Human Perspective

We are weaned from our timidy

“You got a fast car, and I want a ticket to go anywhere, maybe we can make a deal, maybe together we can get somewhere.”

Cas was singing under his breath. Dean glanced at him in the rearview mirror. Cas returned the look after a moment, went quiet. Dean liked Cas' singing voice, but he didn't always like Cas' choice of song. But he liked this song all right. Cas had one of Sam's old iPods and had been steadily building his own collection of songs.

“Do you have a request?” Cas asked behind him. “I like this Norah Jones song, do you want to hear some of it?”

“No, no, that's okay, not my thing, Norah Jones,” Dean said with a tight smile. “How about Thin Lizzy?”

Cas snorted, shook his head, returned his attention to his iPod. “Your music knowledge wallows sadly in the 70s,” Cas informed him. “You need to give more modern artists a chance, there are a lot of talented singers much more recent.”

“Oh my fuck, you sound like Sam, Sam has done this to you, hasn't he?” Dean reached over and swatted his sleeping brother in the arm. “Wake up, Sammy, what kind of crap you been feeding my angel?”

Sam startled, jumped, looked at Dean blearily.

“Sam has not been feeding me anything,” Cas said, irritated, from the back seat. “Leave him alone, he's sleeping. How about Pink? She has some interesting songs.”

“Who are you? How are we even sleeping together?” Dean said, looking wide-eyed at Cas now in the rearview mirror.

“We aren't sleeping together. That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works,” Cas said, shaking the iPod at Dean's reflection in the rearview.

“Psalms isn't helping your taste in music.” Dean snorted, looked at Sam, who'd settled back down to go back to sleep. “This is Sam's doing, I'm going to get the truth out of him.”

“Having a difference in musical tastes is not a sin,” Cas said flatly. “AC/DC had that one very recognizable song, then all their other songs sound like it.”

“I will pull this car over,” Dean said, low and dangerous.

“All my bad opinions of your music are my own, so leave Sam out of it,” Cas informed him again, loftily.

Actually Dean thought it was pretty great that Cas had opinions. Cas was even allowed to be obnoxious about them after spending millennia being told what to do. It was good, after their last little go around with a banshee and another angel, that Cas could be distracted with an old iPod and a pair of headphones.

Dean could usually find Cas with his laptop now, if they both disappeared. Cas downloaded music of all descriptions; was willing to listen to anything once. His tastes became very eclectic, not choosing one genre or generation over another, but proclaiming to love all equally — except AC/DC. Sam was baffled as to why Dean blamed him for that. Cas would look up lyrics, would write them down in a notebook, would hum them to himself as he continued cataloging the archives between hunts.

“You really screwed up your vessel thing,” Dean told him, “You really needed to get a teenage girl.”

Cas just tilted his head and squinted at Dean, and Dean grinned and came in and flopped into one of the chairs around the library table that Sam and Cas had moved into the archive room Cas was working on. Cas smiled at him when he sat down, sort of scooted his chair to be a little closer to him. Dean kind of liked walking into a room and seeing Cas light up, he kind of liked it a lot.

“Whatcha cataloging today, Einstein?” he asked, smiling, putting his feet up on the table and onto some of Cas' papers, folding his hands in his lap.

“As you know, I'm currently cataloging all the display exhibits from infernal events G through I,” Cas said. “It seems there are a lot of G cases, there must be a prevalence of G surnames that I was previously unaware of.”

“That's a shame,” Dean said. “I thought you might like to go for a drive and listen to some real music.”

“A drive where?” Cas said. “I'm very busy. Sam has made it clear that if I get this entire room done by the end of the week, I can start on a new room Monday.” Cas said that like it was some reward being dangled.

“Uh, we could go get some beer,” Dean said.

“What do you consider real music?” Cas asked, elbow on table, chin in palm. “I'm curious because as far as I can tell it's all real music.”

“Allman Brothers, Seger, Black Sabbath, and you really need to change your attitude about AC/DC, man, what did they ever do to you?” Dean said.

“Perpetrated a lie upon the general population by pretending to write more songs than just Back in Black,” Cas replied.

Dean just grinned. Cas had a joke. Cas had a running gag. Cas was teasing him, Cas was teasing him; and it was making Cas, for the lack of better words, all manner of hot.

“If I go on your drive, can I pick music, too?” Cas asked.

“Nope,” Dean said. “Driver picks the music, number one rule of baby.”

“Then there really isn't any incentive to go on a drive with you,” Cas said. “Unless you're relying on your bad boy charm to sway me. I think that's what you're relying on; you think you're irresistible.”

“So is it working?” Dean asked. “Or do I need to switch tactics? You went from being irritated because I wouldn't jump you to playing hard to get. You're really picking up the whole range of human emotions pretty quickly. I have to say, I, for one, am impressed.”

“So flattery is tactic number two,” Cas said with a pleasant smile. He kept watching Dean, but it wasn't like the way he used to stare at him. He used to stare at him hard, like he was trying to figure him out; now he watched Dean, as if he were enjoying him. “And you should be impressed, I'm brilliant.”

They were flirting. The angel was flirting with him. He could live with this. He could live his whole life with this.

“So now you're going to make me work for it. Smooth, Cas, real smooth,” Dean said, acknowledging this new game. This wonderful game.

“You're so good under pressure,” Cas told him. “Why should I not get to enjoy that? Besides, having is worth more if you work for it, correct?”

“Are you going on a drive with me, or not?” Dean asked again.

“No, try harder,” Cas said. “Shoo, I'm busy.”

So Dean went off to figure out how to try harder.

“It doesn't have to be like this,” Sam said, looking up. “Please, just talk to us, come down, no one is going to hurt you.”

Finding angels practicing witchcraft was frightening. Knowing they were doing it with ancient Enochian power words was more frightening. Cas begging Sam and Dean not to kill the witch was the worst.

In his flight to get away from the hunters, the angel or witch, or whatever it was now, had fled to the top of a four story building, wedged himself out on a ledge, threatened to jump.

Cas had pleaded for him. “Just let me talk to him, please, just let me talk to him, he may not even know what he was doing is taboo; he didn't kill anyone ...”

“No, Cas, he just maimed someone,” Dean snapped. “He has got to know that's bad.” Sam watched Cas crumple before Dean. Sam intervened.

“Cas might be right,” Sam said. “At least let Cas talk to him first.” Dean swore, looked at them both and turned his back and walked off>It was as much acceptance as he would give because he couldn't agree with them verbally.

Sam took Cas over to where they could see the man, and he spoke first, trying to coax him down It predictably had no effect. So Cas started speaking in Enochian.

[Brother, why are you doing this? What has happened to you that you would resort to ancient magics?] Cas said, leaning out the window as far as Sam would let him.

[I am no one's brother now, you should not call us so, we are all in this sin together,] the other angel told him.

[That's not true! Tell me your name, your name from heaven. Tell me what is wrong and maybe I can help,] Cas said.

[There is no point. It makes no difference, it made no difference down here on this world of creatures of mud. Why did our Father do this? Why did he let this happen to us? So that we fall here, so that we become this and we are preyed upon like animals.] The angel was shaking, tears running down his face and he wouldn't look at Cas.

[Did someone hurt you?] Cas asked. [Please, brother, let me help. These humans with me, they will help if I can explain to them what happened.] Cas begged.

[I am an angel of the lord and I am above their justice and I deserve some respect. You cannot make that happen, no one can make that happen, we are here to be crushed under the thumb of our Father's favorite creations. We lost favor with him and this is our punishment.] The angel looked at Cas now. [If you suffer these fools, if you make friends of them and let them sway you, then you are less than what you were and you have given away your very dignity. I pity you, I pity you, brother.] The angel looked directly at Cas now, and then he took a step and he was gone. Cas might have followed, had Sam not yanked him back through the window.

Dean kept hovering. He kept coming to look in at Cas as Cas sat in one of the archives. Cas didn't acknowledge him; Cas wanted to be left alone. But every hour, almost on the hour, Dean would come by and look in; it was very irritating.

On Dean's fourth round, Cas called out to him. “I'm fine, will you please stop?” and then Cas looked at him, all hard lines and sharp eyes. Dean took that as an invitation to come into the room and Cas exhaled loudly, clearly unhappy with that circumstance and he dropped his eyes to his lap. “What do you want, Dean?” he demanded, curbing his anger as much as he could.

“I just want to make sure you're okay, that's all,” Dean said, spread his hands. “Kill me now for disturbing you.”

“Your concern is not necessary —” Cas began.

“Yes, it is,” Dean cut him off loudly, then covered his own mouth, took a deep breath. “Yes. It. Is. Look, Cas, ever since that hunt you've been holed up in here, and okay, usually that's normal for you. But you're not doing anything, you're just sitting here. You're just sitting here staring at nothing. How can I not worry about that?”

“Dean ...” Cas tried again, exasperated and yet it ached, this affection Dean had for him.

“You haven't even told us what he said,” Dean interrupted again. “Cas, I know that trying to save him was important to you, and you tried, Sam says you tried hard, but it just wasn't meant to be.”

“Sam was there for me,” Cas said. If Dean would not leave him alone when simply asked, then Cas would try to drive him away with other means.

“I was there. Was I on board with trying to talk him down? No,” Dean said honestly, “but I didn't try to stop you, did I?”

“You didn't try to help, either,” Cas said quietly. He rubbed the end of his shirt between his fingers. “You would have just killed him if it wasn't for Sam; not for me. You wouldn't have done it for me.”

“You have a blind spot for the other angels,” Dean said uncomfortably. “It's like you think they should all just get a free pass.”

“Maybe I do,” Cas said defiantly. “What if I do? You have a blind spot for me, Dean, what if I want to have a blind spot of my own.”

“You're different,” Dean said, looking away.

“How? How am I different,” Cas demanded. “You, better than anyone, better than my siblings, maybe even better than my Father,” and his voice dropped to a whisper, “you know me. You know all that I have done and all the blood I can still see on my hands, so tell me how in creation I am different.”

Cas saw Dean clench his fists, saw Dean look around the room, anywhere but at Cas himself. Saw Dean trying so hard to come up with a good, logical answer that would validate everything he believed. Dean trying so hard to wash Cas clean.

“You are different because I say so,” Dean finally said, turning to pin him with a stare. “You are different because at least you tried. Because you truly and honestly gave a damn about something other than yourself. Because you saw the big picture and you tried to help. You tried because you wanted to help. That is why God made you in the first place. He made someone who might not succeed but they would try, to show the rest of us how it's done. He made you to show how to give a damn. That is your role, angel, because there isn't another angel like you. We know that for a fact. You're different because I say so and because your Father made you that way.”

Castiel loved Dean Winchester. He had probably loved him from the moment he laid eyes on him in hell. Dean had shone so brightly in that dark and horrible place. Castiel often admonished himself for thinking he loved Dean Winchester. Surely it was just the ideal of the righteous man he loved; just the pure and noble thought of a soul of such import in this little human man? But no, the soul was the energy to drive the spirit, and the spirit permeated the flesh and brought life and thought and the thought made the man who he was. Dean Winchester made himself into this righteous man, and Castiel loved him. It was just the truth. Dean was standing there, just looking at him now.

“You make a very convincing argument,” Cas said, still looking at his lap. “And you know what you mean to me; but I'm still going to ask you to leave me alone.” Then he looked up at Dean and saw the pain in Dean's eyes at his request and he almost recanted. But instead, Dean turned and left the room, proving, without a doubt, that he loved Castiel back.

Cas kissed him. He came over to where Dean was sitting with his beer and the TV on and he leaned over, blocking Dean's view of the TV, and he kissed him. Dean blinked at him in surprise because Dean rather thought he was on Cas' shit list this week. But then Cas stroked his face with those long fingers, worried Dean's lips with his fingertips; and then he left.

Dean sat there and blinked, not sure what to make of the encounter. He enjoyed it, but Cas had looked so solemn and severe while doing it he wasn't sure Cas enjoyed it. That's not how it was supposed to be. He looked off in the direction Cas went. Should he get up? Should he follow Cas? Maybe he should, but Cas didn't look very happy, but then Cas had kissed him. What the fuck. Cas came with so many rules. Cas came with so much ... stuff: sensitivity, he guessed, or whatever, kind of like Sam, only worse than Sam. Cas just kissing him and walking off; Cas probably still mad at him and kissing him so that Dean would think it was ok to kiss back and then get in trouble.

Fucking angel.

There was a hunt; Cas declined the invitation and neither brother was surprised. They left him to his archives, where at least, if he was not happy, he was content. He, of course, missed them when they were gone; he worried about them both. But it wasn't as if he didn't know he would feel that way, having stayed behind before. They would be home soon, and these feelings would go away, just like always.

Soft voices in the middle of the night woke him. He sat up, listening carefully, but the cadence and the inflections were voices he knew. Sam and Dean were home. He looked at his clock; it was just after three in the morning. The voices were carrying down the hall from the large communal bathroom they all shared, and that was curious. Cas got out of bed, opened his door and looked out into the hall. The door of the bathroom was half open and he could see shadows moving around. It was odd for them to be in the bathroom at the same time, so he went down the hall and pushed the door open.

They turned to look at him, both with a different reaction. Sam was startled and Dean looked pained. It might be from the litter of bloody towels and gauze and other things. Cas just stood there in the doorway, taking it in; there was so much blood. It was coming from Dean.

“What … what happened?” he asked, knowing it was redundant. They were on a hunt, they were hunting monsters, there were risks.

“It's okay Cas,” Dean said, taking deep breaths. His cheek was slashed, and there was blood coming from the side of his neck and his shoulder. “Go back to bed, Sam and I got this.”

Cas stood there, watching, and Sam went back to gingerly patting Dean's shoulder and the side of his neck with a towel, trying to judge which cuts would need to be sutured closed. Cas could feel his fingers moving, stroking over his own palms and Dean wasn't looking at him anymore, he was looking straight ahead. He should have gone with them; how could he protect them if he was not with them? How could he protect them as he was now? How could he make sure Dean lived to come home to him every time?

“What can I do?” he asked, knowing the answer would be nothing, there was nothing he could do, nothing but stand there and look foolish and nervous and prompt Dean to try to comfort him. And as if on cue ...

“Cas, look, I know it looks bad, but I've had a lot worse, trust me, okay? Go back to bed,” Dean said, turning to look at him again, breathing hard through his nose.

Dean in pain and lying to protect Cas. Dean protecting him, again. Over and over, like he was in Cas' permanent debt. Dean reluctantly giving in, willing to spare a witch. Dean giving him space in which to grieve, Dean trying so hard to make this human experience work for Cas.

“It's okay, Cas, I'll take good care of him,” Sam said then. Cas nodded, mutely and turned way and walked slowly back to his room and sat on his bed. He could still hear them, faint and muted. He could hear Sam, knew clearly it was Sam and then Dean, loud and muffled, exhausted and pained. He waited for a long time, until the voices hushed, until the bathroom light was shut off, until he heard the pair of them come down the hall. Then Sam, to his room on the opposite side of the hall, door closing, and then Dean down the hall and on the same side as Cas, door closing. He waited for a bit after, and then he got up, opened his door and went down the hall to Dean's.

He put a towel on the bed before he laid down gingerly. It was so he wouldn't ruin his mattress if he bled through something during the night; he'd done it before many times. He heard the creak of his door, turned his head a little, trying not to move to much to pull his stitches. He knew it was Cas because it wouldn't be Sam, not like this.

“Thought we told you to go back to bed,” he said, softly.

“There are a lot of things you tell me to do, and I don't always do them,” Cas said, slipping in, shutting the door behind him. “I don't know how you expected me to simply go back to sleep after seeing you there. Are you sure you shouldn't go to a hospital? They have more adequate facilities, and stronger pain medication.”

“Yeah, I'm sure,” Dean said, tiredly. “Just creates hassle and paperwork and trying to come up with an explanation why you have claw marks all over you.” He gave a pained half laugh. “We keep the hospital for things we can't sew up. Come on and sit down.” Dean patted the bed beside him. “I'm a little too wired to sleep right now anyways, we can talk.”

Cas came over then, got on the bed very gingerly as not to disturb Dean to much. Sat close but not right up on him and looked at him, reached to touch his cheek on the un-bandaged side.

“This is but an earthen vessel,” Cas said quietly, sorrowfully. “There is so much I want to tell you, Dean Winchester. So much I have to share, but it's locked inside me now. There are so many things that want to rush out of me when I see you in pain, covered in blood. That is when I feel the loss so keenly. You do not want to hear me say I should have been there to take this blow for you, even though that is what I feel. You do not want to hear me say I wish you would not hunt because of my selfish fear of losing you. You do not want to hear me say I wish I could heal you, I would give anything for just a moment of grace in which to give to you. And yet, I say all of this knowing that you will try to comfort me for my failures. That is perhaps the most painful thing to bear; your love and your forgiveness. I shouldn't say any of this to you; I should be able to hold it within myself, but I am not myself anymore and never will be again. I have in His mercy, you, which by His will alone. I cannot think of how this has happened, but it has; and if I'm meant to have you, I shouldn't try to deny it anymore.” The Cas gave a sigh and looked at him.

“But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies,” Dean said, looking pleased with himself.

“Lamentations, Chapter 3, Verse 32,” Cas said softly, surprised.

“I nailed that quote,” Dean grinned at him. “You got awfully formal on me there. You know how I am when you get all formal.”

“Forgive my weaknesses,” Castiel told him, with a sigh, “it is because I am an angel, you know, we tend to speak with grandeur.”

“So, now is where I pretend I don't know what you're talking about,” Dean said. “But I do. So you get to have me, huh? Do I get any say?” He gave his angel a lop-sided smile.

“No,” Cas said testily. “It's been decided by forces outside of our control.”

“Look at me,” Dean said and when Cas turned his head and met his eyes, Dean grinned.

“Everything is gonna be ok,” Dean told him and Cas carefully lay down beside him and put an arm over his waist. And after that, they both went to sleep.

“Ding Dongs,” Cas said, examining the box Dean had tossed into the shopping cart. Dean thought it was the most annoying fucking thing, that everything he put into the cart Cas pulled out and read aloud. It was kind of embarrassing, considering he shopped at about a five year old's capacity in the cookie aisle.

“They're little chocolate cakes, they're good,” Dean said. “They just have an unfortunate name. Sue me, I like them.”

Cas dropped the box back into the cart and turned to look at the shelf of snack cakes himself. “Zebra cakes,” Cas said, showing Dean the box, holding it up to cover his face and nose so that just his eyes were peering over the top.

“Yeah, so?” Dean said.

“Are they enticing as well? Their name suggests a large, wild animal roaming the savannah in an endless bid to avoid becoming prey. Much more provocative than Ding Dong in my opinion.” Then Cas made the box dance back and forth.

“What the fuck was that? You have some crazy and fucked up opinions and ...” he trailed off as a woman with a child in her cart wheeled past them, giving Dean the mother eyes of death. When Dean turned back to Cas he'd traded out his zebra cakes for a box of Star Crunch and was holding these up now.

“This name suggests extraterrestrial confections,” Cas started. Dean snatched the box away from him, put it back on the shelf, pushed the cart away.

“Keep it up,” Dean told him, “I'll pretend I don't know you.”

“You did that already,” Cas said. “I followed you and Sam through that store saying your name every fifth step, I counted,” Cas said cheerfully, “that is why Sam won't come shopping with us anymore.”

“Why don't you go re-stack all the watermelons or something while I finish up,” Dean suggested with a smile. “You love symmetry, go practice that somewhere. Go make sure all the juice bottles are facing outward, go do something magnificent for them that they won't pay you for. This store loves you for that.”

“I have a feeling I'm being used in that manner,” Cas said, leaning confidentially close. “The assistant manager always makes it a point to hurry over to us when we come in and offer us coupons.” They rounded the corner into the next aisle. Two children came up and latched themselves to Cas' legs. It was always a problem when they went out: small children clinging to Cas.

“I did nothing,” Cas said, holding up his arms in order to avoid touching them.

“It's got be residual angel mojo or something,” Dean said, looking around for a parent. The appropriate parent was located, the children were pried off and, free once again, they continued their journey. They were getting close to produce, Dean doubled his efforts to ditch Cas.

“Hey I know, go find me a good cooking magazine. They always love for you to straighten the magazine rack,” Dean said. “You keep up the good work, we might get free groceries one day.”

“You are deliberately trying to distract me from the fact that we are heading for the produce section,” Cas said, narrowing his eyes. “I am aware you find my delight in agriculture the height of embarrassment so I am going to the produce section with you and if you pretend you don't know me, you will be very, very sorry.”

“You're supposed to be a fucking angel,” Dean snorted.

“I am, and I'll tell everyone in the store all about it,” Cas said. “Then you can use that story you like to use about my missing medication.”

“Why do I let you come with me to the store?” Dean asked, “What possesses me to want to be seen in public with you?”

“You love me,” Cas said, with a smile and a squint, then fell upon the first bin of apples they came to and began to sniff each one. Dean sighed: what could he say to that?

Cas was standing at the kitchen counter supervising Dean as Dean put away the groceries. He was also sniffing a cooking magazine he'd selected before they left the store. It had an appetizing picture of some sort of casserole on the cover, and Sam liked casseroles. It was a little tribute to how he missed Sam on their excursion, so Sam would receive a casserole from his elder brother's efforts. Then Dean came over to him, took the magazine away and sat it on the counter, then walked into Cas and backed Cas against the counter. Surprised, Cas reached back and braced both hands on the counter as Dean leaned into him. Dean put his hands on top of Cas' hands, there on the counter, leaning into them, pinning them and forcing Cas to arch himself against Dean's body. Dean abruptly pushed a leg between Cas' legs and Cas looked at him, wide-eyed, and then Cas realized they were having an intimate encounter and he started to smile, watching Dean's face. Dean didn't smile back, Dean looked serious and concentrated and Cas liked that, he liked the way that made him feel in his stomach and lower, in his genitals. Dean had wonderful eyes and Cas loved to look at them. Sometimes Dean would look right back, sometimes he'd look to the side, but now he looked right back and he licked his lips and tilted his head. Cas expected the kiss, and he pushed up as much as he could when Dean put his mouth on him, and he squirmed in Dean's hold, and Dean rocked forward a little, and Dean's thigh pressed into Cas' groin, and that was wonderful. And they kissed and Dean licked into his mouth and pressed his head back and Cas struggled to keep up and not just be swept away in how good it felt, because everything felt good now and he just wanted to wallow. Finally perhaps he and Dean could become more physical. Dean had worked for it just by being Dean, and Dean thought he was ready, Dean thought he had the knack of being a human. Then Dean's palm was pressing on Cas' crotch and that was just about the most intriguing thing ever and Cas arched himself up, going up on his tiptoes and grabbing Dean's arm because Dean still had one of his hands pinned. He made noises into Dean's mouth about how much he was appreciating all this sensation. The heel of Dean's hand pressed into him, started to rub in a slow circle and Dean's fingers cupped under his balls and Cas tried very hard to latch onto Dean's tongue and nibble in Morse code just how transcendental he was finding the entire experience. Then Sam came in to get something to drink.

Dean jerked back then, completely released every part of Cas and took a step back. Sam froze and swallowed and said nothing. Cas was incensed: why had Dean stopped? So he reached forward, put his arm around Dean's neck, and tried to draw him back down. Dean wasn't looking at him, he was looking at Sam, and Sam clearly didn't know how to react: he kept rocking back and forth between the refrigerator and the door to flee. Dean reached up and removed Cas' arm and backed away enough that Cas couldn't easily grab him and Cas glared between the two.

“Sam, will you please leave? Your presence is disrupting your brother's sexual proclivities, and I was enjoying them,” Cas huffed. “What do you want? Another bottle of water? Dean, get him one so he'll leave!”

Sam and Dean both jerked and flailed around. Dean snatched the refrigerator open, grabbed a bottle of water and pretty much chucked it at Sam's head. Sam caught it and backpedaled, then turned and fled out of the kitchen door.

“Knock next time!” Cas called after him: there, the social niceties were out of the way. He turned to scowl at Dean, and Dean burst into laughter.

“What?” Cas demanded, uncomfortably aroused and not getting any satisfaction.

“Did you see Sammy's face when you told him to get out?” Dean seized up with laughter again. “I wish I had a camera, fuck, Cas that was great.” Dean wiped his mouth, grinned huge and shook his head.

“He's gone,” Cas stressed, “let's proceed with our previous activity!” He shifted, reached down to adjust himself and wondered how to entice Dean back.

For some reason this just made Dean laugh again, and harder. Dean attempted to school his expression, but lost the battle.

“Are you just going to stand there and laugh at me?” Cas half-wailed. “I thought this was a culmination of all our restraint! Why is Sam's presence so disruptive as to completely negate the encounter? I was enjoying that. Weren't you? I thought this was the herald to nudity and other human copulation activities!”

And Dean pounded the counter with one fist, laughing so hard he was turning colors and Cas sincerely, very sincerely, for one moment, wanted to find Dean's favorite skillet and bash his skull in with it. Instead he turned and left the kitchen.

“Aw, no, Cas, wait, I'm sorry,” Dean said, trotting after him, wiping at his eyes. “Come on, baby, it was just so funny, you have to admit it was pretty funny.”

When they got up the stairs to Cas' room, Cas turned back to Dean and Dean put on a smile, an eyebrow wiggle and a jut to his hips. Cas put on his own smile, then he reached up, shoved Dean in the face, went into his room and locked the door.


Cas poked through the box that Dean had dragged out of his closet. He was looking for an odd or end and now that he had a place to store them, he'd collected a few. Cas pulled out a cell phone, flipped it open and wondered why it was kept in this box. The Winchesters burned through phones just about as fast as they burned through matches and it wasn't like them to keep one. So when Dean came back into the room, he showed him the phone. “What's this?” Cas asked.

“That is a box of my shit, why are you going through it. Why are you in my room, I thought we were fighting again?” Dean said.

“You think we're fighting? Is this because I have rejected your advances lately?” Cas said, leveling a look at Dean and flattening his mouth.

“What am I supposed to think?” Dean came over, snatched the phone out of Cas' hand and looked at it a moment, put it back in the box. “Leave it alone,” he said.

“You don't want me in your room, that's fine,” Cas said. “Perhaps when you can think with other parts of your anatomy you can seek me out. Stay here with your box of mysteries and a cell phone.”

Dean threw his hands up, ran a hand through his hair. “Cas, why the hell are we doing this? Look, I said I was sorry about a dozen different ways for the other day. I don't know what else to say,” Dean spread his hands. “That puts the ball in your court, when you get over your sulk then maybe we can get back on track again.”

Cas tapped the sides of the box, gave Dean a sidelong look, then sighed. “I'm not sulking,” he said, “it was just that was a ... moment and I was really unhappy it went away.”

“Me too,” Dean commiserated, “trust me, really fucking unhappy, okay? We can get a moment back,” he said. “Won't be hard: you're willing, I'm willing, that's all it takes.”

“Can I have this?” Cas picked up the old cell phone again. “I've been meaning to keep one and pull it apart,” he said, but Dean came back over, took it from him again, put it back in the box.

“Cas, leave it, it was Benny's,” he said, then picked the box up and went over to slide it back into the closet.


Dean had kept a memento. Well Cas supposed that wasn't out of bounds: after all, he and Benny had been friends; very good friends. Benny had helped them both in purgatory. Benny was there when Dean was lost to everything; Benny had fought beside Dean, Benny had been loyal to Dean, Benny hadn't betrayed Dean or lied to Dean. Benny had been all the things to Dean that Sam and Cas, himself, were not. He tried instead to think of Dean's arms around him by the lake. To think of Dean's smile when he had seen him, to think of Dean's reassurances that he would not leave Cas to a fate that Cas had wanted; and even then Cas had misled him, betrayed him at the end, hurt him. Benny had never hurt him, not the way Cas had done.

Cas, of course, knew of Benny's fate. Dean had told him because Dean thought that Cas would care; Dean was honoring the memory of his friend. Cas had tried, very hard, to care, and he did, a little. Benny had also not turned his back on Cas, even though Cas had made it clear he was not there to be Benny's friend. Benny, a vampire, had schooled an angel in friendship and to this day, it still hurt. He should have said more to comfort Dean after his story and he felt petty and he felt small and he felt all too human now that he felt these things. Such things were easier to assimilate as an angel, when all emotions came dulled and muted, and some were easier to shunt aside.

“What is it?” Dean said and Cas started, he'd almost forgotten Dean was there; he'd almost forgotten that he'd invaded Dean's room just to be near him. He shrugged, he said what was on his mind, because that was his biggest weakness.

“I should have been more fair to Benny,” Cas half-whispered, “now I feel regret and I am unable to apologize to him.”

“It's okay,” Dean said. “It was a tough time for all of us. Benny was trying to get out and maybe he was afraid I wouldn't help him if he didn't help you.”

Dean was trying to save Cas from himself, once again. Why did Dean think this was forever his job?

“You know that's not true,” Cas said. He took a deep breath. “You know I was jealous.”

Dean came over then, looped his arm around Cas' neck, pulled Cas forward and kissed his forehead before releasing him. “It's okay,” Dean said, “I'm strangely not that upset about it. And that being said, you shouldn't be upset about it either.”

It was probably easier said than done, but he liked comfort from Dean, so he took it.

Sam had a lead, it was five hours away. Cas decided he would come.

Sam and Cas arrived at the Impala at the same time and both of them went to the front passenger side door. They stood and looked at each other, Dean comes walking out there to his customary driver's side door and stopped.

“Cas, what gives, I get shotgun,” Sam said.

“I haven't said anything about your weapon of choice, but I'd like to ride up front this time,” Cas said.

“That's not what that means, it's slang Cas, riding shotgun means riding up front,” Sam explained.

“Oh, all these language nuances, I'm not used to them yet. I remember that phrase being used in this particular setting before. Very well then, I'd like to ride shotgun, please,” and Cas smiled at Sam pleasantly.

“No,” Sam said with a snort, reaching for the door handle.

“Why not?” Cas asked, moving in close. Dean realized Cas did this now to make people other than himself uncomfortable. When they were uncomfortable, they got nervous and Cas could control the situation. It was really damn smart and Dean was impressed. Sam took a step back but kept his hand on the door handle.

“Because I always ride up front, Cas,” Sam told him.

“I challenge that,” Cas said, leaning forward despite his height disadvantage. “I fail to see how the fact you always do something means there isn't any room for change. I should be a viable candidate for riding in the front as well. There should be a fairness system.”

“What? Look, Cas, okay, I appreciate that, I really do, and in any other setting I would agree with you; but the car is the exception to the rule. I'm not doing this to be mean, but you have to acknowledge I have more rights to the front seat than you do.” Sam gave him a half smile and a shrug.

Cas squinted hard, made his mouth a hard thin line and flared his nostrils a little. This worked on Dean in most occasions, but not so with Sam and Sam held his ground.

“This is some clique or caste system and I thought that was frowned upon. This is a clique of you and Dean and I'm being excluded. I fail to see the righteousness in this act.” And with that Cas turned to look at Dean, then Sam looked at Dean. Then Dean, being looked at, got into the car.

“See? No validation there, Dean agrees with me,” Sam said.

“That was not agreeing with you, that was avoidance, something Dean is exceedingly good at,” Cas said.

“Oh well,” Sam said with another shrug, then put a hand on Cas' chest, pushed him back and got into the front passenger side of the car and shut the door. Cas stood there a moment with his wide eyes and indignation, then he yanked open the back passenger side door and got into the car and slammed the door to make his point.

“Hey!” Dean said, then realized he'd inadvertently blundered into something he was trying hard to stay out of, so he shut up.

“This is not settled,” Cas said from the back seat. “I have reasons as to why I want to sit up front; very valid reasons, it's not an idle request.”

“Ok, reasons such as?” Sam prompted. But really, he should have known better.

“Dean and I are working to have a more intimate relationship. If I sit up front with him I can be closer, pick up on body language, cues from his facial expressions and perhaps touch him, things I can't do in the back seat,” Cas began.

“No wait... ” Sam said, half-turning in the seat to look at Cas, trying to head off the inevitable too much information Cas had no problem with imparting.

“I would very much like to have sex with Dean, but we are always railroaded away from it somehow,” Cas continued to explain despite Sam's protests. “At the moment I am experiencing some anxiety as to this actual event coming to fruition; I'm also somewhat perplexed as to why Dean isn't helping me achieve my goal of sitting in the front seat next to him. I can't figure out if it's favoritism or familial obligation. Now having said that, I myself have been assured many times that I have a familial bond with our group dynamic, so if it is favoritism I am horribly offended and therefore perhaps I don't wish to have sex with Dean. But then that's a lie to myself, I think about sex with Dean often.” Cas tried to look at Dean in the rearview mirror, but today, unlike most days, Dean kept his eyes on the road. “He won't even look at me,” Cas lamented.

“Okay,” Sam said, trying to butt in now, trying to get Cas off this line of reasoning.

“I thought you were in favor of our pairing, you always seemed to be approving, have I read that wrong?” Cas said, appealing to Sam. “Did you come into the kitchen that time on purpose? I thought that was our turning but since that time we are once again at a stand still. I don't feel that daytime television is a reliable resource for sussing out what the problem could be. I tried watching a variety of shows with various topics on being intimate with your man, but it's just a confusing clusterfuck of conflicting opinions.” Cas all but wrung his hands. “I will, of course, continue to enjoy our prolonged tease if that is what it is meant to be; but I really thought we had moved past flirting. I do enjoy flirting. I can flirt more if that's what you want,” Cas said, trying to catch Dean's eyes in the rearview mirror again.

Sam was quiet for a moment. He turned back to look out the front window again.

“I have never felt so guilty for being an unintentional cock-block in my entire life, and what's more I can't believe I even said that. Two motel rooms tonight, Dean,” he said to his brother. “Don't come out until you've laid him.”

“Who are you guys and how do I get off this ride?” Dean asked.

They stood in the motel room, just the two of them, looking at each other.

“I had rather hoped this would be a mutually consented course of action and not one mandated by your brother,” Cas finally said to break the silence.

“Oh my god,” Dean said. “Oh my god, shut up. You went there and that is a place you never, never go. That just killed the mood for the next ten years.”

Then it was Cas' turn to look stressed. “What? We're still not going to have sex because of your brother? He's not even here!”

“You brought him up, you said that he said we had to do this and wow, Cas, wow, just ... I can feel my balls retreating into my body as I speak,” Dean growled.

Cas just stood there, looking stunned and a little like he might cry. He sort of swayed and staggered over and sat on the end of the bed. It was a single king-sized bed and Dean was just now realizing it was Sam who had procured the rooms. Oh great, way to go, Sam. Clearly drinking was in order.

“I'm going to make a booze run,” he told Cas, and Cas just tilted his head at him and looked at him and Dean felt guilty, but not guilty enough to keep him from drinking until he passed out.

“I read that men have difficulty performing when inebriated,” Cas said with a small voice. Dean decided upon refraining from mentioning that was the general idea. He got his keys, he checked his wallet and he went out the door without looking back.

What was wrong with him? Here he was, here it was: the opportunity, the missed moment realized, it had all came around again like he said it would, like he knew it would. And what, he couldn't because Sam was okay with it? How fucked up was that; he'd known Sam was okay with it. Sam gave every indication he was okay with it from the moment it became an it to be okay with. Just what was his baggage this time? He really thought it was Cas being sulky after the kitchen thing, was that really it? He got into the Impala, he drove around and found a liquor store, he bought things to make him drunk and he got back in the Impala and drove back to the motel, but circled the block three times before parking. He then sat in the car for about half an hour after that, and then he finally screwed up the courage to go back to the room and face Cas.

Cas was pretty much where Dean left him, only he'd kicked off his shoes and was sitting cross-legged on the bed when Dean came in. Dean put his bag down on the table, pulled out his first six-pack and then freed one from its plastic ring. He held that one out to Cas. Cas took it without saying anything and Dean sat there at the table and popped the tab on his. He finished it quickly, sat the empty can on the table, came over and took Cas' not yet empty can from him and sat it on the floor, then pushed Cas onto his back on the bed and climbed over him, settled on top of him, holding himself up with his elbows, and he ran his fingers into Cas' hair.

“Why're we so fucked up like this?” he asked Cas, who hadn't offered the slightest resistance to anything Dean was doing. “We're hot and we're cold and I don't get it.”

“That's a Katy Perry song,” Cas said, lying under him, and Dean gave a groan and a laugh and leaned to press his forehead against Cas' shoulder. He felt Cas put a hand on him then, run it up his side, curve it over his shoulder. Then Dean kissed him. Cas tasted like cheap beer, he smelled like Sam's douchebag spray deodorant, and he was warm and pliant. When Dean released him, Cas licked his own lips and continued to look up at him, eyes half-squinted.

“I want to make you feel good, angel,” Dean said quietly, rubbing his fingers into Cas' scalp, watching his face.

“You do make me feel good,” Cas told him. “Intimacy isn't required for that; it just feels good to be near you,” and Cas smiled, “most of the time,” he amended, “when you're not being an ass.” Cas nodded at the end.

Dean kissed him again, he couldn't not kiss him after that, and Cas made a happy sound, pulled at Dean's shirt. Cas' happy sound made Dean happy, too. He pushed to sit up on his knees, straddling Cas and started to unbutton the buttons on Cas' shirt and Cas pushed his fingers under Dean's shirt. Cas' long fingers, pressing into the flesh of Dean's stomach, a brief exploration of Dean's navel. Dean grinned at him, wrinkled his nose, squirmed and Cas smiled at him. Dean got Cas' shirt open, scooted down out of Cas' reach and sat on his thighs to work open his belt buckle, to start on his button fly jeans: Cas and his button fixation. Once those were open there wasn't anything else: Cas was rebelliously commando and Dean knew that. There was dark, wispy hair there just below Cas' navel, trailing down into the opening of his jeans.

“I can't reach you,” Cas said and Dean smiled at him, shook his head, backed off and stood to grip Cas' jeans and work them down, pull them off, then his socks, and he paused then. He looked at Cas there on the bed in an unbuttoned shirt and naked everywhere else. Cas raised his eyebrows at him, then pushed up to sit up, leaning back on his hands. Dean gave a one-sided smile, watching Cas being comfortable in his skin, even if it wasn't originally his own. Dean reached down and gripped the bottom of his t-shirt, pulled it off over his head and dropped it there at his feet. Cas tilted his head, and gave Dean such a frank appraisal that Dean started to get a bit uncomfortable. This was just his chest, what was Cas going to do when looking at the rest?

“Uh, is this okay?” Dean asked with a slight head tilt of his own, and Cas nodded at him. “You're just being really quiet. Usually you aren't afraid to comment on a new experience.”

“I do, usually, have a comment,” Cas agreed, “but this is an exceptional experience and I'm having trouble organizing the rush of thoughts and feelings into something coherent just yet. It isn't disconcerting to you, is it? I can make an effort if I need to, but please don't stop.”

Somehow Dean thought that was probably the most incredible compliment he'd ever received and he didn't fully understand it. But he decided to interpret it as that he was rendering Cas speechless; somehow. With that, and a small shrug of his shoulders, Dean undid his own belt and jeans, slid them down and stepped out of them. Dean was not rebelliously commando: Dean liked a barrier between himself and a zipper. Cas sat forward then and Dean paused, looking at Cas, before divesting himself of his briefs.

“Are we still good?” he asked, still paused there, holding the waistband of his briefs.

Cas pulled his eyes from where Dean was holding his briefs, and settled them on Dean's face. “I still fail to have a coherent answer,” he said rather mournfully, “and my quickening arousal isn't helping any. Can I give an analysis afterward? Would that be all right?”

“Yeah, sure,” Dean said, “fine.” Then Dean rolled his briefs down and pulled them off and came over to the bed and sat down beside Cas. Cas had no problem checking Dean out. He wasn't shy about his interest in the least and Dean sat there, sort of looking around while Cas had a good long look. Then Cas looked at himself. Dean's mouth twitched a little. Cas looked up at him and shrugged.

“Just now checking out the goods?” Dean asked, amused.

“It never occurred to me to scrutinize them before,” Cas answered. “Is this one of those male posturing things? I seem to recall this was a form of masculine oneupmanship from television. I don't really feel the need to participate in it, and it would seem pointless: we are of a similar size.”

Dean could count his really unique sexual encounters on one hand. He was pretty skilled in picking a partner with a similar skill set to his own. It made for compatibility, and that led to very good sex. He liked it that way: not predictable but guaranteed. So, unique: that was really a treat. So far, in fact, his unique encounters added up to one; and he was living it now.

“Yeah? Let me just check that.” And Dean grinned, reached down into Cas' lap and cupped him and Cas did the most amazing thing. He jumped and flailed and smacked Dean in the face as he flailed, probably by accident, and Dean released him and Cas panted there, wide-eyed.

“What the fuck just happened?” Dean said, feeling his own wide-eyedness.

“That was astonishing,” Cas gasped, looking at Dean. “I was completely unprepared for that sensation. I've been thinking about this for a while now and I thought that I had a pretty good parameter for how a flesh to flesh encounter might feel. That scale is blown to hell.”

“But I've cupped you before,” Dean said. “In the kitchen, I had a handful.”

“That was with my pants on and the level of arousal then wasn't anywhere near the arousal now. I'm getting very hard,” Cas looked at his crotch again, then at Dean, then down to Dean's crotch. “So are you.”

“I am, your complete weirdness is a turn on,” Dean assured him. “Damned if I know why.”

“I promised myself I wasn't going to take a philosophical approach during the encounter,” Cas told him. “Perhaps you should refrain as well. I thought it might be more of a detraction to the physical act to wonder how it fits into the flow of the cosmos; that tends to be time consuming.”

“Okay, good to know,” Dean said. “I'm going to try to touch you again, are you psyched up enough for that?”

Cas held up a finger. He took a few deep breaths and blew them out slowly, then he nodded. “I think I'm ready.”

“I feel like I'm defusing a bomb,” Dean said, then he turned in his sitting position, leaned in and tilted his head to kiss the side of Cas' neck, and placed the palm of his hand on Cas' chest. He did this with a lot of telegraphing his every move, so Cas would be prepared. Cas still jerked, just a little, but there was no flailing like the first time. Or maybe the flailing was reserved for the lower regions. Dean guessed he would find out, but for now, he smoothed his hand over Cas' chest and chewed the side of his neck and finally ran his thumb over the nub of Cas' nipple. Cas took a big startled intake of air at that, then he let it out with a slight raspberry sound.

“That was, again, very unexpected,” he told Dean. “I'm really disappointed that my speculations were all but pointless. I expect it's all the emotional attachment to not only the sensation but the fact that it's you delivering the sensation; I don't think I took that well enough into account.”

Dean pulled away again, looked at Cas and Cas looked back guilelessly and smiled at him. “Okay, that's it,” Dean said, “enough of this angel next door charm, you're getting a blow job,” and he pushed Cas down flat on his back.

He liked the give of the mattress, the little bounce when he landed on his back. He liked the warmth of Dean's hand on his bare stomach and the way Dean was smirking at him. So far he liked everything about physical sex. When Dean pressed his legs apart, he gave no resistance. It caused him to tighten in wonderful ways and his cock was already throbbing a bit. Whenever Dean spoke or smiled at him in their unclothed state, it did that. He should have realized that would have been an important factor in this joining. Dean smiling at him, laughing (sometimes at him), Dean scowling, Dean grinning like no one else could: all these things affected Cas in various ways. If he thought about it carefully enough, he could indeed acknowledge some sensations that could be likened to actual arousal, which he was experiencing now. Then Dean was kissing his stomach and he sucked in a startled breath. Physical sex was so much touching; Dean's hands smoothed over his stomach, his hips, the top of his thighs and Dean's nose dragged a firm line from his navel to the hair at the juncture of his leg. He could feel hair prickling, flesh reacting; drawing up in gooseflesh.

He could feel.

It wasn't as if he couldn't feel before. His vessel of course came with the ability to react to physical stimulus. His true form, back when this wasn't his only form, only the form he borrowed, also had the same ability: it was a trait of living things. But the emotion that often connected to it was, at best, a trickle. A muted palette of soft light that, while acknowledged, wasn't really invested in; it was only there to give the notions of right and wrong.

But now, the emotions that blazed behind each stroke of Dean's hand on his flesh were beautiful and terrifying and Cas worked his throat and lifted his head to see what Dean was doing. He really didn't have to see: he could feel Dean's kiss on his thigh, then lower onto his inner thigh. Dean's hands did independent things, one was holding one of his legs, the other started to drag fingertips through his pubic hair, and Cas paused, and puzzled as to why he clenched his ass up instinctively. And then Dean gripped his cock.

As if to illustrate a point about hands on cocks, Cas made a very loud hrmph sound. So loud that Dean paused and lifted his head to look at Cas, and Cas looked back at him, slack jawed, wide eyed and pale. He had, on occasion, touched that organ. It had been mostly out of curiosity, really. Here was the vaunted penis that people went on and on about. It had been rather limp when he held it and he'd really felt nothing at all but the warmth of his vessel's palm upon his vessel's penis. But now, Dean was holding it, and it was if Dean's hand was made of velvet and fire and it was almost impossible to process.

“You okay?” Dean asked him, looking concerned, and Cas could not even formulate an answer. “You want me to stop?” Dean continued and Cas felt a rush of panic and forced himself to speak.

“It's not a matter of what I want now but rather what I think I need before I have some sort of mental breakdown,” Cas said all in a rush, and panted.

“So uh, don't stop?” Dean asked him, with a confused tilt of his head. Cas just made a helpless gesture and a whine, and Dean studied him for a long moment, then slowly lowered his head to lap at Cas' balls.

Cas still hadn't processed Dean holding his cock yet and now another part of Dean was touching another part of Cas in a particularly sensitive area and it would just have to take a back seat and then Dean started to move his hand, tunneling Cas' cock in his fingers, dragging his palm up the shaft slowly, and how fair was that? Cas was behind now, very very behind and he remembered as the world started to go dark, that yes, as a human he was required to breathe. He covered his face with his hands a moment, then slapped them down on the bed and grabbed a handful of sheet on either side and pulled, and Dean made a noise of mirth like amusement from between Cas' legs and that pissed Cas off a bit.

“Its not funny,” he informed the irreverent Winchester. “I am sure this might be funny to you, since you seem to have all the carnal knowledge in the world. I'm not sure that's something to brag about and I've read conflicting articles both promoting and vilifying promiscuity so I'm on the fence about it. But this is like ... coming up for air. There as so many tactile variances in just these simple acts. How do you do this? How do you live like this with all this touching and feeling things against you every day? How is it possible you even function? It can't be that you're the superior being. I'm an angel, I was the essence of celestial knowledge and intent; I will not be undermined by crude human physical copulation.” Cas breathed hard through his nose.

“I don't think you're ready for this,” Dean informed him, then ducked his head and covered it with his arms as Cas screamed absolute fury at the heavens.

Holy shit.

Dean was sure Sam had heard that, he was sure half of the state had heard that. He released all the parts of Cas he'd been holding and he sat up on his knees between Cas' spread legs and looked down at him. Cas was glaring at him now, eyes bright, red-rimmed. Then Cas raised one leg and kicked him in the side.

“Ow, Cas, what the hell?” Dean griped, shoving Cas' leg away. “Calm the fuck down, okay? You're going to hyperventilate or something.”

Cas sat bolt upright then, right into Dean's face, and Dean leaned back just a little. Cas grabbed Dean by his shoulders then, and Dean thought maybe he'd unleashed the kraken or something, because Cas looked downright scary.

“I will rip off the arm I pulled you out of perdition with and beat you with it if you stop now,” Cas told him, looking slightly crazed.

“I don't know why that is hot, but it is,” Dean said, honestly. “You looking crazed and murderous is a good look for you. Man, that's fucked. Okay, you fucking bag of crazy, lay down again.”

Dean watched Cas flop back down and glare at him like he was trying to flay the skin off him with his eyes. Dean was wary of foreplay now and that was weird, so instead of drawing it out, he settled down and gripped Cas and just popped him in his mouth, giving him a quick flick over the slit on the head of his cock before moving down. Cas became a statue, all stiff arms and legs and that was very weird and Dean paused in confusion and then Cas screamed at him in Enochian and he pressed Cas' dick to the top of his mouth with his tongue and gave it a hard suck thoughtfully. Cas scrabbled at the sheets when he did this and Cas suddenly became not a statue and pulled his knees up. Did Cas even know what the fuck he was asking for? That was not happening, no way in hell, not now, and he sucked again and he swore Cas started crying. Cas probably wouldn't last long at all, better to get this over with. So Dean got to work: he circled the bottom of Cas' cock with his fingers, he pulled them up as his lips descended, pushed them down as his lips ascended and pretty much tried tried to make Cas see God; figuratively.

As predicted, it didn't take long: in fact maybe a dozen or so good hard sucks and Cas' back bowed up off the bed and Dean worked him through his release, letting Cas pull out of his mouth when he collapsed back to the bed, panting. He wiped his face with the sheet, sat up on his knees cautiously and looked to see Cas' face. Cas' cheeks were wet and he suddenly turned on his side away from Dean and rubbed his face into the sheets and Dean said nothing, sensing somehow this was some sort of overwhelming moment for the ex-angel. After a few minutes, Dean thought he should try to say something.

“Cas, you okay there?” he asked, voice kind of quiet. Cas curled up, swung a hand out as if to try to hit him or keep him back. Okay, whoa, what the hell? He sat back on his heels, baffled. His own need was waning a bit; just as well. He kept watching Cas, but Cas seemed to be hiding from him now. Should he leave? Should he give Cas some alone time? Why was Cas so much harder to understand than a woman? Oh right, angel of the lord thing. Cas had confessed to him, a while ago on one of the numerous occasions when they thought they were going to die, that he was for all intent and purpose a virgin. Yeah, Dean should have taken that into account, not that he had much experience with that sort of thing. He preferred his lovers with some track record knowing that if he did that he was unlikely to be disappointed. Sex was away to get release and he never picked a partner he thought he'd have a future with; well, except for that one time but he wasn't going to think about that. No, instead he'd become all twisted up with a creature older than dirt, wearing a stolen body, spouting celestial equations and being a noob at being a human. Go figure.

He could never leave well enough alone, though, so he moved up the bed, crawled over Cas and leaned down to kiss his shoulder.

“Don't,” Cas said from the heap of his own arms he'd buried his head in. “Please don't.”

“I thought this was what you wanted,” Dean said, feeling a bit of alarm and mostly confusion. “What's wrong?”

“I'm not sure,” Cas said. His voice was audibly stressed and he finally turned his face enough to look at Dean, blue eyes rimmed red and wet. “I just have all this ... inside me. I feel: that is what is wrong, I feel and I don't know how you do this, I don't. I don't know if I can do this, Dean. What if I can't, what if this is what breaks us apart. What if this is why my brother jumped, what if this is why my sister cursed me because we aren't supposed to feel like this. It's so much more than I thought and I thought I wanted this but I don't know if I can do this; I don't. I don't know what to do because I know saying this to you is probably hurting you and it's hurting me to know that.” Cas took a deep rattling breath and Dean started to rub his arm. “It's a loop, it won't stop,” Cas continued on and the tears came again.

“Cas,” Dean started, moved from over him, pulls him up and against his chest. But he didn't know what to say, he didn't know anything. How could he know any of this? How was he supposed to tell Cas that it would be better when he doesn't know? Cas now had all this vulnerability and all this potential for pain he never had before and what if he was right? What if this was what was driving them over the edge? “I am going to fix you,” Dean said then, fiercely, “I am going to find a way into heaven and I am going to kick Metatron's ass and I am going to get your grace back and I am going to fix you.” Cas nodded against him. “I'm uh, sorry the blow job did that to you,” he finished, lamely.

“I'm not,” Cas said, hoarse and sincere. “I want everything you have to give to me. What comes of it doesn't matter, as long as it's mine.”

Dean just pressed his nose into dark, messy hair then. Eventually they laid down. Eventually they fell asleep.

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