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23 April 2012 @ 02:28 pm
Nightingale Ch. 5  
TITLE: Nightingale (chapter 5)
AUTHOR: thechameleonnn
PAIRINGS: Castiel/Dean
SUMMARY: AU. Dean is a nurse, Cas is a cop. Cas is shot in the shoulder and Dean nurses him back to health. In the months that transpire, they become good friends and start to fall for each other. However, things aren't always easy, and they're both very stubborn.

"That poor sandwich," Balthazar commented, as he watched Dean scarf down a large chicken sub. They sat in a small diner, walls lined with red and white ceramic tile. Dean was sitting in a booth across from Balthazar, a piece of lettuce hanging from his lip as he chewed a huge mouthful of food. He wiped it away with a napkin and swallowed some of his beer.

"Yeah, shove it."

Balthazar leaned back, looking out the window to where Cas stood outside, taking a phone call. He looked thoughtful.

"You know... if you're trying to impress him, you're going to need to go on a diet. Cassie has rather high standards."

Dean looked at the sandwich. "Well, none of my girlfriends ever complained." He took another big bite. Balthazar laughed softly.

"Cas isn't just any old woman, now, is he? I'm sure they were too busy suffocating under your crushing weight, regardless."

Dean scowled. He swallowed the sandwich and set it down. "Yeah, and I'm still better looking than you."

"We're not talking about me, Dean. I'm trying to help you with a bit of advice."

"I don't need your advice. And I'm not gay anyway."

"If you insist." Baz stood, dropped a twenty on the table. "Well, I should go. I'll see you later, Dean. After all, you're hard to miss."

"Enough with the fat jokes! This sandwich is awesome and you're just jealous." Dean pouted as Balthazar strolled out the door. Dean wasn't feeling so hungry anymore. It wasn't even like he was fat, but he wasn't exactly in shape either. His job as a nurse was pretty demanding most of the time, and he spent almost all his free time hanging out with Cas.

Growing up, Dean had liked gym and he liked sports, but he was busy taking care of his little brother a lot, which didn't leave much time for Dean to work on his body. His father John was barely home, always working odd jobs and odd hours. Sure, he'd taught him how to punch, once, not that Dean could even remember. He'd left Dean to fend for himself. Now, Dean had been thinner when he was younger, but all the beer and burgers were finally catching up to him. Not to mention, his metabolism wasn't quite like it used to be now that he was getting older. Dean longed for the days when he could eat an entire deluxe pizza and his pants still fit in the morning.

But he still wasn't fat. Baz must just have really high standards or over-exaggerate to the max. His body was a little soft in places, but so what? The ladies still loved him. Somehow, it stilled bothered him.

So, one week later, Dean started going to the gym. His friend Jo Harvelle had gotten sick of hearing him complain about Balthazar's constant teasing and how he felt like the other male nurse, Rodrigo, was judging him for eating twinkies. She'd finally heard enough, and she dragged his ass down to the small gym just three blocks from the hospital Dean worked at.

They were only on the treadmills for a few minutes when Dean started bitching. He gripped the handles on the sides, panting and groaning in annoyance. "This fuckin' blows."

"Don't pussy out, Dean." Jo was focused, keeping a steady pace, which was much brisker than Dean's. Dean groaned lowly and slumped forward as he jogged.

"Fuck this."

He didn't quit though, he kept pushing, but he was going to complain the whole way through.

"This is the least fun I ever had sweating so much. I know a better way we could get worked up, if you want--"

"Keep running."


Jo rolled her eyes. At least he wasn't staring at her ass anymore. When she had picked Dean up from work, the first thing he did was comment on her outfit. Shorts and a tank-top were pretty typical for workout clothes, as far as she remembered. Dean, on the other hand, was stupid enough to think he could do this in jeans. Thankfully, Jo was smart enough to bring him a pair of sweatpants because she knew Dean wouldn't be bright enough to remember. She looked over at him. Dean looked like he was dying.

The timer on his watch beeped.

"Thank you, baby Jesus!" Dean smacked the off switch and stumbled off the machine. Jo kept on going, barely breaking a sweat. She watched Dean chug an entire bottle of water and shook her head in amusement.

"Way to go, Dean. Take five, then weights, too, okay?"

Dean grumbled. He plopped down on a bench.

"I'm gonna be dead by the end of the week," he complained. Jo rolled her eyes.

"You wanted to work out, remember? Do you want to get in shape or what?"

"I am in shape. I wanna be more in shape," he groaned, defensive.

"Okay, okay. Well, it still stands. Quit being a baby."

Dean grumbled and stretched his legs out. This was going to suck.

* * *

He stretched out beside Jo later, on the soft grass at the park next to the gym. His muscles ached and he was so tired, but he felt pretty good about himself. Dean picked absently at the grass, looked up at Jo who stretched forward to touch her toes.

"Thanks, Jo."

"Yeah, no problem. I already work out. Besides, we never really hang out anyway."

"Guess not. Maybe if you'd let me take you on a date..."

"I'm good, Dean."

Dean pouted. Jo always shot him down. Maybe it was time to finally stop trying. He wondered if other dudes had this problem, he never really saw Jo with any guys. Dean thought about who he could ask, when it dawned on him.

Most of his friends were female. Nurses, usually, so, it had to be because of his profession, right? But a lot of the doctors and janitors were male. Patients were male. Dean always had a better time with women. Okay, well, it's because I'm a ladykiller, Dean justified. A total fox. No, that wasn't right either, because a lot of the women Dean spoke with weren't girls he'd been with, they were just friends, too.

Most guys had other guy friends, but Dean didn't really have any. He thought about one of the only guys he was friends with, the only other male nurse in the hospital, and remembered that Rodrigo was gay. From Dean's experience, most gay guys he knew hung around a ton of women. Fuck, was he one of the girls? Was he really filling the gay stereotype?

"Is there somethin' wrong with me?" Dean inquired. Jo looked over at him, confused.

"What do you mean? No.." She brushed her hair back behind her ear, looked a little concerned. "What's wrong?"

"I dunno. You think I'm gay or something." Dean tore more grass from the ground. He felt strangely insecure.

"It's okay if you are. Nobody cares, Dean, it's 2012."

"I'm not gay. Why does everybody think I'm gay?" Scowling, Dean looked over at her, very displeased.

Jo stretched again and rose to her feet. She offered Dean a hand, but he grudgingly refused and struggled to his feet on his own.

"You act like you've got something to prove. I said it doesn't matter."

"Yeah, but I'm not gay."

"Okay, Dean. No need to get hostile." Jo looked tired and upset. She felt badly for Dean, wondered if he'd ever be comfortable with himself. She was pretty sure he actually was into men. He had to be at least bisexual.

"But you thought I was."

"Yeah, I did. But it's okay--" Jo didn't want to scare Dean off. This was obviously a situation that would need to be handled very carefully.

"It's not okay." Denial, thought Jo. That poor gay bastard.

"Why does it matter to you so much?"

Dean hesitated. He shrugged. "I.. dunno! It's just.. because I'm not."

"Well then, who cares what I think?"

Dean was struck dumb yet again. He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it when his brain wouldn't register a response.

"See? My point. I'll see you tomorrow, Dean."

She was gone before he could think of anything to say.

* * *

Dean relaxed on his worn-down brown leather couch later, still sore from his workout and going over Jo's words in his head. He wasn't gay, no way. The whole conversation had been completely ridiculous. Dean loved women, he loved boobies. Dudes didn't have boobies.

He decided he'd find a movie to take his mind off things and finally try to relax. The remote laid on the coffee table, and he reached forward to pick it up. He leaned back against the cushions, propped his feet up and flipped through the channels, trying to settle on something to watch. Dean focused on the screen, where a man walked towards the camera in slow motion, a big explosion flaring out behind him, but he never looked back. He changed the channel. A baseball game, the batter was stepping up to the plate. He switched channels again. Titanic.

Dean set the remote down and stuffed a pretzel into his mouth. He sighed as he watched Jack try to scramble onto the board Rose floated on, but it sank and he gave into the water instead, let her lay upon it. He swallowed the food in his mouth, raised another pretzel to his lips and was halfway through chewing when he suddenly froze.

He'd just passed up manTV for the chick flick of the century. Then Dean started thinking. He had chosen to watch a romance/drama. His favorite movie was Ghost, which fell into the same genre. In fact, most of the movies Dean liked were pretty damn girly. He shifted uncomfortably, feeling a little unsettled. Maybe Jo had been on to something.

No way. Couldn't be. Dean's eyes snapped over to the bookshelf by the couch, lined with all his favorite DVDs. Titanic: The Deluxe Edition, and Ghost, of course, were there, but those were really good movies, Dean justified. Classic movies. Chick flicks, sure, but... dammit. Okay, The Craft. That wasn't a chick flick, right? There were chicks in it, but it was about witches. Pretty Woman. Crap. Groundhog Day. Shit. The Notebook. Fuck!

There had to be something manly in there. Dean got up, searched his DVDs like a man possessed. The Proposal, 50 First Dates, Knocked Up... this wasn't happening. But then Dean finally saw it, shoved back behind another box. Rudy. Ha! That movie was about football. Dean relaxed and sat back, feeling relieved.

Jo was a big jerk.

Dean glanced at the rest of his DVDs warily. Did it really mean anything? He couldn't help but still feel a little worried.

* * *

It bothered Dean all night and for the rest of the week. Somehow, it bothered him enough that he found himself standing outside on a cold night, collar turned up against the harsh wind and staring down the bright neon lights of a gay bar. The damn place was called 'Big Wangs.' Dean stood there with his heart in his stomach and shifted his weight back and forth from one foot to the other. There's only one way he'd find out if he really did like dudes or not, and maybe it was time to bite the bullet.

The wind blew harder, and Dean squared his shoulders. It was now or never. He stared down the bar and prepared himself, pumping himself up to go inside. But when the door swung open and a few men staggered out, Dean turned abruptly and fled down the sidewalk in the opposite direction.

He could feel his blood pounding in his ears as he got into the Impala and pushed eighty-eight miles per hour all the way home. Two showers weren't enough to make Dean feel clean, and he slept like crap.

The next morning, Dean was exhausted, and he stumbled through the day in a zombie-like daze. He'd almost mixed up two patient's medications and he had tripped over a wire, and smashed his face on the hard, cold, unforgiving floor. Dean's nose bled for fifteen whole minutes. He was really starting to feel the strain, and every time he looked at the clock it was like the hands hadn't moved an inch.

His lunch break finally rolled around, and Dean was digging through his locker, relieved for a chance to finally relax, when he heard Taylor's voice behind him.

"I thought I'd find you in here."

Dean sighed. He grabbed his paper bag and turned to look at Taylor, standing in the doorway looking as handsome as ever.

"What do you want?"

"You know what I want."

Dean wondered if this is how a steak felt when he looked at it. Taylor was practically eating him up. The doctor stepped closer, pulling a pair of tickets from his coat pocket. "I've got tickets to see AC/DC. If you'd like to go."

Dean stared at him a minute. This guy was completely legit. Even though he felt and looked like shit, Taylor was still somehow interested enough to hit on him. Maybe it was finally time to man up and commit to this whole gay thing. He'd been thinking about it for weeks. Everyone thought he was gay, maybe he really was and just hadn't realized it yet. He loved girly movies, he already had all the female friends and it wasn't like he'd gotten any for a few weeks anyway.

He weighed the pros. Dean loved the hell out of AC/DC, and he didn't get many opportunities to go out and see concerts. Taylor had been bugging him for weeks, and Dean had always shot him down. But when he thought about it, really thought about it, he figured Taylor wasn't that bad of a guy. He would never have pegged him for a gay guy either, he wasn't girly or weird or anything. He was a perfectly normal, hot blooded American guy, with short blonde hair and a damn dazzling smile. Roughly Dean's height, but he was built real trim, firm muscle hiding beneath his clothes. Killer arms, too, which Dean would find out later. And... maybe Dean checked his ass out one time, not that he ever admitted it until now.

And Dean needed to figure out if he actually liked guys or not, so he decided that this was the perfect opportunity. It totally beat going into a gay bar, that was for damn sure.

Dean reached forward and took the tickets from his hand. This was it, he told himself. He was so sick of Taylor asking him out. Dean wondered if he'd gone crazy. Taylor's eyes sparkled and he grinned to himself, finally triumphant.

Immediate regret was setting in.

"I didn't know you liked AC/DC."

"I knew you'd say yes."

"Don't get cocky," Dean fired back. He couldn't believe he'd finally taken the bait, from Dr. Taylor of all people.

"Not yet, no."

Dean groaned. He was starting to regret this already. He put a hand on Taylor's chest and pushed him out of the way. "I gotta eat my lunch."

"I'll see you Saturday, Dean." Taylor was looking at him again, like he was the predator and Dean was the prey. It made Dean feel funny.

* * *

Cas had spent an hour crafting the perfect excuse to get out of work. He hopped in his cruiser and was at the hospital in less than five minutes, made his way to the nurse's station with a present tucked under his arm. Dean was sitting there, typing away at a computer. A bouquet of flowers sat on the counter beside him, a half-empty box of double chocolate chip cookies sat next to it. Dean was munching absently on one as he worked.

A fellow nurse nudged Dean, and he looked up and saw Cas, smiled real big, and slid his chair over to the counter.

"Hey, what's up? Shouldn't you be working?"

"I'm on break." Cas leaned on the counter, placed the small, rectangular box in front of Dean, covered in Christmas wrapping paper, even though it was nowhere near December. Little green Christmas trees covered the shiny red paper. Dean quirked an eyebrow, picked it up. "This for me? Since when do I get presents?"

"I saw it at the corner store. It made me think of you."

"Well, I'm flattered." Like a five year old, he tore the paper off, and laughed when he saw what was inside. "Spy Kids. Really, Cas?"

Cas grinned. He remembered the first time they had watched it together, how happy it had made Dean.

"I thought we could watch it on movie night."

Dean nodded, then remembered the concert. "Oh. Uh, no can do, I'm sorry, Cas. I got a thing. Maybe we could next week, cool?"

Cas' brow furrowed. He tilted his head, shooting a confused look towards Dean.

"What 'thing'?"

"Just a thing. It's not a big deal."

"Is it a date?" Jealousy shot through Cas like a bullet. Dean shrugged, set the DVD beside the flowers.

"Yeah. Uh, real hot blonde chick, too." He looked away quickly, moved back to the computer. Cas' eyes followed him, but he didn't catch the lie.

"I see. I suppose you're busy tonight, too. Balthazar keeps insisting I go drink with him."

"You oughta. I can't though, gotta work late, remember? I'll call you." Dean was avoiding looking at Cas. He didn't want to slip up, he couldn't risk Cas finding out that he was dating a dude. He'd never live it down.

"Ah. Yes. Okay, Dean." Cas tucked his disappointment away. Dean focused on his work, letting the silence fester for a short moment.

"Cas, look, I..." Dean trailed off and looked up, but Cas had already gone. Dean sighed at the emptiness he'd left behind. Cas always did that whenever he was upset, just up and left, and Dean hated it. He didn't like being alone.

* * *

Cas didn't spend the night alone, though. Balthazar picked him up at eight sharp because "You ruin the party when you show up in that police car, Cassie. Nobody likes a drag like you". Baz also forced him through four different dressing rooms until he looked presentable, bought him a whole new outfit and stuffed his coat pocket with one-dollar bills. "Tonight, we live like Kings," Balthazar had said, and he dragged a protesting Cas into a questionable-looking building with the outline of a glowing purple woman that hung above the sign: Candie's.

"I can't believe you brought me here," he muttered under his breath, his eyes following the women on the stage. Baz only laughed and pulled Cas by the arm to the VIP Lounge. "Don't be a baby," Baz told him. "If anyone needs this, it's you."

Five drinks later, with Cas still calling for more alcohol, Balthazar seemed perfectly content, relaxed on the long red sofa. The lights were low and set in different colors, coating the scantily-clad women with colors of the rainbow. A short brunette, naturally endowed, shimmied on the stage in front of them, her bra covered with sparkling sequins, reflecting the colored lights. She arched her back and gyrated against the pole. Cas swallowed more alcohol and looked away, uncomfortable. Baz nudged him and grinned.

"Not really your type, then? What would you like? A redhead? A blonde, perhaps? Maybe we could even find you a pretty little nurse."

Cas swallowed again, the alcohol burning his throat. He looked over at Baz, his eyes a little wide.

"I'm only joking, Cas." Baz chuckled. He stretched his arms out across the back of the sofa. Cas knocked back the liquor and slammed the glass down on the table in front of them.

"No. You're right."

Baz looked up at him curiously. Cas had his full attention now.

"I'm feeling something I've never felt before."

"We call that puberty where I come from," Baz teased. Cas kept staring at him, serious as a heart attack.

"I would die for him, Balthazar." Cas' eyes blazed. His chest swelled at the thought of Dean, ached in it's longing. Balthazar raised an eyebrow, shifted a little closer. Cas, however, stood up and stormed from the club, leaving Baz to scramble after him, still clutching his drink in hand.

"Cas, hey! Come on now, it's okay, then!" He chased Cas down in the parking lot, grabbed his arm and stopped him from striding away. Cas squared his shoulders, turned to look at Balthazar.

"What're you even doing then? Why don't you get out of here, go tell him?"

Cas shook his head. He looked away, his chest feeling heavy and making it difficult to breathe. "Too many reasons."

"He is gay. He must be. No heterosexual man overcompensates that much."

"He's seeing someone, regardless. It doesn't matter."

"Your point?"

Cas frowned deeply. "If he'd cheat on someone else, it means he would cheat on me as well. I don't want that."

"So sensitive. Sentimental. Is my little Castiel in love?" Baz sipped his scotch. Cas looked into his eyes, sincere.

"I don't know what this feeling is. The only thing I know is I've never felt it before. I want to be with him... I want to see him happy." His gaze softened. "I would never let anything happen to him. I wasn't kidding before. It's important." He thought about Dean, his beautiful face, how he looked like no man had any right to. Despite his beauty, he was still quite manly. His face was usually soft, shaven, but sometimes when he worked long nights or was just too tired in the mornings, he'd sport a five-o-clock shadow that Cas longed to reach out and feel beneath his fingertips. He wanted to touch Dean so tenderly, show him how he felt, make him feel loved like he deserved to be. He wanted to make him shiver and moan, to feel Dean's body pressed tight against his. It wasn't just the sex he wanted, either. With Dean, Cas felt more alive than he ever had before, and Dean had taught him so much. He'd taught him to be more human. Before Cas had been so mechanical, so serious, but Dean opened him up and he'd taught him how to laugh. Dean showed him how to relax and have a good time. He'd shown him how to love.

Cas went on about Dean for the rest of the night. Baz sighed, pinched his nose, tried to convince Cas to admit it to the hot male nurse, but to no avail. The detective was stubborn, he just wouldn't listen. Cas worried so much that Dean would panic, push him away and that their friendship would crumble to dust. He would rather die than lose Dean like that, no matter how much he pined for him.

Hours went by before Baz finally convinced Cas to stop and took him home. Cas sat in silence for the whole ride, brooding, while Baz cracked jokes and tried to lighten him up. Baz insisted on playing matchmaker, but there wasn't much he could do if Cas wouldn't cooperate, and Castiel had no intentions of doing so.

That night Cas dreamed about Dean. He was being stalked by a beautiful blonde vampire woman who tried to drain Dean of all his blood and keep him locked away forever. Cas busted through the door and killed the monster with his bare hands. Wrapped around Dean's body were hard wires, which Cas pulled away to free him from restraint. He pulled Dean into his arms, and Dean smiled and held him back, pressed his lips to Cas' ear and told him what he wanted to hear.

"I love you, Cas."

Cas woke up, disappointed and alone. He wrapped his arms around his pillow, pulled it close to his chest. He thought about Dean. Sometimes the things he felt were so overwhelming he thought he might die. It had been unexpected and it surprised him so much, but for so long he hadn't realized what it meant.

Beep-beep. Beep-beep. Beep-beep. Castiel looked up. His phone was ringing. He grabbed it off the bedside table and answered it immediately when he saw it was Dean.

"Hey, Cas. You wanna hang out?"

"Yes." Cas responded immediately. He kicked off the blankets and hopped out of bed. He couldn't get dressed quickly enough, and he wound up almost forgetting his keys.

Dean chuckled on the other line when he realized Cas had hung up in his excitement.

LiveJournal: pingback_botlivejournal on April 25th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
edition #2,199
User heard_the_owl referenced to your post from edition #2,199 saying: [...] by (Katie/Genevieve, PG-13) Nightingale (chapter 5) [...]
(Anonymous) on April 25th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
Aw. Poor, sentimental Cas and little Dean. <3
thechameleonnnthechameleonnn on April 25th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
haha, don't let Dean hear you call him little. XD
shenova: Dean & Castielshenova on April 25th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Oh Dean get with the program and go out with Cas. Poor Cas he wants to be with Dean and Dean well his straight Right??? Nice update I feel sorry for Cas at the moment.
thechameleonnnthechameleonnn on April 28th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
well, he did say yes to Taylor. XD so we'll see.
moushkas on April 26th, 2012 11:24 am (UTC)
Aww! Castiel is so head over heels!
The tension between the two is just amazing! I love every moment of this!
More soon! Please XD
thechameleonnnthechameleonnn on April 26th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

Cas has to be in love with Dean, the way he looks at him in the show! It breaks my heart every time.
Blaknite: Quiet Akira♥blakniteludlam on May 23rd, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
I look forward to more chapters.

Your take on these characters is fantastic and it is easy to see the personalities from the show in your writing.

I may not comment for every chapter, but I assure you I am checking everyday to see if you update and have read the first five chapters a couple times
thechameleonnnthechameleonnn on May 23rd, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks so much. I never expected so much positive feedback, it's crazy, I never write so I didn't know what to expect.

I've been so mad at the show this season, which is probably why I haven't been able to work out the next chapter. I actually wrote the whole thing, but I need to go back and revise and re-write it, because it feels super forced. I know where I'm going with the story and I've outlined the whole thing, so it's just a matter of banging it out.
Blakniteblakniteludlam on May 24th, 2012 01:06 pm (UTC)
That makes sense, I dont write often either

This season ender was a bit of a let down to say the least >_O but on the upside they left it open for Cass and Dean to become friends again and Cass to return next season OvO
thechameleonnnthechameleonnn on May 24th, 2012 02:43 pm (UTC)
here's to hoping s8 will be better!
Blakniteblakniteludlam on June 3rd, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
Will you be posting more chapters soon?
thechameleonnnthechameleonnn on June 3rd, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
probably not soon (I've been pretty sick) but chapter six is in the works already and I have the whole storyline outlined, so I will be continuing for sure, just can't say when.
Blakniteblakniteludlam on June 4th, 2012 10:59 am (UTC)
I hope you get feeling better
thechameleonnnthechameleonnn on June 4th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
thanks, me too. :) i'm seeing my dr tomorrow so no worries.
(Anonymous) on July 17th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
Hey, are you planning on continuing this fiction? Because it's really good and hasn't been updated yet. Just thought you should know that your work is great. :D
clownfrogg: Cap says wha?clownfrogg on September 8th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
Chapter 6 has just been posted