Antigodlin: (adj.) lopsided or at an angle; out of alignment; askew
“What’s got your panties in a twist?” you asked.
Cas shot you an irritated look as you plopped down into the seat across from his. “I don’t have my—” He stopped short of repeating you, choosing instead to let out a heavy, annoyed sigh. “I’m trying to work, Y/N. It’s very important that I get this done for Sam and Dean. They need this information for—”
“For the case in Wichita,” you finished. “I know. But just because you’re an angel who doesn’t need sleep doesn’t mean you don’t need to rest. Besides, you’ve been on edge for days now. You could use a break.”
He didn’t reply. His lips pursed, Cas turned back to thumbing through the heavy tome in front of him. Only a moment later, he set it aside and pulled another one from the stack beside him to take its place, then began to look through that one as well.
“Cas,” you sighed. “Cas, you need to take a break.” Reaching across over, you grabbed the book and pulled it to your side of the table, then set it on the seat beside you so it was out of his reach.
Shooting you another annoyed look, Cas reached for the next book in his stack, but you stood and pulled it from his hands before he could even set it down in front of him.
“Y/N, I don’t have time for this.”
“Since when don’t you have time for me?” you asked, crossing your arms over your chest. “You’ve been pissy lately and it’s starting to annoy me. I wish you’d tell me if it was something I did.”
“It’s not something you did, Y/N,” Cas replied after a moment. “My… pissiness,” he repeated the word hesitantly, “has nothing to do with you.”
“Then what’s it have to do with? Huh?”
Castiel shifted uncomfortably in his chair, flexing his shoulders back and wincing as he moved. It wasn’t until you watched him subconsciously roll his shoulders again as he gave you an excuse for his irritability that you realized the real reason for his recent behavior.
“Are you in pain, Cas?” you asked, ignoring the half-formed excuse he’d just given you.
“Are you in pain? You’re acting like you’ve got a giant knot in shoulders or something. Do you want me to massage it out for you?”
Shaking his head, Cas answered, “Y/N, I’m fine. It’s not a big deal.”
You noticed the redness in his cheeks and rolled your eyes. “Come on, Cas. It’s not a big deal. I’ve done it for Sam and Dean before. Helping each other with things like this is what friends do, right?”
He hesitated, looking at the stack of books he’d already completed. You waited patiently as he thought, but when he shifted again and winced as his shoulders moved, you sighed.
“Don’t be stupid, Cas. Let me help you.”
“It’s not that I don’t want your help, Y/N, it’s just… My shoulders aren’t what’s bothering me.”
You frowned, confused. “Okay… If it’s not your shoulders, then what is it?”
“My wings,” Cas reluctantly replied.
Now his irritability and all the secrecy made sense. You’d never seen his wings before, and you’d certainly never heard him mention them to anyone, not even to another angel.
No wonder he’s acting so weird about it, you thought, licking your lips as you tried to think of a good response.
Cas nodded. “They’re… delicate. I think some of the feathers got damaged or ruffled during the last hunt, but I can’t see them. Their span is quite wide.”
“I see,” you repeated dumbly. “I guess I could try and help you. I mean, if you want.”
The library was silent and Cas stared at you, holding your gaze as you waited for him to reply. Finally, he nodded his assent and stood.
“Where are you going?” you asked, staring up at him from your seat.
“I would prefer we do this someplace more private,” Cas told you, and nervousness bubbled up in you. You’d always wondered what those words would sound like coming from Cas’ mouth, and now that you’d heard them you wondered if your shy, school-girl crush would ever go away.
Nodding, you got up from your own seat and followed Cas down the hallway to the bedroom he’d claimed as his own. He’d never used it to sleep, except on the few rare occasions when his grace had been too diminished to sustain or heal him, but you knew that he often stole away into it in order to get some privacy.
Cas closed the door behind you and you smoothed your hands over your leggings, looking around the room. It looked exactly the same as yours, just with less personal items, but it somehow felt entirely different.
“You’re nervous,” Cas said from behind you, and you nodded in response. “While I appreciate your offer, Y/N, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I don’t want to make you nervous…”
“No!” you hurriedly replied, turning to face him. “No, Cas. I want to help. I just know that wings are pretty private. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard you mention them.”
He nodded, giving you a small, nervous smile of his own. “Yes. I’ve never shown anyone my wings before, with the exception of angels, who are born with the ability to differentiate the human plane of existence from our own.”
Nodding thoughtfully, you were mulling over Cas’ words when the room suddenly became significantly darker. You lifted your head and held back a gasp upon seeing Cas standing before you with two expansive, black wings spread out on either side of him. They were blocking the light from the bedside lamp, but the glow from the lamp on the desk was reflecting off them, causing the feathers to glisten and shine.
“Painful,” he finished, and you nodded again, remembering why he was showing you something so personal in the first place.
Gesturing to the bed, you said, “Take a seat. I’ll go on the other side and see if there’s anything on the back of them that I can help you with.”
Cas did as you asked and you made your way around the bed, bumping into the desk chair and then the edge of his wing as you scooted past. You mumbled apologies the whole way around, and you were sure that your cheeks were flushed with embarrassment by the time you finally reached the other side of the mattress.
Pull yourself together, Y/N, you silently ordered. Stop making yourself looking like an idiot.
“Do you see anything?” Cas asked as you shifted the bedside lamp to try and get a better view of the back. He sounded antsy and you watched as he shifted on the edge of the mattress, the wings moving as well, just like when your arms swung at your sides as you walked. Cas’ right wing came close to knocking over the lamp on the desk but it quickly tucked itself in, instinctively moving away from the object. He made an uncomfortable noise as the wing unfolded to its full length once more, and you decided that the end of the wing was as good a spot as any to start.
Pulling out your phone, you turned on the flashlight and brought it up to eye-level so that you could see the soft, delicate feathers better. As soon as you stepped up close you noticed that a few of them weren’t in line with the others.
“You were right,” you murmured. It felt wrong to speak at a normal volume during such an intimate moment, and though your stomach fluttered nervously as you waited for Cas to reply, you kept reminding yourself that he wouldn’t be showing you his wings unless he absolutely needed help. He probably would have asked Sam or Dean first if they hadn’t been out on a hunt.
Cas didn’t answered right away. Finally, he hesitantly said, “Can you… Y/N, can you move the feathers back into place? You won’t hurt me by touching them. Just… fix them the way you fix your hair. They’re strong.”
You nodded, despite the fact that he couldn’t see you, then lifted a hand and very gently ran your fingers through the feathers. They moved without issue and, surprisingly, didn’t feel as delicate as they looked. It felt like you were simply finger-combing your own hair, though it was a lot softer.
Cas let out a sigh and you looked up at him from behind the top ridge of the wing.
“Are you okay?”
He nodded. “Yes. That feels wonderful. I haven’t had anyone touch my wings in such a long time, and—”
He cut himself off and you frowned. “And what, Cas?” When he didn’t answer, you pressed, “Cas, do you want me to comb the rest of your wings for you?”
The room was silent and you pursed your lips, keeping your eyes on Cas as you waited for his reply. After a few moments, he nodded his consent.
Smiling softly, you turned your attention back to his wing. Cas kept quiet for the most part as you began to groom the feathers once more, the only sounds being the soft sighs he let out whenever you fixed a particularly lopsided feather.
You finally finished the right wing after what seemed like an eternity. He’d been right when he said they were enormous.
“Cas,” you said, causing him to lift his head and look over his shoulder at you, “I gotta get a snack. I’ll be back, okay? Don’t go anywhere.”
“Don’t leave,” Cas said, unspoken need filling the sound of his voice as you ducked past his wing. You glanced back at him, and in the blink of an eye the bedspread was covered with all of your favorite snack foods—even ones that were your guilty pleasures, weren’t sold anymore, or came from obscure places you hadn’t been to in years.
“Cas, what are—” You laughed, smiling and shaking your head a little in disbelief. “What are you doing? How did you get all of this? I mean…” You stepped over to the bed and picked up a candy bar that had been discontinued years ago, inspecting it carefully. “Cas, they don’t even sell these anymore!”
“I’m an angel of the Lord,” he replied simply.
You couldn’t help but laugh in response. “I can see that.” You gestured to his wings, your smiled broadening. “But why did you do this? It wouldn’t have taken me that long to go grab some chips.”
Cas watched you, the confidence from his last answer fading and quickly being replaced with uncertainty. “I… I enjoy your company, Y/N. I don’t want to be without you right now. You’ve seen my wings, and though I’d be able to find you easily…”
It took you a second, but you understood what he meant only moments after he’d fallen silent. “You’re afraid I’ll leave,” you finished, and Cas nodded in response. “You should me something personal, and now you’re afraid I’m going to leave.”
Sighing softly, you cleared a spot beside him and sat down on the bed, feeling the candy slide across the bed and bump into the side of your thigh as the mattress dipped beneath you. “Cas, I wouldn’t do that to you. You’re a really great guy. A great angel, I guess,” you corrected yourself with a small smile, and you could’ve sworn that the side of Cas’ lips quirked up as well. “Your wings are gorgeous. They’re more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined, and they’re really soft, too. I’d groom your wings all day if I could, honestly! You have nothing to worry about.”
He nodded slightly, glancing over to meet your eyes for a second. “Thank you, Y/N. That means a lot that you would say that. You mean a lot to me.”
Surprised, you watched him carefully before asking, “What do you mean by that? That I mean a lot to you?”
Cas muttered something and stood, his wing knocking into you in the process. You let out a cry of surprise and he quickly folded them against himself, wincing as the ungroomed one reminded him of its disheveled state.
“Are you alright?” he asked, and you nodded, though you kept rubbing the spot on the back of your head where the heavy appendage had hit you.
“I’m fine, but you don’t seem like you are. What kind of quick exit are you trying to make, cowboy?”
“I—” Cas pressed his lips together and made a frustrated noise, glancing at the door and standing straight again. “Dean told me this would be easier,” he sighed.
You couldn’t help but smile slightly at his frustration. “You’ve been talking to Dean about me? Were you planning on asking me to groom your wings, Cas?”
He shook his head and waved his hand, making all the food on the bed disappear, sans the candy bar in your hand. “No. We’ve spoken about other matters…” Cas kept quiet for a few moments as you tried to think of what else to say. “Y/N, I like you.”
You blinked. “Well, I… Thank you. I like you too, Cas.”
“No, Y/N,” he answered, shaking his head again, this time more urgently. “I like you in that I wish to spend all my time with you. I want to take you on dates like a normal boyfriend would and buy you gifts.”
“You like-like me?” you asked him. A smile began to blossom on your face as he nodded a little. “Is that what you talked to Dean about? About being my boyfriend?” Cas nodded again and you grinned. “That’s really sweet, Cas. I like-like you too.”
It was Cas’ turn to smile, and when you stood and gestured for him to sit back down again, he did so obediently.
“Let me see your wings again,” you said, still smiling. “I have to finish the left one, and then maybe we could watch a movie or something?”
“We have research to finish, Y/N,” he reminded you.
Knowing he was right, you went back to your spot on the other side of the bed and began to groom his other wing, drawing the soft, pleased noises from his lips once more. After a long while, he grew silent, and you glanced over the top of the wing to find that his eyes were closed.
“You like this a lot, don’t you?” He nodded in response and you smoothed one hand over the top of his wing, causing him to shiver from wing-tip to toe. “After we’re done researching, do you want to watch that movie?”
“I’d like that more than I like this,” Cas answered, his voice soft and low, and you smiled softly as you went back to running your fingers through the feathers.
“Me too,” you murmured. “Though I wouldn’t be opposed to doing this for you whenever you needed it.”
Cas hummed happily from his spot. “I’ll keep that in mind, Y/N.”