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Chapter Four

Dean


The absolute best way to wake up after a night of drinking is in someone else's bed while the said someone else is in the kitchen making pancakes with bacon as a thank you for all the amazing sex. This is usually taking place around one in the afternoon.  

The absolute worst fucking way to wake up is at eight in the morning because your asshole of a brother who completely fucking fails at being a normal average college student and sleeping in, decided that he misses having brotherly chats. This is especially true after a night of getting shitfaced with your best friend who has finally started removing the rather large stick up his ass and has absolutely no idea where his limits even start, let alone when he hits them. 

"Someone had better be dying right now Sam. Hospital, life support, the whole fucking enchilada." It would have come out more threatening and bad ass-y  if my head wasn't buried under several pillows. 

"Dean. Aren't you supposed to be getting ready for work now anyway?" Sam's voice sounded louder, chipper and way more painful than it normally did. I chose to blame the early morning hours. 

"You're interrupting my five more minutes. Now make it quick, I would like to get back to Angelina and Brad. Married couples are the kinkiest of all bastards."

"Dude, A. That's really gross, not to mention you hate cheaters. And B. We haven't talked in a while. I wanted to know how the movie is going. Did you ever work things out with that guy?"

Groaning, I emerged from my pillow cave. There was no goddamn way I'd be getting back to sleep anytime soon. "Swingin' ain't cheatin' Sammy. And don't lie to me. You just want to know if Gabe bought you more candy."

"I refuse to dignify that with a response. It doesn't matter anyway. Finals are coming up, I have to get back to studying. Just wanted to check in before I go full on hermit mode."

"Sammy, it doesn't count as hermiting if you're sneaking Jess in for 'study sessions.'" I could practically hear Sam's bitchface through the phone. 

"Jerk. And it's Sam. I'm not a kid anymore."

"Whatever bitch. Go make me proud. I'm getting tired of denying we're related." Laughing, I hung up on him mid-sputter. My good mood only lasted long enough for me to notice my ass was about to be royally chewed up if I didn't get my shit in gear in the next few minutes. 

***


Not many people know about the window in the very back of the studio with the easily pickable lock. Good for sneaking in and pretending you had been there the whole time. It had even fooled Cas a few times back when he was still the Hatfield to my McCoy. So I figured I was pretty safe with insisting I had arrived on time an hour ago rather than the last five minutes until I could hear Gabe clapping. I didn't even need to turn around to know it was him. The whole room was now suddenly epically silent. Fuckin' goblin was ridiculously fond of dramatic stand downs. Dickhole should have done westerns with all the tumbleweeds and squinty eyes rather than overindulged soap operas. I turned around and stared right into his smirking bastard face. Which was pretty easy to do as he was almost eye-level what with the box he was standing on.

"Deano my boy. We have got to stop meeting like this. You with the sneaking around and me with the brand spankin' new silent alarms attached to all the windows." 

Fuck.

"It was cute and all. Really. But Daddy's had enough now. If you can't make it to work on time, I'm afraid it's going to be the Naughty Corner for you." He pointed to a far off gross part of the stage area where the last cleaning person probably dropped dead from horror at having to go anywhere near it. I could tell by his smug fucking face that he was expecting me to fight him about it. Which would get my ass fired. From the job I still needed to get Sammy through his next couple of semesters.   

Public firing or public humiliation. Fuck ass my job is awesome isn't it?

I just fucking stood there debating with myself whether or not the argument was worth it when the sound of a clearing throat broke through the silence. 

"I want to apologize Gabriel. Dean drove me home last night as a favor and I accidentally took his ID badge along with mine. I didn't even notice he'd been trying to call me until a few minutes ago. He's been making a valiant effort to arrive on time as of late and this was more than likely the result of trying to keep his efforts on track. Please do not blame him for my errors." Cas stood there, right in front of Gabe, black glasses firmly in place, lying out his ass. This guy. The guy who was honest to the point of insulting. Who once explained to Ash in detail every single possible charge the FBI could put him away for, and that was just for the illegal music downloads. That guy. 

After I managed to reconnect my jaw with the rest of my face, I snuck a peek at Gabe's. Knowing his as well as I did, I could tell he wasn't buying any of Cas' shit, but the fact that It was CAS laying it on thick was fascinating. Especially since it hadn't been that long ago that Cas had nearly had me fired. And now he was BSing with the rest of us to keep me. Can't really blame the Lollipop Guild for wanting to keep the Dog and Pony show around.

"Well." Gabe turned to face me, the smug smile replaced with something I couldn't identify. "Looks like you've got a guardian angel there Winchester. Don't screw it up." 

He made it sound all meaningful and shit too, before clapping his hands again and turning to the rest of the crew. "Alright peeps! Shows over lets go! I pay you to make movies not watch them! Uriel! Where's my damn update?!" Gabe leaped off his stupid box and stalked off back towards the offices. 

I turned back and faced Cas. "Thanks. For that. I mean, I thought my ass was grass for a second there."

He just looked back at me, trying to look stern like a favorite teacher does when you forgot your homework for the fourth time that week. But the longer we stared at each other, the harder it was for him to keep the pissy look on his face. By the time I looked away, he was practically grinning in that subtle Cas way of his. "Just fucking come to work on time tomorrow." Before walking off and leaving me sputtering for the second time that morning. 

Castiel


"Michael. You're being completely disrespectful and unfair. No, I am not being ruined as you so delicately put it. No, I will not leave this film for a different one, working for Gabriel Messanger is a wonderful opportunity for me and my career. No I will not have Dean transferred or removed from the film either. You were the one who wanted me to befriend him in the first place!"

Pacing around our empty apartment was just as aggravating as the phone conversation Michael and I were having. Especially when he would calm himself down and begin to speak about happiness. Our happiness and why was I ruining things for us? It was utterly baffling to me. Just less than a year ago everything was perfect. Now it seemed like a dream that I had been rudely awakened from.

"Michael. If that is truly how you feel, if you honestly believe that our happiness fringes on whether or not I have a friend outside of you and yours, then do not expect me to be here when you return home. I have never once asked you to end a friendship for me and it is more painful than words can describe that you would even consider asking me to. I love you, but I cannot be with you when you make such demands of me. Goodbye."

Hanging up the phone, I felt panic the likes I have never felt before. I had just ended my perfect relationship with the perfect man. Part of me considered calling him back and begging his forgiveness, to let me stay and be loved again. But another part, a larger and more vocal one was insisting that this was the correct course of action. That all along, Dean had been right about Michael, that he would not make such demands of me if he was sincere in his affections.

Having made my final decision, I went into the bedroom, no longer would I consider it mine. Grabbing several suitcases, I packed up what would be necessary for me to attend work as I was accustomed to, and called for a taxi to take me to a hotel that was furthest from our apartment.

Dean arrived soon after I had checked in with alcoholic beverages and generic snack foods. According to him, it was tradition to "binge" out after walking out on the love of your life. I was just grateful for the company. The last thing I wanted that night was to be all alone.

***


The next day at work, it was like a scene from a movie. Where the lead actor finally notices the beautiful actress, the music swells and she glows with love and beauty. Dean was beautiful. I couldn't take my eyes off of him all day. Whether he was changing sets between shoots, organizing the extras for their next scene, even bringing the crew water bottles, everything he did was graceful and art to look at. He... glowed. But it was when he caught my eye and mimed throttling himself after Gabriel had spoken to him, removing his hands and winking at me with a bright grin that I realized why I wasn't as upset about leaving Michael as I thought I should be.

I was in love with Dean.

It should have been a much more surprising revelation for me to be honest. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. This wasn't a Fairy Tale where Prince Charming was beautiful and perfect, this was a Romantic Comedy, where Mr. Wrong blunders in and changes everything with laughter and frustration until he becomes Mr. Right.

Smiling to myself, I looked over at my desk, having returned there to finish up on notes and invoices before the end of the day. Tucked away in a little corner was a collection of photos I had taken of Dean, making ridiculous faces in all but one. The one from our first night out. I do not remember taking it, but our heads were pressed close together and both of us were smiling. It was my favorite. I hadn't even shown it to Dean yet, not wanting to relinquish the happy memory.

Tucking the photo into my bag, I pulled out my phone and sent Dean a text. No doubt he was still in the building, once again working late for Gabriel. I suggested that we eat dinner together in the hotel restaurant, since he was planning on driving me home as usual. He quickly responded, agreeing to the date and I waited in my office, too excited to finish any of the projects I had started. Finally, my dream of having the perfect love would be realized.

***


Dinner that night had started off wonderfully. Dean spent most of the time complaining about Gabriel and his endless list of duties to perform that ranged from the practical (assisting the actors with running their lines) to the ridiculous (picking out all of the brown M&Ms from all the different bags of candy Gabriel enjoyed.)

Excusing myself to use the restroom, I noticed a woman selling flowers in the hotel lobby. On my way back to the table, I detoured and bought a bouquet for Dean, intending to reveal my intentions to take our friendship further. My face was starting to hurt, but I couldn't seem to stop smiling. Dean and I would be wonderful together. He would direct movies and I would design them, we would have a beautiful apartment by the ocean and have long romantic walks on the beach every night.

But, when I arrived back at the table, Dean wasn't facing me with a soft smile on his face. His back was to me, speaking to an attractive gentleman sitting alone at a table behind us. He was not even sitting at our table anymore. Holding tightly to the bouquet I had almost forgotten about, I approached Dean and the stranger, interrupting their conversation.

"Hey Cas! Glad you're back! This is..." Dean gestured to his tablemate and frowned slightly. "Dude, I'm sorry, what was your name again?"

The stranger looked up at me before looking back at Dean. "No. I'm sorry. I didn't know you had a boyfriend."

"What?! Nah, this is just Cas. We're just friends." Dean grinned up at me. "Right Cas?"

Without a word, I threw the flowers down onto the table and stormed out of the restaurant. How could things have gone so wrong again? Dean was supposed to be sitting at my table looking at me that way. It was Michael all over again, and I could feel the panic clawing at my chest once again. It wasn't until I had gotten all the way outside of the hotel into the warm summer night that I realized Dean had followed me.

"Cas! What the fuck dude! What the hell was up with those flowers?! DUDE JUST FUCKING TURN AROUND! CAS!"

I stopped but I didn't turn around. I couldn't face him, not right then. "They were for you Dean."

"What the fuck were you buying me flowers for? It's not like..." And right then, without looking, I could tell he had finally figured out what the night was supposed to have been. "Dude. No. I'm... dude. You're my friend. I've never even thought of you that way. Plus you just left Michael, I couldn't just sleep with you like that."

Of course he would assume it was about sex. "I didn't invite you out tonight for sex Dean." It came out as barely a whisper, but it stopped him in the middle of his argument. Not for long though.

"Cas. You have to stop thinking that life is a goddamn movie. This isn't some scripted piece of bullshit where Prince fucking Charming sweeps you off your feet and carries you to Happily Ever After. That shit isn't real. We're friends for fucks sake. You're my best friend. Why are you trying to ruin this?"

Steeling myself, I did my best to wipe my face and tone of emotion. I turned around and stared at Dean dead in the eye. "I realize that now. I apologize for 'ruining' things as you so delicately put it. Goodnight Dean." Looking away, I walked as steady as I could back into the hotel, back to my room. Thankfully. Dean did not follow me. In the morning, I would have to look for a new place to stay.

End Part One




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Life is a test and I get bad marks

November 2012

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