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Symbolism, Or Whatever

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"I swear to god Sammy if you lead me into a fucking wall I won't let you visit me and Mary for a week!" And Dean would fully carry out on this threat. Mary might scream at him a little - okay, a lot - but Dean is a grown man who can so say no to his three year old daughter. Sam just jumped him when he was walking out from his polisci class, wrapped a cloth around his head, and it was only his familiar smell that kept Dean from breaking his arm. Once Dean got over his shock it turned to anger, then frustration, and now it's bordering on homicidal mania.

"Dean shut up! People are looking at you with all the flailing and yelling, jesus," Sam pants from somewhere behind Dean. It probably doesn't help that Sam has done this to Dean twice before in the same week, and to say the least Dean is ready to shove that little cloth down Sam's throat. Dean does not need his baby brother to set up blind dates for him. He does not. Dean is a single father whose daughter has not impeded on his romantic life at all. And anyone who doesn't like Mary can go fuck themselves honestly. "Here," Sam says hesitantly, and Dean feels a chair dig into his thigh, "here, this is it, now I'm gonna take the blindfold off now, and if you scream-"

"Shut the fuck up and let me sit down bitch," Dean grumbles, feeling around the table with his hands. Polyester table cloth rubs beneath his fingers. "I've been stumbling around for hours now."

"It was like fifteen minutes jerk," Sam grouses but relents and steps away, allowing Dean to tear off the cloth. It's a cozy little restaurant, Dean has gotta hand it to him, Sam picks out cuter and different places each time. There's a little birdcage hanging above the counter with a parakeet in it, and a sign that says "Buy me a cracker! $2.99 for a bag of three!"

Sam must follow his train of thought because he clears his throat. "Cas picked out the place," he announces, and Dean doesn't even know where he meets these blind date people. Sam probably stuck fliers up around campus with little tear away bits of his phone number saying "call me my brother needs a blind date." God Dean is such a loser. "Okay he said he'd be here at around 2:30," Sam squints at his wristwatch, "And that's in about ten minutes, so I'll leave now but you better text me later and tell me if you like him!"

Dean waves him away with little confidence. The last two people Sam had set him on a blind date with had been interesting, but not amazing. Lisa had been cute and she was a single parent too, which allowed for at least one fresh conversation starter Dean doesn't use too often, but that's about where it ended. And Benny was great but after one rowdy night - maybe two, or three - they decided they were better off as friends. Benny mentioned something about just coming out of relationship with a woman named Andrea anyway. Dean busies himself with thinking about his many study plans. The TA for his Communications and Marketing elective, Crowley, is a little creepy but overall a good spirited guy even if Dean wouldn't invite him out for a drink anytime soon. It's doubly awkward because Dean's professor is Crowley's mother, Rowena. Dean decidedly likes Rowena better than her son but only because she reminds Dean of Charlie, who is away on one of her geeky weekends Dean never accepts her invitations to go to.

"Hello! Are you--- I mean hi, I'm Cas," a rough voice says, "Are you Dean?"

Dean looks up and appreciatively takes in a tasteful blue button down paired with cream trousers. "That'd be me. You're my date right?" The man smiles faintly and sits down opposite Dean.

"It appears so, Dean. My brother Gabriel just dropped me off, saying something about freckles and and lovely neck veins," Cas looks at Dean bemusedly, his head tilted low, "And I see what he means." Dean is thrown for a moment, distracted because people usually comment on his lips and eyes rather than his ghastly freckles and 'neck veins'.

"Well my brother told me you picked the place," Dean says, trying to reclaim some of the power balance. "You have good taste." Cas chuckles, and it isn't unlike any other man's chuckle, it's so deliciously ordinary Dean savours the normalcy. He's read too many books recommended to him by Charlie about soulmates and true love that it's kinda tainted for him now.

"I would say a great line now about how this date shows my good taste but since it's a blind date, it makes more sense for me to say my brother has good taste," Cas comments wryly. Dean watches his eyes crinkle in the corners and is hit with renewed interest.

"So does mine then," Dean leans forward, and sees something shift slightly in Cas' posture. It's possible just the relaxing of his crossed elbows but Dean suddenly feels like he's passed a test and makes a mental reminder to text Sam later. 

"So," Cas says, and then he stops and looks around awkwardly. Dean takes pity on the poor guy.

"Yeah, uh, so do you study at the university?" Dean leans back in his chair a little and tries to convey friendliness with his body. Charlie had given up on teaching Dean body cues last year, but Dean still likes the idea of flirting with his shoulders. He's been told he has nice shoulders. Okay, it was just Charlie that told him that but apparently her pansexual girlfriend at the time, Gilda, told her to tell him that. God. Just thinking that sentence made his head hurt.

"Yes," Cas says with more vigor, and Dean was right to introduce this topic. "Yes, I study--- right now, I'm doing an interesting unit on post modern artwork," Cas says and his cheeks flush a little. "I know, it's a little stereotypical of a gay man to study art but--- I enjoy it, it's," Cas' voice rises defensively, "It's what I'm passionate about."

Dean has to lock his muscles to stop them from rising up in surrender. "Dude, that's--- don't worry about stereotypes. In my first year I did a whole course on metal works and sure, that's considered less homosexual, but still--- it was like me, this guy named Aaron, and about fifty women. I mean sure I'm not even gay but that's what the whole dorm thought and I moved out after a week anyway. Bunch of dicks, really."

Cas hides a smile behind his hand. "I would've thought a dorm full of dicks is what you'd love," he says slyly and Dean laughs. 

"Yeah, well," Dean says easily, "Not that kind of dick."

Cas huffs a little laugh. "So you took metal works? Was it the practical course or the theoretical course? Because you look more like an engineer to me, if you don't mind me saying." Cas' cheeks light up again. Dean wants to rub his thumb against them.

Dean shakes his head and smiles. "Nah, see, my brother Sammy--- the guy who set me up with you ---he told me I should major in mechanical engineering, 'cos I used to work at my uncle's car repair store, but I saw this amazing metal sculpture when I came to scope out the uni and I fell in love." Dean grins. "So I took the practical metal arts and I met Aaron, coincidentally also my first boyfriend, and I settled on a major in polisci the next year."

Cas smiles and it's so soft. "I've heard many things about polisci, but honestly? The people studying that look more worse for wear than the engineering students." 

"True," Dean laughs ruefully, "That's true. Polisci kids are the most stressed out on campus. But it beats engineering."

"Post modern artwork sounded fun when I chose it," Cas admits, "Now it feels like a bunch of men in fedoras screaming at me to paint a single line on a canvas and call it minimalism." 

Dean lets out a full bellied laugh and Cas looks proud of himself for eliciting such a reaction. "Oh man," Dean says between breaths, "Oh man Cas." He calms down a bit but a wide smile stays on his face. "What's your assignment for the unit? Maybe you should listen to the screaming men in fedoras."

"It's funny because my professor actually wears fedoras on Thursdays," Cas says seriously, "And only on Thursdays. There's a betting pool between the students as to the reason."

"Maybe I'll switch to this unit. It sounds like a basket of fun," Dean says jokingly. 

Cas rolls his eyes mock pleadingly. "Please, Dean, switch to the postmod unit. I beg you."

Dean lays his hands palm up on the table in defeat. "Okay, okay. You got me Cas. What's the assignment? I'll need to get started soon if I'm gonna finish it."

Cas sighs. "We have to 'communicate the juxtaposition of nature and the man made, and provide a creative take on the commentary of the technological age. But the thing is, our professor randomly picked our nature component out of a hat and I got bees." Cas' eyes grew round. "Bees! Don't get me wrong, I love bees. I volunteer at a bee farm. But how am I meant to do this assignment about bees?"

Dean pats Cas' hand reassuringly. "It's okay Cas. I know! Why don't you just make a hive." Dean chuckles to himself. "Like, a hive out of plastics or tape. To show symbolism, or whatever." He laughs at his own idea. 

"Oh my god Dean," Cas says, and he looks to a point behind Dean's ear, "My god. That's a great idea!" He gets up and Dean looks up at him, startled. 

"Whoa," Dean says, still laughing a little, "Where's the fire Cas?"

"To start my assignment," he says, utterly serious. "Wait." He'd completely forgotten about the dinner, about the blind date. "Oh, Dean I'm really sorry," he says, slowly sliding into his chair again, "I get caught up sometimes, when I get an idea."

Dean stands up too. "Technically, it was my idea," he smiles and shrugs on his coat, "And why're you sitting down? Art won't wait for you!"

Cas frowns. "Wait. What are you talking about?"

Dean rolls his eyes gently. "I'm talking about you starting your assignment, Cas." He throws a couple of notes down on the table. "We can order in when we get to the studio at the school." He starts walking away, but then he realises with a start that Cas isn't following him. Dean turns around and raises his eyebrows expectantly. "Well? You coming?"

Cas scrambles out of his seat and follows Dean. 

"You sure about this?" Cas asks desperately, "This isn't very polite of me."

Dean grabs his hand and tugs him along. "Come on Cas," he says, and ignores Cas' question. 

Cas stops walking and Dean is jerked back into him. Cas' arms unintentionally curve around him and Dean slides until they're face to face. "Dean." He says firmly. 

Dean grins at him. "Cas," he mocks, and bumps is forehead against Cas'. "I told you, art doesn't wait for anyone!"

Dean breaks off and starts striding up the path. Cas hurries to catch up with him. "You don't, either," he mutters to himself, and catches Dean's hand in his own.