Castiel downs another shot, the burn travels down the back of his throat and blossoms in his chest, a feeling only alcohol can produce. He grimaces as his friend cheers him on and hollers something that sounds like another round but Cas can’t really hear much over the boom of the band playing behind him. At this point, Cas has lost count of the number of drinks he’s had but he can’t really bring himself to care as it was the only thing keeping him in this dingy downtown bar. Everything feels sticky and hot as Balthazar throws his arms around him and places a sloppy kiss on his cheek, thrusting another shot into his hands. Much like everybody else, Balthazar is sweaty, drunk, and quite frankly - a little disgusting. Castiel supposes he can’t be much better off. Hell, it was the first time he’s been out in over a month after his breakup. The only reason he’s managed to drag himself out of bed was due to the fact that he already bought tickets to this show months ago after Balthazar begged him so he wouldn’t have to see his favorite band alone. However, Castiel has to admit, he’s not that great of a friend, the tickets are just nonrefundable and he couldn’t rationalize throwing money away on a college student budget. His entire body feels like it’s off-kilter and he’s ashamed to admit he stumbles a little bit after having to throw his head back to down the shot he’d been given.
“The opening band is pretty good, huh?” Balthazar screams in his ear and leads Castiel into the crowd in front of the stage.
Before Castiel has a chance to process the change in scenery, he’s engulfed in sweaty, dancing bodies. He feels as if he is being knocked around in a pinball machine, unable to catch his footing and being forced to join in the unstable movements. His body vibrates from the music he isn’t really paying attention to as he screams an affirmation back at Balthazar, who is already moving to slip his arm around the waist of the pretty girl next to him. Not for the first time tonight, Castiel wonders if there’s really a reason for him being here. It’s not like Balthazar isn’t gonna have his tongue in somebody else’s mouth in a few minutes anyway. Wistfully, Castiel thinks about how he could be snuggled up in his bed with his cat, mindlessly watching a corny sitcom, and wallowing in self-pity.
If he was being completely honest with himself, he knows that Joshua dumping him was in his best interest and he was a little relieved when it finally came. They were rounding the six-month mark when Joshua dropped the bomb that he was gonna travel with some local band as their new drummer on a tour across Illinois - and that he was fucking the lead after practice for the last month or so. Their relationship was filled with midnight adventures, partying, and a reckless abandon Castiel had never permitted himself to have before. It was the rejection that stung the most. The constant thought that kept rattling around in his head that he isn’t good enough - too boring, too quiet, too dorky, too plain. They often had drunken arguments that ended in slammed doors and tears but Castiel swore something about it made him feel more alive. He was trying to hold onto that initial thrill that fizzled out and was left trying to understand why he couldn’t be the cool guy that Joshua wanted on his hip. He got tired of the smell of smoke clinging to him, the all-night parties, the endless hangovers, and waking up not knowing what happened the night before. So sure, the relationship became draining and only got worse when Joshua joined a band, but Castiel can’t shake the frustration that he was left with. Maybe he is just getting to the point in his life where he was done wasting his time.
The opening act finishes their last song and the crowd begins to disperse as the stage is being prepped for the main act. He turns around to find Balthazar whispering into the ear of the girl he was dancing with earlier, and by the blush on her face, Castiel doesn’t wanna know what's being said nor does he want to interrupt. He takes a deep breath and all he can smell is alcohol and body odor. He scrunches his nose up at the smell and decides it’d be best to finally get some fresh air and possibly sober up a little. Despite the crowd not being around to jerk him around anymore, he still feels wobbly and wonders if standing has always been this hard. He shoulders through the mass of people and out the front doors and sighs in relief as the cold air hits his face. He decides to use the brick wall for purchase as he closes his eyes and let the outdoors make his world stop spinning. After what feels like an eternity but is surely only a few minutes, he hears a chuckle coming from his right that forces him to finally open his eyes and glance over. He follows the trail of smoke to a cigarette perched between the plumpest lips Castiel has ever seen in is twenty-something years of being on Earth. Eventually his eyes make his way up to the sparkling green eyes studying his and Castiel is entirely too drunk to stop himself from getting lost in them for a moment.
“Had a little too much to drink, huh?” The mystery man pulls the cigarette out of his mouth and is now talking through an exhale - his voice every bit as cocky and teasing as the chuckle he had let out beforehand.
Castiel gives himself a moment to take him all in, breaking eye contact and running his gaze over the man’s stubble that graces his sharp jaw. Castiel glances over his body perched against the wall - one scuffed up boot behind him with his leg parallel to the ground, the other stretched in front of him, his leather jacket glad torso glued to the wall. He takes another drag of the cigarette and raises his eyebrows as Castiel continues to stare. He has the aura of the effortlessly cool - Cas instantly hates him and lets out a scoff beyond his control.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” he mumbles, looking back out into the city in front of him, the crowds of nightlife all blurring together. The smell of cigarette smoke attacks Cas’s senses again and he cringes. The liquid courage makes him bold when he turns back to the man, “that’s a nasty habit ya know?” All he does is smirk, plump lips turning crooked, and looking down at his boot as he snuffs out the butt of his cigarette.
“‘M trying to quit actually,” he replies smoothly as he shoves his hands into the pockets of his jacket. He kicks himself off of the wall when Cas makes it clear he isn’t going to bother himself with a response. “Name’s Dean by the way,” he announces airily, as he strolls pass Cas, making a few moments of prolonged eye contact, a small lopsided grin on his face, before making his way into the bar.
Once again Cas has to scoff, as if he cares, he thinks. He knows exactly the type of guy this Dean is, in fact, he’s dated them. Suave and cool but aloof and distant at the same time. They always want you to feel special and to hold you close while keeping you at a distance to avoid commitment and any seriousness. He’s quite frankly had enough of those guys and Dean is no different. The faint commotion of a screaming crowd can be heard from outside the bar and he assumes the main act has made its way to the stage. Slightly more sober and level headed, Cas strolls back into the bar and inserts himself into the crowd like he never left as the band begins to greet the audience and the audience roars in return. He may not know much about this band but he can tell that the energy between them and the crowd makes the entire bar feel electric. A few songs in and Cas can understand the hype and he feels a low buzzing underneath his skin as he gets amped up. About halfway through the set an upbeat twang has Cas dancing in his spot. He closes his eyes as he starts moving his hips, too inebriated to care if he looks good doing it.
There’s a dangerous kind of cool about you
Castiel glances up and sees Dean staring at him from a couple of feet away. For some reason he can’t bring himself to break eye contact as he continues to dance. Deans ignoring his friend jostling him around and things suddenly feel intense. The charge in the air seems to shift to something just between them.
You look so pretty from afar
Castiel breaks eye contact but only to stare at Deans lips as he runs his tongue across them. Really who can blame Castiel for getting these butterflies in his stomach despite his best efforts. He may hate guys like Dean but Cas is only human and Dean looks gorgeous under the red lights bouncing off the stage. When they lock eyes again, Dean starts making his way closer and Cas feels stuck. He feels absolutely entranced by Dean as he strolls through a crowd that seems to part for him until he’s standing in front of Castiel. Everything feels hot as Dean starts making steps forward to crowd Cas’s space. He should step away, he thinks, but he feels a magnetism that’s pulling him in. He throws the thought right out the window as soon as he feels the heat of Deans hand on his waist through his shirt.
I've got no time to waste on another pretty face
Cas works up the nerve to rake his eyes up Deans body and he’d be lying if he said that maroon tee under his leather jacket isn’t working for him. Dean’s even prettier up close - all gorgeous tan skin, freckles splattered around bright forest eyes, long lashes fanning on his cheeks as he glances down at Castiel, and god do those lips look soft. A mixture between the lights from the stage and the crowd has shadows dancing on Dean’s face and he can’t help but follow them with his eyes. His eyes stop their roaming to connect with Dean’s again and he suddenly doesn’t care about much else except Dean’s hands dancing up his sides as he tries to stifle a gasp.
I despise you. Why are you so fucking perfect on the outside?
All of Castiel’s trepidation about guys like Dean fly out the window as he places his hands on Dean’s arms and trails them up to his neck, his hands tangling into his hair. He makes a mental note about how impossibly warm Dean feels and lets himself entertain the idea of being pinned underneath him, engulfed by it. They’re hardly dancing at this point, just frozen on the dance floor drinking each other in. Dean smells like rain and something about him makes Castiel feel dizzy. Dean’s hands continue their journey on Cas’s body, from his sides to his back, up his neck and eventually making themselves comfortable there. His entire body feels like it’s on fire and he’s ready to succumb to the flames.
“My name’s Castiel by the way,” he mimics Dean’s carefree tone as he says it, a smirk pulling at the corners of his lips. Dean throws his head back in laughter, eyes crinkling at the edges, and Cas pretends that it doesn’t make his chest feel tight.
“What a unique name,” he’s teasing and Castiel knows this but he can’t help but roll his eyes a little at the distraction that is his name.
“It’s an angels name - the angel of Thursday,” he spits out the same line he’s given dozens other of pretty men like Dean before and he also knows exactly what the glint in Dean’s eyes mean. Immediately Dean is so close that Cas can feel his breath on his lips.
“Is it corny if I say it’s fitting,” Dean mumbles into Castiel’s space and he’s growing impatient of his teasing.
“Extremely,” Cas’s tone is full of bite but there’s nothing behind it and if Dean doesn't know that, Castiel definitely makes it clear when leans the rest of the way in and attaches his lips to Dean’s. His lips are just as soft as Castiel expected them to be and he doesn’t know how he thought he didn’t want this. Dean’s fingers flex on Cas’s jaw as he leans deeper into the kiss, their tongues sliding together. What started out as slow and tentative quickly turns into something rushed. Dean tastes of cigarettes and liquor but Cas can’t bring himself to mind. He feels Dean’s harsh exhale through his nose as it brushes across his cheek and Dean pulls him impossibly closer - touching from shoulders to hips, knees knocking into one another and Cas’s fingers tighten in Dean’s hair. As soon as he does it, Dean lets out a whisper of a moan against Cas’s lips and it shakes Castiel out of his reverie and he pulls away so suddenly that Dean momentarily loses his balance. Castiel still feels a little dizzy with it himself and spends a few seconds trying to regain his senses. Dean looks so lost it reminds him of a confused puppy and he lets the thought flit across his mind that it’s kinda cute before shoving it deep down.
“I’ve gotta go,” Castiel mumbles hastily as he makes a break for it, turning around before Dean can even reply. He feels drunker than he remembers and all he wants is some fresh air. Once again the crowd starts to blur together as he sets his sights on the door just a few feet away from him. He berates himself his entire journey to the door. What was he thinking? He doesn’t even know Dean and he’s surely not trying to get his broken again. If he’s lucky, he’ll never have to see him again and can pretend none of this even happened. He’s so close to the refreshing air and freeing himself of the restricted feeling in his chest he can almost taste it - nearly well enough to stop tasting Dean. However, it’s just his luck that he happens to bump into somebody quite aggressively on his mission to get outside. Before he can properly process what’s happening, he’s stumbling forward as he’s been shoved from behind.
“Better watch where you’re going,” booms a deep voice as Castiel turns around to face the guy he’s run into. Castiel can smell the alcohol on the guy's breath and curses the universe for placing a belligerent drunk on his path to the door. If he shoves his pride to the side momentarily, he can admit that the man towers over him, biceps larger than Castiel's head, and fists that are itching for contact. Castiel’s drunken brain decides to ignore these things.
“It was an accident,” Castiel barks as he steps towards him, angling his head upwards to look directly into the man’s beady eyes, a challenge that he’s bound to lose.
“And who the fuck do you think you are,” he taunts Castiel - his tone threatening but his face full of amusement as if he were speaking to a child. Castiel’s blood is boiling, he’s so tired of asshole, egotistical men thinking they can push him around. He feels out of control as he shoves the man back, surprisingly sending him stumbling a few steps into the group of equally jacked men standing behind him. As the man regains his footing, Castiel immediately regrets not walking away when he sees the ruthless look in the guy's eyes. The man stalks towards him, fists clenched, Castiel’s eyes fixate on the vein bulging on his forehead when he hears a familiar voice call out.
“Hey, hey, hey! Everybody take it easy now,” Dean manages to slip his way in between Castiel and the beast of a man coming for his head. Part of Castiel wants to roll his eyes at the idea of Dean swooping in to save the day, another part of him is incredibly relieved that Dean halted the man’s mission to beat Cas to a bloody pulp. Castiel compromises and decides he’s gonna cross his arms before realizing that it makes him look like a pouty child. Dean throws his arm around Cas’s shoulder anyway and glances at Cas in concern before turning to the group of men in front of them.
“My friend here is honestly quite drunk - just cannot hold his liquor,” Dean chuckles as he pats Castiel’s shoulder lightly, “It was an honest mistake, just stumbled right into you. We’re all reasonable guys here, let's put this past us and let me get my buddy here home.”
Castiel huffs indignantly at the fact that he looks like a weakling who can’t handle a couple more shots than usual, as true as it may be. The man snorts a humorless chuckle and crosses his arms as he sizes Dean up and steps closer. The tension is palpable and Castiel doesn’t fail to notice the crowd they’ve gathered, including the group of equally angry looking buddies standing behind the man. His eyes widen as he glances over at Dean who breezily takes a step forward.
“Yeah and why should I do that,” the man spits out, the glare on his face only growing stronger. At this point, Dean is crowding into the guys face, his eyes challenging and calculated. Castiel can’t help but hold his breath as he watches the scene unfold before him. If Dean gets hurt it’s going to be all on the fact that Cas was reckless in his drinking and it causes an uneasiness to wash over him.
“Well you see, I happen to be friends with the bouncer right over there - Benny - real great guy,” Dean’s voice is a threatening whisper as he points at the bouncer standing against the wall, carefully watching the scene unfold, “and I don’t think he’d take too kindly to you harassing somebody over a simple mistake. I don’t imagine you and your buddies would like to be on his shit list, especially since I know for a fact you’re a regular.”
The air between them was tense for seconds as nobody said a word. The man's eyes glance over to Benny and the bouncer cocks his head, almost daring him to start something. Cas can see the fight leave his face as he tears his eyes away from Benny. Eventually the guy concedes without a word, shoving past Dean with a grunt and glaring at the pair as he walks by, his gaggle of friends following close behind him. Just as soon as the crowd came, it disappears and it’s just Dean and Cas again. Dean glances over and sends a quick nod to Benny before turning back around to Castiel and putting his arm back around him.
“How about we get you home, yeah?” Dean’s voice is softer than Castiel deserves as he leads him out of the bar and towards the curb to flag down a cab. It is this very moment that Castiel’s uneasiness catches up with him, his stomach churning as the uneasy feeling travels up his throat and directly onto Dean’s boots. Castiel has never been so mortified in his life as Dean lets out a surprised yelp. First Dean has to swoop in and save his ass and then he repays him by vomiting all over his shoes. He didn’t even know he had hope of seeing Dean again until a wave of disappointment washes over him at the fact that he just ruined his chance. Apologies fumble out of his mouth so fast he wonders if they're making any sense at all. Dean is quick to try to console him, whispering comforting affirmations that only make Castiel feel worse. How Dean can still be so kind to Castiel after everything that happened tonight means that he had grossly misjudged his character and the guilt was overwhelming.
“Do you have your phone on you by any chance?” Castiel tilts his head slightly at Dean’s question, squinting up at him briefly before digging in his back pocket for his phone. When he finally retrieves it, Dean hastily snatches it up and fumbles around for a few minutes, staring thoughtfully down at Castiel’s phone screen. Dean’s phone lets out a little ding and he looks way too satisfied for a guy who has drying vomit on his boots. He hands the phone back to Castiel and waves his hand out for a taxi. Before Castiel can wrap his head around the situation, Dean is shoving him into a cab and handing the driver a couple of bills as Castiel recites his address. Dean leans one last time through the window of the backseat and smirks at Cas, “I’ll see you around.”
All he can bring himself to do in his drunken haze is nod at Dean who lets out one last chuckle as he pats the side of the cab and steps back onto the sidewalk. Castiel doesn’t look away from Dean until the cab pulls around the corner, finally lolling his head towards the cool window and shutting his eyes for the ride.
Castiel wakes up the next day with a groan, eyes protesting the light seeping in through the blinds. He clenches them shut as he blindly reaches for the water and ibuprofen he set himself out last night before leaving. He sits up and squints his eyes open, quickly washing down the pills and gulping the bottle of water, wishing nothing more than to be rid of the incessant pounding against his skull. He huffs as he realizes he must’ve fallen asleep in the clothes he wore last night and wrinkles his nose in disgust when he gets a good whiff of himself. His body protests as he throws his feet on the floor and stands to make his way to the shower. He rolls his shoulders back and stretches his arms over his head trying to relieve the tension he’s held onto, desperate to let hot water run over his muscles. As he’s stripping out of his pants, he grimaces as he hears the all-too-familiar sound of his phone clanking on the floor. He picks it up and decides to glance at his notifications: three missed calls and five text messages from Balthazar, and one text message from a number he’s never seen before. The night comes flooding back to him in waves as he reads it:
From: Daft Pretty Boy
If you’ve got a little time to waste on another pretty face, I’d love to take you out sometime.
Castiel stares at the phone incredulously before pinching his eyebrows together and placing the phone face down on the bathroom counter. In lieu of replying he hops in the shower and lets the hot water wash last night from his body. He spends an interminable amount of time with his forehead pressed against the tile as the scalding water pounds on his shoulder blades. As the fog begins to clear from his mind, he reaches for the shampoo and lets his mind wonder to Dean again. He cringes at his own behavior and how much of a proper disaster he’s made himself out to be. He was an irresponsible dickhead of a drunk yet Dean still helped him in every possible way and made sure he had Castiel’s number by the end of the night. Castiel can’t fathom why Dean wants anything to do with him and he’s still quite wary of the entire thing. If you asked Castiel what he thought of Dean when he first saw him outside of the bar, he’d tell anybody that he’s no good; however, Castiel isn’t so confident in that judgement anymore. He also can’t pretend that the thought of Dean doesn’t make his heart flutter a little and that the moment they shared last night wasn’t electric. Why is he so busy letting past relationships deny him of something that could be amazing? He spends the rest of the shower thinking about what he wants to say to Dean.
After he steps out of the shower and quickly dries off, his hands immediately snatch the phone off of the counter to type out a reply. He chews his lip nervously as his thumb hovers over send, letting out a rush of air as he finally presses it.
To: Daft Pretty Boy
I’ve got all the time in the world.