Title: You Belong With Me
Warnings: college!AU, age differences
Pairings: beginning Dean/Carmen, but ending with Dean/Cas, side Sam/Gabriel
Summary: Castiel Engel has been friends with Dean Winchester since high school, and has had to watch the man he loves from afar for most of his life. But when Dean starts realizing that he's not as straight as he thought he was, Castiel gets the chance he's always wanted, to show Dean that what he's looking for has been there all along.
A/N: Gabriel and Dean are 22, Castiel and Sam are 21. I've completely made up the town and the college, although it is based on a real place.
~*~*~*~Part 1 ~*~*~*~
Castiel Engel opened his eyes to the dim light of his bedroom in Bay Ridge, Montana, rubbing a hand over his face before reaching to the side and wrapping his fingers around the vibrating, singing phone on the side table. He switched the alarm off with a fingernail against the touchscreen, glancing at the time habitually before setting it back down.
Just another day.
With a sigh he threw the blanket off his body, swinging his legs over the side of the mattress before rising to his feet and stretching out his 5'11" body, letting out a faint purr of relief at the popping of his spine. There was the rushing of water from outside his door, where he knew his roommate was currently in the shower even though he should normally be out by now. A faint smile came across Castiel's lips; Dean had overslept again.
The 21-year-old used these moments to double check that he had the books that he needed for the day in his bookbag, and then went to the small chest of drawers and withdrew a clean pair of socks and underwear before getting a pair of jeans and a black button-down shirt. As he finished this the sound of the shower cut off, and he could faintly hear swearing from the hallway.
Castiel couldn't help the fond smile that spread across his face and he wrapped his hand around the doorknob, opening it to the lit hallway. He opened his mouth to tease Dean for waking up late, but the words died in his throat.
Dean Winchester stood in the residual steam from the bathroom, hair still wet, green eyes flashing as he fumbled at his door handle across from the bathroom. His gaze shot up to meet Castiel's brilliant blue eyes, and a reckless grin passed across his lips.
"Morning, Cas. Sorry I cut into your shower time, damn phone must have died in the middle of the night."
No words came to the younger man; his eyes were too busy traveling across the planes of Dean's bare chest and shoulders. Water was still dripping down his tanned skin, tracing the curves of well-built muscle down to the low-slung towel that exposed the attractive 'V' of Dean's hips, disappearing beneath the white fabric. Castiel swallowed thickly, and managed to force words out finally in an attempt to settle the situation.
"I-It's not a problem, Dean, you did not affect my routine."
Dean's grin grew lopsided. "I don't doubt that one, I don't think that an atom bomb could throw you off."
Castiel couldn't help but smile. "You however, have only a half an hour to get to your first class. Are you going to make it?"
"Eh." Dean waved the hand not holding up the towel at his roommate, making another shiver run down the younger's spine. "I'll make it just fine. I know exactly where to park, there's always a spot." He grinned again and popped his door open. "See you after class?"
"I will be here." Castiel replied, dipping his head slightly. "My manager informed me that they do not need me today at work."
Another heart-stopping grin. "Sweet."
And then his door was shut and Castiel could breathe again.
Composing himself, Castiel entered the bathroom and closed the door, placing his back against it and taking a moment to slow down his racing heart. He had to be the stupidest guy on the planet, he thought sometimes, to be living with the man that he had fallen in love with so long ago.
It wasn't like this was anything new, after all. Castiel had been in love with Dean Winchester since his freshman year of high school; since the day that he had met the man. His brother had introduced them, and from the wicked grin on his sibling's features, he should have known that this was what the intended outcome had been.
Looking back, though, he couldn't be angry with Gabriel. These had been some of the best times of his life, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Dean was a good friend, protective, fiercely loyal, and always looking to make the people he cared about smile, even if it meant his own happiness. Castiel had first been attracted by his looks, but over time he had grown to love every part of Dean, from the way that he looked when he smiled to the silly way that he thought so little of himself.
Castiel sighed faintly, pushing himself away from the door and going about his morning routine, brushing his teeth and relieving himself before getting into the shower. The warm water helped wake him up further, and his mind went to the day before him.
He had a test in his first class, although he wasn't worried about it at all. He knew the material, he had for a while. Literature just came to him, and he never had any problems remembering what he needed to when the time came. Dean teased him sometimes about having the brain of an elephant; Castiel never forgot anything.
Once he was dressed he left the bathroom, eyes flickering to Dean's open door as he passed. The room was empty and Dean was gone, the open door was a sure sign of that. Dean normally left his door open when he wasn't sleeping or getting dressed, but he always left it like that when he left the apartment.
A thud from the other bedroom made him turn, and the door opened to show one of his other roommates, Dean's little brother Sam. The tall man yawned widely, rubbing at his eyes before smiling sleepily at Castiel.
"Good morning, Cas."
Castiel dipped his head slightly. "Good morning, Sam. You do not have any classes this morning, why are you awake?"
Sam snorted faintly. "You really think that I would be able to sleep once Gabriel woke up? He's got a class, and if he has to be awake, then so do I."
"Of course." Castiel replied, a smile overtaking his features at the thought of his older brother. Gabriel had done the same thing with him before, so it was no surprise at all.
Sam and Gabriel had been together since high school; they had started dating not long after meeting when Sam and Castiel were freshman. Gabriel had known Sam for a little while, and when he had met his older brother he had instantly dragged Castiel into it, and the four of them had become practically inseparable. Even when Gabriel and Dean had graduated, they had held back for their brothers, not really wanting to go on without them. All of them had waited another year, raising the money that they didn't have to attend college. As a result, they were all in the same year at Bay Ridge University, currently in their junior year. It was a little later than some people liked to be, but it didn't bother any of them.
They had gotten their apartment together after their freshman year, as the university had a requirement that first year students had to live on-campus, and Castiel loved it. He and Dean had their own bedrooms and shared a bathroom, while Gabriel and Sam shared a room and had their own bathroom inside it.
It was a wonder to Castiel, sometimes, that Dean could put up with all of them, he was the only straight man in the house. He had said once that he didn't really care, as long as it didn't happen in front of him and they didn't try to drag him into it. He had then proceeded to threaten Gabriel with unspeakable torture and then death should he ever hurt Sam. Castiel smiled fondly at the memory, and pulled himself out of his thoughts as Sam went past him.
Sam wandered down the hallway, heading to the kitchen to no doubt look for some breakfast. Castiel turned his gaze to the open door that he had left behind, chuckling faintly when he saw Gabriel come into the room from their bathroom, just pulling his shirt over his head. The older man grinned when he saw his brother, honey colored eyes dancing. "Hey, bro!"
"Morning." Castiel replied, raising an eyebrow slightly at Gabriel's seemingly frantic actions. "You are late, aren't you?"
Gabriel flapped a hand in his direction as he swung his bookbag over his shoulder. "Nah, they won't even miss me. Besides, I'm the best one in the class, their experience will only get worse without me there." He blew past Castiel a moment later, pausing only to bounce up on his toes and press a kiss to Sam's lips. "Later!"
Sam shook his head slightly. "I don't know how he can handle that every morning. I hate being late." He took a bite out of his apple, eyes flickering to Dean's open door. "Dean was late too, wasn't he? I heard the shower running."
"He was." Castiel said, and the two shared a brief smile at the antics of their siblings. He grins slightly at the taller man. "I need to get going myself, actually. I'll see you later, Sam."
"Hopefully I'll actually be awake when you get back." was the reply as Sam closed his bedroom door behind him, most likely to wander back to bed for another hour or so. Castiel turned and grabbed his bookbag, slinging the strap over his shoulder before grabbing his keys and heading towards the front door.
It was cool outside, but not horridly so. The black button-up shirt was more than enough to keep him warm, and Castiel couldn't help the smile that spread across his features as he headed up the hill towards campus, pulling out his black Zune as he went. Music thrummed through his mind as he went, and he bobbed his head, singing lightly as he came around the corner and the tall, old-style buildings of Bay Ridge University campus came into view.
Class was simple and straightforward, the test was just as simple as Castiel had thought it would be, and he ended up getting out of class nearly a half an hour early. As this was his only class today, he was free to head home. Just as he was getting towards the dorm buildings near the edge of campus, his phone buzzed in his pocket.
The screen said 'Jo' and Castiel smiled widely, pressing the call button and raising the phone to his ear.
"Hello Jo, it's good to hear from you."
"Hell yea it is, it's been a few days since you called me, you son of a bitch. You're on campus right?"
Castiel shook his head slightly at the fond sort of nickname that Jo used. "Yes, I'm just getting ready to head back to the apartment."
"Well meet me by the dorms, we'll head back together. Right out front, okay?"
"I'm already there."
"Be there in five."
With that she hung up, and Castiel replaced the phone in his pocket with another fond smile. Jo Harvelle had been his friend since 6th grade, and she was his confidant in everything. She knew him inside and out, and she was no doubt his best friend in the world, besides his brother. She lived two floors above him in their apartments, along with his sister Anna and a black woman named Tamara.
There was a shout and Castiel looked up to see Jo heading towards him, a smile on her face and her brilliant blonde hair glinting in the sun. She threw her arms around him as she came close, briefly pressing her cheek to his in their own special greeting. "Hey lover, how have you been? I can't believe you've managed to avoid me, we live, what... 50 feet apart?"
"Something like that." Castiel replied with a smile, falling into step beside her as they started towards the apartment. "I haven't been avoiding you on purpose. I was preparing for my tests this week."
Jo nodded. "I remember you mentioning them. How have they been going, by the way?"
Castiel shrugged one shoulder. "Fairly well, I believe. I still have two more in my online courses that I need to work on once I get home, but then I'm done."
"Well that's good at least. And today is Friday, which makes life even better!" Jo grinned. "How's the boy toy doing?"
A brilliant blush flared across Castiel's cheeks, pulling a laugh from Jo. She pushed at his shoulder and he pushed back before finally answering. "He's not my boy toy, Jo. I wish you would stop calling him that."
She pushed at his shoulder again. "Then man up and tell him that you love him. Then he'll be your boyfriend, not just your boy toy." When Castiel looked away from her she sighed. "Cas, honey, you seriously need to do something about this. It can't be healthy, what you're doing."
"I can't do anything about it." Castiel replied, his blue eyes turning up to the sky that was nearly the same shade. "He's straight, and he's got a girlfriend too. I've dealt with it for years, and I can continue to do it."
Jo nudged closer to him, slipping an arm around his elbow. "Doesn't it make you sad sometimes, though? I mean, you live in the same house as Sam and Gabe, you have to watch them be happy with each other."
Castiel sighed. "Jo, do we really have to talk about this again? I've learned to deal with it. And I'm happy for Gabriel, he needs a bit of love after the way that our father basically kicked him out for being open about his sexuality."
"I'm still pissed at your folks for that." Jo grumbled. "And you, you had to hide it all the way through high school."
"I am out of the house now, there is no more cause to be angry." Castiel soothed, briefly passing a finger over the back of her hand. "How have your classes been going?" he asked, desperate to switch the subject away from himself.
She rolled her eyes, a smile on her lips. "Oh, you know how it is, they're just boring and normal. Notes, quizzes, the like."
Castiel smiled back at her, a sort of ache in his chest easing as they moved away from the more sensitive subjects. Jo was only trying to watch out for him because she cared about him, but it wasn't something that he liked to talk about. He was telling the truth, he had learned how to deal with what his life had become, but sometimes it still hurt.
The never-ending pain in his chest was a sensation that he had become used to.
As they reached their apartment complex Jo gave him a brief kiss on the cheek before stepping towards the stairs. "I'll see you later, okay? And you'd better come and see me, or I'll come down here and start pounding on your window."
"I know, Jo." Castiel said fondly. "I promise that I'll come see you."
She pinned him with one more glare before flashing a smile and bouncing up the stairs. Castiel shook his head slightly with a smile and then unlocked his door, locking it behind him and moving towards his bedroom. Dean's door was still open, indicating that he wasn't home yet, and Sam and Gabriel's was closed, though Castiel could hear the distant sound of water running, indicating that Sam was in the shower.
Opening his door and propping it open on a spare shoe, Castiel dropped his bookbag on his bed and settled at his desk chair.
Yup, just another normal day.
- Current Mood: chipper