Title: from the brightest constellation
Word Count: ~ 8,300
Disclaimer: Look up the word ‘fiction’ in the dictionary. You will not find a picture of this story, but the definition of the word ‘fiction’, which this is.
Warnings: Takes place between 510 and 511. Contains a little angst, lots of kissing, and an awesome Sam.
Summary: Castiel closes his eyes and remembers that moment, the way his wings feel when they’re ready to fly, because he knows what will happen after this. Even though it will be worth it, he wants to remember.
Notes: I'm very emotionally invested in this pairing, and writing them was quite the thrill. Massive thanks to my beloved kamikaze_redux for the beta. She had her work cut out for her on this one. A special thanks to gembat for general hand-holding and the awesome dividers. Title taken from The Bluetones. ♥
There’s a storm on the horizon.
Castiel flies above it, tired wings slicing through the electrically charged air with graceful fluidity, quick and clean. He stares down at the dark, massive swarm of swirling clouds, eyes tracking the bolts of lightning jumping from one to the other.
There once was a time, not so long ago, that he would dip lower. He’d fly through the clouds and chase the lightning, wonder over the cold drops of rain that would hit his face like a thousand tiny blades. He would hover in the eye of the storm and feel at peace, uncomplicated and in awe of the world that his Father created – so beautiful, nurturing, ugly, and cruel.
Now he doesn’t dare dip down, fly lower, so he can taste the rain. This time he isn’t so sure that the lightning wouldn’t hurt him, that it wouldn’t singe his tarnished wings. They ache like they never have before. They feel heavy, almost too cumbersome to carry.
Castiel is tired. There’s a bone-deep exhaustion that’s new and alarmingly unpleasant, and it’s gotten even deeper since his last encounter with the Winchesters. But more importantly, he’s tired of searching for the answers to a question that no one else seems to be asking.
He’s tired of fighting this battle alone, of feeling abandoned and betrayed by his brothers.
The storm is behind him now, and when he looks down he can see the clear blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean. It’s late here, by human standards, and Castiel lets out an exhausted breath as he dips lower, the wind beating at his wings like those of a wounded bird.
Castiel is tired, too tired to fly, too tired to live in this particular moment, so he closes his eyes and sends out one tiny, hopeful thought.
When he opens his eyes again his feet are firmly planted on a scuffed up wooden floor thick with dust. He looks up to see Dean sitting alone at an abandoned bar, a glass of amber liquid going untouched in front of him. Something in Castiel’s chest seems to tighten at the sight of him, heart pumping a bit quicker, lips parting on a soft exhale.
“Hello, Dean,” Castiel says gruffly, ignoring the way that his body seems to react at the sight of him. Dean looks up and he’s obviously tired, worn out even in his dreams. There are smudges of purple underneath his red-rimmed eyes and Castiel takes four steps forward to position himself next to Dean at the bar.
Dean turns to look at him, eyes drifting up and down in a way that sends a lazy, cool sort of flush through his body. Dean’s eyes linger on his face for a moment, eyes softening and crinkling at the corners. The corner of Dean’s mouth lifts up just a bit and it’s like everything goes a bit fuzzy at the edges. He’s close to Dean, perhaps slightly too close, but there is nothing in Dean’s eyes that tells him to move away.
“Cas,” Dean responds hoarsely, closing his eyes for a moment like he’s trying to rid himself of a certain thought. “Fancy meeting you here.”
“I hope that I’m not intruding,” Castiel says as he takes a seat on the barstool next to Dean, who slowly turns to look at him with a lazy smirk.
“In my dream? Nah, not like it’s private or anything.”
“Sarcasm,” Castiel states, and Dean points his index finger at him as he picks up his glass to knock back the liquid inside. “I hope that you’re not trying to get intoxicated. It’s a futile effort when inside your own head.”
“What is it that you need, Cas?” Dean asks. Castiel takes note of his voice, how it’s even more gravelly than usual and made thick with raw pain. “I really hope you’re not being evacuated again because I gotta say, Jimmy was a real pain in the ass.”
“I don’t need anything,” Castiel says. The weight of Dean’s amulet brushes against his skin, always cool and never warm, and Castiel swallows. “Not in this moment anyway.”
Dean looks at him a bit closer at that, forehead resting against the glass in his hand as he props himself up on his elbow. Castiel looks right into Dean’s eyes, sees the white-blue, albeit dimmed, light of his soul hidden within. Castiel’s heart starts beating faster again at that, blood pumping through his vessel and pooling curiously in his cheeks, but he’s used to this reaction by now. It’s been happening with more frequency when he’s in Dean’s presence and he tries not to read too deeply into what that might mean.
Dean doesn’t say anything, just stares at him tiredly with the barest hint of a smirk on his face. Castiel feels cut open, raw, exposed, and then Dean blinks and his honey-tinged eyelashes skim his freckled cheeks. Castiel put Dean back together molecule by molecule and he remembers, even back then, thinking that Dean’s eyes were truly beautiful. A work of art.
Castiel blinks and turns away from the entrancing sight of Dean’s penetrating gaze to take in their surroundings – an old, dusty bar with an overused pool table and a jukebox in the corner.
“What is this place?” Castiel immediately knows it was the wrong thing to ask when Dean’s lazy smirk is replaced by a grimace of pain and he bows his head, forehead nearly touching the stained bar below.
“The Roadhouse,” Dean says in a voice so rough and thick that Castiel almost has trouble understanding him. “Ellen and Jo ran it up until a few years ago when it got burned to the ground.”
“The Harvelles,” Castiel acknowledges, bowing his head in a moment of silent prayer. Dean pinches the bridge of his nose and Castiel knows that the untimely death of the two women is still fresh in his mind, weighing him down, making him unable to find peace even in his dreams. “I am sorry, Dean, for your loss.”
“I get that a lot,” Dean replies with a humorless chuckle. He swallows hard and looks down into his empty glass. “They shouldn’t have been a part of this fight. They shouldn’t have been a part of our lives. If it weren’t for us, they’d still be in this goddamn bar and – “
“Dean,” Castiel says strongly. He cuts himself off with a sharp intake of air and it’s plain to see that Dean is barely holding himself together. Castiel has seen many men break down completely due to far less weight on their shoulders. Castiel isn’t sure what to do, how to make it better, so he reaches up to place his hand between Dean’s shoulder blades in some semblance of comfort. “Their choice was their own, and they fought bravely until the very end. They were good, strong women and they will be rewarded.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” Dean asks with a bitter chuckle. “Because I gotta say, Cas, it doesn’t.”
“Is there anything,” Castiel starts, knowing even as he says it how foolish it is, “that would?”
“Sleep.” Dean says it like the concept is completely foreign to him, like it’s a fairytale that was once told to him as a child. “Just some fuckin’ dreamless, uninterrupted sleep.”
Dean turns to face him, nearly teetering off of his stool and struggling to right himself. Castiel has never seen him look like this, so desperately clinging to the edges of reality, and he has to catch Dean by the shoulders when he slumps forward. Dean buries his face in Castiel’s neck and the stubble burns his vessel’s skin, makes him tingle and take in a breath.
Dean’s mind can’t rest even as his body sleeps. It’s constantly whirring, never letting him escape the nightmares in his own head.
“I don’t know how much longer I can do this,” Dean confesses harshly, words whispered into the softness of Castiel’s skin. He reaches up to put his hand on the side of Dean’s face, fingertips carding through the short hairs around his ear. Dean looks up at him with these soft, sad eyes and actually leans into Castiel’s soothing touch, his eyes slipping shut as Castiel’s nails drag soothingly along his scalp.
Castiel wants to help, knows that if his powers were restored he could. Castiel holds up his hand and gathers his Grace in his fingertips, watches them glow white-hot for a fraction of a second. Castiel is acutely aware of just how weak he is, just how little of his Grace that he has left.
“Dean,” Castiel says, grabbing the exhausted Winchester by the shoulders and pushing him back. “Tell me where you are. Where you’re sleeping.”
“An old house in – “
“Write it down,” Castiel instructs. He walks around the bar to find a pad and paper, sliding them over to Dean. He doesn’t ask any questions, simply writes the address in a lazy scrawl. Castiel takes the piece of paper, reads it, and slips it into his pocket.
Castiel stands behind the bar and Dean looks at him like he’s important, like he isn’t a mere shadow of his former self. Castiel sags for only a moment under all the weight on his shoulders, fights against the exhaustion that goes down to his bones, and disappears.
He staggers to a halt at the end of Dean’s makeshift bed, a lumpy old mattress perched on top of a few old wooden crates, and he lets himself drop to his knees at Dean’s side. His eyelids feel like they’re made of stone, so heavy, but he reaches out to touch Dean’s cheek.
Dean’s eyelids flutter open, lashes fanning across his cheek as he struggles to become aware. He doesn’t look surprised to see Castiel hovering above him, just momentarily confused.
“Cas, why – “
“Shh,” Castiel says. He feels so tired, but Dean looks worse. There are bags under his eyes and he’s pale. He looks small and fragile, a carefully constructed pile of skin and bones underneath soft cotton. He’s a precarious concoction of these earthly elements that Castiel could never quite make himself truly appreciate, not before Dean. But now they’re all that matters, they’re all he truly needs.
Castiel gathers his power in his fingertips, his Grace glowing white-hot just underneath his vessel’s skin. He knows that the glow is invisible to Dean and he swallows hard. Castiel stares at his fingertips, feels the weakness in his bones, and makes a choice.
He unfurls his wings and they take up the whole room. He feels the stretch of them, the pleasing burn and the ruffle of his feathers. He closes his eyes and remembers that moment, the way his wings feel when they’re ready to fly, because he knows what will happen after this. He wants to remember.
“Cas?” Dean asks, eyes scanning the room like he can feel their presence. Castiel looks deep into Dean’s eyes, down into his very soul, and reaches out for his forehead. Dean reaches out to grab Castiel’s wrist, thumb slipping under the soft fabric of his shirt to rest against his pulse. “No, you don’t – “
“Sleep, Dean,” Castiel says as he touches his fingertips to Dean’s forehead. He drops back down to the bed like a stone, eyes closed and hands splayed out across the sheets. He’s asleep, really asleep, and the light fades from Castiel’s fingertips. His wings droop and fold back into their place, useless. Castiel feels a brief shock of pain run through the core of him, but not regret. His hand cups Dean’s cheek, thumb tracing the bags under his left eye and knowing that soon they’ll fade. Soon he’ll be rested, strong, able to fight.
It’s with this thought on his mind that Castiel crumples, eyes slipping shut as he settles over Dean Winchester’s fragile human chest. His heart beats powerfully against Castiel’s ear and it’s the last thing that he hears.
The morning sun is shining brightly when Dean opens his eyes.
The first thing that he notices is that he isn’t worn-out, not at all. The bone-deep exhaustion that has hung over his head for god knows how long is just… gone. His problems are still there, of course, all his fears and doubts, but he feels like maybe he can handle them now. At least better than he was, which is saying something.
His muscles don’t ache and his head doesn’t hurt. His heart doesn’t feel quite so heavy in his chest. But there is a weight there, a physical one, and he looks down to see the top of Castiel’s tousled head. Memories of the previous night come back in full force and his eyes widen. He reaches down to touch Castiel’s head but his fingers stop just short of his messy dark hair. He tentatively cups the back of Castiel’s head in his palm, slides his hand down and squeezes the back of his neck, but he doesn’t stir.
“You stupid fuckin’ angel,” Dean mumbles under his breath, voice tinged with gratitude and annoyance all at once. He feels a prickling in his ears, another presence in the room, and he looks up to see Sam hovering in the doorway. Under any other circumstances his expression would be comical – eyes bugging out and mouth slack, complete and utter confusion.
“Did I… miss something?” Sam asks, tilting his head to the side like a confused puppy, eyes all dark and nose scrunched up. “Why is there an angel on top of you?”
“Sam, I think he did something,” Dean says in a low, hushed voice. He feels full of energy, like he just downed a pot of coffee but without any of the jittery sickness that comes with a caffeine overdose. He feels warm and young and strong, ready to run for miles without stopping. Ready to take on the world. “Last night. I – he was in my dream and then, and then he did this thing and he passed out like after that thing with Lucifer and oh god, you stupid son of a bitch. What did you do?”
“Dean, calm down,” Sam says as he comes into the room. “You’re practically vibrating. What’s wrong with you?”
“That’s just it, Sam,” Dean says hurriedly. “Nothing. There’s not a goddamn thing wrong with me. Cas, he – fuck, he touched me and I passed out and now I’m fine. I’m not tired or sore and he’s, well – “ He gestures at the pile of passed out angel in his lap and Sam arches a brow, lips rolling into his mouth as he nods.
“And when you say that he touched you, do you mean – “
“Oh, shut up,” Dean spits. He looks down at Castiel and grabs his shoulder, shaking slightly. “Cas, man. Wake the fuck up.” The angel gives no response and Dean looks up at Sam helplessly. Sam shrugs and flicks his hair out of his face.
“Maybe he just blew all his mojo and needs to rest,” Sam suggests gently. “Just like last time.”
“Yeah,” Dean says shakily, putting his hand on Castiel’s forehead like he’s feeling for a fever. He has no idea what the fuck he’s doing. “Yeah, maybe you’re right.”
“I usually am,” Sam says like it’s all fact, no opinion, and then lets out a yawn. “And since you’re all young and spry now you can drag all the bags in here so we can clean the guns. We also need to go find the library. And I’m hungry. Big day ahead so up and at ‘em, sparky.”
Sam leaves the room and Dean carefully extricates himself from underneath Castiel. He looks down at the angel and bites down on his bottom lip which had been cracked and dry the night before, but is now soft and plump. His hands tremble as he gets Castiel’s limp, fragile looking body out of his trench coat and takes off his shoes. He covers Castiel with a blanket and leans down over him, their faces only inches apart.
“I don’t know what you did, or why you did it,” Dean murmurs, hand resting flat against Castiel’s chest just to feel his pulse against his palm, “but… thank you.” He gets a sudden flash of a memory, a vision of himself tiny and scared and curled up in bed and his mother leaning over him. Dean closes his eyes and presses his lips to Castiel’s forehead just like she used to do for him, just like he used to do for Sam when he was little and scared. It’s an odd reaction but Dean doesn’t take the time to dwell on it.
“You better wake up,” Dean whispers fiercely into Castiel’s heated skin. “Or I swear I will march up to heaven and kick your goddamn ass.”
Castiel opens his eyes slowly, blinking as the world comes into focus. It’s dark outside and the moon hangs low in the sky, spilling into the window and filling the room with an eerie, almost ethereal glow.
He’s in Dean’s makeshift bed, toes cold and bare underneath the scratchy blanket. He sucks in a breath and then coughs from the dryness in his throat. His chest rises and falls; his skin feels hot in some places and cold in others.
He feels devastatingly human.
Dean comes into the room and Castiel is relieved to know that he can still feel his presence, the warm little ball of light in his chest that is Dean and Dean alone. That wasn’t taken from him.
“He lives,” Dean says, and he sounds strong and rested despite the shaky timbre of his voice.
“Indubitably,” Castiel says hoarsely, eyelids slipping shut. He hears Dean’s footsteps and feels the bed dip as he sits down, but Castiel’s eyes don’t open. Castiel furrows his brow and tries to unfurl his wings. He’s relieved to find that they’re still there, but they do little more than quiver before he is too exhausted to keep pushing.
“You’ve been asleep all day,” Dean informs him. There’s a heavy silence that hangs in the air for a few moments and Castiel can feel the heat of Dean against his hip, the brush of denim against his wrist as Dean squirms. “So, uh,” Dean finally starts, and Castiel opens his eyes to look at him. His eyes look bright, practically sparkling with life, and the purple smudges underneath them are gone. That alone makes his weakness seem but a minor insignificance. “You mind telling me what happened last night?”
Castiel opens his mouth and then closes it again, rolling his lips between his teeth as he stares at Dean. He merely raises an eyebrow and gives him a look that says that he’s perfectly willing to wait until Castiel starts talking, and in his current state Dean would surely outlast him.
“You looked… troubled last night,” Castiel manages. “Even inside of a dream you were not at peace. So… I gave you peace.”
Dean lets out a breath and meets Castiel’s gaze, eyes so green and warm, their depth endless. Sometimes it pains Castiel to look into them and catch a glimpse of the bright light that rests at Dean’s core, the light that guided him into the deepest reaches of Hell, the light he rescued.
“You gave me the rest of your mojo from the looks of it,” Dean says gruffly. He scrubs his hand down his face and Castiel watches curiously as the apples of Dean’s cheeks turn an entrancing shade of pink. “Cas, that – you didn’t have to do that.”
Castiel isn’t sure what to say, so he tries to sit up. His tie is tangled around his neck and it cuts off his airflow for a moment, tugging irritatingly at his skin. Dean seems to sense his struggle and he leans in to wrap his warm, strong hand around the back of Castiel’s neck to still him. Dean’s fingers quickly work at the knot of his tie, loosening it and curling his fingers around it. Castiel’s lips part and his eyes close as Dean lifts the offending garment over his head and the soft material drags across his lips, catches on his eyelids. He opens his eyes to see Dean mere inches away. The proximity confuses Castiel. This distance certainly doesn’t meet Dean’s requirement for personal space.
Dean leans in slightly and rests his hand on the bed near Castiel’s hip. His expression is unreadable and Castiel’s heart starts beating faster. His lips part and his palms sweat, eyes flicking between Dean’s intense gaze and his wet lips of their own accord.
“You look well-rested,” Castiel says in a voice even deeper than his normal growl. “Healthy and strong, ready to fight. A few days of being bound to Earth is hardly a sacrifice for something so important. I’ll be fine, Dean, and now you will as well.”
“You’re crazy, man,” Dean says with a soft chuckle. He redistributes his weight, leaning forward a bit more. Castiel takes in a deep breath and the look on Dean’s face is inscrutable, not one that Castiel has ever been privy to before. The green in Dean’s eyes changes, bright jade going inky dark, and that’s when the wooden pallet that the old mattress had precariously been resting on snaps.
The top of the mattress drops a good few inches, sending Dean crashing forward and landing heavily on top of Castiel. Their foreheads connect with a crack and Dean’s knee slides between Castiel’s parted thighs.
“Shit,” Dean laughs. The sound is a rare one and Castiel drinks it in. Their position is entirely uncomfortable, heads near the floor and hips sunken into the dip in the mattress, feet elevated. Dean laughs and laughs and Castiel smiles, chin tipping up as their bodies slot together.
Dean props himself up on his arms over Castiel and it’s strange to see him from this angle, on top of Castiel, pinning him down. Castiel’s expression sobers as Dean’s does, the smile fading from his lips as he licks them, gets them wet and shiny. Castiel gets this urge and he doesn’t even think to fight it, just reaches up and touches Dean’s cheek with his fingertips, dragging them down to his jaw and letting them linger there for a moment. Dean gives him a slow blink, eyelids drooping slightly, and Castiel lets his hand fall back to the bed.
And then Dean dips his head and presses their mouths together, just a quick brush of lips. It’s like a shockwave runs through Castiel’s entire body, like someone tugged hard on the string tying Dean’s soul to Castiel’s Grace. Dean lets out a shuddering breath right against Castiel’s still parted lips. Dean presses their foreheads together, one hand coming up to clumsily brush against the roughness of Castiel’s jaw. His fingertips rest there on his cheek for a long moment, Dean’s slack mouth brushing the dip below Castiel’s bottom lip.
Castiel isn’t sure what to do, having never kissed a human before, having never wanted to. But now that he has, now that it was Dean, all he wants to do is be kissed again.
“Dean,” Castiel breathes, voice like sandpaper over gravel. Dean doesn’t say anything, instead choosing to fasten their mouths together again. It’s like the string has been pulled once more, like it became unraveled and was replaced with something stronger, more durable. Castiel is surprised to find that he’s making noises, soft little sighs and whimpers as Dean’s hand cups his cheek, thumb brushing the corner of Castiel’s mouth as they kiss.
He’s amazed to find that this comes easily, kissing Dean. The shock wears off nearly as quickly as it was brought on and soon it’s just them, just their mouths fused together like they’ll never need to breathe again. Dean pulls away and Castiel whimpers, fingers clutching the sheets.
“What are we doing?” Dean asks breathlessly. His fingers trail down the side of Castiel’s neck, dipping into his open shirt to trace his collarbone. It makes Castiel shiver, makes his hips arch up involuntarily.
“I’m not entirely sure,” Castiel pants out. “But I don’t think you’ll find me complaining.”
“Cas, just – touch me, alright?” Dean pleads in a broken whisper against Castiel’s jaw. “Put your hands on me.”
Castiel doesn’t have to be told twice. He lifts his arms from the bed and wraps one around Dean’s torso, the other sliding up his bicep to fit into his own handprint, the permanent reminder of his rescue. Dean trembles as Castiel’s hand slips into place, hips twitching and grinding down.
“We’re connected,” Castiel whispers, and Dean bites down hard on the juncture of his neck and shoulder as he presses down hard against the scar. Castiel drags the back of Dean’s shirt up to get his hand on the skin there, soft and warm at the small of his back. “You’re mine.” He doesn’t mean to say it, but once it’s out he’ll never take it back. It rings true and that’s obvious by the way Dean gives a full-body shudder and sucks Castiel’s skin between his teeth. “I will always be a part of you.”
Dean growls deep in his throat and slides his fingers into Castiel’s hair, tipping his head back as he leans in to kiss him again, harder this time, tongue dipping into Castiel’s mouth in a rough claim of ownership. This goes on for some time, this back and forth, their power struggle, and Dean sucks in a huge lungful of air as he finally pulls away.
Dean buries his face in the curve of Castiel’s neck and the angel trails his fingertips up Dean’s spine just to feel him shiver. He’s breathing so hard, heart pounding so fast, and Castiel lets his head drop back onto the lumpy, ruined bed as Dean catches his breath.
Dean rolls off of Castiel and he suddenly feels cold, skin tightening against the chill in the air. The dip and slope of the mattress causes Dean to slide in close to Castiel, close and nearly on top of him, and Castiel can’t resist the urge to roll onto his side and press a kiss to Dean’s cheekbone. It’s a desire so insanely human that Castiel very nearly laughs at how good it feels.
“Well, that was something,” Dean says. He doesn’t sound troubled, for which the angel is grateful. He sounds relaxed, maybe even a bit amused, and Castiel tucks his head underneath Dean’s chin, breathes in his earthy scent and lets his eyes slip shut. He’s still weak, shucked of his powers, but he feels at peace.
Dean’s hand comes up to brush the hair from Castiel’s forehead, something intimate and soft, and Castiel falls back to sleep with his hand on Dean’s chest.
Dean pulls his swollen lower lip between his teeth as he slowly wanders down the creaky stairs of the old house that they’re squatting in. He bites down, licks across the sting.
It’s like he can still taste Castiel on his lips and he tries to identify it, closing his eyes and rolling it around on his tongue. It’s like the taste in the air after a lightning storm, sweet and electric. Castiel’s skin smells like rain. That’s when Dean realizes that kissing Castiel is like being caught in the eye of a storm, a moment of crystal clarity before the world comes crashing down.
Dean has always really liked that feeling.
“Uh, Dean? Is everything alright?”
The sound of Sam’s voice snaps Dean out of his reverie and that’s when he realizes that he’s standing at the base of the stairs, hand gripping the banister so tight that his knuckles are white.
“Peachy,” Dean says quickly, too quickly if the sharp incline of Sam’s eyebrow is anything to go by. He rubs his knuckles against his lips, all bee-stung and plump, as he goes over to sit on the ratty old sofa next to his brother.
“So,” Sam starts as he hands Dean his old sawed-off. “How’s the patient? He’s been asleep all day.”
“He’s fine,” Dean tells him distractedly. They had a full day of research, asking questions, and gorging themselves at the diner. There’s a bag of pastries on the rickety old table for Castiel if he ever decides to quit napping and bring his feathery ass downstairs. He disassembles the shotgun and ignores the pull low in his belly, the one telling him to go back upstairs.
“So, what did Castiel do to you?” Sam asks innocently, wrinkling his nose at the amount of grease on his hands.
“Nothing,” Dean snaps, eyes wide as he looks over at Sam. Kissing Castiel has mixed him all up, made him all jittery and weird like a teenager after his first date, and he has this itching in his muscles like he wants to go outside and run for miles. “He was just sleeping.”
“I meant last night, dude.” Sam says and there’s a smirking, knowing edge to his tone that drives Dean crazy. “Did he wrap you up in his wings and make you all better, or what?”
Dean punches Sam in the shoulder, hard, a gut instinct leftover from their youth. Sam squeaks and grabs his shoulder in surprise. He gives Dean this wounded look, all ‘how could you’ and sad-eyed.
“I don’t know. He took away my pain or some shit,” Dean mumbles, putting sarcastic emphasis on the word. “At least, I think that’s what he did. I don’t fucking know. I didn’t ask him for shit, that asshole.”
“Well, that’s romantic,” Sam says without missing a beat, and Dean feels his nostrils flare.
“I will punch you in the dick, Sam.”
“Alright, jeez,” Sam says with a chuckle. “I mean, it’s not like you’ve never cut yourself a slice of angel food cake before, man. And just because this one’s in a different package doesn’t mean – “
“Sam,” Dean says desperately, finally turning to face his brother on the sofa. Sam looks at him and then he really looks, catches the sincerity in his eyes, catalogues the swollen lips and whatever other marks Castiel’s eager mouth may have left on his skin. Sam rolls his lips into his mouth and his features soften into something kind, maybe even understanding.
“Sorry, man, I didn’t – “ He stops and swallows hard, brow furrowing a bit. “I didn’t know.”
“Neither did I,” Dean says, and the honest truth hangs there for a moment between them. Sam opens his mouth and then closes it, choosing instead to simply nod and hand Dean a dirty old rag that smells of gun oil, strong and familiar. It’s Sam saying that it’s okay, that Dean’s okay and that they’re okay, that whatever Dean needs, wants, is fine by him.
Dean accepts this wordlessly, but his gratitude hangs heavy in the air. They clean the guns with easy familiarity, trading memories and sips from the water bottle that Sam had brought in from the car.
There’s a creak on the stairs and their heads whip around to zero in on the noise on instinct. Sam relaxes when he sees that it’s only Castiel, attention going back to the disassembled gun in his hands.
But Dean, he keeps looking. Castiel is barefoot and his dress shirt is unbuttoned down to the center of his chest. Dean wonders if maybe he did that, maybe he popped all of those buttons open without even realizing it. Dean’s eyes catch on Castiel’s exposed throat, following the graceful line down to collarbones that he longs to trace with his fingertips.
He isn’t sure when this happened, when he became unable to look at Castiel without feeling like he just took a sucker punch to the gut. He’s still staring even when Castiel comes to stand in front of them and Dean’s gaze goes to his hands, almost hidden underneath the unbuttoned cuffs of his shirt.
“Hey Cas, how are you feeling?” Once again Sam’s voice snaps Dean out of his reverie and he clears his throat. His heart is pumping healthy and strong in his chest but he aches all over. He itches and burns and craves right down to his core. He isn’t sure what it’s for yet, but he suspects that it has something to do with the angel in front of him.
“The answer lies in your question, Sam,” Castiel says gravely, and Dean’s eyes travel up to his face. “I feel. I believe that I have what you would call a headache.”
“Welcome to the land of the living,” Sam says easily. He finishes putting the gun back together and sets it carefully on the floor next to the sofa. He makes a big show of stretching his muscles, yawning, and cracking his back. “Well,” he says as he stands, “I didn’t get any special angel mojo, so I’m going to hit the hay.”
“Sam,” Castiel says gravely, and Sam’s eyes widen a little. “If I had any to spare, you know that I would – “
“Dude, I was totally kidding,” Sam says, reaching out to awkwardly pat Castiel’s shoulder. “You and me? We’re good.”
Castiel nods and relaxes a little. Sam’s mouth flattens into a confused yet sympathetic line and he gives Dean a nod. Castiel and Dean watch as Sam trudges up the stairs. Dean relaxes into the sofa, already made up with the last set of spare sheets and blankets from the trunk of the Impala. They smell a little like old motor oil, but clean, and Dean swallows hard as Castiel comes to stand in front of him.
Neither of them knows what to do next, where to go, how to act. Dean lets out a breath and does what comes naturally, what feels right, and reaches out to close his fingers around Castiel’s wrist. A myriad of emotions flicker across Castiel’s abnormally expressive face; curiosity, apprehension, relief, desire, confusion and fear all swirl together to make something beautiful. Dean settles back into the overstuffed sofa and tugs, fingers closed tight around the delicate bones in Castiel’s wrist. He comes forward willingly, hesitating only slightly as Dean’s hands go to his hips and pull, guiding him down onto his lap.
Castiel’s knees press into the sofa, thighs bracketing Dean’s hips as he settles into a sitting position. He seems to have no idea what to do with his own hands and he lets them hang awkwardly to the side, shoulders rolled back. Dean smiles softly at the warm, comfortable weight of Castiel astride his hips, but still, this is a delicate situation. Dean curls a hand around Castiel’s hip, thumb sneaking under his shirt to touch warm, bare skin.
“About what you did last night,” Dean says quietly, and Castiel’s eyelids flutter like he wants to look away but can’t. “Just… thank you, Cas.”
“I assure you, Dean,” Castiel says in his rough, authoritative voice. “It was no great sacrifice.”
“Are all angels such shitty liars?” Dean asks as he takes Castiel’s hand in his own. He holds it for a moment and then rests it on his own chest. Castiel stares down at his hand, gaze softening as Dean’s arm goes around his waist to pull him closer. Their chests come into contact and Dean sucks in a deep breath, free hand trembling only slightly as he curls it around the back of Castiel’s head to pull him in for a kiss.
Despite all the logical reasons why it’s wrong, kissing Castiel feels right, and in that moment that’s all that Dean really cares about. He nibbles at Castiel’s bottom lip which elicits a low moan, puffy lips parting enough for Dean to lick his way inside.
Their kiss gets deeper, primal and heated, and Dean’s fingers deftly work open the remaining buttons on Castiel’s shirt. Dean pushes it off of Castiel’s shoulders and twists it around his wrists for a moment, holding his hands trapped behind his back as Dean pulls away from the kiss to get a better look. This body is muscled but lean, sinewy and lithe, and Dean drinks it in before flicking his gaze upward to Castiel’s eyes.
It’s amazing to him that Castiel allows this, is letting Dean hold his hands immobile when he is already at his weakest. The trust in that makes Dean tremble, makes him feel powerful and unworthy all at once. Dean lets go of the shirt, letting Castiel shake his hands free while Dean leans in to get his mouth on those perfect collarbones to kiss and lick and bite.
Castiel twitches and gasps, shaking almost imperceptibly in Dean’s grasp. His hands go to Dean’s shoulders, head tipped back as Dean’s mouth travels over the hills and valleys of his chest. He pauses to lick at a nipple, pulling the tightening nub between his teeth, and Castiel lets out a guttural moan that makes Dean’s dick twitch in his jeans.
He sucks on the other nipple, getting more and more frantic as Castiel starts to squirm. His fingers go to Castiel’s slacks, popping the button and pulling down the fly, tugging even more persistently at the material once he catches sight of those sinuous hipbones.
Dean pulls back to watch Castiel’s face as his hand dips into Castiel’s underwear to curl around his hardening cock. Cas lets out a whimper, something so broken and honest that Dean gasps. He strokes up once, thumb rubbing at the slit to coax fluid out, and Castiel surges forward to attack Dean’s mouth with the most intense kiss of his entire life.
“Fuck, Cas,” Dean mumbles hotly against Castiel’s swollen lips. “I need, shit, I want – “
“Anything,” Castiel professes, hands already going for the hem of Dean’s shirt and pulling up. Dean lifts his arms as the material gets pulled over his head, moaning as Castiel tosses it aside and thumbs at a nipple, nail scraping across it curiously. “I want anything and everything that you’ll give me.”
“Oh fuck,” Dean breathes. He pulls Castiel into another kiss, teeth nipping and tugging at his lips as he pushes him down onto the sofa. He gets up and pulls Castiel’s slacks off, leaving him flushed and naked, panting and waiting. Dean fumbles with the button on his jeans and kicks them off along with his underwear. He’s painfully hard, cock curving upwards. Castiel’s eyes widen slightly and he reaches out to touch it, fingertips ghosting along the shaft and lingering on the sticky-wet head.
He climbs on top of Castiel, gasping as their naked bodies line up and he gets to feel all that warm, bare skin. Castiel moans and arches up, hips twitching and rutting against Dean like he has no idea what to do but he’s so fucking eager, begging for it harder than anyone Dean has ever been with.
Dean has fooled around with guys before – drunken hands and fumbling mouths in dirty bathrooms and back alleys – but he’s never fucked another man. He’s never cared about another man, has never been pressed up against one with nothing between them. He knows the basics though, and Castiel moans when Dean traces the groove between Castiel’s groin and thigh, back to touch the tightly furled hole there.
“I want you, Cas, so much,” Dean babbles against Castiel’s willing mouth. He slides his tongue along Castiel’s rough jaw and bites at his earlobe. “Wanna be in you. Can I have you?”
“Yours,” Castiel says immediately. “I’ve been yours since the moment I found you and put my mark on you. I am yours just as you are mine, and you can have me in whatever way you’d like, Dean.”
As he says this, Castiel puts his hand over the mark on Dean’s arm and he feels the full force of their bond, just how deep it goes and how important it is to the both of them, just like the first time Castiel touched him there.
“I trust you, Dean,” Castiel says sincerely, pinning Dean in place with the force of his gaze, “fully and completely. I want you just as you want me.”
Dean’s heart pounds and he stares at Castiel with all that he’s feeling because words have escaped him. He kisses Castiel again, fingers curling into his sweat damp hair before pulling away. He doesn’t want to lose contact with Castiel, can’t break the connection of their skin, and he looks around desperately. He spots the gun oil resting near the weapons and grabs for it, getting it on his fingers as he returns to the space between Castiel’s parted legs.
The oil smells sharp and familiar, like everything he’s ever known, and Castiel gasps when Dean’s finger breaches him. He presses a soft kiss low on Castiel’s body, one hand curled around the flare of his hip as he slides his finger all the way out, circling the rim once before sliding back in. Castiel is quiet but never silent, a litany of noises spilling from his abused lips at Dean’s ministrations.
Dean licks his lips and closes his mouth over the head of Castiel’s cock, moaning at the bitter flavor as he slides a second finger in, spreading them a little just to test the give. Castiel grabs at him and Dean reaches out with his other hand. Castiel clutches it and tangles their fingers together, hips arching up into the warmth of Dean’s mouth. He pulls off just as Castiel’s thighs start to tremble and he has three fingers buried inside of him. He withdraws them and drizzles more gun oil onto his fingers to slick up his dick, fisting it at the base as he lines up and clutches Castiel’s leg under the knee to wrap it around his waist.
Dean looks up and catches Castiel’s eyes as he teases at Castiel’s slick hole with the head of his cock, fluid leaking freely from the tip and making him even wetter.
“Dean,” Castiel says, voice breaking as he squeezes his hand hard enough to hurt. “Please.”
He pushes in, eyes never leaving Castiel’s face as he arches up. His eyes slip shut, lips parting on a moan, and then Dean is inside, where it’s so hot and tight, squeezing the life out of him. He slides an arm under Castiel’s shoulders and kisses him filthily, hips pulling back only to snap forward again and make Castiel cry out beneath him.
“I never – never imagined that it could be like this,” Castiel confesses in a harsh whisper against Dean’s mouth. His arms go around Dean’s shoulders, one hand sliding down to palm at his ass. “That we could be so connected.”
Dean knows that he isn’t just referring to the sex, which is mind-blowing, but to something else that Dean doesn’t have the presence of mind to name right now. He stays quiet, instead choosing to communicate with his eyes as he presses their foreheads together, one hand on Castiel’s cheek as he rolls his hips. Castiel gets the hang of it soon enough, pushing up to meet Dean’s steady thrusts.
They communicate with looks and kisses, bites and scratches, and Dean feels wrung out both physically and emotionally by the time he begins to feel his orgasm unfurling at the base of his spine. He lets out a sob and digs his thumb into Castiel’s cheek. He seems to understand because he places his hand firmly over the scar he left on Dean and rolls his hips, the other hand squeezing at the back of his neck as they kiss.
Dean comes with a shout, biting down on Castiel’s chin to quiet himself as his hips twitch and he empties himself inside of Castiel, who moans like he’s never felt anything so wonderful. Dean keeps thrusting even after it’s over, his hand going between them to wrap around Castiel’s dick.
“Come for me,” Dean commands, licking across the red mark he left on Castiel’s skin. “Let go, lose it. I’ve got you, Cas.”
Castiel nods and then arches up, clinging desperately to Dean as he comes with a shout. He slicks Dean’s fist and their bellies, warm and thick, and sags back against the couch. He’s panting, cheeks flushed and hair damp with sweat and messy, clinging to his forehead and curling around his ears. He’s glistening, pink and shiny, covered in bite marks and bruises sucked into his flesh. He looks debauched, more human than Dean has ever seen.
It’s then that he’s reminded that this is an angel spread out underneath him. Castiel is a warrior of heaven, an ageless celestial being, and Dean’s eyes glaze over as the magnitude of what just happened washes over him. Castiel notices, reaching up to put his hand on Dean’s cheek and swipe his thumb over Dean’s tingling lips.
“Stay with me, Dean,” Castiel pants roughly. “Don’t think, kiss me.”
Dean stares down at Castiel, into eyes as blue as the sky after a storm, and presses their mouths softly together. It’s a gentle, tender kiss. It’s the kind of kiss that Dean isn’t often on the receiving end of, and they certainly have never come with rough stubble that burns pleasantly against his chin.
Castiel pulls back, pushing Dean’s damp hair back from his face and that’s when Dean realizes that he’s trembling, arms unsteady as he props himself over Castiel, who is looking up at him with a soft, pleased smile on his face like he’s something important, something to be cherished.
“You with me, Dean?” Castiel asks. Dean licks his lips and closes his eyes for a second. They both make a soft noise as Dean pulls out. He doesn’t even bother getting up, just settles himself on top of Castiel and rests his head unabashedly on the angel’s shoulder. Castiel puts his hand on his arm, fingers fitting into the mark that they left.
“Yeah,” Dean says softly as he presses a kiss to Castiel’s collarbone. “Yeah, Cas. I’m with you.”
Dean’s eyes snap open and he has the presence of mind to at least be glad that he covered he and Cas’s naked bodies with a blanket before they fell asleep. There’s no use in even attempting to scramble away and pretend that this isn’t exactly what it looks like, but Dean doesn’t even really want to because Castiel is so warm and pliant underneath him and it’s not like Sam isn’t going to find out eventually anyway.
“Dean, you up?” Sam asks as he climbs noisily down the stairs. His voice gets louder the closer he gets to the living room, and Dean pulls his bare foot under the blanket and lifts his head up to look at the entryway. “What the hell, man? It smells like the trunk of your car in here. What have you – oh holy shit.”
“Wanna cuddle?” Dean quips as he lifts up one corner of the blanket, because he’s never met a moment of Sam’s life that he hasn’t been able to make wildly uncomfortable. Sam’s mouth just falls open and at some point between him looking mildly constipated and Dean staring like a very naked deer in the headlights, Castiel rouses and stretches his arms out. Sam’s eyes widen as Castiel lifts his head to press a wet, suckling kiss to Dean’s jaw. “Now’s not the best time, Cas.”
Castiel pulls back to look at Dean’s face and then tips his head back to follow his line of sight. He sees Sam and freezes, adding nothing to the situation except for more awkward staring.
“So there’s a very big difference between having a hunch that your brother is screwing around with a very male angel and realizing that you’re actually pretty okay with it,” Sam tells them warily, “and actually seeing it.”
“You approve of your brother and me entering into a physical relationship?” Castiel asks from his warm, tight space underneath Dean. “I appreciate that, Sam.”
“Wait, relationship?” Dean asks, and Sam rolls his eyes. Castiel slides his hand up the center of Dean’s back, the action thankfully hidden by the thick blanket, and Dean shivers. “Yeah, yeah. Okay.”
“Wow. So, okay,” Sam says as he drags his hand down his face. “I’m going to go get some coffee… and brain bleach. Please, please have pants on when I get back?”
“Sure thing, Sammy,” Dean says with a smarmy grin. His brother gives him a look, one of those looks that only they can give each other, and then it softens into something knowing and maybe even a bit fond. Dean feels himself blushing under the scrutiny and fights the urge to scowl. Sam just nods and then lets out a breath, but he’s smiling to himself when he turns to leave.
Dean stays tense until he hears the door click shut and the Impala start up, and then he relaxes on top of Castiel.
“That went rather well,” Castiel says simply, and Dean lets out a shaky laugh. Castiel strokes his fingertips up Dean’s back again, and he looks down into Castiel’s bright eyes and licks his lips. “Do you think we have time to go again before he returns?”
“You’re a quick learner, angel,” Dean says with a fond smirk. He reaches up to palm Castiel’s cheek, thumb swiping under his tired eye. “I like that about you.”
The corners of Castiel’s mouth twitch up into a small smile and Dean can’t help but to lean down and kiss the curve of it. Castiel kisses him back soundly, with such meaning and feeling behind it, and Dean’s heart beats a little quicker.
It beats strong, steady, and all for those that he loves.