Castiel Novak is an asshole.
Seriously, screw Castiel Novak and his gorgeous eyes and his
messy hair and his terrible attitude and the fact that he’ll barely even give Dean the time of day, even though they’ve been at the same college for three years.
Screw him, and screw Dean’s life that he agreed to do an interview
with him, because now he’s stuck sitting across a café table from an unfairly
hot douchebag who won’t even deign to look him in the eyes half the time.
“How old were you when you first became interested in baseball?”
Castiel asks curtly, writing something on his notepad. He sounds as annoyed as
Dean feels, like he’d rather be anywhere other than here, and that makes two of
Dean casts his thoughts back several years – a lot of
years. “Probably ten years old? I never really did the whole ‘little league’ or
‘t-ball’ thing, I didn’t actually join a team until high school, but when I was
ten, uh…” He trails off for a second, wondering how much he should spill about his less-than-storybook childhood, before deciding to gloss over…well, almost everything. “When I was ten, my brother and I went to live with
our Uncle Bobby. He took us to the park to play baseball one day, and it just kind of stuck, I guess.”
Castiel, the asshole, doesn’t even glance up – just scribbles
away on his notepad, looking bored. Dean stews silently in his seat, resisting
the urge to fidget, and wonders why the hell he agreed to this interview again? School spirit? The free coffee and donut?
Then Castiel finally glances up, blue eyes boring into his with
an intensity that freezes him in place, and oh yeah, he remembers now - because
he’s got a massive, unrequited crush, and apparently he’s a sadist and a glutton for
punishment, that’s why.
“Who would you say has been your biggest supporter?”
“Uh –“ Dean is distracted for a moment, pinned by those eyes -
- until the silence stretches on too long, and then those eyes
narrow at him, Castiel’s lips pressing together in annoyance. “It’s just an
article for the school paper, Dean. You don’t have to think of any
That snaps Dean out of it, and he shoots a withering glare across the
table. “I guess,” he says loudly, deciding to ignore Castiel’s jab, “probably my brother. He’s always pushing me to do more things for
myself, and playing college baseball was one of them. He’s the one who
pushed me to look into baseball scholarships.”
“I see.” The tone says that yes, Castiel sees, and he obviously
doesn’t really care. Castiel moves on. “What’s your favorite professional team?”
Dean huffs a laugh at that. “Honestly? Don’t really have one.
Anything but the Cubs, I guess. I had an ex-boyfriend in high school that was a
diehard Cubs fan and things didn’t end great between us, so now I can’t really
stand them. Not fair to the team, I guess, but ’s how it goes.”
Castiel jots down another few notes, eyes roving over his notepad. “And did you ever –“
He cuts off, snapping his mouth shut so abruptly that
Dean actually hears his teeth click. His head jerks up like it’d been yanked by a
string. The effect would’ve been hilarious if Castiel wasn’t gaping at Dean
like he’d grown an extra head, and Dean fidgets
uncomfortably under the scrutiny. Maybe the guy was a Cubs fan?
“What?” he finally snaps.
“You said ex-boyfriend,” Castiel points out.
“Uh, yeah, thanks, Captain Obvious?”
Instead of moving on now that the point is clarified, Castiel looks more confused. “Wait a
second, you’re not straight?”
Dean’s eyebrows pinch together. “No? Who said I was
“I…well, no one actually said, but I just thought…”
“Nah, man, I’m bi. I mean, I don’t exactly broadcast the fact, but it’s not
like I’m not in the closet, either.”
“But –“ Castiel looks totally thrown off, floundering, and it’s a little - okay, a lot - gratifying. It’s sweet karma, that’s what it is, for all the times he’s made Dean feel like a lumbering Neanderthal. “You’re
dating Jo Harvelle!”
“Okay, one, that’s gross, I’m not dating Jo, she’s practically
my sister,” Dean says, making a face. “And B, you do realize I’d still
be bi even if I was dating a girl, right? That’s, like, the very definition of
being bisexual. Y’know. Dating men or women. Innies or outies. Both.”
“Yes, I know that,” Castiel snaps, looking flustered. “I
just…never realized you were bi,” he ends lamely.
Dean can’t believe they’re actually having this conversation. “Are you serious? Dude, I go to the campus LGBTQ meetings, we’ve literally seen each other there!”
“Yes, but you always come with Charlie Bradbury!” Castiel protests. “I just thought you were attending as an ‘ally’!”
“…okay, I guess I could see that,” Dean concedes. “But c’mon, I’ve
been hitting on you since Chem Lab in freshman year. I’ve
asked you out like five times!”
And always been shot down, too. Brutally, without an ounce of mercy. Not that Dean is bitter or anything. Nope, he’s definitely not bitter. Not at all.
Castiel actually has the good grace to look ashamed,
fidgeting with his pencil and glancing down at his lap. “…I just thought you
were being facetious.”
Dean gapes. “What?”
“It means ‘teasing’, behaving in a joking or humorous -”
“I know what ‘facetious’ means!” Dean interrupts. “I just can’t
believe you thought I was flirting with you as a joke,
like some kind of monumental asshole.”
“I didn’t think you were an asshole, necessarily,” Castiel mutters, looking more
sheepish by the moment. “Just…disingenuous.”
“It means – “
“I know what ‘disingenuous’ means, Cas! Christ!” Dean’s anger is
mounting, stoked by each discouraging revelation, and it doesn’t help that Castiel apparently thinks he’s an utter moron. “You know I’m an Education major, right? You’ve been asking me about baseball for the last half
hour, but you haven’t asked a single question about what I’m actually doing here
at college. Surprise, surprise - I’m actually halfway decent at my classes, too.”
“I…was not aware of that, no,” Castiel says quietly, then seems to realize what he’s said and hurriedly adds, “Not the part about you doing well in classes, I meant the part about you being an Education major! I wasn’t aware you were majoring in Education.”
Dean snorts. “Yeah, well, baseball ain’t much use to me after
graduation. I wanna be an English teacher, for your
Castiel looks properly cowed, and, for once, is apparently out
of things to say. An awkward silence descends on the table – Castiel staring
down at his notepad, Dean glaring across the table at him. He’s simmering with anger, a righteous anger because he knows it’s
justified, but in the face of Castiel’s hunched shoulders and ducked head, it’s starting to
waver a bit.
Castiel breaks the silence first, clearing his throat and
looking up into Dean’s eyes. God, even as pissed as he is, Dean’s still a sucker for those blue eyes.
“Dean, I apologize. I’ve treated you very unfairly these past
three years, and you didn’t deserve it. I’m realizing now that I made a lot of
assumptions about you that are untrue, but it affected the way I treated you. I’ve been a complete assbutt, and I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
Castiel sounds properly chastised. Like a pricked balloon, Dean’s anger starts to deflate in
the face of that earnest, hopeful expression, and he sighs and runs a hand
through his hair. “Yeah, well. Y’know what they say about assuming, I guess,” he jokes weakly.
Castiel cocks his head, looking nonplussed. “No?”
“Oh. Really? Uh –“ Dean doesn’t really want to say it now, in
case it pisses Castiel off and makes him revert back to being a douchebag, but Cas is obviously waiting, full of curiosity, so he
bites the bullet. “…when you assume, you make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’,” he quotes
There’s a beat of silence, and then Castiel bursts out laughing. Dean stares, a little entranced. He definitely didn’t expect that reaction. He’s barely ever seen
Castiel crack a smile, much less laugh, and it’s - wow. He wouldn’t mind seeing a lot more of this Cas.
Castiel meets his gaze, eyes still crinkled with mirth.
“Dean, do you think it would be possible to start over? No assumptions?”
“Yeah. I’d like that, Cas.”
“Good. I’m Castiel Novak.”
When Castiel holds out a hand across the table, Dean shakes it, amused. Castiel’s palm is
warm and broad against his. “Hi, Cas. I’m Dean Winchester.”
Castiel smiles. “Hello, Dean.”