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It was hard, sometimes, to remember that Dean could never really perceive Castiel as he was. The heartbreak as Dean had lain on the floor blocking his ears against Castiel’s voice, first in that gas station and then that motel room, had been a new and unwelcome sensation. At the time, Castiel had not even known that was what to call that feeling, only that he did not like it.

Even now, Castiel was sure Dean thought of him as being this body. No longer a vessel, having been destroyed and rebuilt more than once since Jimmy had gone home to Heaven, it was still merely a body, and did not truly contain him. Castiel had adjusted to the strange doubled view of the world that being embodied gave him: the input from his physical eyes and the far more nuanced perceptions he perceived through his true form.

Castiel tried not to think of this often. There was pain in being loved by someone who could not truly see you, could not truly understand you. Dean understood Castiel in many ways that Castiel did not understand himself, and his love was a beautiful and sacred thing that Castiel treasured. Dean frequently spoke of feeling inadequate in many contexts, and Castiel would never want to add another item to that list. Dean should never think he was not enough.

Every so often, however, as they consummated their relationship sexually, Castiel would be viscerally reminded that Dean felt only the physical arms that held him. He could not perceive the wings with which Castiel surrounded them both. He could feel only Castiel’s physical mouth worshipping his body, oblivious to the others that tasted and sucked and bit at his aura and soul. And as he neared completion, rocking forward into Castiel’s fist and backward onto his cock, Dean could never know the effort it took for Castiel to contain his true voice as he yearned to sing out in praise of this beautiful man.

As Dean chanted the shortened version of Castiel’s name, however, and spilled his seed in glorious ecstasy, Castiel found a peace and completion that resonated through his body and grace even more profoundly than the jolts of pleasure that washed through him physically. And when Dean lay in Castiel’s arms, drifting to sleep, he might be unaware of so many things, but the way he always positioned Castiel’s hand on his shoulder in the exact spot he had been branded with Castiel’s grace showed that he knew enough.