It's 1995, and Castiel's high school years are destined to be difficult: home-schooled until eighth grade, he is awkward, shy, and socially inept. The weird kid with the funny name would rather isolate himself and draw in his sketchbook than deal with the constant bullying he faces every day. Things only get worse in his junior year when he excels in home economics class, leading the captain of the baseball team, Alastair, to start taunting him for being gay.
Then new student Dean Winchester arrives at Flour Bluff High School, sharing many of Castiel's classes. Castiel has seen his type before -- handsome, athletic, arrogant, and sure to be the most popular kid in school. But Castiel eventually learns that he and Dean have more in common than he thought, and they form an unlikely friendship.
This story was originally published October 20, 2010 as part of the Dean/Cas Big Bang Challenge.
Warnings: Bullying, homophobic language, some violence related to bullying.
Cover for this story comes courtesy of @_thebat