“Why are you punishing Cas for something I did?” Sam asks as Dean drags them into one of their many punishment rooms.
“I’m not. That would be ridiculous.”
“I’m punishing you both.”
“What? Why?” Cas asks. “I didn’t do anything wrong!” He starts to pout.
Dean gives him a reassuring hug. “Don’t worry, baby. I’ll go light on you, I promise.” When Cas doesn’t stop pouting, he gives him a little kiss and says, “Cheer up.”
Sam crosses his arms. “This isn’t fair, Master.”
“Maybe you should have thought of that before you spend the past two days mouthing off and talking back.”
Sam’s eyes flick to the floor. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry isn’t gonna cut it this time, kiddo.”
Sam’s eyes meet Dean. “I still don’t see why you’re punishing both of us. I was the one who was disobedient. Not Cas.”
Dean smirks. “I couldn’t help but notice how you reacted last time I punished Cas.” He circles Sam. “How you tried to be strong for him, how you cried when he was asleep. You got so upset, Sam, it was beautiful.” He pauses to get wrapped up in the memory for a moment, then shakes himself. “Anyway, I needed to think of an effective punishment, giving you a spanking last time didn’t seem to correct the behavior and I’m not in the mood for anything harsher, and most of the other things I could think to do would effect Cas also. So I thought and I thought and finally I settled on punishing Cas while you watched and punishing you at the same time. Genius, am I right?”
Sam glares. “I’ll take any punishment you can think of, no matter how much it hurts, just please leave Cas out of this. I’m begging you. Please.”
Dean shakes his head and cups Sam’s face in the palm of his hands. Sam leans into the touch. “See, that’s the beauty of this. You love Cas so much that you’d do anything not to see him hurt. Hopefully that includes behaving. Maybe next time you’ll think before you speak if you know I wouldn’t hesitate to hurt him too.”
Dean slaps him. “Get down on your knees and apologize right now or else I’ll give him the full punishment as well.”
Sam drops to his knees, then bows in front of Dean and starts to grovel. “I’m sorry, Master,” he says as he peppers tiny kisses across Dean’s boots. “I promise I’ll do better. I won’t be disobedient again, I promise.”
Dean pulls him up by his hair with a growl and Sam yelps at the feeling of his hair being pulled. Dean tugs him over to a cold metal table and forces him to lay down. Sam winces at the way the icy steel bites into him and hisses when Dean pulls the leather straps holding his wrists two rungs too tight. “Watch,” Dean orders as he moves over to Cas.
Castiel whimpers when Dean approaches. “Shh, shh, baby, I promise I’ll be gentle, okay? I’m not gonna give you the full punishment, and I’m not gonna start until you’re ready, all right?”
Cas nods and lets out a shaky breath of air, watching as Dean lays a blanket over one of the metal tables adjacent to Sam’s. Dean helps him lay down on it and slowly tightens the leather straps. He slides a finger between the leather and Castiel’s wrist and frowns.
“That okay? Too tight?”
Cas shakes his head. “It’s okay.”
Dean splays one hand across his chest. “I’m gonna tell you exactly what I’m gonna do before I do it, so there’s no surprises, okay?”
Cas nods and squirms a little in nervous anticipation.
Dean holds up two small vials. “Itching powder,” he explains. “I’m only going to use the moderate-strength one on you, Cas. Sam is gonna get the full-strength one. You’re both tied up so you won’t hurt yourself scratching. I’m going to help you through it, Cas, but you’re on your own, Sam. I’m going to make both of you wait fifteen minutes before I let you take a bath together. I have some anti-itch soap that will make everything better once it’s done, okay? Do either of you have any questions?”
“I’m scared,” Cas whispers.
Dean smiles. “Tell me what’s bothering you, baby.”
“Will it hurt?”
“No, sweetie. It’ll just be really itchy, like that time the mosquito bit you a couple of weeks ago.”
“I didn’t like that at all,” Cas complains, wrinkling his nose at the memory.
Dean leans down to press a gentle kiss onto his forehead. “I know, angel. I’m sorry I have to do this to you, but it’s really not my fault. If you want someone to blame, blame Sammy.”
Cas looks away from both of them and Sam feels his heart clench. “I’m sorry, Cas, I really am. I’ll be better next time, I promise.”
Both Dean and Cas ignore him. “Are you ready, cutie pie?” Dean asks.
Cas nods stiffly.
“I’m just gonna be putting it on your mid-section. Is there anywhere in particular you’d like me to avoid?”
“My belly-button,” Cas says. “I hate it when it gets itchy.”
Dean finds a roll of masking tape and seals Castiel’s belly-button. “Good?”
Cas nods again.
“I’m going to start now,” Dean warns as he starts to sprinkle the powder across Castiel’s chest and abdomen. “Just take it like a good boy, Cas, and I promise I’ll think of something extra special to give you as a reward, okay? Such a good boy, Cas.”
Cas smiles a little at the praise, but it falls once he starts to itch. “It itches,” he complains.
“It’s supposed to,” Dean says as he puts the vial back into his pocket. Cas tries to scratch, but the bonds hold tight. He tries to bring his legs up to scratch at his stomach, but Dean holds them down and straps them to the table as well. “Don’t want you legs to get itchy too, do you, Cas?” He doesn’t wait for an answer before continuing. “I’m just going to go to Sam for a few minutes, then I’ll be back.”
Sam glares at Dean when he walks over to him. “You’re being incredibly unfair,” he spits. “I said I was sorry, you didn’t have to-” His voice disappears and he glares harder.
“That’s much better,” Dean says. He pulls out the full-strength itching powder and sprinkles it generously over every part of Sam except his face. “Fifteen minutes, okay?” He reminds Sam as he straps Sam’s legs down.
Sam tries to speak as the itching starts, but Dean doesn’t give him back his voice. He struggles to free himself, but the leather just digs into his skin harder. He starts to cry as his irritation and frustration grow. “Please,” he tries to say, but Dean is already walking away.
Castiel’s eyes are wet too when Dean returns to him. “You okay, baby?” He gently scrapes his nails down Castiel’s front and Cas arches into the touch.
“Itchy,” he whines. “Wanna scratch. Please, Master.”
“Tell me where it itches, Cas. I’ll help you, just like I promised.”
Dean chuckles, and runs his fingernails along a wider patch of skin. “It’ll all be over soon. I’ll run you and Sam a nice bath and you can help each other bathe and then we can all cuddle afterwards. How does that sound?”
Cas frowns. “Don’t wanna,” he says.
“What’s wrong? Are you gonna give me a hard time about bath-time again? I thought you’d be looking forward to a bath after this.”
“Sam,” Cas says by way of explanation.
“Oh. You’re mad at Sammy because he’s the reason you’re being punished?” When Cas nods, he licks his lips. “That’s a very good reason to be upset, Cas. I’ll give you and Sam plenty of time to discuss it later.”
Cas shrugs. “’m really itchy.”
“I know, sweetheart. Only five more minutes, though, and then it’ll all be over.”
By the time five minutes is over, Sam is nearly hysterical so Dean doesn’t even bother to help them down manually, just transports them both into the tub full of water he’d prepared before the punishment.
He watches them as they fight over the soap and frantically try to scrub the powder from their bodies, then he watches them as they calm down and resolutely refuse to look at each other. He can tell that Sam is mad at Cas for receiving all of Dean’s attention while he himself had to suffer alone, and that Cas is still upset that he was punished because of something Sam did.
“I’m really sorry,” Sam says after a while. Dean had given him his voice back as soon as they got into the tub in the hopes that they would speak to one another.
Cas just looks away.
Sam makes a desperate sound in the back of his throat and reaches out for Cas. “I promise I’ll be better from now on, Cas.” He starts to cry. “I hate seeing you hurt, especially if it’s because of me.”
Cas wordlessly crawls forward until he’s on Sam lap and nuzzles him.
“Do you forgive me?” Sam whispers.
Cas presses a hand to Sam’s heart, gently kisses Sam’s shoulder, then pulls back and gives him a tiny smile.
Dean smiles to himself. He knows that his pets have their own little secret language, small words and touches and glances that they use to communicate without words when he’s listening in. He doesn’t begrudge them it, never questions either of them or tries to decipher the meaning of any of it.
Sam smiles, too, apparently pleased with Castiel’s answer, and tilts up the other’s chin until their lips meet. Dean wolf-whistles when the kiss grows heated and they pull away, matching blushes high in their cheeks.
Dean kneels beside the tub and kisses each of them. “So good for me,” he whispers against Sam’s lips. “Perfect,” he says against Castiel’s. He pulls away. “You’re both gonna be good for me from now on, right?”
“Yes, Master,” They say in unison.
He settles back to watch them start to wash each other. Cas takes out his bath toys and Sam plays along before he perks up. “Are you still gonna cuddle us later?”
Dean’s features soften. “Of course. I’d never say no to my little cuddle monkeys.”