Cross To Bear

13 Years-Old: Requited Crush

"No shit?" Jet leaned over a railing looking down at the older Winchester boys; he and Sam had gone up half a level and looked them over a short balcony. They were in the mall and some of the staircases were parted by a short platform for the case to change direction. Cas didn't know why, he wasn't an architect but it was there and Sam was dangling from it.

"No shit," Dean replied with a smirk and looked over at Cas who shrugged.

"I knew you had super powers," Sam was so calm about it, even when they told him the few days before. Jet heard at the same time but he remained in disbelief longer than anyone. He always tried his best to explain things the way he knew how, even if he didn't actually have the means to explain it properly.

"I still can't believe it." Jet shook his head, "I mean that's wicked cool, man. You can tell what I'm feeling? Can you read my mind?"

"I can't read minds, but I get the gist from your emotional and spiritual state." Cas felt like he was getting better at talking about it, like it was a semi-normal occurrence.

"What am I feeling now?"

"Doubt."

Jet scrunched up his nose, "I told you that, that doesn't count. Something else."

Cas furrowed his brow a little, just enough to pinch his skin to get a crease, "I don't like digging in your heads, it's very personal and intimate. Dean's is the only one I can see freely." He felt fire in his cheeks, he hadn't meant to really share that much. Dean's ears turned red and both Sam and Jet shared a look, "I don't know why that is, it just is." Cas quickly covered and cleared his throat, "Anyway…" he tried to reach a little deeper in Jet's surface. "Amusement, you're amused at… Dean?"

"That's enough of that," Jet pushed himself up on the railing and flipped over it, landing on their level. "It's a Friday and it's a long weekend, we should enjoy our day off." Sam hopped down to join them as they started walking.

"So you said Meg was like you too, right?" Dean looked at Cas as they passed the center of the mall, a large fountain spraying into the air like a geyser nearby.

"Yeah," his eyes were on the water as it shot into the air for a bit before dropping back down to resting position, "But don't spread that around, she didn't really give me permission to share."

"Pfft, so what?" Jet scoffed loudly over his shoulder at them without actually turning around, "She gossips about all of us all the damn time, why should we be nice?"

"For one, she's friends with Bela, don't you like her?" Dean raised an eyebrow in amusement at his friend's shrugging shoulders.

"More or less I guess, she's pretty but we don't really get along. You know that, man." Jet glanced back at them this time, "She's always after something, can't say I trust her enough to go on a date."

Cas laughed softly at him, "It's not like she's going to eat you alive, you know. I thought you wanted to date her, what happened?"

"Meh," Jet scrunched up his face a bit on the left side, almost in disgust of the idea. "Like I said, she's pretty cute but we don't match. The only reason I consider it is because it's kind of becoming the thing. People like each other, going on dates, whatever. She's the popular girl in class and I'm one of the popular guys so it'd make sense but I don't want to."

"No one says you have to, you know." Dean shoved his shoulder playfully.

"Duh, that's why I'm not." Jet shoved back.

"Dating's stupid anyway." Sam muttered, his lips pursed together in an almost-pout.

"Oh?" Jet smirked and leaned down closer to Sam's level, "So I guess you'd never wanna date me, huh? Since it's stupid?"

Sam blinked in surprise and looked up at the taller boy, unsure of what to say, he was out of words for a few seconds until he frowned and looked forward again, "I wouldn't wanna date you because you're stupid."

"Ouch." Jet couldn't push his grin down if he tried, "Alright, I'll try again in a few years when I'm smarter." He messed up Sam's hair, the little Winchester frowning harder despite the blush on his cheeks.

The four of them walked into the food court, Dean and Jet both breathed in the air like it were an amazing place. Cas sniffed once and smiled a bit, it was the smell of greasy food and everything that's bad for you all in one place. He looked around at many familiar faces, lots of people from school were hanging at the mall, it was kind of like a bigger version of their lunchroom.

"Cas," Meg slung an arm around his shoulders, giving him a bit of a start. "Fancy seeing you here."

"Hey," he laughed a little nervously, he hadn't sensed her coming. "You here with the others?"

"Yeah, it's a shopping day." She made a face at that but didn't let her girls see it.

"Hey Dean," Lisa walked up close to Dean, leaning in a little and making Cas' blood boil.

"Uh, hi Lisa." Dean smiled awkwardly, a bit of colour flushed into his cheeks, "How's it going?"

Get away from him. Cas pushed the thought aside, it was silly to get mad over something as stupid as Dean's personal space. Instead he decided talking to Meg was a bit more important, "Can I ask you something? In private?" He turned to her and she nodded, she was smart so he expected she had an idea of what he was about to ask.

"Ooh," Bela grinned t them, "I thought nothing happened here?"

"It didn't," Cas assured her casually and walked away with Meg. Dean and the others had no qualms with it, they knew enough to know that Meg was like him in some ways. "How often do you sleep?"

"Straight to asking, I see." Meg folded her arms over her chest, "Depends, how often do you sleep?"

"Less and less," Cas sighed, "I know it's stupid to worry about it but I get about 5 hours a night if I'm lucky."

"You don't need to sleep, do you?"

How'd she know? He shook his head, "Not really, those 5 hours is pushing it. Seriously, does this happen to you too?"

"I don't sleep at all." She said it so naturally it seemed like he should just nod his head and say 'whatever' or something equally as disinterested.

"At all?" He stared at her in disbelief, "Not even a little? Like two hours or something?"

"Nope, never. Stopped sleeping last year some time." She shook her hair, long dark strands drifted around her face like a super model. He wondered why she didn't go after someone else, she was very pretty and charming in her own way. But that wasn't the point right that second.

"Did it just happen or…?"

"Nope again, it was gradual, just like yours." Meg paused; her lips pursed a little crookedly as she regarded him thoughtfully, "But if you're down to five a night that fast then I have to say I'm impressed. I knew girls matured earlier but I didn't know guys did it so suddenly."

Cas frowned at her, "I doubt I'm the right person to use as your basis for all other guys. Regardless, what the hell does it mean? Why can't we sleep? And can you… did you ever do things like I do?"

"You mean break tables? No." She raised an eyebrow at him and he looked away.

"I'm sorry about that… I thought you were okay with it…"

"I am," she punched his shoulder and he flinched from it, playful or otherwise it was pretty hard. "You gotta learn to relax, Cas. But anyway, still no. I haven't showed any signs of glowy super strength."

"Or healing?"

Meg froze up again; he wished he could read her in moments like that. He could feel a little, what she missed when covering herself up and it was odd to see. But none of it was telling, nothing to explain to him what she was thinking or feeling when she stopped like that. "You heal things?" She was hesitant.

"People, I did it by accident at the hospital the other day." He lifted his hands a little, "I glow like I did at the restaurant, where I touch them there's light and then they're fine. And this time it wasn't like a wound or bruise, it was a sickness. There was a baby that was dying and now he's not, I don't know how I did it or if I could ever do it again." He remembered Dean and pushed the image from his mind, healing a sickness wasn't as impressive as it turned out.

She thought the same, he could see it on her face but she'd learned from last time that mentioning it was definitely something to avoid. "Then why worry about it? You can't control what's happening to you so just deal with it when it happens."

"But I don't know what's going to happen! Could you give me a clue, at least?"

Meg shook her head, "I can't give you anything, Cas. You're different than me, I don't have any clues as to what's going to happen to you." She started back toward her friends, "C'mon, we shouldn't be away too long."

He watched her walk away and sighed, he'd have to handle most of it on his own, apparently. That was okay, he decided quickly and followed after her, she wouldn't be Meg if she rolled over and gave him answers. Besides, he wasn't alone in this anymore. His family knew, his friends knew, he could at least exist normally in their world.


Later in the day Castiel sat alone with Dean, the girls had left them nearly as soon as they'd bumped into them and Sam insisted that someone take him to the HMV to look at something. Dean and Cas happily remained on the bench like loser brothers until Jet finally gave in to Sam's nagging. Both grinned as Sam stuck his tongue at them while he walked away, Jet also gave them a look that meant vengeance was coming in some shape or form.

"Never gets old," Dean laughed softly and slumped back.

"He'll eventually find out we have good intentions."

Dean snorted at him, "Maybe you do."

"True enough." Cas looked at Dean who was much lower than him due to poor posture, "Hey Dean? Can I ask you something?"

"What's up?"

"If something weird happens around me… will you still be there?"

Dean glanced up at him before pushing himself upright again, "What do you mean? Like what?"

"I don't know, just anything strange. I might end up…. I mean I was thinking about it before but I don't know what's going to happen. If I end up being crazy, like Mr. Caplan or… or grandpa, will you still care about me?" He looked down at his feet as he spoke, eyes shifting toward Dean every now and then.

His brother was quiet for a bit but it wasn't an uncomfortable kind of silence, Cas could feel Dean's presence and nothing about it was unpleasant. He was gentle, sweet and meant the best for him. "Cas, if you're dangerous like them I'll find a way to stop you because I know you'd never want to do that, I'll never stop caring about you. If you're terrifying to be next to and have a face like they did I'll still be there. We're family, we're best friends, I'll always be there." He stated like it was a given fact of life and for that Castiel was grateful. Dean reached around and pulled him into a strong hug, Cas melted into it and sighed lightly.

It was warm, Dean's arms were strong and he thought maybe he could stay there forever. They used the same shampoo but it smelled better on Dean, he' decided a long time ago. Cas wished he could bury into Dean and remain there, safe and unchanged. But that wasn't possible; he leaned back from the hug and smiled at his brother. "You're amazing, Dean."

"I'm just a guy, you're the one that's changing everything." He could've sworn he saw a blush in Dean's cheeks. Dean was blushing; Cas' eyes widened a little. Why? Why was Dean's face red like that?

Just once, he could dig a little deeper inside Dean just once and see what was going on. Cas bit his lower lip and took a glance, breaking his own decision as easily as he'd made it the first time. It'd been a while since he'd seen Dean that way; his soul was as bright as ever. Every time Cas saw it he saw a new part of Dean, a new piece of his being and became more attached than ever before. Each time he felt closer to Dean, Cas wondered if that's what it felt like to be on drugs but that was the last time he wanted to compare the two.

Dean's mind was focused on one thing, his feelings and thoughts all funnelled toward Castiel. All at once, in one sitting and one look Cas got a full view of what was going on with his brother; Dean liked him. Dean had the same reaction to the kiss that he had, maybe stronger.

Cas couldn't look at anything more than that; he could hardly believe what he'd seen let alone getting anything more from it. His heart raced as the thought settled in his mind, staring at Dean's face as the other teen looked down the mall walkways for Sam and Jet to return. Part of him realized he could do it again, he could kiss Dean again and it'd be the same magically, exciting thing it had been the first time. He could get what he wanted if he tried hard enough. But should he? It reminded him of the movie Jurassic Park, spending so much time trying to figure out if he could do it he never put any thought toward whether or not he should.

'He's my brother. He's not sure of anything; he's just as confused as he is crushing on me. It wouldn't be fair, I can't do anything, I shouldn't do anything.' He told himself sternly and looked down at his hands, "People don't have to change the world to be amazing." He whispered and felt the little rush in Dean's mind as he spoke.

It was okay. Cas nodded to himself before looking up at Dean's smiling face. Dean's feelings for him might fade, they might not, but Cas wasn't sure now was the time to do anything about it. He wasn't even sure he wanted it; he already knew that he was messed up for thinking in the first place. But Dean? He couldn't see Dean as some kind of mentally sick person, someone with romantic feelings for his family. It wasn't in Dean; Cas didn't want to put it there either.

Part of him wanted to relax about it, people who love their family that way aren't all sick, some of them are born with a preference and family suited their needs. It was okay. He was one of those people, someone who had a type and a spiritual connection to another man who just happened to be his brother. Cas could accept that about himself, he could love that part of himself but he didn't want Dean to be like that. It was a conflict of interest and made no sense to him but he made his decision based on that concept. He'd leave it alone for now, Dean didn't know he knew and so they'd never have to have that conversation. He wouldn't ruin anything between them, or Dean, and everything could be normal.

While Cas was settled on this idea, he couldn't help but feel better. Knowing Dean liked him too was a relief and made him happier than he could explain.

"So we got this," Jet lifted up a Harry Potter poster with a half smirk on the side of his mouth that Sam couldn't see.

"I'm gonna hang it on my wall." Sam grinned happily and Dean had to fight the urge to call his little brother a nerd. The pause was about five seconds long before he failed to do so but Sam took it in good humour.

"Looks great, Sammy." Cas smiled at it, "I'll help put it up."

"Thank you, Cas." Sam said dramatically, "At least one of my brothers isn't a jerk."

"Be nicer to Cas, he's going through some stuff." Dean joked and Sam punched him in the leg, twice for good measure.


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