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give me your vertical
your horizontal lines
i want to take each of them
and bend them to fit mine



"... you wanna what, now?" Dean asks, because he definitely didn't hear that right.

Castiel tilts his head, a leftover tick from his angel days that Dean would be lying if he claimed to find anything but idiotically endearing. He knows this is his own fault, owing to that rather memorable moment a week ago when Castiel wandered into this very same kitchen with a (fairly) legitimate question and Dean just didn't know when to shut up.


+


"And that's my cue," Sam says, dragging out the vowel. He's a little hoarse after nearly choking on and finally swallowing the last bite of his burger. Dean can sympathize; if he hadn't already swallowed that last swig of beer, it would be all over the table.

Sam stands up to leave and Dean already knows he'll lose this argument, but certainty of failure has never stopped him from fighting before. "Why is this shit automatically my responsibility?"

"Hey, you're the one that has a profound bond," Sam quips back, wearing a smirk that acts like a magnet for Dean's fist. "Your angel, your duty."

"Ex-angel!" Dean yells after him, not even bothering to correct the other bit. He immediately feels guilty when he looks at Cas, who seems unbothered but is still patiently awaiting an answer to his question. With Sam fled, Dean has no other distraction to delay the inevitable, so he sets about it the same way he sets to taking off a bandaid in a sensitive area — looking for any alternative before just ripping it off.

"What the hell, Cas? Why do you even," he cuts himself off before he says care, because of course Cas cares. He was dangerously curious before, but now that he's human, he's a constant fountain of questions about random banalities that most people figure out in the course of... well, growing up. But Cas didn't grow up, Cas was just sprung into existence or crafted from cosmic godly intent or who knows what. He knows about loyalty and battlefield logistics and how to transcend alternate dimensions, but flutters with uncertainty if you ask him if he wants fries with his burger. "Look, where is this even coming from? Did Kevin let you onto the internet again?"

"I understand some that bodily functions are necessary, however unpleasant, to maintain these vessels in working order." Dean really hopes this isn't a precursor to repeat the poop conversation, and groans when Cas continues with, "And it is perfectly logical that the body needs sleep to rest and heal, and to eat in order to produce energy and to eliminate waste. What I do not understand is its need to — " he pauses, but not in hesitation, Dean knows better; human Cas has the same concept of shame and embarrassment as angel Cas, which is basically none whatsoever, " — to constantly urge itself to reproduce. Perhaps for species that are under constant threat of extinction, or those that have objectively short lifespans, but human beings are so overly populated at this stage of their evolution that it seems counterproductive."

"Urge itself to — " and Dean stops, clamps his mouth shut because no, they're not going to have this conversation, not now and not ever. "Jesus Christ, Cas. I'm having flashbacks about the goddamn pizza man."

"The purpose of pornography also eludes me," Cas barrels on, because apparently they are having this conversation, whether Dean wants to or not. "My body has already made its desire for sexual intercourse apparent. Why do humans require more encouragement? I'm frankly shocked that you're all not perpetually copulating."

Dean opens his mouth, but that's about as far as he gets — it's cool, though, because Cas isn't finished. "When extraterrestrials do get around to stopping by this planet and scan your information clouds and satellites, I wouldn't be surprised if they came to the same conclusion. Humans copulate to a degree that is frankly terrifying. Do you know that over thirty percent of the internet is made up of pornography?" Dean continues to gape, but it must be rhetorical because Cas keeps ranting. "If you devoted even half of that energy into medical research or astrophysics you'd have cured cancer, among other things, and achieved intergalactic space travel. Do you have any idea what that would do for your race? Just to start, there would be no poverty, no genocide, and the average lifespan would double."

Cas stops and just glares at Dean — whose mouth is beginning to go dry from hanging open — like this is somehow his fault. The what do you have to say for yourself? is implied, but still, what the fuck? "Uh," Dean starts, and clears his throat. "Look, that's — what, aliens, like, are they actually a thing?"

Cas rolls his eyes so hard that Dean's actually kind of impressed. "My point, Dean, is that the goal of the exercise is to reproduce. To create more. Do you have any idea how many children are in need of homes? Of how many of them — of adults, even — are starving because — "

"Cas," Dean says, and he doesn't remember standing up, but he's in front of Cas now, has him by the shoulders, and gives him a little shake until Cas shuts up and looks him in the eye. "Buddy, just. Take a breath, all right?"

Cas does, and sags in his grip. "I'm sorry. I realize it's not quite as simple as — it's just — frustrating."

"Yeah, I got that much," Dean says. He removes his hands, but not before giving Cas a reassuring pat. "Let's, uh, circle back to," he closes his eyes, swallows, and plows on, "back to the original issue, here. Which was, uh... "

"Why people have so much sex," Cas supplies, deadpan. "Or more specifically, why do your bodies insist on seducing you into copulation when it's completely unnecessary? And messy," he adds, and Cas having afterthoughts is just the cherry on Dean's shit sundae of a day.

"All right, I get where you're — well, no, I don't," Dean admits, and tries again. "There's more to it than that? I can't — don't look at me like that," Dean says. He seats his ass on the edge of the table and folds his arms, meets Cas glare for glare. "This is a weird fucking conversation, okay?"

"Sex is weird in general," Cas mutters, and Dean isn't sure if he's supposed to hear it, but he snorts and Cas bristles. "I understand the point of it, I'm just — there are much easier ways to reproduce. Less confounding ways."

"Yeah, well," Dean shrugs and glances up (anytime you want to pitch in, boss) before looking back down. Cas is pacing, which is actually weirder than the topic at hand. "If it was all just about making babies, half the porn wouldn't be gay, so," and, yeah, that just came flying right out of his mouth without warning and it's probably already too late to put the lid back on that can of worms.

Cas stops pacing and for a hot second Dean thinks it's because Cas is about to start another tangent about something else and completely glaze over the — "I haven't watched any homosexual pornography," Cas says, looking contemplative. "Perhaps I need to do more research."

Oh, fuck me. "Uhh, sure. I mean, whatever ruffles your feathers, man."

Cas does look at him then. "I don't have feathers anymore, Dean."

Asshole. Dean winces. "Tosses your salad," he tries, and immediately wants to hit himself in the face. "Or, you know, flies your flag. I mean, hell, we're in Kansas, but uh, no judgements here, right?"

Cas continues to stare at him. It's just a different sort of stare, now. "God is utterly indifferent to sexual orientation, it wasn't just my own conviction," he says. "The only thing I understand less about sex is why you — considering how much of it you engage in — seem so uncomfortable about it. It may be complicated and inefficient and downright disgusting, but it's a natural function, much like defeca — "

"Hey, whoa — I'm gonna stop you right there, Cas, just." Dean sighs, scrubs a hand over his face, and tenses, because this is the part where the bandaid comes off. "It's not just about the, y'know, buns in the oven. I mean, I guess it is, for animals and shit, but," there's about eight different versions of whatever he's trying to say all jostling to get out of his mouth, and it's causing a traffic jam somewhere between his brain and his voice. Dean braces both his hands on the table and fuck it, it's Cas, right? He's going to have to find out sooner or later, and Dean'll be damned if random internet porn and a rapey reaper are the only education he gets on this.

"I mean, it's the same reason people get married, right? Or — they may as well be, but some can't, because that's still illegal in half the world for some idiot fucking reason," and now he's just sliding right over the line into a different lane entirely, so Dean straightens the wheel and gets back on topic, "but it's not just about the function, okay? It's about," and Dean's brain is just a metered ramp during rush hour, redlight, greenlight, one car at a time, and "intimacy," is the word that makes it onto the highway. It's better than debauchery or orgasm, so he runs with it. "Just... another way to be close, with someone you care about. Someone you love," he adds, because he isn't sure if Cas — if Castiel, ex-Angel of the Lord trapped in a dudesuit — is even capable of that kind of love. He cares, sure; cares about Dean in a way that's a little obsessive sometimes or about Sam at least as an extension of something Dean cares about, but either way. "And honestly, yeah, it's a little disgusting," he admits, and can't help the smirk. "But if that's your only takeaway, buddy, you're doing it wrong."

The look Cas is giving him is kind of intense, and Dean's about two-thirds of the way to uncomfortable with it before Cas finally speaks. "I have only done it the once," he admits. "And it was not altogether an unpleasant experience. It was quite the opposite, until..." until April stabbed him in the chest, yeah, Dean remembers that, wishes he didn't, wants some sort of Vulcan mind-wipe because then maybe he'll stop having nightmares about it. "I think I understand," Cas says, and Dean isn't even aware he was holding his breath until it comes rushing out in relief. "Intimacy. That explains a lot, actually. Thank you."

"Welcome," Dean says, grateful he's off the hook. "And, uh, the whole feel-good thing is just a bonus, but, some people do just do it for that."

"Is that why you do it?" Cas asks, and Dean's pretty sure it's not meant to be accusing, but it does sting. A little. "I'm not trying to insult you," Cas continues, because even when he can't read Dean's mind he's pretty good at reading his expressions, fantastic. "You just have a history of being cavalier with your sexual partners."

"Kinda hard to commit in this job," Dean says, and they're both tiptoeing around the giant elephant in the room, that one time Dean sort of had a steady girlfriend and an unofficial stepson. While Dean appreciates the effort, he's also kind of pissed off. Because intimacy isn't limited to people you know. Or maybe it is, and Dean's just using two different definitions for the same word, but he's not a goddamn dictionary. "I'll take the good when and where I can get it."

He thinks that's it, because he's out of explanations that he's comfortable with and he answered the damn question, didn't he? He pushes off the table, and is nearly out of the room when Cas calls, "Are the two mutually exclusive?"

"What?" Dean snaps, then bites the inside of his cheek and forces himself to turn around. "What d'you mean?"

"Being cavalier," Cas says simply, "and being intimate."

"I really dunno, Cas," Dean says, completely honest. "I guess it depends on what you're looking for."

+

Dean doesn't know if Cas ends up doing more research, or was just satisfied with that explanation, but whatever else, it's what led Cas to (tactfully, by some miracle, but then again he's always been a quick study) sitting down at the other end of the kitchen table while Sam's out on a run, and asking the absolute last thing Dean is prepared to deal with.

Like, it may have been in a fantasy or five, but that's not the point.

"What?" Dean asks again, because Cas just regards him like he didn't just ask Dean —

"I would like to have sex with you," Cas repeats a third time. "If you're amenable. I know you prefer female — "

"Cas," Dean interrupts, because he's pushing forty and it's barely six am and that's six hours too early or ten years too late for this conversation to be happening. "What the hell?"

"I thought I was perfectly clear." Cas picks up the coffee Dean brewed while he was in shower, sips at it like he didn't just drop a random proposition on his best friend. "I've given it a lot of thought and, if what you said is true, then it makes sense."

Oh, God, he knew the gay comment would come back to bite him in the ass. "Cas, I'm not — " and he stops, because there's no point, because Cas doesn't give a damn what genders or lack thereof Dean may or may not be interested in exploring. That and the fact that Cas has been watching over everything since the beginning of time and especially since the beginning of Dean, so there's really no reason to deny it. And Dean's not exactly ignorant of the fact that Cas doesn't even have a gender, not in any way that he can recognize beyond adopted pronouns and the equipment for one, so as far as he's concerned Dean could be a grapefruit and it probably wouldn't make a difference. But that's sort of a separate issue entirely. "If you wanna get laid, man, just say so. Just because Sammy's a damn saint doesn't mean I'm not a decent wingman when needed."

"I am not interested in getting laid, Dean." Cas continues to sip his coffee like they're talking about the weather, not about getting down to the nasty if, y'know, Dean's amenable. "I thought a lot about what you said, and about what I am looking for." He fixes Dean with a look of determined sincerity that wipes the half-smile right off Dean's face. "You are important to me, the most important, and if there is any person in existence that I would want to... be intimate with," and that hesitation is just as strange as this conversation; Dean shifts in his seat, unwilling to hazard a guess on if it's out of discomfort at the topic or the cold hard honesty in Cas' eyes. "Exploring that sort of intimacy," he goes on, and Dean regrets ever using that damn word, "is something I would only want to experience with you."

Dean contemplates his coffee for a minute. "Look," he begins, and that's really as far as he's planned. He hopes whatever verbal diarrhea follows manages to make his point. "It's not that I'm not...amenable, or whatever, and I really hate that fucking word, okay? This isn't an experiment — or maybe it is, for you, but you can't experiment with your friends. Just, shut up," he says, holding up a hand because Cas already has his mouth open to argue. "I've been doing the human thing a long time, just take my word for it, all right? Because it's hard enough to go from friends to not friends and then just, forgive and forget and go back to how you were, but you can't — " Dean stops and forces himself to look Cas in the eye, because it's important he understands. "This isn't something you can just take back, Cas. Once you cross that bridge," he makes a little explosion noise and hand gestures for emphasis. "The bridge is gone, man. And if you decide later you want to get back to the other side, you're screwed. Literally and figuratively."

Cas looks thoughtful and maybe, just maybe, Dean got through that biblically thick skull and they can set about breakfast, because there's hints of a wendigo up in Maine and it's a long, long drive from Lebanon. "Okay," Cas says, and Dean could kiss him he's so fucking relieved, except that would be seriously counterproductive. "I think I understand. But why must you choose a side? Why not stay in the middle?"

Dean glares, and makes the explosion noise again. "Because then you're in the damn river."

"Yes, but," Cas says, and Dean can't tell if he's holding back a smile or if he's resisting a yawn, "we both know how to swim."

Dean rolls his eyes and gets up for more coffee, because he's pretty sure Cas is just fucking with him on purpose now. "We are not having sex," he calls over his shoulder and if Cas has anything to say about that, it's cut short by Sam galumphing down the stairs, stupid sweatband around his forehead and pulling earbuds out by the cord and asking, "Who's having sex?"

+

"So do you two want your own room, or..." Sam just smirks at the look Dean gives him across the front seat and makes a quick exit out the passenger side door, whistling like an asshole.

Cas leans up from the back and says, "Even if you're not agreeable to sex, our own room would be practical simply to separate us from his snoring."

And that does get a laugh from Dean, even if it's following the most awkward fifteen hour drive he's ever had to endure. Sam hasn't let the whole sex thing go since Cas explained (Dean tried to stop it, failed, and then left the room to pack because if Cas didn't tell Sam then, Sam would have pulled it out of him while Dean was napping in the backseat anyway). Sam's been dropping innuendos like they're going out of style, and if he so much as thinks that's what he said one more time, Dean might actually hit him. Probably should, anyway. They're overdue for a brawl.

The wendigo was predictably a pain in the ass and there were a few times Dean experienced real terror (and that's rare enough, these days) when he and Sam got separated from Cas and Dean was imaging the worst in the dark. Ten hours later, they all piled into a tiny motel room, a couple first degree burns each but no worse for the wear, and Cas and Sam each took a bed and Dean just conked out on the floor with a pillow.

On the way back, rather than rotate who's driving and who's napping in the backseat, Dean made the executive decision to stop in Toledo so they can eat something other than gas station food and get a room for the night. It's a little more than halfway and, hell, he can manage to do the entire twelve hours back home tomorrow if he gets a good six now.

When Sam comes back he doesn't immediately approach the car, and Dean honks the horn because Baby's been running for half a day straight, too, and is overdue for an oil change. They're not the only ones in need of a break.

"Before you flip out," Sam says, when Dean rolls down the window, "I'm not even trying to be a jerk, okay? But all they had left were two singles."

Dean rolls his eyes, and snatches one of the keys dangling from Sam's hand. "What are you, twelve? I spent a year in Purgatory with the guy and didn't manage to trip and fall on his dick."

Sam opens his mouth to no doubt bitch, but Dean just puts the car into drive and leaves him by the office to walk to wherever the fuck his room happens to be. And it's not as if Cas can't stay with Sam, because lack of profound bond notwithstanding, Dean's caught them geeking out in the library and gossiping like teenage girls often enough that he's actually had to acknowledge that punch-in-gut feeling is probably jealousy. Which is just fucking stupid.

"That was kind of rude," Cas says from the back, but when Dean catches his eyes in the rearview, he's smiling.

"Yeah, well, if you want to listen to that locomotive all night, you can bunk with him. Be my guest."

Cas is laughing when he climbs out of the car and Dean sort of forgets that he's got the keys, and they need those to grab the go bags, because even though he's been human for weeks, seeing him totally overcome with any sort of emotion is a rare enough occurrence that Dean still gets a little mesmerized by it. Cas is smiling when he raises his eyebrows and reminds Dean that he has to pop the trunk.

Their rooms aren't next to each other; Sam's two doors down, but judging by the cars out front, one's full of a family from four (and probably a dog) from Pennsylvania, and the other (judging by the pristine '08 Grand Marquis with a handicap symbol on the plates) an old couple from Michigan. It's a 70/30 chance they're okay, which are better odds than they usually get dealt, so Dean doesn't feel the need to salt the threshold.

Dean throws Sam's bag at him across the little walkway with a little more force than is actually necessary. Sam just winks and says, "Remember, old people are light sleepers, so try and keep it down, you two," and Dean gives him the finger.

It's not until he's inside their room and dumping the bags on the small table by the window that he notices Cas is still standing outside, and he's no longer smiling. Dean stops looking for his toothbrush and raises his eyebrows.

"If you're uncomfortable, I don't mind staying with Sam," Cas says, and there's no smirk or bite to it, just a statement.

"Cas, get in here and close the damn door."

Cas sighs but does as he's told, sliding the deadbolt closed. The click sounds louder than it should. "I'm going to shower," Dean announces. "Unless you need to — "

"I do not presently need to urinate," Cas says, pulling his button-up over his head.

Dean hasn't bothered to turn on a light, so the flash of hips and stomach are cast in dark shadow by the retreating sunlight coming in the open window before his t-shirt falls back down. His hair is a rumpled, now, and Dean does think about it — just for a split second — of what it would feel like to run his hands through it, before he sets back to digging the toothpaste out. How it always ends up on the bottom of the fucking bag, he has no idea.

"You can have the bed," Dean says, heading towards the bathroom. "Just give me a pillow and one of the blankets, all right?"

"You didn't get a bed yesterday," Cas points out and, yeah, that's fair, but Dean's the one with a lifetime of sleeping on any flat surface and being none the worse for it. "I'll take the floor this time."

"It's fine, man," he says, "I really don't mind."

Dean's already in the bathroom when Cas says, "It's a large bed."

Dean braces both hands on the sink and stares at the drain for a long moment.

"I didn't mean," Cas starts, when Dean doesn't answer. "I just meant there's no reason for either of us to sleep on the floor."

No reason. Yeah, except for every reason. But Dean's fucking exhausted, and lifetime of hard surfaces notwithstanding, he's not as young as he used to be and he's gotten really spoiled by his bed back at the bunker. "No, you're right," he says. "I'm just gonna — "

"Okay," is all Cas says and Dean sees him pull up one of those little chairs by the table and flick on the TV.

Dean's in the shower longer than strictly necessary; the water pressure is really, really good here and he makes a mental note to look this place up the next time they're nearby. He feels a lot better after washing the road off, looser and little more clear-headed. When Dean comes out, towel wrapped around his waist, Cas is still sitting at the table watching some documentary on killer whales of all things. The curtains are pulled closed and the bedside lamp is on, so Dean figures he must have moved at some point.

He doesn't look at Dean as he dresses, just pulling on boxers and a clean t-shirt because despite being a short trip from Chicago, it's still July and it's 90 damn degrees outside. "Shower's all yours," Dean says and Cas hums, but keeps watching for a few minutes while Dean flops down on the left side of the bed and checks his messages. It's been pretty quiet the past few weeks, but that's never good news. Just means they'll be twice as busy next month.

Cas eventually grabs his bag and goes into the bathroom and leaves the TV on, so Dean finds himself watching what turns out to be a rather tragic story about captive orcas and some trainer that was killed and by the end of it he's pretty much written off ever going to SeaWorld. Not that he ever had any plans to, but, it's the principle of the thing.

When Cas comes out of the bathroom he's already dressed in pajama bottoms and Dean's thin, faded Blue Oyster Cult t-shirt. It's still really fucking strange seeing him like this, dressed down in clothes that show off the vessel — body, Dean reminds himself — underneath. They really do need to take him shopping for clothes of his own, or at least order some shit online. It's not that Dean minds him borrowing clothes (Dean's a little taller and Cas is definitely more cut, but they're more or less the same size), because Dean only has so many shirts and Cas keeps assuming ownership of all of Dean's favorites.

Not that Dean particularly minds (and really, Cas can keep that one, because then Dean gets to admire him in it), but Dean complains about it anyway because spending his entire life attached at the hip to his little brother has made griping a reflex.

Dean's got both arms folded behind his head and is still lying on top of the comforter. The sad documentary turned into a fucking awful one about some dolphin slaughter in Japan, but Cas left the remote on the table and he can't really be bothered to move. "I'm surprised they even show this on local TV," he admits.

"It is pretty terrible," Cas agrees. "Especially considering cetaceans are at least as cultured as human beings, and possess much higher emotional intelligence."

"What," Dean says, because he's only half-listening. "Why the hell don't they fight back?"

"I just told you," Cas says, and makes his way around the bed. He turns off the TV and Dean can't even argue about it, because he wants to actually get some sleep tonight. "They have a higher capacity for emotional insight than humans."

Dean shoots him a look. "So, what, they just let themselves be slaughtered because they're too smart to be assholes?"

"Oh, no," Cas says, and the mattress sinks as he sits on it. "Cetaceans in general can be extremely aggressive, and many species are prone to murder and rape of their own kind. Intelligence is as much as blessing as it is a curse, it would seem."

Dean just stares at him, because the idea of Flipper raping anything is just fucked up.

"It's hard to explain."

Dean tilts his head back and closes his eyes. He's still a little wired from the hunt and the drive, but the shower helped and he's starting to wind down. "No shit."

"Much like intimacy," Cas adds in an undertone, and Dean's eyes snap open.

"All right," Dean says, sitting up and crossing his legs under him as he turns towards Cas, because it seems they do have to have this conversation. Again. "What exactly is it that you don't get?"

Cas frowns at him, but stays where he is, damp hair spiking against the pillow. "I was under the impression you did not wish to discuss it."

"I don't," Dean snaps, and winces at the sound of his own voice. "But you clearly do, and between you and Sam, I'm going to lose my shit before we get anywhere close to Kansas. So we're going to fucking talk about it."

Cas regards him quietly for a moment before looking away, picking at the hem of his t-shirt. "You said the purpose of extracurricular intercourse is to experience a deeper level of intimacy."

"Among other things," Dean says, and if he loaded the word other with an eyeroll, well, fuck it. "But — "

"And ideally," Cas interrupts, "this intimacy is shared with someone you care about and already harbor affection for."

"Well, yeah, but — "

"And," and now Cas is just being rude, "you care about me."

Dean bites back the automatic not so much right now, buddy and sighs. He does care about Cas, and is painfully aware that anyone with fucking eyes can see that, and can probably see that he cares way more than he should. That's the core of the goddamn problem. "I also care about Sam," he says, and never ever thought he'd have to bring up his little brother in a conversation involving sex. He doesn't elaborate because Cas can play stupid all he wants but Dean knows he's not an idiot. "I care about a lot of people and I don't fuck all of them."

Cas seems to consider this, brow furrowed, and Dean's about ten seconds from grabbing a pillow and setting up camp on the floor, duvet be damned. But then Cas says, "So the problem is you're not physically attracted to me," and that's it, Dean's sleeping in the damn car, "or at least, this vessel."

"Body," Dean corrects automatically, because Jimmy checked out years ago and Cas is human, now, and he needs to get used to it. "And no, that's not — Jesus fucking Christ, Cas."

He scrubs both hands over his face — twice — but Cas is still lying there looking at him when he peeks through his fingers. And it's really not that, because Dean also has eyes, and even if he was as straight as the ruler he pretends to be, he could still admit that if all three of them hit on the same chick, nine times out of ten, it'd be him and Sammy spending the night alone. But Dean's less of a horizontal line on a map of sexuality and more like the roads that cut through Texas — straight as an arrow to drive on, but zoom out far enough, and they all bend to fit the curvature of the earth. The fact that Dean's eyes haven't wandered anywhere else since Cas moved into the bunker isn't exactly a mystery. And it's not like Dean has missed the knowing glances Sam's been throwing at him since longer than Dean cares to admit, and he's long given up on trying to deny it.

"So you do find this body attractive," and it's closer than this vessel, so Dean lets it slide. Baby steps. "But you're still averse to becoming more inti — "

"If you say the word intimate one more time, I swear to God," Dean says. But Cas is right; that's not the objection, never was. If it was as simple as what Dean wants, he's pretty sure he could have had it for a while now. Years, probably. And just thinking about that hurts. "Truth? All weirdness aside," all of it, from the angel thing and the gay thing, Dean's own warehouse of baggage, and the simple fact that Cas always, without fail, leaves, "it's... I dunno, I'd feel like those douchebags who sleep with drunk co-eds."

Cas just blinks at him, and Dean really doesn't want to have to have the consent conversation on top of everything else, but Cas seems to get it. "You're worried about taking advantage?"

And leave it to the socially retarded one to put it into words. "Yes," Dean says, truly fucking thankful. "That. Exactly that. All right? So, uh," he shrugs, and thinks about getting under the sheets because with the sun down, it's starting to chill in the room. "Good talk?"

But Cas isn't done. "I'm not intoxicated," he says. "I'm not confused or a prisoner or unable to communicate, or otherwise incapable of consent. And I'm definitely not underage," he adds, and there's a hint of a smile there.

Dean flops back onto the pillows and is aware that he can end this conversation any time he wants, could have hours or days ago, if he just flat-out told Cas no. But if he does that, he knows Cas will never bring it up again, never ask or get curious enough that his desire to be intimate or whatever would ever overcome his propriety. If Dean just says no, Cas will drop it. Permanently.

But.

And God, what kind of dick does that make him, hoping he can find a fucking loophole that makes this okay?

"You're a prisoner in that body," Dean feels is fair to point out.

"I find being human quite liberating, actually." There's a small shuffle, but Dean can't see what Cas is doing. Refuses to look. "Despite all the small annoyances that come with being mortal. I do miss my wings," he admits. Something nasty burrows deep into Dean's chest and starts chewing on things that it has no business chewing on, and then Cas adds, "but I'm grateful to have this. I would rather part with my wings than you," and Dean feels the compelling need to punch something.

Dean would give anything he has to fix him, give Cas back his wings and his grace and to make it so he'd never fallen at all, but the problem is that he doesn't have anything worth shit to give. He has no idea how to say any of that in a way that won't piss Cas off, so he opts for sarcasm. "Are you trying to guilt trip me into sex?"

"That depends; is it working?"

Dean glances at him to glare, but his line-of-sight is blocked by the edge of the pillow. "I just don't think you're really in a position to know what it is you're asking for, here."

"How can I know without having the experience?" And Cas has a point, but — "I thought the objections here were solely personal, but your orientation is fluid," and yup, Cas is actually ticking each item off his fingers like a list, and Dean decides to smother Cas with a pillow, and then himself, "you care about me, you're attracted to my physical form, and I'm giving you my consent. I still don't see what the problem is."

Dean digs the heels of his hands into his eyes, little stars bursting into view beneath his eyelids. "It's not that simple, Cas. Like I said, if it — " What, exactly? Doesn't work out, or the sex sucks? Dean's never had bad sex in his life; he's had mediocre sex and okay sex and good sex and really fucking awesome sex, but bad sex? He peeks a glance at Cas, still laid out flat a couple feet away, and does a quick sweep. Takes him in from toes to lips — because the rest is blocked by the damn pillow — and yeah, not gonna be a problem. He closes his eyes, and wills the mattress to just open up and swallow him. "You can't take it back."

The mattress creaks and dips a little more as Cas shifts closer. "I have no intention of taking it back," is what Cas has to say about that and despite every single argument Dean's made over the past few days, he's only human and his resolve is limited. It's kind of messed up that he held out longer in Hell. "Is that what you're worried about?"

"I'm worried this is going to fuck everything up," Dean confesses to the ceiling, but if it has any opinions, it keeps them to itself. Dean makes the rookie mistake of taking his hands off his eyes and turning his head, and there's Cas, the side of his face stuffed into a pillow and watching Dean from a foot away. The light's still on and it's backlighting him, and Cas' eyes haven't glowed since he lost his grace but they're still blue and intense and bore into Dean as deep as any ocean and, fuck, if Dean's waxing poetic about Cas' eyes in his own head he knows he's already screwed.

"Everything is going to be fine," Cas says and in that moment, Dean believes him, and that's all it takes.

Dean doesn’t actually move, though. Cas raises an eyebrow, because it's no big deal, right? Just fucking your male best friend. That's a thing people do. "This is the worst idea in the long, sad history of bad ideas."

And of course the reference sails right over Cas' head. Dean's a tiny bit put out; he was kind proud of that one. "If you simply don't want to — "

"I want," Dean interrupts. He closes his eyes for an instant, then mentally kicks himself for being a coward. Cas is still waiting patiently when he looks again, unblinking, and temptingly close. "But what I want and what's a good idea generally don't get along." He scrubs a hand over his face, hand lingering over his mouth for a moment. "Fuck, Cas. I want, okay? I just — " he's stalling now, knows it, and hates himself for it, so finishes with, "okay."

"Okay?"

"Yeah, Cas. Okay."

He still doesn't move.

"Are you nervous?" Cas asks.

He says it with a straight face, and it surprises a laugh out of Dean. "About sex? No," and that much is true, at least. Then he sneaks another glance at Cas. "Why, are you?"

"I have no reason to be," Cas says. "I trust you."

"Yeah, I got that," Dean says, then winces because he's just being a jerk to to deflect from the fact that he still hasn't moved, probably because he's little bit terrified and a massive amount of turned on out of his mind. "And good, that's... trust is a good start." Dean teeters for a moment between excitement and terror, then sits up again and looks at Cas properly. "You're sure about," he waves his hand between them, "like, if you have any doubts or questions, now's the time, man."

Cas just regards him from the bed, arms folded loosely over this stomach, and quirks a brow at him. "I am beginning to doubt that, at this rate, anything is actually going to happen."

And, okay, that's fair. "You can be a real asshole sometimes," Dean says, grabbing the wrist closest to him and pulling Cas up to meet him. Cas is opening his mouth to dispute that or make a really bad joke, but Dean doesn’t give him the chance. He leans forward and catches whatever Cas is about to say with his mouth, because if there's one thing Dean's good at, it's getting the last word.

Cas is still warm from the shower, residual heat radiating off his skin and Dean can feel it, taste it as he catches Cas' bottom lip between his. It's nothing compared to the heat inside his mouth, though, as Dean sneaks his tongue inside. When he pulls back Cas moves to follow, but Dean just tilts his head and catches Cas' upper lip this time. Swipes his tongue along the teeth. Cas tastes faintly of mint toothpaste.

Cas makes a noise of impatience as Dean continues to explore, relishes the feel of stubble against his lips — fuck, he'd forgotten how good that feels — and plays a game of keep away with his tongue until Cas makes another noise, and this time it sounds more like a growl. And, hell, if that isn't the sexiest goddamn noise Dean's heard inyears.

"Who's being the asshole now?" Cas mutters. It's broken up and punctuated by sharp exhale when Dean bites down on his lower lip. He worries Cas' bottom lip for a few more seconds and uses the time to make use of his hands, letting go of Cas' wrist and sliding both hands up his neck, thumbs brushing over rough cheeks. He cradles Cas' jaw with a light touch, and pushes his right hand into that tangle of damp black hair as he kisses Cas again, opens his mouth and coaxes Cas' tongue inside.

He knows they've still got time; if Dean pulls away soon, before the slow, discovering kiss turns urgent and hands start wandering, they'll be okay. Dean won't be able to look Cas in the eye for a while and have enough to fill his spank bank for the rest of his life, but they'll survive it. Things can still go back to normal, to the way they were. The way they are. But then Dean feels the curious slide of Cas' tongue against his own, can feel his breath hitch and the hand suddenly gripping his wrist just a shade too tight, can hear a low sound bubble up out of Cas' throat. His right hand tightens in Cas' hair and that sound goes uneven, turns into a groan, and Dean sails right past the point of no return.

Dean needs more hands. He wants to keep his hands in Cas' hair, to keep hold of his jaw so he can turn Cas' head to the right side and feel the stubble prickling against his fingers. But he also wants to explore underneath his shirt and catalogue every rise and dip of his ribs, to run his hands up his thighs and over his hips, to feel the heat there; wants to scrape his nails down Cas' back on that precarious balance between pain and pleasure. Dean needs more hands because he wants touch Cas everywhere, all at once, wants to show him exactly why people do this, why it feels so fucking good it can make you forget why it hurts twice as much when you lose it. That people have fought wars over it, that they're willing to kill for it.

They're not in exactly a good position to start off, Dean sitting cross-legged next to Cas' knees and Cas sitting up, legs still pointed towards the end of the bed. Normally Dean would solve that problem by just peeling off his shirt and crawling on top of him, but he doesn't want to rush. This is new for Cas and he really wants to take his time, wants to get as much as he can out of this while he can, all the while trying to ignore that little niggly voice in the back of his mind that says he doesn't deserve this, that he isn't worth it, that’s still shouting wrong wrong selfish wrong while it's muted underneath the soft little sounds he's pulling out of Cas.

He tugs on Cas hair again, hard enough to force Cas to surface with a sharp gasp and tilt his head back. He goes easily when Dean nudges his knees, legs sliding off the bed and onto the floor so Dean can crowd up beside him, one leg tucked under himself and one against Cas' thigh. Dean still has him by the hair, gentler now, carding his fingers through it, along the back of his neck, as Dean kisses the corner of his mouth.

One of Cas' hands is squeezing his knee in the kind of grip that will leave bruises, the other is out of sight and Dean wants it, wants to do filthy, sinful things with it, but first thing's first. Dean plays with the hem of Cas' shirt and pulls back just enough to tug it up, pulling it off and tossing it blindly towards the floor. It reveals an expanse of completely flawless, tan skin that Dean has seen before, sure, but never before when he had permission to touch it.

"Fuck," Dean mutters, mostly to himself. He runs a hand over Cas' shoulder, down the curve of his spine, and tries not to think about the wings that are no longer there. Cas leans into the touch, shoulder pushing into the dip between Dean's chest and arm as he presses closer. Dean buries his face in Cas' hair, nose tucked behind his ear and inhales, and just listens to the sound of Cas breathing while his hands explore, tracing the contours of his chest and back, fingers dancing along the knobs of his spine. He smells like soap and pine trees a hint of campfire from the wendigo thing and Dean noses lower, lips and teeth teasing the muscle that connects his neck and shoulder. Dean brings his left hand up under Cas' jaw and Cas tilts his head away to give him access.

He's murmuring something Dean can't hear and Dean bites down, slow and hard enough to mark, sucks a bruise there just because he can, and Cas lets out a sound that is way too close to a moan for Dean to handle right now.

Dean soothes the mark with his mouth, gentle kisses interlaced with quick nips of teeth. "I think," Cas says, Adam's apple bobbing against Dean's palm, "I think I am... beginning to," he stops and starts again, fingers constricting on Dean's arms when Dean scrapes his teeth along the pulsepoint in his neck, "to, ah — see the appeal."

Dean grins against his skin, scrapes his cheek against Cas' jaw on the way to his ear, relishing the catch of rough skin. "Baby, I'm just getting started."

Cas actually fucking shivers and Dean is so, so royally screwed.

Cas nearly tips over as Dean pushes off the bed before Dean drags him along, and the sonofabitch is heavier than he looks. He groans a little when Dean tugs him to his feet, hair askew and a beautiful flush spreading across his neck and chest. "Doesn't the traditional method involve a bed?" he demands, and Dean can't help but laugh because human Cas is a lazy grouch sometimes and it's kind of adorable.

"I dunno what kind of porn you were watching, dude, but there's all sorts of positions that don't involve being horizontal."

And it's not like Dean's going to go full whips and chains on the guy, here — not tonight, anyway — but there's an essential or two they need if they're going to do this properly, and Dean doesn't see why the fact that he needs to get up to get them means he has to stop touching Cas. He walks backwards towards the table, keeping Cas with him, connected at the mouth and the hips. Despite his complaining, Cas goes with him nice and easy, participating a little more actively with the kiss and letting his hands wander, trailing up Dean's arms to curl around his neck. And Jesus, he has huge fucking hands. Dean's really looking forward to them curling around other bits of him, too, but one thing at a time.

"Motherfucker," Dean says against his mouth as his hip hits the table. Cas hums against his lips and then moves on, trying out how his teeth work on Dean — well enough it takes Dean a full minute to remember why they even came over here but yeah, right, the bag. Dean reaches behind him and digs around blindly, unwilling to stop Cas from likely leaving a hickey on his goddamn throat. Dean finds what he's looking for and immediately forgets about it as Cas bites down, too hard, and Dean's eyelids drop, hips canting forward without permission. Cas pushes back, the hard line of his cock prodding insistently at Dean's hip, hands fisting in Dean's shirt.

"You are wearing too many clothes," Cas informs him. He pulls back so he can start tugging and Dean lets him, waits until it's over his head and somewhere else before stepping back into Cas' space. He stops when Cas reaches out a hand, almost tentative, towards his left shoulder and —

Oh.

Dean moves the rest of the way, allows Cas to align his fingers with the faded brand there. His hand fits over it perfectly, like a key slotting into the proper lock. Cas stares at it and for a terrible moment Dean thinks that's it, they've barely hit second base and they're done, but Cas just brushes the pad of his thumb over the mark beneath it.

Dean shudders and Cas has this wicked fucking smile he has never seen before but really, really hope he gets to see more often.

He grips hard as Dean starts pushing him back towards the bed. The stupid pajama bottoms he's wearing have a drawstring that Cas dutifully tied into a bow and Dean has somehow tied into a knot, and he's about to go grab a knife and be done with it; Cas brushes his hands away and gently pulls on the loose end, tugs it loose, and lets his hand fall away. Right. Dean's running this show because Cas wants to learn, wants Dean to show him, and Dean really, really wants to, it's just —

That nasty train of thought rolls right off the tracks as Cas reaches up, palm slotting against Dean's cheek, and leans in to kiss him. Quick study, this guy — Dean ends up chasing him around for a minute before he catches up, sucking Cas' tongue into his mouth and then they're off again, Dean steering and maybe manhandling a little until Cas' legs hit the bed. He keeps pushing until Cas is on his back, scooting his ass up while Dean crawls over him, never disconnecting from his mouth. By the time Dean comes up for air, Cas' hair is a fucking mess and he has a little flashback to Bobby's kitchen some five years ago, and wonders how in the hell they've ended up here.

Cas is tracing two fingers along his temple, down his cheek and along his jaw, up and down, mapping his features and Dean wonders if he should explain the what-happens-next or just go for it. He has one hand on Cas' hip, thumb dipping below the waist of his pants, the other still clutching the tube he got from the bag and braced beside Cas' head. His right leg is slotted between Cas' thighs and the heat there is driving Dean a little crazy; his eyes close on their own when Cas grins and rolls his hips up just enough to brush against the tent Dean's pitching in his boxers.

Dean doesn't move for a second, just forces his eyes open and makes sure Cas is paying attention before he speaks. "If I ask for anything you don't like," Dean says, voice sounding foreign to his own ears, "you have to tell me."

Cas leans up just enough to brush a chaste kiss against the corner of his mouth, and rolls his hips again — higher this time, baiting Dean into following, pressing him down into the mattress until Cas groans, the sound slipping right into Dean's ear and straight to his dick. Dean closes his eyes as Cas presses another kiss just below his ear, with just a hint of teeth, little fireworks going off behind his eyelids.

"Ask for whatever you want," Cas says, because he has no fucking idea how little control Dean has right now.

Whatever Dean wants could fill an entire penthouse forum, though they're both a decade or two past having the stamina for that kind of rodeo. But Dean's not so far gone that he's forgotten the reason they're even in this situation, and he maps out a game plan in record time to try and accomplish that, because heat-of-the-moment promises or not, Cas might ultimately decide to take it back and Dean'll never get to have this again.

Cas threads his fingers into Dean's hair as he trails his mouth down Cas' chest, gently carding through it until Dean directs his attention to one of his nipples, laving at it gently with his tongue. Cas shudders a little so Dean sucks it into his mouth, cuts at it with his teeth until Cas' hand constricts, fingers scrambling for something long enough to tug on. Nails scrape the back of Dean's head and he bites down, just shy of too hard, and grins against Cas' skin as his hips jerk, cock twitching through the thin cotton against Dean's stomach. Dean goes a little rougher on the other one, sucking and biting until Cas is squirming, one hand twisting in his hair and the other digging bruises into his shoulder.

Cas is saying something and when Dean looks up, Cas is watching him, face hidden shadow, lips parted.

"Sorry," Dean says, letting his chin rub across Cas' chest. He hasn't shaved since they left Kansas, and he he grins when Cas' eyes drop closed for a second. "What was that?"

Cas says it again and for the life of him, Dean couldn't possibly repeat it because despite being basically fluent in Latin, as far as Dean's concerned Enochian may as well be Japanese. It still sounds sexy as shit, though, the syllables rumbling deep in Cas' chest beneath him. Human or not, words like that still hold power, and Dean lets it roll over him as he trails lower, scraping his teeth against the hard point of Cas' hip bone. He leaves the lube on the mattress next to them and hooks two fingers into the waistband of Cas' pants, slips his other palm up Cas' leg to the apex of his thighs, cups him gently in his palm. Cas tries to push into the touch, but Dean's got his chest right over his center of gravity and holds him down.

"Hey, Cas," he says conversationally, eyes flicking up as his lips drag against Cas' navel and the sparse hair there, "what's Enochian for 'please'?"

Dean could swear the room gets a little darker with the look Cas gives him. He's leaning up on one elbow so he can watch, and the other hand, still in Dean's hair, trails down and traces the line of his jaw. "We don't have a word for it," he says, thumb brushing against Dean's lower lip. Then Cas grins, eyes dark with amusement and lust and — something else Dean can't hope to identify. "I could give you an order, though."

Go figure Cas is a kinky sonofabitch. And while Dean's never been good at following commands unless they came directly from John, he's pretty sure if Cas starts barking orders at him he'll trip over himself trying to obey. He can't help but grin at the thought, and places a kiss on the soft skin along the hollow of his hip. "Remind me to have the safeword conversation with you next time and I'll think about it."

Before Cas can ask and break the delicate balance Dean's maintaining between riled up and quietly freaking out, Dean buries his nose in the crevice of his groin, right next to his palm, and lets out a long, hot breath. Dean's head swims with the scent of him; Cas tries to shift again and Dean can feel him twitch against his palm. Dean curls his fingers, and Christ, Cas is thick and hot and his hips jerk when Dean puts his mouth on him, pants be damned, lips wrapping around the head and laving at it with the flat of his tongue.

The hand in Dean's hair twists and the jolt of pain lances through him like hot spike, little tingles of heat and pleasure curling down across his shoulders. Dean can taste the first pulse of wetness through the thin cloth and suddenly Dean's out of patience, grabs the hem of Cas' pants and tugs them down to his thighs. He takes in the sight of Cas' cock, curved and hard and uncut and already dark at the tip and goes right back to where he was, licks a long stripe from base to top before taking the head into his mouth. Swirls his tongue around it. Gently sucks the tip of it. Slips a hand between Cas' legs and palms at his sac. Hollows his cheeks and takes him inside.

Cas moans, long and loud and completely fucking shameless and Dean wants to hear more of that, wants to tear him open, peel off that cool facade he wears and expose what's underneath, wants to break inside and raise some hell. His own dick is so hard it kind of hurts, but he needs the leverage so he has nothing to rub against, instead reaches a hand up and slides it along Cas' side, under his back and his hip, grabs his ass just because he can and Jesus, Cas is rocking into his mouth without any apology, thumb sliding out of Dean's hair and over his cheek, thumbing his own cock in Dean's mouth, chanting a litany of Dean's name over and over and Dean's going to come without being touched at all.

When Dean pulls back, Cas makes a noise like an unhappy cat. "Dean," Cas says again, only it sounds less like a prayer and more like a threat. His cock is leaking against his stomach, shiny with Dean's saliva, a beautiful red blush ranging from his chest to his cheeks; the fact that he still manages to look intimidating is impressive. And a kind of a huge turn on.

"Cool your jets, Casanova. We're not on the clock." Dean doesn't give him time to bitch at him about references, just tugs his pants the rest of the way off before shucking his own boxers. He stands up to do it just to avoid wriggling around like an idiot and has to pause before climbing back onto the bed. Cas is still lying there, horizontal across the middle, propped up on one elbow; his other hand is curled around his dick, and Dean figures he must have been practicing his own technique, because there's an established pattern to the way his hand trails up and down, twisting at the top and thumb rolling under the head. Cas' hair is an absolute disaster, mouth parted as he stares at Dean and Dean's so engrossed with the image he completely forgets to be self-conscious.

Dean crawls over him, his own cock in hand, settling between his spread legs and catches his mouth in a quick kiss. That was the plan, anyway, but then it goes from chaste to heavy in a split second and Cas hums as the knuckles of their hands knock together. The hum turns into a unhappy groan when Dean pulls away again, and Cas pushes himself up to try and follow him.

"This would be a very effective strategy in Hell," Cas mutters as Dean shoves him back down before grabbing the lube he'd left on the bed.

Dean pops the cap off the tube with his thumb and squeezes a dollop into his other palm. It's still warm from being in the trunk. "Isn't patience supposed to be a virtue?"

"Not right now," Cas grinds out and cants his hips. It slides the head of his cock right along the underside of Dean's and Dean almost drops the tube. "Hurry up."

Cas being bossy in bed isn't really a surprise, but it's ticking off boxes Dean didn't know existed and he files that away for later and instead introduces Cas to the miracle of lube. When he takes them both in hand Cas is writhing underneath him, hands clutching at any part of Dean they can reach, nails leaving red lines behind on his thighs, chest and forearms. He's getting close and Dean's been on edge since this whole thing started so he keeps his strokes slow and loose, and part of him might be enjoying the indignant noises it gathers, but part of him also wants to show Cas just how good this can get, show him what all the porn in the world can't quite convey. When he pulls back and drags a lube-heavy finger down below Cas' balls, lets it rest there in question, Cas just twists under him, eyes screwed shut, and nods.

The first finger slides in easily, a little tight — and no shit, because Cas hasn't — has he? unless he's done this to himself and — Dean bites his own lip and lets the pain wash that image away, because he's trying to concentrate, it's been a decade since he's done this (five, if you count Hell) and he wants to make this good. He wants Cas to remember this, remember him, because someday he might be doing this with someone else and just the fleeting thought of that makes Dean want to shoot something.

"Okay?" Dean asks, leaning down to press a kiss against the inside of Cas' knee. Cas exhales, opens his eyes, and Dean can barely see the blue anymore. He pushes in a little further, slow and easy, and tightens his grip around Cas' cock, gives him a couple of strokes and feels Cas relax a little. "There you go, just — yeah, relax, there you go.."

Cas nods and lets his head fall back and Dean wishes he could reach, stretch up and worry the bruise he left on Cas' throat. He lines up his middle finger instead, waits until Cas' hips are back on the bed before slipping it inside along the first.

Cas tenses immediately, the muscles in his abdomen and thighs locking tight. He lets out a sound that's a broken combination of a hiss and groan. Dean can't see his face, but he knows Cas' eyes are closed, hands curling and uncurling into the bedcover. He's squeezing around Dean's fingers so hard Dean's starting to loose feeling. "Hurts," he bites out.

"I know, baby. I know." Dean continues to stroke him and slides down his body, presses a wet kiss at the junction of his hip and thigh, and keeps his teeth to himself. "You gotta relax, okay? Just," he pauses kiss Cas again, lower still, mouths idly at one of his balls, "take a breath. Relax."

Cas does, inhales quickly and lets it out nice and slow, and the tense line of his body sinks a little. He's still clenched too tight, and despite the lube Dean still can't move his fingers, not without hurting him more. "I'm gonna make you feel so good, you won't even remember this," and Dean will keep that promise if it fucking kills him. He lets Cas go, slides his other hand under Cas' hips, palm flat against the small of his back, holding him up. "You trust me, right? Just relax, let me take care of you."

He can feel the tension slowly leak out against his palm as he rubs small circles against Cas' back. He buries his head between his legs, lower than he's ever gone on a guy, mouths gently at the smooth skin behind Cas' sac and feels the full-body shiver that induces against his lips. He pulls out to the first knuckle before sliding back in, as deep as he can, crooking his fingers just so and he's guessing, really, but luck's with him and Cas lets out a low moan that has Dean grinding down against edge of the goddamn mattress.

Dean asks, "Okay?" and Cas is shaking but pants out "Yes," and it's easier, now, and Dean murmurs  "There you go, there you go," against his thigh and closes his eyes, does it all by touch and listens to the sounds he's drawing out of Cas. He's resting his head against Cas' thigh, can feel the pulse of his heartbeat through it as the shaking turns into shudders and Dean's going to blow his load against the bedspread if he opens his eyes and that's fine, really, because Dean wants to watch him come undone, wants to see him fall apart as he crests over the edge. When he takes Cas' cock in his other hand again Cas throws his head back and the sound he makes is almost inhuman.

The wet sound of his fingers sliding in and out of Cas is obscene and Cas is grinding back into his hand, now, urging him deeper and Dean doesn't even think about it, just lines up another and this may have been a terrible idea and he might regret it later but right now, Dean's never been more thankful for anything than the image Cas makes under him, strung out and pleading.

"Dean," and Dean just thinks it's part of the mindless mantra that's been spilling out of Cas' mouth, so he crooks his fingers again and squeezes Cas' cock in a firm, upward stroke when Cas keens and jackknifes up off the bed. "Dean, ah, just — wait."

Dean freezes, still knuckle-deep, and his cock twitches in complaint. Dean tells it to shut the fuck up. "You all right? Did I — "

Cas gives him that wicked smile again and Dean relaxes a little, panic leaking out of his chest just as quickly as it rushed in. "Yes. But I want," and damn, Cas is actually blushing. "I want," he repeats, and rocks his hips into Dean's hand. His cock is leaking steadily all over Dean's fist, and Dean is tempted to lean down and taste him.

"You want?" Dean parrots back at him before he realizes what Cas is asking for, and maybe he doesn't know the words or maybe he's worried Dean won't want to or maybe... maybe this is Cas being shy. "Shit. Are you — fuck."

Dean crawls up to kiss him before he says something stupid like you don't have to because Cas already knows that and stopped him and asked for it anyway. Dean leaves his fingers inside of him, cramp in his wrist be damned, but brings his other hand up to hold Cas' jaw while he kisses him. When the swell of urgency dies down he finally pulls away, and Cas raises an eyebrow in question.

Dean leans his forehead against Cas' and closes his eyes, because he can't string a simple thought together when Cas looks like this, flushed and breathless and wanting, much less carry on with a fairly important conversation. "Are you sure?" he repeats, punctuates it with another kiss. "It'll — just at first, but — it'll hurt again."

"Yes," Cas says, his voice rough like nails scraping down Dean's chest, and Dean almost comes right then. "Yes."

"I don't," Dean manages, ignores the part of him screaming shut up you idiot, "I don't have — " Dean can't even remember the last time he bought condoms.

"Don't care," Cas says and maybe be understands and maybe he doesn't but he follows it up with a whispered "Dean, please," and fuck it, Dean's sold. It's not like he's been with anyone else recently and never without protection and for all intents and purposes Cas is basically a goddamn virgin anyway.

Cas makes a small noise of complaint as Dean pulls his hand free and starts to move him, rolls him onto his side and slides up behind him. There's a panicked moment when he can't find the lube because it somehow fell off the bed and Cas starts actually complaining when Dean rolls over to get it. He shuts up quick when Dean grabs him by the hip and pulls him back, slots his dick between his cheeks and bites into his shoulder and then Cas is rocking against him, hand wrapped around his own cock, and Dean pulls Cas' leg over his hip and lines up.

"Fuck," Cas says and it sounds completely vulgar coming out of his mouth and Dean can't get enough of it. He slides his other hand under Cas' neck, grabs his hand and can't even make the chick-flick joke when Cas laces their fingers together. Dean buries his forehead between Cas' shoulderblades, eyes squeezed shut, because Cas is tight and hot and it's been years-too-fucking-long since he's done this.

Cas squeezes his hand so hard when he bottoms out that Dean gasps against his back. Cas doesn't even give him a minute, just rocks down onto him and there's little starbursts of light flashing behind his eyelids. "Cas — fuck. You're so fucking tight."

"Move," Cas orders, and Dean bites the back of Cas’ neck to stifle his own moan.

He does, though; he takes Cas by the hip and rocks into him and Cas' head hits the pillow and Dean doesn't even know what he's saying anymore, just knows his lips are moving against Cas' ear and sounds are coming out but all he can hear is the wet slap of their hips, the moan Cas makes that goes high and uneven when Dean gets the angle just right.

Dean slides his hand further, joins Cas' around his dick and Cas arches back against him, lets Dean guide his hand to match the rhythm of their hips.

Cas twists around so he can catch Dean's mouth in an awkward kiss. "Dean," and Christ, Dean's never going to be able to hear Cas say his name again after this, "Dean — I — "

"I know, I know." Dean kisses the shell of his ear, twists his hand over the head of Cas' cock and relishes the cut-off moan that pulls out of him, "Come on, baby, that's it, you got it," and Cas' head drops as he does it again, "come for me."

The sound Cas makes when he comes probably wakes up the old couple from Michigan next door and Dean can't even bring himself to care, because he's pretty sure he's never going to be able to fuck anyone else ever again. That sound has ruined him, totally and completely, and he would gladly sign up for another forty years in the pit just to hear it again.

Dean bites down too hard and feels Cas tense around him and he's done, can't even give him any warning, just pulls Cas tight against him and his thrusts go uneven and buries his face in Cas' hair as the orgasm peels him out of his own skin, leaves him aching like an exposed nerve. He doesn't even remember pulling out or rolling onto his back, just comes down a little bit later and it's dark, but he knows that isn't right because they left the light on, and — Dean opens his eyes, and realizes his mouth is bone-dry from panting.

When he dares glance to his side, Cas is also on his back, chest still heaving, just staring at the ceiling. One arm is thrown over his head, lost in the pillows, the other splayed out on his stomach, oblivious to the mess there. Dean rescues a discarded shirt off the floor and cleans him up, afraid to say anything first because now that it's over he's not sure if — what if Cas —

Cas catches his hand and it's kind of gross, really, but Dean finds himself not giving any fucks at all when Cas brings his hand to his mouth and brushes a gentle kiss across his knuckles. "Tell me again why you didn't want to do that?"

Dean's laughing too hard to properly kiss him but tries anyway, lets Cas wrap him up and roll them over. The morning is still hours away, and Dean intends to keep this as long as he can.

+

Dean wakes up to Cas mouthing at his shoulder, five o'clock shadow dragging against his skin like fine-grain sandpaper. It's a gentle touch, slow movements of his lips and tongue, trailing from the top of Dean's arm across his shoulder blade. Dean doesn't move, just lets him explore, closing his eyes as Cas works his way back up until he's right where Dean's neck connects with the base of his skull and bites down.

Dean groans and rocks backwards — sometime in the night, he must've flipped over or Cas did the flipping but either way, he's totally fine with being the little spoon because it means he gets to rub against the morning glory Cas is sporting against his ass.

As soon as he moves, Cas freezes. "Is this okay?" he asks, lips brushing the shell of Dean's ear. "I wasn't entirely sure if I needed to ask permission," he admits, and Dean rolls his eyes before he realizes Cas can't see him do it.

"You don't," Dean says, turning over beneath the sheets. Cas is so close, their noses knock together. "It's implied."

Cas gives him a thoughtful sort of look, one thumb tracing the line of Dean's eyebrow. "I suppose I'm just not used to having the liberty of making such assumptions."

"Cas, for you," Dean says, "the answer has always been yes."

And he's a little surprised to realize he means it, even when Cas tilts his head against the pillow and quirks that goddamn left eyebrow because he's unsure if Dean is actually saying what it sounds like he's saying. Dean didn't really know until he said it, either; because he's never considered the question, because Cas would never ask, not even if he absolutely needed it. But if he had, Dean knows without a doubt he wouldn't hesitate.

He'd say yes.

Cas just looks at him, continues to trace the line of his brow and his cheek and his jaw, before trailing over his neck to his shoulder, fingers fitting over the old burn in Dean's shoulder, and he doesn't look sad, exactly — nostalgic, maybe — and Dean can't really deal with that right now. It's getting late, the sunlight coming through the curtains already visible over the lamp still lit at the bedside, and he can hear birds whistling and in a couple of hours they'll be crammed back into the car with Sam and this'll all be nothing but a memory.

And then Cas smiles, and it's not the predatory smile he was using on Dean last night, just happy and definitely a little sappy. Dean feels himself blush but doesn't have to hide it because Cas pulls him in and kisses him. Dean tries to deepen it, but Cas pulls away and says against his cheek, "Lie back," and Dean lets himself be pushed onto his back, and just kind of stares as Cas throws a leg over his hips and sits on him.

"Where is it?" Cas is rooting around in the sheets, gets annoyed with that real fast and just throws them off the bed. Something thuds on the floor and he's off Dean, half on the floor with his ass in the air (and Dean hopes it takes him a while to find it, because he could look at that all day) before he comes back up with the lube in hand. He settles right back over Dean's hips like he never left.

"Cas, you don't have to — "

"Quiet." Cas says it like he just expects Dean to obey and, well. Guilty. "I know I don't have to. It's one of the perks of being human," and Dean's trying to pay attention to what he's saying, but he's a little distracted by Cas drizzling lube over his index and middle fingers before reaching behind himself and — "I don't have to do anything. I can do what I want."

"Yeah, okay, but — " Dean can see his hand working and Cas grimaces a little because Dean wasn't exactly gentle, last night, and, "Fuck, Cas, there's other — we don't have to — "

"Didn't I tell you to be quiet?" He sounds a little breathless, the word quiet nearly vanishing into a gasp as Cas no doubt discovers his prostate all on his own. Dean grabs the base of his own dick and bites down on his cheek. Cas looks an X-rated pin-up, balanced on his knees over Dean's hips, cock hard and straining towards his bellybutton, precome leaking down the length. Cas' back is arched, head back, one hand digging into his thigh and the other behind him, slick fingers working himself open. Dean wants to see that more than anything he's ever wanted in his life, but he's worried if he moves Cas might stop, and that might actually kill him.

So Dean shuts up and strokes himself, slow and loose, runs his other hand over Cas' until Cas stops digging bruises into his leg and digs them into Dean's hand instead. Cas twists his hand so their palms are together so he can interlace their fingers again. Dean has no idea how he can possibly concentrate enough to do that while he's opening himself up, mouth open and panting and eyes squeezed shut and thighs trembling against Dean's sides.

Cas exhales as he pulls his own hand free and he might be ready but Dean isn't as Cas tugs Dean's hand away. He sits up so he's right over Dean, holds Dean's cock straight so he can sink down onto it. Dean's gripping Cas' thigh too damn tight and he has to force himself to look, to watch Cas sink down on his cock. "Christ."

"Don't blaspheme," Cas mutters.

Cas doesn't even give him a second, just starts to move his hips, first these little figure-eights that have Dean clawing red lines into his skin, and them scoots his knees up a little and lifts, and takes Dean's brain with him.

It's quieter than last night, both outside and in, as Dean lets Cas ride him and takes his time to look. Watches the long line of his body move on top of him, hip bones jutting out and stomach clenching as he rises up and down, that deep red flush spreading over his chest and shoulders. His head is bowed in concentration, eyes hidden in shadow and his lips are parted, red and panting. He clenches tight around Dean when he pulls up and relaxes as he slides down, and Dean starts rising to meet him, scoots down just a smidge on the bed so when he slides in he hits him just right and Cas' head falls back, throat exposed, and lets out a low moan.

"Sonofabitch," Dean mutters, and snaps his hips again. Cas cries out this time, teeters forward but Dean still has his hand, holds him up even as he reaches for Cas' cock, strokes him in time with the rocking of his hips. "Fuck, baby, just like that — you're so fucking good, Cas, Cas," and he has to bite that last part off, groans as Cas arches his back and Dean almost blacks out. "Oh, fuck fuck fuck fuck — "

Dean brushes his thumb under the head of Cas' cock, spreads the precome over the head and down his length, matches his body for every squeeze and stroke. "Fuck, you're close, aren't you?" He punctuates it with another thrust, and Dean has to close his eyes, he can't fucking watch Cas throw his head back like that and hope to keep it together. Cas pulls up, high and fast, and Dean almost slips out before he sinks back down and rocks into him. "Baby, yeah, just like that, fuck, you're perfect, don't — " God, he's fucking babbling, and doesn't even care, " — don't stop, don't stop, don't — "

Cas squeezes his hand and makes that high-pitch sound again, a moan cut off with a cry and Dean fucks him through it, hand matching his hips as he rocks upwards, lets Cas stripe his stomach and chest. A little bit lands on his chin and Dean's just moaning nonstop, "please, please, Cas, fuck, please," and feels that tug at the base of his spine pull taut and spring loose like a line cut and Dean barely manages a, "Fuck, I'm gonna — " and that's all the warning Cas gets as Dean fucks up into him, wet slap of their hips embarrassingly loud in the quiet early-morning.

Cas is hunched over him, and he's still squeezing Dean's fingers so tightly they're probably going to be stiff for fucking days. He grunts when Cas exhales and rolls off him, his half-hard cock slapping wetly down onto his stomach. "Ugh," he manages, and the sheets are gone and so is the shirt from last night so Dean just collapses against the mattress, limbs too heavy to move, and resigns himself to the jizz drying on his chest.

"Dean," Cas says a few minutes or a few hours later. Dean cracks open an eye, then immediately shuts it. Cas is standing in the bathroom doorway, butt-naked, and the light is shining right in his eye. "Dean," he says again, closer now, and Dean makes a noncommittal noise that he hopes conveys fuck off I'm going back to sleep but Cas either doesn't speak thoroughly-fucked or doesn't care. "I'm going to take a shower."

That's great, Dean thinks, take one for me too, while you're at it, before he remembers that Cas requires actual words to hear him these days. "Okay," is what he says because he can't be bothered to say the rest, but apparently that's not what Cas wants to hear.

Human or not, he's still strong enough to haul Dean's sorry (naked, lube-and-come drenched) ass right out of bed and Dean's annoyed about it for a split second until Cas takes him by the chin and kisses him.

"Cheater," Dean tells him, and Cas just smirks and drags Dean by the wrist into the shower.

The water is hot and wonderful and Dean's kind of thankful they're physically past any possibility of having a third round. Dean maintains that shower sex is too complicated to bother with, however tempting it might be, and it's pretty damn tempting with Cas in here with him, water beading in the sparse hair on his chest and getting caught in his eyelashes.

He lets Cas wash him because he insists and it seems to make him happy, and Dean sort of gets it when he takes up the cheap bar of soap and starts sliding his hands over Cas to return the favor, getting him slick all over again. He wonders how long he's got while this spell lasts, until Cas wants to talk about the prospect of doing this with someone else, someone who isn't Dean and fuck, maybe Cas prefers women, too, he didn't even ask —

"Whatever you're thinking about, stop it," and Dean still thinks that grace or not, Cas' intuitiveness is a little too on-point to be completely human. "There is no catch, Dean. I didn't ask for this lightly."

Dean deflects like a reflex, "What, you didn't just want me for my body?"

"I made this body," Cas reminds him. He's doing that thing again, like a weird tick he's developed, tracing Dean's face with his fingertips. "Every cell, every nerve, every stream of consciousness. I rebuilt you with my bare hands," Dean raises an eyebrow at that, and Cas rolls his eyes because yeah, Dean knows what he means. "Your soul, this body," he goes on, and Dean starts to fidget a little but Cas has him trapped against the wall, "are the most beautiful things I've ever seen. And I have seen everything, Dean, that has ever come to be."

"Cas," Dean tries, but Cas shushes him with a finger over his lips.

"It was an honor," Cas continues, and Dean doesn't have a reflex to deal with that, so he says nothing, just closes his eyes and lets Cas map his features like he's molding Dean out of clay. Lips move along his jaw, his cheek, brush against his ear, Cas' voice low and Dean can barely hear him over the sound of the water. "My entire garrison came for you. Michael himself was supposed to take you, but you wouldn't come. You didn't want to leave, didn't think you were worthy of rescue. But you came for me," Cas says, and Dean doesn't even remember that, or maybe he does, maybe he just never wanted to. When he opens his eyes, Cas is smiling at him, and Dean can count the water droplets caught in his eyelashes. "You think you're not worthy of this, but you're wrong. I am the one here not worthy."

Dean closes his eyes again, cheeks burning so much the water feels lukewarm. Cas is patient and waits him out, and when Dean looks, Cas simply smiles at him and runs a thumb across Dean's bottom lip. Dean catches it in his teeth, nips at the pad of it. "Word of advice?" he says, and Cas quirks an eyebrow. "Next time you wanna get laid, lead with that."

Cas rolls his eyes but leans in to meet him, and they spend more time making out than actually getting clean, but the water washes away the worst of it. The tiles are stone cold where Cas shoves him up against the wall but they've warmed by the time the shower starts to run cool and Dean's fingertips are pruning. Cas finally pulls away when Dean starts to shiver and turns off the water, swings the curtain back and wraps them both in fresh towels.

Dean delays just long enough to brush his teeth and piss — Cas having gotten that out of the way while Dean was still cat-napping off an orgasm — and catches his reflection by accident. There's a few tell-tale signs of the night before and morning after, red trail marks scratched into his chest and arms, all easily covered up by a shirt-and-flannel combo... aside from the bite mark on his throat. He can actually see teeth marks. And it's on his right side so it's not like if he angles himself just right at breakfast Sam won't notice in the twelve-and-change hours they have left in the car.

Dean worries about it for about six seconds before he decides fuck it, because he's a goddamn adult and his little sister will just have to get over it.

They dress in silence and Dean's a little weirded out by how not-awkward it is. He's still messing with the laces of his boots when Cas comes to sit beside him on the bed, runs a hand up his spine and into his hair. Dean leans into it, closes his eyes and just enjoys the touch.

He jumps when someone starts banging on the door. Cas doesn't move right away, just runs his fingers through Dean's hair one more time, nails scratching a little on the way down, and Dean shudders involuntarily. Cas meets him halfway when Dean leans over, and sighs when Cas deepens the kiss, hands trailing lightly over his jaw.

The knocking gets louder.

"Sonofabitch," Dean mutters against Cas' mouth. Then, louder, "Keep your pants on!"

"It's almost noon," Sam bitches when Dean wrenches the door open to scowl at him. "I've been calling for like an hour, what — " and Sam takes one look at the bed and the welt on his neck, gives Dean a look and says, "So, who tripped?"

Dean says "Shut up," because it's his go-to for stupid questions that don't deserve answers.

"No one tripped," is what Cas says because he doesn't know this is going to turn into a twelve-hour interrogation and lecture about feelings and intentions and what does this mean for you two's and Dean's seriously considering letting them drive back and just taking a fucking flight. "Dean and I discussed it thoroughly before deciding to proceed. Very thoroughly," he adds, side-eyeing Dean on his way past Sam out the door.

Sam watches him go, then raises his eyebrows at Dean. "Like, safeword discussions, or — "

"Oh my god," Dean says, and that's it, he's leaving Sam here to hitch a goddamn ride.

"No, that's for next time," Cas calls over his shoulder.

"You're both walking," Dean snaps, but doesn't argue when Cas slides into the backseat behind him.

He does lock the door on Sam, though, just to see his bitch-face and starts to pull away before unlocking it again. "Asshole," Sam says, bolting in and slamming the door while Dean's still reversing out of their parking spot.

He waits until Dean's pulled onto Route 24 and is hurtling along close to 80 before he says, failing a poker face, "So, are you two like, officially a thing, now? Finally?" and Dean does not miss the eyeroll, the little shit.

"Tell you what," Dean says, slowing down and angling the car towards the shoulder, "you can drive, and I'll spend the trip making out with my boyfriend in the backseat."

"We could also have the safeword discussion," Cas adds helpfully.

"I will drive us into a ditch," Sam threatens, but shuts up real quick.

When Dean catches Cas' eye in the rearview, he's wearing that same wicked smile from the night before and Dean thinks that maybe the drive back home won't be so bad, after all.