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Lead By Your Beating Heart

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The fifth drink was probably a mistake. The ninth drink was definitely a mistake. He was going to regret it in the morning when he woke up with a hangover he could feel in his teeth but for now it calmed the nervous feeling in his gut. Ok maybe the bar he was sat in was becoming a bit blurry but he’d gotten through college and med school after countless nights of drinking far too much so maybe, just maybe, he could do this.

“One more for the road?” Sam asked picking up his half empty beer bottle and grinned over at Dean. Sam had been staying with Dean for the past three days before he moved to college later that week. That night was the probably going to be the last night Dean got to spend with his brother for a long time so they were making the most of it. Mostly with beer. Ok entirely with beer. 

“One more and I’ll wake up lying in the middle of the road.” Dean said wincing slightly when he heard the tell-tale sign of slurring the end of his sentence. Yeah he was three sheets to the wind drunk alright.

“Oh yeah, like that ever stopped you in the past.” His younger brother said with a knowing smirk and damn him if Sam wasn’t right. “You’re starting work tomorrow, legitimate and respectable work I might, and if that isn’t a reason to celebrate then I don’t know what is.”

“You’re like some spawn of Satan.” Dean groaned. He drained his bottle of beer and let out another groan. He was meant to be starting work in just a few hours, his very first shift as a freaking surgical intern, and he was sat in a crappy bar with his brother drunker than he probably should have been. OK definitely more drunk than he should have been. “Be a good spawn and help me get home.”

“You’re a light weight.” Sam muttered but he still helped Dean up out the bar booth. True he wore a smirk while doing it but at least he was being helpful. “I’m going to tell mom you were drunk before your first day of work.” He added with an honest to God childish snicker. What a little shit.

“Well I’m gonna tell her that you were the one who suggested I drink in the first place and that you were using a fake ID to get into this place.” Dean shot back. If Dean was going to feel the stern but still loving mothering of Mary Winchester then Sam was going to go down with him.

“And I’ll just tell her that you were the one who brought me that fake ID for my birthday. Face it; you’ve got nothing on me. Mom is gonna kick your ass and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Sam said gleefully. Damn him because he had a point.

“Shut up you asshole and take me home.” Dean said pulling himself up out the booth with unease. Yeah that ninth beer really hadn’t been a good idea.  

“You’re such a lush.” Sam said rolling his eyes. “You should be the one to sleep on the couch tonight not me.”

“Nice try, I love you man but I’m not fucking up my back just because you’re dragging me home.” Dean said with a drunken smirk. With a loud snort Sam threw an arm around Dean’s shoulder and there pair stumbled, firstly because of the drunkenness between the two and secondly because of the slight height difference, out of the bar and Sam unceremoniously plucked the impala’s keys out of Dean’s pocket. “Like hell am I letting you drive my car Sasquatch.”

“I’ve had three beers at the most.” Sam shot back almost smugly as he veered Dean towards the passenger side. He hated riding in the passenger seat; it reminded him too much of being dropped off at high school before his Dad had given him the impala as a sixteenth birthday present. “Plus this way I get to play my music for once.”

“You really are Satan’s spawn.” Dean grumbled as the car roared to life and Sam switched the music to some God-awful chart crap and…oh sweet Jesus Sam was singing along. Dean was sorely tempted to put his brother’s hand in a bowl of water while Sam slept but that would mean getting pee over his couch. Not having to clean pee off the couch won over humiliating his brother in the end.

Morning came about a week too freaking early. Dean’s mouth tasted disgusting. It tasted like something had actually crawled into it and died. And to add insult to injury his teeth felt like they were about to fall out of the mouth that tasted like death and the pain in his head was unbearable. He was never drinking again.

Ok scratch that, he was never letting his brother convince him to drink that much again.

“Oh fuck” he grumbled when he realised the noise that was making his brain pulsate was coming from his alarm clock and that meant that he needed to get his ass out of bed or he was going to be late for his first shift, his first shift which was going to last seventy two hours. He was so screwed. Dean pretty much crawled to the shower which probably wasn’t the best idea when hung over because he ended up blinding himself for five minutes thanks to shampoo. Great, he was going to end up with red eyes as well as still smelling like alcohol.  

In the living room Sam was still asleep on the couch as his flight back home wasn’t until the afternoon. Dean was sorely tempted to boot him up the ass but that would end in Sam waking up and yelling and Dean doubted that would help his pounding head. He didn’t fail to notice that Sam had drooled on the couch cushion. Once again he consider kicking Sam’s ass but he’d taken an oath when he had become a doctor to do no harm, that probably only applied to patients but Sam would just bitch about it to their mother once he was home. Instead of hurting his brother, even if it was justified because of the drool, Dean wrote down a quick note and stuck it onto Sam’s phone lying on the coffee table.


Yo bitch

Had to go to work, saving lives and shit like that. Enjoy the flight, glad it ain’t me.

Say hi to mom and dad for me and tell them I’ll back for Christmas. Text me when you land.

Catch you later Sasquatch

Without making any noise so Sam wouldn’t wake up Dean grabbed his things and hurried out the front door of his small but homey apartment. As he walked towards his car he took his cell phone out his back pocket to check the messages he hadn't read the night before. Several were from friends he had made in med school all wishing him good luck for the next day, there was one from his dad and another from his mother and finally one from a English cell phone number judging from the area code. He knew it was a douche bag move but he locked his phone before reading the message and shoved the phone back into his pocket. He just couldn't deal with that this early in the morning.

By the time the impala crawled into the hospital’s parking lot Dean was cursing loudly. He needed coffee badly. Well he really needed to sleep for another four hours or so but that wasn’t going to happen so he’d have to suck it up and drink his weight in coffee instead. 

He had practically dragged his body into the hospital when he could have leapt for joy if it didn’t make him look like a dick or threaten to make his brain explode. Past the entrance and main reception was a large cafe, the kind that sold the good Italian coffee and not vending machine crap he’d almost lived off during his med school exams. He forked out the necessary $2.75 for the largest paper cup of coffee the cafe sold and a huge, sugar covered chocolate doughnut. He nearly inhaled the whole thing as he hurried off to the intern’s changing room on the second floor. 

The room was full of people by the time he got there and by the bright looks on their faces no one else had been stupid enough to go out drinking the night before their first day. Yeah he was screwed. 

"Hey." A small blonde said with a smile as Dean settled next to her to get the last remaining locker. "You’re Dean right?" She asked as she tied her long hair up into a ponytail.

"Yeah, how’d you know?"

"You were the only intern not at the mixer last week so I sort of took a guess. Looks like it paid off." The blonde said. The reason why Dean hadn’t been at the mixer was because Sam had needed picking up from the airport. He hadn’t seen the nerd all summer and would have rather spent the night kicking his baby brother’s ass at Call of Duty instead of pretending to be social around a load of strangers. "I’m Jo, Jo Harvelle by the way."

"Oh hey." Dean said moving his coffee from one hand to the other so the nearest hand to Jo was free for her to shake.

"You keep hold of that coffee, looks like you need it." Jo said. She sat down to lace up her sneakers as Dean set about getting changed into his scrubs. Once he’d changed Jo piped up again. "Whose service are you on?”

"Dr C Novak." Dean said remembering the name that had been written on the letter the hospital had sent him the week previous. 

"Same here, looks like we can be tortured together." Jo said grinning from ear to ear. 

"Tortured?" Dean asked. His coffee sloshed around in his stomach with nerves now. Maybe he should have grabbed food before getting here to settle his stomach. At last thing he needed was to vomit over a patient.

"Yeah, haven’t you heard about Novak? He’s like the most hard core resident here." A willowy looking brunette who had been sat next to Jo said as she swung her legs over the bench she’s been sat on. "He was my sister Lily’s resident last year. He made her cry and let me tell you, no one can make Lily cry. He’s a genius and, like, next to God but a grumpy asshole." The woman added leaping off the bench. "The name’s Ruby by the way and unlike you I was lucky enough to get Lafitte as my resident. I do love me some trauma surgery." She added smugly as she actually strutted across the room to another bunch of interns.

"Lucky bitch, Lafitte looks scary as hell but he’s a total softy according to some of the nurses I was talking to at the intern mixer." Jo muttered casting a dark look over to where Ruby was now stood. "Oh, show time." She said nudging Dean’s side as a nurse came walking into the room, clipboard firmly attached to her hand. 

"Alright, listen up for your name and where you need to go. Getting lost is the easiest way to annoy your resident." The nurse said not even bothering to look up from her board. She started calling out names and where they would find their resident and Dean used this time to the fullest by draining his coffee as quickly as he could. He could feel the caffeine working but he knew he’d need at least two more before he felt completely human again. 

"Harvelle, Winchester, Milligan, Bradbury and Blake!" The nurse finally called out. Jo gave Dean an excited grin, how the hell was she so happy this time in the morning? "Novak is that the end of the hall by the nurses’ station." The nurse added with a sick smirk that Dean really didn’t like. Three other interns slammed their lockers shut and each one looked more excited than the last. It was five freaking forty-five in the freaking morning. How were these people even awake let alone cheerful?

Dr Castiel Novak didn’t look like the kind of guy that could make a woman cry or terrorise interns. In fact he looked more a freaking librarian, a scruffy and kind of hot librarian but a librarian nonetheless. Ok so he was going to ignore the ‘hot’ part because that was clearly from the lack of sleep and the several beers Sam had piled on him last night. Either way the reputation Castiel Novak had was probably just speculation because the guy didn’t look that-

“Congratulations you’ve managed to find your way here even if you are two minutes late.” Novak said acerbically not even looking up from the files in front of him. “Pick up a phone number list, trauma protocol book and a pager. That pager is now your life force. If it goes off you answer the page right away. I don’t care if you’re asleep or skydiving, if the pager goes off you answer it or you’ll find yourself on scut duty for a month. No exceptions.” Ok correction, the guy was a giant jackass. “And whoever smells like a brewery did a piss poor job of showering this morning.” Dr Novak added shooting the five people stood in front of him a hard stare. Jo snorted loudly as Dean felt his face redden. Yeah Dr Castiel Novak was a jackass and Dean was stuck with him for the next year…fan-freaking-tastic.

“Right, follow me.” Novak said as he started walking down the hallway. Dean grabbed a pager, call list and protocol book before hurrying after Novak, Jo and the others hot on his heels. For the first hour Novak showed them the most important parts of the hospital and gave them his list of rules. Basically if they didn’t answer their pages, acted like idiots or pissed off Castiel in any way then they would be on scut for the rest of their lives. Ok he had survived college and medical school but Dean was pretty convinced that the following year was going to kill or mange to be the worst year of his if he managed to survive it. After their tour Castiel Novak took them back to the station where they had started their tour and doled out assignments.  

“Right, Milligan you’re on patient work up.” Novak said handing the only other guy in the group a stack of files. The look on the guy’s face made it obvious that he would have preferred doing anything but patient work up. “Bradbury and Blake they need interns in the clinic. Yes, you have to do it and no, you don’t have a choice.” Novak added without even looking up from the file in his hands. “Harvelle and Budweiser you’re-” Novak was cut off by his pager beeping loudly. “You’re coming to the pit with me now. Car verses motorbike two minutes out.” Novak said hurriedly. Dean and Jo grabbed their pagers and took off in a run after Novak. 

“Ok he’s an ass but potential surgery on the first day? I am all about that.” Jo said with a grin. They raced down to the ER in time to see paramedics wheeling in several gurneys. Dean and Jo had been stood there for about three seconds before someone was rushed past covered in blood with a large wound in his chest. Jo’s eyebrows shot up in surprise but she looked like a small kid that had been given the keys to a candy store and told to go wild.

“What have we got here Lafitte?” Novak called out to a tall grouchy looking doctor flanked by several interns, one of those being the bitchy looking brunette from earlier.

“The driver has a clear wound to the chest and she’s going through the Lodox. Her son has a head wound but he remained conscious in the field and has no other visible injuries.” Dr Lafitte said in a deep Cajun accent. “The rider has injuries to both his arms and his left leg, we’ve paged Ortho and they’re getting down here as soon as possible.” He added.

“Ok, Harvelle get me as soon as those results are in and Budweiser can go and suture the son’s head wound.” Novak said.

“It’s Winchester not-”

“Now, not in five minutes.” Novak snapped walking away before Dean could say anything else. Dick. Dean ground his teeth together to stop himself from yelling after Novak but when he caught Dr Lafitte’s smirk he felt slightly better.

“It takes a while to get used to him.” Lafitte said. “And the kid is in bed five.” He added pointing over to where a kid around seven years old was sat, a large cut ran across his forehead. Dean hurried over and gave the kid a quick smile.

"Hey there kid, I'm Dr Winchester but you can call me Dean if you want." Dean said. The kid looked up at him with a terrified look written across his face. "What can I call you?"

" name's Ben. Is my mom gonna be ok? She looked really bad in the ambulance." The kid asked looking around the ER. Dean's heart went out to the kid, he was obviously scared out his wits. 

"I don't know yet little man but I'll make sure to find out for you.” Dean said grabbing a suture kit and sitting down on a stool opposite from Ben.

“Where is she? Are the other doctors looking after her?”

“She’s in this machine call a Lodox body scanner. It scans the whole body so we can see if she’s really hurt. We’ve got the best doctors looking after her so don’t worry.” Dean said “Do you wanna tell me what happened?" Dean added trying to distract Ben because he’d spent enough time having stiches done when he was younger, this was going to hurt like a bitch.

"We were driving back from my nana's house. She lives in Florida and the plane costs a lot so we went in the car." Ben said. "One minute me were driving then my mom swerved and we hit he man on the bike. My mom looked really bad, is she going to be ok?" 

"I can find out for you after I've sorted out this cut on your forehead. Is it just you and your mom?"

"Yeah, it's just us." Ben said with a shrug. “Well there’s my nana as well but we don’t see her that much.” Ben added sadly. Dean tried to keep the kid talking for a long as possible as he sutured the cut. It turned out that Ben was in Little League and had hit more home runs than any other kid on the team. Once Ben found out that Dean played baseball in high school there was no stopping the questions the kid asked. It wasn’t until Jo hurried over that Dean even realised that he’d been sat with Ben for nearly an hour.

“Hey, are you done here?” she asked. She looked stressed out, her blonde hair falling out of her ponytail and a smear of blood on her scrubs. Dean watched as Ben’s eyes focused on the blood and his face paled. Dean nodded at the blood, Jo looked down at it and shook her head. “It’s the motorbike riders, Lafitte is taking him into surgery with Ortho. So, are you done here?”

“Yeah, pretty much. What’s up?” Dean asked.

“Dr Novak wants us.” Jo said. Dean groaned under his breath.

“What does the ass hat want?” he asked. Ok yeah, it was unprofessional calling his boss an ass hat in front of a patient but from Ben’s smirk it seemed to cheer the kid up. Jo motioned for him to follow her so that Ben couldn’t hear. Shit, if it was bad news about Ben’s mom then this was going to be a real bitch. Dean followed Jo until Ben was out of hearing range. “What’s wrong?”

“Novak needs to take the mom into surgery. She has some cracked ribs which came up on the Lodox scan but then Novak did a cardio scan and it turns out one of the ribs splintered and nicked the heart. He has to repair the heart before permanent damage is done to it.

“Fuck” Dean said with a groan. This couldn’t happen, he couldn’t handle all this on his very first shift. “How serious is it?” he asked praying that Jo said this was a boring and routine operation.

“Serious enough for surgery. Novak wants us scrubbed and in there as soon as possible.”

“We get to observe in the actual OR?” Dean asked. He’d been expecting to maybe observe a procedure from the gallery if he was lucky but he didn’t expect to be an actual OR on his first day after only in the hospital for a few hours. He felt kind of guilty to be pleased by this seeing as Ben’s mom needed surgery and the kid had just spent the past hour having his head stitched up. “Wait, what about the kid? He’s got no one but a gran in Florida and she can’t get here for hours. I can’t leave him alone.”

“He’s gonna be watched over by a nurse in the waiting area during the surgery then he can stay with his mom until his gran can get here.” Jo explained. “Come on, Novak is scrubbing in within the next five minutes or so-”

“Harvelle! Budweiser!” Novak called marching towards them. Ok he might have been a resident and a good surgeon but if he didn’t start calling Dean by his actual name then the guy was going to find himself was a broken jaw. “Epicardium repair on Lisa Braden in OR four. Both of you need to be scrubbed in five minutes.”

“I’m going to tell her son that his mom is going into surgery.”

“A nurse can do that, we don’t have time.” Novak said sternly.

“I’m sorry sir.” Dean added heavy sarcasm on the sir. If Novak could act like a dick and call him names then Dean freaking well could. “But the kid has got no one but his mom and his gran. If half of your whole family was about to go into surgery then you’d be pretty shit scared and want to know everything you could about it.” Dean said. “I’m going to tell Ben about his mom and then I’ll scrub in.” He added firmly. Novak didn’t say anything but he didn’t say no so Dean took that as a good sign. He went back to the bed Ben was sat down and gave the kid a reassuring smile.

“What’s going on Dean?” Ben asked. “Is my mom ok?”

“She’ll be ok but we need to take her into surgery.” Dean said. Ben seemed like the kind of kid that would want to know everything he could and Dean wasn’t about to treat him like an idiot. “During the crash some of her ribs cracked and splintered. Her lungs are ok but one of the splinters nicked her heart and we need to do a quick repair. Don’t worry though, we have one of the best cardio surgeons in Illinois.”

“The one you called an ass hat?” Ben said sounding dubious.

“Yeah, he might be an ass hat but he’s still pretty good. Your mom will be in good hands.”

“My mom…she’s not going to die is she?” Ben asked.

“We’re going to do everything we can you fix her up and help her get better. We’re going to do our very best and I’ll come out and tell you about what’s going on whenever I can ok? Don’t worry.” Dean said giving Ben another reassuring smile. “A nurse is going to keep an eye on your in the waiting area so you just tell her if you need anything.”

“Thanks Dean.” Ben said. He still looked scared out his wits but he gave Dean a tiny smile that told him that kid trusted him on this. He just hoped that Lisa Braden would be ok because if she didn’t get better then Ben’s whole world would probably cave in. 


Jo was halfway through scrubbing in when Dean got to the OR. Her eyebrows shot up when saw him but she just carried on washing her hands and humming quietly. She probably had shitloads to say on what Dean had done and the way he’d spoken to Novak but Dean really couldn’t listen to it right before he watched his very first surgery as an intern.

“Adam is so jealous of us.” She finally said after two minutes.


“Milligan, Adam Milligan. The other dude in Novak’s little group of victims. He’s on patient work up. You were really hung over earlier on weren’t you?” Jo said with a smirk. Dean vaguely remembered a guy with dark blonde hair from that morning. “He’s just talking to random people while we’re gonna see an actual surgery. It’s pretty cool.”

“That’s if Novak can fix her. If he doesn’t then we’re gonna be left with one heartbroken kid.”

“You’re a real softy, you know that?” Jo said. “I wouldn’t have pegged you for the mother hen type.” She added with a smirk. There was a question in her eyes, probably asking what made Dean like this but he wasn’t going to get into it with someone he’d only known for a few hours. “Come on, we better hurry up before Novak scalpels us.” Jo said shrugging her shoulders as they finished scrubbing in. With a hesitant sigh Dean waited for the door that led into the OR to open.

He had been dreaming about this since he decided that he wanted to become a surgeon. He’d been dreaming about stepping foot into an operating room as an actual doctor, scrubbed in and ready to witness a lifesaving procedure. True he wasn’t actually going to be cutting into anyone but just the thought of being in an operating room was enough to fill him with a sense of wondrous joy. Yes the hours were going to be brutal, there was a strong possibility that his resident might kill him and Dean was sure he’d screw this up in some shape or form but right then he wasn’t thinking about that. All he was thinking about was the lifesaving surgery about to take place.

He and Jo stood next to one another and tried to get the best spot and Dr Novak took his place in front of Lisa Braden. For a grumpy asshole Dean was surprised to see Castiel Novak’s chosen personal scrub cap was bright yellow and covered in bumblebees, honest to God bumblebees. After a moment Castiel Novak closed his eyes and went completely silent for several seconds.

“What do you think he’s doing?” Jo asked from behind her surgical mask.

“If he’s trying to remember what to do then we’re screwed.” Dean shot back trying to make light of the situation. There was a little kid out there who was terrified

“He’s praying.” A scrub nurse said whipping around to glare at both Dean and Jo. “He prays before every surgery and you two will be the next ones on the table if you don’t stop muttering to yourselves.” She snapped before whipping back round. Jo snickered quietly behind her back and Dean had to chew on the side of his cheeks to stop his own laughter.

There was a human heart, an actual human heart mere feet away from him. A woman was open on the table and he could see her heart. It was so different from a cadaver or the dummies they practiced on in medical school. This was a person open and alive, the beeping from the monitors indicating so, right there on the table.

Some people would have become bored just standing and staring at a heart for two hours straight but not Dean. He'd been staring, transfixed, since Novak had started operating. He could see why people said that Novak was a great surgeon; there was a sense of calm about him as he navigated around the organ and if he hadn't spent the last few hours occasionally calling Dean 'Budweiser' then Dean probably would have re-evaluated his first impression of the surgeon. Castiel Novak might have been a genius surgeon but he was still a fucking dickwad.

He sporadically left the OR to inform Ben how the surgery was going. Every time he saw the dark haired kid sat holding endless cups of crappy machine hot chocolate Dean’s stomach clenched. It felt too close to home, it reminded him of when he was just five years old, sat on either his mother’s or father’s lap and waiting, constantly waiting for some news. After five hours of surgery, after giving Ben small updates five times, Castiel started to close Lisa up. Her surgery had gone well, he had been able to repair all the damage but she still wasn’t completely out of the woods. Castiel finished closing Lisa up when he turned to Dean, only his bright blue eyes were really visible but Dean could tell that the man’s lips were turned down in the semblance of a frown.

“Budweiser, scrub out.” He said. Maybe it was the fact that he’d been standing for several hours with a break but it was probably more to do with Castiel Novak calling him fucking Budweiser since that morning. Either way, Dean pretty much snapped.

“Ok I get it, I shouldn’t have gone out drinking last night and, like you said, I did a piss poor job of showering but my name is Winchester, Dean freaking Winchester so you can either call me that or don’t bother calling me anything ok?” Dean snapped. Everyone in the room went silent as Novak looked up from the patient and narrowed his eyes.

“OK. Winchester go and inform Ms Braden’s son that she is coming out of surgery and will be in the ICU until she wakes up.” Castiel said in a monotone that showed no emotion what so ever. From where she was stood Jo raised her eyebrows and looked like she was on the verge of laughing again.

“Yes sir.” Dean said making sure the ‘sir’ came out with just the right amount of sarcasm just like last time before he turned on his heels and marched out the operating room. He ripped off his surgical mask as he stormed down the hospital hallway and swore quietly. There was a strong chance that he was going to be put on scut for the next year because of this. The temptation to request a new resident was incredibly strong but that would just be showing weakness and Dean Winchester did not show weakness.  

As he marched down the hallway he was vaguely aware that someone was following him. Part of him hoped it was only Jo because he sensed he had a sort of friendship with the feisty blonde but he knew that was too much to hope for.

“Winchester!” a furious sounding voice boomed down the hallway. Shit, it was definitely not Jo. “Winchester! What you did in there was completely out of order and insubordinate.” Dr Novak snapped catching up with Dean.

“Dude you were an ass and I called you out on it, it’s not out of order.” Dean said. “You might be some fancy hot-shot cardio resident and I’m just an intern but that doesn’t make you any better than me, at the end of the day we’re both doctors so get off your freaking high horse and stop being an asshole.” He said not even caring if this was his resident he was saying it to because he wasn’t going to go through a whole year being treated like shit. He half expected Novak to punch him, that would have probably mean what most people would have done, but instead he just blinked at Dean several times.

“I think you and I are going to have a lot of fun over the next year Winchester.” Novak said completely deadpan before he turned round and took off down the hallway.

The bench in the intern’s locker room seemed like a good place to camp out for the rest of his shift. In fact if it meant never having to see Castiel Novak again Dean was contemplating never leaving the spot. Sure the wooden bench as kind of uncomfortable on his back and ass but he could probably bribe Jo to give him a pillow from the on call room. Living in the intern locker room could work out, it was only a short walk from the coffee machine and there probably wasn’t damp like in his bathroom at home.

His peace and quiet was disrupted by Jo, Charlie and Sarah coming into the locker room, all chatting animatedly until they saw Dean lying on the nearest bench. They all stopped talking at once and Charlie even let out a low whistle.

“So all the scrub nurses are talking about how you pretty much called Novak a dick.” Charlie said. “I mean, yeah he’s kind of mean but I think he’s pretty dreamy…if you’re into that sort of thing.” She added walking over to her locker.

“I didn’t call him a dick. I was just sick of him calling me Budweiser so I called him out on it.” Dean grumbled.

“You still yelled at him in front of a whole OR. You’re going to be put on scut for the rest of the year.” Sarah intoned from next to her own locker. Yeah because that was so helpful.

“At least I saw the inside of an OR today, you just saw the clinic.” Dean snapped back before he thought. Sarah blinked several times before she scoffed loudly and grabbed her thing from her locker.

“Honestly I don’t think Novak is the ass here. I think it is you.” She said marching out the locker room. Charlie rolled her eyes, grabbed her own things and went to follow.

“I don’t agree with her that much but I have to go with her seeing as she’s my ride.” Charlie said giving Dean an apologetic smile before she left the locker room. 

“Did Novak yell at you?” Jo asked sitting down near Dean’s legs. Dean shook his head. “Did he put you on scut?” once again Dean shook his head. “What did he do?”

“Blinked at me several times and told me he looked forward to working with me this year.” Dean said. “He’s probably going to kill me and use me as a cadaver in the skills lab.” He added with a moan.

“The guy has bumblebees on his scrub cap, he’s not that much of a psycho.” Jo said. “So…do you want to go for a beer?” she asked after a minute.

“Beer got me in this mess.” Dean shot back.

“For fuck sake, I was suggesting that you drink one beer not bathe in the stuff.” Jo said rolling her eyes. “So stop hiding out in here because you think that Novak is going to chop you up into little pieces.” She added whacking Dean on the leg.

“Ow. I don’t think that Novak is going to chop me up into little pieces, I said that he’s going to use me as a cadaver.” Dean pointed out.

“Whatever, we’re going for a drink because you called our resident an ass and he’s probably going to kill you now.” Jo said pulling herself up. “So put on some clothes that aren’t scrubs and move your ass. There’s a bar down the street that’s pretty decent.”    

“Fine, but you’re buying.” Dean said pulling himself up off the bench. Ok maybe he had called his resident an ass but a woman’s life had been saved today and it seemed like Dean had found an ally in Jo. That had to count for something. 

AN: Very quick list of some terms used in this for people who are unsure what they mean. I will add one of these to the end of chapters that use meidcal terminology or mention surgery, which might be a fair few because I really love medical terminology. 

Scut Duty - Basically a lot of low-level menial care-related activities passed to medical students. Basically it's all the crappy jobs that others don't want to do.

Lodox Scanner - The scanner mentioned is a Lodox and it's a high resolution scanner that takes only thirteen seconds to scan a whole body. It has low exposure so it's one of the safest scanners to use on patients including small children, babies and pregnant patients. 

Epicardium - The part of the heart that Cas repairs in the surgery is the epicardium, it is the outermost layer of the heart wall and is a thin layer of serous membrane that helps to lubricate and protect the outside of the heart.

Suture - Basically another word for stitches. It sounds fancier but it's still stitches and it still hurts like a bitch (this is coming from experience)




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It wasn’t until Dean got to the bar that he realised one of the few texts he had gotten that day wasn’t from Sam. He wasn’t that worried, Sam had probably shoved the note in his back pocket before he left and completely forgotten to actually text his brother. He probably hadn’t forgotten to rat Dean out about the whole ‘drinking the night before his first shift’ thing to their mom. He was fully expecting a long and ranting message from Mary left on his answering machine when he got home.

All the more reason to sit in a bar with a pretty blonde, though he had a feeling that if he called Jo pretty she would punch him in the lip.

The bar was a homey looking place, the kind of place that Dean would have spent countless nights in back at med school with friends and he could see why Jo chose this place. The pair found seats at the bar and Jo order two bottles of beers.

“So princess, what made you want to come to Illinois?” Jo asked raising her bottle of beer to salute Dean.

“The hospital has one of the best surgical internships in the country, asshole residents aside, and why am I a princess?”

“It’s freaking cold here and if the tiara fits…”

“I’m sort of used to the cold by now.” Dean said with a shrug. Kanas winters could be a pain in the ass and it pretty much dumped snow in Connecticut as soon as winter came. “And I’m not a princess.” He added.

“Dude you went to Yale, that’s like one of the best medical schools in the country not to mention one of the most expensive…you’re kind of a princess.”

“How the fuck did…did you go through my records?”

“I like to know things about people.” Jo said shrugging her shoulders with a huge grin on her face. “Plus the records office has a terrible lock on it, it was too easy to get in there. Did you know that Charlie has a genius level IQ? She’s a member of MENSA and was top of her class at Dartmouth. She got an MCAT score of 36.5. Then again I know that probably doesn’t impress you that much seeing as you got a 38.4 and were the top of your class…at Yale.”

“Do you know practically everything about me?” Dean asked with annoyance.

“Only what was written in your file.” Jo said shrugging. Dean was swiftly learning that Jo Harvelle was a dangerous woman and he was going to have to try and make sure he never got her bad side for as long as they were at the hospital together.   

“You should know that I worked every single summer since I was twelve to save up for my tuition. I worked nearly every night at a crappy bar when I was in college and both my parents saved up all the money they had so I could go to Yale so it’s not like I’m a freaking princess.” Dean said cocking his eyebrows because he had the feeling that Jo was going to call him a princess for the rest of the year. He could barely handle a day of Novak calling him ‘Budweiser’, he couldn’t handle Jo calling him ‘princess’ as well.

“Someone’s touchy, Novak really pissed you off today didn’t he?”

“It’s not…we’ve just gotta put up with the guy for a year and I can’t have him hate me.”

“Probably shouldn’t have yelled at him in the OR then.” Jo pointed out.

“Yeah well I’m starting to regret that now.” Dean said with a shrug.

“If we’re going to be friends then you need to suck it up already and get over the fact that you yelled at Novak. Sure he’s gonna be pissed at you but what’s the worst he can do? Sure he can stick you on scut duty but he knows you’re smart and he’s not going to waste you brain on charting.” Jo said bluntly. Her honesty was something that Dean could get used to. Jo was smart, he’d seen as much during their first shift together and she was the good mix between sarcastic and just a bit devious. Yeah, Dean could see the two of them easily becoming friends.

When Dean finally got home, clutching a pizza box like his life depended on it, he was met by the same empty apartment he’d left nearly 48 hours previously but with the addition of the blinking light on his answering machine. Sure enough one of them was from Mary, though it turned out Sam hadn’t ratted him out about the drinking thing because the message was just a general ‘hope your first shift went well’ and ‘please call as soon as you can’ message instead of a life lecture. Sure Sam had gotten him drunk, drooled on his couch then never text him back but there were worst younger brothers out there.

Sorry for not texting when my flight got in. Phone died then mom and dad wanted to hear all about Chicago. Come on Skype when you can.

He would never get his brother’s fascination with Skype but if it meant that they could have a decent conversation Dean wasn’t going to complain too much.

"I don't know why you can't just text or call like a normal person." He said as soon as Sam’s face popped up onto the screen.

"Normal people Skype and you can't see my judging looks via texts so shut up." Sam said with one of his patented bitchy looks. The damn kid had been perfecting those since he was about six years old. 

"It just doesn't make sense to me." Dean said repositioning himself so Sam was able to see him properly while not dropping take-out pizza down himself. It was a freaking talent. 

"You got into medical school and passed all your exams with stupidly high marks, how can you not get Skype?" Sam said shaking his head in disbelief.

"Because knowing what to do if a pancreas ruptures doesn't mean I know how the fuck Skype works." Dean shot back feeling like that was a small victory.

"Someone is pissed off." Sam pointed out with a huge smirk on his face.

"Yeah well my resident is an asshole and I’m stuck with him for a whole year...if he doesn’t kill me." Dean grumbled before taking a huge bite out of his pizza. Sam snorted loudly and rolled his eyes like the judgemental little shit he was.

"What did you do to him?" Sam asked because it always Dean’s fault apparently. This time it really wasn’t…technically at least.

"Nothing, he's just got this crazy scary reputation for being a hard ass and it's true. He dude is a genius but a total douche face." Dean said before taking another bite out of his pizza.

"You yelled at him didn't you?"

"No...ok maybe I did but the dick had it coming Sammy." Dean said. Cue bitchy look number two. "He was being an asshole! He spent the whole shift calling me Budweiser." Dean said trying to justify himself. Sam snorted loudly because he was that much of a little shit. "Oh shut up bitch."

“Fine, fine. I’ve got to go, I’ve got some packing to do before we go to California. You better ring mom sometime this week telling her that you’re actually sleeping and eating something not fried or covered in cheese. If she doesn’t hear that you’re surviving on your own she’ll freak out.”

“Dude I survived college and med school. There is no need for her to freak out.”

“She sent you a care package every week.”

“Hey I appreciated those cookies and pies!” Dean said with a grin. Sam rolled his eyes again because he was that much of a jerk. “You go get your beauty sleep Samantha and try texting me once in a while.” Dean added with a smug grin once he saw Sam’s ‘completely done’ face. Dean logged off not long after he said goodbye to Sam and made a mental note to ring Mary during his lunch break the next day before he went to bed, praying to himself that his next shift didn’t end up in him camping out in the intern’s locker room again.

The following morning was very much like Dean’s first morning at the hospital, minus the hang over though. He filled a travel mug full of rich, dark coffee in his tiny kitchen in the vague hope that it would make up his still sleeping brain. He took a cautionary sip and decided to add another spoonful of instant granules so his coffee was even stronger. He’d learnt during his first year at college that when in doubt caffeine would always help.

“Mornin’” he said once he spotted Jo and Adam in the intern’s locker room. Jo gave him a beaming smile with just the hint of a smirk. Sarah was sat down next to her and guzzling down the coffee Charlie had just handed to her.

“Good morning princess.” She said pulling her sneakers on and throwing her street shoes into her locker. If Dean wasn’t relying on his coffee to keep him awake he would have pour it down Jo’s back and Adam snorted. “Ready for a day of scut duty?” Jo asked as Dean could barely suppress a groan. He had managed to spend the remainder of the previous shift either hiding out in the locker room, with his ass slowly going more and more numb thanks to the wooden bench, or sneaking into the nurse’s lounge to use their coffee machine. Today he would have to face Dr Novak and it was safe to say that he wasn’t remotely looking forward to it.

“Blake and Harvelle, you’re scrubbing in with me today on my ARVC case.” Novak said walking up to the interns without so much as a hello. Several files in one hand and a large coffee cup in the other. It was probably full of the blood of past interns he kept locked away in his freezer.

“ARVC?” Sarah whispered across to Dean to address Charlie.

“Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.” Dean said without skipping a beat. Castiel Novak looked up from the file in his hand and raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“Winchester, you’re with Bradbury in the ER with Lafitte.” He said. The monotone of his deep, resonating voice did nothing to give away his surprise but Dean had clearly stumped him with knowing what ARVC was. To be honest Dean was even more stumped that he wasn’t being put on scut duty. “And Milligan is on charting seeing as he never actually finished yesterday during patient work up and rounds.” Novak added with a slight snap as he handed Adam a stack folders much to Adam’s dismay. Without saying another word Novak motioned for Jo and Sarah to follow him as he took off down the hallway.

“This fucking sucks ass.” Adam said looking down at the files in his hands like they were covered in pee. “Winchester you were right, the guy is an asshole.” He said with a groan. Charlie gave him a pitying look as he went to sit down at the nearest desk to work on the stack of folders.

“Ready to be the McCoy to my Chapel?” Charlie asked with an expectant smile.

“Lead the way ma’am.” Dean said in the worst McCoy impression Charlie had ever heard by the look on her face.

During his time in med school Dean had spent plenty of time in the ER in his life. Both he and Sam had spent countless hours being bandaged up after falling out of trees, off bikes or, during that memorable year when they both got roller blade, hurtling into the patio door. Later when studying at Yale he’d spent more time than he cared to think about doing scut work or observing the trauma team do their job but it was entirely different standing there as a qualified doctor.

“Winchester!” A deep southern voice called out making both Dean and Charlie jolt where they were stood. Dr Lafitte, Head of Trauma at the hospital, came marching down the corridor flanked by two interns, one being Ruby. “So you’re the one that called Novak out in the operatin’ room huh? That took guts man.” He said giving Dean’s hand a hearty handshake. “You need guts to work in trauma, literally sometimes, so I’m glad Novak’s given you to me for the foreseeable future.” Dean’s stomach dropped at Lafitte’s words because if Castiel Novak had handed him off to another service then it meant he was probably more pissed than he’d seemed the day before. “We like all our doctors to have trauma training here. Normally we don’t do it until they’re a first or second year resident but Novak and myself like our interns to be prepared so welcome.”

“It’s a pleasure to be here sir.” Dean and Charlie both said. From Charlie’s slightly lost expression she was about as apprehensive about this as Dean was. Trauma was quick and bloody, you never knew what was going to come through the doors in an ER, so you didn’t really have time for nerves.

“Pleasure ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. Both of you grab a gown and get ready to get your hands dirty.” Lafitte said with wide grin. Sure trauma was a messy specialty but Dean had a feeling that it was where Dr Lafitte belonged.

Eleven hours later and both Dean and Charlie were ready to drop. They had seen more broken legs, fractured wrists and bones sticking out of places were bones should stick out of than they had in a full month at medical school. The ER had been full of people who were clumsy, not paying attention on the road or just down right stupid which was why they had worked through lunch. Dean managed to grab a bag of potato chips and stationed himself at an empty desk while Charlie pretended to look busy so no one would bother her while she ate a box of fruit salad. They were soon joined by a severely pissed off looking Adam and incredibly tired looking Jo and Sarah.

“This ARVC case of Novak’s is actually going to be the death of me. My brain feels as though it’s been pulled out of my nose with a pair tweezers, then scrambled into mush and served as mystery meat in the cafeteria.” Jo groaned into her large cup of coffee Sarah had just handed to her. Adam’s face paled and he pushed his own cup of coffee away from him with a look of disgust. “Sorry but it’s true. I thought I had paid decent enough attention to all things cardio related but clearly I was wrong. Everything that could go wrong is going wrong and think Novak’s close to killing himself or one of use.”

“Can it be me? I can’t handle him glaring at me anymore.” Sarah said pleadingly.

“What’s the patient like?” Dean asked picking up the coffee Adam had abandoned. If he wasn’t going to drink then Dean wasn’t going to let it go to waste.

“Circling the drain.” Sarah said bluntly. “He’s a twenty-eight year old guy and he’s going die if Novak doesn’t figure out what to do.”

“Is he on Sotalol?” Dean asked. Sarah nodded while Jo looked like she was contemplating going to sleep despite her coffee. “What about an ICD?”

“A what?”

“Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. I rememver reading about them back in med school. Has Novak thought about it?”

“If he has then he hasn’t told us. He mentioned a catheter ablation but he doesn’t think it will work.” Jo mumbled between a yawn.

“ICD’s are kinda a risky though aren’t they? Maybe that’s why he didn’t suggest it?” Charlie offered with a shrug. “It’s a good idea though.” She added with a smile in Dean’s direction. Dean returned Charlie’s smile appreciatively. At least someone knew what he was talking about and seemed to be on his side.

“Suggest an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and see what he says.” Dean said to Jo who quickly tapped out a note on her phone, probably to relay the information back to Novak. “Don’t mention my name though or he’ll shoot it down, the guy hates me.”

“Probably shouldn’t have called him a dick then.” Sarah offered unhelpfully.

“Anyone got a calculator?” Adam asked.

“Why?” Sarah asked looking over to where Adam was sat. “Have you still not finished Novak’s charts? He’s going to kill you.”

“Don’t judge me, the guy writes in freaking calligraphy. I can hardly understand half the things he writes.” Adam said defensively. “Now what’s 67.97 multiplied by 7.5?” he asked. Before Jo had even pulled out her phone Charlie piped up.

“509.775” she said confidently. Sarah, Adam and Jo looked over at her in surprise but Charlie just shrugged. “I like numbers and math, they make sense to me.”

“Why did I want to become a surgeon? Actually scratch that, why don’t I have a calculator for a brain or a genius IQ?” Adam grumbled.

“Stop complaining and finish those notes before Novak kills you.” Sarah said before nudging Jo. “Come on, we should run the ICD idea by Novak and see what he says.”

“Tell me what he decides to do ok?” Dean asked. Jo nodded as Sarah dragged her off while Adam was still muttering under his breath about how he should have become a pizza delivery boy or something. Dean couldn’t help but notice the keen way Charlie was looking at him but she didn’t say anything until they were walking back to the ER. Dean was sending a quick message to Mary to give her an update on what he was doing when Charlie nudged his arm.

“How did you know about ARVC and the ICD?”

“How did you multiply Adam’s mini freak out before Jo could even whip out her phone?”

“Because I’m a genius.” Charlie said proudly.

“Yeah well I did a research paper on ARVC back when I was at med school so I’ve always been interested in it.” Dean said with a humble shrug because he had the feeling Charlie was about to call him a genius when he was anything but. “Don’t make a big deal out of it ok? Novak is probably going to shoot it down without even hearing Jo and Sarah out ‘cause he seems like that kind of guy.”

“Maybe or maybe you’ve just saved a patient’s life.” Charlie said with a warm smile.  

“Winchester!” Jo called practically skipping into the intern’s locker room near the end of their shift. The shift spent in the ER with Lafitte had been a learning curve even if it had been exhausting. How Jo could be skipping at the end of a shift was entirely beyond Dean. Charlie looked like she was contemplating sleeping on one of the wooden benches instead of actually having to move. “Winchester I could kiss you if you didn’t stink of the ER.”

“I wanna ask why but I’m just gonna roll with it.” Dean said with a shrug. Jo rolled her eyes and gave him a small whack on the arm. “Ok, why do you wanna kiss me?”

“Novak went with the ICD and he got us to scrub in! My second shift and I’ve seen two heart surgeries! Two!” Jo said grinning from ear to ear. “He totally went with the idea and he let us scrub in!”

“That’s cool. It’s a good Novak listened to you guys.” Dean said slinging his jacket on over his shirt. “The patient doing ok?”

“Yeah, he’s doing well but we’ll know more tomorrow. I’m going for a drink to celebrate. Sarah is staying to keep an eye on the patient for Novak but I think Adam is coming with me so you should join us. You were right about today so you deserve it.” Jo said pulling out her street clothes from her locker.

“You sure?” Dean asked. Jo scoffed loudly and nodded her head.

“I’m sure, you were kind of a genius today so you deserve it.” Jo said. “Charlie, you up for a drink? If you’re awake that is.”

“What?” Charlie asked blearily.

“Do you wanna come for a drink with us?” Jo asked smiling at Charlie’s almost delirious look.

“Sure, I saw a guy’s tibia snapped in two with the bone sticking out the flesh today so you better believe I need a drink…as long as someone carries me.”

“You’re tiny Charlie but I ain’t gonna carry you to the bar.” Dean said with a snort.

“Damn, just gonna have to use my legs then.” Charlie groaned.

 “We’re meeting downstairs in a bout fifteen minutes after Adam gives Novak all the charts he did today. The guy is probably going to need the strongest drink ever.”

“No doubt about that.” Dean snorted. “I’ll meet you two down there in a bit, I’ve got a few phone calls to make.” He said nodding down at his phone. Jo nodded and took her street clothes with her to the changing room. There were unanswered text messages and he needed to speak to his mother before she got Sam to yell at him for her. Dean was walking out the intern’s locker room, too busy looking down at his phone’s screen to notice anything around him, someone stopped in front of him. Dean nearly walked right into whoever it was, dropping his phone in the process. “Watch where you’re- shit sorry.” Dean muttered when he realised it was Castiel Novak. Castiel bent down and handed the phone back to Dean before speaking.

“I’m sorry about that Winchester.” Novak said quickly which was something of a surprise.

“No…no I should have been looking where I was going.” Dean said just as hurriedly.

“I was actually coming to find you, I hoped you were still here.” Novak said. Dean’s stomach dropped because Novak was probably going to say a number of things and Dean doubted that they were be remotely generous. “I wanted to come to you and thank you for what you did today.”

“Huh? I didn’t really do anything today.” Dean said.

“The idea that Blake and Harvelle came to me with was yours wasn’t it? You were the only one to correctly name ARVC this morning and I have a feeling that the idea for ICD also came from you.” Novak said raising his eyebrows expectantly.

“What? No…no it was-”

“Winchester I would prefer it if you didn’t try to act humble when we both know it was your idea.” Novak said holding up a hand to cut of Dean’s babble.

“Yeah…yeah it did. I told them about it at lunch.” Dean said because the strong stare Castiel Novak was giving him was more effective than a lie detector.

“That was a risky thing to do if it didn’t work but for your sake it did. I’m having Blake keep an eye on the patient for me as I’ve got research to catch up on but like I said, you took a risk but it paid off. I hear Lafitte was impressed with you and Charlie Bradbury today as well. I’m glad to hear it.” Novak said giving Dean a curt nod of his head. “Have a good evening Winchester.” He added leaving Dean feeling incredibly confused as to what Castiel Novak was up to. Novak headed off down the hallway as Dean turned back to his phone which suddenly bleep loudly with a new message. Like before it was from an English phone. He couldn’t put reading the message off for ever, in fact he wasn’t ever sure why he was putting them off, and he knew that by doing so he was acting like a huge jerk. Taking a deep breath, and feeling like an anxious fourteen year old in the process, Dean open the message and quickly scanned the screen.

Wanted to know how your first few shifts went. Text back when you can.

He stood there staring at the text message for several minutes, his finger hovering over the tiny trash can icon, before he hit the reply button instead.

My resident is worse than half the doctors at Yale put together but the other interns seem cool. Trauma is just as crazy here as it was back at school. Hope London is treating you well.

It seemed the right mix between familiarity and distance, the kind of message you would send to someone you still cared about but knew it wasn’t right being close to anymore. It was the kind of text message you sent to an ex-boyfriend.

Trips to the bar became a part of Dean’s routine after that first week. Occasionally Dean and Jo were joined by Charlie and Sarah and even more frequently by Adam. It had taken a while for Dean to make friends when he was at KU and Yale but here in Chicago he felt like it needed friends more than he had needed them before. Maybe it was because he was far from home or maybe it was because he felt like a different person now but having Jo and the others around him made him feel less out of his depth. Nights spent in the bar, laughing and joking along with Jo over her spot-on impression of Castiel Novak, debating which Star Trek captain kicked the most ass with Charlie or finding mutual ground with Sarah over Dr Sexy, became a routine that Dean could get used to.

After being the last two standing Dean soon learnt that Jo was able to handle her beer so well because she’d grown up in a bar owned by her mother and step-father. Most of the time their conversations were light, mainly about tales from medical school but mainly how much of an ass Castiel Novak could be, and it wasn’t until nearly a month into their internship that Jo asked Dean if he left a girlfriend back home. 

The question had come about after Jo's lengthy rant about her tool of an ex-boyfriend who broke up with her when she was in med school because the pressure of dating a future surgeon became too much for him. Dean should have seen the question coming but when Jo asked him he felt his cheeks grow red under the bar's dim lights.

Heat flared up in his stomach as Jo shot him a questioning look. "Um no...I was with someone but we broke up a few months ago." Dean said cagily. He'd known Jo a month at best and he didn't feel like getting into his past relationship when it was still so fresh in his mind. 

"Did the pressure of exams get too much or something?" Jo asked after yet another shot of Johnnie Walker Black label.

"No it wasn’t anything like that, we were both at med school together so we were both under the same amount of exam stress and shit like that." Dean said.

“You’re damn lucky there then.” Jo said with a snort after she drained her own whiskey. Like Dean said, the girl was small but she could pack away her booze like a pro. “So why’d you two break up?” Jo asked. “Or is that gonna need another shot?”

“Are you just getting me drunk so I’ll tell you all the personal shit you couldn’t find out in my file?” Dean asked rolling his eyes.

“You caught me. I like knowing shit ‘bout people, you can’t blame a girl for that.” Jo said shrugging. “Plus we’re friends you listened to me rant away about my shitty ex without complaining.” Jo calling them friends threw Dean for a loop. They were friends, heck they worked together for about a hundred hours a week and that would make anyone friends with someone in the end. Dean could probably do with talking to a friend about this sort of shit seeing as he never really spoke to Sam or his friends at Yale about it.

"We broke up because I got the placement here in Illinois and he got one in London." Dean let out before he realised what he'd actually just said. He’d meant to say ‘they’ not ‘he’. Shit. He looked over to Jo who was just nodding her head. "I'm not...he...he was the first guy I dated. The only guy I've dated."

"Does it look like I'm judging you?" Jo asked. "I kinda guessed you weren't 100% super heterosexual seeing as you and Charlie had a two hour conversation about the latest season of Dr Sexy when we were watching the pericardiocentesis Adam scrubbed in on last week. No guy knows that much about the show and can still call himself a completely straight man, no offence."

"None taken I haven't mentioned it to anyone else have you?"

"What, my theory on Dr Sexy? It’s kind of a given that most of the viewers are either gay men, bored housewives or medical junkies too scared of killing someone to study medicine."

"No, that you thought I wasn't straight."

"No.” Jo said with a loud, throaty sounding scoff. “It's your business not mine so why would I?"

"You're not a bad friend you know that?” Dean said.

"Wait until you discover I can make cocktails, you'll want to slap a ring on my finger and never let me go." Jo said with a wide grin. "I make a mean Gunslinger." She added proudly. " you still talk to him? The ex?"

"Yeah, occasionally. We stayed friends afterwards but he's in England now so I haven't spoken to him for a while. We text each other from time to time though."

"Do you miss him?" Jo asked.

"Sort of I guess but we ended things on good terms and like I said, we're still friends."

"You're lucky, I never stayed friends with any of my exes...though it probably had more to do with my mama threatening to bust their knee caps for hurting her precious baby more than my personality flaws."

"Remind never to piss you off enough for you to call your mama." Dean said with a soft chuckle. Jo burst out with laughter that rang clear across the bar.

"Ellen Harvelle would whoop your ass clear across the state without even breaking a sweat." She said grinning brightly. As he watched Jo smile and order two more shots Dean felt the weight in his chest lift slightly. Moving away and accepting this job had changed a lot of things and it had ended a relationship but it all seemed for the best even. Sure Dean was still convinced that Castiel Novak was plotting his murder, along with Adam’s seeing as the charting was never done on time, but Dean had friends and a job he actually loved so maybe, just maybe things were looking up for him. 

AN: Sorry for the lack of Dean and Cas interaction in this but this is mainly just establishing the story so far. The next chapter (which shoudl be posted on Wednesday) is chock full of Dean and Cas interaction, I promise.

Medical Related Footnotes:

ARVC (The case Castiel had Jo and Sarah work on with him) stand for Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. ARVC is an inherited heart disease. It is caused by genetic defects on parts of the heart's muscle.

Sotalol(the drug Dean mentioned) is a drug used to help ARVC.

ICD (The idea to treat ARVC that Dean offers to Jo and Sarah) stand for Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and it is a small battery-powered electrical impulse generator that is implanted in patients who are at risk of cardiac realted death. 


Chapter Text

Dean had walked in on plenty weird sights in his life; roommates in college having kinky sex, his mom waxing her eyebrows and even Sam doing sunrise yoga to Celine Dion but none of those compared to walking in on Jo Harvelle crying her eyes out in the middle of the intern’s locker room before rounds. Sure Dean had only known her for the best part of a month and a half but he’d never seen her cry in that time. She always seemed so…well she always seemed too much of a badass to weep over something. Seeing her sat in the intern’s locker room wailing loudly while Sarah and Charlie pressed cookies and cups of hot chocolate into her hands was certainly a real sight.

“Shit Jo, what’s happened?” Dean asked. Jo sniffed loudly, which sounded disgusting, and lifted her head to look up at Dean. Her eyes were bloodshot and there was a serious snot situation going on. As if on cue Charlie wiped away several tears and most of the snot situation. “Someone didn’t die or anything like that did they?” he asked cautiously. Sarah had been the first one of them to lose a patient, an eighty-four year old who hadn’t woken up after surgery, and it had taken her days to get over it. Jo mumbled something but the crying got in the way so Dean had no idea what she actually said. “Do you wanna say that again for people who don’t speak the language of weeping?” Dean asked.

“She said that her landlord is kicking her out.” Sarah said as she tried to coax Jo into drinking some hot chocolate. “He told her so this morning before she left for rounds.”

“He’s selling the building and Jo needs to be out of there by next week.” Charlie explained. “She hasn’t got enough saved to buy somewhere new or have a deposit for rent. Plus her mom is back down South and she has no family or friends here to stay with.”

“You got that all from a few wails?”

“I’m an expert in speaking all the female languages.” Charlie said smugly. As Jo let out a particularly loud sob Ruby and several other interns walked in. Ruby stopped dead in her tracks and cocked an eyebrow.

“Whoa, did you get dumped or something Harvelle? Cause you look like shit.” She said sauntering over to her locker and pulling her hair, freshly washed by the smell of it, into a high ponytail. “No offence or anything.” She added shrugging her shoulders. Jo let out another loud cry and threw nearly a whole cookie into her mouth. “Though if you just got dumped then you shouldn’t scarf down a buttload of cookies cause that don’t do anything but make your ass expand.”

Truthfully, Ruby was right Jo did looked like shit and the wailing was getting seriously annoying but Jo was still Dean’s friends. So despite his better judgement Dean decided to act.

“Yeah thanks for that Ruby but you might wanna shut your mouth right now.” Dean said shooting the brunette a harsh glare. Ruby shrugged her shoulders and pulled her scrubs from out her locker.

“Fine then Winchester, I’ll keep my pretty mouth shut.” Ruby said winking at Dean. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes at her before he turned back to a still sobbing Jo.

“Jo…” Jo carried on crying. “Jo…Jo stop crying because it’s kind of alarming everyone. Look I have a spare room…well it’s a junk room right now but there’s a bed in there somewhere so you could stay with me until you get enough for an apartment.” Dean said. Jo hiccupped loudly and looked back up at him, blinking rapidly to get rid of her tears. “You could crash on the couch for a few days then when we’ve got time we can clear out the room.”

“You-” Jo sniffed loudly. “You would do that for me?”

“Dude it’s a lumpy couch and a box room, I ain’t putting you up in the Ritz.” Dean said going red because Jo, Charlie, Sarah and even Ruby were staring at him like he’d just offered her a winning lottery ticket.

“Yeah but it’s a place to stay…you would really do that for me?”

“Well yeah…I mean you’re gonna have to buy me a shitloads of drinks but I can’t just let you go homeless or worse, have Adam offer you a place to crash.”

“Seriously?” Jo asked.

“Yeah, seriously.”

“Dean Winchester I’d hug you-”

“But you’re kinda covered in snot and I don’t hug over emotional woman.” Dean said taking a step back because the last thing he needed was snot on his clothes.

“You’re such a jackass but thank you.” Jo said giving him a watery looking smile. Dean gave her a grin and grabbed her hot chocolate. “Hey dude that’s my pity coco!”

“This can count as a drink.” Dean said with a wink. “Pity and all.”


It took Jo less than a day to fully move all her stuff into Dean’s apartment. Most of the old furniture had already been in her apartment when she’d moved in so she left it there and only brought her personal stuff. Thankfully Jo was one for packing light. Charlie had called in a favour from some of the nurses, apparently they all loved her, and roped several of them into helping Jo carry boxes from her car up the several flights of stairs to Dean’s apartment. Coming home to a fridge full of beer and a box of expensive doughnuts on the counter, a ‘Thank You’ gift from Jo, made Dean think that this had been the right thing to do. However it turned out that once you did something good for someone that opened the flood gates for everyone else to ask for endless favours. If one more person asked Dean to do something for them he was going to do something so monumentally catastrophic that Dr Novak had no other choice but to kill him then use his body for medical research.



“No.” Was Dean very firm reply as he sat stirring another sugar into his coffee because he desperately needed the sugar and caffeine. It was early Friday evening, around six o’clock and he’d been put in on ER rotation. Jo had done the night before and she had the night after Dean so she was back at the apartment having a resting day.

“You don’t even know what I’m going to say.” Adam pointed out as he practically threw himself into the chair next to Dean.

“You’re using that same pleading voice you use when you’re trying to get Jo to notice you.” Dean said before he took a generous gulp of coffee. “Whatever it is, I’m not doing it.” He added. “I carried you out the bar last week after you got wasted so if anything you owe me.”

“You’d do it if I was Jo and I don’t remember you carrying me anywhere.” Adam said with a pout. An actual pout.

“No, I’ve already filled my karma quota with Jo for the next year by having her steal my damn bed” Jo had complained about backache after the first two nights and had now taken to sleeping in Dean’s room while he tackled the couch. He was gonna sort out the guest room over the weekend even if it killed him. If he didn’t go to Heaven or get the first shot at solo surgery after all of this he was going to be complaining to the big guy upstairs; both God and the Chief of Surgery that was. “And you don’t remember because you had already passed out by that point.” Dean said. “Besides if it means leaving this desk then I’m definitely not doing it. I’m on ER rotation today and if something goes wrong because I was doing you a favour then I’ll kill you. Lafitte likes me and I’d like to keep it that way.”

“Oh come on Dean! Lafitte has this kickass trauma thing that’s gonna start in OR 2 but Novak wants these scans on some old dickish businessman that came in this morning. Please dude, I’ll do all your charts for a week.” Adam said beseechingly.

“No. I’m on Lafitte’s service tonight so that kickass surgery is mine.” Dean quickly retorted. He wasn’t going to spend time with Novak when he could be watching cool trauma surgery.

“Two weeks.” Adam pleaded. The dude looked up at Dean with such big eyes it was like being stared out by a damn puppy. He had no idea where Adam had learnt to do those damn eyes but he gave Sam a real run for his money on that front.

“The answer is still no so quit it with the puppy eyes. Your handwriting is worse than Jo’s chicken scrawl so there is no way I’m letting you anywhere near my stuff.” Dean said with a snort.

“A month then. Please, this surgery is going to be freaking cool, like ‘write home to your mama’ cool, and I can’t deal with Novak yelling at me because I can’t get the hang of cardio.”

“You have to do my charts for a month and every time I get a crappy page about a weeping abscess or exploding diarrhoea you’re gonna do it instead…and you have to buy me coffee for a week…and a slice of pie from the cafeteria.” Dean said.

“Deal.” Adam practically yelled gleefully, thrusting the files into Dean’s hands outstretched hand.

“Fuck…Novak must be in a real shitty mood if you’d rather deal with exploding diarrhoea than him.” Dean muttered.

“I couldn’t read one of his scans last night and I thought he was going to stab me with a pen. Broken bones and open wounds I know, but the heart…that freaky organ just doesn’t make sense to me.”

“That’s really comforting seeing as you’ve been on Novak’s service for the past week.” Dean said. “Go and scrub in with Lafitte before I change my mind.” Adam gave him a joy filed smile as he practically skipped, yeah skipped, off down the hallway. What the hell was Dean getting himself in for here?


Dean found Novak on the cardio ward, in the small room he used as his office by the looks of it. He must have hear Dean’s footsteps approaching because he sighed with exasperation as Dean entered the office. “Milligan I asked for those scans an hour- you’re not Milligan.” He said frowning when he spotted Dean standing in the doorway. Talk about warm welcome. Dean was tempted to tell Adam to forget about this whole thing but the thought of free coffee for a week, let alone a month without having to go gross stuff like help with ‘Lumps and Bumps’ day, was enough to sway him. Dean sucked in a deep breath and tried to think of positive thoughts, mainly Dr Castiel Novak being shipped off somewhere far away.

“No…Adam got called into a surgery with Lafitte so you’ve got me instead.” Dean said shrugging his shoulders. “Sorry to disappoint you.” 

“I’m not…” Novak started before shaking his head. "Do you have the scan results I asked Milligan for?" he asked. The clipped tone to his voice made it obvious that he was tired and it was better to just do what he wanted. Dean nodded and handed over the scans. Novak examined them and swore loudly. "Damn it, the man has an aneurysm on his left ventricle that's the size of a golf ball. He's going to need surgery as soon as possible." Castiel said more to himself than anyone else. "Did you have plans for this evening?" He asked looking over at Dean. Where the hell had that come from?

Dean’s whole face contorted in confusion as he looked at Dr Novak. "Huh?" he asked completely unsure as to where Novak was going with this.

"Are you busy this evening?" Castiel asked as if he was talking to a small child. Condescending dick.

"No...I mean I was on ER rotation but Adam can take over." Dean said warily. Knowing Novak he was going to make Dean stay all night doing meaningless crap or acting like a scut monkey when he could have been in the ER learning something. Adam really was going to pay for this one way or another.  

"That’s good. You can scrub in on the aneurysm repair with me." Castiel said. Ok Dean wasn’t expecting that.

"You're letting me scrub in with you?" Dean asked. “To remove an aneurysm on a heart?”

"Yes, you were the only one who took notes the other day in the gallery when I did the same procedure so I'm hoping you know what it entails. You’ll probably be more useful that Milligan." Castiel said pulling the scans down and fixing Dean with a firm look. "Do you think you're capable of being it that OR?" He asked raising an eyebrow. How the hell did he manage to compliment someone and still make them feel like shit?

"Like you said, I was the only one taking notes. I know what to do." Dean said cockily because he actually did know what to do. Sure Novak would also make him hold a clamp or be on suction duty but Dean was still going to watch heart surgery. Actual heart surgery.

"That’s good, you can go and inform Mr Talbot's daughter that her father will need surgery then prep the patient." Castiel said not giving Dean a chance to respond before he waltzed out the room. What a dick. Sure he was letting Dean scrub in on an awesome surgery but he was still acting like a total ass.

Wait...did he say Talbot? 

Dean hurried to the patient's room and sure enough he spotted a familiar face. Her hair was slightly longer and she was wearing a suit instead of jeans and a sweater but there was no mistaking her. She stood next to her father's bed, arms folded across her chest, wearing a tired and pinched expression.

"Bela?" Dean asked walking into the room. Bela looked away from her father's bed to where Dean was stood. Surprise flashed across her face we she saw who was standing there.

"Dean? What on earth are you doing here of all places?" She asked in her crisp English accent. 

“I could ask you the same thing.” Dean shot back. "I work here, I'm doing my surgical internship here." Dean explained. A smile spread across Bela's face.

"That’s right, I’m sorry I completely forgot that you moved here.” Bela said. “It’s good to see you, even under the circumstances.” She added shooting a look at the man asleep in the hospital bed.

“Yeah…what’s going on? I thought you had gone back to England after you finished up at Yale.” Dean said. He had known Bela Talbot since he had started at Yale but he had never heard her mention her parents once, they had never visited her and she had always spent holidays either on campus or with friends so to see her here with her father was kind of a shock.

“I did go back. I have a house in Chelsea with a few friends of mine but my father’s assistant called me last week. She told me that my father had fallen ill and that I needed to be here. Once she used his debit card to pay for my First Class ticket I reluctantly came here to keep a silent vigil by his bedside.” Bela said. The acerbity over her presence at her father’s bedside was not lost on Dean.

“You’re living in London now?” Dean asked because that seemed like the safest thing to ask about. Bela rolled her eyes like she had expected Dean’s question.

“Yes, and yes I have seen him quite a bit if that’s what you’re asking. Michael told me that you moved here and that you two still talk occasionally.” She said, her eyebrow cocking now. “It’s nice you two can still do that despite you breaking up with him just because he moved across the Atlantic. I’m guessing that you’re not here for chit chat though are you?” Bela asked. Seeing as her father was on the verge of dying from a huge aneurysm Dean decided to let the comment about him breaking up with Michael slide. Dying parents gave you one free pass to be a total bitch.

“No, I’m not.” Dean said glancing over to the bed where Bela’s father lay. If Dean hadn’t of known the man’s last name was Talbot he would have never thought that the man and Bela could be related, they looked nothing alike and from Bela’s body language she would have preferred to be anywhere but in the hospital.

“You’re here because of my father.” Bela stated. “Right?”

"Yeah, he has an aneurysm on his left ventricle which we need to remove. The cardio resident, Dr Novak, will be doing the procedure." Dean said. Bela’s whole body curled inwards as she shook her hair, her hair hiding her face.

“This is just perfect…perfect.” She muttered sarcastically with a small choking sound. They may not have seen each other in months, and Bela had always been more of Michael’s friend than Dean’s, but Dean knew that in that moment the woman needed someone there for her.

“Hey come here, it’s gonna be ok.” Dean said walking over to Bela and hugging her tightly. When they were back at Yale the notion of hugging Bela would have made Dean laugh until his sides split but he knew when someone needed comfort.

“Dean…you’re hugging me.” Bela said. “We never hugged. We bickered and made Michael want to bash his head against a wall.”

“Yeah, well you look like you need it so don’t start bitching about it.” Dean said. Bela snorted, still managing to sound full of grace as she did so, but wrapped her arms around Dean and hugged him back. “You don’t have to be worried, Dr Novak knows what he’s doing.” Dean added.

“It’s nice that you think that Winchester.” Speak of the devil. Castiel Novak walked into the room, raising an eyebrow when he saw Bela’s arms still wrapped around Dean. They pulled away and Bela smoothed down her suit. “I’m Dr Castiel Novak, I’ll be performing your father’s surgery.”

“Yes, Dean explained it all to me. I assume that you’ll want to take him into surgery as soon as you can.” Bela said crisply. Dean had no idea what was going between Bela and her father but they clearly didn’t get on or Bela didn’t get on with him at least.

“Yes, the aneurysm is of a large size and we want to remove it before it bursts.”

“And what would happen to my father if it did burst?” Bela asked with a steely look towards Castiel.

“That could be potentially fatal.” Castiel said bluntly. If Dean was hearing this about his father he would have been fighting the urge to throw up but Bela took it all in her stride, just nodding along to what Novak was saying with a determined look.

“Very well then.” Bela said even shrugging her shoulders. The woman Dean had just hugged to give comfort was long gone and replaced with the woman he’d known at Yale; cold self-confidence but wicked humour and fortitude. “You can operate as soon as you want. I have to make a few phone calls.” Bela said hurriedly as she strode out the room. If they were back at Yale Dean would have made Michael go after her to see if she was ok but they weren’t at Yale anymore. Dean was in Chicago slowly drowning under his internship and the knowledge that his resident probably hated him, Michael was across a freaking ocean and Bela’s father was lying in a bed slowly dying. How things had changed in just a few months.

“That’s the go-ahead you were looking for Winchester, prep the patient.” Novak said without so much as a glance back at Dean before he too hurried out the room. Dean wasn’t sure what had pissed Castiel off but he was going to assume it was something he’d done just to save him the trouble.  


Back in medical school one of Dean’s teachers had told them how surgery was like a battlefield. It had nothing to do with the pain, or the trauma or the blood. She had said that surgery was like a battlefield because of quickly things changed. One moment you are standing the middle of silent calm, a swell in your chest from knowing how you had conquered that which tried to destroy you; then, like the changing of a rapid tide, a gunshot would ring out across the expanse, pain ripping through your chest and blood spreading across your chest like ink running across a blank page.

You would get that swelling feeling in your chest knowing that the life threatening condition had been conquered but then it would rip into that chest and spill nothing but innocent blood. Dean had thought she was talking absolute bollocks back in medical school but now, now that he’d seen it first-hand he understood what she meant.

"Damn, damn!" Castiel cried as blood splattered across his gloves. "The aneurysm burst. Damn it!" He cursed scrambling to fix the bleeding. "Suction Winchester!" He cried and Dean jumped to attention. Castiel scrambled into action and the machines around him beeped frantically. He called out countless orders and Dean watched with rapt attention as Castiel did everything he could to stop the blood pumping out of Mr Talbot’s chest.

As he flat lined a strange hush fell over the room. No one was saying anything apart from Castiel who was still calling out orders despite everyone in the room knowing that Mr Talbot was long gone.

“Dr Novak…he’s gone sir.” Someone said. Dean wasn’t sure who it was, nearly everyone looked the same behind their masks.

"Damn it!" Castiel cried. "Call it." He snapped throwing his instruments down onto the nearest instrument tray. "Somebody call the time of death for Christ's sake!" he yelled making several nurses jump. Dean hadn’t seen Castiel react like this before, he was always so robotic or just plain dick-ish. His cool and calm mask had slipped revealing an explosion of emotions dancing across his face frantically.

"Oh. Time of death, twenty-one thirty-four." Dean called out as he watched Castiel rip off his surgical mask.

"I need to inform his daughter." Castiel said sounding as though he was going to be sick. In fact his normally tanned skin had gone deathly pale with a green tinge to it. Beforehand Dean would have been gleeful to see Novak like this but now he felt nothing but pity for the man.

"No, I'll do it." Dean said and Castiel's head whipped round to stare at him. For a second he thought he'd done something wrong, again, but when Castiel have him an appreciative look his stomach stopped sinking. "Bela would probably prefer hearing it from me." Dean added with a shrug. Castiel’s smile slipped and the coo mask was firmly placed back on his face.

"Thank you Winchester." Castiel said coolly. The mask slipping back on almost instantly. "You go and tell her while I close up.” He added dismissing Dean with a wave of his gloved hand.

Bela was sat in the waiting area, phone clutched in her hands like a life support and several empty paper coffee cups littering the table in front of here. The caffeine had clearly kicked in as her foot was jiggling nervously and tapping against the chair next to her. Dean had seen that nervous twitch so many times in his mother when he was growing up. It was something that most people seemed to do when they were camped out in a hospital waiting to hear about a loved one.

“Bela” Dean called and Bela’s head shot up, her eyes focusing on Dean instantly.

“He’s dead isn’t he?” Bela asked. Dean nodded his head and waited for Bela’s reaction. Instead of crying she just sighed heavily and bent her head. “It’s over then.” She said wiping a hand across her face and looking up at Dean. “Isn’t this the part when you say that you did everything you could?”

“Yeah but I get the feeling you don’t want to hear it.” Dean said walking over it sit down next to Bela. “We did though…well Novak did everything he could but the aneurysm burst and after that there was nothing else we could do to the repair the damage. I’m really sorry.”

“Before he fell ill I hadn’t spoken to him since I was young. I stayed with other family members then friends before I went off to university. I didn’t plan on speaking to him again actually but then his bloody assistant called me and told me that I needed to be here. I’m glad I was here in the end though, I have closure.”

“Must be nice.”

“To hate your family or to have closure?”

“Closure, I actually like my family.” Dean said with a weak smile.

“You know, when you told me that he had an aneurysm the first thing I thought was that I would have to stay here and look after him while he got better. My parents divorced when I was young and I stayed with my mother until I was sixteen and went out on my own, coming from money lets you do that. I hadn’t seen my father in years…I didn’t even want to come here but my father’s bloody assistant insisted, the spiteful cow.” Bela said. “Now…now he’s dead and I can go home…it feels very strange.”

“We knew each other for years, how come you never told me any of this?” Dean asked.

“People are allowed to have secrets. You never told your parents you were gay-“


Bisexual then.” Bela said with a nonchalant shrug. “You never told them that and you didn’t tell them about Michael until you’d been with him for six months. Everyone has something they don’t tell anyone about until there’s a necessary time.”

“And this was a necessary time for you?”

“The bastard’s dead so I get to go home and never hear about him again after the funeral so I’d say it was necessary.” Bela said shrugging her delicate looking shoulders. “Don’t look so scandalised Winchester. My father was a bastard and no one will miss him apart from maybe his assistant. You and that delectable but grumpy looking surgeon did the world a favour.”


“Dean I mean it.” Bela said decisively. “We hugged once, that doesn’t mean we’re going to be besties and skip gayly through a meadow together. You’re still the prick who broke up with my friend.” Dean chewed his cheeks to stop himself from saying something incredibly mean.

“I did that for a reason Bela.” Dean shot back in a tone just as firm as Bela’s. “A long distance relationship, especially that long of a distance, during an intern year would have broken us up anyway. He knows that, he understood that when I ended things. We’re cool now though, we’re…we’re friends still at least.”

“Fine but maybe you should tell him that you’re moving on. He still thinks that there’s a chance you could get back together one day.”

“Who says I’m moving on?” Dean asked cocking an eyebrow. He was slowly getting over Michael but he hadn’t moved on by any shape of the imagination. He was too busy at the hospital to move on.

“Aren’t you living with someone?” Bela asked. “I’m sure I heard someone mention it. One of the nurses or something. Everyone looks the same around here in those pyjama type getups.”

“Yeah but she’s just a friend. I’m going here a favour by letting her stay with me.” Dean said. Sure Jo was pretty damn hot and wicked smart but she was his drinking buddy, thinking of her in other way was just weird. Plus the thought of having ‘Mamma Harvelle’ kick his ass from here to Texas was not something he was up for.

And I saw how you were looking at the delectable but grumpy surgeon.” Bela pressed with the same knowing look she used to give Dean when he pretended that he hadn’t eaten all her fries back in the dining halls at Yale.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Dr Novak. It’s a cliché to have the hots for your superior but I can see why you’d choose him, you always did like them dark and pensive looking.”

“Bela I haven’t a freaking clue what you’re on about but I don’t have the hots for Novak. The guy is an asshole. And as for Michael…just tell him…just tell him you saw m and that I’m doing ok…it’s kind of weird texting him but I’m trying ok? I wanna still be friends with him. I haven’t moved on but we ain’t getting back together.”

“Fine.” Bela said rolling her eyes. “I still think you’re a dick for breaking up with him.” She added as she hauled her oversized handbag onto her shoulder.

“And still think you’re an airhead heiress but it was good seeing you…despite the circumstances.” Dean said. Calling someone an airhead after their father had died probably wasn’t the nicest of things to do but from Bela’s faint smile, more of a smirk really, it seemed like she appreciated it.

“It was good seeing you. I know I mocked you when we were at Yale but you’re clearly doing well here and that’s great. The amount of times Michael went on about how determined you were to do well was actually infuriating.” Bela said giving Dean the once over as if she was filing a report to give back to Michael. There was a strong possibility that she would actually. “I’m going to be here for a few days, sorting things out for my father and things like that, before I go back to England. If you’re not too busy here then getting coffee or something would be quite nice.”

“Really?” Dean said raising his eyebrows in surprise at Bela. “The last time we sat down drinking coffee together it ended up in my lap.”

“Your moon eyes at Michael were very annoying, you only had yourself to blame.” Bela said innocently. “You should go and find the grumpy surgeon, tell him that he shouldn’t beat himself up over this too much. He seemed like the kind of person who would take this to heart, no pun intended.” Bela said reaching over to give Dean’s arm a squeeze. “I’ll see you around Dean.” She added smoothing down her clothes and giving Dean a brilliant smile. There was the Bela he’d seen so often back at school, self-assured and very for whatever was about to happen. Dean gave her a small smile in return and hurried off to find Novak.

By the time Dean found him in the hospital reception area Castiel looked completely wrecked. His skin was still pale but it had lost the green tinge to it. The composed look that seemed to always be on his face was gone and replaced with one of anguish. Dean walked over and placed a hand on Castiel’s arm by way of comfort.

“I spoke to Bela Talbot and told her about her father.” Dean said. Castiel blinked at him for a moment before nodding.

“Oh…thank you. I should have done it though.” He said absently as if he wasn’t really there.

“It’s ok Dr Novak.” Dean said shaking his head. If someone wasn’t used to Bela and her mannerisms it left them feeling very confused emotionally drained or with the assumption that Bela was just a bitch.

“It’s not ok. That was a routine operation and yet he died. One second it looked like everything was going to be ok then the aneurysm burst and he died, my patient died.” Novak said looking horrified by the thought. The harrowed look in his eyes sent waves of pity through Dean’s stomach. The guy looked so distraught that Dean found himself opening his mouth before he even realised what he was actually saying.

"Dr you want to grab a beer? You look like you need one?"

"You're inviting me out for a drink?" Castiel asked furrowing his brow as if the concept was completely lost on him. It probably was as Dean doubted the other doctors were clamouring to ask the guy out for drinks. 

"Well yeah, you lost a patient today so you probably need one." Dean said suddenly feeling a blush seeping across his neck and cheeks.

"Oh...thank you but it's getting late and-"

"Dude it's not even half ten and it's gonna be one drink." Dean said and he wasn't sure why he was pressing the matter really because Castiel was a dick but he'd taken Mr Talbot's death so badly and Dean felt kind of sorry for him. If Castiel didn't go out for a drink he would probably just sit and wallow in self-pity for the whole evening and that was just sad. 

"Ok...thank you. There's a bar just down the street that several of the other doctors go to." 

"I know, Jo and I have been keeping that place open for the past month or so." Dean said zipping up his jacket as they neared the exit. Castiel wrapped a warm looking scarf around his neck. The wind outside was bitter but Dean had grown up with Kansas winters and spent the past few years putting up with the North East winters at med school, he could handle the cold for a few minutes as he walked down the road with Castiel. 

"Oh Dr Harvelle? Are you two..."

"Friends? Sort of, she's pretty cool." Dean said with a casual shrug. “You can’t help but becoming friends with the other interns in the end.”

“I suppose not.” Castiel said. “I never really did though. I mean, I was friendly with my fellow interns but we could never be classed as friends.”

“No offence sir but that doesn’t surprise me.” Dean said knowing full well he was toeing the line but instead of reprimanding him Castiel just smiled.

“We’re going for a drink so please don’t call me ‘sir’ or ‘Novak’. I much prefer ‘Cas.’” Castiel said.

“Ok…Cas.” Dean said, the name feeling new and strange on his tongue. Calling Castiel anything other than ‘Novak’ or ‘Sir’ was going to be difficult. Ok it wasn’t as Dean and the other interns had several unkind nicknames for the cardio surgeon but Castiel didn’t need to know that.



The bar was full of people when Dean and Castiel entered but no one paid them much attention apart from the bartender who gave Dean a friendly wave. You became friendly with people after you were drinking in the same place until closing several times. Castiel raised his eyebrows at Dean as they found seats in one of the small booths away from the bar.

“Jo and I come in here sometimes.” Dean said by way of explanation.

“I am assuming that ‘sometimes’ means ‘most nights’.” Castiel said with a knowing look. “Clearly I was right by naming you Budweiser on the very first day even if it did incur your wrath.”

“Yeah…sorry about yelling at you like that. I mean I know it was like a month ago and I was really pissed but yelling at you in the OR wasn’t the best thing to do.” Dean said. “But you could have picked a better nickname, Budweiser is the shittiest of beers.”

“I must admit that I wouldn’t really know as I don’t drink beer that often.” Castiel said.

“Aw Jesus fuck. That just makes it even worse, being called a shitty beer by someone who doesn’t even drink beer.” Dean groaned between laughter.

“I do apologise Winchester.” Castiel said smiling himself. He looked a lot less pale now that he was out of the hospital which was a good thing.

“Dude, you asked me to call you ‘Cas’ so please call me Dean, none of that ‘Winchester’ bullshit.”

“Ok…Dean.” Castiel said smiling once again and this time it reached his eyes making them crinkle at the corners and making something in Dean’s stomach lurch. True he’d found Castiel good looking on their first day but that had been over a month ago and so much had happened in that time. Still…

“I’m…I’m gonna get you a drink. Beer ok?” Dean said quickly trying to ignore whatever was going on in his brain. Maybe beer would help matters.

“Beer is fine, thank you Dean.” Castiel said. Dean slid out the booth as Castiel gave him an appreciative look. This felt totally different from when he was drinking with Jo or the other interns. Then it was usually about letting off steam or ragging about co-workers. Those nights with Jo or Adam or Charlie were spent at the bar, throwing bar nuts at one another or making jokes, usually at Adam’s expense. This night wasn’t about joking with a friend, it was about comforting a colleague…well boss…who clearly needed the comfort. 

“Hey there Dean, no Jo tonight?” the bartender asked.

“Nah man, she’s sleeping ‘casue she was in the ER all night last night.” Dean said. “The girl needs all the beauty sleep she can get.”

“That’s mean dude, mean. I should refuse to serve you.”

“Yeah and the till will be down like fifty bucks compared to every other night. Face it, Jo and I keep this place running.” Dean said giving the bartender a cocky grin. “So can I get two Coronas?” he added. The bartender rolled his eyes but handed over two bottles of beer. Dean handed over a couple of notes, grabbed the beers and walked back to the booth were Castiel was was sat.   

"You look as though you don't go out much." Dean said noticing Cas' almost perfect posture. He wondered if the guy had ever slouched in his life. 

"I rarely have drinks with colleagues if that is what you are asking." Castiel said taking a small sip of his beer. Dean wondered if the guy was loosen up after a drink or two but he doubted it, actually he doubted this whole evening but maybe if he got Castiel to smile for once then the dude would go easier on him.

"So we're colleagues now, I'm not just a dumb intern?" Dean asked with a smirk.

"I understand that I'm hard on my interns but I do that for a reason. My interns finish off their year with the highest results. They become strong residents and brilliant surgeons. Yes I may have made a few of them cry on occasion but at least they don't end up killing patients because they learn enough." Castiel said.

"Dude you're my resident and-"

"And for the record I never said that you were a dumb man Dean and of course we are colleagues. You're not a child so I'm not going to treat you as such. You're going to be a resident in a year and I'm one of the people who will help make that happen and treating you like you're my inferior won't help at all." Castiel said. “I’m tough because I want you to be an extraordinary surgeon Dean.”

"Oh...thanks then I guess." Dean said feeling completely perplexed by Castiel’s honesty.

"You're welcome. Just to make it clear that was a compliment towards you."

"I got that, don't worry." Dean said chuckling. "About today..."

"There was nothing that we could have done in the end. I’m realising that now. Mr Talbot's condition was severe and even the most skilled surgeon couldn’t have stopped that aneurysm from bursting. You did everything right, don't worry." Castiel said. "How did you know the patient's daughter?"

"Bela? We were sort of knew each other at college. She was at Yale the same time as I was."

"Was she an ex-girlfriend?" Castiel asked before taking a sip of his beer.

"What Bela?” Dean asked nearly choking on his own beer. “No! Bela would chew even the strongest man up and spit him out. Braver men than me have tried to go there and failed.”

“The two of you were never a thing?” Jesus and Dean thought that Jo asked a lot of personal questions.

“No way. To tell the truth we couldn’t stand each other for at least a year. The closest thing we would have ever got to being a thing would have been if we’d had angry hate sex.” Dean said. “We knew the same people at Yale and after a long time we ended up being those kind of friends who mainly take the piss outta each other. It was a surprise seeing her here actually." That was a lot easier than telling Castiel that Bela was one of his ex-boyfriend’s best friends who had hated Dean’s guts originally because she thought he would string Michael along or was just going through a phase. Dean’s bisexuality was a lot of things, confusing to him mainly, but a phase it was not. He had been dating Michael for nearly six months before Bela had understood that. 

Castiel’s eyebrows raised at Dean’s reply. "I got the feeling she didn't get along with her father." He said

"Yeah you hit the nail on the head there. If it wasn't crass I'd say that aneurysm did her a favour." Dean said.

"I should reprimand you for saying that but instead I'll just say that you can get the next round in." Castiel said giving Dean another smile that crinkled the corners of his eyes. Those smiles were going to be the death of Dean if he wasn’t careful.  


One beer turned into another and before Dean realised it both he and Cas had drunk several beers between them. Once Dean had started asking Castiel questions about surgery the conversation had started flowing with both men talking about various surgeries they wanted to perform in their lives. Dean was surprised to hear that they shared several ‘dream’ surgeries. It was nearing midnight and both of them needed to be awake in four short hours to get ready for rounds. Basically they were both quite drunk and pretty much screwed.

“Cas…Cas…we should get going.” Dean said looking down at the numerous bottles littering the booth’s table.

“I think I am too drunk to drive my car.” Cas said blinking his bright eyes several times in Dean’s general direction. “I shall have to sleep in the on call room, thankfully I have spare scrubs in my locker.”

“Dude there’s no way you’re sleeping in the on call room. Those beds are hard as rocks.” Dean retorted bringing a hand down on the table. “I can drive you.”

“Dean there is no way you are driving drunk. There is also no way I am getting into a car driven by you when drunk. I’ve seen far too many accidents in my time.” Cas said, slurring his words slightly but still managing to sound as authoritarian as always.

“There’s a spot on my couch open if you want it, it’s comfier than and damn hospital bed that’s for sure.” Ok it was definitely the alcohol talking now because before the alcohol Dean would never have imagined asking Castiel Novak to bunker down on his couch. The more questionable things Dean did when less than sober the more he thought about contemplating sobriety. Maybe it would do him good.

“You wouldn’t have an issue with my sleeping upon your couch?” Cas asked. How was that Castiel still managed to sound completely sober and not a slurring mess?

“Like I said, the hospital beds are hard as rocks and even if you can be a total dick sometimes it’s just mean making someone sleep on those damn beds.” Dean said shrugging. Castiel’s eyes narrowed at Dean calling him a dick but he shrugged his shoulders.

“As long as you don’t mind my presence in our house.” He said by way of agreement to the matter. Dean gave him a grin and slid out the booth, proud that he didn’t stumble when doing so. He gave the bartender a cheerful wave and motioned for Cas to follow him out the bar.

“My apartment ain’t too far away.” Dean said and before he realised it he started telling Castiel about his search for a decent apartment that not only had a spare room for Sam but was also near to the hospital. In return Castiel told Dean about he lived about fifteen minutes from the hospital though in the morning traffic it felt more like thirty minutes. Castiel lived alone, that didn’t surprise Dean at all, apart from a few fish. Apparently he wanted to get a cat but he was never at home enough to look after anything other than fish. They kept up this conversation for the entire walk to Dean’s apartment. Maybe it was the alcohol, Dean was sure it was the alcohol, but Castiel was surprisingly easy to talk to.

Dean let them into the apartment, making sure not to make too much noise because Jo was probably asleep in Dean’s bedroom. He really needed to sort out the spare room. In fact, with Castiel sleeping on the couch, he would have to move several of the boxes on the spare bed or he’d be sleeping in the bathtub. “Do you want a coffee or something like that?” Dean asked flicking on the light to the main room that served as a kitchen, living room and dining room.

“I’m quite alright. Thank you for this Dean.”

“Nah it’s fine. Like I said, those hospital beds are shitty.”

“No I meant taking my mind off today’s surgery. It was very courteous of you.”

“Yeah well you took it pretty bad, it was the least I could do.” Dean said with a shrug as he flicked on the coffee machine to make himself a cup of coffee.

“I haven’t…hadn’t lost a patient in over a year you see. It hit me hard that one died during a procedure I’ve been involved in countless times.” Castiel explained sitting down on Dean’s couch. Whoa, now Dean was beginning to understand by Cas had taken it so hard. Not losing a single patient in a year was a good streak.

“Damn…that’s some streak. You’re a freaking good surgeon.”

“As will you be one day. You have a lot of talent and are incredibly smart Dean. I’m sorry that I’m hard on you.” Castiel said starting to mumble. Tiredness was clearly getting to him. Dean tried to fight the blush that was creeping across his cheeks. Sure he knew he was smart, fuck he had to be to have gotten where he was, but hearing it from Castiel was something different. It was someone, outside of Dean’s family, seeing the person Dean really was. He wasn’t just some pretty-boy redneck who lucked his way into one of the best medical schools in the country, he was actually damn smart. Drunk, but damn smart. Dena finished up making his coffee and sat down next to Castiel on the couch.  

“Thanks I guess…for saying that stuff I mean.” Dean said as he placed his coffee mug onto the table in front of him.

“It’s quite alright Dean.” Castiel said nonchalantly nodding his head. Castiel yawned loudly and stretched out, almost like a cat.

“You sure you don’t want a coffee?” Dean asked fighting the desire to yawn as well. Castiel shook his head and gave Dean a small smile.

“No thank you, I’m quite alright one.” He said resting his head on the nearest couch cushion. Ok the couch could be uncomfortable after sleeping on it for several days in a row but it wasn’t a bad couch. Dean was fighting inside his head, weighing the pros and cons of shifting the stuff off the spare bed. The main con was that he would have to get up and he was quite comfortable sat with Cas. His drunken mind convinced him that all the pros were outweighed by that single con. Yes it was definitely his drunken mind, nothing else.

With a smile directed at Cas Dean closed his eyes for a moment. Today had been a tiring day, his old life colliding with his new one. Despite all that and despite the terrible situation that had occurred Dean couldn’t help but feel relieved that for that small moment in time his resident wasn’t out for his blood and that there was even a possibility of the tentative friendship forming between the two men.

Maybe Bela was right all along, though Dean would never tell her so. Maybe Dean was moving on with his life.

Medical Terms:

Bela's father had a ventricular aneurysm. They are one of the many complications that may occur after a heart attack. They usually arise from a patch of weakened tissue in a ventricular wall. This swells into a bubble filled with blood. They may block the passageways leading out of the heart, leading to severely constricted blood flow to the body.

If there is anything else you want to know just ask (in case I've missed something!)

Chapter Text

Dean didn’t remember falling sleep at all, one moment he’d been smiling at Castiel and then next moment he was being jarred awake by a loud blaring sound coming from his phone. The alarm. The alarm he set to wake him up every day at half past four in the morning which meant that not only had he fallen asleep on the couch in the world’s most painful position but he’d also fallen asleep next to Cas. There was also the small matter that it was half past four in the morning and he needed to move his ass but the whole ‘Sleeping on a couch next to Cas’ took up most of the space in his sleep addled brain at the time.

Moving off the couch, and hearing several bones crack and pop loudly as he went, Dean stood up and silenced his phone before shaking a still sleeping Cas. The dude looked far too peaceful but there was no way Dean was going to let him sleep in. If Cas was late for rounds because of Dean then there was a very high chance Dean wouldn’t make it to the end of the day without missing several vital organs. Cas mumbled something completely unintelligible and yawned loudly.

“What was that?” Dean asked. Once again Cas’ reply was anything but comprehensible. With a small laugh Dean nudged Cas’ leg with his foot playfully despite his sleepy state. “I still can’t understand you dude.” He said with a grin. Cas groaned and rubbed his eyes before looking up at Dean.

“I said ‘Why are you shaking me?’” Cas said between loud and drawn out yawns. When clinging onto the last fragments of sleep Castiel was so much more human and less like the stoic cardio resident Dean was slowly getting to know. 

“Because it’s half past four in the morning. We sort of fell asleep.” Dean said with an apologetic look because from the frown on his face Cas didn’t appreciate being woken up. “Sorry about waking you. Do you want to grab a shower or something?”  

“Please, it might help in waking me up.” Cas said groggily. He pulled himself up off the couch and Dean winched when he heard several bones pop. “You weren’t joking when it came to that couch. It’s a menace on the joints.” Cas declared.

“Yeah, I might get round to replacing it one day.” Dean said absent mindedly. Since he'd moved in he had been meaning to get a decent couch but lack of funds and time made it an impossibility. Maybe he could convince his parents to buy him one for Christmas. It was a sign he was growing up when Christmas presents were no longer a record he'd been after or a stack of books he'd hopefully get round to reading. 

“Hopefully sooner rather than later.” Cas muttered stretching his arms over his head. “Which way is your shower?”

“Second door on the left, there’s clean towels and stuff in my room. You can borrow a shirt if you want, save you going into work with last night’s clothes. My room is the one next to the bathroom.” Cas didn't seem like the type of person who would have ever done the 'Walk of Shame' in the previous night's clothing. 

“Thank you Dean.” Cas said with a sleepy looking but pleasant smile. A jolt went through Dean’s stomach which he really hoped was just hunger pains because anything else was too confusing to think about right now.


"Dean should I be concerned by the half-naked woman asleep in your room?" Cas asked walking into the kitchen half an hour or so later. His damp hair was the only the sign that he had showered. He had dressed back into the clothes he had been wearing the night before apart from the shirt which was one of Dean’s favourite shirts, a deep blue flannel shirt that was incredibly soft from being worn so often. The shirt fit Cas well. Hospital scrubs were evidently hiding a strong physique. That probably wasn’t something Dean should have been thinking about so he was going to blame it on the lack of sleep or the alcohol consume the night before. Yeah blame it all on the alcohol. “Dean?”

"Huh?" Dean asked as he placed a new filter into his coffee machine and added the necessary coffee.

"There is a half-naked Joanna Harvelle asleep in your room. I wasn’t aware that you two were an item." Cas asked. It took Dean a second to figure out what Cas was even talking about. Jo, Jo asleep in his bed because she hated the couch and they still hadn’t got round the clearing all the crap out of the spare room. Cas also thinking that because Jo was asleep in Dean’s room that made them a couple.

"Me and Jo?” Dean asked with a frown. Cas nodded his head with an expectant look. “We’re not fooling around or anything like that. Her landlord put her apartment building up for sale and she can’t afford to buy anything right now. I’ve offered her a place to crash for a while until she’s got enough for a security deposit and the first month’s rent on a new place. She’s gonna be staying in the guest room, it was ‘posed for my brother Sam, but it’s full of my junk from back in Connecticut at the moment so she’s in my room while I’m on the couch. We’re gonna clear the guest room out sometime next weekend.” Dean said adding more coffee granules because, what the hell strong coffee was the best kind of coffee.

“Oh.” Cas’ surprised tone was actually quite endearing. “That’s nice of you to offer Joanna a place to stay.”

“Well we’re friends.” Dean said by way of explaining. Truthfully Jo was a pain in the ass who ate all the cereal and deleted stuff off the TiVo all the freaking time but she was still good company.

“So you have siblings? You mentioned a brother.” Castiel asked. Dean had learnt the night before that Castiel liked to ask a lot of questions and it seemed that he had more to ask. It was something he shared with Jo who needed to everything about everyone.

“Yeah just the one though. Sammy, he’s just started over at Stanford.” Dean mumbled absentmindedly as he glared down at the coffee machine which had clearly decided not to work. If Jo had been pissing about with the settings again Dean was going to make her sleep in the bathroom. He gave the machine a hearty whack and nearly cried with relief when the pot slowly started to fill up with dark brown liquid.

"That’s a very good school, I know several very gifted people who studied there. What is he studying?"

"Pre-Law, the dude wants to be a lawyer." Dean explained getting two mugs out the cupboard. He guessed that Cas would need coffee as much he did. "He’s crazy smart so he got into Stanford on a scholarship. Whole family couldn’t be more proud.” Dean said. While he never really spoke about his family to other people Sam’s acceptance and scholarship was big news, he was gonna brag about it as much as he possibly could. “I miss him like crazy but we talk all the time and he’s dragging me into the twenty-first century by making me use Skype.”

"It's nice that you two get on so well." Cas remarked with a smile.

"Yeah…I mean he's a little shit sometimes but he's a damn good brother at the end of the day. Plus having a lawyer for a brother could come in handy if I ever accidentally kill a patient...that was a joke by the way." Dean said.

"I realised that Dean, I do know how to joke now and then." Cas said raising an eyebrow. "I seem to remember making you laugh several times last night."

"Yeah well it makes a change from you yelling at me I guess." Dean said shrugging his shoulders. He raised a coffee mug towards Cas who nodded graciously.

"Please, I must admit I'm not used to drinking that much." Cas said.

"How did you survive med school without drinking?" Dean asked.

"I studied hard and came out top of my class." Cas said without a hint of arrogance. Honestly Dean wasn't remotely surprised to hear that, you didn't become the best resident by being second in a class. Dean handed him a large mug full of coffee for which Castiel gave him a smile. "Thank you."

"No problem. There’s creamer in the fridge if you want it and sugar in the cupboard by the microwave, we should probably get going soon if we want to make rounds though." Dean said nodding towards the digital clock on his stove that proudly blinked out 5:10. It was a fifteen minute walk to the hospital but Castiel always liked the interns to be in early before rounds. “Jo’s on her second ER rotation tonight so she’s sleeping in.” Dean added but he guessed Cas already knew that seeing as he had been the one to assign to Jo to the ER.

“Is that the polite way of saying not to wake her up?” Cas asked. “I was very quiet when I borrowed a shirt from your wardrobe.”

“Basically.” Dean supplied. “She’d probably hit you if you even tried. She may be small but the woman packs a mean right hook.” Dean cleared the kitchen, living with his mother until he’d left for college had made him hyper aware of mess in a kitchen, and wrote a note to Jo telling her that there were bagels in the cupboard if she wanted them. “Want a coffee to go?” Dean then asked pulling out two travel mugs. Castiel nodded his head appreciatively. Dean poured coffee into the travel mugs and placed them on the kitchen counter top. “I’m gonna grab my jacket then we can get outta here.”

Dean snuck into his room, trying not to wake Jo in the process, and opened his wardrobe door. He pulled out the thick Yale hoodie he’d worn throughout his time at med school. Sure it had been worn to death but it smelt like home and held so many memories within its fabric. He was pulling the blue hoodie over his head when he heard movement coming from the bed. Yanking the hoodie down he looked over but Jo still appeared to be fast asleep. With a relieved sigh Dean made his way towards the door.

“You are so telling me at lunch why Novak of all people was in the shower just.” Jo said sleepily. Ah fuck it.

Trying to think of anything clever to say completely went out the window as soon as Dean said “You’re still dreaming.” Genius Winchester, just genius. Thousands and thousands of dollars spent on an Ivy League education and the best he could come up with was ‘You’re still dreaming’.  

“Like fuck am I still dreaming.” Jo retorted smugly. “There was no way I was dreaming at two this morning when I found you two passed out on the couch together. It was very adorable Dean and Charlie agreed with me.”

“What the fuck?” Dean groaned running a hand over his face in frustration. “You actually text Charlie?” he asked. That was it, he was going to hide the cereal for the next week and refuse to make Jo any coffee. Forget bagels as well, he was gonna eat the whole damn bag with Cas on his way to the hospital.

“Nope, Snapchat.” Jo said sounding even smugger, if that was even possible. Dean didn’t have a freaking clue what the hell Snapchat was, Sam probably would though knowing him, but the knowledge that both Jo and Charlie were discussing him and Cas was not something that filled him with joy.

“I actually hate you right now.” Dean groaned.

 “No you don’t. You’re gonna tell me all about why Novak was asleep on the couch and why he was in the shower once I’m at the hospital.” Jo added making it clear that Dean had no other choice in the matter. Dean groaned but didn’t bother saying anything to stop Jo because there was really no point. He had learnt that during one of their very first weeks at the hospital. “See you later princess.” Jo added as Dean stomped out the room. Cas was waiting in the kitchen area, coffee tumbler in his hand, and as Dean walked in he raised an eyebrow.

“Is everything alright Dean?” he asked. Dean shrugged his shoulders absentmindedly. “What’s the matter?”

“Jo’s being a pain in the ass, even half asleep she manages to be a pain in the ass. I’m gonna make her sleep on the roof or something for this.” Dean grumbled as he grabbed his own coffee tumbler. “Forget Adam getting all my crappy patients, Jo can get them now.”

“I’m not even going to ask why you’re planning on handing all your ‘crappy patients’ over to Adam Milligan or Jo Harvelle.” Cas said rolling his eyes and slipping back into ‘resident’ mode. Dean just shrugged, he wasn’t going to start getting into why Jo and Charlie gossiping about them was such a big deal, and grabbed the keys to his car. It was still in the parking lot back at the hospital, along with Cas’ car, and there was no way he was going to leave it there another night.  

“Come on, you hate us being late so we better get a move on.” Dean said.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” Cas asked. Once again Dean shrugged.

“Yeah…yeah…I guess I’m ok. Just tired, that’s all.” Dean said by way of explanation as he picked up the note he’d left telling Jo about the bagels along with said bagels. She was being a gossiping brat so she didn’t deserve cinnamon and raisin bagels.

“As long as you’re ok.” Cas said. Cas’ concern was something new but Dean had a feeling this was just how Cas really was. The blunt and focused man he’d known for the past month has been the ‘surgical’ side of Cas and this caring and inquisitive side to him was his persona away from the hospital. It was very intriguing and Dean found himself wondering what else he could learn about Castiel Novak when they were outside the OR and away from the hospital.


There was a large and very smug look on Charlie’s face throughout rounds that morning. Dean had put off whatever she, and no doubt Sarah as well, had to say by hiding out in the main coffee shop until the very last minute.  

“You and Novak make the most adorable couch buddies. Actually adorable.” Charlie said sideling up to Dean as soon as Cas had handed out charts and sent everyone on their way.

“How the hell do you know that?” Dean asked. “What did Jo say to you?”

“Dude she sent me a Snapchat of the two of you this morning.” Charlie said shrugging. “So are you two friends now? Do we have to stop raging on him and calling him a dick now?” she asked looking incredibly disappointed.

“He lost a patient last night and it was the first patient he’d lost in a long time. He was pretty upset by it so I brought him a drink, it got late so he crashed out on my couch. That’s all, end of story.” Dean said.

“Not end of story.” Sarah said appearing at Dean’s other side. “You spend all your time calling the guy an ass and now you two are couch cuddling best buddies.”

“There was no cuddling!” Dean shot back. Both Charlie and Sarah snorted loudly. “There was no cuddling at all. I fell asleep and so did he; that’s all.” Dean said though it was pretty clear that neither Sarah nor Charlie believed him as they both carried on smirking.

“This is all probably some scheme so you can get in on cool surgeries.” Sarah said giving Dean a sceptical look over. Dean resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Sarah, as well as Charlie and Jo, could believe whatever they wanted and they probably would too. “Don’t forget that Novak was pretty impressed with Jo and me during that ARVC case.”

“Yeah but he knew full well that it was me that gave you two the idea of the ICD, he told he as much.” Dean shit back because Sarah, as nice as she could be sometimes, was beginning to piss him off. He hadn’t got nearly enough sleep the night before and half as much caffeine before he started his shift and he had a feeling that was going to end in him snapping at someone soon. “Look, I felt sorry for the guy and asked him if he wanted to go for a drink, that’s it. I’m not being nice to him because I want the cool surgeries, I can get those by working hard. I’m being nice to him because he needed it at the time.”

“Charlie was right, you do want to get into his pants.” Sarah said bluntly before she took off down the hallway.

“What?! Wait! Sarah I don’t!” Dean yelled back. He turned round to where Charlie was stood, still smirking away. “I do not want to get into Novak’s pants.” He said firmly.

“Maybe you do, maybe you don’t but it’s damn amusing to watch.” Charlie said still grinning away. Her smile widened as Adam appeared with a large cup of coffee.

“Don’t even think about it.” Adam said shooting Charlie a warning look. He handed the coffee to Dean then held out his hand for Dean’s charts. Sure Dean felt bad for treating Adam like a glorified scut monkey but Adam had agreed to it. “I heard the old guy from yesterday had an aneurysm then died on the table, sorry man. Must suck to lose your first patient.” He said giving Dean an empathetic look.

“Yeah, yeah it did. He turned out to be the dad of a friend of mine…well we knew each other at Yale.” Dean said with a shrug.

“Seriously? Damn I’m really sorry man. That must have sucked telling her and everything.” Adam said genuinely looking concerned. “Sort of glad you took it off my hands now.”

“Wait, Adam was originally on the case? And you just swapped with him?” Charlie asked cocking an eyebrow. Dean knew what she was thinking, that he swapped with Adam to get closer to Novak, and he knew that no matter he said she’d carried on thinking it.

“Yeah, Dean was a life saver last night.” Adam said cutting in before Dean tried to think of something to say. “Lafitte asked me if I wanted in on a trauma case and after pretty much becoming his bitch for the next month Dean agreed to take the old guy’s heart condition instead of working in the ER.” He added. Charlie still looked sceptical but she shrugged her shoulders with she couldn’t be bothered to even mock Dean anymore.

“Whatever, I’ve got labs that need collecting. See you guys at lunch?” She said. Dean nodded and watched her walk off with a wary look. Adam’s eyebrows shot up and he rounded on Dean.

“Ok…what did I miss?” he asked with a furrowed brow.

“You don’t even want to know...though you’ll probably find out once Jo gets here.” Dean said rolling his eyes. The sooner this day was over the better because he had the feeling Jo wasn’t going to let Cas crashing on the couch drop anytime soon.


The morning was packed with running labs and working in the ER. Being on Benny Lafitte’s service was actually pretty cool. A varying nature of injuries or illnesses that came through the doors meant that Dean never knew what was going to happen next. Benny Lafitte, the head of trauma surgery, was a decent guy and seemed to actually like Dean which made being on his service less daunting. By the time lunch rolled around Dean had seen his fair share of broken bones and wavering degrees of trauma. He also had a message on his phone from his mother which was why he found himself in an empty hallway with his phone pressed up to his ear waiting to hear Mary yell at him for not ringing her back sooner.

"Dean Winchester you have been ignoring my messages." Mary Winchester said as soon as she picked up the phone. Damn she sounded pissed. 

"I haven't been ignoring your messages mom, I've been kind of busy." Dean said bracing himself for whatever Mary was going throw at him, figuratively obviously seeing as she was hundreds of miles away in Lawrence.

"Too busy to call your mother? Sam is dangerously close to becoming my favourite son, I hope you realise that." Mary said but Dean could hear the laughter in her voice. "Now tell me all about everything that is going on with you. Sam mentions that you have a roommate." Dean rolled his eyes. Even out in California Sam was able to relay everything Dean told him via email or text message.

"Yeah I do, her name is Jo. She's an intern as well and her landlord was kicking her out so I offered her a place to stay for a while." Dean said balancing his phone under his ear while punching the button for the coffee machine. "She's pretty cool." He added.

"Really? Tell me all about her, is she pretty?" Mary asked. Dean could practically hear Mary's ears pricking up with excitement. 

"Ma!" Dean whined even if he knew it made him sound like a child. 

"Don't 'Ma!' me Dean Winchester. I'm simply asking a question." Mary said.

"Yeah I guess she is but it's not like that at all, she's more of a drinking buddy than anything so don't get your hopes up." Dean said. He picked up the Styrofoam cup full of coffee and leant against the nearest wall. This was the first break he’d gotten in hours and his body was craving caffeine. Well if he was being perfectly honest his body was craving sleeping for about a week and a half but that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon so coffee would have to suffice.

"Ok, I'm just asking. So there's no one at the hospital that you're interested in?" Mary asked. After the initial shock when she found out about Michael, Mary had been incredibly accepting of her eldest son and was heartbroken when Dean had ended things with Michael. Mary probably just wanted Dean to be happy but he found it stifling sometimes.

"No mom, there's no one." Dean said rolling his eyes before he pushed himself away from the wall as quickly as he could. With a file under his arm and pager firmly glued to his hand Cas came striding down the corridor, only stopping when he looked up and saw Dean. "Mom I gotta go, I'll talk to you later."

"You better mean later as well and not in two weeks young man!" Mary retorted but once again Dean could hear the laughter in her voice.

"I promise mom, love you." Dean said hurriedly before he hung up. "Hey." He said pocketing his phone as Cas walked up to him. "Everything ok?"

"Yes, I'm just trying to sort out whereabouts to assign everyone next week before I assist on a surgery this afternoon." Cas said. He pulled a dollar out his pocket and placed it into the coffee machine. "Blake seems to have a knack and a passion for neurology so she's with the Chief for the week again. Neurology is a fascinating specialty but I don’t envy Blake at all for having to work with the Chief…you didn’t hear me say that though." Cas explained as a Styrofoam cup filled with coffee.

"Hey I’m not saying anything, I’ve seen the guy once and that was enough.” The Chief of Surgery, a man named Crowley, also happened to be the head of the Neurology department. Dean had only really seen him on his first day for about two minutes but apparently it was best not to get on his wrong. According to several people Crowley made Cas look like a complete puppy. “Sarah will be happy though, she really likes neuro." Dean said with a casual shrug. 

"Yes, the Chief said as much. I think she'll end up specialising in it. As for Milligan he's better off down in the ER on trauma with Lafitte. He’s less jumpy down there. I think my yelling is getting to him." Cas said. 

"The poor guy is scared shitless by you to be honest." Dean said smirking. He probably shouldn't be laughing over Adam, interns sticking together and all that crap, but it was kinda funny. Cas smiled at him like scaring Adam had been the plan all along. 

"And I’ve put Harvelle on OBGYN."

"The Vagina Patrol? She is gonna be pissed man." Dean said once again smirking because Jo's face was going to be priceless when she found out. 

"This is my version of bagel withholding.” Cas said with a smug smile. “There’s just you left now.”

“Me? What about me?”

“Lafitte has been impressed with your work in the ER and he thinks you’ll make a very good trauma surgeon but, with Milligan on his service, there’s a spot open with me in cardiology.” The nervous look on Dr Novak’s face wasn’t that of Dr Novak, Dean’s resident. The look was that of Cas, Dean’s friend. The look said that Dean had a choice; he could pass up the chance to be on Cas’ service but Cas would be put out by the refusal.

“I guess I have a passion for cardio…if you want me on your service that is.”

“You’re a talented intern, pig headed and rude but very talented so I’d be happy to have you…as long as you’re not planning on yelling at me in the OR any time soon.”

“Well are you gonna give me a shitty, and kind of undeserved, nickname again?” Dean asked. Cas rolled his eyes and slapped a file into Dean’s chest.

“You might have been exceptionally good company last night but I could still decide to assign you to do nothing but scut for the next week.”

“You’d miss my gorgeous mug in the OR.”

“Your ‘mug’ is covered by a surgical mask so I wouldn’t get too self-assured about it just at the moment Winchester.” Cas quickly retorted. “Self-assured or not though, I would like to return the gesture of last night by buying you a drink sometime. Sometime next weekend perhaps?” he then asked sounding so formal it was as if he was inviting someone to one of those afternoon tea parties his parent’s next door neighbour used to have.

“Can’t handle two nights running?” Dean joked. Once again Cas rolled his eyes and this seemed to be becoming a regular thing between them now.

“I’m a highly respected cardiothoracic surgeon Dean and I would like to keep my respect intact.” Cas said with faux piety. “So if you are free next weekend I think it would be nice for me to return the gesture of the drinks you brought me last night. Though maybe not as many. Sleeping on a couch and going into work with a mild hangover is best left to people in their early twenties.”

“That…that sounds good Cas.” Dean said fighting the smile that spread across his face.

Yesterday had broken down several barrier between the two men for which Dean was grateful for. Knowing that it was possible to have a friendship with his resident made Dean more confident in the following months of his internship. Their first impressions of each other had been less than decent and the month after that had been full of cutting remarks but maybe now things would begin to look up. Dean was hopeful for once which was a new thing entirely.


“So spill.” Jo said sitting down across from Dean in the cafeteria. He had barely even sat down before Jo had pounced on him. Dean shot Adam an exasperated look to which Adam replied to by handing over a large paper cup of what smelt like a mocha. This free coffee courtesy of Adam was definitely a perk. “I’ll give you my cookie if you tell me.” Jo added holding out her extra large chocolate chip cookie.

“You can’t bribe me with a cookie.” Dean said pushing Jo’s bribery cookie away.

“Adam is bribing you with coffee!” Jo shot back.

“Technically it’s coffee, pie, charting and all of his gross patients for the next month.” Adam said grimacing. “If anything bowel related explodes and weeps then I’ve got no choice but to take them. I’ll take the cookie if it’s up for grabs.” Adam added reaching for Jo’s cookie. Jo scoffed loudly and shoved nearly the whole cookie into her mouth. “You’re evil.”

“You don’t have to tell me that twice.” Dean muttered. Jo grinned smugly, showing a mouthful of damn cookie. “Very attractive Harvelle.”

“Almost as attractive as you find Novak?” Jo asked once she’d swallowed her cookie. If it wasn’t a sure way to get fired Dean was tempted to stab her in the arm with his fork.

“I don’t find Novak attractive.” Dean said. He bitterly regretted ever telling Jo about Michael. If she had never found out that he was bisexual she wouldn’t be pressing the point of him potentially finding Cas attractive. There was so much going on in his life, the internship and making sure he had time for his family despite being so far away from them, and he didn’t need this going on top of that. “So just drop it already Jo.” He added giving Jo a hard look.

“Oh come Dean-”

“No I mean it Jo. Drop it already because it’s really starting to piss me off.”

“What are we talking about?” Sarah asked sitting down opposite Jo, Charlie hot on her heels.

“About Dean finding Novak attractive.” Jo said before Dean or Adam had a chance to say anything.

“I am going to make you move out, you can live in the intern locker room from now.” Dean snapped as he glared over at Jo. “You know that we’re interns right? We’re surgical interns. You would think that we’d have better things to talk about than whether or not I find our resident attractive or not; which, for the record, I don’t.”

“Wow…someone is pissy.” Charlie said as she opened her chocolate pudding.

“He’s having an internal crisis or some shit like that.” Jo said shrugging.

“I asked Novak out for a drink last night because we lost a patient. For Castiel it was the first patient he’d lost in about a year. For me the patient was the father of a friend of mine from Yale. She was a close friend of my ex and seeing her yesterday was a real shock. Having to tell her that her father died because of the surgery I was scrubbed in on was total fucking bullshit. So I asked Novak if he wanted a drink, not just because he needed but because I needed it.” Dean snapped shooting daggers at Jo, Sarah and Charlie. “Both of us drank more than we probably should have and Novak lives across town so I offered him the couch to crash on. I was being a decent guy for once but clearly it’s coming to bite me in the freaking ass because now you three won’t shut the fuck up about it. Now if any of you say one more thing about either me asking Novak for a drink, him sleeping on my couch-”

“What about him wearing one of your shirts to work?” Jo offered.

“Or him borrowing a shirt so he didn’t have to come into work wearing the same thing he was wearing yesterday.” Dean countered. “If any of you say anything about that then I’m going to yell at you and convince Novak to stick you on every shitty procedure that Adam isn’t given. Now shut the fuck up about it.” Dean snapped slamming his hand down on the table to add to his point.

“Whoa…do you want that slice of pie now?” Adam asked while Jo, Charlie and Sarah sat there in silence, all of them wearing surprised looks.

“Yeah but if it’s blueberry then don’t even bother.” Dean said before taking a generous gulp of his mocha. He wasn’t one of mochas, they were more Sam’s drink than his, but damn it was good and just what he needed. Well that, a huge slice of pie and Jo, Charlie and Sarah staying silent for as long as possible. 

Medical Side Note:

OBGYN stands for Obstetrics and Gynecology which are the two specialties dealing with the female reproductive organs for both pregnant and non-pregnant women.

Chapter Text

“Dean…” Jo said cagily as she approached the couch, a steaming coffee mug in her hand. It was Thursday night and Dean had only been in the apartment for ten minutes before Jo had slunk out the kitchen like some cave dweller, though a cave dweller with coffee. “Coffee?” she asked handing him the mug. “I added an extra scoop to make it really strong. It vaguely resembles black sludge now, just how you like it.”

“I’m busy.” Dean retorted looking back down at the medical journal he was reading. He still took the coffee though because, heck, it was coffee. Ridiculously strong looking coffee as well which was just how he liked it.

“No you’re not. You’re staring at that book pretending to be busy so you don’t have to talk to me.” Jo said sounding annoyed. “Just drink your coffee and stop being a little bitch.”

“No, I’m reading this journal in the small hope that it stays in my brain for longer than two seconds.” Dean said refusing to look away from the page. Jo groaned loudly and sat down on the other end of the couch with a loud ‘flumph’ sound. “Jo, stop staring at me.” Dean snapped.

“Stop avoiding me then.” She shot back kicking Dean’s leg lightly. “I know I pissed you off the other day with the whole Novak thing but I’m sorry so stop being a pissy little girl and just talk to me! Drinking at the bar is less fun when you have only Adam talking about random crap or Charlie either talking about whatever ‘Larping’ is or how one of the nurses on the third floor has really pretty eyes.” Jo said looking thoroughly pissed off.

“Live action roleplaying.” Dean said as he turned his attention back to his medical journal. He’d read the same sentence on endovascular stent grafts at least six ties and none of the information was sticking in his brain. If he fucked up helping out Novak tomorrow he was going to scream.

“Live action what?”

“That’s what Larping is. It’s live action roleplaying.” Dean explained reading the damn sentence once again.

“I’m not even going to ask how you know that. You’re probably some secret Dungeons and Dragons geek or some crap like that.” Jo said nudging Dean with her foot again. “At least we’re talking…even if it is about Larping. Are you gonna stop being a shit about this whole thing now?” she asked.

To be honest Dean had been ignoring her over the past few days. He’d been spending nearly all his time either in ORs scrubbing in on Cas’ surgeries or in the research library at the hospital. It was easier than having Jo or Charlie make jokes about him and Cas. All of this reminded him too much of those few months after his friends found out about his bisexuality when he was at Yale. They had either made jokes or treated him like he was a different person. One of the only people who hadn’t treated him any differently had been Michael. Whatever was going on between him and Cas made him the support Michael had given him when he was figuring out who he was.

“Jo-” Dean said lifting his head from his book to look at Jo.

“Ok, ok I shouldn’t have joked about you being friends with Cas and I shouldn’t have sent the photo to Charlie. It was shitty of me and I’m sorry. Will you accept my damn apology?” Jo said looking scrupulously exasperated. “Whatever is going on with you and Cas is your business and I shouldn’t have inferred or made fun of you.”

“There’s nothing going on between me and Cas, we’re…we’re friends or at least colleagues who get on.” Dean said wishing that was true because even as he said he couldn’t ignore the warm feeling spreading through his body as he remembered the night in the bar with Cas. Every laugh rang through his ears and he desperately convinced himself that it was only because they were becoming friends. It was nothing more than a budding friendship between two people. “Jo I mean it, we’re just friends.” Dean added when he saw Jo’s sceptical look.

“You like guys.” Jo said pointedly. Dean rolled his eyes heavily at her and fought the urge to poke Jo in the ribs.

“I also like girls. I’m friends with you and yet we have rattled the bed springs so there goes your theory.” Dean said hoping that shut Jo up. She gave him a steely look but sighed heavily and flopped back in her seat. “You want a pizza or something?”

“Huh?” Jo asked looking at Dean as if he’d just asked her to elope with him to Canada and frolic naked through the woods.

“It’s late and there isn’t any take-out in the fridge so I’m guessing you haven’t eaten. You want a pizza?”

“Meat Feast with extra spicy sausage and four kinds of cheese?” Jo asked excitedly. Dean guess that everything between them was ok now. Pizza was pretty magical in that sense. “Pizza sounds good to me…thanks Dean.”

“Don’t mention it. I’m clearing out the spare room this weekend though so you can move your ass out my bed.” Dean said with a smug grin.

“My ass is going to mourn the loss of that bed because it’s pretty damn comfy.”

“Yeah well my back isn’t gonna mourn the loss of this couch.” Dean muttered darkly.

“You’re such a weakling.” Jo said rolling her eyes. For a moment Dean contemplating not even bothering to ordering pizza but that would have just been cruel so he threw his medical journal down onto the coffee and grabbed his cell phone. While he was ordering the pizzas Jo picked up the journal and flicked through it. “What were you reading up on?”

“Aortic dissections, Castiel’s doing an arch dissection tomorrow and I want to be ready for it. I’m going to be scrubbing in on it.”

“You’re scrubbing in on an arch dissection?” Jo asked. “Dude, that’s badass. It sucks that I’m stuck on stupid OBGYN.” She grumbled with a pout.

“You shouldn’t have pissed me and Cas off last week then.” Dean said smugly. “Pizza should be here in fifteen.”

“You had me at pizza.” Jo said with a smile.

They didn’t talk about the past few days of near silence for the rest of the evening. The two of them just sat there eating pizza while Jo pointed out just how many inaccuracies there were in Dr Sexy. MD and Dean carried on reading up on the arch dissection. It was probably unhealthy but this was how Dean coped with things, he watched trashy TV while eating and avoiding his feelings because that was the easiest thing to do.


The next morning Dean sat with a very smug grin as a hung over looking Ruby tried, and failed, to pull her scrub top on over her head without wincing. She was on her fourth attempt when Jo barrelled into the locker room looking scared out her mind. Her face was actually white with fear. Dean’s stomach dropped because looking that scared while in a hospital was never a good thing.

"I'd watch out, your boyfriend is on the warpath." Jo complained as she regained her breath. "I saw him full on yell at a nurse just now. He looked murderous. What do you think happened?"

"No idea and he's not my boyfriend. We're just friends." Dean said for what felt like the hundredth time. Jo rolled her eyes until they landed on a still struggling Ruby who looked like she was about to throw up. “She’s hung over.”

“That should be amusing, maybe she’ll throw up on a patient.” Jo muttered with a devilish grin.

“I can hear both of you asshole, I hope you know that. Do me a favour and shut up the fuck up.” Ruby grumbled from where she was stood. “And if Novak kills either one of you then it’ll just be doing us all a favour.” She added as she finally pulled her scrub top on over her head. She rammed her feet into a pair of sneakers, gave both Dean and Jo a scathing look and marched out the room.

"Whatever. I just want to make it through this day without him stabbing me." Jo said with a shrug of her shoulders. She was probably going overboard seeing as she wasn’t the one who was going to be in the OR with Castiel and several very sharp medical instruments.

Initially Dean thought Jo was being melodramatic until he saw he furious expression on Castiel's face when they met up with him by the nurse's station. His whole body was locked with annoyance as he gripped onto the side of the desk. Dean watched Cas raise his head, his eyes almost dark with infuriation, and glare at each and every intern.

"Who the fuck was charting my post-ops last night?" Castiel practically growled. Deep purple bags hung under his eyes and it looked like he'd been awake for several days. Slowly Adam raised a hand. "I should have known. Thanks to your messy scrawl you try to pass off for handwriting the nurse nearly gave my patient in 456 an overdose." Castiel snapped hitting Adam in the chest with several more charts. "You can spend the whole day going through these, as well as the other charts you did last night and double check them for anymore fuck-ups before someone else nearly dies."

Adam looked horrified as he stammered out. "I'm on Lafitte's service today."

"No you’re not. Today you're charting. Now get the fuck out of here or the only way you will see the ER anytime soon will be because I will have put you there." Castiel said. Adam practically ran off down the hallway, files clutched in his hands. "Everyone else carry on." Castiel added with dismissing wave of his hand.

"Good luck." Jo muttered as she patted Dean on the back. Dean waited with baited breath for Castiel to start shouting at him but instead he watched in amazement as the cardio surgeon sighed heavily, his shoulders sinking. 

"Are you alright?" Dean asked placing a hand on Cas’ shoulder apprehensively.

"No I'm not so just drop it." Castiel snapped. Dean stepped back, raising his eyebrows as he went.

"Sorry sir. I’ll leave you alone if that’s what you want." He said imperturbably. If that was how Cas wanted to act then Dean wasn’t going to try and get the guy to grow up. It had been a while since Cas had acted like an asshole but clearly he just couldn’t help himself.

"Dean…” Cas groaned rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"You have an aortic arch dissection in fifteen minutes. I didn't spend all last night reading up on the procedure to just stand around and be yelled at." Dean said not giving Cas a chance to say anything else. "I'll see you in the OR Dr Novak." He added ignoring how hurt Cas looked when Dean called him ‘Dr Novak’.

"Dean wait." Castiel called as Dean walked off. Dean ignored him and carried on walking until he reached the elevator. He threw himself into the empty elevator as soon as the doors opened and punched in the number for the operating room floor.  

Maybe being friends with his resident was a bad idea. It blurred the lines whenever they were in the hospital and Dean spent more time defending his friendship with Castiel than actually being friends with the man. He wanted to be friends with Cas, he really did. Once he’d chipped away at the cold exterior Dean had found that Castiel was funny and even smarter than he’d originally believed. He wanted to be friends with Cas but clearly he couldn’t be friends with Dr Castiel Novak.

He made his way to the operating room to scrub in and waited. He wasn’t sure what he was waiting for, maybe for Castiel to barge into the room and say that Dean couldn’t scrub in on the surgery but all he knew was that he was waiting. The scrub nurse raised her eyebrows when she noticed Dean just stood there waiting. She handed him a surgical gown and scrub cap without saying a word but those raised eyebrows said everything. Dean noticed Cas’ personal scrub cap, that damn cap covered in bumblebees of all things, in with the other caps and wondered how on earth that cap could belong to the same person who’d just yelled at Adam. Dean was having his scrub cap placed onto his head when the doors opened.

“Dean-” Speak of the devil.

“Look I’ve gotten a lot of shit from Jo and the others because we’re sort of friends.” Dean said turing to glare at Castiel once he’d been gowned up. “I’ve been spending the last month or so calling you a dick and nearly every other name under the sun because, to be honest, most of the time you are a huge asshole. I’ve been telling Jo that you’re actually not a bad guy once I got to know you a bit better and then you just go and snap at me after yelling at Adam. Sure he fucked up but I did fuck all to piss you off but you still snapped at me.” Dean ranted as the scrub nurse moved on to fixing Castiel’s scrub cap. Stupid bumblebee scrub cap…


“I want us to be friends but not if that means that I have to put up with shit like you being a decent guy one second then an asshole the next.”

“Could you give us a moment please?” Castiel asked the scrub nurse.

“Of course Dr Novak.” She said giving Dean a small, but very telling, look as she nodded her head.

“Thank you Kate.” Castiel said. The scrub nurse nodded once again and walked out the room as Dean looked away from Castiel. He focused on the operating room in front of them even though he knew Castiel was trying to get his attention.  

“Dean I’m sorry about how I spoke to you. I had a long night and this morning just took it out on me. You’ll understand this once you’re a resident with a large amount of pressure on your shoulders.” Castiel said.

“Fine but don’t be a dick towards me unless I’ve done something to warrant it.” Dean said.

“I am sorry Dean, let me make it up to you tonight by buying you a drink.” Cas said. As he glanced over to his resident Dean knew he should have said ‘no’ because it would be easier in the end to not form a friendship with his superior; it would only end in more people assuming he was getting perks, whether they be professional or personal, and he didn’t want that at all. However, once he saw the open expression on Cas’ face he found it impossible to reject the offer. Cas was after all a good person, even if he had his moments of sharpness, and Dean was growing used to the tentative friendship they were establishing.

“Sure” he said not even caring about the tiny, and rather Sam-like, voice in his head telling him that it was a stupid idea. “A drink sounds good.” After all, as he reminded that damn voice in his head, they’d already gone for drinks and everything had been ok.

“I promise you that I won’t end up passing out on your couch this time though.” Castiel said reassuringly. Dean tried to ignore the sinking feeling in his stomach over that declaration. “I am sorry for snapping at you, it was not my intention at all to upset you.”

“It’s ok…you might want to apologise to Adam before you drive the poor guy to an early grave though.” Dean said and when the room filled with Castiel’s laughter Dean felt lighter and he didn’t realise how much pressure had been in his chest since he’d walked away from Castiel.

“I can try but I think that would be a lost cause Dean.” Cas replied, his mood visibly lighter than it was when he walked into the scrub room.  


The arch dissection went without any problems. It had been a long surgery and Dean’s legs were protesting from being made to stand for so long so sitting in a bar with a beer in his hand sounded like a great idea. Like the last time he and Castiel grabbed a booth away from the bar though they both agreed on drinking far less than the first time they’d gone to the bar together. They were hallway through the first round when Benny Lafitte came walking through the door and gave Castiel a curt nod.

“I hope you don’t mind but I invited Benny Lafitte, he wanted to congratulate me on today’s successful procedure.” Castiel said.

“No man that’s fine.” Dean said with a smile because Lafitte was actually a pretty cool guy.

“Evenin’” Benny said sitting dwon in the booth next to Castiel. “I’m gonna get a drink so what are you two drinkin’?”

“I can get these.” Dean said going to stand up but Benny waved him away.

“No you don’t. Novak here says you were good today and you’ve been on your feet most of the damn day so just sit there and let me buy you a drink.”

“Thanks Dr Lafitte.”

“It’s Benny, we ain’t at the hospital now kid.” Benny said chuckling. “Now what you drinkin’?”

“Just beers, I don’t want to spend my day off tomorrow nursing a hangover.” Castiel said nodding at his bottle.

“What ‘bout you Winchester?” Benny asked.

“Same. I’m getting off my ass and clearing out my spare room tomorrow. I’m not gonna do that hung over.” Dean said. Benny snorted but went up to the bar to get the drinks anyway.

“I know I said I didn’t get on well with the other doctors but Benny Lafitte I find myself enjoying Benny’s company.” Cas said.

“He’s a kickass surgeon and he doesn’t scare the shit outta Adam, unlike some people.” Dean said with a mock accusatory tone.  

“Are you questioning my competence as a surgeon or my lack of compassion for Adam Milligan?” Castiel asked with raised eyebrows.

“I watched you do an arch dissection so I was definitely questioning your ‘lack of compassion’.” Dean said with a grin.

Benny returned with their drinks and the three men fell into easy conversations. While talk of the hospital dominated most of the conversation Dean found he wasn’t even remotely bored. Both Benny and Castiel were incredibly passionate about their specialties and had endless stories of complex procedures that had pushed them into being better surgeons. Castiel had just finished telling them about the first time he performed a Fontan procedure when Benny spoke up.

"I've been meanin' to ask. You ain't the son of John Winchester by any chance?" Benny asked. Dean felt his face redden but nodded anyway. "Damn, that man is one hell of a trauma surgeon. Half the techniques I use are his." Benny said shaking his head in what looked like disbelief. 

"He'd be pretty thrilled to hear that." Dean said.

"What's he up to nowadays?" Benny asked.

"He's still working but he settled down in Kanas with my mom. He's a trauma consultant." Dean said willing his face to cool down. He was proud of his father sure, heck his dad was one of the most important people in his life along with Sam and Mary, but he never wanted to live in the shadow of his father. "He'd probably jump at the chance to get back into surgery full time but I think my mom would have his kneecaps removed." Dean said. Benny's had dropped back and the bar filled with his deep, booming laugh. 

"Your mama sounds like a real badass.”

"Oh yeah she is. You’d need to be a badass raising me and my brother. If there was a bone to break we’d probably break it from falling outta trees or some shit like that." Dean said with a smirk as he finished his beer. 

“You ever think about going into trauma like him?” Benny asked. “I’ve told you that you’ve got skills in trauma.”

“I’ve thought about it, my dad would get a real kick outta it but…but I really like cardio.” Dean said hoping that the lighting in the bar was dark enough to hide the blush creeping up his neck.

“Doesn’t surprise me, Novak never stops singin’ your praises.” Benny said which did nothing to help Dean’s swiftly reddening neck. Dean really hoped that it was do with both Castiel and Benny praising his skills and not because it was Castiel praising him. Jo could not be proven right. "Now not that this hasn't been fun but I've left interns running my service. I'm gonna go and sleep at the hospital in case one of them tries to kill someone. Wouldn’t put it past Ruby to try somethin’ like that." Benny said draining his own beer.

"You're worse than I am for staying late at that place." Cas said shaking his head. “I actually see my own bed at least twice a week.”  

"Yeah but at least I don't make my interns piss their pants just by going 'boo'" Benny shot back with a smirk. 

"Hey I've never piss my pants, I'll leave that to Adam." Dean interjected.

"I don't know what you've done to that guy but he all but jumps out his skin whenever someone mentions your name Novak. Talk about striking fear into the heart of your interns. I thought I was gonna be the badass but my interns love me." Benny said.

“My interns…well they like me.” Castiel said though from the waver in his voice Dean could tell he didn’t believe what he was saying.

“Hate to break it to you brother but they’re just scared of you. Well apart from Winchester here but that’s only ‘cause you’re buying him beer.”

“I like him for more reasons than that.” Dean said and Castiel’s beaming smile could have lit up the whole damn bar.

"Novak you’ve found an intern that ain’t scared of you, I’d keep hold of him for as long as possible.” Benny said with a grin of his own. “Have a good night folks." He added giving both Dean and Castiel a friendly nod.

“I didn’t know about your father.” Castiel said after a few moments.

“I guess I don’t talk about it that much, it’s not that much of a big deal.” Dean said shrugging his shoulders.

“Is he the reason you got into medicine?” Castiel asked. Dean sucked in a breath. He’d been waiting for a question like this for a long time. One of the main questions to ask any surgeon was why they got into practicing medicine. He scratched at his neck and looked away from Castiel. Yes they were friends but did he really want to talk about this with Cas. “I’m sorry, was that too personal of a question?” Castiel asked looking nervous. It was then that Dean realised that this was Cas, not just some random person he was just getting to know.

“My brother was really sick when he was a baby, he was born with a defect that affected his whole system.” Dean heard himself say. “Most of my childhood and Sammy’s was spent in hospital while they carried out endless tests. He’d had more surgeries by the time he was ten than more people have in their lifetime. He’s still on daily medication. That added to my dad always working in the ER meant I grew up in the hospital. I guess that made me want to be a surgeon from a really young age.”

“I can understand that Dean.” Castiel said sagely. “I think your reasons are very admirable.”

“Thanks…you’re not going to tell people about this are you? I mean it’s just that it’s a family thing I don’t really talk about family things with people.”

“Dean you have a high enough opinion of me to trust me with this so I wouldn’t disregard it by telling other people about your private matters.” Castiel said looking serious. “So are close to your parents as well as your brother? I think that it's nice that you have a strong relationship with some your family." 

"Yeah my parents and I are pretty close...I mean we drifted when I was at Yale, the distance you know." Plus his parents finding out their eldest was bisexual caused some of that drifting but Cas didn't have to know that. "But yeah, we're pretty close."

"That's nice."

"What about you?" Dean asked because for all that Castiel now knew about Dean there was little Dean knew about Castiel.

"Me?" Castiel asked with surprise. It was as if no one ever bothered to ask him questions before.

"Yeah, with family and all. You never mention them."

"There really isn't anything worth mentioning. I have a brother and a sister, both older than me, who I see at Christmas and my parents died when I was in medical school." Castiel said almost casually.

"Shit. I'm sorry Cas."

"There's no need for you to be. We were never that close and they weren't as supportive of my career choice as I wanted them to be. My brother is married and lives in New York with his wife and Anna, my sister, lives in Italy at the moment but she travels all over the world.” Cas said. Dean felt a pang of something he couldn’t really describe. Here was this incredible surgeon who was able to perform complex cardiothoracic procedures at the drop of a hat and yet he seemed…well, he seemed alone. Cas had told Dean he never really spent time with others from the hospital, both his parents were dead and he only saw his siblings during the holidays. Dean couldn’t imagine what it was like having so very few people in his life. Sure he didn’t have that many friends but the ones he had he knew would be there for him no matter what and his family, no matter what their flaws were, would follow him to the ends of the earth. He hadn’t really thought about it much but know Dean was realising that his friendship with Cas was probably just as important to the other man as it was to him.


He’d only mentioned it once on Friday night but Cas must have remembered that Dean was meaning to clear out the spare room. On Saturday morning he opened the door to see Cas, wearing a tatty looking hooded sweater and jeans instead of scrubs, smiling at him.

“Hey, what are you doing here?” Dean asked.

“You mentioned that you were clearing out your spare room and I have the day off so I thought I would come and help you. I brought breakfast and coffee but if you’ve already eaten then we could call it brunch.” Castiel said holding up a bag from the café down the street. “You don’t mind do you?”

“No…no as long as you don’t mind helping me clear out a shitload of junk. There’s medical journals from even before I went to Yale in there.” Dean said letting Cas into the apartment. “You really don’t have to help me.”

“Like I said, I have the day off and I want to help. It’s a crime that you’re ruining the muscles in your back from sleeping on that couch.” Cas said shrugging his shoulders casually as he placed the paper bag on the nearest table. He pulled out two cups of coffee and handed one to Dean. “I remembered that you take it black with no sugar.” Castel added offhandedly but the gesture and the fact that Cas remember how he took his coffee made Dean smile.

“Thanks man.” Dean said. He took a sip and nearly groaned with pleasure because damn was that good coffee. There was just the right hint of bitterness to the deep brown liquid. “You’re probably gonna regret this once we start moving crap because there’s a shitload of junk in there from my time at Yale.”

“I don’t mind at all Dean, I really mean it.” Castiel said. Dean took another gulp of coffee, damn it really was good, before he pulled out the breakfast Cas had brought. Oh Jesus Christ, they were English muffins with bacon, sausage and egg and swimming in sauce. “I wasn’t sure what kind of food to get you but I’ve found that you can never go wrong with the breakfast muffin.”

“Fuck no, these are great.” Dean said handing on muffin over to Cas and swiftly digging into the breakfast muffin. Holy shit it was good. Coffee, muffins and help with manual labour? Being friends with Cas had its benefits.

The spare room was mainly full of the stuff Dean hadn’t gotten round to unpacking when he’d first moved into the apartment during the summer. A lot of the boxes were full of photos and stuff from Yale, college and photos from back home. There were countless textbooks and journals from both college and medical school, with the spare bed serving as a makeshift bookshelf. Both Dean and Castiel surveyed the room as they ate their breakfast muffins (and Dean could really get used to those damn muffins because they were fucking amazing).

“Told you it was full of stuff.” Dean said

“You should see my apartment, it’s no worse than this.” Castiel said casually and Dean wasn’t sure if that was an invitation or not. “Do you want to start with the boxes or the books?”

“Uh…boxes. They’re just full of photos and junk from when I was at med school. They can go in the closest in my room.”

“Ok, set me to work. You’re in charge today.” Castiel said shooting a small smile in Dean’s direction. God, Dean to get used to that smile because it really was a damn good smile. “It feels very strange relinquishing my power.”

“I promise not to abuse this tiny amount of power I’ve been given.”

“You better not, I could refuse to ever buy you a breakfast muffin again.”

“You wouldn’t dare break my heart like that.” Dean said giving Cas a smile before he even realised just how flirtatious the smile probably looked. He couldn’t flirt with a resident. He couldn’t flirt with Cas more importantly because Cas wasn’t just a resident, he was Dean’s friend. Hoping desperately that Cas hadn’t noticed the flirtatious tinge in the air Dean set about lifting endless boxes and shifting through junk. Occasionally Castiel would comment on maybe a book or

“Are these your parents?” Castiel asked after several minutes of near silence. Dean glanced over his shoulder to see Castiel holding a photo taken at Dean’s graduation from Yale.

“Yeah, my brother took that at my graduation.” Dean said absentmindedly.

“You look a lot like your mother.” Castiel remarked as he handed the photo over to Dean. “It must be hard being away from them. You said they lived in Kanas, correct?”

“Yeah…yeah it’s pretty hard but I got used to it when I moved to New Haven. I was at college in Kanas before that so I just went home most weekends if I didn’t have too much work on.” Dean said with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders. “I’ll probably get to see them at Christmas though so it’s ok. My mom does get pissed though if I go too long without calling her though.” Dean added. It was strange how easy he found it to talk about his parents with Cas. Normally he never mentioned them because people would tend to ask him never-ending questions about his father. Plus he never really felt comfortable talking about family. With Cas however it just felt right. It was strange. It made the several hours they spent clearing out the room almost fly by. Dean was tempted to ask Cas if he wanted to stay for dinner but Cas mentioned how he needed to be up early as he had research that needed to be done at the hospital. Dean was determined to ignore the sinking feeling in his stomach as Castiel left because it would just add to the long list of things that confused him about their friendship. Jo would never hear about any of this because she’d probably have a freaking field day.  


Subject: Still alive?

Hey asshole.

Remember that thing call a phone? You use it to call and text people, you might want to use it sometime jackass. Anyway, I've got a free weekend next week and haven't seen your ugly in a while so how about I fly to Chicago to see you? You can bore me senseless over whatever you’re doing at the moment while I tell you all about this girl in my PoliSci class.

Subject: RE: Still alive? You're the asshole here Sammy

Hey you dick, I have this thing called a live saving job. Next time you choke on Grandma Campbell's lumpy yams at Thanksgiving I won't bother saving your huge ungrateful ass.  

Get your ass over here to Chicago and tell me all about this girl you’re mooning over. You're sleeping on the couch though, Jo stole your room.

Subject: Your couch sucks

My back is already in mourning. You seriously need a better couch.

Subject: RE: Your couch sucks

Yeah you ain’t the first person to say that and you ain’t gonna be the last one either.

A week later Sam’s plane got into Chicago during the Friday afternoon. Dean was busy working at the hospital so he couldn’t meet Sam at the airport like he wanted so Sam got a taxi to Dean’s apartment. Dean felt bad about making his little brother get a taxi so he promised to come home with dinner and beer to make it up to Sam. There was the added stress that Jo was going to be there, though hopefully asleep as she’d been on call all night, so she could tell Sam any number of things. Dean tried not to think of the embarrassing tales either one of them could tell them other. He really did try.

By the time he made it back to the apartment, Chinese food in hand, he was tired and in desperate need trashy TV to take his mind of a long day at the hospital. He’d barely made it into the kitchen before Sam came bounding into the room with the huge grin on his face. Dean threw the Chinese food down onto the counter and swiftly returned his brother’s smile.  

“Hey Sammy!” Dean said pulling his brother into a huge hug. He stepped back to look over at his brother. If it was possible Sam had grown even taller and was rocking a serious tan. “Damn that Californian sun is strong, you know you’re supposed to be training to be a lawyer, not going to the beach at every chance you get.”

“Very funny Dean.” Sam said punching Dean on the arm. “You look like shit though, have you been sleeping at all?”

“Yeah…I slept on Thursday.”

“Very funny.” Sam said giving Dean a very Sam-like bitch face.

“Shut up bitch and help me with this food. Jo still here?” Dean asked.

“Nah, she went to some bar with Charlie and Sarah I think.” Sam replied. “She seems pretty cool. Not a bad roommate by the looks of it.”

“Yeah when she’s not eating all the cereal and leaving wet towels all over the place.” Dean shot back.

“So you’re basically living with the female version of yourself?” Sam had a point, most of the wet towels in the bathroom were Dean’s but his brother didn’t have to know that.

“Bite me, I have much better taste in music than she does. REO Speedwagon fan.” Dean said with a shudder. Sam’s eye roll was definitely on the heavy side as he helped Dean plate up their food and grab two beers from the refrigerator. While Dean quickly cleared away some of the trash Sam carried their food and drinks into the living room.

“Hey Dean there’s a message on your machine” Sam called from the other room. “Want me to play it for you?” he asked as Dean walked out of the kitchen. He grabbed the nearest hooded jumper hanging off the back of the couch and threw it on over his head.  

“It’s probably just mom or a message for Jo, play it if you want.” Dean said shrugging. Ellen Harvelle’s message to Jo were always hilarious as she pretty much ranted through the whole thing, even if Jo hadn’t done anything wrong, called Jo by her full name but then always ended it with a promise of a care package coming in the mail. Man those care packages were a blessing just for the cookies alone.

Sam hit the play button on the machine and Dean stopped in his tracks as the apartment was filled with a very familiar smooth voice. 

“Hello Dean…its Michael. I’ve tried texting you a few times over the past few week but I know how busy intern year is so I don’t blame you for not getting back to me. I saw Bela here in London a few weeks ago for her father’s funeral. She mentioned seeing you in Illinois and how well you seem to be doing over there which is great. It would be good to hear from you and to catch up but I understand if you’re busy, I barely get any time of over here myself. Friday and Saturday nights in the A&E are ridiculously packed thanks to drunken students, you wouldn’t believe it! Anyway, it would be good to hear from you. Bye Dean.” The message cut out and Dean was filled with guilt. He had meant to return Michael’s messages but it had never felt like the right time or he just felt odd trying to act like they were nothing more than friends now. Between work and spending time with his fellow interns and Cas he had found that there just hadn’t been time to try and work out a friendship with Michael. Yes he felt like a complete asshole over it, after all they’d been together for three years, but he guessed that avoidance was just one of his flaws.

“Do…do you want to delete it?” Sam asked warily. Dean shook his head and hit the ‘Save’ button instead. He’d listen to the message again when Sam wasn’t there and try to work up the courage to ring Michael. “So…Michael’s been texting you?”

“Sam we really don’t have to talk about this right now ok?” Dean said. He couldn’t get into this with Sam. He loved Sam and he was probably the one person he could always rely on but there were some things they just didn’t talk about. His relationship with Michael was one of those things.

“Ok then…you want to talk about where you saw Bela?” Sam asked.

“Not really, no. Stick my food in the fridge.” Dean said pulling off the hoodie he’d just thrown on and chucking it onto the nearest chair. Without saying another word he took off in the general direction of his bathroom for a shower. He was glad Sam was here, heck he hadn’t seen the giant doofus in months and they needed a proper catch up, but he really needed space right now to think things through and Sam had a tendency to not let things go even when he knew they were pissing Dean off.

Dean exited the shower nearly an hour later feeling slightly calmer and Sam left him alone for about an hour. That was until they were sat down in front of the TV watching a rerun of some reality show. He could tell that Sam wanted to talk about the message Michael had left, it was almost as if he were hovering over the subject and Dean was just waiting for him to swoop down. It was only a few minutes before Sam was turning towards him with a serious look on his face.

“So we’re still not talking about Michael or Bela?” he asked muting the TV as he did so. Dean bit back a frustrated groan.

“Sam I’m warning you.” Dean said warningly.

“But her father died.” Sam said. “You were friends with her right? I mean you talked about her a few times and she’s in photos of you and Michael. You’ve gotta feel something about it man.”

“I know her father died Sam, I was there when he died. I was the one that told her that her father was dead!” Dean heard himself snapping before he could stop himself.


“He was admitted to the hospital with a heart condition. It turned out to be an aneurysm actually. Cas operated on him and he died on the table after the aneurysm burst. I was the intern assigned to the case so I was the one to tell Bela that her father died. It was sort of a sucky reunion.”

“Shit…I’m really sorry. Why didn’t you call me and tell me about it?” Sam asked. “We tell each other everything…well we did.” He added almost bitterly. Damn, Dean couldn’t get into this because if Sam brought up all the things that happened at Yale then there was going to be a problem. “I know you hate me talking about it but come on Dean! You shut us all out once you were at Yale! You had friends you never told us about and daily phone calls turned into vague messages left on the machine maybe once a week if we were lucky!”

“Sam I was trying to get some independence. I was at a damn good school and I’d worked hard to get there.”

“I do know that Dean, I know how hard you worked to get there but I’m at a good school now and I’m not cutting people out. I’m not making friends I never tell my family about. I’m not getting into a relationship that no one knows about.”


“Don’t ‘Sammy’ me, I’m not a kid anymore Dean. You were with Michael for six months before you even mentioned you’d met someone let alone been dating them. You didn’t tell any of us then you dropped this huge bomb on us out of nowhere.”

“Because I was dating a guy?”

“No, I never cared about that.” Sam said carefully avoiding to mention how John hadn’t spoken to Dean for nearly a month as he came round to the idea of his eldest son dating a man. “I mean yeah…I was kind of surprised when you told us and it took some time to get used to it. What I really cared about was that you’d been dating him for months and were planning on getting a place off campus with him. You had this whole new life you were living and you told none of us. I don’t want that to happen again now that you’re here.”

“What are you getting at?” Dean snapped growing defensive.

“Having Jo move in with you and shit like that. I mean you don’t really tell us anything anymore.” Sam said giving Dean a weird look that made it clear there was more to his words than Dean was hearing.

“What’s Jo been saying?” he questioned because Jo had to have been saying something.

“That you’re spending a lot of time with your resident, the resident you told me was a giant asshole who you couldn’t stand. What’s going on? Do you like him or something?” Sam asked. Dammit Jo, she was worse than Charlie. Dean groaned and ran his fingers through his short hair angrily. It was one thing for Jo and the others to think Dean felt something for Cas but once Sam started to think it then there was a problem. Mainly that Sam would mention something to Mary and she’d ring him yelling about how he never told her anything anymore.

“We’re friends Sam, Bela’s dad was the first patient he’d lost in a long time and that kind of…I don’t know, bonded us or some shit like that. We became friends.”

Moving clear across the country had been a big decision but one that needed to be made. His time at Yale had given Dean some freedom to learn things about himself and the kind of person he wanted to be. Now that he was here in Chicago he was growing as a surgeon and not just a person. He knew that Sam was just interested in the life he had here but if it meant that he was passing judgement or listening to whatever Jo had been saying then Dean felt like he didn’t need that in his life. He loved Sam more than anyone else in the world and Jo was easily becoming one of his closest friends here in Chicago but Dean had to figure out his friendship with Cas on his own.


Medical Notes:

Aortic Arch Dissection is a heart procedure done on the arch of the aorta. More information can be found here

A Fontan Procedure is a surgical procedure used in children with complex congenital heart defects and is named after Dr Fontan who originally described in 1971 along with Dr Kreutzer. More information on it can be found here and here


Chapter Text

Sleeping that night was difficult. Dean’s mind was so full of jumbled up thoughts that raced around his head, he found it almost impossible to settle even if he was back in his own bed and it was nearing four in the morning before he even felt a twinge of tiredness. However that twinge of tiredness did nothing to stop the steady slew of thoughts whirling around in his brain.

If there was a tense atmosphere between the two brothers the following morning Jo didn’t mention it as she flitted around the kitchen making breakfast. Normally Dean didn’t let her go anywhere near the kitchen apart from to make coffee. The one time Jo had tried to make dinner, three days after she’d moved in, she managed to burn three saucepans, a towel and a spatula.

“Dean I swear if you don’t stop hovering over me I’m going to stab you with a butter knife.” Jo threatened after Dean had been watching her make breakfast for at least half an hour.

“Of all the thing you could stab in him with you could probably find something sharper than a butter knife.” Sam commented from where he was perched by the coffee machine. Dean shot him a harsh look for a moment before he went back to overseeing Jo’s destruction of the kitchen and frying pans.

“It’s blunter, it would inflict more pain.” Jo said far too breezily when the subject matter was stabbing Dean. “Dude is this bacon cooked?”

“Yeah Jo I’d say the crispy mess that’s closer to charcoal than breakfast is cooked.” Dean replied as he grabbed a plate to shovel the charcoal mess onto. “Good thing I like it crispy.” He added. “Sammy there’s a bowl of fruit in the refrigerator, you wanna grab it?” Dean said. It was probably a bit pathetic that the first real words he’d spoken to his brother were about a damn bowl of fruit but Sam would only bitch about the lack of healthy food on the table. Sam didn’t say anything, he just nodded his head, but his small smile told Dean that things weren’t entirely fucked up between them.

They sat down to breakfast, which included burnt bacon and undercooked scramble egg but at least the fruit was edible, and maybe the air was still frosty but both Dean and Jo were too happy over the prospect of a full day off to say anything. Dean did however keep an eye on Sam as he ate. The medication Sam had to take every day, the medication he had taken ever since he was a small child, couldn’t be taken on an empty stomach and he normally took it at breakfast. The small pill and glass of water Dean had grown up seeing at the breakfast table were nowhere in sight. Dean was about to give Sam a very pointed look when Jo spoke up.    

“I’ve been thinking…” Jo said.

“Well there’s a first for everything I guess.”

“Very funny you jackass. I was thinking that we should have a party tonight.”

“Why would I agree to that?” Dean asked as he pulled a piece of eggshell out of his scrambled eggs. Yeah, he was never agreeing to let Jo cook for a while. Ellen Harvelle’s cooking skills obviously hadn’t been passed down to Jo.

“Because your, not so, little brother is here and he could meet Charlie and the others.” Charlie  

“Where?” Dean asked dubiously.

“At the apartment, where else would we have a party?” Jo asked rolling her eyes. “It could be fun! We could invite Charlie and that lot and some of the other interns and I could show off my cocktail making skills. Come on, back home my Alabama Slammer’s are the talk of the town!”

“I’m not having a load of people traipsing through my apartment.” Dean said. Jo’s eyebrows shot up faster than he thought possible.

“Oh stop being such a boring old shit, it could be fun.” Jo said. “Hey Sam, you wanna meet Charlie and the others tonight?”

“Yeah…sure. I mean Dean hasn’t told me much about them but they sound cool to me.” Sam said with a shrug.

“See Dean, your brother is up for it.” Jo said smugly.

“Fine but if anyone throws up in here then you’re cleaning it up.” Dean said. Jo’s grin was so smug it was unreal and she sauntered off to the spare room to no doubt ring Charlie and Sarah. Once she was out the room Dean rounded on Sam with a firm look.

“What?” Sam asked between mouthfuls of fruit.

“Where are your meds?” Dean asked nodding down at the table which was decidedly medication free. Sam rolled his eyes and carried on eating. “Sam you’re supposed to take them at breakfast.” He pressed.

“And I’m going to.” Sam said once again rolling his eyes. “I just didn’t want to take them in front of Jo so let it go already.”

“You better be taking them at college or I’m gonna be pissed, you can’t screw around with your medication.” Dean said firmly. Sam held Dean’s determined look for as long as he could before he looked away, his cheeks slowly going red. They finished breakfast in silence and Dean cleared away the kitchen while Sam, supposedly, went off to take his medication.

Once the kitchen was cleared Dean changed out of his sweatpants and into whatever was clean. He and Jo really needed to do some laundry sometime soon or he’d run out of clothes by Tuesday.  

“Dean…about last night.” Sam said as soon as Dean walked into the living room.

“Sam let’s just leave it. You both said shitty things to each other and I’m sorry. We really don’t have to talk about it.”

“So are you going to talk to Michael?” Sam asked. Dena couldn’t help but wince because Sam really wasn’t going to let this drop.

“When I have a chance and I’ve thought about some stuff ok?” he said. “I’ll be back soon, I need to go to the hospital for about an hour tops.”

“Isn’t it your day off today?” Sam asked sounding far too suspicious for Dean’s liking.

“Yeah but I need to finish off some charting and paperwork, it won’t take me very long. I’ll be back soon and then you’re gonna tell me all about this girl you’ve got a big ol’ crush on.” Dean said as he grabbed his jacket and car keys.

“I don’t have a ‘big ol’ crush’ on Jess.” Sam said. “She’s...she’s this girl studying at Stanford with me. She’s cool but I don’t have a ‘crush’ on her.” Yeah Sam could keep telling himself that but his red cheeks gave the whole thing away.

“The hearts in your eyes when you say her name told me otherwise dude.” Dean retorted with a triumphant grin.

“What like the look you get when you talk about your resident Cas?” Sam asked and the triumphant grin slid of Dean’s face as quickly as it appeared. What a little shit…

“I’m not even going to get into this again.” Dean said resisting the urge to throw something at Sam’s head. “Now do me a favour and keep an eye on Jo will you? Giving her full reign over this place scares me shitless.” He added because there was no telling what state the apartment would in once he got back home. Half the pans would probably be burnt and all the milk replaced with vodka. Actually Dean wouldn’t mind the latter, it would make his cereal more interesting in the mornings for one thing.

When he said that he had paperwork that needed to be done there might have been a possibility that Dean fabricating. It was less paperwork and more ‘just sign your name so these charts can be filed’. He could have done it during his next shift but if Dean was being honest he wanted a reason to go into the hospital. Castiel was, like always, in his small office on the cardio wing with his head bury deep in a book. It took several loud coughs from Dean before Castiel even looked up. He gave Dean a small smile and lay his book aside.

“Dean, I thought you had the day off today to spend it with your brother. Is everything alright?” Cas questioned.

“Yeah everything’s fine. I just came in so I could finish off some charts I didn’t get round to yesterday.” Dean said. As he watched Cas roll his eyes in a friendly way Dean went over and over what he was about to say in his head. He could back out, and probably regret it but not get grief off the other interns, or he could grow a damn pair and not care about what others thought for once in his life.

Castiel’s brow furrowed and Dean had assume he was making the same stressed face he made whenever he was deep in thought. “Are you sure everything is alright?” he asked.

“Yeah…so listen, Jo’s been nagging at me to have a party at the apartment tonight and I was wondering if you wanted to come…to the party tonight I mean.” Dean said finally deciding to grow a pair. “I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to but my brother’s in town visiting and it could be fun but like I said I totally understand of you don’t want come.” He added with a stammer which made him sound like a bashful teenager more than anything.

“You’re inviting me?” Castiel asked.

“Well yeah...I mean we’re friends so why wouldn’t I?” Dean asked. Castiel shrugged which was all sorts of infuriating but Dean let it slide. “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to.” He added because Cas was probably trying to think of about fifty different reasons as to why he shouldn’t go.

“I do want to go…I mean, yes I’d like to go. Jo and the other interns wouldn’t mind if I was there?”

“Probably not but they can’t really say anything if they do seeing as it’s my apartment.” Dean said jokingly but he could see the worry in Cas’ eyes. “Cas we’re friends, I want you there and it would be cool for you to meet Sam.” Dean said firmly. Cas gave him a relieved look and smiled the smile that made his eyes crinkle. Man that smile was one of the best things in the world according to Dean. “The party’s starting at eight so I’ll guess I’ll see you then.”

“I look forward to it Dean, thank you.” Castiel said and damn if Dean didn’t spend the whole time thinking about Cas’ smile when he was signing charts.

The kitchen looked more like a liqueur store by the time Dean got back home and Jo was clearly in her element to be surrounded by countless bottles of alcohol. Nearly every surface was covered in bottles ranging from beers to spirits to mixers and Jo had even tracked down actual cocktail mixers. Dean hadn’t seen Jo smile like that since a patient had thrown up all over Ruby.

“So there is no chance of you buying groceries for the next week is there?” Dean asked as he looked around the kitchen.

“Shut up, these are vital for tonight.” Jo retorted. 

“How did you even manage to fill the kitchen with booze?” Dean asked picking up a bottle of vodka. “I was at the hospital for an hour tops.”

“I'm a woman of many talents.” Was Jo's reply. “Want me to fix you up with a Lynchburg Lemonade?” she asked.

“What's in it?”


“Sold.” Dean said.

“One Lynchburg Lemonade for the dick who invited Novak.” Jo said as she picked up various bottles.

“How the hell…how do you know I invited Cas?”

“Because you had no reason to go into the hospital and don’t give me the same shit you gave Sam over having to do paperwork or shit like that.” Jo said. She set to work making Dean’s drink before she looked over at Dean and gave him a very pointed look. “You invited him because you want his inhibitions lowered so you might have a chance to score.”

“Yeah that's it Jo, you've seen through my clever plan. I'm going to ply Cas with alcohol so I can have my way with him at a party for my brother.” Dean said completely deadpan. Jo rolled his eyes and carried on making Dean his drink. “What's your fascination with my sex life anyway?” Dean asked.

“It's non-existent for one thing.”

“Yeah, and when was the last time you had sex?”

“Last week, so there.” Jo said smugly.

“Please tell me it wasn't with Adam.” Dean said.

“It wasn't, don’t be gross. It was the hot radiologist on the fifth floor.” Jo said grinning. “Does your brother know you invited Dr Douchebag?” she added.

“Who's Dr Douchebag?” Sam asked coming into the kitchen, running a towel through his wet hair. “Holy shit Jo, I was in the shower for ten minutes. How has the kitchen turned into a bar?”

“Jo was dragged up in dive bar.” Dean said smirking.

“Fuck you, it was a great bar!” Jo said smacking Dean on the arm. “Dr Douchebag is Cas, your brother is trying to lower his inhibitions.” She added handing Dean his drink.

“No, right now I'm picturing how I’m gonna push you off the roof.” Dean shot back.

“Whatever, you've been threatening me with that since I moved in.” Jo said. “You don’t have the guts.”

“Can you even get up into the roof?” Sam asked.

“Yeah, there's a door at the end of the hall.” Dean said. Funnily enough he hadn't actually been up on the roof since he moved in though that could be to do with the piss poor weather. “That’s not the point here though.”

“No the point is that you’re trying to get into Novak’s pants.” Jo said gleefully. Dean glared over at her but didn’t say anything because no matter what he said Jo wouldn’t listen to him. “Sam you can keep watch tonight, if your brother tries to lure me up to the roof you can tackle him to the ground.”

 By nine o’clock that evening the apartment was full of interns and nurses from the hospital. Music blared out from the speakers in the living room and both Jo and Dean’s bartending skills were being out to good use.

“Hello Dean.” A deep voice said making Dean spin round quickly. Castiel stood in front of him with a nervous looking smile. “This is some party.”

“Hey…yeah I think Jo invited half the hospital.” Dean said. “Come on, I wanna introduce you to Sammy.” He added nodding across the room to where Sam was talking animatedly with Adam.

“Lead the way.” Cas said.

With the same quantity of nervous butterflies he felt when he first introduced Michael to his family (and he needed to stop thinking like that now) Dean guided Cas through the room, reached out and tapped Sam on the shoulder.

“Yo Sammy, this is Cas.” He said motioning to Castiel. A wide smile lit up Sam’s face as he turned to face Castiel while Adam looked like he was about to wet himself. The poor guy was still terrified of Cas.  

“Wow, it's really cool to meet you.” Sam said reaching out and shaking Cas' hand.

“It's a pleasure to meet you too Sam.” Cas said warmly. “Dean has told me a lot about you. How are your studies going?”

“Do you brag about me to everyone?” Sam asked rounding on Dean with an exasperated look. Dean just grinned back because he'd never stop bragging about his genius little brother. “They're really good thanks.” Sam said replying to Cas' question. ”It’s hard but I love the work so it’s no 

“My sister Anna trained to be a lawyer at Harvard for a semester. That was before she decided that travelling around South East Asia for three years was more her style.” Cas said with a small chuckle that indicated he wasn't even remotely annoyed by his sister's actions.

"South East Asia?" Sam asked.

"Yes, she travelled through there then moved on to Europe. She updates me every now and then with her shenanigans." Cas said, still grinning. 

“Yeah don't get any ideas Sam, you're by ticket outta any sticky situations.” Dean said with a chuckle.

“For the last time Dean, I am not helping you pass off throwing Jo from the roof for 'Saucepan Destruction' related reasons.” Sam said rolling his eyes. “For a guy who’s eaten from more than one questionable roadside burger joint Dean’s got some serious issues with his kitchen crap.” Sam said with a roll of his eyes.

“Hey you can’t beat roadside burgers.” Dean said. “Want a drink Cas?”

“I head ‘drink’!” Jo said sidling up to them. “Hey Sam, want a Multiple System Organ Failure?” Jo asked holding up a bright blue drink complete with several wedges of fruit, a straw and a cocktail umbrella. 

“What exactly goes into a Multiple System Organ Failure?” Cas asked dubiously looking at the drink as Sam took it from Jo's hand without any complaints.

“Glad to know you're our resident Cas.” Dean said with a grin that widened when Cas gave him the most exaggerated eye roll he'd seem on anyone that wasn't Sam.

“Vodka, gin, rum, two kinds of tequila, another kind of gin, a double shot of whiskey and blueberry liqueur to help with the flavour.” Jo listed off proudly.

“Is that all?” Cas asked sarcastically while Dean howled with laughter over Sam's face. The blueberry liqueur clearly didn't help with the taste.

“If you throw up you're sleeping in the shower.” Dean said as Sam's face went a very pale colour. 

“He'll be fine! Charlie's had three and she's great.” Jo said. The last one Dean had seen Charlie she'd been dancing on the coffee table and singing some awful pop song. Jo’s definition of ‘great’ was not the same as Dean’s if it included Charlie’s shoes denting his table.

“The shower would probably be more comfortable than the couch.” Sam

“I am going to agree with Sam's statement. Dean if it's the last thing I do I will make you replace that crippling thing. I will purchase you one when you've passed your intern exam.” Cas said.

“The faith is strong in this one.” Jo said. 

“He's one of my interns. You're all passing whether you like it or not.” Cas said with determination. 

“Even Adam?” Sam asked. Sam was well informed on the various Adam related stories. 

“Even if it kills me.” Cas chuckled.

“Try not to die, I quite like having you around.” Dean blurted out. Jo’s eyebrows shot up almost as quickly as Sam’s but the grateful smile on Cas’ face was the only thing that matter.


It was past midnight and the party was, for no better word, ridiculous. Charlie and Sarah were belting out awful pop songs along with several other interns that Dean recognised from the hospital. Jo was hopping all over the place with various brightly coloured cocktails, all with miniature cocktail umbrellas that Dean didn’t even know where in the apartment. Jo must have brought them earlier on in the day when she singlehandedly turned the place into a replica bar. Adam was dancing, though it really couldn’t be called dancing, with one of the scrub nurses. Ruby of all people was deep in conversation with Sam and Dean made a mental note to keep an eye on her, more for Sam’s sake than anyone else’s.

“Novak seems to be enjoying himself.” Jo said appearing at Dean’s side and pressing a drink into his hand. He nodded his head with thanks and knocked back the drink. Thankfully it wasn’t one of Jo’s liver destroying cocktails but a double of Johnnie Walker. “He’s been talking to that scrub nurse for the past half an hour.” Jo added nodding towards the doorway to the kitchen. Dean followed her direction and stopped when he saw what Jo had been talking about.

She was tall, almost as tall as Castiel was and Dean recognised her from the hospital. She was one of the regular scrub nurses in Castiel procedures but as far as Dean knew they never spoke to one another. The woman smiled as Cas leant closer in order to be heard over the thumping music.

A dark sick feeling in Dean’s stomach twisted itself into a furious knot. The woman was standing too close to Cas, her chest practically pressed against his as she laughed along with something Cas had just said. Everything about her stance, the look she was giving Cas and the way she was holding onto her drink screamed ‘flirtatious’.

“Admit it, you’re jealous.” Jo said but she voice wasn’t accusatory at all, if anything it was soft and pitying. “It sucks doesn’t it? You should just tell him or it’s going to hurt like a bitch sooner than later.” She added refilling Dean’s empty glass. It was stupid and his head would hurt like a bitch in the morning but Dean knocked back another double shot of whiskey and tried to ignore Jo’s words. “Dean?”

“I’m gonna get some air ok? Whiskey probably wasn’t the best idea. Keep an eye on Sammy for me. He’s too pure to let Ruby’s claws dig into him.” Dean said placing his glass down onto the nearest table and grabbed a beer instead.


“I’m fine Jo, I just to get some air. I’ll be back down soon.” Dean said waving away Jo’s concern.


Opening the door that lead up to the roof Dean took the stairs two steps at a time. Out up on the Chicago wind was even more fierce but it wasn't strong enough to warrant going back down into the packed out apartment. The sooner he was away from the apartment the better. He couldn’t stand and watch as Cas talked to some random nurse or have Jo making obvious remarks or pitying faces at him.

He had developed feelings for Castiel. There was no possible way to avoid it anymore because then Dean would just be lying to himself. He’d spend so many years during high school and college lying to himself and he once he’d accepted things about himself he’d grown as a person. Now he had to accept that his feelings for Castiel weren’t just those of friendship. Seeing Castiel with someone had sent such painful shards of jealously ripping through Dean’s body that he had to admit his feelings weren’t those of friendship anymore.

Keeping a tight hold on his beer Dean made his way across the roof toward small bench that overlooked most of the city. On a clear but cold night like this there were very little clouds. He could just make out the hospital in the distance. He’d been at the hospital for nearly two months and in that time he’d gained friends, a roommate and he had witnessed so many different life saving procedures. Moving to Chicago and becoming an intern at the hospital had been such a big decision but now Dean couldn’t imagine his life any differently.

He wasn’t sure how long he spent sitting on the bench, sporadically drinking his beer and looking out across the skyline, but it helped. He helped calm whatever feelings were swirling around inside his body and threatened to spill out. How could he be so stupid? Developing a crush on a resident was such a stupid cliché and it would do Dean no good in the long run. The safest thing to do was to pretend that his feelings weren’t there. Yes he could stay friends with Cas was long as he acted upon his feelings.

Basically he was completely fucked and had no one to blame but himself.

“It looks like your crafty hiding place has been discovered.” A deep voice called out making Dean jump nearly a foot into the air. He spun round but felt a relaxed smile spread across his face when he saw it was Cas with a beer bottle in his hand. Dean had to stop doing that, he had had to stop his whole body from feeling lighter by the mere sight of Cas. “You don't mind me disturbing your peace and quiet do you?”

“Nah, it's cool.” Dean said trying to sound nonchalant. “The party get too much for you?”

“Yes, I must admit that I'm not the greatest person to have at a party. I prefer smaller gatherings to large ones.” Cas said walking over and sitting down next to Dean on the bench. Dean placed his bottle of beer onto the floor because having even more alcohol in his system with Cas so close to him wasn't a good idea at all. “Is that why you're up here?”

How could Dean say that he was up on the roof moping because he'd seen Cas talking and laughing with some scrub nurse? It would sound stupid and completely ridiculous but maybe Dean was being ridiculous. He had no claim on Castiel whatsoever and they were just friends. They would only ever be just friends as well. 

“Um...yeah. Yeah you could say that.” Dean lied in what he hoped was a convincing manner. “You seemed to be having fun though.” He said before he could stop himself. Cas' brow furrowed at Dean's comment. He had no right to feel jealous. No right at all so why was that feeling of resentment rippling through him. 

“I was talking to one of the nurses who is many of my procedures but apart from that I mainly stood at the side hoping that none of the interns would glare at me. I would much rather be out here to be honest, it’s more quiet and there is less chance of being forced to drink one of Jo Harvelle’s cocktails. The blue one is disgusting.” Cas said. His cheeks pinked and Dean had the crazy urge to reach out a stroke the patch of soft looking skin under Cas' cheekbone. Whatever Jo had been putting in his drinks was stronger than Dean would have thought.

“They wouldn't...the interns wouldn't be asses to you. I told Jo to be on her best behaviour.”

“Because your brother is visiting?” Castiel questioned innocently.

“No because I didn't want anyone to upset you.” Dean admitted.

“Why would you worry about that?” Cas asked. God, for a genius surgeon the guy really needed things spelling out.

“Because we're friends and I care about you.” Dean said. He'd definitely drunk too many beers as he'd clearly lost the filter between his brain and his mouth either that or he no longer cared about what he said. 

“I...thank you Dean...” Cas stammered out. “That means a lot…your friendship means a lot to me.” His voice rang out with honesty and all but stopped Dean’s heart from beating.

It took every ounce of self-restraint Dean had to not close the distance between him and Cas. His skin was beginning to burn with the need to be closer to Castiel, to feel the soft pressure of lips against his own. He couldn't do it though. This was Cas. Cas was his friend and he couldn't disrespect not only his friend but his resident by making a pass at him. A slightly drunken pass at that.

“We should go back down to the apartment. I'm being a shitty host.” Dean said pulling his eyes away from Cas.

“You seem less than thrilled about going back down there.” Cas said.

“Yeah well loud parties were never really my thing either, I mean they were fun and all in college but smaller ones were always better.” Dean said. Bela had always thrown the best parties when they were at Yale. There was never too many people and she never bitched when Dean and Michael left early. She only never pressed life threatening blue drinks into your hands.

“I should probably being going, I have a coronary artery bypass graft tomorrow that I should prepare for.” Cas said rising up from the bench gracefully. He looked over at Dean, biting his lip as he did so. Damn he was going to be the end of Dean even if he never realised it. “I was…wait never mind.”

“No, what were you going to say?” Dean asked frowning ever so as he watched Castiel continue to chew gently on his lower lip.

“Well I feel bad about leaving you here when you’re not one of big parties. You could come back to my house for coffee if you wanted to. You offered me a place to sleep the first time we went to the bar after all.” Castiel said. “At least this way you don’t have to witness anyone passing out on your coffee table or throwing up in the shower.”

“That is true…you don’t mind?” Dean asked trying so hard to ignore how his heart was all but slamming against his rib cage with nerves.

“Not at all, you’ve made it clear that we’re friends Dean and this is what friends do for one another.” Cas said shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly. Dean’s chest swelled at Cas’ gesture though it just made it even harder to not close that small distance between them.  

Instead he followed Cas across the roof and said “Thanks Cas, I appreciate it.”


The apartment Cas owned was a twenty minute walk away from Dean’s own apartment. Despite the cold wind neither of them noticed as they kept up a steady conversation as they walked. Charlie and Sarah’s karaoke prowess under the influence of Jo’s lethal cocktails was something of an amazement to both Dean and Castiel. Dean was in the middle of telling Cas the story of the time Sam got spectacularly drunk at a karaoke bar and rapped ‘Baby Got Back’ word perfectly when Castiel opened the door to his apartment and switched on the light. Dean stopped and his eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“Wow...this is...not what I expected at all.” Dean said as he walked into Cas' apartment. The guy was so straight laced and clinical at work so Dean assumed that his apartment would be the same. Instead it was a riot of...well clutter. Shelves upon shelves of books took up most of the wall space in the living room. Said walls were all painted a deep but warm red colour instead of the cream Dean though they would be. The wall space that wasn't used up by the book shelves housed framed art prints or various degrees by the looks of it and the most prominent seemed to be Cas' diploma from Harvard Medical School. 

“The hospital is like my home away from home, I feel perfectly at home when I'm in the OR, but I never liked my actual home to feel like the hospital.” Cas said pulling off his coat and throwing it onto the nearest couch. Dean wasn't going to lie, it looked like the most comfortable couch in the history of couches. No wonder Cas had some resentment towards Dean’s couch. “I tend to nest so this apartment is rather cluttered I’m afraid.”

“No shit, you could rival the public library.” Dean said nodding at the book shelves. “Well the research library.” He added noting that most of the books were medical journals. That really wasn't a surprise seeing as Cas was one of the most talented residents in the hospital, of course he would read shitloads of medical journals. Dean's room back at med school had looked very similar except Cas' space lacked the Metallica posters and empty beer bottles. “And I thought my place was bad.” 

“I like your apartment, I find it very cosy when it’s not full of drunken interns.” Cas said. “I don't have a spare bed to offer you, this is only a one bedroom apartment but my couch is far more comfortable than yours.”

“Show off.” Dean muttered. Honestly he was starting to feel total empathy for his poor old couch which probably meant he'd drunk too much. “Thanks for this...letting me come back with you I mean. I know I should be using this time to catch up with Sam but I can't really do that with him downing Jo's lethal cocktails.”

“As a medical practitioner I really should try and stop her before she causes your brother to die of liver failure.” Cas said shaking his head. 

“See this is why the interns are afraid to party with you Doctor.” Dean said.

“And you? You're not afraid?” Cas asked with a cocked eyebrow and damn if that didn't send a pang straight through Dean's stomach. Sarcastic attractive bastard...

“You're forgetting I saw you passed out on my couch, you don't scare me anymore.” 

“Clearly I'm not doing my job right.” Cas shot back with that damn eyebrow still raised. If whatever this was didn't stop right now then Dean was going to do something he wouldn't regret in the morning but probably should like kissing the ever loving fuck outta Cas. “So can I interest you in that coffee?”

“Um…yeah sure.” Dean said wincing at how stupid he sounded. For fuck sake, he was the top of his freaking class at Yale. He shouldn’t been stammering like a moron over coffee of all things. Cas gave him a warm smile and motioned for Dean to follow him into a small but very well stocked kitchen. Cas’ kitchen was, like the rest of the apartment, incredibly warm looking and full of small knick-knacks.

Dean watched as Cas pottered around the kitchen making coffee. He looked just as at home as he did in the operating rooms back at the hospital. The room quickly filled up with the rich smell of coffee and Dean rested against the countertop as he looked around the kitchen. A large noticeboard hung on the wall with most of the space being used up by hospital related paperwork but there was also several photos of Cas with two people Dean assumed were his siblings. The largest was a photo of a smiling Castiel stood between a sorter man with lighter hair and a willowy looking woman with dark red hair.

“Your siblings?”

“What?” Castiel asked looking over to the noticeboard. “Oh yes, that’s Gabriel and Anna. I think that photo was taken the last time we were all together in New York. That was about two years ago before Anna moved to Italy. She had come back to the US for a few weeks before heading off again.”

“I lived in Connecticut for like four years but never actually went to New York City, I never had the time.” Dean said.

“It’s very big, very noisy and the taxi drivers are quite manic. You’re not missing out on much.” Castiel said with a chuckle as he handed Dean a large mug of coffee. Dean gave him a thankful smile and went back to looking at the noticeboard. Most of the photos were of Castiel with his siblings but a few were of younger looking Castiel with a blonde guy, both of them always smiling in the photos. “That’s Balthazar, he was my best friend at Harvard. He lives in England now, he’s a surgeon in London.” Castiel said.

“You guys looked close.”

“We were, well we still are. We email each other every week and Balthazar spent a few days over here during the summer. He’s very much like the brother I wish Gabriel was.”

“Gabriel wasn’t a good brother?”

“Oh he was but Balthazar would never put itching powder in my underwear on the day of my SATS.” Castiel said. “I got him back though, I gave him laxative chocolate on his birthday.” He added smugly.

“And I thought Sammy and I were bad.” Dean said between snorts of laughter. Cas laughed along with him as they walked back into the living room.

“I like Sam, he seems like a very good brother.”

“He’s not all bad. He’s mooning over some girl back at Stanford by the sounds of it. If he’s telling me about her then he’s probably smitten even if he won’t admit it anyone.”

“Or he fears that you would take the piss out of him.”

“I would never!” Dean cried with mock outrage. “At least I’d stop after about a week or so. Nah, the kid is great and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s gonna graduate top of his class, marry some knockout girl and have 2.5 kids somewhere in the Midwest after becoming a kickass lawyer.”

“And you? What about you?”

“I’ll be an intern until I pass my exam, figure out what I want to specialise in while I’m a resident, pass my boards and be a fully qualified surgeon.”

“I meant outside the hospital.”

“Is it possible to have a life outside the hospital?” Dean joked.

“I like to think so.” Cas said with a smile.

“Well yeah I’d like to meet someone.” Dean said looking away from Cas because if he didn’t then he knew he’d blush bright red. “I guess if it happens then it happens.” He added with a shrug. He heard Cas let out a quiet chuckle and looked back towards him. Once again there was that urge to close the space between them and Dean all but dug his nails into his palm to stop himself.

“If it happens it happens…” Cas repeated quietly, his eyes lowering to Dean’s lips. Shit. Dean dug his nails even deeper into his palm, his other hand gripping onto the hot coffee mug. They had somehow moved closer to one another and Dean was sure Cas could hear his heart pounding loudly for it was all he could hear. That was until he remember that this was Cas. This was Cas. Pulling back Dean coughed loudly and looked away from the other man’s stupidly blue eyes. “You’d should probably get some sleep…you’ve got a surgery tomorrow.” Dean said. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Cas nod his head.

“Yes, you’re right…I shall get you a blanket.” He said stiffly as he stood up and placed his coffee mug on the nearby coffee table. Cas left Dean alone for a moment and when he returned there was a large blanket in his hands. He handed Dean the blanket with a tight smile. “Goodnight Dean, I shall see you in the morning.”

“Yeah…see you in the morning Cas.” Dean said. Cas nodded his head and swiftly left the room. “Fuck.” Dean groaned out as he leant back against the couch. “You fucking moron Dean Winchester.”


It barely felt like he had any sleep before Dean was being woken up by a hand gently shaking his shoulder. Dean groaned sleepily as he opened his eyes to see Cas stood over him, dressed in just a t-shirt, jeans and a hooded jacket.

“What time is it?” Dean grumbled as he rubbed his eyes. It was still dark outside and the warning signs of a hangover were all there.

“It’s just gone past six. I’m sorry to wake you but I’m being paged to the hospital with an emergency. They think it’s surgical and I wondered if you wanted to scrub in with me. We’ll have to get there as soon as possible to beat the ambulance.” Cas said. He leant away from the couch in order to pull a coat on, wrapping a scarf around his neck while Dean pulled himself up off the couch. “I made coffee for the drive over there. Extra strong with no sugar.” He added. Whatever had happened last night was clearly being forgotten and Dean was entirely grateful.

“Thank you” Dean groaned out sleepily. “Man I see what you mean about my couch, yours is like a freaking cloud.” He added as he stretched out.

“Are you still partially asleep?” Castiel asked.

“Nah, just let me get some coffee and I’ll be good.” Dean said accepting the travel mug of coffee from Cas. “What’s the emergency?”

“I’m not sure but we need to get into the hospital as soon as we can. That’s if you want to come with me.” Castiel said gingerly.

“Of course I do. If there’s a choice between kickass surgery with you and cleaning up my shithole of an apartment with Sammy and Jo. That’s if her cocktails didn’t kill them both.” Dean said grinning over at Cas.

They slid into Cas’ car, coffees firmly in hand and for once Dean didn’t care about not being the one to drive. He’d have to grab some headache pills before the pressure in his head actually turned into a full on headache.


They met the paramedics as soon as they entered the ER. Neither Dean nor Cas had even changed into their scrubs yet but Cas soon slipped into his ‘Resident Cas’ mode.

“Ok what happened?” he asked a nearby paramedic.

“Patient is sixteen year old Krissy Chambers. She was brought after she collapsed during a volleyball tournament.” The paramedic called out. Cas nodded and took the chart from another paramedic.

“Ok I’ll get my scrubs on and then we can figure out what is going on.” Cas said glancing over at Dean. “Are you with me?” he asked with a cocked eyebrow. There was some resentment in the look he gave Dean, he must not have been over whatever happened between them the night before.

“Yeah, yeah I’m with you.” Dean said somewhat downcast. Sarah of all people appeared as if out of nowhere though by the looks of it she probably wished she was still in bed.

“Crowley wants a neurological exam to rule out any possibility of an aneurysm.” Sarah said to Castiel.

“It could be a cardio thing though, why else would Cas be brought in?” Dean asked. Sarah rolled her eyes but nodded.

“Fine but if it’s not a ‘cardio thing’ then she can go for a neuro exam.” Sarah said. Cas nodded and went off to grab the necessary forms.  

“What state is my apartment in?” Dean asked Sarah.

“How are you even alive this morning? Or did you stay away from Jo’s cocktails?” Sarah asked with sinking shoulders.

“I stuck to the beer.” Dean said with smirk.

“I wish I had done the same. There’s far too many incriminating videos of me and Charlie singing along to the Spice Girls.”

“Now I’m really worrying about the state of my apartment.”

“It’s fine, don’t worry. Jo is still passed out but I think your brother is cleaning at the moment. Your disappearance didn’t go unnoticed by the way. Did you sleep here to try and get to the good surgeries or something like that?” Sarah asked.

“Yeah, something like that.” Dean shrugged.

“I wish I’d done the same thing now.” Sarah said with a quick smile.

“Dean, we’re ready for the cardio exam.” Cas called out. “Get your scrubs on and meet me up there.” Dean gave Castiel a nod and hurried off to put his scrubs on.


The problem with Krissy chambers turned out to be both a cardio issue and surgical. They took her into surgery as soon as possible and Cas operated on her for nearly eight hours until he was convinced she was ok. She want sent to the ICU until she woke up and Dean was left to talk to her frantic parents. Once that ordeal was over Dean sent a text message to Sam to meet him in the hospital cafeteria for lunch otherwise he wouldn’t see his brother before he went back to California.

“So tell me about Jess.” Dean said as he poured ketchup on to his fries. He and Sam were sat in the middle of the cafeteria and Dean’s legs were grateful to not be stood up for once that day.

“She’s in a few of my classes and we met in Political Science.” Sam said. “She’s awesome Dean, you’d really like her. She’s really smart, funny and doesn’t take any crap from anyone.”

“Jesus, talk about smitten. You asked her out yet?” Dean asked smirking at Sam’s bright red cheeks. “Come on Sammy, you really like the girl so just ask her. Unless she’s out of your league then you’ll need all the help you can get.”

“Thanks Dean, thanks for that.” Sam said completely deadpan. “There’s this party at one of my friend’s places next week…I was thinking of asking her to go with me.”

“Rock on Sammy.”

“So what happened to you last night?” Sam asked. “I hardly saw you.”

“Yeah sorry about that, I just needed some fresh air and ended up on the roof then I got called into work. I’ve been a pretty shitty brother this weekend haven’t I?” Dean said heavily editing his story. He loved Sammy but he didn’t want to get into his newly accepted feelings for Cas.

“Shut up, you haven’t been a shitty brother. I had fun last night and at least this way I can tell mom that you’re doing well. She’s convinced you’re spending all your time at the hospital with no friends whatsoever. Jo, Charlie and the others are really cool, I like them.”

“Good, they’re not bad guys at all.”

“Yeah…I like Cas as well. I mean I know you said he was a jackass and all but he’s not too bad.”

“Yeah he sort of grows on you.” Dean said. Sam rolled his eyes and went back to eating the salad in front of him. “Stop being a bitch Sam.”

“Stop being in denial.”

“Stop listening to Jo.” Dean said kicking Sam on the shin.

“Ow, you’re such a jerk. I’m going to stay in California the next time I have some time.” Sam whinged.

“I’m sorry I had to work today and I can’t drive you to the airport.” Dean said remorsefully. Sam’s plane back to California was due to leave in just a few hours and Dean hated the thought of Sam having to take a taxi again. 

“Dean stop freaking apologising. I got to see you and drink what can only be described as the most disgusting drink on earth. Last night was fun even if I’ve been put off blueberries for life.” Sam said making a grab for a few of Dean’s fries.

“Hey! You ordered salad so you can live with it!” Dean said slapping his brother’s hand out the way.

“Well hurry up and eat, I’ve gotta get going soon.” Sam said. They ate quickly and before too long Dean was walking Sam back down the entrance hall of the hospital to say goodbye.  

“See you soon, I’ll try to answer my phone more often.” Dean promised as they stopped near the main doorway.

“You better mean that” Sam said with a grin. “You should get some sleep sometime soon as well, you look like hell.” he added.

“You should get a haircut, you look like a girl.” Dean shot back giving Sam a punch on the arm. Sam rolled his eyes, the kid was going to make himself dizzy one day, and pulled Dean into a hug. “Have a safe flight and you better text me when you land.” Dean added once Sam let go.

“Yes mother.” Sam said.

“And tell me how it goes with Jess.” Dean said. “I mean it, I wanna hear what happens.”

“As long as you tell me what’s going on with you and Castiel.”


“I just want to see you happy.” Sam said sternly.

“I’m happy now so stop being a noisy bitch.” Dean said.

“Fine, as long as you go and get some proper sleep so I can give a glowing report to mom.” Sam said. Damn Mary Winchester and her not-so convert spy missions. Sam pulled Dean into another hug before saying his goodbyes and Dean absolutely didn’t have to fight the urge to not cry. Nope not at all.    


Sam was right about sleeping. The on call rooms were full of sleeping residents and attendings so Dean set up camp in the intern’s locker room on the very same bench he’d hidden out on after his first shift. It was the exact same bench he’d camped out on after he’d yelled at Cas in the OR. God so much had happened since then, so much had changed and Dean had to believe it was for the better. He’d barely been asleep for a few hours before his pager was blaring and ripping Dean out of his nap. He took one look at the screen and raced out the room. He was running past the nurse’s station when he spotted a very tired looking Jo.  

“Jo where's Novak?” Dean asked hurrying down the corridor. 

“He’s in the on call room. You’ll probably have to wake him.” Jo said looking as though she was about to topple over from the amount of files in her hands. “You haven't seen Adam have you? He's supposed to be charting with me but I haven't seen him for at least an hour and he's not answering my pages.”

“The last I heard Lafitte had a trauma thing he got pulled into. He'll probably be down in the pit if you want to go grab him.” Dean called as he turned in the direction of the on call room. 

“I'll give him trauma.” He heard Jo grumbling as she headed off towards the ER. Dean really pitied Adam when Jo found him, she had a tendency to shout very loud and throw things when she was pissed. He’d have to get Sarah to take photos. Dean raced along the corridors until he got to the on call room and ripped open the door.

“Cas sorry if I woke you but-” Holy shit. Dean trailed off once he focused on the sight of a sleepy but very much shirtless Cas stood in front of him, scrub top lying on the nearest cot. Dean knew the guy was strong and pretty fit, it was kind of a given, but Dean had never been expecting a well-defined chest, abs and hip bones you could - no, no he was not thinking about Cas like that. Cas was his resident and sort of a friend who wasn't that much of a jerk once you got to know how his mind worked. Dean could not think about Cas shirtless, his tanned skin lightly flushed from Dean- ok he seriously had to stop his mind running away with him and not think about Cas like that at all.

And yet he was still staring. He was about as subtle as a brick through a window.

Cas yawned loudly, stretching out his torso as he lifted his arms over his head. That did not help matters or the serious situation going on in Dean's brain from the sight of Cas' hipbones. 

And he was still staring.

“A minute ago you would have woken me but now you're not so no need to apologise.” Cas said reaching for his scrub top and pulling it on over his head. Dean was sort of sad to see the whole chest/ab/hip display disappear but at least he'd be able to concentrate now....sort of. “Did you need me for something?” Cas asked running his fingers through his hair a few times probably in order to tame it but that was never going to happen.

Yeah but I doubt I could say it out loud Dean thought quickly diverting his eyes so Cas couldn't accuse him of staring even if that was exactly what he was doing. 

“Um...yeah Krissy Chambers has woken up and paediatrics is asking if you can do a quick follow up to make sure everything is ok.” Dean said remembering why he actually sort out Cas in the first place. 

“That's fine. Come with me and you can help with the exam.” Cas said slipping his feet back into his shoes and giving Dean a quick smile.

“Me?” Dean asked.

“You know everything about the patient, you get on with her and you did well in the surgery so it makes sense for you to be there. If you know what to do then next time you might be able to do the exam solo.”

“Really?” Dean asked with surprise. He assumed Cas was still pissed at him for the night before as he’d barely said two words to him all day.

“Don't sound so shocked by the notion Dean, I think you could make a brilliant cardio surgeon one day. I'm glad to have you on my service and not just because we're friends.” Cas said walking over and giving Dean a friendly squeeze on the shoulder. It might kill him but Dean could live with platonic shoulder squeezing. 

He couldn't live with the way Cas' eyes lingered on his lips as Dean gave him a quick smile. That was certainly going to both kill him and confuse the fuck outta him. 

The fact that Cas' hand was still on his arm was also managing to confuse the fuck outta him. Was Cas taking the piss or was he flirting? Had he been flirting the night before? Had Dean cocked up by not kissing him when he had the chance? Would it be a massive cock up if he kissed Cas now?

“Ugh.” He coughed out. Real smooth Winchester. “Thanks for that Cas.” He managed to stutter out. Actually stutter, he was never telling Sam any of this because his brother might send himself to an early grave from laughing so hard.

“It's quite alright Dean, it's a relief knowing you don't think of me as an evil jackass for once.”

“Dude you know that I don't think you're an evil jackass...well not anymore anyway.”

“I'm glad.” Cas said smiling so the corners of his eyes crinkled. It was the same smile he got when he brought a patient back from the brink or when Dean had said something really funny when they were out for drinks. This time though the smile held more and Dean was seconds away from leaning in and enclosing the space between the two men. Cas must have had the same idea because his touch on Dean's arm tighten and his chest pressed against Dean's. Dean's entire body thrummed with heat as he felt the strong, warm expanse of Cas' chest against his own. Everything was telling him to close the small distance between them. He could taste the mint from Cas’ toothpaste in the air and it wouldn’t take much at all for Dean to just kiss Cas already. Cas' lips were mere centimetres away from Dean when his pager blared loudly.

“Shit” Dean cussed as Cas pretty much leapt away from him to look at the screen. His body was screaming to pull Cas back towards him and just kiss him but now wasn't the time.

“Fuck! It's 911 on Krissy.” Cas said grabbing his white coat and pulled open the door, Dean hot on his heels as they raced to the paediatrics department.

Chapter Text

There was nothing but panic as Castiel, followed by Dean, raced down the corridor and into Krissy’s room. Monitors were beeping loudly and the blaring of a code blue siren could be heard even down the hall. Krissy was lying completely motionless is here bed as the crash team came running past Dean and Castiel. His breathing grew shallow as Dean watched the crash team whirl around the room.

“What happened?” Cas asked slipping into the cold but determined doctor mode he had perfected. Dean was grateful for Cas’ composure, it helped ground him and remind him he was here because he was a surgeon. He was a surgeon and he needed to do his job. Charlie, who was on paediatric rotation for the week, looked away from the crash team towards Castiel with a fearful look on her face.

“She was fine but then she mentioned that her chest hurt. I thought that it could have been from the surgery but then she coded.” She said looking almost desperate. “I swear I did everything right and have been checking her stats since she came out of surgery.” Castiel looked away from Krissy for a moment to give Charlie a firm look.

“Charlie you did nothing wrong do you hear me?” Castiel said with the unwavering tone that he always used with the interns. “How long has she been down?” He asked as the crash team shocked Krissy. They waited, watching monitor for a beat but nothing came.

“A minute.” Charlie replied though she still looked on the verge of tears.

“Charge to 250!” The doctor in charge of the crash team called. They shocked Krissy again and waited. After a few seconds there came faint a beeping from the monitor. 

“We have a beat.” Someone said. Dean breathed a loud sigh of relief.

“Her BP is far too low though.” Cas said checking Krissy's stats. “Bradbury, go find Mosely and tell her that we're taking Krissy for a scan. We need to find out what’s wrong with her. After that you need to talk to her parents.” Charlie nodded and hurried out the room as the crash team cleared out. “There’s a strong possibility that she’ll need another surgery.” Cas added running a hand across his face with a loud and exasperated sigh. Five minutes ago Dean had been staring at a shirtless Cas with less than wholesome thoughts and now they were going to have to fight to save a young girl’s life.   

Dean followed Cas out the room. “What do you think happened?” he asked.  

“Any number of things, we can't know until the scan results come back though.” Cas said looking as though he would rather be asleep than walking down a corridor.

“But...Is she gonna be ok? I mean she's just a kid, she shouldn't be spending half her life in a hospital bed.” Dean said.

“You're good with kids I've noticed. I saw it on your first shift with my heart patient's son.” Cas said. 

“I just think that a kid should live their life outside a hospital. I spent a lot of time in hospitals with Sammy, it was no way to grow up.” He had grown up watching Sam go from a toddler to a child to teenager in a hospital. The kid’s life had been ruled by tests, surgeries and medication and Sam had hated it, he still hated it and Dean didn’t want the same thing for Krissy. According to her parents she was a kickass athlete with scouts offering her college scholarships even though she was only sixteen. “She deserves so much more than this.”

“Sometimes Dean Winchester I think you are far greater than you even realise.” Cas said shaking his head.

“See that there?” Castiel said pointing towards a dark mass on Krissy’s scan. “What do you think that is?” he asked looking over towards Dean with an expectant look. Dean looked closer, initially feeling completely out of his depth until he noticed that Krissy’s scan was almost identical to one he had seen during his time at college. He remembered it so clearly because it was one of the first cardio cases he had read up on, it was one of the reasons why he’d become interested in cardio procedures actually.

Shit…” he muttered when he figured out what the scan telling them. “The heart muscle is weakened. She has cardiomyopathy and by the looks of it her heart is severely weakened to the point of complete failure.” Dean said as he looked over the scan with a sinking feeling in his stomach.

“Smart intern you’ve got there Novak.” Dr Mosely, the Head of Paediatrics, said with an impressed sounding tone of voice. Dr Mosely had been at the hospital for years according to Cas and Charlie, she was practically an institution within the walls of the hospital. She was tough but still caring with a sixth sense when it came to children’s illnesses. Basically she was the best paediatric surgeon in Chicago and she was impressed with Dean. If he wasn’t so freaked out by the thought of a sixteen year old girl’s heart failing he would have been pretty proud of himself.  

“Thank you but how did I not see this during her first surgery? How?” Cas asked between gritted teeth. The defeated look in eyes Cas took Dean back to the night Bela’s father died and it reminded him that even though everyone around Cas thought he was a genius the man himself was full of doubt.

“It wasn’t in her history, it’s likely she’s the first in her family to develop the condition.” Dean said remembering from college how cardiomyopathy was generally an inherited condition. Most people could live with it for years and not realise it and with some it could be completely cured with medicine but sadly that didn’t look possible in Krissy’s case.

“Don’t you beat yourself up over this Novak, if you weren’t looking it you wouldn’t have seen it.” Mosely said. “Don’t go over what you didn’t do or didn’t see, just think about what you’re going to do know to help Krissy get better.” She added with a firmer tone swiftly becoming all business.

 “I could insert a pacemaker but she’d be back here within months for more surgery…” Cas said, his eyes fixing intently on Krissy’s scan.

“So…she needs a heart transplant?” Dean asked. “That’s what you’re getting at right? The pacemaker would only help so much and she’s an athlete so that puts more stress on her heart…she’d wear out something like a pacemaker so a transplant would make the most sense…right?” Dean asked hoping he was right and hadn’t just made himself look like an idiot in front of both his resident and the best paediatric surgeon in Chicago. 

“Are you asking me or telling me?” Cas asked arching his eyebrows. This was a teaching method, it had to be a teaching method, but Dean wasn’t sure if what he was saying was best for Krissy. Was replacing a sixteen year old girl’s heart really the best option for her? He clenched his jaw as he looked over the scan again and really thought about a treatment plan for the teenager.

“I’m telling you?” Dean said cautiously. “Am…am I right?”

“Yes, yes Dean you’re right.” Cas said giving him a brilliant smile that sent shivers all the way down to Dean’s toes. “We need to call UNOS right away and get Krissy on the transplant list.”

“How long could it be before she gets a new heart?” Dean questioned.

“It be days, weeks or even months. It depends on UNOS.” Cas replied. “But we’re going to hope that it is days and that she doesn’t deteriorate.” He added seeing Dean’s worried face. “We’re going to help her Dean, I promise.”

They were heading back to Krissy’s room when Dean noticed a forlorn Charlie sat with her head in her hands, red hair spilling out of its ponytail making her look even more tired than Dean guessed she was. He stopped and when Castiel gave him a confused look he nodded over towards Charlie.

“If it’s alright I want to make sure she’s ok.” He said hoping that Cas would be more ‘Cas’ and less ‘Scary Resident Castiel’.

Castiel’s face softened as he looked from Dean to the red head and he nodded his head in agreement. “Go ahead, I’ll talk to Krissy’s parents about the surgery and transplant.” Dean felt instantly lightened by Castiel’s words. “Make sure Bradbury is alright.” His friend added and Dean gave him an appreciative smile. “I’ve heard hot chocolate normally helps.”

Charlie barely looked up as Dean sat down and he was worried for a moment that he’d need to find Sarah or Jo to cheer her up. “Charlie?” he said gently placing a hand on her arm. “Charlie are you ok?”

“One moment I was asking how she was and joking about how long until she could play volleyball again and then the next moment she was coding right there in front of me. She could have died Dean.” Charlie said as fresh tears fell down her cheeks.

“Yeah but she didn’t. She didn’t die Charlie and Cas has figured out what’s wrong.” Dean said.

“I was terrified, absolutely terrified.” Charlie said pulling her hands away from her face. Her cheeks were stained with tears and her nose was bright red from crying. Dean pulled her into a hug and let Charlie rest her head on his shoulder. “That kid has her whole life in front of her and it sucks that this is happening to her.” Dean could see why Charlie liked it in paediatrics now, she was like him when it came to kids spending their lives in hospitals. “You said that Novak has figured out what’s wrong with her right?”

“Yeah… it looks like its cardiomyopathy and it has progressed enough for her to need a transplant. We’re going to call UNOS and see if she can be bumped to the top of the list.”

“She needs a heart transplant? Shit…”

“She’s going to be ok though…Cas is a genius.”

“Since when has he been ‘Cas’?” Charlie asked smiling through her tears. “Sorry, I won’t mock your friendship.” She added quickly.

“If I tell you something will you promise not to tell Jo or Sarah or Adam?”

“I swear on my signed first edition of The Hobbit that I will not tell Jo or Sarah or Adam whatever it is that you’re going to tell me.” Charlie said even marking a cross over her heart.

“And will you remember that I’m only telling you this because you were crying and were upset over Krissy?” Dean asked knowing full well that he’d regret telling Charlie this but at least he’d feel better having it out in the open…sort of.

“Yes I will remember that now just tell me what it is.”

“You, Sarah and Jo might have been right about me and Cas.”

“About you and Cas…wait…really? We were right? Holy crap…when did you figure this out?”

“At the party last night.” Dean said though if he was honest it had been there for weeks but he just hadn’t accepted it. “There was a moment on the roof.” He winced waiting for Charlie scoff loudly but she just sighed dreamily. Telling Charlie was a much better idea than telling Jo.

“Did you kiss him?”

“No…no but I guess I thought about it.”

“That’s so romantically clichéd that I’m jealous. I want starry night moments on a roof and near kisses!” Charlie said. “What are you going to do?” she asked moving her head from Dean’s shoulder to look at him intently.

“Ignore it and hope it goes away.” Dean said with a shrug.

“Yeah…I hate to break it to you but that never happens.”

“Well then I’m fucked and not in the good way.” Dean said. “He’s my boss…he’s my friend and I just got out of a pretty serious relationship. It really sucks.”

“Yeah but at least you’ve cheered me up.” Charlie said with a grin as she wiped away the last faint traces of tears from her face. “Are you going to tell Krissy and her parents about the transplant?”

“Cas is doing it now. He’s better at this sort of stuff than use. Mosely didn’t yell at you did she?”

“No…no I think she was more annoyed at how upset I got. I just don’t want to fuck this up. Adam’s doing well in trauma and the chief loves Sarah, she just seems to get neuro so well. Then you’re rocking cardio with Novak…I just don’t want to flail about.”

“Charlie you’re not going to flail about, you’re a freaking genius.” Dean said.

“I know, it’s sometimes a problem.” Charlie said smiling weakly. “Thanks for cheering me up…I know Jo, Sarah and I have given you grief over the past few weeks but you’re a good guy and I won’t tell them what you told me.”

“Thanks Charlie…for that and for your ‘wonderful’ rendition of Spice Up Your Life last night.”

“Yeah…I’m never drinking one of Jo’s cocktails ever again, I had to scrub my tongue with my toothbrush for twenty minutes this morning and it’s still faintly blue.” Charlie said with a groan.

While Cas got on the phone to UNOS about a viable heart for Krissy Dean was asked to stay and keep watch over the teenager. She looked pale and weak, Dean’s heart really went out to her because from the way her parents had talked about her Krissy probably wanted to be anywhere but in the hospital.

“You gave us a real scare there kid.” Dean said grinning over at Krissy who rolled her eyes despite her pain which was being kept mostly at bay with medication.

“It wasn’t like I did it on purpose. My team is in the finals of this huge state competition in two weeks. I love them, they’re my family in a way but without me they’re not going to be up to scratch. They need me there, not stuck here with crappy TV signal.” Krissy groaned out as she shifted in her bed.

“Try not to move too much, you might mess up your wires.” Dean said moving Krissy’s pillows for her. “Did Dr Novak come and talk to you about the surgery you need?”

“Yeah…you’re going to take out my old crappy heart and give me a brand new shiny one.” Krissy said. “He said a load of fancy words but I think was to impress my parents because I didn’t have a clue what he was on about half the time. He’s hot though…not as hot as you but still hot. All my teammates are going to be so jealous that I got the hot doctors.” Krissy said smugly.

“I’m gonna assume that it’s the drugs we’re pumping you full of that are making you say this stuff.”

“Even if they weren’t I can get away with it because I’m a dying kid.”

“You’re not a dying kid, you’re just pretty sick at the moment until we fix you up.”

“You’re going to fix me up? You’re just a baby doctor.” Krissy said giving Dean yet another smug look. Dean had to give the girl some props, even with a failing heart she was feisty as hell. “Is Dr Hot Stuff going to be operating on me?”

“Yes, Dr Novak will be operating on you. Don’t tell him I agreed with you on calling him Dr Hot Stuff though. It would probably just inflate his ego.”

“Hunter’s promise.” Krissy said giving Dean what looked like some sort of salute. “You normally have to be the team for that to apply but you’re hot enough for me to make an exception. I mean, I am the captain so I can do that.” Krissy added with a wide grin.

“Well I’m flattered to be an honorary member of your team. I’ve got charts and stuff to do but if you need anything don’t be afraid to press the buzzer on the side of your bed.”

“Does that count if I want lime Jell-O?” Krissy asked as if it was the most important question in the world.

“Yeah…you really don’t want to try the lime Jell-O, it tastes like washer detergent. I’d stay clear of the fruit cups as well.” Dean said with a chuckle. “Try and get some sleep. We’re gonna operate on you as soon as a compatible heart become available. You’re a pretty high priority so you’ve been bumped to the top of the list.” Dean said rising from his chair and giving Krissy one last smile.

“Dean…I can call you Dean right? I mean you’re going to see me all cut open, gross and pretty much naked…again.”

“Yeah Krissy, you can call me Dean.”

“Dean…I’m kind of scared.” Krissy said and the confident show she’d been putting on stopped instantly. “What if the heart doesn’t work and I die? What if I can never play sport again? Scouts are already looking at me and I’ve still got two years to go until college. ”

“There are risks with every single operation Krissy, there will always be risks but Dr Novak is damn good at what he does and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that your surgery goes without a single hitch. I promise you.” Dean said. “Hey, it’s ok to be scared…I spent a lot of time in the hospital when I was a kid, my baby brother was really ill for a few years, so I got used to feeling scared before surgeries but I understood that the doctors knew what they were doing. Dr Novak knows what he’s doing so it’s ok to be scared but don’t think that we’re not gonna do everything we can you get you better.”

“Thanks Dean…that helps.” Krissy said. “You know what else will help?”


“Having a TV with better reception.” Krissy said with a grin. Damn this kid was gonna be the end of Dean if he wasn’t careful.

Over the next three days Dean and Charlie fundamentally lived at the hospital whi;e they waited for a viable heart for Krissy to become available. While it meant that they were never late for rounds Dean became sick of it pretty quickly. The hospital’s food was shit and the beds were almost as bad as his crappy couch. Between rounds and checking on other patients Dean and Charlie took it in turns to keep an eye on Krissy. She wasn’t a bad kid at all so neither of them minded this at all. In fact she could be downright hilarious at times, mainly when doing mean but accurate impressions of the nurses on the paediatric floor. On the third day Krissy’s whole volleyball team descended on her floor with flowers, balloons and enough ‘Get Well Soon’ cards to rival Hallmark. One mildly feisty sixteen year old was enough for Dean so he left Charlie in charge of the gaggle of teenagers. He couldn’t handle anymore incredibly obvious flirting from a bunch of sixteen year olds, it was starting to make him feel less like a doctor and more like some brainless model.

“They’re completely harmless.” Charlie had said later on that day when they sat in the cafeteria with Jo, Sarah and Adam.

“Oh yeah? The girls I knew when I was sixteen weren’t ‘harmless’.”

“Gonna have to agree with Dean on this one, I spent most of my time grounded when I was sixteen.” Jo said as she dug into her pudding cup.

“Yeah well excuse me for not being ‘hip’ as a teenager. Unlike you two pieces of jailbait I was taking college level coding classes and playing Dungeons and Dragons.”

“You’re so rock and roll it’s painful.” Jo said smirking from ear to ear. Charlie rolled her eyes as she threw a French fry at Jo’s face. “So how’s Chambers doing? She in a good mood? ‘Cause I was reading this article about how transplant patients are more likely to have good outcomes if they go into their procedures in a positive mood.”

“You actually read an article?” Adam asked.

“Dean’s taken away my TV privileges until I stop deleting all his episodes of Dr Sexy MD.

“You missed the last episode?” Sarah asked looking horrified. “But Doctor Piccalo met her long lost half-brother but then a bus crashed into the side of the hospital and she had to operate on him with just a basic trauma kit and limited light!”

“I swear that show gets worse every week…” Adam muttered shaking his head. “If they’re not all shaking up with one another then they’re performing ridiculous procedure in unrealistic situations.”

“Yeah because a realistic show about a hospital would be so entertaining.” Sarah said sarcastically. “This morning I did charts for four hours, ate a banana then I did even more charting. Riveting.” She added.

“I had to listen to twelve volleyball players witter on about whatever inane crap teenage girls talk about.” Dean grumbled.

“It’s mostly cats and overthrowing the patriarchy.” Charlie said much to Sarah and Jo’s amusement. Dean was contemplating trying to distract Jo in order to steal her pudding when his pager went off. He glanced at the screen and quickly abandoned all pudding related plans. “Krissy alert?” Charlie asked.

“Yeah, I gotta go.” Dean said grabbing his coffee cup and hurried off to the paediatric department. “Everything ok? What happened?” Dean asked Krissy’s nurse. The nurses’ reply was a very exaggerated roll of her eyes.

“She has a Jell-O related question for you.” Nurse said snippily. Dean snorted as he went into Krissy’s room, a very smug grin on her face.

“A Jell-O related question? Really?” he asked. “You know I could have been somewhere like surgery or with another patient and you pulled me away for a Jell-O emergenc?”

“Yeah but you weren’t, you were probably in the cafeteria.” Krissy countered.

“Ok I was but you weren’t to know that.” Dean said. “So what’s this Jell-O related question?”

“You said that the Lime Jell-O tastes like washer detergent but what’s the pudding like?” Krissy asked as if it was the most serious question anyone could ever ask.

“The chocolate is questionable but the caramel rocks.” Dean said. He’d seen Jo eat enough of those damn pudding cups since he started working at the hospital to know more about pudding than he wanted to. “You do realise that you could go into surgery anytime soon and so you’re not allowed solid food?”

“Pudding isn’t solid food smartass.” Krissy countered.

“If I go and get you pudding will you stop annoying the nurses?” Dean asked. Krissy nodded her head, clearly happy she’d gotten her own way. “Fine then, I’ll get you pudding.” Dean said with a sigh. “You’re a menace.”

“Oh please, I’m the most fun patient you’ve probably had.” Krissy said, her mood visibly brighter since she had the prospect of pudding. “You’re lucky to have me.” She added just as brightly.

“I’m going to go and fetch you pudding, you’re lucky to have me.” Dean corrected.

“If only you weren’t middle age.” Krissy said almost wistfully.

“Hey I’m twenty five.” Dean retorted.

“Yeah exactly.” Krissy grinned wickedly. “You’re middle aged. What about that brother of yours?”

“He might be in law school but you’re way too good for him, you’d chew him and spit him out in a matter of seconds. It would be total carnage.”

 “Even with the crappy heart?” Krissy said disbelievingly.

“Especially with the crappy heart, it makes you even more badass.” Dean said comfortingly. “I’m gonna get you that damn pudding and you’re gonna stop annoying the nurses or they’ll be really vicious when taking blood. They won’t stick any of that numbing cream or anything. Think you can do that?”

“Sure thing Dr Model.” Krissy said. Dean was going to let that one slide just once, like with Bela’s father dying Krissy having her heart fail gave her slight perks on being vaguely bitchy. Dean gave her a farewell salute before he embarked on his mission to find pudding. As he walked down the corridor back to the cafeteria he pulled out his phone to send a message to Sam.

Four years at Yale and I’m currently getting a freaking pudding cup for a volleyball player who refers to me as Dr Model.

Sam’s reply was almost instant.

Mom and Dad would be so proud of their beautiful baby boy.

Bite me and get some clippers on that mop of yours.

You’re just jealous. I asked Jess to that party by the way…she said yes.

Dean shot back a congratulatory text message before shoving his phone back into his pocket as he walked into the cafeteria. He grabbed a pudding cup, stole a handful of Charlie’s fries and was about to take his ass back to Krissy’s room when he heard someone yell his name. Dean whirled around and spotted Cas almost barrelling through the door.

 “Winchester!” Cas called hurrying across the cafeteria. “UNOS just called, there’s a compatible heart for Krissy. The helicopter will be here in ten minutes. Are you up to date with the organ retrieval process?” he asked rapidly and it was lucky Dean knew Cas well enough to decipher Cas’ rapid talk or he wouldn’t have understood a word of it. 

“Yeah, I just went over it just this morning.” Dean said abandoning the pudding cup even though Krissy would be pissed as hell. “Should we tell Krissy and her parents?”

“Mosely is going to do that, Bradbury you should be there as well.” Cas said. “You ready to go?” he asked Dean. Shit, this was it. They were going to go a retrieve an organ. Shit…they were going to replace Krissy’ old heart and hope to God that she didn’t reject the organ.

“Uh…yeah…yeah.” Dean said as panic began to surge through his whole body. Shit, this was actually happening. Now probably wasn’t the best time to freak out though.

“Ok. Meet me up on the roof by the helicopter in ten minutes.” Cas said.

“Are you going to throw up?” Jo asked peering at Dean expectantly.

“No…maybe…yeah probably.” Dean groaned. “Shit…I’ve got to go…tell Krissy…just reassure her will you?” he asked Charlie. “She’s probably gonna be pretty freaked out by all this plus she’s not gonna get her pudding.”

“Yeah sure.” Charlie said before shoving the rest of her fries into her mouth. “Good…good luck.” She said almost fearfully. Both Dean and Charlie had grown fond of Krissy over the past few days and a positive outcome from the surgery was a desperate need for both of them.

The wind was fierce up on the roof and the blades of the helicopter didn’t help matters. It caused Cas’ normally unruly to fly around almost excitedly. A coat identical to Dean’s, which had the hospital’s name and logo written on it, partially protected him from the wind and all the necessary organ retrieval equipment was ready to hand.

“Ready to go?” Cas called over the sound of the helicopter. Dean nodded, honestly he felt too nervous to even say anything so all he could do was nod. “Nervous?” Cas asked. Once again Dean nodded. He expected Cas to roll his eyes or say something like ‘it will be ok’ but instead he placed a reassuring hand onto Dean’s arm and squeezed tightly. Just like in the on call room Cas’ eyes dropped to Dean’s lips and Dean could feel his chest tightening. For the strangest moment Dean was reminded of how before every exam he had taken at Yale Michael would kiss him. He would never say it was for luck, always for encouragement, but Dean always saw it as his lucky talisman. Now all he wanted to do was pull Cas towards his lips in a quest for good luck but he couldn’t, he didn’t have that right.

“I’m fine Cas.” Dean said instead and motioned towards the helicopter. “We better get going, Krissy will kick my ass for keeping her waiting.” He added with what he hoped was an easy looking grin. Cas gave him a confused look but nodded his head either way. They set off towards the helicopter and within a matter of minutes they were in the air, the hospital growing smaller until it blended in with the rest of the Chicago skyline. Fuck…they were actually in the air. The best for Dean to do was to sit back and not look out the window, looking out the window meant seeing how high up they were and that was not a good thing.

"Are you humming?" Cas questioned after about five minutes of being in the air. He leant over in his seat to rest a hand on Dean's arm yet again. He really needed to stop doing that because it really wasn’t doing Dean’s heart any good.  

"Yeah...yeah I'm just...I really hate flying. It makes no sense to me at all." Dean muttered between hums. "I mean I know how it works but it just...I really hate flying man. Planes, helicopters…I just hate it." 

"We won't be in the air for long, the flight is only forty five minutes long but I can distract you if you want." Cas said. Dean looked over with a cocked eyebrow. He wondered if Cas really meant for that to sound half as flirtatious as it did sound. “This is going to be the first time you get to see a transplant surgery, is it not?”

“Yeah…yeah it is.” Dean said trying to not think about how far up in the air they were.

“Are you nervous?” Castiel asked. Clearly Cas’ distraction method was to ask Dean as many questions as he could. It would probably work but Dean would have preferred Cas flirting with him even if that would never happen.

“Is it bad that I’m excited?” Dean responded. Cas shook his head. “Good…’cause I know I should be nervous but damn this is going to be huge for Krissy. She’s hopefully not gonna be sick any longer and she can go on to kick ass on the volleyball court.”

“If you weren’t so keen on cardio I would recommend you go into paediatrics. You’re good with young people.” Cas said fondly. Dean fought the blush that was creeping across his cheeks and neck as Cas stared at him. The night at Cas’ came back to his mind, the night that he should have just kissed Cas and told how he felt. There was something there, Dean couldn’t deny it, but as he heard Cas praise him he remembered why Cas was praising him, Cas was his resident and he really wasn’t sure how many more times he would have to remind himself of that fact before he completely cracked. Yeah…this really did suck.  

The retrieval of the transplant heart was straight forward and they were back at the hospital and scrubbed into the OR within a few hours. While Dean and Cas had been retrieving the heart Charlie had been reading up on the procedure and Mosely was letting her scrub in. The smile on Charlie’s face as she was scrubbing in was so wide Dean couldn’t help but smile back.

They were midway through the surgery when Castiel stopped what he doing. "Winchester, hand the suction over to Bradbury." Cas said not even looking up from the patient. 

"Did I do something wrong?" Dean asked suddenly panicking.

"No far from it." Cas said rolling his eyes. "I'm about the remove Krissy's old heart. If I hand it over to you would you please place it in the correct tray?" 

"Uh...yeah. I mean yes sir. Thank you." Dean heard himself say as he passed Charlie the heart clamp. Moments later Cas was handing him Krissy's old heart. There no words Dean could think of to describe how it felt to be holding a human heart in his hands.

He had watched with awe as Cas had done it during previous surgeries and now here Dean was, he was holding a human heart. With the steadiest hands he could manage he placed the heart onto its designated tray. When he made his way back to the operating table Charlie handed the clamp back to him, her eyes light up with a smile that told Dean is joy was completely infectious.

Cas carried on performing the surgery flawlessly and when it came to the new heart being connected and taken off bypass everyone waited with baited breath. It started beating. They had a beating heart. Everyone in the OR was thrilled as Krissy was closed up and taken to the ICU to be monitored until she was ready to be weaned off her suppressers. Dean was in the scrub room when Cas walked into the room.

"That was freaking amazing." Dean said pulling off his surgical mask. "That're amazing Cas." He said with awe as he turned to look at his resident. “I mean you’ve given her a whole new life. Krissy’s gonna live and it’s all because of you. I…I mean I got to hold a human heart, an actual human heart in my hands and it was all because of you…you’re amazing.” He said grinning from ear to ear. Cas looked back at him as he pulled off his own mask with the faintest frown. “Cas? What’s wrong?” Dean asked frowning himself.

He was barely given a moment to think before Cas closed the space between them with the desperation of a deserted man in need of salvation. All the air in Dean's lungs was ripped away as Cas' lips crashed into his. Deft hands, the hands Dean spent so long admiring as they held hearts or repaired ventricles, cradled his jaw as velvet lips left bruising kisses against Dean's own. As quickly as they crashed into Dean’s lips Cas’ lips were pulled away as Cas himself breathed out heavily.

"Fuck…I'm sorry Dean...I just needed you to know." Cas gasped with eyes wide and full of something Dean couldn't completely comprehend. "I'm sorry-"

Surging forward Dean caught Cas' lips and put everything into the kiss. He put in the weeks of laughing at Cas' dry humour and all the times his stomach had flipped when Cas smiled at him. He put in how in awe he was of Cas when they were in surgery together and how his chest tightened whenever Cas let down his guard and stop being ‘Castiel Novak MD’ and just became ‘Cas’.  Smiles, words of encouragement, hands on shoulders or arms and a rooftop. A rooftop where Dean should have told Cas how he felt, a rooftop that was the scene for Dean realising he wanted more than just Cas’ friendship. He wanted Cas. Dean put of these things into his kiss hoping that Cas understood because needed to understand. Cas needed to realise what this meant to Dean because he didn’t have the words to describe it. Everything he had was in this moment, this moment of lips and pure need.

"Don't fucking apologise” Dean said. “Don't...just don't apologise." He rasped out clinging onto Castiel's scrub top for his life. Resting his forehead against Castiel's he breathed in, his lungs filling with air, and he felt lighter than he had in weeks. “You have nothing to apologise for Cas, nothing at all.” He pressed staring into Cas’ wide, panic filled, eyes.

“I…I need…I need to tell Krissy’s parents her transplant went well.” Cas said.


“They need to know that her procedure went well.” Cas said backing away from Dean and running his fingers through his permanently messy hair. Dean’s whole body sank with every inch of space Cas put between them. Cas backed out the room as Dean gripped onto the nearest surface to steady himself. As soon as Cas was out the room Dean grabbed hold of whatever was closest, which turned out to be a metal tray, and threw it across the room, swearing loudly as he did so.

What the actual fuck just happened?

He didn’t see Cas again for almost a whole day. The transplant surgery, among other things, had taken their toll on him and so Dean spent most of the way catching up on charting or asleep in the intern’s locker room. Jo must have sensed something had happened so she didn’t push him to talk to her. After spending the best part of a week primarily in the hospital Dean was desperate to go home or move to Alaska, whichever would get him the furthest away from Cas as possible. Dean was walking across the hospital parking lot towards his him, zipping up his leather jacket as he did so, when he heard someone call out his name.

“Dean-” Shit, this was all he needed right now.

“Fuck off.” He snapped before Cas could say anything else.

“Dean please.”

“No. Just fuck off Cas.” It was probably a million different kinds of stupid to tell his resident to fuck off but he was past giving a shit, Cas had hurt him and now he was in his right to lash out.

“Dean don’t do this please. Can we please just talk?” Cas asked with the same tone someone would use on a small child who was having an undeserved temper tantrum. The tone alone would have set Dean over the edge but Cas’ irritated expression really took the fucking biscuit.

“What the fuck do you even want me to say?” Dean asked rounding upon Cas. “What do you even want me to do? You kissed me. You were the one who kissed me in the middle of a fucking scrub room. Yes I kissed you back but you were the one that changed everything!” Dean yelled not even caring that he was stood in the middle the hospital parking lot screaming at his resident at the top of his lungs. “You can’t fuck with people’s feelings like this Cas! You can’t just kiss me, apologise then walk away because you’re having some sort of internal crisis. If you knew you were going to up and run then you shouldn’t have done anything in the first fucking place because it fucks everyone up! You might be a robot but not everyone is like you! People have these things called ‘feelings’ and you can’t just fuck around with them!”

“Dean Winchester stop screaming at me and listen to me for once in your goddamn life!” Cas yelled in the same commanding voice he used in the OR. Dean stopped, his breathing heavy from yelling, and stared at Cas. “Just stop yelling.” Cas said, his voice becoming pleading as he walked over to Dean and stopped barely an inch in front of him. Dean’s stomach flipped at the intimacy and despite his conflicted feelings for Cas all he wanted to do was kiss him. “Stop yelling and take me back to your apartment.” Cas said seriously. Dean was convinced his brain short circuited in that moment.   

“What?” Dean asked. Cas sighed, he was close enough for his breath to cause Dean’s skin to erupt with goose bumps along his neck. He wanted to hate Cas in the moment because he’d walked away, he’d changed things between them just walked away but from the way Dean’s hearts was stopping and starting he knew it was no good. There was no possible way his body wanted to hate Cas, it wanted to react to every little touch or look with hypersensitivity.

“Dean…” Cas closed the space between even more so, his lips mere millimetres away from Dean’s own. “Stop yelling at me and take me back to you apartment. You want me to stop fucking with your feelings, well here I am making a decision to not fuck with them. Stop yelling at me, stop telling me to fuck off and just drive me back to your apartment.” He said in a low tone, the bass of it reverberating through Dean’s whole body. “I’m saying fuck the consequences because I’m none pretending I don’t feel anything.” Cas all but growled out before pulling Dean into a kiss right there in the middle of the parking lot. Dean didn’t even think before kissing Cas back, if Cas was saying ‘fuck’ to the consequences then so was Dean.

Dean prayed to God, or whoever was up there, that Jo had gone out for the evening as he practically dragged Cas into the apartment and pushed him against the nearest wall. His lips hungrily found Cas' moments later and the moan that escaped Cas' mouth should have probably been illegal because fuck was it hot. The cardio surgeon's hands snaked under the hem of Dean's shirt, fingers splaying across his stomach sending jolts of electricity through Dean’s whole body as fingernails raked over his skin. Those hands, the hands Dean had admired for their incredible skill during surgery, roamed upwards until they ghosted over his rib cage. A breath caught sharply in Dean's throat and Cas' dexterous hands gripped onto his ribs, fingers digging into his skin as the kiss grew more heated and deeper.

Cas pulled away for a moment and Dean couldn't help but try to chase the cardio surgeon's lips. Cas chuckled loudly and pulled Dean's plaid shirt off his shoulders. This was probably going a hundred and fifty thousand miles too quickly but Cas had said ‘fuck the consequences’ so Dean was fucking the consequences. He didn’t give himself time to think because if he’d had learnt anything over the past few years it was that if given the chance to overthink something he would royally fuck it up. He had done that enough already when it came to Cas whether it be yelling at him in the OR (and again in a parking lot), falling asleep on a couch with him or failing to kiss him on that damn rooftop (and again at Cas’ apartment. He didn’t want to think anymore, he just wanted to do what he had wanted to do since getting to know Cas.

The sound of Cas' belt unbuckling felt deafening in the empty apartment. As Dean pulled it out the loops and threw it to the floor Cas had been busy himself by pulling the thin t-shirt Dean had been wearing off and it soon joined Cas' belt on the floor. Cas' sweater and his own shirt soon followed. The feel of their chests flushed together sent chills down Dean's spine as pure want swelled up inside his body. Yeah this was really going a hundred and fifty thousand miles too quickly and Dean really couldn’t give a shit.

"Dean bedroom." Cas gasped out while Dean kissed a firm line up the other man's jaw. "I'm not having sex with you on the couch like some horny teenager." He added making it clear there was no other way this night could continue and that they'd been building up to this for a long time.

Maybe we have Dean thought with a rush of realisation.

Maybe the months they'd spent becoming friends, becoming colleagues had really been spent just building up to the moment when they could be themselves and be with each other. Dean wasn’t one for believing in shit like that but maybe that was because he had never had a friendship that had so quickly changed into something full of need instead of amity. 

The two men practically fell into Dean's bedroom when he finally managed to get the door open. Hands gripped onto skin, lips ghosted over jaws and heavy breaths filled the room. Dean kicked crumpled and dirty shirts out the way, thinking randomly of how much he needed to do some damn laundry sometime soon which wasn’t the best thing to think about when he was about to have sex. Jeans were lost as Dean lead Cas towards the bed until they both in nothing but their boxers, Cas’ hand palming Dean as he peppered Dean’s jaw with hot kisses. A coil of heat was quickly forming in Dean’s gut and with a surge of longing he pushed Cas down onto the bed so he was able to straddle Cas’ strong, muscular thighs effortlessly. If it weren’t for Cas using his elbows to prop himself up they he would have been laid out on the bed. Dean couldn’t help but smirk as he shifted so his legs were enclosing Cas’ hips.

He sucked a deep bruise onto Cas' collar bone, gently biting at the skin until it was red, before making his way down to the other man's stomach, peppering kisses down his chest and then his well-defined abdomen. The breathless gasps for air Cas let out nearly sent him over the edge so Dean had no idea what actual sex with Cas was going to do to him. Thank God Cas was a cardio surgeon because Dean was convinced his heart was going to give out at some point during the evening. His hands moved along the length of Cas' strong thighs, the dude had to be a runner because there was no way he got a body like that from just being a surgeon, and he dug deep into the muscle hoping to hear another breathless gasp. The moan Cas let out was loud and went straight to Dean's stomach as well as a region slightly more south. Oh yeah, he was doing that again. He dug his fingers into the muscle again and shuddered with lust at the second moan Cas let out. 

Cas gripped onto Dean's shoulder and pulled him up the other man's chest so Castiel could capture Dean's lips with his own. The kiss was deep, hot and wet and sent Dean's body temperature skywards. Sweat prickled his skin and he could taste the salt of Cas' own sweat as he dipped his head to kiss the other man's neck. It shouldn't have been as hot as it was but fuck it because everything about Cas shouldn't have been as hot as it was. The man made breathing sexy for fuck sake. 

Cas' hand reached for Dean's underwear but stopped just as a single finger curled around the waistband. Jesus fuck Dean was actually going to go in heart failure.

"Cas you're killing me here." He managed to get out with a moan.

"Is this ok though?" Cas asked suddenly looking at Dean with a scared look and the determined man was instantly replaced with someone who was nothing but afraid. "I don't find people I care about very often and I don't want to mess this up by moving too fast."

"Cas believe me, I've been thinking about this at really inappropriate times like when you're hands are in a patient’s chest. You're not gonna mess this up." 

"Good because I want this Dean...I want you." Cas said firmly. The pool of heat in Dean's gut was threatening to engulf his whole body and make him admit something akin to feelings so instead of saying anything he pulled Cas into a wet kiss that left both of them gasping for air. Cas' hand slipped under the waistband of Dean underwear and with a swift pull his underwear was pushed down to his knees. He kicked the fabric away until he was completely naked and actually gasping for Cas to touch him or taste him. His hips rolled as Cas' hand grazed his hips and dug into the flesh. A frantic gasp escaped his lips and he might have even let a moan. Cas caught his lips in a frantic and hungry kiss, biting down on the bottom lip but not hard enough to break the skin. Cas kissed a long line from Dean's lips to his jaw then up to the small space under his ear. "I want you Dean. I've wanted you ever since that first day. Every time you called me out for being an ass made me want you even more." Cas whispered hungrily and that was enough to nearly send Dean over the edge but he wasn't some horny teenager, he wasn't going to come purely from hot kisses and words whispered in his ear. 


“No you need to let me say this. You have a horrible habit of not letting people say the things they want to say.” Cas said. “I wasn’t walking away…after we kissed I wasn’t walking away. I had to clear my head and really think about what I was feeling for you. On the rooftop and at my apartment…I had to stop myself from kissing you because I didn’t know if you felt what I felt…what I feel. I needed you to know and I couldn’t stop myself…but I need to know as well.” Cas said as his hands moved to backs of Dean’s thighs, fingers digging into the hard muscle and further upwards until both hands were firmly on Dean's ass. There was no going back now, not that Dean even wanted to think about going back, and as Dean looked into Cas' hungry blue eyes he knew that this was what he wanted. He wanted every one of Cas' touches and kisses. He wanted Cas. “I need to know what you want Dean.”

“I felt it on the rooftop. I feel it as well Cas, ok? I feel it.” Dean said. "I want you too." He said and he meant it. He hadn't felt this much need for someone in a long time and it was probably going to be the death of him. “I want you Cas.” Dean said as he surged forward and captured Cas’ lips in his own. Like the kiss in the scrub room he let this kiss tell Cas everything he needed to know. He let it tell Cas just how much he wanted him. How much he needed him.

Cas pulled away, his eyes all but black with lust blown pupils, and "Do you have any-"

"Top drawer." Dean said as Cas gave him a quick smile. The heat of Cas' body disappeared as he crawled over to the bedside table and pulled open the drawer. When a chuckle escaped Cas' lips Dean shot him a questioning look.

"You keep medical journals in the same drawer as condoms and lube?" Cas asked crawling back to Dean with said items. The condoms and lube that was, not the medical journals. 

"I...I was reading up on the best way to treat ventricular septal defect from your surgery two weeks ago and just threw them in there." Dean said knowing full well that his chest was flushed red from the blush that had crept down from his cheeks. Cas chuckled yet again and surged forward, capturing Dean's lips in a firm kiss.

"Thank you for that Winchester, now I'm forever going to picture you naked whenever anyone says ventricular septal defect. You're going to be the death of me one day."

"Funny, I've said the same thing about you. Though most of the time I’m really convinced you might actually kill me." Dean said smirking. Cas rolled his eyes before smirking wickedly and pulling Dean closer to him. "You're probably one of those guys who gets weirdly turned on by medical terminology, aren't you?" Dean said as Cas rolled his eyes yet again. "Instead of sweet nothings I could whisper the proceedings of a coronary artery bypass graft." 

"Winchester I'm going to put you on scut for a week if you don't shut up and let me have sex with you." Cas warned as the smirk slowly returned to his face.

"Dr Novak I'm sure that is an abuse of power." Dean said smirking just as hard. Instead of a witty retort Cas did one better by bringing their lips together in a deep kiss while he slid off his underwear so now he was just as naked as Dean was. The touch of skin against so much skin was making Dean’s brain short circuit in the best way possible.

With a gentleness Dean wasn’t expecting Cas ran his fingers down Dean’s side and gripped onto his hips, locking Dean in an intense gaze that set jolts of electricity through Dean’s whole body. This was the last possible moment for Dean to pull away and tell Cas that this whole thing wasn’t what he wanted but that would be the biggest lie he’d ever told. His whole body was on fire with the desperate burn of passionate he felt for Cas and despite the voices of doubt in his head he wanted nothing more than to feel every part of Cas, he wanted Cas in every possible way. Without saying another word Dean nodded his head to tell Cas that this was exactly what he wanted, where he wanted to be and who he wanted be with.

Cas’ deft fingers moved from their place on Dean’s hips and around until they were splayed out across the dip of Dean’s spine. For a moment the intense touch disappeared as Dean heard the small bottle of lube being opened. He sighed deeply as Cas’ touch returned as the first hint of burn flared through his body Dean closed his eyes and lent down to rest his head against Cas’ shoulder.

“I’ve got you Dean.” Cas whispered into his ear. Cas repeated this as one finger became two then three. He had Dean, he wasn’t going to let anything happen to him.

As Cas scissored his fingers the painful burn gave way to slow but pleasurable heat deep in Dean’s gut. Just as Dean thought he couldn’t take anymore Cas crooked a finger, hitting Dean’s prostate with what seemed like calculated determination and Dean had to bite down on the other man’s shoulder to stop himself from yelling hoarsely. His dry spell, after all he hadn’t had sex since the night before Michael left for England, had made him over sensitised and he was sure that he wasn’t going to last much longer if Cas didn’t just fuck him already. 

“Cas” Dean groaned out. Cas’ eyes locked on his and the question was there. Without even having to think, because he was already too far gone to even contemplate even saying no, Dean nodded and he was left feeling momentarily empty as Cas’ fingers pulled out. Dean’s heart hammered against his rib cage as he tried to regain his breath. Once again the question was in Cas’ eyes, Dean understood that he wanted to make sure they were doing the right thing here, and once again Dean nodded. Cas’ lips found his, tongue flicking over his teeth and fingers that had been so busy now holding onto Dean’s hips like Cas’ life depended on it. Dean’s own hands scrambled for purchase over Cas’ strong back, fingers digging into the muscle because he knew just what did to Cas. Sure enough a groan rumbled through Cas’ chest as he bit down on Dean’s lower lip. With a roll of those damn hip bones, the very ones Dean had been thinking about ever since he’d walked in on Cas in the on call room, slowly entered until he was in to the hilt. Shit…Dean could barely breathe as the momentum of Cas’ hips sped up.

It was too much and at the same time not nearly enough. The coil of heat in his gut snapped and sent flaming hot heat through his entire body as he fell over the edge, thighs wrapped tightly around Cas to stop him from crashing and breaking into a million pieces. With a silent scream he rode it out, fingers digging onto the flesh of Cas' shoulders and lips tracing a hot open mouthed kiss along Cas' jaw. They stayed like that until the they came down from the high, Cas pulling out but wrapping his arms around Dean as his did so. He clung on as if his life depended on it.

Even though Dean wanted nothing more than to talk to Cas about what had happened the past few days at the hospital had really taken its toll. He could barely keep his eyes open as he came down from the high of being with Cas. He would have time in the morning to freak out, and quite possibly overthink the fuck out of what had happened, but now he was just going to sleep. Sleep, at the moment, was more important than freaking out. Plus Cas’ arms were really comfortable.

Medical Notes:

Krissy's condition is called cardiomyopathy. It is a weakening of the heart muscle and more info can be found here.

Information on organ transplant can be found here with information about heart transplant being here

Chapter Text

Dean woke to a strong arm wrapped around his chest, pulling him inwards so his back is flushed against Cas' chest. He would have complained bitterly about having to be the little spoon but it actually felt damn nice having Cas' arms wrapped around him, legs tangled together and Cas' face buried in the crook of Dean's neck.

Realisation rushed to him as memories from the night before started to sweep across his brain like wings cutting through the air. He had crossed a line, a huge bright red 'Do Not Cross' line really, by sleeping with his resident and there was a strong chance he could get kicked out the intern program. He'd barely been there three months as well.

Way to go Winchester, way to royally fuck up the best thing going for you in your life.

He had spent all those years and all those thousands of dollars desperately trying to become a surgeon and really make something of his life then he went and fucked it up because he couldn't keep it in his pants. Typical.

He could go about this in two ways; the first was that he could move his ass out of the bed and get ready for work while pretending that his boss wasn't lying ass naked in his bed. The second was that he could stay wrapped in Cas' arms for another fifteen minutes until his alarm went off then he could have a freak out over the ass naked boss. The second option meant that he stayed warm for another fifteen minutes. With a very naked Cas.

Sure it was stupid and he'd probably get fired but he went with option two. Warmth and naked Cas won in the end because the bed was really warm and Cas' arms felt kinda nice wrapped around him. It had nothing to do with his shit willpower because he doubted that anyone could resist a naked Cas wrapped around them. Dean burrowed his face further into the pillow when he heard Cas mumble something sleepily. 

"What?" Dean asked. He hadn't even realised that Cas was awake.

"I said 'Stop fidgeting.'" Cas mumbled into Dean's neck. His warm breath sent a shiver down Dean's spine and he couldn't stop himself from moving closer into the warmth so Cas' lips were pressed against Dean's neck, soft pressure pressing into the warm skin. Ok that probably had something to do with shit willpower. He had fourteen and a half minutes left of this so he was going to revel in it. "You're alarm goes off in fourteen minutes or so and I don't plan to move before then because I'm very comfortable. So stop fidgeting." Cas whispered with a small huff. Clearly Cas wanted to go with option number two as well.  

"What will you do if I don't?" Dean asked playfully. Cas groaned sleepily and tightened his grip around Dean's chest. 

"I am your resident and therefore in charge of the pages you receive. I have two words for you; infected abscess." Cas mumbled.

"You should probably go and a get that checked out if you've got one you know." Dean shot back with a wide grin even though he knew Cas couldn't see it. Cas could threaten him all he wanted but Dean knew he’d never give Dean crappy patients once Dean gave him the same smirk that had made him infamous back in Lawrence.

"You're infuriating Dean Winchester." Cas said placing a kiss on Dean's shoulder. "What on earth do I see in you?"

"I'm damn adorable and a secret genius." Dean retorted

"And not at all modest." Cas said with a loud snort. With another grin Dean rolled over to face Cas. Ok this was all a terrible idea but it was also damn fun and that was all Dean cared about at that moment. He hadn't felt something remotely like how he felt for Cas in a long time. Without saying another word Cas pulled him into a deep kiss, his hands roaming across Dean's back as he did so. Dean's hips arched at the touch and Cas' lips curved up into a smile through the kiss. "I know I said that we have a while before your alarm goes off but I need to shower." Cas said pulling away slightly. Dean groaned to himself as slivers of cool air seeped between them. "Join me?" Cas asked cocking his eyebrows. Thirteen minutes of lying in bed or thirteen minutes of making out with Cas in the shower. There was no competition. 

Dean pulled himself out his bed and closely followed Cas into the cramped bathroom that was slowly being filled up with far too much of Jo’s crap. Why the woman needed so many bottles of shower gel was beyond Dean. Also why most of them had to smell like vanilla was a real mystery.

Getting his first shot at solo surgery was Dean's greatest joy in life but being pushed against his shower wall and kissed hungrily by Cas came in at a very close second. He was definitely rethinking this thing between them being over once his alarm went off for work as Cas effortlessly lifted Dean up so he was able to wrap his thighs around the other man's waist. Jesus fuck Cas was strong. Steaming hot water hit Dean's hyper sensitive skin as Cas kissed him deeply, his tongue exploring the planes of Dean's mouth until he was left breathless. Cas' deft fingers carded through Dean's hair with feather soft touches. The touches alone were enough for Dean to slowly come undone, everything Cas seemed to do made him hyper sensitive and alert. Deft hands roamed over his body, ghosting over his ribs, hips and digging into the strong muscles in his back. The knots of tension in Dean’s back were kneaded out by Cas’ skilled hands, the difference between the pressure against his lips in the pressure that Cas was applying to his muscles made Dean’s head reel. His breath was becoming more and more shallow as a loud blaring noise ripped through his small apartment.

The invention of alarms was as evil as the invention of prejudice, bigotry and Crocs.

"Time's up Winchester." Cas said as he let go of Dean, his lips ghosting across Dean's ear. 

"Like fuck it is." Dean muttered back pulling Cas into a firm kiss. 

"You are incorrigible Winchester." Cas said once Dean released him. “And you have awful morning breath.” Dean smacked him on the thigh making Cas let out a loud yelp. Dean went to get them both towels and he threw one at Cas before wrapping one around his waist. Cas was soon given a spare toothbrush from the drawer next to the sink and Dean made sure he doubled up on the toothpaste to combat the morning breath problem. He probably didn’t even have morning breath, there was a strong chance Cas was just being an ass, but he wasn’t going to fix it.

It wasn’t until Dean was midway through brushing his teeth, slightly hindered by Cas nudging him with his hip, when he realised that he’d never seen or heard from Jo since before he’d come back to the apartment. She was always up when Dean’s alarm went off so it was obvious she wasn’t in the apartment; Dean would have to send her a text message as soon as he had the chance. It was nothing new for Jo not to come back to the apartment, actually it was nothing new for either of them not to return to apartment after work. Sometimes Jo would end up asleep in either the on call room or the intern’s locker room and Dean had taken to sleeping in the hospital when he’d been waiting on a heart for Krissy.

While Cas was getting changed back into the clothes he’d been wearing the night before Dean pottered around the kitchen, switching the coffee machine into life and throwing Pop Tarts into the toaster.

"I still have that shirt you let me borrow the last time I stayed here." Cas said almost smugly as he walked back into the kitchen in his jeans and a t-shirt. He stood next to Dean, leaning against the counter top, with a self-satisfied smile. 

Dean smacked him on the side with a playful grin. "I know you do, you fucker. That's my favourite shirt as well." He said as the coffee machine beeped loudly.

"I can understand why, it's awfully comfortable." Cas said moving against Dean, still wearing that smug smile. "You might not ever get it back."

"Is that a challenge Novak?" Dean said cocking an eyebrow. Cas raised his own eyebrows as Dean pressed against him, eyes roaming over the other man's face shamelessly. He could lean in and kiss Cas lightly or use his tongue and hope Cas would let out the same moans he let out the night before, either way it didn't matter because Dean could do that. The barrier that had been between them on the rooftop and in Cas' apartment was gone now. Even if was a stupid idea Dean was determined for that barrier to remain gone. "What would I have to do to get my shirt back?" 

"I could think of several things and none of them are hospital related." Cas said, his voice lowering sending a rumble of want through Dean's chest. "But, right now we need to be getting to the hospital so sadly you're going to remain clothed."

"Where's the fun in that?" Dean said with a huff. 

"Well, does a mechanical valve replacement sound fun?" Cas asked. "You could scrub in and watch the whole procedure if you want." He suggested. 

"I watched a porcine valve replacement at Yale but never a mechanical. You're not just asking me because of last night are you?"

"No, no I would never do that. I'm asking you because I'm hoping you'll be doing the same procedure by yourself in a few years and when you do you can credit me for teaching you the technique."

"Is that the only technique you're going to tech me Dr Novak?" 

"Like I said, you are incorrigible Dean Winchester. Is your brain, however large it may be, permanently in your pants?" Cas inquired with raised eyebrows.

"No, not always. It's sometimes in a scalpel." Dean said before lowering his lips ever so slightly to capture Cas' own in a kiss. Who had he been kidding? Last night couldn't be a one-time thing, he was pretty sure he was falling hard and fast for Cas and one night would never be enough. He wanted as many nights as he could get. He wanted to wake up to Cas' sleepy mumbling and ridiculous bed hair. He wanted long kisses in the shower and playful hip nudges while they brushed their teeth.

Fuck, he wanted Cas. All of Cas.

"I was right when I said you and I were going to have fun this year." Cas whispered into Dean's ear.

"Not gonna lie here Cas." Dean said as he gripped the kitchen counter because Cas' whispering was doing all kinds of things to him in that moment. "But I was convinced that you were thinking of killing me and using me as a cadaver for the skills lab."

"The thought has crossed my mind." Cas said with a low chuckle. "But then I decided screwing you senseless was more fun." Dammit Cas, there was no way they were getting to the hospital on time now. Dean caught Cas' lips in a hot and wet kiss, pushing the other man up against the counter as he did so. Their hips rutted together in a fast rhythm. "You have a one track mind Winchester." Cas said between kisses. 

"You started it Novak." Dean shot back gripping onto Cas' hips for dear life. 

"Yes, and now I'm finishing it." Cas said with a wicked grin as he slid out from Dean's grasp. Dean couldn't help but groan as Cas shot him a huge smirk as he walked towards Dean's room. "I'm going to have to borrow another shirt, going to the hospital in last night's shirt would be suspicious."

"Turning up in my shirt would be even more suspicious, dumbass." Dean pointed out.

"Maybe I'm just starting an illicitly acquired collection Dean Winchester's shirts." Cas said loudly from Dean’s room.

"The first one wasn't taken illicitly." Dean called back. Cas reappeared in yet another of Dean's favourite shirts, Dean was sure he was doing this just to get a reaction out of Dean. 

"That's what you think." Cas said as he buttoned up the shirt over his t-shirt. "Come on, there are rounds that need to be done and I have to talk to the chief sometime today about my research budget." Cas added. Dean handed him his jacket and a travel mug of coffee. Before Cas would have thanked him with a smile but now he leant over and closed the space between them with a kiss. Yeah that was something Dean could get used to. 

"How is the research going?" Dean asked while they walked out his apartment. 

"It's still in the paper stage but as soon as I can get my funding for it, as well as the head of department's sign off on it, I can move forward with it." Cas explained going further into his research as the pair drove towards the hospital. Cas’ passion for his work was evident in every word he spoke and Dean listened with rapt silence as Cas talked through the next stages of his cardio research. The specialty of cardiothoracics had always interested Dean when he was in college and medical school but hearing Cas talk about it was on a whole different level, the passion he had for the specialty was evident in every word Cas spoke.

Dean pulled into the parking lot in almost next to no time. He mourned the loss of the time spent in the Impala, Cas sat next to him and talking away as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Dean wanted nothing more than to still the moments with Cas and honestly that scared him because it meant that he wanted this last, he wanted it to become a relationship before he even knew what Cas really wanted. Yes Cas had said he wanted Dean but what did that really mean? Did he want playful nudges while brushing teeth and teasing conversations over morning coffee? Did he really want Dean the way Dean was terrified of wanting Cas?

It took a few moments to realise Cas was saying something to him.


“Huh?” Dean asked looking over towards the passengers seat.

“I asked if you were planning on going into the hospital anytime soon because otherwise we’re going to be late.” Cas said with a furrowed brow.

“Oh yeah, sorry…” Dean tried to say casually but he knew Cas could hear the falsity in his voice.  

“You were thinking incredibly hard there, is everything alright?” Cas asked moving closer to Dean, a concerned look in his eyes. He placed a gentle hand on Dean’s arm and gave it a small squeeze, his thumb stroking the skin exposed by Dean’s rolled up sleeves. “Dean?”

“Yeah, yeah I’m fine. You’re right about us being late, we better get going.” Dean said moving to open the door of the Impala but Cas stopped him. “I thought we were going to be late.” Dean said raising his eyebrows in confusion.

“We are but if we are then I might as well make it worth my while.” Cas said leaning into Dean’s space. He caught Dean’s lips in his own, his hand cupping Dean’s jaw. Dean didn’t care if anyone saw them, he didn’t care if the whole damn hospital saw them because for the first in a while he just let himself be the person he really was and be with the person he wanted to be with.

It was completely freeing.

“Hey I’m sorry I never sent you a message last night to say I wasn’t coming back to the apartment.” Jo said hurrying up to Dean as soon as he walked into the intern’s locker room.

“Cutting it close aren’t you Winchester?” Ruby asked from across the room while she pulled her dark hair into the messy knot. “Aren’t you afraid that Novak’s going to slap your little wrists? Or are you into that kind of thing?” she asked with a cocked eyebrow.

“Like I said, sorry I never text you last night.” Jo said raising her voice over Ruby’s loud laugh. “Sarah invited me and Charlie round to hers for a few drinks and I ended up sleeping there. Why were you late, did your alarm not go off or something?”

“Yeah, something like that.” Dean said distractedly as he quickly got changed. He thought he was in the clear until-

“Holy shit, is that a hickey?” Charlie asked poking Dean’s shoulder where, sure enough, there was a large mark just below Dean’s collarbone. Dammit Cas. He must have done it sometime during their shower that morning. “Did you score last night?”

“Um…something like that.”

“Was it that skeevy looking nurse on the first floor that was at the party?” Jo asked examining the mark.

“The brunette with the huge hair and ugly shoes?” Sarah intoned.

“Yeah, that’s the one.” Jo said now poking the mark.

“Will you stop that?” Dean asked grabbing his scrub top and pulling it on over his head. “It was not the ‘skeevy’ looking nurse on the first floor and shut up about my sex life, I don’t ask you a fuckton of questions.” He added.

“What? Someone was stupid enough to go horizontal with Winchester? Impossible.” Ruby said walking up to Dean with that damn smirk of hers plastered across her face. “You just don’t have the same good looks as that brother of yours.”

“Eighteen Ruby, he’s eighteen and far too good for you.” Dean said fighting the urge to throw up on Ruby’s scuffed up sneakers. The next time his brother came to stay Dean was keeping him as far away from Ruby and her creepy, totally inappropriate intentions. “Come on, we’re gonna be late.” He said turning away from Ruby’s skanky thoughts. He shoved his feet into his own sneakers and took off out the locker room, Jo hot on his heels.

“Hey ignore Ruby, she just says shit like that to wind you up.” Jo said hurrying to keep up with Dean’s strides. “I know you’re super secret about shit like this but the hickey?” she asked. “From having Dr Sexy marathons in your pyjamas when you have a day off to coming into work with a hickey when I happen to know you’re still getting over that ex-boyfriend of yours. What’s changed?”

“We’re having this little discussion now? Right before rounds?” Dean asked because did Jo really have to bring up the pyjama clad TV marathons?

“Yeah the rounds that you were almost late for because you were probably having post-sex pancakes or whatever it was you were doing.”

“There wasn’t pancakes, there was just coffee.” Dean interjected. He and Jo reached the station where they normally met Cas for rounds and for a moment Dean was worried that Cas had been even more held up but a few seconds later Cas came hastening down the corridor with several files under his arms. Dean fought a smile as Cas used a file to try and hide a huge yawn.

“One day he’s going to actually leave the hospital and sleep for more than a few minutes.” Jo whispered. “He was probably here all night doing charts or tormenting the ER staff. Then again I didn’t hear about him making Adam cry so he was probably watching over Krissy Chambers like a hawk.” She added and Dean couldn’t help but smirk at how far from the truth she really was. He’d let Jo think that, he’d even let her get away with being bitchy about Cas, purely because how much it amused him. “Are you scrubbing in on his mechanical valve op?” Jo asked as they were joined by Adam, Charlie and Sarah.

“Yeah, are you still gonna be wearing the ol’ pink scrubs?” 

“Fuck you." Jo said with a groan. "Working on the Vagina Squad is seriously driving me up the wall. I'm sick of seeing huge pregnant women cry over cuddly toys.”

“Well then it’s a good thing you’re not on the ‘Vagina Squad’ anymore.” Cas said making Jo jump nearly a foot in the air. “Harvelle you’re in orthopaedic, Milligan you’re still in the ER on trauma and Blake you’re going to be taking Harvelle’s spot in OBGYN. Bradbury’s with paediatrics and Winchester you’re with me for the mechanical valve case. Does anyone have any complaints?”

“Really?” Charlie asked with a surprise tone; Cas really wasn’t one for listening to interns complain.

“No, we’re running late as it is so let’s get going.” Cas said motioning for Dean to follow him. He handed Dean the necessary files for Dean to get up to speed on the case while the other interns followed them. “I need you to get as up to speed with the case as possible before we go into surgery.” He said to Dean before addressing Jo and the others. “The procedure is soon so if you all are able to watch I would suggest you do so, valve replacements are becoming more common so there’s a chance it will come up in your intern exam.” Basically Cas wanted them to all be there to watch the surgery because there was a 99.9% chance that a question about mechanical valves would come up on the intern exam. Yeah sometimes Cas could be hard on his interns but he was also pretty damn great. 

“Dean.” Cas called out as he followed Dean down the staircase. It was a few minutes after rounds and Dean was craving caffeine. Lots of caffeine. “I was wondering, if we’re both out of here relatively early tonight would you like to come over to my apartment? I could cook dinner for us if you’d like.” Cas said and Dean could hear the nerves in Cas’ voice. He was nervous about asking Dean round to his apartment and it was impossible for Dean to not find it incredibly endearing.

“Two nights in a row? You’re not sick of me yet Dr Novak?” Dean asked. The nerves that had been present just a few seconds ago disappeared as Cas rolled his eyes and gave Dean a nudge.

“Surprisingly I’m not, I’m quite amazed.” He said jokily

“I am a charming guy, everyone wants my company.” Dean said. “Dinner at your place sounds good, it’s better than Mac and Cheese and Jo making snarky comments.”

“Well while I enjoy Mac and Cheese I could live without Jo Harvelle’s snarky comments.” Cas said. “I should be finished by eight this evening so we could head back to mine for about half past.”

“Yeah that sounds like a plan to me.” Dean said. Cas’ smile was so wide Dean was worried it would break his face. Without saying another word Cas closed the space between them and quickly kissed Dean. “If I get stairwell kisses just for agreeing to eat hopefully edible food what do I get for being a kickass intern in the surgery today?” Dean asked with a light chuckle.

“A very nice remark towards the attendings about how capable you are in surgery which will come in very useful when they’re choosing the intern to solo assist on a surgery.”

“They’re choosing interns for a solo assist?” Dean asked. Sure stairwell kisses and maybe more hot showers was all well and good but assisting on a surgery was one step closer to performing solo surgery. “Ok then, a very nice remark will do.”

“Good because I’d hate people to think that I was offering you sex for surgeries.” Cas said jokily. Dean rolled his eyes, and damn if that didn’t feel good, and gave Cas a small punch on the arm. “Tonight is about us, as in being an ‘us’ but the surgery today is about us being an intern and a resident. Just so people don’t judge us.” Cas added voicing those damn concerns Dean kept having. “Now go and get your coffee or you’ll be an ass in the surgery.”

“You’re a damn good resident, I hope people tell you that more often.” Dean said giving Cas a kiss before going off in the search for desperately needed caffeine. Well caffeine and maybe some advice from his brother. Pulling out his phone Dean quickly sent a text message to Sam.

If I told you I’d screwed up how surprised would you be?

The reply from Sam came back only a few moments later.

Not very. Who did you kill? Was it Jo? Do I have to represent you on ‘Saucepan Destruction’ grounds?

I didn’t kill anyone.

Ok then who did you have sex with when you probably shouldn’t have had sex with them?

Dean would have rolled his eyes at Sam’s comment but his brother really did know him too well. A second text buzzed through moments later before Dean could even reply to the first.

Actually scratch that, I don’t need to know the ins and outs of your sex life. Literally. Though if you’re seeing someone now does that mean you called Michael and talked to him?

Damn, Dean should have known Sam would bring up Michael and make Dean feel guilty. Sam was right after all, he did need to talk to Michael and clear up everything between them, especially when Dean was beginning something with Cas.


Watching Cas in surgery was always fascinating, his technique was seem less and without a flaw but now Dean found it even more fascinating. He had begun to notice little moves Cas made that were completely unique and Dean found himself cataloging each of them to ask Cas about later on. There was the way Cas held the scalpel, how he did his stitches and how his deft hands cradled vital organs. Dean remembered with slightly reddening cheeks how those very hands had been roaming across his skin only hours before and he was incredibly thankful that this surgical mask hid most of his face. 

As Dean continued to watch the surgery his mind wandered to Sam's words from earlier on in the day. Michael deserved to know about Cas, he deserved to know that Dean was with someone now. They had been together for a long time after all and Michael had been the one to be there for Dean when no one else had. He deserved more than having phone messages ignored. 

Once surgery was over and the patient had been taken into recovery Dean scrubbed out, grabbed a well needed drink and went off in the search for a quiet corner so he could call Michael. 

"Hello?" A sleep heavy voice said. Shit, Dean had forgotten about the time difference. It must have been the middle of the night in London. While some surgeries only felt minutes long they really took hours and the valve replacement had taken several hours at least.

"'s Dean." Dean said wincing at how awkward he sounded. This was Michael for fuck sake, they had been together for three years so why was he feeling awkward?


"Yeah, I'm sorry it must be the middle of the freaking night where you are. I forgot about the time difference." Dean said looking down at his watch and yeah, it would have just gone past one in the morning over in England. Fuck.

"It's fine, I haven't long come's good to hear from you."

"Yeah. I got you message, I'm sorry I haven't been in touch." Dean said once again wincing at his voice.

"Dean don’t worry about it, Bela told me you seemed busy at the hospital." Michael said. Dean heard a light click on and the rustling of blankets. Damn Michael must not have long gone to bed. Now Dean felt even more guilty for calling so late. "How's it going? Have you scrubbed in on any good surgeries? I was allowed to watch a craniotomy the other day, it was amazing."

"Yeah, I have." Dean said with a grin as he started to tell Michael about Krissy's case. Krissy referring to Dean as doctor model made Michael chuckle for far too long. "So it turned out to be cardiomyopathy so bad she needed a transplant."

"Did you get to scrub in?" Michael asked with excitement. Talking to Sam about cases was good and all but Dean had missed talking through this stuff with someone who had been through medical school with him. 

"I had to fly to retrieve the heart and everything."

"You willingly got on something that flies?" Michael asked in disbelief. After all it had only been a year ago that Dean had made them drive from New Haven to Washington instead of fly so they could spend Thanksgiving with Michael's family. "You must have wanted that surgery."

"Yeah...I got to hold the heart." Dean said still smiling from ear to ear at the memory. “The old heart, not the transplant heart, but it was still amazing.”  

“That’s incredible Dean. It really is.” Michael said but from the way he was taking Dean could sense that there was something else he really wanted to say. With a cough he spoke up again. "I'm not going to sit and pretend that Bela didn't mention a few things when I saw her." Michael’s voice was serious and Dean thought about kicking himself because he really should have rung Michael sooner.

"What exactly did she say to you?" Dean asked. 

"She mentioned that you might have met someone."

"Um...yeah...yeah I have.” Dean said feeling heat run up his neck. “I didn't realise it when I saw Bela but now...yeah I've met someone."

"What are they like?" Michael asked. Of all the things he could have said Dean wasn’t expecting that.

"He' it stupid that I think you'd like him?" Dean asked. Surprisingly Michael chuckled. 

"No it's not stupid at all." Michael said reassuringly.

"Ok...but yeah I think you would. He's...well I thought he was a real asshole when I first met him but he sort of grew on me. He's a cardio resident here at the hospital. He's got a wicked sense of humour though and he's a really decent guy."

"I'm happy for you Dean."


"Dean I don't say that to make you feel guilty. We broke up for the right reasons. The distance would have broken is up in the end so don't feel guilty at all." Michael said in that firm voice he'd used so often in the past when Bela had said something incredibly snarky. "I'm glad that you're happy." 

"Thanks...that means a lot." Dean said.

"I'm flying back to the States in a few months. Naomi's boyfriends proposed to her and they're waiting until I have a break to throw the engagement party." Michael said. Dean winced at the mention of Michael's incredibly blunt sister. She's made no effort to hide her dislike for Dean whenever he'd been in the same room as her. "It would be good to meet up for a drink if I have a stopover in Illinois or you're not too busy."

"Yeah...yeah that would be really good." Dean said. After all he did miss Michael, not romantically but just the comforting notion that someone knew every little thing about him and still wanted to be part of his life. "I should probably let you sleep, we don't want you falling asleep in the middle of rounds."

"Says the person who once slept through a five hour lecture on cartilage because he'd stayed up all night playing Call of Duty." Michael said.

"You're just pissed I slept through that lecture and still got a higher score than you on the test." Dean pointed out with a chuckle.

"You're too smart for your own good Dean Winchester." Michael said fondly. "I'll speak to you soon, thank you for calling."

"Thanks for being understanding." Dean said before he said his goodbyes and hung up. A weight that Dean didn’t even realise was in his chest lifted as he pocketed the phone. He had been wrong putting off calling Michael but now he was making amends. He reached for the coffee sat on a chair in front of him and wondered if Cas was finished with whatever it was that he needed to do, if so they could probably change and get something to eat soon, which was good as Dean was pretty damn hungry.

As if by magic the nearby elevator doors opened and out stepped none other than Cas himself.

“Oh hi, I was just coming to look for you.” Cas said.

“Hey…what’s with the face?” he questioned noticing Cas’ guilty look. At first he was worried Cas had overheard some of his phone conversation but there was a smile under the guilty look.

“How hungry are you?” Cas asked.

“I could eat a horse or two. Why?”

“Could you put off coming back to mine for food for maybe another hour or two? I have a lot of paperwork that needs to be done by tomorrow morning. I’m sorry, I would put it off but I’d rather not.” Cas said still looking like a scolded puppy.

“Do you have anything against eating burgers in your office then? I could grab some food and bring it back here.” Dean said with a smile.

“You would stay here and watch me do paperwork instead of going out for dinner?” Cas said, surprise ringing in his voice.

“Dude there’s gonna be fast food and you’ll be there, that improves paperwork a fair bit.” Dean said knowing what he was saying was dangerously close to ‘cute’ but he hoped the mention of fast food, of the extra greasy burger kind he was thinking, made it more manly. Or maybe Cas was one to appreciate a certain level of cuteness.

Cas’ office was lit by a few small desk lamps and the soft glow they let off made the tiny room feel cosy and full of warmth. Dean placed the paper bag onto Cas’ desk away from the stack of files and sat down in the only other chair in the room.

“Double cheeseburger or double bacon?” Dean asked as he pulled out the wrapped burgers along with a large portion of fires, beans, coleslaw and two large cups of coffee.

“Double cheeseburger please.” Cas said moving a few files out of the way to make room for the food. “Did you get enough food?” he added almost sarcastically.

“Oh yeah, I even got dessert.” Dean said holding up another, smaller, paper bag from the bakery that was next to the diner. “I didn’t know if you were a pie, cake or cookie kinda guy so I just grabbed a few.”

“I never say no to a well made cookie.” Cas said before taking one of the coffees. “Thank you for this Dean, it is much better than eating a bag of stale potato chips from the vending machine. Though if you get any kind of sauce on those files then you’re redoing them for me.”

“Yes sir.” Dean said with a sarcastic salute. He was incredibly conscious of sauce after that though. He did enough paperwork as it was never mind redoing Cas’ files. “What about the odd coffee stain?”

“Then I will use you as a cadaver.” Cas said as he reached for the pot of beans. “Did you pick up any cutlery?” he asked looking over the desk.

“There are spoons for the beans and ‘slaw in the bag as well as forks and plates for the pie.” Dean said pushing the two bags towards Cas. “I don’t know even you like coleslaw, I can’t stand the stuff, but Sam always used to bitch at me for not getting any.”

“I can live without coleslaw. Your brother can keep it all to himself.” Cas said with a small smile. "So, I get the feeling that I should probably ask you about last night." He added said while he tore a piece off his burger.

"Last night?" Dean asked before tearing into his own burger. 

"We slept together Dean, not that I have to point that particular fact out seeing as you were there. We slept together and this morning I had one more of the more memorable showers of my life. Not to mention that I’ve been rather conscious of the mark you left of my collarbone being visible despite my scrubs, thank you that by the way." Cas said bluntly. "I don't make a habit of sleeping with people, especially those who I work with and last night I was truthful when I said I wanted to be with you."

Shit, this was Dean had wanted; he had hoped that Cas wanted him the same way as he did but at the same time a knot of anxiety wormed it’s way into Dean’s stomach.

"Cas I...I don't..." Dean mumbled. He hadn't been with anyone apart from Cas since he had broken up with Michael. His relationship with Michael had lasted for three years which was the longest relationship he'd ever been in. To go from that to another relationship was incredibly daunting. "You're my resident." He said voicing the one thing that was concerning him more than anything. Cas was his resident and because of that people would judge both of them if they became a couple.

"And if I wasn't your resident?" Cas asked cocking an eyebrow. "If I wasn't your resident, if I was just someone you met in a bar, would the internal struggle you’re going through be different?"

"It's not an internal struggle." Dean said rolling his eyes. "I worked hard to get my grades in school, I worked hard to get into college and even harder to get into med school and this program. I don't want people to think that you're letting me scrub in on surgeries because we had sex."

"I'm not letting you scrub in on surgeries because we had sex or because I wanted to be closer to you. I've let you scrub in, and I'll continue to let you scrub in, because you're an excellent doctor." Cas said. "I don't care if I'm your resident, I want a relationship with you because I care about you. If my position at the hospital is a factor in you doubting us being in a relationship then I understand."

"Did you plan to have this conversation in your office knowing full well that I wouldn’t leave because there was food or some shit like that?" Dean asked. Cas rolled his eyes but have him a tender smile.

"The thought had crossed my mind to be honest." He said. "I want to be with you Dean, plain and simple, but if you have too many doubts then I will understand and back away."

Dean's heart thrummed frantically in his chest as he looked at Cas' fiercely intense eyes. He was being given a choice to turn away and carry on like he had before but he couldn't stand the thought of last night being the only night he had with Cas. He wanted as many nights as Cas would give him. He wanted wet, soapy kisses in the shower followed by morning coffee. People would talk and there would be shitloads of repercussions but Dean had spent too much time in college not being who he wanted to be, not being with who he wanted to be with and he wasn’t going to let that happen again.

“I don’t have doubts Cas. I promise that you I don’t have doubts about us. I just worked hard to get where I am, and so did you, so I don’t want people to think that this thing between us is so I can get surgeries.”

“And what exactly would I be getting out of this agreement if everyone thinks you’ve getting surgeries?” Cas asked. He moved closer towards Dean, a smile spreading across his face.

“My sweet ass?” Dean offered. Cas rolled his eyes, Dean was sure this would always be Cas’ go-to reaction regarding Dean, but he still rose from the seat he had moved closer to Dean. With a swift movement Dean didn’t even see completely Cas swung a leg over Dean’s own until he was sat in Dean’s lap, legs straddling Dean’s thighs. He lowered his until his lips ghosted over the shell of Dean’s ear.

“Modesty really was never your strong point was it?” Cas whispered into Dean’s ear

“Nope.” Dean said as a slow and easy smile spread across his face. He took Cas’ own face in his hands and brought their lips together, feeling a complex rush as their lips moulded together. “Look, I care about what people say and think but I also really like you and at the end of the day liking you is more important than what people think.” He said once they had broken apart.

“This is just about my position at the hospital right?” Cas asked. “It has nothing to do with me being a man?”

“No Cas, that’s the one thing I really don’t give a shit about. My brother and my parents have known that I’m bisexual since I was in medical school. Jo and that lot know as well and I really don’t give a shit what other people think.” Dean said firmly because it was true, he didn’t care what people thought about him dating a guy. “Cas I mean it, I’m not ashamed of us and I never will be.” He said resting his forehead against Cas’. “I just don’t want everyone to think we’re something we’re not. I just want us to be us. That’s if you want there to be an ‘us’.”

“For a Yale educated man you can be incredibly stupid sometimes.” Cas said softly. “I want there to be an ‘us’, especially if it includes double cheese burgers.” He added with the low chuckle. “Dean I mean it, I want us to be together and I don’t care what people are going to say. If they want to make up lies about us then let them, it doesn’t matter to me in end because I’ll be with you.”

“You’re really corny, you know that right?” Dean asked. “Underneath all that mean front you’re just a big ol’ spfty.”

“Yes I do know that, but don’t tell a soul because I have a reputation to uphold.”

“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.” Dean said giving Cas another kiss on the lips. “Now those burgers are too damn good to let go cold so move your ass.” He added shifting Cas slightly so he could slid off easily. He was still scared of what people were going to say about him and Cas being together but Cas was right, people would say crap about them but in the end the two of them would be together.

Chapter Text

He had been back in the apartment for all of five minutes before the Skype notification on Dean’s laptop popped up and told him that Sam was calling. The only reason his laptop had even been turned on was because Dean was intending on doing some research and check the emails he’d been neglecting over the past week. It now looked like that wasn’t about to happen. Dean accepted the call while the laptop balanced on the kitchen countertop.

“Holy crap.” Sam said as soon as his face popped up on the screen. “Talk about a miracle, you’re actually at home.” He added with a loud laugh, a large grin spreading across his face.

“Very funny chuckles.” Dean shot back. He wasn’t going to tell Sam that one of the only reasons he was back at the apartment was because he was running out of clean shirts.

"So, Jo tells me that you're basically living at the hospital for the past week. What's up? I thought everything was ok with that heart patient of yours." Sam said.

"Nothing, it's just easier sometimes sleeping at the hospital. I'm there for rounds first so I can get on the good cases which will help once I'm taking my intern exam." Dean said as the microwave pinged loudly telling him that his dinner was ready. "And since when did you talk to Jo?" he asked while plating his food up.

"We swapped numbers when I stayed with you. She's pretty cool." Sam said with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders.

"What happened to the amazing Jessica?" Dean asked with a smirk.

"Nothing has happened to her, we went to the party together the other night and it was great. In fact it’s going great…she’s great. I was even thinking about asking her to meet mom and dad whenever they come to visit me. I think they would really like her.”

“Wow, that’s pretty big. You’ve never introduced mom and dad to a girl before.”

“Yeah because mom would baby me and dad would judge the hell out of whoever it was. Jess…well I think Jess could handle it. Mom would probably love her and she’s sharp enough to even give dad a run for his money.” Sam gushed. Dean felt his chest swell with pride at the big dopey smile on Sam’s face because it was damn obvious that he was crazy about this Jess girl. It was about time really.

“That’s good man, Jo would eat you alive if you tried anything. You should have seen her pretty much body block this drunk guy in the ER the other night. Dude was twice the size of her and she took him without breaking a sweat. I think Adam was planning a proposal there and then.” Dean said with a snort.

“It is possible to have a friend that's a girl Dean.” Sam said with a heavy roll of his eyes. Why was it that everyone close to Dena felt the need to roll their eyes at him?

"Really?” Dean said with heavy sarcasm. “I never knew that.”

"You’re such a jerk, why do I even put up with you? Anyway it's possible for me to be Jo’s friend and not want to get into her pants.” Sam sounding pissy. “You did it with Bela."

"Yeah because she was a sarcastic bitch half the time who scared the shit out of me and I was too busy getting in someone else's pants to try anything with her." Dean said bluntly and Sam rolled his eyes yet again, no doubt at Dean’s crassness.

"Gross Dean." Sam said as he shuddered. He was probably remembering the time he came to New Haven and walked in on Dean and Michael fooling around in the kitchen.

"You brought it up." Dean said shrugging shoulders as he picked up his dinner.

"What are you even eating?" Sam asked narrowing his eyes at the paper wrapped bundle in Dean’s hand.

"A chicken burrito." Sam grimaced. "Shut up, it's incredible." Dean snapped in defence.

"You're gonna die before you hit thirty if you keep eating crappy take-out stuff." Said the lover of all things salad. Dean had once seen Sam eat a bag of chopped up lettuce without batting an eyelid. It was horrifying.

"It's not take-out, it's homemade so shut your face." The burrito was actually a left over from the night before when Cas had made a batch of them. To say they were the greatest thing Dean had ever tasted was an understatement. Cas had warned him that they might not have been that good (“I haven’t made these since I lived in Boston with Balthazar so if you end up with food poisoning then I am sorry. Good thing we’re both doctors” Cas had said while he was cooking, seasonings smeared across his apron and several kinds of peppers littering the countertop. At one point Cas even managed to get salsa sauce in his damn hair which to Dean’s amusement. Dean had carried on laughing until Cas had crowded him against the refrigerator and pretty much kissed the laughs out of him.)

"Homemade food? I think I'm gonna die of shock." Sam said with a smirk. Dean flipped him off and carried on eating his amazing burrito. He wondered if he could convince Cas to make ‘burrito and making out in the kitchen night’ a weekly thing. "I just think you should calm down and actually spend a few nights away from the hospital before you burn out, remember how cranky dad used to get if he spent too much time at the hospital?" Sam added with a voice full of concern. “I mean…we were miserable when we had to spend days upon days there.” That was true. When Sam was sick as a child they would spend days upon days stuck in the hospital while Sam had almost constant tests. It was a joy to be away from the hospital once Sam had recovered from certain surgeries.  

The thing was that Dean was spending nights away from the hospital, he just wasn't spending them in his apartment. While Cas' apartment was smaller it had the added benefit of no roommate who could walk in on them having sex so Dean had been spending the nights when he wasn't at the hospital round at Cas'. The pair of them had fallen into an easy routine after just a week and Dean liked it. He liked cooking in Cas' kitchen with its high windows that let in the light and a notice boards covered in photos. He liked lying on the couch, TV turned down low while he and Cas both did charting or looked through patient cases. He liked dragging Cas to bed once it went after midnight and their eyesight had blurred from fatigue and he really liked he lack of roommate so they could be as loud as they wanted to in bed and no one would hear them. They had created their own little bubble in which it was just the two of them, they could be exactly who they wanted to be

Despite his wariness Dean knew deep down that he wanted to tell someone about all of this, he wanted to just babble about how he couldn't understand a word Cas said first thing in the morning because he would still be half asleep and how he needed several coffees before he was remotely friendly. Cas hated tea with milk but his cupboards where full of boxes containing herbals teas that his sister sent him. His favourite was an almond tea from Italy that he drank by the bucket load. Dean was slowly learning some of Cas’ quirks, even the annoying albeit endearing ones like how he hummed when brushing his teeth, and he just wanted to tell someone about them dammit. Sam had complained that Dean never told him about Michael until he really had to but Sam could be a judgemental bitch sometimes and Dean having sex with his resident was something a lot of people would judge him for.

Still, Sam was his brother and Dean hoped that meant he was above judgement.

"I haven't always been at the hospital." Dean said carefully.

"Then where have you been?" Sam asked furrowing his brow. "Wait…this doesn't have anything to do with that message you sent me the other day that you never really explained."

"Yeah it kinda does." Dean braced himself and lowered the burrito, as amazing as it was this was a serious conversation and he couldn't be distracted by really good Mexican food made lovingly by his boyfriend. "I've been staying with Cas at his place.” Dean said carefully.

"Cas? As in your resident Cas? The resident Jo jokes about you...” Sam trailed off and let out a frustrated groan as the most comical look of realisation came across Sam’s face. “Oh shit Dean, you didn't did you?” he asked.

"I'm sort of seeing him." Dean admitted waiting for his brother to start yelling furiously at him.

"Sort of seeing him?” Sam said as his eyebrows shot upwards. “Dean he's your resident. I can’t ‘sort of see’ your boss. The hospital will go shit crazy at you."

"Yeah I do know that, me and Cas have had this conversation a few times. We're not letting it affect us at the moment."

"You're not...” Sam muttered with a mocking laugh. “I'm guessing Jo doesn't know or she would have said something." He asked. So much for not being a judgemental little shit.

"No one knows about it apart from me, Cas and Michael...sort of."

"I swear this conversation is getting stranger and stranger. How does Michael know?"

"I called him to sort things out and I told him I'd met someone. He's happy for me."

"Despite the fact that he's your resident.” Sam pointed out.

“Sam will you stop saying that?” Dean asked. “Don’t make me say please or beg."

"Why, because you're pretending Cas isn't your boss?" Sam asked.

"If you don't stop being a bitch over this I'm hanging up. You were an ass over the whole Michael thing so I'm telling you about Cas, stop complaining."

"I'm just worried you're gonna get into trouble. You worked hard to get your job and you can't screw it up because you're with Cas."

"Yeah, that's what I said to Cas." Dean said. "I like him Sam, I like him a lot so we're working around the whole hospital thing."

“So you two are together? Like ‘together’ together?” Sam said seriously.

“Yeah…all jokes aside I need to know you’re cool with this or I don’t even know how I’ll get my shit together enough to tell mom and dad.”

“Dean…look I think you’re being stupid for getting involved with your resident because, well he’s your boss but I know you, you wouldn’t get involved with anyone for more than a night without thinking about it. I liked Cas when I met him and if you’re serious about it then who am I to try and talk you out of it?” Sam said seriously. Dean stopped and looked at his brother, he wasn’t sure if Sam could see the look of sheer gratitude in his eyes over his crappy webcam but from the smile Sam gave him Dean knew his brother understood how much his meant to Dean. Dean was never open with his feelings, he never had been, and when he was in high school he never told Sam anything about his romantic life. It was the same when he was at college and in the end he only told his family about Michael because he was pretty sure he’d been in love with him. If he was telling Sam about Cas then it meant something and Sam knew this.

“Thanks Sam…” Dean said with a sigh of relief.

“Sam I’m ready to go in a minute!” a female voice from Sam’s end called out. Dean raised an eyebrow while Sam blushed slightly.

“I’m guessing that voice belongs to Jess.”

“Yeah, we’re going to this campus pub by my apartment for some food. We’ve been in classes for most of the day and it was quicker for Jess to get ready here.” Sam said. As Sam said this Dean saw a tall blonde in the background grabbing one of Sam’s large Stanford sweaters. This had to be the incredible Jess.

“Oh say hi to your brother for me!” Jess said before hoping out of frame again.

“Jess says hi.”

“I guessed as much. Say hi to her for me as well.” Dean smirked. “I’ll let you two lovebirds go and get food. Have fun.”

“Thanks.” Sam said. “Oh…you know I’m not being an ass about being worried that you’re dating Cas right? I mean I’m glad you’re happy but I just don’t want you to get into shit for it.”

“Yeah I know Sammy, it’ll work out though.” Dean said though that was more for his own benefit than Sam’s. “I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Yeah…have a good night with your burrito.” Sam said smirking before both he and Dean said their final goodbyes and hung up.

The next morning began with an alarm going off far too early, desperately needed coffee and Jo somehow managing to eat a bagel while still being half asleep while Dean drove them to the hospital. Dean clung onto his travel mug for dear life as he changed into his scrubs and prepared for rounds. He needed all the caffeine he could get.

His night had been one of restless sleep. After just a week he had grown used to sleeping next to someone once again, he had grown so used to that warmth that the other person radiated and the way that Cas’ arms held onto him so tightly almost as if the man was terrified of waking up and seeing that Dean wasn’t there. Sleeping alone in his own bed for the first time since he had started seeing Cas caused Dean to find almost impossible to drift off to sleep for several hours. He just knew the day was going to be one filled with endless cups of coffee.

As Jo pulled her hair into a ponytail she turned to look over at Dean. “Oh did Sam get a chance to talk to you last night?” she asked.

“Yeah…since when are you bitching about me to my brother?”

“It wasn’t bitching, we just happened to talk about you spending a shit ton of time at this place. That was all.”

“Ok…but yeah, I did get a chance to talk to him.” Dean said while changing into his scrubs. “He was telling me about this girl he’s kinda crazy about and how he wants our parents to meet her. He seems really happy.”

“Good, he’s not a bad kid.” Jo said giving Dean a quick grin. “You still on Dr Douchebag’s service?”

“Yeah, checking in on Krissy and his other patients.” Dean said, too tired to even correct Jo on her calling Cas ‘Dr Douchebag’. “I should probably get going, he’ll kill me if I’m late.”

“You’re his favourite, he’d hardly hurt you.” Sarah said and Dean didn’t happen to miss the pointed look Charlie gave him, she was after the only one of his friends that knew about his feelings for Cas.

“Is it bad that I’m hoping there’s a good trauma in today?” Adam asked between loud yawns. “Like a car accident or a train derailment or some shit like that?”

“Yes, that’s awful.” Sarah said wrinkling her nose. Charlie nodded her head in agreement. “We’re supposed to be healers, not hope that people get hurt.”

“I don’t want anyone to die, I just want to watch a good surgery.” Adam shot back and Sarah just rolled her eyes as she pulled on her pink OBGYN scrubs. 

“I’m just saying that if someone comes in badly injured and then dies you’re going to feel really bad about it.” Sarah said pointedly before she picked up her things and sauntered out the locker room without another word. Jo snorted loudly at Adam’s affronted expression which Dean had to admit was pretty damn funny.  

The last stop on rounds that morning was none other than Krissy and Dean had sneaking suspicion Cas had planned this so Krissy got to have a lie in. The change in Krissy since her surgery the week before was incredible. She was no longer pale and tired looking, instead there was colour in her cheeks and she seemed to be in a good mood for once.

"Dr Model, Dr Hot Stuff. Good to see you." Krissy said cheerfully from her bed.

"I...I'm sorry?" Castiel asked looking at Krissy with a confused expression.

"Model." Dean clarified pointing to himself. "Hot Stuff." He added pointing at Cas. If he hadn't of been watching Cas' face closely he would have missed the small curve of a smile that flashed across his face in that moment. 

"He was the one who gave you those nicknames, no prompting from me at all." Krissy said feigning innocence.

"That wouldn't surprise me at all." Cas said. "Dr Winchester is not at all modest." He added giving Krissy a conspiratorial smile. "Now how are you feeling?" he asked slipping into concerned doctor mode.

"Like a gorgeous doctor gave me a new heart." Krissy said with a bright grin.

"I'd say her meds are too high but this is how blunt she always is. She hasn’t sworn yet though which is a miracle." Said the tall blonde who had been sat next to Krissy’s bed, a chemistry book in hand.

"Oh, Dr Novak this is Claire. She's keeping the team in check for me while I'm stuck here as well as giving me all the homework I’ve been missing." Krissy said nodding at the tall blonde. "Claire this is Dr Hot Stuff and you've already met Dr Model." She added giving Dean a wink.

"Hey there Claire." Dean said giving her a nod. He'd met the blonde a few days before and remembered her being one of the less noisy volleyball players as well as being Krissy’s best friend. “How are the Hunters doing?”

“We’re pretty damn good, we can’t wait to get our fearless leader back in action though.” Claire said. “It’s great to finally meet you Dr Novak, Krissy hasn’t stopped talking about since she was brought in.” Claire added.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Claire." Cas said giving Claire a warm smile. Now if Cas had only been this nice to his interns Dean wouldn't have spent the best part of a month thinking the guy was a complete asshole. "Your friend should be able to go home soon, we’re thinking in the next week or so, but playing volleyball is out of the question until Krissy is completely over the surgery." Cas said and Dean could see Krissy was about to complain bitterly so he jumped in.

"But before you pout too much-"

"Excuse me but I don't pout." Krissy said.

"Ok before you call us jerks or worse." Dean said with a smirk. Krissy could have a real mouth on her when she was in pain or tired. "Dr Novak and I have worked out an exercise plan for you so you're not rusty when you can play again. It's a mix of light cardio to ease the new heart into it and resistance training to strengthen your muscles. You can't go overboard with it though. If you try to do too much you’ll end up right back here and Dr Novak will yell at you."

"I won't overdo it." Krissy said. "I won't I promise" she said when she saw Dean's disbelieving look. 

"Don't worry, I'll keep her in line." Claire quipped as she gave Krissy a light nudge with her elbow. “She’s too afraid of me to try anything.” She added almost self-righteously. Krissy rolled her eyes but from the friendly smile she gave Claire it was clear that Krissy would do anything Claire said, even if it was about taking her recovery slowly. Dean was glad that Krissy had a strong support system around her, her parents rarely ever left the hospital and she had an entire volleyball team who would look after her at the drop of a hat.

Several hours and even more coffees later Dean caught up with Jo and Sarah by one of the nurses stations. It was the one by the good coffee machine so there was also a group of nurses or doctors taking their breaks there.

“You look like you could do with a week of sleep.” Dean remarked when Jo nearly threw herself into a chair. Dean placed a cup of coffee on the table next to her in the hopes it would make Jo seem alive at the very least. If she fell asleep he’d probably have to shake a bag of M’n’M’s in front of her or something along those lines.

“Yeah, helping to repair bones is exhausting.” Jo grumbled. “You know, people are really stupid.”

“You’re just learning that now?” Sarah asked from where she was perched on the end of the desk. “We work in a hospital, half the job includes trying not to laugh at people who have fallen off walls.” She added while adding several packets of sugar to her hot chocolate. Sarah was a lover of sugary things and constantly claimed they were the only thing to ever keep her in a good mood.

“Or skateboard into a wall, flip over in the air and smash into the sidewalk. The idiot broke his hip, leg and shoulder.” Jo said darkly. She reached for her large cup of coffee and nearly drained the whole thing in front of everyone. “I mean the guy is kind of hot but he keeps calling me Nurse Blondie so I sort of want to stab a scalpel into his stupid broken.”

“Take it in your stride, Krissy calls me Dr Model.” Dean said shrugging.

“At least you’re being called ‘doctor’ and not ‘nurse’. It says ‘Joanna Beth Harvelle. MD.” on my badge not ‘Joanna Beth Harvelle. Ditzy Blonde Nurse.” Jo snapped before draining the last of her coffee.   

“Yeah but that’s probably because they couldn’t fit it all on the little tag.” Dean said grinning. Jo flipped him off and threw her empty coffee cup at Dean. Sadly it missed and ending hitting the person walking up behind Dean.

This just so happened to be Cas.

“I know you resent me putting you on OBGYN but that’s a bit dramatic Harvelle.” Cas said. Jo looked on in horror while Dean and Sarah tried to stifle their laughter.

“Oh shit! Sorry Dr Novak, that wasn’t meant to hit you.” Jo said leaping up from her seat and giving Dean a hearty whack on the shoulder. “Stop laughing you asshole.” Jo muttered as Dean continued to snort loudly.

“Sarah’s laughing as well.” Dean shot back defensively.

“Sarah is out of hitting distance.” Jo retorted. Dean rolled his eyes and gave Cas an apologetic grin. They hadn’t seen each other since the day before, Dean really hadn’t been joking when it came to running out of clean shirts to wear to work. Then again he wouldn’t have run out if Cas didn’t keep stealing them on the grounds that they were comfy and ‘smelt like Dean’. Once Jo and Sarah were out of hearing range, getting Jo more coffee most likely, Dean moved closer towards Cas.

“I spoke to my brother last night and…and well I told him ‘bout us.” Dean said once he made sure no one could hear him apart from Cas. Cas’ eyebrows shot up in surprise and for a split second dean was filled with panic thinking that maybe he’d done something wrong by telling Sam until a grin spread across Cas’ face.

“I didn’t think you were going to tell him so soon but that’s probably a good thing since my sister rang me last night from Italy and I might have mentioned you.” Cas said, he even ducked his head which Dean would never admit to finding so endearing.

“Really?” Dean asked. “That’s…that’s pretty cool. That your sister knows I mean.” He never had a good reputation with the sisters of people he dated. Michael’s sister Naomi had hated him with every fibre of her being and had made no attempt to hide that fact. If Cas’ sister hated him then Dean was going to be convinced that he was cursed.

“If we’re out of here before midnight shall we go for a drink? I haven’t seen anywhere that wasn’t this hospital or my apartment for the better part of a week.” Cas said giving Dean a knowing look.

“That’s not entirely my fault.” Dean said with a smirk. “Getting a drink sounds like a good idea to me.”  

“I feel like we’ll need-” Cas was interrupted by his pager going off. Cas looked down at the screen and his skin went pale.

“What’s wrong?” Dean asked instantly thought of Krissy.

“Urgent page to the ER, let’s get moving everyone!” Castiel yelled. He took off in a run down the hallway with the interns hot on his heels. Instead of waiting for the elevator they ran down the staircase until they reached the ER. There was commotion everywhere as Dean surveyed the ER; it ranged from paramedics hurrying around to nurses frantically going from bed to bed. The sterile smell of the hospital that used to comfort Dean so much, after all he’d grown up with it, now felt unsettling and wrong. While the ER was normally busy and full of people this was different.

“Lafitte!” Cas called over the shouting and the towering form of Benny came into view. “Lafitte, what’s going on?”

“A group of college kids were shot in downtown, somewhere near the pier according to the paramedic.” Benny called back. “Get your interns into trauma gowns and have them follow me. The most serious one is a shot to the chest and he’ll need surgery as soon as an OR becomes available.”

“There are no operating rooms free?” Castiel questioned with a sick look. If this kid needed surgery and there were no operating rooms free then shit was going to hit the fan. “Shit, that’s all we need.” Castiel muttered looking practically green. Dean grabbed two trauma gowns and handed one to Cas. The worried look in Castel’s eyes sent waves of fear through Dean but he knew both of them had to quash those worries for the sake of the patient. “Right, everyone needs to follow me into the trauma room, if you’re told to stay out the way then you have to do so.” Cas called out to the interns.

“Someone tell me exactly what happened.” Lafitte said

“Andy Gallagher, eighteen year old freshman at the University of Chicago. He was out with his friends when he was shot by an unknown passer-by.” One of the paramedics called out. Dean felt his stomach roll as he looked down at the sedated form of Andy Gallagher.

“Are you alright?” Jo asked. “You look like you’re gonna hurl.” She commented.

“Yeah…yeah it’s just he’s the same age as my brother and he’s a freshman too, just like my brother.” Dean said. “I mean who would shoot a freshman?”

“A sick bastard, that’s who.” Adam said bluntly. “We see a lot of this kind of thing down in trauma. It really sucks.” He added with a sour expression on his face. From where he was pressed against the wall Dean looked over to Andy Gallagher and winced. Adam was right when he said that only a sick bastard would shoot an eighteen year old and it suddenly made Dean long to call Sam just to hear his brother’s voice even if they had only spoken the night before.

“Lafitte!” Ruby called out hurrying into the room. “Operating Room Three is free, it’s just been cleaned.” Everyone in the room grew quiet as they turned to look over to Benny.

“You heard the girl, let’s get moving people! Adam, Ruby you’re coming into the OR with me. Anyone not working on the other traumas can watch from the gallery, if you don’t have other patients to see to that is.” Benny called as the room flurried into a manic sense of movement. All those not going directly into the operating room moved out the way with Jo making a face over Ruby’s gleeful look at going into surgery.

“I’m being paged to Ortho, keep me updated on whatever happens in the surgery ok?” Jo asked. Dean nodded in reply and looked round for Charlie and Sarah.

“I’m getting snacks, want anything?” Charlie said looking from Sarah to Dean expectantly.

“You’re getting snacks to watch the surgery?” Sarah asked.

“I didn’t eat any lunch and I’m hungry, plus it’s going to be a bag of chips not freshly buttered popcorn and cotton candy.” Charlie countered. “Want anything?” she asked Dean. He shook his head, he hadn’t long since grabbed a bag of chips himself.

“Nah, I’m good. Grab me a good seat will you?”

“So I’m an ass for wanting snacks but you’re not for wanting to grab a good seat to watch the carnage?”

“Charlie I want a good seat so I can take notes.” Dean countered. “Ok and watch some of the carnage but don’t judge me.”

“Oh believe me, I could find other stuff to judge you over.” Charlie muttered before she walked off with Sarah to get snacks. Not even bothering to overthink about what Charlie meant by that Dean rolled his eyes at the two retreating figures. Hoping that Charlie did indeed get decent seats Dean hurried after Castiel and quickly stopped him before he went into the scrub room. His fingers wrapped around Cas’ wrist and Dean could feel Cas’ pulse pounding away. Castiel gazed back at Dean with a troubled stare and for the first time Dean could see that Cas was scared to go into surgery. Andy’s injuries were severe and that meant the surgery was going to be a long and difficult one.

“Hey…I just wanted to make sure you’re ok.” Dean said.

“This is going to be hard but…but Lafitte and I will work out a plan once we’re in there and can really assess the damage.” Cas said glancing down to where Dean’s fingers were wrapped around his wrist.

“I’ll be in the gallery watching and waiting for you when you get out.” Dean said. He had to stop himself from just kissing Cas when he gave Dean a grateful smile that would make even the coldest of people’s heart swell.

 Two hours into the surgery and Cas had managed to find and extract the bullet from Andy’s chest but there was still a lot of bleeding. He was tempted to ignore it but Castiel constantly went on about how they should never ignore their pages. Glancing down at the screen his stomach plummeted when he saw Krissy’s name appear up on the screen. Shit, this could not be happening.

“I have to go.” Dean said hastily leaping out his chair. Charlie nearly dropped a whole cup of coffee down her scrub top front as Dean’s elbow caught her arm and she glared up at him with a furious stare.

“What the hell? Where’s the fire?” Charlie asked.

“I’m being paged for Krissy, I’ve gotta go.” Dean said grabbing his stuff and taking off out the gallery before anyone could say a word. After anything he and Cas had done there was no way he was going to let something happen to Krissy. He sprinted to the paediatrics ward and nearly leapt into Krissy’s room, gasping for breath when he hurried to Krissy’s bed. “What happened?” Dean asked a concerned looking Claire.

“Idiot over here tried to overdo it on the ‘light’ exercise and now her chest really hurts. Please tell me she hasn’t crapped out this new heart already.” Claire said with a brittle tone while Krissy winced in her bed. Dean quickly started an exam while Claire hovered around looking frightened and on the verge of tears. As someone who had spent hours in a hospital room feeling scared Dean’s heart went out to Claire but he didn’t have time to reflect on his past, he needed to do his job and make sure that Krissy was ok.

“Are her parents here?” Dean asked glancing over at Claire who was now nervously biting away at her thumb nail. If she carried on like that then she would end up with half her thumb chewed off.

“Yeah, they’re down in the cafeteria getting something to eat. Krissy thought she would start her exercise routine while they were gone and then this happened.” Claire said. “The doctors told you to keep it light, they’re attractive enough so you should actually listen to them. If you die I’m going to be so pissed off.” Claire quipped towards Krissy before going back to chewing off her thumb.

“I’ll…try really…hard.” Krissy groaned out.

“Ok do you want the good news or the bad news?” Dean asked as he finished up the exam.

“Bring on the bad news Dr Model, I can take it like a pro.” Krissy said. Dean rolled his eyes and Krissy snorted despite her pain. “Ok, what’s the good news?”

“The good news is that you’re ok, you just need to take it easy and the bad news is that I’m missing a really cool surgery right now.”

“See, you’re stopping Dr Model from looking at blood and guts.” Claire said.

“Actually it was blood and the inside of a chest.” Dean said smirking when he saw Krissy grimace. “You’re going to be ok Krissy, just make sure you’re taking your exercise routine lightly or you’re not going to get out of here anytime soon.”

“When is that going to be? I mean you and Dr Hot Stuff are good looking and all but I’m getting really tired of staring at these white walls. You would think that with all the dying people they would try to make hospitals more cheerful.” Krissy quipped. She had a point there and Dean was sure he used to ask his dad the very same question when he was younger.

“You should be out of here in a few weeks as long as you don’t overdo stuff. If you push yourself too hard you’re gonna crash and I mean it.”

See, I told you so.” Claire said almost smugly. “If you don’t listen to me then listen to Dr Model, he went to medical school after all.”

“I made it to most of my classes without a hangover as well.” Dean quipped making both Claire and Krissy snort loudly. “I’ll get Dr Novak to come in a check up on you later if he’s out of surgery. I’m just gonna talk to your parents, do you think you can stay out of trouble for five minutes.”

“I can try.” Krissy said with a shrug. Dean fought the urge to roll his eyes at the girl before he went off in search of Krissy’s parents. Dean had always felt some sort of camaraderie towards parents dealing with sick children. He had grown up with Mary and John constantly worrying over Sam’s health so Dean knew the fear parents had when it came to their children. He hadn’t spoken to Krissy’s parents that often, that was normally Cas’ area, but with Cas in surgery it fell to Dean to talk to Mr and Mrs Chambers.

Dean soon found them in the main cafeteria drinking coffee as though their lives depended on it. Both of Krissy’s parents worked full time jobs and they weren’t always able to spend time with Krissy at the hospital, which was probably why Krissy’s teammates spent so much time with her instead, but both Mr and Mrs Chambers tried to spend as much time as they could with their daughter, only leaving her room if they needed it. By the tired looks on their faces they both needed caffeine desperately. It was Mrs Chambers who noticed Dean approaching and she instantly sat further up in her seat.

“Is everything ok with Krissy?” she asked almost knocking over her cup of coffee in the process.

“Yes, she’s fine.” Dean said hurriedly before Mrs Chambers ended up scalding herself. “She’s just pushing herself too much, she needs to calm down or she’s going to end up damaging her new heart. It’s important that she sticks to the plan Dr Novak and I drew up for her.” Dean explained. Mr Chambers nodded at Dean’s words and even let out a small snort very much like Krissy’s.

“Trying to get our daughter to slow down has been a constant battle of ours ever since she was young. She’s always pushed herself in everything she does.” Mr Chambers explained.

“She just needs to take it slow so she can fully recover, she’s fine though. If you need anything please just page me or Dr Novak though.” Dean said. He accepted the Chambers’ thanks before making his way back to the OR to watch the rest of Castiel and Benny’s surgery.

There was pandemonium when Dean returned to the gallery. Down in the OR the monitors were blaring loudly and every single person was rushing around manically. Even from where Dean was stood up in the gallery he could see that Adam’s skin was tinged a violent green colour. Dean would have put money on Adam throwing up in any moment. Even Ruby looked on the verge of showing a genuine emotion that wasn’t distain.

“God dammit!” Benny yelled throwing down his equipment onto the nearest tray. Next to him Cas hung his head and from past surgeries Dean knew that Cas was most likely praying.

“What the hell happened?” Dean asked looking at the other interns and residents. Charlie, just like Adam, looked as if she was going to throw up in any minute. “What happened?”

“They lost him. There was too much damage to his heart and in the end his organs started to fail. There was nothing Lafitte or Novak could do.” Sarah said with a sad sigh. Shit. Dean sunk into the nearest chair and, like Cas, hung his head. It wasn’t that rapidity of Andy’s death that hit Dean, it was the young man’s age. Andy was the same age as Sam with a girlfriend and his whole life ahead of him, now he was lying lifelessly on a surgical table. It didn’t make sense at all.

“Oh hey, Andy’s girlfriend is asking about him. She wanted to know if he was coming out of surgery soon.” Jo said asked as she came into the gallery. “Fuck…what happened?” she asked upon seeing Charlie, Dean and Sarah’s faces.

“They lost Andy, too much damage.” Charlie said.

“Fuck…Adam is going to be a mess, remember what he said this morning about a trauma in the ER?” Jo said. “He’s going to think that he’s cursed or some shit like that.” She added running her hand through her hair with fatigue. “Is it alright if he comes back to the apartment tonight? He’s going to need a drink or something.” Jo asked turning to Dean. Dean nodded, Adam wasn’t the only one who needed a large drink after this. “Thanks…I…I better go and talk to Andy’s girlfriend. Lafitte will come and talk to her too right?”

“Yeah…he’ll probably scrub out in a minute.” Dean said. There was a large chance that Benny was going to take this as hard as Cas had taken Mr Talbot’s death. “I’ll…I’ll go and find him.”

“Don’t give Adam any shit if you see him.” Jo said warningly.

“Like what?”

“Like don’t say anything sarcastic or what you think is witty.” Jo said looking at him knowingly. Dean just gave her a look to say he’d try before hurrying out the gallery in search for both Benny and Cas. He spent the next ten minutes walking down the hallways keeping an eye out both men but neither were anywhere to be found.

“Ruby!” Dean called once he spotted the familiar wave of dark hair. He couldn’t blame her for staring at him with a sarcastic albeit bemused look once shed turned round. The only conversations Dean had with Ruby mainly involve him calling her a bitch or other mean but still true phrases.

“What do you want Dean?” Ruby probed raising her eyebrows almost expertly.

“I’m look for Benny, do you know where he is or how he’s doing after the surgery?”

“How do you think he’s doing you moron? An eighteen year old kid died on his table and now Dr Lafitte has got to go and tell Andy’s girlfriend, who by the way has her own wound to the leg to worry about, that her boyfriend is dead. So he’s pretty damn crappy at the moment.” Dean felt his own eyebrows rise with sheer surprise at Ruby’s outburst. “Don’t look so shocked, I might be an ice cold bitch, or whatever it is that you call me, but I do understand when people are pissed off. Now if you’re looking for him to try and butter him up over the whole ‘solo surgery’ gig then don’t bother. The loss today will have hit him hard. The last thing he’d want is you telling him some harrowing story about how you were some street kid from the slums of Brooklyn who magically became a doctor with a scholarship to Yale.”

“I’m from the Midwest.”

“That’s even worse.” Ruby said with an unimpressed sounding sniff. “Look, just leave whatever agenda you have until later.”

“Shockingly I don’t have an agenda, I was just asking how Benny was because we’re actually friends.”

“Whatever.” Ruby snapped while she pushed past Dean and made her way down the hallway. A stomp to her step as she went. Ok Ruby wasn’t entirely to blame for acting like a snappy bitch, she was just concerned and slightly protective of her boss and Dean would be the exact same about Cas.

He finally found Benny down in the ER looking thoroughly exhausted.

“Hey Benny…Dr Novak and I were going to get a drink and I’m guessing you could do with one after that surgery.” Dean said once Benny had finished up with what he was doing. “You don’t have to come with us if you don’t want to.”

“After tellin’ a girl who was shot in the leg that her boyfriend never made it outta surgery I need about ten drinks.” Benny said with a heavy sigh. “This job is never easy but I swear on days like this I have to remind myself why I wanted to be a surgeon.” Seeing Benny’s downtrodden look was like a kick straight to the teeth. Benny’s idea of getting ten drinks now seemed like a good one to say the very least.

Even though it was only mid-week the bar was full of people, several Dean knew or at least recognised from the hospital. It was only thanks to Cas' keen eye that they were able to find a free booth near the back of the bar. The three men worked their way through the tables and people to claim the booth before Dean glanced over towards the bar.

"I'll get the first round in." Dean said as he pulled his wallet out the pocket of his jeans. He shot Cas a warning glance before the other man could even start to protest which Benny clearly found hilarious judging by his deep laugh. Dean navigated his body past several groups of people, stopping to smile a few members of the hospital then leaning against the bar waiting to be served. It only took a few minutes before of the newer members of staff sauntered over to him with a bright smile. Dean had watched the same girl flirt outrageously with Adam only the week before. After a friendly greeting Dean ordered three pints of whatever draft beer was on tap and after paying carried them back to the table. 

Cas and Benny were deep in discussion when Dean returned to the table and in slid effortlessly next to Cas. Despite Benny not knowing the nature of the relationship between Dean and Castiel it felt safe to be more open than they were at hospital. Dean trusted Benny in that sense and soon they were flitting from topic to topic, covering anything but the day’s events.

Despite knowing Benny since he started at the hospital and drinking with him a few times Dean realised there wasn’t a lot he knew of the trauma surgeon but that changed over the course of the evening. Benny spoke openly of his fiancé Andrea whom he clearly thought the world of from the soft way he spoke of her. He had grown up in Louisiana and studied medicine there before enlisting in the army as a field doctor. He served a tour in Iraq before moving to Chicago when he was offered the job as head of trauma.

It was after Benny was talking about some of his other trauma cases that Cas gave Dean’s thigh a small squeeze. "I'll get us some more drinks." he said sliding out his seat and making his way towards the bar. Despite his best efforts Dean couldn’t stop himself from glancing over his shoulder and look over to where Cas was stood. A small smile crept across Dean’s face as he saw Cas’ completely oblivious expression when the barmaid started flirting with him.

"Feel free to tell me to fuck off and mind my own business here but you and Novak..." Benny said and Dean whipped his head back round to Benny.

"You’re a cool guy and all but I don't think I could get away with telling you to fuck off seeing as you’re head of trauma." Dean said.

"Good 'cause I hate it when interns give me shit." Benny said. "But you and Novak...there’s somethin' going on between you two isn’t there?" He asked

"I...yeah...yeah there is." Dean said as he nervously scratched at the back of his neck.

"Bout time he found someone." Benny said. Dean's eyebrows shot up in surprise and Benny chuckled gruffly. "I ain't here to judge you brother.” Benny added holding up his hands in defence. “You two would work together."

"No, I get that you’re cool with Cas and I being guys…what did you mean about it being time he found someone?" Dean questioned.

"It ain't gonna be news to you that Novak pretty much lives at that hospital. I was a third year resident when he was an intern but I still noticed he never spent time with his other interns. He keeps to himself most of the time so it's good he's got someone now."

"You're not gonna give me the whole 'he's your resident' bullshit?" Dean asked.

"Nah, you ain't gonna be the first intern to date his boss and you certainly ain't gonna be the last. It happens everywhere so why should I give you shit over it? You ain’t with him for the surgery, it’s kinda obvious you like the guy." Benny said shrugging his broad shoulders. “People will give you shit over it because people are asshole but why should you care? They ain’t dating Cas you are, so just focus on that.”

“That’s pretty good advice right there.”

“Yeah, it’s been known to happen every now and then.” Benny retorted with a wide grin just as Cas returned to the table with their drinks.

“What has been known to happen every now and then?” Cas asked as he placed the drinks on the table and slid back into the booth.

“Dean having a good idea such as coming here to tonight, not a bad way to butter me up Winchester. It’s more successful than Ruby bribing me with French fries.” Benny said. Dean rolled his eyes and couldn’t even bother to point out he hadn’t asked Benny to join him for a drink because of the solo surgery coming up.

Benny and Sam’s acceptance of Dean’s relationship with Castiel had surprised him. One of the reasons why he’d been so worried about people finding out was because of the reactions he expected from them. Instead of disapproval he’d been met with support and it kind of worried him, everything was going too well, it was disconcerting to say the very least.

After several drinks Benny decided to call it a night, claiming that he wouldn’t be able to go into work the next day if he drank anymore. While Cas was oblivious to the pointed look Benny gave him Dean saw it straight away. While before it would have worried him but Benny’s acceptance of Dean and Cas being together was incredibly reassuring. Both Dean and Cas bid Benny a good night before heading out to their own cars.

“Hey…do you mind if I just head back to my apartment tonight?” Dean asked when they stopped by his car.

“No, of course I don’t mind. Is everything alright?” Castiel asked lacing his hand through Dean’s. It was small touches like these that Dean had missed when he was single even if they were good at distracting Dean from his thought process.

“Yeah…yeah everything is fine but I want to talk to Jo about a few things and it’s probably best to do it tonight, she has a shift in the ER tomorrow night. If I don’t do it now I never will.” Dean said squeezing Cas’ hand. “Which reminds me, if you finish on time tomorrow do you want to come over to mine? My kitchen is seriously mourning the loss of my culinary skills.”

“You’re just worried that Jo has managed to destroy every single kitchen utensil you own.” Cas said with a small chuckle. “I’ll see you at the hospital for rounds in the morning.” He added before pulling Dean into a quick but deep kiss. Part of Dean, the part with the terrible willpower, wanted to just say ‘screw it’ and go back to Cas’ apartment but he knew he couldn’t. The longer that Sam and Benny knew about him and Cas when Jo didn’t meant the louder she would yell when she did find out. Dean had faced many things in his life; his brother’s illness, bullies in school and the freaking MCATS to name a few but he found nothing more terrifying than when a woman yelled at him. He could probably blame his mother and Bela for part of that but Jo was worse than both of them put together.    

The apartment was is near darkness when Dean got back and for a second Dean cursed to himself at the thought that Jo had gone to bed, ad he sort of hoped she was alone and not with Adam, until he heard the noise from the TV filtering from out the main room.

“Jo? Adam?”

“Fucking hell!” Jo lept nearly a foot in the air, chips spilling all over the couch. “What the hell are you doing?” she asked.

“Entering my own apartment, what are you doing? Did Adam go back to his?”

“TCM was having a classic monster and sci-fi movie marathon and I was catching the end of It! The Terror From Beyond Space.” Jo said. “And you see that blanket covered lump?” she added nodding over to what was indeed a blanket covered lump. “Yeah that’s Adam, dude cannot handle for than seven beers.”

“Yeah I doubt most people can. There are chips all over the couch by the way.”

“Yeah because some asshole walked up behind me in the dark!” Jo retorted. “And before you ask, because I know you will, I was watching it in the dark to create the right atmosphere.”

“The right atmosphere?” Dean asked cocking an eyebrow as he nodded over at Adam.

“No, not that kind of atmosphere you horny moron, the right atmosphere for the film. Adam zoned out halfway through The Mummy, the original not the remake.” Jo said. “I can’t watch mummies eating people with the lights on.”

“You’re the moron. Clean the chips up before they leave stains on the couch, I’m going to bed.” Dean said. There wasn’t much point having this conversation with Jo when there was greasy chips on the couch and Jo herself was scared out her wits by terrible alien movies.

“Holy shit, your bed is being graced with your presence tonight?” Jo said clutching her hand to her chest sarcastically. “Did you get sick of the hospital beds or something?” she questioned.

“Yeah something like that.” Dean said shrugging off his jacket.

"So, you wanna tell me why you've been sleeping at the hospital? You're not still mad at me are you?" Jo pressed sounding more hurt than angry. "I mean I know we joke about shit all the time but you're my friend, in fact you're probably the closest thing I have to a best friend here, and I freaking hate the thought that you're pissed off at me."

"Jo it's nothing you've done so don't get your panties in a bunch."

"Don't tell me what to do or not do with my panties Dean Winchester, I wanna know why you've been living at the hospital."

"I haven't"

"Yes you freaking well have! You've slept there every night for the past week."

"I really haven't."

"Excuse me but I think I would know if you were here.” Jo said folding her arms across her chest. “You snore like a hog and leave a trail of clothes wherever you go!"

"Says the girl who uses every single towel when she's showering."

"At least I use a towel and don't walk around ass naked."

"I did that once and it was because all the towels were dirty because you'd used them all."

"We've gone off track here." Jo said with a dramatic sigh.

"Hate to point it out but you started it." Dean pointed out.

"Ok fine, just tell me what's going on. Please."

"I honestly haven't been sleeping at the hospital." Dean said taking a deep breath. He watched for Jo's reaction and almost backed out of telling her the truth when he saw the frown settle on her face but he knew he owed both her and Cas the truth. "I've been staying at Cas' apartment." He finally said.

A look of utter confusion fought against the frown on Jo's face. Telling Sam had been daunting because he was Dean's brother, he was probably the most important person in Dean's life and what he thought mattered more than anything. Benny finding out had been daunting for a completely different reason, he was after all an important member of the hospital but neither of their opinions mattered in that moment as much as Jo's. She was Dean's friend and roommate, he cared about her a lot and if she turned against him over this then so would the other interns. He could survive with them hating him but only slightly.

"You've been..." Jo said breathily. 

"Yeah...yeah we're sort of together.” Dean managed to finally get out. Jo continued to stare at him with a look of sheer confusion and for one terrible moment Dean was convinced that she was going to yell or throw something. He was all set to get ready to duck.

“You’re finally admitting that you like him then?” Jo said and Dean blinked back in confusion. Seriously when was the woman going to start yelling at him? “It’s about freaking time, I knew you couldn’t carry on living in denial for that long. Your brother agrees with me by the way.”

“Please stop gossiping about me to my brother of all people.” Dean said with a groan. Maybe introducing Jo to Sam was one of his less genius plans.

“He has all the good dirt on you though which I can use for emotional blackmail in the future.” Jo said smugly. “Look if you’re waiting for me to get pissy at you for dating our resident then you’ll be waiting a long time. You and Cas are a good team, Charlie’s always going on about it whenever people bring up Krissy Chambers, and it was obvious from the start that you liked him even if you thought he was an asshole…well he’s still an asshole but not so much anymore.”

“I’m pretty confused as to why you Sam and Benny haven’t given me shit for this…well Sam sort of did but he’s still kind of supportive.”

“I’m going to ignore the fact that you told Lafitte before you told me-”

“He kinda just guessed it.” Dean interjected.

“It’s kinda obvious. Look…people are gonna be pissed at you, people like Ruby who will think you’re just doing it for the surgeries, but I’ve seen how you are with him and it’s clear both of you sickeningly like each other so why should I give you shit for it? You’re getting to scrub in on surgeries because you’re good, not because you’re seeing Novak.”

“Was that a genuine compliment from Jo Harvelle?”

“Yeah but don’t let it inflate your ego or anything, jerk.” Jo said with a grin.

“So you’re ok with it?”

“Yeah, I’m cool with it and everything…oh but if I ever walk in on the pair of you going at it then I’ll be the one pushing you of the roof. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Now either go to bed or sit down and shut up, The Creature From the Black Lagoon is on next and there’s no way I’m missing it.” Jo said. It was just as Dean was about to reply when the phone in his pocket buzzed loudly. Cas’ name light up on the screen and Dean couldn’t help but smile.

Would it be a romantic cliché if I say that my bed feels very large with you not taking up all the space and covers?

Is that a long winded way of saying that you want me to come round? Dean replied.

It might be. You’re a very smart man Dean.

Several people have told me that. I’ll be right over.

“Arranging a booty call with Dr Douchebag?” Jo asked with a smirk.

“According to Krissy it’s Dr Hot Stuff.”

“What you call Novak in bed is something I don’t wanna know about.” Jo said with a shake of her head. “Seriously, either go and do stuff with Novak that I really don’t wanna think about or stay and watch The Creature From the Black Lagoon with me.”

“Yeah, as fun as that sounds I’m going over to Cas’…you’re really ok with this?”

“I don’t know…you’re sure he’s not taking advantage of you ‘cause you’re an intern?” Jo asked. That stopped Dean because no one had brought that up before, Dean had always been concerned that people would think he was sleeping with Cas for his advantage, not Cas’. “’Cause if he is then I want to be the one to kick his ass.”

“He’s not with me for his own advantage Jo, we actually like each other.”

“Ok don’t get mushy with me.” Jo snorted. “Just…just don’t get to scrub in on better surgeries than me ok?”

“I’ll try not to.” Dean replied with a snort of his own. “I’ll see you at the hospital in the morning ok? If Adam is alive in the morning than tell him not to eat all the bagels.” He added as he picked his jacket back up, making sure his car keys were safely in the pocket. Jo reply was another snort as she motioned for Dean to keep quiet as The Creature From the Black Lagoon started to play. As much as Dean loved watching cheesy films with Jo, and as much as he hated feeling ‘romantically clichéd’, he kind of missed sleeping next to Cas even it had only been for one night.

Fuck Dean thought as he walked to his car. I’m kind of crazy about Cas.


Chapter Text

"We have the apartment to ourselves, Jo is out with Charlie and Sarah." Dean said on a cold and windy Monday night as he settled down onto the couch and practically moulding into the worn fabric. Sure he’d thought about getting a new couch, mainly because Jo and Cas both spent most of their time bitching about it, but he’d grown to love the worn pile of springs. "So we can get down to it." He added arching his eyebrows suggestively. 

"Very funny, I assume by that you mean completing these charts while I look over some more of my research proposal. I've been invited to talk at the TED conference so I need to make sure I've got everything sorted." Cas said from the kitchen. He had finished clearing away the last remains of dinner and was searching for something to drink that wasn’t beer or one of Jo’s many deathly concoctions.

"You're going to TED?” Dean asked. “Holy shit Cas, that's amazing." To be honest Cas never failed to amaze Dean sometimes, the dude was a genius and he was going to kill his board exams in a few months. He was the best fifth year resident in the hospital and Dean wasn’t just saying that because of them being together, he actually meant it.

"Yes, I’m doing a speech on my cardio research as long as I don't throw up and make a fool of myself." Cas said.

"Yeah like that's gonna happen." Dean snorted sarcastically. From the kitchen Cas continued to rummage around, opening and closing several cupboards in the process. "Cas...what are you up to in there?" Dean asked warily. To be honest Cas couldn’t cause that much damage in the kitchen but living with Jo made Dean cautious.

“I’m looking for wine glasses. How is it that you have a multipack of neon shot glasses and several mugs shaped like Batman’s cowl but not glasses for red wine?" Cas asked, the annoyed tone of his voce ringing through to where Dean was sitting. From his place on the couch Dean smirked at the knowledge that Cas was most definitely staring at the cupboards with a pout best befitting a small child.

"I don’t know but Jo could probably answer that question. There's still shitloads of liquor clogging up the cupboards from that party of hers. She's suggested another one but it ain't happening anytime soon." Dean said as he flicked through the files he needed to sign. Cas returned, looking very disgruntled, with two large Yale Medical School mugs in his hands. Dean fought the urge to smile at Cas’ clear irritation.

"This is no way to drink Merlot." Cas complained as Dean snorted loudly. "I'm going to buy you wine glasses for the future. Without amusing slogans before you ask."

"I'm sensing you're calling me less than cultured there Doctor." Dean said. Cas rolled his eyes and placed the two mugs into the coffee table.

“I swear there is nothing in your cupboards apart from alcohol, bags of coffee and peanut M&M’s. I honestly wonder how you and Jo survive sometimes.” Cas said shaking his head. Despite having nearly the whole couch to sit on Cas sat as close to Dean as he could without being in his lap, which Dean really wouldn't have minded actually. The two men settled into a comfortable silence as they worked, the only sound coming from the stereo which was playing Zeppelin's Since I’ve Been Loving You quietly in the background. “I swear you would die of malnutrition if it weren’t for me.” Cas said with another shake of his head.

“Like you don’t enjoy cooking for me.” Dean countered.

“Well your orgasm noises when eating burgers never ceases to amuse me.” Cas shot back, a playful grin on his face.

In the month since he had told Sam, Benny and Jo things had gone surprisingly well. Sam was growing to become more accepting of the relationship though Dean had his suspicions this was to do with Cas offering Sam good pieces of advice on his college assignments. Dean wasn’t one of ever acknowledging when things were going well because that was usually when everything fucked up but things with Cas…well things were good.

He glanced over to where Cas was leant against the coffee table, that small crease that appeared between his eyebrows when he was concentrating was incredibly noticeable and Dean couldn’t help the found smile that spread across his face.

Cas reached for his wine all the while still frowning over the fact it was in a damn mug. Dean chuckled to himself over Cas’ irritation earning a bemused but questioning look from Cas himself. “I sometimes wonder if you’re actually real.” Dean admitted with a shake of his head.

“A chipped mug is no way to drink wine, most people could tell you that.”

“I once drank beer out of a shoe.”

“It truly worries me that I’m not even remotely surprised.”

“Hey, you do questionable and stupid things when at college even if you are studying medicine. Well normal people do, inhuman cardio Gods are a different class of student altogether.” He said smirking as he nudged Cas playfully. Dean found it far too much fun riling Cas up sometimes. Dean picked up his own mug and took a sip of wine. He really didn’t care if Cas thought any less of him, the red could have done with something that made it taste less…well less like wine if he was being perfectly honest.

“I like how you assume I’m uptight one when the several hickeys on your hip bones were thanks to me in the shower yesterday morning.” Cas said so innocently Dean almost choked on his damn disgusting wine. The smirk that flew across Cas’ face told Dean that was his real intention. “That’s what I thought.” Cas said smugly. Well two could play that game. Dean placed his mug of wine onto the coffee table as a smirk of his own dance across his face.

The files on Dean’s lap quickly slipped to the floor as he fluidly straddled Cas’ hips before the other man could say anything. His lips met Cas’ hungrily and Dean’s heartbeat began to race. Even the smallest of touches between them could make Dean’s pulse race. He ground his hips down against Cas’ as he reached for the buttons on Cas’ shirt, quickly opening it to gain access to the tan expanse of Cas’ chest. Dean’s lips travelled along Cas’ jaw and down towards his chest, Cas emitting small groans at each slight nip of teeth as the music played steadily in the background.

Dean was just working on what was going to be an impressive bruise when the buzzer for the front door filled the room.

"Fucking hell." Dean groaned into Cas' collarbone as the buzzer ran out again. "If that's Jo forgetting her keys again then I'm letting Sam reclaim her room. She can live in the intern’s locker room." He said clambering off Cas' lap and smirking at the impressive hickey he had left on Cas' collarbone. It was just in the right position to be hid by Cas' scrubs but Dean got a kick out of knowing it was there. 

"I think that is only fair." Cas said smirking right back.

"Jo if you've forgotten your keys then I'm letting Sam reclaim the spare room and Cas agrees with me!" Dean called out as he started walking to the apartment's front door. "You've got no one to blame-" Dean stopped as he opened the door an inquisitive blonde but it certainly wasn't Jo. "Mom?" He practically gasped out as he took in the blonde woman standing in front of him, a brilliant smile spread across her pretty face.

"Surprise!" Mary called out flinging her arms around Dean's neck and pulling him into a hug that he was sure broke several ribs. Mary’s familiar scent enveloped Dean and it made Dean miss home back in Kanas more than normal. Moving away to Connecticut then Chicago had been vital for his career but that didn’t mean that Dean didn’t miss his home back in Kanas, Mary especially. “God honey, I’ve missed you like crazy.”

“I’ve missed you too mom.” Dean said clinging onto Mary even if she was slowly crushing him.

"Mary stop crushing the poor boy, he can't operate with a collapsed lung." John said from where he was stood next to Mary. Mary let go for Dean, somewhat reluctantly, as Dean looked over towards his father. "It’s good to see you son." John said pulling Dean into another hug which was thankfully less bone crunching than Mary's.

"Dean I assume for the lack of profanities it wasn't Jo at the door." Cas' voice came floating down the hall and moments later Dean was joined by the man himself. Thank God he'd had the sense to button up his shirt to hide the huge hickey. Mary looked over at Cas inquisitively, clearly trying to figure out who he was as Dean tried desperately not to flush red. 

"Um yeah...Cas these are my parents Mary and Dr John Winchester. Mom, Dad this is Castiel Novak.” Dean stopped before he continued. Telling Sam, Jo and Benny was one thing but Mary and John? That was something else entirely. “Cas is my resident at the hospital." Dean said wishing that the ground would actually swallow him up. Dean looked over towards Cas, hoping not to see a look of disappointment. A calm and openly friendly look greeted him but it was still slightly unsettling. He hoped that Cas would understand why he wasn’t able to really introduce him to his parents.

"It's an honour to meet you both." Cas said taking both Mary and John's hands to shake. "Dean and Sam have told me so much about you and I’ve read several of your articles Dr Winchester, it really is an honour to meet you." Cas’ words rang with honesty and it really took all of Dean’s restraint not to kiss him right there and then. For all his asshole tendencies at the hospital it seemed impossible for Cas not to be polite towards parents.

“Thank you, Castiel was it?” John said as he firmly shook Cas’ hand.

“Yes sir.” Cas said nodding his head.

"We haven't interrupted anything have we?" Mary asked as she and John followed Dean and Cas into the apartment. 

"Not at all, I was merely having Dean help me go over some past patient files. It helps in preparation for the intern exam." Cas lied smoothly. Well it wasn't so much as a lie, they had looked over charts until Dean has decided that kissing a bruise into Cas' collarbone had been more fun.

"Starting early aren't you son?" John asked. "Not that I'm complaining at all, it's good to see you working so hard." The for once wasn’t said but it was clear that John was implying. He’d always thought that Dean had spent most of his education partying instead of working as hard as he had. The few rough years Dean had gone through in high school had made John see him as a slacker for several years. Now though he hoped that John would see he was determined in becoming a surgeon, determined in becoming the doctor he’d always dreamed of being ever since he was young.

"Thanks Dad." Dean muttered as he cleared away the papers and bottles of red wine from the coffee table. "Can I get you and mom drinks?"

"Coffee please honey, I'll come and help you." Mary said following Dean into the kitchen. "Sorry for the surprise but your father had a few days off for the first time in a long time. We thought we would come and see you then see Sam in California."

"Like I could be annoyed by you turning up." Dean snorted. “I’ve missed you since I moved here.”

“Good, so does that mean you’ll call me more often? Once a week is not enough.” Mary said with a small laugh as she started looking through Dean’s cupboards for the coffee. “I’m not even going to ask why there are so many bottles of alcohol here. I’m honestly wondering how you and your friend Jo have survived all there months with just cupboards full of Ramen and peanut chocolate.”

“Funny, Cas says the same thing.” Dean said with a smile as Mary handed over a bag of coffee.

“So that’s your resident? He seems like a nice man, it’s kind of him to help you with preparing for your intern exam.” Mary said returning the smile with one of her own.

“Yeah well…we’re friends.” Dean said cagily.

“It’s nice, having a good relationship with your resident will really help you.”

“We’re not friends because he’s my resident mom, I actually really like the guy.” Dean said becoming dangerously close to telling Mary the truth.

“I know honey, I know.” Mary said and the look that she gave him told Dean that she understood, she understood what was going on and why Dean just couldn’t tell her or John right at the moment. Mary had always had that knack when it came to her sons, she knew what was going to with them sometimes before even they realised it. The coffee machine beeped, pulling Dean’s attention away from Mary and he set about making four mugs of coffee. Mary occasionally lambasted him on the state of the kitchen (which was actually Jo’s fault as it had been her turn to clean up) and the lack of vegetables in his fridge. It reminded Dean of when Mary used to visit him in Connecticut and sigh over the sheer amount of pizzas Dean used to eat. “Oh, don’t put any sugar in your father’s coffee.” Mary said before Dean even pulled out the bag of sugar.

“Since when did Dad stop putting five sugars in his coffee?” Dean asked cocking his eyebrow.

“Since I pointed out he’d die before he hit sixty.” Mary said. John might have been the award winning surgeon but Mary was the one who always wore the pants in the Winchester household. “Now come on, your father looked ready to grill that poor resident of your within an inch of his life.” Mary said grabbing two of the four coffees and walking back into the living room where, sure enough, John was busy questioning Cas who seemed to be taking it all in his stride.

"Castiel Novak...not the same Castiel Novak who published that article earlier this year on the advancement of detecting heart deformities and disease in patients using their blood cells?" John asked taking the mug from Dean's hands with a nod of thanks.

"Yes, that would be me sir." Cas said with a modest smile. 

"You got a good resident here son." John said and Dean felt his cheeks reddening. "I hope my son is working hard."

"Dad.” Dean groaned.

“Your son is one of my finest interns, there’s nothing to worry about.” Cas said and Dean could feel his ears burning at the tips along with his cheeks. He loved his dad but sometimes John was too much. Still Cas did a damn good job of making John see how vital Cas found Dean. He talked in depth about the patients they’d worked on together and once they got onto the subject of Krissy, how had been successfully discharged the week previous, they were talking for nearly an hour. Dean watched as John looked more and more impressed as Cas talked and it filled Dean with warmth over how much Cas thought of him. They talked for so long Mary seemed shocked to discover it was nearing midnight.

“We better head to the hotel and let you go to sleep or you won’t get up in the morning for rounds!” she said. “Do you want us to give you a lift back to your apartment Castiel? It’s really no trouble for us.” she asked innocently.

“Cas is camping on the couch tonight, we’re going over some more research for my exam before rounds.” Dean lied. John seemed to accept this, even if he did frown for a moment, but from the look Mary gave him Dean knew that he wasn’t fooling his mother at all. He would have to get her on her own before they left and explain something…anything.

“It’s been good seeing you son, good to know you’re working hard here.” John said giving Dean a quick hug before he turned to Castiel and gave him a firm looking handshake. “It was good to meet you Castiel, I look forward to reading more of your articles in the future.”

“Thank you sir, that means a lot.” Cas said while Mary gave Dean a firm hug. Dean hugged his mother back just as tightly because he really had missed her since moving to Chicago. Once Mary pulled away she fixed him with a steady look that seemed to say so much. I know there’s more to this and I know why you’re not telling us but I’m not mad. Dean gave her a weak smile as they said there final goodbyes and it wasn’t until his parents left that Dean realised he’d been holding so much in.

“You should take the morning off tomorrow.” Cas said when he and Dean were getting into bed half an hour after Mary and John left. “You can catch up with your parents before they go to visit Sam in California.” Cas added while he shuck off his shirt, throwing it onto the chair were Dean’s own clothing had been flung only moments before.

“I can’t, solo surgery is up for grabs and half the interns are camping out at the hospital.” Dean said getting into bed and Cas followed him. Dean pulled Cas close so their chests were flush together and Dean rested his forehead against Cas’ bare shoulder.

“Dean, I hate to tell you this, mainly because I know that as soon as I do everyone will go back to slacking off or falling asleep at the nurse’s station, but they have already chosen who they want to perform the surgery.” Cas said with a small chuckle as he carded his fingers through Dean’s hair.

“They have?” Dean asked moving to look at Cas who nodded his head in reply. “You’re not going to tell me who it is, are you.” Dean added with a tiny sigh of exasperation.

“I would if I knew but I don’t, Josie Sands hasn’t told me who it is yet. I might not even know until all the interns know.” Cas said.

“God you’re useless sometimes, why am I even with you?” Dean asked derisively while Cas rolled his eyes in a very ‘Sam’ way that was kind of unsettling. “It doesn’t matter if they’ve made their choice or not, I can’t just take the morning off because my parents are here. Mostly because it would convince my Dad I’m some sort of slacker who jumps at the chance not to go into work. “

“He seemed impressed that you were studying for the intern exam.”

“No, he seemed surprised that I was studying this early. You might see the award winning trauma surgeon when you look at him but I see the guy who tried to talk me out of going to medical school countless times. I love him but he’s never really been the most supportive of fathers.” Dean said with a sigh as he moved towards his bed, pulling Cas along with him as he went. Both of them were too tired to do anything but lie there, limbs entwined together, but even that still sent twinges of content through Dean’s whole body. They both settled down to sleep and the silence enveloped the whole room for several minutes before Cas spoke up.

“You value your parent’s opinion a lot, don’t know?” he asked and Dean knew instantly what he was getting at. Cas hadn’t missed how Dean had skirted around introducing him to both John and Mary.

“Cas, they’re from the Mid-West and it’s not the most…progressive place there ok? I didn’t want to start something this evening with them when I introduced you as my boyfriend. Plus my Dad becoming a surgeon and all would have something to say about the whole ‘intern dating his resident’ bullshit.” 

“So you’re not embarrassed to introduce me to your parents?”

That’s what you thought?” Dean asked in disbelief. “Cas…you’re…for fuck sake. You’re a kickass cardio surgeon whose going to be giving a speech at the TED conference. You’ve been published a shit ton of times and you’re not even an attending yet. There is no way I’d ever be embarrassed to introduce you to my parents it’s just that they’ll need coaxing a bit before I tell them, they’re still in shock from the last time I told them I was dating a guy.”

“Did you realise we’ve never had that conversation?”

“Which conversation?”

“About ex partners.” Cas said.

“Yeah and we’re not gonna have it right now because it’s getting late and you’ll wake up cranky.”

“I’m not cranky in the mornings.” Cas said and Dean couldn’t even reply to that because he was snorting too hard. Cas was a lot of things but he certainly wasn’t a joy to be around at five in the morning when he hadn’t even had a single cup of coffee or a shower. “You’re an asshole Dean Winchester, a real asshole.” Cas muttered before he buried his face into the crook of Dean’s neck. Dean continued to chuckle to himself for several moments, absentmindedly running his hand up and down the curve of Cas’ spine until he heard the soft sounds of Cas’ deep breath telling Dean that he’d fallen asleep.

Dean was just on the cusp of falling asleep himself when the phone he’d placed on his bedside table before getting into bed buzzed loudly. He rolled his eyes and reached over, making sure not to disturb Cas as he did so, and picked up the phone. A message from Jo flashed up onto the screen and Dean fought the urge to roll his eyes. If she had forgotten her keys then the treat of reclaiming the spare room was going to become a reality.

The weirdest thing has just happened.

Dean fought the urge to roll his eyes. Jo’s definition of weird and his were several miles apart on the weird scale. Plus Dean was trying to go to sleep.

I’m trying to sleep here Jo. For the last time it is not possible to see Bigfoot in Chicago of all places.

You never know that but that’s not the weird thing.

Did you actually remember your keys for once?

No, they’re under the couch in the living room but I’m crashing at Charlie’s tonight so it doesn’t matter. Anyway…Adam just asked me out. As in ‘out on a date out’.

Very funny Jo, trying to sleep here.

I am deadly serious. Adam just asked me out on a date.   

“Ok Harvelle, spill it.” Dean said as soon as he spotted Jo in the locker room the next morning. It turned out he didn’t need the morning off to spend it with his parents as they were filling their day up by doing touristy things like seeing all of the city’s sights. As they were driving to California later that Dean made a promise to Mary to come and visit them in Kanas as soon as he could. She made it clear, almost scarily clear as well, that he needed to stick to that promise.

“What? My coffee?” Jo asked looking down at the paper cup in her hand.

“No you idiot.” Dean muttered with a groan. Was no one awake and alert before nine in the morning or something? “You kept me awake with your stupid ‘weird thing’ so just tell me about.” He pressed.

“Oh yeah, fuck.” Jo said placing her coffee down and looking like she was about the launch into an epic tale. “It was when we were at one of the bars near The Art Institute, they do really good but cheap cocktails there and everything.”

“Is that vital to the story?” Dean asked.

“No I’m just telling you about the cheapness of the drinks. Anyway, I was on my second-”

“Fourth” Sarah interrupted.

“Ok mom, I was on my fourth Coco Spice when I got this message off Adam asking me if I was free after work this evening because he’s not on shift in the ER for once and he was hoping to take me out somewhere for dinner or something like that. How freaking weird is that?” Jo said, lowering her voice so the rest of the locker room couldn’t hear their conversation.

“Not that weird, he’s been staring at you like a lost puppy since that stupid intern’s mixer that Dean bailed on before we started here.” Charlie said while she pulled her red hair up of her face and into a messy knot. Dean watched in slight awe as she pulled out a small bag full of bobby pins. Endless supplies of bobby pins seemed to be a universal trait between women as Dean was forever finding Jo’s supply in the strangest of places in the apartment.

“Ok, how did I not notice the lost puppy stare?” Jo asked looking utterly bewildered.

“Because you’re kind of oblivious sometimes. Did you not see how down he was after he found out about you and that guy from reflexology?” Sarah intoned.

“It was radiology and no, of course I didn’t. You mean to tell me that Adam has liked me since we started here?” She asked. Dean, Sarah and Charlie all nodded their heads while Jo stared back in shock. “Fucking hell…and none of you though to tell me this?”

“Well I was going to but then I got distracted by the sexual tension between Dean and Novak, no offence but that was more interesting than Adam’s unrequited love for you.” Charlie said shrugging her shoulders. Dean glared over at her but she just gave him a blasé look in return.

“Unrequited love?” Jo asked as she cocked her eyebrow.

“Ok then, unrequited lust.” Charlie said with a shrug of her shoulders. “Anyway, you didn’t tell Dean the best part.”

“Did Jo get drunk and call him a ‘fucktruck’?” Dean asked, a smile spreading across his face from the memory of the last time Jo drank too much and went on a long rant about her ex-boyfriend. The words ‘fucktruck’, ‘fuckwit’ and ‘useless paperclip’ were used several times that night.

“No I did not…I did agree to go to dinner with him though.” Jo said wincing when Dean burst out laughing. “Fuck off! It might not be as awkward as we all think it’s going to be.”

“No it’s going to be worse.” Sarah said with a small smirk. “He’s going to moon over you and you’re going to say something really cutting that will break his poor little heart.” She added and Dean had to nod his head in agreement because there was a very big chance that Jo was going to chew Adam up and spit him out. “It’s going to be like a car crash in slow motion.”

“Thanks for the support, it’s nice to know my friends are so nice to me.” Jo snapped with a voice dripping in sarcasm. “You’re all assholes you know.”

“You say that like we didn’t know it already.” Charlie said grinning over at Jo. “Come on, we can keep the torment up while doing rounds.”

“Seriously you’re all assholes.” Jo groaned as she finished off the last of her coffee and held out her hands for Dean to pull her up off the bench. Dean rolled his eyes, Jo could seriously be lazy sometimes, but he still helped her up. “Ok you’re less of an asshole.” Jo said giving Dean a small smile.

Once the interns had finished rounds they found out they were switching up the departments they were working in. Dean waited with baited breath, hoping and praying he wasn’t stuck with the chief or someone like that. When Cas told him that he’d be down in the ER with Benny the relief was clear for everyone to see. Jo gave him a high five when she found out she was down in the ER as well and the two were soon hurrying down to the department before Benny gave them shit about being late.

For a weekday the ER was packed with people. There was nothing serious, nothing like what had happened with Andy Gallagher the month before, and the shift was actually quite enjoyable. Dean was assigned to a six year old girl who had fallen of her bike and broken her arm. He kept the girl entertained with stories of his own injuries of when he was a child, if there was a tree Dean could have fallen out of he did, and even made the girl laugh loudly when he agreed with her that he big brother was a butthead for pushing her bike too hard down the hill. The girl’s mother was on the phone most of the time but when she wasn’t she shamelessly flirted with Dean much to Jo’s amusement.

“Did you see her readjust her shirt when she found out you were her kid’s doctor?” Jo asked after the little girl was discharged. Dean groaned slightly at the memory and nodded his head. Jo snorted and handed him a freshly made cup of coffee she’d just grabbed from the vending machine. “I swear she was seconds away from asking for a check-up.” Jo added with yet another snort.

“She was hot but I’m with Cas, I’m not exactly gonna flirt with some random woman am I?”

“You’re such a good boyfriend it’s actually sickening.” Jo said rolling her eyes. “What did your parents think of Cas?” she asked. During their shift Jo had heard all about Mary and John turning up and had laughed her ass off over how they could have easily of walked in on Dean and Cas going at it on the couch.

“They like him, they think he’s damn smart and really good for me.”

“You introduced him as your resident didn’t you?” Jo asked seeing through Dean’s vague response. How the hell she did that was completely beyond Dean. “What did Cas think of that?”

“He gets it, my parents want the best for me and them knowing I’m seeing my resident probably isn’t the right thing for them to hear right now.”

“Yeah sure, he’s probably pissed as hell but he’s not really gonna tell you.” Jo said unhelpfully. Dean groaned slightly but tried to convince himself that Jo wasn’t at all right about this.

"Winchester when you’re finished getting your caffeine fix the chief wants to see you." Benny said looking grim. What the fuck could have happened now?

“The chief? As in chief of surgery? Did he say what it was about?" Dean asked. Benny just shook his head and motioned for him to go. Jo gave him a supportive look before taking his coffee out his hand.

“Come and find me after, I’ll be getting ready in the locker room.”

“Pissing myself over you wearing a dress might be needed.” Dean quipped but the smile he gave Jo felt very forced. He hurried out the ER and headed towards the elevators.

Since he began his internship Dean had met the chief of surgery once though he'd seen him around the hospital a fair few times. Sarah occasionally complained about his rudeness and demanding nature all the time but apparently Crowley was an amazing surgeon. Still that didn’t stopped Dean wanting to curl up into a ball and pretend this wasn’t happening. He reached the chief’s office after a few minutes and braced himself before going in.

"Chief?" Dean said walking into the room even though he would have preferred to be anywhere else in that moment. The office was elaborately decorated for a surgeon's office and looked more like an antique store than a work space. It was just as Dean was wondering if the deer head that mounted the wall was real that he saw Cas sitting in a low backed chair opposite Crowley. Fuck. "Is everything alright?" Dean asked warily.

"That depends Winchester." Crowley said in his clipped English accent. Fergus Crowley had been a famed surgeon in England before he moved over to America and became Chief of Surgery in Chicago and even after being in America for over ten years his accent was still strong. "I've just been having a very interesting conversation with Novak here and I would very much like your side of the story." Dean looked over at Cas with about ten questions in one look. Cas' reply was an apologetic wide eyed stare. Fuck…

"What story would that be sir?" Dean asked finally looking away from Cas and trying to sound as innocently casual as possible.

"Don't play dumb here boy, it doesn't help matters at all." Crowley snapped. "Now tell me, what exactly is your relationship to Novak?" Crowley then asked, his eyes narrowing. Dean couldn’t help but gulp loudly. Shit, how had the Chief found out?

"My relationship to him?" Dean asked. There was no way around this but Dean couldn't just blurt out that he'd been sleeping with Cas and was quite possibly in love with him if he didn't know what Cas had said. "What exactly did Dr Novak say?" Dean then asked. Crowley's jaw clenched at Dean's question.

"Well Winchester he said, and I quote, 'Dean Winchester and I have been in a relationship for the past few weeks. While the relationship is of a sexual nature it has not affected the professional relationship between is and I have in no way favoured Dean over my other interns.'" Crowley said in a crude imitation of Cas' deep voice Dean had begun to liken to honey and whiskey. In his head of course. "Which I am guessing is Novak's fancy way of saying you two have been fucking like bunnies despite him being your resident. Is this true?"

"The fucking like bunnies part or the part about it not affecting us here at work?" Dean asked though he knew he was skating on thin ice here. "Because my love making skills have never been likened to that of a bunny before." He quipped and he could have sworn he saw Cas' lips lift up in a tiny smile.

"Watch it Winchester, you might be a smart lad with a fancy surgeon for a father but you're still an intern. Relationships between staff is frowned upon at this hospital."

"But not against the rules which means that Dean and I haven't done anything wrong technically."

"If you want to fuck up your career for an intern then go ahead Novak but if I hear that he's getting any special treatment from you then you can bet one of you is going to be fired. Now get out of my office, this is your final warning." Crowley snapped pointing at his door. 

"'My love making skills have never been likened to that of a bunny before' really Dean, really?" Cas said as he cracked a smile. “You really don’t know when to stop do you?” 

"He started it." Dean pointed out before letting out a sigh of relief. "Fuck…I was convinced I was going to be fired." He said breathily.

"I must admit that I did a large quantity of persuasion for you on that point." Cas said. “I wasn’t going to sit by and let him try to fire you just because you’re with me, Crowley might think that I’m messing around with my career by being with you but really it’s your career that’s important here. You’re just starting out and he can’t mess things up for you just because we’re together.”

“You don’t think he would, do you?” Dean asked with a sinking feeling in his stomach. His whole life had been about becoming a surgeon, he couldn’t fall at the first real hurdle just because of his personal life could he?

“No, Crowley may be an asshole but he’s not unprofessional.” Cas said. “I’m sorry about what happened but I can make it up to you.” He said sounding so innocent but Dean knew there was a hidden meaning behind the words.

Without another word Cas gave Dean the most wicked grin that sent a pang of want through Dean’s gut. Shit, Cas couldn’t just smile at him like that when they were in the middle of the damn hospital when they were supposed to be professionals. Dean rolled his eyes, slightly smug that he got to be the one to do that for once, and made to move down the hall until Cas stopped him with a hand on his arm. Dean raised his eyebrows until the grip on his arm tightened and he realised Cas was all but dragging into the nearest on call room, locking the door behind him as he did so.

“Cas-” he tried to say but was completely cut off by Cas’ lips colliding into his own. He wasn’t even going to bother complaining as it had been many hours since he’d last kissed Cas and it was long overdue. With careful and deft hands Cas removed Dean’s coat and his hands so slid under Dean’s scrub top. Dean’s breath caught in his throat as his skin reacted to the touch. Muscles jumped as Cas’ fingers ghosted over them and without even thinking about it Dean found himself pushing Cas gently towards the nearest bunk. If they were going to do the whole ‘making out in the on call room’ then they were going to do it properly. With nimble hands Dean pulled his scrub top over his head and threw it onto the floor, smirking ever so as he watched Cas’ eyes roam over his chest.

Cas settled himself down onto the lowest bunk, shucking his own coat as he went, his strong arms propping his upper body up as Dean moved towards him. Well that was until Dean’s head hit the bar of the bunk above them.

“Ow! Fuck!” he cursed bring his hand to feel where his forehead had connected with the metal. Being the unhelpful asshat that he was Cas just lay there and laughed loudly at Dean’s pain. “Oh you think that’s funny?” he jibed.

“I’m sorry but I do, just a small amount though.” Cas bantered with another loud laugh.

“I could put my shirt back on and go to find something to do that doesn’t involve taking any item of your clothing off.” Dean said while Cas continued to chuckle.

“You could do that but then I could also say that I won’t make burritos for dinner tonight.” Cas said smugly. Dean stopped and cursed. Damn Cas and his damn burritos. Ok and damn Dean for his total lack of willpower. “That’s what I thought.” Cas jested smugly.

“Yes and there was me thinking that you were someone who was above making out in an on call room. So much for being the stony professional you tried to be in front of Crowley.” Dean quipped. With a roll of his eyes Cas took a gentle hold of Dean’s wrist and guided him down until Dean was lying down next to Cas. Dean was incredibly tempted to let out a clever wisecrack until Cas took charge of the whole situation swiftly straddling Dean, his sturdy legs either side of Dean’s hips. Cas’ soft but slightly chapped lips ghosted over Dean’s jaw, his hands travelling up Dean’s waist with a light and nimble touch.

“Stop worrying about Crowley or the solo surgery or your parents, it’s just us right now and I plan to have it just be us for a while.” Cas said and a pang of longing, nothing to do with lust, sent shivers through Dean’s whole body. Cas would sometimes say things like that which made Dean realise that Cas wanted them to have a future, he wanted so much for them and even though it sometimes scared the shit out of Dean it was something he wanted too. Cas’ skilful hands roamed over Dean’s bare chest, fingers digging into the skin with just the right amount of pressure to make Dean let out a small moan. Cas smirked as his hands went to the waistband of Dean’s scrub pants. Cas was pulling at the waistband of the pants when his pager blared loudly.

“I swear to God the universe is against us.” Dean groaned. Cas looked at his pager, rolled his eyes and threw it onto the pile of Dean’s clothes. “Very professional there Cas.”

“Shut up, it’s just some administration crap.” He said grinding his hips down against Dean’s. “It can wait, this can’t.” he said pulling Dean’s scrub pants completely off. Cas’ pants soon followed along with their underwear. Thank God for locks because if anyone was to walk in on them they would have seen a lot of naked skin. The kisses between became more frantic, Cas’ fingers digging even harder into Dean’s skin and Dean was soon reaching into the pocket of his pants for his wallet. Yeah it was stupid to keep condoms and lube there but where else was he going to freaking keep them when he was at work?

He quickly worked Cas over until they were both on the brink, clinging to the edge before anything had really happened. They hadn’t been together like this for days, work and Dean’s parents visiting stopping them from doing more than make out or quick fumbles in the shower. Dean had missed the feeling he got when he was with Cas, that feeling of being completely whole. He’d missed how their bodies pressed together like they were made for one another, just one another. As Cas’ breath became more and more ragged Dean slicked himself up and gently pushed himself in, making sure he didn’t go too quickly. Cas bit down on his shoulder as a small sob escaped his lips and that nearly Dean over the edge there and then. Dean’s hips snapped as his rhythm became more desperate, he needed to feel closer to Cas after everything that had gone since the night before. He needed Cas so much it was terrifying.

“Dean.” Cas gasped as Dean continued his wild rhythm. As Cas bit down on his shoulder again Dean tipped over the edge, Cas following only moments later. Dean’s rhythm slowed until he and Cas were just rocking together, the fervidity of before cooling until both were content with just being. Once Dean had pulled out and thrown the condom in what he hoped was the general direction of the bin he pulled Cas down to lie next to him on the rapidly cooling, albeit uncomfortable, sheets. Dean lay contentedly stroking Cas’ arm for several minutes before Cas turned to him with a tender look “Dean…” he said in a near whisper.


“I’m in love with you.” Cas said and even in his hushed tone the honesty and seriousness of his words could be heard. “I don’t care if you don’t say it back for a day, a week or even a year I just want you to know that I’m very much in love with you. You make me truly happy.”


“I mean it, you don’t have to say it back. I just needed you to know how I felt.” Cas said. Dean was silent as Cas’ words sunk in. Al those stupid fears and doubts that had been whirling around in his brain seemed so insignificant now because Cas loved him, actually loved him. Dean knew he wasn’t ready to say it back, he knew that there was a part of him that loved Cas but there was still some uncertainty over whether Dean could really be in another relationship. He’d poured his heart to Michael and yet he’d still left, that couldn’t happen again.

“I can’t…I can’t say it yet…there’s things that…well it’s complicated but I want you to know that I trust you Cas, you make me feel happy and safe.” Dean said and he longed for Cas to realise that trusting someone was just as big as loving someone in Dean’s eyes. The fond look and tender kiss Cas gave him as a reply gave Dean his answer.  

Dean found Jo in the locker room with Charlie and Sarah. Once Dean had gotten over the amusing sight of Jo dressed in something that wasn’t scrubs or jeans he pulled her aside, rooting her to the spot with a serious look while Charlie and Sarah were given the ‘important’ task of finding the right shoes for Jo to wear.

“Jo…you haven’t told anyone about me and Cas have you?” Dean asked taking deep breaths in order to remain clam.

“Why? What’s happened?” Jo asked clearly skirting around the question. Fuck.

“Jo who did you tell?” Dean asked still trying far too hard to remain calm.

“No one! Well…no one apart from Sarah and Charlie.” Jo said grimacing when Dean swore.

“Jesus Christ Jo!” Dean hissed.

“I’m sorry, I really am!” Jo said hurriedly. “It just slipped out and I didn’t even realise what I’d said until a few seconds afterwards! It’s not like either of them are going to say something to someone…well anymore people that is.”

“Fucking hell! You do know I was just dragged to the chief’s office right? He knew about all about Cas and he wanted to know if it was true. Fuck fuck.” Dean gabbled.

“Wait…you’re not gonna get into trouble for this are you? It’s not against the rules to date residents, the hospital just gets pissy over it.” Jo said looking worried as hell which was pretty dumb as she wasn’t the one freaking out over potentially losing their job. “I know I shouldn’t have said anything but it was an accident. I swear I didn’t tell anyone who would tell the chief though!” Jo added quickly.

“Well who would tell him?”

“You…you don’t think it was Cas do you?” Jo asked with a frown. Dean snorted loudly and shook his head. “Hear me out here Dean, he could have told the chief so it looked better than it coming from a nurse or someone.”

“Why would it come from a nurse?” Dean asked narrowing his eyes.

“Charlie’s told a lot of people.” Jo said wincing slightly. Dean swore loudly and once again Jo gave him an apologetic look. “I am sorry you know.”

“Yeah I know…I know you’re sorry.” And Dean knew that Jo was, sometimes she spoke without thinking and yet she was still one of the best friends he’d had in a long time so he couldn’t hate her for her small flaws, after all he was riddled with them. “It’s just…with the solo surgery coming up it’s just going to make things that much harder. I want people to think I’m scrubbing in on surgeries and working on good cases because I went to Yale and not because I’m with Cas.”

“Yeah, you got a genius level result on your MCATS so I know you’re working on these cases because you’re good at this and not because you’re with Cas.” Jo said giving him one last apologetic look before she looked down at her dress. “So how ridiculous do I look?” she asked. Dean looked at her, really looked at her, and he had to admit that Jo looked stunning. The black dress she’d chosen wasn’t too girly and it really suited her.

“Jo you look…you look really good.” Dean said smirking when Jo blushed furiously. “I mean it, you look good. Adam’s not going to be able to string a sentence together.”

“Stop it, I’m already freaking out about it. It’s either going to be really funny or just awkward as fuck.” Jo said smacking Dean on the arm.

“If it’s awkward then you can put it down to karma seeing as you told Sarah and Charlie about me and Cas.”

“Technically you told Charlie when you told her you liked Cas before you told me.” Jo shot back with a triumphant look. Dean groaned because he hoped that Jo hadn’t found out about that. “So there, you can’t really call it karma you asshole.”

“I’m hoping the date is awkward now, it will serve you right.”

“Jo! Stop bitching to Dean and come here, Sarah has picked out your shoes!” Charlie hollered from across the locker room. Dean and Jo walked back to where Sarah and Charlie were sat surround by shoes. “I suggested the flats and she told me to shut up so I just left her to it.” Charlie explained as Sarah handed Jo a pair of heels. "Oh and I wanted to talk to you and Jo for a second." Charlie said suddenly sounding serious. Dean's brow furrowed at her serious tone. 

"What's up Charlie?" He asked. 

"It's nothing bad so don’t get your panties in a bunch, it's just that my roommate is moving out so I'll have a spare room. I know Jo living here with you was only temporary until she found somewhere else so I was wondering if Jo would want to move in with me." Charlie said. "This way your brother gets his spare room back and I don't have to go through the whole shit fest of looking for a new roommate."

“You’d actually want me to live with you?” Jo asked raising her eyebrows. She had a reason to look surprised, Dean spent most of his time complaining about Jo leaving towels everywhere.

“Well yeah, I’d prefer having a friend live with me and like I said, this frees up Dean’s spare room for his brother now. Plus you did only say that living with Dean was a temporary thing.” Charlie said. Jo glanced over at Dean and gave a look, it was almost as if she was asking his permission to more out of the apartment. Dean rolled his eyes but gave her a weak smile.

“Charlie’s got a point, it would free up the spare room. Maybe now someone will stop deleting all my stuff off the TiVo box as well.”

“It’s not my fault you watch shitty shows.” Jo retorted before she turned back to Charlie. “If you want me to live with you then I’d love to.”

“Great, you can fill her cupboards up with booze and eat all her cereal.” Dean said.

“At least Charlie won’t have loud shower sex at five in the morning unlike some people I could mention.” Jo shot back. Dean gave her a small smack on the arm as Charlie and Sarah laughed loudly.

“I’m not guaranteeing you anything.” Charlie quipped with a smug smile. Jo rolled her eyes heavily while Dean gave Charlie a well deserve high five.

“Fuck sake, I give up with the pair of you.” Jo muttered as she shook her head. “Will you stop being dicks and wish me luck?” Jo asked sounding like a petulant child. Dean rolled his eyes and pulled Jo into a hug.

“Good luck…you’re gonna need it.” He said with a smirk.

“What, with the date or when it comes to living with Charlie?” Jo asked.

“Oh both, definitely both.” Sarah quipped with a grin. Sometimes Dean found Sarah a bit judgemental but it was times like this when he remembered why they were friends.

Chapter Text

The front door to Dean’s apartment opened and was slammed close, filling the whole apartment with a loud crash only a few hours later. Dean was in the kitchen with Cas stood next to him they cleared the kitchen from their meal when Jo stormed in, throwing her heels onto the floor as she practically launched herself at the fridge. An infuriated groan escaped her lips as she searched through the shelves.

“I’m sensing the date between you and Milligan didn’t go very well.” Cas said as he dried a dinner plate. Jo whirled round and fixed him with the coldest glare Dean had ever seen. “I’ll take that as confirmation.” Cas said raising his eyebrows.

“How is it that Adam is funny and kind of sweet when we’re at work but if you put him into a situation like a restaurant he somehow turns into a bumbling mess? I mean, he’s not stupid by any means! He’s a goddamn doctor for Christ’s sake so why was he incapable of sitting through one meal without acting like a stammering moron?” Jo cried throwing her hands up in the air with exasperation.

“It can’t have been that bad Jo.” Cas said diplomatically as he handed Dean a freshly washed plate. Honestly seeing Cas wearing washing up gloves had been the highlight of Dean’s evening. He was tempted to take a photo.

“Really? You really think it couldn’t have been that bad?” Jo asked making it clear that the date had been that bad.

“You gotta give the guy a break, you’re kind of intimidating.” Dean said.

“Give the guy a break? Give him a break? I was close to breaking his damn arm when he started talking about the kind of bread they brought us at the start of the meal.”

“Well was it good bread?” Dean asked. Honestly he felt like this was a good question.

“It was bread! Who talks about bread?” Jo said whirling back towards the fridge to grab a bottle of beer. “Honestly it would have been better if we had just gone for beer and a burger, that way I wouldn’t have had to wear heels and pantyhose. I wore freaking pantyhose Dean!” Jo said kicking out a leg so Dean and Cas could see that she was indeed wearing nude pantyhose.

“You look very nice if that’s any consolation.” Cas said but Jo just groaned loudly and took a swig of her beer. Dean rolled his eyes and went back to washing up while Jo stomped out the room, probably to get changed out of her dress. The door to her room slammed shut seconds later.

“Thank fuck Charlie’s the one that will have to deal with all of this soon enough.” Dean muttered.

“You’ll miss Jo once she’s moved out though, the apartment will be very quiet without her.” Cas said.

“It’ll be weird not having her here so I will probably miss her but she’ll love living at Charlie’s. We won’t have to worry about her barging in at random times anymore, so no more interruptions.”

“Apart from your parents.” Cas pointed out.

“Oh man, I never text Sam to warn him they were going to see him. I should probably call him and find out how t went. Mom probably fussed over him constantly, counted out his meds to see if he was actually taking them and then she probably fawned all over Jessica.” Dean said. “He’s probably going to think I’m such an asshole for not warning him.”

“It can’t be any worse than the things that Anna and Gabriel have done to me in the past.” Cas said. “Gabriel once sent a singing stripper to my dorm room when I was at college. Then there was the time Anna rang me and told me she was in Peru when I thought she was supposed to be at law school.”

“Was the stripped good looking?” Dean asked thinking this was an important question ask.

“Oh yes but his pitch was good awful.” Cas said with a smile. Dean snorted loudly while from the spare room they could hear Jo stomping around and occasionally complaining loudly about bread.  

Jo’s mood the next morning hadn’t improved by any means. While Dean drove to the hospital she sat in the back of the car, Cas taking the passenger seat next to Dean, and grumbled into her breakfast. She blanked Adam when changing into her scrubs and stomped off to rounds with a thunderous look. Charlie and Sarah’s perplexed looks were almost as comical as Adam’s as Jo went through rounds muttering passive aggressive comments every now and then. When everyone was about to go their separate ways Adam called for Dean to wait up when they were by the nurse’s station.

“I’ll catch up with you.” Dean said to Cas who nodded and gave him a tender smile. Part of Dean was sad that he couldn’t just reach over and kiss Cas goodbye but he didn’t want anyone to make some sarcastic comment. He saw a fleeting sad look on Cas’ face and wondered if Cas was thinking the same thing. Instead Dean reached over and gave his boyfriend’s arm a gentle squeeze. Cas’ face actually lit up and the giant goof walked off with the sappiest smile Dean had seen in a while. It took Dean a moment to remember that Adam was even there and wanted to talk to him.

“Hey…Jo didn’t happen to talk to you about our date last night did she?” Adam asked nervously as he approached Dean. Dean looked up and raised his eyebrows. The poor guy. “I’m guessing she did.”

“Yeah she did.” Dean said pulling out a chair so Adam could sit down. “Did you really talk to her about bread?” he asked. Adam groaned and buried his head his arms. “Dude you’re training to be a freaking trauma surgeon and Benny never shuts up about how good you are in a crisis, how can you fail so badly at going on a date with Jo?”

“Lafitte never shuts up about me?” Adam asked in surprise as his head popped back up. Dean rolled his eyes because really that wasn’t what Adam should have been focusing on. “I kind of fucked up with Jo didn’t I? I was trying so hard to not seem like an idiot as well.” Adam groaned.

“So you chose to talk about bread?” Dean asked. Adam groaned even louder and buried his head once again. “Maybe you should try talking to her again just not about bread though. It’s not that difficult, she’s a pretty awesome girl. Hey, ask her about that time she hit a redneck in the face with a pool cue, she swears a lot when telling the story but it’s damn entertaining.” Dean said.

“She hit a redneck in the face?” Adam asked, resting his head on his arm so he could look up at Dean.

“Well that time it was with a pool cue, once she hit one with a drinks tray.” Dean said with a fond smile. Jo’s tales of growing up in a bar never failed to make Dean laugh. “Dude stop trying so hard with her, just act like you do when you’re around here. She’s a damn good surgeon who once kicked a guy for calling her ‘blondie’. There’s really no need to act like an awkward idiot.” Dean said.

“So you were always completely cool around Novak?” Adam asked. Dean fought the urge to roll his eyes at Adam’s question and he couldn’t fight the smile creeping across his face.

“Oh yeah, there was the time I called him an asshole in front of the whole OR then there was a moment on a damn rooftop that I sort of screwed over so yeah, yeah I was completely cool.” Dean said with a snort.

“I still can’t believe you and Novak are a thing. I mean it’s pretty random but Jo says you guys are good together. I’m happy for you man.” Adam said.

“Are you happy for me ‘cause I’m happy or because I didn’t give you too much shit over you talking to Jo about bread?” Dean asked smirking from ear to ear as Adam rolled his eyes in a very ‘Sam-like’ manner. How he managed to do that was beyond Dean.

“Mock me all you want man but it was damn good bread.” Adam said. “So if I wanted to ask Jo out again then…I don’t know, what should I do?”

“Don’t know anywhere where she would need to wear pantyhose. She whinged about it for forty minutes last night. Cas actually fell asleep on my shoulder while she ranted.” Dean said. “Honestly deep sea diving would be a better idea than going to some fancy restaurant.” Actually deep sea diving did sound pretty cool. Dean was very tempted to bribe Cas into doing that with him sometime in the future. “Just be cool and for the love of God don’t talk about bread, she might end up hitting you with a drinks tray.” Dean added hoping that Adam would take his advice. Either that or Dean was going to get kicked in the shin by Jo and his latest episode of Dr Sexy was going to ‘mysteriously’ disappear off the TiVo. Again.

All of Jo's things were moved into Charlie's apartment just a few days later. Apparently Adam was biding his time to ask Jo out again as Jo hadn’t said anything about it. In fact she was actually quite civil towards him when he came over with Charlie and Sarah to help Jo move. It was going to take a while for Dean to get used to her stuff not clogging up all the space in the bathroom and Cas had been right, the apartment was quiet without Jo being there. Apart from those few weeks he'd lived in Chicago by himself Dean hadn't lived alone since he'd gone to Yale. He had either been in dorms or in the small place he'd lived in with Michael. 

In the first week after Jo moved out it really hit Dean just how much he'd come to rely on the money that Jo had put into the apartment. True most of it had been on food or the TiVo but it made Dean realise just how much he'd eaten into his savings when he'd first moved to Chicago. He didn't earn a lot, if anything, as an intern and he still had some student loans to pay off. He didn't want to find a smaller place, he'd grown incredibly fond of his apartment, but it was obvious that he couldn't afford to stay living in the apartment by himself. With Sam away in California there was only one other person Dean felt like he could live with even if it was fast. Then again he'd spent so long tiptoeing around his feelings and maybe the gesture would say the things Dean wasn't sure he could say yet. 

It took Dean a few days to really think his idea over before he acted upon it. He wanted to make sure it wasn’t just something that he wanted but also something that would actually work. He couldn’t leap into something without the security of it being a good thing. Hopefully this would be a good thing, better than good really.

After weighing out the pros and cons of his idea Dean went off in search of Cas. They hadn’t seen much of each other over the past few days as they’d both been busy at the hospital. Dean was trying to scrub in on as many surgeries as possible before the surgeon for the solo surgery was chosen. Cas on the other hand was busy preparing his research proposal for the TED conference.

“Hey, you busy at the moment?” Dean asked as he poked his head around the door of Cas’ office after finally locating his boyfriend. It was that hard really as he spent all the time he wasn’t in the OR in his office going over all his work. Dean wouldn’t have been surprised if he found out Cas was camping out in his office as he hadn’t stopped over at Dean’s for several days. Cas looked up from his desk, blinking for a moment until he seemed to realise Dean was standing there.

“Oh…no I’m not that busy…just research stuff that’s all.” Cas said pushing papers aside and pulling himself up out his seat to give Dean a quick kiss on the lips. “Hi by the way, I didn’t really get to say that to you this morning before rounds.”

“Nah, were you here all evening last night?” Dean asked looking around the office at the endless mugs of half-drunk coffee. “You should have called and I’d have kept you company.”

“I know but I needed to get work done and you’re very distracting,” Cas said. “What’s up?”

“Oh yeah…there’s something I want to ask but it sounds kind of weird.” Dean said leaning against the nearest filling cabinet. “So you know that Jo’s moved in with Charlie now and that’s good cause no one is stealing all the cereal anymore but I’ve sort of realised that my rent is a bitch without a roommate. I mean Jo was a pain in the ass ‘cause she left towels everywhere and deleted shows off the TiVo and don’t get me starting on those fucking bobby pins she left all over the place-”

“Dean are you going somewhere with this?” Cas asked between chuckles. Dean let a nervous laugh

“Yeah…well I have spare room that’s not being used ‘cause Sam is busy out in California so it’s going free…and well…I was wondering if you wanted to be my roommate.” Dean said. “I’m not asking you to ‘move in’ move in with me, I mean the spare room would be yours if you did move in but I’m a pretty private guy about stuff and I’d hate having some stranger in the spare room-”

“Dean I’m going to stop you because it seems like you’re going to work yourself up into a very long monologue there.” Cas said. “My lease agreement is up for renewal and I was thinking about looking for a new place anyway. Maybe somewhere closer to the hospital or, silly enough, closer to you, This way I don’t have to. We haven’t been together that long so I know it wouldn’t be ‘moving in’ moving in but you do realise that Sam could easily have that spare room as I already spend a fair amount of time in your bed right?” he asked.

“Is that a yes to being my roommate then?” Dean asked and once again Cas chuckled loudly before he pulled Dena into a kiss.

“Yes Dean, you can take that as me saying that I will be your roommate. My place is nice but it’s small and like I sad, I had been looking for somewhere a bit bigger. I like your apartment, it has character-”

“Code word for ‘a lot of junk in it’.”

“Yes but it also has you in it which I happen to like a lot so yes, I will be your roommate.” Cas said smiling up at Dean with complete adoration. I’m in love with you. I don’t care if you don’t say it back for a day, a week or even a year I just want you to know that I’m very much in love with you. You make me truly happy. The words had been swimming through Dean’s brain ever since Cas had said them and now that Cas was going to be living with him Dean knew that they would constantly be there. Cas loved him, Cas was in love with him and yet there was still something there that was stopping Dean from saying it back. It had to be the fear that everything was too good to be true. Sure the chief knew about them and people in the hospital were gossiping but Dean could deal with that. It was whatever he wasn’t able to deal with that was scaring him.

The elation of Cas agreeing to move in with him kept Dean’s spirits high for at least several days. With the help of Benny and Adam most of Cas’ belongings from his apartment where moved into Dean’s in just a few days. Most of the furniture stayed at Cas’ old place apart from his desk, ridiculously expensive ergonomic swivel chair (that Dean was not going to use to swirl around the apartment in when no one else was at home…not at all) and finally Cas’ couch. After much debate, everyone on the side of the new couch’s apart from Dean, it was decided that Dean’s trusty, albeit incredibly painful, couch was going. Jo was already planning a warrior’s death wherein they would burn the couch as long as it wasn’t breaking too many laws regarding fire safety and overreaction towards the death of a couch.

To celebrate moving in Cas also brought a housewarming gift for himself and Dean. Extremely fancy, and in Dean’s opinion over the top, wine glasses.

The giddy high that came from living with Cas stayed until all the interns were paged by management to go to one of the main conference rooms just a week after Cas was fully moved in. The page didn’t tell anyone what it was about so as soon as everyone was there the room filled with conversations speculating why they’d been called there. As the minutes went on the speculation became more and more ridiculous.

“Have you got any idea what this is about?” Jo asked as she surveyed the room, glancing at the nervous look on nearly every intern’s face. Dean shook his head by way of reply and Jo snorted. “You’d think Novak would tell you.” She said.

“Even he’s not sure what it’s about.” Dean said bristling defensively.

“Ok princess, didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers there.” Jo muttered. “We could be doing something useful right now though instead of standing around a damn conference room waiting for someone to say something.” She added. “By the way thank you so much for giving Adam advice when it came to me.” She muttered sarcastically. Dean raised an eyebrow in surprise as he wondered where Jo was going with this. “He asked me if I wanted to go on another date with him, this time Laser Tag.”

“Hey Laser Tag is cool.” Dean shot back.

“Yeah…it’s clear where he got the idea from so thanks.”

“If you didn’t want to go you wouldn’t have agreed.”

“How do you know I agreed to go?”

“Adam told us all ten minutes ago.” Sarah said leaning over Jo’s shoulder. Jo swiftly went bright red and it was clear she was all set to make another remark when Charlie poked her on the arm and nodded towards the door where Crowley and Dr Josie Sands were stood. Benny and several of the other attending doctors followed and Jo shot Dean a nervous look.

“Can I have everyone’s attention please?” Dr Josie Sands called out and the already quiet room fell silence. “Thank you. As you very well know this hospital prides itself on being the best teaching hospital in Illinois and because of that we have been evaluating your progress at the hospital over the past month or so." Dr Josie Sands said in a clear voice that rang out across the conference room. Dr Sands was the head of general surgery and, apparently, the next Chief of Surgery once Crowley stepped down. She was talented, ruthless and honestly she kind of scared the shit out of Dean even if she was hot as hell. He was glad he hadn’t had to work with her yet.

"Like how we've worked with patients and stuff like that?" Ruby called out from where she was stood with several of Lafitte's other interns. Benny shot her an annoyed look but she just shrugged her shoulders. Benny had spent countless nights at the bar griping about Ruby to Dean. Dean might have been concerned about Cas turning him into a cadaver at the beginning of the year but really Ruby should have been concerned about Benny doing the exact same to her.

"Yes, we have been evaluating how you have worked with patients as well as the hours put into the OR. Any other work like extra hours volunteering in the ER was also put into account.” Dr Sands said. “Tomorrow afternoon there is an appendectomy taking place in OR four. The surgeon performing the appendectomy will be one of you."

"Holy shit." Jo muttered digging Dean in the ribs. "First step appendectomy, second step is seriously kickass solo surgery." 

"Taking efficiency, hours spent observing in the OR and recommendations from residents and attendings we have made our choice." Dr Sands said and a quiet hum of excitement took over the whole room. Instead of trained doctors the interns looked more like enthusiastic children. "After much deliberation we have come to the decision that Dean Winchester will be the intern performing the appendectomy."

Dean’s stomach dropped at the mention of his name. He felt his face flush red as every single intern in the room turned to look at him.  While his stomach flipped over several times Dean saw Jo give him the widest smile he’d ever seen on his friend’s face. She was one of the only ones smiling though. Sure Charlie, Sarah, Adam and Benny were grinning but that was it. Most of the other interns and other attendings just looked pissed, really pissed.

None of that mattered though when Dean turned and saw the proud look on Cas’ face. In that moment there was no else in the room but his boyfriend, his boyfriend who smile was so wide it was almost blinding. Cas knew how much Dean wanted this, he knew how much it would mean not only Dean but to John, Mary and Sam and Cas knew just how hard Dean had worked to get the recognition he was getting. Yes there was still things about Dean that Cas didn’t know and vice versa but Cas knew just how much the solo surgery meant to Dean. The thing was that Dean wanted Cas to be proud of him. Everyday Dean marvelled over Cas’ skill and his dedication to his job. Cas was going to be a world class surgeon, someone who would revolutionise cardiothoracic surgery and that never failed to inspire Dean. It was silly, even he had to admit that, but he wanted Cas to feel a fraction of the same way about him. He wanted Cas to be proud of him.

Cas’ tender look was clear. He was proud of Dean.

Jo and the others came to congratulate Dean, Benny and even Josie Sands included in that, while several other interns gave Dean curt nods. They could think whatever they wanted and say whatever they wanted because in that moment Dean was so overjoyed that he was getting recognition that he really didn’t care. He accepted Josie Sands’ congratulations and the almost bone crushing hug from Benny who was grinning just a widely as Dean was.

“Well done brother, you deserve this. When they asked me who I thought was capable of this you were the first person I thought of. You’re going to kick ass in there.” Benny said once he let go.

“Thanks, I mean that as well.”

“Just don’t celebrate too hard with Novak over there, you’ve got your first surgery tomorrow.” Benny said giving Dean a knowing smirk. His first surgery. His first solo surgery. Benny gave another smile before going off to talk to Josie Sands. His spot was instantly taken up by Cas who was still smiling brightly.

“I don’t have surgery this evening and Lafitte is switching your shift in the ER. I vote that we celebrate tonight.”

“I’ve gotta be responsible though, I’m a real surgeon now.” Dean quipped.

“I wasn’t suggesting hard liquor. I was thinking more along the lines of takeout pizza and Star Trek.” Cas said. Dean honestly couldn’t think of anything better.

As he fell asleep that night, Cas’ naked body presed against his own and their limbs tangled together, it finally hit Dean. He might not have been able to say it just yet but he was in love with Cas. The thought was terrifying but it was still there. He loved Cas and he wanted to establish a life with him. He wanted to build a whole life with Cas even if people judged them for it. His dreams of becoming a real surgeon were becoming a reality and he couldn’t think of anyone else he would want to spend that reality with but Cas. The thought was terrifying because there was still that uncertainty bubbling under Dean’s skin. His life had never been smooth sailing and the love he shared with Cas was too perfect. Something would shift and go wrong. Dean just wasn’t sure what he would do when that happened though.

He expected the shift, he knew it would happened but he never expected it to happen so soon though. He never expected it to begin in the middle of the most important day of his internship so far.

Dean hands gripped onto the scrub sink as tightly as they possibly could and a vain attempt to stop the room from spinning. It was nothing but nerves, just stupid and silly nerves but Dean still needed to gravitation.

“Hey, you doing ok?” Adam of all people asked as he slipped into the scrub room and stood next to Dean. Dean nodded his head, worried that if he opened his mouth he would throw up. “Lafitte just came and found me. Because I was the second best candidate for the surgery he’s letting me scrub in so I’ll be in the OR with you. Pretty cool huh?” Once again Dean nodded. “Dean, seriously are you ok? You look green.”

“I need you to distract me. Cas is up in the gallery so it’s gonna have to be you.”

“Does it have to be the same way Novak distracts you? ‘Cause I’ve heard Jo’s stories about you two and I don’t-”

“No, I mean just tell me something to take my mind off the surgery.”

“Oh! Right…um…Jo and I went on our date last night and as you can see I’m still alive so it went pretty well.” Adam said grinning from ear to ear as he began to scrub in. “Laser Tag was definitely a good choice. I just told her about scrubbing in with you and if all goes well then we’re going out for drinks tonight. I mean Charlie and Sarah are gonna be there, you and Novak can come as well, but she stil asked me, not me asking her so that’s a good sign right?”

“Yeah man that’s a good sign. Did you let her win at Laser Tag?”

Let her win? Dude she pretty much kicked my ass without breaking a sweat and I was trying my damn hardest.”

“Told you, she grew up in a bar surrounded by red necks, she’s as tough as old boots.”

“Smoking hot though.”

“I have a boyfriend dude, I can’t comment. Plus Jo’s more like a kid sister than anything now. After you’ve spent too many nights stumbling home from a bar together you sort of become like siblings.”

“What about Laser Tag, what does that make you become?”

“Well in Jo’s case it turns her even smugger than she already is and it turns you into a giant bruise.” Dean said nodding at the purple mark on Adam’s arm.

“Yeah she might have punched me on the arm when I joked about going easy on her.” Adam said blushing furiously.

“You’ve got a lot to learn about Joanna Beth Harvelle young grasshopper.” Dean said with a small chuckle. “But on the bright side you’ve been successful in distracting me so well done.”

“And I didn’t even have to take my shirt off.” Adam quipped. Dean couldn’t resist rolling his eyes in a very Cas like manner.

“Yeah save that you Jo stud muffin.” He retorted while they finished scrubbing in. All jokes aside Adam had helped in distracting him but he was still about to go into his first surgery and it was safe to say he was scared out his damn mind.

As a way of either teaching Dean, or making him doubt everything he’d ever learnt since medical school, Dr Sands asked him endless questions from the moment he entered the OR. He really wasn’t sure if Dr Sands realised that she was making him feel more nervous than he was already but damn if he was going to let her know that.

“Why are you not using Polyglactin as your suture material Dr Winchester?” Dr Sands asked almost halfway through the surgery. Dean knew she was doing this as a teaching method but it didn’t stop Dean from momentarily freaking out over whether he was doing something wrong. He glanced up to the gallery where Cas was sat. Cas’ expression was calm and confident. He knew Dean could do this as they’d been over the procedure so often the night before and looked at the patient’s medical history at least ten times. Dean gave himself a moment before he took a deep breath.

“In the patient’s medical history it was written that she had a reaction the last time Polyglactin was used in a suture. Polydioxone is slightly stronger as hasn’t caused a reaction or infection.” Dean answered.

“Very good Winchester. Dr Novak is clearly teaching you well.” Dr Sands said. Dean was about to thank her when he heard one of the nurses snort. He glanced over to see her whisper something to another nurse and this wasn’t lost on Dr Sands. She turned to the two nurses with narrowed eyes. “Is there a problem here?” she asked snippily.

“Oh…oh no Dr Sands. There’s no problem at all.” The nurse said shakily.

“Good, then please stop attempting to distract Dr Winchester while he’s operating on a patient.” Dr Sands snapped before turning back to Dean. Dean took another deep breath and returned to the surgery, going over the process of the procedure in his head like a mantra.

Once he finally closed the final incision site Dean breathed a sigh of relief. He’d done it. He had performed his first procedure and it had gone without a single problem. Out of all the interns he’d been chosen for this and he hadn’t disappointed Dr Sands in any way. An elated feeling swelled up in his chest and all Dean cared about in that moment was finding Cas so they could celebrate. It didn’t matter if it was with the smallest of kisses or something stupidly over the top, he just needed Cas there with him to join in with the elation.

After Dr Sands congratulated him and the patient was taken into recovery Dean scrubbed out and hurried out the OR to find Cas. He was rounding the corner of a corridor when he nearly bumped straight into Ruby of all people. Dean would have apologised but it was Ruby after all.

 “I hear that congratulations are in order.” Ruby said with a voice dripping with sarcasm and distain. Dean’s hackles instantly rose but he knew there was no way he was getting into a fight with Ruby in the middle of a corridor. “I always thought you were just a pretty face but now I can see you really are quite clever. Screw the resident to get the surgeries, it’s not the most original trick in the book by any means but it is fun and clearly by looking at you it’s very effective.”

“Yeah because that’s how I got this surgery. It’s got nothing at all to do with the fact that I know what I’m doing and I’m good at this.” Dean snapped back with derision.

“Don’t act like it isn’t true Winchester, everyone knows that you’ve been screwing Novak and now it’s clear to us all why you got this surgery. Actually it’s clear why you got to scrub in on so many of Novak’s surgeries before this. The two of you bump uglies then he rewards you with a gold star and a nice gory cardio surgery. It’s cute really…well if ‘cute’ meant ‘sickening to the core’. At first I thought you were buddying up to Lafitte to get ahead but you went even further than that, had to keep all your bases covered, just in case Lafitte saw through it?” Ruby said sounding so sanctimonious Dean was tempted to smack her across the face. And he never thought about hitting a woman.

“Ruby just shut the fuck up, you have no idea what you’re talking about.” Dean said in a low voice as he tried to keep his rising anger in check.

“Oh I do, we’ve all been there with maybe a TA or even a low down professor but you have the audacity to act like you’re not even doing it.” Ruby snapped, actually poking Dean in the chest. “You make it seem like you actually like Novak and you’re not just with him for the rewards.”

“Did you ever think I’m not with him for the surgery? Did it ever seep into that thick skull of yours that I’m with him because I do actually like him?” Dean asked as he tried to keep his anger in check.

“No, no because no one, not even you, is stupid enough to fall for their resident.” Ruby said fixing Dean with a cold look before she turned on her heels and marched away down the corridor leaving Dean completely alone. It wasn’t until Ruby had left that Dean realised he was shaking with rage.    

Several hours later, after spending most of that time lying on the bench in the intern’s locker room, Dean returned to the apartment with Ruby’s words still ringing in his ears. He leant his forehead against the front door and took several deep breaths. He’d barely opened the door and walked into the apartment before Cas was there in front of him, a brilliant smile on his face.

“Hey I made us dinner to celebrate. You did brilliantly today, I’m really proud of you.” He said pulling Dean into a swift kiss. He pulled Dean into the kitchen and Dean was surprised to see glasses full of wine and lit candles. Cas really had gone all out and yet it made Dean feel like nothing but utter shit.

“I’m not really in the mood to eat right now.” Dean said barely glancing at the food. “I’m gonna take a shower, clear my head and stuff.” He mumbled pulling himself away from Cas’ hold.

“What’s the matter? The surgery went without a single problem and all of the attendings are talking about it. Josie Sands said that your technique was good and your patient is going to be fine, what’s the matter?” Cas asked frowning with concern.

“It’s nothing…it’s…look just leave it alone. I need a shower, I stink of the hospital.” Dean said.


“Just leave it Cas ok?” Dean snapped as he made his way out the kitchen.

“No, I’m going to just ‘leave it’ because you’re clearly upset about something.” Cas said trailing after Dean.

“Yeah I am!” Dean snapped whirling around to face Cas. “I fucking pissed off but there’s nothing I can do about it because it’s exactly what I thought would happen!” Dean yelled, his voice filling up the apartment. “I knew people would think I got that surgery because I’m dating you! No one would ever think that I got it because I’m good at this, no one would ever think that I was chosen because I’m a goddamn fucking good doctor and know how to do a fucking appendectomy in my fucking sleep!”

“Dean-” Cas tried to say but Dean wouldn’t let him.

“No Cas, everyone is saying I got that surgery because I’m with you! No one is saying congratulations because they thought I deserved it and no one is congratulating me on how well the surgery went. All they’re talking about is the fact that I’m the intern who’s screwing his boss and that’s why I got the surgery. I got a 38.4 on my MCATS and was top of my class at Yale, I didn’t get that goddamn surgery because of who I’m sharing a bed with! I got it because I’m damn good at my job and I deserved it!”

“Dean I know that and the people who are important to you know that-”

“Cas the whole hospital is giving me shit over this and I knew it would happen. Two nurses snorted and made jokes in the OR right in front of me and Dr Sands! I kept telling myself that it would happen and that’s why I stopped myself from doing anything. That’s why I kept telling myself that it was stupid for us to be together because of all the shit people would give us.”

“So you’re constantly doubting this relationship because of what people would say?” Cas asked, his eyes narrowing. “People have been saying things to you for a few days, maybe Jo or Charlie would have been saying something for a bit longer, but you think that’s the worst of it?”

“No and I know what you’re getting at Cas, it’s not that.” Dean intoned.

“Oh really? You think that a few days of people saying stuff is really that hard Dean? Try having people saying awful things about you since were thirteen years old. Try having half your family not really understand who you are because of the gender you love.” Cas snapped. “I hardly speak to my family and it’s not because I’m always busy.”

“Dammit Cas this has nothing to do with you being a guy at all, it never has and it never will.”

“You wouldn’t introduce me to your parents as your boyfriend.” Cas said pointedly.

“Fucking hell Cas! I told you why that was, it was because you’re my resident not because you’re a guy! My parents know about my sexuality, they met my last boyfriend and were accepting of it so it’s not about that at all. None of this is about my sexuality, it’s about my goddamn career!”

“So you were fine with introducing your last boyfriend?” Cas questioned as he narrowed his eyes.

“No, no I wasn’t fine with it because it was the first time I had to introduce to a guy. Back then it was because of me dating a guy but it’s not now. He was at Yale with me, he was a student just like I was and not my resident.” Dean said. “My parents wouldn’t be pissed at me because I’m dating you, they would just be worried about what people would say to me. My dad has worked in a hospital since he was in his twenties, he knows the kind of shit people say about interns who date residents and that’s why I didn’t tell them, I told you all of this and I thought you understood it.”

“I do but it doesn’t mean that I like it. I’m not one for hiding away my feelings or relationships Dean, if I can walk down a street or a hallway holding hands with the person I love then I damn well will do that but if you don’t want that because you’re scared then what I am really supposed to do? How am I supposed to react?” Cas asked, his own voice growing louder until he was shouting just like Dean.

“Ruby just accused me of sleeping with you to get that fucking surgery even though I’ve been working my ass off since I got here, fuck it since high school, to get where I am!”

“I can’t keep dealing with the same issue here Dean! People are going to talk, people like to talk about everything and everyone! It is nothing new so stop acting it is. Do you remember when we were in my office, that time you brought burgers and we decided we were going to be together? I never cared about what people said about us. If they wanted to make up lies about us then they could do that because it didn’t matter to me in end because I was with you. I still mean that Dean but I can’t deal with this shit anymore.” Castiel snapped. “Just get over the fact that people are going to talk!” he said shaking his head with frustration. It was that small head shake that broke something inside of Dean. Only a few minutes ago Cas had been so proud of him and now he was looking at Dean like he was a small petulant child.

“I can’t do this right now.” Dean said.

“You are joking right? Tell me you’re joking.” Cas laughed but the harshness of the laughter made it clear that he found nothing about this amusing.

“No I mean it, I’m not having a bullshit fight with you over this shit right now.” Dean said making his way back toward the front door.

“Where the fuck are you going?” Cas called following Dean down the hallway. “Dean! Seriously Dean, where the hell are you going?”

“I don’t know…I just…I needed to think.” Dean said grabbing his keys.

“Don’t you dare. I mean it Dean, don’t you dare walk out that door.” Cas said. Dean didn’t even have the energy to even say anything in response. He simply opened the door to the apartment as Cas yelled “Dean!” the last thing Dean saw before he shut the door was Cas’ furious and slightly horrified expression.

He didn’t know where he was going as he drove through the Chicago streets but Dean knew that he couldn’t go back to the apartment. He couldn’t look at Cas’ hurt face and know that he’d caused that. He just needed to drive and carry on driving until he figured out what he was going to do. As he drove through the street his phone kept buzzing with calls, all from Cas who would no doubt yell at him or plead for him to come home so they could talk. Dean couldn’t talk though, he didn’t have it in him to fight with Cas but he also didn’t have it in him to fight full stop.

He wanted to press pause on everything and leave. He needed to be in a place where he could forget everything that had happened and just be Dean again. The idea hit him as he neared the edge of Chicago. He had the address to Sam’s place in California and Dean hadn’t been given a chance to really drive since he and Michael had driven to Washington for Thanksgiving. Maybe driving to California and seeing Sam would help Dean piece everything together.  

He turned his phone off as he crossed over into Missouri. The endless buzzing coming from calls and text messages finally got to him and instead of replying to any of them Dean just turned the phone off and threw it onto the passenger seat. He wasn’t doing it to be cruel, he just couldn’t deal with hearing Cas either yell at him or plead for him to come back so they could talk. Dean drove through Missouri without stopping and carried on into Kanas. For a moment he thought about just going home but he couldn’t even begin to think about explaining what he’d done to Mary, she would be so disappointed that he had not only failed to tell her about being with Cas but also walking out like he’d done. The scariest thing in life for Dean was disappointing his mother.

After a few hours of driving Dean gave into his hunger and stopped off in a small nondescript dinner for food and coffee. The burger was too greasy even for his liking and the coffee bitter, nothing like the rich Italian brand Cas kept in the cupboards back home. There would always be a fresh, hot mug waiting for Dean as soon as he woke up or when he got back from the hospital because Cas knew how much Dean loved that stupidly strong coffee. Shit, he wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Cas at all right now and yet there he was, sat in some crappy dinner eating questionable meat and finding it impossible to not think about the man he’d all but walked out on. Part of him just wanted to turn back but he knew he needed time to think. He needed to hear Sam’s advice. Dean was barely in the dinner for fifteen minute before he threw down his tip for the waitress who looked like she want to be anywhere but in the diner. Dean really couldn’t blame her either. He gave her a small smile before he left the diner, got back into the Impala and carried on driving towards California.

The small two bedroom apartment Sam lived in was a five minute drive away from the campus on EL Camino Real. Like Dean had done when he was preparing to move away from college Sam had been working steadily to help with paying for the rent. John and Mary had been all too happy to help out, plus there was the scholarship Sam had received, but Sam had still been determined to partially pay his way. The apartment building was small, nondescript but looked inviting as Dean drove up and parked in one of the few spaces available. According to Sam most people walked or cycled to the campus so the spaces were rarely filled with cars. When Sam had come to visit Dean in Chicago he’d given him a key to the building in case Dean ever needed it. Dean counted now as a time he would need to use it.

He let himself into the building and hurried up the stairs to Sam’s apartment. Sure it was late but hopefully Sam would be happy to see Dean in the flesh so he wouldn’t bitch too much. Dean unlocked the door, quietly entering the darkened apartment. He crept through the small hallway looking for a light switch when he heard footsteps behind him. He turned around just in time to see a baseball bat swinging at him through the dark.

“Fucking hell drop the bat it’s me, it’s Dean!” Dean said ducking out the way of the baseball ball currently swinging at his head. In the dim light Dean could see the outline of a blonde woman only a few inches shorter than him, her curly hair pulled up into a bedraggled, loose knot.

“Holy shit you scared the crap out of me!” the blonde snapped with hoarse, sleep heavy voice. “What the hell are you doing skulking around in the dark?” she asked angrily flicking on the light switch and filling the hallway with light. The blonde Dean assumed was Jessica stood in front of him wearing just a pair of short pyjamas and furious expression. “Who sneaks into an apartment in the middle of the damn night? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I…it’s a long story. Where’s Sam?” Dean asked looking down at the watch on his wrist. It wasn’t that late, it had barely turned eleven but from his time at medical school he knew that eleven at night could be classed as bedtime or the start of an evening depending on the day. God bless students.

“He’s got a test tomorrow morning so he was studying at the library until it closed, he should be back in a minute.” Jessica said still holding the bat. “Jesus Dean, there’s this thing called a phone, you could have used it and told Sam you were coming here.” She added. “He’s only just gotten over his parents visiting.”

“Yeah well like I said, it’s a long story.” Dean said running a hand down his face and yawning. “I’m sorry I freaked you out, I didn’t really expect to find Sam’s girlfriend swinging a bat at me though.”

“Yeah well you could have been some axe carrying murderer or those annoying gym bunnies on the bottom floor.”

“Which is worse?” Dean asked. Jessica still looked pissed but Dean saw a flicker of a smile.

“The gym bunnies. I mean the axe carrying murderer would kill me and get blood on the carpet but the gym bunnies like to jog at five. In the morning.” Jessica said with a shudder.

“Yeah I can see why you needed the bat now. Sorry I interrupted you passing out on the couch or whatever you were doing.” 

“I wasn’t passed out I was napping, I had a full day of lectures.” Jessica said by way of defence not even denying that she was indeed Sam’s girlfriend now. “Seriously Dean, you’ve never heard of a phone?”

“Mine is switched off.” Dean said. He hadn’t even brought it up to the apartment, it was still in the glove box of the Impala. Jessica rolled her eyes and finally put the damn baseball bat down. “Were you seriously going to hit me with that thing?”

“No not really…ok maybe I was but I didn’t know it was you!” Jessica said defensively. “You could have called.” She added snippily.

“Yeah sorry but like I’ve said, it really is a long story.”

“Well Sam can here all about it when he gets back. Let me grab a sweater or something then I’ll make you a coffee if you want.”

“Thanks…sorry about scaring you.”

“Yeah well I could have taken you out. I grew up with all male cousins. By the time I was eight I ruled over them with an iron fist.” Jessica said with a smirk not unlike Jo’s. Maybe it was the Winchester curse to always be surrounded by snarky blondes. “Go and sit down, you look like you’ve been driving for hours.” Jessica added nodding towards the living room. Dean thanked her and went into the living room he’d seen only partially whenever he was video chatting with Sam. Now he had a chance to take in all the small things that made this place Sam’s. The bookshelves were groaning under the weight of books but that was no surprise at all. All of Sam’s DVD’s were in alphabetical order just like his books which made Dean smile. His brother really could be a dork sometimes. Countless family photos were scattered around the place, the largest by far being the photo taken at Sam’s high school graduation. He stood next to Dean, a beaming Mary on the other side while John stood next to Dean and couldn’t have looked more proud of his youngest son.

“I don’t know how you take your coffee so I brought creamer and sugar just in case.” Jessica said as she walked back into the room. She’d changed into a Stanford sweater that was clearly Sam’s as it look more like a dress on Jessica as well as a pair of cropped pyjama pants.

“Thanks. Sam’s sure made this place his own.” Dean noted nodding at the books and photos.

“My room is even worse, you can’t see the walls for posters, photos and revision boards.” Jessica said with a smile as she handed Dean a mug of coffee, her own mug giving off a strong smell of vanilla creamer. Dean decided to drink his black, he could do with all the caffeine he could get as fatigue was starting to set in.

Jessica flicked on the TV and channel surfed until she found a political drama she and Sam both really liked (‘It’s full of inaccuracies but it’s too addictive to not watch’ she’d said between sips of her coffee.) They got ten minutes into the episode when the front door opened and Dean heard Sam’s voice calling out into the apartment.

“Hey Jess, you still awake.?” he called out into the apartment.

“Yeah I am, you’ve got a visitor by the way!” she called back. Moments later Sam came into the room, backpack slung over his shoulder like a good little student, and stopped when he saw Dean sat down next to Jessica.

“Hey there Sammy.” Dean said raising a hand.

“Hey…what…what are you doing here?” Sam asked.

“I’m liking his greeting more than yours Jess.” Dean said smirking over at Jessica who just rolled her eyes. “She nearly took me out with a baseball bat.” He said to Sam who was still standing there looking down right confused.

“Dean what’s going on?” Sam asked looking over at his brother with a confused expression. “Is everything alright? I just turned on my phone and it’s pretty much exploded with texts from Jo. She’s having a fit over where you are. She said you never showed up for rounds this morning and your phone keeps going to voicemail. I was going to call you but…well you’re here now...wait, did you drive here from Chicago?”

“Yeah…can you be a good brother and not tell Jo that I’m here just yet? I think I just need some space.” Dean said. Shit he’d forgotten that Jo might have had the biggest fit when he didn’t show up at the hospital.

“What the hell is going on, are you ok?” Sam asked.

“Not really.” Dean said looking down at his coffee. “Jessica told me you’ve got a test in the morning so I’m not gonna keep you up all night plus I've been driving for like a day. We can talk ‘bout this tomorrow.”

“Yeah you bet we are.” Sam snapped. “You can crash in the spare room, my test finishes at eleven so I’ll be back then…it’s nothing serious is it? Like everything is ok at the hospital right?” Sam asked.

“I still have a job if that’s what you’re asking.” Dean said. Sam gave him a classic bitch face and nodded for Dean to follow him out the room. Dean put his coffee down onto the table, earning a smack and a hissed ‘Coaster!’ from Jessica in the process, and followed his brother. Sam showed him to the spare room, not inhabited by a towel hoarding blonde like Dean’s had been until recently, and gave Dean a stern look.

“You’re pulling a classic ‘Dean Winchester pissy fit’ are you?” he asked. Dean snorted which only seemed to piss Sam off even more. “I mean it Dean, driving out to see me or mom was ok when you were school but not now that you’re working at the hospital. You are still working there right?”

“I told you Sammy, I’ve still got a job. I might have fucked up but I haven’t fucked up that badly. I just…I needed some space and someone to talk to. Who better than you right?”

“And you couldn’t do this via Skype?” Sam asked.

“Like I said, I needed some space.” Dean said.

“Sam? I’d going to bed, you coming?” Jessica asked, poking her head around the door.

“Yeah, I’ll be right there.” Sam said giving Jessica a tender smile.

“Ok, goodnight Dean. I’ll try not to take you out with a bat tomorrow morning.”

“That would be appreciated Jess.” Dean said. Jessica once again rolled her eyes and went off to Sam’s room. “I like her, she seems good for you.”

“Yeah she is…look if this isn’t about work then is it about Cas?”

“Sort of. Look you have a test tomorrow so just go to sleep. We can talk about it tomorrow.”

“Yeah we’re gonna. I’ll get you something to sleep in, you can’t fall asleep in plaid and jeans like you used to in college.”

“Hey it’s a real pain to undress when you’ve been in lectures all day.”

“Or trying to outdrink Bela who was sipping Chardonnay like a pro when she was in diapers.” Sam muttered. Dean smirked at the memory of that evening, well what he remember from it anyway. Michael had actually carried/dragged him to the car and Dean had woken up with one of the worst hangovers of his life. Sam left the room and returned a minute later with a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt. “Jo’s worried about you by the way, all of them are. You might think you’ve only got me to talk to but it’s obvious you’ve got friends in Chicago.”

“Yeah I know…I just need space until I’ve thought things through.” Dean said, his skin itching at the thought of Jo being so concerned about him. He was tempted to turn his phone back on and call her but the thought of her screaming at him, because that’s what she would most likely do, made him feel sick.

“Ok, we’ll talk tomorrow after my test. I should be home by eleven.” Sam said. Dean gave him a smile and took the sweatpants out of Sam’s hands. “Even if you did turn up out the blue like mom and dad, thanks for the heads up on that by the way, it’s good to see you.”

“Good to see you too Sammy.” Dean said. Sam returned Dean’s smile and ducked out the room. Fatigue finally set in as Dean changed and his head had barley hit the pillow before he slipped into a deep, dreamless sleep. 

Chapter Text

When Dean woke in the morning at first he reached out expecting the find the warmth of Cas’ body but instead the bed was cold. It was then that Dean remembered he wasn’t in the bed he shared with Cas, he was instead in Sam’s spare room all the way in California. There would be no grumpy cardiothoracic surgeon lying next to him, arms and legs tangled together. There would be no fresh mug of coffee waiting for him on the kitchen countertop after toothpaste tasting kisses were exchanged in the bathroom. 

Dean groaned into the pillow and listened to quiet voices coming from the kitchen. After a few minutes Dean heard and muffled ‘See you later’ before the front door opened and closed. Sam must have just left for his test. Shit what time is it? Dean thought as he lifted his head away from the pillow and glanced over towards the bedside table. The clock blinked back with 07:45. When was the last time Dean wasn’t up before five in the morning? It must have been before he’d moved to Chicago. For several minutes Dean thought about just going back to sleep but finally he pulled himself out the bed and padded into the kitchen. Jess was sat at the table, a large paperback in her hands and a mug of coffee on the table in front of her. She glanced up when Dean walked into the room and gave him a quick smile.

“’Morning” Dean mumbled.

“Give me a second, I’m about two pages away from the end of this chapter and I think something interesting is about to happen.” Jess replied looking back down at her book.

“You’re as bad as Sam, he refuses to do anything until he gets to the end of chapters.” Dean muttered as he made his way to the coffee pot. He lifted the pot towards Jess and she replied by lifting up her own mug with a smile.

“I’m good.” Jess said while Dean busied himself making coffee. Once his drink was made he sat down opposite Jess and watched with amusement as her facial expressions ranged from indifference to complete and utter horror. Once she’d gotten to the end of her chapter Jess threw the book down onto the table with anguish.

“Good chapter?” Dean asked her with a smirk.

“The main character is an idiot and can’t see that everyone around him is going to betray him.” She muttered before reaching for her own coffee. She nodded at the book’s cover. “Have you read it?”

“I don’t really have much time to read, I’m always working at the hospital and when I was at Yale I was always studying.” Dean said. “I keep seeing patients or their family members reading those best sellers that get turned into TV shows but I never get round to reading them myself.”

“It’s not too bad, the first book was better though.” Jess said with a shrug nodding once again at her book. “Sam said he would be back by eleven by the way. I have a lecture then, I’ll be out of your way to talk and whatever.”

“Not taking that same test as Sam then I guess?”

“Oh, no. We only share a few classes.” Jess said. “Sam said that your friend Jo has rung him three times this morning already so you might want to ring her back before she drives Sam up the wall.” She added with a cocked eyebrow.

“Yeah…sorry about that, she means well sometimes. I should probably get my phone out of my car and turn it on.” Dean said giving Jess an apologetic smile.

“Yeah Dean, that’s probably a good idea.” Jess said rolling her eyes before she returned to her book. “By the way, Sam said that there’s no bacon left before you started hunting through the refrigerator.”

“Son of a bitch.” Dean groaned as he seriously hated his brother in that moment.

Sam was indeed back by eleven and from the hollow look in his eyes the test had been a bitch. Heck Dean had sat through enough tests trying to gain his medical degree so he knew that empty look far too well. Without even having to say anything Dean handed Sam a large mug of coffee, two sugars and French vanilla creamer, and gave his younger brother a sympathetic smile.

“That bad huh?” Dean asked.

“I don’t remember learning half the stuff that was written down on that damn test.” Sam grumbled before downing nearly half his coffee in one go. Thank God for Coffee Mate. “Thank God I read ahead because there were question from chapter thirteen when we’ve only studied up to chapter ten in class.”

“One of my professors at Yale used to do that, she tried to catch us out by seeing who was actually reading their textbooks but luckily Michael and I caught on after a few of her classes.” Dean said remembering his Human Genetics professor. Her face had been priceless when Dean got a 98% on one test when most of the other students received 67-70% on the test.

“I honestly think I heard Brady praying at one point, either that or he was selling his soul.” Sam remarked though who Brady was Dean didn’t know.

“That would require Brady to have a soul in the first place.” Jessica said emerging from Sam’s room in a pair of jeans, loose tank top and hooded jacket. “So I’ve got classes until later on then I’ve got some stuff to do over in my dorm. I’ll see you later.” she said walking over to Sam and giving him a quick kiss on the cheek. “It was a pleasure to meet you Dean even if you did scare the crap out of me.” Jessica added with a small smile before she picked up a bag slung near the door and gave Sam and Dean a final wave goodbye. Sam potted about his small kitchen for several minutes before sitting down opposite Dean and fixing him with a determined look. Clearly now was the time when Dean told Sam why he was here.

“So what is going on?” Sam asked. Yeah, it was definitely the time. “Why don’t you want Jo knowing where you are? According to her Cas is going insane at the hospital because he doesn’t know where you are either.” Sam said before draining the rest of his mug for coffee. Dean winced at Cas freaking out and that didn’t go unnoticed by Sam. “Come on Dean, what happened?” Sam pressed.

“I got the shot at solo surgery, an appendectomy.” Dean said thinking it was best to start from the beginning. Sam’s eyebrows shot up and a wide grin spread across his face.

“You did? Holy shit…that’s great isn’t it?” he asked. “I mean solo surgery is a huge deal and it’s what you wanted right?”

“Yeah it is.” Dean replied, running a hand through his hair and sighing. “I mean the whole thing went without a single problem. My technique was good and everyone was impressed. The freaking Head of General Surgery thought it was a good surgery, it’s just that…fuck…everything I thought would happen if I started seeing Cas happened even though I didn’t want it to.” Dean explained. Sam frowned, the smile slipping from his face as he listened to Dean.

“Like what?” he asked

“Everyone is thinking that I got the surgery because I’m seeing Cas. They’re saying that I’m only with him to get ahead at the hospital.”

“Which couldn’t be further from the truth, right?” Sam

“Exactly. I’m not with Cas because of that.” Dean said.

“So what happened? Why are you here avoiding Cas and Jo’s calls?” Sam pressed. “What made you drive out here?”

“Cas and I got into a fight. Well more like I started the fight then walked out because I’m too emotionally stunted to deal with all this bullshit. I just want to be with Cas, I don’t want all the shit that people are giving me over it.” Dean said running his hands through his hair. “I mean, sure I had to go through this sort of shit with Michael but that was because people were getting used to me dating a guy. This is different because it’s my career that’s in jeopardy. The freaking Chief of Surgery gave us shit over it for fuck sake.”

“You were expecting some of this though, I even told you that you’d get shit for dating your resident.” Sam pointed out because he was a little bitch.

“Yeah but I wasn’t dating my resident, I was…am dating Cas. Cas at the hospital and Cas at home are two different people. Things were good as well, they were going really well. Cas moved into mine-”

“He moved in?” Sam interrupted. “You two haven’t been dating for that long.”

“Short version of the story is that Jo moved in with Charlie and I needed someone to split the rent with so I asked Cas to move in, not as my boyfriend but as my roommate.” Dean said. “Sure he doesn’t actually sleep in the spare room, he just sleeps in my room but he’s still my roommate as well as my boyfriend…or whatever he is now…”

“Why can’t you ever just have a simple relationship Dean?” Sam asked rolling his eyes.   

“I don’t know man but I’ve screwed up.” Dean groaned as he told Sam about John and Mary’s visit, about how he wasn’t able to introduce Cas to them as his boyfriend and how it had hurt Cas’ feelings. Sam listened intently as he made Dean another drink, after all they’d both been raised my Mary who had the assumption that the world’s problems could be solved with hot drinks and soothing words. "Sam I've fucked up and I've fucked up bad...I couldn't tell mom and dad about Cas, I couldn't tell Cas that I love him and I couldn't figure out the right thing to say to him without fucking up." Dean groaned. Sam placed a steaming mug in front of Dean and from the look on his face he meant for his brother to carry on talking. "I just couldn't stand the thought of people thinking that I'm getting where I am 'cause I'm with Cas." Dean said before he took a liberal gulp of the drink Sam had given him. The sweetness hit his throat and he cough loudly. "What fuck is this Sam?"

"A Chai tea latte." Sam said innocently.

"California is fucking ruining you." Dean grumbled pushing the mug away from him. 

"Jess got me into drinking them, there’s this little coffee shop not far from her place that does about twenty different kinds of tea and it’s pretty damn great.”

“I mean it, California is ruining you.” Dean said shaking his head.

“Shut up, it’s not that bad.”

“It’s not that good either.” Dean retorted.

“What are you going to do though? You can’t just camp out here. You’ve got a job and you need to sort things out with Cas before it’s too late.”

“I know…shit I should have just told him that I loved him before all of this. I do as well, I do love him and I’m past giving a shit over how sappy that sounds. He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met, he’s such an asshole sometimes that I want to punch him but then he’ll turn round and say something so sappy it’s insane. I…dammit I do love him but I couldn’t say it and now…now I’ve fucked up.”

“Yeah you have fucked up but you can work it out. You might be emotionally stunted to the point of it being ridiculous but you’re not a moron Dean, you got into freaking Yale for one thing.”

“Hey just because I know how to perform a coronary aortic arch dissection from start to finish doesn’t mean I know how to tell my boyfriend I love him.” Dean pointed out. Sam rolled his eyes so heavily it was a wonder they didn’t fall out his eye sockets. If that was medically possible that was. “I was hoping for more advice and less eye rolling here Sammy.”

“You want my advice?” Sam asked almost harshly. Dean was almost scared to nod but he did so because sometimes he needed to hear guidance from his baby brother. “Man the fuck up.” Sam said bluntly. “Just drive back to Chicago and tell your boyfriend that you’re sorry for having a tantrum then tell him that you love him. It’s that simple Dean and I don’t really know how I can spell out more simply.” Sam said. “It’s really not rocket science Dean.” He added. Sam was right, damn Sam was always right in the end, but that didn’t mean that Dean wasn’t scared shitless of what state Cas would be in when Dean returned to Chicago.

The drive back to Illinois would take the best part of two days. Dean had to admit that he was scared of going home. He was unsure on how Cas would greet him and he was sure Jo’s greeting would be painful. He pushed himself to carry on driving through. The windows to the Impala were rolled down as the warm Californian breeze shifted to the sweltering heat of Nevada. Music blared out the speakers as Dean continued to drive through the states, occasionally stopping for food or something to drink.

He’d been driving for nearly twenty four hours when he passed the sign telling him that Lawrence was only a few miles away. Dean missed his hometown like crazy, especially the house he’d grown up in and before he even realised what he was doing to he took the necessary turning to drive into the city. It too long before he was pulling up outside the house his parents still lived in, Mary’s car parked on the drive but John’s car absent. Dean fought back a yawn as he pulled himself out the car and slowly walked up the driveway towards the house. He only knocked on the door twice before Mary was yanking it open.  

"Jesus Dean! What in God's name are you here?" Dean’s mother gasped. 

"Um...I had a few days off work and I thought I'd see you." Dean said shrugging his shoulders.

"You look as though you’ve been driving non-stop to get here, have you had any sleep at all?" Mary asked inspecting Dean's face closely before she pulled him into the house and all but dragged him into the kitchen. 

"Not really I guess...I went to see Sam at Stanford then drove here on my way back to Chicago." Dean said.

"Oh for heaven's sake. For a boy with a degree in medicine you do some stupid things.” Mary muttered rolling her eyes heavily. “Sit down and I'll get you some coffee." She added nodding towards the kitchen table.  

"Thanks...where's dad?" Dean asked as he looked around the house.

"He’s at a conference in Florida, he's there for the next few days." Mary said while she set about making a pot of coffee. "What's wrong honey? I can tell that something isn't right with you." She said seriously.

"Things have sort of gone to shit at the hospital." Dean said. He'd come all this way to talk to his mom and as soon as he'd seen her he had known that she would give him either touch love or advice he could actually use...most likely both. 

"With your internship or personal life?" Mary asked with a frown.

"Both...I told you I got the shot at solo surgery didn't I?"

"Yes, you should have seen your dad's face when he found out. He was so proud of you. The surgery went well didn't it? You're not upset over that are you? Your patient did well afterwards didn’t they?" Mary said. While the pot filled with coffee she grabbed creamer and sugar, setting them in front of Dean.

"No...not really...stuff happened afterwards and now...I think I've screwed stuff up." Dean said sighing.

"Well I can't do my job and help you fix it if I don't know what happened." Mary said and without Dean even asking she placed a bag of chips onto the table along with dips. “What went on Dean?”

“If I tell you something will you promise not to be annoyed at me for keeping it from you?” Dean asked. Mary’s eyebrows shot up in surprise but she didn’t look annoyed.

“Dean I promise you I won’t get annoyed as long you just tell me what is going on, I’m worried about you.”

"Yeah...for the past month or so I've been seeing my resident." Dean muttered as he scratched at the back of his neck.

"Castiel?" Mary asked and Dean nodded. "No offence honey but I sort of guessed as much. You have this way of looking at people that's very obvious."


"Yes, you might want to work on it." Mary said with a small smile. "What happened though?" 

"People said stuff after the surgery about how I only got it because I was with Cas and I ended up yelling at him.” Dean said wincing because looking back now he really had reacted terribly. “I overreacted and so did Cas, we got into a fight and I walked out on him. Drove to California to see Sam and now I’m here. I think I’ve screwed up everything between Cas and I.” His friendship and relationship with Cas had been such an important part of his life and now it was so fragmented Dean couldn’t stand it.

He told Mary everything in the end. From how he first met Cas to how they finally got together and all the worry Dean had felt once he’d realised that he was developing feelings for his resident. Mary listen intently throughout the whole story, offering sage advice here and there while she regularly made Dean fresh drinks.

Mary convinced Dean to stay for a while, though he really didn’t need much convincing, and after Dean had taken a well needed nap slowly they worked out what Dean could say to make it to Castiel. Just like Sam it was clear that Mary thought Dean just needed to man up and go back to Chicago. He needed to hash everything out with Cas and apologise for walking out before the situation because even worse than it already was.

Dean and Mary were sat in the living room, TV on low in the background, talking through everything when the house phone rang loudly. Mary rolled her eyes, she generally hated answering the house phone because it was nearly always for John, but went to answer it anyway while Dean gently sipped on what felt like his tenth cup of tea that evening.

“Winchester residence, Mary speaking.” Mary said politely into the receiver. “Oh hi Sam honey!” Mary then said slipping into her normal voice. “Dean? Of course he’s here honey.” Mary said frowning at the phone. “Yes, I’ll pass you over right now.” She added before holding the phone out to Dean. “It’s Sam, he want to talk to you. Apparently your phone is still switched off.” She said, a look of worry on her face, and Dean quickly took the phone from Mary’s hand.

“Sammy? What’s up?” He asked.

 “Cas just called me.” Sam said seriously. Dean’s stomach flipped and he sat up in his seat, Mary frowning with even more concern as he did so.

“He did what? When was this? How did he never get your number?” Dean asked trying to piece what Sam had just said together but it made no sense, no sense at all.

“He rang me, pretty drunk I might add. He’s only just got off the phone. Apparently Jo gave him my number after neither of them could get hold of you. Dean you need to get back to Chicago right now, he’s a mess without you. He kept telling me how he’s fucked things up, how you’ve fucked things up and how much he doesn’t want to lose you. I know I gave you shit over being with him but it’s obvious he loves you like crazy from how he was going on. Seriously, just get back there already before he does something stupid. I mean, he seemed pretty sensible when I met him but he sounded drunk out his mind and people always do stupid things when drunk.”

“It’s gonna take me at least seven hours to get home unless I break the speed limit for the entire drive.” Dean said trying to quash the guilt he was feeling over putting Cas through all of this.

“Yeah Dean, like you’ve never done that before.” Sam said sarcastically. “Seriously Dean he’s a mess, you’ve gotta get back as soon as you can and sort this all out.” Sam added firmly.  

“I know, I know.” Dean said bowing his head in shame even though Sam couldn’t see him. “Thanks Sammy. What did you say to Cas?”

“He really didn’t give much room to speak but I just told him that you were sorry and that you’d be home as soon as possible. You two can sort this out, I know you can but you’ve gotta get home to Chicago Dean.” Sam said.

“Yeah ok…thanks for talking to him Sam, I owe you.” Dean said. He said his quick goodbyes to his brother before hanging up and sighing loudly.

“You’re going back to Chicago now? Dean you’ll have to drive through the night and you’ve hardly slept at all.” Mary said.

“I know mom but I’ve gotta go, if I leave it any longer then it’s going to be so much worse.” Dean said pulling himself up off the couch. Mary quickly followed him as he hurried out the living room. “I’m sorry for turning up and unloading all this baggage on you.”

“Dean I’m your mother, this is what mothers are here for.” Mary said fondly. “I just wish you had told me sooner about Castiel, he seemed lovely when your father and I met him.”

“I know mom, that’s just another thing I seem to be apologising for.” Dean said before Mary pulled him into a very firm hug.

“You drive safely ok? I mean it Dean, don’t do anything stupid just so can get back to Chicago more quickly than normal. Turn your damn phone on as well, you’re worse than your father.” Mary said. “Call me soon, I want to know how this all turns out.” She added before giving Dean a kiss on the forehead.

“I’ll call you, I promise.”

“You better or I’ll be the one driving to Chicago and whooping your ass. I might be smaller than you but I could still take you.” Mary said with a grin that Dean couldn’t help but return before he pulled his mother into another hug. “I’ll see you soon honey, I hope everything with Castile works out.”

“Thanks mom, I love you.”

“I love you too honey, now go and sort everything out.” Mary said fondly. Dean gave his mother one last smile before he went on his way, worry over the state he’d find Cas in slowly starting to fill his whole body.

Dean finally turned his phone back on once he crossed into Illinois. It burst into life with text messages, missed calls and voicemail messages and continued to buzz straight for nearly five minutes. Dean honestly thought the phone wasn’t going to stop buzzing until finally it silenced. It was nearly dawn and Dean had been driving all night, he could feel sleep pulling him under so he drove into a tiny diner ten minutes outside of Chicago. As he ordered the strongest coffee the diner did Dean opened up the mass of messages. He saw, with a painful pang to his chest, that most of them were from Cas. 

Dean please come back and talk to me.

Dean I mean it. You're not getting drunk with Benny, Adam or Jo and not letting us talk about this.

Dean please just come back. I’m calling Jo and Benny if you don’t reply to this message in the next five minutes.

Dean this isn’t funny anymore. Actually it wasn’t funny to begin with. Where the hell are you?

They went on and once it had become clear that Dean hadn't been with Jo, Benny or Adam the messages became more frantic.

Where the fuck are you? Just come back home already for God’s sake.

If you're dead in a ditch somewhere I will never forgive you. I mean that as well. You can’t be reckless like this when someone loves you so much dammit!

Dean for fuck sake just answer your damn phone! Please just you tell me you're ok so I can actually sleep. Do you have any idea how worried I am about you? Please Dean just answer your phone. Please Dean. I love you.

Jo's messages were almost as bad though hers included a lot more swearing. The voicemails however were even worse. Dean winced as he played the longest one from Cas, his voice hoarse and broken.

“Dean…Dean it’s nearly five in the morning. I haven’t slept all night and I need you to just come home already. Please Dean just come home. I’m sorry with how I reacted and you had a right to be upset by what some of the interns were saying. Please just come home so we can talk about all of this. I love you Dean. Please Dean, please just come home. I need you to be here.” The message cut out and Dean had to fight the urge to throw his phone across the crappy Formica table. He had to get home as soon as he could so he could this whole thing right.

Dean had barely got his keys in the lock of the apartment door before it was ripped open and Dean came face to face with blue eyes ablaze with utter fury. The whole drive back to Chicago had been leading up to this moment but now that he was here Dean wanted to be back in Kanas or California.

"Where the fuck have you been?" Cas yelled furiously as hands pushed into Dean's chest, his back hit the wall painfully and the lack of sleep didn't help at all. It took him a few moments for his eyes to adjust to see a frantic looking Cas, his hands pushing into Dean’s skin. "Do you have fucking idea how scared I've been?" Cas continued to yell as his fingers gripped onto Dean's shirt. Before Dean could even reply Cas' lips crashed against his own desperately seeking purchase, teeth biting down on lips and fingers digging bruises into skin. "I was so fucking scared something had happened to you, you bastard." Cas practically growled as he pulled Dean's shirt off his chest. His hands grasped at any bit of skin they could cling to like a drowning man would cling to a life aid. There was a hunger in his eyes that Dean had never seen before, it was almost manic in a way.  

"I'm sorry, Cas I am so-" Dean tried to say.

"We have time for apologies later." Cas said pushing Dean in the general direction of the bathroom. His deft fingers making light work of Dean's belt and jeans. "Get in the shower, you stink like cheap diners, sweat and gas." He grumbled as he pulled Dean into the bathroom. Dean's underwear and Cas' own clothes came away in mere moments and before Dean even realised it he was pushed under the hot spray of his shower, Cas quickly following him and crowding up against his body. The blistering hot water battered against Dean’s skin but he could barely pay any attention to that as Cas’ lips crashed against his own again. Dean was left gasping once Cas pulled away.

There was a ripple of anger in the air as Cas scrubbed nearly every inch of Dean's body and applied more shampoo than was probably necessary but it was clear from the way that his eyes flashed that Cas was too angry to care about the correct amount of shampoo. 

"Cas I'm-" Dean tried to say once Cas has finished but the other man stopped him from speaking.

"No, just don't...not yet." Cas snapped. He crowded against Dean's body and captured Dean's lips in his own yet again. Dean could taste Cas' fury but he hadn't seen Cas in days and the time in California and Lawrence had confirmed Dean's feelings for him. He kissed back, channelling his own anger into this kiss. It was more anger at himself than at anyone else. How could he have been stupid enough to just leave like that? How could he have worried Cas like that?

"Stop that right now." Cas growled.

"Stop what?" Dean asked innocently.

"Stop thinking. I'm too relieved you're not dead in a ditch for you to think." Cas retorted before trailing hot kisses along Dean's jaw. He left a trail of biting kisses along Dean's shoulders, clavicle and chest until he dropped to his knees. His fingers dug into Dean's calves as he took Dean in his mouth making Dean grip onto Cas' soft, wet hair as a pool of heat began to form in his stomach. Cas worked up a steady rhythm until that heat all but engulfed Dean entirely. Just before Dean fell over the edge pulled off and from the flash of anger in his eyes Dean knew that it had been deliberate. “You scared me so much and I didn’t think you were coming back.” Cas growled as he kissed Dean’s hips, stomach and chest. The anger in Cas’ eyes and the heat from his kisses were screwing with Dean’s brain. He knew he’d fucked up but Cas kissing him senseless was brutal. Finally Cas made his way back up to Dean’s collarbone, sucking bruises into the skin before rinsing off the final remains of soap. He pulled Dean out the shower and grabbed a towel so he could dry off.


"No Dean, I mean it when I say we're not talking about this right now." Cas said throwing a towel in Dean's direction. "I have to get ready for rounds, get some sleep before you pass out. You have a shift tonight until tomorrow afternoon and you look like shit." Cas added as he walked out the bathroom. Dean wrapped the towel around his waist and hurried after Cas. The room they shared was littered with Dean's clothes and the bed held all evidence of fitful nights of sleep. Once again Dean felt a stab of anger in his gut over what he’d put Cas through over the past few days.

"Cas wait please…just wait!” Dean said imploringly as he reached out for Cas. He needed to feel close to Cas, he needed to just feel. Cas turned round, his face a blank mask but Dean could still see all the hurt and fury in his bright blue eyes. Dean held onto him for his life as he stared beseechingly at Cas. “Cas, I love you. I love you ok? I’m completely and hopelessly in love with you." Dean said breathily. “I should have told you a long time ago but I was scared. I was scared but I’m not now, well I’m not scared of anything but losing you, and I love you.”

"Dean…” Cas sighed as he shook his head. “Dean I needed to hear that days ago, weeks ago even. Not after you've been missing for several days without even calling to tell me that you were ok." Cas retorted as he pulled away from Dean’s hold. Dean watched as he got dressed, pulling on one of Dean's shirts like it was the most natural thing on earth. Normally that would fill Dean with happiness but now it reminded him just how close he'd been to losing this because of how scared he was.

“I know that and I feel like shit over what I’ve done.” Dean said moving back towards Cas. “I ran when I should have stayed and I nearly lost you, I’m sorry that I fucked up but I love you. Please Cas just understand that I love you.”

 "Just go to sleep Dean. You'll need your strength for when Jo gets hold of you. Her greeting won't be half as friendly as mine." Cas said. It should have sounded like a joke but there was no humour in Cas’ voice at all.

"Yours was friendly?" Dean muttered.

"I was contemplating punching you in the face and breaking your nose, you need to hands to operate." Once again there wasn't a hint of humour in Cas' eyes as he said this. “Go to sleep, we can talk about this later.”

“Cas I meant it…I love you.”

“And I meant what I said Dean, I needed to hear that any other time than now. You left for days without telling me where you were. You didn’t answer your phone when I called or reply to a single one of my messages. You just disappeared on me, you can’t walk back here and tell me the one thing I’ve wanted to hear since we met really. It’s cruel Dean.”

“I’m sorry…I’m so sorry that I walked out…I just needed to think…I needed to…”

“Dean, we’re talking about this later. We’re not talking about it now.” Cas said sternly as he buttoned but the shirt he’d thrown on and walked out the bedroom leaving Dean alone. Guilt hit him square in the chest until Dean found all but impossible to breathe. He was home, he was home with Cas but nothing was right. He’d screwed up so badly by leaving and he wasn’t sure if he could fix it. As fatigue took over him and lulled him into sleep Dean’s mind raced with way he could possibly make this right again, ways to make Cas see just how sorry Dean was and how much he loved him.

Dean woke several hours later feeling just as groggy but less tired than before. He still could have done with more sleep but he needed to get ready for his shift at work. He pulled on whatever clothes were the nearest to him, not even caring if they were clean, and all but dragged himself into the kitchen in search of coffee and food. From the lack of clean dishes and abundance of take-out in the refrigerator, as well as a large quantity of half-drunk alcohol, Cas really hadn’t coped over the past few days while Dean had gone. Guilt surged through Dean’s veins as he hastily washed up and cleared out the fridge. He knew it would take some time for Cas to forgive him but he had to try goddammit.

Once the kitchen was almost cleared Dean grabbed a travel mug which he filled with coffee and decided to just get food on his way to the hospital. Despite how expensive they were, the coffee shop in the hospital always made damn good breakfast sandwiches throughout the day. As soon as he got to the hospital Dean nearly inhaled one before making his way up towards the intern’s locker room, dread filling his stomach over the possibility of bumping into either Jo, Ruby or Cas.

Bumping into Jo did not take very long at all. She came barrelling up to him, Adam hot on her heels, with a look of pure fury in her eyes.

“You goddamn asshole!” Jo yelled storming up to Dean and hitting him square in the chest. Dean grunted, Jo’s punches were after all painful as hell, and nearly doubled over. “Do you have any idea how fucking worried we all were thanks to you? You just vanished for days without telling anyone where you were going. I rang your phone nearly a hundred times but you never answered or it just went to voicemail! I rang your brother and I even thought about breaking into the office to get your parents number in fucking Kanas! What the fuck were you playing at?” Jo continued to rant in the middle of the hallway.

“Jo you might wanna do this when there are less people here.” Adam said placing a hand on Jo’s arm.

“Don’t try and protect me with all that ‘You’re a lady’ bullshit right now Milligan!” Jo snapped whipping around the glare at Adam.

“I’m not protecting you, I’m protecting Dean here. I’ve seen what your right hook can do.” Adam retorted almost fondly. Clearly that relationship had taken a few more steps since Dean had left. If Jo wasn’t about to pummel Dean to death, there was a strong chance to be honest, Dean would have asked her about it. Now was not the time though.

“No offence Adam but I’d rather there be witnesses to this, she might go lighter on me.” Dean wheezed. “I’m sorry Jo, I really am.” Dean honestly wondered how many more times he would apologise to someone he cared about before the day was out, he also wondered how many times those apologises would fall on deaf ears.

Where the hell were you? I called Sam so many times but he wouldn’t tell me anything. What the hell happened?” Jo asked. Dean was about to open his mouth to explain to explain when Jo cut him off. “Cas was a wreck. He was ringing Benny, Adam and I nonstop as soon as you left and when none of us could tell him where you were I thought he was going to go insane. He was all but set on just driving all over the state until he found you and dragged you home once you’d gotten over whatever the fuck was the matter with you.”

“What?” Dean asked as that completely threw him.

“Yeah, I told him that was a piss poor idea because if you were driving somewhere you’d leave the state pretty soon, that’s why I called Sam but he wouldn’t tell me where you were. I had to convince Cas not to drive all the way to California then even though we weren’t sure that’s where you were.”

“I’m sorry…I was with Sam in California…then I went to spend time with my mom back home.”

“Ok…but why? Why was Cas such a wreck? What the hell happened? The surgery went great and the patient recovered completely! Why did you just go like that?”


“Someone said something to you didn’t they?” Jo asked hitting the nail on the head instantly. “They did, didn’t they? Who was it? Dean who was it?” Jo pressed.

“Jo I have to get to my shift.” Dean said because if he told Jo what Ruby said then he would actually fear for Ruby’s safety for once in his life.

“Not until you tell me who said something.” Jo sad folding her arms across her chest. For a woman several inches smaller than Dean she could still be scary as hell when she wanted to be. “I am not above making threats you know I will carry out.” She added.

“Ruby ok? It was Ruby. She said shit about me and Cas and it got to me. Me and Cas got into a fight, Cas reacted badly and I overreacted full stop.”

“Fucking hell. I am going to turn that bitch into a freaking cadaver! Medical students will finally solve the mystery of where the fuck her heart is.” Jo yelled. Adam actually smirked until he saw on Jo’s face that she wasn’t entirely kidding. The poor kid really did have his work cut out for him. “This does mean I’m not still fucking furious at you Dean, if you ever and I mean ever do anything like this again I will injure you in a way so bad that not even the most talented surgeons will be able to fix you.” Jo snapped poking Dean firmly in the chest before she went marching off down the hallways.

“Oh man…you got lucky.” Adam said giving Dean a sympathetic pat on the back which really didn’t feel that sympathetic.

“Yeah I sure the bruise and probable broken rib will agree with you.” Dean retorted. “I have to go and throw myself back into work before I lose my job.” He added with a slight wince that only had a small amount to do with Jo punching him in the ribs.

“Ok man, you’re in the ER tonight according to the rota.” Adam said. “Good luck man, you’ll probably need it.” He added giving Dean a clap on the back before trailing after Jo.

The ER, like all good ERs, was packed full of people by the time Dean got down there. Benny gave Dean the swiftest of glares before he set him to work doing sutures on a kid who’s forehead met a patio door. It was pretty tame for the ER but after the past few days Dean felt like he needed it, he needed some peace, quiet and-

“Incoming trauma! Family of four verses a truck and it looks like the truck won!” Benny yelled jolting Dean out of his thoughts. He quickly finished the kid’s sutures and sent him and his parents on his way while the rest of the ER leapt into motion over the incoming trauma. Dean grabbed a trauma gown as he bashed straight into the one person he really didn’t want to see. Ruby.

“So the wanderer returns then.” Ruby drawled as she pulled on her own trauma gown. “Enjoy your little vacation?” she asked. Dean looked away, refusing to even look at Ruby. “Not speaking to me now, is that it?” Ruby pressed.

“I wasn’t really speaking to you beforehand but now I’m going to have fun pretending you don’t exist.”

“Harsh Winchester, that’s really harsh.”

“Know what’s more harsh? Me calling you a bitch. Which you are by the way.” Dean snapped.

“Stick and stones Winchester.” Ruby shot back as she gave him a smirk. Dean counted to five to stop himself from smacking Ruby round the face before she sauntered off towards the trauma. Dean suppressed a groan and followed her, not because he wanted to be anywhere near Ruby but because he wanted to distract himself from all the shit going on. A good bloody surgery would do just that. As the casualties were brought in Benny called out instructions for everyone to follow apart from Dean. It seemed as though every intern was assign something apart from him.

“Benny!” Dean called hurrying after his friend. “Benny!”

“Dean it’s packed in here, if you got a problem then tell me now brother.”

“Ok then, what am I supposed to be doing? Everyone else is going into surgeries and shit, where am I going?”

“You’re staying here in the ER. There are sutures that need to be done.” Benny replied and Dean’s eyebrows shot up. He’d just done solo surgery, he shouldn’t have been shoved doing sutures. “You’ve been away for several days, you need to ease back in.”

“No I need a bloody surgery.”

“No, no you really don’t Winchester. Now go and do what I’ve told you to do. I have to go into surgery.” Benny snapped before marching away and leaving Dean to tend to cuts and grazes instead of actual surgeries.

After several hours of being in the ER without having done anything really Dean was ready to fall asleep or scream. If he had to look at Ruby’s smug face one more he was going to impale her with a scalpel. The sight of Charlie walking towards him made Dean nearly cry with relief.

"Here, you look like you need this." Charlie said placing a double chocolate chip muffin and cup of hot coffee in front of Dean. “I heard all about your rough first shift back, not getting to go into the surgeries and all. It’s a scientific fact that muffins, especially double chocolate chip, always help.”

"Thanks, it was a pretty shitty shift.'re not pissed at me?" He asked warily. Charlie shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly.

“I’m not going to punch you in the ribs again like Jo did if that’s what you’re asking.” Charlie said.

"Well thanks then." Dean said as he pulled off a piece of muffin. 

"You were upset and you just had what my favourite professor back at Dartmouth used to call a 'cranky human moment'. It was comforting to know that the thousands spent on my education was used teaching me about ‘cranky human moments’" Charlie said shrugging her shoulders again. “I wouldn’t be too pissed about it. Even the best of heroes in stories have them, actually the fifth Harry Potter book was pretty much dedicated to his cranky ‘the world is against me’ moments." Charlie added lightly. "How did Cas react when you finally got home?"

"Weirdly. He yelled at me, called me an asshole then had sex with me in the shower." Dean said. Charlie's eyebrows raised in surprise and she even snorted. "I know, then again I wouldn't love him if he didn't confuse me sometimes."

"So you told him about being in love with him?" Charlie pressed.

"Yeah, it's not going to do me much good though. I've really fucked up."

"Stop saying that Dean, you did something and you've apologised and now everyone just has to get over it. Simple as that. Don't beat yourself up over it." Charlie said giving Dean's arm a squeeze. 

"Thanks" Dean said giving his friend a quick smile.

"That's why I'm here." Charlie said grinning brightly. “Things with Cas will work out, I promise you. He’ll see how sorry you are soon enough.” She added positively and Dean really hoped she was right. “I better get back to work, I just thought you could do with a muffin.”

“You’re a good friend Charlie, thanks for this.” Dean said and in that moment he really did value his friendship with Charlie. It wasn’t just because of the muffins either.

“Like I said, that’s why I’m here. I mean you scared us all by just upping and leaving but you had your reasons. Though Jo did a damn good job of driving me crazy by ringing your brother nearly every five minutes. If she and Adam weren’t dancing around one another I’d tell that brother of yours to watch out.”

“Oh he’s smitten with this girl out in California. She’s cool even if she has got Sam drinking Chai lattes.”

“Chai what?” Charlie asked wrinkling her nose. “That just sounds weird, give me bitter as hell coffee any day of the week.” She added with a nod towards Dean’s own cup of coffee.

“So what’s gone on with Jo and Adam? They looked cosy earlier on even if Jo was trying to kill me.” Dean asked. Charlie’s reply was a cagey look. “Oh come on Bradbury, you live with Jo now so you’ve gotta know.”

“Yeah but if I tell you and you take the piss then Jo might kill me and not just you.” Charlie retorted. Dean pushed a bit of muffin towards her with a pleading look. “Oh fine! But you didn’t hear it from me.” Charlie said rolling her eyes as she grabbed the piece of muffin. “You know they went out again after that disastrous first date. After your surgery Adam came back to mine and Jo’s for drinks. They’ve gotten closer over the past few days, especially with Jo freaking out over you vanishing. Don’t give either of them shit over it though, it’s surprisingly cute even if you can tell Adam’s terrified she will kill him if he hurts her.” Charlie explained between mouthfuls of muffin.

“I’m not going to give her shit, well as long as she stops punching me in the ribs.” Dean quipped.

“Well then you better go about apologising to Cas again and making all this right.” Charlie said grinning even though Dean knew there wasn’t a whole lot to grin about. He’d have his work cut out getting Cas to listen to him again but like Sam, Mary and Charlie had all said he knew he had to try.  

By the time Dean got home after his shift the next day Cas was already home and sat on the couch busy working. His laptop was open and surrounded by files and notes. Cas barely glanced up when Dean walked through the door and that felt like a punch to gut.

“Cas-” Dean tried to say but Cas held up a hand to stop him.

“I’m busy Dean. The TED conference is coming up and I need to be ready for it.” Cas said without even looking away from his laptop screen.

“Dammit Cas, will you please just listen to me?” Dean asked, his lack of sleep finally getting to him and making him suddenly furious.

“No because we’re still not talking about it and I mean that.” Cas said and he still didn’t look away from the screen.

“Yeah well I want to talk about it. I told you that I loved you and that I was sorry.” Dean snapped.

“Yes I heard you but the problem was that you did it after you walked out and disappeared for several days. I can’t ignore that Dean. I can’t ignore the fact that you weren’t here.” Cas said seriously. “I keep trying but I can’t stop thinking about how you just walked out and turned off your phone. I sent so many messages begging you to come back and they did nothing at all. Just give me time Dean because I’m still too mad.”

“So you’re not going to listen to what I have to say?” Dean asked cocking an eyebrow.

“No Dean, not right now.” Cas sighed finally looking up from his laptop screen, his blue eyes looking tired and drained. Dean knew he’d put Cas through hell over the past few days but he was trying to make amends now and he needed his boyfriend to listen to him. “I’m sorry but I just can’t right now.” Cas added.

“Fine Cas, fine. If you’re not going to listen to me then I’m just going to sleep.”

“Dean…Dean just give me time ok?” Cas asked. “I know you’re sorry and that you love me, I love you too, but I just need time. Can you please just give me time?” Cas added. Yes Dean could give him time, it would be hard but after all he loved Cas, if Cas needed time then Dean would give him time.

Dean just wasn’t sure how much time he was willing to give.

Nothing changed between them for several weeks. Every time Dean tried to talk Castiel would shoot him down claiming that it wasn’t the right time or that he was busy or he would simply try and screw Dean into silence so they wouldn’t have to talk. There was still anger bubbling under Cas’ skin, Dean could feel it, and Dean wanted nothing more than resolve everything between them but Cas just wouldn’t let him in.

Dean no longer work up to coffee waiting for him. Most mornings Cas had already gotten up and showered by the time Dean’s alarm went off. The bed would be cold and there would be next to no hot water left. Dean knew Cas was doing this to slowly drive him insane but the thing was it was working. Dean was close to breaking point.

The TED conference went perfectly according to people who were there. Cas only got the one pass so Dean didn’t go with him. Part of him wondered if Cas had done that on purpose but Dean really hoped that Cas was above that. He had to believe that Cas was above that. Cas came home from it full of confidence regarding his research and he was perfectly polite to Dean when it came to answering questions but there was still that wall between them and it was slowly starting to drive Dean insane.  

Finally after nearly six weeks of dancing around what had happened Dean finally snapped. It was a Tuesday night and neither of them were working at the hospital for once. Before the night would have been filled with Cas cooking and relaxing on the couch before going to bed. Now the silence filled the apartment, seeping into Dean’s skin and making him itch. He had to do something before he exploded. He had been studying for his upcoming intern exam for hours and the added stress was close to pushing Dean over the edge.  

“Cas” he called out, leaving the kitchen with washing up still in the bowl. Cas was sat on the couch in his pyjamas, files and notes in front of him as he prepared for his medical board exam. It was only two weeks away and Cas had been studying like a mad man even though Dean knew there was no way Cas could fail. “Cas?” he called again. Finally with a sigh Cas looked away from his work and over to where Dean was stood.

“What’s wrong?” Cas asked raising an eyebrow.

“You and I are going to talk.” Dean said steadily and full of determination.

“Dean now-”

Is the time because it’s been six goddamn weeks since then and we still haven’t talked about it.” Dean said firmly as he walked over to Cas. “We’re talking about it right now and you’re going to listen.”

“I’m studying.” Cas replied snippily.

“You know all of this already. Just shut up and listen.”

“I thought we were talking.” Cas asked cocking an eyebrow.

“No, right now I’m talking. After you’ve listened to me for the first time in weeks I’m going to let you talk.” Dean said more firmly than he thought he was capable of. Cas looked back at him, eyebrows still raised but didn’t say a word so Dean took that a plus and carried on. “The fight between us was stupid, thinking about it makes me want to punch something because we were angry at each other for no reason. You reacted badly and I reacted even worse by walking out. I’m sorry that I freaked you and made you worry, I’m sorry that I scared you and hurt you. Most importantly I’m sorry that I fucked up and didn’t tell you that I loved you when I should have done.”


“I’m not finished here Cas. I am in love with you, do you hear me? I’ve only ever said that to one other person so for me it means a lot. I couldn’t tell you it before because I was scared, I was scared to tell you or even think it and I fucked up by doing that. Please just…I can’t think of what else to say or do to get you to see that I’m sorry for what I did.”

“Dean you walked out and drove clear across the country without telling anyone where you were going. You turned off your phone and wouldn’t let your brother tell Jo where you were. You disappeared on us all. How can I trust you not to do that again?” Castiel asked. “How can I know you’re not going to leave me?”

“Because I know what it’s like to have someone you care about leave, and not just for a few days.” Dean said. Castiel’s eyebrows shot up and Dean knew that there was no real going to back from what he was going to say. “I told you that I had a boyfriend in medical school.” Dean said trying not to stammer over his words. He needed Cas to hear what he had to say and to understand. “He was the first boyfriend I’d ever had. We were together for three years and we broke up during the summer before I moved here to Chicago. Well I broke up with him, I did that because he got into an internship program over in England. I knew we couldn’t do a long distance thing with him in England so I ended things. That’s why I know what it’s like. I had someone leave and it kind of broke me until I met you. I’m not going to leave you Cas, I promise.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” Cas questioned in a voice tinged with disbelief.

“Because I don’t really talk about this sort of stuff with anyone.” Dean admitted as he felt a slow creep of heat crawling up his neck. “I don’t really let people in that often but…but I did with you and I promise you that I won’t run again. I’m done with acting like a scared idiot because I nearly lost you and that’s the last thing I ever want.”

“You really mean that?” Cas asked and it was impossible for Dean not to chuckle with a small shake of his head.

“Yeah, I really do Cas.” Dean said. “I know that it’s going to take some time for you to trust me again but I just want things to go back to how they were before I fucked it all up.” He meant it as well. He wanted to go back to being woken up by Cas nuzzling into his neck or nudging him with a freshly brewed mug of coffee. While they had sex the intimacy between them wasn’t there anymore and Dean was desperate for it to return. The closeness and familiarity he’d felt around Cas had always been something Dean had loved, it made him feel less alone in Illinois while his family was either in Kanas or California. If even a fraction of that intimacy was to return it would make up for the past six weeks of hell he’d gone through.

Dean watched intently as Cas looked away from him and back towards the files placed on the coffee table. Three mugs all ranging in size held half-drunk black coffee and a large family bag of potato chips were open, half eaten. Cas was notorious for making himself comfortable in places, made evident by the food and Cas wearing ratty old pyjamas, and it would have normally made Dean’s heart swell but now it just filled him with that sadness he felt whenever he remembered how close he’d been to losing Cas.

“Cas…I need you to say something…anything. Please” Dean said as he grew steadily more nervous over Cas’ refusal to look at him. After several moments of prolonged silence Cas looked up from the coffee table, those damn blue eyes of his boring holes into Dean’s face, and slowly rose to his feet.

“I can’t keep thinking of reasons to be angry at you, especially when you did what you did because you were protecting yourself.” Cas said in an unwavering voice that sent shivers down Dean’s spine. “I want us to go back to how it was before as well. I want to laugh at you while you try to brush your teeth when you’re still half asleep and I want to come home from work to find you pretending not to cry over the latest Dr Sexy M.D episode.” He moved towards Dean, a hand reaching out to gently stroke Dean’s arm. Goosebumps erupted across Dean’s skin as Cas took hold of Dean’s wrist, thumb gently rubbing the thing skin covering Dean’s veins. “I forgive you for leaving here and now I’m hoping that you forgive me for punishing you over the past few weeks.”

“Yes Cas, I forgive you, I can’t really be mad at you for that after what I did.” Dean said.

“Dean I have just one more question and I would appreciate an honest answer.” Cas said.

“Cas after everything I think I’m ok with answering one more question.” Dean said.

“Ok then. Who is Michael and why is he leaving a message about meeting up with you on your machine?” Cas asked sternly and it honestly felt like Dean’s stomach was about to drop out his ass.

“Michael…Michael is the ex-boyfriend I told you about. He’s going to be back here in the US for his sister’s engagement. He suggested us meeting for drinks if he came through Illinois. That’s all it is Cas, there’s nothing between us anymore so it would just be us catching up.”

“You promise me that?”

“Cas I told you that I love you and that’s still true, I love you and that’s never going to change.” Dean said gripping onto Cas’ arm. “Cas I mean it, you think after everything we’ve been through over the past weeks I’d screw it up even more than I already have?” Dean pressed as he tightened his grip on Cas for fear he was genuinely going to lose the person he loved.

“I don’t think that.” Cas finally said after a few moments of silence. “I’m ready for everything to go back to how it was before.”

“Really?” Dean asked. Cas nodded and slowly moved his laptop so he could pull Dean down towards the couch. The kiss was tender and gentler than any of the kisses between them over the past several weeks. Dean opened his mouth for Cas’ tongue and as Cas’ hand gently cupped his face Dean was filled with the elated thought that maybe, just maybe they were back to how things were before. They’d been through something and come out the other end hopefully better people who could get through anything now.

Chapter Text

Michael – Hi Dean, I get into Chicago tomorrow so if you’re free for drinks it would be good to meet up. I’m not sure if you got my answer machine message.

"So let me get this right...” Charlie said the next afternoon as she, Dean and Sarah sat in the cafeteria. She even paused dramatically to take a sip from her juice box and Dean was convinced it was just to fuck with him. “You're going for a drink tonight with your ex-boyfriend who you were with for three years and your current boyfriend, who has only just recently started talking to you again, is perfectly ok with this?" Charlie asked, her eyebrows raised so high they disappeared under her dark red bangs.

"Yeah...I guess that's about right." Dean said with a shrug before grabbing a handful of Sarah’s fries.

“Hey!” Sarah snapped slapping Dean on the arm. “You have your own fries.”

“Stolen fries taste better.” Dean retorted with a grin.

"Your relationship confuses the hell out of me." Charlie said rolling her eyes.

“It’s a friendship based on Dr Sexy and stolen fries.” Dean said giving Sarah a wink.

"Not your friendship with Sarah you asshole, your relationship with Cas.” Charlie said with exasperation. “I swear it's even worse than Jo and Adam's. If I walk in on them making out on my couch one more time then Jo can move back in with you."

"There's no room at mine." Dean pointed out. Charlie snorted loudly and took another sip of her juice before replying.

"Oh please Cas hasn't slept in the spare room once. You two can pretend he’s your boyfriend who just happens to also be your roommate but he’s basically your boyfriend who lives with you." Charlie said. "I still can't believe he's ok with you seeing Michael for a drink though.”

“And I can’t believe you’re drinking from a juice box.” Dean said.

“I’ve been awake for like thirty hours studying and if you drew blood from me right now it would be pure caffeine, I need juice.” Charlie said. “And don’t change the subject, Cas is really ok with you going to a drink with Michael?”

"He's probably not but I honestly think he's scared I'm going to run again if we have another argument."

"Would you?" Sarah asked with concern. Sure she and Dean had a friendship mainly based on their love for Dr Sexy but sometimes she seemed genuinely concerned about Dean.

"No, it cost me a fuckload of gas the last time." Dean quipped and both Sarah and Charlie's responses were a heavy rolls of their eyes. "Come on, I learnt my lesson the last time, it took nearly two months for Cas to forgive me so I'm not about to fuck it all up again."

"Good, I couldn't deal with the moping and you constantly being round mine complaining to Jo."

"Thanks Charlie, you're a good friend." Dean muttered sarcastically.

"Excuse me I am a good friend, I lent you my box set of Deep Space Nine." Charlie interjected as she poked Dean on the arm. "So what time are you meeting Michael for a drink?"

"Ten, I get out of here at nine."

"Study session at mine afterwards?" Charlie asked. After all their intern exam was only a few days away and any minute spent not at the hospital was spent studying.

"Yeah, my brain might be frazzled but I did enough midnight cram sessions for the MCATs so I can do this." Dean quipped. He had honestly survived his last year at Yale on a diet of energy drinks and whatever Michael microwaved during a quick break from studying. "Honestly I'll be glad when this is all over, Cas keeps muttering about his boards in his sleep and it's driving me crazy."

"Is Cas nervous?" Sarah asked. “He leave for his boards the same day as the intern exam doesn’t he?”

"Yeah he does. I guess he’s kinda nervous but he's got no reason to be though. He knows everything but even the best of residents can fail their boards sometimes.” Dean said. There was no chance of Cas failing though, he had been studying non-stop for weeks and weeks. “He’s going to fly through them though, he’s too much of a perfection striving genius to fail the boards.”

“I would have thought that was an insult if you hadn’t of said it with the most ridiculous heart eyes ever.” Charlie said though she said it fondly even if she did shake her head while saying it. “Good luck for tonight though, I have this weird feeling that you’ll need it.”

The bar Michael picked put was one on the centre of Chicago, more upscale but tourist filled than Dean was used to. Yes he'd lived there for several months but he could count the places he spent his time in on one hand. 

They planned to meet at the bar, Dean after all had been at work all day while Michael had been with his resident preparing for the talk they were attending. However Dean was running late, nearly fifteen minutes thanks to him having to triple check a patient's form because he could barely read the handwriting on it. By the time he got there Michael was sat on a bar stool, his arms resting on the bar. As Dean was walking towards the bar Michael looked up, noticed him and smiled brightly.

"Hey, sorry I'm late. This nurse had the shittiest handwriting and if I didn't track her down I might have ended up giving this patient too much medication." Dean explained as Michael rose off the bar stool fluidly. There was a slightly awkward moment when Dean wasn’t sure if he should hug Michael or not so he settled for just giving him a warm smile.

“It’s fine, I understand perfectly.” Michael said, his accent only slightly clipped from the months spent in London. London, it seemed, was clearly working in Michael’s favour Dean assessed as he looked over his friend and ex-partner. His hair was longer than was at Yale, giving him a more European look that probably made the nurses back in London weak at the knees. “It’s really good to see you Dean, I’ve missed you.” Michael added.

“I’ve missed you too.” Dean admitted as they both sat down. That was the truth as well, he had missed Michael but not because of their relationship, it was because of the friendship. Dean had gone to Yale full of fear over how much he had to prove to not only his family but the university as well. His friendship with Michael had been a life saver really, both of them bouncing off one another whenever worried, stressed or just in need to comfort. That’s what Dean had missed and he hoped that everyone would realise that. 

“What can I get you to drink? I know you’ve got your intern exam coming up so I wasn’t sure if you would be drinking. You might have grown up since the MCATS.”

“Hey I wasn’t hung over for the MCATS!” Dean countered with mock outrage.

“No you were just running on no sleep and a crate, yes Dean a crate, of cheap energy drinks.” Michael pointed out with a knowing look.

“Yeah but who was the one who went out at two in the morning to that shitty gas station to buy the crate of shitty energy drinks huh?” Dean shot back with his own knowing look. Michael rolled his eyes and motioned for the bartender.

“Can I get two more of these please?” he asked holding up his bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. “Ever had these?” Michael asked Dean who shook his head, he was more of a bottled beer, like Amstel or Coors, or whiskey kind of guy. “I hadn’t until I moved to England. There’s a pub not far from Bela’s house that serves these and I got into drinking them.” Michael explained.

“How is Bela since I last saw her?” Dean asked. He’d been meaning to call or email Bela to see how she was coping after her father’s death but something told him that she was probably doing just fine, even better more likely.

“She’s actually doing really well. We went for dinner just before I flew out here and, well yeah, she’s doing well. She’s got a new boyfriend who will probably last five minutes and she’s looking into selling her father’s business but she is very good. She told me to say hello to you for her.”

“Well say hi back to her for me.” Dean said as the bartender handed over their drinks and Michael paid.

“I will.” Michael said with a smile. “I know you two were always at each other’s throats at school but you were still friends.”

“Bela was the sort of person that grew on you, like mould.”

“I’m not going to mention to her that you said that, I’ll stick with the ‘hello’.”

“Good, she could probably find a way to kick my ass even if she is over in England.” Dean said with a chuckle. “So how’s the wedding preparations coming along for Naomi?” he asked and it was Michael’s turn to laugh loudly. “That well huh?”

“I’ve honestly zoned out whenever she starts talking about it. It’s the safest thing to do. “ Michael explained as he launched into several stories about Naomi near neurotic planning that had Dean nearly doubled over with laughter. It wasn’t until they’d been talking for nearly an hour that Michael changed the subject to the one thing Dean was convinced they would end up talking about. “So how is Castiel? I watched his TED conference talk and it was fascinating. Half the nurses back in London are in completely love with him, despite the fact I mentioned he was taken.”

“I’ll have to tell him that he’s got international groupies. Then again knowing Cas it wil confuse him greatly, he doesn’t really get the whole ‘medical groupie’ thing.” Dean quipped. “Cas...Cas is good. He’s studying hard for his boards and driving me up the wall thanks to the studying but he’s good.”

“Are you still worried about what people at the hospital think of your relationship?” Michael asked sounding concerned. He had a right to be, after all he and Dean had been good friends long before they became something more. It was only right for Michael to be concerned for his friend.

“Nah…I mean I was, I sort of had a moment a couple of months ago, but now…now we’re a couple and we’re gonna be a couple for a long time so people have just had to get used to it. The people that I care about are cool with it and that’s the important thing.” Dean said.

“So Sam and your parents like him?”

“Yeah, he and Sam talk quite a lot over Skype and shit like that and my mom has started dragging him into her weekly Sunday night phone calls so it’s safe to say they like him. My dad…well you know what he’s like, blood out a stone and all.” Dean said.

“I’m really happy for you Dean, I mean that as well.”

“Thanks…what about you man? Anyone in London caught your eye?”

“I’ve been on a few dates with nurses but nothing serious. I don’t know if I’m going to stay in London after my internship or move back to the States to be with my family so I don’t really want anything serious to be honest.” Michael explained. “Bela is setting me up on a blind date when I get back though, I’m honestly scared.”

“I think I would be as well.” Dean joked.

They continued to talk for hours and the subjects ranged from everything; reminiscing about times at Yale, awful shifts at their respective hospitals, Michael’s friends in London and Dean’s here in Chicago. Michael was of the agreement that Jo sounded like a damn good friend despite being slightly neurotic at times.

“Man.” Dean remarked when his phone buzzed with a text from Charlie asking where he was. “I didn’t realise it was getting that late, I’m supposed to being going to Charlie’s for a study session.” He explained. “Our intern exam is only in a few days.”

“I get it don’t worry. It…it was good seeing you again Dean. Maybe next time I’m here in the States, it will probably be because of Naomi, we can meet up again. Maybe I’ll be able to meet Castiel.”

“Hankering for his autograph?” Dean joked.

“Hey I could easily become the most popular guy back in London if I said I’d met the ‘Hot Cardio God of TED’.” Michael said with a snicker. “But seriously…I’m glad you’re doing well and please give my regards to Castiel, it’s clear that being with him is doing you some good.”

“Thanks.” Dean said, the tips of his ears reddening. When it came time to leave this time Dean pulled Michael into a hug, holding on tightly for a moment before letting go. “It was really good to see you again Michael.” Dean said honestly.

“About fucking time, all the pizza is gone so if you’re hungry you’re shit out of luck.” Jo said as soon as she opened the door to her and Charlie’s apartment. “How did drinks with the ex go?” she asked, lowering her voice so Adam and the others couldn’t hear.

“Not bad, he’s good and there’s no awkwardness…so it’s good.”

“It’s not fair at all. You have drinks with your ex and it’s all rosy, if I saw my ex-boyfriend I wouldn’t hesitate in kicking his ass from here to next Sunday.” Jo said sighing loudly before dragging into the main room where everyone was sat.

It only took half an hour for study to become both competitive and childish thanks to the discovery of sticky gold stars.

“Ok what is Conn’s syndrome?” Sarah asked reading from one of the study cards she had made.

“Something I never want to get.” Jo retorted from her spot on the couch. A loud yawn escaped her lips as she leant against Adam’s shoulder. Without her even having to ask Adam grabbed a can of Red Bull and handed it to her. Jo gave him a grateful look and nearly drained the whole can without stopping. If all five of them didn’t pass the intern exam then Dean was seriously going to worry about their health thanks to the amount of caffeine in their systems.

“Primary aldosteronism!” Charlie called from her seat as she waved her arms around manically. Charlie was one of the main culprits when it came to overdoing it on the caffeine at the moment.  

“Bingo! Gold star to Bradbury!” Sarah said grinning sleepily as she leant over and pressed a gold star sticker onto Charlie’s forehead. Charlie’s whole face was littered with shiny gold stars as were Jo, Adam and Dean’s as Sarah saw it as a good teaching method. “What percentage of Americans will get an acute appy?”

“Approximately seven percent.” Dean said from his own seat. 

“And a gold star to Winchester.” Sarah said whacking a gold star onto Dean’s cheek. “Though you should know all the appy questions back to front.” She added with a grin.

Countless questions and a whole sheet of gold stars later had Dean and Charlie neck and neck on the gold star front. Jo was a close second with Adam in last mainly because Jo had stolen half his gold stars after he ate the last slice of pizza. It wasn’t until Dean looked at his phone that he realised at was nearly one in the morning. Cas would be finishing up his final surgery of his shift soon and Dean wanted to be home when Cas got there.

“Where are you going?” Jo asked as Dean pulled on his jacket.

“Home, it’s late and I’d like to see my boyfriend outside of the hospital for five minutes.” Dean said as Charlie and Sarah gave sarcastic sounding coos. “Fuck both you.” Dean joked flipping the pair of them off. “See you all for rounds tomorrow, study session at lunch then one at mine after we all finish?” Dean offered.

“Yeah, try and get Cas to help us as well. He asks the really obscure questions you just know are going to be on the test to fuck with our brains.” Jo said as she pulled herself out of Adam’s hold for long enough to give Dean a quick hug. The others made their goodbyes and all agreed on the lunchtime study session before Dean hurried out Jo and Charlie’s apartment.

By the time Dean got back to the apartment Cas was just coming in from his shift at the hospital. Cas wasn’t the best person early in the morning or very late at night so he looked more like a zombie than a cardiothoracic surgeon at that point. With a chuckle Dean helped him out his coat and guided him towards the bathroom to shower.

“Dean it’s late though.” Cas whined as Dean slowly undressed him. “I want to sleep.”

“Yeah and you’ll bitch in the morning that you stink of the hospital so you’re showering now.” Dean said because he really did know his boyfriend far too well. “Besides all you have to do is stand there, I’ll do all the work.”

“Makes a change.” Cas muttered. Oh, so he was too tired to shower but he wasn’t too tired to give Dean a quipping remark? Dean cocked an eyebrow at Cas’ comment, Cas smirking at him as a response, and shuck off his own clothes once he’d freed Cas of his. He turned the shower on, waiting a few moments for the water to be at the perfect ‘Cas’ temperature before pulling his boyfriend into the shower with him. Cleaning the sterile hospital smell off Cas’ body was soon replaced by the fun take of kissing every part of Cas’ body Dean could reach. “Oh you bastard.’ Cas groaned after Dean had finished on a pretty impressive looking hickey on Cas’ neck, one that would be impossible for Cas to hide with his scrubs or white coat. “You fucking bastard.” Cas said with a chuckle. “Everyone is going to know where that came from.”

“Good.” Dean shot back with a grin before he dumped nearly half a bottle of shampoo on Cas’ head just because Cas’ pissed off expression was hilarious.

“You’re such a fucking asshole.” Cas grumbled but the insult was lost as he let out a sensuous sounding moaning as Dean gently washed his hair. Damn him Dean thought as the moan went straight through Dean, his dick twitching with interest and Dean knew the fucker probably did it on purpose.

Cas lay with his head resting against the pillow and looked over at Dean, Dean could tell that he was looking because he could practically feel Cas’ stare boring into his face. This was something Cas had taken to doing ever since the fight they’d had after Dean’s solo surgery. Cas would watch Dean until he fell asleep, and probably for a long time after though Dean wasn’t too sure on that. It was almost as if he was making sure Dean was still there, that if he watched Dean fall asleep he would know that Dean was still there when he went to sleep. Dean was tempted to ask him about it but there never seemed to be a good time to bring it up. Tonight however was different. They both needed sleep; Cas had surgery in the morning and Dean had studying to do for his intern exam. Having Cas spend an age staring at him while he tried to go to sleep wasn’t going to help either of them come morning.

“Stop it.” Dean mumbled with a stifled yawn.

“Stop what?”

“Staring at me until I go to sleep, it’s creepy.” Dean muttered opening one eye and seeing that Cas was indeed staring at him, blue eyes wide with feigned innocence. “I’m still going to be here when you wake up you know, I’m not going anywhere.”

“Do you promise me that?” Cas asked suddenly sounding serious. Dean shifted could he properly face Cas and with a sinking feeling he realised that he had been right; Cas watched him sleep so that he knew Dean would still be there come morning.

“Of course I promise that Cas, I’m not going anyway and I mean that.” Dean said.

“I just thought…I was thinking when I was at the hospital…seeing your ex-boyfriend again after these months would make you miss him and make you miss the life you had before moving here to Chicago.” Cas said finally looking away, his whole body language reeking of timidity. Dean shifted, moving closer until he was practically nose to nose with Cas. “I just…I’ve found you Dean, I’ve found you and I don’t want to lose you.” Cas whispered.

“You aren’t’ gonna lose me Cas, I love you too much.” Dean muttered sleepily. Cas kissed the tip of Dean’s nose and whispered something but by that point Dean was too tired and drifted off to sleep.

In a cruel twist of fate, if Dean even believed in fate that was, the intern’s exam that determined if they could become first year residents was scheduled on the same day that Cas took his board certification. Someone up there really didn’t like Dean.

While Dean was taking his exam in the hospital Cas would be taking his boards in a hotel a two hour bus ride away along with every other fifth year resident in the state. This meant that Dean and Cas would spend two nights away from one another, the first time they had spent a night apart since Dean had disappeared to California and Kansas. Neither Dean nor Castiel were too happy about this.

The morning before Dean’s intern exam found him waiting with Cas for the bus that would take his boyfriend to the hotel where the board exams were taking place the next day. The hospital parking bay was littered with doctors waiting around for their bus. In the middle of all the commotion stood Dr Josie Sands who wore a calm and bemused smile. In stark contrast Cas stood next to Dean almost shaking with nerves. Not giving a shit what others thought Dean laced his fingers through Cas' and held onto his hand tightly. The shaking stopped but Dean could tell that Cas still wasn't breathing properly. 

"Cas you need to breathe or you're going to pass out." Dean said moving so he was stood directly in front of his boyfriend. "Seriously Cas, just breathe." He pressed staring into Cas' eyes until the other man breathed in and out. Dean smiled and tightened his grip on Cas' hand. "See that wasn't too bad. You need to stop being so nervous, you're going to kick that test in the ass." He added. 

"But what-"

"No, you're going to kick it in the ass. You're a fucking rock star with a scalpel ok?" Dean said trying to be supportive.


"For fuck sake dude just say it!" Dean groaned. 

"I'm a fucking rock star with a scalpel." Cas said but he didn't sound convinced at all. Dean rolled his eyes at him but gave his boyfriend a smile anyway.

"All fifth residents please be ready, the bus will be here in one minute." Dr Josie Sands called out and just like that Cas turned almost bone white despite his skin normally being very tanned.

"Fucking hell Cas..." Dean muttered with a shake of his head. Cas had been studying non-stop for weeks upon weeks and he really was the best fifth year resident at the hospital. There was no way he could fail his boards. "You're going to be fine, great even."

"Will you love me even if I fail my boards?" Cas asked sounding panicked. 

"Cas you're not going to fail." Dean said. Cas still looked bone white. "Fine, Castiel Novak I will love you if you fail your boards and have to work in a fast food joint. Happy now?" he asked cocking an eyebrow.

"Yes." Cas said until the bus came round the corner. "No, I'm going to be sick. Dean I’m honestly going to be sick." He countered quickly. Dean rolled his eyes again as the bus came to a stop. While he coaxed Cas to breathe Dean adjusted Cas’ tie, the one that Dean had picked out that morning because Cas had been too busy trying to have a panic attack in the shower, and all but dragged him to the bus. 

"I'm not going to wish you luck because you don't need it. I am going to promise you that we're going to have lots of sex when you get back though." Dean whispered into Cas' ear. “Really hot and dirty sex.”

"I love you." Cas said with a weak smile. 

"I love you too." Dean said before he have Cas a quick kiss. "Now get on the god damn bus and rock those fucking boards right in the ass."

"I will agree with Dr Winchester's statement though without the profanities." Dr Josie Sands said as she walked up to Castiel. Dean jumped slightly and tried to mutter an apology but Dr Sands waved him off with her hand. "Good luck Novak though I know you won't need it. You are, after all, one of our most promising surgeons."

"Thank you Dr Sands." Cas said giving the doctor a curt nod. He still looked pale but less so than he had done just a minute before.  

"Call me when you get to the hotel." Dean said before giving Cas another quick kiss. The fear was still there in Cas’ eyes. It was the fear of failure and never being good enough; the fear that Dean knew oh so very well. “Cas look at me.” Dean said firmly and Cas complied. Dean took Cas’ face in his hands and fixed him with a determined look. “You’re going to be incredible, you’re going to pass, become the greatest cardio surgeon this place has ever seen and your research is going to save shitloads of people. Do you hear me?” He said. After a moment Cas nodded his head. “Really?”

“Yes Dean I hear you.” Cas said. He still didn’t sound as convinced as Dean wanted him to sound but at least he didn’t sound like he was going to throw up.

“Good, now get on the bus and rock the boards.” Dean said.

“Ok…Dean…I really do love you.” Cas said with the smallest of smiles.

“I really love you too.” Dean shot back before pulling Cas into a deep kiss, not even caring that Dr Josie Sands and a fuck ton of residents were still milling about. The only thing that matter was making sure that Cas was ok. Dean gently pressed his tongue against Cas’ lips to open them up. Cas let out a slight sigh as Dean slipped his tongue into Cas’ mouth and deepened the kiss even more so. He only began to think it was time to let his boyfriend go when Dr Josie Sands let out a small cough. With a reluctant sigh Dean let Cas go and gave him a content smile. “Better?”

“Much better.” Cas said with a grin.

“Good, now get on the bus and call me when you get there.” Dean pressed. Cas nodded and swiftly climbed aboard the bus. Dean waved him goodbye and it wasn’t until the bus had left the parking lot that he realised Dr Josie Sands was stood next to him.

Honestly, the woman intimated the fuck outta him. She always looked so fierce, her red hair pulled up in an elegant knot and her posture was ramrod straight. Sure she might have been hot, heck the woman was a freaking babe really, but that didn’t stop her from scaring the shit out of Dean. Having her stood next to him, especially when he’d just had his tongue pretty much down Cas’ throat, was intimidating to say the very least.

“When I first heard that Castiel was dating an intern I was very disappointed in him.” Dr Sands said sounding very blunt. “It’s a cliché that riddles lesser hospitals and lesser residents. When I found out that it was you I was even more disappointed because the pair of you are destined for greatness. Castiel has shown impeccable promise since his very first day and you, well you Dean Winchester came out top of your class at Yale and scored one of the highest MCAT scores this hospital has seen in a long time.”

“I…thank you?” Dean said warily.

“You’re welcome Winchester. Like I said, I was disappointed but now that I see the pair of you together, especially how you are able to calm Castiel down, I see that your relationship isn’t another mindless ‘hook-up’, it is something real and not something to chastise.” Dr Sands said. “Both of you are lucky to have one another and I think you will grow to be an incredible team.”

For a long time Dean was silent as Dr Sands’ words sink in. Yes she almost approved of their relationship, which was an awesome thing, but it was her notion that Cas and Dean would grow to be a strong team that made Dean happy. If all the funding went through for Cas’ research then he’d be able to start his cardio trial which would help millions of people across the country with various heart diseases. Once Dean was a resident and able to work on the trial there would be no stopping the pair of them, they could become a team and even make medical history. Yes it was corny but it was one Dean’s dreams and it would be something that both his parents could be proud of him for.

“Thank you for those words Dr Sands.” Dean said with a polite nod of his head.

“You’re very much welcome Winchester. Now go and prepare for your exam tomorrow, it would be a shame if you were to fall at this final hurdle.” Dr Sands said giving Dean a wiry smile before she turned on her heels and strode back into the hospital. 

Dean was five minutes away from going into his exam when his phone burst to life with messages from various people. While he guzzled down a necessary coffee, necessary because he’d spent most of the night before on the phone to Cas, Dean sat and read through the messages;

Mom: Good luck with the exam sweetheart. You’re going to be fine so don’t worry! Give Jo, Charlie, Sarah and Adam my love and luck and the same to Castiel! I love you x

Dad: All the best for the exam. If you’ve been studying like you did with the MCATS you’ll walk through it.

Michael: Put the energy drink or coffee down and stop freaking out. You’re going to be great and wish Castiel good luck for his boards.

Jess: Good luck Dean! Sam says you’ll need it but I know you won’t! Come and visit us soon, though not in the middle of the night again! X

Sam: Don’t fuck up jerk or we’ll never let you live it down. Good luck and tell Cas the same…not about not fucking up though! X

Cas: I’ve just booked in with the board invigilators. I am very tempted to drain the mini fridge of all alcohol but the mark up on these drinks are ridiculous. Good luck with your exam, even though you really don’t need it because you’re incredible, and I love you so much xxx

Sensing that Cas was now sat in the hotel bar and most likely freaking out Dean used that last of his time to call Cas. Cas picked up on the second ring.

“I wasn’t expecting you to call, aren’t you about to go into your exam?” Cas asked as soon as he picked up his phone.

“I got a few minutes.” Dean said. “Are you ok? Not freaking out too much are you?” he asked.

“No…no not yet…I’ve going over all my study guides and notes so I should be prepared.” Cas said with a sigh.

“My mom, Jess, Sam and Michael have all wished you good luck.”

“That’s very kind of them.” Cas said.

“All interns please make your way into the conference room!” someone called from down the hallway.

“Fuck…Cas I’ve gotta go. I’ll call you when I get out.” Dean said before he drained his cup of coffee.

“Can you do me a favour before you go in please?” Cas asked. “Can you get Jo, Sarah, Charlie and Adam? I’d like a quick word with them.” Cas said.

“Yeah sure.” Dean said. He waved his fellow interns over and put Cas onto loud speaker. “You’re on speaker, the floor’s yours.” He said.

“I just wanted to say that teaching you all this year has been a real pleasure. I know that we all had our difficulties to start with and I came across as somewhat of an asshole.”

“Bit of an understand there Cas.” Dean snorted.

“Dean please be quiet when I am trying to give a rousing pep speech.” Cas said primly causing both Jo and Charlie to snicker. “Now where was I? Oh yes. It’s been a real pleasure teaching you all this year and I can honestly say that you’re the most promising interns I have seen in a long time. I’m very proud of all of you and everything you’ve accomplished since you became interns at the hospital. No matter what happens with your exam I know you’re all going to go to do great things and, like I said, I am very proud of you.” Cas said, his voice sounding so strong and resolute. Dean couldn’t help but beam with pride for not his fellow interns but for his boyfriend.

“Thank you Dr Novak, that means an awful lot to all of us.” Sarah said.

“I’m glad Sarah, now good luck and when I’m back we will all celebrate your results.” Cas said. There was a chorus of ‘thank you’ from the interns. “I’ll let you go into your exam now…um…Dean?”

“Yeah Cas?”

“I love you.” Cas said and Dean rolled his eyes when Jo dug her elbow into his side with a snort.

“I love you too, now go and drink over-priced bar drinks and don’t freak out too much.”

“Same to you, but instead of bar drinks I mean coffee.” Cas snickered before he said his goodbyes and Dean soon ended the call. He was about to make a quipping remark when he noticed that Charlie’s eyes had gone red.

“Charlie…are you crying?” he asked completely shocked.

“What?” Charlie snapped defensively. “The time someone told me they were proud of I was like twelve years old!” she explained as she wiped her eyes furiously. Jo snorted and pulled Charlie into a one armed hug as they trudged into the conference room where the exam would be taking place.

Several hours, endless cups of coffee and three phone calls to Cas late the interns were sat in the locker room, envelopes in their hands as they waited for Jo to arrive. Barely a minute later Jo came rushing into the room, envelope in one hand and a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label in the other. As if on cue Charlie pulled several paper cups, the same kind they used when drinking coffee, out of her locker. Dean had been nervously checking his phone once he realised that Cas’ board exam had finished and he wasn’t sure who he was nervous for, himself or his boyfriend.

"Ok so if we've failed then we can become coroners or dermatologist." Jo said shakily as she looked down at her envelope. 

"Yeah you can do that Harvelle but I'm not spending my life poking dead people or zits." Charlie said with a chuckle but she still sounded nervous. 

"You do realise we could repeat our intern year if we fail right?" Sarah asked rolling her eyes. Dean and the other interns stared back at her like she was insane, like they would really want to repeat their intern year all over again. "Just open the damn envelopes and let's get this over." Sarah said ripping open her own envelope. She pulled out the slip of paper and stared down at it, breathing deeply as she did so.

"Well?" Charlie pressed. 

"I passed." Sarah said, relief clear in her voice. Charlie 'woop'ed loudly and ripped open her own envelope.

"Passed with flying colours bitches." Charlie said while she smugly waved her results in the air. Jo, Adam and Dean cheered alongside Charlie as they opened their envelope. 

"I did it!" Jo cried. "Adam? Dean?" She asked looking over at the only two yet to read their results. Adam chewed at his lip and looked down at his paper. "While I'm young and hot here Milligan." Jo added with a snort. 

"Fuck it, if I’ve failed then I’ve failed.” Adam said before reading his results. “Holy fuck, I passed." Adam breathed out, his grin so wide it looked like it was threatening to break his face. Jo smiled just as widely and leant over to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Dean?" Adam pressed. 

Dean looked down at his paper and actually prayed. He wasn't much of a praying kind of guy, faith had always been his mother's thing not his, but at that moment he prayed. He'd been working since...well since high school for this and, after taking his board certification in his fifth year, passing his intern exam was incredibly important to him. He wished Cas was here but he was still traveling back from taking his boards. He was glad that his friends were here though; Cas couldn't be here but at least Jo, Adam, Charlie and Sarah, the ragtag group of interns who were almost like family now, could be here. 

"Dean?" Jo pressed. "Come on man, you're making us nervous here." 

Dean took a deep breath and finally opened the paper and scanned down the page, his heart leaping when he saw the results. "I passed." He said, relief surging through him. "I god damn fucking passed!" He cried giddily. He'd done it, he'd passed his internship. He was a first year resident now, a first year surgical resident who would soon get his own interns to torture- teach.

"Drinks!" Jo said holding up the bottle of whiskey. 

"We're at the hospital." Sarah pointed out.

"None of us are on shift and we're freaking first residents now!" Charlie retorted by way of justification as she held out a plastic cup for Jo to fill.

By the third cup of whiskey Dean was slightly fuzzy. Ok he was pretty gone but in his defence Jo was just pouring the whiskey into cups and not even caring about measures, who knew how much Dean had already drunk? Jo was just pouring him yet another cup when his phone buzzed in his pocket. Pulling it out, Dean glanced down at the screen and saw a new message from Cas:

The bus is five minutes away from the hospital. Please tell me you’re there x

“Hold the juice Jo, Cas is back.” Dean said pulling himself up from the bench and promptly having the sit back down when the room spun a bit. “Fuck sake Jo, learn how to pour.”

“I’ve been pouring whiskey like a pro since I was seven years old you fucking asshole.” She retorted.

“Like fuck you have.” Dean shot back as he took a second attempt at standing. This time the room didn’t spin as much so Dean made his way towards the door.

“D’you fancy going out to celebrate tonight?” Charlie asked.

“Charlie, I passed my intern exam and I’m about to find out if my boyfriend passed his boards. My boyfriend who I haven’t seen in a few days because he’s been taking the boards. Plus I’m a bit drunk so I’m now going to have dirty, drunk celebratory sex with the very same boyfriend I have not seen in a few days.” Dean babbled much to Jo’s amusement seeing as she burst out laughing.

“Thanks for the info Winchester.” Charlie said rolling her eyes before smiling at him. “You go get your boyfriend and have your dirty, drunk sex.”

“Oh I will, see you all tomorrow.” Dean said before hurrying out the locker room. By the time he made it to the parking lot the bus was just rolling to a stop. He nervously waited for Cas to get off the bus and as soon as Dean saw him he strode over and pulled Cas into his arms.

“Thank God you’re-” Cas started to say until Dean silenced him with a deep and very passionate kiss. “Dean…what is-” Cas said once they pulled apart.

“I passed…I passed my intern exam. I’m a freaking first resident!” Dean said as he grinned from ear to ear.

“You’re a first year resident who smells like whiskey.” Cas said rolling his eyes.

“Yeah but you still love me and still want me bad.”

“Your ego is staggering sometimes Winchester.”

“I could say the same thing to you Novak.” Dean shot back, his grin still evident. “Do you want to wait around with the other residents until you find out your results?” Dean asked. Cas shook his head and took Dean’s hand in his own.

“No, I just want to go home and be with you even if you are less than sober. It’s been a long couple of days.” He said as he dragged Dean in the direction of the Impala. Once they got to the car he held out his free hand expectantly. “There is no way, as a surgeon or as your boyfriend, I am letting you drive while drunk Dean Winchester so you should give me the keys.” He said. Dean rolled his eyes but handed over the keys and got into the passenger’s side.

He might as well have been driving in the end as once they were out the parking lot Dean slid over to the middle seat to rest his head on Cas’ shoulder. Cas drove one handed with his other hand resting on Dean’s thigh, thumb stroking the denim clad skin slowly until Dean could feel his breathing hitch. Damn Cas.

Once back at the apartment they had barely made it into the bedroom that more theirs now than Dean’s before Cas was pulling Dean’s shirt off with a kind of frenzied heat. Dean didn’t have time to react before Cas was trailing hot, wet kisses along his jaw, neck and collar bone.

“I missed you like crazy but I’m so fucking proud of you Dean, so proud.” Cas said into Dean’s skin. His hands were busy finding purchase in whichever patch of skin he could get hold of until they made their way to Dean’s pants. This was going both far too quick and far too slow for Dean’s liking. His brain was close to frying and he was swiftly growing hard but this was also an important night, they’d had both passed significant milestones with their career, even if Cas was still waiting for his results, and a quick, messy fuck would not do at all. As if on cue Cas undid Dean’s pants and his hand slid under Dean’s boxer, taking hold of him with just the right amount of pressure.

“Cas…Cas…fuck…I need you to slow down.”

“And I need you.” Cas replied back almost hungrily and those words sent a painful pang through Dean’s chest because even through the hunger in Cas’ voice Dean could hear the adoration.

“You have me, you’ll always have me.” Dean said and, fuck, did he mean it. At Dean’s words Cas surged forward and captured Dean’s lips in his own, biting down on the lower lip as the slow pace he’d worked up on Dean’s dick quickened until Dean was gasping out a strangled gabble of Cas’ name and obscenities. Hands were everywhere as clothing was removed and thrown across the room without care. Cas’ grip on Dean was threatening to make Dean come right there and Dean was close to telling Cas so until, as if he knew, Cas slowed his pace down and captured Dean’s lips yet again. Cas slid off Dean’s boxers until he was completely naked, Cas’ own boxers being the only item of clothing between them.

It would not be there for long.

Once Cas’ boxers were thrown to the floor he straddled Dean’s thighs and peppered his chest with kisses. Even though they’d done it countless times before Cas still locked his eyes with Dean’s and silently asked him if this was ok. Like always Dean nodded, damn this would always be more than ok for him, and moments later he welcomed the feel of Cas slowly working him open. It was ridiculous how after all these months Dean still had the biggest kink when it came to Cas’ skilful hands, whether in the operating room or when they were having sex. It really didn’t take long at all before Cas had him writhing, fingers digging into the skin of Cas’ back, and practically begging him to ‘hurry the fuck up already’ because he was dangerously close to coming like a horny teenager. Cas snickered like the asshole he was before pulling his fingers out and grabbing a condom from the nightstand. Dean all but ripped it out his hands and slid it onto Cas’ erect cock. Apparently the combination of relief, alcohol, lust and the joy from passing his intern exam was turning Dean into a bossy, albeit slightly needy, and demanding little shit.

Cas, who was smirking the entire time, took Dean’s face in his hands and kissed him. It was the kind of kiss that you could honestly feel in your toes. It was the kind of kiss that Dean hoped would never end. After everything they had been through over the past few months Dean could finally begin to think that they were in a good place. Everything was going to be ok.

Slowly Cas pushed against Dean’s entrance. Dean gritted his teeth, more because of the almost painful sexual frustration that was burning through his veins, and had to bite down on his lip to stop from demanding that Cas just fuck him already. Inch by inch Cas slowly pushed, Dean’s blood almost boiling with pure need, until he was finally completely seated inside Dean. For several moments they just lay there, the heat between them burning their skin until Dean felt completely raw. If Cas didn’t move or do something soon the Dean’s brain was going to short circuit.  

“Cas…Cas I need you to move.” Dean gasped.

“Why?” Cas asked, his eyebrow cocking as he smirked down at Dean. The complete asshole…

“Because…because I need you to just fucking move already, please Cas.” Dean said, his breath hitching as Cas finally started to move his hips slowly. A gasp escaped Dean’s lips and Cas snickered loudly.

“All you had to do was say the magic word.” Cas quipped all it took all of Dean’s will power to not tell Cas to fuck off. In fact he was seriously contemplating it until Cas’ speed quickened and Dean’s internal monologue went from cussing Cas to simply cussing. The heat inside of him quickly built until he was so close to climax his head was going light.

Cas' pace quickened even more so until both men were breathing heavily, the air thick with the smell of sweat and sex. Dean's body was slick with sweat and the heat radiating from Cas' body was burning. Dean dug his fingers deep into the muscular tan skin of Cas' back and bit down hard on his lower lip as Cas slammed into him, a hoarse gasp escaping Cas' own lips. 

Like an elastic band snapping Dean's orgasm ripped through him and he cried out into the dimly lit bedroom. Cas' pace slowed down, clearly taking care with the now overly sensitive Dean. Dean took Cas' face in his hands and gave his boyfriend a passion filled kissed. He put all his elation from the day into the kiss and he hoped Cas could understand, understand just how much Dean loved him and how better his life had become since Cas came into his life. 

The rhythm of Cas' hips faltered for a moment as he came, filling the condom, before he pulled out gently and flopped down onto the bed next to Dean, more draped across Dean than anything else. Reaching over to the bedside table Dean grabbed a few tissues to clean them both up while Cas disposed of the condom. 

"I'm so proud of you." Cas said sleepily as he nuzzled up to Dean once they were both clean. The air was heavy and Dean revelled in the feeling of it being just the two of them, it was as if they were the only two in the little world they shared in the apartment. "So proud." 

"Who knows, I could become the most badass resident the hospital has ever seen. I'd make you look like a teddy bear." Dean said. He yelped with laughter when Cas dug his fingers into his side, Dean's whole body still overly sensitive. 

"I'd like to see you try Winchester, is really like to see you try." Cas said with a wicked smirk. 

Both Dean and Cas were beginning to drift off when Cas’ phone bleeped with his email notification. Normally Cas would just leave it but he was still waiting to hear back with the results of his boards. While Dean curled up under the covers Cas slid out the bed and went to retrieve his phone from the other room. Dean listened out but Cas remained silent as he padded back into the bedroom. Dean sat up and his brow furrowed as he watched Cas’ face for a sign of either relief or disappointment.

“Cas? Cas was it from the board?” he asked. Cas looked up and nodded. “Fuck…”

“Dean…Dean I did it…I passed my boards.” Cas said in a small voice, it was almost as if he couldn’t even believe what was going on. Dean was out of their bed before Cas could say anything else and took Cas’ face in his hands. He pressed his lips against Cas’ with a tender kiss, one hand slipping ever so to cup Cas’ jaw.

“I knew you would, I told you that you’re a fucking rock star with a scalpel.” Dean said lovingly. “You’re my rock star with a scalpel.” He added.

“This is going to change everything. I can get my funding and my research can take the next step towards becoming a reality.” Cas said joyfully, it was almost as if he couldn’t believe any of this was happening.

“Plus this way I get to fuck a board certified cardiothoracic surgeon.” Dean said with a smirk. Cas’ reply was a heavy roll of his eyes and Dean couldn’t help but laugh as he led Cas back towards their bed. “Come on, it’s getting late and we both have work tomorrow morning.”

“I could call Anna and Gabriel tomorrow, tell them the good news. Have you told your parents and Sam yet about your results?” Cas asked.

“Nah, let’s just live our own little bubble for a few hours longer before dragging everyone else into it.” Dean said as he pulled Cas down onto the bed and covered them both with blankets. “So fucking proud of you Cas, so proud.” He muttered. Dean nuzzled into Cas’ warm neck, revelling in the softness of Cas’ skin and how he always smelt so…well so ‘Cas’. As the two of them drifted off to sleep - with Cas taking most of the covers even with Dean so close to him - Dean realised that he was fully content with the little life he and Cas had built together. Things were good.

Things were supposed to stay good.

Two Days Later

There was loud music coming from the apartment, loud enough to be heard out in the hall, as Dean got out the elevator from a long shift at the hospital. The music was frantic classical, a heavy swelling score with crashing crescendos that made Dean's teeth rattle. Something had to be wrong, Dean knew it instantly as soon as he recognised the piece playing. It was one of Cas’ favourites but he only ever really played it if he was frustrated, he claimed it helped to soothe him.

"Cas?" Dean called out nervously as he opened the door to the apartment. The man in question was sat on the couch with his laptop in front of him on the coffee table. The laptop itself was surrounded by paperwork and various files as well as several empty beer bottles. "Cas what the hell happened?" Dean asked when he noticed he furious expression on Cas' face. "Cas?!" He pressed walking over to the docking station and pausing Cas' iPod. The apartment fell into a heavy silence and it was then that Cas finally looked up and away from his laptop screen. "What's going on? What happened?" Dean asked moving towards the couch. “Cas? Come on, talk to me.” He pressed crouching down in front of an irate looking Cas.  

"My application for the cardio fellowship was denied." Cas said in a small voice.

"What? The fellowship at the hospital? They turned you down?" Dean asked.

"Yes. Now that I've passed my boards, now that I am qualified, I applied for the position. I've pretty much been running that department since my third year and earned the hospital millions of dollars in donations. I do more research than half the attendings and other residents put together...I'm...I'm Castiel Novak, people come from all over the country to be treated by me. My TED talk is still being talked about and my research is constantly being published. None of that matters though because Crowley declined my application." Cas snapped, his voice growing steadily louder.

“Cas…Cas I’m so sorry.” Dean said taking Cas’ face in his hands and bringing his boyfriend’s lips to his own. He could taste Cas’ frustration in the kiss as Cas’ tongue pressed against Dean’s lips. Dean opened his mouth as Cas bit down on his lower lip. Dean didn’t even realise that Cas might have been crying until Dean heard him let out a wracked gasp. Dean pulled away, his hands still on Cas’ cheeks, and saw Cas’ sorrowful expression. "Can't you go to Crowley and make a case?" Dean asked desperately. Cas’ job meant everything to him, for him to be turned down for the fellowship would hit him hard. It would make Cas question his ability as a surgeon just like he did when Bela’s father died.  

"No, he said that while I was a skilled surgeon there were others that were better." Cas said, his eyes dropping as he looked down at the floor with a broken expression.

"That’s bullshit Cas and you know it.” Dean said furiously. “You said it yourself that people want you for their surgeries. You're a fucking genius."

“Dean…Dean I can't stay there if there is no job for me..."


"What? You're leaving the hospital?" Dean asked. 

They could make it work hopefully even if Cas left. Sure there schedules would mean they wouldn't be able to see each other as often as possible but if Dean became a resident then he'd be spending more time working anyway. It would be hard but he couldn't lose Cas, he'd already ended one relationship because of his career.

"There's a fellowship position open and they're very keen to have me work there."

"That’s great isn’t it? It’s here in Chicago?" Dean asked and his stomach plummeted when Cas refused to look at him. “Cas…the position is here in Chicago isn’t it? Cas? Cas please look at me.” Dean said beseechingly.

" Dean. The position is at John Hopkins." 

“John Hopkins? As in John Hopkins in Baltimore?” Dean asked. Maryland was halfway across the country and if Cas took the job he would hours and hours away. Dean couldn't do this again. He couldn't. The day Michael had told him he'd gotten an offer for one of the top teaching hospitals in London had rocked him completely. He had known that Michael had been looking at a lot of placements but not as far afield as England. It had changed their whole relationship and crumbled the trust between them. In the end Dean had been given no choice but to finish their three year relationship. The thought that he might have to do that with Cas made his heart ache. "So you're just going to leave? You're going to pick up everything and go?"

"I don't know Dean. I really don't know. At the end of the day it's John Hopkins, it's one of the best hospitals in the country Dean. I'd be the fellow of one of the country’s best cardio programs with a grant for research. It's more than I could hope for. It’s more than I could get here in Chicago."

"You're really thinking about going aren't you?" Dean asked. Cas didn't say anything, he just chewed on his lower lip. "Shit...have you accepted the position?" Once again Cas didn’t say anything and continued to chew on his lower lip. “Cas have you accepted the position?”

"I've told them I need to sort stuff out." Cas said, his voice sounding meek.

"Sort stuff out? I'm part of that stuff?" Dean pressed angrily. “Our relationship is part of the stuff you need to ‘sort out’?”

"Dean that’s not what I was saying at all and you know it’s not!"

"I can't do this. I can't do this again." Dean said raising his hands in defeat and storming out the living room. Cas was hot on his heels and the crashing sense of déjà vu was almost drowning. Several weeks previously they had been here, Dean walking away and Cas chasing him in the desperate attempt to keep him.  

"Dean stop! Don’t do this again." Cas called racing after him and grabbing onto Dean's wrist. He pulled Dean into a frantic kiss, Dean could taste the desperation as Cas pushed him against the nearest wall and clung onto him as hard as he could. "I am in love with you, don't you dare think otherwise. I am in love with you Dean Winchester."

"You're thinking of leaving Cas." Dean said pushing Cas away from him. Cas pulled him back, fingers digging into his arms. "I can't have someone I love leave me again. You can't become someone I text from time to time. I can't be a plane ride or a cross country drive away from someone I love. I can’t go days, even weeks without waking up next to you."

"It's my career Dean." Cas said pleadingly. “My career. I’ve been working towards having my own research facility since I was in high school. My career Dean…”

"Which you're choosing over me, I get it." Dean said pushing Cas away again, more firmly this time. He opened the front door as Cas stood there, watching him with distraught looking eyes. 

"Where are you going?" Cas asked.

"Jo and Charlie’s place, I need time to think about all of this." Dean said.

"Dean please don’t do this to me again!" Cas cried out imploringly. “Please Dean, just let us talk about this. I can’t let you walk out of here and I can’t…I can’t have you be mad at me over this. I can’t have you shut me out. Please Dean, please.”

"No Cas, just…just let me go." Dean snapped. “I just need…Cas I just need time to think.” He added in a defeated tone. His shoulders slumped as he turned away from Castiel and for the second time in so many months he walked away from the person he’d thought of as the love of his life without really knowing what he would do next. 

Music blared from the Impala’s speakers as Dean drove over to Jo and Charlie’s building. Unlike Cas’ music Dean picked his favourite songs of Metallica. Wherever I May Roam blasted out the speakers, loud enough to drown out Dean’s thoughts. He couldn’t believe this was happening to him again . For fuck sake, why was it that everyone he loved would tend to leave him? Was he so damaged that they couldn’t stand to be with him for too long?

“Fuck…fuck!” He groaned as he sped down the street to Jo and Charlie’s building. Charlie was on shift at the hospital so her car wasn’t parked outside but Dean was relieved to see Adam’s which meant that Jo would at least be there. Dean parked up and took two steps at a time to reach Jo and Charlie’s apartment.

"Dean? What's the matter?" Jo asked as soon as she opened the door.

"You got beer? Or something stronger?" Dean asked getting straight to the point.

"Yeah sure, come in." Jo said opening the door even further. Dean followed her into the main room where Adam was sat. “I thought you were with Cas tonight." Jo said as she walked into the small kitchenette and grabbed a bottle of beer from the refrigerator.

"Yeah...yeah I thought so too until he dropped a giant bombshell on me." Dean said as he dropped onto the couch.

"What happened?" Adam asked while Jo passed Dean a beer. “He didn’t fail his boards did he? I mean its Novak so that would be impossible.”

"No he didn’t fail his boards. The chief passed him over for the cardio fellowship. Basically there's no job for him at the hospital.” Dean explained. He sighed heavily before carrying on. “He did however get a job offering from John Hopkins." 

"John Hopkins? Holy shit." Adam said, his mouth hanging open. "That's...that's huge man."

"Yeah but on the other side of the country. Maryland is like a twelve hour drive isn’t it?" Jo pointed out as she sat down next to Adam. "You don't think the chief passed him over because he's with you do you?" she added furrowing her brows in concentration.

"I didn't think of that, I was more pissed to think that for the second time one of my boyfriends is leaving me." Dean said. If the chief had done that then it was seriously fucked up and Dean would never forgive himself for being the reason that Cas’ career failed.

"The second time?" Adam asked looking confused. That stumped Dean, he would have thought by now Jo would have told Adam and the others about Michael. Dean turned to give Jo a thankful smile.

"You said you didn't want people knowing your private crap so I didn't tell them." She said with a shrug of her shoulders. “Hey I can be a decent friend sometimes!” she added.

"What's going on? What’s Dean talking about?" Adam asked.

"When I got the internship here my boyfriend at the time got an offer from a hospital in England, it's the best teaching hospital in London so he accepted the place. I broke up with him before he left because I knew I couldn't do a long distance relationship like that." Dean explained. "I can't let what happened with Michael happen with Cas. I just drove here ‘cause I couldn’t even begin to think about what to say."

“I get that this is a hard time for you but I have a question for you.” Jo said as she grabbed a beer for herself. “How stupid are you?”


“You spent six weeks trying to get Cas to forgive you for walking out on him and now at the smallest sign of an issue you’re walking out again.” Jo snapped. “If you’re going to whine about the world on my couch then at least tell Cas where you are so he doesn’t freak out again.”

“Jo I just need some space-” Dean started to say but Jo slapping him across the back of the head cut him off. “Ow! Jo that fucking hurt!”

“Good! Cas just needed some time when you went off to California but that didn’t stop you from going crazy.” Jo said. “You’re not camping out on my fucking couch like some moping teenager, drive back to your goddamn apartment and stop being a little shit.”


“No, I mean it Dean. I’m not going to sit around and listen to your relationship bullshit when there’s no real problem apart from you dicking about. Sure Cas might have to move to Maryland but is that really going make you break up with him? You love him, you really freaking love him and it’s obvious whenever anyone sees you two together because you look at him like he hung the freaking moon.”

“I don’t-”

“Dean just grow the fuck up already. Go back home, apologise for walking out on Cas again and try to work something out. Jesus wept, you’d never think that you were a fucking genius who had nine letters of recommendation for the surgical program.”

“You seriously need to stop reading other people’s files.” Dean said with an irritated sigh. Maybe the hospital needed to rethink the security

“Yeah, yeah and you need to go and sort out shit with your boyfriend so do and do it already, you fucktruck.” Jo said pointing towards the door.

“I can’t even finish my beer?” Dean asked motioning to his barely drunk out of bottle. Jo rolled her eyes in a very Sam or Cas manner. “Fine, fine I’m going.” Dean sighed. He handed his beer to Adam and gave him a grimace. “Good luck man.”

“Hey, for once I haven’t done anything to piss Jo off. I’m good for this evening.” Adam said smugly.

“Eat the last slice of pizza again and it’ll be a whole different story Milligan.” Jo said warningly.


Even after his promise to Jo, Dean couldn’t stand the thought of going back to the apartment with Cas angry at him for walking out. For a while he just drove around the streets of Chicago until he got closer to the pier. Once he saw the sign for Adler Planetarium Dean knew where to go to calm down.

When he was younger Sam had always gotten a kick out of the stars so Dean had spent a lot of time taking him star gazing. Once Dean had learnt how to drive he took Sammy to Kansas’ best planetariums and observation towers. Even now Dean knew Sam still love looking at stars and honestly, so did Dean. There was always something so calming about star gazing.

Adler Planetarium had long since closed its doors for the night but Dean still parked in the parking lot and slowly made his way over to America’s Courtyard which had an amazing view of Lake Michigan. He must have been sat there for a long time, his ass had long gone numb when he heard someone walking up behind him, feet hitting the sidewalk. He whipped his head around expecting to see some junkie or tired pre-dawn jogger but instead he saw the very familiar frame of Cas.

“How…how did you know I was here?” Dean called out.

“I asked Jo. She said that if the bars were closed then I should look in ‘cliché places moody guys go to deal with their bullshit’. Those were her words by the way, not mine. I drove around for a while then I remembered one of the nurses talking about the incredible views of the lake from the planetarium so I tried here.” Cas explained as he made his way over to Dean and sat down next to him. “I noticed your car in the lot and you weren’t too hard to find after that.” He added as he glanced over at Dean with a sad look on his face.

“I’m sorry about walking out again after I said I wouldn’t…” Dean said feeling like utter shit because

"I know, I know you're sorry." Cas said putting his arm around Dean’s shoulder and resting his head against Dean’s. "I'm sorry for springing John Hopkins on you, it wasn't fair of me to expect you to take it well. I should have found a better way to tell you about it.” Cas gently rubbed at Dean’s shoulder by way of comfort and Dean found himself sinking into the touch. He just couldn’t help it.

“I really am sorry for leaving…again…I know it doesn’t mean a lot but I’m not going to do it again.” He said quietly. “I just freaked out last night and I couldn’t stand the thought of you having to move away from Chicago.” He added with a sigh. “It’s just that I couldn’t imagine this place without you…you…fuck, you made this place a home for me.”

“You did the same for me Dean. Did you know that until tonight I’d never even been to Adler Planetarium? I’ve lived here for six years now and I’ve only ever really seen a small fraction of the city. I didn’t know that America’s Courtyard was here.” Cas explained.

“Damn Cas, you really need to see more of this city.” Dean quipped with a quiet laugh even though he didn’t really feel like laughing at all.

“Dean…” Cas said warily and Dean’s laughter instantly cut out.

“Fuck, I don’t like the sound of that.” He said pulling away from Cas to look him square on. “What’s going on Cas?” he asked even if he really wasn’t sure if he wanted to hear whatever it was that Cas was going to say.

“Dean, I took the job at John Hopkins. I accepted their offer and I'm handing in my notice at the hospital by the end of the week." Fuck…Dean really didn’t want to hear that.

"You did what?" he asked.

"I accepted the position.” Cas said slowly almost as if he was giving Dean a chance to really understand what he was saying. Dean’s heart actually skipped a beat at Cas’ words and he knew the shock was registered all across his face when Cas suddenly looked panicked. “The pay is better and I have better research facilities there. They offered me everything I could have dreamed of Dean. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted for my career."

"So you're leaving?" Dean asked breathlessly.

"Yes…yes I did, but I told them there are important people here for me. Well just one person really.” Cas said as he reached out for Dean’s hand. “You" he added.

"But you're still leaving?" Dean asked as he ripped his hand away. The vastness of the courtyard seemed to shrink as Cas’ words sunk in, Dean’s stomach flipping the whole time because this couldn’t be happening again. It could not be fucking happening again.

"Dean wait, just listen to me for a minute. Please.” Cas begged as he grabbed hold of Dean’s arm. “I told them that I couldn't leave here without knowing I was doing it for all the right reasons. There is a job opening for a first year resident, mainly focusing in cardio with the option to work on a ground breaking cardio research program, the program I would be heading up."

"What are you talking about Cas?" Dean asked. 

"They're offering you a job at John Hopkins.” Cas said. That all but stopped Dean’s heart because John Hopkins, John freaking Hopkins, was offering him a job. One of the best teaching hospitals in the country was offering him a job. “If you don't want to take it I understand because you have a life here and friends but there we could just be us, there would be no judgemental interns giving you shit over our relationship. We'd be working together to improve the lives of millions of people around the country with heart problems. We’d be together in Baltimore saving people’s lives." Cas added almost babbling and dean could see he was becoming excited by the idea.

"You want me to come with you?" Dean asked not sure if he was hearing Cas correctly.

"Dean I'd follow you wherever you'd go and I'm hoping you will do the same.” Cas said.

If he left Chicago he’d been leaving behind friends he’d grown to really love and feel safe around, he’d be leaving his apartment and moving even further away from his brother out in California. He’d be going to a job that would probably terrify him and make him doubt ever wanting to become a surgeon in the first place but on the other hand he’d be with the person he could easily see himself spending the rest of his life with. He would be working on ground breaking research that could save millions of lives and proving that he was the smart, driven person he always hoped people would see him as.

Plus, Cas was right. They could move out to Maryland and just be them. There wouldn’t be the judgement from fellow interns or the Chief of Surgery. It would just be the two of them on the East Coast, they could just be ‘Dean and Cas’, not ‘that intern and his resident’. They could be free.

“You know…” Dean started to say and Cas’ head whipped up, his eyes full of hope but also fear. “There’s probably a planetarium in Baltimore we could not visit for six years.” Dean joked.

“You mean…you’ll come with me?” Cas asked, a grin spreading across his face.

“Yeah…I mean you’re an asshole with piss poor people skills but like you said all those months ago, you and I would have fun together this year. I think the next year in Maryland could even more fun.” Dean said remembering back to that first shift at the hospital. Honestly he’d been so in the dark back then and he hadn’t been remotely prepared for the life that he’d create for himself in Chicago. He was the same now with Maryland but he’d have Cas with him and the two of them could create their own lives there. “Oh as long as you don’t give me a shitty nickname on our first day there.” Dean quickly added and instead of replying Cas let out a quick bark of laughter and pulled Dean into a crushing kiss and, honestly, Dean would have been incredible content if the kiss never ended because it didn’t matter which city or state they were in, being with Cas was exactly where Dean wanted to be. 

Chapter Text

The past two years had been a surreal blur. Back when he moved from Connecticut to Chicago Dean had been filled with loss and fear of the unknown. He'd just broken up with Michael and was moving to a city he'd never been to, he had been starting his internship and saying goodbye to Sam a as he moved out to California. The move to Baltimore had been completely different. Sure he was feeling the loss of leaving Jo and his other friends behind and there were the nerves of being a first year resident but he'd had Cas by his side. 

They had travelled out to Baltimore two weeks before they were due to start at John Hopkins to sort out their new apartment and move in all the stuff they'd brought from Chicago. Fancy glasses for wine and all. Sam had flown out from California with Jess and Mary had actually convinced John to take time off from the hospital for once. Their visit marked Dean and Cas' first weekend in Baltimore and it had been a blur of moving furniture, dinners out trying the crab cakes Baltimore was famous for and Dean also cracking several ribs while laughing at Sam's drunken attempt at karaoke. The two brothers and Cas even had time to go to Camden Yards for a ball game or, in Dean’s case, a ball game and the obligatory food coma from eating too many beef sandwiches.  

Flash forward two years and Dean was completely settled in Baltimore. His local coffee shop knew both his and Cas' orders so all they had to do was walk through the doors and the baristas were already starting their drinks. Sure he and Cas still fought but the arguments were always tiny and over something silly like who drank the last drop of juice (normally Dean), who left the TV on standby because they fell asleep while reading case files (normally Cas) and who kept wearing all of Dean's shirts and leaving then strewn across the bedroom floor (once again the culprit was Cas). 

All the insecurities Dean held back in Chicago were gone. When he and Cas started at the hospital no one have them shit for their relationship. Back in Chicago they had been the intern and resident screwing each other but in Baltimore they were just two residents who happened to be together. Cas' reputation after the TED conference making people even more in awe of him while Dean was the genius from Yale who, as it turned out, got the highest results in his intern exam. Charlie had been two points behind him and it drove her insane. After nearly two years she threatened to stop being friends with Dean if he didn't stop calling her Two Points Bradbury. 

Of course once Dean mentioned the word ‘party’ Charlie forgot all about the threats and hopped on a plane along with Jo, Sarah, Adam and Benny. The reason for the party? It transpired that Dr Castiel Novak was to receive the Edlund Grant in order to help further his cardio research which was almost ready for human trials. The Edlund Grant was legendary and Dean never thought he’d meet anyone who would win one let alone be in a relationship with someone who won one. Dean would have been happy with just celebrating with burgers, beer and sex in the shower but Cas had a different idea; a fancy cocktail party for them and their friends.

Hence why Dean was currently sat in the kitchen drinking a beer instead of the overpriced red wine being handed out by waiters in white jackets. Yes, Dean was hell. Thank God he loved Cas or he would have been climbing out the kitchen window and leaping off the fire escape.

Actually even if the main room of their apartment wasn’t being invaded by friends, family and waiters for hire Dean would have been sat in the kitchen. Honestly it was his favourite room in the apartment. It was warm, comforting and home of the fridge. It also housed one of Dean’s favourite things about the apartment; the cork board he and Cas had spent the past two years filling up with memories (as cheesy as it was and Dean had to admit that yes, it was cheesy.)

The cork board in the kitchen was groaning under the weight of photos, postcards and various knickknacks. There were countless photos sent from Charlie and Jo depicting life at the hospital since Dean and Cas had left. One of Dean's favourites was a photo of Jo grinning broadly after her first solo surgery. Another showed Adam, Jo, Charlie and Sarah all scrubbed in for surgery and stood in the OR wearing sterilised plastic party hats for Adam's birthday. 

In the centre of the board was the one postcard and photo that filled Dean with so much pride it was amazing he didn't burst. A smiling Krissy Chambers stood with her arm flung around Claire's shoulder, the pair of them holding a huge trophy from when they became national champions in Krissy's senior year. The postcard, written in Krissy's handwriting said:

Dr Model, Dr Hot Stuff,

I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you two. The whole team will never stop thinking of you two as rock stars. Never stop being freaking awesome!


Dean stood smiling at the photo for the millionth time when he heard someone walk up behind him.

"You really do hate parties don't you, even if they're your own?" Cas asked, appearing as if out of nowhere, as he snaked an arm around Dean's waist and planted a kiss on Dean’s shoulder. 

"Technically it’s your party but whatever.” Dean said. “I just needed a minute. I'll be right out." 

"Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that this is where the mini apple pies are being kept at all." Cas said motioning over the table covered in party food the waiters were meant to be bringing out any minute. Dean snorted but Cas did have a point, he'd already sneakily eaten four mini pies. "I know you too well Dean." Cas said with a small laugh.

“And I know you too well. The only reason you came looking for me is because Jo was driving you insane.”

“She offered to start making drinks. I would rather not have my guest vomiting blue stuff in the bathroom or passing out in said bathroom so I quickly shut down her offer.”

“Wise idea there Dr Novak, I can see why they gave you the Edlund Grant now.” Dean quipped with the devilish smirk he knew Cas couldn’t resist. Cas rolled his eyes but still pulled on Dean’s tie until their lips met. Well, that was until they heard a small cough.

"Urm...excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you Dr Winchester." A nervous voice from the doorway. Dean and Cas turned around to see Dean's over enthusiastic intern Kevin Tran standing in the doorway, all spiffed up in a rented suit. 

"Kevin dude, I've told you to just call me Dean." Dean chuckled.

"Sorry Dr...sorry Dean. I’m really sorry for interrupting but your mom is asking for you and your brother told me to tell you to stop necking your boyfriend and be social...sorry sir, that was him not me." Kevin said still sounding nervous. The kid was a freaking genius, he was actually a member of MENSA just like Charlie, but Dean still managed to scare him for some reason. Cas found the whole thing hilarious. 

"Thanks Kevin, tell her that I'll be right out." Dean said and Kevin practically ran out the room. "That kid is going to put himself into an early grave." 

"You probably shouldn't have given the interns your 'Break my rules and I'll break your thumbs' speech on their first day." Cas quipped. 

"Hey that was a joke and I brought them all coffee!" Dean said with a snicker. In truth he loved his current batch of interns. They were all smart and had formed a friendship that reminded Dean of his own back in Chicago. 

"Your fine ass helps as well." Cas added as he smirked devilishly. “Kevin has a point though, you should really go out there and be sociable before your mother comes in here and drags you out.”

“She would as well.” Dean said remembering all those Christmases spent at Grandma Campbell’s when Mary used to force Dean and Sam out their rooms and spend quality time with their grandparents.

The main part of the apartment was full of people, a mix of friends and family and co-workers from John Hopkins, and that meant one thing; Dean needed to find a drink, not made by Joanna Beth Harvelle, and his friends before he was forced to make small talk with people.

"You know, I cannot believe that after two years, not to mention after winning the Edlund grant, you still have this damn couch." Jo Harvelle grumbled kicking the worn leather couch with her heeled foot. "I thought Cas had thrown this piece of shit out when he moved in."

"We put it in storage. It has sentimental value." Dean retorted defensively. Sure he and Cas had brought a new, and fancier, couch when Cas had moved into the old apartment back in Chicago but the worn couch Dean had grown to love back there had pride of place in the corner next to the bookcase.

“Fuck sake.” Jo said with a groan. "If you tell me that you and Cas first did it on that couch I'm going to have to bleach my brain." She muttered as she shuddered dramatically.

"Hey get your mind out the gutter Harvelle, this is a fancy party." Dean retorted.

"Cas had to say the same thing to you when you refused to wear a suit didn't he?" Jo quipped. Her knowing smirk was so wide it could have been seen from space.

"Yeah but the fumble in the walk in closet before you all arrived sealed the deal."

“God.” Jo said with yet another shudder. "You're like a horny teenager. When you're winning the Nobel Prize for medical advancement I'm telling the world that you're nothing but a horny juice stealer who refused to toss his ass numbing couch out and has an addiction to shitty medical dramas." Jo said tossing her hair in a way she'd clearly learnt from Charlie. "Now where is that boyfriend of mine with my drink?" she added while she scanned the room looking for Adam.

"Did you really just refer to Adam as your boyfriend?" Dean asked in utter shock because the last thing Dean thought he’d hear was Jo referring to Adam as her boyfriend. 

"Baby steps Winchester." Jo said with a grin. “Baby steps.”

"It's been two years." Dean pointed out.

"Exactly, I have to keep the boy on his toes." Jo said.

"You would think that working in the ER would keep him on his toes enough as it is."

"Oh God." Jo groaned rolling her eyes. "Don't mention the ER to him whatever you do. He had this intensive trauma surgery training with Lafitte last week and he's still in the 'I am a hard core surgeon' mode. It's kind of cute but I can be the only badass in the relationship."

“I don’t think anyone has ever been confused when it comes to who the badass is in your relationship.” Dean said. He had a point as well. No matter what Adam did people would always know that Jo wore the pants in the relationship.

Once Jo left him to find her boyfriend and, more importantly, her drink Dean circled the room, occasionally stopping to talk to people, mainly his mother, and enjoy more mini pies. In the very centre of the room was Cas. He was busy talking to several people from the hospital and Dean found himself just watching his boyfriend. While Dean hated social situations like this, he much preferred smaller gatherings, Cas seemed to thrive around people from the hospital. It was strange, the Cas that Dean knew and loved was different from the one he’d grown to love in Chicago. Maybe Benny had been right that night in the bar when he first found out about Dean and Cas being together. Benny had been happy for them, happy that Cas had found someone to be himself around. Cas was thriving in Baltimore and actually spending time with colleagues. It made Dean genuinely happy.

He had that time for all of five minutes before he heard someone come into the kitchen. He thought nothing of it, thinking that it was just a waiter, until a very familiar cough came from the window.

“I looked around for you but couldn’t see you anywhere. After a moment I figured that you’d be out here.” Cas said, a knowing smile on his face.

“Yeah well they ran out of mini apple pies.” Dean said flippantly but he was grateful that Cas came to find him, grateful that his boyfriend hadn’t gotten drowned in the sea of doctors and well-wishers.

“Even after two years you manage to find your way out outside in the middle of a party.” Cas commented as he climbed through the window. In just a few short steps he had made his way across the fire escape to sit down next to Dean.

“It’s only the fire escape, it’s not like I hot footed it up to the roof.” Dean replied pulling Cas into him.

“That’s because the vicious pigeons up there scare you.” Cas said primly.

“Those fuckers have it out for me.” Dean said defensively.

“You’re a child Dean Winchester but I love you anyway.” Cas said with a low chuckle. “Always have and always will.”

“Promise? You can’t say sappy shit like that and not mean Dr Novak, it would be a real asshole move.”

“Yes but at least you’d call me out on it, you were never afraid to do that.” Cas replied before he went silent and looked out towards the view they got of Baltimore from up on the fire escape. “I’m glad we moved here…in a way I should be thanking Crowley.”

“But not enough to invite him here, that dick doesn’t deserve the mini apple pies.” Dean said.

“I’m trying to lead into something here Dean, stop talking about miniature apple pies for a moment.” Cas said as he shook his head with mock exasperation. “I’m glad we moved out here and I’m glad we both accepted the jobs at John Hopkins. Being out here has really changed us for the better.” Cas said glancing over at Dean, his smile warm. “If this is it then I’d be very happy. If this is the life I’m going to live from now until the day I die then I would die a very happy man…as long as you’re there with me of course.”

“Cas I’m not going anywhere ever again, I promise you that. I love you Cas.”

“I know, I know. I love you too…Dean?”

“Yeah Cas?” Dean asked as he laced his fingers through Cas’.

“Stay with me forever ok? We don’t have to get married if you don’t want to-”

“I wouldn’t mind marrying you. We could have a simple backyard thing back home in Kanas and you could invite your jet setting siblings…shit like that.”

“That was very romantic until you said ‘shit like that’.” Cas said, once again letting out a low chuckle. “I didn’t know that you thought about that kind of thing.”

“My mind drifts in surgeries sometimes.” Dean admitted. It was true as well. He’d been thinking about asking Cas to marry him for over six months now. They could have a tiny, no-fuss, ceremony at his parent’s house in Kanas with friends, family and his mother’s homemade food. “So you’d do it? Put up with me for the rest of your life even though I drink all the juice, clog up the TiVo with shitty dramas and call you out all the time on being a grumpy ass?”

“Yes, yes I would…after all, these past three years…well we certainly did have fun together. Hopefully the next God only knows how many will be just as fun.” Cas said nuzzling in even closer to Dean and Dean could even be bothered to fight the contented smile that spread across his face.

Maybe that ninth drink with Sam hadn’t been so much of a mistake after all.