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“The hell,” Dean muttered, furiously dusting off the counter, holding his mug far away from the mess. He frowned and turned to lean against the counter, sipping at his coffee. Sam was sitting at the table, too immersed in whatever was on his computer to eat his breakfast- which was surely cold by now- that he hadn’t noticed Dean’s miniature fit.

“Sammy.”

“Hmm?” Sam raised a brow but didn’t look up, typing something into the browser.

Dean scoffed and raised his arms, looking around the kitchen. “Oh, are we just ignoring the fucking mess in the kitchen now? Or the hallway? The library? Am I the only one seein’ it?”

“I see it too,” Jack said simply as he walked into the kitchen, giving Dean a smile as he sat down across from Sam. Sam wordlessly slid his plate over to him and Jack began eating without preamble, looking innocently back up at Dean as he chewed a bite of bacon.

“Great, so…are we just waiting for me to clean it up, or…?”

Jack and Sam’s eyes met and Jack shrugged innocently. Sam furrowed his brow and turned in his seat, laying an arm flat on the table. “It’s just feathers, Dean. Cas told us he’d be molting. Apparently it happens to angels from time to time.”

“Will it happen to me?” Jack asked, shoveling eggs into his mouth.

“Maybe,” Sam nodded to him, then looked back to Dean. “I mean, we can clean them up, but there’s hardly a point until he’s done. I just swept the hallway last night before bed, and…well.”

Dean mumbled to himself as he pushed feathers into a pile at his feet, some small, some up to a foot long, dull black things tinted blue at the ends, some dry enough to flake apart when touched.

“Where the hell is he, anyway?”

Sam shrugged and returned to his computer. “Dunno. I saw him last night before bed, but I think he left again.” He gestured to the screen. “I’m tryin’ to find out what I can about whatever he’s got goin’ on, see if we can help. He seemed…real uncomfortable.”

Dean paused with his mug to his lips. “Yeah? Like how?”

“He was shaking, like he was cold,” Jack said slowly through a mouthful of food, frowning at the bacon in his hand. “But he had his jacket on, and he was sweating.”

Dean held his arms out to the sides, some of his coffee sloshing over the rim of his mug. “So everyone’s seen him since this started but me?”

Jack watched him with a blank stare as he chewed his food, and Sam fixated on his computer screen again. Dean huffed and topped off his coffee, kicking feathers out of his way as he exited the kitchen and made his way to his bedroom.

“C’mon, Cas,” he mumbled half-heartedly, pushing his door shut behind him and taking a look around the room. He huffed and rolled his eyes, shaking his head slightly before closing them all the way. “Heya, Cas…been hearin’ you’re havin’ a hard time and I just…I guess I’m just wonderin’ if there’s anything I can do to help.”

He opened his eyes and looked around again, scoffing and scrubbing a hand down his face as he plopped down on his bed. It was rare that Cas didn’t answer a call from Dean almost immediately, and even more rare when he didn’t at all. Dean had called him several times each day since the molting started, so finding out the damn guy was in the bunker on and off for days and never checked in really chapped his ass. They were best friends, for chrissake.

“Cas, I swear to Chuck, if you don’t get your winged ass down here I’ll summon you.”

He felt him before he saw him, which is a phenomenon that neither of them can quite explain, just an overwhelming feeling of presence that feels like it’s wrapping Dean in a cocoon of static electricity.

“Dean.”

Dean whipped around, finding Cas in the chair by his bed, looking…well, if he was being honest, the man looked like shit.

His clothes were soaked through with sweat, dark nipples hard under his white shirt- not that Dean noticed- his hair wet and matted to his forehead, skin red, eyes bloodshot. It looked like every small movement hurt him, going by his wince as he shifted in his seat. His wings were only visible in Heaven, unless Castiel decided otherwise, which begged the question why his stupid feathers were all over the bunker, but Dean decided that was a question best saved for later.

Dean got to his feet and started over to him. “Cas, what the fuck-“

Don’t ,” Cas said weakly, going rigid as he held out a hand.

Dean paused momentarily before pressing his lips together and setting his jaw. Cas looked too exhausted to argue but shrank as far into his chair as he comfortably could as Dean approached, stiffening when he laid a hand on his arm.

“The hell’s goin’ on with you, man?”

“I told you, I’m-“

“Molting, yeah. Right.” Dean sighed and knelt down in front of the chair, scraping his teeth over his bottom lip. “Thing is, Cas…I looked up angel molting.”

Cas’s eyes snapped to Dean’s, expression unreadable.

“Yeah. And see…according to the lore, angel molting is just that…and none of this other stuff.” He flapped a hand at Cas, indicating his feverishness and general rough appearance. “But I did read a small passage about how angels could molt if they had other issues going on, or were in severe distress-“

Cas shook his head before Dean could finish.

“-so I guess I’m just wondering why you won’t tell me what’s really goin’ on. Seein’ as I’m supposedly your best friend.” Dean shrugged, looking smug, as Cas rolled his eyes.

“The monumental meaning your friendship has to me is exactly why I haven’t expanded your knowledge of this situation, Dean,” Cas ground out, closing his eyes as another shiver wracked his body and he clutched his trench tighter around him.

“Whatever that means,” Dean snorted, standing and laying the back of his hand against Cas’s forehead before the man can stop him. His jaw practically dropped when the intense heat registered, and he dropped to his knees in front of Cas again, his other hand grabbing his shoulder and shaking him lightly.

“Cas, you’re fuckin’ burning up, buddy,” Dean said dumbly, eyes a little wide as he shook his head. “We gotta…I mean, I dunno...gotta get you to a hospital or somethin’-”

No ,” Cas growled, grabbing Dean's wrist. “Believe me when I say that there is nothing your hospital can do to help me. It would only cause unnecessary chaos.”

“Fine, then what can?” Dean demanded. “Tell me what the hell is goin' on.”

Cas pressed his lips together and half rolled his eyes, ultimately closing them for a long moment. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, looking back up at Dean. “You wouldn't believe me if I told you.”

“Try me.”

“Very well.” Cas sat up as straight as he could, and Dean took a few steps back, sitting on his bed with his hands clasped between his legs. “Once every millenium or so-”

Millenium?”

Cas did roll his eyes this time. “How many times must you cynically marvel over the amount of years since my creation?”

“I just keep forgetting how old you are.”

“Anyway, you are aware of the fact that technically, I do not have a gender. My ethereal being, my trueform...it is genderless.”

“Right.”

Cas nodded. “That's not the entire truth. I do have a gender, but not in the traditional sense. In the scope of your species, I present myself as male. In Heaven, I'm simply an Alpha.”

Dean opened and closed his mouth a few times. “Like, as in, a wolf?”

“The same concept as wolves, yes.” Cas scrubbed a hand down his sweaty face and shuddered violently. “As I was saying before, every millenium or so, the angels' heats and ruts are triggered with the intention of creating new angels. Sometimes the alarm is sounded sooner, in extreme cases...like now, considering the rapidly dwindling amount of angels left in Heaven. Or on Earth, for that matter.”

Dean stared at him, then huffed a laugh. “You're tellin' me Chuck activates a species preservation button?”

“Metaphorically, yes.”

Dean blinked and shook his head. “Okay. What does that mean for you?”

“I'm expected to...” Cas paused, swallowing hard, “do my part. To find an unmated Omega and...procreate.”

Dean wanted to laugh again but he was kind of afraid Cas might smite him for it, so he just pressed his lips together and nodded solemnly. “Right. So...what exactly is the problem? Can't find an...Omega?”

Cas sighed and looked up at the ceiling. “There are currently, on Heaven and Earth altogether, seven angels.” He met Dean's eyes again. “Including me.”

“So not, uh...many options, then.”

“No. Additionally, only three of them are Omegas. Two are mated. And I don't particularly care for the process in which the remaining Omega is handled during this time.”

Dean looked down and cleared his throat. “So what happens if you don't, uh...y'know. Take the edge off.”

“Just...this.” Cas gestured to himself. “Molting, fever, chills. General sickness of its own kind.”

“Dude, you ever, uh...just try masturbating? Wouldn't that help the symptoms or whatever?”

“No. I would only get temporary relief from knotting someone. Preferably an Omega, but...” he trailed off, looking at the floor, over at the wall...anywhere but at Dean.

“...knotting.”

Cas looked at him again, as if this was general knowledge every normal person knew. “Yes, also the same as the canid mammals on Earth. I'm currently in an unmated rut with no one to-” he coughed and shivered. “It doesn't matter. It will pass. It always does.”

“Why didn't you come to me, man? I could've found you somebody. Not like, an Omega, but I coulda got you a chick-”

“It wouldn't have mattered. I don't care to fornicate with anyone I don't have a bond with.”

“Okay, well,” Dean crossed his arms over his chest, “you coulda at least given me a heads up. Had me worryin' about you over nothin'.”

“Dean, I couldn't-” Cas snapped his jaw closed, squeezing his eyes shut and shaking his head. “Being around you is too...difficult.”

Dean tilted his head and licked his lips. “Say again?”

Cas huffed. “Please don't pretend the tension between us is non-existent. Not right now. It's too difficult to be around you because I am attracted to you. With my rut triggered it's only increased my attraction to you ten-fold.”

Dean paused for a long time with his mouth in a small “o”, his brow furrowed.

“This is why I didn't come,” Cas ground out, jaw clenched.

“Hey, look, it's...” Dean shook his head, waving a hand. “I'm cool, Cas. No judgement or anything, you know? It's...that's, um...it's awesome. I mean, not the whole...” he swallowed hard, “rut thing, or whatever. But you...tellin' me, that's cool, I mean-”

“Please stop talking.”

“Yep.”

Cas sat up a little in his chair, wincing and letting out a small groan. It took Dean a minute to realize that he was trying to take off his jacket, and he snapped out of his daze to help him. He dropped it to the floor, opting to give Cas's entire outfit a run through the washing machine before he left again.

“C'mon, man, let's get you changed into something else.”

Cas nodded and got to his feet with some effort, the two of them working to relieve him of his shoes, socks, jacket, and shirt. Cas's hands moved to his belt and he paused, pulling his bottom lip between his teeth as he looked down.

“What?”

“I'm...I shouldn't.”

“Since when are you ashamed? Of...anything? Ever?” Dean gave an awkward laugh. “I thought nudity didn't affect you guys.”

“That's not entirely true,” Cas said quietly. “And I imagine feelings are something that effects, um...physical-”

“Mhm,” Dean said quickly with a nod. “Right. Well, I mean, it's not like I'm the one getting' naked.”

“Yes, but you're here , and I'm...” Cas looked pointedly down at his slacks, moving his hands slightly, and... yep. He was definitely hard. The outline of his cock pressed against the fabric, jutting out far enough that it wasn't subtle. Dean swallowed, his throat dry.

“Jesus, Cas, you're...uh...just from bein' here?”

Cas cut his eyes up at him. “I have the strong desire to mate with you, so...yes.”

Dean scrubbed a hand over his mouth. “Fuck. Shit . Okay,” he scrubbed his hands up through his hair. “Let's do this.”

Cas’s eyebrows shot up. “Excuse me?”

“Come on,” Dean said gruffly, gesturing him forward, rolling his shoulders back to brace himself. “Before I lose my nerve.”

“Dean, this isn’t just-”

“What?”

Cas pressed his lips together. “You’re trying to be a good friend and I appreciate that, but this is not how I...I wouldn’t want you this way.”

“Oh,” Dean said dumbly, unclenching his muscles. “I thought...that you, uh…” he gestured vaguely toward Cas’s crotch.

“Oh, no, I do, I- I really do, want you, that- what I meant was, I...if we were to...I wouldn’t want it to be forced. I want...with you, it’s different. I-”

“I know, Cas,” Dean said, tonguing his cheek and nodding. “I already know. And I...I’ve just been trying to own my shit, you know? Cause I wasn’t...wasn’t ready to accept that yet. And...I dunno...after seein’ dad again, for some reason I feel like I can finally be all the things I told myself I never could. I feel like I can finally be happy. I feel like I finally deserve for someone to feel about me the way you do.”

Cas looked down, clasping his hands in front of him. “I’m glad you...um. I’m glad that’s okay...with you.”

“Fuck, Cas,” Dean breathed, smiling softly. “You could’ve just said something, dumbass.”

“I didn’t...want to give you another reason to shut me out.”

Dean dragged his teeth over his bottom lip, nodding slightly. He took a few steps forward, reaching up to gently pull Cas’s hands apart, looking down between them as he moved to his belt.

“I feel the same way, you know,” he said gruffly, fiddling with the buckle before moving the the top button of Cas’s slacks.

Cas swallowed in response.

“Yeah,” Dean chuckled softly, “uh, for awhile now. And...after seein’ you- or, I guess, who you would’ve have been had I not become who I am now- it, uh...makes me realize how far we’ve come. How important we are to each other.”

“I, um,” Cas coughed, his face red, and Dean was having a difficult time deciphering if that was due to the fever, his restraint, or embarrassment. “I understand that...there are times in which feelings don’t sync with the desire to...um. Fornicate.”

Dean snorted.

“It’s okay if you don’t want to...do this. I didn’t expect...you to…” he paused, clearing his throat. “I’m aware of your preferences, Dean, and I don’t wish to force you into a sexual encounter with which you are uncomfortable-”

His words were cut short when he shivered violently, and Dean took the opportunity to pull his slacks down, backing him into the chair so he could pull them off. Cas held tightly to the armrests and watched him warily, sweat shining on his brow.

“Now I’ve never, uh...done this before,” Dean said, down on one knee, his arm resting on the other, head down. He chewed his lip, reaching out to touch Cas’s calves hesitantly, moving them up as he stood. Cas tensed when Dean pressed his palms just above his knees and leaned in close.

“So maybe...maybe we should go slow, at first.”

“We don’t have to do anyth-”

Dean leaned in and, before he could think too much about it, pressed their lips together hard. He felt Castiel’s fingers tangle in one of the sleeves of his shirt, his muscles clench under Dean’s hands, the tenseness in his lips melt away after the initial touch.

He didn’t look at Cas at first when he pulled away, keeping his eyes downcast before closing them and taking a deep breath. He finally opened them again and slowly looked up, exhaling a little shakily. Cas’s expression was unreadable at best and Dean floundered, transitioning easily into nonchalance.

“I think we can do better than that.” He pursed his lips and raised a brow. “Whaddaya say, big guy?”

“Dean-”

Cas shook his head as Dean pulled back and grabbed him by the wrist, the effort to pull the stubborn angel upright way more than necessary for a man his size.

“Look, you want me. That much is clear.” He pointedly looked down, and Cas actually looked flustered. “I’m sayin’ I want you too, and I’m on board for this. It’s...not exactly how I imagined, but uh, you need it, and...truth is, I’d rather us do this now than you needin’ to do it with someone else.”

“Dean, I don’t…” Cas huffed, one hand subconsciously hovering over the hard press of his cock against his boxers. “I don’t want this to...mess us up. I was content to ignore how I felt about you because your friendship, our family, it means too much. You’re my best friend, and I...I don’t want that to change.”

Dean snorted. “I feel like you’re making excuses.”

“Dean.”

“Nothin’s changin’, Cas,” Dean shrugged, shaking his head. “Doesn’t matter if this is weird as fuck and we decide never to do it again, you’re still family, you’re still my best friend, and that ain’t gonna change.”

Cas’s expression softened and he tilted his head. “Promise me, Dean.”

Dean huffed irritably and stepped forward, locking eyes with Cas only a few short inches away as he hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his boxers and slid them down. He straightened again and reached up with one hand, thumbing at Cas’s chin before leaning in hesitantly and pressing their lips together. Cas’s were chapped, like always, and a little rough, but he kissed like it was sacred, like he was savoring it. Dean liked that. Too many people he’d been with wanted to skip the intimacy altogether...and he’d been too afraid to admit that he needed it. Cas didn’t need an admission; Cas knew him, and it might’ve helped that Cas sort of needed the exact same thing, in his own way.

“I do. I promise.”

Cas’s lips were parted and they brushed against Dean’s when he answered. “Okay.”

“Now c’mon. Get these clothes off me.”

Dean held out his arms with a cheeky grin, and Cas clenched his jaw, meeting Dean’s eyes as he ripped the flannel from his shoulders and pulled the black t-shirt over his head. He hooked fingers into Dean’s waistband and pulled him roughly forward, their chests bumping, noses brushing.

Dean took the opportunity to grab the back of Cas’s head and crush their lips together, licking at the seam of his lips until Cas finally opened for him. Cas hurriedly worked Dean’s pants open and down his thighs, and they dropped the rest of the way once they hit his knees. He stepped out of them and kicked them to the side, a hand on Cas’s waist guiding him toward the bed. They awkwardly tumbled to the bed when the backs of Dean’s knees hit the mattress, and Dean winced as their teeth clacked together.

“Sorry,” Cas mumbled against his lips, his hips slowly grinding into Dean’s.

Dean’s hands barely hovered over Cas’s sides as they rutted together, and he allowed himself to just feel, and not think. He flattened a hand against Cas’s ribcage, trailing his fingers over skin stretched taut over hard muscle and bone, around to Cas’s abdomen and down to his cock.

Cas’s breath hitched when Dean grabbed the base of his cock, stroking it awkwardly between them.

Dean, ” Cas said desperately, shaking his head, laying his hand over Dean’s to still it. “I, um...I’ve been…” he trailed off, frowning.

“Pent up?” Dean offered, hiding a smile.

“Yes. For a long time. So maybe…”

“Understood.” Dean pulled his hand away and held both of them up in surrender, giving Cas a small grin. “Oh. Oh, shit.”

“What?”

“Um.” Dean looked around the room quickly, chewing his lip. “I don’t...I don’t have any, um. Anything to make this...a little easier.”

Cas just frowned at him, tilting his head.

“Um. Lube. Condoms. Anything.”

Cas’s mouth makes an O shape and he shook his head. “We won’t need any of that.”

Dean raised a brow. “‘Scuse me?”

“We. Don’t need. Any. Of-”

“Yeah, yeah, I heard you,” Dean interrupted, rolling his eyes. “But, uh...as someone who’s never done this before-” he swallowed hard, his throat dry, gesturing back and forth between them, “-ah. Seems kinda like a necessity.”

Cas pursed his lips and rolled to his side, finally meeting Dean’s gaze, his expression unsure and understandably nervous. Dean felt the expression was mimicked on his own face.

“It’s not. I can assure you.”

Dean scoffed. “Well, I dunno how long it’s been since you’ve done this, or...if you have at all, but, uh...dudes aren’t self-lubricating, Cas.”

Cas rolled his eyes. “I’m aware.”

“Then what-”

Cas growled and pushed himself up to his knees, manhandling Dean further up the bed and kneeling between his legs. Dean watched him curiously as Cas gently pushed his knees up, until Dean’s feet were planted firmly on the bed.

“Do you trust me?”

Dean considered making a snarky comment, but he kept his mouth closed and nodded.

Cas nodded back and pressed his lips together, laying his hands on Dean’s knees and closing his eyes.

It definitely didn’t feel the same as it did when Cas healed him, but the first thing he registered was warmth, the only thing that gave away the fact that Cas was using grace. He shivered against the contrast of the cool air, gasped softly when he felt tingling low in his belly. Cas opened his eyes and looked up at him expectantly, his hands still firmly in place on his knees, his grace still hard at work.

It was gradual enough that it took Dean awhile to realize what was happening, and once he did, it came with a ton of questions, none of which he wanted to audibly address.

“Cas, what the fuck …”

“This is preferable, is it not?” Cas asked, raising a brow.

“The fuck did you do to me?”

For a beat or two Cas looked like he was going to smile, but he tamped it down, shrugging. “You said men weren’t self-lubricating. Now you are.”

“Oh, fuck you,” Dean groaned, closing his eyes and trying to think about anything other than the foreign feeling that he could only describe, currently, as “swamp ass”.

“While I’m not opposed, unfortunately that won’t help my current situation.”

Dean opened his eyes and glared at him. “Get on with it, smartass.”

“You’re sure.”

He thought about making another snarky quip, but Cas looked so... nervous. He was still sweating, what Dean would consider profusely for him, since the only other time he’d ever seen Cas sweat was when he was human and sick. He never had a problem meeting Dean’s eyes and now is no exception, but there was worry in his eyes and the hands on Dean’s knees were shaking slightly, the tremors still consistently wracking his body.

Dean’s eyes softened and he reached out to take one of Cas’s hands, giving it a squeeze. “Fuck yes, I’m sure. It’s you . I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life.”

Cas licked his lips and nodded slowly, squeezing Dean’s hand back. He slid his hands down to Dean’s thighs and used them to pull Dean flush with him, and he looked up at Dean as he reached down between them. The head of his cock slid over Dean’s slick rim and he inhaled sharply, closing his eyes and grabbing the sheets by his sides. He heard a wet sound as Cas slicked his cock with the substance now leaking out of his body, and damned if it wasn’t turning him on. His own cock was hardening between his legs, and he smirked when he opened his eyes to find Cas staring at it.

Cas tongued the back of his bottom teeth as he pressed against Dean’s rim, and he let out a long shaky exhale when he began opening him up. Dean tensed, dropping his head back against the bed again and squeezing his eyes shut.

Cas paused and slowly moved his hands to the outside of Dean’s thighs, pressing his fingers into the skin. A warmth coursed through him, starting on the surface of his skin and soaking into his pores, invading his veins and tumbling through his blood. He let out a breath and relaxed, his body loose and comfortable under Cas’s touch.

“Better?” he asked softly. He was just staring, waiting for an answer.

Dean swallowed and looked away, because looking in those eyes was just too much. Cas blessedly didn’t press him for an answer, instead flexing his hands comfortingly over Dean’s thighs and slowly, slowly sinking further inside. The veil of grace lifted just enough for Dean to feel the stretch, the fullness, and his breath hitched when Cas pressed him into the mattress, fully sheathed.

“Dean-”

“If you ask me if I’m okay, Cas, I swear to god-”

Cas pressed his lips together and nodded, and Dean jerked his head to the side and arched slightly up off the bed, pushing himself down against Cas.

Move , dammit.”

Cas licked his lips and furrowed his brow, crossing a forearm over Dean’s chest and taking his hand with the other. He laced their fingers together, pressing them above both their heads. Then he began to move , snapping his hips, sharp hip bones bruising Dean’s backside. He set a rough pace, way rougher than Dean was expecting from the usually composed and gentle Cas. It was primal and intense and fucking incredible, even though Dean didn’t have anything similar to compare it to. He’d never been without another man before- unless you count the time he jerked a guy off once when he was nineteen for an extra twenty- and he’d definitely never imagined this. Definitely not with his best friend. Nevermind that he was pretty sure he’d been in love with him for years now.

“Dean. Look at me.”

Dean hadn’t realized how hard he was squeezing his eyes shut until he opened them, blinking away black spots. He didn’t meet Cas’s gaze though, swallowing hard.

“I can’t.”

“Dean-”

“I can’t , Cas.”

Cas sighed softly, slowing the movement of his hips, moving the hand from Dean’s chest to grip his chin tightly. He turned Dean’s head, and Dean slowly looked up at him, meeting his gaze for a heated moment before Cas pressed their lips together. Cas picked up his pace again, the two of them panting into one another’s mouths, tongues touching, teeth grazing. Cas’s forehead was hot against Dean’s, way warmer than a normal person should be at any given point in time.

Dean’s cock was trapped between them, surrounded by the warmth of their bodies, slicked with sweat, the friction of their bodies pushing him closer and closer to release. He tried to muffle his sounds against Cas’s lips, into his neck, his shoulder, but they only spurred Cas on, encouraged harder, deeper. Like he was trying to crawl inside Dean’s body, his mind, his soul. He hooked his arms around Dean’s shoulders, pushing deep, body writhing against him, snapping his hips hard enough to bury the swelling knot with each thrust.

The pressure against his hole intensified as the knot grew, and Dean cried out as he came suddenly between them when it popped past his rim for the last time. Cas let out a low groan and circled his hips, pressing deep while Dean’s hole clenched and unclenched around him.

The two small bulbs casting low light in the room burst loudly, sending sparks flying and shrouding them in darkness. The feeling that followed Dean could only describe as a super intense healing, a warmth flooding his entire body, spreading outwards, until the tips of his fingers and toes tingled with it. He could feel Cas’s cock still pulsing orgasm into him, twitching against his rim. Cas turned his head to mouth at Dean’s jaw, his neck, until Dean offered him his lips, and Cas gratefully accepted the invitation.

They kissed languidly for several minutes with no real finesse, tongues tangling, teeth scraping against pliant lips. Cas still clung tightly to him even after they stopped, and they laid wordlessly together, Cas’s forehead pressed to Dean’s shoulder.

Without moving, Dean felt gentle tickling at his sides. His gut reaction was to jerk away, but Cas shushed him, and the tickling turned to a caress, then a full embrace. And Dean knew it then, as he was shrouded in a cocoon of safety and warmth.

Cas’s wings.


Dean opened his eyes, blinked against the shimmering black and blue of the appendages. Whole, healthy wings. Unlike the feathers they’d been wading through in the bunker for the past several weeks, these were soft, strong...razor sharp when necessary, as Cas had shown a time or two.

“You made out all right, huh?” Dean chuckled, closing his eyes again. He felt Cas huff a laugh against his ear and tighten his arms around him. Another few seconds, a course of warmth through his veins, and all the mess they’d made was gone, save for the lube around Cas’s carefully seated cock that Dean could feel when he squirmed slightly under the angel’s solid weight.

“I’ve waited...a long time for this,” Cas said slowly, voice barely above a gruff whisper.

Dean’s throat constricted and he swallowed through it, suddenly hyper aware of Cas’s cheek pressed against his. He cleared his throat and shifted, and Cas pulled back to look at him, lifting some of his weight. Intense blue eyes met Dean’s, searching, reading, concerned.

“I, uh…” Dean cleared his throat again, and Cas pulled back as much as he could with his knot still swollen inside. Dean reached up the bed, wincing at the slight pull against his rim, and slid his hand under his pillow. There was a small box, unwrapped, tied with a small piece of twine Dean found in one of the kitchen drawers. He handed it to Cas, avoiding the angel’s gaze as he spoke.

“I’ve never, uh...really been the romantic type or anything, but…”

Cas turned the box over in his hand, frowning down at it.

“...I...I’d planned to give you this for Valentine’s Day, but I guess I never got the nerve. Wasn’t sure if...wasn’t sure you’d get the meaning, or…”

He trailed off as Cas pulled the twine loose and opened the box, revealing the old mixtape he’d made months ago. It was a regular pain in the ass, and a CD would have been much easier, but cassettes always held a special place in Dean’s heart. Cas deserved the extra effort.

“It’s, uh...mostly Zeppelin,” Dean admitted, “but there’s also some Metallica, AC/DC, REO…”

“This is incredible, Dean. Thank you.”

Dean blushed hard. “‘S just a mixtape.”

“With romantic implication.”

Dean blinked.

“That you were going to give me for Valentine’s Day.” Cas grinned slowly.

“So?” Dean grunted.

Cas shrugged and looked down at the tape in his hand. “Just...thank you. I love it.”

They were both quiet for awhile, not awkwardly so, even while the situation was. Cas’s knot slowly went down and he slipped out, laying on his back next to Dean. Dean stretched the muscles in his arms and legs, the sound of a few satisfying pops filling the silence. He blinked and the wings were gone again- well, technically not gone , but no longer visible to the human eye- and Cas was staring peacefully up at the ceiling, his hands clasped over his stomach, the tape under them.

“So, uh...does...does that mean…?”

Cas calmly turned his head to look at him. Watching. Waiting.

“Is this...are we…” Dean shook his head, irritated with himself, and closed his eyes. “Are we...together? Now?”

“Is that what you want?”

“Do you?”

Cas silently turned to his side to face Dean, propping his head up with a hand. “Dean, I’ve wanted to be like this with you since we were together in Purgatory. Through the Leviathans and Naomi’s mind control and the Mark of Cain, through the Darkness and the British Men of Letters, and yes, even now. More so now.” Cas paused, tonguing his bottom lip absently. “When I came to Earth, I thought it was for one specific purpose. I had to save the Righteous Man so he could fight in the battle of Armageddon...a fairly uncomplicated task. But then I got to know you and your brother, and things became complicated. You’re the greatest men I’ve ever known. I look up to both of you, I’m in awe of both of you, I love both of you...but after some time I knew I was... in love with you. I didn’t even think it possible, but…” he huffed a laugh, shaking his head, “I suppose each year I remain on this Earth I become a bit more human. And that affords me the opportunity to love you more and more each passing day.”

Dean had turned a bright red only a few words in, but he scrubbed a hand distractedly over his face anyway. “You sap.”

“Mmm.”

Dean chewed the inside of his lip, huffing a laugh. “Guess you could say I caught you when you fell.”

Cas rolled his eyes and groaned.

“I caught my guardian angel when he fell after rescuing my righteous ass from Hell,” Dean singsonged, grinning widely.

“I may be regretting my decision.”

Dean chuckled, unthinkingly leaning forward to brush their lips together. “Love you too, Cas.”