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I'm So Dirty Babe

Chapter Text

Now

 

Dean didn't know when sex and violence had become so intertwined within his mind. He also didn't particularly care. They were complementary highs, like whiskey and cigarettes, deadly and indulgent. There was an element of guilt to it, sure, that almost went without saying. Dean Winchester was nothing without guilt, which perhaps should have done more to undermine the pure carnal pleasure he took wherever he could find it. That said, he didn't feel guilty when he held Raphael close to his chest and watched the life drain out of him. No, this was pure excitement, power and blood and delicious cruelty. His veins thrummed with an electric pulse, every nerve ending alive with ecstasy. His mouth fell open slightly, he licked his lips, mind emptied of everything but sensation.

He took a moment to savour, breathe in, breathe out, then released his hold on the dead man. Raphael fell to the floor of the bathroom, blood soaking linoleum, and Dean leaned down to retrieve the knife, wiping it clean on the shirt of his victim.

The high of the kill dimmed slightly, and Dean became aware of his surroundings again, hearing the pulsating beat of the crappy club music outside. He stepped over the body, walking over to one of the cracked porcelain sinks and washing his hands. He knew someone could walk in at any moment, he knew he could get caught literally red-handed, he also knew he liked it that way. Exhibitionism and murder were perhaps not the best combination, but damn if it didn't get him hard.

He looked at himself in the mirror, eyes dilated, cheeks flushed. He needed to get fucked, immediately, while the buzz of the kill was still fresh and insistent. He ran a damp hand through his hair, winked at his reflection, and sauntered out onto the dance floor.

Pop or techno or whatever the hell this music was may not have been his idea of a good time, but he had to admit that the combination of bass and strobe lights did some delicious things to his body. He felt almost giddy as he weaved his way between scantily clad dancers, the air heavy with sweat and sex and alcohol.

He could kill anyone here, if he wanted to, fortunately for them his desire was sated for the night, and besides, he had rules.

How long would it be, he wondered, before some drunken idiot stumbled over the body and the club was hit with an all new kind of chaos? He doubted it would be too long. He should leave, but not yet. He was on the hunt.

He wasn't the only one, it seemed. His gaze was drawn to the predatory gleam in the eyes of a man standing beside the bar. His shoulders were stiff, everything about the layers of shirt and jacket and trench coat screaming that he was out of place in this environment, and yet, those eyes. That expression was not one of discomfort, but of hunger. Dean moved like he was drawn to him with a magnetic force, not really aware of making the decision to do so.

"So what's a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?" Dean grinned as he leaned an elbow on the bar.

Those intense eyes moved deliberately as they looked him up and down, lingering in a way that made Dean feel like he was being touched all over. He swallowed as an appraising eyebrow was raised, the corner of the stranger’s mouth quirking at the question.

"I'll tell you a secret," he spoke with a voice that rumbled like thunder, "I'm not that nice."

Dean shifted, trying to subtly adjust his pants, an attempt that clearly failed miserably as the stranger’s gaze followed the movement, before he returned to staring into Dean’s eyes as if he could see what was behind them.

"You wanna get out of here?" Dean's voice was hoarse, it was practically a miracle he hadn't stuttered. Thank Satan for small mercies.

The stranger narrowed his eyes, tilting his head to the side and pursing his lips. Dean’s heart thudded in his chest, worrying that he'd read that look wrong, knowing that having seen this man no one else would do for the night. After a small eternity the silent deliberation ended and the stranger nodded his head. Dean breathed a sigh of relief and lead the way out of the club, not needing to look to know that he was being followed, he could feel the eyes on him like a physical thing.

The cold air of the outside world came none too soon, Dean was vibrating out of his skin, desperate to see and taste and touch.

He mouthed another word of thanks to the dark lord above as he led the way to his motel room, barely a block away, he didn't think he'd have been able to survive a cab ride. As it was he was practically running. He fumbled for his keys and heard a low chuckle behind him.

"Do you intend to rush this entire encounter to the extent you are hurrying the preface?"

Dean shivered, finally managing to get the key in the lock and open the door.

"I might not have a choice if you keep talking."

"Well," the asshole somehow lowered his voice further, obviously pretty fucking aware of the effect it had on people, "we can’t have that."

He shoved Dean through the door and down on the bed, with no warning or care for his well-being. Dean moaned like a teenager being touched for the first time, barely preventing himself from rutting against the mattress. It seemed the stranger read his intentions, because he pressed a firm hand to his back, right between his shoulder blades, ensuring he couldn't move even if he wanted to. Dean struggled half-heartedly, knowing he should put up at least a token resistance to being manhandled like this by a stranger, but finding that he was well and truly trapped.

"Now now, do not fight unless you truly want your freedom, otherwise you may find yourself getting it, and losing what you desire."

His clothes were roughly torn from him, buttons probably popping from his favourite shirt, but Dean couldn't care less. There wasn't even a pause as the knife was discovered and tossed aside. Dean had the fleeting thought that he should be alarmed by that, surely normal people had some reaction to finding weaponry tucked beneath someone's clothing, but potential danger seemed immaterial with a warm, unexpectedly strong, body pressing him into the bed. He'd fought off attackers while naked before, both homophobes and enemies, he could do it again.

"I assume you have condoms and lubricant?" The stranger spoke in his ear.

He waved a hand in the general direction of the bedside table, already turned to mush with barely a touch, but it seemed to be enough. Supplies were retrieved and, with as little fanfare as anything else tonight, slick fingers speared into him. Dean cried out as he was briskly scissored open, writhing in a heady combination of pleasure and pain.

"Now-" he gasped, "who's rushing things?"

"Would you like me to slow down?" The fingers were removed and Dean sobbed at the loss.

"Don't you fucking dare."

He pushed his ass back in invitation.

"Now now," the stranger tutted, "coarse language is not the way to get what do you need."

"Just fucking-" Dean's words died on his tongue as a thick cock pushed into him.

"Fuck you? Was that what you wanted?" He had the gall to stop halfway in, Dean tried to turn to see if the evil smirk he could hear in the words was just his imagination, but his head was pushed into the pillow before he could. "Speak up, one rarely gets what they want in life without asking for it."

Dean was burning with fury and arousal, absolutely refusing to do as he was told, and knowing that he really should be grateful for the reprieve that was so infuriating him. He was barely prepped and, he was fairly sure, the stranger had one of the biggest cocks he had ever taken. That said-

Dean shoved himself down, burying the dick to the hilt, gasping at the pain even as his own cock hardened against the sheets.

"Well well, it seems someone has a masochistic streak. Naughty boy," the words were practically purred, "of course, that is probably fortunate, since I am one hell of a sadist." Dean barely had chance to register the steel that had crept into his tone, because with that last word he pulled out almost all the way and slammed back in, hard.

If Dean thought he had been a writhing mess before, he had clearly not understood the true meaning of the phrase. Once he started fucking him he didn't let up for a second, somehow punching into him harder with every thrust. Dean was seeing stars even before he found his prostate, afterwards everything just sort of whited out. He was reduced to nothing but sensation, as pure as it was obscene. He was distantly aware that he was babbling nonsense, begging for it harder even though it couldn't get any harder, then just making animalistic noises of pleasure. Some lingering rational part of his brain wondered if it was possible for the inside of his ass to bruise, before it was swept away on the tide of an orgasm so intense that he was surprised he didn't pass out.

The pressure on his back was released and he heard a zipper being done up. Holy shit had he been clothed the entire time? A new flash of arousal went through him at the thought. He caught a flash of trench coat as it whisked towards the door, and he sluggishly turned onto his back, fighting limbs that had gone limp to raise himself up on his elbows.

"Wait," he mumbled.

The stranger paused with his hand on the doorknob, turning to look at him with a familiar raised eyebrow.

"What's your name?"

Stupid, Dean didn't know why he'd asked. Who cared about the names of one night stands?

"Now that would be telling," yes, there was the smirk he'd heard in that voice, that unfairly sexy voice that was still sending chills through him even as fucked out as he was.

Dean opened his mouth to say something else, though he wasn't sure exactly what, but before he could the door was clicking shut and the stranger was gone.

He collapsed back on the bed.

Asshole, he thought, before exhaustion wrapped tendrils around his mind and he drifted off to sleep.

 

*************************

 

Castiel had never liked Raphael, a part of him was glad to see him gone, but he knew appearances had to be maintained. He could pretend to grieve as a friend, his companions needn't know he celebrated the loss of an enemy, silently. Dying in a bathroom certainly wasn't a pleasant way to go, lacked a certain level of dignity, he wondered if Raphael had been upset by that in his last moments, or if he'd been more focused on the fact of death, than the form in which it came. Anna had tears in her eyes, he noted as she looked to him for comfort, now that was something he was not glad of. The pain this was causing his preferred brethren was something that surely must be avenged. His judgement on the one who had done this would be as swift as it was brutal.

"They will pay dearly for this," Uriel practically growled.

"Worry not brother, I will make sure of it," Castiel spoke as deadly calmness swept over him. He had his orders, a mission to complete. He would smite the hunters with righteous fury, and the land would be cleansed by it.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Pain, so much pain, it was swallowing him whole. He writhed, kicked, bit. It did no good. There was no escape, no end, no reprieve.

“So, Deanie boy, are you going to talk today?”

“No,” that was all he had. All he had in the world. The word no and all this pain.

“We’ll get it out of you sooner or later. You’ll say yes. You have no control here Dean. Everyone breaks in the end. It’s only a matter of how much I get to cut on you before you say yes.”

“No, no, no, no,” he was crying the words, begging for mercy as much as answering the question, and Alastair knew as much.

“I bet you thought you were doing something good when you traded yourself for your brother. Dean Winchester, the saviour, the hero. You didn’t save anyone Dean, you just condemned yourself. You will betray your family as surely as your flesh will split beneath my knife.”

He was burning alive, being torn apart, but he wasn’t going to do it. He wouldn’t. He would rather die, but damn it they wouldn’t let him.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Castiel kept a tight grip on the blade in his hand, its weight grounding, familiar. The patter of rain dulled the sound of the hunter trying to outrun him, no one would hear this, not over the storm that raged in the city tonight. Cas walked down the alley at a slow pace, whistling the chorus of Hey Jude, listening to the panicked breathing, the yelp as the hunter realised his mistake. He grinned wolfishly as his prey ran up against a locked fence, the razor wire making it impossible to scale, not that he would have had time anyway. The hunter turned slowly, watching as Castiel approached.

"Don't kill me, I can tell you things, I can get you-"

Castiel shook his head, tutting cheerfully.

"Now now, don't turn on your kin, not when you have so little time left to make the right choices."

"Please..."

Cas was mere inches from the hunter, smiling at the wide eyes, the uneven breathing, the despair. He breathed in the smell of fear, soon to be washed away by the rain, wiped clean.

"You are scheduled for death, those are the orders. It's nothing personal, if that is of any consolation."

"It's my death, feels pretty damn personal."

"Well, be that as it may..."

Castiel stabbed him in the gut, a narrow incision, but deep. It would kill him, slowly. The hunter coughed up blood, pain twisting his expression.

"I am truly sorry, but this is going to get nasty."

He sliced into his flesh, carving patterns into the body, ignoring the cries, the struggling limbs. He barely felt the nails scratching at his arms, the kill always focused him, his own body no longer mattered. Everything was reduced to the knife, the art of butchery, the blood rushing out of the pumping arteries, like it had been trapped behind a dam, eager to escape. He laughed at that thought. Little whimpers reached his ears, distant, dampened by the fog in his mind, or maybe the rain.

He glanced up, saw agony in the hunter's eyes, and looked back down at his work. It was good enough. He flung the hunter to the floor, head colliding with the pavement, no strength left to lessen the fall. He was close to dead already, but Castiel didn't do half measures. He raised his foot, and stomped down on the fading hunter's neck, gradually applying more pressure until he heard something snap. The hunter's eyes glazed with the sheen of death, and Cas walked away, whistling once again.

 

*************************

 

When the streets run red with the blood of your family, remember that you started this.

If Dean hadn’t been so pissed off he would have admired the handy work. The message was so cleanly carved into the chest of his cousin, each letter perfectly crafted. It was no mean feat. Okay, so maybe he was admiring it a little. The angels always had a certain sense of style, he’d give them that. However the admiration was somewhat overwhelmed by the fury that burnt beneath his skin, burnt as hot as their house had, that night so long ago, as hot as the implements of torture that had once cut him so deeply. A little revenge was good for the soul, and he was sure to find it, god knows his soul needed all the help it could get.

“Those angel bastards need to burn.”

Samuel had gone red in the face. The evil that Dean was certain resided within him coming to the surface as he glared down at the body.

“Are you sure it ain’t best to quit while we’re ahead?”

“Ahead? After what they did to Mary? After this? We ain’t even breaking even. Damn right I’m sure.”

Mary, it always came back to Mary. Even after all this time she was seemingly all Samuel cared about. He definitely didn’t care about Dean.

“But-“

“Your daddy would be ashamed to hear his own blood talk like this. Shut your mouth and do your damn job.”

Dean shut his mouth, the unease eating at him. The violence between the two gangs had been going for as long as he could remember, but at least there’d been something of a lull after his father’s death, they just hadn’t been the priority with everything that had happened in those awful days. Now, though, this was escalating far too quickly, and Dean couldn’t help but feel responsible. Of course killing Raphael had led to more spilt blood, more deaths in the family. It hadn’t been his choice, sure, but damn had he enjoyed it. Yes, this war was on him, he couldn’t turn his back on it now.

“What d’ you want me to do?”

“What you’re best at. I have a list of names, you can do the rest.”

Dean nodded his assent, desperate to get away from the only family he had left. He knew Samuel hated him, but he wouldn’t fight him. He had, after all, saved him from the responsibility of leadership. Dean didn’t think he could have handled that, after everything. He could deal with being judged by people who didn’t matter, fighting a stupid war for no good reason, just as long as no one tried to put a stop to his violence, that rage that never seemed to be satisfied. Whoever had done this really did deserve to die. His cousin had been an asshole but no should suffer like that. So perhaps his own cruel actions would be justified, perhaps he could feel a sense of righteousness while he tore them apart, or perhaps it would just be that high and the drop that followed it, perhaps it would just be another name on the list. All he knew was that they would die. That was the job. That was the family business. Who was he to deny tradition?

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean had hated Ruby from the moment he met her, but hey, he hated a lot of people. No one would be good enough for his little brother, particularly after that Jess chick had broken his heart and left Dean to clean up the pieces. They spent their time in a state of comfortable loathing, both avoiding saying a thing against the other, while Sam was around at least. He wouldn’t have thought it was possible to be so at ease around someone he hated and who hated him just as much, but somehow they managed it, and that had been the problem. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust his instincts, but everyone he knew was bad or worse, except Sam perhaps, what did it matter if she was no exception? The only way to keep Sam clear of evil would have been to ship him off to someplace far from the hunters, from Dean, and he just couldn’t bring himself to do that. Looking back he really wished he had. It’d have ended up the same anyway, just with a damn sight less bloodshed.

Ruby was on her phone. Ruby was always on her phone, and damn protective of the thing, which, as he now realised, should have given him a clue something was up.

Took a fair bit after that for anyone to twig onto what happened. One minute she was there, the next she’d gone to the bathroom and there were gunshots from outside, and Dean had known they were screwed.

It wasn’t supposed to be a gang thing. Just some brotherly (plus one pesky girlfriend who would not leave the kid’s side) bonding time over burgers and pie, or salad in Sam’s weird ass case.

They really oughta brought more backup.

Chapter Text

Now

 

“Hey!”

Dean raced down the street, in hot pursuit of a familiar mop of unruly dark hair, the trench coated figure who had found his way into Dean’s dreams for the past week. He flew around a corner, and suddenly found himself pinned against a wall, the contact sending sparks across his vision.

“Why are you following me?” That deep husky voice growled at him, before his eyes widened in recognition, and the arm pressed against his throat released.

Dean sucked in a breath and rubbed his neck.

“I never got your name.”

This got a genuine laugh from the other man, and Dean grinned triumphantly, he was certain that such a moment was rare.

“For that you can have it. I’m Castiel.”

“Casti- that’s quite a name.”

“I am aware.”

Dean shuffled awkwardly, unsure of himself now that he’d achieved his goal.

“Dean, by the way, I’m Dean.”

“Is there something else I can help you with, Dean?”

“I- uh...” Dean stammered, internally cursing himself for sounding like a complete idiot.

Castiel raised an eyebrow suggestively and looked Dean up and down, with no attempt to cover up the moments where his gaze lingered on Dean’s lips, or the suddenly growing bulge in his pants. Dean blushed furiously.

“Well, apparently there is.”

Before Dean could blink, Castiel had closed the distance between them, crowding Dean up against the alley wall. Dean swallowed at the intensity of the eyes that met his, and held them, with a magnetism that Dean found himself powerless to resist. He let out a gasp as Castiel ground against him, a gasp that was instantly cut off when he kissed him, hot and heavy, all teeth and furious tongue.

The position, the utter loss of control, sent Dean’s well honed fight and flight instincts into overdrive. The usual urge to kill clawing at him, thoughts of the knife in his boot, the gun in a holster beneath his leather jacket, the brass knuckles in his pocket. He could escape this, he should escape this, he shouldn’t want- but, god, did he want. His body relaxed, became pliant, and his mind emptied of thought.

A dark chuckle met his ears.

“My my, you are an interesting creature.”

Castiel pulled away, and Dean found himself leaning after him, chasing the pleasure and pain of it.

“Now, what to do with you?” Castiel tilted his head and gave Dean a long, curious, look.

Dean didn’t even consider responding, something that he knew he would have to assess at a later date, but for now all he could muster was a whine of need.

“Yes, very interesting indeed.”

He reached out, firm hands taking hold of Dean’s shoulders and shoving him to his knees on the filthy concrete.

“Open your mouth, now.”

Dean complied before he was even aware he had registered the order. The response earned him a pat on the head, and a satisfied smile.

“Good boy,” Castiel murmured as he unzipped his jeans.

Dean’s breathing sped up, his cock now achingly hard.

“Have you deep throated before?” Castiel asked in a coolly clinical kind of way, which seemed utterly at odds with the situation, as he freed his dick from the confines of his suit pants. Dean found he loved the contradiction.

Dean nodded, not making eye contact. Cas roughly grabbed his chin and forced him to return that intense stare.

“Good, because this is not going to be easy on you. Don’t look away from me,” it was an order, of that there was no doubt, and Dean found himself not even second guessing the urge to obey.

Castiel took a handful of his hair, yanking on it hard enough to bring tears to his eyes.

“Don’t close your mouth,” he reprimanded, and slapped Dean hard across the face with his free hand.

Dean’s jaw flew back open, and without any warning he had a mouthful of cock, the tip pressing urgently against the back of his throat. Dean gagged and choked around the intrusion. Castiel showed no mercy, starting to thrust, going further down his throat each time. Dean couldn’t keep up, only having the sense to start swallowing around the cock that was blocking his air after what felt like an eternity of fighting his natural reactions. He heard a noise of appreciation, and the thrusts slowed. Dean fought for breath, which was becoming increasingly difficult as the pain of rough treatment was replaced with a new, more urgent, concern. The lazy thrusts blocked his airway for so much longer than he was used to.

He could almost feel the cruel smile on the face of the man above him as his vision started to darken. With as little warning as anything else Castiel seemed to do, his cock pulsed, thick come rushing down Dean’s throat. Dean was on the verge of passing out when he was finally allowed to breathe again. Allowed? That didn’t sound right. Since when did Dean need to be ‘allowed’ to do anything?

“Good,” Cas’ voice was unsteady, which somehow managed to pierce through Dean’s panicked thoughts and gasps for air, and fill him with something resembling pride.

“I know your address. I will be in touch.”

Castiel turned on his heel and strode away. Dean gaped after him, still struggling for air. He was gone before Dean had recovered enough to remember the almost painful length of his own erection.

 

**************************

 

Dean slammed the door of the small bathroom stall closed behind him, and yanked his pants down enough to release his cock. He knew the erection wouldn’t go away, not with the memory of his encounter with Castiel so fresh in his memory, he needed a quick release, that was all, then he could get back to business.

God, the effect he had on him was so strong. Dean didn’t hook up with the same person twice, that had been his rule, but he couldn’t let this one go. He needed Cas’ cock inside of him, needed to hear that voice growling commands in his ear.

He gripped his cock and pumped it hard, groaning in relief, so close, already so close. His hand slid up and down his shaft, too desperate to care about the lack of lube. An impending orgasm coiled in his belly and his breaths grew ragged, one more stroke, maybe two before-

His phone rang in his pocket. Dean tried to ignore it, let it ring out, determinedly keeping going as the classic rock song blared from his tinny speakers. The noise finally stopped and Dean sighed, focus returning, the pleasure mounting again. The damned thing rang again. Dean swore and grabbed his phone.

“What the hell is it?”

“Dean, we have a job for you.”

“Can’t it wait a damn sec?”

“No. This needs to be taken care of now. We have a situation.”

Dean took a deep breath, praying for something, anything, to give him strength.

“Okay, send me the details.”

He hung up, protocol followed, and rubbed a hand across his face. He looked down at his cock.

“Sorry buddy, looks like we’ll have to wait.”

He tucked himself back in and left the stall. A short man with dark hair and a beard was waiting outside, watching him in a knowing sort of way. Dean shot him a wink and sauntered out of the bathroom.

This had better not take too long. There were things he needed to finish.

 

************************

 

It was after midnight when Dean finally collapsed through the motel door. He fell back on the bed, not bothering to take off his boots. He just needed to sleep.

How fucking long could one man stay in a bar without drinking his damn drink? Too long apparently. He’d been considering just shooting the bastard, before he finally took a sip and doomed himself. The drugs kicked in quickly, thank fuck, and Dean made quick work of dispatching him.

The killing high was still good, but honestly this sort of job always pissed Dean off. There was no struggle, no competition, just the wait. It was butchery, not a fight.

He could forgive himself in a fight. They got in a few good licks, he got in a few better. That was fair. That was simple. Nothing about this was simple.

Dean reached down to palm the erection. That. Would. Not. Leave. All day. All fucking day.

Exhaustion and guilt warred with arousal, but as always guilt won out. He withdrew his hand. At least this way he was suffering for his crimes, in some strange sense. He fell into a restless sleep, that somehow did nothing to lessen the bone deep tiredness, nothing ever did.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean had been about to take a bite of, what would turn out to be, the last pie he would see for four months, and Sam had been telling some heart eyed story about Ruby and... yoga or something, Dean had been kinda distracted by the pie, and who cared about that bitch anyway? He was moments away from a mouthful of cream and cherries and the best damn crust in town, when he’d had to drop his food and jump to his feet.

Two men outside, just them inside, and way too much gunfire for their side to be winning.

He acted without a thought, because who needed time to consider when his brother’s life was involved? He shoved Sam towards the kitchen, which had an exit out back, and reached for his gun with one hand and a knife with the other.

Sam tried to protest of course, said something about Ruby and Dean and not being a coward, but Dean played every single one of his big brother cards. Ruby would be fine, not like she was a threat, or a Winchester, and Dean? Dean wouldn’t let his brother get hurt. It was better this way. Sam was the one who was going to make something of himself anyway. Dean was just a grunt, the world could do without him, if his brother lived because of him nothing else mattered.

He wasn’t really sure how much of this had actually come out of his mouth in the mad rush to get his brother out of the damn diner, but something had obviously stuck because he was on his own when the place got stormed, slashing and shooting and being tackled to the ground.

At least he’d taken down a few of them.

Too bad he hadn’t died.

It wasn’t until weeks later, on a particularly bad night, while he could still feel the pain as something individual, and was clinging to that terrible hope that they would stop, before it all blurred together and he sank into a state beyond reason when all he was was pain, that it occurred to him that he had seen Ruby before he had passed out. The sight of her laughing at him, face contorted into something mocking and evil, had scared him more than all their knives and needles and devices that defied description. She was still with Sam, the demon on his shoulder, in his bed. He might be dead already, or in the room next to his, undergoing the same treatment.

Of course Sam had always been the smart one.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Dean spent the next few days constantly on edge, like he was stuck between Dr Frankenfurter saying antici- and -pation in the world's longest production of The Rocky Horror Show, so it was, of course, just when he let his guard down, certain that Castiel has just decided not to show, that he turned up at his doorstep like a dark figure emerging from the rain in some crappy B movie. There wasn't any rain, but that's what it felt like. He was expecting to be instantly pushed down on the bed or crowded up against a wall, but Castiel, never one to follow expectations, grabbed his wrist and pulled him out the door.

"Have you eaten?"

Dean shook his head, stomach growling at the mention of food.

"That is fortunate, we were going to a restaurant regardless."

Was this a date? It didn't feel like a date, it sounded like a date, surely you were asked on a date rather than dragged out the door to one. Dean gave up on trying to find the answers, expect the unexpected, he internally chanted to himself, it was the only way to keep up with this man. Not that he was likely to be able to anyway.

Castiel clearly knew where he was going, he turned Dean away from his car and led him on foot to a restaurant a few blocks away.

Cas led Dean through the door with a firm hand pressed to his lower back, a strange mixture of gentlemanly and demanding. It was strange enough to be at a restaurant with a man who he had barely spoken to aside from filth in the wake of a murder, he supposed he shouldn't be surprised that the date was already far from conventional. Cas seemed more likely to rip his throat out than kiss him goodnight, a thought that left him both disturbed and aroused.

He was pulled through the room like a hostage in a gunfight, all violence disguised as affection. The hand around his waist pulling him close and gripping him tight enough to bruise. He couldn't tell if Cas had always been intending to seat them at the table in the dead centre of the room or if he had only decided to do so when he felt Dean leaning towards the darkest corner booth. It was a decision that infuriated him, they were far too exposed here, but he clamped his mouth shut as Cas squeezed him slightly tighter in warning. Yes, he might as well have been a hostage, for all the choice he was being afforded.

Cas pulled out a chair for him, forcing him down with a hand on his shoulder, then took the seat directly beside him. Dean shot him a questioning look, which was only answered with a mischievous smile and an increasingly familiar controlling grip on his thigh. Dean took a deep breath and willed himself not to get hard in public, he had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't go well for him if he did, which, dammit, made it even more difficult to avoid. This was hot as fuck, but Dean Winchester sure as shit didn't let himself get pushed around without a fight.

Cas released his hold and grinned smugly as Dean rubbed his aching leg, a look that was gone almost as soon as it had appeared. A waiter materialised at the table, asking them for their drink orders, and Cas had ordered two red wines before Dean could open his mouth and ask for a beer. The waiter was about to walk away when Dean decided that he had had just about enough thank you very much. He summoned up his most charming smile and ordered four shots of whiskey. He was expecting a reaction immediately, instantaneous world ending vengeance, perhaps that was what had been hoping for, because when it didn't come there was a strange twinge of disappointment within him. An unreadable look passed across Cas' face, then was gone.

An excited kind of dread settled in his stomach, which didn't go away even as Cas pored over the menu, discussing aloud his choices for both of their meals. This was scarier than the threatening looks or possessive touches, he didn't know how to prepare for silence. When Cas ordered their food Dean stayed determinedly quiet, telling himself half-heartedly that it was only because what Cas had ordered did sound really good. That still didn't give him an excuse for the way he avoided looking at either Castiel or the shots when they arrived at the table.

They ate in relative silence, Castiel didn't need words to control every action Dean made. He could do it with a look, a slight twitch of his eyebrows, a darkening of his eyes. It was so subtle Dean couldn't be entirely sure he wasn't imagining it, perhaps that was the game now, yet he still found himself eating more politely than he could remember doing maybe ever before. There was the occasional comment, like when he pulled a face at the taste of the wine, so friendly on the surface. Dean drank every drop, silently admitting that it wasn't all that bad.

He was warm and content by the end of the meal, enjoying the food and the company, the lack of worry caused by no longer having to choose. There was no need to choose, Castiel appeared to know what he needed better than he did himself. The second, of course, that Dean came to this realisation was exactly when Cas decided to tell him, "drink your whiskey Dean," in a deceptively calm voice, the true danger simmering just below.

Dean swallowed, ducking his head with something resembling shame.

"Nah, I'm good," he said with a falsely cocky grin.

"Now now Dean, it wouldn't do to let it go to waste, not when you wanted it so very much."

Yes, there was that danger, an electric threat crackling behind his eyes. Dean tried to push two of the shots towards Cas, but was stopped with a look.

So that was how it was going to be.

He downed one after another, with only the briefest of pauses during which he silently begged Cas to reconsider whatever evil was brewing, but those eyes didn't waver. Dean wasn't accustomed to feeling shame. Guilt he was used to but shame was unusual. It was sickly sweet like chocolate cake, clogging his arteries. He hadn't done anything wrong goddammit, he was a grown ass man and he could drink if he wanted to. Once again, a look instantly proved him wrong and he was reminded that he had entered into this knowing exactly what he was doing, he forfeited choice the second he opened his mouth for Cas' cock. He finished the last shot and felt slightly nauseous in a way that had nothing to do with the alcohol, then sat back and waited for the tidal wave.

What he hadn't expected was Cas sliding his seat closer, leaning in, and pressing soft lips to his neck. Cas very deliberately blew warm air on his ear and Dean shivered at the sensation. He turned his head, more desperate than he was willing to admit, and Cas half climbed into his lap as he licked whiskey from his mouth. Dean didn't trust it, he couldn't trust it, couldn't believe that Cas was the forgiving type. Still, it was good, so good he couldn't stand it. When Cas pulled him up from the seat by the collar of his shirt and lead him into an empty corridor he almost forgot to be scared.

Cas crowded him up against the wall, lining up their bodies and breathing heavily in his ear.

"The things I would do to you," his voice was deeper then he had heard it before, raspy and practically dripping sex, "I could make you scream with pleasure, or pain, whichever you desire."

He rolled his hips to make his point absolutely clear, Dean moaned and tried to pull him closer, but Cas didn't allow him to. He kept a careful distance between them now. Close enough that he could feel the heat from his body without getting any pressure where he needed it most. He continued to practically growl in his ear.

"I can see your longing, it shines out of you. I could take you against this wall, right now, I could make you come so hard you'd forget your own name. Have you bare and broken and beautiful, exposed before the world. Someone could wander into this corridor, see you opened up before me, and they would know you are mine. Maybe I would share, if I was feeling kind, I don't think you would tell them no, I don't think you could resist any demand I made of you. Or perhaps I should keep you for myself, my filthy little fuck toy. So subservient. Would you like that? Well would you, boy?"

Dean nodded and Cas grabbed his chin, turning him to look him in the eye.

"Say it," he commanded with a voice that had got impossibly deeper.

"I'd like that, all of it, whatever... whatever you want to do to me."

"Then beg for it," that cruel glint was back in his eyes, and Dean knew, just knew, that there was no way he could win this game.

"Please, fuck me," he whispered.

"You can do better than that," Cas was definitely mocking now. Dean gulped and continued.

"Take me against this wall Cas- sir, destroy me, expose me, make me scream however you like. I need it, I need it so fucking bad," he was babbling, half panting, incapable of keeping back the words no matter how much speaking them hurt, "please sir, please."

Cas smiled with the satisfaction of a cat who just caught a mouse, and spoke one deadly syllable.

"No."

Dean slumped back against the wall, mind blank with the need that had filled him only to be denied.

"Please I... I need..."

"Well you shouldn't have drunk that whiskey then, should you?"

Dean was shaking like he'd just been slapped across the face, he wasn't surprised, not really. He just knew that he'd lost.

 

***************************

 

The more Dean thought about it the more he felt like he should be mad, but he wasn't, that was the strange thing. He knew he liked being left unsatisfied sometimes, but what Cas had done was something far beyond that. He had destroyed him with barely more than a few words, cruelly broken him apart and left him to suffer. He also knew that, being honest with himself, that was exactly what he liked about it. He tried being mad, over the next few days, but when it came down to it thinking about that night just made him horny and desperate to do better next time. Desperate to be good, of all things. He hadn't wanted to be good in years.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean was a killer. Dean had been always been a killer, or at the very least he had been since his father had first put a gun in his hand and steel in his heart. He was good at it, but there was only so much one man could do. There were so many of them, an unbeatable swarm of fists and knives and chloroform. He took down a respectable amount of them, he thought, in those brief moments before he passed out, certain he would never wake up again. In the long moments that followed he cursed everything that would listen for forcing him back into consciousness, and himself, for not having the sense to kill himself before they could capture him.

He’d been a foolish kid, so damn stupid. He would never be a kid again. Four months, might as well have been forty years. The doctors could only stitch him back together so well, he’d been ripped to pieces so thoroughly, so many times. His body felt ancient, creaking as he moved, held together with tape and safety pins. His mind felt older still. Pain dragged everything out so fucking long, which had to be god’s cruellest joke, not that the guilt that followed was much better.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Castiel wished that Gabriel would just stop talking, this conversation was getting more and more dangerous by the second, but he had never been the most sensible of his brothers.

“I’m not saying boss man doesn’t have some very sound ideas, alls I’m suggesting is that he’s perhaps not prioritising what’s important nowadays. I mean, Cassio, you’re killing every which way and centre, and the numbers still aren’t coming up even. Which is all kindsa wrong anyway since those numbers are our brothers and sisters dying, and their brothers and sisters on the other side, people are people, and land is just land.”

This sort of thing should be said in hushed tones behind closed doors, not in public, not in front of Uriel. Cas sent a worried look in Balthazar’s direction, who just rolled his eyes at Gabe and took another sip of his no fat chai latte. Balthazar understood that Gabriel didn’t mean it, or so Cas hoped, Uriel on the other hand…

“Careful with that kind of talk Gabriel, people will begin to think your loyalties are being misplaced.”

Now, Castiel tried to silently communicate, now would be a good time to stop talking and play your role like the rest of us. It of course went completely over Gabriel’s head.

“Calm your titties there Uriel, you know I love you freaks far too much for any of that watchamacall it.”

That was slightly better, he supposed, but Uriel’s expression didn’t lighten in the slightest.

“I believe the word you’re searching for is betrayal.”

“Yeah I’m well aware you big dork, what I’m saying is that I’ll do what I’ve gotta, but I don’t see why we gotta keep killing those hunter losers over this hellhole of a city. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a whole new world out there, with plenty of people who need to buy drugs to forget about it. There are enough of us to take somewhere new, there won’t be for long if things keep going like they’ve been going.”

Castiel shifted his position to be ready to spring to action if the fight turned physical, which seemed like a very real possibility if Gabriel kept spewing mutinous thoughts in this manner.

“This is our home. We’re not leaving.”

“You’re not in charge Urinal, and Michael isn’t around, no harm in talking.”

“You should talk less and listen more, that is what you agreed to when you stepped aside, or have you forgotten that?”

Now Gabriel was the one who looked like he was about to start throwing punches, and Castiel noticed that Balthazar had also begun to pay attention, drink placed to the side and posture tense. That was not a good sign.

“Leading was never for me, but I didn’t sign on to be a mindless goon in a never ending pointless war, whatever you may think you great big bag of-“

“Brothers, please, stop arguing. We face more than enough aggression from our enemies, let’s not quarrel amongst ourselves,” Anna sat back down at the table, pointedly taking the seat between Gabriel and Uriel, and Castiel shot her a grateful look, “now, there is a mission to be completed, one that must be taken care of promptly, and without any needless complications,” she looked once again between Gabriel and Uriel, both of whom withered beneath her gaze. “Castiel, Uriel, I believe it is best for the two of you to go together for this one, I will accompany Gabriel.”

Everyone nodded their acquiescence.

Castiel did not like to work with others, he knew he was more effective alone, and Uriel had a way about him that did not gel with his methods, but he understood Anna’s desire to take Gabriel aside given all that had been said. He sincerely hoped that, should Gabriel turn traitor, he would not have to be the one to do it. Gabriel had always been his favourite brother, and he should hate to have to kill him. Perhaps Anna would be able to talk some sense into him.

These were troubling times, deeply troubling. If dissent among the ranks had spread even this far then who knew how much trouble Anna was facing in her duties elsewhere. This war was lasting far too long. It couldn’t go on much longer, not like this. Something had to change.

 

************************

 

Dean took off his gloves, turning on the tap and washing away the blood they had been hiding. He knew he should have been wearing them in the first place, but it was so much better bare skinned. Not like Dean Winchester was afraid of jail. The advantages far outweighed the danger. He watched the pink water running down the drain with a sick sort of satisfaction, even though he knew he would never really be clean. His phone blared in his pocket and he hurried to dry up.

"H'lo," he answered without checking the caller ID, "Horny Hunter Hoes. Winchester speaking, how can I get you off today?" He said with a laugh, which immediately cut off when he heard the voice on the other end of the line.

"Ew, gross Dean."

"Sammy, hey," his voice was bright in a way it hasn't been for a while, his good sense clearly a little behind his brain when it came to his brother, "why are you calling?" He asked with the suspicion that should have accompanied his earlier response. "Is something wrong? Did someone hurt you? Because if they did I swear to god I will-"

"No, Dean, hold your horses, I'm fine," he sighed that I'm-holding-something-back sigh that he knew so well. Dean clenched his teeth.

"Just spit it out Sam," he spoke gruffly, unzipping his leather jacket and throwing it to the floor with one hand while holding the phone to his ear with the other.

"Are you still killing for them?" Sam asked, pain edging his voice.

Dean looked down at the blood-soaked shirt the jacket had been hiding.

"What's it to you?" He stuffed the shirt in the bin, making a mental note to dispose of it properly later, and sat down on the bed.

"You can't keep doing this, it'll destroy you like it destroyed Dad."

"We've been over this, Sammy. The job didn't kill Dad. That one's all on me."

He could practically hear Sam shaking his head, but he didn't try to fight him this time.

"I can't lose you too Dean."

Dean almost laughed at that. You didn’t abandon things you wanted to keep, surely Sam knew that.

"You've already lost me."

"When'd you give up?" Sam’s voice had gone quiet, pained, and Dean ached to take back the hurt, but he knew he couldn’t do it, not this time.

"When you left," the words were sharp, and the inhale on the other end of the line told him they had cut deep. Good.

"That wasn't about you," there was a pleading note to Sam’s voice that he would normally have given into, but damn if the words didn’t make him mad.

"Well it should have been Sam. I was fucking broken. I'd been alone for so long and I thought I'd got you back. At least that one thing, that one good thing, hadn't been taken from me. And then you up and fucking left," Dean was practically shouting now, and it wasn't fair, he knew it wasn't fair, but he couldn't seem to stop.

"Dean-"

"No, you know what, screw you Sam. I've been doing just fine without you judging me, or pitying me, or whatever the hell it is you're trying to do right now. You left, do me a favour and stay gone.”

He hung up before his brother could make him change his mind, which he knew he could have done with a single word.

It didn't take long for the regret to set in. He knew why Sam had left, of course he did, he didn't really hold it against him. He should call him back, apologise for the stupid shit he'd said, give him the chance to reconnect that he had so clearly wanted. So why couldn't he bring himself to pick up the phone?

He put his head in his hands, screwing up his eyes and trying to wipe the conversation from his mind, then reached for the whiskey bottle he kept on the bedside table.

He couldn't drag Sam back into his world, this filthy place full of death and destruction, couldn't tell him a thing he'd done in the years since they'd last seen each other. Best Sam thought he hated him, best he stayed away, away from him.

Sam didn't deserve white hot instincts and murderous rage, and Dean, well, Dean deserved exactly what he was going to get.

Chapter Text

Then

 

A high pitched noise filled the room, ringing in Dean’s ears. He just wanted to slip back into unconsciousness, just wanted to block out that noise. He would have covered his ears if he hadn’t been chained to the wall, if his arms weren’t bloodied and immobilised.

“Now now Dean, it doesn’t do any good to scream.”

Dean’s muddled mind tripped on the words, taking what could have been seconds, could have been minutes, to register what they meant. The sound was coming from him. He was screaming. He clamped his mouth shut, letting out a whimper between clenched teeth as Alastair drove the burning metal a bit deeper into his chest.

“Silence can’t help you either, you just need to tell us what we want to hear. Daddy’s a big boy, he can take it.”

Dean mustered his last shred of defiance and spat blood in Alastair’s stupid grinning face. Those dead eyes darkened and a new wave of agony shot through Dean’s body. Was that acid, the liquid now eating through him? He thought it might be.

“Don’t be brave now of all times, it doesn’t suit you. Don’t you want this to be over? Because it’s not going to stop. I. Can. Keep. Doing. This. All. Day. Long.”

Each word was punctuated with a new splash of liquid, a new brand on his skin. Dean couldn’t hold back the words. He just couldn’t. It poured from him like the blood running down his face. Alastair’s smile widened, and Dean cried.

Chapter Text

Now

 

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.

“Please, stay.”

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?"

"Missing."

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.

Chapter Text

Then

 

No, no no no! Why did he have to see him like this? He was naked, more naked than he’d ever been before, things usually covered by flesh and skin and hair lying open to the world, just that little bit shy of deadly. At least the pain had stopped, but there was a new kind of pain being readied to replace it. He couldn’t meet his father’s eyes, as he was flung to the floor beneath him. He got a single glimpse of the disappointment, the betrayal that he knew he would see there, then he turned his head away. Shame cut so much deeper than the knives.

“Look at him, see what you have done, he’s going to die because of you.”

His face was cruelly yanked around, his eyes forced open with firm fingers.

“You hear that John? Your son gave you up.”

Yes, there it was, an expression that would haunt him for what little was left of his worthless existence. He didn’t know what John would have said at that moment, what rightful condemnation would have flowed from his mouth, because it was all held back by a gag. Maybe it would have made it easier, to know for sure, as it was his mind supplied so much worse, or maybe not. Maybe John would have taken that moment to be cruel, one last time, if he’d had the chance. He would never know.

“Remember, you’re the one who killed him.”

The last thing John saw before a trigger was pulled and the life drained from his eyes was his son breaking down in tears, and perhaps that was the most unforgivable thing of all.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Dean woke up to a pounding head and an empty bed. He slowly separated his face from the pillow it seemed to have fused with overnight and looked around the room. There was no sign that Cas had been there. He sighed, wondering if he’d imagined the whole thing, fuck knows he’d been drunk enough.

He made his way to the bathroom, splashing his face with water then cupping his hands below the tap and taking several long gulps. It did nothing for the hangover, but at least his tongue had stopped sticking to the roof of his mouth. What the fuck was that taste anyway? He hadn’t gone out for cigarettes, he didn’t think so at least, so why did he feel like he’d smoked a whole pack? Freaking shitty whiskey. He probably ought to clean his teeth but he was ninety percent sure that if he did he would hurl. He drank a bit more water for good measure, glared at his reflection as if he could communicate with his past self and stop him drinking so freaking much, and stumbled back towards the bed. Lying back down felt like a herculean effort, but no chance in hell he was facing the day without at least another hour spent in bed, even if the chances of him sleeping were minuscule. He glared at the clock for a moment, as if that would ensure that no one called him out of hibernation until he was good and ready, then noticed something.

There was a note on the bedside table, carefully folded, with his name written across it in obsessively neat handwriting. He reached out a hand, wincing as the sudden movement sent agony radiating throughout his skull, and pulled the message back underneath the covers with him. He hurriedly unfolded the piece of paper and read the few short words written in that same precise hand.

Call me when you’re sober. I believe a punishment is in order.

Dean gulped as he read and reread the letter, looking at the phone number, at the words that promised (threatened?) so much. He nearly dialled more times than he would admit, before dropping his phone on the floor somewhere and resolving to at least try to go back to sleep. A few more hours would sort his hangover out. A few more hours would help him make sense of that letter, of the thrill that it had sent through him. A few more hours was a nice idea, but it wasn’t to be. His phone rang.

Another name. An address. Orders to be taken.

He popped some painkillers and left the house in yesterdays clothes. Why did it matter if they were just going to wind up covered in blood and in the bin again? Fuck, the clothes in the bin. He’d forgotten all about them. He turned on his heel and went back inside, panic rising in his chest as he strode across the room, his stomach plummeting to his boots when he realised that the bin was empty.

 

**************************

 

Cas turned over the bloodied fabric in his hands, eyes squinted, brow furrowed. He’d seen the warning signs, they’d been there, he’d just chosen to ignore them. Not everyone who carried a knife with them intended to use it, or so he’d been informed, he’d never met anyone who didn’t. That could have just been the effect of the job, when you live in the dark surely all you see must become darkness. Now though, this was fact, that kind of blood wasn’t shed by accident.

It could just be a coincidence of course, a single murder, a bad fight, working in a slaughter house even, but his gut told him differently. Still, he had to be sure. Castiel wasn’t one for loose ends, but he certainly didn’t intend to jump to any conclusions. He had to treat this coolly, rationally, like any other job. Except this wasn’t a job, this was Dean, Dean with his striking good looks and his natural propensity for filthy kinky sex. Cas wanted to take him every way imaginable, wanted to expose him to treatment he had never even dreamed of, wanted to take him apart and stitch him back together again. What he didn’t want was to have to simply take him apart however, if he was correct in his thinking, that might be exactly what he’d have to do.

 

******************************

 

It didn’t take long to track down the cleaning lady. She was still slowly working through the rooms, the cart of bedding and bathroom supplies a clear sign of her position. Dean walked into the room on silent feet, the middle aged woman too focused on scrubbing a stain from the chipped tiles above the bathtub to notice his presence until he was on top of her. It was a simple thing, far too simple, to crack the unfortunate woman’s head against the side of the bath. He left her to bleed out, dead already. There was no time for ceremony, it was a plausible accident. He left the way he had come. He was certain there were no witnesses, no fingerprints, no cameras to prove his crime. The problem had been dealt with. The danger had passed, and another innocent person was dead because of him. His carelessness had cost her life.

Cas was right. He definitely deserved to be punished, just not for reasons that he could possibly suspect.

Dean shook his head, he had to stop thinking like this. There was a job to be taken care of, that was the priority, not his own reservations. This was what he did, and he was good at it. His father would have given him a beating if he’d known he still felt guilty for the business he’d been raised in. Thank god the old bastard was dead. Not that Dean had ever managed to escape his influence, not like Sammy, Sammy was free. At least one of them was still human, at least one of them still deserved forgiveness.

Why was he so incapable of shutting this shit down these days? Normally he could forget, normally he could just do, without thoughts of good and evil, right and wrong. Normally he got hard at the sight of blood. Not today, or yesterday. Not since he’d met Cas. He cursed himself; this was why men like him didn’t form attachments, it was too dangerous. He couldn’t afford to care, he couldn’t afford to want to be better. He didn’t have the right.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean’s entire body was shaking as he watched his father being lowered into the dirt. He couldn’t meet the eyes of his brother, watching him far too knowingly from the other side of the grave. He could feel half of the congregation casting glances at him, hear low murmurs as he found himself incapable of throwing dirt on the coffin of a man he might as well have killed. His stitches ached beneath the tight confines of the suit he’d been forced to wear. The pain was nothing, not after what he’d endured, but the reminder of what he’d done made his stomach turn. Every rustle of fabric, every breath of air over the wounds he hadn’t been able to cover, had him tumbling back into that room. A hand clapped him on the shoulder and he jolted violently.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Sam spoke softly, like Dean was some wild animal that would bolt if it heard a loud noise. He supposed he might be right.

“I’m fine Sammy,” he forced his usual gruffness, trembling too badly for it to ring true.

Sam just sighed, shaking his head and moving on.

“We should get back home.”

Had he missed the entire service? He definitely hadn’t taken in everyone leaving, and yet they were gone. It was just him and Sam now, the last two surviving members of the Winchester family. Well, one and a half.

“Yeah, home.”

He shoved his hands deep into his pockets, balling his fists and wondering if home was something that would ever exist for him again. Could it be considered a home if the people who had made it one were dead?

Chapter Text

Now

 

Castiel’s chest ached as he forced himself to speak calmly, keeping his responses just the right side of dangerous, reminding himself of the flirtatious lilt he had used in all of their previous conversations. He was a deceptively good actor, could probably have pursued a career on stage if he hadn’t had such a strong urge to kill. Besides, it was family, and loyalty to family always had to come first. That was why he would kill this man if he had to. The call had come far too soon, he’d been hoping to put this off at least a few more days, but it had only been a matter of hours. Dean was eager.

He agreed to meet at the motel, it was enemy ground, but he knew the layout, and he didn’t want to divulge his own address, not if Dean was who he thought he was. Oh how he hoped he was wrong.

He showed up to the meeting in his usual attire; trench coat, suit, long silver blade hidden up a sleeve, garrote embedded in the silk of his tie, poison in his inner pocket. He saw no need for guns, not when he knew full well he could easily kill a man with his bare hands.

He shot Dean a devastatingly wicked smile, watching his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed, licking his lips in that infuriatingly sexy way he had a tendency to do. Cas attempted to one up him, knowing this was a battle he had to win. He couldn’t let lust dampen his senses, couldn’t let the yearning he felt every time Dean looked at him take control.

“Do you know why you are to be punished?”

Dean nodded, avoiding his gaze, posture gloriously submissive.

“Use your words Dean,” he said sternly.

“I-” Dean stuttered. “I got drunk again. I knew you were coming over and I got drunk.”

“Yes, you did.”

Cas shoved him against the wall, not sparing a thought for his welfare as he collided with the hard plaster. Dean moaned, cock hardening at the rough treatment. Cas’ mouth was on his before he even realised he had moved. Teeth and tongues tangling. It was rough to say the least, hot and heavy and so so wrong.

“Are you-“ Dean broke off as he gasped for breath, Cas biting down hard on his collar bone, “are you going to punish me then?”

Cas looked up from his work, then grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked back hard.

“I said I would, did I not? Are you doubting my word? Boy.”

The moan that this sentence wrung from Dean was quite possibly the sexiest thing Cas had ever heard.

“N- no,” Cas pulled harder on the hair, stopping just shy of yanking it from its roots, “sir.” Cas smiled darkly and relaxed his hold.

“I was going to give you a choice of punishment, but since you decided to question me,” Dean opened his mouth, presumably to refute the charges being levelled at him, but Cas silenced him with a look, “and don’t think for a second I didn’t hear the sass in your tone,” Dean was panting slightly, arousal glazing his eyes, “I don’t think you deserve that accommodation.”

“Please...”

“Please what Dean? You shall have to be more specific if you wish to receive what you want.”

He smirked at the frustration that Dean was so clearly feeling.

“Please, punish me.”

“Now that is something I am happy to deliver. What is your safe word?”

Dean quickly shook his head.

“No, I don’t need one, just- just do it,” Cas raised a single eyebrow. “Sir, just do it Sir.”

Cas had known what the answer would be, but he still wondered at the self loathing, ah well, he was here to oblige. There was every chance of it being a last wish after all, whether Dean knew it or not.

“Very well. Take off your clothes.” Cas growled the command in his ear, intentionally deepening his voice, well aware of the effect that had. It worked, as always.

Dean rushed to obey. Cas felt himself getting hard against his will at the pure subservience that Dean seemed so eager to give in to. It seemed like an eternity before Dean finally got the last shirt off (why he insisted on covering that body with such an unnecessarily large amount of clothing Cas would never know) all though in reality it had to have been under a minute, a minute of terrified suspense, Cas’ heart hammering painfully, the adrenaline feeling similar to the moments before an anticipated drop from a great height. Then his stomach plummeted as all of his fears were realised. The tattoo was dark and real and all too absolute. He was a hunter.

He practically fell against Dean, hiding his face in the crook of his neck as he shoved him back against the wall, not able to bear looking at that cursed tattoo one moment more, and hoping that Dean's arousal would stop him questioning the desperation he'd surely seen in Cas' eyes. He bit down on Dean's shoulder for good measure, knowing the way pain seemed to bring his mind to a standstill.

Cas gave out a little cry as he realised with terrible frustration that he simply could not kill him, not yet. One more time, just one more time. He would cure himself of his fascination with this beautiful, deadly, creature before him and then he would put an end to it, for good.

Dean pushed his hips back, grinding his ass against Cas' erection, which thankfully hadn't flagged enough to give him away.

"No," Cas snapped, then practically threw him onto the bed.

Dean looked up at him, so open, so trusting. Cas flipped him onto his front to hide the expression, pulling off his tie and binding him to the bed. For a killer he was horribly easy to restrain. Cas’ heart sank even as he tied the length of silk around his wrists. He wondered if Dean could feel the wire that rested within, he doubted he could, but this knot certainly wouldn’t break, no matter how hard Dean struggled.

He ghosted a hand down Dean's back, as if a few soft touches could make up for all the pain that was to follow. The muscles tensed beneath him, in anticipation of the punishment that had been promised. Cas ran his fingers through Dean's hair, closing his eyes and willing himself to tighten his grip and pull. His fingers slipped away.

Dean whined, breathlessly following it up with; "stop teasing me man."

Cas shook his head.

"You like pain too much, I am not going to give it to you," not yet at least. "I think, instead, you need to learn some patience," yes, that was a good excuse for his reticence. That way he could put off hurting Dean a little longer.

"I don't like the sound of that."

Cas chuckled, getting caught up in the game despite himself.

"You're not supposed to."

Dean groaned and buried his face further into the pillow.

The thought came, unbidden, that Cas could kill him so easily right now. A thousand images flashed through his mind, half memory, half that terrible imagination he could never shut down. He shoved those thoughts away as best he could, thinking better of his earlier decision and turning Dean to face him again, needing the reminder that he was alive.

"Feeling a little indecisive there cowboy?" Dean asked with a raised eyebrow and a cocky smile.

Cas cut him off with a kiss. The confused look on Dean’s face when he pulled away told him all he needed to know, he had put too much of his heart into that kiss. He hadn't been able to help it. He needed soft and warm and loving before all that was left was cold and dark and dead. He moved away from Dean's face, knowing that was where the danger lay, and began to trail kisses down his chest. It was like he was trying to absorb Dean through his lips, eating in every gasp he wrung from him, saving them for after... after. He needed more. He tongued over the tattoo, tracing those stupid lines that had destroyed everything. Maybe if he licked hard enough the ink would fade and things could return to the way they were. The shape stayed stubbornly in place and Cas moved his attention to a nipple, gasps turning to moans now, biting down in search of the anger he knew he should feel. Still nothing came to replace sadness and longing. Loss, perhaps. Dean was writhing below him, clearly more sensitive than Cas had expected, not seeming to know whether to shy away from the pleasure or keen into it.

"Why couldn't you have just stayed sober?" Cas forced some steel into the words, as if they were anything but broken.

"Stop, I... I don't deserve..."

They were agreed on that. Dean didn't deserve anything that was going to happen tonight.

Cas buried his face between Dean’s legs, needing to hide from the eyes that he was going to close, needing to give a lifetime of pleasure in a single night.

"Please, don't," Dean half sobbed as Castiel flicked his tongue against his puckered hole.

Cas glanced up at him then, unable to draw his gaze away now that he had allowed himself to look, blinking slightly before he remembered himself.

"I would offer you the opportunity to safe word, but you are the one who denied yourself that mercy," he smiled a wicked smile and returned to his work, before it could slip.

He breached the rim slowly, tenderly, not increasing in pace or ferocity, even as Dean began to beg. The self loathing pouring out as if a dam had been broken, drowning Cas, only causing him to chase Dean's pleasure more intently, like it was air. He was practically sobbing, and Cas pulled himself away, caressing Dean's cheek and pressing spit slick lips to his dry ones.

"I need it to hurt, I need it- I need..." Cas shook his head sadly, touching forehead to forehead and hoping it would do something to calm the man, breathing in the same air.

"Do you not accept my judgement, Dean?" Cas was asking it honestly, knowing he would stop even without a safe word if Dean truly wanted him to.

Dean looked ready to say no, then bit his lip before speaking. Cas could practically see the thoughts flitting across his face: confusion, doubt, realisation. He swallowed, blinking back tears.

"Why won't you hurt me?" He whispered.

"Because you don't deserve it," Cas answered honestly.

He knew Dean wouldn't hear the words in the way he meant them, but he was too tired to correct him.

Dean swallowed again.

"Do what you want with me."

Ah, if only he had that option.

"I'm going to fuck you slow, and you're not going to come until I say. Understand?" The rule was a kindness, something Dean could hang onto, he didn't want him to lose himself, not yet.

When had Cas started dishing out kindness?

Dean nodded his head, giving Cas the permission he somehow needed. Cas kissed him, threading his fingers through Dean's where they were bound above his head, and slowly pushed in. He wished he could untie him and be touched in return, but knew that was far too dangerous, he would have to be content with the calloused fingers stroking the backs of his knuckles. He clung to him so hard he thought he might break, forcing himself to continue to move.

He was stalling, he knew he was, avoiding increasing the sensation and risking ending it. Dean was panting into his mouth, cluelessly chasing the release he was being denied. He tried to meet the thrusts but Cas stilled him, wrapping his arms around his back and keeping everything safe.

"Cas, Cas, Cas I'm gonna..."

Cas pulled out and Dean whined at the loss.

"Not yet."

"Please," Dean breathed like it was a prayer, and Cas felt himself getting dangerously close himself.

"Just a little longer."

Cas knew he couldn't stall forever. He started fucking Dean slightly harder, wrapping his hand around his cock, allowing him to walk further along the road to hell.

"Come for me Dean."

He obeyed instantly, coating both of them in streaks of white, and the look of ecstasy on his face drove Cas over immediately after.

Cas felt like he was falling, incapable of doing anything but clinging to Dean and trying to remember how to breathe.

One more night couldn't hurt. He untied Dean's wrists and pulled the covers over both of them, curling up and drifting off to sleep in the arms of the enemy.

He could kill him tomorrow.

Chapter Text

Then

 

He didn’t even fight for the driver’s seat, as they bundled into the impala, just sunk down in the passenger side and tried to feel the comfort the car had always brought. It was there, but wrong somehow, like everything else since he’d got back. He almost laughed at the way he was describing it, got back, like a soldier returning from a war. Like he was a goddamn hero rather than a fucking pathetic kid who’d killed his own father. Sam was glancing at him out of the corner of his eye, mouth opening like he wanted to say something then snapping shut again.

“Will you just spit it out already?” Dean snapped, turning to face his brother.

Sam ran a hand through his hair, a nervous habit that only seemed to get worse as his hair grew longer, and took a deep breath.

“Was it Ruby?”

Oh.

Dean practically stopped breathing as Sam’s face melted into that sad puppy look that he’d give anything to never have to see again.

“When’d you figure it out?”

Sam’s expression hardened, posture straightening and voice evening out in a reaction so alarmingly similar to their dad that Dean couldn’t help but cower, he nodded his head slightly.

“Everyone else who knew where we were is dead.”

Yeah, he supposed it wasn’t rocket science.

“Does she know?”

“I couldn’t put you at risk.”

God, had Sam stayed with her this whole time knowing what she’d done? Dean wasn’t worth that. He should have just killed her the second he found out. That’s what Dean would have done.

“What are you going to do now?”

“What I have to do,” with every word Sam looked more and more like John. Dean couldn’t bear it.

“Do you want me to do it?” Dean wanted to do it. Dean wanted to take that burden from his brother so freaking bad.

“She’s my girlfriend. It should be me,” Sam’s jaw twitched, the hurt breaking through. He’d loved her, Dean didn’t get why, but he knew he had. Dean’s luck was pretty bad, but he didn’t think he could bear that kind of betrayal.

“Okay.”

“Could you just... be there? As backup or something?” He looked more like himself again, which Dean couldn’t help but be grateful for.

“’course Sammy,” the words came out soft. It wasn’t like there had ever really been any other answer he could give, he would do anything to save his brother, even now.

If Sam noticed the way the tremors increased after that he didn’t say anything.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Dean woke slowly, smiling at the warm caress of sunlight filtering through thin curtains. He felt well rested in a way he hadn't in a long time, he didn't even remember having any of his usual array of dark dreams, instead his mind was filled with memories of the night before. In the light of day the reluctance with which he'd faced pleasure seemed laughable, he was merely glad to have received it. He looked over at the warm figure sprawled across the bed beside him, one arm draped across his chest, face buried in a pillow. The sight brought a grin to his face. Of course someone so graceful would be a messy sleeper. It didn't help the effect that he was still fully clothed, even wearing that damn trench coat, rumpled up around his waist and full of creases from the night. He snorted. Apparently his partner had the presence of mind to untie him, but not to take off his own shoes. Dean rolled his eyes and debated doing it for him, before deciding that the jostling would undoubtedly wake him and render the gesture moot.

Dean carefully got up from the bed and tiptoed over to the bathroom, it seemed sensible to brush his teeth before waking Cas and trying for round two. Dean wasn't normally a morning person, the dreams made sure of that, but today he went about his preparations for the day with a fervour he was quite unaccustomed to, on the edge of whistling like some damn stupid Disney character.

In the time it took him to clean up Cas had somehow wound up starfished across the entire bed. It was adorable, not that Dean would call him that while he was awake, it would undoubtedly be a sure-fire way to get his ass whooped. He spent a few minutes looking down at the sleeping figure and trying to decide if goading Cas into whooping his ass was the best or worst idea he had ever had, before he realised he was making future plans with someone who he had never even seen naked. How the hell had that happened? Cas had seen him naked, multiple times. Surely mutual nudity was something that happened in even the kinkiest of relationships.

Was this a relationship? It was definitely more than a one night stand, given how many nights it had been, and they'd spent time together without fucking (even if that had been Dean's stupid fault), and they'd talked about life and shit. That kind of sounded like a relationship. Did Dean even want a relationship? Was it possible to have one with someone who he could never tell the truth? Not like he could ever tell him what he did for a living. He forced himself out of this line of thought, reminding himself that they knew next to nothing about each other and he should just leave well enough alone. The sex was good, that was all that mattered. Although...

He reached a hand down and slowly pulled the trench coat off Cas' shoulders. Cas stirred a little and Dean froze. When he didn't wake Dean moved on to the jacket. He just wanted to see the solid muscle he'd felt pressed against him, see how much of him was tanned, see if he had freckles sprinkled across his back like Dean did. It didn't seem like an unfair demand.

Just stripping him down to the shirt felt like rendering him nude, all those clothes were so much a part of him. One more layer to go, he thought, he was never one to stop at the last hurdle. Of course getting the buttons undone was a damn sight more difficult than just shucking off layers and Dean found there was no way to do it that wasn't certain to wake the sleeping man. Still, he could get a peek. He slipped his fingers beneath the hem of the shirt, running them across the toned muscles of his back and pulling the fabric up as he went. Yes, he was tanned all over, Dean noted with glee. And, was that a tattoo? Elegant black line work weaved an intricate pattern down both sides of his back, trailing down to dip beneath his belt. How much of him did it cover? Dean licked his lips and fully raised the shirt. It was all over and-

"Oh fuck," Dean couldn't stop the words escaping his mouth as he let the shirt drop and backed away from the bed.

Castiel blinked awake, looking up at him with a sleepy expression that Dean would have been tempted to kiss off his face mere moments ago.

"Dean?" Cas took in the look on his face, then his gaze sharpened, and he was on his feet.

In a whirl of movement they both reached for weapons, acting on well honed instinct. Cas had a knife in his hands before Dean could get to the gun discarded with his trousers, dammit why hadn't he put his clothes back on before perving on the sleeping angel? Still, it was a knife rather than a gun, a knife he could fight. Dean abandoned his clothing and lunged for Cas instead, who swiped with the knife and cut deep into his bare abdomen before Dean managed to knock it out of his hands, but he did manage to. It went skittering across the floor and they both grabbed for it. In the kerfuffle it got kicked under the bed somehow and they found themselves twined up in each other. They fought with fists now, punching and clawing at each other. Dean was impressed at the skill his opponent had, every movement was elegant and effective, but Cas wasn't the only one who knew how to fight. Dean kicked him hard enough to send him crashing into the wall (the same wall Dean had been pressed up against the night before. Dammit, now was not the time to get turned on) hard enough to break plaster. Cas was cut up and bloodied, vibrating with the menace of a jungle cat, but not put off his stride in the slightest. Yep, that was definitely hot.

"So, you're an angel," Dean said, backing towards his clothes, his gun.

"And you're a hunter," Cas didn't seem surprised.

"When did you figure it out?"

Cas was following his movements, not decreasing the space between them, just keeping it steady. A thrill raced down Dean's spine.

"Yesterday, before I fucked you until you cried," he knew that it was a taunt, a distraction, a ploy to make him do something stupid, but dammit it worked.

Dean sprang for the gun. It was inches from his hand, so freaking close, then Cas was upon him. How the hell had he moved that fast? He had him pinned to the floor, thighs straddling his waist and holding him down as he pressed the knife to his neck.

"Why didn't you kill me last night?" Pain edged the words, even he could hear it, there was no doubt that Cas could too.

Cas stared at him, both of them breathing heavily, the weapon hanging in the air like the answer that wasn't being spoken, and yet might as well have been. The words were loud despite their silence.

The knife dropped to the side and they both surged forwards, drawn to each other with a pull that neither of them seemed capable of resisting. They kissed like they were starving for it, like there would never be enough, like this outcome had been inevitable all long. As inevitable, he supposed, as one of them eventually killing the other.

“This- doesn’t mean- I’m not going to- kill you,” Dean panted between kisses.

“I would expect nothing less,” Cas returned, his composure almost seeming intact, almost, if Dean hadn’t been able to hear that slight catch in his voice, see the hint of desperation in his eyes. Dean knew that it was all mirrored in his own.

“I’m glad we- got that- cleared up.”

“Oh shut up and let me fuck you.”

Dean was incapable of saying no to that.

 

*************************

 

If Dean had thought the sex before had been electric, he had been wrong. This was something new entirely. Fear charged the air between them, hearts racing with the risk of death. It was like the first few times he’d tried anal, fighting the natural instincts that told him he was doing something wrong, something dangerous. God he had missed that feeling. They were opposing magnets, too similar to ever touch, being driven together even as the force that made them what they were resisted the proximity. Breaking every rule that they had ever known. If this killed him he would be glad of it.

They were covered in blood and sweat and god knows what from the motel floor, the room was wrecked, they were wrecked. The fight had taken it out of both of them. Dean ached for release even as he fought it, he knew Cas was doing the same. It was like they had silently agreed to make this last as long as possible, the calm in the eye of the storm. They both knew what would come after. Only one of them could leave this room alive.

Dean didn’t know how many of the deaths he had suffered were caused by the man biting down on his shoulder as they rocked together, but he knew that anyone who fought like that had to do it regularly. It was only logical to assume he had a substantial body count, maybe even comparable to Dean’s own. Yes, he would have to kill him for that, if not for his loyalties.

Cas ran a filthy tongue across his collar bone, licking into the dip above before moving down his body to bite at his nipples. It wasn’t like Cas had ever been gentle, but there had been some small display of restraint, that was gone now. This was no longer a matter of kink, but of animal aggression.

Dean came without warning, without control, quite against his will. He came so hard he blacked out for a second. He half expected to wake up dead, he half hoped he would. Dying mid orgasm had to be the best way he had a chance of going. Cas followed soon after and they slumped to the bed, tangled up in each other.

Neither of them moved as their breathing slowed. Dean listened to the internal countdown, fighting it, holding onto the warmth of skin against skin, the pleasure of momentary honesty. Five, four, three, two, one. He sprang up, grabbing his gun and raising it at the same time Cas wound a wire around his neck.

Dean felt his neck straining against the metal and smiled softly. He leaned forward, cutting his airway off further, and tenderly brushed his lips against Cas’, losing oxygen as Cas reciprocated. His vision was darkening, but he gave himself a moment longer, hanging onto the end.

Cas only loosened his grip slightly, but it was enough. Dean broke free of the garrotte and quickly backed away, not lowering the gun an inch, not breaking focus even as he reached for his clothes and put them on.

“Not going to kill me Dean? I’m disappointed.”

Cas didn’t move, didn’t raise his hands in submission, Dean shook slightly. How did he have the power even as Dean pointed a gun at his head? He should kill him, he could swear he intended to, but his finger simply wouldn’t pull the trigger.

“Nah,” Dean forced a grin, but it wavered far too quickly to have the desired effect, “fair’s fair, you didn’t kill me last night. Sorry to love ya and leave ya, but I’ve gotta bounce. I just don’t think this relationship or whatever the fuck we’ve had is gonna work out. So, uh, adios. Let’s never see each other again.”

He grabbed the rest of his stuff, thanking whatever deity was listening that he’d never really moved into this place; most of his belongings were safely stored in the boot of the impala. Then he made his escape, practically running. As he turned the key in the ignition he risked a look back at the motel. Cas wasn’t chasing him, just leaning against the doorframe, watching him leave, fully nude without a hint of shame. Dean had to blink like he’d been staring into the sun, those tanned muscles and the grin on his lips were unfairly beautiful and, as if he knew what Dean was thinking, he raised a hand and waved goodbye. Freaking waved! Dean floored the accelerator before he could do anything stupid, like getting out of the car, shoving Cas back into the motel room, and kissing every inch of that perfect body. He couldn’t do that. Never again, he told himself. This was the last time they would see each other, and they could both go on living their lives like they had done before this started, like nothing had happened. The effort it took to not look in the rear view mirror as he drove away, to get one last look, was immense but necessary. The temptation would have been too great.

His heart was pounding in his chest, furiously reminding him that he was alive, and it wouldn’t slow no matter how many times he tried to tell himself that he wasn’t being chased. A part of him knew, for certain, that this wasn’t even close to being over. God he hoped it was.

Chapter Text

Then

 

"How could you Ruby? I thought you... I thought we-"

Ruby laughed a cruel laugh and Dean wanted nothing more than to stab the bitch himself, anything to take that look off Sam's face, like he'd been broken too.

"What? You thought I loved you? It was all play pretend Sammy-o. You're sweet, I'll give you that, for hunter trash anyway. But it was all just a job, and I am good at my job. Hell, I'm the best, we've been trying to get to your family for years. You made it easy. How's it feel to know that you both killed your daddy?"

She laughed again, mocking, the sound sticking to Dean's skin like honey and razor blades.

Perhaps it was Dean's expression that did it, perhaps it was just her words, but Sam lunged forwards, knife held firm in his hands. She didn't look so smug while the life was bleeding out of her, Dean noted with a tinge of satisfaction. Sam though, his expression was shattered, a broken mirror that would condemn Dean to more years of bad luck than he could bear. Ruby was just spluttering, choking on blood while Sam held her, tears running down his face, seemingly frozen. Dean sprang into action, this he could help with, if nothing else. He gently pried Sam's hand from the knife, taking it in his own and twisting it.

"Come on Sammy. You don't want to see this."

Sam was too numb to argue, he let Dean lead him away, sat on the step, and didn't look when he heard the sounds of Dean finishing the job.

It didn't matter who had really killed her, just like it didn't matter that Dean hadn't been the one to pull the trigger that ended John Winchester's life, guilt didn't care about semantics.

Sam didn't want to see the body, or the bags they put it in, or the room that he and Ruby had shared, and, as it turned out, he especially didn't want to see Dean. If Dean had known that would be the outcome, he would probably have told him to look. Sam hadn't looked at him since.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Dean regretted his decision to go home the second the house pulled into view. All those dark windows, the unkempt lawn, the smoke stains that they still hadn't been able to get out. It looked cold and scarred, uninviting, empty. Familiar in all the wrong ways.

He gritted his teeth and pulled the impala into the garage, designed for a family. Baby looked small, lonely in all that space.

He didn't have a choice. He supposed it had to happen eventually, he could only hide out in motels for so long. Echoing footsteps and the ghosts of his parents weren't something that just went away with time.

Home. What did that even mean anymore?

The bottle of whiskey his dad had saved for a special occasion all those years ago, that's what it meant. Had to find warmth somehow.

Dean sat down in the kitchen, on the same chair he'd watched his mother making apple pie from, and drank the fancy Scottish shit in long gulps that tasted like nothing.

How many times had he and Sam stared at this bottle? How many plans had they hatched to steal it? They should have drunk it after the funeral, would have, had it not been for Dean's medication. Not that he'd really wanted to drink, in those long days when he didn't feel like he was really back, he hadn't wanted to do anything. Sam should have been drinking this bottle with him. Sam should have been here.

He needed to calm down. The fight had left him jittery and keyed up. Fuck, he was mourning something he'd never really had. It wasn't a relationship, it was sex and lies of omission. Or was he mourning in advance? Surely they could only avoid each other for so long. Lawrence wasn't big enough for that. They'd run into each other one of these days and then one of them would wind up dead, over what? Gang affiliations and some stupid freaking tattoos? Talk about Romeo and Juliet style fuckery. Of course that would imply that there was an emotional level to their relationship, which there wasn't, there freaking wasn't!

Dean found himself unconsciously running his fingers over his lips as he thought of the night before, of the slow almost tender way Castiel had fucked him, almost like-

Nope, he was not going to use the phrase 'making love' like some smitten teenager.

This was ridiculous.

He stood quickly, sending the chair clattering to the floor, he needed to move.

He paced the house, closing all the curtains, making sure the doors were locked, just wandering after that. It was surreal, being back here after all this time. He felt like a stranger in his own home, even as the house itself felt strange with all those absences.

A wave of loneliness swept over him, compelling him to pull out his phone in the hopes there was a job to do or something. Not like he was drunk enough to be rendered incapable. The intimacy of a kill was usually enough to ground him when he got like this, god did he need that right now.

There were three new messages, but not from his grandfather. Sam's face grinned at him from the top of the screen, the little pixilated picture too bright in the dark house.

Dean had already read them before he made the choice not to. Maybe he was drunker than he thought.

I’m not letting you push me away this time. I’m your brother and I love you.

I don’t care what you’re doing for a living. We’re all we’ve got, you’re all I’ve got.

I’m sorry I left. Please, just talk to me.

He shoved his phone back in his pocket, it had been a stupid idea to look at the blasted thing in the first place, and his eyes caught on a doorframe. There were notches carved into the wood, dates scrawled alongside. He'd almost forgotten how friggin' tall Sam was. John had strained to reach the highest of the marks. Sam had been so damn pleased with himself.

Dean raised the bottle to his lips and drank deeply, his eyes blurring with tears.

Fucking hell.

He punched the doorframe before he could think better of it, feeling wood crack beneath his fist and splinters bite into his skin. He looked down at the mess he'd made, his father's handwriting all broken up by his damn stupid outburst. He felt sick.

He just kept breaking things. That was all he ever did.

 

*********************

 

Dean stared at the ceiling, trying hard to avoid looking at that stupid little angel figurine that he’d never been able to bring himself to throw away, trying to avoid looking at any part of the room that reminded him where he was. Memories were all that filled this house now, and he couldn’t afford to see them. He turned to look, incapable of withstanding the pull of remembered comforts, he was so fucking weak.

“Angels are watching over you,” that’s what she’d said, as she tucked him into bed that night. They fucking should have been. The words had a different meaning now, speaking of fire and blood and those commanding eyes that wouldn’t leave him the hell alone. Still, the care with which she had spoken them rang steadily through the ages, the warmth of her touch, the gentle graze of her lips on his forehead. He’d felt so safe.

Dean closed his eyes in the hope that cutting out the sight of the room in which it had happened would curtail the memory, before it turned sour, that he could live in the moment before safety had been forgotten. No such luck. Fire danced beneath his eyelids, Mary’s cries and Sammy screaming in his arms. It was almost like he could smell the acrid smoke, even though that scent had faded long ago. He started to sweat at the memory of the heat that had burnt into him even without the touch of flames on his skin, and by association the burning hot metal that, later, had. Memories had a strange habit of merging with one another, no matter how distanced they were by time and circumstance. One fire was much like another, burning flesh smelt the same whether it was his mother’s or his own. He wished he hadn’t known what she must have felt in those last moments. He would have taken all the tortures in the world to rid her of that brief moment of suffering before the end. He hoped it had been brief, she’d stopped screaming quick enough, even if the sound had never really stopped ringing in his ears.

Coming home had been such a stupid idea. He should have just let Cas kill him in the comforting numbness of that motel. Motels had history, but lacked memory, which was blissfully peaceful for someone like him. He was cursed with the ability to remember.

He couldn’t just forget how Cas had touched him. He couldn’t forget the weight of his body above him, or the taste of his kisses or the length of his cock, he couldn’t forget the way the fury of him was calmed by that presence. He didn’t know what to call what they had, it was something ancient and unstable, like waves crashing against the cliffs he had heard of but never seen. He had heard that cliffs would crumble into the sea, battered by that steady beating of water against rock, breaking and breaking as they were worn further inland. He had heard that houses would be lost overnight, whole towns swept away by a storm. He suspected Cas was that to him, and yet he longed for those waves even as he feared them, even as pieces of him were chipped away, even as his house reached the edge of destruction. His house had been destroyed once before, a part of him wished it had stayed that way.

 

********************

 

Castiel should not have answered when Dean called the first time, or the countless times after for that matter. He was too attached, and every uncharacteristically honest conversation that followed only made that bond more profound. It was just so nice to be able to talk to someone without the boundaries that Cas carefully maintained between himself and everyone else. There was no need to lie to Dean, except for expressing the true nature of his feelings perhaps. Castiel loved his brothers and sisters in arms, he always had, but he could not express his hopes nor his fears around them. Gabriel was the only one he was certain would not consider some of his opinions treasonous, yet he was not a person with which one could have a conversation of any emotional depth. Perhaps he was doing his brother a disservice, in truth he had never really tried, he had never previously felt the pull to share any of the thoughts that flowed so freely from his lips when he spoke to Dean.

Dean had been drunk, of course, the first night and the second. Castiel suspected Dean was drunk more nights than not, and would not complain about it when words were the sum total of their intimacies. It was more intimate than Cas had at first expected. Dean was reckless when drunk, his opener of “miss you Cas,” already far more than he should have revealed. It had only been a day, and yet Cas echoed the sentiment, if internally. It had been a long day, and Dean was the cause of that, yet he was the only thing that seemed capable of soothing the frayed edges it had left. He supposed these conversations were something of an addiction for him, every bit as destructively all encompassing as the alcohol that Dean clung to, for he seemed incapable of turning them down no matter how aware he was of the need to. Shakespeare, as always, gave form to his thoughts. ‘These violent delights have violent ends’ had always seemed relevant to the life he led, now more than ever. The violence had been ever present, but never holding the delight that this violent man gave him. Perhaps he should have been scared, had he been more susceptible to such feelings, by the confessions Dean imparted over the crackly phone line.

“It’s like nothing else Cas, it’s better than ecstasy, or sex, like I steal their energy or something. I don’t know, maybe I’m just fucked in the head, got my wires crossed a ways back. Killin’ shouldn’t be like that, should it?”

It shouldn’t. It never had been for Cas. Dean’s view of the world was quite foreign, their lives seemed to be lived in parallel, and yet the experience felt like night and day. Cas spoke of the power rush, which was familiar to Dean if not the same, and the cold approach he took to such actions.

“D’ you think it’ll be like that when ya kill me?”

He sounded more curious than sad at the concept. Cas, on the other hand, could not be cool in the face of this death out of the many.

“No, Dean, I do not think any interaction with you can be average.”

“So, what, better?” Dean seemed to be grinning, he could hear it in his voice, yet Cas could do nought but frown.

“I am quite certain that, should it come to that, the moment of your death shall be far worse than any other I have inflicted.”

“Aww, almost sound like you care,” he spoke with a hiccup. He was getting steadily drunker, and Cas distantly wondered how much he had consumed so far, certainly too much, possibly dangerously so.

“I won’t have a chance to test my hypothesis if you kill yourself with the bottle first,” yes, teasing was safer than truth in this scenario.

“Wouldn’t that be a shame,” Dean gulped down more booze close enough to the phone for Cas to hear.

He didn’t say that he wasn’t so sure that it would be, but the thought burned bright in his mind, lingering far beyond the conversation. Even as that awareness scared him, he knew that his life would be far easier if Dean simply drank himself away. No matter how much he hoped that he wouldn’t, no matter how much the idea of losing Dean for any reason made his heart ache in a way that was utterly unfamiliar, yet instantly dangerously identifiable. Castiel had never expected to find love, it was a shame he should have to kill it.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean knew he wouldn’t be able to get a moment’s peace until every single one of those bastards was dead. They had destroyed him, destroyed his parents, destroyed his relationship with Sam. The hunt was all he had left, all that made him feel anything anymore, the only pure experience he was allowed. There was so much rage in him now, coiled and tense like a snake ready to strike, and boy did he strike. He hurt and hunted and harmed. He was half numb, half raw nerves, all frayed energy. He terrified himself. He felt deadly and alive and nothing at all. The Campbells didn’t stop him, he was doing what they wanted anyway. They were only here for revenge, and he was supplying it. They just pointed him in the direction they wanted and let him loose, and he tore whatever he encountered apart. Bobby was all he had now, and he pushed him away with a sort of desperation. The old man made him feel human, feel weak, and he couldn’t afford that. Bobby just looked so damn sad, like it was him who Dean was hurting, his blood covering his hands while he helped get him fixed up. He was silent, until the demons were gone, until he started on the angels.

“You damn fool boy, this is your daddy’s war, not yours. Everyone involved in the fire’s already dead, ain’t no point in carryin’ on. You can’t keep killin’ like this.”

Dean shoved Bobby away, wincing when the needle that he had been using to sew up a knife wound dropped from his hands and swung from him sickeningly, like the pendulum of some messed up clock.

“Why not?” He growled at the man who’d been more father to him than anyone.

“’Cause you’ll wind up dead ya’ idjit! I can’t bury another Winchester.”

Bobby reached for the needle but Dean dodged his attempts. He took it up himself and braced himself against the pain as he began to stitch up the wound. It didn’t matter if it hurt, better than touch and care and all that guilt.

“Fine then, don’t. I don’t even want a fucking funeral. Let me rot like nature intended.”

“Mary wouldn’t have wanted this for you. John wouldn’t-“

Dean’s hands trembled, his stitches uneven and too damn deep.

“It doesn’t matter does it? They’re dead. Everyone dies, at least let me go down swinging.”

Bobby shook his head.

“You break my heart boy.”

“Then leave me alone. Everyone else has.”

Dean cut the excess thread and put his shirt back on in a hurry.

Bobby did leave, after that. He never stopped calling, but he left all the same. He quit the hunters, said something about being too damn old for bloodshed, and Samuel let him go. Dean knew it was his own stupid fault. He knew that if he reached out to the man he would take him back. He also knew he wouldn’t. He didn’t want anyone to care anymore, he didn’t want to hurt anyone when he finally got himself killed. He didn’t want anyone who mattered to look at him with horror or pity or concern. There was a reason monsters were always alone. It hurt so much less that way, and there was a freedom to being utterly unhooked from the world. There wasn’t anyone to care if he started drinking the second he woke up, or killed so brutally that it should probably be classified as torture, or came home limping from sex that he had allowed to be more violent than pleasurable. He was free to destroy himself, and he did.

It was far too easy to be evil once the switch had flipped, that was the scary thing. Dean was a stranger to himself, existing somewhere beyond his own actions, desperately trying to maintain that separation for the fear of what would happen if he saw what he'd become. He allowed himself moments, brief glimpses of reality that hurt so bad he could barely breathe, before he shut himself out again. He was living proof that evil wasn't born, it was made, and even as he disgusted himself he was powerless to resist that dark influence. He was too broken to be fixed, you couldn't turn back time to unbreak a cracked cup, you just had to glue it back together or throw it away. He suspected that the prior was no longer an option.

Chapter Text

 

Now

 

“Hey, Cas, so I’ve been thinking. We’re probably gonna wind up killin’ each other anyway with the way things been goin’, how’s about we just agree to keep fucking until we get told different?”

Cas rubbed his forehead, knowing full well it would do nothing to stop the impending headache. Why couldn’t Dean just leave well enough alone?

“That will likely make things far too emotionally complicated,” he feared that ship had sailed, but he had to at least try to make Dean see sense.

“Ain’t they already? At least this way there’s sex. I was tryna adjust to the idea of not havin’ you inside me again and… it sucked dude.”

He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath to quell the surge of longing Dean’s words inspired.

“Do you not think that the danger we would face, should our respective gangs find out, is too great a risk to take for nothing more than hedonistic pleasure?”

“But just think how good it would feel. We’re great together and you know it. Come on man, we’ve been fucking for a while and it ain’t caused any problems yet.”

Yet being the operative word. He could feel the traps being set, the danger looming in the distance. For all he knew, it could already be too late.

“There is a big difference between accidentally sleeping with the enemy and deliberately doing so.”

“I need you, Cas,” Dean mumbled.

Cas refused to return the sentiment, no matter how deeply he felt it. One of them had to be sensible here.

“We both know this is a bad idea.”

“We kill people for a living. This is pretty far down the list of bad decisions both of us have made in our lives.”

“Speak for yourself Dean. I like my life.”

He was sure he had spoken a lie when the words felt bitter on his tongue. Strange, he could swear they had once been true.

“We can’t keep doing this Dean, these conversations alone are confusing our loyalties.”

“We can-“

“No, Dean, we have to stop. It doesn’t matter how much I care for you or how pleasurable our time together has been. My family simply must come first. I’m sorry.”

He had to put an end to this. He had to.

“Cas, it sounds almost like you’re breaking up with me.”

“We would have to be in a relationship for this to qualify as a breakup. As it is we are just two people who had some great sex and a few ill advised conversations, then parted ways.”

There was a silence, like the gap where a breath should be, like someone gasping for air.

“Tell yourself what you like Cas, this has been more than that and you know it,” his voice was hardened, but no less desperate. He wasn’t going to stop, Cas could hear it. He could hurt him however he liked and Dean would just keep taking it. He didn’t want to hurt him anymore.

“Regardless, I am putting an end to it. Goodbye Dean. Do not call this number again, I will not answer it.”

He hung up before the heartache could force him to do any differently. It had been the right decision, he knew that, and yet it still felt like it was breaking him apart.

 

************************

 

Cas killed mercilessly, the actions feeling robotic, empty. He had never been overly emotional, and yet this depressive numbness was new to him. He was so tired of war, tired of having to keep an eye on Gabriel, steering him away from dangerous subjects even as he agreed with his opinions. This was pointless, the war was gaining them nothing, their forces far too evenly matched for either side to get the upper hand, the restrictions of criminality and night-time making a final battle impossible.

He didn't cry when Samandriel died, but it ate away at him further, the misery on the faces of his brothers driving him to anger rather than despair. This was Michael’s fault, as much as it was the fault of the Hunters, probably more so. Where was he anyway? He seemed almost to have done as much of a disappearing act as Castiel’s father had so long ago, the occasional phone call all that told him he was still alive. Still, Castiel would be a good soldier, because otherwise his life would be forfeit. He knew such an eventuality would send the dominoes tumbling, and Gabriel at the very least would follow after, likely others too. He would protect his wayward brother, at all costs, even as he yearned for the arms of the enemy. The enemy whose calls he ignored, who filled his voicemail with messages he couldn’t bear to hear.

He saw Dean everywhere, far too aware of the possibility of a collision, those phantoms met with hope as much as fear. He wished he hadn’t had to tell him no.

 

*****************

 

Dean had never taken long to lick his wounds. Who had the time for sulking? He spent a couple of days dousing his pain with liquor, then got back to his goddamn job. The kills fuelled by a whole new level of fury. These were the people who had taken Castiel away from him, Castiel himself was one of them and he had abandoned him, they had destroyed everything he cared about.

It hadn't been like this in years. It had been habitual, gruesome, but contained. Now he was a raging fire, consuming everything in his path. Drink, kill, fuck, repeat. It all burnt with that same brightness. He left as many bruises on his partners as they did on him now, he wanted to rip them apart, and no matter what he did he was never satisfied. That was what did it, in the end. He was sat at the edge of the bed, blood covering his hands as he took a drag of a post kill cigarette, regretting the decision to fuck his mark before killing him, rather than keeping work and play separate as he usually did, body still thrumming with the energy that would not disperse, when he realised: he didn't have to do what Cas ordered, not anymore. He could take what he wanted, and screw the consequences. He wouldn't fuck Cas if he didn't want it, but he could at least get a look at him, at least view the calm to his storm. He needed it too much to resist.

Dean was a hunter, and god damn it he could hunt his own prey if he wanted to, regardless of orders, or good sense.

Castiel was a ghost on the wind, gone the second Dean thought he had found him, and yet Dean kept on searching, and damn if he wasn’t good at his job.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean still listened to the messages, no matter how much they hurt him. He couldn't seem to resist. Sam hadn't called, not in a long time. It was like freedom, and a length of rope. Bobby, on the other hand, was persistent.

"You think something has changed son? Ain't nothing changed. You've been a damn mess since your mother died, then worse since your idjit of a father had you shooting folks for the first time. You were barely out of diapers and you were already past fixin’. That don't matter to them that love you. Get over yourself and pick up the damn phone."

Dean was surrounded by bodies, shaking from adrenaline, not sure whose blood was covering him. He laughed at the concept of answering Bobby, of telling him anything. Bobby was wrong, of course. Everything had changed. There was no place for family in the life that he led.

"Oh, ‘fore I forget, your brother called."

Dean's head shot up, attention now caught by the phone sitting on the one blood free table in the room. Sam had called Bobby, and not him?

"He ain't doing so well. The shit that went down with that Ruby chick's got him all messed up. If you ain't gonna answer me you should at least call him. Your brother needs you."

Dean wiped a hand down his face, swearing when he remembered that he was yet to wash the evidence of his crimes from them. He found a clean corner of his shirt and used it to get rid of the worst of the mess, knowing he wouldn't be able to clear the lingering stickiness without the aide of soap and water. Ugh, he hated mess, but he could worry about that later.

He grabbed the phone and, only hesitating slightly, dialled his brother's number, not even sure it was the current one. How long had it been? Not long enough for him to forget what Sam sounded like, but certainly enough to question his memory. Hell, Sam's voice might even have dropped in that time. Dean knew his own was deeper, by far, but perhaps that was a matter of experience, not age. He hoped Sam was blissfully free from experience. Bobby's call, however, did not fill him with confidence.

The phone rang, and rang, and rang, with no answer. It clicked over to an impersonal answering machine and something dropped in Dean's stomach, the protective fear he hadn't felt since Sam had left. He had always assumed that Sam was gone from his life because he did not want him in it. Now his mind supplied a litany of darker explanations. He dialled again, pacing a path between the horrors he had wreaked. He didn't care if the hand combing nervously through his hair left behind a trail of red, he just needed Sam to pick up.

"Dean," a weight was lifted from his chest as Sam's voice came, clear and recognisable, through the speakers of the phone, "stop calling."

The line went dead. Dean stared at the screen, blinking away tears that threatened to fall.

He kicked the nearest body, picked up his bone saw, and began dividing the corpses into neat little segments.

He still hoped Sam was alright.

Later, whenever the job was done and Dean's mind was clear, he called Bobby.

"Look after Sam. I can't do it anymore."

He hung up before Bobby could respond, knowing what the words would sound like, incapable of dealing with the repercussions. He couldn't care for anyone anymore. He was too damn tired.

 

Chapter Text

Now

 

Cas tuned out Gabe’s incessant babbling, drinking sparingly at the bar he had been dragged to. He didn't see the point in attempting anything else, all of them being drunk was dangerous, and it's not like inebriation would solve his problems, he stayed stubbornly numb no matter what he did, and he was resigned to the possibility of that being a problem free of solution.

Balthazar sat across the booth from him. Gabe beside Cas, an arm thrown over his shoulder, oblivious to the looks Balth was sending Cas’ way. He didn’t look happy, the killing was beginning to wear him down as much as Cas himself. Balthazar revelled in hedonism, not violence, and now violence was all there was room for. He just couldn’t seem to find the words to demand a return to the way things were, quieter in his rebellion than Gabe, saying more with his eyes than Cas was willing to show. Nonetheless he continued to flirt with everyone who crossed their path. Cas sighed as he watched him saunter up to the bar, effortlessly drawing the attention of a provocatively dressed brunette, a few words and they were heading towards the exit. Family time was the only respite they had, and Balthazar had abandoned it for sex. Cas shook his head, before his gaze was instantly caught by another figure at the bar. Dean’s eyes were intensely focussed on him, smirking as he saw the shock on his face, then silently raising a glass to him and taking a long drink of the amber liquid.

“So Kali has her arms around me and we’re both pretty wasted by now and this elephant nearly...” Gabe trailed off as he caught Cas’ expression. “Cassie? I really hate to interrupt the eye sex, but Balth is gone, drinking alone is booooring.”

Cas snapped his eyes back to Gabe.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Gabe snorted, derisively digging into his third packet of chips.

“Lying now are we Cassie? You’re looking at Ken doll over there like you want to eat him alive.”

Cas couldn’t tell him the truth, so he levelled a glare at Gabe and stuck to safer topics.

“Don’t call me Cassie.”

“You can’t tell me what to do. You’re not an archangel yet you know.”

Cas focused on his drink, taking an unnecessarily long sip to put off responding for a few more seconds. Gabriel cheerfully punched him in the shoulder.

“Relax Cas, you know it doesn’t bother me who you stick your dick in, just keep it out of family time huh?”

“I’m not sticking my dick in-“ he risked another look at Dean, only to find him gone, “where did he go?” Cas hurriedly scanned the rest of the crowd, he was nowhere to be seen.

“Wrote something on a piece of paper, left it at the bar, then strode toward the exit like a man on a mission.”

Cas stood from the booth far too quickly.

“Slow your roll Cassie, you’re not gonna-“

“Which way did he go?” Cas interrupted, his voice urgent.

“That way,” he pointed at the door Balthazar had left through and Cas’ heart sank. “You’re not really going to abandon me for some piece of-”

He didn’t hear anything else Gabe said. Cas was already striding towards the bar. He picked up the folded note, undoubtedly deliberately similar to the note Cas had left on Dean’s nightstand what felt so long ago.

 

V neck’s gonna get it

Bet you can’t find me soon enough to save him

xx

 

He practically flew out of the bar, ignoring Gabe’s outraged yells and threats of payback; they wouldn’t matter if Cas didn’t make it back alive.

He chased Dean through the dark, knowing that the trail was far too easy to follow and yet powerless to do anything else, he couldn't risk Balthazar's life out of fear for his own. Dean may not have killed him yet, but he still could, and he seemed to have no qualms about killing any of the other angels, if his recent reign of horror was anything to go by. There was no proof that those bodies had been claimed by his lover and yet he knew, instinctively, so he raced headfirst into danger yet again. He should, perhaps, have told Gabe where he was going, but it seemed reckless to drag another of his brothers into the fray. If anyone died for his actions tonight it would be him and him alone. Throughout all of these grim thoughts the pull didn't cease, that stupid attraction to a man so dangerous to his way of life, to his life itself. One should not look too long into the sun, how had he forgotten that? Now the imprint of that light was seared into his eyelids, flashing in inhuman colours across his field of vision. He felt every resolve he had made crumble and he knew, even if Dean released Balthazar without the slightest demand, they would devour each other tonight.

He wished he could say he had followed Dean into the factory, that old shell of a building, without fear, but he was not fond of lying to himself. He was more scared than he had ever been in his life, and after the numbness, that was a relief.

 

*********************

 

Dean lurked in the shadows, the terrain already mapped. He knew the entrances, the exits, and he knew from the footsteps that followed him that Cas was not being careful tonight. Still, it seemed only fair to return a little of the teasing that Cas had inflicted on him in the past. He found a hiding spot, and spoke into the dark.

“Come here lover boy.”

He didn’t expect Castiel to get the reference, it was a personal indulgence, one that made him smile like the Cheshire Cat, before he realised his teeth might be visible in the gloom.

“It’s over between us Dean, we both know that, I just want my friend back.”

“Aww, you don’t want me?” The pout in his voice was deliberate and mocking, but he couldn’t claim the words didn’t sting, even as he was all too aware of the truth behind them. Still, truths could be changed.

“Of course I want you,” Cas spoke on an exhale, “I never stopped wanting you, but we can’t-“

“We can. We can do whatever we like. No one needs to know. Just you, me, and these old walls.”

Cas was silent for a moment, but Dean had already figured out where in the room he stood. He was inches away, so close that he could practically feel the hairs on the back of Cas’ neck standing on end when he spoke again.

“And Balthazar.”

Dean had the chains around Cas’ neck before he could react. The trapped man bucked and pulled at his hands, but didn’t claw, Dean smiled at that. Cas relaxed against him as he realised there was no way out, leaning his head back, exposing his neck, and giving a soft sigh. Dean pulled the chains tight, cutting off airflow, just for a second, just to see what it would feel like. He was already hard. He snapped cuffs around Cas’ wrists with his free hand, not letting the chain go slack, and hooked the length of it over a meat hook, the cuffs connected to the chain. He tested the bond, making completely sure that Cas had no way of breaking free, Cas pulled against them for good measure, raising one eyebrow at Dean.

“You know, you could have just bought me a drink.”

Dean laughed, flicking on the light, which still didn’t stretch to illuminate the walls. The small circle of light making it feel like they were the only people in the world, like this wasn’t impossible.

“Where’s the fun in that? Besides, I like seeing you like this.”

Cas somehow managed to shrug nonchalantly, even while trussed up.

“I would prefer if it was the other way around.”

“Come now, have some generosity of spirit. It’s my turn.”

“I’m not fond of taking turns.”

“Tell me, what are you fond of?”

“I’m fond of Balthazar. Where is he?”

Dean grinned.

“He’s not here. He was never here. Oh, now that expression is worth all of this effort, I really had you going didn’t I?”

“You never had him.”

“I could have done. I followed his trail, stalked like I would for a kill, and then I let him go. I did that for you Cas, do you feel grateful?”

Cas nodded solemnly.

“I do. However I would feel more grateful if you let me go also.”

“I will, in time. If I’m feeling generous. You ignored me, I didn’t like that.”

“I shall avoid that in the future, I promise I will pay attention as I rip your head from your shoulders.”

“Now now Cas, is that any way to talk to your host?”

“Depends, are you going to be a good host? Or do you intend to rape the visiting angel like the people of Sodom?”

Dean smirked.

“Don’t act like you’re not willing.”

“Don’t act like I have a choice.”

“Don’t you?”

“Is sex or death really a choice?”

“You wound me Cas, and here I thought you wanted me.”

Dean kissed him ferociously, and Cas moaned into his mouth, erection rubbing against his enemy’s hip.

“I stand corrected,” Dean’s voice dripped with sarcasm as he began to slowly undress Cas.

“I never said I wasn’t willing, merely questioned the presence of a choice.”

“For a dom, you certainly seem to enjoy the loss of choice.”

“I also never said I didn’t- like it the other way around on occasion.” Cas gasped as Dean gripped his nipples hard, pulling and twisting.

“That’s fortunate, because you’re right, you don’t have a choice.”

Dean yanked Cas’ trousers down around his ankles, leading him to step out of them.

“Don’t worry, I will right the balance on our next encounter.”

Dean’s eyed dilated.

“I look forward to it.”

“Well get on with it then, I can’t hang around all day,” Cas’ lips twitched as he looked up at the chains suspending him from the ceiling.

Dean groaned.

“And, with that, you just lost your talking privileges.”

Dean picked up a roll of duct tape from a duffel bag that was on the grimy concrete floor and placed a strip of it over his mouth. He kissed him over the tape, something thrilling about the feel of his lips beneath the plastic. Cas made a low sound deep in his throat and Dean knew he was every bit as aroused by the predicament as Dean was.

“I could do anything I wanted to you, and no one would come to save you. No one’s stepped foot in this building in years, the fence around the property is far enough from the building that no one would hear you scream,” Dean chuckled, “even if you could scream. You are utterly at my mercy.”

Cas shivered as Dean grazed his hands over his straining shoulders, the muscles fighting to keep him upright. Dean pulled at the chain, raising it a few inches more, so that Cas’ feet barely touched the ground. Cas’ toes scrabbled for purchase, but found none, the smooth surface of the floor held no indentations in which he could grip.

“What do you think? Will the cuffs cut into your flesh as I fuck you?” Cas moaned. “Yes, I think they will, and you know what? I think you want that. I think you’ll look at the vivid red lines on your wrists and you’ll remember me, I think you’ll enjoy that reminder as you touch yourself, maybe you’ll even press into them, to renew that feeling. I know I’ve enjoyed every reminder that you’ve left me, every bruise, every mark of ownership,” Dean’s voice broke with the words, his control slipping.

Cas’ eyes registered the power loss, his brows lowering, eyes narrowing, and Dean fought to regain the upper hand as that damned domineering expression commanded him to fall to his knees before this man, once again.

He spun Cas around by the chain that was holding him and swatted his ass hard, before leaning into him, chest flush against his back, hands settling on his waist. He pressed his chin into the crook of his neck, lips a hairs breadth from his ear, and whispered.

“Don’t forget who’s in charge.”

He could feel the tremor that the words sent through Cas. He smiled, the desired effect achieved. He ran his hand down Cas’ front, tilting his head to the side, exposing his neck and kissing goose bumps onto his flesh. His hand progressed downwards over his muscled torso, his lips continuing their assault on his neck, his shoulders, his upper back, the straining muscles of his arms. He touched his dick, feather light, before gripping and setting up a steady rhythm. Cas’ back heaved, half collapsing against Dean’s chest as his toes curled away from the ground, all his weight now being taken by his arms.

“I bet you haven’t been on the receiving end for so long, you must be so tight, god I need to feel you. You know what you do to me Cas? You make me weak.”

Dean released his cock and unzipped his own pants, pulling them down to his hips, then grabbing the lube he’d had the sense to bring and slicking up his fingers, barely having the patience to quickly finger Cas open. The way his body writhed, begging for more, the sounds he made behind the tape, were almost enough to get Dean off before he was even inside him.

He rolled on a condom and lubed up, then thrust in quickly, moaning in pleasure. Cas threw his head back, resting it on Dean’s shoulder, and Dean wrapped his arms around him, taking some of his weight off his arms. He began to move and he didn’t know who was more undone, Cas whose eyes fluttered closed as he let out little muffled gasps and met every movement, pushing him further, still somehow in control, or Dean whose whole body shook as he fucked into him, incapable of holding back anything, even though he knew he should. He shouldn’t be feeling this vulnerability, this raw need, he shouldn’t be conveying it to his captive, but his body was giving him away. He was so deep over his head.

He couldn’t have said who came first, but he was sure that they both came hard, so hard that he barely managed to stay upright, and Cas hung, deadweight, from the ceiling, neither of them taking up the strain with their bodies.

When he regained the ability to form conscious thought Dean lowered the chain holding Cas, just enough for him to stand more firmly on the ground, and pulled off the tape.

Cas took a deep breath, thoughts still clearly coming as slowly as Dean’s.

“So, are you going to unhook me?” Cas asked, heavy breathing undermining the nonchalance that he was projecting with his words.

Dean wished he had planned beyond this moment, but he had been too busy hoping that Cas would follow, that he’d give in, to truly figure out what would happen if he did. There was a very real chance that he would kill him, or seek some other form of revenge, if Dean freed him, and yet Dean couldn’t bring himself to harm the only person who seemed capable of grounding him. Even like this, even when everything was upside down and he was certain he should be the one bound, Dean felt calm like he hadn’t since Cas had tossed him aside. That thought brought back a little of the anger, and Dean grinned a wicked grin as he reached a decision.

“Open wide,” his voice had the musicality of glee as he watched Cas’ expression turn stormy. God he loved that look, like thunder brewing, like he was about to be struck down by the heavens.

“Give me one good reason why I should.”

“Because that is the only way you are getting free.”

Dean pulled the key to the handcuffs out of his pocket, waving it cheerily at Cas.

“You will pay dearly for this,” Cas threatened, before opening his mouth.

Dean had intended to just place the key on his tongue, but looking at the sight before him he simply couldn’t resist. He put the key in his own mouth, and passed it with a kiss. He instantly knew how dangerous the choice had been, Cas didn’t need the use of his hands to regain the upper one. Dean’s breath was gone in an instant, legs weaker than they had been moments before, and yet he still fought for the control which he knew he could not lose. How could something be simultaneously so violent and so full of longing? It was a promise of a tomorrow that neither of them had expected, but could not walk away from now. How could he walk away from this? He passed the key and backed away quickly, barely avoiding stumbling.

“You’re strong enough to reach, right?” He somehow managed to grin, grabbing the bag and backing away further.

“You are intimately aware of that fact. Do not forget what I am capable of doing to you.”

He tripped slightly on his feet. He barely managed to resist the urge to stay, eager to see Cas pull himself up on the chains, nervous that he would drop the key during the gymnastics that would be necessary. He made a mental note to come back in a day or two, just to be sure.

He shot a wink at Cas. “Until next time.”

“Next time,” Cas returned, a threat in his tone.

Dean blew him a kiss and turned on his heel, only avoiding running for the amount of time it took him to get out of sight. He was terrified, exhilarated, back to that high he had been missing. The game was no fun without a little danger.

He had just poked a hornets’ nest, and he couldn’t wait to get stung.

Chapter Text

Then

 

He didn’t know how many people he’d killed anymore. He’d lost count after Alastair. None of the others meant anything to him, not in the same way, like the way any high melds into another after the first few times you try it. He hadn’t been his first, of course, but he’d been the first who he’d truly wanted to kill. Perhaps needed was the better word, because he had needed to, it had been all he’d thought about for so damn long. With every cut that cruel bastard inflicted on him, he had imagined how he would strike in return, and oh boy had he lived up to those fantasies. He had hurt him in ways he didn’t think himself capable of, that no one should be capable of, and still those shark eyes taunted him and that laugh kept coming. It didn’t stop, not really, just rang in his ears while he looked down at the corpse that he had mangled beyond recognition. There was no satisfaction in it, not like the others.

He might as well have been a demon, now, the biblical kind. He was lost. He knew that, deep down. There were moments of clarity, moments where he saw what he was doing and wanted to run from the monster he had become. He told himself he would stop, put away his knives, looked up colleges and remembered the old dreams, the childhood dreams. He vowed to become a fireman, like he’d said he would, before dreams had been replaced with nightmares and sleepless nights. He thought of Sam, who he heard from Bobby was studying to be a lawyer, following the path he’d described to Dean so long ago. He relapsed, again and again. He barely made it a week.

It didn’t matter how much distance he put between himself and the rack, Alastair still had him, body and soul.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Cas was planning his vengeance from the second Dean left. He thought through his options, considering all the ways this could go. Should he kill him? Perhaps. It was certainly the dignified option, and yet, he had no desire to do so. He could chase him down easily enough, but he didn’t need to, all it took was a text. Dean was, as always, eager for his destruction. He arrived at the allotted place at the allotted time, without the most basic of precautions. He wasn’t even carrying a gun.

“Hey Cas,” he spoke with a familiar grin. Cocky. Cas would soon cure him of that.

“Hello Dean,” Cas kept his tone grim, staring Dean down until the smile slipped.

Dean shifted, eyes slightly wider than normal, and Cas pounced.

He yanked down Dean's pants and slapped him across the ass, the sound of flesh against flesh reverberating around the room and into the world beyond before he closed the door behind them, sealing him in.

"Did you carve those words into my cousin?" Dean breathed.

Cas chuckled and gripped the back of Dean's neck, shoving him down over the dresser.

"Yes," it was spoken with a smile, confirming that he was in danger of far more than death, "I assume Raphael was your work."

The response wasn't really necessary, but Dean nodded anyway, before his face was pressed firmly into the woodwork.

"I should kill you right now," Castiel growled as he slapped Dean again, with the full force of all that coiling muscle he hid so well. Dean groaned, arching into the pain.

"Likewise," his voice was breathy, the words insubstantial, they both knew whose life was at risk.

"Why are you here?"

"Why do you think?"

Cas pursed his lips, dissatisfied with the truth.

"You should have stayed away."

"You should have killed me."

He wished Dean didn’t sound sincere, that the words were just mocking.

"Maybe I will."

"Do it then."

"Yes, maybe that is why you're here. I wish I could beat the self-loathing out of you."

He ran his hands across Dean’s back, scratching slightly, disguising the urge to sooth.

"You can't."

"But wouldn't it be fun to try?"

"Well what are you waiting for? Remember what I did to you, how I tied you up and fucked you, how I took what wasn't mine. Take it back. Fucking take it back."

Dean was spitting his words, filling them with aggression, taunting him to action. Cas revelled in the desperation.

"You know, for all your talk of control, I am beginning to suspect you lost more than you gained. Do you feel more control like this, Dean? Does your heart rate steady and your breathing slow as I grind you into a table and make you mine? You need this, don't you?"

"Yes," Dean whispered.

"Then you shall have it," Cas spoke in his ear, "you shall have more than you can bear and then you shall thank me for it, won't you Dean?"

"Yes, Cas, anything for you."

"Do you want me to take my vengeance for what you did to me? Do you want to suffer for your crimes? Is that why you are here?"

He knew he was repeating himself, but he had to be sure, had to ensure he was not misreading Dean’s desires. Their dynamic was one wrong move away from crumbling, turning into something darker, or worse yet, something honest. This had to be done right or he wouldn’t manage it at all.

"Yes," it was barely more than a breath, barely a sound, but Cas didn't push him for more. He had heard, and he would deliver.

"It's a funny quirk of mankind, I find, how while some will do anything to avoid pain, others..." there was no need to finish his sentence, he merely rained down a series of blows in quick succession and allowed Dean's reaction to speak for him. It was beautiful, how quickly he opened up beneath his ministrations, aching for more. Castiel was a sadist, sure, but the pleasure Dean experienced was an aphrodisiac far more powerful than anything else he could remember. He was so responsive, so wantonly needy, and Cas was powerless to refuse his wordless pleas. He beat him hard, not out of anger, no matter how fun it was to play that role, it was more of a devilish curiosity that lead him to land harder and harder blows.

He thought, perhaps, a breaking point would come, and yet it never did. Dean sobbed into his punishment after a time, writhing and crying out, but every time Cas began to slow, to soften the impact or bring things to a close, Dean would level a challenging glare at him and Cas would know that his work wasn't done.

If there was defiance left in him Dean would not be satisfied, of that he was certain. This was a battle, one Dean had to lose, however Cas still had duty of care.

Dean's skin broke beneath him and Cas pulled away.

"Wimp," Dean growled through his tears, "don't tell me you're scared of a little mess."

Cas reached around, pressing his body hard against Dean's throbbing ass, and roughly gripped his cock.

"You are not in control here, boy, things stop when I say they stop," he pumped his cock brutally, Dean's gasps making him smile around the words, "you will receive as much, or as little, as I see fit," Dean was so hard, Cas knew that he could make him come in an instant, but that would hardly qualify as punishment, and Dean was not even close to defeat, "question my ruling and you shall receive nothing at all," he withdrew his hand, chuckling at Dean's hissed profanities while his body bucked at nothing.

"Dick."

"Now now Dean, we both know you like pain as much as pleasure. It's hardly a punishment if you enjoy it."

"Then what was the point of all that?"

"Seeing you squirm gets me hard," Cas said, keeping his tone even, the words matter of fact.

"Have trouble in that area old man?"

Cas turned him around, pressing him back against the desk, bodies firm against one another. Dean winced slightly at the hard surface against his ass, before he squared his shoulders and regained control of his features.

"I think I have had enough of that mouth for today. Stay silent like a good little slut."

"Make me," Dean uttered the words like a challenge, his eyes echoing the sentiment.

Cas had never backed down from a challenge in his life. He shoved two fingers between Dean's lips, grinning cattishly when Dean choked, immensely thankful for the length of his fingers. He stared him down while he regained control of his gag reflex, adjusting to the unexpected intrusion, before pushing slightly deeper. With his other hand he undid his belt, keeping a firm grip on Dean's jaw so he couldn't pull away, watching Deans eyes dilate while he pulled the leather from the loops in which it rested.

"Kneel," he commanded so firmly that Dean didn't even try to resist, scurrying to follow his orders the second Cas released him.

He slowly unbuttoned his pants, ensuring Dean had time to anticipate. His cock sprung free and Dean licked his lips, leaning forward without being consciously aware he was doing so. Cas pushed him back on his heels, shaking his head with the hint of a smile.

"Open wide," Dean eagerly obeyed, and Cas really did smile now, a fact that Dean seemed to take as approval if the way his shoulders relaxed was anything to go by. It wasn't, it was the satisfaction of a trap being sprung, of prey being caught unawares.

He slowly walked around Dean, giving him a cruel moment of hope, before it was snatched away. He leant down, running his fingers up the back of Dean's neck, making him shiver, then whispered in his ear.

"Naughty boys don't get to touch," he grabbed a handful of Dean's hair and used it to hold him in place as he shoved the belt between his lips and tied it securely around his head. He knew it would only be a partially successful gag, but this was about power, not practicality. He wanted to hear Dean groan.

He removed the rest of his clothes and walked back into Dean's line of sight, watching his hands twitch, clearly fighting the urge to touch, to remove the gag, to do something. Cas would not bind him tonight, that would make things far too easy, Dean's greatest struggle would be self control.

"Stay still and perhaps I will allow you to come tonight."

Dean's cock twitched, but his hands stayed fisted at his sides. Good, progress was being made.

Cas ran a leisurely hand down his own chest, stopping for a little to play with his nipples, then moving down to stroke his cock. He made sure to draw this out, putting on a show, every action designed to drive Dean crazy. It was clearly working, Dean was panting slightly, eyes glazed with lust. Cas shot him a wink, coating his hand with precome and beginning to pump his cock in earnest. Dean groaned, eyes falling closed. Cas wasn't having that, he would not allow Dean to find solace in the dark. He moaned loudly and Dean's eyes snapped back open, fixing on him unblinkingly as Cas thrust into his fist. He whimpered, and Cas could see the moment his resolve broke, he reached out to grasp Cas' hips, then pulled back like he'd been burned. He'd remembered, but too late. Cas grinned wickedly, Dean's knuckles whitening where he clasped them in place, uselessly now. He had condemned himself, and he knew as much.

Cas growled when he came, streaking white across Dean's face and chest. Dean didn't flinch, or move, just blinked up at him, biting into the leather between his teeth. His submission was beautiful, now that his spirit had been so effectively broken, and Cas felt it must be rewarded. He undid the belt and pulled him into a kiss, dragging him up to his feet.

He laid him down across the desk and slowly, so slowly, opened him up. He was already hardening again. Seeing Dean rendered mute and pliant, covered in his come, was turning him on like crazy. Still, he took his time, enjoying the way Dean twitched and writhed as he held on to the edge. Dean wouldn't come, not obedient as he was now, Cas was sure of it. Still, Cas would not make it easy for him. He fucked Dean deep and demanding, not roughly, but thoroughly. Dean gasped out his pleasure, gripping the sides of the desk tighter and tighter as Cas pounded mercilessly at his prostate.

"Please, please," Dean gasped out, reaching for Cas' shoulders, not seeming to know whether to push him away or pull him closer.

"Please what, pet?"

"Come inside me," Dean breathed out in a rush, blushing deeply.

Well, who was Cas to deny him when he'd asked so very nicely?

Dean's muscles clenched around him, but somehow he held himself back as Cas came deep into him. Dean was sweating, nails almost biting into Cas' shoulders, the strain clear on his face.

Cas pulled out and, before Dean could recover, grabbed the plug that he had stowed in his jacket pocket and filled his hole once again.

"You will wear this for the rest of the day. Let it serve as a reminder."

"Of what?"

Cas smirked at him.

"I own you," it was a statement of fact, one that Dean did not dare to refute.

It was a large plug, almost as large as Castiel himself, and Cas knew that every time it jostled within him Dean would know those words to be true.

"Oh, and Dean, you are not to masturbate today."

"Or what?"

Cas raised an eyebrow and Dean ducked his head. He didn't need to answer, Dean would do as he was told.

 

************************

 

Once again Dean was left helplessly aroused. This time, however, he had no one to blame but himself. He was pretty sure a part of him had done it deliberately, had needed that extra level of control. He knew he could just defy his orders, that Cas would never know if he took the plug out or went for a quick wank in the backseat of the impala, that a part of him wanted to see what Castiel would do if he did find out. However, as the day wore on, he found a sort of calm in obeying. It was torturous, sitting behind the wheel of the impala, feeling the thrum of the engine jostling the plug within him while the hard leather put pressure on the sensitive skin of his ass, his cock straining against his jeans, and knowing he could do nothing but take it, that he would do nothing but take it. He loved it even as he hated it, the way his mind twisted itself up in knots, the way he could still feel the sticky reminder of Cas' release on his skin and inside him, that feeling like he was still being fucked even though Cas was far away. It was torture, and Dean wanted so much more of it. He was happy as he went about his day, thinking about all the ways he could goad Cas into dominating him, in a way he was quite unaccustomed to. He felt like there was a future, like there was hope, like something good could exist in his life again. It was probably stupid to get so damn cheerful because of a bit of kinky sex, he hadn't even come, but damn if it hadn't felt good.

He turned up to his scheduled meeting with Samuel, having willed the erection to chill a little, with a smile on his face. Samuel narrowed his eyes at him, clearly not trusting Dean's uncharacteristically good mood, but it didn't dim his elation. He did a quick mental check to ensure he wasn't walking funny or anything, which seemed entirely possible given how thoroughly fucked out he was, and relaxed when he found everything in order.

"So, what's up gramps?" He knew he was poking the bear, Samuel always made a concerted effort to ignore the fact that Dean was anything more than a soldier to him, but he couldn't really give a fuck. They were family, what did it matter if he acknowledged it?

Samuel glared at him, before rolling his eyes and returning to business.

"We figured out who killed Christian. Here's the bastard's address. Make it thorough, show them we don't take deaths in the family lightly."

Dean hoped he hadn't visibly paled. He felt like all the blood in his body had been drained away, or maybe that was what was caught in his throat. His head was ringing, ears buzzing, and he was horrifically aware of the reminders he had been left. He didn't need to open the binder he had been passed, he knew what he'd find, but still he made a show of it, if only to hide the panic on his face. Sure enough, there was a photo of Castiel, staring up at him like all the other dead.

"What do you want me to do?" He mumbled, head still ducked, as if he was reading the things he already knew.

"Use your imagination," Samuel grumbled darkly, and Dean knew what he was demanding, knew the horrors he was expected to inflict.

"Yes sir," Dean said quietly, practically running back to his car now that the necessary amount of conversation was over. He had cut it off quickly, perhaps suspiciously so, but he couldn't bring himself to worry about that now. The fear in his eyes had been far more dangerous. He sat down heavily behind the wheel, the action driving the plug deep into him. He groaned, resting his head on the wheel, and tried to breathe.

He would do it, he had to do it. This was as inevitable as the rain, it wasn't like he hadn't known that. He would kill him, but not tonight. Tonight he would sit outside the apartment building he now knew he lived in, miserable and still so fucking aroused, and he would follow his orders (tonight the first and tomorrow the second) and somehow he would find a way to live with it.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean sometimes wondered if he was truly alive. He didn’t seem to feel properly anymore. There was the kill, the brief moment of something like emotion that brought, and then there was nothing. He knew he should have been thrilled when Sam texted him for the first time in so long, when he started receiving cards on the holidays, small attempts at connection. He should have cared, but he didn’t. Inhuman rage was the fuel behind every one of his actions, the animal kind of rage that comes from nothing and everything, and despite all the pain he had once felt he could not hate his brother. So there was just the cold indifference, like the deathly comfort of the nearly frozen, and the high. He would have been scared of thawing out, if he’d ever thought it would happen, but how could it? He was as good as dead. It was only a matter of time. He watched the clock tick away the seconds, furious at how slowly they passed, and laid waste to everything he encountered as if that would drown out the sound of so much unwanted time.

He was the one who should have died.

Why hadn’t he died?

Sam called, and they spoke, and Dean cried for the first time in… how long had it been? After the phone call, of course, he still had his pride.

He’d been watching the clock but he’d lost track of time. Sam’s voice was so much deeper, his tone mature in a way it had never been. It made Dean feel small. The emptiness of… however long it had been turning concave and collapsing.

Dead things shouldn’t cry.

He had the thought, then, like an old acquaintance he’d quite forgotten until they found each other face to face, that he might still be alive.

Was he, after all this uncertain time, actually alive?

Chapter Text

Now

 

He had known it would happen sooner or later, he'd just been hoping for later. Still, he wouldn't let sentiment get in the way of doing his damn job. It wasn't even like Cas didn't deserve it, he'd killed so many of Dean's friends. Normally he'd have been itching for this kill. As it was, the sense of loss was palpable. However he had vowed to himself, when he had started this, that he would end it should things come to that. It would hurt for a time and then he would move on. It would just be another scar, lost amongst the others.

It was ridiculously easy to break into Cas' apartment, silently creeping through the hallways with his gun raised, in search of his prey. It was a nice building, if a little too modern for his taste, the decoration minimal in a way that did not feel lived in. It reminded Dean of his motel rooms, a thought which made him sad, was Cas just as disconnected from the world as he was? He supposed he shouldn't be surprised, and more importantly it shouldn't matter, he would be dead before he could answer the question.

Cas’ back was turned, bent over a stove as he prepared the evening meal. He supposed that made it easier, not having to look into his eyes as he killed him, funny that he hadn't known he could cook.

He swore to himself that, when he knocked a glass off the counter on his approach, it was absolutely, completely, accidental.

Cas hit him in the stomach with a, thankfully cold and empty, saucepan. Before Dean could recover from the blow he wrapped his hands around his wrists and pinned him to the counter, prying the gun from him and throwing it aside. Anger and hurt flashed across his face, before understanding dawned and his expression hardened.

"I suppose this means I finally made your list."

He held both of Dean's hands with one of his as he reached behind him to turn off the stove. Dean took the opportunity to yank himself free, grab a paring knife, and lunge for him. The ease with which Cas stopped his attack felt almost superhuman, causing Dean’s breath to catch in his throat, he didn’t even seem to feel the impact of Dean’s weight against his, all caught and dispersed with a single strong hand. Not even blinking at the knife that had been mere inches from ending his life. This time the grip on his wrist was so tight that he couldn't help but drop the weapon.

"You're not going to stop trying unless I make you, are you?" Something switched in Cas’ expression and Dean couldn’t help but feel like a mouse caught by a very large cat.

"No," Dean growled, then gasped in pain as Cas held his gaze and squeezed harder.

"So stubborn," Cas tutted, "of course, if I bound you, beat you, fucked you, you would be powerless to do anything but that which I ask. Your bosses surely couldn't hold a defeat at the hands of such a fearsome enemy against you, could they?"

"Don't ya think you're overselling yourself a little there Cas?"

"It would not be wise to underestimate me Dean Winchester."

"You're gonna have to kill me."

"No, I do not think that I shall. As of yet I am under no such orders, and I certainly don't take commands from you. You, on the other hand, would do best to obey me."

"Why should I?"

Cas leaned forward and slowly licked a trail up a stubbled cheek, grinning when Dean trembled beneath him. He bit an ear lobe and whispered.

"Because you like it."

Dean's knees gave beneath him, which made it far easier for Cas to hoist him over his shoulder. Dean let out an undignified squawk and pummelled against the back of his captor. Cas bit down on his thigh, hard enough to leave tooth marks, and he went limp. There was no point in fighting, not yet anyway.

Dean made a break for it the second Cas let him land on the bed. He made it about a foot before Cas had him again. The freaking weirdo apparently had some kind of strap system hidden under his bed because Dean was down and tied tight before he could even process what was happening. He fought the bonds and found them unbreakable.

Cas sighed.

“I will not do anything of a sexual nature without your consent, no matter the context of our encounter, so you have two choices right now. Either I can punish you for attacking me as I would any other who did the same, all be it in a way less fatal, or I can punish you as a wayward lover. I expect you should find the second option vastly more pleasurable.”

Dean just glared at him, knowing that consent would equate to a betrayal, hoping that the choice would be taken away.

“Do not test me, I will hurt you far worse than I wish to if you make it necessary.”

“Fucking do it then.”

Cas looked at him like he could see what he was hiding, perhaps he could. What little resolve Dean had maintained crumbled.

“Fuck me,” he choked out, “but make it look real. You can’t hold back. Promise me.”

 He nodded soberly, “I promise.”

 

**************************

 

Cas did mean to do as Dean asked. He could see the desperation with which Dean was reaching for violence, for some justification of Cas’ continued existence, and yet he found himself being gentle. It only riled Dean up further.

“You know I’m not gonna stop Cas. Don’t matter how good you fuck me or how much I wish I didn’t have to, I do my damn job.”

“Are you trying to goad me into killing you Dean? Because I should tell you now, that will not work.”

“I’m just sayin’ what’s true. You can keep on pretendin’ if you like, but that won’t stop what’s comin’.”

“I have no intentions of stopping you coming,” Cas smirked, shoving a hand down Dean’s pants, gripping his cock and pumping mercilessly. Dean threw his head back and writhed desperately, almost like it pained him. He sighed and pulled back. “What do you want out of this Dean?”

“We both know I can’t get what I want,” Dean raised his head to glare at him, “at least stop pretending like this is normal for a damn second.”

“If I wish to be kind, for whatever brief time I may, surely that would be my choice on any normal encounter.”

Dean shook his head, a fury burning behind his eyes as he snarled, “I don’t need your mercy. I’m not a fucking coward.”

Cas closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths.

“Perhaps I am.”

“Well pull it together. Be the man I... I want it like it was before.”

Cas hadn’t missed the slip in Dean’s persona, the truth that had almost been spoken, it pained him deeply to hear those almost words coming from the wrong version of Dean, as a plea for anything so dark as he was asking. Still, he understood, he saw how a return to the roles they had played before things had got so complicated might be the only way he could accept both the pleasure that Cas craved to give him and the aggression that the situation necessitated. Dean couldn’t give what he had before, it needed to be taken. Cas rolled his shoulders back, like he was priming ink dark wings for flight, and pulled on the mask that never usually slipped.

“You want suffering, don’t you? You want me to pick apart all of the scars on your body and make you bleed anew. I can see it in your eyes, so feel no need to answer unless I command you to. I am here to give you what you want, tonight, so bleed you shall. Of course you probably should have done even if you hadn’t so called out for it, your actions beg for it as loudly as your desires. You are as sinful as you are beautiful. What would it take, do you think, to make you good? Answer your master when he asks you a question, boy.”

It was a struggle not to flinch at the lies.

“Bite me.”

Cas slapped him across the face hard enough to bruise. Dean’s eyes dilated almost violently.

“Answer me.”

Dean licked his lips and stared up at him. Cas wasn’t sure if he had forgotten the question or was just choosing to disobey, but he suspected the latter. He slapped him again and felt Dean’s cock twitch against him.

“Can’t save what’s already damned sir.”

“If you think you are beyond saving then what good does it do to punish you? Why should I even bother?”

“You shouldn’t.”

Cas grabbed the knife he kept underneath his pillow and began cutting away Dean’s clothing.

“Is your self esteem really so low that you would choose death and damnation over pleasure?” He muttered the words, not really intending to speak them, more a thought than a true question.

Dean flinched, his body seeming to pull towards the knife even as it sought distance from the words.

“I can see how you’ve suffered,” Cas ran his fingers over the scars as he exposed them, so numerous that they merged into one another and the tally he’d been trying to make became impossible to keep, “the trials that you have endured, it’s enough to break any man, and yet you keep on begging for more.”

“Always ready to dive into hell.”

“I think, perhaps, you are already there,” Cas forced himself to stop examining all of those old wounds, he could not give Dean what he wanted if his heart broke any further. “You knew what would befall you should you fail to kill me, I cannot be merciful to a submissive who breaks the rules so brazenly.”

“All talk no pain. Come on you dickless ken doll, start cutting before I die of old age.”

Cas looked down at the knife, truly not intending to use it for anything more than ridding Dean of his clothes.

“Is that what you desire?”

Dean snarled at him.

“Stop fucking around, I can take it.”

“Of that I have no doubt,” Cas found himself once again tracing those lines, the web of broken parts that seemed to be pulled tight with every harried breath, constricting his heart, “I’m merely trying to determine which of the many options at my disposal would have the most effect on your soul.”

Dean laughed manically, “that ship is long sailed, might as well just start cutting.”

Cas put a hand on his chest, over the tattoo, noticing now that a scar ran deep across it, cracking the ink. Dean’s heart was hammering violently, his body tense and shaking slightly. Cas frowned, and realised that the only truly cruel thing he could do now would be to delay any further.

 

**********************

 

Dean didn’t know why he kept pushing Cas, didn’t know why he saw the knife and wanted his skin to split beneath it, didn’t know why the thought of Cas being anything resembling gentle right now had him on the edge of a panic attack. His mind was buzzing too loudly for him to make sense of anything, getting louder and louder with every second that passed until he just wanted to scream the noise away. Fuck, maybe he had deliberately knocked the damn glass over, because he knew in that moment that Cas was the only person in the world who could calm him down.

The knife dragged across his chest, slight pressure all it took for a blade that perfectly sharp to cut into him, he felt the bite of metal and his mind emptied. It was so silent now. He would have cried if he hadn’t known that Cas would stop if he did. Cas was trying, but Dean knew him well enough to see how tenuous his control of the situation was, he knew that he was forcing him into this. A gentle hand rested on his shoulder even as the other one drew blood and Dean growled at him to let go. Cas did, with both hands, and Dean hid his face in his arm as best he could while bound.

“Don’t stop,” he whimpered.

“Then do not ask me to. You do not get to control the details here. Either I do as I choose, or I do nothing at all, are we clear?”

“Dick.”

A hand fisted in his hair and pulled him up, as far as his restraints would allow, Dean flinched, blood trickling down his chest and tears refusing to obey him as they leaked from his eyes.

“Are we clear, Dean?” The words were as soft as the actions were harsh and Dean hated it with every fibre of his being. Why wouldn’t he stop asking for permission? He needed him to stop.

Dean summoned all the strength he had left and spat in the face of his angel. Cas stared at him for a moment, wiping the spit away while shock turned to fury. Dean relaxed in his hold. Good, fury was good.

Cas bit into his shoulder, teeth breaking skin and not letting go even as he raked nails down Dean’s sides. He was almost feral, moving up to kiss him with blood still on his lips. Dean wished he couldn’t see the panic in his eyes. As if hearing his thoughts Cas tied a swathe of fabric around his head, blindfolding him with what, Dean realised, had been the hem of his shirt. The darkness was a welcome reprieve, allowing him to sink into sensation and forget, for a while, what this was doing to Cas.

For an unknowable length of time Dean just drifted, letting himself be broken apart, then he remembered. There was a danger in the dark, a danger in drifting, crocodiles lurked in the shadows. It was all too familiar, pain and ropes and blood pouring from him. He could see Alastair, hear the laughter ringing in his ears, feel his blood in his mouth and those words on his tongue. A hand clamped over his mouth as he screamed, and it took a moment for him to realise that the pain had stopped.

“Dean, open your eyes.”

The voice was wrong, not the nasal wheeze of the monster who was surely about to start cutting again, or switch to a new torture, or-

“You need to look at me.”

How could he when his eyes were covered? How was Cas here? He hadn’t been here last time, this had been before-

“Come back to me Dean.”

He opened his eyes, spots dancing across his vision as he hyperventilated, the light that surrounded Cas blinding him.

“Cas, Cas, Cas.”

“I’m here pet.”

“Save me Cas, you have to save me.”

Cas stroked his hair gently, pressing soft kisses to his forehead and the corners of his lips as he fought for air.

“If I untie you are you going to attack me?”

Dean shook his head, not even understanding why the question was being asked. Why on earth would he attack Cas when he was the only thing right in this world?

Cas slowly untied him, making sure not to shock him with any movement he made, then pulled Dean into his arms and held him as he returned to himself.

“Why would you make me do that if you knew the affect it would have on you?”

“I didn’t-“ he was going to say he hadn’t known, that he hadn’t made him do anything, but the lie was as clear to him as it was to Cas. “I don’t know.”

“You didn’t have to suffer that badly Dean. You are not the one who wants me dead.”

Dean turned away, not pulling out of his arms but distancing himself as much as he could.

“Talk to me Dean.”

“Why? We’re gonna end up killing each other. Ain’t no point in talking to the dead.”

“We all die in the end, you might as well say there is no point in talking to anyone.”

“Whatever Cas.”

Do you talk to anyone?”

“Shut up.”

“Where did you go, when things turned bad, what dark memory consumed you?”

“I said shut up.”

“I can’t help you if you don’t allow me to,” Cas’ words were pained, but Dean couldn’t look after him right now.

“Just fuck me and dump me in an alley already, I’m gettin’ sick of your shit dude.”

“The last time I did as you asked of me you had an exceptionally adverse reaction so excuse me if I am no longer listening to your demands,” the anger in his voice pleased Dean, at first, before the guilt set in.

He had to get out of here.

“I’m leaving,” Dean sat up and tried to follow through on his threat, but dizziness overtook him and he collapsed back to the bed. “In a minute, after I recover from all the blood you drained from me you goddamn vampire freak.”

“You didn’t lose that much blood Dean, all of your injuries are minimal at best.”

“Then why am I so fucking dizzy?”

“I would be able to answer that if you were not refusing to tell me what happened to you back there, as it is my information is limited and so too shall be my diagnosis.”

“You’ve seen the scars. You know. Why do I need to say it?”

Cas nodded softly.

“You are such an idiot.”

Dean’s desire to fight melted away. It hadn’t been Cas’ fault. None of this was Cas’ fault.

“I know.”

 

********************

 

Cas didn’t know how long he held Dean, curled up together while the blood dried on his chest and his heartbeat slowed. He would have got up to search for medical supplies, but every time he moved Dean would give a little whimper and pull him back down, so Cas let it be. It was probably for the best anyway, the gang had to believe that Dean had been attacked no matter what transpired. His jaw clenched as he realised that Dean was not nearly injured enough and they should have to return to violence, when it was the last thing either of them needed right now. Dean’s eyes drooped closed, his muscles releasing the tension they carried, Cas hated to wake him and yet he must. He couldn’t sleep here, that would draw too much attention, he had to leave tonight.

“Dean,” he shook him slightly. Dean grumbled in protest and nuzzled further into his chest. “Dean, would you like something to eat?”

That did the trick, Dean looked up at him with a smile, before a frown overtook it.

“Aren’t you worried about letting me near sharp objects again?”

Cas laughed at that. He was absolutely certain that, in the state Dean had been reduced to, he was not a threat in the slightest.

“I think we have established that I can overpower you, should you try something so foolish, and anyway I wouldn’t be able to feed you if I was dead.”

“You make a good point,” he rolled to the edge of the bed, groaning as he rose to a sitting position, “do you have any clothes I can borrow? Mine are kinda fucked.”

Cas raised an eyebrow.

“Why on earth would you need clothes?”

“Um, you know, to preserve my modesty.”

“Do not attempt to deceive me Dean. We both know you have never been modest in your life.”

“True.”

Dean grinned and got to his feet, strutting naked towards the kitchen before turning expectantly to Cas, who had been a little too distracted by his ass to remember to stand himself.

“You comin’ or what?”

“Maybe later,” Cas smirked, pulling on his trousers and following Dean.

“No fair, how come you get clothes and I don’t?”

“I am cooking. You are sitting down and resisting the desperate need, you apparently have, to stab me.”

Dean pouted but sat down on a kitchen chair without complaint, leaning on the table and watching him cook in a way that would have felt strangely domestic if it hadn’t been for the dried blood on his chest.

“So, there’s gonna be a later huh?”

“If you are feeling amicable. It seems a shame to not have a little fun before you leave, given next time...”

“Yeah, next time.”

Dean didn’t seem any more willing to finish the thought than Cas was, and the next few minutes were tense and silent as the mood was shifted by memory.

“So what are you thinking?” Dean’s smile didn’t reach his eyes, “pick up where we left off?”

“No, I do not think that would be prudent.”

“You’ve still gotta hurt me Cas, ain’t no way around that.”

“I know Dean. I know, but let me give you some modicum of pleasure beforehand.”

“Sure Cas,” Dean swallowed slightly, “whatever you say. So when’d you learn to cook?”

The conversation was lighter after that, talking about small things, like normal people presumably did. Still, it was hard to forget the situation they were in, and the meal tasted dull on Cas’ tongue when he made the mistake of comparing it to the last supper. The future tainted the present, making it feel fleeting, a mockery of itself. All the same, it was a pleasant evening, strangely enough; Dean moaning at the taste of the food, eyes crinkling as he smiled. Cas’ heart skipped a beat one too many times, a fact that he steadfastly ignored. The lazy handjobs they exchanged once the meal was gone were also worryingly tame, in a way that spoke of warmth and comfort that simply could not exist between them. They could not be normal, it wasn’t their place.

The afterglow faded and truth returned, both of their shoulders squaring and spines straightening. There was a job to be done.

“Here or outside?”

“Outside. I would rather not have to carry you through my building.”

“Right.”

“Here,” Cas handed him the tattered remnants of his clothes, the shredded fabric covering far too little, knowing that he could not give him more and maintain the illusion. Still, he laid his trench coat over Dean’s shoulders, fastening it for him even as he protested. “I don’t want to scare my neighbours,” he shrugged, not believing the excuse for a second. If he could keep Dean warm until business was done perhaps that would go some of the way towards healing him.

The alley next to Cas’ building was suitably cut off. Dean shrugged off the coat and braced himself.

“Give it to me good, but watch the teeth, don’t wanna lose my money maker,” he shot him a winning smile, nerves flashing underneath.

“I thought that was your ass,” Cas quipped back.

“Hey, a guy can have two,” Dean shivered slightly, “come on, I’m freezin’ my tits off out here.”

Cas nodded grimly then proceeded to give Dean a thorough, if carefully aimed, beating. Every thud of fist against flesh sickened him and he just had to keep telling himself it needed to be done, because otherwise he wouldn’t have had the strength to carry on. This was better than killing him, wasn’t it?

“I’m sorry,” he whispered when Dean collapsed to the floor.

“ ’s all good,” Dean grinned blearily up at him. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t good at all.

Cas shook himself out of it and cuffed Dean to the nearest bin, adjusting his clothing so it at least half covered him, and searched through the contacts on his phone until he found the number he was looking for.

“Hello, Samuel? Dean can’t come to the phone, he’s a little tied up right now. The next one you send after me dies,” he gave him the address, not wanting Dean to stay out in the cold too long, then hung up before the asshole could respond.

“Gimme a kiss before you go?” Dean looked hopeful, even as bruises bloomed across his body, and Cas gave in despite his best judgement. It was fleeting like a goodbye, and then Cas was walking away.

Hopefully it would be enough to spare Dean, hopefully it was believable, hopefully his gang was not cruel enough to punish defeat with death. He hoped that the familial line would at the very least shield him from that. He could do nothing more than hope.

 

********************

 

Cas slowly returned to his apartment, not looking forward to clearing up the chaos, knowing he wouldn’t be able to sleep without doing so. He was worried about Dean, a fact he seemed incapable of ignoring. If he was as exhausted by their encounter as Cas was then he feared for his resilience in the face of the elements, and the questions that were sure to follow.

Cas flexed his hands, his knuckles pained and stiff, creaking as they moved. He winced more at the reason behind the pain than the pain itself, letting himself into his home and resolving to have a bath before reorganising his living space, the mess could wait. He needed to slow his mind, he was far too tired to scrub the rooms from top to bottom like he was itching to do. His sanctum had been violated, regardless of whom by, his life threatened where safety was supposed to reside. Bleach would change nothing, only drain him further, and yet the impulse was strong. He sighed as he dropped his trench coat across the back of a chair, realising he would probably have to move house again, the thought did not appeal.

“I hope you have a convincing explanation for what I just witnessed Castiel.”

He jumped at least a foot in the air and spun to face the intruder, recognising the voice even as he reached for a weapon.

“What are you doing here brother?” His voice came in an alarmed squeak and he cursed himself for it, he could not afford to sound guilty.

Uriel scowled at him, arms crossed over his chest as he made use of every inch of his excessive height to look down on him.

“You are the one who must provide answers, not I.”

“I don’t know what it is you are accusing me of, but let me remind you that it is my home you are currently standing in.”

Cas knew, the second the words were spoken, that they were useless. Uriel would not be deceived.

“Your protestations are immaterial in the face of treachery brother. Do not dare to deny fraternising with the enemy, I saw you kissing that filthy mongrel as you allowed him to live. Maintain what little respect I still have for you and confess your sins, now, before further action must be taken.”

Cas swallowed, then raised himself to his full height, looking Uriel in the eye with a ferocious calm.

“What did you do to Dean?”

“Oh, it has a name?” Cas’ hand twitched towards his knife, “fret not, your pet hunter is safe, for now. You, on the other hand, are facing dire consequences should you not right your course.”

“What would you have me do?”

“Undo your misdeed.”

Uriel was enjoying this, Castiel realised, there was a hint of glee in his expression that had Cas yearning to cut it from him.

“You want me to kill him?”

“Remember the side you are on. Put down the dog, or I shall take this to Michael.”

Cas clenched his jaw, hands falling to his sides.

“I am not a traitor.”

“That is gratifying to hear, for many could suffer should your word be found meaningless.”

Uriel strode away, the click of the door behind him resonating through Cas’ bones. He sagged into a chair, closing his eyes, and knowing what must be done.

He had no choice.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Yes, Ruby had been good at her job, but not nearly as good as Dean would become. He'd probably hit a record at some point, most evil skanks shanked (heh, try saying that three times fast) by a single hunter, probably broken it too. While Sam hadn't been able to look, Dean didn't seem to be able to look away. That was probably why Sam couldn't bear him now, he had become the horror that Sam so despised. Everyone had to cope somehow, Dean would keep telling himself that his coping mechanism was no worse than anyone else's until his dying breath.

Sam left the day after. It was good that he was gone, Dean told himself. Not for Dean, but for Sam. Violence never suited Sam. That kid left his heart far too open, which was why Dean couldn’t exactly fault him for leaving him behind, it was no good for someone like that to be surrounded by monsters. When Sam had told him, months later on one of the handful of phone calls they’d shared since that night, of the rage he’d felt and the satisfaction of seeing her dead, before the cold fear and the guilt had set in, Dean didn’t have it in him to admit to the way that he yearned for that rush. The kid had grown up, while Dean had grown old, and he could see how it weighed on him. Yes, it was best that he left, got away while life still mattered to him. One would only lead to another and another, and that purity that he didn’t even seem to realise he still possessed would be lost. Sam left, but Dean was the one who was lost.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Dean knew he was being followed, he had little doubt by whom. It wasn’t that Cas did anything to give himself away, Dean couldn’t really say how he knew, he could just feel the presence, deep and instinctive, raising the hairs on the back of his neck. He knew better than to ignore such a feeling. The injuries from their last encounter, still far from healed, ached as he increased his pace.

The streets were busy, but he wasn’t sure that would make a difference. It was easy to escape into a crowd, particularly if your choice of weaponry was silent. He already knew he couldn’t beat Cas in hand to hand combat, and his body was far from its strongest right now, so he held out little hope for victory. All he could do in that moment was delay, and pray for inspiration.

He ducked into a diner, bustling with activity but more intimate than the street. One exit, not ideal if he had to make a quick getaway, which could be the fact that spared him. If he couldn’t get out easily neither could Cas. He sat in a corner booth, and waited. 

The waitress came and went. He ordered coffee and pie, which he took a bite of with an unsettling sense of déjà vu. He wondered if he had time to change venue, the similarity to the day that started it all was upsetting enough to justify an abandonment of even the nicest pie, which this was not; the pastry was kinda soggy and the filling was too sweet, he was going to be so pissed if this was the last meal he ate. That was almost as upsetting as the goddamn diner, almost. It was far too similar, but at least this time he knew what was going to happen and, like last time, Sam was out of harm’s way.  He hadn’t been a good brother, not these last few years, but at least he had done that much. At least Sam would be safe. Still, he owed him something more.

I’m over it. Enjoy your life. Find a nice girl, or guy, or whatever you’re into these days. Have a bunch of kids. Don’t worry about me.

He tried to type love you or something like that, but he couldn’t do it. The words were too final, true, but he wasn’t ready to say them. He might never have another chance to forgive, which did not change the fact that he hadn’t. The hurt didn’t just magically disappear in the end, not in real life, reality was never that neat. Sam didn’t need to know that. Sam needed closure. He’d freak out when he got the message, probably, but at least he’d have what he needed.

His phone rang, just as Cas sat down across from him. He swiped decline, then turned off the phone for good measure. Sam couldn’t hear him die.

“You could have answered.”

“No, I couldn’t,” Dean’s jaw tensed.

The waitress returned and Cas ordered a coffee for himself, giving her a charming smile that had her blushing. Dean glared at her as she walked away, teeth grinding. Couldn’t Cas wait until after he died? Did he really have to move on right in front of him like that? Wasn’t he worthy of a last few moments of undivided attention?

Cas had the nerve to laugh.

“What?” He snapped.

“There’s no need for jealousy Dean. I will be with you for the rest of one of our lives.”

“And then with her in an hour or two, right?”

“You assume that you will lose?”

Dean held tight to his gun under the table, silent and tense as the waitress received another flirtatious look from his lover, oblivious to the danger.

“So I’m right.”

He knew he was just focussing on the waitress to distract himself. He knew she wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things, and the fury he felt was not truly caused by her, and yet he was a word away from slitting her goddamn throat.

“No, Dean, you are seldom correct in these matters.”

Dean repeated the words a few times in his head, not sure what it was that was making him trip over them, then it dawned on him.

“You think you’ll die?”

“I have a knife, you have a gun. The likelihood is high.”

He casually took a sip of his coffee. Dean couldn’t even stomach the pie.

“You’re better than me.”

“I am not sure that is true.”

“I’m distracted,” Dean swallowed around the admission, eyes moving from the space beneath the table, where Cas’ weapon was undoubtedly poised, to meet his gaze. He exhaled as he looked into those eyes, incapable of separating the killer from the man, incapable of ignoring his fucking stupid feelings.

The mirth faded from Cas’ expression.

“We both are.”

Dean forced himself to eat, his insides tied in knots, not really tasting it. He was just drawing out the inevitable, he knew that.

A few tables over two kids were sat beside each other, ignored by their mother on the other side of the booth as the younger crawled over the seats, playing with some tacky toy plane, being periodically saved from disaster by the older of the two. They looked so normal.

“We can’t do this here.”

Cas looked in the direction of Dean’s gaze and nodded.

“Finish your coffee first.”

Dean knew he would follow the command, even now.

“Dude this situation is so fucked.”

Cas cracked a smile at that, a small and heartbreakingly sad smile, that cut Dean far more than the knife ever could.

“I suggest, in the meantime, we put our weapons away and conduct a civil conversation.”

“Deal,” Dean sighed, and they both tucked their weapons away.

They slowly drank their coffee. Each quiet as they prepared for what came next.

“How is your brother?”

Dean laughed, the sound bitter enough to make him wince.

“I should’ve got over myself years ago.”

“You may still have a chance.”

Dean’s hand curled into a fist at the hope in Cas’ voice.

“Then your family’ll be fucked.”

“Only one of us can win. That is the nature of the game.”

He didn’t want to play this game. It wasn’t fun anymore, he wasn’t sure it had ever been.

“Ain’t neither of us going to win.”

“Survive, then. If you emerge victorious you should not dwell on the past. You have been doing that long enough.”

Even now, even in death, Cas was his rock. The rocks of the shore he was about to be crushed against, perhaps, but solid ground none the less. He’d been floating so long.

“God I hate this.”

“As do I.”

“It has to end,” he wished he could take back the words, but that wouldn’t erase the truth behind them.

“You’re right, it does. Enough blood has been shed.”

The weight of agreement settled across the table, distancing the rest of the world, sharpening the space between them.

“So, who’s it going to be?”

“Does it matter?”

“No, it doesn’t.”

Cas’ brow furrowed.

“You could come away with me you know. We could leave this all behind.”

“And what then? Get an apartment somewhere? Nine to five work and a steady pay check?”

“Nights spent fucking and talking and just being together. Maybe somewhere by the sea. We could rent a boat on the weekends.”

Dean smiled.

“I’ve never seen the sea.”

“You should, it’s beautiful.”

The smile slipped from his lips.

“They’d find us. They’d kill our families, our friends, you know we can’t leave.”

“I don’t know, maybe not, maybe we’d manage it.”

“You really think so?”

Cas sighed.

“No, it would never work.”

“You’re right, it wouldn’t.”

“We both made our choices.”

Dean finished his drink, locking eyes with Cas, knowing the despair was visible.

“I didn’t choose this.”

They moved without thought, distantly hearing china crashing to the floor as their lips collided. After that he didn’t think he would have heard if a bomb had gone off. Every sense he had was focussed on Cas’ hands in his hair, the wild movement of lips and tongue, the little sounds of breath shared between them, the unique smell of Cas, something electric and primal, the taste of coffee and need. If either of them had a brain cell left unoccupied perhaps they would have taken their chance to strike, but they didn’t, they were consumed entirely.

They broke away only after, what could have been, the third time a throat was cleared beside them, and it hurt to do so. Dean was ready to kill the intruder, held back only by Cas’ warning hand on his arm.

“This is a family establishment,” the waitress said with a distinct air of snark. Probably pissed that Cas was taken. Dean bared his teeth in a cross between a grin and a snarl, close to staking his territory right there in the diner.

“Of course,” Cas shot him a warning look. ”We shall take this elsewhere.”

He paid far more than was necessary, then pulled Dean away before he could protest.

“I’m not ready,” Dean breathed once they were outside.

“Neither am I,” Cas ran a distressed hand through his hair, messing it up even more than usual.

Dean’s eyes caught on a hostel across the street. He shouldn’t, he knew he shouldn’t, and yet...

“One more night. Please. Call it a last request or whatever. I need...“ He needed Cas, he needed forever. A night was all he could get.

Cas took his hand, and Dean gripped it tight.

 

************************

 

This was stupid, so so stupid. Cas knew the risks, should Uriel find out, or Dean decide to kill him at his most vulnerable. His eyes scanned the street as he lowered the blinds in the small room they’d paid for, charged by the hour. It was dingy and decayed and probably filthy, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. He wasn’t scared of Dean, but for him, and that fact terrified him. Tomorrow they would both behave as they should. Tonight they were just two people who couldn’t bear to let go. Tonight felt like goodbye.

Dean rubbed the back of his neck, nervous as he hadn’t seen him before. There was something different, something raw, about the way they reached for one another. The yearning was visceral, in a way that clearly made Dean uncomfortable, yet he allowed himself to be revealed, when once he would have run.

Cas was shaking.

“This doesn’t mean anything.”

“This means everything,” Cas corrected. Now was not the time for lies.

“Yeah,” Dean was shaking now too.

“You know that I-“

“Don’t say it.”

Dean dragged Cas in, fingers gripping desperately at the front of his shirt, and stared at him until he couldn’t bear it anymore. They kissed out of fear, with the knowledge that a moment more looking at one another would have broken them, that they were breaking anyway.

Cas tried to regain control, over his feelings, over the situation, and found himself scrabbling for air. He was holding Dean like he was the only thing standing between himself and a fall from a great height, he didn’t know how he could let go.

Dean started undoing buttons, struggling to remove clothing with Cas’ arms wrapped around him so tightly. Cas reluctantly released his death grip, shoving at Dean’s layers, hindering more than helping. He was impatient. He wished he could have removed the clothes with a snap of his fingers, made it disappear without these moments of distance.

How was he supposed to live with eternal separation?

He clambered into the bed, pulling Dean after, needing that warmth to engulf him, content with the feeling of Dean’s body pressing down on his. He wasn’t in a rush to speed things up. He needed contact, intimacy, sex would just bring things to an end. Dean was less patient. He quickly lubed up Cas’ cock, waving away the condom that Cas proffered. The lure of skin on skin was too great to resist. They were probably clean, and this was the last chance they would receive, it was a risk he was willing to take. If sex with Dean was what killed him he would die happy. Dean lowered himself determinedly, groaning as Cas breached him. Cas’ fingers fisted the sheets, seeking purchase on reality, finding none.

“Touch me,” Dean pleaded, eyes wide, hips rolling slightly.

Cas wrapped his arms around him, bringing them flush together, and began to move. He was more focussed on Dean’s face than the thrust of his hips, the flashes of emotion and sensation that could be seen so clearly. How could someone so damaged still be so expressive? Cas knew very few of his own feelings ever reached his face, features stilled so as not to give himself away. Not around Dean, not anymore, they were both far beyond restraint.

He kissed Dean’s cheeks, his eyes when they slipped closed, the corners of his mouth. Dean keened into the touch, turning to meet his lips, and they kissed long and sweet, if sweet could describe something so tinged by sadness.

“Save me,” Dean whispered, so quietly that Cas suspected he hadn’t been expected to hear it. He could practically hear the way the words made something inside him snap.

Cas made a noise akin to a growl, but lacking the aggression that usually accompanied such a noise, and rolled them so he was on top. He began to thrust in earnest, determinedly eking out pleasure, sucking every gasp out of Dean’s lips like it was the only air he could breathe.

He made it last, but not as long as he usually would have. He came deep inside Dean, allowing himself mere seconds to revel in the sensation before he pulled out and moved down Dean’s body, taking Dean’s swollen length into his mouth and sucking hard.

“Cas, oh god, Cas,” Dean’s surprise gave way to a groan as Cas put every bit of his (considerable) skill to use.

He made eye contact with Dean as he swallowed him all the way down, watching as his eyes rolled back in his head. He had always been good at this, and he had never been more grateful for that fact. It wasn’t long before Dean was coming in his throat, hands buried in his hair, gasping like he’d forgotten how to breathe. He swallowed every drop and pulled off with a pop as Dean collapsed bonelessly to the bed.

Dean didn’t notice him getting dressed, he was so out of it. He barely stirred when Cas slipped out of the room, and ran.

Chapter Text

Then

 

Dean drifted in and out of consciousness during those long days in the hospital. The drugs kept his mind foggy, which only added to the panic that had taken root there. His mind had been blurred with pain before and terrible things had happened, he knew that, even if he couldn't quite grasp the memories. He was tied down still, in this state of not quite there he couldn't differentiate between nurses and jailers, he hoped he hadn't hurt anyone too badly. The binds on his arms and the needles in his hands didn't help the dreams, he wished the drugs didn't keep forcing him into this sickly sleep. He screamed and thrashed and cried himself half awake before being dragged back down. Hands had tried to soothe him, the first few times, but every touch burnt on broken skin and they quickly pulled away. Now there were just whispered words, words of pain trying to act as comfort, and old songs sung by the wrong voice. It was funny in his delirium, he'd never been in a hospital before, he'd never been this hurt before, never seen anyone this badly broken living long enough to heal. It felt like a sick joke, staying alive after all he'd been through, felt wrong. He probably wouldn't have kept on fighting for every agonising breath if he hadn't realised, in a brief moment of clarity, that it was Sam who sat by his bed and sung those songs. Surely he couldn't remember Mary singing them, and yet still, he chose those verses rather than any other. Dean knew then that he had to survive. Sam couldn't lose the last of his family, not like this. Winchesters didn't die in hospitals. When Dean died he would be on his feet, and Sam would be far away.

Chapter Text

Now

 

Castiel wasn’t surprised when, upon entering the hotel suite he was now staying in, he found Uriel waiting for him. He was merely exhausted. Uriel’s face contorted in disgust when he saw him.

“You stink of sex brother. Have you really sunk so low?”

“Leave me alone.”

He just wanted to go to sleep. He didn’t suppose that would prevent Uriel from destroying him. At least then he might get some peace.

“I suspected one of my kin might draw me home with such behaviour, I never thought it would be you,” Cas jumped, spine straightening as Michael walked into the room.

“Michael, listen-“

“No, you listen Castiel, and listen well. These cockroaches are destroying our family, and your paramour is responsible for more than his fair share of that destruction. Love may have blinded you, but I will not be similarly weakened. Tomorrow you and Uriel will hunt down Dean Winchester, smite him from this earth, and when that is done we shall... have words. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes sir.”

Castiel ducked his head, knowing that the fury in his eyes would not be well received. In that moment he hated Michael, hated him as he had never hated another human being, and yet he could not stand against him. He knew just how great the danger was. It may not matter if he killed Dean now, there was every chance of his own demise following soon after. Still, there was a chance of saving others, and that was the only thing that prevented him pulling the blade from his belt and running Michael through.

“See you tomorrow brother,” Uriel smirked as he followed Michael out of the room, and Cas knew he would never forgive him for what he had done, for punishing him for something so pure as love. It was over, everything was lost, and there was nothing he could do about it.

He took his phone out of his jacket pocket, fingers twitching as he waited for his call to be answered.

“Cassio! What kind of time do you call this? Lucky for you I was on the way home from a tryst with a hella flexible-“

“Gabriel, shut up and do what I say, no questions, no snark.”

“Okay little bro,” he spoke with faux offense, “what’s got you so wound up? I mean you’re always kinda wound up but you sound-“

Castiel did not have the time for this.

“Stop talking. I need you to leave town, now. Pack everything you’re likely to need and get as far away as you can. Get Balthazar to do the same.”

“What the hell happened?”

“Michael is back. I can’t explain, I just need you to do as I ask.”

“Ooookay,” Gabriel was silent for a beat, a rare occurrence, “stay safe little brother,” there wasn’t a hint of sarcasm in his voice. Cas swallowed down a lump in his throat.

“Goodbye Gabriel.”

He hung up before Gabe could say any more.

 

*************************

 

Dean woke up with more than a little surprise. He had been almost entirely certain he would die in his sleep. He certainly hadn’t expected to wake up alone.

He dressed quickly, knowing that he could be jumped at any minute, determined to make the most of the morning he had thought he would never see. There was a lingering sense of melancholy, and he was worried for the consequences Cas might face having not killed him when he should, and yet the light of a new day filled him with a buoyancy the likes of which he had seldom felt. It was sunny, and warmer than the previous weeks, the comfortable languor of summer releasing tensions that had plagued him for far too long. Perhaps it was the extra day, perhaps it was the likelihood of an impending end, but he felt good for the first time in years.

He was so grateful to have had Cas in his life, even if he was likely to end it. He had been heading for a crash for so long, he’d never hoped to feel anything beyond that. Yes, whatever happiness he had unexpectedly experienced was worth the cost.

He might even call Sam if he made it past breakfast. It would be nice to hear his brother’s voice again. Sure, he might bitch at him for not answering before, and it might be difficult to figure out how to communicate after all this time away, but, given time, maybe they’d be able to get there. Maybe they could be a family again. Maybe he could even call Bobby as well, make up for all the shit he’d pulled. Maybe he didn’t have to be defined by all the terrible things he’d done anymore. Maybe-

He hadn’t been looking where he was going, that was the mistake he had made. How the hell had he ended up somewhere so isolated? The buildings around him were abandoned, the streets silent, waiting. It was far too easy.

Of course there was no chance of redemption for someone like him. Of course it had only been an extra morning. He couldn’t say he was surprised.

He was shoved through the door of an old storage facility, the space empty except for some bubble wrap and a few crates, containing something that had definitely passed its expiration date.

Strange the things you notice in the split second before you hit the ground.

 

**************************

 

Cas hadn’t managed to find a way out of this mess. The entire night had been spent awake, searching for an answer, to no avail. He had just come to the singular conclusion that, while facing Michael’s wrath was terrifying, killing Dean was far worse. He quite simply could not do it, and everything else was secondary to that realisation.

Uriel kicked Dean where he lay, aimed a gun at his head, glared at Castiel as his hands hung limply at his side. He was still trying to think. He needed more time.

"Kill him. If you do not then I shall,” Uriel spoke with entitlement and disgust, as he always did, but Castiel was not oblivious to the plea hidden beneath. Fraught as their relationship was, had always been, they were still brothers.

Castiel shook his head, knowing what was being asked of him was impossible.

"Very well,” the sorrow was a brief flicker on his brow, before it was replaced with a coolly burning fury, “if that is the path you choose."

He took a step towards Dean and Castiel acted on instinct. He hit Uriel hard over the back of the head, his brother turning a surprised look in his direction as he fell to his knees. He knew the surprise was as present in his own expression.

"You will pay dearly for your treachery."

Castiel freed his knife from his sleeve.

"I do not doubt it brother."

He closed his eyes as he thrust the knife deep into Uriel's chest.

He didn’t bother to retrieve his blade, merely left it in the body as he let Uriel drop to the ground. He wouldn’t use it again. Come what may, he'd had enough of violence.

"Cas, what've you done?" Dean's panicked voice drew his attention away from the body. "They'll kill you."

"You know, I'm not sure that I care."

Cas grinned somewhat manically at Dean, whose worry only seemed to increase, a fact that cut through the buzzing in his ears.

"That was so freaking stupid."

Dean crossed the room, tightly gripping Cas' arms and shaking him slightly, the desperation in his eyes causing Cas' smile to fade. Returning him to reality.

"I know I just-" Cas stroked Dean's cheek, reassuring himself that he was still there," he was going to kill you and I couldn't let him do that and..." he dropped his hand. "Oh god what have I done?"

The silence was deafening. His brother was dead, slain by his hand, there was no escaping that fact. They would pay for this, pay with everything they had. He had only worsened their fates with his treasonous actions.

"We can still fix this," Dean's words came quick and urgent, "there's a way out for you."

Dean grabbed Cas' hand, placed his gun in it, and forced his fingers to close.

"No, Dean..."

Dean grinned a falsely cocky grin, holding his arms out wide like he was inviting a bullet.

"Hey, Cas, it's been a fun ride but we both knew it was going to end this way."

Cas lowered the gun. What was the point without Dean? Just more death, the never ending cycle of blood for blood.

"I can't."

Dean wrapped his fingers around his, pulling the gun back up and pressing it to his chest.

"You can, and you will. I killed Uriel, you killed me, it's all good."

Cas shook his head, blinking back tears. Dean's expression softened.

"Look, Cas, you'd be doing me a favour. I've had a bullet coming for a long time, least this way it's on my terms. I want it to be you. Please, do this for me."

"I..."

Cas' hands were shaking around the gun. The logic had hit him hard, the inescapable answer. Dean couldn’t suffer again, and Michael would make sure he did. Not Cas, not now, a quick bullet and it would be over.

"There has to be another way."

"There isn't," Dean sounded so damn sure. "One more kiss for the road?"

Dean put his hands on Cas' cheeks, wiping away the tears that he didn't know had spilled, and pulled him into a kiss. Cas' arms wrapped around his neck, the gun's presence weighing heavily on his heart. They kissed like it was the last time, which he supposed it was, communicating all of the words they had never spoken. It would be far too painful to say them now. He would never tell Dean he loved him, god that was terrible, he hoped that at least he knew. The kiss was infinite, and then it was over, and Dean was pulling away, and that gun, that stupid hunk of metal and machinery, was held between them.

"Come on Cas, now or never."

Cas swallowed and braced himself, braced himself for the end, the end of everything that mattered. Those perfect eyes gazed into his, welcoming, reassuring.

“Just do it.”

Cas took a deep breath, and breathed in the smell of Dean.

“Cas, please,” the desperation had returned, desperation that Cas knew was mirrored in his own expression.

He was practically hyperventilating. Shaking. So far from the cold killer he had always been.

“I’m sorry Dean.”

Castiel made the only decision he could, and Dean Winchester was saved.