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Tag, You're It

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There was paint on the bridge already. Dean frowned because what the hell. He'd been by earlier today and it was clean, the perfect canvas.

 Except now it wasn't.

 Now there were these mother fucking big ass WINGS.

 On his damn bridge.

 "Angel fucking got here first," Dean snarls and Sam's head pops up, dragged away from his phone. Finally.

 "Damn. Kid's talented," Sam grunts, eyeing the tag. Dean throws a dirty look at his brother and Sam smirks.

 The problem is, Angel (the name Dean gave the artist for the angel wings he did all over the city) did have talent.

 His wings were fucking gorgeous.

 But Dean was pissed. Because the kid was also picking off the best places to tag.

 "C'mon." He says, grumpy. He could cover them, but there he doesn't want to. Not really. The wings are gorgeous and besides. It's rude as fuck to touch another's art.

 Even if he is pissed that the Angel stole his bridge. Then he pauses. And in the corner. Small. Barely noticeable, he paints a scarlet devils trap.

--

It goes on for months. He'll pick a spot and half the time, he'll find it already tagged. Sometimes, after he leaves his Devils Trap, he'll swing by and see a tiny pair of wings added in the corner, an acknowledgment from the other artist. Sometimes he'll find the wings on a prime tagging site, bright and flawless and he'll grin and curse and add the tiny Trap.

 They're chasing each other through the city. The strangest game of tag he’s ever played. And he's more intrigued by the other artist than he is annoyed. And Sam knows it.

 You’re flirting with the Angel.

 Dean sputtered for days over that. But he couldn't really deny it.

 Thing was, he didn't know the Angel. Might never meet the other artist.

 And that. Well that was just a fucking shame because talent like that deserved to be recognized.

--

He's grins at his econ professor as he heads out of the test hall and the older woman shakes her head, vaguely amused by him. And that's it. He's free until the next semester starts, next year and fuck fuck fuck, he wants to scream and party.

 He wants to drag Sam out with him and hit that big empty billboard on the highway just outside Lawrence.

 Sam, though, in his first year of college and fucking mess of nerdy panic has two more finals and won't be budged.

 Which is why Dean ends up out there alone.

Years of misspent youth and a father in petty crime makes climbing places he doesn’t belong surprisingly easy. It doesn’t take long before he’s dragging himself over the edge of the billboard.

And then he freezes. Because there’s someone already there.

The other man is dressed in black, and he’s holding a can of black spray paint, and his eyes are so fucking wide and startled it’s almost funny.

Wait.

Blue eyes that shine even in the dark. Pale, perfect face.

His hair is hidden under a knit beanie, but Dean knows what it looks like—all tousled and dark and just fucked.

“Professor Novak?”

If anything, that spooks the guy even more.

“Shit,” he mutters, low and unmistakable and Dean almost laughs, because the prof he’s been jacking off to for the better part of the semester is on a fucking bill—

“What the fuck are you doing here?” Dean whispers, scandalized.

“I imagine I’m doing the same thing you are, Winchester,” the professor says dryly, and Dean perks up a little. He knows who I am.

Dean rolls to his feet, and Novak takes a hasty step toward him, eyeing the ledge nervously as he tugs Dean closer to the still empty billboard.

Not empty.

“Dean,” Novak says, desperately, as Dean shines his flashlight on the design.

Wings.

Fucking huge, bigger than anything Angel has done before, and—

“You’re Angel,” Dean whispers. His professor. The awkward man with paint stains on his fingers and the faint scent of paint thinner on his clothes and a rumpled trenchcoat and dreamy eyes.

“You’re a fucking tagger?” Dean laughs, and Novak gives him a tentative smile. “Dude, your shit is amazing.”

“You aren’t bad yourself, Demon.” Novak says, shyly.

It occurs to him that he’s intruding and he gives an awkward sort of laugh. “Thanks. Um. I’ll get out of your way.”

“You could stay.” Novak says, and Dean glances at him. The professor nods at his billboard. “I was…I was kinda hoping you’d be here.”

Dean frowns at him, and looks up at the billboard. And grins.

--

The next day, Dean goes on a date with the shy, awkward professor, who still smells like paint thinner, still has black paint on his fingers.

They pass a billboard, on their way to the Roadhouse, with huge angel wings, and between them, a gorgeous scarlet Devil’s Trap.

They never really quit tagging. Castiel sometimes flushes when Dean teases him about how scandalous it is for a professor to be a street artist, how he defaces public property.

Castiel makes a face, and shuts him up with a smile and a kiss.

And three years later, when Cas is out of town at a conference, he heads down to a familiar bridge with Sam.

C’mon, Sammy, I never got to tag it. Cas stole it.

You’re such a child, Dean. Sam bitched.

But he followed his brother.

And Dean started cursing, when he saw the wings—because what the fuck.

But he froze, because the Angel had added something.

A little question in the corner, where Dean would normally add his Devil’s Trap.

He grinned and when he added to the Angel’s work, it was a one-word answer.