Dean wants to rip the computer monitor off his counter and throw it across the room, but he knows he'll regret it if he does. That shit costs money, and Ash'll kill him if he has to come in for another repair so soon after Dean smashed the keyboard to hell. He hates bookkeeping and ordering and payroll and all the other bullshit no one told him a mechanic needed to do to own his own shop. All he wanted to do was fix cars, but he's been putting the paperwork off too long. If he doesn't get payroll done today, he won't have the checks ready for payday tomorrow. He's just finishing the last time sheet when the bell above the door rings. "Be with you in a second," Dean says without looking up, concentrating on getting this done.
He freezes when the smell hits him, warm pecan pie, clean sheets just in from the line, leather polish, home, mate. It's been four months since he last smelled it, and he was beginning to think he would never smell it again. He looks up slowly, pulling his glasses off so he can see, and finds the guy from the school standing there, looking awkward and uncomfortable, but still sexy as hell. His eyes are a deep electric blue, now that Dean's close enough to see them, and his lips look so fucking kissable. Dean's breath is momentarily caught in his throat at the sight of him.
"Hello, my um… my car has something wrong with it. I was hoping I could get someone to take a look at it?" Hesitant though it is, Dean would have never believed such a rich, deep, gravelly voice could come out of such a soft-looking man. He takes a few steps closer, and it must be enough for him to smell Dean, because he freezes like a deer caught unawares. His scent changes subtly, sweetens just that little bit more that tells Dean he's probably slick already. His eyes tell a different story, one of fear and panic. It gives Dean pause.
Dean does a quick check of himself, mentally counting himself down. He might be an alpha, and this might be his mate standing in front of him, and he might have had to wait seven long months between first scenting him and being in the same room as him, but he can still keep himself in control dammit. "Yeah, we can do that. What kinda problem we talkin' about?"
The man describes what's clearly worn breaks in the least mechanical way possible, less hesitant the longer they're together and the more he realizes Dean isn't going to jump him. Dean smiles, stepping around the counter for the first time. The smell is more intense the closer he gets, but he keeps himself together.
"Sounds like your breaks are shot. You should have come in earlier. You've probably been putting your life in your hands. I'd ask how long she's been like this, but I really don't want to know."
"It's only been…"
Dean holds his hand up, shaking his head. "No, I mean it, don't tell me. Got your keys? I'll have one of my guys pull her around."
The man—Novak, Dean reminds himself—pulls a set of keys out of his vest pocket and hands them to Dean. "It's the blue Chevrolet Nova."
Dean gets momentarily excited until he looks out the shop window to find a 1992 Nova parked out front. He mutters to himself, "At least it's a Chevy," before poking his head into the garage. "Who's free?" he calls. Benny pops up and takes the keys from him. "Nova out front. Sounds like the breaks are shot, but fix anything else you find, too."
"You don't want to check with the owner before…"
Dean glances back at the man standing in his lobby, eyes glued to him. The fear's completely gone, but the apprehension isn't. "Fix it all," Dean says without further consideration. He might not know the guy yet, but there's no way in hell he's letting his mate drive around in a faulty car. He doesn't wait for Benny to answer before shutting the garage door and turning back to his mate.
"You can take a seat if you want. It'll be a while. You want coffee or anything?"
"I… yes, thank you, coffee would be nice." Novak takes a hesitant seat, not taking his eyes off of Dean.
Dean gets coffee from the pot in the back, but pauses on his way back. "Cream and sugar?" he asks loud enough to be heard up front.
"Cream, no sugar, please," comes the subdued reply. Dean brings the coffee back and resists lingering when their hands brush as he hands it over. "Thank you."
"No problem." Dean slides back onto his stool behind the counter with the hope that he will be able to finish his payroll, but the scent of his mate is slowly permeating the room, surrounding him until he can barely think. He tries to concentrate on the computer screen, even manages to finish adding Adam's hours into Quickbooks, but his eyes keep wandering. It isn't helping that Novak hasn't taken his eyes from Dean since his moment of recognition. Dean keeps waiting for him to say something, but he doesn't. He drinks his coffee and watches Dean. It would be creepy if that little bit of sweet wasn't slipping and sliding through his senses.
When the first hour passes, Dean gets up. "I'm gonna go check on your car. I'll be right back. There's more coffee in the back if you want."
"May I go with you?" the man asks, surprising Dean again.
Dean pauses half-way between his mate's seat and the garage door. "Yeah, sure, if you want." Dean's hand is on the door handle when he pauses. "Just, stay back. I don't need you getting hurt."
"Is there cause to be injured?"
"No, but let's not take any chances, okay? I don't even know your name yet."
"Alright, thank you," he says, stepping through the door Dean has open for him. "It's Castiel Novak," he answers Dean's unspoken question as he waits for Dean to lead him through the garage .
"CAS-TEE-EL? Quite a name you got there. Mind if I call you Cas?"
"That would be acceptable."
"Awesome. I'm Dean." He points to the Winchester Auto embroidered on his shirt. Castiel looks from the embroidery back to his face and smiles faintly.
"It's a pleasure to meet you,Dean Winchester."
"You, too. Come on, let's go check on your car." Instinct tells him to put an arm around Cas and lead him that way, but he only holds out his arm in direction. This omega has already proven he is skittish; Dean's not touching without permission. Castiel weaves his way around cars to his own blue Chevy and stands to the side, giving Dean room to talk to Benny, standing on the platform under the risers. "How's it looking?" Dean asks.
"We had the right break pads, but the tail light's out, too, and we don't have any that fit."
"I'll order one in. Anything else?"
"Just an oil change and a new fan belt. You sure the owner's alright with me doing the work without askin'?"
Dean glances at Cas from where he's crouched talking to Benny, and true-to-form, Cas' eyes are trained on him. He turns back to Benny. "Don't worry about it, man. Just make sure it's safe to drive." Dean looks back up at Cas and waves him over. Castiel steps closer tentatively, eyeing the compressor to Dean's right. Dean probably shouldn't have made such a big deal about him being safe, but his protective instincts are a little strong at the moment. "Cas, this is my best friend and best mechanic, Benny Lafitte. Benny, this is Castiel Novak. Cas used to deliver the mail." He gives Benny a significant look that Benny thankfully picks up right away and smiles a big, warm, Louisiana smile up at Cas.
"That explains a lot. Hi there, cher. Nice to meet you. I'd shake your hand, but I got oil from your engine all over me." He holds his hands up to demonstrate.
"It's nice to meet you, as well..." Castiel says, giving Dean a confused look before smiling a genuine smile at Benny. Dean wishes that smile were aimed at him, but he's not going to let himself get jealous. Benny has that effect on people. Besides, he's whipped by his own omega so hard he wouldn't know how to tie his shoes if she didn't tell him.
Dean straightens to stand next to Castiel. "How long you think it's gonna be before she's ready?" he asks.
"Another hour maybe?"
"'Kay, we'll get out of your hair. Thanks, Benny." He does touch Castiel then, just lightly in directing him back towards the lobby. Castiel goes where he's led, quietly and without comment.
When they get back to the lobby, he turns to Dean with a confused look that's sort of adorable. "How did you know I used to work as a mail carrier?"
"You were mine, when my regular went on vacation, right before you were uh..."
"Let go, yes. How do you know, though?"
"My mail smelled like you. I thought I was going crazy the first time, but then it kept smelling like you every day." Dean rubs the back of his head, looking sheepishly down at his boots. "I uh... I might have taken a morning off of work to try and catch you, but I must have missed you."
"I did not succeed as a mail carrier. I got... distracted regularly."
"Yeah, I heard. I went to the post office when everything smelled like that weird beta who normally delivers. The lady wouldn't tell me your name or anything, but she told me about the complaints."
Castiel looks away for the first time, down at his hands. "Yes, I..."
Dean stops him with a hand on his wrist. It sends warmth up his arm and makes Cas look back up at him. "Dude, I don't care about how crappy a mailman you were. I was just pissed she wouldn't tell me your name or where I could find you. I was worried I never would."
"It is fortuitous that I decided to patronize your shop today, then."
"Yeah, it is." Dean grins at him, realizing only too late that he's still holding onto Cas' wrist. He lets go and Castiel tucks the hand under his other arm, hugging his chest tight.
"What will you be doing with me, now that you have me?" It's a weird question, not said in flirtation, but in all earnestness.
Dean tucks his hands in his pockets, not really sure how to respond. "I was sort of hoping to take you out to dinner after I'm done here? If you're not busy or anything. Where we go from there I was planning on leaving up to you."
Castiel frowns, cocking his head to the side the way the neighbor's dog does when Dean tries to shoo it off his lawn. "Dinner? But I am your omega..."
It's Dean's turn to frown. What does that have to do with anything? "Well, yeah, you will be, but that goes both ways, doesn't it? Doesn't mean we can't date first, get to know each other. I'm not gonna lie, there's a whole part of me that wants to just shove you against the first available surface and knot you without a second thought, but I'm not an animal. Are you?"
"I am a member of the mammal family, yes."
Dean rubs the bridge of his nose with a smirk and a little snort. "Yeah, you caught me there. Do you get my point, though? We're not slaves to instinct. We can be people. And people date."
"I understand the concept, yes." His expression says he probably doesn't, but whatever.
"Okay, then. Dinner?"
Dean grins at him, relieved to see his shoulders relax a little. "Awesome. Okay." Dean let's out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. "I gotta get some paperwork done if I'm ever gonna get out of here, and it sounds like you've got a while on your car. You want more coffee? A newspaper? I'd offer you a magazine, but they're all car mags, and I get the feeling that's not really your thing."
Castiel smiles, even more tension leaving him. "I will be fine, thank you." He returns to his seat and returns to watching Dean, but it isn't as weird this time. He looks more curious than cautious now. Dean decides to let him be and tries to get the rest of his work done. Ben said he was weird. Dean can deal with weird.
Half an hour later, the bell above the front door tings as Ben walks through, eyes glued to his tablet. Dean's stomach sinks. In the excitement of finding his mate, he'd forgotten all about having his son for the week. "Hey, Dad," Ben says, walking right past Castiel without looking up and only momentarily glancing up at Dean as he passes in an attempt to go into Dean's office. Dean snatches his arm before he passes, causing Ben to blink up at him. "Dad, I'm mining diamonds."
"Homework. Video games later." Dean takes the tablet from him and shuts it off.
"Dad!" Ben whines, making a grab for the device.
"No arguing. You can have it back when your homework's done. Last time I checked, diamonds don't get up and walk away."
Ben sulks, but just as he's turning to the office, he catches a glimpse of Castiel and stops. "Mr. Novak? Dad, it's Mr. Novak. Did you ask him about being our mailman?"
"Yeah, we'll... uh... talk about that later. Go do your homework."
Castiel smiles at Ben, even though Dean can sense his confusion. "Hello, Benjamin."
"Hi, Mr. Novak. It's nice to see you," Ben says politely.
"It is nice to see you again, as well. I believe you have homework to do?"
Ben scowls. "Not you, too." He makes an annoyed bitchface that reminds Dean Ben's spending too much time with Sam and sulks into the office, calling behind him, "Bye, Mr. Novak."
Castiel watches after him, turning his eyes back to Dean only when Ben has slumped into Dean's desk chair and started pulling out books. Dean gulps, a washy feeling in his stomach. He hadn't planned on springing a kid on Cas this quickly. "That, uh... that was my son, Ben. You've met him, obviously."
"I have been working as a substitute teacher since I was let go at the post office."
"Yeah, I know. I uh... I sort of already knew your last name. I might have grilled him for intel when I smelled you on his homework." Dean only feels a little embarrassed to admit this.
Castiel nods, but then he turns his head to the side again. "But Ben's last name is Braeden."
"Yeah, we gave him his mom's name, since we weren't mates." Castiel nods, but doesn't otherwise answer. Dean starts to really worry. "This doesn't bother you, does it? That I already have a pup?"
"No, I am fond of children." The hint of a smile that crooks up his mouth confirms his assurance, and Dean relaxes just a little.
"Good, I always kind of worried. We were like twenty and stupid when we had him. He's awesome, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. But I wasn't sure how my uh… you would react," Dean fumbles lamely. He looks down at the desk calendar laid out on his counter, feeling stupid. How could he have forgotten that it was Wednesday? Castiel is still looking at him when he glances up again. He doesn't look upset, just sort of neutral, like he's waiting for Dean to keep talking.
"So, I forgot what day it was. I have him every other week, Wednesday to Wednesday. I'd like to take you to a nice place and get to know you just the two of us, but uh... would you care if he came with us to grab pizza instead?"
That little smile comes back. "Pizza sounds lovely. Will you be telling Benjamin the nature of our... relationship?
"Ben can hear you guys. Dad, did you ask Mr. Novak out on a date?" comes Ben's incredulous voice as he pops out of the office door. Dean has to resist the urge to roll his eyes at his nosy son.
"Yes, I did. Mr. Novak—Castiel is my mate. Do you remember what that means?"
"Ew, are you guys gonna have really loud sex now? 'Cause I'm going back to Mom's if you are. Gross."
Dean gapes at him. "Jesus, what are they teaching you at school?" He groans, rubbing at the tension headache building behind his eyes. He loves his child, but there are moments when he contemplates taking the life he created. "No, we are not going to... do that. Not now anyway, and not when you're in the house. For now, Cas is going to come with us for pizza tonight. That okay with you?"
Ben considers for a moment and nods. "Yeah, okay. Can we go to Luconi's?"
"Sure, that's fine. Get back in there and get your homework done, or we're not getting ice cream after." Ben doesn't have to be told twice. He definitely takes after Dean in the dessert area.
Dean looks back at Castiel with a shrug. "Sorry about that. I'd say he's adopted, but he looks too much like me."
"He does indeed. He also smells quite a bit like you. If I had been paying better attention, I might have guessed that he was related to my alpha."
Dean can't help the fissure of pleasure that shoots up his spine hearing Cas call him his alpha. Dean smiles over at Cas and Cas returns it. He looks genuinely happy and no longer apprehensive at all. The scent all around Dean grows ever sweeter.
"Are you guys gonna make out or something? 'Cause this is gross," Ben asks from Dean's desk, loud enough so that Benny and the boys could probably have heard him in the shop. Dean once more contemplates murder.
"Homework. Now," Dean says without looking away from Cas. There's a sigh and a minor amount of grumbling, but then Dean hears the scratch of a pencil and knows his son has followed his order. Dean takes another minute to look at Cas, offering him an apologetic smile. "I uh, gotta get this paperwork done if I wanna pay the guys tomorrow."
"By all means. I am not going anywhere."
Dean does, with the occasional glance at Cas out of the corner of his eye. Cas goes from studying Dean to studying Ben, and back again. He looks pleased about something. Dean tries not to think about what it could be while he finally, finally has the computer part finished and prints the checks out so he can sign them and put them in their individual envelopes. Once they're signed, he reaches for the envelopes, only to find Cas standing on the other side of the counter with the box of envelopes, tucking one of the paychecks into the envelope so that the address label faces forward. He even licks the envelopes—something that Dean finds insanely hot, even if he has a little roll-on water pad in one of his desk drawers and could have saved Cas the disgusting taste.
"Thanks," he says instead, watching Castiel seal the final envelope.
"All set, boss. You'll have to bring it back for the tail light, but your golden otherwise, Castiel," Benny interrupts their staring contest, jingling the keys as he walks up, a little pleased smirk on his face.
Castiel takes the keys from him. "Thank you. How much do I owe you?"
Benny glances at Dean with a raised brow. "Not sure about that. You'll have to ask the boss."
Dean levels him a look. "Thanks, Benny," he says flatly. Benny gives him a mock salute and turns on his heel, going back into the garage. Dean turns to Castiel with a smile. "You don't owe anything, Cas."
"I can't accept that, Dean. I do not intend to begin our relationship owing you anything."
"And I don't intend on letting my mate drive around in a car that's a quick stop from getting him in an accident. You don't owe me anything.Think of it as a perk of being mated to a mechanic and leave it at that." Dean turns on his stool to face Ben, scrunching his nose up at the work in front of him. "Hey kiddo, you hungry yet?"
"Yes, please save me from this," Ben begs, giving his dad a desperate look.
Dean chuckles. "Yeah, okay, find a stopping point and we'll head out." He turns back to a visibly tense omega. He frowns. "What's wrong? Did you change your mind about the pizza? Is this about the money thing? It's really not a big deal, Cas. I don't charge any of my family."
"Of course, Alpha," Castiel answers without inflection, dropping his eyes to the floor, demonstrating a level of submission Dean isn't comfortable with. He's only ever seen this sort of behavior from omegas in traditionalist packs, the ones with strict rules of behavior that always made Dean a little sick. He thinks he might understand why Cas had been so apprehensive at first. He gets up from his stool and walks around the counter to stand next to Cas, breaching his own protocol by lifting Cas' chin in his hand so that they're making eye contact again.
"Hey, my name's Dean, not Alpha. I meant it when I said I wanted us to act like people. If you don't like something I do, tell me. I'm probably not always going to listen to you because I can be a stubborn dick sometimes, but I don't want you to hold back or feel like you have to walk on eggshells because I'm alpha. I want us to be equal, okay?"
"How can we be equal if you will not permit me to pay for my own repairs?"
Dean smiles, dropping his hand from Cas' chin to his shoulder and patting it. "Yeah, you're not gonna win that one, sorry. But anything else you wanna yell at me about, feel free."
"I'm driving myself to the restaurant," Cas says with a clench of his jaw.
"That's fine. You probably won't like my music anyway. Although you are missing out on sitting shot-gun in the sweetest car ever, just letting you know."
"And what car would that be?" Cas makes an annoyed face that Dean can't help but find adorable. He leans an elbow on the counter and crosses a foot over the other, sliding into flirting mode with ease.
"'67 Chevy Impala. Sexiest thing I ever laid eyes on until I saw you."
Pink slowly floods his cheeks, making his annoyed face even cuter. "I appreciate the sentiment, but I do not believe a car should be considered sexually arousing."
Dean leans close to his ear, taking the opportunity to smell him up close, so many levels of delicious. "You haven't seen Baby," he rasps, turning Cas' scent almost nauseatingly sweet. Fuck, he smells good, Dean thinks, resisting the urge to lick his neck and scent-mark him.
"EW! Get a room already!" Ben cries in offense, stealing his tablet from the counter without asking and tucking it into his bag. Castiel pulls sharply away, looking alarmed and embarrassed to have let Dean get so close. Dean licks his lips, taking one final deep sniff before standing, unaffected by his son's protests.
"You ready to go?" he asks, turning towards Ben. Ben nods, eyeing them like they might turn into zombies at any moment and try to eat his brains or something. "Good, I'll go tell the guys I'm heading out early. Cas, you wanna meet us at the restaurant? You know where it is?"
"I do. I will get a table for us."
"Awesome, see you in ten." Dean refrains from kissing Cas goodbye even though he wants to and heads into the shop to get Benny to close up for him. On his way through, Adam wolf-whistles at him and Rufus gives him a knowing nod and a smirk. Dean ignores them both. He finds Benny hunched over a '72 Mustang they're restoring for the ever-annoying Dick Roman.
"Hey man, you mind closing the shop up for me? I'm taking Cas and the kid out for pizza."
Benny straightens with a warm smile and pats Dean on the shoulder. "Sure, brother. Congratulations on finding that mate finally. Andrea'll be happy to hear it."
Dean grins in return. "Thanks, but uh… make sure it doesn't get back to Charlie or Jo before I tell them? I'll catch hell if they don't find out from me."
"You might want to tell that to that one over there, then. He's had a look that spells trouble since you brought Castiel into the shop." He nods towards Adam's station, and Dean turns to see his half-brother eyeing Dean with an amused smirk that usually means Dean's going to end up with all his radio stations preset to Spanish or all his pens glued to his desk.
He narrows a dark look at his brother before turning back to one-arm hug Benny. "Thanks, Benny. I'll see you tomorrow. Let me know if there are any problems tonight."
"Will do, boss. You go have fun."
Dean nods and turns towards his brother, glaring. "Whatever you're planning, don't."
"I wasn't planning anything. Congrats on finding your mate finally. I thought you were gonna end up a grumpy old alpha like Rufus."
"I heard that, you little shit," Rufus grumbles from the next bay, not even looking up from his work. "Don't think you're too old for an ass-whoopin'."
"I'd like to see you try, old timer," Adam mocks, smirking.
"Would you," Rufus growls, looking up from the engine he's been working on with a smile full of razor-sharp teeth. Adam backs up, looking cowed by the display. "That's what I thought. Young whelp, think you can call me an old timer and get away with it…" Rufus mutters, going back to his work.
"You do anything I won't like, I'm sickin' Rufus on you, got it?" Dean warns with a significant look. Adam nods, though the smirk is back. Dean decides to ignore it and ruffles Adam's hair a little more aggressively than necessary. "Remember, just 'cause your family, don't mean I can't fire your annoying ass."
Adam rolls his eyes and shoves Dean away harmlessly. "Go away. Don't you have an omega to woo or something?"
"Shuddup," Dean mutters with a good-natured smirk. He heads back into the lobby, not wanting to keep Cas waiting. Ben's nowhere to be seen, but that probably just means he's playing on his tablet by the car. Dean locks the paychecks in his office and goes out the back door, finding Ben just where he expected. "Let's go, kiddo."
As they climb in, Ben looks up from his game to ask, "You know it's weird for you to take your son on a date, right?"
Dean recognizes the underlying serious question and turns to his son, leveling him with a look. "He's my mate, Ben. This isn't like casual dating. He's going to be a part of our family for the rest of our lives. I want you to get to know him and like him as much as I know I will, okay?"
Ben raises an eyebrow in a look Dean knows masks his insecurities. "Yeah, okay. Still weird, though."
"Deal with it, kid." Dean ruffles his hair forcefully and starts the car up, letting the loud screaming of Lars Ulrich drown out any further sarcastic questions by his son.
Castiel is already settled in a corner booth when they get there, three waters and menus set out. His eyes lock on Dean as soon as they're through the door and don't leave his face until Ben settles into the booth. Dean hesitates at the table, caught between wanting to be near Cas and minding propriety in the face of his son. He finally settles next to Ben with a heavy whoosh of the bench seat. In the time it has taken him to decide, Castiel and Ben have started talking.
"Pineapple pizza's my favorite, but Dad likes meat lover's. What about you?" Ben's asking, picking up his menu.
"I enjoy meat lover's, as well," Castiel answers, darting an almost mischievous look at Dean.
"Do you?" Dean asks in shameless flirtation.
Ben groans over-dramatically and slumps in his seat. "Are you guys gonna flirt this whole meal? 'Cause I'm not gonna be able to eat, if that's the case."
Dean pokes his son in the ribs with a look. "Watch it, kid. I might have to trade you in at the orphanage."
Ben makes a bitch face that just might have out bitch-faced Sammy. "Yeah, you do that. I'd love to see Mom's face when you drop off some random kid next Wednesday."
Dean roughs his hair up and pushes his menu at him. Before he can say anything else, Castiel interrupts with a cocked head and squinty eyes. "Ben is your biological son. Can you easily exchange him for another child at an orphanage?"
Dean frowns, confused. Ben quickly shakes his head. "Dad was joking, Mr. Novak. I don't even think they have orphanages anymore."
"Oh, yes, that makes more sense." His features soften into a smile. "You may call me Castiel, if you like, Ben. I am your father's mate, after all."
"Castiel? That's a weird name," Ben says. Dean considers murder again, something he has a feeling he'll be doing a lot of.
Castiel's smile widens as though he hears this comment all the time and is amused by it. "Yes, I am named after the angel of Thursday. My mother is a religious scholar, although she purposely spelled the name incorrectly when she wrote it on my birth certificate. The majority of biblical texts spell it Cassiel, with two S's instead of a T. My mother thought the T gives the name a bit more structure and strength."
Dean blinks, a little taken aback by the mini-lecture. Ben hadn't been wrong about the weird stories. It was kind of cute though, how pleased he looked with himself to be able to tell it. Dean returns his smile, trying not to focus on his kissable lips too much. "Interesting story," he offers, not knowing how else to respond.
Thankfully, Ben is smoother in his reply. "Were you born on a Thursday, then? I was born on Friday the Thirteenth. Dad always says it's why I'm so weird."
Castiel chuckles. "I was born on a Thursday, yes. I don't think your father is correct, though. I don't find you unusual in the slightest."
The conversation gets easier from there, and Dean learns that Cas worked as a CPA for a few years before deciding he didn't want to sit in a desk chair all day, and getting a job in the sorting room of the post office. He'd been there for two years before the trial run as a carrier hadn't worked out, and he'd been working as a substitute teacher ever since. Once dinner is eaten and paid for—by Castiel at his own insistence—Ben reminds Dean that he promised ice cream after.
Dean eyes Cas. "I did promise the kid. You wanna come with us? It's just down the street a couple blocks."
Castiel squints at him for a minute with a look Dean can't read. Then he nods, a smile creeping up his lips. "Ice cream sounds delightful." Ben whoops in glee and leads them in the direction of the Dairy Queen three blocks down, Dean and Cas trailing a few yards behind him. As they walk, Dean feels soft fingers brush his hand and looks down to find Castiel's reaching for him. He links their fingers together without a second thought, enjoying the warm press of their palms against each other and the soft, sweet scent of Cas drifting to his nose.
"So, besides your mom, what is the rest of your family like? Got any siblings?" Dean asks.
"Mmm, I have five older brothers and two older sisters." He doesn't appear to find anything odd in this statement, but it throws Dean for a loop.
"You have seven brothers and sisters? Jesus, and I thought Sammy was a little much to handle at times."
"Sammy? Is that your brother's name?"
"Yeah, my little brother, four years younger. He's living with me while he finishes his law degree. I think you'll like him. He's a nerd, too," Dean tells him with a teasing smile and a squeeze of his hand. Castiel chuckles.
"What makes you think I'm a nerd?"
"Dude, you wear vests, and I don't even think you're doing it ironically. You are totally a nerd."
Castiel looks down at his vest with a half-amused, half-confused smile. "But what is wrong with wearing a vest? It's comfortable and adds a level of professionalism, don't you think?" He doesn't sound offended, much to Dean's relief.
"Oh, I think it's hot, definitely, but also very, very nerdy." Castiel elbows him with a tiny smile, but doesn't say anything in response. The Dairy Queen looms ahead, and they are both distracted with catching up to Ben and ordering their ice cream.
They settle on a metal picnic table to eat, Ben on one side, Dean and Cas on the other. Dean straddles the bench seat so that he can better watch Cas eat, shameless in his ogling. "Get this, Ben: Cas has seven siblings," Dean says before shoving a giant spoonful of Peanut Butter Parfait in his mouth.
Ben's eyes grow as wide as dinner plates as he looks from Dean to Cas. "Seriously? Wow."
Cas smiles, licking delicately at his chocolate-dipped vanilla cone. "Yes, it's true."
"Can you name them all?" Dean asks, scooting closer so that his bent knee brushes against Cas' back. Cas gives him a shy smile over his cone.
"Of course I can, but remember that my mother is a Biblical scholar. Michael is the oldest, then Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel, Balthazar, Anna, and Rachel. And lastly there is me, the only male omega in the last three hundred years of my family's history."
"They don't treat you differently for that, right? I mean, you can't be the only omega in the family, even if you are the only male," Dean asks, still remembering the way Cas had called him Alpha earlier.
Castiel hesitates, looking from Dean to Ben for a moment with a little frown marring his gorgeous mouth. "Anna is an omega, as well, but male omegas are different. I am treated the way my mother believes all male omegas should be treated."
"And what way is that?" Dean doesn't think he's going to like the answer.
"I mind my place in the family, and am treated well for it."
"And when you don't 'mind your place'?"
Cas looks down at his cone solemnly. "I would rather not talk about it. This ice cream is excellent. Thank you for inviting me to accompany you," he says, the cheery turn of his voice obviously forced. Dean has a feeling he has his work cut out for him, but he isn't going to push his mate. They'll figure it out in their own time.
"I'm glad you came," he says with a warm smile, running his knuckles down Cas' spine and enjoying the shiver it causes in the other. Ben makes a face at their show of affection, but thankfully keeps his comments to himself
When they return to the Luconi's parking lot a half an hour later, Dean tosses his keys to Ben. "Go find the car, but do not turn her on." He levels a warning look at Ben, who joys in nothing more than turning the car on and pretending to drive her. It has resulted in more than one dented fender. Ben makes a face at him, but heads in the direction they'd parked without further comment. Dean turns back to Cas with an apologetic smile. "So, can I walk you to your car?" he asks, feeling a little lame.
Castiel smiles back. "If you wish to." He turns and leads Dean back to where he parked the Nova. When he turns at the driver's side door, he looks nervous.
Dean steps closer to him, into his personal space. "Did you have a good time?"
"I did. I enjoyed getting to know both you and Ben."
"Awesome. I was worried Ben was gonna be a little asshole, but I'm glad you like him. You uh… wouldn't want to go out again, would you? Maybe just the two of us?"
Castiel twists his head to the side in a look of confusion. "Why are you asking as though my answer will be no? You are my mate."
Dean sighs, a tiny bit frustrated, but shakes himself of it with a little chuff of a laugh. "Dating, remember? Like people?"
"And not animals, yes, I remember. Fine, yes, of course I would like to go out with you again."
"Awesome. How about tomorrow night? I'll take you to that place on 27th Street, the Shift House? My brother took his mate there a couple months ago, and they both said the food was really good."
Castiel smiles the kind of smile that holds a secret and nods. "Yes, the food there is quite excellent."
"Is that a yes then?"
"That is a yes."
"Awesome. Can I kiss you now? Cause I really, really want to kiss you." His eyes drop to Cas' pink lips, and he finds himself leaning closer.
Castiel's tongue darts out to lick those perfect lips, and Dean melts a little at the sight. Cas nods with a pleased little smile. Dean cups his face in his hands and presses their lips together, and Castiel melts into him. Dean feels a shiver go through Cas that matches his own. He steps closer, pressing their bodies flush. Cas' hands drift to his waist, tentative but warm. When Dean licks into his mouth, a little keening whine escapes Cas' lips. It sends a rush of lust to Dean's brain, and he pushes Cas backwards into his car, dominating the kiss. Cas' grip on Dean's sides tightens as Dean sucks at his bottom lip.
They're interrupted by a loud honk Dean recognizes as coming from the Impala. Dean pulls away with a shake of his head. "That little asshole," he mutters, pressing a soft kiss to Castiel's lips. The horn honks again, more insistently. Dean curses under his breath. "Alright, so I gotta go before he gives me more reason to kill him. I'll see you tomorrow?" There's a third, long honk, which Dean ignores. "Can I pick you up or you wanna drive yourself?"
Castiel cocks his head to the side, considering Dean, and it's definitely not the most fucking adorable thing Dean's ever seen. Not at all. "I believe I will forgo riding in your sexy car for one more date, if you don't mind."
"Okay, but your missing out. Meet you at the restaurant at 7:30?"
"7:30 it is." Dean grins and kisses him again, completely ignoring the half-dozen honks in quick succession. Castiel hums into his mouth and digs nails into his jacket sleeve, kissing him back. When he pulls away with a final peck, Cas' eyes are hooded and watery with lust, and it is a physical effort for Dean to let him go.
"Good night, Dean," Cas says hoarsely. Dean waits until he gets into his car before turning to stalk after his son.