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27 June 2010 @ 02:40 pm
play it all night long - part V  
On Monday, he doesn’t really see anyone much; Sam and Jess go to the MOMA which means they’ll stay gone for a long time, Cas gets out early in the afternoon saying he’ll go spend some time with Gabriel and Dean decides that at this point he might as well go to work and answer some listeners’ e-mails.

So he packs his laptop, goes to the newsstand, buys the latest issues of Spin, Rolling Stone and since he’s there, Q too for a treat since he never buys it, then gets the car and goes to the radio station. Except that he really doesn’t feel like staying at a desk and thankfully Andy and Chuck aren’t scheduled to barge into the common room until… three hours from now, which is pretty much perfect in Dean’s opinion. The common room is actually empty, and so Dean plugs the laptop in and finds a place at the table near the window and gets coffee as it starts up.

He was supposed to go to his work related e-mail, but for some reason his fingers decide otherwise and he finds himself on the site of Cas’s college paper.

Dean does some quick math and searches for a couple of issues some seven years ago; now, since Cas used an alias, it’ll be a problem to find out…

He doesn’t even finish the thought as he clicks randomly on a link that brings him to an article dealing with those idiots from that crazy Kansas church picketing funerals with God hates fags signs. Sometimes Dean is ashamed that he comes from the same state as them. Anyway, he reads the name of whoever wrote the article and…

Jimmy Novak. And one of the things he learned about Cas in the first days is that, along with liking Bob Dylan, he likes Hitchcock. And his favorite movie is Vertigo. And if Dean isn’t wrong… he opens another tab and checks Wikipedia.

James Stewart and Kim Novak.

Bingo, Dean thinks, and starts reading the article.

When he’s done, he’s almost ashamed to realize that he went dangerously close to crying which is so definitely not his style. Fuck. It was written so passionately that he just got sucked in it, and you can totally see that Cas has a way with words that is totally wasted, if you study to work in insurance. And this while making a point that Dean totally agrees with even if Cas’s main idea is that God loves everyone while Dean is pretty sure that God doesn’t exist and if He does, He doesn’t really give a fuck.

He puts Jimmy Novak in the site’s search engine and he knows he’s not getting any mail answered today.

--

When he has finished the last article on the site (and he read at least forty), he’s frankly impressed. It’s not like he hadn’t realized at once that Cas is smart, hell, anyone would guess that, but he hides exactly how much so well that he doesn’t show most of what pours out of the articles. The person who wrote these isn’t just smart; the person who wrote this is passionate, occasionally quite funny even if he has a pretty peculiar and dry sense of humor, writes so charmingly that Dean doesn’t get why Cas didn’t just drop everything and go become a ghostwriter for some politician, stands by his opinion and while being definitely… well, spiritual, if not downright very religious altogether, just never throws it in your face and makes you see his point with a levity that is seriously a piece of work.

Fine, maybe then Cas was younger and much more of an idealist and probably hadn’t got screwed over as much but… fuck, now that he knows that this is what lies behind his roommate’s quiet, shy exterior, he kind of would really like to bring it out.

Then he remembers what song he had put on when Cas had asked him the first time and seriously, like a bird on a wire I’m still finding my way to be free? Either Dean is very perceptive or he should be freaked out or both, because it feels way, way too accurate.

Before he can consider this further, Chuck crashes into the room looking miserable and Dean closes the tab; he spares a glance for Robert Johnson looking at him from his desktop and then sighs and stands up.

“What’s up now?”

“The last installment was a success, that’s what’s up now!”

“And so? It shouldn’t be a problem, right?”

“Fuck, it is! Half of the readership wants Jimmy and Michael to enter a fully consensual 24/7 d/s relationship, that’s what they want! And that’s what the publisher wants! Fuck, the bdsm club and the leashes were enough!”

“Fuck you. I need bleach for my ears,” Dean mutters falling back into his chair before Andy joins Chuck looking kind of way too giddy about that.

“Congratulations, man!” he shouts clapping Chuck on the back.

Turns out he bought the magazine and read all the glowing reader praise for Chuck’s story and he’s in total agreement with the suggestions.

Dean opens the internet again and starts answering e-mails, and when his eyes start to cross he just shuts the laptop off and calls Sam because he’s pretty sure that he isn’t going to see him at all during the day.

--

When he gets back home, everything is quiet, Jeff Buckley is playing in his head because he couldn’t shake it off since someone asked for it to be played for last (and since it was freaking Lilac Wine , now Dean wants to slit his wrists), and Cas is dead to the world in the cot, which someone had brought back into Dean’s room.

Dean totally doesn’t admit that he feels uncomfortable for a second as he slips back into his empty bed.

--

The following morning he makes an effort to get up at a sane hour if only because he wants to actually see Sam for half an hour since he’s here; Cas is already gone because he’s doing crazy hours in order to catch up with accounting and possibly earn some extra money, Dean suspects, and he can hear a shower running and rustling in the kitchen. He drags himself out of bed and waves at Sam as he goes straight for the coffee.

“Jess in the shower?” he mumbles after he has drank a cup.

“Yeah. And it’s going to take a while.”

“Never more than what it takes you.”

“Jerk.”

“Bitch.”

“Whatever. Just one thing, how fucking much does your roommate work? I mean, he hasn’t had a day off since we got here, Saturday he was there until late and this morning he left at the crack of dawn. Ellen isn’t that much of a sadist.”

“Yeah, but she paid him three months in advance and I think he’s trying to extinguish the debt as fast as possible.”

“Jesus, it was that bad of a situation?”

“Yep. That bad. But at the rate he’s going, I suspect he’ll be done with that in a month and a half or so. And before you ask, no, I don’t mind that he doesn’t pay me rent.”

“Fuck, you’re so both one of a kind,” Sam says as he shakes his head and pours some more sugar into his cappuccino, and Dean wants to gag.

“You’re almost as bad as that other one. All that sugar, ew. You’re such a girl.”

“Says the one who managed to eat the two pies that I had bought for your eighteenth birthday and only let me have a slice,” Sam snaps back, and then Jess comes into the kitchen wearing just jeans, a tank top and with her hair still wet, and Dean is glad that Gabriel left, because if the guy likes Casa Erotica… well.

And then she looks at Sam’s mug and she looks so completely disappointed that Dean can’t kind of help smirking. “All that sugar is going to kill you.”

“At least someone agrees with me,” Dean proclaims before handing her a cup of blissfully black, bitter coffee. Between his brother, Cas’s brother, and Cas himself who fucking has tea, he’s damn glad that there’s someone with brains around.

--

The rest of the week goes by without too much craziness, which, considering how it started, surprises Dean a lot.

His brother finally warms up to his roommate the day he finds out that they both like Bon Jovi. Dean threatens to disown Sam and throw Castiel out, then Sam reminds him that he totally sung all of Wanted Dead Or Alive while drunk out of his ass at Sam’s eighteenth birthday (which they had spent in a bar, just the two of them, which was lame enough) and Dean has to shut up because yeah, not his finest moment. Gabriel doesn’t show up except for the day he leaves (which is the day before Sam leaves) and basically crashes the early dinner they all managed to get at the same time. It ends with Cas looking embarrassed but most definitely okay even if his hair is all in the wrong way, Sam graciously standing his presence even if it’s clear that he still thinks that Gabriel is an ass of major proportions, Jess and Dean deciding to go have a beer on the balcony and keeping wisely out of it and when they get back, Gabriel is about to go and half of the chocolates that were in a bowl in the kitchen are gone.

He isn’t surprised at all.

Anyway, before going, Gabriel sends him a serious look and that says remember what I told you, and Dean rolls his eyes and even if he’s sure he’ll regret it he gives him his phone number so that at least if he wants to drop by and see Cas he can actually warn someone before crashing their place at the crack of dawn.

Also, by the time they’re done there, the living room’s door is closed and Dean hears noises, which means that Jess is currently trying to stop Sam from dying of being so grumpy, and so he just tells Cas he’ll give him a ride to Ellen’s.

And well, he thinks as he drives to the radio, he’s pretty much okay. Everything turned out fine and he hadn’t really hoped for it, and he likes to be in a good mood. He really does.

Right, Chuck’s musings about what people fucking do in a 24/7 d/s relationship (not to mention his doubts about who should top and who should bottom, because apparently the two characters switch like it doesn’t matter) almost throw him out of it, but he doesn’t let it get to him that much.

--

That night he decides to spice things up and starts with Can’t Fight This Feeling, REO Speedwagon (which Dean in theory doesn’t even like), just because once Jo tried to actually flirt with him while that song was on the jukebox at Ellen’s, once upon a time when she crushed on Dean for exactly one week.

When he stops by the bar to pick Cas up, Ellen bites her lip because she doesn’t laugh in front of him as a rule and offers him a drink on the house, and Jo blushes whenever Dean looks her way. Ash shakes his head like he wants zilch to do with this and Cas just looks confused by the whole ordeal, which is just natural because it’s not like he knows the in-joke behind it.

And damn, Dean shouldn’t really be thinking that he looks sort of adorable when he tilts his head. But, he notices, Castiel moves behind the counter much, much more confidently than he used to.

--

Sam and Jess leave the next morning and Dean even lets him Sam hug him for thirty seconds before he shoves him away to get his plane; when he gets back home, he finds Cas nursing tea in the kitchen, and well, this has to be the first time that the guy is up late.

“Okay. You obviously woke up ten minutes ago. Which means that something catastrophic has to be about to happen. What do I need to brace myself for, alien invasion? Nuclear war? The government collapsing?”

Cas looks at him like he’s being slightly annoying and Dean thinks, thank fuck. He was getting tired of Cas never daring to look at him in some way that could be taken as negative.

“Ellen gave me the day off. She said I was too much of a workaholic,” he mutters, and trust Cas to be the only person on the face of this planet not to appreciate being on vacation.

“Well, it was about time. Don’t sweat it up, I’m sure she ain’t going to fire you anytime soon.”

“Is your brother… well? I mean, after…”

“Oh, yeah, don’t sweat that one either. He’s peachy as ever. Hey, listen, can I ask you something?”

Cas nods and Dean grabs a nut from a bowl.

“You told me you used to write stuff in school, didn’t you?”

“I did,” Cas answers quietly, and Dean decides that it’s the perfect occasion to approach the subject. He needs Cas to know he read his writing, but without saying how.

“Is it around anywhere? ‘Cause I think I’d like to read it.”

Cas raises an eyebrow. “Really? Why would you?”

“Just because,” Dean shrugs. “Curiosity.”

“Well, if you really want to, I think some articles are on the internet. But I fear you would be wasting your time.”

And now he looks weird again, like he’s half longing for that time and half regretting it.

Dean shakes his head, goes into the living room, resists his impulse to go search for some nice old school ACDC because he totally wants some, and he puts on Shelter From The Storm.

He doesn’t need to turn and look at Cas to know he’s looking strangely pleased.

--

“It’s good, y’know,” he tells him the next day as he drives Cas to Ellen’s before he goes killing time at the radio station. Hoping that Chuck hasn’t any details to spare about his latest writing.

“What?”

“The college stuff. No, really, it is. Let me tell you, I might not be a critic or shit, but I can recognize when someone knows what they’re doing and when they’re not. You totally did. And from what I gather you’re definitely more cut for that than for insurance.”

“Thank you, but it never really was my strong suit,” Cas shrugs as Ozzy Osbourne screams from the radio proclaiming to be Lucifer. Hey, Dean needed some Sabbath today, so what?

“I wouldn’t be too sure about it.”

Cas doesn’t answer and Dean lets it drop.

Back at work, Chuck has finally seemingly decided who tops.

Dean wishes that he would just quit this job and spend his life writing porn.

Really.

--

For the next two days, the most remarkable thing that happens in Dean’s life is some listener requesting anything by The Flying Burrito Brothers, which Dean is sure he has never played once since he started doing this. Cas isn’t very talkative (but he never actually is) and Dean doesn’t complain even if he hears Shelter From The Storm more in the last two days than he has in his entire life, but it was him creating that kind of monster, so he can’t complain. He just makes up for it by starting the nights with stuff like Metallica covering Nick Cave’s Loverman . Which, if you ask Dean, is a pretty fucking awesome cover.

Then one day he goes to pick Cas up during a day when he has both bar shift and accounting shift and he’s late; Ellen is already closing up. Except that instead of just sitting somewhere reading as usual, Cas is at a table at the end of the room, bent over Ash’s shoulder with a laptop in front of them.

“What’s going on?” he asks Jo as she shrugs and hands him a beer.

“I don’t have any idea. He cornered Ash this morning and asked something about how to set up blogs, if I got that right, but I wouldn’t have an idea why.”

“I might,” Dean chuckles, and when he doesn’t elaborate, she scowls. He shakes his head at her and she looks annoyed at him. Yeah. This is definitely better than when she flirted.

He doesn’t ask Cas what it was that they were talking about (though Ash actually clapping him on the shoulder and stuff was a quite freaky image), and Cas doesn’t elaborate himself, but he doesn’t need to.

--

It’s another week, and two months of roommate-ship or however you want to call it, when the dam finally cracks open, or, Dean finally realizes how Cas is when he doesn’t have his guard up and isn’t going through guilt issues or whatever the fuck else.

Unsurprisingly, it’s about the idiotic Kansas fundamentalist. Who hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary, except that for some reason it must have been worse than usual because he’s on the news playing from the radio in the kitchen. Dean hadn’t been paying attention to that, he was trying to avoid dinner getting burned and damn does he hate pre-heated things; he does start paying attention when Cas mutters under his breath while he’s fixing the table.

“That son of a bitch,” he says, and Dean almost gasps.

“Dude, did you just swear?” Dean tries to joke, because well, yeah, he swears enough for the both of them, usually.

“Considering who is that they’re talking about, it’s the most appropriate way I can find to refer to him,” Cas says as he slams the glasses on the table and Dean decides to turn off the stove. Jesus. Next time he won’t let Cas buy groceries for a week, mostly because the vegetarian ready-to-eat stuff that Dean has just more or less cooked makes him long for a bacon cheeseburger. Except that when you have a vegetarian roommate you can’t expect him to buy meat if you don’t ask, right?

He turns and drops some spinach vegetarian burger in Cas’s plate. He goes for a tofu steak that he chose just because the name was the least threatening one.

“Well, you got a point,” Dean has to agree.

“It’s not about me having a point,” Cas says as he shuts the radio off. “It’s about him twisting the message. It’s… obscene,” he keeps on talking as he starts eating his seitan-and-spinach burger, and for the next ten minutes Dean doesn’t stop him from ranting about exactly how obscene the message is.

“… so, that’s it. It’s about love, not about… Dean? Oh. Did I say…”

Dean realizes that he had been, well, staring and then shakes his head, quick to grab a piece of his half-cold tofu steak which at least isn’t as bad as he had feared. Because the one time he tried the spinach burger? Yeah. That didn’t go well.

“Did you say anything wrong? No. Just, why the heck didn’t you become a politician? Fuck, if I were in that church, right now I’d feel so ashamed that I’d be crawling and asking for fucking forgiveness. Let me tell you, you might not talk much but when you do, you ain’t half bad at it.”

Cas just nods and he thankfully doesn’t look embarrassed, and Dean turns on the radio again.

--

After then, it’s not like Cas starts being the talker out of the two of them, but while before he seemed to always be holding back, he doesn’t anymore. And Dean isn’t too surprised when he finds out that he had been totally right when he had read the articles. Just get the guy to talk about something that interests him, making sure that he doesn’t feel cornered or something and he’ll give you a lecture without even letting you realize it. And he’s passionate about giving you the lecture. And he always listens to both sides of a story before judging on something. And he freaking used to give money to Greenpeace every year until he couldn’t afford that anymore.

It’s not that Cas becomes a whole different person around him; it’s just that he doesn’t hold himself back anymore (which Dean realizes he still does around Ellen and Jo somewhat, and Ash sort of less, but really, Ash has to be the least judgmental person Dean knows and being uncomfortable around him is difficult) and Dean isn’t so stupid as to not get what it means.

Especially because it took two months and something in order for Cas to finally ease up around him. This, not counting the previous month of calling at the radio, even though Cas was actually less guarded around him when they were just phone acquaintances. Then again, he wasn’t living with Dean back then and it was a kind of not strings attached thing, so yeah, it does make sense. Anyway, point is, Dean doesn’t like people trusting him too much. Or at least, he’s pretty uncomfortable with it because it always seems that he somehow lets them down even if he doesn’t mean it. He’s kind of sure that he had done pretty much okay with the whole trust issue until Sam left home slamming the door behind him and making him spend years wondering where he went wrong. Right, it might have become worse because after that there had been a month which his father spent looking at Dean like he was disappointed because it should have been his job to prevent that from happening, but that’s not really the point. The point is that since then it has been a failure after another and there’s this feeling looming over his head that he will do it at some point soon because it’s just how it goes. And he really, really doesn’t want to fuck things up with Cas, and he’s perfectly aware that his whole reasoning just sounds borderline paranoid, especially because until now he hasn’t done anything of the kind.

He actually ends up spilling that to Sam one time when he calls his brother from the radio station, trying to drown out Chuck and Andy discussing how long one of Chuck’s characters should delay the other’s orgasm.

“… dude, seriously, this is shit you go telling your friends or your therapists, not your brother,” Sam sighs, even if he doesn’t sound as entirely grossed out as he’s trying to pretend.

“Well thing is, I don’t have a therapist, and Cas is kind of the only answer to the other option, so…”

“Why, you don’t know anyone at the radio there? I’m sure you said…”

“Dude. They’re currently discussing whether, when having two fictional characters screwing each other in kinky ways I don’t even want to know about, the bottom should not be allowed to come for more than three hours. Please. Just, no.”

“… If I were you, I’d find a therapist. Dean, I dunno, you kinda said that before. Considering your previously bad experience at having a goddamn friend who stuck or a regular relationship which lasted for more than two weeks, seems to me that you’re just freaking out because for once it’s actually working, whatever it is.”

“Hey, whatever what? We’re friends, that’s it.”

“Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure. Say hi to him from me, won’t you?”

Now, what the fuck was that about?

--

So yeah. Well. Cas isn’t letting his guard up when around him anymore. And Dean never had much of a guard up anyway. They’ve been sharing a house for three months. So what?

They’re friends, and that’s it.

--

Then Dean realizes that it’s been three and a half months and he still can’t guess why Cas’s favorite song is his favorite song. Considering that it mostly started from there, it kind of seems ridiculous.

Also, half of the times he comes home there’s Bob Dylan playing.

And it’s almost always that version of Shelter From The Storm.

Well, you can’t get sick of your favorite song, Dean thinks, and then whenever Cas is out he puts on Led Zeppelin II.

--

Dean doesn’t really start to question if he’s really entirely sincere with himself on the ‘friendship’ deal until the secretaries and all the non-host personnel strike and at the radio no one goes on air live in solidarity even though of course there’s some pre-programmed music airing, and so since he has the evening off he goes to hang at Ellen’s.

Cas is behind the counter again and damn, Dean thinks, he really looks at ease in jeans and a simple white shirt with rolled up sleeves as he serves around. His hands are fast and sure as they move and while Dean doesn’t think that this is what he was born to do, he looks pretty fucking graceful at it.

Anyway, Jo is waiting tables and Ellen isn’t here because she decided she wanted a night off to go check the new Clint Eastwood movie because she fucking loves Clint and she never takes a night off.

Cas is giving someone an Irish coffee that looks so tempting that Dean almost would get one himself and Jo is going towards one table carrying a tray with a couple of beers on it when some idiot who is half-drunk, from the looks, reaches out and plainly grabs her ass. It doesn’t last for more than two seconds but she jerks forward, the tray falls to the floor and both glasses of beer shatter.

Half of the beer ends up on the guy’s pants, and clearly the guy is absolutely not satisfied with the service and starts blathering about wanting his money back and stuff while she looks like she wants to punch him but can’t. Mostly because she isn’t her mother and she wouldn’t have a chance against the guy, who is way taller than her and much, much heavier.

Dean would go and punch the asshole himself, but he thinks that it would just make things worse; still, the man is practically screaming in Jo’s face. Then Dean realizes that Cas is motioning for Ash to come towards the counter from the table where he was cleaning up.

“Can you take care of things here for a minute?” he asks, and Ash nods; Dean goes to sit in front of him as Cas slides out from behind the counter and reaches the table with a rag in his hand as the guy still rants at Jo without giving her a chance to talk.

“… and I mean it, until you give me back my money I won’t –“

“That is correct, you won’t,” Cas interrupts him as he reaches her side, and both Jo and the guy (and half of the bar) stare at him.

Damn, the guy is definitely way too much even for Cas, Dean thinks, except that the way Cas is staring at him is downright chilling. He’s very, very glad that he has never been on Cas’s bad side.

“What the hell do you mean? And who are you anyway, the owner? The fuck you are, so just fuck off and let me deal with her.”

“I mean, you won’t do anything. Or at least, not what you have in mind. While I’m not the owner, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t stop my… course of action. Now, if Jo had done that on purpose or if she had fallen, we would all be perfectly civil and you would get a refund. But she did that because your hands did not stay where they were supposed to. And do not try to say otherwise because I saw it clearly, and half of the bar saw it clearly. So, since not only did you harass her but you also spilled the beers meant for two other customers, I believe that it would be most proper of you if you took this,” he hisses, his voice sounding like steel cutting the air around him, shoving the rag into the guy’s hand, “and clean that up before paying your bill and leaving without further incident.”

“And what if I say no? What, you smite me?” the guy laughs in his face, and Dean is suddenly frightened for him. In one single, swift motion Cas’s hand reaches the front of the guy’s throat, his fingers pressing just lightly but seemingly cutting off at least half of his air.

“No. I can’t do that, regrettably. But believe me, I can come up with something else. Yes or no?”

The guy nods frantically and Cas lets him go, keeps on staring down at him, and who would’ve thought, the guy actually grabs the rag and fucking cleans the floor. Jo looks at Cas positively awed and the rest of the bar more or less does too.

“Dude,” Ash mutters handing Dean the Irish coffee he ordered, “that was fucking BAMF.”

What?”

“Hey, what do you do when you surf the net, just download the porn? It’s badass motherfucker.”

“Ah, and if someone who calls himself Dr. Badass says it…”

“Don’t underestimate me,” Ash says before going serving someone else, and the only thing Dean can think about is that he thought it was fucking hot.

Hot.

No way around it.

This isn’t good. Not good at all.

--

Except that, from then, it goes downhill.

Dean starts noticing things. Like, that Cas has really has nice eyes. And that Dean really likes to guess how Cas’s hair is going to stick in the mornings. And that Cas really is quite nicely built. And, that he really has lips begging to be kissed. And, and that he really fucking likes what’s behind that, too. He already knew, of course, but he never did the whole two plus two makes four thing and…

Fuck.

This is so not what he needs. Not when he has never managed to keep anyone close, not that way. Because apparently he’s the kind of asshole who ends up with girls who want serious relationships when he’s just looking for a one-night stand, and when he tries to be serious he ends up as the kind of clingy guy that women hate. The only girlfriend he ever had who stuck around for more than a couple weeks disappeared after the accident. And the only person he dated after that apparently liked her beauty sleep and he had too many nightmares for her taste. He dumped her when she suggested he start taking pills. So no, he’s not good at keeping people around.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

He resolves to ignore it. He likes what they have right now. He likes that he has someone to talk to freely, he likes that said someone will never seem not to listen to him, he likes that Cas borrows his books without asking and he likes to see his goddamn suitcases in the living room, and it’s not like he hasn’t stolen some Russian tomes from Cas, too. Well, translated, but you know.

They get along, Cas still fucking listens to him every evening and Dean is okay with it (hey, he keeps him company, right?), they’re friends, and he doesn’t want to fuck it up.

--

Then one day a package arrives, and it says ‘FOR CAS’ next to Dean’s name, and Dean takes it. When he asks why would Gabriel send him a package, Cas answers that he’s in Saudi Arabia or something and that…

“Oh. My birthday is in a week. He probably sent it not knowing when it would arrive,” he says, and Dean gapes.

“Uh-huh. And when were you going to tell me?”

Cas actually looks sheepish. “I… I wasn’t. No reason, really. And after…”

“Dude. Don’t use the ‘with all the shit you did for me’ card. It’s your goddamn birthday and you don’t know anyone else. Don’t tell me you were going to work.”

Cas looks a lot more sheepish.

“Seriously? Seriously? Okay, call Ellen now and tell her that you want the day off.”

“But I need…”

“You haven’t had one day off since you started working there unless she forced you to stay away. Do that. And then let me deal with it.”

Cas actually does do it, and then comes back saying that he will have the day free.

Awesome.

“So what’re you going to do with that?”

Cas turns the box in his hand, then opens it and finds inside a package wrapped in paper with freaking angels printed over it. Dean bites his lip in order not to laugh while Cas shakes his head and goes to sit on the bed in the living room tearing it away.

And then he groans. Loudly.

“What did he give you, some Casa Erotica collection?”

Castiel looks up at Dean like he’d smite him on the spot if he could and hands him a package for a new-model cellphone.

“Dude, that’s actually… woah. Mine is Jurassic in comparison.”

“He knows I don’t want one,” Cas sighs as he opens the card going with it, and then he groans again.

Dean takes it and when Cas doesn’t say anything he opens it.

Well, you can’t deny that it was needed. Don’t worry, I checked before and there’s already some Casa Erotica in the folder for the videos along with my number in the index. Never say I didn’t do anything for you!

And use that to call, y’know.

Gabriel


“Hey, is there a reason you don’t want one?”

Cas sighs and turns the box in his hands. “I hate the idea. I… it implies that you are always reachable, anywhere you are, anytime, any day. I like my space. I like not to be always on call. If he needs to there’s a regular one, or…”

Then he stops himself and shakes his head. “Alright, it’s a gift. I guess it was time, after all.”

“You want a hand with…”

No.”

Well, that was pretty definitive. Dean shrugs and says he’s going to go to some record shops and leaves Cas with his shiny new beauty.

--

And well, maybe Cas doesn’t like cellphones, but when he calls Dean to ‘try it’, it doesn’t feel that strange to have his name in the directory, even though it definitely feels weird as fuck at the same time.

--

Thankfully, Cas’s birthday is on a Sunday, which means that Dean doesn’t have to go to work and that he has time to plan something decent.

Except that towards the middle of the week he starts to freak out because he feels like he’s going to blow things and before he becomes too pathetic, he takes Cas’s cell when he’s out buying groceries, copies Gabriel’s number and saves it.

It’s Wednesday afternoon when he calls him, while Chuck is totally desperate because people apparently like CBT. Not that in this case Chuck isn’t right, but hey, he chose his own funeral.

When Gabriel answers him, he actually sounds sleepy. “Who the fuck is calling at this goddamn time?”

“Why, where the hell are you?”

“Australia, damn… Dean?”

“The one and only.”

“Okay, any other day I’d have a laugh over this, but why are you calling? Is something going on with…”

“What? No. Nothin’ bad anyway. I gather you ain’t gonna be around on Sunday, will you?”

“Why would I have sent the thing if I was? Don’t disturb my beauty sleep with stupid questions and get to the point.”

“Er. I just. What does Cas usually do on his birthday? Fuck, he wanted to go to work!”

Gabriel groans. “Christ, he’ll never learn to have fun. You talked him out of it, right?”

“Damn yes, I’m not as much of a masochist as he is. But anyway, what does he do?”

Gabriel actually laughs into the phone and Dean finds it increasingly irritating.

“I’m tryin’ to be serious here, for your information.”

“Yeah, yeah, sorry. Dean, what the hell, he doesn’t do anything. In the last five years I’ve been there once and I got there at eight PM and we ate Chinese take-out at home. And all the other times I called and he either went to work and went back home and the last year he listened to you or nothing, and it’s not like we had huge parties at home or anything. Whatever you come up with is going to be better than whatever he did before.”

“Ah. Good to know,” Dean answers, even if it’s actually fucking sad to know.

“Yeah, and what else? Spill. You’re itching to open your heart up to me and while I’m touched and all, I also fucking want to sleep.”

“It’s just… it’s that…”

“What, are you trying to tell me you like my brother? Well, fucking time, I have to say.”

What?” Dean can’t help shrieking, managing to shock both Chuck and Andy. Gabriel laughs for another minute.

“Man, come on, that was plain obvious since I came there. You just hadn’t realized it. Hell, even your brother agreed with me.”

“You and Sam talked about this?”

“Well, not there. When I ran into him in California last month.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“Oh, don’t get so riled up.”

“Well, I’m sure that Sam…”

“… filled me up with stories about your sad love life. No steady girlfriends, maybe because of you, maybe because of them, the only one who seemed nice disappeared when she was needed, and the other one couldn’t stand your man-pain, and you never manage to keep one, and now you’re worried that you’re going to fuck shit up and you don’t want to. Am I right?”

“… yeah. Pretty much,” Dean admits, and he’s going to kill Sam when he sees him again.

“Then just stop being an idiot and man up.”

“The fuck?”

“Listen, if you don’t want to tell him don’t; I don’t have the slightest idea of how he’d take it and I won’t ask him, but for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ll have to hunt you down.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that from what I gathered you wouldn’t fuck things up voluntarily, and that last time we talked he told me that he was making plans, and he hasn’t made plans to do stuff he likes for ages. And since he started re-making them after you freaking convinced him that he hadn’t thrown his life away back then, I guess I can trust you. Now let me go to sleep, I’m not your fucking relationship counselor,” Gabriel concludes before hanging up on him.

After freaking giving Dean his blessing or the closest to that, anyway.

What-the-fuck.

--

Dean isn’t really one that likes grandeur. He likes simple stuff. He prefers quiet and private to huge and crowded, and maybe it’s because the closest to a birthday party he ever had was the infamous two pies Sam bought when he turned eighteen, but for some reason he thinks that Cas isn’t one for grandeur either. Which is why when he makes his plan, it doesn’t turn out to be that much. Really. He’ll make sure that Cas doesn’t set the alarm, he’ll let him choose a movie and then he’ll make an effort and he’ll drive them to this vegetarian place he checked out the other day that has a menu decent enough that at least he won’t starve. Not much, but still. Something, he guesses. And while it’s ridiculous that he is the one doing it, he has spent enough sucky birthdays alone and enough with his brother hanging around to know that it’s less crap if someone’s around.

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with his newfound realizations about Cas.

Without the alarm, Cas actually gets up at fucking midday, but considering how much he sleeps usually, Dean is pretty sure that it was overdue. They have a conversation which is thankfully not so awkward, and Dean can’t help staring at those still awful orange/pink pajamas as he leaves the room and puts on The Times, They’re A-Changin’ record.

--

Cas says that he’s going to take a walk after, and Dean answers sure, but since he had thought they could do something maybe he could be back before three? Cas seems kind of surprised about that but nods and Dean spends the next two hours going through magazines, trying to answer e-mails and generally avoiding to think about the afternoon turning out a possible failure.

At ten to three, for some reason, he picks up the cellphone and calls Cas, and yes, it’s totally pathetic, he knows.

He isn’t particularly surprised when it goes straight to voicemail. He figures that Cas mostly keeps the phone turned off. He expects to hear that low voice of Cas’s saying to please leave a message after the beep, but it doesn’t happen. What happens is that a nice feminine voice tells him that he reached the voicemail, and then he hears Cas, sounding mostly annoyed and definitely frustrated.

I don’t understand. Why do you want me to say my name?

Dean can’t help the laugh escaping his lips. Jesus. Sometimes he forgets how Cas can be fucking awkward, but this? This is just priceless. Then the door opens and Cas comes in, and Dean is still laughing. At that, Cas just looks at him like he’s very, very confused.

“Dean, is there something…”

“No, no. It’s awesome. Listen, you know what? Here. Choose a movie and I won’t comment. No discussions.”

Cas just barely raises an eyebrow but he chooses some artsy Japanese movie. Dean doesn’t comment, as promised, and just drags him out to the car.

In the end, he actually ends up liking it. Now that’s a surprise.. Yeah, right, he’d have gone for the last Jack Nicholson one released (well? What? He fucking loves his man Jack), but this one wasn’t half bad either and whatever, Cas loved it, so whatever. Better than he had expected.

Then, after he gets in the car, he totally drives in the opposite direction than the one they came from.

“Dean? You aren’t going…”

“Dude, I know where my apartment is. We’re not done yet,” he smirks, and puts in some Stones because he listened to fucking Dylan all morning and he might be a saint but he needs a break.

--

He really, really isn’t looking forward to the dinner, or at least what will end up on his plate, but well. Cas’s face when he reads the menu outside the place and realizes why Dean has gone all the way to get here? Totally priceless.

Also, he’s thankful they have some rice starters; he sticks with all the carbohydrates he can order, and he tries to ignore how Cas’s face looks as he digs into some artichokes with parmesan. Mostly because the way his lips close around the fork is close to pornographic, and his expression is close to that, too, and that’s a whole new kind of uncomfortable.

At least they have pie, and Dean totally gets a double portion, and since he’s not the one who is having a birthday, he forces Cas to get a double portion of whatever he wanted. Turns out he likes chocolate. A lot. So much that he gets a third slice.

Dean has this idea that Cas’s fondness for ridiculously sweet stuff runs in the family.

--

They’re driving home with Dylan low in the background when Cas speaks for the first time since they left the place.

“Dean? Thank you. Really. I won’t tell you that you should not have done anything because I suspect that you’ll want to cut off my head if I do…”

“Damn right.”

“… but thank you. I hadn’t… I don’t exactly celebrate.”

“Me neither, but I guess that when you’re on your own there ain’t much reason to,” and then Cas gives him a half-smile as he nods and damn, damn, now Dean wants nothing more than to see it in full.

He’s going crazy.

He’s so going crazy.

And he doesn’t need to fuck this up.

--

Two weeks later, Cas comes home with a laptop that has to come from the age of dial-up; his only comment is that it was cheap. Yeah. Dean can see why it would be cheap. It’s got fucking Windows 98 on it.

A short time later, Dean receives a text with an address of some blog, written half in capital letters and half in minuscule. He’s at the radio station, but he stops answering e-mails, blocks out Chuck and Andy checking out some sex toys on some site and types the address.

And then he gets why Cas was discussing with Ash some time ago.

Cas has actually gone and gotten himself a page on blogspot. A freaking social matters blog, which starts with a perfectly reasonable and charming post explaining why everyone should really get public and universal healthcare.

Dean can’t help clicking on the comments. There’re already sixty and only a few are negative, Castiel’s answers are actually a masterpiece of politeness, humor and why-your-point-isn’t-valid. Dean smirks to himself and adds the page to his favorites. Also, the blog is named you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears. Yeah, Castiel really likes The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll; Dean just wishes he could finally understand why.


Part VI
 
 
 
 
 
ficreader1ficreader1 on June 29th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Just like Dean I'm intrigued about Cas' interpretation of the song. It's nice to see Cas spreading his wings and getting back to what he enjoys and is good at.
the female ghost of tom joad: IT WAS A ROBOT HEADjanie_tangerine on June 29th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
Ha, by this point you probably got there, I hope it was a satisfactory one? ;)
Gabrielleladyviva97 on June 30th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
NICE. Just NICE.

I'm glad that Cas is finally letting his guard down and whatnot, and that Dean is admitting to himself that he actually likes Castiel in a more-than-friendly way. ^^ But poor baby, can't trust himself to not fuck things up. -hugs him- I hope things get better for him, yes?

And m'awww, their... shall I call it a "date"?, was so cute and just perfect. I like how you didn't make it so that that occasion would have them sailing into the dimension of a whole new kind of relationship; a romantic one. That you kept them just as friends despite the fact that they went out was good and I appreciated that. :)

And Cas's blog! And his articles! -hugs you- Made of win!!

And (I know this comment is becoming far too long XD), I don't know if it's just me, but I'm a little disappointed and annoyed with Sam's attitude. :/ But that's for a reason, is it not? :) I think that it's fitting that Sam's personality leans more that way for this story; it helps to establish how independent Dean has to be.
the female ghost of tom joad: psycho fanficjanie_tangerine on June 30th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC)
Thaaank you! :D

Let me tell you, all these comments you left totally made my morning. Jsyk. ;) And that said I think that by now you got to the end but yeah, things did get better, right? And I like taking my time with characters. Eee. And that totally was a date, they just didn't know it yet. ;)

And no, no, it isn't just you, actually with Sam there was a lot of counseling behind closed doors with both my beta and my artist because in the earlier draft he was waay bitchier which was mostly for the reasons you said and also because I probably ended up pushing too much on the fact that he doesn't like Gabriel in canon and that he's a responsible person. ;) But I was trying to establish that, yes, and I do love poor Sam myself so not hard feelings. I just needed someone to try to slap some sense into Dean, in theory. I should have probably toned that down some more. But I'm glad it didn't put you off the story altogether. :)
Gabrielleladyviva97 on July 1st, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
-hug- You're, very welcome. :) I'm glad to have made your morning; anything to pay you back for the amazing fic! -salute-

XD YES; DATE-BUTLETSNOTSAYFORTHEIRSAKEDATE!!! LOL, I love thems. Love thems. x3

Oh, no, you didn't have to tone it down. XD I think that if you did, then it wouldn't be apparent enough, you know? I love Sammy HARD, and even though it might annoy me when he gets to being a bitch, it's usually because he's being one for a reason, yes? Yes. XD And it helps Dean out, so I'm cool. :)
The Sighs of Children Tease the Landsilentdizo on June 30th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Oh god, going into part six... I'm doing so much to try and slow down the reading of this and it's not working. I've biked 12 miles today, just to get away from the computer. I did the DISHES. I planted tomatoes and peppers! I've checked up on every other site I visit. This is just going by way too fast. And I love it way too much. You're awesome.
the female ghost of tom joad: j2janie_tangerine on June 30th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm so glad you're liking it this much! Though hey, I'm forcing you to be productive or what? ;) ;) Thank youu! I hope you like how it ends. :D
_izu_ on June 30th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
...hey, anch'io ho un blog su blogspot. Posso addarlo?

(scusa lover, è che ho già commentato più o meno tutto sul tuo letto XD ...che suona malissimo detta così. Vabeh.)
the female ghost of tom joad: psycho fanficjanie_tangerine on July 1st, 2010 08:43 am (UTC)
... ma addalo pure XDDDDDDDDDDD e... oddio, sì, suona male, ma tanto non ci capisce nessuno. ;) ;) ;)

ODDIO LA TUA ICONA LOLOL
joey: Castiel: Winkkon_bl on July 2nd, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
“that was fucking BAMF.”

“What?”

“Hey, what do you do when you surf the net, just download the porn? It’s badass motherfucker.”


ASH, YOU ARE GODLY.

&& Man. Dean really needs to spill his feelings already. ;)
<3
the female ghost of tom joad: misha HIIIIIIjanie_tangerine on July 2nd, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
ASH IS INDEED GODLY.

(Not for anything he's my favorite character in that show. Overall. Yeah, yeah, I'm weird, but he's awesome. ;) )

And yeaaaah. He needs that, doesn't he? ;) <3
sealiejimandblair on July 3rd, 2010 11:19 am (UTC)

Anyway, before going, Gabriel sends him a serious look and that says remember what I told you, and Dean rolls his eyes and even if he’s sure he’ll regret it he gives him his phone number so that at least if he wants to drop by and see Cas he can actually warn someone before crashing their place at the crack of dawn.


this... this is perfect, and utterly brilliant that Dean doesn't even realise the ramifications of what he's thinking.
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on July 3rd, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
Ee, glad you liked that part! I was really aiming for Dean not realizing it so this comment totally made me grin. ;)
Linsey: Dean/Cas: Lovepyjamagurl on July 3rd, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
Aww I really like that Cas is finally relaxing around Dean and that Dean has made him open up and start doing what he really wants to do rather than what he was forced to for so many years. It's so them, I love it!

Also Dean starting to realise he has feelings for Cas? Totally adorable!

I feel like I should be taking this story slow to savour it, but it's so good I can't help but read the next part xD
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean/cas <3janie_tangerine on July 3rd, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Eee, thank you (again)! :D I'm so glad the whole progression of things is working for you. Also ha, Dean is totally adorable, he just admits it only when they arrest him. ;)
Captain Nommers of the Tastypants Brigade: cas - smile (5.04)secondplatypus on October 5th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
I'm so excited for the next chapter, I'm practically vibrating.
The pacing here is brilliant, absolutely brilliant; you've got such a good grasp on these characters that every second of it is absolutely believable. I don't think I've complimented you on the technical aspects of your writing, yet - it's excellent, from word choice to sentence structure.
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural future!cas ;___;janie_tangerine on October 5th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
Eee, then I just hope next chapter delivered. ;)

And seriously it's so good to hear about the pacing. I always worry that I overdo it but I just can't take it short, I need them to take it very slowly. ;) And god seriously considering that English isn't my main language you don't know how happy I am to hear that you also are enjoying the technical aspect/the prose in this. <33333333333
Captain Nommers of the Tastypants Brigadesecondplatypus on October 7th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
Oh, the next chapter definitely delivered.

... are you serious? English isn't your first language, and you write better than I ever could. That's just unfair. :)
Chanellemchanellem on January 13th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
AW! Dean is starting to like our little cas :DDD Gosh!!! Okay after this fic I'm starting to stalk you too ehhehe! I love long build up its hard to fine :P

Hahaha cas and cellphones tsktsktsk, always hilarious no matter how much I read or hear it :DDD
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on January 16th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Lol he is! Took him enough time, right? And ha stalk me as much as you like, I'll only be okay with being stalked. Fic-wise. ;) It's so good to know that the build-up works for you, thank you! :D and lol yeah Cas + phones never fails to work. ;)
Mabumabulatious on December 23rd, 2011 07:08 am (UTC)
The flow of the story gets to me every time. Like, the build-up is just beautifully done and the feelings involved in it, their past story and just everything was wonderful. I love it.
Now, moving on to Part VI
God, it's 6th part already? I didn't even notice.
Carly: Dean&Castielcarolina_hope on December 26th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
oh boy, gotta love Gabriel. and how people can see through Dean. and the way they affect each other

and I loved the birthday celebration. it was perfect for them