http://quiddative.livejournal.com/ ([identity profile] quiddative.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] conversely2011-05-29 03:41 am

Fic: For Every Second Chance

Title: For Every Second Chance

Pairing/Characters: Dean/Castiel, Gabriel, Balthazar, Sam, random assortment of characters.

Prompt: For the Everlasting Birthday Challenge, I chose [livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain ’s prompt, High school/college AU. Castiel and Dean - friends since they were very, very small. But suddenly there's this weird distance and Cas can't understand why. (I think we all know why.) Bonus points if Gabriel is in there somewhere, maybe as Cas' brother or friend, making disparaging remarks about Dean. (I'd prefer no Sam/Gabriel, but whatever the author wants to do) And, double double bonus points, to repair their friendship/relationship after doing something especially dumb, Dean makes some sort of public declaration of his ~feelings.

Rating: PG-13

Warning(s): slight homophobic behaviour

Word Count: 5000~

Author’s Note: Oh my goodness, I am so sorry, [livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain for being late! I’m sure it’s still May 28th somewhere in the world. Your prompt was excellent and I hope I did it justice. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. ♥

Further Notes: The song I used at the end of the fic is called The Mess I Made by Parachute.

"Whatcha doin'?"

Castiel could only stare helplessly as the grasshopper he'd spent the last hour, startled by the sudden noise, hopped into the grass and disappeared from view. He whirled around and glared at a boy he didn't recognize. He was a little taller than Castiel, had sandy blond hair, and green gray eyes. "You scared it away," he said.

The boy blinked, confused. "What?"

"You scared my grasshopper away," repeated Castiel. "I was really close to catching it but then you had to come and scare it away." He began to gather his things--a net, a magnifying glass, a clipper, and a transparent bucket--and leave.

He stopped when he felt a hand grasping his arm. His eyes followed the path from the hand, to the arm, up to a shoulder, which led to a neck, and finally up to the boy's face. Castiel was used to playing alone, considered "too weird" (Gabriel's words, which he instantly took back when Mommy gave him a pointed look, but that didn't make it any less true) by the other kids in the neighbourhood and had expected this boy to do the same. Yet, he stayed.

"I'm sorry," said the boy, sounding like he really meant it. "I can help you find it again if you want."

Now it was Castiel's turn to blink in confusion. "R-Really?" he asked, unable to bring himself to believe the words he just heard.

The boy grinned, "Yeah, it's boring at our house right now because my mom's taking care of Sammy and says she doesn't have time to play with me right now. My dad says he's too busy moving things."

Castiel stared at the boy, unsure if he was playing a joke or if he actually meant it all. Tentatively, he replied, "Okay, but we have to be quiet."

The boy gave him a thumbs up. "Cool," he whispered, proving that he could listen after all.

Afterwards, Castiel learned that the boy’s name was Dean Winchester.

~*~


“Exactly what do your relatives have planned for you?” asked Castiel as he watched Dean packing his things at the last minute. He tried his best to keep the bitterness out of his voice.

Dean shrugged, not looking up as he fought with a particularly stubborn jacket that refused to go into his bag. “Dunno, Grandpa Samuel said it was gonna be a surprise. I’ll bet he’s just gonna make me and Sam milk cows the entire time and call it character building.”

“Well, if the shoe fits... ”

Dean gave him a glare, to which Castiel smiled innocently. “Hardy har-har. Well, at least I’m going somewhere. You get to stay in fun ole Lawrence, Kansas,” he said.

“At least there’s something to do in Lawrence. You’re in the outskirts of Texas. I imagine your options will be quite limited.”

Dean grimaced and collapsed on an empty spot on the bed beside where Castiel was sitting. “I know. I keep telling myself it’s not as bad as it sounds but... ” He trailed off and Castiel could practically see the cogs and gears in his head. Dean suddenly sat up and grinned at Castiel. “Hey, Cas, let’s make a deal that we won’t lose touch this summer.”

“It’s rather impossible to lose touch with you considering you’ve been living across from me since we were five.”

Dean rolled his eyes but he was still grinning. “What I mean is just because we’re a couple states away doesn’t mean we can’t still hang out.”

“I’m not quite sure I understand the physics of that.”

Dean sat up. “Let’s make a promise that we’ll somehow find a way to talk to each other every day I’m gone. Skype, text--whatever. Oh God, they better have internet and reception there otherwise I’d go crazy. Actually, you know what, Cas? Promise me that you’ll save me before I go into withdrawal”

Castiel smiled and nodded. “Deal.”

~*~


When Castiel went across the street to welcome Dean (and his family, of course) back home after their two-month long trip Dean stared at him like he’d never seen Castiel before in his life, looking like a deer caught in the headlights.

He never looked at Castiel like that before and Castiel didn’t know what to think. “Welcome back. Was your trip enjoyable?”

Mary Winchester smiled warmly at him. “It was, thank you, Castiel. And how was your summer?”

“I managed to get a great deal of reading done,” he answered.

Mary let out a laugh and apologized that they could not stay to chat for long but they needed to get the rest of their stuff back into the house, though Dean should probably stay a bit longer to chat, alright, Dean? Dean’s eyes widened at that and looked on helplessly as his parents and brother shuffled into the house, no doubt for the sake of giving them privacy.

Castiel shuffled his legs awkwardly. “Are you okay?” he finally asked, his voice quiet.

Dean gave him a grin that was probably meant to be reassuring but it seemed more forced than anything. “Yeah, I’m just really tired,” he answered, yawning loudly to demonstrate so. “Listen, I’m just going to take a nap now but I’ll talk to you later, okay, buddy? You gotta tell me how your summer was.”

“Of course,” Castiel promised him solemnly.

~*~


That was a few months ago, the last time Castiel had a full conversation with Dean.

Every time they pass in the hallways of Lawrence High School, Castiel made an effort to be sociable (it was something he never really had to work for—Dean talked enough for the both of them and Balthazar claimed that he found Castiel a more stimulating conversationalist than any of their plebes for classmates—his words, not Castiel’s—and preferred his company over theirs) but it was difficult. Especially since Dean would awkwardly answer back in sentences with less than ten words never stick around for anything else. Castiel can recognize the signs of people purposely avoiding him—but what he can’t figure out is why.

He glances over his shoulders, his eyes seeking out Dean’s across the cafeteria. Dean, though, appears to be too busy with his friends to notice. That’s not to say Castiel isn’t his friend either (at least he hopes they are—you don’t live across someone for eleven years without becoming either friends or mortal enemies) but Dean always seemed to belong with people like Jo Harvelle more than he did with Castiel Sutherland.

Considering their significant difference in social circles, Castiel always thought himself lucky to have befriended Dean while they were children before words like “jock” and “nerd” became relevant to their lives. Dean never cared for labels, though, and often sat with Castiel for lunch, either oblivious or purposely ignoring what others thought.

Castiel never felt the significance of the space between them until now.

“Cas, are you sulking from afar again?” asks Gabriel, breaking Castiel out of his thoughts.

“No,” he lies.

“You’re lying,” Balthazar declares proudly. Castiel gives him a withering glare but doesn’t deign him with a response.

Gabriel lets out a long-suffering sigh. “Look, Cas,” he says, not unkindly, “You gotta let Dean go. I know that you’ve been friends for ages but people change all the time.”

Not Dean, Castiel wanted to say, but he bites his lips at the last minute because he knows that it won’t do any good.

Instead, he remarks, “Don’t you have better things to do with your time rather than giving advice where it is unwanted? Besides, you’re a senior now. I still don’t understand why you would want to sit with us sophomores.”

“Because,” Gabriel says smoothly, “your non-existent love life is hilarious.”

~*~


Castiel realized that he was in love with his best friend when he was fourteen.

The day before the Sutherlands and Winchesters were to leave for their joint trip to Disney World, Dean caught the flu.

“I suppose we’ll have to cancel,” Mary Winchester remarked apologetically. “But, please, don’t let us stop you from enjoying yourselves,” she said to Eve Sutherland. “We’ll just call them and cancel our reservations--”

“I can stay with Dean,” Castiel blurted out then, drawing everyone’s eyes on him. He didn’t know what possessed him to do that. All he knew was that spending the 4th of July weekend without Dean would destroy him.

“Are you sure?” his mother asked him.

“It’ll be fine,” Castiel assured her.

After discussing the matter with Dean, the remaining--healthy--Winchesters piled in the Impala, leaving Castiel with a spare key to their house, instructions to keep the doors and windows locked and no matter how much Dean tries to convince you to and a notepad filled with important phone numbers. “Dean will be fine once he gets some rest, so don’t work yourself too hard,” Mary told him, smiling.

And then they were gone, leaving Castiel and Dean alone for three whole days.

“You didn’t have to stay behind,” sniffed Dean from under the nest of blankets that made up his bed. “I would’ve been fine.”

Castiel sat down with a bowl of chicken soup. “It was no trouble,” he said. “Someone has to keep you company.”

“But you could’ve gone to Disney World,” coughed Dean. “I’m sorry, Cas, I promise that I’ll make it up to you once I get better.”

Castiel decided against telling him that he didn’t mind, really, things were fine the way they were. He had Dean and that was all that mattered.

And that was when a small voice in his head whispered these words: I’m in love with Dean Winchester.

The epiphany wasn’t actually that surprising to his fourteen-year-old self. It made an odd kind of sense when he thought about it. He and Dean had been friends since they were five and no one understood Castiel as well as Dean does. He didn’t mock Castiel when he talked more like an adult than a kid while they were growing up and he didn’t think it was weird that he liked to read so much while everyone else at their elementary school avoided him as if he had leprosy. “You’re... well, Cas,” Dean told him once, shrugging like it was no big deal.

It had been an embarrassingly big deal for Castiel.

Perhaps, Castiel considers, some part of him always knew that he was in love with Dean. It’s simply a fact of life, like how the sky is blue, the grass is green, and the world is round.

~*~


It’s sad, Castiel thinks, that a chance encounter with Dean and his brother at the grocery store one day could make him smile for the first time in weeks.

While Sam hasn’t changed much since the last time Castiel saw him (or maybe because he is biased—that could also be possible) Dean is almost an entirely new person. A few inches taller than Castiel remembers, he’s about half a head taller than Castiel now, looking down at him with eyes that are much greener than they were in Castiel’s memory. His skin is slightly tanned (most likely from spending many an hour under the Texas sun) but is losing its darkness.

Castiel tries not to notice how his AC/DC shirt fails to hide the muscle he’s gained over the past few months and fails miserably.

“Dean, Sam,” he greets them politely. “How are you?”

“We’re good,” replies Sam, smiling. “We’re just getting stuff ready for the party.”

Castiel blinks. “Party?” he asks, curious.

“Yeah, didn’t Dean tell you?” continues Sam. He shoots a look at his older brother, one eyebrow raised.

Dean winces guiltily. “Yeah, sorry about that. It’s been pretty busy, you know? You’re definitely welcome to come, of course.”

Castiel was never one for partying, but this is Dean. It seems almost natural to do so.

“If it won’t be too much trouble,” he says.

“It won’t be,” Sam pipes up.

Castiel tries not to skip too much on the way home.

~*~


If Castiel had to choose a moment that defined his relationship with Dean most accurately, it had to be when Castiel had just started learning how to make origami.

“Whatcha doin’?” a twelve-year-old Dean asked Castiel one day.

Castiel looked up from the pile of origami paper in front of him to meet Dean’s green, green eyes staring at him curiously. “I’m making paper cranes,” he said proudly, holding one up. It wasn’t as nice as the one Mom made and the wings were lopsided but it was his. “My mom told me that if you made a thousand, your wish would come true.”

Dean snorted, flopping down on the grass beside Castiel. “Why would you want to do that?”

“I—”

“I mean, why just make a thousand when you can make ten thousand?” he asked, eyes widening in excitement. “That way, you can make ten wishes come true instead of just one.”

“Ten thousand is a lot,” noted Castiel. “I’m not sure I can make that.”

“Well, I say you should. Then you can get ten wishes and have back-ups in case one of them doesn’t come true,” Dean proclaimed.

Castiel nodded in consideration. “I’ll try, then,” he promised. Because it was something Dean asked him to do and the last thing Castiel ever wanted was to fail him.

~*~


It had taken Castiel a little over four years but he finally finished making ten thousand paper cranes. He always planned on giving them to Dean as he certainly had no need for them himself but never found the right time to. With the sudden change in their relationship and the party that night, Castiel realizes that there may not be a better time.

“You’re sad, you know that?” says Gabriel as they make their way across the street to the Winchesters’ house, outside of which several cars were already parked. Castiel had wanted to leave as soon as the clock struck eight but Gabriel reminded him that it wasn’t customary to be on time at parties anymore, only to be late. Castiel couldn’t stop his leg from shaking in anticipation as he watched from the window in his room, waiting for Gabriel to give him the thumbs up.

“I’m not,” he retorts, but he’s ignored.

“This whole puppy love routine was cute when you were going through puberty but now it’s just pathetic. Just move on already, would you?”

“You weren’t even invited to the party,” Castiel points out, “I fail to see the point in you joining me.”

“Don’t change the subject,” Gabriel tells him.

But neither of them have the time to exchange any more words, because they’ve already reached the front door. Castiel rings the doorbell. The action feels foreign to him now, though, as he’d spent many years walking into the Winchesters’ home without a key and Mary and John Winchester treating that as if it was a normal occurrence.

A senior Castiel only knows by name (Gordon Walker) answers the door, looks from Castiel to Gabriel then back to Castiel, and barks out. “Who the hell are you?”

Castiel clears his throat. “I’m here for the party. Um, I’m a friend of Dean’s.”

Gordon stares at him like he suddenly gained a goldfish for a head. Then, he snorts, “Whatever. Didn’t know that you were friends with Dean.”

Gabriel raises an eyebrow at Castiel in a silent “I told you so.” Castiel chooses to ignore him.

He goes into what used to be the Winchesters’ living room but now resembles a zoo more than anything. A sea of bodies occupies it to the point where Castiel can’t even see the floor anymore. He idly hopes that they don’t break any of Mary’s vases.

“You know what, I may have been wrong about Winchester,” says Gabriel. He slaps Castiel on the back. “I’m gonna grab us some drinks. You want anything, bro?”

“No, thanks.”

“Yeah, I figured. See ya!” And with that, Gabriel disappears among the swarm, leaving Castiel alone in the threshold with a glass jar of paper cranes.

“Cas,” cries Sam, running down the stairs and smoothly weaving his way past the people occupying the steps. “You came!” He looks relieved.

“Yes, I did.” Castiel’s eyes sweep around the room but his stomach plummets in disappointment when he doesn’t recognize any of the faces. “Um, Sam, do you know where—”

“Dean’s in the kitchen doing shots with his new friends,” says Sam.

Castiel thanks him and heads to the kitchen.

True to Sam’s words, Dean and the friends he usually sits with at lunch are doing shots in the kitchen. Dean is partially through his shot when Castiel calls out, “Dean.”

Dean chokes on his shot and one of his friends slap his back. “C-Cas,” he chokes out, “Uh, you—you’re here.”

“You did invite me after all,” says Castiel.

Dean looks nervous. “Yeah, uh, I did.”

One of his friends—Jonathan, Cas thinks—sizes him up before his lips curl into an ugly sneer. “Hey, Dean, you never told us you were friends with nerds.”

“Shut up,” Dean hisses, shoving him back. “He’s my neighbour, alright?”

Castiel gulps. “I… I wanted to give you something.” He thrusts out the glass jar.

The other teens in the room cat-call at Dean, whose face has turned red like a tomato. “Oh,” he says faintly, “You did?”

“Hey, Dean,” says Jonathan, smirking. “Looks like you’ve got yourself a stalker.”

“Is there something you haven’t been telling us?” teases another.

Dean’s blush grows even redder. Suddenly, someone swipes the glass jar from Castiel’s hands and holds it high up above his head. “What’s so special about a bunch of scrunched up paper, anyway?” he wonders aloud.

Castiel makes a grab for the jar. “Please give it back. This is a present for Dean.”

“Awww, did you hear that, Dean? It’s a present for you!” This garners a laugh from everybody.

Castiel doesn’t know what overcomes him only that one minute he’s staring helplessly as the other boy tosses the jar around like it’s nothing and the next minute the jar is smashed onto the ground with multi-coloured paper cranes spilling around their feet.

“Whoops, sorry about that,” says the guy, not very apologetic at all. He looks over at Dean. “But I mean, it wasn’t really that important right?”

Silence reigns in the kitchen room. It seems like everyone’s eyes are on Dean’s, which are staring at the paper cranes like they’re alien to him. Finally, Dean says, “No, not really.” He doesn’t look at Castiel at all.

At that moment, Castiel loses all the air from his lungs and he doesn’t know what to think, only that his heart suddenly feels ten times heavier.

The group moves out of the kitchen and into the living room, leaving Castiel with his present. He feels as if his feet have been nailed to the ground.

Gabriel finds him like that a few minutes later, still staring at the aftermath of the destruction.

~*~


Dean found Castiel crying a few feet away from the playground near their street when they were eight.

Five minutes later, Jake Talley was the one sitting in the sand with a bruise swelling on his cheek and Castiel had regained possession of his toy truck, which was a birthday present from his mother.

From that day on, a part of Castiel always knew that he could count on Dean. Dean, his protector, his friend, and saviour of stolen toy trucks.

~*~


It’s strange how things at school just go on as they are.

Castiel knows that in the grand scheme of things, the events of the previous night are nothing compared to things such as global warming, starvation, and so on, but he supposes when one is a teenager, everything is a big deal.

Particularly when the love of your life breaks your heart.

“I could poison him,” Gabriel tells him. His voice is lacking its usual playful tone. “No, really, I could. Just give me the word.”

Castiel shakes his head. “No, Gabriel,” he says hoarsely. “It wouldn’t solve anything.”

“It’ll certainly make me feel better,” mutters Gabriel, but he doesn’t mention the idea anymore.

“Uh, guys, why is Jo Harvelle heading to our table?” Balthazar asks suddenly.

Before any of them can respond, a tray is set beside Castiel’s and the next thing they know, Jo is sitting beside them, acting like this is something she does every day.

“Jo?” says Castiel.

“Hi, Cas.” She smiles warmly at him. “Do you mind if I eat lunch with you guys, today?”

They stare at her as if she’d just grown another head. “Why would you want to do that?” Castiel asks.

Jo shrugs. “I don’t feel like sitting at my other table right now,” she says casually, nodding her head in the direction of where she usually sits, right beside Dean in the table claimed by the jocks long ago.

“But Dean—I mean, they’re your friends,” says Castiel.

“Not at the moment,” says Jo darkly, but she immediately brightens up again. “But that’s not what I want to talk about right now. How about we talk about that essay Mr. Adler just gave us? Oh man, I can’t wait till graduation so I can… ”

Castiel has talked to Jo only a handful of times, each time with Dean as the mediator, but now, so it was surreal to be sitting in the same table in the cafeteria and talking about school as if they were friends. But it did make him feel better about what happened last night (later, Castiel will realize that was Jo’s purpose).

~*~


Sometimes, in a school full of roughly two thousand students, bumping into Dean is inevitable. Castiel, who used to treasure those moments, now dreads them with his being.

He tries to avoid Dean’s gaze, afraid of what he’ll see there, but there are times when he catches glimpses of his former friend. Dean always looks so tired and dejected, and a part of Castiel still worries about him (it’ll never stop) but Gabriel or Balthazar would usually snap him out of his pitying and forcibly drag him away.

He tells himself that he shouldn’t look back, that Dean deserves whatever may be bothering him (they’re mostly Gabriel’s words, though), but he can never completely convince himself of it.

~*~


Castiel bumps into Dean once as he’s leaving the bathroom and Dean’s coming in.

“Oh, I’m sorry—”

Castiel had thought that after the incident at the party, he would finally be rid of his long unrequited feelings. But now, staring at up at Dean—gorgeous Dean—he is afraid that it’ll never happen. “Dean,” he says, his voice surprisingly steady considering the storm raging within him.

Dean swallows and stares at Castiel with something like guilty. “Uh, Cas. Um… ”

Castiel clears his throat, “I have class in two minutes.”

Dean jumps at that. “Oh, right, yeah. Class.” He steps aside and allows Castiel to leave.

He’s almost at the door when he hears a, “Wait!” He looks back to see Dean staring at him with something like desperation in his eyes. “Um, about the party… ”

Castiel clenches his fists and looks away. “It’s fine. You made your feelings perfectly clear.”

“Cas—”

Castiel doesn’t hear another word as he throws the door open and marches out.

Instead of heading to class, though, he goes to sit behind the bleachers until his body stops shaking.

~*~


“I hate student assemblies,” moans Gabriel. “Today was my sleep-in day! But noooo, it’s apparently mandatory for all students to be at school on assembly days.”

“Whine, whine, whine—that’s all I ever hear from you,” teases Balthazar.

They head to the very back of the auditorium, content with sitting in the shadows. “Wonder what Adler’s got planned for us today,” says Gabriel dryly. “I hope it’s not another speech about fate again.”

But Gabriel’s guesses are proven wrong when, after the announcements are made, Adler adds, rather reluctantly, “And now, a special performance by Dean Winchester.”

“Boo!” Gabriel calls out, smirking when several glares are directed at them. “What? It’s true.”

Castiel simply takes a deep breath and sinks lower in his seat, wondering how he’ll be able to survive this.

Dean walks up on stage with a guitar Castiel recognizes as the first one he ever got—a thirteenth birthday gift from their father. Castiel has only heard Dean perform on his guitar a handful of times and most of those times were by accident. While Dean is indeed a very outgoing person, he’s surprisingly shy when it comes to his musical talent, which he claims to have none.

Dean goes up to the microphone and gulps. “Uh, hey, guys. What’s up?”

The response he receives is a loud cheer from the audience, obviously enamored with one of the most popular boys at school. “That’s good to hear,” he replies, grinning shyly. He adjusts the strap of his guitar a bit before continuing, “Anyway, I wanted to perform a song today… ” He’s interrupted by more cheers this time, louder, with a few female voices screaming out “I LOVE YOU”s. “… which I want to dedicate to someone… who deserves ten times more than this. At the risk of sounding lame, I guess you could say that I was kinda… lost these past few weeks. And I made some mistakes that I shouldn’t have.”

Castiel freezes and straightens his back, ignoring Gabriel and Balthazar’s stares. It couldn’t be, he thinks.

“But… at the risk of sounding lame again, I finally found what I was looking for.” Dean lets out a chuckle. “It was right in front of me all along. So, this one’s for you, Cas.”

Next to Castiel, Gabriel mouths, “Holy crap!” while Balthazar seems to have temporarily forgotten what air is.

The first few notes strummed out are soft, mournful, but also tinged with hope.

Then Dean opens his mouth.

Should’ve kissed you there, I should’ve held your face.
I should’ve watched those eyes instead of run in place.


Castiel can’t breathe. The auditorium, a tremendous amount of space, is suddenly too small for him and he needs to get out, get out. But at the same time, he feels as if an invisible force has strapped him into the chair because he can’t seem to make his limbs move.

… I’m staring at the mess I made.
As you turn, you take your heart and walk away.


As the strumming builds up to the chorus, Dean’s eyes suddenly lift and meet Castiel’s, shining with so much hope and sadness that Castiel has to look away.

But Dean goes on.

I should’ve spoken up, I should’ve proudly claimed
That all my head’s to blame for all my heart’s mistakes.


When Dean finishes, for perhaps the first time in the history of Lawrence High School, the entire auditorium is silent.

~*~


Dean is waiting by Castiel’s locker when he gets out of last period. He gives him a nervous smile. “Can we talk?”

And because Castiel can never say no, he nods.

Dean leads them out to the football field, which is mostly empty except for a few stragglers who have gym last period. They get stared at along the way but Dean ignores them, carefully guiding Castiel along like he’s a shield.

They end up sitting at the top of the bleachers and neither of them says anything for a few minutes. Then, “I’m sorry.”

Castiel plays with the laces of his shoe. “I can tell,” he says quietly.

Dean lets out a humorless laugh. “I just… I wish I could blame this on my relatives but the truth is, some of it was me.” Castiel tilts his head in curiosity. “I… while we were in Texas, my cousins found out about you. Not that I was being that discreet since we Skyped almost every night.”

“I remember,” says Castiel fondly.

“Yeah, and one day they just… well, they asked me if we were dating and I told them no. Then they told me that it was a good thing we didn’t otherwise they’d have beat me up.” Dean snorts. “I don’t know if they were being serious or not but… I guess they just made me think about… well, us for the first time in a while and I thought… I can’t be in love with you. That’s wrong.”

Castiel draws his knees up to his chest. “Do you think that?” he asks in a small voice.

Dean shakes his head vehemently. “No, and I was an idiot for that in the first place. I know that… I had been avoiding you since I got back but it wasn’t your fault. I thought that if I did, then I would… I dunno, lose my feelings for you. That didn’t work out so well.”

At that, Castiel’s breath hitches. “What do you mean it didn’t work out so well?”

Dean looks away. He starts tapping out an unfamiliar beat with his fingers on the bleachers, which is an action Castiel recognizes as his way of lessening his nervousness. “I… I like you, Cas. I think I liked you for a long time. I know I messed up bad but you deserve to know. I don’t want to force you to make a decision now and I want you to know that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Hell, you can kick me in the guts right now and I wouldn’t do anything. I probably deserve it anyway.”

Castiel stares at him. He’s used to seeing Dean being self-confident and carefree but he’s definitely not used to this Dean—so afraid and unsure of himself. “What… What if I told you that I’ve had feelings for you since I was fourteen?” he says.

Dean doesn’t answer for a while. Then suddenly, he starts laughing. “So basically we were both idiots. Mostly me,” he concludes.

Castiel has to smile at that. “Yes, mostly you.”

Dean brushes his shoulder with his knuckles and Castiel shivers at the touch. “Oh, that reminds me,” he suddenly says, digging through his backpack for some invisible objects. “Aha!” He proudly presents a glass jar to Castiel.

Castiel takes the jar and examines it carefully. “Is this—”

“Yup, ten thousand paper cranes.”

“And you made all of them?” Castiel has to admit that he’s impressed.

“Mostly. I kind of bullied Sam into helping me out.” Dean’s eyes soften with fondness. “Come o, make a wish. You deserve at least ten of them.”

Castiel regards the jar thoughtfully before carefully setting it down beside him and, once that task has been completed, surges forward to capture Dean’s lips in a kiss.

After fantasizing about this moment for years, Castiel can confidently say that kissing Dean for real definitely trumps kissing an imaginary Dean.

When he pulls back, he can’t help but smirk at the dazed look on Dean’s face. “I already have everything I want.”

[identity profile] lillianone.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 11:40 am (UTC)(link)
*pets the good fic*

this was lovely!

[identity profile] malcolm-doyle.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 12:02 pm (UTC)(link)
That was so sad but perfectly sweet as well! Loved the use of the cranes, made the ending so adorable. Loved this.

[identity profile] vasiliki.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 02:03 pm (UTC)(link)
At that moment, Castiel loses all the air from his lungs and he doesn’t know what to think, only that his heart suddenly feels ten times heavier.

My eyes filled with tears at this point! ;_;
Glad things got fixed by the end! <3

[identity profile] mulder200.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 02:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh man! I felt so bad for Cas but the ending with the song and Dean declaring his love for him IN PUBLIC no less more than made up for it.

[identity profile] kateyes085.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 02:45 pm (UTC)(link)
You sucker punched me and then made it all better. *twirls*

Thank you so much for sharing.

[identity profile] angelshandprint.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 02:54 pm (UTC)(link)
This was just too lovely. I love you for giving a serious AND perfect amount of angst in a romance. I really do love romances with drama and moments of tears in it. It was both sweet and adorable and sad at certain parts. Just, I love this. And the use of the cranes? Perfect.
*mems*

[identity profile] deanawinchester.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 03:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Awww, so cute :) Can't stop smiling.

[identity profile] deancaslover32.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 03:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Aww.. this was great I loved it -s- I love AU high school -s-

[identity profile] disterra.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 04:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I simply adore AU high school fics, especially ones which start with Dean & Cas as childhood friends!!!
I LOVE your cute characterizations!!! The one thing that made this very special to me (well 2 things actually lol) were Balthazar and Gabriel! :D OMG I love it when those two are together! Come to think of it, this is the first fic where they are friends and they interact together with Cas! Gabriel was super cool here. Big bro all the way! And Jo. *sniff* That lovely girl! Bless her and her attempts to cheer up poor little Cas!

My heart was breaking when Cas was bullied in the kitchen during the party! ;_; HOW MEAN! I could just smack Dean upside the head to oblivion for that! But then... his incredibly romantic song and confession during the assembly almost makes up for it. The 10 thousand cranes seals the deal for his redemption. :)))

I think this is joins the list of my fave AU fics! Much love for this sweet thing~!

[identity profile] disterra.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Come to think of it, this is the first fic where they are friends and they interact together with Cas!

*first fic I have read - is what I meant to say :')

[identity profile] marourin.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 04:50 pm (UTC)(link)
What a lovely fic! I love how they met and how adorable they were as kids. I felt so much pain for Cas when Dean snubbed him at the party and the puling away made me sad. I'm glad they reconciled and the mutual crane folding was adorable (specially Dean bullying Sam into helping).

[identity profile] verob2002.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
That was lovely!!!!

[identity profile] jem-018.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 05:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Awww... this was just so cute and romantic. ♥

I loved Gabriel and Balthazar in this.

And Dean. Tsk. Tsk. I wanted to smack him around during that party. Hmph.

But then he redeemed himself with the song during the assembly and the paper cranes. (and woah at the ten thousand paper cranes, that's a lot. :P) That was really sweet.

[identity profile] lizzstomania.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 07:16 pm (UTC)(link)
this was like the cutest thing ever

[identity profile] uwalumni2.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Absolutely loved this!!! My heart broke for Cas in the kitchen...*tears*..Wow! Dean confessing and singing in front of the auditorium to Cas! That took a lot of guts and bravo to him! I love the significance of the cranes (I love cranes), wish has come true! Yahoo! Great job! :D
ext_423750: (unfmyjensen)

[identity profile] thalaki.livejournal.com 2011-05-29 10:29 pm (UTC)(link)
oh god I was so sad with Cass and then the last scene had me smiling like an idiot :3
This is so cute and adorable!!
I needed this, thank you for making my night better :)

[identity profile] artmetica.livejournal.com 2011-05-30 11:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Aww you broke my heart and put it back together again ^^ ♥
This was so sweet! What happened in Dean's party tore at my insides, but Dean's song for Cas makes everything better and apparently he's been making 10k paper cranes?! *_* It's the perfect "I'm sorry," he's so romantic! ^^ ♥

[identity profile] kassiopeiar.livejournal.com 2011-06-02 04:54 pm (UTC)(link)
This was sweet, even though Castiel was painfully naïve at times in regards to Dean whereas Dean was a dick. But, in the end Castiels trust in Dean wasn’t misplaced. Dean came around, both of them can be happy now and that’s all that matters.

[identity profile] tracy-loo-who.livejournal.com 2011-06-12 03:55 am (UTC)(link)
Aww, I really felt for Cas there, and I'm glad Dean made it up to him! This is really sweet. ♥

[identity profile] dazedrose.livejournal.com 2011-11-10 12:51 pm (UTC)(link)

I love high school AUs. This one was sweet!!!