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Title: Harbor Lights 2a/?
Author:  chartruscan
Characters/Pairings: Dean/Castiel, Sam, Balthazar
Warnings: Abuse of reality, WIP
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: ~2700
Summary: The Winchester brothers are a team to be feared by the criminals of their waterfront city. Or, the one where Castiel is an asexual doctor who attracts insane stalkers amorous suitors and Dean pretends to be his boyfriend to scare them all away.  Also, they fight crime.



“So who was that this morning?” Sam asked, referring to the petite blond who’d tried sneaking out the door as he had been getting ready for work.  Dean had been enjoying the chance to sleep in on a rare weekday off.  It was evening now.  Sam put his messenger bag on the dining table and loosened his tie while Dean slurped at a bowl of cereal, milk splashing onto the ratty paperback he was reading. “Katie,” Dean said, eyes going unfocused at the memories from the night before, book forgotten in his hands. “Jennifer, actually.  I asked.  Way off, dude.” Dean shrugged; the memories were still good.  Katie --no, Jennifer, was more than happy with his kissing skills, among the other talents he possessed. Sam studied him, wondering if it would be wise to ask what he wanted to simply blurt out. “Spill it, Sammy, whatever’s eating at your noggin.” Sam huffed.  “Overcompensating much?  You don’t usually bring girls back here.” “No, Sammy, just trying to remind myself why kissing and sex are good things.”  Dean put down his book and blurted out his own festering question, “I don’t get it Sam, how can someone not like kissing?!  More importantly, how could someone not like kissing me!”  Except that, he was fairly sure that Castiel hadn’t hated it. “Ah, so there was kissing!  Please, feel free to never tell me about it.  Also, self-absorbed much?”  It still didn’t explain why Dean broke their “No girls overnight until after the third date” rule.   “It’s called confidence, Sammy.  Self-assurance. “Whatever.” Dean’s attention drifted back to his book as Sam heated up a leftover slice of pizza and idly read the paper left out from yesterday. Awhile later Sam asked, “You gonna take Cas on a fake date anytime soon?  Make an honest man out of him?”  He was reading an article about a marriage proposal.  Something about surviving an accident and a reference to a local urban legend. “Hmmm?” Dean barely glance up from the book he was reading.  “Oh, yeah,” his said absently.  “I was gonna show up with flowers and teddy bears, the whole shebang, after his shift ended today.” The microwave dinged and Sam pulled the pizza out, burning his fingers.  “Ha.” “Naw, man, we were gonna maybe grab some beers at The Alley, but there was that pile-up on the Beltway before his shift ended yesterday.  Cas didn’t actually get to go home until . . .” he paused to look at his watch. “Two hours ago.” Sam’s jaw dropped.  “Damn, that’s, what,  thirty-six hours straight that he’s been working?” Dean was already becoming lost in the book again, absently remarking, “Yeah, dude’s beat.  Anna gave him a ride home.” Sam wondered when Dean started to know more about Castiel’s life than he did. Dean asked, “Wanna go riding tonight?  I think there’s something going down at the docks, but we couldn’t get a warrant to open up the crates.” Sam grinned.  “Looks like we got work to do.”

***

The next morning, fire fighters were busy trying to put out the fireball that had been burning since midnight down on Harbor Street.  News choppers hovered as they struggled to douse a sealed shipping container while police boats cordoned off the waterside, keeping the gawking motorboats at bay.  Once they got the fire beat back enough to get bolt cutters on the lock, a backdraft exploded outwards, carrying with it blackened counterfeit bills. The police were granted a warrant to search the other containers on the dock as well as the Hanjin Shipping company, long suspected of having ties to the Lucci family, and suddenly Sam and Dean’s day jobs became very, very busy.

***

Castiel had the next forty-eight hours off, and when he finally emerged from his brownstone a day and a half later, the weather was warm and clear, and he met Dean and Sam for breakfast at the common.  It was Sunday, and they were all three blessedly free of suits and ties.  Castiel alien to Dean’s eyes in faded jeans and a grey henley.  They sat across from a statue of five horsemen that never failed to creep Dean out, even as he found it endlessly fascinating.  Sam was sitting on the grass so he could keep his back turned to it, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to stomach his lunch.  He had the paper out, reading mostly in silence, while Dean chewed in an absent way, cheek puffed out like a chipmunk, unable to tear his eyes away from the elongated, emaciated neck of the lead horse.  They were all tired, but were trying to make time to appear like normal, social humans with lives beyond work. Castiel broke the easy silence, “It’s a tribute to guerrilla freedom fighters.” “Huh.” Dean swallowed.  “I always thought they were the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with a fifth wheel.” Castiel’s eyes crinkled. “Hey, Cas, check this out,” Sam said from the well-trampled and sparse grass, snapping the paper neatly in half and then into thirds.  “Miracle on Longfellow: Woman Claims Angel Saved Her Family.   Castiel snorted. “Urban legend, Sammy.” “Like the two vigilantes on motorcycles, Deano?” Dean kicked Sam’s ridiculously long leg. “No, listen,” Sam insisted.  “She apparently survived her car flipping over, her and her three kids, after she swerved to avoid a jack-knifed eighteen-wheeler.  Car flipped, and all four of them walked away with just scratches from broken safety glass and seatbelt bruises.” Dean stuffed the wrapper from his breakfast sandwich into a white paper bag.  “So.” So,” Sam replied.  “She says that she’d been impaled by a pipe flying off the truck.” “So, she’s lying.” “Police on the scene documented quarts of blood soaking into the driver’s seat, as well as a hole in the backrest.  Her clothes even had holes in the right spots.  But!  No wound.” Castiel looked uncomfortable, but this wasn’t unusual and Dean puzzled over the strange news story.   “Shit, Sammy, I got nothing for that,” Dean conceded.  Sam looked pleased.  Dean knew that Sam’s faith was a point of contention between them, but even Dean had to admit that this sounded pretty miraculous, even if he would never admit it out loud. He noticed Castiel looking flushed. “Cas?” “Hmm?”   “Does our resident trauma expert care to weigh in?” Castiel hesitated a moment before replying, quietly but almost vehemently, “The woman and her family are alive, shouldn’t that be enough?  Without needing to assign an explanation or responsibility --which is only speculative at best?”   “Um...” Castiel closed his eyes briefly while Dean and Sam looked on.  When he opened them, he apologized sheepishly, “I’m sorry, I am still tired and not at my best.  Perhaps I should return home.” Dean slapped his knee in a friendly, reassuring manner.  “Yeah, man.  No harm, no foul, okay?”  He paused, considering his brother’s friend, he did still look tired; shadows under his eyes.  More quietly he said, “C’mon, I’ll give you a ride home before I have to drop Sam off at the office.”   Sam wished Dean were this lenient with him when he was tired and off his game.   And since when did Castiel, a man of faith, feel so strongly about discounting miracles?

***

Over the next week, Sam was buried under mountains of paper, cross-referencing names and accounts from the Hanjin Shipping Company, finding connections to local shop owners and Union employees, as well as long-suspected Lucci family members.  Dean and Victor’s canary sang about a couple of names that matched, and a warrant was put out for the arrest of several Capodecina’s, higher up the food chain than even poor dead Larry Olivieri.   Sam and Dean grinned at each other across their dining table.

***

Breaking pattern, and in a deliberate attempt to substantiate the ruse that Dean and Cas were dating, Sam was absent the next time Dean had lunch with Castiel at the hospital, although this time they met outside the front entrance, picking a bench a ways back yet still in full view of the visitors and staff walking in and out.  It was awkward after they finished eating, full of fits and half-starts and silence.  They got along just fine when Sam was there as a mutual interest, buffer, and conversation starter, but this was the first time it was just the two of them for more than two minutes, and it was starting to feel, well, rather date-like.   Ten minutes in, however, something over Castiel’s shoulder caught Dean’s eyes.   “Crap.” Castiel was surprised to find Dean’s arm, already draped around his shoulders, pulling him closer as Dean leaned towards him.  Disconcerted as he was, he allowed himself to be pulled and turned, let Dean lean close and place a light kiss at the corner of his mouth; like the first one, only this time Dean didn’t hesitate.  Castiel tilted his head into the chaste kiss like he’d seen others do. Staying close, nose nuzzling over to Castiel’s ear and his hand carding through his hair pleasantly, Dean whispered, “He’s watching, go with it.”  Which was unnecessary, because he was already “going with it”. Castiel didn’t look to confirm this, only nodded, leaning into Dean more than he really had to.  As Dean’s lips brushed once more against his, he wondered what the hell was going on.   He’d reached the age of thirty-six with only three sexual experiences on his resume, all of them empty and awkward, if not downright awful, and he honestly would have been quite content without a single one of them.   In highschool, he’d kissed Lucy, because she thought he was cute, and kissing girls was what boys his age ought to do.  He could have been polishing his shoes for all that he enjoyed it.  Lucy had liked it just fine, and they’d dated for a month.  She thought he was being sweet, not pushing her for more.  Until she realized how bored he actually was during their makeout sessions.  She’d been hurt.  Castiel had actually liked her, and so he told himself that it was only because she was young that she lashed out by calling him a faggot to his face and then spreading it around the school. He decided later that maybe she’d been right, he must be gay.  He waited until college to experiment, away from his family’s prying eyes and his classmates knowing smirks.  In hindsight, trying to figure himself out with a horny eighteen year old boy whose only concern was getting off with another male body hadn’t been the wisest choice.  Castiel thinks that even if he was homosexual, he wouldn’t have enjoyed what had been done to him on that beer-stained couch in a frat-house basement.  He didn’t get off, and felt absolutely no desire to when he was cleaning up, alone, in the bathroom. When Dean slanted his mouth over his and pushed in with his tongue, Castiel let his eyes close and pushed back, curious if he could experience what others found so pleasurable, even if only in part.  He gently lay one hand on Dean’s chest, fingers curling into the fabric, and flattened the other against the small of his back. He sucked air in through his nose as Dean expertly licked and massaged, lips nipping and tongues sliding together, fingers pressing into his scalp with increasing pressure.   It was the hand in his hair that caused him to moan. Dean pulled back suddenly, breath slightly erratic.  He licked his lips and bumped his forehead against Castiel’s.   “Fuck.” Castiel kept his arm around him, feeling Dean’s heart beating rapidly.  His own was steady. “Cas, man, please don’t tell me you didn’t hate that.  Fuck.” Your mouth.   “It wasn’t . . . unpleasant.” Dean pulled back with a furrowed brow, trying not to look insulted as he pondered over the words and just who was saying them. Then he broke out into a grin, cocky and pleased.  “Coming from you, that’s a ringing endorsement of my truly stellar skills, isn’t it?” “You don’t have to preen so much,” Castiel huffed, disengaging and shifting back on the bench, trying not to be fascinated by Dean’s eyes. Dean sat back, stretching both arms across the backrest, chest literally puffed out.  “Course I do.” Castiel leaned back against Dean’s arm, letting him drape it across his shoulders again, more comfortable than they were before.  The other people around them had their gazes studiously averted. Dean tapped him absently, thumping his thumb against his clavicle.  “It’s been a few weeks,” he began.  “Is it working?  I mean, no more fawning sycophants, groupies, stalkers, or minions?” He pouted, “I liked the minions.”  He got his hair dishevelled for that one.   “Something’s working, at least.  It’s hard to say, though, whether it’s because people think that we’re dating, or that you threatened to throw Balthazar in jail.”  He looked around and didn’t see the other doctor.  “Did he leave?” Dean withdrew his arm and stood up.  “Yeah.”

***

Neither of them realize that their intention to be spotted by would-be suitors brought them much, much more sinister attention.  

***

Castiel watched Dean walk back to his car, enjoying the aesthetics of the man, the breadth of his shoulder and the bow of his legs.  Dean slipped into the driver’s seat and Castiel thought, Two beautiful machines. The next time Castiel saw him, Dean was covered in blood, looking grim on the stretcher being rushed into Castiel’s emergency room.

***

The night was quiet, all patients triaged, stabilized, and in surgery or recovering.  Castiel was offshift, but he had yet to go home.  He wandered to the fourth floor, checking charts he had no business looking at, rushing off to an imaginary appointment if the patients were awake and bored.  Saving lives was his calling, but having to talk to them as actual people made him acutely uncomfortable. He pulled back the curtain where a twelve-year-old lay recovering from anaphylaxis caused by bee stings.  Her skin was red and blotchy, swollen like she’d been beaten.  She needed venom immunotherapy.  She’d need it every time she ventured out of doors.  Castiel looked around, ensuring that there were no staff in the area, and tugged the curtain closed.  He put one hand on the railing, and the other on the girl’s forehead and closed his eyes.  He could hear the arrythmia on the monitor evening out, and the wheezing breaths faded into the natural rhythm of true sleep.  When he opened his eyes, the rash had faded, the swelling almost completely gone. He felt the weariness that always came from a complete healing, something he didn’t indulge in often, especially if the night was busy and he had dozens of patients all in need of attention.  Usually he just stabilized the most life-threatening injuries, a quick laying-of-hands, and left the rest to be taken care of the slow, natural way: with scalpels and sutures.  His trauma room staff had begun to think the paramedics were drama queens, over-embellishing the severity of the wounds and ailments of the patients they brought in.   The death rate at Castiel’s hospital was almost non-existent, picking up only at the tail-end of Castiel’s shifts, or when he wasn’t at work.  Except, Castiel was almost always at work, so no one seemed to have noticed the pattern.  If he hadn’t burnt himself out by the end of a shift, he could spare some more energy to help things along, wandering through the children’s or the cancer ward, easing debilitating arthritis, soothing traumatic dreams, stitching back minds so that patients could recognize their own family for at least one more day.  It wasn’t much, he couldn’t save the world, so he did what he could --without thoroughly incapacitating himself, and without exposing himself. He smiled down at the little girl, now sleeping peacefully, and realized that he wasn’t alone. Looking up, his stomach dropped as he realized that Balthazar was standing next to the bed.  He hadn’t heard footsteps or the curtain opening. “Looks like we have something in common, darling.” Before Castiel could comprehend what was happening, Balthazar placed hand to his arm, said, “Let’s find someplace quiet to talk,” and then the room was empty but for the sleeping child.

***

TBC
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