From the outside, the Roadhouse looked the same as always. The sign flickered against the dark, old wooden planks. Lights faintly shone out of the dusty windows. One of Jo’s chores was cleaning windows but she would only clean them under threat of death. Honestly, clean windows were fairly low on Ellen’s list of priorities so Jo only cleaned them a handful of times a year.
Dean steeled himself as he shut the door of the Impala. The gang was all meeting at the Roadhouse for Halloween since both Jo and Ash couldn’t leave Ellen in the lurch. Dean had tried to convince Ellen that she might need his help; mainly so he didn’t have to come up with a costume and could wear the typical jeans and black t-shirt wardrobe of the bartenders. With a laugh, she told him to get his shit together and find a costume.
Glancing down at himself, even Dean had to admit he had done a fairly good job. The only things he had to buy were a pair of boots and a hat and his cowboy look was complete. He wouldn’t admit to anyone that he had been dying to purchase cowboy boots but had never been able to come up with a reasonable excuse.
With a heavy sigh, he walked up the Roadhouse steps and opened the doors to a blast of Halloween music and an array of bright costumes. Scanning the crowd, he was able to pick out Sam standing across the room, near the pool tables. Threading his way through the hordes of people, Dean knocked his elbow into Sam’s side.
“I see Gabe finally talked you into his costume idea,” Dean said, taking in the elaborate Thor costume.
Sam laughed. “When he offered to pay for half of this get-up, how could I refuse? Plus who would actually turn down the chance to be a superhero?”
“Dork,” Dean said, looking around Sam. “Where’s everyone else?”
Sam took a sip from his beer bottle. “Gabe ran to the bathroom. Charlie and Dorothy said they were running a few minutes behind. Haven’t heard from Cas yet.” He grinned at Dean. “I figured you would know more about where he is.”
Dean flushed. “I don’t know why you think that.”
“Uh huh,” Sam said, but before he could hassle Dean more, a horned man appeared between them.
“Can you believe Ellen told me I couldn’t keep wearing my helmet inside?” Gabe said, a slight whine tinging his voice. “I mean, come on, it’s one of the best parts of the Loki costume!”
A middle-aged woman swatted Gabe on the shoulder. “And I told you that you were going to put someone’s eye out with that monstrosity. I’m sure if you stick to Sam like glue then people will have no doubts of who you are.”
Gabe laughed at that and hip-checked Sam. “Oh I have no problem with that.”
Ellen rolled her eyes and turned to Dean. “I told you that you could get a costume together. Wasn’t that hard was it boy?”
Dean huffed. “Sure Ellen. I’m still up for helping behind the bar if you need me. Got my Roadhouse shirt in the car and everything.”
A quick smack to the back of Dean’s head answered his question. “Make sure you try Ash’s new drink. He has some Halloween concoction that he’s been working on all week. Lord knows what he’ll do if it’s not a success. Probably start revenge hacking people.”
Gabe grinned. “Sign me up! Ash’s drinks are killer. I’ll go grab a round.”
A flurry of motion at the door made Dean call after him, “Make it five. The queen and Dorothy have arrived.”
Charlie and Dorothy arrived and Dean’s jaw dropped. “Woah Dorothy that’s badass,” he said.
“Hey handmaiden what about me?” Charlie protested.
“Charles, you know that you look fantastic. But Dorothy could definitely win the costume contest.”
Gabe appeared between them with a tray of drinks. “Five witches’ brew courtesy of Ash,” he paused, glancing at the new arrivals. “Awesome steampunk Dorothy costume, Dorothy.”
Dorothy threw her head back with a laugh. “I figured I may as well lean into my namesake but with a twist.”
Charlie twined her arms around Dorothy’s waist. “That’s why I changed my costume last minute. I didn’t want to compete.” Her head leaned against Dorothy’s shoulder. “Plus, everyone needed to see how badass my wife is.”
Dean gulped down half of his drink. He loved his friends but it was hard not to feel like a fifth wheel. Eyes darting around the room, his shoulders slumped.
“He’ll be here,” a soft voice whispered to him. Dean turned and saw Charlie’s hopeful eyes. “He hasn’t been able to shut up about the party for the past week.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about Charlie,” Dean brusquely said. “I’m going to get more drinks.”
After making his way to the bar, Dean flagged down Ash. “Hey man, let me get another one of those witches’ brews. You’ve outdone yourself this time.”
Ash grinned at him. “Well, if you liked that one, how would you like to try the Witches’ Potion? It’s the condensed version of the brew.”
“Hit me with it,” Dean said, hand smacking the counter.
Three shot glasses of lime green liquid were lined up in front of Dean. Ash motioned toward them, a mischievous glint in his eye.
“Here goes nothing,” Dean muttered, before slamming the first shot back. The sweet taste of pineapple mingled with lime and a faint hint of something Dean couldn’t name. Liquor slightly burned his throat but he just grinned at Ash.
“Damn man, you’ve got a gift.” Quickly, Dean took shots two and three.
Ash’s eyes widened. “Uh, Dean, I meant for you to take those back for the guys.”
“Eh, I’ll bring them some drinks. Load up a tray, will ya?” Dean kept grinning at Ash, limbs looser than they had been five minutes ago. Jo had turned strobe lights on in the corners and Dean’s eyes fought to focus on them.
“I’ve gotcha Dean. I’ll bring you guys out some drinks,” Ash began loading a tray. “I need to get out from behind the bar for a second anyway.”
“Whatever you say,” Dean slid off the stool, barely getting his legs beneath him.
Making his way back to the table, Dean collided with a white-clad man. “Woah dude, my bad.” Dean reached out, grabbing the guy’s arm.
“Dean?” a low voice said.
The guy turned to face Dean and, for the second time that night, Dean’s jaw dropped.
“Cas?” he croaked.
Cas was wearing a white lab coat and dark navy scrubs underneath. A stethoscope was draped across his shoulders and, Dean gulped, he had cowboy boots on his feet.
“You’re Doctor Sexy,” Dean stuttered.
Cas chuckled. “I figured you’d like that.”
“Fuck, Cas, you’re hot as hell.” Dean’s eyes widened as he realized what he said. “Uh, our friends are --.” He turned to find their table and swayed, losing his balance. Cas’ arms grabbed Dean’s waist.
“Woah, Dean.” Instead of letting go, Cas’ arms tightened.
“I may have had a little too much to drink. Be careful of Ash’s shots man.” Dean felt himself leaning into Cas.
“Looks you may need medical supervision tonight,” Cas said into Dean’s ear.
Dean laughed. “That was horrible man.”
“I don’t see you pulling away,” Cas teased.
“What can I say?” Dean turned, locking eyes with Cas. “I have a thing for dorks with bad jokes.”
“That’s perfect,” Cas said with a small hum. “I have a thing for guys that like Dr. Sexy and cowboy boots.”