Cross To Bear

13 Years-Old: Get Some Perspective

A bus ride without Cas seemed weirder than Dean originally thought possible. He sat in the usual seat and no one sat next to him, probably all assuming Cas would be there late as he tended to be. He chose to look out the window, watching the scenery fly by like Cas always did, what did he ever do without Cas? He was sure there was something -play with Sam? Video games. Reading. Drawing maybe? Throw a ball back and forth with his mom or dad? Something. Whatever, it didn't matter. Cas would only be gone a few hours anyway, his date with Meg couldn't go past that, right?

Dean felt a pang in his chest, like his heart protested to the thought. Cas was on a date. Dean briefly touched his fingers to his lips but stopped just as soon as he had started, it was stupid. He didn't want to remember that moment shared between them, he didn't want to remember how Cas had gotten sick from it. Cas literally had to lie down afterward, like kissing him had been what threw him off. Dean knew it was probably already there beforehand; Cas wouldn't have tried to make him feel bad like that on purpose.

The bottle spun, Dean watched it just like the other two though with a little less of Jet's enthusiasm. First kisses, the game would lead to his first kiss. Who would it be with? Would Bela's spin land on him? His thoughts travelled a mile a minute and when it landed on Meg he didn't know what to say. Two girls kissing? They'd redo it; they couldn't have the same gender kissing-

He was wrong. Meg and Bela shared that first moment together all based on the idea that the boys might get one another too. Dean felt his face heating up but not enough to show yet, redness lingered just beneath his skin and ready to paint it. What if he had to kiss Jet? Or Cas? He heard his heart flutter a little, felt the strangest beating it'd ever done, and wondered just what the hell happened to him? If it landed on Jet or Cas he'd just go and kiss them, easy as that. Get it over with, finish it off without saying anything about it and leave it at that. No need for things to get weird.

Meg kissed Jet and the bottle was spinning again, Dean had mostly missed it but he caught enough to realize the first one out of the three of them to get a kiss by a girl was Jet. Figures.

Then it stopped and this time he didn't know what to say, it was on him. He looked up and reminded himself of what he'd just thought. Don't say anything, just do it and get it over with. He moved to meet Jet halfway; his friend said nothing, their eyes met briefly and Dean could've sworn he saw a hint of that grin. Jet was enjoying this, he realized as their mouths met and the boy he knew since kindergarten stole his first kiss. Dean didn't expect the warmth of it, the blush in his skin threatened to bleed through but it hadn't yet, at least he hoped not. It was short but in that small amount of time he felt Jet's tongue on his lips, just once and very lightly but it made him gasp all the same.

And then it was over. Dean moved back to his spot and grabbed the bottle, he glanced at Cas to see what his brother was thinking or what expression he'd find and was surprised. Castiel was angry, his eyes intense, his gaze turned the other way and his hands balled into fists hard enough to shake. Dean spun the bottle as he was supposed to but he couldn't stop thinking about Cas. Why was he so angry? Why was he upset like that? Maybe he didn't want to play the game, or maybe he liked someone that was already kissed?

Maybe it was Jet?

Dean didn't get the chance to think about it, the bottle stopped and he followed the line of fire to Castiel again. He had to kiss Cas too, right after Jet. The girls didn't help, they 'ooh'ed at them and giggled, he tried to ignore it. Dean decided to get it over with but as he moved in closer Castiel looked to the bottle and then up at him. His heart skipped again, that weird flutter and he nearly fell over. What was with that look? Innocent, as pure as anything that could exist on the Earth and breaking his heart. Dean didn't know if he could do it, his face flushed and he knew Cas could see it, Cas could see just about everything about him and inside him.

But he couldn't linger there staring him in the eyes, Dean moved in though a little unsure of himself. He pressed his lips to Cas' softly at first but his brother melted right into it, made it real and Dean had never felt so enticed to continue to do anything. It swarmed over his body like a sugar rush, his skin felt hot and his heart pounded in his ears. It was nothing like kissing Jet, Cas was soft and warm and so inviting, so strong. Jet was just like he'd expect someone unused to kissing to be, not to mention a bit pushy because that's just what Jet was. Cas was… his entire being seemed to leak into Dean just through the last two or three seconds of contact. It was too much, he felt his knees weaken and his arms shake. Dean didn't want the others to know what it felt like, how much he felt he might've needed it, so he pulled away.

Dean sat down again, surprised but he managed to keep his composure.

That kiss, why couldn't he forget it? Cas' mouth was so warm. Dean wanted to punch himself, Cas was his brother. He told himself that over and over again, Castiel was his brother and he would not have any of those kinds of thoughts in his head. But Cas was… Cas was so soft against him, unyielding and melding against him so easily. Like kissing an angel.

He smacked his head against the glass, quietly moaning to himself against the pain. He wouldn't do that; he couldn't put Cas in that position. He repeated this to himself over and over and over some more, but it didn't dispel the feeling. He wanted to kiss Cas again; Dean wanted to hold him a little closer. He didn't know how yet, how to love a boy that way, but he'd look it up. Even if it were just to know, not to act on but to know it. There's another thing to repeat to himself.

Dean and Sam hopped off the bus together, feeling stranger than normal without Castiel at their sides. Dean sniffled once and to his surprise caught Sam's attention, the shorter boy glancing up at his brother as if that were the most interesting thing to do. "So what do we do without Cas?"

"What do we ever do without Cas?" Dean smiled down at him and decidedly paused and waited for an answer.

Sam didn't seem to have one either so he stared intently forward until he made an attempt; "Uh… invite Jet over?"

"There's a thought but mom would have to go pick him up." Dean adjusted his bag over his shoulder as he unlocked their door and pushed it open. Sam followed in his footsteps; Dean wished he had an answer to 'what do we do without Cas.' Watch movies, play video games, do homework. The usual stuff, there was nothing new to lacking Castiel on a Friday evening. But that wasn't true; he knew that. Cas was always there.

"Hey boys," Mary called to them from down the hall, Dean had no idea what she was up to and was too busy kicking off his shoes to check. "How was school?"

"It was okay, just school." Dean answered and Sam shrugged at the same time.

The two shared a look, neither sure what to say until Sam called back to their mother, "Can we go pick Jet up?"

"What? Am I not interesting enough?" Dean scoffed at him and Sam shrugged.

"No… it's not that. I just don't get to see him that often, you always see him at school but I don't."

Dean's crinkled brow smoothed over as Sam's word sunk in, Jet wasn't just his friend. Dean shared friends with Castiel and with Sam, hell even his parents. "Sorry, I guess I forget that."

"Yeah," Sam nodded and neatly placed his shoes by the door, unlike the ones Dean had kicked to the side like a slob. "You can be pretty self centered."

"I'm not self centered!"

Mary joined them in the entrance; dust in her hair and all over her clothes, "Why not? I'm getting tired of cleaning out the broom closet, anyway."

"Why is it so messy?" Sam raised an eyebrow at her and she shrugged.

"I don't clean the room that contains the cleaning supplies, doesn't usually come to mind."

Dean rolled his eyes and shoved his feet right back into his sneakers, "Then let's go. He's definitely home by now."

He wouldn't have said he was a fan of Jet's neighbourhood, not to mention it was actually quite the walk from the school. Jet lived in the town's trailer park, living was cheap and though a bus did travel through the area he never wanted to catch it. Jet preferred the walk, Cas agreed but Dean thought a bus would've been easier.

"I want to be the only thing I have to rely on to get home." Jet had said once when the three of them walked to his place the first time. Dean wasn't pleased with how long the trip actually was, going to Jet's place for lunch wasn't at all a good use of time.

The trailers were pretty nice, considering, and each one had a small yard to take care of. Some put gardens there, some just kept it mowed and did nothing with it, and some even put up silly things like gnomes. The road to get there was pretty shit though, the landlord left the potholes as big as they were to keep drivers from going through the area any quicker than 12 miles an hour.

They finally pulled up to Jet's home; it was one of the shabbier looking places since Jet couldn't exactly do a lot of maintenance. Mary made a bit of a face at it, Dean figured she might be the one to come over and do just that. "Alright we're here, and since we are we might as well stay for a little bit." She turned the car off as Sam groaned in protest but said nothing more than that. Dean tried not to laugh.

"But Jet's here, Sam." Dean smirked at him, "Don't you want to see your boyfriend?"

"Shut up, I don't like Jet!" Sam shouted, the 9-year-old's shrill voice made Dean cringe. "You're stupid, Dean." he muttered as he climbed out of the backseat.

Dean laughed softly and followed suit, looking up to see his buddy leaning in an open doorway. "Saw we were coming?" He called out.

"Heard you," Jet responded with a nod toward the car. "So what brings you guys here?"

"Not much," Dean shut the passenger side door, "just had to bring Sam to see his favourite guy."

"Dean!" There was that shrill voice again, making Dean smile a little wider.

Jet smirked at him then gave Sam a little wave, "Nothing wrong with that, Sammy. I'm a lot of people's favourite guy."

"Like who?" Dean mocked as he walked up the front steps, Mary beside him. The two boys shared a quick fist bump; Jet didn't reply in so many words, just a wink and smile.

"Good to see you, Jet." Mary stifled a laugh at the boys as she motioned to the door, "Mind if I go inside?"

"Go ahead," Jet graciously moved out of her way and let her through. Once she was inside he looked at Dean, "Wanna stay outside?"


Sam of course tagged along with them as they wandered through the trailer court; all gravel roads with no pavement to be seen. Well, except for the trailers belonging to elderly folks who had enough money to pave their driveways. Sam liked to run through the grass and people's property, Dean and Jet let him though they kept an eye out for where he was.

"So what's on your mind?" Dean asked and glanced over at Jet's calm face. "You don't just 'stay outside' for no reason."

"Well our moms are talking so I don't wanna get in on that." He tilted his head back and rolled it a little to look at Dean lazily. "But regardless, I'm not the one with something on his mind."

Dean fumbled a little with that, "What, you think I do?"

"I've seen it on your face for a while man, since Bela's birthday party."

Dean felt his skin get a little clammy, "Oh... well you're imagining it."

"I get it if you don't want to tell me what's going on with you but at least have the balls to tell me the fucking truth." Jet spoke directly to the point, his tone a little harsh but Dean caught the ounce of pain in it.

He felt guilty; he'd have to blame Cas for the weakness of his conscience that he'd learned from him. "I didn't tell you because it's messed up, not because I don't want to tell you stuff."

Jet's expression softened slightly, Dean would also have to thank Cas for the little bit of perception he'd learned from him. "You know you can tell me anything, man. I don't care if it's messed up." He looked down at the ground and kicked a larger rock down the road. It wound up in front of Dean once they reached it so he had to kick it ahead – those were the rules of the rock-game.

Silence had fallen between them as he lost himself in thought. How could he say it out loud? I loved that kiss with my brother; I can't stop thinking about it. No, no way, not to anyway. Dean looked at Jet again and saw less of the tough exterior than he'd come to expect from the other teen. He had to remind himself sometimes that Jet could hurt too; he'd seen it before. Cas was always so attentive to that, Cas saw it more than anyone but Dean wasn't Castiel. He couldn't just sense that vulnerability in a person, especially not the toughest kid he knew.

"Sorry," Dean muttered and caught Jet's eye, "I was just trying to deal with it myself…"

"Deal with what?"

"A kiss." He knew it was vague but he could at least say that much.

Jet's brow furrowed a little, "It was just a kiss," he said a little apprehensively, Dean couldn't figure out why. His expression was unsure, more than Dean had ever seen it before, "I mean, you know, unless it was more than that to you."

And then he remembered he'd kissed everyone at the party, the game didn't end when Cas left. He'd kissed Jet that day too. "Was it more to you?" He had to ask, "I won't be offended so be honest."

Jet shrugged fairly easily, "Honestly? It was just a kiss," Dean saw him tense a little at that, Jet didn't want to hurt his feelings.

"It's okay man, you can relax." Dean laughed softly and clapped Jet on the back. "It wasn't our kiss that's freaking me out."

Jet was smart, smarter than he ever gave the guy credit for because Jet's eyes widened and he looked at Dean with some surprise, "You mean Cas?" He gawked quietly and Dean tried to turn away, Jet wouldn't let him.

"Yeah…" he didn't want to say yes but there it was, out of his mouth and in the open. "My kiss with Cas…"

"You kissed Cas?" Sam popped up in front of him like a goddamn wasp, refusing to get out of his space. His little brother's expression was alight with curiosity and surprise, "Like when mom kisses us or when mom kisses dad?"

"Neither! It was like when I kissed Cas." Dean put a hand on Sam's face and removed him from his personal area.

"That's like saying the definition of stupid is stupid, you have to give an example! Like the definition of stupid is Dean." Sam shouted after him and ran to catch up.

"Not quite but close enough," Jet laughed at them. "Seriously though, what's bugging you about it? It was just a game."

Dean felt his face heat up all over again. His body trembled slightly and he almost wanted to sit down. Kissing Cas made his knees weak. "I know it was… I just… you guys have to shut up about this, okay?"

"Of course," Jet agreed seriously, that was something Dean loved about him. Jet was always so loyal.

Dean looked at Sam who pouted a little but sighed and nodded, "Alright, fine."

Dean took a slow breath and exhaled just as cautiously, "I… I liked it."

"I like Cas too." Sam blurted out, not quite getting it.

Jet nodded and was quiet, thinking as he usually did before saying anything to something that serious. It meant a lot to Dean, he wasn't just going to react without considering what he'd say first. It wasn't always like that, sometimes Jet didn't notice how important something was to someone else, but when he did he was nicer about it (if it was Dean or Cas anyway). "So you want to kiss him again?"

"I do." Dean ran his hand over his face and through his hair, "I don't want to but I want to."

"He's your brother." Jet pointed out to him like he'd done to himself over and over and over since the party.

"I know."

"You've already thought about that, okay then how about this; imagine fucking with him." Jet didn't skip a beat and Sam stared at them in surprised silence.

Dean wasn't sure what to say to that, "I just wanted to kiss him, I don't want to-"

"Then kiss him. If it's as easy as kissing him then you can do it, you're brothers. You can kiss your brother, man. But if it's more than kissing him then you should think what the next step would look like. If you can't do that then it's probably just a stupid kiss thing, don't worry about it." He made it sound so easy and Dean hated him a little for it.

"Think so?"

"Yeah, but I could be wrong." Jet stopped at the edge of the trailer park and leant against a guardrail set up to stop kids from falling into the steep ditch on either side.

Dean stopped beside him and nodded, "Well maybe you're right, could just be because it was one of my first kisses."

Jet also nodded but didn't respond, like it were half hearted or something. Jet was his first kiss, if Dean was going to feel that way about a first kiss then he should've been chasing Jet like that. Cas' kiss was something else.

"Maybe I should kiss him too," Jet joked, "see what all the fuss is about."

"Funny." Dean mumbled humourlessly. Part of him didn't want anyone else to ever get that experience. Meg could've been kissing Cas right at that moment, he'd never know.

Sam stared at them, Dean more specifically, "Oh my god." He said breathlessly, "You like Cas like that?"

Dean frowned immediately, "You said you wouldn't say anything, Sam."

"I didn't promise I wouldn't! You like Cas! But that's like liking me, I'm your brother too!"

"Sam," Jet said calmly, a tone of voice Dean knew was used to gently warn you. "You said you wouldn't talk about it, saying 'I promise' isn't the only way to promise."

"But he-"

"Dean trusted you, don't do that to him." Jet smiled and tilted his head down to look at Sam without looking down his nose, "But you didn't expect what he said to be so crazy, right? Kinda not fair, can I buy your silence?" Dean had to give Jet some credit; he knew how to deal with bratty little brothers.

Sam looked down at his shoes then up at Dean, he understood what Dean was saying, the weight of it and even possibly what could happen if he said anything. Sam was smarter than Dean realized too, maybe he had to start assuming everyone was because he was finding that out a lot lately. "I won't say… but you could give me something anyway." He grinned at Jet and Dean could've laughed.

"Thank you," Jet bowed his head gratefully, a mock gesture they all knew. "Whatever you want Sammy, let me know."

"C'mere and close your eyes," Sam demanded and Jet listened, kneeling down in front of Sam and patiently closed his eyes. Dean watched with raised eyebrows and a half smirk on his face, he wasn't sure what Sam was going to do at first but seeing the bashful look on his face told him enough. Sam leaned forward, stopped, hesitated, and chickened out. He kissed Jet's cheek instead and backed away. "Okay." He said quietly before running back toward Jet's home.

The taller boy stood up again, a little shocked as he looked at Dean. "He just-"

"Yep." Dean snorted out a laugh and covered his mouth, "Sammy's got a crush I think."

Jet shook his head and followed after, his shoulders shaking as he tried to hold in a snicker, "Poor kid, he can do better."

"I know, what a waste." Dean grinned and received a playful punch in the shoulder.

"Shut up."

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