Dean drank like a man condemned. He supposed he was, in a sense. His neck would be on the chopping block sooner or later, people like him, they didn’t live long. He’d dispatched a few of them himself, they never looked surprised. He used to keep a notebook, a little book bound in red leather, full of the names. He could remember some of them, the first ones, the ones that mattered. When he’d filled it up he didn’t start another. He didn’t need more proof that he was a monster.
He took a deep gulp straight from the bottle, the cheap liquor burning his throat, warming his insides, sending fire to all of those dark places. Perhaps that was the way he should go, burnt up just like his mother, wouldn’t that be freaking poetic. He chuckled at the concept, the sound painful to his ears, lacking the musicality of genuine amusement.
The emptiness of the motel room bore down on him, loneliness making his breaths feel heavy, that familiar weight on his chest pressing him into himself. Introspection was a dangerous game for him, how could it not be when everything he did was so very wrong? He was itching for a kill, itching for that intimacy, desperate for someone to stop him.
He was too good at this, too good at killing, no one ever put up a decent fight. The battle was over before it started and, in the end, it left him cold.
He drank enough that his fingers started to go numb, the room spinning around him, then drank some more. He turned on the TV and watched cartoon animals try to kill each other, attempting to ignore the gruesome realities that tried to impose themselves over the unreality.
There was a knock on the door, distantly forcing itself into his consciousness. He ignored it, eyes glued to the Technicolor safety blanket, not ready to return to the real world in all its imperfection.
A second knock sounded, closely followed by a third. Dean groaned and slowly stood up. The fourth knock was louder than the first three, and Dean cursed as he attempted to steady himself in the shifting room.
“Yeah yeah, I’m on m’ way,” he shouted in the vague direction of the offending party.
He made his way towards the door, taking one step at a time, intensely focused on his feet, unsure how they were staying on the ground when everything was upside down.
He threw the door open, angry retort at the ready as he swayed in the doorway. His words froze on his lips as he saw Castiel standing there.
“D’ you ever take off that trench coat?”
Smart, Dean, real smart. Cas narrowed his eyes as he looked Dean up and down.
“You are drunk.”
“Gee, y’ think?”
Castiel nodded, looking frustratingly good, and Dean barely stopped himself leaning forward to kiss that indecipherable look off his face.
“I should leave.”
Cas turned on his heel, and before Dean knew he’d moved he grabbed his arm, stopping his progress before he could try to leave.
Castiel looked at him, x-ray eyes making Dean feel far too exposed.
“My intention tonight was to fuck you until you screamed, and you are far too inebriated to consent to that.”
Dean made a sound somewhere between a moan and a groan. Arousal warring with disappointment.
“’m not too drunk, I still know what I want.”
“Dean,” Cas’ eyes narrowed dangerously, Dean gulped and looked away, “you can’t even stand straight.”
Dean made a concerted effort to stop swaying, but quickly realised it was a doomed pursuit. He sighed.
“Don’t wanna be alone.”
Cas’ expression softened.
“Neither do I.”
He stepped into the room, and Dean shut the door behind him.
The war was wearing on him, Castiel was finding himself needing companionship in a way that he never normally would. He wished Dean had been sober, physical indulgence had a way of calming him. Sex was, by far, his favourite form of meditation. Tonight he felt like he was made up of blinding light, on the edge of an explosion, hot and tense and dangerous. He had killed far too much of late, and seen too many of his brothers and sisters killed in return. It was out of control. He had hoped to at least be able to find control in Dean. He slipped off his coat with a sigh and sat on the edge of the bed while Dean sank into the headboard.
"D' ya want some?" The bottle weaved in the air as Dean held it out to him. He supposed inebriation was as good a pastime as any. He took the bottle and, when he realised there was no glass to follow, wrinkled his nose and took a long gulp of the burning liquid.
Dean nodded his respect when Cas didn't wince at the taste of the cheap liquor, watching with heavily lidded eyes while he took a few more sips. When in Rome, he supposed, best to get as drunk as the Romans. It was a shame it would take a liquor store to reach that point, and Dean had surely drunk the nearest one dry.
He passed the bottle back, knowing that was the polite thing to do, if not the responsible one. Dean was a grown man, and Castiel would not baby him, not tonight. He quickly decided it had been the correct choice to make, when he watched the way Dean's lips curled around the bottle, flicking out a tongue to pull the liquor into his mouth a millisecond faster, his neck muscles tightening and then releasing as he swallowed. It was practically pornographic, which was not helped by Cas' memory of those same lips stretching around his cock.
Dean winked at him, and Cas realised he'd been staring. He shook his head, as if that would rid him of his sinful thoughts, and gratefully took the bottle as it was returned to him.
"You don't have to sit all the way over there Cas," Dean patted the bed beside him, "c'me on, I won't bite," he giggled, "that's more your style anyway."
Cas rolled his eyes, but moved to the space Dean had indicated without argument.
Dean's warmth was nice beside him, just like the warmth of the whiskey spreading through him and calming the fire within. Their arms brushed against each other, and Cas realised just how rarely he sat with someone like this. He had never yearned for it, but now that he had it he wondered why.
Dean's head sunk to rest on Cas' shoulder, and he didn't shake it off.
"Are you alright Dean?"
Dean laughed somewhat bitterly.
"I'm drunk, everythin's awesome," that statement couldn't have been any more obviously a lie.
"Dean," Castiel said sternly, a simple warning, which he was glad seemed to be effective.
Dean sighed and lifted his head. Cas passed him the whiskey, sensing that a little liquid courage might be needed.
"Thanks," he chuckled and took a long gulp, then looked at the bottle as he twirled it in his hands, "it's been a long day."
Cas shifted on the bed, trying to decide whether he was entitled to pry, if he even wanted to.
"I know I'm just a stranger who has fucked you a couple of times, but you can talk to me if you wish. I am here afterall."
Dean kept his eyes on the bottle.
"Do you have any siblings?" He asked with a softness that seemed to be leading somewhere.
Cas tilted his head.
"In a sense."
Dean looked up at him with a sparkle in his eyes that hadn't been there before.
"That's not usually a difficult question to answer Cas."
"There is little usual about my family," that had to be the understatement of the millennium.
"Normal's overrated in my book."
"You have a book?"
"Opinion. Jeeze Castiel, how'd you not hear that before?"
Cas shrugged. He knew his knowledge of the world was limited. He wasn't ashamed of that. His childhood truly had been a bizarre one.
Dean rolled his eyes far too fondly.
"Well what's so unusual about them anyhow?"
Cas was silent for a moment, trying to figure out how to say 'I was brought up by the mafia' in a way that didn't sound like he was brought up by the mafia.
"I was adopted into a very large family. My brother, Gabriel, is the closest in age and perhaps feels the most like a true sibling, but none of us are related in the literal sense."
"Your parents are dead?"
Cas hoped it was the whiskey that was causing him to speak truths he never shared. His family knew, of course, but it wasn't something that was spoken of. There was no need to discuss what was already established.
"Dude that sucks."
"It is the only life I have ever known. Why did you ask?"
"I've got a brother. We ain't getting on. He's all the family I got and I keep fucking it up."
"I believe family is supposed to forgive," Castiel was not the forgiving sort, and he did not truly possess a family, so he couldn't claim the statement was anything beyond a platitude.
"Family's just blood, nothin' in the contract about forgiveness."
There was something hidden in the brusk tone Dean spoke with. It took a while for Cas to identify it as longing. He doubted Dean was even aware of its presence.
"But you seek forgiveness?"
Dean squirmed slightly, confirming that Cas' diagnosis had been correct.
"We ain't got nothin’ in common anymore. I don't know shit about him and he don't know shit about me. How we supposed to even talk to each other?"
Cas pursed his lips.
"One word at a time."
Dean barked a laugh.
"Yeah, guess you're right there."
"If it's meant to be it will be."
"And if it's not?"
"Then it's not."
Dean was silent for what could have been minutes, could have been seconds; Cas' perception of time seemed to be slipping.
"How am I supposed to live like that?" Dean's voice broke over the words.
Cas echoed his previous statement.
"One day at a time."
"Yeah. One day at a time."
Dean brought the bottle back to his lips, and took another drink.