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Castiel sits in the confines of the confessional, grateful that no one else enters immediately. He doesn’t think he could help them, doesn’t think he could stick to the script. Is sure they’d know exactly what had just happened, what he’d just done. His cheeks heat with shame, but less guilt than he’s expecting.

Or maybe exactly as much as he’s expecting; this isn’t the first time this has happened, after all, and Castiel continues to do nothing to stop it. That must mean…must mean…Castiel’s mind slides away from the meaning behind his actions, the doubt creeping into his soul. Unclenching his fists—there are half-moon impressions of his fingernails tucked in his palms—he rubs a hand over his face, pinches the bridge of his nose. Sighs. He stands, grimacing at the mess against his skin, and moves to open the door, step out from the shadowed interior and into the—

There’s a man standing there. No, not standing. Leaning. He’s leaning against the end of a pew, hands deep in his pockets. He’s inhumanly beautiful, shocking and golden, and Castiel wonders if it’s the lighting in the church or if it is simply this man who glows like a holy thing, drawing Castiel near, divine and wanton both. His mouth is obscene and pink and there’s a tilt to his head that says, Well, Father, what do you think?

Castiel opens his mouth to speak, but all of the words die an early death on his tongue and he turns away with a nod, leaving with long strides, his robes billowing around him as the man watches him—Castiel knows he watches him—go. His heart beats wildly against his ribs, a bird trapped in a cage, a man trapped in a calling, and all Castiel wants to do is get the robes off, retire to his room where he can strip and shower, wash his transgressions down the drain.

Later he’ll ask for forgiveness, but he’ll know—in his heart of hearts, where God can see the truth—that he doesn’t entirely mean it.

Days pass, and Castiel keeps his eyes out for the man with the green eyes and wicked mouth. The more he thinks about it, the more he’s sure he’s seen him in the church before, half-slouched in the pews next to a young man with hair that flops in his eyes, a young woman with golden curls. Jessica, he thinks her name is. Castiel remembers meeting her at one of the church barbeques the summer before. She’d had kind eyes and was preparing to return to college in the fall.

The boys—men, really; especially the one with the voice, the eyes—had shown up later. The younger one first, the older one later.

He’s never spoken with him, though, doesn’t know his name or his age, where he’s from. Why he’s there. Though Castiel suspects he knows now why he keeps coming back. The thought makes him flush, makes him squirm, but he pushes it out of his mind. Focuses on his work.

He does fine for a week, then another. Once or twice he thinks he sees a flash of not quite familiar hair or hears a voice carrying over the crowd at the end of mass. He tells himself he isn’t looking for the man as he searches the faces of the congregation, but this, too, he knows is a lie.

A third week goes by, and still Castiel has not seen him. He knows he should be relieved, happy that this temptation has apparently been removed, that with time he can truly ask for forgiveness and repent. He sits in the confessional, the last “Thanks be to God” ringing in his ears, and waits, eyes closed, focused on his breathing.

The door on the other side of the screen opens and closes, a body settling on the other bench.

“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” Castiel leads, and then waits, patient.

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned,” a voice responds. “It has been three weeks since my last confession.”

Castiel’s breath catches in his throat, his pulse skittering into overtime. There is a script he should follow, lines he should say, but— “You haven’t been anywhere else?”

“No, Father, I haven’t. I only come here.”

Blood rises to Castiel’s cheeks at the same time it settles elsewhere. He feels lightheaded with it. “I—That is good to know. And what—” He licks his lips, mouth suddenly dry. “What sins do you accuse yourself of?”

The voice sighs on the other side of the screen, and Castiel sees the man shifting, can almost make out his profile. “I had impure thoughts.”

Me, too, Castiel wants to say. Instead, “Did you act on them?”

“Repeatedly. Not by myself, either. I shared these thoughts with another person, another man. We both came as I talked. I saw him afterward, briefly, but then I went home alone and touched myself. Fucked my fist and wished that it was…” The voice trails off, leaving Castiel on pins and needles, waiting.

“Yes?”

“Wished that it was his hand on my cock. Wished that he’d get on his knees for me and let me fuck his face. God,” he says, “you don’t—I’m sorry.”

Castiel blinks, finds himself leaning close to the screen trying to catch any glimpse of the face he knows is on the other side. A beautiful face, a heartbreaking face. A face to fall for.

“Are you?” he asks.

“What?”

“Are you sorry?” Castiel asks. He can hear the man breathing, can smell him through the grate. He smells like the outdoors, like bright places and freedom. “That’s usually what confession is for, being sorry. Asking for forgiveness. Repenting. Do you repent?”

There’s no answer for a while and Castiel listens, waits on tenterhooks. Feels like his world is balanced on the answer to this question. He hears the man shift, feels the puff of his breath through the screen.

“No.”

His eyes are very green.

“Meet me on the steps outside,” Castiel says, not thinking, just wanting. “Wait for me.”

Eyelids obscure the green, but when they lift, Castiel thinks he can see wrinkles appear at the corners. Is sure that mouth is curving upwards in a smile. “Yes, Father,” he answers and then he’s pulling away, gone through the door, and Castiel is left alone, waiting.

Four more members of the congregation slip into the cubicle on the other side of the screen, and Castiel puts the man out of his mind as best he can. It’s surprising how easy it is, surprising how quickly the time flies when Castiel had thought it would slow down, move like molasses in winter. Before he knows it, he’s alone in the confessional again. He breathes deeply once, twice, taking air in through his nose and releasing it out his mouth before he stands, pushes the door open. He almost expects to see the man standing there again, but the church is empty, quiet.

Castiel rehangs his vestments and leaves, pulling his jacket on. He tells himself not to hurry, not to be too eager. That the front steps will be empty and that it will be a sign that this thing between them needs to stop.

But when Castiel steps through the doors and into the sunlight, when his vision clears, the man is sitting, about half-way down, elbows on his knees. Castiel’s feet and heart stutter to a stop, and then the man is turning, looking up at him over his shoulder. He stands, a grin spreading across his face.

“You waited,” Castiel says, feeling slow and stupid.

The man nods. “Yeah,” he says, “I did.”

“I…didn’t really expect you to.” He takes a few steps down, bringing them closer together.

A shrug. Those green eyes travel Castiel’s body from head to toe, leaving Castiel shuddering. “Figured it’d be worth my while,” he says, eyes coming back up to meet Castiel’s. He holds out a hand. “Dean, by the way. Dean Winchester.”

It’s nice to put a name to the face, a face to the voice. “Hello, Dean,” Castiel says, reaching for him, gripping his hand tight. Something sparks between them, a jolt that hits Castiel in the balls. He feels reckless, his core burning bright, ready to take the plunge. “Shall we?”

Dean looks surprised, and Castiel is glad of it, proud to have acted unexpectedly. As though everything with this man, with Dean hasn’t already been completely unexpected. He nods, though, fingers flexing against Castiel’s, before pulling his hand away, saying, “Of course. Where to, Father?”

Father. The word shouldn’t make Castiel’s blood boil, but it does. In that voice, even in that almost—almost, but not quite—innocent tone, it does.

“I, uh.” Castiel licks his lips, watches Dean’s eyes—those maddening eyes—follow the movement. Truth is, he doesn’t know where. He only knows he doesn’t want to do this here, of all places. Doesn’t want t spoil either with the other. “Can you meet me? Later? I know I implied now, but—”

“Yes,” Dean says. He bites his lip as soon as the word is out, as though he can rein it back in. Castiel skin warms at the accidental admission of eagerness. “Anything. You want this, then anything.”

Castiel flushes. “Do you have a car?” Dean nods. “Meet me later, down the block. We’ll...drive.”

“Drive, huh?” Dean says with a half-leer Castiel wishes he could ask him to hide, unsure what to do with it out here in the open. “I like the sound of that.”

He leaves with a wink, a swagger of hips and bowlegs down the steps of the church, and Castiel can’t help but watch him go, his entire body longing to follow, to leave the quiet confines of stone and go after this man he barely knows. A stranger whose voice curls like smoke in Castiel’s ear, sticks sweet as caramel in his memory. Castiel doesn’t know what he’s doing or why he’s doing it, was never dissatisfied with the life he’d chosen, the life he’d been called to before, but now...now.

Castiel turns and goes back inside, ignoring the lonely sound of his footsteps.

The day passes slowly, Castiel glancing at his watch at irregular intervals, both wanting and dreading the inevitable time when he’ll step outside, walk down the block, and find Dean waiting. He hopes to find Dean waiting. He’s well aware that Dean might decide this isn’t worth it, that the game—if that’s what it is—is over with the character reveal. There is no mystery left to Castiel, though, he supposes, Dean always knew who he was...pursuing. And he still wanted. Perhaps...

He puts it out of his head, focuses on his work. Slips off his watch and puts it in his pocket. There are other aspects of this he can torture himself about; time doesn’t need to be one of them.

It’s not quite dark by the time he leaves, the sun dipping low on the horizon as he steps onto the sidewalk. He looks right and then left, searching for Dean, heart thudding painfully when he sees no one on the street. He’s just about to take a walk around the block, aware of how strange he looks standing outside of the church, when a car pulls up down the street. Castiel can’t tell the make--automobiles aren’t something he’s ever been interested in--but he can tell it’s a classic and there’s something about it, something about its low, dark lines, its easy sex appeal, that make him think Dean.

When the passenger side window rolls down at Castiel’s approach and a voice calls out, “Need a ride,” Castiel knows he’s right.

Opening the door, Castiel slides into the front seat. He buckles up and settles as much as he can—nerves and adrenaline prevent that from happening completely—before allowing himself to look at Dean. He’s watching Castiel, one hand on the wheel, the other curled loosely against the nearest of his parted thighs. Castiel’s gaze wants to linger; he doesn’t let it, eyes skipping up to Dean’s half-shadowed face. His lips are quirked, amused, and Castiel cannot read the look in his eyes.

“You changed,” Dean says.

Castiel glances down at himself, at the hint of his knees through the holes in his jeans, the faded t-shirt he’d thrown on. He hadn’t wanted to bring attention to himself, had wanted to put some space between himself and who he’s supposed to be. It occurs to him now that part of the appeal for Dean may have been the vestments, the black shirt and white collar. But Castiel can’t do that. He’s taking a great enough risk simply being here. “I hope that’s all right.”

“Oh, it’s definitely all right.” His voice is low and purring, settling against Castiel like a cat. His fingers itch to reach out and touch Dean, feel the warmth of him through his own jeans, the callouses on his hands. He wants to feel those hands on his skin, everywhere, touching him. Taking him apart as thoroughly as Dean’s words did.

“Good,” Castiel says, his throat feeling tight. “Good.”

Dean nods, one eyebrow quirked, and licks his lips. His eyes travel over Castiel once, from his hair to his lap, then back up. Castiel resists the urge to squirm. Without saying anything, Dean reaches for the gearshift, sliding the car into drive, and turns away to pull from the curb.

Castiel watches the world pass outside his window, listening to the quiet sound of the asphalt beneath the tires, the low hum of the radio as Dean drives. They pass diners lit up and glowing, shops closing down for the night. A few trees slip by, then more and more as the sun sinks behind them.

Dean doesn’t say anything, though he hums along to the music Castiel can just barely hear. It makes Castiel hyper aware of him, and he wonders if that’s on purpose, if Dean wants him nervous and turned on to the point of jittering out of his skin or if this is just the way Dean is, cool and collected. Casual behind the wheel of his car, classic rock whispering through the speakers. Castiel can feel across the distance of the front seat, can feel the heat coming off of him, slipping across the leather. Castiel feels flushed himself and he shifts in his seat, hand coming up to toy at the shoulder strap of his seat belt. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Dean glance his way.

“Okay?” Dean asks. He doesn’t elaborate, just leaves the word there. Okay. Leaves it up to Castiel, no pressure, and Castiel could say no. Could say this is a mistake and turn around. He doesn’t, though, only nods his head.

“Yes,” he says. “Keep going.”

Dean smiles at him, a gentle lift at the corners of his mouth and, oh, Castiel would like to kiss that mouth, fit his lips against the soft curve of that bottom lip. Taste the words that Dean has dropped between them like coins dropped in a well, wishes waiting to be fulfilled.

Sins waiting to be committed.

Castiel pushes that thought from his mind and looks away, looks back out at the darkening sky and the thickening trees and realizes maybe he should be afraid. He doesn’t know Dean, not really, doesn’t know what he’s doing or where he’s going with this stranger beside him. He doesn’t want to stop, though, doesn’t want to turn around and go back, lock himself in his lonely room and ask for forgiveness. There’s an ache in his bones for Dean that Castiel can’t explain. When it comes down to it, he doesn’t really want to try.

“You drive me crazy, Father,” Dean says, voice slipping toward Castiel in the growing darkness.

“Excuse me—”

“You drive me crazy,” he repeats. “Watching you on Sundays. Your hands, your face, the way you move. The way you talk.”

Castiel swallows hard and stares straight ahead, watching the way the headlights cut through the shadows.

“That’s the worst, your voice. I remember the first time I heard it, sitting there in that pew. You were welcoming us to mass and you sounded like sin, smoky and low and, fuck, Father, you have no idea do you? Hadn’t been to church since I was a kid and all of the sudden I wanted to be on my knees. Not for Jesus, though, and definitely not for God. But you, you I’d get on the floor for, if that’s what you wanted.”

He does want it, can’t deny that he wants it. Can’t even try. He’s thought of Dean on his knees before, back when he was a nameless, faceless stranger on the other side of the screen, when he was only a voice slipping through the darkness, painting pictures of depravity in Castiel’s mind.

Dean’s voice slips through the darkness now, wrapping around Castiel as surely as it ever did tucked away in the wooden boxes of the confessional. Only now Castiel can turn and watch Dean as he talks. Now, if Castiel wants, he can reach across the seat and touch him, nothing obstructing the way. He can find out if Dean’s really as firm as he looks, if the heat he gives off is greater the closer Castiel gets. If he responds the way it sounds like he will.

He can reach out and touch those lips forming the words that have heated his blood since the first time Dean said, Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. He can trace them with his fingers, lean farther and follow the same path with his tongue. The possibility is there, the opportunity waiting for Castiel to take it.

“…looking down at me,” Dean is saying. “I’d like to look up and see you watching me from above, your lips parted. Do you have any idea how hard it is to pay attention to anything you’re saying when your mouth looks like that, Father? It’s fucking distracting. Everything about you is fucking distracting and I can’t—”

“Pull over.”

Dean glances at him. “What?”

“Dean,” Castiel says, hand moving across the leather between them to brush against Dean’s thigh. “You’ve said more than enough. Pull over.”

Dean nods, and Castiel can see his Adam’s apple bob over the collar of his shirt as he swallows, watches the shining slip of his tongue over his bottom lip. Dean has it wrong, Castiel thinks; the mouth meant for sin is Dean’s own, pink and full. Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge waiting to be plucked. Castiel’s fingers itch and his skin tingles and it’s all he can do to keep from undoing his seatbelt and crossing the distance between them, turning the trailing touch of his fingers into something more substantial. He’s waited this long, he can wait a little longer.

Another mile and Dean flips on the turn signal, the sound filling the spaces their silence leaves. He pulls off the main road onto a smaller one, guiding the car through trees growing up and over, canopying them until the sky above is hidden, the only light visible coming from the dash of Dean’s car, his headlights. Soon the trees give way to an open lot, empty parking spaces lined up at the edges of grassy hills, streetlamps throwing stark shadows into the night. Castiel recognizes this place—a park he hasn’t been to himself in at least a month, frequented by joggers and people walking their dogs—and is glad that it’s deserted, out of town and secluded.

He waits until Dean pulls into a spot that’s on the farthest side of the lot, away from the grass and nearer the trees; there’s a lamppost a few parking spaces over throwing its light into the front seat, lining Dean’s profile. Dean stops the car, turning off the headlights. It’s quiet suddenly, so quiet Castiel can hear Dean’s breathing, and Castiel’s fingers twitch against the denim of Dean’s jeans.

“Father,” Dean starts, “I—”

“Shh,” Castiel breathes, his other hand undoing his seatbelt. He slips across the seat, watching the way Dean’s eyes widen, the way they dip down to linger at Castiel’s mouth. “Shh,” he repeats, lips pursing, and then he’s leaning into Dean and Dean is meeting him part way and this, this. Castiel has been waiting for this.

Dean’s lips are smooth and hot against Castiel’s, his tongue even more so when it slips along the seam of Castiel’s mouth, seeking entrance. Seeking more. Castiel groans and gives it to him, opens up and lets Dean inside, lets him exactly where he’s wanted him for more weeks and days and hours than Castiel is willing to examine. Dean makes a noise against him, a small sound that sends currents of electricity through Castiel’s body, like a live wire’s been touched. It flips switches Castiel didn’t know he had anymore, touches places he’d long forgotten until Dean stepped into the confessional for the first time and threw him for a loop.

A hand finds his waist, Dean’s fingers tentative, light against the worn fabric of his t-shirt. They’re hot, but Castiel knows they’ll be hotter against his skin, wants to feel them there. Wants Dean to lay him out and strip him bare and press those hot fingers into all of his dips and hollows, all of those carved out places that have been empty for so long. Arching into the touch, Castiel hopes Dean takes the hint, hopes Dean knows without telling—as he seemed to know without telling how badly Castiel needed his voice and his words that first time and every time after—exactly what Castiel wants.

He catches on quickly, and Castiel is glad for it, thrilled that when he presses himself just so, Dean’s fingers turn hard, his hand coming against the curve of Castiel’s side until there’s no doubt of Dean’s touch, his willingness to do it.

Castiel pushes into it, lifts a hand and holds Dean’s palm against him, soaks up the heat of him. Dean’s tongue slides against his, curling behind Castiel’s teeth, against the roof of his mouth before slipping away; Castiel follows it, isn’t ready to let this first meeting of lips and teeth and tongue end so quickly. Beneath his hand, against his waist, Dean’s fingers flex, a moan vibrating up from his chest as Castiel insinuates himself between Dean’s lips.

“Father,” Dean breathes, pulling away. “I—”

“Castiel.”

Dean blinks at him, the green of his eyes darkened by the shadows that seep in from outside. “What?”

Castiel’s hand travels from the back of Dean’s past the gentle knobs of his wrist to his forearm—oh, his forearms; they make Castiel’s stomach swoop and his knees feel week—and his elbow, his bicep. They stop at the edge of his sleeve, teasing just below. “Call me Castiel. Here, please, call me by my name.”

Stilling in the driver’s seat, Dean stares. Castiel thinks he’s holding his breath, can no longer feel the soft gust of it against his face, and then the corners of Dean’s lips twitch and he’s reaching for Castiel with both hands, fingers threading through the hair at the back of Castiel’s head as Dean shifts in his seat, pulls Castiel close.

“Castiel,” he says, voice hushed between them. It sounds different like that, Castiel’s name, heavy and holy, all of the reverence Dean doesn’t have for the Church shoring it up. Castiel’s heart shudders in his chest. “Castiel,” Dean repeats and he’s slipping forward, kissing Castiel again, kissing him slick and maddening.

Castiel’s fingers tighten on his arm and Dean slips away to lick at the corner of Castiel’s mouth, to nip at the rise of his lip.

“You like that, don’t you, Castiel?” Dean says, voice low and hot as molten lava. Castiel should get out of the way, should leave now, but he’s been in Dean’s path for ages and he hasn’t moved, doesn’t want to. He’s staying, even if it means he’ll burn. “You like it when I say your name.”

Castiel nods, skin flushed and heart racing. His cock is hard in the confines of his jeans, hard and aching, and he wants Dean to touch it, wants Dean to touch him everywhere. “Yes, Dean, I like it when you—”

Dean grins, a flash of bright teeth in the night, and leans in to mouth at Castiel’s jaw, lick at his stubble. He inches downward, dropping open-mouthed kisses and brief nips on Castiel’s neck and Castiel tips his head back, gives him room. The hand not on Dean’s arm finds the back of his head, settles there against the curve of his skull, Dean’s short hair prickling softly at his palm. Dean groans in response, the sound tucked against Castiel’s skin, and Dean’s mouth opens wider, seeks more. He licks and he sucks and it feels good, better than good. It feels amazing and all Castiel wants, all he really wants is for Dean to keep doing that, to keep kissing him and touching him, letting heat bleed from his body and into Castiel’s, warming him up from the outside in. Waking him up.

Castiel doesn’t think he has ever felt like this. The fumblings of his youth never made his heart soar and his breath catch, never made his skin feel too small and his body too big and everything, everything too much. But Dean, Dean…

Dean makes him want to take leaps of faith that have never been required of him before. He wants to put himself in Dean’s hands, not just God’s. Wants to put his faith in Dean and the words that fall so easily from his lips, the feelings that he pulls so quickly from the depths of Castiel’s being.

Mouth moving over Castiel’s skin, Dean nips at the bob of his Adam’s apple, laps at it apologetically. Begins to suck at the skin there, fingers hard against Castiel, leaving Dean-shaped marks where no one will be able to see—

Dean’s mouth is wet and hot and high on Castiel’s neck, high enough that anything Dean leaves behind will be visible, noticeable above Castiel’s collar. The thought makes Castiel shiver; he likes the idea of Dean’s mark next to God’s, these two momentous beings tucked together against Castiel’s skin. He’s tempted to let Dean stay where he is, to let Dean leave a string of bruises across his throat for all the world to see, but he can’t. Castiel still has mind enough to recognize the danger there and while he doesn’t want to stop Dean, doesn’t want to change their course, he knows better than to wave a red flag in front of fate.

Gently, Castiel pushes at Dean’s head, wants to feel his mouth lower. Wants to put his collar on each morning and know that just behind that square of white lies the shape of Dean’s mouth imprinted on his skin. Dean groans at the first correction, lips humming against Castiel’s skin, and Castiel’s hips twitch, wanting more, wanting Dean to touch. If he were a braver man—ha!—he would take Dean’s wrist and guide his hand. He isn’t, though, so he presses against the curve of Dean’s head, tilts his head farther back, begs wordlessly for Dean to mark Castiel his.

Dean’s breath catches, and Castiel thinks yes and please and more. Tomorrow he’ll wake up and watch the shifting pattern of Dean on his skin as he shaves and remember this moment and the way Dean touched him. He’ll shave and dress and cover the mark with his collar and no one, not a single soul on this earth besides himself and Dean, will know.

Lips firm, tongue slick, Dean moves down to suck quick kisses to Castiel’s throat. He’s almost where Castiel wants him, almost at that sweet spot meant for hiding secrets and the things they do in the dark, and then he’s bypassing it, moving lower past the collar of Castiel’s t-shirt and onto his chest. It’s not what Castiel expected, but Dean’s mouth is warm through the cotton and his touch is distracting and Castiel will take whatever Dean wants to give.

In the dark, Dean finds a nipple and Castiel moans. Dean grins—Castiel can feel the rounded edges of it—and says, “Yeah, I had a feeling you’d like that.”

If those are the types of feelings Dean has, Castiel thinks they’d do well to run on his instinct alone. It’s gotten them here, after all, taken them from confessional to car, dark spaces meant for lowered voices and hushed tones, their secrets hidden by wood and cloth, metal and vinyl.

Dean continues downward, trailing kisses, his nose tickles at Castiel’s breastbone and then his stomach. It isn’t until Dean is pushing him back toward the passenger door that Castiel realizes Dean’s intent.

“Dean.”

Eyes green as Eden look up at him from the vicinity of his waist, but Dean doesn’t say a word. His breath ghosts hotly over Castiel’s still covered skin and Castiel’s hips twitch in response, an involuntary action that forces a flush to bloom across Castiel’s cheeks. It makes Dean smirk.

“Has anyone ever done this for you, Father?”

Stupidly, Castiel’s heart drops at the use of his title and he can’t help wondering, again, if that’s what’s really important to Dean; the debauching of a priest, the sullying of the cloth. He’s not sure even that could make him push Dean away.

“Castiel.” Dean leans in to nose at Castiel’s erection, pressing a teasing kiss to the upward curve of it. “Has anyone ever done this for you?”

He cannot speak over the lump in his throat, the sudden tide of emotion that fills him at Dean’s question, the intimate reuse of his name. He shakes his head, though, because no, no one’s ever touched him there, like that. He’d never gotten that far or risked that much before he chose the path of celibacy. The one that, ironically, has led him here and now.

“Tell me, Castiel. Say it out loud. That I’m the first to get on his knees for you.”

Dean isn’t on his knees, but Castiel isn’t going to point that out. It isn’t what Dean means anyway, not really. Licking his lips, he nods, caught by the look in Dean’s eyes, the clench of Dean’s hands. “You’re the first, Dean,” he says. “In all things, you’re the first.”

Like a marionette whose strings have been cut, Dean slumps against him with a rumbling groan. “Fuck, Cas.”

The nickname tumbles from his lips easily, slipping past on a breath, and Castiel trembles at the simple intimacy of it. No one’s called him Cas for years. It’s always Castiel now. Or Father. Sometimes Cassie at family reunions, used by his older brothers to knock him down a peg. But never Cas, not anymore.

He’s missed it

Fingernails scritching at the back of Dean’s head, Castiel pulls at him. He’s desperate for more, the core of his very being vibrating with a need that’s focused on the man pressed so intimately against him. It isn’t close enough, though, not at all. The thin fabric of their clothing leaves too much space between them and all Castiel wants is skin on skin, the slick-sweet feel of Dean’s mouth.

“Dean,” he says. “Dean, please. I want you to—I need—” He can’t quite say it. The words are there in the cradle of his throat, stuck on his tongue; they want to be said, to be birthed into the night air, but Castiel cannot quite push them through. He doesn’t have the experience Dean has or the bravado to say what he wants now that he’s here on the precipice looking down at the fall.

“I know what you need.” Dean nuzzles Castiel’s stomach, lips hot and damp even through Castiel’s t-shirt. His fingers slip beneath the hem of the shirt, teasing against Castiel’s skin as he pushes the fabric out of the way. Bending his head, Dean presses a kiss to Castiel’s stomach, another to the left of his navel. Castiel shivers, fingers flexing against Dean’s head, and Dean’s tongue flickers out briefly to dip inside, hot and wet and firm.

God, Castiel wants to gasp. God, he wants to say. He doesn’t, though; he can’t. He knows now why people want to, what forces that name from their lips so easily in the midst of such need, but he can’t. Instead, he shifts against the leather of the seat, lifting his hips in Dean’s direction in a silent plea for more.

Even without words, Dean hears him, answers Castiel’s unvoiced prayers with fingers intent on the button of his jeans, popping them open before lowering the zipper. The sound is loud in the confines of the car, joining the escalating sound of their labored breathing, and Castiel can’t help the moan that rises from deep within when he looks down and sees Dean between his thighs, contemplating the rise of Castiel’s cock through the cotton of his underwear. That gets Dean’s attention and he looks up, his eyes hooded and his lips twitching into something that isn’t quite a smirk and isn’t quite a smile, but something in between, hot and secretive. Without breaking eye contact, he leans down and brushes his mouth against Castiel, parts his lips and mouths at him, saliva soaking through the already damp fabric.

Castiel’s toes curl in his shoes, all of his muscles contracting in anticipation of what’s to come. It’s never happened before, not to him personally, but Castiel knows what happens next. There’s a difference between being naïve and being inexperienced; Castiel may be the latter, but he is not the former. He knows what men and women do together, with members of their own sex or the opposite, just as he knows what they do alone. He’s done it himself, given into the temptation to touch, to close his eyes and imagine. He’d thought those days were behind him and that he was moving into that period of his life he’d heard of where sexual needs would dissipate as his spiritual fulfillment gained momentum.

But then Dean came along. Dean had entered his church, his confessional, and spoken those wicked words in that voice of his. He’d crept under Castiel’s skin, into his body and mind and—

Dean’s fingernails graze the tender skin of Castiel’s stomach, tracing the waistband of his underwear. “You seem like you’re thinking pretty hard there, Cas,” Dean says, nuzzling at Castiel’s cock. “Don’t.” He finds the head of it and sucks at it through the cotton; Castiel’s hips buck involuntarily.

“Yeah,” Castiel replies. “Yeah, okay.” He can feel the hard curve of Dean’s teeth, the fullness of his bottom lip going tight as Dean smiles against him before his fingers make their way downward and into the opening at the front of Castiel’s underwear. Their tips brush skin and Castiel has to force himself still when all he wants is to reach down and force Dean’s hand faster, encourage firmness where Dean is too soft, surety where Dean is teasing. He doesn’t, though; he breathes deep and holds steady as Dean’s fingers map the length of him, detouring around the head to slip through the precome beading at the slit. Castiel gasps, his held breath pouring out of him in a rush, and Dean’s fingers do it again, circling around and around until Castiel’s chest is rising and falling rapidly, his heart gone staccato behind his ribs.

Sighing, Dean leans up to fit his mouth against Castiel’s half-open one and suck at his bottom lip. He pulls it between his teeth and bites down, the slice of pain jolting through Castiel’s body and down to his balls. He clutches at Dean, fingers desperate, body wanting, and Dean moans. “Fuck, Cas. I knew you’d be like this, all eager and hot.”

Castiel nods, his hips rocking up and into Dean as his hands slide from Dean’s hair to his neck, his shoulders. Down his back. He wants to touch everywhere, to be touched everywhere. So many years of nothing and now this, now Dean before him like a gift from God, perfect and profane and utterly unexpected. “Dean.”

With a growl, Dean crowds him back against the seat and the door and Castiel doesn’t care that the handle is digging into his side or that his jeans are pinching his thigh because Dean’s tongue is in his mouth, flirting with his molars, and Dean’s fingers are fitting themselves around his cock, four bands of rough heat as he thumbs at the head. Castiel’s fingers tighten on him, his body arching into Dean’s grip, mouth opening wide to take and take and be taken. It lasts for eternity and the blink of an eye and then Dean’s mouth and tongue are gone, leaving Castiel gasping open-mouthed and shocked and longing until Dean’s bent back over his lap, fitting his lips around the tip of Castiel’s cock and sucking him in, sucking him down, pulling a noise from Castiel’s wide open throat that sounds like damnation and feels like redemption.

Castiel didn’t know, he didn’t know. All of those years, he didn’t know he was seeking revelation; he finds it now in the clutching heat of Dean’s mouth and the shameless cradle of his tongue. Dean pulls him in and holds him down, takes Castiel apart as easily and surely here in the dim front seat of his car as he did in the confessional with his words. There are no words now, none that Castiel knows—in English or Latin, new or old—to describe the way he feels. Dean can tell him what he’ll do, describe to him how it will feel, and Castiel can do the same, but it will never really be this. It will never really be Dean’s mouth opening around Castiel’s cock, lips full and teeth hidden, tongue depressed. The tight, wet-heat of him will be lost in translation, the vibration of each hum and the gust of each breath forfeited for the stark economy of words, sensations stripped to syllables, consonants and vowels that do not caress Castiel’s skin the way Dean’s palms and fingertips do.
¬
How he’ll go back to living when such a thing exists in the world outside of his reach, Castiel cannot contemplate. Those thoughts he’ll save for later, sometime when Dean is not bent before him like a supplicant before the altar, neck vulnerable and shoulders rounded.

Dean moves beneath Castiel’s hands, his mouth slipping hot and tight farther down the shaft of Castiel’s cock until each of Dean’s fingers wrapped around him loosen and leave to accommodate Dean’s generous lips and slick tongue. Castiel shivers, shifting in an attempt to make room. It pushes his cock deeper and Dean pauses, goes completely still against him until Castiel is sure he’s going to pull away, his mind changed. They stay like that for an impossible second, preserved in the front seat like a moth in amber, and then Dean’s humming, groaning, his throat working against the head until he’s swallowing Castiel down, greedy-mouthed.

Fuck,” Castiel swears, surprised and grateful, so close to the edge of a drop he cannot see the bottom of. He is not afraid, though; his course is set and while his path may not be clear—not with Dean’s intersecting it, criss-crossing Castiel’s like the patterns on the confessional screen—he is ready for it.

Pulling off with an obscene sound that will haunt Castiel’s fantasies, interspersed and integrated with those instances where Dean talked Castiel’s blood to the boiling point, Dean breathes harshly and wraps his fingers around Castiel’s cock again. “Jesus, Cas,” he says, voice more deep and rough—used, Castiel thinks—than before. “You’re perfect. You’re goddamn perfect. Fuck.”

Dean has it wrong, backward; Castiel is far from perfect. He’s human and fallible and falling so fast now, tumbling through the atmosphere at a million miles an hour. A meteor with no safe place to land.

“Dean,” he gasps. His throat is dry, so he swallows and repeats it. He likes the sound of it. Repeats it again. And again. And again. Dean. Dean. Dean. A chant, a mantra, a single-syllable beat in the middle of nothing and nowhere.

Dean.

Cas,” Dean breathes. “Castiel. Yeah, yeah, I’m here. Come on,” he says. “I’m here.”

The return of his mouth is like coming home and Castiel throws his head back with a shout. He’s dimly aware of the thud it makes against the window, but doesn’t care because he’s coming, dear God in Heaven, he’s coming. Flashing in the dark, lights explode behind his eyelids, the Fourth of July in miniature as his entire body convulses, his senses overtaken by this single action.

Dean’s lips and tongue work against him, coax him from one state to another, and Castiel is transubstantiated.

He doesn’t know what he is anymore; priest or parishioner, sinner or saint, saved or damned. But there’s something in Dean that calls to him, something bright and hot and Castiel’s willing to risk burns for the opportunity to touch and sacrifice sight for the chance to look and see and be seen.

Dean’s teeth graze his shaft and Castiel hisses, his hips jerking. One hand on Castiel’s thigh and one on his hip, Dean levers himself up and blinks at him in the pale glow of the streetlight. “Sorry,” he says, the corners of his mouth sheepish.

Shaking his head, Castiel drags him forward until Dean’s lips are brushing his, that mouth reverting to wickedness as Castiel licks inside, tastes himself like holy wine on Dean’s tongue. He feels powerful, fingers and tongue sure, purpose clear as the world’s span remains narrowed to Dean and this car, this parking lot, nothing but the two of them, sacred and profane both. He kisses Dean thoroughly and Dean responds in kind, hands clutching at Castiel as Dean’s mouth opens wide, welcoming him in. Tongues move together in a small-scale reproduction of the actions Castiel would like to take, the places he would like to see himself with Dean, unclothed and uncollared, naked and bared for some purpose purely his own and Dean’s.

He could have that, he could. Changes in position could lead to all manner things, changes in location even more, and Castiel wants it. He wants to see Dean spread against soft sheets, skin bared for Castiel’s curious fingers and mouth. He wants to see Dean in all of his glory and, oh, it will be glorious. The shape of the muscles beneath Castiel’s hands make him certain that the man before him was meant to be touched and tasted and seen, a golden idol made of human flesh that makes Castiel want to get down on his knees and worship. He’ll risk the smiting.

Dean’s hair slips against Castiel’s fingers and Castiel tugs at the short strands once before he lets go to work a hand between them. The first touch of his fingers to Dean’s denim covered cock makes Dean gasp, the second makes him moan. Castiel grins into the kiss, feels high-flying and free at the thought that this is his doing, his and no one else’s. Hand moving lower, he palms Dean’s cock and Dean’s hips jerk, pressing forward into him as Dean’s mouth moves back.

“Cas,” Dean breathes. “Oh fuck, Cas.”

The tone of his voice, the way it wavers on the sibilant, sends shivers racing across Castiel’s skin. He moves his hand, fingers exploring the length of Dean, the breadth. It makes his heart thud and his blood hot and Castiel only came moments ago but he thinks he could again, that his body is ready if he is willing. He wants skin on skin, though, wants to feel Dean’s cock against his palm, beneath his fingers. To make Dean come with the same bursting stars behind his eyes before he tastes that high again. Shifting until he finds the button on Dean’s jeans, Castiel twists his wrist in an attempt to get it open. He manages, finally, and is lowering the zipper when Dean stops him, fingers tight around Castiel’s wrist.

“Dean?”

Dean blinks at him. His eyes are soft and unfocused, pupils wide and deep, greedy for all of the light they can leech from the night. His lips are more full than usual, bitten and plump, pink and slick with their mixed saliva. Looking at those lips, Castiel can’t help but think of how they were wrapped around his cock not so long ago, wrapped tight and perfect in ways Castiel could not conceive of an hour ago. Those lips purse as Castiel watches them, Dean swallowing, and then Dean’s tongue sweeps out over the bottom.

“I don’t—You shouldn’t—” Dean swallows again; Castiel can see the bob of his Adam’s apple, the shadows changing over his stubbled skin.

“What?” he asks. “Don’t you want—” He gets it then, or thinks he might. Either Dean doesn’t want him—which doesn’t bear thinking about—or Dean doesn’t want to…sully him, pull him down into the dirt. As though what they just did was something that counted less on Castiel’s mortal soul. “I want to, Dean.”

Groaning, Dean’s fingers squeeze around Castiel’s wrist and his eyes clench shut. “I—God. God.” His eyes fly back open. “Shit,” he says. “Shit, Cas, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—”

Castiel blinks at him, lost for a moment before Dean’s words sink in. He laughs, the sound bubbling up and out of him like clear water at a spring. “Dean.” He leans forward until their foreheads are touching, noses brushing. “Taking the Lord’s name in vain is minor compared to what we just did.”

Dean stares, his green eyes glazed, and then his mouth slips into a rueful smile, then a full grin. It lights up the front seat. “Yeah,” he says, a chuckle rolling out of him. “Yeah, I guess that’s really nothing.” He sits back, pulling out of Castiel’s grip, and settles behind the wheel, legs splayed as he finishes lowering his zipper. Castiel watches him and wants to reach out and touch, stilling Dean’s hands with firm fingers that mean, no, let me.

He doesn’t. He waits, eyes as greedy as his hands are for Dean’s bare skin.

Hooded eyes glance at Castiel, Dean’s eyelashes limned in the light coming through the windows. Castiel’s skin tingles and his breath catches and his eyes dip from Dean’s face—Dean’s otherworldly face—to Dean’s hands where they’re pushing fabric out of the way. The tips of Dean’s fingers disappear in the dark vee formed by the opening of his jeans and when they reappear, they’re cradling the leaking head of his hard cock.

God.

Castiel swallows, his mouth watering, and cannot look away.

Dean’s hips shift against the leather, his thighs slipping as he traces the length of the shaft with teasing fingers—teasing himself or Castiel more, it’s hard to tell—before he sweeps a thumb over the head, shining the skin with precome. The sharp smell of sex and Dean fills the air and Castiel licks his lips; he wants to know what Dean tastes like, what he feels like against Castiel’s tongue, gliding between his lips. To make Dean feel as good as Dean made him.

Fingers wrapping around his cock, Dean groans. The sound pulls Castiel’s eyes upward, away from the hard curve of Dean’s erection and back to his face. His eyes are closed again, his sweet bottom lip caught between teeth that glint white. Castiel sighs, and Dean’s eyes slide open, finding Castiel’s unerringly in the dim light, making Castiel’s breath catch.

“Cas,” Dean says, more of a whisper of sound than anything substantial, a slip of air vibrating vocal cords.

This will be Castiel’s undoing. This man with his golden skin and green eyes, the freckles that make him seem young and the mouth that makes him seem wicked; his words and his voice and the way he knows Castiel, instinctively. This man will be what he falls for, Castiel can feel it. The realization is huge, shocking in its certainty, but Castiel is not afraid. Castiel knows what he wants; he can see the path before him, treacherous, perhaps, but not impossible. His choices are clear.

Not breaking contact, he reaches for Dean, fingers brushing the back of his hand. The touch itself is innocent, though the intent is anything but, and Dean’s eyelids flutter, the tendons in his hands shifting. Slowly, Castiel covers Dean’s hand with his own, fingers moving over Dean’s, fitting themselves between them like pieces of a jigsaw when Dean’s grip changes.

“Yes,” he says. “Cas.”

Castiel looks away then, down to their hands where their fingers twine together, where Dean’s cock is smooth against his fingertips, tantalizingly so. He removes his hand and Dean whimpers, but it’s only to nudge Dean out of the way, only to make room for himself. Castiel wants to do this on his own, nothing between them but air and the sound of their breath mingling.

He wraps his hand around Dean’s cock and Dean groans, fingers tightening against his stomach where he holds his shirt out of the way. A smile tugs at the corners of Castiel’s mouth and he adjusts his grip, palm and fingers settling. Dean’s skin is hot to the touch, sticky with sweat and precome, and Castiel straightens his thumb, echoing Dean’s movement across the head from earlier. Dean trembles in response and his breathing shivers. His newly free hand presses against his thigh, the heel of it digging in, and Castiel’s smile blooms full-force. He has power here, but he wants more.

Moving closer, Castiel sweeps his thumb over the head of Dean’s cock again. He watches as Dean’s eyes roll backward and then leans in to find his place between Dean’s parted lips.

If he didn’t have Dean’s attention before, he’s got it now. The hand on Dean’s thigh fists itself in the front of Castiel’s worn t-shirt as Dean’s mouth falls open beneath his. A groan rumbles up through Dean’s chest to resonate in Castiel’s and Castiel is pushing forward, pushing Dean back into the leather of the seat, crowding him there in the Impala until Dean is prone beneath him. Prone and clutching, his hips shifting upward. Castiel flexes his fingers and sucks on Dean’s bottom lip, kisses him as he begins to move his hand.

Dean groans, head turning away from Castiel’s so he can breathe, gasp, “Fuck. Cas. Cas.” It’s the most natural thing in the world, the way his name falls from those lips, like they’ve been saying it for years and not the last twenty minutes. Castiel could get used to this—he wants to get used to this—and that scares him. His heart beats faster and it’s more than the sound of Dean panting beneath him, more than the smell of Dean sharp in the air, the feel of him hot and hard in Castiel’s hand than anything else. This feels good, right, and the only reason Castiel can think of for ever wanting this to end is so that they can begin again, over and over and over.

The collar of Castiel’s shirt digs into the back of his neck, Dean’s fingers clenching and unclenching against his chest. As much as Castiel loves this close view, loves watching the way the light plays over Dean’s face, his eyelids fluttering, eyelashes casting shadows, he needs to see the bigger picture. He needs to see Dean come, watch him reach completion, reach ecstasy, in the ring of Castiel’s fingers. He pulls away and Dean groans, his eyes flashing open.

“Where are you going?”

Castiel shakes his head. “Nowhere.” He hardly recognizes his voice anymore, thicker and deeper than he ever remembers it being. He never sounded like this in the hushed alcoves of the church.

“Then why are you—”

His voice stutters to a halt as Castiel’s thumb slips over the head of his cock, precome smearing. The smell is so sharp, Castiel can practically taste it in the air. He could bend down, kneel over Dean in the sanctuary of the Impala, take Dean into him—this is my body—but he doesn’t. He wants to see. Next time he’ll taste, next time he’ll open up and welcome Dean in even farther than he already has until Dean fills the dark corners incense and candlelight couldn’t reach.

“I want to see you, Dean,” he says. He’s spent so much time not seeing him, so much time locked behind the screen in the confessional, wondering about the man on the other side, wanting to see him and hear him and taste him, touch him. Now that he has his chance, he’s not going to miss it. “I want to see you come for me.”

The pink tip of Dean’s tongue slips over his bottom lip and it glistens in the lamp light. Castiel thinks he knows how Eve felt now, all those eons ago, the flesh of the fruit full and ripe and ready for the taking. All she had to do was reach for it, wrap her hand around it and—

Cas,” Dean gasps, and he’s coming, coming on his stomach, his shirt, Castiel’s fingers. He’s coming and his hips are working and his eyes are wide and dark and locked on Castiel, unwavering, until he gives one final moan and they close, his body spent and twitching.

Castiel’s whole world is in the confines of this car, wrapped in metal and leather. Is this the only way they can come together, in private confines? Dark spaces with little leg room? Where the smell of each of them fills the air until Castiel can’t catch his breath and he feels like he’s running, his heart racing, but he doesn’t know if it’s toward something or away. On the one hand, there’s Dean. Dean. On the other hand, there’s…there’s…

Dean’s come is sticky and cooling on his fingers. Castiel releases him, pulling his hand away and lifting it to his face. For some reason this feels bigger than it is, bigger than what came before. His tongue slips between his lips—take this my body and eat it—and Dean is on his lips, Dean is against his tongue, and there is no coming back from this.

“God, Cas.”

The word, the name, makes Castiel jerk and he glances up at Dean, his eyes wide. Dean’s flushed and his own eyes are heavy, tired. His lips are full and tempting, pink and bitten.

Dean.”

The distance between them disappears in a blink and he’s in Dean’s lap, pressing his body to Dean’s, fitting his mouth to Dean’s. He’ll have come all over his clothes and there will be a world’s worth of guilt on his shoulders later, hours upon hours of self-examination (and then examination of a different nature). He’ll agonize, Castiel knows, and he’ll have to find his way alone in the dark eventually, unable to see whether there is one pair of footprints in the sand after this or not, but for now there is this. For now there is Dean and Castiel is not alone and he has never felt more alive.