It was all so painless, falling in love with Dean.
There was something so mindlessly ordinary about it, like Dean was just another fixture, just another glass in his cupboard that he had begun using. He wasn’t there, and then the next day he was, and Cas couldn’t remember the hours before him. Before his hands or his mouth or his eyes, before these things slid over his body and touched him and adored him. Dean would often stop and stare at him, his eyes wide and wondering, as if he was just seeing Cas for the first time all over again, like was suddenly rediscovering him, and his face would melt into something so glad. Dean never stopped asking Cas where he had been before they met. What corner of the world he had been hiding in for so long, and Cas would always find it easier to kiss him than to say. The truth was Cas could never answer because he’d forgotten it; there was no real before Dean. Whatever time it was held no meaning anymore and his brain had discarded it.
It was the heat of summer now; Cas slept on the mattress with the sheets tangled at his feet – the April party was a distant memory. A twinkling light in a window. Every day since was as blinding and brilliant as the sun and as the heat set in, so did Dean. His skin was sticky with kisses, and the little bruises under his collar starting to become a pain to cover up. Every time he adjusted his shirts in class he felt the whisper of Dean’s hands on his sides and had to shift, glancing around. He was baffled that no one had approached him about Dean; there were times he considered himself so transparent he was certain everyone must have known about the bed he’d been in the night before, had known about the things he’d been saying, the confessions he’d made and the laughter he’d coaxed out of Dean’s mouth. Why else would anyone smile that much for no reason? Especially then.
The war loomed over all of them. It stood like a guillotine, the blade swinging on a tired rope, waiting to fall on any of them at any time. Cas had managed to keep it arm’s length with school, but the threat of Dean being drafted clouded his mind on lonely nights when Dean was on the graveyard shift. Dean was desperate to get Sam into law school, and if he wasn’t racing he was working, bartending at the icehouse off the interstate, sometimes waiting or bussing tables for extra tips if the man who owned it let him. If he wasn’t working Cas would be lucky enough to have him in his bed. Cas would sit at his cramped desk, trying to ignore the traffic outside long enough to learn about the nervous or circulatory system, the radio playing. Sometimes he’d scan the obituaries but there hadn’t been anyone he’d recognized for a long while. Boys were still dying, but at least he didn’t know them. He papered his mind with Dean instead, losing himself in waiting for him to show up next, for his phone to ring and for it to be Dean on the other end.
Often he felt cruel for being in school – for being able to avoid conscription – but Dean’s face was fiercly proud when he told him about his tests or papers, and he always managed to be flexible around exams and deadlines. He put Cas first.
Nobody had ever done that for him before.
“You’re smart,” he’d say. “You’re so smart, Cas. It’s better you’re here. You’re gonna learn how to save people’s lives, you know? Same way Sammy is gonna learn how to defend them. I’d die if they took you over there and fucked you up.”
For all Cas loved him, the reality was difficult to manage. They met during the day if they could help it to not attract suspicion, and if Cas could he’d take the bus to Dean’s apartment and stay the night. Dean lived on the top floor of his building, and no one gave a shit about what happened on the top floor, or so he said. Cas had a growing suspicion he paid off his landlord to not ask questions. Cas didn’t want to think about it the same way he didn’t want to think of what would happen if they were caught. He just tried to believe Dean when he said they’d do it their way and fuck the rest. Cas had never been braver. He dared his brothers to show up and say something about it, dared to see what they would say about Dean.
He’d tear them a new one this time.
But all these things, at the moment, didn’t matter. It was August, and, for the first summer of his life, he was in love.
He twitched in his sleep, shifting so his arm wasn’t caught under his chest, his feet stirring the nest of blankets at the foot of the bed. A siren wailed, muffling the careful clanks on the fire escape and he stirred slightly. There was a slight groan of the window casement as someone slid it up and Cas moved again, sighing.
“Dean,” he rumbled, his voice thick with sleep, and there was the snap of Dean pushing the window back down, walking across the room, stopping halfway to slip his boots off and kick them under Cas’ nightstand. Cas groaned, the mattress moaning with him when Dean sat down on the edge of the bed, rubbing his shoulder.
“You awake?” he whispered, and Cas shook his head.
“No, I’m asleep,” he breathed, turning towards Dean’s touch, rubbing his face with one sleepy hand and cracking his eyes. Dean smiled at him through the dark, stroking his damp forehead as the electric fan oscillated, ruffling his humidity-limp hair.
“You look awake to me…” Dean continued, and his voice was low and calm, but Cas could hear the excitement simmering underneath. He was in one of those moods, it seemed.
“Someone is going to hear you one of these days. Or think you’re trying,” he paused, kissing Dean back, “to burgle me.”
Dean smiled against his mouth and pulled away, the mattress squeaking as he stood and clumsily stripped his clothes, lowering himself back onto the bed, crouched over Cas, holding him in with his legs on either side of his hips. He ran his hands appreciatively over Cas’ stomach, snapping the elastic on his underwear with a small pop.
Cas laughed, trying to roll his face away, but his hands were already wandering over Dean’s shoulders as Dean leaned in, trying to kiss him.
“What time is it?” he asked as Dean brushed his mouth over Cas’ neck.
“Three,” Dean answered, and Cas shook his head, trying to move Dean away with his shoulder.
“Dean, stop, I wanna sleep,” he whined, giving up so quickly he wondered why he even attempted.
“It’s Thursday- you don’t have class on Fridays,” Dean whispered, sealing their mouths together again. Cas kissed him back lazily, still waking up, his fingers skimming over Dean’s back.
“Did you miss me?” Cas continued, and Dean kissed his chin, looking into his sleepy eyes.
“Is the day long?” came the reply and Cas smiled, framing Dean’s face with his hands, combing upwards through his hair and watching it fall back into place. Dean ducked his head, and Cas opened his mouth, tongue slicking against the wet heat of Dean’s. Dean pulled back and Cas followed, his head lifting off the pillow, but Dean was too quick and had begun to work his way down Cas’ neck, towards his bare chest.
“God, I missed you,” Dean said against the hollow of his throat and Cas ‘mm’ed in agreement, fingers still tangled in Dean’s hair and sliding to the nape of his neck. “All shift I couldn’t stop thinkin’ about getting back here. Fuckin’ going crazy all week…”
Dean’s hand slithered under his waistband and curled around his dick, squeezing it gently, and Cas’ eyes fluttered shut.
“Dean,” Cas mumbled and Dean nipped at the place where his neck met his shoulder before soothing it with his tongue. Had it only been a week? It’d felt like months. He’d only gotten a few hushed ‘I love you’s into the payphone receivers at the bar;the rest of the time, Dean had been training for the tournament coming up in two weeks and Cas had been cramming for his summer midterms.
“Crazy, Cas,” he repeated, and Cas nodded, lost in the heat and the loose stroke of Dean’s hand. He could feel Dean outlined against his thigh, starting to get hot and hard, and he let his hand drift across Dean’s chest and over his abdomen, mirroring his actions. Dean hissed as Cas touched his cock, the back of his hand stretching the front of Dean’s boxers. Cas smiled, tugging the clothes down and away, Dean shifting to help him, and then Cas lifted himself up so Dean could pull his own off.
Dean settled onto him, rolling his hips, rutting against Cas’ skin, their dicks dragging together in a slow motion that made Cas’ fingers curl into his pillowcase. He moved sleepily with Dean, meeting the slow fuck of his hand when Dean’s fingers closed around both of them, stroking almost lazily while they rocked together.
Dean smoothed his hand over Cas’ chest, and Cas found his own hand covering it, their fingers tangling, and Cas felt the way Dean slightly shifted his weight into Cas’ palm, his other slicking precome over them, making every cant of Dean’s hips a smooth stroke against Cas’ cock.
The bed creaked and Cas whimpered, his body feeling tight and warm. The thought of coming with Dean made him sigh and gasp.
“Kiss me…” he mouthed and Dean bent, obliging him.
Cas rolled his hips forward, fucking himself into Dean's hand and against him, gasping again. Dean took the moment to pull away, mouthing along Cas' jawline with just a hint of teeth, and Cas wrapped his fingers around the nape of Dean's neck, fingers curling in the fine hairs there.
"Dean," he whined, and Dean hushed him, brushing his lips over his cheek as he rocked his hips down against him.
"Shh, it's okay, baby. I got you."
Cas nodded, fingers slipping through Dean's hair as they rocked against each other, Dean dragging his hand over them slowly, agonizingly slow, and it was almost unbearable. Cas tugged at Dean's hair, and Dean pulled back, fingers squeezing around their dicks, causing Cas to gasp.
"Gonna make it good," Dean kissed the corner of Cas' mouth, and Cas' hips jerked forward. "So good," he smiled, panting softly against Cas' skin.
Dean loosened his grip on them, stroking in a slow, steady rhythm ] against each other. Cas whimpered, his body felt as tight as a coil, and he moved his hand to grip at Dean's shoulder, fingers pressing into muscle. Cas turned his head away as Dean nosed behind his ear before pulling back, only to continue along his jaw and.
"Look at me, wanna see you" - and Cas turned his face to look at Dean, his cheeks flushed and body hot, and Dean pressed his hips down, fingers squeezing gently; then Cas was coming, mouth falling open in a gasp. He squeezed his eyes shut, back arching off of the bed, nails biting into Dean's shoulder, and Dean stroked him through his orgasm, hushing him and kissing along his neck.
Moments later, Dean was coming, pressing his face into the crook of Cas' neck with a grunt, hips stilling. His breath was hot against Cas' neck, but Cas didn't have the energy to complain; instead, he wound his arm around Dean's shoulders and pressed his face into his hair.
"I love you."
He could feel Dean smile against his neck, lips grazing over his skin, and a breath of laughter as Dean nuzzled the side of his neck.
"I love you too," he mumbled softly, rolling off Cas to lay beside him.
They were sticky, the come on their stomachs quickly drying, the heat and the sweat on their skin uncomfortable, but Cas didn't want to move. Instead, he rolled onto his side, dragging his lips over Dean's shoulder. Dean hummed softly, and Cas watched as he closed his eyes, hand drifting to card fingers through his hair.
"Can we stay here forever?"
"Forever's a long time, Dean."
Dean shifted, turned slightly, and looked down at Cas; palm cupping his cheek, thumb swiping over his bottom lip.
"-And it's the middle of summer and it’s hot and sticky, and gross."
"Cas, you're thinking about this too much."
Cas rolled his eyes and pressed closer to Dean.
"It's a long time."
"Well, yeah, but…" Dean faltered, and there was a moment of silence between them, Dean's hand moving to card through Cas' hair again. "I just wanna stay here, with you, forever.”
"Not here. Somewhere nicer since this place is a dump."
Dean smiled and Cas laughed softly.
"Your place, maybe. It's definitely nicer."
"Or our own place. A house."
Cas stared up at Dean, and Dean moved again, leaned forward, and pressed his lips to Cas' forehead. He shifted onto his side, curling an arm around his shoulders to pull him against his chest.
"One with a yard, a nice yard, and a fence."
Cas wrapped an arm around Dean's waist, tucking his head beneath his chin. He smiled and laughed softly, just the thought alone making him giddy. He was in love with Dean Winchester, and here they were, in bed together, talking about getting a house together; talking about their future.
"Can we get a dog?"
Dean sighed softly, arm tightening around Cas.
" No dogs.”
“Cause’ I said so.”
Cas didn’t know at what point he drifted back to sleep, but the next time he opened his eyes Dean was at the edge of the bed, putting his boots on. Cas blinked blearily at him and put his hand out to touch his back, Dean leaning back to kiss him quickly.
“Go back to sleep,” he whispered, the sun just beginning to creep in through the window. Cas groaned tiredly and Dean chuckled, kissing his bare shoulder when he rolled towards him, hand still playing absently with the edge of Dean’s shirt.
“Have a good day,” Cas mumbled and Dean tucked another kiss into his hairline. He stamped his boot lightly, situating his heel in it.
“I’ll come back on Saturday,” he hushed and Cas nodded against his pillow, exhaling.
“Train hard,” Cas said softly and Dean stroked his hair and the side of his face, watching him fall back asleep.
“I love you,” he murmured, and Cas nodded again, already floating back into a dream.
“You too,” he yawned, turning his face into the mattress, pulling the sheets and blankets up around him.
It was around five o’clock that it happened, when Cas was forced to remember that Dean’s love didn’t really make him invincible. The world beyond Cas’ bed was treacherous and scared of them;the most Cas could have done was anticipate it, but he was blinded by adoration.
Cas was surprised to see Hester when she knocked on the door, her blond hair held back by a stiff white band, her shoes bright and glossy black, her white hands gripping her pocket book like it would be stolen. She smiled nervously at him and Castiel had to suppress his initial questions.
What are you doing here, mainly. He hadn’t really ever had Hester over. It never seemed right making her come to his apartment when she was so hopelessly under the impression they could be something.
“Hester?” he smiled, opening the door wider and letting her in. Her heels made a dull sound on the floor. Cas saw her look around, worrying her lip with her teeth, eyes flickering over the second hand furniture and sparse kitchen counters. Cas clicked the latch on the door and turned to her, catching her attention.
“Can I get you anything?” he insisted, watching her with concern.
She laughed forcedly, a hand coming up to cover her mouth like she was embarrassed. She shook her head, her face retaining a grave quality. Cas’ stomach clenched in uncertainty. He took a step closer and she stiffened.
“Hester, what are you doing here?” he tried to smile, but she wouldn’t meet his eyes for long; her gaze kept darting around, or to the floor.
“Must be cramped,” she said softly, after a moment, and Cas stared at her. “What with Dean here.”
“Dean?” Cas replied, too quickly, his voice breathy, the word flat and shapeless. Not like she had said it. She’d said it like it was something awful dead under a sink, like she’d stained her dress just by saying it. Hester’s face hardened into something painful and frightened. Her eyes glowed as two accusing stars on her milky, painted skin.
“You can’t lie about it, you know!” she cried, face flushing with emotion, and Cas was astounded at how beautiful she looked with passion staining her cheeks red. It was all he had the sense to think as she clutched her pocket book and drew her shoulders up, the same way cats seem to bristle when vexed. Cas didn’t know what to say in a way of response. What was there to say?
“Hester, what have you done?” He found the words tumbling out of him, found his fists balling at his sides, his whole body puffed up in a sudden flood of fear. “Tell me!” he demanded, voice not rising beyond a sharp hiss. She recoiled, like he had struck her, wobbling on her thin heel.
“The right thing!” she sobbed, the tears pouring out without any kind of warning, and Cas didn’t shake. He didn’t tremble. He faced her, mind blank, and her mascara ran as she teetered, covering her mouth again. “I saw you!” her voice slithered against him, dangerous and low.The word tilted on its axis, Cas’ mouth unbearably dry.
He met her furious eyes and she took a rattling breath.
“You and him. What you were doing with him, touching him…” she trailed off, “as if no one could have seen you, as if no one would be watching, but -!” She cut her words purposefully, lips pressed in a shivering line, “I was always watching you, and I saw what you were doing, and it’s wrong…”
Cas shook his head, “Hester,” he began, voice shockingly gentle for the rage he felt.
Where? Where had she seen them? In the back of the thrift stores? Behind the racks? In the shadows of buildings at parties, their touching desperate and heavy and drunk? Where? Where had she seen them? He couldn’t think of a place, but would it really be so difficult? How often did he find his hand wandering towards Dean’s, how many times had he kissed him without even realizing he’d done it?
“No!” she cried, jolting his thoughts, “No! You listen to me! He’s sin, Castiel! He’s sin! I told you he was sin! But it’s alright, because I’m going to save you, I’m going to get you away from him!”
He didn’t exactly understand what she was doing until she grabbed his hands, her purse falling to the floor, the lipstick rolling across and bumping into the leg of his kitchen table. He stared at it, the little black cylinder clicking against the wood.
“I’ve saved you, I’ve freed you, don’t you see? You’ll leave him now – you’ll have to leave him, and it’ll be alright,” she babbled, and Cas shook his head, eyes frozen to her lipstick.
“No,” he persisted, “no!” and he shoved her off. She fell, knees hittingithe floor, skirt rucked up around her thighs. She screamed at him and he stumbled back, a pot clanging to the floor where his hand knocked blindingly into the counter. He didn’t know what she had said. It had sounded like the shriek of a blue jay as it knocks eggs from another bird’s nest. Bitter and venomous and jealous.
“It’s already done!” she shouted at him, and Cas shook his head.
“What did you do? What did you do?”
Hester smiled at him, triumphant and picked up her purse. She stood, leaning into the couch, straightening her frock, adjusting herself before she unclasped the top of her purse and withdrew a pale pink slip.
Cas couldn’t place it, but he was all too familiar with the sickening feeling it gave him. The knife of her betrayal twisted further into his back. He began to panic, his heart jumping and slamming against his ribcage with every step she took towards him. Her face spoke of forgiveness for his violence, but he wasn’t sorry. He took the paper and unfolded it, staring down at the black print.
“I told your landlord the truth. I know you might be angry now but, Cas, this is for the better. This way you can get back on the right path.You can let go of this. You’re young. You still have time,” she said soothingly, stroking the back of his hand. “I’m only trying to help you, don’t you understand?”
She shook her head pityingly.
“Cas, the world is cruel to homosexuals, and it’s to teach them. There is something wrong with it, and it’s sick, but you know, darling, I think you can get past it. I really do, I really truly do, and I think people do it all the time.” She traced her fingers over his skin. He stared at the page. “I don’t like to use the language, but, darling-” She kept calling him that. He wanted to hit her.
“Darling, your landlord was so appalled, you should have heard going on and on about how they couldn’t rent to cocksuckers. Having faggots in your building is unsanitary, too. Sounds so crass just to evict someone, but think if he had found out himself? Wouldn’t that have been just terrible?”
She whispered the word cocksucker like it offended her; of all the horrible, low, things she had done, that was the one that offended her. Of all the pain she had just caused, the walls she had just brought down around him, that was the one that made her delicate, snowy, little soul uncomfortable.
“Just terrible,” she chanted. “It would have been just awful, but now you don’t have to tell. You can just move on.”
“You bitch,” he said simply. “Have you lost your mind?” He lifted his eyes to her and she let her hand grip his tightly. He couldn’t twist out of her grip and her face shone with divine resolution, with purpose, with saving him. This wasn’t going to happen. He wasn’t going to let this happen again.
“I’m doing what should be done,” she replied, her voice syrupy.
“You think you’ve done enough,” he continued. “You’ve done enough, but you’ll never finish it. You’ll never make me stop loving him.”
She shook her head.
“I’ll never stop loving him. I picked him over you. I picked him over you and your stupid, stuck-up, ridiculous friends. I chose him and you’ve tried to get back at me, but you haven’t at all, because you won’t make me stop. Throw me on the street, and I’ll still let him fuck me.”
“Stop!” she yelled, slapping him. “How can you say that?! How can you say that! You shameless, lost, child!”
He laughed at her, clutching his face. “Get the fuck out of my apartment.”
“It’s not going to be yours for much longer,” she beat back. “You have two days to get out and don’t think I won’t tell everyone. They’ll shut their doors on you. They’ll tell the papers about your precious faggot, and then you’ll see – you’ll see the doors shut for him, and you’ll come crawling back to me.”
Cas grabbed her and she yelped, squirming. He held her to him, teeth bared, transformed into something dangerous and fierce.
“If you tell anyone – anyone – about Dean, I will kill you.”
She stared into his eyes and muffled a scream, her body convulsing under his grip. He shook her; if he had claws, he would have killed her then.
“See if I don’t, Hester. See if I don’t make you pay for hurting him. See if I let you walk away if you touch him. It will be the last thing I do if you track one step of mud on his name.”
She wrenched herself free, panting, her staggering legs almost giving out.
“You have two days to move out,” she gasped, attempting to compose herself“a-and when you come to your senses…when you figure it all out-” She was crying again. “You’ll thank me! You’ll thank me for rescuing you from that sinful man! You will and I’ll forgive you!”
“Get out!” Cas roared, and she slammed the door behind her.
Cas cried out, clutching his head, the paper balling against his skull in his hand. He slid down, beside the fallen pot, and when he lifted his head, sobbing brokenly into his knees, he saw she had not picked up her lipstick. He stood, wiping his face, and went to it, grabbing it and holding it in his hand. She was supposed to have been his friend. They had been friends, hadn’t they? Good friends – and maybe she still thought that they were, because of how desperate she seemed to educate him, but that was clearly over. He thought of his threats – she could easily report him, but he knew that wasn’t in her nature. He threw the tube of lipstick into the bin and put his face in his hands.
“Jesus Christ,” he whispered to no one, and when he closed his eyes he didn’t see Hester’s face, but his sister’s.
He began crying all over again.
Two days. He had two days to pack up all of his belongings and to find somewhere else to live. He didn't think it was enough time, but he could make it happen, right? He rubbed at his eyes with the backs of his hands, leaning back and peering around the room. The furniture was old, but was still useful, so maybe he could sell it to get a new place.
He felt sore sick, so he wandered into his bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed, the pink slip of paper still wadded in his hand.
He forced himself up after a while, tossing the balled up piece of paper onto his nightstand as he moved over to his closet, rifling through the bottom of it to pull out the suitcase that had been there since he moved into the apartment.
There weren't a lot of clothes to put into it - paying for school meant that he didn't have a lot of money to spend on clothes - so that was the easiest part of packing everything up. He pulled out a pair of jeans and a few shirts before clicking the latches on the case, pushing it against the door of his closet and heading to the bathroom.
The hot water against his skin was a relief, but it wasn't enough to wash away his worries. He still didn't know where he was going to stay; he didn't know many people, and his family wouldn't speak to him anymore, and he didn't want to ask Dean if he could move in with him. Well, he wanted to move in with Dean- he wanted that more than anything right now- but what if Dean wasn't ready for that?
He pressed his forehead against the cold tile of the shower wall, the hot water beating down on his back. He didn't know that he had started crying again until he couldn't catch his breath. Without any warning he cut the shower off and stumbled out, throwing clothes on. He pulled the phone onto his lap and sat on the bed, trying to remember the number for the bar, dialing it with shaking hands. He wiped the wet hair off of his forehead, listening to it ring.
Cas couldn’t make his mouth work.
“Hello? Listen – if it’s you punks calling again…”
“Dean,” Cas whispered, cupping his hand around the receiver. “D-dean, it’s me…”
There was a rest and he heard the muffled sound of Dean adjusting the phone against his ear.
“Is anything wrong?” Dean’s voice was even and soft. Professional.
Cas shut his eyes and shook his head.
“Is anything wrong?” Dean repeated, stressing the word, and Cas swallowed.
“Can you come get me?” he gripped the phone tightly, bent over his own lap. “Come get me, let’s go somewhere. Let’s leave. Let’s leave right now.”
“Baby, what’s the matter?” Dean whispered. “I’m working. What are you talking about?”
“Leave work,” Cas’ voice was trembling. “Leave. Let’s just go, Dean. Let’s go get a house in the country. We’ll go there. No one will bother us there.”
“I can’t – what has gotten into you? I can’t talk right now, I have to work, are you ok? Are you hurt?”
“Dean, please!” Cas cried. “Forget work, forget all of it, let’s just go away. Let’s go far away, alright?” He bit his thumb to keep himself from sobbing. “We’re just going to get hurt here. I figured it out. We’re just going to get hurt here; there’s nothing for us here.”
“What the hell happened?” Dean barked, and Cas shook his head,his face feeling swollen and hot.
“My landlord knows about us.”
Dean was silent.
Cas didn’t want to say. He didn’t want Dean to go after Hester or yell at her. Enough had been done. There wasn’t any point.
“I don’t know,” he lied. “I don’t know. He just knows about us.”
“Well, fuck your landlord,” Dean hissed. “What the fuck does he want to do about it? Call the cops? He can fucking talk to me about it if it’s going to be a problem – Chris, give me two fucking seconds, alright? My kid brother got his finger smashed in a door and he’s at the emergency room. Go take care of somebody, Jesus Christ, this kid is useless...”
Cas shook his head again and looked at the ceiling.
“He evicted me.”
Cas swallowed and took a deep breath.
“He evicted me. He…he gave me the slip this afternoon. He said he can’t rent to cocksuckers.”
“Are you fucking kidding me? That piece of shit evicted you?” Dean’s voice could have corroded metal and Cas was suddenly aware of his shirt sticking to him and how wet his hair still was; the heat coming in through the window was heavy and damp too. He felt like he had a fever. “I’ll go down there and change his mind,” Dean growled.
“That won’t help and you know it,” Cas snapped before his shoulders gave in under the weight and slumped. “I’ll just have to find somewhere else.”
“You’re gonna move in with me,” Dean said so fast Cas thought he’d imagined it.
“Dean, I’m not asking for that.”
“Well fuck you, and fuck your landlord, because you’re moving in with me. I have to get back or Chris is going to cry about it…kid wouldn’t know how to mix a drink if it bit him in the ass. I’ll call you after.”
The line went dead and Cas eased the phone down from his ear. He would have smiled; it was so typically Dean. All immediate action and no time for thinking about things – thinking things through. He could tell Dean was angry, and he knew it wasn’t at him, but he felt terrible. This was not how things were supposed to go. They were supposed to ease into this part, to do it right. Make sure it was going to work out.
Hester had jammed things with her selfishness, but Cas thought back on his own words and knew she hadn’t really won. She hadn’t really accomplished anything. He loved Dean. Nothing was ever going to change that. Maybe this was the right thing; maybe this was how it was supposed to go. The universe forcing Cas in the right direction – he could be so doubtful and indecisive sometimes.
Cas hung the phone up and set it on the floor beside his bed.. He ran a hand through his hair, droplets of water falling onto his face. He wiped them away, watching as a few chased each other down his hand before disappearing.
He fell back and pulled the covers over himself, burying his face into the pillow;his shoulders shook and he wanted to scream, but he wouldn't. He cried about his brothers and about Rachel. He hadn’t spoken to her for almost two years – Michael had made it so painfully clear he wasn’t allowed to. He hadn’t even gotten to say goodbye to her properly. They’d sent her to Oregon to be with their aunt for the summer and she wasn’t home when Cas had moved for school. He hadn’t dared to call or send a letter. That last hellish year of high school and the summer leading up to college had taken his childhood. His family had been determined to make a stranger out of him.
He still had the scar hidden above his hairline where Michael had lost his temper.. Gabriel had patched him up himself, refusing to take him to the hospital, even when Rachel screamed and begged him to, blood getting all over the white upholstery of their living room couch.
He needs stitches! He needs stitches, Gabe get your hands off of him, get daddy! Get daddy to help him, Jesus, he’s bleeding everywhere, can’t you see?!
Their housekeeper had dragged her from the room when she’d started trying to shove Gabriel aside. They’d heard the maid making her step over the broken vase and the books scattered onto the floor where Cas had slammed into the shelving and then her screaming and sobbing up the stairs. It’d barely covered the argument happening behind the study doors: the roar of Michael and harsh bark of their father.
Gabriel’s silence was deafening. He always was silent – maybe that’s where Cas had learned it from. But that night, Cas was “disturbed’ and disrupted dinner.
Quit looking at the fucking book! Put that down! You’re getting blood all over the rug!
He could still hear Gabriel’s voice as he yanked a book from the ruined shelf out of his hands and threw it to the floor, pushing Cas to the couch and forcing him to hold a rag to his head.
His father had nearly thrown Michael out of the house that night. They were people, not animals. Michael’s retort had been that Cas let other men fuck him like one so he should be treated as such. He was unnatural. An abomination. No better than the dogs that rutted each other in the empty lot behind the drug store.
His father had told him quietly and with a great deal of civility that he’d gotten him a place at the university that night as he held his head and stared vaguely at the carpet.
It would be better for all of us if you left. Rachel can’t grow up around that sort of thing.
That sort of thing. Like being gay was a hobby.
When he’d first come to school he was a sleepwalker. He felt every day he should confess his sins and go back. Beg for forgiveness. Then he’d started living on his own, and walking on his own. He’d found the apartment in an ad and had been the owner the next day. He’d signed his name on the lease and gotten a job in the library to pay the electric bill. No one knew what he was. No one asked. No one made him feel small. His neighbors were unobtrusive and polite despite the dilapidated building. They smiled at him. They chatted with him in the hall while they waited for the elevator. He’d bought things. Records. A lamp. His alarm clock. The bed and kitchen table were his brothers, the whine of his radiator the off-key singing of Rachel in the afternoons when it was too hot to socialize and she stayed upstairs curling and teasing her hair. He held his new forks and saw Gabe’s model planes; the potted plant on the window sill was as revered as Mike’s signed baseballs. He bought slippers and sometimes if he came in late they looked like his dad’s. The things he’d loved and cherished became his again.
His things. Things that Michael couldn’t hold over his head or take away.
It was the first thing that had ever truly been his own, and now it was going to be gone. Someone else was going to take it from him.
Exhausted, he let himself fall asleep alone in bed with the lingering hope that it was all a dream. He would wake up and the nightmare would be over.
The shrill ring of the phone was too loud to ignore, and Cas started awake, untangling himself from the covers to reach over the side of the bed, picking up the receiver and holding it up to his ear.
"Hello?" His voice was thick with sleep, and he rubbed at his eyes with the back of his hand.
"Hey, Cas. I said I'd call back." There was a smile in Dean’s voice, and Cas pulled the phone onto the bed and rested it on his chest.
"I just wanted to tell you that I'm heading over to your place when I get off."
"Dean, I don't think that's a good idea."
"Because what if he sees you?"
"Who?" Dean sounded angry now, and Cas wanted to reach into the phone and soothe him. He wanted to hold him and kiss him and tell him not to be angry because this wasn’t Dean's fault, he doesn't need to be angry. "Your landlord? I don't care if he fucking sees us."
Cas sighed, listening to the crackle as Dean moved around and the dull murmur of people talking in the background.
"Cas, I'm serious about you moving in with me."
"Can we talk about this later? Please?"
There was a stretch of silence between them before Dean sighed, exasperated.
“You’re being stubborn about this; it’s bullshit,” Dean continued, and Cas put the phone on the bed, rolling onto his side, fingers of his free hand splaying over the sheets, smoothing it down.
“What if this happens again, Dean? We’ll both be out of luck.”
“Everyone else in this goddamn world gets to live with the person they love, I don’t know why we can’t,” Dean said harshly, and Cas rolled his eyes.
“This isn’t a competition, Dean! This isn’t something we can win just by practicing! We have to think about this! We’ve rushed into everything else and it’s catching up with us…”
“What the hell does that mean?” Dean said softly, and Cas caught himself, face flushing.
“You know I don’t mean it like that,” he whispered. “You know I don’t so don’t make it out like I’m regretting it. It’s just facts. We rushed into this. We really did, Dean, and now we have to accommodate; the rest of the world isn’t about to keep rushing with us.”
“It’s not going to be a problem. I live on the top floor and no one will hear us,” Cas blushed at Dean’s implications, but didn’t say anything as he continued, “ I’ll pay off my landlord if he starts anything; I’ll just do that.”
“Dean, all I’m saying is we should be careful.”
“We’re being careful. If you live with me we can keep an eye on each other. I know what they do to people like us. This way I’ll know where you are. You’ll know where I am. Think about how nice it’ll be to come home and find you in my bed? Huh?” Dean’s voice was suspiciously low and Cas squirmed.
“Don’t talk like that,” he hushed. “Dean, not right now.”
“My place is bigger. The heating works. The hot water stays on for longer than two seconds, the electricity doesn’t go out as soon as it gets windy. My bed is bigger.”
“Dean,” Cas groaned, shaking his head. “You’re not hearing me.”
“I’m ignoring you. You’re going to talk yourself out of it, so I have to talk you in. I was going to ask you soon anyway. I hated you living in that closet.”
“Yes, but it was my closet, Dean.”
Dean was quiet for a second and then huffed.
“You better be up when I come over.”
“I slept all afternoon, so I will,” Cas answered with an empty sigh.
"I'll see you in about half an hour."
The line went dead and Cas hung the phone up, setting it back onto the floor..
He hummed to himself, fingers pressing into the pillow as he pulled his legs up to his chest, reveling in the silence of the room. He tried to ignore what had happened between him and Hester; he tried to think about Dean, Dean's eyes, Dean's smile, Dean on his motorcycle looking so perfectly at ease with everything.. He wanted to think about Dean and nothing else.
The sound of his bedroom window rattling drew him out of his thoughts, and he rolled over in bed, watching Dean's silhouette move outside his window before he pulled it open. Dean stepped into the bedroom with a smile on his face, closing the window behind him before walking across the room, kneeling at the side of the bed. Cas leaned into the touch when Dean palmed his cheek, slipping his fingers through his hair.
"I missed you," Cas whispered, all traces of his temper erased.
"Yeah, I missed you too," Dean leaned forward and pressed his lips to his forehead, and Cas reached out to close his fingers around the nape of Dean’s neck, eyes shut, exhaling in relief. "So, you're gonna move in with me, right?"
Cas could feel Dean's lips curl into a smile against his forehead, and he pulled back slightly to lookup. He was almost grinning, and Cas could tell that he was excited about Cas saying yes, because Cas really wanted to say yes, but he just couldn't.
"Look, you’re going to be a doctor, this is logical. This makes sense. You need a place to stay, and you're paying for school basically out of pocket," Dean stood and pulled his boots off, crawling into bed with Cas afterward, Cas moving under the arm Dean held up, pressing into him. "And I can take care of you. I want to take care of you."
"I can't ask you to do that."
"Then don't. Just - just let me do this, Cas. Just let me do this for you."
Cas opened his mouth, but Dean silenced him.
“Don’t think about it,” he said sternly, and Cas sagged, Dean’s thumb tracing over his swollen face. “I’m gonna make you so happy,” he whispered, like he was merely thinking out loud. Cas kissed him again. He knew he would; there wasn’t any question.
Dean frowned at the damp pillow, squinting at him. “And quit going to bed with your head wet. You’ll catch pneumonia like that!” he laughed, and Cas laughed too, even though it wasn’t funny, really. His chest felt less tight, at least. “We’ll move your things tomorrow. I’ll borrow Bobby’s truck,” Dean continued, and Cas nodded along, not really listening.
The next day they did it. It didn’t take long; Cas didn’t have much and they left the furniture there. His landlord appeared and Dean answered the door when he did – Dean was calm and Cas swallowed thickly.
“You understand why I can’t. You two…” the landlord said blandly, attempting to be apologetic.
“I don’t really give a rat’s ass what you think,” Dean explained, and Cas told him he did understand once Dean had left.
“You know, they say you can see a doctor about it,” the man said as Cas placed his key into a small yellow envelope. The man’s watery gray eyes met his and his fishy lips spread into an even line. “Get rid of the urges or whatever it is. It doesn’t have to be like that, son. You can come round to it. That’s what that friend of yours said when she told me. It’s always a shame when people are sick, and this don’t have to be no different.”
Cas didn’t find any reason to respond and the landlord narrowed his eyes, reaching to shake his hand. Cas didn’t care. He shook it, but the grip was powerful and almost hurt.
“Sickness is a sickness; it’ll kill you if you aren’t careful,” the landlord said lowly, Cas glaring at him.
“Thank you, but I’m afraid I have to go now,” Cas insisted, gritting his teeth.
He shoved past the man, holding his box of records. Dean waited for him at the curb, taking the box from him, the weight out of his tired arms. Dean closed the back of the truck and gave him a sympathetic look. Cas touched his hand, squeezing it.
“Let’s go home,” he said quietly, and Dean grinned.
“That’s more like it,” he laughed, walking around to step into the cab, Cas following. He shook his head, turning his back on the building, a strange feeling settling in his stomach. Maybe he was just nervous, but he couldn’t shake the feeling they weren’t home. Not really. Not yet.
They hauled the boxes into Dean's apartment building, and no one stopped them to question them, or gave them any weird looks as they made their way into the elevator, taking it to the top floor. Cas shifted the box in his arms, leaning closer to Dean, their elbows brushing. And Dean looked down at Cas, and Cas smiled up at him, leaning up to gently kiss him before the elevator doors opened up at the top floor.
Dean's apartment was at the end of the wall, and there weren't many rooms on the top floor, which was actually great. It just meant less people for them to have to deal with. Dean set his box down to dig through his pockets for his keys, unlocking the door and pushing it open. When Cas walked across the threshold, everything felt different.
He had been to Dean's apartment plenty of times before, so he was familiar with it, but now, it felt like he was walking into it for the first time. It felt new and unfamiliar, because not only was it Dean's, it was his; this was going to be his new home.
He heard Dean pick up the box from outside, and Cas sat his box by the doorway before Dean set his down beside it.
"Welcome home," Dean grinned and curled an arm around Cas' waist, pulling him against his side. Cas smiled and pressed his face into the side of his neck, wrapping an arm around his middle.
"We still have a couple of more boxes."
"Yeah, all of your damn records. How many do you even own?"
"At least over a hundred. I lost count." Cas smiled sheepishly and Dean pressed a kiss into his hair before pulling away.
"Well, come on, let's get all your stuff inside."
They hauled the rest of Cas’ belongings into the house, and Cas went about making room in Dean's closet for his clothes because Dean had said that he "wasn't going to let him live out of a bag. His closet was big enough to fit all of their clothes." He shoved all of Dean's clothes to one side of the closet, digging out some stray hangers to hang his shirts on the other side. He didn't have as many clothes as Dean, so it was easier to fit everything in together.
By the time he had finished that, he wandered into the living room to find Dean sitting on the floor, boxes of Cas' records around him; all of them open. Dean grunted and grumbled to himself, mumbling to himself about something and he stilled when Cas moved to stand beside him, looking down at the floor. He was fiddling with Cas' turntable.
Cas laughed softly and sat on the floor beside him, reaching out to gently brush Dean's fingers out of the way, fixing the turntable and turning it on.
"I wanted to get some music playing before you came out, but I couldn't figure out this damn thing."
"Well, aren't you a romantic," Cas teased, and Dean shut him up with a brush of lips, fingers curling and tangling in his hair. Cas pulled back and moved to one of the open boxes closet to him, pulling a record out. He flipped it over in his hands, going over the songs on the back before pulling it out of the sleeve and setting it down on the turntable.
The music started and Cas set the cover down, moving back over to sit beside Dean, who immediately wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled him against his side, pressing a kiss to his temple. Cas squirmed and pushed back against him, laughing softly when Dean's lips trailed down the side of his face and over his cheek and his jaw, eventually making his way to his mouth.
“It’s fine,” Dean insisted and Cas tried to smile. Dean rubbed his arm with the flat of his hand, squeezing gently. “Hey.”
Cas met his eyes, knowing he wasn’t very convincing by the worry that appeared on Dean’s brow.
“I’m serious. It’s going to be fine,” Dean soothed, kissing him again. “You trust me, don’t you?”
Cas nodded, pulling off his glasses and fiddling with them nervously. Dean pulled them out of his hands and set them up on the table with the record, taking Cas’ face in his hands.
“Look at me.”
Cas did, swallowing as Dean’s thumbs stroked over his cheeks.
“This is going to be really good, ok? I know it’s been hard, but you’re going to keep acing at school, and I’m going to win this tournament and things are just going to keep getting better. This is a good start, you know? You’re here, and this will be home for us.”
Cas reached up and touched Dean’s hand, fingers closing around his wrist. He took a small breath, tongue skirting over his teeth before he met Dean’s eyes again.
“I don’t have a good feeling about this,” he began, whispering, “I just feel like something’s going to happen to you, and I feel like it’s going to be my fault. What if someone hurts you? What if…what if somebody hurts you Dean, and it’s because of me and being with you, or your career -”
“No one is going to take me away from you,” Dean said fiercely, and Cas stared at him, stunned by the intensity of his voice. After a quiet moment his eyes softened. “Why should I be afraid of anything? I belong to you,” he continued, touching Cas’ chin.
“Okay,” Cas replied, and he leaned forward, kissing Dean again. Dean’s hands shifted, brushing back his hair. Dean pulled away, and Cas bent his head into the crook of Dean’s neck. Dean scratched his back lightly, and Cas closed his eyes, listening to the record. Dean shifted a little and Cas grumbled, but Dean was insisting.
“Come on,” Dean laughed, standing and Cas gave him a confused look when Dean offered him his hand. He slid his fingers into Dean’s and Dean hauled him up, pulling them against each other. Cas laughed.
“Dancing, really?” he said incredulously as Dean started swaying, melting into a slow twist, holding Cas’ hands.
“I’m gonna stick like glue, stick because I’m stuck on you,” Dean sang, ignoring him and Cas shook his head at it, trying to pull away.
“Oh, come on!” Dean grinned, tightening his hands on Cas’ wrists, “Come on, you love Elvis! You’re so hot for him, Cas, and you can’t even deny it!” He tugged at Cas’ arms, pulling them around his waist insistently.
Cas blushed, and ducked his head, going along with it; Dean’s hands wandering over his hips and ass and up to his back, pulling them in. Cas’ fingers trailed over his arms, the white t-shirt hugging his torso, touching the cigarettes rolled into his sleeve with a smile.
“I wish I could take you dancing,” Cas whispered in his ear. “Show you off.” He kissed Dean’s neck, slipping his hands into his back pockets.
“Mmm,” Dean hummed, still rocking with him. “you know, what I’m wondering is, who’s better in bed you think? Me or Elvis Presley?”
Cas rolled his eyes.
“Easy,” he said, brushing his mouth over Dean’s just barely. “Elvis Presley.”
Dean stilled for a second and then resumed his swaying, walking forward and back with Cas in time to the music. “Well, you might be biased.”
“Maybe,” Cas mumbled, Dean’s tongue keeping his own busy. “He was my first fantasy…it’s all very nostalgic.”
Dean chuckled, the sound rumbling through his chest, radiating through Cas’ sweater and shirt, vibrating his ribs.
“You’re puttin’ me on. Really?” he asked and Cas flushed, but felt himself shrugging.
“He’s a celebrity. Rachel adored him. I did too.” He knew his voice had hitched a little when he said his sister’s name, but Dean appeared to be bent on distracting him.
“Did you beat off listening to him or something?”
Cas felt the blush as low as his chest.
“Jesus, Dean, really…” he said, trying to keep the rasp from his voice. Were they seriously going to talk about this? Now?
At least he’s got your mind off of it… Cas thought, but not entirely. The sinking feeling was still there, just muted and pushed back. Dean demanded his attention, kneading his sides, un-tucking his shirt to tap his fingers against his hip bones.
“You ever see him live?”
“No, never got the-” Dean kissed his chin. “-chance. Dean, are you jealous or something?”
“Why would I be jealous?” Dean mused, pulling Cas toward the hallway before pushing him up against the wall. “He can’t touch you like I can.” Dean pinned him with his hips and Cas sucked air through his teeth, kissing him, hot and open, pulling at Dean’s hair.
He could feel Dean’s fingers undoing the buttons on his sweater and pushing it off and Cas let his mind go blank; he helped, shimmying out of his undershirt, before pawing at Dean’s jeans.
“You first,” Dean said, brushing his hands aside, and Cas fumbled with his belt, undoing the buttons and stepping out of his pants, kicking them aside. Dean lifted his arms, rolling his own t-shirt up and casting it off, his bare skin hot against Cas’ as he rocked him back into the wall, the hard lines of their bodies seared together.
Cas needed this; he needed the zero to sixty of Dean, the drag of denim against his crotch when Dean dropped to his knees, tongue trailing over his stomach, making him drop his head back against the wall.
“Bet you like watching him up there on stage, dancing and moving, huh?” Dean mumbled, moving forward, dragging his lips along the inside of Castiel’s thigh, biting at the soft skin before laving his tongue over it.
Cas whined softly, fingers grasping at Dean’s hair, tugging and pulling, Dean’s stubble raking against the sensitive skin. He shook his head, playing the innocent-not Cas, not sweet little Cas. Oh, no.
“Dean, please,” he said breathily, but the harsh grip of his hand in Dean’s hair said differently.
“Gets you all hot and bothered, don’t it?” Dean mouthed at his dick through his briefs and Cas bit his lip, hips shifting forward into the damp heat. God, if Dean’d just blow him already, but he teased instead, cupping Cas suggestively through the thin cotton with one hand as he pulled himself up, meeting his mouth.
Dean wasn’t gentle about it; he refused to baby him. Cas kept reminding himself that it was safe, that no one could hear them in the hall. This was safe. Their bodies were safe here. Dean’s tongue petted wetly at his, mouth slanted like he meant to get as much of Cas as he could. Cas gasped, matching him, feeling Dean’s hand drag slowly over the growing bulge in his underwear. His voice broke, but Dean wouldn’t budge, wouldn’t let him move his head, keeping him pinned there as he devoured him in the most graceless way Cas could ever imagine someone kissing another person. He turned him inside out, sucking and biting at his swollen lips. It was filthy and wonderful, the dirty sounds making Cas’ hands bold as they bit into Dean’s ass. His lungs burned.
Dean replaced his hand with his knee, grinding it slow against Cas’ cock, making him shift and rut without a shred of dignity into Dean’s leg.
“You’d make him queer,” Dean growled. “With an ass like yours, you’d make him queer.”
Cas yanked Dean’s hips in, eager to use him, to get off on the rough denim against his thighs. His foot brushed against the fabric of his neglected pants as he opened his legs wider, Dean guiding the slow roll of his hips as he fucked himself.
“Make me come,” he chanted, head lolling back and Dean latched onto his neck. Cas hissed, squeezing Dean’s waist. “Dean, fuck me good, make me come, baby, please.”
“You want me to fuck you?” Dean whispered. “Want me to fuck you so good? Fuck my boy till he forgets all about Elvis?”
Cas moaned, long and loud. He felt hot, and mad, and manic. Fuck Hester, fuck his landlord, his brothers-he wanted to ride Dean’s dick, he wanted to come on it, he wanted to scream as Dean laid into him. He wanted it fast and rough and hard, and he wanted Dean. He wanted Dean to fuck the pain out of him, make him forget all of it, because only Dean could.
“Fuck your boy,” he repeated, and Dean pushed him down to his knees, Cas at eye level as he undid his pants and freed his cock. He jacked himself a few times, grunting, and Cas looked up at him, eyes glazed, drifting forward, mouth closing over the tip.
“Get it wet,” Dean rasped. “Nice and wet for me.”
Cas took as much as he could, licking all over, his mind devoid of any thought except the task Dean had given him. Dean pushed him away after a few minutes and Cas stood, turning to the wall while Dean slid his underwear down, keeping him steady as he stepped out of it. He spread his legs wide, eager, but to his surprise, Dean didn’t line up his dick but hooked two fingers into Cas’ slack mouth.
“Suck ‘em,” he whispered, and Cas obliged, coating them, dipping his tongue in between, circling his hips mindlessly as he did so, brushing Dean’s cock with the motion. Dean’s chest hitched where it touched Cas’ back, and he pulled his fingers away from his mouth with a wet sound, Cas pressing his cheek to the wall.
“Breathe,” he encouraged, kissing his shoulder, teasing over his hole before pushing in without any more warning. He fucked his hole a few times and then added the other, and Cas opened his mouth wider, panting, Dean’s other hand stroking softly at his hip and down towards his cock.
“No,” he whimpered, and Dean slid his hand back up to grab at his thigh. “No, not yet.”
Dean chuckled and worked his fingers, stretching and scissoring, kissing the back of his neck and down his spine. Cas could feel the sweat bead and roll off of him, every brush of Dean’s jeans against the back of his legs sending him on pins and needles.
“God, just fuck me,” he demanded, and the next thing he knew, the blunt head of Dean’s cock was sliding past his rim. He tried to keep himself from writhing as Dean split him wide, fat and hot, every little scrape at his insides causing a sharp burn.
“Fuck, you’re tight tonight,” Dean moaned, curling over him, and Cas fucked himself back, taking the pain with every movement, working with it. Dean’s hands bumped over his chest and slid down, planting on his hips as Dean jerked forward into him, the metal fixtures on his belt buckle rattling. Cas gasped and ground back, nails scraping at the wall. He panted and moaned, caught in a fever as Dean fucked him harder and harder, making him lift up on the balls of his feet and curl his toes. He arched, trying to get the angle right so Dean hit that spot that went straight to his dick.
“Fuck me,” he said over and over. “Make me come on your cock, oh god, I wanna come.”
Dean thrust into him, and Cas met him on every stroke, the hall filled with the sound of their bodies coming together and Cas moaning, almost crying along with it. It was so good, Dean’s dick was so good, and he fisted his own cock, hand working faster and faster in time with Dean.
“Shit,” Dean grunted, watching him, bending to press an open-mouthed kiss to his neck. “Mother fuck, Cas.”
“So good,” he slurred, “So good, oh fuck, you’re so good.” His voice was pinched and tight, and he knew he wasn’t going to last longer. He sobbed, biting his other hand, and Dean kissed his back, mouthing along his shoulder, hands barely even working as Cas rode his cock.
“You gonna come baby? You gonna come on my cock?”
Cas nodded, and Dean took him deep, grinding into that one spot .
“Oh, fuck, I’m coming,” he cried, and he pushed away from the wall with one hand. “I’m coming, I’m coming, oh god-” His voice was strung out to a whine, and he jerked forward as Dean kept fucking into him, . Through the haze, he felt Dean slip from him and then there was come cooling on his back. He panted, his knees shaking, his head bowed forward, his hand still mindlessly jacking his dick, squeezing the last of the come from the tip. Sweat rolled off his temple and he let out a harsh breath, falling into the wall.
“Jesus,” Dean whimpered, “Holy fucking Jesus.” He stooped, and picked up his t-shirt, kissing Cas’ shoulder as he mopped the jizz from his back, kissing the knob of his spine and his shoulder blade as well.
Cas flexed his fingers, pushing his palm to the wall, eyes squeezed shut, breathing through the high.
“You were on tonight,” Dean said sleepily, almost laughing. “Babe, I thought you’d lost your mind.”
“That was the point,” he mumbled, suddenly aware of how stiff he was. He gently straightened himself, wobbling from the vertigo as he heard Dean tucking himself up, not bothering to zip up his fly.
“What do you mean?” Dean asked, picking up Cas’ clothes and tossing them on the couch for later. Cas pulled his briefs up and turned, tugging Dean’s shirt out of his hands to wipe at his chest and the wall.
He shrugged, not looking at Dean’s face. His arms felt loose and rubbery.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “I don’t know. I just didn’t want to think for a while.”
“Don’t be like this,” Dean insisted, and when Cas didn’t turn to him, he put his hands on his shoulders, “Hey, look at me.”
Cas looked at him and Dean kissed him softly, but Cas didn’t kiss back. “Don’t be like that,” he whispered, and Cas broke away, stumbling slightly as he went to the bedroom, getting under the sheets. Dean followed him and Cas felt bad, watching him go to the window and light a cigarette, staring down at the traffic.
“Dean,” he sighed, and Dean turned, the smoke trailing out of his mouth. The sun was a soft purple above the building beside them, outlining him in gold. Cas tried to smile, holding out his arms, “Come here,” he whispered, and Dean stubbed out the cigarette stubbornly.
“I don’t feel like it,” he said, sounding hurt, and Cas felt his face crumple.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered again, his chest constricting. “Dean, I’m sorry,” the tear cut down his face before he could stop it and Dean came to him, lowering himself onto the bed, pulling him into his arms.
“Shh,” he murmured, rubbing his back, “It’s alright.”
Cas gasped into his chest, rubbing at his eyes.
“You’ve been working yourself up too much, with school and this apartment bullshit, and that stunt in the hall. You’re strung too tight, baby.”
He sniffed, breathing harshly, nodding his head. “I didn’t get to say goodbye to my sister,” he sobbed, and Dean held him tighter, rocking him.
“Let me fix it,” Dean hushed into his hair. “I’ll fix it.”
Cas knew he couldn’t, but he wanted to believe it. He calmed himself and pawed at his eyes, shaking his head, pulling away. Dean watched him cautiously, hand trailing down to his neck.
“I love you,” Dean told him, and Cas nodded silently, touching Dean’s leg.
“I know,” he replied, voice wet, and Dean nudged him till he was lying down and his broad, warm body had settled around him.
“I’ll fix it, Cas,” Dean murmured, kissing his neck, and as Cas closed his eyes, he wasn’t exactly sure what Dean meant. He wanted to tell him it was okay. It was okay if he couldn’t fix it. That didn’t matter; that wasn’t why he loved him.
He fell asleep instead, Dean’s hand over his chest, reminding him to breathe.