Um milhão vezes zero é zero. Não adianta procurar intensidade onde não tem. Gostar de alguém não adianta nada quando você gosta sozinho, ou quando a outra pessoa gosta sozinha de você. Isso é mais frequente do que se pensa e ninguém é um vilão por não conseguir corresponder seus sentimentos. Simplesmente não rolou, a química não bateu dos dois lados, e a culpa não é da pessoa. Quando isso acontece, a única coisa realmente sábia que você pode fazer é esperar passar e seguir em frente, porque vai passar. Claro que vai passar! O contrário de “recíproco” deve ser “efêmero”. Sempre passa…
“Oh, please come along, Dean. You know if you don’t you’ll just sit in your car all evening. I feel bad that we don’t hang out as much anymore,” Charlie grabbed his hand, pulling him closer to give him her best puppy dog eyes. “Pleeeeaasse.”
Dean rolled his eyes. He knew she was right. That if he turned down her offer of burgers and a movie then he would spend the night- a Friday night, mind you- working on his Baby in the cold winters chill. But, still, that didn’t mean that he wanted to spend the evening third wheeling. Again.
“God,” he huffed, unable to say no to his best friend, “Fine. I’ll come, but no making out while I try to eat, capisce?”
Charlie laughed, pulling her bag up onto her shoulder. “Sure, Dean. We wouldn’t want to taint your pure little virgin soul, now would we?”
Shaking his head in over-exaggerated annoyance, Dean leant back in his chair. The food hall was starting to quieten down by this point. Most of the kids had gotten their lunch and taken their usual seats, rather than their earlier shoving and shouting in an attempt to get the remaining slices of pizza. It was that or mystery meat. Suffice to say, Dean brought his own lunch.
“Don’t you be talking about it like you’re any less a virgin than me, sweetheart.”
Charlie shot him a look. “How would you know that? I, for one, am in a relationship, remember?”
The thought drew a frown to Dean’s face. He did remember. It was difficult to forget when the two of them were always there, always looking so comfortable with one another, and Dean having no choice but to watch as his best friend and the love of his life made gooey eyes across the table.
Honestly, Dean had never actually seen them kissing because every time he suspected that the situation was about to get too intimate for his liking he made an excuse and got the hell out of there, pretending like his heart didn’t feel like it was being ripped out of his chest on a daily basis.
He loved Charlie, he always had. They had been best friends since kindergarten, when they had both acted out a moment from The Empire Strikes Back in the school’s garden on the first day, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t hate her, just a little bit, for having what he wanted.
“Yeah, yeah,” Dean said, doing his best to brush of the comment. The thought of Charlie having sex with anyone was vomit inducing, talk about with-
“Cas!” Charlie’s squeal cut him out of his thoughts, and he turned, as casually as he could, in his seat.
Castiel returned Charlie’s smile calmly, pulling his oversized trench coat closer around himself, as he shivered slightly, taking a seat next to her. With a quick glance at Dean, he dropped a kiss onto Charlie’s cheek. Dean let his eyes pull away from them, focusing on the fight two students seemed to be having over Cas’ shoulder He told himself that it was the fight that drew his eyes away, but he knew he was lying to himself.
When he looked back over, he was vaguely aware that Charlie was telling Cas that Dean was, in fact, going to hall his ass out of his car and tag along with them, but Dean had already locked his eyes on the slight stubble that was shadowed over Cas’ chin and the way his hair looked ruffled by the wind. He wondered, for the millionth time, what it would feel like to run his hands through it, would it be soft like he imagined. He wondered if Charlie appreciated Cas’ hair like he did, or Cas’ eyes. Did she tell him how gorgeous they were? She must do.
Castiel’s voice rumbled into his ears, forcing Dean to think straight. Cas was Charlie’s.
“What?” Dean asked, trying to pretend like those eyes weren’t doing terrible things to him, while they watched him with such an intensity.
Glancing at the table and then back at Dean, with a small smile on his face, Cas repeated what Dean had missed. “We were just wondering where you wanted to go for food? Would you be against the place next to the cinema?”
“No, that would be fine,” Dean said, eyes on Charlie. He found that if he spoke to her, rather than Cas, it was easier. Easier to remember their situation.
Cas huffed in his seat. “Good.”
“And your sure it’s okay that I’m here?” Dean asked again for the tenth time.
Charlie rolled her eyes at him. She was dressed in one of her hottest outfits, or that’s what she always told Dean, but that just made Dean more certain that he was third wheeling on a date. Spending time with the two of them was always hard enough, the idea that he was going to have tag along on a date was something he knew he wouldn’t be able to handle.
“Of course it is, you idiot. I invited you and Cas thinks you’re nice,” she said, glancing at him in the rear view mirror of his car.
“He does?” Dean asked excitedly, and then mentally smacked himself. Stupid, why would you ask that? But, Cas always seemed to act so strange around Dean, he figured the other guy didn’t like him much.
Charlie shot him a pointed stare with an emotion behind her eyes that Dean couldn’t pin down. “Of course he does, Dean. What the hell’s wrong with you? You’re acting so strange.”
Dean focused on the wheel and the road ahead of him, he couldn’t bring himself to meet her eye. “Nothing. I’m fine,” but even to his own ears it sounded like a lie. He would have to be more careful from now on.
When they got to the diner, Cas was already sat waiting for them in a booth.. Dean had to pretend to be looking intently at the clock on the wall to give himself an emotional break. Cas was wearing an adorable blue button down that matched his eyes perfectly, making them shine more intently than normal. He wondered if Cas dressed like this all the time, but then he shook himself.
Of course he does, you idiot, he’s here with his girlfriend. Focus.
“Hello, Charlie. Dean,” Cas said, giving them both a nod.
Dean slid into the booth, leaving the spot next to Cas open for Charlie, despite how much he wanted to be the one to fill it, but Charlie seemed to be focused on something else. She turned to them both and told them she needed to go to the bathroom, meeting Cas’ gaze, he gave her a nod.
Weird, Dean thought. He was sure that she’d gone just before they’d left, but who knows with women, right?
A small cough from across the table made it blatantly aware to him that he was alone. With Cas. Panic began to set in, his palms going sweaty, he tried to put his eyes on anything other than the cute boy, but there was no Charlie for him to focus on and eventually his eyes were drawn to the blue ones across from him.
Cas placed his hands in his lap and stared at Dean with such an intensity that he shuffled in his seat. “You seem uncomfortable,” Cas pointed out. “Would like me to leave until Charlie gets back. She’s normally the one who carries the conversation.” Dean couldn’t help but notice that Cas seemed to be looking fairly uncomfortable too and he instantly felt terrible for putting the other boy in such an awkward situation. He must think that Dean’s so irritating, always tagging along on their dates. He would hate someone for interrupting if this was his and Cas’ date.
But it isn’t, he told himself.
“No,” he said as calmly as he could. “Don’t be ridiculous. Look, I’m sorry that I keep crashing your dates, man. You must really hate me for being such a loner and not having any other friends to hang out with. I’m just not a very likeable person.”
Cas leant forward, setting his hands on the table. “ I don’t believe that, Dean. I like you very much.”
Dean almost fell of his seat at Cas’ words. Cas liked him. He liked him! Could that mean- No, it didn’t mean anything. He was Charlie’s. He glanced around desperately in search of his best friend. If she was here, he could keep his emotions in check. But, she was still was no where in sight.
“You like me?” Dean asked stupidly.
Cas smiled and it was one of the most beautiful things that Dean had ever seen. It reached his eyes and lit up his face. Dean couldn’t believe he’d never seen it before. To be in love with the boy before he’d even seen him really smile.
“Don’t ask stupid questions,” Cas replied, still smiling. Dean found himself getting so caught up in it that he had to remind himself where he was multiple times.
He’s Charlie’s. He’s Charlie’s.
“Charlie,” he said to himself, using it as a mantra of self control. But then he realised that Cas was looking at him in confusion, so he stood quickly, wincing when his legs bumped the table. “I should go and see if she’s okay.”
He left before Cas could say anything else.
The bathroom was empty and she still wasn’t back at the table. Dean figured the only other place she could be was outside. Maybe she needed some fresh air, or something.
So, he found the back door and headed out into the side alley of the café. It was pretty dark and the night air nipped at his skin despite the leather jacket that he was wearing. He was starting to worry that Charlie was freezing herself to death when he made out her outline in the dim light.
She definitely wasn’t cold.
In fact, she was pressed up against the brick wall, arms wrapped around the neck of another girl, kissing her like her life depended on it. When she pulled back, Dean saw her look at the other girl with such a loving look in her eye, a look that he had never seen when she had looked at Cas.
He thought he was being quiet, but he must have made a noise of shock because next thing he knew, Charlie was jumping away from the other girl and squinting through the darkness.
“Dean?” She asked, her voice tinged with panic.
Without answering, Dean began to head back into the cafe’s warmth. His head was starting to throb. Part of him was screaming in happiness that this meant that he had a chance with Cas, but that was quickly replaced by the thought of the pain that this would cause Cas, who always had that expression of love on his face whenever Dean saw the two of them together. This would kill him. And then this was his best friend. Would he be able to keep this secret for her, if it meant that he would be lying to Cas?
“Dean!” He was outside the bathrooms now. He could see Cas from where he sat, waiting for them both, looking into the night through the window. He wanted to tell him, to put the other boy out of his misery, but that would be selfish, wouldn’t it?
Charlie stopped in front of him, grabbing his arm, so that he couldn’t go anywhere. “I can explain.” Dean stared at her, waiting. “Okay,” she took a breath and dragged them both into the girls bathroom, which was luckily empty. “I’m a lesbian.”
Throwing his arms in the air, Dean shouted, “Well, I can see that now! But, what the hell, Charlie? What about Cas? Were you just stringing him along to keep your secret? Do you know how hurt he’ll be when he finds out? Don’t you-”
“He already knew, Dean.”
That had Dean silent. He stared at her for a moment in bemusement. “What the hell do you mean ‘he already knew’?”
Running a hand through her hair, Charlie sighed. “I asked him to pretend to be my boyfriend so that Dorothy and I had an excuse to see each other. You know what my parents would say if they knew. They’d never let us see each other.”
“So, what?” Dean asked, totally in shock. “He pretended to date you? Why the heck would he do that?”
Charlie gave him a sympathetic look, eyes dropping to the floor. “I think maybe you should ask him that.”
Cas was still sat, hands on the table, staring out of the window into the black of night. Just the sight of him managed to calm Dean down, letting his thoughts settle in his head. When Dean dropped into the seat opposite him, Cas smiled contently, still with that look on his face. Maybe he had come to love Charlie, Dean thought. Or, maybe that’s why he did it in the first place. He thought that if Cas asked him to be his fake boyfriend, Dean would say yes, just to spend time with him.
“Hey, Cas,” Dean muttered darkly. It was like it all made sense now. Not that it made him feel any better at all.
The smile slowly slipped off of Castiel’s face. “You know,” he said simply.
“Yeah. It’s kinda hard to ignore when you find your best friend making out wit another girl, you know.”
Cas bit his lip worriedly, and it took a lot of self-restraint for Dean to not watch the blood rush to the point beneath his skin. “I can explain,” Cas said and Dean rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, that’s what people keep saying.”
Cas focused his eyes on the table between them. “Well, you see, when Charlie explained her situation to me, I had no choice but to say yes when she told me what the job of being her pretend boyfriend would entail.” Dean watched Cas sadly. He was right, of course he was. “She told me that it would just mean that I would have to spend some time with her and then pretend to go on dates with her so she could meet Dorothy. I wasn’t going to say yes.”
Looking up from his spot on the table, Cas met Dean’s confused eyes. “But, then she mentioned you.”
The breath left Dean’s lungs in one pull. He gripped the edge of his seat. “What?”
Cas glanced away from Dean guiltily and stared off into the night. “She said that you would be coming along to a lot of our fake dates. So, I said yes. Because it meant that I could spend time with you.”
Dean blinked. Could this really be happening? Could Cas really have done all of this just to spend some time with Dean? But, that would mean that Cas liked him. That that look was not for Charlie, but him?
Heart throbbing, Dean leant forward slightly, taking Cas’ chin in his hand and pulling his head around to meet his eyes. “You- You did this to spend time with me?” He was fully aware that his eyes were dropping down to Cas’ lips more than they should be. He wasn’t his, for God’s sake.
Cas’ eyes went to Dean’s hand, where it gently cupped his face, to Dean’s eyes were he held them. “Yes.” Dean felt Cas’ stubble brush his hand, when he gulped, eyes dropping to Dean’s lips.
Despite the fact his heart was doing somersaults, he put on his best smug smile. “And why would you do that, Cas?” He asked, leaning in closer, finally letting his eyes drop to the other boy’s lips and then back up.
He felt Cas shiver and the vibration went through him like Cas was an extension of his own body. “Because I like you, Dean Winchester. A lot.”
This time, Dean didn’t stop himself when he thought about kissing Castiel, he just leant forward and did it.
Over in the corner of the Café, Charlie smiled, letting Dorothy pull her closer. “It’s about time,” she said, kissing her girlfriend on the cheek. “I picked Castiel to be my fake boyfriend for a reason.”