Genres: Angsty, romance
Warnings: Angst, DP, incest, (temporary)mute!Dean, (temporary) mute!Castiel
Pairing: Wincestiel- Begins with Destiel
Summary: After months of searching Sam finally finds a way to bring Dean and Castiel back from Purgatory. His joyful reunion is cut short when he finds that Purgatory has changed the two, leaving them little more then animals.
Art Link: Comming soon
AN1: This is my very first Big Bang! For the most part it was pretty awesome, except for four days ago when I went to read through my fic one last time and found that it had been lost or curropted (I'm not completly sure, the point is it wouldn't open) and I lost quite a bit of the story. And then had to put of studyinig to re-write it. After a hundred cups of tea and little sleep I finished just in time :D
AN2: Special thanks to my artist PHAELSAFE, who also editied my first draft. And to YUIICHA who edited my final draft and also gave me much ecouragment when I was down about having to re-write my story
All those times he wanted to be left alone, that he'd run off or pushed his family away, seemed so idiotic now. Sam is totally alone. Everyone he knows is either dead or missing: no Dean, no Dad, and no Bobby. Not even Castiel was there. All he has is a busted up Impala and Rufus' cabin, and worst of all was that he had to actually hire a mechanic to fix the car up enough to drive. A whole two weeks went by where he hardly moved off the living room couch - Sam couldn't even bring himself to move to the bunk beds, so convinced that any second his brother might walk through the door.
When he runs out of food and the pain in his stomach forces him to leave the house, Sam finally snaps out of his stupor. He reads up on anything involving purgatory and the living room becomes a miniature library where he's separated everything into two piles: completely worthless and only mostly worthless. There is pretty much nothing about escaping purgatory - even the few accounts of something actually managing to cross over never mentioned how it got out. Short of copying the ritual Castiel used to open the door, he had absolutely nothing.
It was only by chance that he finds himself in possession of the small brown book, the title and most of the cover having been torn away long ago. It was in a pile with the books he'd borrowed from the local library, though he doesn't remember grabbing it. It was an unholy cross between a prayer book and a grimoire. Every page had notes in the margin and he crossed out lines and added new ones overtop. Most of it was small time magic, demon summoning, love spells and necromancy, but near the end he found exactly what he was looking for.
It was the prayer of St. Gertrude the Great, the title circled in red ink over and over again with any empty space covered in notes. Adding substitutions, taking out every ounce of holy devotion and replacing it with black magic. And Sam had no problem with that.
Getting Dean's blood was easy, there was still a bloody shirt in the back seat of the Impala from a hunt that didn't go quite as planned. Castiel's was a little harder - Sam has to search all over the cabin for the discarded vial that once held the angel's blood. He finds it with faint traces of dried blood still clinging to the side. Hopefully, it will be enough. He fills the vial up with water then shook it until the liquid turned a rusty brown, then soaks Dean's shirt until he gets the same results. He leaves the cabin, for only the second time in nearly two months, and heads straight for the cemetery. Sam spends most of the night there, digging up ten bodies before he found one that had a rosary wrapped around their hands. He replaces them with one of his own and silently apologizes to the soul that once possessed the corpse.
When he gets back to the cabin, he soaks the dead man's rosary in the pink water before he sets to work, drawing out the sigils on the ground. It takes three pieces of chalk but Sam finally finishes just as the sun starts to peek over the horizon. He places the bowl, filled with watered down blood, in the center of the sigils and kneels down beside it. Taking the rosary in hand, he begins repeating the prayer, counting the beads until he reaches the crucifix. Then, he murmurs, "amen," and pushes the tip of the cross into his thumb, breaking the skin and squeezing the crimson drops into the bowl.
Sam sucks in a breath and holds it, not sure what to expect. Blinding light? A mini earthquake? But nothing happens and his brother most certainly doesn't pop up. Sam is just about to knock the bowl over and curse himself for being so stupid when a loud crack of thunder sounds outside. He climbs to his feet and goes to the door, flinging it open and looking out into the yard but he doesn't see a single cloud in the sky. It's nothing but sickening silence that makes bile rise up in Sam's throat because he's failed, again - because that was the last chance he had at getting his brother back and it didn't work.
Something growls behind him. Instinctively, the hunter reaches for his knife, a knife he stopped carrying months ago, and spins around to face whatever monster had snuck up on him. Except there isn't a monster, there's just a confused Castiel standing in front of a very pissed off Dean.
"Dean?" Sam breathes, and it is him with not a single hair out of place. He looks the exact same as he did when he got sucked into purgatory. "Oh, God, it worked. You're back."
Sam steps towards them and reaches for his brother but Dean growls like a rabid dog. Dean shoves Castiel back and reaches into his coat, pulling out his knife and, before Sam can say anything, lunges at him. The taller male barely has enough time to duck when Dean slashes at him, rolling away just as Dean stabs into the space where Sam's head had just been. Sam is on his feet and running to the door before his brother can try to kill him a third time, not stopping till he reaches the trees at the edge of the forest. He turns around to see where Dean is and finds him standing just outside the door with Castiel still standing inside the cabin, hand pressing against the empty space like there's a glass wall in the doorway.
Dean reaches through the threshold, grabs the angel by the lapels of his coat and yanks him forward but Castiel only slams against the invisible barrier. Sam remembers the sigils and seals he'd painted on the windows and door, meant to keep angels and demons out but must now have locked Castiel in. Dean tries to pull Castiel through a few more times before Castiel gets fed up with banging his head and slaps Dean's hands away. The angel steps back, giving Dean room to follow him inside but he looks over at Sam first, studying the taller man and gauging his threat level. Dean must realize he doesn't have much of a choice - it's either stay with Castiel or leave him behind and he makes his decision by stepping back into the cabin.
They leave the door open and Sam just stared dumbly at the space they once stood. He had no idea what had just happened, no idea what was wrong with his brother who didn't even seem to recognize him. He tries to walk back inside again but finds Dean standing by the door just waiting for Sam to give him a reason to attack him again. Sam backtracks to the Impala intending to wait it out; Dean had to fall asleep eventually.
Sam stands in front of the door, debating if he should try and enter the cabin again. Dean is asleep, curled up on the ground with his head laid on Castiel's knee and cushioned with the folded up trench coat. Castiel pays Sam little attention, his eyes darting from window to window as if expecting something to jump out and attack them at any moment. Sam rests a hand on the doorknob and coughs. Castiel flinches at the noise, his eyes snapping over to the brunette. "Cas, I'm coming in."
The angel watches him wearily but doesn't growl and attack him, which Sam considers a good sign. He takes a hesitant first step, crossing the threshold and raising his hands up to show Castiel he doesn't have any weapons. Nearly a full minute passes before the hunter takes his next step and by that time Castiel has gone back to ignoring him. He tries to look over his brother, trying to see if there are any wounds or scars that weren't there before but he doesn't think Castiel would let him get much closer. Sam backtracks to the window and taps against the glass, drawing Castiel attention back to him. "Look, Cas! Bees, a whole nest full."
They're wasps actually, one of the many issues around the cabin that Sam hadn't bothered to fix. Castiel only stares at him blankly and he begins to make buzzing sounds in hopes that the angel will clue in. "You know, bees? Buzz, buzz, buzzzzzzzz."
Castiel perks up at that, straining his neck to try and see out the window to where Sam was pointing. The hunter could see the gears in his head working, trying to decide if he should risk it and then slowly lifts Dean's head out of his lap. He crawls the first few feet and Sam moves away from the window so Castiel would creep closer. Hesitantly, he rises to his feet, each step shaky and cautious and his eyes glued to the brunette the whole time.
Then his face is pressing against the glass as he watches the wasps fly in and out of their nests. Sam relaxes; phase one was complete. Now all he has to do is sneak over and check on Dean. He turns to Dean, trying to keep his footsteps light and soft so not to wake him, and kneels down next to his brother. He does look surprisingly unscathed, from what Sam can see there isn't a scratch on him. Sam raises a hesitant hand to Dean's shirt collar, gently pulling it back to examine him closer. He gets only a small flash of tanned skin before Dean's eyes snap open and Sam jumps back in surprise.
Dean pounces on his brother, slamming him to the ground before he has a chance to get away. Dean growls again, drops of spit hitting Sam's cheek as Dean knots his fingers in his hair, raising his knife high above his head. Sam freezes, doesn't even try to get away because the very idea that Dean would actually try to kill him was inconceivable. But then the knife starts to come down and Sam's eye squeeze shut and prays Dean just stabs his shoulder and not his jugular. Instead of the blinding pain he expected, Sam feels something soft brush against his forehead and when he opens his eyes, he's lying on the grass outside. He sits up and rubs his forehead where the skin is still cool and tingly and slowly climbs to his feet. Sam walks back over to the cabin but doesn't go inside, not while Dean's awake and still slashing his knife around like a raving lunatic. Knowing Dean won't leave the cabin without Castiel, Sam hovers by the door.
Dean is looking all around him, trying to figure out what happened to Sam while Castiel kneels beside him. The angel puts a hand on Dean's shoulder which is quickly slapped away when Dean spots Sam standing outside. The feral man growls at Sam then at Castiel, giving the angel a little shove and points outside. Castiel looks over at Sam, face blank save for the way his lips tug back into a tiny smile before he looks back at Dean. Castiel uses one hand to hold onto Dean's wrist and the other to pry the knife out of Dean's death grip. He lets the knife clatter to the ground and, much to Sam's confusion, pulls Dean closer, fitting his head into the crook of the hunter neck and wrapping his arms around him. Dean keeps his hard gaze glued on Sam, eyes narrowed and lips pulled back in a sneer but Castiel manages to tug him down on top of him. When Castiel starts mouthing at Dean's neck, he finally pulls his attention away from Sam. But the hunter is too stunned to look away as his brother grabs the angel by his shoulders and flips him onto his stomach. Castiel's mouth opens in a silent cry when Dean bites down on his neck. The angel arches up under Dean who starts to pull off the other man's trench coat. Sam slowly steps away not completely sure what he was seeing but it looked like he was spending another night in the Impala.
Sam quickly realizes that things weren't right. He was hoping beyond hope that his brother was just spooked to be suddenly out of purgatory and would calm down and go back to normal, but it didn't take long to figure out how wrong he is. Dean is practically a wild animal now and Castiel is not much better; both are completely silent save for the occasional growl and the tiny whimpers Dean works out of the angel each night. Which is a completely separate issue that Sam barely has time to think about.
Sam can't even sleep in the bunk bed, not that he'd be completely comfortable sleeping three feet away from where his brother was nailing the angel. Sam is still trying to wrap his mind over the fact that all the jokes he made about Dean and Castiel's eye sex weren't actually jokes at all. Maybe once he was able to sleep on something softer than the lumpy back seat of the Impala, he'd have time to figure the whole situation. Right now, Sam's main concern is making a bed in the safety of the basement.
It's agonizingly slow. Sam pulls the mattress inch by inch as he tries his best not to make too much noise and wake Dean up. Of course Dean's still in combat mode and anything louder than a soft breeze wakes him up, so it takes Sam four tries just to get the mattress off the bunk bed. Castiel never helps Sam as he sits there stroking Dean's hair but at least he doesn't wake his brother up to chase Sam off again. Eventually Sam manages to drag the mattress to the door and drop it down the stairs, the noise probably wakes Dean up but Sam closes the door and walks down to the basement before he can find out.
The basement was creepy enough in the day and if it didn't already look like a sex torture dungeon, the dirty mattress lying on the floor completed the décor. It's cold and drafty, but at least it's indoors. When he has the chance, he brings down blankets and pillows and tries to make it look more like a bedroom than a scene from Saw. Some days he wakes up and can barely bring himself to crawl out of bed knowing that Dean's upstairs but it's not the Dean he wants; it's not his Dean.
Castiel just stares at him mostly, which Sam decides is a hundred times worse than the way Dean treats him. At the very least Dean reacted to Sam's presence while Castiel barely pays him much attention at all. His eyes are either glued to Dean or gazing longingly out the window at the wild life that passes by. Sam is all but banished from their presence when his brother is awake, Dean seeming to go into a craze every time Sam comes too close, trying to protect his angel from whatever threat he thinks Sam poses.
Sam tries to ignore it, tries to just breeze past it, tries to pretend everything's fine. Every time Dean tenses up and snarls, Sam just smiles and slowly backs away. But one day it just gets to be too much. He's not even sure what made him snap, one second he's washing some dishes in a basin and the next he's slapping the towel down and glaring at Castiel.
"Do you know how long I've been trying to bring you two home?" Sam was close to shouting. Castiel tries to shrink back deeper into the wall, make himself smaller and Sam lowers his voice, no point waking Dean up and having to deal with him freaking out. "You two treat me like I'm the enemy - it's like I don't even have my brother back."
Castiel tilts his head and Sam has to turn and look away to avoid screaming at the angel in frustration. "You look absolutely ridiculous wearing a trench coat over that hospital get up."
Sam wishes Castiel could understand the insult, wishes he would tell Sam that the coat was given to him by Dean so he'll never take it off again, wished he'd do something. Something clunks against the cupboard next to his head and Sam looks down to see the TV remote soaking in the bucket full of dirty water,. He swings back around to glare at Castiel who's just taken away television. "Why the hell did you do that?"
Castiel eyebrows furrows and he tugs on the lapel of his coat. Sam is certain his heart stopped for a moment and he stuttered out "C-can you understand me?"
Castiel doesn't answer but Sam sees the uncertainty in his eyes. Sam quickly crosses the room and drops to his knees in front of the angel, sparing his brother half a glance to make sure he's asleep before grabbing hold of the angel's face. "This means yes," he tells him forcing his head to go up and down then pauses before he shakes it side to side "and this means no."
He feels Castiel stiffen in his hold but he doesn't growl or wake Dean up. Sam lets go of the angel and tries again "Do you understand?"
He can see Castiel hesitate but he slowly nods, Sam's face practically splits apart from the grin that explodes across it. "Great! That's great, Cas."
He can see Cas struggle to return the smile, it's not very impressive and honestly a little creepy but Sam will take anything he can get at this point. "Can Dean understand me?"
He shakes his head, then nods, but then shakes his head again. "You don't know?"
Sam's heart drops when Castiel nods but he tries not to let it show. Dean and him have overcome more than a communication barrier. "Okay...but you know you're safe here, right?"
Castiel doesn't answer but he tries to smile again and he reaches a hand out, gently brushing two fingers over Sam's knuckle before quickly pulling his hand back. To anyone else it might have seemed a pointless gesture but to Sam, it was like a sign from heaven; if Castiel wasn't completely lost then there had to be hope for his brother too. He laughs, not caring that the sound probably put Castiel on edge. "Cas, I could kiss you!"
The angel seems to understand that because he suddenly leans forward and Sam has to shove a hand between them to stop their lips from colliding. "That's just an expression Cas."
Castiel may have been able to understand Sam, but most of the time the hunter has no idea what's going on with Cas. Besides the nodding and an occasional sour expression when he does something Castiel doesn't like, the angel barely gives Sam the time of day.
Sam feels like Dr. Patterson trying to teach Koko the Gorilla to sign but his progress seems to be significantly slower. He thinks Castiel gets frustrated with the hunter, too. It can't be easy having some chatting in your ear for hours on end and having no idea how to reply.
"What's purgatory like?" Castiel only stares at him. "Right, yes or no questions only. Was it like hell?"
Castiel shakes his head. "So it wasn't as bad?"
"D-" Castiel tries to choke out. "Dean."
"Yeah." Sam breathes. He feels like he should give Castiel a treat or something, like a trained poodle that's done a trick, but he's a little short on hamburgers at the moment.
Castiel lays a hand on his chest, fingers disappearing under the beige trench coat. "Cas."
"Cas." Sam repeats and the tiniest ghost of a smile crosses over Castiel's lips.
"Well, now that we know who everyone is," Sam grins and lets go of Castiel's hand "I think it's time for bed."
Castiel looks down at Dean and runs his hand down the hunter's arm. Dean lets out a grunt and tightens his grip on Castiel's leg.
Sam never realized how tiring it was doing nothing. Most of his day is spent sitting around trying to figure out how to deal with Dean's condition. Even the new revelation that Castiel can understand him didn't help all that much because Dean still refuses to let Sam near either of them. There were days where Sam barely leaves the basement because Dean would growl and reach for his knife as soon the door creaked open. He has to wait until Dean has passed out in the middle of the night before he braves entering the top floor.
Sam works his way closer and closer to Dean over the next week, and annoying as it is that his brother has to build up a tolerance to him, he can't help but feel giddy that he can now stand within five feet of Dean without being attacked. He figures that's a cause for celebrations and goes out to buy food that doesn't come out a can. The brunette returns with pie and beef from a local organic farmer, just to be extra safe, in case there's any of that Leviathan juice left over. He's still not completely sure Dean understands him but he talks to him anyways like he's a baby that's learning to speak.
Dropping the food on the table, Sam goes back to the Impala, briefly wondering if Dean would care that his little brother let a thick coat of dust and dirt cake onto his baby, and brings back a heavy iron device he attaches to the side of the table. "I know it's not a burger yet, but give me a couple minutes, I'll grind up the beef and..."
Sam looks around for the side of beef, sure he had left it next to the pie but it seems to have disappeared. He turns around to ask Castiel if he's seen it and instead finds his brother holding a bloody side of beef. Sam watches in horror as Dean takes a big bite out of the raw meat, its juices spilling down the sides of his mouth. Dean spits out the hunk of meat into his hand and hands it over to Castiel who happily picks up the piece of raw, spit covered meat. "Ugh, gross, Cas don't-"
Castiel plops the piece into his mouth before Sam can finish, his mouth moving in an awkward motion as he tries to chew the slippery meat. Dean ignores the disgusted look on his brother's face and chomps down on the chunk of dead cow again. Sam feels his stomach turn as he watches his brother devour the beef, spitting out a mouthful for Cas every now and then.
"I'm just gonna…yeah," Sam mumbles, not bothering to explain himself to a man that has obviously become more animal then human. He creeps off to his room, careful not to get too close to Dean in fear he might just jump over and take a shot at human flesh instead. His bed is in disarray. Spending so much time in motel rooms hadn't gotten Sam in the habit of making it every morning but he needed something to distract himself. He pulls off the blanket and chucks the pillows on the floor, then carefully smooth all the wrinkles from the sheets. He pushes the edge of the blanket under the mattress and tries to focus on making neat corners and not on the belly full of raw meat his brother currently has.
"Sam! Sam!" He hears Castiel shout, or at least raise his voice, for the first since he came back. Sam rushes up the stairs, expecting blood and gore but instead finds Dean with his hand shoved into the apple pie. Castiel's brow knitted in worry as he points at Dean. "Messy."
Dean lifts his hand, crust crumbling and soft apple slices sliding down his fingers and plopping back down on the pie. He brings his sticky fingers closer to his face and looks at them curiously, trying to figure out what the amber substance could be. Sam is sure he saw a flicker of recognition across Dean's face and he holds his breath to see what happens next. Dean flicks out his tongue and lick up a smear of the filling, both Sam and Castiel watch him waiting to see how he'll react to it.
For the first time since he came back, Sam sees his brother smile. It's small and more content than happy but it's there and Sam feels his heart nearly stop at the sight. Then Dean shoves his fingers between Castiel's lips and the moment's gone, but he's just glad they're taking baby steps on getting back to normal. Castiel looks entirely too comfortable with Dean's fingers in his mouth and he doesn't let them go until he sucks off every trace of the sweet pie filling. "You guys are the weirdest couple I've ever met."
Two weeks later, Sam decides it time to start playing dirty. It might have been all the raw meat Dean eats, or it might have been that he was tired of not being able to use the bathroom with the feral man sitting too close. To be honest, he was fairly certain that the deciding moment was when Dean stabs his knife into his shoe, just barely nicking his big toe.
Sam picks the tiny kitten up. It mews and tries to dig its nails into his jeans but soon becomes content in climbing all over his arm. He pretends to ignore Castiel until he knows he has the angel's full attention. When he glances up, the angel is staring intently at the ball of fluff Sam is holding. The hunter holds the kitten up for Castiel to get a closer look. "Would you like to hold her?"
Castiel shakes his head and places a hand on Dean's head. Sam shrugs and lays the kitten back in his lap; he knows to take baby steps. He gently rolls the kitten onto her back and runs his thumb up and down her belly until she purrs contentedly. The floorboards creak with movement. Sam keeps his eyes down cast though he knows Castiel is slowly crawling towards him. When he finally sees the angel's pale hands touch down by his knee, he holds the cat out again and smiles at the awed expression on Castiel's face. "She needs a name."
Cas pulls back. Sam is worried he'd moved too fast and Castiel might hurry back over to Dean. Instead Castiel reaches out a hesitant hand and runs a finger over one of the cat's ears. The cat mews and swats her paw at Castiel. The angel makes a face and glares down at his now bleeding finger, and Sam would have laughed if it didn't look so pathetic. "It's okay, she was just playing," Sam wiped his thumb over the speck of blood on Castiel's finger; the cut had already healed itself. "See? All better."
Castiel thinks for a moment then nods, he reaches out again and cups his hand beneath Sam's. Sam is about to pull away and let the kitten flop into Castiel's hand when Castiel moves forward, crawling into Sam's lap. "…Cas?"
Castiel doesn't respond. He wiggles around until his back is against Sam's chest and holds the cat up to eye level a wide grin spread across his face. "Cat."
"Yeah, she's yours now," Sam said. He put his hands on Castiel's hips, expecting to move him but touching the angel like that felt weird and he quickly lets him go. "Cas you should…Dean's right there- I think…" Castiel leans back, rests his head against Sam's shoulder and dangles the kitten above his face. The tiny ball of fluff tries to swipe at the angel again but scrapes its nails on Sam's forehead instead.
"Oh." Castiel pulls away from the Winchester, cradling the struggling cat to his chest as if protecting her from the hunter's wrath. He stares at Sam with wide eyes like he might burst into tears and wake up Dean but then he brushes two fingers against Sam's forehead. A cold wind pushes through the brunette's body as Castiel's grace healed the superficial wound. Even from such a small cut the angel's essence tingled down Sam's spine.
"Dangerous little thing, isn't she?" The hunter jokes but Castiel vigorously shakes his head and holds the cat closer. "Well, maybe she just needs to get used to us. So you think we should keep her?"
"Yes," Castiel smiles shyly and gently scratches the kitten behind her ear. "Stay."
"Then we should name her." Sam put a timid hand on Castiel's back, expecting him to growl and pull away but the angel barely seems to notice. Castiel holds the kitten at arm's length, studying her and Sam imagines his ancient brain going through thousands of years' worth of names before he finds the perfect fit.
"Kitchen." Castiel finally settles on.
"Kitchen Table," Castiel nods. "Good name."
"That's not really a name…" Castiel ignores him and sets the kitten on to the ground. She mews again and tries to walk but the movement is awkward and unbalanced. After only a few steps, she stumbles and collapses, hissing and rolling onto her back. "Maybe a more girly name or something."
"No," is all Castiel says, petting the kitten with his whole hand and all but pinning the poor creature to the ground. Castiel twists away from Sam, crawling back over to Dean and he gently brushes the tips of his fingers against Dean's cheek. Dean's eyes snap open; he is no longer slow to wake but instead instantly alert and ready for a world he still thinks is out to get him. Dean sits up and glares at the black fluff that Castiel is holding up. He vigorously shakes his head and tries to swipe at the cat but Castiel pulls her away first and cradles the feline to his chest. Dean shakes his head again and glares at the angel but Castiel merely tells him "my cat."
They stare at each other, Dean's jaw clenched and Castiel's brow drawn in determination. The cat just continues to mew and claw its way up the angel's trench coat. Dean must realize that he isn't going to win the argument because his harsh gaze suddenly shifts over to Sam.
"I, uh, he asked for a cat," Sam begins and he's sure that Dean's look turns even angrier. "And I just thought maybe-"
"Dean," Castiel interrupts Sam. His soft voice draws Dean's attention back to him and Castiel reaches up and curls his fingers in Dean's shirt. "Please?"
Dean huffs and looks away, crossing his arms over his chest and hunching his shoulders up. A smile breaks over Castiel's face and he pets the cat that's clinging to his chest. "Home."
Sam balances a mix of cat and human food in his arms as he walks back into the kitchen. He can't see where Castiel and Dean are sitting but knows his brother must be asleep since no one hisses and tries to knock him over. "I got some smoked meat. It's still pretty pink so I thought Dean might try it."
Castiel didn't have much to say about Sam's plan to trick Dean into eating cooked food. Sam drops the food on the table and turn to Castiel, finding him leaning against the couch and Dean asleep on the other side of the room. Castiel is hunched over, looking miserable as he scratches at floor. "Hey, you okay?"
Castiel looks up at him and slowly shakes his head. His eyes harden for a fraction of a second when he looks at Dean but then he's back to picking at the wooden planks.
"What's wrong?" Sam walks over to the angel and plops down next to him. He looks at the stain on the wood that has captured Castiel's attention. It's a red and crusty and hadn't been there when Sam left. Sam looks around the room for a soft ball of fur and listens for the kitten purring. "Cas, where's K.T.?"
Castiel makes a choked whimper and his shoulders tense. They both look over at Dean and the crimson slick on the knife clutched in his hand. A sick feeling washes over Sam as he puts two and two together. "Oh God, he didn't, did he?"
"Kitchen, noisy," Castiel whispers.
"Dean killed your cat?"
"No, I fix cat." Castiel still sounds ridiculous with his broken sentences and if Sam wasn't so disgusted, he'd laugh a little. "Kitchen had to leave."
Sam looks out the open door and back at Castiel who had resumed looking miserable. Sam reaches out and rubs his hand up and down Castiel's back. "I'm sorry, I'm sure he didn't know how much she meant to you."
"He did," Castiel mumbles, looking over to Dean's sleeping form. "Not Dean."
Even with Castiel's few words Sam gets it. Dean's not the same man he was before. Sam might not understand what happened, might not understand why Dean insists on stony silence but he understands that something's wrong. He has no idea what to say to Castiel though, so he settles on just putting an arm around his shoulders and pulling him close.
Castiel learns quickly after that. He sits in front of the TV and listens for hours while he relearns the English language. Dean never moves very far away from his spot by the fireplace, sitting with his arms crossed stubbornly over his chest. He keeps watch over the house and no matter how many times Sam or Castiel tell him he's safe he still flinches at unexpected noises. It's hardly perfect but it's going better than Sam was expecting, at least.
"We should plant a garden outside," Sam decides when he sees how empty their fridge is getting. "Then I wouldn't have to leave you alone as much. We could just go outside and pick what we need."
Castiel doesn't look away from the television, the colors from the screen flash over his face turning his skin purple, red and orange. Sam chuckles and looks at Dean, who looks even less interested then Castiel. "We could plant some flowers too, bet that would attract a lot birds and insects."
Castiel perks up at that, finally breaking away from the staring contest he had been playing with the television. He looks at Sam and gives a soft smile. "Yes, I would like that."
Sam nods, closes his laptop and goes to sit with Castiel, the angel sliding to one end of the couch to make room for Sam. "Awesome, there's probably a store that sells seeds in town. I'll get some in the morning."
Castiel's smile falters and he looks over to the open door and the white paint caked around the frame. He only looks for a half a second but Sam sees it and can instantly feel the change in the angel's mood when he's reminded that he's trapped in the cabin.
"We have to keep those up." Sam says quickly and Castiel gives a timid nod before he goes back to watching the television though Sam can tell he's not really paying attention. "Just until we're sure nothing's going to come after us."
Sam wonders if Castiel still buys the premise that Sam keeps the sigils up to protect them. Sam stopped believing his own bullshit a month ago when he started going into town without being ambushed by a swarm of demons. Castiel must remember that most of his brothers were killed off by the leviathans before he was sent to purgatory, but he never says anything. Sam isn't sure if that's because he thinks there's still something out there or because he doesn't want to upset Sam.
If it weren't for the sigils on the doorframe, Sam knows Castiel would leave and Dean wouldn't be far behind. He leaves the seal intact so he won't have to worry about being alone again.
"It's okay, Sam." Castiel tries for a smile but it comes out forced and nervous. "I don't mind staying inside."
Castiel turns back to watching TV because he thinks the conversation will end there. He doesn't expect Sam to give excuses anymore, doesn't expect things to ever change. Sam stands up and Castiel doesn't look at him, his eyes stay glued on the cartoon playing, Sam starts to rifle through the kitchen drawers. He stopped carrying a knife around a few months after Dean and Castiel disappeared because, well he didn't have much need for one when he spent his whole week not moving off the couch.
Sam finds a knife with a sharp edge and goes to the doorframe. Castiel still pays no attention to him, even as Sam's hands began to shake. Sam's knife hovers over one of the sigils, the tip barely brushed against the paint. He isn't sure how long he stood there before Castiel clued in that something big was happening, but the angel comes up behind him and places a hand on his shoulder. Sam looks back at Castiel and he can see the doubt in his eyes, knows he thinks this is just a show put on for his benefit and doesn't expect Sam to go through with it. Castiel seemed to sense his hesitation and tangles his fingers up in Sam's free hand. "You don't have to do this."
"No, I do." Sam takes a deep shaky breath and scratches at the white line. The cut is tiny and barely defaces the sigil but Sam knows it works because he hears a flutter of wings and his hand is suddenly empty. He doesn't turn to see the empty space Castiel left behind but his heart is beating nearly out of his chest as his mind whirls through every worst case scenario.
He hears a growl behind and when he turns around Dean is frantically looking all around for his angel. His eyes zone in on Sam and if could speak he'd probably be yelling now. Dean is on his feet and reaching for his knife when Castiel pops back in. He stands between the two hunters, his back towards Dean and Sam isn't even completely sure that he knew how close Dean was to attacking him again. Castiel drops to his knees, lays his hands on Sam's chest and almost shyly says, "Thank you."
Sam's eyes flicker over to Dean who looks a little shocked and Sam isn't sure if it's because Castiel is suddenly back or how close the two happen to be right now. He gets his answer soon enough because Dean drops his knife and stomps over to Castiel, yanking him back by the collar of his coat and letting him fall back onto the ground. Dean gives his brother a hard look before he follows the angel down, grabbing a handful of his hair and slamming their lips together.
"Dean," Castiel gasps out and arches up beneath the hunter. Sam stares at them completely frozen because, wow, his brother is a foot away from him, rubbing against an angel like a bitch in heat. And it should be something that makes him blush and run off but instead he just stares. Dean tugs at the neck of Castiel's shirt and sucks on one of the old bruises there, the angel's eyes go wide and dark but he doesn't once look away from Sam.
And that's enough for Sam, it snaps him out of whatever trance he was in and he quickly stumbles to his feet. Castiel tries to stop him, trying to tell him to stay but when he says Sam's name it comes out as little more than a moan. A hand yanks at his ankle before he can get far and it's not Castiel's like he was expecting. No, instead it's Dean's hand wrapped tightly around his ankle while his other hand starts pulling on Castiel's pants.
"Dean, let go," Sam says weakly because leaving wasn't nearly as easy as it should be. Castiel is looking at him again and Sam lets himself think, for just one second, that Dean is trying to get him to stay too. But he sees the love bites all over Castiel neck and Dean is not pulling him down to join in, he's just trying to keep him firmly in place so Dean can show him who Castiel belongs to. "Okay, I get it, he's yours. Just let me go."
Sam wrenches his foot out of Dean's hold and storms over the basement. He slams the door behind him just in hope the noise will spook Dean away from Castiel. It doesn't because Sam still hears them, even though Castiel's voice is soft and barely there he can just make it out no matter how hard he tries to ignore it. Sam curls up on his mattress, shoves a pillow over his head and tries to ignore it, tries to fall asleep but his every time he closes his eyes all he can see is them together. He sees Castiel smiling up at Dean, he sees his brother being gentle with Castiel even though he'll barely look at Sam. It's enough to slowly drive him crazy.
Eventually it ends and he no longer hears Castiel's breathless sighs, instead just the floorboards creaking as Dean crosses back to the other side of the room. Then it's silence and Sam stares blankly at the wall until he hears someone slowly creeping down the stairs.
"Sam," Castiel whispers, probably trying to keep Dean from hearing. Sam squeezes his eyes shut and pretends to be asleep even though he knows how pointless it was trying to hide from Castiel. Soft fingers brush against the skin of his back but that only made Sam tense up more. "You're angry with me."
"No," he grits out and buries his face deeper into his pillow, attempting to block out Castiel. "I'm not angry, I'm just tired, let me sleep."
"Dean doesn't understand," he tells Sam like he was some sort of idiot that couldn't figure it out on his own.
"I know that!" Sam sits up and glares at Castiel who doesn't even flinch against the hunter's harsh look. "But you just- you were going to let him fuck you right in front of me."
Castiel studies him with a tilted gaze; Sam can see him carefully planning out what he is going to say next. It wasn't too long ago that Sam had to dance around his words to prevent a meltdown from Castiel or his brother. "I had thought you were aware that your brother and I were-"
"That doesn't mean I want to see it!" Sam shouts. Castiel looks over his shoulder and Sam freezes, worrying that he'd woken up Dean. They both quietly wait for any sound coming from the living room, neither speaking until they're sure Dean was still soundly asleep.
"So you are upset with me." Castiel nods more to himself then Sam who imagines that he must be congratulating himself on being able to clue in to human emotion.
"Cas you need to-" Sam's voice cuts out as he finally forced himself to have the conversation he never wanted to have. "You need to stop."
"I know you don't really understand," Sam starts his rehearsed speech. He's gone over it again and again - it was always on the tip of his tongue when Cas was pressed against him, but he always swallowed the words before they came out. "But you can't treat me the same way you treat Dean."
"I don't understand."
"You and Dean are…together, but you get all touchy-feely with me too." Sam twists the blanket in his hands, looking at everything but Castiel who doesn't even blink, his gaze locked on Sam. "You're only supposed to do that with someone you have feelings for."
"Yeah like romantic feelings." Sam spares a glance at Castiel and sees the still confused look on his face. "Someone you love."
"But I do love you."
"It's different though: the way you love Dean, and the way you love me."
Castiel goes silent, eyes boring into Sam as he processes what the hunter just said. He opens his mouth to reply but quickly shuts it, brow wrinkling in concentration. Then in a very classic Castiel way tells him, "I'm aware of the implications my actions have."
"What?" Castiel doesn't answer. Instead, he rises up on his knees and leans in closer to Sam. The angel slips a hand behind Sam's neck and pulls him forward until Sam's forehead was pressed against Castiel's lips.
"Good night, Sam." Castiel climbs off the bed and makes his way back to Dean, leaving Sam to his whirling mind as he tries to make sense of what just happened. The door shut with barely a click behind Castiel and Sam can make out soft shuffling sounds as Castiel moves Dean's head back onto his lap.
Sam doesn't sleep much that night. He tosses and turns and replays Castiel's words over and over in his head. The sunrise forces him to get out of bed, but for a long time he just looks up the stairs and dreads facing the angel again. When he finally manages to drag himself upstairs, he finds Castiel asleep, or whatever it is he does when he's curled up against Dean, and his brother looking like he just woke up himself.
"Hey, Dean." Sam greats with a forced smile but Dean just shoots him a weary glance. Sam resists the urge to roll his eyes and walks over to the makeshift living room, flicking on the television.
"You know, if you were me, you'd tell me to man up and get over it," Sam grumbles falling back onto the couch with a huff. "I just let you go around growling and eating raw meat like a damn caveman."
Dean doesn't respond, obviously. Sam isn't even mad at Dean. Okay, he was a little mad - less than twenty-four hours ago, he had tried to make Sam stick around while he screwed his boyfriend - but mostly, he was just frustrated.
There wasn't anything good on TV, either not that the three channels the television got ever had anything good. Sam pretends to watch it but his mind is still focused on the man behind him. "Even Castiel doesn't just sit around feeling sorry for himself."
Sam flips through the small selection of channels, trying to not let his annoyance show. The news, a daytime talk show and a Spanish soap opera flicker past, like Sam's life isn't already full of drama and tragedy. "Sam."
Sam is sure he must have misheard that. Castiel must be awake, or maybe it's just the wind; there's no way that was Dean. He sits up and looks behind the couch, and Dean's looking at him with an annoyed expression. They lock eyes and Sam asks, "Did you just speak?"
"Sam," he repeats. "Cake."
"Cake? You mean pie, do you want me to get pie?" Sam asks a little too quickly.
Dean shakes his head. "Cake hole. Shut it."
Sam just about bursts into tears at those words. He practically runs over to Dean, drops to his knees and screw Dean's personal space because Sam reaches for his brother. Dean's foot collides with Sam's chest, refusing to let him any closer and the hunter vigorously shakes his head. "It's okay," Sam chokes out. "I can wait."
He's too goddamn happy to be embarrassed at the amount of tears that are flowing down his cheeks.
The next morning, Sam's struggling to get the crappy stove working. When it refused to light for the twentieth time, Sam kicks it, too frustrated to notice the pain that shot up through his foot. "Did you know he could talk?"
Castiel looks up from the bowl in his lap - instant pancake mix that was way too watery to make anything decent. Castiel and Dean are practically attached at the hip and Sam would have found it hard to believe that Castiel hadn't known that Dean started talking. Sam had been thinking about it all night that the angel had probably been lying to him even though he knew how hard everything was on Sam. Castiel stirs the spoon around in the mixture and quietly thinks. Sam can tell he's considering lying again, but he slowly nods his head instead. "I did."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"He had nothing to say to you." Sam isn't sure if Castiel meant for it to come out so harsh but it cuts right through Sam, regardless.
"This is all your fault," Sam hisses out "Dean wouldn't be like this if it wasn't for you."
Castiel's eyes widen and he gapes at Sam because he's actually angry this time, not frustrated or annoyed. His body is tense and rigid and there's a smoldering heat behind his eyes that makes Castiel shrink away. "So why does he trust you and not me?"
Castiel's mouth opens to answer but Sam jumps in first, "Oh, yeah, your profound bound."
The bowl clatters when Castiel stands up, the liquid pancakes spilling onto the wood floor. "I'm sorry." Castiel quickly apologizes before he turns and rushes down the stairs. Sam's not sure exactly what he was apologizing for.
He tries not to think about it, but he's jealous of Cas. The angel who can get inside Dean's head, who can touch him and calm him down in ways Sam can't. And at the same time, he's jealous of Dean too. Sometimes, he wants to yell at Castiel and ask him if it was worth giving up everything just so he could be Dean's little bitch. It's cruel and malicious so Sam never says it, he just smiles and plays nice because he's being supportive, because Dean's given so much already that Sam can't take this away from him. Still, they both live in their own little world; they forget that Sam is there unless he has something they want, or need something to entertain them for a while.
Sam sits on the stairs that night with the door cracked open and his face buried in his hands. He listens to Dean and Castiel as they speak in hushed voices, Castiel trying to teach Dean new words and his brother repeating them in a shaky whisper.
"Hair." Castiel tells him and Sam can picture his slim finger running through Dean's short hair.
"Hair?" Dean repeats.
"Eyes." Castiel continues.
"Eyes." Dean says with a bit more confidence. His finger brushes gingerly against the skin below Castiel's eyes. "Blue."
"That's very good, Dean," Castiel tells him softly. Sam doesn't understand it. Castiel treats Dean like he's an infant with a bad temper, he babies him and cleans up his messes and when he talks to him, his words are soft and slow like Dean is an idiot. Despite all that, Dean remains glued to his side, and it makes Sam furious. Sam is the one that brought them home; Sam is the one that takes care of them.
"I…" Dean trails off and the uncertainty in his voice makes Sam peek through the door.
"It's okay," Castiel holds one of Dean's hands in his and runs a thumb gently across his palm. "Take your time."
Dean leans forward, cups a hand against Castiel's jaw and presses their lips together. It's soft and tender and nothing like the rough, feral way Dean has claimed Castiel before. And it's all Sam can take; he gets up and walks down the stairs as quietly as he can. It should be heartwarming but Sam just keeps replaying the sight of the two of them over and over and it makes his stomach twist into a tight knot. The two of them had been gone so long, trapped together and fighting for their lives, that they've built their lives around each other and left no room for Sam. So this is the rest of his life, watching Dean and Castiel live a life without him, watch them dote on each other and shy away from him. It's sickening to think about but the only way he can even keep them is if Dean never gets better. It makes Sam hate himself just a little more that he'd even think that but he's sure that if Dean got his senses back he'd be out the door before Sam even had a chance to beg him to stay.
Sam crawls into his bed and pulls the worn blanket over his head, thinking it was another night where he was going to fall asleep wallowing in self-pity. He hears the stairs creak and knows Castiel is coming down to try and patch things up. And it all really just makes it worse because it's like Cas and Dean are dangling bait in front of Sam just to yank it away at the last minute.
"Sam?" He considers just pretending to be asleep and ignoring Castiel until he goes away but knows the angel is far too patient for that. He rolls over onto his side and lets the blanket slip down his chest. Castiel stands at the foot of the mattress and looks sheepishly at Sam.
"Oh, so you decided to start talking to me again?" Sam snorts. He knows he's acting like a child, knows he's just going to push Castiel away again but it's hard not to let his bitterness seep out.
"You were angry with me." Castiel kneels beside the mattress and looks away; Sam just catches the shamed look painted over his eyes. "I am sorry, Sam. I should have told you about Dean."
"Yeah, you should have." Castiel flinches at Sam's rough tone, and Sam bites the inside of his cheek to keep from snapping again. "Okay, so maybe I've been a bit of jerk the last couple days."
"It's nothing I don't deserve." Castiel lowers his eyes again. Sam's still mad and even though the issue over Dean talking was only a small part of it, he didn't have anyone else to vent his anger at. Seeing the pitiful look on Castiel's face made it really hard to stay angry with him though, and Sam decides that staying mad wasn't going to fix anything.
"How long has he been able to talk?"
"Two weeks, perhaps a little more."
"You know how hard this has all been for me," Sam has to look away from Castiel's downcast eyes or he'll lose his nerve and stop talking. "I just don't understand why you wouldn't tell me."
"Most of what he said was inconsequential. I thought you would find it frustrating to try and talk to him."
"You still should have told me."
"I know." Castiel inches forward, his features drawn with desperation. "I'm sorry."
"Okay," Sam grimaced "I think you've apologized enough."
"No, I haven't."
"It was a shitty thing to do but it's nothing to beat yourself up over." Castiel's whole body tenses under Sam's gaze to the point where the angel was practically shaking. Concerned, Sam reaches out and puts a hand on Castiel's shoulder, which only made him flinch away from the hunter. "Cas?"
"I-" Castiel's voice cracks.
"I remember what I did - I remember everything," Castiel admits with a shaky voice, "and I know there is nothing I can do to make up for it."
"I shouldn't have said any of that." Sam says quickly when he sees the whites of Castiel eyes turn an awful red as he holds back tears. "I was just angry."
"No, you're right." Castiel draws in a ragged breath. "And when Dean remembers, he won't- he won't-"
Castiel's shoulders hunch up, and when Sam sees tears threaten to spill from his eyes, he instinctively pulls Castiel into a hug. The angel is stiff at first and Sam almost lets go before Castiel relaxes in his hold. "Hey, it's okay. Dean's already forgiven you."
"That was before we were sent to purgatory."
"You two kept each other safe."
Castiel pauses before he mumbles into Sam's shoulder, "What about you?"
"What?" Sam breathes.
"Do you forgive me?"
"Of course I do." Sam's not completely sure which one of them leans in first, though his mind bitterly thinks that only he would be stupid enough to do this. He's sure that he must be dreaming, this can't possibly be real, Castiel can't be pulling him closer, that he isn't running his fingers through Sam's hair.
Sam leans into Castiel, slowly pushing him onto his back and covering the angel's smaller body with his own. He could feel each of the angel's ribs through the paper-thin fabric of his shirt and wants nothing more than to slip his hands under the man's clothes and feel his warm skin. But he knows that if he does, he won't be able to stop, not until he sees Castiel fall apart, and not until he works a scream out of the silent angel.
"Sam?" Castiel asks when he starts to pull away.
"I'm sorry," Sam chokes out "I shouldn't have done that."
"I was just-" Sam takes a shaky breath and his fingers stumble over each other as he tries to button up his shirt. Castiel just stares at him, seemingly too shocked to move, and Sam begins to curse himself. "You're with Dean, I know that. I don't know why I would do something so stupid."
"Sam, listen to me." Castiel reaches Sam but the hunter jumps to his feet and scrambles up the stairs. He doesn't want to hear it. He doesn't want to see Castiel look at him with sympathetic eyes and tell him he understands and that he forgives him. Or worse, find that his blue eyes hold barely masked disgust, that Castiel will flinch away from his touch or tell Dean what he did. The younger Winchester can handle being lonely but he can't deal with them hating him.
By the time he reaches the top of the stairs Dean is awake. He doesn't growl or tense up, just looks at Sam with tired, confused eyes. Sam can hear Castiel's footsteps behind him and he heads straight for the front door, not bothering to close the door behind him as he heads toward the dense cover of the trees.
Castiel is screwing with him, Sam's can't think of another explanation. Sam had expected him to be angry and for Dean to be furious, but when he comes back inside the next morning, the two barely look up. It's just business as usual for the next few days, and Sam thanks whatever is left of heaven that they don't talk about the kiss.
But Castiel isn't acting normal. If Sam didn't know any better, he'd think that Cas was teasing him. He always stands so close, and when they're at the dinner table together, Castiel would place his hand on Sam's thigh while he eats and act like it's completely normal. When they sit and watch the television, he rests his head on Sam's shoulder. Dean doesn't even bat an eyelash at his angel's sudden change of behavior. At first, Sam thought that that meant Castiel's behavior didn't actually mean anything but now he's not so sure.
"Doesn't that hurt?" Sam asks, handing a potato to Castiel. The angel looks at him confused and Sam motions to the dark pattern of hickies splattered around his neck and shoulders. It's something he never felt comfortable asking before, but at this point in his life, he figures there's no point being shy. It seems unusual that Castiel is so quick to heal a tiny scratch or a little tear in their clothing but he lets all those bruises remain.
Castiel shrugs and takes the potato from Sam. "Not particularly."
"Why don't you heal them?" Sam picks up another potato and scrubs it clean in a bucket of water.
"Dean likes them," Castiel says simply. Sam thinks it's a little pointless that Dean's still marking his territory when there's only the three of them. Though, to be fair, Sam was fairly close to having his way with Castiel just a few days ago.
"That's... kind of weird." Sam continues to wash the vegetables and Castiel peels them. Sam isn't sure why he bothers making so much food; Dean still prefers meat and Castiel doesn't actually need to eat.
"You've been distracted lately." Castiel says off-handedly, dropping a potato onto of the pile with the rest.
"Sorry," is all Sam mumbles out as his mind reels drop it, just drop it.
"Would you like to talk about it?"
"Talk about what?" Sam asks. He glances past Castiel's shoulder and over to Dean who is staring out the window, looking bored.
"About us." Castiel has dropped the peeler next to a half done potato and turns to face Sam.
"There is no us." Sam says in a hushed voice. He can't believe that they're having this conversation in front of Dean.
Castiel almost looks hurt at Sam's words, but he swallows down all of that and moves closer to Sam, blocking his view of Dean. "But we-"
"You know, why don't you cook the potatoes tonight?" Sam interrupts. He dries his hands and tosses the towel back onto the counter. "You know how to work the stove."
The hunter pushes past Castiel and heads to his room in the basement; and if Cas were human, the conversation would have ended there. But Cast is an angel, and on top of that, he's stubborn, so he poofs in between Sam and the door.
"Cas, please, can we just not- not talk about it?" Sam pleads and tries to push past Castiel, but the angel refuses to budge. "Look, I'm not going to try anything like that again so can we just drop it? It's not-"
Castiel reaches up and grabs a handful of Sam's hair, tugging him closer and silencing the hiss he makes by gently pressing their lips together. It doesn't go any farther than that; there's no tongue, no bodies pressing together. Castiel doesn't even close his eyes, but it's enough to make him freeze in place. When Castiel pulls away, there's a small, slightly triumphant, smile on his face. "Are you going to listen to me now?
"I'm not a child, Sam." Castiel lays his hands against the hunter's chest and forces him to step away from the door. "I am fully capable of making decisions."
"I know that!" Sam snaps. "I just- I'm not completely sure what's happening right now."
Castiel's lips twitch into a half smile and his grip on his friend tightens. Then he's being shoved down, rather roughly, till his back hits the ground and the dark-haired male crawls into his lap and pins his shoulder to the ground.
"Cas?" The angel runs a hand down Sam's chest. "Cas, what are you doing?"
Sam looks over to his brother for help, expecting another jealous fit, but Dean closes his eyes and leans back against the wall. If Sam didn't know any better, he would have sworn that Dean was smirking. "You are amazingly thick-headed, Sam Winchester."
"I don't-" Sam is cut off when Castiel leans down and kisses him. When he pulls away Castiel looks over at Dean, who gives a barely there nod, and then Castiel pulls his shirt over his head and tosses it to the floor. "Cas, what's-"
"Shhh," Castiel soothes. Sam watches him roll his shoulders but he still has no idea what's going on till he hears the rustle of feathers. One second, he's staring up at Castiel, then he blinks and there are suddenly two giant wings protruding from his back. They flutter a bit and the hunter has to grab onto Castiel's hips to keep the angel from tumbling off. Sam just stares at Castiel, long enough that it would probably be considered rude in different circumstances. They're smaller than he would have expected from the large shadows he's seen them cast, fluffy on top that trails off to large smooth feathers on the end.
"You can touch them if you want," Castiel tells him shyly. The brunette lifts one of his hands up and gently brushes against some of the feathers. He instantly pulls away, unsure if that was okay but when Castiel doesn't complain, he reaches up again. He's a little bolder the second time but he still barely touches him because these are Castiel's wings and he's terrified of somehow ruining them. "It's difficult to do this, manifesting my wings, but we wanted you to see them too."
"You don't have to." Sam says quickly, yanking his hand back. He doesn't even have time to consider what Castiel meant by we before Dean kneels down beside his head. Dean actually rolls his eyes at the slightly panicked look on his brother's face. Dean grabs his little brother's hand and moves it back over to the angel's wings. Sam curls his fingers gently amongst the feathers, admiring how soft they are, but Dean just grunts and tightens his hold on his hand. Sam doesn't understand what Dean wants, his brother shoots him a look like it should be obvious, but it's not like he's an expert on angel wings.
Dean laces his fingers between his brother's and forces him to tightly grab a handful of the angel's feathers. Before Sam can voice any concerns, Dean makes them both yank on Castiel's wing. Cas lets out a small cry and Dean just smugly tells his brother, "Harder."
"Are you okay?" Sam asks Castiel, running his free hand up his side. "Did that hurt?"
"No," he replies, a little breathlessly.
"He likes it," The older Winchester tells him, the slightest hint of a smile gracing his lips, and pulls on the feathers once more.