cas was at the register.

He moaned. Yes…out loud. Cas looked up, eyes wide, face flushed. Dean knew that look. So, his little baker wasn’t immune after all. Dean still had a chance. At what, he still didn’t know. The only thing he knew for certain was that he wanted Cas in his life.

***
Castiel was shocked to see the SUV pull up in front of the bakery. They’d been avoiding each other…well sort of…but there he was, getting out of his vehicle. Castiel took a deep breath and composed himself.

He purposefully used Dean’s title instead of his name. He saw the flash of disappointment on the other man’s face.

Castiel pulled Dean’s order from the case and bagged it up. When he got the cup ready and asked Dean how he wanted his coffee, he couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the man. Dean could get plain coffee anywhere, probably even at the police station.

Then he changed his order. Cas turned to make Dean a caramel macchiato with whipped cream on top. Instead of handing the cup to Dean like he normally would with a customer, he sat it next to the bag on the counter before ringing up the sale. It was best to avoid any skin on skin contact.

The sound that came out of Dean’s mouth when he took a sip from the cup was just this side of obscene. Castiel reacted before he could think it through. The image of Dean under him, naked and wanting flashed through his mind. His fingers tightened on the counter, he took a few deep breaths. Damn Dean Winchester.

“Sam mentioned that you are having them over to play games tonight.”

“Uhm, yes.” Cas’ voice cracked, but he cleared his throat. “Yes.” Much better.

“I like games.” No shit. Was Dean hedging for an invitation? Not a good idea. Think of an excuse…you don’t need an excuse, it’s your house, they’re your friends… ”Do you want to join us?” What the fuck?

“Sure. I’ll bring beer. What time is the party starting?”

“It’s not really a party…just a few people…really…”

“Time?”

“Seven.”

Dean winked at him and saluted with his two fingers to his forehead. “See you then, Cas.”

Castiel watched him walk away. Damn his ass was fine in those khaki uniform pants. His face felt hot.

“Something wrong, Boss?” Meg’s voice pulled him out of the start of a dirty little fantasy involved Dean and his gun belt.

“No. Nothing at all.”

“I’ll bet.” Meg smirked at him.

Chapter Text

Dean’s day dragged. Sometimes he wished Angel Key was bigger so he had more to do, but he didn’t wish crime on his friends and neighbors. Today, the boredom was driving him nuts.

The donut from Cas’ bakery was awesome and he wanted something else from there for his afternoon snack. God, he needed to watch his waistline or else start running after Cas down the beach. He was walking towards the bakery when the door to the candy shop opened.

“Dean-o, how’s it hanging?”

“In a hurry, Gabe.” Dean kept walking. Gabe fell into step beside him. Dean took a second to gloat, Gabe was almost having to jog to match Dean’s stride.

“Going to the bakery?”

“Maybe.” Dean knew Gabe would figure it out soon enough.

Dean heard the tinkling of the bell above the door and saw Meg behind the counter. He grimaced. “Where’s Cas?”

“In the kitchen.” She made no move to go get him though. She crossed her arms and waited.

“Meggie-kins, be a dear and get my little brother. Our illustrious police chief wants him.” Gabe emphasized the word ‘wants’.

“I think the feeling is mutual.” Meg countered to Gabe.

“Yuck it up, you two. I know what kind of cars you drive. I can find all kinds of moving violations to ticket you for.”

“Castiel…lover boy is here.” Dean willed himself not to blush. It didn’t work because he could feel his face heating up.

Cas came out of the back frowning. “Meg, who are you…” He saw Dean and Dean was happy to see he wasn’t the only one embarrassed.

Great, now Meg and Gabe were watching them both. “I just wanted you to recommend something for my afternoon snack and I want another one of those coffee things you made this morning.”

“Meg could have made you a caramel macchiato.” Cas was looking just as flustered as he was. Meg and Gabe were wearing matching smirks.

“Oh, that’s what it’s called. I wasn’t sure.” Dean shrugged.

“I can make that for you, Dean.” Meg stepped over to the coffeemaker. He panicked. He wanted Cas to make it. Relief swept over him as Cas gently nudged her out of the way.

“I’ll take care of it, Meg. Will you go pull the bread out of the oven?”

Dean grinned at her. One bystander down, one to go. He turned to look at Gabe. “Don’t you have a store to run? Don’t come crying to me if someone steals your lollipops.”

“I’ve got it covered. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about my sweet treats, Chief.”

“Gabe, go away,” Cas said sharply.

Gabe gave Dean a speculative look. “See you tonight later, Lil Bro.”

Dean sighed when he heard the bell over the door. “So, Cas, when you going to make me a pie again?”

Cas chuckled. “Maybe when your kisses are deserving enough for a pie.”

He knew he was being teased, but it didn’t really bother him. He could take it and dish it out. “When I kiss you for real, you’ll owe me hundreds of pies.”

He said it. He couldn’t take it back now. Dean Winchester, straight ladies’ man, went there.

***

Dean said ‘when I kiss you for real’. When? Did that mean he wanted to kiss Castiel again? Would he bolt again?

What was going on? Was Dean attempting to flirt with him? This whole situation was confusing to Castiel.

Castiel handed Dean his cup and their fingers brushed. Castiel felt a shiver run down his arm. While Dean sipped his coffee, Castiel checked out his cases and decided on almond biscotti. He picked up two pieces and put them on a small paper plate.

“Try this,” he said, pushing the plate across the counter.

Dean took one of the pieces and bit into the crumbly cookie. He chewed thoughtfully, a crumb stuck on his lower lip. Castiel wanted to take the tip of his tongue and…

“Wow. This is pretty good. What is it?” Dean used his own tongue to swipe the crumb into his mouth. That brought up a whole new feeling. Arousal.

“Biscotti. Almond biscotti.” Castiel’s voice sound a bit high, like someone had grabbed his testicles and were squeezing them tightly. He cleared his throat.

“You know, as the police chief, I think I should inspect your premises. Make sure your back door is secure…alarm system adequate…you know…”

What was Dean doing? “You want to inspect my kitchen?”

Dean grinned. “Sure, thought you’d never ask. I want to see where the magic happens.”

Castiel shrugged and motioned for Dean to come around the side of the counter. Castiel led the way into the spacious, meticulously clean kitchen. Meg was setting several French baguettes on the cooling racks. “Meg, is all the bread out of the oven?”

“Yep.”

“Will you go out front to man the register then?” Castiel smiled a nervous smile. Meg was going to give him such a hard time for this. He prayed it wouldn’t be in front of Dean.

“Sure, boss.” She took a few steps towards the doorway leading to the front of the bakery and then turned to him. In a sing song voice, she said, “Go to the back, Meg, I want to flirt with the big, bad police chief…go to the front, Meg, I want to show the big, bad police chief my….”

“Meg!” Castiel prayed to all that was holy a hole would appear and he could sink down into it.

Her laughter could be heard long after the kitchen door swung closed. Castiel could not look at Dean. He knew his face was flaming.

“You going to show me your…alarm system?” Dean let the pause draw out. Damn him. Why was he doing this? He didn’t want Castiel. They were both playing games here and Castiel would be the loser.

Castiel took a deep breath and pulled every ounce of reserves he had to act like Dean was just like any other straight guy. Friendly, but not too friendly. “The system is on that wall.” Castiel pointed but kept his distance. He put the large work table between them.

Dean made a show of looking at the alarm and then he walked over to the back door to check the locking system.

“Everything looks good, Cas.” Dean stepped closer. Castiel moved back.

“Good. I feel so much safer now that you’ve looked everything over.” Castiel was being facetious. Angel Key was a small island, the only way to get to it was over a drawbridge or by boat. Crime wasn’t prevalent in the middle keys.

“Just doing my job.” Dean preened a bit, hooking his thumbs over his gun belt. The gun belt…fuck…mind…out…of…gutter…now.

Dean stepped towards the kitchen door and paused. “See you tonight, Cupcake.” Then he was gone. Castiel leaned against the counter, body sagging in relief. He’d been as taut as a bowstring the whole time Dean was here. So, his little game of revenge wasn’t working out to well. Dean was turning out to be a formable opponent.

***
He’d made Castiel sweat. Dean was great at reading body language, it was part of his job. Castiel was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Dean didn’t even think about Meg’s comments until later that afternoon. And only then because the island’s gossips were already spreading rumors. Dean was mortified. He hadn’t thought this through. This little flirtation with Cas was supposed to be just between the two of them. It all started with Garth.

“Hey, Chief, I am pleased as punch. Diversity is the key to excellence.”

Dean looked at his officer, perplexed. Garth came up with some weird ass shit sometimes. “Glad you’re pleased.” Dean didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about.

“Castiel is such a great guy. I knew you dug the ladies, but all it takes is that one special someone to rock your world, huh?”

“What?” Dean squawked. Garth just grinned and left his office. Dean sat at his desk, stunned. Damage control. He needed damage control.

“Lisa, it’s me.” Dean whispered into his phone. He was still in his office with the door shut.

“Dean, why are you whispering?”

“I don’t want anyone to hear me. Why else would I whisper?” He hissed.

“Oh…kay.” Lisa sounded like she thought Dean was smoking something. Or drunk.

“Garth thinks I’m gay for the baker. There may be others.”

Lisa laughed, that throaty tinkling sound that he used to love. Now, it grated on his nerves. “You sound like a conspiracy theorist, you know that, right?”

“I told you people think I’m gay and that’s all you got?” Dean ran his hands through his hair in frustration.

“Dean, you know I love you, right?” Shit, shit, shit…he didn’t like the sound of this. There was always a ‘but’ involved and it was usually bad.

“Don’t even say it.”

“Say what, Dean?”

“Whatever it was you were going to say. I won’t like it.” Dean rolled his head from side to side, trying to release the tension in his neck and shoulders.

“Have you ever thought you might be…bi?”

“What the fuck, Lisa? I’m straight. We…you know…had sex. Lots of sex.”

“We did, Dean. And it was nice. I just felt you needed something else.”

“Jesus. Nice? Thanks for giving my masculinity the kiss of death, Lisa. First Cas thinks I’m a bad kisser and now this…I don’t think I’m ever having sex again….” Fuck, no he didn’t. God, no…it just slipped out. Sweet baby Jesus.

“You kissed Castiel?” Lisa sounded pleased. He expected shock, maybe some disgust. “That’s…wait, you are a good kisser, Dean. Why would he think…”

“It was a mistake, Lisa. Just a mistake, it won’t be happening again.” Dean stood up and paced his office.

“Oh, Dean.” Now, pity. Damn her. Damn Garth. Damn Cas. Fuck ‘em all. Fuck everybody. His life was fucked.

“Gotta go.” He hung up before she could say anything else.

“Lucifer, let’s go.” Dean and his dog walked through the outer office and out the door. Linda was on the phone with the highway patrol about something or another. She knew how to get in touch with him if she needed to. He just needed to clear his head.

As he left the station and turned right onto Northshore, he changed his mind. He wasn’t going to crawl in a hole and have a pity party, nope, he was going to Bobby’s and tinker on a car or two. Nothing like engines, oil and grime to make a man’s testosterone rev up.

He pulled the SUV next to Bobby’s old tow truck and got out. Inside the garage was a coat rack and Dean’s old coveralls hung there. He disappeared into the men’s room and pulled off his uniform, hanging it on the back of the door. Once he was in his coveralls, he took his gun belt back to the SUV and locked in inside.

Bobby was in the back of the garage under a Toyota Tacoma. “Bobby, I need something to do.”

The garage owner was used to Dean showing up at different times to work. Dean relieved his stress by tinkering with cars. He also came there when he was sad, mad or just feeling at the end of his rope. Today, it was a little bit of everything all rolled into one.

“Chuck’s Camaro needs a tune-up. He says it’s been knocking and the motor’s skipping.”

Dean popped the hood of the green car. It was a cherry ride. Chuck, a local author that made it big with a series of books about paranormal stuff, loved fast cars. Before long, Dean was elbow deep in the engine.

“You haven’t done this in awhile.” Bobby’s voice came over his shoulder.

“Done what?”

“Come here. Not since you got back from the Middle East.”

“Yeah, well, maybe I just missed it.”

“Maybe. Or maybe the rumors I’ve been hearing have got you all bunched up inside.”

“I didn’t come here to talk, Bobby.” Dean’s knuckles tightened on the wrench in his hand. He felt Bobby’s hand on his back.

“The people on this island love you, Boy. They love and respect you. Hell, you volunteered to serve your country and fight in a war that we shouldn’t have even been in. You led a group of men into a no-win situation, obeying shitty orders and because of you, those men are alive today. Their parents and wives and kids will always be grateful to you. Those men owe you their lives. Don’t you dare think that who you happen to fall in love with will make a difference to them or your family.”

“Bobby, please. Just drop it.” Dean couldn’t look at the man who he loved like a father. His eyes were blurry and he couldn’t see the bolt he’d been turning.

Bobby cupped his rough hands around the back of Dean’s neck and squeezed. “Son, stay here as long as you need. Just don’t go and do something to mess up a good thing.”

Dean stayed where he was until Bobby walked away. He was alone in the garage. It was hard for Dean to admit his feelings to anyone, even himself. Now, he had to think about what was going on in his head. Yes, he was attracted to a man, Cas. Yes, he had fantasies about Cas. He had a choice to make. Ignore the feelings and desires or give in to them. If he gave in, then the whole island would know about him. Would they look at him differently? Bobby didn’t seem to think so. He laid down the wrench and leaned against the car. Bobby didn’t care who he slept with, he’d said as much. Would Sammy? No, dumb question. Sammy would support him no matter what, unless he did something stupid. All this thinking and stress didn’t mean much if Cas wasn’t even interested in him that way. He knew the baker was attracted to him, body language proved that, but was he interested in getting to know Dean? Life wasn’t meant to be this damn confusing.

Dean was damaged. Physically and mentally. He’d had a few months of hard times when he returned from Iraq. The nightmares were bad. He hated going to sleep, so he deprived himself from sleep and it became a vicious cycle. In the end, his family pulled him back away from the edge. Physically, the scar below his ribcage was a constant reminder of that day.

***
Cupcake? Castiel wanted to feel insulted, but he really couldn’t. It made him smile. Unfortunately, Meg came back to the kitchen after Dean left.

“You and Dean, huh? Didn’t see that coming.”

“Meg, there is no me and Dean. He’s just being friendly.”

“Sure, Boss.”

By the time he got back from delivering the hotel’s order, several locals were hanging out in the bakery. Meg seemed to be holding court. Garth walked by him and patted him on the shoulder. “Dean’s a good man, Castiel. A real good man.”

“Meg! Can I see you in the kitchen, please?” Castiel was fuming. Meg nonchalantly followed him and he waited until the door was shut before rounding on her. “What the fuck, Meg? What are you telling people?”

“I’m not spreading rumors, Castiel. I just pointed out to a few close friends that the chief seems to like you.”

“Not. Another. Word.” Castiel pointed to the baking pans sitting on the counter. “Why don’t you take care of those while I man the register.” Anything to keep her away from the public. The woman was a menace. If she wasn’t so damn dependable, he’d fire her ass.

While no one asked him outright, he received a lot of speculative looks that afternoon.

The afternoon seemed to drag on and on. As further punishment for her big mouth, Castiel left Meg to close up and make the deposit. He’d invited her to his house for game night, but she’d made previous plans.

He rode home and traded in his bike for the car. The grocery store was crowded with people preparing for the weekend. He was stopped by several people who just wanted to say hi. He knew he was being paranoid, but he thought the entire island seemed to think he and Dean were an item. It was so far from the truth, it was laughable.

By seven, the house was spotless and the beer was chilling in a large cooler on the back porch. He put in the two leaf extensions to his dining room table and now it sat eight. The CAH cards were in the middle of the table and snack foods lined the counter in the kitchen. Sam and Jess were the first to arrive, with Benny and his girlfriend, Andrea, following a few minutes later. Dean was next. He walked into Castiel’s home like he’d been there a million times before. He even went to the right cabinet to get a mug for his beer. Castiel saw Sam lift an eyebrow. Dean was just very observant, after all, he’d been in Castiel’s kitchen just a few days ago.

Surprisingly enough, Garth showed up with Jo. Castiel told Garth to bring a date if he wanted. He didn’t expect Jo. As the eight of them gathered around the table, Castiel was dismayed to find himself sitting right next to Dean. Even with the two leaf extensions, the table was crowded and his thigh touched Dean’s. To be fair, his thigh touched Andrea’s on the other side, but Dean was the only one he felt.

The game was bawdy and fun and went on for hours. Dean seemed to be more subdued then earlier in the day. He smiled and laughed, but there was a tension about him. Castiel wanted to ask if everything was okay, but he honestly didn’t think Dean would appreciate that. Eleven o’clock came and went and Jess yawned.

“Guys, it’s been a long day. This has been fun and we should do this again very soon, but for now, I’ve got to get some sleep.” She stood and kissed her husband, telling him to stay and play as long as he wanted.

Andrea and Benny were the next to go, both of them hugging Castiel. Andrea whispered in his ear that she was glad he moved to Angel Key. It made him feel good, like he was finally a part of something. The remaining five played a few more rounds, but Castiel couldn’t stop yawning.

“Hey, everyone, Cas has been up since four so maybe we should clear out and let him get some sleep,” Dean said, standing.

“I’m fine, Dean. Meg and Kevin are opening tomorrow, so I can sleep in.” Castiel wasn’t sure how he felt about Dean speaking for him.

“Dean’s right. We’ll definitely do this again soon. We can take turns hosting it. Why don’t Jess and I do it next, say in two weeks?”

“Sounds great.” Garth stood, pulling Jo to her feet. It took fifteen more minutes for everyone to gather their things and leave. Dean was the last one. He began to gather up beer bottles and trash.

“Dean, you don’t need to do that.” Castiel was nervous. He was alone with Dean and he wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

“I know, but I’m not leaving you with a big mess to wake up too.” Castiel didn’t want to argue and between the two of them, the house was back in shape in less than thirty minutes. Castiel stood in the middle of the living room not knowing what do say or do.

“Cas?”

“Yes, Dean.”

“I really don’t know what I’m doing here.” He moved close to Castiel and Castiel couldn’t have moved if he wanted too.

“I don’t understand…” Castiel could see the sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of Dean’s nose, the emerald of his eyes, the slight shadow of a beard.

Dean’s mouth came down and Castiel forgot his name. He forgot to breathe. He forgot everything but the feel of Dean’s lips…his tongue…his teeth… Dean was tentative at first, but then he groaned and deepened the kiss sending shivers up and down Castiel’s spine. Castiel slowly raised his hands to Dean’s waist. He felt Dean’s hand on his hips. Castiel sank into the kiss and wanted it to never stop.

Chapter Text

For probably the first time in his life, Dean let his heart rule his head. Watching Cas interact with his family and friends was an eye opening experience. The man was warm and funny. The way his eyes lit up whenever he had to read a particularly embarrassing card…the way his fingertip moved up and down his beer bottle, wiping off the condensation…the deep, raspy voice that sent shivers up Dean’s spine…

Everyone was gone. It was just him and Cas. He was scared to death, but he wanted this. Just a taste.

At first, he was unsure. Kissing a man, it couldn’t be much different, could it? It was very different…the scrap of Cas’ stubble against his own. The feeling that he didn’t have to be gentle…he was kissing a man. He was kissing Cas and it was…it was good. Cas’ lips were soft…strange, he expected something different. Euphoria? Is that the word he is looking for?

Dean’s hands held onto Cas’ hips, holding on for dear life. Cas whimpered into his mouth and Dean’s half hard cock sprang to life. He was hard for a man. Thoughts swirled in his head. He was trembling. Dean had faced enemy fire head on, had he been scared…hell, yeah. But this…whatever this was…was terrifying. His life would never be the same. Never. Never, because…he wanted this. He never wanted it to end.

“Dean.” Cas’ voice came out of the haze that was wrapped around his brain. “Dean.” It was louder now.

Dean leaned back, his eyes couldn’t focus at first. Cas was looking at him…just looking… “Cas, I’m sorry…I don’t…”

“If you run out that door, I will hunt you down and murder you in your sleep. They’ll never find the body. I will drag it out to sea and let the fish eat you. Do you understand me, Dean Winchester?”

Dean laughed…a slow chuckle that turned into a deep belly laugh. “I’m not sorry I kissed you, Asshat. I’m sorry I waited so long. I’m sorry I was a douche.”

Cas blushed. “Oh.”

Okay, so the kiss was great. Better than he expected. Because, well, he expected to feel…sick…disgusted…after all, it was another guy. Instead, he felt warm…hot actually. Maybe he should move this to Cas’ bedroom. The thought of being naked with another guy was making him apprehensive, but it was Cas. It wasn’t like they had to ‘do’ something…maybe just some mutual masturbation? Cas could jack himself off, Dean could rub one out…they could watch each other and bada boom bada bing, everyone’s happy. They could move to the heavy artillery further down the road…maybe.

Now, where was he…oh, yeah…kissing Cas. Dean leaned in again. This time, his hand came up to cup the back of Cas’ neck so he could deepen the kiss. Cas tasted like beer and the chocolate brownies he’d served. Beer and chocolate were his new favorite combination of flavors.

He used his teeth on Cas’ bottom lip, just hard enough to draw out a moan. He felt Cas’ hands tighten on his waist. Dean moved his lips down to Cas’ jaw line…then lower to his neck. Cas leaned his head back to give him access. He smelled good. Not the cloying perfumed smell like some women, but a musky, manly smell. Soap, a hint of baked goods and Cas.

“Let’s take this to the bedroom, Babe.” Dean was nothing if not smooth.

Suddenly, Cas wasn’t as pliant in his arms anymore. Dean pulled back and smiled seductively.

“Dean, I’m not going to bed with you tonight.”

Dean’s smile faltered. “What? Wait, was I the only one enjoying himself here, because I could have sworn, by the sounds you were making, that you were having a good time.”

***
Surely to God, he didn’t just say that. Did that work on women?

“I think you should leave.” Castiel said coolly. He didn’t want him to leave…God in heaven, the man could kiss, but Castiel wasn’t ready to be Dean’s training wheels. If and when he slept with Dean Winchester, it would be when he knew there were feelings involved. He wasn’t asking for happily ever after, but he didn’t want to be a notch on Dean’s bedpost either.

“Leave? What the fuck, Cas?” Dean looked angry.

“Dean, I like you and I’d like to get to know you better. I’m just not comfortable jumping right in bed with you. You’ve never even been with another man, have you?”

“No, but hey, the kissing was good. I didn’t get sick or anything…”

Castiel honestly didn’t think Dean meant to be such a complete jerk. But seriously…. “Dean, please leave.”

“Jesus, you’re a cocktease, you know that? You get a guy all worked up and then pull the ‘oh, I’m sorry, I need to get to know you’ card.”

Castiel winced as the door slammed. “Three strikes, you’re out, Dean.” And that made Castiel unhappy. Very unhappy.

The kissing has been wonderful. Dean was skilled in the art of kissing. Castiel had been very turned on, but he had to live in this tiny community. He wasn’t going to get a reputation of being one of those guys.

He locked the front door and shut off the lights. At least he could sleep a bit later in the morning.

At dawn, Castiel was still awake. His stomach was in knots. He rolled over and looked at the time. Balthazar would be up, getting ready for work.

“Hey, it’s me.”

“Why, yes it is. How’s life in paradise, Darling?”

“Paradise is hell.” Castiel sighed and kicked off the covers. He should get up.

“Tell Uncle Balthazar all about it.” Balthazar always was easy to talk too. Castiel told him everything. When he was done, Balthazar didn’t speak for a few seconds.

“Pathetic, huh? Christ, what am I supposed to do?”

“You are not pathetic. And let me be honest here, your police chief sounds like he wants to be with you. You just need to decide what you want, Castiel. Do you want a white picket fence, a poodle named Fifi and a husband? If so, a straight or bi-curious man isn’t the guy for you. Now, if you want some fun, take him to bed, teach him the art of pleasing a man…show him a few tricks he can take home for his next adventure, but don’t fall for him.”

Castiel sighed.

“Fuck, Castiel, you’ve gone and done it, haven’t you?” Balthazar’s sounded exasperated.

“No…no…not yet. But I could. I could easily fall for him. He’s a jerk. He says things that are so fucking stupid, but he’s not stupid. He’s warm and funny, and God, he’s nice to look at. He kisses like a porn star…”

“Sweetheart, listen to yourself.” Balthazar chuckled. “You’ve got it bad.”

“Shut up.” Castiel said petulantly.

“I love you, Cassie. I’ll be here if you need me.”

“I love you too.”

They said their goodbyes and Castiel finally got out of bed. He got ready for his morning run and did his stretches. Since it was later than his usual time, it was light out, but very overcast. The weatherman had given them a seventy-five percent probability of rain. He began to run. Soon, he was in the zone and had Metallica blaring out of his earbuds. He was close to Dean’s house when the flash of lightening lit up the gray morning.

With Florida being the lightening capital of the world, it was not something you wanted to take a chance on. He had another quarter mile to the lighthouse. He could hole up there until it was safe to run back home. He turned up his speed.

***
Dean was tying his boot laces when Lucifer barked at the window. He looked out at the misty, gray morning. Lightening lit up the sky and Dean saw Cas.

“Of all the stupid…”

Dean grabbed his slicker from the closet and opened the backdoor. The rain was coming down in sheets now. Lucifer wasn’t going to step off the porch. Dean tried calling to Cas, but he was too far away to be heard over the wind and rain. Hoping Cas was smart enough to take shelter in the lighthouse, Dean went back inside. He packed his stuff for the day then he and Lucifer made a run for the SUV.

There was a part of him that wanted to let Cas stay in the lighthouse in his wet clothes all day long after last night’s fiasco, but he couldn’t do it. He drove to the lighthouse. While the lighthouse itself was locked until the attendants showed up, the old keeper’s house had a covered porch. Dean figured that’s where he would find Cas.

The sky was getting dark as the low clouds rolled in. Thunder boomed a few times while lightening flashed in the distance. The storm was coming in fast. His police radio came to life with an announcement of small craft advisories. Dean’s headlights slashed through the downpour. He saw a flash of white under the porch. As he pulled closer, Dean saw Cas. He was obviously soaked and he had his arms crossed over his chest. Cas didn’t look happy to see him. Well, that made two of them.

He stopped the SUV and cracked the window. “Get in,” he called loudly. He saw Cas’ hesitation and gritted his teeth. Cas wouldn’t like it if he had to get out of the SUV and force his cute ass into the vehicle.

Cas finally made up his mind and ran for the passenger side. Dean turned on the heater even though it wasn’t overly cold. He just didn’t want the man to getting chilled. His white t-shirt and blue running shorts were soaked and clinging to his body. That was a distraction the Dean just didn’t need this morning.

Neither man spoke. Lucifer hung his head over the seat and sniffed at Cas’ hair. Cas reached over his shoulder and rubbed the dog’s ears. Dean pulled up in front of Cas’ house, he stared straight ahead, leaving the engine idling.

“Thanks.” Just one word before the door slammed. Dean put the SUV in drive and in three minutes, he was parking in his assigned slot in front of the station. Linda glanced up at him and pointed to the coffeemaker.

“I know you like Castiel’s fancy stuff now, but since it’s all nasty out, you might as well have some of mine.”

“Thanks, Linda.” Dean fixed his coffee and took a sip. Was he already spoiled? Maybe he could call Garth and have him…nope. Better to stop that shit right now. Rip off the bandaid instead of peeling it off slowly. No more donuts…no more pies… he needed to drop a pound or two anyway.

Garth entered the station. The door just about blew out of his hand. “Gosh, this is some storm.”

Dean heard Linda and Garth conversing about the weather and normally he would have stepped out of his office to join in the conversation, but he just didn’t want to make the effort. He returned a call from the mayor about the upcoming budget meeting and then got ready to patrol. During bad weather, Dean liked to have two people on patrol since there were more traffic problems.

He got up and snapped his fingers for Lucifer. “I’m heading out on patrol. Garth, why don’t you take Main Street and go south. I’ll take the north end of the island.”

“Sure thing, boss. I was just telling Linda how much fun we had last night. You and Castiel are so cute together. I told her how you were looking after him, making sure people left so he got plenty of sleep.”

“You better be good to him. He’s a keeper.” Linda added.

“There is no me and Cas. You can get that out of your heads right damn now.” He stomped to the door and strode out into the rain. Only then remembering he left his slicker on the coat rack by the door. Fuck. So much for a dramatic exit. He stomped back inside and snatched it off the hook. Garth and Linda were both looking at him like he’d run over someone’s puppy. Damn it to hell and back.

The day matched his mood. His phone rang. Great…Sam.

Dean barked, “What?”

“Good morning to you too.” Sam said sarcastically.

“I’m busy, Sam. What do you want?”

“I just wanted to see how things went last night.”

“They didn’t,” Dean muttered, turning off Northshore to enter a small neighborhood.

“What did you do?”

“I didn’t do a damn thing. The cocktease led me on and then shut me down with the classic ‘I want to get to know you better before we fuck’ line.”

Sam’s chuckled. “You struck out. The great Dean Winchester struck out. Now, that’s funny.

“Fuck you, Sammy.”

“Seriously, what did you do?” All traces of laughter were gone from his brother’s voice.

“I kissed him. Okay? Happy with that bit of information? Your straight brother kissed a ma. Go ahead and yuck it up.”

There was silence from Sam’s end. “You there?” Great…just fucking great.

“Dean. I would love to see you and Castiel together.”

Dean stared through the windshield, watching the wipers go back and forth. “He seemed to be having a grand old time and then I suggested we get horizontal and he shut me down.”

“Dean, Castiel isn’t one of your one night stands. With his good looks, he could pick up any man he wants, but he’s too damn smart for that. I think he wants more.”

“Who says I wanted a one night stand?”

“Maybe the fact that you went from zero to sixty in one night. If you want Castiel, you need to put some effort into it. He’s worth it.”

“Bite me. Gotta go…I have stuff to do,” Dean said grumpily.

“Bye.” Sam sounded cheery. Bitch.

***
The ride with Dean from the lighthouse to his place was the most uncomfortable ride of his life, it even beat the time that someone stole his clothes from the nude beach in Bermuda and he’d had to take a cab back to his hotel in nothing but his towel. Yep, this morning’s little trip beat that humiliating experience.

He still couldn’t get over the fact that Dean called him a cocktease. Who gave him the right? Everyone talked about Dean like he was the nicest guy in the world… apparently, they hadn’t encountered ‘horny Dean’.

By the time Castiel got to the bakery, it was after nine. Due to the weather, the place was dead. Meg hadn’t made two batches of donuts like she normally did. The one batch was enough for today’s light crowd.

At noon, Castiel sent Kevin home. Castiel stayed in his office most of the afternoon ordering supplies and paying invoices. He’d been staring at the computer screen for the last ten minutes and still couldn’t have told anyone what it said. Was he a cocktease? Had he led Dean on?

“I’m a fucking adult. Dean needs to act like an adult too and we’re going to talk.” Tonight. He wasn’t going to live like this.

Gabe stuck his head into Castiel’s office. “You talking to yourself, Bro? That’s a sign of old age.”

“What are you doing here?” Castiel didn’t mean to snap at his brother, but it definitely came out that way. “Sorry.”

“Hey, it’s okay. Guess you didn’t get much sleep last night.” Gabe waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“Dean did not spend the night.”

“Tell me you bumped bellies…” Gabe looked horrified.

“We did not have sex.”

“So, our little straight as an arrow police chief chickened out? I thought for sure…”

“He didn’t chicken out. I’m just not into hopping into bed with a guy going through a sexual identity crisis.”

“Let me get this straight…he wanted to lose his gay cherry to you and you shot him down. That’s cold, Sweetcheeks.”

“Do you have his number?” Castiel was getting tired of this conversation fast.

“Why do you want his digits if you don’t want to sleep with him?”

“This is none of your business, Gabe. Do you have his number or not?”

Gabe opened his phone and scrolled through his contact list. He recited the number to Castiel. After his brother left, Castiel picked up his phone and dialed the first six numbers of Dean’s phone and then hit end before he dialed the last one. He bit his lip, deep in thought.

He had it…Castiel left his office and was rolling out dough a few minutes later. When the pie came out of the oven, it was beautiful. Castiel took one of the bakery’s tan boxes and a marker and wrote his message. He tucked the still warm pie inside and went out front.

Meg was helping a few of the island’s elderly make their decisions for the book club’s snacks. The six women had adopted the bakery as the place for their weekly meetings. Castiel patiently waited until the ladies were situated at their corner table.

“Meg, will you deliver this to the police station?”

“It’s raining cats and dogs out there.”

“I’m aware of the weather. Please, Meg.”

She looked at him strangely. “What’s in it for me?”

Castiel growled. “Fine…you can leave early today.”

“Will I still get paid for a full day?” Meg asked sweetly.

“Sometimes, I hate you.” Castiel handed her the box. She put it on the counter and went back to get her jacket and umbrella.

“Be back in a jiffy.”

He’d taped the box shut so her prying eyes wouldn’t see the message. This was between Dean and Castiel and no one else needed to be in their business. Now, he would wait and hope that Dean would be mature about this.

After Meg left, Castiel cleaned up the kitchen and then experimented with a new flavor of cupcake. An Irish Car Bomb. The cupcake itself was made with Guiness and the frosting was made with Bailey’s. He tasted one when they were finished and liked them. Now to see if the public liked them.

Chapter Text

Dean got back to the station in a deeper funk because of the weather. When he walked in, he peeled off his slicker and hung the dripping thing up on the coat rack. He turned around and Linda was grinning at him. “What?”

“There’s something in your office. A gift.” She was still giving him a shit-eating grin when he walked into his office. On his desk sat a tan colored box. Dean stared at it. He sat behind his desk. It looked innocent enough. It wasn’t ticking.

He used his pocket knife to cut the strips of tape that held it closed. Carefully, he opened it and moaned. Pie. Shit….two lips were cut into the dough. Not again. His eyes flew to the lid of the box and read the words. ‘Your kisses were deserving of pie. If you want to get to really know me, come to my house for dinner tonight at six. If not, you still deserve pie.’

As much as he hated to admit it, Cas was being the bigger man here. Maybe Sam was right. Was he willing to explore a relationship with Cas? With a man?

Dean got up and walked through the station. In the kitchen, he got a plastic fork out of the cabinet and poured himself a cup of coffee. He strolled through the front of the station and actually smiled at Linda. He felt a wave of guilt because he couldn’t remember the last time he sat and talked to her, let alone smiled. This thing with Cas had him in knots and he’d been a jerk to everyone.

“Want a piece of pie?” He held up the fork. “I can go get another fork.”

“I’m good. I’ve gained a pound and a half since the bakery opened. I need to cut back.”

Dean looked down at his own stomach. “I’ve got to start running or something.” There wasn’t a gym on the island, but he could use the equipment at the fire station. They had a lot of free weights and a few machines.

“I wonder how Castiel stays so…so…fit.” Was she blushing? Was Linda Tran blushing?

“You looking at his body, Linda? You know he doesn’t play for your team.”

“Who cares? Every woman on this island with a pulse looks at him. He’s the total package. Gorgeous, smart and a really nice guy. A few of us were joking at the diner today that we’d love to have the chance to see if we can convert him.”

Dean laughed along with her, but inside a wave of jealousy swept over him. He knew Cas was gay and couldn’t be ‘converted’, and he knew the women knew that too. But Cas was the whole package. Cas might want someone more his equal and not some…what was the word he wanted…bi-curious…yeah, some bi-curious jerk who may or may not be able to…follow through.

Back in his office, he stared at the message on the box. He could just not go. Cas gave him an out.

His decision made, Dean stuck the fork into the pie and took his first bite. The fresh blueberries burst in his mouth with just a hint of tartness. The crust was flaky and light. He was in love with Cas’ pies.

At five, he left the station after briefing Jody on some of the traffic conditions. It was still coming down hard and Dean raced to his vehicle. Lucifer stood in the back of the SUV and shook, sending droplets all over the interior. He grimaced, tomorrow, the SUV would smell like wet dog. Once he was at home, he pulled off his uniform and tossed it into the laundry room. He fed the dog and while Lucifer ate, Dean took a quick shower. He looked at the five o’clock shadow on his face and decided to shave. What had Sam said? Yeah, if he wanted Cas, he needed to put some effort into it.

“Sorry, Lucifer, I’ve got a date, so you are staying home.” A date. He had a date…well, not really…but maybe.

At five minutes to six, Dean stood on Cas front porch. He rang the doorbell. Cas opened the door and his smile was so warm and so genuine that Dean couldn’t speak. Their eyes locked as the seconds ticked by. It was Cas that shook himself out of the trance they’d been in.

“Please, come in.” He moved aside and Dean entered the house. Something smelled amazing.

“It smells good in here.” Dean suddenly got a sense of Deja vu. That first night when Cas had made such an effort on dinner and Dean had been so shocked…so uncomfortable…he’d just left Cas in the kitchen looking horrified.

“I hope you like it. I made pork tenderloin with an apricot glaze, roasted cauliflower and scalloped potatoes.” Cas looked just as nervous as Dean felt.

“I’m sure anything you make is awesome.” Dean suddenly felt really stupid with his hand still hidden behind his back. It had been a lame idea. But what was he going to do now?

“Would you like a beer? Or some wine?”

“Beers good.” Cas turned to go into the kitchen. “Cas, wait…”

He turned and looked at Dean, head tilted to the side, blues eyes questioning.

“Here.” Dean held out the small bouquet he’d picked from the tropical flowers that grew around his back porch. The rain had made them vibrant.

Cas looked pleased. “Dean, they’re lovely.” Dean all but shoved them at Cas. Cas smiled nervously and took the flowers. “Let me put them in water. You can just make yourself at home.”

***
Dean brought him flowers. More importantly than that, Dean was actually here. Castiel pulled a crystal vase out from under the sink and arranged the flowers, then added water. He sat the vase in the middle of the table that was already set for two, just not nearly as elaborate as that first night – how humiliating was that? There were no candles. The overhead light would have to do.

Castiel found Dean going through his bookcases. He must have sensed Castiel’s presence because the turned around. “We can eat now, if you’d like.”

“Great, I’m starving.”

Both men sat at the table and looked at each other for close to a minute. The silence was uncomfortable. Finally, Castiel took a bite of his food and Dean visibly relaxed.

“Why Angel Key?” Dean asked between bites.

“Gabe loved it here and he always seemed so happy. I visited him a few times and really liked it.” Castiel shrugged his shoulders. “So, here I am.”

“The bakery seems to be a big success with the locals and tourists alike.”

“Yes. I’m pleased.” Castiel gave an internal groan. This conversation seemed so forced. “Sam told me you were a Marine.”

“Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Dean wasn’t exactly frowning, but he wasn’t smiling either. Was it a sore subject? Sam and Garth told him that Dean was a hero. They ate in silence for a few more minutes. This wasn’t a good idea.

“Look, Cas…I didn’t mean what I said the other night. I didn’t mean for you to feel pressured. I just…this whole… Crap.” Dean took a deep breath. “Here’s the thing. You know I’m straight, so I don’t have any experience with…” Castiel waited, but Dean didn’t finish, he just took a big gulp of beer.

“Dean, we can just be friends if that’s all you are comfortable with.”

“That’s the thing, Cas. I don’t know what I’m comfortable with. The thought of kissing another man makes me feel…I don’t know…but with you, it….it was different but good. Real good.

Castiel played with his fork and knife, not looking up. “Dean, I’m attracted to you. I guess that’s no secret. I enjoyed kissing you…very much. I just don’t think I could have a casual affair with you.”

“Okay. That’s fair. Maybe we can get to know each other and see where that goes?”

“I think I’d like that.” Castiel gave him his first real smile of the evening. They ate and talked of books and movies, of Castiel’s Olympic hopes and of Dean’s childhood on the island. They continued to talk while they cleared the table and cleaned up the kitchen. By the time they decided to go for a walk on the beach, all of Castiel’s nervousness was gone. He knew Dean was warm and funny, but he didn’t realize to what extent.

Castiel looked up at one point and realized they were nearing Dean’s house. “I didn’t realize we’d walked this far.”

Dean glanced around. “Me neither. Hey, while we’re near here, can I let Lucifer out for a few minutes. He’s not used to being without me.”
“Of course. You could have brought him.”

“Maybe next time.” Dean led the way across the rocks leading up to his house. Castiel heard Lucifer barking. Dean called out and the dog quieted immediately. After unlocking the door, Dean stood aside and Lucifer raced out. He spun around to sniff Castiel before running around the side of the house. “It won’t take him long. Do you want to come in for a second?’

Dean gave Castiel a quick tour. Dean’s home was tidy and clean. He loved Dean’s kitchen, painted in a light turquoise, it was a lot bigger than his. “Your home is beautiful, Dean.”

“Really, you think so?” Dean looked proud.

“Yes. Really.”

Dean allowed Lucifer to follow them back to Castiel’s house. It was dark, but the night sky was beautiful. Castiel didn’t want the evening to end. He was going to have a hard time keeping his feelings in check, but he was happy they’d given each other another chance to be friends.

***
The following week, Dean came into the bakery every morning. Sometimes, he would join Cas in the kitchen and watch the man work. They got a few speculative looks, but mostly people minded their own business. Dean explained to Garth, Linda and Sam that they were friends only.

They began texting each other. Random stuff to make the other laugh. When Friday rolled around, Dean asked Cas if he wanted to ride down to Key West and watch the sunset. Dean picked Cas up at his house at six. The Impala roared down the highway, music blaring, windows open. Dean looked over and Cas was smiling at him. That simple smile hit him in the gut like a fist.

Dean found a place to park right off Duval Street and they walked towards Mallory Docks. The place was crowded with tourists and locals alike. Street artists performed for the crowd and Cas pointed to a guy playing the bagpipes. He grabbed Dean’s hand and pulled him in that direction. When he didn’t immediately let go, Dean felt comfortable enough not to pull away. Key West was a very gay friendly town and two men holding hands didn’t stand out. As Cas took pictures and tweeted to his friends, Dean thought about it. If they were back on Angel Key, would he feel as comfortable? What about Miami or some other city?

As the last ray of sun dipped behind the horizon, the crowd clapped and cheered. Dean nudged Cas’ arm. “So, what did you think of your first Key West sunset?”

Cas’ smile lit up his eyes. “This was great, Dean. Thank you.”

Dean gave Cas the quick history of Key West, showed him the famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Margaritaville and the Hog’s Breath Saloon and even bought him a huge conch shell. Tired, they strolled back to the car and headed home. Halfway back, Dean looked over and grinned. Cas’ head was slumped onto the passenger side window and he was dead ass asleep. Dean turned down the music. He needed to remember that Cas got up at the ass crack of dawn, he wouldn’t keep him out so late next time.

When they pulled into Cas’ driveway, Dean poked his arm. “Hey, Sleeping Beauty, we’re home.”

“Huh…wha…” Dean thought Cas was freakin’ adorable all sleepy and out of sorts.

“Home. We’re home.” Dean got out of the car and walked around to Cas’ side. He opened the door and Cas looked up at him, still half asleep.

“I am not carrying your ass. Come on.” Dean held out his hand and Cas took it. Dean pulled him to his feet and released Cas’ hand. “You know you drool, right? And snore like a fuckin’ band saw.”

Cas looked so mortified that Dean had to sit on the front steps laughing. Cas narrowed his eyes. “You are lying, Dean Winchester.”

“Had you going though, didn’t I?”

Cas pushed Dean so he fell off the step onto the scrubby lawn. He was still laughing and managed to grab Cas’ ankle. Cas lost his balance and landed on his hands and knees next to Dean. Dean wasn’t sure how it happened. One minute they’re laughing and wrestling like school boys, the next Dean was straddling Cas and looking down into his eyes. Their laughter stopped abruptly. Dean’s breath caught in his throat. His eyes strayed to Cas’ exposed neck and he wanted nothing more than to leave his mark on it. “Dean?”

Dean’s eyes flew back up to Cas’. He saw something there… He jumped up to his feet and reached out to haul him up from the ground. They turned away from each other and dusted off their clothes.

“I’m going to…just…go…now.” Dean backed a few steps away.

“That’s…uhm…sure. Goodnight then.” Dean didn’t release the breath he’d been holding until he was out of Cas’ driveway. When he got home, he heard his phone chime with a notification. Cas had sent a text saying he had a great time. Dean responded with a simple, ‘me too’.

When he jacked off in the shower, his thoughts were of Cas laying below him.

***
Castiel didn’t know what to make of the incident on his front lawn. Dean looked like he wanted to kiss him. God help him, he wanted Dean to kiss him. He wanted to break the rules he’d set for himself. He promised that he wouldn’t sleep with Dean. He wasn’t going to risk his heart. Their friendship was going so good. Meg and Gabe had stopped making the snide comments. But tonight…tonight had been like a date…a real date. They’d held hands briefly…in public…and Dean hadn’t pulled away.

He’d been so good at keeping his budding feelings for Dean locked away. After tonight, they were close to the surface and clawing their way out.

Castiel stripped off his clothes and took a cool shower. Unfortunately, the coolness of the water did nothing to dispel the sexual tension he was feeling.

Even with the ceiling fans and the breeze coming through his open window, he felt hot. He pushed the sheet down to the end of the bed, letting the air cool his skin. His cock was half hard and a part of him wanted to ignore it. He really was tired. His wandering thoughts prevented sleep from coming and hastened his arousal. Castiel wondered what it would be like to have Dean fill him, make love to him...taste him…touch him. Castiel bottomed for Balthazar, only because Zar was more comfortable in the role as a top. In other relationships, Castiel had topped. He found he enjoyed both roles equally. Dean would probably want to top Castiel, if they ever got to that point. If…and it was a big if.

His hands strayed over his chest, down his stomach…the blood pulsed in his hard shaft…fluid from his excitement leaked onto his belly.

He parted his thighs, imagining Dean was between his legs, looking down at him like he had out on the lawn. His finger rubbed his puckered hole. It felt good. Castiel loved being touched there, licked there… He moaned and wrapped his hand around his cock and squeezed out a few more drops of precum. Using it to lubricate his fingers, he pushed in… so good. So fucking good. His rhythm increased and soon his was fucking himself with his finger and stroking his cock.

God, it wasn’t enough. Frustrated, he pulled his finger out and released his cock. He wanted more. The drawer to his nightstand held his supplies and he got the tube of KY Jelly and his vibrator. He slicked up his fingers and worked his hole open. He was impatient and pushed the vibrator in before he should have. He hissed at the burn, but he didn’t stop. When the full eight inches were inside of him, he took his dick into his hand again. Better…so much better. He could picture Dean in his mind…fucking him…

He cried out as he came, spilling his cum over his hand and belly. He lay there, sweat and cum cooling on his skin, heartbeat returning to normal…finally, he removed the vibrator and tossed it to the floor beside the bed. He could take care of it tomorrow…for now…he just wanted to close his eyes. Using a corner of the sheet to clean himself, he rolled over on his stomach and slept.

Chapter Text

Dean was sitting on his back deck watching Lucifer running on the beach. It was just after nine o’clock. He loved Sundays…nothing to do but relax. He was sipping on a cup of coffee…not the good kind that Cas made him, but decent just the same. Cas closed the bakery early on Sundays and Dean wondered if he wanted to drive up to Miami just to hang out. Maybe take in the Music Festival or the Miami-Dade County Fair, both were happening this weekend.

His phone rang and he looked down. The bakery’s number. Strange, Cas usually called him on his cell.

“Morning, Cas.”

“It’s Meg. Cas didn’t come in this morning. Nothing’s been done and I’ve called Kevin in. He’s not answering his phone, Dean.” Meg sounded panicked.

“I’m on my way to his house. I’ll call you.” Dean hung up and ran into the house after giving a whistle for Lucifer. He dropped his sleep pants and pulled on the same jeans from last night. His hands were trembling. He wouldn’t allow himself to think bad thoughts. Cas just overslept, that’s all.

The ride over to Cas’ house took him less than a minute. He thanked the gods that no one was on the road. He’d used his light bar, but no siren…just in case Cas had just overslept. No, nothing was wrong. There was no ‘just in case’. Cas was fine.

Dean didn’t even take the time to close the SUV’s door. He banged on the front door, peering into the window. Nothing. Remembering Cas’ bedroom was in the back of the house, Dean ran around the house and up the steps to the back porch. He pounded on the door. Damn it, Cas… Dean’s heart was beating so hard and fast, he could feel it.

Trying the knob, he breathed a sigh of relief. It was unlocked. Thank God for island living. Lucifer followed him in, nose to the ground. Dean entered Cas’ bedroom and froze. Holy shit. Holy fuckin’ shit. Cas was face down on his pillow, bare assed naked.

“Cas.” Dean called out loudly. There was movement and a soft moan. “Cas, damn it.” Dean walked over to the bed and touched the man’s shoulder.

“Go…way…” Cas mumbled into the pillow.

“Cas, it’s nine-thirty. Meg is having a meltdown.”

Cas sprang awake. He jumped out of bed like a deranged…stripper?…because he was still buck naked. Dean averted his eyes for a second, but allowed them to slide back over Cas’ bare ass.

“Fuck…fuck…fuck…”

Dean watched the baker in full blown panic mode. He had to admit it was amusing. He leaned against the door jamb observing. Cas was rummaging through a laundry basket of folded clothes…well, they used to be folded, now they were just a jumbled mess. He had one leg in a pair of plaid boxers, but tripped and hit the wall heavily…and that little motion gave Dean a full frontal view. Cas Novak was very well hung…just an observation…nothing more. Men could look at other men…it didn’t mean anything.

He was pulling a shirt over his head when he noticed Dean standing there. He closed his eyes and groaned.

“So, forgot to set your alarm, huh?”

“Maybe because someone kept me out too late.”

“Probably had nothing to do with the Mai Tai’s, remember them…you played with the little umbrellas and said you wanted to order some to put on a Mai Tai cupcake. Damn, Cas, didn’t you even hear your phone?” Dean saw Cas’ cell on the nightstand and then his eyes were drawn to what Lucifer had in his mouth.

***
Castiel followed Dean’s eyes. Oh, God…Johnny Depp…at least, that’s what Balthazar called Castiel’s toy…was in Lucifer’s mouth. Dean’s eyes were locked on the vibrator like it was an alien from another planet. Then he chuckled. Kill me now…just kill me now.

Castiel stepped towards the dog but didn’t know what to do.

“Lucifer. Drop it.” The dog did what his master told him and the vibrator landed with a soft thud on the rug. Castiel kicked it under the bed. He abruptly turned and disappeared into the bathroom. He leaned against the door and tried not to hyperventilate. Once he was somewhat calm, he brushed his teeth. A shower and a shave were just not on today’s agenda. He took a deep breath, counted to ten and pasted on his calm, cool and collected face.

Dean lifted his eyebrow and smirked. “I don’t think you can blame me or the Mai Tai’s for keeping you up…late…” He giggled. The police chief of Angel Key just giggled. Castiel’s thoughts went from suicidal to homicidal.

“You can go now, Dean.” This was it, he was never going to be able to face the man again. He’d put the bakery up for sale and move to Peru…live in a shack and raise alpacas.

“Ah, come on Cas. I’m just teasing. Everybody masturbates…seriously. I do it…I’ve never used a power tool, but my hand is a lethal weapon.”

“I’m late.” Castiel didn’t replay to Dean’s statement for two reasons….one, he was still mortified and didn’t want to discuss masturbation with Dean…and two, the idea of Dean touching himself caused his brain to short circuit.

“I’ll drive you,” Dean said, turning to leave Castiel’s room. “And you may want to hit Meg up on the phone before she sends out the National Guard.” Lucifer, after looking longingly under the bed, followed his master.

Castiel should have thought of that himself. He snatched up his phone from the nightstand and saw five missed calls…all from Meg.

As he followed Dean, he dialed the bakery. Meg picked up on the first ring. “You’re alive!”

“Yes. I’m sorry. I overslept. I’ll be there in five.” Castiel hung up and bounded down the steps to the SUVsitting in his driveway, light bar flashing blue lights. A few people were standing around watching. As Dean turned off the lights, Sam and Jess rushed out of their house.

“Castiel…Dean? What’s going on?

“False alarm,” Dean told his brother. “Cas just overslept and his phone wasn’t charged.” Castiel wondered why Dean was lying for him. His phone was fully charged, he’d just been too far into a deep sleep to hear it.

Castiel looked sheepishly at Sam. “Thanks for your concern.”

“Anytime.” The couple went back into their home and Castiel shut the door of the SUV. Dean started the engine.

“You could have had a lot of fun at my expense.”

“I’ll tease you in private, but I’d never embarrass you in public, Cas.” Dean was staring out of the windshield and suddenly, the whole incident didn’t seem that bad…well, still embarrassing…but maybe he wouldn’t have to leave the country and raise alpacas now.

***
Wow…okay…so maybe it wasn’t Dean and the Mai Tai’s that kept Cas up late. Seems like Cas had needs and brought out the big guns…Dean chuckled at his little joke.

Dean teased Cas, but Cas looked like the poor guy was mortified. Damn, he would be if the roles were reversed.

He heard Cas reassuring Meg and he was almost to the SUV when Sam and Jess burst out of their house. Yep, he probably should have taken a second to turn off the blue lights.

Once they were inside the SUV, Cas made the comment about him having fun at his expense. Did the man think Dean was that big of a douche? It was one thing to joke around and tease in private, but he would never publically humiliate someone. Especially someone he cared about.

When he pulled up in front of the bakery, Cas wouldn’t look at him, but he told Cas to have a great day. He meant it. It wasn’t just some stupid comment people threw out just to have something to say.

He watched Cas enter the bakery. He wasn’t going to let Cas’ embarrassment ruin their day. He pulled the keys from the ignition and stepped inside the shop. The smells of the bakery always made him feel good. It reminded him of long ago, when his mother would bake their birthday cakes. Meg was waiting on a group of teenagers. He recognized them and stopped to kid around with them. After they took their cupcakes to a table, Meg smiled at him.

“Thanks for this morning. It’s not like him to not show up and I got a little scared.”

“Me too,” Dean admitted.

“He seems a little shaken up. Are you sure he just overslept and it wasn’t anything else?”

“He’s okay. I just kept him out late last night and I may have bought him a couple of Mai Tai’s.”

She smiled at him. Meg had a few bad qualities that drove Dean nuts, but she cared about Cas and for that, Dean could tolerate her. “So, this was all your fault, huh?” She was teasing him and he just nodded.

“I’ll take full responsibility. Is he really busy?”

“He’s got a birthday cake to finish decorating before eleven. He’s humping it, but go on back if you want.”

Dean went around the counter and pushed open the swinging door. Cas had his back to the door and was hunched over a large work table. It didn’t look comfortable and even as he was thinking that, Cas rubbed his neck. Kevin glanced up from the sink where he was washing pans. Dean put his fingers to his lips and Kevin went back to what he was doing.

“Please tell me Mrs. Roche isn’t early. I still have to pipe the borders and add the sugar flowers.” Cas didn’t even look up, thinking it was Meg.

Dean stepped forward and placed his hands on Cas’ shoulders and began to massage them, leaning in to whisper. “Mrs. Roche isn’t early.”

“Dean, I…what are you doing here?” The back of Cas’ neck was turning pink. He was still embarrassed. Dean would just have to fix that.

“I have my whole day free and there isn’t anyone I’d rather spend it with. Maybe you can put me to work. I’m a fast learner, dependable and best of all, I’m free labor.”

***
Castiel was proud of Meg and Kevin. The bakery was open for business and all the fresh pastries and cupcakes were in the front cases. Despite his horrible morning, he grinned. He gave Kevin a fist bump and winked at Meg. “I’m sorry I’m late, guys. But you did a fantastic job and I really appreciate it.”

“What’s on the books, Meg?”

“Mrs. Roche’s granddaughter’s birthday cake. The cakes are in the walk-in and since you’ve already made up the sugar flowers, you should be able to get it done by closing. She’s picking it up at eleven sharp.”

Castiel nodded. The elderly woman was an angel. Her granddaughter was turning fourteen today and the family was driving down from Key Largo for the party. Castiel spent about three hours on Friday making the sugar flowers and they looked just like the child’s favorite flower, the frangipani.

He got to work. The two tier cake was assembled and the crumb coating was on. He pressed the fondant through the rolling machine. He’d finished shaping the fondant around the cake and was piping the edges when he heard the door behind him. He hoped Meg wasn’t giving him bad news. He was pressed for time and his back was already aching from the intricate work.

The touch of firm hands on his shoulders startled him. The warm breath and soft words at his ears sent a shiver down his spine. He still didn’t want to face Dean but his words pleased him. Dean wanted to spend the day with him. With him. Even after his dog had Castiel’s rubber dick in his mouth… little Johnny Depp would need to be replaced. He could never look at it the same after this morning’s events.

Dean scooted a stool over to the opposite side of the table. He was watching Castiel’s hands intently. “That’s pretty awesome, Cas. How long did it take you to learn to do that?”

If Dean could pretend this morning never happened, Castiel definitely could. “I went to culinary school for a year before deciding I wanted to specialize as a pastry chef. That was another six months and several years of trial and error.”

As Castiel worked to make the cake a masterpiece, Dean asked questions and even got to sample one of the sugar flowers that Castiel accidently broke. That was why he always made several extras since they were so fragile. He wouldn’t admit that he broke it when Dean’s knees brushed against his own. He was in so much trouble.

By eleven, the kitchen was clean, the extra pastries and desserts were boxed up for the grocery store and a very pleased Mrs. Roche left with her cake. Kevin clocked out and promised Castiel he’d see him after school on Monday. Meg gave him a wave as she left for the day. She called out a reminder that they had an applicant coming in on Monday for an interview.

“You hiring someone else?” Dean asked, helping himself to a cupcake out of one of the boxes.

“I have to. I’m working seven days a week and Meg is working six. Kevin helps out, but with school, he can only be here in the afternoon and on weekends. We’re swamped, Dean.”

“If you want me to, I can run a background check on any applicants.”

Catiels snorted. “Dean, really…this isn’t a bank or a top secret installation.”

“I don’t know, some of your recipes should be top secret. I’ll bet foreign governments would pay top dollar for one of your pies.”

Castiel laughed. “I bet you say that to all the boys.” It was meant in jest, but Dean’s face softened.

“Nope. Just you.” Suddenly the kitchen got very warm, which was strange since none of the ovens were on. Castiel’s eyes met Dean’s and they eye fucked…yep, that was the only way Castiel could describe it. He felt like Dean was undressing him with his eyes. Dean’s tongue slipped out of his mouth to lick his lips and Castiel whimpered. It was soft, but Dean heard it because his eyes widened slightly. Last night’s fantasy exploded in full Technicolor in Castiel’s mind.

“Dean…”

“Shhh.” Dean stood up and walked around the table. Castiel could not have moved if the building was on fire. Dean tipped his chin up and his fingertips grazed over Castiel’s cheek. “You have a little frosting…right…there.” Dean lifted his finger to his mouth and sucked it clean. Castiel’s dick went from lazily hanging out to full on combat mode.

Chapter Text

Well, that escalated quickly. One minute he’s watching Cas decorate a cake and the next his imagination took off like a bottle rocket on the Fourth of July. He’d been eyeing that streak of frosting on Cas’ cheek for the last ten minutes.

Mrs. Roche, a sixty-five year old retired school teacher, almost got a front row seat to Angel Key’s police chief licking the face of the baker. He couldn’t wait for her to leave. He almost pushed the poor old woman out of the door himself. That would have gone over with the island’s residents like a fart in church.

Their morning was going great, the…incident…with Lucifer all but forgotten…okay not really, because damn, that was freakin’ hilarious. But anyway, they talked about cake stuff and Dean was really interested. They’d been going back and forth, teasing…trading smiles… And then, Dean’s latent bisexual urges knocked all his straight DNA to the back of the bus.

Smoldering…Cas’ eyes were smoldering…so what if it sounded like something in a romance novel…and no, he’d never read one… but there was no other word to describe them. They darkened to such a deep blue it was like the sky on a stormy day. As Dean watched, Cas’ pupils dilated. No doubt…Cas was turned on. Dean licked his lip and Cas whimpered…it was barely audible…but Dean heard it just the same. Holy fuck…Little Dean just got very happy. Then Cas said his name…Cas’ voice was deep and gravelly on any given day…which was sexy as fuck, but damn, when he was aroused, he sounded like James Erle Jones on steroids.

He wanted that frosting…now. Dean didn’t remember the walk around the table. But there he was, mere inches from Cas and that damned streak of white icing. “You have a little frosting…right…there.”

Yes, he knew what he was doing. He was deep in uncharted territory. He was well on his way to seducing a man…and his body was cheering him on. Dean put his finger in his mouth and sucked off the frosting and Cas was on him.

That last kiss…it was awesome…this one though…holy mother of God. Cas was an animal and Dean found himself with his back pressed against the work table, Cas’ hips pressed against his own. The man sucked Dean’s tongue into his mouth and Dean was just along for the ride. A wild fucking roller coaster, the kind where you can’t breathe….it was wet and hot…

Dean realized he was grinding his cock against Cas’. He was dry humping him and Cas hands were digging into his hips and instead of freaking out, he was reveling in it. It felt good….it felt right.

He’d seen Cas’ cock once today and he wanted to see it again…see it hard for him. He wanted to touch it… his Marine training kicked in. Remove the obstacle. Dean pulled Cas’ apron over his head and sent it flying. The t-shirt followed, it was a bit harder because Cas was trying to get Dean’s shirt off at the same time. One of them growled in frustration. Then they were chest to chest, bare skin to bare skin. Mouths sucking and biting, hands pinching and scratching… Dean had some exciting sex in his lifetime, but never like this… he didn’t have to worry about being too rough…Cas was giving just as much as he got.

He felt Cas hand pause as it drifted over Dean’s scar. To his credit, Cas moved on. Dean let out the breath he was holding. It wasn’t a subject he wanted to talk about now…not now.

There was no need for words…the only sounds were their heavy breathing…harsh and loud in the silent room. Neither man had the time to put on a belt that morning…they stopped kissing long enough to concentrate on unbuttoning their jeans. The sounds of their zippers coming down was like a splash of cold water to Dean. What was he doing?

***
Castiel knew the exact moment Dean started to freak out. He’d expected it sooner, but it didn’t prepare him for the wave of sorrow. They’d gone too far too fast. Castiel took a step backwards. Dean was standing there, bare chested, marks from Castiel’s fingernails across his torso. His skin was flushed and his lips swollen. Jeans unfastened enough that Castiel could see the thatch of hair and the head of Dean’s hard cock. Eyes that were unfocused only a few seconds ago were now sharp and afraid. Then there was the jagged scar under Dean’s ribs. He’d wanted to ask about it, but now it was too late.

“I’m sorry, Dean.” Castiel spied Dean’s shirt on the floor and bent to retrieve it. He handed it to Dean and Dean took it. Castiel found his own on the work table. He turned from Dean, trying desperately to tamp down his arousal. Castiel flipped his shirt right side out but before he could slip it over his head, he felt Dean’s hand on his arm.

“Don’t.”

Castiel closed his eyes. “Dean, it’s okay.”

“Cas, turn around.” He couldn’t. He couldn’t stand to see disgust in Dean’s eyes. He shook his head slightly, gripping his shirt so hard his knuckles turned white.

Dean spun him around and his mouth was on Castiel’s again. There was a lot of pent up passion in the kiss…not nearly as violent as before, but far from chaste. Dean broke away, gasping, his lips right there, barely touching Castiel’s. “I…I don’t know what to do.”

“It’s okay, we don’t have to do anything, Dean,” Castiel whispered against Dean’s mouth.

“Teach me.” Those two words were Castiel’s complete undoing. His knees went weak, he thought his heart may have stopped for an instant…he couldn’t breathe…couldn’t speak…he could only stare into the greenest, most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen.

Dean took a half step back and looked down. He bit his lip and reached for Castiel’s fly. His hands gripped the waistband and tugged them down. Dean hesitated for only a moment before he tentatively cupped his hand over Castiel’s erection. The thin cotton of his boxers wasn’t enough to erase the heat from Dean’s hand. Dean watched his hand, rubbing up and down. Then he looked up. “Is this…does this feel good?”

Castiel could only nod. The corner of Dean’s mouth came up in a rueful smile. Dean pushed Castiel’s jeans further down his thighs and then hooked his thumbs in the elastic waist of Castiel’s boxers and tugged them down. Castiel’s cock sprang free and he heard Dean’s swift intake of breath. Dean’s fingers brushed against the underside of his shaft and he moaned. Dean’s eyes shot up. Castiel didn’t break eye contact…he hoped he was conveying how special he thought this was…this first time… Dean smiled shyly.

“You’re bigger than I am.”

He couldn’t help it, he chuckled. “Size doesn’t matter.”

“Says the guy with the big dick.” Dean muttered, his smile telling Castiel he was teasing. Castiel took a chance and reached for Dean’s jeans.

“May I?” He asked, looking directly into Dean’s eyes. Dean nodded.

Castiel quickly kicked off his shoes, jeans and boxers before kneeling. He pulled off Dean’s boots before dragging his jeans down. Dean stepped out of them. Dean wasn’t wearing underwear so his cock stood proud and hard. Castiel looked up at him. “You’re beautiful.” Dean flushed and looked away, obviously embarrassed.

Giving head was something that Castiel enjoyed and he knew he was good at it. Gently, he wrapped his fist around the base of Dean’s cock. He heard Dean’s intact of breath. With his other hand, he held onto Dean’s hip. He waited patiently until Dean’s eyes met his. He wanted Dean to watch. Without breaking eye contact, Castiel swiped his tongue over the slit, tasting him for the first time.

“Cas…” Dean’s hands drifted to Castiel’s hair.

“Tell me what you want, Dean.” Another lick, this time, along the underside, right below the head.

“Please…suck me.”

Castiel took him in, slowly, inch by glorious inch. Dean’s skin was like velvet…his scent was strong…sweat and musk…he inhaled, burying his nose in Dean’s bush as took him deep into his throat. He created a suction as he withdrew. Dean gasped and his hands tightened in Castiel’s hair. Again, he took him, releasing slowly…again and again…slowly driving Dean out of his mind. Under his hands, Dean was trembling, his breathing rapid and uneven.

It had been a long time since he’d had sex and Castiel was painfully aroused. His dick was heavy and sensitive. He dropped a hand to wrap around his shaft and moaned around Dean’s cock. His pace quickened, head moving up and down, letting his tongue dip into Dean’s slit with each stroke.

“Stop…Cas…stop.” Dean’s voice sounded broken. Castiel’s eyes looked up questioningly. Dean tugged him up.

“You didn’t like it?” Castiel was concerned, he’d thought Dean was enjoying it.

“Like it? Are you fucking kidding me? That was…the best I’ve ever…” Dean kissed him. He felt Dean’s hands cupping his ass, bringing their cocks together. Castiel hissed as the sudden friction. He opened his eyes. Dean’s were still closed and he began to rut against Castiel.

Castiel groaned and his eyes went to the work table. His arm swept across the work table, sending baking supplies crashing to the floor, startling Dean. “Do you trust me, Dean?”

Dean nodded with hesitation. Castiel lifted himself onto the table and tugged Dean’s hand. “Come here.” He guided Dean so he was on top of him. Castiel felt the cold metal on his ass and back, it cooled his fevered skin. Castiel reached between them and wrapped his hand around their erections, their combined juices making them slick. Soon, Dean was bucking into his fist…Castiel wasn’t going to last long…not like this…not with Dean above him…looking so fucking wrecked…

Eyes wild, Dean cried out. Castiel felt his hot, thick cum splashing onto his belly. “God...Dean…” Castiel’s orgasm hit hard…his back arched up, mouth slack, burning white waves crashing over him. Dean sank down onto him, his weight a comfort. Castiel’s muscles quaked as the aftershocks rolled over him.

***
Dean raised his head. His heartbeat was almost back to normal. Cas must be uncomfortable with Dean’s weight on him, but the man hadn’t complained. They’d lain like that for a good five minutes. Their combined cum cooling between them made Dean grimace. Nothing romantic about that… Cas’ eyes were closed, so Dean could observe him. His hair was damp with sweat, his face was relaxed, lips still swollen from kissing. The kissing. He wanted to kiss him again.

Cas murmured against his lips. Dean couldn’t make out the words, but the tone told him Cas was down with Dean’s kisses. Their passion spent, the kisses were languid…tongues licking and tasting…teeth barely dragging over lips.

“Dean…”

“Hmmm.” Dean moved his lips over the rough stubble of Cas’ jaw. Strangely enough, he found it exciting.

“Can we…I’m kind of…my back…”

Dean raised his face to look at Cas. He grinned. “Sorry, I got carried away.”

He slowly rose up to his hands and knees. “That’s nasty,” he said, looking down at Cas’ belly.

“There are towels in the drawer over there.” Cas pointed to somewhere over his left shoulder. Dean eased off the table and walked barefoot in the direction Cas had pointed. He found the neatly folded towels in the second drawer he looked through. He grabbed two. He waited for the water to warm up in the sink and then he wet the towel. After wringing it out, he wiped his stomach and turned to take care of Cas. That’s when he saw the state of the kitchen.

When Cas had sweep everything off the work table, he’d made a huge mess. A ten pound bag of flour exploded and the white powder covered half the kitchen. Various bowls, spoons and other assorted baking supplies were strewn all over the floor. A plastic bottle of what looked like cooking oil had busted open and a half dozen eggs were in broken glubs on the tiled floor. Their clothes were mixed up in the mess.

“Cas?” Cas was still laying on the table, eyes closed…was he asleep?

“Huh?” Well, he wasn’t asleep, but he wasn’t moving either.

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your kitchen is trashed.” Dean saw his footprints through the flour. He couldn’t help it. He began to laugh. He’d just had sex with Cas…in his kitchen and they’d wrecked the place. And he couldn’t forget that he was naked and for some reason, it didn’t bother him.

Cas rolled to his side and took in the shambles. “Fuck.”

“Yeah…I guess we kind of got caught up…”

“You think?” Cas rubbed his hand over his face. “This is going to take hours to clean up.” He swung his legs over the side of the table and gingerly stepped to the floor. He grimaced when his foot landed on a broken egg. He left his foot and looked up at Dean. “Shit.”

“It’s not that bad…” Cas look of disbelief stopped Dean mid-sentence. Dean tried to look as serious as Cas, but the effort not to laugh caused his eyes to water.

“Dean, this isn’t funny. My God…we had sex on the same table that I use to decorate cakes…” He closed his eyes.

And that was it…Dean couldn’t hold it in any longer. He roared with laughter. Bending over, grabbing your knees laughter…until the blub of egg hit him upside his head. He squeaked in surprise. Cas eyes were narrowed and his lips pursed…hand dripping with goo. Oh, no, it was on…

Eyes darted around for a weapon. He grinned evilly. “Dean, no…not…”

The cupcake hit Cas in the center of his chest. The frosting stuck there, but the cake itself splatted on the floor. Cas looked down at the offending projectile. He looked back up at Dean and stalked over to the box. He grabbed a chocolate donut and rubbed it into Dean’s face. Dean spun around to grab another cupcake, but his foot hit the puddle of oil and he went down. Flour billowed around him in a thick cloud. There were broken eggs under his ass. Cas stared down at him, looking triumphant.

Nope, Marines didn’t give up. Cas didn’t see it coming. Dean’s foot lashed out, hooking behind Cas’ ankle and he lost his balance. He landed on top of Dean with an ‘oooph’. Dean flipped him so Cas was on the bottom. They were both covered in a mixture of oil, eggs and flour.

“Oh my God.” Benny’s voice made them freeze. They both looked up, wild-eyed. Benny had turned his back on them. “There ain’t enough soap in the world that can scrub this from my brain.”

Dean jumped up, looking for his jeans. “Benny…it’s not what you think.” He groaned, those were the dumbest words to ever come out of his mouth.

Benny gave a bark of laughter. “Really, Dean? That’s what you’re going with?”

Both men kept their eyes on Benny’s back as they tugged on their jeans. It wasn’t an easy task since they were covered in a thick paste that was hardening by the second.

“Benny, may I ask why you are here?” Good old Cas, going on the offense. Dean wiped a blob of flour and egg off his ass so he could finish pulling up his jeans.

“Well, as a concerned citizen, I was worried that Dean’s SUV was sitting outside the bakery long after closing time. I did knock on the door before I realized it was unlocked. I heard sounds of…of…well, I thought there was a fight going on. I came in to see if I could help… I guess I was not needed.”

“Why didn’t you remember to lock the door?” Dean hissed in a stage whisper.

“Me? You’re the one that…”

Benny interrupted. “Guys, please tell me you have your pants on now.”

“Yeah.” Dean snarled, still giving Cas the evil eye.

Benny turned around and tsked as his eyes took in the damage. “I’ve seen a lot in my lifetime, but this…well…this takes the cake.” He chuckled. “No pun intended.”

“Nice, real nice,” Dean gave Benny the worst bitch-face in his arsenal. It didn’t seem to faze the older man.

“Well, now that I know you two are…safe…I’ll just be going.” He turned and paused midway through the swinging door. “Oh, and guys…I expect a case of my favorite beer and a week’s worth of free donuts to keep this quiet.”

“You are seriously blackmailing the chief of police,” Dean said incredulously.

“Shut up, Dean.” Cas glared at him. “That seems like a fair trade, Benny. Thank you.”

They could hear Benny laughing long after the door swung shut behind him.

Dean sighed and leaned against a counter. He rubbed his face. One of his best friends caught him with another man. Strangely enough, he didn’t think that Benny cared. Benny had been more amused than angry or shocked. Okay, well, he was a little shocked to find them rolling around on the floor covered in flour.

“Dean, are you okay?” Dean looked up. Cas looked tense.

“Yeah, Cas, I’m fine.”

“But, Benny is one of your best friends and he knows we…” Cas’ voice trailed off.

“And he seemed okay with it. Come on, let’s go shower and change, then we can come back and clean up this mess.”

Cas ran his hand over the metal work table. Dean laughed. “You going to have to really sterilize it before you decorate another cake.”

Cas groaned and picked up his t-shirt. He pulled it over his head. “Gross.” The shirt was covered in the goopy mixture of eggs, oil and flour. Dean decided he’d rather go shirtless. They both picked up their shoes and carried them. A trail of flour followed them to the front door.

Dean stopped and looked out the windows. “Crap. There are a fuckton of tourists out there.”

“Thank God Meg turned the sign to closed.”

“Yeah, or we would have been a tourist attraction,” Dean mumbled, still looking outside. “We’re going to have to make a run for it.”

They both sprinted to the SUV and slammed the doors, sinking low in the seats. Lucifer, stood up from the cargo area and stretched. He sniffed the air and gave a low ‘woof’. Dean looked over at Cas and grinned. “I’m beginning to think I’ll never have another dull moment with you around.”

Chapter Text

Dean pulled into Castiel’s driveway and left the SUV idling. He turned in his seat. “I’ll grab a shower and meet you back here in thirty. That okay?”

“Sure, that’s fine.” Castiel wondered if Dean was going to kiss him goodbye, but he didn’t want to wait around and make things awkward. He got out. He shut the door and gave Dean a casual wave. So much for a kiss. He shouldn’t complain, they’d pretty much had sex…there hadn’t been penetration, but Dean Winchester had been naked…and they’d kissed.

Castiel still had a hint of a smile on his face when he sprinted up onto the porch.

“I don’t remember baking being this messy, Darling.” Castiel swung around at the sound of Balthazar’s voice.

“Zar, Jesus, what are you doing here? How did you get here?” Castiel made a move to hug the man, but Balthazar took a step back.

“Before you give me a proper hello, please take a shower.”

Castiel grinned and unlocked his door. He was so glad to see his old lover and friend. He stood just inside the door watching as Balthazar let his eyes take in his house. “This is quite lovely, Castiel.”

“Thanks. Now tell me, what are you doing here?

“When we spoke last, you sounded like you needed a shoulder to cry on. Besides, my best friend lives a few miles from Key West. Perhaps, I’ll find the man of my dreams down here. Now, hurry and go shower. I want to take you out to dinner.”

“Come talk to me.” Castiel led the way into his bedroom. While he stripped off his clothes in the bathroom, Balthazar sat on the toilet lid and told him about his flight into Key West and the taxi ride up to Angel Key. Castiel started the shower and stepped under the hot spray.

“I’ve got to go back to the bakery for a few hours and clean up a large mess. Is it okay if dinner is later?”

“Of course, Darling. I had a late lunch in the Miami airport. If it’s okay, I will relax on your back porch and drink a tropical rum concoction. You have what I need to make a cocktail, I hope.”

“Yes. There are several types of fruit juice in the fridge and all the booze is in the china hutch.”

Balthazar regaled him with tales from the city, while Castiel shampooed his hair three times and washed flour out of every crevice on his body. It took him a long time to get the pasty goo off of his body. He slid the curtain aside and Balthazar handed him a towel. Castiel and Balthazar were together for several years and he didn’t think twice about being naked around the older man. It wasn’t until he hung the wet towel over the shower curtain and turned that he found Balthazar standing very close.

“You still have the most exquisite body, Castiel.”

If Castiel hadn’t just spent the early afternoon with Dean, he would have been tempted to fall into bed with Balthazar. He’d always been a skilled lover. But now… “Zar, I…I can’t.”

Balthazar smiled and ran his hand over Castiel’s cheek. “Still hung up on the straight police chief?”

“Yes. We…uhm… kissed and…” Castiel stepped into his bedroom and opened a drawer to get a pair of boxers.

The older man threw himself down on Castiel’s bed and tucked his hands behind his head. “Castiel, you devil, you’ve actually seduced a straight man…I’m so proud of you. My little boy is growing up.”

Castiel gave a snort of laughter. “Thanks, Dad,” Castiel said sarcastically. He pulled on a pair of clean jeans and a t-shirt. “I hate that I have to take care of the mess at the bakery…”

“Don’t worry about me, Cassie. I’ll be fine. I might even take a short nap.” Balthazar was already kicking off his shoes and getting comfortable on Castiel’s bed.

“Alright, call me if you need anything.” Castiel made it to the door before Balthazar spoke again.

“Castiel?”

Castiel turned, “Yes?”

“You never told me how you got so…messy.”

Castiel blushed and grinned. “I seduced the police chief.”

He could still hear Balthazar laughing when he closed his front door. He sat on the front steps to wait for Dean, his text said he’d be about ten minutes late, which was great, because Castiel was running late himself.

***
Lucifer followed Dean closely across the yard, sniffing and trying to lick the sticky at the rapidly hardening egg and flour mixture. He let himself into the house and went straight to the laundry room. He grimaced as he peeled the jeans off of his body. It reminded him of the paper mache project he did for a school project once. He’d bet he could stand his jeans in a corner and they’d become a piece of modern art. For a second, he debated on putting them in his washing machine, but logic won out and he tossed them in the trash.

Naked, he strolled through the house. He caught his reflection in the bathroom mirror. “Whoa.” He thanked the Lord that he hadn’t been seen by anyone.

It took Dean twenty minutes to get the pasty mess off of his skin and out of his hair, and another ten to clean his walk-in shower. He’d thought about leaving it until later, but decided that it would be easier to clean it wet than dried like wallpaper paste.

He left Lucifer behind and opened the door to the SUV. He moaned at the state of the seats. They were covered with a film of flour and smears of the doughy goo. He shut the door and got behind the wheel of the Impala.

Cas was waiting for him on the porch. A feeling of apprehension settled over him. He’d had sex with this man. Technically, it wasn’t sex sex, but still… Dean, the Marine, should have been having a major freak out, but for some reason, he wasn’t. Sure, he was feeling some confusion, but mostly he felt…okay…

“Sorry, I’m late but it took forever to get that crap off,” Dean said as Cas settled into the passenger seat.

“It was like scrubbing glue off. I had to wash my hair three times.”

“Me too.” Dean was relieved that they weren’t acting all weirded out around each other. They drove up to the back of the bakery and Cas let them in the back door.

“I guess the good fairies didn’t come while we were gone and clean this shit up,” Dean said, staring at the chaos.

“If you know of any good fairies, I’d gladly sell my soul if they’d come clean it.”

“Fairies don’t want your soul, Man. You’ve got them confused with demons. Fairies are full of mischief and malice, like they would have caused this mess.”

At Cas’ look, Dean shrugged. “Hey, I read.”

Cas laughed at Dean’s defensiveness and opened the closet where the cleaning supplies were kept. He hauled out the industrial sized broom first. “If you pick up the utensils and bowls, I’ll start sweeping as much of this as I can.”

Dean stepped forward and began the task of putting the kitchen to rights. It took almost three hours, but when they were done, the kitchen sparkled. Neither had mentioned the sex, instead they talked as friends…making jokes…talking about some of the surrounding businesses…their favorite books.

Dean looked at his watch. It was close to six. “Hey, want to grab some dinner? We can go to The Roadhouse and have a burger or something.”

“Uhm…no…I can’t.” Cas looked nervous for some reason. Dean felt disappointment that he wasn’t going to be able to spend time with Cas that night. Seeing Cas bending over cleaning the floor earlier, had Dean wanting a few more kisses and yeah, maybe something else.

“Sure, no problem.” He followed Cas out of the bakery and watched him set the alarm and lock it up. Dean turned off the ignition in Cas’ driveway. If he wasn’t going to be able to see him anymore that night, at least he wanted a kiss. He looked over at Sam’s just to make sure his brother wasn’t lurking and the coast was clear. He turned in his seat and leaned over. Cas met him halfway and their lips met. Dean let his hand rest on Cas’ neck, holding him while his tongue sought entrance. Cas parted his lips and let Dean inside. Their tongues danced and mated, wet and hot… Dean erection uncomfortable in his jeans. Finally, Cas broke off the kiss and sat back. He looked stunned. Dean glanced down and smirked. He wasn’t the only one affected by the kiss. “Sure you don’t want to change your mind about tonight?”

“I really can’t, Dean. I have…a house guest.”

Dean cocked his head sideways. Cas hadn’t mentioned having company the whole afternoon. Odd.

“That’s cool. Who is it?” Okay, so it wasn’t any of Dean’s business, but his natural curiosity made him overstep his social boundaries sometimes.

***

“A…friend…from back home.” Castiel wasn’t lying. He wasn’t telling the truth either. He may have handled the question a little better if he wasn’t still reeling from Dean’s kisses. He wanted nothing more than to drag Dean inside and throw him on his bed…get him naked again…and then…and then….God, the list of possibilities was endless.

Dean’s face changed. It hardened and Castiel turned to follow his gaze. Balthazar was standing on his front porch, a cocktail of some sort in his hand.

“Uhm…that’s Balthazar…he’s…”

“Hey, you don’t owe me an explanation. Look, you go and have…fun…with your house guest and I’ll see you around.”

He’d been dismissed. Was Dean jealous? “Dean…it’s…”

“God damn it, Cas, if you say it’s not what you think, I’ll…fuck…just get out. I’ve got to go.”

“Dean, he’s just…”

“Out.” Dean turned, looking straight out of the windshield. Castiel knew he was too angry to listen to reason now. He’d let him calm down.

Dean squealed out of his driveway and Castiel’s shoulders slumped.

“Trouble in paradise?” Balthazar looked concerned.

“He saw you and thinks… Hell, I don’t know what he thinks. He acted like a jealous boyfriend.”

“That should tell you something, Mon Cher. Did you tell him we were just old friends?”

“Of course…” Okay…wait….did he? Yes, he did…’a friend from back home’.

“Castiel, one of our biggest problems was in my failure to communicate. You need to clear this up with your ‘boyfriend’.”

“The biggest problem in our relationship was your inability to keep your dick in your pants.” It came out harsher than he intended and he regretted it right away. “I’m sorry…”

“You’re right, Castiel,” Balthazar said seriously. “You need to go and fix this before it gets to the point it can’t be fixed. Lack of trust broke us up, don’t let it happen with him.”

“I don’t even know what Dean and I have. I care about him, but I’m not sure how he feels.”

“If he was jealous, he cares.”

Castiel hung his head and sank down on the porch steps. “What should I do?”

“Go talk to him.”

“I should wait and let him calm down.” It sounded logical in his head.

“I don’t think so.”

“But you wanted to go down to Key West and have dinner. I can call him later.” Why did he feel the need to avoid the confrontation with Dean? Maybe because he didn’t think it was real…that it wasn’t going anywhere.

“Why are you stalling, Cassie?” Balthazar held out his hand and Castiel allowed the older man to pull him to his feet.

“Dean isn’t gay, he’d never even kissed a man before… There’s no future in it, Zar.” He ran his hand through his hair and sighed.

“The Castiel I knew and fell in love with didn’t give up so easily.”

“Maybe I’ve just gotten smarter. Some things are just unattainable.” Castiel went inside and Balthazar followed.

“Enough of feeling sorry for yourself. You never played the drama queen very well. Now, go shower, you smell like bleach, and when you finish, we are going to find your man and fix this little misunderstanding.” Balthazar pushed him into his bedroom. He even went so far as to pull Castiel’s shirt over his head. “If you don’t want me to strip you naked, you better hurry.”

Castiel smiled at his friend. At times like this, he had regrets their relationship didn’t work out. But then, he wouldn’t have met Dean.

When he was done with his shower, the two men stepped outside. Castiel was unlocking his car when he looked across the street and saw the Impala in the parking lot of The Roadhouse.

***

So, what if he was jealous…no, not jealous…he was just pissed. The whole time they’d spent together, cleaning and laughing and talking, Cas hadn’t mentioned a ‘friend’ was at his house. A male friend who, by the drink in his hand, was making himself right at home.

“Friend, my ass,” he muttered out loud. He was more than a friend, Dean would bet money on it. He parked and shut off the engine, but remained in the car. Dean had felt something for Cas and he had been so sure Cas felt something for him. But he was just another notch in Cas’ bedpost. Did he get extra points for fucking with a straight guy? He began to second guess everything, the guy in the Jeep? Cas said they hadn’t done anything. Was he telling the truth?”

Dean slammed the car door, winced, and rubbed the hood of the Impala as an apology. He let Lucifer out and went straight to the kitchen. He needed a beer…no, something stronger. He pulled up Jody’s number on his phone and it ‘send’.

“Hey, you’re in charge tonight. If you need backup for anything, call Garth in.”

“You okay?” Jody’s voice held concern.

“Yeah. I just need to let off a little steam.” Dean knew Jody would understand.

“Alright.”

He quickly showered the smell of bleach off his skin and dressed. There was a bottle of whiskey at The Roadhouse with his name on it.

It was Sunday, so Dean wasn’t surprised to see the place pretty empty. There were no tourists and just a handful of locals. He waved to a few commercial fisherman, but didn’t speak to anyone. He didn’t want company and that’s why he didn’t sit at the bar. The last thing he wanted was for Jo or Ellen to pick at him until he caved.

He picked a back booth with a view of the door…he never sat with his back to a door, old habits die hard. Ellen came over, arms crossed. “What’ll you have?

“Whiskey…and a cheeseburger.” She raised her eyebrow, but didn’t ask and for that, he was grateful.

She brought him a shot glass a few minutes later. He took it and kicked it back. “You might want to bring the bottle. It’ll save you a few trips.”

Ellen sat down across from him. “What’s going on? Are the nightmares back?” Ellen and the rest of his family had been there through all the bad shit he’d brought back with him from the Middle East. The nightmares, the drinking, the depression. They’d pulled him through it all though and he never looked back.

“No. Can’t a guy just have a couple of drinks without everyone panicking?”

She didn’t look convinced, but she left him alone. She didn’t leave the bottle, but she refilled it three times so far. The burger only had a bite taken out of it, his stomach couldn’t handle eating right now.

He pushed the plate away and was ready to down his fourth shot when Cas and his ‘friend’ walked in. He groaned. He didn’t need this shit. That last think he wanted was to see Cas right now. It hurt. But, hey, no one was going to know how badly it hurt. No one. He’d been a Marine and saw a lot of shit go down and he never lost it. He wouldn’t start now. He straightened in his seat, chin up, shoulders back.

Cas saw him and made his way over. He would have never thought Cas was be cruel. Bringing his ‘friend’ over to Dean’s table was pretty damn low. The asshat stood beside Cas like he owned the freakin’ place.

“Dean, we need to talk.”

“No, Cas, we don’t.” Dean downed his whiskey and made a move to stand up. The jerk sat down in the booth beside Dean, barring his exit. “I would suggest you move your ass before I move it for you.” Dean’s voice was sharp, low and deadly. His own men were scared when he used that voice, but this guy looked down his nose at him, unaffected.

“I think you need to listen to Castiel. Otherwise, you will be making a foolish mistake.”

Cas sat down opposite of Dean, but Dean didn’t look at him. He looked down at the empty shot glass in his hand. “Dean, this is Balthazar Sebastian. He is one of my dearest friends. I won’t lie to you…we were…”

“We were lovers a few years ago, but I was a dick and Castiel deserved better. Do I still love him, of course I do. What’s not to love? However, he is not in love with me and hasn’t been for a long time. I came down here as his friend and because I wanted to meet the man that has him tied in knots.”

“Zar!” Cas kicked the man under the table. Dean’s eyes were on Balthazar. Was it true?

“Darling, we’re telling the truth here, are we not?” Balthazar looked innocently at Cas, but Dean saw the hint of a mischievous smile.

“So, he’s told you about me?” Dean directed the question at Balthazar.

“Of course, we’re besties, after all. He waxes poetically about you. Sadly enough, he would not go into detail about any intimacies.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Dean saw Cas looking mortified. The man had told his old lover about him. Interesting.

“Zar, please, you are not helping. Dean, I just wanted to assure you that I’m not…”

“No, Cas, let the man talk. I’d like to know what you’ve told him.” Dean turned back to the older man. “Go on.”

“Well, his major concern is your…sexual orientation, being straight has its drawbacks. Oh and just a little FYI, Castiel has a little kinky side. Handcuffs and all that…not so much into the whole Fifty Shades thing though.”

“Kill me now,” Cas muttered from across the table.

“Does he snore? Any bad habits that I need to be aware of?”

“He does snore when he’s really drunk, but it’s soft, very endearing really. As far as bad habits go…hmmm, let’s see. He gets pissy when he doesn’t get his way, oh, and he’s very anal about how you put the toilet paper on the roll.”

Dean swung his head to an obviously embarrassed and…pissy Cas. “Over or under?”

“What?” Cas said with narrowed eyes. Yep, pissy.

“Toilet paper…over or under.”

“Over.” Dean nodded and turned back to Balthazar.

“Toilet paper is covered. I’m an ‘over’ kind of guy myself.”

“See that, Castiel, you are going to get along famously. Now, if you don’t mind, Dean. May I call you Dean or would you prefer Chief?”

“Dean’s fine.”

“Good, now, Castiel and I have not eaten so we are going to order some food from this fine establishment. You are welcome to stay and keep us company.”

“No, thanks. I think I’ll go home and let y’all catch up.” Balthazar stood to let Dean out of the booth. Dean looked at Cas and smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

To Balthazar, he said, “Don’t keep him out too late. He’s had a rough day and he’s got to get up at four.”

Dean got behind the wheel and grinned. Baltahzar wasn’t a bad guy. Okay, he’d lived with Cas and they’d done the deed a few times…probably a lot of times, but for him to be straight up with Dean took a big set of kahunas.

He’d wanted to kiss Cas and let him know they were good, but they were in The Roadhouse. People would freak out and before you knew it, the entire fuckin’ island would know about them. Not happening.

***
Castiel watched Dean leave before rounding on Balthazar. “I cannot believe you did that! You were supposed to be here for moral support and to help me convince him that he had nothing to be jealous about, not buddy up to him and discuss my bad habits…. God, Zar, you basically told the man I was in love with him.”

“I think I used the term ‘in knots’, but that’s neither here nor there. He believed us. That is the most important thing, isn’t it? He’s gorgeous, by the way. He’s got beautiful teeth and that smattering of freckles, no wonder you’re gone for him.”

Ellen interrupted Castiel’s thoughts of killing his former lover. “Hey, Castiel, what can I get for you boys?”

“We’ll both have the grilled chicken sandwich,” Castiel told her.

“What types of beer do you have on draft, my dear lady?” Balthazar could be smooth, Castiel gave him credit for that.

Ellen recited the long list of draft beers and Balthazar flirted outrageously with her. As she was leaving with their order, she put her hand on Castiel’s shoulder. “You should keep this one.”

Castiel didn’t have time to explain to Ellen about their friendship status, because she abruptly turned and disappeared into the kitchen.

“I take it no one knows about your ‘thing’ with Dean?”

“No. He’s the police chief. I’m not sure if he’ll ever let anyone know.” It was the first time Castiel he’d let his concerns be known. He looked down and unrolled the napkin that contained his fork and knife. He played with them a few seconds, not meeting Balthazar’s eyes.

“Castiel, are you prepared to be someone’s dirty little secret?”

Castiel finally looked up and nodded sadly, “For Dean, yes.”

Balthazar shook his head and took Castiel’s hand. “Why did you have to go and fall for a straight man, Sweetheart?”

“It’s not like I made it my mission, Zar. It just happened.”

The older man exhaled loudly and leaned back in the booth. “Just know I’ll be here to pick up the pieces.”

Castiel gave him a sad smile. “I know.”

The next morning, Castiel left Balthazar sleeping in the guest room while he ran and got ready for work. He opened the bakery and began to prepare the day’s offerings. Meg let herself in and murmured a quiet hello. She didn’t usually speak much until after she had her coffee.

She was gathering the ingredients for the raspberry coffee cakes when she turned from refrigerator. “We’re missing a dozen eggs.” Castiel didn’t meet her eyes. Meg kept up with their inventory better than he did.

“You must have miscounted.” Still not looking at her…

“No. They were out on the work table when I left yesterday. What did you do with them?”

“Oh, those eggs…I…uhm…needed them for an experimental recipe.”

“What?”

He looked up. “What?”

“What experimental recipe? What did you make?” She was looking at him as if he had brain damage and at the moment, he felt like it.

“Uhm… it really didn’t turn out well…”

“So, what was it?”

“Just a…uhm…cupcake.” God, he was tanking. “A Pina Colada cupcake.”

She tilted her head and gave him a funny look. “Castiel, we have a recipe for Pina Colada cupcakes and they’re fine. Everyone likes them.”

“Yes, well…this was just a different recipe. No worries. We’ll just use the recipe we’ve got then.”

“Whatever.” Meg sat her ingredients on the work table and began to mix them up. Her bowl sat in the same exact spot where his ass had been. He felt the heat on his face. “After I get this batch in the oven, I’ll run to the store for more eggs.”

“Yes…we’ll need more eggs.” Oh, God.

Chapter Text

Dean was pouring his first cup of coffee for the day when Linda’s 911 System crackled to life. There was an accident on the Overseas Highway. A semi and three cars involved. Possible fatalities. The Highway Patrol requested backup from Angel Keys Police and Fire Departments.

The SUV was at Bobby’s getting cleaned, so Dean called Garth to swing by and pick him up. Linda called ahead to the drawbridge operator to make sure the bridge was down and five minutes later, Garth was running hot over the metal grating of the span. The fire engine and rescue truck were right behind them.

The accident was a bad one. The semi’s driver fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line. He hit one vehicle head on, killing the driver and passenger. Two cars were following closely behind the first car and could not avoid the collision. Life Flight helicopters from Key West and Miami were en route.

Dean worked steadily for over two hours, first helping with the victims, then clearing and cataloguing the scene with the Highway Patrol officers. One of the victims, a sixteen year old girl on her way to school, suffered a spinal cord injury and Dean held her hand until the flight paramedics took her away. She hadn’t been able to feel him holding her hand.

It was close to ten by the time Garth and Dean returned to the station. They were both quiet, normal for the chief, but not for Garth, who was usually very talkative. Linda didn’t ask for any details, she had listened to the radio chatter, so she knew people had died.

The paperwork took Dean another hour and by then he was hungry and just needed to see Cas. He didn’t stop to think why he needed to see the man, because that would lead him to think of other things that he just wasn’t ready for.

He told Linda he was going to get some lunch. The bakery was busy, as usual. Meg was at the counter and lifted her brow as Dean just walked past her and went through the swinging doors. Cas was standing at one of the counters, focused on piping chocolate over a pan of éclairs. He’d turned at the sound of the door opening and smiled warmly at Dean. The smile faded.

“Dean, what’s wrong?”

“Bad morning.” Dean didn’t know how to ask for what he needed because he didn’t know what he needed. Cas did. The man sat down his piping bag and quickly wiped his hands. He pulled Dean into his arms and held him. He didn’t try to offer any words, just held him and that was exactly what Dean needed.

Dean finally felt a little better and pushed away. He gave Cas a small smile that he knew didn’t reach his eyes. “I know you have Balthazar visiting, but I’d like to see you tonight. Maybe the three of us can go to dinner or something.”

“That would be great, Dean.”

“Good…that’s good. I’ve got to get some lunch and go on patrol. I’ll call you later.”

Dean left the bakery and entered the diner. He was halfway through his conch chowder when the couple next to him started talking about the accident. He lost his appetite.

When he got back to the station, Bobby was there waiting on him. He followed Dean into his office. “You okay, Boy?”

“I’m good.” Dean sat down, elbows on his desk, head in his hands.

“I heard about the accident.”

Dean didn’t look up. “You know, Bobby, I can handle violence…bank robberies, snipers, gangs…but senseless crap…two innocent people died and a girl might never walk again…she couldn’t even feel my hand…”

“You got a big heart, Dean. I just wanted you to know I was here.”

“I know, Bobby. Thanks.”

After Bobby left, he got calls from Ellen and Lisa. Both had heard about the accident and were checking on him.

***

Castiel wonder why Garth and Benny weren’t there to pick up their usual breakfasts. This was the first morning that neither man showed. A pair of tourist came in while he was up front adding some small pecan tarts to the display case and they were telling Meg about a car accident with fatalities. Castiel was saddened by the horrific loss of life.

He was working on the éclairs when he heard the door swish open behind him. Thinking it was Meg, he turned and opened his mouth to tell her the pastries were almost ready. He was pleasantly surprised to see Dean. His face looked haggard. Castiel asked him what was wrong and Dean just said ‘Bad morning’, but his face was full of misery.

Castiel went to him and held him close. He wanted to ask a million questions, but in the short amount of time he spent with Dean, he knew Dean would talk in his own good time. Meg opened the door but Castiel shook his head and she let it shut quietly.

When Dean finally pulled away, he gave Castiel a smile, but Castiel knew it was covering sadness. Had something happened to someone close to Dean?

After Dean left with a promise to call later, Castiel called Balthazar. The man was out on the beach working on his tan. “I’m going to make dinner tonight and Dean’s coming over.” Castiel told Balthazar the events of the morning.

“And you didn’t ask him what was wrong?”

“He’ll tell me when he’s ready. I can’t intrude, Zar.”

He hung up. Meg stuck her head through the door and told him she needed help. The rest of the afternoon was a blur.

The interview with the new employee was the only highlight of the day. The young woman, Charlie Bradbury, was delightful. She was a graduate of the Culinary Arts Institute in Atlanta and worked under a pastry chef in Key West until the man retired a few weeks ago. Castiel hired her on the spot and she was starting the next day.

Several last minute orders came in and Castiel was exhausted by the time he locked up. He parked his bike against the front of the house and let himself in. Balthazar was holding out a cocktail. Castiel took it readily. He drank down half of it and his cell phone rang. Dean informed him that he would be there in thirty minutes.

Castiel showered quickly and was dressed when Dean pulled up in front of the house. Castiel let him in and when Dean saw the table set for three, he said, “I thought we’d just go grab something. You didn’t have to cook.”

“I enjoy cooking and I thought you might like a quiet evening.” Castiel smiled at Dean’s relieved look.

Balthazar came out of the kitchen and greeted Dean with a bottle of beer. Dean smiled gratefully at the older man. “Thanks.”

 

Castiel and Balthazar worked in tandem in the small kitchen. Zar often helped Castiel in the kitchen when they were together. It was Balthazar who encouraged Castiel to go to culinary school. Castiel was very aware of Dean watching him cook. The younger man still had a haunted look in his eyes, but he did laugh at some of Zar’s antics and stories about Castiel.

The meal was nothing fancy, just blackened red snapper, cheese grits and a tossed salad. The three men ate in comfortable silence. They were almost done when Castiel asked about the accident.

“I heard there was a fatal accident on the highway this morning.”

“No doubt someone got distracted by the beautiful scenery,” Balthazar shook his head sadly.

Castiel saw Dean put his fork down and push his plate away. “Dean, are you okay. You didn’t finish your meal.” Dean had proved he was a big eater so Castiel was concerned.

“I’m fine.”

Castiel wasn’t going to push it, but Zar didn’t have the patience Castiel did.

“You are not fine. Castiel noticed and I even noticed and I haven’t known you very long at all.”

“Leave it…please.” Dean stood up and stepped outside the back door. Zar turned to Castiel, “Go after him. I’ll take care of the kitchen.”

“He’ll talk when he’s…”

“Communication, Castiel.”

Castiel rolled his eyes, but followed Dean out the door.

Dean was leaning on the rail of the porch, looking out at the ocean. There were dark clouds in the distance and Castiel could smell rain in the air.

“Dean, you don’t have to talk to me if you don’t want too, but I just wanted to let you know I was here.”

He didn’t turn to look at Castiel, but Castiel saw his shoulders slump. “Two people died in that accident and a teenage girl most likely will never walk again.”

Castiel took a chance and moved behind Dean. He wrapped his arms around Dean’s waist and rested his chin on Dean’s shoulder. “You were there.”

Dean nodded. Castiel just held on, feeling the slight movement of Dean’s breathing. A few moments passed. “I held her hand, Cas. She couldn’t feel my hand.”

Castiel closed his eyes. His arms tightened and he began to hum a nonsensical tune.

“We were outside of Baghdad. Intel put a group of insurgents east of the city and our orders were to go flush them out. The insurgents were hunkered in a building surrounded by open desert. There was no way to get to them without being seen. We were like sitting ducks. I argued with my commanding officer but he wouldn’t listen. We took a lot of hits, but I managed to get my men to safety without anyone dying.” Dean’s voice was detached.

“The scar on your side?”

“Shrapnel from a land mine.”

Castiel ran his hand up under Dean’s shirt and touched the scar. “I’m sorry.”

“A young boy, maybe fifteen, ran out of a house to meet us. He was excited about the American soldiers and he…stepped…”

Castiel’s eyes filled. “Dean…”

“He was blown apart. One of my men lost a leg.” He turned to Castiel. “I’m damaged goods, Cas. Not good enough for you…”

He stopped the words with a kiss. Castiel wasn’t going to let Dean finish his thought. Dean clung to Castiel, his fingers digging in deep enough to hurt, but Castiel didn’t react to the pain. He just held onto Dean. The man was trembling, his breathing hitched with silent sobs. Castiel wasn’t sure how long they stood there clinging to each other, but he would have gladly held Dean all night.

Dean finally pushed away from Castiel. “I should go.”

“Take me home with you, Dean.”

“Cas, I can’t make promises…”

“I didn’t ask for promises.” God help him, he was falling for this man.

***

Dean stood at the kitchen door and watched the two men working in the kitchen. They moved together so easily, comfortably, like they’d cooked together a thousand times before. Knowing they had cooked together a thousand times before made the green eyed monster rear its ugly head.

He knew he was being stupid. It was hard not to like Balthazar and he’d told Dean the truth. Dean felt it in his guts. It didn’t stop him from picturing their life together. Lazy Sunday mornings in bed, passionate nights…Balthazar touching Cas, fucking Cas, kissing Cas… He had to stop thinking about it. It was over, they were just friends.

The meal was good and Dean pushed thoughts of the accident and his feelings of jealousy to the back of his mind. Balthazar told a few silly stories about Cas that made Dean laugh. Then Cas mentioned the accident and his stomach clinched. Balthazar just had to push it and Dean found himself out on Cas’ back porch alone. Only he wasn’t alone for long. Cas came up behind him, he knew it was Cas even though he didn’t turn around.

The wall Dean built around his innermost self crumbled a bit and he found himself telling Cas about the accident and worse still, about the event that almost made him lose his mind. Throughout it all, Cas held him.

He tried to warn Cas. He wasn’t good enough, but Cas kissed him and all the carefully built walls came tumbling down. He pushed away…he couldn’t let Cas be dragged down into the crazy world that was Dean Winchester.

“I didn’t ask for promises.” Those words were a lie. Cas just lied to him. Dean knew it. Knew it with all his heart. Cas deserved promises, but Dean was weak and he wanted Cas. He needed Cas.

He nodded and they walked back inside. Balthazar was in the kitchen and Cas disappeared into the room. Dean heard them whispering and when he came out, Cas’ smile was almost too bright.

“Let me grab a couple of things.” Cas moved off down the hallway. Dean stared at his shoes. Balthazar stood in the doorway and Dean looked up. There was disapproval on the older man’s face. Dean didn’t know what to say to the man. He couldn’t tell him he wouldn’t hurt Cas, because he would. He’d break the guy’s heart but he couldn’t stop this if he tried.

Before Cas came back out, Balthazar returned to the kitchen. They left without saying goodbye. The short ride was silent, each man in his own thoughts.

At Dean’s house, Lucifer danced around them until Dean let him outside. He left the back door open so the dog could return. Dean kicked off his boots by the door and Cas followed suit. He led the way to his room. Dean’s room had a large vaulted ceiling, French doors leading to the back deck and a plain but neatly made queen sized bed. The room was painted a rich cream color with pale blue accents. Dean found his room peaceful.

Castiel set his gym bag on the chair and unzipped it. He took something out of the bag and put it on Dean’s nightstand. Dean blushed when he realized what it was. This was really happening.

Dean was unsure of what to do, so he stood there staring at Cas. Cas stared back for a short while and then he started unbuttoning his shirt. Dean’s eyes were drawn to his long fingers…the smooth skin becoming visible one button at a time. He remembered Cas’ body under him at the bakery and he felt his cock lengthening. What was it about this man…

Cas dropped the shirt and his hands moved to the zipper of his jeans. Dean’s eyes never left his hands. He watched as Cas’ jeans were undone. He was fascinated as Cas’ thumbs hooked over the waistband and eased them down, taking his boxers with them. His cock was hard, proud against his flat stomach. Cas kicked off his jeans and stood before him, beautifully nude. Dean heated gaze took in the muscular legs, the narrow hips, the smooth chest.

He didn’t remember stepping closer, but he found himself within touching distance. His hands went to Cas’ dusky nipples, brushing them with the pads of his fingers. They hardened under his touch. Dean’s fingers moved lower, over Cas’ stomach, out to his hipbones, gliding just over the skin. He looked up into Cas’ eyes and cupped the man’s balls. Cas whimpered and the sound send a surge of raw desire right to Dean’s dick.

“Tell me what to do, Cas.”

“You’re doing fine on your own, Dean.” Cas’ voice was soft and low.

The corner of Dean’s mouth came up in a half smile. “Are you a…how do you usually…”

“I go either way.” Dean’s eyes widened.

“But tonight, I want to feel you inside of me.”

Cas reached up and began to undress Dean. Dean held himself in check, but every time he felt Cas’ fingers on his skin, he wanted to throw the man down on the bed and take him.

When Dean was naked, Cas took his hand and led him to the bed. He pushed Dean down to the mattress and straddled his hips. Cas’ cock and balls nestled against Dean’s and Dean felt the throb of his blood pumping through the veins of his shaft. Cas eased down until his chest was resting against Dean’s. Their mouths met and Dean closed his eyes. They kissed…it was slow and agonizing. Dean wanted more, but he wanted Cas to set the pace.

“I need to get ready,” Cas whispered between kisses.

“Sure.” Dean wasn’t sure what that meant. Dean eyes followed Cas as he sat up and reached for the nightstand. He sat the condom on the bed next to them and unsnapped the cap on the lube. Dean wasn’t stupid, he knew the mechanics of anal sex. But God, watching Cas’ face as he fingered his hole open, while rutting slowly against Dean’s cock was driving him mad. Dean couldn’t stay still. His hips rose to meet Cas’, his hands reached down to touch Cas’ cock. It felt like velvet, so smooth…the head slick with Cas’ juices. Cas was panting above him.

When Cas’ hand came down to rest on the sheets next to Dean’s shoulder, Dean held his breath. This was it. He was going to…

“Fuck me, Dean.”

Sweet Jesus. Dean reached over, feeling for the foil packet, eyes never leaving Cas’. He found it and brought it to his mouth, tearing it open with his teeth. He rolled it down his cock and Cas shifted position. Dean felt the head of his cock at Cas’ entrance and held his breath. Cas began to sink down, taking Dean into his body inch by inch.

“God, Cas!” He was so tight. It felt like a vice was squeezing his cock. Baseball, fishing…’please God, don’t let me embarrass myself by coming before I can even move’.

Cas was poised above him. Dean’s cock buried all the way inside of his body. Dean’s hands came up to hold Cas’ ass. “You feel so good inside me, Dean.” The whispered words made Dean moan. Not breaking eye contact, Cas rolled his hips and Dean gasped. Dean thrust up and it took a few tries before they developed a rhythm.

***

Castiel took control. He moved up and down, rising up until just the head of Dean’s cock was inside of him before sliding back down. He needed more, faster, harder. Up, then down again. There…Dean’s cock hit his prostate. Again. And again.

“Dean…need…please touch me.” He was right on the edge. So close. Dean’s eyes were glazed, pupils large and black. Dean looked unsure about what to do, but his hand wrapped around Castiel’s cock and Castiel covered it with his own. He squeezed, roughly stroking…it was just…right…there… Castiel cried out, pumping his cum onto Dean’s belly. Dean’s groan seemed to echo around them. He felt the throb of Dean’s cock as he emptied himself inside Castiel.

Their bodies shook with tiny aftershocks. Castiel let his body relax down on top of Dean. Chest to chest, his face buried in Dean’s neck. Time seemed to stand still. He wanted to remember this moment forever.

“Cas?”

“Hmmm?”

“I think…” The tightness in Dean’s voice caused Castiel to sit up. Was this it? Was Dean done with him now?

“Sorry,” Cas said softly. He reached around and held the edges of the condom before rolling off Dean. He stood on shaky legs and went into Dean’s bathroom to dispose of condom. He opened two cabinets before he found a washcloth. He cleaned himself before getting another one for Dean. He was wetting it under the warm water of the tap when Dean appeared beside him in the mirror. He was wearing his jeans. They weren’t buttoned, just zipped. The sticky residue of Cas’ cum was streaked across his stomach. His eyes met Castiel’s image.

“Was I…I guess…” Was he blushing? Yes, he was. Castiel looked at Dean who seemed to be struggling with the English language. “Did I…Fuck…Was I okay?”

Castiel turned from the mirror to look directly at Dean. “It was wonderful, Dean.” Dean was still looking in the mirror. “Dean, are you okay with…this? Do you want me to leave?”

“I’m…I’m good.” Dean finally met his eyes. “Yeah, I’m good.”

Castiel noted that Dean didn’t answer his question. He felt sick to his stomach. He smiled weakly and walked into the bedroom. It smelled of sex and his eyes took in the sheets wadded up at the bottom of the bed. He didn’t regret it. He added another memory of Dean to his heart.

His clothes were on a chair and he picked up his boxers. Balthazar was going to say ‘I told you so’. He warned him about going home with Dean. He told him that Dean was in a vulnerable mindset and it wasn’t smart to introduce sex at a time like that. He’d been stupid. Zar was right. Once his boxers were on, he picked up his jeans.

Dean came out of the bathroom. All traces of Castiel’s orgasm were washed away…like he’d never been there.

“What are you doing?” Dean looked confused.

“Dressing.”

“No shit. I can see that.” Castiel paused, his jeans dangling from his hands, was Dean going to ask him to stay? “You want to stay? I can drop you off in the morning?”

Castiel’s mind raced. He wanted stay. He wanted to wake in Dean’s arms. He wanted to be the first thing Dean saw when he woke. But…his brain overrode his heart. He had to get up at four. Dean had a rough day and needed his sleep. Dean needed time to come to grips with what just happened between them.

“I should get home.” Was that relief on Dean’s face?

Chapter Text

Dean dropped Cas off in front of his house. The brief kiss goodbye was confusing. Cas just gave him a peck on the lips…like they hadn’t just had sex. Was his original theory correct? Was he just another notch on Cas’ bedpost. No. No, he couldn’t believe that. His instincts were good. His instincts kept him alive on more than one occasion.

If he was honest with himself, he was relieved Cas decided he wanted to go home. He needed his space. He needed to figure out what was happening. If someone told Lieutenant Dean Winchester, USMC, that he would be kissing and having sex with another man, he would have shot them. What changed? Was it something inside of him that’s always been there, or was it just Cas? If it was just Cas, then did that mean they were…what was it that Lisa said? Soulmates. Were they soulmates?

Back at his house, he let Lucifer out once more and then went to his bedroom. The bed was a mess, sheets pushed down to the end, comforter on the floor. The room still smelled of sex. He straightened the bedding and crawled in…he drifted…wondering what it would be like to wake with Cas every morning.

The alarm was blaring and he was jolted out of a dream about Cas. Cas was naked and glorious with large black wings…his cock hard and leaking…Dean was on his knees about to go down on him and that’s when the alarm went off. He stumbled to the bathroom, his own dick hard. He jerked off in the shower, remembering the dream in vivid detail.

Dean needed to drop of his reports from the accident at the Highway Patrol offices in Key West. He timed it so he could have lunch with Sam. He left the station at eleven and sped down the Overseas Highway. The day was overcast and a light rain fell on his windshield. CCR was blaring from the radio when he crossed the final bridge bringing him onto Key West. He quickly drove down North Roosevelt to the Highway Patrol’s office and dropped off his paperwork. He shot the shit with some of the guys there for a few minutes before making his way to Sam’s office on Whitehead Street.

Sam, dressed in his usual work attire of a suit and tie, was at his desk when Dean entered. Sam’s secretary sent Dean straight back since Sam wasn’t with a client.

“Hey, Sammy. Got time for lunch today?”

“Sure. What are you doing down here?”

“Had to file some reports with the HP, so I thought I’d have lunch with my favorite brother.”

“I’m your only brother,” Sam said dryly.

“And you are my favorite.” Dean grinned and flopped down in the leather chair in front of Sam’s desk.

“What do you feel like eating?” Sam asked, standing up and putting on his suit jacket.

“Fish tacos.”

“Bad Boy?” Sam said the name of their favorite restaurant.

“Hell, yeah,” Dean said, standing up and following Sam out of the office. They walked around the block to the small Mexican restaurant and sat down after placing their order at the counter. Sam was excited about their trip to Atlanta coming up next week and he talked about what they had planned. Dean listened and played with his silverware.

“Okay, spill.” Sam said, just as the server handed them their food. Dean looked down at his fish tacos and his stomach rolled. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. “Dean, talk to me.”

“I…” Dean started but trailed off.

“Is this about Castiel? Because if it is, you have my blessing.”

Dean snorted. “Your blessing, huh?”

Sam sat his taco down and leaned on the table. “Dean, you need someone in your life that can balance you.”

“Yeah, well…not sure if everyone else will be so understanding.” Dean poked his fork into one of the tacos just to have something to do.

“Your friends and family don’t care who you fall in love with.”

“Whatever.” Dean didn’t want to talk about it anymore. His appetite came back though and he finished off his tacos in record time.

***

Balthazar was watching TV when Castiel let himself in the house. His old lover looked up and shook his head. “Why am I not surprised you’re home instead of in bed with your police chief?”

“He wanted me to spend the night. I just chose not to,” Cas said defiantly.

Balthazar raised an eyebrow. “Why?”

“Why what?” Castiel didn’t want to have this conversation. He just wanted to go to sleep.

“Why didn’t you spend the night, Castiel?”

“Lots of reasons.” Castiel ticked them off on his fingers. “I have to get up at four, it wouldn’t be fair to him. He’s had a rough day and I think he needs to be alone to cope. And he just had sex, real sex, with a man for the first time…he probably needs time to adjust.”

“Sounds reasonable. Let’s see if I got this.” Balthazar mimicked Castiel’s ticking of fingers. “Not fair to Dean. Dean needs to be alone. Dean needs time to adjust. What about Castiel? What about your needs and what’s fair to you?”

“I’m fine, Zar.”

“You always were a bad liar.”

Castiel turned and strode out of the living room. He didn’t need Balthazar to give him relationship advice. He undressed quickly, set his alarm and crawled into bed. Once the light was out, he lay in the dark second guessing himself. Maybe he should have stayed.

A few minutes later, Balthazar came into his room and crawled into bed with him. He wrapped his arms around him and kissed his forehead. “I love you, you know.”

“I know,” Castiel murmured.

“I like Dean…I just don’t want you to be hurt, Darling. You are skating on thin ice. The Castiel I know and love wouldn’t let himself be someone’s dirty little secret.”

“I think I love him, Zar.”

“I thought as much.” Balthazar pulled him close, holding him until he fell asleep.

Castiel woke before his alarm went off. He was being spooned by Balthazar and after a moment of panic, he remembered his friend was just there for him last night and nothing happened between them. He gently eased away from the other man and pulled on his running shorts.

The sky was gray and it was misting rain, but Castiel ran anyway. Dean’s house was dark when he ran by. Lucifer wasn’t even out to greet him. Home again, he took a hot shower and dressed for work. He made the usual baked goods, talked to his employees and even bullshitted with Garth and Benny, but all he really wanted was to see Dean. Did Dean regret last night? Why was this so hard? Falling for Balthazar had been so easy. They liked the same things and went from a few dates to living together seamlessly.

Balthazar sent him a text around nine and told him he was taking Castiel’s car to Key West for the day. Castiel wished him a great time.

Gabe came into the bakery for his midmorning snack. “So, good old Zar is in town. When were you going to let me in on that little tidbit of info, Little Brother of Mine?”

“He’s just here until tomorrow,” Castiel said while wrapping an éclair for his brother.

“You are not taking him back, are you?” Gabe’s face showed his displeasure. Gabe was the one Castiel ran to when he caught Balthazar cheating.

“No, Gabriel. Zar and I are just friends now.” He handed the bag to Gabe hoping he’d leave quickly.

“I hope it isn’t a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of friendship.” Gabriel took the bag and stepped towards the door.

“It’s not.” Castiel assured him and waved as his brother left the building.

Castiel managed to stay busy. Charlie, his new employee, was a quick learner and she got along great with Meg. She even introduced a program to his computer that would keep up with their inventory instead of just keeping a handwritten list stuck to the walk-in freezer with a magnet shaped like a flamingo.

Lunch came and went and Castiel kept the smile pasted to his face. He was okay. Really.

Castiel was out front talking to a few of the local businessmen and women when he saw Dean’s SUV park in front of the bakery.

***

Dean drove over the drawbridge and instead of going to the station first, he radioed Linda that he was back on the island and would be patrolling unless she needed him for anything. She didn’t. He pulled the SUV up in front of the bakery. The place was crowded and he spotted Cas right away. Not behind the counter like usual, but out with a group of local business owners.

He greeted them and joined in the conversation about the Earth Day celebration coming up in April. He felt Cas’ eyes on him. “Hey, Cas, can I drag you away for a minute. I need to ask you about something.”

Cas broke away from the group and led Dean into the kitchen. Meg and Charlie were working on a large sheet cake for Dr. Milton’s birthday. Dean stopped in surprise. “Charlie?”

“Dean?” She put down her piping bag and launched herself at the police chief. He caught her and swung her around. “Oh my God, it’s been years.”

Charlie was in a computer class of Dean’s while he was at the University of Miami. They hit it off and remained friends until graduation. Dean enlisted not long after that and they hadn’t kept in touch.

“You’re a cop? How awesome is that?”

“He’s chief of police,” Meg chimed in.

“No shit. Wow. That’s cool.”

“Yeah, well…so what brings you to Angel Key?” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Cas lean against the work table…the same table he’d been bare assed naked on. Dean’s thoughts derailed and he didn’t hear anything that Charlie said. He managed a smile and a nod.

“…and so that’s why I applied for the job.”

“Great. That’s cool,” Dean hoped there wouldn’t be a test on what Charlie said, because his mind was on sex. Not just any sex, nope…sex with Cas on that stainless steel table…maybe even on top of that cake. He liked cake…not as much as pie…but he wouldn’t mind eating some off Cas’ body….

“Dean?” Dean blinked and saw Cas, Meg and Charlie all staring at him.

“Uhm, sorry…I was thinking about…cake.”

“You wanted to talk to me?” Cas asked, gesturing towards his office.

“Yeah…yes…” Dean followed him into the office and Cas shut the door. “Look, Cas…” Damn it, what was he going to say? Actions spoke louder than words, isn’t that how the saying went? Dean stepped forward and his mouth came down on Cas’. To say the kiss was passionate would have been an understatement. Dean was all over Cas, hands roamed over his body, cupping his ass, grinding into him. His tongue invaded Cas’ mouth and curled around Cas’ tongue, mating with it, wet and sloppy. Cas moaned and pulled Dean’s lip out between his teeth, his hands unbuttoning Dean’s uniform, pulling up the t-shirt he wore under it so he could touch Dean’s warm skin. “Cas…want you…”

“Tonight…” Cas whispered, his mouth trailing kisses along Dean’s jaw, stopping to swirl his tongue in the shell of Dean’s ear. Dean dropped his head back…his ears were so sensitive… He reached down to rub his palm across Cas’ erection. Cas rutted against his hand, seeking more friction. “Dean…have to…stop…”

Dean murmured in response. He knew they needed to stop…they were in Cas’ office for crying out loud. Charlie and Meg were right outside the door. Cas unzipped his pants and then his fingers were on Dean’s cock. He growled, thrusting up into Cas’ hand.

Ringgggggggg

The two men jumped apart, panting heavily, eyes wild. Cas stared at the ringing phone, mouth agape, like he wasn’t sure what it was or why it was making that noise. Chest heaving, Dean managed to speak. “Phone.”

Cas gave him a look that said ‘duh’, in all caps. The ringing stopped and a red light appeared. “Meg got it.”

“Good…I should…just…get back…to work now,” Dean said, stepping away from Cas. The office was tight and the door knob was digging into his ass.

“Yes…” Cas nodded.

“I’ll call you,” Dean said and without thinking turned and opened the door. Two pair of eyes lit on him. He straightened, trying to look professional and nodded. “I’ll let you know about…that thing, Cas.”

Cas was giving him a wide eyed look and was shaking his head. What? What was he trying to tell Dean? Then Charlie giggled. He turned to her.

“Dean, uhm, you may want to…uhm…fix your uniform before you leave.” Horrified, Dean looked down. His shirt was unbuttoned, his t-shirt was rucked up to his chest and his zipper was still down. Christ. He brushed past Cas and slammed the office door. He leaned on the door and thunked his head against the wood. There was no avoiding it. He put himself back together and opened the door. Meg and Cas were not in the kitchen. Charlie sat on a stool twirling icing on a huge thumbtack looking thing. She looked up and smiled.

“I knew you’d find the perfect guy one day.”

“What?” Dean’s voice was shrill. “What do you mean?”

“You and Castiel…you’re perfect for each other. God, at Miami, you used to date all those stupid bitches and I would get so mad at you.”

“I thought you were jealous,” Dean muttered.

Her laugh was musical. “Jealous? Dean, you knew I played for the other team.”

He squared his shoulders defensively. “I know, but I thought…” Nope, not finishing that sentence or Charlie would cut off his balls and use them as earrings. His ego had been so big back then, he thought everyone wanted him…even Charlie.

“I…uhm…need to get to work.” He looked around, wondering where Cas was. Charlie must have read his mind.

“Cas said something about taking the hotel their order.” Coward. He threw Dean to the wolves and ran.

***

Castiel practically undressed Dean right in his office and the poor guy was too shaken up to check the state of his uniform before opening the door. He’d attempted to pull him back inside and let him fix it, but Dean was too fast for him. It had to be pretty obvious to Meg and Charlie what they’d been doing in Castiel’s office. Now, Dean was in his office with the door shut. Meg and Charlie were just grinning at him and damn her, Charlie giggled.

Meg excused herself when the bell above the door rang indicating a new customer. After she was gone, Castiel picked up the boxes for the hotel and murmured he was leaving to Charlie. She was humming the children’s song about Dean and Castiel sitting in a tree, k. i. s. s. i. n. g. when he left. Dean was on his own. He’s the one who started their little make out session.

His delivery complete, Castiel returned to the bakery. He was still getting the knowing looks from the two women, but they weren’t saying much. Thank God.

At five to six, Castiel got a text from Dean.

Text from Dean/5:55 – My place. 8. Bring toothbrush.

Castiel didn’t expect that. He knew Dean had been mortified about getting caught with his pants down, so to speak. Especially in front of Meg. Meg with the huge mouth that loved gossip. Castiel figured by tomorrow morning, the whole island would know about them. He expected Dean to stay as far away from him as possible.

Text from Dean/5:57 – You there?

Text from Castiel/5:58 – Yes. Are you sure?

Text from Dean/5:59 – Yes.

Castiel got on his bike and rode home. He was wearing a smile when he opened the door. Balthazar was taking a pizza out of the oven. He looked up. “Perfect timing.”

Over dinner, Castiel told Balthazar about Dean’s visit to the bakery. After he finished laughing, Balthazar asked, “So, your police chief is out of the closet, like it or not.”

“I guess so.”

“You know on an island this size, the truth would come out sooner or later.”

“I know, I just wished it was later for Dean’s sake.”

“You can’t protect him, Mon Amor.”

They went for a walk on the beach until the sun began to set. Back at the house, Castiel helped Balthazar pack and promised he’d be here at nine to take him to the airport.

“I’ll get the baking done and once Charlie gets in to help Meg, I’ll come get you.”

Balthazar kissed him on the lips. “Go have fun with your new boyfriend. And if you need me, call.”

Castiel quickly packed a bag and slung it into the basket of his bike. He wasn’t going to drive and risk people seeing his car at Dean’s all night. Gossip would catch up with them soon enough, no sense rushing it. He tucked it around the back of Dean’s house and knocked on the back door. Lucifer barked a greeting and jumped up on the door. Dean pulled the dog back and opened it. He’d changed out of his uniform and was wearing flannel sleep pants and a t-shirt.

“Hey.”

“Hello, Dean.” Castiel stood, bag in hand, on the porch. Dean stood just at the threshold. Dean didn’t move, he just looked into Castiel’s eyes and at that moment in time, Castiel went from thinking he loved Dean to knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved Dean. Dean licked his lips and Castiel’s breath hitched.

“Sorry…come in.” Dean backed up and let Castiel inside.

“I parked my bike around back so no one would see, but I’m afraid…”

Dean interrupted. “I don’t care, Cas.” He ran his fingers through his short hair. “I can’t even be around you without wanting to…damn it…I don’t know what I’m supposed to be feeling…is it supposed to be this hard?”

Confused, Castiel sat his bag down and stepped closer to Dean. “Is what supposed to be this hard?”

“Loving someone.”

Castiel’s knees went weak. He stepped back to lean against door, otherwise he thought he’d fall. “Dean…”

Dean held up his hand. “Don’t. You don’t have to say anything. I feel like such a fool. I know you can get anyone…”

“I don’t want just anyone, you idiot. I want you. I love you.” Castiel’s voice was loud enough that Lucifer whined and came to stand by his master.

“What did you say?” Dean looked like someone just hit him in the stomach.

“I said I love you,” Castiel said, softer this time. “I love you, Dean. I love you with all my heart and if you want to keep it a secret, then I’ll be okay with it. No one would have to know. I’m sure Meg has already told people what she saw, but we can downplay it…we can let the gossip die down and…and…”

Dean pushed his chest up against Castiel’s, pinning him to the door. He looked angry. “I will not lie. I will not hide what I feel behind closed doors.” Dean was practically snarling and then his mouth crashed down on Castiel’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Dean had gone back to the station after the ‘incident’. He’d been at his desk, trying to stay busy, trying to forget that he lived on a small island and there was nowhere to run. Meg’s big mouth was probably already working overtime.

Fuck it. Dean was entitled to be happy, wasn’t he? Like Sam said, his family and friends wouldn’t suddenly stop caring about him. The mayor might not approve of his police chief openly dating another man. Dating? Is that what this was? Or was it more?

When you thought of someone 24/7, was it love? He’d loved Lisa. But this thing with Cas was different. It was like he couldn’t get the man out of his mind.

He looked up and Garth and Linda were talking quietly. Paranoia set in. Had it already started? Did they know that Dean was…was what? Queer? Bi? Back when Garth thought he was with Cas, he’d been happy for Dean. That wouldn’t change, would it?

Dean stood and walked to the door of his office. “Garth? Linda? I’m…I’m seeing Cas.”

“I knew it. I knew you two were perfect for each other,” Garth said, grinning like an idiot.

Linda just smiled at him and gave him a nod. He smiled back and returned to his desk. He’d said it and the world hadn’t ended. He still had a entire flock of butterflies doing loops and stalls in his stomach, but he supposed that was expected.

When quitting time came around, Jody walked into the station and grinned at him. She just squeezed his arm and headed to the locker room. Meg’s big mouth.

He drove home and grabbed a beer. Lucifer played on the beach and sitting there in the late afternoon sun, Dean made his decision. Cas might not love him, but he was sure he liked him. Maybe if he worked hard enough, Cas would come to love him.

He pulled out his phone and sent a quick text to Cas. And waited. Three minutes went by and Dean sent another one. Didn’t Cas have his phone?

Finally, he responded. Dean cleaned the house, changed the sheets and showered. Then he opened his laptop and looked at a few x-rated videos. While watching two men having sex didn’t turn him on, he wasn’t repulsed either. He did his research on how to please a man…in bed. Dean had a few lovers in the past that weren’t exactly good, he didn’t want to be one of those.

Dean found a few candles Lisa had bought and placed them around the bedroom. It was time to pull out all the stops.

Unfortunately, his romantic evening didn’t go as planned. First off, Cas’ eyes distracted him and he stood staring at the man like an idiot. He almost forgot to invite him in.

Then, Cas acted like he didn’t want anyone to know he was at Dean’s house. And if that wasn’t enough, Dean said the ‘L’ word. It wasn’t an all out declaration of love, but close enough. Dean tried to backtrack, but then Cas said it. A real declaration of love. The three words that usually made Dean run. Dean heard it the first time, but he wanted Cas to say it again.

That’s when the evening went to hell. Cas started babbling about keeping things secret…and Meg…and gossip…and Dean just got pissed off. He’d come this far. He’d outed himself to his brother and to his co-workers, he wasn’t going to hide. Roughly, he pinned Cas to the door and told him he wouldn’t lie…he wouldn’t hide…

The kiss he’d longed for all evening was angry instead of loving. Dean took from Cas. He held him against the door and took. His pulse was racing. He used his tongue to force Cas’ mouth open and then Cas whimpered and all the fight and anger left Dean. He sagged against Cas. “I’m sorry.”

“Shhh. It’s okay, Dean. It’s okay.” Cas took his hand and brought it to his lips. He kissed each knuckle and looked into Dean’s eyes. “I love you.”

Cas pulled him close and his lips barely touched Dean’s. He whispered against Dean’s mouth, “I love you so much.” Then he kissed Dean, really kissed him. It started with open mouthed kisses and hands gripping his sides, but it escalated quickly into a hot battle for dominance. Cas tasted of cinnamon and toothpaste. Dean’s hands moved down Cas’ back, traveling south until they rested on his ass. He wanted him so much. Blood pounded through his veins, settling in his cock… “Cas…” Dean wanted Cas…wanted to touch and to taste every inch of him.

Cas pulled back catching Dean’s lip in his teeth. He grabbed Dean’s roaming hands, holding them steady. “Bedroom?”

Dean felt like he was coming out of a trance. He had to process the question a few times in his head before he could answer. “Yeah.” Dean led Cas through the living room, realizing how, strangely enough, they never made it past the entryway.

Dean shut the door in Lucifer’s face, causing the dog to whine for a second and then there was silence. Cas undressed Dean and pressed him back until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. He took of his own shirt and Dean swallowed as Cas slipped off his jeans. Would he ever tire of seeing Cas’ body? Not in this lifetime. He drank in the beautiful man standing before him. Dean reached for Cas, pulling him close. Cas’ cock was right there, almost at eye level. He looked up and Cas’ smiled.

Dean’s hand wrapped around Cas’ cock, holding it gingerly. He was scared. What if he couldn’t please Cas this way. Cas was so good…

His tongue lapped at the slit where a bead of precum was glistening. He’d tasted his own cum before. He kissed many women after they gave him head. He’d even tried it after masturbating before. It was bitter but not horrible. Cas’ taste was different…salty, but strangely sweet. He remembered reading somewhere that a man’s semen took on the taste of his diet. His eyes rose to Cas’ face again. Cas looked awestruck.

***
Castiel gazed down into Dean’s beautiful green eyes and knew he was lost. Dean had him, body and soul. He hadn’t expected Dean to want to do this for him. It was a lot to handle for someone who’d never done it before.

“What do I do?” Dean’s voice was hoarse.

Castiel cupped Dean’s cheek and tipped his head up. “You don’t have to do this.”

I want to…”

“The do whatever feels good to you, Dean.”

Dean licked again and Castiel began to tremble with need. Dean held the base of Castiel’s cock and took the head into his mouth. He closed his eyes and Castiel smiled at the look of concentration on Dean’s face. Dean’s tongue swirled around the head, dipping into the slit with each pass. It took everything Castiel had to stay perfectly still. Castiel ran his fingers through Dean’s hair, lightly massaging his scalp, trying to ground the man before him and himself, as well. Dean’s confidence grew and his mouth got bolder, taking Cas deeper. He gagged once, but took a few deep breaths and started again.

“Dean…”

Dean murmured and the vibration caused Cas to moan. “God, Dean…you’ve got to stop…” Castiel pulled back, his cock pulled from Dean’s mouth with a soft pop from the suction. Dean’s eyes were on Castiel’s cock, the head flushed dark purple, wet with Dean’s spit and precum. “So good, Dean…but I want to last a while longer.”

Understanding dawned in Dean’s eyes. Castiel knew he wasn’t ready to take a load yet. Maybe in time. He wanted to be next to Dean, skin to skin. He pushed Dean’s shoulders back so he was reclining, but Dean put his hands behind him to stop. “Wait, Cas.”

Dean stood up and gave Castiel a quick kiss before walking over to his dresser. Castiel looked at him quizzically. What was he doing? And was it important enough to interrupt their foreplay. Dean struck a match and lit a candle, then he lit the ones by the bed and up on the bureau. He gave Castiel a lopsided smile just before he turned off the overhead light. Castiel smiled. So, his boy was a romantic. That was good to know.

He came back to the bed and looked a bit uncertain, so Castiel took his hand and crawled onto the bed. Dean followed and they lay together…Dean’ flushed, warm skin touching his. Castiel brought his mouth down on Dean’s and Dean opened up to him like a starving man. When their kissing turned into just open mouthed pants into each other, Castiel moved down Dean’s face, enjoying the rough stubble under his lips. Dean tipped his head back, baring his neck and Castiel took full advantage of it. He kissed and nipped his way from Dean’s jaw to his collarbone.

Castiel made his way to Dean’s dusky nipples, licking them until they were erect and then taking the buds between his teeth. Dean arched up, a guttural moan escaping his swollen lips. Castiel took his time, laving both of Dean’s nipples until the man was panting under him. From the way he was writhing under him, Castiel would have bet money that no woman ever did this for Dean.

Moving lower, Castiel grazed his lips and teeth over Dean’s ribs until he got to the jagged scar. He paused over it and looked up at Dean. Dean’s eyes were hooded and dark. His lips parted to speak, but Castiel reached up and placed a finger over Dean’s mouth. “Shhhh.”

Castiel let his mouth settle over the scar, kissing the edges reverently. He heard Dean’s swift intake of breath and looked up, never taking his lips from the puckered skin. In the candlelight, Castiel saw the glistening tear sliding down the side of Dean’s face. “You are perfect, Dean.” Castiel’s words were barely a whisper but he knew Dean heard because the other man’s fingers reached down to touch Castiel’s cheek.

He kissed the scar once more before moving down to Dean’s hipbones. Castiel let his tongue lick a wet stripe over each curve of skin. Dean’s cock was lying against his stomach, hard and beautiful…leaking onto his belly, the fine black hairs from his navel to his bush wet with the thick fluid. Castiel shifted so he was between Dean’s thighs. He parted them with his hands and Dean automatically bent his knees to open for Castiel.

“Give me one of the pillows, Dean.” Castiel’s voice was rough with need. He was getting ready to rock Dean’s world and it gave him a heady rush to know he was going to be the first one. Dean blindly reached next to him and found a pillow. He handed it to Castiel with a look of confusion.

“Lift your hips.” Dean obeyed the order without question, though he still looked somewhat confused. Castiel smiled up at him before placing he pillow under Dean’s ass. And there he was, spread out before him. Castiel loved the smell of the musk that was all Dean. He licked and nipped at the tender skin between Dean’s parted thighs. He brought his hands up to rest at the juncture of thigh to torso and applied a little pressure. Dean relaxed his legs and they fell apart even more. Castiel could see Dean’s tight hole and he dipped his tongue. The first touch of his wet tongue made Dean buck and cry out. Castiel’s hands held him firm. He licked again and again until Dean was heaving against him. “CasCasCasCas,” Dean chanted almost delirious with need.

His tongue delved into the tight pucker, taking great pleasure in the inhuman noises that were coming out of Dean’s mouth. Working steadily, Castiel’s tongue opened Dean and he moved his tongue in and out, fucking into Dean’s tight hole. He needed to stop…he needed release…and he wanted it with Dean buried inside of him.

Castiel sat up on his haunches and wiped his spit from his face with the back of his hand. Dean’s eyes were glazed, the pupils blown wide. He was openly panting. “Cas…that…that was…”

“Just the beginning,” Castiel finished. “Can you reach the lube, Dean. I need to get ready for you.”

Dean leaned over and opened the nightstand. Castiel patiently waited, watching Dean feel around before his hand came out holding the white tube. He handed it to Castiel and then reached in again, this time bringing out a condom.

Castiel squeezed a generous amount onto his fingers. “Cas, wait.”

He looked up. Dean was looking into his eyes. He opened his mouth, then closed it again. Castiel tilted his head to the side and Dean spoke. The words causing Castiel’s heart to feel as though it stopped beating. “Cas, I want you…to…I want…youinsideme.”

“Dean…” Castiel caressed his thigh, tracing small circles on the skin. “you don’t have to…we can try that later…when you’re more comfortable…”

“I want it, Cas. Now.” Castiel looked into his eyes and saw Dean was nervous but determined. Castiel nodded.

“I need you to relax. Can you do that for me?” Dean nodded and closed his eyes. Castiel lowered himself to use his tongue again. It took a few minutes of Castiel’s steady licking before he felt Dean’s tight muscle relaxing. The lube was warmed by his hand and he lifted his mouth, replacing it with a finger. He rubbed at the entrance, a steady pressure, once again waiting for Dean to relax before he eased in just to the first knuckle. Dean inhaled sharply at the intrusion. “Relax…we’ll go slow.”

Castiel waited, not daring to move. Dean opened his eyes. “More.”

He pushed in to the next knuckle and then the next. Dean’s breathing was fast, but steady. Castiel began to move his finger in and out, slowly at first, but then as Dean’s body moved with the rhythm, he quickened the pace. When Dean appeared comfortable with this phase, Castiel brought the finger up and curled it…reaching for that…one… special…place.

“Jesus!” Dean’s back arched and he fisted the sheets. Castiel gave a pleased moan. He rubbed against Dean’s prostate again, smiling softly as Dean whimpered. He slid in another finger while Dean was riding the high of that simple pleasure. He spread his fingers, gently stretching the muscle. Dean’s hips were rolling involuntarily…short jerky rolls, fucking himself on Castiel’s fingers.

***

Dean never felt anything like it. It was like bottle rockets were exploding inside of his brain…but the sparks were shooting all over his body…in his belly, his balls, his dick…even down to his toes.

If it was like this with just Cas’ fingers, what would his cock feel like? “More,” Dean managed to whisper.

Cas added another finger and it felt so…so tight…so full…there was a slight discomfort, but not really pain. He’d expected pain. He was ready. “Now, Cas, fuck me now.”

Dean felt the grounding touch of Castiel’s hand on his thigh, the soft rubbing of his fingers drawing circles and he relaxed again. “Not yet, Sweetheart. I’m going to make it good for you. I promise.”

He closed his eyes, waiting for the next step. Cas was so patient. Remembering their first time, how Dean just wanted to fuck into Cas like a dog with a bitch in heat…he felt ashamed. Next time…next time, he was going to make love to Cas…cherish him…

Slowly, Cas inserted another finger. There was a slight burn this time, but in only a few seconds, he needed more. Much more. If Cas didn’t fuck him soon, he might just go insane. He’d been avoiding touching himself, wanting this to last, but a few strokes wouldn’t hurt. He was aching with need…just a stroke or two.

“That’s it, Dean. Touch yourself. You’re so beautiful. Feel how wet you are.” Cas’ words were low and raspy and fuckin’ sexy has hell. Dean’s nuts were already drawing up close to his body. He couldn’t come now. Not now. His hand fell away.

“Please, Cas.” He was begging. Dean Winchester never begged for anything…ever. Even when he was in the hospital and needed the painkillers…he never begged… “Please, God…Cas, please…”

Through half closed eyes, he watched Cas open the foil packet and roll the condom onto his cock. It was so fucking big…how was he going to… Cas removed his fingers and Dean felt empty and heaven help him, he didn’t like it.

Cas took his shaft in his hand and guided it close to Dean’s ass. He could feel it between his cheeks, could feel it at his hole. He tensed up. Cas’ steadying hand was there again…soft circles…Dean relaxed.

“Relax…deep breaths…” Cas’ voice was mesmerizing. Then he pushed in. Dean knew it was just the head…he felt it. It burned…his reflexes all told him to pull away and he tried to back away, but Cas was holding his hips now. “Shhhhh…easy…easy”

Dean shifted his focus from the pain to the feel of Cas’ thumbs resting on his hipbones. He imagined the ridges of Cas’ fingerprints pressing into his skin, marking him, branding him as Cas’ and Cas’ alone. He belonged to Cas and Cas belonged to him.

He released the breath he didn’t realize he was holding. Cas eased in another inch or two, Dean wasn’t sure, he just knew that the pain was easing and while there was still pressure and some discomfort. He breathed in deeply and let it out slowly.

“Are you still with me, Dean?”

“Yeah…yeah…more.” Cas complied and sank in deeper and deeper until his hips were flush with Dean’s. Dean felt stretched and there was still so much pressure, but no pain now. His body adjusted and he breathed through it.

Cas leaned down and ran his hands over Dean’s chest, stopping to tug on his nipples. Dean arched into the touch. It felt so good. His previous lovers hadn’t paid much attention to his nipples before, but Cas… God, Cas showed him a whole new world.

Dean rocked his hips experimentally. It felt…good. Cas was still, letting Dean fuck himself onto his cock. It was so good…so damn good. He needed more. “Now, Cas. Fuck me.”

His lover obliged. He pulled out and pushed back in, going slowly, teasingly. Dean growled. “Stop teasing me. Fuck me.”

Cas pulled out until just the head of his cock was imbedded in Dean’s body and then he thrust back in. Dean grunted but bucked his hips matching Cas’ pace. Cas fucked into him again and again. Dean’s balls ached now.

“Dean…I can’t last…so good…so tight…”

“Come for me, Cas.” Dean reached down and stroked his cock, he was slick with his own juices and Cas threw back his head, pounding into Dean and the blinding, white heat exploded in his belly. He screamed Cas’ name as he emptied his seed onto his stomach and chest. Cas fucked him harder, chasing his own orgasm…it only took seconds and Cas howled, his body frozen as he pumped his load into Dean.

They were still, muscles trembling. Cas slowly pulled out and Dean hissed. Dean closed his eyes but was aware of Cas’ movements. He heard the soft sound of the condom being removed and then Cas was beside him, his skin damp with sweat. Dean turned into him, his hand coming up to rest on Cas’ chest. He felt his heartbeat, still pounding against his ribs.

“I am so in love with you, Dean.” Cas said, his eyes closed, his hand on Dean’s back, pressing him closer.

Dean kissed him softly. “I love you more.”

“Impossible,” Cas mumbled, but there was a trace of a smile on his lips. Dean kissed it. He knew they needed to shower because his cum was cooling rapidly and it was getting uncomfortable, but for now, he was happy being beside Cas. Listening to him breath. Knowing he was his.

Chapter Text

Castiel was the first to regain the use of his limbs. He stretched and got to his feet. Dean murmured something unintelligible and turned on his side. Castiel went into Dean’s bathroom and while he waited for the water the get hot, he pulled out a couple of washcloths. He took them into the bedroom and cleaned Dean up before he cleaned himself. Dean was barely awake for it. Castiel blew out the candles and climbed back into bed after setting the alarm on his phone.

When the opening notes of Beethoven’s Fifth woke him, he didn’t know where he was at first. Then he felt the warm body next to him. Dean. The night came back to him and smiled.

“Can you shut that damn thing off?” Dean muttered before he pulled a pillow over his face.

Castiel swiped his finger over the screen, silencing the music. He needed to get up. He had a bakery to run and Balthazar was leaving today. He felt guilty for not spending as much time with his old lover as he should have. He rolled over and swung his legs off the bed. Dean didn’t stir. Castiel took a quick shower and after a look in the mirror, opted out of shaving.

“Dean, I’m heading out for the bakery,” Castiel whispered in where he thought Dean’s ear might be. It was hard to tell with the pillow covering his head. He heard a sound but wasn’t sure if Dean was telling him goodbye, to kiss his ass or to blow him.

Lucifer was waiting outside the bedroom door. He greeted Castiel with a wagging tail and a cursory sniff to his crotch. He gave the dog a rub behind the ears and let himself out of the house. He rode his bike to the bakery and began his baking. It wasn’t long before Meg and Charlie joined him to get ready for their day.

Once Castiel was sure there were enough baked goods to last the morning, he rode home. Balthazar was up and drinking coffee when he got there.

“Someone looks well and thoroughly fucked,” Balthazar said, pouring Castiel a cup of coffee and then adding just the right amount of sugar and cream into Castiel’s mug.

“I’m not discussing my sex life with you.” Castiel took the coffee and took a sip. It was perfect.

Balthazar gave him an exaggerated pout. “But Darling…what are friends for if not to dish about who they are fucking?”

Castiel shook his head. “No.”

“You are cruel, Mon Amor. I just wanted to know if handcuffs were involved.”

“No.”

“No, they weren’t involved or no, you aren’t going to give me even a hint of your night’s festivities.

“Both.” Castiel took another sip, giving Balthazar a mischievous smile. “Are you ready?”

“Yes, Darling. I have my suitcase packed.” Balthazar rinsed his cup and put it in the sink. He kissed Castiel on the cheek and slipped past him to gather his belongings.

They’d been on the road ten minutes, neither speaking, classical music playing quietly, when Castiel finally spoke. “He told me he loved me.”

“Of course, he does. What’s not to love?” The trace of sadness would not have been noticed by anyone else, but Castiel knew Balthazar almost as well as he knew himself.

“I will always love you, you know that, right?” Castiel took his eyes off the road to glance at his friend.

“I know. I’m glad you are happy, Castiel. I just…well, silly me just wishes I could turn back the clock. I would not have been so stupid.”

“We are better as friends than we ever were as lovers.” Castiel realizes that it’s true. Yes, their sex life had been wonderful, but there was always something missing.

“That hurts.”

Castiel reached over and took Balthazar’s hand. “It wasn’t meant to.”

Balthazar brought his hand up to his lips and kissed his knuckles. “I know.”

A few more miles flew by. “Just be happy, Castiel.”

“I am.”

Castiel hated to see him get on the plane and as he watched it taxi down the runway, he wiped a tear from his face. That chapter of his life was over and a new one was beginning.

***
Dean vaguely remembered waking to the jarring sound of music and Cas talking to him, but for the life of him he couldn’t remember what he’d said. He fallen back asleep and woke two hours later when his own alarm sounded. He rolled over and the movement caused him to wince. Okay, the aftereffects of his night with Cas made themselves known in a big way.

He shuffled to his bathroom and stared at himself in the mirror. Other than looking tired, he didn’t see any difference. He wasn’t sure what to expect. He’d been fucked by a man…did he expect to see a scarlet letter emblazoned on his forehead?

It wasn’t until he was in the shower, scalding water sluicing over his body that his hands began to shake. What had he done? Everyone on the island would know about him before the end of the day. He’d blabbed to his employees…Meg knew…Charlie knew…Benny knew…

For a few moments, Dean debated on whether to call in sick and stay locked up in his house all day. In two years, he’d never called in sick. He could sound convincing. He left the bathroom and stared at the bed. It hadn’t been a quick fuck with a random guy. Cas had held him…made love to him…Cas loved him, scars and all. He raised his chin, squared his shoulders and looked in his dresser mirror. The Dean Winchester staring back at him was the same man he was five years ago when he led his men out of danger. He was the same man who held up his right hand and swore to uphold the law in Angel Key. That Dean Winchester never backed down.

He dressed in his uniform, strapped on his gun belt and whistled for his dog. He was going to work and to hell with anyone who had a problem with him loving Cas.

As he drove to the station, he passed Cas’ house. The pimpmobile was gone. Cas had already left to take Balthazar to the airport.

Linda was on the phone when he walked in and she smiled at him. Garth was already out patrolling the island and Dean was caught up on his paperwork. Breakfast at the dinner sounded pretty good.

Ruby greeted him and immediately brought over a pot of coffee. She filled his cup.

“What’ll it be, Dean?”

“Two eggs, bacon and a side of pancakes.”

“Does Castiel know you’re eating here?” Ruby asked and a few of the locals sitting at the counter laughed. He suddenly felt ill.

“If I had someone who could cook like Castiel, I sure as heck wouldn’t be here,” Rufus the grocer said, laughing at the bitchface Ruby gave him.

“Honey, if I had someone that looked and cooked like Castiel, I’d never leave the house,” Hannah, Dr. Milton’s nurse exclaimed with a dreamy look in her eyes.

“You’re a lucky bastard, Dean,” Ruby commented, when she sat his plate down in front of him.

Dean looked around at the faces he’d grown up around. They weren’t making fun of him or trying to be cruel. He gave a tentative smile and his appetite was back.

He finished his breakfast and left the diner, the good natured kidding about his good luck followed him out the door.

By the time he got back to the station, he was humming an AC/DC song. He went into his office and called Cas.

“Hello, Dean.”

“Hey, Balthazar get off okay?”

“Yes. I’m about five minutes from the drawbridge.”

“Awesome. Hey, you want to have dinner at The Roadhouse tonight?” Dean was going to take Cas out on a date.

“Dean, are you sure that’s a good idea. I’m sure the rumors are already flying. We could just stay in and I’ll cook…”

“We’re going out, Cas. You and me, together.”

There was silence on the line and Dean looked down at his screen to make sure he hadn’t dropped the call.

“Cas, you there?”

“I’m here.”

“Look, I’ll see you at the bakery in a few minutes. Bye.” Dean thought they’d cleared this up last night. Yeah, so he had a mild attack of nerves this morning, but he wasn’t going to keep his relationship with Cas behind closed doors. He needed to show Cas he wasn’t ashamed.

“Linda, I’m going to the bakery. “ He gave Lucifer the hand signal to stay and the dog went back to his bed in Dean’s office.

“Now that you’re dating Castiel, you better start working off some of those calories.”

“You know, we do other things besides eat.”

“I’ll just bet you do. If Castiel was straight, I’d be riding him like a racehorse.” The older woman’s smile was lecherous.

“Jesus Christ, Linda.” Dean just about ran out of the station.

The bakery was packed as usual. Dean waited until Charlie finished with her current customer, a young mother with two toddlers, who couldn’t decide which cupcakes they wanted.

“Cas back yet?” He called out over the whining children. She looked up and pointed. Dean turned around in time to see Cas coming in the door, bell tinkling cheerfully.

It was now or never. Dean strode over to meet Cas and grabbed his hand, planting a loud, wet kiss on his lips. Cas eyes registered alarm and he looked around quickly.

***
Castiel sent up a quick prayer that there were no locals in the bakery. He couldn’t believe Dean kissed him…in public. His eyes roamed the front of the bakery and groaned. The mayor’s wife was sitting at the corner table with two of her friends, eyebrows raised, Charlie was grinning like an idiot behind the counter and there were a few others.

“Dean.” Cas hissed under his breath. Dean was still holding his hand.

“Hey, Charlie. I’m going to steal my boyfriend for a few minutes.” Dean was smiling. Dean called him his boyfriend. Dean was pulling him out the door and onto the sidewalk. He pulled him around the side of the building away from prying eyes.

“Look, Cas, I told you last night I wasn’t going to lie. I’m not hiding you away like some dirty secret. This island is my home…our home…these people are my friends and family.”

“But Dean…this is all so new for you. People can be cruel…”

“Maybe so, but I have faith in these people.” Dean looked at him, that determined gleam in his eye was Castiel’s undoing.

“So, you’re taking me on a date tonight?”

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

Later that evening, Dean pulled into his driveway and Castiel met him at the door with a kiss. Sam and Jess were walking hand in hand down their driveway and they looked over just as Dean’s mouth met his. He was worried about Dean and the possible fallout their relationship might cause the man, but Dean seemed bound and determined that everything would be okay.

Castiel allowed himself to be led across the street to The Roadhouse and since Ellen had fifty cent wings on Wednesdays, the place was packed. They found a table near the bar and Dean pulled his chair closer to Castiel’s. It took Castiel a while, but he finally relaxed. Their family and friends proved just how much Dean and Castiel were loved. There was a lot of teasing, mostly about Dean gaining weight.

The evening ended early for them, since Castiel still had to get up at the butt crack of dawn.

Epilogue

“Cas, come on…lift your end higher.” Dean was trying to get Cas’ dining room table into his…their front door. It took the entire weekend to go through both of their houses and decide what they were keeping and what they were donating.

“My end is fine, Dean. If you would just turn it a little that way.” Dean huffed in frustration. They would have been finished by now, but noooooo, Cas had to finish up a wedding cake this morning and one thing led to another and there may have been sex on the work table…again. This time, Cas was a bit neater and the cleanup hadn’t been that bad. A bag of miniature chocolate chips got squashed up under Dean’s back and those little suckers wound up everywhere.

It took them six months to work out the little kinks in their relationship. Dean was now on Cas’ schedule. While Cas ran with Lucifer every morning, Dean worked out on the rowing machine. They drank their coffee together at the bakery. In the afternoons, they both swam to the buoy and back. Cas was the one that had to get over his issue with public displays of affection. It took him a while to realize that Dean really was okay with holding his hand or kissing him hello and goodbye.

They argued like an old married couple and on one occasion, Dean called Balthazar to bitch about Cas. The older man threatened to come down and kick both their asses. They had terrific make up sex on the back porch during a thunderstorm.

Dean was the one who brought up the idea of them moving in together. They spent every night together anyway. Cas gave up his lease, since Dean owned his home. The pimpmobile finally gave up and Cas bought a Volkswagen convertible. Dean refused to ride in it because it was ‘gay’.

As October turned into November, Dean couldn’t imagine his life without Cas. He watched his lover…his boyfriend…maybe even his future husband, throwing the ball for Lucifer out on the beach.

“I bought a ring,” Dean said, eyes never leaving the scene on the beach.

“That’s…Man…that’s great, Dean. I’m happy for you.” Sam clinked his beer bottle to Dean’s.

“He loves me, Sammy.” Sometimes it was still hard for Dean to accept that someone like Cas would want him…would love him.

“He does. When are you going to ask him?”

“I don’t know…Christmas, maybe.”

***
Castiel sat on the floor with his back to the couch. It was Christmas Eve and everyone was coming to their home for Christmas dinner tomorrow. Their first tree together was a mangy looking thing but Castiel and Dean had decorated it with seashells and starfish. Dean had disappeared into their bedroom while Castiel finished wrapping Gabe’s present. Castiel looked up when Dean appeared with a pile of blankets and pillows.

“What are you doing with those?”

“Being romantic.” Dean nudged the coffee table out of the way with his foot and dropped the bedding on the floor. He spread out a few of the blankets and arranged the pillows. Then he turned off all the lights except for the twinkling blue lights on the tree.

Castiel was so in love with Dean. He never failed to surprise Castiel. He crawled over to the blankets and pulled Dean down to lay beside him. “I love you, Dean Winchester.”

“I love you too.” Dean sat up and he looked like he had something on his mind.

“Dean, is everything okay?” Castiel rose up on his elbows.

“Cas…” Dean face was pale in the dim light.

“Dean, you’re scaring me. What’s wrong?” Castiel was up on his knees now.

“Nothing’s wrong, Babe…I just…I don’t want to mess this up.” Dean glanced over at the tree, took a deep breath and pulled a small, gaily wrapped package from behind a larger present. He handed it to Castiel and Castiel’s heart caught in his throat. Was this what he thought it was? They hadn’t talked about marriage.

Castiel untied the gold ribbon and carefully opened the wrapping paper. “Jesus, just hurry.” Dean looked like he wanted to rip the box from Castiel’s hands and do it himself.

Castiel held the black velvet box with trembling fingers. His eyes met Dean’s. “Dean…”

“Open it.”

He lifted the lid and gasped. The gold band was carved with overlapping circles.

“Cas…Castiel Novak…will you…will you marry me?”

Castiel’s answer was whispered against Dean’s lips, the box clutched tightly in his fist. “Yes.”