“So?” Dean spreads his arms. “Look how handsome I look.”
“That is a woman’s leather jacket, Dean,” Cas informs him.
“This jacket has clean lines,” Dean points out, “and pockets that won’t quit.”
“And room for your hips,” Victor says.
“And when I wear it I feel hot to trot.”
“Okay, do not say hot to trot,” Benny says.
“My coat makes me say things like that!” Dean exclaims, his face jubilant.
“First of all, it’s not your coat,” Victor says, brandishing the package it had come in that morning.
“True, it may have been delivered to the wrong address,” Dean says, “but then tell me… why does it fit like a damn glove?”
He moonwalks very poorly across the floor; the rest of the loft watches him with judgmental grimaces.
“It’s someone else’s woman’s coat,” Cas says slowly.
“Are we going to the bar tonight?” Cas asks, sitting down on the edge of Dean’s bed as he tries on shirts.
“You can’t come, Cas,” Dean says.
Dean sighs, sits down, and puts his hand on Cas’s shoulder.
“Cas,” he says. “You’re my cooler.”
“Remember when you told those girls at the bar that I hadn’t washed my sweatshirt in eight weeks?”
“And what about that time you started talking about medieval torture machines and the chick I was hitting on got sick and had to go home?”
“That was one time—”
“Well, how about all the guys you’ve scared away by telling them I’m, in your words, a sleep humper.”
“I was just warning them,” Cas says, snippy. “Don’t think I’ve forgotten that night you and I fell asleep on the couch. You violated my leg.”
“Point is, Cas,” Dean says, shrugging on a shirt and pulling the leather jacket on over it. “You’re my cooler. And I actually want to have sex tonight.”
Cas gets up, sticks his chin in the air, and leaves.
“Good luck having sex with anyone wearing that woman’s leather jacket!” he yells over his shoulder.
Dean has successfully convinced Lisa to leave the bar and join him for a drink in the booth (score one for the leather jacket; he makes a mental reminder to gloat to Cas later) and despite Benny’s best efforts, she actually seems to be into him.
“I’m really into sad guys,” she says, resting her hand on her perfectly smooth cheek. “And you seem sadder than most. Do you look into the mirror in the morning and think ‘I am the absolute worst?’”
“I do, actually,” Dean says.
“Do you hate yourself?” Lisa asks.
“I definitely don’t like myself,” Dean answers truthfully. “It’s right on the line of hate.”
Lisa edges closer to him and smiles, all teeth.
“There’s something sexy about a man who needs me to take care of him,” she purrs.
“I honestly need you to take care of me.”
“Dean! Your phone is ringing!” Benny says, pressing it up against Dean’s face.
“No, it’s not.”
“Hey Cas. Dean, it’s Cas.”
“Benny, please don’t do this—”
“It’s Cas, Dean!”
“God, fine!” Dean grabs the phone and glares at Benny, who looks smug. “Cas, this better be so, so important.”
“Dean?” Cas sounds totally panicked. “There’s something at the door. You have to come home.”
“Cooler, Cas. You’re being a cooler!”
“Dean, I wouldn’t call unless it was important, you know I am perfectly capable of defending myself, but I need backup—”
“Cas, I just—”
“Dean,” Cas sounds very, very small. “I need you.”
Dean sighs. Looks at Lisa. Sighs again. Looks at his phone. Brings it to his ear.
“I’ll be there in five.”
Dean, Lisa, Benny, Victor, and Jo all stumble into the loft as Dean says, “This is the loft, that’s the kitchen, here’s the living space…”
There’s an unbelievably high-pitched battle cry as Cas flies into the room, brandishing a bat that has what looks like silverware duct taped to it. Everyone else screams in horror until Cas drops the bat, looking relieved.
“What’re you doin’, buddy?” Dean asks gently as Cas rushes over and flings his arms around Dean and Lisa’s necks.
“Never leave me alone again,” he mumbles into Dean’s collar.
“I’d like to introduce you to our… Cas,” Dean says.
“Welcome to our home,” Cas says.
“Cas, you have to listen to me,” Dean says under his breath. “That girl out there? For whatever reason, she is sexually aroused by other people’s misery. Do you realize the position that puts me in?”
“It puts you in a really good position,” Cas agrees, nodding his head.
“It really does. And then what happens…?”
“All right,” Cas says. “I understand how in this circumstance I might be considered a cooler. But I am prepared to fix it. Because brother,” he places his hand on Dean’s shoulder. Dean quirks an eyebrow. “I’m gonna get you LAID.”
Cas turns and strides out of the room. Dean follows, whining, “Okay, that’s not how it is, and never call me brother, and don’t talk like that—”
Three-fourths of a game of True American later, Dean is almost completely sure he’s convinced Lisa that he’s sad enough to have pity-sex with. The fact that he’s now only wearing the leather jacket and a pair of boxers with clowns on them (a gag gift for Sam that was mailed back to him with an angry letter) is probably helping. At least it would be, if Benny wasn’t following them all over the place, flexing his muscles and being way hairier and studlier than Dean is.
“Hey, Benny!” Cas shouts from the couch. His shirt has been discarded, as well as his pants; he’s clothed only in his blue tie and a pair of sweatpants that Dean is pretty sure came from his closet.
“Your butt just violated that Hawley-Smoot Tarrif Act! Westward ho, my friend. Westward ho.”
“Damn it,” Benny says, hopping off the ottoman.
Dean flashes Cas a thumbs up.
“You just have to learn how to talk to women,” Jo says to Victor. “What’s the big deal? Come on. Pretend we’re at the bar.” She pushes up her chest. “I’m Lisa, okay?” She puffs out her lips. “Oh, boy, I’m sure thirsty.”
“I was, uh,” Victor says. “Wondrin’, if you know, perchance—”
“Perchance?” Jo deadpans.
“No, I, uh— you’re a swell kinda… girl…”
“Hey, girl, what your name is?”
Jo stares at him.
“What that thang do?”
“Please stop,” Jo says.
“You know, the uh… the gal— of all the gin joints in the—”
“Oh my god,” Jo says. “You’re actually hopeless. You need more whiskey.”
Victor downs a gulp of whiskey, then says with straight face, “Okay, I think you’re amazing, would you like to have a drink with me?”
A smile begins to grow on Jo’s face.
“Yes,” she says. “Yes, I will.”
Lisa, Benny, Cas, and Dean are sitting in a square in the living room, devoid of almost all their clothing and far too drunk for the level of gameplay at which they are currently.
“Take off the coat,” Benny says. “It’s an unfair advantage.”
“Never,” Dean says.
“Take off the coat!” Benny lunges at him, and they tussle, until Cas literally inserts himself in between them.
“Hey! No!” He points at both of them until they stop trying to kill each other. “There’s only one way to solve this.” He points at the door, his hand wobbly. “Two of us have to go behind the Iron Curtain which is that door there and kiss,” he slurs, “and there must be a clear and present threat of tongue.”
“This is why I voted for you,” Dean smiles, dopey and drunk.
“Ready?” Cas says. “On three, present your number.”
“Do two,” Dean says to Lisa.
“No, do three,” Benny tells her.
“Three?” Lisa repeats, fuzzy.
“No, two,” Dean says.
“Three,” Benny insists. “Or four, anything but two.”
“One, two, three, go!” Cas shouts, and slaps his forehead with two fingers.
Benny has thrown up three. Lisa has four fingers on her forehead and Dean, who has two, groans, “You were supposed to do two!”
“I thought you said three!”
“No, I said two!”
“Oh my god,” Benny says, staring at Dean and Cas.
Dean and Cas turn to look at each other, and slowly, their eyes rise to the fingers on the other’s forehead.
“You two,” Benny says, “both have two.”
“Fuck,” Dean and Cas say together.
“Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss!”
The door slides shut as Dean screams, “Lisa, wait for me, I’m very sad!”
Cas is standing in the middle of the room, fiddling with his tie. Dean squints at him.
“I can see,” Cas says slowly, “how in this second instance… I also might be… considered a cooler.”
“Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss!”
“We did it!” Dean shouts. “Let us out! I texted you a picture!”
“That’s not a kiss!” Victor shouts from outside. “Cheek doesn’t count!
The chants start up again.
“Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss!”
Dean is trying to pry open the door with a crowbar from a crouched position on the floor.
“What is the big deal?” Cas says from where he’s leaning up against the wall. “Let’s just suck it up and,” he air quotes with his fingers, “french a little.”
“Okay,” Dean sighs, “but don’t say suck it up and french a little with air quotes like that.”
Cas strides over and crouches down just as Dean is standing, leaving Cas level with Dean’s crotch. Cas quickly stumbles to his feet as Dean sputters.
“What were you doing—”
“I thought we were— on the floor, I just—”
“Okay,” Dean holds his hands out. “This is not a big deal. Let’s just kiss. Let’s do this.”
“Okay,” Cas says, setting his feet shoulder length apart and bouncing slightly. “Okay, let’s kiss.”
“Okay,” Dean says.
“Okay, fine, kiss me!”
Dean grabs Cas’s face.
“Why are you licking your lips?” Cas asks.
“I’m just— do you want dry lips?”
“Then I’m just licking them to— you know? Okay?”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
“Ready?” Dean says. “Three… two… actually no, I’m not gonna do a countdown, that’s now how I do things. Okay.”
“Okay,” Cas says, bracing himself.
“Don’t—” Dean huffs a breath. “You look like I’m about to punch you.”
“I’m sorry,” Cas says. “It’s just.. your face.”
“You look like you’re about to punch me with your face.”
Dean throws his hands up in the air.
“You’re impossible!” he shouts, grabbing the crowbar off the floor and pounding it on the door. “Let me out of here!”
Cas rolls his eyes and wanders back over to the wall.
Lisa and Benny are on the couch when Andrea storms in.
“Where’s Cas?” she asks. “I got about six emergency calls from him!”
“Andrea, help! They’re trying to make me kiss Dean!” comes Cas’s shout from behind the door.
“Ignore them,” Benny says.
“Wait a second,” Lisa says. “Are you the Andrea? The one Benny’s been telling me about? The one who’s still in love with him?”
Andrea turns slowly to glare at Benny, who smiles innocently.
“Is that what he told you?” Andrea asks.
Lisa purses her lips and looks at Benny. “Did you lie to me?” she asks. “I really, really hate being lied to.”
Benny smiles sweetly at Andrea. “C’mon, darlin’,” he says, a hint of desperation in his voice, “tell Lisa how much you still love me. Please? This is my final request. So both of us can… move on.”
Andrea heaves a giant sigh and bites her lip, but nods.
“I’m only going to say this one more time,” she says, her voice thin with irritation. “Benny. I always have, and always will,” her voice gets a note softer, “love you.”
There’s a breath, and then Lisa starts to cry.
“I think we’re done with the game,” Victor says.
“Oh, no!” Jo laughs, a twinkle in her eye. “There’s still so much left to do. I was going to start on your confidence and work my way up to your facial hair!”
“And what’s your fiance gonna say about that?” Victor asks.
“Oh, this?” Jo gestures to her ring. “I just wear this so guys won’t hit on me in bars. I’m single. What are you gonna do about it, huh?”
Victor considers her for a moment, opens his mouth to speak, then leans in and presses his lips to hers.
“Don’t do it, Jo!” comes Cas’s voice from behind the door. “He sounds weird! Don’t trust him! Just let us out!”
Jo pulls away and smirks. “You kiss like a damn fool, Henriksen.”
“You messin’ with me?”
“Only a little bit,” she grins, and pulls him back in.
“Okay, I’ll admit it,” Cas says. “I am, sometimes, your cooler.”
“Thank you,” Dean says.
“But to be fair,” Cas continues. “You are your own cooler seventy percent of the time. If you would just clean up a little, take care of your stain problem, you would be very attractive.”
“Oh, I would be?” Dean asks, wiggling his eyebrows. “You kinda wanna kiss me now, dontcha?”
“All bets are off if you take a shower,” Cas smiles, and there’s a moment, as he catches Dean’s eye, where he almost thinks—
“Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss!”
The chanting has started up again (Andrea has joined them, the traitor) and it’s starting to really prey on Cas’s patience.
“Okay, let’s just do this, just kiss me,” Cas says, getting right up in Dean’s face.
“No, I’m not going to kiss you,” Dean says, avoiding his eyes.
“Just kiss me!”
“No, I won’t kiss you!”
“Kiss me! Now!”
“God, Dean, just kiss me already!”
“Cas, not like this!” Dean says.
Cas’s brain stops working.
“Not… like…” he says. “What’s… what’s that mean?”
“Did I just—” Dean’s hand goes to his face. “Nothing, I didn’t mean, I mean we can’t, I didn’t mean, like that, I just, nothing, I just, do you know? Like, it’s very, I didn’t mean, I didn’t… if you’ll excuse me for a minute.”
He strides into Cas’s bedroom, Cas trailing close behind.
“Dean what are you— Dean!”
Dean is throwing open the window and crawling out onto the ledge.
“I just need some air!” he shouts. “I think I’m panicking!”
“Dean, stop! Dean! You don’t have to kiss me!”
“Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss!”
A noise from the window pulls Victor’s attention away from the sliding door, and he screeches when he sees Dean edging his way across the ledge. The whole group turns and shrieks.
“Help!” Dean screams. “I made a terrible mistake! Open the window!”
“You do realize you’re an idiot,” Benny says.
The loft has emptied out. To Dean and Benny’s disappointment, Lisa has gone home, claiming that Andrea and Benny’s love is too beautiful to ruin and that her desire for Dean lessened a bit when she saw him screaming on the ledge. Andrea is with Cas in his room, and Dean doesn’t even want to know what they’re talking about.
“We will talk about this in the morning,” Victor says. “But right now, Jo is in my room and she is far more important than your refusal to kiss our friend and loft-mate. Yes, you heard right. She’s staying over.”
“Good for you,” Benny says bitterly. Victor flashes him a grin and dashes off to his bedroom.
“I’m sorry,” Dean says to Benny.
“I’m just glad you’re okay,” Benny sighs. “I’m going to bed.” He casts a long glance at Cas’s bedroom, where Andrea and Cas are probably gossiping, and shakes his head.
Cas emerges from his room at around three in the morning, clutching his baseball bat. The noise is back at the door.
“Cas?” Dean’s sleepy bed-head peeks out of his doorway. “Why’re you awake?”
“It’s the noise,” Cas hisses.
Dean comes out of his bedroom, scratching his eyes. He’s still wearing the leather jacket. The noise comes again and he practically leaps on Cas, clinging to him.
“What do you think it is?” Cas whispers.
“Vampires, probably,” Dean answers helpfully. “Or a werewolf. Or I’ve heard of these things called wendigos, they come out of the woods and eat you—”
The noise comes again and Dean and Cas clutch each other, whimpering.
“Okay, I’m handling this,” Dean says, and he inches towards the door. In one sweeping motion, he throws it open and a giant German Shepherd leaps into Dean’s arms.
“Oof!” Dean goes down hard on the floor, and Mandy, the woman from across the hall, comes dashing over, apologizing profusely.
“I’m so sorry, he gets out sometimes— wait a minute, is that my jacket? Were you sleeping in it?”
“It was delivered here and it’s comfortable,” Dean defends, but under Cas’s glare, he shrugs it off and hands it over to Mandy.
“You guys are a bunch of weirdos,” she says, dragging her coat and her dog back to her apartment.
"He’s really sorry," Cas says, as he shuts the door behind her.
“Goodbye, Leather Jacket Dean,” Cas says seriously in his gravelly tone. “We hardly knew you.”
“I’ll miss Leather Jacket Dean,” Dean says wistfully. “He had guts.”
Cas smiles. “I might miss him. But I like old Dean the best.”
Dean smiles crookedly.
“Good night, Dean,” Cas says, his hand sliding briefly over Dean’s shoulder.
“Good night, Cas,” Dean says, but as Cas turns to go, Dean reaches out, grabs ahold of his sleeve and pulls him into a kiss.
Cas freezes at first, but at the first movement of Dean’s lips, he relaxes, gripping Dean’s shoulders and pulling him closer. His mouth opens on a gasp and Dean licks into it, hot and fast and Dean is so solid and warm and Cas wants to press himself as close as he possibly can to feel that heat and he’s got his fingers tangled in Dean’s hair and Dean’s hand is wide and tight on his hip and then, as soon as it began, it’s over. Cas can’t open his eyes yet but he can feel Dean’s breath on his face so he knows he’s breathing just as fast as Cas is, that the kiss affected him just as much. Dean leans in one more time to lay a chaste kiss on Cas’s lips, barely a brush. He does it again.
“I meant,” Dean says shakily. “I meant something like that.”
He pulls out of Cas’s arms and turns to go back to his room, not looking back and slamming the door behind him.
Cas stands in the hallway, touching his mouth, for a long time after Dean is gone.