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17 July 2011 @ 12:00 pm
the apartment - extra scenes  
I.



Dean has been working at Sandover for a couple of months when he starts really noticing the guy. Or well, not in that sense, but when you spend your time running an elevator for a salary that is mostly a joke, you tend to relieve boredom by observing the people around you.

Guy from nineteenth floor stands out for a number of reasons. He wears an ugly trench coat that seems out of Peter Falk’s closet, his clothes are never ironed (or, maybe once in a month) and he can’t knot his tie properly. Oh, and he’s also the only person who says hello and goodbye when he gets in and out, and the only one who takes off their hat when he walks inside the elevator.

Dean can’t exactly remember how he found out the guy’s name, or how he started calling him Cas at times (name is Castiel, but Dean found it too much of a mouthful and Castiel never complained about it), but it’s sort of nice to have someone saying hi to you in the morning.

After all, when the only decent thing you have going on in your life is a relationship with a girl who’s far too good for you, you take what nice things you get.



II.



Dean’s apartment is a joke.

It’s a basement with no windows and a cot – not even a proper bed. He has a small closet in which he keeps mostly jeans, t-shirts and his only good suit (the one he wore at his father’s funeral) and his work uniform. There’s a desk on which he keeps his old walkman and the tapes his dad used to listen on his car. (That car is Dean’s now, but it’s currently parked in what-used-to-be-the-garage-his-dad-worked-in; Dean still hopes that one day he’ll fix it. One day.) He keeps his books and other possessions on the ground; there’s really no space for any.

It’s also a joke because it has a small kitchen but not a bathroom – though considering that it’s a basement, Dean is totally okay with the common one on the ground floor. He wishes he could afford more, but with his current salary there’s no hope he can get anything better for a while. It’s also half the reason why he and Anna almost never spend the night together – her place is off limits since it’s good enough that her stupid uncle hasn’t had Dean killed, and he can’t bring her here – not when he sleeps on a cot.

Sometimes he looks at his phone and wonders if maybe he should call Sam. Just to at least have closure.

Then he remembers what Sam told him at their father’s funeral, the last time they saw each other.

Dean never calls. Sam is better off without him anyway.



III.



There’s something else Dean sort of likes about Castiel. That he can’t fake anything. If he takes off his hat or says hi, it’s because he wants to, not because he feels obligated. They never exchanged more than a few words, but Dean can appreciate that quality.

It’s the only reason why, after almost a year of running elevators for Sandover, he actually tells the guy that manners are appreciated. He feels strangely content when Castiel shoots him a small, pleased smile before shooting off the elevator at the twenty-third floor.

It’s also the only reason why, when he’s told that he can gain extra time by waiting for the big pieces at the top of the food chain to finish their stupid late night meeting, he waits at the nineteenth floor.

He doesn’t know why Castiel does that much overtime, but then again he’d do it, too, if he could. It’s not like he sees Anna every day; working would be better than trying not to depress himself too much while sitting on his cot in his joke of a room.

But he likes the guy more than his bosses, after all; nothing bad in wanting to give him a ride downstairs, right?



IV.



He’s delighted when Anna tells him that she has plans for Christmas and that she found them a place where no one is going to disturb them; they went on dates, sure, and they booked a hotel here and there, but he misses her more than not, and how could he not, when she’s the only good thing he has at the moment? Still, he told Castiel he’d be at the office party (though it’s not like Dean and Ash, the other guy working the elevators, belong to any office; Ash usually crashes all the parties at every floor, Dean usually crashes just one) and what’s so bad in saying hi? He has to be at the address Anna gave him by nine thirty, and it’s half an hour from Sandover. Saying hi won’t hurt. So Dean crashes the party at the nineteenth floor after putting on his only dress shirt and the one pair of jeans he owns that isn’t ripped; he almost laughs when he sees Castiel trying to run from the call center girl.

Dean has been crashing office parties at the nineteenth floor long enough to know that it’s hopeless – guy’s obviously not turned on by her girly charms, or by any girly charms, and he doubts that he’ll turn straight for the likes of Meg Masters.

Especially when her secret Santa gifts consist in hats as hideous as the one Castiel is currently trying on inside the restroom.

From his face, he kind of agrees with Dean.

“That looks horrible on you,” Dean says, and Castiel jerks towards him, his expression softening a bit as he takes off the hat.

“That’s what I thought. But it’s my secret Santa present, I can’t give it back.”

“Guess you can’t,” Dean agrees, “but for the sake of everything you love, just keep the old one.”

Castiel lets out a small laugh – he looks less tired when he smiles, Dean thinks – and then he asks Dean if he’s staying for a bit. Dean replies that he isn’t, and he’s sure that for a second Castiel looked disappointed. It makes no sense, though – he probably imagined it. He says merry Christmas, Castiel does the same as he takes the hat off, and Dean is about to head for the door, but instead he finds himself walking in the opposite direction.

Dean doesn’t even know why he moves closer – it’s just that he couldn’t stop staring at the goddamn tie. One would wonder how you don’t learn to knot your tie after years of having to wear one every day, but Castiel apparently hasn’t and Dean just can’t stop himself.

“Also,” he says when he’s mere inches from Castiel, his fingers reaching for the crooked knot, “if the big kahuna decided to give you a raise, maybe it’s time that you learn how to keep this straight.”

He fixes the knot quickly; he feels Castiel breathe a bit faster, but it’s nothing worrying – he has just invaded the guy’s personal space, after all. He doesn’t register the way Castiel blushes as Dean moves away, the tie perfectly set around his neck.

He walks out of the restroom, wondering why his hands feel restless.

Anyway, it’s not time to think about Castiel and his crooked ties. He has to meet Anna and he needs to pass by that small record shop near Sandover to take her gift – he has already paid for it. It cost him a tenth of the money he earns monthly, but it was an original LP from the seventies in pristine condition – the price itself was ridiculously cheap, all things considered. It just wasn’t for Dean’s finances, but he’s sure it’ll be worth it.



V.



He sits on the sofa (it’s comfortable, he thinks inconsequently), the LP on the small table in front of him, the envelope in his hands.

He takes out the check, reads the sum, puts it back in.

It’s not about the sum. It’s… well, not exactly scraps (though for Zachariah Adler, they probably are).

It’s – it’s the shame. If she had to dump him on Christmas Eve fine, but why did she ever think he’d need money to feel better about it?

Christ, Dean thinks, he has never felt like a cheap whore so much in his entire life (and once or twice he did suck a couple of strangers off, back when he had just dropped out of school, but it wasn’t nearly as humiliating; back then he had needed it to buy Sam’s textbooks when his dad had ended up taking a leave from work in order to sober up and left them without money. He has never felt ashamed because of it). He doesn’t even know if he should blame her or not. Anna hadn’t seemed too happy about this farce either, but she had gone through with it anyway; her voice had been sad but firm, and she had wished him the best of luck before closing the door behind her.

Dean places the envelope on the table, stands up, decides to go wash his face in the bathroom. Maybe it’ll help him clear his mind.

Maybe.

He does it, and it doesn’t change anything; he opens a small cabinet, hoping to find tissues (he’s sure he’s about to have a pretty pathetic crying fit) when he sees the bottle.

He recognizes the name – he thinks they should be sleeping pills. There’s just a handful of them – ten, maybe fifteen.

His hand shakes as he looks at it, closely.

And thinks.

His father is dead. His brother told him to his face that he was done with everything their-family-related. He lives in a basement without windows. Anna has just given him two grand after dumping him on Christmas Eve. He hates his job. He’ll probably never have the time or money to put his car back together. And the only person who has shown him some genuine nice behavior is a guy who can’t knot his tie in the right way.

Dean goes to the kitchen, finds a glass, fills it with water, then calmly moves back into the bathroom and empties the bottle on his palm.

He feels eerily detached – it just seems like the reasonable thing to do. Hell, he’s pretty sure that Sam would be the only person at his funeral, and he’d probably curse at him because he ruined his winter break.

Dean swallows the pills, drinks the water; then he sees a piece of paper laying on a neat desk in front of the bed. He writes a short note for Sam, folds it, puts it somewhere visible. Then he lays down on the bed and closes his eyes.

He thinks that the bed is the kind of comfortable that he likes. Then he doesn’t think anymore.



VI.



A day later, as he lays down in that same bed, he wishes he had never done it.

He wasn’t thinking clearly, and no one is going to question that, but he hadn’t even realized that he was trying to die in someone else’s house.

Least of all Cas’s.

Though Dean thinks that maybe he has lucked out; no one else would have been so… so earnestly nice to him when they barely know him. Dean hadn’t known how to feel when Cas told him about the exact reason why he and Anna were in his house, but Dean isn’t going to hold that against him. He knows how it feels to be in a position where you can’t say no even if you want to, and considering that Cas has saved his life and hasn’t thrown him out in the street after, he can’t exactly complain. He wishes he could believe all the things that Cas told him in that unnerving but freaking earnest way of his. But well – it had felt nice to have someone telling you that they wouldn’t want to see you dead and letting you have embarrassing moments in which you sort-of-cry on their shoulder.

That had felt good, he thinks. Cathartic, maybe? He doesn’t know how to put it, but he’s also sure that when Cas’s arm circled his shoulder, what he had felt had been beyond gratefulness. Maybe it’s because he’s still not completely back to himself, but still, he can’t complain about what he got out of his stupid deal.

Because thing is, he hasn’t had such a good time with anyone in ages. Fine, he isn’t feeling that great, but having someone around who is obviously set on cheering you up is more than he’s had in ages. And well – that thing about Cas which Dean likes so much, it’s still there. He isn’t hanging around and forcing Dean to beat him at gin rummy, eating spaghetti strained on tennis rackets or lending him books because he thinks he has to. It’s obvious that for some stupid reason he wants to, and maybe it’s why Dean spilled so much when asked; it’s not that Cas deserved to know why he was trying to kill himself, it’s that he seemed genuinely interested in that reason.

Dean curses his luck as he settles into the bed. He finally gets to know someone who’s actually worth a damn even if Cas does have his faults, and it’s like this. He already knows that Cas won’t be able to think about him without thinking about what happened yesterday evening, and how do you build even a friendship based on that?

Dean sighs, gets comfortable. If anything, he thinks, he’ll sleep in a decent bed for once. He just wishes he hadn’t managed to fuck everything up as usual without having an idea until now.



VII.



“I’m sorry,” Sam says as soon as they sit down at the booth in the first diner they found after leaving Cas’s place.

“Sam –”

“No, let me say it. I don’t even know how – shit, Dean, I was such an idiot,” he keeps on, and he sounds genuinely pained. Dean forces himself to meet Sam’s eyes – he’s another one who isn’t able to lie about serious things and Dean would know, since he raised him. More or less.

And Sam does look contrite enough for Dean to believe him.

“You know that this isn’t gonna cut it, Sam.”

“No. But – I had a lot of time to think while coming here. Do you remember when you used to call me a prissy bitch when I was twelve?”

Dean nods. Yes, and you always called me a jerk back. You don’t know how much I missed it.

“That’s what I’ve been since I left.”

Dean opens his mouth, but he can’t manage to find an answer.

“Sam –”

“No, I was. And other than that, I was so unfair with you that I don’t even know how you didn’t throw it all back in my face.”

“Sam, you told me you were done with us because everything I did or Dad did was making you feel hindered. And at the funeral you told me just not to call.”

“I was being a prissy bitch. See, I – whenever I fought with dad and you tried to make us reconcile, I always thought it was you siding with him. And I wanted you to side with me. I never – I never thought back on it enough to realize that you were trying not to let us kill each other, weren’t you?”

Dean doesn’t answer. Sam will get it.

“What I thought. I just – I wanted control of my own life, you know?”

“Sam, I never told you that I didn’t want you to go to Stanford. You don’t think I didn’t try to convince Dad that he should have let you go? After you left, he spent three years blaming me. He was convinced that it was my fault that you packed up your bags and went to California. Do you realize that I spent the last four years asking myself how the fuck I managed to fail the both of you?”

“That’s where I fucked up. Believe me, I thought you had, failed me I mean, but – I should have realized it sooner. I was being an idiot, and – I’ll be honest. If it had been any less than what your friend there told me, I probably wouldn’t have realized how much of an ass I’ve been. But when he told me I just – it all crashed back on me. Don’t think that I forgot that you dropped out so that I wouldn’t have to, or that you were the one who organized all my stupid birthday parties. Or that you were the one who made sure there was food in the fridge. I just – guess I was young and stupid? I ended up thinking that since you and Dad were in the same league then you were both against me. Dragging you into it was unfair at best and a total dick move at worst. And at the funeral… I don’t know. I still hadn’t worked through it, I guess. It doesn’t say much about me that it took someone I don’t know calling me and saying you tried to kill yourself to do it.”

Sam takes a sip from the coffee he ordered before and Dean breathes in, deep, clutching his own mug in his hands. He’s sure that he’ll break it if he clutches at it some more.

“You mean – Sam, please tell me you’re serious about this. I can’t – I had enough crap this last week for you not to be serious right now.”

“If you wanted me to just fuck off right now, you’d have every right. But – I shouldn’t have – I shouldn’t have even thought to cut ties with you. I can’t even ask you to pretend that nothing happened, but if you want to try and… well. Not having ties cut again, then I’d want to try, too.”

Dean swallows, drinking his coffee, trying not to break down and having another embarrassing moment in public. He should probably drag it out a bit – Sam was right saying that he’s been a prissy bitch, and Dean should at least give him a taste of his own medicine.

Except that Dean isn’t that kind of person and never was.

“Do you even need to ask me?” he answers, his voice rough, meeting Sam’s eyes. “You were a prissy bitch about everything, though.”

“… I’m not going to say no, you jerk,” Sam answers, and Dean knows that he is crying, but Sam does him the favor of not saying anything about it.

He feels lighter though, and he doesn’t know how he ever thought that telling Cas not to call Sam was a good idea.

That’s when he realizes that he has just a person to thank for having his brother back, and he swallows the last of his coffee.

He should probably build Cas a monument for that, if anything.



VIII.



When Anna calls him, he’s tempted not to answer, but he does anyway. If anything because he really wants to know what she has to say.

“I’m sorry,” she says, and Dean is almost tempted to say shove it up your uncle’s ass, but he forces himself not to. She did help him when he needed after all.

“Not as much as I am,” he replies.

“I know.” Her voice is soft, understanding. She sounds sincerely sorry.

“What do you want?”

“I – I want to see you another time.”

Dean swallows. It tastes like bile. “Is this a joke?”

“No. But – I heard. And – Dean, I think we should. I’m sorry, I should have never done it the way my uncle said.”

You aren’t saying you shouldn’t have done it at all, though. “I need to think about it. Can I tell you tomorrow?”

“All right. Sure. I’ll be waiting.”

Dean closes the call and feels dread. He isn’t sure that he wants to see her again. But maybe he should. If only for closure.

Then he calls her two hours later and says fine, sure, why not. If anything, he really wants to know what’s her opinion about it.



IX.



He wants to tell Cas everything, when he comes and gives Dean his clothes, but he can’t get past a lame line that none of them believes.

Cas got his promotion as he deserved, and there’s no way they’re going to be friends. Or hang out. Or anything close to that.

Something makes Dean’s heart clench when he thinks that, but it’s nothing he can figure out just now. When he gets home that evening, he takes his clothes from the bag Cas gave him. They’re clean, perfectly ironed. They smell of that detergent Cas uses; Dean can remember all his clothes smelling like that – the pajamas that Cas lent him as well.

Dean can’t help recalling Cas’s face as he headed for his own office.

He didn’t seem happy at all.

It’s strange – it shouldn’t feel so wrong. Cas got the raise, Dean got his brother back and he isn’t that interested in ending his life anymore, everything is as it should.

But it still feels like Dean is missing something that is right in front of him, and he can’t figure out what.



X.



“I hadn’t thought… that you’d take it so bad,” Anna says as soon as they’re seated. It’s a small restaurant, they’re in a private table, it’s New Year’s Eve. They might almost be mistaken for a happy couple. It’s cozy, but Dean can’t feel it in himself to pretend to like it. It’s snowing on the outside – at least it’s warm here.

“You knew I was having a bad time, Anna. You think that I was going to be thrilled at you dumping me on Christmas Eve and leaving me a check to make me feel better?”

“That was my uncle’s idea.”

“What does he think I am? And by the way, did we really need to have this conversation in public?”

“He thinks that you don’t earn a tenth of what he thinks is acceptable in order to talk to me.”

“And you agree with him?”

“Not necessarily,” Anna answers, biting her lip and sounding at least sorry, “but he’s not forcing me. I want to work there. I like that job.”

“Okay, fine, fine. I realize it, I’m not worth it. It’s fine. I’d just like to know why he’d think he’d need to buy me or… however he calls it.”

“Actually, he told me to write you a higher check if you asked for it.”

Dean isn’t even surprised anymore. “I’m not a rent boy, if he hasn’t realized it. I hoped you would know, after a year.”

“I do know that,” Anna answers, smiling just a bit. It’s a sad smile. “Explain that to him, though. And oh, we’re in public because – well. You know that place where we went at Christmas?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“It belongs to someone working for Sandover. My uncle asked him for the keys. He said no.”

“He did what?”

“He refused. And I think he quit his job. My uncle was… quite angry while telling me what happened on the phone. I didn’t catch all the details, but apparently – the guy told my uncle that you were a better person than he was. He meaning my uncle, not the guy.”

“He – he said that?”

“And left. My uncle wasn’t too happy about it. Which is why we’re here.”

Dean suddenly feels as if someone lifted a veil from his eyes.

It’s so fucking obvious – how did he ever miss it? Cas always being extra-nice to him, Cas looking half-scared out of his mind when Dean asked him to open the window, Cas saving his life and saying stupid crap about Robinson Crusoe and footprints in the sand.

The way his eyes widened when Dean had complained he never fell for nice people like him. The way he let Dean fix his tie and how he blushed after.

How could he have been so stupid? It was right there in front of his eyes.

And now the idiot quit his job because Adler wanted his apartment just to fuck with Dean again.

Dean feels himself smiling, his lips moving without asking him permission, and he feels warm, but not because he’s inside and not freezing out in the rain.

He remembers how good it had felt when Cas had held him that one time and wonders how it’d feel if the both of them were on for the ride, and he thinks about how blue Cas’s eyes are, and at how he can never seem to fix that tie right. He thinks about Cas’s cozy apartment, at his walls covered in books, at his stack of Vonnegut paperbacks neatly lined up, he thinks about Cas’s downcast eyes as he said that he was going to spend Christmas alone.

He can’t say that he has been noticing all of this for a while, but –

“Dean?” Anna asks, interrupting his train of thought. “What –”

“Oh. Nothing. It’s just – I guess that’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise,” he answers, knowing that she won’t get it, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter that he should be having some kind of crisis right now – he has never liked a guy that way, but in comparison to everything else if feels just so trivial that he can’t help starting to laugh.

“I don’t –”

“That’s okay. Don’t worry. Have a great life and tell your uncle that I don’t need any money of his. Hell, tell him that I quit, if he’s that set on not seeing my face ever again. I don’t need his money. I’ll be great. I know I will.”

“But –”

Dean doesn’t let her finish and grabs his coat as he runs outside. It’s snowing fully, now, but he doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter – he’s just glad that he isn’t more than fifteen minutes from Cas’s apartment.

He starts running and he can’t keep the smile from his face. The more he thinks about it the more he’s sure that he’s doing the right thing.

End.
 
 
feeling: okayokay
on rotation: Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
 
cassiopeia7: Calvin & Hobbes: Yay!cassiopeia7 on July 21st, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
\o/ The Dean bits! \o/

*runs off to read*
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on July 23rd, 2011 08:46 am (UTC)
I hope they were satisfying! ;)
gleekgal369: Angelgleekgal369 on July 21st, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
YAY! I loved this story, it really caught my attention. If I had any complaints at all about the story, it would be that I would have wanted to see Dean's POV about the final scene. Because I can totally see him freaking out when he heard the bang.

Not really a complaint, though. Great job!
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on July 23rd, 2011 08:47 am (UTC)
I'm so glad that you liked it, thank you! :D And I did think about putting the Dean POV of the final scene but I couldn't get it in without saying exactly the same things that were in the Cas POV. But he totally freaked out. ;) Thanks again!
Nicole Sill: megnicole_sill on July 21st, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
Yay Dean!
I was worried about the whole bit about Dean taking the pills, but I thought you handled it with great delicacy. This was a win win, cookie-wise!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural castiel 3.0janie_tangerine on July 23rd, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
Phew, it's great to know that the pills bit worked for you because I did think a while about how to handle it. <3 thanks again for reading. :)
Aureakalong_chan on July 21st, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
Oh my god there's nothing I want but to jump around when Dean and Cas finally get their happy ending! Thanks for writing this!
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on July 23rd, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
Good to know it makes you feel like that though. ;) Thank you so much again!
jem_018jem_018 on July 21st, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
This was great. I loved reading from Dean's POV. :D
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on July 23rd, 2011 08:50 am (UTC)
It's great to know you liked this one too, thank you. :D
Carmexgirlcarmexgirl on July 21st, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
Awww, love this! Dean's POV just gives that little bit more insight into what's happening in the main story. Awwwwww!!
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural dean 2.0janie_tangerine on July 23rd, 2011 08:50 am (UTC)
I was hoping it'd give some more insight about the entire thing so it's totally great to know it worked for you, thanks! :D
Giuliae0wyn on July 23rd, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
Stupendi <3 Come tutta la storia :) Mi è piaciuto molto in particolare quello con Sam, menomale che Cas ha deciso di chiamarlo ^__^
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on September 24th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
... oops, scusa per la risposta MOLTO TARDIVA? Me la sono persa per strada ;__; grazie mille comunque, contentissima che sia piaciuta *__*
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on September 24th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
Ee, thanks! And eee I just don't buy Cas being a woobie. GUY PUT DEAN OUT OF HELL, he has to have some bamfess in him. ;) I'm really glad that you liked it, thank you again! :DD