Actions

Work Header

Angels Don't Share

Chapter Text

Sam was just about to get his books for his final class from his locker when a familiar voice called out his name.

"Hey, stranger," it said when he turned around and smiled brightly at the love of his life, Jess.

"Hey you," he replied and gave her a quick kiss before grabbing her hand and walking towards his locker. "How was biology?"

"Boring as usual," Jessica said. "French?"

"It was fine," Sam answered and she couldn't help but laugh. They both knew he wasn't that into languages but it was Sam. There wasn't a thing in the world he didn't like to learn.

"You're such a dork," she teased him while they arrived at his locker.

"And you love it," he said with a suggestive smile, bending forward until their faces were only inches away.

"I do," Jess admitted and that was all Sam needed to close the space between their lips.

They kissed until someone started coughing right behind them. "Quit the PDA, Sammy. Children are watching."

Sam gave his older brother a wide grin. "You feeling uncomfortable, Dean?"

"Just keep the sex out of my face, okay?"

"Like you do. Ever," Sam said and pulled up an eyebrow. "So, what's up?"

"I just got a text from Dad. He's coming home tonight and wants to have family dinner."

"He's coming home?" Sam asked surprised. "That's amazing, Dean!" It had been months since their dad had left for his latest job. He was a professional bounty hunter, so he was away from home a lot. It sucked, but Sam and Dean grew up in this life. They were used to it.

"I know right?" Dean smiled. He was even more fond of his dad than Sam was. "He also asks if we wanna bring the girls for lunch on Saturday at the Roadhouse?"

Sam looked at his girlfriend and she answered with a shrug and a smile. "Sure."

"Awesome," Dean replied and started texting their dad. He got interrupted when a cute girl with dark hair wrapped her arms around him from behind.

"Hey handsome," Lisa grinned and Dean immediately turned to kiss her passionately. Maybe a little bit to passionately.

"Hey, PDA," Sam complained, wrapping his arms around Jess.

"Alright," Dean mumbled, then turned his attention back to Lisa. "You wanna have lunch with my dad at the Roadhouse on Saturday?"

"Of course I do," she answered happily. "I didn't know he was back in town."

"He isn't," Dean said. "Yet. He's coming home tonight."

"Honey, that's amazing, I'm so happy for you." Then she turned to Sam. "For both of you, of course."

Sam thanked her with a smile and started taking some books out of his locker. It was when he turned back that he saw them.

"Wow, who are they?" he asked, impressed.

They all turned towards the main entrance of their school, where a group of teenagers was making their way through the corridors. The group consisted of children between 14 and 18 years old, who showed no resemblance whatsoever but clung together like they were some kind of gang. But the strangest part was the fact that Sam knew none of them. At all.

"Oh my gosh, it must be them!" Lisa whispered in a loud voice.

"Who?" Dean asked with a frown on his face.

"Haven't you heard? They're Chuck Shurley's!"

"Baby, who the hell is Chuck Shurley?" Dean said, confused.

Lisa threw her hair over her shoulder and leaned closer to the three of them, as if she was going to tell some big secret. "Okay, so apparently this insanely rich guy Chuck Shurley yesterday moved into the mansion at Cross Road with all of his children."

"Wait," Sam interrupted her. "They're all this guy's children? That's impossible."

"Let her finish, Sammy," Dean told him before looking back to Lisa.

"What are we whispering about?" a voice suddenly said from behind them.

Dean nearly jumpscared. "Jesus, Charlie, you scared the crap out of me."

"Sorry, not sorry," she smiled. Benny followed quickly after her. The two of them had been Dean's best friends since they were children.

"It's about Chuck Shurley," Jessica explained. "Now go on, Lisa."

"Okay, so obviously they've all been adopted," she answered Sam's question. "But more importantly, they're legendary."

"Why are they legendary?" he asked. "I'd never heard of them."

"Because. There are these crazy rumors about them. See that guy in the front? I'm guessing he's the eldest one. Apparently their father got him a position in his international company, just waiting to be claimed when he graduates. And one of the other older brothers dropped out of school last year, just so he could become his father's secretary. It's like he has this job just lying around for every one of them."

"Seems handy to me," Dean said with a shrug.

"Oh but that's not all. Supposedly their father is very strict. They say there was another one, the second oldest, who was kicked out of the house by him."

"He kicked out his own son?" Jess asked. "Harsh."

"Asshole," Charlie added.

"I know right? But that's not even the craziest part."

"It gets crazier than this?" Dean questioned.

"Apparently they're all very religious." Then Lisa remained silent, making the rest of them lean closer in tension. When she was satisfied with their interest, she continued, "And bisexual."

"Wait, what?" her boyfriend asked, confusion on his face. "How can they all be bisexual? I mean, is that even a criteria you can fill in on an adoption application?"

"I still can't get how there can be so many of them," Sam said, still watching Chuck Shurley's children. He had tried counting them several times now, but failed miserably so far. Somehow he lost count every time. "How many children does he have?"

"Nobody knows," Lisa answered. "But there should be at least five new students in each grade."

"Who adopts five children within a year?" Charlie asked, dumbfounded.

"At least," Lisa corrected.

"So what, five children a year, four grades, that's twenty children?" Sam exclaimed. "That's insane."

"Ow, this is only half of them," Lisa said and Sam could have sworn his jaw hit the ground. "They say there were so many of them, neither one of the local high schools had room for all of them. So Chuck split them up, sent half of them to Lawrence High School and the others to this place."

"This guy had to split up his children to get them into high school?" Dean said. "That's just... wow."

Lisa went on a little further, but Sam didn't bother listening to her anymore. He was just staring at the Shurleys, wondering how so many children could possibly live together in the same house. He had trouble enough getting along with Dean alone. A boy next to the guy Lisa had called the oldest in particular drew his attention. He seemed quite bored, his golden eyes wandering through the crowd while his siblings kept on talking to each other quietly. When his gaze met Sam's he stopped for a moment and for a split second they stared into each other's eyes. Sam quickly looked away and directed his attention back to Jess and the gossip Lisa was still sharing with his friends. He didn't notice the guy watched him for a few more seconds before turning back to his brothers.

Chapter Text

After everything Lisa had told them about the Shurleys, Dean was ready for about anything. But he hadn't been prepared for this.

When he'd arrived to his physics class, usually the most boring one of all, it had been chaos. Pure, absolute chaos.

There were students everywhere, the new ones mingling with the others and chattering loudly, while their teacher desperately tried to calm them down. There was barely enough room to seat what seemed about four or five new students and people were fighting about who claimed a seat first and where they wanted to sit. Dean was relieved to find his own usual spot untouched, although one of the new guys had taken the one right beside him. Dean contemplated starting a conversation with him, just being polite, but the other boy showed no interest in him whatsoever. He didn't even look up when Dean sat down next to him.

But apparently it didn't matter, because only a mere second later one of the other Shurleys leaned against this desk.

"Are you popular around here?" the guy asked in a British accent.

Dean stared at him hesitantly. "I don't know... Maybe a bit, why?"

"Good. I'm throwing a party tomorrow night. You're invited. There's only one rule: bring who you want, but take them all back home."

He was about to leave, so Dean quickly said, "Wait... Dude, I don't even know your name."

"It's Balthazar." And then he strode off to a chair at the back of the classroom, before Dean even got a chance to introduce himself.

After some attempts Mrs. Drover managed to get everyone seated and started class. As usual Dean lost his focus after about five minutes, so he started examining his new classmates. Besides Balthazar and the silent guy next to him there were three others. A couple of chairs to his left two guys, one of them slim and tall, the other one a little bit broader, were seated next to each other. And at the front row sat a girl with brown put up hair, who was wearing, and he wasn't kidding, a woman's suit. Seriously. What was wrong with this family?

After class Dean hastily headed back to his locker, glad to find Lisa waiting for him next to it.

"Hi, sweetie," she greeted him and he quickly gave her a kiss before opening his locker to put in his books and call it a day.

"Hey. So, you got any Shurleys in your class?"

"Only one. But nobody got his name."

"Well, be prepared to meet some of them, 'cause we're going to a party at their place."

Lisa looked at him with surprise. "A party? At the Shurleys?"

"Yeah, Balthazar invited me. Said I could bring along whoever I want."

"And you're picking me? How cute," she said, smiling.

"And Sammy of course, Jess, Charlie, Benny, Kevin..." he teased and she punched his arm playfully.

"You're impossible."

"So what does that make you?"

She let out a dramatic sigh. "Crazy in love."

Dean couldn't help but smile brightly at her and kissed her until his phone buzzed.

"I guess Sammy is waiting for me," he whispered against her lips before letting go of her. "I see you tomorrow morning."

"See you," she said lovingly, while he began walking away, and she wouldn't let go of his hand until they were too far apart to hold on to each other anymore.

Dean walked outside to his '67 Impala, against which Sam was leaning impatiently.

"You look happy," he noted before Dean unlocked the car and they both got in.

"I am happy," Dean replied. "Hey, we're going to a party tomorrow."

Sam frowned. "Yeah, I don't think so..."

"Come on, Sammy, get out of the closet. And by that I mean the one of antisocial isolation, not the other one."

"I'm sorry, Dean, I'm just not that into going to a party right now."

"You never are. But that doesn't mean I'm not gonna drag your ass down there anyway."

His brother let out a sigh. "Whose party is it?"

"Balthazar Shurley's."

Sam started up. "What?"

"Yeah, he invited me during physics."

"He doesn't even know you."

"Nope."

"So... why exactly are you going to his party?" Sam asked confused.

"It's free booze, you think I'm saying no to that?"

Sam rolled his eyes and turned towards the window. "So how many of them are juniors?"

Dean was a junior, while Sam was still a sophomore. "Six? Ish? I don't know, I've only met Balthazar. How many have you counted?"

"Five," his brother replied and then added, "I think."

Dean laughed and shook his head. "Crazy, huh."

"Yeah, it is," Sam agreed, just as they got home.

Two other cars were already parked on the drive, which caused both brothers to smile. Dean shut off the engine and opened the door, Sam followed his lead quickly and they headed towards the front door together. As soon as Dean opened the door he heard two familiar voices chatting.

"Dad?" he shouted and made his way towards the kitchen. The talking fell quiet immediately and just when he wanted to enter the kitchen John appeared in the doorframe. Father and son collided in a tight hug.

"I've missed you, boys," their dad said, releasing Dean and hugging Sam as well. "How have the both of you been doing?"

"We're great, Dad," Dean grinned before the three of them walked into the kitchen.

Their uncle Bobby was already sitting at their kitchen table with a beer in his hand. When their dad was on a business trip, Bobby took care of the boys. They weren't really related, but since Bobby and John had been best friends for years, Sam and Dean considered him to be like a second father to them.

"Hi boys," Bobby greeted them. And then he threw Dean a beer as well.

Dean smiled and John gave them both a severe look but with a glimpse of a grin on his lips.

"So how was school today?" their dad asked and sat back down, his sons following his example.

"Forget school, what are we having for dinner?" Dean said.

"We can order pizza."

"I missed you, Dad."

John laughed. "Good to know that's the reason you missed me."

"School's been great actually," Sam answered his father's question.

"That's good to hear, Sam. How is Jess, by the way?"

Dean smiled at the blush on his brother's face.

"She's fine," he responded shyly.

"And Lisa?" their dad asked Dean.

He shrugged and gave his dad a smirk. "We're doing great, Dad."

"I'm looking forward to having lunch with them on Saturday. It's been a while," John muttered.

"So do they," Sam said.

They kept on talking like that for hours, John ordered them pizza and they spent the rest of the evening chatting about school, their girlfriends and the places John had visited for work this time.

"So, any special events at school today?" Bobby asked after a while.

"Actually, yes," Sam replied. "This whole new family moved to Lawrence a couple of days ago and some of the kids are in our school."

"Really?" their dad asked. "Who are they?"

Dean swallowed his last piece of pizza and said, "They're Chuck Shurley's."

"Oh, crap," Bobby said. "I know that name."

"You do?" his younger brother asked.

Bobby just shrugged. "Never met him. But the guy has quite a reputation."

John nodded. "He sounds familiar to me too. I actually think you boys better stay away from his children. They're known to cause a lot of trouble."

"What do you mean?" Dean asked.

"I just don't trust the guy," his dad said. "And I don't really expect his children to be any different."

He had planned to ask his dad if they could go to Balthazar's party, but now decided against it. He had a feeling his dad wouldn't approve of them going to the Shurleys' house if he distrusted them so much.

After dinner it quickly started to get late, so Bobby left and Sam and Dean went upstairs to their shared bedroom after saying their dad goodnight.

When they were alone Sam said, "You know he'll never let us go to Balthazar's party, right?"

"Yeah, I know," Dean simply answered.

"But you're going anyway?" Sam guessed, already knowing what his brother would say.

"It's a party, Sammy. Not a death sentence."

"But Dad said..."

"And when has that ever stopped me?"

Sam shook his head, but a small smile was already appearing in the corner of his mouth. "You know what, Dean, fine. Do whatever you want. But if this thing blows up in our faces, I'm blaming you."

"Now we're talking," Dean said with a grin. "C'mon, you can bring Jess. And Kevin if you want to." Kevin was one of Sam's closest friends, which basically meant they were both nerds.

He could see his little brother slowly giving in and after a couple of seconds, Sam let out a sigh. "Alright. You win, I'm coming. But if Dad finds out..."

"It's all my fault, I know," Dean finished his sentence. "Now let's go to bed, tomorrow is gonna be a long day."

"Yeah, you're right," Sam said while getting into bed.

Dean dropped down into his own and turned off the light. "Goodnight, Sammy."

"Goodnight, Dean."

Chapter Text

Sam didn't know what he'd done wrong to receive the bad karma he got the next day.

It started off normally, even better than normal actually. They had breakfast with their dad for the first time in months and the reunion of their family caused the both of them to be in a better mood than usual. Dean even stopped bitching all the time.

Sam was happy, convinced nothing could go wrong today. That was, until they arrived at school.

Literally from the moment he stepped into the building, things started to go downhill. Somehow he didn't notice the floor of the main entrance was still wet. Already looking for Jess he didn't pay attention and before he knew it, he slipped and fell right onto his butt.

Jess, who had been waiting for him in the hallway, quickly came up to him. For a second she was worried about him but when she noticed he was fine, she started laughing before helping him up. Sam couldn't blame her. He teased her about it a bit, pretending to be angry, but soon he had to give in and laugh along with her.

That was the first incident and he wouldn't keep on laughing.

It only became worse from then on. And it seemed as if this bad luck was pointed straight and only towards him.

When he left for his algebra class and sat down, one of the legs of his chair broke, making him fall to the ground again. When he went to the bathroom during the break, he noticed he didn't have toilet paper too late. When he wanted to wash his hands afterwards, the tap was broken and the water spouted right into his face and, of course, on his crotch. When he headed for the door to leave the bathroom, somebody just opened it, smashing it in his face.

All of his books fell out of his locker as he opened it, even though he had them always neatly arranged. He broke another chair, he tripped on something and dropped his lunch, he bumped into more people in one day than he had in the rest of his life. And when his history class was over and he was about to stand up and leave, his shoe laces had been tied together, which made him fall. Again.

"That's it, I'm done," he announced when he reached Jess and Kevin during their last break.

"What is it?" Kevin asked, looking at Sam worriedly. Sam didn't wonder why. He knew he had to look like crap after the day he'd gone through.

"The little accidents, they just won't stop!" he answered, annoyed. "It's like I'm cursed or something, like God is just constantly playing these little tricks on me, it's terrible! Am I? Am I cursed?" He threw his hands up in the air desperately. "Do you have any idea how many times I have fallen or have been pushed or laughed at today?"

"I don't know, honey. Maybe you just have a bad day," Jess tried to comfort him. "Don't worry about it. School's almost over and tonight we're going to a party, remember?"

Sam let out a laugh. "Are you sure you want to go with me? I mean, I probably end up burning down the house or something."

Jess rolled her eyes at him. "Don't be so dramatic, we're just gonna have fun. You'll be fine. We'll be fine." She took his hands into her own and gave him a reassuring squeeze.

He gave her a loving smile as a reply. He didn't know what he'd do without her. Probably crash and burn. "Thanks, Jess."

"You're welcome, sweetie," she said, satisfied. "Now let's go, before we're late for gym."

Gym was absolute hell of course. There were way too many balls flying around the room that could and would hit Sam in the face. He didn't even care anymore the entire class was laughing at him. Well, everyone except the Shurleys of course. His five new classmates were rather distant, apart from a girl named Hannah maybe, who at least occasionally spoke to some of the other students, and the shy guy in the trenchcoat nobody knew the name off. Sam assumed he was just... well, shy.

He was relieved when school was over and he could go home with Dean. They had agreed to pick up the girls and their other friends later on.

Sam put on some other clothes, while Dean was downstairs, telling their dad some story he'd come up with about them having a movie night at Charlie's place. Sam knew Dad wouldn't question it, he had enough on his plate already.

When they were ready Dean drove them to Lisa's house and then to Jess' and Charlie's, where Benny and Kevin had arrived in the meantime. The Impala wasn't big enough to seat them all, so Charlie drove the others in her own car, following closely behind Dean, because he was the only one who got Balthazar's address.

When they arrived at their destination Sam had difficulty keeping his mouth closed. He'd seen the house before, once or twice when passing by, but he'd never really looked at it. And he certainly hadn't when all the lights were on, music booming from the inside and teenagers walking in and out with their drinks.

"Holy shit," Lisa noted and he couldn't agree with her more.

Dean just shrugged, seemingly not impressed. "Let's go." He shut off the engine and got out, the rest of them following him to the front door.

To get in they had to push through groups of people dancing and talking everywhere and Sam wondered if Balthazar had invited the entire school.

"We're gonna get some drinks, you guys want something?!" Dean yelled, trying to surpass the loud music.

"No thanks!" Sam yelled back. "We'll get something later on!"

"Okay then!" Dean said. "I'll see you later! Call me if you need me!"

Sam nodded and then his brother and his friends disappeared into the crowd.

Suddenly realizing he had no idea what to do next, he turned to Jess. "So what do we do now?"

She laughed and grabbed him by the hand. "We're gonna dance, silly!"

And so they danced. After a while Sam got them drinks, a beer for Jessica and a water for himself, not just because he wasn't that into alcohol, but also just in case Dean took it a little too far and Sam had to drive them home.

It was strange though, the world subtly starting to turn a little bit. At first he didn't notice and when he did it was too late. He drank another glass of water in an attempt to keep him focused but it was almost like it had the exact opposite effect. The colors, the people, the music, everything was fading, numbing. He tried to find an explanation but he couldn't think of one and honestly, he didn't even care anymore. All he could remember was that he loved Jess and loved dancing with Jess and didn't want this night to end.

~~~

Dean had a great time. He had been dancing with Lisa and his friends all night. He actually still hadn't seen Balthazar yet but he didn't really care. He'd thank the guy some other time.

It was almost 2am when he went for another refill. As he neared the bar - yes, there was a bar - a guy with dark hair and green eyes approached him. Dean recognized him immediately. It was the same boy Lisa had called the oldest brother, the leader of the Shurleys.

"Hi," the guy greeted him.

"Hey," Dean mirrored.

"I don't think we've met yet. The name is Michael," Michael said, offering him his hand.

Balthazar seemed fine, weird but still okay, so maybe this guy would be a little bit less secluded too. The least he could do was give him a chance. "Dean," he replied and took his hand.

"Nice to meet you, Dean. You having fun?"

He let out a laugh. "Yeah, sure. The house is amazing. The party too."

Michael gave him a small smile. "Yes, Balthazar surely knows his business." Then he nodded at the drinks. "What do you need?"

"Just two beers is fine, thanks."

Michael handed him the cups and Dean was just about to take them when he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket.

With an apologetic smile he got it out and saw he had gotten a text from Sam. It said, Conecfijnd me pleqse

Dean didn't have a clue what it meant, but he knew one thing: if Sam wasn't typing correct sentences, he'd better find him.

"I'm sorry, I have to leave," he said to Michael. "My brother seems to be in some kind of trouble."

The other boy looked at him worriedly. "Is he okay? Do you want me to help you find him?"

"No thanks, I'll manage. But hey, I'll see you at school, right?" Dean said, already starting to walk away.

"Sure," Michael smiled. "Let me know how things ended with your brother!"

Dean pushed through the crowd, looking for the tall guy that was his brother. Finding him really shouldn't be that hard, considering Sam's height, but for some reason it was. There were to many people he didn't know and it had been hours since he'd last seen Sam. He could be anywhere.

He kept out an eye for Jess as well, Kevin, Benny, Charlie, anyone he or Sam knew and could have some sort of information. Eventually it landed on a Shurley boy he knew was in one of Sam's classes. He recognized him because the guy always seemed to be wearing the same brown trenchcoat.

"Hi! Excuse me?" he said running towards the boy.

"Hello Dean," the kid answered plainly and Dean couldn't help but frown.

"How do you know my name?"

They guy didn't flinch. "My brothers were talking about you."

Now he really was confused. "Who? Balthazar?"

"No. Michael and Zachariah."

Dean looked at him in shock. "Wait, Michael? I only met the guy two minutes ago! And who is Zachariah?"

"He's my brother and he's in your class."

When Dean didn't reply and the boy didn't seem like he had anything to add, Dean insisted, "Alright, four of your brothers are in my class. Which one?"

"White hair, always overdressed, very serious."

Dean suddenly remembered the guy who had sat next to him during physics. Why would he have been talking about him?

"Okay, listen," he decided. "I don't know why your brothers are talking about me and I don't care. At least not now. I need to find my brother, have you seen him?"

"No."

"Thanks, that was really helpful," he mocked before turning away.

After another ten minutes he finally found Sammy. His brother was holding a glass of water but that was about the only reason to assume he was sober. He was swaying on his legs a bit and seemed to have trouble focusing. The realization hit Dean straight in the face. Was Sammy drunk?

"Dean!" Sam yelled, as he noticed him. "You fffound me!"

"Sammy, are you drunk?" Dean asked, his eyes big with shock.

"Nooo," Sam sang. "I only had water Dean I ssswear. But... something is really really really wrooong." Then his brother whispered, "I think somewone is... tricking me."

"Yeah, sure," Dean sighed and took his brother's drink to smell it. The scent of alcohol immediately penetrated his nostrils. Just to be sure he took a small sip but grimaced quickly. "Jesus, Sam, you really can't tell the difference between water and vodka?"

"Whoat?" Sam peeped. "Nonono it was water Dean I ssswear..."

"Alright, fine," Dean sighed. "Where's Jessica?"

"I dunno I lost 'er."

"Okay, I'll just text her and the others. Let's get you to the car first."

"'righty."

Dean managed to get Sam out of the house while sending a text to Lisa and Jess to come find them and tell their friends they were leaving.

"If you puke in my car, I swear to God I'll kill you," he mumbled opening the rear door.

He was just getting Sam in the backseat when the girls arrived.

"What's going on, we're leaving?" Lisa asked.

"Well yeah, somehow Sam got drunk, I need to get him home. You don't mind, do you?" Dean felt a little guilty for ruining their party.

"Of course not!" Lisa said and got in the passenger seat. "You are just being an amazing brother, Dean."

He gave her a thankful smile. Meanwhile Jess had sat down next to Sam, talking to him worriedly. It took Sam about three minutes to fall asleep in her lap.

Dean drove home their girlfriends and eventually they arrived at their own house. For once Dean was grateful their dad wasn't around enough to bother staying up for them. Somehow he managed to get Sam into bed, then put a glass of water and some aspirin on the nightstand and bucket next to his brother's bed, just to be sure. You never knew if it might come in handy.

Chapter Text

Saturday morning Sam was completely hung over.

He wasn't used to drinking - at all - and it didn't help that he'd started with what apparently had been vodka. Still, despite of his lack of experience, how, for heaven's sake, was it possible he hadn't noticed he'd been drinking alcohol the entire evening?

"No, seriously, how did you not notice?" Dean asked him the next day for like the twentieth time.

"I don't know, Dean," he yelled, pissed because his brother wouldn't believe him. "It tasted like water, I swear, I had no idea!"

"Sam, I could almost smell it from ten feet away."

Sam rolled his eyes. "I told you I didn't know, what else do you want me to say, Dean? Somebody just spiked my drink, that's it!"

His brother laughed. "That wasn't a spike, Sammy, that was one glass of pure vodka."

"Can we just drop it?" he sighed. "It won't happen again. I'll be more careful next time, okay?"

Dean shrugged but Sam could still see the worry in his eyes and that made him smile. He knew that if his brother was being a jerk, he only did it because he cared about him and Sam couldn't be angry about that.

"Want to get ready for lunch?" he suggested as a peace offering.

"Yeah, sure," Dean agreed and then gave him a reassuring smile.

Lunch at the Roadhouse was amazing. Jess and Lisa really liked their dad and the feeling was mutual. John almost considered the girls his own daughters. Of course the three of them in particular liked to mock the two brothers but Sam didn't care. He'd got all the people he loved at one table, so he couldn't be happier.

The fact that Ellen, the owner, and her daughter Jo joined them after a while made it all the better. Sure, for a couple of months there had been some tension between Lisa and Jo, because Jo and Dean used to have something going on between them before he got back together with Lisa, but in the end the girls had resolved their differences and now they actually got along really well. And that sure as hell was a good thing, because Sam didn't think Ellen and Jo would ever disappear from their lives.

Speaking off hell, Sam had decided on something. He was going to find out who had been tricking him for the past few days. It had to be one and the same person, because there was no way all the incidents had just happened coincidentally. Sam was sure of that. So he was going to bust whoever it was and confront them with it. The fun had been taken out of it as soon as they'd gotten him drunk.

And on Monday Sam realized he would have to act quickly if he wanted to survive the rest of the week. It wasn't an easy task though. Whoever was doing this, was hiding their traces very carefully. He tried everything, kept an eye on the places where something might occur (and where eventually something did occur indeed), asked his friends to watch out for anything suspicious, he even started checking his every move twice in case some trap was waiting for him. To no avail of course. If Sam didn't know better he would have thought it to be magic.

"I don't think I can take this anymore," he sighed during the lunch break on Tuesday. Today had been the worst day of all and he couldn't wait to get home. "Who would do this to me? And why?"

"Did you piss of the Trickster or something?" Lisa said and they all looked at her in surprise.

"Who?" her boyfriend said.

"The Trickster," she said as if it was obvious. When no one responded, she looked at them incredulously. "Really? Am I the only one who knows all the gossip around here?"

They all gave her a shrug or a look of indifference. She let out a sigh and explained, "It's supposed to be one of the Shurleys who has this amazing gift for tricking people, as the nickname suggests."

Sam was dumbfounded. One of the Shurleys was doing this? What had he done wrong towards them? He hadn't even talked to any of them yet, since most didn't seem very eager to start a conversation and he was too shy to do it himself. "So which one is it?" he asked Lisa, still shocked from the revelation.

"I don't know," she confessed. "I'd think one of the older ones but that's just rumors."

"I could ask Michael," Dean proposed and now everyone was staring at him in astonishment.

"What did you just say?" Charlie managed to get out after a few seconds.

"Michael," Dean said casually. "Michael Shurley, I met him at the party."

"You met Michael Shurley?" Lisa gasped out.

"Yeah."

"Why didn't you tell me?" his girlfriend asked.

"Well, Sammy here was having a small breakdown, so I was a little bit preoccupied, you see," Dean joked and while patting Sam on the shoulder. "Thinking of it, I promised to fill him in on how things ended Friday night."

"You're becoming friends with him already?" Benny commented.

Dean raised his hands defensively. "What, so now trying to make friends is a crime?"

"'Course not," Charlie interfered. "But let's be honest, he'd be the first in his family."

"Friends or not, if one of them is doing this, I'll let them have it," Sam concluded.

"Oh, if they're the ones bullying you, they're gonna get it from me too, believe me," his brother agreed, immediately becoming protective of him.

He smiled thankfully at his older brother. With Dean by his side Sam knew he'd always be okay, no matter what.

It was Thursday when it happened.

Dean was driving them to school like every other day. There had been nothing special or different about that morning, nothing that could have foretold the tragedy that was about to occur. Sam was simply staring out of the window while Dean was humming along with the music.

Sam saw the smoke even before he heard the sirens. He quickly nudged his brother, a ball of fear tightening in his stomach. It couldn't be...

"Holy crap," Dean said, looking at the grey fumes. "Something's on fire."

Then Dean looked him in the eye and Sam could see realization kicking in.

They didn't need to say anything. They both knew who lived in the street the fire seemed to be situated in. So instead Dean took a turn in that same direction.

With every second they neared their destination Sam could feel his heart beating a little bit faster, his breath becoming a little bit heavier, his thoughts jumping back and forth but always coming back to the same one: it couldn't be her...

And then he saw it. The same house he'd visited at least twice a week for over a year now. The house that had welcomed him like a son. The house he'd gotten to know as well as his own.

Now it was ablaze.

For a moment Sam thought his heart had stopped.

The fire fighters had already arrived and now tried to gain control of the fire. In the back of his mind he could hear Dean swear but the words didn't really sink in. When the car stopped, he immediately got out, took a few steps towards the house, then suddenly came to a halt again. His thoughts were racing through his head but he couldn't think. He didn't know what to do. So he just stood there, frozen in space and time.

It can't be her, it can't be her...

He didn't notice Dean coming up to him or the tears running down his face.

She's already left for school, she wasn't at home anymore...

He'd offered to give her a ride to school a million times but she always used to say she liked the short walk, not wanting them to have to make a detour, as short as it may have been. At this hour she should already have left to make it in time. But who knew how long the house had been on fire before they arrived?

She's okay, she has to be okay...

Some of the firemen took a couple of steps back when a part of the second floor collapsed. Sam knew what was behind one of those windows right before the foundations gave in. He remembered the blue walls, the messy desk he tried to put straight every time he came over, the double bed her parents hadn't yet allowed him to spend the night in. It was all gone now. But he didn't think he would even care if she was okay.

He saw his brother heading to the fire fighters to talk to them but he doubted if he wanted to hear what they had to say.

Then suddenly a second car stopped right in front of the house and two familiar people got out. Mrs Moore's cry when she ran towards the house pierced right through his heart. Her husband caught up with her quickly and stopped her, pulling her into his arms and holding her tightly with a pained look on his face. She burst out in tears and clung to him desperately, while a fireman approached them. When Mrs Moore started crying even harder Sam knew enough and it felt as if he had just been hit by a truck. He frantically gasped for breath, a throbbing pain spread through his chest and it took him all of his will power to not have his legs give way.

He only realized Dean was talking to him when his brother put a hand on his shoulder. "... okay? Sam? Sammy? Hey, you listen to me, Sam, it's gonna be okay, alright? I know it hurts but you're gonna be okay. I'm right here for you, Sammy."

Somewhere during his words Sam had started to feel like he couldn't breathe. It was like the air was stuck in his lungs and he was choking on his own tears. He desperately tried to inhale but he just couldn't and suddenly he was sobbing uncontrollably.

"Hey hey hey," he heard his brother say and then Dean clasped him in his arms. Sam clutched to him like grim death.

"Deep breaths, Sammy," Dean kept repeating. "It's gonna be okay, just take deep breaths."

Eventually he managed to do what he was told but still he couldn't stop crying his heart out. The pain in his chest was beyond everything he'd ever experienced. The truth was like a needle slowly piercing itself through his heart, no matter how hard he tried to fight it and deny what was right in front of him.

When Dean finally let go of him, he turned to Jess' parents. They'd noticed them too and were now making their way towards him and his brother, Mrs Moore a few steps ahead of her husband. As soon as she reached Sam she hugged him as well. He didn't know what to say to her but apparently there was no need to say anything at all. They were both just crying silently, holding each other in an attempt to comfort one another though they knew they couldn't. This pain was way too severe to be swept away so easily.

Somehow they eventually parted and Dean got him in the car, heading back home. Sam supposed he wasn't going to go to school today. Somewhere between Jess' house and his own he finally ran out of tears and the excruciating pain was replaced by a numbness. This he liked better. It prevented him from thinking and he didn't want to think, afraid this one thought might coincidentally pop into his mind. He really didn't want to think that one thought.

They got home, Dean got him to their room and into his bed, going down afterwards to talk to their dad. Sam just lay down in his bed. Waiting. Waiting for this nightmare to be over.

Chapter Text

That first day Dean had convinced their dad to allow him to stay home from school. His brother even tried to get him the day off on Friday too but John wouldn't have it. Yes, he understood what his youngest son was going through, probably better than anyone else since he'd lost their mother and the love of his life too, years ago. Still, Sam needed to stay strong. He couldn't just give up, he had to keep fighting, no matter how hard it was.

They were actually just having an argument about it that morning when Sam had walked in and told the both of them, to their surprise, that he wanted to go to school. Dean tried to reason with him but he wouldn't give in and their father didn't try to stop him. So he went to school.

Of course he didn't really want to go. He knew all too well everything about the school would remind him of Jess and he didn't exactly look forward to people asking him questions, whispering behind his back or just staring at him sympathetically either.

But the alternative was staying home, alone, with nothing else to do than think. And he certainly couldn't have that. At least at school he had classes to attend, although he was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to pay attention to them properly. He had a purpose and a purpose was the only thing that could keep him from thinking.

He tried to avoid his friends. Sure, in the morning he had to deal with a hug of a crying Lisa and Kevin had come up to him to pet him on the shoulder reassuringly, but then he had left them with Dean and went to find a place of his own.

He found a hallway students passed less frequently and settled in a corner, hoping people would just ignore him and leave him alone. He didn't want company. He knew his friends meant well but he just couldn't. Their reactions would always be too much for him to bare right now, no matter what they would be. He knew it wasn't fair towards them but there just wasn't anything they could do right. It would always remind of Jessica. And above all, he just wanted to be alone.

The day went by that way. During every break he went back to his corner, just sitting there on the floor, waiting for his next class to arrive.

It was during the last break something finally gained his attention. He had been looking at his feet numbly, just staring off into nothing, when he'd suddenly heard a sound, very soft but surprisingly near. Then he'd looked up and there it was: a lollipop, lying at his feet. He quickly looked around the hallway in an attempt to find whoever dropped it but the only students present were too far off, engaged in their own conversations. Nobody even seemed to have noticed it happening.

With a confused frown on his face Sam picked up the lollipop. It was apple-flavored. He wasn't particularly fond of candy but if he had to choose...

For a moment he contemplated unwrapping it. Then a sarcastic thought arose in his mind: With the luck I'm having, it's probably poisoned...

And suddenly it hit him. The pranks had stopped. The entire day had gone by without as much as one suspicious incident.

For some reason this infuriated him. So now his girlfriend was dead they spontaneously felt bad for him? Now they were sorry about how they'd played him? Well, he didn't want their pity. If they were gonna trick him, fine, but at least they could have had the balls to not just drop out just because he'd turned into a pathetic little wreck. The least they could've done was trick him properly and treat him like a normal person.

Maybe then he'd have felt like a normal person.

He angrily threw the lollipop through the hallway, not even looking where it had landed. The last thing he needed right now was some stranger giving him candy like he was a four-year-old.

He spent the weekend mainly in his room. He could see Dean was worried about him but he was too tired to care. The days flashed by one by one, seemingly endlessly. He hadn't slept properly since the fire. Every time he closed his eyes he saw the house, or worse, he saw Jess. The nightmares were eating him alive.

His family, his friends, they all tried to help but there wasn't really anything they could do. So he shut them out. He felt empty, he felt so terribly empty and he couldn't do anything about it, because the alternative was even worse.

For weeks he strolled through the hallways at school without really seeing where he was going or who was watching him, until he had found his private spot.

Then one day everything changed.

He was sitting at his spot like usual when some students around him had begun whispering to each other excitedly. He looked up, annoyed his peace had been disturbed, but then he understood what the gossip was all about.

Through the school's main entrance walked a guy Sam had never seen before. Yet everyone seemed to know who he was, because they were all glancing at him not that subtly. The guy however ignored them all. He just carried on his way, looking quite bored, and casually ran his fingers through his spiky blonde hair.

Sam tried to pick up some of the rumors that were being told, but he could only make out one word: Shurley.

~~~

"Hi, Michael!" Dean shouted through the hallways.

The other boy turned and smiled brightly at him. "Hey, Dean! How are you doing?"

He just shrugged while catching up with Michael and heading to his locker together. They'd talked a lot to each other the last couple of weeks and Dean even dared to say they were becoming really good friends. Most of all, Michael had been a huge support for him when it came down to Sammy. Dean had been lost for ways to help his brother with his loss and he'd started to become pretty desperate about what to do next. Luckily Michael had given him some advice and although Sam was still making it hard on him, he finally felt like he was making at least some sort of progress.

"How's Sam?" Michael asked, as if he'd read his mind.

Dean let out a sigh. The thought of his brother alone was enough to worry him. "Not much's changed. I'm trying... hell, everyone is trying, but honestly I'm not sure he even wants help anymore."

Michael smiled at him reassuringly. "He'll be okay, just give him some time."

"I know, I know," he grumbled. "Thanks, Mike."

"No problem," Michael said and gave his shoulder a little squeeze. "Hey, do you happen to have any plans for the weekend?"

Dean shrugged again. "Don't think so. Why?"

"I don't know, I just thought maybe we could go have some fun. You can bring Lisa and the others too if you want."

A little bit taken by surprise Dean replied, "Uhm... Yeah sure, man. I mean, I still have to check in with my dad, but that'd actually would be great, thanks."

"Of course. And hey, if Sam wants to come too..." Michael began.

Dean laughed a little. "'Cause that's gonna happen."

"You never know. I can bring one of my brothers too, just in case he'd like to."

"I'll let you know, alright?" Dean said, stopping at his locker.

"Perfect. See you later!" Michael waved goodbye at him before leaving.

Dean shook his head while getting some things out of his locker.

Then suddenly a voice right behind him said, "You really seem bloody tight with that Shurley boy lately."

"Jesus, Crowley," Dean turned around, immediately recognizing the accent. "Could you not jump up behind people like that?"

"Bad conscience?" his classmate asked. Dean didn't know how else to identify him. They'd had a period one might have considered them friends but this was Crowley: the guy didn't just make friends, unless they served a useful purpose. Right now they were on good terms with each other but Crowley had no problem switching sides when it suited him.

So Dean decided to just go for it, "What do you want?"

"Who says I want something?"

"Well, there's gotta be a reason you're sneaking up on me, so spit it," he said, leaning against his locker.

Crowley sighed dramatically. "Well, if you're asking, let's just say my business is a little bit... threatened."

Dean already regretted his decision. Everybody knew Crowley had some underground business going. Dean didn't know what it exactly was Crowley did, but he was pretty sure it was illegal and he didn't really want to know either. "So what has that to do with me?"

The guy shrugged. "I was just hoping you might want to help me out a bit."

"And how am I supposed to do that?"

"Glad you asked. As a matter of fact it has something to do with that new friend of yours. There are rumors his long lost brother is back in town."

Dean frowned. "Wait, you mean the one send away by their father? What does he have to do with your business?"

"Let's just say he is a kind of competitor to me and my business."

"I still don't see why you're involving me in this pile of shit."

"You're friends with Shurley Senior. So tell him to keep his little brother under control. That's all I'm asking for."

"Why would I help you?" he asked distrustfully.

Crowley let out a laugh. "Believe me, squirrel, you don't want that bastard around here any more than I do."

Dean raised his hands in surrender. What else was he supposed to do anyway? "Fine. I'll do what I can."

"Lovely," Crowley smirked, before striding off.

Dean just hoped he hadn't just gotten himself into a lot of trouble.

Chapter Text

Dean was in front of his bedroom, building up the courage to go in. Of course it was his room too and he knew he was being ridiculous but since the fire Sam had barely left it and Dean only got in to sleep, wanting to give his brother some privacy to deal with his emotions. It didn't help he knew Sam wasn't going to be very happy with what he had to say.

He mumbled to himself to get over it and knocked before he could change his mind. He opened the door and saw his brother lying on the bed, basically what he was always doing the last couple of days. He didn't even look up when Dean entered.

"Hi, Sammy," he tried as cheerfully as possible.

"Hey," Sam just said.

"Listen," Dean started. "Michael asked if we wanna go out this weekend..."

Sam was already opening his mouth to protest, so he quickly added, "It's not a party or anything, just us, hanging around together, have some fun you know."

"Dean," his brother said in a difficult voice.

"I know, I know," he said putting up his hands in surrender. "I know you need time and I get it and I'm not gonna push you, but... I just think this might actually do you some good, okay? You don't need to give me an answer now but would you at least consider it? Please?"

He felt a tiny spark of hope when Sam slowly nodded. It wasn't much but at this point he'd gladly take it.

He gave his brother a warm smile. "Thanks, Sammy."

Then he left their room and got out his phone, quickly sending a message to Michael.

He didn't say no...

It only took the other boy a couple of seconds to reply.

That's great! What do you think, Saturday 5pm at the park?

Dean couldn't help but grin at the thought of meeting up with his friends.

Awesome, cu then!

He was just about to send Lisa a message but then changed his mind. If Sam decided to join them, Dean'd let him pick who was coming and he wasn't sure it wouldn't be painful for his brother to see him with his girlfriend.

Instead he just put his phone away and went downstairs to come up with an excuse for their dad.

~~~

Saturday afternoon Sam was sitting on the side of his bed. He honestly didn't know what to do. Of course he wanted to make his brother happy and somewhere deep down he knew Dean was right. But meeting up with Michael Shurley? Sam had never even spoken to the guy. Sure, he was friends with Dean and his brother had told him they could bring some of their other friends too, but Sam still felt a little uncomfortable about the whole idea. And even without all of that he still was anything but excited. Somehow he felt like having fun would be some sort of betrayal towards Jess and even the thought of that made him feel guilty.

So when he heard a knock on the door and his brother walked in, Sam hung his head.

"You coming?" Dean asked hopefully.

Not trusting his voice, Sam just looked at him apologetically. He could immediately see the disappointment in his brother's eyes, quickly followed by a look of pain and worry. For a moment Sam thought he was going to try to convince him anyways, but Dean just remained silent, gave him a slow nod and grasped the handle.

"I'm sorry, Dean," he tried but his brother had already shut the door behind him, leaving Sam alone again.

~~~

Dean slammed the door of the Impala, got his phone out and quickly sent Lisa, Benny, Charlie and Jo a text to meet up. He hoped at least some of them would be able to make it this last-minute.

He wasn't going to deny it, Dean was pissed, at his brother for shutting him out, but even more at himself for not knowing what else there was for him to do about it. He'd tried about everything and failed miserably, time after time.

When he got to the park, he recognized two of the cars and concluded Lisa and Michael must have already arrived. He quickly parked his own and walked in, glancing around to find his friends. After a couple of seconds he noticed them sitting on a blanker together under a tree, next to a basket and two guys behind them Dean identified as Michael's brothers.

"Hey, sweetie!" Lisa greeted him excitedly as he approached them.

She got up and he put his arms around her, kissing her lovingly. Somehow she made everything so much easier.

"So I take it Sam didn't feel like joining us?" Michael asked with a playful smile.

Dean sighed and turned to Michael, without letting go of his girlfriend. "Nope. I tried everything but he just wouldn't."

He was just about to introduce himself to Michael's brothers when someone behind him shouted, "What's up, bitches?"

Dean turned with a huge smile on his face. Charlie was practically running towards them, Jo a couple of steps behind her. They all exchanged greetings before they sat down.

"Is Benny coming too?" Lisa asked and Charlie shook her head.

"He couldn't make it," she said, quickly exchanging a look with Dean. They both knew Benny probably just hadn't felt like coming. Sure, Dean was his best friend and he also liked Charlie and the others, but he wasn't that keen on new people and Dean and Charlie respected that.

In the meantime Michael had opened the basket.

"Anyone in for a picnic?" he asked while tossing Dean a beer.

"Oh my gosh, you are my new best friend," Lisa said as she began to dig through the food. It was only one of the reasons why Dean loved her so much.

Immediately everybody started grabbing food and shouting claims. It was pure chaos, but it was the happiest, most joyful chaos Dean had experienced in a while. Until this moment he hadn't realized how much he'd need this and he was incredibly grateful Michael had suggested it.

After they were done eating Michael got out a football and they all got up and began messing around, kicking or throwing it at each other randomly, no rules. At a certain point Dean was running around with the ball in his arms when Michael tackled him. They fell to the ground, laughing so hard it hurt, and it was only after a couple of seconds that Michael got off of him and offered him a hand, which Dean gratefully took.

They played like that for at least an hour before Dean was so tired he went to grab another beer as a refreshment. He only noticed then Michael's brothers were still sitting by the tree. One of them, a short guy with golden hair, had actually climbed up onto one of the branches and was eating gummy bears without paying attention to what was going on below him. The other one was sitting a little further off, watching the play attentively.

Dean realized with a shock that he knew the guy. Well, at least he knew who he was, it was the same boy he had approached at Balthazar's party when he had been looking for Sam, the one in the trenchcoat.

"Hi," he said, while getting seated beside him and taking a sip from his beer. "I don't think we've properly met yet. The name is Dean Winchester."

"I know," the other boy said and Dean immediately thought back at the conversation they'd had at the Shurleys'.

"So... who are you?"

"Castiel."

"You're in Sam's class, right? I remember you from the party. I'm sorry if I was a little rude back then, I was just worried about my brother."

Castiel gave him a little smile. "It's no problem."

After a couple of seconds of uncomfortable silence Dean asked, "So Michael dragged you along with him?"

"He wanted Sam to have some company in case you'd bring him," Castiel shrugged.

"Well, I'm sorry you had to come all this way for nothing," Dean sighed. After a couple seconds of silence he added, "I didn't know you two knew each other that well."

"We don't really. Michael just wanted someone from our class. Hannah is the most sociable one but she already had plans, so I guess that's why he chose me."

Dean frowned. "That sounds a little bit... superficial, don't you think? You really think that's the only reason he asked you?"

Castiel shrugged again. "It's the only thing he could go by."

"What about your personality?" Dean laughed mockingly.

The boy looked him in the eye and he was taken aback by how blue they were. The contrast with his dark hair was actually quite beautiful. But he also saw something in them he couldn't quite identify. Hurt? Acceptance?

"I really doubt he knows me well enough to decide if I'd make a good friend for Sam."

Now Dean was even more at a loss. "What are you talking about, he's your brother. He should know you better than anyone in the world." At least that was the case between him and Sammy. Or that's what he'd thought before the last couple of weeks.

Castiel smiled at him. "It's not his fault, Dean. In our family it's impossible to have such a close relationship with all of your siblings."

"Yeah, now you mention it, how many of you are there?" he grinned, taking another pull from his drink.

"Millions," Castiel answered plainly and Dean burst out in laughter at the comment. The boy gave him a puzzled look but it didn't really get through to him.

"So what about your brother?" he eventually said, his hand motioning at the tree.

For a moment Castiel's eyes wandered to his brother, then he just looked back at the game. "He wanted to come. I don't know why though, he's been edgy for weeks."

"Why?"

"Don't know."

"Not that close to him either?" Dean joked and Castiel smiled shyly at him again.

"He really shouldn't have bothered bringing the two of you though," he continued. "No point in putting so much effort into it while it's hopeless anyways."

"He just wanted to make you happy."

Dean laughed a little. "That's very kind of him but he doesn't need to worry about me."

"I think he wants to. Your happiness seems... important to him," Castiel said, his eyes back on the game.

"Why's that?"

"Because he's attracted to you."

Dean nearly choked on his beer. He actually coughed a couple of times before he could bring out in a rasping voice, "What?"

"Michael is attracted to you," Castiel simply repeated. Then he looked back at Dean. "You didn't know."

"No, I didn't know," the Winchester protested. What the hell was he supposed to do with this? "Why?" Probably not the most rational question at the moment but his brain seemed to have problems functioning.

"Because you're attractive," Castiel replied without hesitation, making Dean flushing red and even more uncomfortable.

"But..." he tried, although he had no idea how to finish his sentence. He didn't know what to say, what to think even.

"I'm straight!" was the first thing that came to him.

Castiel looked at him in disbelief. "If you say so."

Now Dean was getting annoyed. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing."

"Dude, I'm straight as a ruler."

"Alright, Dean," the other boy answered with that little smile of his.

Dean looked around, searching for a way out of this stupid conversation, then realized he didn't really have one. He could either stay here or go back to the game with Michael, who apparently was into him.

"I have a girlfriend," he eventually said.

"Yes."

"So let's just say, hypothetically, if I was attracted to dudes as well," he pulled a face while saying it, "then what? Would he have tried to break up me and Lisa?"

"I don't know, Dean. It's not like I've talked to him about it," Castiel sighed. He was clearly done with this conversation, but Dean wasn't.

"Wait," he said, suddenly remembering something. "At the party you told me you'd heard him talk about me with one of your other brothers."

"Zachariah, yes. Why?"

"Was this what they were talking about?" Dean asked, his eyes big with surprise.

"Yes."

"But I'd barely met him at that point!"

"Dean, would you stop it?" Castiel snapped. "For Heaven's sake, he likes you. It's not like he's madly in love with you, he isn't going to ask you to marry him or anything, he just likes you. It's not a big deal."

Dean was about to reply when he heard someone chuckling behind him.

"Jesus, you two fight like an old married couple," Michael's other brother laughed.

"Shut up, Gabriel," Castiel growled at him before turning back to Dean. "Listen, I can't tell you how to feel or act but I need you to know two things. First of all, Michael is still your friend, nothing more. Secondly, don't hurt him. He's been through enough. We all have."

And with that Castiel stood up and walked away from him.

Chapter Text

Dean didn't know what to do. He didn't know what to think. He didn't know how to act in front of Michael. He didn't know how to act in front of Lisa. And he sure as hell didn't know how to act in front of Michael and Lisa.

When he got home, Sam asked him about the park but he was too confused to answer. Michael liked him, he actually liked him. What was he supposed to do with that?

"Dean, are you okay?" Sam asked hesitantly.

He felt like hitting himself in the face. The last thing he wanted was for Sam to worry about him. "It's nothing, Sammy."

"Yeah, right," his younger brother answered sarcastically. "Did you have a fight with Lisa or something?"

"No. Don't worry about it, okay?"

Sam was about to push but Dean gave him a look that made it crystal clear he didn't want to talk about it.

"Alright," Sam mumbled and he immediately regretted his distant behavior. He should be happy Sam finally wanted to talk to him. He turned back to his brother, but Sam was already back at reading some book and Dean couldn't shake the feeling he'd screwed up again.

Next Monday he still hadn't found a solution for all of his problems. So when he saw Michael making his way towards him and Lisa, he practically froze.

Of course he knew he was acting like a complete idiot but he couldn't help it. Michael's brother was right, it really wasn't that big a deal but only the thought of Michael thinking about him that way made him feel extremely uncomfortable. On the other hand, Michael was a great friend and Dean honestly didn't want to lose him.

"Hi, Dean," Michael greeted him and he answered with a smile. "How was the rest of your weekend?"

"Fine," Dean said in a voice that even sounded weird to him. He tried again, "It was fine, thanks."

"What about Sam?"

Dean shrugged and started walking to his first class. "He'll be okay."

"I'm sure he will be," Michael said, squeezing his shoulder reassuringly and making Dean slightly tense up.

He didn't want to but he couldn't help it either. He was thinking about something to say when he suddenly remembered something. "So hey, I heard your brother is back?"

Now Michael was the one who seemed tense. "Yes, I heard that too."

Dean looked at him in surprise. "You haven't talked to him?"

"And I'm not planning to," the oldest Shurley grumbled. "My family doesn't want anything to do with him anymore."

Gone was his plan to help Crowley out. "Sounds a little bit harsh, don't you think?"

Michael gave him a glare. "You don't know my brother, Dean. I'll see you later."

And then he turned and walked away.

~~~

Sam was sitting in his corner. Again.

Everybody had told him the pain and hurt would fade away but so far they hadn't. But Sam had found another way to deal with his feelings.

His anger would be far more useful if it was pointed at someone else.

The pranks, the lollypop, it was about time Sam found out who they were from. He remembered clearly what Lisa had told him, about one of the Shurleys whose nickname was 'the Trickster', and he was determined to define which one.

Sam stood up, in his head making a list of all the possibilities. All his fellow sophomores were way to serious, so he doubted if it was one of them, and Michael wasn't the type either. He did however have a perfect first candidate.

He wandered through the hallways, on the lookout for Balthazar. From what Dean had told him, he'd figured the guy was quite the troublemaker. And of course he was also the one who had invited him to the party. Sure, it was his party and he hadn't invited Sam directly but it was the only thing he could go by right now.

He found Balthazar, surprisingly, with Crowley and his friends, talking quietly to each other. They were too far off for him to able to hear what they were saying, so he tried to get a little closer. Just as he was almost within earshot, Crowley handed something to Balthazar and the Shurley walked away.

Sam tried to follow him as subtly as possible, which was a lot harder than he'd thought. He managed to keep track of him long enough though to see him getting something from his pocket and then throwing it without stopping to someone near the lockers.

Sam gasped at the events in surprise and then pointed his gaze towards the boy who'd caught the mysterious object. He didn't know the guy's name but he had seen him before. He was one of the older Shurleys, a Senior like Michael. Balthazar just kept on walking though, not even looking at the other one.

Just as Sam was wondering about what the brothers had exchanged, the boy put it away.

And then he pulled out a sucker.

Sam could barely believe his eyes, his jaw dropping. Anyone who was watching him probably thought he was crazy.

This was the guy who had been playing pranks on him? He didn't even know his name! What could he have possibly done to draw this boy's attention?

The boy put the lollypop in his mouth and ran a hand through his dark golden hair before taking off. Of course Sam followed him.

He didn't need to wait long to see the Trickster do his thing.

The Shurley boy walked past some lockers and tapped one of them. A couple of seconds later the owner tried to open it and it slammed right into their face. Sam couldn't help but laugh at the practical joke, although he had no idea how the guy had pulled it off. It didn't matter, the Trickster was long gone. He hadn't even turned around to watch when the locker had burst open.

Sam ran after him, carefully watching the distance between them. It was amazing actually. Wherever the Senior passed drinking fountains would spout in people's faces, books were dropped or students ran into each other. When Azazel, one of Dean's classmates they both absolutely hated, walked by, his jeans suddenly came down and Sam burst into laughter. Luckily he wasn't the only one but still he'd apparently caught the Trickster's eye, because the older boy turned around and looked straight at him.

For a moment Sam panicked: he had been following the guy for minutes after all. But the only thing he got was a playful smile, before the Shurley continued his way. Somehow Sam felt like he was actually inviting the Winchester to follow him. So that's what he did.

They wandered through the hallways, accidents happening all around them, even more than before. Sam smiled. Jess would love this...

He suddenly came to a halt. Jess. How could he have forgotten about her? Sure, the point of his research had been to get his mind off of her, but he hadn't planned on this, on having fun without even thinking about her. Pangs of guilt shot through his chest. He hadn't meant to abandon her...

As he stood there, Azazel passed him again and apparently he'd noticed Sam laughing at him earlier.

"What is it, Winchester? Crying over that dead bitch of yours?" he snarled.

Sam looked at him in shock, unable to come up with a reply. The only thing he felt was the sting of Azazel's words and the tears welling up in his eyes. He was just about to turn and run away when Azazel let out a panicked scream. For about a second he had no idea what was going on but then he looked down. And saw Azazel's shoe was on fire. Sam quickly gazed around, looking for what could have caused this. His eyes landed on the Trickster, who was staring straight at him.

He'd done this, Sam just knew it. He didn't know how but he didn't even care. He looked back at Azazel, at the fire, then at the Shurley boy. Normally he might have laughed at it. Now all he could see were the flames Azazel was desperately trying to stamp out.

Yes, he hated Azazel. He wished the guy all the bad karma he deserved. But this? Putting someone on fire? Maybe he only reacted this way because of what had happened to Jess, but it somehow infuriated him. This wasn't a joke, this was painful, even dangerous!

He glared back at the Trickster, the rage clearly visible in his eyes. The guy was still watching him and now pulled out his sucker but that was all. The fire wouldn't go out.

So Sam turned his back at him and walked away. This wasn't something he wanted to be part of.

Chapter Text

Sam was still pissed at the end of the week. It was Thursday and he was back at his corner. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't forget about the Trickster deliberately bringing someone in so much danger, even if that person was Azazel. The fact that he'd done it as a reaction on Azazel's snarling at Sam only made it worse somehow, like he was responsible in a way.

When it came to the Trickster himself, Sam hadn't had any contact with him anymore. Whenever he passed the Shurley, he just gave the other boy a glare before looking away. He was ignored completely anyway.

Today was just another one of these days. The Trickster walked by and Sam watched him angrily. He was actually watching so attentively he didn't even notice someone coming up to him.

"Not a big fan of them either, huh?"

Sam jumped at the voice so close to him. Still in shock he looked up, only to see a guy he had never seen before. Or did he? Then it hit him: this was the school's newest student, the one everybody had been whispering about.

The blonde boy seemed like he was waiting for an answer, but honestly Sam couldn't remember what he'd said in the first place.

"Sorry, what?" he asked in confusion. Why was this guy even talking to him?

The stranger smiled at him engagingly. "The Shurleys. At least I'm assuming that's why you were looking so annoyed at one."

"It was just him actually," Sam answered, embarrassed. "I don't really know any of the others. Although I have to admit they're all a little bit weird."

The guy laughed and motioned to the spot next to him. Sam gestured he could sit down and he did.

"You said 'either', right?" he remarked. "You don't like them?"

"Absolutely despise them," the boy grinned. Then he put out his hand. "Lucifer Shurley."

For a couple of seconds Sam was dumbfounded. This guy was a Shurley? But... Then he remembered what Lisa had told them about the Chuck Shurley's lost son and he laughed, shaking his head.

He took Lucifer's hand and shook it. "Sam Winchester."

The other boy's eyes grew wide. "Winchester? As in Dean Winchester's brother? My brother has quite the thing for him."

Sam frowned. He can't mean it like that, right?

"Not that I care," Lucifer continued. "Not anymore at least. What's your deal with our beloved Trickster anyway?"

"He uh..." Sam stuttered. "He put someone on fire actually. It was really dangerous."

A corner of the guy's mouth turned upwards. "Yeah, that sounds about right."

"I mean tricking people is one thing but this could have really gotten out of hand. Someone could have get hurt."

Lucifer shrugged. "That's just my family, I guess. They only think about themselves, never about the people around them. They don't care who they hurt as long as they can have their way."

"Sounds like they're all big bags of dicks."

The blonde laughed loudly. "They really are." Then he looked at Sam seriously again. "But you don't think he's responsible for what happened to your girlfriend, right?"

Sam felt like his heart had just dropped into his stomach. The words shocked him. He'd never even thought about that and he was pretty sure it wasn't something worth considering. But now the idea was there and he couldn't get it out anymore. He didn't even question Lucifer knowing about Jess.

"I... No," he quickly said. "Of course not. He wouldn't do that. Right?" Why was the insecurity suddenly eating its way through his brain?

"No, no, I'm sure he wouldn't," Lucifer tried to comfort him, putting a hand on his shoulder. When it didn't seem to work, he grabbed Sam's chin, turned his face back towards him and looked him in the eyes. "Hey," he said. "You're right. He would never do that. Okay?"

Sam nodded hastily and forced a small smile. "Thanks."

"You're welcome," Lucifer smirked, letting go of him and getting up. "You need some distraction. What do you say you and I get out of this shithole?"

The Winchester blushed immediately. "Oh no, I can't just skip school. I've got classes and..."

"Forget about classes," Lucifer interrupted him before grabbing his hand and pulling him up. "You've been sitting in this corner for days. You need to let go a little more, Sam. You know, having fun? Remember what that means?"

Sam started protesting again but the other guy was already dragging him through the hallways. Maybe he's right. One day wouldn't so bad, would it? So he decided to just follow Lucifer's lead.

~~~

"I'm sorry, okay?" Michael dropped down on the chair across from Dean. "I was an ass the other day. I shouldn't have worked it out on you. It's just that my brother is a bit of a sore subject."

"Hey, it's fine," Dean said through a mouthful of fries. The food at this school sucked but the fries were amazing. "We all have our family drama, right?"

Michael smiled. "Right. Hey, do you guys wanna hang around a bit after school?" he asked, looking to and fro between Dean and Lisa, who was sat beside her boyfriend.

"Sure," Lisa said and Dean nodded.

"I do have to take Sammy home first," he added.

"Of course, no problem," Michael said before getting back up. "I'll just wait for you at the parking lot."

"Thanks," Dean said and put some more fries into his mouth.

~~~

Sam was standing in the parking lot, frozen in awe and having trouble keeping his mouth closed. How had he never noticed the shining red vehicle before? "You own a '62 Corvette?"

Lucifer let out a whistle before grinning at him playfully. "Somebody knows their cars."

"Yeah, my brother is into this kinda stuff," he said, still wondering how the guy had possibly gotten his hands on a car like this. "He'd love this." On the other hand, who wouldn't?

"Hey, if he wants to check it out, you can tell him he can always drop by sometime," Lucifer said casually while walking around his car and getting into the driver's seat. He looked at a still speechless Sam. "You comin'?"

The Winchester snapped out of it. "Yeah, sure," he mumbled while opening the passenger's door and taking a seat. "Where are we going?"

Lucifer smirked at him before starting the engine and taking off. "You'll see."

"I... I'm not that into surprises," he tried in vain.

"Oh come on, Sam, live a little. You're what? Sixteen? The world is lying at your feet, so enjoy it while you can. Take what you want, you can apologize later. The clocks are turning, Sam. It's now or never."

Sam bit his lip, thinking about Lucifer's words. He was right. When was the last time he'd done something simply because he enjoyed it? Since Jess... jesus, he couldn't even remember what enjoying something felt like.

"So? What do you say?" Lucifer asked.

He took a deep breath and smiled at his new friend. "Now."

Lucifer grinned. "Now that's what I'm talking about."

The rest of the ride they spent in silence, The Rolling Stones playing in the background. Sam recognized the song but he couldn't remember what it was called. Eventually Lucifer stopped nearby the city center, in front of an old building with booming rock music coming out of it, and got out. Above the black door at the side of the building was a red neon board with the 'The Cage' on it. Sam suddenly realized this was probably a club, and an underground one too by the looks of it.

Lucifer had noticed his hesitation and leaned on the passenger's door. "You're not going to back down now, are you?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"No alcohol," Sam stated. He remembered his last experience with drinking very vividly and wasn't ready for a second round.

"Fine. Who needs alcohol anyways? We have classic rock," the boy grinned and held out his hand.

Sam rolled his eyes, opened the door and grabbed it. He followed Lucifer towards the door. There was a guy standing beside it but he simply nodded at Lucifer before letting them pass. They got in and Sam was overwhelmed by the sound of electric guitars and drums. He thought about how his brother might actually like a place like this. Dean loved classic rock.

Thinking about his brother he quickly got out his phone. School would be over soon and he doubted he would be back in time.

'You don't need to take me home after school, I've got a ride.'

The response came only seconds later.

'Awesome. Imma hang around with Lisa and Michael, so won't be home soon'

Sam typed back a simple 'Okay' and put his phone away. Meanwhile Lucifer led him down the stairs and they entered a room with a surprising amount of people for this time of the day.

"So what's next?" Sam shouted in an attempt to drown out the music.

"What do you mean?" Lucifer yelled back. "We dance of course!"

With that he dragged Sam towards the dance floor and started moving to the beat. Sam was a bit reluctant at first but he had to admit Lucifer's enthusiasm was contagious and soon enough he was dancing as fiercely as the Shurley boy. The music switched from classic rock to old pop songs and more contemporary rock and back. Sam only knew about half the songs but he didn't care. They sang along as well as they could and improvised otherwise. When "The Black Parade" came on they shouted the lyrics at the top of their lungs. They laughed and swung around until they were dizzy and he couldn't remember the last time he'd been this happy. Sure, he thought about Jessica too and her memory was like a needle carving in his flesh. But he also knew she was gone, there was nothing he could change about that, and she would have wanted him to be happy. For the first time since the fire thinking about her actually made him smile. The thought of her dancing with him, laughing, holding his hand. How she would have liked this place, would have teased him about skipping school and being such a dork. Yes, she was gone. But she would always be with him.

Chapter Text

During his last hour Dean got a text from Lisa saying she wouldn't be able to come along with him and Michael after school. Dean sighed. For a moment he contemplated cancelling the whole thing but decided against it. Michael didn't deserve that. And after all Dean still liked the guy. As a friend.

But that didn't change the fact he got a very uncomfortable, tingly feeling every time he saw Michael. He wished Castiel had never told him how the other boy felt. He really shouldn't care this much but he did. Not about Michael being bisexual, hell he couldn't care less, but being the subject of it? It was just weird.

So when school ended, he was ready for even more awkward feelings.

Michael was already waiting for him at the parking lot, next to his car.

"Hi," Dean greeted him when he was within earshot. "Lisa couldn't make it, so it's just the two of us."

"That's too bad," Michael replied sympathetically.

"So what are we gonna do?"

Michael shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe we can grab a bite first? At the Roadhouse?"

Dean couldn't help but grin. He'd told Michael how much he loved that place. "Don't need to say that twice."

"Want to take your car?"

"Sure," he answered and they got in.

They mainly spent the drive towards the diner in silence. Once in a while Michael would make some small remark but otherwise the only sound in the car was the Led Zeppelin music. Dean had expected it to be uncomfortable but surprisingly enough it wasn't, not really. It was as if they'd come to a silent agreement to just enjoy each other's company.

When they got to the Roadhouse, they were greeted by a smiling Ellen.

"Dean," she said. "Who's your friend?"

"Hi, I'm Michael," the older boy introduced himself while shaking her hand. "Nice to meet you."

"Likewise. I'm Ellen, Jo's mom. I've heard a lot about you."

Michael laughed. "Only the good stuff I hope."

"Sure thing, honey," she smiled and led them to a table. "You boys want to order now or should I come back later?"

"For me just the usual," Dean replied thankfully.

"Hadn't expected anything else." She looked at Michael. "What about you?"

After glancing a quick look at the menu Michael said, "I'll have the roast beef, bacon and cheddar sandwich please. And a coke."

"Alright, coming right up," Ellen smiled before leaving the two boys by themselves.

"So what's the usual?" Michael asked, curiosity clearly visible in his eyes.

Dean grinned. "Apple pie. What else?"

Michael rolled his eyes at him and mumbled he should have known. Dean couldn't help but laugh at him.

Ellen brought their food rather quickly and Dean dug in as if his life depended on it. Michael raised an eyebrow at him but apparently didn't bother mentioning it.

He then tried his sandwich and let out a satisfied moan. "Wow, this is good."

"I know, right?" Dean said through a mouth full of pie. "This place is awesome."

Michael laughed and continued eating. Dean sneakily glanced at him for a moment. Why had he ever thought this would be uncomfortable? Sure, at first he did think it was a little bit weird that Michael liked him, but now they were just hanging around together, it felt completely normal. They were friends, pretty good friends actually, even if they had only known each other for about a month. He wasn't going to give up on that for something so little.

Besides, he would get over Dean soon enough. If Michael wanted to, he could have plenty of admirers lying at his feet. He was handsome, kind and caring, honest and righteous. He knew what it was like to be a big brother, to be responsible for someone and Dean respected that above anything else. He didn't talk often about his brothers but when he did, his eyes lit up with pride. Dean knew what that was like. Michael was one of the best people he knew. Sure, he seemed a little reserved but Dean had come to know he was just being protective over his family. They actually had a lot in common now he'd thought of it. Obviously Dean was a bit more impulsive, shoot-first-ask-questions-later, that kinda thing, but he somehow liked it better that Michael compensated this with his calm, rational nature. They complemented each other. Maybe they would in fact be a nice couple. If Dean wouldn't be straight of course.

I mean, he's hypothetically definitely not unattractive, Dean thought while taking another bite of his pie. For a moment he allowed himself to imagine what a relationship with Michael would be like. Walking through the hallways at school together, having picnics in the park, they'd already done those things, but now Dean thought of them without all his other friends being there. Well, perhaps their brothers could join them, Sammy of course, Balthazar, Castiel, the tree guy whose name he'd already forgotten, maybe even Zachariah. He would like that actually. They were both way too serious for chick-flick moments, but occasionally they could do these little couply things like holding hands or giving a quick kiss. And of course the sex would be...

Dean choked on his pie and started coughing violently. Why the hell had he just thought that?! He didn't want sex with Michael!

He looked up again, back to feeling very, very uncomfortable. Jesus, he had been so preoccupied imagining them together, he hadn't even noticed Michael had started talking again. Well, at least he had been a couple of seconds ago. Now he just looked at Dean worriedly.

"Are you okay?" he asked with a frown.

"Yeah, peachy," Dean answered while taking a good mouthful of his soda and clearing his throat.

"Are you sure, 'cause you seem a little... disturbed."

Well, you'd be disturbed too if you had just been thinking about... "I'm fine, thanks."

Michael shrugged and finished his sandwich. "Alright."

"So..." Dean tried to continue the conversation. "You were saying?" Please don't tell me you love me.

"Well, so I do wanna apply to Harvard or Yale, nothing ventured, nothing gained, you know."

College. I can handle college.

"But even so, what program am I going to pick? I don't know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I thought about Religion for a while. Or maybe something in Economics. Do you know what you're going to do after finishing high school?"

Dean laughed. "Dude, I'd be surprised if I knew the day before I started college. I mean, I honestly don't even know if want to go to college."

"So what do you want to do?"

He thought about it for a moment before answering, "Well, I always loved cars. Or maybe I can become a carpenter or something. As long as I can work with my hands, you know."

Michael smiled at him. "Yeah, I can see that, you being practical."

Dean smiled back. Then caught himself and stopped. Then did it again so it wouldn't seem suspicious. I'm such an idiot...

"Dean, are you sure everything's alright?" Michael sighed. "You've been acting weird... well, all day actually."

And apparently he hadn't been subtle about it. "It's nothing, man," he lied. "Just a bad night of sleep. And with everything that's been going on lately..."

Michael nodded understandingly. "Of course, you're absolutely right. But hey, if you ever want to talk about it..."

He looked Dean straight in the eye and for a moment the Winchester thought he was going to put his hand on his or something like that. Luckily, he didn't. So why did he feel a sting of disappointment? Stop it, would you? He's your friend. For fuck's sake, get your shit together, Dean.

"Thanks," he answered with a smile that felt very unnatural.

"So where do you wanna go next?" Michael asked and Dean knew it was gonna be a long day.

After the Roadhouse they wandered around the city a little, talking, hanging around at random places. It was quite nice actually. Or at least it would have been if Dean had been able to shake the strange feeling in his gut. He tried, he really did. And there were moments when Michael had his full attention, but then he always started to worry about what that meant. He found himself unable to come up with a conclusion.

A couple of hours later they got back to the Impala and he offered to drop Michael off at home. He remembered his way to the Shurleys' house and when they got there, he was surprised by how normal it looked in the light of day. It was still huge of course, but it didn't look like a party castle anymore.

"Thanks for the ride," Michael said and unlocked his seat belt.

"Sure man, no problem," he grinned.

The other boy smiled back at him. "And thank you for today. I needed a break."

"Don't we all sometimes?" he said and looked at Michael. Their gazes locked and Dean was startled by the Shurley's eyes. How have I never noticed how beautiful they are?

Michael gave him a small smile before opening the door. "I'll see you tomorrow, Dean."

He had never driven home so fast.

Sam was nowhere to be found and on his kitchen table lay a note from his dad, saying he got another job. Great.

He got out his phone and started texting Charlie.

'Hey I need your help with something'

He got a reply only seconds later: 'Sure, what is it?'

'I need you to get me somebody's number'

She tried to find out why he wanted it for a while but after a lot of avoiding she dropped it and about half an hour later she sent him the number. He called it immediately.

"Hello?" a deep voice answered.

"Castiel, it's Dean Winchester. I need to talk to you."

Chapter Text

Sam and Lucifer were sitting on a brick wall behind The Cage. It was almost 6pm so Lucifer had ordered a pizza and this was the ideal place to eat it.

He had to admit it was fun hanging around with the older boy. He truly couldn't understand why Lucifer's dad would have kicked him out. Sam did want to know though. He was just too polite to ask and he didn't want to invade Lucifer's privacy. If he wanted to tell Sam, he would.

"So how did you even find this place?" he asked instead.

Lucifer shrugged and smirked at him. "Just the underground life, I guess. You can't find it if you don't know it's there, but if you do..."

"So do you have to be invited or something?" Sam frowned.

"If you're gonna wait until they invite you, you're gonna have to wait a very long time," Lucifer laughed. "No, it's more of a 'fight your way in' kinda thing. You have to earn your place in a club like this, prove you're worth something."

Now Sam's curiosity was really aroused. "But how did you come across it?"

Lucifer looked at him and his lips curled up into a faint smile. "Why don't you tell me something about your life first?"

Sam felt his cheeks heat but barely payed any attention to it. "There's not much to say," he shrugged.

"Oh come one, I'm sure you can think of something," Lucifer encouraged him.

"Well you know, I live with Dean and my dad about ten minutes from school. My dad isn't at home a lot though, so it's mainly just..."

"Okay, I'm going to stop you right there," Lucifer interrupted him. "I meant your life. What do you like, what don't you like, hobbies, plans for the future, secret desires, that sorta thing."

"Oh," Sam awkwardly let out. He doubted if anyone had ever asked him those things so straight forward before. "I uhm... I want to go to law school. Always have."

"Really? Why?" Lucifer asked and Sam was surprised by how interested the other boy seemed.

"Well, I want to help people," he smiled thinking about the possibility of that future. "I want them to get justice, you know? There's so much wrongdoing in this world, so many people who don't get what they deserve, if I can put just a fraction of that right..." He shook his head. "It's stupid, I know."

"It's not stupid, Sam," Lucifer smiled. "I think it's beautiful."

He immediately blushed at that and felt a strange feeling in his stomach. So he quickly changed the subject. "What about you?"

Lucifer laughed. "Already turning tables on me, huh? Okay, first of all I'm probably not gonna go to college, because studying. I don't know what kind of job I want yet. I mean, I'd like to be a CEO of something, I don't even care what, not because I want a big company, but mainly because I like telling people what to do."

"So you practically like bossing people around."

"Well, yes," Lucifer said and Sam couldn't help but laugh. "What, it's fun. Besides, I like being a leader. It's not just about being someone's boss, I want to be an example. Inspire people." While he was talking, he got a distant look in his eyes as if his mind was traveling further and further away from the brick wall behind The Cage.

"Is that what you were to your siblings?" Sam asked carefully.

Lucifer nodded, a little bit of surprise on his face, like he hadn't expected that himself. "Yes, I guess so. That's what it used to be like at least. Michael and me, we were like role models to the rest of them. Not very good ones, but they still looked up to us." He let out a mocking laugh. "And look at us now."

"It's not your fault."

"You don't even know what happened."

Sam only hesitated for a second. "Then tell me."

Lucifer suddenly looked at him defensively. "That's the grand question, isn't it? Why did the great Chuck Shurley cast out his own son? Well, you can ask Michael. I'm sure he has a very interesting answer."

"There are two sides to every story, right?"

"And yet everybody always seems to pick my brother's."

He put his hand on Lucifer's shoulder and said, "Hey, look at me." He waited until the Shurley's eyes eventually met his. "I'm not like everybody else, okay? I want to hear your side. I'll believe you."

Lucifer gave him a small smile. "I know you're not. I'm sorry, I shouldn't take it out on you."

"That's alright," Sam replied and gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze before letting go. "And you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. Just know that you can."

"Why are you such a good person?" the other boy asked, shaking his head.

Sam immediately went red again. How does this guy do it? "I'm nothing out of the ordinary."

"You're underestimating yourself, that's what you are," Lucifer said while jumping off the wall. He took the pizza box and put it in a nearby dumpster before offering his hand to Sam.

"How would you know?" Sam answered, grabbing Lucifer's hand and taking a leap himself. "You barely know me."

Lucifer tilted his head a bit and he couldn't help but notice it made his features look softer, more innocent in a way.

"I don't know," Lucifer decided. "I just do. You would too if you'd met you." Then he turned around and started walking back to the club. "Wanna go dance some more?"

Sam hesitated for a second. He took his phone out but he didn't have any messages so Dean mustn't have come home yet. He would soon though and when he did, he'd probably worry about where Sam was at.

"I don't know," he told Lucifer. "Dean could get home any second and if he finds out I'm not there..."

He was interrupted by Lucifer giving him puppy dog eyes. Now how could he say no to that?

He rolled his eyes and gave in. "Fine. But I need to be back home..."

He didn't get any further because Lucifer was already dragging him into The Cage. And he wasn't getting out of there for a long time.

It eventually was 10pm before Sam noticed Dean'd sent him multiple messages and even called him a few times. He was surprised it had taken his brother this long. He'd probably been hanging out with Michael the entire evening.

'Don't worry, I'm on my way. I was with a friend' he texted back before getting Lucifer and heading back to the entrance.

They had been dancing for hours, yet Sam wasn't tired at all. On the contrary, he felt more alive than ever.

So when they got out and stepped into the pouring rain, he started grinning like an idiot for no reason at all. He felt like being impulsive and spread out his arms, allowing the water to soak his clothes.

"What the hell are you doing?" Lucifer laughed from behind him.

When he just shrugged, Lucifer joined him to his surprise, grabbed his hands and spun them around in the rain. Sam started laughing and couldn't stop even after Lucifer had let go of him. They could still hear the music from The Cage and it didn't take them long to begin dancing around, splashing about and kicking the puddles to get other one as wet as possible. They laughed and yelled so hard they probably woke up the entire neighborhood but they didn't care. They were having too much fun to even think about something like that.

Then Lucifer suddenly stopped and his eyes grew wide, looking at Sam with shock.

"What is it?" Sam asked, worry immediately filling his stomach.

"The convertible," Lucifer just said before he burst out in laughter again.

It took Sam a couple of seconds but then he remembered Lucifer'd left his car top down. The Chevy must be drenched by now. The idea made him chuckle too.

In the meantime Lucifer was laughing so hard he actually doubled up and fell to the ground, right in one of the pools, which made him laugh even harder. By now Sam couldn't control himself either and it took everything for him not to collapse next to his new friend.

He only managed to get himself back together when his phone started buzzing again. Dean of course. After he'd made sure he would be able to contain himself, he walked to Lucifer and offered him his hand.

"Thank you," the other boy got out before he took his hand. And pulled him down.

Sam landed in a big pool next to Lucifer, who started laughing like crazy again. Sure, Sam had already been completely soaked from the rain but now there was dirt on his clothes too. Still he chuckled a little as well before getting back up.

"You can get yourself out now," he said seemingly pissed but in reality he could hardly suppress a smile.

"Alright, alright," Lucifer sighed while sitting up. His hand combed through his hair in an attempt to get it from sticking to his head. It didn't help much.

Lucifer got up and together they walked back to the car. They both had trouble keeping a straight face when they saw the couple inches of water standing in it. Lucifer walked to the driver's seat as seriously as possible and casually jumped in. When he sat down, water ran out of the seat. Sam got in as well and immediately felt the water invading his sneakers, up until that point the only thing on his body that had stayed dry a little bit.

Lucifer looked at him with irony clearly visible in his eyes and started the car.

They drove through the rain in a happy, satisfied silence.

Chapter Text

Dean was pacing up and down the kitchen with his phone in his hand. Where the hell was his brother? Sam had told him he'd got a ride, not that he was going to spend the entire evening god knows where.

When he finally heard the front door open, he practically ran towards the hallway. He walked in just in time to see his little brother enter the house drenched to the skin.

"For God's sake, Sam, where the hell have you been?" he yelled. "Have you got any idea how worried I was when you still weren't at home at 9pm? You don't think you could at least let me know where you were or what you were going to do after school? And why the fuck do you look like you just came out of a fucking swimming pool?"

"I'm sorry, Dean," Sam said, dripping on the floor. "How where things with Michael?"

Dean sighed and pointed at the stairs. "Just get your ass up there and go put some dry clothes on, you're gonna get yourself sick."

Sam nodded and ran up the stairs. When he was about halfway, he called, "You haven't answered my question yet!"

"And I'm not going to!" Dean replied before heading back to the kitchen. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table. God knows he'd deserved it.

About ten minutes later Sam came down again, dressed in his pj's and a towel in his hand with which he tried to dry his hair a little. That's what you get if you wear it like that, Dean thought. And only then did he notice the ridiculously broad grin plastered on his brother's face.

"What are you smiling about? I'm still pissed at you," he announced, taking another pull from his beer.

Sam looked at him guiltily and mumbled an apology, but there was still a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth.

"Okay, now where were you?" Dean tried again.

"Out," Sam said evasively. "With a friend."

"Out where and with which friend?" the older Winchester pushed.

Sam shrugged. "Doesn't matter, you wouldn't know them anyway."

Dean pulled up an eyebrow. "This friend isn't possibly female, are they?"

Sam's eyes grew wide immediately, a hurt look appearing on his face. Without another word he walked out of the kitchen. Dean instantly regretted what he'd said and went after his brother.

"Sam. Sam, wait!" he said while rushing into the hallway. Sam stopped but he didn't turn around. "Listen, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that, okay? I didn't mean it like that. It's just... dammit, Sammy, I haven't seen you this happy in ages. And I've really missed it."

For a couple of seconds it was completely silent. Then Sam slowly faced him and mumbled, "I'm going to bed. Goodnight." He went up the stairs without looking back.

"Night, Sammy," Dean sighed. Dammit.

He went back to the living room and put on the TV to clear his mind but it only took his thoughts two minutes to drift off again.

Michael's younger brother hadn't been easy on him. He'd kept on asking what this was about and Dean evidently went on avoiding the question.

Eventually Castiel had sighed and said, "Is this about Michael?"

Dean had sworn under his breath. "Okay, fine. Yes, it is. Happy now?"

"Happy doesn't seem like an accurate description."

Dean had frowned and shaken his head in confusion. This guy was such a mystery sometimes.

At the end, after a lot of misunderstandings and awkward silences, Castiel had agreed to meet up with him tomorrow morning before school. Normally he'd hate to get up that early but this was an emergency. He had to talk about this before he came face to face with Michael again and Castiel was the only one who knew what was going on. At least Dean hoped not all the Shurleys did.

After they'd hung up, Dean had been walking around the room for more than half an hour apparently, because when he finally snapped out of it at the sound of his phone, it was about 8pm. Lisa was calling him.

Dean loved Lisa, he really did, but at that point he didn't think he could handle any more crap.

So he had answered the phone and let her talk, although he didn't really listen to what she was saying. She had noticed something was off about him rather quickly and asked him about it, but of course he didn't answer. He just gave her some crappy explanation about being tired. He could tell she wasn't convinced though, her voice had sounded worried, but she'd dropped it anyway and Dean appreciated that about her.

When he'd put down the phone again and was left in a deathly hush, something suddenly clicked. Had Sam still not come home yet?

It was 9pm by then and he'd immediately started calling and texting him like crazy, cursing himself for being so caught up in his own shit he hadn't even thought about his little brother anymore. He felt terrible and nearly panicked when he didn't get an instant reply. What if something had happened to Sam? Dean didn't know where he was, how was he ever supposed to find him? He hadn't even seen him since this morning!

When Sam did finally get back at him, he was washed over with relief.

He really hadn't meant to remind his brother of Jessica, let alone insinuate that Sam was over her already. Dammit, he'd loved that girl like a sister himself.

But what he'd said was true. He was so happy Sam finally seemed able to smile again. Since his girlfriend's death his brother had been awfully quiet, even more than usual. He hardly talked or smiled and when he did, it felt forced. He lay on his bed and did his homework. He even read less and Dean had caught him staring aimlessly more than a couple of times. He had feared Sam might never truly recover from it and he hated that feeling. He had missed his younger brother, the smart, shy kid with the ambition to save the world.

And now the old Sammy seemed to be back, or at least a little bit of him, but Dean would gradually take it. Hell, he felt like he had never been so relieved in his whole life.

So he decided he would just drop what had happened tonight. Of course he wanted to know where his brother had been or who this mysterious new friend was, but in the end it didn't really matter. Whatever or whoever it was, it made Sam happy and that was all Dean cared about. Did it sting a little that he hadn't been able to achieve that? Yes, it did. But that was irrelevant now.

Dean waited until there was a good chance Sam would already be asleep before going upstairs himself. When he entered their room quietly, he saw his brother was curled up under the sheets but he couldn't say if he was sleeping or not. He quickly changed and got into bed.

After a moment of hesitation, he whispered, "Goodnight, Sammy."

~~~

The next morning Dean drove into the parking lot an hour and a half before school started. That should be plenty of time to talk to Castiel about... whatever was going on.

Sam had still been asleep when he took off, so he'd left a note saying he had some stuff to do and Sam should ask someone else to pick him up. That shouldn't be a problem, Charlie and Benny both had a driver's license. And apparently his brother was good at getting rides anyway.

Dean got out of the Impala and walked towards the school's entrance. The boy with the dark hair and the trenchcoat was already standing there, waiting for him.

"Hey," he greeted. "Thanks for meeting me here, man. I appreciate it."

"It's not a problem," Castiel said flatly. Then there were a couple seconds of silence.

"So," Dean tried again. "Wanna go sit on a bench or something?"

"Okay."

And so they went to sit on a bench.

Dean really didn't know what to say. Yes, he'd wanted to meet Castiel and talk about this but what was he supposed to say? It freaks me out that your brother likes me? And by the way, my mind drifted off and then I was suddenly thinking about having sex with him. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen.

Instead he started, "About your brother..." And then fell quiet again.

"That is what you wanted to talk to me about," Castiel said.

"Yeah listen, the whole thing you said about him liking me and stuff..."

"Do you like him too?" Castiel interrupted.

"What?!" Dean said, almost sounding offended. "Of course not!"

Castiel turned to face him. "Then what's the problem?"

"It's just... weird," he decided.

"Why?"

"Because..." How the hell was he even going to explain this? "Because."

"That's not really an answer."

"Well, it was a stupid question."

Castiel sighed and looked annoyed. "Dean, you are the one who wanted to meet up with me. So I suggest you tell me what you wanted to say."

Dean took a deep breath. He knew Castiel was right, he had brought the guy here for a reason. "Okay fine, I'll talk. Dude, ever since you told me about your brother's... interests, I can't shake this weird feeling in my gut. It just pops out of nowhere and I don't know what it means, alright? It's just... there, making me think some pretty weird shit."

Castiel squinted his eyes. "What did this feeling make you think about?"

You don't want to know. "That's not important. What I need to know is how to get rid of it."

"And why should I have the answer to that?"

Dean threw his hands up in desperation. "I don't know, okay? But who else am I supposed to talk to? Nobody else knows about this!" He tilted his head. "Right?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Good. So that leaves you and me. Now tell me what to do about it."

Castiel shook his head. "I honestly don't know, Dean. How do you expect me to understand these feelings if you haven't even identified them yet?"

This conversation really wasn't going anywhere useful. Dean squeezed the bridge of his nose. "What do you think they are?"

"I think you have feelings for Michael."

"I don't have feelings for Michael!" Dean yelled, spreading his arms. "Jesus."

"Do you think about him when you're with Lisa?" Castiel asked.

"No of course not!" Dean said without thinking even a second about it. He didn't want to think a second about it.

"Do you think of Lisa when you're with Michael?"

He hadn't seen that one coming. He hesitated a bit, then hastily said, "No. I mean, yes. Well, it depends, I guess. What does that have to do with this?"

Castiel tilted his head and frowned. "Don't you think that if you were really in love with her, you would think of her more often?"

"Hey, I think of her very often!" Dean defended himself.

"But not when you're with Michael."

"That's not what I meant... Jesus Christ," he said annoyed, rushing his hands through his hair. "I'm not gay!"

"Dean, there are a lot of other things besides 'straight' and 'gay'," Castiel lectured, even making quotation marks with his fingers.

Dean rolled his eyes. "Easy to say if you got an entire bi family up your sleeve."

"Actually we are pansexuals."

"Whatever."

"It's not the same thing."

"Yeah, alright," Dean brushed aside. "Point is I'm not into dudes, okay?"

Castiel looked at him like he was getting really sick of this conversation. "You want my advice, Dean? It's very simple. If you like Michael, dump your girlfriend and tell him. If not, there shouldn't be a problem in the first place."

And with that he got up and left Dean alone with his thoughts.

Chapter Text

By the time school started Dean was in a mood. A very bad mood.

He knew he'd been an ass to Castiel and definitely deserved the guy's sharp comment. But now that same comment kept rankling and Dean was out of options of how to handle it. Surely he'd messed up all his chances of getting any more help from Castiel. Jesus, the Shurley boy had really tried his best for him and in return he'd acted like a whining bitch.

"Hi honey!" Lisa called when he approached his friends. Michael wasn't with them yet, luckily.

"Hey," he mumbled, putting an arm around her shoulders by habit. He could tell she knew something was off about him but chose to ignore her worried look and turn to his friends. "What's up?"

"Nothing out of the ordinary," Charlie shrugged. Then she raised an eyebrow. "With you?"

"I'm fine," he grumbled. Now they all looked at him questioningly. "I am, okay?" he snapped.

"Jeez, don't have to get all fed up about it," Charlie said, rolling her eyes.

"Hey guys!" Michael joined them cheerfully. Dean could barely suppress a sigh and noticed too late Charlie was eyeing his reaction attentively. Shit. This wouldn't be the end of it.

Lisa poked him in the ribs and said with a loving smile, "Hey Michael, you think you can cheer up Dean here? He's being grumpy."

"Why are you being grumpy?" Michael asked.

I don't know, maybe because your brother claims I'm gay and in love with you? "I'm not grumpy."

Michael patted him on the shoulder. "Sure, buddy."

Dean was about to reply with something snarky but was interrupted by two teenagers running into the hallway. He looked behind in annoyance, then his jaw dropped when he recognized the first boy as... his brother? His eyes nearly popped out of his head while he watched Sam pass by, laughing loudly, chased by some other guy Dean didn't know. He continued to stare at his younger brother until he turned a corner. Then he turned back to his friends, who seemed just as surprised as he felt.

After a couple of seconds of silence he got out, "Somebody please tell me I didn't just imagine that."

"You didn't imagine that," Lisa said, still looking at the end of the hallway where Sam had disappeared.

"That really was my brother?" he said with pulled up eyebrows. "Looking like he was having fun?"

"Yup," Charlie said and shook her head in confusion.

"Who was the other guy?" Jo asked but Dean barely heard her.

He'd looked back at Michael and saw the boy's face had completely turned red with anger.

"Hey, are you okay?" he asked, ignoring the answer Lisa was giving to Jo.

"Fine," Michael grumbled. "I'm gonna go, I'll see you guys at lunch." And with that he turned around and started walking away.

The rest of the group looked up in surprise and watched him go. Dean sighed, let go of Lisa and muttered a quick, "Be right back." before going after him.

"Hey," he called, quickly catching up with Michael. "What is it?"

"It's nothing, Dean. I told you, I'm fine."

Dean laughed and nodded a little. "Yeah dude, I invented that trick. Ain't gonna get rid of me that easily."

Michael let out a sigh and ran a hand through his hair. "It's just..." He spread his arms in desperation. "Why does he always have to ruin everything?"

"Who?" Dean asked with a frown.

"My brother, who else?" Michael mumbled.

"Michael," Dean stated. "I can't even count your siblings. Which one?"

The other boy let out a mocking laugh. "What do you think? The one who was three steps behind your brother? Didn't you hear what Lisa said?"

"No, I didn't actually, I was busy worrying about you." This gained him a little smile, so he continued, "Why don't you tell me?"

They reached the school's entrance and walked outside. First period would start soon so most people were already in.

"He's the school's latest newcomer, the one I told you about," Michael said softly. "His name is Lucifer."

Dean nodded, remembering what little Michael had told him about the black sheep of his family. Then something dawned on him. "Wait, so you're saying that Sammy's new bestie is the same guy your dad felt the need to kick out of the house?"

"The one and only," his friend said.

Dean frowned, thinking back at everything that had happened last night. Could Lucifer be the same guy Sam had gone out with? "So our brothers are best friends now. That's... weird."

"It's not just weird, Dean." Michael clenched and unclenched his fist and shook his head. "I can't believe he's doing this, it's just so typical of him, I don't know why I'm even surprised anymore."

"What are you talking about?" Dean asked, concern in his voice. Whatever it was, Michael was clearly upset about it.

His friend sighed, "Don't you think it's a little bit coincidental we become close friends and then one day they suddenly do too?"

"What, you don't think it's a coincidence?"

"No. I don't," Michael said. "I think it's Lucifer being Lucifer, always wanting the things I have."

The thought of Michael having him made the corner of Dean's mouth turn up. Then he realized what Michael had just said and frowned. "Wait, are you saying your brother only has become friends with mine because we are? You're joking, right?"

Michael looked at him. "Why do you think my dad kicked him out, Dean? He doesn't care about other people's feelings. He uses them, plays them to get what he wants." His eyes grew apologetically. "I'm sorry, I really wish I didn't have to say this, I saw how happy Sam looked in there. But being friends with Lucifer? It's just not a good idea, Dean, it will only end up getting him hurt even more. I doubt Lucifer would have given him a second look at all if he hadn't been your brother."

Ow shit. Dean muttered a curse. That was just great, now he'd have to tell Sam after school that his new friend, the one person that seemed to make him happy again, was a huge son of a bitch who was just using him. "This is so fucked up."

"I know," Michael said. "I'm really sorry, Dean."

"It's not your fault," Dean sighed.

Michael crossed his arms and looked away from him with a clenched jaw. "Except that it is. If it weren't for me, Lucifer would have never gone after Sam. All of you wouldn't have been caught up in this mess if I had just stayed away from you."

"Hey." Dean grabbed him by the shoulders and turned Michael to face him. "This isn't your fault, okay? It's not your fault your brother is an asshole and it's not your fault he came into our lives. And honestly, becoming friends with you is one of the best things that ever happened to me."

He hadn't meant for it to come out like that but it was too late. Michael was looking him straight in the eye and it was only now that he realized how close they were standing. His heart started pounding like crazy and panic washed over him. He couldn't move, he just stood there, frozen in space, waiting for whatever was about to happen.

Michael's gaze dropped a little and Dean found himself finally able to breathe again, dropping his arms and quickly taking a step back.

"I uhm..." he cleared his throat. "We should probably get to class."

"Yes," Michael agreed, nodding frantically. "Yeah, you're absolutely right. We totally should."

Neither of them moved.

"I'm... uhm, I'm gonna go, so..." Dean said, starting to walk back to the school.

"Sure. I'm... I'll see you at lunch!" Michael called after him.

Dean moved up his pace and reached the entrance just at the moment the school bell rang. He hurried to his history class, not once looking back.

~~~

Sam was texting. During class. Something he normally would never do. And a part of him did actually feel guilty about it. But he had to admit, the other part felt... well, excited, in a way.

The one thing Lucifer had taught him in less than 24 hours was that breaking the rules came with a very addictive rush of adrenaline. Sam had always been a good kid. High grades, quiet and polite; he was every teacher's dream student. And now he was texting during class.

It wasn't really a big deal of course, like he was the only one in the entire school doing it. On the contrary, most of the time he would be one of the few students not doing it. And that was precisely the reason why it felt so new and thrilling to him.

His phone received another message. 'Okay, so what about Tuesday?'

Sam rolled his eyes. Lucifer had been trying to convince him to ditch class again for ten minutes now. 'NO,' he typed back.

'Ugh, you're such a good person, it's annoying really ;)'

It was followed by a second one, 'Wanna hang out after school then? Go to The Cage?'

'Idk, Dean's probably not going to let me'

'Pfff please, it's Friday. We're obliged to go out'

Sam shook his head in disbelief. 'After what we pulled yesterday? He's still pissed at me for that, he'll never agree'

'Well, then tell him to suck it'

Again another one came in, 'Or Michael for that matter'

He let out a snorting sound. '&_& Can you not, please?'

'I could but I'm not going to >:)'

"Mr. Winchester, is something about this class amusing to you?"

Sam looked up in shock and stuttered a quick, "I'm sorry, sir.", pocketing his phone.

Still, when Mr. Gonzalez turned back to the blackboard, he got it out again and hastily typed, 'I'll try my best'.

The answer came within seconds. 'Hadn't expected anything else'

Chapter Text

Since he was trying to avoid his friends - some more in particular than others - for the rest of the day, Dean sent his brother a text to ask if the two of them could have lunch together. He needed to talk to Sam anyway and it was a very reasonable excuse.

He was just putting some books into his locker when he got Sam's agreement. He quickly let Lisa know about his plans. She would probably tell the others.

When he got to the cafeteria, he noticed his brother was already sitting by himself at one of the smaller tables. Dean smiled and joined him. It felt good to spend some time alone with his brother. It had been way too long.

"Hi," Sammy greeted him when he went to sit down. He was eating one of the tasteless salads they sold at the school.

"You're still eating that crap?" Dean asked mockingly.

"Look who's talking," Sam came back, motioning at the piece of pie Dean had bought on the way to school this morning.

"Bitch."

"Jerk. So to what do I owe the pleasure?" his little brother grinned.

"A guy can't have lunch with his brother anymore?"

Sam shrugged. "Well yeah, but I thought you would still be angry about last night."

The older Winchester put down his fork sighed. "Listen Sammy, I'm not gonna lie: I'm not happy about what happened. But I shouldn't have said those things and I'm sorry. I was pissed and I overreacted. People tend to do that when they're worried."

Sam frowned at him. "So if you weren't angry anymore, why didn't you give me a ride this morning?"

"I told you, I had some stuff to do," Dean said, looking down at his pie.

"Stuff?"

"Stuff."

"What kinda stuff?"

Dean gave him a deadly glare. "You mind changing the subject?"

"Fine," Sam said, putting up his hands defensively. He stayed silent for a couple of seconds, then started, "So uhm... if you're not angry anymore..."

Dean had a really bad feeling about this. "What?"

"Well, I was just wondering..." his brother continued, poking in his salad. "Some friends of mine were planning on hanging out after school a little and they asked me to join them..."

Great. Dean had hoped he could deal with this at home. "Where are they going?" he asked, faking ignorance.

Sam shrugged. "You know, just hang around a bit, grab dinner, maybe go to the park or something..."

His big brother nodded. "Some friends you said?"

"Yeah, you wouldn't know them."

"Really? So they don't happen to be called Lucifer Shurley?"

Sam's head shot up, his eyes big with surprise. He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again and frowned. "Dean, I don't know what Michael's told you but..."

"It doesn't matter what Michael says, the guy got kicked out of his house for God's sake!"

"And who says that's his fault?"

"What, you're saying his family conspired against him or something?"

"I'm saying you don't know the whole story, Dean!"

"Ow and you do?"

They stared at each other angrily and in silence.

Eventually Dean said, "I just don't think being friends with him is a very good idea, okay?"

"You don't even know him."

"I know, but listen..."

"No, you listen, Dean," Sam interrupted him. "Lucifer has been nothing but nice to me. He is funny and spontaneous and kind; this is the first time since Jess I've truly felt happy again and that's because of him."

"Wow, you talk about the guy like you're lovers or something," Dean mocked.

"You mean like you and Michael?"

Dean's jaw dropped and he looked at his brother wide-eyed. How does he even... Without another word he started packing his stuff.

"Oh come on, Dean, it was a joke," Sam said, seeming confused.

"Well, it sure as hell wasn't a good one," he grumbled. "I'll see you after school."

~~~

By the time Sam headed back to class he was seriously irritated. Since when was Dean being so touchy?

But more importantly he couldn't help but wonder what Michael had told his brother. Whatever it was, Sam wouldn't let it destroy his friendship with Lucifer. What he'd said to Dean was true. When he was with Lucifer, it made him feel... alive, in a way. More than usual. Definitely more than after what happened to Jess. And he wasn't going to give up on that.

A familiar voice brought him back to reality. "Hey there, Sammy."

He grinned and made his way to Lucifer, who was leaning against his locker. "Don't call me that."

"I call you whatever the hell I want to call you," his friend replied with a mischievous smile.

Sam rolled his eyes and opened his locker to get his books. Lucifer rested his head against the locker next to it. "So what are our plans tonight?"

The Winchester made a face. "I talked to Dean but..."

"But?" Lucifer insisted.

Sam shrugged. He didn't want to hurt Lucifer's feelings by bringing up Michael. He knew it was a sore subject. "He doesn't want me to go."

"Because of last night?"

"Yeah," he lied. But Lucifer was very good at seeing right through him.

He pulled up an eyebrow. "Anything else?"

Sam let out a sigh. He hated lying. "Apparently he talked to Michael," he muttered.

Lucifer's jaw clenched immediately. "I knew it. That pathetic little asshole, I swear..."

"Hey," Sam stopped him. He closed his locker and looked Lucifer in the eye. "Don't worry about it, okay? I don't care what they say. You're my friend." He gave Lucifer's shoulder a reassuring squeeze.

He was relieved when the older boy smiled back at him. For a couple of seconds they remained silent, then Lucifer said, "So no Cage tonight?"

Sam thought about it for a second. Dean had told him he couldn't go, but he was hardly their dad. Not that Sam thought his father would approve. Or even Bobby for that matter. But on the other hand there really wasn't anything Dean could do to stop him...

"You know what," he eventually said, "Let's go. Dean doesn't tell me what to do. And it's just a club."

Lucifer grinned at him happily. "I knew there was a reason I liked you."

Sam laughed and was just about to reply when someone approached them.

"Hey, Sam," Kevin greeted him.

"Hi," he brought out in surprise, feeling a little bit guilty. He was aware he hadn't been a great friend to Kevin lately. They always got along well, had a lot in common and basically had been friends for years. But now it felt like ages ago since they'd had a proper conversation. Which probably was also the case. After Jessica's death Sam had shut out all of his friends, even Kevin. Although he felt bad about it, at the time he needed his space and he appreciated his friends respecting that. Then Lucifer had come along and Sam had unexpectedly felt a little bit more like his old self again. But he had to admit that with the arrival of his new friend he had forgotten about his others a bit.

It took him a few seconds to realize both of them were now waiting for him to say something.

"Right, uhm... Kevin, this is Lucifer. Lucifer, Kevin. He's a friend of mine."

"Oh hey, you're Michael's brother, right?" Kevin said and Sam felt like slapping himself.

"Well, I mean..." Kevin tried, as he apparently realized what he'd just said. "I've met him. Through Dean, you know. Don't know him that well..."

Lucifer gave him a small smile. "Nice meeting you, Kevin."

"Yeah, you too, man. Anyways..." He turned back to Sam. "So I was wondering if you maybe wanted to come over after school, maybe game a little?"

"Oh," Sam said. He could barely remember the last time he and Kevin had gamed together. They always had a great time at Kevin's place and he'd really missed it. But then he remembered what he'd just promised Lucifer.

"Actually," he admitted sheepishly, "we kind of already have plans for tonight. There's this club called The Cage and it's kinda cool. You can join us if you want to." He quickly looked back at Lucifer, suddenly doubtful. "Right?"

"Yes, of course," Lucifer backed him up, much to Sam's relief.

Kevin laughed a little. "A club? I don't know, Sam... I mean, I'd like to come with you, but you know stuff like that isn't really my thing."

"Yeah, I know," Sam said, a little bit disappointed. "But hey, maybe we can game next week?"

"Sure, that would be great!" Kevin agreed. "I'll ask my mom and I'll let you know."

Sam nodded excitedly. "Okay! Thanks, Kevin."

"Yeah, no problem. I'll see you in class!" his friend said, starting to walk away.

"See you later!" Sam called after him, before turning back to Lucifer.

"He seems nice," the Shurley said.

Sam smiled. "Yeah, he's great." Then he added, "And I'm sorry about what he said about Michael..."

"What? No, don't worry about it," Lucifer brushed it aside. "I'm not that vulnerable, Sammy."

Sam gave him a broad grin. "Good." Then he poked him in the ribs. "And stop calling me that!"

Chapter Text

A couple of hours later at Lawrence Free State High School, the school bell rang and Sam Winchester came running out of the building. He sprinted towards the parking lot, in search of the familiar red convertible. The car wasn't exactly hard to find and as soon as he reached it, he hopped in. He looked back just in time to see Lucifer rushing through the doors. In the meantime some other students were coming out as well and looked at the Shurley strangely as he passed them.

The more Lucifer neared the car, the bigger Sam's smile became. When Lucifer finally reached him, he got in the car immediately, while asking "You ready?"

Sam gave him an excited grin. "You betcha."

"Good," Lucifer answered, started the engine, put the car in reverse and took off.

~~~

Fifteen minutes later Dean was standing next to his Impala, wondering what took his brother so long. There still were some students coming out of the school, but he'd expected Sam would be here sooner. He usually was.

Just when he started debating calling his brother, he got a text that made his eyes nearly pop out of his head.

'I'm with Lucifer. Don't worry about it, I'm fine, we're just hanging out, we're not doing anything illegal and I'll be home before midnight'

Dean felt the sudden urge to throw down his phone but he knew it wouldn't help him. "Dammit, Sammy," he muttered under his breath. He dialed his brother immediately but as expected Sam didn't pick up. He was just about to get in the car when he noticed a familiar figure walking onto the parking lot.

"Kevin!" he called, making his way to the younger boy. Maybe Sam had told him something about where he and Lucifer went.

"Oh hey, Dean," Kevin greeted him.

"Hey, do you know where Sam is?" he asked hopefully.

Kevin shrugged. "We just had class together but I haven't spoken to him. As soon as the bell rang, he rushed off."

"So he didn't tell you anything about his plans for tonight?"

Now Dean saw something dawned on him.

"Actually he did," Kevin answered. "I asked him to meet up, but he'd already made plans with Lucifer. They invited me to join them, but I didn't really feel like it."

"You know where they were going?" Dean pushed.

"Well, they mentioned a club."

Dean pulled up his eyebrows in surprise. "Sam is going to a club?"

"I know right?" Kevin said, clearly as incredulous as he was.

"Did they mention a name?"

Kevin frowned. "The Cage, if I remember correctly. Personally, I'd never heard of it. But on the other hand I'm not exactly an expert." He gave Dean a shy smile.

The Winchester bit his lip. He had never heard that name either. And honestly, he was kind of an expert... "Okay. Thanks, Kevin."

"Sure, no problem. See you Monday!"

Dean made his way back to the Impala and got in. The Cage... He grabbed his phone, opened up a search engine and looked for a club named like that in the area. He came up empty however and swore under his breath. While pulling out of the parking lot he tried to think of something, anything, that could point him in the right direction.

He had never even met Lucifer. He didn't know where the guy usually hung around, what his car looked like or where he lived for that matter. He had absolutely nothing to go by and it annoyed the crap out of him.

He drove home and started calling his friends, asking if they'd ever heard of The Cage. None of them recognized the name but they all offered to keep an eye out for Sam and Charlie promised to put her hacking skills to use.

Now there was nothing left for him to do but wait. Dean hated waiting. There was one person he hadn't called yet but he didn't want to. On the other hand he might actually be the one person who knew where Lucifer would go...

Dean shook off the thought. He had enough problems as it was. In attempt to make himself useful he walked out again, trying to call Sam a second time. No answer. He made a drive across town, hoping to catch a glimpse of Sam along the way. He passed by the most popular places to hang out, the park, the Roadhouse, bars, anything he could think off. Nothing. He dropped his head backwards in a loud sigh.

~~~

Sam followed Lucifer into some vintage music store.

Honestly, Sam wasn't that passionate about music but Lucifer had told him it was his favorite shop in town and he had gotten curious. He glanced around a bit while Lucifer started flipping through some vinyls. A couple of electric guitars hung above the counter, next to some of the most famous record-jackets in history. Sam had to admit he didn't know enough about classic rock to recognize all of them but he knew a few.

He joined Lucifer and grabbed a random cassette from one of the boxes next to the vinyls. Carry On by Kansas. Sam hadn't heard of them but he knew how much Dean liked to play cassettes in the Impala and after tonight he would have something to make up for.

"Are these any good?" he asked Lucifer, showing him the tape.

Lucifer took it, turned it back and forth and handed it back to Sam. "Kansas? Sure. Not really my thing but they're alright. It's a compilation, so it should be fine."

"Thanks," Sam said, studying the tape again.

He ended up buying it and Lucifer got himself two singles before they left.

"Where to next?" Lucifer asked. They had decided to hang around a bit before going to have dinner at the Roadhouse and then heading to The Cage, so they had plenty of spare time.

Sam shrugged and gave his friend a smile. "I don't know. I really don't get out that often."

Lucifer tilted his head and looked at him, curiosity sparking in his eyes. "Why don't we go to your favorite place?"

The younger boy blushed a bit before grinning playfully. "You sure you're up for that?"

"Try me."

~~~

"The library?"

Sam couldn't help but laugh at the incredulous look on Lucifer's face. "You asked for it."

"Well yeah, but the library?" he repeated.

"What's wrong with the library?" Sam teased him.

Lucifer opened his mouth to answer, then closed it again. Then he said with a soft smile, "Actually it fits you perfectly."

Sam quickly looked away to hide the blush crossing his face. As soon as he'd caught his breath again he pretended to be offended. "What's that supposed to mean?"

His friend rolled his eyes and took the bait immediately, without hesitation or even trying to be subtle. "Because, Sam, you are a cute, smart, dorky nerd and the library is the place to pick up cute, smart, dorky nerds."

Now Sam's face turned red so much and so quickly he didn't have the time nor a way to hide it. He had basically only heard one word. He thinks I'm cute? In... what way?

Lucifer didn't give him the time to think about it any further, dragging him towards the library's entrance. "Let's go read some books!"

~~~

Three hours later and Dean still hadn't accomplished a thing. Unfortunately Dean wasn't one to give up that easily.

He was wandering through the Lawrence city center. After crossing basically the entire town he had decided to park the Impala and search the shopping centers by foot. He ignored the shops he usually would at least take a look at and hastily paced through the hallways and streets. He knew the chance he would come across someone he knew was one in a million but he had to try.

He tried calling Sam again. After leaving the umpteenth voicemail he tried Lucifer's number another time. Charlie had pulled it up for him, but Lucifer didn't answer either. Dean wondered if the guy could sense it was him calling.

Just as he was about to give up and go home, he recognized a familiar figure coming out of a bakery. Ow shit... He turned around quickly to walk away but it was too late.

"Hey Dean!" Michael called after him.

Son of a... "Oh hi Mike." God, this is gonna be awkward. "What are you doing here?"

Michael held up a plastic bag. "We ate all the bread."

Suddenly Dean wondered how much food Chuck Shurley would need to feed all his children. He guessed it took more than just this bag. "Is that even enough?" he laughed.

"What?" Michael followed his gaze to the bag. "Oh no, this is for breakfast. You'd be surprised how few of us actually have a healthy one. But what are you doing here?"

Dean sighed at the memory of why he was here. "I'm looking for Sam."

"He's here with you?"

He let out a mocking laugh. "I wish. I have no idea where the hell he is. That's kind of the problem."

Michael furrowed his eyebrows. "What do you mean?"

Did he really need to discuss this with Michael? On the other hand he doubted if the Shurley boy would give him a way out. "He's out with Lucifer," he confessed. "After I told him explicitly not to. And now he won't return my calls and I have no idea where they went, what they're doing or if they're even safe."

Michael immediately noticed the worry in his eyes and looked at him sympathetically. "You want my help?" he offered.

Dean laughed a little. "Yeah, good luck with that. I've already searched the entire town. Twice."

"You never know," Michael shrugged. "I know my brother pretty well. Maybe we can come up with something together."

He thought about it. Michael seemed to have already forgotten about what happened at school. Or maybe it was all just in Dean's mind in the first place. Anyway, he now realized Michael was right. And if Dean would have had the nerve to call him earlier today maybe he would have already found Sam. He gave his friend a grateful smile. "That would be awesome, thanks."

Michael smiled back at him and asked, "Okay, so what have you got?"

"Well," Dean said, while starting to walk back to the Impala, "according to Kevin they planned on going to a club called The Cage. That ring a bell to you?"

Michael frowned, seemingly deep in thought. "I've heard of it," he eventually said.

Dean came to a stop immediately. "You know it?"

"I don't know where it is," Michael quickly added. "I only know it's a private, underground club Lucifer is a member of. That's all."

He cursed and continued his way. That information wouldn't get him anywhere. Although he had to admit, one of the words seemed to trigger something in his mind. Underground... It was a common word of course but still it reminded him of... something. Something linked to Lucifer.

Think, Dean. Think! What did he know about Lucifer Shurley? He was the second oldest one of the Shurleys. His father, Chuck Shurley, kicked him out of his house and nobody in his family wanted anything to do with him anymore. In general nobody seemed to like him, except for Dean's brother of course... Crowley had even asked him to get Michael to keep him under control, because he was threatening his "business".

"Oh my god..." he mumbled.

"What?" Michael asked, clearly confused.

"I think I know who can help us find them."

Chapter Text

"Dammit, Dean... Dean, hold on! Dean! DEAN!" Michael was calling behind him, while Dean practically sprinted back to his car. Apparently his friend had trouble keeping up with him.

Without wasting even a second he unlocked the door, got in and turned on the engine, all the while going through his contacts on his phone. Michael jumped in the passenger seat just in time before he took off.

"Dean!" he yelled and when he didn't get a response, he snatched Dean's phone away.

"Hey!" he protested.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"I'm calling Crowley, that's what I'm doing!" Dean yelled in annoyance. "Now give me back my phone!"

Michael looked at him in a puzzled way. "What, Crowley? Why?"

"Because," he said while taking back his phone, "if there's anyone who knows about an underground club it's him. Trust me."

He hit the dial button. He didn't need to wait long for Crowley to pick up the phone.

"Squirrel! To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"I need your help."

He heard Crowley sigh on the other end of the line. "What, did you finally realize you can't live without me?"

Dean swallowed back a sarcastic comment and told him instead, "I need to find a club called The Cage, you know where it is?"

"Who wants to know?"

He rolled his eyes. "I want to know."

"Why?"

"Because Lucifer, that son of a bitch, took Sam there and I don't like it," he said, becoming impatient.

For a couple of seconds the line stayed silent. Then Crowley apparently decided, "Fine. Meet me at Cross Road and King Avenue in 10."

Dean frowned and quickly gazed at Michael. "Cross Road? Isn't that where the Shurleys live?"

"Aren't you a bright spark. Just be there." Then he hung up.

Dean muttered a curse and took a turn towards Cross Road.

"Where are we going?" Michael asked.

"Cross Road and King Avenue apparently," Dean sighed. "I can drop you off if you want to."

"What, no," Michael said immediately. "I'll come with you. Oh but if you don't mind, can we make a quick stop to drop this off?" He motioned to the bag. "And my family is probably wondering what is taking me so long, I should probably let them know where we're going."

"Sure, no problem," Dean mumbled. They passed the house anyway.

"Hey Dean," Michael said after a short pause. Dean looked at him. "It'll be okay."

"I know," he said, but honestly he wasn't even sure if he believed it or not.

Michael gave him a soft smile and his arm a quick squeeze.

They arrived at the Shurleys' house and Michael got out instantly, speeding towards the front door so they wouldn't lose too much time. He came back after only two minutes max.

"Alright, let's go," he sighed and Dean stepped on the gas.

Neither of them noticed the boy in front of one of the windows on the second floor, watching them leave before he grabbed his own keys and rushed down the stairs.

~~~

"Rock me momma like a wagon wheel, rock me momma any way you feel, heeeeey momma rock me! Rock me momma like the wind and the rain, rock me momma like a southbound train, heeeeey momma rock me!" Lucifer and Sam screamed at the top of their lungs.

At second thought they had decided not to go to the Roadhouse because Sam was afraid they might run into Jo. Instead they'd grabbed a bite on the way to The Cage. Initially Sam hadn't thought he would want to stay for long. He was still tired from their evening out yesterday. Sure, it hadn't been that late, but going to a club was... exhausting, and he'd had to get up early for school. But as soon as they got in and Lucifer almost literally pulled him out of his comfort zone, he was washed over with the same feeling of happiness as yesterday. He didn't know if it was the club or just Lucifer's company, but he felt like he could go on forever.

"What are you smiling at?" Lucifer teased him.

Sam was glad it was too dark in the club for Lucifer to see the blush that appeared on his cheeks. "What, can't a guy be happy anymore?"

Lucifer smirked. "They can if they look like you."

Dammit, Sam thought, his cheeks heating once more. Why does he do that? Sometimes he wondered if there was more to Lucifer's flirtatious comments. But that couldn't be, right? Surely there relationship was purely amicable.

"You want something to drink?" Lucifer yelled.

"Yeah sure!" he answered. "Just a coke, please!"

"Alright," Lucifer said and then he winked at him. "Coming right up!"

Purely amicable...

~~~

Dean pulled up the car right next to Crowley, who was already waiting on the sidewalk.

"Finally," he commented as they got out. Then he glanced at Michael. "I see you brought one of the wonder boys."

Michael and Dean exchanged a confused look but decided to ignore it.

"Alright, you said you know where The Cage is?" Dean said, eager to get to business.

"I do, matter-of-factly." Then he remained silent.

Dean started to get annoyed. "Okay, great. Then get your ass in the car and tell us where we need to go."

Crowley laughed at him like something about this situation was really ironic to him. He shook his head and said, "Oh you don't have to take the car, Winchester. It's right here."

Dean was just about to ask what the hell he meant by that when Crowley pointed right down the street. He frowned. "The Cage is on Cross Road?"

Next to him Michael burst out into laughter. He looked back and forth between him and Crowley, not understanding what the fuck was going on here.

"Oh, that's hilarious," Michael told Crowley. "The Cage is right down the street we live in? Yeah, right."

Crowley just looked at him calmly. "It is hilarious actually. Which is exactly why Lucifer put it here."

Michael stopped laughing immediately and looked at Crowley in shock, while Dean's eyebrows shot up in disbelief. "Lucifer is the owner of this club?"

"What? No, of course not," Crowley said, revulsion all over his face. Dean wasn't sure if it was because of the idea or his stupidity to ask about it. "The Cage doesn't really do ownership. Just think of Lucifer as one of the founding fathers. A board member, if that's something you can wrap your tiny mind around."

Dean decided to ignore the insult. "Alright. So take us there."

"That's what I'm here for, isn't it?" Crowley commented before turning around and starting to walk in the direction he'd just pointed at.

Dean followed right behind and so did Michael, even though he still seemed a little dumbfounded at the fact that the brother he hated so much had built a club in the street he lived in just because of the irony it would lead to. Dean felt sorry for him and quickly patted him on the shoulder.

They only had to walk a couple of yards before Crowley turned to a right and walked in between two seemingly very regular buildings. Dean was just about to say something about it when he rounded the corner himself and froze in space. At the far back of the side of one of the buildings was a discreet black door with above it the name he'd been looking for: The Cage, spelled out in red lights.

"That motherfucking asshole," Michael muttered next to him.

Dean didn't respond. Instead he rushed past Crowley, towards the door and the man who seemed to be guarding it. He was planning on just going in, but the guy blocked his entrance with a stern face.

"Name?" he said.

Crap. "Lucifer Shurley," he said, acting like it was the most evident thing in the world. It was worth the shot.

The guard smiled at him coldly. "Nice try." Then his gaze moved to Dean's left. "Is this man with you, Mr. Crowley?"

"Oh, hell no," Crowley said and Dean shot daggers at him. Had the guy really just ruined his one chance of getting in?

"What the hell, Crowley?" he snarled. "Sam's in there, I need to find him!"

Crowley slowly walked up to him, Michael following behind and immediately taking place at Dean's side.

"Do you really think I am stupid enough to give any of you two morons access to that place?"

Now Dean really started to get angry. "Well, then why the hell did you bring us here in the first place if you're not going to let us in?" he yelled.

Crowley shrugged. "You asked if I knew where The Cage is, so I showed you. You'd think you'd be happy I did you a favor."

"Oh yeah? 'Cause I didn't gain shit from it!"

Crowley smiled and got a look in his eyes Dean was not happy to see. "Well, if you want to find your little brother so desperately, there might be something I can do..."

Dean bit his lip to will back all the insults he wanted to throw at Crowley. "What is it?"

His classmate smiled again, clearly very satisfied. "Here's the deal: I'll go in and find your brother for you."

"What do you want in return?" Dean asked, knowing exactly where this was going.

Crowley pretended to think about for a while. "How about twenty dollars?"

Dean's eyes nearly popped out of his head. "Twenty dollars?"

"Yes, what did you think I wanted, your soul?" Crowley said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "You won't get it that easily."

"Dean, don't do it," Michael said, not once turning his glaring eyes away from Crowley. "You don't want to stoop to his level."

Dean sighed and got out his wallet. "I want my brother back." He handed Crowley a twenty with a deadly look on his face.

"Lovely doing business with you, Dean," Crowley said, pocketing the money with a smile on his face. Then he turned towards the entrance. The guard opened the door immediately and let him in before quickly closing it again.

Dean started pacing back and forth across the pavement while waiting for Crowley to return. Michael just remained silent, looking at him with a worried look on his face. It probably wasn't more than a couple of minutes, but it seemed like hours before the door finally opened and Crowley came out again. Alone.

"Well?" Dean said. "Where is he?"

"Oh, he's in there. With Lucifer," Crowley simply answered.

Dean was staring at him in disbelief. "Then why the hell didn't you get him out?!"

"Did you not hear a word I just said?" Crowley yelled back, clearly annoyed. "He's in there with Lucifer! The guy is a lunatic, I'm not getting near that!"

As he said it, Dean saw something flashing through his eyes. It was quick but he'd seen it and pulled up his eyebrows in surprise. "You're afraid of him."

"Am not!" Crowley shot back indignantly.

"Oh believe me, Crowley, I know fear when I see it," Dean said and something started to dawn on him. "That's why you wanted Michael to keep him at bay, isn't it? You're scared of him. He's not just threatening your business, he has the power to overrule it. You didn't want him near it, because you knew that if it came down to fight, he would win!"

"Yes, of course I'm scared of him!" Crowley yelled. "Have you met the guy? Any person with a little bit of common sense would be! Lucifer Shurley is a living nightmare!"

"That's one thing we agree on," Michael muttered but Dean ignored him completely.

"The more reason to get my brother out!"

They stared at each other angrily for a couple of seconds. Dean heard a car pull up behind them but he didn't pay any attention to it. Eventually Crowley let out a sigh and put his hands up in surrender.

"Fine. I'll see what I can do."

"Oh no, you're not gonna 'see' anything," Dean said. He wasn't going to let Crowley fool him twice. "You're gonna get in there and when you come back, my brother is with you, understand?"

Crowley glared at him before shrugging and smiling again. "Deal. That's forty dollars then."

Dean's jaw dropped. "I just gave you a twenty!"

"Well, I wasn't risking facing Lucifer then, was I?!"

"That's too bad, 'cause I don't have any more money on me!"

"That is too bad," Crowley mocked. "For Sam."

Dean put a step forward, ready to fly at his throat, but Michael grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

"Don't," he simply said. "He's not worth it."

"Dean, why don't you ask your boyfriend here if you can borrow some money?" Crowley tormented him. "Everybody knows they have plenty."

"We don't make deals with your kind," Michael snarled.

"Speak for yourself, brother," a voice sounded from behind them.

They all turned to the front of the building, where a short guy was making his way towards them. As he came closer, Dean realized with a start that he knew the boy. It was one of Michael's brothers, the same one that he had brought to the park, along with Castiel.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Michael asked, looking equally surprised.

His brother just pushed past him without answering. He pulled out a fifty and held it up between two fingers, right in front of Crowley's face.

"You listen to me, you arrogant dick, you're gonna get your ass in there and you're not coming back out without delivering Sam safely to his brother. Deal?"

Crowley scowled at him but then snatched away the money. "Deal." He turned around and walked back into the club.

"Why did you do that?" Dean asked in surprise. He didn't even know the guy. Why would he help him?

"More importantly, what are you doing here?" Michael repeated. "I told you all I'd be back soon enough and I left Raphael in charge."

"And that's supposed to stop me?" his brother mocked, raising an eyebrow. He turned back to Dean. "Just keep your brother away from Lucifer." He started to walk away, to a shiny silver car parked at the sidewalk, but at the last moment he looked back at him. "Actually, it would be wise for both of you to stay away from my family in general."

With that, the Shurley boy stepped into his car and left, leaving Dean in mere confusion.

Chapter Text

While Lucifer was fetching their drinks, Sam looked around the club in an attempt to keep himself occupied. The place was amazing but he had to admit that without Lucifer, he felt a little uncomfortable in the crowd. He was just thinking about how he actually didn't know anyone else in this place, when he noticed Crowley standing at the entrance.

Even though he should have known this would be the ideal place for a guy like Crowley to hang around, Sam was still surprised to see him. Not that it really mattered. He didn't know Crowley that well. For a long time yes, but he'd never really been friends with him like Dean had. So he just turned away and looked out for Lucifer to get back.

"Well, hello Moose," a familiar accent suddenly sounded from behind him.

Sam rolled his eyes and turned around. "What do you want, Crowley?"

"Personally I would love nothing more than to get away from you and your new boyfriend, but I need you to come with me," the short guy said, not seeming very happy to be here.

"What are you talking about?" Sam frowned.

"Your brother needs you," Crowley told him and Sam immediately felt a pinch of worry in his chest.

"Why?" he asked hastily. "What is it? What happened?"

Crowley sighed dramatically. "Let's just say it's an emergency of sorts."

If it was an emergency, then what were they waiting for? And if Crowley cared enough to come get him, why did he now seem so indifferent? Anyway, if Dean really needed him, he was obliged to go with him.

"Alright," he said. "Let me just quickly get Lucifer and..."

"Oh no, no no no," Crowley interrupted him, grabbing him by the arm and starting to drag him back towards the entrance. "No time for that."

Sam looked at him in confusion. "But how am I even..."

"Doesn't matter, Moose. Everything's been taken care of, just follow me."

Okay, what the hell is going on here? I've never seen him act like this before... Sam really started to freak out right now. "Crowley, what..." he started, just as Crowley opened the door and pushed him out in front of him.

Much to his surprise Dean was standing right in front of him. Michael next to him.

In confusion Sam turned back to Crowley, who had shut the door and now told the guard, "Don't let any of them back in." The guard frowned a bit, obviously recognizing Sam, but didn't protest.

Now he was completely clueless. "Dean," he asked his brother. "What is this? What's going on?" And then it hit him. Dean didn't like Lucifer, even though he'd never met him, and he hadn't wanted Sam to go out tonight. "How did you know I was here?"

"What, you think you're the only one with connections?" his brother said, clearly not happy with the situation at all.

Sam gave Crowley an incredulous look. "You told them? Why?"

"None of your bloody business," Crowley said with that arrogant look on his face and started to walk away. "I'm finished here. See you later, boys."

"Okay c'mon, let's get to the car," Dean said, motioning for him to follow and already turning around to leave as well.

Just speechless, he spread his arms, opening his mouth, closing it again and eventually just saying, "Are you serious right now?"

"Why wouldn't I be?" his brother answered, seemingly not understanding what was bothering Sam so much.

"Lucifer's still in there, he doesn't even know I'm gone, you really want me to just leave him there?" he yelled, becoming outraged at Dean's indifference.

"Do I look like I care?" Dean snapped at him.

"Do I look like I don't?" he retorted. "Lucifer is my friend, Dean!"

"The guy is just using you, Sam!"

"Says who? Michael?!" Sam nearly shouted.

The Shurley just looked down at his feet before mumbling a quick, "I'll go wait by the car."

Once he was gone, the two Winchesters were left staring at each other angrily.

After a few seconds of silence Dean let out a sigh and shook his head. "Can we please talk about this when we get home?"

"You mean so Lucifer can't come and get me?" Sam scoffed.

"Yes, Sam, exactly like that!" his brother yelled. "Happy now?"

"Nothing about this is making me happy, Dean!"

Dean pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration and muttered, "Just get to the car, Sam, or I swear..."

"What?" he snarled.

"Or I'll tell Dad what happened and you know he won't like it!"

Sam stared at his brother in disbelief. He wouldn't... But apparently he did. Sam couldn't remember Dean ever betraying him like this. "Fine," he said in a frigid voice and pushed past him. When he got to the front of the building, he couldn't help but glance a look at the shining red Corvette and he felt a twinge in his stomach. Lucifer had even suggested Dean could check it out if he wanted to.

He heard Dean following closely behind him but he didn't bother looking around. Michael was still waiting by the Impala and as Sam walked to the passenger seat he made damn sure to give him an icy look.

"Hey, why don't you two go on without me?" Sam heard him telling Dean.

"You sure?" his brother asked.

"Yeah, it's fine, I'll walk. It's right down the road anyway. Apparently."

"Alright, I'll see you Monday," Dean said while opening the door. "Thanks, Mike."

Sam couldn't say he was sad to see him go. They drove home in an uncomfortable silence, Dean focusing on the road, Sam staring out of the window, avoiding Dean at all costs. When they finally entered their kitchen, Dean turned around at him.

"So?"

Still pissed, Sam frowned. "So what?"

"So you wanna tell me what you were doing with Lucifer in an underground club after I explicitly told you you couldn't go?" his older brother elaborated in an annoyed voice.

"Who are you? Dad?" Sam mocked.

Dean shot him a deathly glare. "No, Sam, but I am your brother and I am responsible for you when Dad or Bobby aren't around. So I'm gonna ask you one more time: what the hell were you doing in a place like The Cage?"

"I was having fun, that's what I was doing!" Sam defended himself. Why was his brother making such a big deal out of this?

"But at a club?" Dean let out with big eyes, placing his hands on the kitchen table. "That's not you, Sam, you hate places like that! You didn't even wanna go to the park last week and now you're hanging around at clubs with a guy you barely even know?!"

"Well, I'm sorry, Dean, but you haven't exactly been brother of the year either. We've barely talked for the last couple of weeks and I know that's partially on me, but it's on you too. You have put me off every time I tried to have a decent conversation, you've completely ignored my opinion on Lucifer, you have shut me out and you have put me aside because of this secretive stuff you won't tell me about and I have taken it, thinking to myself that if you wanted to talk about, you would, but this, having Crowley drag me away from my friends, this is crossing a line, Dean!"

"What the hell is going on in here?" a gruff voice made them both jump.

Sam turned around to see nobody less than Bobby, looking very annoyed at the two of them.

"Bobby?" Dean asked and he sounded just as surprised as Sam felt. "What are you doing here?"

Bobby looked at him like it was the most stupid question in the world. "Well, your dad left yesterday, so here I am."

Sam pulled up his eyebrows. That was yesterday? It felt like weeks ago. And he'd surely forgotten Bobby would step by.

Apparently his brother felt the same way, because he cleared his throat before mumbling, "Right." Then he added, "Wait, so you just got here?"

Bobby frowned at him. "Of course not, you have any idea what time it is? I've been here for hours! I don't know where the two of you have been, but you sure as hell kept me busy. Called all of your friends to find you."

Dean nodded and looked down, embarrassed. "Sorry 'bout that, Bobby."

"Yeah, whatever. So," Bobby continued, "what were you two idjits fightin' about?"

They exchanged a look and remained silent. Sam didn't want to keep fighting about this. It was stupid and useless and he knew they were never gonna agree on the subject anyway. And he had to admit he also knew Bobby wouldn't be happy about it.

But as it seemed, Dean didn't feel the same way. "Sam was at an underground club tonight with Lucifer Shurley."

"Really?" Bobby said, his eyes big with surprise. "Sam, is that true?"

Sam gave his brother an incredulous glare, but was ignored completely. So he decided to give his brother a taste of his own medicine. "Yes, it is," he said in a confident voice and shrugged. "We became friends after Dean made his older brother Michael his new bestie."

Now Bobby's eyes moved to Dean and Sam could hardly suppress a satisfied smile. He knew this wouldn't be the end of it, but if he was going down, he would take his brother right with him.

"Did you boys not hear a word your father and I told you?" Bobby sighed.

"Bobby..." Dean tried, but he was interrupted.

"Now you two listen to me," the man started. "I'm not gonna tell you who to be friends with or not. I'm not saying they're all bad and I won't stop you from hanging around with them if that's what you want, but I am telling you that that is a seriously dysfunctional family. And I don't want either of you getting caught up in their messes. 'Cause it is gonna end bloody. You understand?"

A part of Sam felt a pinch of guilt at the worry on Bobby's face. He could see Dean was having the same reaction.

"Sorry, Bobby," he muttered and Dean nodded in agreement.

"Alright," Bobby sighed again, grabbed a beer and sat down at the kitchen table. "Now you boys better get to your room. It's late enough as it is."

Chapter Text

To say their weekend was awkward would be the understatement of the century.

For the full two days they hardly spoke to each other, only exchanging the formalities. Saturday evening Sam moved to their dad's room. Just for sleeping though, somewhere that wasn't in Dean's near proximity. When Bobby came up and found him there, already asleep, he muttered a curse and went to sleep on the couch, because apparently the boys had forgotten he was still there. He decided to just let them be for now and hope they would quit the drama soon enough.

Dean mainly spent the weekend texting Michael, Sam mainly spent the weekend texting Lucifer.

Dean still didn't quite know how to handle the whole situation. He couldn't even make out his own feelings, how was he supposed to know what to do about Michael's? Were they really having a moment at Friday? And did the fact that he'd possibly shared a moment with Michael say something about him being gay? Or bi, pan, whatever, anything that wasn't straight? And how did he feel about that? "If you like Michael, dump your girlfriend and tell him. If not, there shouldn't be a problem in the first place." Castiel's words resonated in his mind. The thing was that there was in fact a problem. So what did that mean then? Maybe he had to talk about it with Michael. Maybe talking about it with Michael was the worst idea in history. Dean couldn't remember ever feeling this confused.

Sam on the other hand was perfectly comfortable with his friendship with Lucifer. He had told him everything that had happened Friday night and his friend had been nothing but understanding about it. He was angry at his older brother though, hell they both were, but he didn't blame Sam for any of it. In fact it brought them even closer together. Everything was easy when it came down to Lucifer. He made Sam loosen up like he hadn't in a very long time. Not since Jess. Sure, he was still a little unsure about the flirtatious comments Lucifer made from time to time, but in general he just brushed them off as jokes. It didn't even come to mind that they might be something more.

~~~

When Dean pulled up in the school's parking lot at Monday, he was exhausted. He was sick of the tension between him and Sam, he was sick of worrying about Michael and he sure as hell was sick of overthinking every single second of his life. Dean hated thinking.

"See you later," Sam muttered before getting out of the car and leaving him by himself.

Dean dropped back his head and let out a sigh. God, he felt lost.

When he looked back up, he was just in time to see Michael walking towards the school's entrance. Dean opened the door without hesitation and before he could help himself, he called out Michael's name. His friend turned around immediately and met him halfway with a broad smile on his face.

"Hi, Dean," he greeted him. "How was your weekend?"

He let out a mocking laugh. "Disastrous of course. What did you expect?"

"Sam's still giving you a hard time?"

"Yeah, pretty much," Dean said.

Michael put an arm around his shoulders. "Don't worry about it, he'll come around."

Not that Dean really caught that, because his friend had just put an arm around his shoulders. And just maybe he was silently freaking out about it a little. But instead of doing something awkward he told himself to calm down, let it be and move on.

"Ah, I don't know, man," he admitted. "It's different this time. I get the feeling the harder I try, the more I push him away."

Michael grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him around to face him, just like Dean had done last week. "You're a great brother, Dean. I'm sure that whatever it is, you two will work it out." And then he pulled him in for a hug.

After a second of hesitation Dean reciprocated the gesture and quickly padded him on the back. When they let go of each other, their gazes locked and once again Dean was blown away by the beauty of Michael's eyes. It was at that moment, their bodies so close to each other and Michael's hand still lingering on his shoulder, that Dean not only thought it, but for the first time also actually acknowledged it.

He wanted to kiss him.

It was as easy as that. Except that it wasn't easy, far from it really. He had a girlfriend. He was at a complete loss for his sexual orientation. And he certainly already had enough on his mind as it was.

So when the first bell rang and pulled him out of his thoughts, Dean ran.

He had to get out of there, away from those pretty green eyes. Of course it would all be over now. Surely Michael was aware of his feelings after this, if he hadn't been already. And yes, Dean knew Michael liked him, but he wasn't ready for this. There were too many things left he had to figure out before he could even consider something like a relationship with Michael. Clear his head. And he needed to do it now.

He should have gone to his class, but at the moment school was the least of his worries. Luckily he still remembered where Sam was during first period.

~~~

As soon as Sam left the car, he shook off the awkwardness between him and Dean. He wouldn't let the argument with this brother ruin his day.

He practically ran into the school building, eager to find the one person he knew would light up his mood immediately. He found Lucifer at his locker, already patiently waiting for him. The sight of the older boy alone was enough to make him smile.

"Well hey, Sam," he was greeted. "Just the person I wanted to see. What a coincidence."

Sam rolled his eyes at him. "You're standing by my locker."

"Really?" Lucifer feigned surprise and looked at his locker in shock. "Oh my god, what are the odds? You think I'm psychic?"

Sam laughed and shoved him playfully before opening his locker. As he did so, he saw Lucifer move and a second later he felt a presence right behind him. With an annoyed sigh he turned around and slightly looked up at the Shurley, who was a lot closer than he had anticipated. "What are you doing?"

Lucifer shrugged with an arrogant smile on his face. "What does it look like I'm doing?"

"It looks like you're in my personal space," he commented.

"Good catch." Lucifer kept smiling at him.

After a couple of seconds Sam decided to give up. "Fine," he sighed. "I'll bite. Why are you in my personal space?"

"You know what my plan is?" Lucifer teased him and Sam shook his head. "I don't have one."

He laughed at that. "Then why are you in my personal space?"

"Because I want to."

Sam rolled his eyes and put a step to the side, putting more room between them.

"You want to hang out after school?" Lucifer asked.

Sam replied with an incredulous look. "I don't know about you but I have homework, you know."

Lucifer tilted his head at him. "Maybe we can do it together?"

He contemplated the idea for a second. There was no way they could go to his house. Dean would kick Lucifer out immediately. But there was no harm in finding a quiet place to do it together. "Where?"

"The library?" Lucifer suggested with a playful grin.

He laughed and nodded excitedly. "Sure. Right after school?"

At that point the school bell rang and they had to leave for class.

"You said it!" Lucifer called before they went their separate ways.

His first period was biology, which was okay. Sam went to sit at his usual spot and got his books out. His classmates were doing the same thing and as everyone was in and the second bell rang, their teacher went to close the door. She was just about to shut it when someone came racing through. And it wasn't just anyone.

Sam's jaw nearly dropped when he recognized his brother. What the hell is he doing here? He was about to call out Dean's name in surprise, but held back when he noticed Dean was ignoring him completely. He rushed through the classroom, zigzagging between the tables and past Sam's. He only stopped next to the table of one of his classmates, one of the Shurleys, a boy with dark hair who always seemed to be wearing the same trenchcoat. As Sam got more confused with every second, Dean grabbed the guy by the arm and nearly dragged him out of the classroom without further notice.

For a moment the entire class remained silent, Mrs Miller included, and stared at the door. When it became clear the boys wouldn't be returning any time soon, she finally closed it and his fellow students started whispering to each other as on cue. Sam couldn't blame them, he was just as curious to find out what had just happened. Out of the corner of his eye he caught a questioning look from Kevin, but he just shrugged in response.

He had no idea what was going on. And he had to admit that fact stung a little.

Chapter Text

Dean was freaking out. Not just a silent, ignorable, possible to suppress freaking out, but seriously freaking out. His breathing was heavy, his heart was pounding and the world around him looked blurred. He barely heard Castiel calling out his name in protest while he dragged him towards one of the side entrances. Neither did he notice a teacher that passed them and yelled something, to which Castiel responded with a good excuse apparently, because she let them go.

He could only hope Michael had gone in in the meantime.

"Dean!" Castiel shouted as they finally pushed through the doors and he jerked away the arm Dean had held in a tight grip the entire time.

Dean ran his hands through his hair while pacing back and fro. He had to fix this. Take care of the giant mess he had made now and forever. "Cas, you have to help me," he begged in despair. "I've ruined everything, please help me put it right!"

"Dean, what are you talking about?" Castiel asked and stopped him by putting a comforting hand on his shoulder. His blue eyes looked worried and his head was slightly tilted to the right.

"You were right, okay?" Dean started rambling. "You were right all along. Apparently I'm not straight and I do have feelings for Michael and we had a moment and I didn't know what to do and then I thought about kissing him but I don't want to kiss him because I don't have time for even more crap so I ran and now he knows off course how I feel about him and he's never gonna want to talk to me again because who wants to talk to one of his best friends who has feelings for them but doesn't have time for even more crap?"

"Is that a rhetorical question?" Castiel asked and Dean was fairly sure that if he hadn't been such a wreck at the moment, he would have punched the guy.

Instead he said, "I don't know, Cas, I'm a little bit busy having an existential crisis here!" He started pacing again.

"Dean, I'm..." Castiel started but Dean interrupted him and pointed an accusing finger in his direction.

"Don't," he told him. "Don't give me that 'it doesn't matter' crap because it does matter, alright? It matters the world, dammit!"

Castiel remained as calm as ever. "I was going to say that I'm sorry."

That caught him of guard. "What?"

"I'm sorry," Castiel repeated. "I'm sorry for telling you about Michael. I shouldn't have done that."

He didn't know why but those words seemed to calm him down a bit. "Thanks," he muttered.

"Will you talk to me? About what happened?" Castiel tried.

He started nodding, hesitantly at first but then more confident about his decision. "That would be great, thank you."

"Okay." Castiel went to sit on the stairs and Dean followed his lead. The boy gave him an expectant look.

Dean took a deep breath, before starting to talk. "I really didn't see him as anything more than a friend at first. That I'm sure of. I mean, I have Lisa, she is the most beautiful and sweetest girl I've ever met and I love her." He let out a mocking laugh. "Or at least I think I do. There's nothing I'm completely sure of anymore. Anyway, we became close friends real quick. He tried to help me out with Sam and honestly I think I needed him myself too. Jess was gone, I was starting to lose Sam and don't get me wrong, Charlie, Lisa, Benny, Jo, Kevin, they're amazing friends and I love them to death, but I guess I just needed to get out for a moment. Out of my old life. Michael helped me with that. And then you told me he was into me."

Castiel gave him a sad smile. "I'm sorry."

He shrugged and shook his head. "It doesn't matter. I would've probably found out one way or another. The thing is from that moment on I started questioning everything. Me, him, our behavior, our feelings, other people's behavior and feelings. Hell, I dragged my brother out of a club at Friday, because Michael told me Lucifer was using him."

"I don't know if that's true and I don't want to cause trouble, but I think that wasn't the worst idea," Castiel commented.

With a start Dean realized he had never actually asked any of the other Shurleys about Lucifer. "You think he's a bad person too?"

"I didn't say that," Castiel quickly objected. "It's not that I think he is a bad person, I wouldn't know because I don't really know him that well, but I do know Lucifer has a gift of making messes and neglecting to clean them up."

Dean pulled up the corner of his mouth. "You really don't know your siblings that well, huh?"

Castiel looked down and started fidgeting with the tip of his blue tie. What kid wears a tie to high school? Dean couldn't help but wonder.

"I do," Castiel answered protectively. "The ones of my age. The others maybe a bit less, but I do. It's just that Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, even Gabriel, they were always kind of..." Dean could see him choose his words carefully. "the aristocracy of the family, you could say."

Dean pulled up his eyebrows but decided to just go with it. "Okay..."

"But my siblings are of no importance now," Castiel said, clearly closing the subject, and looked back at him. "You said you started having doubts?"

He groaned inwardly and continued his story. "I did. I do, I guess. I became very... self-conscious. Tried to convince myself it was all in my head, which it clearly wasn't. From time to time there were these... situations when we would just look at each other and then..." Dean shrugged. He wasn't that great at talking about his feelings. "He just understood me, you know."

Castiel nodded comprehensively but remained silent.

"During these moments I would sometimes think... things," he admitted for the first time aloud. "Things I would have never thought I'd think. About a guy. I shook them off as curiosities but..." He shook his head and fell quiet. He felt so incredibly lost.

After a couple seconds he carefully looked back at Castiel. "How do you do it?" he asked, his voice almost a whisper.

Castiel slightly frowned at him. "Do what?"

Dean gave him a half shrug. "You're all bi, right?"

"Pansexuals, actually," Castiel corrected him. "But yes, I understand what you mean."

"So?" Dean tried again. "How do you do it?"

Castiel smiled sympathetically. "You don't do it, Dean. You just... be."

He raised an eyebrow and mocked, "To be or not to be? That's your advice?"

The Shurley laughed at that and he couldn't suppress a small smile of his own.

"Dean, nobody can tell you how to feel," Castiel eventually said. "Not even you."

Dean gave the other boy a grateful smile. "Thanks, Cas."

"You're welcome."

"So what's next?" Dean asked.

"I don't know," Castiel confessed. "What do you want to be next?"

"I don't know," he admitted.

"Maybe you need to figure out that first."

"Maybe you're right."

Castiel looked back at him. "You want my advice?"

"Yes, please," Dean laughed.

"Follow your heart," Castiel told him with a serious look.

He pulled a questioning face and said, "You're just full of ancient wisdom, huh?"

"It's not a joke, Dean," Castiel glared at him. "I mean it. It's the only way you will get out of this happily."

The funny thing was Dean couldn't see any way this would end well. Everything about this situation seemed doomed to fail. But Cas was right. Before he could even make an attempt at fixing things, he would have to decide what he wanted.

"Sorry I dragged you out of your class," he eventually said. He had only now realized he had quite literally forced Castiel to ditch class. And the guy didn't exactly look like someone who would ever do that on his own.

"That's alright," Castiel said. "I don't expect to get in too much trouble. It's only biology after all."

Dean laughed at that. "Only biology, right."

Castiel didn't seem to understand what he meant by that but he didn't say anything about it.

So instead Dean noted, "We should probably get back though."

"Yes, you're right," Castiel agreed and they got up and walked back into the building.

When they went their separate ways, Dean thanked the younger boy another time and they said their goodbyes for now. While walking to his classroom, Dean mentally made a list of all the things he had to do next:

  1. Keep away from Michael and if possible Lisa a bit as well. He needed time to think.
  2. Figure out his sexual orientation, 'cause clearly there was something wrong with that.
  3. Deciding how he felt about Michael.
  4. Talk to his friends about this mess and asking them about their opinions. (His friends being Charlie, Benny and Jo, definitely leaving Lisa out of this one.)
  5. Fix things with Sam. Then hopefully his brother could give him some advice as well.
  6. Talk to Michael and, if needed, Lisa.

Dean really hoped that would be enough.

Chapter Text

'Need to go to the library, I'll walk home,' Sam texted his brother after last period. He didn't get a reply so he assumed Dean was okay with it.

As he was walking through the hallways, Lisa came running up to him. "Hey, Sam!"

"Hi," he greeted her in surprise. It had been a while since he'd talked to her.

She gave him a friendly hug before asking, "How are you? We haven't really seen you in a while."

Sam gave her a guilty smile. "I'm alright, thank you. I'm sorry for being so absent lately."

"What, no!" she quickly said. "It's fine, Sam, we understand. It's not your fault."

He nodded gratefully. "Thanks. I wish Dean felt that way too."

"He'll come around," Lisa said with a comforting smile. "He's just being his overprotective self, you know how he gets."

Sam laughed at that. "True." He sighed and felt a pinch of sadness. "I don't know though. It's different this time."

"Maybe," she said before adding, "Hey, what I wanted to ask you, do you know what's up with him lately? I mean, I know you two have your issues but I think there's something else as well."

"What do you mean?"

She shrugged. "He's just been a little absent, distant. And today he was so quiet."

He shook his head. "No, he hasn't told me anything," he admitted.

Lisa gave him an understanding nod. "Well, it's still Dean, so that's to be expected I guess. I'm just worried about him, you know?"

"Yeah, I know," Sam softly smiled.

"Anyway, I have to go. I'll see you later, Sam!"

"See you!" he called with a little wave as she walked away. His brother was lucky with a girlfriend like Lisa.

He walked outside to find a familiar red vehicle already waiting for him.

"Took you long enough," Lucifer said with a smirk.

Sam grinned widely and shoved him as he stepped into the car. "I was talking to Lisa," he defended himself.

Lucifer pretended to gasp for air and gave him a betrayed look. "Sam, are you cheating on me?"

He rolled his eyes. "Let's just get to the library."

Doing homework with Lucifer turned out to not be the most productive thing in the world. Which was a nice way of saying Sam didn't get a thing done because his friend kept doing things he wasn't supposed to do in a library, bother other people or distract him in just any other way possible. Eventually Sam decided to take matters into his own hands and leave before they were kicked out by an already looking annoyed librarian.

"Come on," he whispered while snatching one of the paper pellets that Lucifer had been throwing at anyone who came within reach from his hand. "Let's go."

"But why? I'm having fun," Lucifer whined, way too loud.

There was still a little angry shushing but most people had given up by now and already accepted their fate.

Sam couldn't help but smile at the adorableness of Lucifer's pouting face. Never had he expected to become friends with someone like Lucifer. If it had been anyone else, he'd have probably already become irritated at someone disturbing the library's quietude and peaceful atmosphere. But now... there was something about Lucifer that made it impossible for him to get mad at the guy.

"Because you are terrible at being in a library," he softly answered the other boy's question with a smirk. "And someone needs to put these poor people out of their misery."

Lucifer acted like the words had shocked him to the bone. "Sammy, I'm offended! That hurts my feelings, you know!"

Another hushing and an angry look from the librarian made Sam quickly stand up and putting away his things before dragging Lucifer out of his chair. "We're leaving. Now."

"Okay, fine..." Lucifer sighed dramatically.

As soon as they got out of the library Sam had trouble suppressing a laugh.

"Am I amusing you?" Lucifer questioned with a playful grin.

Sam shoved him. "Oh please. Like you don't know you're being ridiculous."

"And you love me for it," Lucifer retorted.

Sam opened his mouth, then closed it again when he realized what he had almost automatically answered. He couldn't immediately come up with something else to say, so he just remained silent.

Which Lucifer of course noticed. "What is it, Sammy?"

"Don't call me that," he instantly replied for probably the billionth time.

"Why not? It's cute."

Sam rolled his eyes. "I'm not cute."

"Yes, you are," Lucifer said without hesitating, making Sam blush just as quickly. Lucifer had that effect on him quite often.

Again he decided to not answer that. Luckily Lucifer wasn't the kind of person to keep quiet anyways.

"Hey Sammy?" he said, turning to him while they were walking back to the car.

Sam looked back into those sweet, playful eyes. "What?"

"How long have I known you now?"

"Half a week?" Sam guessed.

"That short, huh?" Lucifer said. "Seems like months ago."

Sam smiled. "I know right?"

"It's weird..." his friend muttered.

"What is?"

Lucifer shrugged. "I only know you for less than a week and you're already the best thing that ever happened to me."

Sam's heart skipped a beat at that and had barely any time to recover, because before he knew it, Lucifer closed the space between them and pressed his lips against Sam's. It was a nice kiss, short and passionate, and when Lucifer pulled away again, Sam could only wish it had lasted longer. His heart was hammering in his chest, his eyes big with shock. He couldn't believe that just happened and yet he was happy it had. Although he had to admit he had no idea what it meant. Probably because his brain wasn't functioning that well. It seemed to have crashed the moment Lucifer kissed him.

"You want me to take you home?" Lucifer asked.

He wanted to say no. He wanted to spend the rest of this entire day with Lucifer if it meant he would get to feel those soft lips on his again. But he also knew he'd have to get home pretty soon if he didn't want to piss off Dean again.

"Yeah, okay," Sam swallowed in a heavy voice.

"Okay then," Lucifer said and started walking to the car as if nothing ever happened.

They got in and as they drove off, the only thing Sam could think about was the words that had almost come out of his mouth earlier.

I do.

~~~

Lucifer ended up dropping Sam off at the end of his street, so Dean wouldn't see him. They hadn't really talked anymore and especially not about the kiss. Which only added to Sam's confusion and insecurity of what to expect.

Bobby had popped in a bit earlier. Dean and him were just finishing preparing dinner when Sam arrived. Well, Dean did the cooking while Bobby handed him stuff and drank a beer. It wasn't like Dean was that great at cooking, actually he had to admit even Sam was a lot better at it, but he'd learned from experience. Besides, he liked taking care of his little brother.

They all exchanged small greetings and now that Sam had come home, Bobby felt comfortable enough to leave the boys on their own for the night. He needed to get back to his own place, but he'd step by again the next day.

"You sure you don't wanna stay for dinner?" Dean asked.

"You think I wanna take that risk?" Bobby joked, causing both of the boys to grin. "Nah, I'll leave you boys to it. See ya tomorrow."

As the Winchesters said their goodbyes, Sam set the table and Dean put down the pot of homemade mac and cheese. They sat down and even though they didn't really talk to each other, both of them knew something had changed. Somehow the tension from that morning had evaporated and made room for a silent feeling of acceptance. They didn't have the slightest idea why but as they looked at each other, they could both see something had happened in their brother's life. Something apparently big enough to put their quarrel on the side for now, although they knew they eventually still would have to sort that out too. They didn't know what it was the other had experienced today and they didn't ask. Both brothers just acknowledged something was going on in the other's mind and decided to let them be.

For a moment they both considered telling the other what was going on. And then refrained. Sam because he knew Dean just hated Lucifer, and maybe also a bit because he didn't know how Dean would react to him having kissed with a guy. Dean because he actually still didn't know what there was to tell and because he simply was being an insecure piece of shit.

Either way both boys finished their meals and spend the evening without realizing their secrets were a lot more similar than they would have anticipated.

Chapter Text

Tuesday promised to become a mess.

When Sam got out of the Impala, he took a deep breath and determinedly walked towards the school. He had been planning what he was going to say the entire morning and by now he basically knew the words by heart. He was confident he would need them too.

As expected, Lucifer was waiting for him next to his locker. He gave Sam a girly wave while the younger boy approached him. "Hi, Sam."

Sam licked his lips nervously. His mouth had suddenly become dry. "Hey. Can we talk?" he carefully asked.

Lucifer shrugged. "Sure."

Although he couldn't immediately spot someone he knew in the hallway, Sam felt a little uncomfortable having this conversation in public. "You mind going somewhere a little bit more quiet?"

"Wow Sammy, never took you for the sneaky type," Lucifer said with a playful grin and pulled up eyebrows, making Sam swallow loudly. The Shurley laughed at that. "Don't worry, I'm just messing with you." And with that he started walking.

Sam followed him through the hallways, until they eventually got to a pretty quiet one. Lucifer quickly looked around, probably to check if there weren't any teachers around, and Sam automatically did the same thing. His eyes didn't land on a teacher though. Instead they met with some familiar golden ones.

The Trickster averted his eyes and turned back to what Sam presumed was his locker. The short guy didn't pay any more attention to him or Lucifer, so he decided to just ignore it. In the meantime Lucifer had opened the door to an empty classroom and motioned for Sam to go in.

He entered the room, put down his bag and leaned against the teacher's desk while Lucifer closed to door.

"So," his friend said, smiling. "What did you want to talk about?"

He was kidding, right? Sam stood up straight and took a deep breath before starting, "Well, I mean..." He cleared his throat and ran a hand through his hair. "Yesterday, at the library, you uhm... you... you kissed me and..." When he realized he didn't know how to finish that sentence, he made some vague gesture with his hands.

Lucifer opened his mouth in a silent 'o'. "That's what this is about?"

"Yeah," Sam breathed out. "I mean, you, you know, kissed me."

"I guess I did," Lucifer brutally grinned and Sam felt a blush spread around his cheeks immediately.

"So..." God, this was going a lot slower than he'd anticipated. "What did it... mean?"

Lucifer went to sit on one of the tables and tilted his head at him. "What do you want it to mean?"

Sam took a deep breath and forced out the words he'd been practicing in his head. "After Jess and what happened to her, I didn't think I'd ever be ready for another relationship. Honestly, I still don't know if I will be."

"But?" Lucifer asked as Sam paused.

Exactly, Sam thought. But...

He had been thinking about the 'but' from the moment Lucifer dropped him off yesterday until the middle of the night, when he'd finally fallen asleep. He'd thought about Lucifer, about those daring blue eyes and the mocking grin. The day they'd met, their visits to the Cage, the time they'd spend in the Corvette, he played it all back in his head. He remembered how Lucifer made him feel, the courage he gave him and the adrenaline that rushed through his body because every second with Lucifer was like an adventure, but also how easily the other boy's flirtations made him feel uncomfortable or blush or the butterflies in his stomach spring to life. Sam had realized all of that. And although he had never actually been in a relationship with another guy, he'd always been open to it. Never told a living soul but still. And he certainly would've never ever even dared to approach someone that way, but Lucifer had kissed him. Sam was pretty sure you didn't just kiss your friends. Not like that.

So Sam took a deep breath and told him the truth, "But I like you, Lucifer. I like you a lot. More than I should probably."

As he spoke, he saw something change in Lucifer's eyes. A softness appeared in them, a vulnerability Sam had only seen once before, when they had been talking about Lucifer's family. It lasted for only a fraction of a second, disappearing as quickly as it had come up, but Sam had definitely seen it.

Lucifer smiled at him, sweet with the usual hint of playfulness. "I guess it's a good thing I like you too then."

Sam could feel a wide smile spread across his face, joy ran through his veins. He couldn't remember the last time he felt anything like this, the happiness, the excitement, the... Did he dare call it love already? Of course he knew it was too soon for any of that, but still... The only other person who had ever caused this feeling within him... had been Jess. The thought alone made a familiar sadness arise in his stomach but it was softened by something else.

"So what do we do now?" he carefully asked, becoming shy after everything he'd just admitted.

Of course Lucifer didn't have that problem. The boy went to stand in front of him, shook his head playfully and closed the space between them. "Sam Winchester, I'm gonna do anything I want with you." And with that he grabbed Sam by the collar and pulled him in.

Their lips smashed together and it was as if a giant ball of warmth and happiness exploded in his body. It was nothing like the kiss they'd shared yesterday. This one was long and feisty and full of desire. Sam stumbled back against the desk, placing his hands on the surface automatically so he wouldn't fall over while Lucifer pressed his body against his. The other boy's fingers let go of his shirt and moved to the back of his neck, where he could feel them entwine with his hair. A shiver ran down his spine as Lucifer used his lips to part Sam's. He felt Lucifer's tongue slip past his upper lip, caressing it on its way, and for a moment Sam considered if this was maybe going a little bit too fast. But honestly, his mind couldn't be bothered thinking about that right now. Hell, his mind couldn't be bothered thinking about anything at all besides the mouth moving against his own.

When Lucifer finally pulled away, Sam was left shocked to the bone and out of breath. The Shurley put a step back while Sam was still trying to recover from the kiss, and said with an amused grin, "So, guess that makes me your boyfriend now, huh?"

Still a bit shaky, the younger boy couldn't immediately get out a word. He couldn't help but smile though, and when he finally seemed to have retrieved his voice, he basically sighed, "I guess it does."

"Good," Lucifer smiled. "'Cause I wasn't gonna have it any other way."

Sam laughed at that, but then he got serious again. "Could we maybe keep it between us though?" he carefully asked. "For now, I mean. It's just that I'd like to tell my friends and family myself and right now..."

Lucifer interrupted him with an understanding smile. "Of course." He then gave Sam a quick peck on the lips before turning around and heading towards. "Come on, Sammy," he said with a mocking look. "We don't wanna be late for class now, do we?"

The Winchester rolled his eyes, but he couldn't help but smile as he followed his... well, boyfriend. Huh. Who would've seen that one coming?

Lucifer opened the door and walked out. Or at least he attempted to walk out. To his surprise however, Sam saw him stumble as he put a step forward before slipping and falling over, right on his face. As the younger boy looked down in shock, he noticed the floor was covered in small marbles. How the hell do these even... Then something dawned on him and he quickly looked around, searching for the Trickster. It had to be him, there was no other way. He couldn't find the golden-haired boy though. Instead of wasting another second on him, he rushed over to Lucifer, carefully avoiding the marbles, to help him back up.

"Are you okay?" Sam asked, worry clear in his voice. A couple of kids in the hallway had chuckled a little at the event but most didn't dare really laugh at them. Lucifer could be quite an intimidating person if he wanted to.

As soon as he was back on his feet, Lucifer grumbled a short, "I'm fine." His eyes traveled around the hallway, just like Sam's had before. Then he added, "I'm going to kill him though."

Sam was almost certain he knew who Lucifer was talking about, but he asked it anyway. "The Trickster?"

"Who else?" Lucifer confirmed his assumptions. "Only one of my brothers is enough of a coward to pull something like this."

"Hey." Sam placed a hand on his arm and gave it a little squeeze. "Don't worry about him, okay? He's just being an ass, if we ignore him, he'll stop it eventually." Not that he'd left Sam alone, not until Jess had died. He swallowed away the lump in his throat.

Lucifer was still scanning the other students, but he made a groaning sound in agreement.

"Come one," Sam said while grabbing his hand and dragging him away. "Like you said, we've got classes to catch. We'll deal with the Trickster later." He offered Lucifer a reassuring smile, which was quickly reciprocated.

He didn't notice he didn't let go of the other boy's hand as they walked through the hallways...

Chapter Text

Dean walked into the building, preparing to start working on his bucket list. He immediately saw his group friends at their usual spot. Luckily Michael wasn't with them. Not yet at least.

When he got to them, he turned to his girlfriend at once. "Hey, can we hang out after school a bit?" he softly spoke, so the others wouldn't hear. "I need to talk to you."

Lisa smiled at him, being it with a bit of worry in her eyes. "Of course, honey. Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, it's fine, we just need to talk," he quickly soothed her.

"Sure, no problem," she assured him, just before her eyes turned to his side. "Oh hey, there's Michael."

Son of a bitch... Dean turned around right on time to see the Shurley come to a stop a couple of yards away. They shared an awkward look and then Michael walked past them without looking back. Dean watched him go to his locker, where a couple of his siblings were standing as well.

"Well, that was weird," Lisa commented. "You know what's up with him?"

Dean shook his head. He felt guilty about lying to her, but he couldn't tell her the truth either. Not yet. He was just about to turn back to his friends when he noticed a familiar trenchcoat. "Hey, I'll see you guys later, alright?" he quickly told them before heading off and approaching Castiel.

"Hi, Cas," he greeted the blue-eyed boy.

"Hello, Dean," Castiel smiled back at him.

"So listen, I just wanted to thank you again for yesterday. I really needed that."

Castiel gave him a nod. "Of course. Have you made up your mind yet?"

"No," Dean admitted. "But at least I'm not completely lost anymore." He laughed. "I finally have a plan for change, so there's that."

"That's great, Dean." The younger boy seemed genuinely happy for him.

"So anyways, I was wondering if you'd like to join us for lunch? You don't have to," he quickly added. "I just wanted to offer, you know. As a chance to make it up to you."

"You don't have to make up for anything, Dean. And I don't want to intrude."

"You're not," the Winchester replied immediately. "I wouldn't be offering if I didn't mean it. And you'll like my friends, I promise."

Castiel smiled again, but the gesture didn't reach his eyes. "That's very kind of you, but I probably shouldn't. Maybe another time."

"Okay then," Dean said, trying not to show too much of his disappointment. Cas probably had his reasons, even if Dean didn't know what they were. "Whenever you like."

"Thank you, Dean. I'll see you around," Castiel said with a nod and then he walked away.

He's nice and all but a bit weird... Dean thought to himself before he went back to his friends.

"Who was that?" Charlie asked with a curious look in her eyes.

Dean shrugged. "Oh, that's Cas."

They looked at him expectantly. When he didn't know what to say and just stood there in confusion, Jo asked, "Isn't he a Shurley?"

"What is with you and the Shurleys, chief?" Benny added.

"Nothing!" Dean exclaimed. "When did making friends become a crime?"

Lisa shrugged. "It hasn't and I mean, I'm sure they're awesome and stuff, but they don't really seem to do the making friends thing very much, do they?"

"They're a bit antisocial," Jo summarized.

Dean pulled up an eyebrow. "So?"

"What they're trying to say," Charlie interfered, "is that maybe the Shurleys like to be by themselves." She smiled at him. "But I think it's cute you're so nice to them."

"Well, it's not like I'm socializing with the entire family," he mumbled. "Michael and Cas are my friends and I'm happy to go to Balthazar's parties but that's it."

"Guess your brother has a different opinion on that," Kevin commented, staring at something behind him.

Dean looked around frowning and wondered what it was this time. "Oh crap," he muttered as he saw Sam and Lucifer walk towards the Shurley's locker. They were standing surprisingly close to each other, which made Dean frown even more. Lucifer seemed to be a little bit annoyed, but Sam had a smile on his face and a look in his eyes as if he were the happiest human being to ever walk the earth. That can't be good.

"When did they become so tight?" Jo asked.

Most of his friends just shrugged and Kevin said, "I know right."

Dean shook his head. "I don't have a good feeling about this."

The others gave him a quizzical look.

"What do you mean?" Lisa said.

"Is this about what Michael said?" Charlie added.

"It's not just that anymore," Dean told them. "Crowley of all people is scared of him. I'm sorry but that just can't be a good sign."

He was immediately bombarded with exclamations of surprise and questions of all kinds. "Calm down, does the whole school need to know?" he interrupted them loudly. Then he told them everything that happened Friday night. He didn't skip a detail, he explained all of it, from Sam's disappearance and his trip to The Cage with Lucifer to Michael's help, Crowley's sort of help and even the other Shurley kid's interference. Some of his friends had already heard the main parts but never the whole story. When he was finished, Dean was met with looks of confusion, surprise and horror. While he went quiet, the others started asking questions again.

"Sam went to a club?"

"Wait, who's that Shurley guy?"

"What happened between Crowley and Lucifer?"

"Does anyone actually know what happened between Michael and Lucifer?"

"I don't know but how did he even know you were there?"

"What kind of club was it?"

"Do you think they were a thing?"

"Maybe he followed them. That would be weird."

"Ew, they're brothers!"

"Where do they get their customers if nobody has ever heard of it?"

"No, I didn't mean them!"

"I still can't believe Sam went to a club, did they have books?"

"But why did he follow them?"

"Do you think Crowley is gay?"

"Who isn't?"

"Well, Dean said it was rock music. Since when does Sam like rock?"

"Maybe he's been stalking Dean."

"I don't think he hates it either though."

"Oh my gosh, Crowcifer!"

"Maybe he's been stalking Michael."

"Gross."

"What is wrong with you?"

"Why would he stalk his own brother?"

"I'm imagining it now, help."

Dean rolled his eyes and turned to put some of his books in his locker. He'd had enough of this whole situation. He didn't want to talk about it even more. So when the school bell finally rang Dean was almost happy he and his friends could get to class. Almost.

~~~

After school Dean returned to his locker to wait for Lisa. They'd had different classes in the afternoon, so he hadn't seen her since lunch. He didn't really mind. Every time he saw her, it made him worry about what he was going to say even more.

He hadn't seen Michael either though, which was a good thing for the moment being. He knew he would have to talk to him later, but at the moment his priorities lay elsewhere.

"Hi, honey," a familiar voice sounded from behind him and he turned around to see his girlfriend, looking up at him with a smile. "You ready?"

"Yeah, just hold on for a second," he answered while getting his phone out.

'Can you get a ride? I'm with Lisa,' he quickly sent to his little brother. He didn't really expect it to be a problem. Sam was probably even happy he could ride with Lucifer. Which of course annoyed the crap out of Dean.

'Okay,' he got after not even five seconds.

"Done," he said with a smile and motioned her to lead the way.

"So what did you want to talk about?" Lisa asked as they walked out of the school and into the street.

Dean sighed. "About us, honestly," he admitted.

She came to a stop immediately and the shock in her dark eyes made him almost take it back. Why did it have to be this hard? He didn't want to hurt her.

"It's not what you think," he quickly said, which wasn't a total lie. He crossed the street and went to sit on a brick wall around a pond (or whatever the pool of water was supposed to be).

Lisa sat down next to him, still with a worried and pained look on her face.

Dean decided the best thing he could do was just get it over with. He took a deep breath and started, "Listen Lisa, there's been going on a lot of stuff lately. With the Shurleys arriving, Jess' death, all the drama with Sam and Lucifer... I just need some time to figure things out and fix it. A little bit of space, you know? It's not like I don't want to be with you or want to break up, it's just..." He let out a sigh. "I have to focus on all the other stuff first now. Get things back to normal. Put my life back together. I need a break. And that means a break from us too." He looked at his girlfriend, afraid what her reaction would be.

Her eyes were filled with tears, but she gave him a small smile. "Just a break? Nothing permanent?" she asked in a weak voice.

He could've sworn his heart would crumple right there and then. "Just a break," he smiled. "Promised." Although he wasn't sure if he'd be able to keep it.

Lisa nodded and he pulled her into a hug. "I love you," she whispered against his chest.

"I love you too," he replied. And that was the truth. He did love her. He just didn't know in what way anymore.

Chapter Text

"You know, we can still hang out a little longer," Lucifer said and then suggestively pulled up his eyebrows. "At my place, for example."

Sam tried to cover up his flustered face by rolling his eyes. "I've got homework. And I know for a matter of fact that you do too. So," he leaned forward and pecked him on the lips with a grin, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Such a tease," the older boy complained while Sam opened the door and stepped out of the car.

"Thanks for the ride," he grinned, walking away from the car backwards.

"Bye, Sammy!" Lucifer yelled and Sam waved him goodbye as he drove away.

The Impala wasn't there yet, so Dean must've still been with Lisa, but Bobby's car was. Sam smiled to himself and entered the house, walking into the living room where the man he considered his second dad was watching TV in his chair, a beer in his hand as usual.

"Hi, Bobby," Sam greeted him, then put down his bag.

"Hey, Sam," Bobby answered, taking another pull from his beer. "Where's your brother?"

The Winchester shrugged. "He's with Lisa."

"Then how did you get here?"

Sam suddenly felt the need to defend himself. "I got a ride."

"From a friend?" If Bobby had noticed his voice hardening, he didn't show.

"Yes." After today that wasn't exactly true anymore, but he had a feeling Bobby wouldn't be very excited at him dating Lucifer. Besides, maybe he should come out in general first anyway.

"Talking about friends, how's Kevin doing?" Bobby changed the subject. "Haven't seen him in a while."

There was a sudden pinch of guilt in his stomach. God, he really should text Kevin later. "He's uhm... he's good," he quickly said. "Busy with school of course, we all are, you know..."

Bobby gave him a look and Sam had the feeling he could see right through him. "Good. I like him. He's a nice kid, been your friend since day one."

Sam felt like he just shrank a couple of inches. "Yeah, I know." To add some credibility to it, he said, "I'm going at his place this week to game a bit." Not a total lie since Kevin had invited him last week, Sam just still had to ask him what day. He reminded himself to do that later too.

"Good," Bobby repeated and then turned his attention back to the screen.

Sam glanced at the TV to see what was on, but it wasn't really his thing so he took a book out of his bag and went to sit on the couch to read a little. He had some trouble focusing though, his mind wondering off to... well, everything. Lucifer, Kevin, Dean, Bobby, his dad... Mostly Lucifer. He smiled to himself at the thought of his boyfriend. Boyfriend. That's never gonna get old.

After half an hour the front door opened and Dean came in. And he didn't exactly look very happy.

"What happened to you?" Bobby grumbled.

"Nothing," Dean answered in the same manner. "I'm going to my room. Call me when dinner's ready." And without another word he went up the stairs.

Sam just watched him leave in surprise. Then closed his book and got up. "Guess that means I'm cooking then," he mumbled while walking into the kitchen.

~~~

Dean dropped down on his bed with a loud sigh. At least the worst part was over. Okay, maybe second worst part. The idea of talking to Michael alone was enough to make him groan with desperation.

He got out his phone and decided to give Cas a call. Just to keep him up-to-date, that's all.

He didn't have to wait very long before Cas answered the phone. "Hello, Dean."

Dean rolled his eyes, even though he perfectly knew the boy couldn't see him. Every single time, I swear... "Hey, Cas. What's up?"

"I don't know, you called me." Dean could easily imagine the confusion on his face.

"Uh yeah, I know," he answered. "Just making conversation."

"Oh. Okay."

Apparently Cas didn't care to elaborate on the subject, so Dean decided to continue. "So anyways, I wanted to tell you Lisa and I are officially on a break."

"That's a good thing, right?"

"Yeah. At least I think so. For now."

"Good." There was a moment of uncomfortable silence. "Do you feel better now?"

Dean let out a mocking laugh. "I just kinda dumped the girl I was supposed to marry, what do you think?"

"I don't know, that's why I'm asking."

"Well, it's not the best feeling in the world, Cas. But hey, it's progress, I guess."

"I'm sorry, Dean."

"Yeah, don't worry about it."

"Why were you supposed to marry her?" Castiel asked him.

He shrugged automatically. "Because she was fucking perfect? Nice, smart, beautiful... God, I loved her, Cas. I never expected to say this but I even thought she could be the one."

"But now you don't anymore?"

"I don't know," he sighed. "Could be. Everything's just... changed. I mean, do you have any idea how many girlfriends I've had?"

"No."

"Rhetorical question, Cas. A lot, okay? A hell of a lot. Man, I used to date half of the school." For a moment he looked back at all his previous girlfriends. Or at least the ones he could remember. "I mean, there was Cassie. Did I like her. Layla. Lydia. Bela. That one ended bloody though. Emily. Jo for a while, but we were just better as friends. Andrea. Carmen."

"My siblings call me Cassie sometimes."

"..."

"..."

"Anyway, and now all of that doesn't mean shit anymore, 'cause I can suddenly be gay?"

"Who says you're gay?"

Dean laughed at that. "Are you kidding me? You did. Basically from the moment we met."

"That's not true. I told you I didn't think you were straight."

"And there are a lot of things beside straight and gay, yeah I know," he mocked, remembering his other conversations with Castiel.

"But you do think you're gay?"

He sighed. "Can I just not label it? At least not for now?"

Dean imagined Cas smiling that soft smile of his. "Of course, Dean."

"But enough about me. How are you doing?"

"I'm good, thank you."

"Good." As much as he liked Cas, the guy wasn't the easiest one to have small talk with. He was just about to ask another question when he heard Bobby calling him. "Hey, I gotta go, but I'll see you at school, alright?"

"Okay. I should probably have dinner soon too."

"Okay. Bye, Cas," he said, subconsciously smiling.

"Bye, Dean."

Dean hung up the phone, got up and walked back down the stairs. Sam and Bobby were already seated at the kitchen table.

His brother gave him a surprised look. "That was fast."

Dean frowned at him. What was he talking about? He hadn't come down that fast, had he? "What do you mean?" he asked while sitting down.

"The mood change," Sam said.

"What mood change?"

Sam pulled up his eyebrows. "Oh you know, just the difference between the clearly annoyed Dean that walked in through the front door and this piece of sunshine. What happened?"

"What?" Dean said in a shocked voice. "I didn't... Nothing happened!" He angrily put some spaghetti on his plate.

"Whatever," Sam muttered, but Dean wasn't going to let it go yet.

"By the way, you're one to talk. What got you so cheery?"

Now it was Sam's time to frown. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh, really?" Dean said. "That's not what I saw this morning in the hallway."

He was very satisfied with himself when Sam quickly opened his mouth to defend himself but nothing came out. "What did you see?" he carefully asked at last.

Dean shrugged and lent back casually. He was quite enjoying playing with his brother like this. "Enough."

Sam's face flushed red so quickly Dean actually got worried about what he'd just said. "What?" he instantly asked.

"Nothing!" his brother immediately answered.

"Like hell that was nothing!" Dean exclaimed. No way he would be dropping it now. "What was it?"

"It was nothing," Sam pressed, but Dean didn't believe shit about it.

"Oh yeah, I'm sure that's why you blushed like a teenage girl."

Sam suddenly gave him a mocking smile. "If you want to play it that way, then how do you know Castiel Shurley? And more importantly, why did you drag him out of biology yesterday?"

"He's my friend," Dean defended himself. "What, a guy can't have friends anymore?"

"Really? 'Cause I don't usually make my friends ditch class," Sam noted sarcastically.

"No, you've got Lucifer for that, right?" Okay, he wasn't going to lie about it; Dean couldn't help but grin as his brother remained silent.

"Would you two stop it?" Bobby sighed. "I'm trying to have a peaceful meal here."

"Sorry, Bobby," the boys said in unison, looking down at their plates in embarrassment.

Dean was pretty sure he could hear Bobby mumble a quick "Idjits," under his breath.

~~~

They spent the rest of the evening like that, without really talking to one another. They watched some TV together, and Sam read a little more from time to time.

He couldn't wait to get out of their sight though. That wouldn't probably be the case until Dean was sound asleep, but Sam could be patient. Eventually they all went to bed, despite Dean's complaints it wasn't that late yet. Sam barely payed attention to it. He just made sure his phone was on his nightstand before going into the bathroom to change. After both brothers had gotten ready, Dean turned off the lights.

Sam kept waiting for who knows how long, until he finally heard Dean's satisfying soft snoring. As soon as he did, he grabbed his phone and held it under the blankets to dim the light.

'Hey,' he sent Lucifer.

The answer came in rather quickly, as if the other boy had been waiting to hear from him. Sam liked that thought. 'Hey there, Sam'

'How was your evening?'

'Miss me already, huh?'

He smiled at that and was just about to reply when he stopped, his fingers hovering above the keys. He always got this kind of insecurity when it came down to the sensitive stuff. If he told the truth and put his heart out there, Lucifer could think it was cute. Or he could laugh at him for how cheesy he was being.

'Saaaaaaammmyyyyyyyyy' Lucifer was obviously getting a bit impatient.

Sam made up his mind, started typing and hit 'send'. 'I've been thinking about you all day.' He anxiously waited for a response, biting the nail of his thumb in the process.

Finally a message came in. 'I miss you too' He honestly didn't know how to answer that without ruining the moment or moving too fast, but apparently he didn't have too because he got a second text. 'Can I tell you something?'

'Of course,' he immediately replied, curious and maybe a little bit scared at the same time.

'You're probably the only good thing in my life rn'

Again Sam needed a moment to recover from that, his heart fluttering in his chest. Then he asked, 'Can I tell you something too?'

'Anytime'

'I didn't think I'd ever be happy again before I met you'

'Guess it's good a thing you met me, huh? ;)' Lucifer sent him and Sam was actually glad he'd brought the conversation back to a lighter note.

'&_& Tell me why again?'

'Because you loooooove meee' He blushed at that.

'Do not'

'Do too'

'Says who?'

'Says you ;))'

'Did not' Okay, maybe this conversation was getting a little out of hand. And as much as he loved talking to Lucifer, he knew he was gonna regret it first thing in the morning if he stayed up any longer. 'I got to go to sleep, but I'll see you tomorrow alright?'

'Fiiiiiiine,' Lucifer answered and for a moment Sam was scared he was really annoyed, before he received a second one, 'See ya tomorrow, Sammy ;) x'

After a lot of doubt he texted back, 'Goodnight :) x'

Then he finally put down his phone and went to sleep with a happy smile on his face.

Chapter Text

"Have you told them?"

Sam jumped at the voice suddenly appearing right next to his ear. He shut his locker, turned around and bitchfaced Lucifer. "Don't do that."

The older boy didn't seem bothered by it at all though. He just kept smiling like usual. "Did I scare you, Sammy?" he asked in a teasing voice.

Sam rolled his eyes, to which Lucifer only put a step closer to him, if that was even possible. "You didn't answer my question..."

"No," Sam sighed. "I haven't told anybody yet."

Lucifer frowned and pouted at him. "But then how I am supposed to claim you in public?"

Sam grinned as they started walking through the school's hallways. "What am I, your property?"

The Shurley pretended to consider it, then said, "Sure," making Sam laugh and give him a playful shove.

"Am not."

"You totally are." He gave Sam a devilish smile. "You're my little bitch, in every sense of the term."

Sam blushed like crazy at the idea alone and decided to put the thought out of his mind. Lucifer and his comments were gonna kill him one day.

"Hey, guess what," Lucifer said before Sam could come up with an answer.

"What?" he said, relieved they could change the subject.

Lucifer got out his phone and a pair of earbuds. He plugged them in, then handed Sam one while he did something on the phone. Sam took it with a frown and put it in his ear. He was just about to ask what was going on when music started playing, confusing him even more. He didn't know the song and didn't have a clue why Lucifer would make him listen to it.

That is, until they started singing.

He burst out into laughter when he heard the lyrics. Unable to contain himself, he actually had to lean against the lockers to regain his balance. He laughed so hard his stomach hurt and by the time he got a hold of himself, the song had ended. Lucifer just watched him with a satisfied smile on his face.

Sam shook his head and gave him back the earbuds, still grinning like an idiot. "How did you even find that?"

Lucifer tilted his head and shrugged innocently. "You know, one moment you're messing around with Google and the next..."

"So what, you just typed in our names into Google?" Sam asked with an incredulous look on his face.

"Well, if you put it like that..." Lucifer sighed in mocking voice. Then he shrugged again. "I just thought we needed a song, you know."

Sam pulled up his eyebrows in surprise. "And this is what you came up with?"

"Hey, if you don't like it..."

"Oh no, I do, it's just..." He grinned. "It's about a cat."

"Your point?"

Sam frowned playfully at him. "Wouldn't our song be supposed to be a little more... romantic?"

Lucifer dramatically looked at him like he'd just lost his mind. "Sam, this song was created for us!"

"It was created for a cat," Sam laughed again.

His boyfriend just huffed and acted as if he was deeply insulted while he started walking ahead of him, so Sam grabbed his arm and pulled him back with a confident grin on his face. Lucifer bumped into him and all of a sudden they were standing very close to each other. Their gazes locked and if they weren't in public, Sam would've kissed him right there and then. Unfortunately they were and Lucifer knew it too, Sam could tell by the arrogant, I-told-you-so look on his face.

"You really should tell them," Lucifer commented.

Sam swallowed. "No kidding."

Just when he thought he wouldn't be able to contain himself any longer, the bell rang and broke the tension between them. Sam reluctantly put a step back and Lucifer quickly looked away.

"I'll see you at lunch?" Sam asked while he started walking backwards towards his class.

Lucifer smirked. "See you at lunch, Sammy."

Sam smiled at him and turned around, but at the last moment he changed his mind. "Send me the song!" he called, and then finally left for his algebra class.

He got there just before the second bell rang. Kevin was already seated at his usual spot and Sam took his own while giving his friend a smile.

Kevin smiled back at him. "Hey, you still in for a gaming night?"

"Yes, of course!" Sam immediately answered and he mentally kicked himself for forgetting to text the other boy. "Did you ask your mom?"

"Yeah, she's alright with it. Does Friday work?"

Sam nodded excitedly. "Friday's perfect. Can I ride with you after school?"

"Sure," Kevin smiled happily and Sam reciprocated the gesture.

This is gonna be great, he thought to himself while their teacher started talking. It had been way too long since he and Kevin had hung out and he was looking forward to it already. He had a boyfriend, an amazing best friend, now all he had to do was fix things with his brother and then everything would be back to normal. Sam needed normal after all the drama they had gone through lately, but luckily that would all be over soon. Dean just had to get his head out of Michael's ass, give Lucifer a chance and then everything would turn out alright. He smiled to himself as he started to pay attention to class.

~~~

Dean's day was going a hell of a lot worse.

He took a deep breath before walking into the school building. This was gonna be awkward... He immediately headed to his locker, where his friends were already waiting as usual. Minus Lisa, that is. He didn't know where she was, but he could easily understand she needed some distance right now. Hell, he needed it just as much.

He greeted his friends and they talked for a while before eventually Jo asked, "Hey, where's Lisa? I haven't seen her all morning."

Dean cleared his throat and looked down at his feet. "Yeah, she's not coming."

"What do you mean?" Benny asked with a frown. "Is she sick or something?"

"No, no," he hastily answered. He was well aware of all of them staring at him when he looked away again. "She should be at school, but uhm... She's probably not gonna join us."

"Why not?" Kevin asked, the confusion on his face mirroring the others'.

Dean gathered all his courage and breathed out, "Because we're on a break."

The silence was deafening. They were all just watching him in disbelief, wide-eyed, mouths open and everything. Until they all burst out in all kinds of 'why's, that is.

"Because," he defended himself, "I needed some space, alright?"

"You broke up with her?!" Charlie basically shouted.

"We didn't break up, we're on a break," he urged in a low voice.

"But why?" Kevin repeated.

Dean sighed. "Because."

"Did something happen?" Jo continued.

"Yes. No, well..." He cursed under his breath and leaned against his locker. "We're fine. I just needed some time on my own."

Most of them slightly nodded and stopped asking questions, but when Dean looked up, his eyes met Charlie's and he could tell by the look on her face she knew something was off. She didn't mention it though, but he was pretty sure she would later on. I can't wait, he thought sarcastically.

~~~

Later that day Sam was waiting for Lucifer at the older boy's locker so they could go have lunch together as usual. As he was on the lookout for his boyfriend however, his attention was suddenly caught by something else entirely.

Or well, someone actually.

Just as he turned his head to the left, none other than the Trickster rounded the corner. And he was not alone. Sam's jaw basically hit the ground when he noticed the amount of girls clinging to the confident Shurley. It was hard not to, since they were all over him. The Trickster had his arms wrapped around two of them, a satisfied smirk on his face, while the others just trailed behind him like a group of lost puppies. He told them something and they actually started giggling as if he was the funniest person in the whole damn world.

Even if any of them noticed Sam staring, they didn't pay any attention to him in the slightest. They just walked past him, and, to be fair, all of the other students watching, towards the cafeteria. Sam's eyes were still following them when Lucifer approached him and he finally snapped out of it.

He quickly smiled. "Hey."

"Hey, Sam," Lucifer grinned. "You ready to go?"

Sam pushed back the thoughts on the Trickster and nodded happily. "Sure."

They headed off to the cafeteria together and after grabbing some of the crappy food there, they picked out a table for the two of them. When Sam looked around, he saw his brother and his friends at their usual spot and to his surprise Michael wasn't with them. Maybe next time he and Lucifer could join them. He really wanted to introduce his boyfriend to his friends properly...

His eyes wandered a little further until they landed on the table the Trickster and his harem had apparently claimed. He frowned as one of the girls actually spoon-fed him some chocolate ice cream. Wait, what? Sam thought. Where the hell did he even get the ice cream from... He shook his head in confusion and tried to turn his attention away from them, but that turned out to be harder than he'd thought as soon as the girl whispered something in his... Was she really biting his ear now? Another one on his other side, a girl with a tanned skin and dark hair Sam remembered was called Kali, had one hand on his shoulder and the other one disappearing underneath the table. And from the direction it seemed to be in, Sam was glad he couldn't see where exactly it had taken place.

He quickly glanced around for a teacher who'd maybe see the inappropriate behavior going on, but he couldn't find any. He was just about to divert his eyes and ignore the whole damn thing, when the Trickster suddenly looked up and his gaze met Sam's. His eyes were so golden it surprised the Winchester boy and he seemed unable to look away. He told himself he was just refusing to let the Trickster embarrass him one time too many, but honestly he didn't know if he could've turned away even if he wouldn't have been. It was only then that it hit him he'd been staring at them quite obviously and the realization made a blush appear on his face. To his own despair the older boy noticed and gave him an arrogant smirk in return before putting his trademark red sucker in his mouth and licking it quite... suggestively. Sam immediately felt the heat spread across his cheeks even more and glared at the guy like he never had before. The Trickster just wiggled his eyebrows at him and then he looked away.

He looked away. That arrogant little... Sam had absolutely no idea why it annoyed him so much but it did.

"Oh Saaaaam," Lucifer drew his attention back to their table.

He nearly jumped as he hastily turned towards his boyfriend. "Sorry, what?"

Lucifer tilted his head at him. "What's gotten you so distracted?" Before he got a chance to answer however, Lucifer turned around in the direction Sam just had been looking at. The Shurley frowned and let out an irritated sigh before telling Sam, "Just ignore him, he's just being a drama queen. Little attention whore loves it."

Sam just hummed in agreement and focused on his salad for the rest of their lunch break.

Chapter Text

At the end of the day Dean was so tired he'd laid down his head on his desk in surrender. He'd thought splitting up with Lisa would move things along a bit, but so far that wasn't the case at all. On the contrary, now his friends were suspicious and curious as to why they broke up, he was still avoiding Michael and Lisa now as well and his brother was still clinging to Lucifer.

No, things weren't just magically going to be alright. If Dean wanted this mess to work out, he would have to make it work out.

He sat up straight and got out his phone underneath the table. Time to take matters into his own hands.

'Can we talk?' he sent Michael.

The five minutes before he got a reply seemed to last forever. 'Sure, just tell me when and where'

'Friday after school at the park?'

'Okay, I'll be there'

Dean let a breath of relief. Sure him and Michael would be able to talk this out.

After a bit of hesitation he decided on a second person to text. 'Hey'

He waited for a couple of minutes, then sent another. 'Cas?'

Nothing.

'Cas'

'Cas'

'Caaaaasssss'

Dean was very satisfied with himself when he finally got a text. 'Dean, I'm in class, stop it'

'How r u?'

'What?'

He frowned. 'What do you mean what?'

'What does "How r u" mean?'

Even before Dean got a chance to express his surprise, a second message came in. 'Never mind, I think I understand'

He snorted quietly before typing,'Cas?'

'Yes, Dean?'

'You're a bit weird'

'Okay'

'Wanna hang out after school?'

He had to wait a while before Castiel finally answered him. 'I need to go to the library'

'Great, I'll see you there then'

Another minute passed by in silence. 'Why?'

'Wdym why?'

'What?'

Dean rolled his eyes. 'What do you mean "why"?'

'Why would you want to meet me at the library?'

He shrugged, then realized Cas couldn't exactly see that. 'Why not?'

'Because it's a library and I need to study'

'Fine, I'll study with you'

'You study?'

'... Sometimes'

He imagined Cas smiling and automatically smiled back at the thought. A smile that only brightened when Castiel simply said, 'Okay then. I'll see you after school'

'C u,' he sent, then quickly added, 'See you'

He put away his phone and tried to focus back on class, in a way better mood than he'd been in before.

Then a paper pellet hit the back of his head and he turned around with a frown. A couple of tables behind him Charlie gave him a cheeky grin.

What? Dean mouthed in confusion.

She nodded towards the cellphone in his pocket and raised her eyebrows questioningly. When he just shrugged, she rolled her eyes, looked down at her lap and Dean knew he'd get a text within seconds.

'Who were you texting?'

'Why?' he asked defensively.

'Because you smiled'

'A guy can't smile anymore? What have we become?'

He looked around just in time to see Charlie glare at her phone. When she noticed him watching, she turned her brown eyes to him expectantly.

'None of your business,' he told her.

'Well, it surely isn't Lisa...'

'Really?'

'Sorry ;)'

Just when he thought she would let it go, Dean got another. 'But seriously, who was it?'

He sighed. 'If I tell you, do you promise to stop texting?'

'Yes!'
'I'm probably gonna majorly regret this but yes!'

'Cas'

Dean quickly glanced over his shoulder and saw her jaw drop as she read his text. He snickered softly when he noticed her fingers automatically wanting to type something back and stopping when she realized she couldn't. Of course Charlie heard him and looked up in annoyance before mouthing, This isn't over.

Tell me something I don't know, Dean thought to himself, turning back to the front. He was well aware Charlie could be a very persistent person.

~~~

'Can you get a ride?' Dean texted his brother when class was finally over. He hated the idea of pushing Sam towards Lucifer even more, but hell, it was already too late for that anyway.

He got a reply just as he walked out of the classroom. 'Sure, why?'

'I need to go to the library' Close enough.

'Wow'
'Are they opening a bar?'

'Bitch,' he answered without thinking.

'Jerk'

Dean found himself smiling at their old thing. Yeah, they could definitely work this out.

To his surprise Sam sent him another text. 'Btw I'm going to Kevin's at Friday'

Perfect. 'Awesome I was going to the park anyways'

'With Lisa?'

And there it was, the reminder of exactly how much they'd really talked to each other lately. Crap.

Dean decided to ignore the message and walked towards the library. Most people were leaving now classes were over, so there weren't too many students anymore. Which was a good thing since he would never have found Cas if it had been crowded. He did not have enough library experience for that.

Luckily he noticed the younger boy almost immediately. He was sitting on his own at one of the smaller tables, surrounded by books and sheets of paper, his trade mark trenchcoat on the back of his chair. Dean walked over to him and when Cas stayed focused on the work in front of him, he tapped his shoulder. Castiel jumped at the sudden gesture and looked up, finally acknowledging Dean's presence.

The surprise on his face quickly switched to a small smile. "Hello, Dean."

"Heya, Cas," Dean replied and sat down next to him. "Whatcha doin'?"

"I'm studying," Castiel told him matter-of-factly.

"I noticed," Dean stated and when Cas didn't take the hint, he continued, "What are you studying?"

"Biology."

"Cool."

Silence. Okay, so obviously Dean was gonna have to do the small talk. "What's it about?"

"Population genetics of bees," Cas answered.

Dean had no idea what that meant but he was pretty sure he didn't get that in his biology classes. Or any of the other people in high school for that matter. "What? Why?"

Castiel shrugged and Dean thought he could actually see a slight blush forming on his cheeks. "Doesn't matter, it's not that interesting."

Dean huffed. "Well, obviously there's something interesting about it since you're spending your spare time studying it." He offered a broad smile and shoved Cas playfully. "Come on, I'm curious now."

Cas smiled shyly and shifted around a bit before starting, "Okay. So there are a lot of different kinds of bees and they all differ genetically, which also slightly influences their behavior. Now studies have shown many levels of genetic variation can occur on a relatively small area. Turkey for example has a particularly large genetic diversity of a race called A. mellifera, which is important because honeybees are endangered by urbanization and these species need to be preserved. It was a quite interesting study because they had to make profiles of the COI-COII region to get the particular sequence data needed for insights on the phylogenetic relationships between the different populations..."

The longer he talked, the more excited Castiel seemed to get and Dean grinned at the usually so grave boy finally loosening up a bit. He actually found himself quite enjoying the change.

When Cas noticed him smiling however, he took it the wrong way and shut up immediately. He looked down hastily and muttered, "Sorry, you probably think it's ridiculous."

"What?" Dean let out in surprise and quickly tried to reassure him. "No, Cas, of course not!"

Castiel gave him a doubtful look, so he admitted, "Okay, so maybe I didn't understand shit from it but you clearly care about this stuff. That's not ridiculous."

The Shurley looked away again at that and shrugged. "I just like bees."

"Yeah, I can see that," Dean laughed. Then he gave Castiel a soft smile. "And by the way? I think it's pretty fucking awesome."

He was happy to see the corners of Cas' mouth turn up a bit. "Thank you, Dean."

His bright blue eyes connected with Dean's and for a moment they just sat there, smiling at each other. Then Dean remembered one of the things he'd wanted to tell Cas in the first place.

"Hey, so I'm meeting up with your brother at Friday."

"Oh, that's good," Castiel answered, nodding and looking away to sort some of the sheets.

"I sure hope so," Dean joked. "You free that night?" He immediately realized how that sounded and quickly added, "I mean, I'd maybe like to talk to you about it afterwards if you don't mind. You don't have to, I'd understand, I've been bothering you with my shit enough lately and if you don't want to..."

"Dean?" Castiel interrupted him.

"Yeah?"

Castiel smiled and it was the most genuine smile Dean had ever seen on him. "I'm free Friday night."

"Alright," Dean grinned. "I'll call you."

Cas nodded. "Okay. Now if you don't mind, I do really need to study."

"Right," Dean agreed. He'd already forgotten about their original plans. He grabbed his homework for Calculus and started on some of the exercises.

It didn't take him very long to lose his focus though. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Cas going through the papers or opening one of the books, occasionally taking some notes in the process. Dean was curious what he was reading about. Not that he'd understand any of it or was even interested in trying to, but he actually liked to listen to Cas talking about it and getting to know the other boy a little bit better. Even if that meant talking about bees. I mean, look at him, Dean thought to himself. Cas was so passionate about this stuff, you could tell by just the way he flipped the pages or hastily scrabbled something down.

Dean didn't know how long he was sitting there like that, books in front of him but his eyes watching the boy next to him. Not that it mattered. This was the most peaceful he'd been in days and he was planning on making it last as long as possible.

Chapter Text

Friday at lunch Sam got a text from his brother saying their dad would be coming home again this weekend. He grinned widely at the phone in his hands. It had been way too long since he'd seen his father and...

A lump formed in his throat as he thought about the last time Dad had come back from a job. They'd all gone to the Roadhouse together, Dean and Lisa, him and... Jess. Had it really been that long ago already? It seemed like forever. He remembered the day their father had taken off again. It was the same day he'd met Lucifer and first gone to The Cage. He smiled at the memory and decided to focus on that one.

"What's gotten your attention?" Lucifer asked from across the table.

Sam gave him a happy smile. "Dad's coming home tomorrow."

Lucifer pulled up his eyebrows, dropped his fork and grinned at him. "That's great, Sammy!"

He nodded while answering Dean's text. "It's been a while but I'm really looking forward to it. We've got so much catching up to do, so many things I need to tell him, I..." He fell quiet as he looked up to Lucifer's expectant expression. Dammit. What was he going to tell his dad about Lucifer? Dean had made it abundantly clear that he had no problem telling John about Sam's friendship with the Shurley. And Dean didn't even know half of it...

Keeping this from his brother for now was one thing, but acting like nothing was going on in the short amount of time he actually got to see his dad? Sam knew their father wasn't happy with the Shurleys and even though Lucifer had left his family, he had a feeling the man still wouldn't approve of him, much like Dean and Bobby hadn't. But at the same time... Lucifer was his boyfriend. How could he not share something that important with his family?

"You?" Lucifer asked, a slight smile on his lips.

Sam sighed, "Lucifer... You know I'd love to tell them but..." He bit his bottom lip. There wasn't really a way to tell Lucifer his family wouldn't like him without hurting his feelings. Just thinking about it caused a knot in his stomach to tighten. "They're not exactly a fan of your family," he decided to say.

Lucifer pulled up an eyebrow. "I don't know if you've noticed but neither am I."

"I know, I know," Sam was quick to add. "But that doesn't change the fact that..." God, this wasn't going as smooth as he'd hoped. He took a deep breath and decided to just tell the truth. "Listen, Dad and Bobby, they warned us about your family. I know you're strictly speaking not one of them," he hastily said before his boyfriend could interrupt him, "and maybe it'll work out fine. But if Dean starts telling them all the stuff he's heard from Michael? They won't like it, Lucifer."

"Well, if Dean tells them about us, how do you think they're gonna respond to him and Michael being friends?" Lucifer snapped.

He nodded. "I thought about that too. But honestly, I don't think they even hang out that often anymore. Maybe they've gotten into a fight or something?"

"Then why would your brother believe a crap Michael's told him?"

Sam shrugged. "I don't know, okay? Fact is Dean still doesn't like you. And I don't know what to do about it."

Lucifer's eyes softened and his hand found Sam's knee underneath the table, squeezing it softly. "Your dad is not Dean, you know."

Sam wished he could agree with him but he knew the truth. "No, he isn't. But Dean looks a remarkably lot like my dad."

The older boy removed his hand, leaned back in his chair and sighed with a sad look in his eyes. "You do what you gotta do, Sam."

"I will tell them," Sam promised him. "Just... give me a little time, okay?"

Lucifer nodded, before changing the subject. "Hey, you wanna hang out after school?" He smiled. "I could finally show you my place. It's not much but I've wanted to for some time now."

Sam flinched. "Actually, I told Kevin we'd have a gaming night..."

"Oh," Lucifer said, disappointment clear on his face. "Okay then."

"I'm sorry..."

"No, it's fine," Lucifer quickly said. "You go have fun." He smiled along with it but Sam noticed the gesture didn't really reach his eyes.

He hadn't thought it was possible, but now Sam was feeling even more guilty than before. He tried to think about a solution but with Dad home there was no way he'd have any spare time this weekend. He also couldn't cancel on Kevin, he'd already neglected their friendship enough as it was. But... he really did want to see Lucifer's place. He had been curious about it from the moment Lucifer had told him he'd left the Shurleys and lived on his own now. Sam cursed inwardly and got out his phone.

'Would you mind if I come by later tonight? I need to go somewhere first...' he texted Kevin.

He tried to spot his friend in the cafeteria but couldn't find him. Dean, Benny, Charlie and Jo were at their usual table, but Lisa and Kevin were nowhere to be found. Weird... Maybe Kevin had gone to the library, he did that sometimes.

Wherever he was, he answered Sam's text after a couple of minutes. 'Sure, what time?'

'After dinner?'

'Okay, can you get there or should we pick you up?'

Sam smiled at the amazing friend Kevin was. 'I'll manage, thanks Kev'

'No problem, see you later'

He put his phone back in his pocket and smiled at Lucifer. "I can stay until dinner."

The way Lucifer's face lid up was enough to convince Sam he'd made the right decision. "Really?"

"Yup," he grinned. "You have to drop me off at Kevin's after though."

"No problem," his boyfriend quickly answered, a broad smile on his lips. "If it means getting you into my bedroom, it's worth it."

Sam laughed and shook his head. "You're unbelievable."

Lucifer gave him that seemingly innocent smile of his. "Just taking advantage of the situation."

For some reason Sam had no doubt he would.

~~~

As soon as Dean spotted Cas entering the cafeteria, he told his friends he'd be back in a sec and walked up to the boy in the trenchcoat. He wasn't going to lie about it, he had enjoyed their time in the library. He liked Cas and it was also nice to have someone around who knew everything that had been going on lately.

"Hey, Cas," he greeted the slightly smaller kid.

Castiel looked at him in surprise. "Hello, Dean."

"Wanna join us?" Dean asked while walking along to the line.

"That's very nice of you but I should probably sit with my family," Cas answered without even looking up.

"What, you can't sit with other people?" Dean asked in disbelief. "'Cause I'm pretty sure I saw your brother and the entire cheerleader squad occupying a table of their own the other day."

Cas frowned. "Gabriel is a senior."

"So?" Dean huffed.

When Castiel let out a sigh, Dean had the feeling he was starting to get on the guy's nerves. "We are a family, Dean. We're supposed to stick together."

"Well yeah, but during lunch?" He really wasn't getting where Cas was going with this. Sure, he'd spend a lot of time with Sam at school too (at least before he was abducted by Lucifer), but that had also to do with the fact that they'd both been friends with Jo and Charlie even before high school. Him and Sam, they'd just always... been there for each other. Sam was a shy kid and Dean would be damned if he'd acted like one of those arrogant pricks that ignored their younger siblings at school.

But Cas... Dean wasn't saying the Shurleys weren't close with each other - hell, they sometimes seemed to be glued together - but from the way Cas had talked about his family he'd gathered they didn't have a particularly good relationship either.

"Do you even want to sit with them?" Dean asked before he could stop himself. He hadn't meant to be that rude but he was really wondering.

"Why wouldn't I?" Castiel retorted, grabbing a tray.

"I don't know, I just didn't think you were that close."

Cas glared at him. "They're my family, Dean."

He doubted if this conversation would go anywhere useful, so he decided it would be better to just drop it. "Alright, I'm sorry, okay?"

He'd already started to walk away, when Cas' voice stopped him in his tracks. "Dean?"

"Yeah?" he said, turning around.

The younger boy bit his lip, his blue eyes turned downwards. "I'm sorry. I do want to, it's just..." His gaze shifted to a point to Dean's right and Dean looked over his shoulder to see what he was looking at.

He spotted the Shurley family table almost immediately. Michael, in the middle of them as usual, was looking their way, and so was the girl from his class Dean now knew was called Naomi. As soon as they noticed him watching, they turned away of course. Why the hell were they looking at them like that? Maybe it was nothing but Dean had a feeling it was the exact opposite. And he didn't like it one bit.

Chapter Text

Dean arrived at the park only ten minutes after school had ended. Sam would be at Kevin's, so he didn't have to drop him off first. He strolled around a bit, suddenly becoming nervous, before deciding he needed to calm his shit and sitting down on one of the benches.

Everything's gonna be just fine, he tried to reassure himself. Surely Michael would understand.

Dean had made his decision. Despite the surprising... feelings of attraction he had towards Michael, Dean wasn't ready for something like this. Yes, he liked Michael, the guy was nice, funny and definitely not unattractive. He'd helped Dean multiple times, got him like not many people did and they got along fine. But at the same time he just couldn't shake the feeling they didn't... click. Maybe it had something to do with him being used to dating girls, maybe it was something else entirely, fact was Dean just... couldn't.

For what seemed about the hundredth time, he swiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, his eyes scanning the rest of the park. Jesus, he felt like some teenager about to dump his first girlfriend. To be fair, he had in fact done that very recently. Well, Lisa wasn't exactly his first girlfriend but it was close enough.

When he looked around another time, he finally spotted Michael making his way towards him. As he approached Dean, both boys offered a smile but it was obvious neither of them felt completely comfortable. Dean couldn't blame Michael for it. The guy had no idea what he was walking into and the last time they'd spoken had basically been the definition of uncomfortable.

"Hey," Michael greeted him when he got within hearing distance.

"Hi," Dean replied. "Thanks for coming."

"Sure, no problem," Michael said as he sat down next to him. "What did you want to talk about?"

Dean had rarely felt like cringing this much. "Uhm... just, well, you know..." He cleared his throat. "I mean, after Monday I just thought... well, since things didn't exactly go... you know..."

"Smooth?" Michael offered.

"Yeah! Exactly. And I mean, because it all ended a little bit..."

"Awkward?"

Dean slowly nodded. "I, uhm... I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page, you know."

"Okay," Michael agreed with a small smile. "Let's get on the same page."

He took a deep breath. Here we go. "Mike, you know I like you, right? I mean, you're an amazing friend and I want you to know I really appreciate everything you've done for me."

Michael pulled up an eyebrow at him. "I'm sensing a 'but' coming."

He opened his mouth several times, but... nothing came out. Groaning in desperation, Dean buried his head in hands. "I suck at this."

His friend actually laughed at that, which, he had to admit, made him feel a little bit better. He was trying to figure out what to say next and, more importantly, how to say it. But then, to his surprise, Michael started speaking instead.

"How about I save us both the trouble of having a very uncomfortable conversation and just kick down the closet doors instead."

Dean swallowed back his nerves and just said, "Go ahead."

Michael shifted in his seat before looking him in the eyes. "Look, Dean, clearly there's something going on between the both of us. After Monday, I don't think even you can deny that. So I'm going to be honest with you. I like you, Dean. Really like you. And I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you feel it too."

He let go of the breath he didn't he was holding. It was time to be honest. "I do," he admitted. But before Michael could say anything else, he added, "But I can't."

Confusion all over his face, Michael frowned. "What do you mean?"

Dean shook his head, trying to express what he was feeling. "I don't... I can't explain it, but this," he motioned to the two of them, "I don't know why, but it just doesn't feel... right."

The shock in his eyes told Dean Michael had definitely not been expecting that. "Oh."

"I'm sorry," he mumbled.

"No, hey," Michael was quick to say. "It's alright. I understand. Thank you for being honest with me."

He gave a half-smile, which Michael returned. "But hey, we're still friends, right?"

The Shurley boy's smile grew bigger. "Of course. What kind of friend would I be if I ditched for something so stupid?"

Dean laughed and shrugged. "You wouldn't be the first."

"Nah, we're good," Michael answered and Dean felt a little bit more at peace.

"Good."

They spend a couple of seconds in silence before Michael asked, "So since I've barely talked to you this week, how are you? And how about Sam? You two made up already?"

He let out a sigh at the mention of his brother. "Not really, no. He's still besties with your brother so..."

Michael hummed understandingly. "So he still won't listen to you, huh?"

"Nope," Dean answered, popping the 'p'. Then something dawned on him. "Hey, you never told me the whole story. About what happened with Lucifer, I mean."

His friend obviously flinched at that. "It isn't something I really enjoy talking about."

Dean nodded. He could understand that. From what Michael did tell him, he could guess whatever had happened, still went deep. "If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine too, I mean, I'd understand but I was just thinking... maybe if I understood better I could convince Sammy, you know."

Michael sighed and for a moment Dean thought he still wasn't going to bulge. But then he said, "Fine, what do you want to know?"

~~~

The red Corvette came to a halt in front of a fancy apartment complex. Sam looked up at the building in surprise. Lucifer had told him he got his own place after moving out of his dad's house, but he surely hadn't been expecting this.

"Wow," he commented.

Lucifer grinned at him and turned off the engine. "Like what you're seeing?"

Sam smiled back at him. "I am, actually."

"Good," his boyfriend replied, getting out of the car.

Sam followed him toward the front door and when Lucifer let him in, he allowed his eyes to scan every corner of the building. "How did you get a place like this?" This apartment, the car... it was all pretty fancy for an eighteen-year-old.

Lucifer shrugged. "My share of the family fortune, whatever The Cage brought in..."

"Yeah, but still," Sam said. "I mean, this is probably more than what we've had our entire lives."

"Chuck Shurley is a rich bastard," Lucifer smirked, making Sam laugh.

They went upstairs and Lucifer opened the door to a very nice apartment. A big living room and a simple but seemingly flawless kitchen with a beautiful, modern interior.

Lucifer went to stand in front of him and spread out his arms. "What do you think?"

He smiled, 'cause what else could he do with Lucifer around? "I love it."

"I'm happy to hear that," Lucifer noted. Then he motioned to the couch. "Take a seat."

Sam dropped his backpack next to the front door and sat down on the black leather couch.

He was still taking it all in, when Lucifer asked, "Fancy a drink?"

He shrugged. "Just a soda is fine."

"Okidoki," Lucifer replied, walking to the kitchen. When he got back, he handed Sam his soda and put his own on the coffee table. Then he gave Sam a once-over that made a shiver run down his spine. "I like this."

"What?" Sam managed to get out. He could barely think when Lucifer looked at him like that.

"You," Lucifer answered. "On my couch."

He looked away quickly, blushing like crazy.

"Hey," his boyfriend said, drawing his eyes back to him. He bent forward and grabbed the back of Sam's neck, pulling him towards him until their lips met.

Sam immediately relaxed into the kiss, enjoying the feeling of Lucifer's by now familiar lips against his own. He closed his eyes in contentment and allowed Lucifer to part his lips by slipping his tongue in. He hesitantly placed his hand against the older boy's chest. This was all still so new and yet it was exciting at the same time. Apparently Lucifer took the gesture as quite the encouragement, because he slid his own hand upward, running his fingers through Sam's hair, and God, did he like that. He let out a moan of pleasure and felt Lucifer smiling in response. When Sam opened his eyes, he was staring right into Lucifer's blue ones.

"You enjoying yourself, Sammy?" Lucifer whispered against his lips and all he could do was nod. Of course that only made Lucifer's smile grow. "Good."

And then he was gone.

Sam looked up at his boyfriend, who was casually leaning back on the couch and watching him with an amused look in his eyes. Sam only glared at him, annoyed at the sudden loss of Lucifer's body against his own.

Lucifer flicked his tongue against his teeth. "Something wrong?" he asked in a teasing voice.

Sam just rolled his eyes and decided it would be better for both of them to change the subject. "So when did you get this place?"

"Are we having a conversation now?" Lucifer huffed. When Sam just shrugged, not knowing what else to do or say, he sighed. "Fine," he answered and then an evil grin appeared on his face. "I signed the contract as soon as I heard my loving father bought the mansion on Cross Road."

Sam laughed at that. Why doesn't it even surprise me? "Isn't that a little bit bold?" he asked. "Even for you?"

"You know if I'm one thing, it's bold."

There was no way he could deny that. And it thrilled him beyond anything he'd ever known. Lucifer had slowly invaded his life and taken it to the next level and Sam had no idea how to stop it. He didn't want to stop it. He wanted to know everything there was to know about him, the boy who had peaked his curiosity, who made him laugh and blush and... happy.

"I want you in my life," he admitted softly.

He caught a glimpse of the gentle side Lucifer only showed every so often, before it disappeared again. "Then take me."

Sam decided to ignore whatever sexual pun that could have been and instead he moved closer and looked Lucifer straight in the eye. "Tell me."

"Tell you what?"

"Everything," he simply answered. If he wanted Lucifer, really wanted him, he knew he would need the truth to convince Dean and his dad.

Lucifer frowned at him and Sam immediately felt his gut twitch, afraid he'd said something wrong. But then the other boy said, "Does it really matter? No one will believe you anyway. They'll think you're just picking my side."

The words were enough to break Sam's heart then and there. "I'll believe you," he stressed, his voice filled with honesty, emotion and... yes, maybe love.

His boyfriend bit his bottom lip, as if still being in doubt, so he added, "No matter what, I'll always believe you. And I'll always be on your side."

Lucifer smiled at him and slowly nodded. "Okay then," he sighed. "Here goes nothing."

Chapter Text

"Okay, so the first thing you need to know is that my siblings and I, we're obviously not related. We're all adopted," Michael started.

"No kidding," Dean commented sarcastically. Not only were they all way too different, there was also no way one person had so many biological children. That just... wasn't possible.

"Now, I may be the oldest... but I wasn't the first."

"What?" Okay, so he hadn't seen that one coming. Actually, Dean could hardly fathom it at all. Of all the Shurleys Michael definitely seemed closest to their father, so it would've made sense if he was the first one to be adopted too. "Then who was?"

"Lucifer."

"Before Chuck Shurley adopted me," Lucifer explained. "I lived at a foster home. Never knew my parents. I grew up in that place... And so did Michael."

Sam's eyes grew big. "Wait..."

"What?" Dean interrupted, staring at Michael in disbelief. "You knew each other before Chuck adopted you?"

Michael nodded, a painful look on his face. "I've known Lucifer all my life. We were best friends as a matter of fact."

"So what happened?" Sam asked in confusion and Lucifer shrugged.

"Chuck Shurley happened."

"What do you mean?" Dean asked.

"We were four years old," Lucifer told Sam, "when one day Chuck walked in. He was looking for a foster kid to adopt. Now, adoption isn't exactly like you're going grocery shopping so he came by several times, sometimes a couple of days in a row. He wanted to get to know us all a bit better, see who he got along with best."

Michael smiled sadly. "Lucifer and me, we were crazy about him. Adored him. And he liked us too."

"But obviously he was there to take home only one child."

Sam huffed in disbelief. He thought he started to understand why Lucifer wasn't that close to his father. He guessed it wasn't that strange, Lucifer's dad had only planned on adopting one kid after all, but he had a bad feeling about where this was going.

Carefully, almost afraid to hear the answer, Dean asked, "So who did he choose?"

"He ended up picking me," Lucifer sighed.

"Really?" Dean commented incredulously. "Lucifer?"

"He wasn't always like this," Michael explained. "Back then his name wasn't even Lucifer. Dad wanted to give us a fresh start, he renamed us all."

Sam's jaw dropped. "Your name's not Lucifer?" He had trouble picturing Lucifer not being called Lucifer.

His boyfriend laughed a little at the shock on his face. "My name used to be Nick."

"John."

Dean huffed a little. Sure, John was a very common name but it was a funny coincidence.

"But if he chose you, then how did Michael..."

"I begged him," Lucifer interrupted him, looking down as if he was embarrassed to tell Sam. "After he'd taken me aside and told me he wanted me to move in with him, I was over the moon. He took care of all the paperwork and before I knew it, he was taking me home. It was all nice and fun at first but I couldn't stop thinking about John - Michael. I missed him like crazy. Before the end of the week I was begging Chuck to take me back to the foster home or get Michael too."

Sam couldn't believe what he was hearing. The way Lucifer and Michael talked about each other... He never could've imagined them caring that much about one another.

Lucifer didn't seem to notice the surprise on his face though, because he continued, "He bulged eventually and adopted Michael as well. I never told Michael the details."

"Okay, hold on a sec," Dean said. "So the guy only took you in because Lucifer asked?"

Michael nodded. "After that a lot more children followed, as you can probably guess. And everything was great. We all got along fine and even though there were so many of us, we knew we could trust each other. I'm not going to lie to you, Dean, I don't know all of my siblings as well as I wish I did. But we were family. And that was enough."

"Until one day two years ago Dad came home again, this time with twins," Lucifer said and Sam could hear his voice hardening.

"They actually aren't really twins, they just happened to be born on the same day," Michael elaborated. "They were 12 years old back then. Their names are Adam..."

"... and Eve. Those were their actual names. Chuck never changed them," Lucifer sneered.

"It had been a while since Dad had adopted another child. The last one, Samandriel, was at least five years before that. So yes, we were quite surprised you could say."

"I just thought he finally had enough kids. But apparently I was wrong."

"They were the youngest ones so far, so Dad asked us all to take care of them. They were also a lot older than the rest of us when they joined us. They'd grown up in another family, a family they lost. No wonder Dad wanted us to keep an extra eye on them and make them feel at home."

"He completely spoiled them!" Lucifer exclaimed. "He was all over them twenty-four seven, took the day off after one look from them, something he never did for us!"

"He'd never payed that much attention to one of us. Well, except for..."

"... me. I used to be the one he was closest too. I'm not saying that was right, but to then just drop me like that for these two new..."

"Jealous much," Dean mumbled.

Michael sighed. "Yeah, he didn't handle it very well. And then he challenged Dad."

"I went over to him to explain how I was feeling about the whole situation. You could say things... escalated a bit."

"They were screaming the entire house together."

"I just wanted to talk to him about it but he wouldn't listen!"

"Even if I understood his motives, the way Lucifer disrespected our father..."

"He totally overreacted! I was just being honest with him and I..."

"He bluntly refused to take care of Adam and Eve out of mere jealousy!"

"I questioned him, asked him why, something I - hell, none of us - had ever done. And you know what he told me? He said he loved them better. And that was the reason why."

The hurt look on Lucifer's face made Sam's stomach twitch. It was the same vulnerability he'd seen only minutes ago, but this time it was... different. Broken.

But then the angry and cold mask slid back in place and he continued, "He told me I had to choose; I obeyed him and did as he asked, or I could pack my things and get out."

"Everyone of us had heard what was going on," Michael said, a deep frown on his forehead. "Dad had made his decision. And then he called me."

Lucifer let out a sarcastic laugh. "I was actually happy he did. Michael would help me out, I was sure of it." His voice dropped until it was nearly a whisper. "He would never let me down."

"I was angry at Lucifer. For his behavior towards Dad but also because... You see, we'd had a fight a couple of days before that, the day before Adam and Eve arrived. Not about Dad or anything, just a stupid fight between friends. Except that... it wasn't. It was different... worse, and at a certain point Lucifer said some things... things that... hurt me. He'd hurt me so much." Dean could've sworn he saw a flash of pain shoot through the older boy's eyes. "Then he pretended nothing had happened and I was just so... incredibly pissed at him! In that moment I hated him, I wanted revenge, so when Dad asked me to show him the door, I... I did."

"I don't understand!" Lucifer basically begged. "I still don't get it, why?! I've been thinking and thinking and I... I mean, we had a fight a couple of days earlier but we had fights all the time! It wasn't any different so why..." He shook his head before burying it in his hands. Sam didn't know what to say. Everything he came up with just felt like it wasn't enough. So they just sat in silence for couple of seconds before Lucifer looked up again and ran his fingers through his hair. "He was my best friend. I trusted him. And then he betrayed me and I don't even know why."

At that point Sam felt like throwing his arms around the boy he had started to love and just hold him, for as long as needed to take away the pain he saw in those blue eyes. But honestly, he didn't know how Lucifer would take that. Sam had never seen him like this, this honest, this fragile, this... pure. Lucifer was all fun, sarcasm and carelessness. That was the guy Sam knew how to deal with. And he couldn't be more grateful that Lucifer had allowed him to see this side of him, but somehow that only made him more scared of doing something to ruin it. The last thing he wanted was for Lucifer to shut him out again. So all Sam could do was nod at him sympathetically and hope Lucifer would feel he was there for him.

Chapter Text

"So..." Dean started. "You ditched him?"

Michael looked at him like he'd just offended the guy. "He betrayed my father and everything my family stood for!"

Dean could hardly believe he was thinking it, but he actually wasn't so sure about his opinion on Lucifer anymore. "Well yeah, but he was your brother, Michael."

"You're choosing his side now?" Michael asked incredulously.

"No!" Dean objected. "Of course not. Trust me, I still don't like the guy. I think he's a bad influence and a selfish son of a bitch and you might even be right about him using Sam. But you were his family and you turned on him."

"He turned on my father first!"

"So what?" Dean laughed. "I mean, I get you got angry and I know he'd hurt you but you could've fixed it instead of picking a side."

"You don't know what you're talking about," Michael snarled. "I would do everything for my family, anything to protect them and Lucifer endangered that!"

"Michael, I'm not saying he was right, I'm saying you could've handled it better too."

"Oh please, don't act like you wouldn't have done the exact same thing. I know you, Dean. You told me yourself you'd do anything for your father."

"I'd do anything for my family," Dean corrected him. "You think I never got stuck in the middle when Sam and Dad had a fight? That I'm never caught in the crossfire? 'Cause trust me, they fight. A lot. They're both stubborn know-alls with very different opinions, so yes, they've butted heads more than once. But I would never ever let it tear my family apart. I'd do everything to keep my family together."

Michael pulled up an eyebrow. "So you're saying that if your father, whose judgement you trust beyond anything, told your brother - for a very good reason by the way - to leave, you would pick Sam's side and go with him?"

Dean remained quiet for a couple of seconds, letting the words sink in. When he finally answered, he knew it was the truth. "No. I probably wouldn't. If he wanted to leave, I'd let him. Maybe even blame him for it. But Sammy is my little brother and I could never bare to shut him out. Let alone kick him out myself. No matter what Dad would've said, Sam would always be welcome to me. Always. 'Cause that's what you do for family." He took a deep breath. "But hey, it's not too late to make things right, is it?"

Michael let out a sarcastic laugh. "Are you seriously suggesting I let Lucifer back into my family? After everything he did?"

Jeez, they're basically brothers, how can they just... "Mike, I really don't see the problem, alright? I mean, I think it would actually do all of you some good. All this fighting, don't you see how stupid it is?"

His friend shook his head as if Dean's suggestion was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard and Dean simply couldn't understand why. Why wouldn't Michael want his family back together?

"Listen," he tried again. "I get you can't just go back to how things were but maybe you could at least try to make amends a bit? How about your dad, he can't still be that angry, right?"

Michael huffed but remained silent.

"What?"

"Nothing."

Oh yeah, 'cause that's gonna make me give up. "No, what is it?"

"I told you, it's nothing," Michael glared at him.

"Is he? Your dad? Still angry?"

"It doesn't matter, Dean."

"Why not?"

Michael rolled his eyes. "Because."

"Yes, it does. Is he still angry?"

Okay, so Michael was obviously starting to get pissed off. "I don't know, okay?"

Dean frowned his brow. "What do you mean, you don't know? How can you not know?"

"Dean..." Michael sighed.

"No. How do you not know? Don't you talk to him?"

"No, I don't..." Michael started and then stopped abruptly.

"You don't talk to him?" Dean asked in disbelief.

"Dean, please just shut up."

No way in hell he was gonna stop now. He had a feeling he'd only just gotten something. "No. Why not? Why don't you talk to him?"

"Dean..."

"I mean, that certainly doesn't sound good, Mike. What the hell is going on?"

Michael buried his head in his hands. "Don't..."

"Why, Michael? Doesn't he want to talk about Lucifer? Or just in general? He can't be completely ignoring you, there's gotta be something you can do. Why don't you just talk to him about it?"

"I can't!" Michael snapped at him.

"Why not?"

"Because he's not here!" Michael yelled and Dean basically jumped back at the anger in his eyes. "I can't talk to him because Lucifer chased him away!"

Dean just looked at him in shock, slowly processing what Michael had just said. When he was sure he'd heard that right, he carefully asked, "What do you mean he isn't here?"

The look on Michael's face had turned back to a slight frown but Dean could still see the hurt in his eyes. "Just like I said. He isn't here."

"Well, then were the hell is he?" He'd thought the Shurley family history had been bad so far but it only seemed to keep on getting even worse.

"I don't know," Michael admitted. "I haven't seen him in a while."

"How long?" Dean asked, and when Michael didn't answer him, he repeated, "How long, Michael?"

Michael didn't look at him when he finally responded. "Since we moved to Lawrence."

Dean's eyes grew big and his jaw basically dropped. It took him a couple of seconds to find his voice. "He never came with you?"

"He got us the house and all the money we needed..."

"Michael, that's not an excuse!" Dean interrupted him. "Oh my god, did the guy really just drop all of you off here?"

"Dean, it's not as simple..." Michael started again, but to no avail.

"It is that simple, he left you here!" Then something dawned on him. "Wait. If he's been gone this whole time, then who's taking care of you?"

The look in Michael's eyes told him everything he needed to know.

"My god, Michael..."

"Oh shut up, Dean," Michael snarled at him. "I know what you're gonna say but it's not true. It's not his fault. Lucifer left but our family was never the same again. We were a mess. The ones who weren't heartbroken by Lucifer's departure turned quiet. Lucifer broke apart our entire family. And we tried, we really did, but after a while Dad just couldn't take it anymore. He wanted to get away from there, the house where we used to be so happy. He bought the place on Cross Road and told us we were moving. Dad needed some time off, so he made sure everything was settled and then he was going on a holiday for a while, just to take a break from it all. He left me in charge and I've been trying to get things back the way they were ever since, so he can come back and everything will return to normal." He sighed with a kind of determination in it, as if that was the point to all of it, getting his father to come back.

And Dean honestly felt kinda sorry for him. "Michael," he started. "You're not gonna like to hear this but..."

"Then don't say it," Michael interrupted him. "Please."

They just looked at each other for a couple of seconds before Dean continued, "But this ain't right and you know it. Michael, you are eighteen years old, a teenager, basically a kid yourself! You can't look after all of your siblings and you definitely shouldn't have to either. Your dad's the one who should be doing the fixing instead of leaving you to clean up his mess."

Michael let out a sarcastic laugh. "Like you're one to talk. You're dad's gone too and I don't see you complaining, do I?"

Okay, so that may have hit a nerve. Glaring angrily, Dean told him, "Yes. My dad's out a lot, doing his job. Yes, we don't see him that often and yes, he probably doesn't take care of us the way he should, but he tries. He makes sure he gets to come home in between hits, even if it's only for a couple of days. Sammy and I might have to look after ourselves sometimes, but he always asks Bobby or Pastor Jim or Ellen to check on us from time to time. He did not leave us to ourselves without a proper reason why, without a promise to come back or without someone to have our backs in case of an emergency. Michael, you can't just put up with that!"

"I am just doing my duty towards my family!"

"But your dad obviously isn't! If he even cared the smallest bit about any of you, he wouldn't have left all of his children completely alone!" Dean could hardly believe he actually had to spell it out for him. Why couldn't Michael see how bad a parent Chuck had been?

"Wow," Michael said, sounding almost... disappointed? "You know, Dean, of all people I honestly thought you'd understand. I thought you were like me."

"Yeah well, so did I," Dean admitted. "But now I'm not so sure anymore."

They stared at each other for a moment and Dean couldn't help but pray Michael would change his mind. He had always really appreciated their friendship and he'd been so happy Michael had been willing to keep things that way, but now he felt like whatever they had was crumbling right in front of him, beyond repair.

Michael nodded and got up. "Fine. Bye, Dean."

And as he walked away, Dean did feel sorry for how things had ended. But he also felt a kind of relief as a weight he'd been carrying for weeks finally disappeared.

Chapter Text

In the meantime, Sam and Lucifer were still sitting on the couch in quietude. Sam was leaning his head on Lucifer's shoulder and his boyfriend had put an arm around his shoulders but that was about it. Lucifer was lost in thought and Sam wanted to give him all the time he needed to come back to him. So he waited, thinking about his brother. He couldn't help but wonder if Dean knew the whole story and tried to convince himself he couldn't. Because if he did, he wouldn't be friends with Michael anymore. Sam had to believe that. He'd never thought much of Michael and the other Shurleys but this... No, even his brother wouldn't be on their side anymore if he'd heard the truth. Dean might act all though and just but he was also righteous. He'd realize what was wrong or right eventually. And then he'd understand why Lucifer was the good guy in all of this.

After a couple of minutes Lucifer finally sat up straight and stretched his arms. "You wanna order some pizza?" he asked in a back to casual voice.

Sam looked up and smiled before quickly pecking his lips. "Sure. I mean, I'd have to leave for Kevin's right after that but pizza's fine."

"We can share a big pepperoni. Or something else is fine too..."

Lucifer got up and was already starting to walk towards the kitchen when Sam stopped him. "Lucifer."

His boyfriend came to a halt and slowly turned around. "Yeah?"

"Thank you," Sam told him and he meant the words with every fiber of his being.

Lucifer looked away before mumbling, "What for?"

"Telling me," he shrugged. "Trusting me."

After a quick nod Lucifer continued his way to the kitchen. "So pepperoni?"

Yeah, maybe it was a good idea to lighten the mood a little. Sam got up as well and followed him. "How do you feel about Hawaiian?"

Lucifer looked at him with actual terror in his eyes. "Please tell me you're talking about the island."

Definitely a good idea. He laughed and shrugged innocently. "You don't like pineapple?"

"Well, yes, but you don't put it on a pizza!" Lucifer exclaimed in disbelief.

"Why not?" Sam decided to tease him a little bit further.

"Because... that's just... wrong!"

Sam burst out in laughter at that and it didn't take Lucifer long to join him. He walked over to the younger boy and wrapped his arms around him.

"What did I do to deserve you?" he sighed in fake despair against Sam's hair.

The Winchester pulled up an eyebrow. "You think you're easy to deal with?"

"I'm perfect," Lucifer grinned and Sam rolled his eyes before Lucifer pressed his lips against his.

Sam didn't think he'd ever get tired of kissing Lucifer. The guy was all passion and hunger and caused a fire to erupt in Sam's stomach every time they touched. He could've stayed in that moment forever, with his tongue exploring Lucifer's mouth, one hand against his chest and the other around his neck. So when Lucifer pulled away, Sam automatically let out an annoyed whimper.

The Shurley boy gave him that arrogant grin of his. "I really think we should order that pizza now."

When Sam only sighed in response, Lucifer let go of him and grabbed his phone.

"So... pepperoni?"

~~~

When Dean got back to his empty house, he immediately went for the fridge and grabbed a beer. After taking a good pull, he walked back to the living room and dropped down on the couch, putting his feet up on the armrest. He was exhausted. Who would've thought his conversation with Michael would end up where it had? Dean sure as hell hadn't, and he guessed neither did Michael. Everything had gone so well and then... But it was over now. And so was their friendship. He couldn't believe that after all the drama and suppressed romantic feelings, after Dean basically turning Michael down and them still being on good terms despite all of that, they'd fought about their dads. Their dads. It was ridiculous.

He took another drink from his beer and went for his phone, glad Sam was still at Kevin's so he had the place for himself. He'd earned it. Bringing the bottle to his lips another time, he held the calling phone to his ear and waited for it to be answered. He didn't have to wait very long.

"Hello?" a by now familiar voice said on the other end of the line.

"Hey Cas, it's me."

"Oh. Hi." He thought he heard something in the background and then Cas told him, "Hold on."

Slightly confused at what was happening, Dean tried to figure out what the noise was all about. He could hear loud voices and maybe even a door slamming, so he gathered someone must have been having a fight. He waited and listened as the sounds started to fade out and then suddenly everything went quiet.

"Sorry about that," Cas sighed.

"What was all the fuss about?" Dean asked, his curiosity getting the best of him.

"Nothing important."

Alright, so maybe Cas didn't feel like talking about it and Dean didn't want to push him. "Okay then. Anyways, I promised to call so... I just got back from Michael... Didn't really go well..."

He could hear Cas slowly breathing out. "Yes, I gathered as much."

"What do you mean?" Dean asked, a frown on his face.

"Michael came home and as you could probably tell... he wasn't exactly good-humored."

Dean cursed under his breath and took another sip from his beer. "Was that what was going on there in the background?"

"Yes," Cas sighed. "He got home, clearly pissed and snapping at everyone... Then Gabriel made it worse of course... But it's alright, I'm in my room now so no one can hear us."

"You don't want them to hear us?" Dean blurted out.

"I don't think Michael would be very happy to hear me talk to someone he'd just had a fight with, no."

"Right," he quickly tried to explain himself. "Yeah of course, I mean, I was just... I don't know..."

"It's okay, Dean," Cas stopped his rambling. "So what happened? I thought you two liked each other."

Dean suddenly realized he'd never told Cas exactly why he'd met up with Michael. "Cas, I... I did like him, I think, but I turned him down."

"Oh."

"Yeah."

Cas remained silent for a couple of seconds, processing what he'd just said. "But... why?"

"I don't know," he admitted. "It was just... it didn't feel right, you know? I'm way too new to this and... I don't know."

"So that's why he is angry?" Cas concluded and Dean let out a sigh.

"No actually. I mean, I explained it to him, he understood, everything went quite well really."

"Then why is he angry?"

Dean bit his bottom lip and took another pull. Maybe he shouldn't ask. There was a good chance Cas might get angry at him too. But it was Cas. He wasn't like Michael, he was... Cas. Understanding, helpful, kinda weird Cas. So before he could change his mind, he said, "Cas?"

"Yes, Dean?"

"Why did you never tell me your dad left?"

The line turned quiet and Dean was a hundred percent sure he'd fucked it up. He had completely destroyed two pretty good friendships today. Good going, Dean. He downed the rest of his beer in one go.

"It just never came up," Cas answered to his surprise.

"Well, yeah but... it's kind of a big deal, Cas."

"Is it?" Cas asked but he didn't sound angry or anything, he sounded... defeated. "It's not like there's anything I can do about it."

Dean felt a sting in his heart for his friend. "But still," he continued. "I mean... Shit, I don't know, man."

The silence spread out between them again and Dean decided he needed another beer. Unfortunately, he was too lazy to get it.

"Can I tell you something?" Cas basically made him jump.

"Yeah, sure," he said, although he was everything but sure on what to expect.

"I want to find him."

"Your dad?"

"Yes."

"Honestly, buddy, I'd be kinda worried if you didn't," Dean tried to lighten the mood.

"No, that's not what I mean. I want to actually find him. Get out and track him down,"  Cas said. "Michael is pretending everything is fine. We all are. In the hope that, if we just keep up our act," he laughed but it sounded everything but genuine, "maybe he'll believe it and come back."

"Cas..." Dean started but Castiel interrupted him.

"I know. I know he won't. That's why I need to find him. To be able to... to ask him why."

How the hell was he supposed to answer that? "Well, if you ever do, I'll come right with you just to kick his ass."

Cas laughed at that a bit and Dean smiled in response, celebrating his victory, however small it was. Hearing that laugh was worth it.

"Thank you, Dean, that's very kind of you."

"Anytime, Cas," he smiled. "Anytime."

Chapter Text

Three weeks passed by and nothing had changed.

Dean was going his usual way, hanging out with his lifelong friends. He talked to Cas every so often, over the phone or sometimes at school. He would've liked to meet up with him in his spare time too, but he had a feeling the guy didn't get out much. It also didn't help Cas wasn't one to socialize often. Or at all. And since Michael was avoiding him like the plague, that meant his life almost seemed normal again. Well, except for his younger brother maybe.

Sam on the other hand was enjoying life to its fullest. And Lucifer. The two of them were always together, at school, after school, during the weekends. Never at Sam's place though. He still hadn't told Dean, or any of his friends for that matter, so they spent most of their time at Lucifer's, in The Cage, in town, sometimes Sam even dared to take his boyfriend back to the library, although he always felt guilty towards the librarian afterwards. Point was that Sam was happy. He and Kevin had had a couple more gaming nights, which had been a lot of fun, Dean had stopped complaining about Lucifer and it was pretty damn clear his brother wasn't hanging out with Michael anymore. Everything considered, there wasn't a single thing that was holding him back from being with Lucifer. And celebrating that.

Sam had barely closed the front door when Lucifer turned him around and pinned him against it. He pressed their lips together in a hungry kiss, the kind that seemed to turn Sam's legs to jelly every time it happened. His breath hitched in his throat as Lucifer's tongue invaded his mouth almost aggressively, caressing Sam's before pulling back a bit. He groaned against his boyfriend's lips, from lust but also in annoyance at the sudden loss of warmth. He could feel the corners of Lucifer's mouth turn up into a cocky smirk before the other boy surprised the hell outta Sam by placing his mouth around Sam's bottom lip and sucking it in. A shiver of pleasure ran down his spine and when that same arrogant mouth was replaced by Lucifer's teeth biting his lip, he thought he'd lose it. He pushed forward and wanted to kiss the life out of this guy that made him feel things he'd never felt before, but Lucifer wasn't one to give up control that easily. He pushed right back at Sam, pressing his body against the younger boy's to keep him in place. It was only then that Sam felt exactly how excited Lucifer was. His heart started hammering in his chest at the very obvious bulge against his lower abdomen and Sam could've sworn he was able to hear the rushing of his own blood in his ears. As if all of that wasn't bad enough, Lucifer seemed to be quite aware of the effect he was having and even took it a little further. The kisses became fiercer, the pace was picked up and suddenly Lucifer's hands dropped from his shoulders to his waist, where they tormentingly slowly crept underneath Sam's flannel and eventually his shirt. Sam gasped for air as cold fingers touched his warm skin, and his muscles tensed against Lucifer's body. Every fiber of his being was set on fire, longing for more, and he didn't know how to handle it. He wanted this, he needed this, but holy shit, this was moving fast. Not that he didn't like it but... Lucifer thrust into him and he let out a loud moan. Oh god...

That was the moment Sam's phone started ringing and he almost jumped at the vibrations in his pocket.

"Ignore it," Lucifer grumbled against his lips, clearly annoyed at the interruption.

Sam felt the same way but he knew better than that and pulled back. "I can't," he breathed out. "Might be Dean."

Lucifer dropped his head and sighed. "Fine. But you better make it quick."

As soon as Sam got out his phone, he checked the caller ID. Of course it was his brother. Still trying to catch his breath, he gave Lucifer a small smile before picking up. "Hi, Dean."

And then Lucifer moved his mouth to Sam's neck of course and started leaving kisses there.

"Hey. Ellen and Jo stepped by with food, you coming home?"

A lot of slow, hot kisses... Dammit, he's trying to drive me crazy... Sam had to swallow back a lump before he could answer. "Sure. I'll be there in ten."

"Okay, see ya," Dean said and then ended the call.

Sam leaned his head back against the door and closed his eyes, allowing himself to enjoy this moment for two more seconds. But he knew Dean would be mad if he took too long. "I got to go," he whispered and looked back up.

Lucifer tilted up his head and frowned. "What if I don't let you?"

"Then my brother would probably hunt your ass down and kill you," Sam grinned lovingly.

"Fiiine," Lucifer groaned. "Though I'd love to see him try."

Sam laughed and pushed him off. "I'm sure you do. I'll see you at school tomorrow. Behave while I'm gone."

His boyfriend smiled at him mischievously. "Never."

Rolling his eyes, Sam opened the door. Then he turned back one last time to give Lucifer a peck on the lips. "Bye."

"Bye, Sammy," Lucifer teased him as he left the apartment.

Dinner with Ellen and Jo was nice, even though Dean wouldn't stop giving him these examining looks. Sam knew Dean knew something had been going on in his life. His brother had stopped asking questions though, but for some reason that only worried Sam even more. It wasn't like he didn't want to tell Dean, he was just waiting for the right moment. That was all. He'd get there. Eventually.

~~~

The next day Dean strolled into his physics class.

He was tired. Tired of Sam being secretive and doing who knows what in his spare time, tired of Michael and that Naomi girl (who he didn't even know!) giving him dirty looks, tired of Cas playing hide and seek and fucking tired of school.

He dropped down in his usual seat, ignoring a dirty look from Zachariah to his left. So what if Michael had turned almost his entire family against him? Like Dean cared about those stuck-up asshats. Except for Cas maybe.

He'd only just opened his notebook when a shadow fell over the pages. When he looked up, Dean was both surprised and annoyed to see Balthazar Shurley standing in front of his desk. If the guy was there to give him some don't-mess-with-my-brother speech, asses were gonna get kicked.

"Dean Winchester, just the guy I was looking for," Balthazar said with a suspiciously friendly smile.

Dean frowned. "You walked up to my desk."

"Exactly." Balthazar leaned down and rested his arms on the table. "I'm hosting another party. Now, my brother may not be your biggest fan at the moment but you have a lot of friends, people seem to like you and it's not at our house anyway. There will be plenty of girls, or guys in case Michael completely turned around the way you're swinging, and booze. What do you think?"

He honestly didn't know if he should be insulted by that or not. But on the bright side, it was hard to believe there was some ulterior motive to this, even if Dean still thought it was weird. "You want me to come to your party?"

"Of course I do! You had fun the last time, didn't you?"

"Well, yeah but..."

"Great! That's settled then. You know the deal, bring as many friends as you want but take them all with you when you leave 'cause I'm not going to babysit any of those drunk bastards. Oh, and tell your brother to leave Lucifer at home. Wouldn't want his drama ruining the fun."

With how clingy Lucifer and his brother were being, Dean was pretty sure that would mean Sam wasn't going to want to come either. And in all honesty, Dean couldn't even be bothered to try anymore.

"Fine, I guess," he mumbled. Then something occurred to him. Or rather someone. "Wait, are all of your other brothers coming?"

Balthazar let out a little laugh. "No, don't worry about it. Michael definitely isn't and when it comes to the others..." He leaned forward conspiratorially and pretended to whisper, although Dean was pretty sure Zachariah would still be able to hear them. "Most of my brothers aren't exactly the partying type."

Michael wasn't exactly who Dean'd been talking about but his question was answered all the same. He felt a pinch of disappointment but decided to ignore it.

Without further ado Balthazar tore a small piece of paper out of Dean's notebook and before he got a chance to protest, the guy had taken his pen and started scribbling something down. "It's Saturday night and starts at eleven. This is the address. You know King Avenue, right?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Perfect, I'll see you then." And like that Balthazar dropped the pen, folded the piece of paper in two, put it in Dean's hand and then ran back to his own seat since class was about to begin.

Their teacher started talking but Dean barely paid any attention to it. With a frown he opened the paper, and that frown only became deeper when he read what was on it.

Don't tell anyone about this
Friday, 5 p.m.
Arch Alley
Come alone

Chapter Text

'Hey Cas, can we talk?'

'Cas?'

'Caaaaassssssssss'

'BEES!'

'Dude seriously how hard is it to send a text?'

The next day, Dean decided he'd had enough.

Cas being too busy to answer the phone and only occasionally texting back and even seeming to avoid him at school, he understood. He could handle that, he had for the past few weeks. But he was not having any of this blatantly-and-consciously-ignoring-him-for-multiple-days stuff.

So, he had no problem taking matters into his own hands.

During their break, Dean told his friends he had to go do something and then started to comb out the school. The guy wasn't at his locker, or in the library, or already at his next class, which Dean only knew about because Sam was in the same one. All of that wasn't going to stop him though. He wandered the hallways, keeping an eye out for the tan trench coat or anything else that could give him a clue about Cas's whereabouts.

After rounding the umpteenth corner, he finally hit jackpot. His friend was standing at the end of the hallway, along with his siblings that were also sophomores. Dean knew most of them by name; Hannah, Bartholomew, Joshua... He'd never met them in person but the Shurleys had become almost celebrities in Lawrence.

He approached the group of kids, glad he could finally have a chance to find out what had been going on with Cas. Unfortunately, the Shurleys turned out to have a different opinion about that.

"Hey Cas, can I talk to you for a second?" Dean asked when he reached them.

Immediately multiple pairs of eyes turned to look at him in annoyance. Except Cas's. No, Cas was just staring down at his own feet and completely ignoring his presence. Which was actually worse.

"What do you think you're doing?" a girl named Rachel snarled at him. She had a look of disgust on her face, as if Dean was some kind of bug that she'd prefer to trample.

Dean stared back at her just as hostilely. "I was talking to Cas, Barbie."

"Castiel isn't interested in talking to you," she shot back. "None of us are. So stay away from our family."

"Pretty sure that's his decision, isn't it?" Dean told her before turning his gaze to Cas, silently praying that he hadn't been wrong about his friend. If Cas was gonna betray him too...

The younger boy slowly lifted his eyes to meet his and Dean got caught in how blue they were. He didn't know how long the two of them were just standing there like that, gazes locked - it could've been seconds or ages - but he did know when it ended. Because from the moment Cas broke the connection and looked down again, Dean knew, and the truth shot a flash of pain through his chest.

"Sister, are we having a problem here?" a voice from behind him suddenly interfered and Dean was almost happy he didn't need to make the awkward silence even worse himself.

Instead he turned around and- holy shit, this guy was big. Okay, Dean wasn't too small himself and in fact he was still growing but he sure as hell hoped this dude was done with his bits. He was one of Cas's older brothers, a senior called Uriel. Dean only knew that because he'd seen him hang around with Michael before, but he'd never really noticed how intimidating this one of the Shurley kids could be.

Uriel looked down - only the smallest bit but it was enough - at him and said, "Is this mud monkey bothering you?"

Dean's eyebrows shot up. Sorry, what? What kind of an insult is that even?! However, before he could answer and probably get himself in even more trouble, Bartholomew did so for him.

"He is. Rachel already told him to leave but he refused."

Seriously, who did this arrogant asses think they were? Glaring at the guy, he started, "Okay, you listen to me, you dickheads..."

"Leave," Uriel interrupted him and Dean turned back at once to face the guy. "Now."

"Excuse me?!"

"You heard me."

Oh, how much he would've liked to throw a punch at the guy right then and there. But Dean wasn't stupid. It was five to one, even if Cas didn't join his siblings' side. So instead he gritted his teeth and looked back at his friend one last time, hoping for something, anything. But Cas was still avoiding his eyes, literally looking everywhere but at Dean. His sister Hannah had put a hand on his shoulder and Dean knew he'd lost.

"Fine," he grumbled and without another word he turned and walked away. If their friendship really meant nothing to Cas, that was fine by Dean. So what if Cas had been his only support through the whole rediscovery of his sexuality? The only one he'd trusted with his secret? The person who'd given him advice and helped him when Dean had been too anxious to turn to his own friends and family? He didn't need the guy. He'd managed his life just as well before the Shurleys even set foot in Lawrence.

So then why did his chest still feel like it'd shrunk three sizes even after he'd rounded the corner?

~~~

After the school bell announced the end of the day, Dean stomped out of school, to his car. Sam would be with Lucifer, so he didn't have to worry about that. Actually he should worry about that but Dean had stopped caring. He simply couldn't afford to care anymore and it wasn't like his brother would listen to him anyway.

His friends had been worried about him all day and Dean honestly couldn't blame them. Jess, Sam, Lisa, Michael, Cas... Every single one of them had left in their own way. And of course Charlie, Benny and Jo meant the world to him but there were only so many people Dean could handle losing in just a few months. To say he was angry wouldn't feel right. Well, he was pissed but more than that he felt... lost. And he hated that.

Just as he was about to open the door of his car, a familiar voice called out his name and he froze in place. He took a deep breath before turning around to see Cas hastily make his way towards him, trench coat flying around his legs.

"Dean," the boy said as he reached him, slightly out of breath. "I need to talk to you."

"Really? 'Cause you didn't look that eager earlier," he snapped back. Yes, definitely still angry.

Cas turned his eyes downward. "I'm sorry about that. I couldn't..." He sighed and looked around out of the corner of his eye. "Do you think we could talk in your car?"

No. Another deep breath. "Fine."

When he unlocked the car, Cas gave him the smallest of smiles and Dean hated that it made him feel better, if only a tiny bit. They both got in and sat in silence for a couple of seconds, waiting for the other to say something.

Eventually Cas let out another sigh. "Dean, I don't think... Us being friends... Maybe it's not a good idea."

And there the feeling better went. "Because of Michael." It wasn't a question. He knew it was the truth.

Nonetheless, Cas answered him, his voice as even as could be. "Yes."

Great... Now Dean had two options. The easiest one would be to accept their fate and let it go. But he'd already needed to let go so often lately and this whole Michael situation was getting ridiculous. "No."

Cas squinted his eyes and tilted his head in confusion. "No?"

"No," Dean repeated. "For God's sake, Cas, don't you see how stupid this is? Michael deciding who your family can or cannot hang out with? All because we had a little fight?"

"Dean... Michael is my brother," Cas said reluctantly.

"And I'm your friend!" Dean realized he was probably looking pretty desperate but he didn't care.

The other boy turned to him and again Dean was taken aback by those eyes, like blue fire. "And I want to be your friend but I can't just betray my family for you!"

"Cas, this isn't some freaking Shakespeare tragedy!"

Immediately the confused frown returned. "I don't understand that reference."

Dean didn't feel like explaining it, so instead he let out an exasperated sigh. Maybe Cas was right, maybe he was asking too much. After all, if the roles were reversed, what would he do?

"Listen," he decided to start over, "I don't wanna ask you to pick a side. Michael is your brother, I understand that you're loyal to him and I respect that. But you shouldn't just blindly do what he says, Cas, you deserve to make your own choices and I just..." He shrugged and bit down on his lip. "I just wanted you to know that our friendship? It means a lot to me and I... Of course I'm not gonna force you to choose or anything, but what I'm trying to say here is just... Don't make me lose you, too."

The way Cas looked at him eased down a tiny bit of the nervousness in his chest but that didn't mean he stopped dreading the words that would come out of the other boy's mouth. He was already anxiously biting his tongue, convinced that there was nothing more he could do. It was only fair, he couldn't make Cas's decisions for him. And after all, why would the guy choose him over his own family? Dean wasn't anything special...

"Okay."

At once, Dean's eyes shot up to meet his friend's. "What?"

Still with a slightly pensive look, Cas elaborated, "I value our friendship too and you are right. Michael shouldn't decide who my friends are. So, he doesn't need to know but I'd like to be your friend."

Dean was having trouble keeping the broad smile on his face to a minimum. "Thanks, Cas."

His friend looked away with a little smile of his own and what Dean could've sworn was a slight blush. "Does that mean," he said, playing with one of the buttons on his trench coat, "that it's okay we just text and talk outside of school?"

"Of course that's okay," Dean told him in a soft voice. He was still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that Cas was actually willing to do this, to go behind his own brother's back to be friends with Dean. He had absolutely no idea what he'd done to deserve it.

"Okay," Cas returned and Dean could've sworn he saw a light in the other boy's eyes he'd never seen there before.

Chapter Text

By the time Friday arrived, Dean was mostly finally starting to feel like himself again. Sure, he still had a long way to go before life would be back to normal but now that him and Cas were back on good terms and talking, he felt a lot better about the whole situation. Talking to Cas always helped him put things in perspective.

That's why he'd wanted to tell the other boy about the note he got from Balthazar. Unfortunately, he eventually had to decide against it. The words had been very clear and Dean had to admit he'd feel bad about betraying that trust, even if it was Balthazar's.

So that's why, when school ended and Dean got home, he texted Cas he would be busy for the rest of the day. He felt a bit guilty about it but technically it wasn't even a lie and he was pretty sure he'd tell Cas what had happened afterwards anyway. If Balthazar didn't swear him to secrecy, that is.

Since Sam was with Lucifer again, Dean took the time to prepare dinner for when he'd get back home. The note had said 5 pm but who knew how long Balthazar was planning on talking to him. He made some pasta with chicken and tomato sauce and put it in the fridge to reheat it later. As he was cleaning the kitchen, he called Bobby.

"Hello?" the familiar, grumpy voice answered.

"Hey Bobby, it's Dean. I was just calling in to say I won't be home for a while and Sam's out too, in case you were planning on stepping by."

Bobby hummed in agreement. "Alright, kid, thanks for letting me know. Where you headed?"

"I met up with a friend," Dean told him. Okay, so maybe he wouldn't normally call Balthazar a friend per se, but it was close enough.

"You know, if it's this Michael guy, you can just say so, I won't bite," Bobby mocked and Dean let out a little laugh, be it not a very genuine one.

"Well, it's not. Trust me." He pulled a notebook out of his backpack and ripped out a sheet. "I'm leaving Sam a note on the counter telling him to give you a call in case he gets home before me. If not, I'll call you back, alright?"

"Sure thing. You boys be careful," Bobby said while Dean was scrabbling down that food was in the fridge.

"Will do. Thanks, Bobby," he nodded before hanging up.

And then he crossed town towards Arch Alley.

He'd had to look it up beforehand but now that he knew where to go, it wasn't that hard to find. It was a very small street in Old West Lawrence, so Dean had to park the Impala a couple of blocks further off. When he got out and made his way to the alley, it was already five and the mid-December sun had slowly started to set. He reached the alley that was situated in between two pretty large buildings, causing it to gloom even faster. Dean guessed there was maybe just enough room for one car. Or at least there would've been without the two dumpsters lining one of the walls. Taking a couple more steps, he frowned and his eyes wandered through the other than that empty lane.

"Balthazar?" he called carefully. He was sure this was the place...

"Dean Winchester," a definitely not British voice answered and he jumped at the sudden sound. "Just the guy I was looking for."

Dean watched in confusion as someone walked out from behind the dumpsters, a feeling that quickly turned into shock when he recognized the short boy with his trademark red lollipop.

"Gabriel?!" Dean exclaimed, surprised he even remembered the guy's name.

It was like the kid could read his mind. "Oh, you remember me! I'm touched," he commented while making his way to Dean.

"But..." Dean started. "How... What are you doing here? Where's Balthazar?"

"At home," Gabriel shrugged, popping the sucker back in his mouth.

"Wha- But he... the note..."

"That I told him to give you?" the other boy finished for him.

Dean shook his head. This was getting weirder with the minute. "Wait, what? That was you? Why?"

"Because I needed to talk to you," Gabriel simply said. "And I couldn't exactly do it myself, always having my big bro around. Michael's already paranoid enough as it is."

"Then why risk it? What's so important you had to go behind his back?" Dean asked. He didn't understand. He thought all of the Shurleys hated him, except for Cas, and he didn't even know Gabriel, not really. What could the guy possibly want from him?

Gabriel finished the candy and flicked the stick into the dumpster. "Our brothers."

Okay, not what he was expecting... "Our brothers?"

"Yep."

"What about them?"

Gabriel pulled up an eyebrow. "Oh, please... Like you don't know that Lucifer is the most rotten apple in the Shurley family basket."

"So, what?" Dean commented, keeping up the act out of curiosity of what would come next. "Hate to break it to you but no one in your family is exactly all rainbows and sunshine."

"Shut your cakehole. You don't know anything about my family," Gabriel snapped back at him. "This isn't about them. This is about Sam and Lucifer and how we're gonna stop it."

He shook his head in confusion, still not understanding what Gabriel had to do with all of this. "We?"

"Yes. Michael may have a stick up his arse, but he's right about Lucifer. I know my brother, the only reason he's interested in Sam is because Michael used to be in you. So..." The shorter guy spread his arms. "I'll help you."

Dean looked at him suspiciously. "You'll help me get Sam to unfriend Lucifer?"

Gabriel let out a sarcastic laugh and Dean frowned. "Yeah, right. Is that what you told him? That you 'unfriended' Michael?" the Shurley mocked.

"Uh... actually I didn't really..."

"Now, it won't be easy of course, since they're probably madly in love blah-blah-blah, but I'd like to think I've got a pretty decent plan," Gabriel continued, confusing Dean even more. "We can't wait too long either, you know, before poor Sam really starts thinking this is serious and they get all down and dirty-"

"Whoa, what?" Dean interrupted him, his eyes big with shock. "Why would you... They're not... like that!"

Gabriel looked at him as if he was joking and when it became clear he wasn't, the guy let out a whistle and rolled his eyes dramatically. "You sorry sons of bitches. You two didn't even bother telling each other, did you?"

No way. There was literally no way this was true. Sam would've told him. Sam told him everything, so surely something as important as this... He opened his mouth to deny it but nothing came out. What was he supposed to say? With the very few time he'd spent with his brother lately, what could he possibly say to prove Gabriel wrong?

Luckily the guy was willing to do the talking for him. "So you had no idea Sam and Lucifer have been dancing the lambada for about a month now, and Sam doesn't know about what happened between you and Michael? That's why you didn't do anything about it, you didn't have a clue about what was going on!"

"No... you're wrong," Dean eventually managed to get out. "It's not true."

"I'm sorry," Gabriel said, looking at him almost sympathetically, "but it is. Why else do you think they've been secretly holding hands, sneaking into empty classrooms, spending literally every free moment together? Come on, Dean-o, even you are not that stupid."

Dean swallowed back the lump in his throat. Was that true? How could he have possibly missed that? "Fine. Let's say you're right. Then what? I can't just tell my brother who he can or can't be with. I'm not Michael and I don't wanna be either. Not gonna boycott Lucifer like he's been doing with me."

"And that is so very noble of you," the older boy noted, sarcasm clear in his voice. "But here's the thing: one way or another, there's gonna be a moment when Lucifer decides he's had enough of his plaything and will break Sam's heart. Now, do you want to warn him before that happens or not?"

"Of course I wanna warn him!" Dean said offendedly. Like he was just gonna stand by and watch that son of a bitch hurt his little brother...

Gabriel pulled up an eyebrow. "And you think he'll listen?"

Dean opened his mouth... and closed it again. It wasn't exactly like he could prove to Sam Lucifer didn't care about him, not when the guy hadn't done a single thing pointing in that direction.

"What do you suggest?" he asked reluctantly.

Gabriel shrugged. "Like I said, I know Lucifer. I can help you convince him."

"He'll never listen to you," Dean said, shaking his head. "You're on Michael's side."

"I'm not on either side."

Dean huffed. "Yeah, right."

Gabriel gave him a deadly glare. "I don't work for either of those S.O.B.s. Believe me."

"Then why would you help me?" Dean said with a frown.

The other guy looked away from him and for the first time Dean thought he could see something like doubt in his eyes. He watched in surprise as Gabriel, the overconfident boy that always had his answer ready, seemed to be looking for the right words.

Eventually he looked back up and sighed. "Look. I love my family but we're a mess."

"Yeah, no kidding," Dean muttered.

"My point is," Gabriel pressed, "you and Sam, you never deserved to get caught up in it. So, I wanna help you get back out before everything really goes to hell."

"You don't even know us."

Gabriel's eyes turned dark and when he spoke again there was a sadness in his voice that Dean didn't understand. "And I probably never really will. But at least my brothers will drag two people less into their eternal vendetta."

Dean nodded, although he suspected there was still something Gabriel wasn't letting on. "How?"

At once, Gabriel jumped back into that whole smart-ass shell of his. "Easy. I've still got some stuff up my sleeve to convince him. All you gotta do is help me lure him out so he'll actually talk to me."

"And how am I supposed to do that?" Dean questioned.

"Well," Gabriel said, pouting his lips pensively. "Let's just say I got some things... arranged. You don't have to do much, just agree with the plan, let it happen, don't get in the way..."

Yeah, 'cause that doesn't sound shady at all... "What is it?"

The other boy tilted his head a bit and shrugged. "You'll see."

Dean squinted at him. "Why would I trust you? For all I know, none of this is true and Michael put you up to this to get to Lucifer."

Groaning in annoyance, Gabriel rolled his eyes. "For the last time, I don't want anything to do with the family feud. You think if I was doing this for Michael, I wouldn't have told him about you and Castiel being friends again?"

Dean's jaw dropped at that. How could Gabriel possibly... "How do you know?"

Gabriel offered him a smile. "I keep my eyes open."

"You gonna tell him?" Dean asked, worry filling his chest. Michael would not be happy with this and he didn't wanna get Cas into trouble...

"No," Gabriel said to his relief. "Despite the grumpy arrogance you're a good friend to him and he deserves someone like that. But, Dean?"

He thinks... I'm a good friend? "Yeah?"

"In my family, you're either a loyal member or you're banished forever. There's no in between. Now, he may have doubts but Cassie is loyal. He'd be lost without his family. Think about that when you ask him to set off to the horizon with you."

Without giving Dean a chance to answer that, he pulled a new lollipop out of his pocket and walked past him while unwrapping it. Dean turned around confusedly and had just opened his mouth to say something about it, when Gabriel spoke again, not even bothering to turn back.

"Oh, and as far as my family is concerned, this conversation never happened."

And with that he left.

Chapter Text

When Dean got home, Sam was already there, sitting on the couch and texting with a smile on his face that nearly screamed 'crazy in love'. Dean felt like slapping himself in the face and wondered how he could've possibly missed that. They were brothers, for God's sake.

For a couple of seconds, Dean just stood there on the threshold, without knowing what to say. He had so many things to say, or ask, or yell, but in the end it all came down to one thing.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

Sam looked up in surprise, not even so much as considering Dean might have found out about him and Lucifer. That would be impossible. And yet there was something about the calmness in Dean's voice, that worried him. What he saw in his brother's eyes was a mixture of hurt and maybe disappointment, and Sam had no idea what to think about it. "Tell you what?"

"That that's your boyfriend you're texting," Dean answered in a bit harsher tone.

Immediately his younger brother's eyes grew big, his jaw dropped and that was all the confirmation Dean needed.

"Ho- how did you-" Sam started but he was too shocked to finish his sentence. No one knows, so how can Dean...

"Does it matter?" Dean asked, his voice sounding way too calm.

Sam had expected a lot but not this. Dean acting like an asshole? Yes. Sam getting angry because he had to defend Lucifer? Yes. The two of them ending up even more pissed and torn apart? Yes. Anything but the feeling Dean was giving him now. Guilt.

"Sam, why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I knew you would get angry!" Sam called out desperately. Despite his brother's current calm demeanor, they both knew it was true. Sam thought Dean had no right to play the victim here.

That sentence finally seemed to flip Dean's switch though. "So what?! I am your brother! When something as big as this happens, I deserve to know!"

Did Dean realize he was being a bit of a hypocrite? Maybe. But then again, Michael and him had never actually taken any steps in their "relationship".

"Why?" Sam huffed. "I knew you wouldn't like it, I knew you would try to talk me out of it and I knew all of it would just result in another big fight and I am tired of fighting, Dean! I'm done with you and Michael conspiring against Lucifer while you don't even know the whole story!"

"Oh, I know everything about the story!" Dean yelled back at him. "And if you would've taken five seconds to tear your eyes away from Lucifer's ass and actually look around, you would know that Michael and I haven't talked in weeks, because of that stupid story, that the guy has turned his entire family against me and that I can't even talk to the one person that helped me through it in public!!!"

They both fell silent after that, equally surprised at the words that had come out of Dean's mouth. It took him a couple of seconds but eventually Sam was the first one to find his voice again.

"I was scared, okay?" he admitted in a soft voice.

Dean frowned and shook his head, not understanding what his little brother was trying to say. "What do you mean?"

"It's just... I thought... I was scared you'd be angry. Disappointed."

"Why?" Dean asked in confusion.

Sam shrugged. "Like I said, I knew you didn't like Lucifer. And also, I didn't know how you'd feel about... you know..." He made some vague gesture and then it hit Dean.

"Yeah, now that you mention it, since when is that a thing, by the way?" he asked curiously. He'd been wondering about that.

"I guess it always has been?" Sam just said, not knowing what else to add.

His brother looked at him with something of hurt in his eyes. "And you seriously thought I'd make a problem out of that?" he asked in disbelief.

"I don't know, Dean!" Sam let out. "I- I guess not but..."

This is the moment, Dean realized. He had to say it now or he didn't think he ever would. "Well, that really would make me kind of a hypocrite."

Sam frowned, no idea what Dean could mean by that. "What are you talking about?"

Dean took a deep breath. "Well..." he started. "When Michael and I were still friends, he uhm... kinda had a thing for me and... you know... turned out I may have had a little thing for him too."

His little brother stared at him. Then stared some more and realized Dean wasn't joking. Eventually, he opened his mouth to say something but couldn't figure out what, so he closed it again and just continued the staring.

Dean couldn't take it anymore. "I know, okay?" he snapped.

"You're bi?" Sam finally let out in disbelief, and the other Winchester immediately raised his hand.

"I'm not, okay? I'm... not labeling it," he decided on.

Sam huffed and shook his head. "And you didn't tell me. Pot/kettle much, don't you think?"

Immediately, Dean's finger was pointing at him. "Hey, nothing ever happened between us."

"Wait, but then what about Lisa?"

"Yeah, we uhm... took a little break..." Dean admitted.

"You broke up with Lisa?!"

"It's only temporarily," Dean defended himself. "Just to take some time off to figure... all of this out."

Now Sam understood why he hadn't seen Lisa around lately. Actually, he couldn't even remember how long it had been since he had... "When?"

"Couple of weeks ago."

Sam's jaw dropped. "But..."

"Yeah," Dean said, forcing up one corner of his mouth. "I know."

They exchanged a look, both of them knowing what Lisa had meant to Dean. To their family. First Jess, now Lisa... Nothing was right anymore.

Dean dropped down onto the couch, next to his brother.

"Are you? Angry?" Sam eventually asked.

"Sam, I-" Dean sighed and started over. "I'm just trying to look out for you, okay? If Lucifer hurt you-"

"Dean," his brother interrupted him. "You won't always be able to protect me."

"Doesn't mean I can't try."

Sam smiled a little. Yeah, he knew Dean would never stop trying. "So what happened with you and Michael?" he changed the subject.

"Well, he told me the story," Dean said. "Then I insulted his dad, and he wasn't too happy about that."

Sam's eyes grew big. "I knew it! I told you it wasn't Lucifer's fault!" he grinned.

Dean rolled his eyes. "Fine, alright? Michael and Chuck, they're to blame for what happened too. But just to be clear, that doesn't make Lucifer innocent."

"Sooo... you don't hate Lucifer?" Sam tried carefully.

Chewing his bottom lip, Dean thought about a way to answer that that he wasn't going to regret. "Look, you're right, okay?" he eventually acknowledged. "I don't know Lucifer. But what I've heard about him - and not just from Michael - isn't pretty. So," he sighed, "you can't blame me for doing everything in my power to warn you about him. And if you still like him after that, then that's fine by me. I can't tell you how to live your life. But just be careful, okay?"

Sam nodded understandingly. "Okay." Then he added, "Sorry I didn't tell you."

His older brother let out a little laugh. "Right back at ya."

"Still can't believe you're also into guys now."

"Still can't believe you're dating one," Dean retorted.

"Yeah, I guess that's fair," Sam laughed. "Do the others know? Charlie, Jo, Benny? Did you tell Lisa?"

Dean shrugged. "I didn't tell anyone, really. Didn't know how."

The expression on Sam's face turned to a worried shock instantly. "You went through all of that alone?" he gasped.

"Not really," Dean was quick to reassure him. "Cas helped me. A lot."

"Cas?" Sam questioned in surprise. "As in Castiel Shurley Cas?"

"Yeah, he was the one who told me Michael liked me in the first place, so he already knew. We kinda rolled with it from there, talked about it a lot," Dean explained.

"He's barely spoken three words in class all year so far."

A fond smile played at the corner of Dean's mouth. "Yeah, he can be a little weird."

Sam frowned. "Wait, didn't you just say Michael turned all the Shurleys against you?"

"He tried," Dean grumbled. "Hell, for a moment I even thought he actually succeeded."

"But he didn't?" his brother asked.

He shook his head, not just Cas but also Balthazar and Gabriel coming to mind. They too had gone directly against Michael's wishes to help Dean out, even if he still didn't understand why. "Turns out he can't control his family as well as he likes to think. Gotta say he's pretty damn good at it though. He'd already gotten to Cas before I talked to him and he changed his mind for me."

"He sounds like a good friend," Sam smiled and immediately noticed the change in Dean's eyes. He decided it would probably be better not to mention it though.

"He is," Dean told him softly. "Don't know why he's sticking around, I've put him through enough trouble as it is."

"Well, it sounds like he must really care about you," Sam noted.

Dean stared off into the distance, considering that. "Maybe."

Sam gave him a half smile and wondered sadly when along all of this, Dean had started losing that arrogant confidence of his. "For what it's worth," he said, "he's lucky to have you."

Chapter Text

"So, Dean knows."

Lucifer slammed the door of his locker shut and looked at him with big eyes. "You told him?"

"No, actually," Sam laughed. "He somehow figured it out by himself, I guess."

His boyfriend smiled at him. "So, does that mean..." he started, taking a suggestive step closer to Sam, who rolled his eyes.

"I still need to tell my friends. But yes, after that you can harass me in public," he joked.

"Good," Lucifer grinned. "I've been dying to."

Sam shoved his shoulder. "Don't worry about it. Now that Dean knows, the rest shouldn't be a problem."

"They better not be," Lucifer playfully grumbled. Then he put another step closer and his voice dropped to a whisper. "How about we go back to my place after school to celebrate?"

The other boy turned about fifty shades of red at what Lucifer was implying alone before he managed to say, "Fine. We can order pizza."

Lucifer laughed and ruffled his hair. "You're so innocent."

Sam tried to slap his hand away but Lucifer was too fast, so instead he decided on just bitchfacing him.

~~~

Dean was watching them out of the corner of his eye and again wondered how he could've been so ignorant. He smashed his locker shut and tried to put it out of his mind. It didn't matter anymore. It would be over and done with soon enough, if he had to believe Gabriel. But then again... did he still want that?

He couldn't remember the last time him and Sam had had such a good conversation. Was he really willing to go behind his brother's back and betray that trust just because everyone kept saying Lucifer would break Sammy's heart? Okay yeah, if you put it like that... Technically it wasn't even him who was gonna do something about it. All he'd had to do was not go against Gabriel, whatever it was the guy had planned.

But he had agreed to it... Didn't that make him just as bad? Maybe he should go find Gabriel and tell him to cancel his weird schemes. But Gabriel had said he knew something that would make Sam change his mind. What if whatever it was wasn't true and they broke up because of it even though they did really love each other? Or worse, what if Dean made Gabriel stop and everything the Shurleys had said turned out to be true and Lucifer kept playing with Sam's feelings for months before he finally decided he'd had enough and his little brother was heartbroken about it? Dean didn't know if he could live with either.

Maybe it was none of his business. He was responsible for Sammy though. He would never forgive himself if he'd allowed his brother to get hurt.

He let out a deep sigh and dropped back his head. You know what, it wasn't his problem. If Gabriel wanted to talk to Sam, Dean had nothing to do with that. Besides, if whatever Gabriel had to say really was bullshit, Sam would see right through it. He was more than smart enough.

Let it go, man, he told himself, getting out his phone to text Cas. He really wished he could tell his friend about all of it. Gabriel had sworn him to secrecy though, and with all of the secrets the guy seemed to know, Dean was pretty sure he didn't want to piss him off.

Stupid Shurleys with all of their stupid secrets...

Now that he thought of it, Dean'd had enough of that. He wasn't just gonna follow orders from some kid like Gabriel without knowing what he was stepping into. If Gabriel wanted his support, he was gonna have to tell Dean what that big secret weapon of his was, and otherwise the guy could go screw himself.

With that thought in mind, Dean started wandering around the school again, looking for the short boy. He turned a corner... then another... then three more... What was it with the Shurleys and being so incredibly hard to find? After a while he spotted Balthazar. Maybe he'd know where to find Gabriel, but his classmate was with a couple of his siblings and Dean really wasn't in the mood for a repetition of what happened when he'd tried to talk to Cas.

Gabriel himself, however, was nowhere to be found, and if Dean didn't know any better, he'd say the golden-eyed senior could sense he was being looked for.

~~~

A lot of hours later, Sam fell back onto Lucifer's couch, the other boy right on top of him. His boyfriend really was in the mood for a celebration and it looked like that would be all they were gonna do for the rest of the evening.

Lucifer's mouth met his in a heated kiss, all wet and fierce and harsh. He pressed his body down against Sam's and as the younger boy felt the obvious bulge against his groin, he couldn't remember how to breathe. His heart fluttered, every muscle in his body tensed in excitement. Sam didn't think he'd ever felt this way, this warm and wanted, this... well yeah, aroused. He didn't want it to stop. He didn't want Lucifer to stop. Or at least not immediately. Maybe he was being theatrical, but it was almost like Sam needed the boy on top of him more than his next breath, and he would rather die than let Lucifer ever leave him.

"I love you."

Sam barely realized he'd said the words out loud, it was like they just escaped his lips without anything he could do about it. It only hit him when Lucifer froze in place and Sam saw the look in his eyes. Those bright blue orbs were big with joy, shock and a gazillion other things Sam couldn't place.

"I'm sorry..." he quickly started. It wasn't like he didn't mean it, he did mean, but he hadn't been planning on telling Lucifer now, not while they were in the middle of-

Lucifer interrupted his thoughts by cupping his cheeks and smashing their lips together almost desperately. Sam kissed him back on instinct more than anything else, the thought of what had just happened almost slipping from his mind. He didn't know how long they remained that way. It could've been second or hours of tasting, nipping at each other's lips.

Eventually, Lucifer pulled back a tiny bit, leaving just enough room between their mouths for him to whisper against Sam's lips. "Don't you dare apologize."

The corners of Sam's mouth turned up into a broad grin, his heart starting to hammer in his chest even faster. With one hand, he reached for the back of Lucifer's head, entangling his fingers those short, blond strands, and pulled him closer again in another loving kiss. Lucifer's tongue almost immediately found its way back into Sam's mouth and the Winchester loved the feeling of it. He spread his legs a bit further, allowing Lucifer to push down on him even more until it felt like every part of their body was touching the other. One of Lucifer's hands moved up to the back of his neck to play with his hair, while the other roamed down over Sam's chest, landing itself on the boy's hip.

And then it moved to Sam's crotch.

He gasped for air at the sudden touch, palming him through his jeans, and his brain went into overdrive. Not that it didn't feel nice - of course it felt nice - but Sam's mind was at once speeding towards the finish line of the direction this was going in. And he wasn't too certain about that specific direction.

Because let's get one thing straight, Sam hadn't had sex before. Ever. Not once in his sixteen years. And he wasn't sure if he was ready to start now.

Of course he loved Lucifer and it wasn't like he didn't want to, but they hadn't even been together for that long yet. Sam wasn't like his brother, this was kinda important to him and he wanted to take his time to get there.

"Lucifer," Sam managed to get out. When the other boy didn't seem to react to it, he tried again, a little hastier this time, "Lucifer. Lucifer, hold- hold on for a second, alright?"

His boyfriend finally stopped moving and gave him a confused look. "Is something wrong?"

He immediately shook his head, afraid that he'd accidentally maybe hurt Lucifer's feelings. "No. No, of course not, it's just that..." He couldn't stop a blush from spreading across his cheeks. "Don't you think that this is maybe moving a bit fast?"

"Oh." Lucifer pulled up his eyebrows and removed his hand, a bit of a disappointed look in his eyes. "I thought you wanted this."

"I do!" Sam quickly protested. He was handling this so badly. "I really do, trust me, just... maybe not yet."

Lucifer nodded his head slowly, looking away from him. "Yeah okay, that's alright."

"Are you sure?" Sam asked and his stomach clenched together with worry. He really didn't want to hurt Lucifer or make him in any way think Sam didn't care that much about him...

"It's fine," Lucifer told him with a little smile. He leaned back, giving Sam enough space to sit up straight again.

The younger boy smiled back. "Thanks for understanding." When Lucifer just gave him a brief nod, he added, "Maybe I should go home anyway. Now that Dean knows, he'll probably go into full protective brother mode." He didn't know why he said that. It was just that he was afraid he'd broken the mood and now he felt stupid for bringing it up. Maybe he should've just waited to see where Lucifer was head before drawing the line.

Lucifer laughed a little at his silly joke. "Sure. Let me grab my keys and I'll drive you home."

Chapter Text

Dean hadn't been able to find Gabriel yesterday but he decided to let it pass. It was very obvious the guy didn't wanna be found.

When they got to school, Sam almost immediately left his side to go find Lucifer. His little brother had been a little quiet last night, and Dean had been worried maybe something had happened between him and Lucifer but that morning Sam seemed to be back to his usual behavior so he guessed they were alright. Good. He'd kill that asshole if he hurt Sammy.

He walked up to the school's front door and was just about to open it when apparently someone beat him to it and slammed the door right into his face.

"Son of a bitch!" Dean called out, bringing his hand up to his now very painful nose. Luckily it wasn't bleeding.

"Whoops, sorry," the girl that walked out casually said, continuing her way without barely even looking at him.

Dean shot her an annoyed glance. That bitch from the cheerleading team, Kali...

He sighed and walked in without giving it a second thought, heading towards his locker to pick up his books for first period. On his way he noticed his friends at Charlie's locker and he quickly gestured he'd join them soon. He caught himself keeping an eye out for Cas too, and his gaze quickly landed on the slightly smaller boy, just as surrounded by Naomi and his other siblings as usual. Maybe Dean would text him and ask if he wanted to go to the library again later. He thoughtlessly unlocked his locker, not hearing the soft click until it was too late.

As Dean opened the door, he was immediately attacked by a loud pop and a wet substance splashing all over him. He jumped back in shock and automatically brought a hand up to touch his face. It was covered with a rather thick fluid and when he pulled back his hand... it was pink.

And not just pink but neon, probably glow-in-the-dark pink pink.

"What the..." he started mumbling before it suddenly dawned on him that the entire hallway had burst out in laughter.

His friends came rushing to his side, the worry on their face slowly changing into a suppressed grin.

"You alright, brother?" Benny asked with a contained smile.

Charlie looked at him as if she'd never been happier. "Color looks good on you," she commented and Jo had to muffle a snort with her hand.

"Shut up," Dean grunted, looking down at his clothes angrily. Leather jacket, flannel, T-shirt, it was all covered in pink paint. Whoever did this was gonna pay for it. He mumbled a quick, "I'm gonna get cleaned up," before smashing his locker shut and heading to the bathroom.

"You think we went too far?" Jo asked, watching him leave.

Charlie shook her head. "Nah. Maybe now, he'll finally get out of the closet."

~~~

After pulling off his clothes carefully so the paint wouldn't get on even more parts, he turned on the tap and started to clean the pink layer off of his face. Not to mention, that crap had gotten in his hair too. He let out another sigh, muttered some very not so nice things and just decided to put his entire head in the sink. When he'd gotten most of it out, he turned back to his clothes. How the hell was he gonna get that stuff off? He could hardly walk around the school bare-chested. On second thought, maybe his flannel hadn't suffered from the paint attack so bad after all, so he decided to start with that. Forcefully scrubbing the rim of the grey fabric while trying not to soak his entire shirt, he wondered who could've possibly done this. Normally, Sam was the only one who'd play a joke on him like this but they hadn't had one of their pranking battles in ages. Plus, if it were him, his brother would've been first in line to laugh at him and declare the war opened.

As soon as his flannel looked slightly presentable again, Dean put it back on, just to make it a bit less awkward in case anyone'd walk in. He'd already picked up his tee to start on that when he decided he needed to take a piss first... and maybe something else too. He got into one of the stalls and sat down, his anger finally starting to ease away. When he was done, he went to unlock the door and... couldn't. He tried again, a frown appearing on his face, but the lock wouldn't bulge.

"You have got to be shitting me..."

A third time he attempted to wring the lock open but it was stuck as could be. It was impossible. Only a couple of minutes ago it had closed without any struggle.

"Hello?" he called out, even though he was pretty sure he hadn't heard anyone come in while he was on the toilet. "Is somebody there?"

When he didn't get a reply, he started patting his pockets, just before he realized he'd put his phone in his backpack this morning. The same backpack that he had left sitting next to his clothes, outside of the stall.

This was a complete disaster. If Dean didn't know any better, he'd say all of the world's bad luck had decided to pick on him today, and he didn't have a single clue how to get out of it.

He knocked against the door but it merely trembled a bit in its hinges. He tried another time, putting all of his weight behind the blow. Nothing. Normally, he would try to kick the door open but with the actual toilet right behind him there wasn't enough room in the cubicle.

"Hello?" he yelled again. "Anybody out there? I need help! I'm stuck!" He started knocking on the door violently, hoping literally anyone would hear him. "I need some help in here! Help! Somebody help me! Sam! SAM!"

After a couple minutes of going on like that, like a miracle sent by God himself, he heard the bathroom door open.

Dean stopped banging the door at once, eyes big with hope, and said, "Hello?"

"Dean?" a very familiar voice answered him.

"Cas?!" He quickly thanked the universe for letting one of his friends find him.

"What happened to you?" Cas asked, the confusion clear in his voice.

"The lock won't open," Dean explained. "Cas, you gotta get me out of here, man."

He heard footsteps approaching and could imagine Cas coming to a stop on the other side of the door, only two feet away from him. After a bit of fumbling with the doorknob, he guessed Cas was trying to pull the door open. Just like Dean's earlier attempts, the door did little more than shake a bit.

"You keep pulling, I push," he said, and again tried to knock the door open, without any result.

"Dean, this is useless," Cas sighed after multiple efforts.

"You have a better idea?" Dean huffed in response.

For a moment, the other side of the door remained quiet and Dean almost started to think Cas had left.

Then the other boy spoke again and Dean didn't have to see his face to notice he was getting frustrated as well. "I don't know, Dean, give me a second. It's not like locks are usually easy to open from the outside."

"Yeah, no kidding," he grumbled. He'd completely run out of ideas himself, so he prayed Cas would come up with something. And if the guy needed time to get there, Dean would be more than happy to give it to him.

"I think I have an idea."

Dean's head snapped up, even though he couldn't even look at the other boy. "Really?"

"Yes," Cas simply said and Dean was happy to hear the determination in his voice. "Go stand on the toilet seat."

"Wait, what?"

He heard the movement of fabric and then the sound of the stall next to his opening. "Stand on the toilet seat. I'm going to help you over the partition."

"Buddy, that's insane."

"Yes, it probably is."

Praying he wouldn't fall off and make this day even more disastrous, Dean did as he was told and climbed the toilet. The partitions were pretty high but he was rather tall for his age, so if he carefully leaned forward a bit, he had no problem looking over the top and into the cubicle on the other side.

"Hey there, Cas," he grinned despite himself.

Still on ground level, the boy looked up at him and smiled. "Hello, Dean." Then he grabbed a garbage can, placed it on top of the toilet and started climbing the seemingly quite unreliable construction, so that he ended up slightly looking down on Dean, his head pressed against the ceiling.

"You sure this'll work without either of us breaking a limb?" Dean wondered aloud.

"No."

He sighed. "Alright, let's do it." He held out a hand and Cas grabbed it. His other clamped onto the partition for balance.

"Put your foot on the toilet paper container," Cas instructed. "Try not to break it down."

Dean gave him that dry dude-are-you-serious-right-now look but placed his foot on the container anyway.

Cas pulled him up a bit. "Can you maybe... try to swing your leg over..."

"Okay, hold on, I- ow!" he called out. "Stupid ceiling..."

"Wait, just... move to the right a bit..."

"Yeah okay, uhm..."

"Not your right, my right."

"Stupid wall..."

"Do you think you could place your right foot on the container and try your other leg?"

"Do I look like a lizard to you?"

"That's not in any way relevant."

Dean gave him the look again.

"Okay, let me just try to pull you over."

Cas gripped his arm with one hand and used to the other to hold on to the partition so he wouldn't fall off himself. With a lot of effort, hitting his head and praying the container wouldn't fall off the wall, Dean managed to wriggle the upper half of his body over the partition. Lifting his foot from the container and risking his balance, he then tried to swing his left leg over again. It was a bit of a gamble but with Cas holding him steady, he got there. Now the only problem was that there was no place to put his foot down again.

"Hey, Cas?" he questioned. "How am I gonna get my other leg over without falling flat on my face?"

His friend looked down at the absence of anything to break his fall. "That is an accurate question."

They were silent for a couple of seconds, Cas with a pensive frown on his face, Dean trying to lean on the partition without crushing his crotch.

"Yes, I have no idea," Cas decided on.

Dean slowly nodded. "Alright, here goes nothing I guess." And without thinking twice about it, he swung his other leg over and fell off.

Luckily for him, Cas still had a good grip on his shoulder and managed to kinda sorta hold him upright when he landed on the floor.

"Thanks, Cas," Dean sighed as he got up. The other boy let go of him and he rubbed the now painful spot on his upper arm. "Jesus, man," he joked. "Who are you and where did you get so strong? That's gonna leave a bruise."

Cas smiled at him. "I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from a toilet stall."

Dean laughed and shook his head. Then he held out his hand and helped Cas from his make-shift pedestal. Glad this hell was finally over, he opened the door.

"Dude, where the hell did my clothes go?"

Chapter Text

Since both his T-shirt and jacket seemed to have evaporated, Dean was forced to close the buttons of his flannel and walk around jacket-less. Cas had had no idea what he was talking about, claiming that when he entered the bathroom, there hadn't been any clothes on the floor to begin with. Dean believed him without questioning it. He couldn't even imagine what a terrible liar Cas would be, always so blunt and direct in his answers.

Luckily, whoever took his clothes had left his bag behind. It was hardly a comfort though. Dean was pissed. Real pissed. He loved that leather jacket and he was gonna make sure the asshole that took it would be regretting his decision for the rest of his life.

After Dean had reassured him he was fine multiple times, Cas let him be and went to rejoin his siblings. Dean returned to his friends.

"Took you long enough," Jo commented. "Hey, where's your jacket?"

"Shut up," Dean grumbled and left for his class, a worried-looking Charlie in his footsteps.

"You okay?" she asked him carefully.

He clenched his jaw. "No." Then they got to their classroom and he realized something. "Crap..."

"What is it?" Charlie asked, sounding even more worried now.

Dean ran a hand through his hair. "I never actually got out my textbooks."

"It's okay," she said with a little smile and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "You can borrow mine."

If he hadn't known Charlie was an amazing friend already, he sure would now. "You sure?"

"Yeah." She shrugged. "Don't worry about it, I'll study it at home."

He gave her a grateful smile. "Thanks, Charles."

They went in and picked out their usual seats. Dean let out a sigh, glad this day could finally return to normal.

He was wrong of course.

During his first break, Dean got run over by some dude he didn't even know who was speeding down the hallways on a skateboard? Then in his next class, all of his stuff mysteriously rolled off his table and when he had to crouch underneath to get everything, one of the legs gave in and the entire piece of furniture landed on top of his head. It wasn't very heavy and apart from a lump he was fine, but that didn't mean he wasn't getting a lot more pissed with every second. Hoping comfort food would help him feel at least a tiny bit better, he ate one of the small sausages he'd brought from home as a snack but ended up nearly choking on it. He quickly put them away again after that. Since he still smelt like a chemistry lab, every time he scratched his head, pink chunks would be stuck underneath his nails and he had an hour of anyway, Dean decided for the first time in his life to actually use the gym showers for a change. Maybe it was that same inexperience with them, maybe they were just remarkably slippy, fact was that he slipped in them at least three times and came out with even more bruises. At lunch, his tacos tasted funny and with the bad luck he was having today, he wasn't gonna risk it. When in his next class he got out his phone to text Cas to distract him, the thing actually sent a shock through his arm that made him drop/threw it out of instinct and left him with a broken phone. And then at last there was the dog. Oh, that dog. Dean didn't even wanna talk about the dog.

He had survived all of that. He'd been humiliated, hurt, locked up, stolen from and possibly almost poisoned, but even though this was probably the worst day of his life, he'd live. But then school was over and he got to the parking lot.

"MOTHERFUCKING SON OF A BITCH!"

Somebody had cut the tires of the Impala. Somebody had cut the tires of his baby. Steam was basically coming out of his ears as he stared at the most valuable object in his life in shock. He quickly walked around her to see if she'd suffered any other harm but apart from the tires she seemed fine. But that didn't change the fact that he was gonna cold-bloodedly murder whoever had done this. Messing with him was one thing but messing with his car...

He didn't even notice Sam had joined him until his brother mumbled, "Holy shit..."

"Call Bobby," Dean told him through clenched teeth. "Tell him to bring the tow gear."

Sam was smart enough to know this wasn't the time to talk and just did as he was told. When he was done, the both of them just stood there waiting for Bobby in silence.

Just as Dean thought this day couldn't possibly get any worse, the school principle came out. Apparently, he'd been able to hear Dean curse as far as his office.

"Mr. Winchester, watch your language please. We don't talk like that at this school. One hour of detention."

"What?!" Dean gasped but the principle was already leaving. So he just turned to his little brother with a look that just about screamed, What the fuck just happened? Probably a good thing he didn't say that out loud.

Suddenly a frown appeared on Sam's face. "Hey, where's your jacket?"

At that point Dean decided he just wanted to sleep and not wake up for an entire week.

After about half an hour, Bobby finally got there with his truck. He didn't question the situation, Dean's face told him enough for now. They loaded up the Impala together and drove home without saying a word.

It was only when Bobby parked in front of their house that he spoke. "You want me to take her back with me?"

Dean slowly nodded, not even bothering to look up. He didn't feel like facing the two pairs of worried eyes he could feel were on him. "Yeah sure," he mumbled. "I'll come over to work on her this weekend."

"Alright," Bobby nodded. "You two gonna be okay?"

Sam smiled at him through the rearview mirror. "We'll manage. Thanks, Bobby."

"No problem, kid. You boys take care of each other, and you let me know if you need anything, got it?" the man said.

"Will do," Dean answered and he even managed to force a little smile. Then his little brother and him got out of the car and waited for Bobby to disappear out of sight, taking the Impala with him.

"Dean..." Sam finally started but before he could say another word, his brother beat him to it.

"I don't wanna talk about it." And with that he turned around and walked up to the porch.

Of course that wasn't gonna stop Sam though. He quickly caught up with his brother and went to stand next to him as Dean unlocked the door. "Well, too bad. What the hell happened to you today, Dean?"

And didn't that turn out just to be the question that would finally make Dean snap. "What happened to me? What didn't happen to me?! I have been paint-bombed, my jacket is stolen, the realm has taken every possible shot at hurting me, I'm pretty sure I almost died, twice, and SOMEBODY ASSAULTED MY CAR! That's what happened to me today!"

As soon as he noticed the hurt expression in Sammy's eyes, he regretted his outburst already. "I'm sorry, I didn't meant to-"

"It's okay," his little brother interrupted him. "Sorry I pushed."

Dean let out a sigh and finally opened the door. As they walked in, he said, "It's not your fault, alright? It's just, this day... Man, I don't even know where to start."

Sam raised an eyebrow at him and huffed. "How about the most obvious question?" he said, gesturing in his direction. "What happened to your jacket?"

"Stolen," he grumbled, tossing his backpack to the ground.

A frown appeared on his brother's face. "By who?"

"You think if I knew that, it would still be gone?"

Even Sam had to admit that to be true and just gave a small nod, allowing his brother to drop the subject if he wanted to.

Surprising even himself, Dean found that he didn't want to, and after a couple of seconds said, "You ever had a day when the entire universe seems to be out to get to you?"

He'd been expecting a lot of replies. Sam bursting out in laughter wasn't one of them though.

"You forget I had the Trickster on my ass for an entire week?"

As soon as he'd spoken the words, he abruptly fell silent and Dean knew exactly what he was thinking. They exchanged a look of surprise, both realizing it at the exact same time.

"No way," Dean said, and his little brother shook his head in disbelief.

"You pissed off the Shurleys, right? Maybe Michael or one of the others sent him after you? Or he decided to take revenge for Michael himself?"

"Maybe..." he wondered aloud. But it didn't make any sense. Why now, it had been weeks since he and Michael fought. And he didn't even know who this Trickster was. He'd never been able to figure out which one of the Shurley kids had been playing his brother.

But Sam did. And he was getting hella pissed that that stupid Trickster was now taking it out on Dean. His brother didn't deserve the pile of shit he'd had to get through today, especially not because of some asshole like Michael. And this was only one day. The guy had ghosted Sam for a week, who was to say he wouldn't do the same to Dean? He'd only stopped because of Jessica... Lucifer had assured him the Trickster had nothing to do with that and Sam believed him - he had to, otherwise he'd lose his mind - but there was no way in hell he was gonna let it get that far again. This drama with the Trickster was coming to an end.

And it was going to end tomorrow.