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27 June 2011 @ 04:08 am
FIC: J. Alfred Prufrock Grows a Pair  
Title: J. Alfred Prufrock Grows a Pair
Author: blue_fjords
Rating: PG-13
Pairing/Characters: Dean/Castiel, Balthazar, Sam, Anna, Jo, Meg, Becky
Word count: 9,800
Warnings: none
Summary: Dean's a new student and Castiel is God of the high school. They get paired together for an English project and sparks fly.

A/N: written for vulgar_snail as part of the deancastiel Everlasting Birthday Challenge for the prompt of a high school AU in which Dean has a huge girly crush on Castiel. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Still your birthday in some time zone. This story owes everything to T.S. Eliot's poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. You can find the full text here. Many, many thanks to paragraphs for the last minute beta!


"Are you paying attention, Dean?"

Dean blinked and hurriedly schooled his face to express interest. In the poem, not in what he'd really been doing, which was memorizing the shape of his partner's ear, the dip of his collarbone just barely peeking from his t-shirt, the fall of his dark lashes against his cheek as he looked down to read from their English textbook.

"Uh, yeah. This dude is, um, convincing himself to wimp out of something?" Dean hazarded a guess. It would help if both T.S. Eliot and Castiel Novak could speak plain English, but that seemed like a reasonable interpretation to him.

"Succinct." Castiel gave him an approving nod, and something blossomed in Dean's chest. "That is certainly a viable opinion."

Castiel's finger smoothed down the page of the textbook, a totally unconscious gesture, Dean could tell, but it looked like a caress, which automatically made him think of those fingers caressing him, stroking his cheek, running down his chest, taking him–

"What's yours?" Dean asked gruffly, shifting in his seat. Castiel tilted his head when he stared at Dean, and answered earnestly. It was so damn endearing, and Dean fought back a blush.

"I would agree with you. This is a human tragedy, Dean. Prufrock does not ask a question, for he feels he already knows what the answer would be." Castiel's lips quirked in a half-smile. "I have done the same myself on occasion."

A thousand responses flew to Dean's lips, but none were quite witty enough to share with Castiel. Somewhere on the other side of the library someone dropped a heavy book and a group of girls stifled a chorus of giggles. Castiel threw them a withering glance, and the giggles changed to mortified gasps.

"Perhaps we should continue this project someplace more private." Castiel stood up. Dean was going to have to remain sitting for a moment more. "Would you object to meeting at my house?"

Would he object to spending a few hours in Castiel Novak's house? Where there were probably baby pictures of Castiel up on the walls and family members to supply amusing anecdotes, where Castiel probably had his own room and bed and door, where Dean could fantasize about shutting that door and spreading Castiel out on that bed and…Castiel was still watching him, head tilted and slight frown on his face.

"No!" Dean said with more force than he meant. "I mean, no objections. We can go there, it's cool."

"Good." Castiel glanced down at his watch. It was one of those fancy ones that was supposed to be able to survive underwater and in extreme heat and such. Dean thought it made him look a little James Bond-ish. "The final bell is in five minutes. You have a car, right, Dean?"

Dean's pulse quickened. Castiel Novak knew he had a car. That was a good sign. Dean knew that Castiel rode into school with his cousins, the twins Uriel and Raphael in their massive SUV, or he rode behind Anna on her motorcycle, but everyone knew that.

"Yeah, I drive a '67 Chevy Impala, she's gorgeous," Dean said. Castiel raised an eyebrow and Dean gave him a sheepish grin. God, they were having a Moment. Until Dean remembered, "Shit, Cas, I have to take my little brother and his sort of girlfriend to the senior center after school."

Damn Sam's do-good-ing, cock-blocking ways!

Castiel's mouth opened and closed, and Dean belatedly realized that he'd called him by a nickname. He'd used a nickname, the name he mumbled when he touched himself in the shower, to Castiel's face. Shit. "Are they Junior Rotarians?" Castiel asked at last.

Dean let out a shaky breath at the avoidance of the nickname and nodded. Of course Castiel would know about all the clubs at the school.

"Uh, yeah, that's right."

"The senior center is three blocks from my house. We can drop them off on the way. Assuming that's all right with you."

Dean nodded mutely.

"Then I shall meet you at the 1967 Chevy Impala in a few minutes."

He gave Dean another one of his brief half-smiles before gathering his bag and walking out of the library. The girls from earlier sighed as they watched him move past, then turned as one to give Dean jealous looks. He wasn't above smirking back at them. He was going to Castiel's house, he'd been invited, and Castiel was going for a ride in his car, and–

The bell rang, slicing through his reverie.

***

Francis Willard High School was the third high school Dean had attended. If he was lucky, he'd be graduating from it in a couple of months, and Sam would start his sophomore year actually knowing kids from the year before.

They'd been there a month already. Dean had gone through his first morning there in an angry funk – pissed at his father for yanking them out of their last school just when Sam was starting to make friends (Dean never made friends, but that was okay as long as Sammy got a chance to) and worried because their father had left them alone to go on an extended business trip – and then he had entered fourth period English with Ms. Rosen. Castiel had turned from where he was staring out the window and Dean literally felt the earth move under his feet.

It had just been an explosion in the chemistry lab. But ever since that day, Dean could not fight against his all-consuming crush.

He had several problems with this. First and most obvious, Castiel was another guy. Dean had crushed on a guy once before and had only embarrassed himself. He hadn't had the faintest idea how to act then, and he hadn't picked up any tips since. Dean was the King of Quick Seduction. But of women and girls. Secondly, he had no idea how long they would be attending the school. What was his timeframe for getting Castiel alone? Each day he spent with him could be his last. And thirdly, at Francis Willard High School, Castiel Novak was God. Dean was nobody, worse, he was new nobody.

Castiel did not seem to notice his exalted status. Or perhaps he just figured it to be his due. He walked the halls of the high school, his cousins and closest friends trailing behind him, and girls sighed as he passed. Teachers would ask his opinion as if they genuinely wanted to know what he thought. Not a day went by when he wasn't congratulated for something (scoring the winning goal, saving a whale, raising money for the homeless, riffing on his guitar, baking the most scrumptious pie that'd ever been made in a high school Home Ec course and making it seem manly). Castiel Novak was so cool and admired, he was even able to revive the Chess Club and extend his influence to protect the members from mockery. Dean didn't have a chance.

It didn't stop him from pining. He had English and Study Hall with Castiel, and for the first time in his life, Dean was keeping caught up on his English homework. Because when he participated in class, Castiel would look at him. Really look, piercing blue eyes breaking down all the barriers Dean had carefully placed there. (He watched Castiel interact with the other students. Though he was always intense, he didn't look at them quite the way he looked at Dean. The first time he noticed, he went home and jerked off to thoughts of Castiel, stuttering out a Cas-Cas-Cas as he came all over his hand.)

And now he was going to get to go to the Novak house. He was either going to explode from nerves or lust, he wasn't sure which. Maybe both.

Sam was waiting at his locker for him when he rounded the corner. The cute girl with the honey-colored curls was with him, gazing up at him like he'd discovered a cure for cancer.

"Dean! Dean!" Sam bounced on the balls of his feet when he got excited. He was typically excited around…Jess, that was her name. Usually Dean made fun of him for it, but his memories from study hall were too fresh in his mind.

"Yeah, yeah, I see you, Squirt."

Sam gave an indignant squawk as Dean spun the knob on his locker and yanked the door open. His history book almost hit him in the face. Sam would call it karma. Dean just wanted to avoid a black eye before his study date. He grabbed the toolbox Mr. Singer had given him, full of sharp wood-working instruments which really shouldn't have been allowed in a school but which Bobby Singer thought Dean could use for his new hobby, shoved the history book back in, and slammed the door.

"You guys are getting the back seat today," he told the others as he led the way to the student lot. Jess turned bright red and Sam's eyes grew as big as saucers. Humiliated saucers. Dean rolled his eyes. "Hands will be kept to yourselves. I have to work on something for English class; my project partner will get the front seat."

He glanced surreptitiously in sideview mirrors as they passed beat-up sedans, pick-up trucks and shiny new SUVs on the way to the Impala. He looked…okay.

"What's your project, Dean?" Jess asked, tripping along behind him to keep up.

"Poetry," Dean grunted. It was more than a little squirm-inducing to be discussing poetry with his crush, honestly.

"You're writing poems?" Sam asked incredulously. "You?"

"'Course not." No, Ms. Rosen had come up with something even more embarrassing – they had to create a piece of art that depicted the poem, and then she had assigned them partners. And she had treated the whole thing like it was a reward for everyone turning their term papers in on time. She should have brought doughnuts. That was a proper reward, and Dean had said so in class. And then she'd assigned him Castiel, effectively shutting him up.

Sam held the back door open for Jess, and she gave him a doe-eyed look as she slid into the backseat.

"Who's your partner?" she asked.

"Another senior," Dean mumbled, slotting his seatbelt into place. Sam narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth, no doubt to declare that just because they were freshmen that didn't mean they didn't know some seniors, but he got distracted at a loud gasp from Jess.

"Oh my God, Castiel Novak is coming this way!" she squealed. She craned her neck to peer out the backseat window. Dean went with the more dignified route of watching Castiel approach through the rearview mirror. "Oh my God, Dean, is he your partner?! Sam!" she exclaimed, finally turning to face Sam, who was wearing the expression of a particularly constipated frog. "Does my hair look okay?"

Dean couldn't help it. He burst out laughing. He was still laughing when Castiel opened the passenger side door and climbed inside.

"Hello, Dean."

Oh, God, his eyes crinkled when he smiled, like he was doing now, looking at Dean. Damn, Castiel's eyes were so fucking blue, and like that cheesy song his mother used to sing when he was a kid. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely. Someone whimpered – Jess, thank all that was holy – and Dean was finally able to tear his gaze away. His fingers fumbled with the keys in the ignition.

"Cas, my little brother Sam, his friend Jess. Sam, Jess – Castiel." He finally managed to start the car.

Jess was quiet for exactly thirty seconds, then she could help herself no longer.

"That was an amazing goal you made against the Green Devils last week," she blurted out. "You're an amazing player."

She turned bright red. Castiel's eyes flicked to the rearview mirror.

"Lacrosse is a team sport," he told her. "And a team is only as strong as its weakest player. A cliché, to be sure, but it is true all the same."

"But the way you leapt over that Green Devil – it was so beautiful!"

Her hands came up to cover her face as the other three stared at her. Dean turned back to the road, glad to know that someone else could act like an even bigger sap than him in front of Castiel. Castiel cleared his throat.

"Do you play any sports, Dean?" he asked. Sam snorted, the first noise he'd made since Jess had started fangirling Castiel. Dean shot him a dirty look.

"Ah, no. I, uh, I like baseball." No he didn't, not really. "But I don't really do group sports."

"Dean doesn't sweat for fun," Sam interjected. "Dean makes stuff. He's really smart and talented. He made me a remote control car when he was only eleven from stuff that was just lying around."

They'd gone dumpster-diving. Sam was just now reaching the age when dumpster-diving was no longer fun, but an embarrassment instead. Dean had always got a little thrill from it himself. Castiel gave him an appraising look.

"That's quite advanced."

Dean preened.

"Ah, it was nothing. Wait until Sammy turns sixteen." Dean was going to build him a real car, he just needed to find a place to work on it.

"Do you make things, Castiel?" Jess asked and blushed. Sam's face darkened. "I heard Meg Masters say you made an apple pie once," she mumbled.

"It was for Home Economics," Castiel told her. "And, yes, I did make one." Dean salivated at just the thought. Castiel's long fingers handling the apples, the smell of baking cinnamon and sugar…

"I make Dean pie for his birthday every year," Sam grumbled.

"That is very kind of you," Castiel said. Sam huffed and looked out the window.

An awkward silence descended on the car. Dean came up with three things to say to Castiel about pies, but when his eyes flicked back to check his rearview mirror, he could see the wheels turning in Jess's head as she tried to come up with something interesting and entertaining to tell Castiel. Dean's mouth snapped shut. He pulled up in front of the senior center a minute later.

"Two hours, same place, Sammy."

His brother grunted in acknowledgement and quickly crawled out of the car, holding his door open for Jess.

"It was nice meeting you, Castiel," she whispered.

"It was a pleasure, Jessica."

The smile that bloomed across her face when he said her name was brighter than the sun.

***

The Novak house was both grander and poorer than Dean had imagined. It was large and well-kept, but lacking in the personal touches that said louder than words that a family who loved each other lived here. There were no baby pictures of Castiel up anywhere, and no family members to tell amusing anecdotes. Still, it was a hell of a lot nicer to study in the Novak's sunroom than in the dingy two-bedroom apartment Dean shared with his father and brother. Especially when the sun came out from behind a cloud and shone into the little room, filling it with light. The sun's rays caressed Castiel's skin, turning him golden and calling up just the slightest sheen of sweat, making him glow. Dean made a noise low in his throat, unbidden.

"What did you say, Dean?" Castiel asked, looking up at him. He was already sitting on the floor, his back against a wicker couch and his legs splayed out in front of him. It was the most relaxed posture Dean had ever seen him adopt.

"Uh, nothing. Just…this is a nice room," he concluded lamely.

"It is my favorite room." He squinted at Dean. "Perhaps you should sit."

"You mean you don't want a crick in the neck, Cas?"

Castiel looked confused for a moment, then smiled slightly. "No, Dean."

Dean hunkered down next to him on the floor, somewhat gracelessly.

"Would you like to take your boots and coat off?" Castiel asked.

Dean flushed. His socks were mismatched today. They were clean and un-hole-y, which was always his goal when doing the laundry for him and Sam, but this morning it hadn't seemed to matter that he was stuck with one dark blue and one dark brown sock. Now, though…he shrugged out of his battered leather jacket and threw it on the wicker couch behind them then turned to his boots. Castiel could handle mismatched socks. He stretched his legs out so his feet were beneath the coffee table anyhow.

"So are we the only ones here?" Dean asked. Smooth, Winchester.

Castiel didn't seem to notice. "Yes."

Dean waited for more information, but none was forthcoming. Castiel opened their English text to the pages for T.S. Eliot, a slight frown marring his features.

"So. In your opinion Prufrock was a coward?" he asked, picking up right where they had left off in the library.

Dean blinked, gears shifting, and rubbed at the back of his neck. "Well…yeah, I guess. I mean, there's all this shit going on in the middle of the poem and I don't know what the hell he's saying, but at the end he's like – he's just a supporting player. And then he'll die. What the fuck? The poem's named after him, he should man up and be the lead character."

Castiel nodded seriously. "That is a good point, Dean, but allow me to be Devil's Advocate for a moment. Isn't it necessary to have supporting characters? Wouldn't the world be a bit of chaos if everyone was Hamlet?"

"Yeah, okay. But you can be a supporting character without being all, what does he say?" He leaned over the book, his forehead almost touching Castiel's. "'An easy tool' and a 'bit obtuse.' I mean, come on. Have a little self-respect."

Castiel's lips curved upwards slightly, and his tongue darted out to wet them as he began speaking. "Maybe he is just seeing it as it really is. Some of us are hammers, are we not, and many are nails, but there is just one carpenter to swing the hammer."

Dean stared, transfixed, at the pink swell of Castiel's lips, so damn close. If he leaned in one more inch…

Castiel pulled back, huffing a laugh. "I see my skill at creating analogies is as rusty as ever. My apologies."

"What?" Dean shook his head. It was a bit like surfacing after a dive. "Analogies?"

"My point exactly." Castiel gave him that smile again, the quiet, fond one, and Dean wondered what on earth he had done to deserve it, and if Castiel gave it out to everyone. "Are you hungry, Dean?"

"Yes."

***

The Novak kitchen was very shiny. Every surface gleamed. Dean felt distinctly out of place until Castiel opened the fridge and began to pull out sandwich ingredients. They maybe didn't have as many processed meats and fake-colored cheeses as Dean was used to – the meat looked like real meat and the cheese had to be sliced by hand – but that didn't stop him from creating a monstrous sandwich, the process of slapping bread and meat and cheese together grounding him.

He closed his eyes when he bit into it. There was nothing quite like a good sandwich, and made with the finest ingredients, in the presence of…his eyes flew open.

Castiel was staring at him. Dean swallowed, and Castiel's eye followed the movement. A little tendril of heat coiled low in Dean's belly. His tongue darted out to catch a drop of sauce in the corner of his mouth. Castiel looked away.

"My brother Michael also loves sandwiches," he said, clearing his throat.

"These are better than the ones I usually make for me and Sammy," Dean told him.

"Do you and your brother live alone?" Castiel asked. There was that frown again, head tilted and intense eyes looking into Dean's soul. Dean looked down at his sandwich.

"Nah, we live with our dad. He's away on business a lot. Our mom died when Sam was a baby." The words were easy to say to Castiel. Dean hated playing the Dead Mom sympathy card, but Castiel was different.

"I see. We have that in common."

Dean's eyebrows rose. "Really?"

"Yes. Though my three older brothers no longer live at home."

"Three? That must have been – " He was going to say 'awesome' but stopped at the expression on Castiel's face. "Um. Interesting. What, were they total douches to you?"

Castiel mouthed the word 'douche' as if trying it out. Dean grinned despite himself.

"No," Castiel answered finally. "We are all just very different individuals. The twins, Michael and Luc, are ten years older than me, and Gabriel is twenty-four."

"Aw, Cas, were you a surprise?"

"I suppose I was quite a shock to their system." He smiled faintly at Dean. They were standing close together, not even a full arm's length apart. If someone had told Dean yesterday that today he would be standing in his crush's kitchen, bonding over their families, he wouldn't have believed it. He certainly wouldn't believe the way Castiel was staring at his mouth. When he breathed out, his breath touched Castiel's face, running a finger of air along his jawline. One step closer, and he could follow it with his tongue.

"Have you ever seen the film I've Heard the Mermaids Singing?" Castiel asked, breaking the spell and looking down at his sandwich, a pitiful thing in comparison to Dean's masterpiece. Dean swallowed, disappointed, and tried to follow Castiel's train of thought.

"Uh…it sounds familiar."

"It may just sound familiar because the title is taken from 'Prufrock.'"

Dean flushed and took a big bite of his sandwich. Castiel continued on, oblivious. "I loaned my copy to my cousin Anna, but I have it on my computer, as well. I think we should watch it. It may give us an idea for our project."

Huddled close to Castiel to watch a movie on his computer screen? Dean perked up again. It sounded just about perfect. Until Dean glanced up at the clock.

"I have to pick up Sam in fifteen minutes." He had never begrudged his brother anything in his whole life, but at that moment, Dean really wished Sam could walk home on his own.

"We can watch it tomorrow night," Castiel suggested. "I have Student Council after school, and then lacrosse practice. But if you could come here around 7:00…"

"Yeah, sure," Dean agreed. A bit of bread lodged in his throat and he coughed violently several times. He could feel his face growing red. And then Castiel laid a hand on his shoulder. Dean swallowed, the bread went where it was supposed to go, and Castiel squeezed his arm briefly before letting go.

***

Dean went through the next day in a fog. He would be going to Castiel's house again at 7:00, this time up to his bedroom to watch a movie. He couldn't keep the grin off his face. He probably looked like a jackass. Sam shot him suspicious looks all morning, not that Dean could blame him. He was never in this good a mood when their father was away. But it wasn't until they got to school and saw Castiel down the hall that Sam said anything.

"Jess told all her friends we rode in a car with Castiel Novak."

Dean grunted.

"I've been invited to go bowling, join a study group and get pizza, all since she first tweeted about it," Sam continued.

"What the hell are tweets?"

Sam rolled his eyes. "Social networking, Dean. Anyhow, my point is –"

"Oh, were you trying to make a point?"

"My point," Sam said, glaring up at him. Dean thought he looked like a little pixie when he was angry, and had told him so on many occasions. Maybe one day he'd reach Dean's height, but it wasn't looking like it yet. "Is that Castiel Novak is a Big Deal."

Dean looked down the hall. Castiel was at his locker, his cousin Anna just beyond him. A group of girls hurried by, giggling and throwing him coy glances, and a couple lacrosse players slapped him on the back as they passed.

"I know that. I'm not that clueless. Why do we care?"

He slammed his locker shut and started walking down the hall. Sam scurried to stay in step. "We don't. But Dean, you gotta be careful."

Dean stopped abruptly and Sam slammed into him from behind.

"Dude, what are you saying?" he hissed. They were just a few feet down a crowded hallway from Castiel. He was going to look up any second.

Castiel looked up, spotted Dean and Sam, and gave them a half-smile.

"Hello, Dean. Hello, Sam."

Dean could feel people staring at him, wondering who he and Sam were to attract the attention of the great Castiel Novak, but he could care less.

"Hey, Cas," he said, and Castiel's smile grew a trifle wider. The bell rang, a loud brrrrrrrrrrrr-ing to tell everyone to haul ass to homeroom. Castiel went one way, the Winchesters another. Sam grabbed Dean's arm before he stepped into his classroom.

"All I'm saying is I can tell you like him, and I don't want you to get hurt."

Sam ducked into his class, leaving Dean alone.

***

Dean had put aside Sam's warning by the time English rolled around. They didn't have time to discuss their project in class, but Castiel sat beside him as Ms. Rosen had everyone delve into their unit on poetry. At one point he dropped his pen, and they bumped heads retrieving it. Dean wondered if that made him Meg Ryan, or if he was the guy and Castiel had to be Meg Ryan. He even chuckled! What the hell was Castiel doing to him? Dean Winchester was not a chuckler. He tried to come up with something casual and witty to say about Sylvia Plath, but Sylvia Plath was depressing as fuck and did not lend herself to witticisms, and Castiel disappeared with the ringing of the bell.

Jo fell into step with him on his way to lunch.

"Hey, Jo," he greeted her. "If I made a joke about Sylvia Plath being a shit cook, would you think it was funny?"

"No, I'd think you were an asshole. What's this I hear about you being new BFF's with Castiel Novak, huh?"

He looked at her out of the corner of his eye. Jo Harvelle was his kind-of-friend. They'd been eating lunch together for a couple of weeks, along with her friends Ash and Pam, both of whom were out 'sick' after trying Pam's home brew over the weekend.

"We were assigned to work together on an English project," he said.

"And so you gave him a ride in the Impala? You don't give me rides in the Impala." She gave his shoulder a good-natured shove as they got in the lunchline. "You owe me fries."

"Do not, whiner. And it wasn't a big deal. We just couldn't get anything done in the library." He tried to ignore the way his stomach did a backflip.

Jo snorted. "Yeah, because the library sucks for studying. I hear they're going to start using it for raves."

"Fuck you," he said cheerily, and Jo grinned. The lunch lady tutted and shook her head at him. "Sorry, ma'am."

He turned to lead the way to their usual table in the corner, his eyes automatically seeking out Castiel's table, and stopped dead. Castiel was waving him over. Him.

"Jo," he hissed. "Come on."

Jo rolled her eyes, but followed him over to Castiel's table. Dean couldn't tell the twins Uriel and Raphael apart, and hadn't bothered to learn the names of the others in his posse, except for Castiel's other cousin, Anna, the waif-like redhead. He had a class with her and she was a little spacey, but nice enough.

"Dean." Castiel looked up with that same half-smile on his lips. "I dreamed of you last night. You were a yellow fog, slinking around the corners of the high school."

Dean's mouth went a little dry, and he dropped his tray onto the table with a loud clunk. The blond boy on the other side of Castiel smirked.

"He's speechless, Cassie. I have a feeling that's an improvement."

"It is in your case," Uriel/Raphael said in a low rumble. "I've a mind to improve the world even further by ripping your tongue out."

Castiel ignored them. "Please, Dean, have a seat. And Joanna Beth, of course."

"It's Jo," Jo said firmly, elbowing Dean in the side. He hurriedly sat down and finally found his voice.

"I think that poem is going to your head, Cas."

"You guys are reading poetry to each other? Oh, that's precious," cooed blondie. Dean's fingers itched to shove that smug face into his tray of mac and cheese.

"Be quiet, Balthazar," Castiel said. "Dean, do you know Balthazar?"

"No, but I already want to rearrange his face."

Jo kicked him in the ankle. The table went silent for a moment, and then one of the twins guffawed. "I like you, boy."

"My cousin Uriel," Castiel said drily. "He has a discerning taste for both humor and violence." He pointed to the boy next to Uriel. "And Raphael. A bit more subtle."

Raphael gave him a cool smile and resumed his private conversation with the icy blonde to his right. "Rachel Dion, Balthazar's younger sister," Castiel continued the introductions, "and Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos," he said, indicating the three girls on Jo's other side, clearly all related to each other, and with vindictive parents, to boot. "Anna says she knows you already. You have physics together?"

It was his best subject, and he nodded confidently at Anna. If she thought he was an idiot, it wasn't due to physics.

"I told Castiel that you were very good with your hands," she said, all earnest wide eyes. It must be a family trait. Jo choked on her milk. Balthazar laughed so hard he dropped his bottle of iced tea. Murky brown liquid spilled across the table.

"I guess it's better than having butterfingers," Dean said through gritted teeth. Maybe they shouldn't have sat there. Tea inched its way towards the edge, threatening to drip onto his jeans, which would suck, as they were his only pair without holes in the knees. He wanted to wear them that night.

Castiel placed his napkin over the mess and snapped his fingers. For a moment, Dean thought he was about to witness a minor miracle, but it was simply the signal for everyone else to sacrifice their own napkins to sop up the tea.

"After the cups, the marmalade, the tea," Castiel quoted. He smiled across the table at Dean. "Balthazar has always had 'butterfingers,' as you said."

He made little airquotes with his fingers. On anyone else, Dean would have found it pretentious. From Castiel, though, it was endearing.

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis…

***

Dean rang the Novak doorbell at 7:03. After much internal debate, he'd opted for just a splash of his father's aftershave. He was feeling pretty mellow after a marathon session with his right hand in the shower. All of his careful plans to keep the evidence of his crush in check flew out the window the second Castiel flung open the door, however.

He was obviously fresh from the shower, his damp hair sticking up in clumps after a vigorous towel-drying, except for the tiny curls that clung to his neck. His skin glowed from his recent scrubbing and holy shit, he was only wearing a towel, slung loosely around his hips. Dean's jaw dropped a little. He disguised it by coughing.

"Am I interrupting your Old Spice commercial?" he asked, not quite as suavely as he could because, damn, Castiel's skin! And his lean muscles, and there was a tiny mole on one breast, and his hipbones were just aching for the pads of Dean's fingers, the swipe of Dean's tongue. He was drooling, he was definitely drooling, and looked down at Castiel's feet. That was safe, right? Except his calves were so well-muscled and his bare feet were just so fucking intimate.

"I don't get that reference," Castiel said, a touch breathlessly. "Sorry, I just got out of the shower, practice ran a little late. I know it's terribly uncouth to answer the door in my towel."

He gestured Dean inside without moving himself. Dean swallowed hard, and brushed by Castiel on his way into the house.

"Hey, at least you're wearing a towel. My dad sleeps in the nude."

Fuck, why had he said that? It was fucking creepy. Not to mention he'd like to just flick his hand out and knock aside that towel. Castiel blinked at him.

"I've never seen my father in anything but a suit," he said.

"Oh," Dean responded lamely. Castiel just looked back at him. And despite the virtually acres of skin available for him to ogle, Dean couldn't break eye contact. They stood in the Novak foyer, staring at each other, separated by less than an arm's length, with only the sound of droplets from Castiel's wet body hitting the stone-tiled floor – sploosh, sploosh, sploosh – until Castiel shivered and looked away.

"I'm cold," he announced. "Come with me, Dean, my computer's upstairs."

Dean had to stop himself from reaching for his hand as Castiel led the way up the staircase. He took a deep breath, surreptitiously adjusted his jeans, and followed.

Castiel's room was nothing like he'd pictured it (fireplace, bare wooden floors, shaggy carpet upon which they'd rut against each other before retiring to a bed that could hold six but would just hold them and their amazing sexual prowess). Instead, it was a little cramped with bookshelves and an overflowing desk. All the posters were of places, or famous dead people spewing their famous dead quotes. A soup of dirty clothes took up one corner, half-blocking a closet. The bed, though, looked comfortable and the perfect size to hold the pair of them.

Castiel made his way to the closet, kicking at the soup to tug the door open. Dean watched out of the corner of his eye as Castiel's head momentarily disappeared in the folds of a worn blue t-shirt before popping up through the neck. He had to look away, not trusting his ability to contain himself, when Castiel reached for a pair of faded pajama bottoms and began to loosen his towel.

"So, uh, is your father-the-suit going to be home soon?" he asked, desperate to say something, anything. He stared at a poster full of depressing quotes about hell, trying to ignore the flutter of the towel as it hit the floor.

"He won't get in until after midnight," Castiel said. His bare feet padded across the carpet to Dean and he stopped, tilting his head. "You too?"

"Huh? Nah, my dad's still away for a few days." Castiel was right in his personal space, smelling all clean and fresh and looking utterly delectable. And frowning. "Um. What did you mean?"

"Do you also appreciate Milton?" Castiel asked, nodding at the poster.

"Oh. Well, the Olde English is kind of cool."

"Yes." Castiel favored him with an amused little smile. His t-shirt really brought out the blue of his eyes, not that he needed any help in that department. "So. 'Mermaids Singing.' Shall we attempt to listen?"

It was the closest thing Castiel had made to a joke, and Dean found himself breaking into a wide grin in response.

They settled onto the bed, Dean kicking off his boots and tossing his jacket on top of them. There was a moment of awkwardness as both boys wondered where to put their arms, as if they had realized at the same time that there was a line they weren't prepared to cross. They wound up shoulder to shoulder, hands in their own laps, as the movie started.

Castiel recited along with the voiceover, one of Dean's major pet peeves. Luckily, the movie was amusing enough, and soon Castiel quieted, every now and then murmuring something like "this part is important" or "I hadn't caught that before, that's good." Dean wasn't sure what there was to catch, but hopefully it was giving Castiel ideas for their piece of creative expression, as Ms. Rosen had termed it.

The main character was in love with her boss, the curator of an art gallery. The curator was refined, sophisticated and perfect. Dean squirmed a bit on the bed. Watching the movie for school was making him see connections between the characters and him and Castiel, and he had a sinking feeling that he was the stand-in for the orange-haired Girl Friday. And then Castiel fell asleep.

Dean forgot all about the movie and watched Castiel. His eyelashes were a dark fan atop his cheeks and his lips were slightly parted. His head nodded on his tanned neck until Dean held his breath and sunk farther back into the cushions. The next time Castiel's head bobbed back, it landed on Dean's shoulder and stayed there. On the computer screen, there was something about a painting filled with white light. Dean cared not a whit.

Fifteen minutes later the movie ended and Castiel awoke with a start, scowling as he figured out what had happened.

"I'm sorry, Dean, I wanted us to watch this movie for our project and then I fell asleep and was of no use at all." He bent nearly in two to reach the computer and shut the lid. "And I'm sorry for inconveniencing your shoulder."

"Don't worry about it, Cas. My little brother used to fall asleep on me all the time. My shoulder can handle it." Dean hadn't touched his hair. If only he had carded his fingers through it when he had the chance. Which was the most ridiculous and dopey thing he had thought in Castiel's presence, Dean knew, but it was the truth.

Castiel gave him a tiny smile, then looked mortified as his stomach rumbled. Loudly.

"Dude, Cas, did you eat after your practice?"

"It ran late. Coach Crowley felt I was distracted and not doing my best."

"Coach Crowley's an asshole." He slid off the bed and held out his hand. "Come on, I can make you something. I do all the cooking for me and Sam."

Castiel gripped his forearm and pulled himself up. "I would not want to put you to the trouble. I can make a sandwich."

"I ate all your meat yesterday." Dirty! "Do you have any pasta?"

It turned out he did. And instead of sitting at the breakfast bar while Dean stood at the stove, Castiel was right beside him, watching as Dean stirred a pot of noodles. Castiel's shower gel smelled like peaches.

"What did you think of the painting, Dean?" Castiel asked.

Dean didn't recall passing a painting on the way from Castiel's room to the kitchen. Of course, the halls were rather dark. The whole house was, dark and heavy, except for the sunroom. No wonder Castiel liked it best.

"I think I missed the painting, Cas."

"In the film. The bright white light?"

"Oh! Yeah, that. Um. You mean like for our creative project?" There was something funky about the synapses in Castiel's brain. Or else Dean was too distracted by his presence to give much thought to school. Dean stirred the noodles counterclockwise. It was probably both.

"I think it a little optimistic for Prufrock, but I like the idea of it being open to interpretation."

Dean nodded. He bet Ms. Rosen would too. She struck him as the type of person who liked to put her own spin on things.

"What would you say is the overriding theme of the poem?"

Dean looked at him. God, he was such a nerd. It was fucking adorable. He made Dean wish he had a nerd side.

"I don't know, the whole thing seems kind of wishy-washy to me," Dean said, tapping the wooden spoon against the side of the pot. If only they'd been paired up in Shop; Dean was Mr. Singer's star pupil. But Castiel didn't take Shop, it was Dean and a handful of guys who, like him, were not planning on going to college.

Castiel tilted his head. He stood too close, like he couldn't bother with the social cues for personal space. Not because he was arrogant, though, but because he focused his entire being on who he was talking with. Dean kept finding himself leaning in even closer, intoxicated by the unexpected attention.

"Wishy-washy? How do you mean?"

"Um, hesitant?"

"Ah." Castiel nodded his head. "The emotion in the poem, not the strength of the prose." He smiled at Dean's wrinkled brow. "Eliot's word choice. It paints a vivid picture – of hesitancy."

"Yeah, that," Dean agreed. And if he could find something in the poem that illustrated his point, instead of trying to catalog the exact shade of blue of Castiel's eyes (today they were dark and shadowed, like this lake his father had taken him to in Maine once on a late spring morning when the air had been cold and damp before turning bright and fresh and the sun had sparkled across the water), then Castiel would think he was smart and a good person to have as his partner. "'Time yet for a hundred indecisions'," he quoted rather proudly.

"Exactly." Castiel nodded. "What object makes you think of hesitating?"

"Uh…a loaded gun?" Dean flicked a noodle at the wall and it stuck. Perfect. "Do you have a strainer?"

Castiel turned aside and paused with his hand on the cabinet. "We won't be able to bring a loaded gun into the school."

"You're so literal, Cas," Dean said, grinning.

"I suppose I am," Castiel agreed. The cabinet door smacked the wall when Castiel opened it all the way, and Dean's eyes widened as the idea hit him.

"Door!" he exclaimed.

"Yes it is…oh!" Castiel gripped the handle and stared at the door. Dean stared at Castiel's fingers around the knob. "That is perfect, Dean."

"I could, I mean, you could help, but I've been getting into woodworking. I have tools and shit, Mr. Singer gave them to me. We could make a door ourselves." Dean shifted from foot to foot. Maybe it was stupid. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock as a door? Castiel frowned at him.

"I can hear you thinking, Dean. This is a good idea, trust me. Ms. Rosen wants something to describe the poem. Something creative. It's perfect."

His fingers touched Dean's when he handed over the strainer.

***

Dean woke up the next morning whistling. T-minus three hours until English class. T-minus half an hour until school and the chance of seeing Castiel in the hall. Yeah, he was pitiful. Sam just shook his head and continued reading his book while he shoveled Cinnamon Toast Crunch into his mouth. If their father had been home, there'd have been a comment about how long Dean had spent in the shower, but Sam was beginning to figure that out for himself and had a little sympathy.

Dean's awesome mood lasted all the way until four minutes before homeroom. At five minutes before homeroom he saw Castiel. The "Hey, Cas" died on his lips when Castiel closed his locker door to reveal Meg Masters, grinning like the cat that got the canary. Who was apparently Castiel because she reached up and pulled his mouth down to hers in a greedy little kiss.

Dean heard a roaring in his ears. Rushing blood, his brain helpfully supplied in Sam's voice, the voice he always heard when he pulled up a fact. His heart was gripped in a vise which loosened suddenly, pulling his heart apart when Castiel returned the kiss. Castiel's fingers in her hair, Castiel's tongue exploring her mouth, Castiel's body pressed against hers.

Dean turned on his heel and walked away, down the hall, out the door, all the way to the Impala.

It was hardly the first time he'd skipped school, but usually they were for things like taking Sam to the dentist or helping his dad make a hard sell. He'd never just got in his car and drove, the Impala eating up mile after mile, as if she was starving for it. He'd bailed out on plenty of potential relationships, but never one he wanted so badly he ached. His phone buzzed with incoming text messages, but he ignored them all.

The whole thing with him and Castiel was dumb, he decided around the time the rest of his class would be opening their English textbooks to discuss the poems of Dylan Thomas and raging against the dying of the light. Whatever bond he thought he had with Castiel obviously didn't mean jackshit to the other boy. Meg had a friend, something that started with an 'R' – it didn't matter. He'd find her tomorrow at school and show Castiel just how little he needed him, how little he wanted him.

Dean could bluff with the best of them.

***

"Castiel was asking about you at Chess Club," Sam said when he slid into the front passenger seat. Never mind how hurt Dean was, he still picked his brother up after school.

"Since when did you join Chess Club?" Dean asked, inwardly wincing at the sound of Castiel's name on his brother's tongue.

"Since today. Why did you skip school today, Dean?"

"Needed some fresh air."

"Dean –"

"Don't push it, Sam."

Sam was quiet for all of a minute. Then –

"Jess told me that Meg Masters asked Castiel to Prom –"
"What did I just say, Sam?" Dean snarled.

"—and he said no," Sam continued doggedly.

Dean drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and waited for the light to change.

"Didn't look that way this morning," he said finally. What the hell game was Castiel playing?

"And he told me he had a piece of wood for this project you guys are doing, and to please ask if you would go to his house at 5:00."

"Jesus, Sam, not you, too. The whole world isn't at his beck and call!"

The light changed and he slammed on the gas. The Impala lurched forward.

"Well, if you had answered one of his calls, I wouldn't have to relay the message!"

"I didn't want to talk to him," Dean said mulishy. He stopped the car on the street outside their apartment, shifting into Park with a bit more force than needed.

"Don't be such a wimp, Dean! If you're pissed at him, tell him to his face." Sam shrugged his heavy backpack into place and scuttled along behind Dean, trying to catch up. "And if you like like him, you should tell him that too, instead of crying for something you wanted and never asked for."

Dean paused with his key in the lock, rounding on his little brother. "Go to your room! If I wanted relationship advice from a kid who's never gone on a date before in his life, I would've asked."

Sam shot him a dirty look and marched off to their bedroom, slamming the door behind him.

***

Dean drove the now-familiar route to the Novak house at 6:00. It was the most defiance he could muster against the siren call of Castiel.

There was a motorcycle in the driveway, and Dean almost kept driving, but the front door opened and he was spotted. Anna came down the walkway, holding her helmet.

"Dean Winchester," she greeted him coolly. Well, two could play that game.

"Anna Milton," he responded.

She assessed him quietly for a moment. Dean shrugged and did his best to ignore her, reaching across the seat for his toolbox from Mr. Singer before getting out of the car. He had already started up the path when she spoke again.

"I hope you know what you're doing, Dean," she said. She eased her helmet over her head and turned to her motorcycle.

"I'm just trying to get by," Dean muttered. The roar of her engine stole his words, and then she was off.

It took awhile for Castiel to answer Dean's knock. Two bright spots of color burned in his cheeks and dark lines marred his forehead. Dean still wanted to crush their bodies together, grip Castiel's hair in his hands and shove his tongue down Castiel's throat.

"You didn't answer my calls or texts," he said. He sounded a little hurt. Or maybe that was wishful thinking.

"Sorry," Dean lied. "I'm here now, though."

Castiel finally held the door open, and Dean squeezed past him.

"Sunroom?" he asked. Castiel nodded.

Castiel had tried to build a door himself, simple in theory, as a door was just a chunk of wood and didn't need to be any more than that. The hinges, though…

"I have another piece of wood," Castiel muttered.

"We're going to need it. You really butchered that thing," Dean said bluntly.

Castiel pursed his lips. "Woodworking is your area of expertise."

"Yeah. I'm going to fix this. What are you going to do?"

He didn't imagine the look of hurt that time.

"The door has to be between one thing and another," Castiel said. "The poem keeps referencing a room. For our display, one side of the door will open onto a gray landscape, and the other will open onto a colorful one."

It was a good idea, and yesterday Dean would have congratulated him warmly. Today he grunted and set to work on a doorframe for their door. Castiel left for a moment to get some paints. They both worked quietly for several minutes. Dean kept stealing glances of Castiel as his long fingers gripped a paintbrush and he worked on the room, possibly the one where the women come and go. He looked upset, and Dean felt a vicious surge of satisfaction.

"Who are the women?" Dean asked suddenly.

"Who can say?" Castiel responded. Dean rolled his eyes.

"Don't answer with a question, man. It's annoying."

Castiel just looked at him, lips pressed in a thin line.

"They are discussing Michelangelo as they come and go," he said at last. "That is the only thing we know of them."

"But what does it mean?"

"I just said I did not know, Dean," Castiel snapped back.

It was such a stupid argument, but Dean couldn't help himself. "Hazard a fucking guess, Cas. Isn't that the point of this fancy literary analysis?"

"No, apparently the point is for you to pester me with irrelevant questions!"

"Oh. So the women don't count." Dean leaned back in his chair, balancing on the back legs, and gestured expansively with one hand. "I'll be sure to tell them that. Cas says you women don't count."

Castiel's nostrils flared and his eyes narrowed. "What, precisely, is your problem?"

"I saw you!" Dean hissed, his chair legs reconnecting to the floor with a loud thwump. He hadn't planned on mentioning it. Definitely hadn't planned on sounding like a jealous, lovesick fool, but once he started, he couldn't stop. "Meg Masters, Cas? Really? Even I know her reputation."

Castiel looked down at his hands. "That was a mistake. I was just…curious."

"Curious?" Dean snorted. "You had your tongue down her throat. What, were you curious about what you might find down there? Other than thrush?"

Castiel shot him a dirty look. "I have known Meg a long time. She wasn't always as she is now. And this morning she wanted me. It felt good to be wanted by somebody, even if just for a moment."

"What are you talking about? You rule this school. Everyone wants you. You could have anybody!" You could have me, I want you, I'm fucking shaking from wanting you, just you, you, you.

The moment hung suspended between them, fragile and uncertain.

"Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, would it have been worthwhile, to have bitten off the matter with a smile," Castiel quoted softly. Dean swallowed, his pulse quickening. He should say something, not pull a Prufrock. He opened his mouth.

The front door slammed and feet pounded down the hall.

"Oh, Cassie! Here, boy!" Balthazar was laughing as he made his dramatic entrance, as he disturbed the delicate balance in the room and smashed the suspended moment to bits. Dean felt a rush of hatred for him so strong he forgot to breathe. "You two losers still not done with this damn thing?" He glanced down at the miniature doorframe, rising lone and barren from the base. "You're not making a mini Taj Mahal. Finish already."

"Dean and I are busy, Balthazar," Castiel said, crossing his arms. It looked weird on him before Dean realized he didn't usually do that. It was something Dean did.

"I can see that. It's Arts & Crafts Day at summer camp in here."

"We didn't make up the stupid assignment!" Dean exploded. "And what the fuck, haven't you ever heard of knocking?"

"Of course I have. But I'm hardly going to catch the two of you going at it like bunnies if I knock, now will I?"

Dean stared at him, speechless, as his face caught on fire.

"Enough, Balthazar!" Castiel's voice cracked like a whip, and Balthazar flinched. "I will meet up with you tomorrow. Dean and I have to finish this tonight."

"Fine!" Balthazar threw his hands up in the air. "But if you make me a macaroni angel, I'm sending it back!"

He left with a much-less dramatic exit.

"Please excuse him," Castiel said stiffly. "He is my best friend. But he can be an irritant."

"Got that right," Dean mumbled. He wanted to get Balthazar alone and grill him over the 'bunnies' comment. Was his crush obvious to everyone? Was everyone laughing at him behind his back, greaser Dean Winchester setting his sights on the best and brightest of Willard High? Prufrock measured out his life with coffee spoons, and Dean knew full well how dark and bitter that brew was. He cleared his throat.

"I, uh, I forgot a tool I need," he lied, inwardly cringing. "I'll have to put the door in the frame at home and attach it to your painting tomorrow before class starts. Should just take a couple of seconds to screw it in."

A muscle twitched in Castiel's jaw. "If that's what you want, Dean," he said quietly.

"Yeah. Yeah, I think that's for the best."

He tried not to think it was the coward's way out as he left the Novak house, but he couldn't help but think he was out-Prufrock-ing Prufrock as he slunk away.

***

Sam didn't say anything when he saw the door sitting on the kitchen table the next morning, but after Dean parked the Impala in the school lot, he leaned across the seat and gave Dean a hug, like he hadn't in a couple of years.

He didn't see Castiel until English class. He'd rushed from history to get there in time to screw the two pieces of the project together. The paintings were…beautiful. On one side of the door, everything was done in shades of gray. It wasn't paint at all, Dean noticed, but charcoal, lending everything a slightly blurred appearance. On the other side, though, everything was bright light and color, done in thick paint that was sticky and textured. It looked like the Novak sunroom in colorful shades of green, blue, red and yellow. His breath caught in his throat. There were two teacups on the coffee table and off to the side, a lump that looked suspiciously like Dean's jacket thrown over his boots. He glanced up at Castiel, but before he could say anything, Ms. Rosen called the class to order and they began discussing the works of T.S. Eliot.

Towards the end of class everyone gathered close to see their project.

"Wow, you guys, it looks awesome!" she enthused. "Dean, can you tell us why you made this?"

"Um, yeah." His mouth was a little dry. Everyone was staring at him. "Okay, see, we thought Prufrock was a bit of a coward, you know. A, uh, tragic figure. He didn't take any chances, he didn't even play a starring role in his own life. The, um, theme that we're highlighting is 'hesitancy'—like he could open the door, or not. It could be awesome over there. Or he could keep living his drab life without ever knowing what he could have."

Ms. Rosen looked impressed. Dean was rather impressed, himself.

"And Castiel," she said, turning to him, "what would you tell Prufrock if he was here now?"

Castiel looked right at Dean. "I would tell him to 'man up' and open the damn door."

The class tittered at Castiel Novak using a swear word, and then the bell rang. Dean barely heard it. He stood, rooted to the spot as everyone left. Castiel wanted him to open the door. There was no way he meant anything else, none of that 'that was not what I meant at all.' He just had to grow a pair and ask for it.

And maybe it would fall apart the second he got what he wanted. But did he really want to be an old man, with thinning hair and rolled up pants, sitting by himself mumbling about what might have been? If Castiel was willing to take the chance, didn't he owe it to him to at least try?

Castiel wasn't at lunch, and Dean was on pins and needles waiting for study hall, the last period of the day. Castiel was already in the library when Dean arrived. He took a deep breath and marched up to his table.

"Cas."

"Hello, Dean."

"So…" What to say? He'd been imagining this all day, and still hadn't come up with a smooth opening line. "You wanna get out of here?"

Castiel smiled. "Yes."

It was pouring, and they ran to the Impala with their coats over their heads, laughing. They were still laughing when they slid inside, soaking wet and grinning like fools. Dean chucked his wet jacket into the backseat and Castiel followed suit.

"Your shirt's wet," Dean said, fingering the sleeve. Castiel just looked at him, heated and intense. He must have been insane not to see it for what it was before. It was so easy to tug the wet shirt out of Castiel's pants and up over his head. It landed with a splat in the backseat. Castiel shivered and reached for Dean's wet shirt. Dean let him pull it off and toss it into the back. They stared at each other for a long moment more. What they did next was going to change everything.

Thunder rumbled in the distance and lightning crashed, breaking the spell, and then Dean was able to lean forward and kiss Castiel, fierce and aggressive and whole-heartedly returned. Do I dare, do I dare?

Thank God he wasn't Prufrock, because daring was fucking awesome.


And then this happened: Epilogue, Backseat Sonnet.
 
 
My Place in This World: DC metropolitan area
Mood Swings: exhaustedexhausted
Tunes: "In the Waiting Line" by Zero 7
 
 
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( 91 thoughts — Thoughts? )
harper47harper47 on June 27th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
What a delightful story! I loved Dean being so unsure and having such a crush and what a wonderful literary device to use the poem and the door with the paintings. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): buttonblue_fjords on June 27th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
If I'd gone to high school w/ Cas, I would've crushed on him so damn bad.

And it's a brilliant poem, full of so many great lines and wonderful imagery. So perfect for Dean & Cas!
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on June 27th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
OMG! I love the way you wrote Dean here. He was so incredibly obvious in his crush and it was so sweet!

I felt for Dean when he saw Cas kiss Meg but cheered when he took Castiel's advice and took a chance. Just awesome!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): quietblue_fjords on June 27th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
I liked writing Dean as the one w/ the crush, and not sure how to go about getting his man. But of course I needed the happy ending!
cassiopeia7: Cas&Dean: ampersandcassiopeia7 on June 27th, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
&hearts&hearts&hearts&hearts

Not gonna lie, I squee'd like the nerd I am when I saw your title. That poem always made me so damned sad -- thanks for giving it a happy ending. I guess those mermaids sang to Dean after all.

Castiel looked right at Dean. "I would tell him to 'man up' and open the damn door."

Oh, yeah. Brilliant work. I love it!

(ETA: It should be "Sylvia" Plath.) :D

Edited at 2011-06-27 12:34 pm (UTC)
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): ovenblue_fjords on June 27th, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I spelled her name w/ an "i"! That's so weird. I know it's w/ a "y" -- but I did it three times! LOL. I blame the late night.

The poem is wicked depressing, indeed. But the movie is optimistic! A little indie from fifteen or so years ago now.

Thanks for reading, bb!
baru-chan: i want YOU to join my empire!baruchan on June 27th, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC)
I haven't read the fic yet. I'm commenting ahead of time though because I was so excited when I read the summary, as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is my favoritest TS Eliot ever to be written. :D
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): awesomeblue_fjords on June 29th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
It's my favoritest, too! And fun to read from a Dean perspective and think about what he would think of it.
Morgan O'Conner: SPN Dean and Cas by nadya_149morganoconner on June 27th, 2011 01:39 pm (UTC)
I love love LOVE this story! Everything about it! Castiel as the God of the school, the descriptions of his family and friends (Uriel and Raphael as the twins? And Balthazar! *cackles*), and the way you used that poem, oh my God!!! Just...everything. SO MUCH LOVE. ♥ ♥ ♥
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): balthazarblue_fjords on June 29th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Thank you, bb! Heh, I love writing snarky Balthazar. He can be such an ass. But an endearing one!

And Cas is God. It's canon!
vulgar_snail on June 27th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
You are an amazing writer. You wrote every character perfectly in-character. I found myself talking to the computer screen throughout this story, a lot of 'You asshole, Dean!' and so, so many 'Awws'. I love how you wrote Castiel, you made him this weird dude, still super badass, who could only really connect with Dean through the poem, like his awkwardness kept bringing him back to discussing the poem, not just because it was their assignment but because he was genuinely interested in what Dean had to say. I like that earnestness of Cas that you managed to put beautifully into the story. I love that Cas was so entranced by Dean and how he broke through his formalities.

(And Dean's girly crush, thank you so much for just getting that spot on. I like that you had Dean be this loving, overwhelmed by his feelings guy, because that's who he is in the show, and again you are completely perfect in your characterizations!)

The part that hit me really hard was the moment between Dean and Sam, when Sam hugged him. That was so dang sweet that I think I need to go to the dentist now. (And that scene in the car with Jessica, where Sam is jealous. I died, that's how much I was laughing.)

I was so sad when it ended (And so borderline hot too, LOL), I had so much fun reading it and I just love this world you made of Cas being a God at school and Dean being a hard working guy who is a genius at physics .This is the best gift I've ever gotten! Thank you so much!

*EPIC INTERNET HUG*
vulgar_snail on June 27th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
Gah! I forgot to mention how amazing that poem is--because it is! I havent read that in a long, long time and you used it wonderfully in the story.

Again! Thank you! ^__________^!
(no subject) - blue_fjords on June 28th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
wolfrider89: Em Misha happywolfrider89 on June 27th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
or he rode behind Anna on her motorcycle,
*flails a little at mental picture* *goes back to reading*

*remembers to breathe*

Wow. As always, your writing completely draws me in, and I forget everything else. These characterizations were so spot on, and the subtleties of the plot were just subtle enough, and everything was AWESOME! So very, very awesome.

*sighs happily*
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): bamfblue_fjords on July 2nd, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you, bb! Your comments are always so joyful; you're awesome. And I totally, totally picture Anna as a motorcycle chick. All the way, baby! It's her badass side shining through. I need to find me an Anna icon.
(no subject) - wolfrider89 on July 3rd, 2011 08:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
rockstarpeachrockstarpeach on June 27th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
Awww, so cute! Thank goodness Dean finally manned up! Although, to be fair, Castiel could have said something too, instead of just waiting for Dean :)
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): phoneblue_fjords on July 2nd, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
LOL, they were both being wicked hesitant. At least Cas finally told Dean to say something. In a roundabout way. Boys.
tree00faerytree00faery on June 27th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
Ooooh shiny. This was lovely. God I love high school AUs. (and significantly moreso now that I'm no longer in high school. Though, if my English class had had Cas in it, maybe I would have liked it more.)

Also, Prufrock is awesomesauce. Just saying.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): awesomesauceblue_fjords on July 2nd, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
Whoot, you're in college now! Just think, one day soon you'll be walking to your campus mailbox, and there will be a mail slip in it, and you'll think, hmmm, somebody loves me! AND THEN YOU WILL GET YOUR PACKAGE AND THERE WILL BE COOKIES INSIDE! Not quite as good as having a Cas in your English class, but no small potatoes, neither.

Thanks for reading!
(no subject) - tree00faery on July 2nd, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
PicklePeggpicklepegg on June 27th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
Oh I love high school AU's!! And this is right up my street - usually it's Cas who is pining for Dean the awesome and adored Jock (which I also love!) but I loved the switch with Dean having the adorable crush on Cas - also, I love that he's a huge academic nerd but everybody loves him and he rules the school.

Jess' reaction to Cas was hilarious, bless Sammy - it's only a crush :D

I loved so much about this, that I'll end up repeating it all back to you...and you don't need to be told about it :D

Thank you for sharing ♥

i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): monkey hatblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
ICON TWINS!!!

Yeah, I really love the coming-of-age genre. Fun to write and fun to read. Especially Jess. :) I am a little sister, and though I never ASKED if my hair looked good when certain of my brother's friends came over, I definitely checked. Hee. And my prompt was for high school w/ Dean having the crush, and I just had to take it. Wanted to go that route.
verob2002verob2002 on June 27th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
This was absolutely awesome!!! I love how everyone was fangirly after Castiel, and now one of my favorites.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): casblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
I would fangirl Cas so hard. He's just so completely awesome, and fun to translate into a high school boy.
maab_connor: metalicarmaab_connor on June 27th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
This was just a lovely place to spend a bit.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): readingblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! Grab a seat, put up your feet, rest a bit. :)
malcolm_doylemalcolm_doyle on June 27th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC)
This was so beautiful! I loved how much Dean was crushing on Cas, it was so adorable. And I loved the feel of them coming together without either really admitting it.

"I ate all your meat yesterday." Dirty!

That made me laugh so hard. I love Dean's brain. Wonderful job here!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): pieblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Ha, Dean's 18 -- of course he'd make a joke about that! This coming from the 32-year-old who wold also make a joke about that...

So glad you enjoyed it! :)
Akadougalakadougal on June 27th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
This made me all kinds of happy. I loved and empathised with Dean here. I felt you drew Cas so well. Just lovely.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): buttonblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
Thanks! I really liked writing Cas through Dean's lovestruck eyes...
Nicole Sillnicole_sill on June 27th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
This was the prefect story fir the start of my day. Happy late Birthday to vulgar snail!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): jensen newsboyblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! (And thanks to vulgar snail for providing the prompt!)
The Cleaverage: castielkel_reiley on June 27th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
\o/

this was the perfect thing to wake up to! also, i love your sam - why can't everyone write sam like you?
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): brotherly loveblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
b/c i am sam, sam i am! glad you like my sammy, as i really like writing him!
jem_018jem_018 on June 27th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
I loved this. ♥

I loved Dean having such an obvious and adorable girly crush on Cas.

Cas ruling that school was awesome. I think it's great that he was such a nerd and everyone still loved him. :D

I LOLed at Jess' reaction to Cas. Poor Sam.

Balthazar! ♥
and Raphael and Uriel as twins. Hahahaha. :D

I awwwed when Sam hugged Dean.

I loved their project and Cas saying open the damn door.
Yay for happy endings. ♥♥♥
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): geeksblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
I pretty much always have a happy ending. As I love happy endings. :)

In my high school, we didn't really have cliques, but the nerds were pretty popular. Or maybe I just thought they were b/c I like nerds. :) But at any rate, I definitely wanted to make Cas nerdy and still popular. And an athlete. But also socially awkward. LOL.
Delusions of a TV Addictsqueemonster on June 27th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH!! It was sweet and adorable and hot, exactly how I like my D/C HS AUs. ;D

I would crush on Cas so hard if I went to school with him. But I think I might actually crush on this Dean more. I loved his goofy yet mysterious yet insecure outsider vibe.

i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): buttonblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Thank you, sweetness! I would totally crush on both of them. They are crush-worthy boys. In fact, I want one right now! (Though the age difference might throw some people for a loop...)
Jamesdarkestnight01 on June 27th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
High School AUs are my absolutely favourite and for once Cas isn't the outsider here! awesome! loved every word of it! :D

So many people miss opportunities for something awesome and sometimes I just want to tell them to 'man up' and open the damn door.! So, yeah, I especially loved that line <3
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): bamfblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I really liked this prompt b/c I could make Cas the BAMF of the high school. :)

And carpe diem -- it's not just a fish! Ba-dum-dum-dum, thank you, I'll be here all week.
Cee: Blue is making me hungryparagraphs on June 27th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
BLUEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That is the BEST ENDING EVER!!!!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): rock onblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
LOL, thanks, C! Glad you got to read the ending. And happy Fourth of July! We're going to go to a winery in an hour or so. Niiiiiice.
cousinmarycousinmary on June 28th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
Very nice!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): samanddeanblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
once upon a kadiel krieger: SPN:DeanCasLoveFindskriari on June 28th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
N'AWWWW.

That is all.

You make me read things I normally wouldn't. Because you are awesome. This was ADORABLE.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): awesomesauceblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC)
Heh, I love so much that you read my fluffy AU's! :D Makes me feel like a superstar! Thank you!
Lucky: 6.21 Dean/Casreticentric on June 28th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
I loved everything about this; I have to admit I stalk your LJ sometimes for Summer Realm updates and I was stoked to see something new from you. And I was not disappointed...this was awesome. Dean pining for awesome!Cas was adorable and (I dunno if it was intentional or not) but I like the subtle hints about Dean's home life compared to Cas' and how maybe Dean felt out of his league because of the glaring differences.

Anyway I really enjoyed this! <3
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): misha jensenblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
Summer Realm! Have no fear, I have two more stories in that verse that I'm planning to get to after, um, two charity fics and this other story I've been writing for well over a year. But then I'm adding to Summer Realm! I love that verse so much! Yay, I'm glad someone else likes it, too!

And thank you!
latvela: castiel's pretty handlatvela on June 28th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
Dean with a crush is absolutely adorable! I love the idea they had for symbolizing the poem! The door, and the painting on the other side! And the title is the best. This is really sweet and well-thought-out. ♥
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): cheeseblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I wasn't sure if the title was classy enough, but my tweeps said classy, schmassy. So I kept it!
wickedvirtue on June 28th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
Ahh! I'm delighted with this whole thing! (Becky was totally like one of my English teachers with the arts & crafts to illustrate meaning.) I could totally see high school Castiel and Dean, which is usually a little hard for me, so kudos!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): discoveryblue_fjords on July 4th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks! So glad it worked for you! We did a similar thing for an English class in high school during our short story unit. It struck me as something Becky would like to do, too.
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