Cas feels broken. He has gone through drastic ups and downs and held on with the resilience of the formerly-immortal, but he is human now, permanently, after all the varied stunts he's pulled. And he thinks maybe he's learning the definition of "wit's end."
Angels don't know how to give up on life and stand aside and die. The concept of suicide is foreign to him. He's seen people make themselves die before but he figures it's got to be something like atheism, for example: just something he will never comprehend. He will never know an absence of background noise, will never feel a surety that there is nothing out there in space or time directing the flow of life into chosen planets or folding souls patiently into smaller, weaker images of itself and loving them for being nothing other than there. Foreign like "zoning out" still is to him. Foreign like "comfort food" used to be, though he thinks he's pretty much sussed that one out. When he can't think of anything else to stuff in his insufferable human maw, when he's too exhausted, or not feeling like being creatively human and exploring new tastes, when he wants to not throw up before showering monster entrails from his hair, he wants a Number Eleven From Burger King, Size Large, and he wants it like burning. Really, he wants it like sleep. Wants it like a thick pile of blankets on Bobby's couch. Wants it like the sun-warmed back seat of the Impala.
So, comfort. He gets that.
And all he can think right now is, one: how everything he does is wrong and insufferably human and he can't make it right; and two: all he wants is to be comforted. He doesn't want the burger, except maybe a little. He doesn't want the back seat, except that's because, at the moment, here in the dark, at 65 miles an hour or so, he has the front seat. He doesn't want Bobby's house because that comes with a Sam and a Bobby, other scrutinizing eyes, and that's three days worth of driving anyway.
He has until they meet back up with Sam at the motel and he just doesn't want to be there quite yet. He has no idea what to do. He is tired of this week's mission and he just wants to stop. They never stop. They are never doing anything where they don't have to fight. Fight with the records and research for meanings, fight with the locals to get their stories from them, fight with the creatures to get them to back off, fight with the survivors to get their trust.
And since he's become the functioning third arm of the all-humans all-the-time Winchester hunting machine things have. not. stopped.
He has to be human in their motel time, fragile and learning to care for his basic needs. He has to be former-angel on the car ride to the crime scene, preparing to put away the soldier in him and make nice with the townspeople. He needs to be human before he interviews the victim's family or he's going to freak someone out. He can never be the creature of light and stillness, awe and worship he was once intended to be. He is so alien from what he's known for thousands of years. It was bound to strip him raw some time.
He is potentially, really freaking out right now. He tries to hide it. Winchesters don't show when they're freaked. He doesn't know his control is visibly slipping until Dean spares him a glance from the road.
"You cool Cas?" he turns down the radio after he asks.
Castiel takes a moment to assess. Biologically, he is a little shaky. For this he uses a scale that Dean did not know he established: just like the second time he drank until he passed out, he does as Dean advised and asks himself, 'If I throw up, will I feel better? Would I be better off letting my system reject whatever's bothering it?'
For a minute he can't decide. The roar of the car and the wind is not helping. He reaches and turns the music off all the way. Dean does not normally allow this, except occasionally from Sam. He does glare at Castiel's hands, but the next glance is directly to Cas, just in case he needs more prompting.
"Can we pull over?" is Cas' eventual answer.
Dean does so, just like that. He is frowning, his eyes darting between the short trees and Cas, now. He turns the car all the way off and lets the ticking set in from the cooling engine. Lets the night noise, humming of insects, and fog of dark creep in.
"Cas," he says again, and his right hand leaves the steering column and hovers near Castiel's knee.
For every time Dean has almost touched Castiel it is as if he has planted a seed in his own belly. He feels like he could choke on towering flowers and tall grass by now. He wants, every time it happens, for Dean's fingers to make contact and feel good against him. He knows how it would be and, by now, needs for it.
If he thought it would help, he would move his knee up, into Dean's palm, and savor the slightly damp heat. What he wants is the radiating warmth of Dean's hands on his sides, over his erratic heart and lungs. Dean's hands.
The shush of passing cars is very far away and not very frequent at this time in the early morning. Dean only listens to one other car pass before he begins to speak again. "If you're going to--"
"Have sex with me. Could you please? Just. I need you to."
Dean's hand still hovers there, fingers curling in, now.
"It's simply that I cannot-- It's just I can't feel good right now. I haven't felt good for a while and I only need you, Dean. I just wish you would have sex with me and I could feel good for a while so I don't feel," he searches for a moment, "achy, or alone, or like I break more things than I can fix."
He stares at Dean's hand. He doesn't think this would be an ideal time to look Dean in the eyes for once. He feels kind of in shambles right now and probably this is not something you are supposed to railroad your favorite person, your favorite friend with. The person who ripped apart the establishment to save you from your own major mistakes. He has started to move on to worrying that he's asking way too much when suddenly Dean's warm, blessedly warm palm smoothes down on his leg and is skidding over the denim to the inside of his thigh.
He watches the fingers until they pause there, and then he must look to Dean's face, at last.
Dean looks half-way to the same distance of lost that Castiel has journeyed to. His eyes are concerned and suddenly Cas is struck by the presence of the Righteous Man. It's not as if it's not always there. It's just a little hard to remember when you know there's a Dean who used to rail waitresses in the back rooms of bars and no matter how many people he's saved, he's the same Righteous Man who dripped concentrated habañero into Sam's iced tea two nights ago.
The simple look he has now, the concern in his eyes. That makes Castiel wonder if, step for step, Dean would give up something for Cas were he only to ask for it. He never used to. Castiel once felt very much taken for granted, but one part of becoming fully human that was a gift and not a wound was what it meant to Dean, who loves humanity wherever he finds it. As a human, Castiel is given to almost no doubt about his place in Dean's small family. He has adopted either the Singer or Winchester family names on all his identification and accepted a brother in Sam. It is his exact connection to Dean that he needs to measure. Things don't always even out in this life, but Dean's hand does not shake where it is, inside Cas' knee. There is a subtle grip in the fingers, a slight pull, like, yeah, I can do that Cas, and he's moving across the seat, jamming his leg under the steering wheel and straddling one of Dean's thighs.
Dean's hands move right where Cas wants them to be, flattening over his belly and smoothing over his shirt, up to his chest and he says, "Okay. Okay Cas." Their eyes are locked until Castiel moves his own hands from the seat back to Dean's shoulders. Now Dean is looking at his own hands and moving the one down to the zip of Cas' jeans. He pulls his bottom lip into his mouth for a moment, wets it with his tongue. He opens the jeans but then skids his hands back up Cas' sides, like he knew how to do that, under the shirt, just like Castiel had imagined.
"Okay. We're gonna move Cas. Just-- I can do this, just gimme a second." His hands release the shirt and move to span the sides of Castiel's neck and pull him forward. There is a surety to Dean's hands that Cas is starting to wish for, now. He hasn't moved his own. He wants to hook his fingers into the collar of Dean's shirt or shove the tips into his chest and clear out the congestion and the cobwebs and the age and give Dean ten more lifetimes to live.
Dean presses his lips to Castiel's and Cas sort of thinks, 'oh shit, first kiss,' and tunes back in to the atmosphere, expecting to find it electric with their newness or awkward because they've never done this, him and him. Nothing applies, though. Dean's hands are comforting him.
Dean is comforting him. Dean is giving him the thing he needed.
And so he gives all his breath to the kiss and presses in. His knee slots into Dean's warm crotch and his fingers grip his jacket. They kiss. It's for a while. And the only change comes when Dean lowers his hands to skim the soft shirt from his surface. He takes Cas' shirt off him and hugs him back in by the middle, arms around his torso.
Castiel had every intention of making the kiss right, learning from it. That is his main focus at the moment, but the first-kiss stress melts quickly from it and all Dean is doing is letting him taste. When Cas gives up dominance of the kiss, Dean uses his teeth on his lips. When Dean uses his tongue on Castiel's teeth, fingertips clamping into the muscles of Cas' lower back, Cas suddenly has his first erection with another person doing the active erecting.
He knows Dean notices because Dean breathes, "oh shit," which was what Cas was thinking, and starts moving Cas' body away from his. Cas does not release his death grip on Dean's clothes. He doesn't know where to move and just barely allows Dean to lay him back across the seats. Dean moves over him, keeps a hand on his head to keep him from slamming it into the door, and then makes room for himself between Castiel's knees.
He hauls one of Cas' legs over the back of his own and descends over him, pressing their bodies into a pretty close alignment, bone for bone. He turns Castiel's head just so and practically dives down his mouth, keeps going until Cas' hands forget what they were doing.
Dean does this for a while. He unwinds Castiel's body, part by part. Cas' hand ends up in Dean's hair, the other just curls up under Dean's jackets, above his shirt, stroking. He is pressed down into the seat until he breathes deep and even. His belly turns over from the flash-pop of newness, panic, sexual excitement, and into the roll of pleasure that Dean's trying to breathe into him. There is the easy weight of Dean between his legs, the comforting press of their groins still warm in their clothes. Only his thighs left tensing and un-tensing, no doubt played exactly as Dean wants them. They're making out and it's wonderful. They're humping a little and each shove comes firmer, surer than the last.
Cas hitches his leg up a little more, hooking Dean down to him further and grinds up a little more. Dean's lips leave his to gasp, "Fuck, honey, god," and then he moves his hands from Cas' neck, replacing fingers with lips. His hands fall down Castiel's sides and caress warmly where he needs them all over again. He gently unwinds Cas' arm from around him, diverts his lips to kiss the palm, down his arm, and shuck his own shirt and jacket at the same time.
A little breeze rushes between their two torsos and Dean blindly fumbles above Castiel's head to roll up the window while pressing his tongue over Cas' chest, nipple, ribs.
"Shhii-- DEAN. Deannnnmmmm," and he feels a smile, right there on his flesh, because Dean found the button and he damn well knows it. He slides down a little, pulls Cas' legs all around himself, then absolutely lets loose, tonguing, biting, sucking kisses to Castiel's stomach, ribs, hips, sides. Each press of mouth draws a louder, less linguistic sound out of Cas until he has no idea what he was doing keeping his mouth shut in the first place. He's deaf to his own pleading bursts of raw consonants, doesn't know they're like an audible roadmap to his body. Eventually he's just breathing heavily, tiny moans linger in his throat, and if he tunes in for too long he sounds seriously stupid. When he's got enough brains to tune back in, to calm back down, Dean's already picked up on that, and is moving on, drawing his jeans open, kissing to the hair line, pulling out wilder sounds from within Castiel. Self-consciousness simply drains away.
He keens Dean's name again and Dean is drawn back up, to kiss him firmly on the mouth and untangle Cas' fingers from his hair.
"I'm not sure what you want," Dean says, eye to eye with him. Then he squints a bit. "Really, I'm not sure if you know how much you want, either. You pay attention, Cas, okay? Tell me where to stop."
"Don't stop," says Cas, nearly slurring.
"Yeah. Yeah, but, Cas just," he kisses him lightly for a moment, "you know how you just showed me? You liked it so much you stopped being quiet, you just let go? When it's that good again, just go with it. Don't let me push you further than you wanna go. Okay? And if you need more, you tell me." He starts rocking into Cas' crotch again, wriggles some, lines them up again, and shoves.
"Mmnn," Cas nods, and pulls Dean's lips down to his again.
Dean breathes more words into his mouth, more reassurance, probably, but he is reassured, he's good, and he could not possibly approve more of the hand that Dean's wedging between them, moving the last layers of clothing, pressing their flesh together between them, cock beside cock.
He feels more moaning ripping out of his throat. It grows in pitch the more pressure Dean places down on him and, really, that's not enough.
He breaks away from Dean's mouth. "Your hands," he says, once he has enough air to.
Dean takes his hands from Cas' hips. One moves to his neck, their mouths colliding again, one to gather together their cocks and stroke, This takes all the noise out of him, every moan, whine, evaporated. Dean's lips let go, hover over his. Their heads press together and they both rock into his palm.
"Yes," Cas just says, "Dean, yes. Yes." Then he is coming between them, then gasping for air. He barely hears Dean's half-shout over the white noise of orgasm, but he follows, very soon after, and in more of a loose, luxuriant fashion than Cas.
Dean squeezes them together a few final times, sucks a deep, long kiss into Castiel's neck until they are both twitching a bit from being over-sensitized. Cas' final moan just slips from his throat, low and sad, and Dean presses him down again, all his weight on top of Castiel, kissing up to his cheek slowly.
"Sweet when you come, Cas. Your whole body. Wish I could make you come again," and he kisses Castiel once more, lips only, as if hopeful.
"You do?" Cas kind of whispers.
"Cas. I mean. Unless you just wanted this, this once. I mean, you're not alone. You made this, just, really good, okay?" Dean inhales deeply, trying to bring his breathing down from staccato. "You don't fuck everything up. I don't know what you're dealing with right now. You don't haveta tell me. But, this? Whenever you want it. Just. Wanted you to know."
Cas untangles this for a moment, feels hazy, feels Dean gently release them both and move them around, to sit and pull Cas to his chest. He watches Dean pick up his shirt to wipe them off, wipe his hand. And Dean carefully rearranges their jeans, but stops short of zipping them.
Cas folds into Dean, close as he can. "I'm better. I think." Cas says. His mind is quieter, his body no longer in sickening knots. Dean just saying these things, these little things, makes him feel miles better. "You shouldn't just give this to me, Dean." He seeks out Dean's eyes in the dark. "I want to be able to make you feel better. If not this good."
He feels Dean's head move in a negative. "I'm fine. I've got Sam. Got my family, got you, got hunting. The offer stands, Cas. When you need me, you should ask."
It sounds like he stopped himself. Dean doesn't complete the thought. Instead he says, "it's just, you have it pretty hard right now. I get it, you know. I spent forty years being something else and it was hard enough to come back to being me after all that time. It was unbelievable. You were an angel for a long time, so I kind of get it. We'll help you, you know."
"I'm not about to slow you down, Dean," Cas says. "I suppose I could have gone and done anything with this life. You don't have to make room for me in yours. You would not normally give this. You should not have to give me things." he moves away, separates them, but looks for Dean's attention. "You've given everyone enough."
Dean is silent. It is unclear if he fully understands Castiel. He stares through the slightly foggy front window and considers for a minute. Cas absorbs the silence until it's sliced through by the sound of another distant car. He reaches around and palms the other side of Dean's head, bringing him forward. He kisses Dean's face, next to his eye and thanks him.
Dean purses his lips when Cas retreats to the other side of the car, but it's hard enough to say what he already said, hard enough to give that much away. He watches Cas straighten his clothes in his peripheral for a moment before he zips his own jeans and pulls his jacket back on, closing it across his front. Dean starts the car.
"I have one more thing to say," Dean says. He parks the Impala and turns off the headlights, twists the keys. They are in the very dark, very near-quiet again, in front of the motel. Almost like it used to be, Castiel's attention is focused on Dean.
"Was I just," he licks his lips, "in the right place at the right time?"
Cas considers this. "I don't understand."
Dean restlessly draws his knee up on the seat and turns to reciprocate Castiel's full attention, still almost as unblinking as it used to be, but wary now.
"You can't— you shouldn't just give that away, either. You know that, right? Cas, you're not some," Dean swirls a hand, looking for a word analogous to himself other than maybe 'manwhore.' "Some, common, everyday chump, Cas. I'm not—" Dean closes his eyes and huffs a breath, losing patience with himself. There's no way not to make this sound massively possessive, so he just says it. "I don't want you just getting sex from anyone."
He opens his eyes and Cas' face is either as blank or as dubious as he thought it would be. He doesn't have the patience to figure it out, he just needs to say:
"Like, hey, I was there, you wanted it, you know I can do it, so I did," Dean babbles, "but it's easy to give touch, sex, mind-rocking distraction to someone else, Cas. You should let me do this because I want to do this. I mean. Yeah. Shit." Dean actually shakes his own hands around between them. "We just did this backwards, is all I'm saying!"
"Backwards?" Cas repeats.
For fuck's sake.
"You were supposed to ask me if we could hold hands first and make out first and be together forever first, goddamnit," he says in a rush. "I was waiting for the, like, lovesick teenager phase first, I didn't expect you to need sex first!"
Cas squints at him. "You had all the souls in purgatory violently expelled from my head, Dean, and now I have to eat and pee and sleep. All of which you and Sam had to teach me to do. I skip over things when you don't tell me I need them. So, that was probably one of them."
"Ah. Okay. Oh, okay. Fine, then," Dean points at him, stabs the air. "You need to find yourself a nice girl— person, guy, person, whatever— and that's how you do it, Cas. When you need sex from them, or comfort from them, or to be put back together. You have them and then you ask them."
"But I have you."
Dean's hands drop to his lap.
"Well, yeah. Well, I mean, if you want. We could. If you're not already fixed, or however you were saying. If you didn't just already get what you wanted. Just now."
Cas considers and nods once, slowly. "I did that in the wrong order. I apologize for making you uncomfortable."
Dean's jaw drops open, because, okay, no, not at all. Before he can start to protest, though, Cas has his hands out in front of him, a calming gesture, just wait.
"But it was what I wanted and what I needed. I think it best to request physical contact and human comfort from only you. You have a zealous compulsion to protect some people and I am glad to be among them. Also, I understand monogamy, but did not expect you to be interested in the concept with me, in particular."
"You make it all sound so fucking academic," Dean says.
"You make it all sound flippant until you can't control yourself. Then you just sound confused."
"I'm not confused," Dean is affronted.
"I said you sounded confused."
"I don't want you fucking other guys!" Dean basically yells.
"ARE YOU KIDDING ME. No one else is touching you, Cas, I saw you first. You want orgasms, you're coming to me. That clear?"
"And I can hold your hand, then?"
Oh, no. Oh, see, no. Because he's not getting made fun of by the 2000-year-old virgin.
"Like hell," Dean sputters.
Cas loses it, full-on, nose-crinkling smile, bursting into a chaotic fit of laughter, way too loud for a motel parking lot in the pre-dawn.
Dean plants his face in his palm and attempts not to succumb because he'd only be laughing at himself, then Cas snorts as he's attempting to breathe through it and that only makes him laugh harder, which sets Dean off.
Cas eventually peels Dean's hand off his face and moves to hover in his atmosphere, laughing at him and kissing his mouth, hanging on to his fingers.
"I had hoped you wanted me. Honestly, Dean," Cas whispers as they sober, "but I was not going to burden you with it. Being male, being your friend. Being the... the enemy you had to stop once. You have become a comfort to me and I wish that you would want to keep me, but I thought to take whatever was ultimately offered."
Dean only watches Cas' lips before he leans forward to cover them this time.
"Thank you. For dealing with me so well. All the time, when I don't know how to be human. You don't have to do this, Dean."
"Want to," is all Dean says, no whispering, full volume. "There have been enough times I haven't stood by you, Cas." He covers both of Castiel's ears with his palms and pulls him forward. Cas' fingers cling to Dean's jacket. "You just hang on. I can do this for you."