Grace 4/4 [EN, trilogy, Supernatural, Destiel, R]

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Grace 4/4 [EN, trilogy, Supernatural, Destiel, R]

ViestiKirjoittaja Ninjin » Ke Joulu 05, 2012 4:42 pm

Title: Grace
Rating: R
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Dean/Castiel
Genre: angst, romance
Parts: Prologue: Feathers + Fallen: 1, 2 + Grace
Warnings: Violence, deathfic, non-consensual and consensual sexual situations
Summary: ”I know what it’s like to love and lose. Has there ever been a truer lesson in our lives?”

Important note: Despite the third person POV, all that is described is what the character in the center experiences. Nothing stated about others or the surroundings is absolute, everything is subjective.

A/N: I'm totally publishing this crap in just one topic, spamming the Muu Fanfiction full of just one trilogy would be much too embarrassing for a shy soul such as myself.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Feathers

Sam dropped the axe he'd been holding. It hit the concrete floor with a noise that seemed a thousand times louder than it should have been. Even the wooden handle colliding with the doorframe was a gunshot in the man's ears.
A part of him wanted to run in the room – do what he was sure Dean had done at first. But something held him back, a sort of a change in the air like an incorporeal wall preventing him from taking a step further.

His heartbeat was like thunder in his ears. Adrenaline, physical exhaustion and shock kept him from understanding what he saw, like it wasn't happening, not really. Not in his reality. Perhaps in the one that existed behind that invisible obstacle separating him from there, but not here.
If he'd step in, just one more step closer, he'd be in that reality, and everything he saw would be true and there would be no way back.

Feeling weak and dreamlike he kneeled, reaching for the handle of the weapon he'd dropped.
There were still things out there. One of them had to get them – now Sam was the only one who could. He turned to face the fading light shining through the factory room's dusty windows. The ground beneath his feet wavered and trembled as he treaded upon it.

Maybe it was his reality that wasn't real.

*

Dean had forgotten how to swallow. He coughed, gagged, stumbled forwards along the concrete floor, blood dripping from the lip he'd bitten into. With each move he made his ribs and arm hurt as if the blows that they had received were renewing again and again. In a realm of his mind, he understood all this. That realm of his mind understood the texture of the ground beneath him and what the burned dust smelled like and that what he saw was final and couldn't be changed. The rest of him was dulled by disbelief and anger, a need to correct the scene in front of him, but most of all a burning sense of desperation and pain at the loss he knew he'd suffered, unwilling as he was to accept it.

His hands left gray dust on the fabric he grabbed.

”Cas?” he heard himself choking as he pulled the angel's vessel up, holding it on his knees.
He felt himself pressing it against himself and buried his head into the bloodied coat's neck, his nose and mouth filled with the smells of coppery blood, burnt dust and the scent of the body he was holding. His nose drew in the air filtered by the white shirt so close to the vessel's skin that it didn't even smell of cloth anymore, like he was breathing in the male's very essence.
”Cas, please...”

His fingertips traced the burns etched on the concrete below. All he wanted to do was to brush the shadows away, but the part of him that understood clearly and without feeling told him this was all he had left of the angel – if he'd destroy the burn marks, he'd have nothing.
A suffocated cry escaped him. His eyes were wide open as he watched the beautiful, delicate image of Castiel's wings scorched upon the floor and on the wall. His fingers wrapped around the blade – it had pierced right through the heart, he knew it as his fingertips felt the blood through the torn shirt at the point where the weapon had gone through. A precise, deadly blow. One expected from a professional. He had no words. His very mind was empty, full of buzzing noise and his own heavy breathing.

With trembling hands, he pulled the blade out. Fresh, warm blood ran down his hand and soaked his shirt when he straightened it and, unfeeling, pushed it under his belt, out of sight and out of the way. There was no heartbeat, so no more blood came out. Castiel had never bled, not a drop more than what the weapon drew out as it damaged his form. Now Castiel was... and his vessel was just as dead.

Dean barely winced to the sound of iron hitting the concrete behind him. He prayed it was one of the possessed hunters so that he could die there. He'd given everything he had. There was nothing left to lose, no reason to get up again. Nothing.
But it had to be Sam. Through the buzzing and gasping, he heard the man kneel, pick up the weapon he'd dropped, turn and run.

Numb, he raised Castiel's vessel and buried his face into his bloodied shirt again.
Breathing.
Breathing.

Breathing.

*

The axe's blade dug deep into the neck of the man who had raised his knife for the killing blow. Sam jerked it out again and turned as the blood sprayed all over him, squirting out of the open artery, until the man had fallen over and bled on the floor behind Sam's back.
He parried a blow, unbalanced the next opponent and struck the axe into his chest when he fell over. Then something hit him on the back and he fell on his knees, breathless, in shock with the pain that flooded over him – his trained body was taken over with instincts as his higher consciousness was flashing with white, and the next thing he knew, he was watching a head roll comically across the floor. Around him... until it hit a barrel and stuck there, a horrified look on the dead face.

Unthinking, he brushed blood off of his face, only spreading more upon it. He counted four bodies. There was nobody left.

So he stood up and ran, through the empty corridor, past the open rusty doors into the just as empty hall until he could see the door he had to take to reach Dean. His steps echoed in the walls.
The barrier had broken; his reality was the same as that beyond the door.
When he stopped again, Dean was still in the same pose as when he'd last left, cradling the angel's dead body in his arms, face hidden between the bloody coat and the vessel's head.

Sam couldn't believe it had taken this long to understand how Dean really felt about the angel. It really had required Castiel to die for Dean to release that feeling in a way Sam could read it right, but now there was no question about it.
There was the very same pain radiating from his brother as he'd felt inside him with Jessica. The loss was the same. The crushing pain that held Dean in spot, unable to move, barely letting him breathe... Sam knew it like it had been carved into his soul for forever.

He didn't want to go in. He didn't want to grab Dean and tell him they had to leave. But they really did have to leave, they had no choice.
He saw Dean reach for the blackened wings on the floor and the sound he let out hurt Sam like a puncture wound. It also got him moving.

It was impossible to harden his mind, but he grabbed Dean and heard himself commanding him to move, telling him they had to go now or it'd be too late.
At first, he got no reaction at all. Dean seemed to curl up tighter against the body he held but that was all.
When Sam used force, ripped his arm from around the angel, his brother raised his head slowly, expressionlessly, eyes clear with tears that couldn't fall out.

”I don't care, Sammy.”

I don't care.
It was like the man's soul was torn from him. The remaining part was nothing but worn emptiness. The voice of a man who really in his heart did not care, couldn't care.

Sam swallowed.
”You have to come with me, Dean. You have to,” he heard himself say.

Dean looked at Castiel's face – his eyes moved slowly to the shadows of the wings imprinted upon the floor. Then he looked back down and lowered his head again.
His breathing halted, for such a long moment Sam considered he'd actually given up in the most final sense of the word, but then he drew breath again, unwilling and with such bitterness it was like he'd expressed it in voice but without words.

”I know.”
Silence.
”It doesn't matter.”

Sam kneeled next to Dean and laid his hand upon his head, unable to offer more than that, uncertain how to touch.
”I'll help you carry him.”

Dean's breathing changed, turned more rapid as if in fear.
”But part of him is here... we can't take that... I don't want to leave.”

”It's not him. It's not him, Dean. It's just a mark. We need to go, please.”

It took him too long to get his brother up. Too many empty words and too many promises he couldn't fulfill, but finally they were out. Dean sat on the backseat of his Impala after carefully adjusting Castiel on it before him, and as he sat, he lifted the body upon his lap again. His eyes looked out of the window, seeing nothing – the last thing he did that even remotely resembled a reaction was handing Sam the keys so he could drive them away.

After one and half hours the first tears fell upon his face; Sam could see them through the rear mirror. Then he just didn't look again.

*

Wood. A pyre. Fire. Smoke.
The stench.

Darkness.

Dean hardly picked apart the things he saw, everything was part of the same endless vision. His ears were ringing. He felt worse than when he'd climbed through the endless tunnel, finally reaching sunlight that didn't shine any light upon his tortured soul that Castiel had retrieved from hell. That was the thing he concentrated on, the fact he felt worse, but could only trace it to the current moment, the fact that the very being that had saved him once was gone himself.
Multiple times he lowered his head and prayed, first to God, then to Castiel, then to God, then to Castiel again. Deep inside him, the two were the same thing. He'd never known a god. God didn't give a shit about him. Castiel was his grace, his mercy, his everything. The only reason he prayed to the God he didn't believe in was that God had given him Castiel before. He'd resurrected his angel time and time again.
Why did he feel different this time?
Why was the pain so much more profound?
Why did it ache through the marrows of his bones to the depths of his heart?
Why was he hurting like never before, exposed to the elements like he had no skin, burning with fire a thousand times more scorching than the flame that had turned his flesh into ash a million times in hell?

He'd hurt before when Castiel was gone. But it had never been like this. It had never felt like anything close to this. He'd always still felt the angel somewhere, his presence upon him, even when he was gone. Like a part of him was still imprinted on him, staying there until his return, renewed each time the angel was near him. It had grown a part of Dean, a sacred spot inside his mutilated self, a pure feeling amongst the rest tainted by greed and hatred and fear.
And now that last bit of faith was torn from him, violently and mercilessly, leaving him crippled in a way he didn't know how to deal with.

He sat on his knees on the wet ground, all too close to the fire that purified the vessel's remains. He hated knowing they really had nothing to bury; this was Jimmy Novak, Castiel had been gone from the moment the light had vanished.

It seemed like the humane feelings he'd had – compassion, kindness, trust and faith – were gone with that piece of his soul and that in their absence, all the filth he'd tried to hold at bay was slowly pouring in.

Rain came down upon them, drops hissing as they hit the flames. Sam's hand landed upon Dean's shoulder and he felt his brother holding it tight. There was little relief in the touch, but it did make him angry. He hated Sam's goodness. He wanted him to be as torn as he was. He hated knowing Sam was so much stronger, that he'd climbed out of this pit before. He had always been so much stronger than Dean.

He didn't even want to stop those thoughts.
There he sat, with Sam's hand on his shoulder, hating the only man he still had by his side. The only man he loved and still had to hold.

*

Sam didn't know what to do. Dean had locked himself in the panic room and refused to budge. Why he'd chosen that room remained a mystery, but he wasn't alone by any means – he'd made use of Bobby's stacks of booze. They'd repeatedly removed the alcohol from his reach, and at least it made him come out every now and then, but as surely as they took the drink away from him he would retrieve it. One night he'd smashed in the cupboard they'd reinforced and retired inside Impala, just lying on the backseat drinking, drinking, drinking until he passed out and they found him from there in the morning.
How Dean had managed to silently smash furniture was beyond them both but after that they simply gave up. Bobby decided Dean could buy his own booze and went on a dry season himself. It had an effect: Dean stopped drinking. He also stopped eating and moving.
He used the bathroom so rarely Sam was convinced it was harmful on its own, but in comparison to parching and starving, it was Dean's smallest problem.

After three days Bobby came to the conclusion Dean was probably drinking while they weren't watching – he didn't seem too harmed, at least not harmed enough to abstain entirely. But at the same time, it wasn't such a great relief to either of them.
Finally they had to interfere. Sam sat on the cold concrete floor for three hours holding up a monologue. First it had a purpose, then he lost his point and talked about everything, anything to keep the silence away. Two and half hours in he was describing the room with sarcastic commentary added in to note he was feeling like an idiot for doing what he did, and at the point he'd fallen on his back on the floor and started talking about how he had this huge urge to just dump the table all over Dean, his brother suddenly grabbed the bread on the plate and downed it with two glasses of water.
Sam just lied on the floor, afraid to interfere, afraid to let out a sound. He didn't know what to say anymore. He had, after all, ran out of words what seemed to be days before rather than hours. His throat was dry and ached.

”I'm pathetic,” Dean said and his voice cracked, not out of feeling but out of lack of use, ”Get us a case, I'll take a shower.”

*

It wasn't an improvement, but Dean liked to pretend it was, for Sam's sake. He patted Bobby on the shoulder and apologized for the cupboard as they stepped out the door.
Bobby let out a fake annoyed growl and told him to mind his manners, but in truth, he was clearly relieved.

Dean hated the feeling he had. The feelings of being alive – of being clean, satisfied in terms of needs, sober and most of all, cared for. He'd have given anything to just be left alone somewhere he could bury himself alive in peace and quiet, but truth was, he couldn't do that. For some reason he was still living and he had to make use of that fact. Inside his mind in a place he'd buried in concrete he knew that Castiel had died to save his life and the way he was, or rather was not, paying back for that sacrifice was the most selfish thing he'd ever done.
In most of his mind, he refused to think that.

As long as he was in denial, there was a chance that Castiel wasn't dead. That he could fix things. He could bring the angel back from the dead. As long as he refused to let go, he didn't have to accept anything. That was his refuge, the safe spot in his heart he returned to when reality knocked on his doors. Denial, lies and stubborness.
It was so entirely unlike him that he felt like he didn't know himself anymore. He'd been reborn so many times by now, and each one of those births had made him more a stranger to the memory he held of himself.

He held no interest for the case they worked on. He didn't care. He hated the tears on the mother's eyes and the sister's pleading gaze. Sam spoke for him, afraid he'd flip and fuck them sideways. Of course he wasn't going to do that. He kept his feelings to himself.
Then, in the evening, he got so drunk he didn't know his own name.
Sam seemed to have expected it and didn't comment.

Werewolves.
Everywhere.
All the time.
Werewolves.
The town was full of them and it took forever to clear them out. Dean took out the last one and hoped there had still been more to slay.

The next case they took upon themselves four days later was on vampires.
The next after that one was an odd one, turned out to be an actual murder, just by an unusually creative mind.
The one after was about skinwalkers.

Dean lost the track of time. It must have gone by fast, as slowly Sam stopped watching his every step and holding his hand within a grabbing distance in case Dean would suddenly decide to walk under a truck. Apparently he was gaining trust and he just didn't care anymore.
What point was there in caring?

He loved Sam so much he was hurting from the thought and precisely for that reason he couldn't care, wouldn't let himself care, or he'd lose Sam too. Again.
Over and over and over, that was the only thing that ever happened to them. Their reward for all the work they put into making others happy or at least keeping them alive was to die a thousand deaths and lose everyone they had ever loved.

He'd known that when he picked up the gun and followed the path laid ahead for him. From that moment on, there was no regretting the choice. Regret was as meaningless as calling for God. Nobody was listening.
Nobody cared.

*

Almost a year had passed. Sam wasn't certain if he knew Dean anymore – he'd changed so much since the day Castiel had died. The strangest thing was that unlike Sam had expected, Dean hadn't once asked or pushed him about information of the demon that had killed Castiel. It was possible, although highly unlikely, that Dean refused to accept the whole thing happened to the point that he was letting it slip. It was the only reason Sam could think of, however. It wasn't possible Dean didn't care about revenge. He'd always been all over it.

Considering all this, he was afraid to announce the little information he got when it came to him. He had been searching, all the time, but the demon wasn't stupid. That's how he'd gotten them trapped the first time. They'd stood no chance in that fight and it was unbelievable that him and Dean had gotten out alive.
When he begun, he didn't even know what words to use.

”Dean, Bobby had news about the demon we're after.”

Dean didn't react. He opened a beer and took a gulp, eyes decisively upon the television screen.

”So... there's been activity nearby, he mentioned a pattern through a few cities. The signs are pointing to the one, similar deaths have occurred in the afflicted towns.”
Sam watched Dean take another gulp and scratch off a scab from a healing wound on his arm.
”Are you listening?”

Dean's eyes flickered upon him.
”Sure I am,” he said so cheerfully it sounded threatening.

”Okay... so... there's probably another werewolf pack loose in a rural town that fits on the way. I suggest we head there as soon as possible, as in early tomorrow. It's not far.”

”Whatever you want,” Dean replied and downed the rest of the freshly opened beer within the next two minutes.
”It's all the same to me.”

*

The moment Dean realised he was fucked was the moment that the third werewolf launched at him. He licked his lips as he pulled the trigger and sent the creature back a few feet, bleeding all over the floor. Then he turned, just in time to face the one that grabbed him by the waist and tore him open.
He felt his blood gushing out and when he tried to aim the gun at the beast, his hand didn't follow his orders. His muscles turned weak so fast he didn't have time to react – I'm dying, I'm actually dying – and his legs bent under him, sending him crashing on the floor. He held a hand over the wound and felt his insides pushing against his palm, a wave of nausea clashing with the pain. He didn't see Sam, and he didn't really hear him either, it was more like he knew that his brother was in the room and fighting off the remaining pack.

Then all was dark and the pain was gone.
Something was moving in the void, moving him, letting flashes of light and pain and distorted sounds into his realm.

A hand reached for him – he lifted his hand to greet it, touched it, smiled. Somewhere else he was coughing up blood and choking, but here it was good.
He held the hand and wished the gap would close, the imperfection in the warm, quiet dark surrounding him. That his body would give up and let go of him.

He floated in the darkness for hours or days or weeks before he realised that the only thing that kept him there was the hand he was holding. But it was such a familiar hand, the one he'd missed, the one he'd only touched in passing before that he could now finally hold forever. He didn't want to let it go.
He didn't want it to go. If he'd lift his grip, he'd never feel that hand anymore. He'd never be this close to Castiel again, not in life and not in death – dead angels didn't go to heaven. So he held on, endlessly, letting his mind drift as far as he could from the distractions that flowed inside his new reality between consciousness and the realm of the reapers. It was the best choice he had. To not go, and not really come back either.
There was peace and quiet there.

Moment by moment however the gap seemed to widen. It stretched now before him like the mouth of a large cave, the sounds coming from outside clearer than ever before. He felt air on his skin where it was exposed and pressure and memories of ache on his body where it was bandaged. He could count the times his wounds were cleaned. He couldn't have survived the attack, but the longer he chose to linger, the clearer it became that if he wouldn't let go, he'd eventually wake up again.

His decision was clear. He forced his fingers apart.

Then he noticed it didn't matter. His hand was around the other hand and no matter how hard he tried to let go, he couldn't.
Then he realised that the feeling wasn't inside his head. It was outside. It was in the waking world. And so he woke up to his own frustrated attempts at freeing himself from the warm grasp, like one wakes up to trying to answer a phone in a dream when its physical embodiment is ringing in another room.

Sam held a hand over his shoulder. His eyes were full of tears he wasn't letting out.
”Dean – Dean, calm down, it's alright.”

Dean blinked slowly, each movement of his muscles a task on its own.

”Drink this,” Sam pleaded and brought a straw over to his chapped lips.
Dean opened his mouth willessly and sucked water through. He felt his brother's hand pass through his hair and its warmth reminded him to the presence of the one he'd held onto for the whole time.
Fear struck through him like electricity. He was certain it had been his blanket, that when he'd turn his head, he'd see the wall and know he was alone, had been the whole time.

”Dean, look – look at me.”
Dean looked at Sam and his breathing had changed pattern to one that probably screamed fear to his sensitive brother.
”Don't do anything stupid. It's taken all his strength to get you patched up, he's not going to wake up anytime soon. And please don't force him to. He's almost as weak as you are”

”H-his?” Dean whispered and almost choked on the hoarseness of his throat.

Sam offered him the straw again and seemed to have difficulties expressing his thoughts in words.
”I can't tell you much. I don't really know either. It's like last time, only... well, you'll understand better if you just look. Don't jump up – fuck, Dean, swallow it first – I'll give you privacy only if you promise you won't kill either of you.”

Dean's breathing was now trapped within his chest and he merely nodded. He was so full of painful hope he felt like he'd explode – Sam's hand upon his head was like a chain binding him to the past year, and yet he was certain that if he'd look, he'd understood it all wrong and he'd really be alone.
So he was afraid to move when Sam left. Only after he'd closed the door behind Dean started gathering up his courage. They were back at Bobby's and his body felt exactly like he'd lost a lot of blood recently and hadn't yet recovered, so when he finally did move, eyes closed, he feared he would be too weak to ever take another look again.
He held onto his consciousness through the wave of dizziness that flushed over him and rocked his world until he felt nauseous of it all. When it settled, his heart raced like mad and he was cold from fingertips on throughout his body, trembling weakly.
His fingers wound more tightly around the hand he held and he looked.

Castiel was laying next to him, fast asleep, in a much too large gray t-shirt, covered by Dean's blanket from waist down. He breathed very faintly and he was pale, but it all didn't matter – he was one hundred percent more alive than last that Dean had seen him.

He didn't know how to react, so he broke apart, finding himself pushing against the male's chest and crying so that his tears and saliva wet the shirt the other was wearing.

”Where did you come from?” he gasped, fingers of his free hand pushing into the other's oily hair, ”Why did you keep me waiting forever?”
Before he could care, his lips were upon to angel's, and he stole the kiss like it was the only thing that could stop the moment from falling apart into the reality he feared would take over again.

*

Castiel shivered. He could hardly sit up, but Dean's warmth gave him the determination he needed to manage it. He had fever and he was constantly thirsty, and the more energy he'd pushed into Dean, the weaker he had become himself until he was as wounded as Dean was, drained of the force that held him together.

Finally he had none left. He laid his head upon Dean's chest and closed his eyes, breathing air that felt foreign inside him. Dean's arms felt comfortingly strong around him. For once, the human was so much more powerful than he was.

”It's gone,” he said weakly.

”I know,” Dean replied, his fingers digging into Castiel's hair, ”but it's not half as bad as you think. The only bite you took was a bit off, you know. There's a reason some angels really dig mortality.”

A wavering smile lingered upon Castiel's lips. Dean pressed a finger against it and sent the angel's heart racing.

”I guess it's time we stop dying repeatedly, though. Who the fuck's going to get us up next time when you're out of mojo?”

If he'd had the strength to do so, Castiel would have shaken his head and chuckled.
The feelings inside him were all bound together, a mess he'd need time to dig through. He'd never felt like this before, so strongly, so purely and so certainly. And he'd definitely never felt so much at once, so many feelings that he'd never even imagined before.
He felt so weak like a newborn child, powerless to protect himself, unwilling to leave the imaginary safety of this place.

Dean pulled his leg from behind Castiel's back and leaned it against his side instead, supporting him so that he could relax and rest against him. He felt Dean's breath against his ear and gripped his hand tighter.
”Cas...” the younger muttered, uncertain.

”It's... alright, Dean.”

”No, it's not. I missed the chance last time. I won't lose it again. And I will if I'm not brave just this once.”

Castiel felt his lips curving into a small smile. It came so naturally – like it was inbuilt. He didn't have to put thought into it, he didn't have to ask himself if it was the proper reaction. The silence of his mind that he'd feared had made space for a whole new reality to take hold of him.
He felt Dean's fingers stroking his hair and the touch sent shivers down his spine.

His ears picked up on the sound of the younger licking his lips, preparing the words.
”I love you, Castiel. Don't you ever fucking dare to leave me again.”

It was hard to breath.
Castiel felt his body trembling, growing cold, and his heart jumping in his chest, something suffocating him and a tiny sound slipping past his guard while he was unsure of how to take control again.
When he felt Dean leaning down upon him, close enough for him to feel his breathing against his face from the odd position they'd taken, his reflexes pushed him into a kiss that felt like the most natural thing he'd ever done.
The only right thing to do.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"I'm an angel, you ass. I don't have a soul to sell."

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Re: Fallen 3/? [EN, trilogy, Supernatural, Destiel, R]

ViestiKirjoittaja Ninjin » Ke Joulu 05, 2012 4:44 pm

Fallen, 1/2

There was a clock ticking somewhere. Each of its sounds echoed, muffled and distant, but as the only sound they seemed crystal clear through the man's sleep.
Dean curled up tighter, trying to reach the edge of the thin blanket around his body. When his fingers reached it, he pulled it up and with the cloth, another hand was carried up on him.
He smiled, his mind slowly waking up to the warmth and the dusty smell of the room they slept in. His fingers bent around the hand and he held it tight, reminding himself that he was blessed, that this was as close to paradise as he was getting today.
When he'd wake up entirely, he'd need to walk downstairs and eat, and his paradise would be gone.

In ten minutes, he was getting up from the bed. With gentle effort he turned Castiel on his back and stroked his forehead with his fingertips, finally pressing two fingers to take his temperature. His skin was a little sticky but cool, hinting that he might have suffered a fever during the night but that it was well gone by then. With a heavy sigh, Dean put on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and walked the stairs down with heavy steps. He heard voices from the kitchen – Sam's, then Bobby's, then the sound a heavy cup hitting the table, then Sam's voice again.
The house smelled unusually much like old books, so they were probably reading up on something.

He crossed the living room and enjoyed the feel of the old worn smooth planks against his bare feet as much as he enjoyed the feel of the ragged rugs he stepped on on the way through.
”Morning.”

Bobby handed him a cup of coffee before he even managed to sit down.
”What are you reading?” he asked, accepting the cup as he pulled Sam's book to his side of the table, ”What – about mermaids? Why the hell would you read up on mermaids at this ungodly hour?”

Sam huffed and stole his book back.
”Dean, it's nearly half past eleven in the morning. Usually people don't consider this an ungodly hour anymore.”

”He's still asleep?” Bobby asked and glanced at the ceiling.

Dean pursed his lips and brought the cup up to them, tasting the welcome, bitter taste of black coffee in his mouth, washing or burning away the bad taste upon his tongue. Then he nodded, unable to say it aloud.

Castiel had been out for nearly two weeks. At first they'd considered bringing him to a hospital, but he'd never started showing any signs of dehydration or malnourishment. In fact, he didn't show any signs of having lost his grace but the minor detail that he was, in fact, practically comatose.
And perhaps not even practically. Maybe the word they should have used was, in fact, coma – but it sounded so much worse than sleep. Though he did sometimes appear to be dreaming, and he often turned around during the night, always on the side Dean sleeped on so that he was facing him when Dean woke up.
Dean always turned him back over and checked if there was any sign on his skin of irritation or wounds, the sort that appeared on patients unable to get up from the bed or change position often enough, but there was always nothing present.
The angel's temperature changed irregularly, sometimes he had fever, sometimes he didn't. Sometimes he was edging hypothermia. It made no sense at all, but hospital was out of question as long as he wasn't behaving like a human would. The doctors would have as good guesses as to what he was going through as any of them had, and would pretty fast pay attention to everything that was off about him – everything that was, in fact, normal for Castiel, like the fact that he hadn't eaten for weeks.

”So... why mermaids?” Dean asked again and Bobby exchanged looks with Sam.
It made Dean wish he could punch them both.

”There's this case,” Sam finally replied, piled a couple of books on top of the one he'd been reading and pulled out an article cut out from a newspaper, ”Something strange going on with fishing boats. Just read through it, you'll understand.”

Dean pulled the article in front of him and kept drinking his coffee, for a while absently. Three minutes into it they all heard a quiet thud from upstairs, and they all equally jumped from the sound. Dean was the first up and the only one who took it upon himself to nearly run to the stairs – he never got that far, just like Bobby never managed to get his hand off of the back of his chair and follow him. With his heart beating in his throat Dean watched the feet land upon the staircase and take careful steps down. Castiel's fingers bent across the staircase's railing and he peered down, noticed Dean standing in the living room and gaping at him, and a very shy smile appeared and disappeared from his face.

”This is awkward,” he said quietly and glanced towards the kitchen, from where sounds were coming now that the other two had finally managed to get over their shocks and were probably getting out of the room, ”But – I don't know where the bathroom is.”

Dean stared.

He stared long enough that he finally felt Sam's eyes on him instead of them sticking to Castiel, who was in turn answering his stare with raised brows and a faint blush upon his cheeks.

”Damn it,” Dean muttered and shook his head, ”it's – I'll just – just follow me, ok?”

*

Castiel leaned to the bathroom's wall and closed his eyes. To Dean he seemed dizzy, but asking whether he was would be useless – he'd already made it quite clear he had no idea how to define anything he felt, and dizziness would probably seem to him like the normal state of things if he'd never experienced anything other than that during the time he'd spent in his... whatever the state he was in could be called.

”I feel... odd,” the angel said slowly.
His voice was hoarse.
Dean huffed at him.
”I know,” he replied rather impatiently, ”Can you describe the oddness somehow?”

Castiel opened his right eye and looked at Dean briefly with it, then closed it again and breathed in and out for a couple times.
”My mouth is dry,” he finally managed to pronounce, ”and my... body feels weak. I don't trust it to keep me up if I take a step. This has never happened before.”

Dean raised his brows.
”Obviously,” he noted dryly.
Then he grabbed the male's arm and brought it around his shoulder, nudging him off of the wall.
”Just hold onto me if you feel like your legs give in, alright? We'll get you some breakfast, but we'll do it downstairs.”

Sam laid a sandwhich before the angel and Bobby gave him a tall glass of orange juice with a suspicious look on his face. Dean had stayed behind Castiel as he'd sat down and he stood there watching over everything that happened around them. His hands were upon Castiel's shoulders and almost unnoticingly massaging his muscles.
”This is embarrassing,” Castiel mumbled.
Dean could feel his voice vibrating against his palms. The feeling rose the fine hair up on his neck and sent shivers down his spine.

”Get used to it, we're going to keep this up until you're feeling better again,” he chuckled and leaned closer.
Dean felt Castiel straightening his back against him, moving more of his body into contact with the younger's. Another stupid shiver shook him from shoulders on with the notion.

”Talk about embarrassing,” Bobby muttered and turned around.
Dean felt his ears flaring up. Sam chuckled, seating himself next to the angel and watching as Bobby brought the huge pile of books back on the table.
”You start looking through this, and Dean, once you two are done with all that cuddling – don't get me wrong son, I'm happy for you and all, but we really need to get going here – you take the other pile. We're digging right into this case and I sure hope it's not a school we're dealing with here.”

Sam opened up the first book and skimmed to the page he was looking for.
”I don't want to depress you or anything, but it's probably a school – look at this and compare the signs.”

Dean pressed his forehead against the top of Castiel's head.
He felt so happy he wanted to scream and jump and kill a couple mermaids, preferably immediately and without all the fuss of travelling anywhere. His fingertips had moved down on the angel's back to the place he imagined his wings had connected to the vessel's skin and for a second he wondered what it was like for the other now, was he still sharing the body with its original soul or was it entirely his now. Then, as if incapable of holding himself from doing it, he wrapped his arms around Castiel and smiled to the sound of Sam's awkward chuckle.

”Hey, can you even pretend you care?” Sam snorted and hit him on the head with a book, ”He's trying to eat, you know.”

*

Sam leaned his elbow on the car and raised his eyes to the clear autumn sky. Bobby kneeled in front of him, peeking and reaching behind the tire, pulling back a blackened hand and peering at it disgruntedly.
A sense of hollowness inside the younger's chest was chewing at his mood, but it was hard to ignore how brilliant the weather was and how beautiful the warm-coloured sunlight made everything despite the chipper cold air that lurked in every shadow. He wasn't sure what to think. He'd already gotten used to the sulking, lifeless Dean over the course of the year, and this new energetic, happy thing that had replaced him so fast was a shock. He'd never seen Dean like that, but then again, he'd never seen Dean in love either. He'd seen him on the edge, afraid to reach out if it meant he could suffer a loss, and he'd seen him longing, but none of that had come close to the Dean that was now holding close what he wanted the most in life.

No matter how much Sam tried to avoid acknowledging it, he was jealous and he was hurt because of what Dean had now. It was unfair and he hated himself for that; Dean deserved each moment he could now spend with Castiel, but the fact remained that Sam lived their old life still. He had nobody. Jessica hadn't been raised from the dead no matter how many tears he'd shed on her, and Jessica hadn't saved him from death when he'd been torn and destroyed.
It was impossible not to feel betrayed or punished or mistreated, but he didn't know who to be angry with: God, himself, Dean or Castiel. Nobody really deserved his anger. Things like that simply happened, it was life. What had happened to Dean was perhaps luck, but it certainly wasn't a reward or something Sam should have had any more than his brother. He deserved the same thing as Dean did, but the fact remained that it hadn't come to him. Not yet. It might never come, and it was most likely never going to come like it had now come to Dean.
Also true was that Dean's happiness wouldn't last that long, not in their life. Sam was already worried about Castiel. The angel was a warrior, but not one who was trained to fight with a mortal body with physical weapons. He was in a strange territory and there were a thousand and a hundred things that would have given anything to get a piece of him to just tear apart until there was nothing left to rip and break anymore.
He wasn't human, and he'd never be a human. To become anything close to one would take years, and years were things that weren't given away on demand. Each peaceful day was a gift in their lives, a fleeting moment that could end abruptly at any given moment.

That was why they let the two of them sit on the porch drinking coffee and laughing and doing nothing useful at all.
They might never get another chance like that again, not to mention that Castiel was much too weak to train still and starting now could have interfered with his recovery.

”What do you think happened?” Sam asked quietly, his eyes following a sparrow crossing the deep blue sky.

”You mean why do I think he was braindead for so long?”

”Yeah.”

Bobby got up from the ground and wiped his hands, first looking at Sam and then at the two men sitting on the porch.
”I don't think, I know,” he said then, ”Gimme that.”
He pointed at the box of tools and Sam picked the thing up, offered it up to him until he'd picked what he needed. Then the box could return where it had been, Sam positioned his elbow back against the cold metal and Bobby laid on his back and pulled himself under the car.

The late birds were still singing in the surrounding trees. A minute passed before Sam landed on his knees next to Bobby, placed the toolbox between them and joined him under the car.
”Can you hold this for me for a second?” Bobby asked, handing him the oil-stained cloth.
Sam held out his hand and grabbed it, eyes tracing the car's belly, catching up on what Bobby was trying to achieve.

”So, why was it?” he finally asked again.

Bobby wiped his fingers on the cloth Sam was still holding and gave him a look that made him feel abnormally slow.
”He took Dean's bloodloss, obviously. Haven't you been paying attention at all? Your brother was dying when you carried him here. His stomach was open to the guts and he was patched up with a thrice-damned shirt, Sam. That angel there transferred his damage upon his own body and blacked out because that wound was fatal, even shared between the two of them. I was surprised when he didn't just die all over again from it right away I tell ya, but I kept my mouth shut for your brother's sake. Give me the wrench.”

”What?”

”The wrench, it's somewhere under you right now.”

Sam laughed.
”Sorry,” he chuckled and pulled up the wrench he'd partially been laying on top of.

Soon after a shadow covered the light they were getting under the car. Sam lifted his head as much as the space allowed and saw an expected shape drawn against the light.
”Get out Castiel,” Bobby grunted, ”You're blocking out the sun.”

”Oh.”
The angel shifted just enough to let the light back in. Dean's legs appeared next to him.
”Come on, they don't want you in their private car fixing time together,” the younger male said and tugged at the trench coat Castiel was wearing again.

”What are they doing?” the angel asked, pulling himself up and away from Sam's view.

”I told you already, they're fixing the car. You'd just end up dropping it on them, so please don't get involved, seriously. We need to teach you to bake instead.”

Bobby spat something out of his mouth and rolled out from under the car.
”Don't you dare make him your damn wife, he's gotta learn to do a man's job around here and not some damn bakin',” he growled after them, turning to dig something out of the box.
Sam could hear Dean laughing.
That was a sound he really liked hearing, no matter what else he might feel about the situation.

”Now where is the damn cutter? I was just holdin' it right here...”

*

Castiel held his pillow on top of his lap and stared out of the window. He'd been doing it for an absurdly long time and the intensity of his gaze was giving Dean creeps. He put the book down and started staring at the fallen angel, wondering if he'd manage to wake him up from the trance if he'd give him the same intensity as he was giving the window.
The clock kept ticking.

Five seconds, fifteen, fourty-five, a minute.

Finally Castiel's eyes strayed upon Dean's and he blinked surprisedly. They watched one another, the older tilting his head as Dean tried to figure out how to move on. He almost started talking about the mermaids, but suddenly realised that wasn't what he wanted. He crawled across the space and laid his hands on both sides of Castiel's legs, bringing the stare into extremely close proximity. Then he huffed and broke the contact, balancing himself on his knees and looking out the window in a desperate effort of catching a glimpse of what Castiel was seeing outside.
A very painful premonition had settled in the pit of his stomach. He knew he was right about it.
"Hey, Cas?" he started as kindly as he could.
He knew his whole position there was about as submissive as a person could get without rolling on his back like a dog, but that was pretty close to how he felt.

He felt guilty and responsible for any pain Castiel was feeling. Inside somewhere, it had been clear all along to him that the angel wasn't happy, but he'd buried that fear deep and hoped it wouldn't crawl out anytime soon. The very first night seemed like a bad timing to him.

"Yes?"

Dean hesitated. Then, changing the plans he'd never had to start with, he picked himself up and went to turn off the lights. He stumbled back across the room and sat down on the makeshift bed they'd recovered on and had now decided to return to despite there being much more comfortable spots to sleep in downstairs. The attic room felt better than any of those. It had been unused for a while, now it was theirs. It was private, safe and Dean had already gotten used to it - the same seemed to be true for Castiel, who had returned there without a question before any of them had even mentioned the possibility of other arrangements.

"D'you remember the day you woke up the first time?" he finally asked.

Castiel nodded.
"I do."

Continuing was hard. They'd avoided the subject for the whole day, or at least Dean had. How Castiel felt about it and whether or not he wanted, or thought it was necessary, to discuss the matter was unclear to the human.
"We... said things," he started.
His eyes escaped to the window. It was hypnotic: the starry skies somewhere far above them were a deep shade of blue, dotted with the brightest of lights, each shining from distance so long it was impossible to understand. To Dean, stars were just little spots of light on the wide surface that the sky was when viewed from where he stood. He wondered what they were to Castiel, if Castiel's mind could understand the ferocity of a sun's flames, the distances between celestial objects, the size and scale of things around them and even inside them on the microscopic scale that was as surreal to Dean as the macro scale was.
Suddenly he felt sick to his stomach and the question he had to ask seemed to have an obvious answer. How the hell could they love each other when they were nothing alike? They weren't even the same species and their minds were as different as a candle's flame was different to the blaze of all those stars he was still looking at, twinkling in their own realms, to him impossible to comprehend, and to Castiel...

He felt the angel's hand on his shoulder and turned to look at him. Castiel looked back with a worried, questioning expression.
"What is it, Dean?" the older asked.
And older he was. Dean didn't even know by how much but he feared that a couple million years probably didn't even come close to the real numbers.

"Why do you even care?" Dean asked back, not rudely like the words implied but confusedly, wanting to understand.
"Why am I so important to you and you act like I am worthwhile, that I'd be anything even close to equal to you?"

"We... are equal, Dean," Castiel replied, his tone shy like he wasn't certain he was understanding the conversation at all.

"No, we're not," Dean sighed frustratedly, "I'm like an ant compared to you. I'm stupid, I've lived for a fraction of the time you've existed, I don't have wings and your siblings keep referring to me as a mud-monkey. That's for a reason, Cas."

Castiel tilted his head and then it was his turn to turn towards the window. It was becoming a ritual.
"You're confusing 'equal' with 'similar'," he said, his voice flowing softly and without a hint of emotion pouring into it.
He sounded like he was talking about the weather, and his position considered, he could well have been.

"And what the heck does that mean?"

"We are different," the angel stated the obvious, "but we're also equal. Angels often forget that we, too, were created like your kind, and that our Father has a purpose for our differences. In fact... it could well be that I am inferior to you, Dean. The only certain thing is that it is not the other way around, it has never been."

Dean bit his lip and looked down at his feet. He wanted to lean into the touch but he was nowhere near confident enough to do it. Every moment he spent doubting did nothing but convince him further that this was wrong, and he was wrong for wanting it to be right. At the same time, he still wanted nothing more than for Castiel to stay there with him. As afraid as he was to even admit it to himself, he wanted the other to want to stay as much as he needed him to, and he wanted to be the reason Castiel would feel that way.
Yet he couldn't ignore the truth that they'd never have much of a life together, not even if everything played out the way he wanted for once. Even if it would have been possible for Dean to just leave the hunter's life behind and move into a comfortable little apartment of his own somewhere, work a normal job and tend a garden on his freetime, the fact remained that Castiel would never be able to leave himself behind. Being an angel wasn't a lifestyle, it wasn't like hunting - he'd never stop being an angel, just like Dean would never stop being a human no matter how many years he'd spend on four legs eating cat food and communicating in hisses and meows.
And that wasn't even touching the whole subject of society. Even worse than dating someone who wasn't human was gay-dating someone who wasn't human.
It didn't get more socially unacceptable than that.
Bitterly, Dean wondered whether Castiel had any clue about that at all.

The only light at the end of the tunnel was knowing that there had been, in an alternative reality and an alternate timeline, a human Castiel who functioned. Even that light was so dim and constantly shadowed by the fact that the Castiel he remembered from that realm had hated his life and coped by extreme nihilism. It wasn't the Castiel that sat next to him and still remembered who he was.

The younger flinched when Castiel reached to touch his face, pressing his fingers against his chin and turning his head up and towards his own.
"You wanted to ask something," the angel prompted him gently.

"It was nothing."
Dean's reply was quiet and fragile and ended the discussion. He did stay, however, slowly curling up on the angel's lap and staying there, mind full of uninvited questions and doubts, the older's fingers in his hair and upon his neck, caressing him until he was ready to fall asleep there and finally crawled into his own bed.
He fell into a restless sleep.

*

Night's light was still shining into the room when Dean woke up and his senses told him something had changed. He sat up, his eyes swollen from the less than unsatisfying rest, and as he scratched at his neck absently he slowly realised that the room was empty.
The notion made his heart beat faster and he could feel adrenaline bursting into his veins. His breathing changed from slow and deep to fast and light and as he climbed up from his bed, his fingers had grown cold.

He stumbled on his way out of the door and down the steps as if his legs didn't really know how to move his feet. As he passed he saw Sam curled up on the couch, wrapped in a thick blanket and breathing quietly. The living room was empty other than for him, and so was the kitchen. He didn't look into Bobby's bedroom nor at his study, the latter merely because going there would most definitely have woken Sam up.

The more rooms he looked through without a single sign of the angel anywhere, the worse he felt. By the time he got to the front door he was shaking from cold, and yet he didn't even bother putting on shoes as he stepped out into the night.
He walked down the couple steps on the yard's gravel, eyes peering into the dark. The figures of cars and machines littering the space were all potential traps and behind each and every one he was prepared to seeing a demon or a monster of any sort, ready to charge for him now that he was there practically naked and entirely vulnerable.

He'd crossed the open space between himself and the Impala when he heard movement from behind him and turned, body ready for an attack, every muscle aching from tension.
It was Castiel.
He was wearing the t-shirt and jeans he'd worn the day before, and the look on his face expressed all the questions he hadn't yet asked.
Without thinking, Dean walked up to him and wrapped his arms around his warm body, pressing his face against the angel's neck and breathing in the air that smelled of him and the night air combined.
The older placed his arms clumsily around Dean's body in return and held him there, likely uncertain as to what to do next or how to move on from the embrace.
There was a wordless war between them, beginning from Dean's reaction to his presence - wandering about the cold night in light pants and nothing more was a good enough indicator of his opening line. It was screaming the words he didn't let out, the fear of losing again, and as Castiel stood there, his whole being replied with questions. Had he done wrong? Was Dean alright? What should he say?
Dean replied with nothing but questions himself; why was he there, what had he been thinking, why hadn't he woken Dean up, how long had he been gone?

Finally, they found no words to say aloud at all. Dean was shivering from the cold and Castiel had nothing to cover him with, and even the warmth of his body couldn't fight off the chill entirely. As they parted, the quiet cacophony died down, and as they looked at one another the silence pressed against Dean's eardrums like water.

"Do you love me?" he asked the question he'd left unspoken earlier with nothing but desperation and demanding in his voice.
He pronounced the words like a starving man bit into an apple, the letters falling from his mouth with immense weight and through insane effort and strength. The memory of the question lingered in the night until he couldn't have any of it anymore and he tried to wipe it away with other words, each as painful and sharp as the first ones had been.
"You never said it to me. You've never said it to me."

His heart felt like it was bursting, feeling like it was rubbing itself against the carvings in his bones and would continue until it would be bleeding. Castiel turned away from him and he felt his whole being breaking, shattering into dust and then stubbornly refusing to fall apart like it should have, like he felt it should have. With no more words he grabbed the male's hair and forced their lips together again. Castiel backed, more out of the force Dean had applied onto him, fighting to stay in balance. His back collided with the Impala and Dean locked him in place by pushing his hands on his both sides - he tasted tears he didn't recognise as his own and bit the angel's lip until he let out a sound. His lips slipped off of the older's and, ashamed to stop for a second, afraid the other would refuse him or worse, he moved right onto his neck, biting and sucking until the skin was bruised and he tasted blood in his mouth.

He had to stop, he knew it, but his body was full of fear and the very thought of backing off now was killing him, each attempt to draw back like swallowing a litre of ice. A fraction of his mind noted the angel's hands on his back, holding him still with such confidence and yet so gently and calmly it was like he had adopted all the control Dean had lost. The younger held onto that notion and concentrated on it until it was all he was, he became one with the serenity radiating from the other and ignored both the racing of his own broken heart and the trembling of the other's body against him.

The feel of the older's lips against his ear sent fire raging in his chest. The roots of the fire wound around his spine and held him together, binding the pieces one again, melting the dust back into the shape of a man.
The words the angel spoke to him were in Enochian.
They were the most beautiful words he'd ever heard, yet he couldn't understand them, and he couldn't ask, he didn't dare to. It was like everything in him had burnt away with the blaze leaving behind nothing but ashes, and his knees were giving in.

*

The sheets had been torn off during the morning hours and ended up wrapped tight around the male's body. That was what Dean woke up to, the feel of rough fabric biting into his flesh and preventing his legs from moving. Awakened, it didn't take him much effort to make space for his feet again. His eyes adjusted to the light and the colours slowly got brighter along with his sense of reality returning in bits and pieces. His heart skipped a beat when he remembered, then another when he realised how close Castiel was to him. Their bodies were covered by the same blanket and the older's naked knees pressed against his thighs. His arm had rested on Dean's side for so long it had become weightless there, its warmth exactly the same with his. The angel was breathing slowly, still fast asleep, and his hair stood up from the parts that had rubbed against the pillows.
His head was so close to Dean's that their faces were still near enough for all air between them to be shared, and now that Dean was awake, his lungs ached to get fresh air inside. Carefully he turned his head a little to poke his nose up from the stream of recycled air.

He knew it had to be past noon then and wondered why they hadn't been woken up yet. Rain washed the roof, its sound was clear in the attic room. Small streams of water were running down the window's glass as well. Downstairs Sam coughed and Dean could hear a cup hitting the wooden surface of the study's table again. He closed his eyes, ears picking up Bobby's voice.
They were all wasting time, but wasting time had never felt like such a welcome option in Dean's mind. He'd never stopped like this for years, never truly felt like he might not want more than he already had.
The sound of the front door opening and closing made his imagination create the area inside his mind. It was Bobby who'd left - Sam was still in the study. He knew it somehow, counting the little sounds and time that had passed between each sign.

When he opened his eyes again, Castiel was staring at his collarbones expressionlessly. The blue of his eyes was clear and bright again in the light of the rainy day shining from the right angle, and the bruising on his neck looked like some madman had tried to eat him alive. A weight settled in the pit of the younger's stomach. Suddenly he felt the idol on his chest, the trinket Sam had years ago given to him as a gift and that Castiel had once borrowed - it took him a while to understand that Castiel was holding a finger on top of it.

"When I met you," the angel said absently, "I was someone else."

Dean moved the hand that was trapped under Castiel's head until he could reach the other's short, silky hair with his fingers. He couldn't answer. He didn't want to remember that time. There were wounds inside him, wounds that would never heal, and for the pain they caused him if disturbed, they were best left alone. He'd thought he was broken then. It was nothing compared to how damaged he was today, how little human there was left in him and how much he resembled the things he hunted. The difference was that he still looked like a person, someone with an intact, complete soul, yet if he'd faced himself, he would have shot without hesitation. Only someone like himself could see past the surface and know the creature he'd become inside.
He watched the drops run down the glass and wondered whether Castiel felt the same.
The only thing that could be said for sure was that he had suffered enough to be broken.

Weight settled on the string around his neck again as the angel laid his hand back down and let the trinket fall. This was the most normal thing they'd ever done together, just lying there on the bed without talking, arms around one another.

"I'm sorry," Dean said quietly.

Castiel turned on his back, moving his head closer to Dean at the same time so that eventually the younger felt his hair bending against his face. The ceiling above them seemed alive with the shadows of the rain.

"I don't want you to be sorry," the angel said and closed his eyes again, "I'm the one who should be."

~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"I'm an angel, you ass. I don't have a soul to sell."

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Ninjin
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Viestit: 763
Liittynyt: La Elo 16, 2008 1:57 pm
Paikkakunta: Hyvinkää

Re: Fallen 3/? [EN, trilogy, Supernatural, Destiel, R]

ViestiKirjoittaja Ninjin » Ke Joulu 05, 2012 4:47 pm

Fallen, 2/2

Sam hesitated when Dean sat down by the table, his hair sticking here and there and barely any light left in his eyes. He was pale and his eyes were swollen from the lack of quality rest and the way he drank his coffee made it seem like he wasn't even tasting it in his mouth.
The younger didn't know if he should open his mouth at all. He was afraid Dean wouldn't want to talk, or worse, that he'd turn it against Sam somehow. The full truth was that Sam hadn't exactly wanted to be woken up to see what he saw, but he'd seen it, and what he'd witnessed worried him more than anything so far had managed after the day they'd arrived there.

"Dean," he begun, deciding that bringing it up now was the only way to get it through at all, a mistake he might later regret if he allowed it the chance, "I saw what happened last night between you and Cas. I know you probably don't want to talk about it, but if you ever do - I just want to let you know that I already know, so you can come to me first."

Dean looked up at him very slowly, his words still sinking in. A lot of emotions passed his features, leaving him with none at all.
He sipped his coffee and shrugged.
"Awkward," he said, stretching the word, and from his tone it was clear he dismissed the feelings associated with the memory.
Sam suspected he was pushing back guilt as well. His brother's guilt was familiar to him. It was a force that never left Dean alone. It had been there perhaps forever, building up to the unknown point where he wouldn't be able to take it anymore. Out of the million things that could kill them at any moment, Sam feared Dean's guilt would be the one to take him out.
More than anything he wished the older would talk, no matter how it'd come out, but he never did. He kept it all to himself, ashamed of any sign of weakness, amongst which for himself he counted the need for a shoulder. That was who Dean was - he believed he alone was responsible for everything. On top of the burdens he carried for others he also had to carry his own, but he never allowed himself to become one for anyone else. He feared it more than anything - from day one he'd always had to keep quiet about himself, put his own good aside for that of others, beginning from their mother and continuing on to Sam, then from Sam to everyone else, and now there was Castiel.

With the aura of defeat, Sam picked up the day's newspaper and slid it across the table to Dean.
"I was just reading this, look," he begun and reached from behind his laptop to pat a certain article from the bottom of the page.
Dean's gaze fell upon it and stayed upon the headline.
"Bobby and I found a few relevant articles from earlier years that might help us get to the heart of this, but I think we're running out of time, we need to get there as soon as possible."

Dean muttered something, but Sam's attention was caught by the footsteps descending the stairs and he didn't hear him. Through the open door he saw Castiel landing barefooted on the floor from the last step of the stairs, still buttoning a collared shirt and looking like he wasn't quite familiar with how it was supposed to work. Apparently Dean had expected Sam to reply and, left in silence, had raised his eyes to look what was keeping the younger so occupied and then noticed his grin. Prompted by it, the older turned around to see what Sam had been staring at.

"Jesus, Cas, it's not that hard," he huffed and rose up from his chair, nearly knocking his cup of coffee over, "How the hell do you intend to pass for a human if you don't even know how to dress yourself? Seriously."

Sam couldn't help smiling at them when Dean gently slapped Castiel's hands off of the buttons and did them for him in a couple refined movements. Castiel lowered his gaze looking ashamed, and as he did so, Dean pressed a finger under his chin and lifted his head up again.
"Cheer up, fluffy. Get some coffee and wake up."

The markings on the angel's neck, from what Sam had managed to see past the shirt and Dean's hands and from what was still visible on the skin above where the shirt reached up to, were extremely painful-looking and there was no way to count them as anything other than the signs of violence that they in full truth were. Seeing them was not nearly as odd or awkward as Sam had expected, but it did give him all the more reason to worry. He turned back to his laptop without paying attention to the page he was on, mechanically scrolling down uncaring of its contents.

He'd been very close to interrupting the two last night, and as his memory returned to the bruises on the angel's neck, he wished he had. But even then, he still did not know what he could have done, and he didn't know what he would do now or even what were the possible options he had to begin with. Beneath it all, he feared it would turn worse, and one potential way to worsen it was to trigger it through poking around carelessly. He hated being his brother's therapist for one reason; he didn't know how to handle the anger that had grown inside Dean like a cancer for years. The only thing he'd ever achieved by trying to help had been making everything worse than it had already been.
For that, he feared to even try this time.
If there was something he didn't want to ruin, it was the last bit of hope Dean had in his life. In the end however, if things wouldn't change, Dean would put that light out himself and the result would be exactly the same, if not worse.

*

Bobby raised his eyes and looked Dean in the eye.
"No, no ye won't," he said simply and threw a bag of weapons to the back of his car, "You're in no damn condition whatsoever to hunt."

Dean opened his mouth to argue, but the words simply didn't get past the shock he felt. Sam avoided looking at him, and through it all, he somehow managed to reaim his anger towards him instead.
"You're behind this, aren't you?" he spat out, taking a step towards Sam.

Bobby laid an arm across his chest, preventing him from proceeding. The look on his face was disbelieving, and the look on Sam's was shocked and insulted.
"What? Behind what, Dean?" Sam asked, letting his arms fall down from where he'd crossed them on his chest, "It was Bobby's decision. I've got nothing to do with it."

"The boy's speaking the truth," Bobby said and pushed Dean the couple steps back until he was in front of him again, "But your reaction just proves me right, son. You ain't goin' anywhere. Besides - we can't leave Cas here alone. He's like a bit of fresh meat hung out in plain sight if he's alone. If it helps any, I thought we'd leave him with the best we have, and the best just so happens to be you."

Dean wasn't sure which hurt him more, the look Sam was still giving him or the kindness behind the strict decisiveness in Bobby's voice. Unable to argue, he turned his back on them both and stormed back inside, slamming the door behind him. As he ran up the stairs and then up to the attic, he felt like he was 14 all over again and John had just commanded him to stay with Sam and stop complaining about it like a little kid.
All he wanted to do was to curl up in his bed and hide under the blanket, but he wasn't going to sink that low - instead, he walked up to the window and watched Bobby pack up the car, sit behind the wheel and drive off with Sam on the front seat next to him. The sun was slowly setting, although it would still be a few hours until dark.
He wasn't entirely surprised to hear footsteps upon the creaky stairs, but he wished Castiel would have stayed off and let him be. He was trembling and in a state of weakness he didn't want anyone to see, much less Castiel who'd already faced him like that and hadn't gotten out of it unharmed.

The closer the angel got, the tenser Dean got until even the hair on the back of his neck was standing up. His whole body was in flight or fight state, his heart racing in his chest and his eyes locked upon the horizon, not really seeing it at all.
The warmth of Castiel's arms around his waist felt like rubbing numbing balm on wounds. He didn't say anything, merely stood there behind him, holding him, and slowly Dean noticed he was calming down again and his body relaxed into the other's touch. It was a sluggish process but the fact it happened was a miracle to him.
The older laid his chin on Dean's shoulder and he could feel him breathing against his neck.

"Is now a bad time to ask you for a favour?" Castiel asked softly.
Dean raised his hand to touch the male's face, feeling the smoothness of his shaved skin, tracing down a scab he knew was there by his chin. The angel leaned into the touch, his body pressing firmly against Dean's. Dean closed his eyes and breathed in his scent. It was changing, slowly but certainly. Somehow the new tone of it was more familiar to Dean than the one he had accepted as Castiel's scent and he knew that the change had occurred because the body was all Castiel now. The vessel he'd occupied had become his own flesh and was adjusting to him, its old soul's memory fading from it with each passing day.

"No," Dean replied breathlessly, his entire concentration upon the feel of the other so near him, "Now might be the best time."

Castiel huffed, the tip of his nose pressing against Dean's head right behind his ear. He'd never felt such a touch there, the intimacy of the contact a whole different level from anything that he'd ever experienced on such an unsignificant part of his body. The other's skin was cold there but Dean's warmth caught onto it fast. He felt the moisture of the angel's breath upon his neck and on the back of his ear.
"Practice with me," Castiel pleaded.

"As in with weapons, right?"

"Yes."

Dean moistened his dried lips and nodded.
"How's your body feeling?" he asked.

"Weak, but like a work in progress; improvable."
He tilted his head like a pet when Dean rubbed the curve of his jaw gently with his fingertips, the motion turning to gentle scratching when he noted the reaction it prompted in the other. He noticed he was smiling - it felt like the hurt inside him subsided and healed with the expression alone. An aching sort of melancholic happiness settled inside him, replacing the former bitterness and warming him from inside out until he felt it was hard to breathe.

*

They started from basics, warming up with disarming practice on unloaded guns. Dean had never trained with Castiel before and the seriousness of his attitude toward it surprised him. Once they got into it, there was no sign of shyness or hesitation in the angel. He seemed to have discarded his emotions entirely and no matter how many times he got it wrong, he never once seemed frustrated or demotivated to try again.
It soon dawned to Dean that Castiel would without a second of questioning continue a single practice to perfection, no matter how tired he was or how many bruises he'd acquire in the process. As they moved onto theory, going through the basics of how to prepare a gun for firing, how to aim with it, how to shoot with it and how to return it to a safe state, he realised his respect for the other had significantly increased during the past hour alone. He'd never gotten this close to the professional warrior the other was by birth. They'd fought together, but that was in an environment where they all did what they knew best how to do. They'd never practiced, never repeated a single move over and over and over again and sustained blows until imperfection shed like old skin from the way their bodies knew the motion, like it had been imprinted into their muscles.

He was quick to learn, too - Dean never once had to worry he'd grow tired of teaching him. Instead he started worrying he'd soon have nothing left to teach. When he saw the male's arms trembling under the weight of the light gun and when his own arms ached like there was a fire burning them each time he tried to move he knew they'd done a month's practice in less than four hours. What they hadn't achieved was removing the restlessness from inside him. He wasn't exhausted enough for it to be gone, and so, when Castiel had shot his last bullet, Dean charged him without a warning, disarming him before he could react. It was him however who first landed on the ground, the angel on top of him, pressing him down with his hand upon his throat - Dean's body reacted before he caught his breath again, knee pressing into the angel's side, throwing him off balance and allowing the human a second to get up again. His legs trembled as he dodged a grab but doing so gave Castiel just enough time to pull himself up as well. A hint of a smile crossed his face and for a reason Dean couldn't understand it paralyzed him on the spot for a fraction of a second. It was his mistake, and for that, he landed back on the ground with a bleeding lip and a bruised tongue. Grimacing, he grabbed Castiel by the shirt and dragged him down.

Instead of a punch he pressed his lips against the older's and kissed him, blood from his mouth spreading upon the male's mouth and dripping down their chins. The angel's lips joined in, first timidly, then bit by bit more bravely until the tip of his tongue brushed against the wound at the side of Dean's mouth, gathering a drop of his blood and bringing it between his own lips.
Dean's fingers were in Castiel's hair, pushing him down, his other arm around the angel's body still, gripping and tearing at his shirt.
Their lips parted and for a moment, time seemed to stop. Somehow, Castiel's knees were on both sides of Dean's hips and his hands were both in Dean's hair, one more on the back of his neck than on his head anymore. They breathed heavily, bodies trembling one at a time like the same shiver was echoing between them. The angel's fingers were cold as ice and he was pale when Dean looked at him, his face stained with the younger's blood, a drop of it running down his neck still.

In a surreal change in the mood, a late bird whistled in the distance, and for the moment they both stared into one another's eyes, full of emotions that didn't have a natural-feeling outlet. Dean knew how the other ached, he ached in the same exact manner but just like Castiel he felt frozen in time, unable to move any part of him, blood still dripping down his injured lip and soaking up the chest of his shirt one drop at a time.
As seconds ticked by he started fearing Castiel would move away again, that he'd walk out of the situation, but when he looked the other in the eye he couldn't see a trace of that in his expression, nothing about him seemed to imply he was going to pull up and leave anytime soon.
Instead, his mind seemed to be working along the tracks Dean's was, trying to find the words to break the spell binding them in place.

They never found those words. Instead in the end the older leaned closer again, hesitating briefly before pressing his lips against Dean's in a very questioning manner. Dean parted his instantly in an invitation for the other to continue, his fingertips descending from the angel's hair onto the back of his neck and stroking the area gently as their mouths learned a common rythm and motion. The longer the kiss lasted, the easier it got and the more Dean wanted it to last. He noticed he was being pushed back by the older leaning forwards into the kiss and slowly he gave up to it, landing on his back with the angel bending over him, their lips still joined throughout the slow motion fall.
As Castiel's hips pressed against him in the new position they'd taken Dean's suspicions were confirmed - he was just as aroused as he was, and the pressure on them both made Castiel jolt and Dean let out a muffled moan into the kiss.
His hair was standing up and his heart threatened to break out of his chest, beating so loud he heard its sound from the outside as well as from the inside as the blood it pumped flooded violently inside him beat by beat.
The kiss they shared seemed to gain from the unexpected touch of their hips and Dean couldn't not notice the way the angel pressed against him again, this time with caution, as if to see if the feeling would repeat itself. The younger grabbed the male's short hair and pulled at it, raising his hips against Castiel's, pressing onto him and moving just enough to make sure the other felt how it was like to him for him to grind against Dean's body like that, how it was both the most erotic touch he'd ever felt and at the same time, the most torturous ever applied on him, as it never got strong enough. His hint wasn't caught up - the angel gasped slightly and turned to kiss him on his neck. At that point, Dean didn't even care anymore. He kept his hips pushed up against the other's and moved them, one leg climbing over and bending around Castiel's thighs for support.
"You're killing me," he whispered breathlessly, "Please just let me die."

He felt Castiel's smile against his neck and tugged at his hair again.
"Wouldn't you rather die indoors?" the angel asked, his words like soft kisses upon the oversensitive skin.

Dean caught his breath and made sure his tongue still worked, shivering, forcing his body to stop grinding against the older.
"No," he finally said, clawing frustratedly at the ground below with his free hand until the undersides of his nails were full of dirt, "I'd rather hold you close right here and never let go again. But you're right."
His fingers let go of the other's hair and, together with the dirtied hand, bent around his shoulders instead, pushing him down from on top of his body so that he could sit up. He had sand in his hair too, it trickled down his neck and fell inside his shirt. Castiel had rolled on the ground quite gracefully; his bright blue eyes were focused upon Dean and his lips were parted all too invitingly, making the younger's body respond with an animalistic urge to just abandon all reason and logic and pin him down right there.
Instead, he smiled and lowered his gaze.
"Let's get a room."

*

At first hey didn't get further than the living room. Castiel could have - his legs seemed stiff and unwilling to follow his orders to move, but at least he had the will to do so. Dean wanted nothing more than to jump back on him and have all of him, regardless of how it would happen. His legs refused to move where they should have brought him, instead leading him to Castiel. He watched like through mist as he took a hold of the male's waist and turned him to face him, everything only turned real when their lips met again and he felt the angel's body shivering against his.
The older's fingers pushed into his hair. It surprised Dean how naturally he responded now and how little there was left of the earlier confusion about how to react to many things relating to closeness and especially things edging sexuality. He pushed the angel against the stairs and found his fingers trapped in the borrow shirt's hem - unthinking, he undid the knot and let his hands underneath the shirt, pulling it off, then backing from Castiel just for long enough to tear off his own shirt. Immediately after letting go of the cloth he returned, pressing against the older. He felt breathless from the manner the other was so close to him, how their skins rubbed together without anything in between and how firm Castiel's shape was against him, unlike any he'd gotten this close to before.

A tiny disappointed whimper escaped the younger as Castiel pushed him back, gently but decisively. His fingers stayed upon Dean's waist and he held him there, a startled little smile upon his lips and the familiar tilt of his head present to forward a message Dean's mind wasn't processing. For a while he seemed like he was going to say something, but he couldn't find the words and instead took Dean's hand, leading him up the few first steps and picking up his pace then, their hands parting.
The younger followed him clumsily, his feet still not working as he wanted them to, but it was like a rope had been tied around him that had its other end around Castiel; the further the other moved, the more Dean's body ached to feel him again, and the better control he had over his legs in order to catch up with the male again.

He closed the door behind them, locking them in the comfortable privacy of the attic room. Castiel walked all the way to their messy bed, standing on the mattresses as he turned towards Dean again, holding out his hand, his smile encouraging now.
Dean moved to him and allowed the older to pull him close. The burn of the moment before had left him. It was replaced with a more quiet need to be close and he wondered whether this was more the way Castiel wanted him to be. He leaned to the angel's body and breathed in his scent, feeling his fingers tracing his back and finally bending around the collar of his jeans. The skin Dean was leaning against was warm and that warmth seemed to radiate from him and wrap around Dean's body too.

His fingers joined Castiel's fingers by his jeans and guided them to the front over his belt. They undid it together, Castiel's fingers mostly tugging when Dean's handed them the belt, as the younger wasn't trusting him with the task of opening the buckle from that angle. Once the belt was off, he left Castiel's hands on the spot and turned his attention to the older's jeans. He undid the button and the zipper and let them hang loose - Castiel did the same for his.
They kissed again. The only thing that held the bits of clothing on them was the closeness of their bodies.

The angel took Dean's hand and pulled him down on the bed. They ended up in a half-sitting, half-lying position, eyes on each other at all times. Dean pushed his again cold fingertips under the other's jeans and on top of his hip that was still covered by one more layer of cloth.
"I'm a little lost," Castiel admitted and laid his head down on the pillow.
His casual tone made Dean grin. His voice was changing too - the old monotonous, low voice he'd always had was being pushed aside by a voice with more variety in it, a pattern of speech with tones unique to the angel. It was clearly affected by Dean's way of talking, he recognised many of the tones Castiel used as those most familiar to him from his own speech, but it had its own colours and quirks tying the influences together, and that was what made it so interesting for the younger to listen to. He was growing more fond of it each time he heard it, and watching it evolve so fast was fascinating.

"Yeah?"
That was the most intelligent thing Dean could come up with, and he topped it with an apologetic smirk, through which he noticed he was breathing. Even now that everything moved at such a sluggish pace, he was still out of breath.

"This seemed a lot easier in porn."

The younger snorted. He brought his hand over to Castiel's side and traced the skin over his ribs and abdomen, enjoying the manner his hair stood up from the touch and especially the tiny jolt that moved his hips every time Dean's fingers touched a spot that had gathered up sensitivity from touches nearby.
"I don't think you've even been watching the right sort," the younger huffed and laid his head down near Castiel's.

The angel smiled slightly and shook his head.

"You know," Dean said and turned his eyes to his hand that rose up along the other male's body all the way to his chest.
He was used to the coarseness of the older's skin around his neck and hands and face - the softness of the parts that were nearly always covered by clothes surprised him.
"Everything would be so much easier if you'd chosen a female vessel."

It was Castiel's turn to huff.
"I didn't pick a vessel for this," he said, his voice implying he was well aware that Dean was teasing him, but then it changed entirely serious for the next part, "And Dean... there are other reasons. While angels are essentially genderless, we do have a preference individually, an identity that can be called male or female. It is not the same thing, but... how to put it? If I'd been created as a human, I would have been born a male. You can't escape that. I don't really understand why you try so hard to forget it. You do not need to justify it."

Dean's eyes widened a little and he glanced into Castiel's eyes. Then he chuckled surprisedly, noticing Castiel was right about that. He did hope, somewhere deep inside, that he could forget the fact he was there with a man, or more accurately, a masculine entity. It was bothering him.
He felt Castiel's hand joining with his and his fingers closed around it, seeping the warmth of the other's into himself.
Castiel brought their hands up to Dean's face and stroked his cheek gently with the back of his own hand, examining his eyes as he did so. His leg moved around Dean's and pulled his lower body closer until their bodies were together.
"When I first saw you," he said quietly, again moving their hands down, this time onto Dean's abdomen, "You were torn and scarred beyond recognition. I held you for just a moment as I brought you out with me, but all that time I felt why you were so important. Inside the tortured surface of the soul I grabbed was an unparalled amount of strength and willpower, and so much desire to do the right thing."

Dean looked away. He closed his mind from the memory but took in the older's words, his heart aching in response to them. He wasn't sure if it was a compliment, but the way Castiel spoke told him that the memory meant a world to him.

"Right now..." the angel continued, bringing the tip of his nose against Dean's neck and breathing in his scent, "I feel you the same way as I did then. You're broken, but inside, you have a light unmatched in this world, and it still shines bright."

"Stop analysing me. You scared off a hooker with that once and you'll end up doing the same thing with me if you're not careful."

Castiel huffed. His breath sent shivers down Dean's spine.
"I won't scare you off. I'm inviting you closer."

Dean looked at him surprisedly. Then, taking the words at face value, he rolled on top of his angel and kissed him. Now it was his turn to pin the other down. He could feel how hard the male was against him under the last bits of clothing and impulsively, he brought his hands on his waist and undid those last layers of fabric from between them, first from Castiel and then from himself. When he was done, he returned where he'd been - he could feel the other's heartbeat against his own chest and the softness of his abdomen against his, but nothing matched the way he felt when he could just bring his arms around the older and feel him there in full, skin to skin, just like he was.
"Tell me something about yourself. Unlike you, I don't read minds."

Castiel smiled. He bent his left leg so that Dean felt himself slipping between them. His knee pressed against the mattress under them, restabilising him where he was, as Castiel leaned the leg he'd pulled up agains the side of his hip.
For once, having a long eye contact with the angel didn't make Dean feel strange. Now it felt like something he needed and enjoyed greatly while it lasted.
"I don't have all that much to tell," Castiel said after a moment of silence, his hand landing on the back of Dean's neck to stroke him as they laid there.
Dean felt the same impatience in his body as haunted his own, but this felt like the right way to go about this - slowly and strangely, unlike he'd ever slept with anyone before.
They were remaking the rules of the game from scratch. It made it more exciting for Dean. He was an old player, but the game he played now was the one he'd been waiting for. It had never been meant to be like the rest, because nothing about them was like what had come before.

"You have everything to tell. Problem is you don't know where to start, which things matter," the younger corrected Castiel's argument and pressed a finger upon his lips.

He felt the tip of the male's tongue touching it very briefly, and with a quiet laughter, he pulled it off again. Castiel wet his lips and closed his eyes, bringing Dean's head down until their lips met.
"Why don't you tell me, Dean," he spoke into the kiss, his words barely audible, "what you know of me?"

"Because," Dean continued, and his words slipped right past the older's lips into his mouth, "I'm afraid if I try, I'll know that I've barely scraped the surface - that what you are is something I can't understand."

Castiel picked the last word off of his mouth. The inner sides of his lips felt cool against Dean's lips as they joined together, but his tongue was warm, and it had absolutely no idea what it was supposed to do when Dean introduced his to it.
In a moment, he pulled back to laugh, landing a spontaneous kiss on the lips he'd abandoned. Castiel looked at the ceiling above their heads, smiling.
"I don't understand any of this," he sighed, sounding comically content about it.

"Don't worry, you'll learn. You're one lewd son of a bitch for an angel, figuring most of this stuff out all by yourself so fast. I don't understand how I'm supposed to keep up with everything you're learning, tomorrow you'll already know your way around this better than I do."

"Is that jealousy I hear in your tone?"

Dean kissed the tease off of the angel's lips and, feeling he was getting much too comfortable again, pressed his knee against the male's groin with a smug look on his face. Castiel's body jerked against his and the angel let out a muffled sound of pleasure, closing his eyes and revealing his neck by bending his head back. He was beautiful like that, exposed and vulnerable. The whole pose he'd taken was glowing with the absolute trust he held in Dean at that precise moment. Knowing that, seeing it so certainly and undeniably in front of him, left a sense of warmth and confidence inside the younger as he leaned to kiss the older's Adam's apple and the soft pit between his collarbones.
"Tell me, Dean," Castiel murmured, fingertips rubbing at the younger's scalp, "Who am I?"

Dean kissed the bump on his neck once more and adjusted his body against Castiel's again so that he could relax. The hair on the older's stomach prickled against his abdomen. The feeling made him smile.
"I don't know, Cas, do I? You're an angel, a warrior, and you suck at French kissing. You always try too hard and reach too high and you're sort of insane."

The human felt the older's chuckle more than he heard it. It was like a gentle punch against his body. Castiel pressed his bent leg against Dean's body and rubbed the back of his head to the pillow as if to make its shape more comfortable, his smile being the only thing Dean could see.
"We're alike, you and I," the angel said softly, sounding like the thought really pleased him at the moment.
Then, without a warning, he pushed Dean down on his side on the mattress.
"Show me how you want to be touched."

The words made the younger grin. He felt blood gathering to the tips of his ears and all over his cheeks but decisively ignored this detail. Instead he took Castiel's hand in his and pressed it against his hip, taking eye contact before stopping to think how he'd like to proceed.
Carefully he moved Castiel's palm across the shape of his waist and down his body until their fingers brushed through the coarse hair surrounding his hardened length, finally reaching it and bending around it together. It required Dean to concentrate on only holding control over his muscles to stop his hips from bucking up to the touch immediately, and even despite that, he still jolted slightly but noticeably into it. He felt his abs straining and breathed in and out, eyes partially closed, mind blank.
His fingers caressed the skin of Castiel's hand.

"That's a good pressure," he muttered, forcing himself back on the track.
He opened his eyes to look into Castiel's, involuntarily licking his lips at the sight.
"And," he added, taking his hand off of the other's and stroking his face instead, "You don't have to wait for me to guide you through it. I'm pretty sure you have an idea what to do next."

A hint of a smile lit up the other's features.
"You'd tell me if I did something wrong."

"I will," Dean huffed and pushed his hand into the older's hair, "But just please hurry up."

His first reaction to the shy movement of the other's hand along his shaft was a wave of relief washing over him and taking the tension from his muscles. The next was to bring all that tension back along with a nearly unbearable amount of pleasure tingling inside his body. His lips parted to let out a sigh, a moan and to draw in a hasty breath as his fingers bent against the older's scalp. He felt Castiel breathing against him, noticing his eyes were closed again. He didn't even want to open them, just feeling the other there so close to him was enough to assure him they both were really there. Their scents had entwined and become something new, something that was both of them and yet neither conclusively. Dean's hips bucked into the touch, demanding rather than asking for more, the trembling of his body adding a hint of desperation to the tone.
Castiel's lips traced the skin of his neck, not quite kissing him. His breath was warm and left behind a feel of moisture cooling off on his skin. He read Dean's reactions well, it was clear from the manner his touches became braver and more curious, leaving the insecurity behind entirely in just a couple minutes. With women, a handjob like this would have counted as foreplay. With Castiel, Dean felt they were making love that way. He didn't feel a need for more. This was almost perfect - the only thing he lacked was the feel of the other against his own hand. The thought of touching the angel made his heart race. His breathing was heavy and fast from both his arousal and nervousness, the breathless chuckle that escaped him born out of the latter only as he pushed his hand down between them, passing Castiel's hand and seeking out his body instead.

The angel buried his head against Dean's neck the moment the younger's fingers bent around his erection. The angle was difficult for Dean, but he caught the hang of the mirrored movement quickly nonetheless, his skin on goosebumps from what felt like overload of feelings resulting from simultaneously pleasuring Castiel, receiving pleasure from him, and feeling his face rub against his sensitive neck. He tasted blood in his mouth again and as he licked his lip dry from the drops seeping out of the cut upon it, he closed his eyes and let his breathing flow free and as vocally as his body willed. His free hand bent around Castiel's body, his fingers pressing against his back in a desperate attempt to seize the moment by rooting himself in the spot as his body seemed to burn from inside out.
A part of him longed for words, a reassurance that what he did was right and felt good, but just when his bliss was compromised by that longing, Castiel pulled back just enough to make their lips meet again. The kiss opened what little was still holding together the wound on Dean's lip but neither of them cared, barely noticed, or if so, then enjoyed the detail in some twisted manner they didn't wish to explore further.
The angel's lips moved from the younger's lips and caught the lobe of his ear instead, nipping at it and sucking at it gently. Then he seemed to stop to breathe there, his each exhale catching into the sensitive inner side of the ear, the sound of the air hitting the skin multipled by a hundredfold so close to the eardrum.
Their hands still worked, keeping both of their bodies in ecstacy, but for that second, Dean concentrated only on what he heard, expecting words or anything at all. What he did not expect was the silent chuckle the other let out before brushing his ear with the tip of his nose.
"You are more beautiful than what paradise could offer, and I do not regret choosing you over it," Castiel said, his breathless voice hoarse in its low, gentle tone.

"Shut up," Dean replied and escaped the things he felt in the kiss he gave to the side of the older's neck.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"I'm an angel, you ass. I don't have a soul to sell."

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Ninjin
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Viestit: 763
Liittynyt: La Elo 16, 2008 1:57 pm
Paikkakunta: Hyvinkää

Re: Grace 3/? [EN, trilogy, Supernatural, Destiel, R]

ViestiKirjoittaja Ninjin » Su Joulu 09, 2012 12:44 am

Grace

Dean flipped himself over and landed the back of his head on the already cooled pillow, the sound of a heavy guitar filling the quiet of the room. He held his hand open, feeling the angel's fingers pushing their way between his fingers. Castiel smelled of sleep and his movements were slow and burdened.
He seemed to react to being woken up with classic rock a lot better than Sam did. He almost seemed curious, bending his neck just enough to get a glimpse of the crappy CD-player Dean had dragged upstairs along with some CDs he felt like he wanted to hear.

It was 10am, and he'd been up most of the night. After Castiel had fallen asleep he'd sneaked downstairs and sought all the books and papers even remotely touching the angelic lore he could find in the house. Then, he'd retreated to the panic room that was still conveniently covered in Enochian sigils, just in case Castiel would wake up and seek him out. He'd have a lot to explain about his room choice but not nearly as much as he'd have if he tried to explain why he was digging up angelic lore and not asking Castiel about it.
Truth was, he'd found something to do. He had a purpose. It overwhelmed everything else, pushing all his other goals on secondary places, and it had struck him like a lightning while they'd made love for the first time the night before.
Castiel deserved to be happy.
The only way he could ever be happy was if he was full.
To become full again, he needed his grace.

Dean didn't consider himself, his happiness, a priority at all. He was much below the second place even. He'd shoved himself as far down the list as he could and swore he'd do his everything to keep Castiel happy there and then, that he'd enjoy what little time they did have together but never compromise his goal to hang onto that illusion of perfection they shared.
He didn't deserve any of it if it meant that the angel had to suffer.

"How're you feeling?" he asked, grinning as he turned on his side.
He tightened his grip of the angel's hand and found himself planting a light, half-hearted kiss upon the other's knuckles.

Castiel rubbed the side of his head against the pillow underneath and pursed his lips, closing his eyes for a moment and apparently suppressing a yawn while he was at it.
"I feel alive," he finally spoke, aiming his blue eyes to claim Dean's gaze, "It's a reasonably good feeling."

"Any muscle pain from training yesterday?"

"Some, yes," Castiel replied, probably highly downplaying the truth as Dean's much better trained muscles were still burning with exhaustion despite the stretching he'd done throughout the night and in the morning.

The older curled up, eyes still looking at Dean. A crooked smile grew upon his lips until he chuckled quietly and closed his eyes again. Dean raised a brow at him lazily, feeling an ache inside him, one that had nothing to do with sadness or longing. The more he looked at Castiel the more he hurt, and the pain was making him wish he could laugh out loud and bury his soul inside the older's being. He wanted to be lost in the other, so deep that nobody would ever find him again.
With a hickup the CD player switched tracks. Eye of the Tiger's intro wiped the younger's mind clear and he sighed, moving closer to Castiel and curling up against him.
Their knees touched, separated by two blankets still.
He could hear the wind picking up outside, it rummaged through the tiles of the roof and the windows shook in its wake, both glass and frames.
"I put the coffee dripping," he mumbled, "It'll be ready in a moment. If you want a cup, I'll bring it here."

He listened to Castiel breathing and forgot to expect an answer.

"I could have a cup, and... something to eat?"

Dean smiled.
"I'm not your servant," he grunted teasingly, "but maybe today. What would you like?"

The older's voice still echoed inside his mind when he laid his bare feet upon the stairs and hopped them down two at a time. He'd never really liked mornings, but the past week, mornings were his favourite time of the day. He started each with so much hope, so much faith and so little rational thought, like all his worries were somehow banished like shadows by the first light of the sun. He enjoyed making breakfast unreasonably much as well, like each cup of coffee he poured represented the way he felt, like each crumble of bread he wiped off of the table was a wrong he could finally make right. He pushed the thought of the day out of his mind, deciding this morning would last until the evening and that nothing would come between them now.

As he arranged their breakfast on the worn tray he'd found, he had his cellphone pressed between his ear and his shoulder, waiting for Sam to pick up.
Eventually the younger did. He spoke Dean's name in a hoarse and questioning voice.
"Hey, Sammy. I just thought - how are things going?" the older asked, pulling the tray up and eyeing the wobbling pan still containing the remaining coffee.
It settled, slowly but certainly, and he could take the first steps back towards his private paradise upstairs.

"Uh," Sam replied and by the sound of it dug something out of a pile of things, perhaps books, "Interestingly."

Dean raised his brows even though the younger couldn't see it.
"So you're not going to let me in?" he asked bluntly.

"I am - just a second."
Rumbling.
"Sorry, Dean."

Dean climbed up the stairs and took a turn, landing the tray on a table to get time to talk with the other. He pursed his lips, tore a dry bit of skin off of the lower one and tried about the healing wound on it with the tip of his tongue, careful not to stress it or wet it too much. It felt sore.
"Yeah, well, Bobby's out meeting a friend who owns a fishing boat here. We've been interviewing the locals about places the drownings and other odd disappearances and accidents happened and we have quite a good picture about the whole thing, the only thing that remains is actually hunting down the creatures. And, we're getting there fine so far. How's - Cas?"

"Cas is fine," Dean said and leaned his back to the wall.
Dust floated around in the sunlit air and the rugged carpet on the floor seemed more colourful and more stained than it had the last time Dean had laid eyes upon it. An odd combination.
"I've been teaching him some basics."

Sam chuckled.
"Sounds great. Look... I'm sorry about ditching you like that."

"Yeah."

"Don't 'yeah' me, Dean, it's not alright. You're pissed at me because I left with Bobby."

Dean rolled his eyes.
"No, I'm not," he replied truthfully, "At least not right now. I'm fine, really. I have things to do. Sam... it's Cas' grace. I'm going to find it."

In the silence, noise over the call sounded worse than it actually was. Sam dropped something heavy on a wooden floor and huffed as he picked it up, his clothes rustling as he kneeled down.
"You sure about that?" the younger finally asked, "I mean, that's great, I can stand behind that, but - you know - it's not going to be easy. I mean, did it fall? Where is it? How do those things disappear? Anna's landed as a falling star when she fell, but she didn't exactly fall like this either. I think she like... fell-fell. Cas just ceased to be an angel somehow."

"Yeah," Dean sighed, "That's my problem right now. I'm drowning in lore but it's nowhere near enough, most of it doesn't deal with their grace. I've so far found little to no mention of grace at all - and I mean, what I've found isn't even relevant, so I feel like I might need some help. I have no idea where to start looking."

Sam huffed.
"I'll see what I can find online," he said then, "Dean - I... think what you're doing is admirable, like, really."

"Oh, Sammy, don't get all sentimental."

"No, I'm serious. Shut up, Dean. You do realise it'll mean he'll be back to the way he was and that means that -"

"YES, Sam. I'm well aware. But I can't be selfish asshole like that. I can't just let him suffer because his suffering happens to benefit me."

"Wow," Sam said, sounding awed. "Wow."

"Good. Well, call me if something comes up, otherwise I'll just give you a call tomorrow, alright?" Dean replied to his awkward respect that still lingered between them as a certain sort of tension.

With an alright in reply, Sam hung up. Dean's ears caught the sound of the floor creaking and his head jerked up, but he saw nothing. No steps followed that one either, and despite the suspicion he felt, he didn't think it was possible for Castiel to sneak back in the room without making a single sound more, so it had probably been just the wind or nothing at all.
He picked up his tray after dropping his phone in the pocket of his loose, worn pyjama pants he'd dug out of his bag after taking a shower the other night. Its weight settled by his thigh and felt warm against his skin after being heated up by his hand and ear.
He brought the tray in, knocking the previously barely open door against the wall with its side. Castiel was sitting cross-legged on their bed and he looked at him with a small smile, fingers on the volume control of the CD player. He turned it down a little and tilted his head expectingly.
"You were talking with someone," he noted.

Dean nodded, handing him his sandwhich and the navy blue coffee cup. Before saying anything he laid the tray down on the bed and sat down on its opposite side.
"With Sam, actually," he replied and bit into his breakfast, "Just checking how the traitors are doing, that's all."

Castiel smiled awkwardly, perhaps not understanding whether or not the blame was meant to be taken seriously. He nipped at the edges of the bread and for a second, Dean wondered if he should have cut them off. Then he realised that Castiel probably could just well tear them off himself if he disliked them, just like Dean was doing with his own bread at that precise moment. The angel didn't. Instead, he seemed to be finding the currently playing Paint It Black somehow hypnotizing.
"I've never listened to music," he said as if he'd just realised this, "I've heard it but I've not listened."

"Cool. Then you better start listening, because this stuff is awesome."

As Castiel concentrated on the music, Dean slowly awoke to the fact the man was entirely naked, just covered with the white blanket lazily thrown across his lap. He had purple bruises on his ribs and a large black one on the side of his abdomen, an inch to the left above his navel. Dean noted the trail of fine hair leading down from his stomach, ending abruptly to the white edge of the blanket.
The younger swallowed with great difficulty and closed his eyes, sipping coffee to calm himself. He'd have to at least be able to contain his need to get all over the angel for the approximate time it took them both to eat breakfast, no matter -

- there were lips upon his and he nearly choked as he swallowed the coffee still halfway down his system. With a suppressed cough he answered the kiss and more quickly than he'd expected he found his hands digging into Castiel's hair again. He pulled back a mere inch or so to check his cup was safely out of their way and then, without further hesitation, pulled Castiel on top of himself, lying down on his back on the mattress below.
The older's lips moved onto his ear and nipped at the somewhat sore skin, gently as if knowing the area was damaged from the careless passion of the previous night. Dean enjoyed the return of the other's breath against that part of him.
"Somehow, I..." Castiel started, losing himself midsentence.

Dean pressed him firmly against himself and breathed in his scent, breathless and aroused already, ears aching from concentrating on the silence while Castiel tried to find the words.
"... I want closer than... than this, Dean."

"You're disgusting," Dean huffed in a tone that delivered exactly the opposite message.
He could feel the other trying to figure which one to take and believe in.
"It's like you fell out of some really nasty romance novel. Usually I'd say that's a huge turnoff, but with you, I don't even care."

Castiel let out a small sigh and rose to look Dean in the eye. His head was slightly tilted to the side and his expression serious.
"Disregarding that, have you already noticed how shamelessly naked I am?" he asked.

Dean was about to laugh but couldn't, as his body suddenly registered the line as a very honest fact. His breathing halted and he brought a leg over the older's hip, grinding against him in a trying manner, eyes locked with Castiel's.
The older smiled and Dean could feel him shivering and pushing his hips against the younger's in return. Dean let his hand slip along the angel's warm, toned back all the way to the lowest part of it, laying his palm across the soft skin on top of the tailbone. He felt like there was a silent communication going between them, a discussion he had no idea what was the subject of, as they stared into one another's eyes silently, their bodies rocking against one another in near secrecy.
Indeed, he wasn't the teacher anymore. He was a lover.

Castiel seemed to be thinking along similar lines.
"You've slept with quite a few people, haven't you?" he asked shyly.

"Damn it, Cas - way to make me feel like a complete whore," Dean growled and pushed the male off of him so he could get up to undo his pyjama pants, all the while holding up an insulted expression.
To his surprise, Castiel laughed, with no reservations whatsoever about whether or not he was serious.

"I'm only asking," he replied, gaze caught up about Dean's lower abdomen, "as you can probably show me how I can get as close as possible."

"You do realise that you're asking me to show you how gay sex works, right?"

"Indeed."

"Um, awkward," Dean muttered, finding himself climbing on the other's lap with both his arms over the older's shoulders.
He pushed his knees into the mattress for balance and tried to calm his heartbeat, feeling Castiel's erection pressing against his just as hard cock as he adjusted himself on the spot.
The angel seemed rather calm as he laid his hands upon Dean's sides and held him there, eyes upon his with a questioning, warm and mildly amused look in them.
"It's not going to work like this, man."

Castiel nodded.
"I'd feared as much."

"No, that's the wrong reaction. No. Jesus, Cas, c'mon."

"What is the correct one?" the angel asked, clearly amused, his right hand leaving Dean's side and landing in his hair instead.
His fingertips rubbed at Dean's scalp and made him bend his head into the touch almost involuntarily.

"I sort of hoped you'd just give up. You're not giving up, are you, though?" Dean sighed, not able to hide the smile that pushed itself upon his lips.

"No, I'd rather not. I'm not entirely sure how else to deal with this feeling I have."

"Welcome to humanity, asshole, that's called sexual frustration and it's the state I'm in nearly 24/7. It sort of follows naturally from having a dick."

Castiel grinned and stroked the younger's short hair, looking like he'd just discovered something precious that he couldn't not touch.
"Am I pressuring you?" he asked quietly.

Dean sighed and shook his head.
"No," he said softly, "But it's - nice - that you asked, anyway."
He sure as hell wouldn't have dared to.
"I'll show you how it works later. You'll have to do with just touch now. Honestly, I've never tried it, but I know enough to understand that charging in is the worst idea ever. So shut up and enjoy now, ok?"

The angel laughed.
"I'm sorry," he said apologetically and traced Dean's cheek with his fingers, "I'm happy as we are, Dean."

*

The grass was still cold although the clouds were breaking apart and the wind had settled. Dean leaned back and pushed his fingertips into the firm dirt, facing the patchwork sky, its deep blue and dark gray on near white shreds of what had an hour ago been an unified blanket of clouds thrown across the heavens. The smell of grass filled the air along with the familiar scent of Bobby's yard, its trees, flowers, rusted car parts, oil and dusty grounds. Castiel was inside, momentarily captivated by the television, something that Dean wasn't very surprised about. He'd sneaked downstairs to the panic room and snatched a couple books with him that he considered easy to lie about, then walked out the door and sought a comfortable spot on the backyard. He'd found one by the foot of a thick ash tree, the trunk of which he was now leaning onto.
One of the books was open on his lap. It didn't sound promising.

Absently, the man's fingers escaped the rub his abdomen. He closed his eyes and breathed in and out deeply, feeling the relaxation lingering in his body, the slight tingling of his being and the ghosts of the older's touched everywhere upon his skin. Slowly, the manner his fingers rubbed his stomach started feeling strange to him. His eyes opened just the slightest bit as he paid attention to the way he was touching himself, his fingers moving along an invisible, yet predetermined, track on his skin.

It couldn't be, he thought and swallowed. An awful thought had just begun to form inside his mind. His gaze fell down upon the book and got stuck upon the part that dealt with the healing power of angels.

Castiel had transferred Dean's fatal damage upon himself, and in return poured his strength and vitality into Dean to make up for what Dean had already suffered through.
In the process, he'd pushed himself past his limits, ignored his being's incapability to both hold itself intact after an incomplete resurrection and at the same time use such an enormous amount of healing energy on a mortal wound. That had been the reason he hadn't just healed Dean but halved the damage between the two of them.

Dean's hand halted upon his skin and he felt nauseous and cold again. He pressed his flesh as if trying to look for something physical inside himself, anything that'd either confirm or disprove his fear, but of course he felt nothing at all aside from his own muscles and guts. As he felt his skin starting to bruise he lifted the pressure and let his hand fall upon the coffee-stained, yellowed page of the book and struggled to swallow.

If Castiel had somehow transferred his grace inside Dean in order to save his life, had he done it on purpose or could it happen by accident?
Dean's fingers sought his phone from his pocket, but he'd left it in the attic room. He couldn't even call Sam as it was - and what would Sam even know more than he did?
More than anything, Dean just wanted someone to tell him he was being ridiculous, but inside somewhere, he feared his feeling was correct.

"I can't accept a gift I wouldn't deserve in a thousand lifetimes combined, Cas," he spoke quietly.

A gentle, warm breeze passed through his hair and left him with a drying tear upon his cheek. He brushed it off and forced himself to turn a page in the book, to keep reading, as if it was still relevant.

After two hours of trying to get around the theory he'd formed in his mind, Dean picked up his books and returned indoors, feeling down yet determined. At least he had a clue now - what remained to find still was the knowledge of how to return what did not belong to him.
He stuffed the books back to where they belonged to and joined Castiel in front of the television after digging out a bottle of whiskey from Bobby's cabinets. With a deep sigh he seated himself on the couch. The angel gave him a questioning look but he smiled it off.
"I hate reading," he answered it, "I think I'll leave that to Sam from now on. Don't drink the whole bottle, by the way, I don't think your system will handle it as it used to. You know, people don't drink a store and survive, so take it easy."

Castiel replied with a rather sad smirk, nodded and filled their glasses. As he settled down and handed Dean his drink, Dean brought an arm over his shoulders and pulled him close, leaning his elbow to the arm rest of the couch. Castiel's warm weight rested by his side and he felt soothed by his presence. The hollowness that had settled by the pit of his stomach once more was being filled by the silent happiness that Castiel brought with him.

*

They spent the evening watching two movies, one good and one stupid action flick that failed to hold Dean's interest and through which he stayed out of the simple desire to do anything with Castiel, although he couldn't deny that the older's excitement about fake explosions and deaths was entertaining on its own accord. Afterwards, Dean took a shower that took on an almost ritualistic feel. He felt that if there'd ever been a moment in his life he wanted to be clean from everything - dirt, sweat, unnecessary or uninvited thoughts and feelings - that moment was now. He'd drank enough to feel a little tired, Castiel had drank enough for him to tell him to stop before he'd be too drunk for anything but sleep, and he'd retired to their temporary bedroom after a much briefer shower, smelling oddly like Sam after washing his hair with the same shampoo the younger brother used.

A nervous excitement settled in the pit of Dean's stomach as he gathered his things and joined Castiel in the bedroom. He'd never let anyone as close as he let the angel that night; clumsily, slowly and through more failures than victories he let Castiel take him, and the older loved him like no one had ever loved him, his emotion shining through everything he did like the act was nothing but a way to make his feelings physical, real enough for Dean to know them on his skin. Perhaps that came easier to the angel than words did. He'd always been bad with words, unable to express himself with the rough language they shared, but as he'd proved time and again in his short time as this man he was now, he knew better than well how to use his body. He didn't use it like a human, as humans never abandoned their addiction to feeling and self, but he used it in a manner that communicated effortlessly to Dean, like his intention was clear through the way he moved, touched and felt.

When they were done, Dean's body ached and he felt raw and bruised from inside, but he laughed in a voice he thought he'd lost a long time ago, in a tone with no shadow and no hidden message. He watched Castiel fall asleep next to him and wished he could stay, that he could close his eyes and fall into sleep that'd revive his worn body, but he had things to do, things that couldn't wait, things that shouldn't wait or he'd stop believing in them and bury them so deep inside they'd eat his whole self before resurfacing. But resurface they would, and as such, he could not afford to let himself drift into rest.
His legs trembled when he stood up and stumbled back in the shower. He wore a light shirt over a pair of black boxers and nothing more. As he moved through the silent house turning small lights on wherever possible, his eyes started feeling less and less unwilling to stay open, and when he entered the panic room, he was nearly fully awake again, or as close to that state as he'd gotten used to over the years.

He gathered his things and resettled in the library on ground level with a cup of coffee next to him. Hours passed him as quiet ticking of the clock behind his back. Time turned into irregular shuffling sounds of pages and bits and parts of information he scarcely considered worth the effort. Then he hit the gold vein, a hand-written legend of a martyr who'd 'shared the essence' of an angel and died to release the being. It wasn't the sort of a story Dean had wanted to find, but it was the sort he'd expected. As he tracked down books and notes of anything even loosely relating to the myth, he noticed his mind was already planning how he'd carve Castiel's grace out of his body, not how he could avoid dying in the process but rather how he'd say goodbye, how he'd get the other to accept what he had decided, how he could make Castiel understand that he couldn't live knowing he had stolen his very essence, the thing that made him what he truly was.

In his tired, feverish state, he concentrated on his task, piling books over the ones he'd already looked through until at nearly sunrise, he heard a voice call out his name. He jumped up from his seat so fast and so carelessly that he knocked over his empty coffee cup. It collided with the floor with a loud sound, rolling under the table without anyone paying any attention to it.

Castiel stood by the doorway, pale and unexplainably bloody, and for a moment Dean considered could he have possibly fallen asleep and whether or not it was possible that what he saw wasn't real. Then reality struck him and he crossed the room, rest of the world shrouded by his fear and each step he took flashing in his vision like a stop-motion film.
He reached for the angel but Castiel raised his bloody hand up to stop him. Fresh, thick, dark red drops ran down his arm and dripped on the floor from his elbow. Dean's eyes locked on the almost black holes on his wrists and his lips parted. He tore his gaze off of the wounds and, unable to speak out a single question, gaped at Castiel's face instead.

On the older's white features, further contrasted by the blackness of his hair, a small smile lit up.
He lowered his head and closed his eyes.
"I..." he started, his brows knitting together for a passing moment as he fought to find the words he needed, "... I was told to stop you."

"W-what?" Dean asked, his tongue stiff and difficult to control.

The blue of Castiel's eyes seemed electrified and intense as he looked up and into Dean's eyes again. He turned the palms of his hands up, revealing his pierced wrists, then turned his hands around again to press the point that the wounds went right through - the skin on the upper side of his wrists was torn out like something had forcefully entered his body from the inner wrist and pushed right through the skin on the other side, but Dean's hazy mind couldn't process what could produce wounds like that, or rather, what could have crawled in Bobby's house and hurt Castiel while he was so close by. He'd failed protecting the older, been too consumed in his own world.

"Don't be afraid, I... I'm not hurting, Dean."

"You - what?" Dean repeated, feeling a wave of pain wash through his head as his mind still refused to process what he was seeing and hearing, "Christ, we need to get those tied - what happened? Can you fight?"

Castiel shook his head indecisively. He leaned to the door's frame and seemed to become more aware of his surroundings. Blood trickled down his stomach and as Dean looked down, he noticed wounds on his ankles also.
Then it hit him.

"Cas - are those - is that - is that stigmata?" he breathed out, his voice hoarse and body still ready to sprint somewhere, grab something, kill something in defense.

The angel shivered and closed his eyes again.

"Don't speak," Dean changed his mind, "Don't say anything. Go sit in the kitchen, can you walk? Fuck, I'll help you there, just - I'll get you a cup of tea and patch you up and then you can talk if - if you can."

Castiel nodded slowly. He was still smiling.

*

"So... what... what in living hell happened, Cas?" Dean asked, wrapping the last bit of the bandage around his left wrist and taping it tight on place.
He hadn't closed the wounds. Castiel hadn't let him. If they were what he thought they were, then it didn't matter - they wouldn't bleed the male dry, they wouldn't get infected, but he had to do something about them if only to stop the blood from staining everything.

Storing the soft tape between his lips, Dean grabbed the older's right hand and carefully brought it closer to himself. He placed a thick gauze pad over both ends of the wound and taped over it to keep it in place with the adhesive tape he soon returned between his lips to free his hands to wrap the bandage around the gauze.

"I woke up," Castiel replied.
He sounded dreamy still, like he was asleep or high, and his body shivered like waves were washing over it.
"I wasn't here. I was... back home. In my heaven. In a place that doesn't exist as it existed before. In a place that shouldn't be. Alone, but not alone."

"Sounds trippy as fuck," Dean grunted, now taping again.

He patted the male's hand and lifted his leg, placing the bloody heel on his thigh. He was kneeling on the floor in front of the angel. The smells of early morning, blood, dusty floor and black tea mixed together in an inconvenient manner, all pouring into Dean's already overloaded senses like tar into a small pipe.
Castiel chuckled and shook his head. He grabbed the cup with both hands and brought it up to his lips, sipping the hot drink reservedly.

"You're kind, Dean," he said then, possibly referring to what Dean was doing or had done rather than the quite unkind comment he'd spoken earlier.
As such, Dean didn't know what to answer. Instead, he cursed under his breath at the gauze that kept falling apart due to the shape of Castiel's leg and taped twice around the ankle to make sure the pad wasn't budging until someone removed it.
As he placed the older's foot on the floor and picked the other one up, he raised his eyes expectingly to meet the dreamy look of Castiel's. The angel's lips parted and he breathed out slowly.

"I've seen God," he whispered almost inaudibly, "And I have no more doubts."

Dean blinked. His hands stayed upon the pad he was holding on place and he felt his pupils reacting to the words before his mind did. He felt like someone had jumpscared him, but the actual feeling of having been scared wasn't present, only the flood of adrenaline was.
"God?" he repeated blankly.

"Yes," Castiel confirmed and he smiled, eyes locking into Dean's, their expression very clear and present again, "My Father has revealed himself to me. I am to stay human. It is for a reason."

"Slow down, Sonic. You saw God and God told you to stay human? Why the hell would God tell you that? Why are you bleeding? What's going on, Cas?"

Castiel shrugged. He sipped his tea again, this time more confidently as it had already cooled down a little. Then he peered at his bandaged wrists until Dean had finished with his ankle, pulled a chair and sat down next to him.
"Cas? I asked you questions, can you even try to answer some of them?"
The younger's voice was more dumbfounded than it was frustrated.

"Put yourself in my shoes for just one moment, will you?" the angel sighed.

Dean felt his cheeks growing hot. He leaned his heavy-feeling head onto his hand and landed his elbow on the table, wishing he had a cup of tea for himself just to have something to hold again now that he wasn't patching Castiel anymore. He felt entirely out of things to do and like an idiot on top of that. The angel relieved his anxiety by taking his hand and pressing his against the one still without a purpose so that Dean was essentially holding his hand with both of his. He let his fingers bend around the other's and held tight, aiming his mind again to the soothing warmth that he'd found refuge in so many times before.

"I did not ask questions. I know what I am to know, the rest is as He wishes. In my place, you would have chosen the same. I should apologise to you for not pushing the matter but I'd lie if I did so, as I have no regrets," Castiel begun, his voice wavering between certain and uncertain, showing exactly how conflicted he felt.
"I know of what you've decided. It shall not come to pass."

"Cut the angel talk, Cas, you're making me uncomfortable," Dean muttered.
He couldn't look the other in the eye. Something burned inside him and he held the angel's hand tighter.
Castiel huffed warmly.

"Old habits die hard," he apologised, "But you're avoiding the subject. I bleed to prove that the message I bring is from the Lord, and while it is according to my wishes, its purpose and importance lie out of my understanding. I was told to stop you, because what you are trying to return to me is not yours to give. It was taken from me because it is not what I need, rather, it is what keeps me from my purpose."

"And your purpose is?"

"Hidden from me."

"Of course. Awesome."

"Isn't it?" Castiel sighed, but he sounded like he meant it underneath the exhaustion he felt.
His fingers pushed between Dean's. With his free hand he raised his cup again and drank. Dean listened to him swallow and his ears felt like they were suddenly filled with water.

The silence stretched on for a long while, filling the newborn day with its presence as if to remind them that sound was the natural order of things. When Castiel didn't drink, Dean listened to them breathing and the sound of his own heartbeat rythmically echoing in his ears. He felt it in his fingertips and the joints against which Castiel's fingers pressed between his. Beat by beat he kept living on.
Somewhere, a bird started singing, and soon many more joined in to greet the rising sun.

"Dean?" Castiel called faintly, timidly.

Dean raised his head and looked at him.
Seconds ticked by.
"Yeah?"

He'd never seen Castiel blush, but there was a faint red tint along his cheekbones now, and a nervous expression on his features seemed to only make that shade deeper.
"I am in love with you. With all my being, everything I am, I do love you, truly, more than I love anything. You haven't taken anything from me that I wouldn't willingly give away, that I did not willingly let go of, that I didn't choose. You are what I was made for. You are what I exist for. You only. And I do love you."

*

Dean had immense trouble opening his eyes to the sound of the door opening and slamming closed repeatedly downstairs. Usually a sound like that would have woken him up in seconds, but now he didn't care. He could hear his brother's voice, it was enough to soothe him completely. He had no motivation to get up even if he knew that he wouldn't be able to fall asleep again.
Castiel was breathing steadily against the back of his neck, curled up against him so tightly there was hardly any space between their bodies. His arm was still around Dean's body and the younger held onto it, the rough fabric of the bandage rubbing against his bare chest.

Dean's eyes scanned the room passively, stopping upon the shape of the shirt he'd worn during the night. There were spots of dried blood all over it. Seeing it made him smile, and at first he didn't understand why, but then he realised that seeing the blood and feeling the bandage where he'd tied it meant that everything had really happened. Everything included the confession Castiel had given him.

A warm feeling washed over the man and with a quiet sigh and a smile he let his eyes close again.
As he listened to Castiel's breathing he realised the other wasn't sleeping either, simply lying there like he was, unwilling to move.

"Good morning, Cas," he uttered softly.

"Good morning, Dean," the older replied, his voice toned by a smile he wore that Dean heard but couldn't see.

His body felt light as he rolled around to see it. Castiel examined him calmly yet curiously.
"Should we go down and greet them?" he asked.

Dean's eyes mapped the yellow-brown-purple bruise on his neck and he was momentarily stunned by the fact that only a couple nights ago he'd been living through feelings that had caused him to hurt Castiel in such an uncharacteristic manner. He licked his chapped lips and let out a heavy breath through his nose, eyes seeking contact that he was allowed without delay. The older looked convincingly human and entirely demotivated about getting up.
Bobby called Dean's name from downstairs and the younger grinned.

"I think they want us to report in," he sighed, stretching his body like a cat leaving an extraordinarily comfortable spot in the sun after an all too short a nap.

Castiel sat up and rubbed at the back of his neck absently, his eyes escaping to the blue sky visible through their window. He lost himself there.
Dean crawled on all fours up to his bag and pulled out clothes for himself. He was half done when Castiel stepped into the same set he'd worn the day before. Dean looked at him and smiled. Their eyes met again and Castiel smiled too, and at that moment Dean realised his life was full. There was nothing he needed but for things to stay this way. Whatever would come, he could take it as long as the older was there by his side, and he'd stand with him through whatever he'd go through just as well. It was a feeling he'd never had so certainly before, for once it was a pure feeling of trust and certainty with no trace of fear. There would be no end for them.

Bobby's voice called out for him again, adding Castiel's name afterwards. There was the slightest tint of worry in the tone. Dean smiled, closed his eyes and replied.
"Bobby we're fine, just give us a moment, alright?" he shouted and stayed to listen for a reply.
He got none, but he heard the man muttering something as he descended the stairs again.
Sam's laughter carried all the way upstairs and Dean couldn't help but smile at it.

When he opened his eyes again, Castiel was standing in front of him, holding out his hand.
"Let's not keep them waiting," he said quietly, and his smile was encouraging and empowering.
Dean took his hand and nodded.

"I feel ridiculous," he grunted.

"You are ridiculous," the older countered gently and lead them to the door.
Dean glanced behind his shoulder and saw golden dust dancing in the light seeping in through the small window. Something was missing.
Halfway down the stairs he let go of Castiel's hand - the angel looked at him in passing, a hint of a smile upon his lips, all too knowing that Dean simply did not want to present himself like that to his brother and the man who was like father to him.
At that moment, Dean's ears caught the sound of the clock downstairs, and he realised the one in their room had stopped ticking during the night before.

The younger slowed down and stopped, three steps before the landing. Castiel laid his feet upon the wooden floor and turned around with a questioning look. Dean hesitated.
"Do I deserve to be happy?" he asked silently.
His ears were deaf to the sounds of the two others unpacking in the kitchen.
Castiel reached his hand out again.

"Do I?" he asked, "Does anyone? Come on, Dean. I don't care anymore. The only thing I do care about is that we've waited enough."

Dean took a step down and accepted the older's hand again. His mind turned the older's words around and twisted them and bent them and broke them apart into pieces until there was no shape or sound left that had escaped his challenge. Silently, he accepted the answer and let go of his doubts.
"So have they," he finally spoke as if awakened from his inner battle, eyes on the door of the room from which the sounds were coming aside from a very quick glance he gave Castiel with a hint of a hesitant smirk upon his lips.

The angel held his hand firmly, nodded and followed him through the room separating them from the hunters back from a hunting trip.
A single step in advance to entering their field of view, their hands parted again.

"Took you long enough," Bobby grunted.
Sam raised his eyes and gave the two of them a quick examination in passing. He smiled as he turned back to pulling common groceries out of one of the two plastic bags positioned on the table between their heavy, worn bags that had gained a few mudstains each.

"I demand a full report," Dean announced, ignoring the blame.

"You'll get a report when I've gotten coffee, boy, don't get too comfortable, it's my goddamn house," Bobby replied annoyedly and eyeballed him in the passing.

Sam scratched something off of the table's surface and inspected it with an uneasy look on his face.
"Why's there blood on the table?"

Castiel shifted uncomfortably behind Dean.
"It's complicated," he muttered.

"And a long story, actually - you'll hear a short version once we've heard your long one," Dean spoke over him and patted him on the shoulder.

"Coffee, Dean," Bobby reminded him and slammed a jar full of fish on the table.

"I'm on it, I'm on it. By the way, the clock upstairs? It ran out of batteries."
Dean poured water inside the tank, enough for all of them to have a cup or two, and wrapped open a filter for the coffee.

Sam stood next to him, landing a fat bag of bread on the table. As he did so, Dean noticed he had deep scratches on the back of his hand that continued on under the sleeve of his shirt. Sam caught him looking and pulled the sleeve back to show that they continued all the way up to his elbow, a shamed smile on his face.
"Nearly got dragged into water," he explained quietly, "Bobby had a clean headshot for that, though."

Dean raised his brows. Mermaids had nasty claws toned with bacteria that often resulted in sepsis, but Sam's wounds were well taken care of and clearly had been cleaned with utmost care and haste.

From behind them, Bobby's hand appeared, holding a crumbled pack of batteries.
"I ain't going up there, no offense, son," he grunted.
Dean choked on his chuckle and nodded, taking the batteries. Sam wiped his forehead with the back of his sleeve over the undamaged arm, but for that passing moment, it was clear that he'd nearly laughed as well. Then he turned around and sat by the table, letting out a long, weary but satisfied sigh. Castiel, who had already sat down earlier, possibly because he felt out of place in the commotion that was now slowly lifting from around him, gave Sam a look that the younger didn't note, as his eyes were upon the bandaged wrists of the older.
"Dean?" Sam called.

Dean turned, counted one plus one and grimaced.
"As I said, long story," he muttered, well aware of the fact that Sam was currently suspecting that he'd inflicted those wounds upon Castiel.

Castiel laid a hand over Sam's arm, causing the younger to jump a little. He shook his head, reading the situation right. A shade of minor relief washed over Sam's features.
"We better get started on the stories, then," the younger brother muttered and flashed an apologetic smile at Dean.
Dean shrugged and settled by the table, opposite of Castiel and next to Sam. Bobby stayed by the desk behind them, leaning onto it and sharply supervising the dripping coffee.

"You first," Castiel prompted and pulled back, his eyes on Sam still.

Sam smiled crookedly, drew breath and begun.
"I'm an angel, you ass. I don't have a soul to sell."

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Liittynyt: La Elo 16, 2008 1:57 pm
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