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Broken wings

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Chapter 1: For the first time

 

I've been lookin' at you forever

But I never saw you before

 

- Kenny Loggins // For the first time

 

With his last amount of strength, Dean pulled Castiel to the safe shore. He leaned panting against a rock, his arm tight around Castiel's chest. The Cetus – an ancient Greek sea monster (in Maine?!) was dead, but it had injured the angel pretty badly in the fight.


“Cas? CAS!” Dean's shaking hand stroked over Castiel's face and through his wet hair. The unconscious body of his friend finally stirred against him as Cas slowly opened his eyes, blinking with confusion at the hunter.

 

“Dean?” The angel's voice was rough, his breathing ragged.

 

“Hey, man. Are you okay?” Dean smiled with relief. His hand was still on his friends face steadying him.

 

Castiel grimaced and gasped when he tried to move. Dean held him tight against his body.

“It's okay. I got you.”

 

“One of my wings is damaged. I can't 'zap' us out. I'm sorry” Castiel sighed.

 

Dean smiled slightly at the fact that he still could hear Castiel's air quotes when he used some of Dean's phrases.

 

“My car isn't far away from here. Can you walk?”

 

Dean helped Castiel to stand up and got under his arm to support his weight. The angel was bleeding out of several wounds at his chest and leg.

 

“How much time do you think you'll need until you're recharged and you can heal those wounds?” Dean asked with a worried expression.

 

“I don't know. I feel very weak. It could take days.” Castiel replied, sounding very tired and quiet.

 

“Days? Okay, that isn't going to work. We need to take care of these wounds. Otherwise you don't have days.”

 

..::::....::::..

 

Fifteen minutes later Dean entered the motel room with Castiel, his coat still soaking wet and dripping on the floor. He made Cas lose the coat as he walked over to the bathroom to grab a towel, throwing it in the angel’s direction. Surprisingly Castiel caught it, but then just stared at it in confusion as if he didn’t know what to do with it. Dean rolled his eyes, took it out of his hand and rubbed Castiel's hair dry. Dean couldn't help but smile when he shoved the towel away and revealed ruffled, dark hair and big blue eyes, which stared back in confusion at the hunter.

 

“I can give you some spare clothes, since you have to get out of these. They should fit you.”

 

Cas nodded and obediently went to the bathroom to change into the clothes that Dean had handed him out of his duffel bag. When he came back he was wearing jeans which were a bit too wide and hung low under his hipbones. The worn out AC-DC shirt was still in his hand when he walked over to Dean bare chested.

 

“I'm still bleeding.” Castiel looked nearly affronted at the wound on his chest and Dean sighed: “It's pretty deep. Sit down. I'm gonna stitch you up.”

 

Cas didn’t even blink when Dean disinfected the wound and began to stitch it, but then he surprised Dean by doing something very human. Castiel rolled his shoulder as if it was stiff and was hurting him, which made Dean stop for a minute to watch the movement of his muscles under the smooth skin. When Dean caught himself staring he let out an embarrassed cough and slid his eyes over to look at the angels face.

 

“Everything alright?”

 

Cas nodded, looking disgruntled: “My left wing is causing me discomfort.”

 

Dean nodded and finished his stitching: “How do they look like?”

 

“My wings?”

 

“Yeah, I mean I only ever saw their shadow before. I've always wondered what they look like.”

 

“Do you want to see them?” Cas asked slowly.

 

“You can show them to me? Is that even safe? I don't want to be blinded.”

 

“It's perfectly safe, Dean.”

 

“Then yeah, I'd like to see them.”

 

Cas closed his eyes and then they were just there, from one second to the other. They were enormous, shimmering black and dark blue wings spreading from Castiel's back into the room of the small cabin.

 

Dean just gazed at them in awe. He was completely struck by the sight of them. He never saw something so beautiful in his life before. Castiel tilted his head and watched him with his wide blue eyes. “Dean?”

 

“Wow, Cas. They're awesome. Totally bad ass!”

 

Castiel grinned slightly and it was then that Dean noticed the blood on the left wing and the crumpled feathers. He pointed at the wing and went to it to have a closer look.

 

“This is the one you injured in the fight. Is there anything I can do?”

 

Castiel turned his head and looked at it with a frown. The feathers ruffled when he turned around and Dean noticed how they changed their hue in the slight movement.

 

“I'm afraid there is nothing you can do. But it will heal as soon as I have my power back.”

 

Dean couldn't avert his eyes from the fascinating dance of blue and black colors swirling through the feathers. He wondered what they'd feel like, but he didn't bring himself to ask Castiel if he was allowed to touch them.

 

“Can't believe you never showed me your wings before. They're awesome.”

 

Castiel rubbed his neck and looked away – a gesture Dean knew very well.

 

“What is it, Cas?” he asked curious.

 

“You are the first human whom I ever showed them to. We usually don't do it. It's kind of intimate.” The angel confessed quietly.

 

“Intimate, huh?” One of Dean's eyebrows shot up to his hairline.

 

“And of course most humans would be scared and maybe get the wrong impression because of their color.”

 

Dean nodded: “I think they fit you well. Couldn't imagine you with white fluffy wings anyway.” After a little pause Dean asked hesitantly: “Is that the normal color of angel wings?” Somehow Dean was afraid Castiel's wings got tainted when he rescued Dean from Hell or when he disobeyed Heaven for him.

 

“No. Every angel has a different color. Gabriel's for example looked like a sunset, rich amber with golden touches.”

 

“Sounds gay. Yours are way cooler” Dean deadpanned.

 

Castiel wanted to roll his eyes about Dean's comment, but his own pride and a strange warm feeling inside him made him smile instead.

 

When he moved his right wing it went right through a chair and Dean's eyes widened with surprise. “Woah, that explains a lot!”

 

Castiel looked at him confused.

 

“Your wing just went through the chair, as if it wasn't there. But I guess that makes sense. I always wondered where you put them when you were sitting in the backseat of the Impala” Dean explained.

 

“They are on another plane of existence.”

 

“So I wouldn't feel them if I'd touch them, now?”

 

Castiel looked to the floor: “No.”

 

Dean didn't know why he felt disappointed by that answer. He went a few steps nearer and reached tentatively for the uninjured wing. Castiel watched him in surprise.

 

He was all the more surprised when he felt a little electric tickle, when Dean's hands glided through the soft looking feathers.

 

Castiel bent his head slightly: “Did you feel that?”

 

Dean looked at Cas in awe: “Yes, how is that possible? I thought I couldn't feel them.”

 

“I don't know.” Castiel looked confused. “That shouldn't be possible. Did you ever feel them before?”

 

“Dude, it's the first time you've showed them to me.”

 

“But nevertheless they're constantly here – whether you see them or not. I don't think it's the first time they accidentally touched you.”

 

Dean brushed his fingers through them again and enjoyed the tingly, soft feeling he got from it. His fingers wandered to the top of the wing and brushed over the large wing bone tentatively. Dean got the strange feeling that the more he touched Castiel's wings, the better he could feel them. Like they were getting more real for him by the second.

 

Castiel gasped when Dean's stroking over the top of the wing got more determined. Dean looked at Cas sheepishly, as if he had just realized that touching his friend like that was a tiny bit inappropriate.

 

“I'm sorry.”

 

His hand slid from the wing reluctantly. Castiel shook his head: “It's okay. I was just surprised. That's all. That shouldn't feel so...” Castiel gazed at the floor.

 

“Feel so what?”

 

Castiel's wing ruffled softly as the angel scratched his foot over the floor. Dean couldn't stop the thought popping in his mind that when Cas was shy about something, he looked just... well... There wasn't a word that was manly and fitting enough as a description for what he thought about Cas. Let's just say, Dean liked the way he looked when his friend was shy.

 

“Good” Cas voice was quiet and low.

 

Dean grinned: “You mean your wings are like an erogenous zone?”

 

Castiel looked a bit sad when he replied: “I wouldn't really know. No one has ever touched my wings before.”

 

There was an awkward silence between them, where Dean was thinking about how sad it was, that Cas didn't know anything about sex. Dean thought it was one of the best things in the world.

 

“You look a bit better than before.”

 

Cas nodded: “You distracted me from the pain. Thank you.” Castiel looked around and his wings vanished when he pulled the t-shirt Dean had lent to him over his head.

 

Dean was a bit disappointed that he couldn't see the wings anymore, but wondered if he would still be able to feel them. He moved in front of Cas and looked at him curiously.

 

“Do you think I could still feel them, now?”

 

“I don't know. You shouldn't be able to feel them in the first place. It's very strange.”

 

Dean reached for the air behind Cas's back, where his wings were supposed to be and was taken as much by surprise as the angel when he still could feel the soft feeling of feathers under his fingertips.

 

“How are you doing this?” Cas wondered – his eyebrows knitted together as he frowned.

 

Dean shook his head in wonder: “Is there any lore about that? That a human would be able to do that?”

 

Cas thought about that: “Well, there aren't many cases where angel and humans were close. There are a few stories about angels who fell in love with humans, literally fell for them. I think they shared a bond where the human could perceive some parts of the angel's true visage.”

 

“Like a profound bond?” Dean quipped.

 

Castiel looked constricted and Dean knelt before him: “You didn't fall for me. You fell because you stood against your dick brothers and helped prevent the apocalypse. Maybe this is because you saved me from Hell. I mean you left your hand print on my shoulder.”

 

“I did what?” Castiel said, squinting his eyes.

 

“Your hand print... I thought you knew about that. You know, 'gripped me tight and raised me from perdition'...” Dean lowered his voice and tried to speak as Castiel for the last part.

 

Cas still looked confused: “Would you show me...?”

 

Dean rolled up his sleeve and showed the angel the already faded mark Cas's hand had left when he had saved Dean from Hell. Castiel's blue eyes went wide and he slowly reached out to touch the mark. Dean felt a slight electric tingling where the angel touched his skin.

 

Cas looked at him with a concerned face: “I'm so very sorry, Dean. I didn't know.”

 

Dean shot him a confused glance: “What is it, Cas? What does that mean?”

 

Castiel withdrew his hand and looked to the floor: “It seems that my grace and your soul mingled and tried to bond. I can't explain why.”

 

“And what does that mean?”

 

“It means that a part of my grace is in you and a part of your soul is in me.”

 

Dean's eyebrows shot up to his hairline: “Dude, that just sounded wrong on so many levels.”

 

Castiel’s eyes dropped to the floor again, he was clearly uncomfortable with this discussion: “I wonder, if that is the reason for me being so different than the rest of my brothers and sisters.”

 

The very touch of you corrupts. When Castiel first laid a hand on you in Hell, he was lost!

 

Dean would never forget these words. The accusation that the one bitch angel made against him, that it was his fault that Castiel fell and lost his mind. And wouldn't that fit well in Dean's history of destroying the lives of everyone he has ever met?

 

“So the angel was right,” he whispered. Dean stood up and turned away from Cas. “I did corrupt you.”

 

Castiel looked up at him first with surprise and then with shock: “No!”

 

He stood up and took a few steps until he was in Dean’s personal space: “Don't ever think that. Despite everything that happened and all the mistakes I've made, there were my mistakes – my choices. You taught me how to have free will and I've learned to fight for it. You gave me the greatest gift there is to give and I will always be grateful for that.”

 

“Yeah, well...” Dean stood awkwardly for a second before turning around and fetching a beer from the fridge. “So, is there anything you can do? I mean about the soul thing? Is it dangerous, or what?” He opened his beer, took a swig and sat at the table, trying to get a bit distance between himself and the angel.

 

“A bond with an angel isn't dangerous but it has consequences. I think it was initialized when I saved you from the pit, but it was never completed. It would explain why we didn't notice it before and why you can somehow touch my wings.”

 

Dean stood up and put his bottle slowly back on the table. He scratched his chin and stepped in front of Castiel – determination in his gaze: “And what would complete this bond?”

 

“This kind of union between an angel and a human is forbidden, so I've never been interested in learning how to do it. I didn't even know that I had initialized one when I saved you from hell.”

 

“Super,” Dean sighed, looking frustrated: “So they never educated you guys on safe-gripping souls from the pit?”

 

“I am sorry, Dean. This wasn't my intention.”

 

“Yeah, you already said that. So what are these consequences you've talked about?”

 

Cas sat down on the bed and rubbed his shoulder with one hand absentmindedly: “Once bonded an angel and a human could share thoughts and emotions through their bond. That was the reason why it was forbidden. The punishment for an angel who bonded with a human was that his wings got ripped out by the other angels and he was cast out of Heaven.”

 

“Nice...”

 

Dean watched Castiel with concern as he was still rubbing his shoulder. He got up and fetched another beer from the fridge. “Does it hurt?”

 

Castiel nodded and Dean sat next to him on the bed, handing him the beer. Cas took it with a frown, but didn't drank from it, just holding it in his hand and staring at nothing in front of him. Dean felt something tingly and warm at his back. At the beginning he wasn't sure what it was, but then he realized it was Cas's wing behind him. It was weird, but the warmth coming from it started to spread through his body and it gave Dean an odd feeling of security and home – a feeling he didn't had for a long long time. The last time he felt this way was when he was a little kid and his mother was still alive, making him hot chocolate on a rainy day.

 

“When you get better, you should make some inquiries about this bond. We should know more about it. I don't want to be responsible for you losing your wings.”

 

“So, what do you want me to do?” Cas asked quietly.

 

“Maybe take a trip upstairs.”

 

“To Heaven?” Castiel looked at him, eyes wide with surprise.

 

“Yeah, poke around, see if the God squad can't tell you something about that bond thing and maybe you know, if anybody knows how you got out of purgatory.”

 

“No.” Castiel said, looking down at the floor again.

 

“Look, man, I – I hate those flying-ass monkeys just as much as you do, but –“

 

“Dean! I said no!” Castiel yelled, forcefully interrupted Dean.

 

There was a silent pause before Dean turned on the bed to face Castiel. He laid his hand on the angel’s arm prompting Castiel to look at him: “Talk to me.”

 

His voice was sincere and soft. Castiel let out a defeated sigh and faced him to meet his eyes. “Dean, I... When I was... bad... and I had all those things – the... the leviathans... writhing inside me... I caused a lot of suffering on earth, but I devastated Heaven. I vaporized thousands of my own kind, and I – I – I can't go back.”

 

“'Cause if you do, the angels will kill you.”

 

“Because if I see what Heaven's become – what I – what I made of it... I'm afraid I might kill myself.”

 

Dean stared at him. Of all the things he thought Castiel would be saying he didn't expect that. And it shocked him more to hear these words than he would have ever imagined. Castiel looked at him with his impossible big blue eyes, so vulnerable and so lost – so far away from the bad ass soldier, who could kill a room full of demons just with his angelic presence (and what a freaking light show that is).

 

It was pure instinct. He didn't think about it. Dean just grabbed the angel and pulled him in his arms. It was a little awkward, because they were sitting on the bed and Castiel's body went all rigid the moment Dean laid his arms around his shoulders.

 

Dean sighed: “You're supposed to wrap your arms around me, too.”

 

“M'sorry” Cas murmured when he finally relaxed into Dean's embrace and carefully put his arms around Dean. Cas rested his head on the hunter's shoulder and closed his eyes.

 

Without thinking he moved his wings to surround Dean like his arms did. A sudden stab of pain jolted through his body when he tried to move his injured wing and Cas couldn't help but gasp.

 

Dean pushed himself back to look at his friend: “Is everything alright?”

 

Cas looked pale and his face was contorted with pain: “Moved my wing. It hurts.”

 

Dean looked at him with concern and slowly let his hands slide down from the angel's shoulders to his arms, when he pulled back reluctantly.

 

“Are you sure there isn't anything I can do? I mean you would tell me if this injury is dangerous for you, wouldn't you?”

 

Cas gave him a short lived smile: “Yes, I would.”

 

“Good, good... You look tired, buddy. How about you get some shut-eye?”

 

“I don't sleep.”

 

Dean rolled his eyes: “You do when you're out of angel mojo.”

 

Castiel sighed in defeat: “I could try, but I don't think it will work. My wing is hurting me too much.”

 

The angel tried to lie down on the bed, but then shook his head and sat back up. Dean watched him with a frown.

 

“There is maybe something you could do...,” Castiel said slowly.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Do you have a pen with ink?”

 

Dean thought for a minute: “Yeah, yeah I do.” The hunter fetched a pen that he had gotten from his dad and some paper out of his duffel bag and handed it to Cas. “What do you want to do?” he asked as he sat on the bed next to the angel, watching him draw what looked like a complicated sigil on the paper.

 

When he finished his drawing he tilted his head slightly to study his work, and then nodded in approval. “This sigil will help to lessen the pain by locking me more into this human body. But it won't affect my ability to heal over time nor would I feel the injuries on this body.”

 

“So – what do I do? I hope you don't want to cut this into your body?”

 

Castiel shook his head: “No. Drawing it with ink will suffice. Blood would make it too powerful and would lock me in this body with all its disadvantages.”

 

Dean nodded: “So where does it go?”

 

“On my back between my shoulder blades – where my wings are.” Castiel returned the paper and pen to Dean and pulled his shirt off. Dean took them and laid them next to him on the bed. He then got up and moved around so he was sitting directly behind Cas.

 

Something was hitting Dean in a wave of warmth and a strong feeling of security. Castiel whimpered and leaned forward.

 

“Everything okay, Cas?” Dean asked with a shaky voice. He laid his hand on the angel's shoulder. His skin felt warm and there was a tingly feeling in his arms. Soon it spread from there to the hunter's whole body and filled him with a cozy warmth and contentment. It was exhilarating and soothing at the same time and Dean wished he could feel like this forever. On a slightly disturbing note Dean got the feeling that the effect Castiel's wings had on him got more intense every time he touched them. But it felt so good that he was more and more reluctant to keep away from them.

 

Dean slid his hand from Cas's shoulder until it landed softly between his shoulder blades. He felt Cas leaning into the touch – his head slightly rolled back into his neck. The angel had closed his eyes and inhaled a deep breath before he answered in a quiet and low voice: “I'm okay. It just feels... I don't know.”

 

Dean felt the tension between them growing and he knew this... everything... whatever this was, went into a direction he never thought about. The hunter never felt so – sheltered before. Since he was a little boy he was taught to never lower his guard – to always be ready and fight for his life. He slept with a knife and a gun under his pillow. But now – he felt like nothing bad could ever happen to him and that made him relax for the first time in this life.

 

Dean slowly let out his breath and looked at the angel in front of him. His dark hair was a mess and Dean had to suppress the urge to run his fingers through it. And where the hell did that come from?

 

Sure – Castiel was good looking. He had these ridiculous blue eyes and this crazy bed hair and in the past Dean and Cas had some epic staring moments, just because it was really hard for Dean to look away from his friend. And if he was really honest with himself, the urge to touch his angel wasn't new either. He had that urge every time Cas did something “typical Cas” or when he did something good, like reacting like a human being instead of being all angelic and almighty. And he gave in to this urge a few times. Like when he clapped his shoulders, or hugged him sideways. Friendly gestures. But now Dean was confused, because whatever was going on at the moment, didn't feel like 'just friends' to him at all.

 

He felt excited and most of all he wanted to touch Castiel – he wanted to be as close as possible. Dean wanted to show the angel how good touching can feel.

 

Dean fetched the pen: “Okay, I’m gonna start drawing now. Hope I don’t fuck this up.” His voice was a mess – all rough and strained from the tension and excitement.

 

“You won't. I have faith in you, Dean.” At least Castiel's voice didn't sound better than his. Apparently the angel was feeling the tension as well.

 

Dean carefully started with the outer lines of the sigil. One hand was lying on Cas's back to stabilize the other hand when he drew the fine dark lines on the tanned skin. Except for their breathing it was absolutely quiet in the room. Dean's heart pounded so loud and fast, he thought that his angel just had to hear it. Castiel's skin was warm and soft under Dean's hand and the hunter longed to touch every inch of him, to explore what this would do to his friend. For Christ's sake, where did these thoughts come from?

 

When the hunter started to draw the inner symbols of the sigil Castiel exhaled heavily.

 

A wave of excitement and pure happiness pushed its way through Dean's body and caught the hunter by surprise. He groaned and reacted purely on instinct when he grabbed Cas by his shoulders and pulled him in a hug. He buried his face in Castiel's hair while he tried to catch his breath from the overwhelming emotions in his chest: “Cas...”

 

Castiel shivered in Dean's arms. “Dean, you should try to finish the sigil.” His voice was shaky and low. Dean pulled back reluctantly and ran his hand softly through Cas's hair. “I'm sorry, Cas. Are you okay? You're shaking...”

 

“I can't seem to stop.”

 

“You're probably just exhausted. I'm finishing this up and then you should try to sleep.”

 

Cas nodded and Dean tried to concentrate on finishing the sigil, but he could still feel Cas's wings under his hand – spreading everything good in the world into the hunter's body.

 

When he drew the last line, Castiel let out a relieved sigh. “Feeling better?” Dean grinned and the angel nodded. “Much. Thank you, Dean.”

 

The angel was still shivering when Dean pulled him slowly down on the bed. Cas looked at him with big eyes. Dean was suddenly aware that they were in quite an intimate position – with him kneeling next to a bare chested Cas, but he just couldn't bring himself to get up and out of this situation.

 

“Cas, what is this? You feel this too, right?”

 

Castiel nodded: “You feel my grace through this connection and I can feel your soul. The longer we keep this connection the stronger it gets because they both reverberate with each other.”

 

Dean didn't like the sound of that: “That sounds like the bond thing you told me about earlier. You know, about sharing emotions...”

 

The angel sat back up again and if Castiel had any concept of personal space he would have known that he was sitting way too close to the hunter, but instead he was just staring stoically at him.

 

“Dean, I,” he squinted his eyes “I wish I could answer your question, but I don't know. I can assure you that at the moment we don't have a bond, because I can't read your mind and I don't get any feelings from you as long as you don't touch my wings. I guess there is a ritual to bond a human to an angel and if I heard correctly it has something to do with fornication.”

 

And hell was Dean happy that he hadn’t just taken a sip from his bottle right then.

 

“So – sleeping with an angel would bind him or her to a human?” Dean suddenly had to think about Anna and hoped that hadn't had any consequences.

 

Castiel shook his head. “Not when the bond wasn't initialized beforehand.” After a short pause he added a “Like it had happened with us” sheepishly.

 

Dean looked down at the bed sheet. So if he would do the dirty with his friend he would be bound to him forever. Well great. Not that he had planned to do it with Cas... I mean he was Cas... And a man. Well not exactly a man so much as an angel, but in a male vessel for Christ's sake, and what the fuck did it matter? That was all kinds of wrong to just think about it.

 

Dean looked up to his friend and was captured by his blue eyes. He was so damn near – the hunter just needed to lean in, to close the last inches between them. Of course it was a fucking bad idea for a shit load of reasons, but for whatever reason it didn't do anything to kill the tension and excitement coming with these thoughts.

 

“Dean...”

 

Dean stopped him by laying his finger on Cas's lips. Castiel's eyes fluttered shut for a moment and his breathing hitched. His lips felt soft and pliant and Dean brushed his fingers carefully over them to rest them on his friend's cheek. The hunter pulled him slightly forward and brushed his own lips over Cas's. At first Cas didn't react at all, just closed his eyes, but when Dean pulled back, the angel's lips followed him to recapture them. Still just soft kisses until Dean's tongue tentatively licked over Cas's upper lip. Cas groaned and Dean couldn't believe how turned on he was just by the sound of his angel losing it. He deepened the kiss, tasted the inside of Cas's mouth – He tasted like rainwater on a summer's day, pie and light. It was amazing. And it felt so right. It felt better than right, like something Dean had never expected. It felt better than kissing all the women in his life before. And maybe that should have scared Dean, but it didn't. He didn't care. This was too good to let go and he wanted more.

 

Dean pushed Cas on the bed and pinned his wrist over his head into the pillow. His hands wandered from the angel's wrist to his hand and Cas closed his fingers around it. Dean shoved Castiel's legs apart with his knee and settled between them. He wanted to be as close as possible.

 

Castiel’s free hand traveled under Dean’s shirt and began tugging at it. Dean, getting the hint, took a break from kissing his angel to pull his shirt over his head. His eyes fell back on Cas. His lips were swollen, the blue of his eyes was barely visible and his breathing was ragged. Dean would have kissed him again, if he hadn't seen the insecurity and anxiousness in his friend's eyes.

 

Dean stroked through Cas's hair tenderly and gave him a reassuring smile: “Are you okay?”

 

Cas nodded, his mouth slightly open as if he wanted to say something.

 

Dean lowered his head and kissed Cas again – deep. Cas groaned and his hip instinctively met Dean's to get more contact – more friction. The hunter felt Cas's hand roaming over the naked skin of his back until his hand found the hand print on Dean's shoulder.

 

Dean nearly blacked out by the intensity of the feelings and arousal he got hit by. It was as if someone had put his and Cas's arousal in one big pot, doubled it and poured it all over them. He felt the deep devotion and love his angel felt for him and the nearly hurtful desire to be close to him and be loved. But there also was doubt and anxiety. Dean hoped that Cas could feel his love for him, too, because finally he could admit it to himself. Cas was simply the best thing that ever happened to him and he wanted him to stay in his life – to never lose him again. After he thought he had lost him forever in Purgatory he felt it more than ever. He needed Cas in his life to be happy. He needed Cas to know.

 

Dean broke the kiss and looked at his angel. “Cas...Stay with me, okay? I don't want you to ever leave again.”

 

“There is no place in this universe I would rather be than with you.”

 

Dean smiled and kissed him again. His hands left the angels messed up hair, which was sticking in all different directions now and wandered over his cheeks to his shoulders – his arms. It wasn't news to Dean that he got turned on by a male body (there was a reason he loved to watch Dr. Sexy, M.D.), but being here with Cas was simply so much hotter than he'd have ever expected.

 

The hunter reached for the button on Cas’s jeans and opened it along with his zipper – his hand slipped under the waistband to touch the angel's erection. Castiel gasped and writhed under him – his eyes flew open and he stared at Dean, eyes widening in surprise.

 

He never did this before. Never had someone to touch him – to love him.

 

“It's okay, Cas. I got you. You trust me, right?”

 

Cas nodded, but he still looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Dean realized he had to go slow. This was special and he wanted it to be good – perfect. He brushed his hand tenderly through Cas's tousled hair. “If this is going too fast or is too much for you – you tell me,” he whispered in Cas's ear before he kissed and licked down the angel's throat.

 

“Dean, I... I want...” Cas voice was rough and even deeper than he usually spoke. He pushed Dean from him and sat back up on the bed: “I can't, Dean. I'm sorry.”

 

Dean looked at him, stunned: “Why? I felt you, Cas – through this connection. I know that you want it, too.”

 

Cas gazed at the sheets, his expression constricted and sad: “You are right. I want this. But I don't deserve to want. I lost this privilege when 'me wanting something' cost other people their lives.”

 

“Bullshit!”

 

Cas looked up in surprise at the hunter and his sudden outbreak. Dean laid one of his hands on Cas's shoulder. “Listen, buddy. I know you fucked up big time. But you have to forgive yourself. If you want to make up for your mistakes, you have to start with that.”

 

“I don't know if I can.”

 

“It's just... I'm concerned about you, man. You talking about this...,” Dean made a vague gesture with his hand, before resting it on the angel's wrist. He felt the warmth of Cas's body and his pulse was strong and steady against the palm of Dean's hand.

 

He couldn't lose Cas again. After he couldn't save the angel from purgatory, Dean had started to drink again. He had tried to drown the pain of his loss and the guilt but it didn't work. He had been devastated.

 

He still couldn't believe that he got Castiel back. Dean's fingers drew soothing patterns over the angel's wrist. He meant to comfort his friend, but it also seemed to help him. Feeling the warmth and the closeness reminded him that Castiel was back for real.

 

Dean sighed and watched his hands holding Cas's arms, as if he was afraid Castiel would just vanish if he would let go of him: “You know, I meant what I said to you in purgatory.” He looked at Castiel. His gaze was pained and insecure and Dean could read all the guilt and self-loathing in his face.

 

“I need you, Cas.”

 

“Dean...” Cas looked down at their hands. “I don't know why I'm back from purgatory. I still believe I belonged there. I don't know if it's possible for me to ever fix what I did. I failed at being an angel and I failed at being your friend. I will do anything you ask of me, whatever you need. I hope that will at least atone a bit for my sins.”

 

Dean dipped his head to get Cas to look back at him. “Cas, that's not why I need you. You're not a tool for our hunts, you know that right?”

 

Cas squinted his eyes and watched him expectantly. Apparently the angel didn't know.

 

“You're my friend, Cas. I need you, because when you're gone, I...”

 

I... what? Smooth, Dean. You want to tell him, how much it destroyed you, when he was gone? How much you missed him? Well, that's not going to happen.

 

“You what?” asked Castiel after the silence between them stretched awkwardly.

 

Dean cleared his throat in embarrassment: “It sucked... I mean, you're my friend, Cas.”

 

Castiel bent his head slightly: “You already said that...”

 

Dean sighed frustrated – he didn't had a clue how he should explain to his friend how important he was in his life and how much he wanted Castiel to stay with him. He wasn't very good with all this touchy feeling stuff, but Castiel wouldn't understand him, if he didn't explain… his feelings.

 

“Cas, I don't want you to stay because I want you to fix your mistakes. I already forgave you for what you did. I just want you to stay, because you're my best friend and I want to help you. You're family, Cas. And family looks after each other.”

 

Castiel looked at him for a moment, before he nodded slowly: “Thank you, Dean. I'll try to work very hard to deserve this honor.”

 

“You really don't get it, huh?” Dean huffed in frustration. How could he make Cas understand, that being in Dean's family wasn't a position he could get fired from? That it didn't matter how many mistakes the angel made, he would always belong to them – to him.

 

And “deserve the honor”? What the hell? Okay, so Cas had fucked up a lot, but Sam and Dean had their share of fucking things up big time, too. Starting the apocalypse for example. And Castiel fell to help them, bled for them and even died for them and on top of it he saved Dean and Sam from Hell. So how could he think he wasn't worth it?

 

And now he is sitting here in front of me with his stupid big blue eyes and he has no fucking clue how much I...

 

...love him.

 

Dean's heart made a sudden painful jump at that thought. He was very proud of his skill to avoid thinking about uncomfortable things – like how Castiel made him happy in ways no one else could. And in the past he refused to think about how often he had the urge to just touch the angel's face and kiss those innocent lips.

 

He wanted Castiel to know how much he meant to him. He had to understand because this was killing Dean – watching his friend suffer from all this guilt.

 

Dean was aware that they had been staring at each other for the past few minutes. He wondered what Castiel was seeing in him when he did that. Most of the time Castiel's face was without any expression and it was hard to see what he was thinking, but now – he was expecting Dean to explain himself and he could see the fight between hope and utter forlornness in the angel's sapphire blue eyes.

 

Cas's eyes went wide when Dean slowly reached up and cupped his cheek tenderly with his hand. “I don't know how to explain this to you so you understand – but I could show you?”

 

Cas nodded slowly, but he looked terrified. The same look he had when they went to the brothel four years ago.

 

“Relax, okay?” Dean pushed himself on his knees and cupped Castiel’s other cheek as well. His heart rate was bordering at unhealthy, but this was too important for a freak out. Cas had to understand and this was the only way Dean knew of telling him.

 

He lowered his head and pressed his mouth lightly on Cas's lips. Dean let his bottom lip slide over Cas's upper one and pulled away to look the angel in his eyes to see if that had been okay with him.

 

Cas had closed his eyes and was opening them slowly to return the gaze. Dean smiled at him lightly – his hands slid to Castiel's neck and into his dark hair: “Again?”

 

Instead of answering Cas kissed him back, burying one hand into Dean's hair and grabbing his waist with the other to pull him close. Dean opened his mouth and licked over Castiel's lips and the angel responded with allowing him in. Their tongues touched and Dean groaned. He couldn't believe that this felt so much better than with any woman he had ever been with.

 

Dean pushed Cas back on the bed and his lips trailed from the angel's lips down his throat and to his chest. His erection was straining against his jeans, when he rubbed his hip over Castiel's. If he wasn't careful he was in danger of coming in his pants and he really didn't want that to happen.

 

His hands went to Cas’s waist. He started to pull down the angel’s jeans and, of course, Cas wore white boxers. Dean grinned and kissed the hard muscles on Cas’s stomach. He didn't look like much with his oversized coat, but his body was actually quite toned. Dean pulled back to quickly get rid of his own jeans while smiling down at Cas, who was breathing fast and was pushing himself on his elbows to get closer to Dean.

 

As soon as he was free from his jeans the hunter dived back on Cas and kissed him deeply.

Cas touched Dean's mark on his shoulder and the emotions and feelings they had for each other overran them in mere seconds. Dean had the feeling he was bathing in white, golden and warm light. He never felt like this before. So loved, so secure, so light. Like nothing bad in the world could ever happen to him. It was pure happiness. He looked at Cas and stroked tenderly through his tousled hair. His eyes were full of wonder and unconditional love and Dean had the feeling he could drown in them. He always had – since they met. The hunter wondered why he hadn't realized this before. They had this amazing connection from the start which had developed into a deep friendship. Cas was the best friend Dean ever had. But it had grown into so much more over time. When Dean thought about how he felt about Cassie or Lisa it didn't even come close to what he felt for Cas. He would do everything for him, hell – he walked through all of Purgatory for him.

 

I will never lose you again.


“You won't...” Cas said quietly.

 

Dean looked at him with a surprised look: “I didn't say anything...”

 

“I heard you...”

 

“You can read my mind?” Dean asked – feeling suddenly insecure.

 

Cas frowned and looked at him: “Not at the moment – no. But I could hear you before.”

 

“This is the bond thing, right?”

 

Cas nodded: “It appears to be getting stronger the longer we are close to each other.”

 

Dean got back on his knees between Castiel's legs: “So what now?”

 

“Maybe we should be careful, as long as we don't know how about this bond will be completed.”

 

Dean nodded defeatedly. Why couldn't it be simple? Just for one time!

 

But maybe it was a good thing that they were forced to stop. This was all going too fast and Dean didn’t even have time to properly think about everything like how this was going to affect their lives. He guessed he would get his freak-out in the morning when his brain finally caught up with everything that had just happened. He still had to phone Sammy to tell him they had killed the monster, but for now he was spent. Cas didn’t look any better.

 

“You should try to sleep a bit, Cas. And tomorrow we try to find out everything we need to know, okay?”

 

Castiel just nodded and looked at him sadly, before he turned around on the bed and closed his eyes.

 

TBC