Dean's elbows deep in the Roadrunner Bobby has him working on when his phone goes off. The ringtone tells him immediately that it's his other boss from his other job, Jody. She knows he works two jobs, and that the garage is the better paying one, but for her to be calling, something big must be going on. Dean makes sure that nothing is going to fall, come loose, or hit him on the head before he wipes his hands on his jeans and reaches into his pocket.
He answers the call, forcing his tone to sound chipper. "Jodio, what's happening?"
"Look, I know you're supposed to be at the shop until 7, but I just lost Benny. Andrea's gone into labor. This is a high-class job; I need one of my high-class guys to fill in."
"Hate to break it to you, Jody, you're not calling the right person for high class." Dean tucks the phone between his ear and shoulder and leans back under the hood. "I'm sure you can get one of the ladies to do it."
"Dean, she requested good looking men," Jody admits, a tone of shame in her voice. "You know I hate pandering to that kind of shit, but–"
"But business has been slow. I get it." He lets out a heavy sigh as he already knows that he's going to regret the next words out of his mouth. "When's it start?"
"Her party starts in fifteen minutes. Foodservice starts in forty-five. I know I'm asking a lot, I'll give you time and a half to make up what you'll lose. I'll call Bobby. Please, Dean."
"Let me get this car safe, so nothing falls out overnight, and I'll head out. Call Bobby; that way, he doesn't yell at me?"
Jody breathes out a sigh of relief. "Thank you so much, Dean. I'll call Bobby now." The call disconnects, and Dean's left wondering what the hell just happened before he pockets his phone and tightens up a couple more nuts.
Dean closes the hood and walks into Bobby's office, where his uncle is on the phone. "You and Donna owe me, Jody. Dean's my best mechanic." Bobby looks up and holds up a finger. "He just walked in. I'm kicking him out to go clean up. He's a greased up hog right now."
"Of course, Jody. I always take bribes in booze and pie." Bobby chuckles. "No, I'm not where Dean gets that from, and even if I were, that makes us cheap dates. Talk to you later." Bobby hangs up his phone and looks at Dean. "You sure you want to go?"
Dean rolls his eyes and throws his rag in the designated hamper. "I'm sure Jody told you the exact opposite."
"'Course she did, ya Idjit. But you're a sucker for her just like I am, just like Donna is." Bobby grabs up a folder and taps it before sliding it into a desk drawer. "Whatcha waitin' for? Get out of here and go be the playboy she needs you to be."
"Got it, Bobby." Dean salutes before turning and walking back out of the office. He stops by his locker to grab his jacket, stopping to wave goodbye to Ash and Garth, and heads out to the Impala.
A quick stop at home to get clean and dress up in his godforsaken monkey suit, and Dean's on his way to the party that Jody's catering. He pulls up to the venue and drives around back to where staff and temporary staff park and hops out of his car, quickly taking the familiar route to the kitchen.
"Not bad, Dean-O." Donna winks at him as he comes around the corner. "Thank you for showing up on such short notice."
"Yeah, yeah. You two know how it works. Booze and Pie." Dean looks around. "Where's Jody?"
As if on cue, Jody strides back into the kitchen, her shoulders tight. She sees Dean and relaxes, if only slightly, before coming in to hug him. "I am so sorry to ask you to do this, Dean." She backs up and straightens his tie. "You know Benny and Andrea weren't expecting the baby for another week or so."
"Yeah, you guys getting updates from them?"
Donna nods. "On the half-hour. You would think he's a first-time parent or something." She laughs at her joke, causing Dean and Jody to laugh with her.
"Dean, I need to warn you. The host is not happy right now." Jody gently pats down the lapels on his waistcoat and looks him in the eye. "Andy's out there doing his best, as are Victor and Aaron, but I need you to up your charm to eleven."
"I can do a pretty sweet Spinal Tap impression." Dean winks at her.
"Screw you, Winchester. You know what I mean."
Dean smiles fondly at her, trying to calm her nerves. "I do. What do I need to know about our host?"
"Bela Talbot. Heiress to the Talbot Estate. They're a huge shipping conglomerate." Jody leans in. "Rumor that the boys have heard is that she's supposed to be looking for a husband tonight. Otherwise, she doesn't get her share of the fortune."
"Doesn't explain why she wants good looking men tonight."
"She wants to show off her wealth, sweetie." Donna pipes up. "I have more charm in my pinky. So she figures money will get her a catch."
Jody picks up a tray filled with their famous crab puffs and hands it to Dean. "This way, you won't snack while you walk around." She pats his shoulder. "Just use that charm you use when you go to the bar, and who knows, maybe she'll find appeal in the lower people."
"Yeah, ok." Dean snorts. He gives Jody and Donna a salute before pushing open the double doors to exit the kitchen. As he walks down the hallway that connects to the ballroom, he can already hear the high priced sounds of an overpaid DJ, the technobabble of the music not to his taste.
Dean's eyebrows raise at all the people milling around. Jody's crew has done numerous parties here, but never to a crowd this large. He takes in a deep breath and plasters on his best fake smile before weaving into the group with his tray.
He gets about halfway through the room before his tray is picked clean, and he sets it down at his side, indicating that he's empty. Dean hasn't even spotted the rest of the crew and wonders if he's ever going to get a chance to find them when a sharp poke on his shoulder causes him to wince and turn around.
"Just where do you think you're going?" The cold British accent demands.
"Back to the kitchen to get a fresh tray of hors d'oeurves, ma'am." He smiles and bows his head slightly. "I'll be right back."
"I didn't say you could leave the floor." The brunette looks him up and down. "Who are you? You didn't come in with the original crew."
"I'm one of the waiters for the catering crew. I wasn't scheduled to work, but I came in last minute to cover for a coworker." Dean tilts his head slightly in confusion. "I'm sorry, but I didn't get a chance to look over the guest list. Who are you?"
The woman in front of him scoffs, and her eyes turn dark with anger. "You think I'm a guest?" She squares her shoulders and pushes into Dean's personal space. "I'm the person paying your paycheck right now."
"My apologies, Miss Talbot." Dean nods his head in apology. "Descriptions don't give your beauty justice."
"Wiseass." Bela grabs him by the tie and pulls him down to her level. "You're late to my party, you insult me, and then think you can worm your way out of it with a fake affection?" She stares at him, her eyes shooting daggers. "You are a worm, and you should be grateful that I'm even allowing you to stay."
Dean's lips press into a firm, hard-line. "Again, my apologies."
"Your boss will hear of this insolence." Bela slowly eyes him up and down. "Good thing you're pretty, I'd have you escorted off the premises now." She turns and walks away, stopping to look over her shoulder. "When you do come back to the floor, do bring more of those crab puffs, and find me immediately." She waves Dean off and focuses her attention on another gentleman.
Dean rolls his eyes and turns to go back to the kitchen when his eyes lock on a guy across the room. He has dark, messy hair and eyes that cannot possibly be so blue. He stares for a moment, ripping his eyes away only when he realizes the other guy has caught him staring. Dean blushes and rushes back into the kitchen.
"Jody, how long are we supposed to be here for?" Andy's leaning on one of the prep tables when Dean gets back in the kitchen. "Cause I swear on Nietzsche's grave, I will go batshit if my ass gets grabbed again."
"At least you didn't accidentally ask the Host who she is." Dean set his tray in front of Donna. "Request for more of the crab bites from the bitch herself."
Jody looks back and forth between the two before looking at Donna. "I'm sorry, guys." She starts to say something when Aaron walks back in and slams his tray on the table.
"Whoever said that Satan was evil, has not met that woman." Aaron walks over to Dean and greets him. "Sorry you're here, dude, but I am glad to see you."
"He didn't stand a chance either, Aaron." Andy looks over. "I failed, you failed, and Dean failed."
"Victor hasn't come back yet, you know." Donna starts placing crab puffs on Dean's tray. "Maybe he's had some luck."
Jody points at Donna as Victor walks back into the kitchen, a smug smile on his face. "What canary did you eat, Vic?"
"I have gotten the phone numbers of several extremely attractive ladies." He reaches into his waistcoat pocket and pulls out four pieces of paper. "And one decent looking guy, not my type, though." He hands the slip to Dean, who slaps it away.
"I'm here to work, dumbass." Dean rolls his eyes. "Has the Queen Bee not gotten to you yet?"
"Nope." Victor grabs Dean's tray and walks towards the door. "I see her coming, and I keep walking."
Dean looks at the prep table then looks at Victor before flipping him off. "That's my tray!"
"Dean, take this one." Donna slides one with meatballs on it over to him. "Remember, that bitch was looking for the crab puffs. She'll go after him." Donna winks at Dean, who lets out a frustrated sigh.
"Guys, I promise I will make this up to you. We're here for another two hours. Smiles, flirt, be eye candy for the ladies, cause let's face it, she wants the male attention on her, and if her female guests are staring at you.."
Dean, Aaron, and Andy all grumble in agreement, and Dean heads back out to the ballroom.
"Dean!" Jody calls out after him. "Don't spill anything on Miss Talbot!"
Back in the multitude of the crowd, Dean expertly weaves his way through the groups of people, stopping briefly to allow them to grab a meatball or two off of his tray. He keeps his best crowd-pleasing smile on, and a few of the ladies do start to flirt with him.
Like Victor, he ends up with a couple of their numbers shoved into his pocket. He smiles at each lady despite feeling dirtier each time he's looked at, talked to, or even pawed on. He looks toward the kitchen, finding a clear path and turns to head back, needing a moment away from the idiots on the floor.
As Dean gets nearer to the kitchen, he's stopped by a very gentle tap on the arm. He turns around to present the tray, and he comes face to face with the blue-eyed guy from earlier. Dean sucks in a breath and takes him in for a moment, now that he can see him up close and personal.
Blue-eyes is wearing an AC/DC shirt underneath a well-fitting blazer, and a nicely tight-cut pair of slacks. The eyes that were insanely blue from a distance are even more spectacular and otherworldly. Dean has to rip his eyes away to focus on making words.
"These are Rosemary Thyme... uh," Dean stumbles over his words slightly. "Sorry. These are balsamic glazed, Rosemary and Thyme meatballs, made from lamb and pork."
Blue-eyes smiles at Dean, and Dean nearly melts on the spot. "Delicious." The stranger grabs one by the toothpick and pops it into his mouth, Dean watching it intently. "The meatball was good too."
Dean swallows hard before feeling a shove knocking him back. "I'm so sorry, is the kitchen staff bothering you?"
"Shall we go somewhere more quiet to talk?" Bela slides her arm into Blue-eyes' and pulls him away, bringing Dean back to reality.
Dean stops in the kitchen and drops off his tray, telling Donna that he needs a minute, and to fill it back up while he takes a quick break. He peeks back out the double doors and heads towards the restroom, hugging tightly to the wall to not be stopped by someone looking for staff.
He slides into the restroom without a hitch and takes a moment to look himself over in the mirror. Dean knew that when he told Jody yes that this would be a rough night. He turns the cold water on and splashes his face, trying to relieve the redness and the puffiness starting to form around his eyes.
Dean grabs a towel from the dispenser and dries his face, taking another look in the mirror. "You're nothing to these people, Dean," he whispers to the mirror. The door to the bathroom opens, and he jumps, figuring that the guests would have the main one at the front of the venue.
"I thought I saw you sneak in here." The deep, gravelly voice that had managed to rattle him in six words, cause him to look up. "I apologize for Bela's behavior. She's quite rude and off-putting."
"She had you wrapped around her finger easy enough, though."
Blue-eyes nods. "It would appear that way, yes. Trust me when I say that I was caught off guard as much as you were."
"I don't know you to trust you, Buddy." Dean finishes drying off his hands and throws the paper towel into the trash. "So, forgive me if I'll pass." Dean attempts to walk past Blue-eyes when that same gentle touch catches his arm.
"Please, let me show you? I want nothing more than to make up for Bela's idiocy and poor manners."
Dean shakes his head and, despite not wanting to, tugs his arm back. "That's up to her to correct. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work. Us little people can't keep the rest of you waiting, can we?" He walks out of the bathroom and hightails it back to the kitchen."Your tray is ready, Big D." Donna nods towards the tray sitting in front of her. "All fresh. The rest are on a plate over there for you and the boys to snack on."
"Dean?" Jody walks out of the small office to the side after hearing Dean's assertion. "What happened?"
"It's too much, ok?" Dean looks at Donna. "I'm sorry, Donna, but can you please take this tray? I'll take over prep for a bit. Then I should be ok to go."
Donna starts to nod, but Jody holds her hand up. "Nuh-uh, Winchester. You don't get like this. You look like a caged animal right now. What happened?"
"They're drinking more, and they're getting worse. I wouldn't be surprised when Aaron and Andy come back if they say they're done." Dean reaches into the pockets of his waistcoat, and then his back pocket. He drops several crumbled pieces of paper on the prep table. "They're handsy; they're not respecting personal space." He runs his fingers through his hair. "For fuck's sake, Jody, I was talking to a guest about the meatballs, and that Bela Bitch practically tackled me cause it was a guy that she's clearly marked for herself."
"She did what?" Jody's eyes light up in anger. "I believe you 100%, but please tell me who saw it."
Dean looks at Donna, who shakes her head and points at Jody. "The guy who she grabbed and pulled away from me after she shoved me. He's about my height, messy dark hair, blue eyes." Dean pauses, hoping that's enough from him, but Jody gestures for him to continue. "He's wearing an AC/DC shirt under a blazer. He's the only guy I saw doing something like that. Most of them are trussed up."
"Got it. You two stay here. I'm sending the rest of the boys back." Jody turns and heads out to find Dean's mystery blue-eyed guy.
Donna pats the stool next to her. "Come here, Dean." She waits until she's seated next to him and hands him a spinach puff. "Don't worry, seafood free." She smiles at him."I know this has been a shit night for you and the rest of the guys. Jody's been back here, dotting her Is and crossing her Ts to make sure Bela can't hire anyone from the area again."
"Good lot that does to help us." Dean leans forward, resting his elbows on the prep table. "Bela finds that out, she'll deny payment."
"Hence why–" Donna's cut off by Andy and Victor entering the kitchen. "Aaron behind you two?"
Victor nods. "I think so. Jody got to us first." He set his tray down on the table and sat down across from Dean. "What's going on?"
"The big bitch shoved Dean here." Donna moves to start packing up the remaining ingredients. "She's just collaborating his story to cover our asses, and then we're getting out of here."
"Seriously?" Andy perks up and walks over to Donna. "What can I do to help?"
Donna laughs and shows Andy items to pack up. While they work on cleaning up, Aaron bounds into the kitchen. "Jody says she's giving us a five-minute head start. Something about confirmation that Dean was attacked?"
"You two just going to stand there?" Donna snaps at Victor and Dean. "You too, Aaron, she wants us to pack up the van to haul ass out of here. She doesn't think Bela's going to take it well when we bail."
The boys quickly help Donna break down and pack up their gear. As they're about halfway through, Jody enters the kitchen with a massive grin on her face. "Ready to go?"
A week later, Dean meets up at Jody and Donna's to pick up his paycheck. Jody greets him happily and brings him into their kitchen to enjoy one of Donna's pies while they chat about the party.
"We haven't had any issue. We didn't charge her for the last hour of the event. But, we still charged her for all the ingredients and the setup and breakdown fees." Jody sets a beer in front of Dean. "She's paid for everything we've asked."
"How the hell did that happen?" Dean asks, gratefully sipping the beer.
Donna sits across the table from Dean, chuckling. "You and I both know Jodes has a way with words."
"So, why am I sitting here and why you two look like you're buttering me up?" Dean looks back and forth between the two. "Are you letting me go?"
"No." Jody rolls her eyes. "We have another gig, and we want you there. I already cleared the date with Bobby, but he said to make sure you want to work it first."
"And we could really, really use you. It's another big-name client." Donna adds.
Dean drains his beer and shakes his head. "Call me when it's a small wedding or something."
"Dean, they offered three times our normal rate." Jody advertised. "Including bonuses for any staff we bring. That could be the last bit you need to pay for Sam's last year at school."
"I don't like being treated like shit or an object, Jody."
"And you won't be," Donna affirms. "The person who hired us? They have a full security detail. We're catering at their house, and they won't hesitate to kick out anyone. They promised us."
Jody nods in agreement. "We let them know our concerns."
"Come on, Big D!" Donna leans across the table and playfully punches Dean in the shoulder. "We need you."
The next week, Dean shows up to the "house" following the directions Jody and Donna gave him. He pulls up, and a friendly staff member tells him where he can park as a member of the Catering Staff. He pulls into a spot behind the mansion and is quickly shown the way to the kitchens.
Andy's already helping Donna fill the first tray, and Jody is excitedly talking on the phone to someone. Jody sees Dean and smiles, holding up her finger. "Alright, Benny. Take care, give Andrea all our love and kisses to the little bean!" She hangs up the phone. "Alright, you two are my only servers tonight. There are only about 40 people here per our host."
"Yeah, who is this host?" Andy looks up from the tray he's loading. "Neither of you have said anything."
"It's the Philanthropist, Castiel Novak!" Jody is practically vibrating, and Donna lovingly rolls her eyes. When the guys don't share her enthusiasm, she frowns. "Really, you two?"
"Not much of a philanthropist if Dean nor I have heard of him." Andy winks at Donna.
"Dean? You don't know who he is?" Jody's face drops in shock. "Are you two serious?"
Dean shakes his head, confirming Andy's statement. "I have no idea who this dude is."
"Uh-huh." Jody crosses her arms over her chest. "Well then, you're in for a pleasant surprise, Dean."
"I don't like surprises, Jodes." Dean looks at Donna. "Anything I can do to help get ready?"
Donna pushes a tray at Dean. "Nope. You can start serving. That'll be Andy's tray if he stops eating every other one." Donna swats at Andy's hand.
"Show me the way, Jody?" Dean gestures toward the kitchen exit before picking up his tray and following.
"Dean?" Jody stops him before he walks out to the main room. She fixes his tie and straightens his lapels. "Thank you for coming. I know how hesitant you were." She leans up and kisses his cheek. "Award-winning smile, okay?"
Dean nods and heads out to the guests, plastering on the smile Jody requested. He weaves his way among them and finds them strangely friendly and pleasant. His tray clears out quickly, and no one is rude to him or yells at him for being out of hors d'oeuvres.
As he makes his way back to the kitchen, a fiery redhead catches his attention and waves. He holds his tray up to show that it's empty, and she shakes her head and laughs, excusing herself through the crowd. "Hi, sorry, didn't mean to confuse there. I'm Charlie. Charlie Bradbury."
"Not to be mean, but I have no idea if that's supposed to mean something?" Dean grimaces at the fact that he has to admit that he doesn't know who she is, and reminds himself to grab a guest sheet from Jody if she has one.
"Oh please, if you know who I am, I've screwed up royally." Charlie smiles, and Dean finds himself smiling despite himself. "Just checking in. Everything ok with you and the rest of your team?"
Dean looks around the room before looking back at Charlie. "It's not my team. The company is Jody's and Donna's second-in-command." He holds the tray across his chest. "Why do you ask?"
"I know that, Dean. Just making sure no one is harassing you or Andy." She smiles and winks.
"I know for a fact that I didn't tell you my name."
Charlie winks again, exaggerating it this time. "And you didn't have to. I'm Castiel's head of security. I know everyone's face, name, favorite color. No one gets in here without me knowing who they are."
"My favorite color?" Dean questions skeptically.
"Green. Although you're also partial to purple." She snaps and points at Dean.
Dean looks around again. "Am I on Candid Camera?"
"Nope, I'm just very good at my job." Charlie gestures towards the kitchen. "Let's get that tray refilled. I've heard amazing things about the spinach puffs you guys make."
"So, uh. Can I ask you a question?" Dean looks over to Charlie as they walk back towards the kitchen. "Who is your boss?"
"Cas?" Charlie pauses for a moment. "He's an amazing, down to earth guy. He was born into dirty money but did everything to turn it around and make it clean. Cas gives away most of his profits to charity each year, and he doesn't brag about it. Most of the things he does, you wouldn't know unless you follow who he assists."
The pair enters the kitchen, and Dean sets his tray in front of Donna. "Request for the spinach puffs, D-Train."
Donna nods. "I see you met Charlie."
"Just met, actually." Charlie smiles. "If I can just steal a couple of puffs for myself, you can put whatever you want on that tray."
"Consider it done." Donna places a few on a plate and slides them over to Charlie.
"Thank you!" Charlie takes a bite and moans happily. "These are freaking delicious. No wonder Castiel wanted you guys for this!" She finishes the puff and looks back at Dean. "So, two jobs, right? You work at Singer Auto Shop full time, and then help out Jody and Donna when they need servers?"
"Did you run full background checks!?"
"Yes!" Donna and Jody reply before Charlie can.
Charlie nods in confirmation. "What they said. I'm just a little more in-depth."
"So, why am I getting the third degree if you already know what my answers are?" Dean crosses his arms over his chest.
"Gotta protect my best friend." Charlie shrugs. A voice calls from the main room, and her head snaps to attention. "That would be Castiel's entrance. Gods know how much he hates them, but when he runs charity events like this, the board insists that he has an entrance." She points to the tray. "Grab that and come on."
Dean grabs the tray and follows Charlie back out to join the guests. He stands ready with his tray and looks over at the stairs where everyone is watching.
It takes all of his willpower not to drop his tray.
Castiel Novak is Blue-eyes.
Dean rolls his eyes and walks back to the kitchen, not waiting for Castiel to walk down the stairs fully.
"Dean?" Donna looks up from the pastries she's prepping. "What's wrong?"
"Where's Jody?" Dean asks, a hint of anger and frustration in his voice.
"I'm right here." Jody steps back into the kitchen and next to Donna. "What's wrong?"
"You knew." He points at her. "You knew the entire time who Castiel is. You knew he was the reason I was treated like shit at the last event." Dean shook his head. "Jody. We've been friends for years. Why wouldn't you tell me?"
Jody looks at Donna, who shakes her head in return and goes back to prepping the pastries. "Because I knew you wouldn't come. Several witnesses came to your defense at the last event, Dean. And they all said the same thing. You and Castiel were flirting. Which is why I was surprised you said you didn't know who he is."
"Jody." Dean shakes his head and looks down at the floor. "I need a few. Take my tray, please?"
Jody nods and takes the tray out to the guests, passing Andy on her way out. He sets his tray in front of Donna and smirks. "How'd you two get the boss lady to serve?"
"Not right now, Andy." Donna frowns and slightly nods her head towards Dean.
"Dean-O?" Andy takes Donna's hint and crosses over to Dean. "You alright there?"
"Me neither then." He looks over his shoulder at Donna. "We're going for a smoke. I'll be back before my tray's ready."
"Neither one of you smoke." Donna raises her eyebrow curiously but amends her statement when Andy shoots her a look. "I mean, of course. You've got like 5 minutes."
Andy gives her a thumbs up and leads Dean out the backdoor. "What's going on, Dude?"
"You saw Castiel?" Dean waits until Andy confirms that he did. "Did he not look familiar to you?"
"Should he?" Andy hopped up on a retaining wall and patted for Dean to sit next to him.
"Dude, he was at the event two weeks ago."
Andy laughed, "No offense Dean, but do you know how many dates I've had with Moby Bong since that shit show?" When Dean doesn't answer, Andy continues. "I take it he's one of the assholes that treated you like shit?"
"More like the opposite." Dean ran his fingers through his hair. "He was nice to me, and he flirted."
"Dude, go flirt back then! Sugar Daddy for Dean!" Andy nudges Dean with his elbow playfully.
"No," Dean answers quickly. "Nothing would come from it."
Andy sighs and looks at Dean. "You know, back when we dated, I used to think I didn't deserve Tracey."
"That wasn't my decision to make. It was hers. And in the long run? My insecurities chased her off." Andy claps Dean on the shoulder. "And I still fucking miss her, Dean. Get over yourself and let someone else tell you what they think of you."
Dean brushes Andy's hand off his shoulder and hops down off the wall. "Go get your tray from Donna, and if Jody's done with mine, tell her I'll be back in a few. I'm hitting the head."
"You don't want to admit I'm right, fine, Dean." Andy pushes off the wall and follows Dean back to the house. "But don't fuck up like I did. I'm trying now, and it's a hell of a difference." He points down a hallway once they get back inside. "Staff facilities are down there. What kind of house has a locker room for staff?"
"Rich people houses." Dean turns and heads down the hallway, pushing on the door marked for staff.
He quickly goes to the bathroom, before finding himself standing in front of the mirror again. "This fucking Deja vu." He washes his hands and splashes the cold water on his face. As he dries his hands and face, the door opens, with Castiel walking in.
Dean manages not to roll his eyes to the back of his head, keeping his focus on the sink.
"Hello, Dean." Castiel takes a few steps in and stops at the edge of the row of sinks. When Dean doesn't respond, he takes another step closer. "Enjoying the party so far?"
Dean rolls his eyes. "Not much to enjoy at a party when you have to work."
"Dean?" Castiel risks another step closer. "Talk to me, are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm freaking awesome." Dean grips the edge of the sink and keeps his eyes down.
"You're not awesome. What's wrong?"
Dean closes his eyes at Castiel's voice, the question sounding unfairly innocent coming from him. "Nada. Just trying to remember why I like this job."
"You don't like it now?" Castiel takes another step closer. "Why?"
"Honestly?" Dean looks up and looks at himself in the mirror, trying desperately to not look at Castiel. "I don't like who we cater to."
"Do you mean cater as in what your actual job description is, or do you mean catering as in appeasing?" Cas leans back against the sink, the warmth of his skin threatening ea closer proximity to Dean.
"I just don't like the people who see me as a servant."
Dean watches as Cas nods. "You mean people like me."
"Yeah, Castiel. People just like you."
"I'm sorry, but I don't understand." Dean watches in the mirror as Cas turns to look at him. "What exactly did I do to deserve your ire?"
Dean stands up and looks Castiel in the eyes. "You're just like the rest of them. You hide behind the fact that you can add 'philanthropist' to your abundant list of titles."
"You never even gave me a chance, Dean." Castiel steps closer to Dean. "You don't know me. I am a nice guy." His eyes flick down to Dean's lips. "I wanted to kiss you, the last time I saw you." Castiel looks back at Dean. "But, I didn't."
"What? Why are–"
"Because that would have been weird." Castiel steps into Dean's personal space, pushing him back against the wall. His lips lock on to Dean's, binding them in a fluster of confusion, want, and need. Castiel grabs Dean's hips and pulls them closer together, causing Dean to whimper involuntarily.
Dean pulls himself together long enough to push Castiel off of him. "Stop." He shakes his head. "You don't want this. You don't want me." The door opens, and Dean takes the opportunity to leave.
He moves quickly past Donna and finds Jody in the kitchen. "I'm sorry. You don't have to pay me. But I'm leaving." Dean rushes out the back door and hops into the Impala, taking off and heading back home.
Dean pulls into his apartment complex and heads inside, grabbing a beer. His phone keeps ringing and vibrating, phone calls, and text messages that he chooses to ignore.
Dean's thoughts are barreling down an unknown track at hundreds of miles per hour. He'd be lying if he said that he didn't want that kiss. Castiel has been on his mind since that night at Bela's party. At the same time, he's unsure as to what the kiss means. Did Castiel see him as all the other people had at that party? Was he just another object to be used and tossed away when he no longer had a purpose?
Against his better judgment, Dean grabs his laptop and sits on his sofa. His cell phone rings for the umpteenth time, and he shuts it off completely. Dean loads up Google and starts the search to find out what he can about Castiel.
Some point during his research, Dean must have fallen asleep as he wakes up to a knock on his door. He stands up and quietly walks over and looks out the peephole. The redhead, Castiel's head of security, is standing outside on his stoop. He closes his eyes, trying to recall her name, when she knocks on the door again.
"Dean, can you please open up? It's Charlie. I know you're home." Dean quietly thanks her for calling out for him and looks through the peephole again. She appears to be upset, genuinely concerned, and he gives in.
"Is it just you?" He asks, hoping he doesn't regret this decision.
"One hundred percent just me, Dean." She pauses. "Please, can I talk to you?"
Dean opens the door and lets Charlie in. "Come in." He closes the door after she enters. "Welcome to my humble abode."
"I love it." Charlie smiles at him as she walks into the living room. "Harrison Ford fan?" She points to the framed Indiana Jones movie posters.
Dean nods, unsure of what to say.
"This feels like a home. Cas and I never feel at home back at his place." Charlie looks at Dean. "I'm sorry."
"For what, Red?" Dean slowly sits back down on the sofa and closes his laptop, remembering what he was doing on it.
"I already knew you were Googling him." Charlie raises her eyebrow. "I have a program that catches when his name whenever someone searches for him." She points next to Dean. "May I?" She waits until Dean nods before sitting next to him. "There was a huge miscommunication somewhere, and I don't know where it was. It's my fault that Cas is hurting, and you're upset."
"Your fault?" Dean shakes his head. "How the hell did you come to that conclusion?"
"I'm the reason Cas had the party. And the reason you guys were the catered staff." Charlie hangs her head. "He told me that he met the most incredible man at Talbot's party. Which, how he managed to even get away from Bela for ten seconds, surprises me."
"So, you assumed the guy was me?"
"The guy is you, Dean. Castiel is furious with me because I meddled." She looks around the living room before settling her eyes back on Dean. "Cas and I have been best friends since high school. He hated his family name. What did I tell you back at his house? You can Google that."
Dean nods. "I did. I saw it. His family doesn't appear to be very nice people."
"Cas managed to stay clear of all the drama because he has a conscience." Charlie starts playing with a strand of her hair. "He's never done anything for himself. To hear him say that there was someone he was interested in? Dean, those words have never come out of his mouth.
"I didn't realize how limited an interaction you two had. I guess romantic me thought you two talked late into the party, and like Cinderella, you had to run."
Dean laughs. "Why does everyone assume I'm a freaking princess?"
"It's not an insult. Just remember, a princess becomes queen. The queen is the strongest piece on the board." Charlie pauses to let that sink in then inhales deeply. "I told your boss that you had to be part of the staff. If she could get you on board, we'd give a bonus to each staff member."
"You can just throw away Castiel's money like that?"
"It's not throwing it away if it goes to a Mom and Mom business who needs it. Or to their staff. Cas agrees with me on that completely." Charlie crosses her arms. "The catch was, you weren't supposed to know who the client was until you got on site."
"So, Castiel, in the bathroom?"
Charlie frowns. "Thought you were at the party because you wanted to see him again."
"So..." Dean nods, running through his question in his mind. "Is he actually interested in me?"
"Dean, I swear to the gods. If I had to hear about you one more time over the past two weeks, I was going to strangle him myself." She looks at Dean. "I'm here to ask you for another chance since I screwed his up."
"Even after what happened?"
Charlie nods. "He's not mad with you. He's mad at the situation, and he's mad that I exacerbated it. He wants to get to know you."
Dean stands up and starts pacing. "Look, let's say I believe you. Let's say that Cas wants that."
"He does!" Charlie protests before being hushed by Dean.
"Hold on. Why me? We are worlds apart." Dean crosses his arms and looks at the petite woman on his couch. "He can have anyone and anything he wants. He only needs to snap his fingers."
"He wants a person who can keep him grounded. Who can call him out when his head is in the clouds. He may have turned his family's crap into gold, Dean, but he's still a rich kid who just wants someone to love him for him." She opens her mouth to say more but stops herself. "There are things you need to learn about him, from him."
Dean sits down in a chair and looks at Charlie. "Did he send you?"
"No." Charlie pulls out her phone, unlocks it, and sets it down in front of Dean. "When we figured out what happened, when I came clean, he yelled at me to get out." She points to the phone. "He's been trying to get ahold of me to come home. Cas doesn't know I'm here."
Dean picks up the phone and swipes through. Unless they're acting, which he doubts, Castiel has texted her for the past forty-five minutes, asking her to respond or to at least come home. He hands the phone back to Charlie. "So what do you suggest? What's your plan to make it right."
"Really?" Charlie's eyes light up, and she looks as though a weight has lifted off her shoulders. She leans forward, and together the two of them start planning.
A few nights later, Dean is sitting in a booth by himself at his favorite place to eat, The Roadhouse. He may be a little biased since Ellen is his aunt, but free beer and amazing cheeseburgers go a long way when you're broke. Dean takes another look at his phone and takes a deep breath. He should have company joining him at any moment.
The chime to the front door rings and he can hear Charlie. "You said anywhere, Cas. I'm choosing here. I've heard they have the best burgers in town."
"It looks like the burgers will be good." Dean hears Castiel's voice, and it's almost like hearing it for the first time. "It's got that feeling of good, homecooked food."
"Well, I guess we'll have to find out," Charlie replies, a little too loudly and a little too stiffly, almost causing Dean to lose it in laughter.
Dean slides out of his seat, and turns to the entrance, finding a suddenly surprised Castiel, his head whipping back and forth between Charlie and Dean.
"You're here?" Castiel's head tilts in confusion. "I would have figured you hated me."
"You have a highly convincing wingwoman as your best friend there, Cas." Dean nods towards Charlie.
"You did cheat at poker." Cas points at Charlie, accusing her.
The redhead shrugs. "I needed to make sure I won, so you would let me choose where to eat." She winks at Dean. "That being said, I have places to be, so catch you bitches later." Charlie flashes a peace sign and exits the Roadhouse.
"Care to join me?" Dean points to his booth.
"You want me here?" Cas looks at Dean cautiously. "We didn't part on good terms."
"We had no terms, Cas." Dean stops. "Is it ok if I call you Cas?"
Cas nods slowly and walks to the table. "It's always been Charlie's nickname for me. But if she's ok with you using it, I prefer it." He sits on the other side of the booth. "Can I ask why here?"
"Why here, as in why I picked here for our first date?" Dean smiles as Cas' jaw drops. "Because the first two times, we were in your world. There was decadence, and there was opulence." Dean sits down and slides to be across from Cas. "I might dress up pretty, but that ain't me. If you want me like you say you do. If you actually want to know me?" Dean gestures around. "This is my world, Cas."
"That's not me–" Cas stops himself. "Anyway I phrase it, I'm probably going to shove my foot in my mouth." His mouth quirks up in an apologetic smile. "Tell me more about you, Dean? Tell me something that one of Charlie's background checks wouldn't tell me."
Dean snorts in laughter. "Your girl is creepy. Like, I've enjoyed getting to know her, but damn. She knows my favorite color, and I never told her. I wouldn't know what you found out."
"She's good at what she does." Cas agrees easily. He pauses, his finger tapping on his lips. "You said you gave me a second chance because of her. But there has to be more to it than that."
"You want to know?" Cas nods, and Dean continues. "It was what Charlie said, something my friend Andy said, and one other thing."
"What did they say?"
Dean leans forward towards Cas. "Charlie admitted fault and explained to me that you are a good person who wants someone to like you for you, and maybe love you for you." Dean takes a deep, calming breath. "Andy said it's not up to me if someone likes me or not."
"Charlie, while an over-sharer, is not wrong, and your friend Andy sounds very wise." Cas offers his hand.
"Don't let Andy hear you say that. He already has an inflated ego." Dean takes Cas's hand and squeezes lightly.
Cas tilts his head. "So, what's the third thing?"
Dean pushes himself forward, his mouth catching Cas' by surprise. He lets himself melt into the kiss, the feeling of electricity shooting through him just as it did at Cas' house. His hand wraps around the back of Cas' head, locking them together. When Dean pulls back for air, his fingers run through Cas' thick locks. Dean smiles at Cas. "I wanted to see your face when I surprised you with that kiss."
Cas blushes and smiles at Dean. "I look forward to getting to know you. Correctly this time.”