A Very Supernatural twist on a High School twist on a Shakespearean Classic
Part 1/3: Friday Night Special
"I know it makes you the biggest nerd on the planet," Balthazar said as Cas unlocked the door to the small tech room, "but I love that you're AV Club president this year." Balthazar assumed his usual position- slouched in the comfortable, broken, black leather love seat that hadn't been upholstered since 1967. "So many perks," he said with a lazy smile.
Cas sighed, sat down at his desk riddled with junk electronics and tried to pretend that his friend wasn't going to spend today's free period either napping or downloading pornography to the club's laptop. He knew it was a pipe dream.
"Cas hand me that laptop, will you?" Big surprise.
"Yeah," Cas said, reaching across the desk for the Dell Inspiron. "Just no porn this time."
"Definitely. No porn," but the eager smile stretching across his face distinctly said 'I'm not listening to a word you're saying.'
"Fine, but don't contract any more viruses. I don't have time to fix the computer again, too." Cas started organizing the mess on the desk before diverting his attention to the yellow post-it glaring at him from atop the school projector.
FIX ME, CAS. FIX MEEE
It was Dean Winchester's handwriting.
Cas gently peeled the note from the plastic and stuck it to his binder, careful to rub the sticky edge down completely so it wouldn't fall off.
He promised Dean he'd have the projector ready for the soccer team's pre-game meeting, immediately following school. He plugged the projector into an outlet, connected it to the ancient PC and began troubleshooting. He pulled up footage from the soccer team's last game and let it run, projecting onto the small open space of opposite wall.
"Seems to be running fine to me," Cas murmured, mesmerized by the arch of Dean's body, six feet of pure muscles and fluidity, as he prepared to send the unsuspecting soccer ball soaring through the air down the field.
Balthazar looked up and watched his friend stare dreamily at a wall. "Cas. Hey Cas," snapping him out of his reverie, "your Winchester boner is showing."
Cas turned bright red and shifted his position. "Why do you insist on being so vulgar?"
Balthazar smiled and ignored him. "Sounds not working, by the way."
"Huh? Oh, right, the sound." He hadn't noticed.
Cas began twisting knobs and testing switches, looking for the problem. But then Dean ran across the wall again, sweat glistening on his forehead, and Cas was lost to the world.
"Isn't he just so "
"Vapid?" Balthazar interjected.
"No, I was going to say "
"What are you talking about? There's more to him than you think. He has that strong exterior but he's a really sensitive guy deep down. And have you seen his smile? Or his eyes? He's totally pure; you're just missing what's really there."
"What's there is a snotty little jock."
Cas stammered out an offended protest.
"Yeah, yeah, I know you think he's perfect blah blah blah..."
"He is perfect," Cas said indignantly under his breath, turning his face back to the projector.
"You know I think you're great, but you don't really think you have a chance with Dean 'I think I'm adorable' Winchester, do you? Guys like him just exist to drive guys like you fucking crazy with well " Balthazar glanced from Dean's running image to Castiel's crotch.
"Jesus Balth! What the hell?!" Cas turned his whole body away from his best friend in embarrassment.
Balthazar's just being a shitty friend, Cas thought as he fiddled with another little plastic knob. Why couldn't he get a guy like Dean? He did anything Dean ever asked of him. Dean had to know that, right? The baseball team or the soccer team needed video for a meeting? Suddenly the highest tech equipment was sitting in the locker room, synched up and ready to go. Dean needed help studying for a Latin exam? Cas would learn Latin for him to quiz him the day before. Dean just had to smile that smile of his that smile
The knob snapped off the projector, clenched in Cas' grip. "Dammit."
Balthazar looked back up from his latest porn. "Eh. Projector was kind of a piece of crap, anyway. 'Bout time you threw it away and got a new one."
"I told Dean I'd have it ready by 4 though."
"Of course you did." Balthazar rolled his eyes.
Cas jammed the knob back into place and played with it aimlessly, his mind clearly somewhere else. Balthazar continued watching his sad, distracted best friend and started feeling a twinge of guilt about his unsupportive behavior. He couldn't even focus on the particularly obscene threesome playing on the screen in front of him. He closed the laptop.
"Okay, so you're really serious about him?"
Castiel didn't need to reply.
"Right. Then we need a plan." Cas gave him an inquisitory look. "And doting on his every whim doesn't count as a 'plan'. We have to make him want you. We have to " Balthazar gasped. A light bulb turned on.
"Everyone, into guys like Dean Winchester that is, has had to face the same unfortunate realization when it comes to that boy. He can't date because too much of his attention goes to "
"Taking care of Sam." The words tumbled out of Cas' mouth before he knew he was saying them."His brother! Exactly! We just need to get him out of the picture!"
"You're not killing Sam Winchester."
"I don't recall anyone saying 'kill.'"
"You're not killing Dean's little brother! Balthazar! You're not killing him!"
"Fine. Fine. Quit looking at me like that! We're not killing Dean's brother. We just need to occupy him. If he's dating, spending time with a girl, not Dean and he's happy, Dean won't have to worry about him all the time."
"Leaving him free "
"For a lucky guy like you."
" Like me," Cas could feel his heart starting to race. "But where would we find a girl interested in dating a nerd like Sam Winchester?"
"You know, I think I have just the girl."
Balthazar had a certain amount of swag within the high school band community. An upperclassman, with no interest in associating with any of the other band nerds, who could make the saxophone sing like that; in the eyes of a freshman flute player, he was an Adonis. Becky Rosen almost fell off her chair when the senior in his sexy, grey V-cut approached her after that day's seventh period rehearsal.
Becky looked around. "With me?"
"Yes, you. How would you feel about going on a date," he watched her eyes grow wide, "with Sam Winchester?" Her smile evaporated. "Great idea, eh?" Balthazar prompted.
"Yeah great " she was dumbstruck for a second. " But Sam Winchester's kind of lame."
"No! No way! Sam Winchester is great."
"No he's really not."
"How do you know? Give the guy a chance!"
"I know because I have Honors Biology with him, second hour, every morning. Except while everyone else is practicing Punnett squares, Sam Winchester is in the back of the room reading books about werewolf lore."
"But you scribble out gay fan fiction during every break in practice!" Becky gave him an expectant look, waiting for him to elaborate on what he could possibly find wrong with that.
"And you're a freshman in marching band "
She slammed her flute case shut. "Yeah. With standards. Listen, you couldn't pay me to go out with Sam Winchester."
"We could pay her to go out with Sam Winchester," Balthazar said with a pleased smile in answer to Castiel's questioning assault when they met in the parking lot after school. Cas had just shared a brief, but sweet, exchange with Dean outside the locker room when he dropped off the working projector. His heart was still fluttering and he was more than ready to get the ball rolling on their scheme.
"Pay her? With what, AV equipment? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty broke."
"Then," Balthazar considered for a moment before getting into his car, "we need some popular chick to make her think he's sexy and dateable."
"Hmm, yeah, let me think about all my 'popular chick' friends who could do that kind of favor for me. Oh, wait, no one comes to mind. We'd have a better chance getting someone to bribe Becky for us."
Balthazar started the engine and mulled that one over. "Yes someone rich and popular and stupid. Cas, that sounds a lot like basically every cheerleader that's ever walked through that building. We'll just get one of the-" He gasped. "Lisa Braeden. Cas, it's perfect. Lisa fucking Braeden! She's had her succubus eyes on Dean Winchester since the ninth grade."
"Balth, I don't know what you're thinking but I don't want to get her wrapped up in this. Evil leaks out her pores."
"But she's dumb as brick, that's why it's so perfect. We'll make her think she's using Becky to distract Sam to get Dean for herself, and she won't even see you coming. Then you sneak in there, profess your love, then you both hold hands and sail off that cliff together. Fin!"
"What cliff? No, no, I don't like it, Balthazar. Lisa Braeden has a way of ruining things. It's in her very nature."
"It's not my fault you have to have a crush on the one guy with the lamest brother to ever lame. But do you want to be with Dean Winchester or not?"
Cas inhaled a sharp breath and paused a moment before subtly nodding.
"I thought so. Then we have to just do this, Cas." He put a hand on Cas' shoulder. "Trust me, we're infinitely smarter than that slut and she will play right into our plan."
Cas couldn't ignore the uneasy feeling in his stomach, but he couldn't think of an alternative. It was time to put his heart on the line and trust his best friend not to fuck it up. He bit his lip and nodded in agreement. "Okay, let's do it."
"Great. I'll talk to her at the football game tonight. Are you gonna go? That is, after Dean's game finishes?"
"I don't know, probably not, football's not really my thing. And who said I was going to the soccer match?"
" You haven't missed one so far this season."
"I record the games for the team!"
"...You record the games for the team. You know Cassie, you're really not helping yourself here."
"Whatever," Cas said as they pulled up to his house. "Thanks for the ride. See you later. Good luck marching."
"It's infinitely more satisfying than being AV Club President!" He shouted as Castiel walked up the driveway and disappeared behind his front door.
Cas was in the middle of locking his bike to a nearby tree an hour and half later when a rogue soccer ball flew out from the direction of the game field and smacked him in the face.
Castiel could hear some of the guys laugh from the soccer field and he was ready to just disappear into that tree and never be seen again. But then he heard Dean's voice calling out to him. Cas looked to the sky and prayed that if this were some kind of nightmare he would like to promptly wake up so he could make it to Dean's game on time.
But then Dean was really there, standing in front of him, wearing his red and white jersey and a horrified look on his face.
"Cas, I'm so sorry about that, man. Wild deflection, basically because Walt has no ball control whatsoever. That's it, I'm demoting him to third string. Are you ok?"
"Yeah I'm fine, Dean, thank you."
He wasn't fine. "No, your cheek is starting to swell. Hold on a sec."
"No, Dean, it's alright, don't worry about me." But Dean was already off, sprinting to the cooler of athletic injury ice sitting by the team bench.
"Dean, we need you over here for a drill!" one of the guys in red yelled.
"Yeah, gimme a minute," he called in response as he carried a little bag of ice back to Castiel.
"Dean, c'mon, now!"
"Don't test me, Roy! I said wait!" So commanding, Cas thought dreamily.
And suddenly, Dean was back at Castiel's side, gently pressing the ice bag against his cheek.
"Thank you, but I really don't need "
"Nonsense, have to take care of that pretty face."
Did Dean just wink at him? Cas was pretty sure he caught the hint of a wink before Dean ran back onto the soccer field to lead his team in a warm up drill. Cas couldn't feel his legs.
The game had just ended and Cas was recording one last close up of the final score board: Lions 7, Guests 2, when Dean approached him, goofy smile on his face.
"Man, I have to see the footage of that Firebird guy breaking Roy's nose. Epic. Tell me you got that shot!"
Cas smiled. "Of course I got it, just let me find it." Cas skipped back to the beginning of the third quarter and they watched and waited to see Free State High's biggest player launch his elbow into Dean's teammate's nose. There was an audible cracking sound and blood splattered everywhere.
"Ahh-ha!" Dean cheered at the replay- half disgusted, half delighted. "I mean, served the guy right. I talked to the Firebird player after it happened, turned out Roy was harassing his girlfriend at some party last weekend. So, I don't blame him. Didn't keep me from whooping his ass on the field, but so it goes." Dean shrugged. Cas smiled at his Vonnegut reference, then closed his handheld and slipped the device back into his messenger bag.
"Hey, were you gonna go to the football game tonight? Starts in like, 30?"
Was Dean asking him to the game? Castiel couldn't find any words. "Oh, I... I don't know."
"You should go. I just need to get cleaned up, and then I was gonna head over there. Sammy's got some 'emergency Our Town dress rehearsal' tonight, so I figured I'd check out the game while I waited for him to get done."
Cas wanted to speak but just stared back at him instead.
"Interested?" Dean prompted, raising an eyebrow.
"Uh, yeah yeah, definitely."
Dean chuckled. "Ok geek, meet you over there in a few," he said with a casual smile.
Cas swallowed hard, watching Dean scoop up his black Adidas duffle and run into the distance to catch up with his teammates. Cas didn't move a muscle, fearing that if did, the dream would collapse around him. But after a minute, or two, or ten, he couldn't be sure, Castiel assured himself that it wasn't a dream, and he was about to go watch a football game with Dean Winchester.
Football had never sounded so wonderful.
Oh God, I don't know where to meet him, Cas thought as he folded his arms and stood awkwardly by the stadium gates. Inside? Outside? Should he go wait by the soccer locker room? Would that be weird? Would Dean find him if he went inside and waited on the bleachers? This is too complicated. I should just go home. I should just
"Well don't you look like a nervous wreck!" Balthazar said, approaching Cas and ditching the band, who were lining up to prepare for their pregame ritual. "I thought football wasn't 'your thing'?"
"I came to support you, obviously."
"Oh please, no you didn't. This is about Dean. Is he coming to the game?"
"I'm supposed to meet him. I'm just not sure where."
"Oh Cassie, that's precious."
"That uniform's precious," Cas said with an attitude, eyeing Balthazar's band uniform, from the goofy black shoes to the big, black feathery plume sticking out of the bulky white hat.
"Thank you. Winner of the band's Sexiest in Uniform award three years running."
Castiel rolled his eyes. "Only you would be proud of that kind of accomplishment."
"La la la, don't have time for your jealousy, Cas! It looks like we're both about to be busy." Balthazar nodded towards the Dean Winchester approaching Castiel from behind, before rushing back to his place in the band formation, which had already started marching into the stadium.
"Cas, you're not wearing that to the game," Dean said, shaking his head, when he was finally at Castiel's side. Cas looked down at his outfit- a classic long sleeved blue button-up, nice khaki Dockers, clean, simple tennis shoes. Nothing seemed particularly wrong with it. Cas gave him a slightly horrified look, wondering if Dean saw something hideous that Cas just hadn't noticed.
"You can't wear blue tonight. We're playing Veritas Christian." Cas furrowed his eyebrows and tilted his head to one side, not getting it. "Their colors are blue and gold! Ugh, here put this on." Dean pulled his red soccer hoodie out of his duffle and pushed it into Cas' arms.
Cas held it for a second, flipping it over in his hands, running his fingers over the glossy black WINCHESTER 67 printed on the back.
"Don't manhandle the thing all day, c'mon, put it on. Let's go in."
Cas slipped the sweatshirt over his head and was instantly warmed by the soft, fuzzy fabric inside. Dean smiled, grabbed his forearm and dragged him through the stadium gates. Cas felt flushed with another warm, soft, fuzzy feeling- one entirely unrelated to the fabric.
Dean and Cas walked side by side in front of the bleachers, looking up occasionally, hoping to find somewhere to sit in the packed stadium. Halfway down the length of the bleachers, over the noisy crowd, a group of girls started calling to Dean, gesturing him to join them in a seat they had saved for him. Cas knew Haley, Jaimie and Andrea from Calculus, but he didn't recognize the rest.
"Friends of yours?"
Dean glanced up at them, waved, and kept walking.
"You can go sit with them if you want," Cas said, believing to his core that Dean would prefer the company of a group of cute senior girls to his own.
"Nah. And we're in a study group together, actually. Well, more like an I-tutor-them group."
Cas' heart lifted. "I didn't know you were a tutor."
"Yup, rescuing pretty girls from ugly grades, it's what I do," Dean said with a proud smile. He met Cas' eyes and flustered, " Except when it comes to Latin. Well, you know what I mean, I'm pretty useless at Latin."
"Not at all," Cas started to say, but Dean had spotted an empty spot at the very back of the bleachers and was already ascending the metal stairs. Cas followed.
He sat beside Dean on the cold metal bleachers. The crowd was loud, the cheerleaders sounded like wounded animals below them, the band was out of tune, the bleachers were uncomfortable, but Castiel didn't notice. His attention was on the crisp, Kansas autumn air blowing in his hair, the faint stars starting to dot the night sky, the intoxicating Dean Winchester smell emanating from the sweatshirt, the stadium lights sparkling in the green of Dean's eyes, the electricity dancing in the small space between their bodies. Castiel suddenly understood why some people love high school so damn much. This was it.
Thirty-six intense minutes, two Lion touchdowns, and countless explanations of football rules later, Dean pulled out his phone to read an incoming text message.
"Well, Sammy's done. And ready to go home from the sound of his text," he flashed the phone screen in Cas' direction. "Sorry to bail on you, but I should head out."
"No trouble." Cas smiled weakly. "This was fun."
"Definitely," Dean said before walking back down the bleacher stairs.
"Dean! Wait! Your sweatshirt!"
Dean turned and looked up at Castiel. "Hold on to it. I'd hate for you to get beaten up for wearing the wrong clothes, loser. Just get it to me later."
Dean smiled to himself, flung his soccer duffle over his shoulder and practically skipped down the last couple of steps to the gravelly ground.
He didn't entirely understand why, but he was lost in a happy delirium as he walked the length of the bleachers back to the stadium gates. Dean was completely unaware that it was now halftime and the cheerleading squad was taking a break while the marching band performed. He didn't even see Lisa Braeden strutting towards him until she was already up in his business.
"Dean, you finally made it to a game." Her fake smile displayed a row of straight, blindingly white teeth. "So what did ya think?"
"It's been a pretty exciting game," he said, distracted.
"Ok " she rolled her eyes. "I meant the cheerleading squad. I think this'll be our best year ever. Don't you agree?"
Lisa had backed Dean into the chain-link fence surrounding the field and she was trying to press her boobs up against his chest. There was no where he could go.
"Yeah, you guys are good, too."
"Oh Dean, thank you. You know, I could do a private performance for you sometime. Like, maybe Meg's hot tub after the game? A few of us are getting together. You should come."
"Uh, jeez, thanks, but I need to get Sam home right now." He slipped out from under her boobs, careful not to touch them. "Maybe some other time."
"He's out of reach, even for you," Ruby said over Lisa's shoulder after Dean had walked away.
"No one's out of reach for me," she said, smacking the other cheerleader on the head.
"He is as long as that cockblocking little brother of his is in the way." Balthazar had watched Dean and Lisa's interaction from the football field during the marching band performance, and he rushed over to make use of this perfect opportunity.
"Are you lost?" Lisa said, unamused by the interruption.
"No, actually, I just came by to chat."
"We don't chat," Ruby said.
"I thought I'd run an idea by you. Hear me out," he said in response to her glaring eyes. "You want Dean but you can't have him because he has this insane head case brother that takes up all his time, right? It would be great if he had a girlfriend to occupy his time, but no one will date him. So you just need to hire a girl to go out with Sam Winchester."
"And why do you care? What's in this for you?"
"I just thought, you know, you help me, I help you. I give you the name of the perfect girl to date Sam Winchester, you nominate me for Homecoming King."
"And you actually think you could win Homecoming King?" Lisa sounded incredulous.
"The nomination is all I ask," Balthazar said politely.
"Ugh. Yeah, ok, fine. You're wasting your time, but whatever. Now who do I have to pay around here so I can date Dean?"
Balthazar turned and pointed into the mess of marching band students. "Becky Rosen. The little flute player who just sat down on that first row of bleachers. She's your girl."
Lisa purposefully shouldered Balthazar as she walked past him toward the freshman. "Bitch," he said under his breath.
"I want you to date Sam Winchester," Lisa said, towering over Becky.
"Is this some sort of conspiracy? Does everyone want me to date that weirdo?"
"I know Mr. Jefferson wants you to," Lisa said, pulling a twenty dollar bill out of her bra.
" That's Andrew Jackson."
"Who cares? He wants you to go out with Sam."
Becky looked out into the parking lot just in time to see Sam, dressed in some ridiculous farmer costume, getting into a car with his brother.
"Listen, he better come with a twin brother or a few Alexander Hamiltons, or I'm not interested." There is totally a presidential slash fic begging to be written here, Becky thought to herself.
"I don't know what you're talking about. Will thirty bucks do it?"
Becky considered the proposal and the Buffy dvds she could buy with an easy thirty dollars. " What's in it for you?"
"Sam Winchester and his lack of a social life are all that stand between me and Dean Winchester's body. I just need you to occupy the social leper every once in a while."
Getting paid to hang out with Sam Winchester wasn't the worst idea Becky had ever heard, especially with Buffy dvds in the balance. What would Buffy do?
Lisa was starting to get annoyed. "50, and that's my final offer."
"50 bucks?" Becky nodded and shrugged. "Okay random cheerleader, you've got yourself a deal."
Castiel and Balthazar watched from opposite sides as Lisa and Becky shook hands in agreement.
With Dean gone and the deal sealed, Cas no longer felt a need to hang around the football game. He got up to leave, not even thinking that the words on the back of his sweatshirt would elicit any kind of reaction from anyone. And they didn't, until he walked past the cheerleaders. Lisa Braeden saw the name on the hoodie and her eyes burned with jealousy.
"Look girls! Dean's big gay stalker broke into his locker and stole his sweatshirt." Twelve cold eyed girls burst out in ugly, uniform laughter.
Cas stuffed his hands into the sweatshirt pocket, focused his eyes on the ground and kept walking.
"Castiel! Did you hear me?" He gritted his teeth and continued ignoring her. She couldn't stand it. She ran up to him, grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around. "Answer me when I talk to you, fag," she whispered into his ear, the last word burning with hatred.
Castiel's hand was around her wrist before she saw him move. She loosened her grip on his shoulder as he squeezed the bones in her arm, getting closer and closer to their breaking point. The jealousy in her eyes flashed panic, as she waited for the crunching sound of her bones under Castiel's thin, powerful fingers. He steadily stared back into her frightened eyes and just as Lisa began to let out a pained whimper, he relaxed his hand.
"Don't touch me," he said, shaking his head and pushing her hand away from his shoulder. "And don't use such disgusting language." He backed away. "It's very unbecoming," he said with a somber face, before turning to walk away. Lisa watched him leave, massaging her wrist in her other hand with a look of shock plastered on her made up face.
By the time Castiel made it home that night, after a comfortably long bike ride in the soul cleansing wind, he had completely forgotten about Lisa Braeden. The only thing he cared about was Dean's fuzzy sweatshirt loosely hugging his torso, almost as if Dean were there, comforting him himself.
Castiel slept peacefully that night, wrapped in Dean's hoodie.