Castiel answers his phone as he crosses the bustling intersection on the way to his office building. “Hello, Chuck? How’s my favourite writer?” He cringes as he speaks loudly into the receiver, trying to not be drowned out by the scattered noise of people and sirens. “Of course you’ve been thinking about our talk because you know I’m right. People in this country are busy, broke, and hate to read. They need someone to say, ‘Hey! Don’t watch the new episode of Dr Sexy MD tonight. Read a book! Read Chuck’s book.’ And that person is Oprah.”
Navigating his way through the crowd, briefcase and phone in hand, Castiel hopes to God today will be an easy day. He knew lots of his employees and coworkers don’t like him. Sometimes it was hard, not knowing why they didn’t but Cas never minded really. He’s never had any people to call close friends. Many times he’s been called oblivious or naïve, sometimes both and it shows in his social skills, or lack thereof more accurately. That’s why he became an editor. He loved books. The way he could just immerse himself into something that didn’t involve him or the real world… however short a time it was.
Racing towards the closing elevator, coffee’s and messenger bag in hand, Dean curses under his breath. He was going to be late and of course his boss will make a big fuckin’ deal of it. He’s never once been late in all the time he’s worked for Mr. Novak. And that’s saying something, considering throughout high school there was never a day he was on time. He didn’t give a shit. School back then didn’t matter, but this job now, did. This job was the only way he could reach his dream of becoming an editor. So if that meant putting up with Novak’s condescending shit all the damn time then so be it.
Finally reaching the elevator and being clipped by the closing door, Dean sighs in relief. “Everyone okay?”
“Okay good. Me too.” Dean replies, closing his eyes as the elevator ascends.
With the familiar ping of the lift coming to a stop, Dean is the first to walk out.
“Cutting it close.” Bela calls out, covering the receiver of the phone as she does.
“Yeah, no shit Talbot. Just one of those mornings.” Dean shudders. He hates talking to Bela. If his boss knew he was talking with the office thief then Novak would have his head on a platter. Why would anyone even want to steal office supply’s anyway? “Thank you, Captain Obvious.”
Spinning around, Dean walks straight into someone, spilling the coffee in his right hand all over himself. “Son of a…”
“Oh, uh. Sorry?”
“…Bitch!” Dean stands there, shirt drenched in coffee as the guy he collided with walks away quickly in the other direction. A few low chuckles circle around the room as Dean huffs, rolling his eyes. Great… This is just perfect.
Walking into the building, Castiel continues his conversation on the phone. He really needs to get Chuck on board for this and his patience is wearing thin. “Chuck, the truth is all A-plus novelists do publicity. Roth, McCourt, Russo and- Chuck! Can I tell you what they all have in common? A Pulitzer.” Rolling his eyes at that, Castiel heaves out a breath while waiting for the elevator. He better have his coffee. And soon.
Moving quickly through the cubicles, Dean finds himself heading towards Cole’s desk, after shedding his unsoiled suit jacket, coffee and bag by his. “Man, I need the shirt off your back. Literally.”
Looking up from his computer, Cole turns his head and snickers at Dean’s appearance. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Yankees, Boston, this Tuesday, two company seats for your shirt.” Before Cole could say no, Dean adds, “Or I could just knock that stupid grin off your face and take the damn thing.” He opens his arms and gives Cole a look as if to say ‘your choice’.
Giving a dejected sigh, Cole agrees.
Getting off the elevator to his floor, Cas only looks up for a moment to see where he’s going before looking back down at his phone. He’d finally been able to convince Chuck to go ahead with his plan while in the lift. After grinding his teeth through the last minute of conversation that is.
He’s completely unaware of what’s happening around him. People are rushing to their desks as quickly and quietly as possible, trying not to get caught ‘slacking off’ as Castiel had called it many times before. A single message from a fellow coworker saying ‘it’s here’ was all they needed to get up off their ass and start moving. It happens almost every day and Castiel is none the wiser.
Finishing up looking at his email, Castiel pockets his phone and strides into his office.
Dean is fixing his tie and straightening out his shirt as Castiel walks in. Quickly picking up the cup of coffee –his coffee – he holds it out for his boss to take.
“Morning Boss. You have a conference call in 30 minutes.”
Grabbing the cup as he walks passed Dean, Cas replies. “Yes. About the marketing of the spring books. I know.”
“Staff meeting at 9.00.” Dean continues, following Castiel to his desk.
Sitting down, Cas lets out a small contented sigh. He already needed to sit down for a minute and its only the beginning of the work day. “Did you call… What’s her name? The one with the ugly hands.”
“Yes, Ruby.” Snapping his fingers at the name, Cas rolled his chair closer to his desk, placing the coffee down.
Moving closer and grabbing the small stack of books at the end of the desk, Dean answers “Yes. I did. I told her that if she doesn’t get her manuscript in on time you won’t give her a release date.” Dean hands the books to Castiel and steps back as he flips through the top book. “Your immigration lawyer called. He said it’s imperative…”
“Cancel the call, push the meeting to tomorrow, keep the lawyer on the sheets.” Castiel hold back a small smirk as he remembers this morning’s phone call. “Oh and get a hold of PR, have them start drafting a press release. Chuck is doing Opera.” Okay, Cas may or may not have added a little sing song to his voice on the last word.
“Wow… Nicely done.”
Even though Cas almost beams at those words, he replies “If I want your praise, I will ask for it.” He knows that was a little offside okay? He knows but he’d rather seem to hate being complimented than love it. It’s easier for him that way. Always have, always will.
Putting the books aside for now, Castiel picks up his coffee when he notices something. Dean is about to walk out of the office when he hears Castiel, stopping him dead in this tracks.
“Who is… Who is Becky? And why does she want me to call her?”
Dean cringes at the mention of weird coffee shop girl Becky. It wasn’t that she was weird looking, she looked nice in fact. But the way she looks at Dean gets him feeling all kinds-a-wrong. Especially since he’s pretty sure she only wants to get close to him for his brother Sam. And now isn’t that just a little fucked up.
Turning slowly, Dean thinks it better to just tell the truth. “Well, that was originally my cup.”
“And I’m drinking your coffee why?”
“Because your coffee spilled.” God I feel like a fucking child, Dean thought.
Taking a hesitant sip, Cas raises an eyebrow and turns to face Dean. “So, you drink unsweetened cinnamon light soy lattes?”
“I do. It’s like Christmas in a cup.”
“Is that a coincidence?”
Shuffling on his feet, Dean hedges toward the door. He just wants to get out of here. “Incredibly, it is.” Huffing out a small laugh he continues “I- I mean I wouldn’t drink the same coffee that you drink just in case yours spilled.”
The look Cas gives him then, one eyebrow still raise, arms crossed while resting on the desk and tilting his head to the side ever so slightly, admittedly does things to Dean. Things he would rather not feel for his complete asshole of a boss. It takes him longer than he’d like to admit to realise the phone was ringing. Shaking his head slightly, Dean continues to talk while moving towards the phone “That uh- That would be pathetic.” Dean finishes in a small voice before answering. “Morning. Mr Novak’s office.”
Sighing in relief when he hears the person on the phone. “Hey, Benny.”
Castiel whips his head up at that and motions toward the door. Dean got the message “Actually, we’re headed to your office right now. Yeah.” Hanging up the phone, Dean looks over at Cas confused. “Why are we going to Benny’s office?”
Cas just looks over and gives a tight smile in answer. He knows Benny and his assistant were somewhat close. But Benny didn’t deliver. Therefore he has to go.
Dean, knowing what that look meant, sighed and silently prayed that Benny didn’t blow up about it. Walking out the door, Dean signals Cole that Novak’s on the move and waits for Castiel.
Walking out the door and past Dean, Cas fiddles with his blue tie. Why the fuck does he need to fix his tie?Dean wonders. He would’ve guessed it was a nervous habit but Cas doesn’t get nervous… does he? He has been doing things like that a bit more often though.
“Have you finished the manuscript I gave you?”
“I read a few pages. I wasn’t that impressed.” What? How could he not be impressed? Dean scoffs and looks up to the ceiling.
“Can I say something?”
Cas sighs and stops trying to fix his tie in frustration. “No.”
Ignoring him Dean stares as Castiel “I’ve read thousands of manuscripts, this is the only one I’ve given you.”Because it was fucking brilliant! Dean barely refrains from telling his boss where to shove it. It must be getting harder every day because Dean is pretty sure he might have actually pulled a muscle in his neck from holding back. “There’s an incredible novel in there. The kind of novel you used to publish.”
“Wrong.” Looking over at Dean, Castiel gives him a scolding look while continuing. “And I do think you order the same coffee as I do just in case you spill, which is, in fact, pathetic.” Shaking his head and turning back to face forward, Cas takes a sip.
Reaching Benny’s office Cas stops, hand on the door handle to look over his shoulder at Dean. “Remember, you’re a prop.”
“Won’t say a word.”