Dean/Cas: With A Heart On Fire
Dean needs a last-minute speaker for Career Day. Charlie suggests he ask the handsome fireman across the hall. 2K.
“How about Sam or Jess?” Charlie asks, voice sounding tinny on speaker.
Dean sighs as he returns to chopping onions for his pasta. “Already asked,” he replies, slipping on glasses to keep his eyes from watering. “He’s at a conference in New York and Jess has an interview she can’t push back.”
“Too bad,” Charlie clicks her tongue. “Could’ve told your kids that they’re Matt Murdock and Lois Lane.”
Dean huffs. “C’mon, Charlie, I need you to brainstorm here. Who else?”
“Maybe Benny? He’s a baker, ergo awesome by default.”
“True, but he’s already signed up,” Dean says. “His daughter Sofie’s in my class and I’m officially out of options.”
There’s a brief pause then Charlie speaks again, conspiratorial. “Well, you do have one other option,” she says. She can’t see him but Dean gives her a pained look nonetheless. “No, Bradbury. Don’t even try,” he warns.
“You don’t even know what I was gonna say!” she protests, only Dean does know and there is no way he’d ever agree. “Dean, come on,” Charlie whines. He can imagine her rolling her eyes. “How long are you- It’s been almost a year, dude,” she sighs, “and he’s dreamy in case you haven’t noticed that either.”
“I’ve… noticed,” he answers softly, resigned. “I just… Charlie, he’s right across the hall from us. We always run into each other and it’ll be mortifying once he rejects me.” He cringes at the thought alone and moves to set the knife down with a bit more force than strictly necessary.
“Why do you assume he’s going to reject you?” she asks. They’ve had this conversation but he hates it every time.
“You’ve seen him too,” is all he says, along with an excuse about finishing dinner, but by the time he’s hung up the phone, he’s lost interest in cooking his food. He shuts off the stove and takes the trash out instead.
It’s on his way back that Dean notices the package by the door, tucked against his neighbor’s wall and wrapped profusely in hot pink duct tape. He wonders who could have sent it - a friend, probably, or maybe a girlfriend. He frowns.
Still, he ought to let the guy know that the box is there. It’s simple, neighborly duty - the reason Dean finds himself ringing the doorbell to 3B - and he’s halfway to regretting those choices when the door swings open and - “Dean?” - Cas squints at him over the threshold.
“Um, hi… Cas,” Dean greets helplessly, because Cas is standing there bare-chested, barefoot, just bare everything save for a pair of black sweatpants. “I… I, uh… Sorry, w-were you asleep?”