Destiel AU: Dean Winchester leaves Lawrence on a whim to go to visit his childhood best friend, Castiel Novak, at Stanford. He breaks in, intending to make this a surprise visit. but things don’t quite go as planned when Castiel initially mistakes him for an intruder. [read the ficlet on ao3]
Dean didn’t know what possessed him to get in the Impala and drive across the country. Or maybe he did, but he was too much of a chickenshit to admit it. It certainly hadn’t been an easy trip. Stanford was thousands of miles away from Lawrence. Twenty-six hours of drive-time if you followed the speed limit (which he didn’t). So like it or not, ending up five states away at his best friend’s doorstep at 1am was not something he could brush off as an accident, and that scared him.
It scared him that Cas might look at his presence and know exactly what Dean was scared to say.
It was a good thing he had a lot of practice ignoring his own feelings, because if he’d really let himself appreciate the gravity of what he was doing, he probably wouldn’t have been able to get out of the car. He made his way to the front door, double checking the address on his phone. He could feel his heart rate speeding up in anxious anticipation. He couldn’t believe it had been months since they’d seen each other without the aid of computer screens.
Thinking about the last time he’d seen Cas wasn’t really something he liked to do. He knew he had no one but himself to blame for that day Cas had driven off, his long suffering Pimpmobile full to bursting with clothes and furniture for his new apartment.They’d exchanged goodbyes on the sidewalk. Dean had so many things he wanted to say but he’d swallowed them down so Cas wouldn’t hear the lump that was stuck in his throat.
“I’ll see you at Christmas,” Cas had said, trying to smile at him.
Dean wanted to remind him that he could call anytime he wanted, that they would Facebook message every day, that Dean would be thinking about him…but instead all he’d done was nod solemnly. Cas grinned at him like he understood and opened his arms for a hug.
Dean was usually the one who held back from physical contact but this time he’d surprised himself, pulling Cas in tight, breathing him in for what promised to be the last time in a long time. He’d patted Cas’s back, instead of burying his head against Cas’s shoulder the way he wanted.
After a moment they’d pulled away and Cas had given Dean that look he reserved for the times when he knew Dean wanted to say something but wouldn’t. That look that promised not to judge him, if Dean could only lend himself the same courtesy. But Dean wasn’t that much of a dick. He might have been in love with his best friend, and sure, he might not have admitted it to himself until the worst possible moment, but he certainly wasn’t going to ruin this day for Cas. His friend had a long day of driving ahead of him today, and yet another one tomorrow. He didn’t need to spend it thinking about how Dean was a giant cry baby who didn’t want him to leave. Cas had great opportunities waiting for him at Stanford, with even greater people, of this Dean was sure.
So after they’d said their goodbyes, as Cas was getting into his car, Dean had dropped his hand on Cas’s shoulder. For a moment he searched for the right words that would encompass everything he wanted to tell him.
That Cas was the best friend he’d ever had. That Dean was proud of him. That he was loved. There was nothing that could quite do the job, or at least nothing he could let himself say. But Cas was looking up at him with those big guileless blue eyes and Dean had to say something.
“Don’t ever change,” Dean told him, annoyed by the way his voice grew rough with emotion.
He’d thought about that moment a million times in the months that followed, going over it again and again and wishing he’d done it differently. But now was not the time to dwell on the past, now was the time to remember everything he’d ever read about picking locks.