Dean Winchester had no idea why he'd agreed to do this.
Sure, when Bobby had first mentioned it - right before his shift was due to start at Shots Fired, Bobby and Ellen's cocktail bar - it had seemed like a great idea. Go to some rich couple's wedding, serve drinks, set some alcohol on fire, put on a show... It sounded fun. Throw in a larger-than-normal paycheck and a free vacation to North Carolina with his brother and best friends, and it was a done deal.
Then the other shoe had dropped.
The bride, socialite Anna Milton, was a big fan of Shots Fired and its famous flair bartending displays. As a result, she and her fiancé, Michael Novak, had insisted on flying their specially-hired bartenders out first class to thank them for their service. When Bobby had told them, Sam, Charlie, Jo and Benny had been thrilled - after all, first class meant better food, free alcohol, and best of all (according to Sam), extra leg room.
For Dean, it simply meant travelling in a metal death-trap in a slightly more comfortable seat than normal. Not that there was anything normal about flying. He didn't give a crap about eating fancy food and stretching his legs when the plane might drop out of the sky and kill them at any minute.
He'd offered to drive everyone there instead, but they'd all adamantly refused. Apparently they'd rather risk their necks in the air than squash into Dean's car for the thirteen or fourteen hours it took to drive from Kansas City to the estate in North Carolina. He wasn't sure how to take that. His driving was way safer than flying, even if he did run the occasional red light.
When he'd tried to explain this, Sam had told him to stop being such a whiney girl, then Charlie had hidden his car keys and Jo had practically frog-marched him to Benny's car, which was waiting to take them to the airport. Ellen and Sam's wife, Jess, had just stood there laughing, and Bobby had rolled his eyes and called him an idjit. Dean hated them all.
The flight had been every bit as bad as he'd predicted - even with the free alcohol - and once they'd landed, it had taken a full thirty minutes for his legs to stop shaking. Sam, Charlie, and Jo were too excited about the smartly-dressed woman holding a sign with their names on to notice, but at least Benny was decent enough to give him a drink of water and a somewhat sympathetic look.
"Just think of the money, brother," he said as they followed the woman - Hester, apparently - out of the airport. "The money, and the free vacation."
Dean groaned. "All I can think about is that I'll have to go through all that crap again when we go home."
"Dean, you'll be fine," Sam assured him, dropping back from the two excited girls. "It wasn't so bad coming out here, was it?" Dean shot him a glare, which Sam ignored. "Besides, you were really keen on doing this wedding. Rich women, alcohol, a romantically charged atmosphere… Isn't that like your personal Heaven?"
"Shut up, Sammy," Dean sighed. "I'll be fine once I've had a whiskey or three."
"That's the spirit," Benny said, slapping Dean on the back.
Hester stopped by a large black car with tinted windows, and Dean raised his eyebrows. They were going to be driven to the estate in a limo? How much money did these people have? Sure, Anna was a high-society socialite and her fiancé was a billionaire business owner, but still, he'd been expecting a couple cabs or something similar. No-one hired a goddamn limo just to ferry some bartenders to and from the airport.
Not that Dean was about to complain. While it was nothing compared to his baby, it was still a pretty awesome car, and definitely a thousand times better than that fucking plane. He piled into the limo with the others, elbowing Sam out the way for good measure, and settled back in the amazingly comfortable leather seats before the car pulled out onto the road.
It only took a couple hours to drive to the estate and Hester took up most of the time by telling them what was going to be happening when they got there. They would be staying at a four-star hotel on the estate - much to Charlie and Jo's excitement - and the wedding itself would be held the following day, in the historic house in the heart of the grounds. Apparently a large team of people had been hard at work for most of the week to make sure everything was in order; Dean, Sam, Charlie, Jo and Benny would be coming in right at the end of the preparations.
The bar they would be working at during the reception had been constructed just that afternoon, and their main job for today would be to check that everything was where they needed it to be. All the alcohol and other things they would need had been ordered and delivered, though Hester also said that if they needed anything else at the last minute, someone would be on hand to get it for them. Dean wondered how ridiculous their requests could get before someone put their foot down.
It was early evening by the time they arrived at the estate, and as the car pulled onto a long gravel driveway, Dean couldn't help staring at the huge building they were approaching. If the others' expressions were anything to go by, he was probably doing a rather unflattering impression of a fish. He couldn't help it, though; the place was stunning. With its four stories of creamy limestone, steep slate roof, turrets, sculptures, immaculate lawn, and wide fountain, the place looked more like a French palace than a house.
"Woah…" Sam murmured, trying to shove Dean out the way so he could get a better look from the car's window.
"Is that really where the wedding's going to be?" Charlie asked, turning briefly to Hester, who had been reading something on her cell phone.
Hester smiled. "Yes. The ceremony itself will be held here, on the front lawn, and the reception will be out on the southern terrace. That's where you'll be stationed."
At least it was good weather, Dean thought as the limo stopped outside the house and they all got out of the car, still staring up at the building. Now they were closer, they could see the detailed statuettes and carvings that adorned the walls. It was almost unnecessarily elaborate. Almost.
Hester led the way into the house, and Dean nearly tripped over Jo when she stopped to get a better look at the entrance hall.
"Eyeing up a potential future home, Jo?" he teased.
"Shut it, Winchester," Jo retorted, smacking his arm. "I'd need to marry into a bit of money before I could get a place like this."
"Hitting people won't get you very far," Dean said with a grin. "I think rich guys prefer ladies with manners. And elegance."
Jo snorted. "That puts you out the picture, then."
"Says the princess herself," Dean shot back.
"Oi, bitches! If you keep that up, we'll leave you behind!" Charlie called, and Dean belatedly realised that she, Sam and Benny had continued following Hester through the house. He and Jo hurried to catch up before they lost the others round a corner.
Hester led them through a maze of decorated hallways, then finally onto the southern terrace where a bunch of people were bustling about under a huge white tent that was really way too fancy to be called a tent. Circular dining tables had been set up, all draped with delicate-looking white and gold tablecloths; stands were being arranged around the edge of the space, ready to support numerous floral arrangements; a large space at one end of the tent was being turned into a dance floor, complete with a decorated stage for the band.
"Here's where you'll be working," Hester announced, gesturing to a long bar to one side of the dance floor.
Dean blinked and stared at it. There was no way that thing was only temporary. It looked almost identical to the one they normally worked behind back at Shots Fired - only with a different colour scheme.
"Please go ahead and check that everything you need is there," Hester said, gesturing towards the bar. "If there's anything missing, or if you need something changed, just let me know and we can have it sorted for tomorrow."
"Will do, ma'am," Benny replied.
Hester smiled, then disappeared off into the crowd of other people, seemingly searching for someone.
"Dude, check this out!" Dean said excitedly, already taking a look behind the bar. "They've got practically a whole liquor store back here!"
"How much are these people going to drink?" Sam asked incredulously as he joined his brother at the ridiculously well-stocked cabinets of alcohol. "They want to remember the wedding, right?"
Dean shrugged. "Some people might want to forget it," he said. "There's got to be some jealous guys coming, right? I mean, Anna's pretty hot."
"Michael's not bad either," Jo chimed in.
"Dean still reckons Anna flirted with him last time she came to the bar," Sam remarked slyly, making the others snort with laughter.
"She did, okay?" Dean insisted. "She winked at me."
Charlie whistled sarcastically. "That's pretty serious, Dean. You'd better be careful. She'll be a married woman this time tomorrow."
Dean made a face. "Shut up."
"Don't worry, brother," Benny said, straightening up from where he had been looking through one of the cabinets under the bar. "I bet there'll be plenty more out there tomorrow night."
"That probably won't stop him making eyes at Anna, though," Sam pointed out.
"Sam's jealous," Dean said dismissively. "He wants to have a good look too, but he keeps having to remind himself that he's already spoken for."
Jo laughed. "Yeah, and no-one wants to be in the way when Jess gets pissed."
"I'm not going to be looking at anyone," Sam said. "Apart from my brother, when he makes an ass of himself with his awful flirting. Then I'll be watching and laughing."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Bitch."
"Jerk," Sam quipped back.
Benny shook his head in mock-despair. "How the hell am I supposed to be in charge here?"
An hour later, the group had checked every part of the bar area at least three times each. Everything was exactly where they wanted it, from different sized glasses to fire extinguishers, and the list of extra things they needed only contained a small handful of decorative items they'd agreed on together - though sadly not including the real gold stirrers Dean had suggested.
Benny managed to track down Hester and give her the list, and she looked pleasantly surprised that they hadn't requested any major changes.
"Well, the cars will be here to take you to the hotel in about another hour, if that's all right," she explained. "Your bags will already be in your rooms, so you'll just need to collect your keys from reception. There's a restaurant in the hotel too, and it's all included in your stay, so feel free to eat there once you've found your rooms. Until the cars arrive, you're welcome to have a look around the rest of the house and grounds."
Charlie and Jo beamed and immediately rushed off through the tent, leaving Dean, Sam and Benny looking rather bemused.
Sam shrugged. "We may as well have a look,' he said. 'We don't want to get lost on our way here tomorrow."
"It would be nice if someone gave us a map, though," Dean commented, as the three of them went back through the tent at a much more sedate pace than the two women.
"It's more fun like this," Benny said. "And anyway, they'll probably have someone there to take us to the right place tomorrow, just to make sure we're not late."
"Fair point," Dean allowed.
They entered the house and wandered through the wide hallways, guessing at which way to go whenever they reached a turning. Sam kept having quick peeks into the various rooms they passed, while Benny stopped every time they passed an interesting-looking painting.
At the end of one corridor, Dean spotted an impressive suit of armour and decided to get a closer look while Sam and Benny were making a fuss over something in the room Sam had just looked in. There was no plaque or label with the armour, so Dean had no idea how old it was or if it was just a replica, but he didn't want to risk touching it in case he damaged something. Knowing his luck, if he did break it, it would turn out to be a several hundred-year-old genuine antique that would cost an entire year's pay to fix.
With that thought, Dean decided to leave the armour alone. Sam and Benny had spent long enough in that room, and they wanted to see the rest of the house before it was time to go to the hotel. They needed to find Jo and Charlie too, wherever they'd gone.
Only, the room Sam and Benny had been in was empty. Dean could tell which painting they'd been gushing over - one of a dog - but there was no sign of his brother or his friend.
"Really?" Dean asked the room in general. "They can stop whenever they like but as soon as I go to look at something, they wander off? Great. Really fucking great."
There was another door on the opposite side of the room, so Dean was fairly sure they'd gone that way - but the corridor it led out to stretched in both directions. And there was no sign of Sam or Benny.
Dean sighed and chose a direction at random, hoping that at some point he'd hear one of his friends talking. He checked inside each room he passed, just in case, but apparently they'd vanished off the face of the earth. Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he sent a text to each of them, hoping that at least someone would have remembered to switch their phone back on since the flight.
The next door Dean checked led into the grand entrance hall they'd first walked through, and his attention was drawn to the sweeping staircase that dominated the space. He had no idea if Sam and Benny would have gone to explore the second floor or not, but he figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out. He hadn't had a reply to the texts he'd sent, after all.
At the top of the stairs, he chose a direction at random again and found himself coming to a more elaborate double doorway than the ones he'd seen so far. For a moment, he wondered if this would be one of the rooms he wasn't allowed in, but the door was unlocked, so he could only assume there was nothing wrong with him having a look inside.
The spacious, but sparsely furnished room was brightly lit by a crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Three of the four walls were covered in antique-looking portraits of seemingly important people - not that Dean had a clue who any of them were - and the fourth sported a huge window, with heavy velvety curtains draped artfully on either side. In the middle of the window, a pair of glass doors stood open, letting a welcoming summer evening breeze waft in.
Dean headed over to the doors, which led onto a balcony overlooking the front lawn. It was dark outside now, but the balcony itself was lit gently with decorative lamps, and more small lights glowed among the flowerbeds in the garden below. Dean rested his elbows on the railing and let out a low whistle.
"It’s quite a view, isn’t it," said a deep voice from the other side of the balcony.
Dean jumped and almost had a mini-heart attack when he saw the man leaning against an ornate stone vase. Even with the lamps and the light from inside the room, he hadn’t noticed anyone else when he’d come through the doors.
"My apologies," the man said, though he sounded more amused than sorry. "I did not mean to scare you."
Dean gave a short, embarrassed laugh. "’S all right. I didn’t exactly look very hard when I…"
His voice trailed off as the man turned to look at him with a pair of bright blue eyes. Eyes that Dean had seen all too often on the pages of the fashion and gossip magazines he most certainly did not have hidden under his bed.
Shit. Dean’s throat went dry as his brain tried to process the fact that he was sharing balcony space with Castiel Novak: model, socialite, notorious playboy, and the object of Dean’s secret crush for the best part of five years.
In hindsight, he really should have guessed that Castiel would be involved with this wedding somehow. He was Michael Novak’s younger brother, for God’s sake; it really shouldn’t have been a surprise. What was a surprise, though, was finding the guy hanging around on a balcony, alone, the night before the wedding.
If the latest gossip magazines were to be believed, Castiel had been enjoying a particularly wild time following his highly publicised split from property heiress Meg Masters. Just last week - not that Dean had been keeping up-to-date with it all, of course - he had been photographed leaving some up-market hotel in New York, apparently having taken part in a drunken ménage-a-douze with some guy called Balthazar. Dean had assumed that he would be doing something similarly crazy and erotic this week.
"When you…?" Castiel asked, bringing Dean’s thoughts back to the present and reminding him that his upstairs brain had effectively stopped working.
"When I… er… came out here," he finished lamely.
Castiel smiled and didn’t even try to hide the fact that he was checking Dean out as he walked closer to him. "I don’t believe we’ve met before."
"Uh - no, we haven’t," Dean replied. Castiel looked at him expectantly, and it took an embarrassingly long time for him to work out what he was supposed to say. "Dean," he said quickly. "Er - I’m Dean. Winchester. I’m one of the cocktail bartenders for the - um - the wedding."
Castiel stepped even closer and reached out to shake Dean’s hand. "It’s very nice to meet you, Dean," he said, his low, gravelly voice going straight downstairs. "I’m Castiel."
"I - uh - I know," Dean replied, blushing furiously and ducking his head.
Castiel gave an amused chuckle. "You do, do you?" he asked. Dean wasn’t sure if he was imagining the suggestive tone of the man’s voice, but it really wasn't helping. "So…" Castiel continued. "I trust everything was in order with your station for tomorrow?"
"Uh - yeah. Yeah. Everything’s fine," Dean somehow managed to say, all too aware that Castiel still hadn’t let go of his hand.
"Good," Castiel replied. "I’m supposed to be overseeing all the preparations, but I’m sure Hester and Inias are doing just fine without me. Why Michael put me in charge, I’ll never understand. He knows exactly how… distracted I get."
His eyes met Dean’s with those last words, and if it hadn’t been for the balcony railing, Dean’s knees might actually have given way. He’d always assumed Castiel’s eyes were photoshopped in his magazine pictures, but now he wasn’t so sure.
"It's probably just another one of his attempts to turn me into a responsible member of the family," Castiel added.
A laugh burst its way out of Dean's mouth before he could stop it, and Castiel raised his eyebrows in amusement.
"I'm glad you find that idea as hilarious as I do," he said, winking.
Dean blushed even more. "I, um… It's just… You seem to like, er… having fun," he replied, wincing as the words came out all wrong. Just a few moments in Castiel's presence was apparently all he needed to turn into a complete idiot who could barely string a coherent sentence together.
"I most certainly do," Castiel murmured. He sidled even closer to Dean, completely invading his personal space, and glanced down at their still-joined hands. "Michael's never approved, of course. Says I should do something proper with my life, take up a position in one of his companies, something like that. He's given me plenty of job offers too, but I've always turned them down. I just want a nice, easy life. What's wrong with that?"
"N- nothing," Dean replied. "Nothing at all. It - um - sounds great. Yeah, not having to work… That'd be nice."
"You don't enjoy your work?" Castiel asked.
Dean blinked. "No - yeah, I do, I really do," he said quickly. "I love it. It's fun, and I get to hang out with my friends and stuff, but yeah, it'd be nice to not have to work, y'know? To… be able to do whatever the hell you want."
"I agree." Castiel smiled, then finally let go of Dean's hand and leaned against the balcony railing, looking out at the dimly-lit lawn below. "Anna certainly knows how to pick a venue, doesn't she," he remarked. "It should be quite the wedding tomorrow."
"Yeah," Dean agreed, trying to lean against the railing too without making it look like he was copying Castiel. "I just hope our show goes well."
"I'm sure it will," Castiel replied. "Anna speaks very highly of your bar. I've been meaning to come and visit myself at some point. And besides, the only thing that's likely to go wrong tomorrow is my dancing."
"You'll be dancing?" Dean asked.
Castiel made a face. "According to Michael, I'll be expected to dance with Anna's maid of honour, as well as probably most of the other guests. One of the perks of being the best man, or so he says."
"Don't you like dancing?"
"I like it well enough," Castiel shrugged. "I just can't do it. Never really tried. Michael and Anna had a lesson set up so they could practice for their first dance and I was supposed to go along to it too, but… well, things happened and I ended up hungover in LA instead. I never got round to arranging another lesson, and I think Michael gave up."
Dean laughed. "Reminds me of when my little brother got married," he said. "He and his wife took dancing lessons and dragged me along. They did this really nice waltz at their reception."
"You can dance?" Castiel asked.
Dean shrugged self-consciously. "A little. I can do the basics."
Castiel held out his hand. "Teach me."
"What?" Dean exclaimed. "I - I couldn't, I -"
"All I need to know are the basics," Castiel said. "And the room behind us was once used as a sort-of ballroom, so it seems like a fitting place for a quick lesson."
Dean gulped and found himself reaching out to take Castiel's hand, despite his brain frantically telling him that this was not a good idea. "Okay…"
Castiel led him back inside and positioned them both in the centre of the room, while Dean hurriedly tried to remember everything he could about the waltz. And not think about the fact that he was going to dance with Castiel friggin' Novak.
"So, er… you do the steps in threes," he explained, standing awkwardly beside Castiel so he could demonstrate. "You do a step forwards, then one to the side, then you bring your feet together."
"Like this?" Castiel asked, copying Dean's movements, albeit a little stiffly.
Dean nodded. "Yeah, like that. Then you just do the same thing, but starting with the other foot."
Again, Castiel copied Dean's steps, but then frowned. "And your partner is doing the same?"
"Yeah, but reversed," Dean answered. "So you'd be going forwards, and she - or he, I guess - would be going backwards."
"Can we try that?" Castiel asked.
"Er - sure, if you want." Dean moved so that he was facing Castiel instead of standing beside him, awkwardly taking his hands - holding him at arms' length - and hoped like mad that he wouldn't trip over his own feet when he tried to reverse the steps.
"You normally start with the right foot," Dean explained. "So I start with my left, and we go one… two… three… one… two… three…"
The steps were slow and not particularly graceful, but Castiel seemed to be getting the hang of it all right, and Dean hadn't fallen over, so he was willing to call the lesson a success. Castiel was counting the rhythm out loud, taking over when Dean stopped to direct him in a turning step.
"I think you've got it," Dean said in relief, as he and Castiel executed another turn when they reached the other side of the room.
"Shh," Castiel said, and then he stopped dancing and sighed. "You made me lose count."
"Oh - er - sorry," Dean said guiltily. "But you were doing fine. Really well."
"It wasn't quite right, though," Castiel said thoughtfully.
Dean shrugged. "Well, I guess it does feel a bit weird without music, but…"
"No," Castiel interrupted. "I didn't mean that. You see, when I've seen people dance before, they're not holding each other like this. I think they do it more…" Castiel moved one hand to Dean's waist and drew him in closer. A lot closer. "Like this," he murmured, right in Dean's ear. "Am I right?"
Somewhere in the back of Dean's mind, a small voice was telling him to point out that a traditional ballroom hold involved the hand being considerably higher than where Castiel's was. But since the rest of his brain had effectively short-circuited, that little voice was pretty easy to ignore.
"Um… yeah… Like that," Dean replied.
"Can we try again?" Castiel asked.
Dean wasn't entirely sure if he could remember how to walk now, let alone dance, but he found himself nodding anyway. His hand moved automatically to rest on Castiel's shoulder, and then they were dancing again, moving around the room to the tune of Castiel's voice steadily counting out the rhythm. Dean eventually joined in, figuring that he was supposed to still be teaching the dance.
"I must admit, I lied when I said I had never tried dancing before," Castiel confessed after a while. "There is one type of dance that I'm particularly good at."
"Yeah?" Dean asked, hoping that an actual conversation might stop his mind wandering into totally inappropriate daydreams.
Castiel leaned closer to whisper in Dean's ear. "I believe it's sometimes called the horizontal tango."
So much for that.
Dean choked and tripped over his feet, allowing Castiel to suddenly spin him around out of the dance and press him up against the wall.
"Perhaps I could show you sometime," Castiel murmured, lips brushing maddeningly against Dean's neck.
"Y-yeah," Dean stammered. His jeans were feeling pretty tight now, and judging by the look in Castiel's eyes, he knew it too. "Sounds… sounds good."
Castiel grinned, then closed the gap between their lips. Dean forgot how to breathe for a moment, but then his downstairs brain kicked in and he was kissing back, hands moving of their own accord up to Castiel's shoulders. He let out an embarrassingly loud moan as Castiel deepened the kiss, but that only seemed to amuse the other man, who quickly added his own noises that were practically pornographic and did absolutely nothing to help the situation in Dean's jeans.
Then he heard a door open and a surprised squeak interrupted the rather heated moment. Dean instinctively pushed Castiel away - and saw Charlie standing in the doorway, staring at them with eyes that looked like they were about to pop out of her head.
Dean felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights. There was no way he could play innocent and go for the whole 'we weren't doing anything' line, but he had no idea what else he could say.
"Oh. My. God." Charlie was busy staring at Castiel now, star-struck. "Are you Castiel Novak? Like, the Castiel Novak?" she asked.
"I am." Castiel inclined his head, looking far too casual for someone who had just been caught in the middle of making out with someone he barely knew. But then again, maybe it was a situation he was used to.
"Oh my God," Charlie said again. "Wow. Sorry, it's just… wow."
"Charlie, what are you doing here?" Dean asked irritably.
Charlie blinked and looked at him. "Oh - we've been looking for you everywhere. Er… the cars are here." She glanced at Castiel again. "Sorry," she added guiltily.
Castiel waved his hand. "It's quite all right," he said. "I apologise if I've made you wait. Dean was just giving me a quick dancing lesson. It appears that we got a little… side-tracked."
No shit. Dean felt his face heating up and Charlie raised her eyebrows. Way to accidentally come out.
"I won't keep you, Dean," Castiel added. "I imagine you've had a long and tiring day, and I'm sure you'll want to be well rested for tomorrow."
"Uh - yeah, I guess so," Dean replied. He tried not to sound disappointed, but - well, it was damn difficult.
Castiel smiled and winked. "I'll see you tomorrow, then," he said. "Goodnight, Dean."
Dean managed an awkward smile back. "Night, Cas."
It wasn't until he had left the room with Charlie that he realised he'd just unintentionally given Castiel a nickname.
"Please tell me I didn't just cockblock you with Castiel Novak," Charlie groaned as they headed back towards the stairs.
Dean blushed and didn't say anything, but he didn't really need to.
"God, Dean, I'm sorry," Charlie continued. "I mean, I didn't even know you batted for the Rainbows, but still - Castiel Novak! I'm so sorry!"
"Charlie," Dean said, cutting her off. They were nearing the top of the staircase now, so he lowered his voice. "Stop it. Just - don't tell the others, okay?"
Charlie gaped at him. "But - don't you - really? Even though it was -"
"Seriously, Charlie," Dean warned. "Don't say anything."
"But it was Castiel Novak!"
"I know!" Dean snapped, and then he winced at how harsh he'd sounded. "Look," he continued, calmer. "I don't know if I'm gay, bi, whatever, okay? I haven't even looked at a guy in that way, apart from him. So just… don't say anything. Wait til I've figured it out first."
That seemed to mollify Charlie for the moment, and once she'd agreed to keep quiet about the whole thing, they headed down the stairs to where Sam, Jo, and Benny were waiting. As they went out to the cars - more sensible things than the limo they'd arrived in - Dean answered their questions with a generic story about exploring the second floor of the house.
Thankfully, Charlie kept her word about staying quiet, but every time she caught Dean's eye on the way to the hotel, she gave him an annoyingly knowing grin.
All through the wedding reception the following evening, Dean tried his best not to let Castiel distract him. The last thing he needed whilst throwing flaming alcohol around was to catch sight of those eyes smouldering at him from across the tent.
Thankfully, the main show they put on went without a hitch. In fact, as Dean concentrated on juggling bottles and flipping glasses, synchronising his movements with the others, and fitting everything to the music, he found that he barely noticed Castiel at all. Not even the camera flashes from the numerous press photographers could put him off once he was in the middle of the routine.
Anna and Michael were both thrilled with the new cocktail the team had created for the occasion - aptly named a White Wedding - and it was only after they'd poured the drinks for the main wedding party that Dean allowed himself to look at Castiel.
It wasn't a good idea. Dressed in an expensive-looking suit that fit him like a glove, his hair neatly styled and his eyes sparkling, the man looked unfairly gorgeous and Dean couldn't help staring.
Charlie had to discreetly smack his arm to snap him out of it.
When the music for Anna and Michael's first dance started up and the crowd began to move away from the bar, Dean breathed a sigh of relief. Castiel had gone to stand beside the maid of honour, Hannah, and was practically lost in the mass of people surrounding the dance floor. Some of the other guests had stayed behind at the bar to order drinks, which allowed Dean to regain his focus and have a mental word with himself about letting his silly schoolgirl crush get the better of him.
As the dancing went on, though, he did allow himself to steal the occasional glance at the floor. He spotted Castiel twirling Hannah gracefully around, and during the next song he was dancing with Anna, then Anna's mother Naomi for the song after that.
There was a bit of a rush of people wanting cocktails after that, so Dean lost sight of him again, but when those drinks had been served and there was another lull, the dance floor was busier than before and there was no sign of Castiel.
Until Charlie nudged him and nodded to where Castiel was emerging from the crowd and heading in their direction.
Dean glanced over at Sam, Benny, and Jo, but they were busy serving a few other guests. Charlie made herself scarce by checking through their supplies. Castiel seemed to have chosen his moment well.
"Hello Dean," he said, resting his elbows on the bar.
Dean couldn't hold back a wide smile. "Hey Cas. Er - what can I get you?"
Castiel pondered for a moment, then grinned. "I don't mind," he replied. "You're the expert here. Surprise me."
Dean laughed a little nervously, his mind racing to think up something that Castiel would like. Possibly that Tequila Mockingbird one Sam really liked. Or maybe Charlie's recently-created Qui-Gon Gin. But neither of those seemed right, somehow.
He kept thinking of one of the recipes he'd been developing for the bar back in Kansas. He hadn't perfected it yet, so it wasn't on the bar's menu, but Dean was pretty fond of it, and its colour did remind him of Castiel's eyes…
"Coming right up," he said, reaching for the bottles and other things he needed. Castiel watched him as he improvised a simple routine while he made the drink. It was a citrus-y mixture, with the colour coming from Blue Curaçao, and right at the end Dean squeezed a slice of orange zest over a match, sending out a sudden burst of flames.
Yeah, okay, he was showing off.
"Impressive," Castiel remarked as Dean slid the finished drink across the bar.
"I hope it tastes good," Dean replied. The drink really did match Castiel's eyes, he thought, feeling an odd sense of satisfaction.
Castiel lifted the glass and took a sip, then grinned. "Delicious. What's this one called?"
"Blue-Eyed Angel," Dean answered without thinking. Castiel raised his eyebrows in amusement, and Dean suddenly realised exactly what he'd said. Out loud. To Castiel. Fuck. "I - I mean -"
"I like it," Castiel interrupted. He winked at Dean and took a long drink of the cocktail, licking his lips in a way that should be illegal.
Dean gulped and felt his pants tightening.
"You, er, did all right with your dancing," he commented.
"Mm," Castiel agreed. "It wasn't nearly as much of a disaster as I thought it would be. Our lesson yesterday was most helpful. I actually think Michael was bordering on impressed."
Dean laughed. "Are you going to do any more?"
"I haven't decided yet," Castiel replied. "None of the guests interest me that much."
"Really?" Dean asked, surprised. If the magazines were to be believed, Castiel had never been that picky when it came to finding a new fling.
"Well…" Castiel said thoughtfully. "There is one person I've had my eye on. I believe I even promised him a dance yesterday. I've been waiting for a chance to ask him if he's free."
Dean felt his heart speed up as Castiel fixed him with a particularly enticing gaze.
"So?" Castiel asked. "Are you?"
"Go for it!" Charlie whispered, suddenly materialising beside Dean and making him jump. "Seriously! Things have quietened down now, so it'll be fine. I'll cover for you, don't worry."
Dean blinked. "Are you sure?"
"Duh! Of course I'm sure!" Charlie replied, giving Dean's shoulder a little shove. "Go on!"
Castiel was still looking at him expectantly. Dean could hardly believe that he was going to do this.
"It, er… looks like I am," he said.
"Well then," Castiel said, holding out his hand. "Shall we dance?"