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Unlearning

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            Dean signals the bartender for another beer as he tips back the dregs of his current one. A pleasant buzz settles over him, washing away his nerves and lighting his skin on fire. He can feel sweat beginning to pool at his back and trickle down his scalp. The air in the club is thick and stale. He glances over his shoulder, eyes scanning the crowd.

            The lights are dim and the music isn’t overly loud, creating an intimate atmosphere in the room. Thursday nights aren’t usually too busy, the weekend still too far away to draw in a big crowd, but they do set up a few performances every week to bring in more business.

            Dean watches a naked man kneeling at the feet of a woman who ignores him and laughs with a group of her friends, another one of which has a naked woman snuggled in her lap. The first woman’s fingers run through the kneeling man’s hair, tugging at it occasionally, and Dean watches as all the tension in the man’s shoulders dissipates.

            The woman’s eyes flick up and lock onto Dean’s. He can feel his face getting hot at being caught staring, but then the corners of the woman’s lips curl into a smirk and she pulls at her kneeling sub’s hair, bringing him up to straddle her. His body arches into hers as she yanks again to run her tongue and teeth along his neck, her eyes never leaving Dean’s. She flips her sub around so his back is to her and Dean swallows a lump in his throat as her fingers trail down the man’s body to tease around his caged cock.

            She leans in and whispers in his ear, something that makes the young sub shudder.  His eyes open and find Dean’s, but soon he’s throwing his head back as his Mistress tweaks at a nipple and runs her nails down his thighs. The Mistress captures her sub’s mouth and Dean watches only a minute longer as they become more passionate and seem to forget about their audience.

            Swivelling around on the stool, Dean snatches up his new beer and downs half of it. He swipes at the sweat gathering on his forehead with the back of his hand, wishing the club had better air flow. The stool next to his squeaks and Dean looks over to see a man flipping through the drink menu on the bar-top. The plastic pages sound like Velcro when the man tears them apart, stuck together by old alcohol and Lord knows what else. The man scrunches his nose in disgust and Dean can’t help but laugh.

            “Does something amuse you?”

            The man’s deep voice washes over him. He thinks this is what people mean when they say “dripping with authority.” He gulps and shifts in his seat to return the stare of the man. “Can’t help but notice that you don’t exactly look like you belong here.”

            The man arches an eyebrow at him. “No?”

            Dean makes a show of giving the man a once over, taking in his suit and perfectly polished shoes that somehow look perfect next to his ratty, tan trench coat. He looks back up and takes in the dark hair, mussed and shiny with perspiration, and the pinpricks of stubble lining his strong jaw.

            Dean’s tongue darts out to lick his lips before he answers. “Looks like you wandered in off the street without knowing what kind of place this is.”

            The man glances at the other patrons in the club, frowning at the sight before him. “I can assure you I know exactly what kind of establishment this is.”

            Dean opens his mouth to comment, but the man is focusing on the drink menu again, flipping back and forth between two pages. He watches a while longer before getting the bartender’s attention.

            “Scotch with a splash of water,” Dean orders, pointing to the man next to him, who looks up at the sound of Dean’s voice and places the sticky drink menu on the equally sticky bar.

            “Would’ve been last call before you finally ordered somethin’,” Dean quips.

            “And if I don’t like the drink you ordered?”

            Dean shrugs. “Then you have bad taste.”

            The man laughs, a sound from deep in his throat, and the smile that crosses his lips is contagious. The bartender places a glass of dark liquid in front of the man. He eyes Dean as he lifts the drink and swirls it around a few times before bringing it to his lips and taking a sip. Dean watches his Adam’s apple bob as he swallows.  

            “Well, this is perfect.” The man lifts the glass and takes another sip. “Thank you.”

            “Don’t mention it,” Dean croaks, mouth dry. He takes a long pull of his beer and places the empty bottle on the bar.

            They sit in relative silence after that, the music thumping through the club matching Dean’s heartbeat. He can feel the man’s eyes on him every so often and he itches to turn around. The man orders a second scotch and Dean finally does turn back to him.

            “So, I get the feeling you don’t come here often?”

            The man chuckles, “Did you really just open with ‘come here often’?”

            “I—no—I was just—” Dean stammers, his cheeks heating. He shoots the bartender a grateful look when he replaces his empty beer bottle with a new one, ice cold condensation cooling Dean’s flushed skin as he grasps the neck of the bottle.

            “I’m only joking.” The corners of his eyes crinkle as he smiles, holding back another laugh at Dean’s distress.

            “I only meant that you clearly don’t like it here, so why come?”

            The man tilts his head slightly and considers Dean’s words. “On the contrary,” he says, eyes flicking to Dean’s mouth when his tongue darts out to wet his lips in a nervous habit, “I’m enjoying myself very much right now.”

            “Oh yeah? You like making men blush?” Dean almost regrets the words as they slip past his lips, but with five—or six?—beers in his system he can’t be bothered to give a shit.

            The man’s eyes widen a fraction at Dean’s comment but then his expression darkens and he replies, “Immensely.”

             The music through the club cuts out and Dean glances back at the stage just as someone taps the microphone, testing it before announcing the next performance. “I have to go now,” Dean says as he slips off the bar stool, “but you should stay and watch the show.” He turns back quickly to shout over his shoulder, “I’m Dean, by the way.”

            The man smiles and says, “Castiel.”

            As Dean walks to the stage he feels the anxiety that’s been simmering in his gut all night claw its way up into his throat. He’s been doing this for so long that it should be routine by now, but every week he’s just as nervous as the last, though that only lasts until the music starts. He stands in the center of the small stage and takes a deep breath, waiting for the song to begin.

            Dean never plans anything for these performances. He had tried before; he came up with a routine and practiced at home, but once he got on stage he ended up overthinking every move, and the entire show was a disaster. So now he lets the organizer pick the song of the week and just feels the music, letting himself go and moving to the rhythm.

            The small audience watches as his hips gyrate to the beat of the song. There are some whistles when he starts stripping slowly, teasingly. He knows how to work the crowd, how to touch himself suggestively as he moves his body, stripping down until all he wears is the pair of red panties he bought just for tonight. The feeling of the fabric against his skin and the way it hugs his curves, he knew the patrons would appreciate the way it makes his ass look.

            These three or four minutes on stage every Thursday is where Dean feels most alive. The rest of his days pass by in a blur of the same routine, but here, now, there’s nothing but him. This is the one thing in his life that he still has all to himself.

            By the time the song is over his heart is thumping and he leaves the stage soaring, feeling energized, as if he could do anything in this moment. He walks back over to the bar with a smile on his face, happy to see that the man from the bar—Castiel—is still sitting there sipping his scotch. Dean puts a little extra sway in his step when he sees Castiel’s eyes roaming over his body. He knows he looks good, and takes pride in his body.

            A man steps into Dean’s path, blocking the view of the bar with his broad leather-covered chest. “Hell of a show,” the man says.

            Dean looks up at him, nearly a head taller, and smiles politely even though the way the man leers down at him makes his gut twist uncomfortably. He opens his mouth to thank him, but the man takes a step forward, pushing into Dean’s space until he can smell the stale cigarette stench on his breath.

             “Made me so hard watchin’ you. Just imagining those legs wrapped around me.” The man grabs Dean’s ass, kneading it with a clammy palm.

            As soon as Dean feels the touch on his skin he throws being polite out the window. He grasps the man’s wrist and twists, forcing his arm behind his back harshly. The man swears and tries to swing at Dean with his other arm, but Dean bends him forward, using the man’s own weight to keep him off balance.

            He leans over so he can growl into the man’s ear. “Touch me again and I’ll break every one of your fingers.”

            Dean twists the man’s arm a little more to emphasize his threat, then pushes him away. The man stumbles, off-balance, and nearly falls flat on his face. A few people around them chuckle, and two men help right the first who rubs at his shoulder. Dean wishes he had pulled just a little harder and dislocated it. 

            The man takes a step towards Dean, absolutely fuming, but one of his friends grabs him. “Dude, don’t you know who he belongs to? Let’s just get outta here.”

            The man’s face is beet red when Dean waves after him on his way to the exit. “Buh-bye now.” Dean watches until all three of them are out of sight, then lets the fake sweet smile fall from his face. Adrenaline pulses through him and he feels the need to move, to do something, but he just keeps standing there wearing nothing but his red panties, shivering despite how warm the club is.

            When Dean turns back to the bar he jumps, startled by the fact that Castiel is standing just a few feet away, having moved as soon as the stranger advanced on Dean, ready to intervene.

            “Are you all right?” Castiel asks as he closes the distance between them.

            “Yeah,” Dean shrugs, “just the usual assholes who think just because they see me dancing and stripping on stage they can just do whatever they want. It’s no big deal.”

            Castiel purses his lips but doesn’t say anything. “So,” Dean says as he pulls his jeans on, trying to calm his shaking hands, “Did you enjoy the show?”

            “I did. The way you move…you make it look effortless being up there. It’s mesmerizing.”
           
            “Uh, thanks,” Dean says, blushing at the compliment, “I love being on stage; it feels like the only place I can really let go, y’know?”

            “You perform here often, then?” Castiel asks as Dean finishes getting dressed.

            “Yeah, I’m here every Thursday and Saturday.”

            “Maybe I’ll have to come see another one of your performances.”

            “Yeah,” Dean says uneasily. He shouldn’t have mentioned Saturday; Saturdays aren’t the same and he’s not sure he wants Castiel, or anyone he knows, there to witness those performances, but it’s too late now. His mind is preoccupied, lingering on the slimy man who grabbed him. He can still feel the damp hand on his skin, souring his good mood and making him feel dirty.

            “Are you sure you’re all right?” Castiel places his hand on Dean’s arm.

            Dean jumps at the touch and Castiel quickly removes his hand, taking a step back to give Dean some space. “What?” Dean blinks and gives Castiel a half-smile to ease the worried look on his face. “Yeah, no, I’m fine. Sorry, just zoned out,” he mumbles.

             “I hope I’m not being too forward seeing as we’ve just met, but would you like to get a cup of coffee with me? There’s a diner about a block away. It has less-than-average coffee, but it’s open 24 hours.”
           
            Dean has a moment to reason that leaving the club with someone he just met isn’t a good idea, but before he can think too much about being chopped into pieces in this man’s basement his mouth is already working into a wide smile. “Hell yeah,” he beams, “Let’s go.” He grabs Castiel’s hand and pulls him through the club and out into the cool night air.

Chapter Text

            When Dean walks into the club Saturday night he immediately picks out Castiel sitting at the bar, that old trench coat he wears is unmistakable even from across the dark room. As soon as the bartender sees Dean walking over he opens a bottle of beer and slides it across the counter in front of the empty stool next to Castiel, who turns and smiles when he sees Dean approaching.

            Their trip to the diner Thursday night hadn’t lasted long. The walk there was nice, but once all the adrenaline had left Dean’s body he just felt sluggish and couldn’t stop yawning, even after downing two cups of burnt coffee. Castiel had been the one to call the night to a close, worried that Dean would fall asleep behind the wheel on his drive home.

            The day after, Dean had texted and apologized for having to end the night early because of him, to which Castiel replied that 2am is by no means early and that he still had a wonderful time. Since then they’ve been texting non-stop—mostly shameless flirting—but Dean still didn’t really expect Castiel to show up tonight, and now that he’s here, Dean’s nervous. Well, more nervous than usual.
                       
            Between all the flirty jokes sent back and forth there were real conversations. Nothing too serious or overly personal, but Dean knows Castiel loves pineapple on his pizza, which Dean let him know is an atrocity. He knows that Castiel likes old black and white movies, and that he has a strangely diverse taste in music.  

            Dean likes getting to know Castiel. It makes him happy that at the very least he has someone he can talk to instead of being cooped up in his apartment with no one but himself to keep him company. It’s been so long since he’s had someone in his life he can consider a friend.

            “Hello, Dean,” Castiel says when Dean takes the seat next to him at the bar.

            “Hey, didn’t think you’d be here tonight.”

            “Of course I’d come to support you.” Castiel gives him a dazzling smile that momentarily makes Dean forget all his worries. “Your dancing the other night was captivating; I can’t wait for a repeat performance.”
           
            “Right,” Dean mumbles. He still hasn’t told Castiel that he isn’t dancing tonight and the thought of Castiel being here, witnessing what’s to come, sends a mix of emotions through him that he doesn’t necessarily want to evaluate right now. So instead he orders a whiskey and tells the bartender to keep them coming.

            As Dean and Castiel talk he feels his anxiety cooling to a manageable level, locked beneath a thick layer of alcohol buzzing pleasantly through his body. He lets Castiel do most of the talking, happy just to let the deep voice wash over him and lull him into a sense of calm.

            Time passes quickly though and soon the club is amping up for the incoming crowd. People start swarming the bar, all trying to push their way to the front to get the bartender’s attention. The music gets progressively louder until Dean can feel the bass of it pounding through him. Castiel has to lean over to speak into Dean’s ear to be heard over the music

            Dean’s eyes flick to Castiel’s lips as he leans closer, wanting nothing more than to close the distance between them and taste the scotch on Castiel’s tongue. He’s already told Castiel that he has a Dom and that nothing can happen between them, but Dean wishes he was free to make his own decisions. He’s only known Castiel for a short time but he feels like there’s something between them, something he wants to explore. He wants so desperately, for the first time in forever.

            He wants to drag Castiel off his stool and into the grimy bathroom at the back of the club, wants to push him against the wall and kiss him so hard he tastes blood, wants to sink to his knees on the damp floor and fucking worship Castiel. He wants to take Castiel home and spend all day in bed getting fucked in positions he didn’t even know existed. He wants bruises in the shape of Castiel’s fingers that bloom pain whenever he even so much as thinks about them. He wants—he stops himself short. He shouldn’t want any of that. Shouldn’t want to bleed for this man he barely knows. Shouldn’t so readily want to debase himself.

            Castiel’s warm breath puffs out against the side of Dean’s neck and he suddenly feels light-headed. He doesn’t hear what Castiel says, too focused on watching the room slowly tilt around him. He casts a glance around the club, searching frantically.

            He’s been so reckless. His Dom was going to be here tonight. If he sees Dean talking to Castiel there would be hell to pay. He’s very territorial when it comes to Dean. The last time he saw Dean being a little too friendly with one of the bartenders he made sure to beat the lesson firmly into Dean. Even before that Dean had slowly cut ties with all his friends to make his Dom happy.

            All the alcohol in his system is having the opposite of the desired effect. It makes his heart beat faster, makes him sweat and his mind race. Dean’s breath is coming in shallow pants now. Sitting so close together at the crowded bar he can smell the scotch on Castiel’s breath, feel every little shift in position, limbs brushing together in the cramped space, and it’s overwhelming.

            Dean closes his eyes and inhales slowly, trying to force air into his lungs and ignore the pounding in his chest. Inhale through the nose. Hold. Exhale through the mouth. He does it again. And again. He tries to tune everything out and focus on his breathing.

            He ignores the people around him. He ignores the cacophony of sounds surrounding him until it’s nothing but a buzz in the background of his mind. He counts each breath in his head until his thoughts consist only of his deep breathing. It’s a well-practiced exercise, but it isn’t working. He digs his nails into his sweaty palms, the pain giving him something to focus on.

            When he opens his eyes he finds Castiel watching him intently, mere inches away. Dean jolts, almost falling off the stool. 

            “Are you all right?” Castiel reaches out a hand to steady him but pauses just short of touching Dean, unsure.

            Dean nods. Maybe that last drink was a bad idea because now the room is blurring in front of him and he can feel himself swaying on the bar stool. He puts a hand to his head and rubs at his throbbing temples.

            “Here.” Castiel presses a cold glass into his hand and Dean eyes it curiously. “It’s just water. Drink; you’ll feel better.”

            He drinks greedily, the cool water soothing his dry throat.

            “Better?” Castiel asks when the glass is empty. Dean looks back at him, at the genuine concern etched into his features, but quickly lowers his gaze.

            He nods once and sighs, “Yeah, sorry.” Drinking and talking with Castiel was supposed to keep him distracted, keep his mind from overthinking, not send him spiralling into an anxious mess.

            “For what?”

            “For…I don’t know? Freaking out over nothing?”

            “You have nothing to be sorry for.” Castiel waits, and when Dean doesn’t say anything and won’t meet his eyes he presses, “Okay?”

            Dean looks up then and Castiel flashes him a small smile that makes the tightness in his chest loosen a bit. “Okay,” he agrees, but he still can’t shake the feeling that he’s messing everything up. Castiel is just being polite.

            Castiel’s brow draws together as he watches Dean fidget in his seat, making the stool creak and swivel. “Would you like to get some fresh air?”

            Dean almost says yes, would love nothing more than to leave this place with Castiel, but he catches a glimpse of the small stage and shakes his head. “Can’t; I’m almost up.”

            “Are you sure you’re okay to dance tonight?”

            “It’s a different kind of performance tonight. Alcohol helps.”

            Castiel’s eyes widen. “Dean, are you performing in a scene tonight?” He looks over his shoulder, following Dean’s gaze to the stage where a few employees are setting up the next performance. Dean’s performance.

            “Yeah, well I told you I had a Dom, didn’t I?” Dean snaps, unable to handle that disapproving tone from Castiel right now.        

            “Yes, you did, and you need to tell him that you’ve had too much to drink to participate in a scene tonight.”

            Dean barks out a harsh laugh. “You think he cares?”

            “He should. No one should ever enter a scene while intoxicated. You could get seriously hurt.”

            “That’s a given, hence the alcohol.” Dean raises the glass of whiskey to his lips, trying to chase the buzz that Castiel’s sour mood is squashing, but before he can taste a single drop Castiel is slipping the glass from his hand and sliding it away.

            “Come on,” Castiel says holding Dean’s wrist, pulling him from the stool, “I’ll drive you home. You can explain to your Dom what happened later.”

            “Stop.” Dean yanks his wrist out of Castiel’s grasp. “Just stop, okay. You’ve got no idea what you’re talking about.”

            Part of Dean knows that Castiel is just concerned, and that part is glad to have someone actually care about his well-being, but another part of him, the part that’s currently winning, fuelled by alcohol and anxiety, is annoyed that Castiel is acting as if he has control over Dean. He’s a grown ass man and doesn’t need to be taken care of.

             The music cuts out and both Dean and Castiel turn towards the stage where someone taps against the microphone, making it screech. He tries to give Castiel a reassuring smile. “I’ll be fine; I do this every week.” With that he starts towards the stage, ready to prove to Castiel that he can handle himself.       

            Being on stage is familiar now, but his stomach still churns as he slips his clothes off. It’s not getting naked in front of the crowd that bothers him; it’s the anticipation of what he knows is to come.

            Dean takes a deep breath to center himself as he steps out of his underwear. He looks back towards the bar, eyes locking with Castiel as he sinks slowly to his knees, legs spread, hands clasped behind his back, pushing his chest out slightly. He focuses on Castiel as he waits, eyes following every movement, watching as he shifts in his seat, as he sips at a glass of water, as he watches Dean kneeling on stage.

            A hand on his shoulder has Dean going rigid, his head dipping low. He hadn’t heard him approach, hadn’t been paying attention, and Dean chides himself as his heart hammers against his ribcage.

            “Good evening,” Alastair is saying behind him, and Dean looks up through his lashes back at Castiel, who’s still watching intently. Dean can see his face turn into a scowl, but he’s not looking at Dean anymore, his gaze is directed higher, shooting daggers. Dean frowns at him, confused, and almost turns around to see what Castiel is so pissed about.

            There’s a hand gripping his hair, tugging painfully until he’s forced to tilt his face up, momentarily blinded by the lights focused on them before he blinks and sees Alastair’s snarling face above him.

            “I asked you a question, whore,” Alastair growls, loud enough for the nearby microphone to pick up, carrying his voice through the club.

            Dean’s off his game tonight, and he knows he’ll be punished for it later, in private where Alastair can really let loose. Alastair is always happy to take the extra time to make sure his lessons stick.

            He should have been paying more attention, shouldn’t have had so much to drink, and definitely shouldn’t have been talking to Castiel at the bar. If Alastair had caught him even smiling at another person it would’ve meant serious trouble. Though he supposes he’s already in trouble now. He just wanted to not get stuck in his own head during the performance, but now the whiskey sloshes around unhappily in his stomach and he can’t focus.

            “I’m sorry, Master,” Dean bites out. His nails dig into his palms to keep from prying the harsh fingers from his hair.

            “And what are you sorry for?”

            “For not paying attention, Master.”

            “And what else?”

            “For…” Dean blinks up at Alastair, unsure what the man wants from him. He wracks his brain, desperately trying to find any answer that will please Alastair. “I don’t know, Master,” Dean finally sighs, knowing it’s not the answer he’s expected to give, but not knowing what he’s supposed to be sorry for this early in the night.

            He’s usually better at deciphering what it is Alastair wants, has learned over the years how to anticipate his Dom’s ever-changing mood. A sub should be able to sense his Dom’s needs, should know instinctively how to please. But with Alastair it could be anything.

            Alastair sighs like he’s disappointed, but his smirk makes Dean think this was the outcome he wanted, and it makes his stomach twist uneasily.

            “Up.” Alastair pulls Dean by the hair until he’s standing. “Stay,” he orders, and Dean feels him step away.

            Dean searches out Castiel again and his intense stare seems to ground him, gives him something to focus on. Dean smiles softly at him and shoots him a wink. He’s fine and he doesn’t want Castiel to worry. The scowl is gone from his face, but Dean can’t tell what he’s thinking now.

            He jumps when he feels rough rope circle around his wrist. Alastair wraps it around his arms until the knots bite into Dean’s skin uncomfortably. He flexes his bound hands and finds no slack. It used to make him feel secure, the ropes encasing him so thoroughly that he had no choice but to relax into their embrace. Now it only heightens his anxiety. He’s completely at Alastair’s mercy, helpless to do anything to stop it. More rope winds up his arms and is tied off tightly.

            “Such a fucking whore,” Alastair hisses.

            Dean yelps at the sudden sharp pain in his groin where Alastair tugs at him. He tries to move away from it, but Alastair is pressed up against his back with an arm wrapped around his middle so Dean has nowhere to go.

            “Aren’t you?” Alastair tugs again and Dean cries out, struggling in the tight grip.

            “Yes, Master.”

            “Say it,” Alastair demands with another harsh tug.

            “I’m a useless whore!” Dean yells and gets a round of jeers from the audience, reminding him of their presence.

            “Pathetic,” Alastair spits out and pushes away from Dean like he disgusts him.

            Dean’s body is on fire, and he’s gasping for breath. He can feel his abused cock, half hard, hanging between his spread legs. He doesn’t want to look out at the crowd, doesn’t want to see the faces of the people judging him.

            He’s almost grateful when Alastair grabs his shoulder and spins him around so his back is to the crowd. He nearly loses his balance, but Alastair keeps hold of him and bends him forward. Dean’s cheeks heat when he realizes he’s totally exposed like this.  He gasps when he feels a wet finger push at his entrance, and then roughly inside.

            Too soon Alastair is adding another finger and Dean hisses in pain, trying to step away only for the hand on his shoulder to tighten. He likes the rough burn and stretch usually, but Alastair always takes it a step further. The fingers turn more aggressive and Dean bites his tongue to keep from crying out.

            Alastair is saying something, but Dean’s pretty sure it’s just more derogatory phrases aimed to make him feel like shit, so he tunes everything out and focuses on trying to relax his body instead. He gives in to it, to his Master’s harsh treatment of his body, to the shame washing through him at being so on display. He lets his mind go blank, something that has taken years of practice. It lets him find at least some enjoyment from these scenes with Alastair.

            The fingers withdraw and Dean’s manhandled around the stage, stumbling off-balance with his arms bound behind his back until he’s standing beside a leather bench with straps along the side and a ribbed dildo sticking out of the top. Dean’s breath hitches as he takes it in, positive that he isn’t stretched nearly enough to accommodate something that big in his ass.

            “Filthy whores need to be stuffed nice and good, don’t they?” Alastair coos, stroking a hand through Dean’s sweat-slicked hair. “Do you want to be speared on this nice toy Master has for you?”

            Dean’s ass aches where Alastair hastily prepped him and he shakes his head minutely, still staring in shock at the device.

            He yelps in surprise at the stinging swat Alastair lays against his ass. “Let’s try that again, shall we? Does my filthy whore slave want to be fucked by this toy Master was kind enough to get for you?”

            “Yes, Master,” Dean mumbles.

            Another swat lands, harder this time, jolting Dean forward. “We can’t fucking hear you.”

            “Yes, Master,” Dean says, loud enough for even the patrons at the back of the club to hear.

            “That’s my little cock slut.” The hand at his ass moves in soothing circles now and Dean slumps in his grasp, happy at least that his Master gives him praise. “Climb up.”

            There are stools on either side of the bench that allow Dean to climb up and throw his leg over so he’s hovering over the plastic cock, resting on the balls of his feet. His thighs shake with the effort of holding his weight and the tip of the toy brushes against his skin with every movement. Thankfully, Alastair squirts some lube over the dildo, making it shine under the harsh spotlights.

            As Dean tries to keep himself steady on the stools he feels the dildo begin to move. It pumps up and down slowly, rubbing between the cheeks of his ass. He gasps and looks up to see Alastair’s smirk. “That’s right, this machine’s gonna stuff you and fuck you good. Now sit on that cock and give these people a good show.”

            Dean grits his teeth and shuts his eyes but does as he’s told, shifting his hips until the fake cock prods at his hole, then slowly sliding down onto its ribbed length. The lube eases the way and while it’s not painful, it still feels cold and impersonal. Lately, Alastair himself has felt the same way.

            Warm and affectionate are not words that Dean—or anyone else, for that matter—would use to describe Alastair. Hell, Dean wouldn’t even call him nice, but he’d grown accustomed to Alastair’s constant presence in his life.

            Years ago, when Alastair first found Dean, they had done scenes nearly every day. Training, as Alastair had called it, but lately the only time they see each other is Saturday nights. Dean’s glad, mostly, because he hates what Alastair does to him: the things he makes him do and the days of self-loathing that follows each encounter. But he knows that he’s failed his Dom, failed as a submissive if Alastair won’t even use him anymore, and that’s somehow worse. Without Alastair, he’s truly alone. But tonight is Dean’s chance to redeem himself.

            Hands grip Dean’s shoulders and his eyes fly open as he’s pushed down, forced to take more of the dildo still whirring beneath him. He tries in vain to hold himself up on shaky legs, but the stools are kicked out from under him and all at once the thick plastic cock is inside him, filling him completely.

            He bites his tongue to keep from screaming as pain shoots through him. He can hear cheers from the crowd but everything is drowned out by the sounds of his pathetic gasping, unable to catch his breath as the machine pumps into him. Tears leak from his eyes, and he doubles over, resting his head on the padding in front of him. The angle doesn’t really help the cock currently dragging against his insides, but the cool leather feels good against his cheek. He gasps in shallow breaths, trying to regain his composure. Trying to be good.

            Straps tighten around his thighs, securing him to the bench, though he couldn’t have lifted himself off if he wanted to. Strong hands yank at the ropes securing his arms and he moans as the machine prods directly at his prostate. The ropes come undone and Dean flexes his fingers, tingling as blood flows back into them.

            His hands are quickly retied in front of him, just as tight as before, and then Alastair ties another length of rope around the ones binding his hands before pulling it taut through a hook hanging above the bench. When he lets go Dean finds he can’t lean forward any more, forced to sit upright in a position that makes every thrust of the machine miss his prostate. Alastair switches something that lifts Dean’s arms and then his body until the bottom of the dildo can be seen as it makes its jerky pumping motions in and out of his sore hole.

            Dean peaks an eye open, his vision blurry with tears, and looks for Castiel again. He’s disappointed when he sees a woman in his place at the bar, but when he scans the crowd he finds Castiel standing near the front of the stage, eyes locked on Dean, the worry lines etched into his features clearly visible from this close.

            The first crack of the whip falls unexpectedly across his back, harsh and unforgiving, and Dean screams. His eyes go wide and he struggles against his bonds, but the way Alastair’s strung him up doesn’t give him much wiggle room. The next blow lands and Dean realizes he’s making choking sounds.

            He blinks away more tears that threaten to spill over and focuses on Castiel.  His lips are moving, and Dean finally makes out “breathe” mouthed over and over until Dean forces himself to be still and take deep breaths.

            It takes a few tries because every time he inhales Alastair cracks the whip across his back again, making Dean choke on his breath. Eventually, his breathing evens out and Castiel exhales deeply and stops mouthing the word at him. Instead, Dean’s pretty sure he makes out “good” and that sends sparks of pleasure washing over him.

            Dean focuses all of his being on Castiel after that. His body is being bombarded with so many different sensations that he can’t shut down like he normally does during these performances. He is painfully aware of everything happening to him as Alastair raises red welts over his back while the machine keeps driving into him.

            He loses track of time and lashes, unaware of everything save for the fire radiating through his back and Castiel’s unwavering stare. Alastair seems to notice Dean’s divided attention because he cranks up the speed of the machine more than one setting before continuing his whipping. Dean feels his muscles shaking, and he’s just praying that Alastair is done with him soon.

            “Are you gonna come like a whore on that fake cock?”

            Dean looks down and isn’t shocked to find himself hard, though the way the dildo is hammering into him he doubts he’ll be able to come like this, so instead of answering he meets Castiel’s gaze and stays silent, except for the occasional grunt as the whip hits him again.

            Alastair stops his assault with the whip, growing bored once Dean stops giving him the reactions he wants. Instead, Alastair runs his nails across the angry red marks he’s made and Dean screams, jerking against his restraints, brought back to himself fully with the agonizing pain radiating through him. The entirety of his back is in flames, but it feels wet: blood or sweat, he’s not sure.

            His surroundings blur in and out of focus, and Dean thinks maybe he’s fading in and out of consciousness because one second he’s suspended by his arms, shoulders aching from the strain, and the next he’s lying against smooth leather.

            Alastair takes the opportunity to open his pants and shove his dick into Dean’s slack mouth. He hollows his cheeks and sucks once, twice, and Alastair is spilling into his mouth and down his throat. He feels a twinge of pride at still being able to make his Master come so quickly.

            When Alastair withdraws Dean coughs and come falls from his lips onto the dark leather of the bench. He groans but puts up no resistance as he’s manhandled and forced to sit up, every muscle in his body protesting, and then Alastair scoops up the come-spit mixture Dean coughed up and uses it to jerk Dean off. He shifts to change the settings of the dildo until it’s on the highest speed, the loud whirring of the machine filling Dean’s ears and drowning out the noise of the club and the crowd.

            The pleasure that sparks through Dean is more than welcome after experiencing only pain for so long and he jerks in Alastair’s grip, except he imagines it as Castiel instead. He closes his eyes and imagines that it’s Castiel he’s bound for, imagines that deep voice whispering against his skin, encouraging him with filthy words of praise, and then he’s sighing and spilling into his hand.

            Alastair laughs and calls Dean a whore as he wipes Dean’s own come on his stomach. He barks for someone to cut Dean from his bonds, then disappears.

            Dean fights against the post-orgasm haze that threatens to overtake him, so welcoming with the promise of numb oblivion, but there’s no telling what could happen to him if he’s too out of it; some people like to take Dean’s immobile state as invitation to use him on the days Alastair leaves and no one bothers to cut him free. So he doesn’t allow himself to drift, instead trying to quickly claw his way back to full awareness, but his body betrays him as he goes limp, no longer able to stay upright.

            His eyes droop as he tries to focus on Castiel, but he blinks and loses track of him. The machine stills and a moment later the ropes are cut away from his arms. He hisses as blood starts flowing through them again, but can’t seem to make his fingers move. Strong hands lift him from the bench, but before he can react something rough rubs against his back and he blacks out from the pain.  

Chapter Text

When Dean regains consciousness he’s lying on his stomach, his head resting on something solid and warm. There are fingers running gently through his hair and the murmur of soft words washing over him. Though the words themselves have no meaning to Dean in his current state, the tone of it soothes him and he gladly sinks back into his thoughtlessness.

A cold cloth is dabbed lightly against Dean’s back, a nice contrast to the fire he’d felt there before, and he sighs contentedly.

It takes a minute for Dean’s mind to catch up and realize this is wrong and his body goes rigid. Alastair would never do this for him. He jolts up, or tries to, but a firm arm wraps around his lower back and stops his movement, which only makes him panic more.

“It’s all right. You’re safe. Just relax.” The chorus of assurances keep coming, and Dean recognizes the deep, soothing voice as Castiel’s.  

Dean looks up to see Castiel’s worried eyes turning soft. He sighs and rests his head back in Castiel’s lap.

“There we go.” Castiel removes the arm holding him down and Dean relaxes further. “How are you feeling?”

Dean only grumbles in response. He’s not sure he’s capable of speech yet.

“Can you drink some of this?”

A straw is brought to Dean’s lips and he eyes it suspiciously. He’s still aware enough to be cautious of accepting open drinks in a club.

“It’s only orange juice,” Castiel assures him.  “Oh! I should have gotten a bottle, hold on I’ll—” but Dean opens his mouth and accepts the straw, drinking half the glass before settling back against Castiel.

He still feels half asleep, almost like he’s floating. He knows his back and ass are red and sore but everything feels far away, like he’s disconnected from both his body and brain, and he’s in no rush to fully come back to himself; he knows when he does he’s going to be in a world of pain.

“Sorry,” Dean mumbles, “You shouldn’t have to do this, I should be able to take care of myself. You barely even know me.” His throat is dry and talking hurts. He remembers screaming as Alastair whipped him, and the memory of it sends nausea rolling through him. God, I must have looked pathetic, Dean thinks.

“No, I shouldn’t have to do this,” Castiel agrees, sounding disappointed, and Dean’s heart sinks. He shifts to get up, but Castiel places a hand on his back, just below the long gashes Alastair put there. “Aftercare is an important part of a scene. Any self-respecting Dom knows this.”

Castiel’s voice dips lower in anger and though logically Dean knows that it isn’t directed at him it still makes him tense up.

“For your…for that man to go that far with you during a public scene and just leave you alone while he drinks at the bar…” Castiel trails off then sighs as he smooths a hand through Dean’s hair. It seems to calm both of them equally. “I’m not doing anything I don’t want to be doing, Dean.”

“Shit, wait. He’s still here?” Dean jolts upright, no longer floating. He immediately realizes that was a bad idea as his body screams at him in protest. Everything aches, and sitting up has pulled at the torn skin of his back, opening the fresh wounds more and making them bleed.

Castiel stares at Dean, wide-eyed, as his head whips around trying to locate Alastair. “I can’t—he can’t see me here. With someone else. With you. He’ll—he’ll.” Dean winces in pain as he shifts.

“We’re out of sight of the bar. He can’t see you.” Castiel sits patiently, watching Dean, waiting for him to calm down.

Dean stops to take in his surroundings. They’re at the back corner of the club, the ring of couches around them is empty and the wall behind them provides cover from prying eyes, but if Alastair decides to search Dean out he’s screwed. They both are.

For now, though, they’re alone, and Dean’s stomach settles when he rationalizes that Alastair’s never cared about where he went off to after any of their other scenes. There’s no reason for tonight to be any different.

“I’d like to look after your injuries if you’ll let me.”

“It’s bad, isn’t it?”

Castiel nods. “You were bleeding when I took you down. Some of the cuts are quite deep.” His face distorts into a mix of disgust and anger and Dean has to look away because of course he’d be disgusted with him. Dean’s disgusted with himself.

“I don’t think they’ll scar, but I have some ointment that’ll help with the pain and prevent any permanent marks.”

“Okay.” Dean’s throat feels scratchy and he asks for more of the orange juice, which Castiel happily hands over. When he’s finished all of it Castiel asks him to lie on his stomach on the couch, standing up so Dean can stretch out.

Dean complies, resting his head on his arms and settling into the well-worn cushions, and Castiel climbs onto the couch to straddle his legs. The material of his slacks graze against Dean’s bare thighs and it’s too much on his sensitive skin. He shifts to get more comfortable, but his legs are trapped and his chest tightens with the realization that he’s immobilized underneath the weight of a stranger, secluded in the back of a seedy BDSM club.

“No,” Dean says, pushing up from the cushions, panic rising, “No, get off. Please get off.” The weight lifts off of him immediately and Dean feels like he can breathe again.

“What if you lie across my lap instead?” Castiel suggests, standing a few feet away from the couch, giving Dean some space.  They get situated with Dean lying across Castiel’s lap and his head resting on a pillow.

“Some of the deeper cuts have reopened,” Castiel comments, “I’m going to clean them.”

Dean only nods slightly before he feels a cool, damp cloth dabbing and wiping away his blood, clearing the gashes on his back. He winces in pain as the cloth passes a few of them. The worst of the lashes seems to be one that starts at his right shoulder, crossing over the smaller cuts before ending around his hip on the left.

Every time Dean’s body tenses Castiel pauses his ministrations until he relaxes again. After a few minutes, the cloth withdraws and Castiel tells him he’s going to apply the ointment. He waits for Dean’s nod of approval before dipping his fingers into the jar and gathering the cool substance on his fingers.

Castiel leans over Dean’s back and applies the first touch to his lower back, smoothing the ointment onto the cuts and lightly massaging it into his skin. Dean grunts and groans, feeling his muscles relax fully as Castiel gently kneads out the knots and slowly works up to the more severe cuts.

“Feels good,” he murmurs.

“You’re so good,” Castiel says as he applies more of the ointment and works it in. “You were so beautiful up there.”

“’m not,” Dean protests into his arm.

The strong fingers still and Castiel sighs. “You are, Dean. I watched as that man abused you, and you still laid everything bare on that stage. You are so trusting—maybe too trusting—and it pains me to see that taken advantage of by a man that doesn’t deserve the beauty of your submission.”

“You’re wrong,” Dean chokes out, “I’m nothing. I’m broken and dirty and—” A sob wracks his body and he wipes his nose on his arm, hiccupping as Castiel’s hands turn soft.

He doesn’t know why he’s suddenly crying and it makes him angry. He doesn’t want Castiel’s soft touches, doesn’t deserve it. He wants to push Castiel away and deal with this himself, like he usually does, at the bar drinking until he can’t think.

Castiel’s touch withdraws and Dean chokes on his own tears, sure that he’s been proven right, that Castiel has realized just how gross he is, broken beyond repair, and doesn’t even want to touch someone so filthy. Dean can’t handle the stinging ache of rejection that clenches his heart.

“Shh, I’m here, I’m not leaving you.”

Dean realizes he’d been talking out loud, pleading for Castiel to not leave him alone again, and his face flushes. He feels his head spinning. The sensation is familiar by now, though the drop will be worse this time; it always is when he drinks too much before a scene.

Castiel whispers soothing words until Dean calms and then the only sound is Dean’s sniffling and occasional hiccup, and the murmur of the voices of the other people in the club, covered by the steady beat of the music pumping through the speakers.

He slowly comes back to himself and opens his eyes when he feels the presence of another person, but relaxes when he recognizes the bartender from earlier. He hands Castiel another glass of orange juice and something else, taking the empty glass and leaving without a word.

Dean sips at the juice slowly when Castiel presents it to him. “You’ll feel better if you eat something,” Castiel comments, placing the emptied glass on a table next to the couch, “Think you can sit up and eat a granola bar?”

Instead of answering, Dean grunts and buries his head in Castiel’s lap. He doesn’t want to leave the comfort of Castiel’s warmth and face reality. Not yet.

“C’mon,” Castiel coaxes, “Be good and sit up for me.”

Dean chews on his lip, but shifts and moves to sit up.

“Slowly now, you don’t want to open the cuts on your back again.”

Dean rights himself with Castiel’s help and sits with his back away from the couch. He notices it doesn’t hurt as much anymore and raises a hand to touch at his shoulder, cringing when he makes contact with the open welt there and his fingers come back pink and sticky with the ointment Castiel applied.

“It should be numb right now, but the damage is pretty serious. I’ll put the rest of the lotion with your clothes; you can take it home and re-apply it in the morning.”

Dean looks down at himself and realizes he’s only wearing his underwear. He’d been aware of his nudity before, but now he reasons that Castiel must have partially dressed him while he was unconscious. He’s grateful, but now that he’s more aware he feels exposed.

He looks around for his clothes and finds them sitting folded on the coffee table. He reaches out and grabs his pants, but when he tries to stand up his legs shake, the room tilts, and he falls back to the couch. He sighs and shimmies into his jeans while sitting on the couch.  

When he’s done Castiel hands him the granola bar. He unwraps it and takes a bite, swallowing around the lump in his throat, eyeing Castiel watching him. While he eats he goes through a mental checklist of his body, taking inventory of his injuries, but most everything hurts. Except for his back, which is still mercifully numb.

“Thank you,” Dean says when he’s finished eating. He’s both emotionally and physically exhausted and the granola bar sits like a stone in his stomach. All he wants to do is crawl into bed for a few days.

Castiel nods. “They have a cupboard behind the bar stocked with snacks and juices and ointments for after scenes. It’s the one saving grace of this place.”

“No, that’s not—I mean, yeah thanks for the granola bar, and the juice, too, but…” He takes a deep breath and begins again. “When I was on the stage,” he clarifies, “You being there really helped me. I looked out into the crowd and you were there, helping me through it. And now, afterwards…no one’s ever done anything like this for me.” He pauses, his fuzzy mind trying to play catch up. “This whole aftercare thing.”

“Dean, you—” Castiel stops, closes his eyes and exhales deeply. When he opens his eyes again Dean sees an ocean of emotion in his blue eyes. And Dean doesn’t think he’s ever seen eyes as intensely blue as Castiel’s. How had he not noticed before now? He gets swept up in it, unable to look away.

“You’re amazing,” Castiel says, “You wear your emotions plainly, hiding nothing. You’re stubborn, and confident, and beautiful. Charming, and intelligent. Even though we only just met I feel protective of you. Watching you up there, I wanted to tear Alastair apart for taking advantage of you and torturing you like that. He doesn’t deserve your submission, doesn’t deserve to call himself a Dominant.”

Castiel pauses, seeming unsure, “I’m not sure how much you know about him, but he’s pretty well-known in the community. He’s been banned from nearly all other clubs in the area. He preys on subs new to the scene because they don’t know any better, and then he abuses them, breaks them, and eventually leaves them as shells of who they once were.” Castiel draws in a breath, his fists clench, and he lets the breath slowly out through his mouth. “I don’t want to see that happen to you.”
 
“Castiel,” Dean groans. Now that he’s coming down he feels a chill in the air, even in the crowded club, and he shivers. “I know what Alastair’s like. I know what he’s capable of doing, but I was already broken before he found me, probably been broken my whole life. And I don’t know any Dom that wants to put up with a sub’s giant sack of emotional baggage, and no one’s gonna want me now. Alastair definitely isn’t the best Dom, but there are worse out there than him.” And it’s better than being alone.

“Dean.” Castiel says his name like he’s in physical pain and Dean is the source of it all.
           
“Look,” Dean interjects before Castiel can continue, “my head’s still fuzzy and nothing feels real right now. Can we…I want to be able to actually have a conversation with you, I want,” he shakes his head, trying to climb back to the surface of his own mind, and failing.

“I understand. How about you text or call me when you want to talk. Until then I won’t try to contact you. I don’t want you to feel pressured, and this way you’ll have as much time as you need to think things through.”

Dean hesitates before nodding. He doesn’t want to stop texting Castiel, but maybe it would be better if he had a day or two to sort out his thoughts.

“Although,” Castiel continues, “I would appreciate a quick text if you do decide you’d rather not see me again.”

Dean opens his mouth to deny that he would ever do that, but maybe it would be better if he didn’t drag Castiel into his life. Castiel is already way too invested in him and they had only known each other a few days. Letting him continue down this path, stringing him along, would just be cruel. Dean knows it would be better to let Castiel go now before anyone gets truly hurt.

He slips his boots on and slowly stands on stiff legs. The room shifts, but he manages to stay upright and gather his shirt and jacket. He can feel Castiel’s eyes on him the entire time, but he doesn’t turn around.

“Thank you. Again,” Dean says, still not able to meet his gaze.

Castiel only nods and watches Dean walk away, hoping he’ll hear from him again.

Chapter Text

Dean wakes up the next morning to pain shooting through his back. He curses and rolls over onto his stomach, hoping to drift off again for a few more hours, but the movement only brings new pain, lower this time. He squirms, trying to get comfortable, but the pain is too much and eventually he gives up on sleep and wiggles out of bed.

Faint beams of sunlight stream through Dean’s thin curtains and he groans when the alarm clock says it’s only six in the morning, immediately wanting to crawl back into the warmth of his bed. Instead, he shuffles across the cold laminate floor of his apartment in search of his jacket. He finds it in a heap on the couch where he’d thrown it last night and digs the ointment out of the pocket before retreating to the bathroom.

The lights are too bright and he blinks rapidly to get the spots out of his vision, watching his reflection do the same. He raises a hand to his puffy eyes, still swollen from crying, not made any better by the dark bags underneath. He turns around and looks over his shoulder to inspect his back and gasps. It’s completely red, angry lines crossing over each other until there isn’t a scrap of skin left untouched by the damage of Alastair’s whip.

Dean’s had worse though, so he just unscrews the lid of the ointment and gets to work. He starts with the long, deep cut that runs from his shoulder to his opposite hip, cursing as he rubs it in as gently as possible. There are parts of his back he can’t reach, but he’s covered the worst of it so he leaves it be and pops two pills for his headache before going back to bed.

It’s doubtful he’s going to be able to sleep, but he’s got nothing better to do, so he carefully lies on his stomach on top of the covers. He grabs his phone from the side table and scrolls through different apps, checks his e-mail, opens all the apps again, then opens Netflix. He flips through the shows he has on his list, unable to settle on what to watch, and ends up falling asleep without picking anything, phone still in his hands.

When Dean wakes again it’s past noon and his back is mercifully numb thanks to the miracle cream Castiel gave him. He digs his phone out from where it had fallen underneath his bed and heads out to the kitchen to settle his grumbling stomach.

He pours himself a bowl of cereal and plops down on the couch in front of the TV, leaning forward at an uncomfortable angle so his back doesn’t rub against the rough fabric. He flips through channels until he lands on a re-run of Dr. Sexy. 

Dean’s mind keeps wandering to Castiel as he eats. He thinks about texting him. Or calling him to thank him again, or ask him out for a cup of coffee where they could have a proper conversation, but his doubts stop him every time he reaches for his phone.

What’s the worst that could happen? He reasons. Castiel could agree to coffee, show up, and laugh right in his face, tell him he’s worthless, and confirm everything Alastair has told him he is. But Castiel took care of him last night and had said he was beautiful and good.

But what if that was only to get Dean to trust him so Castiel could kidnap him and keep him locked in his sex dungeon basement, torturing Dean before finally killing him. Except the easiest time to kidnap him would’ve been last night when he was completely out of it. He actually laughs out loud at himself.

Dean knows it’s unfair to keep seeing Castiel. At this point he’s sure they could never just be friends, but he can’t offer Castiel anything more than that. Not while he’s still with Alastair. As much as he wants to explore whatever this is with Castiel, staying with Alastair is safer. At least with him there isn’t the complication of emotions.

He jumps when his phone buzzes loudly on the coffee table. Maybe Castiel had decided to text after all. Dean’s stomach does a little flip at the thought. He picks it up and looks at the message. But it’s not Castiel. Alastair’s name glows on his screen with the message “Be here in twenty” underneath. Dean sighs but puts his cereal bowl in the sink before slinking off to get changed.
           
Exactly twenty minutes later Dean stands in front of the door to Alastair’s apartment. He takes a deep breath and knocks twice.

“You’re late,” Alastair says as he opens the door. He turns his back to Dean and disappears into the dark apartment. Dean closes the door behind him and kicks off his boots.

All of the lights in the apartment are off and Dean has to keep a hand on the wall so he doesn’t run into anything as his eyes adjust to the sudden darkness. He follows the sounds of cupboards banging shut and the faucet running to find Alastair in the equally dark kitchen, fixing himself a drink.

“I’ve got a bitch of a headache from this hangover,” Alastair grumbles, popping a handful of pills into his mouth and washing them down with half a glass of whatever drink he just finished mixing. He sidles up to Dean and whispers in his ear, “I thought my little slut might be a good distraction today.”

Dean shudders as Alastair runs a cube of ice from his drink down his neck then up to trace along his lips.

“Strip,” Alastair commands, plopping the ice back into his drink and stepping back, watching with a scowl as Dean complies obediently.

Dean stands naked in front of Alastair moments later, head down, arms behind his back as he waits for further instruction. He tries not to wince as his arms rub against his back, but Alastair notices.

“Was I too hard on you last night, little bitch?”

Dean grits his teeth as he lies, “No, Master.” Saying ‘yes’ would just evoke his Master’s anger. The one thing he prides himself on is that he knows how to please his Master.

“Good.” Alastair runs a gentle hand through Dean’s hair. He sighs and leans into his Master’s touch, the praise sending pleasure and pride through him. He can be good for his Master. “Come on, then.”

Dean follows Alastair into the bedroom and his gut wrenches when he sees the restraints hanging from the bed. He’s not sure he can handle an intense scene today, but he still obeys his Master when he’s ordered to lie on his stomach. Hesitation and disobedience mean punishment. Alastair climbs on the bed after him, securing each wrist to the headboard by cold metal handcuffs.

“Let me make you feel better,” Alastair whispers against Dean’s neck and he has half a second to hope his Master has something similar to that numbing cream Castiel gave him before he yelps in surprise. Alastair slowly pours the contents of his glass down Dean’s back. It’s mostly ice water, but whatever alcohol Alastair was drinking still stings his raw wounds. “Doesn’t that feel good on your back?”

Dean shakes his head. He’s pulling on the cuffs, metal cutting into his skin as he tries to get away from the shock of pain.

Alastair laughs at him. “Perhaps it works best if applied directly.” Dean bucks, trying to get the ice-cold water off, but only succeeds in sending it dripping down his back and earning himself a hash slap on his ass.

“If you’d rather, I can take the whip to you again.”

Dean stills immediately and croaks out, “No, Master, please. I’ll be good.”

“I don’t know why you fight me when I’m being nice enough to tend your wounds.”

Dean hears the glass being placed on the side table and breathes a sigh of relief that ends in a choked off scream as Alastair presses an ice cube to the wound on Dean’s shoulder. The cold before had stung but the direct contact with the ice burns, intensified by the alcohol that still lingers and is now being spread into his cut.

Sweat dots his forehead as he tries to even out his breathing. Alastair slides the ice cube around Dean’s back until it’s completely melted then starts the process again with another until Dean’s entire back is burning, yet numb from the cold.

“There, much better.” Alastair shifts behind him on the bed. “Spread your legs.”

Dean lies still, fighting the urge to curl his legs up to protect against Alastair. He knows by disobeying his Master he only causes himself more pain, but he can’t bring himself to spread his legs. His ass is too sore for anything Alastair might have planned.

“Spread your legs or I’ll spread them for you and punish you for disobeying your Master.”

Dean shakes his head. “Please Master, I’m too sore from yesterday since you didn’t prepare me, and—” A sharp tug on his hair cuts his words off in a hiss.

He realizes his mistake as Alastair’s grip tightens and he slams Dean’s head against the mattress, pressing him down until he can’t breathe.  He cries apologies into the mattress, pleading with his Master, but his words are muffled.

When Alastair lets go Dean lifts his head and gasps in air through shuddering breaths. “I’m sorry, Master. Please, please, please, I’ll be a good whore, please.”

“Good whores don’t talk back to their Masters.” The reply comes from across the room.

Dean tilts his head to try and see what Alastair is doing, but only sees his back as he opens the closet that holds all his supplies.

When Alastair comes back he roughly pulls Dean’s legs apart and wraps each ankle tightly in a cuff that he attaches to a spreader bar. Dean wiggles in his bonds, panic rising as it sinks in that he’s truly trapped now, nearly immobilized and at the mercy of his angry Master.

“You don’t need to make things so difficult, Dean.” Alastair rubs the leather tip of a crop down his back and over his ass, and that sends Dean’s panic shooting through the roof. He jerks in his bonds and begs Alastair to forgive him.

Alastair ignores him and winds up, landing the first strike unforgivingly across the crease of Dean’s ass.  Dean’s cries only last through the first twenty or so before his voice gives out. He loses count before Alastair is done, weeping silently into the mattress, now wet with tears, snot, and drool.

“I don’t like having to teach you these lessons over and over again,” Alastair says in a soothing tone. It does nothing to soothe Dean’s burning skin or sore throat. Alastair smacks Dean’s ass once with his bare hand and Dean lets out a hoarse, barely-there cry.

Alastair clicks his tongue, “Look at that, now all the ice is melted.”

Cold water is dumped on his back and ass, spilling off him and soaking into the covers beneath. He doesn’t have enough strength left to do anything other than lie there as the liquid slides uncomfortably down his crack and over his balls.

“I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.” Alastair laughs to himself as he walks out of the room.

Dean waits and tries not to move around too much on the wet blankets. His only focus is the constant ache of his backside and the fact that it means he failed his Master. It feels like forever before Alastair returns, his weight jostling the mattress as he sits down.

“It’s all right,” Alastair whispers, “Good little whores get rewards.”

Dean has a second to hope that this means Alastair has forgiven him for his misbehaviour before his cheeks are spread and he’s breached by a wet finger, followed quickly by a second.

He hisses in pain and tries to force his muscles to relax. As soon as the pain begins to turn to pleasure the fingers withdraw. Freezing ice is pressed against his skin, but after the beating Alastair inflicted it’s a welcome relief to his heated ass and thighs.

The ice cube is rubbed into his skin until it’s completely melted and Alastair is reaching for another. Only this one he uses to poke at Dean’s hole. His whole body goes rigid and he kicks his feet, spreader bar and all, in an attempt to escape the touch.

“Be still,” Alastair orders.

Dean tries. He tries to be good for his Master but his body won’t stop spasming as Alastair pushes the entire ice cube into his ass. “Please!” he gasps, “It’s too cold, please Master get it out, get it out, it hurts, it’s too cold.”

“You will keep it in or I will whip you until you pass out.”

Dean whimpers but clenches his ass to keep the ice from slipping out. He can feel it moving inside him with every breath, every small movement in his hips. It’s too cold, but his insides feel like they’re on fire and Dean squirms, yanking his wrists only to feel the metal bite into his skin. He yanks again, the pain circling his wrists enough to minutely distract him from the fire burning throughout the rest of his body.

Alastair watches with a sneer as Dean struggles. He grabs another ice cube and pushes it in without warning.

“No more,” Dean pants. He can feel the melted ice dripping out of his ass and trickling down his thighs and adding to the soggy mess beneath him.

“Excuse me?” Dean stays silent, save for his harsh breaths. “That’s what I thought. Filthy bitches have no right to be giving orders here. But you know that, don’t you? You know exactly what your purpose is.” Alastair runs his fingers down Dean’s sides as he speaks. “Don’t you?”

“I live to serve you, Master,” Dean replies, the words literally beaten into him until he could recite them perfectly. They’re a reflex now, coming to Dean naturally. “I am only a hole, nothing more. Worthless.”

“That’s right, my pretty little fuckhole.” Alastair pushes three more ice cubes into Dean’s hole in quick succession, shoving his hard cock in immediately after.

Dean’s vision goes white and he’s sure he passes out for a moment. When he comes back to himself he’s choking on his words, trying and failing to beg his Master to stop. It isn’t the first time Dean’s felt no pleasure during a scene, but it usually doesn’t bother him; his Master’s pleasure matters more than his own. It is, however, the first time he’s been afraid.

His anxiety has been growing worse lately. Alastair’s anger seems to be constant now, and nothing Dean does makes him happy. He’s afraid that, like everyone else, Alastair will toss him aside because he isn’t good enough.

Dean’s begging only seems to egg Alastair on. His weight is crushing as he leans over Dean, grunting as he thrusts harder and digs his fingers into Dean’s hips. The ice cubes inside him are stirred around, melting faster as Alastair continues fucking him and cool water dribbles out around his cock.

 “My filthy cockslut. You’re just a warm hole waiting to be filled with come.” His cock twitches in Dean’s ass and he grunts again. Dean can tell he’s getting close. “Say it. Say you’re a filthy come slut.”

“I—” Dean’s voice comes out barely a hoarse whisper. He clears his throat and tries again but only succeeds in making a wheezing noise as Alastair nails his prostate. He clenches around Alastair’s cock and croaks out, “Master,” tipping Alastair over the edge as he empties himself into Dean’s ass.

As soon as his cock stops twitching Alastair pulls out and goes into the bathroom. A moment later, Dean hears the shower running. He closes his eyes, settles into the mattress and tries to ignore the mix of come and melted ice dripping from his hole. He hums to himself to keep calm while he waits. Alastair likes to take long showers.

Alastair is quiet when he emerges from the bathroom, but Dean hears the door swing open and stills, barely breathing. He listens to Alastair’s feet pad over to him and tenses when his body leans in close. But he only releases the handcuffs around Dean’s wrists before moving down and freeing Dean’s ankles as well. Even after the restraints are gone Dean lies still, waiting, listening.

Alastair is never this quiet. He always has some order for Dean or some insult ready to be hurled his way. Silence can only mean trouble for Dean and his mind races, trying to figure out what he did wrong, trying to think of a way to fix it before Alastair hurts him again.

He flinches when Alastair breaks the silence. “Get out.”

Dean shifts, sitting up slowly and feeling like he’s going to throw up as he rights himself and kneels on the edge of the bed, looking up at Alastair. “Master?”

His mind is screaming at him to just leave, bolt for the door and avoid the possibility of angering his Master further, but he senses that Alastair is displeased with him and that’s somehow worse.

Alastair glares down at him. “Do you want to be punished? I said get the fuck out!”

“Master, please. What did I do wrong? Tell me, I’ll fix it,” Dean reaches for Alastair, trying to pull him closer. He can see the disappointment and disgust in the man’s eyes. “Please,” Dean whimpers.

Alastair moves in a flash, hitting Dean across the face with the palm of his hand. The smack echoes through the room. “You repulse me,” Alastair spits as Dean sits there, stunned, tears springing to his eyes.

He darts from the room before the tears fall, blinking rapidly and wiping at his eyes to clear his blurry vision enough to find his clothes in a pile on the kitchen floor and get dressed before fleeing the apartment.

When the elevator doors close behind him and he’s alone he finally lets the tears fall. He presses his hand to his mouth to muffle his cries until he reaches the ground the floor and then hurries to his car where he slips into the driver’s seat. He fumbles his phone out of his pocket and tries to calm his breathing. He stares at the screen and has half a second of doubt before he presses call.

He listens to the ringing, drowned out by his heaving breathing.

“Dean, I’m so glad you called.” The last of Dean’s control seeps out of him when he hears Castiel’s voice come through the phone.

“Cas—” he sobs, choked out through his sore throat.

“Dean?” There’s a thud and a muffled curse from the other end of the line followed by a door banging shut. “Dean, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”  Castiel’s voice is panicked and it makes Dean’s stomach turn. He shouldn’t be bothering Castiel like this. When he finds out why Dean’s calling he’s going to get mad at him.

Dean opens his mouth to say he was being stupid, apologize, and hang up, but instead he sobs so loud and forceful his entire body shakes with it.

“Dean, it’s all right. Whatever it is it’s going to be all right.”

“I—he—just—” Dean’s brain is a jumbled mess and he’s not even sure what he called Castiel for.

“Breathe, Dean. Tell me where you are. Do you need me to come get you?”

“Just—talk—talk to—me.” Dean speaks between sobs, broken off by hiccups, “Please.”

“Okay, I can do that.” Dean focuses on Castiel’s voice as he starts talking about his day at work. “I was supposed to have a meeting this morning, but it got pushed back so I had to miss my lunch break so I’m just trying to slip away now to find something to eat, and…”

Castiel’s words float to the background of Dean’s mind as he lets the soothing tone surround him. He can still hear himself hiccupping and sniffling, his breathing still ragged, but he ignores it and wills Castiel’s voice to cover him completely.

“…Dean? Are you still with me?”

Dean clears his throat and sniffles, and when he answers Castiel his voice cracks, but his breathing has evened out and the tears have stopped, so he just sighs and says, “Yeah. I’m here.”

“Do you need me to keep talking?”

Dean considers a moment. “No,” he says finally, “No, I’m fine.” He sniffles again and digs around in the glove compartment for a tissue or a napkin, but finds nothing other than his registration and a few cassettes.

“What happened?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Dean mumbles.

“That’s fine.” There’s a shuffling sound on the other end of the line and Dean imagines Castiel stuffed inside a janitor’s closet at work, slipping behind the first door he could find when he sensed Dean’s distress. The thought makes him smile a little as he wipes the tears from his eyes.

“What do you need me to do?”

“I’m okay now. Sorry to bother you over nothing, especially because—”

“It’s not nothing,” Castiel cuts in, voice firm. The speaker crackles as Castiel lets out a deep breath and says, softer, “If it caused you that much distress it certainly was not nothing and you don’t need to apologize for it.”

“Okay,” Dean agrees after a moment of silence passes.

“Okay. Have you eaten yet?”

The clock on the dash says it’s just past three in the afternoon. Technically he hasn’t eaten lunch yet. “No.”

“Would you like to get some lunch with me?”

Dean’s eyes flick to his face in the rear-view mirror. His eyes are puffy and red, and there’s a distinct handprint burning on his cheek. He opens his mouth to decline, to give some excuse and tell Castiel “next time” but his stomach growls at the same time Castiel chimes in and says, “I’m buying.”

Dean chuckles. “Well, how am I supposed to pass up free food?”

He can hear the smile in Castiel’s voice when he replies. “Meet me at Brick House?”

“Yeah, okay.”

“And Dean?” He had been about to disconnect the call when Castiel speaks again and Dean almost drops his phone.

“Yeah?” he asks, fumbling to press his phone back to his ear so he can hear what Castiel has to say.

“Don’t get behind the wheel if you’re unable to focus on the road.”

“I’m all right now. Thanks, Cas.”

“I’ll see you soon, Dean.”

He listens to the click as the line disconnects then puts his phone back in his pocket. He sits in the parking lot, staring at himself in the mirror, fussing with his hair and trying to make himself look presentable. Brick House is only a few blocks away so he has time to spare, but he gives up after realizing there isn’t much he can do about his swollen eyes or the handprint brightly adorning his cheek.

Dean sighs and starts the Impala, listening to the engine purr as he pulls out of the apartment complex.

Chapter Text

When Dean gets to the restaurant he goes inside and immediately dashes to the washroom, locking the door behind him and then locking himself inside a stall. He can still feel the mix of melted ice and come leaking from him and he makes quick work of cleaning himself up as best he can. Afterwards, he washes his hands and leans over the sink, sighing at his reflection.

He watches himself in the mirror as he raises a hand to prod gingerly at the angry outline of fingers stamped into his cheek. He splashes cold water on his face and wishes he had something to make his bloodshot eyes less red and swollen, and something to cover up the stinging handprint.

The place is nearly empty when he steps out of the washroom. It’s between lunch and dinner so he’s not really surprised, but he is glad for it. He walks to the bar and asks for a glass of ice. The bartender gives him a weird look but fills a glass with ice without comment.

Dean picks out a booth near the back of the restaurant, away from the few other tables with people dining. He unfolds one of the cloth napkins on the table and dumps a few ice cubes onto it, shuddering as images of Alastair flash through his mind.

He wraps the napkin around the ice and sighs when the cold makes contact with his skin. He alternates using the makeshift compress on his eyes and cheek, hoping to get some of the swelling to go down before Castiel arrives.

“Hello, Dean.”

Dean nearly falls out of the booth. He removes the cold cloth from his eyes and blinks at Castiel who’s sitting in front of him, right across the table, smiling at him.

The lights are set low and intimate, casting a glow around Castiel that brightens his eyes and makes Dean’s breath catch. He’s not sure he’s seen eyes so wonderfully intense as Castiel’s; it shocks him every time.

Castiel’s smile slips into a frown when Dean places the napkin on the table. He feels his cheeks get hot the longer Castiel stares and he has to turn away, squirming in his seat.

“Did he do that?” Castiel’s hand twitches where it rests on the table.

Dean focuses his attention on that hand instead of meeting Castiel’s gaze and nods, cursing himself for being so weak. He closes his eyes tightly and wishes he could make up for failing his Dom and burdening Castiel with his problems.

Castiel places his hand on top of Dean’s over the table and Dean glances up at Castiel then, but quickly looks away again when he finds Castiel staring at him. The sleeve of Dean’s shirt rides up when he shifts and Castiel immediately notices the angry red marks Alastair’s handcuffs dug into his skin.

Castiel lifts the sleeve farther and rubs his thumb over the indents. “You can’t stay with him.”

“I don’t have a choice.”

“Of course you do. There is always a choice, Dean.”

Dean pulls his hand from Castiel’s grasp and tugs his sleeve down. “You don’t know.”

“Let me help you. If he’s threatening you or blackmailing you, whatever it is does not trap you with him. You have options, just—just let me help you.” 

“I don’t want to talk about this. I know it’s not fair to call you like I did and not give you anything in return other than my whining, and my stubbornness, and I’m sorry, but I don’t want to think about Alastair right now.”

Castiel raises his hands in surrender. “We don’t have to talk about it, then.” He tilts his head and observes Dean. “But I don’t expect anything in return for today or for what happened between us at the club. Or any further communication between us for that matter. I have no ulterior motives other than wanting to help you in whatever way I can.”

Dean stares at him and Castiel stares right back, both of them silently assessing each other, before Dean decides that Castiel, for whatever reason, is telling the truth.

“Besides, I happen to like your stubbornness.”

Dean snorts.

“Sorry to interrupt,” a voice says, drawing Dean and Castiel’s gaze away from each other to the short red-headed man standing with a pen poised over the little notepad in his hand. “Would you like to order some drinks, maybe an appetizer to start?”

Castiel orders them two beers and Dean barely has the presence of mind to ask for a glass of water as well before the waiter leaves.

Is this a date? Dean thinks, eyeing Castiel over the top of his menu. The thought sends little butterflies fluttering about in his stomach. He’s enjoyed the soft touches from the man up until this point, has enjoyed every second they’ve been together, but he hadn’t considered the possibility of a relationship.

Okay, that’s a lie. Maybe he had thought about what it would be like subbing for Castiel: a firm hand to make him soar and gentle caresses to bring him back down. But the thought of a real, intimate, long-term relationship? That hadn’t really occurred to him; it wasn’t something he thought he wanted.

Dean thought he would be alone for the rest of his life with only Alastair to keep him company. He had given up on finding a real partner long ago. Marriage, kids, a house with a white picket fence: he was fine without those things.

He finds himself longing for that now, though. Maybe not the whole nine yards, but for something more than…whatever it is he has with Alastair. He knows that what he and Alastair have isn’t fulfilling, not to mention wildly unhealthy, but that’s the way it has to be. He shouldn’t even be entertaining these thoughts of Castiel. They only make him crave something he can never have.

Dean realizes he’s been totally spaced out when the waiter comes back and he jolts when an arm comes into his field of vision as the waiter places their drinks on the table. Castiel eyes him curiously but doesn’t comment.

“Have we decided what we’re getting?” The waiter asks.

Dean looks at the menu for the first time, scanning the pages for something he might like.

“May I?” Castiel asks, looking pointedly at Dean’s menu.

Dean nods and feels his cheeks heat when Castiel orders for both of them. “I’ll have the Rock N’ Roll burger, and he’ll have the ‘Google It’, both with fries.” They hand their menus over to the waiter and he retreats with their orders scribbled hastily in his notepad.

“What the hell did you just order me?”

“You’ll just have to wait and see.” Castiel smiles as he sips his beer.

Dean feels himself relax as he picks up his own beer and washes away some of his anxiety.

“So, what do you do for a living, Cas?” Dean asks, eyeing the suit Castiel is wearing.

“I’m the Director of Communications and Marketing at a business firm downtown.”

Dean raises an eyebrow. “Sounds fancy.”

“It’s a complicated way of saying I’m in charge of dealing with a lot of insufferable people to make sure the company looks good.”

“So not exactly your dream job, then.”

Castiel considers a moment. “No, not exactly. Having to deal with so many people is draining. I got my BA in English Literature, so this job certainly isn’t where I expected to end up.”

Now that fit more with Dean’s view of Castiel. He had thought maybe Castiel was a History professor, or a librarian, but not some boring businessman sitting in a cubicle all day. “How do you go from book nerd to fancy suit-wearing businessman so high up he’s given the title ‘Director’?”

The lines on Castiel’s forehead smooth as he chuckles, a low sound that drifts across the table and wraps its warm embrace around Dean. “It’s a mystery even to me. I was approached while I was finishing my Master’s for a position that was higher up than I had hoped to get straight out of university, and I jumped at the chance. I told myself it was only to get my foot in the door of the real world, but I got comfortable.”

“So what was your dream job, then?”

“Despite what my professors said, I saw myself running my own business. When I was growing up there was a second-hand bookstore down the road from my house that I went to nearly every day. I don’t know how that place managed to stay open because most days I was the only one there. Well, me and the owner, Harold, and his old rescue dog that would sleep in the patches of sun that came through the window.”

Dean smiles, watching as Castiel seems to get lost in the story, his eyes losing focus as if he’s gone from the restaurant to the bookstore.

“More than once,” Castiel continues, “my mom had to come to the shop to get me for dinner because I’d get so lost in whatever book I was reading.”

“So that’s why you went for English Lit? To open your own store?”

Castiel blinks and his eyes refocus. “More so because that was the only thing I was truly interested in. I went to grad school for Business afterwards, and that was in order to open my own shop.”

“Sounds like you had everything planned out.”

A loud bark of laughter startles Dean, and Castiel covers his mouth with a hand in an attempt to quiet himself. “Oh, I can assure you I had absolutely nothing in my life figured out. I changed my major five times during my undergrad.”

Dean laughs then, too. “What were your other majors?”

“At first I was undecided. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life; I just knew I had to get a higher education. In my second year I settled on Philosophy, but changed it to Art History two months later when I realized that the jobs in that department haven’t been around since Aristotle, and changed it again after a professor went on an hour-long rant in one of the intro classes and I realized I didn’t want to end up like this bitter old man.

“After that I switched back to undecided so I could take a wider range of classes and figure out what I liked, then said fuck it and went back to Philosophy, got through a semester of that before having a nervous breakdown because I kept picturing myself homeless, thousands of dollars in debt with a useless Bachelor in Philosophy. I went home during winter break that year and found myself walking by the old bookstore and it finally clicked for me. I changed my major as soon as the next term started.” Castiel takes a long sip of his drink, and then says, “Sorry. I went on kind of a tangent.”

“No.” Dean shakes his head. “I like listening to you talk.”

Castiel raises a brow at him. “Do you, now?”

“Yeah, uh, you have a really nice voice.” He blushes as he says it, but the look on Castiel’s face is worth it: surprise at first, then masked quickly by a smirk and the unmistakable look of arousal shot in Dean’s direction.

Castiel opens his mouth to speak, but the waiter comes back then to announce their orders got mixed up in the kitchen and will take another little while. He places a platter of deep fried pickles in front of them as consolation for the delay.

“Now it’s my turn to ask the questions,” Castiel says as soon as the waiter is gone again.

Dean gulps. He’d rather Castiel keep talking, but he doesn’t argue. “What d’ya wanna know? My life’s not at all interesting.”

“Oh, I highly doubt that.”

“Okay. Well, let’s see.” Dean picks at one of the deep fried pickles, withdrawing quickly when it burns his fingertip. He rests his burned finger on the cool glass of his half-empty beer. “Grew up moving a lot, never staying in one place for more than a year. Dad was completely checked out most of the time, so it was just my little brother Sam and me. I pretty much raised him on my own after Mom died.
           
“I got in a lot of trouble at school, the usual teenage rebellion stage, y’know? But straightened out when I realized it would affect Sammy’s life. Worked my ass off to get high enough grades to make it into college so I could help provide for Sam. He’s so damn smart. Smartest kid I’ve ever met. Didn’t even need me to help him out: he got himself a full ride. Universities were practically fighting over him.”

Dean has to pause for a breath and uses it as an excuse to chug back what remains of his beer, grateful for the reprieve from talking.

“You care about him a lot, your brother.”

“He’s the most important thing in my life,” Dean agrees.

“But I want to know about you, not your brother, as fine a person I’m sure he is.”

Dean watches as Castiel blows on a pickle to cool it down before biting into it and making an appreciative noise around the breaded goodness. Dean licks his lips as he watches a trickle of juice make its way down Castiel’s chin.

Castiel catches him staring and quirks a smile at Dean as he pops the rest of the pickle into his mouth, sucking the juices off each finger one by one. He swipes the dribble of stray juice from his chin and wipes his hands on his napkin.

Definitely a date, Dean decides.

“You make those look extremely appetizing.”

Castiel hums as he finishes chewing. “They’re very good. Try one.”

Dean dunks one into the creamy dipping sauce and pushes the entire length into his mouth, eyes on Castiel the entire time. His cheeks heat at the suggestiveness of it, but it’s damn well worth it to see Castiel’s reaction. He shifts in his seat as he watches Dean, eyes widening, tongue coming out to wet his pink, soft-looking lips.

Dean winks and Castiel snorts, shaking his head.

“So, what did you go to school for, Dean?”

He has to sit there chewing a mouthful of breading and pickle before he can answer Castiel, who watches bemused the entire time.

“Well, at first I was going for Sammy, so I just chose something that I knew I could get a job out of and make decent money, so I started in accounting. I’m pretty good with numbers and money after having to budget what little we had growing up, so I thought it’d be as good a job as any. I wasn’t unhappy in the program, but I could tell after the first year that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I kept with it though, because Sammy comes first.”

Dean is surprised to find Castiel nodding along as he speaks; listening intently to his every word like what he has to say is immensely interesting, even leaning a bit forward in his seat, resting his arms on the table. Dean isn’t used to this level of conversation, but it’s a pleasant change.

Often times Dean spends countless days holed up in his apartment and the most interaction with another human being he gets is when he goes grocery shopping, or when he grabs a coffee from the diner across the street from his place. Sometimes he finds his voice has gone hoarse from extended disuse. Now, though, he can’t seem to stop talking.

 “But then he got a full scholarship?” Castiel prompts.

“Uh…yeah, Sam and I are four years apart, but all the moving around meant I had fallen behind a year, and then I took an extra year to boost my grades to get into a better university, so by the time I was in my second year of university Sam was about to graduate high school and that’s when he got the scholarship.

“I considered dropping out after that, but I wanted something more than working a menial dead-end job for the rest of my life. I wanted to do something for myself for a change, so I switched programs. I really wanted to help kids, y’know? Make a difference in their lives? And the only person who had ever done anything like that for me was one of my teachers, so that’s what I decided I wanted to be. I got into the Bachelors of Education program and the first day in I knew that I’d made the right choice.”

“That’s great,” Castiel says, munching on another fried pickle.

Dean nods. “And the program had a great placement, too, so I actually got hands-on experience.” He slathers an obnoxious amount of sauce over the last deep fried pickle and nibbles on it. “My placement was in a second-grade classroom,” he mumbles around the bite of pickle, “Which I think is too young for me. Too much hand holding. But I loved every minute of it anyway.”

“So is that what you do now?”

The pickle turns to stone as it makes its way down Dean’s throat, and he has to take a long gulp of water to wash it down, where it clunks into his stomach.

“Uh, no,” he mutters, hoping Castiel won’t ask what he knows he’s going to ask next.

“What do you do for a living now, then?”

And there it is. Dean doesn’t want to answer and looks around the restaurant hoping that the waiter will save him with the arrival of their food. No such luck. He turns back to Castiel, but lowers his gaze to where his fingers tug idly at his napkin.

“I’m not working right now, actually,” Dean says and hopes he can leave it at that, hopes that he won’t have to tell Castiel that he’s basically whoring himself out to Alastair.

Maybe Castiel senses Dean’s reluctance, or maybe he just doesn’t care enough to ask further. Either way, Dean is glad when Castiel just nods.

Dean shoots him a half-smile of appreciation.

“What about Sam?” Castiel asks instead, and Dean perks right up again. Talking about Sam is easy.

“He’s still in school. He’s gonna be some bigshot lawyer soon, though, working all the highest profile cases and winning each one. He wants to help the people who can’t help themselves, wants to see all the evil in the world put behind bars, and wants to do it all himself. I’m pretty proud of him.”

“You should be proud of yourself as well.”

“Huh?”

“I doubt Sam would be who is today without you. Not only that, but you should be very proud of your own accomplishments.”

Dean scoffs. “I got a Bachelor of Education, I didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize. And Sam is Sam; I didn’t do anything to make him who he is.”

“You said yourself that you raised him practically on your own.”

“Yeah, but—”

 “That’s no small thing, Dean.” Castiel sits up straighter on his side of the booth. “As an older brother you already had this position of role model in Sam’s life, but even more so after assuming the role of a caregiver.”

“Yeah, I guess, but—”

“No,” Castiel says, “No buts. I can tell you with certainty that you helped mold Sam into the man he is today, and that’s an incredible thing, especially considering the amount of responsibility on your shoulders as a child yourself.”

Dean just kind of stares in awe at the man across from him for what’s probably longer than socially acceptable. He finally says, “Thanks,” ducking his head to avoid the piercing blue eyes.

“You have no idea how amazing you are.” Castiel says it so quietly that Dean wonders if maybe he wasn’t meant to hear it.

“All right, fellas!” The waiter announces his presence, “Food’s finally here. I apologize again for the delay. One Rock N’ Roll burger,” he places a plate in front of Castiel, “And one Google It.” He places the other plate in front of Dean. “Anything else I can get you? Hot sauce? Ketchup, Mustard? More beer?”

“Just a refill on the water, for now, thanks,” Castiel says.

“Coming right up.” The waiter takes off again with their empty glasses in hand.

Dean stares down at the giant burger in front of him. “What the hell is on this thing?” He can see cheddar cheese, bacon, fried mushrooms, tomato, and some leafy vegetables piled high on top of a thick patty of beef. His mouth is watering just looking at it.

“This is not going to be pretty,” Dean warns, “Don’t you know you’re supposed to order a salad or something on the first date?” His eyes go wide when he hears the words fall from his mouth. “Uh, I mean, not that I think this is a date or anything, I just mean…”

“Dean,” Castiel says calmly, “This doesn’t have to be a date if you don’t want it to be.”

“Do…do you want it to be?”

Dean can see a blush colour Castiel’s cheeks as he fingers a fry on his plate. Seeing Castiel be the sheepish one for once reassures Dean. He likes the calm, collected, in-charge Castiel, but this side of him is undeniably adorable and now Dean’s not sure which he likes more.

“Yes,” Castiel says, “I do.”

Dean’s heart sings when he hears the affirmation from Castiel and he has trouble placing the emotion as he soars high with it. “I guess we better wave down the waiter for some salads then.”

“No creature on Earth could pry this burger from my hands.”

Dean cracks up at the serious look on Castiel’s face and raises his hands in surrender. “Damn, all right. What’s on that anyway? Smells like peanut butter.”

“And bacon,” Castiel says before taking a large bite. Peanut butter oozes out and drips over Castiel’s fingers. He sighs in satisfaction as he chews.

Dean squishes his own burger down so he can actually fit his mouth around it and take a bite. Flavours swirl together on his tongue and he doesn’t realize he’s moaned around his mouthful of food until Castiel catches his eye.

“It’s amazing,” Dean mumbles in explanation and takes another bite to avoid any further comments.

Castiel huffs a laugh but continues eating.

They sit in relative silence after that, the sounds of the restaurant washing over them and providing a comfortable ambience as they enjoy their meal.

Dean finishes his burger quickly. He hadn’t realized just how hungry he’d been. Now he picks at what’s left of his fries and watches Castiel finish his burger.

Castiel reaches for his napkin, but when he catches Dean watching he darts his tongue out to run along the length of his finger covered in sticky peanut butter.

“You’re going to be the death of me,” Dean groans, unable to tear his eyes away.

“Mmm, what was that, Dean?”

He opens his mouth to repeat himself but just shakes his head when he sees the glint in Castiel’s eye that means he definitely heard. Castiel seems to take pity on him, though, because he wipes the rest of the grease and peanut butter away with his napkin.

The waiter comes back a few minutes later and Castiel pays, as promised, but Dean still blushes when Castiel tells the waiter they’ll both be on one bill.

After their meal is paid for, Castiel walks Dean out to his car.

“You have amazing taste in cars,” Castiel comments as his eyes rake over the Impala.

Dean leans against the door. “Thanks. This baby’s my pride and joy.” He runs a hand along the slick roof of the car affectionately.

They stand beside the Impala, regarding each other silently. Dean doesn’t want to say goodbye to Castiel yet, but he can’t think of a reason to drag this on longer. “Thanks for lunch, Cas. I had a great time,” Dean says lamely, rubbing a hand along the back of his neck.

“Me too,” Castiel says, and Dean swears he can feel the air crackle between them as Castiel inches closer.

His eyes dart to Castiel’s lips as he parts them slightly, and Dean can feel his heart thumping in his chest, wonders if Castiel can tell how hard it’s beating.

Dean jolts back suddenly, surprising Castiel and himself. He wants to kiss him, longs for every touch they share, every lingering stare. But a kiss is too intimate. He wants to laugh as the thought flits through his brain. Castiel has seen him naked, has watched as another man whipped him raw and fucked his throat. He has seen Dean with tears streaking his face, seen him in the middle of a panic attack, seen him laid bare and still stuck around, still wants Dean in a way that makes him a little dizzy.

Yet here Dean is baulking when Castiel tries to give him a chaste kiss goodbye after a date. But it’s something lovers do, something far too intimate in Dean’s mind. It’s something that means commitment. In the four years he’s been with Alastair they’ve never shared a kiss, not even a peck on the cheek.

Castiel offers him a small smile and caresses his cheek. Dean leans into the touch.

“Goodbye, Dean,” Castiel says, and the warm hand slides down his face and squeezes his shoulder lightly before he turns.

Dean feels cold and empty as he watches Castiel’s tan trench coat swish around him as he walks to his car. It feels like a final goodbye, and he’s suddenly worried he’ll never see Castiel again.

“Wait,” Dean calls, and grabs his wrist. Castiel turns around and Dean uses the movement to push him up against the tiny green hatchback parked next to the Impala. Castiel opens his mouth to say something, but Dean presses his mouth to Castiel’s and swallows his words.

Castiel pushes against Dean’s shoulders, trying to break the kiss. “You don’t need to—” he starts, but Dean drives his tongue into Castiel’s open mouth to silence him.

“Cas,” he says as he bites the man’s lip, “Just shut up.”

Castiel huffs into Dean’s mouth and then he’s kissing back with a bruising force, grabbing onto Dean’s jacket and pulling him close. Dean can feel himself grinding down into Castiel and has a split second to be embarrassed before he feels Castiel grind back and moan into Dean’s mouth.

He feels high as Castiel licks into his mouth. He tastes like peanut butter and beer and any other time that combination would probably disgust Dean, but right now he can’t get enough.

He has to break the kiss to breathe, but Castiel follows him, mouthing at his neck and nibbling against the soft flesh there. Dean tilts his head to give better access and his gaze lands on a woman who’s eyeing them from a bus stop across the street.

“Cas,” Dean groans. But Castiel takes it as encouragement, kissing and nibbling his way back to Dean’s mouth. “Cas,” he tries again, voice rough, “Stop. We got an audience.”

Castiel reluctantly pulls away and follows Dean’s gaze. When the woman sees their eyes on her she quickly looks away. “Do you think she gets off on watching strangers make out?” Castiel asks, voice low.

They’re still pressed up against the ugly pea soup coloured car, still clinging to one another. Dean thumps his forehead against Castiel’s chest and blushes when Castiel presses a soft kiss to his head.

“I’ll text you,” Dean says as he straightens. He takes a step back and feels Castiel’s arms loosen around him until they’re no longer touching.

“Okay,” Castiel agrees, but makes no move to retreat to his own car.

Dean unlocks the Impala, eyes never straying from Castiel’s as he sinks into the driver’s seat. He waits until Castiel turns and heads for his own car before starting the engine and driving home, singing along to his Zeppelin cassette the entire ride.

Chapter Text

Dean and Castiel text non-stop over the next few days. Sometimes it delves into flirting, bordering sexting, other times they just talk about their day or their apparent shared love of Vonnegut. Dean was shocked to find out that Castiel had never read Breakfast of Champions and insisted he needed to immediately.

The day after Castiel had texted and told Dean he’d bought a copy and was only a few chapters in but already could tell it was going to be a good one.

You could’ve borrowed my copy, Dean texts back.

The reply chimes immediately: Well you didn’t tell me you owned it!

Dean laughs as he types: Ya, ya, blame it on me.

CAS: Oh, I do.

DEAN: I’m overwhelmed with guilt.

CAS: Is that sarcasm?

DEAN: Maybe a little?

Dean sits staring at his phone, mind wandering back to their date and replaying the heated kiss in the parking lot. His fingers hover over the keyboard as he debates with himself for the millionth time in three days.

“Fuck it,” he says out loud.

DEAN: Wanna come over tonight? Dinner and a movie?

CAS: I’d love to. I’ll be over after work. Around six?

DEAN: Perfect. See you then.

He has nearly four hours until six o’clock. He rifles through the kitchen, trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. He decides to use the rest of the fresh vegetables in his fridge to make soup and starts chopping.

Once everything is simmering in a giant pot on the stove Dean turns on some music and sets to tidying up the apartment. He dusts, vacuums, polishes, and scrubs until everything is spotless, but his place is tiny and it doesn’t take much time at all. There’s still over an hour until six so Dean checks the cupboards and grabs everything he needs to make a fresh loaf of bread.

At a quarter past six Castiel still hasn’t shown. Dean tries to occupy himself, but he’s already cleaned everything and ends up fiddling with the throw pillows on the couch: flipping them one way, pacing from the living room area of his studio to the kitchen and back again, only to fluff and flip the same pillows back the way they had been before.

The buzzer sounds when Dean’s head is in the oven, checking on the bread, and he nearly burns his scalp when he jumps.

“Coming,” he calls even though he knows he can’t be heard all the way on the ground floor.

Dean slips off the oven mitts, rushes to the door and presses a finger to the call button. “Hello?”

“Hello, Dean.”

His voice crackles over the shitty speaker, but it still manages to make Dean’s knees weak.  “Hey, Cas. C’mon up.” He lets Castiel into the building, then does a quick once over of the spotless apartment.

A flurry of bees is making a hive in Dean’s stomach. He shifts his weight from one foot to the other as he stares at the chips and cracks in the wood grain of the door, waiting.

There’s movement in the hall and he tenses when three knocks rap against the wood, stirring the bees in his stomach. He takes a deep breath, smooths out his t-shirt, and opens the door.

Castiel stands silhouetted by the dim light of the hall. His hair looks as if he’s run his fingers through it a time too many, and—unlike the last two times Dean saw him—he’s wearing comfortable-looking dark jeans that shape his thighs nicely paired with a loose-fitting knitted sweater that swallows him up, making him look smaller.

“Hi,” Dean breathes.

“Hi.” Castiel tilts his head after a moment. “Are you going to invite me in, or did you plan to have dinner in your hallway?”

Dean blinks and hurriedly ushers Castiel inside his apartment with an apology.

“I’m the one who should be sorry,” Castiel says as he shucks off his thin, grey jacket. Dean takes it from him and hangs it in the closet, wondering where the usual trench coat is tonight. “I’m sorry,” Castiel says again, “I should have texted to let you know I was going to be late.”

“It’s all good.”

Dean leads Castiel further into the apartment, pointing out his room, which is just a small corner of the studio sectioned off by a tall bookcase that’s stocked with more movies than books. He points out the bathroom, barely big enough to fit all the essentials but functional and circles back to the living room that blends into the kitchen in one open space.

The openness of the apartment had always made it seem bigger to Dean. Growing up he had shared a room with Sam and he had roommates all through university. This is the first space Dean’s had all to himself and it’s more than big enough for him, but now it seems less open and more…empty.

“Have you lived here long?” Castiel asks as he looks around.

“Yeah, about four years. Why?”

Castiel shrugs. “It’s not what I pictured your home looking like. There aren’t very many personal touches. It looks…unlived in.”

Considering it now, the only thing that’s truly Dean’s is the stacks and stacks of movies, so many that they don’t all fit on his bookcase room divider. There are neat piles on the floor by the shelf and even more stored in the TV console and underneath his coffee table. He has an equal amount of romance and action movies, plenty of horror and a few westerns, all slowly collected throughout the years.

When he was young, Dean used to take whatever spending money he had to second-hand stores and rifle through the endless shelves of old movies. If he had any money left over he’d stop on his way home to get snacks for him and Sam to binge on while they watched Dean’s newest find.

His boxes of movies were the only thing Dean had to unpack when he moved here. All the furniture in his apartment was bought for him and delivered the day he moved in. The kitchen had already been stocked with all the necessities, either left by the previous tenant or acquired by Alastair, Dean still isn’t sure. Even the walls are the same standard eggshell white, bare of any posters or pictures.

Dean mirrors Castiel’s shrug in answer and leads him to the kitchen so he can take the bread out of the oven before it burns. “Just have to wait until this cools, then we can eat.”

“You made bread from scratch?”

“Uh, yeah,” Dean says as he sets the pan on a cooling rack.

“That’s impressive.”

“Nah, it’s nothing; bread’s easy. Croissants though, those are a bitch.”

“So, you like to bake?” Castiel leans against the counter opposite Dean.

“Yes,” he says, tone harsher than he meant.

Castiel frowns and Dean rubs at the back of his neck, darting his eyes away. He knows what people think of men who bake. He used to hide it, especially from his dad, but he’s developed his skills in the kitchen all on his own and he’s proud of it.

He straightens and squares his shoulders. “Baking, cooking, anything in the kitchen really. It’s relaxing. When I’m in the kitchen everything else just sort of fades away and the only thing that matters is the dish I’m making or the dough between my fingers.”

“I think it’s admirable that you’ve found something you’re so passionate about: especially baking. I’m useless in the kitchen. I follow the recipe to the letter and still somehow manage to mess it up.”

“It’s not about following the recipe. I mean, it is, but…” Dean trails off and shrugs, “I don’t know how to explain it.” He pauses. “I could teach you some recipes sometime, if you want?”

The smile he gets from Castiel makes the bees in his stomach dance restlessly.

“I’d love that.”

They fall into a conversation about the recipes Dean first learned to make and how he’s altered them throughout the years. Dean dishes out two bowls of steaming soup and cuts off generous hunks of bread while Castiel sets the table.

As they eat Castiel’s praise of the food and Dean’s cooking skills is constant and Dean soaks in it. It’s been so long since he cooked for someone and it makes him swell with pride that Castiel is enjoying it so much.

The accompanying sounds of approval coming from Castiel as he spoons soup into his mouth or chews on the fluffy, still-warm bread…well, they’re just an added bonus, and if the noises coming from his kitchen are in any way borderline pornographic, Dean doesn’t comment, nor does he mind.

They sit at the table talking well after both their bowls have been emptied. Eventually, though, Dean grabs the dishes and gets up from the table, depositing them into the sink for later. “Sorry I don’t have anything for dessert. The cupboards have nothing but dust in ‘em right now.”

“I think I can find it in my heart to forgive you. But only on the condition that you have microwave popcorn for the movie.”

“Dude, no.” Dean scrunches up his nose. “That microwavable shit is the worst. It’s not even real butter. I do have everything we need to make air-popped popcorn though.” He digs around in the cupboard and brings out a container of kernels. He chuckles at the face Castiel pulls. “Trust me; it’s so much better than that artificial crap.”

“If you say so,” Castiel says, but he doesn’t sound convinced.

“Go pick a movie while I make the popcorn.” Dean waves Castiel towards the living room.

Castiel goes in search of a movie, and Dean sets to making the best popcorn he’s ever made. He fills the machine with kernels and a few minutes later he has a giant bowl overflowing with light, fluffy popcorn, smothered in salt and melted butter. He grabs a handful of napkins and meets Castiel in the living room.

Dean finds him sitting on the floor in front of the shelf, mulling over two movies in his hands. Dean watches as he moves, his knitted sweater shifting and revealing a sliver of tanned skin that appears even darker against the cream of the wool.

“I can’t decide.” Castiel turns to Dean and holds up The Outsiders and Dirty Dancing. He looks small sitting cross-legged on the floor, blue eyes wide and innocent as he blinks up at Dean.

His whole life Dean has been a caretaker, a protector, but it still shocks him when he looks down at Castiel sitting on the floor, head tilting slightly as he inspects each movie, and feels this sense of protectiveness come over him.

It doesn’t matter that Castiel can take care of himself, has proven his strength to Dean numerous times already: Dean wants to ensure that nothing bad ever happens to Castiel if he can help it.

Dean sets the popcorn on the coffee table and clears his throat. “Swayze, good choice.”

“I haven’t seen either of them.”

“Seriously? You’ve never seen Dirty Dancing? It’s like…a classic.”

Castiel shrugs. “I’ve never been a big movie buff.”

“That settles it, then.” Dean takes the DVD out of Castiel’s hand. “It’s entirely unacceptable that you haven’t seen the Swayziest of Swayze movies.” His joints crack when he squats to put the disc in the player.

“Mmm, you were right, this is better than microwave popcorn.”

Dean turns to see Castiel seated on the couch, a handful of popcorn on the way to his mouth. “Hey,” he cries, and Castiel looks up at him, halting the popcorn in its tracks, “Not until the movie starts.”

Castiel maintains eye contact as he slowly raises the handful of popcorn and shoves it into his mouth.

Dean rolls his eyes but can’t keep the smile from his face when he says, “Fine, but I’m not making another bowl when we run out before the movie even starts because you can’t control yourself.”

The couch sinks under his weight when Dean plops down next to Castiel after turning off the light and casting the room into darkness, illuminated only by the glow of the TV.

As the movie starts Dean becomes painfully aware of the amount of space between him and Castiel. There’s nearly an entire couch cushion separating them, but he can feel every shift the body next to his makes, smell the sweet scent of his deodorant when he leans forward for another handful of popcorn, hear the crunch as he chews. He’s barely paying attention to the movie at all; he’s too focused on Castiel.

Dean swallows and tries to turn his attention back to the movie: on screen, Baby carries a watermelon into a room full of couples dancing. Patrick Swayze makes his entrance a minute later, and Dean tries to keep focused on the TV, only he’s become hyper-aware of Castiel sitting next to him and every little noise or movement draws his attention back.  

As Castiel leans forward to reach for the popcorn bowl on the coffee table Dean does the same, intercepting him and brushing his fingers over Castiel’s knuckles. He looks up from their hands to see Castiel turn his attention from the movie to their hands, then up to meet Dean’s eyes. He opens his mouth as if to speak, but Dean withdraws his hand quickly and turns back to the TV.

A few minutes later, Dean reaches for popcorn again and uses it as an excuse to shift closer, eliminating some of the space between them. He feels Castiel shift to look at him, and tenses slightly, but after a moment Castiel looks away again.

Dean’s just contemplating doing the same move again when Castiel goes for more popcorn, and it’s him who’s scooting closer to Dean this time.

They turn and stare at each other and Dean’s glad the lights are off because he’s positive he’s blushing the brightest shade of red. He takes a breath and closes the rest of the distance until their legs are pressed together. That simple contact sends a rush through Dean. His fingers tingle with it and he craves more.

His mind is made up as soon as he feels Castiel’s hand rest lightly on his thigh, just above his knee. Dean shifts and Castiel’s hand withdraws so fast it blurs, an apology falling from his lips. Dean doesn’t say anything, just moves his body so his head is resting on Castiel’s chest. After a moment, a hesitant arm wraps around his back.

In the movie, Johnny presses Baby’s hand to his chest and together they feel his heartbeat. Dean gasps quietly as soft fingers brush over his side, tracing patterns over the fabric of his shirt. He listens to Castiel’s heart beating steadily under his ear, feels the rhythm of each breath as he relaxes against Castiel.

The rest of the movie passes in a blur, and Dean realizes he’d fallen asleep for large chunks of it, roused only by Castiel shifting occasionally. The credits start rolling and he looks up when fingers card smoothly through his hair. Castiel smiles down at him.

“Sorry.” Dean stretches as he yawns. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”

“I don’t mind. You must’ve needed the extra sleep.”

Dean rubs at the back of his neck as he sits up. “Not really, you just make me feel…”

“I make you feel what, Dean?” Castiel’s voice is a breathless whisper as he regards Dean, pinning him with the weight of his gaze.

“Safe,” Dean confesses, looking up at Castiel through his lashes.

Something flashes across Castiel’s features, but before Dean can even begin to guess what it means Castiel surges forward and into Dean’s lap. He wraps a hand around the back of Dean’s neck, using it to pull him into a kiss. Dean groans when he feels Castiel nip at his lower lip and Castiel uses the opportunity to press his tongue into Dean’s mouth, tasting of butter and salt.

Castiel breaks the kiss too soon, using the hand tangled in the hair at Dean’s nape to pull his head to the side, baring his throat to lick and suck a dark bruise there.

Dean grinds up against the thigh between his legs. He can feel himself growing hard as Castiel bites harshly at his neck, soothing it with his tongue afterwards. Dean grasps at Castiel’s back, fingers twisting into the thick sweater when he feels Castiel grinding back against him.

He wants to laugh; he hasn’t had a make-out session this dirty since he was a teenager and he came in his pants. God, he’s been missing out. He sighs Castiel’s name and thinks belatedly that he’s pretty close to coming in his pants right now, drying humping Castiel’s leg.

Dean pulls Castiel’s face away from his neck and kisses wetly along his jawline, making his way slowly back to his lips. They pause for a moment, staring into each other’s eyes, breathing hard, before their tongues meet again. A growl reverberates through Castiel’s chest when Dean grabs his ass and pulls him down, grinding up at the same time.

“Cas,” Dean whispers against his lips as he gyrates his hips. He’s getting close, can feel himself hurtling towards the edge of release, but the friction isn’t enough. He needs more. “Cas,” he says again, voice breaking on the single syllable.

“What do you need, Dean? Tell me.”

“More,” Dean breathes, tasting the hot air between them, “Need more.”

“So good, Dean. You’re so good.”

Dean chokes at the words, can barely breathe as Castiel pushes his tongue in alongside Dean’s own once more until he feels dizzy.

“Gonna come in your pants? That’s so hot, so—shit—” Castiel’s hips stutter and he inhales on a low, rumbling chuckle. “God, look at us. You’re driving me absolutely crazy.”

Dean only looks up and locks eyes with Castiel, doesn’t need to look down to see the evidence of how affected Castiel is right now, can feel it pressing against him insistently. Castiel’s eyes are blown wide, and a fine sheen of sweat dots his forehead.

He reaches a hand out to trace the firmness of Castiel’s length through his jeans, wishing he could touch and taste the real thing without any of these confining layers separating them.

“Come, Dean. Come with me.” Castiel tugs Dean’s hair harshly and bites against the pulse point in his neck as he grinds down hard and comes, his hips moving in short thrusts, groans muffled against Dean’s skin.

Dean follows only seconds later, Castiel’s name falling from his lips as the pain of teeth in his shoulder tips him over the edge.

He grunts when Castiel’s full weight collapses on top of him. He rolls until they’re lying down on the couch, tucked close together in the small space.

Dean pants shallowly against Castiel’s neck, running his hands up underneath the sweater to caress heated, sweat-slicked skin. Castiel hums quietly and continues peppering kisses to Dean’s neck and collarbone.

They lie together for a while, content in the silence between them as they come down. Eventually, Castiel shifts and Dean reluctantly lets go.

“I feel gross,” Castiel says as he sits up.

Dean grimaces when he follows Castiel, feeling his release sticking to him in his soiled underwear. He sticks his tongue out, “Yuck.”

Castiel chuckles at him. “Can I use your washroom?”

Dean points him in the right direction and waits until the door shuts to go to his room and clean himself up. He shucks off his soiled clothes and wishes he had a real bedroom with a door and some privacy. He wipes himself down hastily with his already disgusting underwear before pulling on a pair of sweatpants, mulling over what just happened, how Castiel made him feel safe and unsure at the same time. It was both scary and exhilarating. They haven’t even had sex yet, haven’t known each other for even a week and already Dean is falling for him.

He sits on the edge of his bed as he considers this. Feelings are…unsafe. At least with Alastair he doesn’t have to worry about getting his heart broken. Broken ego and bones, sure, but those are less painful and heal quicker. Those he can deal with.

Thinking of Alastair completely washes away the post-orgasm haze of happiness he had been clinging to. It reminds him that he is still very much owned by Alastair and that he can’t be with Castiel even if that’s what they both want.

The date seems silly now, even entertaining the idea that he could have something that makes him happy. Alastair could have shown up at any time tonight, as he does sometimes. Sure, Dean can’t remember the last time Alastair had set foot in his apartment; mostly he calls Dean to his place for a quick round of harsh fucking and harsher words, but on occasion he pops into Dean’s apartment seemingly just to shatter the false reality he’s created in the confines of his tiny apartment, to remind Dean of what he is. Alastair could have sauntered in and seen them grinding on each other on the couch. He would have seriously hurt Castiel.

A pit of uneasiness settles in Dean’s stomach and he decides he needs to get Castiel out of his apartment as quickly as possible.  He needs to put aside his selfishness. He can’t risk Castiel getting hurt because of him.

The bathroom door opens and Dean listens to Castiel’s light footsteps pad back towards the living room. He takes a breath and steps out of his room. Castiel is sitting on the couch, munching on what’s left of the popcorn.

“This is really good,” Castiel says before shoving another handful into his mouth when Dean enters.

Dean smiles, but sobers quickly, realizing he’s supposed to be kicking Castiel out. He collapses onto the couch next to Castiel, who turns, still chewing, his cheeks puffed out like a hamster. Dean laughs despite himself.

“Dean, I think—”

“Cas, you have to—”

They start at the same time and break off with a smile and overlapping apologies.

“You first,” Castiel says, extending a hand towards Dean.

“I—” He wants to know what Castiel was going to say, but tells himself it doesn’t matter; Castiel has to leave either way, and it’d probably be best to make it so he doesn’t want to see Dean again. He has to do it now, he knows, before he gets even more attached. Though even now he thinks it might be too difficult.

“Okay,” he says and takes a deep breath to calm himself, but can’t bring himself to look at Castiel as he says it. He looks down at his hands instead. “Cas, you gotta go. I—I can’t see you anymore.”

“Dean.”

He opens his eyes when he feels a hand grip his wrist lightly. The panicked look on Castiel’s face makes his stomach clench and sends a wave of guilt washing over him. Didn’t he just decide that he wanted to protect Castiel? An hour later and he’s already broken that promise by hurting Castiel himself.

No, Dean thinks, I’m doing this to protect him. He’s in danger if he sticks around.

“If this is about what just happened, I’m sorry. I can honestly tell you I did not plan to go that far, but you—I care about you—a lot—even though we’ve not even known each other a week, I find myself thinking about you while I’m at work, smiling at the texts we send back and forth, looking forward to the next time I get to see you.”

“Cas,” Dean’s head hits the back of the couch hard, “It’s not—that’s not it.” He rolls his head to the side so he can watch Castiel out of the corner of his eye, “If Alastair finds out, if he saw us, he’d hurt you. I don’t know how far he’d go; I wouldn’t put murder past him. But I can’t be the one responsible for getting you hurt.”

Castiel’s face hardens at the mention of Alastair but softens as Dean continues. He rubs soothing circles on Dean’s thumb and sighs, “This is actually what I wanted to talk about.”

“About Alastair beating you to death?”

Castiel huffs out a laugh and rolls his eyes, “No, Dean, I wanted to discuss your relationship with Alastair.”

“Oh,” is all Dean can manage. He draws back, out of Castiel’s grip.

“I know your relationship with him is complicated. He’s not your boyfriend, but he is your Dominant, and I don’t feel comfortable pursuing a relationship with someone who is already committed to another.”

“Are you asking me to break off the arrangement I have with Alastair?”

“I’m saying that I care about you greatly and I want to continue this, and explore what we have, but I won’t jeopardize my morals to do so…or any more than I already have, at least. I don’t share, Dean, so if you’re with me, you’re with only me.”

Dean groans at the possessiveness in Castiel’s voice. It shouldn’t turn him on: he’s dealt with Alastair’s jealousy, the wrath that it rains on Dean’s head when another man or woman leans in too close at the bar, or even if someone stares too openly during one of their performances. But there isn’t any anger attached to Castiel’s possessiveness.

“I want that,” he whispers, afraid to even think it, let alone say it out loud. “I want that so badly, Cas.” Castiel nods, encouraging Dean to continue. “But I can’t leave him.”

“You deserve so much better, Dean. There is an endless supply of Doms out there that would love to have you as their submissive, myself included. It doesn’t have to be me…I mean, if it’s me that’s the problem, if you don’t want me like that I could set you up with one of the people I know. You deserve to be happy, and to have someone that would cherish you and treat you as more than just their plaything.”

“That’s all you see me as, too, then? A plaything?”

“No, Dean, of course not. That’s not what I meant. Alastair doesn’t treat you with any respect. He treats you like an object rather than a person. You don’t have to stay with someone like that; you have options.”

“It’s not as easy as you think, Cas. I’ve been with him for nearly four years, and—”

“Four years?” Castiel cuts in.

“Yeah, he found me while I was still in university, just about to graduate. I went out with a couple friends to celebrate and ended up hooking up with Alastair. After a few months I realized how hard it was to get a job and was running out of money fast, trying to live on my own and pay back my loans. Then Alastair said he’d take care of it, but of course there was a catch.”

Dean laughs humourlessly. “There’s always a catch. And I’ve been his sub ever since, a rented whore living in a glorified cage. He pays for everything: rent, groceries, clothes…and in exchange he’s got me at his beck and call.” He twiddles his fingers in his lap, unwilling to look at Castiel as he tells him the truth. “So no, I can’t just leave him. Much as I want to. I’m not sure he’d even let me leave at this point.”

Castiel is staring at him, dumbfounded. “I’ve never heard of him keeping the same submissive for more than a year, at the very most.”

Dean’s not sure what to make of that. He doesn’t know if it’s a good or bad thing he’s lasted longer than anyone else.

“I’ll help you get back on your feet. I’ll help you find a job, a place to live. I’ll lend you some money until you can support yourself again.”

“How is that any different from what I have now?”

Castiel flinches, hurt flashing across his face. “Please don’t compare me to him. It’s not the same and you know it.”

Dean’s stomach churns at the sound of Castiel’s voice cracking, can’t stand that he’s the source of his pain. He wants to reach out and reassure him, run his fingers through his dark, unruly hair. He clenches his fists and averts his eyes to control himself.

They sit in silence for a long minute, but he can feel Castiel shifting next to him on the couch, can hear him breathing, can still taste the salt of him on his tongue.

Dean knows he has to leave Alastair, knows this either ends with him dead on the streets or dead at the hands of Alastair. “It is the same, Cas,” Dean says. The words cling to his throat, unwilling to come out. He swallows and forces himself to finish. “I’d just be your pet instead of his.”

He hears Castiel’s draw in a breath, but can’t bear to face him. He keeps his head down as Castiel’s weight lifts from the couch.

“You don’t need to be alone, Dean.” Castiel’s voice is barely a whisper but it sounds razor sharp in Dean’s ears. “Not everyone is as corrupt as Alastair. There is good in the world. There is hope.”

Dean stays silent as Castiel collects his coat from the closet and leaves, the door sounding like a gunshot as it clicks shut with finality. He collapses on the couch and falls asleep hours later with tear-stained cheeks.

Chapter Text

Dean hasn’t spoken to Castiel since ruining their date a few days ago and Castiel hasn’t reached out to him either. Dean hadn’t really expected him to after the things he’d said to him, but his mood still dropped every morning he woke up and didn’t have the texts he’d grown accustomed to waking up to the past week.

Alastair hasn’t called Dean to his apartment either and Dean finds himself wishing, for once, that he had at least the distraction of Alastair’s whip, his flogger, anything. His skin itches; he needs to be punished for how he treated Castiel, but he can’t—won’t—reach out to Alastair and he doesn’t know any other Doms. He doesn’t want any Dom other than Castiel and that thought only makes Dean ache for punishment that much more.

He’s gone back and forth in his head too many times to count the past few days: stay with Alastair, or finally bite the bullet and leave, hope Castiel will forgive him and see where the relationship leads. He’s picked up his phone to text or call Castiel multiple times, but never follows through.

Would Castiel even want someone like Dean? He had said he wanted Dean the other night, but Castiel doesn’t really know him. Dean’s a broken shell of who he once was. He comes with a lot of baggage and he’s not a great sub. Castiel seems like the kind of Dom that expects the highest quality of submission. Dean’s certain he doesn’t fit the bill.

So instead, he drowns under wave after wave of self-pity for days, barely getting out of bed, eating only when he feels he’s about to pass out, and even then only the few stale snacks he has in the pantry.

He had tried to be productive and do laundry, but then he found the discarded underwear from that night, stained with dried come, and he just stood there, holding them, overwhelmed with guilt. He knows he’s being pathetic: he’s the one that drove Castiel away. He hadn’t even known the man long enough to warrant this level of mourning.

But Dean doesn’t care for reason, cares only about the broken sound of Castiel’s voice after Dean had said things he didn’t mean, had said specifically to hurt. And now he needs to feel the sting of a whip or the burn of a flogger, needs to feel something other than this overwhelming numbness. He needs to atone for what he’s done, and if no one else will then Dean’s going to take matters into his own hands.

Dean’s apartment is bare of whips, floggers, and paddles. Everything kink-related is stashed at Alastair’s, so he goes to the bathroom and grabs his razor. He tries to get the little bit of sharp metal to come out of the plastic shell, but can’t figure out how. He thinks maybe if he angled it right he could open up a nice cut on his thigh, imagines the blood welling up and dripping onto the floor. He imagines the pressure flooding from his body with his blood.

The razor clatters to the tiled floor of the bathroom and Dean crashes down after it, tears streaming down his face as he sobs silently. He’s not even strong enough to do this. God, he’s pathetic.

His phone chimes in his pocket and he digs it out quickly. He’d been hoping for a text from Castiel, but his face falls when he reads a list of instructions from Alastair. Dean had completely lost track of the days. It’s a good thing Alastair texted or he’d have spent the night under the covers.

Sure enough, his phone informs him it’s Saturday: the day he and Alastair perform at the club. His stomach clenches though because Alastair never gives him instructions. He always just expects Dean to meet him there.

Instructions mean the performance is going to be tough, especially if Alastair wants Dean to prep himself beforehand and show up wearing a plug. Alastair never asks him to wear a plug; he prefers to do all the prep work himself so he can fuck Dean while he’s still too tight, so it always causes Dean pain or at least discomfort. Alastair says he likes the noises Dean makes when it hurts a little too much.

Panic swells, rising quickly, and he’s texting Castiel before he can think better of it.

DEAN: Will you come tonight?

He doesn’t have time to worry. The response is immediate.

CAS: Of course.

His panic lessens with the assurance that Castiel will be there. But it’s more than that: Castiel agreeing to come means that he doesn’t hate Dean, that Dean hasn’t driven him away completely. Maybe they still have a chance. He picks himself up off the floor and showers to get days’ worth of sweat and grime off and start preparing for the night.

Before he leaves, Dean forces himself to eat something more substantial than stale crackers or a granola bar. He knows he shouldn’t scene on an empty stomach—he probably shouldn’t scene even then with the state he’s been in the past few days—but the itch is still there, the need to right his wrongs through punishment and prove he’s of some worth.

****

Dean walks into the club half an hour early after sitting in the parking lot, gripping the steering wheel tightly and trying to calm his nerves for fifteen minutes. Tonight wasn’t going to be easy. He came to a decision on the short drive to the club and he’s run through different scripts in his head so many times he’s sure as soon as he opens his mouth a jumble of words is going to tumble out.

Dean spots Castiel immediately. It’s as if he’s attuned to his position at all times. He smiles as he walks over, coming up behind Castiel without being seen and leaning in close to whisper, “Fancy meeting you here.”

Castiel stiffens in his seat but relaxes when he turns and sees Dean standing behind him, smiling softly.

“Listen, Cas,” Dean starts, rubbing at the back of his neck nervously.

“Dean, it’s fine.”

He opens his mouth to insist, apology poised on the tip of his tongue. He needs Castiel to forgive him, to understand why he said the things he did. But looking down at Castiel now, Dean sees the understanding in his eyes. Dean relaxes and smirks at Castiel to lighten the mood. If all really is forgiven he doesn’t want serious Cas. He wants fun, playful, flirty Cas.        

The stools on either side of Castiel are taken, so Dean leans in against the bar next to him, so close their sides press together. The rest of the tension drops out of Dean’s shoulders at the contact. His heart warms when he sees Castiel’s hand wrapped around a glass of scotch, the same drink he’d ordered for him the first time they met.

The bartender walks by and Dean grabs his attention to order a whiskey.

“You shouldn’t drink if you’re going to scene,” Castiel chastises.

“It helps calm me down.” Dean grasps his glass tightly when the bartender slides the drink towards him. He stares into the dark liquid and twirls it around so it splashes against the side of the glass, but doesn’t make a move to take a drink.

Castiel watches him closely. “I’m not your Dom, Dean.”

The words are like a knife in Dean’s side, slicing up his ribs and making his breath wheeze out in a pained gasp. “I know,” he manages, clutching his drink so tightly he thinks the glass might shatter in his hand. Had he read the signs wrong? Did Castiel really not want to be with him?

“What I mean is that it doesn’t matter what I prefer. You are your own man and I have no control over you: nor does anyone else—without your say so—for that matter. But the point is that you can drink the whiskey if you want to. I’m not going to stop you and this club doesn’t have a drink limit for people participating in scenes.”

“Other clubs have a drink limit?” It had never really occurred to him before. He’d always had at least a good buzz going before any of the performances he and Alastair did to help settle his nerves.

Castiel nods. “Most clubs have a one or two drink allowance and after that you get an ‘x’ on your hand to show you’re not permitted to scene. Some clubs have a zero alcohol tolerance and have a juice bar instead.”

“Makes sense,” Dean says, staring into his drink thoughtfully, “I’m still gonna drink this, though. Plus, I’m not scening with Alastair tonight. I only came here to break it off with him publicly where he can’t…make a scene.” He twirls the whiskey in his glass before lifting it off the bar. “Liquid courage.” He tips his glass in salute before tilting it back and feeling the alcohol burn a trail down his throat, warming him from the inside. He sets the glass back on the bar-top with a dull clunk, drowned out by the murmur of voices in the club.

Castiel is staring at him with wide eyes, his mouth slightly agape before Dean’s words fully sink in and he’s breaking into a wide smile. But Dean still has business he needs to deal with before he can take part in Castiel’s excitement.

“Cas,” Dean starts, “I know you said it’s fine, but it’s not. I—I didn’t mean what I said that night.”

“I know, Dean, it’s all right.” Castiel places a hand on Dean’s shoulder, his thumb brushing against skin where the sleeve of his t-shirt ends. He backs out of Castiel’s hold and turns to face him directly.

“I need to say this, okay? I need you to know.” Dean pauses, waits for Castiel to nod, and continues, “I was scared. Hell, I still am. I’m scared shitless of what Alastair will do if and when he finds out because he doesn’t share either, only his possessiveness scares me whereas yours…” he trails off, cheeks flushing, unwilling to admit just how much Castiel affects him.

He takes a breath. “But what scares me more is whatever the hell’s happening between us. I’m scared of how much I want this, more than I’ve wanted anything in a long ass time. And I don’t want to let this slip away. I don’t want to lose you. I want to give this a shot, I want to be happy damn it and I’m so bad at this and I’m just rambling nonsense like an idiot.”

Dean closes his eyes against the stare Castiel has pinned on him. He counts the seconds as they tick by, growing more and more worried the longer Castiel remains silent. Dean worries he said too much, sounded too desperate and turned Castiel off.

He doesn’t know Castiel all that well yet and can’t read him the way he can read Alastair. He knows by the slightest shift in posture when Alastair is angry or displeased. But with Castiel, he has to guess what he’s feeling and it unnerves him, not being able to anticipate. 

“Okay, you can say something now.” Dean tries to sound casual, but his voice wavers and he still refuses to open his eyes. “Please tell me I’m not an idiot and read the signs wrong. Tell me you want this as badly as I do.”

He doesn’t know what he’ll do if Castiel rejects him now. Probably throw himself on the stage to be at Alastair’s mercy until he beats the life out of him.

Dean smells the scotch on Castiel’s breath before he hears him say, “You’re incredible.” And Dean opens his eyes and Castiel is smiling at him, reaching out to rest a hand on Dean’s waist, and when Dean doesn’t protest the touch, pulls him closer until he’s nearly in Castiel’s lap in the middle of the bar.

“So, what d’ya say, Cas?” Dean asks. He leans in close to whisper his next words in Castiel’s ear, “Wanna be my Dom?” He flicks his tongue out to lick the shell of Castiel’s ear, pauses to nibble at the lobe when he groans.

“I say that sounds amazing,” Castiel sounds breathless and it makes Dean flood with warmth, “But I’d rather be your boyfriend.”

Dean pulls back a little so he can look at Castiel. “Really?” Dom was one thing: Dom was sex and submission and no strings attached. Boyfriend? Boyfriend meant commitment, feelings, and everything Dean was afraid of. He doesn’t not want that, but hearing Castiel say out loud unsettles him.

“Well, look at what we’ve got here.”

The voice that comes from behind Dean is like ice water shocking his system. He goes rigid in Castiel’s grip. He doesn’t want to turn around, isn’t ready to go through with probably the hardest part of this night. But he does turn, glad that Castiel keeps his arms wrapped around him. It feels safe, like maybe he can face Alastair. With Cas. His boyfriend.

“I’m glad you’re here, Castiel.” Alastair crosses his arms across his chest and looks down at Castiel and Dean as if they were dirt beneath his boot.

Castiel stands so that he and Alastair are eye-to-eye. “I don’t believe we’ve actually met.” His voice rumbles through Dean’s chest. He clutches tightly at Castiel’s arm still wrapped around his waist.

“No,” Alastair agrees, “we haven’t. Not in person. Though I have had quite the eyeful.” He turns his gaze to Dean’s shocked expression. “You didn’t think I’d let you have your own apartment without keeping an eye on you, did you? Of course I’d set up cameras to make sure my pet is behaving.” He clucks his tongue, “Aw, don’t give me that look.” His laugh sends nausea rolling through Dean.

How many times had Alastair watched Dean in his apartment, doing everyday things? Masturbating? Cuddling with Castiel on his couch and dry humping until they both came? Dean turns wide eyes to Castiel. He’s going to think Alastair put him up to it, that it’s all a part of his fucked up games.

“Cas, I swear I didn’t know.” But Castiel won’t look at him. Dean’s not even sure he heard. “I swear I didn’t know,” he repeats, and Castiel runs a soothing hand up and down his arm.

Alastair’s voice draws Dean’s attention again. “And here I thought I was through with you. I thought you’d finally been broken beyond repair, and then you go and surprise me.” Dean glares at him. “Look at that face. That is not the face of a broken man: I’ve still got work to do.” The smirk on Alastair’s face can mean nothing but trouble for both Dean and Castiel.

Dean yanks on the sleeve of Castiel’s jacket to get his attention. “Let’s just leave.” He turns to Alastair, forces himself to look him in the eye and not back down. “In case it wasn’t obvious: I’m through with your shit, okay? We’re done, so you can fuck off now.”

He expected it to feel like a weight being lifted from him after finally standing up to Alastair, but instead he feels the need to apologize immediately for his outburst to avoid Alastair’s anger. His instinct is to fall to his knees and beg for Alastair’s forgiveness and it makes him sick that he has to restrain himself from sinking to the floor.

Anger flares through Dean, mostly anger at himself, but he uses it to his advantage and turns it towards Alastair. He just wants to leave with Castiel and never come back to this disgusting place. He waves his hand, shooing Alastair, but a strong hand grasps his wrist and tugs him from Castiel’s hold.

“And what, little whore,” Alastair sneers, “makes you think that decision is yours to make?” Dean shouts and tries to wrench himself free of the iron-strong hold Alastair has him in, back pressed flush to his chest so all the thrashing in the world won’t do him any good.

He looks up at a harsh grunt from Castiel and sees two men are working on subduing him. Dean recognizes them as Alastair’s henchmen, or that’s always how he always referred to them anyway. Four years Dean has been with Alastair but not once has he ever heard him use either of these men’s names. But they seemed to follow Alastair wherever he went, never straying too far.

The henchmen were always hovering on stage or close to it during Saturday performances. They always drank with Alastair at the bar. On more than once occasion Alastair let them use Dean. Seeing them pin Castiel’s arms behind his back, Dean redoubles his efforts to get away from Alastair.

The scuffle has drawn the attention of nearly everyone in the club. Heads turn to watch the altercation play out but none of them step in. Dean has never hated this club more.

Dean throws his head back and feels it connect with Alastair’s chin, making his grip loosen enough for Dean to jolt forward and out of Alastair’s grasp. He reaches for Castiel, but the men are dragging him farther away, Castiel’s shoes scrambling for purchase on the beer-slicked floor.

Fingers wind into the back of Dean’s shirt and yank, fabric tearing. He stumbles and falls against Alastair’s body and nearly retches when he feels the hard length of his erection pressing against him through both their jeans.

Dean loses sight of Castiel as the crowd closes around them and he wails pathetically, wriggling in Alastair’s grip.

“Hush now, pet.” Alastair’s voice turns soothing, a mockery of the term, as he runs his fingers down Dean’s chest. “I’ll fix that attitude of yours.”

Chapter Text

“My, have I got a treat for you today,” Alastair addresses the crowd that’s gathered around the stage.

Two of Alastair’s henchmen are arranging Dean into position in the center of the stage where wooden stocks have been secured to the floor. One holds Dean still while the other opens the stocks and then he’s being bent over at the waist until his neck and wrists are resting in the open semi-circles. The top half of the wooden contraption is quickly closed over him and latched into place.

Dean watches through blurry eyes as two different men hold Castiel firmly at the very front of the stage. He tries to turn his head, to look away from Castiel’s angry stare, but he’s held fast.

Panic and adrenaline fuel Dean’s fight as he thrashes against his bonds, howling wordless cries that get swallowed up by the excited murmur of the crowd. To them, this is just another Saturday night performance. The wooden device creaks with Dean’s effort, but ultimately stays put.

“Tonight we will all bear witness to what happens when a sub forgets his place, when a sub has the audacity to whore himself out to other men.” Alastair slaps Dean across the face to get his attention. “You want to be a whore? I’ll show you what it’s like to be a whore. Then maybe next time you’ll think before betraying the only person in your life that cares enough to put up with your whiny, pathetic bullshit. The only person who’s bothered sticking around.”

Dean’s breath catches in his throat as tears burn tracks down his cheeks. His torn shirt is cut away from his body and his pants follow, pushed down to his ankles where his shoes and socks are slipped off. He tries kicking out, to at least get a good hit in to the guy’s face, but fingers dig into his skin painfully, holding him still until all his clothes are stripped away.

“No.” Sobs wrack his body and make his words come out in hoarse whispers. “Please don’t.” God, Alastair’s right: he’s pathetic. Nothing’s even happened yet and he’s already crying, snot streaming from his nose, choking on pleas for mercy.

Rough hands are on his ass cheeks, kneading and spreading him wide. Alastair clicks his tongue disapprovingly as a thick, calloused finger circles Dean’s hole. “Too bad you didn’t follow my instructions, pet. Because I’m not prepping you any. I’m not going to lay a single finger on your defiled body tonight. You’ll be at the mercy of anyone here who wants to try out one of your slutty holes.”

Dean feels a hot breath against his exposed skin and he realizes that one of Alastair’s men is on his knees behind him. He flinches when Alastair claps his hands loudly right next to his ear. “All right, you heard me: who wants first taste of my disobedient submissive?” Several men are up on stage before Alastair finishes speaking.

The hot breath on his hole turns into a warm, wet tongue slurping at the tight ring of muscle. Dean clenches as a last ditch effort to keep the tongue out, but the guy is persistent and only presses harder. Men are crowded around his body now, fisting their hardening dicks.

He shakes his head in short jerks, looks out at the crowd, “Please stop this,” he begs, “I don’t want this.” A few of them look concerned, but most of them are just aroused. The concerned onlookers dwindle when Dean chokes out a moan as the man tonguing his ass slips in a finger at the same time as he plays with Dean’s balls.

No matter how hard he tries, Dean can’t help but focus on the unblinking blue eyes staring up at him. “Don’t watch, Cas. Please, please.”   

“Don’t you dare!” Alastair’s voice cuts over the chatter of the audience as well as the wet noises and deep grunts Dean doesn’t want to think about. “If you so much as blink I will get my knife. You will watch this, or I will cut him every time I see your eyes closed. Take responsibility for your actions, Castiel.”

Castiel is blocked from Dean’s view and he has only a second to be relieved before he sees a fat, angry-looking cock in front of his face. He screws his mouth shut and tries to avoid the persistent cockhead pressing against his lips.

A hand plugs his nose and Dean holds out for as long as he can but his lungs burn and when he eventually sucks in air through his mouth, the man pushes forward. He gags on it as the man fucks into his mouth, hitting the back of his throat. Spit leaks from the corners of his mouth where he’s split wide to accommodate the thick dick spearing in and out.

There’s a soft hand on Dean’s flaccid cock and then he’s being enveloped by a warm mouth with plush lips, licking up the length before sucking him down. The man working his hole has three fingers in him now, but the only thing Dean feels is the harsh burn of it.

There are too many sensations assaulting his body. With this many hands, tongues, and dicks touching him he can’t slip away into the corner of himself like he usually does during the performances. He’s forced to stay present and feel everything.

The man in his mouth stills and comes with a grunt. Dean spits the release on the floor when he withdraws. He’s panting, sweat soaks his hair and runs along his neck down his back.

The fingers withdraw from his ass and he feels the blunt head of a dick press against his slick hole. Dean shuts his eyes so tight he sees white spots in the blackness.

He lets out a litany of “No no no,” and thrashes violently in the stocks.

Alastair is in front of him when he blinks his eyes open, holding a hand up to pause the man behind Dean who has a tight grip on his hips, ready to piston into his unwilling body. “Do you see what disobedience gets you? Do you see now how caring I have been to you?”

“Fuck you,” Dean growls.

Alastair nods his head and Dean feels himself being breached. There’s no lube and the spit from the man rimming him isn’t enough. He screams until it peters out into sobs that shake his entire body in its bonds and he’s pretty sure he’s hyperventilating as he cries out, “Cas,” in the most broken-sounding voice he’s heard in his life, but he can’t bring himself to give a damn.

Castiel suddenly slumps in the steady grip of the two men still holding him, and then immediately bucks, throwing his whole weight into as he breaks free of one surprised tower of a man. He uses the momentum to punch the man still holding him hard enough that he stumbles and loses his grip. Castiel vaults onto the stage.

All movement stops abruptly, the participants not sure what to make of the crazed-looking man with wild eyes and even wilder hair poised on the edge of the stage.

“Do something, idiots,” Alastair growls, but no one moves.

Castiel turns to the people watching. “This man did not consent to this scene.” He points back at Dean. “You are all witnessing an act of rape. By standing here as passive observers you are liable as accomplices to this crime.” Everyone stands dumbstruck, unmoving. Castiel’s voice is low and commanding when he says, “I suggest you leave now before the authorities arrive.”

The crowd stirs at the mention of police and a few people start filing for the exit, though most remain where they are, some looking annoyed at the pause in the show, and some even yelling to get on with already.

Dean wants to amend his earlier statement: now he’s never hated this club more. How can these people just stand here and watch? How can they be aroused by something this horrible? It makes him sick thinking about how much time he’s spent here in the past few years. It makes him sicker still thinking about all the times he actually enjoyed it.

Castiel’s back is turned to Dean, still facing the crowd, so he doesn’t see the man come up behind him. Dean does and tries to warn him, but a stinging slap lands across his cheek so hard he bites his tongue, tasting blood. Castiel turns at the sound, right at the moment the man throws a punch.

Dean watches as Castiel’s eyes go wide in shock right before he hears the sickening thunk of knuckles colliding with bone and Castiel crumples, his head connecting with the floor of the stage as he goes limp. Dean tries again to break free of the stocks and cries out Castiel’s name.

“You weren’t supposed to knock him out, idiot,” Alastair says, “That defeats the whole point of this little demonstration.”

He leans down and sneers at Dean, gripping his chin tightly and getting so close Dean has no choice but to meet his eye. “Well, maybe not entirely.” He directs Dean’s attention to Castiel lying unconscious on the stage in front of him. “Do you really think he’s going to want you after this?”

Dean spits, his saliva tinged with blood where it lands on Alastair’s knuckles and despite the situation and the position he’s in: people staring at his naked body, a stranger’s cock twitching in his ass, he’s embarrassed by the weak glob of spit that barely makes its way out of his mouth for how drained he is.

The sneer falls from Alastair’s face, his grip on Dean’s jaw turning bruising. He smears the spit on Dean’s cheek and backs away. “Seems like the lesson still needs to be drilled in.”

With that, the man behind him starts thrusting again. Dean tries to stay silent, but the rough dryness of it draws groans of pain from his throat.

The men that had remained circled around Dean on the stage fisting their cocks draw closer now, rubbing themselves over Dean’s bared body.

He wishes he could withdraw into himself, into that small corner of his mind, as he feels ropes of warm come splatter on his body: his back, running down his side, along his thighs. It seemingly drives the man in his ass over the edge as he’s pumped full. The man pulls out and it drips out of him and mixes with the release running down his thigh.

Dean is actually slightly grateful for the come slicking the way when he’s breached again. This one is thicker and made of rubber. Long nail scratch down his back and Dean sighs with it as a hint of pleasure seeps through the pain. Catching sight of Castiel’s body lying limp on the floor Dean feels instantly guilty for even that single second of pleasure.

He loses track of time, of how many dicks have been in his ass, in his mouth, thrust against every part of his body, but he's eventually let out of the restraints.

One of Alastair’s lackeys has to lift him out of the stocks and Dean drops to the come-covered floor when his legs can’t hold his weight. He shivers on the stage as come dries in patches on his body.

Rough hands grip Dean under the arms. He groans in protest, but he’s too tired and too defeated to put up a fight as he’s dragged across the club.

Chapter Text

Castiel wakes with a massive headache. There’s a cool hand smoothing the sweat-coated hair from his forehead and he blinks his eyes open slowly to see a round face peering down at him, haloed by a wave of soft brown hair. Her eyes are pinched with worry, and she offers a small smile when Castiel blinks up at her.

And then everything streams back into Castiel. He sits up in a rush and immediately doubles over, groaning and willing himself not to throw up on the lady’s shoes.

“Hey, easy there, you hit your head pretty hard.” The woman grabs his arm to steady him. Her palm is cool against his sweaty skin and he sighs.

Castiel closes his eyes and tries to push past the pain he feels shooting through his head, jaw, neck…pretty much every inch above his shoulders. “You might have a concussion, you’ll probably want—”

“Dean,” he croaks, tasting blood. Probably his split lip reopening. “Where’s Dean? The man that was on stage. Is he okay?”

“He’s…” the woman hesitates and Castiel risks the shooting pain to straighten. The comforting coolness of the woman’s touch vanishes as she draws back. Castiel rolls his shoulders and that hurts too. “He’s okay,” the woman says finally, “They, uh, continued after you blacked out, and Alastair—”

“Where is he now?” Castiel cuts in, “What did Alastair do?”

“Afterwards, Alastair dragged him towards the private rooms. He came back out not long ago without Dean, and now he’s just sitting at the bar drinking, so I guess Dean’s still in one of the rooms back—Hey, wait,” she calls, but Castiel is already up, standing on unsteady feet.

The woman glances over at the bar and Castiel follows her gaze to find Alastair sitting on a stool near the end of the bar, laughing and clapping the man beside him on the back. “Shouldn’t you call the cops or something and let them handle it?”

“Probably,” Castiel murmurs, but he’s already moving in the direction of where Dean was last seen. He turns back to the woman who looks so young and innocent in her frilly pink babydoll and soft makeup. “Thank you,” he says, his voice sounding too loud in his own head.

“Be careful. I may not look like much, but if you run into trouble I can throw a pretty mean punch, so just holler.”

Castiel is immensely thankful for her kindness. He feels lightened as he turns and makes his way towards the back of the club. He keeps an eye on Alastair as he moves, wary to stay hidden behind the bodies of other people milling about or dancing to the loud music.

The hallway of doors leading to the private rooms isn’t far and Castiel makes it there without incident, but stops in his tracks when he realizes he doesn’t know which one Dean is in. It looks like the rooms are only locked by deadbolts, not number pads like at most other clubs, so theoretically Castiel could force his way into a room without the key.

He inspects the lock of the door closest to him and is appalled to find that it’s not even a deadbolt: it’s only a knob lock. All he’d need to do would be stick a fingernail or something in the little slit in the doorknob and twist until it unlocked.  How this club has managed to stay open is a mystery to Castiel, but at this point he doesn’t really care: once he gets Dean out of here he’s never setting foot in the place again.

But first he has to figure out which room Dean is trapped in. He lifts a hand to knock at the first door, prepared for the trial and error approach, when he hears a door further down creak open. Castiel looks up to see a man step out of a room further down the hall. He recognizes him as one of the men who had held him while Dean was violated on stage. The man closes the door behind him but doesn’t bother locking it.

Castiel quickly ducks out of sight, turning his back to the hall, hoping to look like just another patron and escape notice. He waits, shoulders tense, listening for the man’s approach. A minute ticks by and still the man hasn’t passed him, so he slowly peeks around the corner and sees the man halfway down the hall, leaning against the wall with his arms folded across his chest.  

“Shit,” Castiel swears under his breath. He watches the man stand unmoving and at this point Castiel’s not even sure the guy’s breathing, he’s so still. He swears again. There’s no way he could even get close to the man; he’d be recognized before he could do anything. He’s not even sure what he would do if he did get close enough.

A shrill ringing echoes down the hall and Castiel watches the man dig a phone from his pocket. Castiel’s skin is itching from standing immobile so long. He wants to rush down the hall and push the bulky man out of the way, wants to get a few good punches in, actually. But he forces himself to be patient.

The man waves his hands in the air dramatically as he talks, and a minute later he’s shoving his phone back into the pocket of his jeans. He wipes a hand over his face and starts walking down the hall. In Castiel’s direction.

Castiel turns quickly and waits for the man to pass him. He’s completely still when he feels the floor tremble beneath him under the weight of heavy boots, but as soon as the man whisks past Castiel is down the hall in a flash, opening the now unguarded door without pausing.

His eyes lock onto the hunched figure at the other end of the room. Castiel stands in the doorway watching Dean, naked and chained to the wall. The short length of chain is connected to a thick metal collar wrapped snug around Dean’s neck.

Castiel watches the muscles of Dean’s back move as he tries to pry the chain from where it’s secured to the brick wall, desperately yanking his head back at the same time, so frantic he hadn’t heard Castiel barge in, hadn’t even flinched when the heavy door slammed against the wall.

Over the sound of his own ragged breathing Castiel can hear Dean gasping for breath, choking and coughing like an avid smoker with only one lung. Even from the other side of the room Castiel can see the angry redness on Dean’s neck from how hard he’s pulling away from the unrelenting chain. He snaps out of his momentary stillness. If Dean keeps it up he’s going to hurt himself…more than he already has.

“Dean,” Castiel calls softly as he takes a few steps forward, but Dean doesn’t stop. “Dean.” Louder this time, and Castiel watches, worry lines breaking out over his face as Dean’s movements slow and then pause. He calls again and this time Dean whips around.

“Cas,” he breathes, barely a whisper as he looks up through red, puffy eyes.

Castiel frowns at the bruising around his left eye and cheek. His heart clenches when Dean lets go of the chain and lifts his arms to Castiel, beckoning him, and Castiel knows then that he can never deny Dean of anything. Wouldn’t want to, even if he could.

He sinks to his knees in front of Dean, who wraps himself around the warm comfort of Castiel’s body, pulls him tight against his own naked flesh. Castiel moves to shrug his coat off, but is stopped by Dean’s unhappy grumble that reverberates its way through Castiel’s chest.

Castiel acquiesces and instead runs his hands up and down Dean’s back, careful of the still-healing whip marks scattered there. The salve seems to have worked because he feels along one of the worse gashes and sighs when he finds only a thin, raised scab.

Dean’s fingers find their way to Castiel’s hair, smoothing over his scalp, and he relaxes into the touch until he realizes what Dean is doing.

“I’m fine,” Castiel assures him, pulling back despite Dean’s disapproval. He offers a small smile when he looks down at Dean’s unconvinced face.

“You didn’t hear the crack when your head hit the floor,” Dean pouts. His voice is low and grumbly, like he’d set up a blender inside his own throat.

Castiel grimaces as his headache pulses insistently through his skull. “We have more important matters to deal with right now.”

Dean’s eyes flick to the doorway.

“Alastair’s at the bar. He left a guard by the door, but he got a phone call and stormed off.” Castiel leans forward to run his fingers along the metal at Dean's neck, searching for a clasp or lock. “I don’t want to stick around until our luck runs out.”

“I tried to get it off already. Alastair has the only key. I could pick it if I had anything, but…” he shrugs. “He could come back any minute. You should just leave. I got you into this mess, but you can leave, get out now before something worse happens. It was stupid of me to think I could just leave Alastair.”

Castiel catches Dean’s eye and says, “I am not leaving here without you.”    

After a moment Dean nods in response, the chain clanking loudly behind him at the movement.

“What do you need to pick the lock? I’m sure I can find something.” Castiel shucks off his coat as he stands and hands it to Dean, who smiles gratefully and drapes it across his body.

“Anything thin and sturdy enough to stick into the lock. Check the side tables.”

Castiel keeps an eye on the door as he moves briskly across the room, but the only thing in the drawer is a crumpled condom wrapper and a layer of dust.

“Try the closet,” Dean suggests, tilting his head to the right, “see if there’s any wire hangers. Those’ll work.”

Sure enough, there is a row of empty metal hangers in the closet. Castiel grabs one and hands it over to Dean who quickly bends the hook and sets about picking the lock on the metal collar.

Dean’s hands shake as he fumbles with the wire between sweaty fingers. Castiel wants to reach out and soothe the tremors, but holds himself back, watching quietly as Dean breathes out slowly and closes his eyes, calming himself enough to work the lock open. They both gasp when they hear the mechanism click and the collar falls away.

Castiel does reach out then and rests his fingers lightly against Dean’s arm. Dean jolts back and away from the touch. He looks away and clears his throat, rubs at the back of his neck and winces.

“Does it hurt?” Castiel asks. There’s a thick circle of angry, reddened flesh around Dean’s neck from the collar.

“No.” Dean stands, pulling on the trench coat and tying it around himself tightly. “Let’s get the fuck outta here.”

Castiel nods and leads the way, pausing in the doorway to look down the hall. Thankfully, there’s no one in sight. He turns back to Dean, who’s huddling close behind. “There’s a fire exit at the end of the hall. The alarm will go off as soon as it’s opened, but it’s our best bet right now.”

They hustle out of the room and down the hall. Castiel doesn’t hesitate, just pushes the door open and they’re embraced by the frigid night air, the alarm sounding loudly behind them, alerting Alastair and everyone else in the club of their escape.  They rush down the alleyway at the side of the building and out to the parking lot, slipping into Castiel’s car and speeding away from the club.

“Take the next right. My apartment’s a few blocks down.” Castiel doesn’t slow, instead barrels through a yellow light, hands tightening on the wheel. “What the hell, man? You missed the turn.”

“We’re going to the police station.”

“No, we’re not.” When Castiel just keeps speeding down the street Dean raises his voice, “I’m not going to the police. They’re not gonna do anything anyway; there’s nothing to report.”

“Seriously?” Castiel glances Dean’s way. “You think there’s nothing to report?”

Dean makes a non-committal noise.

“Rape, Dean. That’s what happened back there. You didn’t consent to that. You explicitly told them to stop. We’re reporting that and sending the police after Alastair. With any luck, that club will finally get shut down as well.”

“No.”

Castiel can feel the anger radiating off of Dean. He slows to the speed limit and casts worried glances across the car to his passenger, who’s digging his nails into the meat of his palm.

“They won’t see it as rape,” Dean says, “Alastair and I weren’t in a relationship, really, but the kinds of things that go on in that club, in the BDSM community, the police are just gonna think that it’s part of the lifestyle.”

Castiel’s not sure Dean sees it as rape either, and that bothers him more than not going to the police. He knows in the back of his mind that Dean’s right, knows that going to the police will do little good if Dean is unwilling. That doesn’t mean he likes it. He wants to see Alastair behind bars, not trolling the streets for his next victim.

“No police,” Castiel says eventually, “but you still can’t go back to your apartment.”

“What?”

“That’s the first place he’ll look. Besides, you said it yourself: he pays the rent. Do you really think he’ll continue to do so after tonight?” Castiel glances at Dean from the corner of his eye. His brow is furrowed in anger as he stares at Castiel. “He certainly isn’t done with you. He made that much abundantly clear. You can stay at my place until…You can stay with me.”

“Okay,” Dean says after a minute, “can we at least swing by so I can grab some of my stuff?”

“It’s not worth the risk.”

Dean throws his hands up. “There is no risk. Alastair’s still at the club, we’ve got a head start on him, enough that I can run upstairs and throw all my shit in a bag and be back out before he even thinks about coming after me.”

“No.”

Dean’s voice rises in anger. “So, what then? I just hole up in your apartment for…how long? A week? A month? Because if I know anything about Alastair it’s that he hates losing, and hates being made a fool of. Even if he stops looking for me he won’t forget. If he ever sees me again I’m as good as dead, and the city’s only so big; we’re bound to run into each other eventually.”

Castiel groans and rests his head against the steering wheel as he pulls to a stop at a red light. When he lifts his head he says, “If you can tell me there is zero chance of Alastair or somebody else already lying in wait at your apartment then I’ll turn around.”

Dean glowers at Castiel, opens his mouth to speak, but promptly shuts it and instead folds his arms across his chest and presses his cheek against the cool glass of the window.

The rest of the ride to Castiel’s apartment is passed in silence. When Castiel parks the car he glances at Dean, his face still pressed to the glass, shallow breaths making puffs of fog on the window.

They make their way up to Castiel’s apartment, still silent. When Castiel holds the door open for Dean and he enters the apartment they’re still silent, and Castiel is starting to worry. Dean isn’t usually quiet for this long. He ushers Dean into the apartment and flicks on the lights in the entryway.

“Dean?” In front of him Dean stands shivering with his back to Castiel, arms wrapped around his middle, still naked under the tan trench coat. He turns at the sound of his name, and Castiel’s gaze is drawn down. “You’re not wearing shoes.” Dean looks down too, wiggling his toes in the plush rug in the front hall of Castiel’s apartment.

He shrugs, the fabric of the trench coat hugging his shoulders as he does so. “Left ‘em at the club with the rest of my clothes.” He wiggles his toes again. “I liked those boots.”

“You’re shivering. I’ll run you a bath.” Castiel slips off his shoes and rushes to the bathroom.

Dean follows behind him a minute later, sinking down on the closed lid of the toilet as Castiel fiddles with the knobs on the tub until it’s the perfect temperature.

“I don’t like to be taken care of,” Dean says quietly, his voice barely audible over the rush of water pouring from the faucet. He fingers the ties of the coat still secured around him. “I mean, I do, in a sense I guess, but not—I don’t want you to think I’m weak.”

“You are not weak.” Castiel’s knees creak when he stands. He wipes warm water on his slacks to dry his hands before stepping closer to Dean and holding his head gently in his palms.

Dean looks up at him, looking so small sitting there swallowed up in Castiel’s trench coat. “If that were true you wouldn’t need to keep rescuing me. That seems like all our relationship has been: me being the damsel in distress waiting for you to come to my aid.”

“I think our relationship has been a lot more than that. Plus, I don’t mind being your knight in shining armor.”

Dean stares at him a moment, then they both burst into laughter.

“Please tell me you did not just say that.”

“Just trying to release some of the tension in here.”

Dean smiles at Castiel and some of the tension does ease from his body. Castiel clears his throat and gestures towards the door. “I’ll bring you a towel and some clean clothes.”

He closes the bathroom door gently behind him and retreats to his room to dig out some clothes for Dean. He rummages through his drawers and settles on a soft t-shirt and a pair of dark sweatpants.

The thought of Dean wearing his clothes sends butterflies fluttering through Castiel’s chest and he sits at the edge of his bed, wondering how Dean has managed to squeeze his way into his life so firmly.

The past week, after their movie date at Dean’s place, Castiel had been somewhat of a mess. At work he couldn’t focus, and at home he lay on the couch with his phone in his hands, debating whether or not to reach out to Dean.

Dean made him feel uncertain, made him nervous the way he used to feel talking to his crush in high school. He felt giddy with excitement whenever a text chimed on his phone, or whenever he got the privilege of seeing Dean’s face light up in true, unbridled happiness.

He had thought it would take more time to heal, that he wouldn’t be ready for another relationship for quite some time, but Dean makes him feel secure, and a whole barrel full of emotions he hasn’t felt in a long time.

Castiel pushes himself up from the bed and grabs a big, soft towel from the hall closet, then knocks at the bathroom door. He can still hear the water running, filling the tub. Dean calls him in from beyond the door.

When Castiel enters, Dean is up to his chin in the tub. He catches himself staring and averts his gaze from Dean’s naked body, distorted beneath the rippling water. His trench coat is neatly folded on the lid of the toilet and he can feel Dean’s eyes on his back as he bends to pick it up, replacing it with the towel and change of clothes.

“I’ll just be…out there,” Castiel hooks a thumb over his shoulder, “if you need anything.”

“Thanks, Cas,” Dean says with a soft smile.

Castiel tilts his head unconsciously, uncertain of the source of admiration in Dean’s voice, or the haunting look in his eye. “Of course, Dean.”

Chapter Text

Despite the thoughts racing through his mind, sleep came to Dean quickly after his bath. The warm water had soothed his aching body and afterwards Castiel had shown him to the guest bedroom before excusing himself to get ready for bed himself. The night had taken a lot out of both of them.

Dean’s been awake for the past hour now though and he’d slept nearly to noon. His stomach is grumbling angrily at him to get some food, but for the past five minutes he’s just stood staring at the wood grain of the door of his temporary room.

He hears Castiel moving around the apartment every so often, glass clinking in the kitchen, water running in the bathroom: Dean listens to Castiel go about his morning routine, stalling for as long as possible.

On the end of a deep breath, Dean shuffles out of the room in borrowed clothes he hopes Castiel will let him keep. They’re comfortable, if a little too big, and smell like lavender detergent.

Castiel is seated at the counter in the kitchen, leaning over a steaming mug of tea and reading a book that Dean can’t make out the cover of as Castiel bends the pages back on themselves.

“You’ll crack the spine like that,” Dean says as he enters the kitchen.

Castiel startles and some of his tea sploshes over the rim of the mug and onto the counter. “Dean. You’re awake. How are you feeling?” He dog-ears the page he’s on, making Dean cringe, and sets the book down. The pages don’t want to stay put after Castiel’s mistreatment and they flip back open.

“I made breakfast.” Castiel glances at the clock on the stove and frowns. “But that was a few hours ago. The food’s probably no good now. I can make something else, if you like? I have bagels, eggs, uh, some leftover chili, I could make nachos, or…”

“I’m fine, Cas,” Dean cuts in, “I just wanted to come say thanks for, y’know, everything, before I left.”

“You’re leaving?”

“Yeah, I mean after last night…” he trails off.

Castiel comes around the counter until he’s right in front of Dean. “Where will you go?”

Dean looks away from the split lip Castiel is sporting, away from the bruise on his cheek. He’s responsible for that. He’s the one that got Castiel hurt. “I don’t know, I—”

“You can’t go back to your apartment and you don’t have a job so you can’t afford to rent a new place.”

“I know that—”

“Then what exactly was your plan, Dean?”

“I don’t know, okay?” Dean yells, “But I’ll figure something out. Always do. Better than…”

“Better than what?”

“Better than you letting me stay here out of pity—”

“Dean,” Castiel breathes quietly.

“—and being reminded every damn day that…that I can’t have you. That I messed this up.” He gestures between them.

Do you really think he’s going to want you after this? Alastair’s words taunt him.

Castiel reaches out, but Dean backs away from his touch. “What do you mean?”

“I mean after last night we’re done, right? You’re done with me.” Dean can feel the sting of tears behind his eyes and he curses himself for crying so easily, but he feels so defeated. In a matter of hours, his life has been upended. He’s not sure what he’s supposed to do now.

“Dean, you have me. I’m not going anywhere, all right? Why would you think any differently?”

Dean shrugs, looking at his feet as they shuffle on the tiled floor of the kitchen instead of at Castiel. He sees Castiel’s socked feet shift closer and then he’s surrounded by the warmth of his arms, pulling him tightly against his chest. He melts when Castiel presses a kiss to his forehead.

“What is it? Where is this doubt coming from?”

“You were there last night. You saw what happened. How could you still want me after that?”

“None of what happened yesterday was your fault, Dean.”

“I’m not good,” Dean mumbles against Castiel’s chest, “I’m…tainted.”

Castiel’s arms tighten around Dean almost painfully and then he lets go, pulls back until he can look Dean in the eye. “I wish you would believe me when I tell you this: you are not perfect, no, but no one is. Your worth is not defined by how others see you, or what traumas you’ve endured. Your worth is defined by how you engage the world, your actions. Even if you can’t see it right now, you are good, pure-hearted and worthy of so much. I’m going to make it my mission to make you see just how much.”

Dean stares into Castiel’s eyes, seeing only adoration reflected back in the endless blue. And then they’re leaning towards each other and Castiel presses a chaste kiss to Dean’s lips. He’s been craving harsh touches from Castiel, wants to see his more dominant side in action, but the gentleness Castiel treats him with is just as good. Maybe better. He treats Dean like he’s something to be cherished.

“And in case I haven’t made myself clear,” Castiel murmurs as they separate, his eyes tracking the movement as Dean’s tongue darts out to lick his lips, “I still want this, still want you. Nothing that happened last night has changed anything.”

“Can we start over?” Dean asks, a shy smile playing on his lips as he steps out of Castiel’s embrace.

“And lose the time we’ve shared already?” Castiel shakes his head. “No, definitely not.”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“Mmm, and now you’re stuck with me,” Castiel says with his back turned to Dean as he grabs his mug of tea.

Dean presses himself against Castiel’s back and wraps his arms around his middle, nuzzling into his neck. “Perfect.” He lays a kiss to the back of Castiel’s neck. “Now, you said something about nachos?”

“I think it’ll be a little hard to manoeuvre the kitchen with a Dean attached to my back.”

“You’ll make do.” Dean breathes in the scent of Castiel as he presses a trail of kisses along the back of his neck. He smells like lavender and soap and Dean wants to soak as much of it in while he can.

Castiel huffs and lays a hand over Dean’s, fingers splayed across his stomach. “Come on, grab the cheese and salsa from the fridge.”

Dean grumbles but detaches himself from Castiel to get the cheese, salsa, and a bowl of chili from the fridge. “Chili nachos,” he says excitedly and sets his items next to the bag of tortilla chips Castiel took from the cupboard.

The anxiety that had been bubbling inside Dean eases away as he grates cheese over a layer of chips. Castiel loads on the chili and they add a few banana peppers and some green onion, then stick the heaping pan of nachos into the oven.

They had come to a silent agreement not to discuss the previous night, but Castiel winces when he runs a hand through his hair during lunch and Dean frowns at him. “You sure you don’t need to go to the hospital?”

Castiel shakes his head. “Just a little sore.”

Dean tries to ignore the pained noises that slip out of Castiel occasionally when he leans forward for a nacho or twists his neck too much.

After they’re done and the dishes are put in the dishwasher Dean asks Castiel if he has a computer. Castiel produces a bulky laptop that splutters to life with loud whirring noises. Once it finally loads up Dean clicks the browser icon and makes a mental note to install an anti-virus program and clean out the laptop.

He types into the search bar “how to tell if you have a concussion” and clicks the first link that pops up. He reads through the list and looks up from the screen to where Castiel is reading, folded in a position that can’t be comfortable.

“Hey, Cas?” Dean calls. Castiel takes a minute to look up from his book, but Dean chalks it up to him finishing reading the sentence he was on rather than a delayed response due to a head injury. “Do you hear that ringing noise?”

Castiel is silent as he tilts his head and listens, and eventually says, “No.”

“Oh. Okay, never mind then.”

He’s pretty sure Castiel has a headache, if the Advil he took with lunch is any indicator. He had lost consciousness after being hit, but Dean’s not sure if that counts or not. His speech hasn’t been slurred. “Appearing dazed” Dean reads and huffs quietly. Castiel sometimes seems as if he’s on another planet entirely.

“Cas?” Dean calls again a few minutes later. “Do you feel nauseous at all?” He looks down at the laptop screen. “Or did you vomit at all since last night?”

Castiel looks puzzled, eyebrows drawing together as he looks at Dean, and then he glances at the computer perched on Dean’s lap and chuckles. “Dean, I’m fine. Really.”

Dean frowns at him. Castiel is his boyfriend; he’s allowed to be concerned.

Boyfriend. The word makes him giddy. Thinking of Castiel and the things he wants to do with him. And it surprises Dean a little that most of these ideas aren’t sexual. Sure, there are a few dozen of those as well, but what Dean really wants is shockingly PG.

He wants to make breakfast in bed for Castiel, wants to stay up all night talking and go for walks down the forest trails at the edge of the city. He wants to show Castiel how to make his favourite dishes, wants to meet his family, wants to have movie marathons and share theories about Vonnegut books.

He doesn’t want to mess this up.

Castiel’s voice breaks his reverie, “All right, let’s go through the rest of the symptoms then.” He closes his book and sits up properly in the armchair.

Dean turns back to the screen. “Confusion or feeling as if in a fog.”

Castiel shakes his head.

“Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event.”

“I definitely remember everything up until that brute of a man punched me and then everything after waking up on the floor.”

Dean grimaces as memories of last night swirl through his mind. He wishes he had amnesia. He pushes the memories away and continues with the list. “Dizziness or seeing stars. Fatigue.”

“No dizziness, a little fatigued.”

Dean nods and scrolls down. “Are you having problems with concentration or memory?”

“The only thing causing my concentration problem is you constantly interrupting me.”

“Sorry,” Dean mumbles.

“Dean, I’m joking.”

“I’ll just put a check mark next to ‘irritability.’”

“Whatever,” Castiel huffs in mock anger and rolls his eyes but can’t keep the smile from his lips.

“Sensitivity to light and noise?”

Castiel thinks on it a moment, then reaches back to flick on the lamp beside him.

Now it’s Dean’s turn to rolls his eyes. “I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to look directly at it.”

He rambles off the rest of the symptoms: “Sleep disturbances. Psychological adjustment problems and depression. Disorders of taste and smell,” all of which Castiel says no to.

“Are you content now in accepting that I don’t have a concussion?”

“Yeah, I guess. But it says that some symptoms can take a few days to show up, so...”

“Well for now, at least, can I go back to my book?”

“Just tell me if anything changes.”

The rest of the afternoon is spent in relative, comfortable silence with light music drifting from the laptop speakers as Castiel reads his book and Dean attempts to make the computer run a little smoother. He deletes nearly all the icons on the desktop after showing Castiel how to find the programs and then makes a ‘bookmarks’ page for him. It’s nice having a project to keep him occupied.

They order in for dinner, flipping through the various menus Castiel has in a pile in the kitchen before deciding on Thai. Dean perches himself on the countertop while Castiel calls to place the order.

Barring his doubts from this morning, the day has been perfect. Dean had been apprehensive about living with Castiel so soon after entering a relationship with him. He still has doubts, but his walls are crumbling around Castiel. It makes Dean both eager and terrified.

Alastair was nice in the beginning, too. He knew how to put on a good face and lure someone in with promises and sweet words. And then he changed, slowly dropped the façade of the caring lover. It had been Dean’s own fault for ignoring the red flags early on, and it had landed him four years of abuse.

Dean’s already ignored the red flag of Castiel’s possessiveness. He had rationalized that it’s not the same as Alastair, that Castiel would never do the things Alastair did, but Dean begins patching up the cracks in his carefully built walls anyway.

A warm body between his legs snaps Dean back to the present. Castiel runs light fingertips up Dean’s thigh, still clad in the comfortable sweatpants he borrowed, and up his sides.

“The food will be here in forty minutes,” Castiel says, eyes flicking to Dean’s lips, “How will we ever pass the time?”

A shiver runs through Dean when Castiel’s fingers dance up his arms and meet around the back of his neck.

“We could play a board game,” Dean suggests and gasps when Castiel leans in to nip at the hollow of his neck. He tangles his hands in Castiel’s hair and tugs, trying to manoeuvre him to where he wants him.

Castiel hisses in pain and Dean immediately lets go. “Shit, sorry. I totally forgot.”

“It’s okay, just tender.” Castiel offers him a small smile before leaning in close again and trailing his lips up to Dean’s ear. “I’ve got Scrabble,” he says coolly.

Dean thinks that Castiel could say literally anything with that voice of his, could fucking read the ingredients off the box of disgusting high-fibre cereal in the cupboard and Dean would still find it incredibly sexy.

“Nah, I already know you’d win.” Dean can feel Castiel’s smile against his skin when he hums in consideration. He wraps his legs around Castiel’s waist to pull him closer. “We could have hot, dirty sex on your counter.” He ruts up against his body between his legs for emphasis.

“Oh, Dean. What I want to do to you is going to take well over forty minutes.”

“Yeah? And what, exactly, would that be?” Dean tries to sound casual, unaffected, but he’s sure the hitch in his voice gives him away.

“I’m going to wrap you up with rope all pretty.” He traces over Dean’s chest, drawing patterns like he’s mapping out where the rope will bind him. “But not tie you down, ‘cause you’re going to stay nice and still for me, aren’t you?”

“God, yes.”

“I’m going to take my time with you, run my tongue over every inch of your body.” Castiel slips his tongue out to lick a stripe along the side of Dean’s neck. “I’m going to cherish you, Dean, and give you everything you deserve. Gonna open you up slowly, until you’re begging. And then?” Castiel smirks. “Then I’ll keep going until just before you think you can’t possibly take another second of pleasure.”

“Fuck.” Screw dinner, Dean thinks, he wants Castiel to tie him up and drive him crazy right now. “Fuck, Cas, if you keep talking like that I’m gonna come in my pants.”

Castiel groans against Dean’s skin. “Can you? Think you can come just from the sound of my voice? Imagining what I’m going to do to you? Fuck, that’s so hot, Dean. You’re so good, such a good boy.”

The praise sinks bone deep and fills the dark corners of Dean’s body with warmth and light. He ruts up, his hardening length rubbing against the inside of the sweatpants, gaining friction against Castiel’s firm body leaning over him.

“Want to,” Dean pants, “Want to be good for you.”

“Stop moving your hips.” Castiel positions his body away so Dean ruts up into nothing a few times before finally stilling and resting back against the counter.  “Good. Now breathe deeply,” Castiel instructs. He rucks Dean’s shirt up until it’s bunched under his arms. “Focus on your body, on the pleasure coursing through you.”

Dean’s not sure it’s even possible to come on Castiel’s voice alone, but he’s more than willing to try. He lies back fully against the counter, shivering as his bare skin makes contact with the cool granite.

Castiel follows him down, licking and sucking and nibbling on his nipple. Dean’s fingers twitch to tangle themselves in Castiel’s messy hair, but he can’t without hurting him, so they just kind of hang in the air, uncertain. But he needs to touch, needs to feel Castiel. One of his hands grasps Castiel’s bicep and the other scratches over his back, digging his nails in.

It seems to spur Castiel on, groaning and nipping harshly at Dean’s nipple once more before moving on to the other. He skates his fingers along the insides of Dean’s thighs, over the soft material of his sweatpants and Dean spreads wider in invitation.

“When I tie you up the first time,” Castiel muses, his breath blowing warm puffs of air over Dean’s sensitive nipples, “I’m going to bring you to the edge so many times before I let you come. Until you’re past begging, past words, only able to whimper and moan as I take you apart. Until it hurts.”

Dean can’t help but rock his hips, seeking the firmness of Castiel’s body, sweet friction, something, anything.

Castiel noses his way up Dean’s chest to whisper into his ear, the movement slotting Castiel’s body perfectly against Dean’s. “And you’re going to love every second of it.”

“I’m getting close.” He can feel himself throbbing under the sweatpants, leaking drops of precome that smear onto the scratchy material rubbing over his length.

“You gonna come for me, Dean?” Castiel’s fingers tweak Dean’s nipple harshly while his other hand trails light, soothing touches down his chest, the pain perfectly contrasting the pleasure.

He’s right at the precipice of pleasure, about to tip over, but it’s not enough. “I can’t. I can’t, I need—” He doesn’t know what he needs. “More,” he breathes.

“Come on, Dean. You can do it. I know you can.” Castiel tugs Dean’s hair again and dives back down to bite bruises into his neck. “Paint yourself with your own come.”

Dean bucks up into nothing, seeking friction that isn’t there. His cock brushes against the rough material inside of the sweats but it isn’t enough.

“It’s okay, I’ll get you there.”

Castiel’s hand dips into the sweatpants and wraps strong fingers around Dean’s erection. Dean cries in protest and absolute, overwhelming pleasure as he finally gets the friction he needs. Castiel leans down and swallows up his moans, licking into his mouth and sucking on his tongue in the filthiest kiss Dean’s ever been privy to.

It takes barely a minute to tip him over the edge and he’s shooting into Castiel’s hand, his thumb swiping across the head to coax more come from him. He continues to stroke Dean through his orgasm.

Dean’s panting heavily, still blissed out, but hears Castiel grunt a minute later as he comes as well and then the weight of his warm body rests on top of Dean on the counter. Castiel is panting just as hard with his head resting on Dean’s heaving chest, eyes closed.

“Wanted to come untouched.”

Warm air wafts across Dean’s chest when Castiel chuckles. “Another time, perhaps.”

“What, you can’t go another round? We’ve still got like a half hour before the food gets here.”

“Believe it or not, I don’t have the libido of a teenager.”

“Must suck to be such an old man.”

“Watch it,” Castiel grumbles, but the smile on his face lets Dean know he’s not really offended by the comment.

“Cas?” Dean asks after a moment of them lying in silence.

Castiel answers with a hum that vibrates through Dean’s chest.

“How old are you anyway?”

“Older than twenty, younger than forty.”

“Oh, really old then if you won’t tell me.”

Castiel gets up and washes his hands in the sink, scrubbing their combined release down the drain. “If you’re that insatiable I can tie you down with a vibrator in your ass and leave you there until the food gets here.”

A shiver runs down Dean’s spine as he imagines it. “Or we could just make out for a bit?”

Castiel chuckles again and pulls Dean up from the countertop. “You really are insatiable,” he says and kisses Dean chastely.

Dean goes in for more than a quick peck, but Castiel leans out of his reach. He wraps his legs around Castiel’s waist and pulls him closer, but Castiel just scoops him off the counter and into his arms. Dean squawks and wraps his legs tighter around Castiel.

“What, did you think an old man like me couldn’t pick you up?”

“Just warn a guy next time, will ya?”

Castiel walks them to the living room and sinks onto the couch with Dean straddling his lap. They sit like that, slowly making out until the buzzer sounds with the delivery guy calling up to the apartment and Castiel has to untangle himself from Dean to answer the door.

They watch Netflix while they eat; a nature documentary at Castiel’s request. And Dean is surprised to find that it isn’t totally awful. He doesn’t even protest when one episode becomes four and then suddenly they’ve spent the entire evening watching Nature’s Weirdest Events. 

Too soon Castiel is yawning and excusing himself to get ready for bed.

“It’s only ten.” But Dean’s yawning too, trying and failing to stifle it as Castiel rises from the couch.

“I have to leave early for work tomorrow.” Castiel leans down to kiss Dean, a barely-there brushing of their lips that leaves Dean wanting more. “Good night, Dean.”

Dean sits alone on the couch channel surfing as he waits for Castiel to be done in the bathroom. After Castiel retires for the night Dean decides to run himself a bath because the tub is gigantic and his muscles are stiff and aching.

In the quiet peacefulness of his bath Dean’s mind threatens to bombard him with memories of the previous day, drawing up images and feelings he’d much rather forget. He hums to himself until his thoughts quiet and the only sound is the echoed sloshing of the warm water in the tub as he moves.

After his bath Dean is so relaxed that he expects to slip into blissful, dreamless unconsciousness quickly, like last night, but he lays awake in the dark for hours, sleep just out of reach. He tosses and turns, his body sinking further into the plush mattress in Castiel’s guest room. It’s way more comfortable than the mattress back at his own apartment, but as he stares at the ceiling he can’t help but wish he was in his own bed.

Chapter Text

Castiel is gone when Dean wakes up, leaving him alone in the quiet apartment.

His body cracks and complains when he rolls over in bed and his legs get tangled in the warm blankets. He stuffs his face in a pillow and lies unmoving, trying to ignore the aches that pulse through his body. Eventually, when his bladder is about to burst, he gets up and heads to the bathroom.

The air is cold on his bare chest and he turns up the thermostat a few degrees on his way, hoping Castiel won’t mind.

Dean’s brushing his teeth, staring at his blank face in the mirror when a large bruise on his hip catches his attention. His reflection turns and he watches as more dark bruises are revealed. They trail from his hips to his back and reach down past his ass to the backs of his thighs.

He surveys his naked body in the mirror, inspecting the bruises and finger-shaped marks dug into his hips, hissing in pain when he prods at a particularly tender spot. The bruises have gotten worse, turning from pink and red to a deep purple.

The gashes from Alastair’s whip have healed quickly, at least. Castiel’s salve was truly magic and now the crisscrossing marks remain as stubborn, itchy scabs to remind Dean of his failure as a submissive. He’s just glad that they don’t open and bleed everywhere anymore.

That first night he met Castiel seems so long ago now. Dean still doesn’t really believe he’s free of Alastair, but he’s happy to live in momentary bliss before it all comes tumbling down around him.

Dean used to revel in the marks left on him, back when he was new to the scene. Then they were like a reward, a reminder of the praise Alastair gave him for being good. Now, when he looks at them, he only sees the confirmation of his weakness and his stomach twists every time he catches a glimpse of his naked body.

He feels physically sick as he washes his body in the shower, thoroughly scrubbing over the scrapes and bruises that mar his skin. The steady stream of hot water washes away the suds Dean had spread across his body, over all the darkly coloured marks.

Dean closes his eyes as the soap swirls down the drain. He doesn’t want to look at the ugly marks on him. But in the blackness he sees himself tied to a bed frame, choking on pleas for forgiveness while Alastair stands over him, watching his friends taking turns fucking him.

The bruises from that day have long faded, but the memories remain as stubborn scars in his mind.

“Don’t think about it, don’t think about it, don’t think about,” Dean chants to himself, his voice bouncing off the close walls of the shower.

Snippets of different days fly through his mind, too fast and too insistent for him to shut out. The days Alastair would restrain him to the bed for hours, coming in every once in a while to use him. The days Alastair would make Dean beg like a wanton whore in front of dozens of people only to deny him for being too needy. The days Alastair wouldn’t even touch Dean, saying he was too defiled to even lay a finger on.

In his mind Dean hears himself calling out for Castiel, his voice whiny and pathetic as Castiel watches the events play out on that stage, watches as Dean is bent over and taken over and over again. Worse still, watching as Dean gets hard, moans brokenly for everyone in that club to hear. He hadn’t wanted it, but the things done to him on that stage—for the most part—had felt good and Dean curses the betrayal of his own body.

Dean starts singing his favourite Metallica song, tapping his foot on the floor of the shower as he belts out the lyrics to drown out the memories. One song fades into another, chasing away the phantom touches of unwanted fingers and…no. Dean turns his face into the spray of water and sings louder, soapy water dripping into his mouth.

The best way to deal with trauma is to lock it behind a wall and not think about it. If he doesn’t think about, it can’t hurt him. The problem is the memories don’t always stay behind that wall. They slip through the cracks, or bust the wall down completely and flood out all at once.

Dean’s had time to perfect his method, though. He’s been working on it since his mom died when he was young.

It was hard not having his mom growing up, but it was harder on Sam who barely has any memories of her at all, and harder still on their dad. Dean saw his mom’s death weigh on Sam and Dad day after day. So Dean put aside his own grief, hid it behind that wall and put on a brave face. He had to be strong. For Sammy.

By the time Dean steps out of the shower his skin is red and blotchy from the too-hot water and even the plush towel he dries off with is harsh against his skin. He rubs it across his body with more force than necessary just to feel the burn of it against his sensitive skin, gasping in pain but feeling lighter as it overrides his thoughts. He presses against the darkest bruise, chasing the sensation.

The fog from the mirror fades fast and Dean pauses when he sees himself no doubt creating new bruises or at least making the ones he already has bigger. He scowls at his reflection and flees to his bedroom where he covers his body in layers of clothing until the only skin showing is his head and the tips of his fingers poking out of the long sleeves of one of Castiel’s thick turtlenecks.

He’s satisfied when he sees himself in the mirror again, all scars, bruises, and marks completely covered. Out of sight, out of mind.

Castiel comes home at five, as promised, and Dean rushes to greet him with a kiss, pulling him into the apartment while he’s still trying to hang his coat in the front closet.

“How was work?”

“Long. Tiring.”

Dean situates them on the couch, lying with his head in Castiel’s lap, looking up into tired eyes as Castiel smiles down at him and runs gentle fingers through his hair. Dean hums happily. He closes his eyes, getting lost in the sensation.

“It’s a nice change,” Castiel says after a moment, “coming home to someone.” Dean feels a warmth settle over him at the comment. “What did you do all day?”

“Had some me time. Watched Netflix and had a nap.” Dean shrugs. “It gets pretty boring without you here.”

“I’m sorry. I wish I could’ve stayed home today, but things at work are crazy right now. I’m surprised they let me leave on time, actually.”

Dean opens his eyes and watches Castiel staring off at nothing, his hand stilling in Dean’s hair. “Hey,” he says, “No more thinking about work.”

They order pizza for dinner and stay on the couch with Dean’s head in Castiel’s lap, talking quietly while they wait for their food, and Dean can think of a dozen places he wants Castiel’s fingers more than in his hair, but for now he’s content to sit peacefully on the couch with his boyfriend.

After they eat, Dean pushes Castiel into the cushions and climbs on top of him. He tastes like garlic and tomatoes when their tongues meet, but too soon he’s pushing Dean away. Castiel says there’s something he needs to do for work and apologizes when Dean pouts. He gives Dean a quick kiss and promises it won’t take more than an hour, and that they’ll do something fun after he’s done.

It ends up taking hours, plural. Dean sits next to Castiel while he works at his desk in the living room. They chat and spend time in each other’s company, but Castiel’s attention is split. Still, it’s better than being left alone in the apartment all day with no one to keep him company other than his thoughts, so Dean can’t really complain.

Their conversation tapers off though, and Dean watches the crease in Castiel’s forehead grow, so he slips into the kitchen and makes a cup of the fancy loose leaf tea that Castiel likes.

Dean comes up behind Castiel and places the mug on the desk. He wraps his arms around Castiel and leans down to kiss along his neck.

Castiel hums and leans into the touch. “You’re very distracting.”

“Take a quick break.” Dean starts working the knots out of Castiel’s shoulders, trying to get him to abandon the pile of papers.

“Thank you for the tea, but I really do need to get this work done before tomorrow to finalize a deal with a client who could bring in a lot of money for the company.”

“Oh. Yeah, okay.” Dean lets his arms fall to his sides and stands behind Castiel, watching as he goes right back to work. “I’m just gonna watch some TV, then.”

Castiel mumbles some wordless grunt of acknowledgement, swallowed up by the thick stack of papers he’s leaning over.

Dean’s not sure at what point he fell asleep, but suddenly it’s morning and he’s waking up in a cocoon of blankets on the plush mattress in his room. He vaguely remembers Castiel shaking him awake late last night and stumbling half-asleep to bed.

It’s still early and Dean isn’t very enthusiastic about spending another day alone in the apartment, so he rolls over, hoping to fall back asleep. But there’s a banging noise from somewhere in the apartment, probably what woke him in the first place, and Dean slips out of bed to investigate.

He finds Castiel rushing around the living room gathering his papers and stuffing them into his briefcase.

Castiel glances briefly in Dean’s direction when the floor creaks under his weight but barely pauses in his hurry to get his things together. “I slept in,” Castiel says, breathless from dashing around the apartment, “I’m late, and I have a meeting with that potential client first thing this morning.”

Dean can’t think of anything to say that would help, so he stays silent, following Castiel to the entryway where he throws his coat and shoes on and rushes out the door with a hasty “see you tonight” over his shoulder.

The mug of tea Dean made for Castiel last night sits untouched on the desk. He dumps the contents down the kitchen sink and washes the few dirty dishes piled on the counter. He doesn’t stop there and soon the entire apartment—save for Castiel’s bedroom, because boundaries—is tidy and Dean is looking for something else to occupy his time other than watching TV.

He ends up going through the fridge and cupboards, throwing out everything that’s expired. He has to empty the trash can under the sink twice because the majority of the food is more than a year old.

Dean wipes sweat from his forehead after the second trek to the garbage chute and does a once over of the apartment. It’s certainly cleaner, though there’s still a lot of clutter. But he’s not about to go through the place and throw out Castiel’s belongings.

The apartment isn’t what Dean had expected from Castiel. When Castiel had driven into this part of the city Dean had expected priceless paintings and chic furniture that cost more than his car. What he found instead is a mishmash of different styles and patterns, as if Castiel couldn’t decide on just one when he was decorating.

The apartment is at least three times the size of Dean’s old studio, but it feels somehow smaller. Castiel has so much stuff that it takes up most of the space. Despite it feeling a bit cramped, Dean feels more at home here than he did in his own apartment the past four years. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that Castiel has the taste of an old grandmother.

The couches look brand new, but Dean swears it’s identical to the one they got when his grandparents passed away. Even the thick curtains have this awful paisley pattern on them. Dean thinks maybe he should check again how old Castiel is.

Dean throws open the ugly paisley curtains to let some light in. He blinks at the sudden brightness and peers down at the city streets below, watching the traffic and the cluster of people strolling down the sidewalk. He can’t remember the last time he went for a walk.

He used to spend days at a time without leaving his apartment. He’d hole up on the couch rewatching old episodes of Doctor Sexy. If he didn’t need groceries there really wasn’t any point in going out. The only thing that got him off the couch was quick bathroom breaks. Sometimes he would make a nest of blankets and pillows on the couch and sleep in front of the TV. And he would sleep a lot, napping in the middle of the day even though he slept for twelve hours that night.

There was nothing to look forward to other than dancing at the club on Thursday nights. Hell, even his Saturday night performances were something to look forward to when he spent days alone. He craved human contact. Any way he could get it.

It would be nice to get out and explore this part of the city. At the very least it would keep him occupied for a little bit. Dean slips on one of Castiel’s many coats from the closet and pulls on a pair of Castiel’s boots.

Dean is about to walk out the door when Alastair pops into his mind. What if he goes for a walk and is ambushed by Alastair or one of Alastair’s henchmen?

He imagines it like the movies, being caught off guard by a van screeching to a stop on the side of some empty street, being thrown into the back and hog-tied before he’s whisked off to an unknown location, never to be seen again. He’s clearly been spending too much time in front of the TV, but Dean’s fear of Alastair keeps him frozen on the spot, staring at the closed door.

Driving would be safe. It was unlikely he’d be ambushed in his car. He could take the Impala and drive out of the city, cruise around for an hour or so just to get out of the apartment and clear his head.

Dean’s hand goes for his keys, but his fingers only brush against the fabric lining the pocket of his borrowed jacket.

“Fuck.” His keys—along with his wallet, phone, and some lip balm—are in the pocket of his jeans, which he left at the club.

Dean can’t believe he’s forgotten about the Impala for so long, stranded in the parking lot outside the club for days. Anything could have happened by now. Someone could’ve slashed the tires, or broken all the windows, painted graffiti across the body. Alastair could have taken the car if he had even bothered to pick up Dean’s belongings.

The thought of Alastair driving the Impala sets his blood boiling. Vandalism was one thing. He could replace broken parts, buff out scratches and dents, but there was no way to untaint it once Alastair even so much as sat inside it.

Dean’s tempted to go get the Impala right now, but he doesn’t know where in the city Castiel’s apartment is in relation to the club. He doesn’t even have enough money for bus fare, and if he’s in the financial district of the city then the club is an hour’s walk away, at least.

He’ll make Castiel drive him to get the Impala back as soon as he gets home from work, Dean decides. It’s the only option he has. She’s been parked there for days; a few more hours wouldn’t hurt. Dean sighs and yanks off Castiel’s boots and tucks them neatly back in the closet along with the jacket.

Castiel won’t be home for hours and Dean needs something to keep him occupied while he waits. Cooking is the best distraction he knows. They still haven’t been out to get groceries, but while he was tidying up the kitchen Dean found a box of pasta and an only recently expired jar of sauce.

He digs a freezer burnt package of ground beef from the freezer to thaw so he can have dinner ready for Castiel when he gets home from work. They’ve eaten out the last two days so a nice home-cooked meal would be perfect.

Dean picks up Castiel’s copy of Breakfast of Champions which is bent and well-worn even though it was bought only a week earlier. It’s been a few years since Dean’s read it so instead of watching Netflix all day again he reads, smoothing out the bent edges of the pages Castiel dog eared as he goes.

By the time Dean starts dinner he’s in a better mood than this morning. He puts some music on and dances around Castiel’s kitchen as he prepares dinner. He wishes he had more ingredients to work with in a kitchen this nice, but he makes do with what he has, happy to do something nice for Castiel.

Dean can’t wait for him to get home from work, walking in to the smell of tomato and basil, being able to just sit down and relax with warm pasta and maybe a glass of wine if Dean can find any in the many, many cabinets and cupboards in Castiel’s kitchen.

Cooking always puts Dean in a good mood, but today, cooking for Castiel, that feeling is even greater. Castiel’s been complaining about work lately, even when they had been texting back and forth earlier in the week. He never went into much detail, but Dean knows there’s something big happening that has been causing Castiel a lot of stress. Hopefully tonight Dean will be able to take his mind off of whatever it is and help him relax a little.

At a quarter past five Dean is finishing setting the table, adjusting the utensils until everything is just right. He dims the light above the table and smiles at his work. Two heaping plates of spaghetti sit across from each other, complete with two glasses of wine that Dean found in a cupboard above the fridge. It isn’t his greatest creation, but he did the best with what he had to work with. He’s sure Castiel will appreciate the thought at the very least.

After dinner, they’ll drive to pick the Impala up from the club, maybe stop and grab a pie for dessert on the way home that they can eat while they watch the historical documentary Dean picked out. They’ll cuddle on the couch and Castiel can finally forget about work. Or maybe they’ll forget the documentary altogether and Dean can distract Castiel another way. A much more fun way, in his opinion.

They’ve made out numerous times, but never gotten further than dry humping and groping each other. It’s been hot, sure, but Dean’s starting to want more. He wants what Castiel was teasing him with the other day.

He wants Castiel to bind him with rope and take him apart. He wants to see Castiel in full Dom mode. More than that, he wants to prove to Castiel that he can be a good submissive, but Castiel wasn’t even giving him the opportunity to do that.

Castiel said he wanted to be Dean’s boyfriend more than his Dom, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t be both, right? Dean isn’t really sure how a relationship like this is supposed to work. The only one he has for reference is what he and Alastair had, and he knows that’s not what a Dom/sub relationship is supposed to be either, so he really is in the dark.

Dean realizes he’s been standing in the kitchen just staring at the set table for some time. Castiel must be caught up at work, so Dean washes the dirty pots and pans from cooking dinner while he waits, but when he’s done Castiel still isn’t home. Dean’s stomach growls impatiently. He hasn’t eaten all day and the pasta smells amazing, but he ignores his stomach and heads to the living room to watch TV while he waits for Castiel.

One movie blends into another and soon Dean is waking up hours later on the couch with a kink in his neck from falling asleep in a weird position. He rolls his shoulders as he sits up, his joints popping as he stretches.

“Cas?” Dean calls, but the apartment remains silent. He must still be at work, but it’s late and Dean’s tired, so he shuffles to bed, leaving dinner on the table, cold and forgotten.

The next morning passes like the last. Castiel is already at work, and Dean’s wandering around the apartment looking for something to keep him occupied. He spent all of yesterday cleaning the entire apartment; he even fixed the dripping faucet in the kitchen. And now there’s nothing left to clean or tinker with.

Leaving Alastair was supposed to free him, but Dean just feels like he traded one prison for another. He knows that it’s not Castiel’s fault. Castiel has done nothing but show him an unwarranted amount of kindness.

Dean’s grateful, he is, but he can’t even leave the apartment because Alastair might find him, and staying inside with nothing to do is driving him insane. At least before Dean still had the freedom to go to the grocery store.

When Dean goes to the kitchen in search of food he notices the pasta bowls and wine glasses are on the drying rack next to the sink, and the table has been cleared. It’s as if last night never happened. He just wanted to do something nice for Castiel but he can’t even do that right.

He’s living with Castiel but they haven’t seen each other in days. Maybe Castiel is avoiding him, Dean thinks. His moving in wasn’t exactly planned. Maybe Castiel regrets letting Dean stay with him.

Dean spends the rest of the day in bed, wrapped in layers of borrowed clothes under borrowed blankets trying to banish Alastair from his mind. But by the time the sun is setting Dean feels worse than he did before.

He doesn’t even really remember what happened in the movie he’d been watching in bed, too busy wondering where he and Castiel stand in their relationship. As much as he wants Castiel to come home, Dean’s nervous about facing him and the uncertainty he feels.

Dean’s so caught up in his thoughts that he doesn’t hear Castiel come home, or even knock on his open door before coming into the bedroom.

“Dean?” Castiel calls as he steps into the room, “Are you asleep?”

It startles Dean and he quickly sits up in bed, the suddenness of it giving him a head rush after lying down for so long. “No, just watching a movie.”

Castiel stands at the foot of the bed watching Dean. He looks amazing in his dark suit and crooked tie, with his hair as messy as always, sticking up in every direction. Actually, it’s messier than usual, Dean notes, and there are dark bags under Castiel’s eyes.
           
Dean pushes the blankets off and crawls to the edge of the mattress. He rests on his knees and lifts a hand to caress Castiel’s face, running his thumb over the lines breaking up the perfection of his skin.

Castiel sighs at the touch, closing his eyes as Dean’s other hand mimics the action on the other side as well.

“What’s wrong?” He keeps his voice low, soothing.

Castiel huffs. “How do you know something’s wrong?”

“You’re more dishevelled than usual.” That elicits a smile from Castiel and Dean can’t help but return it. He leans closer, the plush mattress threatening to tip him as he shifts his weight to place a gentle kiss to Castiel’s lips.

“I’m sorry for ignoring you these past few days. It was unintentional; work has been hectic.” Castiel shakes his head and the crease between his brows is back. “But that still doesn’t excuse my behaviour.”

Dean releases his hold on Castiel. “It’s fine, Cas. I can take care of myself, y’know.”

He feels like an ass now. Castiel is dealing with his own shit, stressed at work and having to deal with Dean’s shit on top of all that and here Dean is whining like a child about not getting enough attention. He shouldn’t have let Castiel talk him into staying here. He’s nothing more than a burden.

Castiel grasps Dean’s wrist as he draws back. “It’s not fine. Tell me what’s on your mind.”

“It’s fine, really,” Dean breathes, watching Castiel’s fingers gripping his wrist, his thumb tracing small circles on his skin. “Everything is fine now.” And Dean almost believes it; wants to. But past experience dictates this will all go up in smoke sooner or later.  

“Okay.” Castiel doesn’t sound convinced, but he doesn’t press further. “I thought we could go out tonight. I secured that deal with the new client so I took tomorrow and Friday off; I thought we could celebrate.”

Dean lights up, excited about having Castiel to himself for four whole days, but he shakes his head; he already has other plans brewing. “How about a night in instead? I wanna help you relax.” He pulls Castiel closer by the belt loops of his pants, fingers already working at the button. “Let me help you relax, Cas.”

Castiel steps back, but Dean just follows, slipping off the bed to his feet. “Dean,” Castiel groans, “We need to talk first, before we go any further. I’ve been meaning to bring it up, but work’s been keeping me busy.”

“What’s there to talk about? Just let me do this for you.” Dean untucks Castiel’s shirt and runs a hand along the taut skin of his stomach. Dean needs this; needs to prove his worth to Castiel.

“We need to talk about our relationship.” The breath shudders from Castiel’s chest as he watches Dean sink to his knees in front of him.

Dean wants to rip the ugly tie from around Castiel’s neck and get down to business already, wants to see him in all his naked glory, but teasing Castiel is intoxicating, watching the rise and fall of his chest as he tries to control his breathing, the clenched fists at his sides that Dean wishes were tangled in his hair.

“Our limits,” Castiel continues, gasping as Dean lightly traces a finger over the hair at Castiel’s naval. “And safewords. I want us to be safe.”

“We’re not doing anything intense,” Dean pouts.

He reaches for the fly of Castiel’s pants but jumps when Castiel grabs his hands. His eyes dart up to Castiel’s, pupils overtaking the blue. “Stop,” he says firmly, sending shivers through Dean, and yeah, he can’t wait to see this side of Castiel in full effect. Powerful; commanding; dominating. Dean shivers again just thinking about all the things he wants Castiel to do to him.

Dean licks his lips and watches Castiel’s eyes track the movement. “Okay,” he agrees reluctantly, “Let’s talk.” He pushes up off the floor and hears Castiel’s shaky exhale as he brushes past. While he’s happy knowing how much he affected Castiel, Dean’s much more worried about what, exactly, this talk will entail.           

Castiel has already seen Dean subbing for Alastair, and he knows he did a piss poor job of showing how good he can be. He wants to show Castiel how good of a submissive he can be. But instead they have to talk. Dean grumbles under his breath about how stupid talking is as he putters around the kitchen, waiting for Castiel.

Chapter Text

The kettle has just finished boiling when Castiel appears hovering at the threshold of the kitchen. His pants are done up, but his shirt remains wrinkled and untucked.

Dean turns around to hide his smirk and finish making tea for the two of them.

“Can we order something for dinner first?” Dean asks, “There’s no food in the entire apartment and I haven’t eaten all day—I’m starving. Then we can talk while we wait.”

“Yes, grocery shopping is on the to-do list for tomorrow. That and buying you some clothes of your own, because as much as I enjoy seeing you wearing mine, my wardrobe is very limited.”

“Well, I’m gonna have to keep wearing ‘em cause my funds are very limited and someone won’t let me go back to my place to grab any of my stuff.”

“I seriously doubt Alastair is the kind of man to give up so easily, so no, I still don’t think it’s safe to go back to your apartment.” Castiel comes to stand behind Dean at the counter, leaning over his shoulder and watching as Dean globs spoonfuls of honey into the two steaming mugs. “As for money: I’ll take care of it, don’t worry.”

“No, I can’t let you buy me an entirely new wardrobe!”

“It’s fine, Dean. I want to treat you.” Castiel rests his chin on Dean’s shoulder, his voice rumbling through both of them when he speaks. “Now, what do you feel like eating?”

Dean wants so badly to say “you,” but he restrains himself and instead tells Castiel to order whatever he wants before handing over one of the mugs. He plans on revisiting the topic of Castiel spending so much money on him, but that can wait; he just wants to get this talk over with as soon as possible.

They sit on the couch in the living room while Castiel spends an agonizingly slow five minutes tapping at his phone screen ordering dinner.  Dean watches the endless scrolling and tapping, fidgeting the entire time.

As soon as Castiel locks his phone Dean blurts out, “You said you wanted to be my boyfriend more than my Dom, but does that mean you don’t want to be my Dom or…?”

He doesn’t exactly have a whole lot of reference for how these relationships are supposed to work. The only experience Dean’s had in a Dom/sub relationship was with Alastair, and they certainly hadn’t been dating, though Alastair still wouldn’t let Dean see anyone else, romantic or otherwise.

Dean wants to sub for Castiel, would be doing it now if they didn’t have to talk first, but what if Castiel was only interested in dating? Dean’s out of practice with regular relationships as well; the last real relationship he had ended during his first year of university, but at least he knows how those are supposed to work.

“I would very much like to be your Dom…If that’s what you want.”

“Hell yeah.” Dean brightens. Some of his anxiety seeps away at the reassurance that Castiel wants him both as a boyfriend and submissive.

“Good.” Castiel smiles at Dean’s enthusiasm. “Then the next step is to discuss our limits, and rules, our expectations, and how our relationship will work.”

“Oh, is that all?” Dean tries to joke but that list is intimidating and sends the previous anxiety flowing back into him and clouding his excitement.

There’s a lot of time for Castiel to change his mind while they discuss these things. He could realize that Dean isn’t up to his standards and call it off.

“It can be overwhelming, I know. So let’s start easy, then,” Castiel says, “What’s your safeword?”

“Uh…” This was supposed to be an easy one? “I don’t have one.”

“You didn’t have a safeword while you were with Alastair.”

It isn’t a question, but Dean still shakes his head. “Alastair…he said that if I was a good sub I wouldn’t need to back out of a scene. A good sub takes whatever his Master gives.” Dean’s glad he has the mug of tea to fiddle with so he doesn’t have to look at Castiel.

“Dean, of course you need a safeword. And safewording out of a scene does not make you a bad submissive. That’s what it’s there for; it ensures the safety of both parties during play.”

When Dean stares into his mug instead of answering Castiel places a hand on his knee. “Think on it. Pick something we wouldn’t otherwise say during a scene. Something you won’t forget.”

Dean nods and sips his tea. He hates the pitying tone Castiel takes on when they talk about Alastair. It makes him feel like a victim, which he’s not. He consented to being Alastair’s submissive. He isn’t some damned damsel in distress.

Castiel straightens, withdrawing his hand and leaving Dean feeling suddenly cold. “Mine, for example, is usually Hemingway, but I want you to pick something that works for you.”

Dean’s so surprised he almost chokes on his tea. “Wait, you have a safeword? Why?”

“Not all Doms do, but I think it’s important. It works the same; a signal that the play is over.”

“I still don’t understand why you need a safeword if you’re the one in control. Can’t you just stop the scene any time?”

“It’s happened before where I got overwhelmed during an intense scene. I didn’t know what to do, so I just stopped suddenly and cut the ropes binding my partner. She didn’t understand why I stopped and thought it was her fault. She went through a serious drop and so did I.”

Castiel looks far away for a moment before blinking and refocusing. “The whole thing was a mess. I did some research after and put more precautions in place to make sure that it never happened again.”

“Doms can drop too?” Dean understands sub drop: he’s experienced it enough firsthand and knows that it happens because of endorphins and whatever, but Doms dropping? That was something he had never even considered.

Castiel nods. “It shocked me, as well. It’s something that isn’t talked about much and so I didn’t recognize it as a drop when I was feeling guilty or ashamed after a scene.” He pauses to take a drink. “One of the things that helps is having non-verbal safewords in place in addition to the safeword you choose.”

“Isn’t that a little overkill?”

“Not at all. Let’s say you’re bound, spread out on the bed and gagged, or I’m fucking your mouth. How would you say the safeword if you needed to?”

Dean blushes and mumbles, “Yeah, I guess that’d be a little hard.”

“Plus,” Castiel continues, “When you go deep into subspace sometimes it’s hard to think or form words, which is one of the reasons why I think it’s important that Doms have a safeword as well. If I think you’re in distress but too far gone to know how much is too much and safeword, I can call it out and end the scene.”

Dean just sits there, silently thinking over everything Castiel’s said as he sips his tea.

“It may seem like overkill,” Castiel says, “But it’s better to have precautions in place and never use them than to need them and not have them.”

“Yeah, I mean I get it. It’s just…different than what I’m used to.” Dean shrugs, not wanting to steer the conversation towards Alastair again.

“That’s okay. This is why we have to talk before we do anything. The most important thing in any relationship is communication. Maybe even more so in a Dom/sub relationship.”

Dean snorts. “Yeah, lack of communication skills is a trait that seems to run in my family. It’s like embedded in our DNA or something.”

“All I ask is that you try. I just want us to be able to talk to each other if there’s something bothering us: in and out of a scene. We need to have trust for this relationship to work and I can’t trust you if you don’t talk to me.”

“Yeah, that makes sense. I’ll try my best.”

Castiel takes a long drink of his tea before continuing. “I want to go over the non-verbal safewords now while we’re both in a good headspace. During a scene, if you can’t speak, tap me three times.” Castiel taps Dean firmly on the thigh three times to demonstrate. “If you’re unable to do that for whatever reason shake your head three times, sharply.” He demonstrates that too then asks Dean to repeat the actions to show his understanding.

“Perfect. We also need to talk about limits. My hard limits are watersports, scat, knifeplay…actually, I have a list on my laptop that goes into more detail of what I am and am not willing to try. I’ll pull it up and you can have a look later.”

“Right, I’m pretty much down for whatever.”

“Dean,” Castiel says, the warning in his voice clear.

“What? You’re the Dom, right? You get to decide what to do to me.”

“No. That’s not how this works.”

Dean remains stubbornly silent.

“I need to know what is and isn’t okay when we scene.”

“Like I said: I’m down for whatever.”

Castiel frowns. “So if I wanted to strap you to a St. Andrew’s cross and whip you: that would be pleasurable for you?”

Dean cringes a little at the mention of whips, the wounds on his back still healing, but doesn’t say anything.

“What if I wanted to dress you in a short pink dress and panties and take you to the mall? Or if I wanted to bring my friend over and have him fuck you? Or—”

“Okay! I get it, okay? You’ve made your point, just stop.”

“I—I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you.” Castiel stares down at his lap. “I wasn’t thinking. I just want you to understand the importance of knowing each other’s limits. I don’t want to do anything to you that you don’t take pleasure in.”

Dean stays silent and Castiel finally pushes up off the couch. Dean thinks that he’s leaving, ending the conversation there because he’s being difficult, but then Castiel grabs the laptop from his desk and brings it back.

“There are lists online where you can fill out your hard limits, soft limits, and things you’re curious to try.” Castiel pulls up a website and passes the laptop to Dean.

The webpage has an extensive list of kinks ranging from all assortments of gags to impact play to any kind of restraints you could think of, and then some.

Dean scrolls up and down the list, already overwhelmed. “This might take a while.”

“Take your time, and let me know if you have any questions. I opened up my own list as well so you can see my limits and interests.”

Dean moves through the list slowly. Most things he’s tried, or is at least aware of, but a couple of times he has to ask Castiel for clarification and it makes him feel insecure. He’s not new to this; he should know what these things are. But Castiel just calmly takes the time to explain everything and make sure Dean understands.

Most of the things on the list Dean is okay with, but he does mark down any and all sharing as a hard limit. Alastair used to love letting his friends use Dean because he knew how much Dean hated it and of course afterwards he would kick everyone out and punish Dean for being such a greedy little cockslut.

Dean pushes the memories away and readjusts himself on the couch to get comfortable before going back to the list. Mummification, single-tail whips, and watersports also go in the hard limit section.

Face slapping is a limit for him, but he’s not sure he wants to put it as a hard or soft limit so he gets Castiel’s attention and tells him his dilemma. “Humiliation is a no-go for me, like name-calling and things like that? But face slapping under the right circumstances is good? I don’t know.”

“Put it down as a hard limit for now, and if you want we can always revisit trying it out later.”

“But if I put it down as a hard limit, then…” Dean gestures at the list still on the computer screen and trails off.

“You can change your limits at any time, Dean. If we ever do something and you don’t like it, we never have to do it again. If you decide one of your hard limits is actually something you’d like to try out, then that’s okay, too. Nothing is set in stone.”

“Huh,” is all Dean says as he turns back to the computer to mark humiliation down as a hard limit. With that knowledge in mind, he adds fisting, strait-jackets, blood play, and ice play to his hard limit list as well. He can always change them later.

Dean’s glad for the little boxes that let him add comments so he can make a note that he likes to be called ‘good boy’ and the like, but not derogatory names like ‘whore.’ He also makes sure to note his enthusiasm for spanking, hair pulling, giving head, and being restrained.

By the time he’s finished with the list, arousal is pooling low in his belly. His mind races with fantasy after fantasy of the things Castiel could do to him. He pushes the laptop towards Castiel. “Okay, I’m done. Can I please suck you off now?”

Castiel chuckles and turns the laptop towards himself to look over the list. “A bit eager, are we?”

“I have been wanting your dick in my mouth since the first time we met, so excuse me for being impatient.”

“Oh, you poor thing,” Castiel says in mock pity.

“Come on, Cas,” Dean pleads, “We don’t have to do a scene or anything tonight, I just want to suck you.”

“How could I deny you when you’ve been waiting for so long?”

Dean takes that as invitation and is on his knees in front of Castiel in a flash. Castiel sets the laptop next to him on the couch and scoots closer to the edge of the cushion. He starts undoing his pants, but Dean bats his hands away.

“Let me take care of you. Just sit back and relax. Let me show you what I can do.”

Castiel brushes his fingers over Dean’s cheek, caressing him when Dean leans into the touch, his breath sighing out. He blinks up at Castiel when the warm weight of his hand disappears.

“Well get to it, then. The food will be here soon,” Castiel says with a smirk that Dean quickly returns before pulling Castiel’s pants down enough so they aren’t in the way. Just as he’s about to do the same to his underwear Castiel taps him on the arm.

He looks up to see the shiny wrapper of a condom in front of his face. He groans, “Really?”

“Neither of us has been tested recently, so yes, really.”

“Fine, but the clinic is our first stop tomorrow. Priorities go: clinic, groceries, then clothes.” Dean holds up a finger for each one.

Castiel agrees with a laugh and Dean takes the offered condom before pulling Castiel’s soft cock out of his underwear. He looks up at Castiel and licks a wet stripe up his palm before grasping him and stroking gently.

He continues working Castiel up with light touches, watching the steady rise and fall of Castiel’s chest pick up as he switches to firmer strokes, his hips twitching slightly as Dean twists his wrist on the upstroke.

Dean alternates between soft and firm touches, trying out a bit of everything and learning what Castiel likes as he quickly hardens in his grasp. The condom package fumbles through Dean’s fingers as he rips it open, hands shaking in his eagerness to get Castiel in his mouth. He has to force himself to stop and take a breath in order to slip the condom down Castiel’s impressive length.

The heavy weight of Castiel’s gaze is overwhelming. Dean feels him watching, knows the bastard is probably smirking at his struggle. That’s all right, Dean thinks, he’ll wipe that smirk off Castiel’s face soon enough.

Teasing Castiel before was fun and there’ll be plenty of time to properly tease him another day, but Dean wants to see how quickly he can make him crumble. He wants to tear down his wall of calm, composed businessman and reduce Castiel to a brainless puddle on the couch.

With the condom firmly in place, Dean leans forward slowly, parting his lips and puffing warm breaths over the head of Castiel’s cock. Above him, Castiel shivers on the couch, fingers twitching as if he wants to reach out and grab Dean.

Looking up through his lashes at Castiel, Dean opens his mouth wider and sticks out his tongue to brush against the tip.

“I don’t believe I saw face fucking on your list of limits,” Castiel says in a voice just a touch lower than his normal tone, but still much too composed for Dean’s liking, “If you don’t stop teasing we may be trying that one out sooner rather than later.”

“Tempting.” Dean mouths along the side of Castiel’s length. He runs his tongue up and down the shaft once more before finally, finally taking Castiel into his mouth properly.

Dean slides down the length as far as he can and rests for a moment, letting the weight of Castiel settle on his tongue and just feeling. He exhales deeply through his nose and thinks maybe he should take the laptop back and mark cock warming higher on his list of curiosities. It’s definitely something he wants to try.

Castiel’s fingers glide through Dean’s hair, gentle until his hand slips through the longer strands and then he grabs a handful and yanks hard enough that it drags Dean off his cock a little. Dean’s eyes slip closed and his mouth goes slack with the pleasure that spark of pain brings him.

Another sharp tug has Dean hissing around the thickness in his mouth. He moans loudly, the vibrations of it radiating through Castiel’s cock.

Dean glides his tongue along the underside and hums, long and low, before hollowing his cheeks and sucking, immediately setting a fast pace, determined to make Castiel lose his mind with pleasure.

The sounds of Dean blowing Castiel fill the otherwise quiet room and Dean blushes at the loudness of it. He’s displeased that Castiel is silent above him, save for his rapid breathing and the occasional low groan. He wants his sounds to be completely drowned out by Castiel’s reactions.

Dean pulls back until the head is resting against his lips, brushing against them as he speaks. “C’mon, Cas. Wanna hear you.”

“You’re going to have to work harder for a reward like that, sweet boy.” Castiel’s voice is, admittedly, breathier and as Dean glances up he sees the blue of Castiel’s eyes have been overtaken by black, but it’s not enough.

Dean dives back in, taking Castiel to the root. He tries to swallow around him, but the length slides into his throat and he gags instead and has to pull off. He splutters a bit, but doesn’t miss the choked noise that Castiel makes. Fuck, Dean wishes he knew how to deepthroat.

“If you don’t come soon,” Dean says, stroking Castiel while he catches his breath, “the delivery guy is gonna walk in and see us. See me. On my knees. With your dick in my mouth.” He runs his mouth along the side of Castiel’s length as he speaks.

“Fuck, Dean.” Castiel’s hips thrust up and Dean backs off, mouth just shy of touching Castiel’s heated flesh.

He continues the steady stroking as he licks at Castiel’s balls. “He’ll be so jealous because he can’t join in on the fun. Only you, Cas. This is only for you, no one else.”

Dean pushes himself to take more and more of Castiel into his mouth, stopping only just before his gag reflex kicks in. He picks up the pace and uses one hand to stroke what he can’t fit in his mouth and the other to play with Castiel’s balls.

Castiel gives a wordless moan and his grip on Dean’s hair tightens as he’s tipped over the edge, his cock twitching on Dean’s tongue and his hips giving short thrusts that bump the back of Dean’s throat. He sucks Castiel through his orgasm, drawing away only when Castiel slumps against the cushions.

He pulls off and licks at the head of Castiel’s spent dick, wishing he could really feel and taste him and not the rubber of the condom. Castiel shivers above him and pulls Dean up onto the couch and into a breathless kiss.

Dean tries to kiss back, but his jaw is tired so he just lets Castiel slip his tongue in, licking along the roof of his mouth.

The buzzer sounds, startling both of them, and Dean pushes off the couch to let the delivery guy into the building. His knees ache from kneeling on the floor, but it was well worth it.

He buzzes the delivery guy in then slips into the hallway to wait so there’s no chance of a stranger seeing Castiel slumped on the couch with his dick out. But when Dean goes back in with the bag of food Castiel is already composed.

While he was in the hall Castiel, apparently, had dealt with the used condom and tucked himself back into his pants and is now sitting calmly on the couch looking at the laptop and not at all like he just got his brain sucked out through his dick. He even had time to grab cutlery and two plates from the kitchen.

It annoys Dean a little that Castiel hadn’t been reduced to a puddle of post-orgasm bliss, but that just means he has to try harder to completely wreck Castiel next time. That’s okay; Dean likes a challenge.

He sets the bag of food down and sits on the floor between the couch and the coffee table and starts pulling containers from the bag, happy to see that Castiel ordered them dinner from one his favourite Chinese food places downtown.

“Wanna throw on a documentary or something while we eat?” Dean asks as he doles out food for himself and Castiel.

“Sure, but we still need to finish our talk.”

The spoon he’d been using to scoop fried rice clatters against the plate as Dean turns to face Castiel. “I thought we covered everything already.”

“I just want to clarify that this isn’t a twenty-four-seven arrangement; when we aren’t in a scene we’re just boyfriends.”

Hearing Castiel call him his boyfriend still sends sparks of joy erupting within him. He hopes that feeling never goes away.

“I do, however, have rules,” Castiel continues, “If you agree to them.”

Dean can’t help the frown that crosses his face. He’s notoriously bad with rules…more specifically: breaking them. “Uh, okay, what are they?”

“The first is that I do not tolerate lying. At all. It’s impossible to have trust in a relationship with lies. And a lie by omission is still a lie.”

“Okay, that one’s doable. What else?”

“Just one other…though you may add rules for yourself if you wish. Some submissives ask to be broken of a bad habit or behaviour they don’t like by putting specific rules in place. Others find they enjoy the stability that having more rules gives them.” Castiel shrugs. “Everyone’s different. I personally don’t find the need to enforce an extensive list of rules, so unless there’s something you would like to add?”

“Nothing I can think of. What’s your other rule?”

“You will not touch yourself or come without my permission.”

Dean baulks at that. “But I thought out of a scene you’re not my Dom and we’re just boyfriends?”

Castiel hums in thought. “Yes, well, rarely are things so black and white. The roles we play in life tend to bleed into one another.”

“Seriously, though? I can’t jack off unless I get permission from you first?”

“I plan to keep you very satisfied.”

That plan wasn’t working out very well, in Dean’s opinion. He had been left exactly the opposite of satisfied for some time. Even now he can feel the need, a constant itch just under the surface of his skin. Rubbing one out in the shower the other day didn’t help, either. He thought it would ease some of the tension but he needs more, needs Castiel to take him apart. And he needs it soon or he thinks he might go insane.

“And what happens if I break one of your rules? How’re you gonna punish me?”

“That depends on the severity of the offence. I could take you across my knee and spank you until every inch of your ass is red and glowing from my hand. I could tie you up and edge you over and over again. I could lock you in a cock cage and not let you come for a month. Or perhaps I’ll do the opposite and make you come so many times you black out.”

Dean turns back around to finish plating their dinner and to hide his blush. “Not to rain on your parade, Cas, but those don’t exactly sound like punishments.” Well, except for the cock cage one. He can’t remember the last time he went so long without an orgasm.

“We’ll see.”

“Cryptic much?” But Dean still shivers at the promise in Castiel’s voice. “Anyway, yeah, I consent to those rules or whatever. No lying and no touchin’ myself.” Though he is kind of tempted to break one of Castiel’s rules just to see how he’d be punished. And to quell the need coursing through him. A good, hard spanking sounds perfect right now.

Dean hands Castiel a plate piled high with food. “Is that everything, then?”

“Thanks,” Castiel says as he takes the offered plate. “And yes, I think so.”

Thank God, Dean thinks. It wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, talking through everything with Castiel, but he’s still glad it’s over now and he can relax.

Dean stretches his legs out under the coffee table and gets comfortable before pulling the second plate in front of him as Castiel starts The Outsiders. He turns to Castiel with a smile. “Hey, good choice.”

“I’ve been told my lack of movie knowledge is a crime, so I’m trying to remedy that.”

The movie begins and Castiel takes the throw pillow resting under his arm and passes it down to Dean for him to sit on instead of just the thin rug on top of the hardwood floor. He gets resituated and turns his full attention to the mound of food waiting in front of him.

Dean hadn’t realized how hungry he was until the smell of Szechuan beef came wafting down the hallway when the delivery guy came out of the elevator. His mouth waters now as he stares down at his full plate and he’s glad he’s sitting on the floor so Castiel won’t be able to see him scarf down dinner in what is sure to be a very unattractive manner.

With a warm plate of Chinese food in front of him and Castiel’s leg brushing against his back, Dean lets everything else just slip away. Maybe his relationship with Castiel won’t be as temporary as he first assumed.

Chapter Text

“Two weeks? Really?” Dean shoves the glass door of the clinic open, barely having the presence of mind to hold it for Castiel who follows closely behind. “How am I supposed to not lose my damn mind waiting a whole two weeks for the results?”

They had sat in the waiting room of the walk-in clinic for nearly an hour, Dean’s nerves ramping up each passing minute. He spent the hour staring at the empty doorway that lead to the hall of examination rooms, jumping every time the nurse appeared to call the next patient.

Castiel had tried to calm him, but going to the doctor had always scared Dean and today was no exception. Today was worse, actually; he’d never been tested before and there was no guarantee he didn’t have anything. The way Alastair liked to pass him around…Dean had lost count of how many people Alastair had made him service, but the chances of all of them being clean were slim.

But Castiel had just rested a hand on Dean’s knee and said, “For now, don’t worry about the results. The first step is getting tested. We’ll deal with whatever happens after that together, okay?” It helped to calm him a little, but he had still felt like he might throw up.

Once they had actually gotten in to see the doctor the examination took no time at all. Dean’s nerves had been at a manageable level after talking with the doctor and being able to say that he had none of the symptoms that suggested he had any STI. And then the doctor mentioned how long it would take to get the results of the tests back.

Castiel has to pick up his pace to catch up to Dean. “They said ‘up to two weeks.’ It likely won’t take that long. The last time I got tested the results were available in less than a week.”

Dean stops stomping through the parking lot and turns to Castiel. “Really?”

That’s still too long. Dean knows he’s going to be stressing about it until he actually gets the results in his hands. “Well, still,” he grumbles as they reach Castiel’s gas-efficient hybrid that Sam would no doubt drool over if he ever laid eyes on it.

Castiel smirks at him from across the car. “I’m going to have to find some way to distract you to keep your mind off of it.”

The car starts with barely a rumble and Dean thinks about the Impala sitting in the parking garage beneath Castiel’s apartment building. They had finally gone to get it earlier in the morning and Dean had almost cried with relief when they pulled up and saw the Impala where he had parked her the week before.

Without his keys, Dean had had to break the window to get in and yank the wires from beneath the steering wheel to get the car started. The Impala is in definite need of some TLC, but Dean’s just glad it was still there.

Castiel drives them to the mall and parks by the attached grocery store so they can stock up on food after getting Dean some new clothes. Dean still isn’t entirely comfortable with Castiel buying him a whole new wardrobe, but he can’t argue about it because he does need clothes to wear, but he has no money of his own so he decides he’ll just have to pay Castiel back sometime in the future.

Shopping has never been something Dean’s enjoyed. And he likes clothes shopping even less, but it’s different with Castiel. Every store they go to Castiel grabs armfuls of jeans and shirts and sweaters and asks to see the outfits Dean tries on, telling him what looks good and what doesn’t.

Dean can’t help but smile every time he comes out of the changing room when Castiel gives him such enthusiastic reactions. He makes Dean spin to show off the jeans or shirt he’s modeling and Dean is loving the attention.

He even enjoys when he comes out in an outfit Castiel doesn’t like. The way his face scrunches up just slightly tells Dean right away that Castiel doesn’t like a particular outfit, but he always stumbles over his words as if he’s afraid of hurting Dean’s feelings.

After a few face scrunches from Castiel, Dean decides to mess with him a bit. He comes out in red pants with little metal studs along the seams, paired with a shirt that’s half floral print and half mesh. The face scrunch is immediate and Dean spins in a slow circle to show off the awful garments.

“So, what do you think?”

“The pants may be a bit too…bright.”

Dean turns to look at himself in the mirror. “What about the shirt?”

“It’s, uh…mesh,” is all Castiel can come up with as he takes in the eyesore that is Dean’s outfit.

“I think it’s cool.”

He watches Castiel in the mirror as his face scrunches up again, but all he says is, “Oh. Uh, yes, add it to the pile, then.”

“Seriously,” Dean says as he turns around, “You were gonna let me get this disaster of a shirt?”

Castiel’s brows draw together. “You…don't like it.”

“Of course not,” Dean chuckles, “This is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like they just sewed leftover scraps of fabrics together to get rid of ‘em.”

“Ah, so you lied.” Castiel steps forward until he’s in Dean’s space.

Dean gulps, remembering Castiel’s most important rule. “…maybe.”

Would Castiel punish him over such a minor infraction? Dean supposes he did break a rule, so punishment is surely in store for him. But would Castiel do it here, now? They may be alone in the changing rooms, but they’re still in public. His heartbeat thuds wildly against his chest as Castiel leans towards him.

“Perhaps I’ll buy you this shirt and make you wear it since you said you liked it so much.”

Dean doesn’t say anything, too focused on Castiel’s fingers playing with the hem of the ugly shirt. Cool fingertips brush against his stomach beneath the fabric and Dean gasps, eyes darting over Castiel’s shoulder to the short hallway that leads back to the store filled with other people shopping.

His palms start sweating, but he’s shocked to find himself aroused, not afraid. In the face of Alastair’s punishments Dean always felt a pit in his stomach, scared that once again Alastair would take things too far. But Dean trusts Castiel. He trusts that Castiel would never do anything that would put either of them in jeopardy.

Dean starts leaning forward unconsciously, ready to give himself over to whatever Castiel wants in this moment, but Castiel steps away from him with a smirk.

“Don’t worry, I’m not that cruel. Now get changed so we can go pay for all this.”

Dean blinks and it takes a moment for his brain to catch up. He slips back into the change room to get his regular clothes back on—well, the clothes Castiel let him borrow—and they leave the store without the mesh monstrosity.

“Aren’t we done yet?” Dean’s arms are beginning to ache under the weight of so many bags.

“Almost. There’s just one more place we need to go.” Castiel leads him down a few storefronts. “Do you remember the first night we met?”

“Yeah, Cas, of course.”

“I watched you dance on stage and…” Castiel turns away, blushing.

They stop in front of a store with half-naked mannequins in the window, all modelling fancy-looking underwear and lingerie sets. Dean can put two and two together well enough to figure out what Castiel is getting at.

“And?” Dean prompts. He wants to hear Castiel say it. He’s going to savour bashful Cas as long as he can.

“You looked amazing in those panties. I’ve never had a panty kink or anything, but I think seeing you in them that night may have changed that. You don’t have t—”

“Great, let’s get a pair.” Dean grabs Castiel’s hand and tows him into the store.

“Ideally, you would get multiple pairs. And only ever wear panties.”

“Oh God. You’re gonna be the death of me.”

“Maybe a lingerie set as well,” Castiel says as he eyes a red lace outfit on a nearby mannequin. “Or a corset.”

“One thing at a time, babe.”

It’s Dean’s turn to blush when they’re approached by a saleswoman who asks if they need help finding anything. Castiel tells her what they’re looking for and suddenly Dean can’t make eye contact with her. But the entire time they’re in the store the woman helps them with sizing and styles and not once does Dean feel judged by her.

Dean’s not sure he’s going to fulfil Castiel’s fantasy of wearing nothing but panties, but he does leave the store with enough for every day of the week. Just in case.

When they finally leave the mall the car is stuffed full of clothes and groceries. A few bags have to sit at Dean’s feet because the trunk and back seat are full.  

They have so many bags that it takes two trips to bring everything up to the apartment and it takes even longer to put all of it away.

With everything Castiel wanted to talk about covered and the incident with the mesh shirt earlier—not to mention the whole new assortment of panties he got today to model for Castiel—Dean was sure that they would do a scene later that night after they got home. He’s been craving it desperately. So he can’t help but be a little disappointed when they spend the night on the couch.

Castiel puts on some music while he reads in his armchair and Dean lies across the couch spending some time on the laptop. It’s nice being in each other’s company, but Dean still wishes Castiel would close that damn book and fuck his brains out already.

The fact that Dean’s been researching BDSM for the past hour isn’t exactly helping quell the constant itch. But he wants to know how these relationships are actually supposed to work. He has to wade through a lot of crap, but every once in a while he lands on a useful article or blog post from people who aren’t just spouting bullshit.

The researching is helpful, but it’s a lot of information to take in. After a while, Dean finds himself zoning out, unable to focus enough to read. He shuts the laptop and gets up from the couch, wandering around the apartment. He walks in and out of rooms, unsure what to do with himself. He can’t sit still. It feels like he should be doing something else.

He finally decides to turn his restlessness into something more productive and heads to the kitchen. He digs out all the ingredients he needs for chocolate chip cookies, just something simple to keep him occupied, and gets to work.

He’s glad he asked Castiel if they could get flour and baking powder and pretty much everything else in the baking aisle while they were grocery shopping earlier. Now the kitchen is stocked with everything he needs to make whatever he wants.

Castiel comes into the kitchen while Dean is mixing the batter. He’s so quiet and Dean’s so engrossed in his own little world, his mind drifting as he stirs chocolate chips into the dough, that he almost doesn’t notice Castiel is there.

Castiel takes notice of Dean, though. He turns on the kettle and watches Dean as he waits for the water to boil, a smile on his lips as Dean takes a chunk of cookie dough from the bowl and pops it into his mouth. He finishes making his cup of tea and slides up behind Dean to press a kiss to his cheek.

Dean takes a step back at the same time Castiel steps forward. They collide and Castiel’s tea spills down his front, soaking his shirt in boiling hot water.

“Ow, shit,” Castiel curses, “Fuck that’s hot.”

Dean stares in horror at the darkened fabric of Castiel’s t-shirt. “Oh, God. I’m so sorry.”

Castiel takes a step forward and Dean flinches, anticipating the first blow. But Castiel just places the mug on the counter behind Dean.

“I’m sorry,” Dean repeats. That’s all he can say, “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” coming out of his mouth in a constant chant.

He grabs the tea towel from where it hangs on the oven door and presses it against Castiel’s chest, sopping up some of the wetness, hoping to gain some leniency by cleaning up his mess. Dean’s vision blurs and all he can hear is the thump of own heartbeat in his ears.

“Dean, stop.” Castiel grabs Dean’s wrist and pulls his hand away from his shirt.

The grip on his wrist holds him in place. Dean tries to pull away, but can’t. He’s trapped now. He can’t escape the punishment that’s coming. He pulls again and the grip is gone.

He blinks up at Castiel who has his hands raised in the air in a placating gesture. “I didn’t mean to,” Dean murmurs, “I’m sorry.”

“I know,” Castiel says gently, “It was an accident. It’s not your fault. It’s okay.”

Dean closes his eyes and focuses on his breathing, taking deep breaths until his heart slows to a normal pace.

“I’m not going to hurt you. You’re safe.” Castiel’s voice fills the darkness. And when Dean blinks his eyes open again Castiel is there, standing in the same spot, hands still raised, his eyes filled with worry as he watches Dean.

After a minute Castiel lowers his hands slowly and says, “I’m going to go change my shirt. Are you okay?” Dean nods. “Okay, I’ll be right back.”

Castiel glances back over his shoulder on his way out of the kitchen, like he’s convinced that as soon as he leaves Dean is going to have a complete meltdown.

He might.

His hands still shake and Dean balls them into fists to get it to stop. But he’s more angry than embarrassed or anything else. Angry that Alastair still has this much influence over his life. Angry that he reacted the way he did.

“Stupid,” Dean mutters to himself. Here he is overreacting again. Of course Castiel wasn’t going to hurt him.

Alastair had said himself that he hadn’t broken Dean yet, but he was wrong.

Castiel is gone for barely a minute. When he comes back Dean is on his hands and knees wiping up the spilled tea. He looks up from the wet floor to Castiel who hovers by the fridge, still giving Dean his space, treating him like a frightened animal.

“I’m sorry,” Dean says again as he stands up to throw the sopping paper towel in the garbage.

“Did you think I was going to hit you for spilling tea on me?”

“Yeah.”

“I will never physically harm you outside of a scene.” Castiel comes a step closer, but still doesn’t close the distance between them, still giving Dean space. “I will never punish you for something unless we talk about it first. And I will certainly never take my anger or frustration out on you.”

“It’s not that I think you’re going to hurt me,” Dean says, “I trust you. It’s just that sometimes my brain forgets you’re not—” Dean turns away from Castiel, unwilling to voice that thought.

“That I’m not Alastair,” Castiel finishes for him and Dean winces. He hates comparing Castiel to Alastair. “I get it. Healing takes time.”

Dean can’t see Castiel behind him, but he can hear his voice growing closer and closer still until Dean can feel the heat of Castiel’s body behind him. “Now, would you like help finishing those cookies?”

“Nah, you can go back to your book. I can manage on my own.” Dean actually kind of wants to be alone now, embarrassed after his freak-out. But Castiel reaches around to take the mixing bowl from Dean.

“I know you can. I just want to spend time with you.” Castiel starts rolling a chunk of dough into a ball.

Dean watches Castiel press the dough onto the greased baking sheet, a little bigger than the ones Dean’s already made, but that’s okay.

It brings a smile to Dean’s lips watching Castiel dip his fingers back in to scoop more dough out. I love him, Dean thinks as Castiel presses his third cookie onto the pan, each ball larger than the last. Dean pauses with a ball of cookie dough between his fingers.

Does he really love Castiel? Sure, he feels extremely close to him, but love? Is that what he’s feeling now? He’s not sure they’ve known each other long enough to be in love. Though Dean thinks about how his dad used to talk about how he knew he loved his mom the moment they met, so he supposes it happens.

Dean knows he would do anything to protect Castiel. And Castiel has already protected him on numerous occasions. He knows he’s happiest in Castiel’s company, no matter what they’re doing. He knows that he feels connected to Castiel in a way he’s never been connected to anyone else.

He loves Castiel, Dean decides, but he’s not in love with him. He’s content with that conclusion and goes back to rolling dough in his hands, his cookies dwarfed next to Castiel’s giants.

Chapter Text

In the past couple of days, Dean’s learned that Castiel isn’t much of a morning person. So it isn’t surprising that when Dean wakes Saturday morning, the sun barely peeking over the horizon, it’s to a quiet apartment, Castiel’s bedroom door still shut.

Dean makes himself a cup of coffee and sits at the kitchen counter, waking up slowly as the sun rises. He showers and dresses in his new clothes and makes himself a second cup of coffee, waiting for Castiel to get out of bed.

After a while, he decides to make breakfast for Castiel and himself. He goes all out and cooks up omelettes with both bacon and sausage on the side. The apartment is still quiet when he’s done cooking, so he stalls and makes toast, brews more coffee, and sets the table.

Still, Castiel hasn’t emerged from his bedroom.
 
Dean stands outside of Castiel’s room, worried about making him mad if he wakes him up. But breakfast is quickly getting cold and won’t last. Finally, Dean knocks on the door and after a moment he hears movement from inside.

Castiel opens the door and Dean is suddenly staring at his naked chest. He’s never seen Castiel in this state of undress before, and it short-circuits his brain because all he can seem to do is stare.

A pair of dark sweatpants sits low on his hips and Dean immediately zeroes in on the dark tattoo inked into his skin there. Two matching stems of leaves frame each side of his hips and disappear underneath the waistband of his pants.

Dean’s eyes travel up to the inked bird on his ribs—a sparrow, he thinks—and farther up, above Castiel’s heart where there are weird-looking black symbols. How did he not know Castiel had tattoos? Dean wonders if he has any more hiding. His hand reaches out, unable to resist the need to touch.

Castiel brings a hand up to rub the sleep from his eyes and Dean jumps out of his trance. He tears his gaze from the naked chest in front of him. “I made breakfast.”

Castiel stifles a yawn. “Is there coffee?”

“Just brewed a fresh pot.”

Castiel shuffles back into his room and slips on a t-shirt, then follows Dean to the table where the breakfast feast Dean prepared is waiting for them.

It takes Castiel a full cup of coffee to be awake enough for conversation. He downs the entire mug so quickly that Dean’s sure his whole mouth must be burnt, but Castiel just pours himself more coffee and starts in on his omelette. He praises Dean’s cooking skills as he eats, something Dean will never get tired of.

“I was thinking we could go out today,” Dean says after Castiel has ingested enough caffeine to get him out of his morning zombie state. “We could go for a walk through the trails at the conservation area. It’s not that far of a drive and the weather’s supposed to be good today.”

Castiel mumbles around his mouthful of bacon, sounds that in no way resemble words.

“Uh, was that a yes?”

Castiel hums in agreement.

As breakfast progresses Castiel comes to life more and by the time they’re loading the dishwasher he’s giving Dean more than one-word answers and actually contributing to the conversation.

“Hey, Cas,” Dean starts as Castiel pours soap into the dishwasher, “I’ve, uh, been thinking about getting a job.”

He’s been thinking about it for a few days now but he kept putting off talking to Castiel about it, worried about how he would react.

Alastair never let Dean have a job of any kind. Castiel, so far, has been the exact opposite kind of Dom—kind of person—as Alastair, but he still couldn’t help the anxious knot in his stomach each time he broached the subject.

“I can’t expect you to let me live here forever,” Dean barrels on, “And I want to be able to help out with bills and groceries and stuff—”

“Dean,” Castiel grabs his wrist. He looks at Dean, his head tilting slightly as he frowns. “We may be in a relationship where power dynamics come into play occasionally, but that doesn’t mean I control your life.”

“Yeah,” Dean mumbles, “Yeah, okay.” He moves to pull away, but Castiel doesn’t let go of his wrist.

“I know our relationship started in a…unconventional way, and certain circumstances made us move in together, but I need you to know that I want you here. And that’s not going to change even when you can support yourself financially.”

“What?”

“I don’t want you to move out if you get a job. I want you to live here. With me.” Dean is still silent, so Castiel pulls him closer and brushes their lips together as he speaks. “Dean Winchester, will you move in with me?”

“Yes.” Dean breaks into a smile. “Yes, Cas, you freak, I’ll—” The rest of what he was about to say is swallowed up by Castiel as he crashes their mouths together. Dean is smiling so widely that it’s hard to kiss back, but Castiel just trails his lips up Dean’s jaw, nibbling at bits of his skin as he covers Dean in little kisses.

I love you, Dean wants to say. The words are poised on the tip of his tongue, ready to leap from his mouth. It’s too soon, he reminds himself.

“Let me know if you need help job hunting,” Castiel says once he breaks away.

“Actually, could I use you as a reference? I haven’t worked in a while and all of mine are outdated.”

Castiel imitates answering a phone. “How is Dean’s performance? Extremely captivating. His body is Adonis-like and he’s quite skilled at performing oral sex. Always takes initiative.”

Dean smacks Castiel on the arm playfully. “On second thought, maybe I’ll just say I have no references.”

They finish cleaning up the mess from breakfast together and Dean’s just finishing wiping down the table when Castiel’s cellphone chimes on the counter where he left it to charge. Castiel grabs it and immediately groans.

“What is it?”

“A few friends are having a get-together tomorrow.” Castiel is already typing a reply on his phone. “We have game night every Sunday, but I’ve blown it off the past couple weeks, so I really should go this week. I’m sorry, I totally forgot.”

“Cool.” Dean tries not to sound too disappointed. Tomorrow is their last day together before Castiel has to go back to work, but Dean’s not going to keep Castiel from seeing his friends.

He had planned to cook a roast for dinner with potatoes and carrots. He supposes he could just make it Monday instead. He’ll just have a sandwich for dinner while Castiel is out for the night.

“So you’ll come with me?”

“You want me to?”

“Of course. I want to show my new boyfriend off to all my friends.”

Dean kisses Castiel chastely and sends him off to shower and get ready so they can leave.

It’s colder than the weather report said it would be this morning. The thick branches of the trees along the trails block out most of the sun’s warmth. Snow still sticks to the ground here, slowly melting as spring tries to reclaim the land.   

Dean walks hand-in-hand with Castiel through the forest, the constant chatter of birds accompanying them on their way. They hear a woodpecker or two and Castiel swears he saw an owl, but Dean only saw empty branches in the distance.

In the springtime, there are deer along the trail, but it’s still too cold for them right now in the dense forest. Dean thinks this would be the perfect place for a picnic when the weather is nice. They could pack a nice lunch and sprawl out in a patch of sun to enjoy the afternoon.

They come across an elderly man standing in a little clearing off to the side of the path. He raises an open palm and is immediately greeted by a round, yellow bird. It chirps and eats the seed from the man’s hand. A squirrel dashes out from the brush and grabs the seed the bird drops on the ground.

“Did we just find real-life Snow White?” Dean whispers to Castiel.

The man sees the two of them watching and beckons them over. He offers them each a handful of birdseed from a little plastic bag and instructs them to be very quiet and very still. The three of them raise their palms, full of bird seed, and the man whistles a short tune.

For a moment nothing happens, but then there’s birdsong responding from the treetops. Soon birds—finches, the man whispers to them—are flying down from the branches and perching on their outstretched hands. They’re a variety of colours, but each one is just as tiny as the last, light as a single feather where they wrap their tiny feet around Dean’s finger.

The finches eat their fill and then fly back to the safety of the trees. Once all the seed is gone they thank the man and continue down the path that circles back to where they parked.

After walking around outside in the cold for over an hour both Dean and Castiel are shivering, even with the heat on full blast in the shelter of the car. So on the way home, Castiel stops at a little coffee shop and orders two hot chocolates to go.

The steaming Styrofoam cup quickly warms Dean’s frozen fingers and the rich hot chocolate warms him from the inside, but his feet are still freezing and he can’t wait to get home and curl up under a pile of blankets with Castiel.

But once they get home Dean can’t seem to sit still. He wanders between his room, the kitchen, and the living room. He sits on the couch with Castiel only to get up a few minutes later and go to the kitchen, standing there staring at the contents of the fridge.

He’s bouncing his leg while he sits on the couch and he shifts to get up but Castiel grabs his arm and pulls him back down to the couch.

“You’ve been antsy all day. What’s wrong?”

“It’s Saturday,” Dean says. Castiel just squints at him and Dean sighs. “Every day for almost four years today has been the day I scene with Alastair at the club.”

It took him a while to realize that’s why he’s felt off all day, but he felt this way Thursday night too, though not as strong. It’s like his body knows he should be somewhere else right now.

Castiel rubs a hand up and down Dean’s arm. “What do you need?”

He knows this is his chance to finally ask Castiel for what he wants, but he’s not sure he can voice his desires so openly. “I—I don’t know.”

“You need to communicate with me.”

Dean blushes and shakes his head. He can’t tell Castiel that he wants to be broken down to nothing until the only thing he knows is Castiel. He wants to be taken to that delicious floating place where he doesn’t have to think, where there’s no stress, where there’s nothing.

“I can help you,” Castiel says, voice soothing. It’s the opposite of what Dean wants right now. “All you have to do is tell me what it is you need.”

“I can’t.” He never had to ask when he was with Alastair. It was always a given that with Alastair came pain, but Castiel is gentle by nature.

“Dean.” Castiel’s voice is a notch lower, commanding. His whole demeanour changes in an instant. He stands straighter, his very presence giving off waves of authority. Dean shivers. He’s not even sure Castiel is aware of the slight changes in posture as he switches to Dom Castiel. “Tell me what you want.”

“I want you,” Dean tries, hoping it’ll satisfy Castiel enough to get them moving to the bedroom. But Castiel just stands there and pins Dean with his unwavering stare.

Dean throws his hands in the air. “Fine. I want you to fuck me into next week. I want all the soft touches but I want to hurt, too. I want all of it. Everything. I want you to do all the things you promised. I want you to bind me with rope and make me crazy with need until I can’t think anymore.”

“Good,” Castiel praises. He presses a soft kiss to Dean’s lips before taking his hand and leading them across the apartment to his bedroom.

Dean’s never been in Castiel’s room before. The door is usually closed and he’s only gotten brief glimpses inside. It seems forbidden to be in here and he takes a moment to look around.

Castiel’s room is the one place in the apartment where he stuck with a single style. The large room is done in warm oranges and browns with a few splashes of red and purple in the curtains or paintings on the walls. It would be inviting were it not for the mess.

Most of said mess is Castiel’s collection of books. Dean thought he had a lot of movies, but Castiel has to have at least twice the number of books. They’re stuffed onto multiple bookshelves and on top of his dresser and there are endless stacks leaning against each other on the floor. Dean thinks if he stomped his foot hard enough he could send the piles toppling like dominos.

Castiel turns from his closet and catches Dean looking around his room and raises an eyebrow.

“I’ve never been in your room before. The door is always closed.”

“Oh.” Castiel casts a glance around his room as well. “Habit, I guess.” He shrugs and goes back to rooting around in his closet. “Have you picked a safeword?”

“Impala.” Dean has actually spent some time thinking about it. He considered a few others, but even if Castiel dragged him as far into subspace as he could go he would still be able to remember ‘impala.’

“Okay, ‘Impala’ will be our safeword. If either you or I say it the scene stops immediately, okay? Use it if you need to.” Castiel turns from the closet holding a length of rope that he tosses onto the bed. “You’re wearing far too much, don’t you think?”

Dean looks down at himself. “Oh. Yeah.”

“Then strip.”

“Yes, Master.”

The title comes out as a reflex and Dean doesn’t think anything of it until Castiel frowns and says, “Don’t call me that.”

Dean’s fingers pause on the second button of his shirt. He looks up at Castiel. “Uh, okay…Sir?”

Castiel shakes his head. “No, not that either.”

“What am I supposed to call you, then?” Dean can’t help the annoyance that seeps into his words.

“How about we stick with my name,” Castiel says after a moment. “My full name.”

“Well, that’s boring.”

Castiel raises an eyebrow at him. “Is it? How is it any different than any other title? ‘Master’ and ‘Sir’ are just titles that indicate respect, authority.”

“Sure. Whatever,” Dean mumbles under his breath. Not quietly enough, apparently, because Castiel takes a step towards him and grips his chin, forcing him to lift his head and meet Castiel’s eye. Dean’s breath stutters out of his chest as Castiel stares him down.

“I’ll warn you now: I will not tolerate insolent behaviour. You will show me some respect.”

Fuck, Dean thinks, they’ve barely started and he’s already messed up. He’s been wanting to show Castiel that despite what Alastair always said, he is a good submissive.

Dean stays silent, turning his gaze downward, away from Castiel. But Castiel still holds his chin in a firm grip. And fuck, Dean’s so turned on. He can feel his cock twitch in his jeans.

“During a scene, you will address me as Castiel. Agreed?”

“Yes, Castiel.” Dean says it as he’d say ‘Master’ or ‘Sir’ and looks up through his lashes to see Castiel smiling at him.

“Yes, that’s perfect.” Castiel lets go of Dean’s chin and traces his thumb over his jaw. “Now, I believe I gave you a task.”

Castiel steps back and Dean continues to undress, cursing his decision to wear a flannel as he works on popping the tiny buttons on his shirt with clumsy fingers. When he finally gets them all undone he tosses the flannel aside, followed swiftly by his undershirt.

Castiel tsks and Dean’s hands pause on the button of his jeans. “Is that any way to treat your new clothes? Pick them up and fold them neatly, then place them on the dresser.”

Dean looks up at Castiel and then around at the mess of the bedroom, at the lump of clothes sitting on the floor beside the laundry hamper. He wants to point out the unfairness of it, but as soon as he opens his mouth Castiel raises an eyebrow at him. Dean promptly shuts his mouth and bends to pick up his shirts.

“Sorry,” he mumbles to the ground. He feels like a child being scolded.

After the shirts are folded Dean finishes undressing, folding his jeans and placing them on the dresser as directed. He hesitates only a moment before he slips his underwear down as well. He curses himself for not having the foresight to wear a pair of his new panties.

“Good,” Castiel praises when Dean finally stands in front of him, naked.

The room is silent as Castiel circles Dean slowly, trailing light, barely-there touches across his naked flesh and making Dean shiver.

“Beautiful,” Castiel says as he finishes the circle and stands in front of Dean once more. “On your knees.”

Dean sinks to his knees without a second thought. He knows how to do this, is very familiar with this position. He spreads his knees slightly and brings his arms to rest at the small of his back, and lowers his head.

Castiel bends down and pulls his arms back in front. “Like this,” he directs and places Dean’s hands on his thighs, palms up. He puts a palm on Dean’s chest and pushes him until his back is straight. Dean hadn’t even realized how hunched over he had been. Castiel tweaks Dean’s position bit by bit, making him push his shoulders back slightly, lifting his chin, shifting his knees.

“Sorry,” Dean mumbles again, berating himself for not even being able to do this small thing correctly for Castiel.

“There is always somewhat of a learning curve in a new relationship. Ours is no different. You will learn my preferences as I will learn yours, but I don’t expect you to know everything right off the bat.” His voice moves farther away and Dean turns his head slowly to watch Castiel as he moves back over to the closet.

Castiel’s body blocks Dean’s view and he can’t see what he grabs. Castiel starts to turn and Dean whips back around, afraid to get in trouble for looking.

Be good, be good, be good, Dean chants in his head. You can do this.

A hand smooths across his shoulders, down his back. “Relax, Dean. You don’t need to be so rigid.”

Dean rolls his shoulders and sighs, letting some of the tension fall from his position and resting his butt on his heels.

“There, that’s better, isn’t it?” Castiel runs his hand through Dean’s hair, fingers scraping against his scalp as Dean nods in agreement. “This is how I want you whenever I ask you to kneel.”

Dean nods again.

“Up,” Castiel orders, offering a hand to Dean to help him stand.

Castiel picks up the length of braided rope from the bed and uncurls it. “You’re going to look so good all wrapped up for me,” he says from behind Dean.

The two ends of the rope are draped over his shoulders and he can feel Castiel tying the first knot at the back of his neck. The knot presses into Dean’s skin as Castiel holds it in place while he comes around to tie another knot in the front.

Dean stands still as Castiel works, entranced by his skilled fingers as they slide over the ends of the rope and tie four more knots down Dean’s chest in even intervals.

“This is called a happy knot,” Castiel says as he kneels down to tie the fifth knot. He separates the ends of the rope around Dean’s dick that twitches at the close proximity of Castiel’s mouth, just out of reach.

Castiel finishes the knot and stands up. Dean’s about to ask why it’s called a happy knot when Castiel moves behind him again, pulling the rope back through his legs and connecting the ends to the original knot he made, pulling it tight.

The rope embeds itself between his ass cheeks and brushes over his hole. The happy knot presses up firmly against his perineum and makes Dean gasp. The roughness of the rope makes him squirm and the knot shifts slightly with his movement. He sways his hips from one side to another to feel the glorious pull of the rope again.

“Stand still.” Castiel swats Dean lightly on the thigh in reprimand. “I’m not even close to being done yet.”

He brings the rope back around to Dean’s front and draws the length of it through the ties running down his chest. Castiel’s fingers brush against Dean’s skin as he weaves the rope over and under itself, wrapping snugly around Dean’s body.

Castiel checks the tightness periodically as he works, making sure Dean is still comfortable and that the rope doesn’t bite into his skin anywhere. By the time Castiel moves behind him the final time to tie off the rest of the rope Dean is hard and his breathing is shallow.

“Absolutely beautiful,” Castiel whispers. He traces the rope with his finger, coming to stand in front of Dean once more to admire his handiwork. “How does it feel? Is it too tight anywhere?”

“No, Castiel. It feels good. I like it.”

“Good. Now I believe I have a promise to fulfil. Turn around and bend over the bed with that pretty ass in the air.”

Dean does as he’s told and groans when he leans over. The rope rubs and pulls deliciously against his skin. He rests on his forearms and raises his ass in the air, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“The rope feels good, doesn’t it?” Castiel’s jeans brush against Dean’s bare skin as he steps close, pressing his body against Dean’s. He smooths his hands down Dean’s back, over the rope. “I have nylon rope as well. It’s much softer. But I thought you would appreciate the roughness of this. The way it rubs against your skin with every movement.”

Castiel’s hands move lower, palming at the globes of Dean’s ass and spreading them apart. He pulls on a knot tied at the small of Dean’s back, making him arch into it as the rope pulls tight against his hole.

“You are not allowed to come until I say. Tell me when you’re close.”

“Yes, Castiel.”

Castiel pushes the rope aside and traces a finger around Dean’s rim, applying just the slightest bit of pressure and then backing off. He comes back with a slick finger, teasing again and refusing to give Dean what he really wants.

Dean shifts, wiggling his hips and trying to push back against Castiel.

“Seems like someone needs to learn a little patience,” Castiel says, but he doesn’t make Dean wait for it any longer. He pushes his finger through the tight ring of muscle and runs his other hand up and down Dean’s side, soothing him as he adjusts to the intrusion.

But Dean doesn’t want this gentleness. He clenches around Castiel’s single finger. “More,” he says into the blankets, “Please, more. I can take it.”

“I know you can,” Castiel says, but he continues to slowly push his single finger in and out in a gentle glide. “But tonight isn’t about getting you off fast and dirty. I told you what I wanted to do with you the first time I got you all wrapped up in rope, didn’t I?”

“Yes, Castiel.”

“And what, sweet boy, did I tell you?” Castiel withdraws his finger and Dean huffs into the mattress, annoyed at the loss.

“You said you were going to tie me up and make me beg for it.”

“Mmm, yes, but what else?”

Dean doesn’t answer, his attention honed in on Castiel’s fingers digging into the soft skin of his ass.

“Perhaps this will help jog your memory.” Castiel shifts behind Dean, his warmth disappearing.

Dean glances over his shoulder and sees Castiel on his knees behind him. The rope is moved to the side and then there’s a puff of warm air over his slicked hole.

Before Dean can make sense of why, there’s wet heat and that’s all he can focus on as Castiel’s tongue licks a stripe over his hole.

“Tell me what else,” Castiel prompts.

“Ah—oh,” Dean gasps and Castiel pushes his tongue inside. “Said you—fuck—were gonna run your tongue—tongue—oh God,” Dean breaks off in a moan as Castiel adds a finger alongside his tongue, “all over my body,” Dean continues once he catches his breath, “and open me up slowly.”

Castiel makes a humming noise as works his tongue further inside and Dean moans as the sound reverberates through his body, sending jolts of pleasure tingling just under his skin.

He’s never been eaten out before. The slick, insistent pressing of a tongue in his ass feels so foreign, like a tentacle worming its way inside him. He didn’t know it could feel this good or he would have tried it a lot sooner.  He never wants Castiel to stop.

Dean tries to push himself back on Castiel’s tongue, but firm hands grip his hips, holding him in place while Castiel continues to work Dean open slowly, making filthy slurping noises as he does.

Castiel pulls back and Dean whines at the loss of his skillful tongue. But it’s quickly replaced by a second slick finger pushing in oh so slowly to join the first. Castiel scissors his fingers as he pumps them in and out agonizingly slow.

“I said I was going to cherish you and give you all the things you deserve.” Castiel crooks his fingers and drags them over Dean’s prostate, the movement just as slow as everything else Castiel has done, drawing out a long moan from Dean at the constant pressure on that wonderful bundle of nerves inside him.

He had already been hard after Castiel finished tying him up, but now he can feel his cock twitch, desperate for attention, but his hips are up off the bed, presenting his ass for the sweet torture of Castiel’s fingers and tongue. It doesn’t stop his hips from thrusting forward, seeking nonexistent friction.

Castiel continues to rub over Dean’s prostate and adds a third finger to work Dean open further. There’s no pain, none of the pleasant burn Dean craves, only pleasure.

“Please,” Dean moans, “just fuck me already.”

“Oh that’s right,” Castiel muses from where he kneels behind Dean, “I also said I was going to drive you beyond begging, beyond words.” 

Sharp pain steals Dean’s breath and his pleas die on a gasp as Castiel bites into the meat of Dean’s ass. He laves his tongue over the indents his teeth leave, making Dean’s skin slick and shiny with spit. The pain of the bite only increases his pleasure and he balls his fists in the sheets by his head.

Castiel picks up the pace, pumping his three fingers in and out of Dean in short thrusts and Dean moans, finally feeling his orgasm creep up on him after so long. Castiel doesn’t let up, keeps fucking Dean with his fingers until the air is being punched from Dean’s chest and he can barely get the breath to speak.

“Yes,” Dean moans, “yes, I’m so close.”

Castiel slides another finger in and spreads, opening Dean up wide. The heat coils in his belly and he feels it growing, ready to burst, so close. And then Castiel’s fingers are gone. Dean’s empty and his hips continue to thrust into the air, searching for release.

A drop of precome spurts out from the head of his cock and down Dean’s length. He cries out in frustration as he feels his orgasm fade and slip out of reach.  

It feels like his hole is gaping after Castiel opened him up for so long and Dean shifts uncomfortably, aware of Castiel still kneeling behind him.

Castiel runs his palm down Dean’s back, grounding him with his gentle touch. He hadn’t realized he was so sweaty until Castiel’s cool hand touches his clammy skin. He’s panting into the blankets, grabbing fistfuls of it so he won’t just reach down and finish himself off.

The hand on his back comes to rest on his ass, pulling one cheek to the side as something prods at his well-stretched entrance. After Castiel so carefully opened him up with his fingers and tongue the butt plug slips in easily. It doesn’t feel very big, just big enough that Dean will constantly be aware of its presence.

Castiel drags it out an inch or so just to watch it slowly sink back into Dean. He fucks Dean with it for a few minutes until Dean starts squirming again, then he moves the rope back in place between Dean’s cheeks. It keeps the plug pushed deep inside him. Dean shifts his hips and feels the tip of it graze his prostate, just enough to tease.

“Okay, stand up.” Castiel slaps Dean’s ass once to get him moving. It makes Dean clench down on the smooth silicone nestled inside him and he does it again just to feel that light pressure against his prostate.

He stands up and nearly falls back over onto the mattress, too many sensations overwhelming him all at once. The rope harness rubs across his body, shifting and pulling, and the happy knot makes itself known again, pushing even more insistently with the plug in place. Dean groans as he adjusts.

“On the bed, gorgeous. Lie down on your back.”

Dean tries to move carefully, but when he lifts his leg up to get onto the bed the plug jabs into his prostate and makes him choke on a breath. He struggles for a moment with figuring out how to get up on the bed with the plug inside of him, but eventually makes it onto the mattress, lying down on his back.

He grinds his ass down into the mattress to feel the rope rub against his skin again and to jostle the plug. Dean does it again and again, chasing the brief moment of pleasure the movement brings. He stops when he notices Castiel beginning to undress.

Dean props himself up to watch as Castiel lifts his shirt over his head, revealing the tattoos Dean saw earlier. His jeans follow soon after and Dean spots another tattoo on his knee: a fuzzy bumble bee accented by little purple flowers. Lavender, Dean thinks, though that’s the only purple flower he knows of so he’s not entirely certain.  

When Castiel is finished undressing he climbs on top of Dean and straddles his waist. Dean can’t help but reach out and touch one of the twin stems of leaves on his pelvis. “You didn’t tell me you had tattoos,” Dean says as he traces the lines.

Castiel shivers at the light touches. “You didn’t ask.”

“Do you have any more?”

Castiel grabs Dean’s hands from where they wander closer and closer to Castiel’s erection. He leans over Dean, pulling his hands up and placing a kiss to each of them before moving them above Dean’s head and pressing him into the mattress.

“Are you trying to stall?” Castiel whispers in Dean’s ear.

“No. Tattoos are just hot as hell.”

Castiel chuckles as he sits back up. Dean’s positive the way he rubs his ass over Dean’s cock is entirely intentional, done just to torture him.

“Keep your hands above your head,” Castiel instructs.

He slides down Dean’s body and begins to fulfil his promise. Castiel presses kisses to every part of Dean’s body, starting at his throat and working his way down. He licks and bites at Dean’s skin, drawing gasps and tiny bitten off groans of pleasure from Dean’s throat.

Castiel licks over Dean’s nipple at the same time he grasps Dean’s leaking cock and Dean arches off the bed, pressing into the touch. He blows cool air over the tightening buds and Dean shivers.

Castiel’s hand pumps Dean in a steady rhythm, slowly working him back up, pushing him closer to the edge of release. He licks at Dean’s nipple again before wrapping his lips around it and sucking, using just a hint of teeth.

“Castiel,” Dean moans. He almost lifts his hands to twist into Castiel’s messy hair, but he remembers himself at the last second and grabs the headboard instead, wrapping his fingers tightly around one of the wooden slats.

Teeth and tongue scrape over Dean’s nipple one last time before Castiel moves his assault lower, dragging his mouth down Dean’s stomach. He picks up the speed of his hand the lower he moves until his fist is flying over Dean’s aching dick in a flurry of motion, using the precome leaking from the tip to slick the way.

Castiel mouths at the inside of Dean’s thigh, licking and biting the tender flesh. The headboard creaks under the crushing grip Dean has on it. He pulls against it when Castiel sucks a bruise into his thigh, his nose brushing against Dean’s groin.

“Yeah,” Dean sighs, bucking up into Castiel’s touch. “Yes, yes, yes,” he chants. Castiel slips a hand underneath Dean to play with the plug. He pulls and pushes, taps on the end of it so it teases against Dean’s prostate.

“God, yes!” Dean cries. Overwhelming pleasure crashes down on him as his orgasm begins to crest.

And then all movement stops. Castiel pulls his mouth and hands away leaving Dean writhing on the bed, wrinkling the covers as he moves and making the rope rub roughly against him, only adding to the overpowering sensations assaulting him.

Dean rests at the edge of pleasure for a moment, teetering right there on the edge before it slips out of his reach and he catches his breath. He pants and opens his eyes, not even realizing he had closed them and looks up at Castiel hovering over him.

“Were you about to come?”

The look on his face tells Dean that Castiel already knows the answer to that. “Feels so good. Please let me come.”

“Well, seeing as you’re still able to form sentences I don’t believe my work is quite done yet.”

Dean lets his head fall back into the pillows and groans.

“Do I need to put a cock ring on you?” Castiel wraps his fingers around Dean’s cock again, giving him a few slow strokes. “Or can you behave on your own?”

“No, Mas—Castiel, I’ll be good.”

Castiel pulls a condom down Dean’s length. “Be sure to tell me when you’re close.”

Dean’s reply is cut off in a moan as Castiel dives down and takes all of Dean into his mouth in one movement. The heat of his mouth is incredible and Dean circles his hips when all Castiel does is rest, his shallow breaths tickling the hair at the base of Dean’s cock.

He can feel himself slide into Castiel’s throat and he can barely handle the tightness of it as Castiel swallows around him. Dean cries out in pleasure, his orgasm already threateningly close. He’s never been denied release like this. He’s frustrated, but he wants more at the same time. He would let Castiel continue this delicious torture for the rest of his life.

“C-close.” Dean chokes out, but Castiel doesn’t pull away immediately. He swirls his tongue around Dean’s length and hums before pulling off. Watching a line of spit connecting Castiel’s lips to the tip of Dean’s cock almost makes Dean lose it.

He closes his eyes and works on controlling himself and holding his orgasm at bay.

“Good boy,” Castiel praises. The heat of his mouth is still too close to Dean’s erection and he can’t decide whether to inch closer or pull away from it. 

While Castiel waits for Dean to back away from the precipice of pleasure he kisses down his thigh, over his knee, his ankle, and down to the tip of his toes. He licks a long line up the bottom of Dean’s foot and Dean yanks his foot back reflexively. It feels weird and a little gross, but it also tickles.

Castiel smiles at him when Dean places his foot back in his grasp. He places a kiss to the top of Dean’s foot and then places it back on the bed only to start the process again with his other leg, kissing his toes and working his way up back to his thigh.

By the time Castiel settles back in the space between Dean’s spread legs and sticks his tongue out to lick the tip of his cock Dean is no longer in danger of coming without permission.

Castiel drives Dean incoherent with pleasure and introduces just a hint of pain: biting or pinching or slapping him. It’s nowhere near enough as much pain as Dean can take, but the ache of having come so close to the edge only to be yanked away from it, again and again, is pain enough.

Twice more Castiel brings Dean to the brink of pleasure, each time Dean being sure to warn him of his impending orgasm, and each time Dean hoping it’ll be the time Castiel finally lets him come. He’s fulfilled his promise; Dean is incapable of forming coherent sentences or even thoughts.

There is only the pleasure Castiel bestows him.

“You’ve done so well.” Castiel runs a gentle hand through Dean’s hair as he settles the plug back into his hole after having brought him to the edge by fucking him with it. “Good boys deserve a reward. Do you want your reward now?”

Dean nods, still catching his breath. His entire body is on fire, burning with need. Even the lightest touch could send him over the edge now.

“How would you like to come?”

“I—what?” Dean’s brain can barely form a thought at this point.

“How would you like to come?” Castiel repeats. “Whatever you want. All you have to do is tell me.”

But Dean had understood the words the first time, just not the implications of them. Does he truly mean Dean can choose whatever he wants? Dean wonders if Castiel would let him fuck him. He can only imagine what it would feel like to be inside Castiel. And nope, Dean has to stop that train of thought at the station or he’s not going to get what he really wants.

Castiel brushes the pad of his finger over Dean’s nipple and even that light touch is almost too much. “I can suck you off. I can finger you.” As he talks Castiel rolls his finger around Dean’s nipple, pressing it down and then pinching it between his fingertips and making Dean cry out in pain, his chest arching up off the mattress. “I can eat you out until you come. I can shove a vibrator in you and maybe wring out two orgasms from you. I can—”

Every option is better than the last, but that’s not really what Dean wants.

“Fuck me,” Dean blurts out, “Please fuck me, Castiel. Fuck me until I black out, and never stop.”

“As you wish, my good boy.” Castiel retrieves a condom from the drawer of his side table and gets himself ready, rolling the condom on and slicking his length with lube that Dean doesn’t want or need after being so thoroughly teased and prepped.

Castiel gets situated between Dean’s legs once more and pulls Dean’s feet to wrap around his waist, lifting Dean’s butt up off the mattress so he can pull out the plug and slide himself in.

They both groan as Castiel enters Dean for the first time, sinking into him slowly. And Dean was wrong, he still wasn’t stretched enough to take Castiel. He groans and screws his eyes shut, but the burn of Castiel stretching him open is the perfect kind of pain that Dean’s been craving and he rocks down to take more of it.

Castiel thrusts forward and seats himself fully inside Dean and gasps. Dean gives his hips an experimental roll and moans when Castiel hits his prostate. He repeats the action and clenches down, trying to entice Castiel to start moving.

Castiel reaches a hand out to touch the side of Dean’s face, running his fingers over his cheek and across his jaw. Dean opens his eyes at the touch and finds Castiel staring down at him, his face full of awe as they lock eyes. Dean has to turn his head, has to look away from whatever emotion lies behind Castiel’s infinitely blue eyes.

The fingers at his jaw grip his chin lightly and make Dean turn his head back to look at Castiel again, holding him there. “Stop looking away from me. I want to see you.”

Dean mumbles something under his breath, refusing to meet Castiel’s eye.

“What was that?”

“It’s embarrassing, okay? Why’s it so important?”

Castiel frowns. “It feels…impersonal when you refuse to look at me, like you don’t want to be here.”

“Jeez, Cas, you’re literally inside of me right now. How much more personal could ya get?”

Dean glances at Castiel above him and sighs. “It’s just…I was taught that submissives aren’t supposed to look directly at their Master, that it was challenging their dominance. A perfect sub shows his submission in every action: from his stance to the way he behaves.”

“It seems to me that any Dominant afraid of someone challenging their authority isn’t all that confident in their ability to dominate in the first place.” Castiel leans down to place a gentle kiss to Dean’s lips. “If you feel so inclined as to challenge my dominance, I would be more than happy to show you exactly how dominant I can be.”

Dean gulps at that. He has no doubt Castiel means every word.

“Never feel like you need to hide from me. I want to see, and hear, and feel all of your reactions.” Castiel punctuates that by sitting back up and snapping his hips forward.

Dean can’t help the gasp that’s punched out of him, turning into a low groan as Castiel keeps up the harsh rhythm.

“Yes, Dean, exactly like that.”

It’s a struggle, but Dean manages to keep his eyes on Castiel, watching his face contort with pleasure as he fucks into Dean, still tight even after Castiel toyed with him for so long.

“I want to touch you. Please let me touch you, Castiel.” Dean flexes his fingers wrapped around the headboard where Castiel told him to keep them.

“Of course.” Castiel reaches down and pulls Dean up until he’s sitting in his lap.

The position is awkward and doesn’t allow for Castiel to thrust in as deep, but Dean’s already so close he doesn’t care. He just needs to touch.

Dean wraps his arms around Castiel, one hand sinking into his hair to pull Castiel into a kiss, both of them panting into each other’s mouths as Dean rocks his hips down and Castiel thrusts up shallowly.

It’s the most intimate position Dean’s ever been in—during a scene or otherwise—but it feels right and it doesn’t take long for both of them to reach their peak.

“God, you’re so amazing, Dean. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have met you.”

Castiel shifts and the movement drags the harness tighter against Dean’s skin and God does he hope he has rope burn that lasts for days to remind him of this. The knot at his perineum presses in so hard Dean chokes.

“Gonna come,” Dean cries.

“Are you telling me or asking?” Castiel’s voice is a deep growl as he holds Dean’s hips and pulls him up, drawing almost all the way out, and then plunging him back down in one smooth motion.

It’s too much. Dean can feel his orgasm right there, just under the surface, ready to overtake him at any moment, especially if Castiel keeps moving Dean’s hips up and down like that, fucking him onto Castiel’s cock, using him like he’s nothing more than a toy.

“Fuck!” Dean screams, “fuck, fuck, fuck.” Tears leak out the corner of his eyes with the effort of holding back his orgasm.

He whines, needing Castiel to give him permission to finally let go, but unable to get the words out.

“Please, Castiel,” he says, “Please.”

“Please what?”

“Please let me come, Castiel.” Too much longer and he’s going to come with or without permission.

“Tell me you’re good.”

Dean hesitates. He’s not good. And saying he is would be lying. He would be breaking Castiel’s rule.

Castiel snakes one hand between their bodies to grip Dean’s erection and Dean’s hips stutter to a stop. His fingers squeeze bruises into Castiel’s shoulders. Castiel drags his hand down the length of Dean’s cock and then back up, rubbing under the head of his sensitive tip.

Dean keens and throws his head back.

“Say it,” Castiel whispers into his ear.

“I’m good.”

“Good boy.”

Castiel keeps stroking him in time with his thrusts. The tears roll down Dean’s cheeks now, the pressure within him needing to find any kind of relief.

“Can I—plea—Castiel.”

“Yes, Dean, you can come.”

Dean pulls Castiel into a kiss just as his orgasm finally takes over him and he screams his release into Castiel’s mouth. Everything around him falls to the back of his mind as wave after wave of unending pleasure wraps its way around his body, drowning him under the onslaught for so long he’s not sure if he had multiple orgasms or if it was one drawn out one.

When Dean is aware of his surroundings again he’s on his back with Castiel curled up against his side, his eyes closed with a dopey smile plastered on his face.

Dean doesn’t want to move. He wants to savour this bliss for as long as possible. That was the most intense orgasm he’s ever had. All the teasing and waiting was worth it if it meant an orgasm that strong every time.

Castiel is the first to get moving. He sits up on the mattress, the movement jostling Dean.

“Can you sit up for me?”

“Don’t wanna,” Dean mumbles. Extra intense orgasms also mean being extra tired afterwards, apparently.

Castiel chuckles at him. “Okay, can you at least roll over for me?”

Even that is asking too much, but Dean obeys and flops onto his stomach. He grunts when he feels Castiel tugging at the rope. It takes a moment for him to realize that Castiel is untying the knots, freeing him from the rope harness.

Dean grumbles in protest. He doesn’t want Castiel to take away the comfort of the rope yet, but his limbs are mush and he lies boneless with his face smushed into the mattress, letting Castiel do as he pleases.

It feels surprisingly good: Castiel untying him. He praises Dean as he works, telling him how well he did, calling him “perfect” and “good boy.”

Dean slowly comes back to himself as the knots are worked free and he manages to push himself into a sitting position when Castiel needs to get at his chest. The last of the knots are untied and Dean sighs as the loose rope drags over his skin one final time.

“How do you feel?” Castiel asks as he coils the rope.

Dean takes a moment to think about it. He feels wonderful. He feels sated and a little sore but in a good way. He rolls his shoulders as he takes inventory of his body, but there are no injuries to be found. 

“My nipples hurt.”

“My apologies. I might have been a little too enthusiastic.” Castiel presses a gentle kiss to Dean’s chest. “I’ve never been with someone with nipples as sensitive as yours. The noises you make when I lick them…”

Dean blushes and raises a finger to gently feel his abused nipples. He hisses at the touch. “God, even wearing a shirt tomorrow is gonna suck.”

“Mmm,” Castiel hums, “If it means I get to keep you shirtless all the time I’m never going to stop licking and biting your nipples.”

They lie in Castiel’s bed together, cuddling and chatting for a bit before Castiel makes them get up to get snacks and water. Afterwards, he drags Dean into the shower and washes his body with gentle hands. Dean returns the favour and washes Castiel’s hair for him, massaging his scalp and peppering his face with tiny kisses as he rinses the shampoo away.

Even after the shower, Dean is still riding the high of his first scene with Castiel.