It was recently pointed out to me that I’ve never recced this fandom favourite Destiel fic. Shame on me, and here I am, remedying it.
Have Love, Will Travel by squeemonster (AO3)
Pairing(s): Dean Winchester/Castiel
Warnings: Explicit sexy times (def NSFW)
Castiel Novak is a reclusive writer with a childhood so tragic it’s left him terrified to leave his home—until his overbearing brother, Gabriel, drags him out for a night on the town full of booze and strip clubs, and he encounters Dean Winchester, a mesmerizing and mysterious stripper with secrets of his own. Both men find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other, and soon Dean’s private dances for Castiel become much more, as both men confess their troubles and find solace in each other’s company. But neither can seem to find the courage to take their relationship further than the intimacy of the club’s VIP Room—and just when Dean’s own brother gives him the excuse he needs to finally admit his feelings, Dean discovers something that brings it all crumbling down. Will they find a way past their demons and their trust issues, and back to each other?
Ok, ok, so I first read this one with a healthy dose of skepticism because a stripper AU? I wasn’t looking to read a Magic Mike fusion.
But this isn’t that. “Have Love, Will Travel” isn’t that at all. Yes, there’s a lot of stripping, but at its core, it’s a love story between two men who make each other better. Squeemonster’s characterization of Castiel’s anxiety resonates with truth, and as someone who has struggled with anxiety, I found his struggle compelling. As for Dean, he’s still the big brother with the weight of the world on his shoulders, even when wearing a g-string. Just like in canon, these two find each other, against all odds, and their story is beautiful.
Here’s a snippet from my favourite part:
Dean stands and makes his way to the door as Castiel shrugs on his trenchcoat. When they meet at the door, they stand and stare at each other for several seconds before Dean lets loose a breath and steps forward, wrapping his arms around Castiel.
Castiel is stunned for a moment, not expecting the hug, and he waits for the panic to set in, the anxiety of being so unexpectedly close to someone. He’s surprised to realize that he feels no distress, but instead feels as if another piece to some unknown puzzle has fallen into place. Being in Dean’s arms feels familiar and right.
Read if you ship Destiel.