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The Reluctant Matchmaker

Chapter Text

"No, absolutely not, Balthazar."

"Cassie, I haven't even asked yet. I really do need your help. I screwed up and now the big guy is angry with me."

Castiel stopped mid-stride down the street and pinched the bridge of his nose hard. Balthazar had made Castiel's life hell ever since his father had died three years prior. Castiel's father, Chuck, was a writer who harbored a secret. He had a muse in the name of Balthazar.

Castiel always thought his father was merely "unique" when he would mutter to himself quite often as he would scribble fast and furious into his battered notebook. Of course, the whole time he was really talking to Balthazar. When Chuck died, Balthazar should have gone back to Heaven for his next assignment. Instead he decided to make an appearance to a grieving Castiel.

It took Castiel nearly a year to realize that Balthazar really was an angel that seemed to have a fondness for the Novak men and he wasn't going insane. He didn't know why he stuck around since Castiel had no desire to pursue the creative arts. According to Balthazar, Castiel was vastly amusing to him.

In other words, Balthazar enjoyed being a big pain in Castiel's ass.

"Please leave me alone." he said wearily to blonde angel that he knew was right behind him.

"What is so important that you can't help me?" Balthazar was suddenly in front of Castiel, blocking his path.

"Let me see, what's so important? My job maybe? I'm not a celestial being like you but a plain old human that still needs to work to make money to pay rent and buy food. Kind of important things." Castiel snarled at the annoying angel.

"Oh please Cassie, you're a mailman. Nobody's going to notice if their mail is a few minutes late."

Castiel adjusted his mail satchel on his shoulder and glared at Balthazar. "Fine. What did you do this time?"

Balthazar grinned, knowing he had won. "I might have distracted Fate's Cupid…"

"Cupid? Should I ask what the distraction was?" Castiel asked anyways, already dreading the answer.

"We fucked, of course. She was a saucy little minx."

"Balthazar!" Castiel shouted out in shock but quickly lowered his voice and looked around to make sure nobody heard him. If there were people around, it would appear that Castiel was talking to himself since Balthazar was invisible to everybody but him.

"Should angels use that sort of language? Can celestial beings really have relations?" Castiel whispered, still feeling shocked, but his curiosity was piqued.

Balthazar laughed. "Of course we do, Cassie! Especially muses…we are the angels of creativity." Balthazar winked at Castiel who just groaned.

"So, the big guy…I'm assuming God, is angry for you sleeping with a cupid?" Castiel was still trying to figure out how Balthazar needed his help.

"I didn't just sleep with a cupid. I slept with Fate's Cupid. She is the one that handles soulmates."

"Soulmates? There's no such thing." Castiel scoffed and started walking again, his mail bag making his shoulder ache.

Balthazar doggedly followed. "Of course there's such a thing even though they are not common. It's very important for soulmates to find each other in every life or it will disrupt God's delicate web."

"Delicate web? Is God Spiderman?" Castiel asked sarcastically.

Balthazar smirked at Castiel's grumpy demeanor before continuing. "Yes, web is the best way to describe it. There are alternative realities, past, present and future lives which we all live in, constantly intertwined. Regular people can go throughout different lifetimes with different people, but not soulmates. They are the other half of each other and must always find each other in every possible lifetime. Usually, in one lifetime or another soulmates can play an important role in history while in others, they might not. However, if there is even one lifetime they are not together, it wrecks the whole cycle. It could cause them to not to ever find each other again."

Castiel stared at the muse, trying to comprehend what he was just told. "So, you're saying that because you were having sex with Fate's Cupid, you might have altered human history."

"Basically, yes."

"I really don't see how I could possibly help you with this. I'm a mailman, a human with no special powers except that I can see an annoying angel. I'm a nobody." Castiel sighed, stepping around Balthazar to continue on his route.

Balthazar jogged up next to Castiel. "It's not too late to fix it. There is a small opportunity to make it right. God wants me to fix it. If I don't, I'm afraid he might cast me out."

Castiel stared ahead, not answering Balthazar as two women jogged past him. He gave them both a smile and once they were out of earshot, hissed at Balthazar. "I still don't see how I can possibly help."

"I need you to interact with them. Since I'm not a cupid, only a muse, I can only be seen by one person which is you. I thought I would coach you along, help me get them to see reason. They've worked together for six months and still nothing."

"They know each other? Shouldn't they just, I don't know, fall into each others' arms when they first met?" Castiel stepped onto Ms. Mosely's porch and reached for her mail in the satchel.

"No, there's a special moment where everything aligns, you know the moon and the stars, the usual bullshit. Now it will take some major intervention for their souls to recognize each other."

Castiel found Ms. Mosely's mail and put it in her box hanging by her front door. He turned back to Balthazar and crossed his arms over his chest.

"If I do this, will you leave me alone…for good?"

"You mean you don't enjoy my company?" Balthazar gave him a slightly hurt look that made Castiel feel just a bit guilty, but damn it, he wanted to have a normal life again.

Castiel just stood there with an impassive look on his face. Balthazar rolled his eyes.

"Fine, I promise I won't bother you anymore, but I'm telling you, you'll miss me when I'm gone."

Castiel couldn't resist the little smile that tipped his lips. "Let me be the judge of that. Now, tell me, what do I need to do?"

"Well, it's Saturday and I have it on a good authority that both of them will be at the Roadhouse tonight. I want you to go there and flirt, create a little jealousy."

"You want me to flirt? I'm horrible at it!" Castiel glared at Balthazar who leaned against a porch post.

"No worries, Cassie. Just show up looking hot. I mean, you're single, attractive and gay."

Castiel looked at Balthazar in shock. "How did you...? Wait, its two men? I thought God frowned upon that."

Balthazar laughed, causing his pale blue eyes to crinkle at the corners. "Oh Cassie, it's the soul that's important to God, not the package. And, yes, I knew you were gay. I used to peek in on you before your father died. I must say, I'm impressed. For such a quiet guy, you're quite the stallion in the bedroom."

Castiel's felt his face burn as he started sputtering in mortification and anger. "You spied on me?!"

"Nothing to be embarrassed about. You should be proud and I should know. I helped Vatsyayana write the Kama Sutra." Balthazar sighed in longing. "That was some of my best work."

Castiel took a deep breath and counted to ten. "Stop spying on me."

"Why? You haven't had any fun for going on five years. When this is over, you really should rethink this getting rid of me…I can help you find a pretty boy or is a bear more you style?"

Castiel squeezed his eyes shut. "Balthazar!" he hissed, desperately wanting him to be quiet.

When he opened his eyes, Balthazar was gone, but he heard his disembodied voice.

"The Roadhouse, eight o'clock. Look hot."

Castiel groaned. "I'm an idiot for listening to him."

"Castiel honey, are you okay?"

He jumped and whirled around to see Ms. Mosely at her front door, staring at him with concern.

"I'm fine, Ms. Mosely. I'm just not used to working Saturday mornings." He gave the older woman a weak smile and rubbed his forehead absently.

She reached out and gave his arm a squeeze. "Don't let them work you too hard, honey."

He smiled, relieved to realize she hadn't heard him seemingly talking to himself. "I won't." he told her as he continued on his route.

Castiel made his rounds fairly quickly and looked in his satchel to see that he only had one house left to stop at. His breath stuttered when he saw the address then berated himself for getting nervous about delivering mail to a person he only gotten glimpses of and never even spoken to.

He clutched the letters addressed to D. Winchester and walked determinedly down the street to the small brick house on the corner. Ever since he moved to Lawrence two years ago, he went six months without seeing who lived there. Until one morning, Castiel viewed the man come rushing out of his house, apparently late for work. Castiel was frozen to the sidewalk as he watched a modern day Adonis fly out of the front door to his Impala in the driveway.

He was glad the man didn't notice him staring because Castiel didn't think he could look away. The man was beautiful with sandy colored hair, a pretty face that still managed to look masculine and a strong built body. Castiel wished he was closer to see more of the man's features, but he was just too far away.

After that first encounter, Castiel saw him more on a regular basis. Even though he'd been delivering his mail for two years now, they never have spoken. However, the man eventually did notice Castiel and would smile or wave in greeting.

Castiel sometimes felt pathetic because he lived for those smiles. Maybe Balthazar was right and he should try to find somebody. He should try to bury this crush on D. Winchester who was way out of his league and find somebody that was more suitable. Besides, he was probably straight anyways.

His shoulders slumped at the thought and made his way to the brick house. That's what he'll do, he'll forget all about this crush that's doomed to stay unrequited and move on.

Unfortunately, as he neared the house, Castiel was sure God was laughing at him. In the drive-way, was the star of Castiel's late night fantasies, bent over his car, shirtless as he ran a soapy sponge over the hood of the classic car.

From where Castiel stood, he had the perfect view of the man's round ass and the sun glinting off the golden skin of his back. Castiel whimpered.

Apparently, the man heard him and looked over his shoulder. When he saw Castiel standing there, he gave him crooked smile.

"Hey man, how you doin' this morning?" he asked as he straightened up, throwing the sponge in a nearby bucket and wiping his wet hands on his jeans.

Castiel shook himself out of his trance as the warm intonation of the man's voice washed over him. He swallowed nervously when the man made his way over to Castiel.

"Good m-morning." Castiel cringed when he tripped over his words. He couldn't help it because he was finally getting a good look at the man. The man was even more gorgeous up close than at a distance. He had shapely, pink lips and a smattering of freckles over his nose. It was his large, moss green eyes that had him captivated though. He wasn't aware how long he had been staring until the man cleared his throat, a small, almost secretive smile on his face.

"I've seen you around a lot, but never had the opportunity to introduce myself. I'm Dean Winchester." He held out a calloused hand to Castiel.

"Castiel Novak." He took Dean's hand which was still damp, but warm. He suppressed the shiver that wanted to travel his body from the touch of Dean's hand. Finally he had a name to go with the face.

"Nice to finally meet you, Castiel." He smiled and looked down at their joined hands. Castiel blushed and pulled his hand away. He then remembered he held Dean's mail in his other hand.

"I guess I'll just give these to you instead of putting them in your box." He handed the letters over.

"Thanks man. Well, I better finish getting my baby washed up. See you around, Cas."

Castiel gave him an awkward wave and watched him walk away. He forced his feet to move and headed back to the post office.

He was halfway there, smiling like an idiot when he realized something.

Dean had given him a nickname.

Castiel was definitely doomed.

Chapter Text

Dean walked back to his car with a small smile on his face. Once he reached the Impala, he looked over his shoulder to see if Castiel was still standing there. He was a little disappointed to see he was already walking away. Dean leaned against the soapy car and bit his lower lip as he watched the mailman's strong, tan legs stride down the street. The guy probably didn't even realize how good he made those boring navy blue shorts look especially with that ass filling out the back.

Once Castiel was out of sight, Dean sighed and went to the porch to grab his t-shirt that he slung over the railing when he had seen Castiel down the street. After slipping the shirt back on, he went back to washing the car. His body took over the mindless task as his thoughts were occupied with the blue eyed mail carrier.

The man had fascinated Dean ever since he first saw him well over a year ago. Dean's first encounter was when he had come home early one morning from spending the weekend consoling Sam who found out his girlfriend, Ruby had cheated on him.

He had barely stepped out of his car when he looked up to see the postal worker stepping off his porch and was making his way back to the sidewalk. Dean felt his tongue stick to the roof of his mouth as he took in the disheveled hair, stubbly jaw and strong, lean body he must have gained from carrying around a heavy mail sack all day. And then he focused those startling blue eyes on Dean. He felt his lungs compress as if all the air had been sucked from his body.

Goddamn…the man was gorgeous.

Dean's presence must have startled him because he jumped a little when he saw Dean still sitting in his car with one foot on the pavement. Dean gave the man a head nod and a little smirk.

Dean let out a soft chuckle when the man almost tripped over his own feet, face turning red, but he still managed to give him a small, shy smile back.

Ever since then, Dean tried to get any glimpse of the man he could. One of the first things Dean did was go down the street and talked to Missouri Mosely who seemed to know everything. She's the one that told Dean the mailman's name, the whole time wearing a knowing smile on her face.

"His name is Castiel Novak. He's a sweet boy but the poor thing always seems distracted like he constantly has something on his mind."

Dean observed that Castiel was friendly with everybody on his street and was well liked by his neighbors. He was quiet, but he always managed to make a little small talk with everybody…except for Dean.

When it came to Dean, Castiel would just stare at him but never attempted to talk to him. He would just give him hesitant smiles and waves.

Dean had a hunch about Castiel's shyness and today was the perfect day to put it to the test. Dean was washing his car and was surprised to see Castiel delivering the mail when usually it's somebody else that delivers on Saturday. Castiel tended to work during the week.

Inspired by his turn of good luck, he quickly shed his shirt, throwing it on the railing and made exaggerated movements, making sure to reach as far across the hood with the sponge as he could. Hell, he knew his ass looked good in his jeans, and Castiel confirmed it with his little whimper.

What he wasn't prepared for was the full force of Castiel's voice. Combined with those electric blue eyes roving over his chest and arms and then getting hit with that gravelly voice, Dean was forced to cut the conversation short before Castiel noticed Dean's tightening jeans.

Now that he was pretty sure the mailman was attracted to him, he was determined to get the guy to loosen up enough to go on a date with him. He needed more of those eyes and voice.

"Umm, Dean? Are you just going to waste water like that?"

Dean suppressed the girly scream that threatened to bubble up at Sam's voice.

"Fuck Sammy, don't sneak up on a guy like that!" Dean clutched his chest.

"You didn't hear my car drive up or me calling your name like three times?" Sam cocked an eyebrow at his older brother and looked down at the hose in Dean's hand that was that was still gushing water onto the pavement of the driveway. Dean walked over to the spigot and turned it off.

"What's up with you?" Sam asked as he walked up the three steps of Dean's porch and sat in one of the old rockers.

Dean sat down in the matching rocker. "Cas was just here. Finally got the guy to speak to me."

Sam snorted. "You're still obsessed with that guy? Just ask the guy out and get it over with."

"You don't understand Sammy, it's a delicate process. Cas is shy so I don't want to overwhelm him with my awesomeness." Dean joked.

"Or overwhelm him with your over-inflated ego is more like it."

"Bitch."

"Jerk."

The brothers smiled good-naturedly at each other. "As for being obsessed with him, you would understand if you saw the guy."

Sam sighed. "Probably not. You're the gay brother, not me."

"Whatever Sammy! I wish you would get your ass out of the closet and just admit it."

"Why must you always insist I'm gay?" Sam groused, rocking a little faster in the rocker.

"I've caught you plenty of times checking out other guys…"

"I do not."

"You only date manipulative bitches like Ruby and avoid nice girls like Jess and Sarah because deep down you know you'll only hurt them…"

"Jeez Dean, maybe you should quit being a handyman and become a psychiatrist since you seem to have me all figured out." Sam quipped sarcastically.

"If I did that, you'd have to pay me then. I'm not cheap you know." Dean smiled causing Sam to relax, the tension visibly leaving his body.

"Besides, you're the one that's usually into the whole "talk about our feelings" shit, not me. So now, are you going to tell me what's really going on?" Dean asked, letting the matter of Sam's sexuality drop.

"It's Gabriel again. He's driving me insane. He's convinced he's the next Erin Brockovich." Sam rubbed a hand over his face.

Dean hid a smile from Sam at the mention of Gabriel. He was Sam's new paralegal that was apparently very enthusiastic about his job...and about Sam.

"Is he sexually harassing you again?" Dean fought to keep his laughter under control at the bitch face Sam threw at him.

"I swear Dean, if the guy wasn't so damn good at his job, I'd let him go, but it's so hard to find a paralegal with as much as experience he has." Sam groaned at the prospect of being stuck with Gabriel.

Dean smirked. He had an inkling that even if Gabriel wasn't so good at his job, Sam still wouldn't be so quick to get rid of the smart mouth paralegal.

"I'll tell you what. How about we go to the Roadhouse tonight? We haven't been in there for a while and you know Ellen and Jo will probably kick both of our asses for not coming in more often." Dean clapped a hand on his brother's shoulder.

Sam shot Dean a grateful smile. "That sounds good to me. I could use something to distract me from work for a while."

Or distract you from Gabriel. Dean grinned. Unfortunately for his little brother, Dean had Gabriel's number. Maybe somebody just might show up at the Roadhouse at around eight tonight.

Dean continued to smile innocently at his brother.


"Cassie, when was the last time you bought new clothes?"

Castiel walked into his bedroom to see it was torn apart, clothes everywhere. "What have you done, Balthazar?"

Balthazar continued to rummage through Castiel's closet. "I'm surprised that Chuck with all his creativity was your father."

Castiel walked around the room, picking up discarded clothes. "What does that have anything to do with my clothes? Creativity or not, you saw what my father wore on most days."

Balthazar's chuckle echoed from the back of the closet. "Your father did have a fondness for that tattered robe. He told me your mother gave it to him on their first Christmas together."

Castiel paused. "I never knew that." he stated quietly. Castiel never knew his mother. She died in a car accident when he was barely a year old. He knew his father never got over her death.

A light breeze and a flutter of wings signified Balthazar's presence in front of him. Castiel knew Balthazar was going to start spouting off rare platitudes about his parents in which Castiel did not feel like hearing. Instead he smirked at the blonde angel.

"Really, Balthazar? You had to fly instead of walking the few steps to me?"

Balthazar opened his mouth to spout off an insult, but realized what Castiel was doing and smiled instead.

"Okay Cassie, you win. Now, I think I found something that might work." He shoved the clothing in Castiel's hands.

"I don't really understand why it's so important I look nice. I'm just going to get shot down anyways. I don't flirt." he grumbled as he started to change.

"Just trust me on this. I'll be in the living room when you're ready." The slight breeze at Castiel's turned back was his signal that Balthazar had left the room.

He quickly changed into the dark blue button down shirt and black dress pants. He looked in the mirror and cringed. He hadn't worn these clothes since he was in college and he had filled out a little since then. The shirt was a little too tight over his biceps and the pants a bit too snug. He felt like a walking advertisement for desperate sex in the too tight clothes.

He rolled up the sleeves of the shirt and adjusted the buttons, leaving a couple undone. He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to get it in some sort of order, but it refused to cooperate, so he gave up.

Castiel straightened up and shook his head at the image in the mirror. Hopefully he won't run into anybody he knows at the Roadhouse.

When he walked into the living room, Balthazar gave a low whistle. "Damn Castiel, if you weren't busy helping me, you wouldn't have any problems getting laid tonight." He gave Castiel a toothy grin.

Castiel rolled his eyes at the angel. "Come on, let's get this over with."

Chapter Text

"About time you two showed your faces around here!"

Dean grinned at Ellen Harvelle, owner of the Roadhouse and the closest thing he had to a mother.

He gave her a hug and a quick kiss on the check. "Sorry Ellen, you know how it is. Business has picked up and I've been staying pretty busy."

"It's good to hear things are going well, but don't forget to make a little time for yourself, meaning, come visit me and Jo." she patted him on the cheek and moved her attention to Sam.

After receiving a bear hug from Sam, Ellen stepped away and eyed Sam critically. "I'm going to have Jo fetch my scissors. You need a haircut."

Sam blanched, quickly stepping away which caused Dean to snort. "Ellen, give up, he won't let anybody touch that luscious mane of his."

"Who can blame him?" a new voice entered the conversation, causing Sam to let out a small groan of frustration that only Dean could hear. Of course that made his smile to grow bigger.

"What are you doing here?" Sam asked, almost rudely. Dean kicked Sam's shin causing the taller man to grimace.

"What? Not happy to see me?" Gabriel smirked, not bothered by Sam's less than friendly greeting.

"He's just grumpy because he didn't make it to the farmer's market this morning and they were out of organic rabbit food at the grocery store." Dean teased his little brother.

"I can't believe they were out of organic baby spinach. That store is a disgrace." Sam muttered, earning a laugh from Dean, Ellen and Gabriel.

"He can eat all the organic food he wants. It clearly does the body good." Gabriel's eyes roved over Sam's body.

"Gabriel, I'm your employer!" Sam huffed indignantly.

"Oh, I know. Maybe you should punish me for insubordination and bend me over your desk…"

"Gabriel!" Sam shouted, Ellen shook her head resignation and Dean cringed at the mental image.

"Too much?" Gabriel blinked at the group innocently.

"Might want to reel it back some, Gabe." Dean snickered.

"Dean, while you're here, can you look at something in my store room? I'm thinking I might need more shelving. Ellen asked, her business never far from her mind.

"No problem, Ellen. I can take a quick look. Sam, you want to get our drinks and Gabe, can you snag us a table before they fill up?"

"Sure, we can do that Deano." Gabriel's lips quirked up and started to tell Sam what he wanted to drink as Dean followed Ellen to the back.

It didn't take long to see what Ellen was wanting. He gave her a few possible options and then told her he would be out Monday morning to take a few measurements. He then stuck around and talked to Ellen for a little longer than necessary to give Sam and Gabe a little time alone.

"Dean Winchester, are you trying to set up your brother?" Ellen asked, smiling.

"Of course I am. I just want to see him happy and I think Gabe would be good for him."

"Gabriel is a handful, but a good guy. He would make a good match for Sam. But just a word of advice, Dean. Don't push Sam. Let him discover things in his own time." Ellen said seriously.

Dean nodded. "You're right, I shouldn't push him, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to turn him in the right direction."

Ellen laughed and slapped him on the back. "Let's get back out there before Sam kills Gabe and Jo kills me for leaving her alone at the bar so long."

Once Dean made it back to the front, the bar was in full swing. He looked around, trying to spot Sam and Gabriel and found them sitting at a table near the bar. He smiled in relief and made his way through the crowd, but as he got closer, he noticed there was a third person sitting at the table. He could only catch a glimpse of tousled dark hair.

Then the man stood up and Dean's heart stopped, taking in the back of the man's form. The fabric of the man's shirt formed over a lean, straight back, highlighting broad shoulders and strong arms.

Dean's eyes lowered and took in a deep breath at the man's snug pants that showcased the most perfect ass….

Green eyes narrowed in concentration. Wait a minute, I know that ass…

Dean started striding determinedly toward the table, heedless of the crowd.


"This is a bad idea." Castiel muttered as he entered the Roadhouse. The bar was busy due to it being Saturday night. Music blared over the sound system with a few couples out on the small dance floor. Patrons flooded around the bar, ordering drinks from the young blonde bartender who gave every person she spoke with a friendly smile. The rest of the place was a crush of people, hopping from table to table, raucous laughter booming over the music.

"It's a great idea. Now get your sexy self in there." Balthazar slapped Castiel's ass causing the brunette to jump and glare at the grinning angel over his shoulder.

Castiel made his way to the bar and after a few moments was able to order a beer. Once he got his drink from the smiling bartender, he made his way toward the back of the bar where he spotted an empty table that he could talk to Balthazar without being seen and people thinking he was crazy.

It took him longer than he had anticipated to get to the table with all the bodies brushing against him or blocking his path. On the way, someone groped his ass, another ran their hand down his chest and he received three propositions, two were from women and one from a man.

By the time he got to the table, Balthazar was sitting at the table, feet propped up, laughing at Castiel who was clearly flustered and shocked.

"I'll reiterate. This is a terrible idea." Castiel growled as he sat down, taking a deep draw of his beer.

"Oh Cassie, don't act so surprised that they want a piece of you. Even you must realize you're a Baldwin."

Castiel's eyes squinted in confusion. "My name is not Baldwin."

Balthazar's smirked. "Don't you ever watch TV? It's from Clueless. Since I don't sleep, I tend to watch a lot of television."

Castiel straightened up in his chair and glowered at Balthazar. "Is that why my cable bill last month had all those extra charges labeled "adult entertainment"? The company refused to take the charges off the bill!"

The angel leaned back in his chair and gave Castiel a small, guilty smile. "Oh, they charge for those?"

Castiel clenched his teeth. "Just tell me who I'm looking for."

"That's Sam who is a lawyer." He pointed toward a tall man with longish brown hair at the bar, his back to Castiel. "And that's Gabriel, his paralegal." Balthazar indicated to the short golden haired man that was at a table near the bar, talking animatedly to a dark haired woman.

"I think you should hit on Gabriel. I'm hoping that will cause Sam to go into a jealous rage and he'll finally come out."

Castiel's turned wide eyes to Balthazar. "You want me to anger him?" Castiel tilted his head toward Sam. Then the other part of Balthazar's statement hit him.

"What do you mean, he'll finally come out? Please, please don't tell me it's not what I think it means?" Castiel begged in which Balthazar shrugged helplessly.

"He's practically on the precipice. He just needs a little push."

Castiel banged his head on the table and groaned. "No, I'm probably going to get beat up by a closeted gay giant. On top of that, I'll be stuck with you for the rest of my life."

Balthazar rubbed Castiel's shoulders consolingly. "Well, at least you're looking on the bright side."

"This is not going to end well." Castiel predicated but straightened up anyways.

"It will be fine. I mean, you'll have me to coach you along. What could possibly go wrong?"

"No, I have a sex-crazed angel whose best pick-up lines are ones he probably heard from watching bad porn."

"I resent that. You've obliviously never seen me in action. It's not about what you say but what you don't say."

Castiel merely rolled his eyes.

Balthazar clapped Castiel on the back and stood up. "Come on loverboy, let's do this."

Castiel drained his bottle of beer and wiped his sweaty palms on his pants. He gave a curt nod to Balthazar.

Once again Castiel navigated his way through the crowd with no less groping than the last time. What is it with these people?

He finally made it to Gabriel's table; thankfully the dark haired woman just got up and left, leaving Gabriel alone at the table. At least it was one less person to witness Castiel's mortification.

Castiel stood there, staring down at the man, shuffling his feet. Gabriel must have realized somebody was standing there because he looked up. Friendly amber eyes stared up at him inquisitively.

Balthazar nudged Castiel's back. "Say hello."

"Hello."

Gabriel eyes traveled the length of Castiel's body and smirked.

"Hello back at ya, gorgeous. Nice outfit."

Castiel felt his face flame at Gabriel's teasing remark.

Balthazar snickered. Castiel gritted his teeth and forged ahead. "Mind if I sit down?"

Gabriel chuckled at Castiel's stiff demeanor. "Sure, before you strain something."

Castiel gave him a weak smile and held out his hand. "I'm Castiel."

"Gabriel, but you can call me Gabe."

Castiel nodded and started to stay something when out of the corner of his eye he saw Balthazar straighten up in his seat.

"Sorry Cassie, I've got to leave. Heaven's calling." Balthazar said and with a fluttering breeze, he was gone.

"You've got to be kidding me." Castiel grumbled and closed his eyes. Now what the hell am I suppose to do?

"You okay there?"

Castiel opened his eyes reluctantly. Gabriel stared back with an amused smile tipping his lips.

"I'm fine. It's just been a long day. Can I buy you a drink?" Castiel racked his brain of things he could possibly say to the stranger. He was never into the social scene and the last person he was with was a guy he met in class before he dropped out of college, not in a bar.

Gabriel snickered. "Buy me a drink, huh? You must be desperate if you want to ply me with alcohol."

"I'm not desperate. I'm merely interested in you. Isn't that the proper thing to do?" Castiel internally groaned. He could not believe that he asked the guy he was suppose to be flirting with about the correct way to flirt.

Gabriel propped his chin up with his hand and looked at Castiel with a speculative gleam in his eyes. "You're lying. You have no interest in me at all."

Castiel fidgeted in his seat. He never was the best liar. "That's not true, you do interest me." At least it was partly true since he was interested in getting Gabriel with his soulmate so he could have his own life back again.

Gabriel's eyes narrowed. "You might be interested, but you don't want to fuck me. So, you might as well tell me what you really want."

Castiel sighed and decided to give Gabriel as much of the truth that he could. "I'm trying to make somebody jealous."

Gabriel's eyes lit up and he leaned forward in his seat. "Really? Who? Point him out to me."

"I don't see him. He might have already left." Castiel quickly avoided Gabriel's eyes.

His face fell. "That's a shame. You know, if you're not too interested in this guy, I have a friend that would absolutely devour you once he saw you. You're just his type."

"I'm not really looking for anybody…" Castiel started but stopped and gulped nervously when Sam walked over to the table, setting a drink in front of Gabriel with a thud.

"Do me a favor, Gabriel. Next time, order your own drink." Sam sat down next to him, carefully setting two bottles of beer on the table.

"Do you have something against Screaming Orgasms? I find them delicious." Gabriel gave Sam a lascivious look while licking his lips.

Sam rolled his eyes at Gabriel, but a hint of red crawled up the younger man's neck and cheeks. Castiel was quick to notice that Sam's eyes tracked the moment of Gabriel's tongue before quickly looking away.

Sam finally looked in Castiel's direction and all the anxiety he felt disappeared when confronted with Sam's kind hazel eyes. Sam exuded a sense of benevolence that would put anybody at ease, but there was a little hint of darkness in him that told Castiel that he still would not want to be on the man's bad side.

Gabriel motioned toward Sam. "Castiel, this is Sam, my boss and future lover." Gabriel grinned when Sam glared at him.

"Gabriel, you shouldn't say things like that. Besides, I'm not even gay." Sam muttered, taking a drink of his beer.

"Keep telling yourself that, baby." Gabriel winked causing Sam to choke on his drink.

Once Sam's coughing was under control and shooting Gabriel a glare, he gave Castiel a curious look. "Your name is Castiel? What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a mail carrier." Castiel shrugged, knowing it wasn't glamorous as being a lawyer, but the job served its purpose. However, Castiel frowned hard at Sam when he started laughing.

"Oh my god, this is too good. Stand up and let me get a look at you." Sam ordered, gasping for breath.

Castiel slowly stood up, not really knowing why he was even doing as Sam asked. The scowl that Gabriel sent Sam's way didn't go unnoticed by either man. Sam shook his head at Gabriel as to tell him he would explain later.

Castiel stood there, feeling awkward, fists clenched at his sides as Sam ran an analytical eye over him.

"Yes, you are definitely his type." Sam said, smiling smugly.

"Who?" Castiel couldn't resist asking.

"My older brother." At Sam's statement, Gabriel started cackling.

"I thought so, too! Castiel, I don't know who this guy is you're hung up on, but forget him and let us introduce you to Sam's brother!" Gabriel said excitedly, bouncing in his seat.

Sam smirked, leaning back in his chair. "Actually, Castiel has already met him."

That caught Castiel's attention. "I have?"

Sam nodded and continued to smile up at him, his eyes moving to behind Castiel's right shoulder.

A wide hand settled on Castiel's shoulder, the heat and weight of it caused his body to shiver as a strange awareness settled over him.

"Cas?" the warm raspy voice behind him had Castiel internally groaning at his luck. Of course when Balthazar dresses him like a manwhore, he would have to run into Dean Winchester.

Castiel dreaded turning around, but he did anyways. He didn't realize how close Dean was standing to him until he knocked his shoulder into Dean's chest as he turned around.

Dean took a couple of steps back to give Castiel a little room, but that only allowed Dean a better view of him.

Dean's eyes widened and he swallowed several times, his green eyes never seeming to stray far from his chest and crotch. Castiel felt himself simultaneously blushing and hardening.

Dean's groan told Castiel that he could see the growing bulge which wouldn't be difficult to miss because his pants were so goddamn tight!

Castiel made a mental note to research how to kill an angel.

"Sam, just look at them…and Dean even gave him a nickname! I can't take it…" Gabriel started laughing, practically falling over onto Sam.

Sam made no move to push Gabriel's body away, instead letting the shorter man lean against him as his laughter started anew.

"Shove it, Gabe!" Dean grounded out, suspiciously looking like he was in pain.

Face still red, Castiel looked everywhere but at Dean and muttered about needing a drink. He quickly made his way to the bar.

"Wow Cassie, what did you do? Did the flirting work? I've never seen those two so close before." Balthazar appeared by Castiel's side, whatever he was summoned for must have been taken care of.

Not caring who heard him, he growled. "No, the flirting didn't work. They bonded over their shared amusement of my humiliation."

Balthazar's tilted his head and his lips pursed thoughtfully before shrugging. "Well, that works also."

Castiel gave the blonde angel a dark scowl.

He called the bartender over who approached him almost hesitantly. She obviously heard him talking to himself.

"What can I get you?" she asked, trying to act as hearing a man talk angrily to himself was a normal occurrence. But it was a bar, so maybe it was.

"Whiskey."

"Single or double shot?" she asked, preparing to fix his drink.

"Make it the whole bottle." Castiel had a feeling he was going to need it.

Chapter Text

Dean watched Castiel make his way to the bar and tried to calm his raging libido. He could see the guy was embarrassed, but it took everything Dean had not to grab the blue eyed man and haul him off to somewhere more private.

It was only Sam and Gabriel's continued laughter that startled him out of his reverie. He glared at the two men.

"Why did you have to go and do that?" Dean growled out.

Sam must have realized he crossed a line with his older brother because he immediately sobered up.

Gabriel was another matter entirely.

"Relax Dean. At least you know the guy thinks you're hot. Just too bad he's interested in somebody else."

Dean's stomach dropped at that news. "He is?"

Gabriel couldn't contain his smirk. "Yeah, he was trying to get some guy's attention by flirting with me. Poor thing probably couldn't flirt to save his life." he laughed.

"Do you know who he's interested in?" Dean couldn't resist asking, looking around the bar to see if he could guess who it was. Damn, how did I get that so wrong?

"He wouldn't say. He said he didn't think he was still here, but he kept looking over at the bar…" Gabriel suddenly stopped.

"Yeah?" Dean sat down next to Gabriel and nudged him in the side for him to continue.

Gabriel shook his head and looked over at the bar where Castiel was talking to Jo, frowning. "It's nothing."

Dean slumped in his seat and looked down at his beer sullenly before taking a drink.

Sam could see that Dean was not happy with the new findings and took pity on his brother. "Dean, he might be interested in somebody else, but he obviously likes you too. He's single so that makes him fair game. Just do what you do best."

Dean arched a brow at his little brother. "What is it that I do best?"

Sam coughed and looked over at Gabriel for help. Gabriel was still staring over at Castiel, not frowning, but actually scowling. He wouldn't be any help apparently.

"Well, you know…you never fail to leave the bar without a…ummm…partner." Sam said tactfully.

Dean knew he should be angry but it was Sam so he gave him a mocking grin. "What are you tryin' to say, Sammy? That I'm an irresistibly sexy bastard?"

Sam rolled his eyes. "More along the lines of a conceited manwhore."

"Hey, I resent that!" Dean grumbled looking back over at the bar where Castiel sat alone. He watched him take a shot of whiskey and chase it with a sip of beer, his shoulders slumped. The sight made Dean feel sad. There was something about Castiel that made it appear that he was isolated, as if he deliberately kept a wall around himself so nobody could get close.

"For god's sake, just go talk to the man!" Sam shook his brother's shoulder, tired of Dean's melancholy mood.

"Okay, okay!" Dean shook Sam's hand off. He looked around the table and realized Gabriel was missing.

"Sammy, where did Gabe go?"

Sam looked around and saw the paralegal striding determinedly toward Castiel.

"Shit….what's he up to now?" Sam groaned.

Dean's eyes narrowed as he watched Gabriel sidle up next to Castiel. Their backs were to him, but he could clearly see Castiel's body tense up. Dean started to stand up to see what was going on but Sam stopped him.

"Wait a moment. Gabriel probably got sick of you staring at Castiel like a kicked puppy and is trying to convince him to come back to the table."

Dean nodded and sat back down reluctantly, still keeping an eye on the two men at the bar.

Trying to keep his mind off of his current situation, he decided to harass Sam.

"Care to tell me what's up between you and Gabe? You two looked all cozy a few minutes ago." Dean smirked at his brother's blushing face.

"I don't know what you're talking about. We laughed together, it's not like that doesn't happen on occasion." Sam huffed but Dean could see his hazel eyes stray over to the man in question where he was coaxing Castiel away from the bar.

"Heads up, they're heading this way." Sam told Dean. Dean straightened up and tried to compose his face in a more nonchalant expression and not the 'dude you're so fucking hot, please let me rock your world' expression that he was pretty sure would scare Castiel away.

Apparently he failed because Sam's soft laughter floated around him. "Good luck. Try not to overwhelm the guy."

Dean scoffed. "I don't need luck." He leaned back, hooking one arm around the back of the chair, putting on his best smile. He was determined to get Castiel to forget all about the guy he thought he liked.


The blonde bartender gave Castiel a critical look. "Nuh-uh. I'm not giving you a whole bottle. I'll start you out with a couple of shots first, but whatever is bothering you, you're not going to find your answers at the bottom of a bottle." She gave him a small smile to soften her blunt words. "I'm Jo, by the way."

"Castiel." He rumbled out, trying to ignore the bouncing blonde muse at his side.

"Castiel, huh? Well, here's your first shot and a beer on the house. I'll be back in a little bit to check on you." Jo winked and went to help the other patrons.

"I take it from your red face and waning erection that the attempt at flirting didn't go well. What were you trying to do Cassie? Show the guy your goods?"

Just finishing his shot, he took a sip of his beer in which he immediately started to choke at Balthazar's words. He looked around to make sure nobody was paying attention to him.

"No, it didn't go well because you left me high and dry damn it! It doesn't help that Sam is Winchester's brother." he hissed out, his heart still beating at a rapid tattoo at his embarrassment.

"Wait…the man you've been jerking off to is Sam's brother?" he asked gleefully.

Castiel was truly horrified. "Balthazar! Is nothing sacred to you?"

"Oh please, I wasn't spying on you. I can't help it that I have exceptional hearing and you're a loud broadcaster. I mean, how can I not hear you moaning, 'Oh Winchester…yes harder D!' and not realize what you're doing. Where is this guy…I've got to see him for myself."

Castiel wanted to crawl into a hole and die, but not before he killed Balthazar. Did the muse ever give him any sort of privacy?

"There's no way, I'm pointing him out." He glared at Balthazar who was clearly enjoying Castiel's discomfort.

"Come on Cassie, this is the most excitement I've seen you have in years. Besides, what am I going to do? Nobody can see me but you."

"Knowing you, you would find a way to embarrass me." he mumbled into his beer.

"Look sharp Cassie, Gabriel is heading this way." Balthazar warned, previous teasing forgotten.

"Hey Castiel." Gabriel jumped up on the barstool next to him. Gabriel's friendly demeanor earlier was gone and was replaced with something more somber and thoughtful.

"Hello, Gabriel." Castiel couldn't help to stiffen, feeling the tension radiating from Gabriel.

"Quite the conversationalist, aren't you?" Gabriel smiled briefly before the somber look was back.

Castiel merely shrugged, peeling at the label of the beer bottle.

"I came over here to find out something. Tell me honestly, whose attention were you trying to catch? I know he's still here, so don't lie."

Castiel glanced over at Balthazar for help, but the angel merely smirked, apparently wanting Castiel to suffer. God, I hate when Balthazar gets into his dick mode.

He sighed and seeing that Balthazar was going to be no help whatsoever, he asked a question of his own. "Does it really matter?"

Gabriel's golden eyes narrowed. "Yes, it does because I want to make sure it's not Sam you're after. I've wanted him since the moment I saw him and I'm not going to let some blue eyed pretty boy angel take him away." Gabriel growled low in his throat, his face a mask of fierce determination.

Pretty boy angel? What the hell? Castiel took a moment to realize that Gabriel was talking about him and he thought….

"Oh! I have no interest in Sam at all." Balthazar, who was laughing beside him at Gabriel's comment stopped abruptly and groaned.

"Damn it Cassie, that would have been the perfect set up! You should have said that hell yeah, you were interested in him."

There was no way he would tell Gabriel that. He was wrong to fear Sam; it was Gabriel that had him worried. The guy might be smaller than him, but he looked like he would have too many tricks up his sleeve to make his life miserable.

Castiel discreetly shifted his hand that had balled into a fist and hit Balthazar in the crotch for the suggestion.

Balthazar moaned pitifully. "Fine, I'll be quiet, but I'm not leaving. Got to make sure you don't fuck this up."

Castiel's eyes twitched to the side to see Balthazar cupping himself, causing a little satisfied smile from Castiel. He turned his attention back to Gabriel who was smiling again.

"That's good to know because I noticed you were eyeing the bar a lot and it seemed like it was in Sam's direction, but glad to know I'm wrong." Gabriel patted Castiel on the back. "Now how about you come back to my table and we can tell us about this mystery guy and we can tell you how wrong he is for you."

Castiel felt his eyebrows arch. "Tell me how wrong he is for me?"

"Well, yeah, I mean, I already have you pictured with Dean. I practically have the wedding invitations picked out in my mind."

Castiel snorted at that and decided to follow Gabriel back to the table. What else could he do? He needed to get Sam and Gabriel together and if this is what it took so be it. He was going to hate to see Gabriel's hopes of him and Dean together being dashed when he realized that Dean probably didn't have any real interest in Castiel. Except for maybe a one night stand, but Castiel didn't do one night stands.

As if Balthazar could tell what Castiel was thinking, put his hand on his shoulder. He could feel his concerned pale blue eyes burn into his profile. "Cheer up Cassie, I think you need to open your eyes and realize how extraordinary you are."

Castiel shook his head at Balthazar words. He held no illusions about himself. He was who he was, for better or worse.

"Hey guys, look who I found sulking at the bar." Gabriel announced, taking the seat closest to Sam so Castiel would be forced to sit by Dean.

Castiel avoided Dean's eyes for as long as possible but he finally looked over at him and squirmed nervously in his chair. His green gaze was fastened on him; his lips spread in a lazy smile that made his stomach flip.

I'm turning into a teenage girl.

"Oh Cassie, is this him? Oh my, my…he is delicious." Balthazar all but purred.

Castiel tried very hard to ignore the infuriating angel next to him, but he couldn't help to note the truth in his statement.

Dean was indeed delicious.

The longer he stared at the sandy blonde man, the wider Dean's smile got until finally he drawled out, "Hey Cas."

There went his goddamn stomach doing somersaults again at Dean's nickname spoken in that slightly rough voice.

"Hello, Dean." he greeted. "I didn't expect to see you here."

Dean leaned forward, angling his body toward Castiel with his smile still gracing his lips. "I could say the same about you. Never seen you here before."

Castiel looked down at his beer, idly wiping some of the condensation off of the bottle. Anything to keep him focused on his words and not how Dean filled out his black t-shirt or how good he smelled.

"Actually, this is my first time here. I've lived in Lawrence for two years and I still don't know why I haven't stopped by before. It seems to be a lively place." Castiel bit his bottom lip hard to keep from babbling.

"Well, I hope to see more of you," Dean's eyes traveled over Castiel's body that wasn't hidden by the table and slowly wetted his lips, "around here often."

Sam groaned. "Way to be subtle, Dean."

Gabriel leaned over to Sam and in a stage whisper, "I think your bro watches too much porn."

Dean shot Sam and Gabriel a glare before turning a sheepish smile to Castiel.

Balthazar looked over at Dean with approval, grinning. "I like him."

"So, who's this man you're so interested in? What's his name?" Gabriel asked, leaning forward eagerly.

Castiel looked around at his companions briefly, taking note of the small frown on Dean's face.

"His name is…Balthazar. He's somebody I've seen around for a while, but I really don't think he's that interested."

"Oh Cassie, I'm flattered. You've should have told me. Never had sex with a human before, but we could give it a go…" Balthazar smirked.

Castiel felt a small blush creep up his face as he made another fist in warning to Balthazar who quickly backed away. "I'm joking!" He then stopped and let out a frustrated growl, "Being summoned again. Just when it was starting to get good too. Have fun with loverboy but don't forget that you still need to work on Sam and Gabriel." The angel disappeared with those parting words.

He internally groaned at being left alone again even though Balthazar was quickly proving to be more of a hindrance than a help.

"The guy is an idiot if he doesn't notice you, but it's his loss." Castiel jumped slightly when he realized how close Dean had moved, their thighs now pressed together. Dean's arm now rested on the back of Castiel's chair.

Castiel wasn't expecting Dean to be so aggressive but in all fairness he probably thought he would be an easy lay. Castiel couldn't blame Dean for the notion because really who would with what he was wearing and the incident earlier that clearly showed Castiel was interested.

Sam shook his head with an amused expression on his face at Dean's boldness and Castiel's obvious nervousness.

The next couple of hours went quickly but Castiel wasn't making any headway with Sam and Gabriel. Every time he tried to get information, both of them would deftly avoid the questions, seemingly focused more on him and Dean.

It didn't take long for Sam and Gabriel to wring out some information about Castiel's personal life, like how he started college late due to lack of money and how he ended up dropping out in the middle of working on his masters to take care of his ill father. They seemed to back off though when it was clear that Castiel didn't want to dig deeper into the past, but Castiel had no doubt that if they really wanted to, they could have extracted every detail from him without him realizing it.

Sam and Gabriel were a frighteningly effective team. Castiel felt sorry for anybody that had to go against them in court.

Even though he wasn't making headway with the soul mates, he did learn more about Dean. He had his own business where he was a handyman. He did mostly small jobs for homeowners and businesses in the area since it was only him and a man that he employed named Benny but apparently it kept him plenty busy.

Before long, Gabriel was yawning though Castiel suspected it was a fake one and announced he was going to head home, but not before inviting Castiel to a party he was having the following weekend.

Castiel was in no position to refuse so he took down Gabriel's number and address on a napkin and promised he would be there.

"Hey Gabe, can I catch a ride with you? I'm tired myself and I rode with Dean, but he doesn't look like he's ready to leave."

"Sure thing, Sammykins." Gabriel grinned as he stood up and stretched.

Castiel didn't miss the way Sam's gaze was drawn to the line of Gabriel's body as he stretched or the wink Dean sent Sam's way, making the lawyer blush at being caught staring.

After they left, Castiel and Dean sat at the table alone, now strangely quiet between the two of them. Now that his focus of even being there tonight was gone, there was no buffer between him and Dean.

"I think I should be going too." Castiel stood up, but Dean caught his wrist.

"It's still early." Dean's green eyes sparkled in the dim light of the bar as he stared up at him with an earnest expression.

Castiel couldn't help to chuckle at the statement. "It's going on one in the morning."

"Like I said, early." he laughed as he got up from the table also, hand still on Castiel's wrist. "Just play one game of pool with me before you go. Sammy promised he would play, but the bitch wimped out on me."

"I don't know how to play. I've never tried before." Castiel told Dean as he was dragged to an unoccupied pool table.

"No problem, I'll teach you." he told Castiel from over his shoulder.

Dean quickly went through the rules with Castiel before setting up. Dean then did a few shots to show him how it was done, every ball he aimed at made it into their perspective pockets.

"You're really good at this." Castiel commented as he concentrated on what Dean was showing him and definitely not on the sight of his ass leaning over the pool table.

Dean straightened up after making the last shot. "Sammy and I use to hustle pool when we were younger. Had have a way to help pay for Sammy's education somehow." Dean smiled and handed the cue stick to Castiel. "Ready to give it a try?"

Castiel nodded and took the cue and applied chalk to the tip like Dean had showed him. Dean grabbed the rack and set up the table again.

Castiel walked up to the table, trying to get into position. He struck the cue ball, but it went off to the side. Castiel blew out a frustrated breath.

Dean chuckled softly and came up behind Castiel.

"It's all in the grip. Here, let me show you." Dean leaned over Castiel's body and adjusted his hands on the stick.

Dean's voice was a low rumble in Castiel's ear as he instructed him. Castiel shivered as Dean molded himself to Castiel's back.

"You want to make sure you have a fluid stroke. Let it glide through your fingers." He instructed in a whisper, his breath tickling the side of Castiel's neck.

Castiel bit down on his lower lip hard to stop the whimper that gathered in his throat at the feel of Dean's larger, muscular body surrounding his own. Castiel's breathing was heavy in his chest as he relished the heat radiating from Dean's body.

Focus Novak. Castiel steeled himself and focused on Dean's instructions and not his body. The result was a resounding crash as the cue ball connected with the rack of balls making them scatter across the table.

"There you go, Cas. Much better." Dean praised, straightening up and stepped away but not before he palmed Castiel's hips and Dean's groin briefly made contact with his ass.

Castiel's eyes rolled back at the feel of Dean's hot, hard length against the cleft of his ass. A small moan managed to slip out.

He looked over his shoulder at Dean and saw a small victorious smirk on the man's face. Dean knew exactly what he was doing to Castiel.

He handed the cue stick back to Dean and with a shaky breath, "Thanks for the lesson, but I really need to go."

Castiel was out the door before Dean could stop him.

Once he was in his car, Castiel hit the back of his head several times on the head rest in frustration. He knew he was a coward for running out, but Dean overwhelmed him. Hell, Dean just had to look at him with those eyes and pouty lips and he lost all brain function.

Castiel just didn't want to be a one night stand so it would be better not to know what he was missing because he knew one time with Dean would never be enough.

He looked down at his lap to see that he was hard…again.

Goddamn it.

Chapter Text

"Sammy, I fucked up."

Sam looked up in surprise at his brother who sat across from in the booth at Tessa's Diner. It had become a tradition for the Winchesters to have lunch together every Sunday at Tessa's ever since Sam finished law school and moved back Lawrence.

He sighed. "What did you do this time?"

Dean's mind was on the events of last night that he didn't even bother to throw Sam an insult at the phrasing of his question.

"I might have come on too strong to Castiel." Dean groaned out and then proceeded to tell Sam about what happened after him and Gabriel had left.

"You can tell me, I did come on too strong, didn't I?" Dean looked down at the table, clearly troubled that he had messed everything up.

"You think? You practically jumped the poor guy. What happened to wanting to take it slow since Castiel is shy?" Sam knew Dean must be really upset about it since his burger still sat on his plate, untouched.

"I was. I mean, I will." Dean grunted in frustration, "I guess I just over did it. I just lost it at the thought that he wants somebody else so I wanted to get his mind off of what's his face and remember me."

Sam laughed at Dean's logic. "Oh, I have no doubt he'll remember you. Eat your food before it gets cold."

Sam took a bite of his own burger but almost choked when Dean pushed his away. "I'm not hungry."

Sam put down his sandwich and eyed his brother speculatively. "Dean, before you get yourself all worked up, I think you need to ask yourself this. Do you want a fling or a relationship with Castiel? I might not know Castiel, but he strikes me as the kind of guy that is looking for something long term."

Dean grew quiet for a moment before he answered Sam. "I don't know him well enough to say I want a long term relationship, but I do know I want to find out if the potential for one is there."

"Then why are you treating him like one of those bimbos you would mess around with before you came out?"

Dean sat in his seat, shamefaced. He just knew he was eager to show Castiel how interested he was in him that he took it too far.

"Shit, I probably fucked everything up." Dean rubbed his tired eyes and tried to ignore the regret that hung heavy in his chest.

Sam grabbed Dean's forearm and gave it a little shake. "Just talk to him. Show Castiel there is a gentleman buried in there somewhere." Sam coughed to cover a smile at the next part of advice he was about to dispense. "And no sex."

Dean opened his mouth to protest but Sam held up his hand.

"If you really want to know more about this guy, lay off the sex for a while. It will only cloud your judgment."

"You want me to take a pledge of abstinence? But I'm so damn good at sex, how the hell am I going to be able to impress the guy? No…no way, Sammy." Dean practically whined.

"Do you really want to know him on a deeper level or what?" Sam waited for Dean to grudgingly nod. "Then trust me on this. It's not forever anyways, just for a little while."

Dean gave a petulant little whine and then sighed dejectedly. "Fine, bitch. I'll give it a try."

Sam bit into his burger to hide the smirk that was threatening to spread across his face.

"Are you going to Gabriel's party next weekend?" Dean asked, pulling his plate back toward him, apparently his appetite restored.

Sam shrugged. "I'll show up only to see you stumble around to impress Castiel."

"You know that's not the only reason you're going."

"Of course, Gabriel's is my paralegal and I guess we've become friends of sorts." Sam admitted, paying special attention to his half eaten burger.

"Friends?" Dean raised his hands at Sam's glare.

"Friends…friends is good." Dean smiled before polishing off the rest of his sandwich.

At least it was a step in the right direction.


Castiel knew it was going to be a hellish week when he woke up Sunday morning to go on his jog only to open his eyes to find Balthazar in his face.

"How'd it go last night?" Balthazar asked, lying on his side, facing Castiel.

Castiel had long ago stopped being shocked to find the angel in his bed. It was practically a daily occurrence.

"They left together last night, that's a good thing, right?"

Balthazar grinned and gave Castiel an over exuberant kiss on the mouth. Castiel grabbed the angel's face with one hand and pushed him away in disgust.

"Ugh, you taste of cigarettes and cheap wine coolers." Castiel got out of bed and started rummaging through his dresser for a t-shirt and running shorts.

"I decided to give you some precious privacy in case you decided to bring Winchester home which I'm disappointed by the way that he isn't here. I decided to observe the mating rituals of college students instead."

"In other words, you went to a frat party." Castiel shook his head as he pulled on his shorts.

"Yes, and I must say, those boys could use a lesson in finesse, especially when they managed to get the women to consent to sexual relations. It was quite laughable really even though I felt sorry for the poor girls because it was over before it even begun." Balthazar propped himself up on his elbows and hummed thoughtfully.

"You're such a pervert. You need to stop spying on people. It's getting creepy."

"You find my spying endearing."

Castiel stared back at Balthazar, expressionless.

"Or maybe not." Balthazar cleared his throat and got off the bed and went back to the topic at hand. "So Sam and Gabriel left together? That is a good sign. Now tell me, what happened with you and Mr. Orgasmo."

Castiel finished tying his running shoes and shook his head at Balthazar's nickname for Dean. "Nothing happened. We played a little pool and then I went home. Alone."

Balthazar tsked sadly. "You should have pursued him, brought him home and fucked like proverbial bunnies. Maybe it would have put you in a better mood."

"I would like to get to know somebody before having sex." Castiel said over his shoulder as he walked out of the bedroom.

Balthazar followed him through the living room to the kitchen. "Come on, Cassie, that's the best part of getting to know somebody. You have to know if you two have sexual chemistry also. Just put yourself out there. Show Dean you're a dynamo in bed."

Castiel paused in the act of pulling the orange juice out of the refrigerator to glare at Balthazar.

"For an angel, you give horrible advice."

"You know lots of people would be honored to get advice from a heavenly being."

"Then go honor them and leave me alone."

"I don't need to take this abuse. Go on your run, but you'll still be a cranky bitch until you get some cock. Really, that much pent up sexual frustration is not healthy." The muse gave Castiel a cocky smirk before he vanished, the breeze ruffling Castiel's messy hair.

Castiel stared at the space that the angel had just occupied and his brows drew together in confusion.

When did the mission turn to getting two soulmates together to me getting laid?


"Castiel, just the person I wanted to see." Castiel internally groaned at the post mistress, Pamela, as she walked into the back. It was Monday morning and Castiel had just walked into the backroom of the post office to get ready for his deliveries.

"I have a huge favor to ask of you, Castiel." Pamela grinned, leaning against one of the large trolley bins full of mail.

"What do you need Pamela?" Castiel liked Pamela, she was a good boss, but sometimes she unnerved him with her ability to know everything.

"I need you to help run the front desk this week. Becky is sick and she will be out the entire week, doctor's orders."

Castiel blanched. "Why do I have to do it? Isn't there anybody else? Besides, who will cover my route?"

"Garth said he could use some extra hours so he's going to take over your route for the week and you are the only one that has experience running the front desk."

When Castiel first got the job at the post office, he was assigned to the front desk. He hated having to deal with customers. The majority of them were good natured, but there were several that were just out right rude and hateful. As soon as an opening for a mail carrier opened up, he jumped on it and never looked back.

"There is absolutely nobody else?" Castiel asked, already putting down his satchel.

Pamela gave him a kind smile. "Sorry hon, you're it. Now get up there, we're about to open."

Castiel groaned and made his way slowly to what he was sure was perdition.

Despite having to man the front desk, the week was going by pretty quickly. It also helped that he had to look forward to talking with Garth at the end of his shift.

It started on Monday after work where Castiel was walking to his car when Garth stopped him.

"Wait up Castiel!" Garth came running, all gangly arms and legs.

Castiel sighed but stopped. He actually really liked Garth for his happy-go-lucky attitude in any situation, but today he didn't want to deal with anybody.

Garth ran to the car and stopped a moment to catch his breath. "I ran into somebody on your route. His name is Dean. He was asking about you."

Castiel froze and turned wide eyes to Garth. "He was? What did he say?"

Garth gave him a big, silly grin. "He was worried something was the matter since you never miss work. I told him how you have to work at the desk this week. He then asked me to give you this."

Garth handed him a folded piece of paper and gave him a friendly wave, going off to his own car.

Castiel watched Garth go before turning his attention back to the paper. He opened it and started to read.

Cas,

Sorry about Saturday night. I acted like an ass. I hope you won't judge me based on that one night. Can we start over? I really would like to get to know you better. So tell me, what kind of music do you like?

-D

Castiel's face blossomed into a smile. He got into his car and dug for the pen he knew he kept in his dash. Using the opposite side of the paper, he started writing out a response.

Dean,

I apologize that I so rudely left that night. I did not think of you as an "ass" but very charming even if you were very enthusiastic. I'm very rusty with how to act around other people since I tend to be a bit of a hermit at times. I would very much like to start again and get to know about you also.

As for my music tastes, I enjoy a wide variety of music but my personal favorite is classical, especially classical piano.

What about you? What kind of music do you enjoy?

-Cas

Castiel bit his lip as he read over the note, feeling slightly foolish. He was thirty-three years old and he was acting like he was thirteen passing notes to his crush. But then again, Dean started it, not him.

He started up his car and took a different way home to drive past Dean's house, feeling slightly like a stalker. He let out a relieved breath when he didn't see Dean's Impala in the drive. Castiel parked and quickly got out and stuck the note in Dean's door where he was sure he would get it.

On Tuesday, Garth handed him another note accompanied by a cassette tape. Castiel once again waited for Garth to head to his car before he got in his own and read the letter.

Cas,

Thought it would be better for you to listen than tell you about it. Tell me what you think. What's your favorite TV show? Movie?

-D

Castiel smirked. Dean made him a mix tape. On cassette even. Castiel refused to feel ashamed of the slightly foolish way they were getting to know each other since Dean obviously didn't.

Castiel quickly wrote another note answering Dean's questions and asking some of his own and once again drove by Dean's to drop off the note. That night, he listened to the tape, enjoying in particular Traveling Riverside Blues. He wrote a brief note about which songs he liked the most and burned Dean a disc of some of his favorites. The next morning he handed it to a laughing Garth who obviously knew what was going on, but didn't care.

Castiel was enjoying the little notes and comments he would get from Dean. They never went into anything too deep which for now was fine with Castiel.

The bubbling good mood that Castiel was enjoying was ruined on Thursday morning when he heard a crash in his bathroom, startling him out of bed.

He gasped when he raced into the bathroom to see that part of the plaster ceiling had collapsed, exposing the wood structure of Castiel's ceiling and the floor of the upper level. Water steadily ran down, flooding his bathroom.

"Shit!" Castiel grabbed a bucket to put under the worse of the leaks and ran out of his apartment to the foyer, taking the stairs two at a time until he reached the other apartment door, letting himself inside.

Castiel lived in an old Victorian house that was converted into apartments. Castiel lived on the first floor while the owner lived on the top floor. Until recently, a sweet little old lady named Mrs. Gardner lived above him, but she decided to move to Florida and sold the house to a young woman named Charlie a few months earlier.

Castiel and Charlie hit it off immediately sharing many things in common; especially history even though Charlie used her knowledge of history for Renaissance faires, but that didn't bother Castiel.

In the short amount of time they had known each other; they had become friends and even trusted keeping their apartments unlocked; only keeping the main street entries locked.

"Charlie!" Castiel called out, but already knew Charlie was gone for work. He went into her bathroom to see that her tub was overflowing. He quickly shut off the water and reached for the plug to let the water out, all the time muttering under his breath.

He loved Charlie, but the girl could be flighty sometimes.

He mopped up her bathroom as best as he could and went down to his own apartment to call her.

"Wow, why the early phone call?" she asked when she finally picked up.

"Did you plan on taking a bath this morning?" he asked into the phone.

"Wow, how did you know? Yeah, I was going to but then I decided to play a quick game before work, but then played too long and was going to be late for work…" Charlie suddenly stopped talking.

"Fuck, I forgot to turn off the water, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did. I cleaned up your bathroom the best I could, but you'll have to send somebody to fix my ceiling and possibly some of the floor. It seemed a few tiled were cracked when the plaster hit."

"Oh shit Cas, I'm sorry. Mrs. Gardner gave me Rufus's number, that's who she would use for repairs, right? I'll give him a call immediately and get it all fixed up."

Castiel tried to calm down a distraught Charlie as he tried to get ready for work. Luckily he had taken a shower before bed so he could skip it this morning since he didn't have time to clean the plaster out of the tub so he could take one.

Charlie promised to call him on her lunch break to let him know what Rufus said.

The first half of the day went slow but luckily he didn't have to deal with any irate customers. At lunch time, Charlie called.

"Hey Cas, I called Rufus, but apparently he retired last month. He did recommend somebody to me that does good work. I called him and he said he was pretty busy during the day, but he said he would come by around six after his last job to take a look."

Castiel was a little surprised the guy was willing to come during off hours, but he was relieved that somebody was going to look at it that night. "Sounds good, I'll be home by then."

"Sorry I couldn't be there to talk to him, but we had a system crash here at the office and I'll probably be here all night trying to fix it. Damn amateurs." Charlie muttered over the phone.

Castiel laughed. "Not everybody can be a computer genius like you."

"I know, I know. I'm just cursed with this gift. I'll stop by and see you tomorrow when you get off of work though."

After saying their good-byes, Castiel went back to work, waiting impatiently for the end of the day.

When five o'clock came around, he practically raced to his car to meet Garth. Garth gave him another silly smile before passing him yet another note.

"Are you going to tell me what's going on? You're not like a spy are you?" Garth teased, his smile growing bigger at Castiel's blush.

Castiel shook his head and gave his friend a smile. Garth laughed and took off for his car. As always, Castiel waited until Garth was gone before opening the note.

Cas,

I listened to the cd last night. I think we should progress from notes to maybe phone calls? Call me tonight after 8 and I'll tell you what I think of your music choices.

-D

Castiel stared at the number at the bottom of the note. He found it so much easier to converse with Dean over letters, he was nervous to actually talk to him and hear that raspy voice of his.

He got in his car and drove home, lost in thought. Once home, he changed into sweats and t-shirt and quickly cleaned up the bathroom before the repairman arrived.

Once done, he lied down on the couch, flipping on the TV and found a Dr. Sexy marathon. Dean had said it was his favorite show so he wanted to see what it was all about. His mind kept wondering back to the note and whether he should call him.

He smiled and decided that he would. Really, what would it hurt?

Except for having to run the front desk and the disaster in the bathroom, the week wasn't so bad between the notes from Dean and being Balthazar-free. He did feel a wiggle of worry that he hadn't heard from the angel in days, but sometimes he would disappear for days at a time.

Castiel was starting to really get into the show when the doorbell rang. He got up and padded over to the foyer to let the repairman through the main entry.

Before he opened the door, he suppressed a smile at the thought that by the time the repairman left, it would be time to call Dean.

This week hasn't been so bad after all.

Chapter Text

Dean pulled up to the Victorian home and double checked the address. He had received a frantic call early in the morning from a Charlie Bradbury, telling him that Rufus had recommended him and she had a dire emergency. She proceeded to tell him what had happened to her tenant's bathroom when she forgot to shut off the water upstairs.

He was booked pretty solid today, but he felt bad for the new landlady so he agreed to stop by and assess the situation after his last job of the day.

He figured he could have a quick look and then schedule a time to come back out to start work. Depending on how much damage there was, it would determine whether he will need Benny's help. If not, Benny could work on some smaller jobs while he did this one.

All he knew was he wanted to take a look and see how much work will need to be done so he could get home by eight o'clock. Dean was hoping that Castiel would decide to call him.

Dean really wanted to talk to him and not through notes even though it gave him something to look forward to when he would come home to see Castiel's note stuck in his door.

Benny laughed at him because every day this week, Dean had been late for work, waiting to catch Garth to give his latest note to him to pass on to Castiel. But hey, what was the point of being the boss if not to take advantage of the perk from time to time?

Last night, Dean had listened to the CD Castiel had made for him. Some of the songs he knew and some of the classical pieces he was unfamiliar with, but surprisingly, he enjoyed them.

It was the last track on the disc though that he fell in love with. It was solely piano and the melody was hauntingly beautiful. He played it three or four times before looking on the track list to find the name, but it wasn't listed. He wanted to ask Castiel about it, but he also wanted to see if he wanted to go to Gabriel's party together on Saturday. Dean was really hoping he would call since he wanted to hear that gravelly voice of his to give him something to fantasize about that night since Sam suggested the sex embargo.

Dean shook his head, letting his thoughts scatter and focus on the job at hand. He got out of his work truck, grabbed his toolbox from the back and headed up the brick pathway to the wraparound porch.

He ran the door bell and waited for the tenant to answer since Charlie said she wouldn't be home.

When the tenant opened the door, it was not who he was expecting.

Castiel stood in the door way wearing a baggy red t-shirt, gray sweatpants and no shoes. Fuck, even his feet were sexy…shit, I am not developing a fucking foot fetish…

Dean looked back up at Castiel's face to take in the wide blue eyes that held a large amount of shock and surprise. Dean was sure that his own face held a similar expression.

"D-dean? What are you doing here?" Castiel asked, fingering the hem of his t-shirt.

"I got a call from Charlie about a bathroom ceiling." Dean told him, giving him a warm smile.

"You're the person Rufus recommended then." Castiel continued to stand in the doorway staring up at Dean.

"Rufus is an old friend of the family. Taught me everything I know." Dean supplied.

Castiel continued to fidget with the hem of his shirt, unaware that he was exposing a small strip of smooth skin. Dean quickly looked away.

"Cas?"

"Yes, Dean?"

"May I come in?" he asked gently, trying not to spook an already nervous Castiel.

Castiel's eyes widened and his face tinted red. "O-of course, please come in." He stepped aside to allow Dean in.

He followed Castiel through the foyer to his apartment, while Dean valiantly tried not to watch how the sweatpants would tighten around Castiel's ass when he would take a step forward.

Come on Winchester, be a professional here. Remember no sex, no sex, no sex…

"Wow, nice place you have here." Dean looked around once they were inside the apartment. The apartment was rather spacious since it took up most of the ground floor.

Castiel smiled shyly. "I got lucky. Mrs. Gardner, who owned it before Charlie, thought the place was too big for just one person and rented out the ground floor mostly for companionship. She gave me a low rate since she claimed she didn't need the money. Luckily, Charlie hasn't raised the rent since she bought it. God, I'm rambling." Castiel blushed again and led Dean to the bathroom.

"It's fine, Cas." Dean chuckled and stepped into the small bathroom with Castiel and set his toolbox on toilet, opening it up to take out a tape measure.

Dean stepped into the bathtub to look up at the damage. He started to take measurements but realized he didn't have his notepad and pencil.

"Hey Cas, can you grab my notepad from the tool box and write down some numbers for me?" Dean looked over his shoulder and grinned when he saw Castiel jump at being caught staring at the stretched line of Dean's body as he took his measurements.

Castiel nodded and started going through the toolbox. He looked over at Dean and shrugged. "It's not here…wait, I see it." Castiel walked over to Dean and pulled out the small notepad out of the back pocket of Dean's jeans.

Dean held his breath as Castiel's fingers accidently grazed Dean's ass in the process. At least he thought it was an accident until he looked over to see a small smirk playing on Castiel's lips.

Dean's eyebrows rose to his hairline. It seemed the man wasn't quite as shy as he seemed.

"The numbers, Dean." Castiel prompted, his smirk increasing at the repairman's slightly flustered expression. His blue eyes sparkled with mirth.

Dean momentarily wondered what those eyes would look like as Castiel went down on him, those full lips stretched over his-

Winchester! No sex, no sex, no sex!

At the moment, Dean wanted to kill Sam for the abstinence vow.

Dean shook his head at the increasingly filthy thoughts that were invading his head and read off the numbers to Castiel to write down.

It didn't take Dean very long to figure out what he needed to fix the ceiling and the two cracked tiles.

"The damage actually looks worse than what it really is. Once I get the supplies, it should only take me two to three hours tops to get it finished. If you didn't have any plans, I could come over tomorrow evening and fix you right up. Or I can come back on Monday." Dean told Castiel as he collected his toolbox and stepped out of the bathroom.

"I don't have plans tomorrow, but I'd hate to tie up your Friday night." Castiel told Dean as he led him into the living room.

"It's no problem." Dean smiled at Castiel before looking around the living room, his eyes lighting up when he saw Dr. Sexy playing on the TV.

"Decided to give Dr. Sexy a try, huh?" Dean asked, grinning.

Castiel chuckled softly. "I saw that it was on and I must say that I'm hooked."

Dean looked around the room and saw a piano in one corner. "Do you play?" he asked, walking over to the instrument.

Castiel rubbed the back of his neck. "I used to play, but I haven't touched it for years. Just don't have the heart to get rid of it since it belonged to my grandmother."

Dean frowned slightly, feeling there was more to tell, but Castiel was clearly not comfortable talking about it.

"That reminds me, what was the song on the end of the CD you made me? You didn't have it listed."

Castiel squinted in concentration. "I was sure I labeled everything. Do you remember it?"

"Yeah, it was just piano and god, it wasn't like anything I ever heard before." Dean proceeded to hum a little of the melody but stopped when Castiel paled.

"That's impossible. I've never recorded that." Castiel started to pace.

"So you know it? What do you mean you never recorded it?"

"I wrote it…" Castiel's voice trailed off, obviously still in shock that the track had made its way on the CD.

"You wrote that? Why didn't you keep writing music? That's incredible and that's coming from the guy that listens solely to classic rock." Dean leaned against the piano, stroking one of the keys.

"I just couldn't." Castiel stated quietly, his eyes following Dean's fingers on the keys.

Dean watched Castiel closely and decided to drop the subject since it seemed that whatever really caused Castiel to give up music, it was a painful one.

"I was going to order a pizza, would you like to stay and share it with me?" Castiel finally looked up at Dean.

"Are you kidding? Pizza is my third favorite food."

Castiel lips twitched. "Third? What's first and second?"

"Pie is number one followed closely by burgers." Dean pushed away from the piano and stepped closer to Castiel.

Castiel looked at him thoughtfully. "I guess I shouldn't tell you that my roommate in college was studying to be a pastry chef and taught me to make pie. Actually, I have some left over cherry pie I made last night if you want some later."

The guy was gorgeous, talented and he could bake?

"Marry me."

Blue eyes twinkled up at him. "You just want me for my baking skills."

Dean let his eyes roam over Castiel's body and gave him a slow smile and wink. "Trust me; I want more than just your pie."

Castiel scoffed lightly, but his face still turned slightly red at Dean's perusal.

"I'll just order that pizza now." Castiel backed away when Dean stepped closer. He quickly scurried off to the kitchen, Dean watching his backside as he fled the room.

"Yeah, I'm pretty hungry." Dean mumbled to himself as he repeated Sam's mantra in his head for the third time.

I'm so screwed.


Two hours later, Dean had just finished eating the rest of Castiel's pie and trying desperately to keep the moans to himself.

"Damn Cas, that was good." Dean set the plate on the end table next to him and leaned back on the couch, rubbing his stomach absently.

Castiel cocked an eyebrow. "I could tell. If Charlie was home, she would think I was participating in illicit behavior."

Apparently he wasn't good at keeping the noise down. He felt his face heat up and his cock give an interested twitch at the thought of Castiel and illicit behavior.

Dean, as subtly as he could, adjusted in his seat and crossed his right ankle onto his left knee in hopes of hiding his rapidly forming erection.

"Can I get you anything else?" Castiel asked as he shifted in his seat.

"No, I'm good." Dean started to stretch his arms over his head, but stopped mid way when Castiel leaned over him to grab his plate from the end table.

Dean held his breath as Castiel's arm brushed his chest. The side of his face was so close to Dean's that Dean couldn't help to take a little inhale, catching Castiel's woodsy scent. He exhaled as Castiel started to pull away, but stopped when Dean's breath tickled the side of his neck.

Blue eyes turn to meet his. Feeling Castiel's side pressed against his chest and watching his eyes slowly dilate, a small groan escapes Dean and he could feel the responding shiver in Castiel's body.

"Cas." Dean whispered, not even recognizing his own voice at the deep, husky sound. He cupped Castiel's face and his thumb brushed over the plump lower lip as Castiel leaned closer.

Dean started to bridge the gap between them when his phone went off. Castiel's eyes widened and he gasped as he jerked away.

Dean bit his lip hard to keep himself from cursing at the interruption.

"I'll just take these to the kitchen." Castiel held up the dishes while he avoided Dean's eyes.

Dean nodded and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He looked at the screen to see who was calling.

Of course it's Sammy.

"How is it possible for you to be such a cockblock from across town?" Dean hissed into the phone, careful to keep his voice low to prevent Castiel from overhearing.

There was a pause on the other end for a moment. "It's a gift really because that's what I live for is to prevent you from getting ass." came Sam's snarky reply.

"Sorry Sammy, I'm on edge here. What do you need?" Dean looked over at the kitchen to see Castiel at the sink rinsing off their plates.

"I don't think I even want to know why you're on edge. Are you coming over or not? You said you would take a look at my car tonight."

"Shit Sammy, I forgot. I'll head over there now."

Castiel walked back into the living room as Dean ended his call. "Sorry Cas, I need to take off. I forgot I was supposed to look at Sam's car."

"Oh, of course. I'm sorry I kept you." Castiel said quietly as he walked Dean to the door.

"Don't apologize, I had fun tonight." Dean smiled, taking a hold of Castiel's shoulder. The mailman gave him a relieved smile.

Dean stepped out onto the porch but turned back to Castiel. "I was wondering if maybe you'd like to ride with me to Gabriel's party on Saturday? That is if you were still going."

Castiel gave him a wide smile. "I'd like that."

"Good, good." Dean shifted his feet nervously. "Before I go, I have to ask…if I hadn't shown up tonight, would you have called me?"

Castiel's smile turned sly. "Were you going to wait by the phone?"

Dean stared at the small wicked grin. "Umm…no….maybe."

Castiel let out a full blown laugh that shook Dean to his core at the sound of it.

"Guess you'll never know." he winked. "See you tomorrow."

Dean stared at the closed the door, realizing too late he didn't even tell him goodnight.

A little while later, as he pulled up to Sam's house, his phone pinged in his pocket.

It was a text message from a number he didn't recognize.

Goodnight, Dean. And yes, I would have called you.

Dean couldn't stop the grin that lit up his face.

Chapter Text

"Time for lunch, Sammykins." Gabriel knocked on the doorframe of Sam's office to get his attention before walking in and flopping down in one of the leather chairs across from Sam's desk.

"Please don't call me that." Sam muttered, not looking up from the papers spread out across his desk.

Sam ignored Gabriel's husky chuckle. "You know you love it. Come on, I have everything ready for your next client so you have plenty of time to have lunch. You need to eat."

"Are you my mother now?" Sam looked up and didn't notice how good Gabriel looked with his loosened tie and his white dress shirt rolled up to his elbows. Or how his golden eyes seemed to glow from an inner light and his loose and easy smile.

No, Sam absolutely did not notice any of that.

Not at all.

"No, I was going more for Dean than your mother. You do realize that on my first day he actually threatened me and told me that I needed to make sure you remembered to eat."

Sam felt a little bit of annoyance and gratitude toward his overprotective older brother. He had a feeling if he didn't eat lunch; there would be a visit from Dean, force feeding him a burger and pie. Well maybe not the pie, Dean would probably have it eaten by the time he made it to the office.

"Fine, you win. Want to order in?" Sam asked as he put the papers he was studying back in their original file folder.

"Oh no, we're going out. You need a break from this stuffy office. Come on, I know just the place to go. There's a café just a few minutes away by foot." Gabriel smiled, getting up from the chair, moving his head side to side as if to release the tension from his neck.

It seemed Sam wasn't the only one that needed a break from the office.

"That sounds good to me." Sam gave Gabriel a small smile as they headed out.

Ten minutes later, they walked into Joshua's Cup, a small café that was tucked away, unobtrusive among its flashier neighbors. Sam could see how he had easily missed it since there was only a small sign on the glass door proclaiming what the business was.

"Gabriel! Where have you been? I haven't seen you in here for a while." An older, black man came up to Gabriel and beamed, taking a hold of the paralegal's hand.

"Sorry Joshua, I've been busy, but I sure have missed your BLTs. Please tell me you have some cinnamon rolls left from this morning." Gabriel practically bounced on the balls of his feet earning a snicker from Sam.

"You're in luck, I have two left. Just enough for you and your friend." Serene brown eyes turned toward Sam.

"This is Sam, my boss. This is Joshua, the owner and the best damn baker in the state. Trust me, you'll agree with me when you taste his cinnamon rolls. They're famous." Gabriel grinned up at Sam.

Joshua took Sam's hand but instead of shaking it, just held it, giving it a gentle squeeze. "I know who you are, Sam Winchester. You're the one that the other lawyers complain about." he told Sam with a small smile.

Sam was surprised by the statement. "Why do they complain?"

"Because of your high win rate and all the pro bono work you do. They're jealous because you make them look bad." Joshua chuckled.

"I just feel I should do pro bono work to give back for the people that had helped me. I remember when my brother and I had no money or voice." Sam said, looking away from Joshua's astute gaze.

The older man nodded thoughtfully before turning to Gabriel and adding, "I can see why you were so eager to work for him. The world needs more good people like him."

Sam cursed the blush he could feel creeping up his face at the compliment. Gabriel nudged him with his shoulder and gave him a soft smile that caused his chest to tighten.

"I haven't done anything that anybody else would do." he mumbled, looking away from both men.

"You'd be surprised how quick people are willing to look the other way when somebody is in trouble. Anyways, I can see that my praise is embarrassing you. What can I get the two of you?" Joshua asked as he led them to a table.

Sam and Gabriel gave Joshua their orders and talked for a couple minutes about one of their cases that was going to court the following week.

Finally curiosity won out and Sam had to ask. "Is that true what Joshua said? About why you wanted to work at my law office?"

"Of course. I was getting tired of being a paralegal for a corporate firm that cared more about the bottom line than the people. So when I heard your paralegal was getting married and moving out of state, I jumped at the chance to work with you. I've heard about your reputation and I liked what I was hearing."

Sam was flabbergasted. He never really knew how important it was for Gabriel to work with him. "Wow Gabe, I never knew…" Sam stopped at Gabriel's large smile.

"You called me Gabe. That's two times in a week. For the past six months it's been Gabriel."

Sam scoffed lightly but still managed a smile back at Gabriel's excitement at being called by his nickname. Before he could comment on it, Joshua returned with Sam's salad and Gabriel's BLT and chips.

They ate in companionable silence for a few moments. Gabriel was the first one to break it.

"So, do you mind telling me a little about yourself? I don't know much and Deano is pretty closed mouthed. All the paralegals and legal secretaries speculate about you."

Sam stared down at his salad, stabbing at the lettuce with a little more force than warranted.

"Not much to tell. My mother died when I was a baby and my dad dragged us around the country doing odd jobs until he died but even then he wasn't around much. Dean basically raised me. He even managed to pay my way through law school."

Gabriel nodded approvingly but he eyed Sam intently. "There's more. What are you not telling me?"

Sam's jaw clenched. He didn't want to tell Gabriel how their father would leave them for weeks at a time to fend for themselves or when he died, him and Dean lived a hand-to-mouth existence. Both of them had to do things they weren't proud of just to survive.

It was only after Bobby had found out that John had died and the two teenagers were basically homeless, he took them in.

No, he didn't want to go into the mess that was his past. For once, he wanted to be considered normal.

"There's nothing more to tell."

Gabriel stared for a moment, clearly not believing him, but luckily, he let the subject drop.

"What about you?" Sam was curious about Gabriel. He was an interesting mix of mischievous charm and friendly openness, but he was a private person. Sam knew everything about Gabriel's professional life, but nothing of his personal one.

"I have three older brothers that have permanent sticks up their asses. The two oldest are constantly fighting, which makes for awkward holidays. I've lost contact with them once I was old enough to leave home, especially since they do not approve of me being gay." Gabriel's laugh rang hollow.

Sam wrinkled his nose. "They have a problem with you being gay? You're family, they should…"

Gabriel cut him off. "Not all brothers are as awesome and understanding as you. I'm sure when Dean came out, you didn't take the news by giving him a fractured eye socket, broken nose and three cracked ribs." Gabriel said bitterly.

Sam sat still in his seat, horrified and a simmer of rage started to curl in his stomach. "Your own brothers?" he managed to croak out. Sam and Dean had a tough life, but he never had to worry about his brother not having his back. He knew Dean would die for him and he would do the same for him.

Gabriel nodded, uncommonly subdued. He didn't realize that Gabriel exuded such a bright and magnetic energy until it was dimmed at the talk of his brothers.

"Yeah, my own brothers. So I get why you do what you do. I was one of those voiceless people too."

Sam's next words shocked even himself but they were out before he could stop them. "If I ever see them, I'll kill them."

Gabriel's head snapped up from his half eaten sandwich, his amber eyes showing his shock and surprise.

"Sam, I wouldn't let you. I would never allow their coldness to taint your soul. It would destroy you and it's too beautiful for that to happen." He smiled sadly at Sam.

"You don't know what I've done. My "soul" is not beautiful. Far from it." Sam said, disgusted but not at Gabriel but at himself.

Gabriel's hand came across the table to grip Sam's, his eyes bright with a quiet intensity. "I don't know what you've done, but that darkness in your past, you overcame it and became a better person for it. That's a rare thing to push past the despair and hopelessness to become the embodiment of hope. And that's what you are to all those people that you've helped. That what makes you special."

Sam didn't know what to say so he said nothing at all. Gabriel seemed to understand. Only Dean and Bobby had said similar things to him, but never so eloquently or passionately. They were also his family so Sam saw the things they said as biased. Hearing it from Gabriel unnerved him. Someone that barely knew him would think that way about him.

Sam who was analytical and methodical couldn't process any of it, especially how he felt about hearing it. From Gabriel of all people.

They ate the rest of their meal in silence but only when they were almost done, Sam realized they were still holding hands.

And he ignored the pang of its loss when Gabriel pulled away.


Castiel was never so happy to see five o'clock roll around on Friday. Not only was it his last day to work the front desk, but Dean was coming back to his apartment.

He was equal parts ecstatic and terrified.

Yesterday, he was not expecting to find Dean Winchester at his door. If he knew it was him, he would have at least put on nicer clothes. Why couldn't Dean see him dressed like a normal human being for once?

Once he was home, he raced inside and changed out of his work clothes. He put on a soft knit gray henley shirt, faded blue jeans but stayed barefoot. He didn't want to look like he was trying too hard.

He groaned at himself in the mirror. Who was he kidding? He was the epitome of trying too hard.

Castiel felt his stomach flutter at the thought of seeing Dean again even though he was there to work. All he could think about was the night before and how Dean seemed to genuinely want to get to know him.

He even liked his song even though he never meant for anybody to hear it. Speaking of which, next time he saw Balthazar, he was going to have to ask him how that song mysteriously appeared on the CD. But until he saw Balthazar again, he was determined to push that to the back of his mind.

Instead he wanted to think about Dean and how good he looked or how every time he flashed Castiel a smile, he would feel himself melting. Melting? God, he was turning into a teenage girl. Castiel shook his head in disgust.

He still couldn't get over how he had behaved with him last night but it was nice to see the confident repairman a little flustered for once. He never realized how much fun it was to tease somebody.

Then there was the almost kiss. Castiel absently traced his lower lip where Dean had done so with his thumb. He was disappointed that they were interrupted, but he suppose it was for the best. It might have led to other things…things like sex.

Sex that he hadn't had in five years.

He never realized that he didn't really miss its absence until Dean showed up. Now that's all he could think about.

Sex, sex, sex…with Dean.

Maybe he should take Balthazar's advice…

Maybe he will, but he would never tell the angel about it because then he'll try to give him actual sexual advice. Castiel shuddered.

Castiel walked into the kitchen, humming to himself and reached into the refrigerator to pull out a bottle of water.

"Well, look who's in a good mood."

Castiel stiffened and turned around to see Balthazar sitting on top of the kitchen counter, kicking his feet back and forth like a kid.

The good mood Castiel was having evaporated at the sight of the angel. He had to get him out of here before Dean showed up. But first things first….

"How could you?" Castiel accused, feeling genuine anger starting to fester up.

Balthazar's forehead crinkled in confusion. He jumped off the counter and walked toward Castiel.

"How could I what?" Balthazar asked, but grunted in surprise when Castiel grabbed a handful of his v-neck shirt and shoved him against the refrigerator. The bottles inside clinked together from the force.

"You put the song I wrote on the CD I made for Dean." Castiel gritted out.

Balthazar's eyes grew large. "Are you talking about The Righteous Man? Cassie, I would never do that to you. I didn't even know that you made a CD for Dean."

Castiel released Balthazar when he saw the sincerity in his face. His anger gave away to confusion.

"You didn't?"

"Of course not! Even though I still think it should be heard, I wouldn't do that to you."

Castiel backed away from the muse and tilted his head as he thoughtfully studied Balthazar.

"If you didn't, then who did?"

Balthazar frowned. "I don't know, but I'll find out." There was a beat of silence before the frown turned into a smirk. "So, you made him a CD? What did he say about your piece?"

Castiel looked down at the floor. "He was very complimentary about it."

Balthazar's smirked morphed into a genuine smile that took Castiel by surprise. "Then isn't that a sign? I'm sure one of your old professors would be thrilled to help you get it published…"

"Stop. I can't." Castiel gulped as he thought back about the dreams and the obsession with the song.

For years, he had the same dream every night where he was an angel who was battling his way through hell to save a soul…the righteous man is what the other angels would whisper. He never sees the man, only his pure but burdened soul shining bright in the abyss. He never wanted to touch anything more in his life. The dream would always end with Castiel feeling the man in physical form, standing in front of him. He would look up but the dream would end when he made it to the man's chest and the strange horned amulet that he wore.

And he would wake up every night, with an overwhelming sense of sadness that once again, he didn't get to see the man's face.

Castiel became obsessed with the mystery man. He started writing music about the dream almost maniacal in its intent. He had finished The Righteous Man hours before he received a phone call to come home. He came home to find out his father had cancer.

Consumed with the guilt that he was obsessed with a dream that he missed all the symptoms of his father's illness, he never touched a piano again.

The dreams stopped the day Chuck died. As Castiel grieved for his father, he also grieved the loss of his righteous man.

Balthazar engulfed Castiel in a hug. "You need to let go of that guilt, Cassie. Chuck wouldn't want you to live this way, all shut away from the world."

"I know, you're right." Castiel sighed, pulling away.

Balthazar gave him one last concerned look before it went back to his standard smirk. "Now…tell me what's happened with Winchester while I was gone. Please say you got some action."

"No, nothing's happened. We are just trying to get to know each other a little better. Which reminds me, you need to leave." Castiel told the angel who had followed him into the living room.

"Come on Cassie, I just got here, it's not like he'll be coming here anyways…" Balthazar stopped at the look on Castiel's face. "Oh my…he is coming over! Oh darling, I wouldn't miss this for the world!" Balthazar settled down on the couch and got comfortable.

"He's just coming to fix my bathroom ceiling. It's not like anything is going to happen." Castiel snapped out in exasperation.

"Oh, this sounds like the start of one of my favorite films. Only it was a plumber and let me tell you…things got very wet. He never did fix the lady's kitchen sink but she didn't seem to mind though." Balthazar winked at Castiel's disgusted face.

"What is it with you and porn?" Castiel made a face and was about to tell Balthazar to leave when the doorbell goes off.

Shit, he was out of time.

Balthazar didn't move from the couch, only gave him a borderline sleazy smile as he settled in for the show.


Castiel was in pure hell. Between watching Dean work and Balthazar's running commentary, he was slowly going insane.

Dean had given him an almost bashful smile over his shoulder as he caught Castiel watching him for the hundredth time. Castiel knew he should go do something else but he couldn't seem to move his feet to walk away especially when Dean took off his work shirt and was working in his white sleeveless undershirt.

"I can see your fascination with him. The way his biceps bulge when he picks up that bag of plaster mix, the way his body seems fluid as he works…"

"Just kill me now." Castiel mumbled and ignored Balthazar's laugh.

"You okay, Cas?" Dean asked with concerned look as he put down his trowel.

"I'm fine. Can I get you anything to drink?" he managed to squeak out.

"That would be great, but if you wait a second, I'm almost done." Dean flashed him another smile and quickly finished up.

"At this rate, nothing will ever happen! I'm getting bored…" Balthazar grumbled. Castiel didn't know what Balthazar had planned, but he knew it was bad. He started frantically shaking his head at the angel who only smirked.

"You'll thank me later for this." Balthazar slightly raised his right hand toward the shower and quickly flicked his wrist before he disappeared.

Dean had just got down from the step stool and set it outside of the tub and was about to step out himself when the shower came on full blast, soaking Dean in cold water.

"What the fuck!" Dean cried out as the icy water hit him. Castiel gasped and ran over, helping him turn the water off.

Castiel was definitely going to kill Balthazar.

"How the hell did that happen?" Dean gasped out once they got the water turned off.

Castiel stood frozen as Dean wiped off the excess water off his face with his hands. He couldn't get his eyes off Dean's chest. The wet undershirt stuck to Dean's chest, turning transparent.

Okay, so maybe he won't kill Balthazar.

"Cas? Cas!"

Castiel's eyes snapped up to Dean's amused green eyes. "Y-yes?" he asked, nervously licking his lips.

"Do you have a towel?" Dean's lips twitched.

Castiel nodded mutely and quickly grabbed one, snapping out of his trance. He handed it to Dean before rushing off to his room for some dry clothes. He grabbed a t-shirt and sweats. Castiel figured they should fit Dean since he tended to wear them baggy.

As he rounded the corner back to the bathroom, he stopped abruptly at the sight that greeted him.

The towel hung loose over Dean's broad, bare shoulders as he struggled to get out of his wet jeans. He grumbled the entire time as he slid them down, almost losing his balance.

When he finally was free of the wet material, he straightened up, wearing nothing but black boxer briefs.

Castiel's breath stuck in his throat as his pants tightened painfully. He worked his throat. "I brought you dry clothes." Castiel croaked out, eyes still roaming over Dean's body.

When there was no comment, Castiel looked up. Dean's face was a mask of longing restraint, his normally green eyes swallowed up by his pupils.

Castiel's breaths came out in short pants. He could see the hard ridge of Dean's length outlined in his boxer briefs. He gave a small moan at the sight and stepped forward into the bathroom.

Dean bridged the gap, grabbing the loops of Castiel's jeans to pull him against his chest. He could feel the moisture from Dean's chest dampening his shirt.

"Please tell me you want this…" Dean's breath mingled with Castiel's as he whispered the words.

"God, yes…" Castiel groaned out just before Dean's lips captured his own.

The kiss was gentle and exploratory as both men almost shyly learned each other. Dean's teeth softly bit the fleshy part of Castiel's lower lip, causing the man to gasp. Dean took advantage of his open mouth by slipping his tongue inside to explore the cavern of Castiel's mouth.

Castiel's hands slid up the hard planes of Dean's chest to cup around the back of his head, pulling slightly on the short sandy colored hair at the nape. Castiel felt himself get even harder at the corresponding shudder that ran through Dean's body.

The kiss turned more frantic and desperate as both men fought for control. In the end, it was Dean that won by growling slightly, taking a firm hold of Castiel's dark hair with one hand while the other one slipped underneath Castiel's henley to dig his fingers into his waist.

Castiel bucked under the firm hold, his body softening against Dean's. Dean started to nibble at the corner of Castiel's mouth before working his way to his jaw and neck.

"God Cas, I've been thinking about this for over a year, how you would taste…" He groaned softly in Castiel's ear causing the smaller man to moan Dean's name.

Castiel recaptured Dean's mouth, wanting to savor it. All those lonely nights he thought about how it would be like to kiss him, he never imagined it would be this goddamn good or feel this right. It felt like coming home.

"Castiel? You here? I brought Chinese!" Castiel heard Charlie's voice chime out from the living room.

"Shit!" Castiel muttered, quickly kicking the bathroom door shut with his foot so she wouldn't walk in on them.

"Be out in a minute, Charlie!" he called out, wincing at how deep and rough his voice sounded.

Dean buried his face in Castiel's neck, trying to catch his breath.

"Dude, I think you ruined me with that kiss." Dean whispered hoarsely.

Castiel blushed at the words as he carded his fingers through Dean's hair.

They reluctantly stepped out of the embrace and gave each other hesitant smiles.

"If you don't mind, I'll just wear these home and bring them back to you when I pick you up tomorrow." Dean told Castiel as he gestured to the clothes that had fallen to the floor. "That is, if you still planned on going."

Castiel nodded, smiling up at the man. They exchanged one last soft kiss before he slipped out of the bathroom to allow Dean to get dressed.

He took a moment to compose himself before going to the kitchen where he knew Charlie was. He bit his lip to stop the smile that threatened to spread across his face.

Castiel was thinking that maybe he should thank Balthazar after all.

Chapter Text

"About time you got out and enjoyed yourself."

Castiel almost spilled the drink he was getting for Gabriel as Balthazar appeared at his side. Luckily at the moment he was alone in Gabriel's kitchen, the party going on strong in the living room.

"What are you doing here?" Castiel wanted to thump his head on one of the overhead cabinets in frustration.

Balthazar was quiet for a moment as if trying to remember his original reason for showing up. "I came to check up on the lovebirds. Have they admitted their undying love yet?"

"No, apparently Sam brought a date to the party and now Gabriel's upset. Now the only music he'll play is sad Toni Braxton songs." Castiel paused so Balthazar could hear the faint strains of 'Un-break My Heart' playing in the living room.

Castiel's night was not going as planned even though it had started out well. Castiel had replayed his and Dean's impromptu make-out session over and over in his head. Not even Charlie's teasing at Castiel's dazed expression after Dean had left had fazed him.

He was even excited enough to actually spend some of his hard earned money on a new outfit to wear that night. Once Charlie had learned the news about the "date" with Dean, she insisted on coming along on the shopping expedition. She proved to give better fashion advice than Balthazar. She ended up dressing him in fitted dark dress pants with the smallest hint of a pinstripe, a white dress shirt with a black jacket in which she rolled up both the sleeves of the jacket and shirt until they hit about mid forearm. To complete the ensemble, a wide brown leather belt, blue and gold tie hanging loosely from his neck and a wallet chain was added.

"Do you think the wallet chain is a bit much?" he asked hesitantly as he looking at himself in the mirror. He was used to seeing himself either in his mailman uniform or t-shirts and sweats.

Charlie assured him that he looked hot and he was going to drive Dean insane. Castiel shrugged; at least it wasn't the too tight clothing that Balthazar seemed to prefer.

When Dean had picked him up later that night, Castiel was grateful for Charlie's advice. Dean stopped mid-greeting to openly stare at him with heated eyes. Castiel felt a blush creep up his face but he looked up at Dean and smiled bashfully.

The drive to Gabriel's house was filled with small talk and shy glances, both men seemingly a little nervous. Once at the party, things got better, especially when Castiel drank some liquid courage.

At one point, Dean even coaxed Castiel into dancing with him. The apartment was packed, so their bodies were meshed together as they swayed to the music, the front of their bodies continually brushing against each other.

Just as the song ended, somebody pushed into the back of Cas causing Dean to wrap his arms around him instinctively to keep both of from falling. Both men stilled, Castiel let out a shaky breath, it puffing softly against Dean's neck. Dean shivered and gripped Castiel tighter, Dean's nose rubbing softly against his cheek as his hand came up to cup the other side of his face.

Dean's head lifted slowly, leaving small kisses along Castiel's check and jaw before pulling away just enough to stare down at him.

"I'm gonna kiss you now." Dean whispered making Castiel melt. Never mind they had shared a heated kiss just the night before, but the fact Dean wanted to give Castiel the opportunity to say no, treating this moment as if it were their first caused a fluttery warmth to spread across his chest.

Castiel nodded slightly, burying his fingers into the fabric of Dean's shirt. Dean's plump lips parted into a small smile before tilting Castiel's head and leaning down to softly claim his mouth. Dean's tongue gently traced the outline of Castiel's lips before licking at the seam.

Castiel sighed in pleasure, allowing his lips to open for Dean's sensuous ministration. His tongue glided in smoothly, licking and lapping, tasting the nectar of Castiel's mouth. One of Dean's hands clutched at Castiel's hip while the other one still cupped the side of Castiel's head. A calloused thumb rubbed gently over his cheekbone eliciting a purr from deep in Castiel's throat.

Castiel's hands were trapped between their bodies, his hands still clutching at the front of Dean's shirt. He relaxed his fingers to slide his hands up Dean's chest to wrap his arms around his neck, wanting to take the kiss deeper.

Dean groaned before briefly giving in to Castiel's silent plea, slanting their mouths to explore deeper. The exploration was short, making Castiel sag against Dean's chest in want and frustration when Dean pulled away.

"I'm sorry, Cas but I don't want to have witnesses when I slowly take you apart for the first time and that's what we have right now, an audience." Dean whispered lowly in his ear.

Castiel's eyes widened in embarrassment and tried to jump away, but Dean kept a firm grip on him.

"Easy there, it's so crowded in here, I don't want to lose you." Dean winked, grabbing his hand to lead him someplace a little less crowded.

So, yes, the first part of the night was going very well. Until Sam showed up.

Gabriel had just finished introducing his cousin, Samandriel, who was talking excitingly to Castiel since he was about to start his second year at Oberlin College, the same one that Castiel had attended when Sam came walking in with a seductive looking blonde. Quite frankly, Castiel thought that woman looked like she would eat Sam for breakfast.

Sam introduced her as Lilith, an old college friend. However, the way she was rubbing against Sam's side, it appeared at one time or another, they were more than mere friends.

Gabriel obviously saw this too and his playful demeanor quickly vanished. Gabriel had stalked off leaving behind a confused Sam and a smiling Lilith. Castiel glared at the smirking woman in contempt. He barely knew Gabriel, but knew enough to feel angry on his behalf. He started going after Gabriel, but not before throwing Dean a "talk some damn sense into your brother" look.

After spending an hour trying to cheer up Gabriel, he stepped away long enough to get him a drink only to be startled by his pest of a friend. No, more like annoying muse, angel, big pain in my ass, but not friend.

Okay, so Balthazar was his friend, but he would never, ever admit it to the angel.

"Cassie, you still with me? You're zoning out." Balthazar snapped his fingers in front of Castiel's face, earning the angel a glare.

"Now that you're here, help me fix this!" he hissed, stalking off to Gabriel's bedroom. Halfway, there he turned back to the kitchen to grab Gabriel's drink and on second thought, grabbed the large bottle of tequila also. Balthazar chuckled at Castiel.

"Cassie, you might as well quit giving me death glares. You just come off looking like an angry kitten."

Castiel's eyes narrowed and his nostrils flared at the comment. "Are you coming or not?"

"I don't think you really need me…" Balthazar was apparently in the mood to harass Castiel.

"If you don't come with me, I'll get rid of my TV and my laptop."

Balthazar huffed. "That sounds more like a punishment for you, not me."

Castiel arched his brow. "If I get rid of those things, how will you watch your adult entertainment?"

Balthazar gasped. "You wouldn't."

"Try me."

The angel scowled at the human. "You fight dirty. Fine, lead the way." Balthazar grumbled and followed Castiel to the bedroom.


"What the fuck were you thinking bringing that girl to Gabe's party." Dean hissed when he was finally able to get his baby brother out of the clutches of the devil spawn.

Sam rolled his eyes. "She showed up unexpectedly for a visit. I couldn't leave her at my place while I came here."

"No, you should have shoved that bitch out the door and tell her to get loss." Dean growled.

"Dean, she's my friend!" The brothers walked into the kitchen where it was quieter and more private.

"Are you kidding me Sammy? She's gotten Ruby written all over her! I'm telling you, she's bad news. Besides, what about Gabriel?" Dean paced in front of his brother who was leaning against the kitchen sink, arms crossed over his broad chest.

Sam's brows knitted together. "What about Gabriel?"

Dean stopped abruptly to stare at his brother. "Are you telling me you're that blind that you can't see the guy has feelings for you?"

Sam immediately looked down at the floor. "He doesn't have feelings for me. He flirts outrageously with everybody."

"If that's true, then you don't mind if I ask him out, do you?"

Sam's head snapped up and leveled a scowl in Dean's direction. Dean smirked.

"Just what I thought. I call bullshit…you like the guy but you're too chicken shit to admit it!"

Sam stayed stubbornly silent, still glaring.

Dean walked over to his kid brother, putting his hands on Sam's shoulders.

"Look Sammy, I don't know why you keep denying feeling the way you do, but just know, you're not only hurting Gabriel, you're hurting yourself too."

Sam's hazel eyes looked up, his feelings clearly torn, but he gave Dean a nod in acknowledgement. Dean gave him a half smile and patted him on the cheek.

He left his brother to his thoughts so he could go hunt for Cas. He hadn't seen him in almost two hours. Dean ran into Gabriel's cousin and asked if he knew where Cas and their host were.

"I think they're in Gabe's bedroom." Samandriel told Dean. Dean nodded his thanks and was about to walk away when the younger man stopped him.

"Castiel's last name wouldn't happen to be Novak, would it?"

Dean stopped, turning around with a slight frown. "Yeah, why you ask?"

Samandriel beamed. "I knew it, it had to be him!" he started excitedly. "Castiel is a legend at Oberlin…well, at least in the conservatory."

"A legend? What do you mean?" Dean turned fully around to face Samandriel.

"Apparently the man is a prodigy. I'm not a music major, but I took a music elective last year and according to my professor, the guy was amazing. The things he could do with the piano and the pieces he composed. He was working on a piece that the music department was drooling over, but then he simply dropped out, nobody ever got to hear the completed piece."

Dean started to ask more questions when somebody pulled Samandriel away.

"I'll start clearing people out of here while you check on Gabe." Samandriel said over his shoulder, leaving Dean, who made his way to Gabriel's room.

Why did Castiel just give it up? He knew he had mentioned dropping out of school because of his father's illness, but why didn't he go back? Why move here and become a mailman? Hell, he didn't even know what he was studying in college until Samandriel told him.

All his questions he had for Castiel flew out the window once he arrived to Gabriel's bedroom. Both men were laying on their backs, their feet planted on the floor, a nearly empty tequila bottle held loosely in Castiel's hand.

When they heard Dean enter the room, both of them propped up on their elbows. Gabriel scowled but ruined the effect by hiccuping while Castiel gave Dean a wide toothy grin.

It appeared both of them had a bit too much to drink. Dean sighed. There went his plans on continuing what he and Castiel had started earlier.

"Get out. The brother of the Moose 's not welcome here." Gabriel slurred, hiccuping again.

"Come on, Gabe, don't be like that. I'm on your side. Besides, Sammy tells me that Lilith is just his friend and she just kind of invited herself." Dean walked over to the drunken duo, removing the bottle from Castiel's hand. Castiel still smiled widely up at him, blue eyes slight glazed with the effects of the alcohol.

"I'm going to get you tucked into bed while your cousin cleans house. I'll call you in the morning when you're sober." Dean told Gabriel, already trying to help him out of his shoes and urged him to get under the covers.

When he was done with Gabriel, Dean turned toward his date. "Come on, I'll take you home."

Castiel got up unsteadily, still wearing his goofy grin. At least he was a happy drunk. "You're gonna take me home? You gonna fuck me?" Castiel giggled, smile growing impossibly larger.

The loose and easy smile followed by the straight forward question disarmed Dean, all the blood rushing from his head to his cock.

A snort cut short by a hiccup came from the bed.

Dean manhandled Castiel to help him to the Impala. Castiel looked over Dean's shoulder and started frowning.

"Quit laughing…you were no help tonight."

Dean raised his eyebrows and looked behind him but Castiel was talking to the wall.

"Um Cas, who you talkin' to?"

"Balthazar. He's such a pain in my ass. Constantly saying I need to get pounded hard. But what can I do? He's my angel." Castiel shrugged helplessly; completely oblivious to the dangerous growl that had emanated from Dean's chest.

What kind of douche would talk to Castiel like that? And why the hell was Castiel giving the dick an endearment? Angel, his ass. He couldn't possibly still be hung up on that dick, not after what happened between them in the past twenty-four hours.

First things first…get Cas home safely. Then make a plan to get Balthazar out of the picture.

"I think you should forget about the guy, he sounds like an asshat."

Castiel giggled again. "I don't think Balthazar likes you much at the moment, but he could be angry because I threatened to cut off his porn."

Porn? What the fuck? Oh yeah, Castiel was definitely drunk.

It would have only taken fifteen minutes to get to Castiel's apartment but it took almost forty. It took a while to maneuver Castiel to the car because he constantly wanted to stop and look at everything on the way to the Impala.

"Look Dean, its bees!" Castiel pointed up to the street light.

"No Cas, those are moths."

Castiel squinted up at the light. "No, I'm sure they're bees." He then proceeded to attempt to remove his clothes.

"Holy hell Cas, what the fuck are you doing?" Dean started buttoning Castiel's shirt back up.

"I'm getting naked. You should too. The bees are gonna to pour honey over us. I love honey. Don't worry Dean, I'll lick the honey off you." Castiel partially slumped against Dean's side, laughing.

Dean groaned. The man was trying to kill him.

After the bee debacle and fighting to keep Castiel's hands to himself as Dean drove, they finally arrived to Castiel's apartment.

By that time, the alcohol was having a drowsy effect on Castiel. Dean had no problems removing Castiel's clothes, even though he should have left him in his shirt and pants, he stripped him down to his boxers. Hell, the guy should be comfortable, right?

Dean then went into the bathroom and rummaged through the medicine cabinet until he found the aspirin, laying it on the night stand next to the bottle of water he grabbed from the refrigerator.

By the time Dean finished, Castiel appeared to already be asleep. He leaned down to kiss Castiel's cheek and let himself out, but Castiel surprised Dean by grabbing his wrist.

"Stay." Castiel mumbled, moving over to make room for Dean on the bed.

"I really shouldn't, Cas…"

"Please stay." Castiel repeated, his blue eyes seeming large and reflective in the low light of the room. Dean felt his resolve waver.

"Okay Cas, just for a little while." Dean removed his clothing except for his briefs and climbed into bed. Castiel immediately draped an arm and a leg over Dean's chest and thighs.

Castiel fell back asleep right away.

It took much longer for Dean.

Chapter Text

It was the throbbing in his head that first woke him up.

Castiel groaned and blearily opened his eyes only to shut them again as the bright sunlight streamed in from his bedroom window. He waited a few more moments before he felt brave enough open them again. When he did, he saw a bottle of water and aspirin already waiting for him which he took gratefully.

As always when he would drink, it would take a little while to remember everything that happened the night before. At this point, the last thing he could remember was trying to cheer Gabriel up with tequila in which the paralegal insisted that he drink with him.

Castiel cringed at the thought of what he did last night, if only he could remember.

After his headache abated enough that he felt like he could move without being sick, he stumbled into the bathroom still in his boxers. He splashed cold water onto his face and brushed his teeth. When he looked into the mirror, he winced.

Dark brown hair stood messily at all angles and his normally tan face was pale and drawn.

He grunted at his reflection, the noise the only reprimand he would give himself at the moment, until he got some coffee.

As he made his way to the kitchen he stopped short in the doorway when he saw Dean standing over the stove, pouring batter onto a griddle, humming softly to himself.

"Dean?" Castiel croaked out. Oh my god, what did we do last night? Castiel felt panic rise in his chest at not remembering and it was only reinforced when Dean turned around, sporting an impressive hickey on his neck.

"Morning, Cas." Dean greeted cheerily, a smile on his face, but his green eyes darkened and swept down Castiel's body. It was then he remembered that he was only wearing boxers.

"I didn't know you were here. I-I'll be right back." Castiel practically ran from the room despite the reemergence of his alcohol-induced headache. He reappeared a few minutes later dressed in ripped jeans and a plain white t-shirt.

"Hope you're in the mood for pancakes." Dean smiled brightly when Castiel hesitantly made his way to the stove.

"I like pancakes." he stated quietly as he watched Dean cook but Castiel's eyes kept straying to the mark on Dean's neck.

Did they have sex last night? Castiel's brows furrowed. His body didn't hold any of the usual signs that he did. Castiel was a very active participant, when he did have the occasion for sex. Of course, he was drunk…

Choked laughter interrupted the flow of Castiel's thoughts. Dean was holding onto the spatula tightly, trying to control his laughter.

"What's so funny?"

Dean calmed down enough to answer. "Relax, we didn't actually have sex last night, but it's nice to know you're an "active participant" though."

"I just said that all out loud, didn't I?" Castiel could feel his face fill with heat and covered his face.

"Hey…" Dean said softly, removing Castiel's hand and leaning in to give him a sweet, chaste kiss.

"Come on, honey bee, pancakes are done."

Castiel shot Dean a quizzical look at the nickname but sat down at the table quietly. After Dean served the pancakes, they ate in companionable silence for a few moments.

"So, who's Balthazar?"

"Balthazar? How do you know about Balthazar?" Castiel asked, his voice pitched higher than normal.

Dean absently swirled a piece of pancake in syrup and taking a bite before continuing. "You mentioned him last night and you said you were trying to get his attention that one night in the Roadhouse."

"He's my friend." Castiel started to stuff his mouth with pancakes to avoid answering any more questions. Dean simply cocked his eyebrow at the tactic.

"He's only your friend? Last night you said he tells you that you need to be pounded hard and he's your angel." Dean narrowed his eyes slightly at him, but then widen in concern when Castiel started choking on his mouthful of pancakes.

"Did I really say that?" he wheezed out when he could finally breathe again.

Dean leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. He nodded, waiting for Castiel to continue.

Castiel was a horrible liar so he decided to stick as close to the truth as he could.

"Balthazar is just my friend. I call him my angel because he was the only one there for me when my father died. I was a mess and he helped me pick up the pieces."

The realization hit Castiel hard that he didn't have to lie at all because it was the truth. Balthazar might be a pain in his ass, but he was always there when it counted. That first six months were the worse and Balthazar didn't leave his side once. Castiel could even go as far as to say that Balthazar felt like a brother to him.

"He seems very important to you." Dean stated as his eyes went back down to his pancakes. It seemed that Castiel's comment wasn't that much of a reassurance to Dean. Castiel saw his shoulders stiffen slightly before forcing them to relax.

He reached across the table and took Dean's hand. "It really isn't what you're thinking it is."

"Then why did you tell Gabriel…?" Dean started and stopped, biting his lower lip.

Castiel blurted out the first thing that came to his head. "He wanted me to flirt with Gabe so he could corner Sam alone. I didn't want to tell Gabriel the truth."

"What!" Dean's head snapped up, the protective big brother vibe coming out in suffocating waves.

"Calm down, he never did approach him and probably never will now." Castiel cursed himself but was relieved to see Dean calm down.

They continued to eating in silence, but now the silence was awkward. Every now and then, Castiel would look up at Dean, eyes zeroing in on the mark on his neck. Now that he was more alert, pieces from last night were starting to come back to him slowly. So far the flashbacks were not comforting.

Castiel wiped his mouth with a napkin and cleared his throat. "The bruise," he started shredding his paper napkin in an attack of nerves, "did you get that from me?"

Dean, still eating, looked up at Castiel through his lashes and smirked. "Yeah, you're pretty handsy when you drink. You did this," he pointed to his neck, "in the car. About made me wreck, but you woke me up about three this morning," he pulled down the collar of his shirt to expose an even bigger bruise on his collarbone, "and gave me this."

Castiel slid down in his chair, the poor innocent napkin decimated on the table. "Oh god, Dean, I'm so sorry." he moaned out miserably.

Then everything he did from the night before came rushing back in painful surges. Including what happened at three in the morning.

Castiel felt light headed, all the blood rushing out of his head. He put his head between his knees to keep from passing out.

"Please say I really didn't…" Castiel couldn't even say it. "I thought it was a dream."

Dean got up and walked around the table to kneel in front of Castiel, laying his hands on each of Castiel's thighs. Castiel looked up tentatively, still feeling embarrassment radiating through him.

"Cas, it was the hottest fucking thing I ever saw in my life. If you weren't out of it, believe me, I would have been all over you. Even though I didn't touch you, I still feel like I was taking advantage by watching…"

Castiel quickly leaned forward to capture Dean's mouth, taking Dean by surprise. The kiss was short, but intense, Castiel trying to convey to Dean what he thought about the early morning interlude that words failed to do.

When they broke apart, Dean was panting slightly, eyes dark. Castiel finally felt on equal footing. He surprised the green eyed man with a small smirk of his own.

"Next time when I put on a show, please for the love of god, touch me." he breathed into Dean's ear and his smile grew wider when he felt Dean tremble.

Dean nodded mutely.


Since it was Sunday, Dean didn't linger too long at Castiel's apartment since the day belonged to Sam. He hated to leave, especially when Castiel's initial embarrassment had faded. Blue eyes tracked his every move, leaving him hot and shaken.

Once he got home, Dean realized he still had a couple of hours to kill before meeting up with Sam. He decided to put the time to good use by taking an extra long shower.

Because damn it, he needed it.

He started the shower and climbed in once the water was at the desired temperature. His mind immediately replayed what had happened earlier that morning.

Dean had finally fallen asleep, trying to ignore the warm body draped over him. He couldn't have been asleep very long when he woke up to soft moaning and a warm, wet mouth sucking on one of his nipples.

"Cas, what are you doing?" Dean asked, afraid to speak in anything above a whisper. He desperately tried to ignore the tightness of his boxer briefs as Castiel's mouth moved up to his collar bone.

Castiel ignored him, lapping and sucking at his collar bone as if it was made of candy.

"Cas!" he whispered frantically but whimpered when one of Cas's hands traveled down Dean's torso to gently cup his bulge through his underwear.

It took a great amount of willpower to remove Cas's hand especially since it felt so damn good but he wouldn't feel right to let it continue.

"You have to stop. You're not yourself right now."

The room was dark, but a fair amount of moonlight streamed into the room making Castiel appear as if he was glowing. The look Castiel gave him made Dean's body coil in desire.

"But I want you. You have no idea," Castiel stopped to lay flat on his back and shimmied out of his boxers, "how long I wanted you. How many nights I laid here alone, thinking about you."

Dean couldn't stop himself from rolling onto his side, propping his body up onto his forearm to stare down at Castiel's strong body. Dean's throat went dry, making it difficult to swallow.

"Yeah?" he rasped out. "What were you thinking about?" he couldn't help to ask.

Castiel moaned softly again as his hand traveled down his chest to grip himself. Dean felt the air squeeze from his lungs as Castiel started to pleasure himself, his hips canting upward into his hand.

"You. Always you. Sometimes, you would take your time, slowly preparing me until I would beg…" Castiel stopped, groaning as his hips and hand picked up a little more speed.

Dean clenched the bed sheets tightly to keep from reaching out and pushing Castiel's hand away to replace it with his mouth. His own erection laid hot, heavy and untouched, begging for relief.

"Tell me more. Would I always take you slow? Do you like slow?" Dean groaned when Castiel's nearly black eyes turned to stare at him, his hand never slowing.

"No. Sometimes you would take me rough. Fuck me from behind, push my face into the mattress," another moan, but louder than before, "other times you would fuck my mouth…" Castiel panted, his eyes fluttering close, "…rough is my favorite."

"Oh fuck Cas…" Dean refused to touch himself, not wanting to miss a moment of watching Castiel stroke himself, writhing and moaning, gasping Dean's name even though all he was doing was watching.

"Is that what you're imagining now? That you're on your knees, sucking me off? Would you like that?"

"Dean…" Castiel moaned out, his face tight with desire, eyes never leaving Dean's as he continued to tunnel his cock into his hand, his mouth slightly parted, glossy and wet. The room was still except for their heavy breathing and the sound of pumping wet flesh.

Dean tried to control his breathing as his eyes devoured every movement of those sharp hipbones; his ears savored every moan ripped from Castiel's throat.

Dean could tell Castiel was on the verge. He leaned in until their mouths were nearly touching, their rapid breaths mingling and merging together.

Dean allowed one touch. He threaded his fingers through the dark, silky locks and tightened his grip.

"You would like that, wouldn't you? You would just let me push into that gorgeous mouth of yours and let me fuck it." Castiel's eyes held almost a helpless quality to them as he whimpered, causing Dean's cock to throb even harder.

Dean pulled on Castiel's hair, just hard enough for him to feel the sting. "And you would just take it because you're so goddamn hungry for it."

Castiel let out a deep, guttural moan as he came in white streaks across his abdomen. Dean was transfixed watching Castiel as his whole body bowed, sweat glistening on the long expanse of skin. His face was tight as he gasped out Dean's name over and over again.

Dean gave Castiel a rough kiss, growling into his slack mouth, Dean's grip softened until he was carding his fingers through the mailman's messy dark hair.

Dean was propelled back to reality as he came hard against the shower wall, his knees almost giving out.

Dean leaned against the tiles, panting heavily, burying his face in the crook of his arm.

Dean was definitely not lying when he told Castiel it was the hottest fucking thing he ever saw.

"That man is going to kill me…" he mumbled as he finished his shower and got ready to meet Sam.

Chapter Text

They say angels cannot lie. To lie is a sin and if an angel were to sin, the angel would no longer be holy. If they commit a sin, then like Lucifer, they would be cast out of heaven.

Balthazar found out early on, that wasn't necessarily true. Balthazar had lied. He had also broken several rules of conduct. He still haven't been cast out, but then again maybe his father was letting the sins collect before making a grand gesture and booting his sorry ass out.

The worry was always in the back of his mind, but deep down he believed if he ever got cast out of heaven, it wouldn't be for lying.

Balthazar knew he was not like Michael, the perfect solider who did Father's bidding with no questions asked, but Balthazar was good in his own way.

Maybe God hadn't cast him out because the lies he did tell were to protect the ones he loved, usually humans.

Of course the road to hell was paved with good intentions.

With Castiel, Balthazar had lied and broken a lot of rules, but out of all his charges he had over the millennia, Balthazar loved Castiel the most. Castiel was like his son, brother and best friend all rolled into one.

The first lie he had told Castiel was that he was Chuck's muse. He was never Chuck's muse; he never even had a muse. He was solely there for Castiel. Muses would skip around and would strike inspiration in people, but only a full time muse was assigned to a person whose work would make a significant impact.

The moment that Castiel was conceived, he was there. He witnessed Castiel's parents first Christmas together, unbeknownst to them, there was a soul shimmering around them, waiting to be born.

Later when Balthazar saw a reaper take Castiel's mother, he broke the first rule: Never reveal yourself to your charge.

Castiel was barely a year old when his mother had died. He was a serious child, his perpetually messy dark hair and big confused blue eyes had tugged at Balthazar's heart, hard. He knew the Castiel didn't understand where his mother was and Chuck was too caught up in his grief to remember his quiet child.

While Chuck lay incapacitated on the couch, empty whiskey bottle on the floor, his son started to cry from his nursery, crying for his mother.

Balthazar's heart broke at the cries.

"Hey little man," Balthazar cooed softly to the child. Seeing an unknown person in his room momentarily shocked Castiel into silence as he looked up at the blonde angel, his face flushed and tear stained.

After the initial shock wore off, Castiel's tears started anew.

Balthazar picked the toddler up and started to pace around the nursery, rubbing soothing circles on the child's small back.

Balthazar might be a muse but he was an angel first and foremost. One of the most powerful beings in the universe yet this small child, his little body wracked with sobs made Balthazar feel helpless and insignificant. His entire focus was on Castiel and nothing else mattered at the moment.

After prying Castiel's little fingers from his shirt, he sat him down in his crib.

"Oh Cassie, please don't cry." Balthazar whispered and bit back a laugh when the toddler stopped his wails and gave the angel a stern look.

"Don't like the name Cassie?" Castiel's look became fiercer until he jutted out his quivering lower lip in a pout, ruining the effect. A chubby fist rubbed at his eyes, exhaustion starting to settle over Castiel. Then the child did something that surprised Balthazar.

He raised his arms to the angel to be picked up again. Child and angel contemplated each other for a few moments, as if trying to figure each other out.

Then the serious little human that Balthazar was so valiantly trying not to become attached to, smiled at him.

That's when Balthazar fell in love and there was no going back.

After that, Balthazar showed himself to the child a few more times. Most of the interactions consisted of rocking the boy in his mother's rocker, telling him stories of wars, art, and most importantly…women. Like the time that Balthazar had a ménage à... Damn it, what's French for twelve?

Of course Castiel never understood the stories; he would just stare up at him with those unblinking blue eyes and snuggle into Balthazar's chest.

He was an affectionate little bugger once he warmed up to a person.

He continued his visits until Castiel got to an age where he would start to remember him. That's when he quietly went back to being incognito.

After a couple of years, Balthazar grew more curious about what Castiel's special talent would be. He thought maybe it would be in writing since Chuck had a knack with it, his books providing a modest living for him and his son.

It was to his surprise though at the age of four while Castiel was visiting his Grandmother Anna, that he showed an interest in her piano.

Anna seeing her grandson's curiosity, she sat on the bench with Castiel on her lap and played Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune".

The little boy was enrapt. He watched his grandmother's fingers closely, following the movement, his brow furrowed as he listened to the melody flow around him. After the piece was over, Anna chuckled at Castiel's look of concentration and ruffled his hair affectionately.

The chuckling stopped when Castiel placed his fingers on the keys and started to play the piece, badly, but still well enough that it was recognizable.

Once the last note sounded in the air, Castiel turned around and gave his shocked father and grandmother a bright smile.

Anna turned to her son. "Charles, I expect you to bring Castiel here at four times a week so I can give him proper lessons."

Balthazar finally knew what Castiel's talent was and could start work on his young charge.

The year that Castiel turned sixteen was a rough one. At first, Balthazar found amusement in the boy's ever deepening voice and his constant serious demeanor when it came to school.

Then several things happened that year, the first being Castiel realized he was gay. Balthazar had his suspicions, especially when he would dream snoop and would see that it was more often men that were shown in a romantic light in Castiel's dreams, but it appeared it was taking Castiel longer to fully sort out his sexuality. However, when he finally did, unfortunately, he came to the full realization the hard way.

During his sophomore year, physical education was Castiel's last class for the day. Castiel thought he was the last one in the locker room as he finished getting dressed. He had just buttoned the last button of his shirt when he was shoved up against the lockers and kissed.

By Crowley, a senior and the school bully of all people.

At first Castiel fought back, but Crowley continued his assault, trying to coax a different response out of Castiel. He eventually got it when Castiel kissed him back.

Balthazar was furious because it was Castiel's first kiss and it was stolen. Castiel's first kiss should have been with somebody that cared and respected Castiel, anybody but Crowley. Balthazar could see Crowley's soul and it was dark and twisted. He had no interest in Castiel except for how much pain he could inflict on the younger boy.

As soon as Castiel kissed him back, Crowley pulled away and smirked cruelly.

"I always knew you were a goddamn faggot."

Castiel's eyes grew wide with fear but he straightened up and refused to let Crowley intimidate him. That was until Crowley's friends showed up.

"Sic 'im boys." Crowley's friends were on Castiel at once. Castiel tried to throw what punches he could, but it was five against one. Soon there were two boys grabbing Castiel from behind so he couldn't move as the other boys took turns punching him in the face and midsection. Castiel grunted in pain at each strike, struggling in the two older boys grasps to get away.

Balthazar felt a fury rise in him that he hadn't felt since Old Testament times at the pained noises and the sickening sound of flesh hitting flesh. He felt his power swirl around him, hot and electric as his wings unfurled and stretched behind him.

That comes to the other lie Balthazar told Castiel. He could be seen by other people, whoever he chose. He chose that moment to be now.

Balthazar began to reveal himself but then a strong feminine hand clamped down on his forearm, stopping him.

"Balthazar, you can't." Fate's sorrowful voice broke through Balthazar's rage.

"I can't let this happen! He's my charge! They could kill him!" Balthazar raged, Fate flinched slightly at the angel's glowing eyes.

"He will not die. This must happen. With great suffering will beget great joy. This moment right now will shape him and make him a stronger person. This needs to happen."

"No, I refuse. He's just a kid!" Balthazar's powers started to build-up again until Fate tightened her hand on his arm, momentarily draining his power. Since she was older and much more powerful than him, she could do that.

Balthazar shot her a murderous glare. Fate stared back, her green eyes dimmed with pain.

"You forget Balthazar; I've watched Castiel's soul long before you even knew he existed. I love him too and if it wasn't necessary, I would let you smite those boys for what they have done."

Two sets of otherworldly eyes, one blue filled with helplessness and rage, the other green conveying sadness, turned back to Castiel who was crumpled on the ground in the fetal position as the older boys left the locker room laughing.

Balthazar watched as Castiel slowly and painfully picked himself up; the swelling couldn't hide the defeated look on his face. He let out one choked sob before steeling himself, his face turning into an unemotional mask as he made his way home.

It was the first time in all of Balthazar's existence that he cried.

The year didn't get better for Castiel. That was the year that his grandmother died.

When Anna passed away, it nearly destroyed the kid considering how close he was to her. He wouldn't let any of it show since he had to be Chuck's rock. Balthazar wanted to go to him, but knew it was too risky so he would only come to him when he slept, smoothing his hair and holding his hand as Castiel cried in his sleep.

In her will, Anna left Castiel her piano. That's when the composing began. The boy was a fiend when it came to writing music. When he wasn't studying or taking care of Chuck who never fully recovered from the loss of his wife and now his mother, he would be composing music until the wee hours of the morning.

By the end of his sophomore year, the reoccurring dream began. Balthazar would occasionally drop in on Castiel's dreams, sometimes altering them ever so slightly to give him an extra boost of inspiration. However, that night when he walked into Castiel's dream, if Balthazar was in physical form, he would have doubled over in pain.

Castiel was dreaming of hell. Not the human conception of hell, but the actual hell. Balthazar felt violently sick as he looked around at all the moaning and tortured souls that seemed to surround him.

All of a sudden the voices of his brethren were filling his head as they breached the deepest part of hell. One of the voices caught Balthazar's attention. It was Castiel's.

Balthazar was shocked as he watched the dream unfold. Castiel was an angel, his large black wings spread protectively over the brightest soul Balthazar had ever seen. It took a moment to register that it wasn't a dream, but a memory from another reality bleeding into Castiel's subconscious.

Castiel was the angel that rescued the Righteous Man from hell.

He was in awe as he watched Castiel grip the man tight and raise him from perdition. His Cassie was magnificent.

Everything finally made sense. Balthazar now knew why he felt such a deep connection with Castiel. It was because in another life they were brothers.

After his sophomore year, Castiel's life went a little more smoothly until the end of his senior year. Castiel was all set to go to Oberlin to study music when Chuck's publisher cancelled his contract.

Castiel being the ever dutiful son told his father, much to Chuck's objections, he was going to hold off on school. He dipped into his college fund to help pay the mortgage and got a job as a waiter to help with the rest of the expenses.

However, Balthazar grew concerned when nearly six years went by and Castiel had still not reapplied to Oberlin. That's when he took matters in his own hands and slipped the head of the music department one of Castiel's completed pieces.

He was promptly offered a full ride which Chuck was adamant that he take.

Castiel flourished at Oberlin, but as he entered the master's program, his dreams of the Righteous Man grew more frequent and intense until Castiel felt compelled to compose a piece based on his dream.

When Balthazar first heard it in its entirety, he knew this was the piece that caused Heaven to send the muse to Castiel.

Unfortunately, it was the last time Balthazar was to hear it because a few hours later, Castiel was on his way back home to Pontiac to take care of his ill father. Chuck held out for a couple of years before his body finally gave out.

At the funeral, Castiel's eyes stayed dry and remote as he watched his father's casket being lowered into the ground. He was surrounded by well-meaning friends and distant relatives that were more interested in knowing if Chuck had any money from the sale of his books than the man himself. Castiel was surrounded by people, yet all alone.

Later that night, when everybody left, Castiel finally broke down. Balthazar found Castiel huddled on his couch, clutching his father's robe, deep, raw cries tearing at his throat.

Balthazar immediately saw the toddler again. He didn't hesitate to appear in front of Castiel and as if by some long forgotten memory, Castiel raised his arms to Balthazar again. Balthazar got down on his knees in front of Castiel, held the man tight to him and let him cry.

Too caught up in his grief and loneliness, it didn't register to Castiel that there was a strange man in his living room offering him comfort.

"Don't you think it's a little sleazy to be watching them make out?"

Balthazar yelped, his memories shattering like glass to show the reality of his surroundings. He was so caught up in his thoughts; he didn't even realize that Castiel and Dean were on the couch, making out like teenagers. Despite all the teasing he gave Castiel, he did try to give him as much privacy as possible.

Balthazar glared at Fate. She smiled sweetly back.

He composed his face with one of his familiar caviler smiles. Couldn't have Fate thinking he was reminiscing and getting sentimental.

"You know me, darling. I never miss out on a good show." Balthazar gave her a cocky little bow.

Fate laughed softly, her green eyes twinkling devilishly. "Yes, you do have a fine appreciation for the sexual arts."

Balthazar frowned when he saw Castiel and Dean pull away. Nothing appeared to be wrong, so why did they stop?

As if reading his mind, even though Balthazar had a suspicion that she could, consoled Balthazar. "Dean doesn't want to push Castiel too quickly."

"It's been two bloody months! All they do is kiss and neck, never anything below the waist." Balthazar grumbled.

"You know there's more than sex to a relationship." Fate tsked softly, but never losing her smile.

"The boy needs to release some energy. He's a good looking lad; Dean should be all over that."

"Dean cares a lot for Castiel, that's why he's taking it so slow." Fate then looked at Balthazar speculatively. "How long have you known?"

Balthazar knew exactly what Fate was asking and he felt an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.

"Not long after Chuck died. Cassie was having a really bad night. I knew he loved burgers and heard that Tessa's here in Lawrence had the best ones, so I popped in. When I saw Dean, I recognized his soul."

Fate nodded thoughtfully, turning her gaze back to the couple that was now snuggled together on the couch watching Dr. Sexy. "So, you convinced Castiel to move to Lawrence, thought the change would be good for him."

Balthazar shrugged. "I've might have given him the suggestion."

"You play a dangerous game, Balthazar. They were not supposed to meet for another ten years. You realize with your actions come consequences."

Balthazar gulped. Despite her presence as a sweet young woman, she was Fate after all, the most power being after God and Death.

"I just want him to be happy."

Fate sighed. "I know, Balthazar. I know. I feel the same way about him and about Dean. If anybody deserves to be happy, it's those two." she said softly with a wistful expression on her face.

The couple continued to watch television, blissfully unaware that they were being observed by two heavenly beings.


Chapter Text

Two months of strained conversation, thick silences and stilted laughs. Two months of avoidance and lonely lunches. Two months of Sam Winchester slowly losing his mind.

Ever since Gabriel's party, Sam had been miserable. The first day back at work after the party was…awkward. Gabriel always came into the office like a ball of energy, making the receptionist and secretary laugh, always bringing them little treats like a flower or one of Joshua's cinnamon rolls. Without fail, he would always bring Sam's favorite coffee with a smile and a flirty innuendo that Sam would chastise him for, but it would only make the paralegal smile even more.

Now Gabriel was like a faded version of himself. He still brought little gifts in for Becky and Linda, but he quit bringing Sam coffee and his smiles never reached his eyes.

Sam hated it. He wanted the old Gabriel back and he knew it was his fault for the change. Dean was right…he was interested in Gabriel but was too scare to admit it. Sam had it all planned out to talk to Gabriel, tell him Lilith was strictly his friend and get the nerve to ask the guy out for a drink.

Every time Sam was posed to do just that, the words would get stuck in his throat, his chest would tighten with panic and the words would be left unsaid.

And now Dean was frustrated with him and wasn't shy about telling him about it last Sunday during their lunch at Tessa's.

"You're miserable, Gabe's miserable…just tell him already! Surely you're not still hung up on the whole "I like guys" thing now, are you?" Dean asked, pausing in the act of devouring his burger. Sam was kind of surprised he was getting any attention from Dean with the burger in front of him.

When Sam didn't respond, Dean's intense green eyes bore into Sam's until Sam started to squirm in his seat and look away.

"Sammy, be up front with me. Does being gay really bother you that much? Does it bother you that I'm gay? I know Dad was ashamed when I came out, but I never thought you would be."

Sam's head snapped up at the hurt tone in his older brother's voice. "Of course not, Dean!" he reached across the table to grip his brother's shoulder. "You know I'm not Dad. I could never be ashamed of you. You raised me, the things you sacrificed to give me a better life…god, I'm proud to have you as my big brother."

Sam felt the sting of sadness that Dean would think Sam was ashamed. He remembered their dad's reaction and how Dean promptly went back into the closet, started chasing girls in hopes their father would forget about Dean's confession. It killed Sam to watch his brother play a role designed by John because their father was a closed minded bastard. It was years after John's death and Bobby's gruff but patient insistence for both boys' happiness that Dean fully came out.

"So, what you're saying is that me being gay doesn't change who I am or my self-worth? It doesn't make me better or worse than anybody else because it's one's actions that make character, not whether they like tits or dicks…do I got that right, Sammy?"

Sam leaned back in his seat and stared at his brother in amazement as Dean's face broke out in a chesire smile. The insightful bastard played him, but he was absolutely right. Dean was playing the same tricks on him that Bobby had played on Dean, years ago.

"God help me Dean, but I like him. He's been under my skin since the moment I interviewed him. I kept telling myself I hired him because of the amazing experience he had, which is partly true, but I just wanted to be able to see him every day." Sam said into his salad.

"Look at me, Sam." Sam raised his eyes to find his brother sitting forward, his eyes trained on his face. "Tell him, Sam. The guy is crazy about you. Nobody important to you is going to look down at you for having feelings for a guy. Hell, they'll probably be relieved. I know Bobby and I will be."

"Bobby knows?" Sam blanched. It was one thing to talk to Dean about it, but Bobby was the closest thing he had to a father…

"Sammy! Quit freaking out, Bobby's not blind. He saw it the last time he came for a visit. He doesn't care who you like just as long as you're happy. You of all people should know this."

Sam let out a relieved breath that turned into a chuckle. "I'll talk to Gabe tomorrow."

"Good. Now eat your rabbit food." Dean smirked at Sam's salad as he picked up his burger.

It was now Friday morning and Sam has yet to talk to Gabriel because he'd called off all week. Sam was worried since Gabriel never missed work. Every time he asked Becky if Gabriel was coming in, she would just shake her head and tell him he was still sick. Sam had started to go to Gabriel's apartment one night until Castiel stopped him, telling Sam to give Gabriel a little space.

So it was to his surprise when he walked into his office on Friday morning to see Gabriel already waiting for him, looking nervous.

"Gabe, you're back. Hope you're feeling better." Sam said, smiling but the smile slipped away as Gabriel continued to look away from him. His eyes shifted to the envelope in his hand. Sam suddenly felt cold with dread as he watched Gabriel shift from foot to foot.

"Yes, Mr. Winchester, I feel much better." Sam's brows rose at the Mr. Winchester part but remained quiet, feeling that Gabriel had more to say.

Gabriel cleared his throat. "I wanted to give you this. It's my resignation. I feel it would be best if maybe we didn't work together anymore."

Sam stared at Gabriel's outstretched hand holding the envelope but refused to take it.

"No."

Gabriel looked up in surprise at Sam's short but vehement reply.

"No?" Gabriel, who was the most confident man Sam had ever met, just stared up at him, unsure.

"I refuse to take it." Sam stubbornly, crossing his arms over his chest.

Gabriel looked flabbergasted before the look turned to anger. "You refuse to take it? I'd thought you would be happy to get rid of me since all I seem to achieve is making you uncomfortable." Gabriel hands waved around wildly as he took another step closer to Sam.

When Sam continued to just stare at him, Gabriel became more agitated

"Are you going to say anything? No, of course not! You'll never acknowledge this thing between us. You'd rather pretend it didn't even exist." Gabriel's voice rose as he turned around and walked toward Sam's desk, slamming the letter down with a slap of his hand.

"God, I can't believe I'm half way in love with a man that's so far in the closet he might as well be in fucking Narnia!"

Sam felt his stomach swoop as he stared at Gabriel's back.

Wait, Gabe might actually love me?

Instead of the panic he thought he would feel at such a declaration especially since he hadn't sorted out his own feelings for Gabriel, he felt his whole body lighten with elation.

Then Dean's words came back to Sam.

it's one's actions that make character…

Actions. Sam might have failed to put into words what he felt about Gabriel, but he sure the hell could show him.

Gabriel had turned around, leaning against Sam's desk waiting for any sort of response. Sam smiled slowly and stalked toward the paralegal whose golden eyes were narrowed suspiciously at Sam's smile.

Sam didn't miss the hitch in Gabriel's breath as Sam crowded into his personal space, trapping him between the desk and his body.

"What are you doing?" Gabriel asked, his gaze flickering between Sam's eyes and his mouth. When Gabriel licked his lips nervously, Sam groaned, leaned down and captured Gabriel's mouth.

Gabriel's body went stiff in surprise before melting into Sam's body, his hands grasping at the lapels of Sam's suit jacket.

Sam wrapped his arms around Gabriel's waist, pulling him flush with his body. He swiped his tongue along the paralegal's lips until they opened. Sam stifled his moan at his first taste of Gabriel's mouth. He tasted of cinnamon, vanilla and something that was uniquely Gabe.

Sam had just started to lick into Gabriel's mouth when Gabriel tensed and violently pushed Sam away. Sam swallowed at the thunderous look on Gabriel's face.

"What the fuck Sam? You think this is okay? You just coming in here and kissing me after months of torturing me? God, you're such a prick." Gabriel panted out before he grabbed Sam's tie and smashing their lips together again.

Sam laughed into Gabriel's mouth which Gabriel promptly bit the lower lip eliciting a moan from the taller man. Sam leaned into Gabriel, causing him to fall back onto the desk, papers scattering all over the floor.

"God Gabe, I'm so sorry, please, let me make it up to you." Sam groaned out between kisses, Gabriel's hands already un-tucking Sam's shirt from his pants and wiggling them underneath the dress shirt to glide up his sides.

"Don't think I'm going to forgive you so easily, Winchester." Gabriel growled as a fingernail scraped over a nipple making Sam shiver and moan.

"I wouldn't-" Sam gasped for breath as Gabriel started to suck on his neck, "-think you would."

"Mr. Winchester, your first client is…oh!"

Both Sam and Gabriel looked up in horror to see a wide-eyed Linda Tran staring at the mess of limbs and undone clothing on Sam's normally orderly desk.

"Ah, Mrs. Tran, I'll need a moment to consult with Mr. Milton before I talk to…" Shit, Sam couldn't remember who he was supposed to be speaking with today.

"Harold Travoy." Gabriel whispered as he hastily straightened his clothes.

"Ah, yes, Mr. Travoy, of course. Please offer him some coffee and let him know I'll be with him shortly."

Sam didn't have to see his face to know it was red, he could practically feel the heat radiating off of it. He was so busy buttoning and tucking in his shirt that he missed the smile twitching on Linda's lips.

"Of course, sir. Please take your time." Linda stated simply, shutting the door firmly behind her.

As soon as the door clicked shut, Gabriel started to laugh. "This is not what I expected when I came in today."

Sam shot him a shy glance, not knowing how to proceed. Gabriel was the first man he had ever kissed and it wasn't done with the finesse that he had imagined such like after Sam taking Gabriel on a proper date. Not in his office on an early Friday morning.

Gabriel must saw by Sam's expression what he was thinking. "I think that was most perfect argument to get me to stay. However, I think we need continue our research to see if there is adequate evidence to actually keep me. How about tonight?"

Sam huffed out a laugh. "I believe that is an excellence suggestion, Mr. Milton. Tonight will be good to do some research. We have to thoroughly explore every possibility and position. We'll have to really go in deep and quite frankly, it could take all night."

Gabriel threw his head back and laughed. Sam listened to his infectious laugh and wondered how he was able to resist the man for so long.

Well, Sam was done with resisting, especially when Gabriel smiled at him.

This time, the smile reached his eyes.

Chapter Text

He could not believe he was about to do this, but he was desperate. He was at his wit's end and he needed all the help he could get.

"Balthazar, I need you." Castiel prayed up to the kitchen ceiling and waited for the angel to appear. The prayer had barely passed his lips when he felt his hair ruffle behind him. Castiel turned around to see Balthazar leaning against the counter, arms crossed over his chest.

"You called?" Balthazar smirked, as if already knowing what Castiel was going to ask. Castiel internally groaned.

"You are aware that Dean and I have been seeing each other for a while now." Castiel started off as he began to pace back and forth.

"I'm very much aware of that, Cassie." Balthazar raised an eyebrow as he tracked Castiel's path with his eyes.

"And since you have a fondness for spying, you have probably concluded that we haven't, well…" Castiel stopped pacing and rubbed the back of his neck, nervously.

"Fucked?" Balthazar supplied, helpfully.

"Must you use such a crude word for the act?" Castiel frowned at the angel which only caused Balthazar to chuckle.

"Are you reprimanding me for my language? As you had stated before about my spying, you seemed to forget that I've heard that dirty mouth of yours during such acts."

Castiel kept his frown firmly in place, but he could feel his face heating up. He chose to ignore the comment.

"As I was saying, we have yet to…to consummate our relationship…"

"Cassie, now you sound like some cheesy Regency novel. Will you get to the…" Balthazar stopped abruptly as the realization dawned on him.

"Cassie, are you asking me for my help in seducing Dean Winchester?"

As Castiel cleared his throat uncomfortably trying to choose his words wisely, but Castiel's silence was damning. Balthazar's smile turned positively wicked and gleeful all at once as he practically bounced on the balls of his feet.

"You are! You have no idea how long I've waited to have this asked of me. Sit down and take note…you're about to get lessons from the master." The angel clapped his hands twice and a notepad, pen and a small blue box appeared on the kitchen table.

Castiel groaned. What have I unleashed?

"Don't give me that look…you wanted my help." Balthazar laughed and sat at the table, motioning Castiel to do the same.

"Yes, you're right, I did ask for your help." Castiel sighed and opened the notepad and grabbed the pen just to humor Balthazar.

Balthazar rubbed his hands together. "First, please tell me why you two haven't gotten very far."

"I don't know. I've wanted to for a while but Dean always stops before it goes too far." Castiel stops for a moment, his eyes widening.

"What if he doesn't want to...?"

Balthazar waved a hand in dismissal. "I don't think that's it at all. The guy clearly adores you and I've seen how excited he gets judging by the impressive bulge in his pants." Balthazar winks.

Castiel growled low in his chest. "What are you doing checking him out?"

Balthazar's mouth dropped open in shock before letting out a shout of laughter. "Easy there killer! I don't have designs on your boy toy."

Castiel looked down, not wanting Balthazar to see his embarrassment at his outburst. "Sorry." he mumbled out.

"It's fine, Cassie. Now tell me, have you told him you want to take it further?"

"Well, no, but I thought it would be obvious."

Balthazar gentled his smile. "I think Dean is the kind of guy you need to tell him outright. He's probably waiting for a definite sign from you. You need to overwhelm his senses, make it absolutely clear you want him." Balthazar's smile turned sly. "That's where my little gift comes in." The angel inclined his head toward the box.

Castiel picks it up and lift up the lid. It takes a moment to realize what he's looking at, but when he does, he squeaks and slams the lid down.

"You cannot be serious?" he asked incredulously.

Balthazar's eyebrows shot up. "You've never used one? Ever?"

Castiel shook his head and peeked in the box again.

Balthazar smirked. "Trust me…use it. Dean won't have any doubt in your intention."

Castiel swallowed nervously and nodded.


Yeah and then she says in a seductive voice, 'Can you check my pipes?' First time I ever saw Benny blush." Dean laughed, clapping his friend on the back.

Dean smiled over at Castiel when he heard him laugh; ignoring the glare Benny was sending Dean's way.

"Dean, leave poor Benjamin alone." Castiel chastised without losing his smile.

Benny gave Castiel a grateful look. "Thanks brother. Besides, what could I have done? Mrs. Stevenson is eighty years old, not like I could really say anything to her." Benny punched Dean in the arm.

"Ow!" Dean rubbed his arm, still chuckling.

"Let's not get me started on stories about you." Benny smirked in triumph at Dean's look of panic that flashed over his face.

"I wouldn't mind hearing some stories." Castiel told Benny before turning to smile at Dean.

Dean felt his breath catch in the back throat at the mischievous grin and sparkling blue eyes.

Benny cleared his throat, his lips tipped in a small smile as he looked between his best friend and his boyfriend that sat across from him on the couch.

"One of these days, you and I should get together, Cas at the Roadhouse and I'll share all my Dean stories with you." Benny laughed at Dean's glare and Castiel's delighted smile.

"I'd love that, Benjamin." Castiel said, bringing his beer bottle up to his lips.

"Come on brother, call me Benny. You sound like my mother." Benny laughed.

"My apologies. I'll go get us some more drinks." Castiel stood up, but Dean noticed him wince slightly.

"You okay, Cas?" Dean asked in concern which turned to puzzlement when he saw Castiel blush.

"I'm fine. My leg fell asleep is all. I'll be right back." Castiel disappeared into Dean's kitchen.

Dean frowned at the swinging door. Dean had noticed that all night Castiel seemed a little uncomfortable, constantly shifting in his seat, his face flushed. At first he thought he was uneasy around Benny, but he quickly dismissed that since the three of them had hung out quite a bit in the past couple of months and Castiel seemed to genuinely like Benny. It had actually become a bit of a tradition for Castiel and Benny to come to his house on Friday night to celebrate the end of the work week with pizza and beer. Maybe Castiel wasn't feeling well.

"Staring at the door is not going to make him come back faster." Benny remarked dryly.

Dean gave a sheepish smile and shrugged, drinking the rest of his beer.

Benny continued to study Dean with a smile on his face. "You two are good for each other."

Dean now was the one squirming in his seat. "He's too good for me. Once he finds out more about me, he'll be gone." Dean's good mood soured immediately.

"Are you kidding me? Do you not see what I see? The man practically worships you. Maybe you should tell him and let him be the judge. I don't think it's going to affect how he feels about you." Benny consoled his friend.

Dean looked up at Benny and saw sincerity in his face. Benny was the only person besides Bobby and Sam that knew the things Dean did during the six months after their father died to keep food in their stomachs and a roof over their head before Bobby took them in.

"You think so?" Dean asked, the question wrapped in years of buried insecurity.

Benny's face gentled. "Of course. I wouldn't lie to you and I wouldn't tell you to open up to somebody if I didn't deem them worthy of you."

Dean took a shaky breath and smiled. "Thanks Benny. I'll tell him soon."

"Good." Benny nodded decisively and looked up when he saw Castiel reenter the room.

Castiel sat the bottles on the coffee table and looked between the two men, obvious in the fact that he had missed something important.

Dean gave Castiel a reassuring smile before turning back to Benny.

"So…have you asked out Andrea from the Roadhouse yet?" Dean wasn't done picking on the man.

"Brother, you're walking on a very thin line. Don't make me tell Cas about the time you got caught in the vault with Chris the bank teller at Lawrence Savings and Trust."

Castiel had to thump Dean on the back as he choked on his drink.

Benny sat back with a satisfied grin on his face.


A couple of hours later, Benny had left, leaving Dean and Castiel alone, snuggled on the couch watching a movie.

Castiel blindly watched the images on the screen, working up the courage to take Balthazar's advice and just be bold.

Never taking his eyes off the TV, Castiel let his hand wander up Dean's denim covered leg until it was high on his thigh. He didn't miss the hitch in Dean's breathing or the hiss when he allowed his fingertips to graze Dean's groin.

Castiel's hand stilled, waiting for a response. It came in the form of Dean widening his legs and a slight canting of the hips causing Castiel to smirk a little.

It was a bit of a struggle, but Castiel managed to unbutton and unzip Dean's jeans one handed. He then dipped his hand inside to press against the hot length trapped in Dean's black boxers.

"Fuck Cas," Dean breathed out, any pretense of watching the movie was gone as he bucked his hips into Castiel's hand.

Castiel felt his insides get hot and shivery at the breathy moan and any lingering shyness was decimated by the accumulating want the unfurled in his body. He looked up at Dean, his eyes taking in the flushed skin, lust blown eyes and red bitten lips. Castiel let out a moan of his own at the sight.

It felt like another creature had taken over as he stood up and knelt in front of Dean to take off his pants and boxers.

"We don't have to do this if…ahhh…," Dean moaned when Castiel bit the inside of his thigh, "…if you're not ready."

Castiel looked up long enough to cock an eyebrow at Dean. "I've been ready for a while. Tired of waiting." He leaned up to pull Dean's t-shirt over his head and tossing it to the side, leaving Dean completely bare for Castiel's roving eyes.

Castiel took his time staring at Dean who was sprawled out on the couch, the first time to see him completely unclothed. Castiel's breath was thick as he lightly ran his hands up and down Dean's thighs, looking his fill.

Dean's body was long and strong but not as defined as someone that spent hours in the gym but a body of a man that did physical labor for a living. His skin was lightly golden with a sprinkling of freckles. Freckles that Castiel wanted to kiss and lick until Dean was a writhing mess underneath him.

"You're beautiful." Castiel stated simply, watching the freckles become more pronounced with Dean's blush.

Dean growled and lifted him up underneath the arms so he could straddle his lap. Castiel shivered at the display of strength since he knew he wasn't a lightweight.

"Too many clothes." Dean ground out as he relieved Castiel of his layers until they were both skin to skin.

Castiel gasped at the heated contact as they were chest to chest, Castiel's cock trapped between their bodies, Dean's lips capturing his own.

"I've wanted you for so long. God, you have no idea. Didn't want to fuck it up." Dean mumbled in between drugging kisses.

"Please Dean," Castiel whined, grinding into Dean's lap causing the man to groan.

"Patience, I'll take care of you." Dean whispered, nipping at Castiel's jaw and throat as one hand trailed down Castiel's bare back to his cleft.

Castiel felt Dean jerk in surprise when he reached his ass and Castiel couldn't help to smirk.

"Cas…are you wearing a plug?" Dean asked with wide eyes.

Castiel lowered his lashes, bit his bottom lip and nodded.

"Were you wearing it all night?" Dean's voice was thick with lust as he started to wiggle the plug making Castiel moan and buck.

"Yes, I…ahhh!" Castiel gasped out as Dean managed to wiggle it against his prostate.

"You were sitting here, talking to my best friend, acting as everything was fine when the whole time you had this in? Jesus Cas…" Dean groaned out, taking Castiel's mouth again but not stopping the movements with the plug. Castiel could feel Dean's cock throb beneath him, the thought apparently pleasing to him.

Castiel shuddered and thrashed as Dean was merciless in his ministrations, one hand gripping his hair tightly, the other on the plug.

"Were you thinking about me? Every time you squirmed, did you think about me filling you up?" Dean pulled Castiel's head to the side to have better access to his neck. Castiel groaned as he felt the sweet suction of Dean's lips on the side of his neck in tandem with the movements at his entrance.

"Yes!" Castiel gasped out. "Every time…wanted this for so long…"

"God, I'm going to take such good care of you, honeybee." Dean groaned at the base of Castiel's throat as he slowly removed the plug from Castiel's stretched hole.

Castiel groaned and hissed as the toy tugged at his rim before releasing, not liking the feeling of emptiness, but that feeling didn't last long when two thick fingers replaced the plug, pumping up into his oversensitive hole. Castiel keened at the pleasure that spiked when Dean once again found his prostate and swiped over the bundle of nerves.

Castiel started riding Dean's fingers in earnest, a thin sheen of sweat started to coat both of their bodies as they slid together.

"Tell me what you want. Tell me how you want to come." Dean whispered roughly into his ear, a third finger joining the other two.

"I want to…come with you inside me."

"I am inside you, honeybee." Dean mocked lightly, finding enjoyment in torturing Castiel.

Castiel's pace didn't waver, his cock rubbed wetly against Dean's stomach. "No," he keened, "I want your cock inside me. Want to come from your cock."

The fingers disappeared as well as the hand in his hair. Two calloused hands gripped Castiel's hips tight as he was lifted up slightly and then slammed back down onto Dean's cock.

Castiel's eyes widened and watered a little from the sudden intrusion of Dean's thick length but since he was stretched previously, there was only a little bite of pain that enhanced the pleasure the swirled around him. Both men groaned at the stretch.

He grabbed a hold of Dean's shoulders and buried his face in Dean's neck as he pumped himself down onto Dean, riding him, already feeling the beginning of his orgasm gathering low in his belly. It had been five years since he has had sex and on top of the constant stimulation of the plug earlier, he knew he was going to come embarrassingly fast.

Dean seemed to realize this, grabbed the base of Castiel's cock to stave off his orgasm. "No Cas, you need to show me how much you want this before you can come." Dean ordered, causing Castiel to whimper in protest.

Castiel raised himself up before slamming back down, feeling the groan that vibrated in Dean's chest.

"That's it….ride me. Fuck, you're still so tight." Dean moaned into Castiel's ear, biting down on the lobe.

Castiel repeated the movement, moving up until the head tugged at his rim before sliding back down, gripping Dean's cock tight on the way down.

"Cas baby, you're going to kill me…" Dean moaned out as Castiel started to ride him faster and harder. Castiel cried out in relief when Dean's hard grip on the base of his cock lessened and started to stroke him in time with their thrusts. Dean bucked up into Castiel hard as his other hand curled around Castiel's neck.

"Feel so fucking good. So perfect." Dean murmured, his thrusts getting more desperate.

"Dean please…" Castiel begged, knowing he couldn't hold his climax off any longer with Dean pounding his prostate and stripping his dick.

Dean pulled Castiel's face closer and whispered. "Come for me."

Castiel felt his body draw tight before he finally shattered. Castiel saw white as he came hard over Dean's hand and abdomen, Dean swallowing Castiel's screams with his mouth while still keeping up the onslaught of stroking and thrusting.

"Oh god, Dean, Dean, Dean!" he cried out, hugging Dean's shoulders and throwing his head back.

"That's it baby, I got you…so goddamn beautiful…" Dean's voice was raspy and wrecked, his own climax on the precipice.

Castiel moaned incoherently as he slammed down hard one last time, triggering Dean to come.

"Fuck…Cas…!" Dean gritted out as he thrust up hard and released into Castiel's well-used body. Castiel could feel Dean's come filling him up and leaking out, coating the inside of his thighs. He shivered at the feeling.

"Shit…never before…I…fuck…" Dean panted as he sat boneless on the couch with Castiel's slumped over him, nuzzling his neck.

Castiel had a feeling he knew what Dean was trying to say but couldn't get it out. He felt the same way. It had never been like this with anybody before. He cupped Dean's face and gave him a lazy kiss, his tongue snaking out to lick inside Dean's mouth.

Dean purred in contentment and pulled Castiel closer to him.

No other words were necessary.

Chapter Text

"You two dating now?" Dean asked, his head subconsciously moved to the beat of Black Sabbath's Iron Man that was playing on an old beat up radio. Castiel, Dean, Sam, Gabriel, Jo and Benny huddled around a bonfire on Benny's family farm. Benny wanted to have one last outdoor get-together before it became too cold.

"If you define dating as Sam cross examining me nightly then yes, we're dating." Gabriel said innocently. Everybody around the bonfire groaned at the innuendo while Sam just covered his face.

"What?" Gabriel looked around before a sly grin formed. "He also inspects my briefs…"

"God Gabe, stop!" Sam, face red from embarrassment, glared at the shorter man who just blew him a kiss.

Castiel leaned against Dean's shoulder, watching Sam and Gabe bicker back and forth acting as if no one was aware of Sam's hand on Gabriel's thigh under the blanket they were sharing. Castiel bit back a smile as he watched the soulmates. He was glad that they had seemed to form a connection and according to Balthazar, it had seemed to have taken root and would grow stronger with time.

Despite all of this, he still couldn't prevent the sting of jealous that God ordained that they were the rare individuals that would have each other through the lifetimes while Castiel would only have Dean for this one brief life.

Castiel shivered but it wasn't the late October wind that had invaded the backyard causing the fallen leaves to twirl around briefly in the air before floating back down to the ground that had made him shiver.

Dean's arms slipped around Castiel's waist, pulling him closer into his warmth.

"Are you okay?" he asked, green eyes glinting with concern. Castiel sighed and pushed his maudlin thoughts to the side and smiled up into Dean's freckled face.

"I'm fine, just a little chilly."

Dean leaned down to whisper into Castiel's ear. "If you need warmed up, we can sneak out to the Impala and we can…" Dean let the sentence trail off meaningfully.

Castiel rolled his eyes and elbowed him in the side, but a smile still managed to peek through.

Dean laughed lowly in Castiel's ear, goose bumps erupting over his skin as Dean's warm breath fanned over his ear and neck.

"Oh god, you two aren't going to have sex out here, are you?" Jo giggled from across the fire. "I don't want to see Dean because ewww, you're like a brother, but Cas on the other hand…"

The glow of the fire cast a golden hue over Jo's face as she sent a salacious look toward Castiel, wiggling her eyebrows. A laugh was literally squeezed out of Castiel as Dean's arm tightened around him.

"Go home, Jo. You're drunk." Dean growled causing the whole group to break out into laughter, Castiel included.

"Ah Dean, you're so adorable when your jealous." Jo cooed. Dean threw a marshmallow at her.

"Hey! Don't waste them!" Gabriel cried out as he tried to grab the bag from Dean.

"Gabe, you've already had a bag to yourself and we haven't even made s'mores yet." Sam laughed as he watched Gabriel and his brother all but wrestle for the bag.

"I'm pretty sure there won't be any s'mores if judging by all the empty wrappers in the bag where the chocolate was supposed to be in." Benny added dryly, sitting on the ground, leaning casually against one of the logs that were circling the bonfire.

Gabriel stopped his struggles for the marshmallows when five sets of eyes turned to him.

"Damn it Gabe, you ate all the chocolate?" Dean asked in disbelief.

"What? I couldn't resist. It was calling to me like Sam's big…"

"Stop!" Everybody yelled in unison.

Gabriel looked around innocently. "Something wrong with me saying Sam has a big heart?"

Castiel dipped his chin to hide his smile because he knew for once, Gabriel was actually being sincere. He couldn't see Sam's face clearly, but he was sure that the lawyer was blushing.

"Do you two have to be so sickening sweet? And don't think I'm not including you two in this." Jo pointed at Dean and Castiel. "There are still single people like me and Benny that have to suffer watching you."

"I don't think Benny will be single for much longer." Dean hinted.

"What!" Jo squawked, turning narrowed eyes at Benny.

"I have a date with Andrea next weekend." Benny shrugged as if it wasn't a big deal, but it was clear he was excited.

"Screw you, Lafitte. Can't believe you're abandoning me. Now I'm gonna have to deal with three couples. I'll turn into that spinster aunt with a houseful of cats." She groused, crossing her arms.

Castiel started to laugh, startling everybody around him since he tended to be the quiet one.

"What's that all about, honeybee?" Dean asked, eliciting a snort from Sam over the nickname.

"I simply applaud Gabe's ingenuity that he managed to shift the attention away from him and the chocolate."

Everybody's eyes turned back to Gabriel's guilty face.

"Damn it, Cas!" Gabriel exploded and glared in Castiel's direction. Castiel smirked, earning a chuckle from Dean.

"Deano, rein in your boyfriend." Gabriel pouted, but his lips trembled, fighting a smile.

Castiel and Dean both stilled at the comment. He looked over at Dean to find him staring back. Castiel never really thought of themselves as boyfriends even though he guessed they technically were. The word boyfriend didn't seem meaningful enough for how Castiel felt about Dean.

The same thought process must have been going through Dean's mind because a warm, calloused hand cupped the side of Castiel's face. Dean's face loomed over his, the firelight reflected in his eyes as his head started to lower, inching closer to Castiel's parted lips.

"Oh man, cool it on the eye porn guys!" Sam groaned.

Dean and Castiel pulled apart, the moment broken. Dean turned and scowled at his brother.

"Damn, I was really looking forward to s'mores. Oh well, guess we'll have to make do with these rum filled marshmallows I made. Had a feeling Shorty over there would eat the candy." Jo pulled out a container from the large picnic basket she brought to the bonfire.

"Hey, I resent that!" Gabriel grumbled before he made a lunge toward the container, but Dean beat him to it.

Castiel laughed as he watched the two men fight for the container, reaching in simultaneously grabbing as many of the marshmallows as they could.

Sam arched a brow toward Castiel. "I think we're going to have our hands full tonight with those two."

Castiel had a feeling that Sam was right.


"Come on, Dean, you just need to sleep it off." Castiel grunted as he maneuvered Dean's body into his apartment.

Sam's prediction ended up coming true. Dean and Gabriel consumed the entire container of rum soaked marshmallows and on top of what they drank afterwards, the drunken duo closed out the night singing around the bonfire much to the amusement of their perspective boyfriends and friends.

After Dean's rendition of Cherry Pie where he tried to grind up against a blushing Castiel who was trying to hide his erection from his new friends, figured it was time to get Dean home.

It took a while to convince Dean to let him drive the Impala, but he finally gave in. Well, more like passed out so the decision was out of his hands. In the end, Castiel just drove to his apartment since it was closer than Dean's house and now was straining with Dean's weight against his side.

"That was fun." Dean slurred as he leaned even more onto Castiel.

Castiel huffed. "Next time I'll make your brother carry your ass to bed. You're too heavy."

"You callin' me fat?" Even as drunk as he was, he still managed to sound indignant.

Castiel rolled his eyes and gave a sigh of relief when they made it to the bedroom. Castiel gave Dean a little push toward the bed where he was quickly falling back.

Of course he hadn't factored in that Dean refused to let go of him so he ended up landing on top of Dean's chest. Both men grunted at the impact.

Castiel sat up, straddling Dean's waist and stared down at him. "Get some rest."

Dean's hands clamped down on Castiel's thighs as he attempted to untangle himself from Dean's arms and legs.

"Answer me…you think I'm fat?" Dean's lower lip jutted out in a pout. Castiel tried hard to fight down his amusement. He leaned down and captured the lip with his teeth, tugging gently. Dean moaned and Castiel could feel a growing hardness underneath his ass.

"Don't be ridiculous. You're not fat, however…" He couldn't prevent the mischievous grin that split his face. "I find that I can't resist this…" Castiel ran his hand underneath Dean's shirt and caressed his stomach. It was one of the only spots on Dean that wasn't hard with muscle, but just slightly soft, most likely from having one too many slices of pie.

Dean frowned and tried to move Castiel's hand. "Don't play with my pudge." Dean grumbled, red staining his cheekbones.

Castiel leaned back and frowned. Dean was honestly embarrassed about his stomach. Dean was always so full of confidence and sexual energy, Castiel was shocked to find that Dean had insecurities of his own.

Castiel's eyes softened when Dean managed to shove Castiel's hand away and yank down his shirt. He turned his head away.

"Dean, look at me." Castiel had to fight a laugh when Dean childishly refused to meet his gaze.

"Dean…you are so incredibly beautiful to me, inside and out. I care more about what's going on in here," Castiel tapped Dean's chest, "than whether you have a six pack or not."

He could feel the tension leave Dean's body. Castiel leaned down again and whispered into Dean's ear. "Besides, your stomach feels so damn good when my dick's sliding against it when you're fucking me."

Dean's eyes were large, pupils rapidly overpowering green. "Fuck Cas, love when you talk dirty."

Castiel laughed low in his throat as he managed to finally untangle himself, getting off of Dean, much to Dean's protestation. He ignored the throbbing of his cock as he looked down at Dean sprawled out on his bed.

"Where you going? Come back." Dean whined.

"Go to sleep, Dean. I'll be in the living room."

"Don't I get a goodnight kiss?" Dean leaned up onto his elbows and gave Castiel an innocent look.

Castiel laughed and leaned down. Before his lips even made it to Dean's, a hand clamped around the back of his neck and pulled him down the rest of the way.

He gasped at the assault of Dean's mouth against his own, the kiss open mouthed and dirty. When Dean finally released him, he was already starting to drift off to sleep.

"Good night." Dean sighed out with a smile on his face.

After catching his breath, Castiel was able to return the sentiment. He almost made it to the door when Dean spoke again.

"Love you, Cas." he mumbled out drowsily.

Castiel froze. "What did you just say?"

When there was only silence, Castiel turned around, but Dean was already asleep.


Dean woke up a few hours later, disoriented and thirsty. He blinked to see he was lying alone in Castiel's bed, the room still dark. The red glowing numbers on the digital clock on the night table showed that it was 4:37 in the morning. Dean groaned as he sat up, rubbing his face, feeling the stubble rasp against his palms.

Dean was never eating Jo's marshmallows again. It just wasn't worth the headache and fuzzy memory.

He managed to get up and padded into the living room to make his way to the kitchen for some water. Dean stopped when he saw a shirtless Castiel sitting at his piano, moonlight streaming in from the window, giving the man the appearance as if he was glowing. He sat on the bench rubbing his palms over his denim clad thighs, not touching the keys.

"Cas?" he whispered as Castiel looked up and scooted over to make room for Dean on the bench.

"You should be in bed." Castiel whispered into the stillness of the room.

"I woke up and you weren't there. I was lonely." Dean didn't normally speak so frankly about feelings, but he found with Castiel, he could.

Big blue eyes looked up and into his. "Do you remember last night?"

Dean just had snatches of dancing, Castiel dragging him into the apartment and the warm weight of Castiel on top of him. "I'm 'fraid I don't remember much. Hope I wasn't too much of a pain in the ass."

Dean caught a quick look of disappointment cross over Castiel's face before it was gone. "No, more than you usually are." Castiel shot him a little smile causing Dean to nudge him with his shoulder.

Castiel smiled more fully before looking down at his lap. Dean watched as Castiel's fingers flexed into the muscle of his thighs as if restraining himself.

"When's the last time you played?" Dean asked, pressing his body closer to Castiel's.

"Just before I came home from college to take care of my father." Castiel answered, voice so low, Dean had to strain to hear him. Then a little louder, "You should go back to sleep, Dean. You need your rest."

"Play something to help me sleep." Dean said impulsively, hoping he wasn't overstepping a boundary, but he wanted to hear Castiel play and push him past whatever was causing him to stop something he obviously loved.

Castiel looked back at Dean, expression pained. Dean immediately felt guilty for pushing him.

"Sorry Cas, you don't have to…"

"No, no, it's okay. I want to." Castiel's expression changed from pained to melancholy. He took a deep breath and placed his trembling fingers on the ivory keys.

The first notes were soft and faint but as he started to get used to playing again, they became a little stronger. Dean recognized the song as an old Cass Elliot song. Then Castiel did something Dean wasn't expecting. He started to sing.

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you"
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me

Castiel sang softly, the husky sound of his voice washing over Dean. As Castiel sang the second line, Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you", Dean shivered when Castiel looked straight at him. Dean felt like something had shifted between them and Castiel was trying to tell him something that he wasn't quite ready to say.

Say "Night-ie night" and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Dean watched as Castiel's fingers became more confident on the keys as his voice gained strength, holding a wealth of emotions behind it. Dean wrapped his arm around Castiel's waist and scooted closer.

Stars fading but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this

Castiel's voice cracked slightly on the word kiss as Dean leaned over and nuzzled his neck, placing soft kisses on the tender flesh of his throat. Dean relished the feel of the vibrations of Castiel's singing against his lips.

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

As the last note faded, Dean could feel Castiel's whole body trembling. Dean's breath caught in the back of his throat when Castiel turned to face him, his lashes wet with tears.

Dean didn't say anything only cupped Castiel's face in his hands and kissed him chastely, letting his thumbs swipe gently underneath his eyes. Castiel's breathing became erratic, his voice on the edge of a sob, but he reined it in at the last moment.

"Come to bed with me." Dean whispered. Castiel nodded mutely.

Dean gave him one last lingering kiss before taking Castiel's hand and leading him to the bedroom.

Chapter Text

"Sam, we have to take this case." Gabriel burst into Sam's office, full of righteous indignation, holding a newspaper. Gabriel threw the newspaper down in front of Sam before plopping down in one of the chairs across Sam's desk.

Sam's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "What's got you all fired up?"

Gabriel practically growled at what he had read that morning. "A teen named Trevor Connelly was arrested for attempted murder. What's not in the paper is that the kid's pretty shaken up because the person he beat up was his father and he caught him trying to sexually assault his half-sister so Trevor lost it. Trevor nearly beat him to death. Here's the kicker…Trevor is the illegitimate son of Pastor Zachariah Adler."

Sam whistled low. "Adler? The Politician Preacher is what they call him, isn't it? He's made a lot of money from Washington. That man has a knack for making money for campaigns…put a lot of politicians in office that quite frankly have no business being there." Sam's face turned red with anger. "What about Trevor's mother?"

"Her name is Rose. I made some calls before coming in and apparently, Adler still visits her. They had cut ties for a while and she got married. That's when she had another child and he even adopted Trevor but he died two years ago. That's when she started seeing Adler again. Apparently she's too scared to lose what little money she gets from him to even defend her own children." Gabriel stopped his tirade and took in Sam's pale face.

"Sam, you okay?"

Sam straightened up and cleared his throat. "Yes…so let me guess, they have no money so he'll be assigned a public defender."

"They assigned him to Naomi. You know she'll do the minimum because she doesn't give a shit about this kid. She's just going to assume Trevor is completely in the wrong and not even try to fight for him. Right now, Trevor's not talking. All we know is what we can get out of his little sister. Please Sammy, let's take this case. I truly believe he was defending his sister."

Gabriel watched as Sam scanned the paper. "It'll be tough since he has a record."

Gabriel's heart clenched at the words he was about to utter. "So did Dean."

Sam's body froze except for his fingers crinkling the paper. "I see you've been snooping." he said blandly, but Gabriel could still hear the slight tremor in the lawyer's voice.

Gabriel reached across the desk and grabbed Sam's hand. "It wasn't that difficult to find out."

Sam still refused to look at Gabriel, one hand continually smoothing out the wrinkles in the paper. "You truly believe in this kid? Just like that?"

"Yes, all the things on his record are petty things but he's poor and his father has money and connections. They'll try him and find the kid guilty while Adler will walk, never having to pay for what he did. Someone needs to stand up for them like somebody did for you and Dean."

"What if he doesn't even want to talk?" Sam rubbed his free hand over his face.

"I know it's very unorthodox, but maybe Dean could speak with him…"

Sam jerked his hand out of Gabriel's grasp. The paralegal cringed at the ferocious look he shot him.

"Absolutely not! I'll not subject Dean to that. Do you realize how much that screwed us up….especially Dean? He still feels guilty even thought it was eventually ruled that it wasn't his fault. I don't want to re-open old wounds."

Gabriel stared at Sam's ashen face. When he had read about Dean and Sam's case, his heart broke for the two young Winchesters. Gabriel thought he had it tough growing up, but he couldn't even hold a candle for what those two had gone through. If Bobby Singer hadn't found them and called upon an old friend to represent Dean, the elder Winchester would most likely still be serving time for something that wasn't his fault.

"Sam," he started out gently, "maybe by helping this young man, it will give both you and Dean some closure, help you heal."

Sam stared down at the grainy picture of Trevor's face, only sixteen years old. Sam nodded mutely.

"Let me finish up a few things here and we'll go down to the county lockup." Sam responded thickly.

Gabriel got out of his chair and walked around the desk to give Sam a hug. He didn't return it but instead leaned into the shorter man, seeking solace from memories. Gabriel ran his hand through Sam's hair and kissed his temple.

"Just let me know when you're ready."


"Castiel!" a gasp came from the doorway of his bedroom.

Castiel looked up blearily at the redhead that came rushing to his bedside. "What are you doing here Charlie?"

"I was about to leave for my conference for work and I was just wanted to remind you to water my plants, but I didn't know you were so sick. Why didn't you call me?"

Castiel fought to sit up. "It's just the flu. With a little rest, I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow." he managed to croak out.

A cool hand pressed against his forehead and then an unshaven cheek. "You're burning up." Charlie stared down at Castiel in concern. "That's it, I'm cancelling my trip."

"Absolutely not. Go…I'm not dying, just a little sick." Castiel waved her away.

Indecision warred on Charlie's face but then it cleared. "Where's your phone?"

He pointed in the general direction of his dresser. "It's over there. Why you want it?"

She smiled. "Just going to put the phone number of the hotel I'm staying at in case you need me."

"Really, that's unnecessary…hey, who you calling?" he asked in alarm. He tried to get out of bed but Charlie pushed him down with one hand, the other hand holding the phone up to her ear.

"No Dean, this is Charlie. It's about Castiel, he's…" Charlie's eyes widened. "Whoa, calm down big guy, he's essentially fine, he's just got the flu and I hate leave him here by himself."

Castiel groaned, already picturing how Dean was reacting on the other end. He found out early on that Dean was a bit overprotective of him, so he deliberately didn't tell him he was sick. So instead, he would text Dean and make up excuses of why he couldn't go out. He even went as far to tell him his best friend from highschool, Meg was visiting him even though she wasn't due for a visit until the spring.

Besides, he didn't want to burden Dean. Castiel thought that by now, Balthazar would have made an appearance and would just cure him like he always did. He hasn't yet shown and Castiel didn't want to call his friend just to use him for his healing powers. However, Castiel was becoming seriously concerned because he hadn't seen the angel in weeks.

Castiel knew they had made a deal about getting Sam and Gabriel together, that Balthazar would leave him alone, but he didn't think the job was quite complete yet. Even if it was, deep down, Castiel didn't really want Balthazar out of his life and he refused to believe the angel would just take off without saying goodbye.

Castiel sank deeper into his mattress, feeling tears burn his eyes. Great, on top of being sick, now I'm getting all weepy over an annoying angel.

"…I'll tell him you're on your way. I have to get going now if I'm going to make it to the airport on time….Dean…" Charlie huffed, "…he'll be fine by himself for the thirty minutes it will take you to get here, I promise. He's just sick, not dying."

Castiel covered his face with his hand and tried to block out the one sided conversation. Dean was going to be so pissed when he got there to find out Castiel lied to him. He then reached for a pillow and covered his face in attempt to smother himself.


Castiel was struggling to get out of bed when Dean walked into his room. Castiel glowered at him.

"Dean, you shouldn't be here, you're going to just get yourself sick." Castiel muttered as he managed to get to his feet. When he stood completely up, he swayed causing Dean to rush forward to grab his arm.

"Cas, you need to be in bed." Dean tried to maneuver him back into bed, but Castiel resisted.

"I need to go to the bathroom." he muttered with a small blush.

"Let me help you then." Dean wrapped an arm around Castiel's waist and started to help him out of the room to the hallway.'

"I'm not a damn invalid. It's just the flu." Castiel tried to shake Dean's arm away, but Dean ignored him. Instead he chuckled.

"You're a horrible patient, Cas."

"Oh shut up." he grumbled, but tightened his grip on Dean's arm when another wave of dizziness hit him.

"Come on tough guy." Dean laughed and managed to get him into the bathroom but Castiel drew the line with him staying with him and staunchly made him wait in the hallway.

Castiel quickly used the toilet and as he was washing his hands, he looked up and grimaced at his reflection in the mirror. His natural tan was bleached out, leaving a ghastly pasty complexion making his cheekbones stand out more noticeably. Dark circles lay underneath his eyes and his dark brown hair was dull, laying flat against one side of his head while the other half stuck out in all different direction.

"Of course Dean would see me looking like an absolute wreck." he grumbled, frowning fiercely at his reflection. No point of fixing my appearance, he's already seen me and he didn't run for the hills.

Once Castiel was finished in the bathroom, Dean helped him back into the bedroom and got him tucked into bed. When Castiel was safely ensconced in his bed, Dean let his irritation at Castiel come through.

"Mind telling me why you didn't tell me you're sick and I had to hear about it from Charlie?" Dean scowled down at Castiel.

"I didn't want to be a bother."

"Damn it Cas, I lo-uh-care about you and I want to take care of you if you're sick. You'd do the same for me, right?"

Castiel hid his smile at Dean's almost love confession, but he did have a point. If Dean was sick, he would want to take care of him too.

"You're right, I'm sorry. I should have called." he said, his voice heavy with remorse. Dean smiled, seemingly satisfied with Castiel's response.

Dean started to straighten up the room since Castiel hadn't had the energy to do so himself. Once the room was tidy, Dean turned back to Castiel.

"When's the last time you've eaten?"

Castiel thought hard, but he couldn't quite remember. The only thing he could recall having in his system was the nasty home remedy concoction that Charlie made him choke down before leaving.

"I think yesterday morning."

"Yesterday morning? Cas, I really should beat your ass."

"Is that a promise?" Castiel laughed weakly before a coughing fit took over.

"Aren't you just a barrel of laughs." Dean shook his head, but handed Castiel the glass of water that was on his nightstand. When the coughing fit passed, Dean pressed his palm on Castiel's head, pushing his sweaty hair away from his flushed face.

"I'll go make you some tomato and rice soup. Don't go anywhere." Dean pointed at him and smiled when Castiel stuck his tongue out at him.

The rest of the day was spent watching movies on Castiel's laptop in bed while Dean made over him like a mother hen, making sure he stayed fed and hydrated. Dean helped him take a shower, change into fresh pajamas and even changed his sheets. Castiel tried to make Dean leave for fear of him getting sick himself, but the man was stubborn and refused. Dean even went as far as calling Benny and telling him he wouldn't be working the following day so he could stay with Castiel.

By late afternoon the next day, Castiel finally started to feel better and was able to venture out of the bedroom. As he walked into his living room, he gasped at the condition. Castiel was conscientious when it came to cleaning, but this was even beyond him. The place was immaculate.

Castiel wrapped his father's robe around him tighter and shuffled into the kitchen. Long, strong denim clad legs stretched out from beneath the sink. A clanking noise emanated followed by a grunt.

"Dean? What are you doing?"

Dean slid out from underneath the sink and shot Castiel a grin.

"You had a small leak so I was fixing it for you." Dean put the wrench he was using back in his toolbox and looked Castiel over. "You look much better. How you feel?"

Castiel leaned against the counter next to Dean. "Much better." Castiel looked around his kitchen to see it as spotless as his living room. He shook his head and let out a small laugh. "Dean, you didn't have to clean my whole apartment."

Dean moved closer, snaking an arm around Castiel's waist, pulling him toward him. "I wanted to. I figured it would still be a few days before you would feel like doing it yourself." Dean leaned in closer, intent on giving him a kiss, but Castiel covered his mouth and tried to push him gently away.

"Dean, you shouldn't be kissing me, you still might get sick and besides, I haven't brushed my teeth yet."

Dean chuckled as he removed Castiel's hand. "I don't care about that." He gave Castiel as small chaste kiss before moving on to nuzzle his neck, holding his body close to his.

Castiel sighed in contentment but then he felt Dean's phone vibrate in his pocket. Dean slumped a little at the interruption, but pulled his phone out, checked the screen and hit reject before putting it back in his pocket.

"Who was that?" Castiel asked, feeling Dean's body stiffen. He pulled away to walk to the refrigerator.

"Feel up for soup and sandwich for lunch?" Dean was already pulling left over tomato and rice soup along with the ingredients to make sandwiches.

"Dean, you're avoiding the question. Who was that? You've been getting quite a few calls the past two days you've been here and I've noticed you've been ignoring them."

Normally Castiel wouldn't question such a mundane thing as not taking a call, but he noticed that every time Dean would get a call, he would become agitated and withdrawn for a little while.

"It was just Sammy. I'll call him back when I get home." Dean supplied succinctly, evidently meaning that to be the end of the discussion.

Castiel's brow furrowed, now even more worried that Dean wouldn't take a call from Sam. He always picked up for his younger brother.

"What's going on Dean?"

"I really don't want to talk about it right now." Dean placed the food items on the counter and then braced his hands on the counter, looking blindly out window at the gently falling snow that was dusting the ground.

Castiel wrapped his arms around Dean, pressing his chest against Dean's back. Castiel kissed the back of his neck, not liking how tense Dean's body felt.

"Do you need help with the sandwiches?" Castiel asked, letting the subject drop for now, but it didn't mean he wouldn't ask later.

The tension bled from Dean's body at the peace offering. He cleared his throat and looked over his shoulder at Castiel, giving him a grateful look. "Sure."

The two of them quietly made lunch and ate at the kitchen table, keeping the conversation light.

"I've been thinking about leaving my job."

Dean's head shot up from his soup. "Why do you want to leave?"

Castiel shrugged, tearing his sandwich into bits. "Don't get me wrong, I like my job, but it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Dean nodded. "What would you do then? Would you go back to school?" he asked pensively. Castiel knew what Dean was asking without saying it.

"I have no plans to go back to Oberlin. I might finish my degree one day, just not right now and if I did, I would finish it around here. Actually, I was thinking about teaching. One of my friends from college opened a music studio. He contacted me last week, wanting me to be one of the teachers. The school caters to gifted children from four to seventeen and I think I would like teaching the little ones how to play piano. I'll start out making less than what I do now until the studio grows, but I could always get a part time job. I didn't realize how much I missed music-" Castiel stopped babbling when he felt a warm hand over his own.

"I think that's a great idea Cas. You would be great with kids and you have endless patience, I mean, you put up with me so that says a lot." Dean smirked before continuing. "And if it comes to it where you need a part time job, I'm sure that Ellen would give you a few shifts at the Roadhouse. Speaking of Ellen…do you have any plans next week? Next Thursday is Thanksgiving."

"I didn't have anything planned." Castiel couldn't believe the holiday had snuck up on him so quickly.

"Good, then you're going to spend it with me. Ellen always has a big Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends and I wanted you to go with me." Dean gave him one of his toothy smiles that never failed to melt Castiel.

"O-of course, I'd love to, but do you think Ellen would mind if I brought Charlie? She doesn't have any family and I'd hate for her to spend it alone."

Dean's smile gentled. "After seeing how worried she was over you and having the foresight to call me," Dean gave Castiel a small frown for not calling him when he was sick, "she's a Winchester in my book. I expect to see her there."

Castiel gave Dean's hand a squeeze and smiled. "Good. Just let me know what I need to bring and Charlie and I will be there."

They smiled at each other and went back to their lunch, both talking about the things that needed to be done by next Thursday. When Dean's phone went off again, Dean hit the reject button and then completely turned it off, Castiel didn't say anything.

For now.

Chapter Text

Things were strained between the Winchester brothers and Castiel couldn't figure out why.

Over the months that he had gotten to know them, he had noticed they were incredibly close for brothers so this space they had between them was troubling. Castiel was determined to stay out of it until Dean started to withdraw from everybody, including him.

Castiel wanted to find out what was going on, but he knew he couldn't ask Dean and well, asking Sam was out of the question. Which only left one option open.

Gabriel.

Castiel called Gabriel the Saturday before Thanksgiving and asked him out for lunch. Dean was working, trying to get a job done before the holidays so he would be busy all day. Gabriel agreed and suggested they meet at Joshua's Cup, a place Castiel hadn't been to yet. Gabriel assured him he would love it.

Castiel sat at a small table in a back corner, looking over the café as he waited for Gabriel to show up. The place had dark, gleaming wood floors that were littered with small round tables and a couple of comfortable looking leather couches. Except for the seating and dark wood counter that the front was covered in copper tin plates, the place was on the minimalistic side as far as decorating. Except for the light fixtures, each one was different, a mismatch of lighting, but somehow it seemed to work.

He was so caught up in looking around the place; he was startled when he heard the scrape of a chair.

"Hey Cassie." Gabriel gave him a grin as he sat down across from him.

Castiel felt a sharp pain at the nickname being that Balthazar was the only one who called him that.

"Hello Gabe, thank you for meeting me."

Gabriel chuckled. "Why so formal? We're practically bros-in-law. So what's up with this meeting? Are we on a secret mission? Is that why the clandestine meeting? I've always wanted to be a spy. I think I would be good at pretending to be somebody I'm not." Gabriel rambled on making it difficult for Castiel to keep up.

Before Castiel could answer, an auburn haired teenage girl came to take their order. She came back quickly with their drinks and told them it would only be a few minutes on their sandwiches.

Once the waitress was gone, Castiel took a nervous sip of his Coke before proceeding. "I'm going to get right to the point. What's going on between Dean and Sam?"

The smile dropped from Gabriel's face. "It's not my place to say."

Castiel glared at the shorter man, but schooled his expression when the waitress came back with their sandwiches. He offered her a small smile and a thank you. He stared down at this chicken salad sandwich and felt an utter lack of appetite.

"I had a feeling you knew something. Is there anything at all you can tell me?" he asked quietly.

Gabriel stared across the table at Castiel, food forgotten. His normally smirking face was pensive, clearly torn on what to say.

"Have you heard about the assault on Pastor Adler?" Gabriel started.

Castiel snorted. "The pretentious bastard probably deserved it."

Gabriel gaped at Castiel's venomous remark. Castiel just stared stonily at Gabriel to continue.

Gabriel shook his head and shot Castiel a wry smile before his face slid back to a more serious demeanor. "Well, Sam is defending the sixteen year old that was charged. He won't speak about what happened but Sam is trying to get Dean to talk to him, try to get him to open up."

Castiel's brow furrowed. "Why Dean?"

Gabriel gave Castiel a sad smile. "That's what Dean needs to tell you. Sam is trying to convince him, but it's bringing up bad memories."

Castiel felt a wave of protectiveness toward Dean hit him and found himself growling at Gabriel. "Then why not drop it? If he doesn't want to do it-"

"Damn it, Castiel, listen to me. This is a kid's life on the balance here. We really need him to talk to us and Dean might be the only way since he was in a similar situation." Gabriel clamped his mouth shut, his face blanching at what he just told Castiel.

Castiel latched onto it like a bone. "Similar situation? What do you mean?"

Gabriel shook his head vehemently. "I can't say anything else, please don't ask me." he begged. Gabriel's expression softened when he saw the slumped set of Castiel's shoulders. "Talk to him. Ask him to tell you what's wrong instead of trying to pry information from his brother's boyfriend. Let him know that no matter what, you won't think any differently of him. Dean loves you and that's what's holding him back. He doesn't want to talk to the kid because he doesn't want you to find out what happened to him when he was a teenager. He's so scared for you to know that he's terrified that if you did, you'd leave him."

Castiel's heart jumped at Gabriel's confession of Dean's love. Even though Dean hadn't said it, and maybe never would because he wasn't prone to sharing his feelings, he knew that he did. It still took him by surprise that another person acknowledged it.

"Don't act so surprised, kiddo. Everybody knows he's crazy about you, but I suspect you already know that."

Castiel nodded as Gabriel waved down the waitress.

"I need to get going, but think about what I said." Gabriel told Castiel as he paid the bill and put his uneaten sandwich in a to-go box.

Castiel felt like he had even more questions now than when he started. What did Dean do in his past that he was so afraid to tell him? He couldn't think of a single thing that Dean could have done that would make Castiel stop loving him.

He didn't know how long he sat at that small table alone when he looked up. He jumped slightly when he saw a kindly looking older black man sitting across from him.

"Son, I don't think that chicken salad's going to tell you the meaning of life."

Castiel felt his cheeks flush in embarrassment. Who knows how long he had been glaring down at his sandwich.

"Ahhh…you're Castiel. I think I'd recognize you anywhere with those eyes."

Castiel's eyes narrowed. "How do you know who I am? And was that a flirtation?"

The man's head tipped back in a surprised laugh, causing the waitress at the counter to look at the two of them and smile. The man's laughter was gruff but held a hypnotic quality to it that caused a smile to form on Castiel's lips.

"I'm a friend of Gabriel's and he talks about you and the Winchesters constantly. That's how I knew who you were. If it was a flirtation, it's a pretty uncreative one since I imagine many have waxed poetry over your eyes. I'm Joshua." he held out his hand, mirth still twinkling in his eyes.

"Joshua? As in Joshua's Cup?" Castiel asked after he shook the older man's hand.

Joshua nodded and chuckled. He then gestured toward Castiel's untouched sandwich. "Would you like something else instead?"

"No, it's fine, I just got a lot on my mind." Castiel told Joshua, playing with the straw of his drink.

Joshua's eyes became concerned. "Want to talk about it? I've been told I'm an excellent listener."

"I couldn't burden you with all my nonsense and you're probably too busy to hear about it anyways."

Joshua smiled and looked around the empty café. "I think it's safe to say I've got the time."

There was something about Joshua that Castiel couldn't figure out, but he eluded such a persona of strength, comfort and peacefulness, that much to Castiel's chagrin, he ended up spending an hour telling Joshua about his and Dean's entire relationship.

At the end of it, Castiel felt exhausted and no closer to what he should do.

"Despite not knowing each other long, it seems like the bond between you two is strong. I wouldn't go there demanding answers. Just simply ask and let him do the rest. If he doesn't want to talk about it yet, let it go until he's ready. Just from what you've told me, he won't be able to keep it in for long. It seems like he cares for you too much to hold on to secrets."

Castiel hummed in agreement and looked down at his watch. In the process, he noticed his plate was empty except for some crumbs. He gave a little laugh. "I didn't even realize I ate my entire sandwich."

Joshua stood up, taking the plate with him. "Unburdening one's problems can cause you to work up an appetite."

He handed the plate to the waitress at the counter who in turn handed a box to Joshua. Joshua walked back over to the table as Castiel was putting on his coat.

"Here, a little something sweet for you and your young man on the house." he said as he gave Castiel the styrofoam container. Castiel peeked inside to see two pieces of cherry pie.

"Cherry pie is Dean's favorite." Castiel smiled at the café owner.

"Is it? Well good thing I decided to make that flavor today." he winked and waved Castiel off.

As Castiel opened the door to step outside, Joshua called out to him. "Castiel, in the end, no matter what secrets or revelations that come to light, you're going to have to decide what Dean means to you and what you're willing to sacrifice for him."

Castiel shivered but convinced himself it was just from the cold.


Later that night, Dean came over to Castiel's apartment after work, settling down on the couch with a sigh, exhaustion heavy on his face.

"Dean, you should be in bed, not here." Castiel scolded but bent down to remove Dean's work books.

Dean gave a noncommittal response. It only took moments before Dean was asleep, snoring softly. Castiel sighed and covered him up with an afghan from the back of the couch.

While Dean slept, Castiel padded around the apartment, straightening up before starting on dinner. It was while he was finishing up the homemade beef stew that arms slid around Castiel's waist pulling him back into a warm, solid chest.

Dean kissed the side of Castiel's neck before stifling a yawn. He sniffed the air appreciatively. "That smells good. I'm starved."

Castiel hummed softly before turning around in his arms to give him a quick kiss. "Grab the plates and we'll start eating. You'll even get a piece of pie for dessert."

Castiel's chest tightened at the way Dean's eyes sparkled at the word "pie" and how he hurried to help Castiel.

Dean passed him a couple of plates to Castiel, who scooped out white rice and ladled the beef stew over the top of it. Once they sat at the table, they ate in companionable silence, enjoying their food.

"You want to do something tomorrow?" Dean asked around a mouthful of stew.

Castiel looked up at Dean and frowned. "That's when you have lunch with Sam."

Dean's eyes skittered away from his face. "I can skip one Sunday."

"Dean."

He still wouldn't look up at Castiel. Instead, he picked up his empty plate and took it to the sink.

"Dean, talk to me." Castiel winced at the pleading note in his voice. The last thing he wanted to do was push Dean especially since it was painful for him, but he wanted to know so he could help.

"I know you're avoiding Sam because he wants you to speak with a client."

Dean's shoulders tensed. "Did he tell you that? Did he tell you why?" his voice cracked.

Castiel stood up and walked over to Dean, taking his hand. "Actually I talked to Gabriel and he wouldn't tell me why. He said I should ask you." Castiel brought Dean's hand to his lips, kissing the knuckles.

"Will you tell me?" he asked softly.

Dean's body tensed up even tighter as if it would snap. Castiel felt a rush of uncertainty at the turmoil Dean was in.

"You don't have to if you-"

Dean cut Castiel off. "No, I need to. It would just be better to get it over with." The tension eased from Dean's body but it was clear that it was with defeat, not relief.

Castiel squeezed his hand and led him to the living room. Once settled on the couch, Dean was quiet for a few moments until he started to talk.

"Ever since my mom died, my dad never was the same. After the initial shock of losing her, he tried for a while to be a good father like before she died, but something would always remind him of her and he would start drinking. Over the years, he gave up any pretense of being a father and would go on alcoholic sprees that would last for days. I always tried to protect Sammy from it by sending him off on an errand or to a friend's house. I didn't want him to see or hear Dad scream at me for looking just like her. Sometimes he would get so drunk, he would actually think I was her and that's when things would get bad."

Castiel huddled closer to Dean, wrapping his arms around him as Dean struggled to find the words to continue his story.

"When he thought I was her, it always started with cries and begging, asking why she did she leave him but it always ended with fists. After the beating stop, he always sobered up enough to realize what he had done and would take off for days, sometimes weeks at a time with no word. At this time, we were traveling around while he did odd jobs, so when he was gone, it would be up to me to figure out how to feed Sammy and me or get books for school. Let's just say, I got really good at slipping in and out of places to get what we needed even though I did get caught a couple times in the beginning.

Then one day I had to stay after school for detention. Instead of waiting for me, Sam went back to the motel we were staying at. When he got there, Dad was there, first time in two weeks and he was drunk. Since I wasn't there, Dad decided to take out his problems on Sam."

Dean broke off, clamping his eyes shut, trembling. Castiel felt nauseous at what Dean and Sam had to go through. Castiel knew that his own father would never win any father of the year awards, but Chuck would never intentionally be cruel or hurt him. Castiel always knew Chuck loved him.

"What happened next?" Castiel asked, his lips brushing Dean's temple.

"When I got back to the motel and saw what Dad was doing to Sam, I lost it. To be honest, I don't remember much. Sam later told me that I attacked Dad and knocked him down. I do remember him hitting his head on the edge of the TV stand and not getting back up. I freaked out. I grabbed Sammy and we took off in the Impala. It was a few days later that I found out that Dad had died and the authorities were looking for me because someone in the parking lot of the motel saw me taking off with Sam who was in pretty bad shape. We weren't in hiding for long before Bobby found us, but by that time, the police did too."

"Oh Dean…" Castiel didn't know what to say so he just gripped him tighter. Castiel's gut clenched and he didn't want to hear anymore but Dean kept talking.

"The case wasn't investigated very well because they felt like it was an open and shut case. We were nobodies. A drunk died and his delinquent son would go to jail for manslaughter. That's when Bobby made a call to Lafitte to come represent me."

"Lafitte?" Castiel knew it couldn't have been Benny since they were all around the same age.

"Benny's father. He got them to do a toxicology report and in the end, it was alcohol poisoning that killed him, not the bump to the head. All the charges were dropped and we were put in Bobby's custody. Still, none of that matters, I failed to protect Sam and I killed my own father."

Castiel pulled away from him to look him fully in the face. "You listen to me, Dean Winchester. You did not kill your father. You did nothing wrong. Your father was wrong. He might have lost his wife, but he was still blessed with two wonderful sons and he fucked it up." Castiel heard Dean's shaky intake of breath at his cursing. "Everything he did, that's on him, not you. How is it right to have a boy raise his younger brother when he's just a child himself. Now I understand why Sam idolizes you. You're not only his big brother, but his father too."

Dean pushed away from Castiel but didn't get up from the couch. Instead he looked down at the floor, hiding his wet eyes. "Don't try to defend me. I end up fucking everything up. I couldn't keep Sammy from getting hurt and I couldn't save my own father. I'm nothing." Dean's voice cracked at the last part, his body trembling violently from suppressing the sobs there were so close to the surface.

Castiel cupped Dean's face. "You are the most selfless person I know and you are far from being nothing. You are everything to so many people. Don't you realize how many people love you, that would do anything for you? What would you say to Bobby or Sam when they tell you how important you are and how much they love you? Would you just mock them? Not trust them to know a good and honorable person when they meet one?"

Then Castiel took a deep breath and made sure he had Dean's full attention. "What about me Dean? What would you do if I said I love you and you mean everything to me?"

Dean's eyes grew wide with the confession before his face crumpled, sobs wracking his body. He pulled Castiel roughly to him and buried his face in Castiel's neck. Castiel, his own face wet with tears, felt helpless on how to take all the pain away.

Then a thought came to him. He couldn't take the pain away but he knew of a way to help soothe it.

Balthazar, I need you, Castiel prayed silently.

And just like that, despite the long absence, Balthazar was suddenly there, sitting on the other side of Dean, his eyes suspiciously moist. Castiel didn't have to say a word, Balthazar already knew what to do. Even though Dean didn't know the angel was there, the effect was the same. Balthazar rubbed circles into Dean's back with one hand while the other ran through his hair, murmuring soothing nonsense into his ear until Dean relaxed and fell into a healing sleep in Castiel's arms.

Castiel and Balthazar didn't break the silence that had fallen over the room, but he did reach over and cupped the side of Castiel's head in affection like he normally did, but this time it was accompanied by a small tingle.

Then memories started flooding Castiel, memories from when he was very small, a blonde haired man that was always there when his father wasn't able to be. Balthazar did the same thing for Castiel when he was small and when he was an adult when his father had died.

Balthazar had always been there…for him, not his father.

That's when Castiel realized that Balthazar was to him like Dean was to Sam.

A brother and a father.

Chapter Text

Dean woke up slowly to the feeling of a strong arm thrown over his waist and a hand splayed low on his abdomen. He blinked several times, his eyes feeling gritty and puffy. He tried to move out from underneath the arm, but he was hauled back against a broad chest, the lips pressed against the nape of his neck mumbled incoherently.

"Cas?" Dean managed to croak out. Castiel's grip tightened and small kisses were placed on the side of Dean's unshaven jaw. Dean could feel Castiel's erection poking into the meaty part of his ass.

Dean maneuvered himself where he was lying on his back, Castiel muttered grumpily, snuggling into his side. Dean closed his eyes, thinking back to the night before. All he could remember after telling Castiel about his father and crying was falling asleep for a bit on the couch before Castiel managed to wake him up enough to guide him to bed.

He still couldn't believe that he told Castiel everything, not that it would have been hard for him to find out himself if he really looked. He thought for sure that once he told him, Castiel would recoil in disgust, but that didn't happen. Astonishingly, he told Dean that he loved him. Loved him despite what had happened.

Dean tried to process what it all meant, but he was too drained. Last night had released long buried emotions that left him feeling raw and hollow inside, but in a good way. He felt like this emptiness was a good thing because now he could fill it with better things. Better emotions, experiences, and memories. Good memories that he felt starved for. Memories that he wanted to make with Castiel.

"Cas." Dean said quietly again, feeling himself harden as Castiel rubbed himself against Dean's hip as he slept.

Dean turned over onto his side to face Castiel, leaning in close to kiss him softly. Castiel blinked his eyes sleepily, momentarily confused. As his eyes sharpened with awareness, his cheeks tinged pink when he realized what he was doing.

"Good morning." Castiel greeted in a sleep roughened voice, his hand snaking up Dean's hip before slipping under his t-shirt to lightly stroke his side.

"Mornin'." Dean whispered back, taking in the dark mused hair and the creased impression on his cheek left from his pillow.

"How are you feeling?" Castiel's eyes were trained on Dean with concern.

Dean smiled while gently pushing Castiel onto his back to loom over him. "I'm good. Really good actually."

Dean leaned in again to kiss Castiel's sleep softened lips. A hand cupped Castiel's jaw, turning his head to deepen the kiss.

When they finally broke away to catch their breaths, Dean stared down at Castiel's passion darkened eyes.

Something warm passed through Dean as his eyes memorized Castiel's face, his swollen lips, flushed cheeks and heavy lidded eyes. The feeling swelled until he felt like he wouldn't be able to contain it. He always shied away from any strong emotion, but this he knew he was powerless against it.

"I love you, Cas." Dean said in a voice so low it was barely audible, but judging from the widening of Castiel's eyes, the short intake of breath followed by the brightness of his smile, Castiel heard him.

Castiel propped up on both elbows to capture Dean's lips. "I love you too." Castiel said between kisses.

Dean was so lost in the plush feel of Castiel's lips, the feel of smooth firm skin stretched over sturdy muscle that Dean didn't even notice that it was now Dean on his back, naked with Castiel between his spread thighs. Castiel licked a stripe up Dean's cock before enveloping the head within the hot, wet heat of his mouth.

"Oh god, Cas…" he groaned, trying to keep his hips from canting up into Castiel's welcoming mouth.

Castiel looked up, his pupils blown, drinking in every bit of Dean's reaction.

"God, your mouth." Dean breathed out, his fingers curled into the dark, silken strands of his hair. Castiel hummed his pleasure, causing Dean to gasp, his grip tightening in his hair.

One constraining hand left Dean's hip to travel up his stomach and chest until Castiel's fingertips tapped against Dean's lips. Dean took a hold of Castiel's wrist, sucking three fingers into his mouth.

Castiel's eyes rolled back as he moaned, the vibrations causing Dean to shiver as Castiel doubled his efforts on Dean's cock, lapping at the slit before taking him deeper.

Dean bucked up in surprise, lightly scraping Castiel's fingers with his teeth before twirling his tongue around, getting them slick with saliva. Dean moaned shamelessly around the digits in his mouth, trying to control his hips.

Castiel's fingers slipped from his mouth as Dean threw his head back against the pillow. "Fuck!" he managed to croak out when he felt the head of his cock hit the back of Castiel's throat.

When he felt Castiel keening around him, Dean's eyes slit open to see that Cas had one hand behind him, opening himself up.

"Yeah Cas, open yourself up for me. Gonna fuck you so good, baby." Castiel cried out as he pushed a third finger into himself, face becoming more flushed with Dean's words.

"It's not about me…it's about you." Castiel said breathlessly as he worked himself on his fingers.

"No honeybee, it isn't about me today, it's about both of us. Now come here and give me your mouth." Dean rumbled, his body shaking with barely restrained need.

Castiel crawled up Dean's body until he was straddling his hips and leaned down until their bare chests were pressed together. Dean took hold of the both sides of Castiel's head and devoured Castiel's mouth, tugging, nipping and licking at Castiel's lips until the brunette was gasping and writhing on top of Dean, opening his mouth to make way for Dean's tongue.

Their groins rubbed together making Dean groan into Castiel's mouth and Castiel to shiver. Castiel planted the palms of his hands on Dean's chest, pushing himself up. He reached over to his nightstand to pull out a small tube.

"God, I need you." Castiel slicked up Dean's cock, giving it a few extra teasing strokes before sinking down on him, torturously slow. Castiel gave out a raspy sigh once he was fully seated on Dean's lap.

"Fuck." Dean hissed, hands going for Castiel's hips, his thumbs running over the sharp angles before sliding back to squeeze his ass.

"Come on, Cas. Ride me." Dean tried to demand, but it came out more like begging.

Castiel gave him an enigmatic smile before lowering his head down to kiss and suck at Dean's bared throat. Dean's hands tightened on Castiel's ass, suppressing the whine when Castiel squeezed around him and started to rock.

"That's it…ahhh...so good. Always take it so good for me." Dean managed to gasp out as Castiel speed up his rocking just enough to keep them both at edge. It was the last coherent thing Dean managed to say.

He didn't know how long they stayed in that position with Dean's hand's at Castiel's hips and Castiel's arms cradling Dean's head, his face buried in the junction of Dean's neck as they moved together.

When they finally came, it was unhurried, Castiel coming hotly over Dean's stomach, gasping out sweet nonsense into Dean's ear. While Castiel was still coming down from his orgasm, Dean chased his own, holding Castiel's hips tight as he thrust up into his warm body before succumbing to his own bliss with a muffled shout.

Castiel slowly slid off of Dean but wrapped his arms around him while throwing a leg over his hip. They fell back asleep with Castiel half covering him as if hiding him from the world.

For once, Dean didn't fight what he was feeling, but reveled in finally finding where he belonged, where he always belonged…in Castiel's heart.

And for once, he didn't question it.


Five months later

Balthazar sat in the corner of a studio, the wall of windows open to let in the spring air as he quietly watched Castiel instruct one of his young students. The student, Emily, was barely seven, her small, round face scrunched in concentration as her fingers moved over the keys again after Castiel had gently corrected her finger placement.

Balthazar watched as Emily finished her piece, finally getting it right. Castiel beamed down at her in pride and the little girl's face broke out into a huge grin that showed a missing front tooth.

Balthazar knew Emily's history. He knew that smile was precious and hard won. When she first showed up at Uriel's studio, she was painfully shy and distrusting. She was brought to the studio on a grant when the music teacher at her elementary school heard her play. Knowing what was going on in her life, the teacher spoke with Emily's aunt that had custody of the girl and together, they contacted Celestial Studios begging for Uriel and Castiel to hear the girl play.

Balthazar happened to be there that day, watching over Castiel as he normally did when the brown haired, green eyed girl came in, staring untrustingly up at the two men that occupied the room. Uriel, with his gruff demeanor and intimidating stature, Balthazar learned very quickly was surprisingly patient and gentle with children. He got down on one knee in front of the girl and talked to her quietly until she nodded. Uriel then led her to a piano and listened to her play a simple piece.

After the last note sounded, it was Castiel that spoke first, begging Emily's aunt to let him train her.

Now several months later, Balthazar watched, unobserved from the corner as they finished their lesson.

A tap came from the door causing the occupants to look up. A well built teen with the same chocolate brown hair and green eyes as Emily stood in the doorway, shuffling from foot to foot.

When Emily saw the boy, the transformation was startling.

"Trevor!" she cried, running to the teen, the force of the impact from her small frame had the boy stepping back to catch his balance. He leaned down and wrapped the girl into a full hug, holding her tight.

The boy, whose face held too hard of an edge for one so young, immediately softened when he looked down at Emily.

"Hey Em, Aunt Sarah said I could come pick you up today. How was your lesson?"

"It was great!" Emily grabbed his hand and started pulling him toward Castiel who watched them from the piano.

"Mr. Cas, this is my big brother, Trevor!" Emily smiled as she proudly introduced her brother.

Castiel shook Trevor's hand as recognition crossed Castiel's face. Trevor, seeing the look, immediately stiffened, his face closing off.

Before Castiel could say anything, Emily rambled on. "Mr. Cas and Dean are boyfriends!"

Balthazar started laughing, glad he was invisible so not to disturb the scene unfolding in front of him.

"Emily, how did you-" Castiel started.

"Em!" Trevor groaned, running a hand over his face.

Emily's wide green eyes looked between the two males in confusion. "What?"

"How did you know about Dean and I?" he asked gently.

"Dean is your boyfriend, isn't he Mr. Cas? Aunt Sarah was late picking me up one day and I saw you and Dean kissing in the hallway."

Balthazar watched as Castiel's face turned red. Trevor started to laugh, his posture no longer stiff, but relaxed.

"Dean talks about you all the time. I just never made the connection." Trevor smiled.

"Dean must have thought I already knew about Emily. He's always asking about her, but I thought it was because I talk about her a lot." Castiel shook his head and laughed ruefully.

Ever since Dean had gone to talk to Trevor and told him about his own experiences, the two had become close. When Sam and Gabriel won the case against Zachariah, the preacher's career was destroyed, especially when he served time for what he did to Emily. His time served would never be enough, but he was now a pariah in the community.

When Emily's deceased father's sister heard about what happened, she moved to Kansas from Michigan and won custody of both Trevor and Emily when their mother took off after Zachariah was imprisoned. Now Dean goes over to their house for dinner once a week to visit with both kids.

"Come on Em, we got to get going. Nice to meet you, Cas. You should come with Dean to dinner one night. Aunt Sarah is half in love with you so she would be thrilled." Trevor laughed again.

"Please, please come, Mr. Cas!" her small body vibrated with excitement.

"I'd love to Miss Emily." Castiel chuckled and ruffled her hair.

Once they left, Castiel sat down heavily on the piano bench and rubbed his eyes. Balthazar noticed the dark circles and knew something was wrong.

"Hello Cassie!" Castiel jumped slightly at Balthazar's unexpected presence.

"How long have you been here?" Castiel asked, grumbling as he got up and started gathering up sheet music.

"Long enough." Balthazar grinned and then turned serious. "You're good with the kids, especially Emily."

Castiel looked over his shoulder at Balthazar. "I see a little of myself in Emily. I find it quite rewarding working with her, with all the children here." Castiel stated simply.

"No regrets leaving the post office?"

"None whatsoever."

Balthazar clapped his hand on Castiel's shoulder and quickly removed it as if he was scalded when he got a glimpse inside Castiel's mind.

"The dreams are back?" Balthazar asked in shock, noticing Castiel's flinch.

Castiel sat back down on the bench. "They've been back for a couple of weeks. I don't know why, they just came out of nowhere." He stared down at his shoes miserably for a moment before looking back up at Balthazar. "Do you know what they mean? Why I'm having them?"

Balthazar bit his lip. He was told by Fate he wasn't allowed to tell Castiel anything; that he had to figure it out on his own. However, she didn't say anything about giving him hints.

He sat down next to Castiel. "This Righteous Man you're dreaming about. He's your soulmate."

"What? No, that's not possible." Castiel stared at him in disbelief.

"You know, Dean has a soulmate too." Balthazar said carefully.

Come on Cassie, take the hint, connect the dots.

Castiel didn't make the connection. Balthazar realized too late that he made a mistake as he watched Castiel's face shatter.

"Dean…he has a soulmate?" Castiel didn't wait for an answer, but stood up and started to pace the room, hands raking through his hair, making it stick up in crazy angles.

"Cassie-"

"I need to go." Castiel interrupted, eyes wet. He left everything behind, just walked out without another word.

Balthazar stared around the empty room and growled.

"Fuck…"


Two weeks went by and every time Balthazar saw Castiel, it was like seeing a stranger. He continued to become more withdrawn and his eyes held a dull sheen to them, like the light had been completely extinguished from them.

Balthazar tried talking to him, but he would just cut him off and ask him to go away.

It was one day, while in Heaven, he was contemplating about talking to Dean when Fate appeared in front of him, seething.

Her shiny red hair had literally turned to fire, flaming around her and her green eyes glowed so hotly that Balthazar could barely look at her. Her lips were curled back in a vicious snarl.

She was a truly frightening sight.

"I warned you, Balthazar. I told you to stay out of it! Even with your previous meddling, they still had a chance. Now, because of you, that chance is almost nonexistent."

"What do you mean? What's happening?" Balthazar asked and for the first time, real fear settled in his heart.

"Maybe you should go see what you've done." She snapped her fingers and suddenly they were in Castiel's apartment, standing in the kitchen.

Balthazar could hear Dean raised voice from the living room and then a moment later, the heavy slamming of the front door.

"Castiel? What happened?" Balthazar asked when he walked into the living room to see Castiel sitting on the couch, his hands tugging at his hair as he stared blankly down at the floor.

"I broke it off with him." he said hoarsely, as if he was still in disbelief at what he had done.

"What? Why Cassie? Why did you do that?" Balthazar sat down next to Castiel, pulling him close.

Castiel wrenched away from Balthazar, his eyes hard and his voice frosty. "What did you expect me to do, Balthazar? You told me we had soulmates. You said before if they don't get together, it ruins that goddamn delicate web you're always talking about. Besides, if there is somebody out there that's better for Dean, that will make him happier, I couldn't stand in the way. I couldn't do that to him. He deserves to be happy."

"What about you Cassie? What about your happiness? I know you love him."

Castiel glared, his eyes lit with rage. "Of course I love him. Why do you think I gave him up? I don't care about who my soulmate is because I highly doubt they will ever make me feel a tenth of what I feel for Dean." Castiel took a deep breath. "Why did you do it? Knowing we weren't destined to be together? Why put both of us through that?" Castiel's voice cracked, the rage abating, but was replaced with a cold emptiness that tore at Balthazar.

"Cassie, you don't understand, Dean-" Fate grabbed Balthazar's forearm, preventing any other words to form. He looked at her helplessly, begging her to let him talk. Her lips were set in a hard line as she shook her head.

Castiel stared at Balthazar, searching for answers, but when he saw none, he simply nodded.

"Is Sam and Gabriel's future secure now?" he asked quietly.

Balthazar was confused. Why was he bringing up Sam and Gabriel right now?

"Yes, they are, now I think you…"

"Good." Castiel interrupted curtly. "That means I fulfilled my end of the bargain. Remember, I help you with Sam and Gabe and you would leave me alone to have a normal life."

Balthazar felt the air whoosh from him. "Surely you don't mean that…"

"I do. I want you to leave. I want you to leave and never bother me again."

Castiel looked away from him, as if he was already invisible to him.

Balthazar looked blindly around the room and nodded. His eyes were fogged with tears as he went into stealth mode.

He sat there for a few moments just watching Castiel until Castiel finally go up from the couch. He calmly walked to the closet and pulled out a baseball bat.

Balthazar's gut tightened when he saw Castiel walk over to his beloved grandmother's piano. He simply stared at it for a moment before suddenly bringing the bat up and swinging down hard on the keys. Chunks of wood and ivory flew through the air until it littered the floor.

Discordant sounds rang out in the silence that was eventually joined by Castiel's enraged cries as he bashed into the piano over and over again.

When his arms finally gave out, he slumped to the floor, ignoring Charlie's frantic knocking until she finally got out her key and let herself in.

Balthazar watched numbly as Charlie wrapped her arms around her friend, until he finally clutched her and held her tight.

"This is what happens when you interfere. You're lucky you haven't been cast out yet, but let me make it perfectly clear. If you interfere again or try to make contact with Castiel or Dean, you will be cast out without a second thought. Do you understand me?"

Balthazar's eyes didn't leave Castiel and Charlie. Castiel was now crying into Charlie's neck, as Charlie rocked and soothed him.

"Understood."

Balthazar barely noticed Fate's departure for his mind was already busy making plans.

He was going to fix this. He was going to make it right again even with the threat of being cast out looming over him.

Besides, what's the point of being in Heaven if he was already in hell?

Chapter Text

"We should go out."

Dean only afforded Sam a grunt, his eyes never leaving the television screen.

A sigh and a rustling noise reached Dean's ears before the TV turned off with a snick. Dean still didn't turn away, just continued to look at his reflection in the blank screen. He could see Sam behind the couch, holding the remote control.

"It's been three months. You need to get out of the house. All you do is go to work and come home. Let's go to the Roadhouse, I know Ellen and Jo would love to see you."

Dean ran a hand over his face. "Just go without me. I'm going to bed." he said tiredly, not wanting to get into another debate with his brother.

Ever since the break-up, it seemed as if the roles that Dean and Sam had unconsciously set up for each other had been reversed. Now it was Sam that had become the over protective brother, the mother hen. It was driving Dean insane.

Benny was just as bad at being over protective. While Sam had reacted in confusion over hearing about the break up, stating it made no sense and that it didn't sound like Castiel, Benny was responded with cold anger.

His easy going, teddy bear of a best friend became frightening grizzly when he heard what happened and wanted to storm over Castiel's apartment to give him a good "ass kicking". It took both Sam and Gabriel to physically stop him while Dean jumped in front of Benny, trying to reason with him.

Dean hadn't told anybody what had happened, only simply stated they had broken up. He didn't want to see the pity in their eyes if he told them what Castiel had said.

"There's somebody else out there better for you. Somebody that is going to give you the love you deserve. Unfortunately, that person isn't me."

Dean knew it was Castiel's way of saying that he didn't love Dean anymore.

He still doesn't remember how he made it home that night, especially without wrecking. When he got home, he sat on the couch in the dark, staring at nothing. His phone was beside him, going off with voicemails and text messages, mostly from Sam, but he couldn't find the energy to pick up.

He didn't know how long he sat there until Sam and Gabriel showed up, their concerned faces taking him in, Sam trying to talk to him, but his voice sounded like it was in a tunnel.

They both stayed with him that weekend, Sam and Gabriel slept in Sam's old room. Dean knew they were waiting for him to do something. Yell, break something, cry, show some sort of reaction but he never did, at least not in front of other people. He was heading to the kitchen two days later and overheard Sam and Gabriel talking. Sam didn't like that Dean wasn't talking about it, he was burying his feelings. Dean peeked around the corner to see Gabriel sitting on the counter, legs spread with Sam between them. Gabriel had his arms wrapped around the larger man, running his hands down Sam's back, giving him a chaste kiss. Concern over Dean evident on Sam's face.

Dean left the house and went on a drive. He was happy his brother finally found someone that loved and cared for him, but at the same time, seeing that intimacy, it was too painful. It only reminded him of what he had with Castiel.

He drove until he was in the countryside. He stopped at a lake, belatedly realizing it was the same lake he had taken Castiel to just the month before. They had planned to have a picnic, but they ended up skinny dipping, chasing each other in the water, glimpses of strong, tanned arms sluicing through the water, slick skin sliding against his once he caught Castiel. Blue eyes glinted up at him as the water sparkled around them in the fading sunlight.

They ended up not eating, but making love on the blanket, slow and sweet until they were gasping into each other mouths, Dean covering Castiel's body with his own, warding off the chill.

Dean was out of the car and at the lake shore before he even realized what he had done. A guttural scream ripped out of him as he sank to his knees, the lake water saturating his jeans. He just kept screaming until his throat was hurt and raw, like his heart.

He fought desperately for control of his feelings. That day at the lake, he had very carefully and systematically tied what little emotions he had left until they were tightly bound, settling heavily in his chest.

Now he was just numb. It was better that way. It helped him make it day to day.

Sam had settled down on the couch next to Dean and nudged his shoulder. "Come on, don't go to bed, it's still early. Have a drink with me and Gabe."

Dean looked into the earnest face of his little brother and saw the worry etched into his face. Dean felt a deep seated sense of discomfort to realize that the break up had affected Sam as well. Castiel wasn't just his boyfriend, but Sam's friend. The two of them had developed their own special relationship, one of brothers.

Dean shot Sam a small smirk, a shadow of what it used to be, but it was still there. "Sure Sammy, let's go. I could use a drink."


Dean breathed a sigh of relief when he finally got a moment to himself. He worked his jaw to relieve the pain from the fake smile he had been wearing all night. He had a couple of drinks, laughed at Benny's jokes, teased Jo, put up with Ellen's mothering and even danced with Gabriel.

Now he was just ready to have one last drink and head home alone. Jo had been relieved of bartending by a new guy who thankfully, quickly and quietly brought him his drink and promptly left him alone.

Dean watched people from the mirror behind the bar as he slowly sipped on his beer. The scenes kind of blurred, not realizing he had zoned out until he heard somebody settle in the stool beside him.

He looked over to see the profile of a blonde man, older than himself wearing a v-neck and jeans, detecting a British accent as he gave his drink order to the bartender. Feeling eyes on him, pale blue eyes turned toward him, gave him an appraising look and smiled.

"Well hello, gorgeous."

Dean whipped his head back around, but he could hear the blonde chuckling. The man then gently knocked his elbow to Dean's.

"I'm Sebastian." he said holding out his hand.

"Dean." he shook Sebastian's hand and gave him a small smile.

They drank in companionable silence for a few moments but it was clear that Sebastian wanted to talk by the way he kept giving him sidelong looks.

"So, never seen you here before." Dean stated, finally giving the man an opening.

"I'm only passing through." Sebastian tapped his fingers idly on his glass before continuing. "You know, I'm very intrigued by you."

Dean gave him a sardonic look. "Oh, yeah? How could I possibly have intrigued you when we've barely exchanged a handful of words?"

Sebastian let out a low laugh. "Not to come across as creepy, but I've been watching you all night. I see how you are with your friends. It's all an act. I'm just curious as to why. What's the story?"

Dean scoffed. "There's no story, mister."

Sebastian took a small sip of his drink. "Liar."

"Dude, you don't know me." Dean was starting to get annoyed by the stranger especially when he gave him a knowing look.

"Maybe I don't, but I'd love to find out." Sebastian reached over to take hold of Dean's forearm. Dean watched as the man's eyes briefly flashed electric blue before settling back to normal. He shook his head; obviously a trick of the light but it didn't explain what happened next.

A warm tingle went up his arm that felt disturbingly familiar and before he knew it, he was telling Sebastian everything about that happened with Castiel.

"I just don't understand. I was so sure, you know? That he loved me and then all of a sudden, I'm fucking cut off, just like that. As if I was nothing." Dean slammed his glass down so hard on the counter; it was a surprise it didn't shatter.

Sebastian tsked sympathetically. "That must have been horrible for you, Dean but I can't help to wonder something as you told me your story."

"What's that?" Dean asked, sullenly.

"How you described him…this Cas, it appears he loved you very much. It makes me wonder if the issue isn't really you, but him. He kept repeating there is somebody better out there for you. Makes me think he doesn't think he's good enough for you. That he truly believes that he is not a good match for you. Maybe he loved you so much; he felt he had to let you go. The question now is…what are you going to do to make him believe that he is your best match? You should show him that what the two of you have is worth fighting for."

Dean felt an uncertainty well up inside him at Sebastian's words. Was it possible that all of this was because of some misguided beliefs that Castiel might have. That he actually did love him?

He shook his head. "Nah, if anything, I'm not good enough for Cas."

The blonde gave a frustrated growl and mumbled something under his breath that Dean couldn't understand. "Just think about what I said. I hate for this love story to have an unhappy ending over a miscommunication."

Dean started to speak, but suddenly he had a lapful of drunk Sam.

"God, get off me, you weigh a ton." Dean groaned in pain as he shoved Sam off.

Sam pouted. "Why you over here?"

Dean rolled his eyes. "I was just getting a drink and started talking to Sebastian over here-" Dean turned to introduce Sam to Sebastian, but the stool next to him was empty.

"Huh, must have slipped out." Dean muttered as he let Sam drag him back to their table. Sebastian's words though stayed with him a long time after the man had left.


A few days later, Dean received a frantic call at work from Charlie.

"Dean, I'm so sorry to call you, but there's been an accident."

Dean's blood froze, worst case scenarios popping in his head. "Is it Cas? Is he okay?"

There was a beat of silence on the other end and then a stream of frenzied apologies flowed down the line.

"Oh my god Dean, I'm so sorry. No, Cas is fine. I'm actually in need of your services. You see, somehow, a pipe burst and flooded my kitchen. There's some damage in both apartments. I wouldn't have called you because of what happened between you and Cas, but every single place I called are booked up. I just want to get it fixed before Cas comes back from that musical competition he went off to with the kids…"

"Charlie, breathe. It's okay, I'll do it. I can be there in an hour."

"Thanks Dean, I don't know why I'm having such a terrible time around here lately. Everything keeps just falling apart around the house. It's enough to make me want to sell it."

"Don't worry about it, I'll be there soon." Dean assured her and got what he needed ready.

A little later Dean was under Charlie's sink, baffled. "Your pipe didn't bust, it was cut. Has somebody been in your apartment?"

He could hear a squeak from Charlie. "What? You think somebody broke in just to cut my pipes?"

Dean got out from underneath the sink and wiped his hands off with a towel that Charlie offered him. "I don't know what's going on, but somebody definitely cut it. The cut is so clean, it was like it was done with a laser."

"I-I don't understand. All the windows are locked; doors didn't look tampered with when I came home. As far as I know, nothing has been taken."

"You might want to file a report just in case. I'll also check out the pipe itself to see if it had a weak spot and see if it's even possible for a break to look like that."

Charlie nodded distractedly as Dean took note of the rest of the damage before moving down to Castiel's apartment. The damage to his kitchen was minimal, just some patchwork to the ceiling that wouldn't take long.

Dean gave Charlie the estimate and told her he would be back first thing in the morning and he should be done by the end of the day or early the day after.

As Dean started to make his way out of Castiel's apartment, trying hard not to look around too much or breathe for that matter since everything smelled like Cas when he couldn't help to noticed something missing.

"Charlie, where's Cas' piano?"

"Ummm…he got rid of it." Charlie avoided Dean's stare.

"What do you mean, he got rid of it? That was his grandmother's piano."

Charlie sighed and turned sad eyes toward Dean. "He had to get rid of it, Dean. He destroyed it."

"Destroyed it? What happened?" he demanded.

"You know he'll kill me for telling you."

"I don't care. Tell me."

"The night you two split, after you left, he took a baseball bat to it. I found him on the floor with pieces of it all around him. I stayed with him and he-ah-he cried for you all night. Damn it Dean, I don't know what's going on between the two of you, but Cas is miserable. He's not the same person he used to be. It's like my friend is a fucking stranger."

Dean sat down on the couch and just stared at the floor as Charlie's words sank in. Dean knew that piano was precious to him…one of the last pieces he had left of his family.

The anger and despair had to be great for him to do such a thing. Maybe Sebastian was right. What if Castiel really believed what he was telling Dean?

That meant that Castiel really never stopped loving him.

"That stupid bastard." he muttered as hope blossomed in his chest and plans whirled in his head.

For the first time, Dean was going to fight for what he truly wanted.

Cas.

Chapter Text

The steady beat of the music thrummed through his body as Castiel was jostled around, trying to make his way back to his table. He clutched the two drinks in his hands as if his life depended on it, not wanting to spill a single drop. Once he made it around the dance floor, he gave a small sigh of relief as he sank into his chair.

"Clarence, you look like you just walked through a battlefield." Castiel barely managed to make out the sultry voice of his companion over the noise in the club.

"This was a terrible idea, Meg. Why did you make me come here?" Castiel scowled down out his drink.

The music competition that he had attended with the children was in the same town that Meg lived in. Uriel let him take the week off to visit with her. He was now rethinking if that was such a good idea.

"Don't be grumpy. This is your last night here before heading home. Just loosen up. You're more uptight than you normally are." Meg gave a low laugh before a blonde muscle bound man walked by, diverting her attention for a moment. She threw him a wink and licked her heavily painted lips. The blonde stopped and headed back toward the table but quickly changed his mind after witnessing the ferocious scowl from Castiel.

Meg smiled wistfully as she watched the man walk away. "You know, because you're on this self imposed abstinence kick, doesn't mean you have to drag me down with you."

"That man was just looking for a hook-up. You deserve more than that, Megan."

Meg grimaced at being called Megan. "How do you know that's not all I want? I waited for my prince to come and when he did, he turned out to be gay." She stared at Castiel pointedly.

Castiel leaned forward and purred. "If I wasn't, you wouldn't be able to handle me, sweetheart."

Meg abruptly sat back in her chair, brown eyes wide and speechless for once. Castiel casually took a sip of his drink, trying to keep his laughter to himself.

"What the hell was that? Where's my best friend? Winchester rubbed off on you more than I thought."

And just like that, Castiel's good mood was broken.

"I better go. I have a long drive ahead of me." Castiel stood up, avoiding Meg's stare.

"I'm sorry Cas, please, sit back down." It was more of an order than a request.

Castiel huffed in frustration but sat down anyways. There was silence between them until finally he looked her way and his stomach dropped on the obstinate look on her face.

"I've been patient all week. I want to know what happened between the two of you. Personally, I can't stand Dean, but it's obvious that you love each other. Talk to me."

Before Dean, before Balthazar, it was always Meg. Nobody, especially in high school, could understand how they even tolerated each other let alone had become best friends. He was quiet and unassuming and she was loud and brash. However, they were kindred spirits; both lonely people that instinctively were looking for the same things, only in different ways.

With very little hesitation, he told Meg everything, including about Balthazar, Dean and the soulmate situation.

He had to give her credit; she didn't even blink an eyelash at his fantastical story.

"Okay," she started out thoughtfully, "I'm not going to straight out say I believe what you say is true, but what is important is that I believe that you believe it's true."

Castiel nodded. That was fair.

"Now, hypothetically, saying it's really true…" Castiel jerked in surprise when Meg slapped him across the back of his head.

"Ow, what was that for?" Castiel rubbed the back of his head, glaring at Meg who only shook her head, lips tight in frustration.

"First of all, that's for not telling me! Not just about the whole muse thing, but not picking up the goddamn phone and letting me know how much pain you were in. I'm still pissed that you didn't even think to tell me about your father dying until I came back from Italy. I would have been on the first plane back!"

"That's exactly why I didn't tell you, I didn't want to get you in trouble at your new job."

"Yeah, a job that ended up being shit and I came home anyways. This is exactly why I get frustrated with you sometimes. You want to be needed so badly, but you can't accept the fact that it goes both ways. Did you ever even tell Dean about what happened to you? Did you tell him about your nightmares, about how your father's death still affects you? You're always playing the self-sacrificing martyr. You think you don't need anybody, but you do, more than anybody I know. So, breaking up with Dean, breaking that poor bastard's heart, you keep telling yourself it's for Dean's own good, there's somebody else better than you for him. Bullshit. I think you just tell yourself that but really; you're just terrified at how much you need Dean. I'm sorry Clarence, but you're a coward." Castiel flinched at the sneer Meg sent at him.

"But what about us not being soulmates…?"

"Stop it. You're using it as an excuse. I know next to nothing about the Bible and all that jazz, but didn't God give us all free will? I can't imagine anybody being more perfect for you than Dean. You just need to figure out if he's worth fighting for."

Castiel's insides tightened and his stomach roiled at the thought that he had made a huge mistake. "What do I do?"

"As much as I love you, get your sweet ass out of here and fix it."

Castiel nodded and leaned over to kiss Meg's cheek.

"I love you, Megan." Castiel's lips quirked when he saw Meg's cheeks stained pink.

"Yeah, yeah, love you too, Clarence. Now get the hell out of here."

*****************************************

By the time Castiel got home, it was three in the morning. The entire car ride was spent trying to think of what he could possibly say to Dean and when he wasn't doing that, he was berating himself.

He knew Meg was right. He had believed he was doing the right thing at the time, but now he realized it just made things worse. She was right, Dean was worth fighting for.

However, as he drove into Lawrence, he decided not to wake Dean up to apologize.

The guy needed his sleep.

Okay, so Castiel was scared, but it could wait a few more hours until he could think of the perfect words. He had even tried on calling on Balthazar for advice and also to apologize.

Balthazar never answered.

Castiel finally made it home and was in the midst of opening his apartment door when he heard his name.

"Castiel? What are you doing here? You weren't supposed to be home until tonight!"

Castiel watched as Charlie raced down the stairs in a flurry of tangled red hair, her sleep obviously interrupted.

"I decided to come back early." he bit back a yawn and started to open his door, but somehow Charlie managed to wiggle her body between him and the door.

"Why don't you come up and I'll make you an early breakfast." Charlie's voice was high pitched and nervous. He narrowed his eyes at her.

"No, that's okay, I'm just going to go to bed now." Castiel waited for her to move but she just bit her lip and hardened her stance.

"Really, you weren't supposed to be back until tonight." she grumbled.

"What is going on, Charlie?" he asked in exasperation.

Her shoulders slumped and she moved out of his way. "It was going to be a surprise."

He sighed and finally opened the door. "What was going to be a surp-" Castiel words came to an abrupt halt when he entered the living room.

In the place that his grandmother's piano had sat, was a new one. It was very similar to the one he had. He walked slowly toward the piano, his fingers testing the keys gently. A small tinkling noise followed in their wake.

"Dean wanted to be here when you go home. I'm sorry, but he had to do work here while you were gone and I spilled about what happened to your piano. The bench…" She pointed to the bench in front of piano that didn't quite match the piano itself. It was a warmer color with chips of ivory that adorned the corners. "…he tracked down where you salvaged your grandmother's piano and made the bench for you with pieces of the wood and the keys. That way your grandmother's legacy wasn't completely gone."

Castiel got down on his knees, inspecting the craftsmanship of the bench, running his hand over it lovingly. He swallowed roughly. "Dean did this? For me?"

Charlie crouched down with him and swung an arm around his shoulders. "Yeah. According to Sam, he was up day and night, working on this so it would be finished in time. He sure loves you a lot. Whatever's going on between the two of you, fix it."

Castiel nodded blindly, he couldn't stop stroking the wood of the bench. Dean still loved him and all of a sudden, waiting for the perfect words seemed silly. He was filled with adrenaline as he jumped up. "I got to go."

Charlie seemed to know where he was going to go. "Tell Dean hi for me." she smiled as Castiel rushed from the apartment, not even bothering to close the door behind him.

*************************************************

Thump, thump, thump.

Dean groaned and buried his face in his pillow.

Thump, thump, thump.

"Damn it," he growled as he looked over at his clock that read nearly a quarter to four in the morning.

He gave his pillow one last squeeze before getting up. He didn't even bother putting on any pants. If somebody was going to wake Dean Winchester up in the middle of the night, they were going to have to deal with t-shirt, boxer briefs and messy hair.

Thump, thump, thump.

"Goddamn it, I'm coming!" he called out.

When he reached the door, the person on the other side had started pounding again. "For the love of God, this better be good." he yanked open the door to see the last person he expected standing there, hand raised to knock again.

"Cas?" Dean drank in the sight of Castiel's rumpled appearance. His hair was wild as if he had been yanking at it and the trench coat he was wearing to ward off the slight chill in the night air was wrinkled. His blue eyes shone brightly, almost feverishly as he seemed to be doing the same with taking in Dean's appearance.

Now Dean really wished he took time to brush his hair and put on some pants.

"May I come in?" Castiel asked lowly, his eyes moving away from his to look down at the ground as if he had a sudden interest in his shoes.

Dean invited him in, heart beating fast the entire time, and led him to the living room. Once he got Castiel settled on the couch, he asked him if he wanted something to drink.

"No, I'm fine, I wanted to talk to you." Castiel breathed out.

"It couldn't wait until morning?" Now he really wished he put on pants, he didn't want to have a heart to heart in his underwear. Then a sudden thought came to him.

"Why are you home so early? Have you been back to your apartment yet?"

"I've been visiting with Meg all week and tonight she convinced me how much of an assbutt I am. I needed to come home right away."

Dean snorted at Castiel calling himself an assbutt and tamped down viciously on the hope building in his chest.

"I saw what you did for me. It's beautiful. I saw it and I knew I couldn't wait to see you. God, I don't even know where to begin to make things right again. I thought I was doing the right thing, but I was so miserable and then I realized how scared I was. I'm so sorry, Dean…" Dean leaned forward and cutting off Castiel's rambling with a soft kiss.

Dean pulled back just enough to look into Castiel's eyes, lips still hovering. "That's a start."

Castiel's eyes widened, his breath picked up and suddenly Dean had a lapful of Castiel.

"I love you so much, I'm an idiot." Castiel mumbled as he kissed and sucked at Dean's jaw line.

Dean worked on Castiel's coat, tossing it away that was soon followed by his shirt. He was working on the fastenings of Castiel's jeans. "Yeah Cas, you are an idiot, but you're my idiot. Now stand up."

Castiel got up on shaky legs as Dean pulled down his jeans, lifting up each of Castiel's feet one at a time so he could step out of them. Dean then got up from the couch, quick divested himself from his t-shirt and boxers and gently nudged Castiel to kneel on the couch, chest against the back cushions.

Dean's mouth ran down the strong length of Castiel's back, nibbling at the base of his spine. Castiel moaned and bucked back, Castiel's perfect ass in his face. Dean couldn't resist, his hands went to the globes of Castiel's ass and spread him apart.

"What are you doing, Dean?" Castiel asked nervously, his voice breathy.

"I'm about to show you how much I've missed you." Dean leaned forward and all but devoured him, licking and lapping at Castiel's entrance, causing the man to cry out.

Dean tortured him, working Castiel open slowly with his tongue and fingers until he was a sobbing, pleading mess.

"Dean, please, I need you." Castiel's voice was hoarse. One of Dean's hands slid across Castiel hip and around until he had Castiel firmly in hand, finding him hard and leaking. Dean's own cock gave a painful twitch, wanting to be in Castiel badly.

"Patience. I want you good and open for me because once I'm inside, it's going to be hard to be gentle."

Castiel looked over his shoulder at Dean, his eyes incredulous. "Gentle is not what I need. I want to feel you for days, Dean."

Dean's breath caught and his dick throbbed as he removed his fingers and quickly lined himself up.

He did as Castiel asked. He was not gentle. Castiel was so tight and hot around him as he thrust hard into him. Castiel's fingers were white knuckling the back of the couch, but his moans were filled with pleasure, spurring him on. Dean leaned forward, covering Castiel's back with his chest while he slid his hands on top of Castiel's.

Dean thrust deep and fast, nosing at Castiel's jaw as the man made broken, incoherent sounds. When he finally turned his face toward Dean's, Dean took his mouth to capture those sounds, nipping and sucking at Castiel's parted mouth.

"Harder," Castiel bucked back, trying to take more of Dean's cock, squeezing around him as he did so. Dean felt his eyes roll back at the unexpected sensation. Dean bit roughly at Castiel's shoulder before grabbing his hips and piston in and out of Castiel hard and fast. The room was filled with sounds of wet slapping flesh, moans and grunts.

Dean felt himself tighten up, his orgasm impeding embarrassingly fast, but it had been so long and it was Castiel.

"Dean, I'm so close…" Castiel panted out as he continued to buck back into Dean's thrusts. Dean's hand went back to Castiel's cock and started stripping it hard and fast while slightly changing his position from behind. Dean knew he found Castiel's prostate when the man seized up and gave a guttural groan before coming messily over Dean's hand. A couple of more hard thrusts and Dean was following.

As they panted from breath, Dean feathered kisses over Castiel's neck and shoulders. He knew they weren't completely out of the woods yet, that they still needed to talk, but his hope was strong that they were going to work through their issues and come out fine.

And that was a start.

Chapter Text

One year later…

"I didn't realize how much stuff I had crammed in this closet." Dean grumbled as he worked to clear out some space for Castiel's clothes.

Dean was excited because Castiel had finally agreed to move in with him.

The past year wasn't easy. They had their issues, especially after Castiel admitted why he broke it off with him to begin with.

"Cas, whether that's true or not, you are my soul mate. Trust me when I say that I have never felt for anybody the way I feel for you. I believe we control our own future and Cas, you are my future."

That was the night that Castiel had played the Righteous Man for him on his piano and no matter what Castiel said, Dean knew in his heart that song was about him.

Dean had no doubt of Castiel's feelings about him, but Castiel still had the nightmares and he carried around him a constant sadness at the loss of his friend, Balthazar, and the fear that at anytime Dean would find somebody else and leave him. As much as Dean tried to be understanding, it did leave him with a mounting frustration of how he could get Castiel to believe that what they had wasn't fleeting.

"Are you about done in there, Dean?"

Dean cracked his head on a low hanging shelf at Castiel's voice, causing a box to fall to the ground.

"Sonofabitch." Dean rubbed the growing bump on his head and grumbled as he started to pick up the items that spilled out of the box when something shiny caught his eye.

"Hey, Cas! Look what I found! I thought I lost this."

Dean walked out of the closet, putting on the amulet that Sam had given him when they were kids.

Castiel stood frozen in the room, staring at the necklace around Dean's neck, blue eyes impossibly wide.

"Cas, what's wrong?" Dean started to walk toward him, concerned how pale Castiel had gotten all of a sudden. "Are you sick?"

Castiel swallowed roughly. "That's yours?"

"Yeah, Sam gave it to me a long time ago. I always wear it, but I thought I had lost it. Can't believe it was in the closet the whole time." Dean chuckled as he rubbed the amulet between his fingers.

A strong body tackled him to the ground and suddenly Castiel was kissing him like he wanted to devour him.

"Cas…Cas! What's up with you?" Dean asked once he was able to break away from the kiss. He looked up at Castiel and what he saw took his breath away.

Castiel was practically glowing with happiness, his eyes bright and twinkling. "You were right. It is you. I never saw your face, only this." Castiel ran his hand reverently over the amulet. You are my soul mate."

"About bloody time."

Dean quickly pushed Castiel off of him and behind him. Dean stared up at the familiar looking blonde that was smirking down at them. Then he remembered where he'd seen him before.

"Sebastian, what the hell are you doing in my house?"

"Sebastian? Dean, that's Balthazar!" Castiel was already scrambling off the floor and enveloping the blonde man in a hug.

Dean stared at the two. "Wait, this is Balthazar….the douche bag angel?"

Castiel frowned but Balthazar simply laughed. "Awww Cassie, I didn't know you were bad mouthing me. I'm hurt."

"Well, you can sometimes be a douche." Castiel stumbled over the word. "Where have you been? I've been praying to you for a year and you never answered."

"Well, Fate was a bit unhappy with me for the interfering so she banned me from seeing you. Trust me, I heard your prayers and I tried, but she had stripped the part of my powers where I can be visible to you. Trust me, I've been watching and I must say Cassie…you are one naughty boy."

Castiel's face bloomed into a heated blush while Dean glared at the angel.

"Balthazar!"

"I'm just teasing. So, now that you know that Dean's your soul mate, I'm able to see you again. I'm so happy you figured it out. I was starting to doubt, but you always surprise me."

Dean stepped forward, still distrustful of the angel. "So, those dreams Cas was having…they really happened in another life?"

"Oh yes. You see, Castiel was an angel. Actually, he was the angel that pulled you out of hell. The moment he laid a hand on you, he was lost. He gave up everything for you, even being an angel. Angels and humans can't be mated, so he became a human just to be with you and every lifetime, you two find each other. However, it was taking longer than normal for you two to meet, so I sped up the meeting time. I admit, this mess was my making, but you two deserve every bit of happiness you can get. I didn't want you two to wait another decade to find each other."

"So you interfered." Dean said, coming up beside Castiel to wrap an arm around his waist.

"Basically…yes."

So everything that Castiel said was true. He felt bad for not completely believing him but it was quite a story to believe. So if there were angels, did that mean there were demons and other monsters out there? In the end, he didn't care how he got Castiel, as long as he was his.

"Thank you, Balthazar." Dean said solemnly, tightening his hold on Castiel as if he would disappear at any moment.

Balthazar's brow rose in surprise. "You're welcome. I'd do anything to make Cassie happy.

Castiel smiled at his friend. "I've never been happier in my life."

Dean had a horrifying thought. "Now that you can show yourself again, is that mean you're going to be popping in all the time?"

"Dean…" Castiel reprimanded, frowning at him.

Balthazar laughed. "Sorry kid, you'll never get rid of me now."

Dean groaned into Castiel's shoulder but he really wasn't too upset. Balthazar made Castiel happy and that was all that mattered.

"Now that I know you were interfering, are you going to admit it was you that put my song on that CD I made for Dean?"

Balthazar's face became blank. "Cassie, I can honestly say that wasn't me. I still don't know who did that."

"Well, if you didn't, who did?" Castiel asked, puzzled.

"Does it really matter though? Ever who did it obviously wanted us to be together so I'm thankful to them." Dean said, hugging Castiel to him.

"I suppose it doesn't." Castiel shrugged. "Come on, let's eat, I made lunch. There's enough for you, Balthazar if you would like to join us." Castiel looked at him hopefully, not wanting the angel to leave just yet.

"I'd love to."


In the upstairs apartment of an old Victorian house, a redhead hummed softly a haunting tune about an angel and his human as she made herself lunch.

She smiled to herself.

The End