When Balthazar rolled onto the farm in a fresh from the factory Mercedes and ripped Cas up in his arms as soon as he saw him, his hands way to low on the other man’s hips for Dean’s liking, he knew he hated the guy's guts.
“Hey, Cassie. How have you been? And why on earth are you here on this hellhole of a farm and not on your own?”
Everything that came out of Balthazar’s mouth made Dean hate him even more.
“I’m getting work done on my house, and it’s taking longer than I had thought,” Cas answered and Dean didn’t fail to observe how Cas didn’t contradict Balthazar about the farm on which Dean had been absolutely happy right until now, being called a hellhole.
“Well, it’s not as if it will matter much anyway,” Balthazar said and Dean frowned at the familiar gesture of a hand sneaking around Cas’ waist as if Balthazar had done it a thousand times before. Maybe he had, it’s not as if they had ever talked about earlier relationships.
“Why won’t it matter?” Sam asked now, having come out to greet the new arrival himself, and once Dean got over the jealousy pooling inside him for a second, he asked himself the same question.
“Well, because Cassie will come back with me. I’ve started a business and he’s gonna be my partner in it.”
“It’s not decided, Balthazar. I know we talked about that, but it’s not as if I said anything definite,” Cas mumbled uncomfortably.
“Ah, but it’s always been your dream, Cassie,” Balthazar smiled and Dean thought if he’d have to hear Cas being called Cassie one more time, he’d start throwing punches.
“What kind of business?” he asked, barely able to hold it together.
“Balthazar and I talked about opening a store in college whenever everything got too much and it seemed like the easier way to go than go with our families’ plans. I’ve always wanted to open a coffee house and Balthazar said he’d want a bookstore.”
“And now we can have both,” Balthazar announced and showed them a picture of a store he had bought. “Cas is gonna be able to do his coffee thing and there is gonna be a part with books as well, and I was thinking what’s coffee without cake? So we’ll be going into that as well.”
“Balth, I didn’t say yes. It was just an idea and I-”
“Ah, Cassie. You know you don’t want to be stuck out here for much longer. And this is what you’ve always wanted. Now we can make it come true.”
“Well, we’d better leave you to it,” Dean said with pure acid in his voice. “Cas can get you settled in the cottage and it sounds like you have a lot to talk about.”
Dean stalked off to the horses then, only hearing Balthazar say at his back: “Typical sourly farmer, isn’t he Cassie?”
He didn’t stick around to hear Cas’ reply, and he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to hear it anyway.
Balthazar’s presence poisoned everything, or at least Dean thought so. He said he’d be here a whole week, and Dean feared that it was gonna be the longest seven days of his entire life.
“Hey,” he greeted Cas when he came into their old room in the main house again on the evening of Balthazar's first day here. “Care to share what Balthazar was on about?” Dean had worked for the entire rest of the day and Balthazar hadn’t joined them at dinner because it was too early for him apparently.
“It’s just one of his plans,” Cas shrugged and undressed. “He’s made a lot of plans over the years and it never came to much. I guess he’ll forget about it sooner or later.”
“But is that really something you want to do?”
“It was always a dream of mine,” Cas shrugged as if it mattered nothing.
“And now that you have the possibility of fulfilling it and you’re not gonna take the offer? Why?”
“Dreams change,” Cas rasped and when his lips found Dean’s there was no more talk for the night.
In the morning they needed all hands on deck for the harvest and while Sam, Dean, Cas and Bobby were out there they could forget about Balthazar’s bothersome presence.
They celebrated loudly once everything was harvested and Dean ripped Cas up and gave him a big kiss for everyone to see. “Do you actually know that you saw the entire process of this? You came here when we sowed and now we’re bringing it in and you’re still here,” Dean said with a moved expression and pulled Cas close again, their hats falling off somewhere.
He felt like it was the next perfect moment and was just about to tell Cas he loved him, when he heard a sonorous voice behind them.
“Why are you lot all shouting?”
“Balth!” Cas said happily and darted over, hugging him and telling him how amazing it was that they had just brought in the harvest. Dean’s arms suddenly felt cold and he wondered if Balthazar knew what he had just interrupted as Sammy pulled Dean into one of his bonecrushing hugs and thanked him for coming out here and helping him build the place up.
“You’re welcome, Sammy,” Dean asked, one tear rolling down his cheek which he didn’t know where it came from as he pulled Bobby close too.
He tried to avoid Balthazar as much as possible, and that meant to avoid Cas by proxy because he hung around with the schmuck most of his free time now and that was cool, Dean told himself. They were old friends and hadn’t seen each other for a while, there was nothing more to this.
Dean tried to ignore the sickening familiarity between them and not to punch the guy square in the face whenever he so much as looked at Cas. But Balthazar didn’t leave it at that. He flirted and touched Cas all the time, like there was nothing for it.
Dean hated him and Sam asked their mother to bring him an extra pair of ear plugs and big headphones because Dean never let Cas sleep without wiping him out completely.
He fucked him very hard, at least two times before bed until Cas came screaming his name and was barely able to hold his eyes open, sighing contently and praising Dean for the best way he’d ever been fucked in his life. Dean felt pride at hearing Cas say that as he pulled out and clung to the body and soul he claimed as his every night. He didn’t give a shit about Sam hearing what they did, the only thing that mattered to him was to wreck Cas for everybody else so that he’d not leave him.
But it didn’t matter. When they got up to breakfast and he saw him smile at Cas, he felt like if he blasted Balthazar all the way behind Pluto then he’d still be too close to him.
After the week was out, Dean was informed by Balthazar himself that he wanted to stay a bit longer.
“Me and Cassie still have so much to talk about. Would you mind if I took him out to dinner tonight?”
“I can’t say. You gotta ask Cas about that.”
“Of course, I only wanted to know if I’m treading on anyone’s toes here.”
“You don’t,” Dean said, his voice as ice cold as his insides. Balthazar couldn’t be that stupid. He knew that there were only two working bedrooms in the main house and that Cas disappeared into it every night, so either he was sleeping in one room with Sam, or with Dean.
Any idiot would see that Cas was all touchy feely with him and not his brother, so what was Balthazar’s agenda here? Did he purposefully ignore that Cas was with him, or did he really not see it? Had Cas said anything about Dean to him?
“Good. Can you then recommend me something that you country people could mistake for fancy dining around here?”
“You mean, who makes the best food in town? I guess you could try the hotel. It’s fancier than the bar or the diner.”
“Thank you,” Balthazar said pompously and walked off, doubtless to find Cas and ask him out for tonight.
“So, Balthazar suggested we go into town tonight. Wanna come with?” Cas was once again watching Dean work with a horse, one that had been skittish from the get go and Dean wasn’t sure if it was ever gonna be able to work with cattle.
“Pass. I’m not gonna sit around while you’re on a date,” he said, trying to stay calm for the horse’s sake.
“It’s not a date, Dean. And I want you and Balthazar to get along better. I thought the ice was broken between you too when you talked to him about that.”
“I don’t think it will.”
“You know, Dean? Sometimes I really can’t understand you. I met all your friends and family. You made sure of that. But you block when I bring one friend over?”
“Yeah, well. My friends don’t want in my pants and parade it in front of your nose, do they?”
“For the last time, Balthazar doesn’t want in my pants!” Cas grew loud, saying what he always said when Dean brought his observations about Balthazar up. The horse startled by the loud voices, bucked up and threw Dean.
“Shit, oh shit,” Cas climbed into the training round and ran over.
“Get out,” Dean shouted, already back on his feet again, trying to calm the stomping animal so that it wouldn’t hurt Cas. “And thanks very much! I gotta start all over because you felt the need to shout at me. Go on your fucking date and leave me the fuck alone!”
Dean didn’t check if Cas was still there, only looking around when he had calmed the colt down again and Cas was already gone.
Dean didn’t think much of both their behavior today, he knew he was gonna lose Cas if they carried on like that, so he stayed up, wanting to wait up for him to talk about what had happened today, his butt stinging whenever he tried to sit down.
He paced the house instead of waiting up in bed, hours after Sam had went to sleep and then finally he heard Balthazar’s engine revvy over at the carport.
He waited for another half-hour for Cas to come to him, but when he didn’t, he stomped over to the cottage and ripped the door open.
Cas was happy and relaxed, sitting on the couch that Dean had fixed up for the both of them, and Balthazar just poured him another glass of wine.
“You don’t understand, Cassie,“ he finished what they were saying before even taking notice of Dean. “Everything is existentialist with Nietzsche. Wouldn’t you agree, Dean?” he now found Dean’s eyes with a sly expression, certain that Dean wouldn’t have a great answer.
Cas obviously thought so too, because he already pitched in for Dean: “Balthazar, stop teasing him.”
After that, he said something else about Nietzsche’s philosophy as if Dean’s angry pose and heaving breaths didn’t have any meaning at all.
He didn’t know what was worse, the fact that they weren’t even fazed by the way he had barged in here or the way they were completely ignoring him now. Maybe they weren’t really, in their eyes Dean was a caveman with no manners anyway, he thought bitterly. But what really killed him was that Cas didn’t even give him a chance to reply because he thought that the conversation was way above Dean’s pay grade anyway.
He backed out of the cottage before he felt more like an idiot, all fight and anger leaving him because he knew when he fought a lost battle.
“Dean?” Cas came up behind him before he had gone ten steps.
“What?” Dean asked unwillingly and quieter than he had even thought his mind was, now that it was cleared.
“What’s going on with you?” Cas asked, completely astounded at Dean’s defeated voice. “Normally you’d snap when you are as angry as you were right now. You’d shove me against a wall and claim me.”
“So are you disappointed that I won’t breed you like a savage now?” Dean asked, without any heat in his voice. To be honest, he thought his voice sounded nothing short of dead just now. “Guess I’m just tired of doing that. And I shouldn’t have to do it. Because I think I’m in love with you and if you’d feel something to, you wouldn’t be hanging around with that schmuck all the time.” There, he’d said it and it was nothing like he had planned. This wasn’t a perfect moment and he somehow doubted he’d have one with Cas again after today.
Cas ripped open his eyes at Dean‘s words but was too angry to reply anything but: “How many times do I have to tell you? We’re just friends.”
“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.”
“I can’t tell you how wrong you are about this. You should really talk to him, he’s very clever and sophisticated. If you would be friendly to him you could really profit from it.”
“Yeah, because I’m just a dumb farm boy and need social training to be acceptable for someone who doesn’t spend their days in the shearing quarters, right?”
“Don’t say that. You are smart…;” Cas thought about it for a while and then added: “In your own way.”
“And what does that mean?”
“Just that you could use some manners and that you mostly talk about the farm.”
This wasn‘t at all what Dean wanted to hear and this conversation went further downhill the longer it lasted.
“About what else would you like to talk? Philosophy? The newest high class literature? The latest episode of Game of Thrones? You‘ve just shown that you don‘t think I have a valid opinion about any of that when you patronized me like that in there.”
“I didn’t,” Cas said with a surprised expression.
“Oh you absolutely did. You went over me as if I couldn’t answer Balthazar’s question anyway. Don’t pretend that you didn’t.”
“I guess, I did. But I was just trying to protect you.”
“No, you weren’t. You just assumed that I didn’t know anything about it anyway.”
“That’s it, though,” Cas said enraged at Dean‘s complete passiveness. “That’s how you make me feel every day. You’re so good at farming and at everything around here and I always feel like I can’t ever learn all you know about it. I would maybe like to talk about something where I can prove that I know stuff too. Just different from what you do every day and are naturally good at. But you have a way of making my wishes and thoughts sound profane in comparison to your concerns.”
“That’s because they are. I have a farm to run and I’m not gonna apologize if that is top of my priorities list right now. Obviously we could talk about all of that, if I had gotten to know you at all until now. Right now the way I see it, the only thing we have in common is that we both are working in the same line a’ business. Excuse me if I thought that might be a good conversation ground until I know everything there’s to know about you and you’d show genuine interest in learning more about farming.”
“I’m sorry,” Cas said, the heat leaving his voice at Dean explaining his view. “I thought you were looking down on me.”
“And your way of dealing with that is by wanting to make me feel inadequate, by once again assuming that I’m dumb and can’t spend a whole night debating Nietzsche over a glass of wine? Tell you what, Cas. I damn well could! If I didn’t have to get up to fix troughs in the morning, or if there wasn’t this auction we wanted to go to and check for livestock with our earnings from the corn harvest. So excuse me if I don‘t have time to discuss this fascinating topic any longer or god forbid apologize to you for snapping this evening. Which I don‘t even have to do, because it was your fault that the horse threw me. I‘m not waiting up for you, waiting for you to come back to me when you‘d rather hang out with that asshole anyway. Good night,” he walked off and left Cas behind.
When Cas came to bed later, it was the first time they shared a bed but didn’t sleep together and Dean hated it. He stayed awake the whole night, and if Cas’ wriggling and sighing was anything to go by, he wasn’t much better off himself.