Darth Vader's Alter Ego Strikes Again

Bite me

The Emporium 10: From Then On

10: From Then On


Life was pretty good. After the spectacular bust up and make up (with even more spectacular and bendy sex – even Gabriel's gift had come – no pun intended – into play) Dean and Cas resumed a very familiar routine. Lunchtimes were spent lounging against the counter, evenings around Castiel's as they cooked dinner together and their conversations remained just as different as usual. Even Zachariah seemed to have become more mollified by the events. He no longer hit on Dean, which was a relief for all parties concerned. But he still looked, which was sometimes awkward.


Ellen and Bobby had moved in together. This meant that while Ellen now lived on a scrap yard and Jo had found she'd got a house all to herself. Thankfully she didn't do anything too bad to it but Dean swore that if he heard Ellen moaning about the new colour schemes he was personally going to go and paint the whole house black just to shut them both up.


Dean had just finished serving another couple when Castiel appeared in the doorway. It was close to closing time but Cas always finished later than Dean. Cocking an eyebrow, Dean pulled the slighter man in for a kiss when they were alone.


What are you doing here?”, he asked, genuinely curious.


I asked for an afternoon off.”


What? Why? You were only here on your lunch break.” Dean was confused.


I had some business to attend to. And Zachariah was surprisingly supportive.”, Cas smiled. He'd put weight back on since that episode of depression. And since he and Dean got back together, he'd shown no signs of any kind of mental health problems. Dean actually sat him down once to ask him about this. The reply almost broke his heart. After leaving his family to marry, Cas still had support from them, but with news of the divorce, he'd been cast out. He'd lost both his birth family and Amelia. Gabriel stepped in to fill the gap while he got settled in the new town and only left when it looked like Dean was going to be there for Cas. But then with Dean refusing to talk to him and Gabriel off on a trip Cas was alone. He had no one to talk to and felt like there was no longer anyone out there who cared for him so why was he even bothering to stay alive if he had no impact on anybody? He was sure he was just a waste of space. Dean had struggled not to hit some sense into the man then. Surely he couldn't have thought that low of himself? But that had all passed now and Cas was back to his usual bubbly enigma self.


Dean pulled himself back into the present. Cas was smiling at him, arms wrapped round his torso.


I just wanted to ask you something.”, he smiled.


Anything. The answer is 'probably maybe' anyway.” Dean laughed. A set of keys were dangled in front of him.


Move in with me?”, Castiel asked, face serious yet hopeful. Dean gasped, unable to hold back his laugh of pure joy.


You kidding?”


Dean, you of all people should know. I don't kid.”


I'd love to.”, Dean kissed him to convey all he felt that words just couldn't do justice to.


Then you'd better close up here.”


What why?”


I want to go home.”, Castiel smiled and leaned in for one more kiss. Dean gladly obliged before running around the shop to close it up in record time. The trip to Cas' house – no, their house now was quiet, filled with the anticipation of sweet nothing.


You'd better go ahead.” Cas said as they got out.




So you can open the door. Dinner's getting cold on the table I imagine.”

The End.

The Emporium 09: One Last Time

09: One Last Time


There was no answer to the doorbell. Dean knocked to no response. He searched for a spare key but there didn't seem to be one. So, resorting to brute force, he kicked the door down. He'd just have to pay for it after making sure Castiel wasn't doing anything stupid. The ground floor was empty. No one answered his shouts. Dean moved on up the stairs, dreading opening every closed door. He saved the bedroom for the last, praying feverently that Castiel was just deep asleep. Holding his breath, he inched the door open and was bewildered to find the room empty. Dean closed his eyes, trying to think of where Castiel could be. He didn't have a car nor a bicycle so he couldn't have gone far. Could he? He glanced towards Heaven for inspiration. For once in his life, it struck. The flap in the ceiling to the attic was slightly out of place. Stepping gingerly onto the bed, Dean moved the cover and pulled himself through the hole.


Sitting in the window with his back to the room was Castiel. Even from where Dean stood he looked unwell. His shoulders hunched, he looked frail and thin. He'd lost weight, his hair was unwashed as he stared out into the setting sun. What set Dean on edge though was the knife glinting viciously in the setting sun.


Cas?”, he asked. The other man turned. His cheeks were sallow, his eyes large and sad and it hit Dean with a sharp twinge. Days worth of stubble adorned his cheeks. Dean fought the urge to rush to his side and cradle him from the world.


Dean.”, even his voice sounded broken beyond help.


What are you doing?”, Dean asked, slowly approaching the other man like he was approaching an easily startled animal.


Nothing.”, came the reply. His voice was rough and scratchy from days of disuse.




I was hoping to watch a final sun set.”, the broken man said, a tear slowly rolling down his rough cheek. Dean reached him and slid the knife away from the window and the man.


That's a pretty steep drop.”, he said, refusing to think of the word 'final' in that sentence.


It is far enough that if I fall, I won't survive. Especially if I fall through blood loss.”, the bitter explanation drew an audible swallow from Dean, and another pang in his chest. He crouched down to look Castiel in the eye, brushing out stray strands of lifeless hair that fell limp over his forehead. Even his hair, normally so gravity defying seemed to reflect his mood, drooping and devoid of all fight.


None of that now. Come on, let's get you downstairs to eat something.”. When Castiel didn't move, Dean reached for him. Scooping him up in his arms, he lowered him down through the hatch onto the bed. He cringed inwardly at how light the blue eyed man felt. Easing himself down, he finally managed to get a good look at Castiel. He looked drawn and haunted.


Why won't you let me fall?”, came the unexpected question. Dean just shrugged, opting to lead the way into the kitchen and trusting Castiel to follow. Sure enough Castiel slumped on a chair by the table, slim wrists placed on top.


I think we need to talk.”, Dean said. A slow nod was all he got in the way on an answer. “But first, you need to eat. You look ready to fall off your chair. When was the last time you ate? Or slept for that matter?”


A couple of days ago. I don't know. It just didn't seem to be worth the effort", Castiel said and stifled a huge yawn. Dean made jam on toast for them. After eating, he ushered Castiel towards the couch. He had to support the other man as he stumbled into his own living room. On impulse, he sat next to him and very soon he had Castiel laying across his lap, twitching in his sleep. Hours later Dean woke to a blanket being draped over him. Castiel, while still gaunt looked a little better. He'd obviously been to take a shower and shaved.


Hey.” Dean said sleepily, reality not yet catching up with him. Then it hit like a freight train. The argument, the silence, Zacharia at the shop, the knife. Shit the shop! Castiel shyly tried to smile at him. It didn't quite reach his eyes, nor go as wide as normal but it was a start.


Go back to sleep.” he suggested. Dean stubbornly shook his head as much to refuse as to clear the sleep induced haze from his mind.


We need to talk.”


I doubt two in the morning is a good time for this Dean.”, Castiel reasoned.


Now is as good as ever.”, Dean replied. Castiel looked conflicted. As much as he wanted to clear things up, he wasn't sure if things shouldn't wait until the morning. Making up his mind, he gestured towards the dining table.


I'll be back with coffee in a minute. I can't do it without that.”


True to his word, he sat down with two steaming mugs. Pushing one towards Dean he spoke.


Shes's my ex-wife.”


Dean blinked a few times before managing to process that information.




I had to marry to be able to leave my family behind. There was no other way out. I always meant to divorce her as soon as I could. I just didn't expect her to keep the child from our neighbour.”, Cas continued. Dean didn't interrupt him. “Things got out of hand, I couldn't leave knowing that I'd left a child without a father. Not until they were old enough to understand. I filed for divorce a week after Claire turned 13. Amelia didn't want to though. She'd grown too comfortable in that life and didn't want to give it up. The proceedings dragged out and I could only move away when things were finalised. That was when I met you. It was only my second day in town. You were the first person I told I was gay. Well, other than one of my brothers. He just ran away. He never did fit into the family, weird sense of humour and all. He's one of the few that still talk to me.” A small wistful smile crept across Castiel's face.


When was the last time you saw him?”, Dean asked.

“Not long after I moved. Gabriel wanted to give me a gift before he went on another one of his trips to the East.”


Gabriel?”, realisation dawned on Dean, “Short, brown hair, hazel eyes?”


Castiel frowned as he nodded, “You know him?”


Dude. That was for you?”, Dean grinned.




The biggest, scariest dildo in the shop!”, Dean was almost laughing as Castiel blushed.


As I said, he has a weird sense of humour. If you can call it humour at all.”


Oh man, I'd have loved to see your face when you opened that particular gift.”


I was not impressed. Nor amused.”, Castiel shot him down primly. Dean tried to school his features into a more serious and appropriate expression.


I'm sorry.”, he said eventually. He cut Cas off before he interrupted and gave Dean the chance to chicken out. “I'm sorry for not listening to you. I was hasty in drawing conclusions and harsh in judging you. I should have known better than to assume you were some heartless idiot.”


It wasn't your fault. I was a little hot headed while interacting with Amelia.”, Cas said.


Still, I feel bad. What I wanted to ask was, would you...do you think you'd be able to give me a second chance? Give us a second chance?”


I'd love to.”, Castiel smiled, this time, for real, and leaned over the table to kiss Dean into silence. After the kiss ended, Dean sheepishly looked at his new-old boyfriend.


Are you safe to be on your own?”, Dean asked. Castiel's face fell as he nodded.


Of course. You are free to leave when you wish.”


I meant, can we sleep? I can take the couch if you want.”, Dean blinked sleepily.


Oh. You can use the bed if you want. Unless you aren't ready to do that again yet.”


Dean just smiled as he led them back up the stairs to sleep.

10: From Then On

The Emporium 08: Go Fix It

08: Go Fix It


Dean shut the shop after the confrontation between Castiel and Amelia. He couldn't handle seeing anyone at that moment. He knew Ellen would probably give him a piece of her mind and dock his wages but at that point he just couldn't bring himself to care. He went back to his apartment. It felt like an age since he'd last been there. He shut the door behind himself and slid down it, pulling his knees up to his chest, numb with shock. He couldn't believe Castiel would do that to him. After all they'd been through and done together, how could he just not tell Dean about a family that was missing their father and husband? Did that make Dean an even worse person for stealing away someone's father? That was just fucked beyond belief.


He didn't know how long he spent just sitting with his back against the door staring into space. His phone rang, jolting him out of his internal misery. Dean didn't bother moving, instead letting the answer phone kick in. It was Sam asking why The Emporium was shut. Dean closed his eyes and tuned out his brother's droning voice.


His phone rang again an indeterminate time later. Castiel's deep tones filtered through the air. He sounded like he'd sobbed his throat raw. His breath hitched like he was fighting back more tears. Dean didn't even bother trying to understand what he was saying. He let the words fill the air around him and ignored them.


A while later, he got a text. After sitting there contemplating for a while longer, Dean reached for his mobile. The text was from Castiel, begging him to get in touch. Dean dropped the phone next to himself. When it began to get dark, the numbness began to fade and give way to a multitude of feelings. Anger fell away into disappointment which turned into betrayal, bone gnawing sadness and loneliness. He crawled into bed and bitterly noted how once again he was all alone. Still, another positive side to loneliness is that no one can hear and judge you for sobbing loudly through out the whole night.


Dean rang in sick the next day. Actually, he texted in then went back to bed dropping his phone on the floor next to where he lay. He still couldn't face the world at large. He couldn't yet force the mask of indifference back on and act like he was fine. Sometimes the cracks in the mask were too large to be just glossed over. He stayed in bed all day. After three in the morning he had no more tears to shed, merely dry sobs as he fought to get a control over is spiralling despair. Dean ignored it when Sam rang again. Ignored it when Castiel rang, leaving another message. Ignored it when his mobile chirped with messages. He lay in bed lost in sorrow. Of all the people he had to open up to, of course it was the wrong person he had picked. Now he remembered why he didn't do long term relationships. Why he was always adamant that he will forever remain a bachelor. If only the reminder wasn't such a slap on the soul.


At some point in the afternoon, he heard the lock in his door click as someone came in. Dean half hoped it was a burglar who'd put him out of his misery. Instead he heard the familiar foot falls of his younger brother as he called for him. He heard the series of message left on his answer phone being played back and the soft curse when Sam heard Cas' messages. Over time they got shorter and more despondent. It moved from a sobbing babble to begging to reasoning to repeated apologising to sighs and wistful half sobs of desire to just wanting to know Dean's all right. These messages were interspersed by calls from Sam, Ellen, Jo and even Ash. That pretty much exhausted Dean's list of people who actually sometimes cared about him. That didn't help to cheer his mood one single bit.


Sam quickly found him in his bed. After checking that Dean was still breathing, he set about putting things away and making some soup. He didn't say anything to Dean until he had him sat up against his headboard with a cup of chicken soup loosely clutched in his hands.


Want to tell me what happened?” he asked, sitting in the side of the beg with a mug of his own. Dean stared ahead, not hearing Sam.


Dean.” Sam sighed his name. “Whatever it was, if you're like this then it had to be something big. What happened?”


Dean closed his eyes, losing a battle he didn't even try to win against new tears. Even with his eyes closed he could feel Sam's pitying gaze directed at him. The silence stretched until Dean could bear it no more.


He's married.”, he whispered.


What?”, the shock in Sam's voice spurred him on.


Married with a kid.”


Bastard.” Sam grunted.


Don't say that.”, despite the anger, Dean still felt the need to defend the other man. It wasn't his fault he always looked so innocent.


But Dean...”


No, don't.”, Dean's voice bore no argument.”He said...he said....”, his voice broke and he was unable to continue through his gasping sobs. Sam grimaced as he reached to comfort his brother.


He said he didn't love her.”, Dean was talking incoherently, crying choking off half his words. Sam just sat with him, an arm resting on his back to offer what little comfort he could. Slowly, the tears stopped and Dean's ragged breathing became less harsh.


Ellen was right.” Dean muttered.


Ellen?” Sam asked.


Yeah.”, Dean looked ready for another round of tears. All Sam could make out was something about baskets and ovaries. Sometimes he really didn't want to know what his brother and Ellen talked about. It took until dusk for Sam to be able to drag Dean out of bed. He was at the end of his patience and Dean made little sense still. What Sam had managed to gather was that Cas had a wife and a kid who he'd upped and left. Still, Sam couldn't help wonder if there was more to this. His inner-lawyer was telling him that this was just the tip of the iceberg.


A shower and another mug of soup later, Dean felt well enough to try and smile. He forced the soup down his throat, made himself talk to Sam about anything and everything under the sun that didn't involve himself or his (ex)love life. By the time Sam was getting ready to go, the mask was back in place, seamless as ever. Dean could fool anyone again.


Life went on. Cas still occasionally texted Dean but he was astutely ignored. Ellen never mentioned anything and it was business as usual at The Emporium. Or it would have been had Zacharia not barged in one afternoon fuming and red faced.


What have you done to him?”, he pointed an accusing finger at Dean.


I beg your pardon?”


What have you done to Castiel? He hasn't been to work since last week, he's not answering his phone, he requests no sick leave and today I get a letter of resignation with no forwarding address for references or anything? What have you done to one of my best employees?”, he demanded. Dean blinked at him is complete incomprehension.


What?”, Dean's brow furrowed in confusion, “I haven't seen him in a week.”


Zacharia looked ready to burst a blood vessel.


Then go and fix it you idiot! I don't know what happened between you two but go and fix it immediately.”, he roared.


Whoah whoah whoah!”, Dean threw up his hands, “You want me to what? He's the one who fucked up, not me. I'm not running to fix anything. I actually wish to keep my job.”


I don't care about your fucking job.”, Zacharia shouted, “I want you to go.”


It's all right Dean. I can man the shop until Ellen gets here.”, Bobby's gruff tones came from the door, “Go to him. He might need help.”


Dean floundered. He didn't particularly want to see Castiel again. He was still too heart broken and betrayed to be able to see him. And why were these two men – practically strangers – telling him to go. His phone buzzed in his pocket. Without thinking, he flipped it open to read. It was Cas.


Dean, I'm so sorry.”, it read, “I hope you find someone you deserve. Take care and good bye.”


Dean closed his eyes as an echo of Cas' voice rang through his mind.


It was either that or slitting my wrists. Which sin was worse do you think? The knife certainly hurt less than our wedding vows.


He ran out of the door without a backward glance or a worry for the customers still in the shop.

09: One Last Time

The Emporium 07: Back To The Past

07: Back To The Past


The next few days are spent in relative peace. Sam's break up with Ruby seemed to be fully supported by his other friends. It seemed that she had had a reputation round campus that only Sam seemed to have been blissfully unaware of. This meant that Dean didn't really need to mollycoddle Sam as much as he'd normally have wanted to, which resulted in him having his evening all to himself unlike how he'd planned on having Sam crash on his couch. The only logical thing to do, therefore, was to ring Cas to banish the sudden loneliness brought about by the lack of expected company. However it turned out that Cas had different ideas. After half an hour of talking about the etiquette of telling tiresome customers to go make sweet love to a poultry farmyard animal, Cas suddenly went silent. Silence from Cas, Dean had learnt quite quickly never meant anything good. In fact it could only mean two things. One, Cas was not happy with something or two, Cas was deep in thought. Just as he was about to ask what he'd done wrong, Cas spoke.


Do you want to come round?” he blurted out. Dean assured him he'd love to and it would take him 10 minutes to get there.


Good, because I'd just managed to set the table for two.” he could hear Cas smile around his words. That was how Dean ended up effectively moving out of his apartment. He only seemed to go back there for a change of clothes, to pick up the odd thing or to wait for Cas to finish work. Otherwise he and Cas were inseparable. Dean quickly got used to having dinner with him, helping out around the kitchen (while he wasn't allowed near the oven or cooker, he had a mean way with knives). To all extents and purposes Dean was happier than he'd ever remembered being. Cas' mild nature and enthusiasm for everything was a welcome break. Most people Dean knew were of a fiery temperament, and they'd have blazing screaming matches that the neighbours and occasionally the police would be spectators to. Those relationships (if such short term things could be called that) never lasted long. But he'd yet to see Cas lose his cool. Little did he know that less than a week later this idyllic existence would be rocked and he'd see Cas well and truly lose his temper along with his trust.


It happened during another lunchtime where they were giggling - like the very teenagers Dean so often despised - over one of the more explicit magazines. Before they'd opened the magazine, Cas had come in, looking red in the face and walking a little bit weird. Not limping, just different and more careful than usual. Dean had taken notice immediately and was gathering his lover in his arms and asking what's wrong. Cas smiled coyly up at him.


Remember that ring I'd bought a few weeks back?” he asked, voice low and seductive. Dean swallowed and nodded. He remembered all right. A midnight blue cock ring that they'd joked around with, it'd bring Cas eyes out somewhat beautifully if he ever managed to suck himself off and take a picture at the same time.


I'm wearing it.” Cas murmured into Dean's ear. To show how real it was, he rubbed his hard cock against Dean's hips. “Couldn't stop thinking about you all day. Want you to take it off now. With your mouth.”


It took Dean all of two seconds to drag Castiel into the back room and sit him down on the only available chair. Opening up his pants just enough to spring his cock free of its confines, he took a moment to just admire the view. Cas' cock was a deep red, the dark blue plastic ring contrasting as it cut slightly into the hardened flesh. Without hesitation Dean leant forwards, taking most of Cas into his mouth. He worked his lover slowly, letting his lips glide over smooth skin and let the ring do its work and stave off from the whole thing coming to an end too quickly. By the time he had Cas panting and writhing almost off the chair and onto the floor, he took pity. Gently hooking his teeth under the edge of the ring, he sucked as he pulled it off, eliciting a wail from Castiel. Spitting the ring out, Dean resumed his ministrations until Cas could take it no more. Whole body going stiff, he came with a bitten back moan. Satisfied that he got his breath back, Dean tucked him back into his underwear and trousers before standing up with a smug grin and pulled his lover back onto the shop floor to look and laugh some of the things the shop sold.


Not long after, the door jingled and the blonde from a week back stood in the doorway.


Jimmy!”, she exclaimed. Cas' eyes went wide then anger twisted his face.


Amelia. What are you doing here?”, he thundered.


What am I doing here? Me? What are you doing in this deplorable place? Looking at, oh my god how can you look at that? That is utterly disgusting.”


It is not your concern any more.” Cas growled.


Wait,” Dean found his voice, “what do you mean 'Jimmy'?”


That man is Jimmy. My husband.” Amelia stated in a cold voice.


Jimmy? What happened to Cas?” Dean was bewildered, hurt and confused. He could feel the soft boil of anger unfurling in the pit of his stomach. So this had been all just a huge joke or something?


Castiel James Novak.” Cas spat. “That's my full name. But Amelia couldn't stomach Castiel. She despised my given name so much that she had to call me by my middle name.”. He turned to face his wife. “You never even cared that I hated being called 'Jimmy'.”


You never said anything!”, she screamed, “How could you do this to us? What will Claire do without her daddy? How could you abandon her even if you didn't love me any more?”


Dean drew in a sharp breath. The Cas he knew would never leave his daughter behind. Having been on the receiving end of being left by a father, Dean knew what it entailed for those who stayed while your hero left. Any respect he had left for Castiel dropped away.


My daughter? MY daughter?” Castiel looked livid. “I raised Claire like she were mine but she never was!”


How can you disown her?”, Amelia had tears of fury pouring down her cheeks. “How could you just up and leave her? Telling her you aren't her father while standing on our porch and then walking away from her.”


Because she never was mine Amelia.”, Castiel's voice had dropped to a quiet tone, “She's Roger's.”


Amelia gasped and staggered back.


It's OK, I always knew. I knew that you were fucking him while I was at work. I was even OK with knowing that Claire was my neighbour's daughter. I put up with your deception, your lies and fabricated stories, raised that little girl to the best of my knowledge until she was old enough to understand. Until I could bear the fake life we had forced on ourselves no more.”


H-h-how?” Amelia choked out.


My upbringing instilled that homosexuality is a sin. It is a disease that is shunned by the community at large. You can imagine how frightening it is for a teenager. Being told that something in you is broken, that you are going against the very grain of nature. That you should be put down like an animal with rabies. So I took precautions. I never wanted any child to suffer from the same 'disease' I had. I never wanted to be able to pass on such a curse. You have any idea how terrifying it was to go to some dark back alley 'doctor'? So that my family would never find out how disgusting I was? It was either that or slitting my wrists. Which sin was worse do you think? The knife certainly hurt less than our wedding vows. Because as far as my family were aware, I was 'healthy' and I was expected to have a family. So I did. I married you but we were never meant to have children. Not from me anyway.” Cas' eyes were shimmering with unshed tears. His voice was soft, almost pleading for understanding. “I loved Claire as if she were my own. But I couldn't continue living in deceit.”


Amelia let out a wail of disbelief, “You animal. You led me to believe you loved me for all these years! You destroyed my life. You destroy my family.”


No I didn't Amelia.”, Cas voice was breaking, “You destroyed it yourself by having Claire. Perhaps you should have been more careful. But you never loved me anyway. You saw me as a trophy. A dumb trophy who could be played to all your whims. So you never loved me and it didn't matter that I never loved you in return.”


You revolting monster!”, Amelia screamed as she all but ran out of the shop. Castiel bowed his head and sighed. A few tears fell and splashed silently onto the floor. He looked up at Dean who was staring at him in horror.


I'm so sorry. No one should have borne witness to that.” he said, voice choked up fighting back heaving sobs.


I bet they shouldn't have.” Dean snarled. “Were you ever going to tell me? That you had a wife and a kid waiting back home for you?”


The drop of Castiel's shoulders was all the answer he needed. He drew a breath to continue but Cas got there first.


I was going to. But somehow it never seemed right. You have to believe me when I say this Dean. And they weren't waiting for me. You don't know how hard it was for me to move away. I couldn't leave while Claire was so young. She's 14 now, she'll understand. I had to Dean. They were killing me.”, he pleaded.


I don't care.”, Dean gritted out. He'd been played. And that was all. That was all this thing with Cas had been. Too good to be true. He turned away from Castiel to hide his face. He couldn't let this man see how much he'd broken his heart.


Dean, please.”, Castiel begged.


Get out.” Dean said through silent tears.


Dean...” Cas sounded as broken as Dean felt.


I said get out. OUT! I never want to see you again!”, Dean screamed. He didn't turn back until he heard footsteps retreating and the merry jingle of the bell, a jarring contrast to the last few minutes of screaming.

08: Go Fix It

The Emporium 06: Just Say No

06: Just Say No


The dinner was nice. Nice being the only word in Dean's vocabulary at that point. Holy fucking God was another option. He had picked Cas up, as agreed, at 7. He appraised the shorter man, in jeans with rips in them and a loose fitting light blue linen top. With his stubble slightly heavier than normal he looked a tad on the hippie side which well, Dean wasn't a huge fan of. However, all was forgiven when Cas got in, closing the Impala's door with great care and reverence and he turned to Dean with an appreciative smile.


She looks lovely tonight.” All Dean could do was stare for a moment. No one had ever instinctively just got his baby like that. Most people assumed that it would be a he if not an it anyway because of her bulk.


Thanks. Didn't realise you were a fan.”, he finally pushed out.


I'm not.”, Cas smiled widely as he said it offhandedly, “I just happen to know that when someone is taking you out it is only polite to make small talks about their ride.”


Oh.” Dean couldn't very much hide his disappointment.


Just joking,” Cas' smile pulled wider if possible, “while I'm not an avid fan, I can still appreciate the new layer of wax obviously caringly applied today to the sleek black Chevrolet Impala. It wouldn't happen to be a '67 build would it?” Dean resumed his dumbfounded staring and nodded slowly.




Awesome!” Cas actually looked enthused, which Dean realised was a rare thing.


So...you actually know anything or just winging it now?”


Winging it like an ostrich, I just remembered you mentioning it a while ago 'your baby'. The most important thing about a car, as far as I'm concerned is the colour.”


Dean barely restrained himself from smacking his head against the wheel and instead settled for violently pulling out of the driveway, forcing Cas to slam back into his seat.


Easy tiger.”, Cas warned in a light tone despite panic flashing in his eyes. Dean just growled. The rest of the journey was quiet save for AC/DC playing softly (for once). Pulling up outside the diner Dean looked over at his companion who still seemed a little ruffled by his driving. A quick kiss soothed his nerves though and they entered the diner looking mostly presentable even if their lips were a little kiss swollen. Once seated Dean glanced over the menu out of force of habit. He'd been there so often even the staff knew what he was having. Castiel on the other hand looked like he was about to crack the fourth part of Kryptos. He was still frowning over it when the waitress approached them.


Evening gentlemen. What can I get you?” she addressed Cas first.


Um...” came the very eloquent response. She took pity on the man and turned to Dean.


The usual Dean?” she asked with a genuine smile. Dean nodded as Cas looked up at him over the menu, wide blue eyes peeking over the card.


Dean?” he asked. “What would you recommend?”


Dean turned to the bemused waitress. “He's having what I'm having.”


She nodded and left with their order. Dean watched her go before turning to Cas.


Dude, seriously? You don't know what to order?”


I've never been to such an establishment.” Cas replied. Dean looked at him dumbfounded.


In my family, when I grew up, everything was grown and made at home.”, he expanded. “And after I moved away we only ever went to what I think you'd call upper-class-twat's restaurants. All the menu was normally in French or some other romantic language.”


You think French is romantic?” Dean looked aghast.


No. Romantic languages are also known as Romanic or Romance languages and make up a subfamily of languages with a common ancestor in the Indo-European family. They include Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.”


Dean blushed at his own ignorance and muttered a quick sorry for not even realising he'd just been lectured on something way out of his interest zone.


So you come from a pretty high class family?”


My family is not what you'd consider your average apple pie dream family.” Cas evaded the question subtly. Their food arrived, cutting any further conversation short for a while. Between bites Dean began his questions again.


You hardly ever talk about your family. What are they like?”


I haven't spoken to my family properly in a long time. I don't like to talk of them as I don't know how they are now.”




Although I do talk to a few of my siblings.”


How many do you have?”


A lot.” Dean raised an eyebrow in a silent question. Cas sighed and put his burger down.


Biologically I am an only child. My mother died during child birth. But otherwise I have probably in excess of 20 brothers and sisters.”


Dean almost dropped his own burger in shock.


As I said, my family isn't conventional.”


No shit.”


No. No shit.” Cas smiled.


So...” Dean struggled for words, “how did that happen then?”


Our Father runs the community. It is very self sufficient and is very close knit. Everything is shared, you have no possessions to call your own. It is almost militaristic in its running order. The older ones look after the younger, everyone has jobs they do ranging from guarding the unit to weeding the herb gardens. There is also no leeway to do things. Only Father's way or no way at all. I left because my ideals weren't those of Father's.” Cas' eyes were sad and fixed on the table forlornly. He looked ready to get up and run away from the whole thing just like he ran from his family. Dean wanted to reach across the table and tell him it was okay.


You miss them?” he finally asked. Cas' eyes flicked up to him, glittering from unshed tears.


Every day. Even though I hated every second I was there. Family is family for a reason.”


I know. I treasure every day I have with Sammy even though I may not act like I do. You love your family no matter what shit they put you through. Right?”


Yeah.” Cas offered a wobbly smile before taking another bite from his burger, chewing and swallowing down his own sorrow.


How's your burger?” Dean changed topic before things became too morose and they both got lost in the wrongs their families have committed against them in the past.


It is...” Cas paused trying to find the right word. “I think burgers make me...very happy.”


Dean smiled. “Good. Burgers make me happy too.”


The rest of the meal was spent with idle chatting. Predominantly they discussed the finer points of the domestication of hell-hounds and whether Heaven was thus left with kittens. They laughed but the air was heavy with unsaid regrets and memories full of despair and loneliness. They finished off the night with a slice of pie for each. Cas stared at his like it had personally offended him before taking a dainty bite. Then he attacked it with the vengeance of a starving man. Even Dean was put to shame by the sheer enjoyment the slice of pie seemed to cause Cas. Before they left the diner Dean asked for two more slices to be boxed up for them and Cas looked fit to burst with excitement at the prospect of more pie.


Heading out to the car, Dean placed the pie box on the back seat before moving to the driver's door where he found himself pressed against it by a warm body. Cas was crowding close, pressing him into the door. The grateful kisses he pressed against Dean's lips cheeks and jaw with desperate tenderness froze Dean in place. Sure Cas had kissed him before, but never like this.


Thank you.” Cas whispered after the gentle onslaught and moved back to slide into the passenger seat. The trip back to Cas' house was silent and in the quiet dark Dean could reassured himself that no one would see him hold his boyfriend's hand and mock him for it later. Pulling up outside the house, Dean turned to Cas.


So,” he began only to be cut off by lips sealing over his and a tongue begging entrance to his mouth. The kiss tasted mostly of pie with soft undertones of pure Cas. The kiss soon turned from their usual make-out sessions into something a little more adult rather than the teenager level they'd been at previously. Cas moved to straddle Dean's lap but let out a huff of annoyance when the steering wheel prevented him. He quickly yanked the doors open and all but manhandled Dean into the back. The box of pie was unceremoniously dumped onto the floor as Cas crawled up Dean's body looking like a feral animal searching for its prey.


They ended up with cocks pressed flush as Cas sat astride Dean almost fully clothed and brought them off in one hand while the other grabbed the headrest for support. After coming down from their respective highs, Cas cast a morose look at the squished box in the foot well.


Pie's ruined.” he announced. Dean didn't have it in him to even grumble out a half-serious threat about the condition of his car. After all, what would a little pie in the foot well matter after the mess they had just made of the back seats? Making themselves more presentable, Cas got out of the car as Dean moved back behind the wheel. Leaning through the open window Cas stole a goodbye kiss before he let himself back into his dark home.


The next day found Dean out on the floor while Ellen put away new stock. Coming out for a break, Ellen gave Dean an appraising looks.


So, how's Castiel?”


Fine. How's Bobby?” Dean replied.


Fine. I just wanted to say, you look all right boy. Last few weeks you've seemed more at ease with the world. Castiel seems to be good for you.”


Shut up Ellen.” Dean could feel the blush creeping up his cheeks. In fact, Ellen was right. Since Cas blew into his life everything seemed, well, not brighter – that would be too Disney – but just, nicer. Less things had been grating on Dean's nerves and he found things easier to deal with somehow. Not that he would ever admit it, but still.


Just saying.” Ellen threw her hands up in mock defence. Suddenly Dean felt like really wanting to tell her to stuff it. Instead he found that his mouth had disconnected from his brain and was happily running away with secrets he had so far held dearly close to his heart.


I don't know why Ellen. It's just that, since Cas I've been happier. I think I'd be happy if he were to stick around. Permanently.”, but for good measure and to lighten the mood, he quickly added, “Like a dried come on your stomach.”


Charming Dean.”, sarcasm dripped heavy from Ellen's mouth, “But just don't put all your eggs in one ovary.”


A quiet snort from the door alerted them to a presence. Cas was standing there trying his damn hardest to hold in what looked either like laughter or the most painfully large fart. Dean grinned back as the man, who lost his battle and a guffaw of laughter erupted.


Hello Castiel.” Ellen said, a smile hiding behind her stern features. “I hope you haven't come to deface my shop again.”


You're never going to let him live that down, are you?” Dean asked.


Nope. But I will have the courtesy of pointedly not mentioning the large hickey on his neck.”, the smile broke through. Cas reached for his neck self-consciously and pulling at his collar to try and ineffectually hide the bruise. Dean wandered over and slipped an arm round the slighter man's waist in greeting. The small incline of head to briefly rest on his shoulder was a satisfying response. The three of them stood around the counter laughing and teasing each other until the door opened and another customer entered the shop.


The temperature suddenly seemed to drop as Castiel stared wide eyed at Zacharia who was also standing frozen in place by the door.


Castiel.” he eventually ground out, “I thought you were working today.”


Yes Mr. Adler. I'm on my lunch break.” Cas replied looking paler than normal.


I think you will find that lunch is over. Back to your desk now and don't let me catch you like this again.”


Castiel nodded and gave Dean and Ellen an apologetic look as he hastily retreated to his work place.


I do not appreciate you befriending my employees. Please refrain from encouraging such a depraved behaviour from now on or you will find your business losing a customer.” Zachariah addressed Ellen while Dean silently fumed and slammed his order onto the counter with more force than necessary.


Depraved? You'd surely know about that you dick.” Dean muttered under his breath. For his efforts he got a sharp jab in his side from Ellen and a glare.


It is beyond our control as to who visits our establishment, Mr. Adler. And we have no banning policy based on partners of our workers coming in during their free time. If this offends you then you are more than welcome to search out another outlet that will cater for your highly specialised orders.” Ellen primly put him in place. Dean felt a warm glow at the mention of he and Cas being 'partners'. It was especially sweet to see the look of sour frustration as Zachariah gave him another assessing look. Dean gave him a wide fake smile.


Your order sir.”, he said in a cheery tone. Zacharia paid and left, pulling the door close behind himself with force.


Dean thought his day couldn't get any weirder. He was wrong. Very wrong. While reading a book while leaving on the counter, a petite blonde woman came in. She walked up to him directly and gave his a piercing look.


Can I help you?” Dean asked.


Actually, I am looking for someone. My husband. Someone that matches his description has been reported to be seen coming here on a regular basis.”


Well, ma'am, we don't tend to keep records on customers and all transactions are treated as confidential. I don't think I'd be able to tell you anything.” Dean deflected.


Actually, he has been coming on almost a daily basis or so I've been told, so I'm fairly certain you could identify him. At least you could tell me if he's been around.”, the blonde said, “My name's Amelia by the way.”


Amelia, you can ask but I'm under no obligation to confirm or deny anything, we got that clear?”


Sure. He's a little shorter than you, dark almost black hair, blue eyes, slight build. He's quite pale and has a distinctively deep voice.”


Dean's stomach dropped. Cas. And this woman was Cas' wife. Why hadn't he ever mentioned her? Shit.


He's called Jimmy.”


Air rushed back into Dean's lungs. Just a coincidence then. The iron bands constricting his ribs fell away with those three words. Cas was his and this bitch had no previous claim on him. He found it in himself to smile again.


I think there has been a mistake of identity there. No Jimmy has visited this shop as far as I'm aware. Good luck with your search.” he said. She huffed but Dean's dismissal had her leaving pretty quickly. Picking up his book again, Dean resumed reading. That is, he'd have liked to keep reading but within minutes the door opened again. Before he had the chance to look up, he already knew who it was. Ruby. The sicko who bought the really weird shit. Her voice carried through the shop.


Come on, this way. We are almost there Sam. Just a few more steps.”, she cooed. Dean's head shot up at the name. Surely not?! Shit. Standing in the middle of the floor like a lost sasquatch puppy was Sam. As in Dean's brother Sam. Ruby reached for the blind fold as she carried on in a trill voice.


You've been such a good boy lately, I thought I'd treat you. So, I'm going to let you pick something for yourself.” the blindfold fell away and Sam looked around. Colour drained from his face as his eyes met Dean's. Once again, Dean's world froze. He knew he should have talked to Sam about Ruby. Told him to stay away from her. Shit shit shit. Now he knew who the poor idiot on the receiving end of her deviant sexual practices. Dean felt like he was going to throw up.


Sammy?” his voice broke.


Dean.”, Sam's voice was pitched higher in panic and shame. The colour which had left his face quickly returned. Ruby looked between them with a curious frown.


You want to tell me something Sam?”, she quipped.


I thought I told you I'm not coming in here with you Ruby.”, Sam spat at his girlfriend. “That's Dean. You know, the Dean I told you about? Dean my older brother Dean?”


Oh.” Ruby looked at him again. “Well, nice to formally meet you Dean. Now if you will excuse us, Sammy-boy has some toys to pick out.”


No.”, Dean ground out surprising everyone including himself.


Excuse me?”, Ruby asked disbelieving. Dean could only be grateful that Ellen had gone home after lunch so he was in charge of the shop. And alone. He could say anything and no one could reprimand him or over rule his decisions.


I'm not serving you.”, he clarified.


Yes you are.”, Ruby shot back then turned to Sam who was still rooted to the spot. “Run along Sam, find yourself something nice for tonight.”


Dean shook his head at Sam. He would have laughed at the way Sam's head whipped between looking at him and Ruby if under different circumstances.


Sam, a word please.”, Dean said indicating the back room. Sam obediently followed, mentally gearing up for a huge bollocking from Dean. Even though it was in no way Dean's business what Sam did in bed, he knew that Ruby had a few unhealthy habits in bed that Dean, no doubt, somehow knew about. He hung his head and waited for the yelling to start. When it didn't, he looked out from under his hair to find Dean looking at him with concern.


Now I know it's none of my business Sam, but really? You know you could do so much better.”, Dean began in a hushed voice. Sam nodded.


You're not going to yell?” he asked.


As I said, not my business, but I just want to know one thing.” Dean sighed. “You happy?” his eyebrows rose with worry. Sam's eyes dropped and he stared at his shoes again.


I don't know.”, he eventually said.


You don't know?”, Dean echoed in disbelief.


No. It all started out as harmless fun. Nothing outrageous but then it all started spiralling out of control and I just couldn't stop it. I couldn't say no.” Sam muttered.


Why didn't you tell me then?”, Dean's voice was full of sadness, “I would have helped you know. After telling you that you are an idiot.”


Sam nodded again and slowly raised his eyes to meet Dean's.


Do what you want Sammy. I got your back.”, Dean said and turned to leave the small room. Ruby was waiting for them, tapping her foot impatiently.


Come on Sam. We will find you something elsewhere.”, she said as soon as Sam emerged. Sam started towards her but then looked at Dean who gave him a small nod of encouragement.


No.”, Sam said, pulling himself to his impressive full height.


Pardon?”, Ruby turned to him, shocked at the refusal. “Don't be silly Samuel, come along now.”


I said no Ruby.”, Sam repeated.


What?”, the girl screeched.


You can go. Without me. We're over. Done. I'm not playing any games any more.”, Sam stood his ground and Dean stepped up to stand behind his shoulder, arms crossed over his chest. Ruby looked at the two of them let out a strangled scream of frustration before turning to leave. From the door she turned back and pointed at Sam. “Don't you dare come crawling back to me, begging to be taken back. You sick selfish git. Choosing your brother over your girlfriend. I hope you have a happy incestuous life together you inbreeds.”, she stormed out of the shop.


Could have been worse.”, Dean offered a tentative smile.


Yeah. Thanks for that.”, Sam sighed.


So, wanna make out and live a happy incestuous life?” Dean teased. He got a punch in the arm for his efforts. Dean's life was seriously weird sometimes.


That evening when he called Cas, he found himself talking about Sam, all thoughts of Amelia and her missing husband slipping from his mind. Cas, being the saint that he was, offered Dean to go round for dinner and relax. That was how Dean had found himself on a soft couch with a full belly curled up with Cas watching a late night slasher movie that neither of them were really paying attention to. Half way through, Cas shifted sleepily from where his head had been resting on Dean's shoulder. He looked up at the other man with cloudy blue eyes and stifled a yawn.


I'm going to go to bed.” he announced. “If you want, you can keep watching. Just turn off the TV when you are done. You can use the couch, or come to bed. Whatever you are comfortable with.”


Dean stood with him, the TV turned off absent mindedly as he was pulled in the direction of the bedroom, their fingers entwined. Laying down, they spooned up, Cas' back pressed tight against Dean's chest. The soft hairs on the back of his neck tickling Dean's nose until he found a comfortable position where his nose was tucked into the side of the smaller man's neck.


Good night Cas.” Dean murmured. He got a drawn out mumble in response. The smile that curved his lips upwards was invisible to all, but felt by a half-asleep Cas who pressed further back into Dean's warm body. They fell asleep in a tangle of limbs and contentment.

07: Back To The Past

The Emporium 05: Away With The Fairies

05: Away With The Fairies


The next day Dean thought about ringing Cas. A lot. He was distracted during work. Thankfully none of the customers seemed to notice that he was only physically present. Mentally, he was wandering around in his mind, trying furiously to figure out an excuse to phone Cas. While he was only working in the afternoon, he had spent most of his morning at home staring at his phone and hoping for divine inspiration. It never struck. So, cursing his lack of creativity and social skills which refused to extend beyond a quickie and family Dean had trudged to work. He was sort of coming up with a half assed plan to do with asking about tea and what exactly the difference between white and green tea were when another customer opened the door. Considering the fact that Dean was balancing on the top of a ladder with a box of assorted DVDs in his arms, he didn't actually see who it was. By the time he was free of his burden and gingerly stepped off the ladder, there was a red faced Cas, eyes darting around the shop in a paranoid search.


Looking for someone?” Dean smiled. Cas just jumped and blushed deeper.


I had a rather unfortunate call this morning.” he said.


Uhuh...” Dean's blood ran cold. If Cas had lost someone then why was the guy here? Surely he'd be with his family.


A lady called Ellen, who I believe owns this shop.” Cas continued seriously, eyes searching the glass counter. “She asked why my phone number was scrawled across her desk. And then kindly reminded me that if I do anything of the like ever again, she will shoot me like a dog.”


Dean let out a laugh while Cas continued to look at the array of body piercings under the glass.


So what did you say to that?”


I told her I'm very sorry, barked for good measure then hung up.” Cas' attention was still held by the silver studs and hoops. Dean laughed as he stood behind the counter.


See anything you'd want to buy?” he teased.


Perhaps.” was the flat answer he got. Dean raised an eyebrow at his friend in question. All the response he received was a stare and a terse “problem?”. Dean swallowed audibly and shook his head. Dean was about to ask which piercing Cas was looking at when Ellen bustled in from the back room. With a fleeting look of panic Cas gave a quick smile to Dean before muttering a quick “bye” and leaving the shop. Ellen gave the retreating figure a frown then stared at Dean accusingly.


If I find his phone number scrawled anywhere in my shop again...”


You will shoot him like a dog.” Dean finished for her, “I know Ellen, he told me already.”


And you will be back under supervision if you can't keep it in your pants. You know the rules about customers.” Ellen glared.


But he didn't even buy anything!” Dean whined.


Don't care.”


How did you know anyway? That it was him?” Dean looked confused.


His voice is pretty distinctive I'd say.”


The following night Dean only hesitated a few minutes (okay, that's a lie, more like a few hours of anxious contemplation and phone flicking later he'd manned up enough to even scroll through his list of contacts) and called Cas. Just as he was about to hang up on the fifth ring, his call was answered with a deep rumbly and breathless “Hello?”


Turned out Cas had been trimming his bonsai trees whilst humming along to Marilyn Manson and didn't hear his phone ringing until the song finished so he had to run for it to beat the answer phone kicking in. Dean laughed at him and they chatted about everything and anything for over an hour. When Dean hung up he realised that he wasn't quite sure what they'd talked about exactly, only that he enjoyed it and he couldn't remember laughing as much in a long long time.


Calling each other in the evening quickly became a ritual of theirs. As did Cas' visits during his lunch breaks which sometimes ended in interesting purchases. On one day he bought a pair of bright pink fluffy handcuffs. A few day later he was back with them, one half secured round his own wrist and he was proudly presenting Dean with the other half which he'd carefully braided and put beads into the tufts along with removing the links between the two cuffs. “Our own special friendship bracelets.” he'd declared with laughter twinkling in his eyes.


Turned out that he worked literally across the road in a very respectable bank. Over the coming weeks Dean learnt a lot about the other man. Cas only looked serious. Behind the façade of a serious composure, he was bubbling over with mirth and mischief. He was smart and had an acquired sense of humour and an imagination that could blur the boundaries between reality and fiction in one sentence. This became brilliantly apparent when he spent half an hour leaning against the counter talking to a ditzy blonde about conspiracy theories. In particular how the Roswell UFO incident was actually a cover up to please the masses and ease their inquisitive minds away from the terrible truth. Which, according to Cas was that Roswell was the place where Sir Edward Blackwaters shot the last unicorn with a silver tipped arrow fired from the bow of Cupid. Unfortunately, unicorns are allergic to Cupid's magic and thus the last unicorn in existence was hunted down for it's exquisite meat. The poor blonde was almost in tear by the end of the sorrowful tale. She left the shop sniffling as Cas' final words rang in the heavy silence.


And so, the unicorns joined the ranks of the dodos and dinosaurs as one of the finest creatures man kind had driven to extinction.”


As the door closed behind the poor woman, Cas looked at Dean with a slight pout.


I didn't even get to tell her about where the unicorn went after that. Unicorn Heaven is full of rainbows and stars and glitter which they share with leprechauns. Leprechaun sociology is a whole other science.” he solemnly explained to Dean with sad serious eyes. Dean didn't know whether to laugh in his face or to treat him like a fragile delusional mental patient and subtly call for an ambulance. That was until a wide smile broke through the carefully maintained serious expression.


You,” Dean giggled pointing at the other, “are cruel.”


Well, maybe this will prompt her to try and support the effort to save other animals on the brink of extinction?”, he tried to reason between bouts of laughter.


No, she won't. And you know that full well.”


It was worth a try anyway.”, his friend shot back with a small shrug.


Other things Dean had learnt about Cas were more sobering. Before he moved here, he used to work as a radio ad sales man. Which also included writing little jingles for certain products. But he got bored, had a revelation and upped and left his job and moved to become a tax accountant at the local bank. This was all very well, but Dean suspected there were a few details he was skimming over or omitting entirely. Which, while it bothered Dean a little, he also knew that with time and patience Cas would open up and things would make sense. Another thing Dean found fascinating was the way Cas seemed so open to everyone and could talk to anyone about anything. You left feeling like it was a two sided conversation but upon rethinking you realised that you knew nothing more about Cas than what was absolutely necessary (ie: his name, gender and job – anything a very uncaring neighbour would know basically). So, he made it his mission to get to know this mysterious man better and open him up. He could only think that Cas was like an oyster. Hard to pry open, but when you did there was a gem inside. He already got glimpses of said gem in their exchanges over the phone, but now that he had seen it in flashes, he wanted to see it, hold it and hog it all to himself. He actually made the mistake of telling Cas about the comparison – but carefully brushing over the second half of the analogy – to which he got a bitter laugh.


And what if you were to pry the oyster open and found that the pearly was in fact nothing more than a clump of sand with a shard of glass stuck in it?”


I'd treasure the glass because I worked hard to get it.” was Dean's immediate response. And he promptly kicked himself for being such a girl until a small private smile appeared that was so different from the normally wide and toothy grin he was used to crinkling Cas' eyes.


I just hope it's worth your time then.” Cas said as a way of good bye for the day. After that though, whenever they saw each other, Dean made a point of coming round the counter and leaning against it with his shoulder bumping against Cas'. He also made an effort to try and let Cas know that he would wait until he felt comfortable enough around him. It all paid off gradually. Though they hadn't kissed since that chaste thing outside the dry cleaners, Dean knew Cas was interested in him despite the lack of physical evidence. And Dean also knew he was interested in Cas too. On one of Cas' lunch breaks it was just the two of them leaning against the counter and each other in a companionable silence when suddenly Cas turned, a curious fire burning in his eyes. Dean looked down at the slightly shorter man with fondness. He wasn't quite expecting blue eyes to slip closed and a pair of dry lips to press against his in a shy kiss.


Soon, whenever it was just the two of them in the shop, they'd end up making out. Cas kissed like he was unsure of himself to begin with. Not quite like he'd never done it before, but like it was the first time it made sense to him and he wasn't just going through the motions like he'd read it in a textbook. They didn't really go out on further dates as such. It was a small town despite being home to a university and news travelled fast. Especially if it involved two men on an apparent date. So they kept most of their activities above the waist and to the privacy of the shop. They weren't quite at the stage of inviting the other round for dinner yet, so their own bedrooms were also out of the question.


Their nightly conversations became longer and Cas would often tell Dean bedtime stories -as he called them. Normally they consisted of stories Cas made up on the spot, or had been plotting during the day. It made Dean feel special to know that while bored at work, Cas thought up stories just for him. He encouraged Cas to write these stories down, but every time he was met with a blunt refusal saying that there stories were only ever meant for Dean's ears and no one else's. Sometimes Dean rang while Cas was cooking – which was more often that not. Those times Dean would be put onto speaker phone and he'd listen to Cas banging with pots and sometimes humming to himself when he forgot he had his phone on. On more than one occasion Dean heard something thud to the floor or clank as a pile of dishes tumbled which would always be followed by a colourful string of profanities. He quickly realised that if he laughed loudly at Cas' misfortune, he'd get the pot banged very loudly right into the speaker and deafen him for a few minutes.


This routine continued until one day Ellen came in unexpectedly just before Cas' lunch break. She was followed by Jo and Ash who also looked a little bewildered by this sudden summons to the shop. It wasn't often that all four of them were in the shop at once, especially when it only really took one person to run the place. Two if they had some new shipment in. They gathered round the counter and Ellen looked at each of them in turn.


I have some news for you all.” she began. Everyone shifted uncomfortably, minds jumping to the worst conclusion which involved at least one of them being made redundant.


As you all know, there is a rule against dating customers.” Ellen continued. Dean paled at the statement. No way would Ellen publicly shame him like this in front of the others. Surely she of all people had the tact to do it between the two of them and make Dean feel like it was his idea that he'd quit by the end of their conversation.


Well, I'm revising the rule as of now. I'm just asking you to exercise caution if you do decide to hit on a customer.” Dean let out an audible breath he'd been holding back.


Who's the lucky guy?” Ash grinned.


Yeah Mum, who?” Jo quipped. Ellen's cheeks tinged red.


That is none of your business.” she growled.


Come on Ellen, there's not many to choose from.” Dean joined in. He fought back the urge to cough out a not so subtle 'double standards'.


Let's see, there's Castiel?” Ash began. “Bobby? Please tell me it's not Zachariah! That would be pure creepy.”


It is most definitely not Zacharia!” Ellen snapped, “And Castiel is Dean's anyway.”


Everyone turned to look at Dean who at least had the courtesy to blush a little.


Dean?” Jo asked dumbfounded.


Leave Dean be.” Ellen drew attention back to herself and kindly spared Dean the discomfort. “And if Bobby comes in, let him know that he can pick his shipment up from my house, not from here. You are all dismissed.”


The shocked silence was broken by a soft clearing of the throat. Cas was standing there, tie askew like he still hadn't learnt to tie it properly, looking at the group huddled round the till. Jo was about to say something to him but a sharp elbow to her ribs shut her up promptly. The workers of The Emporium filed out quietly, herded by Ellen, who before leaving looked between Cas and Dean.


Remember what I said.” she addressed Castiel then looked at Dean, “And you, remember that there are CCTV cameras in here.”


Yes ma'am.” the two men called in unison before Ellen left them in the empty shop.


How much of that did you hear?” Dean asked.


Enough.” Castiel smiled a little.


So, I was thinking that perhaps tonight you'd want to go out?” Dean looked hopeful but expected a rejection.


I would love to.”, the toothy smile was back in full force. “Where?”


Dean thought of all the places he knew. The best one he could come up with was a small family-run diner just outside of town that baked the most amazing pies on earth. Upon Dean suggesting it, Cas frowned.


I don't drive.” he finally admitted.


What? At all?” Dean asked incredulous. A sad shake of head answered him.


I never had the occasion.”


Fine. I can pick you up at seven.” Dean offered without thinking. The surprised look he got was a welcome relief.


That's a date then.”


Indeed it is.” The rest of the lunch break was spent mostly making out in full view of the cameras in spite of Ellen.

06: Just Say No

The Emporium 04: Un-date

04: Un-date


Laying back on his bed, Dean gazed at the ceiling with a dazed smile. Today had been, well...a series of ups and downs. It all started off last night technically. After Dean got home from work he got dinner (large take away pizza with extra bacon) and sat on his couch staring blankly at the TV. Ellen was going to string him up by the balls if she ever found out he'd stupidly asked a customer out. Still, if she saw Cas, she might agree. But he'd still get a smack on the upside of the head. And he would absolutely deserve it to be honest. What was he thinking, asking a random guy he'd never had a proper conversation with out? Okay, so he'd gone a lot further with people with a lot less talking, but one night stands didn't count. The aim of those was not to talk, but you know, get off. Coffee on the other hand required talking. And being polite. And not opening your big mouth to spout utter bull. And there'd be no alcohol to make things pleasantly fuzzy or to help forget, depending on how badly things went.


By the last slice of the pizza Dean was almost over his little freak out. Stranger or no, the guy looked harmless (and hot), so it wouldn't hurt to maybe even end up with a friend. Friends. Dean'd been running low on them for a while. Well, he never really had one but that was beside the point. Plenty of people had liked him. Even if for only one night at a time. He also had Sam, Jo and Ellen. That was more than enough. His worries slid away with the last bit of pizza down his throat. He went to bed with a full stomach, mildly pleased with the outcome of the day. “What ever tomorrow brings,” he thought to himself as he drifted off, “at least I tried this time.”


The next morning he woke up early, anticipation curling in his stomach like over night he'd transformed into a butterfly house. Stumbling into the bathroom for a refreshingly cold (read: icy as fuck) shower, he attempted to knock some sense into himself. Cas was only human, if they didn't get along, Dean could always just leave and never need to talk to him again in a social situation. Hopping out of the shower as quickly as he could, Dean wandered over to his wardrobe which held a meagre selection of clothes. The next half an hour he spent trying to decide on what to wear and ended up getting progressively angry with himself. Fine, he might be gay, but that didn't mean he needed to create drama about what he was going to wear. Clothes just weren't important, right? So what would look better, a black button down shirt or a green t-shirt with a flannel top over it? Dean ended up picking the green t-shirt. Cas didn't really look like the kind of guy who'd like black button down on a first date.


Shit. It was not a date. At all. Just a getting to know you, hello kind of coffee. Not a date in any shape or form what so ever. Because Dean didn't do dates. He'd outwardly prided himself on never having gone on a date with anyone. Inwardly though, he might have had a few regrets. But he was never going to admit that out loud to anyone, even himself. Never the less, he'd managed to surprise himself. Known for being notoriously late unless it was work, Dean went against his own reputation and was sitting by the fountain at two o'clock. As he sat there, he watched people come and go, all scurrying around minding their own business. He didn't actually notice Cas until the man had almost reached him, eyes focussed intently on him. Dean stared, unsure of what was so different about Cas this time. Right, no coat today, odd but okay. Cas may actually look better without the shapeless tan thing hanging askew from his shoulders.


Hello Dean. What were you daydreaming about?” Cas' mouth twitched with a hidden smile.


Hello to you too. Where's your coat?”. Great, now Dean sounded like he'd rather date the coat than Cas. Not that this was a date or anything.


I have to pick it up at 5 from the dry cleaners.” a slight blush crept up his cheeks. Suddenly Dean got it. The chocolate stuff! Cas had wiped his finger on it last night. Feeling smug and as cunning as Sherlock Holmes, Dean stood.


So, you promised me this coffee place near here. Lead the way?”. They fell into an easy step next to each other, shoulders almost bumping every now and then. Dean cast furtive glances towards the other man – friend? Potential partner? - trying to guess what he was thinking. What he didn't realise was that Cas was doing exactly the same thing. The silence stretched between them, both lost in their own little world of guessing and second guessing the other. It didn't last long as within a couple of minutes they arrived at the coffee house. Castiel held the door open for Dean who just gave him a scowl. He was not the lady. Not today, not ever. Castiel just tilted his head with a small frown before shrugging and lithely entering the establishment first. Dean followed with a sigh.


Looking around inside, Dean felt like being transported to a different era. The tables were a dark wood, as were the walls. The chairs and sofas looked like comfortable and well worn leather that was normally seen in large estates by the fireside. Dean nodded appreciatively while glancing at the patrons. In a far corner sat a gaggle of what looked like college kids. In fact, sitting slap bang in the middle of the group the familiar figure of Sam, laughing and smiling. Dean would have smiled too until his blood ran cold at the sight of the petite brunette sitting next to him with a smug grin. Ruby. She had burrowed close to Sam's side and was giggling along with the rest of the group.


Dean?” Castiel drew his attention back to his date. Not date. Fuck it, it was a date wasn't it? He gave a sheepish smile at his inattention. Cas gave a small indulgent smile as he repeated himself, “I asked what you'd like to drink.”


Coffee?” Dean ventured. He could almost hear Cas rolling his eyes.


Good. Coffee. That's progress I guess. But what kind?”


Black?” Dean never went to these kooky places with their fancy Italian names for what was, in effect just coffee. Cas just nodded, eyebrows raised in anticipation of what else Dean could possibly say to embarrass himself further.


Strong black coffee?” he asked, putting Dean out of his misery once more. “Short? Or long?”


Dean's face must have given away his bafflement as Cas just turned and ordered him a double espresso. Coffee is coffee is coffee Dean thought. They waited for their drinks to be made before sitting down in a secluded corner of the shop.


I take it you don't come to places like this often.” Cas began. Dean felt himself blush as he shook his head. What was he doing here? Obviously he and Cas were entire opposites. He was about to say as much until he looked at what the other man was drinking.


Jesus Christ! What is that?” he exclaimed. Cas calmly looked down at his drink then back up at Dean.




But it's green! Surely that can't be good for you.”


On the contrary. It is very good for you. Normally I'd have white tea, but they have run out of that until next week.”


I still don't think it looks very drinkable.”


Where as your coffee is that much better. You can't even see what's at the bottom of your cup.”


It is much better.” Dean shot back.


Is not.”


Is so.”




Yes it is.”


Is so not.”


So is.”


Dean, this is childish.” Cas chided raising the cup to his lips. Before he took a sip, Dean could hear a faint murmur of “Not.” He contemplated whether a kick on the shin under the table was too childish. Instead he decided to rise above it all by just muttering “Is.” Then he felt a foot connect with his own shin as Cas stared at the wall, hiding a devious grin behind his hand.


Now who's being childish?” Dean couldn't help but smile even as he chided Cas.


I blame it on modern music.” Cas announced, face all serious again.


Come again?”


With all those weird song lyrics that make no sense, they influence young people and in order to prevent eventual and ensured insanity by trying to make sense of a world that is designed to make no sense, they revert to their inner child and remain childish for as long as possible.”


You what? What lyrics?” Dean stared incredulous.


Like Paparazzi by Lady Gaga. 'Loving you is cherry pie' what's that meant to mean?”


Dean snorted. “Two things. One it's 'loving you is terrifying' and two, it could mean loving you is like loving cherry pie. I for one adore cherry pie so if I said that to someone, they'd have to be very very special. But not as special as apple pie. Simplicity at its best.” he smiled dreamily as he thought of pie.


Oh. Then what about When I Grow Up by Pussycat Dolls. You know, 'when I grow up I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna have boobies.”


Who are they? And if they are female, of course they'd want breasts when they grow up. What silly woman doesn't?” Dean mused.


So what do you listen to?”




Castiel nodded like he'd just cracked the greatest code on earth. “What sub-genre?”


Classical rock. You know, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, those kinds.”


I see. So you like sounds that equate to banging on pots in the kitchen. Loudly and for an excessively prolonged amount of time.”


Hey! Don't knock it.” only then did Dean realise the small telling curve of Cas lips were an indication that he was being messed with. At that point the large group of college students filed past. Sam did a double take as he walked past them.


Dean?” he called, casting Cas a glance that promised a long and painful interrogation for later.


Hey Sammy.” Dean smiled at his little brother.


See you tonight.” Sam waved as he left. Dean saw Cas' wide eyes, a slight panic mixed with disappointment reflected in their blue.


I'm sorry. I presumed...”he began.


Wrong,” Dean cut in. “You presumed wrong. That was Sam, my younger brother. He sometimes bunks round my flat when he can't be bothered to go back to his college dorm.”


Oh. My apologies.” Cas looked at the table in shame and what Dean thought might have been fleeting sorrow.


He's a good kid really. Pre-law and all that.” Cas met Dean's eyes and tried to force a smile out. Dean didn't call him on it. Not yet.


You must be very proud.”


Hell yeah, first in the family to go to university. And the last of my family alive. He's my everything I guess. Other than my baby.”


You have a child?” Cas' eyes widened again.


What? No! My baby is a '67 Chevy Impala. Got it from my Dad before he took off.”


I haven't spoken to my family in a long time. And I never saw my father. Only a few of my older brothers were granted that honour.”


That's...different.” tact was never Dean's strong point. “My Dad took off after my brother left for college. Not like he was there before anyway. Well, not in mind anyway. He said Mum died when I was 4, Sammy was 6 months. He was so sad he became an alcoholic. So I looked after Sammy while Dad drank away any spare money we had and lived in a world of his own. Lately though, I've heard rumours that Mum didn't die. Whispers that she left because she was a drug addict. That the drugs meant more to her than her family, than her kids. I know Dad died a few years back, got hit by a truck while stumbling out of a bar drunk. Mum though? She could still be out there, anywhere. Kind of makes you sad.” Dean stared morosely into his cup, grains of ground coffee beans swirling in the last few drops of the dark liquid. Cas didn't say anything, but the foot that had been resting against his since the kick to the shin pressed softly against his own in silent comfort. Castiel drained the last of his tea.


That kind of killed the mood. Sorry. I understand if you want to go.” Dean addressed the tea cup in front of his companion.


Why would I do that? The tea leaves say this would be an unwise choice.”


The tea leaves?” Dean spluttered.


I was taught to read from tea leaves, tarot cards, playing cards and knuckle bones. So yes, if you want to believe the tea leaves then they say I stay. And I'm inclined to agree with them on this one. We don't often agree though.” a playful frown accompanied the last sentence. Dean let out a soft huff of laughter.


Go on then magic man, tell me what the tea leaves say. But don't pull a disappearing act after it, will you? Just vanishing into thin air or what ever these magicians do.”


The leaves say that while out, you will encounter a situation where you will have to choose wisely. It will have a great impact on your future, distant and near. Someone from the past may crop up to disrupt your choices but don't let that deter you. You may encounter fortune in the next few weeks.”


And the tea leaves really say that? Bull!” Dean laughed.


The trick is to be vague but specific enough so everyone can apply it to their own lives.” Cas admitted.


A neat parlour trick but nothing else.”


More or less.”


Cool.” Dean said. Cas glanced at his watch and frowned.


About vanishing acts, I'm going to have to pick my coat up soon. To see if the stain has pulled a vanishing act too.” he said with a small pout.


So Dean walked Cas to the cleaners before beginning to say an awkward good bye. Once again Cas took the initiative and shut Dean up with a well timed soft kiss. It shocked Dean into silence and he could only stare at the back of Cas' head as he strode into the small shop. Turning to close the glass door behind himself, Cas looked at Dean with a final shy smile and gestured with his hand “call me”. Dean wandered home half dazed and ended up lying on his bed recalling the day's events. All in all, it was wonderful, but he's got to warn Sammy about staying away from Ruby.

05: Away With The Fairies

The Emporium 03: Rules Are Made To Be Broken

03: Rules Are Made To Be Broken

Dean was happily pottering away in The Emporium, humming along to Metallica playing on the radio. He was putting boxes back in their proper places when the door opened and an odd looking pair came in. One was slim, dark haired in a dark and expensive looking suit. He was wearing sunglasses and had a confident swagger to his step. The other was slightly chubby, blonde with light blue eyes. He was wearing a tweed suit and actively not looking at anything in the shop other than his friend and the floor.


“Really dearest, is this really necessary?” the blonde chided in a British accent.


“I told you already Zira, yes.” Zira let out a very put upon sigh as his hand went to twine their fingers together.


“I don't see why we should.”


“Shut up angel.”


Huh. Dean gave them another look as he put the last box back in its place. Perhaps they aren't as freaky as they first look. Stepping out from behind the shelf, he flashed them a wide smile.


“Good morning gentlemen, can I help at all?”


“Actually...” the dark one began. He was cut short by a light smack to the arm which was immediately soothed by a rub.


“Crowley!” Zira hissed. “We are perfectly fine thank you. Crowley will just have a look round. I will make sure he does nothing untoward.”


Dean smiled and made himself scarce behind the counter, half watching the bizarre couple half lost in his own world. He listened to the two men quietly murmur between themselves, with an occasional snicker from Crowley and a shocked gasp of quaint distress from Zira. However he was soon distracted by the ringing of the bell above the door. Glancing up he saw a short man with light brown hair and hazel eyes that twinkled with barely hidden laughter. He strolled over to the counter and smirked at Dean.


“I need your help.” he announced. Dean raised his eyebrows.


“Oh yeah?”


“Mhm.” the short guy grinned.


“So how can I help?” Dean was quickly losing his patience with him.


“I need the biggest dildo you have. The biggest, scariest and most real looking.”


A squawk came from the shelves followed by the sounds of various things falling and mumbled apologies.


“Aziraphael!” Crowley chided. “What have you done?” his tone was mocking and a smile threatened to turn his mouth up. The blonde looked up sheepishly, a deep scarlet blush adorned his full cheeks.


“I will put everything back. I'm terribly sorry.” he said. Dean grinned and turned back to his shortest customer.


“So, you are after one very large and realistic dildo?” the guy's smile widened if that were possible and nodded.


“Got it in one kiddo.” Dean frowned at the name.


“My name's Dean.” Dean's frown deepened at the casual address.


“Nice to meet you Dean. Gabriel.” the man stuck a hand out. “So, about this dildo...”


“Yup. This way.” he led the way towards the back of the shop while Gabriel chattered inanely behind him.


“The only reason I need one if for my little brother.” Dean was glad his face was hidden to the other man. As much as he prided himself in self control, incest was still something he wasn't exactly comfortable with. Thinking of Sammy like that...urgh...he resisted the urge to do a full body shudder.


“You see, he recently came out as gay. I always knew he was even if he didn't. Older brothers do tend to know best after all. So to celebrate his final flying from the closet as you may put it I think he ought to have a permanent cock in his life. Even if it is plastic. And bigger than average. Still, that should have its perks.”


Dean closed his eyes as they got to the rack and said what could never be classed as a silent prayer for the poor schmuck this douche was going to endow with such a 'gift'. It only took Gabriel 2 minutes to pick out the most hideous neon pink monstrosity with a gleeful giggle. As Dean took his payment, behind his smile he was begging all known deities that this particularly short yet awful man never darkened the doors of this fine establishment ever again. Practically skipping out of the store, Dean watched him leave and left out a sigh of relief. Some people were just plain weird. A soft clearing of the throat brought him back to the here and now.


“I'm so terribly sorry.” Zira began. “But I appear to have stepped on this tube while trying to pick everything else up and it has split.” Dean looked down at the tube of chocolate flavoured body paint now oozing over the other man's hand.


“Not to worry, happens all the time.” he smiled and took the offending tube. Placing it on the counter by the till, he continued with his usual smile. “So, find everything you were looking for?”


The blonde man blushed as Crowley dropped a few items onto the counter.


“I think that will be all.”


“Really, dearest, is this all really necessary?”


“Well...yes. And you know you will enjoy them.” A wink accompanied that particular announcement. Unfazed, Dean rang up the items, tuning out the couple's banter. He handed over the bag and just about caught the tail end of whatever Zira was saying as they left.


“Don't tempt me you demon.”


For a while Dean was alone again in the shop. He grabbed a book from his bag and settled against the counter. He learnt from experience that short stories were better to bring to work. If a customer came in and interrupted, it was easier to put down and there was a higher chance of someone coming in between stories. He was 2 paragraphs from the end of a particularly confusing piece – then again, what else would you expect from Neil Gaiman - when the door opened.


Dean wasn't sure whether to be pleased to horrified that it was the weirdly blue eyed guy again. Or Cas, as he now knew him. Dropping his book quickly, Dean schooled his features into an almost smile. It was met by an equal mix of bemused and trepidation.


“Hello Dean.” his voice sounded like it hadn't been used in a while, low and gravelly.


“Cas.” an awkward silence followed. “You need something else? More magazines? Or something other...uh...aid?”


“No thank you. While the magazined certainly served their purpose, I prefer to rely on imagination more.” Suitably put down, Castiel cast a furtive glance around, eyes landing on the book.


“Fragile Things? Really?” he finally asked.


“What's wrong with it?” Dean was on the defensive within seconds.


“Nothing, I just preferred American Gods that's all. Some of Fragile Things is quite...hard to follow.”


“Tell me about it. My Life? Seriously fucked up. Not a lick of sense in that.”


“On the contrary. It makes perfect sense if you read it right.” Dean blinked at the man standing opposite him.


“Is that so?” he tried to collect himself. “So what else you read?”


“A bit of everything. You?” The answer evaded anything specific.


“Same. Bit of this, bit of that.” Dean nodded. Then frowned. “Actually that's a lie. Vonnegut. I like him. Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse 5 are good. But I refuse to read anything by Stephen King. Good ideas, terrible style.”


“I know.” came the succinct answer. “Asimov?”


Dean looked at Cas. He looked for all the world like he was talking about the most mundane topic on earth. Always encouraging when in conversation about something you don't find boring, Dean sarcastically noted to himself. He shook his head in mild disagreement.


“Asimov is all right. But you have to be in the right mood for it. You a bookworm?” Dean made the smooth transition from chatty sales assistant so hostile judgemental freak in one fell swoop.


“No. I much prefer theses.” the calm reply surprised Dean. Normally at this point people would have walked out. Seems like normal didn't quite apply to Cas.


“That so? What kinds of stuff then?”


“The paper by Thomas Nagel on the Absurd was quite fascinating if it does push you to consider existential depression. And Camus in general is quite amusing.”


The blank look from Dean elicited a small twitch of Cas' lips.


“And in plain English that would be?”


“Philosophy. Perhaps with a bit of psychology mixed in.”




“You not fed properly?” Dean's eyebrows rose higher.


“I beg your pardon?”


Castiel nodded towards the split tube of chocolate body paint.


“Either you must be starving to start eating your stock. Or have a really sweet tooth.”


Dean blinked dumbly as Castiel's hand darted out to scoop a bit of the goo onto his finger. Lapping at it first before sticking the whole finger into his mouth sucking with a slight furrow of concentration on his brow. Pulling the finger out, he scrunched his face up in disgust.


“You must be really desperate.” he concluded.


“Obviously.” Dean watched the odd man in front of him. Odd, yet fascinating. If Dean were the type of man to struggle between what his heart and mind told him, now would have been the time of an epic internal struggle. But alas, Dean liked to think that he didn't have a heart. At least not one made for causing him any trouble, so he jumped over the hurdle of inner debate and spoke on a whim.


“I have a day off tomorrow.”


“Good for you.” the bemused part smile was back. Dean wished to smack his head repeatedly on his counter. That possibly may have come out as one of his lamest statements of idiocy ever in the history of humanity. And Dean had already set and broken quite a few of his own records there.


“What I meant was, if you wanted to...” at this point Dean was distracted by the finger swirling into the spilt syrup on the counter.


“I finish at two tomorrow.” his suffering was cut short with a brief smile.


“So I was wondering whether you'd want to...” Dean lost steam again.


“I'd love to. How about meeting by the fountain at quarter past two?”


Dean nodded mutely.


“That would be great.” he managed to croak out as a chocolate coated finger danced across the glass top.


“There's a small coffee shop just round the corner from there. We could go there.” Castiel finished whatever he was drawing on the counter and surreptitiously wiped his finger on his coat.


“Sure.” Dean, feeling utterly lost that he was no longer really doing the inviting and the hard work had lost most of his vocabulary somewhere in his vacant mind.


“So see you tomorrow Dean.” Castiel flashed a shy smile back at him as he left.


“Yeah. See you.” Dean stared blankly ahead of him trying to comprehend what just happened. Fuck, Ellen was going to kill him. One of the few rules that she had drummed into him was that no matter what the situation, you never ever start seeing a customer outside of work. No matter how alluring they are. Shaking his head to clear the thoughts – Ellen need never know, right? And technically he hadn't actually bought anything today, so not a customer...so he wasn't doing anything against Ellen's wishes, was he? - he moved to clear up the mess on the glass top. He paused however as he looked at what the pattern actually was.


The smooth bastard had left his telephone number scribbled in chocolate body paint over the glass counter in a messy scrawl. Damn.

04: Un-date


The Emporium 02: Voices In The Back Of Your Mind

02: Voices In The Back Of Your Mind


Forgetting about the lonely and scruffy man with penetrating icy blue eyes was surprisingly difficult. While Dean could forget about most pretty things that flitted through his life relatively quickly, this stranger seemed intent on haunting him. Even if during waking hours he'd succeed in distracting himself, all it took was seeing a tan coat in his lunch breaks, a head of dark messy hair going by for Dean's eyes to zero in on the individual passing by for his mind to wander from his current task. He knew things were getting really bad when, during stock check, he thought of the man when he saw a bright blue dildo that matched the colour of his eyes. Dean swallowed convulsively, trying to get the bitter taste of shame out of his mouth. Perhaps he just needed to get this guy out of his system, after all it wouldn't be the first time he'd jerked off to one of his more better looking customers when he knew there was a very small chance of them returning. There was nothing worse, Dean had found out the hard way, than having to serve some customer while a little voice in the back of your head was chanting “I've jerked off to thinking about you playing with what you bought last time”. Yeah, talk about awkward. Shaking himself out of his reverie, Dean looked around to see if anyone had surreptitiously been staring at him in the hope of reading his mind. Only Ellen was pottering around the till sorting out accountancy books and the like. There were still 20 minutes until closing time and Dean had had enough already. While Ellen had been in the back to sort out odds and ends, Zacharia had come in again even though he wasn't due for his usual pack of supplies for another few days. He'd demanded Dean to pick out this and that for him, only to reject most of the things. For his efforts, all Dean got was a pat on the backside and the sale of some lube accompanied by a lewd leer. It made him shudder and Ellen had given him an extra 20 minutes lunch break in sympathy.


You know, you could head off home now honey.” Ellen said not looking up from her books.


Huh?” Dean was as eloquent as ever when caught off guard. After a few weeks of work, he and Ellen had developed a comfortable silence when they worked. Very rarely did they talk.


I can shut shop tonight. You go home, relax. You've been distracted for the last few days Dean.” the unspoken question of 'why' was insinuated for Dean to ignore as he was wont to do.


You sure?”


Would I offer if I wasn't?”


Thanks Ellen.” Dean pulled on his coat and grabbed his bag. An evening on his own sounded like what he needed and maybe it would bring some closure to the whole blue eyed mystery man. He'd found himself thinking more and more about the man, what he did, where he was now, whether he'd found what he was looking for. On his walk home, he found his thoughts wandering to the guy again. How had he used to lube he bought? Did he use it just as a lubricant to prevent chafing as he stroked himself? Or did he already have toys? Perhaps he used his fingers to stretch himself first. But it was a small bottle of lotion and he looked nervous just buying that so he probably didn't have anything other than his hand to pleasure himself with. Didn't look like the kind of person who would really. Dean thought of the man sitting alone on his bed, imagined what he'd look like naked and spread out on the bed, his hand glistening with the lube as he slowly teased himself up into a frenzy only to deny himself the pleasure by squeezing the base of his cock. And repeat it over and over again until he could hardly breath. Was he a screamer? Letting his orgasm tear a cry from his throat, arching off the bed. Or perhaps he was more refined, spilling over his chest with nothing more than a sigh to keep him company in his empty house.


Dean hurried up the stairs to his apartment. The door slammed shut behind him, the sound ringing through his deserted home. His dick was half hard in his jeans, the images his mind conjured up garnering interest from his 'lower brain' as Sam liked to call it. He let his jacket fall to the floor followed by his t-shirt. Shoes, socks and trousers left an easily followed trail to the door of Dean's bedroom. He palmed his cock through his underwear as he sank down onto his bed. He pushed himself up the bed until his feet were firmly planted on the mattress, his head near his pillows, just as he imagined the man had done it. Letting his hand trail down his chest, flicking a nipple with a shuddering gasp on the way, he slipped a hand under the waistband forming a loose circle around his hardening member. He gave himself a few lazy strokes, working himself fully erect before he raised his hips to slide his boxers off. With a soft groan Dean rolled to his side and reached for the top drawer of his night stand, hands blindly grabbing for lube. Drizzling some over his palm, he imagined the man doing the same. Tongue lapping out to wet his lips and closing his eyes, Dean's hand returned to his lap. He skimmed his fingers lightly over the head, teasing out a sharp inhale of breath as they close firmly over the shaft. His mind flicks to the images of the dark haired man lying on his bed with his slim body all sharp angles and flat planes, hand around his hard, aching member. His long fingers encircling the flesh, glistening with lube as his firm strokes are each finished with a small twist of the wrist and a flick of thumb over the head. Dean can see the man, as his hand sped up, blue eyes opening to stare sightless at the ceiling in blind pleasure. He adjusted his grip to let his little finger brush against his balls on every down stroke, causing his hips to stutter up into his fist. Dean's breathing became shallow and fast as his fist gained speed. Eyes closed, all he could think of was blues eyes scrunching up as wide pink lips fell open with pleasure and the man's back arched off the bed, white come leaving searing hot trails over his own chest. Where Dean had imagined the man's hand to be, his own slowly came to a stop, his own come striping his own chest. He lay on the bed a little while longer, gathering himself and battling with his conscience for jerking off to the image of a stranger. He wiped himself down with his t-shirt – it was a lost cause anyway – and instead of showering he fell back on the bed exhausted and was asleep within minutes.


His alarm jolted him out of bed, offensively playing Single Ladies by Beyonce. Dean cursed Sam for ever setting his alarm up for him. Frowning at the uncomfortable feel of his own dried come which he missed on his chest last night, Dean heaved himself out of bed with a groan. His morning routine quickly over and done with, Dean ambled towards his kitchen for coffee. Despite his best hopes, when he caught sight of his light blue mug he immediately thought of blue eyes giving him a scorching stare. With a small huff he downed the boiling hot dark brown beverage and frowned. Despite making note to not drink it as soon as he could without yelling his burnt insides out, he still did it every morning. Rinsing the cup, Dean hummed to himself and went to grab his jacket and keys. The ride to The Emporium wasn't long, but while it took 10 minutes by car, it would have taken 45 on foot. Somehow he just wasn't in to mood to waste that much time of the day walking when he could just ride his baby, his pride and joy.


The Emporium was quiet that day too. An odd couple came to buy some 'educational' DVDs. Or to put it in plain English, the nerdy scruffy guy wanted to watch porn while his busty blonde girlfriend gave him head. During their short stay at the shop, Dean had gleaned that the guy, Chuck, was a writer while his girlfriend Becky was his PA. It took a lot of self control from Dean to not ask what exactly she 'assisted' Chuck with. But they seemed happy enough with their purchases, Dean was happy to have sold something and he told them that they should come back more often to check out their new stock to see if there was anything else they wanted to 'learn'. A short spluttering later, the couple were out the door, Chuck looking scandalised while Becky giggled.


During his lunch break Sam came to chat to Dean. After the first two weeks, epic battles with large dildos didn't seem so much fun. Even when they declared to be each other's father while brandishing the toys. Ellen caught them in the middle of one such fight and said that if they didn't behave, they'd know where to shove it. Suitably put into their place, Dean and Sam vowed to only ever issue a challenge when Dean was working the shop floor on his own. And even then their yells of their injuries and victories had to be very quiet and discreet. They were leaning against the counter side by side in companionable silence when the door opened and the scruffy man appear much as he was before. Hair still a mess, suit still looking a bit worse for wear under the hideous tan trench coat and his eyes were still just as blue as Dean remembered them. Dean froze when he saw the man. He was not meant to return. The voice in the back of his head was having a field day screaming about all the dirty thoughts he'd had about the very man who was now approaching him. He fought hard to keep the blush out of his cheek and was hoping that by sheer freewill, he'd managed. The illusion was shattered when Sam cast him a knowing look as he headed out the door. Fighting down his embarrassment Dean gave the man a quick shy smile. It went completely unreturned as the man looked at him. He walked to the counter and stopped.


Back for more lube?” Dean asked struggling to know what to make of the stranger.


No. The lubricant was sufficient enough. Thank you for your recommendation. I was wondering whether you have any magazines?” The question was addressed to Dean's left shoulder.


Sure, the shelf on the left just behind the lube.” Dean waved in its general direction. The man turned and moved towards the shelf. After a few minutes he returned empty handed.


Not find the right thing?” Dean asked, trying to stay as professional as possible. He got a shake of the head.


OK, what were you after?” he heart sank. Another corporate type with a really disturbing fetish. Zach was more than enough, Dean really didn't want any more of those.


All the magazines had too many women in them.” Dean nodded before the answer sunk in. Too many women, huh? Who would have thought?


So, you'd want something with just one woman?” Nice and clean, Dean thought before the man shook his head, cheeks colouring red.


No women at all?” look at that, Dean could still be pleasantly surprised. The small nod had him moving from the till to the magazines.


Well, let's see.” he began. The man trailed behind him with a forlorn look. “I personally prefer this one, but it isn't to everyone's taste” Dean said shoving a magazine at the man, prompting him to take it and look at Dean's face properly for the first time since he entered the shop that day.


Or, if you want something perhaps a little less in your face so to speak, then you might prefer this. But to be honest I found that they do like to over do it on the close ups of post orgasmic jizz fests.” . The man just stared at him incredulous.


Don't give me that look man. You asked for help, now you're getting it. I don't think there's anything wrong with one guy telling another what magazine they'd recommend.” Dean groused.


You're gay.” was the only response.


Umm...yeah? I thought that was kind of obvious just now.” Dean frowned.




Oh, well then, the award for being utterly oblivious goes to...” Dean realised he didn't know the guy's name and he might not even appreciate his humour. Shit.


Castiel.” Dean thanked who ever was up there for not letting this joke fall flat too.


Well Castiel, all the men only magazines are here, browse for as long as you want. And I'm Dean by the way.” what was he doing? Ellen had clearly stated that workers could not, under any circumstance flirt with or date a customer. So why was he checking this guy out and letting himself get a little too friendly? He ambled back to the counter and leant on his elbow waiting for Cas to finish. Great, now he just called him Cas. Having not talked about anything outside of self pleasuring aids (and even then the very basic stuff even teenagers should know) Dean was already giving the guy a nickname. This had to stop. Castiel came to the counter shortly after, clutching a magazine in one hand. Dean was mildly surprised and rather pleased that it was the one he recommended first. He billed the magazine and took the money. As Cas turned to leave, Dean called after him.


See you around Cas.” the trench coat froze mid stride momentarily before carrying on. As he left though, luminous blue eyes met Dean's briefly. Suddenly Dean got the feeling that he wasn't the only one trying to shut the little voice up in the back of his mind.

03: Rules Are Made To Be Broken

The Emporium 01: Look What The Wind Blew In

01: Look What The Wind Blew In


The Emporium was a respectable place. Sure, it was a sex shop that catered for all tastes, but it had a reputation as discreet, friendly and able to get hold of most things at a short notice. Things that may not always be on quite the right side of the law and came in shiny foil wrapped packages. It was family run, mostly. Ellen Harvelle had opened it several years back, after she had enough of running a bar and it had burnt down anyway. Built in its place was The Emporium. At first, Dean had frowned on the idea of working in a sex shop. Sure, he was all for trying something new but he had no desire to delve into the sex lives of others. But a job was a job. The mother figure in his life had offered him a well paid, secure job with co-workers he knew and got along with. If Ellen was the mother figure, then Jo was definitely a sister figure if such things existed. And the money was putting Sam through college, so he wasn't going to complain. Dean leant against the counter, counting back the hours till he could shut the shop. It was a slow day, only a few giggling teenagers so far. He was sorely tempted to ask them to leave if they were just going to point and laugh. Honestly, he really didn't get what was so funny about sex toys.


The door jingled, signalling the arrival of a customer. Dean glanced up and recognised the guy. One of their regulars. Gruff exterior, baseball cap on his head, looked a bit like a tubby lumberjack. Never very polite but always meant well. That summed up Bobby more or less. At first Dean had him down as one of their 'special' customers for whom you had to order in carefully wrapped and concealed foreign videos. But turned out, he couldn't have been more wrong. Bobby was actually quite a vanilla guy. Nothing too hard core, maybe a couple of hot girls kissing and the guy was happy. Dean smiled as he reached under the counter for one of the packs they put aside, ready for their regulars to collect. Bobby paid for the things and a couple of grumbled pleasantries later he was out the door and Dean was left alone again.


Working in a sex shop, Dean would have thought that he would never get bored. Endless supply of porn and what not. But, turned out even that could get boring. Within the first two weeks of working there, Dean had felt he had seen his life's fair share of porn. The toys weren't that exciting to look at either. Of course, he had a couple of toys himself, but nothing beyond a vibrator and anal beads. After a while they all just looked like giant colourful plastic penises. Only a few of them could still make him squirm uncomfortably. One in particular always made him queasy. The Probe as he called it, with capitals. Why would any sane man want to push something down his own dick? And then make it vibrate? Another of their regulars, a crazy bitch he really didn't like had already bought one of these. Dean felt sorry for the poor fucker she was going to stick it in. He didn't know why, but he despised Ruby. She always had a look in her eye, like a sex crazed fiend. He swore she was a sex addict. Or a prostitute. If you were to run into her on the street, you'd never have been able to tell. She was slim, had dark hair and dark eyes with pale skin, probably attended college too judging by her age. But she visited The Emporium at an alarming rate and spent money on the most extreme of their stock with an even worse regularity. Dean really well and truly pitied her partner.


The door opened again, blowing a cool gust of wind in to the normally stuffy shop. Dean grinned at his little brother approaching him.


Hey Sammy.”


Dean.” Sam loomed over him. Dean had never felt short next to anyone until his Sammy had shot right past him at the tender age of 16. Now he towered over everyone and though he was built like a brick wall, he still managed to look like an apologetic puppy about it.


How's college?”


Dude, you saw me this morning, stop acting like I've been away for four years!” Sam groused.


Sure, sorry. It's just been so dead in here today. I feel like I haven't seen anyone for forty years. It's like hell.” Dean grinned. “Not even porn has its allure any more. You want some?”


Sam gave him a withering look. “Even if I had wanted something, I'd rather not ask for it from you.”


Dean's grin widened.


Hey, check this out.” he thrust the box of The Probe into his brother's hands. “Crazy, right?” he asked after a prolonged silence.


Yeah.” Sam just frowned.


I mean, who in their right mind would want to do something like that?”


Don't know.”


It's just sick. I can't imagine how it would turn anyone on!” Dean was getting frustrated by the lack of reaction from Sam.


Some people might enjoy it Dean. Not everyone is as backward and as much of a prune as you.” Sam looked as his brother, eyes wide. Dean frowned.


You mean, you'd...” Dean trailed off, gesturing at the box to finish off his horrified question.


What? NO! I'd never do it to myself.” Sam's voice rose and a deep blush spread across his cheeks. Dean cocked an eyebrow, he could always tell when Sam wasn't entirely honest. Before he could push the issue further, the door opened. Sam took this opportunity to shove the box back at Dean and rush out of the shop. Dean sighed and reached under the counter.


The usual, Sir?” he asked, looking at the man opposite him. Zachariah was probably the second biggest surprise. He looked like a clean cut, well cared for, ageing high flier. The middle management type. Self important, arrogant and looked down on everybody. The kind Dean never imagined to ever have a sex life. Didn't want to think of him having a sex life. Some people just shouldn't reproduce.


Yes. Ellen also said you have new stock coming in, show me, would you?” Zach (as Dean called him in his head) said. Moving from behind the counter, Dean rolled his eyes when Zach couldn't see and went to the shelves. He pointed out the various items on the shelves and quickly explained what was different about them. The less time he spent with this pervert, the better for him. Zach pointed at a few things, making him get boxes that he actually had no desire of buying really. This had happened before and Dean had mentioned it to Ellen who had agreed to try and serve Zach to spare Dean. As it was, Ellen and Jo were out for the day, on a business trip to sort out a new supplier so Dean was stuck. He had to get boxes first from the top shelf, his shirt riding up to expose a sliver of toned and tanned flesh. Then he had to get boxes for the lazy bastard from the bottom shelf, putting his butt up for full view and (much unwanted) appreciation. As he predicted, Zach didn't buy anything other than his usual stack of imported, hard core to the point of making you sick pornos.


As he left, Dean let out a sigh. Normally, he enjoyed the attention from certain customers. But they were younger, less perverted and treated him better than a slab of meat to look at. But such was life, that as of yet, no such man had stuck around long enough for Dean to acquaint himself properly. Anyway, Ellen had a strict policy on dating customers. Or rather, not dating customers. He sighed again and pushed himself away from the counter to start tidying up. Although he still had half an hour to stay open, his past experiences made it seem like a futile effort to keep open. He went about, shutting off various DVDs with advertisement playing and generally making sure things were in order for tomorrow when he had to open up again. Wandering back up towards the till, his head snapped up to look at the door when the bell rang.


A scruffy looking man stumbled in. His tan trench coat was billowing around his ankles, giving the impression of a cool businessman from afar. Yet, as Dean scrutinised the new arrival, he quickly realised that he was perhaps not quite reaching his first impression's expectations. The man was wearing a cheap suit, a tie that was loose around his neck, his cheeks were flushed red from either the chilly wind whipping up outside or embarrassment – it was hard to tell. He seemed to almost tumble over his own feet before he glanced up. What Dean had thought to be a head of dark messy hair turned out to be more than just a mess. It looked like it hadn't seen a hair brush in at least a week, had perhaps been hurriedly finger combed throughout the day from stress and deep thought but otherwise left to its own devices to stick up at what ever angle the separate strands preferred. Below the chaotic mayhem were two startlingly cobalt blue eyes radiating a mix of daring and shame. Dean gave a cheery, typical sales assistant smile when their eyes met. The man hastily snatched his gaze away and cast furtive looks around the store as he strode towards the counter.


Dean hid a smile as the guy approached. This guy was a jumble of oxymorons. He strode as though he knew what he wanted but looked around like it was his first time in such an establishment. His eyes skittered around the various products, never looking at anything for too long and his cheeks flushed scarlet at the more explicit items. Yet he also radiated an air of quiet confidence, daring anyone to challenge him to his right to be there. They faced each other on opposing sides of the small table. Dean grinned again.


Can I help you?” he drawled. The scruffy man looked bewildered for a second, at a loss to respond.


I would like...” he began, his voice rich and deep enough to once more contradict his appearance which would have indicated a lighter tone, “if you have something to...uh...” he seemed to be lost for words as he gestured a vague motion of jerking off. He seemed to pull himself together with a breath. “I was wondering whether you have anything to make things go smoother.” he finally blurted out. His cheeks were flaming red but his eyes didn't leave Dean's for a moment.


You mean like lube?” Dean asked, friendly smile still in place. The guy gave a tight nod. “Sure, then, the section just behind you on the left.” The man gave another small nod of possibly thanks before he turned. As self assured as he tried to be, Dean just about caught his face fall when confronted with the selection of lubricants on display. The man frowned, a small line appearing on his brow. He scanned one shelf then his eyes went wide and his eyebrows shot up. Dean tried to hold back a small chuckle. This guy seemed so out of his depth despite his best efforts, it was almost comical. He looked possibly about mid thirties, no ring on his finger and he looked too dishevelled to not be living on his own. Possibly just out of a relationship judging by the pale white ring of skin on his fourth finger. Or maybe the ring is just off for the week away on 'business'. Dean sighed. It is probably the latter. The guys in suits who came in here were often of the well off kind with a blonde wife, 2.5 kids, dog and picket fence waiting for them at home while they had a swift dalliance with a feisty girl who is barely legal.


With a frown, Dean turned away. He was sick of seeing how some people just took for granted what they had and fettered it away like it meant nothing. His inner chick-flick sensor set off blaring alarms and he shut that thought down immediately. Leaning on the counter, he forced himself to make a semi-friendly smile as he called to the guy.


Need a little help?”


The man jumped a little and looked over at him sheepishly. While he didn't say anything, Dean wandered over anyway. As he stood by the rack of lubes, he cast a sideways glance at his customer. He looked jittery now, eyes wide as he frantically looked at all the bottles. Dean found it hard not to take pity on such pure panic.


So, it really depends on what you want it for.” Dean began and pointed at a light blue bottle. “That one is water based and not sticky, with added spermicide. The bright bottles are the flavoured ones, red is strawberry, pink is raspberry, yellow is pineapple and green is apple.”


Why would I want to eat it?” the guy cut in looking genuinely puzzled. Dean let out a small huff of laugh. This guy was either stitching him up or really was as clueless as a giggling teenager.


If you want to slick things up with your tongue and hands.” Dean said. The guy blushed again and looked away only to wrench his gaze from the rack of magazines. He stared at his shoes for a few moments before looking back up at the bottles in front of him. Dean just carried on.


They really pretty much do the same function, anything extra they tend to put in big letters on the front. Like that one is meant to give an extra tingle for the ladies.”


Which would you recommend?” Dean was taken back by the question and he floundered for an answer.


Um...it depends on the occasion I guess.” he ventured eventually.


Oh.” an awkward silence followed as Dean processed the question again. Oh. Now he thought he understood the question. One guy asking another what lube to use? Either gay or lonely.


I suppose the most basic one would do the trick. The clear bottle, also our cheapest. But maybe your lady...” he looked at the man whose face had once more taken up a frown, “...or gentleman friend...” the frown deepened even more, “...might appreciate the gesture of something a little bit more, I don't know, different?” he finished lamely. The man reached for the smallest of the bottles available before fixing Dean with a glare.


There will be no lady.” he looked at the lotion he was now holding. “or gentleman”. Dean nodded with his lips pressed together, not sure what to say. He went back to the counter to sort out the transaction. Both of them were silent throughout. The guy put the lube in one of his pockets along with his change. Dean nodded at him, not entirely sure whether “have fun” was an appropriate way to see the man - who had just pretty much admitted to going home to masturbate – out. The door shut behind the scruffy man with a jangle of bells. With a final sigh of confusion, Dean set about closing up the shop properly and forgetting about his final customer of the day.

02: Voices In The Back Of Your Mind



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