Chapter 2

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After dinner, Dean went off to his recording room to do some late-night video editing, and Cas continued marking his student's homework at the dining table. This being a creative writing task, it was going to take a long time time to mark. He would start with a good student. That would put him in a good mood, and not demoralise him from the get-go. Anna Milton. She would be a good one to start with. A bit cynical sometimes, but a very good writer.

He started reading.

It was in that moment, pinwheeling slowly through the freezing blackness with bubbles of air  torn from his throat, that Aydan thought that the only thing in the world deeper and darker than Rookwater Lake was the Machiavellian immorality ingrained in humankind that had landed him there.

Cas sighed and looked at the stack of papers in front of him. This was going to take a long time.

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It was nearly 11 when Dean poked his head in and said "Hey Cas, you coming to bed soon? Or is marking those badly written assignments somehow better than a good night's sleep next to me?"

Cas hadn't realised how late it had gotten. He shuffled his papers and stood up. "Yeah, probably time for bed."

In the bedroom, Dean stripped to his boxers and put on some baggy pyjama pants, then slid under the covers. Cas, meanwhile, changed into some light cotton shorts and a plain white shirt. He made sure to put his dirty clothes away into the hamper, and then Dean's as well, because of course Dean had left his next to the hamper so he didn't have to go the effort to open it.

He noticed Dean patting the bed next to him and shook his head. "You really are insatiable, Dean. I've got to brush my teeth."

"Psssh." Dean made an improbable sound with his lips. "Can't you go one night without brushing those pearly whites?"

Cas walked into the ensuite bathroom but continued to speak to Dean in the mirror. "Regrettably, Dean, these pearly whites require proper care."

"So do I," came the theatrical reply. "Your boyfriend is feeling all alone in this bed, and you're brushing your teeth!" He sounded like a dying touch-starved puppy, thought Cas as he brushed his teeth. Suddenly he caught Dean's eyes in the mirror's reflection. Dean was wearing the expression that he knew Cas adored, the smile that was somehow affectionate and smirking, that crinkled the corners of his eyes. The sight of it pulled brought his own smile from Cas's lips. God, how did he manage to end up with such a perfect boyfriend?

He finished up in the bathroom quickly, then climbed into bed beside Dean.  He leaned over to turn off the bedside lamp, then settled down in the darkness into Dean's warm arms. 

He smiled blissfully, and even in the dark with his back turned, he could tell Dean was doing the same.

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Mornings in the Novak-Winchester household always followed a routine: Cas would always get woken up by his alarm. Every morning it was a different song, but whether it was Vivaldi, Sia, or Kansas, Dean somehow slept through it, but then, when Cas got up, he would grumble like a bear rising from hibernation and blearily open one eye. He would stay in bed while Cas got ready and made breakfast, but he would always emerge before Cas left for work, in time to say goodbye.

This morning Cas was woken by Demi Lovato's cover of 'I Will Survive', and he got dressed while half dancing. Dean was watching him from the bed, and at one point remarked: "You've got sex-hair."

Cas ran his eye over Dean's bed-hair that looked like an echidna squatting on the pillow. "So do you, but you don't see me complaining about it."

"Oh, I wasn't complaining," Dean grinned devilishly. "I think it looks hot."

"Would there ever be anything I could look like that wouldn't make you say that?" asked Cas, buttoning up his shirt.

"Probably not," replied Dean unabashedly.

Cas made toast for breakfast. He lathered his with honey and washed it down with tea, then laid out some slices on a plate for Dean, with a jar of Vegemite next to them just because he knew Dean couldn't stand it.

He was just packing his bag when Dean emerged from the bedroom, still tousle-headed and sleepy-eyed. Cas pulled on his coat and gave Dean a quick kiss.

"Have a great day," murmured Dean.

"You too," Cas responded. He pulled away and opened the front door. 

"I love you," Dean called out.

"I love you too," he called back as he shut the door.

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His first lesson of the day was with the class that Brianna and Jo were in. Cas walked quickly through the corridors towards the classroom, fully aware that as he strode his trench coat was billowing out behind him, and relishing the mystique he was sure it gave him.

He arrived right before the bell went, and students started filing in soon after. Jo came up to his desk and handed him her late homework assignment.

"Here, Mr Novak. Sorry I didn't do it before."

"It's alright, just don't make a habit of it," he told her. "Now," he said, standing up and addressing him to the class at large, "as I said last lesson, we'll be starting our chapter on romances now. We'll explore how different people throughout history have described what many consider to be the feeling that sets humans apart from other animals."

"The first thing you'll notice straight away through all the stories we'll go over is that they all have lyrical language to a greater or lesser degree. Of course, that's because those who fall in love tend to find it a complicated experience and want to go to great lengths to talk about the experience accurately." He chuckled. "Not that I'm expecting any of you to have any experience  with that."

The class rose in uproar. He heard a few people laughing, and a few others like Byron Lewis and Hazel Adams, who had been dating and breaking up since Year 5, who were complaining loudly. The noise died down after a few seconds though, which meant that everyone heard it when Brianna loudly asked: "Mr Novak, do you have a girlfriend?"

The smile was wiped off his face like marker from a whiteboard. "Pardon?" he asked.

"A girlfriend. Or a wife," repeated Brianna. "Do you have one?"

"He doesn't have a ring, he can't be married," pointed out Anna from in front of her.

"So do you have a girlfriend?" Brianna asked again. Cas didn't know what to say. The idea had caught on with the class, and for maybe the first time in his short teaching career Cas found the entire class staring avidly at him, waiting for his response.

Cas's mind flashed back instantly to lying in bed last night with Dean, but he absolutely couldn't tell them about that, but he didn't think he would be able to lie convincingly either.

"Is it important whether I'm seeing anyone or not?" he answered vaguely, aiming for distraction.

Anna pounced. "So there is someone?!"

"I didn't say that!"

"No, but your eyes flicked up to the right, which is what people do subconsciously when they recall images!"

"What? That's not a thing!" countered Cas desperately, now feeling as if his eyes were flicking upwards to the right of their own accord. He covered his eyes with his hand, and the class started to get excited again.

"Come on, Mr Novak, do you have a girlfriend?"

"Who is she?"

The voices kept on building until Castiel finally snapped. "Quiet down, everyone! We're supposed to be talking about historical romances, not mine!"

"So you do have one?" asked Brianna, who was clearly not ready to let the matter go.

"I'm not talking about it," said Cas firmly, and this time no-one tried to push the issue.


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