Castiel's date with Dean had been wonderful. In his mind anyway. After talking with Sam, it was pointed out that the date had in fact been boring. But Castiel couldn't agree with him.
Dean had taken him to a diner, much like the kind he usually ate at when he had meals with Sam. Castiel had been expecting something different, like a restaurant with table cloths and waiters in clean white shirts, but decided that it didn't matter where they went for dinner. He was with Dean after all, and that was the most important part.
Dean ordered a burger and fries, and Castiel ordered the meatloaf, not because he needed to eat, or that meatloaf sounded particularly exciting, but so that he could have the full experience of a date by eating with the man he was with.
The rest of the meal consisted of what Sam would have called 'awkward silence'. Castiel knew from the brothers telling him, that he was not good at small talk, so he usually let them lead any conversations. But Dean was not doing much of anything besides eating his food and glancing around the diner cagily every once in awhile. Still, Castiel did not mind. Dean didn't need to speak. Castiel was fine with being in his company and looking at him.
After dinner, Dean drove them to the movie theater in town and bought two tickets for some movie that had a poster of a grizzled, muscular man leaping out of an exploding helicopter. Castiel was quite certain the man would catch fire and die almost immediately, so he wasn't sure why Dean wanted to watch it.
Once inside, Dean led them into the theater to sit down. Castiel watched the movie beside Dean, and was confused that the actor in the movie was able to survive a number of injuries and situations that he was sure would kill even a man as amazing as Dean. Dean, though, seemed to be enjoying the movie greatly. He cheered and laughed at the explosions, and watched the screen wide eyed, literally on the edge of his seat as he leaned forward in anticipation. Castiel enjoyed watching him more than he enjoyed watching the movie.
At the end of the night, Dean drove them back to the motel. With his hands stuffed in the pockets of his leather jacket, and not quite looking at Castiel, he said goodnight, and went into the room he shared with Sam.
Castiel smiled as the door shut behind Dean. Inside, he felt warm and happy and satisfied. He'd spent the whole evening, on a date, alone, with Dean. It was something he never would have dreamed possible, and yet it had just happened. He couldn't imagine being any happier. He disappeared from the motel parking lot, flying off, almost giddily.
Two months later, Castiel was the most miserable angel in all of creation.
Initially, he had been happy when Dean asked him out on a second date. Well, not a date. Dean called it 'hanging out'. He said it was nice to go out and do something with someone who wasn't Sammy for a change.
So they had gone out for dinner again a week later, and then went to a bar to drink and to talk. And talking had been really nice, Castiel thought. He then wished Dean had talked more on their first date. Even though Dean wasn't really talking with him, just to him, telling him stories about hunts he'd been on with his father and Sam when he was younger. He said he liked telling Castiel the stories because he'd never heard them before, and Sam always yelled at him for embellishing.
Their third date, Dean had shown him bowling, which thrilled Castiel, because at one point, Dean touched his hand to show him how to hold the ball. The rest of the game seemed silly and pointless, and also put Dean in a bad mood, even though Castiel knocked down all of his pins like he was supposed to. He just held onto the memory of Dean touching his hand.
But then there was a fourth date and a fifth and a sixth, and so many more after that, but nothing else happened. No holding hands, no cuddling, no hands in each other's pockets, and definitely no kissing. Castiel was starting to go a little crazy.
"Cas, I don't think he knows you're dating," Sam said with a small smile as Castiel sat across from him in a small coffee shop where he was doing research on their latest job. Castiel looked frustrated and disgruntled, and Sam imagined, that if he could see Castiel's wings, they'd be in disarray, ruffled, with feathers sticking out all over the place.
"Then he should stop asking me out on dates," Castiel said grumpily.
"Why don't you just put the move on him? He'll either jump into your arms, or at least realize he's leading you on and stop it."
"I cannot. I promised him I would not 'try anything'," Castiel said, again using finger quotes.
"You promised that two months ago. You're allowed to broach a topic again with your partner if you want something to change."
"But what if he says no?" Castiel asked, looking worried, and Sam realized this was the real concern, not the frustration that Dean wasn't putting the move on Castiel for some unexplained reason, but that the reason was that he didn't want to put the move on Castiel at all. That he wasn't just oblivious about his actions driving Castiel crazy, but that he didn't care.
"Cas, my brother may be an idiot, but I don't think he'll say no."
"Well, he might say no at first," Sam said, and when Castiel's face fell, he added quickly: "But he'll come around, once he realizes what he's missing."
Friday night, Castiel showed up early to the motel room where Dean was getting dressed for their date. Sam had already left early, to let them talk alone.
"Hey Cas, ready for some action tonight?" Dean asked, in a chipper mood, as he usually was preceding their dates.
"Very much so," Castiel said, blushing. After spending so much time with Dean, he had started picking up on pop culture, slang, and double entendres. The double entendres were the most vexing.
"Great! There's this new action movie out, where they blow up the state of Delaware! The whole damn thing!"
"Dean, can we talk before we go out?" Castiel asked.
"Sure, what's on your mind?"
"I would like to revisit an un we made some months ago."
"The one where I promised not to try anything on our date. I would like to make a revision for the rest of our dates."
"What 'rest of'? I only agreed to the one date, and I did my duty."
"I am referring to the other ten dates we have been on, and the one we will go on tonight."
"Those aren't dates. They're hanging out," Dean insisted.
"There is absolutely no difference in what we do from a date. We attend date places, alone, in the evening, and you always pay for me. It IS a date. The only difference is that I have not tried anything because I promised I would not. I would like to take back that promise and move our relationship further."
"Our... relation- that's... we don't..." Dean's face was a mix of wide-eyed, slack-jawed fear and confusion, tumbled with a knee-jerk furrow of his brows for that touch of anger that was his standard go-to emotion. It was some time before Dean was able to gather his thoughts properly, and Castiel waited patiently, nervous and eager to hear what Dean's reply was going to be.
"Me and you," Dean said, switching his finger back and forth quickly between him and Castiel, nervously. "We are not in a relationship. We've been hanging out, not going on dates. I like you as a friend, and I want to spend time with you as a friend. That's all this has been the whole time. I'm sorry if you misunderstood that."
Castiel stood there mutely, his face tightened in concentration as he turned over Dean's words. They're what he'd expected, some rationalization on Dean's part about how they weren't dating, when they clearly were.
"So, is that settled? Are we clear again?" Dean asked, impatient with Castiel's silence.
"Yes. We are clear."
"Good. Now let's get going. I don't want to miss the previews."
"You said we were clear," Dean said accusingly.
"We are clear," Castiel said tightly. "You don't want to go on dates with me, so I don't want to hang out with you."
"Oh my God, you sound like such a girl. You've been talking to Sam again, haven't you?" Dean growled, rubbing the bridge of his nose with frustration. He thought he'd beaten all of those Destiel fantasies out of his brother's head two months ago. Seemed like he was back on track with it again.
"Yes. Sam said I should voice my needs, or else break up with you."
"You can't break up with me we're not even-! God, nevermind. Go be girls together and read Cosmo or something. I'm going to the movies to watch manly things exploding."
Dean stormed out of the motel room, stomped to his car, revved the engine louder than was necessary, and tore out of the motel parking lot with less care than he usually did, probably leaving tire marks on the pavement.
Castiel waited a moment, his body tense with restraint, and then he disappeared, reappearing instantly in the coffee shop where Sam had been hiding for the duration of their talk. Castiel visibly slumped in the seat across from Sam, his features similarly fallen.
"He stormed out," Castiel said, his voice flat and low.
"We thought that would happen. Don't worry. Just wait. He'll come back later and probably try to wring my neck. You did tell him I was involved right?"
"He guessed after awhile."
"Okay. Good. Just be patient. You've been around for millennia. You can wait a few more days while Dean gets his head out of his ass."
Castiel just sighed, feeling anxious and doubtful.