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An Eight, A Ten, And A Twelve Walk Into A Bar

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An Eight, a Ten and a Twelve Walk Into a Bar

 

The bell rang as the door to the Liberty Diner opened, announcing the new customers who had just walked in. It was eight-thirty on a Tuesday morning, but the diner was full and bustling as ever as queens and queers alike grabbed a bite and some food on their way in to work.

Brian Kinney had his usual seat facing the door and as such was the first to see the pair who had just walked in. He let out a low whistle.

Michael, who sat across from him leaned in with a “What?” and then turned around to where Brian was staring.

“Holy shit,” was Michael’s reaction.

The first, shorter man was golden-tanned and dirty blond with strong, defined cheekbones, sculpted lips and bright green eyes. He had on a leather jacket and washed-out jeans, black tee underneath and a pendent hung around his neck.

The other was possibly seven feet tall and built like a lumberjack, if lumberjacks were ever known to have hourglass figures and wear designer jeans. He had short sideburns and silky brown hair with cheekbones that could definitely cut.

“Take a look at the fresh meat!” Debbie Novotny said, dropping the plates in her hands on the table in front of Brian and Michael. She wandered over to greet her new customers.

“Heya, boys, you here for the food or the men? Hint—we’ve got both,” Deb said with a cackling laugh.

“Just the food this time, thanks,” the shorter of the two replied. He was grinning though, which meant he was charmed by Debbie’s sense of humor. That was always a good sign.

“Nice place you’ve got here,” the taller man said politely as he slid his gargantuan frame into a booth.

“Best lemon squares in Pittsburgh,” Debbie said proudly. “Can I get you boys anything to drink? Coffee?”

“Please,” the green-eyed man replied, “And I’ll take a few of those lemon squares.”

“Orange juice for me,” the taller one said.

Debbie winked at him. “Be right back, Sweetheart.”

Brian and Michael could hear their conversation float across the small room.

“I think she likes you, Sammy,” the shorter man said. His back was to them, but they could hear the teasing grin in his voice.

“Shut up, Dean.”

“You know I can handle things tonight if you want to go ask her out.”

“Knock it off, man.”

Sam and Dean, Brian thought to himself. Nice. He didn’t get the sense that they were together either. That meant his chances were good.

The two were silent for a minute as they looked over the menu. Debbie came back with their drink orders and the lemon bars. She pulled out her pad and licked her pen.

“So, what’s it gonna be boys?” she asked.

“I’ll take the lumberjack special,” Sam said, handing her the menu. “Scrambled eggs.”

“Yeah you will,” Debbie leered, jotting it down. “Bacon or sausage?”

“Bacon, please.”

“And you, honey?” Deb turned to Dean.

“I’m good with the lemon bars, thanks,” Dean said with a smile.

“No way in hell I’m letting you eat that for breakfast,” Debbie told him, pointing at him with her pen and giving Dean her ‘stern mom look’, “My diner, my rules. What’ll it be?”

“Okay…short stack with eggs over easy and sausage,” Dean replied. He seemed pleasantly taken aback by the mother henning going on. “Does that meet with your approval?” he asked.

Deb patted him on the cheek. “You get a gold star. I’ll be back with your order.”

She paused and turned back to the table, chewed on the piece of gum stuck between her teeth and pointed at the lemon bars.

“Don’t go ruining your appetite,” she warned, flashing Dean a smile and walking back toward the kitchen.

Sam was full-out laughing by the time her back was turned and trying his best to hide it.

“I think she likes you, Dean,” he mocked.

“Very funny.”

Dean grabbed a lemon bar in his fingers. He did a head check for Deb and then stuffed it whole into his mouth.

The smack at the back of his head came out of nowhere.

“OW!” Dean blurted through a mouthful of crumbs.

“What did I just say?” Debbie scolded him, pointing a finger under his nose.

“I’m just having one!” Dean insisted, mouth still full of lemon bar. A few crumbs flew out of his mouth.

“Don’t talk with your mouth full,” Debbie said. “So, what brings you boys to town?”

Sam seemed a little uneasy, possibly because Debbie had pegged them as newcomers or because he was afraid she would hit him too—it was hard to tell.

“Uh, work,” Sam replied.

“You don’t say, what kind?” Debbie asked.

Sam glanced at Dean, who was still working on his mouthful of lemon bar and thus banned from answering. A calculating look crossed his face as he considered Deb, who was standing with her fists on her hips waiting for an answer.

“A case, actually. Maybe you can help,” Sam answered her. “You seem to know what’s what around here.”

The smile on Deb’s face faltered for the first time that day.  

“This isn’t about those murders, is it?” she asked seriously. She looked between the two. “You don’t look like cops. I would know—I’m dating one.”

“No kidding,” Dean said, mouth finally free enough to speak. “We’re FBI. Agents Halford and McQueen.”

“You don’t look FBI either,” Debbie said, squinting at Dean. Dean fished his badge out of his jacket.

“Casual Tuesday,” he replied, holding up the badge for her.

“Bullshit,” Debbie said, looking right past the badge into green eyes wide with surprise. “You don’t think I know a fake badge when I see one? I wasn’t born yesterday, in case you haven’t noticed.” She huffed a little and reset the hands on her hips. “So you want to tell me what you’re really doing looking into these murders?”

“Okay fine. Truth is, the FEDs don’t give a rat’s ass about this kind of case. So we’re…taking matters into our own hands.”

“Private investigators,” Sam supplied.

“I’ll believe that one when I sprout a woody under this apron,” Debbie shot at him. “Now, do you want to stop lying to my face and give it to me straight?” She chuckled. “Only straight thing in this joint, am I right?”

Sam shot Dean a look that said something like, We could just tell her the truth. If the rigid set of Dean’s shoulders said anything, it was No way in hell.

“Look, lady, it doesn’t matter who we are. What does matter is we’re here to help. So what can you tell us?” Dean asked.

He was a lot more intimidating when he pulled out his serious voice, and Brian could see Debbie check herself and actually hesitate before answering.

“Wow, I’ve never seen anyone give Ma lip like that,” Michael commented, “and get away with it.”

Brian leaned forward on the table, watching Dean with a renewed hunger in his eyes.

“There have been five murders,” Debbie answered, “All male. They were all regulars in here but I didn’t know them that well, just their orders.” She sniffed a little, as if remembering each. “My son,” she paused and pointed at Michael with her pen. “That’s him over there. Wave, Mikey!”

Michael, who had been eavesdropping with Brian and was already turned around in his seat, gave the two fake agents a wave and a sheepish smile.

“Him and his boyfriend Ben knew one of the victims,” Deb continued. “They can tell you more than I can.”

“What about the police?” Sam asked. “You said you were dating a cop? What have they found?”

“Nothing yet. Not sure that man could find his balls if I wasn’t around,” Debbie replied. Lewd seemed to be her color…in addition to all the other colors she sported.

Dean barked out in laughter, and even Sam cracked a smile at that one. The two seemed to be warming up to Debbie pretty quickly.

From the back of the kitchen there was a call of “Order up!”

Deb glanced to the kitchen window, then back to Sam and Dean.

“That’ll be your breakfast. Hey Sunshine! I’m not paying you to sit on your ass!”

Justin, who had just sat down next to Brian to steal a good morning kiss and see what was up, bounced up from the table and rushed to grab their orders. He was there in a flash setting two plates in front of Sam and Dean.

“Here you go,” he said, flashing the two his signature sunny smile.

“This is Justin, he knew one of the other victims,” Debbie said. “Justin, these boys are helping with the investigation.”

“I’m glad someone is,” Justin replied. He grinned at Dean, “So, you two together?” he asked.

“Uh, no,” Dean replied. “Brothers.”

Justin’s smile grew wider, if possible. He seemed rather taken by Dean.

“Need anything else?” Justin asked him. He gestured to Dean’s plate, but only half seemed to be talking about the food.

“Naw, I’m good, thanks,” Dean replied.

“You’re sure there’s nothing else you need?” Justin asked, leaning in over the table. This time the innuendo in his voice was clear as day. The boy licked his lips.

Debbie smacked him in the back of the head.

“Ow! Debbie!”

“In your pants, Sunshine, I ain’t paying you to flirt either,” Debbie said, stepping in. “Why don’t you boys eat and we’ll chat later?”

“Thanks, we’ll do that,” Sam said.

Dean didn’t answer, just stared as Justin gave him a little finger wave and got back to waiting tables.

 

The bell to the diner rang a few minutes later as Sam and Dean were digging into their eggs. Three men walked in, one in a purple see-through shirt and tight orange pants, one dressed in business attire, and one in jeans and a leather jacket not unlike Dean’s own.

All three took the booth with Michael and Brian except for the accountant-looking one, who slid into the booth seat behind Brian and the lycra-clad queen. The leather-jacket professor type slid in next to Michael, greeting him with a kiss.

“So boys, what’s happening?” Emmett asked. The queen motioned to Justin, who brought him over a mug and a steaming pot of freshly brewed coffee. He lingered at the booth much longer than a waiter on duty really should, but the diner was slow for the moment, everyone else topped up and taken care of.

Michael leaned in over the table to answer Em.

“The two guys in the booth over there,” Michael started, gesturing with a flick of his head to Sam and Dean, “They’re here about the murders.”

“They what now?” Emmett replied, keeping his voice low despite his high-pitched twang.

“Ma’s been asking them about it, but they won’t say who they are,” Michael gossiped.

“Hot,” Brian cut in, “That’s all I need to know.”

“Of course you would say that,” Ben said. “Did they say why they were looking into it?” he asked Michael.

Michael shook his head. “Not really. Some load about nobody giving a shit.”

“Well, ain’t that the truth,” Ted spoke up from behind Brian and Emmett. He leaned over the booth to get closer to the conversation.

Justin set down the coffee pot and rubbed his bad hand, shaking it out. “Who cares why?” he said, “Just that somebody is.”

“Amen to that,” Emmett chimed.

“You think Sam is a top or a bottom?” Brian asked. As always, his only interest was in his dick and where he could stick it. “Maybe they’d be up for a foursome.” He wiggled his eyes at Justin. Despite his original interest, relationships were all about compromise, and Justin was obviously smitten. “You can have Dean.”

“They’re brothers,” Michael reminded him.

“That never stopped me before,” Brian replied with a dirty grin.

“Hey, shush, they’re saying something,” Emmett whispered.

The table fell quiet, each straining their ears to hear the quiet conversation from two tables over.

“…rare but they exist,” Dean was saying.

“You think? Not even Dad’s seen one,” Sam replied. He picked at his eggs, seeming concerned. “I mean, there’s lore, and then there’s lore, man.”

“Only thing that makes a shred of sense,” Dean pointed out. He shoved another bite in to his mouth and talked around it. “Just cuz no one’s ever seen one doesn’t mean jack,” he said. “You and I know that better than anyone. We’re like fly paper for this shit.”

“Okay but if it is, we’re going to need to do some serious research,” Sam replied. “We’ve got no idea how to—.”

“Sam,”  Dean said with an edge of warning to his voice.

There was a silent exchange between the two, and Brian caught Sam’s eyes from across the diner. He shot the large man a seductive, first-class Kinney smile and a nod. Sam blushed and dipped his head, looking away.

After that their conversation was too quiet to hear. The table of queers gave up trying to eavesdrop and leaned in as one.

“What the hell was that all about?” Emmett whispered.

“I don’t know,” Michael mused. “They can’t be talking about the murders, that makes no sense.”

“Why the hell don’t you go and ask them?” Brian suggested. “They need to talk to you about the first victim anyway.”

“Good, good. Michael, you and Ben get the scoop and report back to us,” Ted was saying.

“And me, I knew the second victim,” Justin chimed in. “I’ll see what I can find out.”

“Ask them about that other thing while you’re at it,” Brian said, grinning at him.

“You know, you might try showing a little respect,” Michael said, glaring at Brian, “Five people did die right here on Liberty Avenue.”

“And that’s my problem how?” Brian asked.

“It could be you next,” Justin pointed out, “It could be any of us.”

Brian scoffed. “I’m not dumb enough to pick up a murderer,” he said.

“How would you even know?” Justin argued, “I’m just saying it doesn’t hurt to be careful.”

“We could all stand to be a little more careful,” Emmett said. The queen frowned, shoving in another bite of his Spanish omelet and talking around it. “All I can say is this queer’s not taking anyone home until they catch this fucking lunatic.”

“You’re seriously not going to fuck until they catch this guy?” Ted said, doubtful.

“Who said anything about fucking? I’m just gonna make sure it’s in full view of the public eye,” Em replied, “Least then if I get murdered I get to go down in the spotlight.” The queen flashed Ted a cynical smile.

Justin shrugged. “That’s not a bad idea,” he said, looking to Brian, who scoffed.

“I’ll make sure to screen all my tricks very closely,” Brian said, “Happy?”

“Bet you would be if you died fucking,” Michael said angrily, “Just don’t expect me to cry over your cold bloody corpse when you do.”

“There wasn’t any blood,” Brian retorted, “Didn’t you read the news?”

“I bet they were poisoned,” Ted said, “Something untraceable.”

“Maybe we can leave the speculating to the police,” Ben cut in, effectively putting a stop to the morbid conversation.

 

Breakfast ended without further eavesdropping or conspiring. Dean and Sam got up from their booth and walked over. Dean had his hands casually stuffed in his pockets and seemed a hell of a lot more relaxed than his brother, who stood ramrod straight behind him.

“So, word is you knew some of the victims,” Dean said in greeting. He flashed a bright smile around the table, seeming to know exactly what it was doing to the men gathered around it. “I’m Dean, this is Sam. We’re looking into the murders. But you already knew that.” He pinned Brian with a look and a knowing smile. “Thanks, but we’ll pass on the foursome,” he said.

Ben choked on his coffee, and Michael’s mouth dropped open. Emmett just laughed, loud and gleeful with his head thrown back. Ted looked a little guilty. Brian looked like…well, how Brian Kinney usually looked—cocky with a few layers of cynicism. 

“Suit yourself,” Brian replied. “We could always divide it in half.” He gave Sam a heated look filled with everything he wanted to do to the larger man. “How about it, Sammy?”

“It’s Sam,” Sam replied curtly, “And I’m not interested.”

“That’s what they all say sweetheart,” Emmett replied. “Brian, knock it off before you scare him back into the closet.”

“I’m not—” Sam grunted, frustrated. “Whatever. Doesn’t matter. We’re here about the murders.”

“I’ve got to get to the office anyway,” Brian said. “Scoot, Honeycutt.”

Emmett let him out of the booth, and Ted took the open seat.

“See you around, Sammy,” Brian said, shooting Sam a smile before striding away.

“It’s Sam!” the younger Winchester corrected again, sounding annoyed.

But Brian wasn’t listening. He was too busy sticking his tongue down the blond waiter—Justin’s—throat before heading out.

“Well, he certainly gets around,” Dean commented, watching as Brian exited the diner. His gaze had a low cast to it, if Sam wasn’t mistaken.

“You have no idea,” replied the man sitting next to Michael. He held out his hand in introduction. “Ben, I’m Michael’s boyfriend. I knew the first victim.”

“So did I,” Michael cut in. “He was a regular at my store. Um…comic book store.”

“Cool,” Sam replied. “So what can you tell us about him?”

Justin floated back around with the coffee pot, sitting down in the booth next to them and listening in.

“He was quiet, a little awkward,” Ben replied. “He was a student of mine. Smart kid.”

“You teach?” Sam asked.

“Professor of Gay Studies at Carnegie Mellon,” Ben replied.

“Oh, a professor,” Dean said, raising his eyebrows. “So what else can you tell us?”

“That’s it, I’m afraid. I didn’t know him that well. He was new to the life, I think.”

“So easy prey then,” Dean concluded. Sam elbowed him hard. “Ow! What? It’s the truth.”

“What about the other victim?” Sam asked.

“He used to be a dancer at Babylon,” Justin answered, “That’s a club down the street. He was definitely not easy prey—he was really into martial arts.” Justin grinned. “And purple nurples. Good guy. I did him once.”

“Uhuh, so… anything you can think that would connect Boy Wonder and the Karate Kid?” Dean asked.

“Nothing that I know of,” Michael said, shaking his head.

“They were all single and gay,” Ted said curtly. “How’s that for a profile? And I mean that about all of the victims. Guys three and four were regulars at Woody’s. One was a drag queen, one was just your average Joe Schmo, worked in an office or something. Five was a pretty well-known Bear, did some light S&M work on the side.” Ted stopped when he noticed everyone staring at him. “What? I read Out.”

“So other than being gay and single, is there anything else they had in common? Like…shopped at the same Wal-Mart or something?” Dean asked.

“You mean the Big Q?” Michael corrected. “Um…no, I don’t think so. Ted?”

Ted shook his head.

“I think I saw a couple of them in the baths once or twice,” he said.

“I made out with guy number three at Pride last year,” Emmett cut in, raising his hand.

“Pretty sure Brian did numbers two through four,” Justin offered.

“Thanks, that’s, uh…helpful,” Dean said. He looked down at his notepad, which he hadn’t written on for a number of minutes.

“They were all regulars on Liberty Ave,” Ben summarized. “Locals, lived here a while apart from the first victim, all very into the bar and club scenes.”

“Thanks, that does help,” Sam said, jotting it down.

Dean dug around in his jacket and came out with the card for their motel.

“Here, if you think of anything else, give that number a call. We’re in room 43. Under the name John Deacon.”

“Oh, because that sounds legal,” Michael muttered as Dean held out the card.

Dean pulled it back just as Justin, Emmett and Ted all tried to snatch it from him at the same time and handed it instead to Ben, who seemed to be the most reasonable and least horny of the group.

“See ya, fellas,” Dean said, flashing them all a grade-A Winchester smile. He grabbed his box of lemon bars from the counter on the way to the door.

“Thanks,” Sam said.

Sam rushed after his brother, and the bell rang to announce their exit.

As soon as they were gone, the group bent their heads together.

“WOW,” Em said, fanning himself. “I could tell you about thirty different things I’d like to do to both of them. Together.”

“Tell me about it,” Ted said. “How big do you think Sam is? Ten inches? Eleven? He can’t be a twelve, that’s not humanly possible.”

“I don’t know, he’s pretty tall,” Michael pointed out.

“My money’s on micro-penis,” Justin said, grinning. “That’s a pretty big stick up his ass.”

“I’d like to stick it up his ass,” Ted replied.

Micro-penis,” Justin whispered, floating away to man his customers.

Ben turned the card around in his fingers and then slipped it into his pocket.

“Well, I’ve got to get to class. I’m sure we’ll see those two around.” He stood and bent down to give Michael a quick kiss goodbye. “Thanks for breakfast, Debbie,” he called on his way to the door.

“See you tonight, Hon!” Deb called back.

She floated over to the table with a hand on her hip and a coffee pot in the other, and Michael had to wonder how she had kept her nose out of the conversation for this long.

“Well? Don’t keep me in suspense. What happened?” Deb asked.

“Jeez Ma, would it kill you not to know something?” Michael complained. Debbie reached across the table to slap him upside the head, sloshing coffee over the rim of the pot and onto the seat where Ben had sat just a few minutes ago.

“Drop the attitude and answer your mother,” Debbie ordered.

Michael did so, rubbing the sore spot on the back of his head.

 


 

Sam and Dean split up after breakfast, Sam to the library to do some research and Dean to track down what he could about the victims at the coroner’s office. They agreed to meet up at the diner for lunch or when they finished, whichever came first.

Which is how Dean came to be at the diner alone long after the lunch rush. According to Sam’s text, he was still hitting the books hard. Dean texted him what he’d found out at the coroner’s, namely that all the victims had died in back alleys after eyewitness accounts saw them taking someone home for the night. There wasn’t anything to be found in the coroner’s reports to suggest foul play, however, and the cops were scratching their heads.

‘Definitely sounds like an Incubus,’ Sam texted back, ‘Matches the MO in the lore.’

‘So how do we gank it?’

‘No idea. I’ll keep looking. Try Bobby.’

Dean sighed and dialed the man in question. He got voicemail and left a brief message.

“Hey, Bobby, think we’ve got an incubus in Pittsburgh,” Dean said, making sure to keep his voice low. Too many wandering ears in this place. “Sam and I are trying to figure out how to track it down and kill it. Anything you’ve got would be a big help, man.”

He hung up. Bobby wasn’t one for misty-eyed goodbyes. That and the man liked his messages short and to the point. The fact he received about a hundred a day from hunters all over the country was most likely the reasoning behind it.

Dean fiddled with his phone and picked at his fries, which had long since turned cold. He ordered another coffee from the blond waiter, Justin, who kept tossing him looks and smiling brightly whenever Dean looked up.

“Can I get you anything else?” Justin asked, for perhaps the seventeenth time that day. Dean gave him a tight smile.

“Just the java, thanks.”

Justin pouted a little and poured the drink, finally getting the hint and strutting away to a table of guys a few booths down. Dean took a long drink of the hot beverage and watched him out of the corner of his eye. He was cute but far too young for Dean’s tastes. That guy Brian on the other hand…

Dean let his mind wander down that road for a long minute while he sipped his coffee, motioning for a refill when he reached the bottom. He had a feeling him and Sam would be hitting the town tonight, and he was going to need every drop of caffeine he could get.

 


 

It turned out Dean was only half right. He was hitting the town—singular. Sam was still holed up doing research, leaving the legwork to Dean. Dean suspected that was just a bad excuse to get out of barhopping on Liberty Ave. Sam might not be into this job, but it was quickly turning into one of Dean’s favorites.

Technically Dean was out to do recon on their BIG &BAD, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy himself while he was at it.

From what he picked up eavesdropping at the diner, the two most popular places to be on Liberty Ave past sunset was the bar Woody’s and the club Babylon. The baths also seemed popular, but Dean didn’t want to be naked if he happened to run into their incubus. Besides, from what he could gather, all of the victims had been at one of the two aforementioned hotspots on the nights they were murdered.

Dean decided to start at the bar, grab a drink and see where the night took him. Maybe he could hustle a few men at pool while he was at it, maybe he would just hustle them out of their pants. It was a night of possibilities.

Dean hopped up the steps to the bar feeling good. It wasn’t often that their work brought them to such a liberal town and Dean didn’t get the chance to exercise this side of himself nearly enough. Most of America was still back-country conservative—not that he had anything against that considering how loose small-town girls could be, but Dean liked the freedom of riding both sides of the fence.

Part of Dean wished he had a wing-man for the evening to spice things up. If he thought he could persuade Cas to join him he might have tried, but he doubted he could outline a convincing lie without giving away the real reason he wanted Cas at his side tonight. Still, dreamers could dream.

Inside the bar the crowd was a little thin, normal for this time of the night. It was barely past seven and most Tuesday night bar goers were most likely still at home applying their eyeliner and shimmying into pants that were two sizes too small.

 

There was, however, one familiar face about the joint.

 

Brian Kinney, as ever, made sure he had a good view of the door so that he could spot all the hotties that came through it. He was camped out at the bar, leaning against it rather than sitting of course—because who in their right mind sat at the bar besides poor pathetic assholes—sipping a glass of whiskey almost as fine as he rated himself. Or the man who had just walked in.

Brian pushed off the bar and strode up to Dean, drink in hand.

“Well, look who it is,” Brian greeted with a grin. “Dean, right?”

“That’s right,” Dean replied. He flashed Brian a lopsided smile. “We met at the diner earlier.”

“I’m Brian,” said man introduced. He leaned in closer. “Where’s your other half?” he asked.

“Sammy? He’s at the motel working the case,” Dean said. “Technically, so am I.”

“That’s too bad,” Brian said, grinning at him, “I was hoping to buy you a drink.”

“Hey, I have nothing against mixing a little business with pleasure,” Dean replied easily. “I’ll have whatever you’re having.”

They moved to the bar and Brian motioned to the bartender for another drink. His status around the joint was well-known, and from what Dean had picked up from the gossipers about town…Brian Kinney was the King of Liberty Ave in more ways than one.

Dean sure knew how to pick ‘em.

When Brian handed him the drink, his fingers lingered far longer than necessary. Dean took a long swallow of whiskey, keeping eye contact. The silent flirting—and not so silent—was easy and unencumbered by hows and whys and what-ifs. It didn’t take long for Dean to feel completely comfortable in Brian’s company, plied with good whiskey and a man cut from the same block as he was.

Dean found he liked Brian—liked his relaxed approach to life, his ‘carpe the fuck out of this diem’ attitude. They were a lot alike in that way. For once Dean felt like maybe his life wasn’t so bad if it had brought him here.

“Care for a game of pool?” Brian suggested well into their third glass.

Dean was just starting to feel that nice warm glow under his cheeks and in the center of his chest. There was a pretty good glow coming from further down as well which he was tempted to do something about as soon as possible, but he could learn a lot about Brian from a game of pool.

“Sure, sounds good to me,” Dean replied easily. He grinned. “Twenty bucks says I beat you though.”

“Oh I don’t play for money,” Brian said, picking up the cue. The thinly veiled innuendo as he rubbed blue chalk over its tip was enough to have Dean licking his lips in anticipation.

“Yeah? Then what do you play for?” he asked, walking straight into the trap with arms open wide.

Brian grinned at him and set down the chalk.

“You’ll find that out when I win,” he replied.

“Fine by me. Solids or stripes?”

“Stripes.”

Oh, they were going to get along just fine. Not that they weren’t already. Dean was a sworn-by solids man himself.

But that didn’t mean he was going to make it easy for Kinney. Dean had his reputation to uphold after all.

 

Three games in and sixty bucks richer, Dean finally let him win.

 

“Next round is on me,” Dean said, setting down the cue. The bar was starting to get busier at this point—they had been playing for a while.

“Hold on, I haven’t claimed my prize,” Brian said.

Before Dean could ask him what it was, Brian grabbed him by the front of his black tee and pulled him in for a kiss.

Oh. Oh yeah. He was a good kisser. But then, so was Dean. He licked into Brian’s mouth, opening his a little wider and pushing his lips flush and firm to Brian’s. His hand raised to brace against the back of Brian’s head, his fingers scrunching at the soft, silky hair.

Brian backed him into a column and kissed him harder, ruffling up Dean’s shirt and pressing his whole body against his front.

Brian ended the kiss almost as quickly as he had started it, detaching from Dean’s lips with a loud smack. Dean breathed heavily and stared at him with smoky green eyes, noting how dilated Brian’s own were.

Oh yeah, he was going to bed happy tonight.

“Why don’t we get out of here,” Brian suggested.

“Hell yes,” Dean replied. Hey, in work like theirs, there wasn’t time to beat around the bush.

They tumbled out of the bar laughing and a little drunk from the whiskey. Dean felt good—better than he’d felt in a long while. He was going home with a gorgeous man—a man who didn’t seem to mind at all that he’d been hustled out of a good chunk of cash.

“I’m parked down the road,” Dean said. He tugged Brian forward by his shirt. Brian slapped his hand away with a little scoff.

“Who said you were driving?” Brian asked, “We’re going to my loft.”

“I don’t leave my baby behind for anyone,” Dean told him, “Even you.”

“Fine,” Brian said, rolling his eyes. “Let’s just go already.”

He walked with Dean with an arm slung around the man’s neck, stumbling every now and then and snorting in laughter when he did.

“Dude, you are wasted,” Dean said, pulling him up by the shirt as he stumbled again.

“Who the fuck says dude anymore?” Brian shot back, laughing at him.

When they reached the car, Brian froze.

“You’re kidding, this is your car?” Brian’s eyes widened and his jaw hung a little slack at the sight of the ’67 Chevy.

Dean watched him in obvious self-satisfaction.

“Now you know why she comes first,” Dean said.

Brian rolled his eyes. “Kindly do not refer to your car as a woman,” he said, “It’s a total turn-off.”

He backed Dean up against the side of the Impala, covering his mouth and slipping his tongue past Dean’s lips. He rocked against Dean’s front, grabbing his cock through his jeans and giving it a light but firm squeeze.

Dean made a little noise in his mouth that asked for more, so Brian gave it to him. He reached for the button to Dean’s pants.

 

Of course that’s when things went pear-shaped.

 

A muffled scream came from the alleyway behind them. The two froze and Dean caught Brian’s hands away from the front of his pants.

Another smothered cry echoed in the street.

“Shit!”

Dean pushed Brian away and rushed around the back of the car to the trunk. Brian followed him, watching as Dean opened it with quick, efficient movements. His eyes widened as he saw the arsenal in Dean’s trunk.

“What the fuck?” he said with a nervous laugh.

Dean grabbed a sawed-off shotgun and a handful of salt rounds which he stuffed into jacket pocket. He already had his hunting knife and handgun tucked into the waistband of his pants.

“Go, get out of here,” Dean told Brian, jerking his head toward the bright flashing lights that was Liberty Ave proper.

“No fucking way,” Brian shot back, following him.

Dean cursed and whirled back around.

“I mean it! Get lost!”

Kinney opened his mouth to argue with him when the scream came again.

Shit!” Dean cursed and ran, Brian hot at his heels, but he didn’t have time to convince the stubborn prick not to follow him.

Dean rounded the corner to see a bare-chested, muscular-built man smothering a smaller-framed man with a kiss. There was a clawed hand wrapped around the man’s neck, and he seemed to be flailing pitifully against the larger man’s assault. He was getting weaker by the second, as a blue light illuminated his cheeks from the inside of his mouth.

The incubus was feeding on the man’s soul.

Dean raised the shotgun and fired two rounds into the creature’s head.

It didn’t do much more than get the thing’s attention. With paranormal speed, the thing’s head whirled to face him, dropping its victim who slid down to the ground crumpled against the wall. It started for Dean, a hungry look in its eyes.

Dean tossed the shotgun and drew his handgun next, emptying off a full clip into the thing. Still no effect, except that now it looked royally pissed off. Finally Dean drew his knife, holding it firmly in hand as he faced off against the creature. Maybe a blade through the heart would do the trick.

Brian stood off to his side, frozen in shock. Dean moved directly in front of him to block him from the demon’s sight. The last thing Dean wanted was another fatality tonight.

“What the fuck—what is that thing!?” Brian said from behind him.

Dean whipped his head around briefly.

“Get the hell out of here!” he snapped.

But Brian didn’t and Dean cursed again, turning back to face the creature. He didn’t have time for this shit.

“Come on, you ugly bastard,” Dean growled, adjusting his grip on the knife.

The incubus let out a snarl and rushed him. Dean slashed at its throat with his silver-bladed hunter’s knife, dancing back out of reach of its claws. The creature stopped and held a hand to its bleeding throat, letting out a strangled gurgle. Dean thought for sure the fight was over until he saw a blue light seep out from under the thing’s hand. When it dropped away, its neck was healed.

“Shit,” Dean swore. Silver knives and bullets and rock salt had no effect on this thing. “Shit. Shit. Shit.” He was incubus meat. They both were. “Run!” he yelled, turning and grabbing Brian by the shirt as the creature rushed them.

The two flew around the corner of the alley, racing down another dark side street. The incubus was right behind them and gaining. Dean dug his phone out of his pocket as he ran, hitting his brother on speed dial. He cursed when it went to voicemail.

Damnit Sam! I found the incubus. Silver and salt have no effect.” Dean kept running, panting into the receiver as they turned down yet another back alley. “I have no idea where I am but I really hope I’m not dead by the time you get this. Could really use some backup, man.”

He snapped the phone closed and kept running, willing his brain to think. There had to be some way to kill this thing.

Nothing came to mind, however—he was dealing with a whole new show here. Dean could hear Brian breathing heavily behind him.

They had just turned down another alley when it happened—they hit a dead end.

“Fuck!” Dean hit the wall with his fists, the hilt of the knife he still held pounding into the brick hard enough to chip away a piece of it. Beside him, Brian was doing the same, slapping at the wall in frustration. He caught Dean’s eyes and when they did they were wide with fear.

Dean whirled around, back to the wall. He wasn’t going down without a fight. He still hadn’t tried stabbing it in the heart yet.

The creature, knowing they were cornered, slowed to a saunter, swinging its well-defined hip bones as it stalked ever closer.

“Well now, this is a treat, even for me,” it said, grinning at them, “Two lovely morsels I can suck on all night long.” The monster drew out the last few words in gleeful pleasure, eyes darting between the two of them.

“What the fuck?” Brian blurted, eyes going wide.

“Told you man, you should have run when I said,” Dean told him. The look he shot Brian was grim.

“Problem is, who to eat first?” the creature pondered aloud. “The hunter is feisty, but the slut looks oh so delectable.”

“Oh, I’m not going down so easily there, ugly,” Dean goaded, stepping into a defensive stance, “I promise to give you the worst indigestion of your life. You’re gonna have to drink a gallon of Pepto to keep me down at all.”

That’s right, keep it talking. Maybe Sam will have gotten his message by now and was on his way. Best case scenario he knew how to kill this thing. Worse case he was passed out on a pile of old books in the motel room and Dean was on his own with nothing but his wits and the creature-equivalent of a toothpick.

The creature in question leered at him, then rushed him so quickly Dean barely had time to blink let alone raise the knife. He felt his back slam against the brick behind him and heard the clatter of the knife as it dropped to the pavement.

The Incubus had Dean by the throat, and was leaning closer.

Dean caught Brian’s eyes and tried his hardest to form words around the hand crushing his vocal chords.

Run!

The creature loomed closer.

Brian rushed for the knife, gripping it and then plunging it into the creature’s back. He stumbled back, eyes wide as if he couldn’t believe what he’d just done.

The creature merely turned its head and hissed at him. Then it bent a long arm behind its back and pulled out the knife. Before Dean could warn him, the incubus flung it at Brian.

Brian went down with a cry, the knife lodged just above his knee. He held his leg, wincing in pain as he attempted to stand but couldn’t. Dean watched utterly helpless as his date for the night fell to his knees in the dark alleyway, unable to flee.

“I will be with you in a moment, but first I must take care of this pest,” the Incubus growled.

Dean struggled in its grip to no avail. The creature was strong—far stronger than him. Its face turned back to him, its lips moving closer. Dean tried to turn his head away but the creature’s fingers at his jaw kept him from moving. It opened its mouth, and in the back of its throat, Dean could see a blue light.

Then the thing was on him, lips sucking at his and a feeling like a vacuum bloomed in Dean’s chest.

He struggled harder, giving it all he had. The thing was going to kill him.

His knee came up to meet the creature’s groin almost out of instinct.

It dropped him immediately, doubling over and stumbling back. Huh, but Dean hadn’t expected that to work. It had been a pretty desperate move.

He slumped and hit the pavement like a limp sack, all the energy sapped from his limbs. A heavy weight crashed over him and he stared bleary-eyes into the bright light pollution that was the Pittsburg sky.

Brian was suddenly over him, one hand on his face and running through his hair. The other, Dean supposed, was holding his bloody leg.

“Hey, hey! Don’t you fucking die on me,” Brian was saying, but the world was already slipping away from him.

The last thing Dean thought to do was call for help.

“Cas. Castiel,” Dean croaked, just before the world faded to black.

 

The incubus was starting to recover from being kicked in the junk. Brian Kinney was holding his bleeding leg and trying to figure out through the sharp pain what the fuck to do when a man in a long tan trench coat suddenly appeared in the alleyway.

There was a sound like rustling wings, a bright white light, and a high-pitched scream. When the light faded, Kinney saw the body of the creature that had attacked them crumple to the pavement, dead.

The man in the trench coat caught his eyes, then knelt down next to Dean. Brian put two and two together and scooted back, giving him room to work.

The man placed a hand over Dean’s brow and closed his eyes.

Oh fuck, his chest isn’t moving.

Brian had barely finished the thought when suddenly Dean heaved upward in a deep inhale.

Good. That was good. He wasn’t dead.

The relief that hit him brought a wave of dizziness along with it. Brian Kinney closed his eyes against the pain in his leg and slumped forward as unconsciousness claimed him.

 

“Dean. Dean, are you alright?”

Dean’s eyes fluttered open to a wide brow pinched together under a frock of messy brown hair. Pale lips were pressed into a thin line of concern—close enough to cause his heart to stutter.

“Cas?” Dean forced out past the pounding in his head and the soreness of his throat. “Am I alive?”

It was a legit question for the angel. For all he knew, Dean could be dead and in heaven. Waking up to Cas’s lips hovering above him was certainly on his list of acceptable afterlives.

“Yes, it seems I answered your call for help just in time,” Cas replied. He helped Dean into a sitting position.

“The incubus?”

“Dead.”

Cas moved aside so that Dean could see for himself. The creature’s eyes were burned out of its skull.

“Good,” Dean grunted. “Shit. Brian!”

Suddenly remembering his date for the night, Dean cast about the dim alleyway. Brian was slumped face down against the pavement, looking pale and not moving. Dean gripped Cas by the arm and tried to stand but a wave of dizziness overtook him.

“See if he’s okay,” Dean gasped, waiting for the nausea to pass. Damn, but that must have been some hit if even Cas’s mojo wasn’t enough to fully heal him on the first go.

“He’s fine, just unconscious,” Cas said. He rolled Brian onto his back and checked him for wounds. He saw the obvious—the knife jutting out from Brian’s leg—and pulled it out slowly. Dean watched—awed, as always—as Cas then placed a hand to Brian’s forehead and closed his eyes.

Brian came awake with a gasp, clutching at the first thing available, which happened to be Cas’s hand.

“Hey there, gorgeous,” he greeted with a pained smile. Cas leaned back and helped him sit up. “Dean!” Brian blurted, eyes widening when he saw that Dean was okay. His eyes flitted to the dead creature slumped in the middle of the alley and then to Cas, who still knelt next to him. “What the hell happened? What was that thing?” he demanded.

“Trust me, you don’t want to know,” Dean said. He winced and rose to his feet, taking it slow this time. Cas helped Brian to his and then was at Dean’s elbow in a flurry of wings when he noticed Dean sway a little. “I’m good, Cas.”

Cas let him go and he swayed again. Damn.

“You do not look ‘good’,” Cas replied, placing a hand at Dean’s back to steady him.

Dean laughed.

“I always look good,” he replied. He swallowed painfully around his swollen throat. “Could use another dose of angel juice though,” he said, “And a drink.”

“Yes, of course,” Cas said. He touched a hand to Dean’s cheek. Dean closed his eyes, taking a deep breath of relief as the pain washed away.

“Thanks,” he croaked, eyes fluttering open.

Cas shot him a brief, weary smile.

“It was too close a call tonight,” the angel said.

“Yeah,” Dean replied, taking another deep breath, “Yeah it was.”

Brian stepped closer, interrupting their moment.

“I could use a drink too,” he said with a wry grin.

 

They headed back to Woody’s. Dean was feeling a lot better for having almost died. Cas was still hovering by his side, but there was no way Dean was complaining about it. He dug his phone out of his pocket and called Sam to give him the update. This time his brother answered on the first ring.

“Dean! Are you okay?” Sam’s worried voice was a welcome sound tonight.

“I’m fine, and the job is done,” Dean replied. “Cas showed up. We’re headed back to Woody’s for a drink if you want to join us.”

“Yeah, okay, sounds good. I’ll see you soon. And Dean?”

“Yeah?”

“I’m glad you’re okay, man.”

“Thanks, Sammy,” Dean replied. And then, because he was Dean and he couldn’t stand these sorts of chick-flick moments, “Jeez Sam, one day in this town and you’re already gay for me.”

There was an outraged sound on the other line just before the call cut out.

 

Dean laughed and slipped his phone back into his pocket. Teasing his little brother never got old.

 

The rest of the gang was there when they arrived at Woody’s—Justin, Michael and Ben, Emmett and Ted. Debbie was missing, probably on a hetero date on some boring hetero street downtown with Karl, her new flame. Brian for once wished she was here. After his near run-in with death, he could use one of those mom hugs. He’d never admit it, though.

“Brian!” Justin’s enthusiastic greeting and bright, sunny smile were perhaps the next best thing. Brian closed the short distance of the bar in a few quick steps and leaned down to kiss the blond deeply.

Justin looked a little surprised by the heat of the kiss when he pulled back.

“Wow. That was…” Justin licked his lips, his eyes lit with arousal but sensing that something was off. “Did something happen?” he asked.

“It’s nothing,” Brian answered, dipping down again, “I’m just happy to see you.”

Justin pulled back, placing a hand on his chest to stop the kiss.

“You’re never just ‘happy to see me’,” the blond replied, “Or at least you would never admit it.”

“First time for everything,” Brian said. “Now will you shut up and kiss me already?”

Justin gave him a look but allowed Brian to capture his lips. He let out a little “mmph,” sound as Brian placed both hands over his ass and pulled him closer.

 

Dean grinned at the happy couple and decided he needed a drink. He took Cas by the elbow and led him over to the bar to help. They came back a few minutes later carrying shots.

“Dean! Who’s your friend?” Emmett asked. He took the small glass from between Castiel’s fingers and shot the angel a honeyed grin. “You look like you fell down from heaven, gorgeous,” Em flirted.

“Actually, I flew—” Castiel began.

“This is Cas,” Dean interrupted before Cas could say any more.

“Well damn, let the poor man speak for himself,” Emmett said, sipping at the shot. “Especially with a voice like that. Besides, it’s not like he’s got his mouth full.” The queen grinned and made eyes at Cas.

Cas looked at Dean. He seemed confused.

“He is right, Dean. There is nothing in my mouth.”

“Cas—” Dean started. He stopped and shook his head. He was not explaining this to the angel. Not here, not tonight, not ever. Dean cleared his throat. “Uh, Cas this is…” Dean went around the circle, introducing everyone.

“Nice to meet you,” Ben said, holding out his hand. Cas shook it firmly.

“What’s with the shots? Are we celebrating?” Michael asked.

“That’s right,” Brian said, “Dean here caught the killer.”

Dean let out a short laugh. “That’s not what happened.”

“Wait, what!?” Ted blurted, “Then what did happen?”

“I believe I was the one who actually stopped the murderer,” Castiel cut in.

“What are you, an undercover cop?” Emmett asked.

“No, I’m a—”

“Detective. He’s a detective,” Dean cut in. He shot Cas a look and received a confused squint in return.

“Oh, a detective,” Emmett chimed. “So much hotter than just a cop.”

Brian laughed. “Right, if he’s a cop then I’m a fucking saint,” he said.

Michael wasn’t having any of it. He grabbed Brian by the lapel of his coat.

“What the hell happened!?” he demanded. It was that Novotny nose of his—he could smell trouble from miles away just like his mother.

“It’s fine, Mikey, let it go,” Brian said.

“Like hell I will,” Mike replied. “What if you got hurt? Or worse—killed!”

“Or worse—old,” Brian joked.

“I mean it, Bri,” Michael said, his voice dropping. He let go of Brian’s jacket. “At least tell me what the hell happened so I can stop worrying about it?”

“Let’s just say that son of a bitch won’t be killing anyone again and leave it at that,” Dean cut in.

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Brian said.

Dean raised his glass in the air for a toast. “To life, sex, and tequila!”

“Amen!” Emmett chimed, clinking his glass against Cas’s. Dean nearly snorted his tequila at the irony but managed to keep it down. The rest of the group clinked glasses, tequila spilling over the rims of the small glasses as they did, and then knocked them back with a toss of the head.

Dean grinned as he watched Cas down his shot with a grimace and then look at the empty glass as though it had offended him.

“That tastes horrible,” the angel said.

Dean took him by the arm and pulled him toward the bar.

“Hey, thanks for your help tonight,” Dean said softly.

And it might have been the alcohol rushing to his head or the close brush with death—or maybe something about where they were—but he felt a light blush rise across the bridge of his nose.

“It was no trouble,” Castiel replied. “I wish I had arrived sooner to help that poor man.”

“Yeah, same here.” Dean looked down between them, feeling the loss of another innocent no-name whose friends and family would never know what had happened to him.

“I should go,” Cas said.

Dean looked up into deep blue eyes, and all he really wanted in that moment was—

He grabbed Cas by the sleeve of his coat.

“Hey. Stay. Just for a little while.”

Cas considered him for a long moment, then nodded slightly.

“Okay.”

They were standing close. Close enough for Dean to feel the warmth of Cas’s body radiating off of him. He stared into blue eyes and thought, what the hell. He had almost died tonight. Might as well go for broke.

Dean slipped a hand behind Cas’s head and leaned in to press his lips against his.

He pulled away after a couple rapid-fire beats of his heart. Castiel’s eyes were wide and he looked a little surprised. Dean laughed nervously when he didn’t move.

“Cas? Say something, man,” Dean croaked. He searched those blue eyes feeling strangely vulnerable.

Cas blinked and seemed to come back to himself.

“I didn’t…realize you considered me in that way,” Cas said.

Dean bit his lip and looked at the ground between them, hiding the blush that painted his face.

“Yeah, well…I do,” Dean replied. “Sorry, I should have asked if you, uh…”

“It…is not something I had considered,” Castiel said.

“Right,” Dean said curtly. Well, that was that then. He continued to stare at the ground, unwilling and unable to look up at Cas.

“Dean, I did not mean that as a rejection,” Castiel said gently.

“Huh?”

Now Dean did look up. Cas’s eyes were soft and blue and clear as water rushing down a mountain stream. His lips were parted a little, and he was looking at Dean’s like—oh. Like that.

Dean grabbed him about the ears and pulled him in for another kiss.

Cas responded eagerly this time, trapping Dean’s bottom lip between his and then opening them to allow Dean to slip his tongue inside. For someone with such a wide mouth, his kisses were short and shallow, like he couldn’t seem to get the rhythm down. That was fine—Dean led him eagerly, his thumbs rubbing tiny circles at his hairline. Cas’s hands were suddenly at his waist, pulling him in flush to his body. Dean looped an arm around him to anchor them together.

Dean felt a warm glow in his chest and then a sense of grandness filled the bar. He pulled back instantly when he realized what it was.

Cas, in this unguarded moment, had unfurled his wings in the small expanse of the bar. Though invisible, anyone paying an ounce of attention would be able to sense them.

“Cas!” Dean whispered shrilly, a warning to his voice.

Cas blinked and realized what had happened. The wings folded back under his shoulder blades instantly and the sense of expansiveness in the room vanished.

Dean breathed a sigh of relief.

“Jesus, Cas, are you trying to give me a heart attack?” Dean asked.

“Sorry,” Cas replied. He seemed ashamed of his blunder. “I did not mean to.”

“It’s okay,” Dean breathed. “I don’t think anyone noticed.”

Dean looked back to the group of gays they were there with and caught a certain someone staring at them.

Shit. Someone had noticed.

 

Brian Kinney took the shot of tequila like he took his men in the back room at Babylon—quick and wet and dirty. He smacked his lips and relished the burn of the alcohol down his throat, rinsing away the lingering tension from his near-brush with death. He had an arm slung around Justin and felt strangely alive. And aroused.

His eyes trailed after Dean and Cas as they broke away from the group for what looked like a private conversation. They seemed to be having a bit of a moment. It seemed whatever chance Brian had with Dean had passed.

Brian ran over the events in the alley for the umpteenth time. He’d been a little drunk when they went after the thing in the alley, but not that far gone. He hadn’t even popped any pills tonight, so he knew he wasn’t tripping, unless Dean had slipped something into his drink and he really didn’t seem the type.

The thing in the alley had nearly killed him. Killed the both of them. Until that man—was he a man?—Cas arrived to save the day. No, not arrived, appeared out of thin air.

Brian remembered the bright white light that had lit the inside of the creatures skull before it dropped lifeless to the pavement. Castiel had healed the knife wound in Brian’s leg with a touch—had practically brought Dean back to life. How had he done all that?

Brian watched the pair of them from across the bar, watched as their heads bent in low together, and then he grinned as Dean slipped a hand behind Cas’s head and went in for a kiss.

He had felt the attraction between them back in the alley, had felt Dean’s interest in him shrivel up into the crisp Pittsburgh air. That was fine. Brian was perfectly happy going home with Justin tonight—he just would never admit it.

There was trouble in paradise, though, by the looks of things. Dean looked embarrassed, and Cas seemed a bit shocked by his advances. Perhaps Dean would need some comforting after all.

Then they were kissing again in that way where everything else on the planet just drops away. Hey, he might be a cynical old slut, but even he knows love when he sees it. He’ll never admit that to anyone either.

There was a prickle in the air. Everyone else in the bar was far too drunk or distracted to notice, but Brian felt it. Something…emerged from the back of Cas’s trench coat and filled the bar. Something…inhuman and powerful. Brian couldn’t see it, but he sure as hell could feel it there, just beyond physical sight.

Dean jerked back and said something, and then the feeling in the room abruptly vanished. Cas looked like he was apologizing and Dean looked around to make sure no one had noticed. He caught Brian’s eyes and they widened in alarm.

Brian wasn’t sure what had just happened, but he had just witnessed perhaps the sixteenth strange thing that night and this time he was getting some fucking answers. He strode over to where Dean and Cas were standing, Dean looking nervous as hell and Cas looking a little guilty.

“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Brian said when he stopped before them. “I am buying us another round of drinks, and then you are going to tell me what the fuck is going on.”

Dean caught his breath and seemed to consider the offer.

“Okay, fair enough,” he said, relenting.

 

Dean had barely gotten the drink up to his lips before Brian pounced.

“What the hell are you?” he asked Castiel, who blinked at him in surprise. He had refused the bribe of alcohol in lieu of a glass of water.

Cas looked to Dean, who nodded, signaling to him that it was okay to tell Brian the truth.

“I am an angel of the Lord,” Castiel answered him.

Brian nearly choked on his drink.

“You’re joking, right?” Brian scoffed, staring at him skeptically. Cas just stared back at him, not saying a word. “Jesus fucking Christ, you’re not joking.” Brian took a large swig of whisky. He screwed his eyes shut and placed a finger over his lips as the alcohol burned down his throat.

“There’s just one thing I don’t get,” Brian said when the burn subsided. “If you’re a goddamn angel of the lord then what the fuck are you doing in Pittsburgh?”

“I came because I was needed,” Castiel replied simply.

“Because he called you, you mean,” Brian snapped, “I guess the fact he wants to fuck you is just a funny coincidence.”

“It is true that I am tasked to watch over Dean,” Castiel admitted, “I assure you that is the only reason.”

There was a flash of anger in Brian’s eyes. Dean saw it coming, that reaction of raw fury that God existed and yet hadn’t done a damn thing to deserve the title.

Dean placed a hand on Brian’s shoulder to stop him.

“Brian,” Dean started, an edge of warning in his voice.

“Fuck you, and fuck your God,” Brian said angrily, shrugging off Dean’s hand and stepping up to get right in Cas’s face. “Why didn’t anyone show up when I needed help, huh? What, a bunch of fags don’t deserve his love and protection?”

“Knock it off,” Dean said, but it seemed Cas had things under control.

The angel raised a hand and looked directly into Brian’s eyes.

“My Father is not your mother’s God,” Castiel said simply, “He does not judge those based on sexual orientation, nor does he exact punishment down upon them.”

Brian’s face hardened instantly. There seemed to be a then why question at the tip of his tongue.

“It is…regrettable at times, but he chooses not to interfere in the lives and actions of man,” Cas continued. The angel cast his eyes to the floor. “I do not always agree with that choice.”

“Well if that’s how you feel, perhaps you wouldn’t mind proving it,” Brian goaded him, but much of the tension in his voice and in the line of his jaw had disappeared.

“If it is within my power, then no, I do not mind,” Cas replied, looking back up at him.

Brian blinked, seeming taken aback by his answer. Perhaps he hadn’t thought Cas would say yes. He stared at the angel, the anger in his eyes leaking away into raw emotion. He seemed to be considering something very seriously.

“You can heal people with a touch, is that how it works?” he asked after a long moment.

Cas looked a little uncomfortable, but he nodded anyway.

“Can you heal someone for me?” Brian asked.

“You’ve got some fucking nerve, asking that after the shit you just pulled,” Dean said angrily, stepping in. “Cas, you don’t have to prove anything.”

“Dean, I don’t mind,” Cas replied, shooting him a little smile. He turned back to Brian. “Who is it that requires my blessing?”

“Justin, the blond over there,” Brian nodded toward the young man laughing openly amongst their tight group of friends. “He was attacked by some homophobic prick.” He stared down into his drink, avoiding eye contact. “He’s an artist. His hand…” Brian took a long drink from his glass, swirling the dark liquor around on his tongue before swallowing and continuing. “It was my fault and he deserves—fuck, I can’t believe I’m asking this.” A pained expression crossed Brian’s face. When he glanced back up at Castiel, the look in his eyes was like that of a lost little boy. “Will you do it? Will you heal him?”

The look in the angel’s eyes was reverent yet sad. Cas nodded, then moved past Brian and over to the smiling blond with quick, purposeful steps. Brian stared wide-eyed at Dean with the glass frozen halfway to his lips as if to say ‘Here? Now?’ and then followed numbly after him.

“Justin,” Castiel greeted.

Justin stopped mid-laugh at something Emmett said and turned his attention over to Cas.

“Yeah?” the blond said.

“May I have your hand?” Castiel asked. “Your drawing hand,” he amended.

“Uh…” Justin glanced at Brian, who was standing next to Castiel with a look on his face that Justin had only seen once before. Brian caught his eyes and he nodded almost imperceptivity. “Uh…sure. What, are you going to read my palm or something?”

“In a manner of speaking,” Castiel replied. He took the proffered hand in both of his own. “So that you know,” the angel said in a low voice, “You would have been a famous artist either way.” Cas smiled at Justin, who had his head cocked and his lips slightly opened in confusion.

“Huh?” Justin said.

“I mean to say that it is your destiny,” Castiel reiterated, “and nothing I do will have changed that.”

Before Justin could ask what he meant, Cas placed his fingertips to Justin’s brow and closed his eyes.

 

A blinding white light flashed across the insides of his eyelids. Justin jerked away from the stranger’s touch and shook his head. The odd man in the flasher coat had done something to him that left him feeling a little light-headed.

“Is it done?” he heard Brian saying.

“Is what done?” Michael was asking.

“Yes,” was Cas’s short reply.

“What the hell did you do to me?” Justin demanded, jerking his hand away and holding it to his spinning head.

 

Somewhere in the back of his mind an old song began to play, the echo of a memory long forgotten.

 

“Justin.” Brian was suddenly very close. Justin looked up at him, confused and upset.

“Brian, what—?” Justin started to say.

Brian leaned down and kissed him slowly, the way he did when he needed Justin to know just how much he cared.

Then he was pulling away and looking over at Cas with big, brown eyes filled with an emotion that rarely saw the light of day. Huh, but it almost looked like he was going to—

“Thank you,” Brian said thickly.

“Take care of him,” was all Cas said.

Justin looked between them—up at Brian, and then back to Cas.

“What the hell is going on?” he asked.

“Nothing,” Brian said. “Come on, let’s go home.”

He hooked an arm around Justin’s neck and pulled him toward the door.

 

Em watched them go for a moment, then turned back to Cas and held out his hand out.

“Please, Honey, tell me you’ll do me next,” the queen flirted. A looming shadow suddenly cast over his spotlight. Em glanced up at the culprit.

Sam had just arrived and stepped up next to Emmett, grinning down at everyone.

“On second thought, never mind,” Em said, forgetting all about the ruggedly handsome man in the flasher coat and all the shameless fantasies that piece of clothing prompted in favor of the brunette god who had just joined their group.

“Hey,” Sam greeted. “Sorry it took me so long. Did I miss anything?” Sam asked Dean.

Jesus, was that ever a loaded question.

Dean merely laughed. “Only the elephant in the room,” he teased, glancing at Em. He grinned at Sam, “Oh wait, I guess that’s you.”

“Ha ha, very funny,” Sam shot back.

“So, what’ll it be, gorgeous?” Em asked Sam, looking up. Way up. “Beer? Whiskey? Cocktail?”

Sam laughed nervously at the emphasis Em put on that last one. “Uh, just a beer for me,” he said.

Em gave him a little pout but turned it into a grin half a second later. He grabbed Sam’s hand.

“Well come on then, a girl needs a chaperone in a place like this. Plus, I never pay. It’s bad for my skin.” Emmett led him away with his hand raised over his head and his booty doing a little shake as he shuffled over to the bar.

Sam glanced down, unable to miss the obvious peacocking going on and blushed a deep red. It seemed he just realized what was happening.

Dean just watched them go with a smile. He caught Michael’s eye. The man was grinning at him as he sipped his beer.

“Sam had better watch out, Em can be a force of nature when he wants something,” Michael said, “Or someone.”

“Trust me, he’ll be fine,” Dean replied. “Plus it’ll be good for him. Put hair on his chest.”

“Who the hell would want that?” Ben chimed in, hooking an arm around Michael’s neck.

“Oh come on, you like my little fur patch,” Mike said with a laugh.

Ted got up from the table. “I should go too,” he said, “I’ve got to get an early start tomorrow.”

Michael gave him a hug and watched as Ted left the bar. He turned back to Dean and Cas. “So what was all that with Brian and Justin?” Michael asked, furrowing his brow.

Suddenly, his phone rang. Michael dug it out of his pocket and held up a finger, pressing the phone to his ear.

“Brian?” he greeted. Something Brian said had Michael looking at Cas strangely. “What’s that supposed to—” Brian must have interrupted him because he cut off mid-sentence with a huff and an annoyed frown. In the next moment his brow was pinched together in confusion. “Well, yeah, I can tell him but I don’t understand—” A long sigh, then an eye roll. “Yeah, okay. See you tomorrow.”

Michael hung up the phone and turned to Cas. “Well, that was weird,” Michael said, “Even for Brian. He said to tell you…” Michael gave a little laugh and repeated what Brian had said, “That ‘if you still had something to prove, Ben could use one of your favors.’” Michael shook his head.

“Trust me, I’m not interested,” Ben said. He pulled Michael a little closer.

“He said you’d say that,” Michael said, looking up at Ben. “He said it wasn’t that kind of a favor. He also said you’d know what he meant.” He looked back at Cas and Dean.

“I know to what he is referring,” Cas said. He considered Ben for a long moment. “Do you have…some form of illness?” the angel asked.

“I’m HIV positive, but I don’t see how that has to do with anything,” Ben replied.

Dean took a sip of his drink. He frowned at Cas.

“What are you, Brian’s new lap dog?” Dean commented dryly.

“He hasn’t asked for anything himself,” Cas pointed out.

“Not directly anyway,” Dean replied.

“And I suppose you’ve never asked me for anything?” Cas said. “It doesn’t cost me anything, Dean. I am happy to help where I can.”

“Sorry—what the fuck are you talking about?” Ben cut in.

Castiel considered him for a long moment, then stepped forward and placed a lingering hand on Ben’s shoulder.

“Go forth and tell no one,” the angel told him, walking away.

Dean turned to the couple. “Go home, celebrate,” he said, “You’ll find out why later.”

“What?” Michael asked, confused.

“Oh, and um…you might want to give your doctor a call in the morning,” he added, addressing Ben.

Dean started to turn away when Ben grabbed his arm.

“What for?” he asked, his blue eyes fierce.

Dean just grinned at him.

“Tell him to cancel all your prescriptions,” Dean replied.

Ben’s hand let go as if Dean had burned him.

Dean flashed him one last smile, then turned and ran after Cas.

Behind him, he could hear Michael say, “That’s it—I’m calling Brian back right now.”

 

Dean caught up with Castiel outside on the street. The angel was watching the bustle of people, a look on his face that belied the deep sorrow he was feeling.

“Hey,” Dean said, placing a hand on his shoulder, “You okay?”

Castiel glanced over at him, his pale lips pressed tightly together.

“There is a lot of suffering here,” the angel said, “I did not notice before, but now…” Cas winced a little. “The sound of it is deafening.”

“Cas,” Dean said, not knowing what to say to that.

“If my father were more…involved with the world then perhaps these people…” Cas took a breath, checking himself. “It is blasphemous of me to question his will.”

“It’s human,” Dean corrected. “And everyone is hurting, Cas, not just these people. Everyone in the world is hurting—gay, straight, or otherwise. You can’t heal all of them, and it isn’t your job to try.”

Dean looked around the street, at the throng of men and women pressed up against lovers, friends, and family. He smiled.

“They may be hurting, but they seem a hell of a lot happier to me than most,” Dean said. He took Cas by the hand. “Come on, let’s go back inside.”

“I should go,” Castiel said. Dean could hear his unspoken words in the uneasy tension in his voice. I am not human. I do not belong here.

Dean leaned in and kissed him slow.

“Stay,” he said when he pulled away.

Cas nodded. It was the second time that night Dean had asked him that.

“Okay,” he said.

 

Back inside Woody’s, Sam was quickly learning that Emmett Honeycutt was impossible to say no to. Which is how he found himself dragged (okay, so he was exaggerating about that part) over to a table where Emmett ordered himself a cosmo and Sam ordered a couple of beers. He had a feeling they weren’t going to last very long.

“So what the hell was that all about?” Emmett was asking, taking a sip of his drink. His big blue eyes looked up at Sam, wide and expecting a response.

“What was what?” Sam asked.

Emmett rolled his eyes.

“Don’t play dumb. That whole thing with Justin. What did your hot flasher friend do to him?” the queen pressed.

“It’s hard to explain,” Sam said, taking a swig of beer. Perhaps if he was vague enough, Em would back off.

“Honey, brain surgery is hard to explain. Nietzsche is hard to explain. What just happened seems pretty darn simple to little old me. So? Spill.”

Damn. Cute and sharp as a tack.

Hold on, did he really just think that?

“Castiel is not exactly…normal,” Sam began hesitantly. “He has special…abilities.”

“You mean like, can sing the alphabet backward while standing on his head performing fellatio kind of special?” Emmett asked. His voice said he was joking, but his brow was furrowed.

“Definitely not,” Sam laughed, “He’s an angel.”

“Well I know he’s yummy, but—”

“No, I mean, he’s an actual angel. Like, wings and halo and everything,” Sam explained. He took a long drink of his beer. “One of his…divine gifts, if you want to call it that is his ability to heal people.”

Emmett stared at him, jaw dropping open.

“You mean he—?”

“Yup.”

More of those big blue eyes.

“Oh my god,” Emmett blurted. He slapped a hand over his mouth. “I mean—oh my goodness.” He paused as the truth sunk in a little more. “Holy shit! Does Justin even know what he did?”

“I’m sure he’ll figure it out,” Sam said.

“Well Jesus this calls for a fucking celebration. I mean, jeez—” He shot Sam an apologetic look. “Sorry,” he said.

“Hey, I’m not an angel. You don’t have to worry about me,” Sam said. He grinned at Em and took another drink.

That’s when Michael stalked over to their table.

“He won’t answer his goddamn phone!” Michael complained with a loud huff. He slammed his cell phone down on the table and grabbed Sam’s second beer. Sam was about to protest, but seeing as Michael had already tipped it up to his lips, he thought better of it.

“Who, sweetie?” Em asked, glancing sideways at Sam.

“Fucking Brian!” Michael groused. “Says some cryptic fucking bullshit and then up and fucking ignores my calls! What the hell was all that with Justin, anyway?” Mike took another long drink. “And Ben doesn’t seem to fucking care, but I know Brian, he wouldn’t just say something like that for kicks.” Michael broke off, downing another swallow of beer.

“Did Cas do something to Ben?” Sam asked. He glanced at Emmett, whose eyes were suddenly wide.

“How the fuck should I know? Nobody will tell me anything!” Michael yelled, but it was clear by his answer that it was a yes.

Emmett placed a hand on his arm before the man could explode.

“Honey, calm the fuck down,” the queen said, “and go home.”

“How the fuck am I supposed to calm down!?” Michael practically shrieked.

“Try Valium,” Em suggested.

Michael turned to Sam.

“Do you know what the hell is going on?” Michael demanded.

Sam hesitated. He glanced at Em, who nodded encouragingly, then leaned down and whispered in Michael’s ear.

“Holy fucking shit.”

Michael swayed on his feet, and Sam had to grab him by the upper arm to keep him upright. The Italian’s hands went to his knees. He hung his head between them, taking big gulps of air.

“Is everything alright?” Ben suddenly appeared, placing a consoling hand at Michael’s back. “Michael?”

There were tears in Michael’s eyes when he looked up at Ben, but he couldn’t find the words to speak.

“Maybe you should take him home,” Emmett suggested, “I think he’s had a little too much excitement for one day.”

“Ah, yes, of course,” Ben said. The professor’s brow furrowed, confused by what Emmett was referring to, but didn’t question the queen. Instead he looped an arm around Michael and led him out of Woody’s.

“Probably better that Michael didn’t tell him,” Em said, watching them go. He looked back to Sam. “If he did then who would carry them both out, am I right?” he laughed, “Not this silly fag, I can tell ya.”

“I’m happy for them,” Sam said, teasing his beer bottle between his fingers, “Wish Cas could pat me on the shoulder and make everything better.”

“Let me guess, what you need fixing goes a bit further than skin deep,” Emmett said.

“Pretty much,” Sam said with a sigh. He clinked his bottle against Em’s and flashed the queen a grim smile. “Cheers.”

 

When Cas and Dean reentered Woody’s, it was clear things had heated up a little in their absence. They passed Michael and Ben on the way out, the former of which looked about ready to faint. Michael stared blankly at Castiel as he passed the angel, and Dean suspected someone must have told him the good news. Ben, however, looked blissfully ignorant.

Emmett had managed to steal Sam away to a private table and the two were now engaged in conversation, a couple of empties around Sam—who seemed to be on his third or fourth beer and from the looks of things was starting to loosen up a little. He had better not loosen up too much, Dean thought, because it was clear Em had plans for his little brother.

Then again, it might be good for him.

Then Emmett leaned in and said something that had Sam grinning and blushing, and suddenly Dean bristled, a surge of protective older brother buzzing under his skin that demanded to know what the hell they were talking about.

He was just about to charge ahead and interrupt their little moment when he felt a hand at his shoulder. Dean turned and smiled when he saw who it was.

Cas was giving him that subtle non-smile that Dean had grown so used to.

“I have acquired more of this affronting beverage for you,” the angel said, handing Dean a shot.

“Why, Cas, are you trying to get me drunk?” Dean flirted with a lopsided grin.

He took the glass between his thumb and forefinger and knocked it back. Then he looped an arm around Cas and pressed his lips to the angel with the taste of tequila still on his tongue. Cas kissed him back hungrily, lips soft and tongue willing.

 

Across the bar, Emmett was grinning lopsided at Sam, and the more the younger Winchester drank, the more he felt its charming effect growing on him.

“So, Sammy, do you have a girlfriend?” Em was asking him, leaning in across the small table.

“It’s Sam,” the taller man corrected, “And no, not at the moment.”

“Boyfriend?”

Sam flushed. “No,” he said. “I’m not…I’m not into guys.”

Really?” Emmett baited, leaning closer, “Ever wonder if you might like it?”

“No.” Sam shifted a little, knocking back the rest of his beer. He caught the waiter’s eye and ordered another.

“So what’s the deal? Strapping young gentleman like yourself, I should think you’d have someone in your life,” Emmett said, backing off by a fraction.

“It’s complicated,” Sam said curtly, eyes glancing down to the table. “My brother and I, the work we do…it doesn’t leave a lot of time for a love life.”

“Well, your brother seems to be doing alright,” Em said, gesturing.

Sam looked over. Dean had an arm wrapped around Cas and the two were making out next to the bar. Sam’s eyes widened.

“Huh,” he said, taking a blind sip from his beer and missing a little. Beer dribbled down his chin but he didn’t seem to notice. “I bet he fed Cas some line about blending in.”

“Or it’s the real deal,” Em said. “That’s not just a kiss, honey, or can’t you tell the difference?”

Sam looked away with a blush. “How the hell should I know?” He took a large gulp of beer, swiping at his chin. “Dean’s a huge slut,” Sam added with a frown, as if that explained everything.

Emmett scoffed. “What’s wrong with that? Most of the guys in here are, including yours truly.” Sam just stared at him nonplussed, so Em continued. “I’m just saying, maybe it would do you good to take a line out of your brother’s book and loosen up a little. Might make you feel better.”

“Having meaningless sex is supposed to help me feel better?” Sam deadpanned.

“Honey, meaningless sex was invented exactly for that reason,” Em replied. He leaned in a little closer, his eyes earnest. “Maybe it’s exactly what you need.”

“Yeah? You offering?” Sam goaded. He was just tipsy enough to hope that Em would call his bluff.

“Sweetie, I’ll give you the best blow job of your life and then let you fuck my brains out,” Emmett said, “Now tell me, what kind of busty, big-bootied girl you just met would do that for you, hmm?”

Sam just stared at him, beer raised halfway to his lips. Em’s were pursed in a way that had him wondering what it would feel like to have them wrapped around his cock. Sam cleared his throat, putting down the bottle. The air in the room suddenly felt a little thin and he was finding it hard to breathe.

“Uh, aheh, p-probably no one,” he stuttered out, looking down with a blush.

 

Dean was watching Sam and his date again, leaning up against the bar with Cas by his side and a slight frown on his face.

“They seem to be getting along,” Castiel noted, causing Dean’s focus to flicker to him for a moment.

Dean’s gaze went immediately back to his little brother, who was looking down at the table as Emmett said something earnest. His eyes narrowed.

“A little too well if you ask me,” Dean said in a steely voice. Cas looked at him.

“Is there a reason Sam should not enjoy himself?” the angel asked.

“No,” Dean said bluntly, “But if Emmett does anything to take advantage of him they’ll find his body in the alley tomorrow morning.”

Dean watched as Castiel tilted his head up and to the side, and wondered what the hell the angel was doing.

“Emmett holds no ill intentions toward your brother,” Castiel said, straightening and turning his head back to Dean, “In fact I believe the experience might be healing for him.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Dean demanded.

 

Across the bar, Em reached across the table and took the bottle from Sam’s fingers, setting it aside. He grabbed Sam by the hand.

“Come on,” Em said, bouncing up from the table, “Ben and Michael are most likely fucking like bunnies, so we’ll go to yours.”

He pulled Sam behind him, heading for the door.

 

“Oh hell,” Dean said, watching them leave. He turned back to the bar. “I need another drink.”

His little brother was about to lose his virginity for the second time…yeah, Dean was going to need a lot more to drink.

There was a rustle of wings and suddenly Cas was holding a bottle of whiskey under his nose.

“That’s called stealing,” Dean told him, but took the bottle from him anyway.

 


 

The sun rose gay and shining upon Liberty Avenue the following morning. The twang of a bell rang out as the door to the Liberty diner opened and closed.

Most of the usual crowd was already seated when Emmett and Sam arrived together, minus Michael and Ben. Cas and Dean had their own table, his brother with a ridiculous amount of food spread out before him. He was feeding the angel cherry pie off his own fork and wearing a grin to rival the devil.

Emmett collapsed into the booth with his friends with a flourish, Sam taking the seat next to him.

“Whew, I am beat,” Emmett announced. He motioned to Justin and called over his shoulder. “Sweetie, can I get a donut and some coffee quick as you please?” He turned back to Ted and Brian. “We, um, didn’t get much sleep,” Em explained suggestively.

Justin grabbed the pot with his right hand and Em’s order with the other and sauntered over.

“So,” the blond said, “Rumor has it you two went home together last night,” he said.

Sam blushed into his menu, hiding his face behind it.

“A lady never fucks and tells,” Em said primly, “But just so you know,” here the queen leaned in to Ted and dropped his voice to a whisper, “It absolutely is possible.” The queen grinned and stuffed a bite of donut into his mouth.

“I think I’ll join my brother,” Sam said suddenly, shooting to his feet.

The younger Winchester glanced once more at Emmett and then beat a hasty retreat.

“He’s still a bit shy,” Em explained. He turned to Justin. “So, Justin, how’s your hand feel this morning?”

Justin quirked his head, as if the thought of his hand hadn’t occurred to him.

“It’s fine, why?” he said.

Emmett looked at Brian.

“You didn’t tell him!?” Em exclaimed.

“Tell me what?” Justin demanded.

Emmett just scoffed in disbelief, staring at Brian.

“You’re fucking unbelievable, you know that?” Emmett said.

“It’s not a big deal,” Brian said. He looked down and played with his napkin.

Emmett was incredulous. “Not a big deal!?” the queen exclaimed, “A fucking angel cured him of brain damage, I should think that’s a huge fucking deal!”

“What!?” Justin blurted. The coffee pot dropped to the table with a loud thud.

 

Across the diner, the door swung open with a ding.

 

Michael and Ben walked in, beaming like two newlyweds. As soon as Michael saw Castiel, he strode over and planted a large, wet Italian kiss on the angel’s lips.

“Oh, right, that,” Brian said offhandedly, watching the show. “Justin, Castiel is an angel of the Lord who can heal anyone with the touch of his magic fingers.” Brian laughed a little at his own innuendo. “Just ask Ben, he’s no longer positive.”

What!?

 

Two booths down, Castiel was staring at Michael in shock. The angel blinked twice, his blue eyes wide. Dean sniggered into his pie.

Then Debbie returned from taking out the trash.

“Mom!” Michael called. He rushed over to give her the good news.

Ben bent down and drew Cas into a tight hug.

“Thank you,” he said, squeezing his eyes shut.

Castiel seemed a little uncomfortable and a lot moved. “You are welcome.”

Ben let him go and straightened, a peaceful smile on his face. He watched as Michael relayed the good news.

“HOLY SHIT!

Debbie’s exclamation was heard throughout the entire diner. The loud-mouthed redhead stormed over to their table with tears in her eyes.

For the second time in as many minutes, Castiel found big, fat, Italian lips pressed up against his.

“You, sweetheart, are a fucking angel,” Debbie said. She gripped Castiel by the face and told it to him straight.

“Uh…” Cas said, seeming confused. “Yes?”

“It’s an expression, Cas,” Dean explained as Debbie let him go. He shot an annoyed look at the over-zealous woman. “Anyone else want to kiss my angel,” he groused. He threw a possessive arm around Cas.

 

Which is exactly when Justin stormed over and laid one on him.

 

Castiel looked about ready to flee when the blond pulled back.

“I am…unaccustomed to this level of gratitude,” the angel said uncomfortably. He glanced over at Dean, who laughed.

“Hey, you’re the one who wanted to play God,” Dean said.

Debbie grinned at the two of them.

“Anything you want, you just let me know,” she said, “Your breakfast is on the house!”

She gave a little giggle and a couple chews on her piece of gum and then walked away to tend her other tables.

“Seriously, thank you,” Justin was saying. The blond looked at Cas earnestly. “I don’t know how I can ever repay you.”

“You do not owe me anything,” Castiel replied.

“How about another piece of pie?” Dean cut in, leaning across Cas and looking up at Justin.

The blond smiled at him.

“Coming right up,” he said, “Anything else?”

“Yeah.” Dean glanced over to his brother. “He’ll have the Butch Bottom Special, extra whipped cream,” Dean said with a shameless grin.

Sam dropped his head to the table and groaned into the circle of his arms.

 

Another piece of pie and a few more cups of coffee later, Team Winchester rose from the table and strode over to the small group of gays they’d become so closely acquainted with in the past twenty-four hours.

“Well boys, it’s been fun but this is our exit,” Dean said, sidling up to their table. He grinned at Ben, who had his arm thrown around Michael, and then to Brian.

“Hit me up next time you’re in town,” Brian said, looking up at him from under a forest of dark lashes and a Grade-A Kinney smile.

Dean chuckled. “Something tells me we won’t be back this way again,” he said, “but you never know.”

“Bye Em,” Sam said, blushing a little.

“Seeya sweetie,” Emmett said. He shot Sam a grin that showed off the adorable gap between his front teeth.

The three turned away and exited the diner.

Sam looked back over his shoulder, then down at his shoes, shuffling along behind Dean and Cas, the former of which had his arm slung around the angel’s shoulders.

The bell from the diner dinged behind him.

“Wait, Sammy!” Emmett called. Sam stopped and turned, then found a pair of plush pink lips pressed up against his.

“Figured I’d give you a proper sendoff,” Em said when he pulled away. He gave Dean and Cas a little wave. “Drive safely!” he said, then turned and bounced back into the diner.

Sam stood there watching him go with a furious blush across his face.

“Think of it this way,” Dean said from behind him. His brother’s hand suddenly clapped down on Sam’s shoulder, startling him and causing him to jump. “If you survive the apocalypse you now have something to look forward to.”

The grin Dean was throwing him was shameless and layered with innuendo. Sam shrugged him off and looked away, embarrassed.

“Shut up, it’s not like that,” Sam grumbled. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and stalked back to the car.

Behind him, Dean laughed and threw an arm around Cas, pulling the angel in close to him.

 

 

Above them, attached to the lamppost on the corner, the rainbow flag flapped gaily in the wind.

 

 

Fin.