word count: 1,758
summary: Dean reflects on what exactly made him fall in love with Castiel on a rainy day while driving in the Impala.
author's note: first time posting an SPN fic! be gentle on me, i'm still trying to get used to writing this fandom. special thanks goes to giovanna, karina, and nadin for beta'ing. the title comes from "the gambler" by fun which you should totally listen to.
~Dean realizes he’s in love with Castiel on a Thursday, in the middle of a solo drive in the Impala.
It’s a rainy day, one when most people would avoid going out at all costs, watching reruns of TV shows they’ve seen a thousand times and just reclining back on the couch. But not for Dean. He’s been driving all day, just to clear his head, really. With the apocalypse breathing down his neck, his mind has been pretty cluster fucked to say the least.
Sam is back at the motel, doing lord knows what. Cas is, well, Cas. He’s an angel so he’s probably somewhere picking loose feathers off his wings, something like that. Even though his brothers may be dicks with wings, Castiel is different, at least in Dean’s eyes.
And that’s what gets the snowball rolling.
When they’d first met, actually met, none of that “I gripped you tight and raised you from perdition” crap, Dean’s mind had drawn a blank slate as to what to think of him. He was an angel, but what exactly was Dean supposed to think of an angel in a dirty trench coat and with hair that stuck up no matter what? They weren’t exactly setting off to be a romance for the ages with a start like that. Then again, did anyone really start out with the intention to be the next Romeo and Juliet? Dean figured that some people did, but those were douche bags with reality shows on E! and VH1.
He knew he was supposed to have been grateful for Cas working his angel mojo to a tee and you know, literally dragging him out of hell and piecing him back together again. And he was, he guessed. Dean had a hard time understanding what exactly made a guy from Kansas whose only redeeming qualities were his music taste and his car, resurrection worthy. Despite the second chance he’d gotten, Dean had felt more cornered than ever in a way. All anyone talked to him about anymore was being Michael’s vessel and Sam being good old Lucifer’s. Talk about a dysfunctional family. Dean had thought that he’d been raised from Hell because maybe, just maybe, he’d deserved it. That idea was shot the minute Castiel laid a single finger on him.
The funny thing was, though, that Cas was one of the only people who really made it seem like he had a say in the whole thing. Because, contrary to popular belief, Dean Winchester did not want some angel asshole taking over his body over some family drama and sibling rivalry. Cas had flat out rebelled for him, killing his own brothers. If that didn’t scream “Hey, I may be lost as hell but I know that you’re in the right here so I’ll help you” to Dean, he didn’t know what did.
The whole free will thing, being able to have a say in what they wanted to do with their lives? That’s what had made Dean like Cas from the start. But what made him love him? That took a while.
There was the way that Cas understood nothing, so alien in a world that he spent his whole existence protecting. He was so damn oblivious to everything, and honestly? Dean found it kind of cute. It was like he was teaching a puppy how to shake hands or even sit for Christ’s sake, but lord, was it worth it in the end. He recalled a conversation they had shared one day. Now that he thought about it, it was a lot like today, rainy and somewhat dreary.
“It’s raining cats and dogs out there,” Dean had said. He had been gazing out of a motel window; he was pretty sure it had been in Wyoming, a case involving a witch bringing him and Sam there. Castiel had popped in a little after they’d arrived.
Cas’s expression was one of pure horror, as if Dean had just said “I’m about to go out and pull a Jeffrey Dahmer on scenic Wyoming. Want to come with?” He had stared at Dean for a moment, eyes getting intense and wide.
“Dean, the Lord would never allow such a travesty to occur. Just imagine the bloodshed!” Cas had replied, eyebrows furrowed deeply.
He hadn’t meant to laugh at him, he really hadn’t. But god, the whole thing was so funny in his eyes. Maybe that was another reason why Dean fell for him; Castiel was always making him crack up, even if it was unintentionally. It was never a making fun of type of laugh. It was more of a “You’re lucky you’re cute,” kind, if that even existed. Dean wasn’t entirely sure. That was probably another reason, the uncertainty. Normally that would have frightened the hell out of Dean, but with Cas? It was vulnerability, the one that came with immense trust in another person.
Cas took everything so seriously, too, always speaking as if he had just been asked “Sir, where were you on the night of January the 8th, 2010?” by a cop at his door in the middle of the night. It was always the end of the world somewhere for Cas and his mind, it seemed, was always wherever the hell that was. Dean could have asked him what he thought about the latest Archie comic (as if Cas knew who Archie was) and he’d get an answer equivalent to “We are regretful to inform you, Mr./Mrs./Ms. So and So that dot, dot, freakin’ dot occurred to insert name of the sorry unfortunate soul of coincidence here.” To be honest, Dean was surprised that Cas wasn’t some angelic form of Edgar Allan Poe or some other depressed and alcoholic dead writer that Sam just worshipped.
He never got jokes, the punch line flying over his head faster than a fighter pilot. Dean’s music creeped him out, Metallica and AC/DC giving him headaches. He was socially awkward, cripplingly so. If there was a living, breathing, heart pumping woman within a ten mile radius of wherever they were, Cas was sure to have an aneurism. Dean recalled the incident at the brothel, involving a prostitute with severe daddy issues and a beer that was never quite finished. God had Cas been embarrassed. His eyes had gotten all wide, breathing quickening to the pace of a hare’s run.
Then of course there were those eyes. Those deep, deep, blue eyes. They were the sort of blue you’d only see on a postcard to some place like Fiji or even Australia. It dawned on Dean that people would spend their whole life saving up money for a week in a place like that, sipping booze that was way too expensive out of a coconut with a pink umbrella in it while sitting under an umbrella on a beach that they didn’t even step foot on, just to see a blue like that. And here was Dean, lucky enough to have it for his own personal viewing pleasure. Castiel had this square cut type jaw that could only work on him and this face that was so damn striking. It was nearly impossible to draw his eyes away from it once they landed on him.
Not to mention, Cas was just such a good friend. It sounded so cheesy and even a little bit too pansyish for Dean’s taste. But he knew that if he ever needed him, he would be there for Dean, no matter how small the matter might have been. Castiel had ended up beating the living shit out of Dean in alleyway, leaving Dean convinced that he was probably going to die that day. But now that he thought back on it, maybe a swift punch to the face was what he needed. Maybe getting thrown against a brick wall was the only thing that got the message across. He’d always been told he had a thick head, something Dean was only really starting to work on now. Angels, man. They could throw a punch.
In short, Castiel was not who Dean Winchester, alpha male extraordinaire, was supposed to fall for. One, he was a fucking guy. Dean had never harbored any form of homophobia whatsoever, but he’d been respectively straight for his whole life. Until of course, a certain angel with a voice huskier than a sled team raised him from, you know, Hell. Two, he was so a little bit out there, which Dean was sure would win understatement of the year at the county fair. Quirky wouldn’t even begin to describe whatever it was that Castiel was, but Dean found himself liking it more and more each day.
So what if Cas didn’t and probably never would understand the beauty of a good guitar rift? Who cared if he had a tendency to use words like ‘coitus’ and ‘iniquity’? Castiel was a lot of things, but most of all, he was the closest thing Dean had to a best friend other than Sam. Dean began to think of Cas as a ball of thread that had seen its fair share of wear and tear over the years. Maybe the strings were sticking out here and there, on the bridge of coming undone. But dammit, Dean liked his thread that way and to hell with anybody who said it needed fixing!
Dean was not one for chick flick moments, but he was well aware that would always be some people in life who would be there, haunting you in a sense. They’d always be an anniversary, a night, a lost pair of socks in the dryer, or old movie tickets you’d find in your car long after the film was out of the theatres. The one song you would never get tired of playing, the tempo and beat blasting through your ears, practically running throughout your body and somehow pushing you to drive on. It had taken awhile to fully accept the idea, but Dean realized that Cas was that person for him. It was who Jess had been for Sam, and who his mother had been for his father.
They hadn’t made anything official yet; hell, Dean would be completely shocked if Cas even slightly returned his feelings. He doubted that the phrase “I’m in love with you” was even in the angel’s vocabulary. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t try to introduce them to Castiel’s vernacular, right?
It was the end of the world, time was running out. Now or never, right? So, why the fuck not?