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"At the airport?" Dean wheezes. "No. No way, Sammy, I can’t. You have to tell them I can’t-"

"Dean, relax. Cleansing breaths, come on. One. Blow it out. Two. Blow it out. Three."

"Yeah yeah, I’m fine, whatever. But you know I’m no good on a plane. And after last time, I just-"

"I understand, Dean, really. Listen. They don’t want us in the air."

Dean looks skeptical. “They don’t?”

"They want us on the ground," Cas chimes in. "The angel team must complete the mission without us, but they need support in the airport to pass security."

"Security?"

"Security," Sam confirms.

Dean rubs a hand across his face. “Yeah okay, we, uhh, I could probably swing that. Let me ask you, though: either of you been in an airport in the last eight or nine years? Because I haven’t. Shit, they used to change the rules every couple months. How the hell are we supposed to act the part?”

Sam smiles. “We have an in.”

***

Their in, it turns out, is the great-granddaughter of a Man of Letters, so the connection is tenuous at best. She agrees less to help the legacies than because Cas looks H-O-T hawt in the uniform. She walks Cas - and only Cas - through the protocol with more than a little zeal, and while he has a hard time grasping the Why of TSA procedures, he is a quick study at the Who, What, When, and How.

Cas is to return the next day for his first (and only) shift. The scouts are to pass through his checkpoint at precisely 13:51, to ensure that Cas is in position and prepared to fake the pat-downs, at which point the armed angel squad will make their approach. Cas will know his comrades when he sees them, but he is deliberately given as little intel as possible beforehand.

His first day, ahem, it does not begin well. He lets a harried mother of three through with the baby in the stroller AND a full cup of coffee. After a stern talking-to from the shift manager, he overcompensates, nearly giving an elderly couple twin heart attacks, his eyes flashing with the full wrath of Heaven as he asks them to please remove their shoes and place them in the bin.

A few more yo-yos, and he finally begins to understand his role: serious, unsmiling, yet ultimately ineffective. The next time he hears a female voice call out, “MALE ASSIST!” Cas is the first to respond.

The traveler is belligerent, more than likely drunk, though a glance at the clock reveals that it’s not yet nine. He refuses to assent to every security measure, and Cas has no choice but to call out, “PRIVATE PAT-DOWN!” and lead the angry young man behind a door marked Restricted Access.

Cas explains the procedures exactly as his trainer taught him. He fixes the man with a sultry gaze. “I’m going to need you to unfasten your belt,” he rasps, and the other man gulps.

"I’m sure that’s not-"

"I must insist. Unless you’d rather I do it myself."

The man swallows again. “No,” he whispers, “I’ll do it.”

"What’s your name?"

"Doug."

"Well, Doug," Cas murmurs in a voice he usually reserves for Dean, but a job’s a job, and he’s nothing if not an astute observer and mimic of human behavior. "I’m going to need you to spread your arms, so I can slide my hands over them from shoulder to wrist." And he does. "Then I’m going to move my hands over your torso, and those shoulders, all the way down to the small of your back."

"I really don’t think-" The man’s breath comes in short pants. "This isn’t what I expected!"

"It’s alright, sir, I am a professional," Cas breathes, echoing the advice of his trainer. "Now if you would, I need you to spread your legs." He slowly kneels before the traveler Doug and runs his hands up and down his thighs before moving down to his calves. As instructed, he trails one hand up the leg before him and cupping a hand over the bulge in his jeans. "I think we’re done here."

Just as Cas is gathering a lungful of air to shout, “ALL CLEAR!” the man lunges at him, clasping his hands around Cas’ face and claiming his mouth, violently and suddenly and desperately.

Cas pulls away, confused and displaying his best not-Dean scowl. “Sir? This is, while not wholly unpleasant, completely unacceptable! I must ask you to stop at once, or I will have you declared unfit to fly.”

"But, but I don’t understand. I thought you-"

"-wished to be assaulted? No, I was merely doing my job!"

Despite his embarrassment, the man laughs. “I’m sorry, bro, but I think you better have a chat with your supervisor about a little thing called sexual harassment.”

Cas looks remorseful. “My apologies; I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” He squints at the man for some moments, not lessening his discomfort under the scrutiny. When he notices the traveler actively squirming, Cas relaxes his gaze. He clears his throat in imitation of Dean when caught staring. “Doug. Do you have any liquids, hazardous materials, or contraband in your carry-on or on your person?”

"No." The man is calm, contrite, all fight gone.

Cas nods once and shows him where to collect his baggage. “ALL CLEAR!”

***

The remainder of the shift feels fairly anti-climactic after the morning’s excitement. He very carefully does not get his MoL contact fired as he diplomatically requests a refresher on “proper” “pat-down” “procedure” (and yes, he uses the air-quotes). When the scouts arrive, they are guided to Cas’ station and a private yet thoroughly useless search, as are the infantry that pass through not thirty minutes later. At the end, Cas hands in his ID badge to his supervisor, claiming that he finds the work unfulfilling.

Dean picks him up outside baggage claim. Cas fastens his seatbelt as Dean pulls out into traffic.

"So how was work?" Dean smirks. "Learn anything interesting?"

Cas considers Dean’s profile for a long moment before grinning. “I did. Perhaps when we return to the bunker, I could demonstrate for you a private pat-down.”

Dean nearly crashes the car.