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Chapter One


Castiel


To say I wasn't shocked to find the obnoxious ape from the theater would be a mistruth. But what more surprising was the strength of my pleasure at finally getting some revenge on the man. He ruined something for me and fate has seen fit to grant me the opportunity to pay him back ten-fold. It was almost as strong a feeling as my caring for Michael. Very curious.

I could tell he was just as surprised to see me. He wore it all over his somewhat attractive face. Shame the personality ruined those stunning green eyes of his. Feeling much more confident in my position than I had felt earlier in the day, I turned and faced my new employer. "Hello Gabriel."

He smirked as he stood up from his desk and walked around to greet me. "Castiel! How many times have I asked you to call me Gabe?"

I simply nodded in return. "As many times as I have explained that it is disrespectful to someone of your obvious talent to refer to them by a shortened name."

Gabriel laughed and clapped my shoulder, well, as high as he could reach it. He was significantly shorter than I had expected him to be after all. “Ha! Respectful! See Winchester? Here’s a guy who knows quality when he sees it.” There was a quiet gagging noise that seemed to cease once both myself and Gabriel had turned our attention back to the ignoramus in the room. “Castiel, I’d like you to meet…”

“Dean.” I felt a brief moment of regret for having interrupted my employer, but the opportunity to one up the odious oaf. Gabriel looked momentarily shocked but quickly changed to a look of delight.

“You two know each other already? I guess Disney wasn’t so full of shit after all with that ‘small world’ crap. Alright. Pretend this is a slumber party and we’re all braiding hair. Deets people. When did the bromance begin.”

Being unaware of what the term, “bromance” means notwithstanding, the look on Dean’s face as Gabriel said it, made me far more willing to play along than I would under normal circumstances.

“We met at a showing of Anna Milton’s new movie. Dean seemed to be very interested in it.”

Never before had I heard a (mostly) grown man squeal in the manor of an adolescent girl before, and  hopefully it would be the last time. It was quite the painful experience. “OH MY GOD! Winchester my boy! You actually went to see it?! I didn’t know you had it in you!” Gabriel gleefully, well, hopped would be the best description of the action, it certainly wasn’t walking by any definition of the term, and slapped Dean across the shoulders.

“You told me I had to go Gabe! That my future employment depended on it.” Indignation was also not an attractive look as well on Dean, especially after he crossed his arms and scowled at Gabriel. I briefly wondered if there was ever an instance where Dean’s face would live up to its potential. Not that it matters, but I am an Art Director after all, wasted potential is irritating.

“Well yeah, but I didn’t really expect you to go. That’s like expecting Christmas snow in LA or you showing up to work on time. Obvious figments of crazed imagination.” Gabriel waved the hand not curled around Dean's shoulder in the air. "Anyway, as fascinating as you two have made things today, we have actual important things to discuss. Namely that Castiel here is Dean's new boss. Castiel, Dean is your new Properties Manager. Go forth, the two of you and make beautiful sets." With a friendly slap to Dean's back, Gabriel sauntered back over to his desk, picked up some paperwork from his disaster area of a desk, propped his barely man-sized feet on top of his desk and proceeded to ignore the two of us now that his task of assigning duties had been completed.

With a brief nod to my new subordinate, I turned and exited Gabriel's office. I had plenty of work to do planning the sets. I certainly had no time to waste dealing with spoiled man-children. Even if I was now directly in charge of him.

Dean


"Dude! This can't be as bad as you think it's going to be."

I lifted my head up from where I had it buried in my arms and glared at Ash, our video editor and closest thing I had to a friend in this fucking hellhole. Aside from the fucking terrible mullet action going on, Ash had fantastic taste in music, bars to frequent and, most importantly, hated romantic crap movies almost as much as I do. We got along famously.

"You're so right." I slumped back in his desk chair. "It's going to be worse. The dude fucking hates me. You weren't there. He was smirking! Smirking! At the thought of making me buy cutesy girly shit out in public. He's going to make me buy heart shaped pillows and shit smothered in glitter. I just fucking know it." Groaning, I leaned forward and started banging my head against the table. Fuckass I hated my life so hard.

"Dude. Come on. So you'll probably have to buy girl stuff. Who cares? You'll have to buy dude stuff too and this could be your opportunity to finally get on Gabe's good side. If you're out shopping you can't be expected to show up on time right?" Ash moved over to where the love of his life (his laptop, custom made of course) sat enthroned on his desk. Seriously. Know those crazy people who dress up their little dogfur covered rats in clothes and jewelry? That's pretty much Ash's relationship with his laptop. Except that it's actually acceptable for him to carry the damn thing around in a special bag. "Look Dean. Do you want me to hack into his financials and find some dirt on him? Having an advantage could help keep you out of the Pottery Barn if you're that desperate to avoid it..."

Tempting as the offer was, Ash did enough shady stuff without having 'helping' me as a reason. If he couldn't work here anymore due to me getting his ass incarcerated, I'd probably just go put my head right though Gabe's glass door. I mumbled out a rejection of the offer, and stared out the glass windows of Ash's cubicle slash office. Which is how I saw a super fucking wonderful sight. Castiel and that dickhole Uriel, Gabe's Assistant Director and douchenozzle extraordinaire walking and talking. No doubt about me, and nothing good. Uriel had had it out for me since day one. Shitfuck. Could this day get any worse? With Castiel now obviously heading back to his office, I would be expected to show up and get my orders. Resigning myself to the clusterfuck my life had suddenly just become, I nodded my goodbye to Ash and wandered over to Castiel's office with as much enthusiasm as a death row inmate on his way to the gallows.

"Dude! Offer still stands! Uptight dude like that probably watches really creepy kinky shitporn! I'm just sayin'!" Ash shouted at me as I walked out of his office. Even I have to admit that my lack of embarrassed wincing was impressive.

Castiel


"Just be careful having Winchester around Novak. I don't understand why Gabriel lets him loiter around doing nothing but waste time and money. His occasional somewhat decent idea isn't worth the attitude, the laziness, or the tardiness. If I can offer you some advice? You have real promise here, don't let him drag you down with him."

Uriel, Gabriel's Assistant Director smirked at me. Having met up with me as I was leaving Gabriel's office, we first walked to his office to pick up some notes Gabriel had left with him, before walking down the hallway to my own office, Uriel warning me about the evils of having Winchesters in my employ. Not that I needed any warning. My own experiences with Dean had already led me to believe that regardless of my desire to bring his ego down to subterranean levels, actually working with him was going to be the most stressful aspect of my employment. Turning back around to face Uriel, I noticed the devil himself standing in my doorway. He'd clearly heard every word Uriel had said about him, and if I hadn't been looking directly at him, I might have missed the flicker of pain that crossed his features before his predictable glower reappeared. Interesting.

"Thank you Uriel. I appreciate your advice very much. Now if you'll excuse us, I have to provide my Properties Manager with his daily instructions."

With a smirk directed more towards Dean than me, Uriel walked out and Dean walked in, arms crossing his chest and stance obnoxiously defensive. Without saying a word, I handed him my list of items for Sarah's bedroom set. It might have been thought impossible, but his glower actually deepened, became much more ugly and severe.

"This is girly shit." He looked up from the list he had been scanning and glared at me.

"I'm incredibly pleased to see that you can read and comprehend English. I was beginning to worry that I would have to dictate your job to you." I don't think I could help smirking a little bit as I leaned my hip against my desk. It really was enjoyable making him do distasteful things.

For a second there, it looked like he was going to crumple up my carefully written out list and throw it back in my face. Believe me, I was somewhat hoping that would be the outcome. Employment termination would only make my work life that much easier.

But instead, he just glared at me again and went to leave my office. "I'll need the purchases by 9am tomorrow for approval Dean!" I called out to him. I could see his back stiffen before stalking off, but otherwise, there was no other acknowledgement of my demands. Ugh. This boy is just so...

***


"Annoying. He is obnoxious and irritating and selfish and just... ugh. I thought it would be amusing at first, making him do and buy things he finds distasteful, but now it is just frustrating. How could anyone work for such an amazing and powerful director and be miserable about everything?!" I turned to face Michael, my wonderful, beautiful fiance, holding out two shirts for his approval. It was our anniversary tonight and we'd been planning this special evening for months now. If only I could decide which shirt was the most appropriate for the evening.

"Darling." Michael smiled down at me, hands gently gripping my shoulders. He was just slightly taller than me with gentle eyes in a beautiful face. Dark hair parted neatly on the side, clear blue eyes that held love and humor. All of it for me. "Darling, you shouldn't let him get to you like this. Leave work at work. You wouldn't want him ruining our night would you?"

I returned his smile. He was right after all. Thinking about Dean would ruin everything that we had planned.

"Now, you should wear the blue shirt. It brings out your eyes more." He removed the other shirt from my hand and went to hang it back up in the closet. Turning back to the mirror, I started to change shirts when suddenly a loud pounding started coming from our front door. Gently placing the blue shirt down on the bed, I went to investigate who could be trying to knock down our door, with Michael following me after a moment. Peeking through the spyhole in the door, my newfound cheerful mood vanished in a split second. It was Dean.

"I'm sorry my love. I did try to leave him at work like you suggested." He looked at me curiously until I opened the door. Dean stood there, in his battered flannel and ripped jeans, holding what looked to be a gift basket full of expensive liquor and... candy?

"Michael. Meet Dean. Dean, this is Michael. My fiance." Dean waved with the hand not holding the ridiculous looking basket.

"Hey. Nice to meet you. Great shirt by the way." Dean quickly turned back to face me. "Hey Cas. Sorry to show up randomly like this but Gabe insisted that this get dropped off to you tonight and I'm still his cabana boy until tomorrow so... yeah. Here." He started to shove the gigantic basket at me. Thankfully, Michael reached down to take it from Dean as I wanted nothing to do with it.

"That's very generous of you and of Gabriel. Won't you come inside for a bit?" Michael edged the door more fully open, clearing a path for Dean to enter. I shot Michael a brief glare that he didn't notice, but obviously could do nothing to prevent the neanderthal from entering. With an uncharacteristic sigh, it was absolutely vile how much Dean made me so unlike myself, I shut the door and went to join my employee and my fiance in the living room where the two had begun to converse without me.

"Yeah so, I totally don't get his candy obsession. I swear the guy probably orgasms to Easter Bunny porn or something." Dean reached into the basket and withdrew a bottle of what looked to be very expensive bourbon. "At least the dude has taste. This is really good shit." He extended the bottle to Michael, who smiled and accepted it, looked carefully at the label before gently returning it to the basket.

"I'm sure it is. But unfortunately it will have to wait for the weekend. Castiel and I do not partake in alcohol during the work week. You understand of course?"

Dean frowned and looked confused. "Really? That's... Okay. Wow. Um... weird. But okay. You'll probably just want to stick to the candy for now, I guess."

"Actually." All I wanted at this point was to remove him from our residence and move along with our evening plans. "We were getting ready to go out to dinner, if you don't mind..." I gestured towards the front door, in a not too subtle attempt at getting him to leave. Unfortunately, Michael also picked up on this and frowned at me.

"Darling, there's no need to be rude. Dean is more than welcome to stay for a while longer. We should use this opportunity to better acquaint ourselves with your new employee."

He was right of course. I shouldn't be letting my dislike for Dean interfere with our working relationship. With a hopefully quiet sigh, I moved closer to Michael, wrapping an arm around his waist and facing Dean, who looked uncomfortable and flustered.

"No dude, it's okay really. I should get going anyway. Did my due diligence and dropped of the basket and shit. You guys have fun with your plans and I'll see you tomorrow at work Cas?"

I nodded and walked Dean over to the door. "9am of course. You'll be needed for the set approvals and I'll need to check out the properties you have purchased for Sarah's room."

"It was very nice meeting you Dean. I look forward to seeing you again." Michael joined us at the door. With a parting wave, Dean finally left our home. I shut the door with a sigh of relief and turned to face my beautiful love, ready to put all of this unpleasantness behind us and celebrate what was really important. Our love.

Michael looked down at me with a frown. "He calls you Cas. Why does he call you that?"

I just sighed for what might have felt like the millionth time that night, if I succumbed to hyperbole that is. "I don't know love. I don't know."


Chapter Three
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Life is a test and I get bad marks

November 2012

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