Dean had gotten used to feeling like a misfit. Not that he acted like one, mind you. He was excellent at blending in and playing the popular guy role in every new school where John enrolled them while he traveled the country on his “mission.”
Surrounded by a bunch of people who liked to party and drink and sleep with each other, no one would have thought that Dean felt alone. And no one ever questioned it until about six months ago.
A smile tugged at Dean’s lips as he thought about that blustery September day. He had been running late to school because he had overslept and had barely gotten Sammy to the middle school in time. Then, he was caught by a train running slowly through town. Donna, the peppy vice principal, only smiled at him and offered to walk him to class. That was the perks to a small town, after all. She knew that Ms. Donavan would tear Dean a new one for being late again.
As he walked into the room and sank into his seat, he noticed a few of his friends giving him sympathetic looks. Shooting them a confused look, he tipped his head toward Donna. They should know that Donna would cover for him and he wouldn’t be in trouble. It was only after Ms. Donavan turned back to the class that Dean realized everyone had shifted seats and were partnered up.
“I’m glad you decided to join us, Mr. Winchester,” Ms. Donavan drawled, tapping her sharp red nails on her desk. “I was afraid our new student wouldn’t have a partner for today’s assignment. Mr. Novak, please join Mr. Winchester at his desk, if you please.”
New student? Dean frantically thought before a slim guy slid into the seat beside him. The guy was dressed in dark clothes that matched his messy, almost black hair. “I’m Cas,” he offered before grabbing a notebook from his bag and starting a sketch.
“Okay then,” Dean murmured, grabbing the assignment that Donovan had dropped on their desk. He softly groaned at the complicated way she had worded the questions. Chancing a glance up at her desk, he saw her staring at him with a smirk on her features. The redhead had it out for him for some reason.
Hands sliding around his waist pulled Dean from his reminiscing. He smiled, leaning back against the strong body behind him.
“Where were you?” Cas murmured against his neck. “I waved at you and called your name a few times and you were just lost in space.”
Dean chuckled. “I was thinking about the day I first met you and how different everything is now.”
“Hmm?’ Cas hummed against him.
Turning to face the slightly shorter man, Dean wrapped his own arms around Cas. “Well, I never thought I would have this for starters. I didn’t think a real relationship was in the cards for me. I didn’t think I would find someone who would actually get me.” Pulling Cas tighter, Dean continued, “If I didn’t have you, I wouldn’t have stood up to Dad about moving us again. Sammy and I would be who knows where, trying to start over again at yet another school. At least now the kid will get to go to high school in one place.”
Dean shuddered a little when he thought about that argument. John had accused him of being selfish and childish. Why couldn’t Dean understand that John was only trying to do what was best for the family by catching their mother’s killer? Dean had snapped back that John was no better than a two-bit vigilante who wasn’t going to catch a killer at the bottom of the bottle. John had lunged at Dean, as if he was going to hit him, but then stormed out of the house.
For two weeks, Sam and Dean heard nothing from the man. At that point, Dean had called their uncle Bobby for help. Bobby wasn’t their uncle by blood but he was the closest thing to family the boys had. Without question, Bobby had loaded up his truck and drove the hour and a half to their town.
He had just arrived when the officers pulled up at their house. They hadn’t wanted to speak to Bobby with Sam and Dean in the room at first.
“You’re here to tell us he’s in jail or he’s dead,” Dean flatly said.
The two officers glanced at each other. Dean recognized one as the officer who sometimes filled in for their school’s resource officer. Mills he thought her name was.
She was the one who straightened up and looked both boys in the eye. “Your father passed away last night. He was found outside The Gate. We’re looking into it but we don’t expect foul play.”
Dean interrupted her. “He drank himself to death. There wasn’t an assassin or some mysterious poison. It finally caught up with him. Good riddance.”
Dean had strode out of the house and somehow found himself outside of Cas’ house, cell phone in hand, with no memory of the trip there.
“Hello? Dean?” he faintly heard. Glancing around, there was no one there. Looking down, he finally realized he had called Cas.
For a second, he thought about ending the call and walking back home. Instead, he raised the phone to his ear. “Cas, I’m at your house. Can I come in?”
A light turned on in the front bedroom. “Hold on,” Cas whispered. Within a few minutes he had the door unlocked and Dean was in his arms.
“Have I told you lately how grateful I was for you that night?” Dean murmured into Cas’ hair. “I wouldn’t have made it through that week without you.”
Cas leaned his head against Dean’s shoulder. “I’ve told you that you don’t need to thank me. That’s what you do for people you love.”
Dean froze for a second, unable to breathe.
Realizing something was wrong, Cas leaned back. “Dean? Are you okay?” He tilted his head, studying Dean’s features.
“You love me?” Dean softly said.
A gummy smile spread across Cas’ face. “Was it that much of a surprise? I know it’s only been six months but you’ve completely changed my world as well. So yes, I love you.”
Dean paused for a second, letting that knowledge wash over him. Warmth flooded his chest and he surged forward, kissing Cas deeply.
As he pulled away, he winked at Cas. “If you didn’t realize, I love you too.”