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A Little Patience

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If asked, Dean would readily admit that he would rather set himself on fire then work another day at the coffee shop. Actually, it’s shouldn’t even be called that. A coffee shop wouldn’t be so bad. Coffee is something Dean can handle. What he works at is a café – Café du Crowley. He should’ve turned tail and ran at the name alone the moment he found out it was named after the owner. Crowley is a clean cut Scotsman (Seriously? Why is a Scottish guy running a French café?) and he has this hideous little pug (named Growl-ey, of all things) that he carries like it’s his frikken baby.

It’s bad enough that his boss is an asshole, but Dean can barely pronounce most of the items on the menu, and he’s been banned from making any of the frappe-shitty-chino bullshit things. They require a million different ingredients and everyone has this tendency to order it soy whipped with a double hot shot espresso or some noise that he can barely wrap his head around. Give him a deconstructed engine any day.

Thank God that his primary job is just to man the counter, get single ingredient drinks, fetch desserts from the display case, and run orders back and forth from the kitchen. That’s simple. That he can do. He does it from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon from Monday to Friday and he hates it with a passion. He hates it more than he’s hated anything in his nearly twenty-two (just a few weeks away) years of existence. It’s just lucky for him that there happen to be a few silver linings to working this job.

Being eye candy is one of them.

Sure, it rankles his fur a little that Crowley hired him mostly for his attractive face so he’ll draw a bigger crowd from the high school down the street. But all he has to do is wear a tight shirt on a school day and the tips come rolling in like they’re Mardi Gras beads and he’s a topless lady. On the plus side, his standard wages are pretty good for just standing at a register for eight hours a day and cleaning shit up.

Another bonus? It’s two blocks from his little brother’s high school. Which means that they get to save on bus fare and Sam has a guaranteed way to get to and from school on the weekdays. Dean can’t even stress how important it is for Sam to go to school. He dropped out when their parents died and he’s been working his ass off ever since to keep Sammy fed, clothed and well educated.

Their uncle Bobby helps out where he can. The best thing he’s ever done is give Dean a part time job at his garage. Even working seven days a week he’s making just enough to cover their bills, put decent food on their table, and pay the rent on their one bedroom apartment. Any spending money left over goes straight into the saving account for emergencies or if they ever want to be able to furnish a new place when they’re finally able to move into a better one.

Dean’s been sleeping on a futon in the living room since they had to move out of the house and he’s fine with that as long as it means Sam has some place quiet where he can do his homework. But it’s just for another year. With his grades, Sam’s practically guaranteed a full ride to Stanford. When that happens, they’re going to get a proper two bedroom apartment closer to the university and Dean’s going to quit the café to find an auto shop that’ll hire him full time if Bobby isn’t able to do it himself.

There’s only one thing Dean’s going to miss about this place when he’s gone and that’s Collins. He’s a regular customer and Dean may or may not be nursing one hell of a crush on him. Collins comes in every lunch hour just before the influx of students. Every time Dean sees him, rain, snow or shine, he’s always wearing the same tan trench coat and carrying the same ragged looking satchel bag.

Collins always orders the same thing daily – the BLT sandwich, side salad with a bottle of water and whatever ‘delight’ is on special that day. Dean hasn’t said a word, but he always gives Collins a slice of pie even if it’s some frou-frou cake he’s supposed to be promoting. Pie is better than cake any day of the week and he’ll gladly duke it out with Crowley to make his point.

Thing is, Collins never says a word unless it’s directly associated to his order – and it’s always given in flawless pronunciation. It drives Dean crazy. The only reason he knows Collins’s name in the first place is because he has to give it for them to call when the order is ready. Dean doesn’t know if Collins is his first name or his last, and he never gets a chance to clarify.

From a quarter to twelve to one o’clock, the café is choked with teenagers and young adults. There’s literally no time for Dean to say more than; “The usual? Here’s your change. Have a good day.” And it doesn’t help that Collins always has his nose buried in some book or another. He takes his order to the corner table and reads through the whole lunch hour. The guy doesn’t even move until all the other students have cleared out.

Dean kind of has a thing for the strong and silent type. It doesn’t hurt none that Collins is Good Looking (capital letters completely necessary). He usually prefers girls, but Dean’s been known to take a pendulum action toward the same gender. And for Collins, he’s pretty sure that he’d do just about anything he would ask of him.

Collins has a voice like silk over gravel and it never fails to send a shiver down Dean’s spine. His face is a little on the younger side, and it’s got just the right amount of stubble – not too much that it could leave beard-burn in uncomfortable places, but just enough that you can feel the rough drag against your skin. He rarely makes eye contact, but Dean only needed to see those stunning baby blues once to have them all but imprinted into his memory – just like his fucking lips. They’re always chapped, and pale, and pink and if he would just talk Dean could watch them shape words for basically the rest of his life.

If it wasn’t for the lunch rush and how it absolutely demands his full attention, unless he wants to fuck up and hand out the wrong orders and get his ass canned, Dean would probably spend the rest of the day daydreaming about Collins’s lips after he places an order. There’s a whole sordid library of fantasy worlds locked up in his head where Collins is the star. Dean feels only slightly ashamed about it, considering how he knows almost nothing about him and he’s basically just lusting after a handsome face.

He tries to limit his fantasy time to when he’s in alone in bed or in the shower where he won’t get in trouble for wrapping a hand around his dick and pretending it’s someone else touching him. But it’s too easy for his brain to imagine what those lips would look like slicked wet and swollen from kisses, or how they would feel wrapped around his cock. At least he’s not, like, obsessed or anything. Collins may be a star of his fantasies, but so is Scarlett, Felicia and Angelina, or that busty waitress with the button problems at his favourite diner – and who could ever forget Doctor Sexy?

But… He can’t deny that those big blue eyes and sex-wild dark hair have definitely played a frequent recurring role more often than most.

It sometimes feels a little wrong thinking debauched things about a guy who could very well be one of Sammy’s teachers. But then those wrong feelings go up in smoke when the downright sinful fantasies kick in just from thinking the word ‘teacher’. Those are always pretty darn amazing and Dean has a very vivid imagination.

When he’s alone, Dean can clearly picture bending Collins over his desk and taking him right where he teaches. Or getting pressed up against the black board, his legs around Collins’s waist and his back smudging any undoubtedly neat script he’d written there during the day. Or he’d dream about fucking him on the couch in the teachers’ lounge after everyone else has gone home. In his head, Dean sometimes role-plays seducing Collins in attempts for better marks and think up increasingly interesting ways of making the teacher break – sometimes even going to his knees under the desk, sucking Collins off in the middle of cla–

“Dean?”

There are certain things in this world that are not cool no matter the circumstances. Your little brother’s voice interrupting fond memories about past fantasies is one of them. Also on that list is thinking sexy thoughts in the middle of your shitty café job where the chances of going and taking care of the problem that usually arises with said thoughts are slim to none. And they had only turned to thinking about that because Collins is due soon and Dean is kind oflooking forward to their brief little interaction.

He only manages to hit his head once when he extracts himself from under the counter where he’d been cleaning the backs of the cupboard. His knees pop when he stands and Dean reaches his arms above his head to stretch out his back. Sam is leaning against the display case full of frou-frou tarts, cakes – both cup and non, and pie. He’s looking at them with the same enthusiasm of a starving mouse in a cheese factory.

Dean clears his throat and taps the glass where he’s looking. “What is it, Sammy?”

“I’m hungry.”

“I packed you a lunch.” He glances at the clock. Sam has a spare before lunch and Collins should be here any minute. “What happened to it?”

Sam looks down at the cakes again. “I ate it for breakfast.”

“You had breakfast at home!”

“I was still hungry.”

“Jesus shit, Sammy, where the hell are you putting all that food?” If he’s not careful, Sam is going to eat them both into the poor house. Despite all that, Dean’s already punching in what Sam usually gets and giving him the employee discount. It’s not technically something he’s supposed to do, but the allowance Dean gives him isn’t as great as it could be and he doesn’t want him to waste it all here.

He shrugs and digs out his wallet. “I’m a growing boy.”

“Yeah, well, feel free to stop any day now.” Dean taps the front of the cash register and the little screen showing the price. “Pay up, bitch.”

Sam’s nose scrunches up and he blows his bangs out of his face. “Jerk.”

He has to put the book in his hand down to leaf through his wallet and Dean eyes the cover while he hands over the cash. “What’cha reading?” It looks beat up and Sam didn’t have it last night.

“Life of Pi. It’s for English class.” Sam pockets the change and pushes the book across the counter for Dean to read the back. “I got it from the library when you dropped me off this morning. Been reading it during study hall since I need it for the class after lunch. It’s a little slow, but intriguing. Oh, hey, I’ll take the food to go – Jess is gonna be out of class soon.”

“Tell her I said ‘hi’.” The bell chimes over the door and Dean shoves the paper-back into Sam’s hands. “Move it Sasquatch, I’ve got customers.” Specifically, he has a customer, but he can see a few groups of students already making their way across the street at the crosswalk.

Collins approaches the counter without looking. There’s an open book in his hands and he’s more focused on that then paying attention to where he’s going. If Sam hadn’t stepped out of the way, Collins would’ve walked right into him. Dean ignores the little fantasy that threatens to pop into his head at the sight of Collins’s bowed head.

He fixes his customers-come-first smile in place, but it’s never forced for Collins. “Hey. The usual?”

Today that doesn’t even warrant a ‘yes’. Collins doesn’t even look up from his book, which Dean notes is the same that Sam is currently flipping through. He just nods and drops a wadded up twenty on the counter. Dean exchanges it in the cash drawer for change and struggles not to brush Collins’s fingers ‘accidentally’ when he gives it back.

“Thank you.” Collins murmurs, head still down. “Inside. For Collins, please.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Dean sees Sam’s head whip around. He ignores it and nods toward the pick-up counter. “Same as always. I’ll call your name when it’s ready.”

“Hey, lover boy!”

Collins looks up in surprise and Dean winces at the terrible nickname. He glances back over his shoulder to the pastry chef-slash-short order cook (also a sugar-addict and a douche bag) standing at the kitchen window with a plastic bag in hand.

“The moose’s sandwich is ready.”

Dean snatches the offered bag with as much vehemence as he can fit into such a small gesture. “Thank you, Gabrielle.” He ignores the two fingered salute, but gets downright confused when Gabriel leans around him to wave at – well the only other person here besides Sam is Collins and Gabriel wouldn’t be waving at Sam, would he?

The question is answered when he turns around and has to stomp down hard on a little flare of jealousy when Collins waves back. He fights equally hard to keep from frowning when he hands the food over to Sam. “Here. I’ll see you later.”

“Thanks, Dean!” Sam takes the bag with a near ravenous gleam in his eyes. Instead of turning to leave, he leans in closer to Collins and gestures at the book he’s reading. “Enjoy the teeth.”

He blinks up at Sam with the same confused expression Dean feels is mirrored on his own face. Collins is about the same height as Dean, which means Sam is at least an inch taller than him and it looks like his giant frame is practically looming over him. Sam grins, waves at Dean, and ducks out the door before anyone can say another word. In Dean’s opinion, that is not how a student should act with a teacher and he makes a mental note to chew Sam out for being so disrespectful later.

“Sorry about him.” Dean blurts and tries not to blush when wide, blue eyes turn to him. “He might be borderline genius, but Sam’s kind of a dumbass.”

His answer is little more than a few blinks and the nod of a head before Collins turns away to go wait by the pick-up counter. Dean mentally curses up a storm in the minute he has before he has to tack the fake smile back into place for the steady stream of students coming in the door. He barely has time to notice when Meg calls out Collins’s name and he takes his plate to his table in the corner.

*

The lunch rush passes in a blur of leering grins, pancake makeup, pimpled faces and shitty tips. It’s a small blessing that Gabriel keeps his ass in the kitchen the whole time and that Dean doesn’t get any snarky comments out of the posturing jocks. There’s a surprising amount of them considering the dainty nature of a French café. Sometimes Dean hits up a bar after driving Sam home to play some pool, drink some beer, and hit on attractive people just so he can gain back whatever manly credits he loses while wearing a pastel pink apron around his waist.

He’s ninety-nine percent certain that Crowley picked that colour just to spite him for the engine grease nearly permanently imbedded under his nails.

The students stream out after one o’clock and Dean takes a moment to count out the excess bills from the register for a cash drop. In half an hour he’s going to get his lunch break and he’s about ten minutes away from eating the display case, glass and all. While shoving the money into a plastic baggie, Dean glances up at the dining room to see how many tables need to be cleaned – and he damn near almost chokes on his next breath.

Collins is still sitting in the corner.

Dean goes the long way around the counter, pausing at Crowley’s office and stepping over the doggy gate to drop the money in the safe. It’s a quick run or else he risks getting rabies from the ankle biter. In crossing the dining room, Dean stops at every other table to pick up dishes and trays in his arms so it doesn’t look like he’s actually bee-lining for Collins. When he reaches the back table, he has a stack of trays covered in a teetering pile of dishes.

“Hey, you finished eating? Want me to take those for you?”

Collins’s head pops up, eyes wide and slightly glazed over. He blinks a few times, as if Dean spooked the shit out of him or something. Guess he must’ve really been in the zone. “I - yes. I’m done. Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” Dean grins, putting down his armful to add the dishes to it. He glances at his watch this time and looks pointedly at Collins. “Don’t you usually have a class by now?”

A frown pinches Collins’s brow and he rolls back his sleeve to look at his own watch. A small panicked noises gets smothered in the back of his throat and he nearly knocks his chair over in his scramble to get to his feet and grab his bag from the floor. He mutters a quick ‘thank you’ and takes off, almost tripping over his feet as his tan overcoat flaps behind him in his all-out sprint down the street.

It feels strangely good and pretty damn amusing to see a teacher running late like that. Dean puts it out of his head and gathers up the rest of the dishes to take to the kitchen. Meg is in the back again and she exchanges his piled trays for a spray-bottle and a rag.

“Clean the tables before your lunch, won’t’cha, Dean-o?”

He pouts at her but glances at the clock again. There’s still plenty of time before his break and he really has no excuse not to do it. But just for that, he’s going to take his vengeance out on those tables and give them the scrubbing of a lifetime. He’s completely focused on that right up until his foot catches on something and sends it skittering away under a few tables.

Dean rescues it and dusts it off, frowning down at the almost pristine cover and crinkled pages. He winces slightly because his kick probably did that. It’s that Life of Pi book that Sam and Collins were both reading. One of the students must’ve left it behind. Do libraries still do that thing where they write the student’s name on a card stapled to the inside pocket?

His brain and heart do a double take when he flips it open. There’s no card or any stamp that says Property Of Such-and-Such School on the inside. But there is a name written in a neat, cramped little script that just screams ‘teacher’. It reads C. Collins and Dean is about to jump for joy because now he knows for sure that Collins is a last name and the first starts with a ‘C’. He doesn’t look like a Christopher, or a Cody, or – God forbid – a Colin.

“Lunch time, lover boy!”

“Yeah, yeah, okay.” Dean runs back across the dining room to lean over the counter and grab a pen. He presses a button on the register to run the receipt spool and rips off the excess. While hiding the paper from Gabriel’s curious eyes, Dean scribbles his cell phone number down on the paper and tucks it under one of those fancy bookmarks that clips to the page. “I just gotta run to the school for a sec.”

“What’cha doing?” Gabriel asks, drawing out the ‘oooo’. His curiosity is rewarded with an apron to the face and Dean beats it out of there before the resulting swear storm can swing into full effect.

He practically bounces across the street and tries really hard not to skip up the steps into the high school. Sam’s English class is on the second floor and if Sam has the same book as Collins, then it’s pretty logical that Collins will be there. Collins must be a teacher’s assistant or something, because he looks too young to be a straight up teacher and Dean is almost certain that the class schedule stuck on the fridge back home says that Mr. Adler is Sam’s English teacher.

Mr. Adler’s sour face is like the needle to the balloon that is Dean’s good mood. He’s standing behind the desk when Dean reaches the door. Sam is sitting halfway to the back of the class, so Dean knows that he has the right room. Collins might be out doing T.A. things. Who knows? Too bad that Dean can’t hang around to wait for him. This is already eating away at the precious thirty minutes that he gets for lunch.

He knocks on the door frame and Mr. Adler turns a distinctly unhappy frown on him. “Dean Winchester. What a surprise.” His sneer is exactly the same as Dean remembers it from five years ago. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”

Sam glances up from his binder. “Dean?”

He’s halfway out of his seat by the time Dean steps into the room. “Hi Mr. A.” That stands for asshole. “Hey, Sammy. I, uh, just came to drop this off.” He holds up the book. “Collins dropped it at the café.”

“How fortuitous. Mr. Collins, are you missing something, perhaps?” Mr. Adler squints toward the back of the class and Dean’s stomach drops as he follows his gaze. No fucking way can his luck be this bad.

A familiar mess of dark hair comes into view. Collins puts his bag back on the floor, obviously having been rummaging through it, and stares over the heads of the other students slumped in their seats. Dean forces a smile over the flood of disappointment. Not only is Collins a student but he’s underage. He’s been thinking all sorts of downright perverted thoughts about a minor. Oh, Jesus Christ, he is so going to Hell.

Collins blushes at least three different shades of red when Dean holds up the book and wiggles it. His eyebrows waggle with it of their own volition and Dean is going to have a serious talk with them later. Stumbling to his feet, Collins nearly trips over his bag when his foot catches on the strap and almost sends him tumbling into the person one desk over. A few people chuckle, but Dean just keeps the same smile in place and meets Collins halfway.

“Thank you.” He murmurs, not meeting Dean’s eyes as he takes the book.

This is the first time that Dean’s seen him without the coat and he looks smaller without it. He’s not a waif of a boy or anything, but now Dean’s seeing him through eyes that know he’s seventeen (possibly even sixteen if he’s got a late birthday) and he sees a kid. It makes something behind his ribs pinch tight and it’s starting to be a struggle to keep his smile in place.

“No problem. Sorry if it’s a little scuffed.” Dean starts backing up towards the door. “Sorry for interrupting, Mr. A. Have fun guys.” He waves at the class, particularly at Sammy, and ducks back out into the hall.

Now it’s time to return to his dreary job and start the arduous process of erasing his spank memory bank of anything that involves blue-eyed minors with lips that practically beg for Dean to mess them up. It’ll take a while, but he’s pretty sure he can dump any fantasy he has of Collins. Jesus Christ, that kid’s face should be illegal.

Dean’s a better person than this. He’s always made sure not to think about or touch anyone underage. As much of a man-whore as he is sometimes, he refuses to cross that line because those are all kids that’re Sam’s age. Dean doesn’t like the idea of people his age (or older) thinking about Sam like that, so why should he do what he doesn’t like other people doing? It’s just another stellar example of his flawless logic and, right now, Dean kind of hates it.

*

After a night spent idly humping his mattress in his sleep because he refused to jerk off before bed, Dean is not having a good morning. He was in a bad enough mood after work last night that he didn’t feel like going to the bar and he sure as hell couldn’t trust himself enough to perk up with some manual stimulation. Especially when he’s not even certain he can keep from falling to the old habit of picturing Collins and the stupid blush he had yesterday or the background curiosity of just how far down that blush went.

He’s so beyond irritable while banging around in the kitchen making their lunches for the day that Sam takes one look at him and says he’s going to walk to school today because it’s such a nice day out. Bull-fucking-shit. Dean opens the curtains over the window to the near torrential downpour and Sam spends the drive to school being as quiet and unobtrusive as possible.

This shouldn’t be upsetting Dean as much as it does, but it is and that’s a problem. He doesn’t know a damn thing about Collins and now that he knows he’s off limits, it’s upsetting. It’s not even about the possibility of eventually having sex with him. Dean had honestly liked the kid and wanted to get to know him better and now he’s angry at himself for being angry.

It’s a never ending cycle that gets him put on dish duty for the day ten minutes into his shift. Ash, the usual dish boy, gets sent up front to take Dean’s place at the counter. At least it gives Dean a chance to take his sexual frustration out on every grease streaked pot and pan that doesn’t fit in the dishwasher. They’re fucking spotless by the time he’s done with them and Dean is actually quite proud of himself for doing such a good job.

That brings his mood up a couple notches. It plateaus somewhere around neutral during his morning piss break just before the lunch rush. Which is why he doesn’t care much about the beep of his cell phone in his back pocket. It’s the brief little two-tone drop that lets him know it’s just a text message. It waits until he’s finished up, zipped up, washed up and his hands are dried with a wipe-down on his shirt.

The number on the screen when he flips the phone open isn’t one that he recognizes, but Dean opens the message anyways. It’s just three little words and they don’t make sense to him coming from a stranger. Where are you?

Maybe one of his friends got a new number and forgot to tell him about it? Dean shrugs and taps out a quick answer before he gets back to the kitchen. Work.

The response comes again while he’s tying the full frontal washer’s apron back on. Why aren’t you working the counter?

Dean glances at the clock above the sink and frowns. He’s got over an hour until his lunch and if Crowley catches him texting on the job, he’s going to get stuck with dish duty for the rest of the week. With his back to the doors, Dean hunches over the sinks to look like he’s washing dishes and fumbles to type out an answer as quick as he can before anyone catches him.

 

Dish duty can’t talk lunch @ 130 ok to text then?

If it wasn’t for the autocorrect, Dean’s pretty sure that most of that would be illegible and need some kind of decoder ring for a translation. He lowers the volume until the phone is on silent and tucks it away again. He’ll check whatever they answer with later and find out who the heck it is then. Right now, he’s got a dishwasher to empty, dishes to sort, and pans to scrub.

*

The texts are all but forgotten by the time Dean settles down in the tiny break room with his paper bag lunch. He pulls out his phone to see if Sam texted him at all and only remembers when he sees that he’s got three new messages from that unfamiliar number. He raises an eyebrow and takes a bite of his sandwich while he opens and reads them.

 

In case you were wondering… This is Castiel.

Why did you give me your phone number?

Dean frowns around a mouthful of shaved turkey and mustard. He doesn’t know anyone by the name of Castiel and he can’t remember the last time he gave his phone number away. It’s not like he’s in the practice of giving his number to perfect strangers without knowing their name first. And Castiel feels like a name he would remember. Hell, he doesn’t even know how to pronounce it.

It clicks about two seconds later.

Life of Pi. Neat little writing. C. Collins.

The phone drops to the table next to his plate and Dean shoves his chair back. Holy shit. Collins’s first name is Castiel and he’s texting him because Dean went and put his fucking number in that goddamn book and forgot to take it out. Not that he could’ve done that in front of the whole damn class with Mr. Adler watching him like a hawk.

“Had too much of the crazy juice this morning, Dean-o?” Meg asks from the other side of the break room. She’s the only other one in here.

Dean ignores her. He can’t focus much past anything other than Collins and the sheer fact that he’s texting him. No, but seriously. That name. Who the hell names their kid Castiel? That’s like stamping a great big TEASE ME on their forehead. How the hell do you even pronounce it? Cas-steel? Cast-el? Cas-tea-elle? Dean has no idea and - wait. Wait a fucking second.

He grabs his phone and scrolls to the top of the conversation, as short as it is. The first thing Collins had asked was directly concerning Dean. The last question should have been the first, not the other way around. What, in the ever loving nine realms, is that supposed to mean? How did him not working the counter come before questioning his motives for giving a minor his phone number?

Unless… Did Collins – no, Castiel – notice Dean more than he let on? Did Cas like him? Holy shit, what if Cas likes him?

Oh no.

His head hits the table in roughly the same spot the phone had been before. Dean narrowly misses squishing his sandwich with his forehead but it doesn’t change that he groans and lifts his head only to drop it again. How is this fair? How is it possibly fair that the hottest guy to come along in pretty much forever just might have the hots for Dean in return, but oops – he’s a minor! Even if there’s the impossibly slim chance that he turns eighteen this year, he’s still going to be off limits for who-knows-how-many-months.

His phone vibrates in his hand and Dean nearly flips his chair when he sits back sharply.

 

Are you on lunch yet?

Dean looks around the room, suddenly worried that someone is going to know that he’s texting Cas. He stares at the message and bites his lip. What is he supposed to do now? Should he start up a conversation? Should he apologize and say that he didn’t mean what leaving his number in the book quite obviously meant?

No, he can’t do that. That would be – that would just be rude. And what if it lost him his favourite customer? No, he’s definitely not doing that. Besides, what’s the harm in just talking to him? He did want to get to know him better, and it’s not like Dean isn’t all buddy-buddy with some of Sam’s friends already. Not that Cas is one of Sam’s friends. But he could be. And as long as Dean keeps Cas out of his dirty little fantasies, then there’s no problem, is there?

Swallowing thickly, Dean taps out a message with one hand while he tries to get back to eating his almost-forgotten sandwich. Yeah sorry was eating

The response comes back almost immediately. Jesus Christ, what is he doing? Just sitting there staring at his phone waiting for Dean’s messages?

 

Did you get my other messages?

Dean types out an affirmative and takes a hearty gulp of coke to wash down his sandwich. Cas’s answer is practically instantaneous again. Well?

 

Well what?

I asked a question. Why did you give me your phone number? You specifically tucked it under the bookmark so it clearly wasn’t unintentional.

He winces and rubs the back of his neck with his free hand. Figure its pretty obvious cas

 

You didn’t know I was in your brother’s class, did you?

Groaning, Dean rubs a hand over his face. Cas seems to be ignoring the fact that Dean basically gave him his phone number to try and ask him out with less than decent thoughts in mind. Well, he’s dug this grave. He might as well bite the bullet too.

 

I kinda thought u were his teacher

The next message takes a solid five minutes to come and by then Dean’s finished his sandwich. It’s just one word. A simple little; Oh.

This is the first time he’s had an actual conversation with Cas and Dean knows that he’s fucked it up already. Yeah… sorry

 

Don’t be. I’m just surprised. Gabriel never mentioned that you thought I was older.

Hold the fuck up. What? Gabriel???

 

Gabriel Collins. You are aware that he is my older half-brother, aren’t you?

I am NOW

Gabriel never mentioned it?

This rabbit hole is getting deeper than Dean thought it would. Now not only is Cas a minor, but he’s also Gabriel’s little brother? That makes him doubly off limits. Gabriel is the shift supervisor whenever Crowley isn’t here and that little shrimp is all kinds of evil.

 

Sorry to break it to u but we don’t get along so great but ok that does explain the whole waving thing yesterday

And this all explains his nickname for you.

God, please strike him down now. Cas did not just bright up that stupid ‘lover boy’ bullshit. His head hits the table with another muffled groan. Dean hates that nickname. Gabriel gave it to him when he learned about Dean’s mating habits and his affinity for wooing ladies (and the odd guy) for a night of fun. It seems that Cas did the math and now he’s going to look down his nose at Dean for his one-night-stand ways just like pretty much everyone else does.

It usually doesn’t rub his nerves the wrong way when people do that. Dean likes his life and the way he lives it. If he ever finds someone he likes enough to want a steady relationship with, then he’ll settle down and give commitment a chance. But he’s not ashamed of the way he lives his life. He’s not exactly proud of it either. The fact that it’s Cas who might think that about him is getting Dean’s shoulders hunching on the defensive.

 

It was nice talking with you, Dean. My next class is starting soon and I have to go.

Yeah, this has been fantastic. Dean stares at the message for a few minutes too long before he types out a quick ‘Have fun’ and puts the phone on silent again. He does his best not to put everything out of his head and he pointedly does not save the number to his phone. He’s not going to cross that line.

*

“Are you in a better mood than this morning?” Sam asks through the Impala’s passenger window.

“Marginally.” Dean shrugs and waves at Jess through the windshield. “You hanging out with her tonight or you coming home with me?”

Sam adopts his ever popular puppy eyes. “I was kind of hoping that she could come over? We can watch movies on my laptop in my bedroom. And she’s willing to chip in if we order pizza or something.”

“Yeah, sure. Ladies get shotgun.”

Jess gives Sam the smuggest grin known to mankind as she hip-checks him out of the way so she can open the passenger door. “Told you. Hey Dean. Heard your panties were in a twist this morning. Since I’m sure Sam didn’t ask, do you need a hug?”

Dean snorts a laugh and accepts one anyways. “Thanks, Jess.” Sam has a gem with this one and if he’s ever stupid enough to let her go, Dean might just try his luck when she’s a little older.

Barely even two minutes into the drive, Jess twists in her seat to grin at him. “So, spill the beans, Winchester. How did you know Castiel’s last name?”

He damn near swerves into the other lane. So that’s how you pronounce his name. But Cas is easier to say. Sounds better too. Dean shrugs and drums his fingers on the steering wheel. “He’s a regular at the café. I bet he gives his last name because he figures I wouldn’t know how to write his real one. Oh, hey, so it turns out that he’s also Gabriel’s half-brother or something.”

Sam leans forward and crosses his arms over the back of the seat. “You mean the sugar-freak from the kitchen, lover boy?”

Dean gives him the middle finger over his shoulder and Sam laughs until Jess cuts him off. “Wait, how did you find out about his brother?”

Well, shit. Now this is going to get embarrassing if he says anything. Sam will tease him for the rest of his life if he admits that he thought Cas was a teacher and gave him his phone number because of it. He bites his tongue and shrugs, but he can feel their stares boring into the side of his head like they’re drilling for the gold information that they want.

Dean resolutely says nothing until his phone beeps. It’s loud enough to hear over the quiet music and maybe if he hadn’t flinched at the sound they wouldn’t have thought any different.

“Something got you jumpy, Dean?” Sam pokes him in the shoulder.

Jess leans across the seat with a grin wide enough that Dean can see it out of the corner of his eye. “Someone texting you?”

“No.”

“Oh my God.” She whispers and slaps Sam on the arm excitedly. “He gave Castiel his phone number! You put it in his book, didn’t you? Look! He’s blushing! He did!”

If they weren’t most of the way home, Dean would stop the car and kick them out for being snoopy bastards. Fuck Jess and her woman's intuition. It’s not fair. He didn’t even say anything.

Jess starts giggling and she punches him in the shoulder. “I knew it! Did you ask him out?”

“He doesn’t do minors.” Sam snorts a laugh and flops back into his seat properly.

“How come you gave him your number then?” She jabs him in the side and Dean is on the verge of lecturing her about bothering the driver, but he’s already pulling onto their street and his eyes are peeled for a parking spot.

“It was a mistake, alright?” Dean huffs and puts on his turning signal as someone else starts pulling out of a spot just down the block from their building. “I thought he was older. I was wrong. End of story.”

She pouts and crosses her arms as she sits back. “You’re no fun. He goes to the shop every day, right? Maybe he likes you and he’s been waiting for you to ask him out.”

“Not happening.” He sticks his tongue out at the side of her head when he turns around while parallel parking. “I shouldn’t even have texted him back. I made a mistake and we’re moving on, okay? I’ll tell him it’s not right to keep texting with me because he’s underage and I gave him my number under, I dunno, misinformation or whatever you want to call it.”

“That’s sad.” Sam sighs and shoves open his door the moment the car is in park. “I don’t think he really has any friends. There’s nothing wrong with just being friendly, Dean. You’re plenty nice to Jess.”

Dean rolls his eyes and locks the car before he gets out too, but there’s a twinge behind his ribs at Sam’s words. He stamps down on it and shoves it into his mental locker where he keeps all the things he’s going to firmly ignore. “Yeah, but Jess is special.” And he hasn’t spent this school year thinking about jumping her bones.

On their way up to the apartment, Dean checks his phone. There’s one message from Cas sitting in his inbox and against his better judgment, he checks it.

 

Gabriel says you were in a bad mood all day. I hope your evening goes better than your day has.

Well isn’t that just the way the pie crust crumbles? Of course Cas ends up being a nice guy. Now Dean’s going to look like a colossal asshat if he tells Cas to lose his number. And that’s just going to make things awkward for them at the café whenever Cas comes in. Dean doesn’t want to be the reason that they lose a customer and he still likes having Cas there. He’s a breath of fresh air compared to everyone else.

He’s going to have to figure out what the hell he’s going to do about this.

*

“Hey babe.” Lisa kisses the back of his head as she leans over the back of the couch and wraps her arms around his shoulders. “What are you doing?”

“Cas was just bitching about Kali and Gabriel making out in the living room while he’s home.” He hits send and leans his head back to look at her upside down. “What do you want to do tonight?”

She shrugs and shakes the hair out of her eyes. “I don’t know. How come I’ve never met this Cas?”

“You’re never at the café at the same time he is.” Dean grins up at her and kisses her chin. “C’mon, let’s figure out what we’re going to do tonight.”

Lisa smiles down at him and Dean reaches up to run a hand through her dark hair. She’s pretty, smart, funny, and all around really great for him. He has fun with her and she gets along great with Sammy. It kind of sucks that she’s sort of a rebound from his unrequited crush on Cas. They met only a few weeks after Dean gave up on entertaining any fantasies about Cas, but Lisa doesn’t know about that and it’s been going just fine so far for the few months that they’ve been dating.

He hadn’t meant to make a commitment. At first, Lisa had been one hell of a weekend. Then there was a second, then a third, and then they started seeing each other without having sex afterward and before he knew it, Dean had a girlfriend. And he likes it. It’s nice going to bed most nights with a warm body beside him. Lisa has all but put Cas out of his head – even though they still text each other.

It’s only a random message here or there every other day, and they’ve started talking more whenever Cas shows up at the counter. He makes it a point now to ask Dean how his day is going and they make small talk with whatever time they have. All in all, Dean’s learned a lot more about Cas in the last few months than he has in his time working at the café. For one, Cas is wicked smart. Maybe even smarter than Sam – which is almost painful for Dean to admit.

Sam was right, too. Cas doesn’t have a whole lot of friends. He’s not unpopular, or bullied, or anything like that. He’s just too busy for social activities. At least, that’s what Sam said. Ever since Dean started talking to Cas, Sam has too. Turns out, they have a lot in common. They like the same music and a lot of the same shows, and they’ve started hanging out together at school. Sam has even gone over to Gabriel’s condo a few times to study.

When Dean asked through a text about why Cas was living with his brother, the answer was short and sweet. Gabriel offered to let Cas live with him when he wanted to stop attending private school. It boosted Dean’s opinion of Gabriel up a few points. That’s actually pretty nice of the guy. Good big brothers always get high marks in Dean’s books.

Speaking of good big brothers, Sam’s graduating in a few months and Dean needs to do something awesome for him. Sam’s been working his butt off since junior year when they put his natural height to good use and signed him up from the basketball team. Now Stanford is giving him a full ride for excellent grades and athletics, and Dean couldn’t be prouder. His little bro is the complete package and he’s going to go a lot farther than Dean ever will.

Graduating also means that he can finally quit the café. The only downside to that is that he won’t see Cas every day anymore and that still sort of sucks. It doesn’t suck as much as it once would’ve, but they’re kinda friends now, right? Well, maybe this will get Sam to stop thinking that Dean doesn’t want Cas around their shitty little apartment and he’ll start bringing him around.

So much is going to be changing over the next few months and Dean thinks maybe he going to need the stability that his relationship with Lisa is going to give him. Of those changes, moving is going to be one of them – and that makes up Dean’s mind for what they’re going to do tonight.

He sits forward and grabs a renter’s guide off the edge of his bed. It’s just a mattress on a cheap frame he put together himself out of scraps from Bobby’s junk yard, but it takes up one half of the living room and leaves just enough room for a tiny couch, a coffee table and a TV.

“Someone looks like he’s figured out what he wants to do.” Lisa comes around the couch to drop into the space next to him. “Are we doing some window shopping?”

“Yeah, we’ve got enough saved to afford a nicer apartment closer to the university.” Dean flutters his lashes at her with a playful pout. “Help me pick one out?”

*

At graduation, Dean points Cas out to Lisa when he crosses the stage for his diploma and they both whistle and applaud as loud as they can for him. It’s the first that Dean hears of Cas graduating with full honours and that he has a scholarship under his belt too. His impressed and just a little annoyed that no one - Cas included - thought to share that good news with him.

While they settle down for the long wait between C and M for Jessica Moore and the even longer wait for the good ol’ Winchester W, Dean hunches down in his seat and sends Cas a quick message.

 

Congrats on the scholarship why didn’t u tell me? Where u going?

Surprisingly, the answer comes quicker than Dean thought it would. Apparently Cas is one of the kids who snuck their cell phone into the ceremonies. Most parents would’ve taken it away. Good thing Gabriel isn’t that cruel - maybe Cas is his soft spot or something.

 

Stanford. Sam didn’t tell you?

Of course he didn’t. Sam’s been encouraging Dean to talk to Cas on his own. Which means he’s been giving Dean the bare minimum of information so he’ll be curious enough to ask his own questions. Dean can’t decide if Sam is a genius mastermind or just kind of an asshole. Either way, Dean has convinced himself that he’s firmly over his crush. Cas is just another friend and his life is practically perfect in every way.

 

Nah he’s a dick hey we’re having a bbq over at Lisa’s tonight to celebrate for Jess and Sam u wanna come too? U could even bring Gabe

Thank you, but my parents are here. We’re going out to dinner this evening.

They end up texting about what a war zone that’s going to be right through Jess’s stage walk. Dean stops to stand and clap with Lisa, and then gets right back to texting until it’s Sam’s turn. Their conversation turns to living arrangements and how Dean and Sam are going to be moving into a new apartment this summer. Cas’s plans are to move into the dorms when school starts again in the fall because Gabriel lives on the other side of the city and he despises public transportation (but still refuses to get a license).

When Sam walks across the stage, Dean forgets everything else. He cheers louder than anyone and Lisa slides him a tissue because maybe he gets a little misty eyed. His little brother is all grown up and graduating high school, and Dean can’t help but feel a little choked up about it.

If only Mom and Dad were here to see him now.

*

Time has this funny habit of slipping away from Dean. Before he knows it, Sam is almost done his first year of university and he and Lisa have been together for over a year. That should be all sunshine and rainbows, but lately they’ve been having near-weekly squabbles about moving in together.

“I haven’t even been living here a whole year!” Dean gestures around them. The furniture is still the same from his old place, but there’s a few new things and way more space than they used to have. “If you want to live here, you could just move in with me! Sam won’t mind!” He’s barely here half the time anyways.

Lisa crosses her arms and glares across the room at him. “I don’t want to live with your brother, Dean. I love Sam, I do, but I’m not going to be the third wheel to Casa del Winchester.”

“He’s not even twenty yet.” He can play the crossed arms game too. “And there’s no way that Sam could afford a place on his own.” Dean holds out his hand and starts counting on his fingers. “Between basketball practice, games, and studying, he barely has enough time to scrape together the few hours a week he gets at the campus bookstore and that’s because he’s an overnight stock boy. He sacrifices sleep so he can contribute to the bills too.”

The problem with this fight is that Lisa honestly thinks Dean is going to give up Sam. There is nothing in this world that will ever make him leave Sam in the lurch. He worked two jobs, seven days a week, for three years to keep Sam in school. There’s nothing in this world Dean wouldn’t do for his little brother and he’s not letting anyone, not even his girlfriend, take him away from Sam.

Lisa sighs and rubs her forehead. “I know, I know.” It’s like all the fight goes out of her and Dean crosses the room to pull her into a hug. She rests her head on his shoulder and wraps her arms around his waist with another sigh. “I’m sorry. You work hard for him and I’m not trying to split you guys up. I just want to live with you without feeling like I’m going to be the odd one out.”

Dean kisses her forehead, but he doesn’t know what to say. Either Lisa’s going to need to get over her shit, or they’re going to break up. Sam can’t do this on his own and Dean’s been taking care of him for as long as he can remember – even before Mom and Dad died. Not even his feelings for Lisa are going to be enough to make him stop.

But he can’t help feeling like there’s a countdown on their relationship now, no matter how badly he wishes there wasn’t.

*

It’s a Thursday night in early November when the sound of fire engine sirens draw Dean to the balcony doors. At least two fire trucks whizz by with their sirens blaring and he tracks their direction. There’s thick black smoke rising behind the buildings nearby and Dean’s a little worried until the determines that it’s more than a few streets away. Actually, it looks like it might be on campus and worry starts knotting in his gut.

He finds his cell phone in the kitchen, but before he can hit speed dial, the screen lights up with a call. Dean doesn’t even bother looking at the name, assuming it’s Sam right off the bat and putting it to his ear. “Y’ello?”

“Dean?”

Whoa. Blast from the past. Dean hasn’t heard Cas’s voice in well over a year and he’s almost surprised that he recognizes him from that alone. His stomach immediately drops when he realizes that Cas’s voice trembled around his name.

“Hey, Cas. What’s wrong?” Wait. Cas lives in the dorms on campus, doesn’t he? “Cas, are you alright?”

“Considering that my dorm building is currently on fire, no, not really.”

Dean’s already heading for his keys. “Where are you?”

“I’m – well, right now I’m down the road from my building. I don’t think I’ll be getting inside any time soon.” He sighs, but his voice is still shaking. “I know this is an imposition, but would it be alright if I stayed at your place tonight? Gabriel isn’t answering his phone.”

“Gimme the street name. I’ll be there in five.” He’s already out the door before Cas can object. “And yes, dude, my couch is your couch. Don’t worry about it.”

Before he gets to his car, Dean calls Sam to make sure he’s alright. Thankfully, the campus bookstore isn’t anywhere near the dorms and Sam is completely fine with Cas staying the night – or longer if need be. He uses speaker phone to call Lisa and let her know what’s happening too, but he gets her voicemail and has to leave a message. She was supposed to come over after her shift ends at the yoga studio, but she might not want to now with Cas crashing on their couch.

True to his word, Cas is exactly where he said he would be. He’s wrapped up tight in the same damn trench coat he wore every day in high school, but the bag hanging from his shoulder is newer. Dean can’t help comparing the Cas who gets into his car to the Cas he hasn’t seen since his last day of work. He’s filled out a fraction, but his clothing choices haven’t changed much. A blazer with a sweater vest and tie? Really?

“Hey stranger. Long time no see.” Dean grins, enjoying the little bubble of warmth that expands in his stomach at seeing Cas again. He nods toward the bag in Cas’s lap. “That all you got?”

Cas looks woefully up the street to where it’s roped off by the fire crews. “I doubt I’ll be seeing the rest of my things tonight.”

Oh. Right. “Do you know how far it spread?”

“I didn’t bother getting any closer than this.” He slumps in his seat while Dean turns around to head back home. “I saw the fire on my way back from a late class and called Gabriel. When he didn’t answer, you were the only other person I could think to call since you’re in the area.”

That shouldn’t make Dean happy, but it does. “Don’t worry about it. The couch is yours for the night and we can try getting a hold of Gabe in the morning.” He doesn’t even think twice about reaching over to pat Cas on the knee until he’s already done it. His hand snaps back to the wheel like he’s been burned and Dean tries really hard not to look at him. “So – uh – y’think the school will call you? What even happens when a dorm catches fire, anyways? Do they pay to put you up somewhere else or replace all your stuff?”

“I don’t know.” Cas sounds a little sad and a lot lost. Dean immediately hates hearing that tone in his voice. “At least I didn’t have any personal effects in there. Just clothing.”

“What about your school stuff?”

“My text books are in my locker in the main building and I have my laptop with me.”

For a lack of anything better to do, Dean nods. “Well, that’s good. How in the hell do you have no personal things in your dorm room? You've been living there the whole school year!”

“I saw no point in bringing them from Gabriel’s.” He shrugs and turns to look out the window. “He moved in with his girlfriend last month and they’re supposedly in a box in one of their closets. He’s been meaning to drop it off.”

“Good thing he didn’t.”

Cas goes silent after that in the kind of way that Dean’s used to hearing from someone who just thought of something upsetting. When he chances a glance, Cas is all pinched frowny face and sad eyes. “What is it?”

“Gabriel just moved in with Kali.”

“Yeah, you already said that.”

He shrugs and slides down in his seat until his knees hit the glove box. “I don’t know if he’ll have the room to let me live with him until things are sorted out with the university.”

Some little red flag in the back of Dean’s head is telling him that what he’s about to say isn’t a good idea. He ignores it completely while he pulls back into his parking space in the garage under his building and reaches across the seat to pat Cas on the shoulder again. This makes for the third time he’s touched him in the entire time that they’ve known each other since the day Cas first walked into the café. The second being earlier and the first at the high school graduation when he’d thrown his arm around Cas’s shoulder and tugged him into a picture with Sam and Jess.

“Hey, our couch is yours for as long as you need it.”

Cas looks at Dean’s hand first before his eyes travel up his arm to meet his. He looks surprised and maybe a little like he can’t believe that Dean is making this offer. All that slides into something that looks a lot like grateful, but Dean stops noticing everything else because Cas’s small smile is making his stomach do this weird little dance under his ribs.

“Thank you, Dean.”

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, Cas.” Dean forces a smile over his own confusion at whatever the hell his insides are doing. He gets out of the car and keeps that smile in place over the roof of the Impala while Cas gets out too. “We’ve got your back.”

As Cas follows him to the elevator, something nervous twists through Dean’s chest and for the life of him he doesn’t know why.

Chapter Text

For the first week, nobody minds that Cas is sleeping on the couch. Dean and Sam try to be fair and let him have one of their beds every other day because that couch is no where near big enough for anyone to sleep on without fucking up their back. When they do that, Sam usually sleeps over at Jess's campus apartment or Dean spends a couple nights at Lisa's. But by the second week, Cas is not all that happy with the arrangement and not for the reasons that Dean thought he would be. Really though, who actually likes sleeping on couches?

“It's rude , Dean.” He mumbles, giving Dean his biggest, saddest eyes. “I can't stand that I'm essentially kicking you out of your house. You should be able to bring your girlfriend back to your own bed.”

“Dude.” Dean puts his hands on both of Cas's shoulders and squeezes. “You don't even have the shit back that survived the fire. And we're better than any hotel that the university would've set you up with. You're kinda looking a gift horse in the mouth here.”

Cas opens his mouth to complain and Dean puts a hand over it, cutting him off. It's a little funny how easily he got used to Cas being here, close enough to touch. He never really counted all the finger brushing while he was handing over change as actually touching Cas. In the years that he's known him, Dean touched Cas all of three times. Now that he's practically living here, Dean's touches him almost every day; bumping into him in the hall or touching his elbow to let him know he's behind him in the kitchen, and there's always the shoulder pat for whatever reason calls for it.

“Listen to me.” Dean says slowly. “We know we don't have to sleep over at the girls' places. We're just not that big of an asshole not to want to help you, okay? Gabe doesn't have the space with Kali and we're cool with you sta y ing, but it would be super shitty of us to make you sleep on the couch the whole time. We're doing this coz' we're nice . Don't spit in our faces for it, okay?'

Cas frowns and shakes his head. “I'm not spitting in anything. It just doesn't feel right that I'm –”

“I know. But trust me, Cas, we don't mind.” He smiles and pats him on the shoulders again before turning back to the dishes he'd been scrubbing when Cas confronted him. “Hell, if we had an extra bed, we'd probably invite you to stay permanently. It would be kick-ass to cut the rent.”

“But you don't have another room.”

“You could have the living room.” Dean shrugs and turns to look at the living-dining combo. “There's room in the kitchen to move our dinky little table. If we do that, there's plenty of space for a single in that corner beside the balcony door, if you don't mind the lack of privacy. I mean, we could totally hang up curtains or some shit if you really need it.”

He's not expecting Cas to go red in the face, a blush filling his cheeks. It's not the first time that Dean's seen that happen. The first time was when he'd come out of his bedroom one morning for work to find Cas half naked in the living room, shirt open and pants halfway up his legs. That incident is the whole reason that Cas changes in the bathroom now and why Dean and Sam try to always announce when they're coming out of their bedrooms.

Technically speaking, Cas is over eighteen now and can totally be added to Dean's spank bank again. But he's been doing good with not doing that. Cas is a friend now and he's not the kind of friend that Dean can just jerk off to whenever he wants. Plus, that would kind of be rude to Lisa. She's smoking hot and Dean hasn't needed to really fantasize about anyone else since they started dating.

Of course that doesn't mean he didn't file away the mental image of Cas's thighs or that glimpse of his chest for potential use in the future. Not that he ever plans on doing that, though. Cas is a friend and friends are just as off limits as minors. Unless the friend is one of a 'benefits' persuasion – which Cas is most definitely not so Dean better keep his mind on the straight and narrow when it comes to thinking about him.

“Dean, you can't just rearrange your entire apartment for me to live here.”

“Why not?” He frowns at Cas and points the scrub-brush at him. “You got a problem with this place?”

Cas doesn't even react to having a soapy brush waved inches from his nose. “I didn't say that.”

“Good. Then we'll talk with Sam when he gets home from classes. If he's cool with it, we can get the land lady to put your name on the lease too.” Dean nods and goes back to the dishes again. “I'll get a hold of Bobby to check out his wood scraps for something I can use to make a bed frame and all you'll need to do is find a mattress somewhere. I can make some under-the-bed Ikea knock-off storage shit for your clothes and we'll get you some wall shelves or something for your books.”

For a moment, Cas is very quiet. He's silent long enough for Dean to look over to make sure he's okay. The poor kid looks like he's caught between being so happy he could cry and surprised speechless. Dean just shrugs and smiles at him. “Do you want me to try building you a desk or something? I could rig something to fold out from the wall at the end of the bed, or –”

“The kitchen table will suffice, Dean.” Cas shakes his head and there's a small smile playing in the corners of his mouth. “Thank you. And I can pay a third of the bills – or more, if you want.”

“A third is fine, Cas. I've got Sam's ass covered, so you don't have to worry about it.” He grins and makes sure to stay focused on the dishes, otherwise Cas might be able to figure out somehow that Dean's stomach is doing back flips in his belly and he's just about to vibrate out of his shoes in excitement.

But where Dean is excited for a new roommate and Sam is ecstatic about having one of his friends move in with them, Lisa is less than pleased. When he tells her, she stops folding her laundry and almost glares at him from the other side of her bed. It's been months since their last fight about living together and Dean had kinda hoped she'd given that one up for loss.

“Don't start with it again, Lis.” He warns, hanging up one of her shirts in the closet. “Just because Cas is moving in doesn't mean I can just move out.”

She huffs and shoves her underwear in a drawer. “But Sam will have a roommate! He's not going to be paying for the place alone. And it's not fair to Cas that he'll be paying a third of the rent without having his own proper bedroom.”

“Cas knows that and he said he's fine with it.” Dean turns his back to her to keep putting away the laundry, otherwise he's going to start gesturing angrily and that never goes over well. “And he's a student too. There's no way they can afford that place together, especially with Sam's hours. And Cas doesn't even have job. He's living off the scholarship and whatever money his parents dump into his account once a month.”

“Well then why don't they just move in together into a cheaper place on campus or something that they can afford together? Maybe they could get a third roommate too.” Lisa comes up behind him and wraps her arms around his stomach. “I'm sure there are plenty of desperate students after that fire. They should be able to find someone easy enough.”

It's a damn good argument in her favour, but Dean doesn't like it. Sam would be struggling to do all his school things on top of working. He'd probably have to get a different job with worse hours but better pay to make half or even a third of any rent. It would suck for him and things are working just fine as they are. Dean doesn't understand why Lisa insists that things change right now when everything is good and nothing sucks.

“I'm not moving out, Lis. I'm sorry.” He turns around in her arms and almost winces at the glare. “I like where I'm living and it wouldn't be fair to either of them to move out any time soon.” When she moves to pull away, he wraps her up in his arms to keep her in place. “The offer for you to move in is still open, y'know? Cas would only have to pay a quarter of the rent and that would be easier on his bank account and mine.”

With one hard shove, Lisa pulls away from him. “I didn't want to live with two brothers, why would I want to live with the same brothers and one of their best friends? You've both known him longer than me. I'd still be the odd one out, Dean.”

She goes back to the basket on the bed currently full of the next load of laundry and picks it up. At the door, she stops and gives him a cold look over her shoulder. “You're just afraid of making any kind of commitment to me.”

Dean stares at the spot after she's gone. He doesn't like the little ring of truth when he repeats the words in his head, but how much more can she want from him? They've been together over a year and he's never cheated on her. Hell, he's been a model boyfriend if anything, and everything else in their relationship is fucking great . Just because his living situation can't be changed right now doesn't mean that he doesn't want to commit to her.

Lisa isn't being fair about this and Dean doesn't like it.

*

The fights have gotten worse. Dean hates them and he does his best not to have them where Sam or Cas can hear. It's really hard when they pick up while he and Lisa are at his place and one of the guys happens to be home. Today was going fine until Lisa made a comment about Cas's 'bedroom' space and that kicked off a whole discussion about how Cas should have his own room and then they got back into stride with their tired old moving fight.

Cas walks in ten minutes after it starts and Dean's jaw snaps shut so hard he's pretty sure he almost cracks a tooth. Lisa's hands are on her hips and they're on opposite sides of the kitchen when the door shuts. Neither of them knows who it is until Cas comes up the entrance hall they've formed with the back of the couch and the little closet before there's a break in the wall for one of the two entrances into the kitchen.

He stops and looks between them before lifting his hand in a small wave. “Hello.”

Their responses are in sync. “Hi, Cas.” But Lisa doesn't even look away from Dean.

If that isn't a sign that Cas walked in on a fight, Dean doesn't know what is, short of them still shouting at each other. He sighs and rubs a hand through his hair. “We'll finish this later, Lis. Sorry, Cas. What do you want for supper?”

“I'm intruding on something personal, aren't I?” Cas looks between them, a concerned little frown pinching his face. “I'll come back later.”

“Thank you.” Lisa gives him a tight smile before turning her glare back on Dean. “We are having this conversation now.”

He takes a deep breath, doing his best to keep from losing his temper. Cas hasn't seen him yell before and Dean kind of wants to keep it that way. “I don't see the point in continuing this now . I'm not changing my mind. I have other people depending on me and I'm not going to just drop them because you want me to.” Dean crosses his arms. “I gave you the options. You choose.”

“Fine.” Lisa grabs her purse from the table and Cas side steps out of the way to let her by.

The door slams behind her, leaving a sick kind of quiet in the room. Dean keeps taking deep breaths in through his nose and out through his mouth. He's got a history of throwing things when he's upset and that can wait until he's alone in his bedroom and isn't running the risk of hitting Cas with anything. After a few minutes, he turns to the fridge and pulls out a defrosted pack of ground beef. Keeping his hands busy with making his famous burgers should be enough to calm him down.

Cas is the first to break the silence. “Are you okay, Dean?”

Thing is, he doesn't know how he's feeling. His chest is full of hurt and anger and a million other things that he doesn't feel like sorting through right now. All he can do is shrug and dump the meat into a bowl. “I dunno, Cas. I think we might've just broken up.”

“Ah.” There's a pause before Cas clears his throat. “My condolences.”

He shrugs again. There isn't much else to say on that particular matter. “Supper will be ready in an hour. If you're gonna shower, do it now before Sam gets home and uses up all the hot water.”

Dean tries not to think about what just happened while Cas clunks around in the bathroom and he clunks around in the kitchen. It's pretty damn hard and it doesn't get any easier through the evening, especially when he goes to bed alone. Lisa was supposed to sleep over tonight.

The last thing he's expecting is for his phone to light up on the bedside table with a text from her. Trial run. I live with you guys for a week or two. If it works out okay, maybe I can move in. If it doesn't, we'll talk about it then. Deal?

Oh, apparently they weren't broken up. That makes Dean feel better than he has all night and he practically springs out of bed, crossing the room to the door tucked in by the closet. He damn near bounces through that and into the living room where Cas is still sitting up in bed and reading by the light of some Ikea wall lamp Gabriel bought him as an apology gift for making him live with the Winchesters (his words).

Dean almost throws himself into the bed, bouncing in place just shy of Cas's feet, and he pulls the book out of Cas's hands. “We're not broken up and she wants to try living here for a week or two as a trial!”

Cas stares at him for a few seconds, blinking a couple times even, before a smile twitches one corner of his mouth. “That's good news.”

But Cas doesn't look all that happy by the news. The reason nearly blindsides Dean and he drops the book in Cas's lap, his page still saved, and leans forward until they're almost nose to nose. “This doesn't mean I'm telling you to move out, okay? I want you to stay too. You've been a friend for longer than I've known Lisa and we're not going to kick you out. Ever.”

The smile on Cas's lips grows and his eyes get a little softer. He puts a hand on Dean's chest and pushes him back slightly. “Don't worry, Dean. I know.”

“Good.”

Cas's hand doesn't fall back to his lap after that. His fingertips stay pressed lightly just under Dean's collarbone. A little higher and they'd be touching skin instead of t-shirt. Dean feels hyper aware of those four points of contact and he barely cares that they're staring at each other. Some small part of him realizes how friggen weird this is, but the rest of him couldn't give a shit.

He has really nice eyes.

“Coming outta my room!” Sam calls out and Dean all but jumps up from Cas's bed, turning away before Cas can see any sort of blush that may or may not be creeping up into his cheeks right now.

“Hey, Sammy!” Dean cuts through the kitchen to meet him by the fridge. “I'm going to be making celebratory pancakes in the morning. You gonna be up in time for some?”

Sam snags the milk out of the fridge and looks at him over his shoulder. “Celebratory? For what?”

“Lisa is temporarily moving in to see if she can tolerate our manly testosterone enough to move in for real.” He grins and welcomes the high five Sam gives. There isn't any need to get permission from Sam for this. Not when they had the talk about it long before Cas moved in and Sam wouldn't say 'no' to anything that would lighten the financial stress load currently resting on Dean's shoulders.

Tonight has turned out awesome.

*

In Dean's eyes, the week and a half with Lisa living at their place was great. He kind of thought that someone would complain about the sex, but Sam just turned up his music if he was home (Dean probably shouldn't have seen that as a challenge to be louder) and Cas was always gone whenever he came out after a good sweat session. Dean always felt a little bad about that, but if Cas preferred leaving because he was uncomfortable instead of making a complaint, then that's up to him. They'll have a talk about it if Lisa decides to move in for good.

Probably the highlight of Dean's week is that Lisa and Cas get along great. Whenever they're in the same room together, she always strikes up a conversation about his course work. Dean appreciates that almost as much as if Cas was his little brother too. An effort was made and he's pretty sure that it succeeded in all categories.

Which is why he's more than a little surprised that at the end of the trial when he and Lisa sit on the end of his bed to have their talk, she pushes the hair out of her face and turns to him with a grim set to her mouth. “It wasn't bad, but I don't think I could live here. There's too many people.”

Dean frowns and shrugs. “Well, yeah. What did you expect? We have four people in a two bedroom apartment. Did we not respect your space or something?”

“It's not that, Dean. You were all gentlemen and I appreciate the effort you took to make this enjoyable for me, but –” Lisa pauses and shrugs. “It was crowded. I was always bumping into someone in the halls or the kitchen and with Cas's bed where it is, we don't get much privacy in the living room either.”

His stomach sinks and Dean can feel all his good feelings start squeezing out his ears. “So, that's a 'no' to moving in with us, then?”

“I tried it, and I don't think I'd be happy here.” She gives him a small smile, but it falls short of making Dean feel any better. After a moment, she puts a hand on his knee. “I want to live with you, Dean.”

God, they're not going to have this talk again, are they? How many times can they beat the same topic to death before she'll give up on it. Dean sighs and leans back on his hands. “ Lis.”

“Well, do you want to live with me? Not just here, but in general. Or at all?” Lisa tilts her head at him and squeezes his knee.

“Of course I do.”

There's a beat of a moment, a pause that goes suspiciously long, before Lisa looks at him again. “Except that you've never told me that you love me.”

Wait, what? How did they go from talking about living situations to talking about that? Did this never ending topic take a turn somewhere when he wasn't paying attention? Because he's pretty sure this is the first that he's hearing of this. Unless this is what Lisa has been trying to get across all along? Fuck. Is this one of those moments where they've stumbled across the heart of the matter?

Dean is well aware that he's never said it out loud, but that's always been a problem for him since high school. Articulating his feelings has never been one of his strong suits. Hell, understanding his feelings is hard enough as it is. All he really knows is that he loves his little brother, but he can't remember the last time he told Sam that either.

“You know I do.”

“No, Dean, I don't.” Lisa shakes her head and finally takes her hand off his knee. “You never say it. You're affectionate, but that's not a substitute for you putting it into words and making it real.” She turns to face him, one leg folding up under her. “Do you, or do you not, love me?”

She's making him decide right now and Dean thinks he might have a panic attack before he can get out any kind of answer. His problem here is that he doesn't know what it's supposed to feel like to be in love. He thought he was back in high school with his first ever girlfriend, Cassie, but that had swirled down the shitter after his parents died and he'd dropped out of school to take care of Sam. He just – he doesn't want to say it and make the same mistake a second time.

Dean reaches out to tuck a few errant strands of hair behind Lisa's ear. “I care about you, Lis. You know that I do.”

“But do you love me, Dean?” Her eyes look sad and Dean can feel his throat getting tight. “If you can say that you love me, I'm pretty sure I'll be fine with us not moving in together until the financial situation is better for everyone. Whether it's them moving out or you moving in with me, I can handle the wait as long as I know that you do love me.”

He opens his mouth, waiting for the words to come out, but they don't. They won't come when he's not sure that he even feels it. All he knows is that he cares for Lisa a hell of a lot and he doesn't want to break up with her. Their relationship is awesome in so many ways and he really likes it. She's been good for him. But it's not fair to her if he's not able to figure out something that's supposed to be simple. It's a yes or no question here and the answer just won't form itself into syllables for him to actually say.

After a few silent minutes full of a sad and kinda tense staring match, Lisa gets up. She cups Dean's face between her hands and tilts it up to press a kiss to his forehead. “I'm sorry, Dean. I hope you find someone you'll be able to love some day.”

Dean doesn't move after she leaves. He stays sitting on the end of his bed with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. His heart hurts, but he's not sure if it hurts as much as it should when someone breaks up with you. It hurts a hell of a lot, but he can't decide if it hurts more or less then when Cassie ended things in highschool. All he knows is that it's enough that he's not sure he's going to want to see anyone else for the rest of the day, or even leave his room for that matter.

Of course as soon as he decides that, someone just has to knock on the door frame and clear their throat. Dean doesn't need to lift his head to know that it's Cas. Sam wouldn't be this polite. “Dean, I'm making some supper. Would you like some?”

He shakes his head and keeps staring at the ugly slate carpet between his feet. Food sounds like a great distraction from this stupid mess of emotions in his belly, but he's not sure he could hold it down. Maybe it's his lack of a verbal answer, or possibly the fact that he actually turned down food, that keeps Cas from walking away.

“Is everything okay, Dean?”

“We broke up.” Quick and to the point. Like ripping off a bandaide.

“Oh.” Cas pauses and clears his throat again. “The last time this happened, I looked up what you're supposed to do in this situation. Social convention calls for me to comfort you with physical contact or an alcoholic drink. Would you prefer a hug or a beer?”

Dean can't help the snort of laughter that nearly punches out of him. He shakes his head and drops his hands before he stands up. “You're ridiculous, Cas.”

He still can't resist throwing an arm around Cas's shoulders when he follows him out of the bedroom. It's a silly little half hug, but Cas's pleased smile is a good distraction. Dean's always been awesome at burying the stuff he doesn't want to think about. This is exactly the situation that calls for it and he squeezes Cas's shoulders before letting go.

“I'll take that beer, though.”

*

The moment Sam found out that Dean and Lisa broke up, he laid down the law about one night stands in the apartment. He's never been a fan of strangers in their bathroom, or their kitchen, or even their living room whenever he comes home from school or wakes up in the morning. Now that Cas lives with them, he has the perfect excuse to outlaw it completely.

Dean has done his best to make this a comfortable place for Cas. He's been respectful of Cas's space and his stuff and the shared areas of the apartment and everything. Which is why when Sam gets all geared up forthat talk again, Dean cuts him off.

“I'm not bringing anyone back here. If I do anything, it'll be at the bar or at their place.” He raises his right hand. “I solemnly swear this on my honour as a Jedi Knight.”

“You're not a Jedi, but I'll accept it.”

That said, Sam doesn't bat an eyelash whenever Dean comes home in the morning wearing the same clothes he left in the night before. Cas never says anything against it either whenever Dean ducks in for a shower and to grab his things before heading off to work, but Dean still gets the distinct feeling that everything isn't exactly kosher with Cas about it either.

He's started noticing a trend with Cas every time it happens over the weeks following the break up with Lisa. Cas spends the day after one of Dean's nightly excursions frowning and being quieter than usual. Dean has a few ideas why, but he's not entirely sure about any of them.

In all the time that Cas's been living with them, Dean's never even so much as caught a whiff of another person on him. Cas never mentions a girlfriend, a boyfriend, or even a damn date. And for a guy, he's been pretty prudish about walking around in his underpants – which is something that Sam and Dean don't have a problem with. If they thought Cas didn't like it, they'd probably stop, but he's seemed pretty okay with it so far.

So, if Cas has a stick up his butt about sex, Dean can sort of understand why he gets all shut off and uncomfortrable looking on the days that Dean comes back after a night out. Sex doesn't exactly fix the mess in Dean's head and chest, but it does help it a little and he's kind of missed the bar scene. Not a whole lot, but just enough that he'd rather get his fill right now instead of nursing his wounded ego for God knows how long.

The thing is, even back when they were just starting to talk through texts, Dean didn't like the idea that Cas might frown down on his lifestyle. At least Gabriel's little 'lover boy ' nickname hasn't followed him from the café, thank fuck. But Dean can't stand that Cas might be thinking all sorts of shit about him now that he's picked up almost where he left off when he met Lisa.

He can't stand it enough that he pauses their weekly movie to confront him about it. The movie thing kind of happened on accident a while ago, even before Lisa left. It's kind of nice to have this one thing with Cas, even if it is just sitting on the couch watching a movie together once a week while Sam's at basketball practice. And it helps that Cas hasn't seen most movies. Dean's more or less made this night mandatory now, because there are some classics that you just can't not see.

It's a shame to pause Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Dean thinks this warrants the blasphemy.

“Do you have a problem with me sleeping around or something?” Bandaide method. Always effective, if not a little out of the blue.

Cas glances at him from the other end of the couch, a confused little frown fixed in place. His frowns are getting to be way too adorable again and Dean can quite clearly remember a time when he first started thinking that. He was wearing a pink apron back then.

“You live your life the way you want, Dean. I have no say in it.”

Dean twists in place and takes up half the couch when he draws one leg up onto it. “Yeah, but you don't like it. Do you?”

He shrugs and looks down at his hands, folded almost neatly in his lap. “It's not a way that I would choose to live mine, but I don't fault you for how you choose to live yours.”

“Have you ever given it a try?” Okay, so maybe Dean is prying just a little bit. Is it his fault that he's a little curious about getting the dirt on the cleanest guy in the apartment?

“No.” Cas shakes his head and he's being pretty careful about not looking at Dean again. “But I had a very strict upbringing.” The pause after his words lasts long enough that even Cas must be able to tell that Dean wants to hear more, because he slumps in his seat and sighs. “You have to understand that my parents are extremely religious and they come from a rather prestigious background. I was in private school up until my Junior year and I had to fight tooth and nail to be allowed to attend a public highschool. Gabriel was a big help with that.”

Dean waves his hand to cut Cas off. “How's that whole half-brother thing work?”

“I’m fairly certain that I’ve told you this before.”

“I know." Shit, he totally forgot. "I just want to hear it again.”

Cas glances at him for a second before he shrugs and goes back to staring at the paused screen. “Gabriel’s mother divorced our father shortly after he was born and died not long after that. He met my mother a few years after that, got married a few years further down the road, and then I was born.”

“Oh yeah, I remember.” Dean kind of feels like a heel for forgetting, but he’s pretty sure Cas told him that not long after they started talking. In his defense, that was a long time and a lot of beer ago. “You told it better last time.”

That gets him another shrug as Cas goes back to his really shortened story. “I had a very proper upbringing with tutors, musical lessens, dance lessons, and they've essentially planned out my life for me.” His voice takes on a kind of flat quality to it and Dean immediately hates it. “My grades are perfect because that's what was demanded of me and it's what's necessary for the medical profession they're encouraging me to enter.”

“But is that what you want to do?”

Cas looks at him, his eyes a little too wide and a little too lost. “I don't know what I want to do.”

There's a mighty powerful urge brewing under Dean's skin to reach across the couch and pull Cas into a tight hug, maybe even keep him there where he'll be safe from crazy parents. Instead, he reaches out and puts a hand on Cas's shoulder. “You don't know what you want to do, but do you know want you don't want to do?”

“Yes.” He looks down at his hands again, almost like he's ashamed or something. “I don't think I want to be a doctor.”

“Well, then fuck them. Just because they're your parents doesn't mean that you owe them your whole life or something.” Dean squeezes Cas's shoulder and gives him his best, most winning-est smile when Cas looks up at him again. “You don't have to do what they want you to do. It's your life. Do what makes you happy, man.”

“Is that what you're doing?”

Oh, shit. Dean doesn't like it when conversations like this get turned back on him. He shrinks back to his side of the couch and picks up the remote again. But this isn't something that can go unanswered, not if Cas is actually looking for some sort of guidance right now. Poor bastard. He doesn't realize he's scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

“I'm trying to, at least.” Dean gives him a cocksure grin that probably falls a little short. “So, what are you going to do about school then?”

“I still have a ways to go before I can even think about applying into the medical courses.” Cas shrugs and tilts his head against the back of the couch, staring at the ceiling. “If I change my mind between now and then, I'll still have plenty of time to switch majors or something.”

“You still haven't answered the main question.”

He glances at Dean, eyebrow raised. “What is it?”

“Are you happy?”

Cas shrugs and straightens himself out in his seat. “I like learning and I enjoy living here.”

“Is that a 'yes'?” Dean stretches his leg across the space between them to poke Cas's thigh with his toe.

“I could be happier.” That's not the answer Dean wanted (or expected) to hear. He pokes Cas with his toe again until he continues. “There are things I want that I can't have. But yes, Dean, I am happy.”

After a few more pokes, Cas grabs Dean's foot and digs his thumb painfully into the arch until the offending appendage is withdrawn. He never does say exactly what it is that he wants that he can't have, but Dean still feels like they've made plenty of headway so far this evening. Dean feels like they're on a different level as friends now and that's making his stomach do happy little somersaults as he turns the movie back on.

*

Dean got home ten minutes ago, loaded down with beer and snacks. Sam and Cas are supposed to be out tonight and they both gave him the green light on inviting a couple friends over for some good ol' fashioned poker. It's been a while since he's hung with the friends he has outside of Bobby's garage and he's missed legitimately scamming a bunch of guys out of their money.

He's been looking forward to this almost as much as he's looking forward to taking his winnings to the bar this weekend. Hell, he might even get fancy and go to a club. He's not the biggest fans of those, but there's an itch he needs scratching and dirty dancing with a stranger might just get the job done.

The last thing Dean is expecting is for Cas to walk in the door with his grump levels verging on critical not more than five minutes before anyone is supposed to show up.

"I thought you had a lab tonight?" Dean looks up from dumping a bag of chips into a bowl set out on the table, pulled out into the middle of the kitchen for the night. It's not like he's going to kick Cas out or anything, but he's kind of curious about why Cas would break his promise to give him and his friends the place for the evening.

"I did. Until they had to shut the building down because some Greenpeace jackass decided to steal all the rats, mice and frogs and release them directly into the building instead of into the wild or to a pet store or, you know, anywhere else." Cas kicks off his shoes into the hall closet and stomps around the couch, slouching down on it with smoke practically coming out of his ears. It's almost looks like he's trying to set the TV on fire with his mind. "It's going to take them forever to catch them all and who knows what kind of damage the rodents will do to the wiring. The computer labs might be fried for all we know and the programs we need for our labs aren't on any other computer."

Dean winces and approaches the back of the couch with the same caution as someone on a bomb squad. "Who's the genius who decided that?"

"I don't know, but I'd like to introduce their ass to my foot."

He nearly chokes on his laugh. Cas is usually pretty calm and collected, but he's got a lot of things due this week and not being able to complete this lab is probably messing up his schedule worse than his impossible hair. This is a rare creature before Dean right now and he feels like he should sort of document this moment for posterity’s sake and savour it before Cas gets his head back on right and calms down.

Cas takes a deep breath and slides a little lower on the couch. Damn, looks like he's already cooling off already. "I'm sorry, Dean. Will it bother your poker game if I'm here? I can text Samn to see if it's alright if I can use his room and I'll work on something else in there. Or your room, if you're fine with that. I'd go to the library, but everything that I need for my other assignments is here." He gestures toward a stack of textbooks next to his bed. "And I really don't want to carry all that crap there."

"Hey, don't worry about it. Use my room if you need to." Something twitches in Dean's chest like a little wiggling worm of guilt. Cas is his friend too. The least he could do is make the offer. "Or, if you want, you could join us. We're just going to play some poker, chat, drink and binge on chips and buffalo wings."

Cas freezes in the process of standing up and it's a little funny when he pinwheels his arms as he starts to tip back. Dean doesn't think twice about reaching over the back of the couch to shove him upright. There's red in Cas's ears when he turns around.

"Thank you for offering, but I don't want to impose. It's your night with your friends –"

Dean shrugs and shoves his hands in his pockets. "You're my friend too, Cas."

"– and I have a lot of work to do –"

"You'll burn out if you don't take a break every once in a while."

“– and we don't have enough chairs –”

“Ash is bringing folding chairs and we can snag Sam's desk chair if we need to.” Why does it sound like he's trying too hard to convince him to stick around?

Cas's voice drops into a whisper and he can't meet Dean's eyes again. He only does that when he's embarrassed about something. "– and I've never played poker before."

"You'll pick it up in no time. If you sit next to me, I'll walk you through the first few hands until you get the hang of it." Dean shrugs and heads back into the kitchen to finish unpacking the snacks, cards, and poker chips. "C'mon, Cas, it'll be fun. You've already got one hell of a poker face going on. Why not make the best of it?"

When he doesn't get an answer, Dean looks up. Cas is staring at the table and the beer coasters. He licks his lips and rocks his weight from one foot to the other. "I haven't – I don't drink and the only buffalo wings I like are yours."

"You're in luck. It's gonna be my sauce and Benny's wings. I'll be putting it all together when he gets here." Dean grins and glances at the clock on the stove. "Which should be soon. And what the hell do you mean you don't drink?"

Cas shifts again and looks pointedly at the fridge. "I've never had a beer."

"Bullshit."

"I won't be twenty-one for months and I told you about my upbringing.” He shrugs and looks away. “Even after I moved in with Gabriel, he didn't want me to try drinking while I was in highschool. Since I was living under his roof, I listened to his rules. They've just kind of... stuck... since then. I don't see any point in underage drinking when I have my studies to focus on."

Dean rubs a hand over his face. He can understand that, but he had his first drink at sixteen and so did Sammy, but that was under Dean's hawk-like supervision in the safety of their own apartment. "Jesus Christ, Cas. Underage drinking is like a rite of passage for a man. What else haven't you done?" He squints at him and Cas's eyes drop to his feet. It might be Dean's imagination, or a trick of the light, but he's pretty sure Cas is blushing harder than before.

Cas is, quite literally, saved by the bell. They both flinch when the buzzer for the entrance goes off and Cas all but sprints to the intercom next to the door to answer it. Dean recognizes Benny's voice through the static and a minute later he's at the door with two bags hanging off one massive hand; one full of beer, and the other stuffed to the gills with a metric ton of chicken wings.

Before Cas can even think of squirreling away in one of the bedrooms with his books, Dean grabs him by the arm and introduces him to Benny. He's one of the first friends Dean made at the garage way back when he first started while Sam was in highschool. Cas is all sorts of proper with the hand shaking and the “Nice to meet you.” but he gives Dean the dirtiest of looks when he's practically dragged into the kitchen to help with the wings.

By the time Ash, Victor and Chuck show up, Cas doesn't have that frown pinched between his eyebrows but he still doesn't look all that comfortable. Dean pulls him into the hall while the others set up the cards and delegate the chips. "Hey, if you really don't want to play, you don't have to."

"But you want me to." Cas glances toward the kitchen at a bout of loud laughter – probably at Chuck's expense because Dean's pretty sure he just said something about his latest book that he's working on and those are always hilarious.

"Sure, I'd like you to hang out but only if you want to.” He puts his hand on Cas's shoulder (this is becoming a horrible habit) and squeezes. “It'd be fun and I like having you around – otherwise I'd have kicked your ass out months ago."

Cas snorts and gives him a look that's half amused smile and half disapproving frown. "You only keep me around for the third of the rent I pay."

"That's just a bonus." Dean grins and puts both hands down on his shoulders, making Cas face him head on. "You don't have to do this if it'll make you uncomfortable, but I think it would be fun. Please? Just for a little while?" He should be slightly ashamed of how he tilts his head and sticks out his bottom lip, eyes going wide in a look he's never used on anyone ever. Not even Sam, or Lisa.

For a full twenty seconds Cas manages to stare at him without cracking a smile or laughing. When he finally breaks, his shoulders shake a little under Dean's hands. He swats them away and takes a step back, trying to compose himself. "You're insane, but alright, Dean. You've twisted my arm. I'll play for a little while. But if I'm not enjoying myself, I'm going to your bedroom to study."

If Cas thought he was getting away from the touching, he was dead wrong. Dean grins and slings an arm around his shoulders, squeezing them in a hug as he drags him into the kitchen. "You're gonna love it, I promise. Cross my heart."

Cas doesn't look as sure.

*

It takes Dean five rounds of poker and three cans of beer before he notices that Cas hasn't even touched the one bottle that was had put in front of him at the very beginning of the first game. He may not have started drinking, but Cas caught on to the rules of poker faster than Dean expected. Already he's bluffed his way through the last two hands with nothing worth betting with.

To be honest, Dean had kinda thought that since Cas is such a goodie two-shoes most of the time, maybe he wouldn't be able to bluff. It's basically lying and Dean literally cannot remember a time where Cas has ever lied. And yet, he's still a straight up bastard at this game. Cas deadpans so well that it's even throwing Victor off. And he's a goddamn cop now.

All in all, this is probably the best game Dean has ever played. Except that Cas still isn't drinking.

"Dude, at least try the beer." Dean slides the bottle closer to Cas's hand. He'd given him one of the bottled drinks when Cas had crinkled his nose at the cans they'd set out for everyone else.

"I told you I don't –"

"I know what you told me.” He sighs and jostles Cas's arm with his elbow. “Just try it. If you don't like it, I'll finish it.” He turns his wide eyed greens on Cas again. They worked once, maybe they'll work again. “One sip. That's all I'm asking."

Cas levels him with a flat stare. "You also asked me to play."

"And look how well that's going!" Dean gestures at the steadily growing stacks of chips between them. "I'm pretty sure that you were lying when you said you never played poker before."

A small smile curls Cas's lips and it's the closest to smug that Dean's ever seen him. "That wasn't a lie. I've never played before. You just greatly underestimated my math skills."

Chuck blurts the question that's flashing red in everyone's heads. "Are you counting cards?"

"I might be.” Cas shrugs. “Or I could be saying that to throw you all off your game and make it easier for me to win."

Dean honestly doesn't know if Cas is bluffing or not, and it's why he breaks down laughing. He leans back in his chair and once he starts, he can't stop. Cas is practically outright grinning at him, like he's the cat with the cream who caught the canary. He's almost glowing, eyes bright and happy and Dean grins back as soon as he's got his laughter under control, but he cracks up again when Cas picks up the bottle and takes a sip from it – pulling a face that makes everyone else lose it too.

It takes Cas a few more hands to finish his beer, but by the time he's done, he's leaning on his elbows and fiddling with the bottle while he listens to everyone bitch about their jobs. When Victor launches into a story about a couple hookers who had it out on a street corner downtown the other night, Dean gets another round of beer for everyone. They're out of cans and onto the bottles already.

Cas glances at Dean from under his lashes and the thank you he gets is almost shy. It takes him a while to notice that Cas is spending a lot of his time leaning into his personal space. And it takes him even longer to realize that Cas is tipsy. That might be the greatest thing he discovers this evening. Cas is a lightweight. All it took was one beer for Cas to start giving Dean all these shy little half-smiles and light laughs that make the beer in Dean's belly get all warm and fizzy, like he swallowed sunshine instead.

Of course, nothing explains why Benny and Ash keep leaning their heads together and shooting little smirks at the both of them. And it doesn't explain why Chuck has that goggle-eyed look of disbelief every time Dean catches him staring. Or why Victor looks so damn smug. What the hell could he be smug about? Dean doesn't have a fucking clue.

Then Cas actually taps his beer bottle against Dean's and it clicks. Cas is flirting with him. And by the looks of it, he's the last one at the table to figure it out.

This is simultaneous the best and worst thing to happen this evening. The best is obvious; Cas is flirting with him. That's fucking fantastic (though he hasn't figured out why that's so great yet). The worst is being reminded about the massive and totally sordid crush he had on Cas a few years ago. Actually, that's not so bad. The bad part is being reminded of it in front of his co-workers and friends.

He's pretty sure he never mentioned to any of them about having the hots for a café patron with an ugly trench coat (the very same coat that everyone saw hanging in the front closet when they put their own coats away), but he can't be sure. There've been plenty of times where he's gotten drunk and spilled his guts to these guys. Maybe something slipped out at some point about the teacher who turned out to be a student.

Now Dean has to keep pretending he hasn't noticed that Cas is only a few inches (or sips of beer) away from leaning his head on his shoulder. Or he should really just not look like he's paying any sort of attention to Cas right now. Because the last thing he wants to do is give a tipsy, flirting Cas attention. He might just crumble and accidentally slip into his own flirting. That would be disastrous on all accounts. For one thing, Cas is still drinking (and so is Dean) and if either one of them gets drunk enough... Well, God knows what might happen in that situation.

Actually, Dean can make a pretty educated guess about that. He just might kiss him. God help him, Dean might kiss Cas in front of everyone and it would only go downhill from there. The thing is, Dean's a touchy-drunk. He keeps enough wits about him to know when to back off, but if Cas doesn't push him away or tell him to stop, Dean would probably start getting handsy with him, friends be damned.

And if Cas keeps drinking, keeps getting more and more drunk, he might be open to some light groping and some heavy kissing and that could lead to all kinds of things like – like – like Dean dragging Cas across the hall to his bedroom and getting rid of the stupid sweater-vest on the way. He might push Cas up against the door and leave bruises scattered all across his hips. Maybe even put a trail of bite marks on his thighs as he spreads Cas's legs and swallows him down.

Don't even get him started on how he'd probably sell a kidney for the chance to bend Cas over the back of the couch and fuck him til he screams.

Oh sweet bouncing baby Jesus. Every single fantasy Dean used to have when he thought Cas was a teacher comes crashing back to him in an instant. The locks on the doors in his spank bank crumbled like soft cheese and there's a typhoon of dirty fantasies ripping through his head that he's got no good way of dealing with right now.

Dean can either sit here and wait until his dick decides to give up (hoping to hell that no one notices he's half-hard in his jeans from a little fucking flirting), or he can excuse himself to the bathroom for a moment of privacy to rub one out. Neither is a good option. Fuck. It was just a little bit of flirting on Cas's part! How the hell is Dean already like this? For his roommate, of all people?

Shit. He's doomed. Dean is fucking doomed.

 

Chapter Text

It's a fucking miracle that Dean manages to make it through the poker game without having to embarrassingly excuse himself. He has his genius decision making to thank for that. If he hadn't cut Cas off from the beer completely and stopped drinking himself, he's almost scared to think what they would've ended up doing in front of the others. Especially since by the time Cas taps out, he's completely leaning into Dean's side and linked their arms.

Cas is actually half asleep on Dean's shoulder, yawning and making little mumbling sounds while he rubs his cheek against the sleeve of Dean's shirt. It's adorable as all hell and Dean finds himself very much wishing that they were alone in the apartment. Not because he wants to take advantage of Cas's light weight drunkness (because he sure as fuck wouldn't do that), but because Cas is apparently a flirty and cuddly drunk, and it's the cuddling part he wants to abuse. He would be all sorts of down for every variety of spooning there is right now if Benny wasn't going all giggly under his stupid scruffy beard.

“Not a word .” Dean hisses at him, making a gesture that threatens to knock over Benny's beer. “Cas, dude, I think it's your bedtime. Victor, hand over the pot. Cas is cashing out his chips.”

“Are you sure that you wouldn't rather he stay?” Chuck slurs, laughing and elbowing Ash in the side. “He's looking pre-e-e-ety cozy right where he is, Deanie.”

He points a finger at Chuck that promises bad things to follow. “One, don't call me that. Ever. Two, this is the first time Cas tried beer. He's fucking twenty , okay? And three, Cas is my roommate. That's it. End of story. Got it?”

Ash salutes while he tips back another can, but he can see the smile crinkling the corners of his lips. Dean rolls his eyes and does a quick count of Cas's chips before he stands up and hauls him to his feet. Cas is little more than a stiff bag of potatoes and his head lolls against Dean's shoulder with a muffled ' I don't wan na '. He briefly contemplates tucking Cas into his own bed in the living room, but that risks Cas getting woken up by the guys teasing Dean some more or them just being their usual loud selves. It would be better for everyone if Cas was out of sight and out of mind.

Really though, he should have at least thought about putting Cas in Sam's room. Dean manages to get Cas to stumble across the hall to his room and through the door before the whistling and cat calls start. God. Dammit. He gives them the middle finger over his shoulder while he tries to maneuver Cas across the room and onto the bed.

“You either sleep in that or figure out how to strip yourself down. Trust me, it's best for both of us if you do it yourself.” Dean pats Cas on the shoulder and it sends him toppling to the side. Without hesitating, Cas draws his legs up onto the bed and pulls one of the pillows to his chest with a happy sigh. “Alright, then. Have fun with that, Cas. Please don't throw up in my room.”

He shuts the door and drops into his seat at the table again. After a quick count of Cas's chips, Dean determines that none have been stolen. Victor passes the mixing bowl full of the cash they'd pooled to buy into the game and Dean counts out the amount for how many chips Cas has. It's a decent amount, actually, and he's pretty damn impressed. Dean pulls an empty envelope from Sam's bill-sorter hanging on the kitchen wall, stuffs the cash into that and leaves it stuck to the fridge with three alphabet letter magnets that spell out C-A-S.

“Aw, that's cute.” Benny coos and Dean smacks him upside the head as he takes his seat again.

“Just shut up and deal.” It's was a fools hope that he'd be able to get through the rest of this game without someone saying anything about Cas's flirting. He catches Victor doing some sort of dance with his eyebrows and Dean throws a peanut at him. “Ha ha, fuck you . Let's just play some damn poker, alright?”

They get in one moreround before Ash leans forward with his elbows on the table and his fingertips pressed together like he's some evil mastermind about to reveal his dastardly plan. “Inquiring mines want to know, Winchester. Is he your new main squeeze or something? I know a couple ladies who would be disappointed to hear that.”

“Fuck no.” Dean crinkles his nose and determinately does not notice how something in his chest is deciding that now would be a really good time to start doing little cartwheels. “I told you. Cas is Sam's age and he's my roommate.”

“Your rule about dating folks Sam's age died out after he turned eighteen. Don't even try that bullshit with us, Dean.” Benny laughs and smacks him on the shoulder. “We're just asking, are you or aren't you interested?”

He shakes Benny's hand off while shuffling the cards again. “I'm not looking for anything after Lisa. I'm done with the dating scene.”

“That's still not a ' no '.” Victor points out and Dean does his best to whip a card at him. “Does Cas know that you're going to keep slutting around? There's nothing wrong with that, by the way. We've all been there.”

“Some of us still are.” Ash raises his hand with a grin.

Dean drops the rest of the deck on the table and picks up the pot from Cas's abandoned chair. “Cas was there the day Lisa broke up with me and he knows how often I go slutting around . He knows how I am and he knows that there is nothing between us.” The more often he says it, the more truthful it'll be, right?

He shoves the bowl into the middle of the table. “Get your cash and get the hell out of my house. We're done tonight.”

“Dea-a-a-n.” Chuck whines, even while he's reaching for the bowl. “Don't be like that!”

“I'm tired.” He counts out his cut and shoves his chips into Cas's left over pile. “It's late. Get out.”

They all give him the sad puppy eyes as they pack up their shit and file out. Benny is the only one who actually offers an apology. He and Victor stopped drinking long enough ago that they're good for driving the other two home. Dean made sure of the plans before he started handing out the beer. That's the kind of good guy that he is and he sure as hell doesn't deserve all this teasing.

So what if he used to have really sexy fantasies about Cas pretty much every day from the first moment that Cas walked into the café to when he learned that he was underage? Dean did the right thing and stopped thinking about him. He ended whatever massive crush he had and moved on , right into a relationship with a totally awesome girl with unfair wants and needs he couldn't meet.

So what if Cas's tipsy-drunk flirting tonight reminded Dean of his massive crush and all the fantasies he used to have? It's not like he's going to act on them. Maybe Cas only flirted with him because he was the closest person at the table. Their chairs were practically touching since Dean was helping Cas learn the ropes. And he was the only person there that Cas actually knew. So, really, Cas might have flirted with anyone if Dean hadn't been so convenient . There's nothing saying that Cas likes him back – no. There is no back . Dean doesn't like Cas like that .

Fuck.

Good thing the guys left a ton of beer behind. Dean hits those hard while he tries to clean up. All he manages to do is get most of the cans and bottles into the bag he's going to take to the recycling bin in the parking garage, and shove all the poker chips into the empty cash bowl. By the time he's finished with that, he's gone through a few more cans of beer and they're starting to make him wobble a little on his feet. He had a lot to drink earlier and now he's tired and frustrated with the mess his thoughts keep making of his emotions.

There's a hurricane in his chest and it's causing a disaster Dean really isn't enjoying. At least that and the beer aren't enough to muck up his brain completely. He still stumbles in the opposite direction of his bedroom where Cas is probably curled up and drooling on his pillow. Dean full on flops across Cas's bed and barely has the cognitive ability to text Sam and let him know that the apartment is cleared out and he can come home any time now.

He's not conscious enough to notice Sam's reply ( Sleeping at Jess's. Back tomorrow after class. ) until the next morning when he wakes up with a snort at the sound of a cupboard banging and a pained hiss. Alright, so, Cas is awake and from the sound of it, he has his first hangover. That on its own is bad. It only gets worse when Dean adds in the fact that at some point during the night he managed to roll himself up like a burrito in Cas's blanket and he's also currently sporting an awkward situation to be having in someone else's bed, especially on his own.

After careful extracting himself from the blanket, Dean tries to figure out where Cas is in the kitchen by the shadows on the walls and floor. When he hears the scrape of a chair, Dean figures by the shadows that Cas's back is to the hallway. Good. That's great. He can try and make a break for the bathroom to either deal with his current problem or at least take a fucking shower.

The bed creaks as he gets up and Cas groans in the kitchen. “I hate you, Dean Winchester.”

Dean all but runs up the hallway with a quick “Sorry, Cas!” thrown over his shoulder. He does feel pretty bad for this morning , actually. Cas has never had a hangover before and he's got midterms coming up quick. He's got studying and assignments to get done and how's he supposed to do all that with a frikken hangover? Dean's going to have to do something to make up for it. He'll whip up his special hangover remedy breakfast for Cas and be really quiet for the rest of the day so he can do his studying and things.

But first, a shower. A nice hot one that soothes the aches in his shoulders and belly. His hand plays a decent part in relieving the tension of the latter, and Dean has to bite his lip as he presses his forehead to the cool tiles of the shower wall. While his hand works over his dick, his brain delves right into the tsunami of fantasies that were unleashed last night.

Now that he knows Cas is in school to be a doctor, Dean leaves the fantasies of a teacher behind. This time he wraps Cas in the white coat of a physician and he's on his knees, lips fixed around Dean's dick in the examination room while he looks up at him with those big blue eyes.

As awesome as that fantasy is, and the great orgasm that goes with it, Dean has a hard time looking Cas in the eye when he comes out of the bathroom. Not only did he just jerk off to thoughts of one of his best friends, it also turns out that Cas cleaned up the kitchen and moved the table back into the corner. He's all spread out on it with his textbooks and laptop now, a permanent frown fixed on his face while he squints at everything.

Dean tries to be as quiet as physically possible while he moves around the kitchen and gets ready to make his hangover cure. He's got a little headache of his own, but it's almost nothing compared to the confusing buzz of feelings in his chest. There's shame mixed with want mixed with fear mixed with God knows what else. It's not like Dean's ever been good at figuring out what's going on with his emotions before.

Cas looks up in surprise when Dean puts a glass of water the size of the Eiffel tower next to him. “Drink that. Breakfast will be up in a moment.”

“Thank you, but I already ate.” But he still pulls the glass over anyways. “Oh, you can take the money I won yesterday. It will cover my portion of the bills this month and I'll transfer the rent money to your account on Friday.”

Oh, right. It's the end of the month. That means bills are due and they're going to have to pay up the rent for the next month. Good thing Dean got most of the pot after Cas tapped out last night. And judging by the mug in the sink, all Cas had for breakfast was a cup of coffee and maybe a slice of toast or two.

Dean grins and pats him on the shoulder. “Thanks, Cas. And trust me, what I'm making is my hangover cure. It'll look and taste like waffles, but don't question the ingredients that go into making them.”

Cas's nose crinkles and he looks back down at his keyboard. “I take it that ignorance is bliss?”

“You bet'cha.” He rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.

A few minutes later, Cas clears his throat. “Is it common not to remember things when you've been drinking? I tried doing some research but it was inconclusive.”

“It varies per person and the amount you drank, I guess.” Dean shrugs and digs the waffle iron out of the cupboard – a birthday present from Sam a few years ago. The bastard bought it more for himself than anyone else, since he just loves Dean's waffles. “Why? Are there things you don't remember from last night?”

“Some things. I don't remember when, or how, I ended up in your bed for one.”

“I put you there after you climbed up on the table and did a belly dance.” Cas's pen bounces off his shoulder and Dean laughs so hard he nearly drops his mixing bowl. “I'm joking . If you glare at the back of my head any harder, you're going to set me on fire. You were starting to fall asleep on my shoulder, I removed you from the game, and figured my bedroom would be the best place for you. I swear on my honour as a knight of Rohan.”

Cas's chair squeaks when he stands up to get his pen. Dean turns around to watch him and just catches the red in his ears as Cas stoops to get it. “I'm sorry if I did or said anything that made you uncomfortable. I vaguely remember using your shoulder as a pillow, but the details are hazy.”

Yeah, uncomfortable . If only. Dean shrugs and turns back to dump the mix onto the waffle iron. “Don't worry about it. You're the good kind of drunk, Cas. Flirty and sleepy. It's a thousand times better then being an angry or sad drunk.”

“I was flirty ?” He sounds horrified and Dean glances over his shoulder just to be sure.

His whole face has gone pale and his eyes are almost impossibly wide. Dean puts the bowl down and flips the switch for the timer on the iron. “Yeah, don't worry about it. The guys thought it was cute and you're just lucky it was me you were getting all giggly with. A lesser man might've taken advantage of you.”

Where his face was pale before, colour floods Cas's cheeks and he turns away quickly to sit back down at the table. He doesn't say anything until Dean puts a plate full of waffles slathered in jam and syrup next to him. As nice as it would be to sit and eat with Cas, Dean makes a strategic retreat back into his bedroom and locks the door.

That conversation was unavoidable, and he'd put on a brave face for the whole thing, but Dean still feels bad about earlier. It's best that he avoid Cas for the rest of the day and give him the space he needs to work through whatever he has to work through – be it homework or the realization that he totally flirted with Dean. And while Cas does that, Dean can focus on not being a perverted skeeze.

He can't slip up with his fantasies again. If Dean keeps up these dirty thoughts about Cas and it turns out that Cas actually has been harbouring some kind of crush on him, who knows what might happen. There's every chance that Dean might accidentally give Cas some kind of hope that there's the possibility of a them some day in the future. That thought makes a small part of him very happy, but the rest of him is very afraid because he's really not sure if he can do the whole relationship thing again.

It was nice being with Lisa. They worked well together and they had fun. If Dean stops worrying long enough to think about it, he sometimes notices that he and Cas get along kind of the same in some aspects. But what if he can't give Cas what he wants either? What would Cas even want anyways? They already live together and Cas is already one of his closest friends. The only thing missing is a romantic and sexual spin for them to be in a relationship .

But relationships make things messy as far as Dean's own past experiences have gone. They make things messy and if things don't work out, he could lose one of his best friends. Besides, Dean likes how things are with Cas right now. He doesn't need to have sex with Cas to enjoy his company or anything. Yeah, sure, that would probably be welcomed with open arms, but it would have to be just sex. If they brought emotions into it, then shit would hit the fan.

All of this is just crap Dean shouldn't even be thinking about. Cas got a little flirty with him last night, so what? It's not like he proposed or anything. There's probably no chance that anything is going to go anywhere with it and Dean's just being a giant worry wart for nothing. The one and only constant in all his thoughts – and in his emotions too, if he could figure those out properly – is that he needs to be super careful now before he fucks anything up with his best friend.

*

“What's the movie on the docket for tonight?” Sam asks over the back of the couch, stooping to pull his shoes on. “You're not going to subject Cas to the Matrix Reloaded, are you?”

Cas twists around to give Sam his best, most innocent looking poker face. “We've watched the first already. We need to watch this one and the next.”

“Exactly, Sammy. It would be blasphemy if we stopped now.” Dean gives him a thumbs up over his shoulder while he crouches in front of the cheap-ass Ikea TV stand and rifles through the boxes of DVDs stuffed in the cubby holes. “Just be happy you're not here to watch it.”

“Oh trust me, I am.” Sam snorts a laugh and pats Cas on the shoulder. “You might want to fast forward through the drum scene for Dean's sake.”

That only confuses Cas and Dean can feel the curious glance against his back. He snorts and the thumbs up switches to a middle finger. “Fuck you, Sammy. Don't you have a basketball practice you should be biking to?”

“Yeah, yeah. I'm going. Have fun guys!” The door slams shut behind him and Dean hears the lock click before Cas slides back into his seat.

He always picks the side closest to the door for whatever reason, but Dean does enjoy being on the end of the couch that opens up into the rest of the room. It gives him plenty of space to stretch his legs over the armrest if he decides to lay down, and he's got easy access to getting up to go to the kitchen for some snackage.

“Ready for this, Cas?” Dean snatches up the remote as he drops onto his side of the couch and kicks his feet up on the coffee table.

Cas gives him a wry look and rolls his eyes. “Just press play.”

“You're the boss.” He hits start and sits back, ready to enjoy the movie as much as it can be enjoyed. Dean likes the visual aspects, but there are a few things about how the story plays out in the final installment of the trilogy that's not so great – in his opinion. Maybe Cas might be one of those people who does like it.

It takes longer than the movie's actual run time for them to finish it. When the big drum scene hits, Dean starts tapping his foot while Neo and Trinity sneak off to have their sexy alone time and Dean's interest in the movie increases slightly. It's not like they actually see any of the good bits, but there's sounds and pump-it-up music and Dean can feel his heart start to race just a little bit.

And then his attention is one hundred percent diverted to Cas and the way the couch creaks under him when he shifts in his seat. He's not even looking at the screen anymore and he's gone red in the ears. The blush is starting to creep into the face and that's about fifty billion times more intriguing than the shit going down on screen.

Dean pauses the movie, his curiosity levels reaching maximum. “Something wrong, Cas?”

He shakes his head and points at the screen without looking at it. “That's porn.”

“Well, sort of. Soft core, maybe. It's not explicit or anything.” Really? This is making Cas get all shifty? Is he turned on or something? Oh shit. Dean shouldn't – he can't – think that. If Cas is sporting wood in the same room as him, Dean's imagination is going to go out of control and he'll have a lot of explaining to do if he ends up in a similar situation.

Cas shakes his head and when he looks at him, his eyes are all wide and some small part of Dean dies because nobody should be that cute when they look like they were just caught by the cops. “I've never watched porn before. This is – I've seen a few dirty magazines that Gabriel had forgotten in the closet of the bedroom he gave me when I moved in with him, but I've never watched porn. The magazines were just naked men and women. They weren't in the middle of the act and it's –”

Dean holds up his hand to cut Cas off. “Hold the phone, Cas. Just hold up. Are you – are you seriously saying that you've never watched porn before? Really ?” Cas nods and Dean clutches his chest in faux horror. “Oh my God, Cas. How is that even possible. You’re going to be twenty years old this year. Didn't any of your friends in highschool – no. Never mind. Wait here.”

This is a tragedy and it needs to be fixed right away. Dean jumps up from the couch and ignores the small part of his brain that keeps wagging a red flag back and forth in his head. The lines he drew for himself regarding his relationship with Cas can be damned right now. As one of Cas's best friends, it's Dean's duty to make sure that he's gone through the proper rights of manhood – as was laid down by the Man Code .

It's just a silly thing that Dean and his friends came up with when they were twelve years old – a checklist of things they needed to do when they were old enough to do them. As far as Dean knows, he and Ash are actually the only ones who've completed the whole list. Everyone else either fell out of the group of friends or chickened out of the list. He lost touch with a lot of them when he dropped out of highschool, so it's hard to say.

Cas still has pretty much the same wide-eyed expression fixed on his face when Dean comes back from his bedroom with an extra-big shoebox. It was once home to a really nice pair of high heeled boots that Dean bought for Lisa last year. Now it's home to a portion of his porn collection – or at least, the part of it that's on DVD.

He drops the box on the coffee table in front of Cas. “I hereby rename Movie Night to Porn Night .” Dean spreads his arms and stomps a foot to make it official before he flips the lid open to reveal the treasures inside.

That doesn't do any good for the blush crawling up Cas's neck under his baggy sweatshirt. He sinks a little further into the couch cushions, but he doesn't take his eyes off the porn box. “Dean, I'm not really sure – I mean, this isn't – Why are we –”

Not only has he got Cas blushing, but Dean's already gotten him to the point where he can't form full sentences, and he hasn't even touched him. (There is no ' yet ' at the end of that. There isn't .) Cas is all but outright refusing to look at Dean right now and every time he looks away from the box, he gets drawn back to it – almost like he's curious but doesn't want to be. He also looks a little uncomfortable and when Dean finally picks up on that, he gets the intense desire to punch himself in the face.

Dean flips the lid back up and slides the box away from Cas. “If you're not into it, Cas, you know that's okay, right? Just because I love porn doesn't mean you have to and I'm not that huge of a dick to force you to watch something you don't want to. Just say the word and we'll go right back to finishing the rest of the movie and we'll forget all about this.”

Cas fists his hands in the knees of his sweatpants and takes a deep breath. “I'm not uncomfortable , Dean. I'm just – I'm out of my element. I've never watched porn before. I don't know the etiquette involved and I – I was raised to think the act of masturbation and all things sexual , even after marriage, were things to be ashamed of.”

“They're not.” There's no point in being subtle about it. “Sex is fucking awesome and nobody should be ashamed of enjoying something that's natural, beautiful, and isn't hurting anyone as long as you're being careful and not doing the illegal shit.”

“I know.” Cas nods and his blush gets darker. “I've been doing my best to grow outside of the cage I was raised in, but I've still never –” He gestures at the box.

Dean pushes it closer and flips it open again. “The etiquette, right? It's pretty simple. You watch what you enjoy and if you need to whack off, you just go ahead and do it. If there are other people in the room, you make sure that they're okay with it. But I'm not going to judge. I've lost count of how many times I've jerked off at the same time as a friend.” He really doesn't have many good memories of highschool, but his few friendships where they were close enough for that are some of his best ones.

After a minute of staring at the box, Cas licks his lips and glances around the room. It's almost like he's trying to find an escape. Instead, Cas plants one of his feet on the couch cushions and pushes himself up and back until he can reach the chain over the door. Once that's in place, he sinks back into his seat but keeps one of his knees drawn to his chest.

“Alright. Let's – let's watch one.”

“Great!” Dean would burst with pride if he wasn't being overridden by the anticipation that always comes prior to watching porn and the excitement of baptizing Cas into the wonderful world of erotic videos. “Every young man needs to be educated in the ways of porn. Now, pick your poison: I've got straight, lesbian, gay –”

Cas looks up in surprise and his arms get tighter around his knee. “Gay?”

His usual porn-joy plummets. Shit. Cas had a strict, religious kind of upbringing. Does he frown on Dean's fence-straddling the same way he does his promiscuity? He didn't give Dean a lecture or anything when he gave him his phone number, but that was years ago and Dean hasn't exactly made it obvious that when he's spent the night out, it's been with girls and guys.

He clears his throat. “Yeah. Gay. I like guys too. Is that a problem?”

Another blush (not that it ever left) starts to creep into Cas's cheeks. “No, it's not. I just – I didn't know that you were –” He swallows and looks down at the box of porn. “That you were interested in men too.”

Dean shrugs and crouches to start shuffling through the DVDs. “I figured since I like my own dick well enough, other guys can't be much different. And I was right. Girl or guy, it all feels good. What about you? You ever strayed from the straight road?”

“I have no sexual preferences.”

“Oh, good!” Dean's heart gives a funny little twist and he quickly looks down at the box to flip through the DVDs, just in case that confusing giddy what-the-hell emotion happens to show on his face or something. “That makes things a hell of a lot easier. What do you want to watch? These are pretty vanilla – nothing kinky, really. I know Sam used to sneak them, so I kept all the kinkier shit on my computer. I could get that if you've got more exotic tastes?”

Cas's eyes go goggly again and he hugs his knee, bouncing his other leg on the ball of his foot. “No, no – uh – no. That's fine. You – you can pick, Dean.”

Gay it is. If they're going to possibly jerk off in the same room together, it might as well be to two dudes fucking on a pool table. By the time Dean has the DVDs switched out and he's back in his seat, Cas has both feet on the couch and he's resting his chin on his knees. His eyes aren't any smaller than before, and the blush only gets worse once Dean hits play.

Ten minutes in and the poor plot line has already been abandoned for the two buddies to inappropriately rub up against each other in the empty pool hall while one is supposed to be teaching the other how to play the game. Things get heated fast after the bartender announces he's heading out back for a smoke. It's not until someone's getting deepthroated that Dean starts getting hard in his jeans.

He ignores it for as long as he can – up until the guys who's bottoming is being bent over the table so the guy who'll be topping to get his tongue in his ass – before he glances at Cas and gestures at his lap. “Do you mind if I –? If you're not comfortable with it, I can leave the room.”

Cas's eyes flick from the screen to him, but he doesn't turn his face away from the TV. Dean's not even sure he's actually blinked since the DVD started. But his blush, which seemed to have finally subsided, comes back with a vengeance. “It's – It's fine. Do what you want.”

Well, if Cas is okay with it. Dean shrugs and leans back into the couch again. He spreads his legs and undoes his belt, but leaves the jeans done up still. As the bottom starts getting fingered, Dean starts rubbing himself through the rough fabric. The pressure feels great, but it's nowhere near enough to get him off. Which is a good thing. It's way too early in the DVD for that. It's kind of always been his goal to come at the same time as the guys in the videos do. Somehow that makes it more satisfying – like he earned it just as much as they have.

By the time the fucking starts, Dean has come to a horrible realization. It was only a few weeks ago that he mentally laid down the law that he wasn't going to mess up his relationship with Cas. He was going to ignore the flirting and the fantasies and get right back to being good buddies. This right here? This is probably almost definitely breaking a few of those lines. Maybe. No, this is okay. This is fine. He's done the mutual masturbation thing with his friends before.

So, what makes what he did with them different from what he's doing with Cas now? Well, for one, he didn't have near-daily ridiculously perverted thoughts about them. Alright then. As long as he doesn't imagine that Cas is the one face down on the pool table, squirming with his ass in the air, then he's probably safe from the line crossing.

Good. That is definitely a thing that Dean can do.

Of course it's right after he decides that when he notices that Cas keeps shifting and he's crossed his ankles now. Dean's not sure, but he thinks that he might be seeing Cas glance at him from the corner of his eye every so often. He hasn't actually looked to try and catch him in the act, but he's definitely suspicious. But the shifting thing is making the couch squeak and that is not helping Dean's attempts to concentrate on trying to get off before his imagination drags Cas into this.

“Dude, if you're hard, just take care of it already.” A small ( big ) part of Dean is more than slightly overjoyed that Cas has quite possibly been turned on by two guys doing the dirty dance.

Cas stops moving and slowly lowers his feet to the floor again. This time Dean does chance a glance and, sure enough, there's a tent to the front of Cas's sweatpants – which should not look as good on him as they do. Usually Cas avoids wearing his good clothes at home. He wants to be comfortable when he lounges or studies and that means sweatshirts and sweatpants or pajama pants or just downright scruffy adorableness that wreaks havoc with Dean's imagination.

Dean should really start seeing a therapist or something soon if this continues to be a problem.

“I don't –” Cas presses the heel of his palm against the front of his pants and interrupts himself with a hiss. “I don't know if I can do it with you here.”

“Is that you asking for a helping hand?” It's terrible of him to tease like this, but Dean really can't help it. “Or are you telling me to get the hell out and give you some alone time?”

The glare he gets for that is venomous and well deserved. Cas looks like he might actually be considering one of those two options and the little voice in Dean's head that makes all his bad decision latches on to the former. What if Cas does want him to give a helping hand? Oh shit. Dean needs to get out of his pants and get his attention back on the video before he ends up crossing a line that shouldn't be crossed – like scooting his butt across the couch to pull those stupid sweats down Cas's hips and –

Cas hunches over his lap while he fumbles with untying the draw string of his pants. Dean's chest suddenly feels like he's soaring and breathing is getting pretty hard to do. Friends don't stare at friends while they're getting their dick out and Dean quickly looks back to the TV where the bottom is now on his knees, sucking the top for all he's worth. Next up, he's going to start riding the top while they're on the floor and the bartender is going to come back and think they're gone when really they're just on the other side of the table where he can't see them. It always gets Dean's blood pumping with the added bonus that they might get caught out.

He keeps himself zeroed in on the screen while he unbuttons his own jeans and pushes them and his underwear down out of the way. The fabric of his boxers is a little damp and it only takes a few strokes to get enough pre-come to slick the way for his hand. While he uses a loose fist to jack himself, Dean tries really hard not to be aware of the same slick sound coming from Cas's end of the couch. It's pretty damn difficult, to be honest.

It's even harder not to steal a glance just to see what Cas is packing. Dean fails that before the top even has his dick in the bottom's ass again and his heart just about jack knifes right out of his damn chest. He's pretty sure that Cas didn't catch him peeking and he doesn't give a damn if Cas takes a look himself, but Dean's mouth has gone dry and he's definitely picked up the speed of his hand.

There's nothing particularly special or even overly impressive about Cas's cock – other than that it's Cas's cock and Dean now has a nearly perfect mental picture of him. It's a decent dick. Pretty average, or maybe leaning a little towards the bigger side of th at spectrum. And Dean is only now realizing that he is well and truly fucked. He never should have looked. Fucking fuck .

Dean brings his other hand to his lap to roll his balls a little and takes a deep breath at the sparks that start dancing down his spine. A stray image plays across his mind while he's trying to focus on the not-too-fake-but-not-at-all-genuine moaning going on in the video. It's a pretty damn vivid picture of him being the one face down on the pool table with Cas behind him, buried deep. Those sparks flare into a bonfire and Dean bites down on his bottom lip to muffle the unexpected moan.

He just barely manages to snag a handful of tissues from the box on the coffee table and get those in place before he's coming in short, messy spurts. Another groan rumbles in the back of his throat as he strokes himself through it, head tilting to rest against the back of the couch as his orgasm finishes rolling through him.

His whole body is still all tingly and floaty feeling when he hears a choked little gasp next to him. It takes all of Dean's willpower not to look. He absolutely will not watch Cas come and he's actually pretty proud of himself that he doesn't. The fact that his brain actually manages to piece together that Cas came without grabbing a tissue catches Dean by surprise. He really shouldn't move right now, much less put any part of his body closer to Cas, but Dean still grabs the tissue box off the table and offers the whole thing.

Cas grabs it, fumbles around in his lap for a few seconds, and then he's on his feet and all but sprinting past Dean. The bathroom door slams a moment later and Dean finally allows himself to open his eyes for a good long stare session with the ceiling. Somewhere out of the range of his vision, the guys in the video are coming with unsatisfying moans compared to the sound he just heard Cas make.

Fantastic. Even more fodder for his fantasies.

Dean should congratulate himself for remembering to turn off the DVD and put it back in the box, and bring everything back to his to his bedroom. He's on a mission for the wet wipes he keeps in his bedside table and a change of clothes. While he pulls on his pajamas, what should be a guilty confusing mess in his chest is more like a solid block of nothing. He's not letting himself feel anything right now. There will be time for that after he makes sure Cas is okay.

Well, Cas looks like he's fine – as long as Dean doesn't take into account the probably permanent blush in his ears. He's sitting in his spot again on the couch when Dean finally comes out of his bedroom and he glances at him, poker face firmly in place. “Are we going to finish the rest of the Matrix movie?”

“Yeah, sure.” That's not what he was expecting, but Dean can roll with that. Once he finds the scene in the DVD menu, and before he selects it, he turns to Cas again. “Are you okay?”

“I'm fine, Dean.”

He says that, but he's not looking at him and worry is starting to chip away at the nothingness Dean is trying to protect himself with right now. “Are you sure? I mean, if we crossed a line or something and you were uncomfortable with it, I'll understand if you tell me to go fuck myself. I'll never bring it up again and we can just keep going on like this never –”

“It's fine , Dean.” Cas turns to look at him finally and his eyes have gone a little softer. Maybe he's protecting himself too. “It was an... experience, but really, it's alright. If I had been uncomfortable, I doubt I would have been able to achieve orgasm.”

Dean snorts, but that lightens the load on his shoulders a little. “Y'got a point there, Cas.” And that's where he should've stopped. But the robot wailing around in his head shouting DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER isn't even enough to stop his mouth from running off on him. “So, you'd be down for more of that in the future?”

Cas shrugs and turns back to the TV. “Perhaps. Ask me again in the future.”

*

Things between them for the following days are a little on the awkward side. Cas is a bit too quiet whenever Dean is around, and Dean is having trouble looking Cas in the face – mostly because every time he does, he hears the sound Cas made when he came and he keeps wondering what he looked like when he did. It's the worst, because Dean doesn't want that. He doesn't want to be a huge pervert around Cas twenty-four-seven. They're friends and it's just ridiculously rude of him.

To be honest, Dean isn't expecting Cas to even show up for their next movie night. But he's right there on his end of the couch, one knee folded to his chest, when Dean comes out of his bedroom with his DVD box tucked under his arm. He did rename tonight to Porn Night after all, and Cas must remember that – he remembers everything. It's why Dean doesn't need a shopping list anymore and he just brings Cas along.

Just because it's been named Porn Night doesn't mean that they need to watch porn. Dean's a good guy. He can give Cas an escape route if he needs it. “Your pick, Cas. Porn or a movie?”

To his credit, Cas doesn't blush. He just leans his elbow on the armrest and covers his face with his hand. “I don't know, Dean.”

“Have you watched porn since your christening last week?” Dean flips the box open and edges it across the table. He shouldn't be eager to do this again, but he kind of is. There's something about Cas that's captivated him since day one and Dean hates that he's not putting a stop to this. It's just going to lead down a dangerous road and all he sees that way is Cas moving out and never wanting to talk to him again.

Cas parts his fingers to give Dean a glare through them. “That's not an appropriate term to use for what happened last week.”

“I'm aware.” He shrugs and taps the box. “Have you or haven't you? You've got a laptop and the whole living room to yourself at night. Did you do some internet exploring?”

“I haven't.” A small blush taints Cas's cheeks and he glances down at the box. “You can pick.”

Dean raises an eyebrow and his heart picks up the pace. “Pick a porno? I can do that. We could watch something short and sweet, get our rocks off, and then watch a movie – if you're okay with doing that?”

Cas licks his lips and visibly swallows before he nods. “I am.”

And just like that, their movie nights change to include this new twist. Before Dean knows it, they've been doing this for more than a month and he's got a whole new folder in his head for the sounds Cas makes, including a sub folder with the few glances he's ' accidentally ' stolen during each wank session that kicks off almost the moment that Sam is out the door for practice.

They don't talk about it outside of those intimate little moments. It's an unspoken rule that they don't mention it to Sam. Dean's pretty sure that Sam has no idea what his roommates are doing and it's best that it stays that way. He isn't looking forward to the lecture he knows almost by heart about not jerking off in the living room (again). Four times was four too many – and it's not like he can just stop when Cas keeps making some seriously addicting sounds.

Dean has each one memorized and they've done nothing to help his daily attempts to stop having dirty fantasies about Cas. He has some fucking terrible self control and Dean goes to bed every night hating himself. He's the worst. The absolute fucking worst – and it doesn't help that he knows better then this. He knows better, but when Cas comes into the picture all sense of mental self control goes out the window and Dean ends up functioning on autopilot. His basest instincts take control and he just wants with a need that's starting to not be all that satisfied with fantasies and his hand.

With that in mind, it's really no surprise that Dean fucking jumps on the first chance for this little time of theirs to change. It happens on a night when they're watching a straight video and the woman is going to town on the guy's cock like the pro that she probably is, sucking him down deep and making all sorts of sloppy sounds. He and Cas are both out of their pants, but neither is really stroking themselves just yet. It's too early in the video for that.

Usually Cas doesn't say a word from beginning to end, so when he asks a question in the thick of it, Dean damn near jumps out of his skin in surprise. “Are blow jobs actually enjoyable?”

His nose is all scrunched up and he's frowning at the TV when Dean glances at him, his hand wrapped around his dick but not moving. Dean is kind of in the same boat, but he's at least thumbing the head and smearing some pre-come around. But that's not why he looked. Dean's glance is more of disbelief than anything else.

“Dude, you're going to be twenty-one this year. Are you trying to tell me that you've never had a blow job before?” What kind of terrible partners has Cas had in the past who never even offered to do that? Granted, if Cas was still functioning on his upbringing then, chances are that it was over and done with as soon as physically possible with the bare minimum being done.

Cas glances at Dean quickly, shrugs, and turns his attention back to the screen where the guy now has the girl up on a kitchen counter and he's practically buried his tongue in her pussy. His nose crinkles again, but not in the bad way. It's more like his scrunched up, curious face. Probably if he's never gotten a blow job before, then he's never gone down on a girl either – or given a blow job of his own. And Dean has to change his train of thought fast before he starts imagining (not for the first time) what Cas's dry, pink lips would look like wrapped around his cock.

“That's a damn shame, Cas. Blow jobs are fucking awesome to get and, frankly, they're pretty fun to give too.” He can't help grinning at the blush creeping up the side of Cas's neck. “Some people aren't all that into giving them, and some aren't even into getting them. But I like it both ways – and I'm told I'm pretty good at it.”

It's not exactly something that Cas needs to know, but Dean couldn't stop himself from saying it even if he tried. Cas looks at him again, his poker face in place – except that his eyes are just a smidgen too wide and Dean thinks that maybe, just maybe, Cas is picturing it. His eyes are focused on Dean's mouth and, God, he's probably thinking about what they look like wrapped around a cock – maybe even his cock.

Dean has to squeeze his own slightly to calm himself down and he looks back to the TV before he does something stupid like start jerking himself off while holding eye contact with Cas. Or offering to blow him. That would be disastrous.

But his stupid mouth can't shut the fuck up. “I don't get it, Cas. You're a good looking guy – don't give me that look.” He can feel the wide-eyed confusion against the side of his face like a physical thing. “You were fucking hot in highschool and you know it. I just don't understand how no one hopped that train like it was the last one in the station.”

Cas's blush is practically giving off heat and he's frowning down at his knees when Dean steals another glance. He sighs and shakes his head. “It's a fucking shame, Cas. Your –” He was going to finish that with calling Cas's classmates blind idiots, but Cas cuts him off.

“If it's such a damn shame , why don't you do it?”

That's the first time Dean's ever heard Cas snap and swear like that. Even Cas looks surprised by it and he gives Dean apologetic eyes. “I'm sorry, that was – that was uncalled for. I just – I'm sorry, but I don't understand the preoccupation with sex in highschool. I –” He swallows his words when Dean pauses the DVD and tucks himself back into his pants. “What are you doing?”

Dean uses his foot to push the coffee table out of the way, almost shoving it right up against the unit under the TV. He shrugs and gets up to take the few steps to put himself in front of Cas. “You said to do it myself, so I am.” Like hell he's going to let this opportunity slide by. He knew the moment they watched the third porn that there was no going back for him and he was lost .

It's probably not physically possible for Cas's eyes to get any bigger than they already are. His breath is coming in short, quick bursts through his open mouth and they only get faster when Dean actually drops to his knees in front of him. Cas swallows and he looks like he's terrified, but his legs fall open easily when Dean puts his hands on his knees.

The blush is in full effect when Dean looks up at him. “You know how it goes, Cas. I'm not ever going to do anything you're not comfortable with. If you want me to stop, just tell me and I will.”

But Cas doesn't say anything. Hell, he doesn't even move. It's not a ' no ', but it's not a ' yes ' either and Dean won't do shit if he doesn't get that okay. He stays where he is, hands on Cas's thighs, until Cas swallows again, takes a shaky breath, and nods. Good. That's – Jesus, that's good. Dean's heart feels like it wants to do the samba right out of his damn chest and his dick is not liking that it's back inside his undone jeans.

Cas's hand is still wrapped tight around his cock and Dean touches his wrist lightly. It falls away to the couch with a thump, leaving his dick standing proud. It twitches when Dean leans closer, barely even breathing on it. His hands find Cas's hips and Dean gives them a sharp tug, pulling Cas further down in his seat and earning a little gasp of surprise that hopscotches right through him.

See, the thing is that Dean's been thinking about this for a long time. He's had it planned down to the letter how he'd blow Cas if he ever got the chance and now the opportunity is quite literally staring him in the face. If this is going to be Cas's first blow job, then Dean's damn well going to make it the best he's ever going to have.

First things first, he looks up at Cas before he touches him. “Are you clean?” He knows he is, or at least he was when he was tested a month or so ago and all the people he's been with since then said they were clean too.

The question looks like it trips Cas up for a moment and he blinks down at Dean in confusion until it finally clicks. As soon as he nods, Dean doesn't waste any time getting right to it. Another gasp makes it out of Cas when Dean leans in to press a wet kiss to the base of his cock, tongue slipping out for a taste. He uses one hand to stroke Cas lightly while he explores his balls with lips and tongue, sucking at them and enjoying the way Cas's hands twitch where they're fisted on the cushions of the couch.

It's almost a game for Dean to try and wring as many sounds out of Cas as he can without actually putting his cock in his mouth. He flicks his tongue from base to head and carefully presses his nail into the slit, pre-come oozing out around it while Cas makes little choked off whimpers in the back of his throat. If the sounds alone weren't enough to get Dean hard, then the way Cas is looking at him definitely would. It's all wide-eyed wonder, like he can't believe Dean's actually doing this, and he's flushed and panting and fucking gorgeous .

A shudder shakes through him every time Dean looks up at him through his lashes and that alone is enough encouragement for Dean to get his own dick out. He doesn't start stroking himself until his patience hits its threshold and he finally closes his lips around the head of Cas's cock. He could take things slow right now, but even Dean has his limits and there's one sound he hasn't heard from Cas yet that a part of him wants to hear with a visceral need.

Without hesitation, Dean takes Cas as deep as he can. He's had more practice with this then he cares to admit, but it's worth it for the cry Cas makes. His hips damn near come off the couch when Dean's nose actually pushes into the wiry hair at the base of his cock and he swallows around him. Dean doesn't stay there long. There's a whole bunch of other fun things to do and Dean gets right to that, bobbing his head in a quick rhythm.

Cas squirms and his legs are trembling where they're squeezing around Dean's shoulders. The quick little gasps are well known and Dean figures Cas must be close. He's probably not going to last very long – especially not when he keeps arching his back and his head is pressing into the back of the couch while he's straining to hold himself still. Probably every fiber in his body is calling out to fuck Dean's mouth and that thought alone makes Dean's cock twitch in his fist. Maybe they can save that for another time.

When he comes up for a breath, pulling off Cas completely, Dean revels in the disappointed groan. He'll get back to work in a moment. There's just one thing he needs to rectify right now and it's something that's been bothering him since he started. Cas's hands keep twitching and more than once he's seen them come right off the couch. They belong in his hair and Cas keeps stopping himself. Dean isn't going to take that anymore.

He grabs one of Cas's wrist and puts his hand on the top of his head. The other doesn't need any guidance and it joins the first. Cas's fingers curl tight in his hair and tug sharply and Jesus that feels good. Dean gives Cas encouragement to do it again by moaning around his cock every time he does it. That's always one of the best things Dean likes about blow jobs. He wants to know that his partner is enjoying giving it and he's pretty sure Cas is getting off on that just as much as he is the actual sucking and twists of Dean's tongue.

Normally, Dean actually isn't a fan of having someone come in his mouth. He's usually a spitter instead of a swallower – to the disappointment of many – but for Cas, he'll make an exception. This is a special occasion, after all. So the moment that Cas starts making the sounds Dean's come to associate with his orgasm, Dean firmly latches his mouth around the head of Cas's cock and sucks .

Cas cries out again and probably rips out at least a few strands of Dean's hair when he comes in thick spurts across his tongue. He swallows it all and strokes Cas through it until his hands slide out of his hair and he sags back against the couch, breathing ragged and broken and beautiful. Dean licks his lips when he sits back on his heels, looking Cas over and loving that he's the one who made Cas look that blissed out. He would be happy to come just like this, staring at Cas and the trembling muscles in his belly where his shirt got rucked up and the way his chest expands and contracts with every breath.

But then Cas's smokey eyes lock with his and he opens his mouth. “I want to – I want to try.”

His stupid fucking voice is almost enough to make Dean come alone but those words . Jesus fucking Christ on a cracker with a top hat. Cas wants to blow him. Cas wants to suck his cock . Dean's not sure his heart can take this. There's more than just excitement pulsing through him. A decent dose of happiness is mixed up in there too, but it's a kind that Dean doesn't want to examine too closely right now.

He scrambles up onto the couch and Cas slides to the floor with way more grace than Dean would expect from someone who just had such a truly stellar blow job like he did. But that's about where the grace ends. For a solid minute, Cas just kneels between Dean's legs and stares at his cock like it's a particularly difficult puzzle he's trying to solve. When he finally actually touches it, Dean has to bite his bottom lip to keep from making any embarrassing noises and think of Bobby in a bikini to keep from coming too soon. He'd been pretty damn close already before Cas even asked to do this.

Since it's Cas's first time ever giving a blow job (and probably ever touching another guy's dick), Dean can easily forgive the clumsy jerks of his hands and the fact that his gag reflex hasn't been absolutely destroyed already. Cas can't take a whole lot before he's gagging and pulling back to frown and try again. He also apparently didn't pick up on how Dean used his tongue a lot for more than just a few casual licks.

As inexperienced as the whole thing is, Dean still comes way sooner than he usually would. He had a hell of a build up and it's still one of the hottest things he's ever seen. Cas's mess of dark hair; his too-blue eyes flicking up to look at him, as if he's asking if he's doing it right; his hollowed cheeks; and his goddamn mouth wrapped around Dean's cock. That alone would probably be enough to do it on any given day.

The countless times that Dean's imagined this can't even hold a candle to the real thing and his hips start twitching when his balls get tight. “Cas – Cas – I'm gonna –”

Cas pulls of Dean's dick with a pop and he strokes Dean quickly, tongue flattening over the head in wide licks until Dean loses it. He should've asked first, but he thinks he can probably be forgiven a little for over reaching the boundaries here when he grabs a handful of Cas's hair and holds him still while he comes. Cas squeezes his eyes shut and keeps his mouth closed as Dean empties himself across his lips and chin.

As soon as he's finished, Dean realizes what he's done and he lets go of Cas's hair to grab him by the back of his neck and haul him forward. “Shit, Cas, sorry – I'm sorry.”

He keeps apologizing in between licks while he cleans Cas up, tongue tracing his lips in the closest thing to a kiss they'll probably ever have. Dean is vaguely aware that Cas's hands are gripping his thighs like a vice and they only relax when he finally pulls back enough to take a good look at Cas's face. What he finds is a little surprising; Cas's mouth is slack, lips parted and puffy and practically screaming to be kissed. Deanstops himself from even thinking about that because that's something Cas hasn't given him any permission to do either.

It's Cas's eyes that trip him up. They're wide, glazed, and he still looks a little blissed out. Dean lets himself take one more thing and his hand slips around to rest against the side of Cas's neck. He won't give in to the urge that wants him to get sappy and stroke Cas's cheek or pull him up into his lap so they can lay together on the couch and be cuddly. That's an urge that's getting harder and harder to ignore the longer he keeps touching Cas.

Clearing his throat, Dean breaks the little spell that's settled over them and sits back to tuck his softening dick away. “See? What did I tell you? Awesome, right?”

Cas blinks at him slowly and sits back on his heels with a thump before he glances down at his own lap. He's still got his sweats pushed down around his thighs and he carefully pulls those up while he gets to his feet. A small, thoughtful little frown fixes itself on his face as he brings a hand to his lips. For a moment, Dean's actually worried that Cas is going to say that he didn't like it.

But then Cas nods and his hand drops. “Yes, that was... awesome.” Dean is in the middle of mentally high-fiving himself when Cas turns away sharply and his stomach all but takes a nose dive off Niagara Falls. “I call dibs on the shower.”

 

Chapter Text

Dean stays face down on his bed for as long as he feasibly can after his alarm goes off. Maybe if he stays like this long enough, the world will just get up and move on without him. He fucked up last night. He fucked up big time . They didn't even get to watching an actual movie because Dean had locked himself up in his bedroom while Cas was in the shower.

There was no possible way that he could have looked Cas in the face after what happened. Sure, it was fucking awesome while it was happening, but after everything was said and done and he was alone with his thoughts and the sound of the shower, Dean kind of felt like he had taken advantage of Cas or something. He knows he had permission for almost everything he did, and he knows Cas was the one who asked to blow him too – but it still feels like Cas didn't have a good time.

Why did he leave right after? And for a shower no less? It was just a blow job, and if he felt like he needed to wash his face and brush his teeth, he didn't have to take a fucking shower . It makes Dean feel like Cas couldn't wait to wash the taint off of himself. There hadn't even been a ' thanks for the awesome blow job, Dean ' in there anywhere either. Is it really Dean's fault that he feels like even if Cas enjoyed it, he didn't actually like it?

Chances are, he's over thinking things and now Cas is going to be insulted that Dean couldn't even be in the same room with him after that. Dean groans and rolls onto his back, pulling the pillow over his face like a shield from the world. Now all he needs is a shield from his thoughts and a steel box he can lock his heart in so he'll stop feeling like he's both disappointed with the outcome and rejected. He should look into taking over the Flying Dutchman from Davy Jones. That's one way of never feeling emotions again.

“Dean!” Sam bangs on the door and he groans into the pillow again. “C'mon, Dean, you're going to be late if you don't get up now!”

He steals a look at the alarm clock and fuck, Sam's right. He's got all of ten minutes (fifteen if he pushes it) to get presentable, with teeth brushed and everything, and grab a slice of toast before he's absolutely got to be out the doors. At least his clothes are easy enough to sort out; jeans and a t-shirt and then he can change into his overalls in the locker room at the garage.

The moment he steps out of his bedroom, Dean damn near runs headlong into Cas. A blush rushes up Cas's neck, and Dean feel one of his own answering in his ears. Other than that, Cas doesn't say anything about last night and neither does Dean. They mumble their apologies and go around each other, Cas to the living room and Dean to the bathroom where he can smell the subtle scent of Cas's aftershave in the air.

Fuck.

By the time he comes out of the bathroom a few minutes later, the apartment is empty. There's a paper bag on the counter with a Dean scrawled across the fold, and it's not Sam's writing. Inside is a bacon and egg sandwich tucked along side a bowl, a spoon, and an unopened can of soup with a pull top lid. Suddenly Dean's day just got a million times better and he actually has a smile on his face while he's locking the door.

On the trip down to the parking garage in the elevator, Dean pulls out his cell phone and sends a quick thank you message to Cas. The bag tucked in the crook of his arm is making Dean feel like he's made of a million bucks. Now he just has to make it through the rest of the day trying his best not to think about what happened between him and Cas last night. Because, really, what are the chances of it ever happening again?

*

The next week feels awkward for Dean. They don't mention what happened, but there's a distinct feeling that something is off between him and Cas now. Something changed with those blow jobs and Dean doesn't know what the hell it is. It feels electric and tangible, and altogether wanting. And there's something different in Cas's eyes when he looks at him, but it's there and gone in a heartbeat whenever Dean catches sight of it.

After a week of pussyfooting around each other, Dean has had just about enough. Even going out and having a good fuck in the backseat of the Impala with a red-headed girl who's name he never got isn't enough to take his mind off everything having to do with Cas. Dean is a man of action and it's pretty much killing him not to know for certain that he hasn't absolutely ruined his friends with Cas or not.

He plans on breaking their silence the moment Sam is out of the apartment on their next Porn/Movie night. When that day finally rolls around, he and Cas are cleaning up after dinner when Sam calls his goodbyes from the door and it slams shut behind him. Dean is elbow deep in dish water when Cas dumps the last plate into the sink and doesn't turn away to wipe the table down.

“Are we going to watch another porno before our movie tonight?”

“If you want to.” The answer is out of his mouth before he stops and realizes what conversation they're about to have. Good. He's been waiting for this. “Speaking of, Cas –”

“Will that happen again?” Cas cuts him off and Dean looks at him sharply, a little surprised by how normal Cas looks with asking the question. He was kind of expecting Cas to be blushing and stuttering again by now.

Whatever. This is good. This is the direction this conversation is supposed to be going in and Dean wipes his hands off on his shirt as he turns to face him completely. “It doesn't have to. We can skip the porn completely and just get back to watching movies if you're not comfortable. I'm not going to force you into anything you don't want and I sure as hell don't want to ruin our friendship, okay?”

“Our friendship is fine, Dean.” An honest to God smile slips onto Cas's lips and Dean can't remember if he's seen that at all over the last week. It does wonders for his conscience and something painful and tight in his chest finally breaks apart the longer the smile stays on Cas's face. “I was only wondering if you think you'll – if we're going to.” He stops and clears his throat. “I was wondering where were the chances of it happening again?”

Dean shoves a hand through his hair and shrugs. “I'm not gonna lie, Cas, but last week was fucking awesome. And I'm one hundred and ten percent willing to do it again. But if we're going to keep sucking each other off or, I dunno, doing more than that – I think we need to probably lay down some ground rules or something.” Because he absolutely does not want to have another week of his thoughts making him feel like shit.

Cas tilts his head to the side while he thinks for a moment, a blank look on his face that Dean has never really been able to figure out. It's even better than his poker face, because at least with that you can tell that Cas is calculating something in that big, beautiful brain of his. Finally, Cas takes a deep breath and squares his shoulders. “Can we do it again?”

Dean's heart flip-flops in his chest and he licks his lips. “You want to blow each other again?”

He swallows and nods, eyes dropping briefly to watch Dean's lips. “Yes, I would.”

There's nothing bad about this that Dean's conscience can find. Dean gave Cas a way out and Cas is just digging himself in deeper. He's point blank asking for this and Dean almost wants to praise Allah, Buddha and Jesus for this opportunity. The grin that fills his face feels almost delirious and a giddy kind of joy fills Dean's chest.

“Fuck to the yes, Cas, we can definitely do that again.” Dean completely abandons the rest of the dishes and takes a step closer. “But, y'know, there are other interesting things that we could do too.”

Cas's eyes get wider for every inch closer that Dean gets and his hand comes up to trace the edge of his bottom lip as his eyes dip down to Dean's mouth once more. “Like kissing me again?”

Dean grins and shakes his head. “That wasn't a kiss.”

“Your tongue touched my lips.” He frowns, a line pinching between his eyebrows as he looks back up to meet Dean's eyes. “How is that not a kiss?”

“Trust me, Cas. If you were kissed by Dean Winchester, you would know it.”

Colour creeps into his cheeks and Cas's frown only gets deeper. “What I do know is that you licked semen – your semen – off my lips.”

Dean takes the last step, boxing Cas into the corner of the counter by the fridge. His hands find Cas's hips like there are magnets under his palms and Dean dips his head until their noses bump. “That wasn't a kiss, Cas.”

He brushes their lips together gently, barely touching before he kisses him softly. Cas's eyes fall shut and his hands squeeze Dean's arms as he leans into the kiss. Dean pulls back and presses in again a little harder, and again, and a third time before he brings a hand to Cas's jaw and uses his thumb on his chin to urge his mouth open. They both gasp a breath in that moment before Dean slots their mouths together and licks his way inside.

A little noise of surprise is muffled in the back of Cas's throat and his nails dig into Dean's arms briefly when Dean flicks the tip of his tongue across the roof of his mouth. It's a little on the cruel side, but Dean pulls out all the stops with this one kiss. He wants Cas to know that this is what it's like to be kissed by him. Cas needs to be weak in the knees and struggling to breathe by the time he's done – though he does save a few things from his bag of tricks. Y'know, just in case there's the possibility of future kisses.

Even Dean is breathing a little heavier when he finally pulls back, teeth catching on Cas's bottom lip. He raises an eyebrow in question and Cas's heavy lidded look is answer enough. The soft ' oh' isn't even necessary, but Cas breathes it anyways before his hands sink into Dean's hair and he's pulling him in for another kiss while pushing forward. Dean groans his approval and fists his hands in Cas's sweatshirt over his back, hauling him closer with every step back he takes.

The obvious choice should have been Cas's bed, but they end up on the couch instead, Cas bouncing on the cushions when he falls back onto it. It hasn't even been five minutes and Dean's already getting dangerously addicted to Cas's lips; the taste of his tongue; the scratch of his stubble; and the angles of his hips under Dean's hands when he crawls over him and makes a space for himself between Cas's legs.

A groan gets swallowed up in the next kiss and Dean doesn't know who makes it as they rock their hips together. It's not the greatest of grinds, but it's more than enough for what they want right now. They're both more interested in mapping out their mouths than they are rutting together. There's plenty of time for that. Right now, Dean wants to explore.

He shoves Cas's shirt up and spreads his fingers over his sides, feeling the muscles shift under them with each breath and roll of his hips. Cas's hands are on the same kind of mission and he paws Dean's shirts up his back, palms warm over his spine. One of Cas's heels is digging into the meat of Dean's thigh, desperate for the leverage to keep rocking up to meet Dean's own thrusts down.

Eventually, Dean does get his wits about him. It's almost physically painful to draw away from Cas's kisses long enough for it, but getting Cas's pants down and his own open is slightly more important than that. He strokes Cas a few times, spreading his pre-come along his entire length while he does the same to his own cock. As soon as they're as slippery as they're going to get, Dean fists them together in one hand and gets his mouth back on Cas's.

Now, with every roll of their hips, they're pretty much frotting together in the fold of his fist and it feels awesome . Dean keeps chasing muffled little noises back into Cas's mouth and every new one makes his hips jerk forward harder and harder. He keeps it up for as long as his arm will continue holding him up and until he can feel Cas start tensing under him.

The about-to-come signs keep adding up and Dean counts five of them before he draws his hand away and shuffles back off the couch, kissing his way down Cas's stomach. He gets his mouth on Cas's cock and in no time at all, Cas is coming on his tongue with the loudest moan he's made in the whole time that Dean's been hearing them. It doesn't even occur to him to do anything else but swallow until Cas is done and dragging him back up onto the couch to switch their positions.

God yes. In between all his worrying, Dean's been thinking about this for the last week and he can't tear his eyes away from Cas wrapping his lips around his cock again. There will be time for giving Cas pointers and walking him through how to a really good blow job later. Right now he just needs a warm, wet mouth around his dick and a decent amount of suction. Cas doubles over his lap and bobs his head with more confidence then he did last week.

Dean keeps running his hands through Cas's hair, petting and gripping and letting his hands trail down to his cheek. He gets Cas to tilt his head enough that he can feel the head of his dick pushing along the inside of his cheek. It's a hell of a rush and Dean sucks in a sharp breath, hips twitching hard under Cas's hands.

“Can I – please let me come in your mouth, Cas, please?” His voice isn't much more than a husky, dirty, little whisper when he's this close.

To his horror, Cas actually stops moving completely. After a moment, he slides his lips slowly up along Dean's cock until he pulls off and lifts his head to look at him. His eyes are dark and his own voice is just as wrecked as Dean's was. “I'll try anything once, Dean.”

Jesus Christ .

Cas's tongue flattens along the underside of Dean's dick when he takes as much as he can before he starts bobbing and stroking again. He may have said that he'd want to try it, but when Dean does finally come with a long, drawn out groan, Cas isn't quite as prepared for it as he probably thought he was. A thin trail of it escapes out of the corner of his mouth and Dean doesn't waste any time with practically lifting Cas back up onto the couch.

He licks his chin and lips clean again, just like before, but this time Dean does kiss him properly. It's a thrill to be able to taste himself on Cas's tongue and Dean doesn't break the kiss until he's already on his feet. Cas's hands slide off his shoulders and he slumps back into the couch when Dean stands up straight and tucks himself back into his pants, doing up everything except his belt.

Dean grins down at the dazed and slightly surprised expression fixed on Cas's face. This time it's his turn to say “Dibs on the shower.” and leave Cas alone in the living room. But Dean doubts that Cas is going to have the same mental breakdown that he did.

*

The next morning is a hell of a lot easier now that they've sort of talked about it. Dean doesn't feel anywhere near as bad as he did last week. Sure, he's got that itchy feeling in the back of his head that he's totally fucked something up, but he battles that away with the fact that Cas clearly said their friendship is safe and that last night was something they both wanted. It does wonders for his conscience and his disposition for the day.

Cas barely blushes at all when they bump into each other around the apartment over the next few days. They're both completely capable of acting like they haven't had the other's dick in their mouth while they're around Sam. The only difficult part is that Dean knows what Cas's tongue tastes like now. He knows and the urge to taste it again whenever they're in the same room is strong enough that he has to look away or leave before he presses Cas up against the nearest surface.

Thankfully, Sam is hardly around right now. May is just around the corner and with it comes final exams and the end of basketball practice. That means the only thing that'll get Sam out of the apartment is Jess and his friends, and that's going to make this thing with Cas a little harder to hide – if they continue. Cas never did specifically say that he wanted to keep doing it, just that he wanted to do it again that one night.

Shit. Well, good thing Dean never actually expected this to continue. Though he does have a rather poignant argument for why it could (or should). In all the time that Cas has been living with them, he's never once gone out drinking with friends. Sure, he's underage. But that doesn't mean that he couldn't get his hands on a fake ID and get in. Hell, he might not even get carded if he went. After all, Dean had thought he was a lot older than he really was for a good long time back at the café.

But that's not the point. The point is that Cas doesn't go out. He doesn't have a girlfriend, or a boyfriend, or any kind of partner as far as Dean knows. He's too busy with classes and studying and shit to go out like that and get the same kind of sexual fix that Dean usually gets out of it. So, really, there's every possibility that this will continue because Cas needs the stress relief and what better way to get it then at home where it's free and easily accessible? It doesn't hurt either that Dean is pretty damn fine, if he says so himself.

That possibility is exactly why, a few days later on his day off, he waits for Cas to come home from his half day of classes. Usually he hates talking about where things are going and all that, but this isn't about emotions. This is about them enjoying a mutually beneficial physical arrangement. There is no relationship involved. Dean isn't ready for another one, not even if it's been almost half a year since he and Lisa broke up.

It still hurts a little when he thinks about her and Dean doesn't want to fuck up anything with Cas like that. Bringing emotions in would only mean that someone could get hurt and Dean doesn't want that for either of them. Though, if anyone does get hurt with this, Dean would rather he be the one to bear that burden then let it be Cas. That's why it's so much easier just to leave things at being physical and only physical.

So, that's one line he's going to have to put down for Cas when he comes home. There are a few other things that he wants to go over and a question that's been crawling under his skin since Cas asked for them to do it again. While he waits for Cas, he goes over everything in his head and barely watches the show playing on the TV.

As soon as Cas comes through the door, Dean turns off the TV and gestures at the empty spot at the other end of the couch. “Y'got a minute to spare, Cas?”

“I do.” He locks the door and puts the chain over it before he kicks of his shoes, drops his bag, and climbs over the back of the couch to settle cross legged in his spot. “Are we going to discuss what we've been doing?”

“Yeah, we are.” Dean turns in his seat, drawing one leg up on the couch so he can face Cas. “First things first. Do you think this is going to be a thing? I mean, like, do you want to keep doing it? Maybe even doing more then what we've done so far?”

Cas shrugs and there's a slight twist of disappointment behind Dean's ribs. He shuts off his emotions completely and turns to cold, hard logic here. There's no room for him to get excited or disappointed or want things. He's going to for facts and planning and decision making right now. Everything else can come later.

Dean sighs and scrubs a hand through his hair. Time to get to the point. “You know I'm not looking for another relationship, right, Cas? This thing between us would be just sex, if it ever gets that far.”

After a moment of silence, Cas nods and his voice is carefully emotionless. “I understand.”

“Good. Now, if we get that far, would you actually want to have sex with me?” That question that's been bothering him chooses now to rear its ugly head again and Dean all but blurts it out. “I remember you saying that the way I live my life, with the sleeping around and all that, isn't a way you'd choose to live yours. I'll completely understand if that's still a thing with you.”

Cas's eyes drop to his hands where they're neatly folded in his lap and a blush starts to build in his ears again. “I also said that I'd try anything once.”

“Oh.” Right, he did say that. Relief tries to edge itself into Dean's Vulcan mindset and he shuts it out just like he is everything else. “Well, that's good. What about my first question?”

He shrugs and starts smoothing out invisible creases in the hems of his jeans. “I – Maybe? If it comes to that, I think that I would – I would like to try it. With you, that is.”

Good thing he's in the middle of a no emotions zone, otherwise Dean might be doing cartwheels around the apartment right now. He still cracks a smile and that seems to make Cas relax a little when he glances up. “That's great, Cas. Now we're going to need to lay down some rules for that.”

“What kind of rules?” Cas tilts his head, perking up with curiosity.

Dean starts counting them out on his fingers. “Sam can't know – which means that we don't do anything while he's home and we don't leave marks. No hickies, no bruises, no scratch or bite marks. Agreed?”

“Agreed.” His head bobs in a nod and Dean continues, going to the second finger.

“We've got to get checked.”

A frown pulls Cas's eyebrows together. “Checked?”

“For STIs and all that shit. I'm still going to go out with friends and I'm still going to hook up at the bar whenever I feel like it. This thing between us is just going to be casual, so you can still go out and have a good fuck with someone else too. Got it?”

Cas swallows and looks down at his hands. “I – yes, I get it.” He looks up again. “How often should we get checked?”

“I dunno. Maybe once a month, maybe longer?” Dean shrugs. “You always use a condom, right?”

“I've n –” He cuts himself off with a shake of the head. “Yes, I am an advocate for safe sex.”

“Good. We're going to use them too, just in case. Though if we're clean – and I'm pretty sure we both are, otherwise I wouldn't have done what we already have – then we don't really need to use them for blow jobs.” A grin splits his lips just from the memories alone. “They're so much better without – both for giving and getting.”

All Cas does is nod and Dean makes the mental note to restock his condoms, lube, and maybe the latex gloves too. He likes to keep those around, just in case. “Awesome. How often do you think you'll want to do it?”

“I'm sorry? I thought we were going to get checked once a month?”

Dean snorts a laugh. “I mean how often do you want to have sex , Cas? Or is that something we should probably play by ear?”

Cas blushes and shifts so one of his knees is pressed against his chest for him to hug. “I think it would perhaps be wisest to do it on an as needed – or as available – basis.”

“Alright. I'm good with that.” He shrugs and rolls his shoulders. “But I've got a high sexual appetite and with you being available and all, I won't have to hold back until I have to go to the bar. You think you can keep up?”

“How high is high?” Curiosity creeps into Cas's eyes and he lifts his head a little.

Dean shrugs and looks at a spot on the wall while he thinks. “If given the chance...? I'd probably do it at least once every day. Probably twice – morning and night. What about you?”

The blush deepens and Cas ducks his head again. “I – I don't know. But with our schedules and Sam's, I doubt that we'll be able to do it that often.”

“Exactly. Oh, and Cas? The most important rule is that you can say no at any time.” He looks Cas in the eye and keeps his voice serious. “I mean it. I'd rather Sam know that we're fucking then have you being uncomfortable with anything that we do.”

“I understand.” Cas nods slowly. “If I'm uncomfortable, I can call an end to this – this – what do we call this arrangement?”

Dean shrugs and scratches at the back of his neck. “ Arrangement works. But, basically, what we're going to be is more commonly known as fuck buddies.”

“Oh.” He looks away, giving the TV his dead eye stare while he thinks. Dean waits patiently until Cas looks back at him. “Do you want this, Dean? Am I an acceptable... fuck buddy ?”

Wow. Cas swearing does nothing good for Dean's libido. A chill runs across his ribs and he all but grins at Cas. “Remember when I gave you my phone number? You were my favourite customer and I looked forward to you coming in every day. I was completely ready to hook up with you at that point – until I found out you were underage.”

Cas blushes and he looks down at his knee until Dean slides across the couch and tilts his face up to get the full force of that adorable wide-eyed look. He throws away his Vulcan mindset now that the conversation is coming to an end. “To answer your question; yes, Cas. I want this and you are beyond acceptable.” Dean leans in when one of Cas's hands comes up to fist in the front of his shirt. “You don't even want to know the things I've been thinking about you.”

A pink tongue darts out to wet Cas's lips and his eyes drop to Dean's mouth. After a moment of staring, Cas pushes Dean back and follows the motion until he's straddling Dean's lap and looking down at him with blushing determination. “I want to know. Show me.”

Holy shit . Dean groans long and low in the back of his throat and snags the back of Cas's head to pull him down into a kiss. It turns rough and desperate faster than either of them probably expected, but Dean doesn't care, especially not when Cas experimentally sucks on his tongue. His clumsy inexperience with kissing isn't much of a surprise for Dean. It's probably because Cas hasn't had a partner since highschool, if not longer. Either way, Dean finds it endearing and he'll learn that out of him fast enough.

With his hands, Dean gets Cas's hips moving in a dirty grind set to get them both hard as quickly as possible. As long as Sam's afternoon class doesn't get canceled, they'll have the apartment to themselves for another few hours yet and that's plenty of time to expand their repertoire with each other. Dean, in particular, wants to see Cas naked. He wants to complete the image he has in his head and he can't do that when Cas is wearing so many fucking clothes.

It's like Cas has taken a page out of the Winchester Bible or something. Undershirt, long sleeved shirt, stupid little cute button up sweater over top and a fucking tie to boot. But everything hits the floor eventually, no matter how many times Dean's fingers slip on the buttons. In the meantime, Cas's hands are doing the same damn thing to him and they both have to break away from their kisses to get the last of their shirts over their heads.

Something dark and black across the back and sides of Cas's arm catches Dean's attention when Cas turns to toss his shirt away. Dean already knew from touch alone the other day that Cas is a lot more fit than he lets on. He's all lean, hard muscles under his clothes, but apparently there's more that was being hidden from him.

“Hold on, Cas. What the hell is that?” Dean grabs his arm and pulls it across his chest, forcing Cas to turn so he can get a better look. Feathers. It's goddamn inked feathers spreading down his arm, the tips only just brushing his elbow. “When the hell did you get a tattoo?”

Cas slides backwards off the couch until his feet hit the floor and he turns around, spreading his arms so Dean can see how the wings start close together at his spine and spread up to his shoulders when they fold around the curve and spread down his arm. At their center they're not much wider than Dean's hand is long when he reaches out to touch them.

“I got them shortly after I graduated.” He explains, glancing over his shoulder as Dean traces the feathers with his fingertips.

“You're the last person I would've expected to see with a tattoo, Cas.” Dean murmurs, tugging him closer so he can get a better look at the veins etched into each feather.

“Why do you think I only ever wear shirts with long sleeves? My parents would throw a fit if they knew I had it.”

Laughing, Dean pulls Cas back onto the couch, this time arranging them so that he's sitting with his legs stretched across the cushions and Cas is kneeling in his lap with his back to him. This way, Cas can keep grinding his ass against Dean's growing erection and Dean can keep touching the wings, following each feather up around Cas's shoulder and down his arms.

“Did you get this for a reason?”

Cas hums and tilts his head back, hips rocking absently. “For the freedom I gained when I made a friend who helped me start to, metaphorically, spread my wings.”

Lucky friend. Now they're immortalized in Cas's skin and he's never going to forget them. Envy pings from rib to rib and Dean sits forward to press his mouth to the wings. Their new rules are keeping him from leaving any lasting marks of his own, but he can cover Cas's wings in his own kisses and make them his just for a little while.

“They're really nice, Cas.” He murmurs into his skin, his hands playing over Cas's hips to his stomach and the buckle of his belt. “They suit you.”

Dean gets the belt open and takes a moment to drag the heel of his palm over the erection straining against the zipper. Cas groans and his hips twitch into the pressure. Teasingly, Dean moves his hands away, spreading them flat over Cas's stomach and sweeping them up over his ribs and to his chest. One of his fingers catches on Cas's nipple and Dean draws his tongue away from the tattoo long enough to talk.

“Hey, Cas, do you like having your nipples played with?” He seeks them out by touch and lightly rubs over them with the pads of his fingers.

Cas shudders and his breathing hitches slightly. “I – I don't know. I've never – oh!” His whole body jerks when Dean pinches his nipples and he can't help grinning against the curve of Cas's shoulder blade, tugging lightly just to see how badly he can get Cas to tremble.

With enough attention paid to the tattoo, Dean gets Cas to turn around in his lap again. There's something else that could use a little tender care from his mouth now. Cas damn near pulls Dean's hair out when he fixes his mouth to one of them, sucking lightly and rolling the hard nub with the tip of his tongue. He catches it between his teeth for a quick pinch and tug and a quiet keening noise starts to rumble in the back of Cas's throat. Dean is pretty damn delighted to find out that there are still new noises he hasn't gotten out of him yet.

While he lays a trail of kisses from one nipple to the other, Dean murmurs words into Cas's skin. “I've been with guys who don't like their nipples being played with, and I've been with guys who don't like having their asses touched.” To make his point, he drops his hands to Cas's ass and digs his fingers in as best he can with his jeans in the way. “What's your opinion on that? Have you ever had fingers in your ass before, Cas?”

Before Dean can give the other nipple the same attention he gave the first, Cas uses his hair to jerk his head back. He crushes their mouths together in a bruising kiss that leaves them both panting and makes it really hard for Dean to multitask getting Cas's stupid jeans open. The moment the fly is down and they're loose enough around his hips for it, Dean gets his hands back on Cas's ass. This time they're under the damn jeans and inside his underwear and Dean squeezes tight just to test if Cas's ass is as firm as it looks.

Dear God, it is .

His voice sounds rougher than it should when Dean pulls away from the kiss. “Have you ever been fucked before, Cas?”

A hard shudder trembles through him and Cas shakes his head, eyes clouded but fixed on Dean's. “I've used my own fingers, but I've never had – no one has ever –”

Hell fuck yes. “Get your pants off and go to your bed, Cas.” Dean shouldn't be as happy as he is about this, but he can examine that all later. He gets them both to their feet and steals another kiss before he physically pries himself away from Cas and takes a few steps back. “I'm gonna go get the lube from my room.”

Cas's eyes go wide and the flush that's been in his cheeks for the last little while spreads down into his chest. He nods and starts shoving his pants down when Dean turns away to head for his room. If Cas has never had anal sex before, then this is something that Dean should probably draw out and make good for him. Tonight he can keep it just to his fingers. That way he'll be able to learn what Cas likes before they get to the main event.

Next time, Dean'll give Cas a fuck he'll never forget. He gets a little thrill out of knowing that he's going to be Cas's first for that and Dean can't help wondering just how many of Cas's firsts he's going to get to have. He's already got the first blow job and now he's going to be the first to play with that amazing ass.

It's like Christmas came early and Dean does his best to ignore the little twinge of disappointment that he didn't get Cas's first kiss or his first time. Of course he's plenty happy with settling for being the first for other things – as long as Cas doesn't decide that he suddenly has enough free time to go out and get someone else to fuck him before Dean gets the chance to do it. That thought sends something dark and angry spiking through his chest and Dean violently shoves it away while he digs around his closet for his box of latex gloves.

He forgets about it entirely when he walks back into the living room with one glove and the bottle of lube from his bedside drawer. Cas's blanket is folded neatly over the arm of the couch, along with all their clothes, and he's stretched out on the bed with his head tilted back into the pillows while he strokes himself with one hand. His legs are spread wide enough that his other hand has plenty of room to dip down between them where he's already got one finger slipped into his hole.

Dean stops dead in his tracks and stares, almost positive that he's on the verge of having a fucking heart attack just from looking at Cas like this. He must make some kind of choked little noise because Cas's chin drops to his chest and he opens his eyes. Cas rolls his hips up into his fist and down onto his finger, taking it in even further and Dean almost swallows his tongue.

“In the – the third video we watched –” Cas's breathing is broken and he's clearly struggling to make his words form logical sentences. “The woman in it, she – she started before her partner arrived. The other woman – she seemed – she looked pleased when she –”

“I'm pleased, Cas. Jesus fucking Christ , I am pleased .” He takes pity on Cas and interrupts him as he throws the lube and glove down on the edge of the bed.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Dean is thanking every God and Deity that he can name for the gift of Castiel Collins that has been bestowed upon his lowly self. They must be happy with him, because he's out of his jeans in no time flat and on the bed between Cas's legs like that's where he was born to be. Cas bites his bottom lip and keeps working his hands while he watches Dean pull the glove on and spread lube over his fingers.

Even though Dean is pretty sure they're both clean, there are some things he doesn't want to risk. He doesn't regret the blow jobs, but they could have been more careful with those. Either way, that's over and done with and there are much better things to be thinking about right now. For example, he could be occupying his thoughts with balancing himself on his free hand while he leans over Cas to kiss him.

His gloved hand feels out the stretch of skin between Cas's balls and his hole, gently nudging Cas's hand out of the way. This is his job right now, no matter how much Dean absolutely adores seeing Cas fuck himself open on his own fingers. That's another thing they can do later – maybe on the day that he'll get to put his cock where one of his fingers is currently exploring.

Cas makes some truly remarkable noises while Dean gently works one finger in and out of him. He clings to Dean's shoulders, nearly pulling him down on top of him and highlighting one very big problem with this position. If he's not careful, Dean's arm could give out or slip and he'd end up ruining the moment with crushing Cas under him. This calls for a temporary halt of their progress just to flip their positions.

Another blush covers Cas's face as he ends up kneeling with Dean's shoulders resting pressed up right behind his knees. It's the optimal position for Dean to be able to sort of see what he's doing and gives him full access to Cas's equipment. Cas's palms slap hard against the wall where he braces himself when Dean slips a second finger in at the same time that he starts suckling the head of Cas's cock, already long forgetting about his care for being safe.

With his free hand, Dean gets Cas to start a slow rhythm with his hips – forward into his mouth and back against his fingers. Cas starts to practically chant Dean's name as he moves, his head hanging forward between his shoulders until it snaps back with a loud gasp. His whole body jerks violently when Dean finally stops playing around and hunts down his prostrate. By then, Dean is three fingers deep and Cas is sweaty, panting, and was most likely on the verge of begging Dean to get on with it.

God, what Dean wouldn't give right now to stop what he's doing, pull Cas down on his lap, and bury himself in the heat he can feel around his fingers. But he promised himself he would wait – for Cas's sake. He needs to see how much Cas can take now before he can go sticking something a lot bigger than just his fingers into his ass. Speaking of, he reigns back with his fingers and returns to just stretching Cas's hole, even going so far as to pull off his cock completely to lick wide strips along the length from root to head.

Dean .” Cas groans and he leans forward enough to rest his head against the wall too. “Dean. Dean, please. Dean . I'm –” His hips rock a little harder and his legs are starting to tense up. Even the muscles in his stomach are twitching. “I'm – Dean, I'm close. Please just – just a little more –”

Well, since Cas asked so nicely and he's been good enough that Dean now has four fingers in him, a little relief can be granted. Though little is far from what Dean actually does. He takes Cas's dick in his mouth again and sucks down as much of him as he can actually take. At the same time, Dean pushes his fingers in deep and mercilessly rubs Cas's prostate. It doesn't take more than a few seconds of that before Cas is crying out and sinking his hands into Dean's hair, his ass clamping around his fingers tight enough that Dean's own cock twitches against his stomach.

As proud as Dean is for getting Cas off that way and swallowing for a third fucking time, he's at his limit and he needs to get off as soon as physically possible. There's something about seeing Cas shake through an orgasm of his own that gets Dean's engine revving out of control. The problem is, when he does a good job, things tend to not work out so well for him. Right now is a perfect example as Cas slumps to the bed in a limp, blissed out mess.

Luckily, Dean always has a back up plan in place just in case his partner is too fucked out to properly reciprocate. He carefully rolls Cas over so he's facing the wall and his back is to him. Cas groans, but he doesn't stop Dean from spreading lube along his inner thighs after he's tossed the glove. Dean tucks in as close as he can get behind Cas and gets his dick between his thighs before he guides Cas to close them.

“Keep these closed tight. Got it, Cas?”

It's nowhere near as good as the real thing, but at least Dean gets the warmth of Cas's skin and the illusion that he's fucking him. Cas doesn't seem to mind it and he's got his ankles crossed in an attempt to keep his thighs tightly together. He even twists around enough that when Dean lifts himself up on his elbow and leans over him, they can kiss through every snap of his hips – helped by Cas's hand when he reaches back to grab Dean's ass and pull him into every thrust.

When Dean finally comes too, he feels just a little bad about the mess he makes all over the backs of Cas's thighs. He guides Cas to roll onto his stomach to keep the mess from getting on the sheets and props himself up on his elbow next to him. “So, was that okay?”

Cas crosses his arms and rests his chin on them, giving Dean a hardcore side-eye. “Despite the mess and the need to shower?” A smile slips over his lips, eradicating any worry that had started to build. “Yes, Dean, it was more than okay .”

“Great! Then you'd be up for more?”

His head pops up, eyes wide. “ Now ?”

Dean snorts a laugh and sits up properly. “Nah, Sam'll be home before either of us could probably get it up again. I meant, maybe next week or sooner?”

The stare Cas gives him is nothing different from his usual blank I'm thinking look, but there's something about it that makes Dean think there's more going on in that head then he knows. Eventually, Cas dips his head in a nod. “I could be persuaded.”

“Good.” Dean ruffles his hair a bit before he gets up and helps Cas to his feet without getting the mess on the bed too.

As soon as Cas is standing, he makes a face and reaches back to touch his thighs. He frowns at him, but all Dean can do is smile and shrug in response while he picks up his pants and finds his shirts on the couch.

“Hey, Cas, how much do you wanna bet that I'm going to be able to make you forget all the other partners you've had?” Dean might be boasting a little too much right now, but he feels good and he's pretty happy with how things have turned out. “I mean, they weren't even nice enough to fucking blow you . That's just rude.”

Cas blinks at him slowly before he sighs and shakes his head. He turns away and starts up the hallway. “I'm going to take a shower first.”

Dean frowns after him and his happiness balloon starts to develop a small leak. What was that look all about? Isn't Cas feeling good too after the great orgasm and the knowledge that there's only more of those ahead of him?

He would dwell on that a little more, but with Cas walking away it gives Dean a good view of his fantastic ass and that's plenty distracting. There's something small and fluttery beating around in his chest and even with the leaky happy balloon in there too, Dean feels better than he has in a long time. But despite all that, there's a little weight hanging in the pit of his stomach and it's telling him that nothing good can come of this.

Would it be too much to ask to have just one day where his emotions don't try to confuse the fuck out of him?

 

Chapter Text

“The clinic called with your results.”

It's not the most embarrassing thing said to Dean when he's stepped through the front door, but Sam still manages to catch him by surprise. He's standing at the entrance to the kitchen, arms crossed and a frown on his face. Behind Sam, Cas is hunched over one of his text books at the kitchen table as inconspicuously as possible – even though the back of his neck is pretty red.

Dean shuts the door slowly and gives Sam his best, most winning-est smile and shrugs. “Just my luck that they call my cell the one day that I forget it at home.”

Sam’s frown gets deeper and more disapproving. “I only answered it because someone doesn't have voice mail. They said you're clean and you can pick up the report if you want it.”

“Got'cha. Thanks, Sammy.” He tries for another bright smile while he starts patting down the pockets of his jacket for something to appease him with. “And I promise I'll get voice mail when I make friends with someone who doesn't know how to work a damn text message.”

Sam rolls his eyes and his hands move to his hips. “If you didn't sleep around as much as you do, you know you wouldn't have to get tested all the time, right? It's not safe and it's not healthy, Dean, and you know –”

“I know that I don't want you to start that holier than thou shit with me today, Sammy.” Dean finds what he's looking for tucked away in one of the pockets on the inside of his jacket and he pulls the envelope out with a flourish. “Not on your birthday.”

That changes Sam's attitude in a snap. He goes from upset housewife to excited puppy in no time flat and starts grabbing for the card. “You remembered!”

“Have I ever forgotten?” Dean laughs and keeps the card out of reach for a minute at most before he lets Sam have it. “Once you've read that and been disappointed by the lack of money in it, go get your ass cleaned up and changed. I'm taking you to that god awful vegan place you fucking love and we gotta go right away so we'll have time to hit the computer store after.”

His head snaps up from pulling open the envelope, eyes wide. “Computer store? No way, Dean, you can't afford to get me –”

“I can afford it when I'm not the only one going in on the gift.” He grins and grabs Sam's shoulder to turn him around and shove him towards the hallway. “Bobby and Jess are chipping in, so don't expect to get anything from them. Jess can come tonight too, if she wants.”

“She has a night class.” Sam doesn't go very far before he turns back around, a hopeful light in his eyes. “What are we going to get at the computer store?”

Cas taps the edge of his laptop with his pen, catching Sam's attention. “You've used this more in the last month than I have. I'm also going to be putting my name in so you can get a new laptop that doesn't crash on you twice a day.”

“I love you guys.”

Dean rolls his eyes and follows Sam through the kitchen to make sure he gets moving. “Don't get emotional over a computer, Sammy. It's embarrassing.” He stops and glances back over his shoulder before he crosses the hall to his bedroom. “Cas, you coming to dinner with us?”

Cas looks up from his homework. “If I'm invited.”

“Of course you are!” Sam shouts from his bedroom. “You're family now, Cas. Embrace the way of the Winchester. You're never getting rid of us!”

“You heard the birthday boy, Cas.” Dean grins and gestures for Cas to follow him. “You're gonna have to change too, but come talk with me about how we're going to do this computer thing. But only if you don't care that I'm going to be down to my skivvies.”

“I don't mind.” Cas shrugs and closes all his books and his laptop before he gets up and follows Dean to his room. He shuts the door and Dean gestures for him to sit on the bed on the other side of the room while he pokes through his closet for something decent to wear.

After a moment, Cas clears his throat but he still doesn’t talk louder than a whisper. “My results are clean too.”

“Excellent.” Dean gives him a thumbs up over his shoulder while he compares the colours between two button ups. “Sorry if that embarrassed you or something. I was late for work this morning and I didn't realize I forgot my cell until I was halfway to the garage.”

“It's fine.” Cas leans back on his hands and glances around the room, not that he hasn’t seen everything in it already before. “However, you do owe me for the hour long rant I was subjected to while Sam complained about your sex life.”

He winces and tosses a shirt and fresh pair of jeans onto the bed. “Shit, sorry. I'll make it up to you later.” Dean gives him a grin and a wink before he pulls his Henley and the shirt under it over his head. They join the growing pile of clothes in the corner and his stained work jeans follow a moment later.

Cas's makes a curious noise, but his eyes are skidding all up and down Dean's body. He can practically feel it and Dean briefly contemplates how hard it would be to get Sam out of the apartment for a solid twenty minutes. But it's his birthday – his twenty-first to be exact – and they can't do that to him.

That doesn't mean that he can't tease the shit out of Cas right now. Dean grins and saunters close enough that he's practically straddling Cas's knees in his underpants. Cas stares up at him, eyes wide and just a little lost. His hands twitch but they don't move until Dean nods and then they're gripping his hips and pulling him close enough that Cas can press hesitating little kisses to Dean's stomach.

He runs his hands through Cas's hair lightly, enjoying the moment before he pulls his head back and leans down to whisper in his ear. “How would you like one hell of a wakeup call tomorrow morning?” Because Sam's going to be gone at the crack of dawn, Dean has the late shift, and he knows for a fact that Cas doesn't have class until the afternoon.

Cas makes a soft sound that borders on a groan and Dean steals a quick, dirty kiss before he's pulling away. They're pushing the boundaries of their rules here and he's not going to risk anything more right now – especially when he's twitching in his underwear just at the prospect of what they're going to do tomorrow. Actually, he should go take care of that now before he ends up spending the rest of the night feeling tempted for a quick grope session whenever Sam happens to be out of sight.

“Y’know what, I'm going to go grab a shower before we leave.” He winks again, grabs his clothes from the bed, and slips out of the bedroom before Cas can say anything else.

Sam is still in his room and by the sound of it, he's talking to Jess on the phone. Good. The chances that he overheard anything just went down dramatically. It also means that Dean has plenty of time for a shower, but he can’t take too long or he’ll rouse some suspicions that don’t need any rousing. He takes just long enough to wash his hair and soap up while rubbing out a quick one to all the possible things he could do to Cas tomorrow morning.

This whole shower thing is a good plan in the long run, because if Dean doesn't have any built up tension, then he's less likely to struggle with keeping his hands off Cas during dinner. And it's a damn good thing that he took that opportunity when he did, because Cas has changed by the time Dean’s dressed and ready to go and goddamn. Tight jeans, another fucking tie, and a goddamn waistcoat. Dean is practically drooling all the way from their apartment to the car.

Match point for Cas.

*

It's a good thing that Dean grabbed a drive through burger on their way to the restaurant, otherwise he might have starved. The only thing on the menu that doesn't make him question Sam and Cas's sanity is a bowl of rice and he stills ends up ordering three servings of that. Cas gets something that had Tofu in the name and Dean doesn't even know how to pronounce whatever it is that Sam got. Dean gives them both a serious eye squint while they eat their weird hippie food.

Half the dinner is Cas and Sam teasing Dean about his bowls of rice and trying to goad him into tasting some of their food. He does try something off of Cas's fork, but only while Sam is in the bathroom. Dean makes sure he's as obscene as possible, ignoring the taste (or lack thereof) while holding Cas's eyes the entire time. If they weren't here with Sam, Dean would probably be trying to play a good game of footsie with Cas on top of sharing food.

Only after, when Cas lies through his teeth to Sam that the reason he's blushing is because Dean made an extremely sexual comment about one of the other restaurant goers, does Dean kick himself. Footsie? Why the hell would he want to play footsie with Cas? That's something you play with your partner, not your goddamn fuck buddy. He's a fucking idiot.

Dean's past feelings for Cas are just that; past. And he needs to start reminding himself of that again if he wants to continue this arrangement with Cas.

*

Sam is like a kid in a candy shop the moment they walk through the doors of the computer store. He takes off like a shot to the lines of laptops and Dean figures he and Cas can go browsing – right up until he turns around and finds Cas just as gone as Sam. It's not hard to find him again, standing by the shelves of digital cameras and looking through them with interest.

A warm, fuzzy feeling fills Dean's stomach and he's pretty happy with hanging out near the front door with a stupid grin on his face. From there, he can watch Sam in the computer section and Cas in the camera section – his two favourite people looking at things that interest them. If they had brought Bobby and Jess, his whole family would be here and Dean would probably explode from happiness or something.

While Sam talks with a sales associate about laptops, Dean drifts over to where Cas is picking up different models of cameras – some of which still have viewfinders. Dean bumps his shoulder and leans in to look at the camera too. “You interested in photography, Cas?”

He hums and shrugs. “I like the idea of capturing beauty with a picture instead of taking it for oneself. And memories. I like collecting memories.”

“Do you have a camera?”

Cas shakes his head and pulls his cell phone from his pocket. “Just on this. I usually take pictures of the places I've been and the people I know.”

“Oh yeah?” Dean reaches for the phone and Cas quickly tucks it back into his pocket. “Aw, c'mon, Cas. I wanna see if you have any pictures of me. I don't remember you ever taking any.”

“I'm very subtle.”

He snorts and shoves Cas's shoulders. “That's just a fancy way of saying sneaky. Face it, Cas. You're a stalker. Now I definitely wanna see.”

Cas frowns at him and turns away to pick up another camera. “No, they're private.”

“Dude, they're of me.” Dean whines and tugs at Cas's sleeve. “Show me. Please?” When Cas ignores the begging, Dean turns to a tried and true threat. “Show me or we'll let the whole store find out just how ticklish you are.”

He doesn't really know how effective a threat it is since he's never actually found out if Cas is ticklish or not, but Dean is pleasantly surprised when Cas goes still and gives him a narrow eyed glare over his shoulder. “You wouldn't dare.”

“Oh ye of little faith. Hey, Sam! C'mere!”

Sam groans loud enough to be heard clear across the store and drags his feet all the way over to them. “What is it? I think I found the computer I want. What's the limit for how much I can spent?”

Dean pats him on the shoulder. “Don't worry about it. Just get a computer that's not going to crash on you. Now, tell Cas about the time I wanted to know about your first kiss.”

His nose scrunches up and he rolls his eyes. “Whatever it is that Dean wants to know, Cas, just save yourself the trouble and tell him. He once tickled me in the middle of a Walmart until I pissed myself. I was seventeen.”

“And there you go.” He gestures at Sam proudly as he heads back to the computers. “It's really in your best interest to just cough up the pictures, Cas.”

The sly smile that pulls across Cas's lips is equally unexpected and intriguing. “I'd like to see you try, Dean. It would be interesting to see since I have Taekwondo and Hapkido classes twice a week.”

Everything in Dean's head grinds to a stop and he has to hit the reboot button to process what he just heard. “Whoa, wait. What? Since when have you been doing martial arts?”

“Since I was seven years old and my parents decided it was a good idea that I know how to defend myself.” Cas leans in and his voice drops to a whisper. “I have a black belt, if you'd like to see it.”

Oh holy crap. Not only is that awesome on twenty different levels, but it totally explains why a nerd like Cas has the physique that he does. Dean swallows thickly and shuts out the mental images of finding out just how flexible Cas's chosen sport has made him. He licks his lips and knows Cas is well aware of everything going through his head right now.

Dean pokes him in the chest. “This isn't over, Cas.”

*

Curiosity (or as he's been told, nosiness) is one of Dean's many failings. He can readily admit to this and he’s completely comfortable with it. Though he's probably crossing some sort of line when he belly crawls out of his bedroom and into the living room in the dead of night while mentally humming the Mission Impossible theme song.

His target? Cas's cell phone charging on his bedside table. It's easy enough to obtain, but there's one major hiccup he had been sort of expecting. The lock screen. Damn. Alright. How do people hack these things in the movie? What's the most common four digit code people will use? Dean tries Cas's birthday and strikes out. His birth year doesn't do him any better and Dean frowns at the screen. Great. Now he's out of ideas.

“You're never going to figure it out.”

Motherfucking shit. Dean nearly bites his tongue in half with trying to keep from actually screaming in surprise. He clears his throat and rolls over to squint up at the steely eyed glare being directed at him from over the edge of the bed. “G'morning, Cas.”

“It's two AM, Dean.” Cas reaches down and plucks the phone from his hand. “Go to bed.”

Considering that he's staring down a Kung-fu master right now, Dean should probably make a strategic retreat. Too bad he's never been one for listening to reason. Instead, he sits on his knees beside the bed and crosses his arms on the mattress, continuing the epic stare down with Cas. They keep it up for a minute, then two, then six, until Dean starts wondering if Cas fell asleep with his eyes open.

“What do you want, Dean?”

Nope. Still awake. And still the master of startling the bejesus out of him. Dean waits for his heart to calm down a little before he puts on his serious face. “Why didn't you ever tell me about your tattoo? Or that you've been doing Taekwondo since you were frikken seven years old?”

He won't admit it out loud, but it kind of hurts that they've been friends since Cas was seventeen and he's only just hearing about this now. “And you never mentioned liking to take pictures.” It's actually a little worrying about how little Dean knows about Cas. “I thought we were friends, Cas.” And now Dean's pouting and he'd stop, but it's two in the morning and dark in the living room, so who fucking cares. “Does Sam know?”

Cas sighs and rolls onto his back, throwing an arm over his eyes. “No one knew about my tattoo. Not even Gabriel. The less people who knew, the less likely my parents were going to find out. When I use the gym at the university or when I'm changing for Taekwondo, I change in a bathroom stall. Sam does know about my chosen sport, but that’s only because he saw the medals Gabriel has hanging up.”

“I didn't know you go to the gym or that you had a medals.”

“For running. I use the track if the weather is good or a treadmill if it's not.” Cas drops his arm and looks at Dean again. “I've won medals in various martial arts competitions.”

Dean's heart sinks. He didn't know any of this. Hell, it never even occurred to him to ask. Cas has always been studying and so focused on school that Dean just kind of assumed he didn't have any other interests. “What about the pictures?”

“I obviously had to keep that from you.” He snorts and shoves his phone under his pillow. “I knew you were going to want to see them and I'm not particularly ready to show you any.”

Huffing, Dean gets to his feet. “Fine, I'll let the picture thing slide for now. But the rest? Tell me these kinds of things, Cas.” He leans over the bed, planting his hands on either side of Cas's chest so he can look him in the eyes. “I wanna know these things. I wanna know about you.”

Cas swallows audibly and nods, his eyes get a little wider in the street lights coming through the balcony doors. “I have another competition in June.”

“Can I come watch it?”

“If you – if you want to.”

“Good. Text me the date and time and I'll book it off from work.” Dean feels a little better now and he dips his head until their noses touch. “Would'ja give me a goodnight kiss, Cas?”

There's a hitch in his breathing and one of Cas's hands comes up to rest on his shoulder. “Sam is –”

“Sam is sleeping.” He tilts his chin and ghosts a small kiss across Cas's lips. Just enough to tease and maybe – if he's lucky – yes.

Cas only hesitates slightly before his hand slides to the back of Dean's neck and he tugs him down for a proper one that ends with a soft sound. It's Cas who makes it and Dean's pretty sure it means that he doesn't want the kiss to end just yet. Dean can't help grinning and he reaches down to press his hand over Cas's crotch, rubbing a gentle reminder through the blanket before he stands up.

“See you in the morning, Cas.”

*

“Put some damn clothes on, Dean!” Sam groans, covering his eyes.

“Boxers are clothes.” Dean shoots back, pouring milk into his bowl of cereal. He should probably be having a breakfast of champions for what's going to happen as soon as Sam's out the door, but if he starts making bacon and eggs, Sam might try and stick around and mooch. “And Cas doesn't care about it. Do you, Cas?”

He's sitting on the couch, flipping through the news channels until he finds an anchor who doesn't annoy him. Chances are, he's already showered, shaved, eaten, and brushed his damn teeth. “I'm staying out of this.”

“That's Cas speak for he doesn't give a fuck.” Laughing, Dean takes his bowl to the entrance of the kitchen and leans his shoulder against the wall. He points his spoon at Sam. “What do you care, anyways? You're heading out for the day and you were so noisy that you woke us both up.”

“That's incorrect.” Cas looks over his shoulder. “He woke you up. Some of us get up early regardless of how late in the day their schedule starts.”

Dean sticks out his tongue and shoves a spoonful of cheerios into his mouth. Sam rolls his eyes and finishes double checking his bag. “Whatever. You're both weirdoes as far as I’m concerned.” He slings the bag onto his back and pulls on his shoes. “I've got a job interview after class, by the way. The university bookstore cuts my hours for the summer, so I'm applying at every place with a help wanted sign that I can find.”

They both wish him luck and wave him out the door. While Dean finishes his breakfast, Cas puts the chain over the door and goes right back to watching his early morning news. It's on the weather for the day when Dean is finally ready. His heart probably shouldn’t already be on the verge of beating right out of his chest, but he’s excited. Right? Yeah. Just excited. That’s all. This is something he’s been waiting a long time for.

Fresh from the bathroom, Dean steps up to the end of the couch. He waits until he catches Cas's eye and has to fight to keep himself from grinning at the blush that spreads across his face. Cas turns the TV off, but he doesn't get up from the couch. His hands fist in the fabric of his pajama bottoms and he stares down at them.

Dean knew they weren't going to get straight to it. He'd be surprised if Cas didn't have some kind of reservations about this. But Dean's a big boy and a gentleman. He can wait until Cas is ready – even if that means it won't be today. They can just sit on the couch together until Cas is comfortable enough to do something, or not even do anything at all today.

His ass barely touches the cushions before Cas slides across the space between them. He turns to meet him and Cas damn near shoves him over the armrest with the force of his kiss. It's hard and desperate and Dean lets Cas control it, his hands sliding all across Dean's chest and shoulders. In comparison, Dean is much more reserved. He takes his time with pushing his fingers up under Cas's shirt, bunching it up around his waist but not lifting it up any further. It doesn't stop him from meeting Cas stroke for stroke with the kiss, nipping at his lips whenever Cas pulls back to gasp a breath before he dives back in.

At some point, Deanrealizes he’s actually getting bent over the armrest. Cas is getting leverage over him and it's because the sneaky bastard has a knee on the couch. He's actually above Dean now and that's just perfect. All sense of reservation is thrown out the window when Dean shoves his hands into the back of Cas's pajamas, getting them in his underpants on the first go. Cas's hips jerk forward and he groans when Dean squeezes his ass with both hands.

“Hey, Cas?” Dean murmurs between breaths, pulling the kisses away from Cas's lips so he can mouth along his jaw. He pushes his hands a little further back until he can rub a fingertip over Cas's hole. “Can we do it today?”

Cas shudders hard and groans again. He nods before he tilts his head back and lets Dean at his throat. Dean can feel Cas's racing heartbeat under his tongue and it makes him feel giddy – knowing he's the one who's making Cas feel like this right now. He's the reason Cas's hips keep twitching and his fingers are flexing in his hair.

“Not – Dean, not here.” Cas whispers and Dean doesn't waste a damn second with getting them to their feet.

It's a little hard to get them moving without tripping over their feet since he's absolutely set on mapping out Cas's throat with his mouth. A huge part of him wants to suck a bruise into the thin skin, but that goes against their rules and he has to force himself to go back to Cas's mouth instead before he accidentally breaks it. They stumble together to his bedroom, leaving a short trail of clothing in their wake.

By the time they kick the door shut, they're both naked as the day they were born. Cas is hard against Dean's thigh and he keeps rutting against it whenever they stop every few steps. The edge of the bed actually catches Dean in the back of his knees and he's happy to fall back and shimmy up to the pillows. Cas is close behind and he slides into place above Dean, already straddling his thighs.

He rocks his hips in a slow, steady rhythm, the cocks brushing together lightly. Dean rubs his hands over Cas's thighs, watching him as he leans forward to spread his hands over Dean's chest. His lips are all kiss-swollen and tempting, and Dean would really like for him to lean down a little more so they can get back to doing that.

But Cas has a curious light in his eyes and those are fixed on Dean's chest. Eventually, they flick up to look at him. “Do you like to have your nipples touched too, Dean?”

“It's pretty good, I guess.” Dean shrugs and lifts his arms above his head, folding them back over the pillow to stretch out his chest. They're not all that sensitive, but he likes it well enough. “You can touch 'em, if you want.”

Cas starts with a kiss to Dean's lips, then his chin and throat, down along his collarbone, and eventually to his chest. Where his hands go, Cas's lips follow and Dean hums a happy note in the back of his throat when Cas experimentally drags his teeth over one of his nipples. The licking doesn't do much for him, but the pinching sends chills shooting along his bones and they only stoke the fire burning in his belly.

He has to muffle a laugh under his hand when Cas slips lower, wiggling down his legs while pressing kisses along Dean's belly. His scruff tickles and it doesn't help that Cas stops to dip his tongue into his belly button. Dean can't help squirming and he shoves at Cas's shoulder to keep him going, covering up a sigh of relief when Cas moves his mouth to his cock.

It feels like it's been way too long since he's had Cas's lips wrapped around his dick and Dean groans, twisting his fingers in Cas's hair to hold him there for just a little while. He doesn't want to get too worked up just from this. There's something even better that he's looking forward to.

When he tugs Cas back up, there's a disappointed frown on his lips and Dean kisses that away. “You like my cock that much, huh, Cas?”

The flush in his cheeks darkens and Cas ducks his head, his voice barely louder than a whisper. “I want to get better at it.”

Dean's stomach does a funny little dance under his ribs and he smiles, pressing a kiss to Cas's forehead. “Don't you worry about that. I'll give you plenty of practice.”

He twists away to reach for the bedside table and the items he left on it this morning. Cas glances over to see what he's reaching for and the moment he does, his whole body locks up. Dean can actually hear him swallow and Cas licks his lips nervously, but he nods. There's his consent and Dean grabs the lube. They don't need the condom just yet.

Cas is all wide eyes, flushed cheeks, and horrifically tempting lips. Dean pulls him in for a quick, dirty kiss that gives him a taste of those lips and tongue before he's pushing Cas away. “You want practice, Cas? Have you ever tried a sixty-nine?”

With a little maneuvering and taking a moment to throw all the pillows to the floor, they get Cas on his back with Dean kneeling above him. Dean makes sure that Cas is comfortable and able to suck him properly before he drops to his elbows, framing Cas's hips. It's probably not the best position for prepping him, but Cas gets his practice, Dean gets those lips around his cock again and he can return the favour while at least getting the process started.

An appreciative groan rumbles around his cock when Dean takes Cas's dick in his mouth, using the same moment to gently press a lubed finger into his hole. Cas's hips twitch, pushing him just a little deeper into Dean's mouth. That's a good idea, actually, and Dean uses his free hand to get Cas to keep it up.

Soon enough, Cas is shallowly fucking Dean's mouth while he rocks his hips down on two fingers. He's making all sorts of awesome little noises in between sucking and licking Dean's cock. His hands are gripping Dean's thighs tight and his stomach keeps flexing, bumping against Dean's chest. Cas is all sorts of sensitive and responsive and it's driving Dean insane.

If he was a lesser man, he might have lost control by now and flipped them so he could push into the tight heat he's carefully stretching open. But Dean is made of stronger stuff and he waits until he's got three fingers in before he even thinks of pulling away. When he does, Cas is panting and trembling. He's a little wild-eyed, and he kind of looks more than a little nervous as Dean kneels next to him. 

Dean is nothing if not courteous to his bed partners and he wipes his hands off on the sheet before he pulls Cas to sit up for a short kiss. He runs his fingers through Cas's hair gently and kisses him softly between words. “You doing okay?”

Cas leans in and his hands are holding Dean's arms just a little too tight, probably hiding how they're trembling. “I'm fine.” His voice is a whisper and he leans his forehead against Dean's. “Are you – are you going to fuck me now, Dean?”

“Not yet. I wanna make sure you're good and ready.” He shouldn't, but Dean can't resist rubbing their noses together.

Sometimes he's a stupid sap, even if this is just casual sex. There's something about this that's different from the other times he's done it. The way Cas is acting, the way he keeps looking and breathing – it reminds Dean of the times he's been with nervous virgins. But Cas seems to know what he's doing and he didn't have much trouble the last time they were together. There are probably a hundred different reasons for why Cas could be nervous right now and Dean just needs to take it slow and make sure that he's enjoying it.

Dean rubs his hand down Cas's back and kisses him lightly again. “You okay with being on your stomach while I finish prepping you?”

Cas nods and reaches over the edge of the bed to snag one of the pillows. He pretty much buries his face in it as he gets on his knees, back bowed and ass in the air. Dean licks his lips at the sight and gives his own cock a squeeze until he's calmed down enough that he can get back to work without risking blowing his load before he's even fully seated inside him.

As he keeps working Cas open, aiming for the four fingers again, Dean covers his back in kisses. Just to give Cas a little tension relief, he also reaches under him for a few quick strokes and rubs a knuckle into the stretch of skin between Cas's balls and his hole. That always gets Cas's hips to jerk sharply and he muffles a punched out little gasp into the pillow.

When Cas can take all four of Dean's fingers easily, he figures it's about time and sits back on his heels. “Alright, Cas. D'you think you're ready?” He wipes his hand off on the sheet again and picks up the almost forgotten condom. “D'you still want to go through with this?”

Cas looks over his shoulder at him, eyes wide and unsure. Dean's chest squeezes just a little tighter and he strokes Cas's hip gently, offering him a comforting smile. “It's up to you. I'm not gonna do anything you don't want.”

“I want it.” He lifts his head to tuck the pillow under his chin, but his voice still shakes slightly. That unsure tremble is gone and now he’s back to sounding just a little too nervous for Dean's liking. “Don't – please, don't stop.”

Dean nods and rips open the condom packet. Rolling one on is practically second nature to him and Dean rises up on his knees behind Cas when it's done. He leans over and presses a kiss to the small of his back while his thumbs rub small circles on the back of his hips. “Do you want to do it like this or on your back?”

“This is – this is fine. This is okay.” Cas ducks his head and hides his face in the pillow again, his whole body going tense and starting to tremble.

Worry starts to flutter around the edges of Dean's chest, and he tries his best to ignore it as he lubes up his fingers for one last check. Cas is still hot and tight around them, but he feels loose enough that it should be okay. Dean spreads the lube over his cock too and lines up, the head catching on the edge of Cas's hole. There's a sharp gasp at that and Cas's hips immediately push back against him, forcing him to lean out of the way.

“Slow down, Cas.” He murmurs, stroking the sides of Cas’s thighs before he grabs his hips to keep him from moving. “This is your first time taking it, right? I don't want to hurt you. We'll go nice and slow to start and when you're comfortable –” Dean leans down, stretching across Cas's back and covering him as much as he can so he can whisper in his ear. “And when you're finally comfortable, I'll make you fucking scream.”

A strangled little groan gets muffled into the pillow again and Cas rolls his hips, rubbing the crease of his ass against Dean's cock. Doing things like this is what makes Dean dismiss the whole Cas is a complete virgin thing – and that’s just a thought that pops in every once in a while whenever he starts overthinking the whole nervousness issue. Cas would’ve told him if he was a virgin anyways.

He grins and lays a trail of kisses back down Cas's spine until he's kneeling properly again. This time, when he holds Cas's hips and lines up, there is no teasing. Cas's head snaps up with the first gentle push, but the sound he makes is still smothered. It takes Dean a moment to realize that Cas has the pillow between his teeth and it muffles the long, drawn out groan as Dean pushes in. He rocks his hips lightly; in a little bit and back out, in a little further, and back out. Over and over until finally, Dean is fully seated. Even he can't stop the moan that rumbles out of him at that, sweat prickling all across his forehead.

This feels more awesome than he probably ever imagined. If he could stay like this with Cas squeezing around him, Dean would never leave his bedroom. He's going to stay balls deep like this for as long as he possibly can until Cas gives the okay for Dean to actually start fucking him. While Cas gets used to having a dick in his ass, Dean stretches out over him again, leaning his weight into him until Cas's hips are flush against the bed and his own erection is pinned between his stomach and the sheets.

If Dean wasn't plenty happy with staying like this, he might start to worry about how long it takes for Cas to whimper a soft 'move' into the pillow. His stomach does a flip and his heart picks up the pace as he pushes up on his hands and starts rolling his hips in small, experimental circles. Dean dips his head and finds Cas's ear with his mouth, licking lightly at its curve.

“How do you want it, Cas?” He whispers, his own breathing already getting heavy because Cas can't stop fucking squeezing around him and God, it feels glorious. “Do you want it slow and sweet?”

In example, Dean covers kisses all over the back of Cas's neck and shoulders as he rocks his hips gently. It's a turtle's pace and it would take forever for either of them to come, but Dean would be satisfied with it – even when a large part of him is screaming for something else. His sides are actually trembling with the effort it takes to hold back the urge to set up an entirely different pace. And the only problem Dean really has with slow and sweet is that it's a whole hell of a lot like making love and this right here, this is nothing but sex. There should be no emotions in it. Not for him, and not for Cas.

And Dean is going to keep telling himself that right up until kingdom come.

“Or do you want it hard and fast?” Dean punctuates the question with three sharp snaps of his hips, making sure they don't go too deep. He doesn't want to hurt Cas, after all.

Now that gets a reaction out of Cas. He barely moved or made a sound when Dean started with the slow and sweet, but now he gasps and his whole body twitches under him. Cas throws out a hand and slaps the wall – probably misjudging how close it is – and Dean winces for him until Cas braces his hand against the wall and shoves back. Hard.

God yes.

“Reading you loud and clear, Cas.” Dean grins and nips at his earlobe before he pushes himself back up onto his knees.

Cas's breathing ratchets up right through the roof when Dean grabs his hips. Any kind of breathing exercises he was hoping to implement goes to hell at the first sharp sound Cas makes as Dean sets up a rhythm that pushes the bed springs to their limit. But no matter how much he makes the bed creak, nothing about this is better than Cas.

For as much as Dean is fucking him in quick, fast thrusts, Cas is pushing back just as hard whenever he gets the leverage for it. His hands scrabble at the sheets for something – anything – to hold on to. He's probably tearing holes in the pillow with his teeth since every precious new sound that Dean is working so hard to wring out of him is muffled.

Those new noises are almost as addicting as Cas's body. The sight of Cas practically writhing under him is something Dean wants to devote to memory. And he's going to run out of space soon if he keeps adding to that list. There's so much about this that's so fucking awesome. The feel of Cas – the press of skin and slide of sweaty hands; the sharp sting of every snap of his hips against Cas's ass. God, even the smell of him is addicting.

But the best – the absolute best thing about it, is that Cas never calls out God's name.

Maybe it has something to do with his upbringing, but in between every grunt, gasp, and groan, Cas is only saying one word. In between every new moan that tumbles from Cas's lips, there's an endless stream of Dean's name. Sometimes it's short and sweet – a sharp “Dean!” – whenever his prostate is hit or if Dean reaches under him to pay his cock some love. The greatest so far is when his name is drawn out into a long, gasping, keening moan that Dean does his best to make Cas stutter through.

Once, Dean even manages to get an f-bomb out of him. Though it's more of a curse then it is any sort of praise as it punches out of Cas right after Dean squeezes his fingers around the base of his cock to keep him from coming too soon. Following that, Dean gets a whole string of yes'es when he tilts Cas's hips just right for every other thrust to hit his prostate – as an apology.

When Dean can feel his own orgasm starting to build – tingling in his fingers and toes – he loops his arms under Cas's stomach and chest and pulls him up as he sits back on his heels. Dean keeps his knees together and, in the end, Cas is essentially kneeling in his lap. He won't be getting as deep like this, but that's fine with Dean. It'll help draw this out just a little longer and he's going to fight for every second.

It's a good thing Cas is in shape, or he might not be able to do what Dean wants him to do next.

Cas groans his disapproval when Dean makes him shuffle up the bed, shoving the pillow out of the way. They get close enough to the wall that Cas doesn't have the room to fall forward onto his hands. The best he can do is put his hands flat against the wall and squirm on Dean's cock until Dean is satisfied that they're in the right position.

Perfect. Dean spreads his hands over Cas's chest and tweaks his nipples. A soft whine trembles in Cas's throat and he wiggles his hips again, trying to get Dean to move. But that's not the plan – not yet, at least. First Dean has to cover Cas's wings in kisses while he continues to pinch and rub his nipples. Those haven't gotten anywhere near as much attention as they should.

“Dean – please –” Cas whines again and looks over his shoulder, face flushed, eyes hooded and hazy. “Move, Dean.”

“Why don't you try moving for yourself, Cas?” Dean asks with a grin, one hand dropping to fist Cas's nearly neglected dick.

The answering moan is enough to set Dean's blood on fire and he damn near throws his plan out the window. It's taking all of his willpower right now not to keep fucking Cas like he has been. But the urge to tease Cas is so strong – especially in the light of all those new secrets he just found out. Well, here's a secret for Cas; Dean's penchant for being a teasing asshole absolutely carries over into the bedroom.

Cas starts moving slowly at first. It doesn't take a lot for him to move, physically – strong legs flexing under Dean's hands when he rests them on Cas's thighs. But it still takes a lot of effort for him to rise up enough to be able to have at least part of Dean's cock slide out of him before gravity takes over and he can drop back down again.

This position doesn't have nearly the same intensity to it that they had before. Cas's legs are spread too wide for him to get high enough for the kind of movement he wants. No matter how much the muscles in his thighs tremble, he'll never get the long, deep thrusts that Dean was giving him earlier. Cas will be lucky if he can even get it anywhere near as hard as they had before.

Usually Dean uses this position for the slow-and-sweet kind of sex. Sometimes he likes it this way; holding someone in his lap and leaning them against his chest; letting them bounce or rock their hips while they twist just enough that he can kiss them through it. As great as the rough sex can be, sometimes Dean prefers it slow – not that he ever really gets the chance to do things tenderly when he's with a bar hook up.

Those kinds of people are, more often than not, just looking to get off with someone for the night. Dean usually has the same objective, but sometimes he just wants to spend the night in the same bed as someone else. It always leaves him feeling hollow in the morning, but at least he doesn't go to bed lonely. Bar hook ups will only get Dean so far.

But this is more than that. Cas deserves more than that. Especially since he's just doing so well right now. He's panting hard with his head tilted forward between his arms. Sweat makes the lines of his wings taste salty, but that doesn't stop Dean from kissing and licking them as often as he's able. If they get a next time to do this – and God, Dean hopes there is – he'll make sure Cas is facing him for it. Sex with Cas could only be improved by actually being able to kiss him during.

“Dean.” Cas gasps and lifts his head to look over his shoulder. “Dean – please – I can't. It's not the same. Please, I –” The words trail off in a groan and he squeezes his eyes shut.

“You’ve done good, Cas.” Dean murmurs and kisses the back of his neck before he snaps his hips in one hard thrust.

It actually makes Cas buck in his lap and give a shout of surprise as his head lolls back. As much as Dean would like to keep this going for pretty much the rest of ever, Cas looks like he could use a good orgasm right about now and he's sure as hell earned it. All it takes is handful of hard thrusts with the added bonus of pushing Cas's hips into his hand and a good minute of grinding against his prostate to get Cas to come.

Dean keeps barely rolling his hips against Cas's ass even as Cas's head falls back again, his mouth hanging open with no sound coming out. His whole body locks up and he gets so fucking tight around Dean's cock that Dean actually swears against his shoulder blades. There's going to be a mess on the sheets – and probably on the wall too – if what Dean can feel on his fingers is any kind of indication.

That's okay. He had to do laundry anyway.

Cas goes limp in Dean's arms and it's all too easy to turn them both away from the head of the bed to lay Cas out on his stomach again. With a weak, fucked out groan, Cas drags the pillow back under his cheek. He makes small, pleased sounds into the fabric when Dean starts fucking him again, going hard and fast until his balls pull tight and his rhythm stutters.

Dean presses his forehead to Cas's wings and moans brokenly into the inked feathers while he empties into the condom. His hips keep twitching through it all, moving in little bursts in and out of Cas until they're both too sensitive for him to do it anymore – even though he doesn't want to stop. Pulling out is going to break this connection they have right now and a part of Dean is very scared that they're never going to have it again.

And the most worrisome part of that is that he might not be referring to the sex at all.

For Cas's sake and comfort, Dean has to pull out. They both groan when he does and Dean literally hates rolling away to sit at the edge of the bed to remove the condom. Not because he has to tie it off and chuck it in the waste basket, but because he's now almost a whole foot away from Cas's warm skin and trembling muscles.

Cas is face down in the pillow, his arms tucked under it like he's hugging it to his head. Seeing him like that, with miles of skin stretched out to the head of the bed in one long line of gorgeous, only makes Dean want to drag him closer for some post-fuck cuddling. It makes something in Dean's chest pull tight and his hand is halfway to Cas's shoulder before he stops himself.

The only time Dean ever lets himself lower his barriers for an after sex snuggle is with a partner – and not one of the sexual persuasion. Half the time he doesn't even let himself curl up against a one night stand when he's spending the night in their bed. Most people don't know he loves intimate hugs and Dean likes it that way. He has a reputation to uphold and he's never heard of fuck buddies who cuddle.

If they were more than that, maybe he'd do it – no. He'd definitely do it. That's another scary thought; just how badly the want for non-sex intimacy with Cas suddenly flares up in his chest. It's terrifying and Dean has to stand up and put more space between them before he does something stupid and ruins the good thing they've got before it really has a chance to get going.

He clears his throat and stretches. “So, how’d you like getting fucked for a change, Cas? It's almost better than topping, right?”

Cas doesn't answer right away. It takes him a few minutes before he pushes himself up to sit back on his knees. He's still trembling and flushed, but he smiles at Dean when he shoves the hair back off his forehead, making it spike up with the leftover sweat. “It was – I enjoyed myself.”

Dean's stomach somersaults all over itself and he can't help grinning back at Cas. He's smiling, so that has to mean good things, right? Dean didn't horribly ruin their friendship because he was a little too over eager with wanting to fuck him?

Ignoring the whole fact that they're both naked, Dean sits on the edge of the bed again – if only so they can be a little closer now that he's pretty sure that he's got himself under control. “Does that mean you'd be okay with more of this?”

After a moment filled with a hard stare, Cas opens his mouth. Nothing comes out and he closes it again, swallowing before he rubs the back of his neck again and nods. “I would.”

“You were going to say something else, weren't you?” Dean's ribs pinch tight around his lungs and he frowns at Cas. “It's great and all that you want to do it again, but what were you going to say?”

He shakes his head and looks away. “It's not important.”

And just like that, Dean feels like ice water is being dumped down his back. The feeling only gets worse when Cas turns away and starts to slide off the other side of the bed. He's putting distance between them and Dean is suddenly feeling like it's getting really hard to breathe. If Cas enjoyed it – if he wants to do it again – why is he closing himself off like this?

“Don't do that, Cas.” Dean has him by the arm before he even realizes he reached out across the bed for him. “If we're going to be doing this shit together, we need to communicate. We gotta know what each other does and doesn't like. So, spit it out. Was it the part where I made you move on your own? Or did you not like it that hard? Or –”

“No!” Cas looks at him sharply. “Dean, I have no complaints about anything we just did. It was all very enjoyable and I liked it.”

“Then what were you going to say?” Relief and confusion flood in to take the place of all the worry, but it doesn't make Dean feel much better. “Were you going to ask me something?”

He's not expecting an almost full body blush. Cas pulls his arm out of Dean's grip and runs a hand through his hair again before he sighs. “I was just wondering if... Would I ever be allowed to –” He shrugs and gestures at Dean. “You?”

Oh. Holy crap – oh! Dean almost bursts out laughing. Is that what's up Cas's butt right now? “Yeah, of course you can, Cas. I like giving, sure, but receiving is pretty damn great too.” He grins and winks. “And I'd like to see what kind of moves you've got.”

Cas presses his lips together into a thin line and he looks down at his lap, only one leg actually having made it off the edge of the bed. Oh no. Now what?

“I think you've misunderstood me, Dean.” He chances a glance and then shifts uncomfortably – understandable, considering the pounding his ass just took. “I tried telling you, but it wasn't just anal sex that I've never had before.”

Holy. Fucking. Shit. No way. No. There is no feasible way Cas could possibly be saying what Dean thinks he's trying to say. He clears his throat, but his “What?” still comes out as pretty much a singular squeak.

After one hell of a deep (and apparently seriously calming) breath, Cas looks Dean full in the face with complete seriousness. “I've never had sex before. At all. Everything I know about it is what I've seen in Gabriel's magazines, the stories you've told, and the porn we've watched – as well as some research and pointers I looked up after you first fingered me.” He pauses and the blush in his cheeks gets a little darker. “You were also my first kiss.”

“Son of a bitch.” The words are out before Dean even knows he's thought them.

He had his suspicions, but Dean didn't even want to think that this was a possibility. Not because it would have been bad, but because he didn't want to go and get all his hopes up or anything. Holy shit. If anything, Dean is happy as a fucking clam right now. Fuck yes! That's two more of Cas's firsts he's been given and Dean kind of wants to shout it from the rooftops that he's the one Cas deemed worthy enough for this.

The only downside is that Dean really wishes that he'd know this was Cas's very first time ever. If he'd known, he would have taken things a little slower. He probably would have tried to make this more special and he would have jumped on that post-sex cuddling for sure. Everyone needs that after their first time – to let them know everything was good and fine and so they won't think sex is just about sex.

God, this shit got complicated fast.

And he should probably be saying something soon because Cas is starting to look embarrassed and his eyes are getting all sad looking.

Cas ducks his head and scrambles off the bed, mumbling quickly. “I'm sorry, Dean. I thought I had been fairly obvious, but you kept referring to my past partners and I thought that if I said anything about my being a virgin then you wouldn't want to continue our arrangement.” He’s not meeting Dean’s eyes and he makes a break for the door. “I'm sorry. I should have – You can just forget –”

“Whoa, Cas, hey.” Dean bounces from the bed and cuts him off, grabbing Cas's arm again. “Don't worry about it, okay? This is totally fine with me.”

For good measure, Dean puts on a soft smile and draws him into a hug. Cas is all stiff for a moment before he sags against Dean's chest and hugs him back. “Are you sure? I basically lied to you.”

True. But Cas lied because he wants this too – maybe as much as Dean does. He kisses Cas's forehead, then his cheek, and finally his lips. “Seriously, this is fine.”

A relieved sigh gets lost somewhere between kisses and Cas's arms wrap firmly around Dean's waist. Yeah, Cas lied, but Dean still got what he wanted and he's pretty damn happy about that. There are other reasons why he’s happy too. A whole bunch of reasons, actually. And all of those reasons are piling up on the other side of the wall where Dean is firmly putting all the things he doesn't want to look too deeply into. With them gathered on the other side of that wall, he can ignore them as best as he can.

Exactly why he's so happy about this whole thing (the arrangement, Cas being a virgin, so on and so forth) goes right on top of that pile.

Chapter Text

Two days later and Dean is still whistling, even while he's at work and elbow deep in the exhaust system of a Volkswagen that better belongs in a museum then it does on the road. He can't help it. Everything just feels super awesome right now and he honestly can't remember the last time that he was this happy. When was the last time he even fucking whistled? He doesn't know, but he's doing it loud enough that he doesn't even hear the chime on his phone go off.

It's just an email, but Dean doesn't know it's there until he's on his lunch break and chowing down on some cold pizza. He raises an eyebrow at the sender – Cas's Gmail account – and the subject line: You've Earned It. There's nothing in the email except a square asking him to download an image. While it's loading, Dean entertains the thought that Cas might have sent him a dirty picture. How sweet would that be?

What he gets is almost as good.

Like a blast from the past, there's Dean and Sam standing at the counter of Café du Crowley. Dean has his arm on the edge of the cake display, leaning into it with his other hand fisted on his hip. It's one of those days that he wore his tightest t-shirt and he's all out grinning at Sam on the other side of the counter. Sam's face is all scrunched up with a laugh and Dean's smile is so genuine that he can’t help wondering if he’s smiled like that since then.

Judging from the angle of the picture, Dean can almost definitely say that it was taken from the corner that Cas used to sit in all the time. It's actually a really nice photo of the both of them. The picture has been altered to gray tones and Dean likes it. He's kind of surprised by how much he likes it. In fact, he likes it so much that he makes up his mind about what to do with it in a matter of moments and heads out into the waiting room and the front desk before he’s even finished eating.

“Hey, Jo, lemme use the computer for a second.”

She looks up from her game of solitaire and frowns. “What for? You know the rules. No porn at the garage or Bobby's gonna castrate you with the rustiest tool we've got.”

“No porn, I promise.” Dean rolls her and the chair out of the way. “I just need to place an order for something real quick.”

Jo scoots closer and leans into his shoulder while Dean accesses his email to download the image properly. She makes a little aww-ing noise and he lets it slide since it doesn't sound mocking. If it had, he'd have shoved her chair clear across the office. This is a work of art and it makes his heart flutter every time he looks at it. Cas won't know that, but he'll still see that Dean likes it enough to place an online order for it to be printed up at the nearest Walmart Photo Center.

“Who took that?”

“A friend.” Dean shrugs her off and makes sure to log out of everything before he lets her have the computer back. “It's pretty nice though, right?”

She hums and pulls up her game again. “You almost looked human.”

He snorts a laugh and tweaks her ear before making a run for the lunch room again. It's a candid shot and nothing anyone says is going to make him like it any less. Hell, he likes it enough that while he's at Walmart, picking up the picture after work, he even buys a little magnetic frame to go with it. As soon as he's home, Dean sticks it on the fridge with the same pride as a parent putting up one of their kid's painted projects or something.

There's something still missing from the fridge, though. Dean doesn't need to look hard to figure it out. It needs a picture of Cas with one (or both) of them. Hell, it just needs a picture of Cas, period. He's a part of this family too. Well, it looks like Dean’s going to have badger Cas into forking over a picture of himself – if he's taken any that is. Maybe he's used a timer thing on himself somewhere. Either way, Dean wants one.

It hits him two minutes later that he doesn't have any pictures of Cas. There's nothing but his name in Dean's phone and that's a damn shame. He has pictures of everyone in his little family and at least one picture of all his other friends. Having a photo option is the entire reason that Dean scraped together the big bucks to be able to afford a new phone.

Well, fine. Guess he knows what he's going to do when Cas gets home today. It's the weekend, which means Sam’s at work and should be done in an hour or two and Cas is out doing the food shopping. Usually Dean goes with him, but when it's garage day, Cas makes the store run on his own. He has to take the bus on those days, so he never buys more than what he can fit in two bags – but that's plenty. Dean can scrape together something decent tasting from pretty much anything.

Cas shows up less than an hour after Dean gets home. Dean has his feet up on the living room table ignoring the TV in favour of playing Angry Birds on his phone. He looks over his shoulder and watches Cas carry the shopping bags into the kitchen. Cas has his backpack too and judging by the funky shape of it, he bought more than Dean expected him too.

“Hey, Cas. Need a hand?”

“If you wouldn't mind.”

He turns off the TV but he doesn't get up. “C'mere for a second, would'ja?”

After the thump of bags on the kitchen table, Cas's footsteps come up behind him. “Am I in trouble for the picture?”

“Nope.” Dean switches to camera mode and sets it to face him. “Lean down for a sec, okay?”

He gestures over his shoulder until Cas is within reach and he can tug his arms into place. By the end of it, Cas is folded over the couch and his arms are resting comfortably around Dean's shoulders. His head is right next to Dean's and there's a curious little frown showing on the screen for the split second before Cas puts on his nice face for the picture. It's a small little smile, all warm and reflected in his eyes. It's perfect and Dean’s own smile comes so naturally he doesn’t even check himself out to make sure he looks okay before he takes the picture.

“What do you think, Mr. Photographer-man?” Dean glances over his shoulder at Cas and switches to the album mode for Cas to check it out.

“It looks good, but why did you do that?”

“I don't have any pictures of you.” He shrugs and tucks the phone away while he gets to his feet. “And I wanted one.”

Cas frowns and tilts his head. “If you asked, I could have sent you one.”

That snaps up his curiosity as they head into the kitchen to put away the groceries. “Oh? You have some good ones?”

“They were taken by Gabriel, so I can't speak for the quality.” The smug little smile on Cas’s face pulls a laugh out of Dean.

“Nah, I want something taken by you.” He pulls open the freezer, hiding the picture on it against the wall, while he puts away the frozen goods.

Cas shakes his head. “The timer function on my phone isn't very good for that. It would be a selfie at best and as interesting as those are, I don't think that's what you were referring to.”

“Then you need to get a proper camera. With a tripod and a timer thing and all the extra bits and bobs and shit.” Dean shrugs, focusing more on shuffling around the freezer items to make room for Cas's box of popsicles. Finding out that Cas has a thing for those damn near almost killed Dean the first day he came out of his room to find him sucking on one – and at that point Dean was still with Lisa and he’d felt extra bad about the dirty thoughts that had kicked up.

“Photography is an expensive hobby.” Cas points out, busying himself with putting away the boxes and cans from one of the bags. “And I would have to pay for it myself. My parents would see a hobby like that as something frivolous.”

“I think it would be worth it.” He shuts the freezer and starts on the fridge. “I really liked it.”

“You didn't think that I was being a stalker?” Cas pauses and glances at him. “I took that picture well before we were ever friends.”

It's not all that creepy now that they are friends, but Dean still likes it. “Nah, don't worry. It was candid and you grabbed a good moment. If I was uncomfortable with it, I wouldn't have put it on the fridge of honour.” He raps his knuckles against the freezer door next to the picture. “See?”

Cas's ears go red and he reaches out to pull it down. “Dean! You can't hang this here!”

“Too late!” Dean laughs and grabs his wrist, pulling him away from the fridge entirely. “I already did and once it's been done it can't be undone!” He tugs Cas in close enough that their chests bump and he can ghost a kiss across Cas's cheek before he steps back again. “I like it.”

His whole face is red now and Cas turns away sharply. He doesn't look mad – more like he's embarrassed or something – and he darts out of the kitchen. The bathroom door slams behind him and Dean lets it slide while he finishes unpacking the rest of the groceries. It'll give Cas the time to deal with his shyness on his own.

Except that Cas still hasn't come out of the bathroom by the time Dean is done organizing the cupboards to his personal specifications and picked out what he’s going to make for supper tonight. The shower is running now, but judging by Dean's watch, it's been ten minutes longer than Cas's usual shower time. Which means that it's his time to investigate and make sure that Cas hasn't drowned himself in the tub or something.

“Dude, if you're jerking off or something, I could help y'know!” Dean knocks on the door and smothers a laugh when Cas yanks it open almost the moment he's done talking.

Cas drags him into the bathroom and uses Dean's body to slam the door shut, shoving him up against it roughly. The room is a little steamy and Cas's hair is all wet and spiky in some places and flat in others. There's a towel around his waist and Dean is severely distracted from further observation by Cas's extremely intense eyes. They’re nose to nose but Cas isn’t doing anything. He’s just staring and waiting – for permission, maybe? With every breath that Cas ghosts across his lips, Dean can feel his pulse ratchet up.

“You gonna kiss me or not?” Dean whispers and Cas practically falls into him.

He’s gotten a lot better at kissing since they started this and Dean wants to contribute most of that to their hour long make-out session he coaxed Cas into after sex the other day. His hands are everywhere – pushing Dean's shirts up and fumbling at his belt. The moment Cas has to pull away so Dean can step out of his pants, it's his turn and Dean doesn’t hold back.

Cas ends up against the small counter, practically sitting on it with Dean’s thigh shoved between his legs. He ruts against that while Dean pulls a soft groan out of him with a bite to his bottom lip. There's still a towel between them, but it's not there for long after Dean drops to his knees. It's between him and getting his mouth on Cas's cock and there is very little that would stop him from that right now. Cas definitely has a thing for pulling his hair, his fingers already twisting and nails scraping Dean's scalp as he sucks him down.

From the state of his dick, Dean would say that Cas had been jerking off in the shower. He mentally grins to himself and gets to work, making sure to be just sloppy enough that he can get his fingers wet too. Cas hums and gasps and squirms against the counter while Dean gives him a rudimentary nothing-too-special-about-it blow job – right up until he slips those slick fingers between Cas's legs and finds his hole.

To Dean's surprise – and pleasure – Cas is already loose and open. He looks up at Cas, one eyebrow quirked as he slips two fingers inside easily and takes as much of Cas down his throat as he can. Was Cas out and about with someone else today? Or was he having fun all on his own in the shower? Dean is going to lean heavily towards the latter on that. Cas is still pretty new to sex and Dean highly doubts that he’s getting some on the side only a few days after his very first fuck.

Cas whimpers and his hips twitch. “I – since the first time you fingered me – I've been –” He gasps when Dean glances a finger over his prostate. “Every time I shower – I – Dean.”

Well, that's certainly intriguing. If Dean's lips weren't stretched around Cas's cock right now, he would be smiling. It’s a nice surprise and it definitely makes things easier for them if they want a quickie in between when Sam is and isn't around. He won't need as much stretching and Dean once again thanks the powers that be for giving him Cas. Not that Cas is his – but the point still stands rather nicely.

“Dean – Dean –” Cas shoves at Dean's head right after he makes a familiar groan and the muscles in his stomach start to get all jumpy and tense. He's on the verge of coming, so why the hell is he pushing Dean away now? “I want – Dean, stop.”

Disappointed, Dean sits back on his heels and frowns up at him. “What is it?”

“I want to –” If he wasn't already red, Dean's pretty sure Cas would be turning a few shades darker right now. The rest of his words spit out in a rush. “Can I come on your face?” And as an afterthought; “Please?”

That's not exactly what Dean was expecting, but it's definitely something he can do. Besides, he's already come on Cas's face – accidentally, of course. He grins and leans forward again, lapping at the head of Cas’s cock with broad swipes of his tongue while he jacks him quickly. Dean's fingers stay buried in him, scissoring and purposefully rubbing over Cas's prostate until he's biting back a groan. His hands hold Dean's head still while Dean closes his eyes and keeps jerking him until Cas touches his wrist to get him to stop.

There's come across his lips and down his chin. He can feel it on his cheek and the side of his nose too. Far as Dean knows, nothing got on his eyes or in his hair, but he doesn't risk doing anything until Cas grabs him under the arms and yanks him to his feet. After a moment, a hesitant and warm tongue slips over his cheek and along his nose before dropping to his chin.

It’s like he’s saving Dean’s mouth for last and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Dean lets Cas clean his lips completely before he draws him into a hard kiss. There's a certain thrill to being able to taste Cas on his own tongue, but it’s not nearly as good as tasting himself there. He groans around into the kiss and rubs his own neglected erection against Cas's thigh. Maybe if he makes it obvious, Cas will remember that he hasn’t been taken care of yet.

Cas is a bit wobbly legged, but he still manages to turn them around so Dean is the one with his back against the counter. Somewhere in the background, Dean hears the text tone on his phone in the pocket of his abandoned pants and he ignores it. There are so many better things going on right now to be paying attention to.  Whoever the hell it is can fucking wait – especially with Cas giving him a curious little look that promises all sorts of good things.

He ducks his head a little shyly. “May I try something, Dean?”

“Do whatever you want, Cas.” Dean grins and leans back over the counter, stretching himself out to give Cas access to everything. “I’m all yours.”

Something flickers over Cas’s face, but it’s gone in the blink of an eye. He licks his lips, nods, and lifts a hand to Dean’s face. His fingertips trace the edge of his jaw, feather light before they press against his lips. Dean opens his mouth automatically and the moment those fingers are on his tongue, his eyes slide shut and he starts sucking on them enthusiastically.

Is Cas going to give topping him a try today? It's been a while, but Dean is down for that even if he has no idea when Sam is going to be home. He’s pretty sure they’ve got at least another hour – maybe. Time stops being relevant when Cas starts kissing down his chest. Dean spreads his legs a little when Cas’s free hand drops between them, massaging his balls and giving some long due attention to his cock. There's another ping from his phone, but it's drowned out by Dean's pleased groan around Cas's fingers when he sucks lightly at one of Dean’s nipples.

By the time Cas hits his knees, Dean's hunched over so he can keep running his tongue over and between Cas's fingers. The next ping comes from Cas's phone and they both ignore it completely as Cas closes his mouth around Dean's cock. His fingers are as wet as they're going to get and Dean lifts his leg to rest his foot on the door handle and give Cas all the room he can. His hips jerk slightly when the tip of a finger presses against his hole, rubbing in light circles.

A forth ping – from Cas's phone again – nearly ruins Dean's buzz as Cas gently pushes one finger in. Cas does a decent job of distracting him by looking up at him through his eyelashes – all smoky blue eyes, wild hair, and a day's worth of stubble. He's gorgeous and Dean's heart lurches hard enough that he actually gasps. That dizzying feeling starting to pull tight in his chest gets gathered up and thrown on the other side of his do not think about wall.

They never make it to a second finger. The next time one of their phones goes off, it's Dean's and it's Sam's ring tone that plays. Cas hums an unhappy noise around his cock and Dean sinks his teeth into his bottom lip to keep from groaning again. Without stopping, Cas slips his finger out of Dean carefully and passes him up his pants. The ringing stops by the time Dean actually gets the phone out of his pocket, but there are a couple text messages on the screen that stop his heart cold.

“Fucking shit.” Dean drops his hand to Cas's shoulder and pushes him back. “Fuck – Cas, Sam's here! You have to go get the chain off the door. He's locked out. Shit, shit, shit.” Of all the terrible cock blocking moments. God dammit.

Cas's phone starts to ring too with Sam's tone and he pulls away with a sigh. As he fixes a towel around his waist again, he pouts at Dean. “I was hoping to try rimming you today.”

Dean nearly drops the shirt in his hand. He swallows thickly and looks up at Cas with wide eyes. “What?” No, he definitely heard what he heard. “Never mind. Later. We can – yeah, that can be later.” He shoves Cas's shirt against his chest. “Go let Sam in. Tell him some shit lie about how I was sleeping, you were showering, and I'm in here now because I'm running late for going out with some friends tonight or something. Okay?”

He gets a funny look for that, but Cas still shrugs his shirt on and leaves. Dean puts his phone on vibrate and starts the shower, kicking his clothing into a corner. It occurs to him after a few seconds, right before he steps into the shower, that he doesn't have a towel. The one he uses is hanging over his closet door. Shit.

“Cas!” Dean sticks his head out the door. “Hey, could you get me my towel? I forgot it and I don't want to get dressed again. Oh, hey Sam. When did you get home?”

“You're an idiot, Dean. You should've at least let Cas get dressed before you kicked him out of the bathroom.” Sam sighs, waving Cas off. “Don't worry, I'll get it. Cas, I'm going into my room after, so just give a shout when you're done getting dressed.”

He ducks into Dean's bedroom, clearing the hallway and giving Dean a good look at where Cas is standing at the end of his bed. Cas looks a little ruffled and a bit distraught. Dean just barely manages to lip read his 'I'm sorry' before Sam is back in the hall and handing him his towel. Sam rolls his eyes at him and flounces off into his bedroom like the diva he is, giving Dean the perfect moment to mouth a 'later' at Cas.

Once he's safe in the warmth of the bathroom again, Dean stares at his reflection in the mirror. Well, damn. Now he actually does need to make plans for the bar tonight. There are a few people who would probably show up last minute and he fires off a few texts to them before he steps into the shower. He has the matter of his flagging boner to deal with. It's a disappointing orgasm, considering that he could have been coming in Cas's mouth instead – if Sam hadn't interrupted.

When he's done showering, he’s pleased to find a few texts waiting for him. Ash is down for some brewskies and he wants to bring his new friend, Charlie. Cool, a new guy. It's been a while since his friends brought in someone else. Dean gives his digital thumbs up to that and scrolls on through the other messages.

Benny can't make it because he's starting at a second job and he's got the evening shift. Victor is on patrol and Chuck hasn't answered, but Jo is down for it as long as they don't stay out too late. She's got a shift in the morning and that works fine. Dean isn't planning on finding any hook ups tonight.  He just needs an excuse to be out of the house for a while to keep Sam’s suspicions off him and Cas.

*

Of course Dean’s the first one to show up. He reclines in the booth he snagged and fiddles with his phone to pass the time. First he plays a few games, but those get pretty boring really fast. Next, Dean moves on to flipping through his pictures. The most recent one is the picture he took with Cas earlier today and Dean stares at it until the screen goes dark and he has to tap it to keep it active.

It feels like he should do something with the picture. It's wasted just sitting there in his folder without being used. Maybe he could set it as the background? Either the main screen or the lock screen? No, absolutely not. It's way too intimate. Anyone who sees it is going to automatically assume that Dean and Cas are boyfriends. But they’re not that. They’re fuck buddies. That's what they are. Fuck buddies. Not boyfriends. Putting pictures of each other as their backgrounds is a thing that people in relationships do and they – they're not like that.

Dean shakes himself out of that never ending reminder and shoves the twinge in his chest back behind the wall, distracting himself by opening the messaging app and firing one off to Cas. Hey huggybear what u up to?

                Studying.

                Sam around?

                In his room.

He grins at his phone and glances around, just to make sure no one is peeping when they shouldn't be peeping. So u like taking pics right?

                Yes, we've established that I do.

It's a long shot, but you can't fault a man for trying. What are the chance u'd take dirty pics for me?

                Roughly the same chance you would have of breathing the atmosphere on Mercury.

Damn. Well, it was worth a shot. Would u be one of those guys interested in taking dirty pics of me? There's been a few of those but Dean's shot all those people down. The last thing he needs is a picture of him riding a cock or buried balls deep in someone to end up on the internet. Cas is different though. Dean trusts him.

After a few minutes without an answer from Cas, Dean frowns at his phone and types out another message. Is that a no?

The answer comes almost immediately after that. I had to stop and think about the kind of pictures I would want to take of you like that.

                What's the verdict?

                I would be amenable to it.

That puts Dean's heart rate up and he shifts in his seat, glancing around again. But not of u, huh?

We'll see how comfortable I feel about it later. I DID say that I would try anything once, remember?

Oh yeah, he absolutely remembers that. Dean grins and checks off a point for himself. He's going to need one of those lockable folders on his phone if Cas does end up sending him any pictures. A digital spank bank of Cas pictures. Holy shit, this is not a good place to be thinking about that.

He quickly turns his attention to the saving grace that is another message making his phone buzz in his hands. Aren't you supposed to be with your friends?

                Not here yet u should've come too

                Exams are around the corner. I don’t have the time to waste.

Dean shakes his head and sighs. Man, he is so happy that he’s managed to coast by without having to go to college. As fun as it was to learn and get to do stuff in highschool, all this studying and bullshit is just not his thing. He’d rather learn things the good ol’ fashioned way by doing it himself.

A part of him is pretty disappointed that Cas isn’t here. He’s fun to spend time with and it’s an itch under his skin that they don’t get to hang out much outside of the apartment.

His phone buzzes again. Why would you even want me there? I’m a light weight.

Snorting, Dean types back his own message. An ADORABLE light weight! And maybe he kind of wants to get the chance to see Cas get all flirty with him again.

“Texting your new girlfriend, Winchester?” Jo bounces on the booth cushions as she drops into place next to him. “Where’d you find this one?”

“You know me, Jo.” Dean doesn’t even look up from his phone, thumbs tapping out a quick goodbye message to Cas. “Love ‘em and leave ‘em.”

She sighs and pats him on the shoulder. “You’re a pig, Dean.”

“Of course, I am!” He grins and throws his arm around her, pulling her close to smack a wet kiss against her cheek. “I’m the kind of guy your momma warns you to stay away from.” They both know it’s not true, but the banter is essentially their way of saying hello. “You got a bead on Ash and this Charlie guy, yet?”

Jo shoves him away and wipes a hand across her cheek. “Charlie is a girl, for one, and she’s some great computer goddess or something.” She shrugs and tucks some hair behind her ear. “I think they met in some kind of hacker forum or something.”

Dean knows Ash from highschool. He’s the one who got him the job at the café in the first place, and through Dean, Ash has met everyone else. Either at poker games or coming to the garage to get his piece of shit truck fixed on a near regular basis. Ash prefers to put his money into building some kind of super computer set up in his basement instead of a new car that doesn’t require free man hours from one of his best friends.

Surprisingly, Ash and Jo get along really well. Sometimes Dean suspects something between the two, but that gets dismissed pretty much immediately. Though maybe he shouldn’t be dismissing things so easily anymore since he was so very wrong about going along with his original assumption that Cas wasn’t a virgin despite all contrary evidence. But that’s one thing that turned out really good regardless of his poor judgment.

One last buzz of his phone shows Cas’s goodbye before Dean tucks it away. “Well, y’know the saying, don’t you?” He grins at Jo’s curiously raised eyebrow. “Geeks of a feather flock together.”

A smirk flickers across her lips as her eyes slide from looking at Dean to just behind him. His stomach sinks at a roughly cleared throat. “Say that again, Dean, and you’ll end up in the sexual offender database without a fair trial.”

Dean puts on his best smile and turns in his seat. “Why, Ash, I didn’t know you were there!”

He flutters his eyelashes at him, for what little good it does, and gives a quick glance over of the petite redhead standing next to him. If he wasn’t tucked away at the back of the booth and it wouldn’t take him forever to slide out and stand, Dean would do it for a proper introduction. The best he can do under circumstances is hold his hand out across the table when they come around to the front of the booth.

“And this much be Charlie! Nice to meet you.”

Charlie looks skeptical, but she shakes his hand anyways before doing the same with Jo. Unlike Dean, Jo pulls her down to whisper in her. “Don’t trust the sweet act. He’s actually a total heel.”

“A heel who played D&D all through highschool before he dropped out.” Ash laughs, letting Charlie slide onto the rounded bench seat so she gets the spot next to Dean.

The news makes Charlie light up with interest, but Dean groans and covers his face with his hands. “That was our secret, Ash!”

“D&D, huh?” A sharp elbow catches him in the side and he chances a glance at Charlie through his fingers. “Have you ever LARPed?”

Jo groans and gets to her feet at the same moment that Dean drops his hands. “I’m going to go get drinks and start a tab. Anyone want something?”

“Another beer, thanks.” Dean taps his nearly empty bottle without taking his eyes off Charlie. “What the heck is LARPing?” It feels like that’s something he should know and if it’s anywhere near as fun as D&D was, it’s probably also going to be something that he might want to get into.

It would be kind of sweet to get back into playing D&D. His old group was back before he dropped out of highschool and was all but forced to quit because life got busy with doing everything he could to be a legal guardian for Sam. They always used to tell him that he had a head for battle plans and Dean enjoyed the chance to escape into a fantasy world for a while. That was something he really missed when life was hell for a while after the accident.

Charlie gives her drink order to Jo and immediately launches into explaining all about live-action role-playing. And she doesn’t stop – mostly because Dean keeps asking questions. This whole Moondor thing sounds pretty damn interesting and the more she talks, the more Dean wants to see it firsthand. Preferably in armour with a regulation sword in hand.

The last thing he really expected to do was spend the rest of the evening geeking out over battle plans on Charlie’s tablet, but he still has a ridiculously good time doing it. Jo and Ash get dragged into the conversation too, bickering about how a catapult shouldn’t go there and an infantry unit would be better off going here. It’s not exactly Jo’s scene and Ash is more into the computer aspects, but they both know how to have fun and that’s definitely what the evening is. Fun.

Surprisingly, by the time Dean goes home – with a new number in his phone and the plans to go observe a LARP scene next weekend – he ended up not having more than those two beers. He can’t even use being tipsy as an excuse for why he leans over the back of the couch to affectionately nuzzle his nose into Cas’s hair after he walks through the front door and makes doubly sure that Sam isn’t within sight.

Cas is curled up in his usual corner of the couch with a book open in his lap. “Did you have a good time out?” He glances over his shoulder, looking both confused and pleased by the gesture.

Really though, Dean shouldn’t have done that. It’s on the other side of the line where they’re currently supposed to be, but he’s in a good mood and he wants to spread the cheer. He shrugs and heads into the kitchen, intent on locating the jug of water they keep in the fridge. A nice cold glass feels right up his alley right now and maybe he and Cas can settle down with a good movie for the rest of the night. They’ve got one more day of weekend left and Cas doesn’t have any classes, so he can afford to stay up after midnight this time around.

“Yeah, it was pretty good. Made a new friend, maybe found a new hobby. I –” He cuts himself off as something on the freezer door catches his eye before he even opens the fridge.

It’s a Polaroid picture of Cas and Gabe sitting at the corner table Cas always sat at in the café. The neat writing across the bottom of the picture is definitely Cas’s and it reads: Castiel & Gabriel. It’s even got the date underneath and if Dean’s not wrong, it’s just a few days after Cas’s highschool graduation.

Gabriel looks like a goof, grinning with one cheek bulged out by whatever lollipop du jour he has in his mouth, teeth chomped down around the stick. He’s leaning across the table with an arm looped around Cas’s shoulder, dragging him close so they’re practically cheek-to-cheek. Cas’s smile is small, just like they always are, but it’s genuine and reflected in his eyes. He looks happy and it makes something warm slip through Dean’s chest.

He abandons the thought of water completely and heads back to the living room. “Sam home?”

“If he hasn’t gone to bed yet, then he’s studying in his room still.” Cas glances up as Dean crouches by the DVDs. “Are you going to watch a movie?”

“Maybe. You’re not studying are you?”

He shakes his head and closes the book, dumping it on the coffee table. “I’m taking a break for the rest of the night. Would you mind if I joined you?”

Dean grins over his shoulder. “I was planning on it, Cas. I’m in the mood for something fantasy. You alright with Dragonheart?”

“I’ve never seen it.”

Well that makes the decision a hundred times easier. Dean pops the DVD in and snags one of the pillows from Cas’s bed. Cas raises one eyebrow curiously before the other joins it in surprise when Dean throws the pillow down on his lap. He’s facing forward and there’s plenty of room for his legs on the coffee table if Cas wants to put them up, but Dean’s got plans for that lap – and surprisingly, they’re not even remotely sexual.

The moment Dean makes himself comfortable, lying on his side and taking up the majority of the couch with Cas’s pillow under his cheek and Cas’s lap under that, Cas makes a weird little noise in the back of his throat. “Dean, what if Sam –”

“He’s not going to think anything of it.” He explains, skipping through the DVD menu. “I’m a comfort and couch hog. This is perfectly normal for me. The most Sam’ss gonna be worried about is if I’m making you uncomfortable or something. I’m not, am I?” Good job with asking the question that should’ve been first as last, Winchester. Sometimes he could just kick himself for his stupidity.

There’s a faint dusting of red across Cas’s cheeks and he shakes his head. “I’m fine. But –” He waves his right hand, currently hanging uncertainly in mid-air. “Where would it be appropriate for me to rest my hand?”

“Wherever’s comfortable for you.”

Cas ends up resting his elbow on Dean’s shoulder while his hand tucks in just behind his head. It doesn’t move until they hear Sam’s bedroom door open partway through the movie. “Guys, I’m going to bed! Can you turn the volume down?”

His thanks comes after Dean complies. As soon as Sam’s door clicks shut again, Cas’s fingers move from resting on the pillow behind Dean’s head to sliding through his hair. It’s a soft, almost absent touch, and Dean’s pretty sure that it is. When he glances back, Cas’s eyes are focused on the screen and he looks completely absorbed in the storyline.

Even though they didn’t get to go very far together today, Dean still likes how the day turned out. He made a new friend and might be branching out his interests for the first time in years, and he gets to spend the rest of the evening hanging out with Cas. That’s probably the highlight right there and if he didn’t want to watch the rest of the movie, he’d be pretty happy with closing his eyes and letting himself drift off right now.

Chapter Text

Maybe it’s the stress of exams, or maybe it’s something entirely different, but Cas is acting weird as hell today. Dean first noticed it when he came home this morning after a night out with Benny and the boys. It was nothing special, but he had enough to drink that it seemed like a good idea to go home on the arm of a tall brunette with blue eyes and curves in all the right places.

Of course, that doesn’t explain why Cas doesn’t even say ‘hi’ when Dean walks through the front door. He doesn’t even look up from his textbooks and laptop where he’s studying at the table. It could be that Cas is in a hell of a zone, but he’s never not welcomed Dean home before. Or ever spent the whole day basically ignoring his existence. By the time they’re all finished supper, the only words Cas has said to Dean all day is to thank him for the meal.

It only makes the hollow feeling in Dean’s stomach spread right up into his chest.

Usually after a night out, Dean can coast on the after-sex bliss for a few days. This morning he woke up in someone else’s bed and he had no good feelings. Nothing felt good and he cleared out of there the moment it was okay to. All he wanted was to get home, shower, and spend the rest of the day hanging out in the comfort of his own apartment with his brother and best friend.

At least he sort of got that. Sam was studying with Cas at the table too and they would talk between each other. Dean spent the day on his laptop on the couch, just to keep close to them. And Sam would talk to him and watch TV with him whenever he took a break from studying. But it’s the way Cas is acting that’s making it very hard for Dean to achieve the level of relaxation he was hoping to have today.

When the end of the day rolls around, Cas heads to bed without so much as a goodnight and Sam isn’t much later than him. Dean is left to hole up in his bedroom with his laptop so he doesn’t bother Cas with the TV. But all he can do is stare at the screen, contemplating his options of internet surfing, porn, sleep, or opening his email to find out if Charlie is online. She has this great way of distracting him with interesting conversations and taking his mind off everything else.

Specifically, Dean is really into learning more about Moondor and it’s proven to be really helpful with taking his mind off Cas and – and this growing mass of shit Dean keeps piling behind the wall in his head. Cas’s mood today goes right behind that wall too. It’s everything Dean doesn’t want to think about or deal with because if he deals with it, he could potentially lose one of his very best friends and he does not want that. He’s already decided that he’d rather stop having sex with Cas than risk their emotions getting involved and losing him completely.

Talking with Charlie isn’t going to help that tonight. She might pick up on his need to be distracted and end up wheedling it out of him. Dean just isn’t ready for that. He’s not ready to tell anyone about his maybe-not-so-past crush on Cas that no one really knew about. Sam and Jess might have suspected that Dean had feelings for Cas once upon a time, but that was a long time ago and the chances of them both still thinking that are – hopefully – just as dead as Dean’s more-than-platonic feelings should be.

Dean shuts his laptop and goes to bed feeling worse than when he woke up this morning. It’s not any better when he wakes up again and Cas doesn’t even look at him. They’ve had plenty of blow jobs since Sam interrupted them the other week, but there hasn’t had enough time for anything more with exams right around the corner and Sam being around for a lot of studying. Is Cas upset because exams are cutting into their time together and he’s not getting any sexual release? Or is it something else that Dean doesn’t even know about?

“Heading to the library.” Sam calls from the front door about two seconds after Dean steps out of the bathroom, fresh from a shower even though he changed right back into another pair of pajamas. It’s rare that he gets two days off in a row. Today is going to be another lazy day and nothing is going to get him out of this apartment.

“I’m bringing Jess home with me after our study group is over. Y’want me to grab anything on the way home? Pizza? Chinese?”

“Nah, I’m making burgers.” Dean yawns and shoves a hand under his shirt to scratch at his belly as he shuffles into the kitchen. “Have fun, Sammy.”

He throws another goodbye over his shoulder and the door clicks shut behind him. From what Dean saw, Cas is still in bed. Which is actually a little weird. Cas is usually up by now and Dean’s pretty sure that he has a class today at some point. Maybe. It’s getting to the point that he’s not really sure about anything when it comes to Cas. They should get some kind of schedule up in the kitchen. There’s that whole wall beside the fridge that could be used.

While Dean’s thinking about and pouring himself some cereal, Cas gives him another stellar example of why Dean isn’t sure about anything to do with him. He doesn’t even know that Cas got out of the bed until he hears the chain being put over the door. The bowl of cereal is still waiting for its milk on the counter, but that goes ultimately unattended because Cas is suddenly very much right there next to him. Cas doesn’t say a word, but Dean’s never seen him look so determined as he gets pressed back against the counter with a surprisingly hard kiss.

Okay, so, maybe it is something to do with Sam being around too much right now. Stress relief. That’s something that Dean can do – and it’s apparently something Cas really is after because he’s dragging Dean’s hands to his ass before he gets to work shoving his own hands up under Dean’s shirt. This is, without a doubt, the most demanding Cas has ever been. Despite being completely confused, Dean doesn’t mind it in the least. If he’s ever going to let himself think about Cas’s motivations for being moody, it’s going to be later.

*

The next time Dean comes home in the morning after a night out – less than a week later – it’s the same deal. He gets the cold shoulder and then Cas is on him the next day the first moment they have to themselves. Dean could worry about it, or he could keep right on going with his original assumption that it’s nothing more than exam stress. It’s easier to just conveniently ignore how wrong he’s been with all of his past assumptions about Cas.

Dean really doesn’t want to think about anything else when he has Cas rocking in his lap.

*

Over the course of a month it happens a third time, and a fourth time before Cas’s last exam, and again over a week after that. So, okay, apparently it’s not exam stress after all. But Dean has noticed a correlation. He’d be blind not to. Cas’s moods always happen whenever Dean goes out at night and doesn’t come home until the morning.

Is this Cas’s way of showing that he still doesn’t approve of his lifestyle? Or maybe – just maybe – Cas might be jealous. Whether he is or isn’t, Dean doesn’t want to ask.

He and Cas are fuck buddies. That’s it. They’re not boyfriends. Just because Dean’s noticed that his bar flings have dropped over the last month doesn’t mean anything. After all, those are something he could only keep up for so long. It doesn’t mean anything that he’s gone from sex with strangers a couple times a week to once a week to – well – the only thing he had this week was a messy handjob in the bathroom before he called it quits and crashed on Benny’s sofa-bed for the night.

Dean figures that the massive decline in his bar flings is more from the fact that he has an almost guaranteed thing back home with Cas. When he wasn’t in one of his moods, Cas was still willing to sneak a blow job whenever Sam was out of the apartment. So, really, why should Dean waste money drinking overpriced beer while dealing with a bunch of other drunk people when he could spend the night at home where he’s just as likely to hook up with Cas as he is to hook up with someone at the bar?

It helps that Cas is more attractive than most of the people Dean would see out and about. He’s hot as fuck, fun to hang out with, and open to trying almost anything. For example; usually Dean has issues with shower sex and slipping and everyone involved not being able to brace themselves properly. But Cas’s flexibility is verging on ninja and they haven’t had a problem yet. Dean’s had more than one shower interrupted the moment Sam is out of the apartment – especially on a day after the cold shoulder.

Frankly, Dean doesn’t want to admit that Cas is jealous. If he is, that’s Cas’s problem. It doesn’t mean anything that he was Cas’s first. That was just a happy coincidence or some bullshit. They’re not dating and Cas has just as much right to go out and put his new skills to the test as Dean does. They’re fuck buddies and Dean is going to keep reminding himself of that right up to kingdom come.

*

The great thing about this arrangement with Cas is that even though they don’t get the chance to fuck as often as Dean would like (granted, that would end up being every damn day) Cas is still always down for both giving and receiving blow jobs. With the end of exams, they’ve been able to get those in practically every day in between when Sam is in and out of the apartment with seeing Jess and getting ready to start his new job being a bag boy at the grocery store.

Dean’s pretty sure that Sam has no idea what he and Cas are up to. They’ve been super sneaky and Dean hasn’t tried for anything more than a quick kiss whenever Sam is home. He can’t wait for Sam to start working during the day. There’s going to be so much Sam-free time for him and Cas that Dean would be hard just from thinking about it if he wasn’t already really aroused at the moment.

He drags his fingers through Cas’s hair, letting them catch and pull lightly. Cas always seems to like getting his hair pulled a little. Dean has to bite his bottom lip to hold back a moan as he’s rewarded with a steamy eyed stare. It always makes his stomach flip when Cas looks up at him while he’s got his cock in his mouth. Cas has gotten really good at giving blow jobs. It’s not surprise, what with all the practice they’ve been getting in. But Dean is still impressed and he’s fucking loving it. He doesn’t even care that they haven’t really tried doing much else together yet.

Cas apparently has this thing about wanting to get really good at one thing before he moves on to anything else. The moment he figured out that he’s got blow jobs down, he started experimenting with rimming. Once or twice during a sixty-nine, Dean will feel a tongue flick over his hole and that is more than okay with him.

Even though he’s brave enough for giving that a try, Cas still hasn’t asked to try topping him. Dean’s kind of waiting for the day when Cas is going to decide that he’s good enough at bottoming to want to try topping. Judging from how often Cas has had him come recently just from fingering him while he’s blowing him, Dean thinks he might be gearing up to ask for it.

A fantastic example of that is this very moment, actually. Dean’s hips jerk and he groans as he thumps his head back against the pillows when Cas rubs over his prostate. Does he have the spot fucking memorized or something? Jesus. His breathing keeps stuttering and Dean digs his heel into the back of Cas’s shoulder. This is fucking torture.

“Would y’just – God, Cas, either fuck me or –” Dean chokes off with another moan as Cas takes him as deep as he can and brushes over his prostate.

He’s close, but Cas keeps pulling back and teasing him instead of letting him come. Cas is dragging this out on purpose and if he ends up developing an attachment to being one of those assholes who likes to deny his partner their orgasm for as long as possible, Dean’s going to show him exactly how fun that is. But Cas is apparently pretty damn merciful and he hums around Dean’s cock.That’s it – that’s enough.

Cas keeps stroking him while he swallows before he pulls off with a grin, an eyebrow raised in silent question while he slides his fingers out. Dean refuses to acknowledge it and drops his legs to the bed. A kiss gets pressed to his stomach and it unleashes a whole storm of butterflies up into Dean’s chest. He hums and reaches down to pull Cas up to lay against him. Another groan escapes him when he tastes himself on Cas’s tongue.

Sam only ran out with the Impala to go pick up Jess, so they don’t have that long, but Dean will take every chance given to him to kiss Cas.  

*

Dean takes a look at the calendar they have stuck on the kitchen wall. It’s one of those massive half-cork board, half-white board things. Dean spent longer than necessary taping out straight lines on the white board to mark out enough squares for a calendar. Now he, Cas, and Sam write out their schedules on it.

It’s the first few days of June and his social calendar for the month looks like it’s lacking, but that’s about to be fixed. So far, all he has down is Cas’s Taekwondo competition next weekend. Dean picks up the blue marker and carefully writes just below that ‘dinner & LARP shopping’. The weekend after, he adds a great big LARP over the Saturday and the Sunday.

After the few scenes Charlie’s dragged him to, Dean’s hooked. Where else is he going to get to play fight with swords and shit? The most he thinks he’s going to have trouble with is figuring out the proper way he’s supposed to talk. But the clothing? That’s easy enough. Charlie gave him the name of a store to hit up and he’s dragging everyone with him after they celebrate Cas’s sure-to-be-a-win with dinner. If he’s lucky, he might be able to convince them to join too.

Yup.

This is definitely going to be an awesome month.

*

Today sucks and Dean hasn’t even left for work yet. Not only did Cas not come home last night, but Dean got woken up when Sam and Jess decided to have a little early morning loving before Sam headed off to his job at the store. And the cherry on the cake? He just got a text from Jess saying she’s stuck in the bathroom in need of feminine products and there are none in her purse.

Dean doesn’t even bother getting the Impala out of the parking garage. There’s a convenience store down the street on the corner and they’ve got tampons. He knows. He’s seen them when he’s gone there to get a quick snack sometimes.

With a bag filled with tampons and a couple packages of chips, Dean slouches along the sidewalk wishing he’d gotten that extra hour of sleep he’d be having right now if Sam and Jess hadn’t woken him. He’d stayed up a little too late last night reading and definitely not waiting for Cas. It’s not like Cas had said he was only going out for a weekend-before-the-competition ritual with some of his friends from his Taekwon-dojo or something.

They were headed to some kind of restaurant and Cas had said he’d be getting a ride back with one of his friends. He knows that if he needs a ride, he can call Dean anytime. Cas knows. So the fact that he didn’t come home last night can only mean one of two things (that Dean can currently think of). Either he’s dead in a ditch somewhere, or he went home on the arm of someone else. It had taken every fiber of Dean’s being not to text Cas the later the night got. If he did, he might’ve ended up sounding like a worried boyfriend and he is anything but that. He wasn’t worried and he sure as hell wasn’t waiting.

And you know what? It’s totally fine if Cas went home with someone else. Completely alright. Dean is definitely okay with it. He’s so okay with it that he’s just not going to think about it at all and instead totally pay all his attention to the sweet little red Porsche that’s parked at the curb in front of his building. It’s not one of the fancier models, but it is a convertible with the top up and it looks like it’s in pristine condition and it is gorgeous.

Dean doesn’t drool over it, but ninety-nine percent of the reason why could be that he just accidentally glanced through the front window at the people inside. How is it even possible for his timing to be this bad? It’s just his luck that it’s Cas inside with a pretty lady who is miles outside of Dean’s league. Not that that would stop him from hitting on her at least once if he came across her in a bar, but still. If he wasn’t so in control of himself, Dean’s jaw might actually drop.

Something bitter stings the back of Dean’s throat and his stomach hits his boots when the lady in the car tugs Cas to lean toward her seat. He’s spared actually seeing what happens by the glare of the sun on the windshield as he gets closer to the apartment building but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened. The moment Cas gets out of the car, looking so out of place next to it in his old tan trench coat, Dean knows. He can see it in how mussed Cas’s hair is; like a hand has been run through it a million times; his clothing is rumpled like it spent the night on a floor; and there’s a fresh fucking lipstick stain on his goddamn cheek.

The smile Dean gives as Cas shuts the door and stops mid-turn when he sees him is so fake that Dean doesn’t know how Cas’s returning smile can possibly be as genuine as it is. He clears his throat and comes to a stop a few feet away. “Mornin’, Romeo. Did’ja have a good night?”

Cas tilts his head and shrugs. “No better than expected. Why are you –” He’s cut off by the honk of the horn from the red car as it pulls away from the curb.

On reflex, Dean lifts his hand to wave at the same time Cas does. “Got yourself a sugar mama last night, huh? I’m impressed.” He is impressed, and kind of jealous (and purposefully ignoring the little voice at the back of his head that’s telling him he’s jealous of the wrong person).

It feels like someone punched him in the gut and it’s all Dean can do to keep himself smiling right now. But he won’t be like Cas. If Cas’s moods really are him being jealous and that’s the reason for the cold shoulder whenever Dean turns up in the morning, then Dean is going to be the bigger person. He’s not going to snub Cas on a day-after and he’s not going to make a big fucking deal about it. This is normal for fuck buddies and that’s all they are.

This just happens to be the first time that Dean has a fuck buddy he previously had feelings for. Emphasis on the previous. This is just – This is shit that Dean needs to learn too. He knew it was going to be hard the first time that he knew for fact that Cas was out with someone else and this just happens to be one of those times he really wishes he was assuming things wrong. Again.

“Sugar mama?” Cas frowns and tilts his head, eyebrows pinching together like he doesn’t understand the term or something.

Dean gestures at the red car before it turns off their street. “Yeah, the fancy car.”

“That was Kali’s car.”

Why does that name sound familiar? Dean feels like he should know this name. But he can’t remember where and he’s not about to ask. A part of him really wants to know more about Cas’s sugar mama, but the other (even greater) part of him wants nothing to do with it. The more he learns, the worse he’s going to feel and right now Dean needs to start working on not caring about any of this.

He shrugs and turns towards the building. “It’s a nice car.”

Cas still sounds confused as he follows Dean to the stairs. They’re only a few floors up and Dean doesn’t exactly feel like standing in the elevator with Cas right now. He doesn’t look like he’s showered yet and Dean doesn’t want to know if he smells like Kali’s perfume or not. Worse yet, he doesn’t want to know if Cas still smells like he just had sex. Dean’s pretty sure his heart wouldn’t be able to take it.

“Is Sam home?”

“Nah, he left for work already.” Dean veers off at their floor and ducks out into the hallway. Cas is right on his heels and Dean lifts the plastic bag. “But Jess is in the bathroom and she needed me to go buy her some crap.”

“I see.” His voice pitches into an almost disappointed tone that goes right on top of Dean’s I’m-gonna-choose-to-ignore-that pile. “Do you work today?”

He nods and unlocks the apartment door, shouldering it open almost in the same movement. “Yeah, I gotta leave right away. I’ll be back before supper. You have class, right?”

“Only one today. I should be home by two. Would you like me to get supper started?”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it when I get home.” Dean doesn’t bother taking off his shoes and he tries really hard not to stomp up the hallway after he tosses his chips onto the kitchen table. “Hey, Jess! I got your damn tampons. I’m covering my eyes and opening the door.”

The bag is snatched out of his hand before he’s even got it wedged through the open crack of the door. If she can be on her feet, why the hell couldn’t she have gotten that crap on her own? Then Dean could’ve been up here instead of having to see what he saw (which definitely isn’t bothering him!) and then his day wouldn’t feel as shitty as it does before it really starts.

“Are you going to be much longer, Jess?” Cas calls up the hall while he starts tugging clothes out from the drawers under his bed. “I need to shower before class.”

“Done in a sec!” She answers.

There is literally no point in Dean sticking around anymore. Jess is going to walk to the university and Cas has his own shit to do. Dean might as well get started on his spectacularly shitty day now. This day isn’t going to get any better. It’s something he can feel in his bones. Nothing good is waiting for him at the garage. The rest of the day is going to be just as shitty as the last ten minutes have been and nothing is going to change that.

Dean barely manages to force a goodbye out before he leaves the apartment, bag lunch and keys in hand. The whole way down to the garage, he yells at himself in his head. This right here? This is verging on cold shoulder and that’s not what he’s going to do. He’s not going to be like that. He’s not. He’s not.

How many times is he going to have to have to tell himself that before it’s going to be true?

*

He knew the day was going to suck, he just didn’t know it would suck this bad. Of course the universe had to prove him wrong. The only slightly good thing about it (that still leaves a bitter weight in his chest) is Cas. More specifically, it’s Cas stretched out on his bed with a book propped against one knee while he’s palming the tented front of his sweats.

Normally, Dean would be over the moon to walk in on his sexual partner (and no, he is not going to add especially Cas after that) giving him the bedroom eyes before the door is even fully closed. He’s interested, sure, but there’s a bunch of things dirtying up this silver lining. For one, is Cas actually wanting sex right now after he spent last night with someone else? It’s all well and good if he is, but it just – it doesn’t feel like something Cas would do. Not from Dean’s perspective, at least.

That was the start of his bad day – Cas coming home all post-sex. Following that, it was a long and busy day at the garage where Dean had to deal with asshole customers who couldn’t tell an ignition from an AP outlet if it burned them in the ass. Then someone (and Dean is almost positive that it was that new Andy guy) left their fucking toolbox exactly where it shouldn’t have been and he went and tripped over the goddamn thing.

Dean’s epic fall not only bruised his dignity, but it severely fucked up his knee. He’s been limping since and he’s pretty sure his knee is actually swelling. Which is entirely why he was looking forward to getting home and locking himself up in his bedroom with a frozen bag of pees bandaged against his knee and a stockpile of DVDs guaranteed to make him forget the world. And frankly, as much as he would love to get rid of his bad mood by fucking Cas into the mattress, Dean’s not sure he’d be able to give Cas a good go with his knee the way it is right now.

Cas has a preference when it comes to their fucking. He likes being on his back or his stomach, or even on his knees with his ass in the air as long as Dean’s the one doing most of the work. When he has to kneel over Dean’s lap and ride him, it’s fine and Cas does a good job with it, but it’s apparently not his favourite thing. It didn’t take long for Dean to pick up on how Cas just likes being held down. He likes having someone’s weight on him.

Even afterward, when they’re making out, Cas will roll and pull Dean so he’s leaning into him. Hell, sometimes Dean is practically on top of Cas while they’re kissing. Dean doesn’t mind it and Cas never actually complains if their positions get switched and he’s the one on the top. If he wasn’t comfortable with it, Dean wouldn’t do it.

With his fucked up knee right now, there’s no way they’d be able to do any of Cas’s favourite positions. And Dean’s not going to get anything remotely close to the kind of leverage he’d need to fuck Cas hard enough to get rid of the dark cloud that’s been following him around since this morning. Knowing that just makes his mood worse. A large part of Dean would give just about anything right now to fuck Cas hard enough that he completely forgets about Kali.

Right now, he has to settle with Cas dropping his book and sitting up with a concerned frown pinching his eyebrows together. “Why are you limping? What happened?”

Dean shrugs and throws his jacket over the back of the couch. “Tripped over shit at work and now my knee is fucking killing me. We’ve got a bag of frozen peas, right?”

Cas looks like he’s completely forgotten about the boner he was rubbing two seconds ago. He's on his feet and crossing the room in a heartbeat. "Let me check. Take off your pants and get off your feet. I'll take care of it."

"You sure you don't want to take care of yourself first, Cas?" Dean makes a vague gesture at Cas’s crotch before he heads into his bedroom. If he's going to be off his feet for the rest of the day, he's doing it in the comfort of his own bed where he can fall asleep and forget this shitty day without having to move from whatever nest he would make for himself on the couch.

"Don't worry about it." Cas calls from the kitchen over the slam of the freezer door. He comes into the bedroom with the first-aid kit from under the bathroom sink. "I was hoping that we would have the chance to – Sam was home earlier and he left with an overnight bag for Jess's. But that's not important. I'll take care of your knee and take care of supper."

Dean drops onto the bed and stretches out with a muffled groan. It shouldn't feel so good to be horizontal. "Hey, if you wanna fuck, I'm down for it. You're just going to have to take the reins."

The bed dips with Cas's weight as he sits on the edge with one leg folded under him. He doesn't say anything while he examines Dean's knee, poking it lightly with his fingertips before he wraps it tightly with a tenser bandage. The last few wraps ties the bag of peas to Dean's knee and the cold starts leaking through the layers of the bandage in seconds. It feels great.

He groans and closes his eyes, settling back in the pillows. Man, if Cas wasn't sitting there staring at him hard enough that he can feel it without opening his eyes, Dean would definitely just pop a couple pain killers and tuck himself in to take a ridiculously early night. But Cas is still there and his hand is resting on Dean's calf, palm and fingers radiating warmth into his skin.

Sighing, Dean looks at him. Right off the bat he's struck a little stupid by how Cas can manage to have so much heat behind his eyes while still looking concerned. Dean can practically see the little wheels turning and he squints at him. "What?"

Cas just keeps staring at him, his head tilting slowly before he moves his hand to Dean's thigh, fingers squeezing lightly. "Can I –" He takes a deep breath and leans forward slightly. "Would it be alright if tried to –" His face screws up with frustration and he squeezes Dean's thigh again. "I would like to fuck you."

They've talked about it before, even if they've never actually made it that far yet. Dean's had Cas's tongue and his fingers in his ass and somehow the thought of Cas fucking him tonight didn't even clue into his brain at any point. He usually defaults to Cas being the one to take it and, as nice a thought as that is, it's not the right way to be thinking here.

Dean clears this throat and nods. "Yeah. Uh, yeah. We can – we can definitely do that." Maybe being on the receiving end of a good hard fuck will be the stress relief that he needs. And he's going to keep going right along with ignoring that dark, bitter little voice in the back of his head reminding him that Cas can show him all the moves he's learned with whoever else he's been with now. Since, clearly, he's been with at least one other person.

That little thought doesn't leave him for a long time. Not even Cas getting naked at the edge of his bed is enough to distract him. Dean wants a shower first and Cas helps him out of the bed and get undressed. It's more than a little annoying to wait while Cas tapes a dissected plastic bag around his knee so it will stay cooled and bandaged during the shower, but Cas makes up for it by covering Dean's thighs and hips with kisses while he strokes him until he's hard as the water warms up.

Cas gets in the shower with him and all but shoves Dean against the wall, guiding his bad leg up to rest his heel on the lip of the tub. With gentle hands, Cas rubs Dean down from head to toe; lathering him up and moving him where he wants him. As soon as the soap is washed away, Cas crowds in close to kiss Dean softly, his hands sliding down to grip Dean's ass and rolls their hips together just as gently as the kiss. Even when he starts fingering Dean open under the showerhead, Cas is all kinds of tender.

But Dean doesn't want soft or gentle. He wants rough and hard. It doesn't matter if he's feeling loose and relaxed right now under Cas's hands and the steading stream of hot water. There's still a dark cloud filling his chest and Dean wants Cas's hands and kisses to be desperate and forceful and make him forget the sliver of jealousy burrowing deeper into his chest.

Once they dry off and make it back to the bed, Cas strips Dean of the plastic covering and the bag of peas. He re-wraps Dean's knee again and settles on his knees between Dean’s legs. More kisses cover the flat of Dean's belly and the arch of his hips, joined with little nipping bites that don't hurt but they do make Dean twitch and gasp at each one.

No marks. That's the rule and Dean kind of hates it. He hates it because Cas has developed a serious fixation of mouthing at his pulse point whenever they take the chance to grind against each other in the bathroom. If Cas was allowed to actually suck at his throat, Dean's almost certain that he would probably come in his pants from it. And don’t even get him started on what it would be like to put his own marks on Cas.

Finally, after what feels like forever, Cas gets his mouth on Dean’s cock and Dean groans happily, tilting his head back into the pillows while he sinks his hands into Cas's hair. He doesn't know exactly when Cas got his hands on the lube, but he twitches and gasps when slick fingers press into him. They spread to get right back to stretching him and Cas finds his prostate to draw another moan out of him.

Cas shoulders Dean's legs, letting his heels drum against his back while he takes his sweet time. It's long enough that Dean starts tugging none-too-lightly at his hair. "Cas – Cas, for the love of fuck, would you – shit, would y'just get on with it?"

Why'd he go and open his big mouth? Asking a question that needs an answer means Cas has to pull off and take away the wet warmth of his mouth. Cas is all but grinning at him when he looks up. "I like taking my time, Dean. There's more I want to do today."

He groans again and bounces his heels on Cas's back. "To do more, you're gonna actually have to put your damn dick in me."

"Not yet." Cas murmurs and shifts so he’s stretched out on his stomach. He dips his head to put his mouth on Dean's balls.

That's nothing new, but Dean has to keep himself from squirming as Cas's tongue flicks back over the space behind them. His hips damn near come of the bed when he feels the heated point of Cas's tongue slide alongside his fingers. Cas doesn't do much more than kiss and lick around the edges of Dean's hole, but he's pretty sure that at least once he actually feels Cas's tongue push in with his fingers. It's a little hard to tell, but it's got him gasping to breathe and if Cas doesn't fuck him soon, Dean make actually spontaneously combust.

The bastard looks entirely too smug when he sits back on his heels and lowers Dean's legs back to the bed. Dean takes the moment to catch his breath and try to get the little twitches of his hips under control while Cas carefully rolls on a condom and spreads lube over his cock. His hands are still slick when he spreads Dean’s thighs again and lines up.

Dean digs his teeth into his bottom lip when he feels the head of Cas’s dick press against his hole. He sucks in a sharp breath through his nose as Cas pushes in slow, his back arching at the slow burn of being filled inch by slow inch. Time turns to a crawl and it feels like it takes fucking fifteen minutes before Cas is finally balls deep with his hips flush against Dean's ass.

Cas is doubled over, his hands on Dean's hips and his forehead practically touching Dean's chest. He's panting hard and his shoulders tremble slightly. Dean smoothes his hands through Cas's hair softly, trying to calm him down enough so he'll fucking move. He's just sitting there and it's driving Dean crazy. If he could, Dean would try moving his own hips, but Cas has an iron grip on them. For a nerdy little dude with tattooed wings, he's a hell of a lot stronger than Dean would expect just from looking at him (even with the knowledge that he's a martial artist).

"Fuck." Dean hisses, digging his fingertips into Cas's shoulders. It’s a swear and a command for Cas to get moving.

This is awesome. He likes feeling full and he can't wait for Cas to actually start the show on the road, but there's something different about this. The burn of having someone else actually in him isn't just physical. There's something hotter searing the inside of his chest, burning itself into his ribs. It's hard to breathe and he has to close his eyes closed and focus on keeping control of himself. Otherwise, he might end up saying something that he shouldn’t be saying.

The worst part is, Dean isn’t all that sure of what that something is.

It takes Cas forever to sit back again and slide his hands to the back of Dean’s thighs. He guides them up until he might as well have Dean’s legs over his shoulders again. Dean crosses his ankles behind Cas’s back and bites stifles a gasp when Cas drops a kiss to the middle of his chest.

“You need to keep that knee elevated, Dean.”

Jesus Christ. Let the kid top and he thinks he’s the cat’s meow. Dean would snark at him for it, but Cas is making it up by finally starting to move and the ability to form words is quickly drying up. Too bad Cas is taking his sweet time; his hips pumping in an agonizingly slow rhythm while he keeps changing angles. He’s got Dean’s sweet spot memorized with his fingers, but it’s a whole different ball game when it’s with a dick.

When Dean thinks he’s safe enough to open his eyes, he nearly has a heart attack. How did he not notice that Cas was bent over him? His hands are planted on either side of Dean’s head and he’s staring down at him with – Dean doesn’t even know. He’s not sure he has words for the heat in Cas’s eyes. It’s something almost along the lines of Cas looking at something precious – something that matters.

A small noise works its way out of Dean’s throat and he reaches up at the same moment Cas comes crashing down. He locks an arm around Cas’s shoulder to keep him there, one hand sinking into his messy hair. It’s all he can do to breathe and roll his hips as Cas fucks and kisses him, each deep and so incredibly different from when their roles are reversed that Dean can’t wrap his head around it. How – how – is this any different? He’s had Cas in the exact some position before and it was never like this – it didn’t feel like more.

It’s scaring him. Dean wants it hard and fast. He wants Cas to fuck him hard enough that he won’t think about who he was with last night. Maybe it’ll help stop that sick burn of jealousy at the back of his throat too. He doesn’t want to be gasping into every kiss and feeling something in his chest swell to the point where he wouldn’t be surprised if something popped out of his ribs Aliens-style.

When Dean lets the good and warm feelings into the mix, he can be just as tender and gentle as Cas is being right now. And he has fucked Cas like this. But right now, this isn’t what he needs. It’s satisfying him in ways that are scaring the ever loving fuck out of him and these kind of feelings – these are feelings that shouldn’t be here. This thing with Cas is just fucking. It’s sex as an outlet because of – because reasons.

There are plenty of reasons and Dean knows them. He knows them and he could think of them if he could form proper thoughts but Cas is making that too fucking hard right now. The part of Dean that wants him to stop thinking and just let go wins out and he makes an embarrassingly happy noise as Cas adjusts his angle just right and a flash of white fire dances up Dean’s spine.

From that point on, all Dean can manage to do is moan swears and broken versions of Cas’s name. Cas swallows each one like he’s waiting for them, kissing away Dean’s breath whenever they’re not both panting for it. Dean gasps for air against Cas’s lips, his cheek, his throat, and where he tucks his face because Cas is a lying little shit. There is no way he hasn’t been out fucking someone else for a lot longer than last night and he’s gotten really good at it. Either it’s that, or Cas’s been taking notes whenever Dean fucks him stupid and last night with Kali was just practice.

Why – why – does his brain insist on thinking that? It’s ruining the glorious tension pulling tight through all Dean’s muscles and burning into the pit of his stomach. This isn’t something that he should be caring about, let alone be thinking about. Anyone who can literally make him curl up in pleasure, his throat working around noises he normally wouldn’t make, shouldget a pass in his book no matter where they got their experience.

But Dean does care and that’s his problem, that’s why he’s terrified. That’s why he’s digging his fingernails into Cas’s back a little harder than he should while Cas kisses him to the point that he’s dizzy, not enough oxygen getting to his lungs. Jesus fucking Christ why – why – why – why. No emotions. This is supposed to be no emotions.

Another moan tears out of him when Cas shifts his weight to one arm and moves a hand to his cock. It turns into an unhappy groan when all Cas does is pin it to his stomach under his palm. Dean growls at him, a piss poor demand for Cas to jack him properly. It’s not begging. It is absolutely not begging even slightly.

Cas only grins against his mouth and kisses his way to Dean’s ear. “No.”

Son of a bitch. Dean digs his nails in again and rolls his hips, squeezing around Cas best he can. A hard breath puffs out across his ear and Cas’s hips stutters for the first time since they started. He never does get his rhythm back properly and it’s not long before Cas comes. The punched out, shocked little noise he makes against Dean’s ear sounds almost surprised – like his orgasm snuck up on him.

His hips stutter again and even after Cas sits back on his knees, cheeks flushed and bottom lip caught between his teeth, he keeps moving. Cas’s movements stay quick and jerky, and he continues rubbing over Dean’s sweet spot with the head of his cock. This time, as Dean’s legs fall open around his waist and he braces the foot of his good leg on the mattress to keep his hips rolling, Cas finally starts moving his goddamn hand.

From root to head he rubs his palm, keeping Dean’s dick pressed to his stomach. He works his other hand between them and for one horrifying moment, Dean thinks Cas is going to try adding his fingers. Or maybe (and hopefully), he’s just going to switch out for his fingers because he’s going to go soft soon. The moment he feels the pad of Cas’s thumb press against his rim while he’s still moving in him, Dean bites his lip and slams his head back into the pillows.

Dean groans and fists his hands in the sheets, kind of wishing Cas would lean back down so he could hold onto him instead. “Fuck – Cas – you kinky bastard. What the hell are you –” Another groan cuts him off and he arches his back.

“I’m making it up as I go along.” Cas murmurs, but it comes out rasping. He’s still breathing hard and his bottom lip is still caught between his teeth. His eyes are locked down on where he’s still working in and out of Dean.

He’s never clocked how long it is between when Cas comes and when he goes soft. Right now, Cas still feels pretty hard and he keeps glancing up at Dean with those heated eyes again. Just the way Cas is touching him – looking at him – it’s driving Dean crazy. The edges sneaks up on him too and Dean gropes for Cas’s hand as he crashes into his own orgasm.

Cas reaches forward and grabs his hand, squeezing it tight while he pulls out and waits for Dean to stop trembling. A blush burns in Dean’s cheeks when Cas honest to God lifts his hand and presses a kiss to his knuckles before he slides off the side of the bed. Dean drapes an arm over his eyes and breathes deep while Cas gets rid of the condom. Without the constant motion and sweat of sex, he has nothing but his thoughts to occupy him now. That and the cooling come on his stomach.

The bed dips and scares the shit out of him. He moves his arm just in time to watch Cas lick his stomach and chest clean in long, slow drags of his tongue. Fuck. What Dean wouldn’t give for an instant refractory period. That way he could just – he wouldn’t have to keep thinking. Cas is an excellent distraction and they do have the rest of the night to themselves.

After a kiss with the bitter taste of himself on Cas’s tongue, Cas immediately goes to pull away. He’s on his feet and looking for his clothing in a matter of moments and something in Dean’s chest lurches. They usually don’t have the time to have naked post-sex cuddling. Normally, they’ll both clean up and get dressed as quickly as possible and if they have the time after, they’ll kiss again for as long as they can.

Right now, they have all the time in the world and Dean doesn’t want to get up or get dressed and he sure as hell doesn’t want to let go of Cas and all his skin and warmth. He grabs Cas’s arm, ignores the look of surprise, and tugs him back down on the bed. Cas comes willingly (and a little hesitantly) and slides into place next to him. Dean hooks his bad leg over Cas’s legs, drawing them in to tangle between his own. As they settle into place, Cas’s hand settles on his side before it slides up his back when Dean turns into him comfortably.

While he runs a hand through Cas’s hair and bites at his bottom lip, Dean isn’t going to think about anything else. He’s going to fill his head with Cas’s skin and taste and touch and do his damnedest to convince himself that, for him – for them both, this is still just about sex.

Chapter Text

This whole Kali thing keeps nagging at Dean all week. He sort of feels like he knows her name from somewhere, but he can’t remember it. Not being able to figure it out is driving him crazy. And on top of that, he’s stuck in that place where he’s almost positive that Cas had sex with her but he doesn’t know for sure. It takes him almost a whole fucking week to gather up the nerve to ask Cas about it.

He probably could have picked a better time to do it than when he’s in bed with Cas. But even if Dean wears the crown for being king of bad timing, at least he has the courtesy of waiting until after Cas comes before he brings up. Still, it’s not the best time to open his goddamn mouth while Cas is working his fingers into him like he’s in the habit of doing now whenever he blows him, but, sometimes Dean’s brain goes off on its own no matter the situation.

“So, how often are you seeing that Kali chick?”

Cas makes a surprised little noise in the back of his throat and lifts his head. “Are you honestly making conversation right now, Dean?”

See? Even Cas can tell that he’s got epically bad timing. “I know, I know. It just –” He tries not to squirm while he gets his thoughts in order. It’s hard to think when Cas is two fingers deep. “It kinda, y’know, occurred to me that we should both get checked again soon since we’re both out with other –”

Something flickers behind Cas’s eyes and the corners of his mouth twitch down slightly. He slides his fingers out and pulls himself up onto his knees. “Dean, I haven’t been with anyone else but you.”

That gets his brain jump starting back to near-proper capacity because what? “But you and the sugar mama with the red car –”

A crease goes across Cas’s forehead as his frown gets deeper with confusion. “I told you, that was Kali. You do remember my mentioning that she’s Gabriel’s girlfriend, don’t you?”

Oh, shit. Right! That’s where he’s heard her name before. Well, now he feels like an idiot. Still… that doesn’t explain why Cas was in her car or why she kissed him. He’d seen that with his own two eyes. “But last week – the morning after your Taekwondo dinner thing –”

“She drove me home.” Cas leans down to press a kiss to Dean’s stomach. “My ride ended up getting too drunk and no one else was heading this way to split a taxi with me. I left my cards here and I didn’t have enough cash on me for one.”

The kisses keep getting dropped between words as Cas moves up to follow along Dean’s ribs. “The restaurant was close to Gabriel’s new apartment with Kali. They let me spend the night on their couch.” He reaches Dean’s chest and flicks his tongue over one of his nipples. “Kali dropped me off on her way to work since it was closer for her than it would be for Gabriel.”

“But she ki –” Dean cuts off with a groan and his head falls back to the pillow when Cas seals his mouth over one of his nipples and gives a sharp suck.

Cas lifts his head to meet Dean’s eyes and there’s something too warm behind them. It’s setting Dean’s blood on fire and he has to look away, squeezing his eyes shut. A sigh ghosts across his chest before Cas places a kiss really close to Dean’s other nipple – and, coincidentally, right over his heart. “She kissed me on the cheek and told me not to be such a stranger with them. Apparently Gabriel misses me.”

Oh, thank you sweet God of Pie. Dean was wrong. He jumped to his own conclusions again and now he’s so fucking relieved he actually feels a little lightheaded. That’s a problem. That is a great big fucking problem. Dean shouldn’t be relieved because his fuck buddy isn’t sleeping with anyone else. He’s not supposed to be jealous just at the idea of Cas going out with other people. How many times is he going to have to remind himself that they’re not exclusive to each other?

It doesn’t matter that Dean’s all but completely stopped sleeping around too. That’s just – it’s just a coincidence or some shit. Sure, that sounds plausible. He just got sick of going to the bar. But why? He used to love it. The music, the people, the sex. What changed? Why doesn’t he want to keep sleeping around? Hell, it doesn’t even feel proper to make out with anyone when he’s out. He knows, he tried. But it just – it didn’t feel right.

The answer’s been hiding from him for a while and it’s driving him crazy. It doesn’t hit him until Cas’s lips move to his throat, his tongue working over his pulse point as he keeps heading on up to Dean’s jaw. Kissing other girls and guys at the bar didn’t feel right because they weren’t Cas. That little epiphany blindsides him and Dean groans as he turns into Cas’s kiss without thinking, sinking his hands into his hair and holding on tight.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. Right in there with his realization about the making out is the other answer he isn’t able to see. He’s stopped sleeping around because he’s being faithful to a fuck buddy. Dean’s being faithful to Cas and they’re not even dating. Why? Is that even something he would want? Does he want to date Cas?

There’s no answer to that question. The space where it should be is a great big buzzing fog. An answer has gotta be hidden in that fog right now, but Dean’s too damn scared to touch it. Cas’s kisses are half the fuel for the topic in his head right now and they’re doing nothing to stop his thoughts from continuing to steamroll. Why doesn’t he have an answer? Is it because he’s too – Too what? Scared?

Yeah, that feels about right – as much as he hates to admit it. A romantic relationship would just ruin everything. That’s what happened with Lisa and Dean doesn’t what that to happen with Cas. He can’t risk it. He won’t risk it. What if Cas wants to be loved the same way Lisa did and Dean runs into the same problem? What if he can’t love Cas the way he deserves to be? He might lose Cas too and he’d rather stop having sex with him completely than have him walk away forever.

Dean could live his life without Cas. He just doesn’t want to.

That thought makes something pull tight in his chest and it’s making it hard for him to breathe. Dean has to break away from the kiss but he can’t get his arms to let go of Cas’s shoulders. He needs something to distract himself and nothing works better than an orgasm. What he’s got to do right now is lock up all his thoughts on the other side of that wall in his head. And it’s starting to feel pretty crowded over there. Fuck.

With a groan, Dean rolls them so he’s the one above Cas. His knee twinges slightly, but it’s mostly better from his fall last week. Dean ignores it and fumbles for one of Cas’s hands. He only needs to guide it half of the way before Cas gets the idea and closes his hand around his cock. It’s still pretty slick with lube and Dean starts fucking into the curl of his fingers with steady rolls of his hips.

It’s not enough. The thoughts are still there and they’re dancing around on the edges of his mind. Dean needs more to distract him and words will work in a pinch. “You could’ve called me.”

Cas raises one of his eyebrows and smiles, like he’s amused. “It was after one AM, Dean. I didn’t want to wake you.”

He groans as the fire starts pulling tighter in his stomach. Close, he’s getting close. Dean squeezes his eyes shut and drops his head until their foreheads are resting together. “I don’t care what time it is, Cas. If you – Jesus –” Cas just tightened his grip and he’s sliding his other hand back between Dean’s legs, the tip of a finger already catching against his hole.

Dean swallows and forces himself to keep saying the words. “If you ever need a ride, Cas, you call me. I – I’ll come get you.” He opens his eyes and he just about loses it at the way Cas is staring at him from bare inches away. “Anywhere. Anytime.”

The surprise in Cas’s eyes fades back into that heat and Dean can practically feel his smile. He tilts his chin up and Dean almost falls into the kiss. This time it distracts him like a charm and Cas kisses him through his orgasm. And the kisses don’t stop after Dean sags to the bed next to him. They curl into each other, hands sliding over skin just to feel that they’re both there.

This is how it should be. This is perfect – or as close to it as they’re going to get. Now Dean just needs to figure out how to get all his damn thoughts and emotions under control before that fog clears up and he find out if the answer to his answer-less question is a yes.

*

“So, a second job, huh?”

Benny doesn’t even pull himself out from under the car he’s working on. “Ask all y’want. I’m not telling you about it.”

Dean groans and kicks at Benny’s foot. He won’t get in any trouble for not doing any work since he’s technically on break right now. “Aw, c’mon. How long are you going to keep this from me?”

“Forever.”

That’s not fair at all. “Aw, c’mon. Don’t be like that.” He crouches and tugs at Benny’s pant leg. “Why won’t you tell me? Is it something you’re ashamed of? Are you stripping? Hooking?”

“In your dreams, Winchester.” Benny sighs and jerks his leg out of Dean’s grip. “If I tell you what it is, you’re going to want free stuff. It ain’t happening. Now bug off. I’m trying to work here.”

“I could just follow you to work, y’know? I’m a regular gumshoe with that shit.” Dean grabs his ankle and shakes his whole leg. “I’ll do it. You can’t stop me.”

Snorting a laugh, Benny brings up his other foot to drop his heel on Dean’s fingers. He just manages to pull them out of the way in time. “It’s called a restraining order, brother. Look it up some time.”

Before Dean can pull up the next tell-me-or-else threat in line, Jo’s voice comes through the PA system clear over the sounds of the garage. “Dean Winchester to the front desk. Dean Winchester, you’ve got visitors.”

“You should go take care of that before someone gets upset.”

Sighing, Dean gets to his feet and trudges off between the cars. He calls back over his shoulder. “I’ll find out sooner or later, Benny! You can’t keep it from me forever!”

Benny’s laugh follows him to the lobby. He forgets all about him and his secret second job the moment Jo points him out the front door and he spots Kali’s red Porsche. More specifically, he spots Cas standing next to it with his hands in the pockets of his old trench coat with his school bag hanging off his shoulder. Dean stopped thinking that coat was ugly ages ago and now Dean’s finding it endearingly adorable. He doesn’t even realize he’s smiling until Cas notices him and gives a small smile of his own back.

And then Gabriel gets out of the car and Dean’s climbing happiness drops a couple notches. There’s no bad blood between them or anything, but they never exactly got along together back at the café. They’re on neutral terms, but Dean would prefer that Gabe not be around him and Cas at the same time. Who knows what kinds of tables he’d flip if he so much as catches a whiff of what they get up to behind closed doors.

“Hey loverboy! Long time no see.” Gabe calls over the hood of the car as he comes around it. “Cassie tells me you’re all sorts of handy with everything automotive. How true is that?”

Dean glances at Cas and his heart trips over the embarrassed little flush on his face. “Yeah, I’m good enough, I guess. What’d you do to Kali’s car?”

“How the heck am I supposed to know?” He shrugs and gestures at the Porsche. “It just started making a clunking noise after we left the restaurant.” Oh, yeah. Cas mentioned something about Gabe taking him out for dinner today since he can’t make the competition on Saturday. “And before you ask, no, I didn’t hit any curbs or shit.”

“That’s not the question I was thinking of. More like; do you need a booster seat to see over the steering wheel?”

Cas snorts and glances away when Gabriel turns a glare on him. “Maybe you should wait inside, Cassie. You’ve got stuff you could be reading, don’t you?”

“Of course. That would be preferable to listening to you two make barbed commentary at each other.” He rolls his eyes and goes around the both of them. “Let me know when you actually get any work done.”

Dean kind of wants Cas to stay. He makes being around Gabriel tolerable. Just like how Ash made working at the café slightly less painful, only Cas is – y’know – more effective. Cas is the best kind mood lifter Dean knows. But he doesn’t say anything to stop him from leaving and Dean sure as hell doesn’t look after him – even if he’s really tempted to.

The conversation with Gabe about the car is quick and relatively painless. He already knows more than enough and Gabriel can’t really give more information than he already has. Dean gets the keys and drives a lap around the parking lot so he can hear the clunking noise himself. Different parts make different clunks and it sounds to him like something might be loose around the engine. That should be easy enough to take care of.

“How long is it going to take to fix?” It’s the first question out of Gabriel’s mouth the moment Dean gets out of the car, leaving it running while he takes a look under the hood.

“Hold your horses, Monsieur Ego. I’ve got other cars I’m working on right now.” He jerks a thumb over his shoulder back towards the garage. “You’re going to have wait in line like the rest of the common folk. Sorry.”

Gabriel clasps his hands under his chin and flutters his eyelashes. “Pretty, pretty please won’t you let us skip the line, loverboy?” When all Dean does is give him a flat look, Gabe caves and drops the act. “Fine, if you won’t do it for me, then do it for Cassie.”

Shit. He’s got him there. If this was Cas’s car, he’d put him up first on his list without a second’s thought. Goddammit. How can he play this off so Gabriel doesn’t get the idea that Dean’s doing this because his soft spot for Cas is the size of the Grand Canyon? Maybe he can play it off on Jo. She likes Cas well enough from the few times they’ve met. And she knows he’s Dean’s best friend, so, maybe she’ll do it.

“You’ll have to set that up with Jo. She’s in charge of the list.” He shrugs and turns away. “Make nice with her and maybe she’ll slide you up a few spots.”

Anything else Dean might say, like something about how to butter Jo up, gets lost between his brain and his mouth. Cas and Benny are talking at the corner of the desk. What the hell could they be talking about? Dean almost explodes with curiosity before he even takes another step. By the time he and Gabe are in the office, Benny’s ducked back toward the garage and Cas is coming to join them. And he’s blushing.

What the actual fuck.

“Did that bear hit on you, Cassie?” Gabriel asks the question Dean’s not letting into his head.

Benny wouldn’t do that. He’s got a serious relationship with his girlfriend. So serious, in fact, that he took on a second job to help him save up to get her a nice fancy ring and afford a decent wedding. Dean knows this because it’s the only damn thing he’s managed to get out of Benny in regards to that other job. And Benny wouldn’t lie to him. Not about that. So, what in the blue fucking blazes was he and Cas talking about enough to make Cas blush.

“No, Gabriel, he didn’t.” Cas ducks his head and doesn’t meet either of their eyes. “He made a rather racy joke that caught me by surprise.”

Okay, now Dean’s starting to get suspicious. Benny doesn’t do racy jokes unless he’s all the way to drunk off his ass and just shy of blacked out, and even then those jokes are barely understandable. And he definitely doesn’t do them at work. Plus, Dean thought for sure that he’d corrupted Cas at least enough for him not to get flustered by racy things anymore. Cas has traced Dean from head to toe with his tongue without batting an eyelash and it’s a sexy joke turns his whole face red?

Dean is calling bullshit on that the first moment they have alone together.

Before Gabe can make any kind of smart-alecky comment, Dean slips away from the both of them. “My break is long over, guys. I’ve gotta get back to work. See you later, Cas.”

“Of course.” He raises his hand in a small wave and Dean returns it over his shoulder.

“Don’t go tripping over any more toolboxes, loverboy!” Gabriel calls after him. His wave turns into the middle finger, but he still feels pretty good when he hears Cas call his brother an idiot.

Dean doesn’t even get the chance to pull the next car on his list into the garage. Jo heads him off before he even hits their parking lot and she holds out Gabriel’s keys. “The next time you sic your friends on me to move them up the list, I’m pissing in your gas tank, Winchester.”

“You’re gonna need a funnel for that.” Dean snorts a laugh and switches the keys with her. “Are they still inside?”

“I told them that you’d be an hour at the least and sent them around the corner to Mom’s.” She shrugs and leads the way to Gabriel’s car, still parked right outside the front door.

Her mom, Ellen, owns a saloon-style restaurant called The Roadhouse a few blocks down from here. Everyone at the garage has been regulars there going back for years longer than Dean’s worked here. It’s why Jo got the job when they needed a new receptionist and she picks up all sorts of hours actually working in the garage. She likes cars better than she does food and since she and Ellen live above the restaurant, it’s pretty close to home too.

Dean can’t think of anywhere better to send Cas and Gabriel. He waits until he’s behind the wheel of the Porsche, and still parked, before he sends Cas a text message.

                U NEED to try the pie & don’t let ur dick bro diss the food or I’ll tell Kali he fucked up her car

Cas doesn’t answer him, but Dean knows he got it. There’s that little ‘Read at…’ notice under the message when he checks his phone after he’s fixed the car just over an hour later. He fires off another message to let them know that everything’s done before he moves the Porsche back out onto the lot and brings in the next one. Might as well get started on that while he waits for Cas and Gabe to take their sweet time getting back from the restaurant.

Jo calls him up to the front again when they’re here and she’s frowning at Gabriel with that look she gets that only promises bad things to come. Dean puts his hands on her shoulders to keep her in the chair. “What is it? What did he say?”

“He said mom’s desserts weren’t as good as his.” She huffs, dropping her glare to the computer while she rings up the receipt.

Dean winces and shakes his head at Gabriel. “Those’re fighting words, Gabe. You better watch out. Jo has a knife collection and she knows how to use it.”

Gabe puts on an air like he’s been wounded and Dean only knows it’s fake because Cas rolls his eyes at him. “I said the pastries weren’t quite on par to mine but I did give it a passing grade.”

“It was very good, Jo.” Cas offers softly and she smiles up at him. He glances from her to Dean. “When are you finished work today?”

Good question. Dean glances at the clock on the wall. “Another hour and a half.” They close in half an hour and that’s when Benny finishes, but Dean still has another hour after that. At least Jo is going to be giving him a hand.

He hefts his bag a little higher up his shoulder and switches a plastic bag – leftovers from The Roadhouse, by the looks of it – from one hand to the other. “Would it be alright if I stayed here and waited to get a ride home with you?”

“Cassie, don’t be ridiculous.” Gabe snorts, handing over his credit card for Jo to run it. “You can’t wait here that long.”

“I have some studying and homework I could do while I wait.” Cas shrugs and glances between Dean and his brother. “Our apartment is in the opposite direction of yours. If I can get a ride home with Dean, then you don’t need to bother. I’ll be studying either way.”

Dean shrugs too. “If you’re cool with a ninety minute wait, that’s fine with me. We’re fine with you hanging out in the lunch room while we work. Right, Jo?”

She looks over her shoulder at him while she hands Gabriel’s card and the receipt back to him, one eyebrow raised. “Yeah, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

That’s basically the end of the discussion. With three against one, Gabe makes his goodbyes and drives off. As soon as he’s gone, Dean leads Cas down the walkway that cuts through the garage to the rooms in the back. They pass the employee washrooms, the locker room, and head straight into the lunch room. It’s not much to look at, but it’s got a fully functional kitchen, so that’s a plus.

He pulls a chair out for Cas at one of the tables. “So, what joke did Benny tell you?”

“I don’t remember it properly.” Another blush creeps up the back of Cas’s neck while he starts pulling things out of his bag. “It doesn’t matter. Oh, here.” He shoves the plastic bag from the restaurant into Dean’s hands. “I got you a slice of apple pie.”

Something a little like a nuclear reaction goes off in Dean’s chest and before he knows it, he’s got Cas around the waist and he’s drawing him into a quick kiss. Cas makes a surprised little noise in the back of his throat, but he digs his fingers into the arm of Dean’s overalls and holds on. He got Dean pie. Dean didn’t even ask for it. Cas just did it. Holy shit, Dean might actually have to marry him or something because this – this is just awesome.

When he steps back again, Cas’s blush has slid right up into his cheeks and he’s looking just a little dazed with a touch of confused. It’s a good look on him and Dean’s tempted to kiss him again. But if he does that, he might not stop and the last thing they need is for Jo or Benny to walk in on them humping against a lunch table. He’s gotta make a break for it now before they end up in the broom closet or something equally sordid.

“Thanks, Cas.” Dean takes another few steps back. “I’ll come get you when I’m finished.”

Cas makes a little noise, like he acknowledges that Dean said something but he didn’t completely hear it. That’s enough for him and he gets out of the lunch room before he loses it completely. It’s just his luck that when he turns into the hall, Benny is right there and leaning against the wall right next to the door with a stupidly big grin on his stupidly scruffy face.

“Not your boyfriend, huh?”

Thank God he’s not talking loud enough for Cas to hear. Dean drops his voice too and holds up the plastic bag. “Not my boyfriend. But he did bring me pie!”

Benny’s voice takes on a teasing tone when he adopts a completely fake pout. “You didn’t kiss me the last time I brought you pie.”

“You’re too bristly.” Dean sniffs, pushing past him. “I’ve got sensitive skin, y’know? You jealous?”

“In your dreams, Winchester.” He laughs after him as he heads into the break room. Benny probably finished up with his last car of the day and now he’s going to pack up his lunch bag and shit before he heads home.

That bastard better not say anything to Cas about what just happened. It’s bad enough that they got caught kissing in the first place. Shit. Dean needs to keep a better lid on his emotions and he needs to be more careful. If he’s not – who knows who’s going to catch them doing what next?

No. He knows what would happen if what they’re doing was out for everyone to know. It’s scary as hell and Dean stomps down on any voice in his head that tries to tell him maybe it really wouldn’t be all that bad if he brought down his walls. They’re trying to convince him that letting Cas in would be a good thing.

But things are great the way they are and nothing needs to change.

*

The first thing Dean hears when he and Cas get home is the slam of a drawer. Followed by the slam of two more drawers, and the sound of Sam’s bedroom door shutting. He shares a confused glance with Cas before he investigates. Dean doesn’t get very far. In fact, he damn near gets knocked off his feet when Sam comes around the corner, head down while he’s zipping the gym bag he uses as an overnight bag.

“Going somewhere, Sammy?”

Sam goes red in the face and he pushes his hair out of his eyes. “Uh, yeah. Jess’s roommates are both staying somewhere else tonight and she invited me over to keep her company.”

Dean couldn’t stop the grin spreading across his face even if he tried. “You need extra condoms? I don’t have any extra small, but I could give you some money.”

“Haha. Fuck you, Dean.” He sticks his tongue out at him and ducks around him and then around Cas to get at his shoes. “I’ll be back after work tomorrow. And Cas?” His hair flops back into his eyes when he looks up while he’s pulling on his runners. “If Dean’s being a shithead or something, I’ve got holy water in my bedroom. It might burn him enough to get him to calm down.”

“My dark powers are stronger than that, Sam!” Dean calls after him while Cas waves Sam out the door and shuts it.

With an almost exaggerated motion, Cas puts the chain over the lock and drops his bag over the back of the couch. He kicks off his shoes and when he turns around, Dean’s heart decides now is a great time to up his pulse rate. Those goddamn bedroom eyes are in full swing and it should be a problem that Cas can get his blood pumping with just a look. Most days, all it takes is those eyes over the back of the couch or from the other side of the room to get Dean half hard in his pants and trying to come up with a plausible excuse to get Sam out of the apartment.

But this is a stroke of luck because, hey! No Sam. He took himself out of the picture all on his own and Dean’ll bake him a cake for it or something later for being the best little brother ever. Later. Much later. After he’s properly thanked Cas for being the best not-a-boyfriend and buying him pie.

Dean throws his jacket over the back of the couch and slides up closer to Cas. As soon as he’s in reach, Cas’s hands are in his hair and he’s dragging Dean forward. His teeth dig into Dean’s bottom lip for a brief second before he licks his way into his mouth. They’re standing close together, but not close enough for Dean’s liking. He wants to feel Cas against him from head to toe.

A small sound gets muffled into the kiss, punched out from Cas’s chest when Dean pushes him up against the door. He’s got his hands on Cas’s hips, fingers working slowly to untuck his shirt so they can get under it and feel skin. The kiss doesn’t turn dirty until Dean finally gets his hands under it and lightly scrapes his nails up Cas’ sides. He’s rewarded with a a full body shiver and Cas muffles a gasp into the kiss.

His hands fist briefly in Dean’s hair before they drop to his shoulders and start shoving his over shirt off. Dean complies with letting Cas strip him down methodically and with single-minded precision before he catches Cas’s wrists and pins them to the door by his hips. He leaves Cas’s lips behind in favour of mouthing a path along his jaw and down his throat. Cas’s hips twitch against his and Dean grins against his pulse.

“I gotta –” Dean presses a kiss to the hinge of Cas’s jaw before he takes a step back. “I gotta take a shower first, Cas.” It’s been a long, hard day at the garage and Dean feels gross. He’s just lucky that he doesn’t stink. He quirks a grin at the disappointed frown that pulls the corners of Cas’s mouth down. “You wanna join me?”

The frown fades away as Cas lights up with intrigue. Dean really wants him to say ‘yes’. If only because he doesn’t want to let Cas out of his sight right now. He wants to keep him close and press up against him in the shower while they’re both slippery and wet, and kiss him until it feels like his lungs are going to explode. Dean wants to kiss Cas until the tingle left on his lips becomes a permanent fixture.

“It’s a tempting offer.” Cas murmurs, hooking his fingers in Dean’s belt loops and pulling him closer. “But I showered just before Gabriel picked me up.”

Dean leans into him again and rests their foreheads together. “So? You’ve had two showers in one day before. I know. I’m the one who made you all sweaty and dirty enough to need a second one.” It’s true, and Dean kind of prides himself every time he manages to get Cas worked up enough that he needs to shower after. If he doesn’t, it’s usually painfully obvious that he just had one hell of a fuck session.

Cas tilts his chin up and ghosts a kiss across Dean’s lips. “I think –” He pauses to drag the tip of his tongue along the edge of Dean’s bottom lip. “I think I’ll get things ready in the bedroom first.”

A groan almost manages to claw its way out of Dean’s throat. When Cas says ‘get things ready’, it usually means that he’s going to get started on stretching himself. But Dean wants to be sure. He needs to know what he’s going to be missing while he’s in the bathroom.

“I’ll be quick then.” He rolls his hips against Cas, just so he can feel how hard Dean is. He’s going to have a micro shower. In and out in seconds. That’s what’s going to happen.  “What do you want to do tonight? You wanna top?”

This thoughtful little look slips into Cas’s eyes and he tilts his head back against the door to look at the ceiling while he thinks. Dean doesn’t miss the chance to put his mouth on Cas’s neck again. His skin vibrates under Dean’s tongue when he hums a pleased sound and starts talking again.

“We have the apartment to ourselves for the night, right?”

“Seems like.” Dean slides his arms around Cas’s waist and pulls him even closer while he drags his teeth across the side of his throat. Jesus fucking Christ. He would give just about anything to be allowed to suck a mark of his own into Cas’s skin right around now.

Another small noise rumbles under his mouth. “Then – Then there’s time for me to – I can be the top later.” His breathing starts going ragged the more Dean kesses up and down his neck. “If you’re – if that’s alright with you. I want – I would like –”

He has his answer, but Dean still grins against his skin. “How long is it gonna be before you stop getting tongue tied when you think about fucking me?”

“You’re making it very hard to think at all.” Cas huffs, shoving him back. He puts a hand over the side of his throat where Dean had been kissing. “Go get cleaned up.”

Dean steps back and makes sure to hold Cas’s eyes while he undoes his belt and slips out of his jeans. Cas bites his lip and sucks in a sharp breath when Dean’s underwear slides off with his pants, puddling around his feet. He doesn’t move even once while Dean saunters away. As far as Dean knows, Cas doesn’t move at all until he’s in the bathroom. At that point, Dean stops trying to look sexy and lets himself actually start rushing.

He knows they have all night and they can take their time. And he knows they got each other off yesterday. But Dean still has this want burning through his veins. It’s begging for him to touch Cas and kiss him and listen to every gorgeous sound he makes. Not having Cas with his right this second is verging on painful and Dean doesn’t want to wait any longer than he has to.

With that running like a broken record through his head, Dean showers faster than he ever has before. He skimps on the shampoo, but makes sure that all his important parts are washed and rinsed because Cas is kind of a stickler for them being properly clean. Which means if Cas is going to top tonight, Dean’s going to have to probably shower again so he can make sure he’s really clean. Good thing that they have great water pressure and an amazing hot water tank. And if Cas is up to it, he can join him after Dean gets the worst part of it over with.

Dean doesn’t bother wearing a towel when he leaves the bathroom. He made sure to wipe himself down and towel dry his hair so he’s not dripping all over the place. That was good enough once he remembered to put on a new layer of deodorant.

When he heads into the bedroom, he expects Cas to be on his back or his knees with at least two fingers buried deep. Dean’s not exactly disappointed by what he finds since Cas is naked and nothing in the world can be bad when Cas isn’t wearing clothes. And especially when Cas has is sporting a boner. So, no, Dean isn’t disappointed. But he is confused.

Cas has Dean’s laptop in front of him and he’s staring down at it with wide eyes. His whole damn face is red and, judging from the sounds coming from it, Cas is watching porn. It sounds familiar but Dean can’t place it. He’s kind of kicking himself for not password protecting the damn thing because it’s entirely possible that Cas found one of the personal videos.

For the amount of downloaded porn on it, that apparently wasn’t enough for Dean. There are a few ones that Dean shot himself on there too. Anything he took with previous partners has long been deleted. It’s only solo stuff of him jerking off for the camera – and that one video where he fingered himself - but he’s a little nervous that Cas did find it. No, wait, that was a woman’s voice right there. Thank God.

Wait! Shit. All the kinky porn is on the computer. Crap. What are the chances that Cas went to the internet for whatever he’s watching? Probably not good. But what if it is the kinky porn? If he’s watching it, is Cas hard because he likes the content or is that just a ‘hey look it’s porn!’ boner? The only way he’s going to know is to ask him. But first, Dean needs to know what Cas is watching.

When he crawls on the bed to sit next to Cas in the middle of it, Dean is expecting to see any number of things on the screen. And yet, it’s still jaw-drop surprising to find that Cas is watching bondage porn of all things.

Well, this night just took an even more interesting turn.

Chapter Text

If he’s being truthful here, bondage isn’t really one of Dean’s kinks. Not completely. It’s not something that gets his engine revving every time he sees it or anything like that. But it is something that, every once in a while, he’ll be in the mood to watch. He likes the aspect of having someone’s complete and implicit trust in you not to hurt them or take advantage of them when they’re tied up. They give themselves to you entirely and it’s that part that makes Dean’s breathing get just a little bit faster.

That might also be why there’s a set of silk rope handcuffs tucked in the shoebox at the back of his closet. They’re the kind that don’t need any lock. You just slip them on over your wrists and the more you pull at them, the tighter they get while a pair of black tabs get closer to the wrists. They’re easy to take off on your own.

Dean’s never used them personally, but he’s had a couple of partners who like it. And sometimes – Sometimes Dean likes having that kind of control over someone else. He’s not sure if he’ll ever play the role of the – what’s the term? Sub? It requires a lot of trust in the other person and Dean hasn’t found anyone he trusts like that. He can’t be vulnerable with people. One day, maybe, he’d like to try it. But it would have to be with someone pretty damn special.

He glances at Cas, still staring wide-eyed down at the screen, and tries really hard not to think about whether or not he’d let Cas have that kind of power over him. Cas hasn’t even given any kind of notice that Dean’s sitting beside him. His hands are frozen on the laptop, one holding it tilted up and the other with a finger on the track-pad.

Might as well break the ice and see where tonight is headed. Dean clears his throat and taps Cas’s knee. “How’d you find that?”

Cas flinches, but he doesn’t take his eyes off the screen. There’s a woman face down on the bed, rope wrapped around her in complicated loops and twists. Her arms are held together behind her back and her ass is in the air while some guy fucks her hard from behind. Cas just keeps staring and he doesn’t answer until Dean taps his knee again.

“You said you keep porn on your computer.” He moves his hand from the track-pad to the screen, curling his fingers around the edge like he’s going to close it. “I thought that I could – I’ve been looking at stuff online for ideas to keep our re – our arrangement fresh. I read an article that said one should do that with their sex life and –”

Dean moves his hand to Cas’s wrist and squeezes. “Cas –”

He finally looks away from the computer, glancing up at Dean before his eyes flick away to look over his shoulder – as if he’s too embarrassed to make eye contact. His voice goes all soft too. “I don’t want you to get bored.”

What? Bored? Where the hell would Cas even get that idea? “I’m not bored, Cas. Trust me.” Dean leans closer and presses a kiss to the smooth skin of Cas’s shoulder. How could he ever think that Dean would ever get bored of him in any aspect? “I am the exact opposite of bored.”

Cas shifts his weight slightly, leaning into Dean too. “And yet you have all this ‘kinky’ porn but we never do any of it. Why do you keep it if you don’t want to do it?”

“Because sometimes –” Another kiss gets dropped to Cas’s shoulder as Dean leans in more, moving the kisses up towards Cas’s neck. “– sometimes I’m in the mood to watch it.”

“Is this something you’ve done?” He tilts his head away to give Dean access to his throat while he squints at the screen.

Dean gets his mouth on the side of Cas’s neck and nearly grins when he feels a shudder run through him. “Not like that, no.”

“Do you know if –” Cas takes a deep breath as Dean moves up to his ear, catching the lobe between his teeth. “Is it enjoyable?”

“She certainly seems to like it.” He murmurs, tracing his tongue around the curve of Cas’s ear while he blindly reaches for the screen. They can talk about kinks later. There are so many better things they could be doing right now.

The laptop clicks closed right around the time that Cas turns his head to kiss Dean properly. Cas manages to get the laptop on one of the side tables before Dean practically crawls over him, dragging his hips down the bed so Cas can lay back comfortably against the pillows. He’s one long line of heat and Dean can’t wait to get his hands on him as he fits himself to Cas’s side. His hands go on a trek, following a familiar path from the crook of Cas’s jaw to the arch of his hip.

Cas hums into the kiss and lifts his opposite leg, the one that Dean isn’t partially laying on. He turns, hooking his leg over Dean’s and drawing him closer even though he pulls back from the kiss. His fingers tighten in Dean’s hair, keeping him from following after him. Cas’s split-slick lips are swollen and tempting and Dean actually groans at not being allowed to keep kissing them.

His stupid pink tongue darts out to lick them and Dean bites back another frustrated sound, digging his fingertips into Cas’s hips instead. The hands in his hair relax slightly and one slips down the back of his neck. He’s up to something and Dean doesn’t know what it is, but he wants to get his mouth back on Cas right now. At least he’s not stopped when he dips his head to rub his cheek against the side of Cas’s neck just before he puts his teeth and tongue to his collarbone.

Somewhere above his head, Cas breathes out a sigh. “Do you want to try it?”

“Try what?”

Another shiver shakes through Cas when Dean angles a hand between them, palming his cock. “The – The thing with the rope.”

Dean’s thoughts slam into a brick wall and he nearly pulls something in his neck with how quickly he brings his head up. He stares down at Cas and the pink slowly filling his cheeks. “You want to give bondage a shot?”

The red fills Cas’s face just a little faster and he bites his lip, nodding. “If you do.” As if to accentuate his point, Cas pushes his hips up and Dean yanks his hand free just as Cas sets a slow, sweet grind. He tugs him down and starts whispering words Dean’s not too sure he’s actually hearing between dragging kisses – kisses that Dean taught how him to do.

“Do you – want to – tie me up – Dean?”

A strangled little noise works its way out of Dean’s throat and he can feel Cas’s grin against his lips. It’s wiped away by the bruising kisses Dean answers with, leaving them both panting as they roll their hips together. Holy shit. Cas wants to be tied up? He wants Dean to tie him up. This goddamn gorgeous son of a bitch wants to give it all up to him. The thought alone makes Dean dizzy – or that could just be all his blood rushing south.

“Don’t – Jesus, Cas, don’t move.” Dean hisses between breaths as he extracts himself from Cas’s arms and legs. He looks debauched and beautiful stretched out on Dean’s sheets like that and it takes everything he has to get off the bed. “I’ll – Shit, I’ll be right back.”

They have to have some sort of rope somewhere in the apartment, right? Either in what they use as a storage closet instead of a linen closet next to the bathroom, or in the extra little storage space they get behind the coats in the closet next to the front door. One of those is a hell of a lot closer to Dean’s bedroom door than the other and he beelines for the linen closet in his birthday suit. It must be his lucky day because there’s a coil of rope in the box labeled ‘camping equipment’.

It’s not until he’s heading back that it hits him that this is a thing that’s really happening. Cas trusts him enough to do this. He wants Dean to tie him down and fuck him stupid and oh holy shit. Dean’s legs nearly go out from under him and he has to stop and take a moment to breathe. He can do this. He can make this good for Cas and he’ll – he’ll –

Wow, he was thinking words right then, wasn’t he? It’s hard to remember because the second he steps back into the bedroom and shuts the door, his entire brain flat lines. Hell, Dean’s heart probably does the same. One of these days, Cas is going to kill him. Dean is going to have a goddamn heart attack if Cas keeps doing what he’s doing. Right now, that’s kneeling on the bed with his face in the pillows and his wrists crossed in the small of his back.

Dean licks his lips and takes a deep breath. He needs to calm down or he might end up rushing things and making this bad for Cas. There are ways this should be done. What’s the mantra for the BDSM community again? Safe, sane, and consensual? Something like that. Yeah, he can do that. Dean can keep himself under control. He can be a person and not an animal.

Cas twitches when Dean slides onto the bed behind him. He twists to look over his shoulder at him, eyes hooded and focused on the rope hanging from Dean’s hand. It’s not the best rope for this, but it’ll do for now. Dean’s just going to have to not go overboard with it. Just a little tying up, to give Cas a taste of what it’s like. Or, shit, maybe he should’ve started with those handcuffs of his instead. That’s a good idea and Dean climbs off the bed as quickly as he got on.

“Where are you going?” That almost sounds disappointed and Dean hushes Cas over his shoulder while he digs around in the closet for his shoebox.

He brings it back to the bed and dumps out the contents. They isn’t really much in there. Despite his reputation for being a tiger in the sack, Dean doesn’t actually have any toys. There’s just his pack of latex gloves, a few extra condoms should his bedside table ever run out, and the rope handcuffs. A few years ago there used to be a little dildo he kept in here too and that had been for exploring the finer aspects of his ass when he thought he’d like to try bottoming one day. It met an unfortunate accident during the move from the old place and had to be thrown out. Dean doesn’t miss it.

“C’mere and look at this, Cas.” Everything but the handcuffs gets sorted back into the box and he puts it under the bed for now. “I’ve got these if you want to start off small first. We could use them to figure out if you even like being restrained before we go all out.”

Cas sits back on his knees and touches both the handcuffs and the camping rope. The handcuffs are made of a softer, silkier material than the camping stuff and he runs his fingers over that a few times. “Could I wear these while you’re prepping me?”

“Yeah, of course.” Dean grabs the lube and crawls back onto the bed beside him. “Do you want your hands in front or in back?”

“Back.” He turns around and Dean helps him get the cuffs open enough to fit around his wrists. As soon as they’re in place, Cas gives an experimental tug and Dean watches the black pieces slide along the rope until they’re pressed against his wrist. Cas sucks in a sharp breath and shivers slightly. “I should have done that while I was lying down.”

“I got’cha.” With a hand spread over Cas’s collarbone, Dean helps him down until his ass is in the air again. “You alright?”

His breathing has taken a kind of airy quality to it and all Cas does is nod. His back bows and his hips twitch slightly as he starts trembling just a little. Dean hasn’t even touched him yet and these are all signs he’s seen Cas show a lot further down the road. Holy shit, did they just accidentally stumble on some kind of huge kink of his?

Cas actually muffles a groan into the pillows when Dean opens the bottle of lube with a click. He twists around to watch over his shoulder with eyes that Dean can’t actually look at or he might lose it at the heat in them. Another little noise punches out of Cas when Dean starts working the first finger in and Cas only gets louder when Dean adds a second. He’s pushing back long before he usually would and his hands curl into fists in the small of his back.

It’s all Dean can do to take this slow. He covers Cas’s back, hips, and even his ass in kisses and long, wet licks until Cas is constantly trembling under him. If he checked, Cas would probably be leaking onto the sheets by now. But Dean’s not going to touch him. There’s a small matter of payback from the other week that Dean hasn’t quite forgotten yet. He won’t deny Cas any orgasm, but he can deny his cock any attention – for the moment.

The gasp of his name, half hidden in the pillows, gets Dean to lift his head. “What’s up, Cas?”

His answer is still lost into the pillows and Dean slowly pulls his fingers out, wiping them clean on the sheets as he strokes his other hand up Cas’s back. He stretches out next to Cas and slips his fingers under his chin to urge him to turn his face completely out of the pillows. “Speak up, Cas. I can’t hear you when you mumble like that.”

More.” Cas bites out and he arches his back. “I want more.”

“You know I don’t fuck you until you can take four fingers.” He shakes his head and sits back on his heels again. “You’re just going to have to wait.”

Groaning, Cas wiggles his hips as if he was shaking his head. He twists his wrists, fingers scrabbling at the handcuffs until they catch in the opposite wrist and manage to pull them apart. His arms fall to the bed and Cas rolls his shoulders, letting them relax for a moment. Dean’s arms would be fucking dead if he had to have them tied behind his back for as long as Cas has had them, but it’s only a minute before Cas is pushing himself up and sitting back on his knees.

“I want more rope.” Cas explains, tossing the handcuffs over the edge of the bed and grabbing the coil next to him. He holds it out to Dean, cheeks red and eyes hopeful. “Please?”

So, apparently he did like the handcuffs. They just weren’t enough. Dean takes the rope carefully, eyeing it before he glances up at Cas. “You want, like, a full body rigging or something? Like the lady in the video?” She had it wrapped all around her torso and waist in some intricate knots and shit that Dean doesn’t have the first clue how to do.

“Yes.” He practically breathes the word and Dean can see goosebumps breaking out all up and down Cas’s arms. His erection hasn’t flagged in the least and the head is slick with pre-come. Damn. Cas really is getting off on this. “Please?”

“Anything you want, Cas.” Dean leans forward on one hand to draw Cas into a short kiss. “I don’t know any special ways to do this. We should stop and look something up –”

Cas shakes his head and cups Dean’s face between his hands. “I don’t want to stop. If it’s uncomfortable, I’ll let you know. And if I want to stop, I’ll tell you.” He leaves a lingering kiss on Dean’s lips before he leans back again. “If this is something that I like –” Dean’s ninety nine percent sure that it is. “– then we can look up proper methods of doing this later. Is that acceptable?”

Hell yes it is. Dean swallows thickly and nods as they rearrange themselves so he’s kneeing behind Cas again. This time, Cas lays down on his stomach first, his legs stretched flat on either side of Dean. His wrists are crossed in the small of his back again and Dean carefully works out a way to tie them together that doesn’t hurt Cas. After a few experimental tugs, Cas gives it his seal of approval.

The thing is, Dean is kind of left with a hell of a lot of extra rope hanging off of Cas’s wrists. He stares at it for a while, trying to figure out a good way to make it work. It’s just hanging there, a little in the way and a little not. He could, technically speaking, wrap it around one of his hands and use it to pull Cas’s arms up which would force his shoulders and head down – but that doesn’t sound all the fun for Cas and he’d still have the rest of the rope to deal with.

“This stuff is kinda rough, Cas.” Dean lets the slack piece run through his fingers while he thinks about what to do with it. “You sure you’re okay with this?”

“Y-yes.” Cas is panting almost too hard to talk, each breath shaking through his chest. “Can we – Are you done? I want –” He groans, trembling as Dean pulls him back up onto his knees and his chin drops to his chest. “Dean, please.”

For a lack of anything better to do, Dean experiments with the extra length of rope. He loops it under and around Cas’s stomach and up around his chest a few times, twisting it until he has a makeshift harness that comes together in the middle of Cas’s back. It actually looks like it might be a great handhold for Dean and he gets a good grip on it, ready to test it out.

“Lean forward, Cas. I’ve got’cha.” He takes the brunt of Cas’s weight as he almost collapses forward, head hanging limply. “Does that hurt at all?”

Cas just shakes his head. He’s shaking and each breath is coming in little gasps. At first Dean thinks it’s because he’s tied the rope too tight, but when Cas is on his stomach again and the rope goes slack against his back, his breathing doesn’t change in the slightest. Dean waits a minute before he even thinks about touching him again, just to make sure that Cas is actually comfortable. All he gets for it is a weak glare over Cas’s shoulder.

“Don’t give me that look.” He laughs and stretches over him to press a kiss to the back of Cas’s neck, rubbing his own neglected dick against his ass a couple times. “I just want to make sure that you’re okay first. You wanna wear this rig the whole time?”

There aren’t even words in the moan he gets in answer. Cas nods his head and arches his hips back, making a desperate little noise like he can’t fucking wait for Dean to get something in him again. Who is he to deny Cas something like that? Dean slicks up his fingers and pushes them deep, searching out Cas’s prostate. He’s being so good right now, Dean figures it’s about time that he gets rewarded for it.

It doesn’t take long for Dean to want to try more. He wants to see what he can do with Cas tied up like this. How much will Cas let himself be manhandled? There has to be boundaries here somewhere and Dean wants to find him so he knows his limits. Right now, it doesn’t look like Cas has the mental capacity to verbalize what he thinks he might or might not like. Shit, do they need a safe word for this? Probably.

He grabs the hand hold in the middle of Cas’s back and used it to tug him back up onto his knees, doing his best not to take his fingers out. Cas is clenching around three fingers and Dean doesn’t want to stop prepping him just yet. They’re so close to Cas being ready that to stop now just for a talk might actually kill him. As it is, he’s barely holding himself together.

As soon as Cas is up on his knees again, he keeps going back right until he’s practically leaning into Dean’s chest. His head lolls against Dean’s shoulder; hair matted with sweat, face red and tilted to the ceiling. Cas’s eyes are screwed shut and his mouth is open wide, his breath still coming in quick little gasps. It’s the kind of breathing Dean isn’t used to hearing until he’s fully seated. Jesus, he looks a mess and he’s gorgeous.

Dean can’t even quantify how tempted he is to make Cas come just like this. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s made Cas come with his fingers buried deep and petting his prostate. But it would be the first time that Dean would be able to manhandle Cas into different position using the rope to twist and pull him as he pleases. Just thinking about it is making his heart skip a couple beats and thinking is starting to get a little hard. Dean could do that – or he could give in to that base desire of his to fuck Cas senseless.

No! He pulled Cas up on his knees again for a reason.

“Cas?” His nose bumps behind Cas’s ear as he presses a kiss to the soft skin there. “Cas, you hearing me? You listening?”

A gurgled sound is pretty much all he gets, but Cas does turn his head slightly and opens his eyes. They’re glazed over and glassy with pleasure. He doesn’t even really look like he’s all there at the moment. Holy shit, this is really doing it for him. Who knew?

Dean gives the ropes a sharp little tug, just to make sure that Cas is paying attention. “We need a safe word for this, Cas. Any time that you want to stop or the ropes start getting uncomfortable, you’re going to have to say it.”

It takes a few tries as Cas’s throat works without producing any proper words before he gets anything out. “Don’t – We don’t need one. I want –”

“We’re going to have one just in case, okay?” This isn’t up for discussion. “What do you want to use? Something that you wouldn’t normally scream in bed.” Not like that’s going to be difficult. Cas never says anything other than Dean’s name, ‘yes’, and a handful of rarely used swears. “C’mon, Cas. Gimme a word or I’m pulling my fingers out and I’m not putting anything else in.”

Cas groans and his eyes fall shut again as he tightens around Dean’s fingers. “I – Dean, I don’t know. I don’t care just – I trust you.” Each word sounds tense, like it’s taking his full concentration to get it out. “If I say stop – you – you’ll stop?”

“Yeah, of course.” Even if they did have a safe word, Dean would still drop everything and back off the moment he heard stop. “But we should still have –”

Next time.” The words are actually hissed and Cas rolls his hips back against Dean’s fingers. “Please – Dean – no more talking.” He turns his head and gives Dean the full force of his flushed face and desperate eyes. “I need – Dean – I want –”

Like he said before. Who’s he to deny Cas what he wants? Cas actually muffles a goddamn whimper into the pillows when Dean shoves him (gently) back down onto his stomach. This is a whole new side to Cas that Dean didn’t even know existed. They’ve been going at this for how long now and he’s only just finding out that a little bit of rope makes Cas fucking lose it? Well, Dean’s just going to have to put this knowledge to use as often as he can in the future because this – Jesus – this is a Cas he wants to learn more about too.

As soon as he’s certain that Cas is ready, Dean lets him roll his hips and rut against the sheets for a little bit while he finds a condom. Of course he already has them on hand and he could probably get it from the bedside drawer and onto his cock in a handful of seconds, but Dean is liking this way more than he thought he would. Seeing Cas this aroused is making it hard for Dean not to lose his head too and he has to focus while he takes his time with rolling on a rubber and slicking himself up with another palm full of lube.

The pillows do nothing to muffle the groan Cas makes when Dean finally lines up and pushes in. He holds the rope while he slides in slowly, pulling it tight across Cas’s chest to make sure that he doesn’t move. Not that Cas can do much more than move his legs around right now. Cas’s back bows again, curving up into Dean’s hand before his spine twists the other way and pushes his chest into the bed.

Dean has to close his eyes and count to one hundred to keep himself calm until he’s fully seated. Then and only then does he let himself do anything else. Cas has his head turned on the pillows, resting his cheek on them as he sucks in deep breaths. The flush in his face is all the way down his neck and shoulders, spreading onto his back and touching the tops of his wings. He’s gorgeous and Dean can’t help stretching himself over Cas’s back to drag his teeth over that blush, covering it with kisses and careful little nips that won’t leave any marks.

Goddamn, Dean hates that fucking ‘no marks’ rule. He hates it so much. The rope is probably going to leave Cas’s arms and chest at least a little red in places – if he doesn’t pull hard enough to leave bruises. But these ropes get to mark Cas and Dean doesn’t? How is that fair? It’s killing him not to leave some kind of lasting reminder that Cas is going to see every time he looks in the mirror.

An idea unfolds in Dean’s brain like some kind of deliciously evil flower. He has to stop himself from grinning against the back of Cas’s neck where Cas would be able to feel it. Dean needs to be careful here. If he plays his cards right, he might actually be allowed this. Things just need to be done gently right now because Cas is – Wow, Cas is in a whole other place at the moment.

Cas shudders when Dean puts his mouth to his ear again, sucking and nipping at the soft lobe. Another little shiver runs through him when Dean starts rolling his hips as slow as is physically possible – to the point that it barely feels like he’s moving at all. It’s hard as hell to resist slamming into Cas and setting a pace to match how hot it feels in the room right now, but Dean wants to drag this out. He wants to figure out all the ways that this Cas is different from the one he knows.

“I had no idea you were this kinky, Cas.” Dean murmurs into his ear as he presses wet kisses all around it. “What else turns your crank? Dirty talk?” He doesn’t get much of an answer, not that he expected one. But that doesn’t stop him from continuing in a husky little whisper. “What about spanking?” There’s not a peep or a twitch or any reaction at all for that either.

“What about biting?”

That one gets a muffled noise in the back of Cas’s throat and Dean rewards him with a sharp snap of his hips. It makes Cas’s whole body twitch and he keens a short, pitched moan. Usually, Dean isn’t one for the dirty talk thing. At least, not once things get going. But this – maybe this is a special exception day. He can test the waters and find out what Cas likes. After all, Dean’s always been a generous lover and he’s more than willing to give Cas anything and everything right now. If Cas needs help expanding his boundaries, then that is definitely something Dean can do for him.

He uses the rope to pull Cas back up onto his knees, holding him against his chest so he can slide his hands along Cas’s collarbone. His fingers slip down to brush over Cas’s nipples, pinching lightly while he gets his mouth on the side of his neck again.

“I just realized something, Cas.” Dean nearly pulls something in his neck stretching forward to drag his teeth over Cas’s pulse. He drops his hands to the rope over Cas’s chest and tugs at it lightly to make his point. “These ropes are gonna leave all kinds of marks on you. That’s against one of our rules, y’know?”

Cas rocks his hips, trying to shove back against Dean’s cock and get him moving properly. Dean plans on giving him exactly what he wants – but after he gets an answer to the question burning on the back of his tongue. He does keep rolling his hips incrementally, just enough so that he’s moving but not enough to give either of them what they need.

“Do you want that, Cas?” He whispers it into his ear. “Do you wanna be marked up so anyone who sees it will know exactly what you’ve done? Do you want to break our rule tonight?” A sharp gasp punches out of Cas and his mouth drops open. Dean almost grins. “Or are we going to keep it our dirty little secret?”

His hands find Cas’s hips and Dean guides him forward until he’s almost completely off his cock. Before Cas can make any kind of unhappy noise, Dean pulls him back hard, snapping his hips to meet him half way. It draws a tight groan out of Cas and Dean revels in the sound, loving every octave he can draw out of him.

“You gonna hide these rope burns under your clothes, Cas?” Dean murmurs against the back of his neck as he keeps their hips flush together and sits back on his heels. It takes advantage of Cas’s flexibility and Dean fucking loves it. “What about your competition, Cas? Are you gonna kick ass with these marks under your clothes and no one is going to know but me?”

Dean starts guiding Cas’s hips to move, making him rock in his lap until Cas gets the message and starts doing it on his own. He’s trembling again, muscles twitching under Dean’s hands wherever he moves them. His chin is dipped to his chest again and every other noise is starting to sound more and more like a whine.

“Do you want me to mark you up more, Cas?” The question itself isn’t surprising. What catches Dean off guard is how badly he really wants to do it.

See, Dean is pretty much convinced that Cas isn’t meeting anyone else outside of their times. Cas has the experience to do it, but he’s always pristine whenever Dean peels his clothing from him. There’s no bruises, scratches, or hickies – just endless miles of tanned, smooth skin just begging for Dean to put his mouth to it and suck.

And Dean – well, he’s basically stopped doing anything with anyone else too. Sleeping around just isn’t as fun anymore. Not when he can have Cas looking like this; gasping and completely fucking lost on his cock. God help him, Dean wants to leave red marks all over him. He wants to do it so anyone else who might touch Cas will know he’s been with something else – they might not know his name, but they’ll know Cas was with him.

Christ Almighty. That should scare the pants right off him, but Dean wants it.

He wants it bad enough that he can’t wait for Cas to give an answer right now. Dean shoves Cas back down onto his stomach and braces his hands on the bed. Without warning, he starts fucking Cas with nothing holding him back. Not even when Cas dissolves into a groaning, shaking, whimpering mess under him.

Dean sits back after a while, not breaking his rhythm as he grabs the bundle of rope looped around and between Cas’s wrists. He pushes them down to pin Cas’s arms to the small of his back, watching his fingers twitch into fists. It’s not nearly as entrancing as watching the stretch of Cas’s hole around his dick while he’s moving in him. But as lovely as that is, it has nothing on Cas’s face and Dean swears to himself that the next time they tie Cas up, they’re doing it so he can see his damn face the whole fucking time.

This is too good not to drag out for as long as he possibly can. Dean knows Cas probably hates him for it right now, but he’s doing his best to stay the hell away from his sweet spot so far. There’s something he’s waiting for before he’ll give Cas that lightning strike of pleasure along his spine. Surprisingly, it isn’t that long before he can feel sweat slipping down his back and there’s a sheen of it all along Cas’s spine.

Carefully, Dean slows his thrusts down and he leans over Cas again, pressing kisses to the sweat-slick feathers of his tattoo. “How about it, Cas? Do you want to completely break our rule tonight?” He almost holds his breath when he asks the real question. “Do you want me to mark you up?”

Cas tightens around his cock and Dean almost winces, biting back a gasp of his own as Cas’s whole body goes taut and still under him. He breathes hard through his nose and mouths over the back of Cas’s neck. “I could leave bruises on your hips, Cas. I could fuck you hard enough that you won’t be able to sit right for a week.” That would probably not be the greatest of things to do with a competition this weekend, but he could sure as hell try.

“You’d have to work hard at the competition so no one suspects a thing, wouldn’t you?” Dean continues, some words coming out on a hiss every time Cas clenches around him. “And the whole time, I’ll be watching you and you’ll know I did this to you whenever you move; whenever you look in the mirror and see the marks I left on you.”

It’s getting hard for Dean to breathe too and he’s panting between every word. “I bet you’d get hard looking at them, wouldn’t you?” He presses his forehead to the back of Cas’s neck and takes a deep breath. “You’d go hide in the bathroom and take care of yourself, right? Wish it was me touching you again. Fuck, Cas, I could suck bruises all over these wings of yours and you wouldn’t even know they were there.”

Just to make his point, Dean fits his mouth to the center of one of the wings and gives a sharp little suck. It’s not enough to leave a mark, but it’s enough for Cas to groan and start shivering. “All you gotta do is say the word, Cas. Say it and I’ll do whatever you want. No rules tonight.”

Cas doesn’t give an answer just yet. Maybe he’s thinking about it, maybe he’s too far gone to even know what he’s talking about. But Dean’s gone too long without hearing the full effect of Cas’s voice and he wants sounds. Almost nothing tops the noises Cas can make and Dean wants to hear them again. He sits back on his heels, lifts Cas’s hips, and drives home.

On the third thrust, he actually hits Cas’s prostrate and it earns him a sharp cry of surprise. It’s like pie for Dean’s soul and he closes his eyes, listening to very moan as he fucks Cas without mercy. He’s unrelenting with drawing out every single noise he knows by heart. It’s satisfying a craving he’s had since before they even started today.

Without a doubt, Dean’s favourite part about the sounds that Cas makes is when Cas says his name. It never comes out the same way twice, like a chant that breaks whenever Dean pulls out or pushes in. But as nice as it is to hear all that, Dean’s wants to hear the answer to his question. He wants Cas to give him the permission to do what he’s been dying to do since day one.

It almost kills him, but Dean comes to a full stop, his hips flush against Cas’s ass as he leans over him. Carefully, with gentle fingers, Dean gets Cas to twist just enough for a dirty kiss. But Cas is barely able to focus enough to participate in it. His eyes have glazed over completely, unfocused and staring at some distant middle ground Dean can’t even comprehend.

“C’mon, Cas. Say it. Gimme the word and I’ll do it.”

He can feel Cas’s throat work against the edge of his hand a few times before he closes his eyes and nods. Cas’s lips brush his when he whispers a single word. “Please.”

That first please didn’t come easy, and neither does the second or the third. But by the time the pace of Dean’s hips picks up again and he’s left a trail of red marks along Cas’s spine, they’re falling as quick and as often as Dean’s name does. It’s broken up with gasped ‘oh’s whenever Dean angles his hips just right, aiming to please.

Cas’s orgasm catches them both by surprise without any of his usual signs. One second Cas is gasping his name while Dean holds his hips hard enough to know that there’s going to be fingerprint shaped bruises on them tomorrow, and the next he’s pressing his face into the pillows and muffling the closest thing to a scream Dean’s ever heard for him. It forces Dean to stop moving. He can’t do anything with Cas like a vice around him, muscles twitching and squeezing and fuck he’s too close – anything else and he’s going to come himself.

Dean needs a distraction and he focuses his mind on getting Cas through the rest of this. He pulls Cas’s hips up enough that he’s on his knees and reaches under him. As he strokes Cas through the last of it, Dean realizes that this is the first time that he’s actually touched Cas’s cock since they started. In fact, he kind of forgot all about it. His original plan had been to wait until Cas begged him for it, but he didn’t. Cas never said a word about how Dean was neglecting his dick.

Goddamn.

He came without being touched. Jesus Christ. Wow. Dean is – he’s actually pretty proud of himself – and of Cas. It’s impressive, really. And Cas should know that too. Dean shows him with light, gentle little kisses all across his back as he finishes stroking him through it all. “You did good, Cas. Real good.”

When Cas sags to the bed, Dean pulls out carefully. He’s trembling and muffling ragged gasps into the pillows. For a moment, Dean isn’t sure what to do. Should he untie Cas? Does Cas even want to be untied yet? It doesn’t matter if he’s come or not yet. Dean’s focus right now is on keeping Cas comfortable and making sure that he’s alright. While he waits for Cas to cool down, Dean strokes himself leisurely, looking him over and kind of marveling at everything right now.

It’s not all that long of a wait before Cas twists to look over his shoulder. At the same time, he lifts his hips and okay then. Dean can take the hint. He leans over Cas’s back and lets the head of his cock catch on his hole, just to watch him squirm. But Cas frowns and lifts his face out of the pillows.

“No rules.” He croaks the words, voice hoarse and strained like he’s fucked out and exhausted as he twists until he’s almost on his side. “You said no rules, Dean.”

Yeah, he did. But he’s got no idea what Cas is talking about, but he’s making it easier for Dean to kiss him. They really need to just only do things face to face from now on. It’s a fucking crime that he hasn’t tasted Cas’s mouth through everything. He muffles a goran of his own with Cas’s tongue when he slips back inside with a role of his hips.

What other rules could Cas be talking about? The only one that ever trips him up is that stupid one about the marks and judging from the state of Cas’s back and shoulders, that’s out the window at least for tonight. Maybe Cas will eventually clarify what he means. In the meantime, Dean is happy to drop kisses all across the curve of his neck while he rocks his hips lazily. As close as he is to his own orgasm, he’s happy to keep drawing this out.

It’s not as long of a wait as Dean was thinking it would be.

“Take it off.” Cas mumbles, curving his shoulders up into Dean’s mouth. But as soon as Dean touches the rope, Cas jerks his arms out from under his hands. “Not that.” He rolls his hips obviously. “Take it off, Dean. No rules tonight.”

He shudders slightly when Dean sits back on his heels again and stares down at him. An inkling of an understanding is starting to form in his head. Dean thinks he might know what Cas is trying to get at without actually using his words and outright asking for it. But if this really is what Cas is asking for, Dean’s heart might damn well jump right out of his chest. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from pulling out again and fumbling to get the condom off.

Even though he’s pretty damn positive that he’s still clean, Dean still shouldn’t be doing this. He knows he shouldn’t, but he’s hit his limit. Cas is asking for this and Dean wants nothing more than to do exactly as he says. It’s a whole different ball game when he pushes back into the tight heat of Cas’s ass without the condom on and muffles a string of curses around his bottom lip where it’s caught between his teeth.

With his hands braced on either side of Cas’s shoulders, Dean sets up a hard, fast pace. He needs to come before Cas gets too sensitive for Dean to keep fucking him. It’s happened before, but as long as he uses one of the wet wipes for a quick clean, Cas is usually down for letting him finish off in his mouth. But he’d rather come like this, buried deep in the heat of Cas’s body and drawing out all those soft sounds Cas always makes when he comes first.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember if sex was ever this good before Cas came along.

He sinks his teeth into Cas’s shoulder – hard enough to earn a gasp, but not hard enough to break the skin. Dean presses a kiss to that mark before he hooks his chin over Cas’s shoulder. In between grunts he manages to get out one more question.

“In or out, Cas?”

There’s barely any time for an answer. Cas gasps another ‘please’ wrapped around his name before Dean’s rhythm stutters and there’s no going back. He comes with his hips flush against his ass and a strangled version of Cas’s name on his lips. It’s a sharp, burning heat that pulls tight through his veins and muscles, his toes curling in the sheets where he’s been digging them in for traction.

When the fire fades, Dean wants nothing more than to collapse to the bed and pass out. He really, really wants to do that. But Cas is still tied up and he probably needs a shower now that Dean just creampied him. He’s shaking a little when he pulls out, fingers slipping on the knots that Cas pulled a little too tight while they were fucking. It doesn’t take too long and Cas’s sigh is a little too relieved for Dean’s liking when his arms drop to the bed along his sides.

Cas still rolls onto his side when Dean tugs at his hip, making room for him to fit against his chest. Dean pushes Cas’s hair out of his eyes and rubs his thumb over his cheekbone in a tender little touch, trying to make sure he’s okay. Judging by the soft, tired little smile on his lips and the way he turns his face into Dean’s hand, Cas is just fine.

He presses a kiss to the corner of Cas’s mouth anyways. “How’er you feeling?”

“Good.” His sigh ghosts across Dean’s palm while he sags into him. “Sore. But good. That was – it was better than expected.”

Dean hums and brings Cas’s wrists to his mouth. They’re red, a little raw, and it’s definitely going to leave a mark for at least a few days. He presses kisses to the inside of both wrists. “Yeah, you surprised me there.” One hand slides down to Cas’s hip and then around to his ass. “That’s going to be messy. Do you – Are you okay to shower on your own?”

“I should be.”

Cas opens his eyes and he still looks a little blissed out. It boosts Dean’s pride up another few notches, but he still frowns when Cas pulls away and sits up with a wince. The frown only gets deeper when Cas actually wobbles as he tries walking across the room. Nope, fuck that. There is no way Cas is showering on his own when he looks like he’s about to fall over at any moment. Even his own legs feel a little weak as Dean gets up and follows after him.

Funnily enough, Cas doesn’t look even slightly surprised when Dean steps into the shower after him and pulls the curtain shut. He doesn’t complain about it either. It doesn’t matter that they both showered at earlier points today. This is just – this is good. Dean likes it. He likes kissing Cas up against the cool shower tiles and laughing at the grimace that gets. It’s nice watching Cas tilt his face into the stream of water while Dean hooks one of his legs over his arm and uses his fingers to carefully clean out everything he left inside.

Dean can’t remember if he’s ever showered with Cas before without having sex during it. This time, there’s no desperate rush to get off before the water turns cold. It’s just… it’s nice and slow and comfortable. Cas looks more than happy to lean back against Dean’s chest and let him rub shampoo into his hair. And he returns the favour when he wipes Dean down with a cloth, paying close attention to every inch of him.

The kisses are wet with the shower but nothing stops them from the soft, slick kisses until shampoo gets between them and it tastes nasty. But as soon as they get out of the shower to dry off, Cas is on him again. He uses the towel around Dean’s waist to tug him closer while he backs him up against the door with hard kisses that leave Dean really wanting that instant refactory period. He’s sure as hell not expecting Cas to drop his mouth to his collarbone and give a sharp suck that makes Dean’s hips jerk all on their own.

Dean digs his fingers into Cas’s shoulder and bangs his head against the door when he throws it back. Cas drags his teeth across his skin to another point on Dean’s shoulder, sucking a matching mark there. He licks over the marks he’s made before he steps back with a cocksure grin on his lips.

“Fair’s fair, Dean.”

He damn near saunters out of the bathroom and Dean can’t stop staring at himself in the mirror. The mark on his collarbone is low enough that it’s not going to show with any of the t-shirts that he wears, but he can see it right now. He can see both of them. Dean’s going to know that they’re there all day every day for as long as they’re there. A blush is crawling into his face and he puts a hand over the little red mark standing out against his shoulder. Is this how Cas feels about all the marks that he left on him?

Holy shit.

Dean can barely wrap his mind around it. All he knows is that tonight they’ve crossed more than one line together. It’s going to take a lot to ignore that. He’s going to have to force himself not to care about this. Because the more he dwells on it and thinks about why he wanted to break down all their rules tonight, the harder it’s going to be for him to enjoy the afterglow and remember their ultimate rule – the one that he absolutely can’t break:

This is nothing but sex.

Chapter Text

Saturday starts off fucking amazing. In Dean’s opinion it’s the greatest damn day of the week – except for Thursday. Cas losing it over being tied up has been the best damn thing to happen all month and nothing is going to change that. Not even sitting in the stands of a gymnasium watching a bunch of folks dressed in white pajamas wail on each other while wearing colourful padded body armour or some shit can hold a candle to Thursday.

Cas tried to teach him all the words for everything to do with Taekwondo, but it’s in Korean and Dean understands languages about as well as he understands mathematics. Actually. He understands math better. At least he’s got the basics covered where that’s concerned. Besides, Dean doesn’t need to know what the uniform is called or what the Korean commands are to understand what’s happening on the mats. He can understand that with eyes instead of his ears.

And his eyes are telling him that Cas is fucking awesome.

He never holds still, constantly bouncing on the balls of his feet in little hops that looked funny at first but now it’s forever ingrained in Dean’s head as badass. Cas will fake forward, lifting one knee in a kind of hop – as if he’s going to kick – only to bounce right back into his starting position while he kind of circles around his opponent. The other guy does the same, but he just doesn’t have the kind of fluid movements that Cas does. He makes it look natural and the heavy thud of his kicks when they connect with the opponent’s chest protector are loud even from clear across the gym.

It makes Dean shiver every time he watches an opponent go stumbling back. And it’s not exactly the bad kind of shiver. It’s the kind of shiver that means Dean’s going to give Sam some money when they’re done their after-competition plans and get him and Jess out of the apartment so Cas can fuck him through the mattress. Or the other way around. Whichever works best. With all that adrenaline coursing through Cas’s system right now, Dean wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the one who wants to top tonight – if they’re given the chance.

Thank God that Sam decides to stand up and cheer when he does, because it snaps Dean out of the beginning stages of a fantasy. In his head he was halfway to the bed while pulling Cas by the hanging pieces of his black belt before Sam shouted; “Sweep the leg, Cas!

Jess jumps up too. “Wax on! Wax off! Don’t forget your training, Daniel-san!”

Bless these two and their nerd hearts. Dean loves them for it. He cackles and claps before he jumps up too. “C’mon, Cas-tea-elle! Kick some ass-tea-elle!”

Okay, that was a little embarrassing. Dean blames it on the face that Sam and Jess stole all the good quotes. With where his head was just at – well, it was kind of the logical choice to go along with something about ass.  

“Oh my God, Dean.” A fist catches him in the shoulder as Sam rolls his eyes and him and Jess laughs.

Dean would laugh with her, but Cas just broke out a series of kicks that has a lot of spinning and ends with a jumping kick that his opponent just barely manages to block. It still sends him stumbling to the side for a few steps and Dean has to run a hand over his chin to make sure he’s not fucking salivating or something because Jesus Christ. He didn’t realize that Cas kicking ass was this much of a turn on. It’s sheer luck that he hasn’t popped a boner yet – and that’s possibly because Cas is on the other side of the gym. If he was any closer and Dean was actually able to see him sweat or something, then he would definitely be doomed.

When the match is over, Cas and his opponent fall away from each other. They stand at attention and bow to each other before the referee guy comes over. He grabs Cas’s arm and raises it, shouting something in Korean. Dean puts two fingers in his mouth and whistles around them while Sam and Jess highfive and clap like they’re crazy kids. Cas fucking won. It’s no surprise, really. He basically dominated the entire match and spent most of it whipping moves out on his opponent’s side of the mats.

“That means he’s in the semi-finals, right?” Sam looks excitedly to Dean, as if he’s got any kind of clue what the system is like at all.

One of the guys sitting in front of them turns around. He’s gotta be in his fifties at list and he looks totally out of place in a clean cut suit and a goddamn salt and pepper van dyke. Dean didn’t really think much of anything when he came in some time during the last round and sat down in the only open space to him – the row right in front of Cas’s fanclub.

“Yes, he made it to the semi-finals.” God, the guy even sounds as posh as he looks. “I take it you know the winner? Are you a co-worker of his?”

“Cas is a student. He doesn’t work.” Jess leans forward happily to see around Sam’s massive frame. “But two thirds of us are his roommates and I’m dating the handsome one.”

“Yeah, but I’m the handsomer one.” Dean laughs, giving her and Sam a grin. “Yeah, he’s my best friend and I really doubt he’d ever get his hands dirty at the garage where I work.” He shrugs and leans back in his seat, looking out to where Cas is having some kind of intense conversation with his dojo master guy. “We thought we’d come out and support him since his big bro couldn’t make it today and no one else was coming here for him. It’s the least we could do.”

Sam, always the pacifist between them, looks more concerned than he does pleased to be making conversation with a completely random stranger. Normally Dean doesn’t do that unless he’s a little tipsy at the bar or something, but today he’s feeling pretty damn good. Today has been all around awesome. Before they even left the apartmet, he and Cas made out while Sam waited outside for Jess and now he’s spent the last few hours watching his best friend fucking own the mats. Cas is kicking ass and taking names, and like a cherry on the cake they evey have awesome plans afterward.

And if Dean’s lucky, those awesome as hell plans will conclude with more making out and a side order of really good sex. Specifically with Cas. No, his brain needs to stop. He can’t get side tracked thinking about using Cas’s black belt to tie his hands to the frame of the bed. What he should be doing is listening to is Sam being all worrywart over suit-man.

“We haven’t been bothering you with our cheers, have we?” Sam asks, glancing between Dean and Jess. “We have been pretty loud. It’s just – this is our first time watching a competition.”

“It’s fine.” The guy doesn’t exactly look like he’s fine with it as he turns away. “I’m sure your roommate appreciates your enthusiasm.”

Even coming from a complete stranger, that makes something warm squirm through Dean's chest. He digs out his phone to snap a few pictures of the three of them being goofs in the stands. It's something else he knows that Cas is going to appreciate too. They're not candid – at least not all of them – but Dean thinks they'll do. Cas would probably want to remember the first time that his friends see him kick hardcore ass.

There's a short break before the semi-finals start and they're moving the mats around, bringing everything to the center of the gym. So far they've been doing multiple matches at the same time and it's been annoying to try and keep track of which one Cas is participating in. But now they've got a few more matches to go. At least one of those is going to be Cas's. If he wins it, he'll have one more after that. Dean has his fingers and toes crossed. It would be awesome as hell if Cas won a gold medal today. Even if he goes home with silver or bronze around his neck, Dean doesn't care. It's going to be awesome no matter what happens.

The next match is kind of boring to watch (since it's not with Cas) and Dean spends it texting with Charlie. She's got a few tips for where he's taking Sam, Jess, and Cas after their celebratory you-did-fucking-amazing dinner. It keeps him entertained until they announce the semi-finals match between Castiel Collins and some guy who's name Dean doesn't catch because all three of them stand up and whistle, clap, and raise the roof the moment they say Cas's name.

All the matches are timed. The fighters have a set amount of time to beat on each other, trying to get as many points as they can. Dean doesn't really know how they get the points or if different moves get different amounts of points or if it's just about where you hit them. Pretty much all he knows is that there's points involved. Cas says he doesn't care about them. He's in this for the sport and because his dojo guys need him to be here.

That's what he said, but Cas still fucking owns the mats. Cas is like a tornado of kicks and punches. At one point, he even knocks his opponent to the ground and bounces back on the balls of his feet, waiting for him to get up again. Dean spends the whole match on his feet, one fist balled in the sleeve covering Sam's shoulder and the other pumping the air every time Cas lands a hit. His hands feel numb by the time the match ends and he’s two seconds away from chewing on his thumbnail as the judges whisper between themselves.

His throat damn near gives out with his cheer when the referee lifts Cas’s hand. The final round! Cas made it to the final round! Holy fucking crap he did it! That means he’s going to get a silver medal at the least and Dean is already trying to figure out a good place in the apartment to hang it. He wants to put it somewhere that everyone will be able to see it. Maybe above the TV? Or maybe he should build a shelf to put above Cas’s bed and he can bring all his medals and trophies and shit from Gabriel’s and put it where it belongs.

Of course, that is to say that all those things belong with Cas. They are his after all. It’s not like Dean’s thinking about putting them up in his own bedroom like some weird little shrine to Cas’s awesomeness. That would just be weird. And he only considered it for, like, a second or two. He didn’t think about it long enough for it to be really classified as a consideration. Dean has nothing to do with Cas’s medals. Maybe a boyfriend would have them hung up in his bedroom, but Dean’s not that so there’s no point in even thinking about that. He’s just Cas’s friend.

Dean shakes his head to knock those thoughts loose and tugs at Sam’s arm. “Hey, let’s go down to the first row and stand by the wall to wait for Cas.”

“The guy at the door said that spectators have to stay in the stands.” Sam carefully pries Dean’s fingers off his elbow. “Besides, he still has one more match to do. They’re taking a break to give him a cool down before they start the finals.”

“Cool your jets, Romeo.” Jess grins at him and holds out a bottle of water, like that’s good enough to distract him. “We’ll go down after the finals. It’ll be easier for him to get to us if we’re down there instead of all the way up here.”

That’s what they get for attending a competition being held in a university gymnasium. The bleachers go all the way to the roof and they’re halfway up. It gave them the best view of all four match areas they had going, but Dean is only here to see Cas. He doesn’t give a shit about the other people. This is all about being here to support his best friend and be a part of something that Cas has been doing practically his whole life.

The bottle of water distracts him for at least a little bit. But only for as long as it takes him to chug it and then go on a not-even-remotely-epic adventure to find the nearest recycling receptacle. His return to his seat detours with a stop at the bathroom – just in case. He’d rather piss now then have to knee-bounce his way through Cas’s final match with an overflowing bladder. And it means that he’s dropping into his seat just as the fighters are getting geared up with their padding again.

“Remember, guys –” Jess says seriously, leaning forward to look at them both. “No matter what happens, we’re still going to love Cas when this is over.”

“Even if he bites the guy’s ear off?” Sam whispers, making his eyes go comically wide.

She nods solemnly and puts her hand on his knee. “Even if he bites the guy’s ear off.”

Dean puts a hand over his mouth to cover his smile while he fakes a shocked look. He drops his voice into a loud whisper. “What if he kills him?”

Jess’s expression doesn’t change in the slightest and she looks Dean square in the eyes. “Even if he kills him. We’re here for Cas, right? Behind him one hundred percent.” She holds her fist out in the air above Sam’s lap. “We’re his cheerleaders and we’ve got to show it!”

Sam slaps his hand down over top of hers and looks expectantly at Dean. A grin is already starting to tilt his lips up. Where Jess is involved, Sam’s pokerface is shit. But when it’s at a table and scamming Dean’s friends out of their bi-weekly paycheck, Sam is a goddamn pro. He hasn’t been able to make the games in a while, but Dean’s got Cas to fill his seat and Cas is just as good (if not better).

Keeping to his flair for the dramatic, Dean sighs heavily and makes a show about reluctantly putting his hand on top of theirs. “If you insist.”

That cracks Jess’s serious face and they all share a grin before they bounce their hands together three times and pull away, mimicking an explosion. God, they’re such nerds. And it’s why Dean loves them. This is the most him he can possibly be outside of being relaxed and naked while cuddling with –

Thank God that thought ends as Cas and his opponent walk out onto the mats. It strikes Dean suddenly that he should’ve been paying more attention to the other guy during his matches too, because at this point Dean knows nothing about him. He doesn’t know his style or even how many points he racked up in his last few matches. For all Dean knows, this opponent could be the reincarnation of Krillin – or he could be San Goku. There is a massive difference between the two and Dean is kind of more than a little worried about it now.

His worries sometimes have the tendency to be ridiculously wrong – especially in cases involving Cas. Dean wishes this was one of those times, but it isn’t. Cas’s opponent is good. He’s really good – just as good as Cas, if not better. Every time Cas goes on the offensive, his opponent keeps sliding just out of reach of most kicks and punches. They’re pretty even because if Dean’s mental count is right, they’re both landing the same percentage of hits.

It’s kind of heartstopping when a little bell rings signifying the end of the match. Dean, Sam, and Jess have all been standing there without a sound, watching the whole thing like a bunch of laser-pointer mesmerized cats. Jess actually gasps in surprise, and Sam’s lucky Dean isn’t holding his hand or something. He squeezes his own knee so hard he might’ve bruised it. At this point, it’s anybody’s match and Dean bites his lip, waiting for the results to be called out.

His stomach drops when the referee lifts the other guy’s hand, but he still can’t help grinning. Cas made it to the finals and he came in second place. He’s getting himself a shiny silver medal out of it and Dean’s heart is about to burst right out of his chest with pride. If he could, he’d be down there right now to hug Cas tight and tell him he did awesome and – Nope, he’s going to stay right here. They have to wait until the awards ceremony is finished anyways before they can go down there to congratulate him. Besides, it’s not like he can kiss Cas congrats in public either.

That thought shouldn’t be nearly as bitter as it is. And Dean puts it out of his mind. If he wants to kiss Cas for a job well done, then he’s just going to have to wait until they get home and the third and fourth wheels have hit the road. Of course, that’s if he can manage to get rid of them. Technically, he would still be able to sneak a few kisses while the Wonder Twins are in Sam’s bedroom, but that would be bending one of their rules.

It’s actually a rule that Dean’s been bending a lot. He’s been making it a habit to steal kisses with Cas whenever Sam is out of the room and that needs to stop. When they started this thing, they promised they wouldn’t do anything while Sam was home. Dean may not have actually gone as far as actually touching Cas in his bathing suit areas while Sam is in the apartment, but they did kiss within the first few days of making these rules.

To top it all off, Dean is the one who put the rules down in the first place and now he’s the one bending and breaking them. The rules are there to keep them safe and Dean keeps fucking up. He can feel it. There’s a storm on the horizon and he’s not liking it one bit. It’s all Dean can do to keep trying to drive around it. If he’s not careful, he might end up heading right into it and he knows what’s on the other side. On the other side of it there’s nothing but pain – for him, for Cas, for everybody involved.

Goddammit. No. He is not letting this happen right now. Dean’s stupid brain and stupid heart aren’t getting the better of him here. This is Cas’s moment and he’s not going to spend it tapping at that not-thinking-about-it wall inside his head. He’s here to support his friend, not wallow in whatever it is that he’s up to his balls in.

To occupy himself, Dean does his best to make as much noise as physically possible when they give Cas his medal. And he’s the first one off the stands and down the stairs when someone announces the end of the ceremonies and everyone is free to go about their business. Sam and Jess are right behind him and Dean all but sprints across the gym as soon as his boots hit the ground floor on a beeline for his favourite Taekwondo master.

Cas is busy crouched in his dojo’s corner, carefully tucking all his body armour things away into a duffle bag. He looks up before Dean can do anything silly like loop his arms around him and swing him up and around or something equally ridiculous. There’s at least ten different options running through his head right now and Dean ignores them all to come to a full stop and clap his hands down on Cas’s shoulders to look him square in the eye.

“You are officially the most badass person I know.” And that’s saying a lot, considering Ash’s nickname has been Dr. Badass since tenth grade when he more or less earned his PhD in Badassery during their freshman year by scaling the tree next to the school and camping out on their roof for a whole weekend without getting caught for it.

For a moment, Cas looks surprised, but then he grins – all teeth and gums and dimples. Dean can’t help dropping his eyes to look at Cas’s lips and wow, it’s getting really hard to resist kissing him in public. Cas has gotta know exactly what’s going through Dean’s head because he licks his lips and clears his throat. That gets Dean snapping back to reality and he steps out of the way just in time for Jess to barrel right into Cas and wrap him in the kind of hug Dean is a little jealous of not being able to give him right now.

“Ew, Jess, he’s all sweaty!” Sam pulls a face but wraps them both in a hug. “You almost had him, Cas! It was an amazing match!”

A modest blush fills Cas’s face and he ducks his head. “Thank you. I did my best.”

“And it was awesome.” Dean slaps him on the back, his hand lingering on his shoulder a little longer than he should let it. “There is no way in hell I’m missing any more of these, got it? You better tell me when you have competitions. I’m going to be at each and every one of them. And this –” He reaches out and taps the medal hanging against Cas’s chest. “This is going up on the apartment wall. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. I want everyone to see that you’re awesome.”

Cas glances at him, eyes wide and caught between a little disbelieving and a little hopeful. “Dean, you don’t have to do –”

He cuts himself off and Dean can pinpoint the exact moment that he locks up. His whole expression shuts down when his eyes move from Dean’s face to somewhere over his shoulder. Jess and Sam both notice and they take a step back, sharing a confused look. It’s something behind Dean that’s getting Cas to shut down like that and he kind of doesn’t want to turn around and see what it is. But, it’s not like he has much of a choice in the matter.

Dean glances over his shoulder and all he sees is a bunch of people milling about. More specifically, he sees Mr. Salt and Pepper Van Dyke heading straight for them. He drops his hand as the guy gets close enough that any hope that he had an alternative destination gets dashed. The posh suit man comes to a stop almost right next to Dean and doesn’t even spare him, Jess, or Sam a glance.

“Hello, father.” Cas dips his head again, almost like a fucking bow, and his whole voice sounds different. It sounds wrong. Like someone gathered up all the bits that make him Cas and tore them out, leaving behind some kind of automaton that isn’t Cas.

That’s what Dean notices first. And then Cas’s actual words hit him and he does a double take. Father? As in dad? This guy – this guy right here is – He’s Cas’s – Oh, holy fucking shit. Dean damn near swallows his tongue. Even Sam and Jess look surprised to see him here. Clearly they’ve never met him either and that’s not too hard to believe since he apparently lives on the other side of the country. Which begs the question – why is he here?

“Hello, Castiel.” Mr. Collins tips his head too, but it’s more like an acknowledgment than the bow Cas basically made. “Are you going to introduce me to your friends?”

Cas’s fingers twitch, half curling into a fist before he relaxes them. Dean catches it out of the corner of his eye. Clearly Cas wants this conversation not to be happening right now, and Dean would really like to give him that. But there are some things that are just rude and walking away would be just that. It would also probably make Cas’s dad hate him and Dean would kind of like his family to not loathe his very existence. Gabriel might be a lost cause, but this is Dean’s chance to get a foot in the door with Cas’s parents for whatever reason he might need that.

He just prays to any God listening that he’s not giving off pheromones or something that scream I fuck your son on a regular basis.

“If I had known you were Cas’s dad, I would’ve introduced myself up in the stands.” Dean fixes a prize-winning smile on his face and holds out his hand for a solid shake (he’s good at those). “Dean Winchester. I’m one of Cas’s roommate and a former co-worker of Gabriel’s. It’s nice to finally get to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you.” And next to none of it was good.

For a moment, Mr. Collins just frowns down at Dean’s hand. It’s like he’s got a permanent glare fused into his eyeballs and it’s kind of making Dean freak out a little on the inside. He stamps down on any kind of reaction and tries not to count the seconds that Mr. Collins just stares at his hand instead of actually shaking it. Eventually he does, but it’s with a look that screams that just touching another person is leaving a bad taste in his mouth or something.

Dean swallows back his own frown and gestures at Sam and Jess. “This is my – uh – little brother, Sam. He also lives with us. And this is Jess.”

They both hold their hands out too with a mumbled; “Pleasure to meet you, sir.”

Mr. Collins shakes their hands quickly, doesn’t say anything to either of them, and looks right back at Cas. “How come you didn’t tell me about this competition, Castiel? I had to learn about it from Gabriel.” His frown actually manages to get deeper than before. “I had meetings this weekend that I had to cancel to be here today.”

Cas’s lips press into a thin line and he looks down at the floor. “My apologies. I was preoccupied with my summer classes and notifying you slipped my mind.”

That’s bullshit. Cas’s summer classes are a walk in the park for him. Dean knows what’s been keeping him preoccupied lately and it’s sure as hell not anything to do with school. It more involves the content of Dean’s pants and what he and Cas get up to on top of the sheets in his bed. He bites his tongue to keep from saying anything.

“Get changed and cleaned up.” Mr. Collins sighs, gesturing at Cas like it’s some great big imposition to be in his son’s presence or something. “I’m taking you to dinner.”

Dean’s stomach drops and he shares a look with Cas. He doesn’t like the way the skin around Cas’s eyes has gone all tight, or how he’s holding himself like there’s a metal rod super glued to his spine. This isn’t the Cas that Dean knows. This is the robot his dad is trying to mold into the perfect person and it’s killing Dean not to say something. But if he did that, he could fuck everything up for Cas too. This is Cas’s fight and all Dean can do is here is silently support him.

Cas clears his throat and squares his shoulders. “I – Actually, I have plans with my friends.”

“Such as?”

Oh God. There’s no way Cas is ever going to tell his dad that they’re going to dinner before hitting up a LARP costume shop where Charlie may or may not be meeting them. He’s never going to mention to either of his parents (and probably not even to Gabriel) that Dean’s managed to rope not only him, but Sam and Jess too, into giving LARPing a try. They’re not nearly as into it as Dean and Charlie are, but they liked what they saw when Dean dragged them with him once and they’re willing to give it a try too.

It’s just going to be one hell of a bonus to see Cas in chainmail.

The thing is, if Cas’s dad thinks photography is a huge waste of time, then Dean doesn’t even want to know what he’d think about LARPing. See, he may never have met Mr. Collins before, but Dean wasn’t lying when he said he’s heard a lot about him. Cas doesn’t complain about his parents a whole lot, but he does let slip little bits and pieces about what it was like growing up in the sheltered little bubble they carved out of the world for him. He’s said just enough for Dean to piece together what kind of people his parents really are.

Cas’s mom is a whole different story in her own regard, but Cas’s dad is a complete piece of work. Dean already knew that Mr. Collins usually makes a point of coming to Cas’s competitions to show some kind of support – and normally that would earn him some brownie points in Dean’s book under the ‘Good Dad’ column. But that’s about where the good things stop.

For most of Cas’s childhood, his dad was pretty fucking absent. He’d show up for things like recitals, competitions, tournaments, and anything where Cas had the potential of being a success. But it was always things that he wanted Cas to do. God forbid if Cas wanted him to come outside and play in the yard. That’s a whole other kettle of fish Dean doesn’t even want to get into.

And the worst part? Cas once admitted that he couldn’t even remember the last time his dad hugged him. Or if that’s even something they’ve ever done. Mr. Collins has always just been some kind of strict, unsmiling presence that looms over Cas’s life, guiding it wherever he wants it to go. In this case, it’s directly to Med School. Cas is like his own personal little puppet and it makes Dean’s stomach turn to think about Cas going to dinner alone with this guy.

But he also knows that if Cas turns his dad down after he cancelled work and crossed the goddamn country to be here, it’s going to put one hell of a strain on an already strained relationship. It could cause problems throughout the whole family and that’s another weight on Cas’s shoulders that he doesn’t need from his family. He’s already got all their expectations of him to live up to and that’s enough to make Dean want to run for the hills.

It looks like Cas already figured this all out too. Any trace of emotion has been wiped clear off his face and he’s staring at the ground again. He’s hiding that he’s unhappy. Dean can read it in the barely-there signs and all it’s doing is making him want to do things that would be very stupid to do right now. He can’t put his arm around Cas’s shoulders and he damn well definitely can’t tell Mr. Collins to fuck off before dragging Cas out of this gym with them.

All he can do is put his hand on Cas’s shoulder and give him a sympathetic smile. “Don’t worry about us. We can always reschedule and we’ll celebrate your win tomorrow.”

Cas gives him a flat, unhappy look before he nods. “Thank you for your understanding, Dean.” He takes a step away from everyone and stoops to grab his gym bag. “Please excuse me. I need to go clean up now. I’ll be back shortly, father.”

“I’ll be waiting for you outside with the car.” Mr. Collins nods and then he’s gone, striding back across the gym without so much as a ‘good day’ to the rest of them.

At least Cas actually mumbles a goodbye, but he doesn’t look back as his shoulders slump and he heads off to the locker room alone. Dean’s stomach twists over on itself and his ribs pinch painfully around his lungs. Something is pulling hard on his heart and it’s trying to tug him right after Cas. But Dean can’t. Despite any of his varied reputations, Dean does know where to draw the line and intervening between Cas and his dad is one line he shouldn’t even try to toe.

It leaves him with a bad taste in his mouth and it’s no comfort that Sam and Jess don’t look any better when they all leave the gym. Dean has the feeling that their dinner is going to be something quick grabbed through a drive-thru and nobody is going to be up for any LARP shopping tonight. After that meeting, the mood to shop feels like it’s been effectively run through with a broadsword.

*

This is so far from how he planned to spend his evening that Dean doesn’t even know how to feel about it. He should feel disappointed, but right now there’s just a tight ball of worry sitting in his chest – and it’s all for Cas. It’s been a few hours since the end of the competition and Cas isn’t home yet. Which means he’s probably still in the company of his dad and Dean doesn’t know what to do.

He’s picked up his phone a dozen times already but stopped himself before he could send a text or make a call just to check and make sure that Cas is alright. Even trying to distract himself isn’t helping. So far, Dean’s rearranged the shelf above the TV to leave a space for Cas’s medal to hang off of it, and he’s scrubbed down the entire bathroom. Cleaning keeps him busy and stops his mind from straying off into the dangerous zone where he might open doors that don’t need opening. Too bad cleaning doesn’t have the same effect on that worry currently rolling around his chest like a bag of angry cats.

It wouldn’t be so hard not to worry if Sam and Jess had stuck around. But they took off not long after they got home. All their plans for the evening – dinner, LARP shopping, etc – were cancelled in light of Mr. Collins pissing all over everything. Those two decided to make the best of the evening and call it a date night. Now they’re out for dinner and a movie and Dean has no idea if they’re going to be coming back or not. They could just as easily spend the night at Jess’s.

When he runs out of things to clean, Dean starts pacing. He tries counting his steps to keep his mind occupied, but that gets boring fast. Really, he shouldn’t be this worried. This isn’t the first time that Cas’s gone out with his dad, right? Those never went too badly before. Cas is always just a little stiff afterward, but he loosens up pretty quick – especially if Dean manages to get his hands on him. He’s got magic fingers, after all. Hell, he even gives a pretty good massage too.

Maybe that’s something he can do for Cas when he gets back. That’ll help get both their minds off Cas’s dad spoiling the evening and it’ll help Cas relax. He had a packed day and Dean would rather give him a chance to kick his feet up for a cool down than get right to something the moment Cas walks through the door. Not that Dean’s actually planning on pouncing on him or anything. He was earlier, but things changed and now he just wants to make sure that Cas is alright before he even thinks about having any happy-happy fun time.

Dean is taking a lap through his bedroom when he hears keys in the lock. He doesn’t exactly run out of his room, but he’s out in the living room before the apartment door is even shut. His heart gives a funny little leap when it clicks that Cas is home, but then it drops at the same time Cas dumps his gym bag in front of the closet door. He looks – Jesus, he looks lost. No, he looks wrecked.

Cas glances up at him, eyes and mouth tight. “Anyone home?”

“Just me.” He shakes his head and spreads his arms to gesture at the empty apartment.

For a second, Cas just looks at him. Once he’s apparently had his fill of staring, Cas kicks off his shoes, shrugs off his jacket, and slips the chain over the lock. Dean’s stomach starts doing fancy flips before that trenchcoat even hits the back of the couch. It’s a knee-jerk reaction whenever Cas locks the door with the chain because of what usually follows, and his expectations aren’t disappointed in the least when Cas is on him in no time flat.

It’s not exactly a common occurrence for Cas to practically tackle Dean onto his bed, but the way he crashes into him kind of feels a lot like those football games his dad tried to get him into back in highschool. They end up crashing down onto Cas’s pristinely made bed, Dean narrowly missing cracking his head against the wall. That’s a hard thing to be concerned about when Cas is kissing him for all he’s worth; hard enough that Dean would worry about having bruised lips after this if his brain wasn’t having difficulty with actually keeping up with what’s going on.

With the way Cas is kissing him right now, Dean kind of expects there to be hands getting roughly shoved inside clothing at this point. But Cas isn’t doing anything like that. He’s just kneeling above Dean, pressing desperate kiss after desperate kiss to his mouth. His hands are firmly locked around Dean’s face, holding him in place – not that Dean really had any plans to actually move.

Cas kisses him until he has to pull back to breathe, gasping a ragged little breath that wrenches something deep in Dean’s chest. He moves his hands from where they’ve curled into Cas’s shirt between his shoulders and sweeps  them up his neck, heading right into his hair. His eyes are squeezed shut and his breathing is all over the place. Something has Cas worked up and it’s not exactly in the way that Dean likes to see him.

Dean keeps running his fingers through Cas’s hair, scraping his nails over his scalp. Maybe that will help calm him down. Cas makes a little noise in his throat and drops his forehead to Dean’s collarbone and doesn’t move. All he’s doing is breathing in quick, sharp puffs of air across Dean’s chest. What the hell is going on? What happened while Cas was with his dad to make him like this the moment he gets back? Dean doesn’t have the first clue and all he can do is wrap his arms around Cas’s back and hold him until he calms down.

After the first even breath that Cas takes, Dean rubs one hand up and down his back. “You okay, Cas?”

No.” A shudder shakes through him and Cas slides his legs out from under him until he’s lying completely on top of Dean, his face buried against his neck. It takes him another minute before he says anything else. “I don’t know what to do.”

Shit. “What happened?”

Cas’s voice drops into a whisper. “I fought with my father.”

Double shit. Dean squeezes him tighter. “About what?”

One of Cas’s hands curls in Dean’s shirt and he takes a long, deep breath. “Here. You. Everything.” He makes a noise that sounds a hell of a lot like a sniff and Dean’s not sure what he’s more upset about. Either it’s the fact that Cas fought with his dad about him or it’s that Mr. Collins may or may not be making Cas fucking cry.

“Take your time, Cas.” He murmurs, keeping his hand going back and forth along Cas’s back. His curiosity is climbing through the roof, but this is something that Cas needs to do in his own time.

It takes a while for Cas to get around to talking again. Dean can feel him open and close his mouth a few times, but he never actually says anything. He hears more than he feels Cas swallow and lick his lips when he’s finally ready to say something.

“He tried – Father tried to talk me into moving out.” Cas sighs and rolls away onto his back, draping one arm over his eyes. Dean follows, turning onto his side so he can keep watching him for his reactions. “He offered me my own apartment.”

Dean’s stomach flips again and it feels like the air is being sucked from the room. But there’s a glimmer of hope in his chest. Cas and his dad wouldn’t have been fighting if Cas had said ‘yes’ to the apartment. There’s more to this story and Dean just needs to be patient and wait for it – no matter how hard that is at the moment. He shimmies a little closer to Cas and put his hand on his chest, frowning at how hard he can feel his heart beating under his palm.

“It would be an on campus apartment – or at least relatively close to there. Closer than here.” Cas shrugs and moves his arm from over his face. He ends up dropping his hand on top of Dean’s, fingers curling around to pin it in place. “Father didn’t like that I turned him down.” Cas turns his head to look at him. “I told him that I – I don’t want to move out, Dean. I like living here with my friends – with you.”

“I know. I like having you here too, Cas.” That’s one hell of an understatement, but Cas doesn’t need to know that right now. “He didn’t take that news very well, huh?”

The little pinched line between Cas’s eyebrows has been looking just upset so far. Now with the frown, he looks downright angry. At least the glare that goes with it ends up directed at the ceiling and not at Dean. “He called you a grease monkey.”

Wait, what? Dean props himself up on his elbow and frowns down at Cas. “He what? Why? What did I do – besides work in a garage?”

Cas sits up sharply, dropping Dean’s hand while he fists his own against his knees. “Father said I should be socializing with people of a higher caliber because I –” He makes a choked, angry noise and his arm snaps out, his fist stopping just shy of hitting the wall. “He said I deserve better friends than you and Sam because I come from a better breed of people. I can’t believe he would – how dare he say that about –”

Okay, that hurts. But Dean can go over that sting of truth later. Right now, Cas is gearing up to be spitting mad and that won’t do either of them any good. He needs to calm him down and the best way Dean knows how is with physical contact. All it takes is crawling into the space behind Cas, legs stretched out on either side of him. As soon as he gets his arms around Cas’s waist and pulls him back against his chest, the anger leaks out of Cas like a faulty hot air balloon and he sags into him.

“You blew up at him, didn’t you?” If Cas had even a fraction of the reaction he had just now, it’s no wonder they fought.

“I did.” His head drops back to rest against Dean’s shoulder and he sighs. “I raised my voice at him. I’ve never yelled at my father and I – I might have told him that I don’t want to be a doctor.” He curls his arms overtop of Dean’s, squeezing his wrists. “I said I wanted to take a few photography courses and stop with pre-med.”

Dean winces and rests his cheek against Cas’s temple. “What did he have to say to that?”

“Nothing good or worth repeating.” Cas mumbles and Dean can feel him shift his weight to better lean their heads together. “He called me a disappointment and threatened to cut me off if I changed my course load for the coming year.”

Triple shit. It’s Cas’s parents who’ve been paying his half of the rent and bills. They throw money in his account every week or so for him to afford food and the extra classes that aren’t covered by his scholarship. Son of a bitch. If his dad cuts him off, Cas is going to have to drop a bunch of classes and get a job. It’s going to be rough on him, but Dean knows Cas can do it. He just wants him to be happy and this med-school bullshit isn’t cutting it.

Cas’s hands are shaking where they’re covering Dean’s wrists and it’s kind of scaring him. He wants Cas to be okay. This isn’t something that Cas deserves having dumped on him. And he sure as hell didn’t deserve having his dad freaking out like that. First he went and insulted his friends, then he went and called Cas a goddamn disappointment just because he has actual interests and wants to follow those then what his dad has planned for him?

Mr. Collins is damn lucky that Dean wasn’t there for this. Otherwise, he might have clocked the fucker in his stupid van dyke. Now Dean has to clean up the mess and help Cas figure out what he’s going to do. And first up, he’s going to hug and kiss Cas until he stops looking like a sad, lost puppy. It’s doing dangerous things to Dean’s heart strings and that needs to stop, like, right now.

Dean doesn’t get any complaints when he moves and pulls Cas back down on the bed with him. They rearrange themselves comfortably with their legs tangled together. Cas has one hand twisted in Dean’s shirt and an arm thrown over his waist while Dean gets both his hands into Cas’s hair. One of them keeps meandering down to drag both thumb and fingertips over his cheek and jaw. Touching Cas always makes Dean feel better too.

They keep their heads close together, foreheads almost touching. Sometimes Cas tilts his chin up to kiss him and Dean returns it just as softly as he gets it. They’re not always gentle, but if the kisses are helping Cas calm down, then Dean’s more than happy to participate in them. And, eventually, they do actually work. The creases in Cas’s forehead smooth out and he looks a lot more like Cas whenever he opens his eyes to look at Dean.

It’s encouraging enough for Dean to rub his thumb along his cheekbone. “You gonna be okay?”

“Maybe.” He shrugs again and tightens the arm he has around Dean’s waist, pulling him closer. “I don’t want to move out.”

“You don’t have to.” Dean will do everything in his power to keep Cas here for as long as he wants to stay. “We’ll figure that out, don’t worry.”

Cas nods and closes his eyes again. “I don’t want to be a doctor.”

“You don’t have to do that either.” He leans in and presses a kiss to the corner of Cas’s mouth. “Take the classes that you want to take, Cas, and drop the ones you don’t.”

“But father said he’s going to cut me –”

“Let ‘em.” Dean sighs and brushes their noses together. It’s too addicting to touch Cas. He’s warm in all the right places and he smells fantastic and Dean would really like to just lie here for the rest of the night with him. “If your dad cuts you off, then you can get a part time job or something. I can give you a break on the rent until you get your feet back under you.”

The frown comes back, but it’s not the same. “That’s not fair to you, Dean.”

“It’s fine.” It’s his turn to shrug and he grins against Cas’s mouth. “I was basically paying for this place on my own before you came along. Don’t worry about it, okay?” He kisses him again, nice and soft and slow. “I want you to be happy, Cas. So, do what makes you happy.”

A sharp, short puff of air hits his lips and Dean grins. It’s the closest thing to a laugh he’s probably going to get from Cas right now but it feels just as good. He isn’t expecting Cas to roll over on top of him and breathe an ‘okay’ right before he kisses him. And the kisses don’t stop. They flow one into the other, long and slow and deep.

There’s something warm and amazing bubbling up behind Dean’s ribs. Maybe kissing him is something that makes Cas happy. Just thinking that makes Dean feel something a little too much like hope and he’s not even all that sure what he’s feeling hopeful about. In fact, it kind of scares the bejesus out of him and Dean shoves it clear out of his head. Now isn’t the time to think about it. It’s not. It’s not.

Words. He needs words and jokes and something to stop his head from chasing after that hope and figuring out what it is. And Cas – well, Cas needs to laugh. He needs to be smiling and happy again and not be upset by this shit his dad is shoveling on top of him.

Dean breaks the kiss and pushes his hands up into Cas’s hair to keep him from dipping down again. “You know… there are other ways that you can pay the rent.”

He blinks down at him a few times, his forehead wrinkling. For a second, Dean thinks he might have actually offended him. “It’s just a joke, Cas.”

“I don’t get the joke.” Cas huffs and frowns.

Okay, that has to be bullshit. “You’re a dirty liar. There’s no way you didn’t get that.”

Cas tilts his head, his frown only getting more and more confused. “How else would I pay the rent if I don’t have the money to–” He cuts off the moment Dean’s hands slide down to squeeze his ass and his eyes go wide with understanding. “Oh!”

A snort of laughter punches out of Cas, but it doesn’t stop there. It turns into a full on giggle, and then an out and out laugh. Dean grins up at him and mentally waves the flag of victory. He made Cas laugh and that’s a mission accomplished if ever he saw one. Watching Cas laugh sends the warm tingles in Dean’s chest into a frenzy and, for now, Dean lets them make him feel good. These he won’t push away while he pulls Cas down into another kiss.

Chapter Text

Dean leans around the edge of the café and glances through the window, squinting against the glare. That does him no good. Shit. He’s going to have to resort to being extra creepy and actually cup his hands around his eyes and press them right up against the glass. Great. Like that’s not at all noticeable. Crouching, he tries to do it from the bottom corner of the window where he’s less likely to be seen. Sure, pedestrians probably think he’s a nut job, but Dean would rather look like he’s the resident crazy person than actually step foot in Café du Crowley again.

Well, that’s not entirely true. He’s willing to go inside after Crowley’s left. Unfortunately, it’s the middle of the day which means that Crowley is most definitely sitting in his office right now with that goddamn pug of his yapping around his ankles. And if Dean risks even poking his head through the door, Crowley is going to be on him in no time flat. He’s going to come after Dean with all the sweet talking he can muster in every attempt to get him to come back and add a touch of gorgeous to his counter again.

In Dean’s opinion, he’s really not needed. Not now that they have Cas working the counter. He’s pleasant and adorably awkward, and the customers seem to love him. Or, at least, that’s what Sam says from what he’s seen when he stopped in the other day. Dean hasn’t visited Cas at work yet and it’s not just because of Crowley. He’s just – it feels weird in a way that Dean can’t quite put his finger on. The thought of going into Cas’s new workplace makes Dean get hot under the collar in completely different ways then he’s used to when it comes to his friend-cum-roommate-cum-friend-with-benefits.

According to Cas, Gabriel talked Crowley into hiring him even though he didn’t need any new employees. Dean suspects blackmail was involved. Or it could be that someone managed to finially bully Ash into retiring from dish duty to take up arms at the Roadhouse. Either way, nothing else matters as long as Cas is happy, and he looks about as happy as he can be right now while making some fancy whipped drink – the very kind of drink that Dean was banned from making while he worked here. It’s no surprise that Cas is better at the job than him. He’s got that big beautiful brain working for him to memorize every little drink.

Cas has been working here full time for a week now and that’s plenty of time to get the whole place figured out for an egghead like him. Besides, Cas needs something to occupy himself now that he’s dropped all his summer classes. Good thing he did it before the end of the voluntary withdrawal date. It means he got refunds for all his classes and that’s padding his bank account for the time being since daddy dearest kept true to his word and cut him off.

Apparently this isn’t the first time it’s happened with the family either. That evening, when they were all tangled up in each other, Cas spilled the beans about how the same thing happened with Gabriel. When his big bro decided to skip out on being a lawyer to be a goddamn pastry chef of all things, Mr. Collins cut him off and damn near disowned him. If Cas’s mom hadn't pitched a fit, Cas might never have been given the opportunity to live with Gabe for his years in highschool.

Things still aren’t that good between Gabriel and his dad, but at least family dinners aren’t ridiculously awkward or something. From what Dean understands, Mrs. Collins is pulling her hair out over Cas’s dad cutting him off too. She’s pretty disappointed in him too for dropping out of all his doctor courses, but she still wants to make sure that her blue-eyed baby boy is being taken care of. It would be a stain on the family name if any of their kids ended up being some kind of homeless bum, after all.

Dean does kind of envy Cas for having parents who could afford to just drop money in his account and pay for any classes his scholarship doesn’t cover. It is – or was, in this case – the American dream, more or less. But he still feels a little pain in his chest that Cas is being dropped headfirst back into the real world. He’s working his first job and having to pay bills out of his own pocket now. Not that Dean’s letting him pay anything for the summer.

His own wallet can take the hit for covering the whole rent while Cas saves up what he can for when his hours have to drop in September. When classes start, he’s not going to be able to work full time anymore and he’s going to have to take the bus whenever Dean can’t drive him anywhere. For his sake, Dean’s more than willing to pay the rent and he’s got Sam helping with the bills. Hell, even Gabriel is offering to help out – making the offer to pay for Cas’s food and shit. Since Dean refused, Cas now comes home with at least one form of pastry and a doggy-bag dinner courtesy of the big brother who won’t let Dean take care of Cas himself.

It may be running him a little ragged, but Dean is doing his damnedest to keep Cas happy too. He keeps catching sight of Cas having little sad moments when he thinks nobody’s looking. Cas never complains, not once, about having to work for the first time in his life. He’s not acting like a spoiled rich kid and the most upsetting thing for him is that he’s disappointed his parents. In Dean’s experience, that’s enough to make you pretty sad too. He did it enough times when his own parents were alive. He’s been in Cas’s shoes and he doesn’t envy him for it. But he doesdo all he can to try and put a smile on Cas’s face.

Dean makes all of Cas’s favourite foods for breakfast, lunch, and supper – regardless of what Gabe sends him home with. And instead of letting Cas take the bus to work, Dean drives him and tries his hardest to make sure their schedules click so he can pick him up to. He even does his best to make sure that Cas is sexually satisfied in every way possible. Maybe if he has enough orgasms, he’ll be too blissed out to care about what his parents think. It’s not like Dean has much else going for him to make Cas happy.

At least he’s not the only one trying to help either, thank God. Sam sits down with Cas every evening available to them with their laptops and the course guides for the university. They’ve spent a lot of time working out a new class schedule for the fall and what classes Cas already took that can be carried over and all that bullshit that Dean doesn’t understand. All he knows is that Cas is going back to school in the fall and he’s got a list of classes that he needs to take for photography.

Everything about it pretty much goes over Dean’s head. He’s not even sure if it’s possible to major in something like that, but if it’s what Cas wants to do and it’s making him happy, then he’s got Dean’s full support. Not to mention that Dean likes the way he can actually see Cas brighten up while he and Sam are talking. It’s like he can actually see Cas developing his passion for taking pictures and it’s one of the best things Dean has ever seen.

It’s better than seeing Cas’s frustrated faces when he gets texts or phone calls from Gabriel with his special brand of ‘helping’. Dean hasn’t asked what they’re about yet, but he has the feeling that Cas is going to crack and break down into an all out rant about whatever’s going on between them soon. He’s not sure how personal it is, but Dean’s walking on eggshells right now regarding Cas and his family – Gabriel or not.

Speaking of, he hasn’t seen that trickster yet through the window. Maybe he’s not in today? That would be nice. Dean would like to avoid him just as much as he’d like to avoid Crowley. Hell, it’d be great not to run into any of the old crowd here. Ash was the only one that Dean actually liked. The rest all did one thing or another that got under his skin and if he’s going to grab lunch here, he only wants to deal with Cas.

“I honestly didn’t think you could get any weirder. Thank you for proving me wrong.”

Dean flinches and straightens up so quick that he overbalances and damn near ends up on his ass. Thank God for fancy footwork, because he catches himself in the same motion of turning around to face – “Meg.”

She grins up at him, all dimples and smirk. “If it isn’t darling little Dean-o. You spying on our latest addition? Don’t worry. We’re not corrupting sweet Clarence.” Pausing, she leans around him to glance through the window, her grin growing. “Not yet, at least.”

Something dark and just a little bit scary flares to life behind Dean’s ribs and he shoves his hands in the pockets of his jacket to keep them from curling into fists. “I wasn’t spying.” He sniffs and looks away. “I was scoping out whether or not Crowley’s here before I go in to get some lunch and see how Cas is liking the place. Y’know, make sure you shitheads are treating him right.”

“Crowley is out of town on business and you don’t have to worry about Clarence.” Meg laughs and shifts her bag up her shoulder a little more. “He’s ten times the worker you were, and he’s better looking too.”

He doesn’t doubt it, but Dean’s never did have much patience for dealing with Meg and her sass. Before she can say anything else, he rolls his eyes and turns away. Might as well just bite the bullet and go on in. She’s right on his heels when he heads inside and damn near knocks him to his knees when she shoves past. Dean directs a glare at the back of her head while she waves at Cas and gets a small wave in return. Where she gets a little wave, Dean gets the full brunt of Cas’s surprised eyes and delighted smile.

“I thought you had work today.” Cas says to him while he hands a fancy drink over the counter to some mooning school girl. He looks away long enough to smile at her. “Have a good day.”

She bobs her head and ducks away to a group of them taking over three of the tables to one side of the café. They all erupt into giggles and Dean ignores them, choosing instead to lean his hip against the counter and grin at Cas. “Oh, y’know. A man’s gotta eat and I figured I’d come see how you’re holding up.”

His smile softens a little and Cas looks down at the cash register. “It’s taken some adjusting to, but I’m doing well here.” He taps at one of the keys. “What can I get for you?”

From memory, Dean recites the order Cas made every damn day that he came here. He knows Cas recognizes it when the tips of his ears start going red while he types it in. Cas doesn’t say anything about it, but he does glance up through his lashes. “I assume that this is to go?”

Dean glances over his shoulder at the gaggle of girls in the corner. “If I had the time, I’d sit in my favourite spot. But it looks like it’s taken.”

Cas’s smile only gets softer and it’s making Dean’s insides turn to mush. He shuffles his feet and glances down at the pastry cabinet while he hands over some cash for the meal. “Still not selling any pie, huh? Crowley’s never going to get his head out of his ass about that.”

“That’s because pies are at the bottom of the pastry pyramid of delight, loverboy.”

Even Cas winces when Gabriel comes swinging out of the kitchen, a tray of puffy something or others in hand. He turns around and frowns at his brother. “Please don’t insult Dean’s favourite treat. I happen to like pie too.”

“You always have had terrible taste, Cassie.” Gabriel sighs and shakes his head while he slides open the back of the pastry case. “That would explain why you keep turning down my suggestions.”

Dean glances between the two of them. “Suggestions about what? You’re not trying to talk him into moving out too, are you?”

“No, he isn’t.” Cas sighs and rubs a hand over the back of his neck. He’s not making eye contact with either of them and something a whole hell of a lot like worry starts gnawing on Dean’s ribs. “It’s nothing, Dean. Ignore him.”

“It’s not nothing.” Gabe huffs, slamming the door after putting the pastries in the cooler. “These are some quality girls I’m trying to set you up with and you keep turning your nose up at them!”

Dean’s stomach drops and his heart decides that now is the perfect time to crawl up into his throat. Shit. Is that what’s been going on between Cas and Gabriel recently? Goddammit. No. It’s none of Dean’s business. None at all. They’re fuck buddies for fuck’s sake. There’s nothing about this that should be making his stomach want to try and find space for itself in his goddamn shoes.

“In this time of turmoil, Cassie, you need something to take your mind off of things and there’s nothing better than the comforting arms of a lady!” He spreads his arms and wiggles his eyebrows at Cas before something a little like comprehension flashes across his face. Gabriel’s eyes flick to Dean so fast he’s not even sure he actually saw it. “Unless… am I barking up the wrong kind of tree here? Should I be trying to set you up with guys instead?”

Somewhere in Dean’s throat, his heart starts dancing a samba. He’s almost positive that there is nothing about what he’s feeling showing on his face right now, but he can’t be sure. There’s no way that Gabriel knows anything about them – not that there’s much of a ‘them’to be known about. They’re just friends with a few benefits on the side. Nothing more than that. Gabriel doesn’t know and he’s just being a shithead.

“How many times must I tell you that I’m not interested?” Cas sighs and turns away to make the coffee Dean ordered. “I have no interest in people I’ve never met before.”

“So, you’ll go for it if it’s someone you know?” Gabriel has that sly voice going and even Dean knows that it’s full of a promise that means nothing good is to come. “Still, Cassie, I gotta know. Girl or guy? I can’t pick someone if I don’t know your preference.”

Dean has had just about enough of this. “If Cas says he’s not interested, then he’s not interested. Just drop it, Gabe.”

“This is family business, loverboy.” He snaps back. “Unless Cassie puts a ring on your finger, you keep your nose outta it.”

Before Dean can say anything in response, or even make a comment on how Cas’s shoulders have gone rigid and there’s red starting to creep up the back of his neck, Meg shows up at the order window with a Styrofoam container in hand. “Do I smell trouble in paradise?”

“You’re smelling Dean’s lunch.” Cas snaps the lid onto the coffee cup and grabs the container from her. He turns back to hand them over the counter, but he’s not making eye contact again and it’s making Dean’s stomach attempt to crawl through the goddamn floor. “Thank you for stopping by, Dean. It was nice to see you.”

Gabriel makes a sound that’s caught between a snort and a groan. “Oh, please. You live with the idiot. You have to see that ugly mug every damn day.”

“Your just jealous coz’ I’m prettier than you and even Crowley knows it.” Dean can’t resist sticking out his tongue at him. “This ugly mug gets more tail then you can even dream about.” He glances back at Cas while stepping away. “I gotta get going. But I can pick you up after work, if you want?”

“It’s fine. I’ll be done before you and I can take the bus from here.” Cas ducks his head and, even though he’s still not making eye contact, he’s smiling. “I’ll see you at home.”

He ignores the face Gabriel makes at him and lifts his hand with his coffee cup in it as a silent wave to Cas before he ducks out of the shop. Even though he managed to get out relatively unscathed, Dean still doesn’t feel like he left the shop as intact as he entered it. His stomach won’t settle down and he’s pretty sure that he’s going to have a hell of a time trying to choke down his lunch. God fucking dammit. This is not how he was hoping this little lunch trip would go.

*

Dean wakes up with a snort, his head popping off the pillow and the little puddle of drool forming under his cheek. He’s on his stomach but he’s facing the wrong way from his alarm clock. Groaning, he flips over and rubs the sleep from his eyes to check out the time. It’s his goddman day off and it’s not even nine in the morning. Why the hell is he awake now? Something woke him up. But what in the hell was it?

The answer comes in Cas’s voice floating through his cracked door and full of all sorts of frustrations. “Gabriel, I said ‘no’. I don’t want –” He sighs loud enough for Dean to hear him. “I know and I understand what you’re saying, but I – Will you please just –”

What the hell is going on out there? Far as he can tell, Cas is in the kitchen and it sounds like he’s on his phone. That’s all fine and dandy, but it went and woke Dean up at least three hours before he ever wanted to be conscious again. He still aches in places from fucking Cas yesterday evening when they learned that he can support Cas’s weight completely as long as a wall is involved in bracing him up against it.

Those aches pull at his muscles when he swings his legs off the bed to sit up. Dean doesn’t bother with finding pants or anything else. He just makes sure that nothing is hanging out of his boxers before he shuffles out of his bedroom enroute to the bathroom. Sure enough, Cas is standing in the kitchen with his cell phone pinned between his ear and shoulder while he fusses around with the coffee pot.

“I’m not interested, Gabriel! Please don’t –” His voice gets muffled when Dean shuts the bathroom door, but the conversation is still going when he comes out a few minutes later. “No. I don’t want to. I – Gabriel!”

Cas drops his phone on the counter right around when Dean comes around the corner. He scratches his stomach and leans his shoulder against the door frame. “That sounded like a fun conversation.”

“It wasn’t.”

Dean snorts and muffles a yawn behind his hand. “What’s the dickhead up to now?”

“He set up a date for me next weekend and he’s refusing to cancel it.” He sighs and pulls two mugs from the cupboard. “It will be extremely rude of me not to show up and whether I do or don’t, it will only make things awkward at the café.”

“Oh?” His eyebrow twitches up curiously. “How’s that gonna happen?”

“Because the date is with Meg.” Cas’s shoulders slump and he leans forward until his forehead hits the cabinet. “I get along with her at the café, but I’m not interested in dating her. Gabriel is just taking what I said the other day too literally. I don’t want to go.”

Dean takes a step into the kitchen to get the milk out of the fridge. “Then don’t.” That seething, unhappy pit of something in his stomach is not jealousy. It’s not. It’s not. If he repeats it enough times, it’s going to be true. Obviously.

“I have to.” He sighs and runs his hands through his hair as he steps out of the way to give Dean the space to put the milk in the mugs. “I don’t have a good enough excuse that Gabriel will accept.”

“That’s bullshit.” What is wrong with people these days? “Not wanting to do something should be a good enough excuse. You’re not interested in that shit and he should respect your decision.” Dean’s not sure if he’s more upset about Gabriel not respecting Cas’s choices or the fact that he’s actually going to go on the date. “Why not just give him an excuse he would accept?”

Cas crosses his arms and frowns at him. “I’ve tried.”

He shrugs and puts the milk away. “Why not just tell him that you’re gay or something? That’ll get you out of the date with Meg.”

That frown only gets deeper, but Cas’s eyes drop to the coffee pot and his voice gets all tight and quiet. “And what will I tell him if I end up with a woman in the future?”

“You could tell him that sexuality is fluid.” Dean leans his hip against the counter and ducks his head, trying to catch Cas’s eye again. It kind of weirds him out when Cas won’t look at him. “Tell him you thought you were gay but you found out that it doesn’t really fit you and you’re actually bi, or pan, or whatever the hell other sexuality you think you might be.”

“I don’t want to lie to him like that.” Cas shakes his head and glances up at him. There’s something he’s not saying and it’s bugging at the back of Dean’s head.

His shoulder twitches in another shrug. “Then tell him you already have a girlfriend.”

“He’ll want to meet her.”

Jesus, this is like pulling teeth. “Boyfriend, then! Jesus, Cas, I don’t know. Tell him you’re dating Sam, or Jess, or someone else.” He won’t say; ‘me’.

“Gabriel knows that Sam and Jess are dating. We used to study together at his apartment, remember?” Cas sighs and reaches for the coffee pot as soon as it’s finished. “And that doesn’t change how I don’t want to lie to him. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

Dean licks his lips and swallows thickly. Might as well throw himself into this and take the fucking leap. “I could –” His heart starts beating faster and it damn near trips him up. “If you want, I could be your boyfriend?”

If Cas says ‘yes’ – Dean’s not sure what he’s going to do. It’s going to open up all sorts doors and he’s not sure if those are even doors that he wants to go through. For one thing, Dean’s not even sure which doors those are. Holy shit, he’s been awake all of ten minutes and he’s about to have a fucking panic attack or something. This isn’t good. He should take that back. Can he do that? Is there an undo button for words?

Cas stops pouring the coffee and looks up at him. He stares at Dean, forehead creasing in the kind of way that means he’s thinking about something really hard. It’s making it really difficult for Dean to breathe and he can feel goosebumps rising all over his skin. Any minute now he’s going to break out in a cold sweat and he’s not even sure why. He’s helped plenty of people at the bar by playing the fake boyfriend to get someone to stop hitting on them. How is this any different?

Oh wait. He never specified fake, did he? Dean clears his throat and does his best to not look away. “I could play it up as if I was your boyfriend. Make him think that we’re together so he’ll leave you alone about this dating thing.”

His lips press into a thin line and Cas looks back down at the coffee. “No.”

“No?” Dean echoes and tries to ignore the vice squeezing around his chest. “Why not? If Gabe ends up pitching a fit about us dating, you can tell him alter that we broke up because he was so upset and we didn’t want to cause more family tension or something.” He should not be fighting for this. “He’ll feel so bad that he’ll never interfere with your love life again. Boom. Problems solved.”

“I said no, Dean.” Cas shoves the coffee pot back into it’s holder with a little more force than necessary and he’s gone tense all over.

A little flare of hurt twitches between Dean’s ribs and he stomps down on it just like he does the lump trying to rise in his throat. He’s getting upset and this is nothing for him to be upset about. But… Cas had an excuse for not wanting to use Sam, or Jess, or any of the other suggestions that Dean gave him. Why doesn’t he have one for this? Is it because Dean’s not good enough boyfriend material or something?

His relationship with Lisa was enough proof that he’s a shit boyfriend. He was good in some ways and there were parts that he was pretty crappy at. But is that enough for Cas to just out and out reject the idea without proper reasoning? Maybe Cas would just be too ashamed of him to want to even use him for a fake relationship? What, so they can fuck like no tomorrow, but God forbid if Dean suggests fake dating?

“Fine. Whatever.” Dean grabs his coffee mug and brushes past Cas on his way back to his bedroom. “Figure it out on your own.” He almost misses what Cas mumbles before he slams the door.

“I don’t want to lie.”

Dean leans back against the door and stares down at the coffee in his hands. There’s an unhappy shout from the other room about slamming doors when people are sleeping. Great, so Sam is up too and he was home for all of that and he might have heard it but he probably didn’t. Either way, there’s still only one thing going through Dean’s head right now and he swallows back the words so he won’t think about opening the door and telling Cas that it doesn’t have to be a lie.

*

The video games he has on his laptop are shitty and not even remotely entertaining. But they do the job they’re needed for and keep Dean’s head above the water throughout the day. It’s not exactly how he wanted to spend his day off and especially not one where Cas has it off too, but he’s too pissed off to want to leave his room. He shouldn’t even be this level of pissy about this. There’s nothing to be upset about.

Cas didn’t outright say that he would never date him. He only said he doesn’t want to lie to his brother. And not even about them in particular. It’s the same damn thing he said when Dean started making other suggestions. So, really, Cas didn’t say anything wrong and there’s nothing for Dean to be upset about. If anything – specifically if Dean starts thinking about it too much – he’s mad at himself. And that’s all for reasons he really doesn’t want to look too deeply into right now.

Maybe he’s mad that Cas is going to go on that stupid date with Meg just because his stupid brother isn’t accepting ‘no’ as a goddamn answer. Fuck Meg too for knowing that Cas doesn’t want to date anyone and using Gabriel to get to him like that. It’s not fair to Cas. And the worst is that Dean isn’t being fair to him either. He’s angry right now and Cas probably thinks he’s angry at him and Dean’s not doing anything to discourage him from thinking that.

Hell, Dean doesn’t even look at him when he comes out of the bedroom to get food or go to the bathroom during the day. It leaves him feeling like a heel, but there’s some part of him – his ego, his feelings, who-the-fuck-knows – that’s been bruised. And there’s a whole other part of him that’s scared as hell of something, of everything. He’s being a massive chicken shit and there are too many questions dancing around the edges of his brain at the moment. He’s doing his best to avoid them but there are only so many mind numbing video games he can play.

Plus he can practically feel Cas’s sad eyes through the fucking wall. And Sam isn’t being any kind of help with his curious puppy face and following Dean around the apartment whenever he’s stupid enough to venture out of his bedroom. For all that Sam knows, Dean is just in a pissy mood today. He hasn’t got the first clue and Dean actually heard Cas tell him, in his soft I’m-totally-lying voice, that he doesn’t know what’s up either.

It’s a stupid day and Dean hates it. He hates it right up until there’s a quiet knock at his door and he’s not sure if it’s Sam or Cas but he doesn’t want to get out of the bed to find out who it is. That would require moving from his perfectly set up pillow desk that may or may not topple over if he even so much as shifts his weight to the other buttcheek.

He pauses his game and gives the door a long, hard stare before he sighs. Eventually he’s going to have to actually face people and he might as well do it now. “Yeah, what is it?”

Cas opens the door and Dean immediately drops his eyes back to the screen. “If you’re hungry, I – um – I made dinner. It’s nothing special.” He sounds so unsure and it’s making Dean’s chest hurt. “I’m also about to watch the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring. I thought – I’m wondering if you would like to join me?”

Son of a bitch. Dean will be one hell of an asshole if he turns Cas down right now. Especially when he has no logical reason to do it and every other part of him is practically dying to say ‘yes’. He doesn’t even bother saving his game before he shuts the screen and extracts himself from the bed.

“Yeah, lemme just grab some pants before Sam pitches a fit about it.”

It’s been a while since he spent the day in his underwear. But it’s about time that he got dressed and stopped being a giant baby. If he can just get all his thoughts under control and out of his head, everything will be fine. That wall in his head needs to be reinforced if he wants to put anything more behind it. And all these questions? This uncalled for anger? All of it belongs right behind it.

“Sam isn’t home.” Cas looks at the floor before he backs out into the apartment again while Dean roots through his clothing pile for something clean. “He left for work an hour ago.”

Oh. Shit, he didn’t even remember that Sam works today. Well, that’s good. Maybe. Whatever. It doesn’t make much difference, really. Dean shrugs it off while he pulls on some sweats and a t-shirt before he steps out of his room. Cas is standing in the kitchen, two bowls in hand and he’s looking somehow both apologetic and hopeful. That only makes Dean feel worse because Cas has nothing he should be apologizing for.

To top it all off, Cas went and made just about the only dish he doesn’t suck at. Cooking is not his forte and he usually leaves the cooking to Dean, but he has mastered the art of macaroni and cheese. Apparently he almost lived off the stuff for those few months that he was living alone in his dorm room – aside from whatever Gabriel would drop off for him. And today he even boiled some hotdogs, chopped them up, and stirred them in. It’s nothing fancy, but it reminds Dean of the stuff his mom used to make for him and Sammy when they were kids and it always makes him feel all warm and mushy inside again.

He takes the bowl gratefully and ducks his head. “Thanks, Cas.”

“It’s nothing much.” Cas shrugs and shuffles his feet. “I thought I would keep it simple instead of accidentally burning the kitchen down.”

An honest to God smile cracks across Dean’s face and he puts a heavy hand on Cas’s shoulder. “Hey, that pan would’ve caught fire for anyone. And we put it out right away before any damage was done. That’s what fire extinguishers are for.”

His mouth screws up into a frown that wants to be a smile. “I’m sure you say that to everyone.”

“No, really. If you were Sammy I’d be banning you from the kitchen for life.” Dean snorts and tugs Cas after him on the way to the living room.

“If you did that, how would I ever feed myself?” Cas is sounding more relaxed than he has all day and it’s making Dean feel a little better too – though he should still fucking apologize.

“Guess you’d just have to let me cook for you forever then.” It’s out of Dean’s mouth before he can stop himself and judging by the silence afterward, the statement hit Cas just about the same way it hit Dean. His heart is flip flopping in his chest and Dean chooses to ignore it and drop onto the couch, reaching for the remote. “You already got the DVD set up?”

Cas clears his throat and settles into his usual spot. “Yes.”

Dean doesn’t wait for anything else and just hits play. It’s an unspoken rule in the apartment that you just don’t talk during certain movies. Short commentary is allowed, but any kind of conversation is out of the question. The Lord of the Rings series (especially the extended edition) is included on that list. They both know the rule and they slump at opposite ends of the couch, eyes fixed on the screen and silence falling between them.

The Fellowship has just left Rivendell when Cas stands up to take the dishes to the kitchen. Out of the goodness of his heart, and more than a little guilt, Dean pauses the movie so he can get up and help Cas clean up. It’s not fair that Cas made dinner for them both and has to be the one to put away all the stuff.

“Hey, Cas, I got this.” He ducks in front of him and pulls the bowls from his hand to take them to the sink. “You go back to the movie.”

“We can watch the movie together sooner if I help.” Cas insists, grabbing the pot from the stove before Dean even has the water going. “Soak this first and I’ll wipe down the stove.”

While the dishes soak for a second, Dean checks the fullness of their garbage can and recycling bin under the sink. Both are a little full and there’s a freshly washed empty jug of milk sitting right on top of the bin. “Are we out of milk?”

“Yes. I wrote it on the shopping list for this weekend.”

But that means he won’t have milk for his coffee tomorrow morning before work. Hell no, that is not happening. He needs his morning coffee or he’s going to be dead on his feet and the shit they brew at the garage just is not up to snuff. Which means he’s going to have to go out and get some milk before the day is done. And that moment comes as soon as he’s finished scrubbing the dishes and they’re out to dry on the rack next to the sink.

“You can watch the rest of the movie without me.” He rips the shopping list from the paper pad stuck to the front of the fridge. “I’m going to grab the milk and the rest of this shit before Sam throws a fit about not being able to eat his wheaties tomorrow morning.”

Cas is halfway to the couch and he stops, turning to watch while Dean grabs his jacket out of the closet and finds his shoes. It still feels like there’s a whole cloud of awkward floating between them right now and the apology sitting on the back of Dean’s tongue is just waiting to be said. But it just won’t come out and he knows things aren’t going to be right (for him, at least) until he nuts up and just says it. Maybe a quick drive to the store well help him clear his head.  Or, he could always ask Cas to come with him.

That question just gets clogged up behind the apology and Dean double checks that his wallet is in his coat pocket with his keys before he glances up at Cas and kind of wishes that he didn’t. Cas looks like a kicked puppy – or someone who just had their puppy kicked. Dean’s supper turns over in his stomach and he has to get away from it before he looses all sense, forgets to go shopping, and spends the rest of the evening kissing Cas stupid so he’ll never look like that again.

Dean licks his lips and looks away. “I’ll be back in a – in like half an hour or something. If you need anything else, just text me.” No, no. He can’t do this to Cas twice in one day. He can’t and he stops with his hand on the door handle. “Or – uh – you could, if you want, you could come with me?”

He needs to look and see what saying that does to him. Dean glances over his shoulder and feels marginially better about the way the worry smoothes out of Cas’s face. Except now he looks less kicked-puppy and more confused-puppy.

After a moment, he shakes his head. “Thank you for the offer, but I – I think I’ll decline for now.”

It’s hard to tell if his stomach is settling from doing its cartwheels or if it’s sinking because Cas turned him down with giving him another reason why. “Right, yeah. Okay. I’ll – yeah, I’ll be back later.”

*

Just over half an hour later, Dean walks back into the apartment. He’s expecting Cas to be sitting back on the couch either watching the rest of the movie or fucking around on his laptop or even just reading on his bed or something. What he gets is an empty place. There’s no one in the damn apartment and it’s really not big enough for anyone to be hiding. When he doesn’t find Cas in the living room, Dean checks the bathroom after he’s put the groceries away and then he checks his own bedroom. Sam’s is a last ditch effort at hope, but there is literally no one.

All he finds is a goddamn note on the kitchen table and it pretty much makes his stomach shrivel in on itself and die. It reads, in Cas’s neat little writing; I left shortly after you to do some shopping. Depending on the buses, I may be home in an hour or so.

What the hell? Why couldn’t Cas just come shopping with him? Dean has the car. He could’ve taken Cas anywhere if he wanted to go somewhere other than the grocery store. And then they could’ve talked and Dean might’ve relaxed enough to just fucking apologize for being a jackass this morning and getting pissy. Maybe he’d even try and get Cas to help him figure out why he got so pissy in the first place.

But this is just pissing him off more. Why would Cas just not – Jesus, why? He crumbles the note and tosses it in the recycling bin. They’re both still full enough to bother him and he slams the cupboard doors a few times before he huffs and pulls both bins out to take to the chutes down the hall from his apartment. He doesn’t give a damn about his neighbours right now and he bangs every damn door while he dumps the contents down the chutes and gets the bins back under the sink.

He slumps down on the couch when he’s done and he doesn’t know what else to do. All he can think of is to keep watching the fucking movie. If Cas wants to fuck off on him, then he can do whatever he fucking wants. Dean doesn’t care. He’ll just sit here and hit play on the DVD remote and glare at the TV and not pay any attention to it. There’s too much anger buzzing through his head for him to even care what’s happening on screen.

But he stews through the rest of the movie and even puts the Two Towers in afterward. It doesn’t even get through the whole opening scene before Cas finally comes back. Dean point blank ignores him, arms crossed over his chest and slumped so far down on the couch that he might as well be lying on it. He does his best to not pay any kind of attention to him at all, but Cas makes it really hard when he does that thing that he does with putting the chain over the lock on the door.

Dean’s next breath catches in his throat. Really, Cas? Really? After the shit he just pulled and the awkward day they’ve had together, Cas really wants to have sex right now? It doesn’t matter if Dean has some kind of conditional response to the sound of that lock. He couldn’t care less if his blood is already starting to flow south and it feels like he’s getting hot under the collar. No. He’s not caring about this. He’s not caring about it at all. He’s too upset.

Besides, he’s watching the damn movie.

And suddenly he’s not. The black bag Cas is hanging in front of his face is doing a damn good job of obscuring it. The thing is, Dean only knows of one kind of place that puts their products in a goddamn black bag for their customers. That – well – that just really peaks his interest. Any thought about movies or being upset or anything else is just as effectively blanked from his brain as if the bag was a fucking neuralyzer from Men In Black.

When Cas moves the bag, Dean tracks it with his eyes and he glances over his shoulder. Cas isn’t watching him, but he’s definitely making a beeline for Dean’s bedroom. Well, shit. This evening is taking the turn it would’ve taken earlier if Dean hadn’t fucked up this morning.  He still feels like shit and he’s still confused as hell, but Cas’s ass in those jeans is making it really hard to care about anything else. Maybe Cas bought some toys as some kind of apology? Sex could be just what they need to get past this awkwardness and forget this shitty day.

He pauses the movie and shuts off the TV in the same motion as he slides from the couch. Cas is lingering in the doorway to Dean’s bedroom, watching him over his shoulder. When Dean gets close enough, Cas slips out of sight around the edge of the frame. It kicks Dean’s heart rate up another notch and he has to fight with himself not to run after him. That would make him look desperate and after the day they just had that might not be the best thing to come across as right now.

Despite that, Dean shuts the door and crowds up behind Cas as soon as he’s within reach. “What’s in the bag, Cas?” His arms wind around his waist and he pulls him back against his chest. Out of habit, Dean can’t help ghosting his mouth over the back of Cas’s neck and finding by memory all the spots to scrape his teeth that make Cas’s breath hitch. “Did you buy me a present?”

A soft sound huffs out between Cas’s lips and he reaches back above his head, fingers digging into Dean’s hair as his holds him in place. He arches his back and purposefully rolls his hips, rubbing his ass against the front of Dean’s jeans and making his breathing stutter. “I might have.” His head lolls back against his shoulder when Dean drops a hand to Cas him through the front of his pants. “I thought it – That it might help make up for – for this morning.”

Shit. Dean knew it. Fuck. Cas shouldn’t be the one apologizing for that.

Carefully, Dean manages to coax the bag out of Cas’s hand and toss it to the bed long before they’re even going to get to it. He’s got his own apologies to makes and he’ll get to that soon enough. First he’s gotta get Cas turned around. Getting his clothes off will be a thing to do after he’s apologized, because Dean sure as hell doesn’t think he deserves to get his hands on any of Cas’s deliciously warm skin without saying it.

Dean bumps their foreheads together when he tugs Cas around to face him. Eye contact has never been a problem for them, but he’s feeling too stupid and embarrassed right now to achieve it. Instead, he keeps his eyes closed and tries not to picture the wounded little looks Cas was carrying around all day. Though maybe he should be thinking about those because they just make the ache behind his ribs worse and that only makes him want to apologize more.

“You – Cas, you’ve got nothing to make up for, okay?” He bumps their noses together and he can practically feel the curious frown turning Cas’s lips down. “I was being a dick about nothing. It’s – it wasn’t your fault, okay? I’m so–”

Cas kisses him. He straight up cuts off Dean’s apology with the softest, lightest little kiss Dean’s ever had. It’s an apology and forgiveness all in one and Dean sighs into it. If he opened his eyes, he’s pretty sure Cas would be staring at him all intense and bright and blue. It would melt him from the inside out and Dean’s suddenly pretty damn terrified of actually looking at him.

Cas is all kinds of dangerous in a thousand and one ways – ways that Dean doesn’t want to linger on.

Chapter Text

The little kisses turn harder a lot faster than Dean expects them to. He’s not sure who changes them – him or Cas – but it’s not long before he finds himself backed up against the wall as they paw at each other’s clothing. Their layers of shirts eventually make it all to the floor, fingers slipping and fumbling at the clasps of their belts and the buttons of their jeans. Cas is right up in Dean’s business, hands alternating between gripping his hips tightly and worming his undone pants down a little lower. His teeth keep catching on Dean’s lips, on his collarbone, on his ears and jaw and everywhere else that Cas puts his goddamn mouth.

Dean groans and drops his head back against the wall when they start rocking their hips together, Cas still pinning him to the wall. Fuck, he loves it when Cas gets forceful. Hell, Dean loves it when Cas lets him do whatever he wants too. To be honest, he loves whatever they’re doing as long as Cas is most definitely involved. He hasn’t found a kind of sex with Cas that he doesn’t like. And all that thought does is trip his mind right back in the direction of the black bag sitting on his mattress and the supposed presents inside.

By then, Dean has his hands down the back of Cas’s jeans and he’s half-heartedly trying to work them down his hips. He’s mostly focusing on touching and squeezing because Cas has a really great ass. And Dean quite possibly may or may not have an unhealthy fixation on it. But, hey, Cas apparently has a fixation with more than one part of Dean’s body (tongue, throat, dick, hands – take your pick), so at least he’s not alone in that.

As much as he would love to just stand around the bedroom all day and let Cas not-actually-suck-marks all across his shoulders and chest, Dean’s curiosity about what’s in the bag is starting to win out. He threads his fingers into Cas’s hair and tugs his head up to catch his lips with his own. Somewhere in between the kisses, Dean manages to muffle the word ‘bed’ before he chases after it with his tongue, kissing Cas like it’s how he breathes.

They lose their pants and underwear in the several steps it takes them to tumble to the bed, Cas dragging Dean down on top of him. He slides up the bed to get comfortable against the pillows, but Dean stays where he is to press kisses all down Cas’s chest and stomach while he moves away. Cas stops when Dean grabs his hips, keeping him in place to rain nipping kisses across the flat of his belly and dip his tongue into his navel, just to watch how it always makes Cas squirm.

Now that they’re naked and it’s just skin on skin, Cas has miles of it and Dean never gets tired of touching all of it. He’s actually having trouble trying to pull himself away from crawling up Cas’s body to map his chest with his tongue. At least Cas remembers that the bag exists and he slaps his hand across the bed, trying to find it blindly while Dean locks onto a nipple with teeth and tongue. When he manages to grab the bag, Dean’s too focused on what he’s doing to really pay attention while Cas shoves his hand inside to root through the contents.

Out of the corner of his eye, Dean sees a little booklet go fluttering over the edge of his bed. It holds his attention for a split second and then his hands find Cas’s cock, and he’s completely absorbed in tracing his fingers from root to head, palming his balls, and just all around loving the way Cas’s chest pushes up into his mouth whenever he strokes him. The booklet can’t be all that important if it’s something that Cas just tossed away anyways.

Sometime after the bottle of lube and the box of condoms, Dean stops caring about what’s in the bag. He’s tired of just touching Cas’s dick and he slips down the bed to get his mouth on it too. Curling his tongue around the head and sucking him down is about ten thousand times more interesting than whatever Cas has in the bag. Besides, he’ll find out what’s in there eventually, right? And it’s not like Cas isn’t encouraging him to keep going, his hand twisting into Dean’s hair and holding him down so he has no choice but to swallow around him.

That doesn’t mean that Dean’s eyes don’t flick to the bag when he hears the rustle of something else being pulled from it. He’s really not surprised to see high grade rope – bondage rope – being taken out and put to one side. The shit they used before left Cas’s skin rubbed raw and red for days and Dean’s brushed up on enough bondage websites since then (just in case) to know that camping rope really isn’t the right stuff to be using.

Slowly, he pulls off of Cas’s cock with a pop and props himself up on his elbows so he can see Cas’s face. He quirks an eyebrow and tilts his head. “You still wanna do the rope stuff, huh?”

Cas is flushed red right to the roots of his hair – probably from the absolutely stellar blowjob he was just on the receiving end of. It takes him a few tries to catch his breath before he can even meet Dean’s eyes. “I liked it.” Understatement. “This rope is – it’s better than what we used before and there are –” He actually stops, licks his lips, and turns a few shades darker as his voice pitches quieter. “There are different ways we could try it.”

Dean pushes himself up until he’s kneeling between Cas’s legs. “Yeah, how’s that?” Nobody needs to know yet that his research also included some basic, and proper, harnesses that he’s more or less memorized how to do, just in case Cas ever asked to do it again.

To answer, Cas shoves the rope at him and taps the label holding all the rope together in a nice little bow. On the plastic, there’s a label with a woman dressed in sheer, sexy lingerie. She’s spread out on a wooden chair with her wrists tied to the back up by her shoulders – but the real focus of the entire set up is on her legs. Her feet are planted on the seat, legs spread wide, and the rope is wrapped around her thighs to bind the calf of the same leg to it. God, it’s like some kind of crouched position from hell. But – and he has to swallow when the thought hits him – Dean can see the appeal in it, especially when he mentally replaces the model with Cas.

“You are way kinkier than I give you credit for.” Dean laughs and carefully peels the label from around the rope. He doesn’t want to fuck up the only reference he has for the position that Cas wants to give a try. It’s a good thing that Cas is flexible as fuck, or he’ll probably be aching a hell of a lot more tomorrow morning.

Any thoughts about the bondage or the rope fly right out of his head when Dean glances up from the label to see Cas with yet another goodie from the bag in hand. This time it’s some kind of wand thing; curved and thin with a bulbed top and a flat, flared bottom. It’s not much longer than the average dick, as far as Dean can tell. What’s catching his attention is the wireless remote control and the batteries Cas is currently fumbling into both items.

“Holy shit, Cas. What are you, the Mary Poppins of sex toys?” He drops the rope and reaches out to take what can only be a goddamn vibrator from him.

It’s heavier than expected; solid and kind of rubbery, but naturally curved and a teeny bit flexible. Son of a bitch. This thing is supposed to go right up against the prostate, isn’t it? And there’s a remote control for this thing? That usually means different settings or speeds or something. But a picture is starting to form in Dean’s head and he glances at the bag, wondering if there’s anything more in there. Cas grabs the bottom and upends the last of it onto the bed. The only two things that fall out are the receipt and a box clearly labeled blindfold eye mask.

The bag is finally empty and Dean is in no way disappointed. He makes a mental note to send Sam’s boss a fruitbasket or something as thanks for giving him a shift that isn’t going to be letting out for a while. It’s opening up a good handful of time for them to experiment and Dean is very much looking forward to all of it. There’s been a craving hanging around the back of his mind to see Cas lose it again; to see him gasping and writhing and completely fucking gone from just a little bit of rope.

“I want to try it.” Cas whispers, putting the remote to one side so he can pick up the blindfold’s box and pull the eye mask out. He runs his fingers over the black fabric and tests the stretch of the elastic headband while looking up at Dean with wide, hopeful eyes. “Can we?”

Like there’s any way in heaven, hell, or any plane in between, that Dean would ever say ‘no’ to that face. Dean grins and leans over to grab the almost empty bottle of lube from the bedside drawer. There’s no point in opening that new bottle just yet. “You been getting these ideas all on your own, Cas? Or have you been watching porn without me again?”

Cas doesn’t say anything, but he won’t meet Dean’s eyes. Yeah, he’s probably been doing a little research. But it’s not like Dean hasn’t been doing the same. Besides, Cas found something that he likes and there’s no way that Dean is going to fault him for wanting to try it out a bunch. And if Dean is getting a chance to explore some of his own kinks along the way too, well then far be it from him to complain.

“I’m going to wash this thing first.” Deans slides back off the bed and wiggles the vibrator over his shoulder as he heads out of the bedroom. He stops at the door to look back at the bed. “When I get back, I want you wearing that mask with your legs spread. Got it, Cas?”

He nods enthusiastically and starts fumbling to get the headband around his head. While in the bathroom, Dean takes a moment to do a spot check on himself with a cloth. Cas had smelled like soap while he was blowing him, so he probably took a quick shower or something after Dean left earlier. That just makes him start wondering: how long has he been planning this today? Since this morning or was it a spur of the moment thing the moment Dean walked out?

Either way, Dean is really glad it’s happening.

With the vibrator freshly washed, he heads back to the bedroom. A couple feet through the door and Dean almost has to bite his knuckle to keep from making any kind of noise at just how good Cas looks right now. He’s flat on his back, feet against the mattress and legs already bent and ready for the rope. There’s a pillow under Cas’s head and he’s got his arms folded back over it, his hands tucked underneath. It stretches out his chest and his stomach and Dean practically salivates at the thought of covering them in bites and little red marks that would just scream mine. But they still have that fucking no marks rule in effect. It was only dropped for that one time and it’s kind of killing him not to ask for it to be completely demolished.

Cas has the mask on and he tilts his face towards Dean when the door clicks shut. There’s a definite increase in his breathing with every carpet-muffled footstep Dean takes, and Cas twitches when the bed dips under Dean’s knee. He’s leaking against his stomach where his cock is curved up over it, practically twitching on its own. His bottom lip is caught between his teeth, but it falls free with a gasp when Dean slides his thumb under it. Cas turns his face into the touch and Dean leans down for one short kiss.

Teasing people has always been one of Dean’s guilty pleasures. He loves it and sometimes he can be a little sadistic about it. Today is no different. It might kill him a little, but a plan is already hatching in his head about how he’s going to handle this. The plan is delicious and probably not even remotely what Cas is expecting to happen, but Dean suspects that Cas is going to love it anyway.

He puts the vibrator to one side and pops the lid of the lube, dumping a generous amount into his palm. “I’m going to prep you first, okay?”

Trailing his dry hand over Cas’s side, his hip, and along one of his legs, Dean shuffles down the bed to kneel between his legs again. He has to wait until Cas nods before he does anything, but every touch, no matter how light, has Cas twitching and leaning into it. For him, everything is probably feeling magnified. He doesn’t know where the next touch is going to be and if it’s going to be Dean’s hand or his mouth or anything else. Every part of him is going to be on high alert for the slightest brush of Dean’s fingertips and that’s just going to play right into his plan.

“When I’m done, I’m going to get the rope. But you can’t move until I say so, Cas. You gotta stay just like this. Okay?” He doesn’t get an answer and Dean places his fingertips on Cas’s stomach, grouped together and spreading out lightly until his palm is pressed against the smooth skin. It gets Cas twitching and he rolls his stomach up into Dean’s hand, desperate for any touch. Dean just pushes down, keeping him on the bed. “Okay?”

After a sharp breath through his nose, Cas nods. “Yes, Dean.”

“Good. You’re gonna do great, Cas.” He replaces his hand with his mouth for one quick nipping kiss to Cas’s belly while he spreads the lube over his fingers.

Dean’s true teasing nature rears it ugly head not long after he works the first finger into Cas. It’s killing him not to touch Cas anywhere else, but he’s doing his damnedest to keep himself under control while he preps him. The temptation to lean over and suck Cas down is almost as strong as the urge to curl his fingers just right to watch Cas tremble when he rubs his prostate. But he’s completely avoiding that just as much as he’s not touching him anywhere else while getting him ready for the vibrator.

It’s pretty much all worth it for the sounds Cas makes alone. He makes short little punched out gasps whenever Dean almost touches his prostate, or there’s a tight little whimper in the back of his throat that’s just shy of begging. Dean kind of wants to go for as long as he can until he does get Cas to beg for it, but even he has his limits. Besides, he’s got a plan to enact after all and some trussing up that needs to be worked out.

Cas is just barely managing to hold still. His hips keep twitching and his thighs are trembling already. It’ll be easier for him when he can let the rope hold them in that position instead of having to do it all on his own. The trembling gets worse when Dean picks up the vibrator and starts covering it in lube. He can’t see it, but he sure as hell can hear it, especially since Dean doesn’t have his fingers in him anymore.

“You ready for it, Cas?”

Dean doesn’t even finish asking the question before Cas is nodding again. He can see Cas’s adam’s apple bob when he swallows, and his whole body goes tense at the first press of the bulbed head against his hole. It’s pretty awesome to see the muscles in his stomach jump and how Cas tries to rock his hips down on it without really moving from his position. He’s trying to take it deeper before it’s even properly in him, but Dean’s having his fun – and being a teasing jerk again.

There’s no fun in it if he does it too quick. Dean would rather take his time and push it in an inch, then pull it out again, push it in a little deeper, and out again. Cas doesn’t help anything by looking and sounding fucking amazing. If Dean could spend a whole day bringing Cas to the brink and back, he’s pretty sure he could come from just doing that. No one would even need to touch him. He’d blow his load just from watching Cas.

God, he’s getting in too deep.

Shaking his head, Dean licks his lips and looks down at the vibrator in his hand. Just a little more and the flared base is going to be snug up against Cas’s hole. If this thing is designed right and he’s using it proper, the head of it should be right against Cas’s prostate. That’ll work in his favour, hopefully. When he finally pushes the vibrator all the way in, Cas’s head tilts back and a groan rumbles low in his throat while his chest heaves.

With kisses to Cas’s inner thighs, Dean finds the remote and looks it over. It only has three settings; low, medium, and high. That’s good enough for him and Dean pushes the little switch until it’s lined up with low. The effect is almost immediate and Cas makes a little noise that sounds a lot like a hng. That’s a new one and his whole back comes right up off the bed with a gasp. His toes are the only part of his foot holding him up and they’re almost slipping on the sheets. It makes Dean want to take pity on him.

Maybe he should grant Cas a little bit of mercy right now.

He puts the remote off to the side and rubs his hands up and down Cas’s thighs. They trail down to his ankles and one tug is all it takes to pull them out. Cas actually lets out a relieved sigh as Dean stretches them across the bed to get the blood flowing again. While they loosen up, he finds the package of rope and takes it apart. This is the next step in his plan and he’s going to have to figure out how he’s going to do the part for Cas’s hands when he doesn’t actually have the kind of chair to tie this all to. Some good ol’ fashioned Winchester ingenuity is needed for this and with the majority of his blood centered on his cock, it’s going to take a long time to think of it.

The rope comes in three pieces; one for each leg and one for the hands. Well that’s just great. Dean still doesn’t have anything to tie Cas’s hands to. He doesn’t even own anything but the metal frame the boxspring and mattress are sitting on. The whole damn bed would need to be pulled away from the wall for him to tie – oh.

Okay, yeah, that’s definitely feasible. That’s totally a thing he can do.

When Dean slides off the bed, Cas makes a curious sound and lifts his head from the pillow. That’s followed by a surprised noise when the whole thing gets jerked a few feet into the room. He almost sits up, one hand already going to the eye mask, but Dean is at his side with a palm against his chest in no time flat.

“Don’t move, Cas. I just need the frame for this.” Dean catches both his wrists and guides them to the bed again, laying them flat to let his arms rest too. “Just give me a second to work out the mechanics, okay? How’s that vibrator feeling?”

One side of Cas’s mouth twitches into a grin. “I’ve taken better.”

Oh, he’s a clever bastard. Dean leans over to kiss him. It’s upside down and messy, but it puts him in reach of one of the rolls of rope and the remote. Cas pulls away from the kiss with a sharp gasp when Dean flicks the switch to high. He grabs handfuls of the sheets and his hips come right up off the bed for the few seconds before Dean drops it back to low. The bed creaks as Cas sags to the mattress, swallowing down huge gulps of air.

“Flatter me again and you’ll only get more of that, Cas.” Dean grins and drops a kiss to his forehead before he crouches to get a look at the bed frame.

After a second, Cas clears his throat but his voice still sounds all sorts of ragged when he speaks. “You’re bigger.”

“I’m what?” Dean glances up and raises an eyebrow at the way Cas is going red under the mask.

Cas shifts on the bed, his hips twitching every so often. “I said you’re bigger – thicker. I – I prefer you to the vibrator. You feel better than it.” He licks his lips and tilts his head back. If he wasn’t wearing the eye mask, he’d be staring right at him. “You fill me up better than –“

The words keep going, but now they’re muffled under Dean’s hand. He can feel his whole face light up with a blush. “Jesus Christ, Cas! Since when did you have the balls to dirty talk?”

When he moves his hand, a small grin tilts across Cas’s face. “It’s exceptionally less embarrassing to say these things when I can’t see if you don’t like it.” He pauses and takes a deep breath. “Did I say it wrong?”

“No – uh – no. You pretty much just said you like my cock.” Dean swallows and rests his forehead against Cas’s, trying really hard not to think about it. “Y’just gotta fine tune your vocabulary and you’ll be golden.”

“Do you like dirty talk?”

He snorts and rubs his nose into Cas’s hair for a second before he realizes what he’s doing and sits back on his heels again, looking down at the rope in his hands. “I don’t mind it. If you want to say it, go ahead. Dirty talk for me is about the same as bondage. Sometimes I’m in the mood for it, sometimes I’m not.”

“Is it better with vulgar terms?” Cas tilts his head again, like he’s thinking. “If I said I like your cock better, would that have been more appropriate vocabulary?”

Heat trips through him and he has to swallow thickly before he can say anything. “Cas, if you keep this up, I’m going to have to gag you.” Dean runs his hand over his face and takes a deep breath. “I’ve got a spare tie that’ll work great for that.”

He almost expects Cas to keep talking. He really does. But all Cas does is press his lips together in a thin line. Good. Dean would hate to gag him. His voice grates down Dean’s spine in the best of ways and the sounds Cas makes during sex are more addicting than any drug. But then Cas opens his mouth and fucking breathes words that shoot right through Dean to the core of him.

“Hurry up and fuck me, Dean.”

Instead of answering with words, Dean flips the remote to medium. He only watches long enough to see Cas flinch and gasp before he turns his attention back to the rope. Cas may be alright with this conversation, but it’s making Dean’s ears burn and it’s too hard to focus on what he’s supposed to be doing. Cas’s normal voice already kicks around on the deep side of the sex register. Throw in dirty talk and Dean will be having some serious issues.

To distract himself – which is difficult enough with Cas gasping and whimpering while the vibrator hums away – Dean experiments with threading the rope around the metal crossbar. Cas can’t seem to hold still anymore now that the vibe is set on medium. Aside from the way he keeps mindlessly rocking his hips and humping the air, Cas keeps tilting his head too. At some points, he’s almost twisting around onto his stomach.

It’s almost as if he’s trying to see what Dean is doing. If he wanted to do that, he shouldn’t have bought a damn blindfold. But that’s just one more tick under the column of how much Cas trusts him. Dean’s not sure he would even trust Sam to be in the same room as him if he wasn’t able to see what’s going on. Sam would probably get him back for that time he made him pee his pants in Walmart or something.

Cas, on the other hand, Dean might trust with that. Maybe. It depends entirely on his mood at the time and just how desperate he is to get off. Right now, he may find this whole situation completely arousing, but he’s got a pretty good handle on himself. Trying to figure out the goddamn ropes for the hands is helping keep his head above water.

The best that Dean can figure is to loop the rope around the crossbar a couple times, leaving enough slack to tie Cas’s hands together. It’ll keep Cas’s arms above his head and depending on how high up he lays on the bed, his arms will be bent at the elbow over the edge of the mattress or not. Either way, he’ll have some slack to pull at it if he wants. It also makes the pillow all but moot and Dean slides that out from under Cas’s head and puts it aside.

After turning the vibe back to low and letting Cas relax for a second, Dean guides his arms into place. He places kisses to the insides of Cas’s wrists before tying them together almost exactly like he did the first (and only) time they used rope. Dean hasn’t even finished tying the knot when Cas’s breathing goes wonky in the good way, skipping and stuttering over itself. Cas gives the rope a few tugs before he swallows audibly and licks his lips, all but actually panting. There’s enough slack in the rope for him to lift his hands to be almost even with his head and it leaves him with no way to actually touch himself besides rolling over and rutting against the sheets.

That open mouth and pink tongue are all but verbally calling to him and Dean crawls onto the bed to kneel next to Cas. He sinks his fingers into his hair and presses a hundred kisses to those lips, each one way more gentle than he thought he was capable of right now. Dean expected that they would be hard, wet, and messy to match what they’re doing, but that’s not what his body gives. Going on autopilot, the kisses are so soft and so very sweet. They’re tender and trying to say through action words that Dean can’t even think.

He pulls away from those kisses and blankets his brain in a mantra of ‘It’s just sex!’ before his thoughts veer into uncharted territory. Dean distracts himself with trailing his hands feather-light down Cas’s chest, thumbs brushing his nipples and fingers pinching them lightly until Cas muffles another moan in his throat. As soon as he gets that, Dean moves on and shuffles down the bed on his knees until he’s between Cas’s legs again.

It gives him a damn good view of Cas’s cock and he wraps a hand around it. There’s more precome than usual and Dean arches a curious eyebrow, stroking and spreading it around. He’s getting another new idea and it gets tacked on to his master plan. He’ll get to the rest of that in a minute. Right now, he drops one hand between Cas’s legs to trace the edge of the toy and feel the light vibrations through it.

At that moment, Dean ratchets the speed right up to high again and he can actually hear the rope strain as Cas pulls on it. His heels dig into the bed and his hips push up – a whimpering arc of tanned skin and muscles before Dean turns the entire thing off and gives Cas a second to rest.

As he moves Cas legs back into the folded position, Dean makes sure to cover them in as many licks and kisses as he can. When the second coil of rope starts getting wrapped around one leg, Cas’s mouth falls open. He gasps with every touch and he’s breathing only gets more ragged as Dean finishes off first one leg, then the other. His hips twitch and roll ever so slightly, even after Dean is done, and he’s one hell of a sight to behold right now. If he thought Cas would let him, Dean would video tape this just so Cas could see how gorgeous he is and he could understand just how far gone getting tied up makes him.

Putting the remote back to low makes Cas arch from the bed for a moment, the muscles in his stomach trembling, and this time he doesn’t even bother muffling his groan. Dean really is tempted to get the tie from his closet and gag Cas with it just to let him try that kink out too, but he can’t bring himself to do it when he gets off way too much on Cas’s voice.

Plus, Dean wouldn’t be able to actually kiss Cas while he finishes the final preparations for his plan. That involves slicking up his fingers again, and this time it’s not for Cas. He leans over Cas with one hand propped against the mattress. If he leans down a little lower, they’d be able to frot together – but that’s not part of the plan and Dean is on a mission. While Cas lifts his head up into a kiss, Dean reaches back behind himself and presses a slick finger against his own hole.

While working himself open, Dean licks past Cas’s lips and swallows every moan. It’s hard not to make sounds of his own while fingering himself, but Dean wants to keep this a secret for as long as he can. He figures either Cas has no clue what’s coming next because he’s too far gone to care, or he can tell just from the slick sound of the lube working between his fingers. Holding back his sound is hard, but not doing anything else until he’s at least slightly ready is even harder. They’ve been at this for how long now and he hasn’t even touched himself yet? It’s torture and Dean needs some kind of release, and it better be soon.

Once he thinks he’s prepped enough, Dean moves the kisses along Cas’s jaw, tongue licking a wet stripe over the stubble to his ear. “You ready, Cas?” He whispers, teeth catching on the lobe. “There’s more, y’know.”

Cas swallows hard and his arms shake, his knuckles turning white from how hard he’s gripping the slack of the rope. To distract from what he’s doing, Dean flicks the remote up to medium right before he swings a leg over Cas’s stomach and sits back. His thighs are pressing against the back of Dean’s hips and when Cas rocks up, searching for the sweet promise of friction, Dean can feel his cock slide under his balls.

“Dean?” His name is a whispered question between gasps.

What Dean wouldn’t give to just rock his hips now and let Cas have that friction he wants. But he’s just too desperate to get this show on the road. If he doesn’t keep going, he’s going to start touching himself here and nothing is going to last very long if he does that. Ignoring his own needs for now, Dean lifts himself up on his knees and reaches back to line Cas up properly. About a half second too late, when he feels the exhilarating pressure of a cock against his hole, he remembers that he completely forgot to put a condom on Cas.

A half-second later and he forgets about it again as he slips the remote up to high. Cas gives another whimpering cry and his hips snap up, pushing in without hesitation. It’s one quick, burning slide and Dean’s head falls back with a groan, caught on the knife’s edge of pleasure and pain. There was enough lube and he was prepped well enough, but there was no time for him to adjust and now he’s so fucking full – full of Cas and the mindless way he’s practically keening Dean’s name.

Maybe he should have thought this through a little better, but Cas is practically writhing under him. He can’t move like he needs to – like he wants to – with how he’s tied up and it’s gotta be driving him crazy. Cas isn’t even half in Dean. There’s just not enough leverage for him to be buried balls deep and with his thighs up and in the way like that, Dean can’t sit back fully to take him all in. Judging by the frustrated moans and the twitches of his hips, Cas has realized this too.

“Just sit still and let me do this.” Dean murmurs, leaning forward to kiss Cas with an open mouth, tongue dipping in to slip-slide against his.

Just because he knows it’ll drive Cas mad, Dean tries staying in that position for a little while. He rocks back on Cas’s cock, riding him nice and slow and feeling the drag of the few inches he can manage to take in this position. The only problem with it is that he can’t get the flash of lightning up his spine that he’s practically craving. All he manages when he sits back completely, leaning against Cas’s thighs, is being able to take another inch.

Every roll of his hips is just making Dean more frustrated because he knows what he wants and he just can’t get it – not with Cas tied down like this. It’s just not deep enough and he needs to change positions to get it. Cas bites his lip and grunts when he takes all of Dean’s weight for a brief moment while he shuffles around until his legs are in front of him, feet flat on the mattress. He leans back between Cas’s thighs, forcing them just a little wider, and supports himself on his hands. It’s a good thing Dean is more or less in shape, or his legs would probably give out after a few minutes.

Now that he’s got the leverage that he needs, there’s nothing stopping Dean from sinking down and taking Cas all the way in. The burn of being full doesn’t last for long before the need for more – for movement – starts clawing at the inside of his stomach. As he lifts up, his head lolls back just at the feel of Cas’s whole cock sliding in him. It’s been maybe a week – possibly two – since he bottomed and Dean forgot just how damn good it feels.

He holds himself with just the head of Cas’s dick still instead before he drops his weight and slams back down. Cas cries out something that sounds like it could either be Dean’s name or a swear, but Dean doesn’t stop to check. Hell, he doesn’t even stop at all. By the fourth drop, he’s found that burst of electricity through his bones – just what he wants, what he needs.

Riding Cas like this is a bit of an embarrassing position for him. As long as he doesn’t think about it, it doesn’t dampen the fire burning in his gut or the lightning through his veins whenever he manages to angle his hips just right to hit his happy button. And that blindfold that Cas is wearing is only benefitting him right now. If he could see Dean like this, fucking himself on his cock with his arms and legs trembling at the effort, head thrown back and mouth open – Dean might blush himself to death.

That’s why his heart trips over itself when Cas finally gasps his name. “Dean – Dean – I want to –” He’s interrupted by his own groan when Dean squeezes around him at a particularly good drop. “Dean, please, I want to see – Dean –”

Shit, shit, shit. He doesn’t want to stop. “How close are you, Cas?”

It’s hard to see all of Cas’s usual signs from this position and his sounds are all over the place whenever he’s tied up. But Cas doesn’t give him a proper answer. “Please – I want – Dean, take the mask off.”

“Answer the question, Cas. How. Close. Are. You?” He punctuates each word with a lift-drop of his hips and Cas answers with a long, loud groan.

“Close – so close. Dean, please –”

Dean can feel a blush burn in his cheeks. As much as he usually gets off on his partner looking at him, after the day he’s had his embarrassment levels are at an all time critical level and he’s not sure if he actually wants Cas to see him like this. But he owes it to him and, to be completely honest, it never feels as good as it could be if he doesn’t have Cas’s eyes on him. The intensity and the heat burning in Cas’s eyes always makes his insides flip over themselves in the best of ways.

He sits up slowly, trying not to put too much of his weight on Cas’s stomach as he reaches forward to pull the mask down. He would’ve pushed it up, but pulling it down is so much easier when it allows him to go right back to leaning on his hands and riding Cas. It’s practically one smooth motion to do it and he doesn’t have to actually see Cas looking at him, watching him. If he keeps his focus on the ceiling, he can go right on pretending that his movements aren’t becoming a little desperate with how close he’s getting to his own edge.

Cas gives a small, choked off moan wrapped around Dean’s name and that’s all the warning Dean gets. He knows that sound by heart and he stops moving, closing his eyes to focus just on feeling. And what he can feel is Cas’s cock twitching inside of him. It takes a moment for Dean to realize that the liquid-hot sensation tickling at the base of his spine is Cas coming and that’s definitely something new for him. No one has ever come in him before – at least not without a condom.

Dean can feel Cas straining to move, but all he manages to do is tilt his head into the pillow and arch his back. Taking pity on him, Dean drops his hips to sit in Cas’s lap and rocks him through the rest of this orgasm. His own arms are shaking, fit to give out at any moment, but he’s so close and he can’t stop now. It sucks, but he can’t afford to give up one hand to stroke himself in this position and he probably doesn’t have enough time to come before Cas goes soft.

Goddammit, and this had been going so well too. Dean just made the critical mistake of forgetting how fucking worked up Cas gets from being tied up. He should’ve remembered that by the time he started riding him, Cas was way closer to his orgasm then he was. Plus the vibrator probably helped things along even faster. No, no, he can’t think about his inability to calculate properly. He needs to focus on moving before –

“Dean –” Cas breathes his name, his throat clicking with every swallow of air. “Dean, untie me – please.” He’s breathless and his voice is rough and fucked out and Dean should really tell him to just keep talking through the rest of this because damn.

But he doesn’t want to stop. “Cas, I haven’t –”

“I know.” He tugs hard enough at the ropes around his wrists that Dean actually feels him slide an inch or so up the bed. “I can – if you would just untie me. Please, Dean.”

Groaning, Dean’s arms and legs tremble while he lifts himself up and slides completely off Cas’s cock. It leaves him feeling stupidly empty, and that’s actually his least favourite part about being on the receiving end. He only remembers the vibrator when he quickly slips to one side and all but rolls off the bed in the process. It puts all his weight on the hand with the remote in it and he winces in Cas’s place. That’s gotta be getting sensitive for him now.

Cas relaxes with a satisfied sigh when Dean finally turns the vibrator off, but he still lifts his head up for the apology kiss that Dean leans down to give him. It feels like it’s been forever since they kissed, even though it hasn’t be that long, but Dean doesn’t even want to pull away from them again to untie Cas. At least he can get at Cas’s wrists while he kisses him. And it’s a damn good thing that Dean’s a whiz with knots. All it takes is one quick tug at just the right spot and the whole thing falls apart, the rope slithering to the floor.

Right away, Cas slides his fingers into Dean’s hair. First he tugs him close, keeping him in place while the kiss slips momentarily deeper. But then he’s tugging at Dean’s hair again, pulling him back and almost dragging him in the directions of his legs. Right, right. Those are probably aching like crazy. Dean gets a good look at his wrists when Cas’s arms drop to the bed again. They’re red, but not raw like they were with the camping rope.

His legs have rope indents crisscrossing his thighs and his calves and Dean drops kisses to them as Cas stretches his legs out with a happy groan. Dean would feel better about seeing Cas being comfortable if he wasn’t still sporting a hard on and currently experience the weird feeling of what just might be come leaking out of his goddamn ass. It’s not the most comfortable feeling in the world and Dean shifts on his knees, reaching back to actually check. This is a first for him and he can’t decide if he actually likes it or not.

“I don’t know how you actually wanted this last time.” He grumbles, shivering when he slips a few fingers in and can actually feel the mess inside him. Fuck, he wants to come too and now he’s not going to be able to do it with another cock inside him.

Cas gives him a sheepish grin and stretches out again before he leans over to the bedside table. There’s a box of wet naps in the top drawer that Dean bought when sex with Cas started leaving him too fucked out to want to get up and go shower or anything afterward. Dean sits back on his knees and watches Cas spread his legs again. Carefully, he pulls the vibrator out with his lip caught between his teeth.

“Switch with me.” He rolls out of the way and up onto his knees, gesturing at the spot he left open. “I promise you’ll like what I’m going to do.”

Dean gives him a suspicious look, but Cas doesn’t even notice it. He’s too busy wiping down the vibrator, meticulously cleaning it off with a bunch of wet naps. Fine. Let him be anal about his new toy. Dean can just lay on his back and wallow in sexual unfulfilment – God knows he deserves it for being as big a shithead as he was today.

“What are you going to do?”

Shrugging, Cas puts the vibe down to the side and holds his hand out for the remote. Dean gives it over and Cas places it next to the vibrator. He rolls his shoulders once before crawling closer and leaning down to press a kiss to the center of Dean’s chest. “I’m going to make it up as I go along.”

That’s not the first time Dean’s heard him say that and it’s probably not going to be the last. But he can’t really find the energy to complain when Cas stretches himself out on his stomach between Dean’s legs and dips his head. He presses a wet kiss to the base of Dean’s cock and traces a finger around his hole. Oh, so Dean’s going to get a blowjob and some finger fucking? It’s not as good as coming on a cock, but at least it’s something and Cas is, after all, really good with his mouth.

A pleased groan rumbles in the back of his throat when Cas wraps his pretty pink lips around the head of his cock and sucks him down. Dean lets his head fall back and his eyes slip closed. God, he missed the feeling of Cas’s tongue curling around him like that. He’s a little proud that he played a really big part in helping Cas develop his skills in giving head, and he tries to ignore the little burn of jealousy searing through his stomach at the thought that Cas might very well be using those skills on someone else and he’ll never know about it.

He’s so focused on forcing himself not to think about that and keep his mind on the good feelings instead that Dean isn’t paying enough attention to what Cas is doing with his hands. When something finally pushes into him, it sure as hell isn’t fucking fingers. And it’s not a tongue either because that is currently working along his cock in wonderful ways. Without an explanation, Cas lays his arm across Dean’s hips and in the same motion, turns the speed setting up to high.

“Son of a bitch!” Dean almost chokes on the words and he claws at the blankets, trying to find some kind of handhold because holy fucking shit. How could Cas not fucking writhe while this was buzzing away? How could he stand it? Oh Jesus.

A pitiful little moan gets pulled from him when Cas actually pulls off his cock. Really? He’s going to deny him his mouth now too? But Cas seems to have something up his metaphorical sleeve. In no time flat he’s up on his knees and straddling Dean’s hips. Holy fuck. Is Cas really going to – Yes, yes he is, and Dean’s hands find Cas’s thighs. He digs his fingers into the lines left by the rope as Cas guides him into place and sinks down on his cock with a soft sigh.

Cas finds his hands and pulls them off his thighs as he starts rocking slowly. Dean can’t help squirming or trying to push up into the heat of Cas’s body at the same time as finding a way to grind down against the vibrator. Either way, everything feels awesome and it only gets better when Cas leans forward to pin Dean’s hands to the sheets beside his head. Without thinking, Dean twists his hands so their fingers link together.

When he opens his eyes, Cas is right there above him. As soon as he’s got Dean’s eyes on him, Cas ups his game and starts really riding him. He dips his head and catches Dean’s bottom lip between his teeth, giving it a little tug before kissing him proper. It’s only just a taste before he’s up again and staring down at him.

“I told you to fuck me, Dean.” He hisses and Dean damn near chokes on his next breath as Cas actually flexes around him. “I enjoyed having you ride me, but next time you should listen to me.”

Dean can’t even think about forming coherent sentences right now. All he can do is nod a lot and hope like hell that Cas will kiss him again. He must get the message across with telepathic brain waves or something because Cas swallows his next moan, taking it right from his lips.

It doesn’t take long after that for Dean to crash into his orgasm. And Cas is right there, kissing and riding him through the tension that pulls tight in his stomach and breaks with a whiplash of fire through his veins. Dean is still trembling from it when Cas leans forward enough for his cock to slide out of him. He sits back and holds up one hand, grinning as he exaggerates the motion of clicking the switch down one agonizing setting at a time until the vibrator is completely off.

Satisfied, and way happier than he was an hour ago, Dean sags to the bed with a sigh. There’s only one gray cloud over his sunshine right now and he fixes Cas with a petulant glare – or, at least, that’s what he’s aiming for. He’s not sure if he actually gets it across.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Cas raises his eyebrow and tilts his head, the picture of curious innocence. Bull-fucking-shit.

“I don’t want to get up.” Dean whines, but he still moves his hands to Cas’s thighs to rub his thumbs over the fading lines the rope left. “But I have to go clean up since someone didn’t warn me before they came in my ass and made a mess.”

Saying that has the opposite reaction Dean was hoping for. Cas just smiles and shuffles backwards until he can rearrange himself to be kneeling between Dean’s legs again. “If you didn’t want that to happen, you should have put a condom on me.”He reaches down and taps the base of the vibrator, making Dean twitch. “Or you could always just leave this in. It will keep everything in until you’re willing to move again.”

“This isn’t a plug, Cas.” Dean groans and drapes an arm across his eyes. “How about you not be a jackass and you just go get a cloth and clean me up.”

“What if I don’t have the energy to do that either?” The bed dips to his side and Dean peeks out from under his arm to see Cas stretching out next to him. He’s about to demand that Cas at least pass him the wet naps, but Cas just turns his head to give him a curious look. “How long do we have until Sam comes home?”

Good question. That requires thinking. It takes Dean a moment to remember. “I think he had the late shift tonight, which means he doesn’t usually get home until around midnight.” That gives them roughly four hours to clean each other up and air out his bedroom so it doesn’t reek of sex. The only problem with that is apparently neither of them wants to move right now.

Cas muffles a yawn under his hand. “I would like to nap.”

At this point, he might as well just go to bed and get up a little earlier tomorrow. But a nap does sound good – especially if that nap includes a naked Cas pressed all up against his front (or his back) while they sleep.

Dean grumbles and props himself up on his elbows. “First we’ve got clean up, so pass me the damn wet naps. I’m not getting out of this bed.” He shifts his weight and lifts one hand to make a grabby motion over Cas’s shoulder. “After that, we can nap.”

Without looking, Cas throws his arm out to grope around at the open bedside drawer to find the container of wet naps. He keeps his eyes locked on Dean, all wide and hopeful with just a little hint of worry. His voice goes all soft and quiet when he passes the box over. “Are you going to kick me out for the nap?”

Hell no. You’re sticking around to clean up the mess you left in my ass.” He plucks one of the cloths out and rolls onto his stomach before offering it to Cas. “You do me, I’ll do you. It’s only fair since we already did each other.”

Cas just rolls his eyes and sits up to take the cloth from him, already reaching for the base of the vibrator. But he’s still all smiles and warm skin when they’ve both got the job done and the blankets and pillows have been dragged back up onto the bed. They tuck against each other like puzzle pieces, Dean’s knees bumping the back of Cas’s. His arm settles around Cas’s waist and the other tucks up under the pillow under their head. He’s got inked wings pressed all across his chest and Dean can’t help rubbing his nose into the hairs that curl against the back of Cas’s neck.

Hell, he doesn’t even mind it when Cas’s hand wraps around his wrist. But he can feel the hesitation when Cas slides his hand lower. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where Cas is going with this, and Dean knows – he knows – that he shouldn’t let him do it. Doing it once while fucking was pushing the limit. Friends with benefits don’t do what Cas seems intent on doing, especially with the way he keeps brushing his thumb over the back of Dean’s fingers.

Too bad that Dean is already in that zone where he’s got his afterglow back and he’s well on his way to being mostly asleep. When he’s in that zone, bad decisions are made. Decisions like spreading his fingers over Cas’s belly to make enough room for Cas to slide his between them. Or decisions like pressing a lingering kiss to the back of Cas’s neck and soaking himself in the soft sigh that earns him as Cas relaxes back against his chest.

Being this comfortable makes it way too easy to fall asleep. And it feels like no time at all before the alarms on both their cell phones are ringing off the hook. Dean hates them both with an apocalyptic passion. He is so damn comfortable right now, but he can’t do anything to stop Cas from slowly pulling away to turn off the phones. And then the bed is creaking and Cas is fully leaving the nice warm spot under the blankets.

Well, there’s just no point in staying here without him. Plus, they’ve got maybe fifteen minutes before Sam is going to be off work and on his way home. It gives them just enough time to separate their clothing from the mess on the floor and get their pjs on. Cas helps him strip the bed of the sheets and put fresh ones back on. They also carefully coil up all the rope and tuck it away with the rest of the things Cas bought in the shoebox to put it in Dean’s closet. It’s really the safest place for it. Even though Sam has been really good at respecting Cas’s space out in the living room, putting a box of sex toys out next to a common area really doesn’t feel like the brightest of ideas.

Later, after Cas hung around at Dean’s bedroom door until he got a goodnight kiss, Dean is left alone in his room. Cas is back in his own bed with the chain off the lock and Dean is not liking the look of his own empty bed. He’s very, very, tempted to call Cas back, but if Sam found them like that – well, Dean wouldn’t know how to explain that.

He trudges over to his after he flicks off the light, muttering under his breath about the empty space that’s perfectly Cas-sized. His thoughts get interrupted when, right beside the bed at the point where half his foot is actually under it, Dean’s toe catches on something. That something turns out to be the little booklet Cas had in his bag before he started pulling out the interesting things.

Dean, being the curious (and not-at-all nosy) person that he is, can’t resist flipping through it. Of course he’s not expecting it to be a mini-catalogue let alone a fucking catalogue full of collars. They’re actual, honest to God, collars. This is a thing that Cas actually picked up and put in his bag and Dean can’t help staring at each page and the different styles with spikes or buckles or d-rings for a goddamn leash.

And it only one thought dancing through his head about it all:

Cas’s birthday is coming up in a month or so, isn’t it?

Chapter Text

Normally Dean loves Fridays. It doesn’t even matter if he has to work the next day or not, he loves Fridays. They’re the end of Cas’s work week and he’s getting into the habit of being a complete slug when he’s getting ready for the weekend. If Sam isn’t home, Cas will change into his comfortable home clothes and then just lay on Dean like he’s the best pillow in the world or something. It’s all sorts of awesome.

But this Friday is not even remotely good. This is the worst Friday and July is not starting out favourably. In fact, Dean has spent all week hating that this day was coming closer and closer. He’s been dreading it and now it’s here and he feels like he’s going to be sick. The agitated itch under his skin just kept growing with every day that passed and it’s all because of Meg and the fucking date Cas is going on with her tonight. And Dean hates it.

He hates it even more that he’s actually upset about this and that he’s been doing everything that he can to try and convince himself that he’s not jealous. And that is doing nothing more than increasing the stupid upset. By attempting to not be jealous he’s more or less acknowledging that he absolutely is and trying to bury that sick burn in his chest is only making it worse. Hell, not even drowning himself in Cas’s body all week is helping anything.

As soon as Sam is out of the apartment or out of the room, Dean is on Cas like white on rice. He’ll steal a kiss, or cop a feel, or give and take as much as he’s able in the time frame allowed. All that really gets him is a twisted stomach, sexual satisfaction, and Cas throwing confused little pouts at him all week. At least he reciprocates every touch and kiss without question. But if Cas can pick up on something not being quite kosher with Dean, what must Sam be thinking? Cas may be a little more in tune to Dean’s signal than he is most people, but his radio antenna is a little wonky with reading the mood most of the time.

Dean kind of spends half of the week hoping that Cas will pick up on how he really doesn’t want him to go on this date. The other half of the week is spent knowing that Cas won’t be picking up on that at all because he’s Cas. It makes Dean want to bang his head against the wall and just try and knock some sense into his stupid noggin. Yes, okay, he’s jealous. But why? They’re just fucking. That’s it. That’s all. Friends with benefits. Buddies who fuck. Yup, that’s them. There are no feelings involved and he’s hellbent on trying to convince himself that he doesn’t feel anything more for Cas. And the only reason he’s doing that is because he’s a colossal chicken shit and things just come full circle in the neverending cycle of why Dean Winchester hates himself.

That wall is looking more and more inviting every damn day.

On Friday, Dean doesn’t even want to pick Cas up from work. But of course he goes, and of course he’s subjected to Meg hanging around out front with Cas, chatting him up and waving goodbye when they drive away. Cas doesn’t actually say anything about the pending date and Dean has negative desire to ask about it. And since he’s such a bucket of sunshine, the drive home is probably the most awkward twenty minutes of their whole week.

It’s enough that even Cas actually does pick up on it and he clears his throat. “So… Do you have any plans for the evening, Dean?”

“No.” He’s going to hole up in his bedroom and try not to go out of his mind wondering what the hell is happening on Cas’s date.

And that is all of their stellar conversation until they walk through the apartment door and Sam looks up from his text book at the table. “Hey guys! Big night, huh, Cas?”

“Not particularly. Meg and I are merely doing the standard dinner and a movie.” Cas shrugs and kicks off his shoes. “Dean, do you mind if I take the shower first? I would like to get that out of the way so I’m not rushing to be ready when –”

“Do what you want.” Dean doesn’t even bother with his shoes and heads straight for his bedroom. There’s a lump sitting in the back of his throat that makes him feel like he’s going to throw up and it only gets worse with the way Cas and Sam are looking at him; both confused but one hurt and the other ticking towards completely unimpressed with Dean’s tone.

He locks the door behind him so no one can give him a surprise visit while he wallows in his misery and flops face down on the bed. It would be fine if all he had to deal with was his own stupid self hatred. But on top of that he can’t stop thinking about how Cas basically said he’d rather go on a date he doesn’t want to go on than pretend that Dean’s his boyfriend long enough to get out of it. Sure, he can understand that Cas doesn’t want to lie to everyone, but maybe it wouldn’t have to be a lie in the end.

Dean would try and muse on that little fact a little more, but every time he even so much as thinks of the word dating in correlation to Cas, his heart starts beating so fast that it fucking hurts. Dean can’t even handle thinking about it so what would happen if they actually ended up dating? His poor heart would probably explode. It’s making his head and his chest hurt so much, and the only way that Dean knows how to deal with it is to try his best to not actually think about it.

Today that involves digging his headphones out and plugging them into his phone. With some good old rock blaring in his ears, it’s easier to close his eyes and focus on the lyrics instead of his stupid thoughts. It makes it stupidly easy for him to just waste away the few hours it takes before Sam is practically kicking the door down. He’s hitting it hard enough that their neighbours are going to complain and Dean texts him instead of getting out of bed.

What????

It takes a minute for Sam to answer. Dean can see how annoyed he is just from the way he’s writing. CAS IS ABOUT TO LEAVE COME WISH HIM GOOD LUCK ON HIS FIRST DATE.

No. He’s not going out there. Cas shouldn’t be going on this date in the first place – whether or not Gabriel set it up for him. Meg knows Cas didn’t want to go out with anyone and she still got Gabe to talk Cas into this. Everything about this is making him feel sick – most of all how he’s not doing anything that could stop it because he’s too fucking scared. Dean’s a goddamn coward and Cas deserves so much better than whatever Dean may or may not be able to give him.

He’s such an asshole that he ignores Sam’s texts and doesn’t come out of his room. But he can’t just not do something with Cas leaving and going off on a date with Meg. Dean doesn’t need to think too hard to remember the unfortunate butt-grabbing incident with her back at the café. That encourages him better than anything else to pick up his phone again and send Cas a text of his own.

Watch out for Meg she can get handsy so watch ur back don’t let her do anything ur not comfortable with ok

After a minute, he sends another.

If u wanna bail early me and the Impala are at ur beck and call

As disappointing as it is that Cas doesn’t answer, Dean really isn’t surprised by it. He’s been a dick since they got home and he absolutely deserves it. But that doesn’t mean he has to like it. And of course he’s pretty fucking pissed with himself for bringing this situation down on his head like this. It’s reaching the point where he’s moving past his isolation phase and now he wants to sulk with someone else – because misery loves company, doesn’t it?

That’s how he finds himself on the couch next to Sam, a shitty monster movie about a giant crocodile or something playing on the TV. Sam isn’t paying any attention to it or Dean. He’s got his laptop open on his lap, split screening between some paper he’s writing and a Skype chat with Jess. Dean only notices because he can’t focus worth shit on the movie and if he’s not glancing at Sam’s screen, then he’s checking his damn phone both for the time and to see if Cas texted him.

It’s just his fucking luck that of course Sam notices how he’s picking up his phone every ten minutes. After the fifth check, he starts giving Dean these curious little puppy eyes. He is so very wrong if he thinks Dean is going to actually tell him anything that’s going on inside his head. Normally he would unload on Sam and get him to use his Spock levels of logic to help him figure things out. But Cas is a part of this and part of their pact when they started sleeping together was to keep everything from Sam. They may have broken half those rules already, but Dean isn’t going to break that one.

God, he doesn’t even want to imagine what kind of lecture Sam would give him for this. He’d probably tear a strip out of him, ripping up one side and down the other, and all those other fucking idioms or whatever. Sam might actually kill him. Not just because he’s being a stupid dumbass, but because Cas is involved. It would be easier to unload if Dean knew where Cas stands on the possibility of a them but right now he’s just a great big enigma. Because if he does want more than sex with him, then Dean being a chicken shit could just be hurting Cas more than he knows.

Now his head is starting to hurt again. Dean forces himself to watch the movie, staring at the screen and hoping it’s enough to make his brain stop working. Surprise, surprise, it does shit all and Dean’s mind decides it a good time to play ping pong with you’re a dumbass and but how do you FEEL about him? He’s going to go crazy before this night is over and he’s got no one to pin the blame on other than himself. Fuck.

Sam sighs and closes out of all his programs before he shuts his laptop. “I’m going to head to bed.”

Dean grunts an acknowledgement and checks his phone again. It’s already eleven. He’s not sure if he’s more concerned about Sam going to bed before midnight on a weekend or because Cas has been gone for three hours and he hasn’t checked in yet. Not that he’s supposed to check in or anything. Because no one is supposed to be sitting here with their stomach trying to eat itself because they can’t man up and ask him on a date without being scared they’re going to be either rejected or lose their best friend for not being able to control their fucking feelings.

“If you’re worried, you should text him.”

His first reaction is to flinch and that’s probably not the best thing to do right now. Sam almost looks victorious when he stands up with his laptop tucked under one arm. Dean resolutely does not look at him, but he does lift a hand and flip him the bird. His asshole of a brother just laughs and walks out of the room.

Fuck it. Dean is not facing the rest of this night (and the possibility that Cas might not be coming home) without some kind of alcohol in his system. Luckily, there’s an unopened six pack in the fridge. Of course that’s not just luck. Dean bought it earlier this week knowing that he would absolutely need it for tonight.

He goes through half of them before he tells himself that he is not going to stay up and wait for Cas. That would be stupid. Cas is a big boy and he can take care of himself and he doesn’t need Dean sitting around the apartment moping about how it’s going on four hours now and he’s still not back. What the hell could they be doing that takes them four hours? Dinner should, at most, be maybe an hour. A movie would be about two, maybe. Tossing in the travel tiem and that could potentially be four hours. Okay. So maybe that means Cas will be home soon?

Dean is officially not staying up for Cas. Yup. He’s just sitting here watching a movie that he may or may not have no idea what is happening in it. That might have to do more with how he’s paying more attention to the sounds coming from the hallway right now. Every so often he hears footsteps, but they either go to the apartment across the hall or they don’t make it as far down the hall to his door at the end. The worst part about it is how Dean keeps sitting up and glancing at the door while his heart lurches because maybe

But it’s never Cas.

By the time the clock start ticking closer to twelve thirty, Dean’s stopped paying that much attention to the sounds outside. He’s got a six pack of beer in his belly and a really nice buzz drowning out his thoughts. That’s why he damn near just right out of his socks when there’s a heavy thump against the door. He’s on his feet before he realizes that he can hear muffled voices too and even through the thick wood of the door he’d recognize Cas’s voice anywhere. It’s too muffled to hear the words themselves, but Dean doesn’t care so much about the words. Right now, he’s not caring – or thinking – about much.

It doesn’t occur to him that it probably doesn’t look too good to be tugging the door open like some kind of miffed lover waiting for their significant other to come home. Actually, that does occur to him, but it’s a little late – hitting him right around the same time that Cas stumbles back into the space where the door used to be and practically falls against Dean’s chest. Meg falls with him, her arms wrapped around Cas’s shoulders.

Ice slips through Dean’s veins and something somewhere inside his head throws a switch. Every emotion that he has flips off and a numb cloud fills his chest. It doesn’t even matter that Cas has his hands on Meg’s shoulders and he looks like he’s trying to push her off. Nothing matters at this point. Dean’s had just enough beer to stop caring about everything and anything. Including this.

“Dean-o!” Meg grins up at him, tilting her head to look around Cas after he gets his feet back under him. “You’re up late!”

He drops his hand from the door and takes a step back. “Thought someone was knocking.” The words come out flat and hard and he turns away before Cas can look back at him. That switch might just turn back on if he sees Cas’s eyes. “Sorry to interrupt.”

“Dean, wait!” Cas sounds like he’s caught between worried and frustrated, but Dean ignores it and goes straight for his bedroom. “Meg, please let go. I need to –”

“But I want my goodnight kiss.”

Oh, hell no. Dean is so tempted to slam his door, but he doesn’t even fully close it. He can’t just completely shut the door and leave them alone in the living room where Meg could get up to all sorts of bad things. They might end up doing more than kissing and it’s Dean’s morbid curiosity that makes him want to be able to hear them at least so he’ll know. If that shit does start happening, then Dean can just shut the door and go smother himself with his pillow.

“I’m sorry, Meg, but I’m not interested. It was unnecessary for you to walk me to my door.” Cas keeps talking in a whisper Dean can just barely hear from standing next to his door. “I had a nice evening with you but I don’t –”

She laughs and it sends goosebumps tripping over Dean’s ribs. “Don’t worry about it, Clarence. You can’t fault a girl for trying, can you?”

“Thank you for tonight. I’ll see you at work later.”

There’s the sound of footsteps and exchanged goodbyes before Dean hears the door shut and the lock click. That’s enough for him now and throws himself down on his bed. Dean curls up on his side and crosses his his arms to glare angrily at the wall. It makes him feel like a sulking teenager, but he kind of ended up skipping that particular stage when his parents died so maybe it can be allowed to him right now.

The soft knock at his bedroom door makes him flinch. “Dean? May I speak with you?”

He kind of wishes he wouldn’t. “Whatever.”

“Is Sam home?” Cas must take a step into the room, because the door creaks slightly.

“Yeah.”

His voice drops into a quieter whisper and he shuts the door. “I – Dean, I would just like to let you know that Meg and I –”

Dean doesn’t want to hear it. “I don’t care, Cas.” He hunches his shoulders and digs his fingers into his arms. “You do whatever the hell you want.” Because they’re just fuck buddies. It doesn’t matter what they do with anyone else.

Fuck, it’s getting harder and harder to keep lying to himself.

Cas doesn’t say anything for long enough that Dean almost thinks he might have left like some kind of silent ghost. But then Cas takes a deep breath. “I didn’t kiss her.”

As relieved as that makes him, Dean still swallows a sick little burn across the back of his tongue. “I don’t care.”

But he does. He does and he should let Cas know but the words keep getting caught in his throat. If he tells him that, Cas might ask why and then they’re going to end up bringing emotions into the arrangement and there goes his heart again, hammering against his ribs like it’s tapping out some kind of frantic S.O.S.

“You sound like you do.”

No. No, no, no, no. He’s not going to let Cas bring it up either. Dean might just have a heart attack if he does. How are they going to be able to stay friends if Cas doesn’t return whatever feeling Dean just might have constantly choking him day in and day out.

Rolling over, Dean sits up and increases his glare to eleven. “Fuck off, Cas.”

He really shouldn’t have done that. Cas is standing a lot closer than Dean thought he was – practically right up to the edge of the bed. The lights are on and Dean can see in complete detail the confusion in Cas’s eyes and the frustration pulling his mouth down into a frown. “I don’t understand why you’re upset with me, Dean. I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Cas is almost leaning over him and he’s just on the edge of having a glare of his own. Dean can’t stand having someone stand over him like that and he slips off the edge of the bed so they can be eye to eye. “I’m not upset.”

They have a stare off for a moment before all the anger kind of slides right off Cas’s face and he gets an almost calculating look in his eyes. “If you’re not upset, then you would have no objection to my going after Meg right now.”

Yes, of course he would have a fucking problem with that. But Dean’s the one who put down the goddamn law between them about how this is just about sex and nothing else. He’s the one who flat out said he didn’t want a relationship. It’s not like he expected his goddamn emotions to get the better of him and make him start feeling things. The kind of things where he both wants and doesn’t want more because he’s fucking scared shitless of what that entails – of all the different ways he could hurt Cas with that.

The mess in his head is only pissing him off more. Like Dean needs more reasons to hate himself and everything else right now. And the last thing he should be doing is taking it out on his best friend. “I don’t give a fuck what you do, Cas.”

He knows he crossed a line with that when Cas’s whole expression closes off. It goes dark in the kind of way he’s only ever seen it go when Cas reaches maximum levels of angry. “Fine.”

Cas turns on his heel and manages to get halfway across the room before Dean grabs his arm. He doesn’t exactly remember making the decision to step after him or for closing his hand around his elbow, but suddenly he’s there and Dean doesn’t know what the hell is going to follow. But Cas is still sitting at his boiling point and he turns slowly, fixing Dean with a cold, hard glare.

“Let. Go.”

Dean can’t do that and part of the levee blocking his words finally gives just a little. He steps in closer and squeezes Cas arm slightly. “Why’d you even go on the dumb date? Why couldn’t you just tell them that we’re dating?”

A sharp breath hisses between Cas’s teeth and he lets it out through his nose. He takes another one, long and deep as if he’s maybe trying to calm himself down a bit. It doesn’t look like it’s working. “Because, in case you haven’t noticed, we aren’t dating.”

No fucking shit. Dean tries the deep breath maneuver himself and, sure enough, it doesn’t work either. “Well, you could have fucking lied, Cas.”

He turns to face Dean completely and steps so far into his personal space that their chests actually bump together. Dean can even feel his breath on his lips and Cas could probably count the freckles on his goddamn nose. “There are somethings that I won’t lie about, Dean.”

His heart skips a beat and hopscotches right into Dean’s throat. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Does it mean that Cas would want to date him as long as it wasn’t a lie? Fuck. Fuck. Dean doesn’t even want to start hoping that’s what he means. Cas can’t want him. Not like that at least. He can believe Cas wanting his body but he sure as hell can’t wrap his head around Cas wanting him. But that little bubble of hope that does grow in his chest is just enough to flick all his switches into overdrive and the beer muddying his head goes right along with it.

There’s no thinking involved in bailing Cas up against the wall harder than he probably should for this time of night when Sam is sleeping. Cas grunts when he hits the wall and again when Dean kisses him hard enough his head hits it too. At first, Cas doesn’t return the kiss and his fists curl in Dean’s shirt, his forehead all scrunched up with a frown. But in a snap, Cas is kissing back with the same rough, dirty intensity. He’s just as angry as Dean is – probably even for the same fucking reasons.

Cas’s shirt is tucked into his jeans and Dean rips it free, shoving his hands up under it to spread his fingers over his sides. His skin is smooth and hot and Dean rakes his fingernails everywhere he can reach until Cas groans into his mouth before he starts shoving Dean’s overshirt off his shoulders. Dean pretty much hates having to let go of Cas so he can get his arms free from the shirt, but then Cas is dragging his t-shirt over his head too, breaking their kiss for a split second.

And then he’s on him again as soon as the shirt hits the floor, shoving Dean back with another hard kiss. Teeth scrape over his bottom lip, catching and tugging slightly before a tongue slides along his own. Cas only bothers to slip off his coat, letting that fall to the floor while he follows after him, glued together at the mouth. Dean keeps stumbling backward, dragging Cas with him with fingers caught in belt loops.

They hit the bed and Dean tumbles onto it. The bedsprings squeak when Cas puts a knee between Dean’s legs and leans over him to keep chasing the kiss. That’s not going to do any good. The mattress is old and it squeaks when they fuck. He barely notices it anymore, but someone else – specifically someone sleeping in the other room – might hear it. Especially if they get enough momentum and rhythm going for the edge of the frame underneath the box spring to start knocking against the wall.

Dean grabs a handful of Cas’s hair and jerks his head back. He licks a strip across his pulse and breathes against his skin. “Floor.” Because who fucking cares that Sam is home? If he’s not already aware that shit is going down in Dean’s bedroom, then he’s going to find out soon enough in the morning because this – all of this that they’re doing right now – it isn’t going to fix a goddamn thing.

Cas hooks his fingers in the waistband of Dean’s jeans and uses that hold to drag him toward the end of the bed. Dean grabs the blanket and pulls it with them and it’s a stroke of luck that they actually manage to end up on the floor with it under them. The floor is hard as hell with ancient carpeting, but the blanket is way better then ending up with rugburn on his ass. He’s had that ten times too many in his short lifetime.

As soon as they’re settled, Cas starts ripping at Dean’s pants with sharp, rough movements. Cas is a million times different from anything he’s seen from him before. They’ve never fucked while Cas is angry and this is another facet to him that Dean didn’t even know existed. He’s rough – almost violent with how he’s stripping Dean’s pants down his legs. Jesus, Cas is practically manhandling him where he wants him to be while until he’s getting Dean down to nothing but his underwear. He undoes his own belt and pulls his pants open and that’s about as far as he gets with his own clothing. His hands are almost bruising when they grab Dean around his ankles and calves, dragging them up and behind him until Dean gets the message to hook his legs around his waist. At the same time Cas starts rocking his fucking hips to set up one hell of a dirty, fantastic, grind.

Dean wants to claw Cas’s shirt up his back and drag it over his head. He wants him to be just as bare and naked as him – as if that’s going to ever get him to show his full hand with his emotions. How is it fair that Dean is the only one who feels like he’s entirely exposed? He’s trying so hard to play his cards close to his chest, but it’s like Cas is some kind of fucking magnet and he’s drawing everything out of Dean whether he wants him to or not. Dean wants them to be on equal footing here, but as Cas leans over him again, he grabs Dean’s wrists and pins them flat to the floor by his head.

It’s not entirely weird of him to expect a kiss, but Dean is still a little disappointed when Cas only nips at his bottom lip before he ducks his head to actually bite around one of his nipples.The bite doesn’t hurt, but it’s a sharp little sting that has Dean gasping and arching his back up into Cas’s mouth. Cas goes on an unholy mission to leave as many fucking marks across Dean’s chest and collarbone as he can. They never said a word about that rule tonight and Dean can’t even verbalize any kind of request for him to stop because he doesn’t want Cas to stop.  God, he wants to leave marks of his own on Cas but he can’t with his fucking hands pinned and especially not when Cas is just going to goddamn town on him.

Maybe he shouldn’t be as aroused as he is right now, but it’s really hard not to be. Especially with Cas being fucking relentless while rocking their hips together and finding every spot on Dean’s chest and neck – God, even his goddamn ears – that has him squirming and gasping and biting his bottom lip to keep from being as loud as he could be. It’s like Cas is doing his damnedest to actually get him to outright moan or some bullshit but Dean’s not gonna. He’s stronger than that.

But it sure as shit is annoying as hell that Cas is still fully clothed. The bastard doesn’t even take off his pants when he finally draws back and gets his feet under him to stand. He’s not going to leave Dean in his underwear on the bedroom floor is he? Dean almost breathes a sigh of relief when Cas turns toward the bedside table instead of the door and comes back with a condom, lube, and the pillows from the bed. Those get dropped to the floor and Cas kneels on one of them.

After he yanks Dean’s boxers off, shoves the other pillow at him and hisses at him in a loud whispers. “Get on your knees, Dean.”

Part of him wants to fight against being the bottom tonight. He’s just as angry as Cas is, and mostly for the same reasons too. They’re both pissed at him because he’s being a stupid fucking idiot. Cas knows it. Dean knows it, and there are a million and one reasons why he’s not owning up to it. Speaking should be so easy, in theory, but Dean can’t get the words out. He’d be lucky if he could even get them to form. But all he can do is hold Cas’s glare for another few moments before he turns over with the other pillow under his knees and his ass in the air.

Dean is expecting Cas to be rough for the rest of this too. He’s expecting at least a little burn after he lubes up his fingers, but there’s nothing more beyond the usual when Cas slides the first finger in. If anything, Cas is actually gentle while he stretches Dean open. At least one of them has enough of their wits about them to do that. On the other hand, Dean is gripping handfuls of the blanket and shoving back against Cas’s fingers, trying to get him to do more, to work him open faster and harder.

He doesn’t like pain in sex, but right now – Dean kind of feels like he deserves it. Cas should be taking his anger out on him in more than just an almost bruising grip on his hip and teeth that rake across his back and ass in nipping, sucking bites. They’ve left that no marks rule in the fucking dust and he’s being merciless with his fingers. He should know better than to do that. Jesus – Dean can’t fucking keep quiet when Cas is dragging the pads of his fingers over his prostate. It would be worse if Cas was jerking him too, but apparently a reach around hasn’t occurred to him just yet.

When Cas adds what’s gotta be the third – quite possibly the fourth – finger, Dean has to clap a hand over his mouth to smother the groan that rumbles out of his throat. He could just keep his damn mouth shut, but it’s already a proven fact that he can’t fucking do that when it comes to shit he shouldn’t be saying or doing. But it’s loud enough that Cas actually stops moving.

Carefully, Cas pulls his fingers out and then rustles with something behind him. Dean is about to push himself up on his hands to look at what the hell he’s doing, but then Cas’s tie is coming down around in front of his face. Heat gets pressed along his back and Cas’s breath washes over his ear. “You’re going to wake Sam. Open your mouth, Dean.”

Goddammit. But he’s right. As soon as Cas actually starts fucking him, Dean is going to be gasping and groaning constantly. It’s almost impossible for him to stay completely quiet during sex and especially if he’s the one with a dick in his ass. A lot of the time bottoming requires less concentration and focus, and God this is going to be fucking horrible. It’ll be a fucking miracle if Sam doesn’t know what they’ve been getting up to after tonight. If he still doesn’t know, then he’s gotta clean out his ears more often.

As smart as gagging him is, when Cas pulls the tie between his teeth and tightens the knot behind his head, Dean still looks over his shoulder to glare at him. Jesus, the only piece of clothing that Cas has taken off is the goddamn tie. He’s pulling open the front of his boxers and Dean watches Cas take his cock out as he rips the condom open with his teeth. While he’s rolling it on, Cas looks up at him and he’s still got that angry frown pinching his eyebrows together.

Despite that, he still sounds kind of concerned when he reaches out to grab Dean’s hips. “Do you think you’re ready? I’ll prep you more if you need it.”

Even if he wasn’t, Dean would still nod and drop to his elbows. He bunches the blanket in his arms and buries his face in it to muffle the groan as Cas pushes in. As soon as the head of Cas’s cock breaches him, Dean knows this is going to be different. Usually, when Cas fucks him, he does it nice and slow. He does it like the sex means something more than just a physical release. And Dean knows – he knows and he doesn’t want to accept it – that sex with Cas always has been more.

But the worst part is that tonight there’s none of that. Cas goes balls deep in the first slide and he doesn’t give him a waiting period to adjust. Dean doesn’t let him even think about giving him that time. As soon as he feels the scratch of the zipper’s teeth, Dean rocks forward and slams back as hard as he can. Hard and fast. That’s all he deserves right now. Cas shouldn’t be allowed to take it soft and slow. If he does that – if he even slightly tries to fucking worship him like he always does, Dean might break. He might shatter into a thousand little pieces and God knows what’s going to happen then.

Cas gets the message. One of his hands curls over Dean’s shoulder and Cas uses the grip to pull him back on his cock with every thrust. He throws his head back and bites down on the tie as hard as he can, breathing loudly through his nose. The quick, sharp slap of skin on skin is almost drowning that out. It’s so hard not to outright moan every time Cas angles his hips just right and the only way Dean can compensate for it is with scrabbling at the blankets, nails raking the carpet underneath.

The pillow under his knees keeps slipping and he wants to spread his legs wider, he wants to brace himself better. And his fucking knees. God, his knees! The pillow really isn’t helping to cushion anything. They still hurt and the more Cas fucks him the more they start to ache. Once he notices that, it’s all Dean can think about and it’s really dragging away from the focus of that heat trying to build in the pit of his stomach whenever Cas’s cock brushes that spot inside that sends lightning up his spine.

Without thinking, Dean reaches back and shoves at Cas’s stomach, hoping that’s going to be enough to tell him to stop so he can rearrange himself or something. It does make Cas stop, but he keeps his hips pressed against Dean’s. He practically pushes Dean down onto his side. Shit, when Cas is angry his favourite goddamn thing to do is apparently manhandle Dean into positions.

He gets Dean on his back and leans forward over him. Out of habit, Dean hooks his ankles in the small of Cas’s back. Instead of kissing him again, Cas only finds Dean’s hands and pins them by his head. Even though his hips keep snapping at a fast, angry pace, their fingers slide together and Dean squeezes Cas’s hands as hard as he can. It’s all he really can do, especially after he gets a good look of Cas’s eyes and has to close his own.

If he doesn’t keep his eyes shut tight, he’s going to be subjected to the full force of Cas’s glare. Dean could deal with it if all he saw was anger there, but Cas looks hurt. He looks like he’d rather be fucking Dean any other way than this. He looks like all of this is breaking his goddamn heart and Dean can’t stand it. Even just the little glance he got is making his insides twist in the weirdest and worst ways that they possibly can.

Physically, the sex is good. It’s just this side of rough and Dean knows parts of him are going to be sore in the morning. But nothing is going to hold a candle to the stupid ache in his chest. It’s like a black hole, sucking up all the good feelings that usually like to bundle themselves together behind his ribs and do their best to keep him warm. He’s going to be left hollow and empty after this and it’s all because he’s such a fucking coward. How the hell can anyone – Cas included – put up with him? Shit, he doesn’t even deserve this right now.

Cas should’ve shoved him away and left the room. He shouldn’t be pressing his forehead to Dean’s collarbone and shuddering out little gasps that puff across his throat as he comes. And he sure as shit shouldn’t be sitting back on his heels and continuing to fuck Dean while stroking him straight through to his own orgasm. It’s a good burn through his veins that has him arching off the blanket with a long, muffled groan. At least it’s something tofeel – but the satisfying glow that usually follows barely even happens. It’s gone instantly and Dean still feels like shit.

That might have something to do with how Cas stays in Dean and keeps leaning over him. He can hear how hard Cas is breathing, making more noise swallowing air than he did the whole time he was fucking him. And now he’s just above Dean, his hands somewhere on either side of his chest with his cock still buried deep. Dean can’t open his eyes. He can’t open them and see that look on Cas’s face again. If he does he’s going to say things and those things have every potential of ruining all of thise worse than Dean already has.

As soon as Cas’s breathing evens out, he pulls away. It’s a slow slide that takes all the heat of his body –away from Dean and it leaves him practically shivering. He can’t even open his goddamn eyes to watch what Cas is doing. All he can do is tug the tie-gag off over his head and toss it to one side while listening. He hears the wet sound of the condom being pulled off, knotted, and tossed into the garbage can. After that, it’s the rustle of clothing as Cas tucks himself away and does up his pants. Then it’s soft footsteps and a pause while he picks up his tie.

Dean should say something, or at least look at him. But he can’t. He doesn’t want to see anything. The darkness behind his eyelids is kind of comforting. Since he sure as hell knows that Cas isn’t going to be laying down beside him for a post-sex snuggle any time soon, it’s about the most comfort he’s probably going to get for a long while.

He grabs the edge of his blanket and draws it over himself as he rolls onto his side. It puts his back to the door and to where he’s pretty sure Cas is still standing. If he was any less of a man, Dean would drag one of the pillows up under his head, bury his face in it, and give in to the little pins and needles stinging behind his eyes. But he’s not going to cry. He knew this was going to happen. One way or another he was going to fuck something up with Cas. Too bad he didn’t account for it being like this.

Cas makes a soft sound, like some kind of frustrated little huff, before he walks away. Dean knows he should say something – he should stop Cas and apologize and try to explain the stupid mess in his chest – but he doesn’t. All he can do is lie there, hating himself, and keep on listneing. He listens to the door click shut as softly as possible and how Cas’s footsteps fade away. Probably to the bathroom so he can clean up and wash away whatever stain he probably picked up just from touching Dean.

At that point, Dean draws the blanket over his head and takes a deep, shuddering breath. He never should have let this happen. It’s gotten too far and too out of control. Dean’s insides are all twisted up in a painful mess and it hurts. It hurts so much worse than Cassie or Lisa or anyone else he’s ever had something with. This wasn’t supposed to be a something. It was just supposed to be sex. No emotions. Only friends and only fucking. But Dean failed and somewhere along the line he let his feelings get the better of him.

Emotions only ever mess things up and he should have known better.

Chapter Text

Emotions mess everything up. Dean knows this for a fact and he still let it happen and he hates it. He completely and utterly loathes feeling like this and, as if it’s not bad enough that he doesn’t understand what the hell is going on in his own damn head, his issues have gone and made Cas mad at him too. This whole clusterfuck was doomed from the beginning. Dean knew he was going to fuck up their friendship somehow. It was a fool’s hope to think that it would have nothing to do with emotions.

God, everything’s so fucked up now that it’s probably not even salvageable. It’s only a matter of time before Cas decides to take up his dad’s offer and move the hell out. And when he does that, they’re never going to talk or see each other again. Dean’s going to lose his best friend and that’s fucking that. It’s going to be just like Lisa, only this time Dean knows that it’s going to hurt so much worse. Somehow, Cas is different from Lisa.

He’s – Cas is special. Lisa was his girlfriend and a good friend, but Cas is Dean’s best friend. He wormed his way to that spot starting from only a few words exchanged at a counter, up through weekly to daily text messages, and right on to moving in and spending hours a day together. And he just happens to be someone that Dean had a major crush on once upon a time. But there’s that voice in the back of his head telling him that it’s not so past and it’s not so much a crush anymore.

Dean hates that voice too. That stupid fucking voice has gotta be wrong in all sorts of ways because there’s something broken in Dean. Lisa saw it. She knew it and she got the hell out. It was clear as day to her that Dean can’t love. He doesn’t know how to. It’s something that he’s not capable of, or something. That’s gotta be it. Dean’s broken and he can’t love. Which means he can’t love Cas. Though it’s not like that would even matter if he did, magically, know how to do that.

For one thing, Cas is amazing. Dean could sing his fucking praises til kingdom come and that still wouldn’t be enough time to tell everyone how awesome he is. Because Cas isn’t just smart as hell. He’s not just sweet and shy and probably the nicest fucking guy you’ll ever meet. And he sure as hell isn’t just a pretty face either. Cas is all sorts of funny in his own little way, once you get used to his dry wit. And Dean could write entire books about how fucking amazing Cas is in bed.

But Cas is operating in an entirely different sphere of reality than Dean is. For some crazy little reason their spheres magically overlapped just enough to let them meet, be friends, and fuck a hell of a lot. And that’s it. That’s where their spheres end. Dean can’t cross any further into Cas’s world because it’s not a place where he belongs. It’s the harsh reality of whatever bullshit relationship they had.

Because Cas? He’s going places. If he doesn’t end up as a doctor and saving actual lives, then he’s going to be a photographer and capture the beauty of the world. Meanwhile, Dean is a goddamn grease monkey who pretty much got Cas all but completely alienated from his parents. And that is just another prime example of how Dean fucking breaks everything he touches. Dean knows it, Lisa knew it, and now Cas does too because Dean went and broke their fucking friendship with fucking – and with jealousy and God knows what the fuck else.

Now he has to live with it. Dean fucked everything up and now he’s got to face the consequences. No matter how much he doesn’t want to. He’d rather live in denial – or at the bottom of a beer bottle.

*

Dean wakes up with his back and his heart aching. Like the dumbass he is, he spent the night on the floor because he couldn’t be bothered to drag his sorry ass up on to the bed. It’s not like he deserved a nice comfortable mattress to sleep on after the shit that he pulled last night. Hell, it’s not like he deserved sleep after that. The only reason he did sleep was probably because he was too fucking exhausted to stay awake.

All he can remember is angry, unhappy sex that should never have happened and then wallowing in self pity, self hatred, and God knows what else. And now he really wishes that he didn’t have to go to work today. Dean is just not in any kind of mood to see actual people. Plus, work means having to leave his room and leaving his room means that he stands the chance of running into Cas in the shared spaces of the apartment. And there’s one huge part of Dean that is absolutely terrified that he’s going to step out of his bedroom to find Cas’s side of the living room filled with boxes.

What he really finds when he slinks out of his room with his tail between his legs is probably just as bad. Cas is gone. His bed looks pristine in the way that makes Dean think that it wasn’t even slept in. Great. So, Cas could have left the apartment last night right after they were finished. Or he could have just not slept at all but couldn’t stand seeing Dean in the morning and took off before he woke up. Dean doesn’t have the first damn clue, but every plausible idea that pops into his head is making him feel like he should be on his knees and making an offering to the porcelain gods.

This is the worst Saturday in Winchester history.

A shower does literally nothing to make him feel any better. Mostly because when he drops the blanket he had wrapped around his shoulders (because Sam would give him shit if he walked from his bedroom to the bathroom naked) the mirror only makes him feel sicker. It’s not just that he can barely stand looking at himself, but because there’s a fucking field of hickeys covering his chest and collar bone. Usually he likes seeing the marks that Cas sometimes leaves on him during the few times they abolish that rule. Today they just turn his stomach because they were left out of anger.

The only good thing that comes out of it is that Dean decides that it would be best for everyone – Sam included – that he make himself scarce for a little while. Sam gives him all sorts of curious puppy eyes while they both get ready for the day, but Dean doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t say a single damn word. Because one of the very last things that he wants to know is if Sam heard anything that happened last night.

Dean grabs a duffle bag and shoves a few days worth of clothing into it. If anyone is going to be leaving the apartment for a while, it’s him. Cas has all his classes shit that he’s working through and his clothes for work and all that is here too. He should be able to come home to do what he needs to do and not have to worry about Dean hanging around and making things all fucking awkward.

He gets a text from Sam when he’s getting into the Impala.

                Who pissed in your cornflakes this morning?

There’s no point in answering it and Dean turns his phone off, shoving it in the glove box. It’s better that he doesn’t bring Sammy in on this, even if he did or didn’t hear anything last night. But Sam is relentless and he’s got a few tricks up his sleeves. By the time Dean gets to work, Bobby is standing at the door with his arms crossed and his usual frown actually looks concerned. Dean just shakes his head and pushes past him to get to the locker room. Bobby knows better than to ask questions when Dean is like this. If he wants to talk, he’ll go to Bobby on his own time.

Benny is already pulling on his jumpsuit and he raises both eyebrows at him when Dean slams his locker open to rummage through it. “Bug in your britches, brother?”

“I’m sleeping at your place tonight.” He grumbles, kicking off his boots before he shoves a leg into his overalls. “And we’re going to drink ourselves stupid.”

After a pause, Benny asks another question, his voice all full of concern that Dean doesn’t deserve. “Trouble in paradise?”

Dean just shrugs and mutters something about a fight with Sam. It feels more likely that he would get into shit with Sam then he would Cas. He’s never fought with Cas before. They’ve been friends for a couple years and never had more than a minor argument over differences in opinion about movies and books and the usual shit friends fight over. But he and Sam can get at each other’s throats over pretty much anything and everything. If he was actually telling the truth, this wouldn’t even be the first time that he’s taken refuge at Benny’s to give Sam some space to calm down.

Beer isn’t going to solve anything, and neither is shitty movies on Benny’s too-small TV because he and his girlfriend don’t watch it in their spare time. But Dean doesn’t care. It’s the only option he’s got to him right now aside from hunting Cas down and apologizing. And right now too many parts of him – his pride, his heart, his everything – are too bruised to go crawling back begging for forgiveness just yet.

*

He knew beer wasn’t the answer, and yet he still drank enough to spend the night passed out on Benny’s sofa-bed. The only good thing it did was help him sleep. But the hangover he has to go to work with the next morning sure as hell isn’t worth it. And it doesn’t do shit with making him feel any better. If anything, he just wants to go home and curl up under his blankets with Cas while he works magic fingers through his hair. But he can’t have that without apologizing and that’s just not happening because he’s pretty damn sure Cas doesn’t even want to see him.

Benny keeps giving him weird looks all through their work shift. Dean half-asses the whole day, just like he did on Saturday, and Bobby doesn’t look too happy about it. He’s probably going to have to explain everything to him one day, but Bobby’s an old friend of the family and he knows how Dean gets sometimes. He’ll put up with his shit for a little while to try and let him work through it on his own. And if Dean ends up being a bigger dumbass than usual, Bobby will step in and give him the smack upside the head that he needs to try and set his ass straight.

Which may or may not be why Dean is avoiding him just as much as he’s avoiding Sam, the apartment, and Cas. He knows what he needs to do to make things right. Dean needs to sit his ass down, apologize to Cas for being a jealous dick, and try and work out what the hell is wrong with his chest. Too bad that he’s a giant coward and he’d rather run the fuck away then have to deal with emotions that scare the ever loving hell out of him.

But Dean can only run for so long. He can only spend so many hours drowning at the bottom of a beer bottle. But he’s going to take long as he can before being an adult has to catch up to him. It’s not helping fucking anything, but it makes Dean forget for a little while how fucked up he’s made everything. So it’s exactly what he wants as soon as they’re off work and he doesn’t care that it’s five in the afternoon on a goddamn Sunday, he’s dragging Benny straight to the fucking bar.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go talk to Sam instead?” Benny asks while Dean pulls the Impala into the parking lot of a shitty little bar with crappy but cheap beer. “Andrea’s not gonna like it if I spend two nights in a row drinking.”

“Then you don’t have to drink.” He drops the keys in Benny’s lap and shoves open the door. “You be the designated driver and take Baby home when I leave with someone tonight.”

That only makes the frown on Benny’s face get deeper and he shoves the keys in his pocket as he gets out of the car. “Is that really something you want to be doing tonight? Seems to me like you’d rather be at home right now.”

Dean ignores him. Benny has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s pretty damn sure he didn’t say anything about anything last night before he passed out. And it’s not like he’s actually planning on going home with anyone, but maybe that’s something he needs to do. It might get Cas out of his system. Maybe the only reason he’s getting so attached to Cas is because they’ve been having so much sex and there’s that bullshit about endorphins crap that could be why he’s fal- no. No. He’s not anything for Cas and the part of his brain that keeps trying to say he is can go fuck itself.

The bar doesn’t really fill up at all the longer the day wears on, but there’s still plenty of guys and girls for Dean to try and hit up. There’s just one problem with that though: Dean can’t make himself get up from the table he and Benny snag in the corner. He downs a few beers and keeps looking around at the prospects, but every time he thinks he’s picked someone, there’s always something about them that remind him of Cas. Either it’s that their clothes are a similar style to what Cas wears, or it’s their hair cut, or the way they hold themselves, or that one girl with the eyes blue enough that Dean could tell their colour from halfway across the bar.

And the thing is… Dean’s not even sure he’d be able to touch another person right now. What if he breaks them too just like he did Cas? What if they end up looking at him the same way Cas did the other night? Even though he closed his eyes while Cas was fucking him, Dean can still picture the way he looked at him. Every time he thinks about it, he can pick out something else about it. There were so many things showing in Cas’s face that night and each of them scares the piss out of him.

At first Dean thought it was only anger. That’s the natural thing, right? Cas was pissed, so of course his glare would be full on angry. But Dean had seen hurt in there too. What happened Friday night was painful for Cas too and Dean was too much of an asshole to put a stop to it. That sex never should have happened. He should have cleared up that confusion he saw in the twist of Cas’s mouth. And he sure as hell isn’t going to be thinking about why he saw longing in there too.

Maybe with another beer is all it’s going to take to get him to completely convince himself that his stupid brain made that part up. Having Cas actually want him – God, there’s no way he can think of that without some stupid ache taking up residence behind his solar plexus. Cas doesn’t want him like that. Whenever Cas gets affectionate with him, it’s only because he’s lonely. That nap they had together the other week where Cas’s fingers were warm between his – that wasn’t anything, right? It was only Cas craving physical contact. Because that’s a thing that people sometimes want – when they just want to be close to someone. Dean definitely knows that’s a thing because he gets it almost constantly. It’s why he sleeps – slept – around so much before.

See, it’s thinking those kind of things that makes Dean want to chase those thoughts away with beer and whiskey and whatever the hell else he can afford. He’s been having tequila shots all on his own because Benny is a shithead and decided to spend the night only drinking Virgin Bloody Marys. It means he’s definitely sober when Dean is almost too drunk to stand and he’s plenty able to carry Dean’s sorry ass to the car. Dean doesn’t even know where the hell they’re going when Benny gets behind the wheel, but the glass of the passenger window is cold and smooth and really nice to rest his head against.

It’s so nice that Dean even closes his eyes with a groan and lets Benny take him wherever the hell he wants to. At this point, he doesn’t fucking care. Rehab, home, Benny’s couch, the edge of the city, who the fuck cares. Cold glass is really nice and Dean is pretty damn happy with keeping his head against it while the Impala rumbles comfortingly around him.

Benny doesn’t say a word until he’s opening the door and Dean damn near tumbles out of the car. He groans and lifts his head to glare at him. “What th’fuck, Be-e-e-e-nny?”

“Use your words properly, Dean.” He sighs and grabs Dean under the arm to haul him out of the Impala onto his feet. “You’re a big boy. C’mon now and walk.”

Dean grumbles and leans heavily on him. He doesn’t want to do anything. He just wants to wobble his way to a bed and sleep away the rest of his life because that’s the easiest thing to do than just keep on hurting people – hurting Cas. Maybe Benny is taking him to a bed. That would be nice. Though he’s not really sure where they’re going to find a bed when he’s wobbling along beside Benny through what looks like a parking garage. Benny’s place doesn’t have a garage does it? No, Dean’s pretty sure that he doesn’t. In fact, this is starting to look a lot like Dean’s apartment building. Especially the elevator.

Shit.

“Not here.” He tries to pull away when Benny leads him off the elevator and down the hall with the stupid ass paisley wallpaper that could only be in Dean’s building. “Benny, not here. He’s here!”

“I know.” Benny leans him up against the wall beside his door and puts his keys in his hand. He starts patting at Dean’s coat until he finds his wallet and takes a few bills from it. “You’re paying for my cab ride to my truck.” After the wallet is back where it belongs, Benny pats him on the shoulder and points at the apartment door. “Go confront your demons, brother.”

Hah. There aren’t any demons inside there. All of Dean’s demons are in his goddamn head. The only thing he has to confront in the apartment is an angry angel with inked wings that Dean keeps dragging down every time he touches him and pretends it doesn’t fucking mean anything. And he doesn’t even know if Cas is actually home. For all he knows, Cas might have moved out by now or he could still be avoiding the apartment just as much as Dean is. He doesn’t want to see that empty bed again, especially at – Jesus, what the hell time is it anyways? Late enough that Cas should be asleep.

But the more he thinks about Cas, the more Dean wants to see him. He’s the only thought pinging around inside Dean’s booze-soaked brain and all that alcohol is telling him that finding Cas right now would be a really good idea. He’d be warm and soft and comfortable as all hell. And Cas always makes him feel better. Just being there, smelling good, and being so – so very Cas. Even if he’s not kissing and touching Dean, he’s still just ridiculously awesome to be around. God, yes, that’s sounding better by the second and that muffled little voice in his brain that sounds like a fucking cricket can shut the hell up about how Cas might still be mad.

It takes a few tries to get the keys in the lock and get the door actually open, but Dean does manage it in the end. The apartment is dark except for the street light coming through the curtains over the balcony door. There’s just enough for him to see by and Dean miraculously manages to not fall on his face while he kicks his shoes off on the shuffle from the door to Cas’s bed. All he can make out is a shadowed lump under the blankets and Dean’s heart leapfrogs straight from his chest to his throat.

Cas’s name is on an endlessly looped chant going through his head and Dean doesn’t think twice about climbing onto the bed. He’s barely swung a leg up and over the long lump of a person before they’re gasping awake – and it’s most definitely Cas. Dean would recognize the shape of his body under him anywhere and there’s no mistaking the way he sounds or smells or him.

A hand flails out, just missing the end of Dean’s nose before it smacks the little light on the tiny bedside table. The small light is blinding and Dean squints through the sting behind his eyes and the wavering world. Yup, definitely Cas right there under him. And he’s not looking even remotely happy. Yeah, Dean wouldn’t be all that happy either to be woken up suddenly by stale booze breath and clumsy hands tugging at his blanket.

Part of Dean knows that this is stupidly wrong of him, but a bigger part of him just really wants to get as close as he physically can right now. He wants to get under those blankets and curl up against Cas’s chest or his back or his side – it doesn’t fucking matter as long as he gets to be under the safety of his blankets with him like the nap they had together the other week before everything got fucked to hell and back again.

Dean.” Cas hisses at him and suddenly there are way too many hands here right now. While Dean is trying to pull the blanket back, Cas is trying to push his hands away and that’s just too many in Dean’s field of vision right now. “Where the hell have you –” His face twists into a frown. “Dean, you’re drunk.”

“No, m’not.” He mumbles, slapping Cas’s hands away. “Yer drunk.” What’s so hard to understand that Dean wants to get under the blanket? Why’s Cas gotta keep stopping him. That’s just rude.

With a frustrated sigh, Cas grabs Dean’s wrists and practically pins them to his chest. Well, that’s one way to hold them still. But his frown is still there and right above it is a full on glare that Dean can’t even look at. “You need to go to your own bed, Dean.”

No, no. That sounds like a terrible idea. He shakes his head and tries pulling his hands free, words slurring stupidly. “Nuh-uh. Mine’s cold n’ empty.”

Cas squeezes his wrists tightly and his voices goes flat in a scary kind of way. “I’m sure you could have brought someone home to warm it for you.”

Something sharp and angry spikes through Dean’s throat and he rips his hands away. “Y’don’t think I tried?” He slaps his palms down on the pillow on either side of Cas’s head and leans over him. “I can’t get you outta m’fuckin’ mind, Cas.”

This time Cas starts shoving at his shoulders. “That’s not my problem, Dean. Get off of me.”

Ducking under his hands, Dean slumps down to bury his face against Cas’s chest. He breathes him in and for the first time in a few days he feels calm. His fingers curl in the pillow and it’s a weird kind of kneeling prayer position but he’s with Cas again and as long as he doesn’t think about how Cas probably hates him right now, then he’s pretty damn happy.

“I fuckin’ miss you.” He mumbles into the shirt and he can feel Cas freeze at the words.

Cas’s hands fall on his shoulders again, but they’re not exactly trying to push him off this time. They’re just resting there, his fingertips digging in slightly. He takes a deep breath, his chest rising beneath Dean’s cheek, before he sighs loudly. “Dean, Sam is sleeping in the next room. He’s going to hear you. Go to your own bed, sleep this off, and we’ll talk in the morning.”

He shakes his head and brings his hand down to tug lightly at the blanket again. “Don’t wanna talk.”

“Why not?”

“Talkin’ changes things. Don’t want things t’change.” Dean abandons the blanket to try and work his hands under Cas so he can hug him proper – but the blanket is in the fucking way.

Cas stops his hands again and guides them to rest against his shoulders instead. “Why do you think things are going to change?”

“Coz’ m’broken.” He sighs and rubs his nose into Cas’s t-shirt. When Cas inhales, like he’s about to say something, Dean cuts him off. “I am. And yer gonna see that too and m’gonna lose you too and I can’t, Cas. I just – I don’t want –” A hand slides into his hair. It doesn’t move, but it rests there like a heavy, comfortable weight. “Don’t make m’lose you too, Cas.”

The hand in his hair tightens slightly and Cas’s voice goes weird. It’s all tight and choked. “I’m not going anywhere, Dean. You know that.”

He shifts his weight slightly because his legs are starting to fall asleep and if he’s going to spread out on the bed, he’d rather it be under the blankets. “Y’were gone yesterday.”

Sighing, Cas rubs his other hand back and forth across Dean’s back. “I had to open the café, remember? Just because we had a fight doesn’t mean that I’m going to leave you.”

“You are.” Dean can’t think of a single reason for Cas to stay. Except maybe for Sam.

“I’m not.”

“Then yer gonna.” He sighs and twists his hands in the blanket. Is it really that hard of a concept for Cas to understand? Eventually he’s going to figure out everything and give up and leave.

The hand Cas has in his hair starts moving in a gentle kind of petting motion. “Why do you think that?”

Dean shrugs and rolls his shoulders up into the hand on his back, pushing his face into his chest harder and muffling his words more. “Coz’ yer gonna see m’not good enough for you n’ m’a whiny fuckin’ baby right now.”

“Let me be the judge of that.” Cas murmurs softly and gently pushes Dean up. He doesn’t look so angry now, but he doesn’t exactly look happy either.  “Now, go to your own bed before you wake Sam up. You’re not exactly whispering right now.”

“Don’t wanna.” That whole desire to be under the damn blanket again suddenly rears its ugly head and Dean grabs the edge of it. He manages to get it down to Cas’s waist before he realizes the problem with this. Shit. Dean’s sitting on the blanket. He’s going to need to get the hell up if he wants to get under it.

But Cas isn’t sharing Dean’s enthusiasm for bed sharing right now. “Dean, stop it.”

He keeps fumbling to grab Dean’s wrists, but Dean keeps swatting them away. “Lemme stay, Cas. I wanna stay.” Right here with him. Tucked against Cas’s heat and skin and smell and everything that makes him well – him. Dean wants to remember what it was like being happy and he’s never happier than when he’s around Cas. Unless he’s kissing him. Wow, now he really wants to kiss Cas and it’s a terrible idea but it’s sounding better and better the more he thinks it.

“I said no, De–”

As soon as Dean leans down to kiss him – because kissing Cas always makes him feel better – Cas cuts off. He twists his face out the way and right away it bares his whole throat. That’s a temptation too rich for Dean to resist and he latches onto Cas’s pulse with drunk, singleminded precision and sucks. Cas makes a sharp, unhappy sound and his whole body jerks under him. Dean wants to leave a mark where everyone can see it. He’s wanted to do it a hundred times over, but their stupid fucking rule stood in the way of it. Since their whole arrangement is probably swirling down the shitter right now, then why the hell not do it?

Cas starts shoving at Dean’s shoulders even harder right around the same time that arms spring out of fucking nowhere and wrap around Dean’s waist. The next thing he knows, he’s practically flying through the air and Cas isn’t in reach anymore. Suddenly there’s a floor under his feet and a doorway in front of him and someone – sounds like Cas, so it’s probably Cas – is shouting his name and Sam’s. Why is Cas calling for Sam? That’s not – oh.

Dean trips over his own feet while he’s half-carried and half-shoved into his bedroom by Sam. He stumbles through the door and just barely catches himself against the wall of the closet before he’s turning around to throw a glare and a few choice, slurred swears at him. But by then the door is already closed and all the fight drains out of him. It only takes a minute of staring at the wood grain of the door before Dean realizes that he just royally fucked up again.

Fucking great. Now Sam definitely knows that there’s something going on between them and this – this is fucking too much. Even though it’s Cas-less, his bed is looking mighty inviting and Dean is ready to give up on the world. He trudges across the room and full body flops across the blankets. There’s no point in getting undressed and there’s no point in doing anything anymore.

Hell, he can’t even hear the voices in the other room now over the pounding taking up residence in his skull. Good. Dean doesn’t want to hear how Cas is going to try and explain this away to Sam – unless he’s just going to outright tell him the whole fucking story. Just clearing the air so Sam will understand when Cas announces he’s moving the fuck out and cutting all ties to the Winchesters.

The longer he thinks about that, the worse the pounding in his head gets. But before Dean knows it, the pounding is gone and it’s his goddamn phone ringing in his pocket that’s making his head hurt now. Pretty much everything is pain and Dean doesn’t even want to move the minimum amount he needs for fishing his phone out of his jacket. Why the fuck is he wearing his jacket in bed? Oh. Shit. Right, okay. Last night really happened and it’s not some kind of horrific dream Dean was really hoping wasn’t real.

Going back to sleep seems like the best thing to do right now and Dean turns his phone off. He’s more than happy to lose it in the blankets as he buries his face in the pillows again and does his damnedest to not think at all about the foggy memories trying to surface. If he falls asleep quick enough, he might be spared thinking about his colossal fuck up and all the consequences that come with it. And the worst part is, those memories skirting along the edges of his barely-awake mind are telling him that it’s something to do with Cas but they’re not giving him any goddamn details.

He doesn’t know how long it is between turning the phone off and when Sam kicks the goddamn door in (that’s the only answer for why it’s so fucking loud) but it’s way too short for Dean’s liking. “Dean!” Oh God, and now he’s shouting. “Bobby called me. He said you were supposed to start work an hour ago!”

Dean doesn’t lift his head from the pillow and he hunches his shoulders. Maybe if he ignores him, Sam will take the rest of the world and go the fuck away. Of course, Sam rarely ever does what Dean hopes he will and he grabs Dean’s shoulder, shaking it hard. “Dean, would you answer your fucking phone?”

How fucking hard is it to understand that Dean wants to be left alone? Who gives a flying fuck that he’s not going to work? He fucked up. A lot. About things he’s only able to vaguely remember but he knows it’s enough to make him not want to ever leave his goddamn bedroom again. But Sam keeps shaking his shoulder and movement isn’t making his stomach feel any better. And it’s just building up on just how fucking angry he is with himself.

Fine. Sam wants him to answer the phone? Then he’ll answer the fucking phone. Dean gropes across the blankets until he finds it. He sits up and turns, pulling his arm back to throw the goddamn thing across the room. Sam makes some kind of stupid surprised noise, like this actually catches him by surprise, and he grabs Dean’s wrist to stop him. He plucks the phone out of his hand, but in the end, it doesn’t matter worth shit because all that sudden moving is making his stomach revolt.

Sam stumbles out of the way as Dean flings himself up and out of the bed. Dean makes a break for the bathroom and he skids to his knees in front of the toilet, getting the seat up and out of the way just in time for yesterday’s binge drinking and shitty bar food to make a reappearance.

It’s a gross few minutes for him to work through it all before his stomach finally settles again. He’s still shaking when he slumps back against the side of the tub and rubs his sleeve over his mouth. Well, now he has a plausible excuse to not be going to work today. If he was just hungover, Bobby would still make him work – like he did on Sunday. The only time Bobby lets him off the hook is when he’s throwing up. Fuck. This was not how he wanted to start his Monday. But his weekend has just be rife with really bad decisions so he pretty much fucking deserves this.

Dean sits against the tub with his knees drawn up and his head between them. It’s the closest thing to a fetal position he’s willing to give himself right now. He sure as hell isn’t expecting something hard to tap the top of his head, and he’s definitely not expecting to look up and find Cas crouched in front of him with a glass of water in one hand and a few pills in the other.

“These will make you feel better.” His voice is just as flat as the expression on his face. In Cas speak, it means he’s above and beyond being pissed. He’s reached the next plateau of calm anger and that’s fifty billion times scarier than anything else.

There’s a thank you sitting on his tongue, but it dies when Dean notices the hickey sticking out like a sore thumb on Cas’s throat. It’s the worst kind of trigger for the blurry memories of everything that happened last night. Dean was only a few beers from blackout drunk but he remembers. God, he climbed onto Cas’s bed and practically violated him and – oh fuck.

“Cas, I’m –” Cas cuts him off with a shake of his head and puts the pills in his hand and the glass on the floor. A lump lodges itself in Dean’s throat and blocks off the rest of his apology when Cas stands up and walks out of the bathroom without another word.

Son of a bitch, he fucked up so bad.

*

Dean spends half the day sleeping. Whatever Cas gave him made him tired as hell and after washing his mouth out and changing into something more comfortable, Dean just crashed. When he wakes up at – God, what time is it even? He squints at his alarm and groans at the hour. Late afternoon. Dean literally slept all fucking day. Oh Jesus. And now he’s waking up to – is that burning cheese? What the hell?

He trudges out of his bedroom and straight into the kitchen because finding out why things are burning is way more important than anything else. It’s literally no surprise when he finds Cas standing at the stove. On a plate next to him on the counter there’s the charred remains of what may or may not be a grilled cheese sandwich. When Dean shuffles over next to him, Cas doesn’t even acknowledge that he’s there. He just keeps frowning down at the pan and the other sandwich currently one step down from being baptized by fire.

Cas flips the sandwich and groans at the black underside. He huffs loudly and pulls the reject plate closer. Clearly he’s going to throw this one out too and judging by the fixings on the counter, he’s going to try again until he gets it right. But he’s going to need a helping hand and Dean reaches past him to turn the heat down on the element. While Cas switches out the burned sandwich for a new one, Dean digs around in a drawer for the egg timer. He sets that and puts it off to the side. At least Cas actually glances at it, but he’s still not acknowledging that Dean is standing next to him.

The worst part about it isn’t being ignored. It’s that Dean can quite clearly see the hickey he left on Cas’s neck. His stomach turns again and Dean briefly contemplates visiting the bathroom on his knees again. Normally he’d be ridiculously happy to see Cas walking around with a mark that he put on him. But that one was put there when it wasn’t wanted and Cas was telling him no and wow, Dean really hates himself for it a whole hell of a lot.

When the timer goes off, Cas flips the sandwich to reveal a nice golden brown side. He sets the timer again and uses a spoon sitting on the counter to stir a pot of soup on another burner. Soup is one of the very few things he can usually make without any problems. Dean waits until all the burners are off and Cas isn’t handling any food before he steps up behind him and drops his forehead against the back of his neck, sighing softly.

Really, he probably shouldn’t be touching Cas right now after what happened last night, but he’s craving the comfort Cas used to give him. If it requires an apology and an explanation to get that comfort again, then he’s going to do it. And if he stands behind him like this, he doesn’t have to see Cas’s reaction to anything. But he does feel Cas go stiff in front of him, shoulders tense and unmoving.

After a minute, Cas sighs. “What is it, Dean?”

He doesn’t even know if Sam is here and Dean doesn’t care. Sam saw him sucking at Cas’s throat last night like a goddamn vampire so he can damn well see him carefully slide his arms around Cas’s waist in a loose please-for-the-love-of-God-forgive-my-stupid-ass hug. Dean does it slowly, to make sure that Cas isn’t going to push him away – or turn around and punch him in his dumb face. But Cas doesn’t move. He’s standing stock still and he’s just waiting.

Dean shouldn’t make him wait too long. “I’m sorry.”

Cas’s shoulders slump slightly and he huffs a loud sigh. “We’re not going to talk about it, Dean.” He steps to the side, breaking out of the hug to dump the failed attempts of sandwiches and gets some bowls out of the cupboard. “Last night you said you didn’t want to talk about what happened on Friday. You don’t want things to change, so it won’t.”

That… kind of leaves Dean at a loss. He shuffles out of the way when Cas takes the dishes to the table – setting out a separate bowl for Dean. “Here. This should be light enough for your stomach to handle.”

“Thanks, Cas.” Dean slumps onto the chair and stares at the soup for a few minutes before he realizes that there’s no third setting and he glances at Cas. “What about Sam?”

“He’s at work.”

Oh, good. That makes having the following conversation a hell of a lot easier for him. “You want to talk, don’t you?”

“What is there to talk about?” Cas shrugs stiffly and takes a bite of his sandwich. “You don’t want things to change and talking is going to make those changes happen, right?”

He nods slowly. “It usually does.”

“Then we’re not going to talk about it.”

It sounds so simple, but even Dean knows that nothing good is going to come from not saying anything about what happened. Worst of all, Cas still isn’t looking at him. He looks angry and not talking about it isn’t going to clear anything up. As much as Dean doesn’t want anything to change, things are going to change no matter if they talk about it or not now. If Cas stays angry with him, they won’t even be able to go back to being friends if they dissolve their arrangement.

“Eat something.” Cas gestures at the bowl of soup.

Dean picks up his spoon, but he looks up at Cas instead of eating. “Do you forgive me?”

Now Cas looks at him, curious and calculating. “Forgive you for what?”

That’s the kind of look that means there’s only one right answer and Dean better be really fucking careful about what he says. He stares down at his soup to think about his answer before he looks over at Cas again. “For being a massive fucking idiot last night and on Friday night. I shou–”

“I forgive you for that.” Cas cuts him off and puts down his spoon. His emotionless mask cracks a little and he actually starts looking a little upset. “And I should apologize too. What we did Friday night was – It was a terrible moment for us to have sex and I shouldn’t have just left you there afterward. I didn’t even check if you were okay and –”

“No, it’s – Don’t worry about that, Cas. I kind of provoked you into it and and I was an asshole when I shouldn’t have been because –”

Cas holds up his hand to cut him off. “This is talking about things, Dean. We’ve both apologized and forgiven each other. Now we can move on from this. Agreed?”

Yeah, but it doesn’t feel like things are resolved. But Dean wants it to be better. He wants them to put this all aside so they can go back to being friends. Despite his better judgement, Dean nods and starts eating his soup for a lack of anything else to do. There’s an elephant standing in the middle of the room while they eat in silence and it’s only going to be a matter of time before they absolutely have to address it – or lose their friendship completely.

Chapter Text

Dean’s next shift at the garage is the following Wednesday and he’s sure as hell not looking forward to it when he crawls out of bed that day. Somehow he managed to luck out big time yesterday and Monday evening, and Sam never said a word to him. He’d kind of been expecting some kind of massive backlash about what happened Sunday night, but Sam’s silence has so far been the best thing that’s happened to Dean all week. Though he’d probably prefer Sam’s lecture to what he’s going to have to face at the garage for ditching work on Monday.

Saying that doesn’t mean he’s going to actively seek out Sam to listen to a bitch fit for the history books, so Dean still walks on eggshells when he comes out of his bedroom – just in case Sam is still around. The first person he sees is Cas. He’s sitting at the kitchen table, reading a book that he has propped up on the other side of his bowl of cheerios. Cas glances up with the spoon in his mouth when Dean peeks around the break in the wall to double check that his sasquatch of a little brother isn’t hiding anywhere.

Things have been beyond strained between him and Cas since they didn’t-really-talk the other day. Hell, they barely even looked at each other yesterday – not that Dean really wanted to leave his room at all. It was probably the shittiest day off in history, but he managed to escape any outright what-is-wrong-with-you’s from Sam, so – that’s gotta be a bonus, right?

“You’re safe.” Cas mumbles after he looks back at his book and flips a page. “He went to spend some time with Jess before he has to go to work.”

“Oh, thanks.” That’s a relief. Dean relaxes slightly and slinks into the kitchen, heading straight for the coffee pot. Now it’s time to make the effort to mend some hopefully-not-completely-burned bridges with Cas. “Are you going to take the bus today? I could – uh – I could drive you if you want.”

While he chews the latest spoonful of cereal, Cas either actually contemplates it or he’s too busy reading his book to say anything right away. In either case, Dean’s coffee is completely ready before Cas gives him an answer. “A ride would be appreciated, thank you.”

But as great as it is to go driving with Cas again, the drive to the café is nothing but awkward. For one thing – it’s the warm beginnings of summer and Cas is wearing a fucking turtleneck to work. Anyone who knows anything about anything is going to pick up on what he’s hiding the moment they see him. Dean thinks about saying something about it, but it’s way too late for that and another apology would mean fucking nothing at this point. All it would do is confirm that he’s still really sorry about the shit he pulled Sunday night and Cas doesn’t need words to know that he is.

Being reminded of what he did to Cas kind of sours the rest of his drive and the day definitely doesn’t get any better when he walks in the front door of the garage and Jo gives him a Cheshire grin. It’s never a good thing when she’s smiling like that. Especially when she somehow manages to look at you like you’re a dead man walking and you have every scrap of pity she’s able to pull together. If Dean had any sense of self preservation, he’d turn on his heel and walk out. But he needs this job and even an honorary member of the family like Bobby won’t put up with his crap a second time in the same week.

“What the heck did you do to get in so much shit?” Jo asks, jerking a thumb over her shoulder toward Bobby’s office in the back of the garage. “Even Benny’s pissed at you. He spent half of Monday in there with Bobby, and I was told to send you in as soon as you showed your ugly mug. The big man wants to see you and I doubt it’s for anything good.”

Dean winces and rubs at the back of his neck. “I fucked up big time.”

He can’t even bring himself to be mad at Benny for selling him out about drinking himself stupid over the weekend. Bobby was probably so pissed off about him ditching work on Monday that Benny had to tell him why he wasn’t there to save everyone’s collective asses. Bobby usually has a rule about drinking on a work night and its keyword is moderation. Dean fucked that rule up something like three times in a row and slacked his ass off on Sunday with his hangover.

A lecture from Bobby is more than deserved after all the shit Dean pulled this weekend and he trudges off to his office without another explanation to Jo. There are enough people in his life who know what he did and it’s shameful enough without anyone else knowing too. Jo might never leave him alone about it, but that’s a small price to pay for not having her think the worst of him (no matter how much he deserves that too).

All in all, Dean really isn’t expecting to see Sam sitting in one of the chairs in front of Bobby’s desk when he walks through the office door. His backpack is on the floor next to him and Bobby is leaning his hip against the edge of the desk, his arms crossed over his chest. He looks like he’s two seconds away from punching Dean in the nose – and he wouldn’t try to stop him if he did. But if Bobby is going to chew him out for being the worst employee ever, Dean would really like it to not be in front of his baby brother who may or may not hate him now that he’s seen Dean’s morals are shit enough that he’d feel up his best friend while he’s drunk.

Bobby grumbles an about-fucking-time before he pushes away from the desk and brushes past Dean to shut the door. “Sit your ass down, idjit.”

Dean doesn’t move, eyes locked on Sam. “What are you doing here?”

“I said sit.” A hand shoves at his shoulder and he stumbles forward to all but completely fold down into the chair opposite from Sam.

Instead of sitting back behind his desk and playing the big bossman, Bobby drags a third chair away from the wall and completes the final corner of the triangle. Dean slumps and crosses his arms, frowning at the both of them. This kind of feels like they’re ganging up on him and Dean really doesn’t like it. Why would Sam even come to Bobby about this? Did he tell him about the shit that happened with Cas on Sunday night too? God, he hopes not. Bobby will rip him a new one for that.

Sam looks about as comfortable being here as Dean does, but he still clears his throat and leans forward to rest his elbows on his knees. “Do you know why we’re here, Dean?”

“This isn’t a fucking intervention, Sammy.” At least he hopes it’s not. He might have been a bit abusive with the alcohol this weekend but it’s not like he’s an alcoholic. “You’re both just pissed at me about what happened last weekend.”

“It’s more than that and you know it.” His whole face goes dark in a frown that only promises bad things. "You started drinking Friday night and you did it every night that weekend. And you had enough that you apparently had no trouble with assaulting Cas in his bed.”

Now he’s lost the ability to look Sam in the face and Dean looks down at his hands. Yeah, that really wasn’t one of his finer moments and it’s something he’s going to hate himself for pretty much forever about, more or less. He doesn’t even want to chance looking at Bobby and seeing what he thinks about it. Sam’s been disappointed in him plenty of times in their life together – both before and after their parents died. But Dean can’t take seeing how mad Bobby is with him for this.

“I already talked to Cas about it.” Dean mumbles, resisting the urge to twist his hands in the hem of his t-shirt as if he was a scolded schoolboy or something. “I apologized for being a dumbass and he forgave me. End of story.”

“Not by a long shot.” Bobby grunts and raps his knuckles against Dean’s knee. “What the hell was so wrong last week that you had to drink yourself stupid enough to try fucking your best friend?”

Oh God, they’d probably shit their pants if they knew that he and Cas have been fucking for a few months already. But that doesn’t mean that Dean wants to keep being accused of trying to do something as horrible as trying to rape Cas. The thought alone makes bile sting the back of his tongue and if they’re not careful, he might accidentally throw up on Sam’s nice runners that he scrubs clean with a toothbrush he has just for his shoes.

He looks up sharply, and pretty much snaps in his own defense. “I wasn’t trying to fuck him, Bobby! Jesus, I was just trying to get under the covers with him, okay?”

Sam snorts and rolls his eyes. “Yeah, sure. You left a decently sized hickey for it to be only that. I’m the one who dragged you off of him, remember?”

“Yeah, but –” How is he supposed to explain why he was sitting on top of Cas in the first place? Saying anything about that (or why he wanted to kiss him) would only out the thing they have – had – going. Dean isn’t entertaining any thoughts that Cas is actually going to want their arrangement to continue anymore, apologies or not.

Bobby waves his hand to clear that particular topic out of the water. “If Cas forgave him for it, then what happened between those two ain’t any of our business anymore. We got other shit to talk about.” He fixes Dean with a glare that could melt glass. “You were all kinds of off last week and Sam says you were squirrelly as hell on Friday night. What had your panties in a twist, boy?”

Fuck no he is not telling them that he was jealous Cas was on a goddamn date with Meg. “It was nothing, okay? I just – I don’t know.” He shrugs and crosses his arms, going on the defensive again. “Things were fucked up and now they’re not. Can we just drop it now?”

“No, Dean, we can’t.” Sam answers, managing to sound soft and look stern all at the same time. “You’re my brother, and I love you, but sometimes you’re a complete and utter dumbass.

At the same moment Bobby gives his gruff answer. “You’re on probation, Dean.”

His stomach lurches like someone pulled the chair out from under him and Dean almost jumps to his feet. “What! You can’t –”

“You know my rules, boy.” Bobby shakes his head and stands up to kick his chair back against the wall. “You worked two shifts with a hangover and you missed work on Monday without even calling in sick. If it wasn’t for Sam telling me what happened, I’d have marked you as a no show and I’d be booting your ass out the door.” He turns back to him with a scowl on his face. “Don’t forget that you nearly sexually assaulted your roommate. So you’re damn lucky that you’re only on fucking probation right now, y’hear me?”

Dean’s lips press into a thin line and he can feel his nose sting, but he can’t bring himself to say anything. Bobby’s right. He is stupidly lucky – both with this and at home. Cas could be moving out and cutting all ties with him. That’s what he should be doing and for some beautiful reason, he’s not. Dean could always get another job, but there’s only one Cas.

“You’re on probation for a month.” Bobby sighs and pushes his hat up his forehead a little to give Dean the full brunt of his glare. “And so help me God, if I hear about you drinking like that again, I will fire your ass. Got it?”

When Dean still doesn’t say anything, Bobby sighs and takes his hat off to rub a hand over his face. “I’m not doing this because I want to, Dean. I’m just trying to get it through your thick head that whatever troubles you’ve got, alcohol ain’t the answer. I’ve been there, I know. I saw it with your fool father too and it was no picnic there either. Your mom got him off that shit, but we can’t wait for you to find your own Mary to help you too, understand?”

What if Dean already did but he’s too much of a chicken shit to say anything about it? Either way, Dean’s pretty fucking sure that he’s not going to be touching anything alcoholic for a long ass time. He’s not taking any chances where Cas is concerned. What happened Sunday is going to haunt him for the rest of his life, whether he’s been forgiven or not.

The moment is broken by the alarm on Sam’s phone going on a pinging craze in his pocket. Sam turns it off and gives Dean a wide eyed, pleading look. “We’re doing this because we love you, Dean.” He stands up and stoops to pick up his bag. “I need to leave for work now, but – please? You – you scared the shit out of me the other night and… I think you scared Cas too.”

A sour burn stings the back of his throat again and Dean shakes his head. “It’s – Trust me, Sam. That’s never going to happen again.” It’s bad enough with what he did to Cas, but hearing that he scared Sam? If he wasn’t already sick to his stomach, he would be from that alone. He reaches out to catch Sam’s wrist as he walks past. “And I’m sorry. I didn’t want to –”

“I know.” Sam smiles down at him, looking happier than Dean’s seen him be all week. “Thank you. I’ll see you at home tonight?”

Dean nods and he’s about to get up too, but the look from Bobby has him keeping his ass parked in the chair. Sam slips out the door with one last look at Bobby and then he’s gone and Dean’s starting to feel a little like when he got in shit with Mom for sneaking a beer to try when he was fourteen.

But Bobby keeps holding the door open while giving Dean the stink-eye and he gestures out into the rest of the garage. “You waiting for an invitation, princess?”

“You’re not going to yell at me more?”

He scratches at his beard and looks at the ceiling, like he’s contemplating whether or not he wants to try giving Dean another tongue lashing. Finally, he shrugs and glances back down at him. “Just one thing. A floppy haired birdy told me that Cas had a date on Friday night.”

Well shit. If Dean wasn’t trying to win Sam back, he’d kill him for telling anyone about that bullshit. Jesus fucking Christ. And apparently just staring at Bobby is not the right answer because he gets this knowing little smile half hidden by his beard. “Jealousy ain’t attractive, Dean. If you want that boy, then grow a set and fucking ask him out – after you beg for his forgiveness.”

Dean slips out of the chair and picks a place on the wall over Bobby’s shoulder to look at instead of directly at him. “It’s not like that.”

“Don’t even try lying to me.” Bobby pats him on the shoulder a few times. “You’ve never been able to pull the wool over my eyes.” His grip goes tight for a moment and he makes sure Dean is looking at him properly. “Don’t hurt him again, Dean.”

He wants to say that he didn’t mean to do it before and he sure as hell doesn’t plan on doing anything more. If he was a better man, he’d back off of Cas completely. Because Dean’s toxic. It’s in his blood and he’s going to have to fix himself before he can even think of letting someone else in. Even if – for some miraculous reason – Cas does want him, as soon as he figures out (if he hasn’t already) that Dean’s just not worth the trouble, he’ll be gone too.

Besides that lovely little sting at the back of his mind, Dean also gets a jab of pain behind his ribs that he shouldn’t really be getting. Bobby has every right to be worried for Cas after what happened Sunday night and Dean really loves the fact that his family, however small that it is, cares enough about Cas to be worried about him. But there’s an itty bitty voice whispering in Dean’s ear that it kind of hurts that Bobby – an uncle for as long as Dean can remember and a pseudo-father since his parents died – is looking out more for Cas than he is him.

At least he knows that Bobby is sort of worried for him. He wouldn’t be laying down the law about drinking if he didn’t care. But that care isn’t really something Dean thinks he deserves right now. He fucked up and no one should be giving him a warm smile and another pat on the shoulder.

“You’re working desk this week.” Bobby shoves him through the door with a helping hand. “Go and send Jo back into the garage to put on a jumpsuit. She’s taking over your duties while you sit in the dog house and think about what you’ve done.”

Like there’s any chance that Dean is ever going to forget this massive clusterfuck.

*

Today’s date catches Dean’s eye while he’s grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. The sound of the movie in the living room fades away and he forgets all about his spot in the space in the middle of the couch between Cas and Sam. It’s all warm and waiting for him to return, but that thought is a million miles away because the calendar just threw tomorrow’s date at him like a goddamn javelin to the brain. Dean kind of just stands there staring at it, caught on his way back to the couch with a plastic bottle already starting to sweat in his hand.

No wonder everything has been sucking the big one lately. First he and Cas had that fight almost two weeks ago and he had a horrible weekend following it. Then he got in shit with Bobby for being a pissbaby all weekend and skipping out on a day of work because he drank enough to make himself sick. He’s been in Bobby’s doghouse since then and doing his best to get out of it, but there’s only so much he can do. Even Benny hasn’t been all too happy with him and Sam has been doing what he probably thinks is the right thing to do – but really it’s only making Dean feel worse.

While he’s been playing that everything is fine between them, Sam has been doing his damnedest to make sure that Dean and Cas are alone together as little as possible. Maybe he’s doing it for Cas’s benefit, maybe he thinks he’s doing it for Dean’s, or maybe he’s just doing it for his own peace of mind. Either way, it’s making Dean feel like Sam doesn’t think trust him to be around Cas anymore. Which is bullshit because Cas hasn’t brought up that incident even once and he’s been the most normal out of everyone. You would almost think that everything is completely okay just from looking at him.

But things aren’t okay and that’s why the last few weeks have been shit. Tomorrow is going to be the worst day of them all and Dean can’t stop staring at the calendar. The red July 18th on the Friday is mocking him and it feels like his whole chest is being crumpled up like a piece of paper. After a while, he pulls his phone from his pocket and texts Bobby. He doesn’t have a shift for tomorrow, but it just feels like it would be a good idea to text his boss and let him know that he’s not going to be able to cover anyone’s shifts.

He gets an answer from Bobby just as his dropping back into his spot in the middle of the couch. It’s just a simple little ‘no shit’, but it gets across that even Bobby remembered what tomorrow is. And now that the date’s been brought to his attention, it’s all Dean can think about right now – and that’s why he stopped and swapped out his water for the one bottle of beer left in the fridge. He doesn’t particularly need to drink, but he wants what little buzz he  gets from a single beer to at least try and hold back that rising tide of sadness.

Sam and Cas both glance at him when he cracks the cap off the bottle, but it’s with two entirely different looks. With Sam, he almost looks envious that he didn’t think to grab it before Dean did. Tomorrow is going to hit him just as hard. But at least there’s only one beer in the apartment, so he won’t really be able to complain that Dean is going to be drinking to excess again. On his other side, the look Cas gives is narrow eyed and downright suspicious.

“Just this one.” Dean mumbles before taking a long draw from the bottle. “I need it tonight.”

The suspicion gives way to some kind of concern, but Cas doesn’t say anything out loud. If he’s got issues with it, he’ll say something to Dean after Sam’s gone to bed. After all, Cas is well aware about the heavy drinking ban sitting on his shoulder. It’s all thanks to Sam and his big mouth. He went and told Cas about the meeting with Bobby and how they’re supposed to make sure that Dean doesn’t drink like that again. Cas even had a nice talk with Dean about it afterwards, making sure to let him know all about how he feels about his drinking.

It went along the lines of Cas not minding the few times Dean’s been tipsy around him because he’s – quote unquote – hilarious when he’s like that. But Cas gets extremely uncomfortable whenever Dean manages to drink himself stupid. There haven’t been many of those times since Cas came to live with them, but it’s happened more than Cas cares for. It’s not because he’s worried about himself. Actually, it’s Dean he’s worried about – which is all the reason that Dean needs for never doing it again. Especially because if he keeps wanting Cas and being too big of a chicken shit dumbass to say anything, who knows what the hell will happen if he gets drunk again. Either way Dean is even more scared of hurting Cas again.

With tomorrow kicking around in his head and everything else that’s pretty much burned into his head forever now – well, it basically leaves him with zero chance of being able to focus on the movie at all. He ends up downing his beer in record time, regardless of the confused squints from Cas. Really though, Dean can’t understand how he could have possibly forgotten what time of year it was. The middle of July is hard as hell to miss and tomorrow could have completely blindsided him if he hadn’t looked at the calendar today.

He probably didn’t notice the date because he’s been so preoccupied with pretty much everything about Cas and all this awkwardness that’s still lingering between them. It’s been almost two weeks since their fight and their not-quite-a-resolution. They haven’t mentioned it since then, and that isn’t actually making anything better. If anything, things have just been getting more and more stagnant between them – to the point that in two weeks they’ve barely talked to one another and they definitely haven’t had sex.

All they do is pussyfoot around each other. Maybe once every few days they’ll have a lingering touch here or there, but that’s about it. Dean can’t even bring himself to try and see if Cas is still interested in doing anything remotely sexual anymore. He’s too fucking scared that he’ll reach out to touch Cas and actually be able to see him recoil. It doesn’t matter if Cas forgave him. Dean hasn’t forgiven himself and he’s not sure he’s ever going to be able to.

Everything between him and Cas has his mind completely hooked. All he’s been able to focus on is how shitty things have been between them and about how the apology and not talking about things just isn’t fixing anything. At this point, they’re going to have to talk about it and that’s something that Dean’s been shying away from just as much as everything else. And he’s hating it a hell of a lot because goddamn he misses being able to do crawl into Cas’s bed when Sam’s out and just lay against him while Cas reads or doing some weird meditation kung-fu thing or whatever else Cas does when he’s just lying in bed not doing much of anything.

Lately it’s been reading. Cas went and got a bunch of books about photography from the library because he’s been wanting to brush up on terms and techniques and things Dean can’t even wrap his head around. Apparently the nerd doesn’t want to head into his courses only knowing what he’s figured out for himself. Plus, he doesn’t actually even have a camera right now. All he’s got is his phone and he’s going to need one for class if he doesn’t want to keep borrowing whatever equipment the school might have.

Since he doesn’t have to pay for any rent or other bills right now, Cas is saving up as much as he can while setting aside enough to get a camera before school starts at the end of August. It looks like he’s completely forgotten that his birthday is a few weeks before classes begin. But that’s okay. Dean’s got him covered. In an effort to try and make things a little better between him and Cas, he had gone into the café when Cas wasn’t working to have a little chat with his big brother.

When he told Gabriel about how Cas needs (and wants) a camera, it marked the first and only time in history that Gabe has actually hugged him. As it turns out, he had no clue what to get Cas for his birthday and now he’s ridiculously happy. On the upside, he’s also going to buy all the stupidly expensive camera equipment. But the conditions were that, where Cas is concerned, Dean has to “keep him happy” because as soon as classes start, Mr. Collins is going to crack down stupidly hard on him for ditching out of the med program.

And that is, yet again, just another reason why Dean needs to do something to get all this hit between them cleared up. Cas doesn’t need to be dealing with all of this when he’s starting a bunch of new classes in a totally different direction than the one he was taking last year. That’s not even taking into account his birthday. They can’t really celebrate that properly if he and Dean are still weird around each other. Not to mention that they could have some ridiculously awesome birthday sex if they were able to actually look at each other.

Sex is always a good motivation for him, but right now Dean cares more about fixing everything else that’s wrong between them. And he’s got roughly a month to go for that.

Jesus Christ, there he goes again. It never fails. Thinking about anything having to do with Cas always manages to distract Dean from everything else. It’s not even funny how he’s almost completely forgotten about tomorrow again. And now he’s come full circle with his thoughts and his chest starts aching even worse, though the pain he’s feeling for tomorrow is entirely different than the steady sore that he’s had throbbing away behind his ribs since the fight.

When he spares a glance at Sam, just to see how he’s doing since tomorrow is going to affect him just as much as it does him, Dean can see he’s not paying attention to the movie either. There’s a far away look in Sam’s eyes and he’s just staring blankly at the screen. If you take out the bits about Cas, then Sam is probably thinking all the same things.

So, it’s really no surprise that when the movie ends, Sam excuses himself and heads to bed early. It’s barely even nine o’clock, and that’s stupidly early for any of them. But it leaves Dean and Cas alone on the couch in silence.

After a few minutes of staring at the DVD menu, Cas shifts in his spot and glances at Dean. “Would you like to watch another movie?”

He shakes his head and glances down at the empty bottle still in his hand. “Actually, I think I’m going to go to bed too.” Shrugging, he look over at Cas. “Sorry. You can keep watching. The sound won’t bother us.”

Cas nods, but his shoulders slump enough that Dean thinks he might actually be disappointed. Maybe Cas wants this shit between them to be cleared up just as much as he does. God, Dean wants to wipe the almost defeated look from Cas’s face. He puts his hand on Cas’s knee and gives it as squeeze. In that brief moment, something that looks a lot like hope flickers over Cas’s face, but it’s gone as soon as Dean uses the grip to lift himself to his feet.

It tugs at Dean’s heart enough that he can’t even stop himself from leaning down to press a kiss to Cas’s forehead, muffling his already mumbled goodnight. He shuffles off to his room alone. Maybe, after tomorrow, he’ll be feeling up to talking this crap out with Cas. Right now, he should probably be alone just so he can eady himself for tomorrow. He’s going into this sober for the first time and that’s going to take a lot of mental and emotional preparation. The whole day is going to be the shit-cherry on top of the shit-cake.

He’s not even in bed yet when he hears the springs of Cas’s bed creak on the other side of his bedroom wall. Looks like he’s turning in too and it’s going to be a hell of a quiet night in the Winchester-Collins’ apartment. But just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean that Dean’s actually going to be getting any sleep. He’s sure as hell going to try, but he really doubts that it’s going to happen.

*

His ceiling is pristine. It always has been since they moved into the apartment. Not a crack, dent, scratch, or a hole. Of course there’s the lines in the cement tiles or whatever the hell his ceiling is made out of, but other than that there’s nothing. But after staring at it for half the night, Dean’s picked out half a dozen constellations in the subtle shifts of light through his curtains. It’s stupid, but it keeps him at least slightly entertained while he doesn’t fucking sleep.

Maybe forever passes before Dean rolls onto his side to finally take a look at the alarm clock. One AM. Really? Goddammit. He was kind of hoping that it would be closer to morning. Or that the day would have completely passed him by, or something equal to that because July eighteenth is the worst day of the goddamn year. Of course he can’t be granted that one exception. It’s still only an hour after midnight and he’s exhausted his ability to distract himself with what he sees in the dark.

Which means he’s left with nothing but thinking either about what this day means to him and Sam, or go back to thinking about Cas – as per usual. That’s, like, his default thought pattern now. Maybe he should use this sleepless night to plot out all the things they’re going to have to talk about eventually. That sounds like a good plan, but ten minutes later Dean’s sitting up and slipping out from under the covers. There’s a great big empty hole in his chest now and it’s a space that doesn’t want to be alone.

Literally no part of Dean is even remotely craving sex right now. He feels way too shitty to even think about having sex tonight. But he is craving the comfort of another person beside him. More than that, he wants Cas with him and not even in any kind of sexual way either. That little voice in the back of his head keeps claiming that he wants Cas here because he’s in love with him. Which is stupid because, even if he was actually capable of it, then the world has fucking lied to him because being in love hurts way too fucking much and it sucks.

And because all of that sucks so very, very badly, Dean is more than happy with putting it out of his head. He’d rather focus on getting Cas and getting some goddamn sleep because that doesn’t sound half bad. In fact, it sounds like the best damn idea he’s had all fucking day. The only thing that will stop him now is if Cas tells him to fuck off again. That Sunday night is one that Dean regrets beyond anything else in his life and he has to make himself stop thinking about it before he loses the nerve to leave his room.

The door doesn’t creak when he opens it, thank God. Dean can hear Sam snoring from his bedroom and that means he’s in the clear with this. So as long as they’re quiet and sneaky about it, he should be able to get Cas back to his bed without waking the slumbering giant. Cas isn’t snoring, but he is on his stomach and he’s drooling into the pillow, mouth open and slack. It’s kind of really endearing and Dean almost doesn’t want to wake him. But the pinching, clawing feeling in his chest isn’t satisfied with that.

He starts with shaking Cas’s shoulder. As soon as he’s jerked awake with a snort, Dean puts a finger to his lips and hisses a whisper at him. “Keep your voice down. Sam’s still sleeping.”

Cas sits up and rubs his knuckles into his eyes, muffing a yawning under one hand. “What time is it?” Well, at least he’s whispering.

“Really fucking early.” He shrugs and unplugs Cas’s phone from the cord on his bedside table. “Or really fucking late. Depends on your point of view. Now hurry up and make your bed.”

“What?” Even half asleep, Cas still manages to sound equal parts confused and pissed off. But that’s generally what happens to pretty much anyone who gets woken up without a good reason. “Why?”

Dean takes Cas’s phone with him to the front closet and pulls out the stupid trench coat that he wears no matter what season it is. When he turns back with Cas’s shoes in his hands too, Cas is at least on his feet now and frowning at him in the dark. He dumps everything on the chair at his desk in his bedroom (being as quiet as physically possible) before he goes back to Cas’s bed to help him make up the blankets so it looks as pristine as it usually does in the morning.

“What are you doing?”

“Just – would you make your bed, please?” He gestures at the messy blanket and grabs the ends to try and straighten it out. “Make it look like you’ve left the house, okay?”

After a moment, Cas crosses his arms and squares his shoulders. “No. I’m not doing anything until you explain what’s going on, Dean.” It’s a small blessing that he’s still whispering.

If he could, Dean would bang his head against the wall right now. He’s trying to fix things with Cas, not fuck them up worse. Waking him up in the middle of the night and telling him to do shit without any explanation is not fixing things in the slightest. Especially when it’s pretty damn obvious that he’s trying to get Cas into his bedroom and after what happened the last time they were in there together – it’s not really any surprise that he’s refusing now.

Dean rubs both hands over his face and through his hair before he looks back at Cas. “Sorry, sorry. I – I just – I –” He shouldn’t be tripping over his goddamn words right now. “I need you right now, okay? Just – please?” It sounds too forced – choked and tight and why can’t he just be normal with Cas again.

Even in the dark Dean can see the suspicious squint, but Cas’s arms drop to his sides and he doesn’t look so much like he’s carved out of stone. Now he just looks tired and kind of defeated. “I’m not in the mood for –”

“Not like that, Cas. I said I need you, not sex. Can we – we can finish talking in my room, okay?”

“If we’re just going to be talking, then why do I need to make my bed? Why did you take my things into your room?”

“My bedroom is used for other things besides sex, y’know?” Dean gestures at the wall they share. “I just – I’ll explain more after, okay?” He’s getting increasingly paranoid that Sam is going to hear them the longer they stand around whispering at each other.

Cas tilts his head and his squint is more confused than anything at the moment. After a minute, he sighs and leans over his bed to tug everything into place. When he’s done, he follows Dean into his bedroom all tousled hair and sleepy frowns. He’s still not awake enough for this and Dean hopes Cas isn’t going to feel like he’s taking advantage of him again or anything. He’s going to ask him to stay the night properly and Cas can definitely say ‘no’. He’s going to have all the choices he wants.

His arms are up and crossed again when Dean turns to him after shutting the door. “What’s going on, Dean? Why are you –” Cas stops as Dean slumps against the wall and knuckles at his eyes. A hand touches his elbow lightly. “Dean, what’s wrong?”

Looking up, Dean gets one look at the concern written all over his face before he’s moving on automatic and he pulls Cas into a tight hug with his arms wrapped tight around his shoulders. He buries his face against the side of Cas’s neck and takes a deep, shuddering breath. It feels like he’s going to cry and he doesn’t want to do that – doesn’t want to be that weak. After a moment, Cas’s arms circle his waist and he can feel him grab handfuls of his shirt. He’s all firm warmth up and down Dean’s front and it is beyond comforting.

“Are you – Dean, are you okay?”

No, he’s not. And he hasn’t been for a hell of a lot longer than he used to think. Dean just shakes his head and squeezes a little tighter, mumbling into the collar of Cas’s shirt. “Would you – could you stay? Tonight? Please?”

Cas nods and one of his hands drifts up the back of Dean’s neck, pushing into his hair. It’s all he does for a few minutes, petting Dean like he would a cat or something before he finally says the question he’s probably burning to ask. “Do you want to talk about what’s wrong?”

“I just want to sleep.” Dean lets him guide his head back and he’s a little surprised that Cas actually rests their foreheads together. This should Dean when he says something, but he doesn’t want to get into that kind of conversation right now. “I – We can talk tomorrow, okay? I’ll tell you everything. Promise.” And he means it.

“Whatever you need, Dean.” Cas whispers back, watching him from close enough that Dean kind of has a hard time meeting his eyes. But he can definitely see Cas’s small smile and hear his gentle murmur. “I’m here.”

Two words and Dean’s chest feels like it’s swelling up with sunshine. He feels like shit about tomorrow – or today, technically – but he’s almost certain that if he opened his mouth right now, sunlight would come spilling out of it. So, Dean does the next best thing and smiles right back. He mumbles a thank you and squeezes Cas a little tighter before he locks the door to keep Sam out in the morning and leads the way to the bed.

God, but it feels so right to have Cas slide in next to him under the covers. The whole feel of his bed completely changes as Cas stretches out with a yawn. He settles on his back and mumbles incomprehensibly when Dean carefully curls up against his side, testing the waters. Cas makes room for him without complaint, lifting his arm and putting it around Dean’s shoulder once he’s settled too. Their legs tangle as best as they can like this, one of his over and between both of Cas’s.

He wiggles as close as he thinks he’ll be allowed and ends up with his nose tucked under the crook of Cas’s jaw. It’s so warm and comfortable, and Cas smells so good – like he’s fresh from the shower. Dean knows that Cas must be confused as hell about what’s actually going on, but he’s still here. Cas doesn’t have to be here and Dean gave him the choice and he stayed. He’s even got his fingers drifting back and forth over Dean’s shoulder.

There’s a hand on the arm Dean has draped across Cas’s chest and a thumb is brushing just below his elbow. It feels ridiculously good and having Cas here with him really shouldn’t be enough to make Dean’s brain go quiet, but it does. There’s blessed silence in his head now; no being upset about tomorrow, no being unhappy about his situation with Cas. It’s just – it’s nothing but peace. And it puts Dean to sleep in moments.

*

Knocking is annoying. Dean hates it. Whoever invented knocking on doors should be drawn and quartered because it is the number one most annoying thing to be woken up by pretty much ever. Especially when it’s waking him up on the worst day of the year and dragging him away from the warm cocoon he and Cas have made out of the blanket. Cas groans and tightens the arm he has around Dean’s waist, mumbling something against the back of his neck about how Winchesters keep waking him up all the time.

“Sorry, sorry.” He mumbles, extracting himself from under Cas’s arm while sliding out of the bed. “Shhh – it’s fine. I’ll – Sammy! Would you cut it out already?”

“Dean?”

Fuck getting up. Dean is going to stay sitting on the edge of the bed where Cas’s hand is still curled in the shirt over his stomach, twisting it around his side. He scrubs a hand through his hair as he stretches his arms above his head and glances toward the door.

“Who the hell else would it be?” Shit. No. This day is just as bad for Sam as it is for him, so he shouldn’t be a snappy asshole. “Sorry. What is it?”

Sam hesitates for a moment before more muffled words come through the wood again. “I’m going to work now. Do you – are you going to pick me up after so we can go to the graveyard together?”

As soon as Cas registers what’s been said, Dean feels him sit up too. He fixes his shirt when Cas lets go of it. “Yeah, Sam. I’ll pick you up.”

“Okay. Um – Text me when you’re on your way. It’s gonna be – never mind. Bye, Dean.”

Cas doesn’t say anything until they both hear the sound of the front door shutting. Even then, he waits a few moments before he reaches out and puts a hand on Dean’s shoulder. “I didn’t even realize that today is –”

There isn’t much else to say and Dean can only shrug. Today’s the day his parents died and it is never a good day for the Winchester boys. Even though Sam never books the day off to reserve it especially for remembering John and Mary Winchester, he still feels it just as hard as Dean does. Where Dean usually spends the day drunk and moping, Sam is hell bent on not letting it get him down. He misses their parents and loves them, but he’s got a life to lead and he’s not letting the dead weigh him down.

After a while, when the silence feels like it’s getting to be too much, Dean glances over his shoulder to where Cas is sitting in the middle of the bed and watching him. There’s nothing of that wall he’s been seeing around Cas over the last two weeks. It’s gone right now and Cas’s eyes are all soft and sad. He lifts the blanket and pats the spot beside him and that’s all the prompting Dean needs. His place next to Cas is still warm when he slides back under the blanket to lay down beside him.

“Can you stay a little longer?” It doesn’t really feel like an explanation is all that necessary anymore. Cas knows why Dean’s sad and clingy now. But he still needs to ask. He still needs to make sure that it’s Cas’s choice to be here. “Please?”

Before he answers, Cas checks the alarm clock. It’s showing the ungodly hour of seven AM. “I don’t work until eleven. I can stay with you for another few hours.”

He twists onto his side as he lays down, facing away from him, and Dean doesn’t waste a second with plastering himself against Cas’s back and rubbing his nose into the soft hairs at the base of his skull. Cas covers Dean’s arm with his own and his fingers start stroking his wrist lightly. As nice as that feels, Dean’s thoughts are focused back on the nap they had together weeks ago. God, he’s such a fucking sap, but he wants to hold Cas’s hand a whole hell of a lot right now.

Dean pulls his arm up just enough that Cas’s hand is over top of his. He spreads his fingers and hopes to hell that it gets across what he wants. It only takes Cas a second before he threads his fingers between Dean’s. As soon as that happens, Cas lets out a sigh that almost sounds happy and he leans back more into Dean’s chest. It feels so good and it’s more than enough to dissipate the storm cloud that started building in his chest the moment he’d woken up. In fact, it’s enough to make him doze off again a few minutes later.

When he wakes up next, his pillow is moving in a rhythmic up and down. He can hear a steady beating and he’s really tempted to let it lull him back to sleep. But it already feels like it’s been too long and he needs to find out what time it is. Sam is going to be done at four o’clock and Cas might need a ride to work or something. Except he really doesn’t want to move. Without opening his eyes, he can tell how they’re lying together and it’s super comfortable. He’s practically on top of Cas, legs tangled tighter, and Cas has both arms resting around his shoulders.

Yawning, Dean lifts his head to look at the clock. It takes a minute for him to wrap his head around the numbers showing. It’s almost one in the afternoon. How is that possible? Cas is definitely still in his bed and his shift was supposed to start nearly two hours ago. Dean pushes up onto one elbow, slowly extracting his arms out from under Cas, trying not to wake him. Except that Cas is already awake and he’s watching Dean from under half closed eyes.

“What happened to work?” His voice sounds thick and stupid from sleep.

Cas covers a yawn and shrugs. “I called in sick.”

“But you’re not –” The realization hits him a second later. “You lied to them?”

He shrugs again and reaches up to run a hand through Dean’s hair gently. His answer doesn’t come right away, but eventually Cas gives him a soft, sleepy little smile. “I have more important things to take care of today.”

Oh. That’s – Jesus, that’s fucking awesome. Dean feels himself getting choked up about it and he gives Cas a smile of his own. He doesn’t even get the chance to say thank you because Cas’s hand slides down to his jaw and he lifts his head off the pillow to kiss him gently. It’s the kind of kiss that reminds Dean of sunbeams; soft and warm and something he would lay in if he was a goddamn cat. And the best thing about it all is that the kisses don’t feel awkward anymore.

Dean can still feel a wall between them, but every kiss Cas draws him into feels like they’re climbing that wall; Cas on one side and Dean on the other. They’re fucking great and he’s not even noticing the morning breath. He’s more than happy to settle into Cas, kissing him back into the pillow while they rearrange themselves under the blankets.

Cas is completely focused on cupping Dean’s face and dragging his hands through his hair or down the back of his neck. And each touch is a fantastic distraction. Dean can’t even focus on anything else while each kiss drifts from one into the other. Maybe Cas knows this and he’s using it to help Dean with how he feels about today. And he kinda wishes that the kisses could never stop. He promised Cas that they’d talk today and he would explain everything. Dean wants to keep his promise, but if he lets himself think about what that’s going to involve, he’s going to stop enjoying these kisses so much.

Like all good things, the kisses do eventually come to an end. By then, Dean is on his side too and they’re facing each other. Now they’re curved towards each other on the bed, the blanket pulled up over their shoulders. Cas isn’t the only one who can’t stop touching. Dean’s hands are just as restless; fingers dragging through Cas’s hair and rubbing the overnight-stubble on his cheeks and jaw. They’re close enough that they can put arms around waists or backs too, pulling each other closer if they want to.

But The longer they go without kissing, the more Dean can see the walls going up around Cas again. He’s shutting himself off slowly, piece by piece, and a ball of panic balloons at the base of Dean’s throat. All this shit between them is annoying and he doesn’t want it anymore. He wants things to be normal again. He wants his best friend back and, if he’s really lucky, he’d like to be able to keep kissing him and holding him.

Here, in the safety of Dean’s bed, maybe they can have that conversation that he’s been running from for weeks. Things need to be sorted out and Dean doesn’t have anything else to do right now. The longer he lets time drag on, the harder he knows it’s going to be to bring the shit up and actually talk about it. And he really needs to stop thinking about it as talking because that’s just a word that makes him want to get up and run the fuck away.

Cas deserves better than that.

Sighing, Dean rubs his thumb along the edge of Cas’s jaw. “You go first.”

There’s a sharp breath, like Cas hadn’t been expecting that. He takes a minute, thinking about what he’s going to say, before he asks his question in a soft voice. It’s the kind of voice that makes him think that Cas is testing the water – like he’s scared that Dean is going to pull away completely if he pushes too hard or asks the wrong question.

“What caused the fight in the first place?”

That feels like a fairly obvious answer, but maybe it really has been confusing Cas for the last two weeks. He opens his eyes and tries his best not to actually frown. “You went on a date with Meg.”

Cas’s forehead creases slightly. “And you didn’t want me to go out with her?”

“Not just her.” This is going to be the answer that takes this conversation deeper, he just knows it.

Both of Cas’s eyebrows go up in surprise. He opens his mouth, but it takes him a minute to actually say anything. “So, do you… You don’t want me to date anyone?”

The thought of Cas going out on a date with anyone else makes it feel like Dean swallowed fire. He doesn’t like it and he sure as hell doesn’t want to say it. All it does is make him sound like he’s being selfish and jealous and stupid. Which he is, but it’s not like he wants Cas to know that too. Though it would be a fucking miracle if Cas hasn’t already figured that out. Dean’s kind of been ridiculously obvious about it for a while now.

Since he doesn’t give an answer, Cas starts talking again. “If we’re still defining our arrangement by the majority of the rules you laid down when we started –”

“I know what I said, okay?” He cuts him off before he can go on any further with that. Half of those rules are fucking stupid and Dean hates them so much. If he could, he’d go back and get rid of them all. Or most of them. They only one they really need to keep is not letting Sam know.

Cas stays quiet for a long time after that and Dean is having trouble looking at him. He keeps looking everywhere but at his eyes. His lips, his nose, his chin, his cheek, even where their hands have kind of settled between them in a tangle. This is kind of a terrible start to the beginning of their conversation, and Dean is starting to feel like shit more and more. Even still, he’s not ready when Cas finally does ask his next question.

“Are you still not looking for a relationship?”

Words should not be able to make panic flare that sharply in Dean’s chest. Cas doesn’t want that. Dean knows he doesn’t – not with him. That’s not possible. And even if he did, Dean would only end up hurting him if they ended up actually giving that a try. No, no, doesn’t want to do that anymore. He doesn’t want to hurt Cas any more than he already has. Just mentioning that makes Dean want to put a million miles between them so they don’t have to even think about it.

He sits up quickly, trying to get some kind of space. Maybe if he gets away a little bit, Cas won’t say anything. But Cas is ready for it. As soons as Dean sits up, he throws an arm across his chest and drags him right back down hard enough that he bounces on the pillow. Cas gets a hand on his cheek and turns his face back to him, keeping the eye contact.

“I’m not asking for us to have one, Dean.” He explains quickly, his thumb rubbing soothingly back and forth across Dean’s cheek even though he’s looking just as tense as Dean feels. “Please, just let me finish. Listen to me for just a minute.”

Dean swallows and nods. He can do this. This is a thing he can do for Cas. Agreeing to listen makes Cas loosen up a little and he sighs softly. “Thank you. What I was trying to say is that you and I – we can’t be just fuck buddies if you’re going to get jealous of any potential partners of mine.” Something pulls tight in Dean’s chest because that right there is undeniable proof that Cas knows that he was jealous.

Cas moves his thumb over his lips to keep him from interrupting. “I’m only asking if the reason you were getting jealous is because youwant – do you want more?”

He moves his hand so Dean can answer, but Dean doesn’t want to. What the hell is he supposed to fucking say? Yes? No? How does he answer something that he doesn’t know himself? All he can do is shrug and twist his hands in the front of Cas’s shirt.

“No, I don’t –” The way Cas closes his eyes as soon as he’s said it makes Dean’s blood feel cold and it stings all through him. It wasn’t even his whole answer. “I – I don’t know, Cas.”

And even that isn’t true because Dean does know at least some things. He knows that he’s scared shitless of wanting more because it’s just going to end with Cas getting hurt. Or he’s going to get hurt and that’s almost as bad. Cas is just so far out of Dean’s league that he shouldn’t even be sharing his bed with him right now. But he is and that makes Dean want to hope for something he shouldn’t be allowed to have.

When Cas opens his eyes again, he looks a little confused. “You don’t know?”

Dean shrugs and looks down at his hands where they’re twisted in Cas’s gray t-shirt. “Relationships mess things up.” He lets go slowly and leaves his hands laying stupidly in the small space between them. “They’re full of emotions and people get hurt in them. I don’t want –” Pausing, Dean licks his lips and forces the rest out. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

Cas cups both of Dean’s hands between his. “And I don’t want you to be hurt, Dean. But you seem intent on making things difficult for yourself.”

“It’s not like I want to feel like this!” He pulls away and turns onto his stomach so he can press his face into the pillow and pretty much hide from Cas’s stupid sympathetic eyes.

“Feel like what?”

“I don’t fucking know, Cas.” Dean crosses his arms under the pillow and pushes his face into it as much as he can while still being heard. “I just – I don’t know. It’s all fucked up now.”

Even though he’s fucking up the stupid conversation by being an indecisive idiot, at least they’re kind of making some progress. But Cas is still being the better person between them. He rubs a gentle hand back and forth over Dean’s back in soft sweeps, still trying to comfort him when there’s nothing saying that he has to. Since they woke up, he’s been touching Dean more than Dean’s been touching him and it’s stupidly nice.

“Would you feel better if we dissolved our arrangement and returned to our previous non-sexual friendship?” Cas’s wordscomes out all tight and the exact opposite of happy.

With how hard it hits him, the question feels like it comes out of nowhere but Dean knows that it’s a perfectly valid thing to ask right now. The first answer that comes to mind is a great big resounding hell no. His body reactions instinctively to it and he’s shaking his head before he even realizes it. Dean reaches out and slings an arm around Cas’s waist to pull him a little closer. As much as he’d rather be friends with Cas than nothing at all, Dean knows it would be stupidly hard to not be allowed to hug him or kiss him again. Especially when being close with him like this makes Dean feel better regardless of the current not-so-great topic.

Cas slides closer on the bed, pressing himself all up Dean’s side. He actually sounds relieved when he rests his chin on Dean’s shoulder. “What if I told you that I’m not looking, nor am I interested, in dating anyone else at this time?”

Wait, what? Dean lifts his head and glances at him. “Huh?”

“I’m happy with our arrangement, Dean.” Cas pushes at his shoulder a little more, kind of urging him up to make room. As soon as there’s any space, Cas worms his way into it. “I enjoy what we do together – both the sexual moments and the intimate ones.”

Well, now he’s practically laying on Cas again – not that he’s complaining. But what Cas said isn’t making any sort of sense to him.  He settles more comfortably on his side and frowns at Cas. “Aren’t those the same things?”

“Are they?” Cas brings a hand to Dean’s cheek and traces his cheekbone with his thumb. “We’re being intimate right now without being sexual.” There’s a soft smile playing on his lips and Dean has to fight the massive urge to kiss it. “I’m content with how things are, Dean. Are you?”

Maybe. “Yes?”

“You’re not?” He raises one eyebrow.

“No, I – I like having sex with you.” Of fucking course he does. There is absolutely no denying that. “And I like having you around – having you close.” He slides down and ducks his head to hide his face against Cas’s neck. “Like this and, y’know, not this.” Again, another understatement.

There’s another hand in his hair, fingertips raking across his scalp. Cas waits until Dean’s practically completely melted against him before he says anything else. “You like all those things with me… but you still don’t want to try a relationship?”

He forces himself not to have any kind of knee jerk reaction to that. And he stamps down on the bubble of hope that wants to take Cas’s words as meaning that he wants a relationship. “I don’t want to hurt you. Not again.” He already knows that he’s completely capable of hurting Cas in more ways than one now and it scares the fuck out of him. And he doesn’t want to be hurt either. He’s trying to protect himself just as much as he’s trying to protect Cas.

“And you’re convinced that if we cross that line, things between us will only end in heartache?”

Dean nods, rubbing his nose against the side of Cas’s throat. He’s not good enough for him anyway. Cas deserves someone who can actually man up and try a relationship regardless of the chance that it’s not going to work out. Dean’s an asshole and a coward. In his short history of relationships, he’s never managed to stay friends with his exes. And Cas is someone he absolutely does not want to lose – even though everything that he’s been doing recently isn’t doing anything more than probably pushing Cas even further away. Which doesn’t make sense considering how Cas is only trying to get closer right now.

Cas’s lips move against Dean’s temple. “Then we simply won’t cross that line or label our arrangement as such. I will be exclusive with you if only because I’m not interested in anyone else and until such a time, if ever, that I find someone that I do take interest in who would also be open to having a relationship with me.”

That makes part of Dean really fucking happy and another part of him not all that pleased. Because what if someone – like Meg – comes along and Cas does end up falling for them? Dean won’t exactly lose his best friend, but he won’t be able to kiss Cas anymore, or touch him, or drag him to his bed in the middle of the night for a cuddle when he’s feeling down – which just might be a thing he wants to try doing more of. All of that would be the easiest of things to give up and it’d be one of the first things Dean would throw under the bus if he absolutely has to give up anything to keep Cas as his friend.

But that still begs one question. “Are you gonna be looking?”

“Not actively, no.” Cas hesitates and he turns his head a little more until his lips brush Dean’s ear. “I doubt it will happen any time soon.”

“What about me?” It slips out before Dean can even stop and think what exactly he means by it.

The question actually makes Cas go so still that he’s not even breathing. “What about you?” His voice is all light and breathless, and Dean’s heartbeat picks up a whole lot.

Now he needs to figure out what he meant. Shit. Dean shrugs and rolls off Cas onto his back so he can stare at the ceiling and think. “I dunno. I mean –” Cas immediately rolls into his side again and throws a leg over his. It makes Dean’s thoughts stumble as he rearranges himself to put an arm around Cas’s shoulders and he has to clear his throat to shake things back into place. “I mean – Are you going to want me to be exclusive to you too? Like, with the same exceptions or whatever?”

Cas shrugs too and spreads a hand over Dean’s chest, smoothing out the front of his shirt. “Not if you don’t want to be.” He pauses for a minute and starts tracing the AC/DC design. “I want you to be happy, Dean.”

“Yeah, but I want you to be happy too, Cas.” God, that’s like all he wants for pretty much ever. He likes it best when Cas is smiling.

There’s a huff of air across the collar of his shirt; a small laugh. “I am happy, Dean. Remember when you asked me a long time ago if I was happy?” Yeah of course he remembers that. “I’m happier now than I was then. I was lucky and I’ve been given some of the things that I wanted.”

He’s gotta be talking about how he doesn’t have to study to be a doctor anymore. What else is there? That’s pretty much the only thing that’s changed for him since they had that talk. Well, that and they started fucking. But that doesn’t really feel like something Cas would have wanted before. Not after how they actually got around to doing it.

But none of that matters because Cas is happy. As long as Cas is happy, then Dean can do his best to be happy himself too. He’s just got some shit to work through first, apparently. Oh well. Cas is happy and he’s being cuddly. He isn’t going to date anyone else or go out and hook up with random people and he’s going to be the closest to being Dean’s that he’ll ever be allowed to have.

Dean feels better now than he has in weeks they started talking, but after a short while of laying together in silence, he figures there’s something he needs to tell Cas too. “Hey – uh – I’ve been unintentionally exclusive to you too, by the way.”

Cas’s head pops up and his eyes are wide and bright, full of surprise and – happiness? “What?”

A blush should not be trying to force its way onto his face and Dean shrugs, looking away at the wall. “I haven’t slept with anyone else since before you finished your exams.” When Cas doesn’t say or do anything, Dean has to look back to see what he’s thinking. All Cas is doing is staring at him, mouth slightly open, and Dean shrugs again. “Just – I dunno. Maybe that’s a thing that you might want to know?”

Without saying anything, Cas dips his head and drops an off center kiss to Dean’s mouth. He brings a hand to his cheek and keeps kissing him in soft, gentle little pecks until he’s had his fill and murmurs against his lips. “Do what makes you happy, Dean.”

Well then he’s just going to keep right on kissing him. Because kissing Cas makes him ridiculously fucking happy and especially when they’ve more or less talked things over. There are probably a few things that they haven’t talked about or worked through, but he can’t think about it while he’s got Cas’s nibbling at his bottom lip and his tongue slipping along his own. It’s all sorts of awesome and the best way to pass the time until someone’s stomach grumbles and certain natural bodily functions force them apart.

But even after that, Dean can’t keep his hands off of Cas. While they (meaning Cas) makes some simple sandwiches, Dean keeps as close to him as he can, his arms wrapped loosely around Cas’s waist from behind. He’s got weeks of not touching him to catch up on and Cas doesn’t seem to mind. He leans back into Dean and sways with him whenever Dean starts moving to a random tune in his head. It’s pretty much the best way he could possibly spend the worst day of the year. And yet… there’s still a part of him wants to ask another question. Just one more – and he hopes to God when he opens his mouth that he’s not going to be ruining everything.

“I know we’ve sort of talked about it, and I apologized and everything –” He feels Cas go still in his arms again and Dean regrets saying anything but too little too late. “– but Sam said – He said I scared him that night, and that I scared you too. Were you – Did I – I know you were mad, but were you scared of me too?”

Cas relaxes again and the swaying picks up while he spreads peanut butter on a few slices of bread. “Everyone else seems to be more upset with you about Sunday than I was. The majority of my anger stems from what happened on that Friday night.”

“Really?” That actually makes him feel a little better.

“As much as I appreciate Sam’s company, he doesn’t need to watch over us to ensure that I am alright in your company.” He shrugs and starts spooning jelly out on to the other slices on the counter. “I was unhappy that you were drunk and I wasn’t entirely pleased that you woke me up and sat on me, refusing to leave. But I was more upset that you disappeared all weekend and weren’t answering anyone’s calls.”

Dean rests his cheek against the back of Cas’s neck and puffs a sigh down the collar of his shirt. “I was kind of a wreck that weekend, in case you didn’t notice.”

“It must have escaped my attention while I was being worried over how I left you Friday night.” Cas murmurs the words soft enough that Dean almost misses them under the wet slap of the sandwich halves being brought together.

“I already told you that I –”

Cas turns around in the circle of Dean’s arms and drapes his own around Dean’s shoulders. “I’m aware. But I was still disappointed in myself. Regardless of whether or not that could be counted as a scene, the sex was very – it was extremely different from our norm and I should never have left my partner like that. It could have been extremely damanging to you emotionally and I was terrified that you were suffering from a sub-drop and –”

He cuts off with muffled sounds as Dean slaps a hand over his mouth. “Hold the phone. Sub-drop? Scene? You’ve been reading up on BDSM and stuff?” Is he actually interested in that stuff? Dean only thought it went as far as the bondage but is Cas honestly interested in everything else too?

“Possibly.” The question doesn’t seem to phase him and Cas just shrugs. “I wanted to make sure you were definitely alright when we had lunch together on Monday, but you were so –” He drops his eyes to Dean’s chest and frowns at it while he finds the right words. “You were so distant. I thought it would be best to allow you to make the next move, so I’ve been holding back to respect your space and give you the time to work through everything that happened.”

Wait. So, everything that happened hasn’t actually bothered Cas that much? Putting aside their conversation earlier about what had happened that Friday night – Is Cas really okay with what happened that Sunday? It’s only been awkward between them because Dean was making it awkward? Has Cas really been just hanging back and waiting for him to get his shit together? Jesus Christ. How much patience does this guy have?

And how far does it go? How long until it runs out completely and Cas decides Dean just isn’t worth the trouble of spending time with anymore?

His thoughts get cut off at the head when Cas hands him a PB&J sandwich and leads him by the hand to the couch. He’s more than happy to turn off his brain for a while while they watch TV for however long it takes to finish their sandwiches. It never does turn back on again. As soon as they’re done eating, Cas is pulling Dean back to his bedroom to crawl under the blankets again as if they never left them. Dean is more than happy to fall into the gentle touch of hands in his hair and ghosting over his cheeks while he completely forgets his train of thought from earlier.

Eventually, the alarm does go off on his phone to notify them both that it’s time for Dean to leave and head to the grocery store to pick up Sam. But he doesn’t want to go. More specifically, he doesn’t want to leave the warm confines of his blanket and the slow, lazy kisses Cas can’t stop giving him. And even more than that, he doesn’t want to leave Cas.

He silences the phone and rests his forehead against Cas’s. “Come with me?”

“Of course.” Cas kisses him once more before they pull apart to get dressed.

When they drive out of the parking garage, neither one of them says a thing about how Dean immediately reaches out for Cas’s hand. They tangle their fingers together on the seat between them and Dean spends the entire drive to the store sharing little smiles with Cas the whole way there. The only way he can rationalize the absolute need to hold Cas’s hand is that the physical contact is keeping him grounded.

Pretty much, Cas is the best anti-depressant ever. And Dean is completely willing to credit him with why he’s not having a break down right now or being horrifically depressed about his parent’s accident and everything else this day usually entails for him.

Sam is waiting outside the store when they pull up and they let go of each other’s hands the moment that they turn the corner and see him standing there. Jess is at his side and she’s got an armful of flowers for the graves. She usually makes the effort to come with them every year since and Dean had almost forgotten that it’s pretty much standard she would be here too.

It’s been an unspoken rule between the brothers Winchester that the only people they bring with them are long time significant others – or Bobby, but he usually goes on his own. And despite that, Jess and Sam don’t even question it when they slide into the backseat and see Cas sitting next to him. They do share a smile that Dean catches in the rearview mirror, but he doesn’t say anything about it and he sure as fuck doesn’t think about it.

For the first time in forever he’s actually happy on the anniversary of his parents’ death and it’s all because of Cas, so he’s sure as shit isn’t going to think about anything that might ruin that.

Chapter Text

After they had their talk and more or less worked through all their shit, Dean kind of expected (or at least hoped) that things were going to go back to normal with Cas. They're not stupidly awkward around each other anymore (no more than usual), and Dean does feel like things have somewhat gone back to being the same. He doesn't feel weird being alone in the car with Cas when he drives him to and from work. And he’s stopped feeling completely sick to his stomach every time he looks at Cas's neck and knows the exact spot where he left that hickey.

Best of all, they've at least started making out again. That's always been one of Dean's favourite things to do. It actually ranks above eating pie. But as much as Dean loves sucking on Cas's tongue, he's starting to get an itch at the base of his spine that's scratching for more. He hasn't gone this long without having sex in ages. It's been, what, three weeks? Almost four? It feels like it's been forever since he's had Cas naked and writhing under him, and it's starting to drive Dean just a little bit crazy.

He's not exactly worried that they're never going to have it again. Cas still gives him looks like he wants to spread Dean out on a bed and eat him alive in the best of ways. But they're just not doing it and he can't really figure out why. Maybe it's something wrong with him? Or maybe it's something else? Dean is kind of worried that the reason they haven't really gotten past making out is because maybe they didn't actually work through everything between them properly enough for their subconscious minds to be able to get back into the swing of wanting to have sex together again. That's bordering on the kind of deep thinking that Dean doesn't really think he's capable of having.

They've at least made an attempt to bring back the sex to their 'with benefits' friendship, though it’s hard since Sam's still been hanging around to keep an eye on them. In the week since their talk, they've had one evening when Sam wasn't home.  He had called and said he was going to Jess's for the night after his shift was finished, and Dean would've been on Cas like a fly on honey before he'd even properly hung up if things were normal. They definitely got a whole lot of making out done that night, and there was a little bit of dry humping going on too.

The humping was kind of an accidental thing, but it didn't really lead to anything. Neither of them got more than half hard during it and they both seemed more interested in learning out each other's mouths again than actual fucking. It's easier to have lazy make outs than it is to rock together and actually go to the effort of getting off.

Dean kind of attributes their laziness that night to how they were already both fucking exhausted from some very busy days at work. In Cas's case, apparently the café had some kind of special 'buy one, get one free' bullshit special with their desserts all that day. It was Crowley's latest scheme to make more money during his summer 'off season' when their sales drop with the school being closed. Cas barely had the time to take his breaks between keeping the display stocked and taking all the orders. Plus, he's been doing overtime hours and picking up extra shifts for savings because he still thinks that he needs to buy himself a camera.

For Dean, it's because he's been going above and beyond everything asked of him at the garage. He's still not entirely out of Bobby's dog house and he's working his hardest to get back in his good books. If he's not working on the short term intake vehicles, then he's in the back working on the old cars that Bobby is restoring for collectors, or he's been cleaning and organizing all the shelves and shit that Bobby's been talking about doing but never actually got it started.

That's one good excuse for why he hasn't tried to sneak a little extra touching when Sam isn't looking. But Dean knows that he's scared as hell to push for more from Cas. If he really is pretty busy with work, then it makes sense that he's probably too tired. Because when Cas isn't working, he's trying to figure out his courses and make the final plans for his classes since he's going to be signing up for them during the beginning of August.

Either way, Dean is still straddling the fence about whether or not everything is actually kosher between him and Cas now. Everything else might be okay, sure, but he'd kind of really like to know if they're ever going to be able to go back to having sex. If they don't, then he's going to have to get out of his mindset about being faithful and shit. He'll have to get back into his manslut attitude again and he's not really looking forward to having to do that. He's pretty sure that no one is going to be able to hold a candle to Cas anymore. Basically, Cas has ruined him for other people and he didn't even try to do that.

Somehow, wanting to figure all that out translates to wanting to spend more time with Cas. Even when Dean has a day off and Cas is at the café, he wants to see him. Pretty much every moment of every day, Dean wants to have Cas next to him – touching him. Hell, it doesn't even have to be sexual touching. He would definitely be totally satisfied with just holding hands, or leaning their shoulders together. As long as they're touching in some way, Dean would be happy.

And Dean blames that feeling for why, on one sunshiny Monday afternoon, when he could be at home watching a Game of Thrones marathon in his underwear, he's actually standing on the sidewalk in front of Café du Crowley. Charlie got Dean into Game of Thrones and even though he has until spring of next year before the new season begins, he kind of wants to get caught up on the show so he can read all the books before the next season. That's what he could be doing right now, but instead he's standing here with his wallet in his pocket and a well worn copy of Cat's Cradle in his hand.

The only thing that's really making him hesitate is that when he pulled up into a parking spot a little down the road, he had the wonderful timing of arriving just in time to see Crowley go in with Growley under one arm and another equally ugly pug under the other. Cas never said that Crowley got a second one, so maybe it's new enough that no one at the café knows about it yet. But now Dean knows for certain that Crowley is in there and even if he wants to avoid the hell out of him, there's a bigger part of him that really wants to go in, get some lunch, and see Cas. Which is stupid because he totally saw him last night before he went to bed.

A little voice in his head tells him that it doesn't matter. He woke up to an empty apartment and he had a craving to hear Cas's voice. Crowley be damned, this is to see Cas. This is for Cas, because he never has any friends dropping in to visit him on his shifts. That's the mantra Dean slaps on repeat before he takes a deep breath and pushes open the door. He's not even a whole three feet inside when he's hit by a bright, surprised smile. Cas fucking lights up when he sees him and it feels like someone went and poured liquid sunshine down Dean's throat to let it pool all warm and glowing in his chest.

He can't help smiling back and giving a little wave before he steps into line. It's a little busy – if a line of four can be considered busy. There's a little murmur of talk throughout the café, with at least half of the tables filled up. It's the tail end of the lunch hour, so it’s no surprise that there’s more than the usual amount of people here. But the chances of Dean being able to stand around and chat Cas up are probably slim to none. Cas is probably going to have to make a cash drop, restock things, and wipe down shit as soon as his lunch rush is over.

But that's okay. Because Dean still gets the kind of smile he doesn't see Cas give to anyone else. It's all for him and wow, if he doesn't look away he's not going to be able to eat his lunch because he's going to be too full of sunlight for anything else to fit.

“I didn't expect to see you here today." Cas doesn't look disappointed by it and he starts punching in Dean's order before he's even said anything.

"Thought I'd surprise you." He shrugs and digs his wallet out, flashing Cas a happy grin. "Plus, I was kind of craving the sandwiches here. Don't tell Gabe, but he makes a mean BLT."

"My lips are sealed. Do –" The jingle of the bell over the door cuts him off and Cas's smile slips a little as someone else comes up behind Dean. "Nevermind. I'll talk with you after?"

Dean nods and steps out of the way to wait at the side counter while Meg mixes his coffee. "Sure. I don't have to be anywhere for a while." He tilts his head to the back corner, and more specifically at the table that Cas used to frequent when their roles were reversed. "You'll know where to find me when you've got a chance to chat."

Cas flashes him another warm grin before it slips into his customer service smile as he turns back to the next person in line. Meg hands Dean his coffee over the top of the counter and she opens her mouth to say something – maybe something snarky, maybe something else – but snaps it shut when he beats her to the punch.

"I saw Crowley with another beast. It new?"

"Yeah. He got her last week." She shrugs and glances over her shoulder at Crowley's office, the doggy gate in place. "I'm pretty sure I heard him call her Juliet. Maybe Growley is her Gromeo."

Dean shudders and shakes his head. "Poor thing."

Meg turns back to him to say something else, but she just rolls her eyes and shrugs again when Cas hands back a slip with the next coffee order. It's a small saving grace to spare Dean from continuing the conversation with her and he’s more than happy to make his escape to the back of the dining room until his order is called.

He gets halfway through his sandwich and a good dozen or so pages into his book before a shadow falls across his plate. Dean doesn't even need to look to know who it is, but he still winces when he glances up to find the scruffy, eternally smug face of his former boss looking down at him.

"I'm not selling you my soul, Crowley." Might as well get that shit out of the way. There's no room for pleasantries when you're dealing with a demon like him.

"I'm not asking for your soul." Crowley huffs a small laugh and lowers himself into the opposite chair, all proper in his suit. "I just want your charming good looks to grace my counter again."

Dean rolls his eyes and lifts his book again. "You've got Cas for that now."

"But imagine if I had both of you!" He looks downright delighted with the idea of it and as much as Dean would love working with Cas, he's never coming back here.

"Cas is plenty good enough and I'd rather keep rebuilding engines than building sandwiches."

Rolling his eyes, Crowley waves his hand between them. "Don’t be stupid. You never worked in the kitchen. The only time you were back there was to wash dishes."

Dean shakes his head again. "You know what I mean."

"Don't make me beg, Dean."

"It wouldn't work anyways." If Crowley starts fluttering his eyelashes, Dean might yack.

That only makes Crowley look more determined. "What if I got Castiel to beg for me?"

Wow, he really shouldn't have mentioned Cas begging. Now Dean's thoughts are heading in an entirely different direction. It takes a minute for him to drag his brain back from the image of Cas spread out on a bed, groaning for the teasing to stop and begging for Dean to fuck him again. He swallows around a suddenly heavily salivating mouth. "It wouldn't work."

"How would I know if I don't try?"

"You're interrupting my meal, Crowley." Dean lifts his book to cover his face. "That's bad business, y'know? You wouldn't want me to go on all those restaurant critique sites on the internet and leave a bad review now, would you?"

The chair opposite him scrapes across the floor as Crowley stands up. "Fine. I'll get you back here one day, Winchester."

Hah. Not as long as Dean still breathes air. He doesn't say goodbye, and he barely manages to read another half a page before another body is filling the chair again. At least this time it's someone Dean actually (more than) likes. But Cas isn't looking at him. He's busy tapping away at his phone, though he's got a little smile on his lips again.

"I'm on break." Cas glances up when he's done and puts his phone on the table. "May I join you?"

"You know you never gotta ask me that, Cas." He smiles and slides a slip of paper between the pages of his book. "You're always –" The bing of his own phone receiving a message interrupts him, and judging by how Cas's smile gets a little bigger, he should probably open it now.

Sure enough, it's a text message from Cas with a picture attachment. His heart does a funny little flip in his chest when he opens it to find another photo of himself. It's just him, leaning back in his chair with half of his sandwich in one hand and his book in the other. The colours have been played with to turn it some kind of not-really-browny-yellow colour. What is that called again? Sepia or something? He'd have to check the manipulation options on his own phone to know what it is, but that’s not what’s important right now. What’s important is that Cas took another picture of him and it looks awesome.

"When did you snap this?"

"Before Crowley approached you." Cas ducks his head and his ears start going a little red around the edges. "Do you like it?"

Dean saves the image to his phone. "It's really good, Cas. I can't wait to see what you're going to do with a real camera."

Whenever Cas gets praised, he practically glows from it and Dean can't get enough of seeing it. Cas rubs a hand over the back of his neck and shrugs. "It helps to have a model that the camera adores." And there goes Dean's ears starting to get warm too. Before he can say anything, Cas continues. "Speaking of, there will likely be instances during my courses when a model will be required." He shifts in his seat and glances between his phone and Dean. "Would it be too forward of me to ask if you would –?"

Holy shit. Now it's way more than just his ears that are getting red. "I've never modeled before, Cas."

He leans forward in his chair, hands flat on the table and a new kind of fire burning behind his eyes. "You're a natural, Dean. I can't even begin to tell you how many different ways I want to – that I could – if you were to be my model." Damn, he's getting so excited he can't even form proper sentences.

"But I'm not –" It's not a no. It's more like Dean's worried he'd some how fuck things up and get Cas a bad mark or something. What if no one else thinks he's a good model?

"I'm not going to force you if you don't want to." Cas shakes his head and softens his smile a little. "Just – could you please think about it? Please?"

Dean ducks his head and starts poking at the remainder of his sandwich. He shrugs and glances back and forth between his food and Cas. "I'll think about it."

He damn near jumps out of his skin when something brushes against his calf. It takes Dean a minute to realize that it's Cas's foot rubbing it subtly while he crosses his legs at the knee and sits back in his chair again. "Thank you, Dean." After a moment of silence, he tilts his head to the side. "Do you have any plans for the rest of the day?"

Oh thank God, something to get his mind off of thinking about posing in front of a camera. "Yeah, I'm meeting up with Charlie."

“Oh, that’s right.” Cas’s foot rubs his calf again as he uncrosses his legs and leans forward to cross his arms on the table. “You missed the last LARP scene in June, didn’t you?”

Yeah, he did. They never actually ended up going back to get the stuff after Cas’s competition. Everyone just got all caught up in trying to find Cas a job, and even if he didn’t play that much of a part in it, Dean was still pretty distracted with helping Cas cancel all his classes. His part involved driving Cas to and from the university in between his shifts and shit like that. All in all, things were pretty hectic and Dean just never got around to actually LARPing yet.

He shrugs and picks out the remaining bacon from his BLT. “She’s taking me shopping for an outfit. The next scene is going to be on the ninth and she wants me to go and be her handmaiden.” Dean grins and waggles his eyebrows. “She can call me whatever she wants as long as I get to wear chainmail.”

Cas smothers a laugh under his hand. “I look forward to seeing that. Would you still like for Sam, Jess, and I to join you?”

“If you guys want to?” It would be nice, but it does cost money and right now Cas is trying to save like crazy. “I was thinking I’d go through one on my own first to see if I like it or not. You guys shouldn’t have to spend any money if it ends up not being something I want to do or anything. You’re not into that stuff really, are you?”

“I wouldn’t know.” He shrugs too and rests his chin on his hand. “To be honest, I’m not entirely sure about what it is. Are we allowed to watch even if we don’t participate?”

Dean chews thoughtfully on the bacon while he thinks about it. “Maybe? I don’t know. I’ll have to ask Charlie about it. I’ll let you know when I get home later.”

“I look forward to it.”

The rest of Cas’s break is filled with idle chit chat about Juliet, the café, the classes Cas plans to sign up for next, and whether or not he wants to join in on watching Game of Thrones. And Dean counts a total of six times that Cas’s foot rubs up one side of his calf and down the other. Half the conversation is spent with the side of his foot pressing against the side of Dean’s. But they’re touching, so Dean’s not going to complain. And it’s not like anyone is going to wonder why they’re legs are touching when they’re both guys over six feet tall sitting at a stupidly tiny café table.

They talk until Meg whistles for Cas to get back to work. That’s as good a time as any for Dean to head out. He’s going to be meeting Charlie at the store, but it’s at the mall and even though he’s got a good hour or more before they’re supposed to meet, he can still trawl through the other stores. There’s still Cas’s birthday present to get and he’s got less than a month for that now. He’s still thinking about getting him a collar, but he’s not really sure that Cas actually really does want one. So he kind of needs a back up plan.

*

Charlie’s chin digs into his shoulder while she completely throws all sense of social propriety out the window. They’re sitting in the food court with a couple of milkshakes and because Charlie was showing him shit on her iPad, she sat next to him. As soon as Dean’s phone beeped with a text, she’d leaned into his shoulder to take a peek because that’s totally what you do when your friend checks their phone.

Dean makes sure to tilt it out of sight before he’s sure that it’s nothing too scandalous. It’s a normal text from Cas and one he doesn’t mind Charlie seeing. It’s just a quick thing saying that he’s taking the bus home and wondering what Dean would like to have for dinner. Oh, hell no. Dean quickly sends back a message saying he’ll make something as soon as he gets home and that by no means should Cas actually touch the stove.

“Aw, look at you two.” Charlie coos, reaching up to pinch his cheek and wiggle it back and forth. “You’re just all sorts of domestic, aren’t you?”

He gives her a scathing look because how dare she try and make light of something that borderlines on traumatic. “Cas burns everything, Charlie. I’m not even joking.” Dean shakes his head slowly and shudders at the memories. “It’s like he has no concept of temperature and just puts everything to the hottest it will go so it will ‘cook faster’.”

She snorts a laugh and rolls her eyes. “That’s adorable.”

“Try saying that after he manages to set fucking spaghetti on fire.”

Charlie all out laughs and sits back in her seat with a punch to his shoulder. “He’s so lucky that he has you to cook for him for the rest of forever, huh? I hope I haven’t missed the wedding.”

Dean doesn’t have an answer for her. What the hell is he supposed to say to that? Sure, the word wedding was like a bucket of ice down his back, but cooking for Cas forever? Yeah, he’d do that. It’s something he’d be pretty damn happy to do, actually. But it’s not like he’s going to let that specific comment slide. He bides his time and waits for when Charlie drags him into a toy store to comb through the Harry Potter figurines. Then and only then does he make his move – grabbing a nerf gun to nail her in the back of the head with one of the darts.

“Careful, Winchester.” She snatches up another nerf gun and turns it on him. “I hold the fate of Moondor in my hands. If you don’t want to end up a scullery maid, you better respect your Queen.”

He contemplates the threat for a grand total of one second before quick firing another half dozen darts and ducking out of the aisle to avoid her returning volley. They manage to chase each other halfway across the store before a worker catches them and threatens to kick them out if they don’t clean up the mess they made. It’s a small price to pay, but Dean makes sure to buy a handful of video games in apology and Charlie buys most of their Harry Potter figurines.

“You got time to hit up the D&D store?” She elbows him in the side as they walk out of the toy store. “There’s one on the other side of the mall and I could use some new goblins for my table at home. I’ve got a sweet thing planned for my campaign.”

“Oh man, that brings back memories.” Dean sighs wistfully, remembering the good ol’ days of being a half-elf warrior and rolling a natural twenty. “Yeah, I could be persuaded into taking a look.”

What he isn’t expecting is to be walking out of that particular store with a case of shiney new dice and another date in his pocket to join Charlie’s next D&D match. Apparently being friends with the Dungeon Master comes with the perk of being able to join mid-campaign. It’s definitely something that he’s not going to complain about.

When they reach the car, Dean piles all his purchases in the trunk of the Impala while Charlie’s stuff goes on the back seat. Before they can even get inside, she grins at him and reaches up to pat him on the cheek. “I’ll get you out of that nerd-closet yet.”

Dean snorts and slaps her hands away. “I’m pretty sure you’ve already done that.” How many plans do they have to make for LARPing and D&D for him to be considered not a closet nerd?

“Well, then there’s just one more closet to get you out of!” Charlie beams up at him like she’s just all sorts of clever.

He raises an eyebrow down at her. “I’m an out and out bisexual. I’m not in any closet.” And he hasn’t been since he was fifteen.

But that answer only has Charlie shaking her head and she pats him on the ass before heading to the passenger door. “We’ll see about that. Now, let’s get you back to your domestic bliss, dear.”

Domestic bliss. Really? Charlie hasn’t even met Cas yet and she thinks what they’ve got going on is considered domestic bliss? Sure, okay, maybe Dean does talk about him the most. But that’s because they’re best friends and they do almost everything together and they live together and – no. It’s not domestic bliss. It’s not. Domestic bliss means more than just fuck buddies and they’re really not that, not even in the slightest.

And Dean keeps trying to tell himself that when he gets home and Cas has a bowl of microwave popcorn ready for him. There’s a DVD in the player and an open spot on the couch next to him, just begging for a warm butt. It’s almost too natural for Dean to sling an arm across the back of the couch – and more specifically, over Cas’s shoulders while they get comfortable. If that happens to include Cas leaning into him while the first Blade movie starts up, then it’s purely coincidence.

Same with how he kind of really hates it that they have to pull apart when Sam comes home.

*

Dean’s worry about things not ever going back to their sexy levels of normal kinda clears up all on its own not more than a few days later. He wasn’t expecting anything to happen for a long time, really. But he appreciates the hell out of the surprise he comes home to on a lovely Thursday afternoon after a pretty damn good day at work. Things are starting to look up. He’s more or less dug himself out of the pile of shit he’d buried himself under with Bobby and today was a heck of a lot less strenuous than it has been for the last few weeks.

See, the thing is that since he and Cas started the arrangement between them, Dean had kind of gotten used to sometimes coming home to a certain kind of really sexy surprise waiting for him. Cas only ever did it on days that he knew Sam was going to be gone all evening. Usually they involved Dean walking in on him naked in his bed, or Cas practically pouncing on him the moment he comes through the door. Whatever he chose to do, it was always something awesome and Dean could be persuaded to join him in a matter of milliseconds.

But Dean never knew what it was going to be or when it was going to happen. Cas didn’t do it every time Sam was gone. Of course, half the time Cas didn’t start anything, Dean usually managed to convince him that there were better ways to be spending their time alone together rather than in silence with Cas studying nonstop.

Taking that into account, it’s really no surprise that Dean has no idea what he’s coming home to when he walks into the apartment today. Sure, he knows that Cas has the rare day off and Sam’s got the late shift at the store – but none of that means he’s expecting anything (though he was kind of hoping for it). Especially in light of how things have been between them recently.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary at first. The apartment is quiet in the kind of way that you know someone is there even though you can’t see them. Cas’s bed is empty, and so is the couch, and there’s no sound coming from the kitchen. Dean’s bedroom door is wide open and usually Cas shuts it if he’s in there waiting. So, chances are he’s in the bathroom. Which isn’t overly weird and Dean doesn’t think much of anything about it. He kicks off his shoes and toes them into place right next to Cas’s at the bottom of the closet.

Dean’s just about to call out to Cas and ask what he wants for supper when he hears something that basically makes him swallow his words and choke on air. It’s a goddamn moan – loud and drawn out and most definitely the good kind. God, but it’s been ages since he’s heard that sound – wrecked, and desperate, and wrapped around his name like a choir of fucking angels. Like a lit match to gasoline, Dean’s blood is on fire and he’s very much aware (though he never forgot) that it’s been weeks since the last time he got off with Cas.

It should probably not be so easy to turn him on, but Dean’s already starting to get hard before he’s even half way to the bathroom. Granted, it’s been a hell of a long time and he’s been holding off on touching himself too (unless he got a little too uncomfortable and even then it wasn’t all that great). He tries not to look too excited when he reaches the bathroom. And that’s hard as fuck to do when he can actually hear the buzz of the vibrator before he’s even touched the handle.

The door is open a crack and Dean really only has to give it a little push to get it open. His breath catches in his throat and any thought of not looking excited goes right out the window. “Oh, fuck.” Because wow. That’s one hell of a fucking sight.

Cas is sitting on the edge of the tub, his torso stretched out with his arms above his head. They’re as high as they can go and he looks like he’s straining not to relax and put any weight on the shower rod – because he’s fucking tied to it. One end of a piece of the bondage rope is tied around the rod and the other is tied around the center of the rope handcuffs. Those are currently wrapped tight around Cas’s wrists and sure, that’s great and all, but it’s got nothing on the rest of him.

With the mask covering his eyes, Cas is pretty much straight up blind right now. He’s trembling and his head is lolling from one side to the other with the occasional drop forward or back. Cas’s legs are spread and they wobble every time he lifts up on to his toes, squirming on the vibe – the base of it snug against his hole. The remote is laying on the floor at his feet and from the sound alone, Dean thinks the thing has gotta be purring away at high speed. That would account for the flush covering Cas from top to bottom and the sheen of sweat on his skin – and why his cock is already hard and leaking.

Dean –” His name comes on a whimper and that’s all it takes to snap Dean out of the stupor that he was dropped into just from a totally naked, practically writhing Cas. It doesn’t take a whole hell of a lot to distract him, really.

But, the thing is, can he do this? Cas clearly wants it – wants him. But – this kind of feels too easy. After all the shit that happened, should they really just be throwing themselves into it headfirst like this? Part of him wants to stop and say something about it – but a bigger, much more vocal part of him is screaming that Cas is welcoming him with open legs and if he looks this particular gift horse in the mouth, then he might as well just castrate himself right now.

Still… He needs to make sure that this time he’s got permission to touch. “Cas –” Dean licks his lips and swallows at the way Cas twitches at his name. “Cas, do you want me to touch you?”

Yes.” Cas gives his answer in a deseperate his that completely snaps Dean’s control.

Two steps. That’s all it takes to cross the bathroom into Cas’s space. That’s all he needs to be close enough to get his mouth on Cas’s, licking past those parted lips with the full intent to wreck his mouth and make it match the moans he’s making. It draws another long, low groan that rumbles through Cas’s throat and across Dean’s tongue. God, Dean missed the taste of it. He missed every taste he knows is scattered across Cas’s body and he wants to find each difference again.

Slowly, Dean drops to his knees. Using one hand to guide Cas’s head back, he lays a wet trail of kisses down his neck. He drags his teeth across Cas’s collarbone in the exact place he knows makes Cas squirm. It’s been so long that Dean doesn’t care how long it takes to work his way down Cas’s chest, mapping every contour and paying homage to both his nipples. Jesus, but touching Cas again feels amazing – smooth skin, firm muscle, hot and slick and fucking beautiful.

Dean keeps moving down his stomach until he can finally wrap his lips around Cas’s cock. He swallows him down in one go, just to give Cas a little bit of the relief he’s probably craving – not that Dean knows how long he’s been sitting here waiting. Cas’s gasp of surprise falls right into another loud moan as his hips rock forward in the little space that they can without unseating him from the edge of the tub. The noises he makes with gasping Dean’s name is more than enough that Dean doesn’t even need words of encouragement to twist his tongue, licking and sliding it everywhere he can reach.

He gropes blindly across the floor for the remote and as soon as his fingers close around it, Dean flicks the switch to low. It continues puttering away at that speed while he bobs his head for a while, completely enjoing finally getting to give Cas some kind of pleasure again before he turns the vibrator off. At the same time, Dean pulls off Cas’s cock but he keeps one hand wrapped around it loosely, stroking in a slow rhythm. He looks up, mouth open and ready to ask how Cas wants to go ahead with this, but the words get stuck in his throat again.

Cas’s face is tilted towards him, lips slick and parted. “Can – Dean, can we try – I would like to try dirty talking again. Please?”

That’s easy enough. “You want me to –?”

“Please.” He licks his lips and Dean can see his Adam’s apple bob in his throat. “I need – I want to hear more of it. I’m still not sure if I – if I actually like it or not. Dean –”

“Whatever you want, Cas.” Dean leans up and forward to press a kiss to his sternum and gives his dick a little squeeze.

Guess it’s time to switch his mindset and really get into the thick of things. Cas is kink exploring again and that’s one of Dean’s favourite things to do in pretty much ever. He really can’t help grinning. God, he missed this.

“What if Sam had come home early, huh?” Dean pitches his voice just a little deeper, feeling it scrape through his throat and practically seeing it do the same down Cas’s spine. He shivers and spreads his legs a little wider as Dean presses a kiss to the inside of his thigh. “Sam could’ve seen you like this, Cas. He could’ve heard you.” He’s just going to ignore that little burn of jealousy in the back of his head because it’s not like Sam actually did, right? “What would you’ve done then?”

Cas just shakes his head and rocks his hips again. There’s a small, pleading sound stuck in his throat and Dean licks a strip up his cock. “What do you want me to do, Cas?” He murmurs and drops another kiss to his skin, this time on the head of his cock. “D’you want to come in my mouth?” The tip of his tongue pushes against the slit and Cas swallows a cry. “Or d’you want me to take that toy outta you and you can come on my cock, Cas?”

That question doesn’t exactly get an answer. Not unless another full body shudder can be counted as one. Cas might be above and beyond words now, but that’s okay. Dean’s kind of used to working with him like that. And he likes to use the situation to give Cas even more stimulation – like kissing his way back up Cas’s body, one hand always moving in his lap while he stops to mouth at his nipples. Cas always pushes his chest into his mouth, breath coming short and quick as Dean rolls his tongue over one and then the other. And whenever Dean catches one between his teeth, it earns him a nice loud whine.

The thing with Cas is that sometimes he has his moments where he’s the one who likes to be the one to push Dean down and drive him wild. And sometimes he’s like this – trussed up and fucking aching for it. He’s a kinky son of a bitch and Dean is more than happy to play into his little games. Truthfully, Dean kind of really likes seeing Cas like this – not that he doesn’t fucking adore it when Cas is dragging him down on the bed and spreading his legs for him.

But this isn’t one of those times and Dean gets his feet under him again. He keeps a firm grip on Cas’s cock while he slides his other hand into Cas’s hair. In one quick jerk – not too hard and not too gentle – he pulls Cas’s head back to bare his throat to his mouth and the scrape of teeth over his pulse. “Answer me, Cas. What do you want?”

A full body shiver shakes through Cas and another groan vibrates under Dean’s lips. “S–” He knows that Cas is almost completely gone and ready to come when he starts to fucking stutter. “S-suck –” That’s the kind of begging that Dean is more than happy to be a part of. He definitely hasn’t had his fill of sucking Cas’s cock after their weeks long break. But before he can drop to his knees again, Cas gasps out one last word. “– you.”

Dean freezes with his knees bent. “Oh?” That’s interesting. And hell yes that is a thing he can definitely do. If that’s what Cas wants – well, Dean totally wants it too. It’s been even longer since he’s had Cas’s lips around his dick.

“You want to suck me off, Cas?” He slides his mouth over Cas’s for another messy kiss before he stands up straight and contemplates what he could do with the vibe’s remote right now. He lets go of Cas completely for a minute to get his belt open and the button of his jeans popped. “You gonna let me fuck your mouth instead of your ass today?”

Cas groans a yes and throws his head back when Dean cranks the vibe to medium. Dean lets him suffer through that for a minute or so before he tightens his grip in Cas’s hair again. He steps in close between Cas’s legs and the shower rod creaks a little ominously as Cas leans forward, Dean’s other hand cupping his jaw to guide him to the front of his pants. There’s still the zipper to go, but Cas should be able to figure out what he needs to do.

Without hesitation, Cas gets to work just like Dean hoped he would. Something hot slips through Dean’s chest and along his spine to pool in his gut as he watches Cas feel out everything with lips and tongue. He’s trusting Dean so much right now and it’s kind of making him feel all sorts of squishy inside while he watches Cas mouth wetly at his hard on through the denim, tongue tracing up the zipper until he finds the tab and drags it down with his teeth. The eyemask is hiding half his face, but Dean can still see the way his forehead is all scrunched up in concentration.

He’s not completely heartless though, and Dean helps pull the jeans out of the way as soon as Cas has them unzipped. With one hand he shoves them a little way down his thighs until Cas has a completely unobstructed access to the front of his boxers. Cas takes his time with sucking at the length of Dean’s dick through his boxer shorts and that feels amazing – and he hasn’t even gotten his mouth actually on him yet. But he doesn’t have long to wait before Cas makes a frustrated noise – like he can’t wait to get his lips around Dean’s cock properly.

Quick enough, Cas is straining up to try and grab the waistband of his boxers with his teeth. He struggles to pull it down too and Dean hooks his thumb in them to help him along. It’s easier to breathe once his cock is actually free and Dean sucks in a sharp breath when Cas’s cheek brushes against it. Stubble rubs over sensitive skin until Cas feels his way to the head and closes his lips around it. He’s doing it all hands free and Dean can only watch as Cas suckles and tongues around the head. Cas groans and it’s molten magma in Dean’s veins because God, it sounds like he’s getting off on this too.

Dean can’t hold back a sound of his own when Cas takes as much of his cock as he can before sliding back up again. He still hasn’t mastered the art of deepthroating yet, but there’s plenty of time for practicing. And it’s not like Dean’s a pro at it either – though he can take more than Cas. Mostly that’s just practice though.

“Open your filthy mouth wider, Cas.” He hisses the command between his teeth and tucks a thumb against Cas’s chin, guiding him to open up a little more. “I want to fuck your mouth. You want that too, don’t you?” A groan is his answer as Cas complies. “Gonna moan for it like the slut you are, huh?”

Something tingles across his ribs and Dean shakes his head. That was something he didn’t enjoy saying. He can talk dirty, sure, but calling names feels like it’s crossing a line – especially where Cas is concerned. Cas seems to think the same because he makes a noises in the back of his throat and pulls back. Before he can say anything, Dean slides his hand along his cheek.

“Sorry. Found a line, huh?”

Cas nods and gives him a small smile that Dean just has to kiss before he lets Cas get back to sucking him again. But he really just lets Dean rest on his tongue, mouth open and holding still. Dean starts to rock his hips in shallow little thrusts that get Cas groaning again. Oh shit. He nearly bites through his bottom lip at the feeling. God, but it isn’t enough. It’s not even close to enough. He wants to fuck Cas. Dean wants to untie him from the shower rod, fold him over the edge of the tub, and give Cas what the stupid vibrator just can’t.

Even better, Dean want to take Cas to his bedroom. He wants to press him down into the sheets and worship him from head to toe with hands and mouth until Cas doesn’t remember any other time that he’s touched him. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Dean just wants Cas. He wants him in every way, shape, and form. But since this is what Cas wants – Dean will oblige. Cas is always good at giving him what he wants later. Besides, how could he ever deny Cas when he wants to suck him off?

It doesn’t matter if Cas is tied up. He’s still got a hold over Dean that he should probably never actually learn about. If Cas knew that Dean would do almost anything for him, he might use that against him – not that he really thinks that Cas would actually do that. Cas is one of the best people that Dean knows. And that just makes it all the better that Cas is letting him do this.

Dean keeps his bottom lip caught between his teeth while he watches the way his cock slides between Cas’s lips. It’s impossible for him to hold still now. He can’t stop rocking his hips, getting closer with every slight drag of Cas’s teeth or the twitch of his tongue over the head of his cock whenever he pulls almost all the way out. When he can feel his balls getting tight, his grip in Cas’s hair gets tighter and he takes a deep breath to try and make himself stop.

“Cas – I’m gonna –”

As soon as he says that, Cas starts pulling back. He tries turning his head and he makes that same noise in the back of his throat that he did before. That’s his stop sound and Dean let’s go, letting Cas lean way and take deep breaths. If he’s a little disappointed about it (he was so close), it doesn’t matter. Cas isn’t going to leave him hanging like this. He never does.

After he catches his breath, Cas tilts his head back to – well, he can’t really look at him with the blindfold mask, but it’s pretty much what he’s doing. Dean kind of misses Cas’s eyes right now. Cas licks his lips and all but breathes what he wants to happen next.

“On me.” His voice is rough, and his lips are plump and pink and Dean can’t resist bending down and kissing them again. He can’t resists licking in and tasting himself on Cas’s tongue. God, but it’s amazing and he gets as good as he gives with the kiss until Cas turns his head away, cheek pressing against his arm while he whispers again; “On me.”

Too bad that Dean is too fogged in the brain to understand what the hell he’s getting at. “Huh?”

Cas bites his lip and Dean can almost see the withering glare through the eyemask. “I want – Dean, come on me.”

Oh holy Christ. Dean doesn’t need to be told twice. He wastes no time with taking his dick in hand. Jerking off isn’t exactly how he wanted to finish, but if it’s what Cas wants, then he more than deserves it after the shit Dean put him through over the last few weeks. Cas probably learned this from some porn – since Dean’s only done this to him once and that was an accident. Besides, more than half of pornos finish like this anyways.

He leans over to press kisses from Cas’s elbows to his wrists until that burn in his veins starts to give way. Dean uses a hand on the back of Cas’s head to hold him in place as everything else just lets go and he’s groaning his way through an orgasm. Half of it ends up on Cas’s chest anyways, and his mouth screws up in a weird little half-smile, half-frown – like he’s not sure if he actually likes it. But before Dean can ask if he’s okay with it, Cas is leaning forward again and Dean needs to guide him in so he doesn’t get a dick in the eye. Another groan rumbles in his chest while Cas sucks his cock and his fingers clean.

That right there is Dean’s limit. Cas was on the edge before he got here and he hasn’t even come yet. He made sure that Dean came first and he was late to the party as is. See, Dean’s a giver, not a taker. One of his most favourite things ever is getting to see his partner hit nirvana. Scratch that. It’s watching Cas come that’s sitting higher on his list than anything else. And it’s been weeks since he’s gotten to see it.

Without a word, Dean turns the dial up to high and doesn’t even bother hiding his grin when Cas jerks hard, throwing his head back and his chest out as the shower rod creaks again. It’s a beautiful sight and Dean crouches to get his mouth on his throat again.

“You’ve done so well, Cas. Cleaned me up so nice with that gorgeous mouth of yours.” He slides his hands over Cas’s chest, trailing his fingers through his own come. “Earned yourself such a nice reward. I wanna see you come on that vibe.” His fingers find Cas’s nipples and he tweaks them without a thought, rolling them between thumb and forefinger in a pinch and soothing them with gentle strokes afterward.

Cas tries biting his lip, but Dean won’t let him have that. They’re too tempting to ruin with teeth like that. Dean kisses him out of it with a murmured command against his mouth. “Don’t do that.”

Soon enough, Dean’s on his knees again and drawing all sorts of happy sounds out of Cas with his lips wrapped around his cock. Dean’s barely given it more than a minute’s worth of attention before Cas is groaning long and loud, and coming on his tongue. Right around the same time, there’s a dangerous creak from above them.

In hindsight, shower curtain rods aren’t as sturdy as they seem.

*

Well, that damn shower rod and the damage to the wall is going to be coming out of their deposit. It also totally destroyed any after orgasm bliss that either of them had when Cas fell back into the tub with the rod falling down on top of him. He’s going to be nicely bruised from that, but Dean let him cool down on the can while he reinstalled the shower rod just a little higher than it was before. Normally he wouldn’t be bothered to do it right away – at least not until Sam would get home and yell at him. But Cas had pouted while Dean had helped him out of the tub and mumbled about not being able to take a shower now.

If Cas wants a shower, then Dean sure as hell can get off his lazy ass and screw a shower rod back into place. On the bright side, doing that earns him an invitation into the shower. The hot water is nice, but having Cas leaning back against him is even nicer. He missed showering with him. He missed pampering Cas and rubbing shampoo into his hair with a nice scalp massage, and watching how Cas all but melts completely against him with a groan when he does it – a blissed out smile on his face.

Dean waits for the shampoo to wash out before he presses kisses along the back of Cas’s neck. “Where’d you get the idea for all of that, huh?”

He hums and tilts his chin to his chest while Dean drops kisses to his shoulders too. “I needed some new ideas, so I started watching some porn again.” Cas turns in his arms and slides his hands into Dean’s wet hair. “I thought it would be necessary because you might be losing interest since our talk.”

A frown pulls down the corners of Dean’s lips. “You know I haven’t, Cas.” If what just happened isn’t obvious enough, then all the kissing they’ve been doing should’ve be more evidence than Cas needs.

“I know.” Cas shrugs and leans into him for another light kiss. “But I couldn’t help thinking that might be the case. I thought, maybe, that you might have needed a little push since you’ve been holding back so much after our talk.”

True, he has been trying to make sure that Cas is actually comfortable with him before he tried bringing anything back – even if he really wanted it. But he wasn’t the only one holding back. Cas could’ve said – or done – something a lot sooner than today if he really wanted it. Except he was waiting for Dean to get his shit together again, wasn’t he? Jesus Christ.

Dean kisses Cas firmly, fingers slipping on his skin as he digs them into his hips to hold him in place. After a minute, he rests their foreheads together. “Does that mean we’re back to normal now?”

“As normal as we ever were.” Cas murmurs softly, carefully guiding Dean to switch places with him.

As Cas’s fingers start working magic on his scalp, Dean realizes that the definition of normal between them has definitely changed. He just doesn’t want to think too hard about how.

Chapter Text

Dean can usually handle a good laugh at his expense, especially when he sets out to make people laugh. But Charlie is taking things to a whole new level right now. She hasn’t stopped laughing since they called an end to the day’s LARPing. As soon as she dropped her persona of Queen of Moondor, she looked at Dean and starting outright cackling. In the half hour it took them to pack up their things until the next time, every time she’s so much as glanced at him, she’d burst into ridiculous giggles that put her out of commission for a good few minutes.

By the time they head for the cars, Dean’s a little on the grumpy side. “It wasn’t that funny.”

“No, no, but it is.” She’s practically skipping beside him, her grin verging on maniacal. “Not only did you quote Braveheart, but then you fell flat on your face!”

He can feel his cheeks going red again. Apparently it doesn’t matter that he stayed in character the whole damn time and got right back up to run with the rest of their troops across the field at their enemies. All that matters is Dean fell on his face, smudged his Braveheart-inspired war paint, and blushed like a ripe tomato. Frankly, he should just give up. Charlie Bradbury is going to mock him for this for the rest of his life and there’s nothing he can do about it.

But that doesn’t mean he’s going to go down without a fight. “It’s the only rousing speech I knew because someone decided to give the newb the job of inspiring the ranks.” He hunches his shoulders against her muffled giggles. “And you know it rained yesterday! There was mud all over that field and I sure as hell wasn’t the only person to slip in it.”

Dean sniffs and hefts his fake sword on his shoulder, eyes fixed on the ground to keep from anymore accidental slipping. “Besides, the rest of our group seemed to like it and we totally kicked ass today. Say what you want about my methods, but I was fucking inspiring.”

“Oh, absolutely!” Charlie claps him on the back as they step from the dirt path to the cement of the parking lot. “I’m so glad that we got it on film!”

His head pops up and swivels around, eyes almost painfully wide. “What the hell do you mean –”

The question falls flat when he catches sight of three very familiar people standing between his Impala and Charlie’s Mini Coop. Sam and Jess are leaning against the side of the Impala – something that Dean has told them they’re never allowed to do. Cas, thankfully, is standing away from it. Normally Dean would be tickled pink to have those three here, but chances are that they probably totally saw the little snafu with the final battle. Worse yet, Cas has a fancy new camera hanging around his neck and it makes Dean’s blood run cold.

It’s the kind of camera with the interchangeable zoom lenses that stick out the front of it. Of course Gabriel would go all out and get him something with more parts than Dean would even know how to name. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that all three of them have their heads together and they’re looking at the screen on the back of the camera.

“Oh, look!” There’s way too much glee in Charlie’s voice and Dean shoots her a dirty glare for it because there is no way she didn’t play some kind of part in this. “You have fans waiting for you!”

All heads turn to him when Dean walks up to the car, barely concealed delight in three sets of eyes. Dean barely refrains from glaring at them, a blush already burning his cheeks. “What are you guys doing here?” Maybe there’s some small chance that they didn’t see him eat a load of mud.

“Charlie invited us.” Jess smiles brightly, lifting a hand in a wave that Charlie returns.

“And that is my cue to hit the road.” Charlie drops her hand from the wave straight onto Dean’s shoulder before she pops the trunk of her Coop and dumps her things inside. “I actually need to get back to my day job now. Gotta go do some code to keep affording the fun I like to have in my free time.” She completely ignores the glare Dean’s got aimed at the back of her head while she opens the driver’s side door. “See ya, bitches!”

They all wave as she drives off before Jess sighs. “That sucks. I was going to invite her to come have dinner with us. It would be nice to have more girls in the group.”

“You live with two other women and you complain about their personal habits all the time.” Sam snorts, stepping away from the Impala to help Dean put his stuff in the trunk.

“That’s entirely different.” Jess huffs. “You live with Dean and Cas and you complain about them just as much as I do with my roommates.”

The pout Cas directs at Sam makes Dean’s knees go weak. “You complain about me?”

Sam shoots a warning look at Jess before he reaches out to throw an arm around Cas’s shoulders. “No, no, no. Cas, you’re the perfect roommate. It’s Dean that I complain about all the time. Trust me. If I could be living with two of you, I’d be problem free at home.”

“Hey!” Dean slams the trunk and gives Sam another glare that’s half scandalized and half pout. “If you don’t want to have to take the bus home from here, you better take that back.”

“I’ll think about it.” He’s all shit-eating grin while he ushers Jess into the car. “Quick, quick, get in before he locks the doors.”

They’re both inside before Dean can do anything about it. And it’s not like he has a remote to stop them. He should really look into getting the Impala updated with one of those. It sure would come in handy with showing his dumb kid brother a thing or two.

Sighing, he rubs a hand over his face and glances at Cas. “How much did you guys see?”

Jess’s voice floats through the open window, twisted into a truly terrible Scottish accent. “It was truly an honour to witness your greatness, Sir Dean of Winchesterland!”

Dean slaps his hand on the hood of the trunk and glares at the both of them through the back window. “Careful you two. I have a sword in here and I know how to use it.” That just gets them both laughing like idiots in the backseat and Dean has to force himself to ignore them when he looks back to Cas. “I see Gabe gave you your gift a little early, huh?”

“It was an early birthday gift and a bribe.” Cas smiles and looks down at it, all fond and happy and Dean’s arms are itching to pull him into a hug. His lips itch too with the urge to kiss him too, but Dean’s a pro at ignoring both feelings. “Apparently I was making him look bad at the café by picking up all those shifts so I could afford to get a camera. This is much nicer than the one I was hoping to get.”

He almost doesn’t even want to ask. “So, I guess you took pictures of the whole thing, huh?”

The way Cas’s smile grows a little more is equally frightening and adorable. Instead of saying anything, he just hits a button on the camera. Almost instantly, Dean can hear his voice shouting out the last of the speech clear as day. He can feel his whole face go red again so fast that it actually fucking hurts and he just barely stops himself from covering it with both hands.

“You didn’t.”

“I did.”

Dean makes a desperate grab for the camera. “Delete it!”

One side step takes Cas out of his reach. “Never.”

“Cas, I swear to the almighty Gods of Rock and Roll that I will –” He’ll what? Dean’s repertoire of threats is a little short at the moment. He can’t exactly say that he’ll withhold sex or kisses or touches because those are technically not things they’re suppose to have in their friendship – and the windows of the Impala are kind of open right now. Jess and Sam would totally hear. And Cas seems to be thinking the same thing, because all he does is raise an eyebrow, waiting for the rest of Dean’s sentence to come out of his open mouth.

He points a finger at Cas. “Delete it or I’m not getting you a birthday present.”

“I’m fine with that.” Cas smiles and the camera makes a little beeping noise as he turns it off and lets it drop against his chest.

“That’s it, I’m leaving you all here.” Dean turns away and yanks open one of the back doors. “Get out of the car, Sammy. You’re all walking.”

Sam just looks up at him from under his bangs, like he knows there’s no way Dean’s actually going to leave them there. Which is true. He’s just throwing a tantrum right now. Jess knows it too and she leans across Sam’s lap to flutter her eyelashes at him. “But if you leave us here, how will we ever find our way home? Or, more importantly, to the costume store to join under the flag of the Queen?”

Well, that sure as hell catches his attention and Dean narrows a suspicious squint at each of them in turn. “You guys seriously want to join?”

Cas’s smile grows again. “I think it would be interesting, yes.”

“Hell yeah.” Sam reaches for the door again to pull it closed. “Who wouldn’t want to swing swords and watch you goof off?”

Dean puts a hand over his heart and adopts the sappiest look he can possibly muster. “I love you guys.”

“We know!” Jess laughs from inside the car. “Now let’s get going! I’m hungry.”

As soon as Dean’s in the driver’s seat and Cas has parked his ass next to him, Cas leans over with the camera on again. There’s a really nice photo of Dean on the screen, captured mid-run at the start of the battle – right before he slipped and fell on his face. Cas has a whole bunch of other photos and he starts flipping through them while Dean starts up the car. Before they’re even out of the parking lot, Cas launches into an explanation about all the settings the camera has.

It sure sounds fancy, but Dean’s mind falls straight into thinking about all the different things Cas could be photographing with it. And those are things he really shouldn’t be thinking. He does his best to keep his mind on the straight and narrow right now, but that’s made all the more difficult by the mere fact that Cas had asked him only a week or so ago to be his freaking model. Dean may or may not have spent all the time since agonizing over whether or not that means he’ll eventually have to pose naked for Cas.

Guess that’s just something he’s going to have to wait and find out about later.

*

Over his lifetime, Dean has hid many various things inside his sock drawer. Those items have ranged from his first pack of condoms, to a bag of weed he held for Ash (that he did try once after Ash rolled it), to his first dildo. That was promptly moved to a shoebox when he realized that Sam never goes in any of his stuff and he doesn’t actually have to hide anything anymore. With that being said, it’s both not at all and also a little bit surprising that he hid the collar catalogue in his sock drawer.

He’s spent well over a month looking at it and reading up on collars and stuff on the internet, but he’s still no closer to picking one for Cas. Even Dean’s search engine has been exhausted with his hunt for the perfect collar and there’s a whole folder in his browser full of bookmarked pages. The problem with his search is that Dean knowsthat Cas should probably be the one to pick his own collar, but he just doesn’t think any of the ones in the catalogue look good enough. And he can’t exactly pick just anything off of the internet for him. What if Cas doesn’t like the colours, or the studs, or the d-ring, or he wants a different kind of buckle?

It’s so frustrating and Dean is no closer to coming up with an answer by the time Cas’s birthday actually rolls around. The big day is suddenly just there and Dean doesn’t even have a back up gift. Well, he does, but really awesome birthday sex is probably not what Sam is expecting him to give Cas at the table when he takes them both out for dinner. All he’s got is a birthday card and his name signed with a teasing little winky face. Hopefully Cas will understand what that’s supposed to promise.

Judging by the way he’s ears get red around their edges after Dean hands the card over after they’ve eaten, the message is received loud and clear. But just so Sam doesn’t think Dean didn’t get Cas anything, he bumps their shoulders together and leans into Cas’s side slightly. “And I’ve got you covered for dinner, okay? Sorry I couldn’t figure out what else to get you. Gabriel stole the good gift idea.”

“You don’t have to get me anything, Dean.” Cas smiles at him, all teeth and gums and gorgeousness. “You’re already doing so much for me. Thank you.”

Dean ducks his head and fiddles with the soggy remains of his fries. “Yeah, no problem.”

Jesus, please let the complimentary slice of cake come soon to take the heat off him. Or maybe Sam can stop grinning at them like a goof and give his present. It’s been sitting on the chair next to him for the whole damn dinner, all big and wrapped fancy-like because Jess totally talked Sam into keeping a box full of wrapping paper and ribbons and bags and tags that Dean finds completely unnecessary.

“Here, Cas.” Sam swoops in as Dean’s saving grace and slides his gift over. “This is from Jess and me. She wanted to be here, but she had a family thing.”

Cas carefully peels the paper away to reveal a book that’s definitely not in a language that Dean knows how to speak – or read. It’s not even in the English alphabet. It kind of looks like it might be Chinese. “How the heck are you supposed to read that?”

“It’s partly in English.” He flips it open and thumbs through a few pages, smiling so wide that Dean thinks he might split a lip. “This is wonderful, Sam. I’m surprised you remembered! Please give Jess my thanks too.”

A vague sense of jealousy tickles along Dean’s ribs and he frowns back and forth between them both. “I think I’m out of the loop here. Since when can you read Chinese?”

“Since boarding school.” Cas shrugs and flips a few more pages. “But I’m much better at speaking it than I am reading it. This will help immensely with learning that.”

Another pout punches out Dean’s bottom lip and he slouches a little in his seat, just barely refraining from crossing his arms. “How come you never told me?” He thought they were past the point where he didn’t know everything about Cas.

“It never came up.”

“But Sam knew.” Dean gestures across the table at the smug smile his dumb little brother is giving him. Sam always knows. He knew about Cas’s TaeKwonDo too. The only thing that Deans knows about Cas that Sam doesn’t is the ink on his skin. Dean clings to that secret like it’s the last arc in the flood.

“I only know about it because I was at Gabriel’s studying with Cas when they’re aunt called and she’s from France.” Sam shrugs, but he still looks way too amused.

Dean looks at Cas, eyes wide. “You speak French?”

“Fluently, yes. My mother’s side of the family all live in France.” He ducks his head modestly, ears going red again with the focus being on him. “My father’s family originally came from England a few generations ago. I speak English, French and German fluently. I know Chinese conversationally.”

“And you learned it all in boarding school?” Jesus, that’s some intense schooling.

Cas shrugs and flips through the pages. “We were taught French from an early age because of my mother. I learned the rest on my own at the private schools I spent most of my childhood at.”

No flippin’ way. “You learned Chinese and German for fun?” He knew Cas liked studying, but this reaches a whole new level of nerd.

“I didn’t enjoy spending time with the other children.” A small frown creases Cas’s forehead while he traces his fingers over the lines on the page. “The school library had several books on cassette in other languages and I chose to spend my time with those instead.”

Sam pushes his empty salad plate out of the way and crosses his arms on the table. “Why didn’t you like the other kids?”

“They were very judgemental. I believe you would have called them stuck up and snooty.” Cas shrugs again and closes the book. “They were privileged, spoiled brats and their company was less desirable than being alone.”

Something pulls sharp and painful through Dean’s chest. It’s full of pity, and longing, and anger and sadness. He doesn’t want to think about Cas as a kid, sitting alone on some boarding school bed away from his family and without any friends. It makes his whole heart hurt and before he knows it, he’s throwing an arm around Cas’s shoulder and dropping a playful kiss to his cheek.

“Don’t worry, Cas. Now you’ve got us Winchesters!”

Cas shoves him away with a laugh, his nose crinkling in a fashion that’s way too cute for a guy who’s just turning twenty-one today. Sam snorts a laugh of his own while Cas rubs at his cheek with the back of his hand. The look he gives Dean is all kinds of warm and it’s making Dean get tingly all over. He can’t help grinning back while that sunshiney feeling pulses through his chest again. It doesn’t stop even when the cake slice gets dropped off at their table and they barely manage to stop giggling long enough to sing him Happy Birthday.

Either way, it’s a good time out for them. Cas is happy and that’s all that really matters.

*

“Dean, can you drop me off at Jess’s parents place?” Sam asks from the back seat, leaning forward to tap his shoulder. “She just texted me and asked me over.”

“You’re ditching out on the rest of Cas’s birthday?” He glances at him in the rearview mirror, frowning slightly. As much as he needs to get Sam out of the house for his present to Cas, Dean doesn’t exactly like that he’s leaving. It’s Cas’s birthday and they’re supposed to be spending it with him.

Sam shakes his head. “It’s not going to be for the whole night. Her parents just haven’t seen me in a while and they want to say hi. I’m going to bring her back home with me after.”

Well, Jess’s parents aren’t too far and Cas isn’t objecting, so why the hell not? He shrugs and take the next turn to put himself on the right track. It’s a blessing in disguise, really. They haven’t even completely turned off Jess’s street before Cas’s hand is on his knee. Dean doesn’t think twice about dropping one hand from the wheel to thread his fingers with Cas’s, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. Halfway home, Cas ends up sliding across the bench seat to press up against Dean’s side. Almost on automatic, he slides his arm around Cas’s shoulders to keep him in place.

It feels stupidly natural to sit like this together and Dean can’t help finishing the drive with a dumb grin on his face. They even keep touching as much as physically possible even they’ve gotten out of the car. Cas keeps an arm wrapped around Dean’s waist while they walk to the elevators and Dean’s arm stays fixed around Cas’s shoulders like it’s been superglued there. Neither of them says a word about it and Dean thinks that might be because there’s nothing to say. Right now his brain is nothing but a tingling ball of happy in his head and he’s completely focused on the way Cas’s hand keeps dipping into his back pocket while they’re riding the elevator up to their floor.

As soon as they’re inside the apartment, Cas doesn’t bother with locking the door. He’s got Dean up against it before it’s even properly closed. The groan Cas makes when he crashes into Dean for a kiss is desperate and relieved all in one. Dean can still taste the cake on Cas’s tongue but it doesn’t take away from how fucking good it is to kiss him again. He doesn’t even mind that there’s already hands down the back of his pants, squeezing and groping like nobody’s business.

“Dean.” Cas hums his name between kisses and pulls his hips against his. “Can I have my birthday present now?”

Judging by the direction Cas’s fingers are taking, Dean is pretty damn sure he knows how Cas wants the gift he doesn’t even need to ask for. Cas is practically lifting him off his feet, one hand slipping down far enough behind him to rub a finger against Dean’s hole through his underwear. He’s more than happy to bottom first, as long as Cas is well aware that Dean is going to fuck him senseless the first chance he gets tonight. But first, there’s something else they need to do.

“I’ve got another present for you, Cas.” He mumbles, pushing him away just far enough to get some room to breathe. “Can we get that taken care of before you destroy my higher brain functions?” Cas’s eyes are all hooded and hazy, but he nods and Dean carefully pulls his hands out of his pants. “But you need to be the one to pick out your present, okay?”

That clears up Cas’s daze and he a little frown of confusion spreads across his lips. Dean doesn’t bother explaining anything and drags Cas to his laptop, already set up and ready for them on the desk in his bedroom. As soon as he clicks open one of his bookmarked pages, Cas reaches out and shuts the laptop. His eyes are all big and bright and excited when he looks at Dean.

“If that’s what you want to buy for me, then I don’t want anything online.” He steps in close to sling his arms around Dean’s waist again. “Can we please go to the store to pick one out?”

“What store?” The only place that Dean can think of that might sell those kind of things is a porn store and there are more than a few of those in the city, and Cas sounds like he’s referring to a specific one.

Cas just smiles and kisses him before he fixes both their shirts. He tucks Deans’ back into his jeans for him before he straightens out his own vest and tie again (because Sam had insisted that they dress up nice for dinner). “I’m going to take you to the store where I’ve bought all our other toys. If you don’t mind going now.”

“You’re the birthday boy, Cas.” Dean grins and pulls him close for another quick kiss. “You decide if you want sex now or later.”

There’s just a teeny bit of disappointment when Cas chooses to go to the store instead, but Dean completely forgets all about that when they walk into the store. It’s not the massive amount of sex toys filling the walls and shelves that catches his attention and performs an effective brain wipe. What grabs his eye is the attendant sitting behind the counter with his feet kicked up and a newspaper half hiding his scruffy, familiar face.

“What the hell, dude?” Dean gapes and points. Rude or not, he doesn’t give a fuck because the guy behind the counter is Benny.

Somehow, Benny manages to look completely unfazed by this mindblowing revelation. He doesn’t even bother lowering his newspaper. “Welcome to my second job.” Benny does quirk an eyebrow over the top of the paper at Cas. “I thought you were going to keep this a secret?”

“Cas, you knew?”

“He asked me not to tell you.” Cas’s arm snakes through Dean’s and he gives a little tug, eyes already fixed on some shelves off to the other side of the shop. It’s a futile effort because Dean doesn’t budge and Cas just sighs, explaining the rest of his story. “When Gabriel and I went to the garage, Benny gave me his card and insisted that I come to the store. At the time I didn’t realize that he meant it as a joke. He says he did it because you informed all your friends on the night that I first met them that I was a virgin. But I took the joke seriously, we had a good laugh over it, and now we’re here.”

That’s why you were blushing?” Dean glances back and forth between them and he can feel his whole face go red. “Oh my God. Have you bought things from him?” And then the real question hits him and Dean damn near shits himself. “Does he know?” He makes a sharp motion, gesturing back and forth between his chest and Cas’s.

Benny’s eyebrows crawl up his forehead, all curious and surprised. Cas sighs again and rubs a hand over his face. “I haven’t bought anything else from this store yet and we haven’t spoken since the garage. He didn’t know anything until you said something.”

Goddammit. Dean kind of hates himself for opening his big dumb mouth – but he hates himself more when Benny actually lowers his newspaper and a big, toothy grin spreads across his face. “So, not your boyfriend, huh?”

Something inside Dean’s stomach shrivels up and he feels like he’s going to be sick until Cas squeezes his arm and looks Benny straight in his face, voice flat and stern. “I’m not his boyfriend.”

He probably meant for that to help, but all that does is make Dean’s stomach pitch down into his feet. It’s the truth, but why is it making him actually feel worse? Okay, he might know why, but he he doesn’t like the sound of it and it shouldn’t be making him this upset that Cas isn’t his boyfriend. Dean already knows that he’s not good enough for Cas and he’s just going to end up hurting him when he’s incapable of actually loving him.

Benny still looks way too amused for his own good. “Then how does he know what you’ve bought?”

Well, the cat’s out of the bag and Cas apparently doesn’t care if Benny knows that they’re fucking. Dean clears his throat and tries to look as calm about this as Cas does. “From first hand experience, actually.”

Oh.” His smile falls a little, almost to a frown and he looks between them again. “You two are just – you’re like that, then?”

“On occasion.” Cas shrugs and this time he actually manages to drag Dean away to the shelves. “Please excuse us. We have my birthday present to pick out.”

The shelves with the collars are tucked away on the other side of the entrance from Benny’s desk. It’s almost out of sight and Benny would actually have to lean over his desk to see them – though there are probably enough cameras for him not to need to do that. The collars cover one side of a standing shelf. The other side has a bunch of boxes labeled with various different kinky looking outfits. Cas doesn’t even glance at them. His eyes are fixed on the collars and he’s looks like he’s completely oblivious to the fact that Dean kind of just wants to die now that Benny knows.

“Don’t worry, Dean.” Cas says softly under his breath, proving once again that just because he looks one way doesn’t mean that he is that way. He lets go of Dean’s arm to turn one of the rotating stands the collars are wrapped around. “Benny isn’t going to say anything. Being discreet is a sex shop’s business and you know it.”

“But he knows, Cas.” Dean hisses, shoving his hands through his hair before he glances back toward the front desk. He can still hear Benny’s paper rustling whenever he moves or flips a page.

That still doesn’t seem to bother Cas and he just shrugs. “To my knowledge, that fits rather well with the reputation that you’ve cultivated. And he wouldn’t be the first person I’ve met who thinks that you and I in a relationship.”

If anything was going to drag his thoughts away from Benny knowing, it’s that. “What?”

“Half the people I work with assume that you and I have been sleeping together since I moved in or that we’ve been dating longer than that.” Cas glances at him, eyes narrowed in thought, before he looks back to the shelves. “And Jess has asked me at least once a month if you’ve asked me out yet.”

Jesus Christ. Does everyone he knows think that they’ve been going at it like bunnies since they met or something? That’s just – it’s – huh. It kind of broke Dean’s brain. How the hell is he supposed to react to that when Cas is cool like a cucumber over everything? And all of this has been going around behind Dean’s back and he had no idea. Thinking about all that is making it really hard to pay attention to Cas right now. He’s supposed to be helping him pick out a collar and not have a mental breakdown over something that shouldn’t really be bothering him because it in no way affected anything about his life before he found out.

No. He’s not going to think about it. Thinking about all of that is just going to ruin his night and he’s determined beyond all reason to have a good evening with Cas. They’re going to fuck at least once and it’s going to be awesome and he isn’t going to think about how everyone they know already assumed at least once that they’ve been doing the horizontal tango on a regular basis. And it doesn’t matter if their assumptions are actually correct because Dean is suddenly very self conscious about how he and Cas act around each other. What have they been doing to give people that idea?

Fucking shit, no! He’s not thinking about it. Not thinking about it. Not thinking about it.

Dean forces himself to pay attention to what Cas is doing. He’s currently focused on the stands that have the collars with d-rings in the front and buckles in the back. Alright, so he wants something with a d-ring? Does that mean he wants a leash too? There’s a tower next to the collars full of leashes of various lengths and colours and styles. But Cas’s full attention is on the collars – specifically speaking, it’s on anything with green highlights. That’s a pity. Cas would look better with something blue.

Finally, after much squinting back and forth from Dean to the collars and back again, Cas decides to try one of them on. It’s a solid black band with silver accents held in place but little green bolts that kind of remind Dean of emeralds. They’re not actually as kitcshy looking as most fake gems, but they look nice enough and Cas is breathing a little quicker while he tries getting it on. Dean has to take over to get the buckle done up properly and Cas keeps shifting back and forth while he tightens it in place. His fingers are fumbling, hands shaking slightly, and he may or may not be having a bit of a problem.

He can feel all sorts of heat starting to pool in his veins and it only gets worse when Cas steps up in front of a mirror hanging in the corner. Dean plucks a leash from the stand and follows after him. Part of him really wants to be bold right now. They’re completely out of Benny’s line of sight and Dean kind of really need something to keep his mind occupied. Standing closer to Cas than he usually would in public does a damn good job of that.

Cas’s eyes are locked on the collar as colour starts rising in his cheeks. He flushes darker the instant Dean steps up almost right against him and snaps the leash onto the d-ring. The leash stays wrapped around Dean’s hand as he lets his fist hang against Cas’s chest. Slowly, Cas’s eyes follow the length of the leash before they snap up to meet Dean’s eyes in the reflection. His breathing only gets more and more messed up the longer he’s wearing the collar.

When Cas licks his lips, something in Dean snaps. It’s dark and possessive and all it wants is Cas. Without a second thought, Dean uses the leash and the collar to turn Cas around, tugging sharply and making him stumble in a quick circle. Doing anything public is usually completely outside the realm of their arrangement, but it’s a special day and Benny knows and to hell with it. Dean’s functioning on autopilot here and he can’t stop himself from backing Cas up against the mirror. It’s not like Cas does anything to stop him. If anything, he’s goading him on by pulling him in closer with a tight grip on his hips.

The sound Cas makes when he opens to a kiss is downright pornographic. Dean knows his limits and it nearly kills him to keep the kiss short and dirty, pulling away with a tugging bite to Cas’s bottom lip. It’s almost worth it for the disappointed noise he makes when Dean steps back.

He grins and gives the leash a little tug. “So, this one then?” Even though Cas nods, he still looks back toward the shelves and bites his lip. Dean nearly laughs. “What, you want another one to match your other shirt?”

That little wisecrack earns him a pitiful glare and Cas turns away, reaching back to start unbuckling the collar he’s wearing. “Never mind. Just this one, please.”

Dean unclips the leash once he has everything in his hands. He holds it up and lets it swing to catch Cas’s eye. “D’you want this too, or…?”

“That will be fine.” Cas barely bothers glancing at it or the other leashes hanging from the stand. His eyes keep flicking back to the collars and he’s got another thing coming if he thinks that Dean isn’t going to noticed it.

“Seriously, Cas, if you want another collar then I’ll get you two.” Dean grabs his arm and tugs him towards the shelves again. “This way I won’t have to worry about Christmas.”

“But I don’t want another one for me.” He mumbles, still looking back and forth between Dean and the other collars.

Well, that’s just all kinds of confusing. “Then why are you –”

“I want one for you.” Cas spits out the words in a rush and effectively throws a brick wall up for Dean’s brain to crash into because what.

He stands there and stares at Cas for a minute, or two, or possibly three. Dean doesn’t have the firmest grasp on time at the moment because he’s still trying to get around the whole concept of why Cas would want that. “Me? You want me in a collar?”

“Yes, please.”

Despite how he’s shifting from one foot to the other, Cas manages to sound firm in his request. He’s looking Dean full in the eye while his ears go red and he’s obviously fighting with himself to not look embarrassed or shy about it. At this point, he’s doing better than Dean.

“I’ll even pay for it, if that will help convince you to get one.”

“But – why?”

That’s really the thing that Dean doesn’t get. It’s not that he’s saying ‘no’, because he’s definitely not, but he just doesn’t understand why Cas would want him to wear one. They haven’t actually tried tying him up yet, and to be honest Dean’s pretty sure he wouldn’t be okay being that vulnerable with someone. The rope handcuffs that he has are ones that can be undone easily enough by the person wearing them. He still has control with those. But bound full body with rope? Not so much. Dean doesn’t even have the first clue where a collar would fit into his feelings about that.

The thing is, Cas keeps pinging back and forth all over the dominant-submissive scale. It’s giving Dean a hell of a lot of trouble with trying to find a place for him. Granted, Cas never really did fit into just one category before – even back before they really got to know each other. He wants a collar, he likes being tied up, he’s not shy to all out beg for what he wants – all of that would usually amount to a submissive in Dean’s eyes. But then he can turn around, pin Dean down and demand what he wants while he fucks Dean until he’s a writhing, gasping mess. So, isn’t that a dominant?

Or, maybe Dean needs to read up more on this stuff going past the simple bondage parts. He should probably read up way more on the actual BDSM if that’s something Cas is actually interested in. Dean doesn’t really know if he’d be into it, but he’ll give it a try and he’s pretty much already committed himself to helping Cas figure out all the kinks that work for him.

He’s so wrapped up in thinking about that that he actually almost misses what Cas says. Dean blinks a few times and frowns at him. “Sorry, what?”

Shrugging, Cas looks away to the shelf again. “I said that I want to get you a collar because I would like to see you in one when I’m fucking you tonight.”

The heat that’s been simmering in Dean’s veins amps itself up to a boil. That’s as good a reason as any in his opinion and he holds up the collar in his hand. “Can’t I just wear this one?”

Apparently that was not the right thing to say, because Cas gives him a look that’s downright scathing. He pushes past Dean and takes no time at all to pick a second collar from the shelf. It’s almost a duplicate of Cas’s, but instead of green bolts it has blue ones. As nice as it looks, Dean’s never really liked the feeling of having things around his neck. The loose necklace that he wears sometimes is okay because Sam bought that for him a while ago and he’s gotten used to it. But Dean even has trouble with high collared shirts. They always make him feel like he’s being choked – and don’t even get him started on turtlenecks.

But the look in Cas’s eye when he leads him back to the mirror just challenges Dean to object. He can’t even bring himself to move while Cas gets unnecessarily close again. First, Cas reaches around him to undo the first few buttons of his shirt, revealing the top of his undershirt. He’s practically plastered to Dean’s back while he slips the collar around his neck. Dean can feel Cas’s breath ghosting across his skin while he fiddles with the buckle.

Right away, Dean gets that itchy and uncomfortable feeling he usually gets when something is around his neck. But he has to admit, even while Cas clips the leash into place on him too, that he looks damn good. Of course, he’s Dean Winchester, and it was kind of a given that it was going to look good on him. Most things do. That’s about the only thing Dean knows and accepts about himself – that he’s damn attractive. But that’s not what sells this for him.

It’s the look on Cas’s face that’s distracting Dean from being actually uncomfortable. He’s got something going on that looks like a combination of every birthday and Christmas coming together all at once. At the same time, it’s kind of like the face a predator makes when they’ve just spotted the sick gazelle straying from the herd. And maybe, just maybe, Dean will admit that there’s something to be liked about getting tugged around by the leash and shoved up against the mirror hard enough that it actually rattles in its frame.

He can barely hear Benny’s voice over the rushing of his blood in his ears or the little surprised noise that he makes as Cas’s hands untuck his dress shirt. They push up under it and his undershirt, spreading burning fingers over his sides. Cas presses his nose against Dean’s throat and scrapes his teeth across the skin just above the collar, drawing a sharp gasp from him. It’s got Dean hips bucking and that might actually be a groan on his lips.

Some how, Benny’s voice manages to punch through the veil of holy-shit-keep-doing-that draped over Dean’s brain. “Not in the store, guys.” How many times has he had to say that in his exciting career of peddling sex toys in secret? And no, Dean is never letting that go.

Well, he’ll let it go for the moment. Cas is doing a wonderful job with working his magical brain wiping powers right now and he’s ignoring Benny just as much as Dean is. His hands have found Dean’s ass and in no time flat, Cas is hauling his hips forward to grind against him, mouth firmly latched to his throat where he might be sucking a hickey. It’s really hard to tell when Dean’s brain power has been reduced to whatever energy is generated from the still spinning wheel after the mouse has jumped out of it.

He can barely remember that they’re both in public and they’re definitely not alone. Aside from Benny who can’t actually see them directly but can probably glance at a monitor and see them in stunningly grainy quality, there’s no telling when someone else will walk in. Just about anyone could come into the store and see Cas rutting against him. They could see the way he’s got Dean pressed against the wall and nipping at his neck. That particular thought sets off another possessive flare in Dean’s chest and he tightens the grip he has in Cas’s hair.

Dean doesn’t want anyone else seeing Cas like this. So far, he’s the only person Cas has been with. He is the only person that Cas has been like this with. And Dean is a selfish bastard. For as long as he can, he wants to keep this all to himself before someone else takes it – and Cas – away. It takes a whole hell of a lot of willpower (more than Dean thought he had) to pull Cas back by his hair far enough to get him to stop. He gets a deepthroated honest-to-God growl for his troubles and that sound scrapes through his insides to hollow out a space for itself in the fire starting to burn in his belly.

Cas is just a little wild-eyed when Dean finally gets him to take a step back, his baby blues blown so black Dean would almost be worried that they’ll never go back to normal again. Okay, one more kiss. Because how can he not kiss Cas when he’s looking like he’d be more than happy to bend Dean over the nearest surface no matter who’s around them.

Okay.” He mumbles against Cas’s mouth in between the kiss that they can’t quite drag themselves away from. “I’ll get them both.”

With a hum that borders on a purr, Cas practically melts against him. His hands are back to being firmly wedged up Dean’s shirt, but at least they’re not trying to undress him anymore. The kiss lasts a lot longer than Dean thought it would and they don’t pull apart until what very well might be a fourth warning from Benny. At that point, when Dean takes a step away, he thinks he might’ve caught the tail end of a threat that involves a spray bottle and a rolled up newspaper.

Apparently it doesn’t matter what Benny was saying because he doesn’t look like he actually cared. He’s still full of a stupidly smug grin when Dean puts two collars and one leash down on the counter. Having his shirt untucked might actually be a blessing right now, because the ends of it are doing a magnificent job of hiding how Dean’s half hard in his good jeans at the moment. Cas is in the same predicament, but he has no cover and absolutely no shame. He’s practically super glued to Dean’s side and he’s still looking at him like he wants to sink his teeth into him, dig his fingers in and –

No. This moment is already awkward enough. Dean literally cannot think of anything more awkward than having to buy matching collars and a leash from one of his best friends while he’s well on his way to a boner and his fingers keep twitching to reach out for Cas. If his brain keeps skipping forward to think about just how hard Cas is going to fuck him the moment they get home, then they’re not going to actually make it that far. Something tells him Benny won’t appreciate them fucking in the back seat of the Impala in his parking lot.

It’s a small miracle that Benny doesn’t say anything about the actual contents of the purchase, or make any well deserved jabs about how Cas’s nicely styled hair is now a wreck. He doesn’t even say anything about Dean’s obviously mussed shirt and the slightly red mark on this neck. It’ll be faded in an hour or so, but it’s definitely there now. Benny doesn’t say a fucking word – besides the normal customer service schpeel he’s gotta crank out.

What he does do is keep looking back and forth between Dean and Cas. And all Dean can hear is his stupid fucking question again. Not your boyfriend, huh?

A quickly shrinking side of Dean wants to flat out tell Benny to his face that what’s going on between him and Cas is just sex. But he hasn’t been able to verbalize that into actual out loud words and make it real again for ages now. Using ‘boyfriend’ in the same sentence as ‘Cas’ makes all kind of feelings bubble up in Dean’s chest and a whole bunch of them scare the fucking piss out of him. The rest make him feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside like he swallowed a dozen Tribbles. And one of those feelings pulls at something inside of Dean and it hurts.

These feelings and all these stupid thoughts are wreaking havoc with Dean’s ability to maintain his partial erection. Before he loses it completely, he forces a smile, punches in his code for his credit card’s chip, and takes the black bag that Benny hands over the counter. It’s promptly snatched away by Cas, but Dean doesn’t mind. They are his gifts, after all.

“Enjoy your purchase, boys.” Benny actually salutes them as they walk away.

Somehow Dean manages to mumble out a goodbye, and Cas does the same. It’s the tone of his voice that gets Dean to glance back over his shoulder to take a look at him as they step back out into the dying light of day. Cas is fixed on what’s in the bag, but if Dean looks close enough, he can pick out the subtleties in his expression that show his true feelings. His eyes aren’t nearly as excited as they were before they walked up to the counter. In fact, Cas kind of has the same look that Dean’s feeling.

That particular feeling doesn’t have a name, as far as Dean can tell. But it’s charging the air between them with more than just the sexual tension, considering there’s a bag of collars sitting on Cas’s lap. In fact, they barely even look at each other for the entire drive home and Dean’s feeling not quite as aroused as he did before by the time they pull into the parking garage. It’s almost like there’s another solid wall of awkward raised between them again and Dean doesn’t like it.

They don’t even say anything to each other once they’re back inside the apartment. Cas’s enthusiasm for his birthday gift looks like it’s been completely deflated and he’s gone and closed himself off again. His shoulders are even a little hunched as he slouches off to the bathroom and Dean hates it. He hates everything about this. Well, not everything, but he down right fucking despises that a single word managed to pop their balloon of a good evening.

Dean loves everything about this thing that he’s got going on with Cas except that – sometimes – he might think that he wants them to be just a little different than this. Just a little more. But he’s having a hell of a time trying to come to terms with that and how it kind of really scares the fuck out of him. He can’t call Cas his, or go to bed at night knowing that Cas will be right there next to him. They could go on a ‘date’, but no one would ever know that it’s one because he can’t touch Cas like he wants to. Someone could hit on him, or hit on Cas, because Dean can’t hold his fucking hand or kiss his neck and make out with him at the back of a theater during a shitty movie.

Maybe – maybe this thing between them isn’t working out. The worst thing is, that isn’t even the first time that he’s thought that their arrangement is probably less than ideal. But he doesn’t want to give it up. This is the only way he’s going to get to have Cas and he doesn’t want to give that up. It’s just – their arrangement is just lacking in certain places.

But it’s Cas’s birthday and there’s sure as hell no fucking way that he’s going to ask to end their deal today – or ever. And he’s definitely not going to just sit here and not try to get Cas’s birthday evening back on track. They had plans and there’s no fucking way that Benny is going to ruin it with one goddamn word.

So, while Cas leaves the bag with the collars sitting on the back of the couch and makes a beeline for the bathroom, Dean puts the chain on the door. He unbuttons his shirt as quick as he can and throws it and his undershirt over the back of the couch. From the bag, he digs out the collar with the blue bolts and the leash, clipping them together before he fumbles to get the collar on as quick as he can. It’s a race to get it on while he hears the toilet flush and the water in the sink start to run.

Well, how is he going to do this? He could wait for Cas on his knees, or sprawl himself across Cas’s bed. Or he could go to his bedroom and get the toys out – because God knows if Cas is going to want to use those or not – and then he can spread out on the bed. Or he could – the door opens and Dean gives up on doing anything fancy. Standing here is good enough and if Cas wants him on his knees, he can damn well use the leash to get him there.

Dean could get behind wearing a collar and having Cas lead him around by the leash just as long as he doesn’t pull too hard. And he’ll definitely be okay with it if Cas keeps looking at him like he wants to eat him alive. It’s a look that Dean is never going to get tired of having directed his way – and especially if it’s coming from Cas. He gets the bestexample of that the moment Cas comes back in the room.

As soon as he comes around the corner, Cas stops dead in his tracks. His eyes go wide and his jaw kind of drops a little bit. At the very least, his lips part and he all out fucking stares at Dean. It’s with the same intensity he had at the store and it’s enough to rekindle the fire in his gut. It does more than that and there’s almost a goddamn inferno raging through his veins while Cas just keeps looking him up and down with an audible swallow.

Shifting on his feet, Dean licks his lips and spreads his arms slightly. He takes a deep breath and raises one eyebrow, hoping it will make him look a little cockier than he feels while he drops his voice into the the sultriest levels he can manage. “C’mon, birthday boy, tell me what you want me to do.”

Chapter Text

Three steps. After the words are out of Dean’s mouth, it only takes Cas three steps to get from the end of the hall to within reach. The first thing he grabs is the leash, naturally. That’s what it’s there for, after all. He uses it to tug Dean to him without hesitation and Dean goes willingly. Tonight he’s letting Cas take the reins – almost literally. Cas wants him to wear the collar and Dean’s going to try (keyword right there) to do just as he asks – and only whenCas tells him to do it.

With that in mind, Dean doesn’t fall into him for a kiss like Cas might be hoping for. He doesn’t kiss him until Cas drags him in for one by his hair. It’s a bruising, desperate mess and Dean groans into it. His hands twitch up and he forces them back down. There’s no way that he’s going to actually touch Cas until he tells him to – and thank God that he doesn’t have long to wait for that. In no time flat, Cas is grabbing his hands and guiding them to his hips.

It’s a stumbling, uncoordinated mess as Cas starts shoving him back toward the bedroom. Dean can’t resist pulling Cas with him. They miss the door by a good couple feet, but that’s not really a problem. Cas has definitely developed a thing about pushing Dean up against solid surfaces and he presses him into the wall without a thought. It doesn’t even break their kiss as they slide along the wall toward the doorway to Dean’s bedroom and they’re both so wrapped up in the kiss that they almost fall through it.

Dean’s really not surprised that they don’t make it to the bed on the first try. Actually, he’s more surprised by how long they stay dressed. Cas brings them to a stop halfway to the bed and Dean has no idea what’s about to come next. But he’s not disappointed. As soon as Cas breaks away from the kiss, there’s a tug at the leash and the collar pulls a little tighter against the back of Dean’s neck. That’s as good a sign as any and he drops to his knees slowly, never breaking eye contact with Cas.

God, but Cas looks fucking beautiful right now. He’s flushed and breathing heavily, lips pink and kiss-swollen. Wow, but Dean would really rather be kissing those right now instead of just looking at them. Cas better do something quick before Dean throws this whole plan out the window and just tackles him to the floor. It feels weird not doing anything unless Cas directs him to do it, but it’s not as weird as he thought it would be.

Slowly, Cas smoothes his hand through Dean’s hair and slides it down the side of his head until he’s practically cradling his cheek. Without thinking, Dean leans into the touch. It’s such a small thing, but it feels good and it almost tickles as Cas strokes his thumb along his bottom lip. Even though he hasn’t been told to do it, Dean can’t help darting his tongue out to lick it. They still don’t stop looking at each other as the tip of his tongue runs over the pad of Cas’s thumb.

That one little thing prompts Cas into moving again and he carefully pushes his thumb past his lips. Dean gives it a gentle bite and gets a warning tug on the leash for it. Interesting. He files that thought away and fists his hands against his thighs while his eyes slide closed. After the first light suck, Dean notices the bitter tang of bathroom soap on Cas’s hands. At least it’s faint enough for him not to mind it too much. Besides, Cas doesn’t let him suck on it for very long before he’s tugging on the leash to get his attention again. 

“Do we need a safe word, Dean?”

Of all the questions to ask now, that’s probably pretty important considering Dean is on his knees with a fucking collar around his throat. He’s pretty proud of Cas for remembering to stop and ask that, but at the same time it makes his heart skip of few beats. What the hell could Cas be planning on doing with him tonight that he thinks they’re going to need a fucking safe word?

Is it just because they’ve got the collar and leash? He doesn’t think that’s enough to bring in a safe word, but maybe Cas wants to do an actual dom and sub scene where Dean has to call him master and shit. Could that be something that Cas actually wants? Well, maybe those are some waters that Dean should test later. In the meantime, he has a question to answer and Cas is watching him expectantly, his thumb still resting on Dean’s tongue.

As much as he trust Cas not to hurt him or go too far with anything, it’s probably better to be safe than sorry, right? And they have been putting off picking one whenever they pull out the rope. But what word should he pick? It’s should be something easy to remember but nothing he’d usually shout while Cas is fucking him into the bed.

He leans his head back and Cas pulls his hand away, smearing a wet streak across Dean’s lip. “What do you think of using Kansas?” When Cas raises an eyebrow, Dean shrugs. “It’s the first thing I can think of.”

“I like it.” Cas smiles and leans down to press a soft, quick kiss to his lips. “May I continue now?”

“Depends on what you’re planning.” There may or may not be a little bit of uncertainty tickling through Dean’s chest at that question.

For a moment, Cas looks away and Dean’s not sure if he should be worried or not that he’s actually contemplating it. Finally, he looks back and strokes his thumb over Dean’s cheek. “I promise I will do nothing that we haven’t already done.”

Oh. Well, that’s okay. That’s good. Dean can do that. As soon as he nods, Cas jerks the leash up again and his hand moves back into Dean’s hair, gripping it to pull his head back so he can lean back down to kiss him again. This time it’s rough and amazing and Dean lets out a little groan when Cas steps away. His lips are left tingling and he frowns in confusion when Cas drapes the leash over his shoulders.

“Don’t. Move.”

Dean keeps his mouth firmly shut while Cas turns and walks out of the room. There’s a question sitting on his tongue, but he knows better. When Cas gives orders like that, voice firm and razor edged, you don’t talk back. Part of him kind of wants to do it just to see what Cas will do, but he can be a shithead later. It’s probably not the best thing to start this off by getting Cas into the wrong mood.

Cas comes back with his camera in hand. Good sweet God, is he going to – Oh. This is happening, this is definitely happening. The camera dings as it turns on and Dean can feel his face heat up while Cas fiddles with the settings and adjusts the lens. Normally the fact that Cas didn’t even ask if he could use it right now would kind of piss him off, but this is a special day and Dean’s been thinking about doing naughty things with the camera since Cas got it. If anything having the camera pointed directly at him is actually only turning Dean on more.

Once Cas gets comfortable with the camera, he wraps the end of the leash around his hand. The same hand cups Dean’s cheek again and he opens to the thumb against his lip without hesitation. So this is how it’s going to go? That’s fine. Dean can accept this and Cas can take his pictures. If there’s anyone that Dean trusts to have them, it’s Cas. And just to show that he’s okay with it, Dean throws his bedroom eyes into full swing and looks directly at the camera while he curls his tongue around Cas’s thumb and gives it a good suck.

Right now, he’s kind of wishing that he was sucking on something else much more interesting than Cas’s thumb. Cas must be thinking the same damn thing because in the blink of an eye he’s pulling his hand away and tugging the leash forward until Dean’s nose is practically pressed against his crotch.

“Blow me, Dean.”

He doesn’t need to be told twice. Dean looks up at Cas and the camera again, ignoring the shutter clicking away at an insane speed. It doesn’t stop while Dean uses his hands to open his belt. It only goes quiet for a moment before it makes the ding of the video feature going active. Cas is filming this. That realization is liquid heat down Dean’s spine and he nearly fumbles when he leans forward to work the button and zipper with his teeth. Cas almost groans at that, eyes hooded and watching every movement Dean makes with pulling his pants down his thighs.

Getting someone’s cock out of their underwear without using his hands has never been Dean’s strong suit. He’s pretty sure that Cas’s boxer-briefs are probably going to be his downfall, but he’ll deal with that once he’s finished mouthing over the lines of his erection. Dean works at that until fabric is good and wet, and he even makes sure to squeeze Cas lightly through it with his teeth. Every time he rubs his nose along the length of his cock through the fabric, Cas makes the best little gasps – the kind of sounds that make Dean want to push him down and turn those noises into screams.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he registers that even here Cas smells like soap – fresh soap. It wouldn’t surprise him if Cas had decided to give his crotch a scrub down before he came out of the bathroom. He’s been a clean freak when it comes to them doing anything that involves mouths going below the belt. Guess that means he was probably planning – maybe hoping – that Dean would blow him and this isn’t as spur as the moment as he originally thought it was.

That sends a shiver down his spine and Dean gives up on trying to get his underwear open with just his mouth. He wastes no more time and hooks his fingers in the waistband, tugging them down to join Cas’s jeans where they’re pooled around his ankles. Finally he’s able to actually get his mouth on him properly and he goes for the gold right out of the gate. As soon as Dean’s lips are wrapped around the head, he sucks him down deeper than Cas has ever been able to take him (though he’s come pretty damn close on more than one occasion).

Cas outright moans at that, his hand tightening in Dean’s hair where he grabs him. He holds him there for a second, Dean’s nose nearly pressed into his pubes, before he lets him slip back up. Dean traces his tongue along the underside of his cock while he does it and, in a bold moment, palms Cas’s ass. There’s no warning tug for that and Cas goes willingly when Dean pulls him forward again, letting his jaw go slack. It earns him a long, low sound of approval and the ding to mark the end of the filming. Right away, the camera starts clicking again.

When he looks up, Dean’s not even sure if Cas is even really watching him anymore. Sure, he's got his eyes on him, but they're looking down at where Dean's lips are wrapped around his cock, and they’re basically completely unfocused. It's Dean's hands that guide Cas to start rocking his hips, letting him shallowly fuck his mouth. A low groan rumbles in his throat – he's always liked having this as long as his partner doesn't get too rough. But this – this is really nice.

It's nice because it frees his hands to explore Cas's hips, his thighs, his ass and everything in between. Cas's fingers tighten in his hair in warning, even though he still looks completely out of it, when Dean presses a finger against his hole. He knows he's not going to be fucking Cas first tonight (if at all), but how is he supposed to resist teasing his ass when he knows Cas likes being fingered?

For a minute, he worries that he fucked up and crossed a line when Cas steps back suddenly. He holds Dean's head in place, keeping him from following after when moving away means that he can’t keep sucking his cock. Dammit. Dean wasn't done with that. But Cas seems to have other plans in mind now. He starts tugging on the leash again, wordlessly urging Dean to get to his feet. As he stands, Cas carefully puts his camera on the bookshelf – the closest place at hand.

The moment that's out of his fingers, Cas is on him again. Dean leans into the kiss, letting Cas dictate how it goes. God, but Cas isn't holding back. He's using every trick that he's learned, that he's been taught, to turn Dean's brain to fucking mush. His tongue twists along Dean's, almost like he's trying to taste himself there. As much as Dean wants to just cave and let Cas do what he wants, there's no way he's going to make this that easy for him. He gives back as good as he gets, not letting the collar stop him from pushing buttons and make Cas work for what he wants. And that's why Dean's hands are hanging limp at his sides. He did all his touching while he was blowing Cas.

Too soon, the kiss comes to an end and Cas is stepping away again. This time he drops the leash and it bounces against Dean's stomach. He looks him over before gesturing at his jeans. “Strip.”

Dean raises an eyebrow, but he doesn't object. This isn't something to fight against, but he takes his time doing it. His hands move slow and sweet with undoing his belt and popping the button on his jeans. Cas watches every movement like a hawk, eyes following the jeans as they drop to the floor and Dean steps out of them to toe his socks off. Now that he's naked, Dean has to hold back from laughing. It's a little ridiculous that he's nude and Cas is still wearing his shirt, vest, and tie with his pants pooled around his ankles.

“Now me.”

Oh, good. He's fixing that before Dean actually outright laughs. Carefully, he crouches to guide Cas to step out of his pants one leg at a time. Dean doesn't even think twice, though he probably should have, about leaning in and pressing open mouthed kisses to Cas's thighs. Here's more button pushing, but Cas doesn't say anything about it so he must like it. He likes it more as Dean works his way up to his cock again to give it a once over with his tongue.

Cas hums a low note as Dean moves up along his stomach, pressing gentle kisses to his skin. His shirt and vest get pushes out of the way as he goes until he’s forced to undo the vest and push it off of Cas’s shoulders. He starts unbuttoning the shirt from the bottom, gracing every inch of revealed skin with an open mouthed kiss. The only time he stops is when Cas makes a punched out, surprised sound.

At first he’s confused because what the hell did he do to make him do it? One glance down gives him his answer. The leash keeps brushing against Cas’s cock whenever Dean moves. He’s super tempted to take the end of it and wrap it around Cas’s dick just to see what he would do, but there are better things to do right now and Dean turns his attention to Cas’s nipples. They’re a good way to keep his mouth busy while he loosens Cas’s tie enough to pull it over his head before sliding his last article of clothing off his shoulders too.

The moment Cas is as naked as he is – not including the collar and leash – he’s dragging Dean to his feet for another kiss. Cas’s hands don’t hold still and they drift down over Dean’s hips, skating across his ass. They never grab, just touch – exploring like the first time Cas ever touched him. He completely ignores Dean’s dick – which is normally something he’d complain about just to tease Cas, but today he wants to see where Cas is going to take everything.

Cas eventually brings a hand up between them to grab the leash. He draws it back and over Dean’s shoulder, giving it a small tug. Right then, backwards it is. Dean keeps taking steps back until the edge of the bed catches him in the back of his knees. As soon as that happens, Cas shoves him down and Dean shimmies up the bed to settle against the pillows. A chill runs up his spine at the look in Cas’s eyes as he crawls after him – it’s predatory and practically screams that he’s going to fuck him. If Dean wasn’t already hard, he would be from that look alone.

He hums a happy note as Cas lays on top of him, stretching out comfortably between his legs. His mouth finds Dean’s neck, his tongue skating the edge of the collar. The hum turns into a groan as Cas starts rocking their hips together in lazy circles. It feels great and Dean curls his fingers in the blanket, tilting his head back to give Cas all the room he needs. With the way he’s going, it looks like Cas is planning on taking his time and Dean better just brace himself for it.

It takes Cas ages to work his way down Dean’s body. He spends forever licking, biting, sucking at Dean’s nipples without ever moving his hands to actually touch him. Dean can’t help squirming when Cas’s tongue dips into his belly button, or when he nibbles all around it before rubbing a stubbled cheek against his stomach. It kind of tickles and at the same time it makes Dean really wish Cas would just move down enough to put his mouth where he really wants it.

But once Cas gets there – right when Dean’s hopes ratchet up – he stops. He fucking stops and Dean groans, giving him a pitiful glare as Cas props himself up on his elbows and looks at him. Cas tilts his head with a fucking stupid cocky grin tilting up one side of his mouth. “Are you my birthday gift, Dean?”

The hell kind of question is that?

“Just a bonus.” Dean shrugs and rocks his hips up in a vain attempt to get Cas back to what he was doing. He was just so fucking close. “The collars were your present.”

When Cas backs away, Dean goes over his words again because how the fuck did they warrant Cas getting up off the bed? More than that, why is Cas going through his closet? He’s not going for their box of toys, so what the hell?

He sits up slightly to watch him. “What are you doing?”

Whatever Cas is looking for, he must not be finding it in Dean’s closet because he turns away and heads for the door. He glances over his shoulder with a stern look. “Don’t move.”

Really, he’s doing that again? Why can’t Cas get everything he needs before they start so he’s not getting Dean all worked up then leaving him out to dry. Before he can ask, Cas is out of the room. Going by the direction he took and the sounds Dean can hear, Cas is rummaging around in the storage closet.

Groaning again, Dean flops back against the pillows and starts stroking himself idly. What the hell is Cas looking for? Whatever they could need or want in the bedroom is already here. That being said, the last thing he’s expecting Cas to come back with is the box full of Sam’s gift wrapping things. Dean watches, curious and just a little confused, as Cas digs out a roll of ribbon and unrolls a little bit of it. He uses his teeth to rip it off the roll and a picture starts forming in Dean’s head as soon as Cas puts the box out of sight over the edge of the bed.

Cas grabs his camera off the shelf before he gets back on the bed again. Dean is flat out staring, caught somewhere between surprise and disbelief while Cas kneels between his legs. No, he’s not going to really do it, is he? The stupid grin on Cas’s face isn’t helping him believe otherwise when he slaps Dean hand away. God, he’s really doing it. He’s actually tying a neat little bow at the base of Dean’s cock. It feels nice to have his fingers brushing his dick and thankfully it’s not tight enough to be anything like a cock ring, but it’s a bright pink ribbon where it doesn’t belong and Dean can’t stop staring at it.

Right. Okay. If that’s what Cas wants to do on his birthday, fine. Dean just snorts a laugh and stretches out again. He doesn’t rock his hips up until after Cas snaps a picture of him. “Anything else you want to tie a ribbon on while you’re at it, master?” The word slips out in his drawl as a part of his joke. Dean doesn’t even think twice about it. “You could put a pretty little bow on my collar too, if you want.”

But Cas goes still, his hands frozen over the bow where he was adjusting it to sit just right before he could take another picture. Slowly, like some kind of dramatic moment in a movie, Cas looks up at him with stupidly huge eyes. At first Dean’s a little confused why Cas licks his lips and swallows loud enough to actually be heard. Before he can even ask what’s up, Cas is grabbing the leash and hauling Dean up and forward into a kiss with the sole purpose of replacing Dean’s blood with fire.

It was pointless to pull him up again because Cas is kissing him right back into the pillow, his hands buried in his hair. “Again.” He mumbles between the kisses, moving them back down to along the collar. “Call me that again.”

Call him what again? Dean didn’t call him anyth – Oh. Shit. Really? Well, that answers his question about where Cas was going with the collars. But something tight and uncomfortable rises up behind Dean’s ribs. He can let Cas fuck him and he can joke about calling him his master, but to actually submit to anyone – even Cas – is just… it’s not sitting right with him. Cas may be way more kinky than Dean gives him credit for (which he kind of knew since they stumbled across his affinity for rope) but this is a whole new ballpark for them.

Part of Dean wants to give Cas what he wants because he wants him happy. It’s Cas’s birthday and he puts up with so much of Dean’s shit when he doesn’t have to. And Dean did kind of promise once upon a time that he’d help Cas work out what does it for him. Maybe – maybe he can do this? Give it a try. If he’s not liking it or if Cas takes it outside of his safe and comfortable boundaries – well, that’s what they’ve got Kansas for.

Maybe Dean thinks too long about it or something, but Cas stops what he’s doing and lifts his head. There’s a worried little frown on his face and Dean doesn’t like seeing it there. It’s his birthday and they’re naked in bed together. Cas should be smiling. So, Dean smiles for him. He grins and rolls his body to slide against Cas’s in a slow, dirty grind. His hands drag up Cas’s back, mapping out the tattooed wings he knows are there before he pulls Cas down into another kiss.

Dean whispers ‘master’ against Cas’s lips, drawing out the ‘m’ into a little moan all its own. It’s actually a bit of a thrill to know that just one word can get him a full body shiver from Cas. And then his hands are all over him – in Dean’s hair, on his shoulders, his chest, his hips – anywhere that Cas can reach. He’s breathing hard between the kisses, almost like one word had the same damn effect as a little bit of rope would. It’s kind of exhilarating and Dean can’t stop grinning when Cas slides down again.

He follows a different path down his body than he did before, but Cas still stops to scrape his teeth over Dean’s nipples exactly how he likes it. While he’s there, Cas breathes out a single demand. “Again.”

“You wanna be my master, Cas?” His hands find Cas’s hair, stroking through it just a little rougher than he normally would. “Is that why you wanted to put a collar on me?”

The question doesn’t get him an answer, but Cas is getting close to Dean’s dick again. Maybe he’s more focused on what he’s doing, but Dean still muffles a groan in his throat and lifts his hips a little, trying to give Cas a hint. Too bad he can’t stop his mouth from running. “C’mon, Cas. If you wanna be my master, y’gotta work for it.”

That gets Cas to pause again. This time when he looks up through his lashes at Dean, mouth still pressed to his belly, there’s a challenge in his eyes. Dean knows one when he sees one and his grin only grows. One of his eyebrows quirks in a question and he rolls his hips again, just to see what Cas is going to do. He can be the one wearing the collar, but he’ll be damned if he’s not going to have his fun where he can.

But Cas is always one for giving as good as he gets. Dean’s breathing stutters slightly when Cas stretches out flat on belly and hooks both of Dean’s knees over his shoulders. Sweet Jesus, is he finally going to put his mouth to good use? Yes, yes he is. And he’s not saying a word while he completely bypasses exactly where Dean wants his mouth to go right now. Aside from when he put the damn bow on him, Cas actually hasn’t touched Dean’s cock yet and it’s driving him a little crazy.

Y’know what? He can forgive Cas for that. It’s a surprisingly easy thing to do when Cas is flattening his tongue over Dean’s hole and going to town on that instead. Thank God Dean had the foresight to give himself a good clean up in the shower before they went to dinner today. He’s pretty good at predicting Cas’s moods about when he wants to top and he nailed that one on the head today. Dean would almost be proud of himself for that right now if he wasn’t completely caught up in what Cas is doing.

He’s playing dirty. Cas is playing fucking dirty. The bastard accepted Dean’s challenge and he’s fucking owning it. Whatever the hell it is that he’s doing with his tongue right now is nothing short of amazing – but the sounds, holy shit. He’s making filthy noises while he’s licking Dean open – sounds that have no place being anywhere outside of a porno. Just listening to it is making Dean’s internal body temperature climb into the triple digits and Cas hasn’t even fucking touchedhim properly yet.

The only time that Cas actually uses his hands is just to spread Dean wider. It’s giving Dean a heck of a hard time with trying not to dig his heels into Cas’s back. He wants to move. God, he wants to rock his hips down against that wicked, sinful tongue. Even if he’s not prepared for it yet, he’d rather have Cas’s cock right now than be forced to sit through this and not be able to get the satisfaction he’s craving.

“Goddammit, Cas.” Dean groans and arches his back, squirming just a little because now that stupid tongue is actually working into him. “You son-of-a-bitch.”

The swears keep dropping and Cas ignores it all. He doesn’t even answer when Dean’s reduced to a never ending string of just his name. It’s like he’s locked up in his own little world – but Dean knows better. He knows what Cas is waiting for. The challenge was issued and a growing part of Dean wants to cave and let Cas have this. Dean wants more than just Cas’s tongue right now. He wants fingers in his ass and a mouth on his cock. He wants Cas to move things along so he can feel the heat of him pressed up all along his body while they do the dirty dance together. He wants – he wants – God, he wants so much he can’t even think of it all.

Fuck it. If Cas isn’t paying attention to the rest of him, then Dean will. But as soon as he reaches down to fist himself, ribbon or no ribbon, Cas is letting go of his hips and grabbing his wrists. They get pinned to the bed with that martial artist’s grip that Dean can’t even hope to break right now – not when he’s a squirming mess just a few minutes shy from outright whining. It’s getting to the point where all Dean can do is bite his lip to keep himself from doing the one thing he’s never actually done during sex before.

When it comes to sex, Dean can swear up a storm and talk the dirtiest of dirt. He’ll even call out his partner’s name once or twice – especially toward the end. He’s never gotten to the point in any relationship where he’ll chant a name and he sure as hell has never, not in his life, actually begged for anyone to fuck him. Though he’s done all sorts of ordering and demanding, but never begging. And there’s a loud voice in his head telling him that he sure as hell isn’t planning on starting right now.

But even with that going down, it’s getting really fucking hard not to do it. Cas seems perfectly content to keep licking and pushing and, on the odd occasion, actually sucking. The longer Dean doesn’t give him what he wants, the more Cas branches out – but not in the way that Dean wants him to. He’ll leave his hole alone for a few moments to press kisses up and down Dean’s thighs; interspacing them with little nips that make Dean twitch and bite back a gasp every time. Sometimes Cas even lets his teeth play over the little ribbon wrapped around the base of Dean’s cock, or he’ll nose and mouth at his balls. That’s pretty damn great, sure, but it’s like getting a keychain at the county fair when you could’ve won the stuffed panda that’s as big as you are.

In short, Dean is pretty sure he’s only a few minutes away from outright insanity. He knows that Cas wants to fuck him. Dean can feel it in how erratic his breathing is against his skin. Hell, if he lifts his damn head from the pillows he can fucking see it in the way that Cas keeps humping the bed. Every time he does that, Cas squeezes his wrists when he realizes what he’s doing and Dean can clearly see him straining to make himself stop.

Cas wants it just as badly as Dean does and this is a goddamn game of chicken to see who caves first.

God help him, but Dean is totally going to be the one to crumble first, isn't he? Fuck, he is. He's going to crack like cheap concrete because Cas's tongue just isn't enough. If they want to get to any actual fucking tonight, Cas is going to have to use his fingers to prep him – which means that Dean's going to have to wait even longer for Cas's cock. That's going to be torture and Dean's patience is wearing thin (not that he had a whole lot of that to start with). As much as he wants to get a move on with anything, it's his pride that's going to be taking a beating if he gives in first.

He already knows he's going to let Cas win, but Dean fights it. Squirming, he squeezes his thighs together slightly – not enough to squish Cas's head, but enough to hopefully let him know that this game is stupid and he should just give up. All that earns him is another glare and Cas turns his head to actually bite Dean's thigh. It's a little more than a nip and Dean's whole body jerks in surprise. When Cas turns his head to his other thigh, Dean flinches. It didn't actually hurt, but a bite is a bite and there's that whole self-preservation instinct and all that. He's still a little relieved when Cas just kisses his inner thigh, eyes flicking to Dean's face again like he knew what he was thinking.

Bastard. Dean half hopes that Cas can hear the mantra of swears he's got going through his head. It would make the next part easier. Cas would know that Dean's giving up is against everything he usually stands for. Maybe, if Cas could hear his thoughts, Dean wouldn't feel like he's a weakling for wanting sex enough to fucking submit to someone else. Shit, shit, shit. Can he really do that? Will Cas think any different of him if he does?

His thoughts are just making Dean frustrated and he practically punches the pillow with how hard he slams his head back into it. “Would you just get on with it already?” The words come out as a growl and he digs his heel in between Cas's shoulder blades.

Cas just hums at him again and goes right back to flicking the tip of his tongue across Dean's hole. He's barely pushing in and all he's doing is fucking teasing now. Yup. This is going to kill him.

“Jesus fuck, Cas.” Dean groans. “Enough is enough, just –”

Just what? Just please fuck him? No. It's not begging if he doesn't say 'please'... Right? Yeah, and he's not going to say that. He's got his pride. After all, Dean Winchester does not beg for sex. He doesn't. He doesn't. He – shit, he's being a jerk on Cas's birthday. Cas went and picked out this nice collar for him after all the shit that Dean's put him through, and on top of that he's been nothing but awesome since he moved in. Seriously, like, fucking really awesome. Dean loves having Cas here. With him. Together. Fuck, no, he can't think about that. Instead, he should think about how sex with Cas is probably (or at least very nearly) the best he's ever had.

And it's Cas's birthday.

Fine. Fucking fine. Dean grits his teeth and tilts his head back so the ceiling gets the full brunt of his glare. If he's going to do this then there's no way he's going to say a damn thing where he can see Cas being all smug and victorious. That would just be rubbing salt into the wound that he's carving into his pride right now.

As it stands, he can barely say the word that Cas wants to hear. 'Master' escapes on a hiss and Dean can actually feel when Cas registers it. He goes all still and there's the feeling of hair and stubble brushing his thighs when he lifts his head. Well, he's got Cas’s attention now. He might as well throw himself off the bridge of self-respect all in one go. “Please.”

If he actually needs to put into words exactly what it is that he wants Cas to do, all while calling him master – Dean might actually smother himself with a pillow instead.

Thankfully, Cas isn't that demanding of him. He doesn't say anything and Dean isn't really expecting him to be on his knees in seconds, kissing him hard enough to bruise. It's also a bit of mystery of how or when Cas got his hands on the lube, but before Dean knows it there's a slick finger pushing inside him and it’s quickly followed by a second. Dean's moan of relief is loud enough that he's almost kind of embarrassed by it, but that little spike of mortification gets wiped out by the holy fucking shit feeling of Cas catching his bottom lip between his teeth and giving it a little tug at the exact moment that he starts scissoring his fucking fingers.

With all that going on, it can be forgiven that it takes Dean a little while to notice that his hands are free. But as soon as that realization hits him, his fingers are sinking into Cas's hair and twisting tight enough to make him hiss into their kisses. Even with everything going on down below right now, Dean still has enough of his wits about him to throw all he's got at Cas. It's a known fact between them that Dean is the better kisser out of the two of them, and he puts that to good use now. He pulls out all the stops he's got, knowing full well that he can get Cas weak in the knees and trembling from kisses alone. This is the only kind of revenge he can get until Cas is the one writhing under him later (hopefully) and it's all kinds of satisfying when he gets a surprised moan for his troubles.

But for as good as the kisses are, Dean’s patience runs out not long after Cas takes it up to a glorious three fingers. “Cas.” He mumbles into the kiss, interrupting the serious fixation they seem to have with each other’s mouths – barely stopping to breathe, let alone talk. “Just do it already.”

His hips rocks down on Cas’s fingers, trying to emphasize the point that he’s fucking ready. Unsurprisingly, Cas completely ignores him. Instead of fucking him like Dean really, really wants, Cas just breaks the kiss. He moves his mouth along Dean’s jaw until he can find his way along his neck to the edges of the collar again. The leash is laying heavy across Dean’s chest, just like how his cock is heavy and leaking on his stomach and practically begging for the attention Cas is refusing to give it.

“C’mon, Cas.” Dean groans again, pulling at Cas’s hair even while he tilts his head back to give him more room with his neck. “Just – just c’mon already.”

Nope. All that gets him is more ignoring. Jesus Christ, please tell him that Cas isn’t playing another fucking game of chicken. If he’s doing that, Dean’s going to flip him on his stomach and fuck him instead. He’ll tie Cas’s arms behind his back with the goddamn leash and push him down into the pillows while he teases the ever loving hell out of him before he fucks him until he screams. That’s one option. Another is to strap Cas to a chair and leave him there with the vibrator stuck on the lowest setting while Dean goes and takes a nice relaxing shower or something.

When he gets the chance, payback is going to be sweet.

The only reason he’s not actually doing anything is because it’s Cas’s fucking birthday. Though he’s really goddamn tempted to do something when Cas strokes a finger over his prostate and Dean makes a choked noise behind his bitten lip. God fucking dammit, fine. Just – fine. But if anyone ever finds out about this, then Cas is gonna get it and he’s gonna get it good.

After a few deep breaths to calm himself down enough to focus, Dean swallows just enough of his pride that he’ll be able to say the next words. “Please.” He bites it out and Cas goes still again. “Master, please f–” He can do this. He can do this. “Please fuck me.” There. He said it and it shouldn’t matter that most of the words came out on a hiss while his jaw was clenched. Right?

A small shudder shakes through Cas again and he muffles a quiet sound against Dean’s throat. He practically cries when Cas finally moves, sitting back on his heels to grab the lube again. His eyes are glued to Cas’s hand while he spreads the lube thick across his cock. Clearly Cas is just completely forgetting about a condom, which is totally fine with Dean. As long as Cas doesn’t come in him, bareback is a fantastic thing. Dean’s just not the biggest fan of the feeling that comes with being on the receiving end of a cream pie. Between the two of them, Cas definitely enjoys that a hell of a lot more – and Dean’s more than happy to give them.

While Cas is slicking himself up, a wicked idea crawls into Dean’s head. Since he’s intent on getting Cas back for all this master play right now, this is the perfect opportunity to start on that. Dean slides a little lower down the bed and hikes his legs up, grabbing behind his knees to pull them higher and spread himself just a little bit more. It’s pretty damn exposing and more than a little embarrassing, but it’s fucking worth it.

Cas looks up just as Dean’s getting comfortable and he makes that surprised, choked little noise again. His hand stutters on his dick and Cas licks his lips. After a moment, his eyes dart to the camera and back to Dean. Oh. He wants a picture of this? Okay, there’s one of Dean’s limits and he shakes his head. There are some things that he doesn’t want to have on camera. Sure, Cas won’t do anything bad with them, but this is too embarrassing to have physical proof of right now.

Thank God that Cas doesn’t push for more. Instead, he just leans forward to press a kiss to the inside of Dean’s ankle before he steadies his hips. After that, he doesn’t waste any time with pushing in. It’s the greatest fucking feeling in the world and Dean arches his back. Fuck, it feels so good but Cas is going to goddamn slow.  Every few centimeters he’s stopping to let Dean adjust to him. Holy shit, if Cas even tries to set this up as soft and gentle after the fucking build up they’ve had, Dean might actually scream.

There’s way too much pent up something that’s practically tangible between them right now. And the collar around Dean’s throat is kind of bringing out his rough side at the moment. He wants it hard and fast and he kind of would really like to be sore after they’re done. Which is why he’d really like to be able to start moving right now so Cas will get the goddamn idea. But with the way he’s holding Dean’s hips, he can’t move to try and get him to go faster or harder or anything.

Jesus shitting Christ, is he going to have to use his fucking words again? Goddammit. Okay. He can do this, he can fucking do this. God, he wants Cas to just fuck him already and it’s actually feeling kind of mortifying. Not enough to kill his boner, but it is kind of distracting.

Dean takes a deep breath and tries another ‘please’. It feels like he’s choking on it and he can’t help but wonder if that’ll ever get easier to say if they fuck like this again. He doesn’t really realize until his fifth ‘please’ (followed with a ‘faster!’ and preceding another ‘master’) that he’s actually planning on doing this more with Cas. Not just the sex, but this. It’s – it’s kind of nice having Cas be all over him like this, somehow different from his usual pushiness.

This is Cas practically owning him. Dean is basically his – fuck, what are they called? A sub? Yeah, that. He’s actually thinking about being Cas’s sub. Of course he wouldn’t be it all the time, and never outside of these little moments, but there’s still a thrill to the idea of belonging to Cas. And this would probably all feel a whole lot better if Dean could get over his fucking embarrassment and his pride right now. There’s no way in hell that he would do this for anyone else besides Cas, so why can’t he just let go? With Cas there’s trust, and some weird tingly feelings in his chest, and a whole bunch of things that Dean doesn’t want to think about right now.

He’d probably still think about it more – but any activity in his brain becomes next to impossible the moment that Cas bottoms out. The whole time he completely ignored Dean’s pleas, but they definitely affected him. Cas’s eyes are squeezed shut and the grip he has on Dean’s hips has moved to his ankles where he’s holding on tight enough that there just might be bruises after. That’s fine – that’s cool. Now it would be great if Cas would start actually moving.

Things are starting to get frustrating again. Dean squirms, wanting Cas to do something, but he’s not. He’s just fucking sitting there and it’s driving Dean crazy to feel so full but not get the satisfaction of a good fuck. At least all he has to do is moan Cas’s name once for him to react. As soon as he does that, Cas lets go of Dean’s legs slowly to let them fall down around his hips.

Putting his legs down feels pretty damn good since he’s not as flexible as he used to be. The only work out he ever gets anymore is at the shop and during sex. It’s just enough to keep his addiction to pie and burgers from outright showing, but he’s definitely gone a little soft in the tummy over the last few years. It’s not really obvious and Dean never really notices it unless Cas is doing that thing where he likes to kiss and bite lightly around his belly button like he was doing earlier. Dean kind of has a sneaking suspicion that Cas knows he’s gone soft since they first met back at Crowley’s Café and he pays attention to that area on purpose.

Cas’s hands distract him from any issues he has with his body as they slide up his sides and over his chest while he leans over him. They dance over his shoulders and to the collar around Dean’s throat. He’s watching Dean now, eyes hooded and smoky and Dean doesn’t know why he looks different than he usually does. This definitely isn’t the first time that Cas has topped. Is it really just the collar and this whole power play thing that’s making him look – look like what?

Dean doesn’t have a goddamn clue, but he can feel Cas’s fingers trace the collar to make the d-ring jingle against the clasp of the leash. And then Cas is sitting back with the leash wrapped around his hand. He drags the end of it down Dean’s stomach, letting the tip of it brush over his cock. It’s the most attention his dick has had in a while and Dean bites his lip, tilting his head back into the pillow with a loud exhale.

The moment that he tries to rock his hips, Cas grabs them to hold them still. Dean hisses unhappily and reaches down to wrap his hands around Cas’s wrists. “Son of a bitch. Would y’just move already you sadistic bast–”

“Ask nicely, Dean.” Cas murmurs quietly, his voice low and deep like it’s sex wrapped in chocolate. Goddammit. Dean is going to kill him after this and he bites his lip to keep from saying anything when Cas pulls at the leash sharply as if that’s some kind of warning. But all Cas does after that is tap at Dean’s stomach. “I want to take a picture.”

Wait, what? “Of you in me?”

“Something of the sort.”

As long as his legs aren’t drawn back to his chest and his ass is out in the air, Dean is more or less okay with that. “For fuck’s sake – make it quick.”

The words are barely out of his mouth before Cas has the camera in hand. He leans back a little, like he’s taking the picture along the length of his body. Steeling himself against the oncoming wave of embarrassment, Dean fists his hands in the sheets and looks directly at the camera, trying to give it the kind of smolder he knows Cas likes. His face is heating up and it’s probably going to ruin the picture, but Cas doesn’t complain.

Once he’s got his picture, Cas puts the camera to the side and grabs the leash again. “Now, ask nicely.”

Fuck this fucking power play. It’s going to be the death of him. “Please. Master.” He grinds out between clenched teeth. “Please. Fuck. Me.”

Cas likes that just as much as he liked taking the pictures. He lets out a soft sigh and doubles over to kiss him again. It lasts for pretty much ever and Cas kisses him until Dean can’t breathe, until he’s gasping around his tongue. And of course, for the whole fucking thing, Cas’s hands are on his hips and holding him still. In fact, Dean’s about given up hope that Cas is actually going to fuck him – right up until Cas proves him wrong.

His kisses turn soft and gentle just as he starts rocking his hips slowly. It’s not the intensity that Dean wants, but it’s something and it’s fucking awesome. Anything Cas does is awesome and Dean is happy to give it up for just this. He hums into the kiss, digging his hands into the sheets because this is him getting back at Cas. If he wants Dean to touch him, then he can fucking ask for it. Or at least demand it. Which is hard as hell because when Cas is being like this – when he’s driving Dean wild in more than one way with so little – Dean just wants to hold onto him.

But that whole plan gets thrown out the window when Cas is done keeping it slow. As soon as Cas sits back and lifts Dean’s hips, his brain goes offline and his hands find Cas’s wrists again, digging his fingers in for something to hold onto. Everything just goes physical – it’s hard and fast and dirty. Dean reduced to primal instincts and he’s pretty sure that he says all sorts of things – all sorts of begging – he wouldn’t have said if he hadn’t been as worked up as he was.

At one point Cas actually manhandles him onto his stomach and Dean rolls with it like he can’t wait to be fucked on his belly. Cas uses the collar and a good grip in Dean’s hair to get him up on his elbows and knees. The moaning is nothing new, he does it all the time, but this time the neighbours might complain. It’s borderline screaming in some places whenever Cas gets brutal with his aim and thoroughly abuses Dean’s prostate.

That’s all fine and good and Dean has no problem with it. But he’s pretty damn sure that at some point he started to fucking beg for Cas to fuck him harder. At some point he gots desperate, because every sharp tug to his scalp is a bolt of pleasure down his spine and the more he pleads, the more Cas does. Dean damn near loses it completely when Cas reaches under him to wrap his fingers around his cock.

It’s easy enough to forget his embarrassment when things are going fucking great – but that all comes to a crashing stop when Dean’s phone starts to ring on the bedroom floor where he left his pants. He doesn’t even notice it at first until Cas starts to slow down again. Worse yet – he doesn’t just slow down. Cas fucking stops while he’s buried balls and taking deep, heavy breaths like he’s trying to calm himself down.  God, no. Please no. Don’t even – don’t. This isn’t fair and Dean almost fucking whines when he feels Cas smile against his shoulder blades. An honest to God whimper escapes him when Cas’s hands leave him completely and he pulls out, the bed creaking with whatever the fuck he’s doing.

Dean damn near chokes on his next breath when Cas leans over him again and presses his goddamn cell phone into his hand. “Answer it, Dean.”

He twists to look over his shoulder. “Are you joking? I’m not going to answer the fucking phone in the middle of –”

“If you want me to keep fucking you, then you’re going to answer it.” Cas says simply, giving the leash a sharp tug. “Hurry. We’re done for that day if you miss the call.”

Every other word that goes through Dean’s head in that instant is a vicious swear. He even mutters a few under his breath while he fumbles to get into a better position to actually answer the damn thing. Playing along is going to be the fastest way to get this game over with and then as soon as their refractory periods are done, Dean’s going to get Cas back double for this. If he can manage it, he’s going to fuck Cas hard enough that he won’t be able to walk tomorrow. He’ll have to take the day off work and spend it relaxing in bed until his hips can function properly again.

Gentle hands guide him onto his side while he puts the phone to his ear and Cas strokes him everywhere. Dean gives him a pitiful glare when he puts the phone to his ear without checking the caller ID and forces his voice to sound as even as he can manage. “Hello?”

The greeting is barely out of his mouth before Cas lifts his leg up and slides right back inside like he never fucking pulled out. Dean has to slap a hand over his mouth to keep from making any kind of noise. Especially since the voice that answers belongs to his fucking brother.

“Hey, Dean.” Of course it’s Sam. Only the moose, bane of Dean’s sex life, would have timing this fucking bad. “Sorry, am I interrupting something?”

Dean would laugh if he didn’t have a cock in his ass at the moment. “A little.”

Their safe word flashes through his mind when Cas starts rolling his hips in small circles. It’s nothing much, but Dean keeps Kansas close, just in case this ends up going somewhere he doesn’t want it to go – especially with Sam on the line.

He shoots Cas a warning look anyways. “What’s up, Sam?”

Saying Sam’s name does not even remotely have the effect that Dean was hoping for. It’s basically been rule number one since they started their arrangement that they don’t tell Sam. He’s not allowed to know and if Cas does anything else right now, things just might get revealed that Dean doesn’t want Sam to know. Despite that, all Cas does his tilt his head and quirk a little smile. Quiet as can be, he lifts Dean’s left leg until he can hook his knee over his shoulder while he straddles Dean’s right.

Oh no, this is not going to be good. Cas is getting up to all sorts of evil, isn’t he? Dean makes a muffled surprised sound and he squeezes his eyes shut when Cas starts moving again – still slow, but still moving. Dean would spit the safe word if he wasn’t really curious to find out what the fuck Cas is up to with this little game right now.

“You okay?”

“Fine, Sam.” He bites out, breathing a little heavier through his nose. He tries to fight the urge to make any other kind of noises that might tell Sam what he’s doing. “Little busy.”

Cas presses a kiss to the inside of his calf while Sam makes a disgusted noise. “Dude, tell me you didn’t pick up the phone while you’re on the can. That’s sick.”

Of course Cas would pick right fucking then to put a hand to his dick again and Dean barely manages to bite back a gasp. “Y-yeah, Sam. My manners are just that bad. What is – What d’you want?”

“Jess and I are almost done here. We’ve got a cake in the oven for Cas that Jess made and she wants to wish him a happy birthday.” Sam explains quickly, thank God. “It’s kind of an apology for missing the dinner because she really wanted to be there. And I want her to spend the night. Is that cool with you guys? Is Cas even still there?”

This has to be some horrible joke. His luck can’t actually be that terrible. First of all, he’s trying to protect the mouthpiece of the phone from picking up how hard he’s breathing – plus there’s the slick sounds of Cas moving in him. And of course that’s the moment that Cas decides to pick up the fucking pace. Dean throws his head back and sinks his teeth into his bottom lip hard enough to hurt, his free hand curling in the sheets. No, no. He’s too fucking close and there is no way that he’s going to come while he’s got Sam on the fucking phone.

“Let – shit, hold on. I’m going to – I’ll ask him.” Please, God, let Sam keep thinking that he’s taking a shit. “Hold please.” Dean nearly hangs up on him when he tries hitting the mute button. As soon as it’s silent, Dean drops the phone and twists his face into the pillows. “You’re the fucking devil.”

“Actually, I’m named after the angel of Thursday, Cassiel.” Cas has the nerve to fucking laugh, and there’s little comfort to be taken in the fact that his voice is fucking wrecked too. He might be just as close as Dean is. “What did Sam call about?”

Kansas.”

As soon as it’s said, Cas freezes. When Dean glances at him, Cas looks like he’s been slapped in the face while simultaneously being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Right away, he starts to pull out and back off, but Dean reaches out to grab his hand and he tightens the leg he has over his shoulder, drawing him right back in.

“Don’t.”

“But you –”

“We’re going to finish, Cas.” Dean takes a deep breath and folds Cas’s hand back around his cock. “Just – not cool. Okay? It’s great that you’re being all – this.” He flaps his free hand in his direction. “I’m glad you’re having a great time, really. But this –” And now he gestures at the phone. “That’s too far.”

Cas actually looks ashamed and he turns his head a little to lean his cheek against Dean’s knee, eyes wide and apologetic. “I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention to make you uncomfortable.”

“S’fine.” After a few deep breaths, Dean manages to organize the rest of his thoughts. “What were you even doing? Some kind of exhibitionism?”

He shrugs and turns his head more to press a kiss to his skin instead. “I wasn’t thinking clearly. It was an idea that seemed appealing at the time purely because you are very attractive when you squirm.”

“You son of a bitch.” Dean snorts a laugh and that gets Cas to smile again. “Find other ways to make me squirm, okay? Answering the phone during sex is off limits.”

“I understand.” Cas flexes his fingers and slides his palm along Dean’s cock again, like that is some kind of apology (it’s a wonderful one, actually). “What is Sam calling about?”

Shit. That’s right. Sam. But Dean is slowly receding from the brink and he was just so close. There’s just a little more ways to go and Sam interrupting with his dumb phone call is not helping. Fuck that. He’s got priorities right now and if Sam thinks he’s in the bathroom, than whatever. Dean wants his orgasm and he’s going to fucking get it.

“Just finish this, Cas.” He fixes him with another heavy-lidded look, aiming for smolder and hoping he gets it. “Master, please.”

Two words and it’s like he’s flipped some kind of fucking switch in Cas’s head. In a flash he’s got Dean on his back again with his legs around his hips again and he’s kissing him, hard and dirty and perfect. There’s no warning when he starts snapping his hips, moving harder and faster, hand working quick on Dean’s cock. He doesn’t need much more than that to come and Dean abandons all of his plans to wrap his arms around Cas’s shoulders.

His back comes right off the bed as he hits his orgasm with a shout, Cas’s teeth scraping the edge of the collar while he comes hard across his stomach. Cas groans too and his hips stutter until he comes to a stop. It doesn’t feel like he came, but Dean barely has the chance to come down or even look at him in confusion before Cas is handing the phone to him again.

“Sam’s waiting.” At least this time he looks like he’s going to actually hold still. “Were you going to ask me something?”

Way to ruin his high. Dean groans and covers his face with his hands. “Jess wants to come and wish you a happy birthday.”

“Find out how long they’re going to be.” Cas dips his head to lick across Dean’s chest, cleaning up a little of the mess. “We need to shower still and I want to finish on your lips.”

Well, at least it’s not a cream pie. Dean’s happy with that and he fumbles to unmute the phone. Surprisingly, Sam is still on the line. “What the hell, Dean?”

“Cas was on the phone with someone. I forgot to unmute you, sorry.” He shoves a hand through his hair and stretches a little, vindictively enjoying the wince Cas makes when his hips roll against him. “How long are you two gonna be? Cas wants to start a movie.” It’s not a real lie. They have no idea what they’re going to do after they’ve showered.

“A few more hours? Not until late, at least.” Sam sighs. “We need the cake to finish baking and Jess wants to decorate it. That’s going to take another hour or so and then there’s the bus schedule to worry about. Don’t worry, you don’t have to come pick us up.”

Thank you, Jesus. “You’re shit out of luck with the movie then.”

“It’s a loss I’m willing to take. See you guys later!”

Dean mutters his own goodbye and hangs up, tossing the phone onto the bedside table. He’s barely done that before Cas has the camera in his hand again and he’s taking another couple of pictures. His hips rock lazily during the whole thing and Dean doesn’t even have the energy to care. He stretches his arms above his head and gives Cas a lazy post-orgasm grin. Now it’s his turn and Dean can’t wait to see Cas come again. It’s only been a few days since their last time but that’s way too long for him.

When Cas puts the camera down, he gets right back to fucking Dean again. It takes a lot less time than Dean thought it would before Cas is pulling out and tugging at the leash. Dean doesn’t exactly want to move since he actually does feel sore now, but he wiggles his way down the bed until Cas is practically kneeling over his face. He closes his eyes, keeps his mouth shut, and digs his fingers into Cas’s thighs while he finishes himself off with a few strokes.

He’s barely finished coming on Dean’s face when he’s already scrambling to stretch out next to him. Before Dean can open his eyes, there’s a warm and wet tongue slipping along his cheek and chin. As soon as Cas’s finished with the cleaning up, he kisses Dean slow and sweet. Well, sweet in the how Cas cradles his jaw between his hands, but the taste is far from. It shouldn’t be nearly as hot as it is to be able to taste Cas on his own tongue and that’s entirely why Dean doesn’t mind this.

Cas hums into the kiss and slips a little further down the bed, practically sliding off the mattress completely, to lick Dean’s chest and stomach clean. It feels pretty nice and Dean stretches out, happy to let him do what he wants. The wet nap Cas gets from the bedside drawer feels a little cool, but Dean doesn’t mind it while he’s giving a thorough wipe down. If getting pampered like this afterward is a part of being the ‘sub’, he could maybe get used to this. Sort of.

That was probably not a thought he should have had. Now everything that happened is coming back to him in stunningly humiliating high definition. They had a fucking safe word and Dean actually used it. At one point he was even on his knees and begging. Even though it was all for Cas and it’s a special day and everything, he’s never begged for anything before – especially not for sex and especially not with a goddamn collar around his throat while calling someone his fucking master.

It’s such a blow to his pride that Dean’s not sure it’s ever going to recover. And how does Cas feel about this? Is he disgusted with what Dean devolved into? Is he not going to want to do this again because Dean wasn’t – he wasn’t him during this? Not completely, at least. True, he fought against it a little bit, but that was just to make things interesting. He still begged and whined and just – he feels weird. And not in a good way.

“Thank you, Dean.” Cas’s words get mumbled against the collar and they barely punch through Dean’s thoughts. If Cas wasn’t untying the ribbon from his cock, he might not have noticed that he was speaking. “Thank you for my birthday gift. It was wonderful.”

So, he liked it? There was nothing weird about it? Good. Dean wraps his arms around Cas and pulls him close for a good, tight hug. He rubs his nose into his hair and takes a deep breath, trying to distract himself. “I hope you liked it.”

“I enjoyed myself very much.” Lips move across his jaw and Cas presses gentle kisses along it. “You fought me, but you did so well by the end.” He pauses for a second and his voice pitches into a quiet little whisper. “I loved it.”

That sets off all sorts of fireworks behind Dean’s ribs. It’s a combination of words that he doesn’t know how to deal with but wow. That feels kind of nice to hear coming from Cas and a (terrifying) voice in the back of Dean’s head whispers that he’d like to hear it said a different way. It scares him because he’s not sure if he’s capable of feeling that way for Cas too and it would suck for Cas if he does feel like that for Dean and it just – no, his thoughts are getting stupid again. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

What Cas loved is the gift. He loves the collars and the sex, not Dean. Shit. That’s just making him feel worse. His afterglow is burning away with all these dumb thoughts. It’s hurting his head and his heart and Dean can feel himself starting to shut down. Which is just a stupid thing to do because it’s Cas’s birthday and this is about him, not about Dean and all his stupid fucking problems. It’s not about him and his inability to – to what? He doesn’t even fucking know anymore.

“Did you enjoy it too?” Cas asks after a minute, propping himself up to look down at him. His eyebrows are drawn together in a concerned little frown while he traces the edge of the collar with his fingertips. “Was this the first time that you’ve done something like this?”

Dean hums his answer and keeps his eyes locked on the ceiling. “Yeah. It was –” Good. He came hard and it was all nice and everything, but there were other things that are and aren’t sitting well with him. “It was new.”

“You did so well.” The praise gets whispered against his cheek and Cas draws him into a gentle kiss. “I’m proud of you, Dean. You tried it and you were amazing.” Cas’s thumb strokes across his cheek and he sounds pretty fucking sincere, like he’s actually not judging Dean for how he was acting during it. “We don’t have to do it like that again if you didn’t enjoy it.”

“It’s pretty fucking obvious that I enjoyed myself, Cas.” He mumbles, lifting his head to chase after the kisses. They’re really helping to distract him right now. “I’ve just never been – fuck it. Don’t worry about it.” Maybe he’ll eventually be able to do that too. “Let’s go clean up. We’ve got time to soak in the tub together before Sam and Jess get here.”

Cas still looks a little worried, but he huffs a laugh against his lips and shakes his head. “That tub isn’t big enough for two grown men to sit comfortably.”

That’s a challenge Dean is willing to accept and the universe is fucking wrong if it thinks he’s going to be standing for any extended period of time soon. Besides, it’s not as easy to keep holding Cas while they’re standing. One of them has to be leaning into the other while the other has to hold them up and it’s just – it’s not as fun as it would be to sit back to chest where kisses can be pressed to shoulders and necks and arms can rest easier around waists.

Yeah, that’s sounding better and better. And as long as Cas keeps reminding him that everything that just happened wasn’t as weird as Dean keeps thinking it was, then he can do it. He’ll be happy just as long as he knows that Cas isn’t thinking any different of him for what they just did.

“We’ll make it work.” He murmurs and grins against Cas’s mouth, one hand stroking down to his hip and back up his side.“C’mon. Don’t you want a nice hot bath?”

“That does sound tempting.” A mirroring smile spreads across Cas’s lips and he pulls away, carefully dragging Dean to sit upright again. Right away he starts working at the buckle on the back of his neck to remove the collar. “I’d like to see how you think we’ll both be able to fit.”

“We’ll make it work.” Dean shrugs and rubs a hand over the back of his neck.

It feels weird not to be wearing the collar anymore. But as soon as it’s off, Dean finds it easier to breathe. It feels like a weight – or a mask – has been pulled off of him. Without the collar on, Dean feels more like himself than he has since they got home from the store. It feels a little freeing, but at the same time he gets a little pang of something sad through his heart. The feeling of belonging to someone – belonging to Cas – goes away with it while Cas puts the collar and the leash aside. And that’s kind of a feeling he would like to have all the time because it’s a decision Cas made.

He wanted Dean to put on the collar that he picked out for him. Does that mean that he wants Dean to belong to him too? Will that be the feeling Dean gets when he puts a collar he paid for on Cas? For a moment, he pulls up an image of Cas on his knees, the collar around his throat and the leash in Dean’s hand. That sends a spike of heat through him to sizzle in his belly, trying to rekindle a fire that’s out for now. It also makes heart do a cartwheel, or jumping jacks, or sky-diving. For all Dean knows, he could be having a fucking heart attack because yes.

Being able to call Cas his would be – shit, that would be fucking amazing.

And it’s terrifying because that’s entering a whole different realm of thinking and Dean doesn’t know how to handle it. Now he really wants that bath. The hot water will make all this junk inside his head go away and he’ll feel better about this soon as long as Cas just keeps close. As long as he just keeps being Cas, everything will be okay. That’s all Dean really needs right now. Why? Why is that enough for him? Is it because of Cas? Yeah, it’s because of Cas.

Having Cas around makes him happy and that’s all the reason Dean needs to start feeling better.

Chapter Text

Most of Dean’s thinking seems to be done in his bed lately, during the quiet hours of the night when he only has the sound of passing traffic outside his window to distract him. It’s not always bad thinking, but lately it’s getting annoying because he doesn’t want to have to think about his days. Especially today, which was – for the most part – really awesome. And that’s including the sex. Everything was fucking great with that. But then his brain got back the ability to think after the endorphins died out and things were maybe not so fantastic after that.

The cake and the movies went well enough when Jess and Sam finally showed up. But Dean didn’t feel quite right after they showed up. Which is weird, because he was fine and dandy when he and Cas managed to squish themselves into the tub. It was a tight squeeze, but they managed to make it work. Cas had pretty much insisted that he be the big spoon, and Dean would’ve complained – except that Cas had offered to rub his shoulders and how the hell is he supposed to turn that down? The shoulder rub was well worth having to sit with one of his legs propped up against the wall and the other hanging over the edge of the tub because Cas’s legs were the ones that kind of had to stay in the tub.

Everything about that had been fucking awesome. The water was hot and Cas was warm against his back and it was so easy to realx. They actually had to shower afterward to actually get clean, but that was fine. That was great, because after they were done with their shower, Cas told him to put on his comfiest sweat pants and t-shirt and meet him on the couch. And he was there waiting for Dean with hot popcorn and Iron Man in the DVD player.

Cas was all about the cuddling on the couch during the movie, running his hands through Dean’s hair and pressing kisses to his ears, his cheek, his neck – pretty much anywhere that he could apparently reach. Things were going fucking fantastic for most of the movie, but then Sam and Jess showed up. As soon as he and Cas heard the key in the lock they had to break apart and that exact moment is when things started going downhill for Dean again.

As good as the cake was, and as nice as it was to have Cas blush while they sang him happy birthday, Dean had a hell of a time focusing. All he could think about was that Jess and Sam had no fucking clue about what kind of person he’d been with Cas – for Cas – just a few hours before they showed up. Not that that’s a bad thing. It was new for him and Dean most definitely enjoyed himself during it. But what he’s trying to wrap his head around right now – even while he’s lying in bed and staring at the ceiling hours later – is that he’s never been like that before.

It’s thrown him for one hell of a loop and left him feeling kind of – well – pretty damn unsettled, if he has to be honest. Dean didn’t know he could even be like that. Last he checked, there weren’t any parts of him that could get off on being owned. But apparently if he’s being fucking dominated by Cas then it’s something that definitely revs his engines? He doesn’t have the first fucking clue how or why, but because of it, iit’s really not all that surprising that he’s having trouble sleeping right now.

Maybe he should put a poster on his ceiling. That would be more interesting to look at than the bland cement. Because, really, looking at it every night is kind of really fucking boring. Maybe he should give a chance to that the good ol’ fashioned trick of counting sheep? It’s not the most effective of things for him, but it wouldn’t be as widespread an idea as it is if it didn’t work for most people, right? Maybe the five billionth time will be the charm.

He’s reached seventy-two sheep when he hears the swishing noise of his bedroom door sliding on the carpet. It’s a soft sound, but it catches Dean by surprise and almost gives him a heart-attack. His alarm clock is showing that it’s well past everyone’s bedtime and he knows that they all went to bed literally hours ago. Instead of going for the light next to the bed, Dean just reaches above his head and yanks the curtain to the side. The window above his bed is almost directly in line with one of the lampposts on the street and it floods his bedroom with light the moment the curtain is out of the way.

Between the three options he has about who could be sneaking into his bedroom at this time of night, Dean wouldn’t hesitate to put his money on it being Cas. He’s pleasantly surprised to find that he’s right. Cas is standing frozen in the middle of the doorway, eyes wide as if he wasn’t expecting Dean to be up. They watch each other for a good chunk of time, neither moving before a horn honks outside and breaks them out of their staring contest.

Flinching, Cas glances over his shoulder before he takes a few steps into the room. He drops his voice into a whisper that Dean can barely hear from the bed. “Did I wake you?”

“Wasn’t sleeping.” Dean sits up more and scratches at his chest absently, muffling a yawn in the back of his throat. Fuck, he wishes he was. He’s tired as all hell. “What’er you up to?”

“I figured as much.” Cas sighs and shifts on his feet, glancing back at the door before gesturing at Dean and the bed. He looks like he’s putting on a brave face. “Would you mind if I joined you?”

While Sam and Jess are in the other room? That’s new. Well, not exactly new, because Cas spent the night in Dean’s bed a month ago while Sam was sleeping in his room. But that’s because Dean needed someone – he needed Cas – close by for comfort considering that specific occasion. But what about tonight? Aside from it being a few hours after Cas’s birthday, why would he need – why would Cas want to be here?

After a quick introspective look at his possible answers, Dean comes to the decision that there’s really only one thing to do. He’ll be damned if he’s ever actually going to turn Cas away from his bed when he wants to spend the night. His stomach feels like it’s a cocoon breaking apart to a mass of butterflies while Cas turns around to shut and lock the door. The feeling only gets worse as Cas comes up to the side of the bed and puts his phone down next to Dean’s on the side table.

“Why’d you bring that?” Dean gestures at the phone while he flips back the blankets and shuffles over to make room for Cas to join him.

“I have an alarm set to wake me well before Sam or Jess will be up.” He explains with a shrug and slips in next to Dean.

As soon as Cas is right next to him and settling back against the pillows, the butterflies filling Dean’s stomach disappear. Something warm and calm spreads through him instead when Dean turns into his side and Cas automatically wraps an arm around his shoulders. He wants to ask why Cas is here, and what he’s planning with this, but everything is feeling so much better now that he’s here. It’s pretty damn nice to have him here right now, even if Cas was part of the reason he was still awake.

“You should sleep, Dean.” Cas murmurs, voice rumbling under Dean’s cheek before he presses a kiss to his forehead. “You deserve it after the busy day we had. You worked hard and made me very happy.”

That shouldn’t make him feel as good as it does, but it definitely makes Dean feel better than he was five minutes ago. Cas thinks he did a good job. He wouldn’t be here right now or fucking praising him for earlier if he thought any different of him because of it. It’s something that Dean should be happy about, and he really kind of is. But there’s still a nagging thought in the back of his head that he doesn’t like. That thought is a mumbling voice Dean can’t quite hear, so he doesn’t really know what it’s trying to get across, but it’s annoying and he’d like it to just go away.

Almost like he’s reading Dean’s mind, Cas starts running a hand through his hair. It’s kind of a petting gesture, but dear God does it feel good. Better yet, it’s making his brain flat line. Cas’s magic fingers put him to sleep faster than anything else and finally Dean doesn’t have to think.

*

The greatest thing about having a shift that starts at roughly the same time as Cas is that Dean gets to drive him to work in the morning. Even if he was woken up by Cas slipping out of his bed at the asscrack of dawn, Dean’s still feeling in a better mood than when the evening ended yesterday. There’s a buzz of quiet thoughts in the back of his head, but that’s becoming a norm for him anyways. Those snap quiet the moment a hand closes around his knee and Dean looks at it for a good few seconds before he really registers that Cas’s hand is on his knee while they’re parked out front of the café.

It’s different and sends sparks skittering under Dean’s skin. He looks up at Cas, confused about what he’s doing in public while a bubble of something like hope settles in his chest – though he doesn’t have the first clue about what he’s being hopeful for. The confusion over takes the hope when he notices that Cas’s eyebrows are drawn together in a worried little frown.

He squeezes Dean’s knee gently and offers a small smile. “Call or text me if you need to today, okay?”

Does he know that Dean’s thoughts keep making him feel bad about yesterday even though he knows there’s not really anything to feel bad about? They both enjoyed themselves and Dean didn’t do anything he didn’t want to do. It was just – Jesus, how many times can he tell himself that it was new and it was surprising enough to catch him off guard? That’s a horse he’s beating to death.

“I’m fine, Cas.” Dean gives him a small smile, though Cas doesn’t look too convinced.

“I know you are.” Cas sighs and pats his knee.

He looks like he’s going to say something else, but nothing ever comes. In fact, all Cas does is kind of sway towards him for a second. It almost looks like he’s going in for a kiss, and in the blink of an eye Dean’s swallowing around his heart. They’re in full view of the café and even though Dean can’t see anyone, that doesn’t mean someone can’t see them. Strangely enough, that doesn’t change a thing. Like fuck is he going to give up a chance to kiss Cas – especially when he’s feeling a little blue and he’s not really sure why.

But Cas is starting to get that look in his eye like he just realized where they are and that this isn’t the right place for them to kiss. He’s starting to lean back again and his hand is sliding off Dean’s knee. That’s the exact opposite of what Dean wants and he glances around once to make sure that no one he recognizes is walking by. Before Cas gets his hand on the door handle, Dean’s got his fingers fisted in the front of his shirt and he’s pulling him in for a short, quick kiss.

It leaves Cas actually blushing, but he’s got the biggest damn smile on his face when he mumbles his goodbye and gets out of the car. A kiss from Cas works as magically as his fingers did in Dean’s hair last night. One little kiss makes Dean feel all sorts of better and he’s distracted from his thoughts long enough to make it to work without thinking about that off feeling nestled in the back of his mind.

That comes back with a vengeance halfway through the morning while Dean’s elbow deep in the guts of a car, engine oil staining his gloves. He sure could use Cas’s magic fingers, his magic lips, his magic voice, or really just Cas in general to distract him from thinking about things he really doesn’t want to be thinking about while he’s working. It was hard enough shutting his brain up enough to try and sleep – and that’s usually something requires doing nothing. Right now he’s trying to make a car that hasn’t ran in over fifteen years actually work and he needs to focus but he can’t.

Or, at least, he can’t focus completely. There are a few periods where he manages to keep on task long enough that he doesn’t even think about his worries, but as soon as his hands stop to grab another tool or wipe some sweat from his forehead, it all comes crashing back. This stupid fucked up feeling even takes away his appetite and the majority of his lunch hour is spent staring at his machine-bought sandwich and trying to figure out what the hell is up with his head. He shouldn’t be feeling like this and it’s driving him nuts that it just keeps festering in the dark corners of himself.

Unsurprisingly, it takes him a while to notice that his phone is beeping away in his pocket. He pulls it out and frowns at the short list of message notifications – all with Cas’s name next to them. They’re all spread out over a dozen minutes and it should probably be a little concerning that it took him this long to notice that he’d received them.

The first message is a simple question; Are you on lunch now?

The next came five minutes later; It’s 12:30pm. You’re on lunch, Dean.

And the last is yet another question; How are you feeling?

While Dean’s reading over them, a fourth arrives. Short and sweet it’s just one word. Dean?

It might just be at trick of the light or something, but Dean has the sneaking suspicion that these texts sound concerned. He squints at the screen, half tempted to leave Cas hanging just to see if he’s going to go a step further and call him or something. But he’s already sent four messages and if Dean knows Cas, he’s probably on the verge of asking Crowley for the rest of the day off so he can hop the first bus that’ll take him to the garage so he can check on him personally.

And that’s the whole reason he taps out I’m fine, Cas. and hits send.

Good. I just thought I would check. His answer comes back in a blink and Dean is pretty damn impressed with how quick Cas can type. The phone dings with another message. I also wanted to thank you again for yesterday.

Ur gonna make me blush in the lunchroom.

I’m only speaking the truth. Is it possible for a text message to waft smug from the screen? You were amazing, Dean. I was very impressed considering that was your first time doing something like that.

Dean snorts and rolls his eyes, trying to ignore that there’s definitely heat crawling up the back of his neck. He types one handed for a moment, absentmindedly taking bites out of his sandwich until he has to hit send. It was ur 1st time 2 right?

Yes, and it went far better than I was expecting considering how stubborn you can be.Cas may not be sitting across from him at the table, but Dean can perfectly imagine the stupid little grin he’d have right now for that little jab. But it still draws a short laugh out of him and he sends back a snappy message of his own, polishing off his sandwich in the time it takes him to type it out.

Before he knows it, his lunch hour is drawing to a close and they’ve managed to take their conversation through talking about how excited Cas is for his classes to start in a few weeks to how much of a nightmare Crowley’s pugs are, to the café’s new dish boy. His name is Andy and apparently Gabriel’s keeping a tally on the whiteboard in the kitchen of how many dishes he manages to break in a day. So far the record is seven. Dean gives the kid until the end of the week before Crowley fires his ass – either that or he’s keeping him on until he’s worked enough to cover the cost of the dishes. If he breaks anymore, the poor guy is going to be working there until the end of forever, because that sure as hell wasn’t any dollar store dishware.

It’s funny how Cas is managing to make Dean feel all tingly inside just from some texts. Each message is coming back so quick that Dean probably has his full attention. Being the focus of that – and from Cas, of all people – makes Dean’s insides turn into worms intent on having some kind of wiggly party in his abdomen. It’s not a bad feeling – quite the opposite, actually – but it’s making it really hard for Dean to want to go back to work the more the clock on the wall ticks towards the end of his break.

The only thing that (regrettably) makes him tell Cas he has to head back to put his nose to the grindstone is the fact that Benny shows up to frown at him. It’s his turn for his lunch and he can’t technically go on break unless Dean’s come back. Having his glare morph into a stupidly knowing grin the moment he sees Dean’s phone in his hand brings all of Dean’s good feelings to an end. He barely manages to type out and send a hasty goodbye before Benny is leaning his hands on the table and pinning him with the worst kind of teasing smirk he’s got in his arsenal.

“Enjoyed your purchase, brother?”

Damn. And there’s Dean’s blush back with friends. Dean shoves away from the table, crinkling the wrapper of his sandwich in his hand. “Shuddup, Benny. Whatever happened to your job’s rule about discretion, huh?”

“I was talking about your sandwich.” He looks way too smug for Dean’s liking, eyebrows twitching up his dumb face like he’s so proud of himself for his little joke that no one else is going to frikken get.

Bullshit. But this is so not the time or the place for Dean to want to talk about that – especially with Jo sitting in the corner and glancing over at them with curious eyes. He books it out of there before any more awkward questions can get asked. At least what Benny said didn’t manage to take away from the good feelings Dean got while talking to Cas. Things are totally normal between them, and even though Benny knows what they bought (and probably made a few wild guesses about what they’d get up to with those collars), he’s treating Dean the same as he did before.

So, does that mean things really haven’t changed? Things are still normal even if Dean wasn’t acting so normal yesterday? That’s – that’s good. That’s really good. And that little thought right there is just enough to carry Dean through the rest of his shift to the end. As soon as he’s punched his time card, he all but sprints across the parking lot to the Impala so he can avoid the inevitable buddy chat that Benny always strikes up when their schedules line up enough for them to leave at the same time.

Out of habit, he checks his phone before putting the car into drive. There’s one last text from Cas sitting unread in his inbox, sent barely half an hour ago and asking if he wouldn’t mind picking him up after work from the café. Again, why does he bother asking? He could literally just tell Dean ‘I’m finished work’ and he would be there in a heartbeat, engine rumbling and an empty seat next to him just waiting to experience the wonder that is Cas’s ass.

Dean adds the passenger seat to the list of inanimate objects he never thought he’d be jealous of.

After picking up Cas, Dean makes it three blocks before he has to ask. “What’s with the doggy bag?”

There’s a plastic bag sitting in Cas’s lap with two very obvious take-out containers sitting inside it. Cas just shrugs and puts a hand on top of them to keep the little stack steady. “It’s our supper. I got you a BLT with extra bacon and two pickle wedges.”

Okay. Apparently Dean is going to have to marry Cas now. “Thanks, Cas. But you didn’t have to –”

“You earned it.” He shrugs and gives Dean a smile full of sunshine. “You made me very happy and it’s the least I can do to thank you.”

Jesus, is Cas ever going to stop making him blush? “Did you get anything for Sam?”

“I texted him and he said he was already in the process of cooking his own supper.”

Which means that he’s probably going to steal Dean’s side salad. Which is totally fine with him, but he will stab Sam’s hand with the toothpick holding his sandwich together if he so much as tries to steal either one of Dean’s pickles. At least he knows he’s safe from Cas trying to take one. He hates pickles. Even just the smell of one usually has him making this cute little scrunchy face that makes Dean’s heart flutter all funny-like whenever he sees it. Which is why it’s amazing that Cas got him two pickle wedges.

All that aside, there’s one little question burning up the back of Dean’s tongue. He drums his fingers on the steering wheel while they wait at red light and steals a glance at Cas before he lets the question out. “What’s gotten into you today, huh?”

It’s not that Dean isn’t tickled beyond pink to be the center of Cas’s attention, but this is starting to get a little too much. Even if it’s doing wonders for making him feel better, he can’t help being a little suspicious that Cas is up to something by being so nice to him today. Not that Cas isn’t always nice to him – but there’s something definitely different about today.

Cas shrugs again and looks down at his lap, kind of like he’s been caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to – which is the last thing Dean wanted to make him feel like. “Hey, it’s not a bad thing or whatever, okay? I’m just wondering why you’re being so – well, y’know? You’ve never brought me dinner before, and you keep asking how I’m doing.”

“I just want to make sure that you’re doing alright after yesterday.” He murmurs, glancing at Dean like he’s expecting to be told off for it. “I don’t want yesterday to be something you regret or feel any guilt over. You were amazing and I’m hoping you were truthful when you said that you enjoyed yourself.”

Dean blushes again and he ducks his head. “Oh, okay.” Yeah, he definitely enjoyed himself and Cas knows it. Is he being paranoid that Dean didn’t and thinking that they might not do anything like that again in the future?

He doesn’t have an answer to that question until much later, after Sam retires to his bedroom and it’s just Dean and Cas on the couch. Dean’s taking up most of the couch again while Cas is reading, his head on a pillow in Cas’s lap and magic fingers in his hair again. His eyes are unfocused and he’s not even watching the show playing on the TV. He’s not really thinking of anything either. All he’s doing is enjoying the moment for what it’s worth until a stray thought flickers through his head.

Aftercare.

It’s not exactly something that he’s completely familiar with. The concept is just something that he might have read while glancing through a couple websites at one point. He knows that it’s important for a dom to give a sub aftercare after a scene to help them out of whatever headspace they might get into and keep them from doing a – shit, what was it called? Right, help stop them from dropping. There was a few mentions about that in the things he looked up when he was researching the collars.

Okay, so apparently Cas did a lot more research about this than Dean did. He’s not paranoid that Dean didn’t like it. He’s just keeping up aftercare. Guess that’s something Dean should maybe look into that more too, especially if at some point Cas might want to be the one to sub. The thing is, aftercare requires a massive amount of caring on the dom’s part for the sub.

Holy shit.

It feels stupidly good to know that Cas cares about him enough to go out of his way to make sure that he’s doing okay. Cas cares about him and that – that’s pretty much the best thing ever.

*

With September well underway classes are back in full swing for both Cas and Sam. Dean has yet to decide if this is a good thing or not. On one hand, it means that Sam’s time away from the apartment has practically doubled even though his shifts at the grocery store have dropped dramatically. If he’s not working an evening shift, then he’s over at Jess’s (or at the library) studying his ass off and doing his super smarty-smart homework.

He could, technically, do all of that at home too but apparently Dean’s very existence is a distraction to Sam. Specifically speaking, any shows that Dean happens to be watching are infinitely more interesting than whatever Sam is doing. Which is all fine and good because that brings Dean to the other hand. Cas isn’t as easily distracted as Sam is and that’s really quite the pity. If Cas wasn’t so capable of ignoring him and focusing on his studies then Dean wouldn’t see that as any kind of challenge to try and draw his attention away from his work.

There are a few times where he’s managed to tempt Cas away from his books, but for the most part he actually tries not to be a bug. Just because they have the apartment to themselves doesn’t mean they have to give in to their baser instincts and fuck like bunnies. Plus, Cas is up to his armpits in work. His scholarship demands a certain amount of course hours taken per semester, so he’s practically got a full course load. Not to mention that he’s working weekends at the café and picking up whatever shifts he can on any week days when his classes finish early.

Cas is the embodiment of a busy little bee and, by all rights, he shouldn’t even be bothering to find time to spend with Dean. They’re friends (with benefits) and roommates, but Cas always sets aside at least an hour every day to sit with Dean on the couch. On the days when Dean’s home from work before Cas gets out of class, he’ll often walk through the door and check to see if Sam is home before hunting Dean down in the apartment and basically collapsing right into his arms.

Dean looks forward to those days. Whenever they happen, Cas will just lean against him (or lay on him) and mumble about what he did in class. There’s never actually any complaint and most of the time Cas is smiling while he talks about it. He’s happy about the classes he’s taking and, honestly, Dean can’t remember him coming back from his pre-med classes with a smile like that on his face. With that in mind, it’s really no surprise that more than half the time those moments are interrupted by ‘you done good’ kisses – which more often than not escalate into very nice blow jobs.

That particular detail is one of the not-as-many-as-you-would-think things that Dean omits whenever he spends a lunch hour sitting on the back of Benny’s truck just talking with him. Benny’s the only person who knows about him and Cas. It’s kind of nice getting to talk to someone about Cas and the things they get up to together when nobody else is around – and he’s not talking about the sex (because he’s pretty sure that Cas would kill him if he knew he was sharing details about that).

The only problem Dean ever has with gushing about how awesome Cas is, is that sometimes Benny gives him this look. It’s the kind of look that Dean’s gotten from him a lot over the years. Hell, it even has a name – which is the entire reason Dean doesn’t like getting it while he’s in the middle of going into detail about Cas’s failed attempt to make burgers on his own the other night (he is never going to nap when Cas is hungry again). The look that Benny gives him is what Dean calls the ‘you’re being a dumbass’ look and he only ever gives it on occasions when Dean is, indeed, being a dumbass.

“Stop looking at me like that.”

Benny raises his eyebrows but doesn’t stop sucking up cranberry juice through the straw of his juice-box. Dean flips him the middle finger. “You know exactly what I’m talking about, so don’t even try to pull the innocent act. It doesn’t work for you, you damn bear.”

“Y’know –” He lets go of the straw and it flicks back sharp enough that a drop of juice goes flying and misses Dean’s leg by centimeters. “I was never called that until I started working at the toy store. Didn’t even know what it meant besides an actual grizzly.”

One of Dean’s spaghetti noodles nearly comes out his nose in the laugh that almost kills him. He spends a few minutes caught between coughs and laughter before he can get back to eating. Judging by Benny’s pleased smirk, he just got the reaction he was hoping for. But Dean can take a hint – that’s enough Cas talk for today. Or so he thought.

“Speaking of my second job, could y’ask your not-a-boyfriend that – if it’s not too much trouble – I’d kind of like a review on his latest purchase.”

That right there requires not just a double-take, but an honest to god triple take. He stares at Benny for a solid two minutes with a stray noodle hanging out of his mouth before he slurps it up and manages to give forming words a try. “The collars?”

It’s been an unspoken agreement between the two of them that they do not talk about what Dean bought Cas on his birthday. Okay, maybe not so much an ‘unspoken’ agreement as it was Dean point blank telling him that if Benny ever brought it up, he’d cut his brake lines and no jury in the world would convict him for it.

“Ah.” Benny’s smile kind of falls. “I guess you don’t know yet.”

“Don’t know what?” Dean can feel his pulse starting to climb and it’s not in the good way.

Did Cas really go and buy something new or is Benny just messing with him? When did he have the time to do that? What did he buy? Why hasn’t he told Dean about it yet? What if it’s not something for them and Cas bought it to use with one of his new classmates or something? He’s mentioned some guy who shares a couple of his classes a few times now – it was some pretentious sounding name – oh right, Balthazar. What if Cas decided to get something new just to use with him so he’s not sharing toys between them?

“Sorry, I thought you knew.” Benny shrugs and crumples his juice box in one hand.

His appetite is long forgotten and Dean puts the container of leftover spaghetti to the side. “What did he buy? When? Did he say –”

“Customer confidentiality.” Two words shuts Dean up fast and Benny grins at it. “Sorry, brother, but I can’t say a thing. And you probably shouldn’t tell Cas you know. He might be trying to surprise you.”

Please, God, let that be why. Cas said he wasn’t looking for anyone and that he wasn’t interested in sleeping around. But that was months ago. What if he changed his mind? What if this Balthazar guy helped him decide he’s ready to not be so exclusive with Dean anymore?

“What makes you think he bought it for us to use?” The question sounds bland and tastes stale and he hates it. “I told you, we’re not boyfriends.”

Benny snorts and rolls his eyes. “That doesn’t mean you’re not exclusive.”

“Yes, it does.” At least he knows for certain that it’s one hundred percent true for him – not that Benny needs to know that. Going by the skeptical frown, Benny knows it.

“You really think that I haven’t noticed that we haven’t been to the bar since you two fought?” He holds up his hand, stopping Dean from interrupting. “Don’t even try to kid me, brother. I know you weren’t fighting with Sam.”

Shit. Well, whatever. That’s old news. “Just because I don’t go to the bar with you doesn’t mean I’ve stopped going.” It definitely means he’s stopped going.

Benny rolls his eyes and slides off the tailgate. He reaches out and pats Dean’s knee before he starts gathering up the mess from his lunch. “Dean, I love you like a brother, but you’re an idiot.”

Excuse me?” Dean resists the urge to jab Benny with the end of his fork. “What makes me an idiot?”

“Oh no. I’m not getting dragged into this any more than my other job requires me to.” He starts backing away, garbage in hand. “I’ll sell you boys some toys to make your bedroom life more exciting, but I’m not stepping foot in the territory inhabited by your stunted emotions.”

What?” Is it so obvious that Dean’s broken that even Benny can see it? He scrambles to get his lunch packed back up so he can follow Benny and figure out what the hell he’s talking about. “Dude, get your ass back here and explain what the hell you mean by that!”

If Benny thinks he’s getting away with that, he’s sorely mistaken. Their lunch hour may be over, but that doesn’t stop Dean from making every excuse known to mankind to keep walking past the car Benny’s working under. If he happens to kick Benny’s foot or stop to ask him about his opinion on fixing something up (it has nothing to do with cars and he’s always pointedly ignored), well, that’s just a coincidence. It’s the same kind of coincidence that has Dean waiting outside the bathroom whenever Benny’s addiction to coffee makes him go. And if he tries cornering him in the break room, well, that’s just a coincidence too that their schedules are lined up so nicely.

Serendipity aside, Dean doesn’t get any more out of him until the end of the day when he hounds Benny’s heels straight to his truck. He might be going a little overboard with his nosiness, but this isn’t something Dean can drop. What the hell does Benny see that Dean doesn’t? If he knows that Dean’s broken and can’t give Cas what he needs, then fine. That’s not exactly new news. But that doesn’t make Dean an idiot – which means that there’s something he’s missing. Benny can see it and Dean wants to know what it is.

Standing in front of the driver’s side door to keep Benny out of his old truck might be a bit of an underhanded technique, but at least it’s better than trying to wrestle the keys out of his hand in the middle of the parking lot. If anything, it’s the winning move because Benny sighs and tugs his hat a little further down over his eyes. That’s a sure sign of defeat if Dean ever saw one.

“I’m not saying anything more.” Benny grumbles, pitching his empty lunch bag through the open window and narrowly missing Dean in the process.

Damn. Okay, that’s not as much of a win as Dean thought. Fine. Time to pull the pity act. “But, Be-e-e-e-nny.” He draws his name out into a whine and pouts. “You’re the only one who knows about the thing between me and Cas. I –”

“No, I’m really not.”

That right there is a prime example of how to give Dean Winchester a heart attack in under five words. All he can do is stare at Benny, mouth wired shut and eyes wide. What? What? Who the fuck else knows? Nobody should know. Benny was an accident because Cas had no idea he was working on his birthday and there really wasn’t anything they could do about it after they walked through the front door togeter. But they’ve been pretty damn careful – at least, he likes to think that they have been.

Benny just sighs loudly and reaches past Dean to pull the car door open, not caring that it bumps into his back and forces Dean into a stumbling side-shuffle. “I might be the only one who knows that you two have sex, but anyone with a working set of eyes can see that there’s something more going on between you two knuckleheads.”

“But there isn’t.” His voice sounds too small and Dean’s starting to get that panicked trapped-in-a-corner feeling. “We’re just friends.”

“Not with the way you look at each other, you ain’t.” The truck creaks as Benny climbs into the cab but he stops and gives Dean a flat look. “Like I said, I don’t want to get involved in anything. Whatever complicated shit you’ve got going between you two is between you two.” The door slams shut and the engine roars to life. Benny pauses before he puts her in gear. “But when Cas reveals his new purchase to you, let me know what you guys think about it. Andrea’s interested in giving one of those things a try.”

He leaves Dean standing alone in the parking lot feeling a hell of a lot more confused (and more than a little worried) than he was before. Dean’s pretty damn positive that he doesn’t look at Cas any different than he did when he first met him while he was the one working at the café. He’s not too sure about Cas. Back when they first met, Cas hardly ever looked at him and Dean never saw anything particularly special when he did. Then they were friends and then roommates and the only thing Dean knows is that Cas looks at him with more affection now. Hell, he probably looks at Cas like that too. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything more than friendship and sex between them.

Maybe Benny is just jerking his chain. He could totally be messing with him just for the hell of it – but that’s more of an Ash or Jo thing to do. Benny’s better than that. Which means that Dean is all sorts of frustrated when he stomps off to the Impala. The frustration eases off into a not-so-mild annoyed buzzing feeling spreading tense across his shoulders while he drive and all Dean wants now is to get home and take a goddamn shower and maybe Skype with Charlie until Cas gets home.

So it’s maybe not such a good thing that he nearly falls on his face when he walks through the front door, tripped up by a mess of bags. Those don’t belong there and Dean stares at them for a second before he looks up and squints at Jess. She’s standing in the kitchen with a camping cooler Dean’s never seen before and she’s apparently in the process of raiding his cupboards.

“Am I being robbed?”

“Not really.” She shrugs and pulls a bag of ice from the freezer – and Dean’s pretty sure there wasn’t one in there this morning. “We’re leaving for a field trip for the rest of the week. Sam’s class is going up to Seattle for some kind of conference thing.” She dumps the bag of ice into the cooler and starts shoving cans of beer and bottles of water into it. “I’m tagging along because why the hell not? Plus, I want to try painting some of the sights.”

Dean steps into the kitchen to look at their schedule board. It’s filled up with Sam and Cas’s classes and tests and shit. “Why isn’t it on here?”

“Because it was kind of sprung on me last minute!” Sam wheezes, rushing out of his bedroom with a duffle bag full of clothes and a backpack full of books. “I’ve got a paper to write for another class and I shouldn’t be going on this but I can’t pass up the chance to go to this convention, Jess. There’s a difference between that and a conference.”

Jess rolls her eyes and gives Dean a ‘why-do-I-put-up-with-this’ look. “Yes, dear.” She slams the lid of the cooler and flips the clasps into place. “Do we really need to bring this much food? We could always just buy things while we’re there.”

“Don’t have the money for it.” He mumbles, double checking his bag. “Sorry, Dean. I’ll restock when I come back and get paid this Friday.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Dean shrugs and takes a look at his empty cupboards. “I’ll just drag Cas shopping with me tonight and we’ll fill ‘em back up again.” He watches them shove a bunch of snacks into another backpack for a minute before it hits him. “Where are you guys leaving from?”

Sam looks up too, eyes wide and slightly desperate. “The university.”

Blessed be these poor souls, for their savior has arrived. “I’ll drive you.”

That earns him a double hug, Sam squeezing him from one side and Jess from the other. It’s nice, and all of Dean’s frustrations from before ease away. “Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m the bestest big brother there is. How long are you guys going to be gone for?”

“We’ll be back Friday afternoon.” Sam explains, starting to load Dean’s arms up with bags. “The bus is supposed to be back at the university by six, if you want to pick us up then too. Or not. I can spend the night at Jess’s place if I need to.”

Sounds like a plan to him. Dean heads back down to the garage first and gets the bags loaded into the trunk of the Impala while Sam and Jess figure out the last details of their things. It leaves him with a little extra time to spare and he digs out his phone to fire off a quick text to Cas. At this point, Dean’s just being polite to let him know that they’re going to have the apartment to themselves for the next few days. Today’s Tuesday, so that gives them at least two whole Sam-free days. Nice. Now Dean can walk around in his underwear without Sam bitching at him for it.

The answer he gets back from Cas is not what he was expecting. Good. There’s something I’ve been wanting to try.

It hadn’t even clued in for Dean yet about the boundless opportunities for sex they’re going to have with Sam being in a whole different state. Cas’s one text switches the gears in his head fast enough to give him whiplash and all of a sudden Dean is really fucking happy that Sam’s going to be gone for a little while. As much as he loves his brother, the possibility that he could be coming home without notice at any time is kind of cramping his style here.

But what is it that Cas wants to try? Is it related to what Benny said earlier? He’s halfway through typing out that question before he remembers that he’s technically not supposed to know that Cas bought anything recently. Fuck, fine.

Yeah? What do u have in mind?

Telling you would ruin the surprise.

He pouts at his phone and side-steps out of the way to make room for Sam and Jess to put the stuff they’re carrying away. Can’t u give me a hint?

If Cas wants to play hardball, then he’s got another thing coming. Dean types out ‘please?’ and copies the message. As soon as he gets another ‘no’ back, he pastes the message and sends it again. Cas might be doing the same thing, or he’s really just typing it out, but they send the same messages back and forth another half dozen times before Dean switches tactics.

Please Caaaaaaaaaaaas? And he throws an emoticon at the end for good measure.

But I just want 1 little hint :(

A response to that doesn’t come as quick as the others did and Dean takes the chance to make himself comfortable behind the steering wheel. His knee starts to bounce with nerves. Jesus, he really wants to know what it is that Cas bought. If he felt like violating all sorts of unspoken roommate agreements, he’d go investigate the drawers under Cas’s bed. That’s really the only place that he has where he could put anything that Dean wouldn’t notice. But he’s not that kind of friend or roommate, so it’s coming down to only being able to pester the hell out of Cas.

The next message comes while Sam and Jess play rock-paper-scissors over who gets to have front seat. Maybe I’ll tell you if you… ask nicely.

That little shit. Son of a bitch. He’s teasing Dean now – pushing his buttons. That’s what he’s doing. As if Cas really thinks he would forget the exact words he said to him when Dean was on his back and just shy of begging for Cas to fuck him while he had that collar around his throat. Dean definitely remembers those words. And he remembers the look in Cas’s eyes; the soft leather of the collar and the tug of the leash. He remembers all of it in startling clarity and it’s igniting a thunderstorm of heat inside him.

Two can play at this game.

Please master may I have a hint?

He starts the car when Jess whoops happily, but he doesn’t take his eyes off his phone. Sam and Jess are buckling themselves in when Cas’s answer finally pops up on the screen. I bought another item from the store Benny works at.

Dean knew it. Oh yeah? What?

“C’mon, Dean. We’re gonna be late.” Sam punches his shoulder over the back of the seat and Dean ignores him completely, frowning down at his phone.

No more hints. Please tell Sam and Jess to enjoy themselves.

Damn. Well, he’ll just have to work his magic as soon as he’s got Cas home alone. When u done?

Dean.” Sam hisses and this time Jess is the one who punches him. She hits harder.

“Just a sec. I’m texting Cas.” He flaps his hand at them and rubs his shoulder, waiting for Cas’s answer.

Half an hour.

That’s doable. I’ll drive u home.

If Cas answers, Dean doesn’t see it. Jess makes a go for punching him in the thigh and he just barely manages to pull his leg out of the way. “Alright, alright! We’re going. Jesus, calm down. I was just making plans to drive Cas home from the university.”

Even though he says that, it doesn’t feel like he actually waits very long. By the time they get to the university and Dean helps Sam and Jess unload and get everything packed into one of those massive cross-country type of buses, that half hour is almost completely up. There’s a whole gaggle of other students standing in little groups around the bus, chatting away to each other. Some whoop when they see the cooler Jess and Sam carry between them, others don’t even look.

Either way, it looks like they’re going to have fun and Dean almost wishes he was going with them. He gets hit with a feeling of being left behind while the bus starts pulling away, but then he spots Cas crossing the parking lot and he puts it all out of his head. Dean’s got three days with just him and Cas. Even without the sex they’re probably going to have, this is still going to be fucking sweet.

*

After their detour to the grocery store, Dean’s expectations are running a little high for when they get home. Cas’s texts left him running hot since he pulled out of the garage on his way to the university. It doesn’t help that he’s going crazy with curiosity over what it is that Cas bought. They already have a vibrator, but that doesn’t rule out another one or a dildo. It could be anal beads? A proper gag? A whip? It would be something Andrea’s interested in, but Dean barely knows her and Benny is usually one of those guys who doesn’t kiss and tell.

He wants to know – but too bad that Cas seems to have apparently forgotten all about their digital conversation. As soon as the groceries are put away, Cas grabs a change of clothes from the drawers under his bed. Dean’s brief flare of hope fizzles out when the clothes are all Cas takes with him to the bathroom. He sulks on the couch until Cas comes back in a pair of pajama pants covered in rubber ducks wearing sunglasses and a matching t-shirt. It’s too adorable for words and Dean can’t help stifling a giggle at it.

The feathered tips of Cas’s tattoos are peeking out under the sleeves of his shirt and Dean grins at those too. Cas never wears t-shirts when Sam is around. It’s only Dean who gets treated to the sight of black lines against tanned, toned skin. Seeing those lines makes him want to touch and taste. He wants to put his mouth to Cas’s back and trace the lines of his tattoo with his tongue until Cas is squirming under him. And judging by the raised eyebrow Cas gives him when he catches Dean staring, Cas knows exactly what Dean wants. He can only hope that Cas wants it too.

And that is why Dean is even more horribly disappointed when, instead of joining him on the couch for some making out with a heavy promise of more, Cas picks his laptop up from the table beside his bed. He stretches out like an (evil) cat on his bed with the laptop balanced on his thighs and gets right to doing his fucking homework. This has got to be some kind of a sick joke. Cas isn’t really being this cruel, is he? No, he most definitely is.

Fine. Let him be all alone over there on his bed. He can do what he wants. Dean will be right here on the couch with his laptop. Cas better not be getting ideas that Dean is just going to be his subservient little pet all the time. Of course, there’s always the chance that Cas isn’t playing any games. He could really just be focusing on his homework to get it out of the way so they can play later.

Oh. That’s a rather comforting thought, actually. He’s hoping that the intense look of concentration on Cas’s face means exactly that. Which means he should probably be as quiet as he friggen can – including digging out his headphones so that while he’s catching up on youtube channel subscriptions, he doesn’t bother Cas.

And that’s how they spend the first half of their evening. The only time Dean gets up from the couch is when he has to use the bathroom and when he needs to make dinner. He keeps his laptop on the counter next to him, headphones still in his ears, while he dices bacon and cuts potatoes. It keeps his hands busy while Charlie makes a video call to talk his ear off about LARP things – and Dean tries to answer as quietly as possible so he doesn’t disturb Cas.

As soon as supper is ready, Cas migrates from the bed to the table and stays there long enough to finish eating before he goes back. He eats with one hand and writes with the other, scribbling out a few pages of notes for some paper he’s doing for some class. Dean doesn’t know and he doesn’t ask because that would be interrupting and he wants Cas to be done with whatever he’s doing as soon as possible. The quicker Cas’s homework is out of the way, the sooner he can start paying attention to Dean again.

Supper’s been done for an hour by the time Charlie cackles in his ear. “Have you seen this video yet?” His chat pings with the sound of a message. “Belladonna is absolutely amazing in it.”

He frowns at the screen and the blue link under the grinning video of Charlie’s too happy face. “You seriously want me to watch porn while we’re in a video call?”

Her smile falters and then the video goes dead while the call keeps going. Good, because she doesn’t need to see how Dean waves off Cas’s curious look simply at the mention of porn. She knows Cas is here, but she doesn’t need to know that they’re both in the same room – and especially if she’s wanting Dean to click a link to frikken porn of all things.

“You’re sick, Winchester.”

“Says the person who sent me the link in the first place.” He drags his thumb along the track pad until he can double tap to open the link. Five minutes in, he’s gotta admit that Charlie was right. “Hot damn.”

She giggles in his ear and he hears her clapping happily. “I know, right? I told you. She’s amazing. Definitely my favourite. I’ve actually paid for her videos, you know? Worth every penny.”

Dean snorts a laugh, but his eyes are fixed on the video and the slick sounds of sex echoing through his headphones. Goddammit. He’s been on edge half the evening waiting for Cas to be finished. It was damn stupid of him to open this video when he knew what it was going to do to him. There’s a problem brewing under the laptop and it’s not exactly the most optimal of times considering that Cas doesn’t look like he’s got any intention of stopping his homework right now.

Then again… There’s always the possibility that Cas will join in if he starts without him. And if he doesn’t, fine then. Dean will go have fun on his own in the shower and when Cas is finished, it’ll be his turn to be the one ignored for the rest of the night. Or something equal to that. If Dean can hold out, that is. Cas could very well turn the same kind of plan on him and there is no way Dean would be able to keep from touching him – refractory period or not.

He shifts in his seat a few times, trying to get a feel for how hard he is. Not quite there yet, but definitely on the way. It wouldn’t take long with his hand to get himself totally hard. Yeah, okay. Enough video and laptop. Time to give his plan a shot.

“I gotta go.” Dean starts clicking closed all the programs he has open.

“Pervert.” Charlie snickers, clearly delighted with herself. “Apologize to Cas for me, will you? It’s not fair that he’s going to be under the same roof while you’re being gross.”

Oh ye of little faith. He huffs and hovers the mouse over the end call button. “I’ll be sure to give you the details afterward.”

“Don’t you dare.” And she ends the call before he even gets the chance.

Dean tugs the headphones off and puts them on coffee table with his laptop. Absently, he presses his heel against the front of his pants and bites back a hiss at the bolt of more please that pings from rib to rib. He bites his lip and glances toward Cas, but he looks completely engrossed in whatever the heck is on the screen of his laptop, now propped up on a pillow in front of him while he balances a notebook on one of his knees.

Clearing his throat, Dean crosses his fingers and hopes for the best. “Hey, uh, Cas?”

“I’m not touching you today.” He doesn’t even have the courtesy to look up from what he’s doing, the pen still wiggling across the page.

Wait, what? But he said he wanted to try something new and there’s a new toy hidden somewhere in that corner of the room. Not to mention everything that happened before they got home. Cas kept brushing against Dean while they were shopping for food, and instead of putting his bag between them on the seat in the car, Cas had put it next to the door and sat much closer to Dean than he needed to. It was close enough for their damn shoulders to be touching while they were driving. So, what the hell?

Cas still doesn’t look up, not that there’s much for him to see. Dean’s just sitting there with a hand in his lap and a dumb stare on his face. At least Cas stops writing long enough to flip through a page in one of the textbooks also open on his bed. “I’ve decided that today I’m not going to touch you. If you want to get off, you’ll be doing it on your own.”

“Why?” Okay, yes, he’s pouting. So sue him. Dean can’t help it. He’s confused, a little hurt, and starting to get a little worried too.

Did he do something to piss Cas off? But Cas isn’t looking particularly upset or anything. Actually, when he finally puts the damn pen down and looks up at him, he’s got the bedroom eyes in full swing and there’s definitely interest written all over his face. Well, what the fuck? Dean is getting all sorts of mixed up signals here. Clearly he’s not getting the message here and Cas sighs, closing both his laptop and his book – again at odds with what he said.

He uncrosses his legs and swings them over the edge of the bed, never taking his eyes off Dean. “I want to watch you get off.” Cas stands up and Dean can feel a flush rise in his face with him. “I want to watch you touch yourself.” When Cas  gestures for him, Dean is on his feet and following in a heartbeat, hanging on every word. “I want to see you touch yourself how you would want me to touch you.”

Is this the new thing that Cas wants to try? Voyeurism? Okay, Dean can give that a try. He’s never actually had anyone just watch him before. All the times he’s jerked off in the same room as another guy don’t count because he’s pretty sure anyone who wasn’t Cas never actually looked at him when the porn was on the screen.

 Jerking off is definitely something that Dean could do with Cas watching. But Cas wants him to do it as if he was the one doing the touching. And that right there, that is way more than just jerking off that Dean wants. Besides, if they do it this way, then Dean gets denied all the things that he wants too. He wants Cas’s kisses; his hands; the heat of his skin and the weight of his body above or below him. Dean doesn’t want to be lying in bed on his own. That’s what he does every night and he kind of really hates it.

At the end of the bed, Cas turns around to face him. His hands are twitching and he looks Dean over once before closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. Oh? Is that weakness Dean sees? Cas may say that he wants to give this a try, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. He’s starting to not look so sure about himself – and this is while Dean is still fully clothed and not even touching any of his fun bits.

Oh, this just got ten thousand times more fun.

“Is – is that acceptable to you?” Cas asks after he’s managed to ground himself, but he still seems a little uncertain when he finally looks back to Dean. “I’ll understand if you don’t want to. We can –”

“It’s fine.” Dean grabs the chair from his desk and swivels it around to face the bed. “You can sit here. It’s the best spot in the house – and just so you know, I’m not doing any of that master stuff tonight. That only happens when the collar is on, got it?”

He’s not trying to scold Cas for what he said during their text messages earlier, but he’s also got no plans to be a begging little sub tonight either. He’ll let Cas call some of the shots, but he’s not giving up complete control today. Now that he knows what they’re going to be doing, there’s a plan unfolding in Dean’s brain. This whole watching thing is actually getting him pretty excited now.

If anything, being told that Cas isn’t going to touch him is making Dean determined to do his best to break whatever little vow Cas is making. Let’s see how long Cas can resist touching him when he achieves maximum levels of sexy. It’s almost like Cas has completely forgotten that Dean has spent literally months learning all of his buttons. He knows exactly what it takes to get Cas revved up and raring to go – and he is fully willing to pit that knowledge against Cas’s willpower.

But for that, Dean’s going to need to get a few supplies. While Cas makes himself comfortable in the chair, Dean gets the lube out of the bedside table and tosses that on the bed. From the closet, he gets the box with their small collection in it. Right now he’s only really planning on using one of the things in it, but it can’t hurt to have everything within reach – in case he gets inspired.

The appearance of the box definitely peaks Cas’s interest and he quirks an eyebrow at Dean. All he gets in return is a wink before Dean slides his over shirt off. He does his best to stretch out his stomach and chest while he takes off his t-shirt. A strip-tease is nothing new to him, but he wants to take this nice and slow so Cas can get a good look at what he’s not touching. Dean makes sure to arch his back and roll his shoulders once he’s down to his jeans. His socks get toed off before he drops down onto the bed, ready to make himself comfortable and take the bull by the horns – so to speak.

Cas has gotta know that Dean’s going to be make this hard on him, but he doesn’t say anything while Dean stretches out on the bed. Okay. So, he’s supposed to do this with his hands being substitutes for Cas’s? Alright. That’s a thing Dean can do – even if it’s making a few embarrassed butterflies whiz around at the top of his stomach. Their little flapping wings aren’t kicking up much of a storm, but they do flutter harder when Dean can practically feel the heat of Cas’s eyes on him.

With a deep breath, Dean lays his hands on his stomach. That’s where he starts, letting them rest heavy against his skin. He keeps his eyes closed, picturing that Cas is kneeling next to him and ready to explore by touch alone. First, he sweeps his hands up and traces the edges of his ribs with his fingertips. His stomach contracts and his spine curves as he barely stops to give more than a light brush to his nipples. He never finds much pleasure in touching them himself.

It’s really hard to let go of reality and pretend that his hands are Cas’s. There’s such a big difference between them. Cas’s touch always manages to be sure and hesitant all at the same time – knowing he wants to touch but almost like he’s in awe that he’s allowed – and he doesn’t have the same rough skin and calluses that Dean does. But he doesn’t let that discourage him. He can hear Cas’s breathing at the end of the bed, deep and steady in the way of someone forcing themselves to stay calm.

That’s an incentive if ever there was one and Dean forges on. His fingertips quest up along his neck and he tilts his head back, letting them graze through the day’s stubble along his jaw. He brings his head back down and traces his lips, hoping that Cas can actually see what he’s doing and it’s not like his arms are in the way or something. They stop being much of a problem when Dean slides one hand into his hair and gives a little tug, pulling his head back to arch his neck a little more.

At that strategic moment, Dean lets a little moan fall from his lips. He makes sure to shape it like Cas’s name just enough to catch Cas’s attention. There’s definitely a hitch in Cas’s breathing and Dean would smile to himself if he wasn’t concentrating on carefully plotting a downwards course to take. This time, his fingers are pressing in a little harder. He drags his nails down his sides and bites his bottom lip when the sensation makes his hips squirm.

When he finally gives in and palms the half-hard erection through the front of his pants, Dean closes his eyes and makes another soft sound. He rocks his hips up into the touch a little, happy to have some kind of attention being paid to his cock – even if it’s his own hands and through two layers of fabric. By touch alone, Dean undoes his belt and pops the buttons of his jeans. This is where things get a little tricky. Wiggling out of jeans can either look silly or it can look sexy and it’s the latter he’s aiming for.

Concentrating hard, Dean hooks his fingers in the waist bands of both the jeans and his boxers and gives them a hard shove downward. He goes as far as he can without having to sit up, but they’re not going down his ass. With his heels planted on the bed, Dean arches right off the mattress and manages to slide everything down to about mid-thigh. That’s good enough for part A of operation free the booty. Part B begins the moment his ass is on the bed again.

Biting back a grin, Dean folds his legs to his chest and gets his hands under the jeans to slide them slowly up his legs. This particular position gives Cas a fantastic view of everything he could be touching. With his legs blocking his face from Cas, Dean allows himself a triumphant smirk when he hears a choked little noise. The chair creaks and Dean marks one win down in his mental tally for himself. He’s not even fully naked yet and he’s got Cas making noises – definitely a victory.

As soon as he’s finally free of his pants and his boxers, Dean tosses them aside and settles his legs back down on the bed. But this time he spreads them, giving himself just enough room to be able to get a hand wherever he wants it to go. There’s not much relief when he touches himself. He only slides his fingers over his cock in a light sweep at first, letting his knuckles brush up and down once before he wraps his hand around his dick and starts stroking.

Whenever Cas has touched him before, he does it slow. So, Dean does the same, moving his hand in long motions – nothing like the short, quick flicks of his wrist he usually gives himself. His other hand goes beyond his cock, stopping to roll his balls and rub at the sensitive stretch of skin behind them. He follows that to his hole and suppresses a shiver when his fingertip skitters over it. Usually he’s not one to finger himself when he masturbates – only ever doing it whenever he used that long gone dildo – but these are supposed to be Cas’s hands touching him.

It’s Cas’s hands, not his, and even if Dean will never admit it out loud, he really likes having Cas’s fingers in him. That feeling is almost as good as having his fingers in Cas while making him writhe. Fuck, he wants to touch him. As soon as Cas has had his fun watching, Dean is going to be all over him. But, right now, he’s got his own hands all over himself and he’d really like to move things along right into the main event where he can start really tempting Cas.

The moment he closes his hand around the lube, Cas takes a really deep breath and holds it. He knows what’s coming next and Dean makes sure that it’s really obvious of what he’s planning on doing. Slick sounds fill the air while he spreads the lube over the fingers of both hands before getting back to work. His legs spread just a little more to make room, but Dean really only has enough patience to work one finger in at this angle and he flips over.

It’s always been easier to fuck himself on his fingers while he’s on his stomach, knees tucked up under him and ass in the air. He can hunch his shoulders better and sink his teeth into the pillow while he stretches his arm down between his leg for optimum reach. As good as it feels, Dean knows it would be better if it was Cas’s fingers – or even his goddamn tongue. Anything would be more preferable than his own hand right now.

But because he’s not getting that right now, Dean makes sure to moan Cas’s name every so often. Every time he rocks back against his fingers, he groans a drawn out string of Cas’s name. The chair keeps creaking and Cas’s breathing has gone all fucked up. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if he’s already given in and started touching himself too. He would look, but Dean knows for sure that there’s a blush staining his cheeks and he doesn’t want Cas to see that yet.

Even though he’s kind of embarrassed to be doing this, knowing that Cas is watching every move he makes is only egging him on.  God, but he wants to see Cas touching himself. He wants Cas on this bed with him right now, pressed right up against him and being more than just the silent watcher. This is hot in its own way but it has nothing on Cas being an active participant.

Jesus, just thinking about that – Yup, okay, that’s enough of his fingers. Three is plenty for prep. It’s still a bit of a tight fit, but Dean doesn’t care. Besides, what he’s planning on putting in there next is thinner anyways. He probably could’ve gotten away with only scissoring two fingers. As he flings out a hand and the contents of the box spill across the side of the bed, Dean decides that the next thing he’s going to buy for Cas is a proper dildo.

The vibrator is awesome, sure, but it’s not really a realistic penis shape. He wants something shaped like a proper cock so at times like this, when he’s doing his best to tempt Cas, he can fuck himself on something and have an easier time imagining it’s actually Cas. Better yet, Cas could be imagining it too and maybe that would make him lose his damn cool. Then he’d be on the damn bed with him and taking the fuck over.

It’s a bit difficult to lube the vibrator up while he’s still on his knees with his face in the pillows, but Dean does his best. As soon as it’s ready, he reaches back and bites his lip. The bulbed tip slips across his skin while he fumbles to get it where it’s supposed to go. He sucks in a sharp breath when he finally presses it against his hole and he’s ready – so fucking ready – to push it in.

“Not yet.” Dean’s not sure if it’s the rough sound of Cas’s voice or his words that make him groan, but another drawn out moan gets muffled into the pillow and he nearly misses the rest of Cas’s request. “Keep – please, keep using your fingers, Dean.”

Aw, c’mon! He wants to feel more full than just his damn fingers right now. Dean hisses a swear into the pillow and shifts around so he can glare at Cas. It never manages to reach full power since Dean’s brain decides to develop a severe case up the hiccups at the realization that Cas hasn’t even pushed his sweats down yet.

His knuckles are white where he’s gripping his knees, and there is most definitely a tent to the front of his pants. Cas is staring at him, eyes dark and wide and full of wanting. It’s the kind of look that forces Dean to hold himself back and count to ten, otherwise he’s going to stop everything, jump off the bed, and climb right onto Cas’s lap – voyeurism be damned.

So, Cas is turned on but he’s not touching himself? Really? Well, that’s gonna make Dean’s job about five hundred percent more difficult. Time to ramp it up a notch.

He pitches his voice down into the deep levels of sultry. “But I want it, Cas. I wanna be full. The vibe is the closest thing I’ve got to you.”

Cas takes a deep breath and licks his lips. He sh