The bartender tips his head in a nod, pacing away to serve another customer.
Placing a hand over the tops of the two beer bottles he’d watched the bartender open, Dean props his hip against the bar, turning his body to peer across the bustling room of people at various stages of drunk. It’s easy. Somehow, his gaze is immediately drawn to the man perched stiff and nervous on his chair in a light beige trench coat, a mop of startling dark hair on his head above vividly bright royal blue eyes. A part of Dean is absurdly pleased that he had managed to find a table in an area that Dean himself would have chosen, and the other part—
Is about to tear someone’s lungs out, because there is a sleazy asshole sitting in my seat. The guy isn’t too shabby in the looks department — not that Dean is really looking — and he’s clearly trying to flirt. Trying too hard, in Dean’s humble opinion. Legs spread too wide, licked lips much too often, smile a touch too friendly. Too much posturing, too much trying to be alpha male. Too much trying to force his target into a pitifully submissive role, to yield, to be used. By this? A guy with obvious self esteem issues that possibly stemmed from his insecurity about what he found attractive, barking at the top of his lungs in hopes that someone would roll over and grant him the satisfaction of being top dog, boost his ego.
Well he can go try and ‘top dog’ someone else. Dean pins the ignorant guy with a steady stare, knowing the guy would subconsciously sense Dean’s gaze and glance in his direction. When it happens, Dean smiles warmly, raises his free hand to drag a slow finger across his throat. Get your ass away from him, NOW. Satisfied by the way the guy’s confusion turns into fear, Dean nonchalantly shoves the same hand into a pocket of his leather jacket as he lounges lazily against the bar, comfortable in his skin with the ease of an experienced predator.
He watches as the guy immediately stutters apologies and excuses himself with a whole — honest to God — bow, actually knocking over his chair in his haste to retreat. Smirking, Dean slides his palm off the tops of the two bottles, slips his fingers around their necks to carry them together in one hand, and saunters through the crowd to the table. Casually, he rights the toppled chair and sits down. Dean slides over one of the bottles, the beads of water rolling down the glass allowing it to travel easily across the surface of the small table.
Curling his fingers around the bottle, Castiel smiles — a small, slight thing — at Dean, genuine and pleased. His whole demeanor changes in Dean’s presence: his spine relaxes from its ram-rod straight position, the anxious fingers digging into his knees rest gently on his thigh, his shoulders lose their tension, the strained panicked air around him dissipates into something softer and more at ease. Castiel raises his hand, indulgently clinking the neck of his bottle against Dean’s, before tipping it back and taking a long swallow.
“Guy was trying to pick you up,” Dean remarks.
Castiel frowns. “He was not attempting to raise me, no.”
Dean takes a drink from his own bottle. “I didn’t mean that—” He breaks into light incredulous laughter at Castiel’s confusion. “He was flirting with you, Cas.”
“Oh.” He doesn’t sound impressed. Or interested.
As Castiel takes another sip of his beer, Dean scans the room with the attention of a sniper before a shot. Deliberately, he meets the eyes of every single person who looks at Castiel more than once with any sort of interest, glaring a furious warning until the person gets the message — MINE — with a frightened gulp and glances away.
A guy with some sort of tattoo peeking out from under his shirt sleeve, dark hair and pierced ears.
A chick that reminded Dean of Jo, long blonde hair and glossy lips.
“He was… making me uncomfortable,” Castiel says, hesitant and bewildered.
A chick that bravely eyed Castiel around her drink without shame, straight black hair and delicate earrings.
“I’ll bet,” Dean huffs. “Dude was really trying to get into your pants.”
A guy who thought he was being discreet with his frequent glances at Castiel’s eyes and lips, short chocolate brown hair and a girl on his arm.
A chick that Dean would have definitely slept with before — before what? Before. — wavy brown hair and big guileless eyes.
He hadn’t noticed just how many people were eager to gun for Castiel. Dean had never paid any attention, since he’d never had any real motivation to notice the people around them in the bars they went to, unless they were on a case and had a target. Plus, no one ever physically approached the angel, beyond those who recognized him or mistook him for someone else. Why? A curious girl who’d just walked into the bar does a double take when she sees Castiel, then promptly adverts her eyes and scurries away when she catches sight of Dean. Oh.
Not a single person dared to talk to Castiel, because Dean is always there.
Delighted by the idea in a childishly smug way, Dean completes his sweep of the room, foul mood lifted considerably.
Someone is looking at him. No. It doesn’t feel curious, at all. Not the gaze of someone checking him out, either. There’s ill intent, something sharp and calculating. Someone is glaring at him. Watching him. Trusting his hunter honed senses, Dean tracks the source of the hostility, following it to one of the plush bench booths lining the far wall. A man with close cropped dirty blond hair sits at the table, and as stubborn as he is, even Dean has to grudgingly admit he’s impressed — the man is rugged and built with muscles that have seen actual cardio and frequent use that didn’t involve constant lifting of man made weights. Not only that, he’s beautiful — despite that word not often being used for men — with fair skin and delicate features that would suit every brand of modeling. He would make an excellent hunter, but Dean can tell by the way the man carries himself, that he’d never even held a gun, not to mention shoot one. Dean knows exactly how it looks and feels; the man is one tiny step from absolutely wasted. The kind where you pass out, or end up at the hospital for them to pump your stomach. Probably been stood up for a date — why else would he be sitting at one of the nice booths? — and is trying to drink the pain of rejection away.
And Dean can relate. So much that he’s tempted to leave the guy alone and let him do as he wants. But he’s watching Castiel with hungry eyes, like he’s starving because he hasn’t eaten for days and Castiel is his next meal. Dean would rather shoot himself in the leg with his own beloved handgun instead of let this guy lay a finger on Castiel. Drunk guy glares at Dean, bold and challenging, warning him to move or be moved; Dean doesn’t bother to glare, stares back without a single change to his relaxed posture. I don’t see you as a threat. Try me.
“Dean? Are you alright?”
Although he doesn’t want to because it feels like he’d just lost, Dean forces himself to look away from drunk blond guy and meet Castiel’s eyes. He doesn’t know exactly why, but Dean feels the urge to be looking into Castiel’s eyes whenever he speaks to the angel. “Peachy. Why d’you ask?”
“You looked… angry.”
“Some asshole—” Dean shoved his chair back, stands to his full height, squaring his shoulders and tipping his chin up in a self confident cocky manner. “Can I help you,” Dean asks drunk guy, tone flat but still on the right side of civil.
Castiel glances up at the blond standing next to their table, blue eyes round and curious.
“I’ll buy you a drink,” Drunky purrs at Castiel, ignoring Dean.
Startled, Castiel blinks. He glances at Dean, gaze lingering with a touch of lost desperation. What do I do? Then back at the drunk guy, who actually has the gall to wink and smirk.
“He’s not interested,” Dean says with an edge of a snarl.
“I’m not talking to you,” Drunky snaps, eyes trained on Castiel, who fidgets under the table, not used to this kind of attention directed at him.
“I suggest you walk away while I’m still in the mood to be polite.” Dean steps into the blond’s space, glaring down his nose at him. Funny. Dude seemed to be around the same height as Castiel.
“Hey,” Sam interrupts, shoving a hand in between their chests like a referee, “the hospital doesn’t need more patients.”
With a low growl that showed exactly how he felt about the situation, Dean relents, aggressive angry furrow of his brows smoothing out into mildly inconvenienced irritation. Castiel looks relieved.
“Yeah, you back off,” drunk guy snickers.
Dean feels his temper flare up again in righteous anger, but he holds it back when he sees Sam’s reprimanding frown and Castiel’s anxious expression.
“C’mon baby, I’ll pay you more than he ever will,” the blond coos obscenely at Castiel.
Sam has to physically shove his arm up against Dean’s chest like a barricade to stop him from charging forward like an enraged bull. Castiel blinks, and Dean sees — for the first time — a hint of real, true human dislike in Castiel’s narrowed eyes, but it’s almost instantly replaced by the cold distant blankness that Castiel had when he’d first met Dean in an old abandoned barn filled with sigils.
“Even if I was to ever engage in such an act,” Castiel says as he rises elegantly to his feet, words smooth and even, “you can’t afford me.”
The man flushes in angry humility, cheeks blotched with a deep red. Dean can’t help the impressed and proud smirk that spreads across his face. It only further enrages the drunk man, who raises a fist to throw a punch at Dean. Sam sighs, but steps back and releases Dean, just as the blond swings. Grabbing the man’s wrist, Dean professionally twists it behind his back, humming an I’m not impressed note as the guy yelps and squirms.
“Dean,” Castiel warns. Sam doesn’t even attempt to say anything, just scowls at Dean.
“Cas, this asshole is begging to be punched in the face!”
Castiel’s eyebrows furrow and he gives Dean a pointed look. You know you shouldn’t.
Dean reluctantly releases the other man, shoving him a solid step away from them. Sam steps back in front of Dean, pressing his arm back against Dean’s chest as a grounding touch. Castiel hovers just behind Dean, standing just a few inches away, his usual proximity reassuring and calming Dean’s anger in ways only the angel could.
“Hey, what’s your deal anyway?” Drunky hisses as he stalks closer, his chest brushing Sam’s arm, still pressed against Dean’s chest. “He yours?”
Sam’s eyes go so wide that Dean feels a touch of concern for little brother’s poor eyeballs before he himself is hit with the metaphorical train of the question. Castiel is watching Dean with his head tilted to one side like an adorably confused puppy, patiently waiting for Dean’s response. Dean feels his hackles rise when the drunk rolls his eyes and scoffs at Dean’s lack of response.
Sam’s eyebrows fly straight up into his stupidly long hair, eyes somehow going even wider than before. Castiel’s confusion bleeds into pure shock, pink lips parting slightly with his surprise. The blond’s mouth falls wide open and he freezes solid like his mind just went offline. Dean shuts his own mouth so quickly, he hears the sound of his teeth clacking together. He allows himself a single second to screw his eyes shut and think crap with every stunned brain cell he owned.
Why did I say that why did I why I said it okay there’s no taking that back do I even want to take that back okay Dean we are not going there crap I said it holy
Alright. Own it, Winchester.
Dean lifts his chin and an eyebrow in a patented what you gonna do about it look, and this time he doesn’t sound like he’d unconsciously blurted out the first thing that had crossed his mind.
“Yes,” Dean purrs. “How about you do everyone here a big favour and go home?”